Sunday, December 14, 2008

the next big thing in woo

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sorry here it is!

Fetchez la vache, c'est une classique!!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This is entertaining, a pomo guide to child-rearing

Sad but funny

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Pero qué lindos recuerdos, che!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Simpsonize me

Juan Pablo and Tato


Click here to Simpsonize yourself.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The weather in Canberra

An infallible weather forecasting device for those fed up with the ABM's misses.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Traditional cultures and their infinite wisdoms

Giant serpent says only men can make farting noises with large hollowed out branch. Tant pis, si on a une vagina!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Does this help?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Challenge this

My claim is very simple. You cannot possibly understand "One hundred years of solitude" (Cien Años de Soledad) unless:
a) you read it in Spanish
b) you are Latin American (or, maybe, have lived in Latin America for a reasonable number of years... maybe)

Yes, I completely agree with myself (?)

The Delacroix of French cuisine is back

Rumour has it (yes, I believe rumour more than my own eyes) that M. Al-Ghazi is back in town. The People are revolting in demand of Fondue au Chocolat, or, as the French say, "chocolate fondue". Join me in this gastronomic crusade and let's get it done before winter is over... allons enfants de la patrieeee le jour de gloire est arrivé...

(Thanks Leah for the inspiration)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

habemus visa !!

"Dear Dr Guerschman

I am pleased to advise you that I have just approved your RSMS-857 visa
application and granted permanent visa to you and your wife. Please find
attached approval letter for your reference.

(See attached file: GUERSCHMAN,Juan Pablo-CSIRO.doc)


Case Officer"


Monday, August 11, 2008

Putting a cheer out for the hockeyroos!

They should take care of Spain today. Argentina will be a tougher opponent.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

google street view comes to Australia!!

G'day guys!

We can enjoy google street view in Oz now! I'm not gonna explain what it is about, if you want to know just read here.

here are few interesting places:

our house:

View Larger Map


View Larger Map

Agustín visiting a shop in Fyshwick

View Larger Map


Exotic vegetable seed supplier

G'day! Anne was wondering where to find Nuesslisalat seed in Australia and I thought it might be useful to disseminate the answer to all.
The place to look is in the catalogue from New Gippsland Seeds and Bulbs.

Anne, the Nuesslisalat is:
CORN SALAD 350 s/g (Lambs Lettuce) (Valerianella locusta). Grow like Lettuce. Regular sowings required for constant cropping. Unsuitable for hot weather, even in cool districts.
1421 - Machelong Traditional Dutch Corn Salad with large round green leaves. Use in salads or cooked. Pkt: 200 seeds: $3.50 25g: $13.30.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hitchens getting waterboarded.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bye bye Lucky

Lucky the koala Canberra's feisty symbol of survival after the January 2003 bushfires has died. She was old for a koala between 12 and 14 years of age and constantly fighting to recover from the terrible injuries she suffered during the January 18 firestorm in 2003.

Lucky, the sole survivor in Tidbinbilla's koala enclosure, was found by a ranger clinging to a charred tree six days after the firestorm and suffering burns to more than a third of her body. Lucky became a symbol for Canberra's recovery from the firestorm and something of an international celebrity.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Visual Pollution

...or the gratuitous desecration of Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge.

Monday, July 7, 2008

6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (8-10), 9-7


Rafa Nadal, como lo pirata que indica su look, le "robó" Wimbledon de las manos a Federer y desordenó (¿para siempre?) el escenario del tenis actual. Cuando tomó la copa no sabía por donde agarrarla. Conoce la de Roland Garros, la muerde como si fuera su alimento, pero en Wimbledon lo que hizo Rafa Nadal fue invadir el territorio ajeno. Tomar lo que el otro tenía y protegía. Humilló a Federer en París y lo llevó al límite de la noche del domingo para arrebatarle lo único que a Roger Federer le quedaba en sus duelos personales. Cada uno era bueno en su superficie. Eso ya no es así: Nadal ganó en la casa del vecino.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

We are the Champions

See you in South Africa

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What Color Eyes Would Your Children Have?

Not too long ago, some banana benders unlocked the genetics of eye colour. Well, far from that really, but that's the way the media reports scientific stuff. Now you can know with all certainty* what color eyes your children will have. Just follow this link and find out.

* conditions apply.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Response to Where the Hell is Matt !

This one is also very nice!



Matt's words:

"Make sure to click "watch in high quality" right underneath the video"

Much better!

See you!

Where the hell is Matt - 2008!!!

Hey guys!

How are you going? Matt, the dacing boy, has just released his third dancing video:

My favorite dancing video is still the second one (maily because of the background music) but this one is also bloody good! My favorite dance in this last video was the one he did in Gurgaon (India). How about you? What do you think?



Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Digesting the facts on genetic modification (GM)

CSIRO talks GM.....check out the vigorous debate from the woo woos....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I knew there was a reason I liked the Dutch

After the World Cup, anyone who beats the Italians is great in my book.

Monday, June 9, 2008

6-1 6-3 6-0

No way Federer.

Y van cuatro.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

God Save the Queen...

...because of her birthday Monday is public holiday! In order to celebrate such a date and because of Aitana´s 1st month birthday and becuase I am already 2 years in Australia, we are having afternoon beers in our place this Monday.

So if you are not running away for the long weekend come around and have a chat with some friends. Aitana will be providing beers and nibbles. Maybe we can start at 5ish? Pass the message around!

Nos vemos.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Happy birthday Agustin!

Agustin got through almost the whole day before revealing it was his birthday. Luckily we were able to fashion a birthday cake with an apple pie and a few candles.

So, happy birthday mate and here's a song dedication, because you only just snuck into the 80s...


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Happy sweet 16th Flying Sppaghetti Monster

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

So I have got that going for me, which is kind of nice.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Spanish crap

this is the crap that Spain presented in the Eurovision this year.


Click to enlarge.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Here is a poll question

Should Muslim countries that ban women from competing in the Olympics be barred?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Austrian Death Metal

Then there was the 90s. Who can forget Austria's contribution to Death Metal with Pungent Stench's classic 'Been Caught Buttering'

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Featured music: New Wave

Sorry I didn't forget about the blog... well, maybe I did. But here I am back and thought I might as well put up some new music. This time, in lack of something better, I offer you a selection of the music you wish had never existed: New Wave. The transition from the 70s to the 80s seems to have been really tough... well, everyone did the best they could amidst the confusion, mixing punk, ska, reggae and going 'electronic'. A special paragraph is due for the clothes and the hairstyles that beg for scissors, or at least a merciful beanie. Take for instance the chaps of Sound Committee right there in that photo. Isn't that white jacket a crime against humanity? Aren't those colour combinations a kick in the nuts of any pair of eyes with a brain behind them? Can we agree with David Hume when he postulated the ideal aesthetical critic as having a mind "free from all prejudice"when someone dares to proudly show off those plastic Casio watches?

No, no, no... don't worry. Just listen to the music and take it easy.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A new portmanteau to add to the list, the bobos!

So there are pomos and woo~woos, but now there is a new one: the bobo!

Here is the wiki definition

Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class And How They Got There (ISBN 0-684-85378-7) is a book by David Brooks, first published in 2000. The word bobo, Brooks's most famous coinage, is a portmanteau of the words bourgeois and bohemian. The term is used by Brooks to describe the 1990s' descendants of the yuppies. Often of the corporate upper class, they rarely oppose mainstream society, claim highly tolerant views of others, buy lots of expensive and exotic items, and believe American society to be meritocratic.

Bobo is often used in place of the word yuppie, which has usually negative connotations. In fact, even Brooks uses yuppie in a negative sense throughout his book.

Brooks's thesis in Bobos in Paradise was that this "new upper class" represented a marriage between the liberal idealism of the 1960s and the self-interest of the Reagan era. Critics of Brooks's thesis argue that he did not provide an argument for why this elite was specifically "new," and that the bobo trend merely represents changing tastes and preferences of a pre-existing upper class (not a product of social mobility).

Bobos are noted for avoiding indulging in high acts of conspicuous consumption in favor of spending the greatest amount possible on the "necessities". Brooks argues that they feel guilty consuming in the way typical of the so-called "greed era" of the 1980s so they prefer to spend extravagantly on kitchens, showers, and other common facilities of everyday life. They "feel" for the labor and working class but may refuse to buy American made goods. The term "bobo chic" was applied to a style of fashion, similar to "boho chic", that became popular in uptown New York in 2004-5.

Bobos often relate to money as means rather than end; they do not disdain money but use it to achieve their ends rather than considering wealth as an achievable end in itself.

The New York Times has written about the changing tastes of bobos: "'Made in the U.S.A.' used to be a label flaunted primarily by consumers in the Rust Belt and rural regions. Increasingly, it is a status symbol for cosmopolitan bobos, and it is being exploited by the marketers who cater to them."[1]

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Fuzzy Logic science show 2XX FM98.3

Did you know that there is a weekly science show called 'Fuzzy Logic' presented on 2XX FM98.3 on Sundays from 11.30 - 12.30am? I thought it might be of interest to some of you bloggers, particularly those more verbose than moi, because there is the opportunity for you to have a go and have possibly millions of people listen to your wise words.
I went along to the studio in the Griffin Centre in Civic this morning to see Jeevan and Brook (Ento) and Caitlin (Plant Industry) present it. The discussion is based on recent news in science and today it came around to the topical aspects of Caitlin and Brook's PhD work.
There's a blog and podcasts of some earlier shows here
If your inner broadcaster has been stirred, I can put you in touch with the group that runs the show. They have a monthly meeting and it seems they're always looking for fresh voices.

September 16th time to geek it up

Greetings from the Midwest

Hello all just thought I would touch base. All is well in here in Minnesota. I found a house which is a 15min bike ride from work. The place has a very large pool, and a lake which I have been jogging around. I am living with a 60 year old woman who is a complete woo~woo; acupunture, homeopathy you name the nonsense, and her son who pops around regularly, is a fundamentalists evangelical creationist christian that has attempted to witness me on several occasions. I am finding the cost of living surprisingly cheaper than Australia, specifically Canberra. The food has been good, in particular the sourdough breads and there has been a fantastic selection of inexpensive locally made beers. The punters of this blog will be pleased to know that health care systems appears to be top-notch, free medical and dental through the university cover plan.

Bye for now

La Choune a boeuf

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Chilean Volcano II

Good stuff Leah!! That picture is great, it was in the news papers a few days ago.

If you are following the news you are be probably aware of the magnitude of the eruption and its consequences. The ashes travelled hundreds of kilometers and even affected air traffic in Buenos Aires.
Check this satellite image:

If you (like me) enjoy watching maps, check more satellite images



Chilean Volcano

Check out this amazing photo of the Chatien Volcano currently erupting in Chile. The vast amount of ash particles entering the atmosphere are apparently generating the electrical storm.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Aitana in Australia!

Aitana Barrero Alonso is here mates! 3,190 Kg. 49 cm. Olé!

Tonight we have been sleeping mainly all the night!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

V - the visitors

have the aussies seen this series on TV during the 80's?
We have in Argentina and so in France (Yves) and Spain (José & María)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spanish Film Festival

The Spanish Film Festival is in Australia. In Canberra the festival will start 7th May. There is an interesting program including an Opening Fiesta with tapas and music and a Closing Night Gala. Check the program on line and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Reflexiones de Inodoro Pereyra

Nueva Sección!! Filosofando con Inodoro Pereyra y su perro Mendieta. Hoy van la primera.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Latin American film festival starts today

G'Day everyone,

From today and until Friday the Latin American film festival is rolling on the National Museum (down in the peninsula). This is the program.

Tomorrow 8pm the Argentine movie "Ay juancito" will be shown. This is the official website. I haven't seen the movie, I think I will go.

have a good week!


Hoy cumplo 30. Estoy hecho un hombrecico!

Today is my 30th birthday!!! ufff, what a BIG number! Kathy is going to prepare a cake for the lunch, so come around Discovery today. I will organize a party or something soon... I will let you know.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Blue-Ringed Octopus: Hapalochlaena fasciata

Algunas veces la vida puede presentarse de unas maneras muy extrañas.
We saw this octopus in a rock pool at Jervis Bay the last weekend. Is one of the deadly creatures living down under. Su picadura introduce saliva venenosa dentro de la herida de la víctima. Esta saliva contiene un veneno que puede causar parálisis respiratoria. Si no se trata, la muerte puede ocurrir durante la siguiente hora y media. Joder.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Today is Saint Jose!!!

March 19th is Saint Jose. It is public holiday in Spain, and it is also the father's day. We prepare a especial sweet called Buñuelos.

Congratulations to myself :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sydney - Buenos Aires nonstop

g'day mates,
what happens with the blog? no one is posting anything!!

I have just had very good news for all of us south americans: Qantas will start flying non-stop from Sydney to Buenos Aires!! It means: not stopping in Auckland and also not stopping in Santiago.

Service to start in November and it will be 3 times a week.


Juan P.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Featured music: Electric Day

Yes, the sidebar music player is finally back online. Sorry I was distracted by work lately, but now I'm back full on. I left you a very heterogeneous compilation of all kinds of electronic music (dance, trance, ambient, chillout, etc). Give me feedback if you like any track in particular, there's tons more where that came from.

And now you know: if you want to throw a rave party, I'm your man (?)


Monday, February 25, 2008

Felicitaciones Dr. Régis!

"A los nuevos amigos aussie-hablantes que conocí en Austrália. Estoy muy
agradecido a Agustín Zsogon, José Maria Barrero, Juan Pablo, Lucía Yañez, Luciana
Porfírio, Marga Garcia, Maria Alonso, Hernano Alonso (Nano) y Salva Herrero por todos
los momentos mágicos que tuvimos juntos alli. Gracias por todas las conversaciones,
apoyo, viajes, fiestas, wine tastings, cafés, cenas, bailes, acrobacias, buen humor, la lengua
española y gallega, películas, cines, woolis, helados, pubs, canciones, salsa, cultura, Tato,
campings, patatas (o papas) de limón, abrazos, besos, palabras, en fin por todos los
capítulos compartidos en el gran libro de la vida. Amigos para siempre!"

copiado de su tesis de doctorado, AGRADECIMENTOS

Thursday, February 21, 2008

the CIA and Fidel - by Daniel Paz

1968-1998: We have a plan for kicking Fidel out
2008: Our plan succeeded!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

... y a las Barbas de la Revolución, le salían más canas cada día...

LA HABANA (AFP) — El líder cubano Fidel Castro renunció a la Presidencia tras 49 años en el poder, anunció él mismo en un mensaje publicado este martes en la prensa oficial, a cinco días de que el Parlamento defina la nueva cúpula del Gobierno.
Último líder histórico del comunismo, Castro, de 81 años, anunció su renuncia tras casi 19 meses de convalecer de una enfermedad de origen intestinal que lo llevó a ceder el mando del país con carácter provisional a su hermano Raúl, ministro de Defensa, de 76 años.
"No me despido de ustedes. Deseo sólo combatir como un soldado de las ideas. Seguiré escribiendo bajo el título 'Reflexiones del compañero Fidel'. Será un arma más del arsenal con la cual se podrá contar. Tal vez mi voz se escuche. Seré cuidadoso", manifestó.
Castro advirtió a los cubanos de que "el camino siempre será difícil y requerirá el esfuerzo inteligente de todos". "Desconfío de las sendas aparentemente fáciles de la apologética, o la autoflagelación como antítesis", añadió.
"Prepararse siempre para la peor de las variantes. Ser tan prudentes en el éxito como firmes en la adversidad es un principio que no puede olvidarse. El adversario a derrotar es sumamente fuerte, pero lo hemos mantenido a raya durante medio siglo", aseveró.
'Recordman' mundial como gobernante, Castro es el único líder al que conocen siete de cada diez cubanos, por lo que su enfermedad abrió enormes interrogantes sobre el futuro de la isla.

Monday, February 18, 2008


From Reuters

Cuba to free 7 dissidents at Spain's request

By Rosa Tania Valdes

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba will free seven of 59 dissidents imprisoned since 2003, a move that opponents of ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro said reflects a "climate of change" under his brother's rule.


The Spanish newspaper El Pais reported on its Web site that four of them will be sent to Spain with their families to receive medical treatment.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shark biscuit! Got Milk?

So beautiful!

There is a new predator in town

Sharks really are pussy cats!!!!

Australia said sorry mates

Yesterday, former prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, said sorry to the Indigenous people of this country, those that arrived to this lands more than 40000 year ago, and in the 20th century were mistreated. Australia said 'sorry mates' for the removal of aboriginal children from their families.
Some people may say that this is only about words or nice speeches, that in the practice nothing really happens, also that now the country will have to pay huge amounts of money in compensations. I see that this country and the majority of its population acknowledged that something wrong happened in the past. From my point of view that is the first step towards a wiser nation.

My question is: Will governments in Latin America and Spain/Portugal also apologize to Indigenous people in that continent?

To see the Aussie apology follow this link:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Stirring the possum

1969 - Man walks on the moon
1971 - Man walks on the moon... again. Then, for a long time, nothing happened. Until tomorrow.

Because tomorrow Kevin Rudd is going to apologize to the Aboriginal Community for the State's wrongdoings in the 20th century.

The striking thing is, there's a wide range of opinions on this token in Australia. And when I say wide, I mean exactly that. Some say the Stolen Generations thing was no less than a genocide. Man, is that some claim. Some others say a couple of wacos hijacked Australian history and completely misrepresented it. Huge claim. And everything in between.

I'm confused. What are the cold, hard facts to take the heat off such hot claims?

Like an aussie cockatoo

This is the pre-valentines post

Be like a cockatoo, kiss your mate and enjoy life.

Monday, February 11, 2008

"Primero que el valor faltó la vida"

Do you know the Capitán Alatriste? I love it.

«Durante casi dos años serví con el capitán Alatriste en las galeras de Nápoles. Por eso hablaré ahora de escaramuzas, corsarios, abordajes, matanzas y saqueos. Así conocerán vuestras mercedes el modo en que el nombre de mi patria era respetado, temido y odiado también en los mares de Levante. Contaré que el diablo no tiene color, ni nación, ni bandera; y cómo, para crear el infierno en el mar o en la tierra, no eran menester más que un español y el filo de una espada. En eso, como en casi todo, mejor nos habría ido haciendo lo que otros, más atentos a la prosperidad que a la reputación, abriéndonos al mundo que habíamos descubierto y ensanchado, en vez de enrocarnos en las sotanas de los confesores reales, los privilegios de sangre, la poca afición al trabajo, la cruz y la espada, mientras se nos pudrían la inteligencia, la patria y el alma. Pero nadie nos permitió elegir. Al menos, para pasmo de la Historia, supimos cobrárselo caro al mundo, acuchillándolo hasta que no quedamos uno en pie. Dirán vuestras mercedes que ése es magro consuelo, y tienen razón. Pero nos limitábamos a hacer nuestro oficio sin entender de gobiernos, filosofías ni teologías. Pardiez. Éramos soldados.»

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

People for the Ethical treatment of Vines (PETV)

So to all you plant pathologists out there, you might notice that this little baby has been hit pretty hard with Downy Mildew. The poor thing will lose all its leaves before its fruit ripens. Notice that the weeds and poor canopy management has probably exacerbated the infection.

Soccer simplicity vs Cricket sophistication ?

Ad astra per aspera

Last Friday night I had the opportunity to see a Cricket game (Australia Vs India). It was a short game (it finished the same day) and as it happens with non-British-colony descendants, ignorant in the Cricket field of knowledge, I had to ask a lot of questions to understand the game. Fortunately, my friends had enough patience to explain me the rules and after some time I could follow what was happening in the oval. Of course this sport in not simple, but I wouldn’t say it is “sophisticated” as I read in an article written by ‘A--stín’ and La Chounie’s friend. After reading that article I found that the comparison between soccer and cricket is meaningless. Following that idea I could say that English is the simplest language, maybe because someone with two or less years of training is able to read an article (for instance this one about soccer/cricket and other sports) understand it, think about his/her position and write ~500 words about it (with expectable grammar errors, of course). I’m sure that learning any other language would required many years of training before reaching that level of communication. So, one conclusion we could make would be that the most ‘sophisticated’ sport in the world is played by those that weren’t able to develop the most ‘sophisticated’ language. Stupid asseveration!

Analysing soccer’s popularity and its simplicity, and comparing it with the intricate cricket (and its poor popularity around the world*) we could say that cricket is for smart people and soccer for less-smart ones (?). Then, we could correlate the behaviour of soccer players (plus the others watching the game in the stadium) and the behaviour of cricket players and their outstanding, noble, royal and (sorry again) sophisticated figure and followers, with the simplicity/complexity of such games. And the outcome would be that soccer (simple) Vs violence (a random variable) have a R2=0.99, while cricket (complex) Vs the same variable would have a poor matching. Thus, social behaviour could be easily explained through sports and their rules (?). Sorry mates, but it doesn’t convince me.

So far, I’ve been two (and something else) years in Oz, and cricket is still looking to me very boring, where sometimes a team of chubby guys expose all their misery. As well as in soccer they insult their rivals and love to be popular and appear in TV advertisements and like any other rich sport-person they love to show all what they have (same as in soccer and others). Perhaps there is a big difference in all this attitudes, soccer players show themselves –in the field- as they are (they will offend you loudly, even knowing the consequences) and cricket players would do the same, but hiding their head underground (like emus). I don’t want to offend cricket lovers with this post, I just want to defend soccer from that article I read, and foreshadow that we can find human misery in all sports, articles, blogs and cultures.

The title of this post is especially dedicated to the soccer lovers of this galaxy!

* Quantifying soccer and cricket popularity, a non-random selected indicator as number of google results typing a) "cricket blogs", b)"soccer blogs" and c) "football blogs" showed that: a) 461 000, b) 6 260 000 and c) 12 000 000

Friday, February 1, 2008

A receptor that mediates the post-mating switch in Drosophila reproductive behaviour

It can be veeeeeeery dangerous!

"Females that lack the sex peptide receptor (SPR, also known as CG16752), either entirely or only in the nervous system, fail to respond to SP and continue to show virgin behaviours even after mating"

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

We are what we eat. True or false?

from ABC news.

Junk food may lower stress: research

Posted Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:50pm AEDT
Updated Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:57pm AEDT

A young boy holds a hamburger.

Good for what ails you? Junk food like burgers could make you less stressed, new research suggests (AFP)

New Australian research shows that eating junk food appears to lower stress levels.

Professor Margaret Morris from the University of New South Wales conducted research on mice who had been separated from their mothers.

Animals given junk food appeared less stressed and agitated than those fed on a healthy diet.

Professor Morris says the brain pathways regulating appetite in rats are similar to those in humans.

The research was presented at the Australian Neuroscience Society meeting in Hobart.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Poll results: Moral Illusions

The recent poll were Bill Gates turned out to be the most admired of the trio was inspired by a Steven Pinker article about the biological roots of moral judgement. Copied and pasted from there:

“Norman Borlaug, father of the “Green Revolution” that used agricultural science to reduce world hunger, has been credited with saving a billion lives, more than anyone else in history. Gates, in deciding what to do with his fortune, crunched the numbers and determined that he could alleviate the most misery by fighting everyday scourges in the developing world like malaria, diarrhea and parasites. Mother Teresa, for her part, extolled the virtue of suffering and ran her well-financed missions accordingly: their sick patrons were offered plenty of prayer but harsh conditions, few analgesics and dangerously primitive medical care.

It’s not hard to see why the moral reputations of this trio should be so out of line with the good they have done. Mother Teresa was the very embodiment of saintliness: white-clad, sad-eyed, ascetic and often photographed with the wretched of the earth. Gates is a nerd’s nerd and the world’s richest man, as likely to enter heaven as the proverbial camel squeezing through the needle’s eye. And Borlaug, now 93, is an agronomist who has spent his life in labs and nonprofits, seldom walking onto the media stage, and hence into our consciousness, at all.”

Read the whole thing here.

The neurobiology of love

A recent and lovely review on love...

Love it!

If only reencarnation existed

General Suharto joined on Saturday the club of mankind's enemies who died quietly in bed instead of rotting in a rathole as he rightfully deserved. Among is achievements are: the slaughter of 500,000 'communits' in the 60s, the invasion and razing of East Timor (200,000 dead - 1/3 of its population) and the vacuuming of something between 15 and 53 billion dollars. And some public works, of course. That's why thousands of Indonesians are mourning.

Well, I guess that leaves you next in the queue, you old piece of shit.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Djokovic is Djokovic... and many others!

you can win the Australian Open and also be a fun guy... watch

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mamá dónde está el Boby? ('Mom, where is Boby?')

Por Bray (invitado) - English translation below

La mayor parte de la gente sólo es consciente de una pequeña parte de la diversidad de alternativas en los estilos de vida. Si queremos pasar del mito y la leyenda a la conciencia, madura, tenemos que comparar toda la variedad de culturas pasadas y presentes.

En Vacas cerdos, guerras y brujas de Marvin Harris.

En su libro, Harris comenta sobre la diversidad cultural y de pensamiento. Las vacas son 'sagradas' en la India porque en realidad son el motor que mueve la cosecha, abona las tierras y produce la leche para los niños. Simplemente la inversión comparable a un tractor para un campesino Norteamericano. Con la salvedad de que en la India se gasta 5 veces menos energía para lograr objetivos similares, y ni hablar de la contaminación que el combustible fósil produce.

Los cerdos son seres desagradables para judíos y musulmanes por una cuestión ecológica, el cerdo no es conveniente de criar en ambientes hostiles como si lo son las cabras y las vacas. Además por ser omnívoro se constituye en un competidor del hombre por alimentos similares. Tampoco combina con estilo de vida nómade ya que no se puede trasladar largas distancias.

Desde tiempos inmemoriales, el perro ha sido fiel acompañante del hombre. Según una leyenda de la creación de una tribu de indios norteamericanos el dios Nagaicho fue responsable por crear todas las cosas. En la historia se relata como Nagaicho creó el mundo, al hombre y a la mujer, creó los ríos, y cómo fué creando todos los animales excepto uno: el perro. En ninguna parte de la leyenda se muestra al dios creando al perro. Cuando Nagaicho se fue a pasear, ya llevaba un perro con él. “Vení Boby que me tenés que guiar por el bosque”. Por lo visto, la idea de que alguien pasease sin un perro a su lado, era impensable.

Ya desde la edad de piedra los perros han estado al lado de los humanos, ayudándolos en la caza, el pastoreo, la vigilancia del hogar y otras tareas. Sin embargo, es poco lo que se sabe exactamente acerca de donde proviene. Actualmente hay mas de cuarenta especies de cánidos. Todas la razas de perros domésticos pertenecen a la especie Canis familiaris. Otros, como los pinchers son un eslabón que convergió en algo parecido al perro, pero en realidad es un roedor resultado de la pérdida del caracter 'alas' en los murciélagos, o en alguna laucha que las ganó.

Pero la cuestión clave, sujeta aún a debate, y que parece poco probable que se pueda aclarar indiscutiblemente, es si el perro doméstico es una versión domesticada de alguno de los cánidos salvajes. Un posible origen seria en Eurasia de algun ancestro parecido a Canis lupus. Yo apoyo a esta teoría. Estos pobres bichos probablemente han venido escapándose hacia el Oeste de los dientes ciegos y desalmados de nuestros amigos Asiáticos. Vaya una historia a modo ilustrativo.

En los años 80, en el Norte de Salta, mas precisamente en Las Lajitas, comenzaron a llegar Laosianos escapando de la guerra y la pobreza. El gobierno militar, para dar una imagen 'más humana' trajo refugiados prometiendo abrigo, casa y trabajo, y algunos de los refugiados fueron para este pueblo. El slogan del gobierno en esa época era “buscaron con el riesgo de sus vidas trabajo, paz y libertad. La Argentina les dará trabajo, paz y libertad”. Por supuesto que esto no ocurrió, pero esa es otra historia.

Un vecino de la localidad, Gurmecindo, tenía una jauría de 7 perros bravos de pastoreo que ayudaban en la faena diaria. Una tarde Gurmecindo nota entristecido que le falta el lider de la tropa, Sultán. Al llegar a casa le dice a la vieja que Sultán al parecer murió por alguna picadura de yarará. A la semana siguiente nota que tiene 5 perros, ya que desaparece el Boby, y le parece raro que de nuevo sea una yarará. Al correr la noticia en el pueblo y comentar con otros paisanos se dan cuenta que a todos les pasaba lo mismo, el Toby, el Ricky etc, todos estaban desaparecidos. Inclusive se organizan una misa en memoria de los canes. Ninguna posibilidad se descarta. El chupacabras???

Hasta que un buen día unos pebetes jugando al fulbo cuelgan la bola y va a dar en el patio de unas de las casas que los militares construyeron para los Laosianos. Como es debido, saltan la tapia para recuperarla y oh sorpresa!!! Un tendedero de cueros de perro con cabezas, entre los que se encontraban Boby, Sultán, etc Los Laosianos se habían deleitado con un can a la naranja. O como dicen los franceses, un 'chien a l'orange'. Para el hambre no hay pan animal sagrado.

By Bray (invited)

Most people are only aware of a small fraction of the alternative lifestyles available. If we want to move on from myth and legend to mature conscience, we need to compare all the variety of past and present cultures.

In Cows, pigs, wars and witches - Marvin Harris

In his book, Harris discusses cultural and thought diversity. Cows are ‘sacred’ in India, but in fact the reason for this is that the are the engine for crop harvest and provide useful manure and milk to feed the children. It’s comparable to the investment an American farmer would do to buy a tractor. As an aside, a cow requires 5 times less energy input and does not produce as much emissiones.

Pigs are disgusting animals for both Jews and Muslims, but the reason may well be ecological, because it’s not an easy animal to raise in hostile environments, unlike cows and goats. Besides, being omnivorous it ‘competes’ with humans for food. It is also unsuitable for a nomadic lifestyle because it cannot be carried for long distances.

The dog has been a faithful companion to man since as long as we can look back. A North American Indian legend tells how the god Nagaicho created men and women, rivers and all animals except for one: the dog. Nowhwere in the story is the god shown creating dogs. In fact, when Nagaicho took a break, he went for a stride with a dog. ‘Come here Bobby, you have to guide me through the woods’. Apparently for the Indians it was inconceivable that a person would walk without a dog on their side.

Thus, from the Stone Age, dogs have been between humans, helping out hunters, shepherds, home vigilance and other duties. However, little is known of its origins and domestication. There are currently more than 40 species of canids, and all the domestic races belong to Canis familiaris. Others, such as the pinscher are probably a link that converged into something like a dog, but are truly more akin rodents derived from wingless bats.

Anyway, it is possibly beyond indisputable demonstration whether dogs are a domesticate of some of the currently existing wild canids. I personally agree with the hypothesis of an Eurasian origin from some Canis lupus-like ancestor. In fact, they probably arrived to the West, after being on the run, trying to escape the blind and heartless teeth of our Asian fellows.

A small story to provide support for this. Many years ago, in the early 80s, a small town in Northwestern Argentina (Las Lajitas) received illegal Laosian immigrants escaping war and poverty. The governing military dictatorship tried to show a ‘humane face’ and offered a house and jobs for hundreds of Laosians, and some of them eventually ended up there. The slogan at the time was ‘they risked their lives looking for work, peace and freedom. Argentina will give them work, peace and freedom’. Of course, this didn’t happen, but that’s a different story. Gumercindo, a local, had a pack of 7 shepherd hounds which he used for his daily work out in the field. One afternoon, on arrival at home, he notices that the pack leader, Sultan, is missing. Saddened, he thought a poisonous snake (‘yarará’) might have put him down. The following week he also lost Boby, which seemed to be too much a of coincidence. Commenting on this with his neighbours, they realised that this was actually widespread and many Tobies and Rickies had recently vanished from their homes. Fear starts spreading and they even organize a mass in fond memory of the lost dogs. Some speculate with attacks by the evil mythical being, El Chupacabras.

One day, a group of kids playing football throw the ball in the backyard of a Laosian family. When, as is local custom, they jump the wall to get it back, surprise surprise... a collection of dog skulls lying around in the dirt! The Laosians had feasted on a ‘dog a l’orange’. Or, as the French say ‘chien a l’orange’.
‘There is no hard bread if you are hungry’... or sacred animals.