Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Spanish Minister for Equality, Bibiana Aído, has asked the people who demonstrated against the reform of the abortion law across Spain on Sunday why there have not been any similar protests during the 25 years the current legislation has been in force.
Well duh: how about because those people protest the reform and not the current legislation? After all, the reform will allow girls between 16 and 18-years-old -- that is, minors -- to have an abortion without parental permission (a permission they need for any medical procedure, or even to get a piercing; so minors won't be able to drink, to smoke, to drive, or to vote, but they'll be able to "get it fixed"). That's something that even a lot of pro-choicers feel uncomfortable with.

Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar illegally involved Spain in the Iraq war, according to a lawsuit to be filed next week..

The civil suit against Aznar is to be filed by a broad range of Spanish organizations and people grouped in what they call the Platform for Trial of Aznar.
You may agree with Aznar or not on the support of the Iraq war, but you can't say it was done illegally: it was after a vote in Parliament, where his party held a majority. This lawsuit isn't going anywhere, and will be tossed by the court.

Incidentally, it's worth noting that one of the lawsuit backers is former Communist leader Julio Anguita; his son, a journalist, was killed during the war by the Iraqis, while embedded with US troops.

Monday, March 30, 2009

GOOGLE launches free, legal music downloads in China.

VENOMOUS KATE goes on blogging hiatus.

PETA KILLED 95 percent of adoptable pets in its care during 2008. Why should we pay any attention to them when they tell us, for example, that it's bad to eat meat?

THE DIFFERENCE between the current financial crisis and the Great Depression, in three graphics.

"A FINE BALANCE for Obama to strike": the Financial Times interviews the U.S. president.

SAY HELLO to deflation:
Spanish EU harmonised inflation fell 0.1 percent in March, making Spain the first euro zone member to suffer negative consumer prices during the global crisis, preliminary government data showed on Monday. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected year-on-year inflation of 0.4 percent, compared with 0.7 percent in February, and most had not expected Spanish consumer prices to turn negative until May.

TOP SPANISH PATHOLOGIST specialized in mad cow disease has died, and it's suspected he died precisely of mad cow disease. Creepy.

(By the way, it's odd that CNN says that "The doctor's name was not released at the request of his family." It's been in the open for days in the Spanish media, which routinely mentioned his name.)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

WILLIAM JACOBSON on judge Garzón's legal action against former Bush officials over Guantánamo:
[D]on't cheer too loudly for the Spanish Inquisition. When you lower the bar for the claim of European universal jurisdiction, you are putting your own heroes at risk. Obama has ordered the bombing of Taliban and al-Qaeda hideouts in Pakistan, knowing that innocent civilians would be killed in the process; and there surely will be similar Obama administration actions which, when judged from an anti-American perspective and with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, may be deemed "illegal" in some European country.

FIRST BANK BAILOUT IN SPAIN taking place as I type this. After the meeting between the regulator and the savings bank, there's an emergency government cabinet meeting planned in a couple of hours, something that only happens extraordinarily.

UPDATE. From southern Spain, Bill Cameron has more.

UPDATE II. And more, with some background, by Calculated Risk.

MAN, BIDEN IS A GAFFE WITH LEGS: during his meeting with Spain's primer minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero in Chile yesterday, Biden thanked Zapatero for his effort... in Iraq (link in Spanish, haven't found this detail in any English-language media).

As everybody knows, the first decision Zapatero made after his unexpected win in 2004, right after the Madrid train terrorist attacks, was to abruptly and unilaterally pull out from Iraq. So either Biden made a gaffe, or he was thanking Zapatero for angering Bush...

UPDATE. When I wrote the post I didn't remember to add this, which makes things even worse: shortly after ordering the withdrawal of Spanish forces from Iraq, Zapatero called the other countries to follow the example. Some help, Biden.

TOO BAD I didn't see this yesterday, when I didn't turn the lights off:

Saturday, March 28, 2009

SUPERSTAR JUDGE GARZÓN strikes again: he has taken the first steps toward opening a criminal investigation against six former Bush administration officials, including Alberto Gonzales, John Yoo and Douglas Feith for the torture in Guantánamo:
The official [close to the case] said that it was “highly probable” that the case would go forward and that it could lead to arrest warrants.

While the move represents a step toward ascertaining the legal accountability of top Bush administration officials for allegations of torture and mistreatment of prisoners in campaign against terrorism, some American experts said that even if warrants were issued their significance could be more symbolic than practical, and that it was a near certainty that the warrants would not lead to arrests if the officials did not leave the United States.

And during Earth Hour, what will most participants use for illumination? Candles. The Earth Hour website is filled with announcements – from New Zealand to Hong Kong to Serbia – of restaurants hosting candlelit dinners and clubs holding candlelit acoustic concerts, along with lots of tips on what to do at home during the electricity-free hour, which includes taking a candlelit bath or playing board games by candlelight.

All these burning wicks raise the question: Are the emissions from these candles worse for the climate than simply leaving the lights on? After all, candles emit carbon dioxide too.

The answer: It depends on what kind of candles you use, how many of them you burn, and where you get your electricity from.

Most candles are made of paraffin, a heavy hydrocarbon derived from crude oil. Burning a paraffin candle for one hour will release about 10 grams of carbon dioxide.

As Australian blogger Enoch the Red pointed out after last year’s Earth Hour that an average Australian who tries to replace all the light produced by an incandescent bulb with light cast by parrifin candles will result in about 10 times the greenhouse emissions.
(via Don Surber)

SOMETHING ELSE you need to install right now in your browser: this bookmarlet that merges all the "Next" pages into one, when you're reading a multi-page article, sideshow, etc (via a tweet by Steve Rubel)

WHY ARE Spain's local politicians so corrupt?

HMMMM, let me guess what's missing from Obama's remarks on the new AfPak strategy:
But this is not simply an American problem -- far from it. It is, instead, an international security challenge of the highest order.  Terrorist attacks in London and Bali were tied to al Qaeda and its allies in Pakistan, as were attacks in North Africa and the Middle East, in Islamabad and in Kabul.
Wait a minute... I know there's something missing... oh, that's right!

This is missing.

He needs better speechwriters. Or thinkers.

DID THEY REALLY need to prove scientifically something that everybody knows? A team from the University of Wales proves that women are more attracted to men driving fancy, expensive cars.

So if you're thinking of buying a Tata Nano, you're out of luck, pal.

Friday, March 27, 2009

HOW BLACK WERE MY GREEN JOBS! If Spain's experience is any guide, there are serious job losses from green stimulus mesaures like the ones contemplated in Obama's plans. According to a study from King Juan Carlos University in Madrid, for every new job sustained by subsidized renewable energy at least 2.2 are lost in other industries:
The premiums paid for solar, biomass, wave and wind power - - which are charged to consumers in their bills -- translated into a $774,000 cost for each Spanish “green job” created since 2000, said Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at the university and author of the report.

“The loss of jobs could be greater if you account for the amount of lost industry that moves out of the country due to higher energy prices,” he said in an interview.

THIRTY YEARS since the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor accident:
Thirty years is a long time, especially in an era of technological breakthroughs. The Three Mile Island accident took place at a time of bell bottoms, Studio 54, and wonderment over things like pocket calculators and cassette recorders. Like most technologies, nuclear power has improved substantially since then. It’s time to end the nuclear industry’s long captivity—and start building new reactors.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

VCs in Silicon Valley are worried about the prospects of yet more regulation.

IF YOU SPEND as much time using your browser as I do, go and get this. Right now. You'll thank me for it.

THAT'S WHAT I CALL "trusting your boss:"
God is not going to intervene to prevent humanity from wreaking disastrous damage to the environment, the Archbishop of Canterbury warned last night as he called for a 'radical change of heart' to prevent runaway climate change.

THIS IS HARSH but, alas, can't argue much with it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WON'T BE EASY to tell the difference: Former CNN anchor moves to The Onion.

GIVING MORE REASONS to those who think that Geithner is not the man for the job:
Geithner, at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the U.S. is "open" to a headline-grabbing proposal by the governor of the China's central bank, which was widely reported as being a call for a new global currency to replace the dollar, but which Geithner described as more modest and "evolutionary."

When Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of Spain withdrew Spanish peacekeepers from Iraq in 2004, he got the cold shoulder from former President George W. Bush. So ever since the election of Barack Obama, Mr. Zapatero has relished the prospect of working with a U.S. leader with whom he shares not only a birthday but also, in his view, a progressive agenda and a desire to resolve conflict through dialogue.

But Spain's unexpected announcement last week that it would withdraw its troops from the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo has marred the nascent relationship with the Obama administration and raised questions about Spain's reliability as an ally, diplomats and foreign policy experts say.

Spain informed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and U.S. officials of the decision less than 24 hours before Carme Chacón, the Spanish defense minister, announced it during a visit Thursday to a Spanish military base in Kosovo.

[...] The problem, analysts and experts said, was not so much Spain's decision to withdraw troops as the abrupt way it was announced. According to a report in the newspaper El País, Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos was one of several senior diplomats who were unaware of the decision before it became public. On Monday, in a show of unity, Moratinos said that the whole government backed the Kosovo withdrawal.

But diplomats and experts said they were baffled by Mr. Zapatero's decision to announce a potentially controversial decision just before the Group of 20 meeting in London on April 1-2 and the NATO summit meeting in Strasbourg a day later — meetings that are keenly anticipated in Zapatero's inner circle as an opportunity to work with Mr. Obama.
Good job, Zapatero.

Defense minister Carme Chacón ridiculously defended the fact that she didn't discuss the decision with hardly anyone saying that she felt that the right thing to do was to tell first the people more directly affected: the Spanish troops on the ground. Which I'm not sure if this makes me laugh or cry? How old is she, sixteen, dealing with her high school pals? They're soldiers, for chrissakes. They're not kids, they're grownups whose work is basically getting orders. It's so patronizing that military associations are fuming.

Plus, it's obvious that others are as directly affected by the move as the Spanish troops; namely, the Italians. The Spanish troops are in the Western area of Kosovo, under Italian command. What do you think they feel about having learned about the pullout from the media?

But wait, there's more! She said that she wanted to tell soldiers first, right? Well, as further evidence this is a transparent PR stunt -- to revive the past 'glory' of the Iraq pullout, and to create a controversy to divert the citizen's attention from the desparate economic times --, it turns out (link in Spanish) that she was so interested that the news was shown on TV newscasts that, on the day of her trip, she first taped the announcement before the cameras only, with the exact same words she used when telling the troops ("the job is done; it's time to go home"), pretending she was talking to the soldiers. She wasn't sure the videotape would reach the TVs news department on time for the 3pm newscast, so she told them they could use the enactment in case they needed it.

Welcome to the Fluffy Democracy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

THAT'S A TRUE SURVIVOR: "A 93-year-old Japanese man has become the first person certified as a survivor of both U.S. atomic bombings at the end of World War II, officials said Tuesday." No word on whether he later went to Chernobyl on vacation.

HOW BANKS CAN GAME the Geithner rescue plan: it's dead simple. Banks can participate as a bidder in the auctions of the toxic legacy assets. They can take the loss in the original asset, considering the guaranteed bond insurance by the Fed and the FDIC. And it's foist off onto the taxpayer.

Talk about a bad-thought plan.

(via Outside the Beltway)

GREAT MOMENTS in welfare state:
Antonio Lupiáñez is a blind man who lives in Barcelona, and who says he is angry at the help he has been granted under the Dependency Law, that help being 1 cent per month. His 71 year old wife, Tiscar, who has just had a hip operation, had the job of reading him the letter from the Institut Català d’Assisténcia, and described the amount as ‘shameful’.

The money is justified in the letter as she is not a professional helper, but also granted her back pay from when the application was made, a grand total of 18 cents.

Spain's Economy Minister Pedro Solbes said on Monday he expected the global economy to begin a gradual recovery in 2010 and avoid depression if governments commit sufficient funds to stimulus plans.
Considering he totally missed Spain's financial crisis coming -- he was denying there was any at all until the end of last summer -- excuse me if I take his predictive powers with a massive grain of salt.

Monday, March 23, 2009

SEVEN MINUTES WORTH YOUR TIME: absolutely fascinating footage of Barcelona in 1908, taken from a streetcar as it travels along the city streets. You can see how people react upon noticing the camera. I find it riveting though, of course, your mileage may vary, if you don't know the city (choose High Quality, you won't regret it)

IF BUSH HAD DONE THIS, PART MMXVII: Obama has sent a letter to the French president saying he looks forward to working with him the next four years. He addressed it to... Jacques Chirac, not Nicolas Sarkozy.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

BEFORE I BELIEVE IT, I'd like to see some confirmation of this, not from the Spanish government, but from someone at Gen. James Jones' office (previously in Barcepundit, here):
Spain's government said Saturday it had cleared up a misunderstanding with Washington over the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Kosovo.

"Once it was it was explained that (the withdrawal) was going to be done in a fully coordinated manner, the reaction of the United States and our allies was one of complete understanding," said Bernardino Leon, the top aide to Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

"A page has been turned... this little storm has passed," he told private radio Cadena Ser.
Considering that the Cadena Ser is almost a house organ of the Socialist party and Zapatero's government, it wouldn't be surprising if this was just damage control after the general uproar in Spain about how badly handled this thing was. Spanish press is reporting today that Bernardino Leon, nor the army chief of Staff, nor the Foreign Minister, nor the Spanish ambassador to the US or NATO knew anything about Spain's Kosovo pullout. Spain's defense minister hadn't told anything to NATO's secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer nor to US Defense secretary Robert Gates, not even during a courtesy phonecall. It's been said that León and the army chief of staff learned about it in a layover during their trip to DC for a pre-scheduled meeting with Gen. Jones. The meeting's agenda had to change quickly to discuss this, apparently.

Why I suspect it's damage control? Well, because after announcing the withdrawal, the Spanish government is already backpedaling furiously:
Spain's timetable for the withdrawal of its 600 troops from Kosovo is flexible, the prime minister's spokesman said on Sunday, reacting to NATO criticism of Spanish plans to withdraw the troops by the end of summer.

"Defence Minister Carmen Chacon will meet NATO's secretary general next week to explain the reasons for the withdrawal and to reach a joint decision on a timetable," the spokesman said.

"The decision to leave has been made, but we can be flexible over the timetable, be it one year, 18 months or eight months."

The spokesman's comment marked a shift from the remark by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Friday that the troops would leave Kosovo within the next four or five months.

Zapatero had been confirming Chacon's announcement of the withdrawal plan on Thursday.
What a bunch of amateurs.

UPDATE. More here.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

STEPHEN HAWKING has branched out, with his daughter Lucy, into writing children's books.

THE FIESTA is over.

UPDATE. 75% jobless in a Spanish town:
LA LANTEJUELA - ON THE outskirts of this town of white-washed houses, dozens of warehouses where building materials were once produced have been idle since an economic boom came to an abrupt end last year.

During the height of the country's credit-fuelled property boom the dozens of small and medium sized building firms which sprang up in La Lantejuela employed up to 80 per cent of the south-eastern town's workers as local residents abandoned farm work for more lucrative jobs in construction.

Spain's jobless rate at 14.8%
Spain's unemployment rate hit 14.8 per cent in January after the impact of the collapse in the building sector spread to other areas, and many economists predict it will continue to rise to hit 20 per cent next year.

To draw attention to the plight of La Lantejuela, the mayor of the town locked himself in his office for 24 hours in February - and got national media coverage.
... more
But those jobs began to quickly disappear last year as the global credit crunch exacerbated a slowdown that was already underway in Spain's real estate sector.

Today nearly 75 per cent of the town's economically active population is jobless, one of the highest unemployment rates in Spain, which in turn is the nation with the highest jobless rate in the 27-nation European Union.

EVEN THE SOFT-SPOKEN OBAMA ADMINISTRATION has unusually harsh words against Spain's decision to flee Kosovo. The move hasn't been well received in Spain either, even in pro-Zapatero press. Madrid daily El Pais has a strong editorial today (link in Spanish)

Friday, March 20, 2009

THE POLICE in Catalonia, Spain, and the way they behave in protests, reminds me more and more of those gray-clad cops during the Francoist era. Look at their brutality (background here)

Heads should roll over this.

BRITNEY ZAPATERO: Oops, he did it again. First Iraq, now Kosovo. Spain is unilaterally pulling its troops:
Spain will withdraw its hundreds of troops from the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Kosovo in the next few months, an official said Thursday.

Defense Minister Carme Chacon made the announcement during a visit to the Spanish base at Istok in Kosovo.

"After 10 years of great work, the mission has been completed and it is time to return home," the ministry quoted Chacon as saying.
The alllies are jumping mad:
NATO appeared annoyed on Thursday at Spain's withdrawal decision, which came with little warning to Spain's allies.

NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero told The Associated Press in Brussels that the alliance's secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, had been informed of the Spanish decision prior to its announcement but felt that such a move "should have been taken as a result of a decision within the alliance."

She added that NATO does "not yet" consider that "political and security conditions are in place" in Kosovo.
What a disgrace.

IF THOSE GUYS DIDN'T EXIST, we'd have to invent them:
The three intrepid explorers researchers global warming nitwits who decided to walk across the arctic ice to prove that the Arctic ice is melting (you can’t make this stuff up, you know) are in some big trouble.

Why? Because (brace yourselves) it’s just too darn cold up there to get supplies into them.

MORE EVIDENCE that intelligence is basically inherited:
In a study published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience, UCLA neurology professor Paul Thompson and colleagues used a new type of brain-imaging scanner to show that intelligence is strongly influenced by the quality of the brain's axons, or wiring that sends signals throughout the brain. The faster the signaling, the faster the brain processes information. And since the integrity of the brain's wiring is influenced by genes, the genes we inherit play a far greater role in intelligence than was previously thought.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

NEAT: Four Spanish teenagers armed with only a $80-dollar camera and latex balloon have managed to take stunning pictures of space from 20 miles above Earth.
UPDATE: Here's a photo set on Flickr.

I’m for partial nudity. The part of the population that looks good naked should go nude. The rest of us should keep our clothes on.

THIS IS kinda cool, though I guess not if you are an insect:
Scientists in the U.S. are developing a laser gun that could kill millions of mosquitoes in minutes.

The laser, which has been dubbed a "weapon of mosquito destruction" fires at mosquitoes once it detects the audio frequency created by the beating of its wings.

The laser beam then destroys the mosquito, burning it on the spot.

SO OBAMA wants universal public healthcare in America, as we have in Europe, rights? Well, I hope he first takes a good look at what really happens. For example, in the UK:
Warning signs of poor practice in hospitals across the country are to be urgently reviewed after an investigation uncovered "appalling" standards of care at one hospital which may have led to hundreds of deaths.

The scandal was exposed after monitoring of mortality rates showed that Stafford Hospital, in the West Midlands, had between 400 and 1,200 more deaths than the national average in the three years to 2007-08.

[...] The mortality figures at Stafford triggered an investigation by the Healthcare Commission, the NHS inspectorate, which uncovered deficiencies at "virtually every stage" in the care of emergency patients.

One patient who later died was left for three days with a fractured thighbone. Another who died after becoming infected with the hospital bug C. difficile was earlier left in a soiled bed for four hours but an internal inquiry found there were "no care issues".

[...] The 382-bed hospital was so short of nurses that receptionists with no medical qualifications were assessing patients as they arrived at A&E and nurses did not know how to operate heart monitors. There were not enough doctors and nurses, vital equipment was unavailable when needed and there was no system to spot when things were going wrong.

Julie Bailey spent 14 months campaigning for an inquiry into Stafford Hospital following the death of her mother, Bella Bailey, in November 2007. Ms Bailey, 47, from Stafford, was so concerned about the standards of care being given to her 86-year-old mother that she and her relatives slept in a chair at her hospital bedside for eight weeks.

"What we saw in those eight weeks will haunt us for the rest of our lives," she said. "We saw patients drinking out of flower vases they were so thirsty. There were patients wandering around the hospital and patients fighting. It was continuous through the night. Patients were screaming out in pain because you just could not get pain relief. They would fall out of bed and we would have to go hunting for staff. There was such a lack of staff.

"It was like a Third World country hospital. It was an absolute disgrace."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

FUNNY: a graph of virginity rates by college major. Interestingly, mine (law) is not there. You know why? Because it would be a negative percentage! (wink wink)

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'M ALL FOR less noise, but this seems a tad excessive:
A group of neighbors who said they were "tortured" by booming music and other noise from a Barcelona pub may finally get some shut-eye after a court sentenced the owner to more than five years in prison.
Couldn't they simply had issued a court order and, when the bar owner didn't comply, slap him with contempt? Five years for the noise itself seems too much, no?

SOME CONNECTIONS between the foiled terrorist attack in Amsterdam last week and the March 11 2004 train bombings in Madrid:
The woman who tipped off Amsterdam police last Wednesday evening about an impending terrorist attack was aware of details about the Madrid bombings that had not been made public. Amsterdam's Chief Police Commissioner Bernard Welten told de Volkskrant daily that the phone call lasted about ten minutes and almost took on the character of a cross-examination.


The unprecedented leapfrogging of TV program formats across the world, a hallmark of today's global television arena, has been dramatically underscored by a deal between Hispanic U.S. network Telemundo and Endemol Spain under which hit Latin American telenovelas will be remade with Spanish casts for Spanish audiences.

IS THAT why we pay taxes for?
Two police officers who were caught on tape sleeping in their patrol car while on duty have been suspended for two weeks without pay, Spanish media reported Sunday.

ONE CASUALTY of Spain's economic crisis: cutting-edge architecture.

THE FLOWCHART of a dog's mind at a dog park. Funny.

PAUL KRUGMAN is worried about Europe, and particularly about Spain.

THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT wants to muzzle the bloggers; there's now a call-to-action to try to avoid it.

IT'S GOOD TO SEE how all the gazillions that Obama has been using to save the too-big-to-fail companies is put to good use. In a piece, the New York Times describes how the brunch tradition is as alive as ever, with patrons routinely washing down their Benedict eggs with bottle after bottle of expensive champagne. Which in principle is fine, but get this at the end:
As for how he and his fellow Wall Streeters could still afford such afternoons, he said: “We all made so much money in the past five years, it doesn’t matter.”

A 29-year-old man who works for a large investment management firm and was at Bagatelle’s brunch one recent Saturday and at Merkato 55’s the next, put it another way: “If you’d asked me in October, I’d say it’d be a different situation, and I don’t think I’d be here. Then the government gave us $10 billion.”

Sunday, March 15, 2009

CHINA'S dubious economic miracle: "Behind the statistics of economic prosperity, a nation divided and tormented."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

THINKING THE UNTHINKABLE: a must-read on the future of newspapers, by Clay Shirky.

OBAMA'S OVERTURES towards Russia and Cuba have been answered:
A Russian Air Force chief said Saturday that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has offered an island as a temporary base for strategic Russian bombers, the Interfax news agency reported.

The chief of staff of Russia's long range aviation, Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev, also said Cuba could be used to base the aircraft, Interfax reported.
Bienvenidos de nuevo a 1962.

It is simply wrong for commentators to continue to focus on President Barack Obama's high levels of popularity, and to conclude that these are indicative of high levels of public confidence in the work of his administration. Indeed, a detailed look at recent survey data shows that the opposite is most likely true. The American people are coming to express increasingly significant doubts about his initiatives, and most likely support a different agenda and different policies from those that the Obama administration has advanced.

Polling data show that Mr. Obama's approval rating is dropping and is below where George W. Bush was in an analogous period in 2001.
Keep reading.

Friday, March 13, 2009

THE HORROR AND HOPE OF ZIMBABWE: Joe Trippi writes about the jailing and the release -mostly due to popular pressure, even inside the country, and even from some of Mugabe's supporters- of Roy Bennett, the leader of the opposition.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

ANOTHER REASON to kick out the UN.

UPDATE. More from Fausta.

ARTIFICIAL LIFE in five, ten years at most?

THIS IS another version of man bites dog.


OBAMA: 52 days, 52 mistakes. 1,409 days still to go!

CHAVEZ CALLS AZNAR "a failed Fascist"; and he should know what it's like, because he is a successful fascist himself.

THAT'S when you know you tweet too much: when someone breaks into your home and, instead of calling the cops, you tweet it all and stream the whole thing on your webcam...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NOW THIS IS REALLY BAD NEWS: Boston's real-life 'Cheers' bartender is laid off. I always had a really great time there.

UPDATE. He's not the only TV-related layoff today...

"MR. PRESIDENT, time to rein in the chaos:" good column by Intel's Andy Grove.

THIS IS CLEVER, yet a bit scary at the same time...

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

Monday, March 09, 2009

LOL. Check out the URL. (via Joi Ito's tweet)

GEORGE W. OBAMA? Jackson Diehl draws interesting parallels:
Washington has spent the past couple of weeks debating whether Barack Obama's ambitious agenda and political strategy are more comparable to those of Franklin Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan. Oddly, hardly anyone is talking about the ways in which Obama is beginning to resemble the man who just vacated the White House.
Keep reading.

THE FORD MUSTANG turns 45 today.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

OBAMA'S RECOVERY PLANS sowing some unease:
President Barack Obama offered his domestic-policy proposals as a "break from a troubled past." But the economic outlook now is more troubled than it was even in January, despite Obama's bold rhetoric and commitment of more trillions of dollars.

And while his personal popularity remains high, some economists and lawmakers are beginning to question whether Obama's agenda of increased government activism is helping, or hurting, by sowing uncertainty among businesses, investors and consumers that could prolong the recession.

Although the administration likes to say it "inherited" the recession and trillion-dollar deficits, the economic wreckage has worsened on Obama's still-young watch.

Every day, the economy is becoming more and more an Obama economy.

For those who have endured this winter's frigid temperatures and today's heavy snowstorm in the Northeast, the concept of global warming may seem, well, almost wishful.

But climate is known to be variable -- a cold winter, or a few strung together doesn't mean the planet is cooling. Still, according to a new study in Geophysical Research Letters, global warming may have hit a speed bump and could go into hiding for decades.

Earth's climate continues to confound scientists. Following a 30-year trend of warming, global temperatures have flatlined since 2001 despite rising greenhouse gas concentrations, and a heat surplus that should have cranked up the planetary thermostat.
Keep reading.

SAY WHAT? Something tell me that this, in NY Post's "Sightings" on Page Six, isn't right:
RICH Lowry, Ambassador John Bolton, Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero taking the elevator at '21' to a private party
Not just because they're unlikely companions (what, they were going to meet Bush?), but because in order to be on Thursday night in NY, Zapatero would have had to leave Madrid on Thursday, thus skipping the weekly cabinet meeting on Friday. Very unfrequent and normally announced, but you never know. I haven't seen anything about Zapatero leaving on a trip either.


Friday, March 06, 2009

TGIF. Watch this.

AL GORE refuses to debate Bjorn Lomborg. Why? One would think that, if he thinks he's so right, he'd jump at the opportunity of proving his critics wrong. Especially one, as Lomborg, who is no pure denialist, to put it in ecochondriac's terms. Lomborg just tries to de-dramatize the doomsday scenario and, more importantly, thinks the massive investments to 'stop' global warming should be directed instead at, for example, infrastructures for water in Africa.

SPAIN out to re-conquer America.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

GLOBAL WARMING with its own top level domain on the internet, .eco?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

FOR MUCH LESS than this, Bush was called a moron who couldn't speak intelligibly...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The number of unemployed people in Spain jumped by 154,058 in February, as the deepening recession forced companies to lay off more workers.

The total number of people out of work in Spain now stands at almost 3.5 million, official figures show.

It means the number of unemployed has risen by more than 10% in the past two months alone, and 50% in a year.

Monday, March 02, 2009


BIG CHANGES possibly ahead after yesterday's regional elections in Spain:
Basque politicians on Monday prepared for days of negotiations over a possible alliance between moderate parties that could oust nationalists from power for the first time in 30 years.
More on the Basque Country election at the BBC, which also reports on the other big development:
In north-western Spain, the coastal region of Galicia produced a result which may offer clearer pointers to future nationwide trends.

Having governed for four years in coalition with Galician nationalists, the Socialists were defeated by a resurgent People's Party, which regained control of a region which was historically a conservative stronghold.
The beginning of the end for Zapatero?

ECOCHONDRIA has consequences.

THE INTERNET'S 99 greatest hits.

THE 6 STRANGEST OBJECTS people were caught having sex with. Not on, or near, or by. No: with.


THIS IS NOT just another depression: it's a "cataclysmic structural breakdown:" If you don't want to get really depressed, don't read this. But you should.

A DEVASTATING piece on Japan's crisis. They have a decade and a half headstart in sending the economy to the gutter, so it's interesting. And even though many factors obviously unique to Japan, there are many others that aren't. It's eerie.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

LOL (click "Next" once).