Sunday, March 30, 2008

you know you live in science fictional times when....

-- a friend shows you THIS

yes, it's a cellphone --with benefits that make the iPhone look like a quaint appliance from Captain Kirk's ... nano%·$&·$%technology!!!! nano%·$&·$%technology!!!!

Nokia - The Morph concept

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Friday, March 28, 2008

The kids are (not) allright

All over the world, teenagers give their parents headaches. Why are the migraines induced by British kids felt across a whole society? Part of the reason may be that parents aren't always around to help socialize their children — or even just to show them affection. Compared to other cultures, British kids are less integrated into the adult world and spend more time with peers. Add to the mix a class structure that impedes social mobility and an education system that rewards the advantaged, and some children are bound to be left in the cold [...]

A study in 2000 by the OECD found that British parents spend less time with their children compared to other nationalities, leaving them more open to influence from their peers and a commercially driven, celebrity-obsessed media.
Britain's Mean Streets - TIME

This is becoming more and more common over here with Spanish kids as well. And the reason is, again the same. Kids simply DO NOT spend time with their parents, mostly because both their father and their mother spend a ridiculous amount of time working. In Spain, it is common to start work at 9 and not come back until 8 or 9 pm. The idea of "conciliation" (of work and family life) is a pretty new and often considered "softy-liberal-utopian bs".

The article also talks about guess-what... yes. Ratios. Again. But neeever mind... you won't hear any politician talking about that, at least not in my country. Go figure. Maybe we'll have to wait until kids start bringing guns to school here as well.

So, continue blaming the TV, the videogames and the teachers. Because they're the ones that are raising the kids.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Everybody say OSCAR WILDE!!!!

...otherwise, VICTORIAN, VICTORIAN!!! Funny as Sebastian Horsley is all about that precisely, so I guess it all goes full circle.

Ah the US and its interesting "crimes"... (the amused bolds are all mine)

"I'd been planning the go the US for six months," he told the Guardian yesterday. "I had got to the airport in full dandy regalia - top hat, long velvet coat, velvet scarf. One concession to their Ivy League sensibilities was that I had taken off my nail polish. When I put my finger in the scanner, they took me aside and interrogated me for eight hours."

Horsley said he had a previous conviction in the US for possession of amphetamine sulphate but assumed it had expired. However, his book did not do him any favours with the immigration officers.

"They said ... they knew I had been a crack addict, a heroin addict and a prostitute," he said.

"The good news was that they'd read the book - but the bad news was they'd read the book, and I was deported for my notoriety and for being an alien convicted of a crime involving 'moral turpitude'."

Moral failure bars dandy from US | News | Books
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Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Great Pretender

Two of my friends have decided to live together after just a year of dating and have adopted three cats. Three.
I can't even think of adopting a cat. I don't even know where I'll be living next year.
Going back home, the radio comes up with This.

Freddie Mercury РThe Great Pretender РM̼sica en

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Plate tectonics is super-cool

When I was a kid, I got this great book on Alfred Wegener, and  since then I've thought the story of the continental drift one of the most fascinating tales ever. Seriously, try telling the story to the kid next door. They'll love it.

And the story gets cooler. The article comes with a great animation of Gondwana splitting into pieces, which is just awesome.

Supercontinent was too heavy to hold - earth - 21 March 2008 - New Scientist Environment
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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Operation Chaos!

Hark! Rush Limbaugh is asking his Republican listeners to go out and register as Democrats and vote for Hillary Clinton -- which he has dubbed Operation Chaos. Once more, American politics prove Fact is stranger than Fiction...

"I want our party to win. I want the Democrats to lose," Limbaugh said. "They're in the midst of tearing themselves apart right now. It is fascinating to watch. And it's all going to stop if Hillary loses."
Can GOP Voters Spoil the Dem Race? - TIME
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke died last night

Suddenly I feel guilty as I have been meaning to read him for a long while, but never got around to do so.
Looking around Wikipedia I found this priceless video of his (last) 90th birthday (can't be embedded)
YouTube - Sir Arthur C Clarke 90th Birthday reflections

The collected quotes he's got on wikiquotes are also pretty good, but of course, I'd have to keep this one:

Any teacher that can be replaced by a machine should be!

Electronic Tutors (1980)

Fortunately, most teachers can't ☺

I also liked the following:

If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run — and often in the short one — the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative

The Exploration of Space
(1951), p. 111

Which allows me to seamlessly proceed to cheer at

Google Shoots For The Moon -

"[...]One bold ambition of the project: using lunar materials to make solar
power collectors that can generate carbon-free energy, which is then
transmitted to the Earth. [...]"

When Internet Moguls decide to go to the Moon, anything is possible... I think Clarke would like that.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

...and happy St. Patrick's everyone ^_^

I just couldn't resist...

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Olga doesn't have a clue

I am olga, I am from Russia. Moscow.
I am dreaming to find my real man. Maybe this is you? What do you think
about it? Please, write me a reply here:



Sunday, March 16, 2008

I've been meaning to post this for a while...

... and finally, I CAN!! (I have high-speed on weekends, I have high speed on weekends, I have high speed on weekends... )

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mhm. Someone should import this to Madrid


They drive me nuts. Especially the ones with expensive cars. One of these days, I'll go to and get a sticker that says "you bought an Audi, not the F$·%" road"

Just wait and see.
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Things I *can* do

1. finally, use Flock at my Up North computer... for some reason I couldn't install the previous version, but this one is working just fine oh joy.

2. This means I can blog instantly about anything whenever, without the fuss of logging in and out of blogger. This sort of thing is highly appreciated on 56k.

3. Thanks to my new wireless keyboard, type stuff while sitting on the sofa or while cooking pasta in the kitchen. Seriously. It's really cool. And, of course, watch episode after episode of Babylon 5 using my mouse as a remote control. Heee heee heee
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oh, my, where has science fiction gone...

I've spent this weekend at the V Fantastic Film Festival of the SciFi Channel Spain. It's been fun but a bit disheartening as most of what I've seen didn't qualify at all as sf, or even fantasy. I got thrillers, yakuza films and a lot of crazy people living in real-life paradigms. One wonders if the people that organized the festival thought that "fantastic" meant "really good" I mean, we got Untraceable!!!!. Oh well.

More disheartening news, the title of this article by The Guardian...

Clarke prize moves beyond sci-fi | News | Books

... fortunately once you read the article through you find out that they're exaggerating a bit. And mind you, this is the award Margaret Atwood got for The Handmaid's Tale, so that another dystopia gets the award shouldn't raise many eyebrows... anyway.

Ps. Finally I've downloaded Flock at the Up North computer. Maybe it is a Totally Subjective appreciation, but I think internet goes faster with it. Hm.
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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Things I can't do

Today marks the fourth week my mother embarked in home renovations one more time after the Big Fat Renovation of two years ago. The main consequence of this wall banging floor tearing is that I'm completely out of a high-speed connection. Meaning, this is the fourth week I can't:

-- navigate all those quaint Facebook applications, download pictures from my email or read any RSS feeds without getting grey hairs in the process
-- listen to
-- watch Youtube videos


Ps. I've driven for 10 minutes with the door of the back seat of my car open, until a cute little girl and her dad have warned me. This proves two things:
1) There are still nice drivers out there
2) I'm getting dumber by the minute.

I want to shoot bureaucrats, badly.

It turns out that for my examinations this June, I need to prove the Board of Education that I've been working for the Board of Education for a "·$%"% 1 year, 2 months and 14 days. And to do so, I need to go to FOUR DIFFERENT PLACES, all conveniently located around 40 kilometers away from each other, and demand for such proof at hours when I'm supposed to be, well WORKING.

This is Orwell at its finest.