Tuesday, July 31, 2007

La comadreja y la zarigueya

We had dinner last night and, as usual when conversation lingers for too long, we ended up discussing semantics. Or rather, zoological nomenclature. The thing is, in Argentina we call comadreja the marsupial (family Didelphidae) Chironectes minimus, which apparently in Spain is called zarigueya. By some unlucky coincidence comadreja is used by our European cousins to refer to Mustela nivalis, which is not a marsupial at all, but rather a carnivor of the order Mustelidae.
Thus, the question "are comadrejas marsupials?" has two answers: yes and no. And both are correct.

No more down under


Why do we found so weird to look at the world map showing the down under on top?

It seems to be that some thing can't be discussed, since ever, North has been up, on top of the sheet, and South down under… and that's understandable, at some stage if one needs to tell someone how to get somewhere, to have a standard map is handy, otherwise everywhere can be nowhere.

But the problems seem to be that sometimes we use that protocol to classify and label everything around us, and that's not really the best approach, isn't it? The pre-concepts help us to 'understand' (?) if something or someone is ugly or good-looking, funny or boring... and son on. So, my statment is that the fact of being in certain position or location, it doesn't mean that one is in the right one. That's why I want to quote the great philosopher Mr.Wasowsky whe he said: "put that horror thing there!".

Have fun and think about a yellow-gum!


Por qué nos parece raro ver el mapa del mundo al "reves"?

Hay cosas que no se discuten, desde hace muchos años el norte es para arriba y el sur para abajo... y se puede entender que por ejemplo a la hora de que algun fulano quiera explicarle a un mengano cómo llegar a la panadería de Don Pascual, tener un mapa que muestra siempre lo mismo en el mismo lugar sea práctico. Pero el drama (dramón diría yo) es que a veces aplicamos el mismo protocolo para clasificar cosas que tranquilamente pueden verse (o capaz naturalmente son) al revés... y lo que es norte de pronto pasa a ser sur y opps... uno puede llevarse grandes decepciones.

Los prejuicios que tenemos solo nos sirven para que todo lo que esta a nuestro alcance encaje, como sea, en alguna de las tantas categorías de: lo bueno o lo malo, lindo o feo, divertido o aburrido, picante, salado, frio o caliente, bronceado, palido... divino y horroroso. Como dijo el gran filósofo Mr. Wasowsky "pon esa cosa horrorosa ahí!".

Basta de hipocresía y vayamos a la peluquería!!!

Monday, July 30, 2007

My first entry to the blog!!!

Hello Everybody!!

First of all, congratulations to Agustín for setting up this blog, we have been talking about having a blog for a long time but nobody did anything about it (maybe an Argentine characteristic?).

There are a number of issues I would like to write about. Agustín suggested that I explained what (the hell) does "cambalache" mean... But I don't really want to write about that. For the time being, just google that...
Talking about google: I thought about writing about that (google). Many of you know that I am a google fan, many even call me a google freak (what is probably very accurate).

Then I though about writing about the Heliopause and the Voyagers 1 and 2 space probes (what???). The reason is because yesterday we (José, María, Agustín, Clarissa, Luciana and I) went to the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC), that place full of big parabolic antennas located close to Tidbinbilla and I remembered reading about the finding that the Voyagers reached the Heliopause (the limit of the solar system).

At the end, and most importantly, after reading all what I have written so far, I decided that after a full day in a workshop, my brain is not really working properly, so I decided to go home, have a beer and play with Tato.

Have a good day!!

Juan P.

A night at Casino Royale

Last Saturday we hosted a Texas Hold'em poker night at Dryandra Palace. Dresscode was rich and famous, but some people that normally dress up for work came casual and some people that would barely use a suit to get married were very elegant.
The stakes were high to win the big prize (Fame and Glory - and a bottle of champagne) and eventually our friend and underdog David cleared the table of chips with his poker face and psychological warfare techniques, such as getting up every 2 minutes to check on Le Tour progress.
Anyway, many thanks for those who attended, shame on you for those who didn't and hail to the champion!
You can find some pics here and here (thanks to David Belgrave).

Welcome to Cambalache Austral

Hi everyone! We are finally kicking off our new endeavour: a blog. For some time now some of us had been thinking of creating a common space to share thoughts, photos and gossip and also to make our troupe of émigrés feel close to the warmth (?) of Canberra.
Please do send posts and comment on the existing ones, so that we can keep this thing alive. No topic is taboo and we are "language friendly" (our non-Spanish speaking friends can get help here). I'm sure you all have your two cents to contribute to Cambalache Austral.
Finally, I believe you would expect to know what the name of the blog means and how we came up with it. Well, I have no time to write about it know, but I'm sure someone will volunteer with a post about that.