Wednesday, June 29, 2011

JOHN LENNON... a closet Republican? Wow: "Imagine there's no Carter / it's easy if you try / No leftist below us / above us only sky / Imagine all the people / Voting for the GOP -- uh uh uhuh".

NINE REASONS why Spain's economy is more different than you think.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

THE ERA of cheap labor in China is over. They've started to send jobs to other countries...

Monday, June 27, 2011

OH THE WONDERS of socialized medicine: a British hospital has apologized for making patients shake a tambourine to call the nurses if they needed something. Even better, this was apparently an advance to the previous system: a pair of... maracas.

And no, it's not The Onion. But I'm sure Paul Krugman will explain to us why it's not...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

PAGING MR. PROFUMO: Chinese Finance Minister caught in foreign spy's 'honeytrap'?
It was already a salacious story of sex and scandal in the top levels of the Chinese government, but now a recently released U.S. State Department cable is adding an element of international intrigue and old-school espionage to the downfall of a top Chinese official.

The official story, courtesy of the Chinese government, is that in August 2007, Finance Minister Jin Renqing resigned his post "for personal reasons." No other explanation was given. However, Hong Kong-based news outlets quickly picked up on rumors that Renqing had a mistress who was also romantically linked to several other prominent Chinese officials and it was that scandal that forced him out of the public eye.

And so the story stood until earlier this month when the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks published a confidential U.S. State Department cable in which a U.S. official says investigators suspected the mistress was not just a "social butterfly," but a professional foreign spy.

"The woman had been introduced to these men as 'someone working with a Chinese military intelligence department.' However, investigators now believe she is a Taiwan intelligence operative," the cable says.

MY BIG FAT GREEK GRAVY TRAIN: UK's Daily Mail special investigation into the "EU-funded culture of greed, tax evasion and scandalous waste."

UPDATE. Sorry, forgot the link; added!

GOOD PIECE by Johann Hari about books and reading in the 'age of distraction'.

THIS IS COOL: laptops powered by typing may be coming soon. If you're a Dragon user it's not so cool, though.

HMMM: five key Iranian nuclear experts got killed in plane crash in Russia. Weighing to add scare quotes around "plane crash". Oops, I just did...

UPDATE. Sorry, the nuclear experts were Russian; they had been working on Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant, but they were not Iranians.

Friday, June 24, 2011

IF YOU STILL had any doubts:
The cellphone of Osama bin Laden’s trusted courier, which was recovered in the raid that killed both men in Pakistan last month, contained contacts to a militant group that is a longtime asset of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, senior American officials who have been briefed on the findings say.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WHO REALLY PAYS financial-transaction taxes, like the so-called 'Tobin tax' (so-called because Tobin himself said it wasn't about 'punishing bad, bad banks')? Turns out that it's just about everyone except banks.

SHOULD AMERICA be the world's best policeman?

WELL, DUH: "Blonde waitresses with big breasts get more tips, says study"

You really need a study to find that out?

IN GERMANY, doubts about the Euro are starting to spread very quickly:
This graph has been published today in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and shows clearly which are the countries that more benefit got from the common currency and which ones the less (average increase of GDP in the observed decade, from 1990 and 1998 and from 1999 and 2010). Clearly Germany has been “almost” the most damaged (or less benefited) by the new currency.

And which were the countries that higher profit got? Yes, the countries that now are going to kill their golden eggs hen: Ireland, Greece and… Spain.

WHY DO WE FIGHT, DARLING? Blame it on our brains...

Monday, June 20, 2011

THE FINANCIAL CRISIS explained in a video.

EMPLOYMENT: it's why Spain should still be your number one Eurozone worry.

ANOTHER TALE of another fad that ends sooner than pundits expected: " The value of peer-to-peer virtual currency Bitcoin has plummeted after an account at MT. Gox, an exchange for the digital money, was compromised and a large amount of coins sold off."

FANTASTIC pictorial retrospective about World War II, by Alan Taylor at The Atlantic. It starts today with images from before the war (the Sino-Japanese war; the Nazi ascendance; the Spanish civil war, etc), the first of a series through the next months. Don't miss it.

A FIELD GUIDE to bullshit.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

IF YOU LIKE old movies and nostalgia, this is the place: Old Hollywood. Possibly the best cinematic tumblelog around (thanks, Ana Nuño, for the link!). I'm afraid I'm gonna bury hours and hours...

Friday, June 17, 2011

I WISH I didn't have to write about this:
Concern was mounting in Spain on Thursday over a violent turn taken by a protest movement demanding democratic reforms.

The violence represented 'a very dangerous mixture of anti-system (activism) and anti-democratic radicalism,' Ramon Jauregui, a minister for the prime minister's office, said following clashes which injured more than 40 people in Barcelona.

The movement had been viewed sympathetically.

But on Wednesday, demonstrators in Barcelona trying to prevent a regional parliamentary debate on social spending cuts attacked legislators going to the meeting, shouting insults and death threats, pushing them, spraying some of them with paint and even trying to take away the guide dog of a blind lawmaker.

The violence forced several legislators to arrive by helicopter in front of the parliament building. Police charged against protesters, six of whom were arrested.

HOW to convince someone that more government spending is not the solution. Including the quote of the day: "In sum, Keynesianism is the equivalent of pouring your can of soda into a glass and trying to claim that, because the soda is now in the glass, you have more soda than if you had not poured it into the glass."

LIFE before and after the internet...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

STEP BY STEP towards a brave new world:
A senior European Commission official has said that Internet service providers (ISPs) should be responsible for safeguarding public values.

Robert Madelin, the Commission's Director General for the Information Society, said that "ISPs need to feel more responsible than they do today not just for the enforcement of the law, but also for the preservation of values."
Scary, huh?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WHILE YOU THINK "Some scientific consensus, huh?", use the opportunity to get your coats ready:
What may be the science story of the century is breaking this evening, as heavyweight US solar physicists announce that the Sun appears to be headed into a lengthy spell of low activity, which could mean that the Earth – far from facing a global warming problem – is actually headed into a mini Ice Age.
We're gonna end up needing to send as much CO2 to the atmosphere to compensate the cooling. Will we be able to so the Cassandras who have been insisting on stopping CO2 emissions? They made us waste a precious time considering what's coming!

DID YOU KNOW that Bob Marley & The Wailers recorded a performance of... Teenager in Love? I didn't, but now that I do I'm not sure if I was happier not knowing it... Listen:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

FEW PEOPLE KNOW IT, because it doesn't appear in the media's covers, but sub-Saharan Africa is booming, at last.

Monday, June 13, 2011

PROBABLY the 10 worst Photoshop failures of all time.


STUNNING VIDEO of the massive eruption on the Sun, last June 7. Don't miss it.

TEN personal details of Bill Gates that you probably didn't know -- revealed by the man himself.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

'CAUSE IT'S SATURDAY! 5 Sleazy Strategies for Turning Any Movie Date into Sex.

Hadn't laughed this hard for weeks...




OSAMA BIN LADEN, "a sex machine who would vanish into the bedroom with me for days," says Nawja, his first wife. I'm sure they were playing with his dinamite stick...

TIME TO REVIEW SOME CLICHÉS, GUYS: when Zhou Enlai told Nixon it was "too early to say" what the impact of the French Revolution would be, during the latter's trio to China in 1972, he wasn't referring to the storming of the Bastille but rather to the 1968 student riots in Paris, according to Nixon's interpreter at the time:
At a seminar in Washington to mark the publication of Henry Kissinger’s book, On China, Chas Freeman, a retired foreign service officer, sought to correct the long-standing error.

“I distinctly remember the exchange. There was a mis­understanding that was too delicious to invite correction,” said Mr Freeman.

He said Zhou had been confused when asked about the French Revolution and the Paris Commune. “But these were exactly the kinds of terms used by the students to describe what they were up to in 1968 and that is how Zhou understood them.”
It is not the first time a mis­interpretation of a Chinese leader’s saying has mistakenly entered mainstream parlance.

Deng Xiaoping, who launched the country’s market reforms, is credited with saying, “To get rich is glorious”, although there is no record that he said it.

The oft-quoted Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times”, does not exist in China itself, scholars say.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

'GREEN' BUILDINGS can be bad for your health.

2000 YEARS of the Earth's temperature change rate, in perspective.


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

"THINNER THAN EVER" (click to enlarge):

Monday, June 06, 2011

Sunday, June 05, 2011

HOW BAD is the employment picture in the U.S.? This bad.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

WANT TO destroy the planet? Eat organic!

'CAUSE IT'S SATURDAY: the history of the bra.

History of the Bra
Via: Online Dating

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


MARILYN MONROE would have been 85-year-old today. She wouldn't be the icon she is, though.

UGH 1:
The financial crisis threatening to bring down the economies of Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain (the so-called “PIGS” countries) has long-term consequences which will affect whole generations in those nations. But the problems in Spain — high unemployment and immigration woes, regional tensions, and a low birth rate — seem to be combining in a "perfect-storm," making a financial meltdown perhaps even more likely there than in any of the other troubled European Union member-states.
Ugh 2:
Spain has always been considered too big to fail and too big to bail. Spain accounts for 8 per cent of the eurozone’s GDP and is the world’s twelfth largest economy.

But the May elections exposed the true weak underbelly of its economy as the populace rejected the tough austerity measures imposed upon them.

Stuart Thomson, chief economist at investment house Ignis Asset Management, says: “Spain is different from the smaller peripheral economies. Ireland has a banking crisis, Portugal has a private sector debt crisis and Greece has a public sector debt crisis, whereas Spain has a combination of all three.”

GOVERNMENTS, do you really want to stop global warming? Then start by banning biodegradable producs, and save the planet!
Biodegradable products, which slowly decay into inoffensive chemicals instead of clogging up landfills until the end of time, seem like they shouldn't have a downside. But one of those chemicals is apparently not so inoffensive: methane gas. If a landfill has high-tech methane-capture technology, then that's free fuel. But if they don't (and most don't), that methane is going straight into the atmosphere. And methane is actually a far worse greenhouse gas than much-derided carbon dioxide.