jueves, 26 de junio de 2003

The New York Times is reporting on a new method increase brain power. Through a technique of transcranial magnetic stimulation, you can become a savant for a short period of time.
After the short period of time, you become a sucker again. Good method to pass exams, though.
today i smoked an indonesian cigarette: anybody out there knows how they look?
the g key of my keyboard is failing... gggggg... mmm, i can feel it every time i press, it's about to die
poor g key, i pressed you again, and again, again, again (no end to that, hope you understand the joke, a very subtle one, by the way)
i am proud of myself, i am impressed
that's just a comment i posted in quackin (by the way, master quacker, congratulations for adding the comments feature to your blog), and then i thought i'd publish it here too:

"oh, i really wish i could go to moe's and read every day... here there are no bookstores like moe's. but come to think about it, where is there any bookstore like moe's? what i found is a very old bookstore that has a secret stairway to the basement, where they have the complete penguin collection of paperbacks... it really stinks down there, but i felt really british surrounded by the wisdom that the penguin collection holds in its endless pages. shit, i'm gonna put that in my blog!"

moe's is THE bookstore in Berkeley.... and the penguin collection, well, you'd better know what it is.

miércoles, 18 de junio de 2003

While I am away, you can choose to read the excellent stuff that my quacking friend
has in his brand new weblog: Quackin
So it looks like I haven't posted for a while, and that I won't be able to do so in the next week as often as I would
like. Several pressures around me, all of them quite pleasant though... For what is better, a life in the real world
or a life in the virtual interstices of blogger? I leave the question in the air...

jueves, 12 de junio de 2003

Q: What is big and red and eats rocks?
A: A big red rock eater.
Here is an excellent variation on this joke, from the five-year-old kid who prefers not to disclose his identity:
Q: What is big and red and eats sand?
A: A big red rock eater on a diet.

miércoles, 11 de junio de 2003

"We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
Benjamin Franklin
The BBC places this piece of news just next to the one I commented before:
"A woman prodded her partner with a kitchen knife to get him to clean their flat - and cut a major vein in his thigh. The 47-year-old man died after suffering "catastrophic bleeding", a court heard. "
I think it's a bit ironical from the BBC, and now also from me, who used it here.
But, irony appart, let me add this additional comment: editors should be more sensitive
about where to place certain links, even though the key words might relate both pieces of news.

"US researchers say survey results show those children who have seen their fathers
help out around the house have more friends than those who have not.
They are also less likely to get into trouble at school and less depressed or withdrawn."
So I guess the ideal would be then to have gay parents :)

So the "Matrix Reloaded" has been banned in Egypt because it's "too religious".
The censors say that, "in spite of the technology and spectacular special effects, the
movie tackles themes such as existence and creation". The movie "tackles the issue of
the creator and his creations, searching the origin of creation and the issue of compulsion
and free will," it said. This could provocke a "crisis" in Egypt, and strike its "social peace."
What annoyed the censors the most is that they really enjoyed the movie, but were outraged
when they discovered it looked into the origins of "free will". Obviously, religion is sustained by
the anihilation of free will, which becomes only a choice for God.
Quite frankly, if Egypt, Islam and their "social peace" can be threatened by the cheap philosophy of
The Matrix reloaded, then their social peace cannot be very strong.

martes, 10 de junio de 2003

A really funny site, The gay test
Just that, it's a test of your level of "gayness". There's one for every gender and
sexual orientation, and as far as my results are concerned, I think it's quite accurate.
Good luck, whatever result you expect!!! :)
Here's a simple but sincere weblog, Caylin's life, sort of dirty realism stuff.
If I was Caylin, I certainly wouldn't complain that much about the dissertation, as I did before. It may sound like what everybody
says, but one should always look at things from bird's eye, rather than ant's eye (if you know what I mean)
Yesterday I came across some websites dedicated to provide you with topics you can deal with in your blogs.
I thought it was curious, and then I came up with the following question: "what would be your ideal job?"
I will write about it some day... briefly, it would be something like getting paid for writing some bullshit here :)
Well, not much to say today.
I've been all day in university, trying to find out what to answer in my masters dissertation.
It's kind of frustrating that I am spending so much time looking for a good research question to answer.
But as a friend once told me, "writing papers is all about coming up with a good research question. Once
you have it, the rest comes easy". However, sometimes I wonder whether I enjoy creating trouble in my life.
Seems that's what I've been doing so far...

lunes, 9 de junio de 2003

By the way, I'm not into leather :) As a matter of fact, I don't know how the hell I came across the link I gave before.
Check this out: leather blog project
It's a project to get 100 weblogs (quote) "as an attempt to create a greater sense of online leather community,
debunk porn images of how leathermen live, and record the lived experience of leatherfolk".
You see, there's a blog for everybody.
By the way, Written on the body is good stuff.
I love its desing, specially the drawing of the written body... where can i find it?
This is from Written on the body.
"I work for lots of reasons, but being able to pleasure my culinary senses is perhaps the biggest reason of all."
I fully agree with that, Caitlin, except that I still don't work and yet manage to have excellent food.
But this won't last long, unfortunately.
Ok, now for a bit of thinking...

Ok, here it is, a thought: "that the internet is truly great"
Yeah, not very original, you might say, but you have to understand that my precious child is starting to become visited by other people than my friends and my sister (to whom, by the way, I say hi) ... and this simple things can make a guy like me happy.

So I go prepare some dinner, but before start a new kind of post... "Cooking posts" I will here explain what I eat, and more importantly, how I prepare it :)
It would actually be great to maintain a blogsite with cooking recipes... here's an idea, for the ones looking for one. And for the others, here's what I'm going to prepare now:

"The Fruitman pasta"

Fry in a pan some onion (the violet one is great, but others will do), and add before it is brown some chopped mushrooms and crougette. Then some bacon in little pieces. Let everything cook together, slowly.

Boil some pasta (I usually eat 200 grams, but my ex flatmates think this is enough for two people... anyway, the fruitman pasta demands that you get really really full, so sink the 200 grams in the water)

When the pasta is cooked, remove the water and put it again in the pot. Immediately after add the stuff from the pan, which by now should be well cooked, and a raw egg. Mix everything with care, but effectively. The egg should slowly start to become compact. To ensure that this is so, I usually mix everything with the pot still on the hot stove.

Some black pepper and salt, and the fruitman pasta is ready to eat. Enjoy!

Ok, I'm back, and with great news, at least for me.
Just two days after setting up the comments feature in the blog, I receive one.
It's from blogger Mr Nath, who says he likes the site and is going to link it to his
page, Bingtek.com, What's that you say.
Needless to say, his page is very good, specially the links section ;)
Seriously, it's cool.

Some apologies first for not having written for so long... let's say there was a "family business" that kept me too far from a computer.

miércoles, 4 de junio de 2003

That's from Calpundit weblog:

"TRANSLATION WOES....Remember those games where you electronically translate something into Japanese and then translate it back into English? Lotsa laughs.

It looks like that happened for real today. Here is a report in Die Welt about Paul Wolfowitz commenting on the difference between Iraq and North Korea:

"Betrachten wir es einmal ganz simpel. Der wichtigste Unterschied zwischen Nordkorea und dem Irak ist der, dass wir wirtschaftlich einfach keine Wahl im Irak hatten. Das Land schwimmt auf einem Meer von Öl."

The Guardian picked this up and translated it thusly:

"Let's look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil."

This makes it sound like we went to war to secure Iraq's oil, but here is the DoD transcript of the original quote in English:

"Look, the primarily (sic) difference -- to put it a little too simply -- between North Korea and Iraq is that we had virtually no economic options with Iraq because the country floats on a sea of oil."

Wolfowitz was obviously making the point that he feels we can bring economic pressure to bear on North Korea but couldn't do the same in Iraq. The only question is: did the Guardian deliberately slant this, or was it a case of a really incompetent translation? And who screwed up the translation, Die Welt or the Guardian?

Are there any fluent German speakers out there who can read the Die Welt article and compare it to the DoD transcript? If so, leave your remarks on the accuracy of the translation in comments."

Personally, I say .... and so what? What if Wolfowitz said this or that? The point is he defends war because you could not make Irak starve. Basic guy, straight to the point: either you ruin their economy or you bomb them. Nice way of understanding international relations. Thanks God, Wolfowitz is such a nice guy! (obviously I am being ironic)
"For if we don't find the next whiskey bar, I tell you we must die" Bertol Brecht
So I've been trying to advertise my weblog around, with three results:
--The lasts posts have been really boring, so please ignore them and scroll down for real fun at the expense of Naked Cowboy, my new urban hero
--It's 634pm and I still haven't worked at all
--There are two new icons in my blog page, one of them kind of annoying, this blogchalk thing
So please scroll down

This is my new blogchalk:
United Kingdom, London, Southwark, English, Spanish, Pere Rovira, Internet Writing, Politics Jazz Blues. :)
So now you can post comments to my posts. A very nice and easy to use tool provided by Skawkbox.tv, for free. The only bad thing of these guys is the complicated name they gave to their website. Ah, when you make your comment, check out the emoticons, they are really funny.
Ah, if you want to see the naked cowboy, check this out:
-his webpagewww.nakedcowboy.com: didn't work when i tried it, maybe it does when you do
-pictures of him with a can of beans. It turns out that there's a website, Beans around the world, with the educational mission of presenting pictures of beans in the most peculiar places of the world. Certainly naked cowboy is one of them.
-finally, a priceless quote from him: "At the University of Cincinnati, a friend used me as a visual aid in speech class, then I went through Teachers College and the Engineering building. I got ushered out and told not to come back. Good thing I have my degree.”
What sort of visual aid can nakedcowboy be? Anyway, as he wittingly says, he's got his degree.
Well, not that I am a fan of north America, but certainly I am of New York and San Francisco, the two most fascinating cities in the world. Read the following story, and you'll know what I mean.
New York City is a natural habitat for a new kind of urban cowboy: a singing, guitar-strumming man driven by a naked desire to become "the most celebrated entertainer of all time." The siren call of celebrity has brought 32-year-old Robert John Burck, aka the Naked Cowboy, to the streets of Times Square, where he performs in nothing but cowboy boots, a 10-gallon hat and tight, white underwear. Burck, who has lived on tourist tips for the past three years, says he makes from $700 to $1,000 on an average day. "I am the epitome of what America is," he says. "It's about personal initiative. It's about ingenuity … this is like the extreme of what you can do in America."
So that's it. Naked cowboy makes $1000 on an average day. Well deserved!
"Blogging and demonstrating go together in a certain way. Blogging is partly based on hyperlinks, reinforcing the feeling that you are part of something bigger. Demonstrating is also based on human hyperlinks, materializing the need for fraternity." That's what the author of Fraternet says.
What is true is that new tecnology is becoming more and more important in journalism. A person with a minimal interest, can compare several accounts of an event in the internet: mainstream newspapers, more independent ones, and finally "individual newspapers", i.e. blogs.
In the last G8 summit people where sending pictures to websites with their cellphones, which have become an essential coordination tool among the protesters. So essential some say authorities will try to block the wireless network in the next massive demonstrations.
In the future, 3G wireless will mean that people will be able to send video directly to the net from wherever they are. Hence, you won't need to watch only what CNN news has to broadcast. People in the very same place of events will be able to broadcast for the world.
Anyway, up to now blogsites are not much more than geeky corners, but everything has a start... how many people used to read newspapers in the internet 10 years ago?
Check Fraternet for a live account of what happened during the G8 summit, according to one of the protesters. Updates were as frequent as every 30 minutes.

lunes, 2 de junio de 2003

Yesterday, 39-year old protester Shaw, from London, fell from a motorway bridge after a policeman cut the rope he was hanging from while trying to hang up a banner. There was a brief paragraph dedicated to him in The Guardian today In the Spanish El Mundo, the piece of news was a bit longer. For instance, it explained that the man broke one leg and rib, and is still in hospital. It also explained that a girl also hanging from the bridge could be saved by her mates before anything happened. Finally, it explains that the policeman declared that he "didn't know that somebody was hanging from the rope". Could he be more sarcastic? It's quite easy to know when somebody is hanging from a rope, it's just more tense, and therefore easier to cut. A loose rope is very difficult to cut. But looks like the policeman did not know that, and probably his excuse will be enough to let him free.
Because, will we ever know anything else about this policeman? We know the answer, even though his methods sadly reminded me of Reservoir Dogs. Cut the rope. Like a bad guy from a holywood movie.

domingo, 1 de junio de 2003

Again I go to sleep with London getting up from the nightmare of its night.
The birds are singing more quietly today, like distant flutes.
And you are just somewhere where I can't see.
Man, just thought that this blogger thing can get a lot of time from your life... imagine the guy I was talking about before, maintaining both a text blogsite and a photolog... Is that altruism or not knowing what to do with your life? I think it's rather wanting to be read, or seen...
I found this wonderful blog site, Oates for Tanger
The ingenious thing is that it's a photolog, a blog site with pictures rather than text. The design is really smart, and some of the pictures are great, like this one. The author takes all the pictures on his way to work, in Strasbourg, with something called Pen Camera, 1.3 Megapixels. It's amazing the quality he gets with such a small gadget with such a poor resolution. So maybe I don't need a 6 Megapixels one....
A piece of what you can find in Salam Pax's blog:
"Pool side at Hamra hotel. Where every journalist wishes he had a room reserved. If they sit long enough there they could just forget that there was a war going on outside the hotel fences. Jennifer Lopez squeaking out of the speakers and cool $5 beers with over priced burgers and salads. “Please put these ICG reports aside I would rather work on my tan”. Stuff like that. They come in carrying cameras, sound gear or big folders with a red cross on them. Minutes later they are sipping on a beer wearing as little as they can."

It reminded me of an excellent novel by Arturo Pérez Reverte, Territorio Comanche. In English it means something like "War territory". It's about the experience of the author (who used to be a war reporter for Spanish State TV) as a war reporter in the Bosnia war. Very short, very sharp, straight to the point. The whole novel is told by a journalist waiting for a bridge to be bombed.
There's no English translation, but you can try watching the DVD of the movie (by the way, and English translation would make a hell of a lot of sense nowadays) Reverte is quite famous in the US, actually I saw him in person for the first time when he presented a book in a library in Berkeley. Quite funny that me, a Spaniard, had to met Reverte in the US.
Here's the link to the blog of Salam Pax, a guy who writes from Irak, about Irak. For what I read, I think he's good. "Salam" means "peace" in iraki, as well as "Pax", in latin. There's a quote by Samuel P Huntington which I found particularly illuminating:
"the West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion,
but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence.
Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."

Today I went back to Tate Modern, this time to actually see what kind of art they have there.
I saw some sculptures by Henry Moore, not bad, but I prefer Rodin, honestly.
Then I watched this videoart, a guy that says that made a sculpture out of natural elements. He goes up a mountain with a truck, and films
what leaves behind: that's the sculpture. The concept is that art is in nature, in rocks, in lakes.... anyway, I kinda felt sleep, but it was not bad.