Friday, March 30, 2012

UH OH: " Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has ordered all IDF units to cancel their traditional Passover breaks so that they can operate in full capacity over the upcoming holdiay, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday"

Mahmoud, call your office...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WHAT THE HELL was the guy who did this anti-wrinkle cream ad thinking?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

THE PROBLEMS with modern-day branding: Is it a condom, or an Android phone?

FOR SOME REASON I suspect that the guys at this Madrid bookstore don't totally get the concept: "We have paper e-books":

THE MYTH of the overnight success:
Angry Birds was Rovio’s 52nd game. They spent eight years and almost went bankrupt before finally creating their massive hit. Pinterest is one of the fastest growing websites in history, but struggled for a long time. Pinterest’s CEO recently said that they had “catastrophically small numbers” in their first year after launch, and that if he had listened to popular startup advice he probably would have quit.

UPDATE. And another related myth: that startup and entrepreneurial success is a monopoly of young people, like Mark Zuckerberg.

Monday, March 26, 2012

THE NEW Girl with a Pearl Earring. It's not Scarlett Johansson, so you can't see her ass...


TODAY'S QUOTE is from Bill Maher:
The answer to whenever another human being annoys you is not "make them go away forever." We need to learn to coexist, and it's actually pretty easy to do. For example, I find Rush Limbaugh obnoxious, but I've been able to coexist comfortably with him for 20 years by using this simple method: I never listen to his program. The only time I hear him is when I'm at a stoplight next to a pickup truck.

When the lady at Costco gives you a free sample of its new ham pudding and you don't like it, you spit it into a napkin and keep shopping. You don't declare a holy war on ham.

IS KINDNESS a strategy? Looking around it seems most companies (and persons) would answer "meh", but they'd be surprised at the results if they acted otherwise.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

BEEN USING Sanebox for a few weeks and I can say it has eased managing my email a lot. So much that I'm probably going to sign in after the free trial period. It's a little long to explain, so I'll rather point you towards a demo video.

Yes, true; for every person who signs in for the free test period through this link I'm getting a free month, but it's just 5 bucks so it's not like I'm gonna make a killing from this... I promise I recommend this because it's a great idea if your drowning on email as most of us are nowadays.

Plus you're getting the 5$ credit too, so what's not to like?

UPDATE. If you don't feel like sitting through a video, this web page shows what Sanebox does.

LOL: Otters that look like Benedict Cumberbatch, BBC’s Sherlock Holmes.

AN ARMED SOCIETY is more, not less, safe.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SAY WHAT? "AOL Prepping New Weekly iPad Magazine Called 'Huffington'"

Isn't "weekly" and "iPad" in the same sentence a tad oxymoronic? We all know the sorry state print magazines are in. For chrissakes, even a daily looks old when you read it in the morning. But after all, there are physical limitations for print publications to be more 'current', more recent.

But on an iPad, why would anyone want to be voluntarily stale a couple of hours after it comes out, and for a whole week?

I AGREE: 50 is the new 30. And few companies (if any) realize that when they market a product or service to consumers.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ON THE one hand: Spain banks' bad loans data hits highest since Aug. 1994.

On the other: Spain Sells EU5 Billion of Bills at Lowest Rates Since 2010.

MUST-READ: "How one man escaped from a North Korean prison camp."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

AND NOW the feel-good story of the day: "Lily is a Great Dane that has been blind since a bizarre medical condition required that she have both eyes removed. For the last 5 years, Maddison, another Great Dane, has been her sight. The two are, of course, inseparable."

More pictures at the link.

THE 'Capote myth' dismantled.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


FROM the guy who begs to have his taxes raised because he says he doesn't pay enough: "Buffett’s NetJets Countersued by U.S. for Unpaid Taxes"

THE END OF AN ERA: after 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica goes out of print; it'll be web-only from now on.

Monday, March 12, 2012

PROBABLY the most precise and at the same time less clear headline ever.

THE END of 'cheap China': What do soaring Chinese wages mean for global manufacturing?

SPAIN: cut spending or increase income via tax raise, to reduce the budget deficit? The WSJ weighs in.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Eva Belén Abad Quijada, Spain, 30 years old
Óscar Abril Alegre, Spain, 19 years old
Liliana Guillermina Acero Ushiña, Ecuador, 26 years old
Florencio Aguado Rojano, Spain, 60 years old
Juan Alberto Alonso Rodríguez, Spain, 38 years old
María Joséfa Alvarez González, Spain, 48 years old
Juan Carlos Del Amo Aguado, Spain, 28 years old
Andriyan Asenov Andrianov, Bulgaria, 22 years old
María Nuria Aparicio Somolinos, Spain, 40 years old
Alberto Arenas Barroso, Spain, 24 years old
Neil Hebe Astocondor Masgo, Peru, 34 years old
Ana Isabel Avila Jiménez, Spain, 43 years old
Miguel Ángel Badajoz Cano, Spain, 34 years old
Susana Ballesteros Ibarra, Spain, 42 years old
Francisco Javier Barahona Imedio, Spain, 34 years old
Gonzalo Barajas Díaz, Spain, 32 years old
Gloria Inés Bedoya, Colombia, 40 years old
Sanaa Ben Salah Imadaquan, Spain, 13 years old
Esteban Martín De Benito Caboblanco, Spain, 39 years old
Rodolfo Benito Samaniego, Spain, 27 years old
Anka Valeria Bodea, Romania, 26 years old
Livia Bogdan, Romania, 27 years old
Florencio Brasero Murga, Spain, 50 years old
Trinidad Bravo Segovia, Spain, 40 years old
Alina Maria Bryk, Poland, 39 years old
Stefan Budai, Romania, 37 years old
Tibor Budi, Romania, 37 years old
María Pilar Cabrejas Burillo, Spain, 37 years old
Rodrigo Cabrero Pérez, Spain, 20 years old
Milagros Calvo García, Spain, 39 years old
Sonia Cano Campos, Spain, 24 years old
Alicia Cano Martínez, Spain, 63 years old
José María Carrilero Baeza, Spain, 39 years old
Álvaro Carrion Franco, Spain, 17 years old
Francisco Javier Casas Torresano, Spain, 28 years old
Cipriano Castillo Muñoz, Spain, 55 years old
María Inmaculada Castillo Sevillano, Spain, 39 years old
Sara Centenera Montalvo, Spain, 19 years old
Oswaldo Manuel Cisneros Villacís, Ecuador, 34 years old
Eugenia María Ciudad-Real Díaz, Spain, 26 years old
Jacqueline Contreras Ortiz, Peru, 22 years old
María Soledad Contreras Sánchez, Spain, 51 years old
María Paz Criado Pleiter, Spain, 52 years old
Nicoleta Diac, Romania, 27 years old
Beatriz Díaz Hernandez, Spain, 30 years old
Georgeta Gabriela Dima, Romania, 35 years old
Tinka Dimitrova Paunova, Bulgaria, 31 years old
Kalina Dimitrova Vasileva, Bulgaria, 31 years old
Sam Djoco, Senegal, 42 years old
María Dolores Durán Santiago, Spain, 34 years old
Osama El Amrati, Morocco, 23 years old
Sara Encinas Soriano, Spain, 26 years old
Carlos Marino Fernández Dávila, Peru, 39 years old
María Fernández del Amo, Spain, 25 years old
Rex Ferrer Reynado, Phillipines, 20 years old
Héctor Manuel Figueroa Bravo, Chile, 33 years old
Julia Frutos Rosique, Spain, 44 years old
María Dolores Fuentes Fernández, Spain, 29 years old
José Gallardo Olmo, Spain, 33 years old
José Raúl Gallego Triguero, Spain, 39 years old
María Pilar Gamiz Torres, Spain, 40 years old
Abel García Alfageme, Spain, 27 years old
Juan Luis García Arnaiz, Spain, 17 years old
Beatriz García Fernández, Spain, 27 years old
María de las Nieves García García-Moñino, Spain, 46 years old
Enrique García González, Dominican Republic, 28 years old
Cristina Aurelia García Martínez, Spain, 34 years old
Carlos Alberto García Presa, Spain, 24 years old
José García Sánchez, Spain, 45 years old
José María García Sánchez, Spain, 47 years old
Javier Garrote Plaza, Spain, 26 years old
Petrica Geneva, Romania, 34 years old
Ana Isabel Gil Pérez, Spain, 29 years old
Óscar Gómez Gudiña, Spain, 24 years old
Felix González Gago, Spain, 52 years old
Ángelica González García, Spain, 19 years old
Teresa González Grande, Spain, 38 years old
Elías González Roque, Spain, 30 years old
Juan Miguel Gracia García, Spain, 53 years old
Javier Guerrero Cabrera, Spain, 25 years old
Berta María Gutiérrez García, Spain, 39 years old
Sergio de las Heras Correa, Spain, 29 years old
Pedro Hermida Martín, Spain, 51 years old
Alejandra Iglesias López, Spain, 28 years old
Mohamed Itaiben, Morocco, 27 years old
Pablo Izquierdo Asanza, Spain, 42 years old
María Teresa Jaro Narrillos, Spain, 32 years old
Oleksandr Kladkovoy, Ukraine, 56 years old
Laura Isabel Laforga Bajón, Spain, 28 years old
María Victoria León Moyano, Spain, 30 years old
María Carmen Lominchar Alonso, Spain, 34 years old
Myriam López Díaz, Spain, 31 years old
María Carmen López Pardo, Spain, 50 years old
María Cristina López Ramos, Spain, 38 years old
José María López-Menchero Moraga, Spain, 44 years old
Miguel de Luna Ocaña, Spain, 36 years old
María Jesús Macías Rodríguez, Spain, 30 years old
Francisco Javier Mancebo Záforas, Spain, 38 years old
Ángel Manzano Pérez, Ecuador, 42 years old
Vicente Marín Chiva, Spain, 37 years old
Antonio Marín Mora, Spain, 43 years old
Begoña Martín Baeza, Spain, 25 years old
Ana Martín Fernández, Spain, 43 years old
Luis Andrés Martín Pacheco, Spain, 54 years old
María Pilar Martín Rejas, Spain, 50 years old
Alois Martinas, Romania, 27 years old
Carmen Mónica Martínez Rodríguez, Spain, 31 years old
Míriam Melguizo Martínez, Spain, 28 years old
Javier Mengíbar Jiménez, Spain, 43 years old
Álvaro de Miguel Jiménez, Spain, 26 years old
Michael Mitchell Rodríguez, Cuba, 28 years old
Stefan Modol, Romania, 45 years old
Segundo Víctor Mopocita Mopocita, Ecuador, 37 years old
Encarnación Mora Donoso, Spain, 64 years old
María Teresa Mora Valero, Spain, 37 years old
Julita Moral García, Spain, 53 years old
Francisco Moreno Aragonés, Spain, 56 years old
José Ramón Moreno Isarch, Spain, 37 years old
Eugenio Moreno Santiago, Spain, 56 years old
Juan Pablo Moris Crespo, Spain, 32 years old
Juan Muñoz Lara, Spain, 33 years old
Francisco José Narváez de la Rosa, Spain, 28 years old
Mariana Negru, Romania, 40 years old
Ismael Nogales Guerrero, Spain, 31 years old
Inés Novellón Martínez, Spain, 30 years old
Miguel Ángel Orgaz Orgaz, Spain, 34 years old
Ángel Pardillos Checa, Spain, 62 years old
Sonia Parrondo Antón, Spain, 28 years old
Juan Francisco Pastor Férez, Spain, 51 years old
Daniel Paz Manjón, Spain, 20 years old
Josefa Pedraza Pino, Spain, 41 years old
Miryam Pedraza Rivero, Spain, 25 years old
Roberto Pellicari Lopezosa, Spain, 31 years old
María del Pilar Pérez Mateo, Spain, 28 years old
Felipe Pinel Alonso, Spain, 51 years old
Martha Scarlett Plasencia Hernandez, Dominican Republic, 27 years old
Elena Ples, Romania, 33 years old
María Luisa Polo Remartinez, Spain, 50 years old
Ionut Popa, Romania, 23 years old
Emilian Popescu, Romania, 44 years old
Miguel Ángel Prieto Humanes, Spain, 37 years old
Francisco Antonio Quesada Bueno, Spain, 44 years old
John Jairo Ramírez Bedoya, Colombia, 37 years old
Laura Ramos Lozano, Honduras, 37 years old
Miguel Reyes Mateos, Spain, 37 years old
Marta del Río Menéndez, Spain, 40 years old
Nuria del Río Menéndez, Spain, 38 years old
Jorge Rodríguez Casanova, Spain, 22 years old
Luis Rodríguez Castell, Spain, 40 years old
María de la Soledad Rodríguez de la Torre, Spain, 42 years old
Ángel Luis Rodríguez Rodríguez, Spain, 34 years old
Francisco Javier Rodríguez Sánchez, Spain, 52 years old
Ambrosio Rogado Escribano, Spain, 56 years old
Cristina Romero Sánchez, Spain, 34 years old
Patricia Rzaca, Poland, 7 meses
Wieslaw Rzaca, Poland, 34 years old
Antonio Sabalete Sánchez, Spain, 36 years old
Sergio Sánchez López, Spain, 17 years old
María Isabel Sánchez Mamajón, Spain, 37 years old
Juan Antonio Sánchez Quispe, Peru, 45 years old
Balbina Sánchez-Dehesa France, Spain, 47 years old
David Santamaría García, Spain, 23 years old
Sergio dos Santos Silva, Brazil, 28 years old
Juan Carlos Sanz Morales, Spain, 33 years old
Eduardo Sanz Pérez, Spain, 31 years old
Guillermo Senent Pallarola, Spain, 23 years old
Miguel Antonio Serrano Lastra, Spain, 28 years old
Rafael Serrano López, Spain, 66 years old
Paula Mihaela Sfeatcu, Romania, 27 years old
Federico Miguel Sierra Serón, Spain, 37 years old
Domnino Simón González, Spain, 45 years old
María Susana Soler Iniesta, Spain, 46 years old
Carlos Soto Arranz, Spain, 34 years old
Mariya Ivanova Staykova, Bulgaria, 38 years old
Marion Cintia Subervielle, France, 30 years old
Alexandru Horatiu Suciu, Romania, 18 years old
Danuta Teresa Szpila, Poland, 28 years old
José Luis Tenesaca Betancourt, Ecuador, 17 years old
Iris Toribio Pascual, Spain, 20 years old
Neil Torres Mendoza, Ecuador, 38 years old
Carlos Tortosa García, Spain, 31 years old
María Teresa Tudanca Hernández, Spain, 49 years old
Jesús Utrilla Escribano, Spain, 44 years old
José Miguel Valderrama López, Spain, 25 years old
Saúl Valdez Ruiz, Honduras, 44 years old
Mercedes Vega Mingo, Spain, 45 years old
David Vilela Fernández, Spain, 23 years old
Juan Ramón Zamora Gutiérrez, Spain, 29 years old
Yaroslav Zojniuk, Ukraine, 48 years old
Csaba Olimpiu Zsigovski, Romania, 26 years old

Friday, March 09, 2012

BEFORE AND AFTER COMMUNISM: a great picture gallery of East Germany's transformation. Those heartless Germans: they lost the bucholic life in which people didn't worry about money all day. Of course, that's because they didn't have any, but don't tell that to a critic of capitalism...

I'M SURE that this will solve all the economic woes, like magic:
Spain's two main unions on Friday called a general strike for March 29 to protest the new conservative government's labor reforms and austerity cuts.

It will be the first general strike against the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, which won elections last November and took office late last December, in the midst of Spain's deep economic crisis.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

FIVE Cold War myths.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

MAKING A KILLING with green energy firms: they get cash from the government, then they give big fat bonuses to their executives, then... they go bankrupt.

CORRUPTION, LIES, AND DEATH THREATS: the crazy story of the man who pretended too invent email. Fascinating.

AWESOME and clever: recreated album covers.

JUST IMAGINE for a second it was John Ashcroft instead of Eric Holder who said that the Constitution doesn't cover terrorists. Just imagine.


SPAIN: the new Greece?

IS INEQUALITY to blame for the financial crisis? Not at all, say economists Michael Bordo and Christopher Meissner:
We find very little evidence linking credit booms and financial crises to rising inequality. Instead, the two key determinants of credit booms are the upswing of the business cycle or economic expansion and low interest rates. This is very much consistent with a broader literature on credit cycles. While inequality often ticks upwards in the expansionary phase of the business cycle, this factor does not appear to be a significant determinant of credit growth once we condition on other macroeconomic aggregates. Neither is income concentration a good predictor of the financial crises that often follow above average growth in credit. The anecdotal evidence from several historical credit booms finds little support for the inequality/crisis hypothesis.

AMERICA is just like Europe:
 The U.S. does not have a significantly smaller welfare state than the European nations. We’re just better at hiding it. The Europeans provide welfare provisions through direct government payments. We do it through the back door via tax breaks. 
For example, in Europe, governments offer health care directly. In the U.S., we give employers a gigantic tax exemption to do the same thing. European governments offer public childcare. In the U.S., we have child tax credits. In Europe, governments subsidize favored industries. We do the same thing by providing special tax deductions and exemptions for everybody from ethanol producers to Nascar track owners. 
These tax expenditures are hidden but huge. Budget experts Donald Marron and Eric Toder added up all the spending-like tax preferences and found that, in 2007, they amounted to $600 billion. If you had included those preferences as government spending, then the federal government would have actually been one-fifth larger than it appeared. 
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recently calculated how much each affluent country spends on social programs. When you include both direct spending and tax expenditures, the U.S. has one of the biggest welfare states in the world. We rank behind Sweden and ahead of Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and Canada. Social spending in the U.S. is far above the organization’s average.

Monday, March 05, 2012

FROM Spain's pro-Socialist newspaper El País:
Although the conservatives won on the promise of turning the country around, a Metroscopia opinion poll, carried out for EL PAÍS on February 29 and March 1, shows that 72 percent of citizens still consider the political outlook to be bad, while on the economic front 96 percent of the country feels that things are downright dismal.
Wow, three months and you're telling me that there's no unicorn for all yet? Shame!

Plus this:
Because of its own voters’ unflagging support, if general elections were held now the PP would in fact improve its results from 44.6 percent of the vote on November 20 to a hypothetical 46.3 percent. This bodes particularly well for the regional elections scheduled for March 25 in Asturias and Andalusia, both of which are expected to go to the conservatives.
That's got to hurt...

THE DECEITS of Seymour Hersh. Pretty brutal.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

MEMORY: a blessing or a curse?

Thursday, March 01, 2012

JUST what we needed:
Tens of thousands of students protested education spending cuts in big cities across Spain on Wednesday, and the demonstrations turned violent in Barcelona as angry young adults clashed with police.

Riot police charged a crowd outside the stock market in Barcelona, Spain's second largest city, after protesters who broke away from a peaceful rally numbering thousands threw rocks and other objects.

Video in Spanish media showed protesters setting plastic garbage containers alight with flares, causing a blaze that destroyed at least one car. They also hurled rocks at the glass front door of a bank branch.
I'm sure that will tremendously help the economy, yeah.

GREEK ECONOMY from bad to worse.

GREAT t-shirt.


SPAIN: one of Europe's highest-taxed countries.

SO MUCH for the so-called wave  of Islamophobia in the U.S. after September 11:
Mosques in the United States have doubled in number since the September 11 attacks, with urban and suburban centers seeing an uptick in mosque construction over the last decade, according to a new report.

"This is a growing, healthy Muslim community that is well integrated into America," Ihsan Bagby, who headed the research project -- which was sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, among other groups -- told The Washington Post. "Researchers conducting the national count found a total of 2,106 Islamic centers, compared to 1,209 in 2000 and 962 in 1994," The Washington Post reported.