'..the amount of leverage and excess that has accumulated in bond and Credit markets..' (no replies)        
'..the amount of leverage and excess that has accumulated in bond and Credit markets over the past eight years of extreme monetary stimulus.'

'The Fed is not blind. They monitor stock prices and corporate debt issuance; they see residential and commercial real estate market values. Years of ultra-low rates have inflated Bubbles throughout commercial real estate – anything providing a yield – in excess of those going into 2008. Upper-end residential prices are significantly stretched across the country, also surpassing 2007. They see Silicon Valley and a Tech Bubble 2.0, with myriad excesses that in many respects put 1999 to shame. I’ll assume that the Fed is concerned with the amount of leverage and excess that has accumulated in bond and Credit markets over the past eight years of extreme monetary stimulus.


The Fed collapsed fed funds from 6.50% in December 2000 to an extraordinarily low 1.75% by the end of 2001. In the face of an escalating corporate debt crisis, the Fed took the unusual step of cutting rates another 50 bps in November 2002. Alarmingly, corporate Credit was failing to respond to traditional monetary policy measures (despite being aggressively applied). Ford in particular faced severe funding issues, though the entire corporate debt market was confronting liquidity issues. Recall that the S&P500 dropped 23.4% in 2002. The small caps lost 21.6%. The Nasdaq 100 (NDX) sank 37.6%, falling to 795 (having collapsed from a March 2000 high of 4,816). No financial instability?


I revisit history in an attempt at distinguishing reality from misperceptions. Of course the Fed will generally dismiss the consequences of Bubbles. They’re not going to aggressively embark on reflationary policies while espousing the dangers of asset price and speculative Bubbles. Instead, they have painted the “housing Bubble” as some egregious debt mountain aberration. And paraphrasing Kashkari, since today’s stock market has nowhere as much debt as housing had in 2007, there’s little to worry about from a crisis and financial instability perspective.

Well, if only that were the case. Debt is a critical issue, and there’s a whole lot more of it than back in 2008. Yet when it comes to fragility and financial crises, market misperceptions and distortions play fundamental roles. And there’s a reason why each bursting Bubble and resulting policy-induced reflation ensures a more precarious Bubble: Not only does the amount of debt continue to inflate, each increasingly intrusive policy response elicits a greater distorting impact on market perceptions.

I doubt Fed governor Bernanke actually anticipated that the Fed would have to resort to “helicopter money” and the “government printing press” when he introduced such extreme measures in his 2002 speeches. Yet seeing that the Fed was willing to push its monetary experiment in such a radical direction played a momentous role in reversing the 2002 corporate debt crisis, in the process stoking the fledgling mortgage finance Bubble. And the Bernanke Fed surely thought at the time that doubling its balance sheet during the 2008/09 crisis was a one-time response to a once-in-a-lifetime financial dislocation. I’ll assume they were sincere with their 2011 “exit strategy,” yet only a few short years later they’d again double the size of their holdings.


Despite assertions to the contrary, the bursting of the “tech” Bubble unleashed significant financial instability. To orchestrate reflation, the Fed marshaled a major rate collapse, which worked to stoke already robust mortgage Credit growth. The collapse in telecom debt, an unwind of market-based speculative leverage and the rapid slowdown in corporate borrowings was over time more than offset by a rapid expansion in housing debt and the enormous growth in mortgage-related speculative leverage (MBS, ABS, derivatives).


I’ve never felt comfortable that Chinese authorities appreciate the types of risks that have been mounting beneath the surface of their massively expanding Credit system. Global markets seemed attentive a year ago, but have since been swept away by the notion of the all-powerful “China put” conjoining with the steadfast “Fed put.” These types of market perceptions create tremendous inherent fragility.'

- Doug Noland, Discussions on the Fed Put, March 25, 2017

'It’s now an all-too-familiar Bubble Dynamic. The greater the Bubble inflates, the more impervious it becomes to cautious “tightening” measures..'

'The problem today is that years of ultra-loose monetary conditions have ensured everyone is crowded on the same bullish side of the boat. Tipping the vessel at this point will be chaotic, and the Fed clearly doesn’t want to be the instigator. Meanwhile, timid little baby-step increases only ensure more problematic market Bubbles and general financial excess.

It’s now an all-too-familiar Bubble Dynamic. The greater the Bubble inflates, the more impervious it becomes to cautious “tightening” measures. And the longer the accommodative backdrop fuels only more precarious Bubble Dynamics, the more certain it becomes that central bankers will approach monetary tightening timidly. Yellen confirmed to the markets Wednesday that the Fed would remain timid – still focused on some theoretical “neutral rate” and seemingly oblivious to conspicuous financial market excess. The fixation remains on consumer prices that are running just a tad under its 2% target. Meanwhile, runaway securities market inflation is completely disregarded.'

- Doug Noland, Another Missed Opportunity, March 18, 2017

'..In terms of Credit Bubble momentum, it’s notable that Net Worth inflated over $2.0 TN in both Q3 and Q4.'

'The unprecedented amount of system-wide debt is so enormous that the annual percentage gains no longer appear as alarming. Non-Financial Debt expanded 4.7% in 2016, up from 2015’s 4.4%. Total Household Debt expanded 3.6%, with Total Business borrowings up 5.6%. Financial Sector borrowings expanded 2.9% last year, the strongest expansion since 2008.

Securities markets remain the centerpiece of this long reflationary cycle. Total (debt and equities) Securities jumped $1.50 TN during Q4 to a record $80.344 TN, with a one-year rise of $4.80 TN. As a percentage of GDP, Total Securities increased to 426% from the year ago 415%. For comparison, Total Securities peaked at $55.3 TN during Q3 2007, or 379% of GDP. At the previous Q1 2000 cycle peak, Total Securities had reached $36.0 TN, or 359% of GDP.

The Household Balance Sheet also rather conspicuously illuminates Bubble Dynamics. Household Assets surged $6.0 TN during 2016 to a record $107.91 TN ($9.74 TN 2-yr gain). This compares to the peak Q3 2007 level of $81.9 TN and $70.0 TN to end 2008. Q4 alone saw Household Assets inflate $2.192 TN, with Financial Assets up $1.589 TN and real estate gaining $557bn.

With Household Liabilities increasing $473bn over the past year, Household Net Worth (assets minus liabilities) inflated a notable $5.518 TN in 2016 to a record $92.805 TN. As a percentage of GDP, Net Worth rose to a record 492%. For comparison, Household Net Worth-to-GDP ended 1999 at 435% ($43.1 TN) and 2007 at 453% ($66.5 TN). Net Worth fell to a cycle low 378% of GDP ($54.4TN) in Q1 2009. In terms of Credit Bubble momentum, it’s notable that Net Worth inflated over $2.0 TN in both Q3 and Q4.


UBS analysts forecast (above) $3.3 TN of 2017 Chinese Total Social Financing (TSF). And with TSF excluding national government deficit spending, let’s add another $300bn and presume 2017 Chinese system Credit growth of around $3.6 TN. As such, it’s possible that China and the U.S. could combine for Credit growth approaching an Unparalleled $6.0 TN. There are, as well, indications of an uptick in lending in the euro zone, and Credit conditions for the most part remain loose throughout EM. Importantly, the inflationary biases that have gained momentum in asset and securities markets and, increasingly, in consumer prices and corporate profits provide a tailwind for Credit expansion.'

- Doug Noland, Unparalleled Credit and Global Yields, March 10, 2017


'..the S&P 500 is now far more overvalued than in 2000, 2007, or indeed in any prior point in history..'

          Three days in Berlin (or improving the pim user experience)        

KDE Project:

Last weekend I've met with some of our old timer KDEPIM developers and some of the newer ones who are interested in KDEPIM or related technologies in the KDAB offices in Berlin.
Being a KDAB employee for a few years already (wow, time is passing quickly), the place was familiar, the people looked familiar. The foosball table was slightly familiar, although some players changed their dresses in order to spread confusion inside the visitor's heads. That is the only reason we've lost against locals with 5-0, 5-0.
Suprisingly enough, the table wasn't used that much. Why? Because people were busy either working and talking. What they talked about I don't know too much, as I focused on some issues I planned to fix, but others can testify that Volker did not sit too much in front of his computers, but was dragged from one place to another for various discussions.
Most of us started on Friday around noon. I won't tell too much about what others did, that is mostly their problem. Especially if they were on the other side of the room and I didn't saw their screens, I can't tell if they worked at all or not. They looked like they did though. ;) I can share some things about what some sitting nearby did. See later.
As recently I became the de-facto maintainer and bugfixer for mail filters, I worked mostly on them. Unfortunately the first attempt to fix a bug failed: a bug that bothers me, although it is not the most reported one. It is about mails not being filtered for a while after a resume from hibernation. It is hard to reproduce, and although I run into it, I couldn't reproduce reliably enough and in a way I can debug it. After fighting with it and realising it won't work, I gave up. See you next time.
Meantime we had some excellent food in an Indian restaurant, then when finally everybody arrived (almost everybody to be honest, plus even some more from KDAB who didn't sign up, but show up there), we were ready to start with presenting the kdepim and Akonadi architecture. Old time pimsters Volker Krause, Kevin Krammer and Tobias Koenig helped me with it, and sometimes saved me, as my knowledge in some area proved to be superficial. We ended up with a pretty impressive drawing on the whiteboard:
Hopefully for those being on site it was understandable.

Time passed, so we went out for dinner to a Greek restaurant at the corner. Nice place, third time being there, good food (seems Berlin has only good eating places). We even saw how Germany won over Ireland. Too bad Steveire (Stephen Kelly) was not there... We continued with some more talks and hacking, then everybody went to their sleeping places.
Some left earlier, some later waiting for remote developers to show up and discuss the patches (he didn't show up).

Day 2
Next day started around 9 o'clock for some. Later for others. I continued with the filter debugging and fixing. I looked at the bugreports and tried to come up with some bugs that are both would help the users and myself. I'm selfish, I want to fix the bugs I run into. ;) One problem that bothered me for a long time is that email content from online IMAP is downloaded even if no filter for IMAP requires it (but a filter for e.g POP3 needs the full content). Now this is fixed and those who use online imap could notice a great speedup in mail syncing (depending on their filter setup). Another often reported issue was duplicating the mails, especially after spam filtering. You've ended up with a mail in the spam folder and a mail in the original place. This could be combined with a conflict dialog shown up as well for that mail. This problem actually revealed a not-well handled case down inside the Akonadi stack that was created by a reordering of filter commands in the filtering code. For those who want technical details: if there was a move action (like "move mail to spam folder") followed by a modify action (like "mark as read"), the filter reordered this to "mark as read" followed by a move. Unfortunately this exposed two problems, (mostly, but not only) IMAP specific: on IMAP you can't modify a mail, instead you create a new one and delete the old. What happened here is that a filter changed the mail (run through bogofilter/spamassasin), then the "mark as read" action was executed, which uploaded the changes, including the changed mail to the IMAP server. This caused a new ID for the item on the IMAP server. The mail with the old ID was deleted. Then the filter agent performed a move, but he had only the *old* ID, before the modifications. The move - if performed between two different resources, like IMAP and local maildir - is technically a copy followed by a delete. The copy worked fine, but the delete didn't. It tried to delete the old mail again (which was gone), not the modified version. That's how you ended up with a duplicate.
The current solution is to reorder the filtering pipeline, so the move is performed before the flag modifications. The extra benefit is that the filtered message is not uploaded again just to be deleted the next second. Speedup, less network traffic, better user experience. This doesn't fix the main problem with Akonadi, but it is an acceptable workaround. The reordering is so far only in the master branch (KDE 4.10), but the relevant code will be backported to the 4.9 branch, so it will be in 4.9.3.
And speaking of conflicts, that was the next hot topic, and one of the often reported bugs. It was mostly caused by conflicting flag changes (read/spam/important/etc), either caused by KMail itself plus the filtering or just KMail. After some discussion we agreed, that reporting conflicts on flag changes doesn't make sense, so we should not bother the user. It is not data loss, and in worst case some flag is reset. In normal case nothing wrong happens, as Akonadi is able to merge two changes in the flags (or so claims Volker).
I have to admit that this fix was not completed at the sprint, I finished it today, as I noticed more code in KDEPIM that didn't disable conflict check on flag changes.
While doing the changes, I did quite some refactoring, cleaning up the code as much as I could do for the parts I touched. The code was originally deep inside KMail (as most of other code), got extracted from it for 4.8.0, and now we are at the stage that we can make the extracted code more cleaner, we can remove some things that doesn't make sense anymore now that the filtering is not inside KMail.
While reading the bug reports, I also run into one indicating that mails arriving to an MBOX account (like /var/spool/mail/username) are not filtered automatically. Sounds like an easy bug to fix and so was it. Now they are filtered.
Finally another annoying issue was fixed: there was no indication that filtering is ongoing. Now when this happens, you can see in the KMail's progress bar.
The net result of the above: faster filtering, less annoying and useless error dialogs for the users. And according to bugzilla, 31 bugs less (some were duplicates though).

Nepomuk...one of the things that, well, so far I was always recommending for users to turn off. Slight detour here: what is Nepomuk and its relation to KMail? Nepomuk helps you to find data. It indexes all kind of data and with some queries you can find e.g every file where my name is mentioned, all email addresses from any file, etc. There is a process that goes through the akonadi data (emails, calendars, etc) and "feeds" to it for Nepomuk to be indexed. Then there are queries and code in KMail accessing Nepomuk: getting email addresses for composer's autocompletion, searching inside mail bodies, tagging your emails with custom tags, etc.
Unfortunately there are problems around it. One is that some queries ae processed quite slowly, that in turn slows down KMail, leading to poor user experience. E.g switching between mails, sending mails, etc. is slow. Or startup is slow or even blocked. I tried to fix the last part as I just run into it, but as this was my very first Nepomuk related patch, I'm not sure 100% succeeded. We found a problem with the Nepomuk API itself, and I informed Vishesh, the Nepomuk developer about it (even if I used non-blocking calls against Nepomuk, one call is blocking without question). He suggested something I might try later, although I'd be more happier if somebody with real Nepomuk knowledge could give a review of the pim Nepomuk usage.
Then there is the Akonadi feeder, that gives the data to Nepomuk. Something is not perfect there and the indexing causes a serious slowdown, where either itself or Nepomuk (actually its storage backend, virtuoso) starts to use the CPU *a lot*. This is the main reason I recommend to users to disable Nepomuk so far. We had Christian Mollekopf the author of the feeder in the sprint, and he worked on some optimizations. Hopefully this will improve the situation. Meantime we (and I) tried to convince Vishesh to use KMail, so he can see himself the problems our users face.

As a break we had another presentation, this time about KMail itself, what components make up KMail, how they are distributed. As far as I saw, this was less interesting to the audience, they rather looked at their computers and hacked on something. Luckily our KMail maintainer, Laurent Montel, is super active, but I wouldn't mind more contributors. Too bad he wasn't at the sprint.

We had a lunch at a nearby place, nothing extra, but the food was (again) good.

What did other do? Let's see what I can remember... Sune dreamed about crypto stuff and composite jobs. He worked on making some cryptographic code asynchronous and started to get faimiliar with kdepim code. I'd not say he picked up the easiest job.
Volker run around all the time, discussed various things like "spanish sync" with Alex Fiestas (see here), database backends with Martin, change recorder with David Faure (who remotely joined the meeting and got lost inside the change recorder code ... he has the solution now in his head, so be patient, we will end up with a better implementation for it that again speeds up Akonadi), job pipelines with me, and who knows what with others, as for a long time he just disappeared with a bunch of developers. They actually ended up in the lobby discussing "stuff". Milian Wolf, who is not (or not yet?) a KDEPIM developer, but mainly a KDevelop one, joined us and used massif to track down some ugly memory usage in KMail. And he did a good job in it. Previously KMail used more and more memory as you navigated between large folders (Alex mentioned some 2GB for him), while now it levels up at one point and doesn't increase. He might blog himself about, as he has also some nice graphs.
Then there were two guys from KDAB, who are old time pim developers (quiz: find their names in this blog), but they cooked something else, not related to KDEPIM, not related concretely to KDE, but to a lower level: to Qt. It is an amazingly cool stuff, but I don't want to give more details. Expect it to be presented a the Qt Developer Days, either in a talk or at the KDAB booth. Don't worry, I'm pretty sure it will be freely available what they did and KDE can enjoy it in the future.
I'm sorry that I don't remember what the rest did. In general I know that Martin Klapetek worked on the social network resources, Mark Gaiser, who recently started to work on KDEPIM stuff eagerly listened to our presentations and worked on a QML calendar application, Alex kept reporting bugs and discussed improvements with Volker, while John Layt, the "timezone KDE guy" worked on plasma calendar related issues.
As a KDE person Chani also joined us for a while, we quickly nominated her as the QML and Plasma person, so all questions related to them were immediately redirected to Chani. Jos Poortvilet was also supposed to join for some talks, but he could show up only on Sunday for personal reasons.
At the end of the day everybody was so busy, so instead of going out for eating, we just ordered some pizza. And most of us stood in the office well past midnight.

Day 3
Well, the above partially happened on Sunday. It was a shorter day for me, due to the late night standup before, and that I had to go to the airport after lunch. A lunch that wasn't exactly as planned. We went out for a Doner Kebab place that is supposed to be the best one in Berlin. It is just a small kiosk on the sidewalk in a street, but man, there was a big queue for it. On a Sunday! Locals says it is worse on weekdays. Even after almost an hour, we still had 10 persons in front of us, my departure time was approaching, so I gave up and instead bought some (quite good) chinese fast-food from a nearby place, then rushed to the airport.
A long journey awaited me with a 3 hour stopover in Munich, but luckily I had a power supply there and even some network (they offer 30 minutes/day/phone number), so I could continue on the work I started at the sprint. After flying and driving another 2.5 hours, I arrived late (or rather early) morning next day back home, and after sleept until around 10. Then I started to work again for KDAB, a work that is just as enjoyable as working for KDE. After all, the two communities has a serious overlap. ;)
That's from the sprint. If you'll be at the Qt Developer Days Europe, we might meet there. I'm looking forward for a good conference.

          Akonadi misconception #1: where is my data?        

KDE Project:

I regularly see the same misconception and fear popping up on the mailing lists, bug reports and IRC: if the Akonadi database gets corrupted, I will lose my data.

To make it clear from the beginning: the Akonadi database is NOT your MAIN data storage.
Even if it gets destroyed, removed, your data is still safe.

So what is the database?

1) It is an interface: the Akonadi server and the underlying database is a common interface to your (PIM-alike) data for different applications, so those applications do not have to deal with the data files directly.

2) But I see my email headers and even the body in the database and in $HOME/.local/share/akonadi/file_db_data. Why? Because the database is also a cache towards your data. Common, frequently accessed parts (like e-mail headers) are stored in the database. These are usually stored permanently and kept in sync with your original data source (IMAP folders, mails on the local disc).
Parts requested infrequently are either stored in the database or in the above folder. The actual place is decided upon the size of the data. These parts are from time to time cleaned up from the cache, if they were not used for a certain period of time. Technically it is possible to configure when the cache is cleaned or if it is cleaned at all, but the regular user should not have to deal with it.

3) Is there anything I might lose by deleting the database? Yes, there is, and that is the metadata added to your data. That can be anything extra information that cannot be stored in the format of your data, like Nepomuk tags or other custom information. In case of emails, you might think that read/forwarded/etc. can be lost. Luckily this is not the case (since KDE 4.7.2), as the email storage formats can store these informations natively.

The above explains why you will not lose any critical information by losing your akonadi database.

Good, but where is my data if not in the database? This depends on what kind of data we are talking about.

1) E-mail: in case of IMAP (online or disconnected) your data is on the IMAP server. With disconnected IMAP there are windows when your local cache contains data that is not yet syncronized to the server, deleting the local cache in this case indeed will make you lose the unsynchronized files. This is not Akonadi specific though, this is true for any disconnected IMAP client.
In case of POP3, the mails is stored immediately after download in a local maildir folder. The actual place of the folder depends on your configuration, it can be just as $HOME/Mail, as $HOME/kde./share/apps/kmail/ or $HOME/.local/share/.local-mail (for new installations).

2) Calendars and contact information: they can be either on a server (Kolab server, LDAP server) and only cached in Akonadi as explained, or they can be in local vcard or .ics file. The actual location of these files again depends on your setup. The new standard place for them is $HOME/.local/share/contacts.

Still there were reports of data losing, why? Unfortunately programmers are not perfect and introduce bugs in the codebase. One of the most severe bugs caused real data losing when copying mails from one folder to another. This is fixed with KDE 4.7.2+ and any recent Akonadi server. There are other bugs around, but none will cause losing your original data files.

Finally, what will happen if the database gets corrupted? Of course, it needs to be recreated. You can try by shutting down akonadi server (akonadictl stop), removing the $HOME/.local/share/akonadi and syncronize all your resources again (this will take some time). If the database is not recreated, you need to do a full cleanup by removing also the configuration files under $HOME/.config/akonadi.
Then you need to add back your resources (IMAP/POP3/contact files/etc) and syncrhonize them. In case of emails, you need to check your filters, they most probably try to move the mails into a wrong folder.
Yes, this is a lot of work and should be avoided as much as possible, but it should be done only in the rare case of real database corruption.

I hope this will clear some confusion about the data storage inside Akonadi.

And a few word about the database itself.
We use MySql. I don't know the original reason why it was picked up (ask Volker about that ;) ), but I know some people don't like it for whatever reason.
Most of them try to use SqLite. A friendly warning: don't. This is explained also in the akonadi wiki. All what is written there is true, and I experienced myself as well.
Unfortunately recently I learned that MySQL has some severe issues in certain cases: NFS mounted home directories and failed suspend/resume. In these cases the database gets corrupted (this is a MySQL bug!), and cannot be easily restored. I did not experience this corruption myself, but was reported from time to time.
What remains is trying another database server, namely PostgreSQL. Akonadi supports it, it is possible to change the database backend in the akonaditray or in the akonadiconsole application. Changing backends means importing all your data again to the database, like you'd start from scratch. PostgreSQL support is not that well tested, so expect some rough edges, but we would like to see people try it out and reporting their experience with it.
It is my personal opinion only, but if PostgreSQL proves to work fine, we might switch to that as the default backend, given the problems with MySQL.

What about other database backends? There were plans to use Virtuoso, to reduce the number of database severs needed for a KDE desktop, but the work was not completed. See the techbase aritcle.

UPDATE: Christophe Giboudeaux raised a point about PostgreSQL, that their database format changes between major releases in an incompatible way and there is no automated, easy way for upgrade (you need to dump it with the old version and import with the new one). Sad, that there is no perfect solution.

           Mandatory Reporting Law on Sexual Abuse Not So Mandatory -- Especially for Prep Schools / Abysmal Failures Noted on So-Called Background Checks        

Mandatory Reporting [NOT Really] Column
on Sexual Abuse Cases Generates Range of Comments

Meriden Record-Journal Post 7-18-17 Follows Hearst CT [links below]
& Cool Justice Blog 6-4-17

  • Column via Record-Journal

  • Facebook Tag Leads to Comments

  • State Reports Only 14 Arrests & Four Convictions in Past Seven Years
    Statute of Limitations Just One Year for This Misdemeanor

    By Andy Thibault
    The Cool Justice Report
    June 4, 2017

    Editor's Note: This column may be reprinted or re-posted courtesy of The Cool Justice Report http://cooljustice.blogspot.com.

    Connecticut has been a very safe place to avoid arrest and prosecution for failing to report sexual abuse -- especially if you're a teacher or administrator at a prep school.

    That's just part of the picture.

    Suppose you lose your teaching job after being accused of rape. Just don't put that job on your resume. You'll be fine for perhaps a decade or more. It also helps to amend your full name on the resume. Supposed background checks will fail to detect resume gaps and irregularities.

    But what about that mandatory reporting law compelling teachers and administrators to report suspected abuse to the state? No problem. It hasn't been enforced with any great enthusiasm at the preps: No report, no warning for future employers or victims.

    The revelations come after a series of articles by The Boston Globe Spotlight Team and an investigation by the powerhouse law firm Covington & Burling for Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford. The Globe found that abuse victims routinely suffered retaliation at private schools in New England. The schools in turn covered up the abuse. Choate, for example, failed to report abuse incidents prior to 2010.

    A spokeswoman for Connecticut courts told The Cool Justice Report there were just 14 arrests in the state for failing to report sexual abuse from January 2010 through late April 2017. During the same time, there were only four convictions, according to the data provided via the state Judicial Department. One of the convictions was of a day care operator. No additional data was available immediately.

    There is only a one-year statute of limitations for failure to report sexual abuse claims, and that crime is a misdemeanor. Connecticut Deputy Chief State's Attorney Len Boyle said in a statement there are no plans to try to change that, but he noted there is a five-year statute of limitations for a felony charge if prosecutors are able to cite willfulness or other aggravating factors. Willfulness, like intent, carries with it a significant burden of proof.

    "The one-year statute of limitations," Boyle said, "is largely consistent with the limitations periods for all crimes (i.e.: one year for a misdemeanor and five years for a felony). We have not sought to lengthen it. The more egregious cases of failure to report (willfulness, gross negligence, etc.) are felonies and provide a five year limitations period."

    Boyle's office is investigating whether anyone at Choate broke the law by failing to report suspected abuse, The Hartford Courant reported in April.

    Among the 12 teachers accused of abuse in the Choate report, one went on to become a teacher and administrator at several public schools in Connecticut. He was able to avoid detection partly by amending his name and omitting two teaching jobs at private schools -- Choate and The Gunnery, in Washington, CT -- on his resume. The resume, obtained under Connecticut's Freedom of Information law, also shows some overlap for jobs at public schools in Connecticut and New York.

    This teacher / administrator, Jaime E. Rivera, aka Jaime Rivera-Murillo, resigned as principal of Wamogo High School in Litchfield in April. Before that, he was a teacher and assistant principal at Newtown High School for about 11 years. The first teaching job listed on his resume was at Henry Abbot Technical High School in Danbury, beginning in 2001. That leaves a seven-year gap following his graduation from St. Michael's College in Vermont, where he reported earning a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language.

    The Covington & Burling report says Rivera-Murillo was fired after being accused of anally raping one student and grabbing the breast of another during a Choate field trip to Costa Rica in 1999. Rivera, a faculty leader for the trip, denied engaging in sexual misconduct but admitting drinking alcohol including beer with students and "local moonshine" with others.

    Choate did not report the alleged assaults at the time as required by law. The alleged rape victim told the Covington & Burling team that a female administrator admonished students not to discuss what happened.

    The process for vetting resumes at Connecticut public schools like Wamogo and Newtown high schools and Abbot Tech seems to be check the boxes and wave the guy through with barely a pretense of scrutiny. This abysmal failure of diligence and critical thinking should be alarming to students, parents and all taxpayers.

    "He didn't list Choate as a former employer when he applied," Christine Chinni, the lawyer for Regional District 6 which includes Wamogo, told The Boston Globe.

    District 6 Superintendent Edward Drapp, asked about the committee of 12 that reviewed Rivera-Murillo's credentials and the review process, declined to discuss his procedures for background checks. Besides the resume, which he produced after a formal FOI request, Drapp was also asked to provide documents related to that review committee. Here is Drapp's response: "Attached is a copy of Mr. Rivera's resume. This is the only document in the district's possession that meets the criteria of your FOI request. For the remainder of the school year I will be focused on the students and therefore I am not doing any additional interviews or making any other statements on this matter."

    Drapp's response sounds like the result of bad coaching from an inept lawyer. The assertion that there are no documents regarding the review committee is not credible. Are we to believe the review committee never had a meeting?

    The Globe reported in April that the sexual misconduct at Choate occurred from 1963 to 2010 and ranged from intimate kissing to groping and sexual intercourse. The Covington & Burling report cites 12 teachers. Other Globe stories cited more than 100 private schools in New England with more than 300 former students saying they faced sexual abuse or harassment.

    Just last month, The Kent School was sued and accused of failing to report a 49-year-old teacher who had sex with a 15-year-old student in the late 1980s.

    The student claims her advisor scolded her for spreading vicious rumors. Another teacher allegedly told the student she was a sinner for committing adultery. The suit claims the abuse was widely known at the school and that the student was shunned, called "obviously crazy" and blamed for the teacher's breakdown. During a church service the student attended at the school, the suit asserts, Kent staff openly prayed for the teacher's well being. The teacher subsequently got a job at a private school in Indiana.

    Kent School, founded in 1906, charges more than $60,000 annually for tuition, board and fees.

    Rev. Richardson Schell, the headmaster, said in a statement: "We do not know why [the student] has elected to pursue a lawsuit at this time."

    Schell opened the statement by saying he had reviewed the complaint: " ... I am deeply sorry for the wrongful actions of the former Kent teacher who engaged in an inappropriate relationship with this former student ... as the Headmaster of the school then, I responded immediately and to the best of my ability."

    The statement does not address the school's duty to report the alleged abuse in a timely manner.

    Notably, Schell undertook a massive letter writing campaign some years later when he was annoyed by what he called a TV sitcom's "obnoxious, objectionable content." His letter writing campaign netted responses from 17 companies and he also reached out to publications including Advertising Age and Media Week to generate publicity regarding his concerns about popular culture, The New York Times reported.

    Finally, on the national front, The Associated Press reported that a former president of Penn State and two other former university administrators were each sentenced Friday to at least two months in jail for failing to alert authorities to a 2001 allegation against ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, a decision that enabled the now-convicted serial predator to continue molesting boys.

    Thibault, a private investigator for the Hartford office of Integrated Security Services http://www.intesecurity.com/, is the author of a second collection of newspaper columns, “more COOL JUSTICE” http://morecooljustice.com/, credited with helping to free a woman unjustly convicted of first degree murder. His public service includes four years on a local board of education. Follow him on Twitter @cooljustice.

  • The Choate Report

  • Short version of column
    Via Hearst CT dailies

  • Danbury News Times

  • Connecticut Post

  • Norwalk Hour

  • Greenwich Time

  • Stamford Advocate


    Esta mañana me encontré este artículo en el muro de un amigo http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2705631/el_quimbo_colombia_enelendesas_low_carbon_hydroelectric_racket.html. El artículo por un imperialismo ecológico critica el imperialismo económico, pero su crítica, aunque razonable en algunos puntos, no deja de tener el trasfondo errado de muchos ecologistas: ¡imponer condiciones a los países subdesarrollados para que los ecologistas de los desarrollados sigan contaminando en paz! Pero lo irónico es que The ecologist critica una de las fuentes de generación de energía renovable más bonitas, eficientes y que puede darle a la gente que vive en ese territorio que llaman Colombia fuentes de riqueza. Además, la crítica se hace de manera ligera pasando por alto las consideraciones del International Panel on Climate Change acerca de sus ventajas.  En el punto que acierta es precisamente en los abusos del estado sobre las comunidades, donde vale la pena resaltar que el aprovechamiento del potencial hidroeléctrico no da derecho a expropiar, en favor del que sea. 

    Este escrito consta de varias partes. El primero es que hay una confusión entre inversión extranjera y concesión de monopolios extranjeros, donde los ecologistas aciertan. Y para la aclaración cito a un a un profesor de la Universidad de New York, a Murray Rothbard. Luego, muestro que tras el ecologismo hay también imperialismo, pero uno que suele gustarle a ciertas izquierdas, uno que impone condiciones insoportables a los países pobres, para que los ecologistas nórdicos no tengan cargos de conciencia por prender la calefacción, dado que en las zonas tropicales hay selvas que se beneficiarán de su cariño al planeta. En ella explico que hay una falacia en cuanto a la consideración que hace el artículo de las hidroeléctricas, incluso basándome en el IPCC. Posteriormente, se muestra que las hidroeléctricas además de ser tecnologías que producen energía eficiente sin emisiones de CO2 (no se discute acá el tema de si el cambio climático es originado o no por el hombre) es una oportunidad de ofrecer energía barata. El precio de la energía se relaciona con el crecimiento económico, inclusive una disminución de la demanda de energía puede ser un indicio previo a una crisis económica. La energía eléctrica es clave en la industria y una energía más barata puede disminuir costos. Finalmente, ante un planteamiento del artículo que menciona las pérdidas de energía en transmisión y distribución (o sea los cables que llevan la energía de la planta a su casa) que denuncian a que se deben ¿a las leyes de la física? ¿a viabilidad técnica pero no económica? ¿a ineficiencia? Esto porque consideraban que era más importante disminuir las pérdidas que construir hidroeléctricas. Hasta cierto punto, por física, las pérdidas en transmisión son inevitables, no sé cuál sea el punto. Pero eso no es una excusa para no mejorar la oferta. 

    El imperialismo ecológico es una realidad. Sin embargo, muchos partidos de izquierda al ser ecologistas están convencidos de que no es imperialismo. Ya Hayek denunciaba que existía una imposición de países ricos y contaminados que obligaban a países pobres y selváticos a generar amplias áreas protegidas. Esto genera como dice don Alpiniano en El Tomismo Desdeñado unos beneficios a unas personas que no les corresponden, imponiendo cargas a otros que no las merecen. Sin embargo, luego de que en estos países -como Colombia- nadie puede hacer nada, ni tiene cómo adquirir recursos para explotar sus ventajas ahí sí llegan empresas extranjeras que, haciendo convenios con el gobierno, adquieren los beneficios que los nacionales no han tenido. 

    Hace Murray Rothbard, citado por el instituto Mises Hispano una distinción importante entre la sana inversión extranjera y la alianza de empresas ricas con gobiernos ineptos pobres:

    "Los conservadores norteamericanos insisten en particular en resaltar ante los países retrasados las grandes posibilidades y la importancia de las inversiones privadas procedentes de los países avanzados, y les incitan a crear un clima favorable a las mismas, de modo que no se vean sujetas al instigamiento de los gobernantes. Todo ello es muy cierto, pero, una vez más, a menudo es irreal, dada la situación de estos países. Estos conservadores caen persistentemente en el error de no saber distinguir entre las inversiones exteriores legítimas del mercado libre y las basadas en concesiones monopolistas y en donaciones de vastas extensiones de tierras otorgadas por los Estados subdesarrollados. En la medida en que las inversiones exteriores se basan en monopolios y en agresiones contra el campesinado, en esa misma medida adquiere el capitalismo extranjero las características de los señores feudales y debe ser combatido con los mismos medios"

    En este sentido, estoy de acuerdo con el artículo -y en contra del imperialismo económico- en que el estado confunde inversión extranjera con monopolio extranjero. Y el monopolio es desagradable venga de donde venga, sea el monopolio estatal tan "nacional", como cualquier otro. Por eso, cuando Robledo, senador del Polo, defendía a los arroceros por la imposición ridícula de tener que comprar nuevas semillas estaba promoviendo algo anarcocapitalista y liberal, aunque con argumentos de izquierda. 

    Lo mismo pasa en este caso, si se trata de una inversión privada ¿por qué el estado entra y desaloja campesinos? ¿Por qué expropia? Y por más que la ley diga que la expropiación requiere una indemnización al precio del avalúo comercial, ¿es el avalúo comercial el precio de venta? Hombre, no estoy en momento de calcular las rentas campesinas vs las rentas hidroeléctricas, pero sospecho que las rentas hidroeléctricas son más altas. Ahora, si el campesino no quiere vender al precio que dice el avaluador ¿por qué le quita el estado su tierra bajo la excusa del "bien común" para las rentas particulares? No creo que si la transacción se diera en condiciones de libre mercado los campesinos salieran a protestar. Hay alrededor de un millón de kilómetros de líneas de transmisión eléctrica, y si uno viaja por carretera suele ver vacas o sembrados alrededor. ¿Por qué esos campesinos no protestan? Porque 1. esos terrenos no son expropiados sino que cuentan con servidumbres de paso, 2. Se suelen hacer arreglos de mercado. Hombre, hay casos de casos, pero en general no se ve un descontento generalizado. 

    Pero, no, la herramienta de la expropiación es el arma para el bien común, como en Venezuela que hay mucho "bien común", siendo tan paradisiado que prefieren venirse para Colombia. La expropiación existe pero tiene sus límites. En todo caso, sin estado Â¿quién expropiaría para que se hicieran las vías? 


    Sin embargo, las razones ecológicas que plantean para oponerse a las hidroeléctricas son más bien pobres. En primer lugar, las consideran también causa del calentamiento global. ¿Cómo? No quiero citar el artículo porque me da pereza pero la idea se resume en 1. cortan bosques tropicales que recogen el CO2, 2. son fuentes de Metano. Hombre ¿cómo un artículo que cita el Panel Intergubernamental sobre el Cambio Climático para defender a los campesinos y el agro sale a decir que son más contaminantes? En primer lugar, si uno revisa lo que dice el IPCC en materia de energía hidoeléctrica (sacaron un documento sobre energías alternativas) su resumen -de la IPCC- arranca así: "Hydropower offers significant potential for carbon emissions reductions" http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/srren/Chapter%205%20Hydropower.pdf. Creo que en ese punto "The ecologist" se equivoca. 

    Por otro lado argumenta que las represas (reservoirs) son fuentes de Metano. La verdad, lo que dicen los científicos climáticos es que si bien el metano CH4 es un gas efecto invernadero, su absorción es más rápida que el CO2, una diferencia que va desde unas décadas en el metano, hasta miles de años para el dióxido de carbono. Además, de acuerdo con la siguiente imagen que proviene del último reporte del IPCC parte del CO2 proviene del uso de la tierra http://www.slideshare.net/fullscreen/IPCCGeneva/fifth-assessment-report-synthesis-report/11:
    Francamente, si queremos disminuir TODAS las emisiones humanas de CO2 hay que empezar por dejar de respirar. ¿Y todas las artificiales? Dudo que la energía que utiliza "The ecologist" sea propiamente energía que no emita CO2 -bueno, puede ser nuclear que no les gusta tampoco- pero no es de las "terribles" hidroeléctricas. 

    ¿Qué otra razón puede tener "The ecologist"? ¿Proteger los bosques de los países subdesarrollados? ¿Para qué? ¿Para que haya bosques que puedan chuparse el CO2 que producen sus plantas a carbón, gas, petróleo, etc. a costa de energía más costosa, menor productividad, entre otras, en nuestros países? ¿Para que ellos puedan seguir subsidiando sus industrias a cambio de que las nuestras no puedan competir en sus mercados por el costo de la energía?


    Lago Calima.
    Uno de los embalses en Colombia.
    En un apartado anterior cuestioné el manejo del monopolio estatal con la empresa. El estado es una asociación de políticos corruptos con empresarios ineficientes. Pero tanto la oportunidad a nivel de recursos hídricos que hay en Colombia, la eficiencia energética de las hidroeléctricas, su costo en comparación con las térmicas a base de carbón, gas, gasolina, su posibilidad de cambiar potencia (a diferencia de otras renovables de potencia inestable) y almacenar la energía, entre muchas otras, me hacen tenerle cariño a esta tecnología. Creo que en el punto anterior quedó desvirtuado que las hidroeléctricas tengan impactos a nivel global vía CO2 (lo que hacen es quitar el calmadero de conciencia de los ecologistas ricos que les permite seguir emitiendo CO2 bajo la tranquilidad que los bosques tropicales los recogerán). El metano no me preocupa realmente y creo que es una afirmación que no estaba fundamentada, al fin y al cabo, los embalses no son aguas estancadas. 

    El potencial hidroeléctrico de ese territorio que llaman Colombia es una maravilla. Eso sin contar con el potencial energético de otras tecnologías renovables como las fotovoltaicas por su ubicación terrestre, las mareomotrices, entre otras. Que cualquiera venga y lo explote es necesario, aunque en condiciones de mercado, no monopólicas ni imperialistas. Adicionalmente, la energía hidroeléctrica es más barata. En el siguiente gráfico hay un promedio de los precios mensuales en comparación al porcentaje de generación térmica en Colombia:

    Por puro azar puede observarse con claridad la correlación entre el porcentaje de generación térmica en Colombia y el precio constante (deflactado con IPC) de la energía. Como la gráfica de generación térmica de alguna manera encaja con la hidráulica (la cogeneración y la eólica representan porcentajes insignificantes) podría afirmarse que a mayor generación hidráulica en general menos precio. ¿Por qué se presentan esos baches en la generación? La razón es muy simple, el agua es renovable pero no predecible. Si uno mira las correlaciones de series de ingresos los caudales en dos o tres días tienen altas correlaciones, pero alrededor de dos meses -algo que corroboré con un ex empleado de ISA e ISAGEN- las correlaciones son nulas. 

    Hay incertidumbre en el ingreso del agua. Adicionalmente, en unas ocasiones por década se presenta el fenómeno del niño. El fenómeno del niño genera lluvias en Perú -un país desértico- y trae sequía a un país lluvioso como Colombia. Como el agua escasea hay que producir la energía con un sustituto: las termoeléctricas. El costo de la energía se dispara. En este momento parece que están las condiciones para que se dé el fenómeno del Niño si es que no estamos ya en él. De ese fenómeno se ha venido especulando desde que empecé a investigar este tema en Junio del año pasado (o sea el 2014). Esa especulación posiblemente también influye en los precios, el aumento de la producción térmica y la disminución de la hidroeléctrica porque ante el riesgo de escasez se empieza a guardar el agua. El profesor John Jairo García y otros de EAFIT en un paper al respecto proponía medir las expectativas de aportes al sistema en relación con el precio: 

    "Una variable importante sobre la determinación del precio en el mercado no regulado que debiera incluirse en estudios futuros son las expectativas climatológicas; en la medida en que se espere una disminución del recurso hídrico, generará expectativas de aumentos en el precio.". http://revistas.upb.edu.co/index.php/cienciasestrategicas/article/view/1093/1313

    La intuición tras el análisis es muy buena, pero dudo que pueda encontrarse una variable de expectativas climatológicas. Aunque si algo me soprendió de John Jairo era esa capacidad de creatividad econométrica. El caso es que la ventaja de tener un sistema donde el "combustible"que es el agua es variable, permite inferir que, al menos en las condiciones geográficas de los Andes Colombianas, es más barato que el uso de otros combustibles.

    Es así como la construcción de hidroeléctricas -aunque respetando los derechos de propiedad privada- es una necesidad para mantener bajos los precios de la energía. Hay muchos trabajos que buscan predecir el precio de la energía y lo hacen en función de variables hídricas. Pero nada mejor que leer los errores de las predicciones pasadas de los economistas. En este artículo participó mi amigo y profesor de econometría Mauricio Lopera y dice lo siguiente:

    " La coherencia del resultado se corrobora en el mes de enero de 2014, donde se aprecia una caída grande en el precio producto de la entrada en operación de El Quimbo y Sogamoso, las cuales en conjunto aumentan la oferta de electricidad en 1220 MW" http://www.redalyc.org/pdf/1552/155226077004.pdf
    Mauricio nos insistía mucho que verificáramos que el resultado econométrico coincidiera con la "intuición" económica.  El problema es que las predicciones se equivocan y fuertemente. En el artículo citado, se muestra que los precios caerían en enero de 2014, la razón sería lógica la entrada de hidrosogamoso y quimbo (que es la que menciona The ecologist). Los precios en 2014 en bolsa fueron altísimos, y apenas hoy 16/01/2015 leí que estaban inaugurando la planta de hidrosogamoso. Lo que es cierto es que esas plantas deberían influir en la disminución del precio por el aumento de la oferta, además, de un insumo mucho más barato como "combustible" que el carbón. En eso acertó el trabajo de Mauricio y otros. Pero el cómo o cuánto bajarán los precios no podemos calcularlo con exactitud. 

    Los cables suelen dañar las fotos de paisajes.
    Pero ¿no puede haber buenas fotos de cables de alta tensión?

    El sistema de energía que nace con las leyes 142 y en concreto 143 de 1994 tiene muchas deficiencias. Aunque la L143/94 trataba de dar paso a un modelo más parecido al de un mercado, esa distinción del mercado regulado del consumidor de energía hace que nos saquen un ojo de la cara porque sus precios están muy por encima de los de bolsa; aunque relativamente influidos por ellos como lo mostraba el profesor John Jairo García. El modelo aunque avanza hacia tratar de liberar lo que considera de mercado y regular lo que considera "monopolio natural" se queda corto. Pero realmente si hay algo aburrido es la regulación del sistema de energía, como todas las regulaciones. Hablemos más bien de leyes bonitas, las del "fatum" o de la naturaleza... las humanas dan asco. 

    Quiero enfocarme más en los problemas que mencionaba "The ecologist" y es las "pérdidas" de energía del sistema de transmisión y distribución. Una de las leyes de la física es la ley de la entropía. Básicamente consiste en que aunque la energía no se destruye, solamente se transforma, se degrada a formas de energía más "desordenadas". Básicamente la energía se transforma en "calor", o que es lo mismo que movimiento y vibración molecular. Utilizaremos el término "pérdida" de energía en un sentido amplio, o económico, pero entendiendo que solamente es una transformación no utilizable.  Esta es la razón por la cual no existe una máquina perfecta, sin desgaste y de movimiento absoluto. Por esta razón los relojes de péndulo necesitaban que les dieran "cuerda". 

    De esta manera, por cada 1 KWh (3.600.000 Joules) que produce uno recibe una cantidad menor de energía porque esta se ha "pérdido" transformándose en calor. Esto se debe a que los transformadores -que no entiendo cómo funcionan pero cambian el voltaje- generan pérdidas, la transmisión de energía puede generar calor, en la costa el desgaste de los cables genera pérdidas. Todo esto, como me decía un ex trabajador del sector eso es parte del costo de la energía. Dice textualmente "The ecologist" que se pierde alrededor del 16% de la energía generada:

    "Yet the Government is neglecting simple options to raise power supply - like reducing the high level of losses in transmission and distribution, which run at about 16% of power generation and amount to some 10,000 GWh per year - more than four times the energy production of El Quimbo."
    Pero es que por las leyes de la física: ¡tiene que "perderse" parte de la energía generada! De la energía potencial del agua embalsada el 80%-90% se transmite por medio de la electricidad y el 10%-20% se "pierde" o sea se transforma en "calor". ¡Y es de las más bajas! Las térmicas pierden el 59% de la energía contenida en el combustible, las nucleares el 70%  (CARTA GONZÁLEZ, CALERO PÉREZ, COLMENAR SANTOS, CASTRO GIL, & COLLADO FERNÁNDEZ, 2013, pp. 113-114). Puede que pueda perderse menos bajo un mantenimiento mucho más costoso, o puede que efectivamente pueda perderse menos. El caso es que siempre se va a "perder" algo de la energía. 

    Puede que The Ecologist tenga razón en que se aumente la eficiencia energética. Algo que puede ser inviable o física o económicamente. Pero eso no es razón para impedir que se produzcan plantas de producción de energía eléctrica, es bueno aumentar la oferta por todos los medios. 

    Lo que no puede el gobierno es ordenar que se cree energía, ni que no se degrade una parte en otras formas. Gracias a Dios las leyes de la física son inderogables, imprescriptibles, inembargables, anteriores al ser humano mismo. ¿Puede imaginarse una ley que cree energía? El Congreso de Colombia Decreta "Créase energía a partir de la nada...". Gracias a Dios eso no es posible, no soy capaz de imaginarme la inflación energética lo que produciría, al menos la moneda de la naturaleza es absolutamente neutral. O una ley que diga "Derógase la gravedad", el totazo que se pegarían de cuenta de creer en su validez sería de lo lindo...

    En primer lugar pido perdón al lector por tratar la energía de una forma tan política. Es decir, es demasiado pobre, aunque no más pobre que el Ministro de Minas que confundió potencia con energía, pero ¿quién es uno para cuestionar a los "doctores" Ministros? ¡De pronto ignoro una ley que asimila energía con potencia! En segundo lugar, no es esta, ni más faltaba una defensa al régimen de energía eléctrica Colombiana, tan no lo es, que arranco dándole la razón a los ecologistas en que muchas de esas empresas grandes y concesionadas arrasan con las comunidades. El problema de esas empresas grandes, no es la falta de estado, por el contrario, su exceso, lo que falta es libertad. 

    Lo que sí creo es que en sanas condiciones de mercado y con precios justos a los dueños de las tierras, la construcción de hidroeléctricas es una de las ventajas que tiene este territorio geográficamente llamado Colombia. Es vital empezar a utilizar en este territorio las ventajas que ofrece el desarrollo de miles de tecnologías de energía renovable, como la solar, la mareomotriz, la eólica y la más fuerte la hidroeléctrica. En esta región se podría utilizar un potencial enorme para producir energía barata, renovable y libre de elementos contaminantes. Esta energía se podría exportar. ¿Por qué no hay líneas de transmisión a Panamá y Centro América? ¿Por qué no hay líneas de transmisión al Perú? ¿Imposibilidad logística? ¿No serán más bien los elevados costos regulatorios -que agudizan las barreras de entrada- sumado al monopolio estatal? ¿O el monopolio de la transmisión es "natural"? 

    Casi todas las citas salen de internet así que si no refiero la fuente, está el link. Las formalidades APA o lo que sea me parecen demasiado engorrosas para escribir informalmente. Con el internet debería bastar con el link. El único libro que cito, con todas las normas mamonas para probar su existencia, es:

    CARTA GONZÁLEZ, J. A., CALERO PÉREZ, R., COLMENAR SANTOS, A., CASTRO GIL, A., & COLLADO FERNÁNDEZ, E. (2013). Centrales de energías renovables. Generación eléctrica con energías renovables. (P. E. S.A. Ed. SEGUNDA ed.). Madrid, España.

    Para vergüenza mía tengo que confesar que he perdido el tiempo leyendo la reforma tributaria. Bueno, es algo "ñoño", aparte que no he entendido ni la mitad de sus consecuencias. Sin embargo, quisiera compartir mis apreciaciones dado que el gobierno se ha desgastado (y comprado con sus recursos) una serie de propagandas para insistir en la reforma tributaria. Una de esas es que no afecta a la clase media.

    Lo primero que hay que decir es que la reforma tributaria cuenta con una redacción en extremo confusa. Los políticos no tienen incentivos para clarificar sus reformas tributarias porque quieren que nadie sepa para quien es el totazo. Y es verdad que de acuerdo con su publicidad una lectura rápida no muestra que se esté gravando a la clase media. Eso hay que estudiarlo a profundidad. 

    Pienso de lo que entendí y lo que pude leer entre líneas es que los impuestos que se crean son temporales. Una creación de impuestos temporales es entre señal de debilidad del estado y un peligro inmenso porque nada más permanente que un impuesto temporal. El mejor ejemplo es el 4 X 1000 que nació por decreto inconstitucionalmente para salvar a los bancos en el gobierno de Pastrana, pero luego se saneó la inconstitucionalidad. Este impuesto lo están desmontando desde que tengo uso de razón tributaria. La anterior reforma tributaria, no hace menos de 2 años, había ordenado su desmonte. Ésta ¡hace lo mismo, pero deroga el desmonte anterior! ¿Qué qué? ¡Más 4 X 1000 por ahora! Una reforma tributaria no puede venir sin beneficios. Así que también hay una prórroga de beneficios temporales de leyes anteriores.

    Como la ley 1607 de 2014 gravó onerosamente con el Impuesto Mínimo Alternativo Nacional a la renta donde claramente los ingresos eran de personas de clase media, esto fue muy criticado. La opinión pública y el análisis fueron claros al insistir lo intenso del gravamen. Como el gobierno quiere la paz, digo estar en paz, tiene que mostrar un discurso que no grave a la clase media. ¿Qué hacer entonces?

    Una vieja estrategia que se remonta hasta Marx es generar en el colectivo la imagen del "capitalista" rico. "El rico es malo y no hay legitimidad en la forma de generarla". Por eso se crea el "impuesto a la riqueza". Que además es "transitorio". Dice el presidente:

    "Por supuesto, esta reforma supone un esfuerzo para las empresas más grandes del país –unas 32 mil que tienen patrimonio superior a los mil millones de pesos– y para los colombianos más ricos –unos 50 mil que tienen también un patrimonio por encima de esa suma–.
    Pero no afecta a la clase media del país, ni a las pequeñas y medianas empresas –las pymes–.
    Además, como ya dije, esta reforma se hizo escuchando las inquietudes y sugerencias de los empresarios, motivo por el cual el impuesto a la riqueza –yo prefiero decirle impuesto contra la pobreza– desaparece en 2018.". http://wp.presidencia.gov.co/Noticias/2014/Diciembre/Paginas/20141223_03-Palabras-Presidente-Santos-sobre-la-sanciom-Ley-Reforma-Tributaria.aspx

    Palabras más palabras menos hay que quitarle a los más ricos para darle a los más pobres. Pero, ¿Tiene el impuesto a la riqueza una destinación específica?  Â¡No! O sea que lo que paguen por concepto de impuesto a la riqueza va a cualquier gasto del estado. No está ni dedicándose a los programas de primera infancia, educación, lucha contra la pobreza, etc. Así que Robin Hood no le está quitando a los ricos para darle a los pobres, sino quitándole a los ricos para darle al más rico e inútil: ¡el estado! Tan no es así que otro de los novedosos inventos es la "sobretasa al CREE" pero, a diferencia del CREE que sí tiene una destinación social específica:

    ARTÍCULO 22°. No destinación específica. La sobretasa al impuesto sobre la renta para la equidad – CREE no tiene destinación específica. Los recursos que se recauden por este tributo no estarán sometidos al régimen previsto en los artículos 24 y 28 de la Ley 1607 de 2012, no formarán parte del Fondo Especial sin personería Fondo CREE, y harán unidad de caja con los demás ingresos corrientes de la Nación, de acuerdo con las normas previstas en el Estatuto Orgánico del Presupuesto. http://www.comunidadcontable.com/BancoMedios/Documentos%20PDF/105%20-%2014%20s%20-%20134%20-%2014%20c%20reforma%20tributaria.pdf

    Sin embargo, en este impuesto hay una gran confusión entre riqueza y su medida. Los tan expertos en análisis económico y tributario parecen no comprender un balance. Un balance cuenta con activos líquidos y activos ilíquidos o fijos. Una empresa puede estar llena de activos fijos pero padecer iliquidez. 

    ¿Qué de la reforma toca a la clase media? Aunque cabe reconocer que de manera rápida no encuentro un empeoramiento a las condiciones de la "clase media" en materia tarifaria. Lo único es que el gobierno aumentó a las sociedades sujeto del "CREE" del 8% al 9%. Además de novedosos enredos en este impuesto.

    ¿Y es que el gobierno no beneficia a los ricos? Recordemos que el mencionado 4 X 1000 nació como el 2 X 1000 precisamente con la intención de salvar a los Bancos. Vea este video de Rudolf Homes cuando en aquella época http://youtu.be/bRgATyQm54A. Los comentarios agudos de Jaime Garzón son muy buenos ¿es que por encima de las leyes sociales están los bancos? ¿Es que los bancos cuando ganan no reparten y cuando pierden sí reparten? El estado es un aliado de los bancos, para eso puede leer a Mises que lo explica muy bien en el libro Human Action. Lo irónico del 4 X 1000 es que ¡terminó afectando a los bancos! ¿No ha oído a nadie decir "págueme en efectivo para que no me cobren el 4 X 1000"?


    Esta imagen de www.actualicese.com da en el punto de los enredos de la reforma tributaria. Ponga la primera parte del índice tapando el meñique y abrazando el anular, que a su vez atrapa el intermedio que abraza el meñique aunque sobresale. Finalmente deje el pulgar afuera. ¡La esencia es el pulgar afuera y los demás enrollados! Podemos hacerlo fácil como a la derecha, o difícil como a la izquierda ¡El efecto es el mismo!

    Esa imagen, sin proponérselo, logra ser una descripción virtual del siguiente artículo: 

    ARTÍCULO 16°. Modifíquese el artículo 23 de la Ley 1607 de 2012 el cual quedará así:

    “Artículo 23. La tarifa del impuesto sobre la renta para la equidad - CREE a que se refiere el artículo 20 de la presente ley, será del ocho por ciento (8%). 
    Parágrafo. A partir del período gravable 2016, la tarifa será del nueve por ciento (9%).Parágrafo transitorio. Para los años 2013, 2014 y 2015 la tarifa del CREE será del nueve (9%). Este punto adicional se aplicará de acuerdo con la distribución que se hará en el parágrafo transitorio del siguiente artículo.” http://www.comunidadcontable.com/BancoMedios/Documentos%20PDF/105%20-%2014%20s%20-%20134%20-%2014%20c%20reforma%20tributaria.pdf

    ¿Qué? Lo que dice el artículo 23 se resume en "La tarifa del CREE será del 9%. Esta tarifa tiene efectos para los años 2013 y 2014 inclusive". Pero primero decir que es el 8%, luego que es el 9% desde el 2013. Incluyo la segunda frase simplemente porque la ley tiene efectos a futuro a menos que se especifique otra vigencia. Pero ¿para qué hacerlo en una frase si podíamos hacerla confusa?


    A finales de la década de los 30 Ronald Coase planteaba la teoría de la firma donde incluía su exitosa creación del concepto de "costo de transacción". Los costos de transacción son lo que cuesta realizar un intercambio. Por ejemplo, salir a comprar ropa implica no solamente pagar el precio, sino también una tarde perdida en un centro comercial, unas medidas incómodas, caminar, gasolina, etc. Todo para comprar unos benditos zapatos. ¿Cuál es el costo de transacción de pagar impuestos? Lo primero es entender qué toca pagar, luego cuándo y luego cómo. 

    Uno de los casos más comunes del pago de impuestos es la retención en la fuente. El que es agente retenedor tiene que aplicar unos enredos a la hora de pagarle a los "empleados". Pero un empleado tributario, además del empleado del Código Sustantivo de Trabajo, también lo es el independiente. Vea los artículos 383 y 384 del Estatuto Tributario sobre cómo se retiene el la fuente. Eso sin contar que tiene que pedirle el comprobante de pago de la seguridad social al independiente. Este costo de transacción de ignorarse puede generarse sanciones y de asumirse genera más trabajo al que lo hace. 

    Si una reforma tributaria es confusa para un abogado, estudiante de maestría en economía con experiencia en el día a día tributario-contable. Es confusa, también, para expertos consultores en materia de impuestos y planeación tributaria ¿Va a ser fácil de entender para el trabajador del común? Hice el experimento con estudiantes de último semestre de una carrera donde tienen contabilidad, costos, impuestos, etc. en su pénsum y escasamente pudieron comprender el ejemplo anterior. 

    En la medida en que los impuestos se hacen más confusos, es más difícil pagarlos. Esto implica una elección "no pagarlos y arriesgarse", "pagarlos y perder valiosas horas de productividad". Tampoco creo que ayude al recaudo, en la medida que la administración de impuestos estará muy ocupada entendiendo, aclarando, recibiendo interpretaciones diferentes. En Estados Unidos, y no es mi paradigma tributario, un doctor en ingeniería me decía que allá hacía fácilmente la declaración, acá le toca contratar un contador. Si un experto consultor se demoró un mes en entender el "Impuesto Mínimo Alternativo Nacional" ¿Va a ser fácil para las personas del común manejar estos costos? Y si los maneja ¡está dejando de pensar en cosas que sí le aportarían a su productividad! ¡Está dejando de producir y de trabajar por pagar impuestos! 

    No faltará el que salga con que eso genera empleo para los contadores. La verdad no creo que un contador realmente gane con la reforma tributaria. Realmente una reforma confusa no aumenta la productividad del contador, realmente la disminuye, lo obliga a vivir de capacitación en capacitación y le dificulta llevar el trabajo que ya tiene. Es posible que pueda cobrar más, pero porque la demanda aumenta y la oferta disminuye. Puede que el contador cobre más pero ¿a qué costo? Al costo de una labor más compleja. Es como decir que el médico ganaría más con la enfermedad, pues sí, pero hasta el punto que le den sus fuerzas: ¡Bendita sea la enfermedad que da trabajo a los médicos!

    Puede que usted sea un creyente ferviente de esa ideología llamada Constitución de 1991. Que ame el estado social de derecho, como si por ponerle "social" capitán Constitución resolviera la pobreza, que crea que pagar impuestos es bueno. Crea usted que el  estado es un generoso Robin Hood que le quita a los "ricos tacaños" y que por ende, es inevitable resolver el déficit fiscal. Sepa varias cosas:

    A) La reforma tributaria trae más confusión, una mayor confusión tributaria es un virus que eleva los costos de producción de todas las empresas. Eso ya de por sí es una pérdida.

    B) Tenga en cuenta que hay muchas labores del estado que no tienen sentido. Por ejemplo, piense en el cargo de procurador judicial que todos sabemos que son una traba en procesos, especialmente los penales donde se juega con la libertad de las personas. Y ¿cuánto ganan? Piense en los carruseles de pensiones de las altas cortes mientras el juez promedio no tiene ni lapiceros. Tenga en cuenta la desigualdad de muchos funcionarios donde los altos tienen salario en especie con vehículos, escolta, entre otras. ¡Sí, la burocracia es más desigual todavía que las empresas privadas! 

    C) Tenga en cuenta que las reformas tributarias son confusas porque se quiere ocultar su verdadero sentido. Por eso incluyen exenciones con nuevos gravámenes lo que las hace más confusas todavía. Las exenciones se dan a costa de los gravámenes favoreciendo grupos económicos concretos. Lea algunas de las exenciones o descuentos y verá cómo los "ricos" pero "especiales" también ganan. Además si la intención es cubrir el "hueco fiscal" ¿cree que va a haber más descuentos que beneficios? Los beneficios son el "premio de consolación", ¿no cree que su intención es más psicológica?

    D) Finalmente, si quiere que el estado cubra el déficit funcionaría mejor si pensara en disminuir el gasto y priorizar. No se tiene que hacer una reforma tributaria si la intención es favorecer a los más pobres. Lo que se tiene que hacer es darle prioridad a los más pobres sacrificando el valioso "servicio" del procurador judicial, las pensiones presidenciales, el número de Congresistas, el carrusel de pensiones. ¿Cuánto no es el gasto de los órganos de control? 

    Concluir sobre 52 páginas y 72 artículos que remiten a otros artículos no termina aquí. La reforma tributaria no se acabó ¡apenas empieza! Pronto va a haber decretos, resoluciones, conceptos de la DIAN, seminarios, cursos, actualizaciones (en menos de dos años), sentencias, líos, enredos... Va a haber líos para resolver los líos, enredos para aclarar los enredos. Así si razona ad infinitum los enredos que trae la reforma son infinitos. Si quiere profundice en http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2157804, un análisis especial de las leyes tributarias gringas, que al lado de las colombianas son ¡fáciles! Así que esto es cuestión de tiempo que se difundan los daños que hace la reforma, por más buenas intenciones que tengan quienes la promovieron...

    ¿Ciencia a la Colombiana? Este es un artículo que va en contra de la corriente actual, de alguna manera podrán decir que estoy en contra de la "ciencia" lo que me parece en cierto sentido excelente. Hace pocos días se desató el escándalo de que le iban a quitar plata a Colciencias. Para mí fue motivo de decepción: ¡Deberían cerrarla! Si yo fuera presidente lo primero que cerraría sería Colciencias y eso que es complicado dado como se comporta la academia actual, deseo que eso pase, que cierren a Colciencias... no ser presidente.

    ¿Qué ha pasado? La verdad hay un exceso de noticias que impiden afirmar científicamente qué fue lo que pasó. Hay dos hechos que creo claros: 

    1. "La directora de COLCIENCIAS dijo que iban a quitarles presupuesto"
    2. "La directora de COLCIENCIAS dejó su cargo a los pocos días"

    ¿Qué pasó realmente? ¿Cómo se supo la "noticia" difundida como escándalo nacional? Lo primero que genera inquietud es ¿cómo sabía la directora que les iban a quitar presupuesto? ¿Le escribieron el ministro o el presidente? De acuerdo con un artículo de "El Tiempo" (al que hay que leer a favor de Colciencias por el sesgo a favor del presidente) http://www.eltiempo.com/estilo-de-vida/ciencia/colciencias-recibira-menos-presupuesto-en-el-2015/14203881 manifestó que recibió un correo de su director de planeación, es decir, un funcionario de ella. ¿Y ese funcionario de dónde la recibió? El confuso artículo del periódico El Tiempo menciona al Departamento Nacional de Planeación. Esa mención parece una "Colcienciada..." es decir una imprecisión de tipo periodístico como se da en Colombia. Pero ¿y si viniera del DNP? Si uno mira las funciones del DNP frente al presupuesto sus funciones son más de carácter burocrático y asesor que realmente quien elabora el presupuesto https://www.dnp.gov.co/Qui%C3%A9nesSomos/Funciones.aspx . Por su parte, quien realmente elabora y sigue el presupuesto, por tener la misión de la política fiscal y la definición del gasto público es el Ministerio de Hacienda http://www.minhacienda.gov.co/HomeMinhacienda/presupuestogeneraldelanacion. 

    ¿Entonces era información veraz con la que se basaba la directora de Colciencias? Es factible que la información fuera veraz. ¿Y cómo lo comprueba? Pero no es una información que uno pueda tomar como concluyente.  Lo sería si hubiera conocido el proyecto de ley del presupuesto presentado al congreso, ni siquiera un borrador permitiría una inferencia que "les quitaron el presupuesto". Solamente podría hablarse de una intención. Pero releamos las palabras: "Voy a dar la mala noticia que me acaba de llegar en un correo. Me dice mi jefe de Planeación: 'Directora, le mando la confirmación del presupuesto del año entrante, que es 289.000 millones de pesos. Estamos ya a 125.000 millones del presupuesto del año pasado". Pero bueno esa es la ciencia a la colombiana, una declaración no confirmada de una funcionaria -con autoridad de dirigir la "ciencia colombiana"- da para que toda una academia proteste porque "le van a bajar el presupuesto a Colciencias". 

    Pero bueno ese es el ridículo argumento de autoridad -no verdaderamente científico- por el que la "academia" reconoce un hecho probado: le van a disminuir el presupuesto a "Colciencias". Ni el más formalista, ni el menos riguroso de los académicos validaría una información de ese calibre. Es más ni siquiera hace bien el único trabajo que ese el estado: ¡producir formularios y saber llenarlos! Es como si un científico dijera que en su laboratorio la presión atmosférica es de 900 HPa porque se lo dijo su "asistente". Uno como mínimo mira el barómetro. Pero es ciencia a la colombiana... una mentalidad que se cree pensadora porque sabe muchos chismes... Recuerdo que hablaba una vez con una niña que estudiaba periodismo y ella leía "las fuentes son... el ministro". Y yo le dije que eso no era real, que la fuente es el acto -que es como se comunica el ministro como ministro- no la opinión -política además-del ministro. Bueno, tal vez la directora de "ciencias a la colombiana" quería rebelarse contra la ¡producción de formularios! y ver que puede haber verdad confirmada más allá del formulario... en especial lo referente al futuro...

    "Deseo tener el país más educado: ¡todos tendrán un diploma!"
    ¿Qué es Colciencias? Uno podría quedarse por lo que dicen los decretos que la crean, que es el mismo copy paste de esos sueños que quedan en las leyes. Acá creemos que el tiempo y el reloj se mueven por decreto, sino pregúntele a Juan Manuel Santos su ridícula e improvisada propuesta que pasó a la historia como "la hora Gaviria" y que cancelaron casualmente en el momento en que astronómicamente era inconveniente... manifestando que "ya era económicamente viable". Así como creemos que por decreto va a salir la ciencia, la tecnología y la innovación, creemos que necesitamos gente "trabajando" para hacer magia el decreto. Y eso hace "Colciencias":

    Colciencias es el Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación.
    Promueve las políticas públicas para fomentar la CT+I en Colombia. Las actividades alrededor del cumplimiento de su misión implican concertar políticas de fomento a la producción de conocimientos, construir capacidades para CT+I, y propiciar la circulación y usos de los mismos para el desarrollo integral del país y el bienestar de los colombianos.  http://www.colciencias.gov.co/sobre_colciencias?vdt=info_portal%7Cpage_1

    ¿Las cosas se conocen por el qué o por el cómo? Seguramente por el cómo. ¿Cómo promueve, fomenta, (y mil sinónimos de la burocracia para enfatizar sus objetivos) la Ciencia, la Tecnología y la Innovación? Contaré mi experiencia. ¿Qué hace Colciencias?

    Siendo uno de los pocos privilegiados que pudo pasar por la universidad recuerdo varias cosas. Una de mis grandes amigas (que seguro estará en desacuerdo y podrá precisar este artículo) era la Directora del Centro de Investigaciones. También intentaba entrar al mundo de la investigación universitaria con un Semillero de Investigación. Y bueno he encontrado más cosas en las universidades. 

    En aquellas épocas mi amiga trabajaba con otra amiga que se encargaba de arreglar todos los asuntos de la investigación. Bueno "investigación". Recuerdo que una de sus tareas era ayudar a los profesores a actualizar el CVLac ¿Qué es el CVLac? En Colciencias http://www.colciencias.gov.co/tutorialcvlac puede verse un tutorial especial para hacer el CVLac. Esto es básicamente la hoja de vida del investigador. ¿Por qué para investigar en las universidades se requiere una hoja de vida? El tutorial para hacer el CVLac tiene unas 66 páginas http://es.calameo.com/read/000051811450cdee35ceb cuya lectura muy posiblemente serán horas de investigación... perdidas... Y eso que luego de leerlo hay que llenarlo... Una labor que podrá ayudar a la paciencia, la templanza, la fortaleza pero no la investigación, mucho menos la innovación... Bueno, puede servir a crear el llenado automático de formularios, ¿se le ocurrirá eso a la brillantez colombiana? Espero que como un chiste bastante picante el programador del llenado automático de formularios sea colombiano...

    Alguna vez renegaba del colegio del que salí diciendo "en este colegio no quieren científicos sino secretarias". Pero el colegio no era más que un mini-Colciencias. Creo que Colombia solamente necesita una profesión "elaboración y llenado de formularios", así que el colegio pensaba en mi bien cuando me hablaba de la importancia de no salirme de los márgenes. De paso no debía enseñar nada más, porque los que "estudiamos" comemos cuando llenamos formularios, y comemos mejor cuando llenamos formularios más elaborados. Pero entre llenar un CVLac para decir que investigo o una declaración de renta por plata prefiero llenar una declaración de renta.

    Ahora bien, no bastaba con llenar la hoja de vida. También las universidades hacen grupos de investigación. Aunque la curiositas es amplia la investigación suele centrarse, no en el macrocosmos sino en el primer pelo de la segunda pata de la hormiga culona santandereana.Y allí tenemos los grupos de investigación. Esos grupos se mueven por proyectos. Por ejemplo "El crecimiento del primer pelo de la segunda pata de la hormiga culona santandereana en la disminución  del consumo de la misma en la dieta de los habitantes de San Gil, Santander". Esos grupos también tienen hoja de vida... efectivamente, más formularios. Pero bueno, eso no es lo que hace Colciencias, lo que hace es tomar esas hojas de vida y "pesarlas" y es básicamente comparar la investigación con la producción de bienes y servicios. La calidad de la investigación es "cantidad" http://www.colciencias.gov.co/sites/default/files/ckeditor_files/files/DOCUMENTO%20Modelo%20de%20Medici%C3%B3n%20Grupos%202013-VERSI%C3%93N%20II%20Definitiva%20DIC%2010%202013%20_protected.pdf.

    Es así como los investigadores ya tienen un buen tiempo llenando formularios -e investigando cómo se llenan esos formularios-. Pero uno tal vez piensa "bueno, ese no es el día a día de la 'apasionante' investigación". Pero no es extraño encontrar a los profesores llenando esos formularios que tienen plazo para enviarlos. Eso sin contar con los miles de informes que deben mandar. Creo que Colciencias también financia proyectos o autoriza sumas pero eso por lo menos no lo vi. Bueno, vi los jóvenes investigadores de Colciencias ¿Un incentivo para destruir la investigación verdadera con dudosas vinculaciones a universidades?

    ¿Formularios o celdas? Difícil volar alto dentro de una jaula...
    Supongamos que Colciencias sí financia los proyectos de investigación y supongamos que es una financiación eficiente: la burocracia es simple papeleo en comparación al apoyo a la investigación. Esto es un peligro porque queda centralizada a los intereses y compromisos del gobierno de turno. Supóngase que un grupo de investigación investiga las vías para la paz en Colombia y encuentra "peligroso negociar en la Habana por la inviabilidad y efectividad del acuerdo para generar un desarme efectivo". O supóngase que un grupo de investigación en "Energías renovables" investiga "la generación eléctrica mediante el uso de las olas" que afecta a los monopolios del carbón y de las energías en petróleo, carbón o gas que de paso son empresas "industriales y comerciales del estado" que le generan regalías o pueden subastar para mejorar su cash flow... O algo un poco más de frente "La necesaria liberalización de la investigación para asumir los retos del mundo moderno" o algo con un tono más marxista "el factor alienante del estado en sus 'oficinas de fomento' de ciencia y tecnología". 

    La primera es una investigación que puede estar en el rigor legítimo y que está en todo su derecho a disentir de las políticas del gobierno. Pero como "la investigación debe realizarse dentro de los marcos, planes y programas" del estado posiblemente no se le acuse de frente, pero sí le exigirán hasta por un milímetro demás en los márgenes. Mejor dicho le dirán "claro que puedes abrir las alas... dentro de la jaula que hemos construido para ti". La segunda tampoco saldrá de plano, pero le exigirán todo y de paso se fomentarán investigaciones para demostrar "la inviabilidad del uso de las olas en la generación eléctrica". La tercera tampoco se aprobará. El estado  no es el garante, ni el promotor, ni la ciencia nace por decreto, ni llenando formularios. Bueno, sí salen libros sobre cómo llenar formularios, 66 páginas sobre cómo llenar la hoja de vida del investigador, algo que nos "facilita" la vida...   

    El nacimiento de la innovación, la tecnología y la ciencia se da de una forma totalmente contraria al planteamiento burocrático y centralizado de Colciencias. Al respecto puede leerse "El Tomismo Desdeñado" donde explican con claridad cómo el descubrimiento, el aprendizaje y demás son cuestiones que se dan en el marco de cada persona en concreto. Esa novedad, eso que estaba 'under my very nose' para parafrasear a un autor judío-norteamericano citado en "El Tomismo Desdeñado", no es algo sujeto a la forma, la cantidad o la temporalidad. De esa misma forma investigo yo, abierto a la naturaleza, al mundo y a los hechos... En esa forma de investigar no tengo que llenar formularios, a veces ni dejar registro -aunque sea mejor hacerlo- sino una permanente observación. 

    No niego que en el sistema de ciencia a la colombiana pueda haber buenos, incluso genios en la investigación y verdaderos aportes a la ciencia. Pero me parece que el sistema de "ciencia a la colombiana" o "investigación de llenado de formularios" anula, restringe o excluye a aquellos que son a mi juicio los mejores investigadores y restringe el alcance de los que lo logran. Los mejores investigadores son los niños sin lugar a dudas, su permanente contacto con la magia de la naturaleza y su capacidad de asombro los lleva a proponer las mejores soluciones y conclusiones sobre el mundo. La investigación necesita también del error, cosa que no se puede si está centrada en el llenado de formularios que considera el error como incorrecto... y de paso delito...

    Y seamos sinceros ¿cómo se dio el aporte a la ciencia en la historia? ¿Por órganos centralizados que fomentaran la "innovación, la ciencia y la tecnología"? Entre algunos ejemplos Fermat era un matemático aficionado cuyo oficio era el de abogado, y tener un diploma en derecho hace 'necesariamente' que uno no sepa de matemáticas. Conclusión a la que los "col-científicos" han decretado como dogma. Fermat jugaba con los números y hacía continuos descubrimientos que sorprendieron a muchos matemáticos posteriores como Euler. Pitágoras necesitaba seguramente un proyecto de investigación -y financiación de "Crotociencias"- para probar que "en un triángulo rectángulo la suma de los cuadrados de los catetos es igual al cuadrado de la hipotenusa". Se dice que Pitágoras huyó de su ciudad natal a Crotonas entre otras porque no quería participar en cuestiones de política http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pit%C3%A1goras. Eso sin contar con notables condenas y asesinatos a genios del calibre de Sócrates, asesinado entre otras porque pidió como condena que "Colciencias" lo financiara de por vida por sus aportes a la sociedad...

    Acabo de citar a Wikipedia que en ciencias colombianas "no es una fuente de fiar porque lo modifica cualquiera", el problema creo no es que cualquiera pueda modificarlo sino que lo hace gente que no tiene "CVLac". Probablemente los que modifican Wikipedia sean unos mediocres que pasan todo el día de fuente en fuente y no se gradúen con honores como Newton http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton que pasaba todo el día en la biblioteca y no iba a clase. Un artículo académico trae mil fuentes -CITADAS CON NORMAS APA- wikipedia trae ¡las fuentes! con link directo. O sino vea lo que trae la Wikipedia cuando uno busca a Newton: http://gravitee.tripod.com/booki1.htm ¡Su obra maestra!

    Espero que todos sean científicos e innovadores como yo.
    Atte: Colciencias.
    El conocimiento, la verdad y demás, es dialéctico y por eso no debería concluir un debate. Pero yo concluiría, cerraría, a Colciencias. Una tímida disminución de presupuesto es poco por la ciencia, la tecnología y la innovación... pero, si eso es cierto ¡hay que reconocerle la buena obra al gobierno! Los críticos -simplemente porque no es el gobierno que quieren- critican cualquier cosa que haga o digan que haga el gobierno, es un deporte, hasta bueno, el caso es que ver algo bueno en un gobierno es TAN difícil que hay que felicitarlo si estuviera haciendo las cosas bien... 

    Sin embargo, así es la realidad de este alienante y desmoralizador país cuya única profesión es el llenado de formularios... Si alguien pregunta por Colombia y lo que hacen... ¿Qué hacen? las empresas "llenar formularios" y si les queda tiempo producir bienes y servicios, las universidades "llenar formularios" y si les queda tiempo dan clases pero ¿investigan? Y los abogados "llenan formularios" y ¿en su tiempo libre? Piensan cómo hacerlos más enredados ¿Y qué hace el gobierno? ¡Produce formularios!  

    Y ¿qué son entonces El Tiempo, El Espacio, El Asombro o Espectador, El Colombiano, La República, Portafolio, El Nuevo Siglo, El País, El Universal? ¿Realidades? ¡Qué va! ¿Formularios? No, eso tiene su ciencia... ¡Periódicos! Pero los dueños de los periódicos son los mismos que hacen los formularios... Esa es la ciencia a la colombiana, basta leer un periódico, e improvisar su resumen como lo hacía un mediocre profesor del colegio que estaba allí porque sabía cómo ser un buen policía... ah y sabía verificar que el "desprendible" -formulario para niños- se llenara bien so pena de llamar "negligentes" a sus alumnos... Ese era mi "modelo" de "diligencia"... Clases improvisadas, formularios bien llenados... 

    Esa es la ciencia a la colombiana: producción de formularios. Y su proceso o método:

    - Justificación o discusión del formulario: periódicos
    - Producción del formulario: gobierno/estado
    - Control y auditoria para garantizar su incomprensión: abogados, lobbies, grupos de poder. Su objetivo es que entre más incomprensible, mejor...¡calidad!

    ¿Y Colciencias? Una tuerca sin aceite en medio del engranaje decadente... al que muchos encuentran por donde elogiar sus "grandezas"...

    NOTA: Si quiere comentar este artículo escriba 1. para queja, 2. para ironía, 3. para felicitación y agradecimiento, 4. Para reclamo... ¡Qué! Si le da la gana de escribir hágalo como quiera... si quiere insúlteme, internamente me ofenderé y reiré de usted al mismo tiempo, pero bienvenido...

    NOTA 2: O uno escribe o se dedica a recopilar fuentes, ahí están los links y un libro "El Tomismo Desdeñado" de paso le dejo el "CVLac" del autor Algunos me entenderán que ese CVLac es ridículo...De investigador junior no tiene ni un pelo...

              HUELLA FRACTAL: una abstracción fotográfica.        
    HUELLA FRACTAL by ElAlispruz
    HUELLA FRACTAL, a photo by ElAlispruz on Flickr.

    Una huella es una abstracción de algo que pasa. Tal vez la definición o frase anterior suena demasiado aristotélico-aburrida, pero no ando poeta como para decirlo. Para ello me copio de Antonio Machado quizás mi poema favorito (bueno San Juan de la Cruz le gana pero este es más "pertinente") :

    Todo pasa y todo queda,
    pero lo nuestro es pasar,
    pasar haciendo caminos,
    caminos sobre el mar.

    Nunca perseguí la gloria,
    ni dejar en la memoria
    de los hombres mi canción;
    yo amo los mundos sutiles,
    ingrávidos y gentiles,
    como pompas de jabón.

    Me gusta verlos pintarse
    de sol y grana, volar
    bajo el cielo azul, temblar
    súbitamente y quebrarse...

    Nunca perseguí la gloria.

    Caminante, son tus huellas
    el camino y nada más;
    caminante, no hay camino,
    se hace camino al andar.

    Al andar se hace camino
    y al volver la vista atrás
    se ve la senda que nunca
    se ha de volver a pisar.

    Caminante no hay camino
    sino estelas en la mar...

    Hace algún tiempo en ese lugar
    donde hoy los bosques se visten de espinos
    se oyó la voz de un poeta gritar
    "Caminante no hay camino,
    se hace camino al andar..."

    Golpe a golpe, verso a verso...

    Murió el poeta lejos del hogar.
    Le cubre el polvo de un país vecino.
    Al alejarse le vieron llorar.
    "Caminante no hay camino,
    se hace camino al andar..."

    Golpe a golpe, verso a verso...

    Cuando el jilguero no puede cantar.
    Cuando el poeta es un peregrino,
    cuando de nada nos sirve rezar.
    "Caminante no hay camino,
    se hace camino al andar..."

    Golpe a golpe, verso a verso.

    La naturaleza del movimiento es fluir. Los flujos son básicamente transformaciones de energía o materia. Esos cambios quizás por lo que en física se llama conservación del momento, hecho que permitió a Einstein desarrollar su teoría de la relatividad especial con su famosa ecuación E=mc^2 (dato erudito inútil para la lectura). Si algo cambia algo es influido por ese cambio, ese cambio a su vez influye en la realidad de otra manera. Esos cambios se retroalimentan de alguna manera el flujo vuelve sobre sí mismo.

    Las retroalimentaciones también dejan sus huellas pero no precisas, lineales, sino imprecisas, fractales. Lo que deja de paso el flujo es un fractal. ¿Qué es un fractal? Apenas he empezado a leer "The fractal geometry of nature" de Benoit Mandelbrot y daría unas definiciones inútiles -para el objeto de este escrito- sobre la dimensión fractal. La dimensión fractal es interesantísima pero ¿define eso el fractal? 

    Pues para no perder todo el denso intento de comprender la dimensión fractal, podríamos decir que un fractal es un camino finito lleno de infinitas huellas que son infinitamente pequeñas. Lo "infinitamente pequeño" tal vez no sea lo más correcto pero es lo más cercano a la intuición que decir como profesor de matemáticas:

    "El límite de la huella tiende a cero". Para que el lector no se pierda entienda infinito como la siguiente paradoja: es una cantidad incontable de tanto contar. Como uno habla de lo que tiene en mente esa definición es incompleta en los descubrimientos del infinito de Cantor, pero no me meteré con eso. O sea el infinito es aún más complejo que la cantidad incontable que se genera de tanto contar. 

    Las influencias y retroalimentaciones que generan huellas infinitas infinitamente pequeñas de la realidad obedecen a la multicausalidad que ya describía Tomás de Aquino que producía incertidumbre y que Nietzsche resumía en que las cosas preferían "danzar" al son del azar. Los flujos se mueven entre las múltiples causas, velocidad, temperatura -que es velocidad-, masa, gravedad -influencia de otros cuerpos-, todo energía en últimas y esto a nivel atómico (creo que a nivel de partículas subatómicas pero hasta allá no entiendo). Cada átomo se influye de manera diferente así el flujo tenga una dirección. Cada átomo genera una influencia pequeñísima. Es lo que el meteorólogo Edward Lorenz denominó "efecto mariposa" al fracasar en sus predicciones climáticas. ¿Qué pasa si muchísimas influencias pequeñísimas se unen en una dirección o en otra? 

    A todas estas ¿qué tiene que ver toda esta carreta con la imagen? Lo primero que hay que decir es que la imagen es realmente la foto de un flujo editada. Es el flujo de agua que sale de una manguera. La escena es de lo más cotidiano, pero ¿por qué es tan extraña la imagen? En primer lugar, la foto se tomó con una elevada velocidad de obturador. La máxima que me permite la cámara. Eso permite capturar el movimiento del agua de la forma más cercana a cero, o sea capturar el instante como dicen los fotógrafos "congelado". 

    Sin embargo las imágenes que tomé no me gustan todavía. Así que empecé a experimentar con la edición en Picasa. No es edición avanzada. Aleatoriamente buscaba las formas más llamativas hasta que recorté esta que es un "fragmento" de algo que logré. Adicionalmente este fragmento fue editado para lo que usted ve. 

    No sé si es bonita o fea, a mí me gusta porque teniendo forma es amorfa, porque tiene pequeños puntos que me indican la fractalidad de la imagen. Puntos que son bastante llamativos y que tanto el lente, el simulador de imagen de la cámara y los algoritmos de edición se unieron para mostrar esta imagen.

    No sobra decir que el flujo más claro es el agua que fluía. Pero ¿por qué puntos oscuros y otros más claros? Eso indica que aunque la dirección del agua es clara algunos puntos eran más densos que otros. Otros dejaban espacios, inclusive se observan grupos de gotas -lo digo porque conozco la imagen- que están por fuera de lo que pareciera el flujo principal que ¿es determinable? ¡No lo es! Si intentara medir el flujo principal encontraría claramente que está fragmentado. Por eso me gusta la imagen. El ambiente en el que se movía el agua era influido por la brisa marina por el ángulo de la manguera y si había una tendencia parabólica como lo ha dicho la física siempre el problema es que la parábola es más abstracta que la huella que estoy mostrando, así sea más manejable. 

    Quisiera finalizar con esto. Tengo una prima que va para octavo grado. Odia la geometría. Yo he querido hablar con ella que además de que no tenga vocación matemática, vea el mundo más artístico y los profesores aburran más las cosas de lo que en realidad son, su clamor en geometría (en concreto la geometría "euclidiana") es creo en ella un grito de rebeldía. ¿Qué grita mi prima? ¡Lo que me enseñan es irreal e inútil! Si las abstracciones de lo real no muestran líneas sino fractales, ¿por qué seguimos pensando que la recta es el paradigma de las dimensiones? 

    Para dejar empezado el escrito, pues el pensamiento es fluir y no concluye como creen los profesores de metodología de la investigación quiero decir varias cosas. No tengo pretensión científica, esto es simplemente un intento de soltar algunas lecturas y pensamientos. 

    No cito a nadie entre comillas o doy un detalle de la fuente porque eso es notaría académica, pero conversaciones, observaciones, experimentos, lecturas y muchas cosas de otros no habrían hecho posible lo que aquí escribo. Si quiere vaya a la wikipedia y busquen a Mandelbrot y su libro que es rebelde y revelador "The fractal geometry of nature", el tema de la multicausalidad lo leí en el libro El Tomismo Desdeñado que es sobre economía pero que resume la física tomista. La frase de Nietzsche es de "Así habló Zarathustra". También los libros "Espejo y Reflejo" y "Las siete leyes del caos" ambos de Briggs y Peat mencionan el efecto mariposa y el tema de la influencia sutil, los fractales entre otros. Libros de meteorología, climatología y matemática citan a Edward Lorenz sobre el efecto mariposa. 

    Espero que este sea un fragmento que a otro sirva y retroalimente, así lo deseche. Al fin y al cabo la realidad es como un diálogo y el diálogo como la realidad...

    Puede ver fotografías "fractales" más reales mías en:  http://flic.kr/s/aHsjPzL9Fg
    De otros que me gustan: http://flic.kr/y/Boj35n

    Artículos relacionados:


    EL ALISPRUZ : Templo del sol y asombro agradecido

              Soberanía: sus verdaderas implicaciones.        
    La soberanía, un "constructo" que se come al individuo.
    Luego de que ciertos personajes que rara vez han tenido el sol en el cenit, en oficinas oscuras en Europa, hayan determinado "quitar" una cierta porción de mar a Colombia al Norte de San Andrés, se revela ese "constructo" de nación, de estado y de soberanía. El tema está bastante de moda, y probablemente, en otras oficinas en la fría capital de Colombia, con pieles no bronceadas y que quizás ni conocen ese pedazo de mar, se discute el impacto que tiene sobre "la soberanía nacional". Toda clase de reacciones se escuchan al respecto, bueno en general el sentimiento es de rechazo, hasta para mí, supuestamente que no creo en esas cosas.

    El problema para mí se resume básicamente en que las fronteras, Colombo-Nicaragüense en este caso, son "constructos" como dice Alias Aristóteles, que en últimas revelan ficciones. ¿El estado existe? Efectivamente, pero no es más que poder brutal organizado, sin más legitimidad que la que tendría una banda de ladrones, sicarios o terroristas. ¿Cómo comparas la bandera y la nación con ladrones? No sé si sean más buenos o más malos, eso a mí no me compete, lo que sí son es única e igualmente ilegítimos, más "visajosos", más usuales en mi vida y con una mentira mejor montada. Pero hay políticos de buena fe, sí, también hay ladrones, sicarios, terroristas de buena fe, ¿Qué tanto pesa la intención? Este poder brutal organizado es limitante.

    La palabra frontera es sinónimo de límite y es bastante curioso que se llame igual la división entre Colombia y Venezuela, como la división del territorio de las bandas de sicarios de Medellín. Ambas fronteras. Dicen que las de los combos o bandas son "invisibles", pero ¿alguien ha visto el meridiano 82? ¿en qué parte del río Táchira entre Villa del Rosario y San Antonio del Táchira hay una línea que separe como en los mapas? La carrera 90 puede ser tan visible o tan invisible como frontera que el río Táchira. El que haya visto el meridiano 82 debe estar bastante trabado y confundir la tierra con el mapa de la misma. Algo así hacen los poderes, nos hacen confundir la tierra con el dibujo que hizo un poderoso de la misma.

    Pero todo este dolor "patrio" por la pérdida de una franja de mar al norte de San Andrés, es un poco irónico la verdad. ¿Sentimos la misma "patria" en una vuelta en la DIAN? ¿Por qué las empresas han de dar el 33% de su renta líquida al estado? ¿Por la misma razón que nos duele la pérdida de "mar territorial" que la mayoría ni siquiera conocemos? ¿Cómo puede pertenecernos algo sobre el cuál ni remotamente ejercemos dominio? ¿Por qué alguien dibujó en un mapa, de forma más o menos arbitraria, que un lugar pertenecía a un país, lo hace suyo? ¿Dominio eminente? ¿Por qué? Si es así ¡qué buena forma de adquirir, dibujaré que la luna es mía y procederé a cobrar tributos cada que la miren!

    El caso es que la "patria" no existe, es un concepto arbitrario. Nietzsche al respecto habla más bien de la "hijatria" o el lugar que vamos a dejarle a nuestros hijos, esto lo decía con sarcasmo, quizás para negar lo adsurdo del concepto. Ese concepto de "patria" únicamente sirve para legitimar abusos. ¿Qué clase de abusos? Un señor nace en Nicaragua y otro a pocas millas náuticas en San Andrés, ¿Por qué el San Andresano no puede pescar en aguas "nicaragüenses" y el Nicaragüense en aguas Colombianas? Por ese "bello" y anquilosado concepto de soberanía que cree en nosotros el prejuicio que esas "aguas" son "nuestras". Por esa idea que tenemos en la cabeza, que es parte del dominio intelectual que ejerce el estado en nosotros a través de la educación, es que un pescador tiene esa limitación. 

    La naturaleza funciona de manera diferente un cardúmen de peces vive al vaivén de su alimento, alimento que un día estará más acá del meridiano 82 o más allá del mismo. La naturaleza de un buen pescador creería yo, no es la de portar una bandera en su bote, es la de seguir las mareas, corrientes marinas, los amaneceres y atardeceres y dirigirse allí para pescar con sus redes y sus estrategias. Sin embargo, la natural inclinación del trabajo del pescador, se ve truncada por "constructos" como el de soberanía. "Constructos" en la que creen una serie de burócratas en la Haya y se imaginan que con eso están salvando el mundo, mientras mantienen las ideas que limitan la pesca de unos seres humanos. Querido amigo pescador isleño, ¡pesque donde Haya, no donde le diga la Haya! Esto es un desafío, un día habrá en "Colombia" y otro día en "Nicaragua" y lo importante no es creer en la bandera, es hacer bien su trabajo.

    Por más que haya rechazo a todo lo que signifique Nicaragua, y que me linchen, el mismo derecho a pescar donde le plazca lo tiene el "Nicaragüense" que el "Colombiano". Un derecho que le nace porque los peces libres no son de nadie, por eso el primero que los encuentre y los aproveche se hará su dueño. Los Nicaragüenses son mis amigos, como lo puede ser cualquier ser humano. Me disgusta el presidente de Nicaragua, pero no porque sea nicaragüense, como la mayoría de la gente que me cae mal es de Colombia pero no me cae mal por ser colombiana. 

    La verdadera implicación de la soberanía es la frontera, frontera que limita, aliena e impone una serie de criterios arbitrarios que no son acordes con la naturaleza. Eso lo vemos claramente en los pescadores que de aquí o de allá deben pescar donde les plazca, no donde los "constructos" o imaginarios sobre cómo se divide la tierra. Ese "mar territorial" que nos duele, no es más que el dolor de que nos limiten en vez de limitar, pero es tan injusto limitar como que nos limiten. El prejuicio que nos crea la "patria" es lo que nos limita en negocios, amistades, acciones, nos limita a ser humanos más que ser un invento "colombianos". Invento que es bastante ridículo y teatral como reconocía el filósofo Fernando González, aun considerando la patria como una posibilidad. El "constructo" de Colombia ni si quiera es autóctono, es lo que decía Fernando González aún considerando esa posibilidad de patria. Finalmente, esos niños de la Haya creen que jugando con esos "constructos" e imaginarios limitantes, que nada tienen que ver con la verdadera naturaleza humana, evitan guerras, cuando la verdad es que sus ideas acerca del poder están más cercanas a la idea de clan, combo, masa ridícula, asociación de cazadores, no sé, esas ideas de películas con clanes y masas que con aquellas que van con la libertad, la justicia, el derecho natural y el desarrollo.

              ILIQUIDEZ E IMPUESTOS: Ineficiencias del sistema tributario.        
    Yo pesco y el estado pesca lo que pesco...
    El sistema tributario justo es aquel que no existe. En justicia todo derecho tiene su causa en términos antropológicos o económicos. Ahora bien, si no hay una causa para una determinada erogación, por más que sea "legal", estamos ante una injusticia y un enriquecimiento sin causa. Ahora bien, dirán los constitucionalistas -que creen que un texto es vinculante porque sí- que es que es nuestra "contribución al bien común". La verdad eso no son más que teorías que producen unos sofistas burócratas para permanecer en sus deliciosos tronos de poder. ¿Acaso usted firmó la constitución? ¿Por qué tiene que pagar por proyectos de los políticos que muchas veces son ineficientes de los cuales no está de acuerdo con muchos?

    Por ejemplo, a muchas personas que estamos en desacuerdo con el Asesinato de Niños por nacer, nos obligan a financiar ese crimen por una decisión de 5 magistrados. ¿Por qué en aras del supuesto bien común tendría yo que seguir como un esclavo aquellos lineamientos? ¿Por qué tenemos que permitir que el dinero que nosotros ganamos se utilice para financiar el crimen de unas pocas multinacionales perversas? 

    Ya decía Lysander Spooner:
    "Todos los grandes gobiernos de la tierra - los que hoy existen como los que han ido desapareciendo - han tenido el mismo carácter. No pasan de simples bandas de ladrones que se han asociado con el fin de despojar, conquistar y someter a sus semejantes." (Tomado de SPOONER, Lysander. “El derecho natural: la ciencia de la justicia” En Wikisource tomado dehttp://es.wikisource.org/wiki/El_derecho_natural:_la_ciencia_de_la_justicia 08/10/2009 02:39 p.m. Capítulo III. El derecho natural contra la legislación. Segunda parte del Capítulo.)
    Y es que el fenómeno es bastante cierto y se observa por ejemplo en los denominados "combos" de Medellín que muchos quieren incluir en la "institucionalidad". Estos combos son bandas asociadas de delincuentes que dominan unas zonas limitadas por "fronteras invisibles", tienen allí el monopolio de las armas, cobran "vacuna" que no es más que una suma mensual a cambio de "protección". Inclusive se ha llegado a afirmar que los combos suelen tener mejor logística que la Policía Metropolitana. Nadie negaría que los "combos" son bandas delincuenciales, pero quiero que alguien me diga cuál es la diferencia de estos con el estado. A mi modo de ver la diferencia radica en el cómo, los combos son auténticos, el estado mentiroso. Además, los combos no requieren gigantescas justificaciones ideológicas para legitimar su acción, hacen lo que hacen y listo. Son delincuentes y lo saben, en cambio, muchas de las personas que trabajan en el estado ni si quiera se han dado cuenta para quién trabajan...

    Uno de los tantos "tributos" sin sentido.
    Norte de Santander cobra a todos las personas
    que salen del aeropuerto Camilo Daza de Cúcuta,
    esta estampilla. ¿Por qué? ¡Pura recocha!
    Contrario a los combos dueños de fronteras invisibles, restringiendo la entrada a dichas zonas, el estado se ha devanado el cerebro en generar justificaciones absurdas a su accionar y frente a los impuestos siempre está el trasfondo de la eficiencia. ¿Cómo recaudar más (para nada) sin desincentivar el trabajo de sus víctimas? El trasfondo de incentivar cierta actividad económica o cierta acción conveniente al estado provoca una serie de disposiciones tributarias. Conclusión un complejo enmarañado de disposiciones que generan una serie de costos operativos adicionales para la gestión empresarial.

    Ese enmarañado sistema genera que en Colombia haya un exceso de tributación. Tanto como los griegos que le tenían altar al "dios desconocido" en Colombia puede llegar un momento en que nos toque pagar al "impuesto desconocido". A grandes rasgos los principales impuestos en Colombia son:

    • Impuesto sobre la renta y complementarios.
    • Impuesto sobre el valor agregado (IVA).
    • Gravámen a los movimientos financieros (4 X 1000)
    • Impuesto de Industria y Comercio y Avisos y Tableros (Municipal).
    Estos impuestos, en apariencia simples, plantean una serie de complicaciones operativas a las empresas que hacen prácticamente que tenga una o dos personas de tiempo completo como mínimo resolviendo el problema de los impuestos. Es tal que muchos de los enredos provienen de presumir la mala fe del "contribuyente".

    La verdad creo que este es un principio acertado de la tributación, ¡NADIE QUIERE PAGAR IMPUESTOS! No creo que haya alguien que pague la declaración bimestral del IVA o el impuesto de renta con una satisfacción y una sonrisa "Hoy contribuí al bien común" y pensando "Un compromiso tan lindo que no puedo evadir". Bueno quizás Ned Flanders en un capítulo de los Simpson, capítulo donde se hace una crítica anarquista y capitalista bastante positiva... y donde obviamente se ve que los impuestos son un dolor de cabeza...Aquí pueden verlo http://www.seriescoco.com/capitulo/los-simpsons/capitulo-20/40521

    El caso es que esa presunción de mala fe del contribuyente genera un enmarañado inteligentísimo que el estado llamó "retención en la fuente". La retención en la fuente aplica para todos los impuestos (excepto para el 4 X 1000 dado que éste ya es de por sí una retención del banco al dueño de la cuenta). Pero no se dio cuenta el inteligentísimo legislador que estaba confiándole el aumento de las contribuciones a la misma serie de personas de las que desconfiaba. Linda solución crear penalizar la "omisión del agente retenedor":

    ARTICULO 402. OMISION DEL AGENTE RETENEDOR O RECAUDADOR. <Ver Notas del Editor> <Penas aumentadas por el artículo 14 de la Ley 890 de 2004, a partir del 1o. de enero de 2005. El texto con las penas aumentadas es el siguiente:>

     El agente retenedor o autorretenedor que no consigne las sumas retenidas o autorretenidas por concepto de retención en la fuente dentro de los dos (2) meses siguientes a la fecha fijada por el Gobierno Nacional para la presentación y pago de la respectiva declaración de retención en la fuente o quien encargado de recaudar tasas o contribuciones públicas no las consigne dentro del término legal, incurrirá en prisión de cuarenta y ocho (48) a ciento ocho (108) meses y multa equivalente al doble de lo no consignado sin que supere el equivalente a 1.020.000 UVT.

    En la misma sanción incurrirá el responsable del impuesto sobre las ventas que, teniendo la obligación legal de hacerlo, no consigne las sumas recaudadas por dicho concepto, dentro de los dos (2) meses siguientes a la fecha fijada por el Gobierno Nacional para la presentación y pago de la respectiva declaración del impuesto sobre las ventas.

    Tratándose de sociedades u otras entidades, quedan sometidas a esas mismas sanciones las personas naturales encargadas en cada entidad del cumplimiento de dichas obligaciones.

    Ante esa circunstancia cualquiera que inicie una nueva persona jurídica o quiera "cumplir alegremente con los aportes a la nómina de los congresistas" queda mágicamente obligado a retener y de no retener el estado  te cobrará con la cárcel.

    El artículo de la omisión del agente retenedor nos hace preguntarnos ¿bueno y cuándo sería la fecha en la que se generaría este delito? Pues la respuesta mágica es ¿desde cuándo tengo que hacer la retención o cobrar el IVA? Pero ¿cuándo es eso? Resulta que tenemos que acudir a la teoría de la "causación". ¿En qué consiste eso de la causación? El momento en el cuál surge un derecho. La teoría de la causación no está mal, pero que se genere un derecho a mi favor o una obligación en mi contra no implica... BILLETES EN EL BOLSILLO. ¿Y cuándo se causa una retención o un IVA? Esto es lo más interesante del asunto...

    Si uno mira el artículo 437 del Estatuto Tributario la regla general consiste en que el Impuesto Sobre las Ventas se causa en cualquiera de los dos primeros casos:

    • Pago
    • Al momento de la facturación o abono en cuenta (causación).
    Si la facturación se da primero, en el caso del impuesto sobre las ventas, ya la empresa que cobra el IVA tendrá una deuda en dinero que tendrá que pagar en la declaración siguiente, así el deudor se demore en pagar la factura. 

    Lo mismo sucede en el caso de la retención en la fuente, la regla general es la misma, se retiene o al momento del pago o al de la causación (abono en cuenta). Para eso puede observarse el artículo 392 del Estatuto Tributario que consagra exactamente la misma idea de la causación. Adicionalmente, esto ha sido reiterado en conceptos de la DIAN ¿cuándo se ocasiona la retención?: 

    "Momento de causación de la retención en la fuente Tal como lo establecen las disposiciones del Estatuto Tributario y lo ha precisado la doctrina de la DIAN (Conceptos No 008054 y No 095988 de 1998, entre otros), la retención en la fuente a título del impuesto sobre la renta debe efectuarse, por regla general, en el momento del pago o abono en cuenta, lo que ocurra primero. Se entiende por "pago" la extinción total o parcial de una obligación mediante la prestación de lo que se debe y por "abono en cuenta" el reconocimiento contable de una obligación independientemente de su cancelación o pago." (Concepto 003580. 12 de Enero de 2006. DIAN. En http://actualicese.com/normatividad/2006/Conceptos/Enero/003580-06.htm Consulta 17/4/2012)

    Esto se puede resaltar en cualquier portal de información contable:
    "La contabilidad en Colombia, según el decreto 2649, opera bajo el sistema de causación, lo que significa que los hechos se deben reconocer al momento de surgir la obligación o el derecho, aunque no se haya hecho o recibido el pago." (Gerencie.com. Retención en la fuente en operaciones de la misma fecha con un mismo proveedor. En http://www.gerencie.com/retencion-en-la-fuente-en-operaciones-de-la-misma-fecha-con-un-mismo-proveedor.html Publicado el 20/12/2010. Consultado 17/05/2012)
    Es decir, así uno no haya recibido el dinero o no tenga con qué pagar, mágicamente su cuenta tiene que tener billetes a la hora de las declaraciones de retención y de IVA. En términos de derechos y obligaciones, quizás esa teoría de la "causación" esté bien, pero es demasiado teórica a la hora de afrontar la realidad.

    Causar una obligación a su favor no implica tener esa obligación en efectivo. De hecho, tenerla causada significa precisamente que no se ha utilizado un bien líquido llamado dinero que la cancele. El poder liberatorio del dinero implica eso, la capacidad de cancelar las obligaciones causadas.

    Pero ¿cómo si no se ha cancelado la obligación mágicamente el contribuyente va a tener dinero para pagar la declaración? Esta tesis de la causación desconoce la realidad de los negocios en Colombia, donde la puntualidad en el cobro es rápida (o sea se factura rápido) pero el pago es lento. Así las instituciones tienen el reto de enfrentar una "cartera" morosa de obligaciones "causadas" que generan IVA. Sin embargo, mientras el deudor se demora en cumplir, no puede quien cobra el IVA sustraerse de su obligación de pagar con dinero que no ha entrado en su flujo de caja. 

    La omisión del agente retenedor se ocasiona dos meses después de causada la obligación. Imaginemos en el normal tráfico jurídico un IVA causado en Abril, cuya declaración ha de pagarse los primeros días de mayo y el deudor se ha demorado en pagar (porque a su vez a él le han incumplido), ya si la mora llega a los primeros días de Julio y el Agente recaudador del IVA no ha podido pagar ya ha cometido omisión del agente retenedor. Para ir a la cárcel se requiere que concurran otros dos factores aparte de describir la conducta en el artículo, "antijuridicidad" y "culpabilidad", la defensa es amplia... empezando por la ridiculez de la irrealidad del legislador, pero en todo caso las vueltas, las llamadas de la DIAN, entre otras dudo que sean agradables. Y casos así conozco bastante cercanos...

    Para que se comprenda el tema del "flujo de caja", podemos comparar el dinero con el agua que fluye. Si yo le digo a otro "lléneme este balde" y el otro va a buscar el agua, no puede un ladrón pedirme el agua que no tengo simplemente porque "ya se causó la obligación de traer agua". ¿De dónde va a sacar el agua? ¿De la humedad relativa del ambiente? ¿Escupiendo? ¿Robando? El dinero, como cualquier bien, está sometido a una serie de reglas y como tal su movimiento depende de la sencilla realidad de recibirlo.

    Es claro que en materia dineraria se puede acudir a la figura del crédito y al contrato de factoring que sirve para resolver esos casos "tétricos". Pero acudir al crédito implica una pérdida, sacar del dinero que no tengo, pagar luego intereses por una obligación sin sentido o que implicaba "causación".

    El leviatánUna de las retenciones más ridículas es la que se conoce como el IVA teórico, o mal llamado "rete-iva", el término correcto es la asunción del IVA en el régimen simplificado. Resulta que en el IVA hay dos clases de regímenes, el régimen común y el denominado régimen simplificado. Sin embargo, el régimen simplificado debería llamarse más bien "régimen complicado" y es que es bastante complicado. Los agentes del régimen simplificado no tienen que pagar el IVA, pero eso no implica que el estado no desee recibir algo de aquella operación. 

    Resulta que por arte de magia un genial legislador (que si trabajara para otro sector tendría la denominación de estafador) se le ocurrió que los responsables del régimen común paguen el IVA que no recaudan los del régimen simplificado. Es así como el artículo 437- 1 del Estatuto Tributario en su numeral 4 manda a que los contribuyentes hagan magia y de la buena reteniendo el IVA en operaciones con régimen simplificado. Pero no es que se lo descuenten a la persona perteneciente al régimen simplificado: ¡HA DE PAGARLO ÍNTEGRO! 

    Y ha de seguir la misma teoría de la causación. Aunque si bien es cierto, este es descontable de la declaración del IVA (vaya enredo) tiene que pagarlo cada que haga un contrato con el régimen simplificado y supere los topes legales. Es decir, si soy del régimen común y causo una deuda con una persona del régimen simplificado, así no haya recibido el flujo con el que le pagaré, no solamente debo retener del flujo de caja que no tengo, sino sacar dinero adicional a lo que me están cobrando. 

    Aunque la situación final del "contribuyente" quede en cero, es preferible no pagar nada y luego no recibir nada a cambio que pagar lo que no tengo para luego descontarlo. Además, se paga cada mes la declaración de retenciones, pero el IVA es cada dos meses luego el estado tendrá esos recursos un mes ¿me pagará intereses por ello? ¡NO! Pero en cambio al "contribuyente" sí le tocará pagar por el precio de contar con dinero antes: ¡Valor anticipado! ¿No es evidente quién se enriquece a costa de quién?

    Sin perjuicio que lo mejor es que no existieran impuestos pues no tienen causa, las complicaciones del mismo aumentan tanto los costos de transacción empresarial que hacen más ineficiente la actividad económica como consecuencia de ello. Una de las cosas más ineficientes es la forma en la que afectan el flujo de caja empresarial en especial en lo que se refiere al IVA y a la retención en la fuente. El dinero, como el agua o el aire, fluye de una forma natural de acuerdo al tráfico de los negocios humanos. Estas formas tributarias lo que hacen es desconocer la forma como circula el dinero en la sociedad para aumentar su calidad tributaria, generando un aumento innecesario en los costos de generación de flujo de caja en las empresas.

    No me gusta la palabra conclusión pero sino la sociedad no entiende. Lo que quisiera es seguir criticando el sistema tributario a ver si algún día desaparece. Más aún esto lo que debería es oxigenar de alguna manera el debate de la reforma tributaria que propone el gobierno de "Prosperidad democrática". Un mínimo sería que desaparecieran todas esas ideas absurdas de retención en la fuente que cargan al "contribuyente" con obligaciones ridículas por las que no recibe nada a cambio.

              LA INMENSA CANTIDAD DE LO POCO        
    Ver el mundo en un grano de arena,
    y el cielo en una flor silvestre;
    tener el infinito en la palma de la mano
    y la eternidad en una hora.
    (William Blake en PAPPAS, 1996, pág. 50)

    Los seres humanos nos preocupamos tanto por las grandes obras, que las pequeñas acaban destruyendo la posibilidad de llegar a la grandeza. Es una paradoja, pero una paradoja con fuertes fundamentos fácticos que denotan cómo descuidar lo poco, es el más grande de nuestros errores. El presente ensayo partirá de una reflexión metafísica pasando por una económica, pero la intención será trascender hasta, si es posible, una reflexión mística. Partiremos de ser centaveros, con imagen de ambiciosos, para llegar a la gloria infinita... simplemente por el valor de lo pequeño.

    Una breve contemplación matemática.

    Nubes fractales.
    El fractal denota la potencia de esta paradoja,
    la parte se ve en el todo y el todo en la parte.
    Un cálculo elemental para cualquier persona es la suma de 1 + 1. La unidad pareciese una figura simple y carente de todo significado estético y místico. ¿Qué importa el número uno? ¿Uno no más? Sin embargo, cuando se ve el elevado potencial del uno a nivel matemático, su aparente carencia de significado y su falta de estética, le dan a ese número insignificante, nada dentro del infinito, un valor tan elevado que nos lleva a una paradoja: el uno es nada en comparación con el infinito pero el infinito no es nada sin el uno. ¿Cómo puede surgir tal paradoja en una proporción que todos prácticamente consideramos evidente si sabemos un poco de cálculo y de matemáticas? Evidentemente el infinito ha sido un creador de paradojas como la de Zenón (si cada vez recorro la mitad de lo que me falta ¿cuándo llegaré a la meta?) (PAPPAS, 1996, pág. 50) Sin embargo, esta explicación nos la da Pappas en una cita al pie sobre por qué los números naturales son infinitos: "los números de contar o naturales, son potencialmente infinitos ya que a cualquiera de ellos se le puede sumar uno para llegar al siguiente, pero nunca se puede tener el conjunto completo" (PAPPAS, 1996, pág. 52).

    Efectivamente todos los números son "una multitud compuesta de unidades" como decían los pitagóricos y por ello los consideraban la sustancia de todas las cosas (RECAMÁN SANTOS, 2007, pág. 30). Aunque los pitagóricos no consideraban a la unidad (1) como un número, de esta unidad procedían todos los demás que eran la sustancia del universo. "-¿Cuánto es uno y uno y uno y uno y uno y uno y uno? -No lo sé - dijo Alicia-, he perdido la cuenta. -No puedo hacer la suma - dijo la Reina Roja." (CARROL LEWIS [ALICIA EN EL PAÍS DE LAS MARAVILLAS] en RECAMÁN SANTOS, 2007, pág. 109). Efectivamente la suma constante de uno, uno, uno, cada vez va generando un número que ni la Reina Roja podía sumar, ni lo harán los sabios ancianos del rey en un caso que luego se expondrá. 

    Los pitagóricos, aunque erraron en lo que es un número tuvieron otros aciertos pues nadie ha visto un uno volando a menos que -como decía un compañero mío del colegio- estuviera sentado en una hamaca bastante trabado. Esto quiere decir que los números no son el mundo sino simples son abstracciones de intuiciones que nos explican el mundo, los pitagóricos sí acertaron en la magnifica intuición que nos remite al poema del comienzo. Es de unidades que se forman las cosas y de unidades que se suman indefinidamente que crecen indefinidamente y van formando pieza por pieza, una por una, el mundo. ¿Qué es una estrella? ¿Qué es un grano de arena? ¿Pero qué es una estrella y otra, y otra, y otra...? ¡El firmamento! Y ¿qué es un grano de arena y otro, y otro, y otro,...? ¡Una playa! Lo mismo podemos decir de las gotas de agua que conforman el mar, de las hojas, de las células que forman nuestro cuerpo. ¿Qué es un átomo? ¡lo que compone el universo!

    Deteniéndonos un poco en el tema de las células del cuerpo, nuestra vida comenzó con una célula, que se dividió en dos, en cuatro, en ocho, mórula, blástula, etc, especialización, hasta transformar una vida de una célula en millones de ellas. Podríamos entrar en miles de ejemplos místicos, poéticos que nos lleven a trascender en la contemplación pero eso haría que este escrito fuera infinito. Pues al fin y al cabo, así se comporta la naturaleza que los pitagóricos intuían, una sucesión de unidades que forman el todo, la unidad no es nada frente al todo pero el todo no es nada sin la unidad. Por tal motivo pasaremos de una breve contemplación matemática a un análisis económico.

    Del misticismo a la economía.
    El Banquero y Su esposa.
    ¡La diligencia en el cuidado de lo poco!
    Últimamente tengo pegada la frase "cuide los centavos que los pesos se cuidan solos". Esta frase se la escuché a mi papá, que entiendo se la escuchó a un empresario antioqueño ya difunto. La sabiduría de esta frase no va en lo sonoro de la misma sino en que puede corroborarse en la práctica. Si las personas gastáramos al nivel que lo hacemos en cosas de pequeña cantidad, nos quedaríamos asombrados de lo pronto que nos quebraríamos. Pondré un ejemplo sencillo. Si una persona tiene un capital de $2.000 pesos colombianos (alrededor de un dólar estadounidense) es muy probable que si le ofrecen algo cuyo valor es de $2.000 se relaje y cambie su dinero por esa cosa ¡No son más que $2.000! Pero si todo su capital líquido es de $50.000 (alrededor de 25 USD) y le ofrecen algo de $50.000 es mucho más probable que se controle y diga ¡es que son $50.000! Pero únicamente bastaría hacer únicamente 25 veces el ejercicio con los $2.000 para haberse gastado los $50.000 en cosas de $2.000. Haga el ejercicio de ahorrar $500 diarios durante un año y obtendrá una suma de $182.500, hágalo con $1.000, $2.000, etc.

    En un escrito anterior manifesté lo siguiente:

    "De hecho los pobres saben más de finanzas que los ricos. Un rico no sabe cuánto vale un peso porque ese es su día a día, pero una persona pobre sabe verdaderamente cuál es el costo del dinero, el sudor que se requiere para ganar $18.000 (10 Us$ aprox) [Cfr ElAlispruz. En 2010 si se quiere profundizar en el costo del trabajo]. Esto es tan cierto que los modelos financieros exitosos surgieron precisamente de un elevado valor del dinero. Adicionalmente es la razón por la cuál los modelos tecnocráticos e intervencionistas fracasan. (TORO RESTREPO, 2011)"

    ¿Por qué surgen modelos exitosos con un elevado costo del dinero? El valor de una cosa está relacionado con su escasez, entre más escasa más valiosa, por lo tanto el dinero es mucho más valioso cuando hay poco. Mientras escribo esto recuerdo la gloriosa frase de nuestro presidente Juan Manuel Santos "En Colombia se puede vivir con $190.000 mensuales". Lo glorioso no es tanto que no sea posible (personalmente no lo creo) sino que venga de una persona que ni siquiera sabe cuánto cuesta la gasolina porque tiene choferes y no ha tenido la necesidad de montar en bus. Si a uno le entran $190.000 mensuales tiene que ser bastante inteligente para que con esa suma pueda comer, tener un techo, vestirse y transportarse y si alguien nunca ha tenido el reto de vivir con esa miserable suma... ¿lo hará bien? Mi abuelo materno decía que los mejores financieros son los mendigos porque de $100 en $100 no se asuste si se encuentra al mendigo que pide en el semáforo de la 10 en un vuelo a Santa Marta con usted. Es más complicado cuando la liquidez es mucha pero inconstante, creo yo.

    Tributaristas, delincuentes financieros y el valor del dinero.

    La vocazione di San Matteo
    Recordemos que San Mateo
    era un recaudador de impuestos y
    él comprende el mensaje de la fidelidad en lo poco.
    Los tributaristas son personas MUY INTELIGENTES que trabajan para el sector equivocado, el estado. El estado es una forma de robo menos violenta y menos inútil, pero forzada al fin y al cabo. Paréntesis, admiro a los delincuentes financieros, esos que roban un peso de cada cuenta de un banca, que forman pirámides, etc., porque son perversos, pero comprenden lo mismo que los pitagóricos acerca de la sustancia del mundo. Cualquiera se preguntará ¿por qué pongo a los delincuentes financieros con el sector tributario? Porque ambos piensan estrategias para sacar más de la manera más sutil.

    Una de las formas más inteligentes que comprenden el trasfondo del valor del dinero es la invención del Gravamen a los Movimientos Financieros o Cuatro por mil. Si fuera un señor tomando un peso de cada cuenta, diferente del estado, se llamaría Hurto Calificado. El caso es que no estoy anarquista sino que quiero elogiar al creador del 4 X 1000, eh Ave María qué tan inteligente, el problema es ¡por qué te contrató el lado equivocado!

    Mil pesos vienen siendo poco, pero cuatro pesos no son nada. Bueno 4 X 1000 no son nada y ¿qué tal 4000 por millón? ¿Duelen $40.000 al mover 10.000.000? ¿Qué tal $400.000 al mover $100.000.000? Si una empresa mueve al año $1.000 millones de pesos $4.000.000 pueden ser fácilmente la nómina de unos cuantos meses a salario mínimo. Miremos el 4 X 1000 desde otra perspectiva.

    Si yo pago 1 millón de pesos a otra persona a su cuenta, y ésta a su vez mueve todo ese millón pero pagando el 4 X 1000 y así sucesivamente deduciendo el 4 x 1000, en 27 transacciones, totalmente viables en la velocidad de nuestro sistema financiero, ya se habrá perdido alrededor del 10% de ese valor. O sea si hay una cadena de 27 deudores donde cada uno sea acreedor y deudor de 1.000.000, el 27 avo deberá conseguirse alrededor de $100.000 si cada uno ha venido descontando el 4 x 1000. El cuatro por mil tiene el valor de pasar desapercibido, no se siente su impacto sino cuando se empieza a sumar cada uno de esos gravámenes. 

    Si el PIB de 2010 fue de 548. (DANE - DEPARTAMENTO ADMINISTRATIVO NACIONAL DE ESTADÍSTICA, 2011) cifra que confieso no cabe en mi cabeza. Si moviéramos toda esa suma en una transacción serían $2.193,092 millones de pesos. Eso sin contar que son muchas las transacciones lo que implicaría que el recaudo estatal por este impuesto sería gigantesco. 

    Granos de arroz, trigo y hambre en el mundo.

    Hay algunos personajes que trabajan en la ONU que para discutir el problema del hambre en el mundo llegan llenitos luego de haber pagado los mejores hoteles 5 estrellas en New York. La comida debe ser de la mejor calidad y costosa. Ante esa situación cuando empiezan a discutir el tema con barrigas llenas, observan el problema y ven cómo comer un poquito menos sería bastante costoso y para no sufrir el dolor de ver la pobreza que su despilfarro ocasiona proponen matar a los pobres. Efectivamente, la solución es fácil: "seguimos comiendo igual y despilfarrando igual mientras matamos a aquellos que no pueden despilfarrar como nosotros.".

    Sin embargo, el problema del hambre no es de "exceso de población" sino de "desperdicio de comida". Cualquiera dirá que lo hago porque soy pro-vida o porque no creo que el calentamiento global sea ocasionado por el ser humano o como mínimo por la población. Somos 7.000 millones de personas, pero resulta que el número de hormigas ocupa la misma biomasa (o sea pesando TODAS las hormigas de la tierra pesan lo mismo que TODOS los seres humanos) (Chadwick & Moffet, 2011, pág. 86). La fuente del peso de las hormigas, como puede observarse, es la revista National Geographic de mayo de 2011, fuente científica acreditada a nivel mundial.

    Ahora bien, tomando en cuenta la misma revista pero del mes de julio tenemos un dato todavía más perverso y más triste sobre alimentación. Citemos la fuente textual. Refiriéndose frente a cómo alimentar un planeta creciente en su tercera solución plantea:
    "3. Reducir el desperdicio. Aproximadamente la mitad de las cosechas mundiales desaparecen 'entre el campo y el plato', dice Stockholm International Water Institute. El desperdicio, la desviación para fabricar alimentos para animales y el comportamiento del consumidor son factores que llevan a esto.". (TOMANIO, KLEBER, CASSIDY, WELLS, & BUZBY, 2011)
    Según el dato anterior no sería necesario aumentar las cosechas, bastaría que se acabara el desperdicio por el comportamiento desmedido del consumidor. La carencia proviene del derroche y la abundancia de la sobriedad. Cualquier persona pensadora a nivel actual, o sea lectora de periódicos, dirá: "pues que el estado impida el derroche". Sin embargo en ello también está la paradoja de lo poco, eso no lo hará el que tiene mucho poder, sino el pequeño poder de cada persona ante su plato. ¿Cómo entenderlo? Hagamos algunos análisis con gramos...

    ¿Cuánto pesa un gramo de arroz? De acuerdo con una fuente no tan fiable como Yahoo Answers pero en algo creíble, dice que un grano de arroz pesa 1.16 mg. Si cada persona del mundo desperdicia un grano de arroz, algo insignificante, el desperdicio acumulado sería de 8.12 toneladas. No soy nutricionista pero eso beneficiaría la dieta de miles de personas. El punto es ¿cuántos granos de arroz promedio desperdicia cada persona al día? 

    Al respecto de granos y desperdicio partiendo de la unidad hay una sabia leyendo sobre el momento en el que se inventó el ajedrez. El inventor llega ante el rey con el ajedrez y el rey le dice ¿qué puedo darte por esto? El inventor al principio no pidió nada pero ante la insistencia del rey le pidió "ordena que me den un grano de trigo por la primera casilla, dos por la segunda, 4 por la tercera y así sucesivamente hasta completar las 64 casillas." (PERELMAN, 2002, pág. 52). Al rey esto le pareció un insulto al fin y al cabo, sentía que le pedía demasiado poco... unos granitos de trigo no más.

    Pero hagamos el esquema matemático de lo que pedía el inventor del ajedrez:


    Si organizamos la propuesta en una serie encontraremos que sigue la siguiente secuencia:


    Concluyendo que la serie es 1+2^1+...+2^(n-1) por lo tanto por la última casilla recibirá 2^63 granos. 

    Plantación de trigo.
    No es la foto más hermosa pero se
    observa el efecto infinito.
    El caso es que sinteticemos la conclusión. Luego de un largo periodo de demora en el conteo de todos los matemáticos del rey veamos lo que pasó:

    "-Antes de comenzar tu informe [dice el rey], quiero saber si se ha entregado por fin (...) la mísera recompensa que ha solicitado.
    - Precisamente por eso me he atrevido a presentarme tan temprano -contestó el anciano [uno de los sabios del rey]. Hemos calculado escrupulosamente la cantidad total de granos que desea recibir... resulta una cifra tan enorme.
    -Sea cual fuere la cifra -le interrumpió con altivez el rey- mis graneros no empobrecerán. He prometido darle esa recompensa, y por lo tanto, hay que entregársela.
    -Soberano, o depende de tu voluntad cumplir semejante deseo. En todos tus graneros no existe la cantidad de trigo que exige. Tampoco existe en los graneros de todo el reino. Hasta los graneros del mundo entero son insuficientes. Si deseas entregar sin falta la recompensa prometida, ordena que todos los reinos de la Tierra se conviertan en labrantíos, manda desecar los mares y océanos, ordena fundir el hielo y la nieve que cubren los lejanos desiertos del norte. Que todo el espacio sea totalmente sembrado de trigo, y ordena que toda la cosecha obtenida en estos campos sea entregada [a él]. Sólo entonces recibirá su recompensa.
    El rey escuchaba lleno de asombro las palabras del anciano sabio.
    -Dime cuál es esa cifra tan monstruosa -dime reflexionando.
    -¡Oh soberano! Dieciocho trillones cuatrocientos cuarenta y seis mil setecientos cuarenta y cuatro billones setenta y tres mil setecientos nueve millones quinientos cincuenta y un mil seiscientos quince." (PERELMAN, 2002, pág. 55)
    Trascendiendo a lo místico: conclusión.
    Desde la V inicial hasta el último paréntesis este escrito consta de unas 2602 palabras y 12559 letras o signos y faltan unas pocas más. El punto es que una por una en unas 3 horas he llegado a tocar el teclado más de 12.600 veces una por una, palabra por palabra, sumando lentamente, pero sumando. Como estamos en navidad no puedo dejar de hacer el comentario místico, porque es el Espíritu Santo el que me inspira a escribir (yo iba a hacer un ensayo sobre por qué hay que ser sobrio, moralista como siempre y acabé partiendo de lo místico a lo económico) y los errores son míos. Ese Neuma, hálito o soplo quizás trabaja con la inmensa cantidad de lo poco, la paradoja de lo pequeño, la simple paloma que se posa. ¿Acaso nadie ha podido comprender que los vientos y las corrientes de aire son el trasfondo de las tormentas, lluvias e inundaciones? Quizás así sea el Espíritu Santo, sea esa pequeña mariposa del océano índico que con su movimiento preciso y conociendo todas las causas que lo influyen genera un huracán en el Atlántico. 

    Jesús es el ejemplo de esto. La multiplicación de los panes y los peces muestra cómo de unos pocos panes y peces se alimenta a una muchedumbre y lo que sobra se recoge. Aunque evidentemente es un milagro, no es lo milagroso lo que interesa, sino lo mucho que sale de lo poco su sentido o significado me parece más sorprendente, de la inmensa cantidad de lo poco, el infinito no es nada sin la unidad. Muchos son los ejemplos como el grano de mostaza (aunque lo discuten algunos tecnicistas pero al fin y al cabo de muchas semillas pequeñas salen cosas grandes). Todo el mensaje cristiano está en esa paradoja, un Dios que nace en lo poco pero que trae la más grande de las riquezas..., la salvación. hay que leer a Chesterton para mirar ese sentido cristiano como paradoja. 

    En la parábola de los talentos Jesús muestra cómo se confían ciertos bienes a unos trabajadores y aquí sale la frase bíblica que resume el mensaje aquí contenido:

    "Has sido fiel en lo poco, te confiaré lo mucho" (Mt. 25 vs 23)

    Esa es la inmensa, gigantesca, infinita cantidad de lo poco, de la unidad, lo pequeño o cuasi insignificante. Como los pitagóricos el sustento son las unidades (no los números por lo que ya expliqué) pero cada ente, por más insignificante que sea forma el todo. La sumatoria de cosas insignificantes es lo que produce la grandeza, la sorpresa, aquello invaluable. Sospecho que quizás esa es la lógica del Dios de los ejércitos, la adecuada valoración de lo que a los ojos del mundo es insignificante...

    El guayacán y sus flores.
    Un árbol que da tributo al cielo y cae humildemente a la tierra para que persista el ciclo de la belleza

    Chadwick, D. H., & Moffet, M. W. (Mayo de 2011). HERMANDAD DE TEJEDORAS. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (En Español) , 82-95.

    DANE - DEPARTAMENTO ADMINISTRATIVO NACIONAL DE ESTADÍSTICA. (25 de Noviembre de 2011). 'Producto Interno Bruto Departamental, a precios corrientes. '2000 - 2010pr. Miles de millones de pesos. Recuperado el 20 de Diciembre de 2011, de DANE: http://www.dane.gov.co/files/investigaciones/pib/departamentales/B_2005/PIB_Total_habitante_2010.xls

    Holmes, N. (Mayo de 2011). Población. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (En Español) .

    PAPPAS, T. (1996). LA MAGIA DE LA MATEMÁTICA. El orden oculto tras la naturaleza y el arte. (M. Rosenberg, Trad.) Madrid, España: Zugarto Ediciones S.A.

    PERELMAN, Y. (2002). Matemáticas recreativas. (F. Blanco, & C. Pérez, Trads.) Bogotá, Colombia: Planeta Colombiana S.A.


    TOMANIO, J., KLEBER, J., CASSIDY, M., WELLS, H., & BUZBY, J. (Julio de 2011). Cómo alimentar un planeta creciente. National Geographic , Sección Hoy (Inpaginado).

    TORO RESTREPO, D. (16 de Febrero de 2011). FINANZAS Y CUESTIÓN SOCIAL. REFLEXIONES SOBRE EL SISTEMA FINANCIERO. Recuperado el 20 de Diciembre de 2011, de EL ALISPRUZ: http://elalispruz.blogspot.com/2011/02/finanzas-y-cuestion-social-reflexiones.html

              Reconocer una página buena antes de apostar, objetivo #1        
    Hay que asegurarse siempre de que la plataforma en la que se está jugando y apostando es segura, lícita y tiene una seguimiento por parte del gobierno. Por esta misma razón existen páginas web como las web de ayuda en forma de resumenes, para informar al jugador de las opciones viables que hay en el [...]
              VLO and Oil        
    VLO and oil in general are taking a hit right now because of the warm winter (see article below), but I think VLO and oil will do well in the long term. There are many variables in the price of oil, and warm weather is only one of them. The winter is not over yet, there's still a chance colder weather will appear. The middle east conflicts also affects oil prices. If there is a shortage in supply, oil prices will go up. Odds are, the the prices of oil will go up in the long term. I'll hold on my shares of VLO. Verdict: HOLD on VLO ----------------------------------------- Source: Scottrade News 1/2/2007 Oil Prices Face Warm Weather, High Stocks The new year began with a whimper, weatherwise, in the world’s biggest heating oil market. In New York City, temperatures on the first day of 2007 hit a peak of 54 degrees - 45% above normal and 10 degrees warmer than the first day of spring 2006. The current spring-like weather - in line with forecasts - looks likely to put strong pressure on heating oil and crude oil futures prices when trading resumes on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday. But there’s more afoot that can rile the market than just the warmest December on record in Boston, in the heart of New England, where heating oil inventories stand at their highest level since 1998. Latest revised data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show oil demand in October in the U.S. - the world’s largest oil consumer - was 2.7% lower than expected, though still 2.5% above a year ago. The new figures put demand at 20.757 million barrels a day in October - some 567,000 barrels a day below earlier indications - as demand figures for heating oil, gasoline and jet fuel were reduced. EIA’s preliminary data would have put October demand at 21.324 million barrels a day, the highest level since December 2005. The weakness at the start of the fourth quarter calls into question whether U.S. demand will manage to post even the modest year-to-year gain of 1.25% to 21.05 million barrels a day, which EIA forecasts would make it the strongest quarter of 2006.
              My schedule has been so off because of the ...        
    My schedule has been so off because of the past few days. But tomorrow I get to be back on my normal schedule. Can't wait to resume my normal diet!
              Ninguém é perfeito!        

    Ninguém é perfeito

    por Natalia Bordalo

    Correria... tanta coisa pra fazer, e parece sempre faltar tempo. Não sei se agente desenvolve muitos interesses, ou se vivemos fugindo do essencial. De qualquer maneira, fim de ano se aproxima e parece que esse sentimento só cresce, bem como as famosas listas do que fazer. E para muitos o resultado é estresse.

    Uma das raízes do estresse em nosso dia-a-dia se resume a acreditar que tudo deve ser feito de maneira excepcional, se não perfeitamente. E como toda boa mãe (e pai), somos muitas vezes nossos piores algozes. As expectativas que temos de nós mesmos são tipicamente muito maiores do que o que os outros jamais terão de nós.

    A perfeição tem que ficar de fora das nossas listas!

    Se você é uma mãe de crianças pequenas, pré-adolescentes, ou de adolescentes, é importante refletir que esses anos maternais são assaz passageiros. E um belo dia chegará o momento em que a casa estará tranquila e quieta. Enquanto isso, agente fica-se sentindo como se todas as tarefas nunca são feitas e que de alguma forma, porque há brinquedos espalhados pela casa, espelhos com manchas de pasta de dente, você não está dando conta do recado. Mas está.

    É muito mais importante passar 5 minutinhos sentada calmamente, enquanto um pequeno cochila ou os maiores estão na escola, para inspirar e expirar, para renovar-se com uma postura de yoga ou simplesmente se perder num devaneio do que passar esse tempinho precioso lavando, esfregando, cozinhando ou arrumando. Vamos desacelerar minha gente, está tudo bem. Nada tem que ser perfeito. Relacionamentos veem em primeiro lugar. Então, se uma criança (uma amiga ou você mesma) precisa de um dengo extra ou do seu ouvido atento, coloca isso no topo da sua lista e afaste-se do e-mail que você está escrevendo, do blog que está lendo, da panela que está esfregando ou da sujeira que está te encarando (nóia!).

    Tudo vai se ajeitar, e isso é perfeito.
    *******    ************************** *******************  ****************** *******
    Esse texto lindo da Natalia me lembrou de um livro que foi muito útil na criação da minha filha mais velha que é super critica e perfeccionista desde de muito pequena!


              A Tailor Made Resume With Interview Call..        
    Landing the dream job is the main dream of everyone’s life. Nowadays getting an interview call letter not an easy task. Because more than 100 people apply for a single job. So if you want to short lis...
              No, North Korea (probably) won’t nuke the US territory of Guam        
    Despite the bluster, Kim-Jong-un’s North Korea is unlikely to want war. It’s time to treat the country like a nuclear power and resume diplomatic talks
              The Gamma — Visualizing Olympic Medalists        

    Olympic Games are perfect opportunity to do a fun data visualization project - just like New Year, you can easily predict when they will happen and you can get something interesting ready in advance. I used this year's Games in Rio as a motivation to resume working on The Gamma project. If you did not read my previous article, the idea is to build tooling for open, reproducible and interactive data-driven storytelling. When you see a visualization, not only you should be able to see how it has been created (what data it uses & how), but you should also be able to modify it, without much programming experience, and look at other interesting aspects of the data.

    The first version of The Gamma project tries to do some of this, using historical and current data on Olympic medals as a sample dataset. You can play with the project at The Gamma web site:

    Without further ado, here are the most important links if you want to explore how it all works on your own. However, continue reading and I'll describe the most important parts!

    The project is still in early stages and the code needs more documentation (and ReadMe files, I know!) However, if you would be interested in using it for something or you have some interesting data to visualize, do not hesitate to ping me at @tomaspetricek. Also, thanks to the DNI Innovation Fund for funding the project and to the Alan Turing Institute for providing a place to work on this over the coming months!

              Normal system resumes...        

    I'm always very pleased to be able to earn a little extra money but I'm also so grateful to return to my lovely 'retired' life.  Because of being a poll clerk at the general election I had to do the food shopping on Friday instead of last Thursday. There were several errands to run in town and of course there was the school run. I still found time to visit the 3:16 charity shop though, and picked up this little lacy cardigan in the 1.00 basket. The last time I had a rummage in the 1.00 box here I found a Ted Baker skirt and top for my daughter!

    Everything is charity shopped except the shoes - local retail outlet.  The patterned tunic is from Debenhams and is a stalwart of my summer wardrobe since I bought it about four years ago.
    Photos courtesy of youngest grandson.
    I  recently bought the blue necklace in the Red Cross shop and the white jeans. I've had the earrings for many years; the silver and turquoise cuff was bought for 2.50 in the RSPCA shop in Bedford.

    In the 3:16 shop I also bought 3 colourful (pink, blue and yellow) painted bangles for 50p each and a nice Marcasite brooch for 1.00. I wore it on this jacket when I was running my errands but it was too warm on Friday really for a jacket.

    Saturday was a lovely day with a clear blue sky, very warm and a good breeze. I had a leisurely stroll around town to do more errands and spent the afternoon in the garden reading and sewing the ends of the blanket in.

    All jewellery charity shopped. I'm wearing two of the bangles I bought on Friday.

    Everything charity shopped. The tunic is by H&M and was a 1.00 rail bargain somewhere; the white lace top the same and I can't remember where I bought the harem pants from but it was a charity shop. I have a similar pair I bought from Bedford market years ago for £5.00 but with a different pattern and set of colours.

    The  gold sequinned shoes were brand new and picked up at Barnardo's in Great Denham for 99p!

    I spent the rest of the afternoon at my best friend Ann's house. We hadn't seen each other since the 60th birthday party in March and it was good to catch up. We're going to have a day out together next Thursday. Ann is a carer for her husband who had a stroke 18 months ago and it will be a good break for her.

    I had just washed my hair and it wasn't quite dry. When it is dry I use Argan oil on it which gives it a shine...

    On Sunday I went out early for a walk and walked 7 miles. I came back and did the usual Sunday housework and cooked Sunday dinner.

    Necklace present from OH; earrings, Bedford market and all other jewellery charity shopped.

    Everything is charity shopped. The top was from a 1.00 rail at the Red Cross; the grey embroidered skirt from Barnardo's in Ampthill - it's by The White Stuff and was 2.99; the gold slip on shoes were 99p at Barnardo's in Great Denham.

    On Monday I volunteered at the Red Cross. I rescued a Monsoon pleated skirt from the rag bag...

    On Tuesday I was at the Guild House in the morning and did an extra shift in the afternoon at the Red Cross. I'm going to be in Ireland for two months so felt I should offer to do extra to make up for my long absence...

    I was on my feet from ten in the morning until nearly five so I was in need of a good sit down when I got home! I wore my floral trousers bought from Age UK in Stevenage; blue t shirt charity shopped somewhere a few years ago; cardigan from La Redoute sale about six years ago. It was the very first thing I ever bought at La Redoute.
    I must have been looking at a bird...

    Pink Mary Jane's charity shopped.

              A very happy week was spent with...        

    This is my cousin, Linda. She is the oldest of the cousins on my mum's side and we first met when I was 7 (in 1961) in my granny's house in Ireland.  Linda had never visited England before so she came to spend 5 days with me in April; we had such an enjoyable time.

    In the photo above I'm wearing an  embroidered wool waistcoat from a charity shop which Linda bought me.  I'd seen this same waistcoat on a rummaging expedition with the OH last year and didn't buy it. I'd been regretting it ever since!

     Linda and I spent a whole day charity shopping and a couple of hours on another day. We went to the Ampthill and Great Denham charity shops and quite a lot of the Bedford ones.  There were still seven charity shops in Bedford we didn't have time to visit  so that's for Linda's next trip. Did Linda find anything? Yes! She found some beautiful cardigans;  some trousers, a sweater and some shoes. I found a pair of jeans; some colourful trousers; a skirt and some pictures for Ruby Super.

    We went for dinner at my daughter's one evening and also managed to fit in two six mile walks on two different days. On one of our walks, Linda marched up the drive marked 'Private Property' and in the photo above is at the door of Clapham Park House which was:

    'Originally built in 1873 for the Howard Family, founders of the Britannia Works in Bedford, Park House is a magnificent striking piece of Victorian architecture in a French Gothic style.' (From the Rightmove website).

    We went to London for the day on Saturday where we saw the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the Treasury. This was taken in Parliament Square. We also went to the Tower of London.

    We set out to visit the Perspehone bookshop in Bloomsbury but got there too late...

    We went to Harrods at Linda's request and splashed out on some pastries - I'd scoffed mine by the time I took this photo. Linda's is still in the bag...

    I'd never been to Harrods before. I was wondering why the sales assistant was staying so close to my side in the women's wear department as I was stroking a white suede and fur coat. Then I looked at the price tag - £35,000!!

    We spent the rest of the day in Chelsea where we paid a flying visit to my eldest grandson at work and then met up with my brother and went out for a meal.

    On Sunday the family came for the dinner.

    These are the colourful trousers I bought in a Bedford charity shop and all the other items I'm wearing are also charity shopped. 

    I took Linda to the airport last Monday and was very sad to see her go. I always wanted a sister when I was growing up and feel that I have a sister in Linda. 
    Life resumed as normal on Tuesday with a stint at the Food Bank.

    Everything charity shopped. Purple velvet jeans; Red Cross 1.99. Grey waistcoat is from Gap and patterned shirt is from M&S. 

    Boots - Christmas present from daughter.

    Beads present from OH but charity shopped as are the earrings, bangles and watch.

    On Wednesday I invigilated at the university where I used to teach. I shall be doing more invigilation in May and in June shall be poll clerking on election day. All the little extra cash is most welcome as I still have another 2.5 years before I get my state pension...

    Everything, except the boots, is from a charity shop. The tunic, which has a French label was 1.99 at the Red Cross - the collar has a row of hook and eyes fastening as do the sleeves. I chose to leave them open as the beige (gah!) trim made a nice contrast and went with the beige M& S trousers. The waistcoat was from the 99p rail in Barnardo's. All jewellery is charity shopped except the earrings which are from Sainsbury's. The headscarf is a recent acquisition (must stop buying them - the picnic basket where I store them is filling up) from the 3:16 shop for 1.00.

    On Thursday I did the usual food shopping and went for a 6 mile walk. My youngest grandson is staying every Thursday evening now as my daughter has taken up boxing and has a late training session. I take both grandsons to and from school on Friday so it is just as easy for him to stay overnight with me.

    This is the tunic/dress I bought in the Killybegs charity shop for 2 euros. It's by Apricot and I loved the red orange flower display around the bottom. Everything is charity shopped including the boots, but the grey leggings are from Sainsbury's Tu range.

    All jewellery charity shopped including this necklace which I also bought in the same Killybegs charity shop as the tunic but about two years ago. It's a bit of a treasure trove that charity shop...

    I went on a bus walk with the Ramblers on Friday and we walked from Henlow to Langford and back again; about 6.5 miles. I kept my jacket on the whole time as although it was a nice bright day the wind was chilly. 

    This is the Holy Trinity Church in Clapham, London and the site for the origins of The Bible Society.

    I walked again on Saturday; only this time it was in London and the 34th 'Unlock'  London walk. You can read about the 'Unlock' walks HERE in more detail, but they are essentially fund raising walks for urban charities, visiting a range of different churches in different parts of London.

    This year the walk was in Battersea and Clapham. It's the third consecutive year I've done this walk and it's always very interesting. It attracts those of a religious persuasion (not me!) and walkers.

    This is St. Mary's on the Thames path near to Battersea bridge. It wasn't one of the seven churches on the walk but I rather liked it.

    Battersea Bridge built in 1890

    We ate our lunch here. Behind this bridge (Battersea Railway Bridge, built in 1863) was a helicopter landing pad; the helicopters were arriving and taking off about every ten minutes.

    I wondered about this building  in Comyn Road, SW11 - it looks like a boring red brick red modern building, but if you look carefully there are a couple of old fashioned, possibly Victorian, dresses sculpted on the front of it. Was it originally the site of a factory? An orphanage? A school? I wish I knew - and Google wasn't any help.

    This beautiful flowering tree was in the sub tropical section of Battersea Park but I have no idea what it was.

    This Victorian Gothic church is called St. Nectarios; it's near Lavender Hill and is now a Greek Orthodox church containing the most beautiful icons.

    We walked about 7.5 miles on the walk and if I include my walk to and from the station it was more than 8 in total. We returned to King's Cross by bus and I just managed to snap this sculpture; behind Marble Arch, from the top deck front seat of the bus. It was almost like being back at school again!

    On Sunday I went to see my son

    Everything charity shopped except the boots which were a Christmas present several years ago; the necklace and earrings were donated to me by my daughter.  The Next corduroy blazer bought from Red Cross for 1.99 about a year ago.

    White jeans bought in Derry and the spotted top was bought on my rummages with Linda, in the Ampthill Barnardo's.

    I was quite excited as it seemed warmer and sunnier on Sunday. I thought I might begin the winter to summer wardrobe swap over but changed my mind as the day went on and it got colder and colder...

    Monday was a bank holiday but it was business as usual at the Red Cross. I started at 10 am instead of 9.30 am but finished at the same time. Did I buy anything? Yes, I did. 2 more necklaces (naughty me!) one turquoise and one an orangey yellow colour. A yellow top and a cardigan both 1.99 each. Two books for my friend Hilary; whom I'm hoping to visit in Devon at the end of May or in June.

    This is the Desigual tunic/dress I bought in  the Red Cross in Derry. The top underneath is from Primarni; the leggings were bought retail at Sainsbury's and the Mary Jane's are from a local shoe outlet. I had left them behind in the caravan and made sure I brought them back with me as I hoped we may soon start to have a summer...

    All jewellery charity shopped and the head scarf was one of 3 bought at the 3:16 charity shop.

    My crochet blanket is coming along nicely, but I'm not getting that much reading done. I never do when I'm crocheting. I did manage to read the last of my 'Furrowed Middlebrow' birthday books and have now read four in this imprint. I've enjoyed them all but none have gripped me in the way many books have and I doubt I shall be buying anymore. They are also very tightly bound and you have to 'crack' the spine or fold the pages back severely to read the books properly. I still have two new Persephone books (also birthday books) to read and then there's all those books on TBR pile...

    I really want to start the winter to summer swap over but I daren't - it's too damn cold. Here's hoping it warms up soon!

               Normal service is resumed        
    Hello everyone! 

    It seems like a long time ago since I last posted but it's only been 24 days. In that time I've been to Donegal for two weeks and my cousin from Ireland came to visit me here in Bedford. I have had a wonderful three weeks and it was also good to have a break from blogging! I did miss everyone else's blogs and have tried to catch up since I returned.

    I'm going to dedicate this part of the post to Fiona of 'Made in a Muddle' here. Fiona has a mobile home in France and asked me to do a post about about my mobile home in Ireland - so here goes.

    The site we stay at  is at the top of a hill and has about 180 mobile homes in total. It is split into two separate areas by a road. There is a children's playground; a green play space with trees and tyre swings; a football/tennis/basketball pitch; picnic sites and a hut for wet weather activities, on site. There are also woods to the rear of the site, two nearby lakes and lots of local beaches.  Our mobile home is on the upper slope of the hill and at the end of a row. It is a truly beautiful spot and we are surrounded by mountains.

    We are 17 miles from the town of Donegal; 3.5 miles from Killybegs and about 7 miles from Ardara. There is a garage cum post office cum grocery shop cum deli at the bottom of the hill, about 4 miles away and it's our nearest shop.

    Image may contain: sky, cloud, house, plant, tree, outdoor and nature

    This is 'Ruby Super' hereafter referred to as the 'caravan'. She is a static caravan or mobile home made by Atlas and was originally made in the mid to late 1990s. I bought her in April 2014 after I retired in March. I had the wooden decking/patio and base around the caravan made especially. Ruby Super has three bedrooms but can sleep eight people as the seating area in the living area pulls down into a double bed.

    There is no central heating but I do have a gas fire in the living room and two other electric heaters. However, electric voltage is is limited in a caravan and you learn pretty quickly how many electrical items can be in use at the same time. When the electricity is 'tripped' it's only a short walk to the decking to 'throw' the switch. As it can get very cold, in the evenings especially, I always have a good supply of throws and blankets which are stored in the large basket.

    I like the layout in the caravan  - apart from the sleeping areas and bathroom, everything else is open plan. From the kitchen window and two of the bedroom windows I can see St. John's Point which is one of the longest peninsulas in Ireland.  The peninsula is separated on either side by McSwyne's Bay and Inver Bay; which feed into Donegal Bay and the North Atlantic Ocean. On a clear day, I can also see Ben Bulben mountain  across Donegal Bay in Co. Sligo. If you look very carefully at the picture below, in the distance on the left hand side you can just make out Ben Bulben. There were very few clear days on this trip but when it is clear it's as if I can lean out of the window and touch the sea!

    The kitchen is compact but has lots of storage space. I have no washing machine but there is a laundry on site with two washing machines and two tumble dryers. They are not free; unfortunately...

    This is the bathroom. There is a shower to the left of the photo.

    There is a separate loo

    One double bedroom complete with another wardrobe of clothes, shoes, jewellery and perfume!

    Two twin bedrooms.

    When we've been away from the caravan between September to Easter, the caravan suffers from mildew. We leave plates of salt and humidifiers (non electrical) bought at hard ware shops to help with the mildew. This year we've left the blinds up and curtains open to maximise any sunshine and warmth; until I return in July. The caravan heats up really quickly when it's sunny. 

    We also have to pack any clothing or textiles, including bedding, away in plastic bags to avoid them becoming mildewed. If we were able to visit more frequently this would be less of an issue. So far though, it has been the only problem we've experienced and we love Ruby Super. When I return in July, I shall be applying weather protection stain to the decking and washing the outside of the caravan with a mop and bucket. Thanks to Fiona for alerting me to this - it was in the terms and conditions,  but I had completely missed it!


    Are you ready for some outfit posts? Not many I'm afraid; I was too busy having a good time!

    I only managed one selfie with the selfie stick. Everything charity shopped. Cardigan; 50p at a jumble sale, top; £1.00 rail somewhere, can't remember where I bought the trousers.

    All jewellery and headscarf charity shopped.

    When OH arrived we spent a day in Derry.

    Taken outside the Guildhall in Co.Derry. Everything charity shopped except the bag; online retail and the boots; Christmas present. The mac is by Max Mara and I bought it for 4 euros at my favourite charity shop in Killybegs, Co. Donegal. I also bought a pair of brown trousers and a green and black pair of trousers there for 2 euros each and a tunic by Apricot for 3 euros. It was a chilly day in Derry hence the gloves and scarf!

    I'm standing against the wall that once surrounded the city of Derry. This plaque is in memory of all those who were killed  by weapon systems within the city and district of Derry.

    Another part of the wall. 
    OH and I had a really good rummage in the charity shops of Derry on Easter Saturday. There were nine in total that we found and only one was closed. I was quite restrained for a change (!) and bought a necklace in a hospice shop and a Desigual tunic top in the Red Cross shop; where I got discount bringing the price down from £6.00 to £4.80! On the way to Derry we stopped at Ballyboffey to have a rummage and I bought a pair of trainers and a pair of walking shoes for 99 cents each. In the Donkey Sanctuary charity shop I bought a ring for 5 euros and a couple of books.

    This picture was taken in Letterkenny, where we stopped for a meal on the way back from Derry. I have no idea what the sculpture is and there was no information about it that I could see.

     We also spent a day in Sligo where we went rummaging as well as visiting family. I bought some white jeans for 2.50 euros and a couple of bangles. I also visited another cousin and his wife in Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo before OH came out. This the view of the Atlantic from their garden:

    On that occasion my cousin's wife, Martina and another cousin Caroline, and I, went walking around the base of Ben Bulben. It was a beautiful walk and we had two dogs with us who were very well behaved throughout. 

    And other than reading, eating, sleeping, a bit of walking, listening to the radio and starting (finally) a new crochet blanket, I did very little else! 

    Only another 100+ rows to go....
    I'll post about my cousin's visit in my next post. It's good to be back!

              Freshman Year—Welcome to high school!        
    • Build strong academic, language, mathematics and critical thinking skills by taking challenging courses (Honors, Pre-AP). A diverse course curriculum will help you learn about a variety of subjects and possibly introduce you to new areas of interest. Colleges will evaluate your freshman grades when you apply for admission.
    • Don't be afraid to ask questions of teachers and counselors. They are there to help!
    • Get involved in extracurricular activities that you are excited about, both in school and within the community.
    • Surf the web and look at college websites. You can learn about various schools, what they offer and their admission requirements.


      • Create an informal resume of academic achievements, awards, extracurricular activities, community service hours, and any other activities. It will come in handy when you're filling out college applications or creating a formal resume.
      • Plan and register for your sophomore year schedule. You have until the end of the academic year to make changes.


      • Going on a family vacation? Is there a college nearby? Consider taking the time to visit college campuses. Seeing campuses will give you a better idea of what is important to you in a college, e.g. size, location, urban vs. rural, etc.

              SEE THRU EXHIBITION OPENED 8.14.10 GALLERY 825 LOS ANGELES        

    THURSDAY, AUGUST 19, 2010


    Professor Shinsuke Shimojo of CalTech, 
    a world-renowned researcher and expert in field of vision, 
    perception and cognitive neuroscience inspired artists from LAAA/Gallery 825 
    to create new work reflecting scientific principals 
    exploring the intersection between photography, neuroscience and the arts.

    Ann Marie Rousseau photographs Romann Weber for "Science and Surveillance" 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook 


    Science and Surveillance

    The work in this project plays off Shinsuke Shimojo’s studies on perception and the interplay of emotion, decision-making and consciousness.* Our eyes are constantly scanning our surroundings in rapid leaps, instantaneously accumulating information as they move several times per second, all without conscious effort or knowledge. Shimojo describes the “gaze cascade effect,” in which a subject's gaze between two objects under consideration gradually shifts to favor the object ultimately chosen.  Research has indicated that these gaze cascades, also called orienting, are deeply involved in higher-level brain functions such as decision making.

    In experiments asking subjects to compare two faces and label one as either attractive or unattractive, Shimojo discovered that the more that someone looks at a particular face, the more he or she wants to look at it, and consequently the more likely it becomes that the face will be labeled as “attractive.”  This happens even before the viewer makes a conscious decision.  His research also found that the participants' judgments of attractiveness versus unattractiveness could be manipulated by limiting the length of time they were allowed to look at a particular face. According to Shimojo, the unconscious, spontaneous movements of the eyes work in concert and affect what are presumed to be more deliberate cognitive tasks when making choices.  

    Various studies in cognitive and neuro sciences have demonstrated that images—of a face, for instance—and semantic contents such as verbal labels interact through various mechanisms in order to produce a stable and consistent interpretation of the image.  In today’s modern surveillance society, labeling occurs in myriad ways, both benign and nefarious.  This continual labeling has far broader scope and more serious consequences than ordinary judgments of "attractive" and "unattractive," but it is perhaps influenced by some of the same subliminal forces shown in Shimojo’s work.

    The lineup of "perpetrators" in this installation shows faces with labels quite contrary to the presumed task of security surveillance, which aims to identify malefactors, terrorists, criminals, dangerous subjects and other potential wrongdoers. Instead these labels, which have been loosely extrapolated from the Buddhist tenets of the ten perfections, seek to discern those with traits most useful, beneficial, lasting and constructive for society.  Although these labels are essentially positive, the viewer cannot help but approach them with a consciousness of what it is to be watched and labeled specifically, and an appreciation of the complex tensions inherent in labeling in general.

    •“Gaze bias both reflects and influences preference,” Shinsuke Shimojo, Claudiu Simion, Eiko Shimojo, & Christian Scheier, Nature Neuroscience, Advance online publication, 9 November 2003; doi:10.1038/nn1150

    Romann Weber

    Marcie Kaufmann

    Ginger Van Hook

    Elizabeth Tobias

    Krista Kahl

    Mei Xian Qiu

    Meg Madison

    Siri Kaur

    Ching Ching Cheng

    Shana Mabari

    Krista Kahl and Ann Marie Rousseau

    Krista Kahl, Mei Xian Qiu and Ann Marie Rousseau

    Krista Kahl and Ginger Van Hook during the installation 
    of Connection 1 and Connection 2. Photo by Ann Marie Rousseau

    Dori Atlantis, Ching-Ching Cheng, Meg Madison and Mei Xian Qiu
    6' x 17' x 13'   Digital Photographs, Plexiglass, Monofilament     
    Photo by Ann Marie Rousseau

    Color Space
    Ching-Ching Cheng
    9"x9"x9" Urethane, Pigment Photo by Ann Marie Rousseau

    Blue Volumetric
    Yoichi Kawamura, Shana Mabari and Shinsuke Shimojo
    42” x 42” x 42” Plexiglass Cube + Mixed Materials
    Photo by Ann Marie Rousseau 

    Color Space
    Ching-Ching Cheng
    9"x9"x9" Urethane, Pigment 
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Blue Volumetric
    Yoichi Kawamura, Shana Mabari and Shinsuke Shimojo
    42” x 42” x 42” Plexiglass Cube + Mixed Materials (Photo by Ginger Van Hook)

    Optic Chasm
    Mei Xian Qiu
    Dimensions Varied – Plexiglass Cube, Water, 
    Used Motor Oil, Projector, Tempera. 
    (Photo by Ginger Van Hook)

    Painting and Photograph copyright by Luke and Ginger E. Van Hook, 2004
    Courtesy of the Van Hook Collection

    The Art of Lovin' Animals
    Features a group of artists inspired,
    motivated or influenced by their beloved pets
    and appear in this blog in the following order:

    Joshua Elias, Simone Gad, Betty Glass, David Newsom,
    Monrovia Association of Fine Arts supporters
    (KidsArt Studio, PaintNPlay Art Studios, Tyson & Tillman Skate Dogs)
    Family Dog and Cat Hospital in Monrovia, California (displays animal artwork).
    Ginger Van Hook, Luke Van Hook,
    Alex in Welderland, Elena Wolek, and Zareh.

    Additionally as part of the "Art of Lovin' Animals"
    there is a special book and movie review of
    John Grogan's book "Marley and Me", and the recent hit movie
    starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson

    Written by Enilde G. Van Hook with special thanks to all participating artists!

    Do you remember your first pet? I do. I even have a picture of how much bigger my cats’ paws were than my two feet put together at the age of three. My mother, tells me I had a yellow duck, a small dog and a large yellow tabby cat that owned me as a child.
    These three pets were protective, possessive and they were my first companions as I ventured out, for the first time, into my wild back yard of dirt and weeds. I was born in Rosario Argentina and to me now as an adult, my backyard is still my world. I live in Los Angeles, California but the romance of the Argentinean Pampas is not lost on me. From the pictures of my past, I gathered that my Belgian Grandfather, Francisco, ran a plant nursery in Buenos Aires and that my father, Luis, grew up to be an inventor in America. But the most unique connection I have to my past is my relationship with animals. I’ve had a pet at almost every age as I grew up. The importance of this type of companionship has not been explored enough in the art world, at least, this is my opinion. This is the reason I am blogging about the subject of the art and inspiration of lovin’ pets. I hope to instigate discussion, if not compassion. I hope to motivate an artistic response to my thoughts as well. You may have a completely different experience, so I personally encourage you to post your comments after you read this entry.
    This is what I asked myself for the subject of the essay for Ginger's Art Journal. What is the relationship of animals and pets to the art world? How involved are animals throughout the art strata? How much inspiration is gathered from the love of a pet? Can that even be measured? Does the love of a pet inspire political causes? Activism? How does one explain the pangs of loneliness from the loss of a pet? Does the death of a pet make an artist create more art? Does the gift of a new life of a pet inspire hope and renewal in artists? How do artists express their love and affection for the four-legged critters of our earth? How do animals, pets, pet trees, pet rocks or pets of any kind affect the process of making art?
    There are a number of artists that I have followed for a period of time to investigate the questions that will make up this entry. Studying the work of a number of local artists from the Los Angeles and surrounding areas that work with pets in their art practice, I will present some of their unique stories with photos. The artists, in alphabetical order, include Joshua Elias, Simone Gad, Betty Glass, David Newsom, Ginger Van Hook and Luke Van Hook, Alexandra from Alex in Welderland, Lena Wolek and Zareh. Additionally, the art of lovin’ animals has made a seamless transition from the literary art into the film arts so I will discuss one of my favorite books by John Grogan named “Marley and Me” as it compares to its latest movie version of “Marley and Me” starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson which opened in December for Christmas Day.
    The method selected to choose these artists was random. I began my animal photographic study in 2006. Through my daily practice of studying the arts, I have come across people who were “in my back yard” and came to connect with me in a special way. I didn’t set out to write a story about animals. I merely went about my daily routine of photographing people and artwork that caught my “eye” because I was at the right place at the right time. Believing that the universe has a special plan for me, I allowed this story to evolve of its own volition. What I discovered both surprised me and opened me up. What I mean by this is that I was surprised to discover that artists who had pets had a great deal in common with other artists who had pets. Most people know and understand the history that reveals how the Egyptians revered cats and how the dog is considered “man’s best friend”. While it was common to have general conversations about how great it was to have pets and create pet portraits, I rarely came across artists that spoke to the deeper underlying significance in the arts about this specifically. While doing this research, I came across the most extreme case of worshiping our pets. The act of cloning has been in the news ever since the cloning of “Dolly” the sheep, but did you know that now there is a company that has launched itself into a commercial venture to clone man’s best friend? I discovered this and lots more so enjoy the new year in 2009 with a renewed commitment to your beloved pet. This is an ongoing story so don’t feel left out if your best friend isn’t included in this entry. I’m still reviewing artwork and pet portraits,
    feel free to send me an email about your animal story and I’ll include it in the followup stories!


    Fine Arts Painter

    Joshua Elias, Exhibition, DCA Fine Arts
    Santa Monica, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2007
    Winston and Lucille read art literature on the couch and
    wait for Joshua Elias to become inspired to feed them.
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008
    Paintings by Joshua Elias
    Art in the making at the Brewery Artist Colony
    Los Angeles, California, 2008
    Studio visit by Ginger Van Hook
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook
    Artist brushes belonging to Joshua Elias
    The instruments by which Joshua Elias creates the canvas of weather and inspiration.
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008
    DCA Fine Arts Gallery, Joshua Elias with Mathew Heller and his girlfriend
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook 2007
    Joshua Elias, Exhibition at DCA Fine Arts Gallery
    Santa Monica, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2007
    Joshua Elias with his cats Winston and Lucille
    in his studio at the Brewery Arts Complex in Los Angeles, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008

    Joshua Elias
    Artist Statement

    Art has become about large quantities of Resin, masquerading as Content. The focus has been on Process, confusing it with Content. Enough. I wish to focus on Content. Story and Vibration lead the way for me to paint.

    I work in oil because of the depth and movement that it allows for me, as a medium. I focus on Landscapes that are rearranged. Traveling spirits act as guides, to the movement of a particular painting. The influence of Moorish architecture and its many doorways offers and allows entryways into paintings.

    At present we are in a period of Time where there seems to be long standing fights over Space, Time Religion, Money, Ideology, and Relationships. Enough. The one thing we do all share is Weather. Through the action of Creating our own environment, our own personal Weather, the Repositioning of Weather can illuminate and allow for more Creation to happen, more of a Life Force to shine and to take shape.

    ï¿_ Joshua Elias

    Courtesy of the DCA website

    Fine Arts Painter, Collage Artist, Actor and Performer
    Simone Gad, Artist, Solo Show, L2Kontemporary Gallery
    February 2008 Chinatown, Los Angeles, California,
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Selfportrait with Max and Bella/Autoportrait avec Max et Bella
    Private collection, photo courtesy of Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005
    Gad/Rin-Tin-Tin Collection Long Beach Museum of Art
    Courtesy Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Picture Holocaust Clowns - Pinups 127, Gad and Poodle
    Courtesy Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Selfportrait with Cat and Jesus
    Private collection, Courtesy of Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Hommage a Ma Mere 2005 Painting Collage
    Copyright and Collection- Simone Gad
    Courtesy Simone Gad-Artist
    Photograph by Antonio Garcia

    Autoportrait avec Kashmir, painting collage 2005/06
    Courtesy Simone Gad- Artist and L2Kontemporary Gallery
    Chinatown, Los Angeles, California. Copyright Simone Gad

    Portrait of Bella, the Brindle cat, acting secretary for Artist, Simone Gad
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Bella the Brindle Cat, (on the Marilyn and JFK Installation)
    Photo copyright and courtesy of
    Jesse Bonderman and Simone Gad,

    Bella, the Brindle Cat #2 (Marilyn Installation)
    Photo courtesy of Jessie Bonderman and Simone Gad

    Portrait of Simone Gad, Artist with companion, Bella.
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Portrait of Bella
    The Brindle cat, Artist assistant, model
    and loyal companion to Simone Gad.
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Max and Bella pose for pictures in the window of Simone Gad's artist studio
    Los Angeles, California
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Simone Gad poses with one of her paintings of Chinatown
    during her solo show at L2Kontemporary Gallery
    Chinatown, Los Angeles, California
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Enilde Van Hook writer's notes: I met Simone Gad at an exhibition of her work in Chinatown in the spring of 2008. The L2Kontemporary Gallery is a unique gallery located at 990 N. Hill Street #205 in Downtown Los Angeles (90012), California. I received an email from ArtScene, a wonderful source of local Art Events that is produced by the staff of Coagula Art Journal. Special thanks to Michael Salerno and Mat Gleason, because somewhere in the announcement, I read that Simone Gad was a Belgium-born artist and this led me to want to meet her to talk about the art in Belgium, where my grandfather had been born. Once I attended her exhibit and got a chance to meet Simone, I realized there was a distinct cultural connection we had through our reverence to the animals. She used images of her cats to make intriguing and poignant self-portraits and insightful photographic collages.
    I have followed Simone Gad’s work into 2009 and you will enjoy visiting her site through the L2Kontemporary Gallery located in Chinatown in Los Angeles: Follow these links to get to know a renaissance artist, a versatile film and TV actress, a woman of many talents and an artist who has a great deal of compassion to show for her animal friends: visit the online gallery site at http://www.l2kontemporary.com to view her solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume which may be viewed at saatchigallery.org by writing in her name or wooloo.org by writing in Simone Gad’s name.
    Special thanks to the L2Kontemporary Gallery for cooperating with my interview! (www.L2Kontemporary.com and L2Kontemporary@sbcglobal.net and phone: 323-225-1288)

    Simone Gad
    Artist Statement and Biography: 2009

    I've been showing in museums and galleries for 40 years-am a 6 times grants recipient, including a CRA Grant 1986, the Woman's Building 1985/6, New Orleans Contemporary Museum of Art 1984, the Gottlieb Foundation-NYC/Painting Medical Emergency Grant, Change Inc-Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Grant-both in 2002 for painting and medical emergency, and Artist Fellowship Foundation Grant in 2007-NYC. I am included in the Archives of the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian-Washington, DC, and will also be included in the Lyn Kienholz Encyclopedia of Los Angeles Artists who have shown between 1944 and 1979. In Los Angeles, I am represented by L2kontemporary Gallery-Chinatown, Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco, and am showing in Spain. I am also in the traveling museum exhibition-Your Documents Please thru 2010 in Japan/Europe/Mexico curated by Daniel Georges of Brooklyn, NY. I was born in Brussels, Belgium to holocaust survivor parents, from Poland. We came to the US in the early 1950's and settled in Boyle Heights/E.L.A, after arriving at Ellis Island. My mother got me into show-biz at the age of 4 upon our immigration. I grew up in the entertainment field as a young actress-have been working professionally in film, tv, commercials and theatre ever since. Have always had a dual career-.visual/performance artist and actor. George Herms and Wallace Berman were my first mentors. Al Hansen was my mentor from 1972 to 1995 when he passed away in Koln, Germany.

    My cats Max and Bella Bettina Kashmir are my inspiration for many of my painting collages-have been so for many years. I've always been inspired by my cats and dogs that I've had since I arrived to this country from War torn Europe. My father got me my first dog-Teddy Queeny when I was a child living on Folsom Street-We had just returned from a movie on Brooklyn Avenue when we saw the puppies on our way home. I was allowed to have one-and I was so happy. But my mother hated animals and wouldn't let me keep my pet with me in my bedroom and it cried all night. I was heartbroken when I got home from Nursery School the following day and found that my dog was gone. My mom told me she had sent it to New Jersey to live with my Tante Sally. I wasn't allowed to have any animals after that. Years later I visited my aunt and asked her if she had taken care of my Teddy Queeny and she told me she never did-she never got the dog-didn't know what I was talking about. I realized that my mother had lied to me and had possibly killed my beloved doggie. I had moved to Topanga Canyon for a while in the late 1960's-that's where I got to know Wallace Berman and George Herms. I was given a miniature sheppard-who I named Lady. She was my constant companion and I adored her. She was run over by a couple of friends who were staying with me one night. I found her bleeding from her mouth by the driveway. She died in my arms and I could feel her spirit leave her body. We buried her the next morning. I was devastated for years. A friend of mine gave me a dash-hound and I took it home to be with me when I left Topanga and stayed with my parents for a while. I named her Wiggle Butts because she had this habit of wiggling her behind when she walked. I was not allowed to keep her-once again-so I called a friend and had her drive from The Canyon to pick Wiggles up and take care of her for me. When I left my parents and got an apartment, I got a cat-Nathaniel-my very first cat-who was with me for 15 years until he passed away. It was then that I started to incorporate animal objects into my collages-in the mid 1970's.

    copyright Simone Gad 2009

    http://www.l2kontemporary.com to view Simone Gad’s solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume-you may also get it on saatchigallery.org by writing in her name or wooloo.org by writing in Simone Gad’s name-



    Focus One Gallery in Monrovia, California. Sponsored by M.A.F.A.,
    the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts and Focus One Community Credit Union.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2006

    Betty Glass celebrates Christmas with Lulu at home in 2008.
    Lulu, wearing her new holiday sweater,
    pokes her nose into the gift bag
    to see if she likes what Santa has brought her.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty Glass and James Glass.
    Turtle Painting, Watercolor Artwork by Betty Glass reminiscent of her pet turtles.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.
    Trojan Horses, Watercolor painting by Artist, Betty Glass
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.
    Hummy, Watercolor Painting by Artist, Betty Glass.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.

    Yankee and Sugar, Watercolor Painting by Artist, Betty Glass
    memorializing the life of her beloved friends.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.

    Yankee (5-17-80 --- 4-20-94)
    the larger white and orange Brittany on the right,
    and Sugar (7-20-90 --- 12-24-04)
    the smaller Brittany on the left.
    "Beloved Friends and Forever in our hearts!"
    Loyal Friends, Inspiration and Companions
    to Artist, Betty Glass and her family.
    (Special thanks to husband, James Glass
    for his technical computer assistance
    with digital photography formating of Betty Glass Artwork.)
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass

    Enilde Van Hook, Writer's Notes:
    I met Betty Glass through the Monrovia Association of Fine arts in 2006. We were showing together at the Focus One Gallery on Huntington Drive in Monrovia, California. When Betty came into the gallery, she was toting her adorable poodle named Lulu. I was charmed immediately and I just had to have a photo of this beautiful female pooch with a twinkle in her eye and the gumption to come into an art gallery where only humans gathered. This little poodle had no clue there was any difference between her and her owner, and she acted like she was looking at the art just like everyone else. At the time, I considered this a very cultured poodle and I told Betty so. Betty giggled and let me take her snapshot with Lulu and then we did not see each other again until we had another show together, also at Focus One Gallery two years later in December of 2008. When I saw Betty this time, I saw the connection of her artwork and the love of her animals come through her work and later, she agreed to participate in the interview for my blog. You may enjoy Betty Glass's artwork by visiting her website at www.bhglassart.com

    Betty H. Glass
    Artist Statement about Animal Art

    Through art we communicate our feelings and thoughts.
    Our art reflects what experiences in life have influenced us.
    I have had a lifetime of pets
    ranging from goldfish, parakeets, and turtles and, of course,
    the loyal dog—always your friend even when the sky seems to be falling.
    I am still sketching and painting animals, birds, and fish.
    The softness of their fur, the texture of their feathers and fins,
    the variations of color are very appealing to me,
    because color is part of my artistic signature.
    Sometimes they are presented in a realistic fashion.

    Other times I use animals in a more stylized way—
    using their shapes as patterns, semi-abstracting them and their background.
    For example, my painting Trojan Horses shows flattened stylized figures of horses.
    Hopefully artistically pleasing and calling to mind ancient Greece.

    Continue reading
              Wire Harness Assembly - Lead Technician        

    Wire Harness Assembly - Lead Technician | Full Time Position

    Bazzaz, Inc. is currently seeking to fill a full-time position for a Wire Harness Assembly - Lead Technician.

    Bazzaz is a designer and manufacturer of superior-quality motorcycle & ATV electronics and dynamometers located in Chino Hills, CA.
    We are committed to providing customers the very best experience which we believe stems from hiring the best employees.
    For more information on the company please visit bazzaz.net.

    Location: Chino Hills, CA

    Description: Seeking an individual who is proficient in operating wire cut and strip, and terminal press machines.
    Able to perform cable harnessing, wire harnessing, assembly and subassembly using drawings, schematics, and wire diagrams.
    Candidate should be acutely focused on quality and will perform quality inspections. Listed below are the basic duties and requirements of the position:

    • Assemble wire & cable harnesses, subassemblies, wiring, crimping, soldering, plugging stripping, routing, inspecting, and potting.
    • Understand and be to operate wire cut & strip machine & terminal presses
    • Basic knowledge of components & maintain inventory of parts
    • Perform quality inspections
    • Perform regular maintenance and upkeep of the equipment
    • Monitor production runs
    • Follow strict quality control process
    • Must be able to work 40 hours per week 7AM-4PM
    • Able to read, write, and communicate in English
    • Explain assembly procedures or techniques to other workers
    • Set up and maintain a clean work environment at all times
    • Understand and follow all safety policies, codes, and procedures
    • Lead a team of 4-10 wire harness assemblers

    We are looking for a responsible, highly motivated and detail oriented individual, who wants to be part of an exciting and dynamic company.
    Bazzaz is on the leading edge of technology in the motorcycle aftermarket industry.

    Desired Qualifications:

    • 2 years electro-mechanical assembly experience with cable and wire harnessing
    • Must be able to accurately identify components
    • Committed to quality
    • Detailed
    • Good eye / hand coordination is a must
    • Able to work in MS Outlook and Excel
    • Able to meet strict deadlines
    • Bi-lingual, English & Spanish a plus


    • Starting Wage is $12.00 - $16.00 per hour, based on experience.
    • After six months eligible for company Health/Dental/Vision Insurance.
    • 1 week vacation. Paid personal days. Paid Holidays.
    • Monthly bonus plan.

    Applicant must successfully pass a drug screening, E-Verify, and background check in order to qualify.

    Bazzaz, Inc. is an at-will, equal opportunity employer. If you believe yourself to be a good candidate and meet all requirements,
    please e-mail a brief description of your qualifications and resume to Josef Buxton.

    *Position descriptions and anticipated skills acquired are neither conclusive nor definite and can be expected to change throughout term of employment.



              Purchasing & Production Manager        

    Production & Purchasing Manager | Full Time Position

    Bazzaz, Inc. is seeking to fill a full-time position for a Purchasing & Production Manager. 

    Bazzaz is a designer and manufacturer of superior-quality motorcycle & ATV electronics and dynamometers located in Chino Hills, CA. We are committed to providing customers the very best experience which we believe stems from hiring the best employees. For more information on the company please visit bazzaz.net.

    Location: Chino Hills, CA

    Description: Seeking an individual who will plan, organize, and control production at Bazzaz Z-Fi fuel controller factory, which produces harnesses, strain gages, and printed circuit boards. Candidate must be committed to ensuring that Bazzaz products are produced efficiently, on time, within budget and to the highest quality standard. Issues Purchase Orders for the raw materials. Candidate should be solution-driven and acutely focused on quality. Listed below are the basic duties and requirements of the position:

      • Supervises production assembly team of 12-20 persons. Subordinates perform assembly of products or sub-assemblies according to verbal or written instructions, or by following drawings or diagrams. Provides work direction and reviews work performance.
      • Responsible for light maintenance of production machinery for harnessing and SMT.
      • Production Planning and ability to apply LEAN manufacturing techniques.
      • Manages the purchasing function according to department policy and procedure. Accepts and scrutinizes vendor bids or proposals. Selects sources based upon analysis. Arranges vendor contracts, bargains for best costs, and observes quality of purchased materials. Prepares reports and required documents. Organizes activities with sales, engineering, production, or warehouse personnel.
      • Manages inventory of materials, parts, and finished product to maintain required supply. Maintains records, replenishes stock, and plans for future requirements based on orders, production schedules and forecasts. Strives to achieve JIT.
      • Quality assurance - Manages quality assurance operations for the factory. Comes up with new ideas to enforce and improve quality programs. Monitors Production Department's conformance with QA standards and procedures. Conducts quality assurance training for employees engaged in materials handling or product assembly. Suggests methods for improving product quality or design, or manufacturing processes.
      • Manages shipping & receiving staff. With an emphasis on efficiency and accuracy.
      • Provide production updates to Bazzaz Team.
      • Harness Documentation / Create BOM.
      • Assist R&D.
      • Reports to Vice President.

    We are looking for a responsible, highly motivated and detail oriented individual, who wants to be part of a growing and dynamic company. This person must be a problem solver, have a get it done attitude, and enjoys working with a team. Bazzaz is on the leading edge of technology in the motorcycle aftermarket industry and this position plays a critical role in delivering the ultimate customer experience.

    Desired Qualifications:

      • Minimum of a 2 year degree.
      • Minimum of 2 years of experience in production and/or purchasing for wiring harnesses and/or printed circuit board assembly.
      • Winning attitude. Must be a team player and enjoy working in a fun yet focused atmosphere.
      • Experience with MRP/ERP software.
      • Computer literate with accurate data entry skills.
      • Able to read a wiring diagram.
      • Person shall demonstrate competency when using scales and other hand tools. Individuals should exhibit strong communication and organizational skills.
      • Mechanically inclined.
      • Ability to lift 50 pounds.
      • Bilingual in Spanish and English, preferred but not required.


      • Starting salary is $40-50K annually, based on experience.
      • After six months eligible for company Health/Dental/Vision Insurance.
      • 1 week vacation. 6 Paid personal days. Paid Holidays.
      • Monthly bonus plan.

    Applicant must successfully pass a drug screening, E-Verify, and background check in order to qualify.

    Bazzaz, Inc. is an at-will, equal opportunity employer. If you believe yourself to be a good candidate and meet all requirements, please e-mail a brief description of your qualifications and resume to jbuxton@Bazzaz.net.

    *Position descriptions and anticipated skills acquired are neither conclusive nor definite and can be expected to change throughout term of employment. 

              why we care about what we wear        
    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Why Can't a Smart Woman Love Fashion?
    I had learned a lesson about Western culture: Women who wanted to be taken seriously were supposed to substantiate their seriousness with a studied indifference to appearance. For serious women writers in particular, it was better not to dress well at all, and if you did, then it was best to pretend that you had not put much thought into it. If you spoke of fashion, it had to be either with apology or with the slightest of sneers. The further your choices were from the mainstream, the better. The only circumstance under which caring about clothes was acceptable was when making a statement, creating an image of some sort to be edgy, eclectic, counterculture. It could not merely be about taking pleasure in clothes. ... I dress now thinking of what I like, what I think fits and flatters, what puts me in a good mood. I feel again myself—an idea that is no less true for being a bit hackneyed. I like to think of this, a little fancifully, as going back to my roots. I grew up, after all, in a world in which a woman's seriousness was not incompatible with an interest in appearance; if anything, an interest in appearance was expected of women who wanted to be taken seriously.
    *Pacific Standard - What to Wear? *Avidly/LA Review of Books - Lady Professor Conference Fashions *Racialicious - Haute Couture In The 'Ivory Tower': "The spread presumes that when a professor walks into a classroom she is a blank slate, a model to be adorned in fine clothing and given an identity. The reality is that scholars of color, women, and other groups whose bodies are read as non-normative have never been able to check their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation at the door. As soon as we walk onto campus, our bodies are read in a certain (often troubling) manner by our students, our colleagues, and school administrators. Our professionalism and our intellectual competence are largely judged by how we style ourselves. Therefore, we are highly aware of how we adorn our bodies. And, like our foremothers and forefathers who innovated with American "street fashions," we, too, use our fashion sense to define ourselves, our professionalism, and our research and teaching agendas on our own terms." Tamara Shayne Kagel: The Feminist's Dilemma: Why We Can't Stop Caring About How We Look
    I find myself constantly trapped in a world where I desperately want to be judged by my work but at the same time, I want other people to think I'm pretty. I'm permanently berating myself for caring about my appearance, because I am aware on a mental level that to care at all is to be superficial. But at the same time, I find myself squirming uncomfortably when I run into someone at the supermarket when I'm a sweaty, disheveled mess... This cognitive dissonance is a state that most modern women inhabit all the time, but refuse to acknowledge. Instead, we talk and write and judge like we live in a post-superficial world. [...] It's a rare breed of woman who truly doesn't care about her appearance, and there are some women who only care about their appearance. But most of us fall in the middle -- wanting to be appreciated and loved and valued for more than how we look, but unable to completely expunge all interest in our outward image. If this is where most of us live, shouldn't we be asking for acceptance to be in this middle space?... Isn't it normal to hope that the picture of you is not taken from a horrible angle the moment you wake up and at the same time be concerned with society's obsession about the ubiquitous worship of an unattainable ideal of the female form?
    Sociological Images - The Balancing Act of Being Female; Or, Why We Have So Many Clothes (previously): "And, of course, all women are going to get it wrong sometimes because the boundaries are moving targets and in the eye of the beholder. What's cheeky in one setting or to one person is flirty in or to another. So women constantly risk getting it wrong, or getting it wrong to someone. So the consequences are always floating out there, worrying us, and sending us to the mall." *This Kind Choice - I Am Woman, Watch Me Shop? Part 1 – The Ever Changing Clothes *Part 2 – Appearance as Identity, A Double-Edged Sword *The Nation - For Women's Office Wear, Who's Making the Rules? *The Atlantic - No, It's Not Sexist to Describe Women Politicians' Clothes *Feministing - Learning to dress "professionally" in a white man's world Already Pretty: Why Caring About Your Appearance Is Valuable to Self-Care
    In order to move through most peopled societies, we are required to wear clothing. Nudist colonies aside, we've all got to get dressed every day if we want to leave our homes for any reason... And in my opinion, since we've got to get dressed anyway, we might as well do it expressively and in ways that feel good. I've said it before, I'll say it again: Dress, grooming, and overall appearance constitute the first levels of information about ourselves that we offer to the observing world. They may not be the most important, but they are the first, which makes them worthy of effort and attention. ...I've already acknowledged that how you look isn't the most important thing about you... But thinking of your body as a brain-and-personality-holder strikes me as short-sighted. Consider this: Someone who focuses virtually all attention, care, and love on their body is generally considered to be vain. So why would focusing virtually all attention on your intellect, creativity, and personality be any less imbalanced? You're not a zombie – a body that moves through life without a functioning brain. But you're also not a brain in a jar – thinking and creating in the abstract alone. You have a body. As long as you are alive you will have a body. In fact, without your body, your intellect and creativity and personality wouldn't exist. Pitting your mind against your body is like cooking up a personal civil war.
    Bridgette Raes - Are You a Devaluist and Don't Even Know It? (Guest Post): "Clothing is often seen as a superficial shell, and fashion a frivolous, flighty thing that gets in the way of the serious stuff. The real stuff. But I don't believe that. I don't believe we can neatly divorce the way we look from the way we live. I believe the way we look is a reflection of the way we live." Dress A Day - You Don't Have to Be Pretty: "You don't owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don't owe it to your mother, you don't owe it to your children, you don't owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked "female". I'm not saying that you SHOULDN'T be pretty if you want to. (You don't owe UN-prettiness to feminism, in other words.)" (responses to "The Princess Effect", previously on MeFi) *Washington Post - Being informed and fashionable is natural for women *Flavorwire - The Catch-22 of Women's Magazines *Kat Stoeffel - Finally, 'Serious' Women Are Standing Up for Fashion Magazines: "As long as we all need to get dressed each morning, clothing will be a communication tool... Men and women both choose how they deploy the language of fashion; but women, deprived of the suit-as-uniform, still face unique challenges in fashion fluency... Women's magazines — especially when they work with women like Clinton, Abramson, and Mastromonaco — offer other women a map for navigating style and other sexist minefields without compromising their intellectual integrity. For that, we should celebrate them. And if we want to level the playing field, we should start by posing the same "frivolous" questions of men." *Ms. Magazine - If the Clothes Fit: A Feminist Takes on Fashion: "If feminists ignore fashion, we are ceding our power to influence it. Fortunately, history has shown that feminists can, instead, harness fashion and use it for our own political purposes." *GirltalkHQ - Fashion Vs Feminism: Can You Like Both? We Break It Down *Greta Christina - Fashion is a Feminist Issue: "In fact, fashion and style are so much like a language, I'm always a bit baffled when people say things like, "I want to be judged on who I am, not on the clothes I wear." It's a bit like saying, "I want to be judged on who I am, not on the words that come out of my mouth." ...Fashion is a form of expression. A language of sorts. An art form, even. It's also one of the very few art forms/ languages/ forms of expression in which women have more freedom than men... And I don't think it's an accident that it's typically seen as shallow, trivial, and vain." Medium (Backlash Book Club) - And Another Question: What Ever Happened to Pantsuits?: "Faludi writes about fashion as if women were totally subservient to its dictates (and as if its dictates were unified), but, of course, most women—precisely because they are judged so much by their appearance—know how to manipulate, subvert, and use clothes. To some extent, they're tools, like hammers." The New Inquiry, Vol. 20 - Sept. 2013, "Off Brand" issue (link opens PDF file) "We are told we must be clothed, and then that our clothes are not good enough.That fashion is predicated on this cruelty—making luxury of necessity, and necessity of a luxury—makes it as morally questionable as the behavior of foodies. Fine: We accept this. But we are also told that we must be bodies and that our bodies are not good enough, and fashion (at least for those who fit into it) can provide an escape from the disappointment of our flesh. Some of us feel we were born into the wrong body; for that, fashion is the first corrective. For others, fashion is the first rebellion... In selecting appearances, we want not only to be seen but sometimes to be heard before we speak. Fashion can be a weapon of the silenced, even when it is seized and wielded by those who have always talked loudest." *Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa - Fashion for Feminists: How fashion and dress shape women's identities *Migrant Woman Magazine - Asalet Tulaz: I like being the colour of feminism *Buzzfeed - How Iran's Young Women Are Using Fashion To Influence Politics *Minh-Ha T. Pham - Why Fashion Should Stop Trying to be Diverse *À l'allure garçonnière - Fashion Blogging Culture: Demanding Substance Over Style *Tanisha C. Ford - You Betta Werk!: Professors Talk Style Politics: "Below are excerpts from some of the interviews I conducted with women professors of color. Together, these interviews illustrate that studies on fashion and adornment politics offer a powerful lens through which we can explore other important issues such as women's rights, motherhood and relationship status, pleasure and sexuality, and the politics of "respectability."" Alison Bancroft - How Fashion is Queer: "The feminine is as much of a minority interest in culture as it is anywhere else in life. The only exception to this is fashion. This is why fashion is a radical creative space where heterosexual gender binaries are irrelevant and queer is the default setting, and it is also why fashion is routinely denigrated and dismissed." Final Fashion - so, is fashion feminist?: "Why is the visual aspect of fashion so inextricably linked to feminism, and why is it worth considering how to dress like a feminist?" Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie previously on MeFi: the danger of a single story
              Â¿Pintarse las uñas sirve para dejar de morder las uñas?        
    En la búsqueda de averiguar cómo dejar de morderse las uñas, muchas uñas pinzas cortantes venir a través de la técnica de poner cinta o curitas sobre la punta de los dedos. Las uñas están cubiertas por varios días o incluso semanas con la esperanza de que las uñas y la piel recupera y el clavo mordiendo el hábito va a desaparecer.
    Comerse las uñas

    La intención es crear una barrera física y por lo tanto, impedir el acceso a las uñas-también lo que es más difícil para el inconsciente mordisqueando para tener éxito.El pensamiento va: como los clavos están fuera de la vista, se elimina la tentación.

    Aunque este enfoque parece funcionar bien, contiene muchos defectos. En primer lugar, debe tener en cuenta...

    1) Pinzas cortantes de clavo muchos también morder las curitas

    Pinzas cortantes de uñas numerosos admiten que también muerden a los curitas. Que constantemente se cosecha la parte exterior de los curitas, encuentran buscando maneras de trabajar debajo de ellos. Y, una vez que el curita es robado, es sólo cuestión de tiempo hasta que los clavos son atacados. Dicen que consiguen "una sensación placentera similar de él como cuando recogiendo en la piel". Además, frecuente exposición al agua a través de lavarse las manos o trabajar en la cocina a menudo causa los vendajes endebles a desintegrarse, creando pequeñas partículas que colgar, bits y piezas que ofrecen sólo el pretexto adecuado para iniciar el proceso de morderse las uñas. Otra debilidad es...

    2) El método es muy vergonzoso

    Cinta adhesiva a su alcance para dejar de morder las uñas a menudo resulta en altos niveles de vergüenza. Imagínense lo que sus compañeros, amigos o familia pensará cuando te ven con un montón de curitas. Ciertamente no transmitir la mejor impresión de ti mismo!

    Además, usando varias vendas en los dedos en un entorno de trabajo podría llegar a ser un desafío. ¿Qué pensaría tus compañeros de trabajo si le vio con varios dedos envueltos en vendas? ¿Ponen en duda su profesionalidad o la capacidad para manejar situaciones estresantes?

    No sólo no este look insalubre e inusual, pero este enfoque para dejar de morder uñas también puede plantear retos para socios y parejas. ¿O sería muy entusiasmados acerca de cómo obtener la intimidad con una pareja que lleva curitas en la cama? El último factor, por qué este método es poco probable que sea una solución permanente a su preocupación de cómo dejar de morderse las uñas es...

    3) Muchos uñas pinzas cortantes de recaída después de sacar las curitas

    Un patrón he visto tiempo y tiempo otra vez es que un montón de pinzas cortantes de clavo que tratan este enfoque rápidamente caer en su hábito de larga data. Aunque algunas de las uñas totalmente crecieron hacia fuera bajo el curitas, una vez que se retiran, los mordedores reanudar inmediatamente la misma vieja rutina. A pesar de todo su esfuerzo, las uñas no duran mucho más que unos pocos días. La condición no se trata, sólo "encubiertos". Es simplemente una solución temporal.

    En Resumen, aunque grabar los dedos parecen ser un buen método en teoría, la experiencia de innumerables pinzas cortantes de uñas demuestra lo contrario y revela este método como ineficaz.

              MPEG decoding, state save/restore, NRF emulation, ...        
    It's been a while since I wrote anything here, but that doesn't mean that work on CD-i Emulator has stopped. On the contrary, a lot has happened in the last month and describing all of it will take a very long blog post. So here goes…

    Last January an annoying date-checking bug was found which forced me to release beta2 somewhat earlier than anticipated. After that I did no further work on CD-i Emulator. There were various reasons for this, but the most import one was a very busy period at my day job.

    After a well-earned vacation I resumed CD-i related work in early August. First I spent a few days on Walter Hunt's OS-9 port of gcc, the GNU C/C++ Compiler that I found in October of last year. Getting it working on a modern Cygwin installation was interesting and something very different from my usual line of work. The result could be useful for homebrew activities: it's a much more usable C compiler then the Microware OS-9 one and supports C++ as a bonus. I intend to use this for ROM-less emulation validation some day; see also below. The sources need to be released but I haven’t gotten to that stage yet.

    After that I had another go at the Digital Video cartridge emulation. At the point where I left off last year the major stumbling block was the presumed picture / frame buffering logic of the MPEG video driver. When the appropriate interrupt status bits are set the driver starts copying a bulk of status information to an array of device registers and it will sometimes also read from those registers. This is all controlled by several status and timing registers that are also referenced elsewhere and I previously could not get a handle on it.

    My first attempt this time was spending another few days staring at it and tracing it, but this did not gain me much new understanding. Finally I decided to just leave it for now and see how far I could get without understanding this part of the driver. I decided to once again attempt to get "CD-i Full Motion Video Technical Aspects" working.

    This CD-i was produced by Philips to give future Full Motion Video (as the new MPEG playback functions were called at the time) developers a demonstration of the technical capabilities of the new hardware, at a time when this hardware was still in the early beta phase. The CD-i actually contains the compiler libraries necessary for making FMV calls from CD-i applications, as these had not previously been widely distributed.

    It is not a very slick disc visually, being intended for developers, but it demonstrates a number of FMV techniques such as regular playback, playback control including pause, slow motion and single step, freeze frame and forward/backward scan, special effects like scrolling the FMV window, a seamless jump and a sample of overlay effects with the CD-i base case video planes.

    I had previously tried to run this disc on CD-i Emulator, but it always crashed for an unknown reason that I attributed to MPEG device emulation problems. This time I traced back the crash and it turned out to have nothing at all to do with FMV playback but was instead caused by an incorrect emulation of the 68000 instruction "move ea,ccr" which is supposed to set the condition code register (ccr) to the value specified by the effective address (ea). In the processor manual this is classified as a word instruction and I had emulated it as such, which turned out to be wrong as it caused a word write to the full status register which should have been a byte write to the lower eight bits of it which hold the condition codes.

    The problem manifested itself when the application calls the math trap handler for some mundane number calculations, which were naturally supposed to set the condition codes. The value written to the status register inadvertently changed the processor from user to system mode (and also scrambled the active interrupt masking level) which caused an instant stack switch that caused a bus error when the trap handler attempts to return to the application program (the cpu took the return address from the wrong stack and got garbage instead).

    Most CD-i applications probably don't use the math trap handler so the problem went undetected for a long time. Now that it's fixed some other titles have probably started working but I haven't tested that.

    After this, the FMV Technical Aspects application would get to its main menu screen, allowing me to start FMV playback operations. Regular playback worked fine until the end of the video clip, where there turned out to be status bit generation issues that prevented the application from properly detecting the end of video clip condition (the decoder is supposed to send a "buffer underflow" signal, among others, after the end of the MPEG data and my emulation didn't do that yet).

    This was not very easy to fix because of the way that MPEG data buffering and decoding is handled inside CD-i Emulator, which I'll get into below. So it took me some time.

    Regular play working fine, I started worrying about window control. This was the area where I feared the picture buffering stuff, but it turned out that this was easily bypassed. The horizontal / vertical scrolling functions were ideal to test this but it took me some time to get it working. There were bugs in several areas, including my integration of the MPEG video decoding code, which I took from the well-known mpeg2dec package. This code is written to decode a single video sequence and consequently did not handle image size changes without some re-initialization calls at the appropriate times. Failing that, it mostly just crashed (at the Windows application level) due to out-of-bounds video buffer accesses.

    Another issue was the timing of device register updates for image size changes; I turned out to have the basic mechanism wrong and consequently the driver would keep modifying the window parameters to incorrect values.

    Having all of the above fixed, I returned my attention to playback control. So far I can get the video playback properly paused, but I haven't been able to get it properly resumed. For some reason the application resumes the MPEG playback but it doesn't resume the disc playback. Since the driver waits for new data to arrive from disc before actually resuming MPEG playback nothing happens (this is documented as such). The application is presumably expecting some signal from the driver to get into the proper state for resuming disc playback, but I haven't found it yet.

    At this point, it seemed promising to look at other CD-i titles using playback control and the Philips Video CD application is an obvious candidate. Again, regular playback appears to work fine, but playback control (including pause/resume) does not. It turns out that this application uses a different driver call (it uses MV_ChSpeed instead of MV_Pause, probably in preparation for possible slow motion or single step), which never completes successfully, probably again because of device status signaling. Similar issues appear to block playback control in a few other titles I tried.

    I've given some thought to tracing driver calls and signals on an actual player to see what CD-i Emulator is doing wrong, and it appears to be relatively simple, there's just a bandwidth issue because all of the trace output will have to go out the serial port which can go no higher then 19200 baud. Some kind of data compression is obviously needed and I've determined a relatively simple scheme that should be enough (the CD-i player side will all need to be coded in 68000 machine language so simplicity is important!), but I haven't actually written any code for it yet.

    I know there are issues with the proper timing of some video status signals. Things like start-of-sequence, end-of-sequence and start-of-picture-group should be delayed until display of the corresponding picture, at present they are delivered at decoding time, which can be a few pictures early. But that does not really affect the titles I've tried so far, because they do not attempt picture-synced operations. An application like The Lost Ride might be sensitive to thinks like this, though, and it needs to be fixed at some time. Similar issues are probably present with time code delivery. In addition, the last-picture-displayed and buffer-underflow signals are not always properly sent; I'm fixing these as I go along.

    In the process, I decided that the magenta border was getting annoying and tried to fix it. That turned out to be harder then I thought. The MPEG chip has a special border color register that is written by the MV_BColor driver call and it seemed enough to just pass the color value to the MPEG window overlay routines. Well, not so. Again the issue turned out to be timing of decoder status signals, but of a different kind. The driver doesn't write the border color registers until it has seen some progress in certain timing registers related to the picture buffering thing, presumably to avoid visual flashes or something on the actual hardware. Fortunately, it turned out to be easy to simulate that progress, taking care not to trigger the complicated picture buffer code that I so far managed to keep dormant.

    At some point, possibly related to slow motion or freeze frame, I might need to actually tackle that code but I hope to by that time have gained more understanding of the supposed workings of the MPEG chip.

    Looking at the above, you might think that all of the difficulties are with the MPEG video decoding and that is indeed mostly true. I did have to fix something in the MPEG audio decoding, related to the pause/resume problems, and that was the updating of the audio decoder clock. When audio and video playback are synchronized the MPEG video driver uses the MPEG audio clock as it's timing reference, which means that it has to be stopped and restarted when video playback control operations occur. Since I had never before seriously tested this, the audio clock wasn't stopped at all and the video driver obligingly continued decoding and displaying pictures until it ran out of buffered data.

    There is currently just one known problem with the MPEG audio decoding: the audio isn't properly attenuated as specified by the driver. This causes little audio distortions at some stream transitions and when buffers run out. There is also a problem with base case audio synchronization but that is hard to trigger and possibly even not audible in many titles so I'll worry about that much later.

    Above I promised to get into the MPEG data buffering and decoding issue. The basic problem is one of conceptual mismatch: the CD-i decoding hardware gets data "pushed" into it (by DMA or direct device I/O) at the behest of the driver, whereas the MPEG decoding code (based on the publicly available mpeg2dec and musicout programs from the MPEG Software Simulation Group) expects to "pull" the data it needs during decoding. Things get messy when the decoding runs out of data, as the code does not expect to ever do so (it was originally written to decode from a disc file which of course never runs out of data until the end of the sequence). Some obvious solutions include putting the decoding in a separate thread (which given multi-core processors might be a good idea anyway from a performance perspective) and modifying it to become restartable at some previous sync point (most easily this would be the start of an audio frame or a picture or picture slice). Both options are somewhat involved although they have obvious benefits, and it may turn out that I will need to do one of them anyway at some point. For now I've avoided the problems by carefully timing calls into the MPEG decoding code so that enough data to decode a single audio frame or video picture should always be available; the MPEG data stream at the system level contains enough timestamp and buffering information to make this possible (in particular, it specifies the exact decoding time of every audio frame or video picture in relation to the timing of the data stream, thus making it possible to make those calls into the decoding code at a time that a valid MPEG data stream will have already filled the buffers far enough).

    The approach depends on the timing of the MPEG data entering the decoder, which means that it does not handle buffer underflow conditions unless you add some kind of automatic decoding that continues even if no more MPEG data appears, and this is basically what I’ve done. In the end it was just relatively straightforward extension of the automatic decoding already there to handle the fact that MPEG audio streams do not have to explicitly timestamp every single audio frame (the CD-i Green Book does not even allow this unless you waste massive amounts of space in each MPEG audio data sector) and would have been needed anyway to correctly decode the last pictures of a sequence, but that had never been tested before.

    For performance and possible patent reasons I have taken care to edit the MPEG decoding code (placing appropriate #ifdef lines at the right places) so that only MPEG 1 video and audio layer I/II decoding code is compiled into the CD-i Emulator executable. This is all that is needed for CD-i anyway and MPEG 2 video and audio layer III greatly complicate the decoding and thus significantly enlarge the compiled code.

    Being somewhat stymied at the FMV front, I next decided to spend some time on another lingering issue. During testing, I often have to do the same exact sequence of mouse actions to get a CD-i application to a problem point and this is starting to be annoying. Input recording and playback are a partial solution to this but then you still have to wait while the application goes through it, which is also annoying and can sometimes take quite some time anyway. The obvious solution is a full emulation state save/restore feature, which I've given some thought and started implementing. It's nowhere near finished, though.

    During the MESS collaboration I spent some time investigating the MESS save/restore mechanism. If at all possible I would love to be compatible for CD-i emulation states, but it turns out to be quite hard to do. The basic internal mechanism is quite similar in spirit to what I developed for CD-i Emulator, but it's the way the data is actually saved that makes compatibility very hard. Both approaches basically boil down to saving and restoring all the relevant emulation state variables, which includes easy things like the contents of cpu, memory and device registers but also internal device state variables. The latter are of course not identical between different emulators but they could probably be converted if some effort was thrown at it and for a typical device they aren't very complex anyway. The MESS implementation uses an initialization-time registration of all state variables; at save/restore time it just walks the registrations and saves or restores the binary contents of those variables. CD-i Emulator has a somewhat more flexible approach; at save/restore time it calls a device-specific serialize function to save or restore the contents of the state variables. The actual registration / serialization codes are structurally similar in the two emulators (a simple list of macro/function calls on the state variables) but the code runs at different times.

    The real problem is that MESS includes very little meta information in the save files: only a single checksum of all the names and types of registered state variables in registration order. This is enough to validate the save data at restore time if the state variables of the saving emulator exactly match those of the restoring emulator, because there is no information to implement skipping or conversions. This holds between different versions or in some case even configurations of MESS emulators, but it holds even more so between MESS and CD-i Emulator! The meta information could of course be obtained from the MESS source code (relatively simply macro modifications could cause it to be written out) but that would require exact tracking of MESS versions because every version could have its own checksum corresponding to different meta information (in this case CD-i Emulator would need meta information sets for every MESS checksum value it wants to support).

    I want CD-i Emulator to be more flexible, especially during development, so I decided to make full meta information an option in the save file. The saved state of every device is always versioned, which allows the save/restore code to implement explicit conversion where needed, but during development this isn't good enough. With full meta information turned on, the name and type of every state variable precedes the save data for that variable in the save file. This allows more-or-less automatic skipping of unknown state variables and when properly implemented the restore code can also handle variable reordering. At release time, I will fix the version numbers and save full metadata information sets for those version numbers so that the same automatic skipping and handling of reordering can be done even if the metadata isn't in the save file (it probably won't be because of file size considerations, although that may turn out to be a non-issue because save files need to include the full RAM contents anyway which is 1 MB of data in the simplest case without any compression, which is of course an option).

    In addition to all of the above, I made some progress on the ROM-less emulation front. First I spent some time reading up on the internals of OS-9 file managers, because writing a replacement for the NRF file manager (NRF = Nonvolatile RAM File manager) seemed the logical next step. Actually writing it turned out not to be that hard, but there were of course bugs in the basic ROM emulation code. Most of them had to do with handlers not calling into the original ROM, which totally screwed up the tracing code. Some new functionality was also needed to properly read/write OS-9 data structures inside the emulated machine from the ROM emulation code; I wanted to implement this in such a way that compilation to "native" 68000 code remains a future option for ROM emulation modules. And of course the massive tracing described in the previous blog post had to be curtailed because it was impossible to see the relevant information in the morass of tracing output.

    The new emulated NRF stores its files in the PC file system and it currently works fine when you start it with no stored files (i.e., the player will boot). In that case it will write out a proper "csd" (Configuration Status Descriptor) file. However, if this file already exists, the player crashes, although I have so far not found any fault in the NRF code. The origin of the problem probably lies elsewhere; I suspect it has to do with the hidden "player_shell_settings.prf" file. This file is read and written by the ROM bootstrap even before OS-9 is running; it does this by directly accessing the NVRAM memory (the file never changes size and is always the first one in NVRAM). Since the bootstrap accesses of this file do not go through the NRF file manager or even the NVRAM driver they are not redirected by the OS-9 emulation. However, later accesses by the player shell *are* redirected and the player shell does not seem able to handle the file not existing in the PC file system in the case where a csd file already exists. Solutions include extending the emulated NRF to always access this particular file from the NVRAM instead of the PC file system or somehow synchronizing the two locations for the file. The latter is probably the easiest route given the fixed location and size of the file, but the former is also useful as it would provide a full reimplementation of the original NRF that could in principle be compiled to native 68000 code to replace the "original" NRF in ROM (this is where gcc comes in as alluded to earlier, since all emulation code is written in C++).

    In either case, I do not want the file manager to directly access emulated NVRAM although it could do so easily, as there is already an internal CNvramPort interface that provides just such access independent of the actual emulated NVRAM chip. The NRF file manager should instead call the NVRAM driver, which means that I need to implement cross-module calling first. It's not really hard in principle, the design has been done but there are a lot of little details to get right (the most obvious implementation uses at least 66 bytes of emulated stack space on each such call which I find excessive and might not even work; smarter implementations require some finicky register mask management or a "magic cookie" stacking approach, the latter having the best performance in the emulation case but being impossible in the native 68000 compilation case). When cross-module calling is working, I can also have the file manager allocate emulated memory and separate out the filename parsing functions by using the OS-9 system calls that provide these functions (the current emulated NRF does not allocate emulated memory which is arguably an emulation error and has the filename parsing coded out explicitly).

    When everything works correctly with the emulated NRF, I have to find some way of integrating it in the user experience. You could always start over without any NVRAM files, but I'd like to have some way of migrating files between the two possible locations without having to run CD-i Emulator with weird options. Extending the CD-i File Extractor (cdifile) by incorporating (part of) the emulated NRF seems the obvious choice, which would also provide me with some impetus to finally integrate it with the CD-i File Viewer (wcdiview) program that's supposed to be a GUI version of cdifile but so far is just a very thin skeleton barely able to graphically display a single CD-i IFF image file passed on the command line (it doesn't even have a File Open menu) and will often crash. A proper implementation would look like Windows Explorer with a tree view on the left (CD-i file system, real-time channels and records, IFF chunk structure, etc) and a variable content display on the right (raw data view, decoded sector view, code disassembly view, graphical image view, audio playback, slideshow playback, decoded MPEG view, MPEG playback, etc).

    That touches on another area in which I did some work last month: the saving of CD-i IFF image files for each emulated video frame. The motivation for this was to bring full-resolution real-time frame saving into the realm of the possible, as it would write only about 2 x (1024 + 280 x (384 + 32)) = 247 KB of raw CD-i video and DCP data per frame instead of 560 x 768 x 3 = 1260 KB of raw RGB. At least on my PC this has turned out not to be the case, however. The data is written out fine, which is not as easy as it sounds since video line data size can vary with each line because of pixel repeat and run-length encoding, but it's still too slow. That being so, I am not really very motivated to extend the CD-i IFF decoding implementation to actually decode this information. Some kind of compression could be an option, but that takes processor time and makes things even harder and possibly slower. Perhaps using another thread for this would be a solution, on a multi-core machine this should not greatly impact the basic emulation performance nor the debugging complexity as the compression code would be independent of the emulation itself.

    So there is still a lot of work to be done, but it's all quite interesting and will provide for some entertaining evenings and weekends in the coming weeks or possibly months.

              ROM-less emulation progress        
    Over the last two weeks I have implemented most of the high-level emulation framework that I alluded to in my last post here as well as a large number of tracing wrappers for the original ROM calls. In the next stage I will start replacing some of those wrappers with re-implementations, starting with some easy ones.

    It turns out I was somewhat optimistic; so far I have wrapped over 450 distinct ROM entry points (the actual current number of wrappers is 513 but there are some error catchers and possible duplicates). Creating the wrappers and writing and debugging the framework took more effort then I expected, but it was worth it: every call to a ROM entry point described or implied by the Green Book or OS-9 documentation is now wrapped with a high-level emulation function that so far does nothing except calling the original ROM routine and tracing its input/output register values.

    Surely there aren't that many application-callable API functions, I can hear you think? Well actually there are, for sufficiently loose definitions of "application-callable". You see, the Green Book specifies CD-RTOS as being OS-9 and every "trick" normally allowed under OS-9 is theoretically legal in a CD-i title. That includes bypassing the OS-supplied file managers and directly calling device drivers; there are many CD-i titles that do some of this (the driver interfaces are specified by the Green Book). In particular, all titles using the Balboa library do this.

    I wanted an emulation framework that could handle this so my framework is built around the idea of replacing the OS-9 module internals but retaining their interfaces, including all the documented (and possibly some undocumented) data structures. One of the nice features of this approach is that native ROM code can be replaced by high-level emulation on a routine-by-routine basis.

    How does it really work? As a start, I've enhanced the 68000 emulation to possibly invoke emulation modules whenever an emulated instruction generates one of the following processor exceptions: trap, illegal instruction, line-A, line-F.

    The emulation modules can operate in two modes: either copy an existing ROM module and wrap its entry points, or generate an entirely new memory module. In both cases, the emulation module will emit line-A instructions at the appropriate points. The emitted modules will go into a memory area appropriately called "emurom" that the OS-9 kernel scans for modules. Giving the emitted modules identical names but higher revision numbers then the ROM modules will cause the OS-9 kernel to use the emitted modules.

    This approach works for every module except the kernel itself, because it is entered by the boot code before the memory scan for modules is even performed. The kernel emulation module will actually patch the ROM kernel entry point so that it jumps to the emitted kernel module.

    The emitted line-A instructions are recognized by the emulator disassembler; they are called "modcall" instructions (module call). Each such instruction corresponds to a single emulation function; entry points into the function (described below) are indicated by the word immediately following it in memory. For example, the ROM routine that handles the F$CRC system call now disassembles like this:

    modcall kernel:CRC:0
    jsr XXX.l
    modcall kernel:CRC:$

    Here the XXX is the absolute address of the original ROM routine for this system call; the two modcall instructions trace the input and output registers of this handler. If the system call were purely emulated (no fallback to the original ROM routine) it would look like this:

    modcall kernel:CRC:0
    modcall kernel:CRC:$

    Both modcall instructions remain, although technically the latter is now unnecessary, but the jsr instruction has disappeared. Technically, the rts instruction could also be eliminated but it looks more comprehensible this way.

    One could view the approach as adding a very powerful "OS-9 coprocessor" to the system.

    If an emulation function has to make inter-module calls, complications arise. High-level emulation context cannot cross module boundaries, because the called module may be native (and in many cases even intra-module calls can raise this issue). For this reason, emulation functions need additional entry points where the emulation can resume after making such a call. The machine language would like this, e.g. for the F$Open system call:

    modcall kernel:Open:0
    modcall kernel:Open:25
    modcall kernel:Open:83
    modcall kernel:Open:145
    modcall kernel:Open:$

    The numbers following the colon are relative line numbers in the emulation function. When the emulation function needs to make a native call, it pushes the address of one such modcall instruction on the native stack, sets the PC register to the address it wants to call and resumes instruction emulation. When the native routine returns, it will return to the modcall instruction which will re-enter the emulation function at the appropriate point.

    One would expect that emulation functions making native calls need to be coded very strangely: a big switch statement on the entry code (relative line number), followed by the appropriate code. However, a little feature of the C and C++ languages allows the switch statement to be mostly hidden. The languages allow the case labels of a switch statement to be nested arbitrarily deep into the statements inside the switch.

    The entire contents of emulation functions are encapsulated inside a switch statement on the entry number (hidden by macros):

    switch (entrynumber)
    case 0:

    On the initial call, zero is passed for entrynumber so the function body starts executing normally. Where a native call needs to be made, the processor registers are set up (more on this below) and a macro is invoked:


    This macro expands to something like this:

    return eMOD_CALL;
    case __LINE__:

    Because this is a macro expansion, both invokations of the __LINE__ macro will expand to the line number of the MOD_CALL macro invokation.

    What this does is to save the target address and return line inside MOD_PARAMS and then return from the emulation function with value eMOD_CALL. This value causes the wrapper code to push the address of the appropriate modcall instruction and jump to the specified address. When that modcall instruction executes after the native call returns, it passes the return line to the emulation function as the entry number which will dutifully switch on it and control will resume directly after the MOD_CALL macro.

    In reality, the code uses not __LINE__ but __LINE__ - MOD_BASELINE which will use relative line numbers instead of absolute ones; MOD_BASELINE is a constant defined as the value of __LINE__ at the start of the emulation function.

    The procedure described above has one serious drawback: emulation functions cannot have "active" local variables at the point where native calls are made (the compiler will generate errors complaining that variable initialisations are being skipped). However, the emulated processor registers are available as temporaries (properly saved and restored on entry and exit of the emulation function if necessary) which should be good enough. Macros are defined to make accessing these registers easy.

    When native calls need to be made, the registers must be set up properly. This would lead to constant "register juggling" before and after each call, which is error-prone and tedious. To avoid it, it is possible to use two new sets of registers: the parameter set and the results set. Before a call, the parameter registers must be set up properly; the call will then use these register values as inputs and the outputs will be stored in the results registers (register juggling will be done by the wrapper code). The parameter registers are initially set to the values of the emulated processor registers and also set from the results registers after each call.

    The following OS-9 modules are currently wrapped:

    kernel nrf nvdrv cdfm cddrv ucm vddrv ptdrv kbdrv pipe scf scdrv

    The *drv modules are device drivers; their names must be set to match the ones used in the current system ROM in order to properly override those. The *.brd files in the sys directory have been extended to include this information like this:

    ** Driver names for ROM emulation.
    set cddrv.name=cdapdriv
    set vddrv.name=video
    set ptdrv.name=pointer
    set kbdrv.name=kb1driv

    The kernel emulation module avoids knowledge of system call handler addresses inside the kernel by trapping the first "system call" so that it can hook all the handler addresses in the system and user mode dispatch tables to their proper emulation stubs. This first system call is normally the I$Open call for the console device.

    File manager and driver emulation routines hook all the entry points by simply emitting a new entry point table and putting the offset to it in the module header. The offsets in the new table point to the entry point stubs (the addresses of the original ROM routines are obtained from the original entry point table).

    The above works fine for most modules, but there was a problem with the video driver because it is larger then 64KB (the offsets in the entry point are 16-bit values relative to the start of the module). Luckily there is a text area near the beginning of the original module (it is actually just after the original entry point table) that can be used for a "jump table" so all entry point offsets fit into 16 bits. After this it should have worked, but it didn't because it turns out that UCM has a bug that requires the entry point table to *also* be in the first 64KB of the module (it ignores the upper 16-bits of the 32-bit offset to this table in the module header). This was fixed by simply reusing the original entry point table in this case.

    One further complication arose because UCM requires the initialisation routines of drivers to also store the absolute addresses of their entry points in UCM variables. These addresses were "hooked" by adding code to the initialisation emulation routine that changes these addresses to point to the appropriate modcall instructions.

    All file managers and drivers contain further dispatching for the SetStat and GetStat routines, based on the contents of one or two registers. Different values in these registers will invoke entirely separate functions with different register conventions; they really must be redirected to different emulation functions. This is achieved by lifting the dispatching to the emulation wrapper code (it is all table-driven).

    Most of the above has been implemented, and CD-i emulator now traces all calls to ROM routines (when emurom is being used). A simple call to get pointing device coordinates would previously trace as follows (when trap tracing was turned on with the "et trp" command):

    @00DF87E4(cdi_app) TRAP[5812] #0 I$GetStt <= d0.w=7 d1.w=SS_PT d2.w=PT_Coord
    @00DF87E8(cdi_app) TRAP[5812] #0 I$GetStt => d0.w=$8000 d1.l=$1EF00FD

    Here the input value d0.w=7 is the path number of the pointing device; the resulting mouse coordinates are in d1.l and correspond to (253,495),

    When modcall tracing is turned on, this "simple" call will trace as follows:

    @00DF87E4(cdi_app) TRAP[5812] #0 I$GetStt <= d0.w=7 d1.w=SS_PT d2.w=PT_Coord
    @00F86EE0(kernel) MODCALL[16383] kernel:GetStt:0 <= d0.w=7 d1.w=$59 [Sys]
    @00F86D10(kernel) MODCALL[16384] kernel:CCtl:0 <= d0.l=2 [NoTrap]
    @00F86D1A(kernel) MODCALL[16384] kernel:CCtl:$ =>
    @00F8A460(ucm) MODCALL[16385] ucm:GetPointer:0 <= u_d0.w=7 u_d2.w=0
    @00FA10A4(pointer) MODCALL[16386] pointer:PtCoord:0 <= d0.w=7
    @00FA10AE(pointer) MODCALL[16386] pointer:PtCoord:$ => d0.w=$8000 d1.l=$1EF00FD
    @00F8A46A(ucm) MODCALL[16385] ucm:GetPointer:$ =>
    @00F86D10(kernel) MODCALL[16387] kernel:CCtl:0 <= d0.l=5 [NoTrap]
    @00F86D1A(kernel) MODCALL[16387] kernel:CCtl:$ =>
    @00F86EEA(kernel) MODCALL[16383] kernel:GetStt:$ =>
    @00DF87E8(cdi_app) TRAP[5812] #0 I$GetStt => d0.w=$8000 d1.l=$1EF00FD

    You can see that the kernel dispatches this system call to kernel:GetStt, the handler for the I$GetStt system call. It starts by doing some cache control and then calls the GetStat entry point of the ucm modules, which dispatches it to its GetPointer routine. This routine in turn calls the GetStat routine of the pointer driver, which dispatches it to its PtCoord routine. This final routine performs the actual work and returns the results, which are then ultimately returned by the system call, after another bit of cache control.

    The calls to ucm:GetStat and pointer:GetStat are no longer visible in the above trace as the emulation wrapper code directly dispatches them to ucm:GetPointer and pointer:PtCoord, respectively; it doesn't even trace the dispatching because this would result in another four lines of tracing output.

    As a sidenote, all of the meticulous cache and address space control done by the kernel is really wasted, as CD-i systems do not need these. But the calls are still being made, which makes the kernel needlessly slow; one major reason why calling device drivers directly is often done. Newer versions of OS-9 eliminate these calls by using different kernel flavors for different processors and hardware configurations.

    The massive amount of tracing needs to be curtailed somewhat before further work can productively be done; this is what I will start with next.

    I have already generated fully documented stub functions for the OS-9 kernel from the OS-9 technical documentation; I will also need to generate for all file manager and driver calls, based on the digital Green Book.

    It is perhaps noteworthy that some kernel calls are not described in any of the OS-9 version 2.4 documentation that I was able to find, but they *are* described in the online OS-9/68000 version 3.0 documentation.

    Some calls made by the native ROMs remain undocumented but those mostly seem to be CD-i system-control (for example, one of them sets the front display text). Of the OS-9 kernel calls, only the following ones are currently undocumented:


    Their existence was inferred by the appropriate constants existing in the compiler library files, but I have not seen any calls to them (yet).
              Finalizing input record/playback        
    Today I resumed working on the input record/playback code to get it towards its final specification for this beta.

    I want the record/playback code to be generic, by which I mean:

    1. Recorded input files must be dumpable (e.g. by cdifile) without having to know intimate details of the recorded devices and messages. This can be achieved by labeling all input channels with name and type and recording the formats of all input message types, which is now mostly done.

    2. Recorded input files must contain all the information required for faithful playback, which includes things like CD-i player model, DVC cartridge type, extension roms, PAL/NTSC and special startup options and emulated disc insertions.

    The ideal is that "wcdiemu -playback" will just work without the need to fiddle with emulator options to reproduce the recording environment. This is now also mostly done except for the disc insertions (they are recorded but cannot yet be played back).

    3. It must in principle be possible to play back on a different CD-i player model or with a different DVC cartridge. This means that the input channel matching must be somewhat "intelligent". The groundwork for this is in place but the actual channel matching is not yet there.

    All of the above are needed to get the feature usable for extensive compatibility testing, which is a goal of this beta: it should be possible to exchange input recordings that reproduce crashes or rendering bugs, even when they require some time to reproduce. Emulator state snapshots would make this even better, but that is too much work for now.

    Recorded input files are in IFF format with the following generic structure:
    - each file contains a single FORM chunk of type INPT (recorded input)
    - the first chunk inside the FORM is an IVER chunk (version information)
    - the next chunk inside the FORM is an ICHN chunk (channel information)
    - the final chunk inside the FORM is an IMSG chunk (input messages)

    Input messages are recorded in binary format to keep their size small; the first time that a message type is used, the message format string is prepended.

    The cdifile dumping code will not be released with this beta, there's too much unfinished code in there (i.e. the -dir[ectory] option to display the directory of a CD-i disc image file).

    I will attempt to finish this tomorrow, but it's just barely achievable...

    Until then, you'll have to do with this picture:

              Input record/playback, I2M emulation and a new start        
    It has been more then a month since my last blog entry. There are several reasons for this, among others the very busy month of december and a mild CD-i Emulator burn-out. This blog entry is part of an attempt to restart the process and hopefully arrive at a releasable beta version in the not too distant future.

    Early december I did a little work on rewriting the input record/playback code to its final specifications, using the full IFF reading/writing code that I reported on in the previous entries. It was hairy work (refactoring often is) and I more or less threw in the towel at that point.

    This was followed in mid december by an attempt to regain focus. Triggered by some forum discussions, I did some work on emulating the I2M Media Playback CD-i board for the PC (in a sense another completely different player generation).

    This board uses a Motorola 68341 so-called "CD-i Engine" processor chip, which is a CPU32 processor core with some on-chip peripherals (a DMA controller, two different serial interfaces, a timer, etc), a VDSC video chip and a completely undocumented "host interface" to the PC bus. So far the board does not appear to have a separate CD/Audio interface, but it does have a VMPEG chip.

    I had already implemented CPU32 emulation and partial emulation of its on-chip peripherals, but this needed to be extended a bit more. The main "problem" here appeared to be that these peripherals appear to ignore address bit 23.

    I also had to reverse engineer the host interface, which amounted to some disassembly and tracing. In the process I also figured out that I had built a bad ROM image (the host software generates these on the fly from "ROM fragment" files and I had mis-interpreted the script file that tells it how to do this). I used the CD-i Playback 2.2.1 files for this.

    The I2M board now successfully boots OS9, including displaying some tracing messages (it turns out that it can do this either via the host interface or via the serial interface, which was reason for lot's of head scratching until the "aha!" moment). The video display gets initialized (some kind of "blue" screen) and the then board "hangs" inside a watchdog process, presumably waiting on some signal from the host telling it what to do (it's not a crash but appears to be waiting for some host interrupt). Figuring this out requires disassembly of the watchdog process and that's where I stopped, having worked on it for about three evenings.

    Somewhere in between (can't remember the exact timing) I also did a test build with Visual Studio 2008, which resulted in a few portability fixes but nothing dramatic. I had hoped this would make some speed difference but I didn't notice any. I've returned to my old trusty Visual Studio 6; it's smaller and faster and has everything I need.

    That's more or less the current status; I hope to resume work on the input record/playback code soon which is the last thing holding up the current beta release.
              Comment on Indie Beat: Ride the Thunder Transitions from Book to Film by Lawannah Curry        
    I would like to be q part of this film. May I please submit my HS and Resume? I live in Phx. Lawannah Curry Senior actor/model 602 8192954
              IDM 6.23 Build 12 Final Full Version        

    IDM 6.23 Bulid 12 Final Full Version

    Internet Download Manager (IDM) is a tool to increase download speeds, resume and schedule downloads. Comprehensive error recovery and resume capability will restart broken or interrupted downloads due to lost connections, network problems, computer shutdowns, or unexpected power outages. Simple graphic user interface makes IDM user friendly and easy to use. Internet Download Manager has a smart download logic accelerator that features intelligent dynamic file segmentation and safe multipart downloading technology to accelerate your downloads. Unlike other download managers and accelerators Internet Download Manager segments downloaded files dynamically during download process and reuses available connections without additional connect and login stages to achieve best acceleration performance.

    What's new in version 6.23 Build 12 :

    • Added support for Firefox 39
    • Improved video downloading for several types of web sites
    • Fixed bugs
    Download Files

              Internet Download Manager 6.18 build 2 Final Retail        
    Internet Download Manager 6.18 build 2
    Internet Download Manager 6.18 build 2 Final Retail | 5.7 MB

    Internet Download Manager has a smart download logic accelerator that features intelligent dynamic file segmentation and safe multipart downloading technology to accelerate your downloads. Unlike other download accelerators and managers that segment files before downloading starts, Internet Download Manager segments downloaded files dynamically during download process.

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    Main Features:
    - All popular browsers and applications are supported! Internet Download Manager has been tested with the following browsers: Internet Explorer, MSN Explorer, AOL, Netscape Communicator, Netscape 6, Netscape 7, Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Firebird, Opera, NetCaptor, UltraBrowser, Slim Browser, Avant Browser, MyIE2, Optimal Desktop, Ace Explorer, Advanced Browser, 27 Tools-in-1 Wichio Browser, WindowSurfer, 550 Access Browser, FineBrowser Freeware, Kopassa Browser, Fast Browser Pro, Enigma Browser, GoSuRF, K-Meleon, Smart Explorer, The Off By One Web Browser, Smartalec Voyager, CrystalPort AppCapture, The Family Browser, XANA Web Browser, Bluto, AutoSurf, 32bit Web Browser, BrowseMan, WrestlingBrowser, Eminem Browser, UltraBrowser, Cygsoft LDAP Browser, and Net M@nager. Internet Download Manager supports all versions of popular browsers, and can be integrated into any 3rd party Internet applications.
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    - Automatic Antivirus checking. Antivirus checking makes your downloads free from viruses and trojans.
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    - Built-in Scheduler. Internet Download Manager can connect to the Internet at a set time, download the files you want, disconnect, or shut down your computer when it's done.
    - IDM includes web site spider and grabber. IDM downloads all required files that are specified with filters from web sites, for example all pictures from a web site, or subsets of web sites, or complete web sites for offline browsing. It's possible to schedule multiple grabber projects to run them once at a specified time, stop them at a specified time, or run periodically to synchronize changes.
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    - IDM supports main authentication protocols: Basic, Negotiate, NTLM, and Keberos. Thus IDM can access many Internet and proxy servers using login name and password.
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    - Download Categories. Internet Download Manager can be used to organize downloads automatically using defined download categories.
    - Quick Update Feature. Quick update may check for new versions of IDM and update IDM once per week.
    - Download limits. Progressive downloading with quotas feature. The feature is useful for connections that use some kind of fair access policy (or FAP) like Direcway, Direct PC, Hughes, etc.

    What's new in version 6.18 Build 2 ? (Released: October 9, 2013)
    - Resolved compatibility issues with Google Chrome 30
    - Fixed downloading of groups of links for several file sharing sites

    Download Link
              Internet Download Manager IDM 6.17 Build 2 Final        
    IDM 6.17 Build 2 Final
    Internet Download Manager IDM 6.17 Build 2 Final | 5.09 MB

    Internet Download Manager (IDM) is a tool to increase download speeds by up to 5 times, resume and schedule downloads. Comprehensive error recovery and resume capability will restart broken or interrupted downloads due to lost connections, network problems, computer shutdowns, or unexpected power outages. Simple graphic user interface makes IDM user friendly and easy to use.Internet Download Manager has a smart download logic accelerator that features intelligent dynamic file segmentation and safe multipart downloading technology to accelerate your downloads. Unlike other download managers and accelerators Internet Download Manager segments downloaded files dynamically during download process and reuses available connections without additional connect and login stages to achieve best acceleration performance.

    Internet Download Manager supports proxy servers, ftp and http protocols, firewalls, redirects, cookies, authorization, MP3 audio and MPEG video content processing. IDM integrates seamlessly into Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, MSN Explorer, AOL, Opera, Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Firebird, Avant Browser, MyIE2, and all other popular browsers to automatically handle your downloads. You can also drag and drop files, or use Internet Download Manager from command line. Internet Download Manager can dial your modem at the set time, download the files you want, then hang up or even shut down your computer when it's done.

    Other features include multilingual support, zip preview, download categories, scheduler pro, sounds on different events, HTTPS support, queue processor, html help and tutorial, enhanced virus protection on download completion, progressive downloading with quotas (useful for connections that use some kind of fair access policy or FAP like Direcway, Direct PC, Hughes, etc.), built-in download accelerator, and many others.

    Version 6.17 adds Windows 8.1 compatibility, adds IDM download panel for web-players that can be used to download flash videos from sites like YouTube, MySpaceTV, and Google Videos. It also features complete Windows 7 and Vista support, YouTube grabber, redeveloped scheduler, and MMS protocol support. The new version also adds improved integration for IE 10 and IE based browsers, redesigned and enhanced download engine, the unique advanced integration into all latest browsers, improved toolbar, and a wealth of other improvements and new features.

    What's new in version 6.17 Build 2
    (Released: July 12, 2013)
    >Improved IE 11 integration (Windows 8.1)
    >Added support for new youtube changes
    >Fixed bugs

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              Comentário sobre Esquecemos as palavras de Jesus e o mundo se encheu de ódio, afirma evangelista Billy Graham por Florentino Pedro Junior        
    Artigo PALAVRAS DE UM EVANGÉLICO QUE E "ADORADOR DE DEUS," NÃO RELIGIOSO! Quando uma pessoa, desiludida por o engano do mundo, deseja ter um encontro com Deus, para onde é que ela (e) se dirige primeiro?Para uma Igreja Cristã! Por quê? Porque ela (e) crê que ali o Senhor Jesus esta presente! Mas, se nessa Igreja tanto os pastores quanto os membros não resplandecerem a imagem do Senhor Jesus, como aquela pessoa será salva? E bem verdade que aqueles que pensam que podem matar a comunhão com o Senhor Jesus do lado de fora da Igreja não têm a mínima idéia do prejuízo que estão causando a si mesmo. Esta fora do convívio da Igreja é o mesmo que tentar criar peixes fora d’água. Mas também é verdade que a Igreja tem a obrigação de manifestar a glória do Senhor Jesus Cristo,conforme ele mesmo disse:”vos sois o sal da terra; ora, se o sal vier a ser insípido,como lhe restaurar o sabor? Para nada mas presta se não para,lançada fora pisado pelos homens (Mateus 5:13) O Sal tem duas funções: Dar sabor e conservar. O pastor tem a responsabilidade não só de manifestar a presença de Deus no mundo, como testemunho do Senhor Jesus, mas também se conservar imune ao pecado, sendo um cristão cristalino, já que o pecado não tem domínio sobre ele: Porque o pecado não terá domínio sobre vós. Pois não estais debaixo da Lei, e sim da graça (Romanos 6:14). A Bíblia nos ensina a termos cuidado com os julgamentos a respeito ao nosso próximo... Jesus disse: ”Eu não julgo. A palavra que vos tenha ensinado estais vos julgará no último dia”(João 12:47-48).Jesus queria nos ensinar sobre relacionamento. Quem tem condições reais de nos julgar é o Senhor Jesus! Temos que ter bom relacionamento com o próximo orar por todos,por que só o Senhor conhece o coração do Homem.O Ser humano julga pelo que vê pela aparência. O Senhor, contudo, disse a Samuel: "Não considere sua aparência nem sua altura, pois eu o rejeitei. O Senhor não vê como o homem: o homem vê a aparência, mas o Senhor vê o coração". (I Samuel 16: 17), mas o Senhor pelo que estão no coração do indivíduo. Se o Homem utilizasse mais do AMOR que o Senhor colocou em seus corações evitaria muitas animosidades, ovelhas saindo da Igreja sem que os seus lideres se preocupe por que saiu ou se afastou, ou estiver enfermos, hospitalizados por dias ou quem sabe, por anos sem que os seus lideres vim esse a compará-los com oração,com visitação.As Igrejas hoje prega-se muito amor, e desconhecem o que dizer AMOR, que diz e: Sentimento que predispõe alguém a desejar o bem de outrem,sentimento de dedicação absoluta de um ser a outro. O Ser humano sempre tem tendência de ir para o mais forte ou mais fraco, porque sempre julga na base da emoção, interesse, aparência ou amizade. É assim que saem muitos ver-editos, eu conheço este; e nada sei sobre aquele ,e assim por diante.É por isso que a Bíblia diz: “Enganoso e o coração do Homem quem o conhecerá, a resposta surge logo: só Deus”! (Jeremias 17: 9) E isso mesmo meus amados, só o Senhor conhece o seu interior, você não sabe como se portará diante de alguma situações inesperada destas que muitas ocasiões você pensa que está preparado, mais na hora de tomar atitude,surge reações que lhe surpreende,você não conhecia que tal reação poderia ter vindo do seu interior.Você não se conhece amado Pastor(a)! Como poderia então julgar o próximo? Fundamentado em passagens sobre a vida dele? Mas que passagens? As que lhe mostram, as que os seus olhos ressaltam? Sua experiência? Sua formação acadêmica? Seu diploma de filosofia, teologia, psicologia e por ai segue uma imensa lista. Nada disso nos permite conheceremos o coração do ser humano. E pedimos ao Senhor que tenha misericórdia de nos! “Jesus falou: Sem mim “NADA” podeis fazer (João 15:5) sabe o que significa “NADA” no grego, Hebraico, aramaico ou mesmo no Latim? É NADA MESMO! NADA? Nossa vida tem que estar no Senhor, por que em qualquer circunstância possamos contar com sua proteção.Pois o maior inimigo(ao contrario do que dizem por ai que e o maligno,a ele se expulsa em nome e no sangue de JESUS! Por que o Senhor já o venceu, e ele sai),que temos somos nos mesmos! Ensinamento de Jesus: Entra no teu quarto...”na tua vida te examina!(Mateus 6:6), ama ao teu próximo “como a ti mesmo...! (Mateus 22:37-39 ) Em outras palavras,estão tentando encobrir os seus maus hábitos com obras,iludino a si mesmo. A igreja de Efésios manifestava um trabalho quantitativo,e não qualitativo. A quantidade de serviço apresentada pelo seu responsável não tinha qualidade,porque lhe faltava o primeiro “amor.” Por mais intensas que sejam as tarefas na Igreja, “...se não tiver “amor”,nada serei “( I coríntios 13:2)e Senhor Jesus foi bastante claro:tenho,porem, contra ti que abandonaste o teu primeiro amor(Apocalipse 2:4).AMOR- O Deus da bíblia,diferente do deus dos estóicos, tem como marca vital o amor e não a “apatheia” ou seja,a incapacidade de sentir.Plutarco disse que quem envolve Deus nas necessidades humanas, não poupa sua majestade nem sustenta a dignidade e a grandeza de sua excelência.Clemente de Alexandria, porém,declarou que Deus é rico em compaixão.Deus,sim, e a mor(Jó 3:16-1 jô 4:7-10); ele da repouso e proteção (Dt 33:12), alegria e suprimento(At.14:17). E o amor de Deus, que transcendente o sentimento, pode ser provado pela entrega sacrificial de Jesus para morrer na cruz em nosso lugar a fim de nos salvar (RM 5:8; EF 2:4-5) Não consigo identificar-me como o determinismo teológico que impera na maioria das Igrejas Evangélicashá um fatalismo disfarçado que enxergar cada mínimo detalhe da existência como parte da província. Minha peregrinação Cristã esta há muito, marcada por rompimentos. O primeiro rachei com a Igreja Católica, onde nasci, fui batizado para casar, casei. Em premonitórias inquietações não aceitava dogmas. “Não podia aceitar” panelinhas “com a sua opinião prontas. Decidimos sair do Catolicismo. Aportei na Igreja Evangélica Batista. “Antes como trabalhava em uma Empresa do Órgão Federal de fiscalização” fui designado para fiscalizar a 1º Igreja Batista do Iguatemi, hoje e a Igreja Mundial,na véspera de carnaval data 14/02/1998, onde aceitei Jesus.Junto com a minha família fomos numa Igreja no barrio que onde moravas, enfronhei em muitas atividades, membro ativo,freqüente a escola dominical,trabalhei na reforma,fui líder dos Cultos dos Homens,participamos de eventos no acampamentos de casais,fizemos tudo o que pude dentro daquela estrutura.no dia 11/12/1998 fui batizado ou melhor, desci as águas no Recanto da Benção em Lauro de Freitas. No cúmulo da vontade de servir o homem e a Jesus. Migramos para outra Igreja Batista que teríamos mudado pra outro barrio, que com o tempo fui consagrado a Obreiro e depois líder de obreiro da Igreja Batista. As decepções não foram suficientes para azedar a minha alma, sequer fortes para roubar a minha vontade de caminhar ao lado de gente humana que ama o próximo. Sinto-me estranhamente atraído à beleza da vida.Não cesso de procurar mentores Vejo-me incapaz de tolerar que o Evangélico se transforme em negócio e o nome de Deus vire marca que vende bem. Não posso aceitar, passivamente, que tentem converter os cristãos em consumidores e a igreja, em balcão de serviços religiosos. Entendo que o movimento evangélico nacional se apequenou. Não consegue vencer a tentação de lucrar com empresa. Recuso-me a continuar esmurrando as pontas de facas de uma religião que se molda à babilônia. (Artigo do Pastor da Igreja Betesda autor de vários livros- Ricardo Godim Uma das parábolas mais conhecidas de Jesus é a chamada ”Parábolas do Bom samaritano” (Lucas 10:25-37).Só para recordar: um doutor da Lei queria saber do mestre o que é necessário fazer para se alcançar a vida eterna.Em resposta, Jesus fez com que ele mesmo recordasse os dois grandes mandamentos da Lei de Deus: O Amor a Deus, de todo o coração e com todos as forças, e o amor ao próximo, como a si mesmo.Quando ouviu que devia cumpri-los para, então,viver plenamente, o doutor da Lei,querendo justificar-se,voltou com nova questão:“E quem e o meu próximo? Graças a essa pergunta,temos a tal “parábola do bom samaritano,” criada por Jesus.Antes de tudo, uma observação: a “Parábola era e é um tradicional método de vida, ensinam uma verdade. Na parábola em questão, um homem da Samaria, movido de compaixão, atendeu um homem ferido na estrada. Antes dele, dois outros haviam passado indiferentes por aquele lugar. Depois de ter feito no próprio local os curativos possíveis, o samaritano levou-o para uma hospedaria, completou os curativos e, no dia seguinte, antes de partir, pagou antecipadamente ao hospedeiro a continuação do tratamento. E acrescentou: trata dele e, quanto gastares a mais, na volta te pagarei. ”contada à parábola, foi à vez de Jesus fazer uma pergunta ao doutor da Lei: “Qual desses três parece ter sido o próximo daquele que caiu nas mãos dos ladrões?”respondeu o doutor:” Aquele que usou de misericórdia para com ele.”Então,Jesus lhe disse: vai e fazei tu o mesmo! “vai e fazei tu o mesmo!”Nessa orientação resume-se a doutrina social da Igreja uma doutrina que tem quatro pilares, mas só fala de três. 1- Direito Humano. O ser humano – cada ser humano! Tem um valor inestimável. O homem é a única criatura que Deus quis por si mesma. Por isso, deve ser sempre visto como um fim e nunca como um meio; considerado sempre como sujeito,não como objeto e, menos ainda,como um produto comercial. Dessa visão cristã do ser humano, nascem algumas perguntas: que papel tem os mais francos em nossa sociedade? Os mais incapazes? Os anciãos? Os não nascidos? Os portadores de doenças crônicas? 2- Solidariedade. Cada pessoa tem direito de ser defendida pela sociedade. Quando se trata de uma pessoa que, sozinha, não consegue se reerguer, maior é o direito que tem de receber a atenção de todos – inclusive do Estado. Diante dos desafios de nossa sociedade, há necessidade de respostas criativas. No inicio do cristianismo, os Cristãos punham tudo em comum, procurando ajudar-se mutuamente; na idade media, surgiram ordens religiosas voltadas a pratica da caridade; em séculos recentes, nasceram instituições voltadas para crianças abandonadas, para idosos sem proteção, para doentes sem amparo etc. E hoje? ...Num mundo que se globaliza no campo econômico, devemos defender a globalização da solidariedade. 3- Santidade. Num mundo em que os problemas sociais se multiplicam, a obra que temos pela frente e desproporcional às nossas forças. ”Sem mim, nada podeis, a firmou Jesus. Por isso, precisamos começar por nos mesmos, esforçando-nos por refletir os atos e a imagem de Cristo. Eles não devem substituir o contato pessoal, pois a comunicação é, antes de tudo, relação entre pessoas para criar comunhão, pois Homem é um ser relacional e a comunicação é essencial em sua vida. Mais importante que os meios usados são o comunicador e a mensagem que ele transmite. “Aliás, “este é o sentido da palavra comunicação que vem do Latim” communis” e significa comunidade. Não devemos, pois, nos isolar das pessoas que estão ao nosso lado, nem querer construir um mundo paralelo, diferente daquele em que vivemos. É claro que na qualidade de evangélicos ou líderes espiritual (Pastor) (Pastora) etc. etc. Não pode eximir de visitar suas ovelhas, que por motivos qualquer, que venham afastar-se das igrejas por qualquer motivo injustificável. Hoje os lideres espirituais das Igrejas evangélicas, que não são todos, "contumaz" em não visitar as suas ovelhas perincipalmente por se afastarem por motivos de estado de gravidez, gestação ou se ele ou ela não contribuir com as ofertas ou com os dízimos. E sabido que na qualidade de lideres sabem que oferta e que não oferta, que dizimam e que não dizimam. Os membros que dizimarem os valores excessivos estes terrarão o maior cuidados e atenção dos lideres Espirituais. Se por quaisquer motivos estes membros não marcar a sua presença nos cultos, e imediatamente e procurado no dia seguinte para saber os motivos da sua ausência informando-lhes que fez muita falta nos cultos ou na reunião com se chamada em outras denominações. Veja também como Deus vai novamente conquistar seu povo que dele se tinha afastado Oséias 2,14, em que Deus atrai seu povo para si,o leva ao deserto e lhe fala ao coração. Recebemos uma graduação e especificação na busca de Deus pelos que dele se afastam. Se na da Ovelha perdida é a alegria de Deus por encontrar uma ovelha que se perdeu(qualquer um/uma do rebanho),na da Dracma perdida é alegria pela menor das moedas que é encontrada(pelo ser humano considerado como menor ou mais pequeno=pecador)e na do filho pródigo a alegria e a festa por um filho(alguém que é da sua família),que se arrepende e retorna. Que Deus nos ajude para que saibamos nos deixar iluminar por sua Palavra e por sua Luz e que quando por necessário também for à procura daqueles que estão afastados dele, do seu caminho, da justiça, da paz, da fraternidade e do amor que unem e são a expressão da verdadeira vida cristã. Não há mais tempo para a igreja evangélica brasileira ficar displicente quanto à sua capacitação Bíblicos-teológico-pratica. Os desafios, externos e internos, conforme alguns exemplos expostos são cada vez maiores e mais freqüentes. São, na verdade, ameaças sutis que, num futuro próximo, podem comprometer a relevância das comunidades de fé. É necessário, portanto, um retorno contundente do corpo de Cristo à palavra de Deus. E exatamente neste ponto que tanto a hermenêutica quanto a exegese Bíblia torna-se ferramentas verdadeiramente indispensável. Muitas heresias que infelizmente grassam em denominações também rotuladas de “evangélicas” procedem exatamente de interpretações equivocadas da própria Bíblia. Tenho dito que a Bíblia, embora seja a verdadeira palavra de Deus, pode ser comparada ao veneno de uma víbora: dose exata é remédio, entretanto,quando aplicada fora da medida definida pelo eterno,pode se tornar veneno letal. A mesma Bíblia que levanta alguns tem sido empregada erroneamente e tem derrubado outros; a mesma luz que arrancou milhares de vidas das trevas,quando empregada indevidamente,é capaz de lançar no lago de fogo outro tanto ainda mais expressivo.Por quê? Devido ao seu mau uso! É preciso, então que este retorno à palavra de Deus seja seguido de cuidado especial com a interpretação e aplicação da Bíblia,pois assim ela será fonte de bênção na vida dos seres Humanos.O evangélico não é um livro ocioso.Sua mensagem permeia Céu e Terra urgente que a divina pregação de Jesus realize,mesmo nos territórios em que ela fincou raízes,sua extraordinária missão: civilizar a civilização humana com a vivência do novo mandamento do Cristo: “amai-vos como eu vos amei. Somente assim poderes ser conhecidos como meu discípulo”( Boa nova segundo João 13: 34 e obra da paciência.Já dizia o filósofo que a mais difícil fronteira a ser suplantada e a do cérebro humano.Inclusive nas nações crestais.Mas o ânimo e a vontade de avançar vem do próprio Cristo,que atestou: “Eu venci o mundo! (Evangelho consoante João 16:33). Salvador, 05 de julho de 2011 Florentino Pedro Júnior Adorador de Deus
              Carnival Dream Receives New Dining & Bar Venues        
    February 13, 2016 – The New Orleans-based Carnival Dream has completed an extensive makeover that added popular food and beverage concepts to the ship. Following the renovation, which took place in Freeport, The Bahamas, the 130,000-ton ship yesterday resumed its year-round schedule of seven-day Caribbean cruises from the Big Easy. The new spaces include: ·Guy’s […]
              El Diccionario del Diablo        
    El Diccionario del Diablo

    Por Edgardo Civallero

    Ambrose Bierce fue un tipo curioso, dotado de un humor negro, cínico y mordaz que le ayudó a ganar un puesto reconocido en la literatura norteamericana. Nació en 1842 en un pueblito de Ohio (EE.UU.). Fue el décimo de trece hermanos a los que su padre –casi con afán maníaco– había bautizado con nombres que empezaban invariablemente con la letra "A". Al comienzo de la Guerra Civil estadounidense, Bierce se alistó en el ejército de la Unión como topógrafo. Luchó en varias batallas, de las que guardó, como recuerdo, algunas heridas y profundas impresiones que marcarían muchas de las páginas que posteriormente escribiría.

    En 1871 se casó. Tuvo tres hijos, dos de los cuales morirían antes que sus padres, en circunstancias funestas. En 1888 su matrimonio se vino abajo tras descubrir algunas cartas comprometedoras de un admirador secreto a su esposa, la cual murió poco después. Con este historial de vida, Bierce formó su carácter.

    Si bien vivió algún tiempo en Londres por motivos de salud, su vida se desarrolló principalmente en la ciudad de San Francisco, en donde desplegó una intensa actividad literaria en periódicos como The San Francisco Newsletter, The Argonaut, Overland Monthy, The Wasp y el San Francisco Examiner.

    Escribió ensayos y artículos periodísticos –que le ganaron fama en su entorno–, poesía y muchos relatos cortos, casi todos relacionados con historias de guerra. Pero su trabajo más conocido es el "Diccionario del Diablo" (The Devil's Dictionary). Las entradas de este curioso diccionario se fueron publicando en diversos periódicos durante una larga serie de años (1875-1906), y sólo fueron compiladas en un volumen tardíamente, en 1906, bajo el título de "El glosario del cínico" (Cynic's Word Book). En esas definiciones, Bierce hizo gala del estilo único que lo inmortalizó.

    En octubre de 1913, el septuagenario autor emprendió un largo viaje que lo llevó, como destino final, a México, en donde se preparaba la revolución de Pancho Villa. Unido a sus fuerzas como observador, Bierce desapareció sin dejar ningún rastro en 1913-1914. Es la más famosa de las desapariciones literarias norteamericanas. En su última carta, dirigida a una sobrina, el escritor desvela parte del enigma, a la vez que muestra –una vez más– su profundo cinismo:

    "Adiós – Si te enteras que fui puesto contra un muro de piedra mexicano y fusilado, debes saber que pienso que es una buena manera de partir de esta vida. Causas como la ancianidad, la enfermedad o una caída por las escaleras quedarán así eliminadas...
    Ser gringo en México – ¡ah, eso es eutanasia!".

    La visión sardónica de la naturaleza humana que impregnó su obra, junto con su vehemencia y su crítica implacable le ganaron el apodo de "Bitter Bierce" (Amargo Bierce). Los críticos actuales remarcan el empleo de un inglés puro en sus trabajos, y una redacción que expresaba densos conjuntos de ideas (a veces contrapuestas por el doble sentido) en una única y reducida frase.

    En 1911 se publicó el diccionario bajo el título actual, The Devil's Dictionary, dentro de una edición de las obras completas de Bierce. En 1967 se compiló una versión extendida del texto, con numerosas entradas que faltaban en ediciones anteriores. Finalmente, en el 2000 vio la luz una edición revisada, que sumaba entradas y eliminaba unas 200 definiciones falsamente atribuidas a Bierce.

    Algunos ejemplos tomados del "Diccionario..." permitirán hacerse una idea de la mordacidad, ironía y uso del doble sentido de su autor. Fíjense, por ejemplo, las durísimas definiciones siguientes, que, lamentablemente, recogen sentimientos reales de principios de siglo (algunos extendidos hasta hoy):

    Aborígenes, s. Seres de escaso mérito que entorpecen el suelo de un país recién descubierto. Pronto dejan de entorpecer; entonces, fertilizan.

    Africano, s. Negro que vota por nuestro partido.

    Infiel, adj. y s. Dícese, en Nueva York, del que no cree en la religión cristiana; en Constantinopla, del que cree.

    Inmigrante, s. Persona inculta que piensa que un país es mejor que otro.

    Aire, s. Sustancia nutritiva con que la generosa Providencia engorda a los pobres.

    Distancia, s. Único bien que los ricos permiten conservar a los pobres.

    Bierce analizó el carácter humano con un genio ilimitado...

    Acusar, v.t. Afirmar la culpa o indignidad de otro; generalmente, para justificarnos por haberle causado algún daño.

    Adherente, s. Secuaz que todavía no ha obtenido lo que espera.

    Amistad, s. Barco lo bastante grande como para llevar a dos con buen tiempo, pero a uno solo en caso de tormenta.

    Celoso, adj. Indebidamente preocupado por conservar lo que sólo se puede perder cuando no vale la pena conservarlo.

    Humildad, s. Paciencia inusitada para planear una venganza que valga la pena.

    Idiota, s. Miembro de una vasta y poderosa tribu cuya influencia en los asuntos humanos ha sido siempre dominante.

    Un par de definiciones que podrían haber valido para él mismo son las siguientes:

    Cínico, s. Miserable cuya defectuosa vista le hace ver las cosas como son y no como debieran ser.

    Loco, adj. Dícese de quien está afectado de un alto nivel de independencia intelectual; del que no se conforma a las normas de pensamiento, lenguaje y acción que los conformantes han establecido observándose a sí mismos; del que no está de acuerdo con la mayoría; en suma, de todo lo que es inusitado.

    Sobre las propias definiciones y diccionarios, Bierce tenía una opinión bastante particular:

    Diccionario, s. Perverso artificio literario que paraliza el crecimiento de una lengua además de quitarle soltura y elasticidad.

    Magnético, adj. Dícese de lo que sufre la influencia del magnetismo.
    Magnetismo, s. Lo que ejerce influencia sobre algo magnético. Estas dos definiciones están condensadas de la obra de un millar de eminentes hombres de ciencia, que han arrojado sobre el tema una luz deslumbrante, con indecible progreso del conocimiento humano.

    Asimismo, tenía su propio punto de vista sobre los escritores y la escritura:

    Gramática, s. Sistema de trampas cuidadosamente preparadas en el camino por donde el autodidacta avanza hacia la distinción.

    Ganso, s. Ave que suministra plumas para escribir que, gracias a un proceso oculto de la naturaleza, están impregnadas, en distinta medida, de la energía intelectual y el carácter del ganso, de suerte que al ser entintadas y deslizadas mecánicamente sobre un papel por una persona llamada "autor", resulta una trascripción bastante exacta de los pensamientos y sentimientos del ave.

    Folletín, s. Obra literaria, generalmente una historia que no es verdadera y que se prolonga insidiosamente en varios números de un periódico o una revista. Cada entrega suele venir precedida de un "resumen de lo publicado", para los que no la han leído, pero sería más necesario un "resumen de lo que sigue", para los que no piensan leerlo. Lo mejor sería un resumen de todo.

    Las costumbres humanas no se le escaparon, por supuesto:

    Gato, s. Autómata blando e indestructible que nos da la naturaleza para que lo pateemos cuando las cosas andan mal en el círculo doméstico.

    Mamíferos, s. Familia de vertebrados cuyas hembras, en estado natural, amamantan a su cría, pero cuando se vuelven civilizadas e inteligentes la dan a la nodriza o usan el biberón.

    Mendigo, s. El que ha confiado en la ayuda de los amigos.

    Lamentable, adj. Estado de un enemigo o adversario después de un encuentro imaginario con uno mismo.

    Si bien se enfocó en estas "debilidades humanas", incluyó en su diccionario entradas de lo más variadas. Por ejemplo, la política:

    Amnistía, s. Magnanimidad del Estado para con aquellos delincuentes a los que costaría demasiado castigar.

    Batalla, s. Método de desatar con los dientes un nudo político que no pudo desatarse con la lengua.

    Cañón, s. Instrumento usado en la rectificación de las fronteras.

    Ejemplos de otros temas pueden ser:

    Cerbero, s. El perro guardián del Hades, que custodiaba su entrada, no se sabe contra quién, puesto que todo el mundo, tarde o temprano, debía franquearla, y nadie deseaba forzarla.

    Circo, s. Lugar donde se permite a caballos, "ponies" y elefantes contemplar a los hombres, mujeres y niños en el papel de tontos.

    Fe, s. Creencia sin pruebas en lo que alguien nos dice sin fundamento sobre cosas sin paralelo.

    Historia, s. Relato casi siempre falso de hechos casi siempre nimios producidos por gobernantes casi siempre pillos o por militares casi siempre necios.

    Mitología, s. Conjunto de creencias de un pueblo primitivo relativas a su origen, héroes y dioses, por oposición a la historia verdadera, que inventa más tarde.

    En fin... Una pequeña muestra de un gran trabajo que no debería faltar en nuestra biblioteca particular. Permítanme despedirme con una definición más, y una intriga que nunca podré desvelar: ¿qué hubiera escrito Bierce, con su peculiar estilo, de haber vivido en la actualidad?

    Sabiduría, s. Tipo de ignorancia que distingue al estudioso.


              FYI- The real cost of doing business the right way. What customers need to know.        

    This post is one of a series we will be doing titled FYI. (for your information)

     What I have found in most cases between those that do it right and those that don't is that all too often the cost of your service will be the same. However... what your getting for that price rarely is. While they say that imitation is the purest form of flattery, for those of us that incur the cost to play by the rules it is at least disheartening to find yourself competing with some neighbor down your road who's winging it. For you the customer the potential for problems with that can be much more than just disheartening. So with that said I am going to give you some things to consider.

    What you need to know.

    1) Do they have liability insurance is probably the number one thing you need to be concerned about should you find yourself considering hiring anyone for horse drawn carriage service. The equine liability laws in no way protect you, your event, or your venue in the event of an accident. Posting it does not protect the uninsured provider from lawsuit either. What posting that sign usually means is that the carriage service does not carry liability insurance and thinks that by posting that sign they are exempt from lawsuit. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Equine liability laws only protect a horse owner if a horse causes harm to someone in the act of being a horse. i.e. kicking, biting, pawing, bucking, etc, and that is only in cases where there was no known prior history of misbehavior. The law presumes that if you get near a horse you should understand that these things could possibly happen and that there is a level of inherent risk from being near, or getting on the animal. The sign is to make sure you understand that.

    However...lots of things can happen that could cause loss, damage, or injury and do not in any way absolve the carriage service of being responsible for it. In fact a great many things that have contributed to accidents are not even remotely related to what is covered by state equine liability laws. Some examples would be, broken tack resulting in an accident, a horse or its carriage causing damage to someones property, a person getting hurt by a carriage wheel, a motorist hitting the carriage, etc. The list of things that state equine liability laws do not cover is truly endless. Put it this way, there is lot more they don't address than what they do.

    So what does all this mean to you the customer? What it means is that if you hire an outfit that does not carry the proper liability insurance, and heaven forbid something were to happen, you are left high and dry without much recourse for losses, damages, doctor, or hospital bills. Without liability insurance your only hope lies with the civil court which is a long drawn out procedure where very often the injured party never recovers a dime. What it means for the people who are operating a business without insurance is that they literally risk losing everything they own.

    Now before I scare you half to death here the solution is really simple. ASK! and then ask for a copy of the liability policy! We have stacks of proof of insurance available for anyone who asks and we are delighted to provide you with a copy. While we have operated for over 30 years in horse and carriage without a single incident, that really is not the point. Accidents can happen to anyone and to do any business the right way the outfit you hire should be properly insured. So check, if they refuse, or it offends them? your shopping in the wrong place.

    2) Are they even a legal business? You may or may not think you should care about this, but ask yourself this, If they skip over the legal requirements to be in business what other important things do they willfully overlook? Liability insurance maybe? Safe equipment? Safe proven horses? and that list too goes on. It is after all law that they file with the Sec of State as a legal business, You can check that status here : http://www.sos.arkansas.gov/corps/search_all.php , just type in the name of the company and if they are legit their name will show up. If you search "The Princess's Carriage" you will see we are listed and properly filed with the SOS as a legal business in good standing.

    Besides the yearly fees to maintain the legal right to do business in the state with the proper authorities there are also the fees of a yearly business license that also has to be paid for. There are even costs for special permits for us to operate in certain towns legally. It quite literally costs thousands of dollars to do this business professionally, properly insured, and legally.

    So please understand the cost to us of being in full compliance is no joking matter. So dear customer do know that it is in your best interest to know who your hiring. Ask for proof of insurance, and at least check to see if they are operating their business legally. Find out if they have the permits they need. It's quite literally the difference between hiring a legitimate business, or a monkey business.          
              #33 La carta de los científicos a Rajoy: «Van a firmar la sentencia de muerte de la ciencia»        

    #28 Mi comentario era relacionado con lo que comentas, pero por otra, no se si conoces la paradoja europea


    En resumen, en Europa se tiene el problema, de que pese a que se tiene un sistema amplio de investigación básica, lo que repercute en empresas es muy escaso. Y esto tiene cierta repercusión cuando la economía se basa en el desarrollo tecnológico, y contra menos desarrollo tecnológico pues menos competitivo a nivel global.

    Esta claro, que mirar la ciencia básica en base a líneas de investigación más rentables es estrangularnos poco a poco, pero por contra, a los científicos se les exige cierta rentabilidad publicadora, que se basa en un sistema donde si tus publicaciones no son relevantes y no tienes cierta cantidad, tienes menos puntos para becas y acceso al dinero para tus proyectos. Y es raro que alguna empresa desarrolle investigación básica por si sola.

    El tema es complejo, está claro que limitar conocimiento nunca lleva a buen término, pero cuando hay "hambre" pasas a valorar cosas más básicas.

    » autor: celyo

              VEGAN KITCHEN - A KINDER VEGAN WORLD - Toronto, ON        
    If your answer is no to any of the above then skip to the next ad – this is not a job for you. If this is who you are, please send me your resume together with... $17 an hour
    From Indeed - Wed, 07 Jun 2017 13:32:34 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
              Celebrity Perfume Review: S by Shakira Eau Florale        

    Perfume da Rosa Negra. 

    From Perfume, we return!

    "Eu queria encontrar uma maneira de expressar o sentimento de pura alegria através de uma fragrância" 

    Shakira é a nossa carismática e perfumada Diva Latino Americana que ao lançar sua linha de fragrâncias tem demonstrado mais bom gosto para a perfumaria do que seus concorrentes. Seus perfumes apresentam vitalidade, jovialidade, luminosidade e sedução e, ainda que sejam fragrâncias produzidas para ser mainstream na indústria, eles são florais sensuais, mais orientais ou vanila, bem melhor elaborados quando consideramos o universo das fragrâncias de celebridades que costumam pecar pelos exageros e mais do mesmo.

    Após o lançamento de S, seu primeiro perfume, que evocou a beleza exótica de flores sedutoras como o Jasmim Sambac e a gardênia, envoltos em um expressivo toque abaunilhado, chegou a vez de S by Shakira Eau Florale, o novo perfume da musa, que traz uma proposta mais romântica, mais cor de rosa. A estrutura olfativa é simples e delicada, com inspiração floral frutal baunilha, abrindo rapidamente notas frescas de bergamota, desenvolvendo para um delicioso coração de frutas vermelhas com framboesa, amora e mirtilos e encerrando com uma base cremosa de musk e baunilha, que dá uma intimista sensação de toque aveludado na pele. 

    Este perfume se resume há a uma frase que se encaixa perfeitamente ao que  ele é na prática: "Pink berry floral, delicado como a propaganda romântica de Shakira, que está deslumbrante em uma bela e jovem aura". Em comparação ao seu antecessor, Eau Florale é um perfume mais jovial e ingênuo e menos elaborado na estrutura olfativa e no desenvolvimento dos acordes.  O S é um perfume poderosamente marcante, com notas expressivas de flores voluptuosas e evoca a faceta sedutora de Shakira. Por outro lado, com seu flanker S Eau de Florale, a cantora quis algo mais simples, genuinamente expressar uma natural felicidade e, muitas mulheres são e se sentem felizes quando evocam esta dócil jovialidade tão bem representada na campanha deste perfume.

    Não há dúvidas que, para a audiência mais jovem (ou com nariz mais jovem)  que adora um perfume com frutas vermelhas e baunilha, certamente, Eau de Florale é uma ótima opção custo x benefício, como normalmente são os perfumes  Shakira  Beauty, além do mais, ele faz lembrar do Boticário Egeo Dolce em uma versão sem algodão doce, com menos açucar, menos baunilha e menos sillage. Eau de Florale é mais intimista, com uma baunilha que não é intensamente gustativa porque a intenção do perfume ainda é manter o aspecto floral que suaviza a base da fragrância. No geral, Shakira usa flores vermelhas com baunilha e dá um toque mais floral à fragrância do que gourmand e frutal. Pode-se fazer uma analogia de que S é a Shakira Mulher e S Eau Florale é uma Shakira Menina.

    Dentre as celebridades femininas, Shakira é a que tem tido o melhor nariz na escolha das fragrâncias de sua linha ao lado de Sarah Jessica Parker. Suas fragrâncias tem potencial de conquistar, assim como sua beleza e carisma.

    Perfume: S by Shakira Eau Florale
    Versão: EDP
    Gênero: Feminino
    Perfumista: Elisabeth Vidal
    Notas de saída: Bergamota, cassis
    Notas de corpo: Jasmim, Heliotropo, Frutas vermelhas (Framboesa, Amora e Mirtilo).
    Notas de base: Musk e Baunilha

    O melhor da fragrância: a intimista combinação de frutas vermelhas com baunilha.

    O pior da fragrância:  Desenvolvimento linear, sem grandes surpresas e não tão fresco e floral como a sugestão do nome.

    Poder de fixação:  10 horas

    Sillage: médio

    Drydown: Floral frutal vanila

    Recomendado para : adoradores de berries com vanila.

    Avaliação Perfume da Rosa Negra

    Review by Cristiane Gonçalves for Perfume da Rosa Negra. Video Shakita S by Shakira Eau Florale. A Courtesy of Shakira Beauty at YouTube.com

    Un homme de 30 ans a été interpellé vendredi matin. Il est soupçonné d’être à l’origine depuis le 24 juillet, principalement en soirée, d’une dizaines de départs de feu qui ont brûlé environ 3,5 hectares dans le secteur de Saint-Ambroix et Allègre-les-Fumades, dans le nord du département du Gard. «Il reconnaît avoir mis le feu, mais il n’explique pas pourquoi» Il a été mis en examen pour «incendies volontaires», une procédure délictuelle, et incarcéré à la maison d’arrêt de Nîmes, a indiqué le procureur de la République à Alès, Nicolas Hennebelle. «Il reconnaît avoir mis le feu, mais il n’explique pas pourquoi. Il dit qu’il n’était pas bien, qu’il avait un contentieux avec son employeur, mais ce ne sont pas des explications cohérentes», a déclaré le magistrat. Une expertise psychiatrique sera réalisée au cours de l’instruction, a-t-il ajouté, précisant que l’homme, qui exerçait la profession de livreur, n’est pas connu de la justice.
    (rythmes courts à voir)
              Sep 2011 DB challenge - Croissants        

    I have placed the first croissants into yeastspotting http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

    Blog-checking lines: The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!

    Recipe Source: Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume Two. Julia Child and Simone Beck.

    See here for a PDF of the recipe (it has 57 steps LOL LOL)

    Wow this month's challenge was so interesting making croissants, croissant pastry is intriguing it is a mixture of "puff pastry" and "yeast bread dough", technically croissant pastry is a laminated dough, that is you basically make a yeast bread dough and then you make a butter puff pastry with it, using four turns and folds. Very interesting.

    We were very lucky to have a wonderful member txfarmer she had experimented with croissant over a two month period and her postings in the "The Fresh Loaf" web site were invaluable well worth a look see these links link one, link two and link three.

    1457 layered sourdough croissants

    Croissants making is all about technique and practice practice and more practice.

    I have made croissants a large number of times so I thought I would push myself on this challenge. I wanted to try some new techniques and methods. So I did sourdough croissants using a HUGE amount of butter using six turns in as little time as possible.

    Luckily Sydney Australia is having perfect weather for making laminated dough cold cold and more cold. So I could do two turns (almost three!) every 45 mins (chilling the dough in the freezer between turns). The final proof took a long time.

    I had some very active sourdough dough on the rise ready to be shaped when the challenge was announced so I used that to make my croissant dough (sorry I didn't use the challenge recipe for this attempt). I used 500 grams of AP (plain) flour (Australian plain flour is about 10% protein) in the final pastry dough and a 500 gram butter-block (since I had to use up the butter today). Using a high ratio of flour to butter makes it much easier to make the laminations in the pastry. Since I have made laminated doughs before and I was using sourdough (which gives good structural strength to the crumb with plenty of tenderness) I did six 'letter' folds (which produces 728 layers of butter and 729 layers of dough or 1457 different layers in total!) and double egg-washed the croissants. Using sourdough makes for a very tender dough (much softer than normal bread dough). I had to chill the dough after each two turns for 45 mins.

    The croissants increase in volume about 3½ times. They smell fabulous when baking.

    A very long process, but well worth it.

    I was very pleased with these 'quick' croissants since the sourdough really helped tenderise the dough and the many turns seemed to work out fine and the HUGE amount of butter stayed in the rolls when baked so overall a very good result.

    My list of characteristics of a good croissant
    1. good layering of the butter and dough
    2. the exterior crust is deeply coloured all over, the crust should be shiny thin and crisp with a slight crackle (the crust should almost shatter) when bitten into
    3. the interior colour is even (slightly yellow or creamy white it depends on the colour of your butter) with an open crumb (lots of holes), the interior dough should be moist and soft with a 'pull' when your tear it apart, and the
    4. butter flavour should be strong but not overpowering.

    A Sunday article in “le Figaro magazine” referred to the nine pillars of pleasure (volupté) for appreciating a croissant. The author of the article asked two well-known Parisian pâtissiers, Pierre Hermé and Laurent Duchêne to “analyze what makes the heart of the croissant beat”

    The nine pillars of volupté (pleasure) from "le Figaro magazine" are:
    1. The layers (le feuilletage) – look for the layers, lots of space, not flat and smooth; crusty exterior, soft inside
    2. The soft interior (la mie) – is light and agreeably honeycombed. When you eat it, it should have crumbs. When you tear off the cornered end, the soft interior should resist a bit. It should not be doughy.
    3. What you hear (à l’oreille) – Ideally you should hear the crunch of the crust. It should crackle the whole while you are biting into it. As Pierre Hermé says: “you should hear the croissant suffer!” («On doit entendre la souffrance du croissant!»)
    4. What you taste (en bouche) – You should taste the amount of butter rather than the sugar. However, the subtle taste of salt is the crowning point of a good croissant.
    5. What makes a bad croissant (et un mauvais croissant?) – Look to see if the bottom of the croissant is whitish; it was not cooked long enough or was poorly baked. Is the croissant flat in appearance and doesn’t seem to breathe or is it oozing butter?
    6. The smell (l’odeur) – This can be a giveaway, if the croissant smells of yeast or the metal baking sheet. It should give off an agreeable smell of creamy butter.
    7. Shelf life (sa durée de vie) – The croissant has a very short shelf life: five or six hours; outside of this, it becomes stale. Don’t eat the croissant too hot, it loses its taste, its heart, it fades.
    8. The ingredients (les ingredients) – The choice of butter is first and foremost. Pierre Hermé uses Viron flour, fleur de sel de Guérande, butter from the Viette (Charente) region, course sugar and of course water. But, mineral water.
    9. The season (la saison) – Does the croissant have a season? From the end of October to the beginning of November (this is for the Northern Hemisphere) is not a good time to buy a croissant. At this point the wheat harvests are blended (the old with the newly harvested). The dough is more difficult to control.

    When ordering, ask for the croissant made with butter (croissant au buerre). And although winter might be the croissants’ most popular season, they are available all year round.

    The sourdough croissant dough has increased three times in volume, it is full of flavour and bubbles

    The sour dough punched down

    The butter block - I shape the butter block as perfectly as possible

    Locking-in the butter into the dough

    Use rubber bands on your rolling pin to get thin even layers in your laminated doughs

    After the first turn and fold (notice after the 1st turn & fold the dough is the same size as the butter block)

    Trimming the final croissant dough after six turns and fold - keeping the dough neat and even is essential

    Unbaked croissants

    Baked croissants

    Close up of the laminations in the overlapping sections

    Tips and hints
    1. One “letter” (also called a 'simple') fold (i.e folding the dough like a letter taking the top 2/3 of the way down and then taking the bottom 2/3 of the way up to form a rectangle), produces 2 layers of fat encased by 3 layers of dough, so two letter folds produces 6 layers of fat and 7 layers of dough, three letter folds produces 26 layers of fat and 27 layers of dough, four letter folds (typical of croissants) produces 80 layers of fat and 81 layers of dough (this type of pastry dough can increase in volume about three times when baked), five letter folds produces 242 layers of fat and 243 layers of dough and six letter folds (typical of puff pastry which can expand eight times in volume when baked) produces 728 layers of butter and 729 layers of dough that is 1457 different layers in total! (this type of pastry dough can increase in volume about eight times when baked)
    2. About the type of flour (low or high gluten) to use – I have checked a lot of websites and my extensive collection of cookery books and there seems to be two camps; the high gluten camp that uses bread flour (high gluten 13%+ protein), and the low(er) gluten camp that uses some (or all!) cake flour (low gluten about 8% protein). Oddly French recipes seem to about 3/4 bread and 1/4 cake on which flour to use. High gluten strengthens the structure of the bread but also toughens the crumb and can be hard to roll out, while low gluten gives a tender crumb but with compromised strength. In the end it is a juggling act between tenderness versus strength. Low gluten flour gives a light open textured crumb but there is a tendency for the croissant structure to collapse, while high gluten flour gives a tighter crumb more like normal bread but the croissant structure is much firmer. My 10% protein sour dough produced a light open crumb with good volume increase I think this was due to the chemical/baking effects of the sour dough and not so much about the amount of protein in the flour. I think a lot of the bread flour recipes are really for machines and not the home baker.
    3. Sour dough takes a very long time to proof as compared to normal bread.
    4. Here are the major pitfalls for this recipe; warm butter, warm dough, the butter and dough aren't the same consistency which encourages the butter to run out or crack in the laminated layers, untrimmed laminations, uneven final sheeting (the layers of alternating dough and butter should be even).
    5. Make paper cut-outs (templates) of the rolled-out dough shapes, the butter-block and the croissants the templates really makes rolling out the dough so much faster and easier.
    6. I like to add ½ teaspoon of fresh lemon (or lime) juice per three of cups flour, the acid helps to tenderise the dough's gluten, also the juice intensifies the taste of the butter I feel. Be careful too much lemon juice will result in a dough that is too soft therefore hindering oven spring (the amount the dough springs up in the first few minutes of baking).
    7. Use a “French” rolling pin if possible (French rolling pins have no handles and are the same width over the length of the pin they look like a large dowel length) or a very long traditionally shaped rolling pin.
    8. Try to use the best quality butter you can afford for your croissants. “European” butter styles have a lower water content (<10%) than normal supermarket brands (about 16%) also top quality brands of butter are more pliable (than low cost butters) when cold. That is low-water/ high-fat content butters make for the highest quality croissants. In France you can buy 'dry' butter (i.e. extra low water content and extra high fat content butter) especially made to be used in croissant making. I used a Belgian butter called Lurpak $16/kg. I was surprised how easy the dough was to layer with the butter block. After each turn and fold I let the dough rest in the refrigerator for about 1½ hours. I have found Aldi's unsalted butter about $6/kg works fine. You can buy butter sheets (butter spread out in thin sheets wrapped in plastic) these make the layering of the dough and butter a lot easier, but they are hard to find try good foodie shops and suppliers to major hotels and restaurants.
    9. Most recipes use 45% butter to flour weight I find for the home cook using a lot more butter makes the rolling and turning much easier, increase the butter to about 55-65% flour weight. I did 100% butter to flour weight since I needed to use the butter up and I wanted to experiment what would happen. No leakage at all since I proved the rolls for a long time!
    10. To use unsalted or salted butter? I like using unsalted butters since they have a higher fat content than salted butter and I feel that unsalted butter tastes better. But I think it is a matter of personal preference.
    11. The butter block has to be made cold and kept cold. You want pliability, NOT softness.
    12. The optimal temperature for the butter is 60°F (15½°C) at this temperature it will be pliable and not break into pieces when rolled out.
    13. Make sure that the butter block and the dough have the same consistency especially for the first 2 turns, leave the cold dough out on the counter until the butter is the same consistency as the dough. A dough that is softer than the butter will be forced to the sides by the firmer butter; a dough that is too firm will force the butter out the sides.
    14. After four turns the dough is beautiful and silky.
    15. Remember to let the dough warm up a little (a few minutes) if it has been in the fridge for a long time (over 2 hours) recall you want the butter and the dough to be the same consistency when you roll out the laminated dough.
    16. Laminating takes a little practice. Mainly, using the rolling pin as evenly as possible for the turns, keeping the dough rectangle so that the laminations are tight and even, and finally trimming the ends.
    17. When rolling out the dough. Always roll in a square or rectangular shape regardless of the final shape. Roll in one direction. Begin with your pin on the edge closest to you and roll toward the far end; do not roll sideways. Do not press down when rolling or the layers may stick together and the recipe will not rise properly. Decrease the pressure as you roll toward the edges to avoid flattening them and compressing the layers. Evenness of rolling is essential so there is even rising. The upper part tends to lengthen faster than the bottom, so turn the dough over occasionally to keep the seams and edges even. Make sure you place the dough so when you resume rolling you do so over the previous rolls and in the same direction. Be neat. Don’t roll it side-ways. Always roll it length-wise. Use as little flour as possible when rolling out the dough so that the dough doesn’t get too tough. Roll it thinly and evenly so that the layers are even when baked. The straighter your rolled dough, the more uniform your puff pastry.
    18. Make sure the corners are at a 90-degree angle. This is so the layers are lined up properly for the greatest puff during baking.
    19. Rolling to 1/8-inch thick is good for most pastries. For tartlets, roll to 1/16-inch thick, and for larger pastries, such as the Gateau St.-Honore, 3/16-inch thick.
    20. Unless you are a professional puff pastry maker and have a home sheeter (a machine that rolls out pastry sheets – a dream of mine) then limit the number of turns for croissants to a maximum of four. For the normal home baker (three or) four turns will produce the maximum lift, further turns will result in smaller and denser croissants. I did six turns since I was using sourdough and I have been making laminated doughs for a long time and can make a good dough with even thin layers that are aligned very closely to 90° to the dough edges. Usually I do four turns but since this is a challenge I thought I would do six to experiment.
    21. If some butter escapes you can add a very thin layer of flour to the butter and proceed as normal.
    22. You can place thick rubber bands on the edges of the rolling pin the bands make rolling out even thickness dough's much easier. Or you can use flat thin bars of metal laid out on the table as your rolling guide for your rolling pin.
    23. Trim the parts that do not expose laminations (like the long edges of the dough.) You do not want 'dead' areas in the laminated dough these dead areas will not rise and bake correctly, so be neat and keep straight edges on your dough when rolling it out. DO NOT put the trimmings in the dough
    24. Always brush off the excess flour after turning and folding, this unincorporated flour can cause toughness in your final baked croissants.
    25. Get the dough out and back into the fridge as soon as possible between lamination steps.
    26. Proving the shaped croissants takes much longer than normal bread...2 to 2.5 hours (even longer if using sour dough) until they are fully puffed-up and jiggle when they are done. It is this final proofing that produces large light puffy croissants and stop the butter from running out of the rolls.
    27. The melting point of butter is very low (90°F/32°C) and it has a spreading consistency at room temperature. So if the ambient room temperature is well above 77°F/25°C proof your unbaked croissants in the fridge (this will take about 8-10 hours).
    28. Egg washing immediately after forming the croissants keeps them moist! Egg wash again just before baking. This double egg washing produces a lovely deep shine on your croissants.
    29. Remember to egg wash the tops of the laminated dough (not the edges that have the laminations) in the shaped croissant, since the egg wash will stop the croissant laminations from rising correctly.
    30. Remember the croissants will increase in volume about three times so arrange the unbaked rolls on your baking sheet with plenty of space between them.
    31. Rotate your baking sheets half way through the bake.
    32. Add a little steam (an ice cube or two in a shallow pan in the oven with the croissants is fine) when starting to bake the croissants this moisture produces thin crisp crusts.
    33. The oven temperature is very hot (475°F/240°C/gas mark 9) for this recipe I baked mine for 15 mins and the colour on the croissants was perfect. Remember to preheat the oven for about 20 mins at the correct baking temperature, this long preheating ensures marvellous oven spring and a deep colour on the croissants.
    34. The colour of the croissant should be brown all over even where the pastry overlaps.
    35. If after 15 mins in the very hot oven you need more colour reduce the temperature to moderately hot (400°F/200°C/gas mark 6) and bake until you get the colour you want.
    36. To see some WONDERFUL croissants (with loads of tips and hints) see these links from Txfarmer's postings in The Fresh Loaf website. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/24534/double-chocolate-croissant-sourdough-starter-can-bread-be-mysteries-and-sexy http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22677/poolish-croissant-pursuit-perfection http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23342/croissant-sourdough-starter-txfarmer-vs-tx-summer

    Butter Croissants
    I did another batch using the new updated challenge recipe, I used plain (AP) flour (10% protein), I double egg-washed the rolls and I made sure that I proofed them until soft and wobbly (about 4 hours since it was cold here). The interior crumb was a marvellous honeycomb.

    A nice honeycomb pattern

    A crisp shiny crust yum yum

    Comparison of the crumb from my first batch (sourdough croissants) and this batch, the final proofing is very important to get a light airy interior in your croissants.

    Pain Au Chocolat Noir
    The shiny lacquered crusts of the pain au chocolat noir

    I made up some dark chocolate dough (by replacing 4 tablespoons of flour with dark Dutch processed cocoa powder in the challenge recipe) to make pain au chocolat noir, I used dark chocolate chips in the rolls to give an extra chocolate hit. This shape for the rolls minimizes waste and also you can place some extra chocolate along the entire width of the pastry. These where a smash hit with my guests also I really like these a lot not too sweet with a great mouth feel, the best ones so far (it is hard to beat chocolate).

    The layered chocolate and butter layers in the croissant dough, this is after three turns and folds

    Loads of pain au chocolat noir

    Interior shot of the chocolate crumb and dark chocolate filling

    A small stack of pain au chocolat noir

    Cherry Ripe Croissant Bread Pudding
    I love how it looks like a lava explosion rippling with chocolate yum yum!

    I love the flavour of cherry ripe (that is a combination of cherry, coconut and chocolate) so I thought I would make a bread pudding from the 'leftover' chocolate croissants I had from yesterday. (To be honest they weren't leftover I stashed them away (LOL LOL) so I could make a bread pudding from them today.) This dessert is rich, decadent with a lusciousness that boarders on the sublime, and it looks so tempting and inviting. The topping is oozing with dark chocolate goodness while the interior is soft melt-in-your-mouth coconut egg yolk custard which is full of hidden ruby red treasures of cherries. Too good to share really this amount feeds 12 people with ice cream.

    Bread pudding is basically ripped stale buttered and jammed bread that is baked in an egg/milk/cream custard usually along with soaked dried fruit like raisins etc.

    So for this decadent croissant bread pudding I used this recipe

    The unbaked cherry ripe croissant bread pudding (this had soaked overnight)

    The baked croissant pudding

    Cherry Ripe Croissant Bread Pudding
    For each two medium-sized chocolate croissants ripped into 1 inch (2½ cm) inches pieces use; one cup of custard liquid (¼ cup coconut cream, ½ cup cream and ¼ cup milk) whisked with 2 egg yolks, and the filling ingredients of ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup dried cherries soaked overnight in rum or cherry brandy or orange juice, ¼ cup dark chocolate chips. Line a baking dish with the ripped croissant pieces, add the custard liquid and the other ingredients stir gently. Cover with plastic and place a light weight on top and let soak for at least one hour (or overnight is better). Preheat an oven to moderate 180°C/350°F/gas 4, remove the plastic from the pudding add some more chocolate chips (do not add soaked fruit they will burn) and place the baking dish into a larger baking pan place enough boiling water to reach about half way up the pudding dish and bake for an hour. The centre should be slightly wobbly. Let cool to warm (about 45 minutes) and serve with vanilla ice cream. Marvellous warm but better at room temperature the next day.

    So oozy with deliciousness

    What to do with the left over trimmings of the croissant dough?

    After so many batches of croissants I have lots of trimmings, (a lot of long trimmings and short trimmings) so I thought I would share what I make these them. Scrolls are always good to make with the long lengths of trimmings, Danish pastries and pain au chocolat are great when you have a lot of shot trimmings just roll out and fill as normal.

    Scrolls made with the long lengths of trimmings - on the left the filling is soaked raisins and the other is filled with stewed apple pieces

    Danish pastry

    Crumb of the pain au chocolat roll
              459 - Crónica 412ª Reunión Oficial de Tejedores Madrid Knits (viernes, 20 de enero de 2017)        
    Crónica escrita y fotografiada por Patricia, editada por Silvia.

    Hoy casi no llego… literalmente. De hecho esta mañana me he tenido que dar la vuelta camino al trabajo porque me había dejado la labor y a partir de ahí ha sido todo correr y no parar.

    Gracias Mar por empezar a recopilar las notas de las labores, ¡así da gusto!. Al menos he llegado bastante tarde pero creo que podemos tener un resumen de todo lo que estamos (estáis…) haciendo ahora:

    Joao: ya tiene el cuerpo de su jersey "Light Weight Raglán Sweater", a la espera de las mangas. Acaba de deshacer media manga porque estaba demasiado ancha. "¡Menos mal que tengo a mis amigas tejedoras para animarme!. Por lo menos ahora iré más rápido, al ser más estrechas" (eso es positivismo, qué envidia).

    Mar: Ha empezado otro chal y está encantada. El patrón es "Autumn Falling Shawl" de Dominique Trad y lo está tejiendo con una Malabrigo verde preciosa que compró en Barcelona este verano (¡es precioso!... ah, esos chales con Malabrigo).

    Cris Z: Está tejiendo un cuello calentito… y ya lo lleva muy avanzado.

    Cris F: La primera parte de la tarde la ha pasado tejiendo una de las mangas del "Swivel Pullover" pero no ha podido seguir porque necesita probarse el jersey en casa para ver como va quedando (que velocidad tiene esta mujer tejiendo…. ¿de verdad que compartimos genes?), así que ha sacado del bolso como si nada unos calcetines que ha empezado. Se llaman "Bly" y los está haciendo con una lana "Cascade Heritage Solids" con agujas del 2,5. Esta vez está tejiéndolos para ella, ya que los últimos pares que ha tejido han sido para amigas.

    Rebeca: Sigue con el jersey "Albion" de Michele Wang. Como no va a tener suficiente lana azul para las mangas, va a improvisar un adorno gris en los puños (eh, eso es customizar los patrones jejeje). Está deseando acabarlo para tejer algo para ella (claro que sí, que mereces un premio de lo bonito que va a quedar…).

    Almudena: acaba de terminar la primera asa para restaurar su bolsa de labor y ha empezado la segunda. Dice que le falta lo difícil que es ponerle el cordoncillo de relleno y coserlo (menos lobos… ¡que con tu paciencia todo se logra!).

    Pilar: Ha traído la misma labor que el otro día se le olvidó una aguja, y hoy charlando y charlando se está equivocando un montón. Pero no hay problema, porque en casa le cunde mucho :-). Di que sí Pilar, que hay que aprovechar de vez en cuando y charlar un poco jejeje (al menos tú recuperas luego, yo acumulo).

    Silvia: Hoy ha sido día de enredar y no avanzar (claro, eso me ha pasado también a mí, es el día, no soy yo jejeje). Ha recibido el pedido de unas preciosas agujas Symfonie y ha intentado montar los puntos para hacer las dos mangas juntas para su jersey (no veis foto no?, pues eso… intentado). Dice que seguirá probando en casa más concentrada; es que las dos a la vez es un poco de jaleo al principio. La foto es del cuerpo del jersey, que ya ha llegado a la sisa.

    Patricia: yo he venido, he hecho la crónica (bueno, me la he encontrado hecha por Mar y Silvia… pero presumo), he tomado las fotos, he cotorreado, me he tomado un café y he hecho media vuelta. Quien da más!!!, me estoy superando en este 2017… miedo me doy jejejeje. 

    Pero es que se pasa muy bien y muy rápido… así que si te animas, te esperamos en la próxima:

    Viernes, 27 de enero de 2017
    Lugar: Starbucks, C/Pedro Teixeira, 8 (esq. Avda. Brasil)
    Horario: 17.00 a 21.00 h

              MI AMIGO EL GIGANTE        

    Película: Mi amigo el gigante. Título original: The BFG (The big friendly giant). Dirección: Steven Spielberg. País: USAAño: 2016. Duración:117 min. Género: FantásticoReparto: Bill Hader, Rebecca Hall, Rudy Barnhill, Jemaine Clement, Adam Godley, Penelope Wilton, Mark Rylance.Guion: Melissa Mathison; basado en el libro infantil “El gran gigante bonachón”, de Roald Dahl. Música: John Williams. Estreno en España: 8 Julio 2016. Calificación por edades: Apta para todos los públicos.

    “Mi amigo el gigante” cuenta la historia de la amistad entre una pequeña niña y un misterioso gigante, que le enseñará las maravillas y los peligros del País de los Gigantes.

    Hay pocos directores que entiendan tanto y tan bien el valor mágico del cine como Steven Spielberg. Y el valor y la importancia de la magia y la ilusión en nuestras, a menudo, desesperanzadas vidas. Por eso Spielberg ha leído a sus siete hijos en algún momento el cuento de Roald Dahl titulado El gran gigante bonachón. Por eso hace más de 25 años que el cineasta perseguía adaptar la aventura mágica que el escritor dedicó a su hija fallecida por encefalitis a los siete años.
    Pero Spielberg, un hombre paciente, esperó hasta que la tecnología estuviera al nivel de la historia que quería contar: la de un gigante herbívoro, menos gigante que sus compañeros comehumanos, que habla un extraño inglés (la invención de palabras de Dahl se perderá en la traducción al castellano) y se dedica a cazar dulces sueños que ‘sopla’ en las cabezas de los niños por las noches. Una de esas noches, una niña curiosa y ávida lectora de cuentos en el silencio nocturno de su orfanato, le descubre. El gigante, nervioso, la coge con sus grandes manos y se la lleva a su casa, la coloca en una sartén, donde la pequeña (la debutante y enérgica Ruby Barnhill), asustada, cree que acabará en su estómago. La oscuridad del cuento de estos primeros momentos acaba pronto. En cuanto el gigante empieza a comer un pegajoso pepino verde, su alimento principal para no comer “human beans” (judías humanas, en un juego de palabras inglés: “human beings”) y los dos juntos beben un líquido verde cuyo efecto inmediato son unas sonoras flatulencias –la demostración de que el público de este cuento, en papel y en pantalla, son los niños, y bienvenido sea–, la amistad entre dos seres tan diversos cobra protagonismo, tal y como pasaba en E.T. No es por casualidad que las dos películas compartan guionista, Melissa Mathison. Este Mi amigo el gigante fue su último trabajo antes de morir el noviembre pasado....(CINEMANIA).

    Spielberg intenta repetir la fórmula de E.T. pero no le saca partido al libro de Roald Dahl.
    Demasiado previsible. Ese sería el resumen de Mi amigo el gigante, una película cuya falta de tono y ritmo sorprende por venir de las manos de un director como Steven Spielberg y por ser su siguiente trabajo después de la brillante El puente de los espías.

    Mi amigo el gigante tiene el aire de historia ya contada antes y desperdicia la oportunidad de sacarle todo el jugo al doble sentido que encierran todos los cuentos infantiles, las fábulas fantásticas sobre la pérdida de la inocencia. Spielberg opta por seguir un camino visual brillante como el de toda su filmografía, pero en el que se observan reiteraciones de contenido visual y narrativo que ya ha explorado con mayor acierto y pasión en ocasiones anteriores......(ACCION DE CINE).

    Así como los adultos cambian de voz cuando interpretan a todos los personajes de un cuento infantil, Steven Spielberg se desdobla en la pareja protagonista de 'Mi amigo el gigante'. Por un lado, es el alquimista, el destilador de sueños que, en una secuencia portentosa, cocina las historias y los deseos que pueblan nuestra vida onírica. Por otro, encarna la pureza de esa niña que mira el mundo con los ojos limpios y solitarios. Spielberg es la figura paterna pero también la huérfana que necesita su cobijo.
    El cuento de Roald Dahl le permite gestionar esa duplicidad invocando su dimensión más siniestra e intimista en la primera parte del film, que es sorprendentemente lenta en su desarrollo, para soltarse la melena en la segunda, en la larga escena en Buckingham Palace que, por momentos, parece evocar el encanto de algunas películas Disney de carne y hueso, con 'Mary Poppins' (Robert Stevenson, 1964) como cabeza de cartel.
    Lo más llamativo de 'Mi amigo el gigante' es su naturaleza paradójica. Si parte de su fuerza visual reside en su precioso diseño digital, que cristaliza en ese gigante al que Mark Rylance interpreta entre gestos cálidos y torpes y juegos de palabras intraducibles, no es menos cierto que su ritmo narrativo es el propio de un cine infantil añejo, analógico, que se toma su tiempo para abrazar a sus personajes pero que prefere ir al grano cuando se trata de resolver la trama. Spielberg sabe que su varita mágica no se engrasa con la tecnología, sino con esos sueños que el gigante colecciona en coloridos tarros de cristal.(FOTOGRAMAS).


    Despierto y veo las cosas de otro color, no siempre es rosa, o quiza ese rosa que llamamos rosa no es tan rosa,quiza es morado o turquesa, pero nos ponemos en nuestro papel de que es rosa, y no hay poder humano que nos haga cambiar de opinion.

    Desperte abrazada a tu camiseta que aun mantiene tu aroma, o quiza soy yo la que aun mantiene el aroma de tu cuerpo,caricias,besos y sudor de los cuerpos luchando por amarse otra vez,era inevitable olerte la noche de anoche, mientras dormia podia reconocer el aroma, y cada ves que me movia tu aroma era más fuerte y excitante. Te metiste en mis sueños, me hiciste el amor, cubriste cada parte de mi cuerpo con tu sudor, con tus besos, con tus caricias.

    Desgraciadamente, esta vez no te pude escuchar, es la primera vez que te sueño y no puedo escuchar tu voz y raramente era yo la que estaba contigo en la cama, pero era tambien la que miraba desde los asientos, era la que sentia pero tambien la que veia, eramos 3 en una habitacion.

    Podia ver como me hacias tuya, podia ver nuestros cuerpos unirse en uno…si!

    Todo se resume aun “podia”.

              REQ: Frontend/UI Developer @Jacksonville, FL        
    FL-Jacksonville, Hi, Hope you are doing well. This isNareshfromAITA Consulting services.We are hiring for a Frontend/UI Developer forone of our client atJacksonville, FL.Please find the below job description and let me know your interest with your update resume to naresh@aitacs.com Role: Frontend/UI Developer Location: Jacksonville, FL Duration: 12+ months Employment type: W2 only DESCRIPTION Responsible for devel
              Inside Sales        
    FL-Jacksonville, Diversified Sourcing Solutions is currently recruiting for a Hungry Inside Sales Account Manager. Base pay, commission, health benefits, company paid cell phone. Please email updated resume to jvitelli@emaildss.com INSIDE SALES = FLOORING INDUSTRY We are offering a dynamic and skilled individual an opportunity to achieve professional success by joining our team as an Inside Sales Account Manager.
              Me importa un pimiento la marca España; me preocupa más la Justicia        
    El Gobierno me tiene frito con su defensa hipócrita de la “marca España”. Presume de defenderla cuando realmente la detenta. No tiene rubor en usarla como escudo de sus desmanes y de las torpezas (o delitos) de otros poderosos. El último ejemplo: su alteza real la infanta Cristina, cuya situación judicial causa tanta pesadumbre al […]
              A Legend Retires Today.        

    My departing gift to you all.

    Today is the day.  A day that will always be remembered much like the attack on Pearl Harbor, JKF's assassination, the Olson twins 18th birthday, Paris Hilton's sex tape release date and The Fappening.  A day most of you have been waiting for since September 5th, 2011.  Today I officially resign my Tuesday post at the MoneyShot.  Don't all rush out and get me a retirement gift at once.

    As much as all of you begged and pleaded G$ to fire me, know that this was 100% my choice and your demands always fell on deaf ears.  Because all of you are dumb assholes.  I've actually been thinking about this move for awhile now.  Back when I obliterated the competition and ran away with this job, I promised myself that the minute doing this felt like work I would hang up my keyboard and walk away in my prime on my terms.  That day has come.  I'm just not into writing posts as I used to be.  So for my last post here at the greatest corner of the Internet world, I will share my fondest memory of each commenter.

    Dut - Giving you AIDS in the Jolly St. Prick post is the foundation of my legacy.  It'll be hard to knock that out of the top 5 best things every written here and will most likely make my Hall of Fame speech.

    Nibbles - How much your wife hates Ide.  Real, true, passionate hate.

    MUDawgFan - For the longest time I thought you and MUfan were the same person.  Still kinda do.  My favorite part about you is how you get so mad when I blast your teams even though deep down you kinda agree with everything I say about them.

    MUfan - Gonna need that stalker story, bruh.  No matter how embarrassing it may be.

    Burke - Go get me a fucking sandwich.  No onion.  And step on it or your tip will suffer.

    Damman - Making everyone buy into the fact that you only fuck fat chicks was a thing of beauty.  Hopefully that legend will never die.

    Seal - Your blind rage taught me that it's wise to always keep my blood pressure in check.  Whenever I get frustrated with something I just take a couple deep breaths and say, "Don't be Seal.  Don't be Seal.".  Also, I realized that all Kentucky inbreds aren't complete weirdos the night I blacked out with you at that random bar in Dublin after RibFest.

    Cakes - The evolution of Cakes and FUCK YOU CAKES were about the only worthwhile things that came from your comments.  And you probably won't even read this because you randomly vanished like a fart in the wind.

    Lacey - You made me despise Notre Dame more than I ever thought possible.  Opened up hate doors I never knew existed after that bitch fest about a perfectly legit offensive PI call.

    Jeff - You will go down as my last official COTY nomination.  That's something you can and SHOULD put on your resume.

    Prime - You gave me Chip Kelly interviews.  I don't think I need to elaborate.  You were also a valuable asset in the longest post in the history of this site.  The Music Mock Draft - 90's Edition.

    Ide - I will forever regret the day we met.  It still haunts me some nights.  But #IdeLies will be something I use forever.  And paying for ribs from NYC was a pretty baller move even though you bitched out on the zombie run because your pussy had the sniffles.

    Grumpy - If not for your misplaced Steeler bravado and betting with your white trash Appalachia heart, RibFest would have never been a thing.  When you die in a few months from being 200 years old, I will make sure the tombstone properly represents your greatest life's work.  RibFest.  And not once did I ever clean the fucking attic.

    Ace - You set the bar so incredibly low here with shit like May The Forcier Be With You, it was impossible for me to fail.  And where would this website be without your porn post?  Almost non existent, IMO.

    And finally, G$ - The father of this site and the mind numbing ELITE debate.  Born and bred from your wide ginger hips and massive birth canal.  You gave me this thankless job 3 years ago for zero dollars.  Suck Eli Manning's pecker.  It was a great 3 year run and I'm grateful I had the chance to piss people off at an alarming rate.  Now go sucker someone else into this terrible job.

    So what is my fondest memory of myself, you ask??  ELITE question.  After all these years I would say that my fondest memory of myself would be everything.  But if I had to narrow it down and pick a Mona Lisa...that would have to be the creation of the BRAHs.  That is what I'm most proud of.  As far as the void I've left that will, no doubt, be impossible to fill...use today to express interest/apply for the job you'll never do as well as I did.  For my final thoughts on my final post at the end of a first ballot Hall of Fame blogging career, I will leave you with my campaign slogan that won this election by a landslide back in 2011.  "Gmoney/Iceman 2012.  We're gonna titty fuck the world!"  You're God damn right we did.
              Análisis de La Carta de Jamaica        
    En La Carta de Jamaica, expone la idea de unir toda Sudamérica, de Chile hasta México.

    A Bolívar le preocupa su pueblo, cuando hablaba de la masacre, mediante la palabra exterminio que segó una octava parte de la población.

    Profetizar sobre el tipo de gobierno era difícil, por las condiciones en que estaba la patria, para un pueblo gobernar es una tarea ardua:

    “Toda idea de relativa al porvenir de este país me aparece aventurada”. Dice Bolívar.

    Tomando en cuenta las condiciones que estaba la patria, la existencia política era nula.

    La política debió manejarse con cuidado, se presume.

    Sobre todo se realizó énfasis sobre los invasores.

    La disertación se hace enfática, diciendo, que el pueblo a ese tiempo estaba en una situación de servidumbre. “El pueblo es esclavo cuando el gobierno, por su esencia o por sus vicios, huella y usurpa los derechos del ciudadano o súbditos”

    La preocupación de Bolívar eran, que el pueblo esté preparado para manejar un poder grande, le preocupaba la anarquía y desear un buen gobierno.

    Prácticamente el destino de la patria de la que tanto hablaba Bolívar estaba en sus gobernantes.

    “Se erigió un gobierno democrático, federal, declarando previamente los derechos del hombre, manteniendo el equilibrios de los poderes y estatuyendo leyes generales a favor de la libertad civil de imprenta y otras; finalmente se constituyo un gobierno independiente”.

    Bolívar deseaba que América sea la nación más grande del mundo por su libertad y gloria. “Yo deseo más que otro alguno ver formar en América la más grande Nación del mundo, menos por su extensión y riquezas que por su libertad y gloria, aunque aspiro a sea por el momento regido por una gran república como es imposible, no me atrevo a desearlo, y menos deseo una monarquía universal de América porque este proyecto, sin ser útil, es también imposible. Los abusos que actualmente existen no se reformarían y nuestra regeneración seria infructuosa”

    El gobierno debe ser paternal significa el padre que cuida a sus hijos.

    Los Estados americanos han de ser menester de los cuidados de gobiernos paternales que curen las llagas y las heridas del despotismo y la guerra.

    Para un pueblo que pasó por lo difícil no eran convenientes los reyes sino una república, el sistema federal lo consideraba demasiado elaborado.

    Un sueño:
    • La Nueva Granada una unión con Venezuela.
    • Capital Maracaibo, o una nueva ciudad que, con el nombre de Las Casas, en honor de este héroe.
    • Su gobierno imitación del Ingles.
    • Ejecutivo electivo.
    • Cuando más vitalicio y jamás hereditario.
    • Si se quiere una Republica.
    • Una cámara, Senado legislativo hereditario, que en las tempestades políticas se interpongan entre las olas populares y los rayos de gobierno.
    • Cuerpo legislativo de libre elección.
    • Pronostica los Tipos de Gobierno:
    • Repúblicas Federales y Centrales.
    Bolívar nos entre dejó sus mensajes, estudiar la tarea de gobernar que es muy difícil, porque una decisión, la responsabilidad esta su gobernantes y involucra el pueblo.

    Para ello se debía educar el pueblo instruirlo, una decisión se debe tomar el beneficio del pueblo.

    La Carta de Jamaica es un documento, parte de la historia, nos permite observar las condiciones de la época lo crudo que fue el proceso de pasar una etapa a otras.
              Presidential candidate doppelgangers: Any ideas?        
    As I met presidential candidate, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Michigan) last night, I couldn't help but think he looked like a certain celebrity. The only role I could remember the celebrity for was one of the executives, Frank Bascombe, in the 2007 version of Fun with Dick and Jane. With the help of Internet movie database, I found out the actor is Richard Jenkins, who actually has 95 titles on his resume. A coworker is convinced that a better doppelganger for McCotter is John Waters , who wrote...
              Employment: UK!        

    Head of Bioacoustics Technology, Aquatec Group, Hartley Wintney, UK

    About Aquatec
    Aquatec Group is a UK-based manufacturer of oceanographic and subsea instrumentation, sold throughout the world for use by research organisations, survey companies, fisheries and the oil and gas industry. Our product range includes a number of bioacoustics-related products, including the AQUAclick (a Static Acoustic Monitoring data logger) and various models of AQUAmark (acoustic deterrent devices) for bycatch mitigation.

    About the Role
    To support our growing bioacoustics-related business, we are currently recruiting at our UK office for a Head of Bioacoustics Technology position, reporting to the Managing Director.

    Aquatec develops and manufactures solutions for marine mammal monitoring and bycatch mitigation, with an in-house engineering team that comprises acoustics, electronics and software engineers. Within the role, you will be expected to provide the interface between the engineering team and the needs of regulators, specifiers and end users of the technology. You will be in regular contact with marine mammal scientists around the world.

    Within the role you will be expected to develop the bioacoustics arm of the business, take part in product development and testing, and support existing users of products. The role requires someone who has a well-rounded mix of personal, scientific, and business development skills.

    About You
    You will be degree qualified with a Masters or PhD in Marine Biology or similar. You will be a citizen of the European Community or will have a permanent right to work in the United Kingdom. You will have practical field experience in the use of static acoustic monitoring systems, and a good understanding of bioacoustics principles. You will be able to process and present bioacoustics data using Matlab, C or both. Ideally you will be in a similar position, or actively working in marine mammal research in the field, and looking for a new challenge. You will need to be competent and confident in the representation of Aquatec to potential customers as well as confident with Aquatec’s internal team to build and expand the company’s business.

    The Reward

    Aquatec is based in pleasant semi-rural surroundings in Hampshire, UK, approximately 40 miles or one hour’s train journey from London. You will be working with a highly motivated and dynamic team and a diverse range of clients and contacts around the world, with opportunities to travel. Salary will be competitive and will reflect your current experience. Assistance with relocation may also be available.

    For more information or queries please send CV/Resume to Reva Perryman, Office Administrator at Aquatec Group, email rperryman@aquatecgroup.com.

    Aquatec Group Limited
    Registered in England
    No 2523284

    Registered Address:
    High Street, Hartley Wintney
    Hampshire, RG27 8NY, UK

    Tel: +44 (0)1252 843072
    Fax: +44 (0)1252 843074


              Volunteering: Maine!        
    Allied Whale, the marine mammal research lab of College of the Atlantic located in Bar Harbor, Maine, seeks 4 interns for the 2010 summer field season.

    Two three-month positions (June-August) and two five-month positions (June-October)are available.

    Individuals will assist in numerous research projects monitoring humpback, finback and North Atlantic right whales, including off-shore surveys, data collection on local whale watching boats, tower surveys on our remote off-shore research base,passive acoustic monitoring, and general logistics. Individuals will be able to earn limited income as deckhands. Research responsibilities include photo-identification
    of whales and data collection/entry. Deckhand responsibilities include line handling, vessel cleaning, and passenger safety. Training will be provided.

    The applicants should have a college background in biology and/or zoology. Some knowledge of research methods is an advantage. Knowledge of marine mammals and seabirds is an asset. Previous experience in photography (conventional and digital) is helpful but not required. Applicants must be positive, flexible, able to work independently, and comfortable working offshore on boats.

    These are entry-level research positions designed to offer experience for individuals seeking to develop their professional careers in marine mammal research.

    The positions begin June 1st and applicants must be able to work through with no other commitments (excluding COA students).

    Please specify which position you are interested in.

    Hours will vary depending on schedules, housing is provided and mandatory for a fee (~$100/wk).

    Application deadline is March 22, 2010.

    Please send a cover letter detailing your reasons for applying, a resume, and two letters of recommendation to:

    Interns 2010
    Allied Whale
    105 Eden St.
    Bar Harbor, Maine, 04609
    Or e-mail to: alliedwhale@coa.edu

    Leah M. Crowe
    Allied Whale
    (207) 288-5644

              Employment: photoID internship in North Carolina!        
    Bottlenose Dolphin Photo-ID Internship Position for 2010

    The Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research (OBXCDR)/Nags Head Dolphin Watch is currently accepting applications for the 2010 summer season. One internship position is available. The research season is May 15 -September 30. Successful applicants must be able to commit through the end of August.

    The Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of bottlenose dolphins in the Outer Banks, NC. Our program´s goal is to gain an understanding of the population size, movement patterns, and behavioral ecology of coastal bottlenose dolphins in the sounds and coastal waters near the Outer Banks. The OBXCDR currently conducts a photo-identification monitoring study of bottlenose dolphins in Roanoke, Croatan, Albemarle, Pamlico and Currituck Sounds. Data is collected via dedicated small boat surveys as well as opportunistically from a local dolphin watch. This study is a continuation of the long-term study initiated by the Nags Head Dolphin Watch in 1997. Information from the current long-term study will provide a basis for initiation of studies involving habitat utilization, social associations, and anthropogenic effects on the dolphins. For more information about the OBXCDR, please visit: www.obxdolphins.org

    The internship position will consist of field research, photo-identification, and environmental education. Responsibilities include:

    - Assisting with boat-based photo-identification surveys of bottlenose dolphins, including operating small vessel during surveys, collecting environmental, location, and behavioral data for dolphin groups

    - Photo-identification of dolphins in the lab, including photo sorting, sighting data entry, assist in maintenance of long-term photo-id catalog using the program FinBase

    - Mate/naturalist duties aboard a local dolphin watch, including educating the general public on dolphins and the sound/marine environment, collecting opportunistic photo-id data, and additional mate duties

    This internship is a paid position. Applicants will receive an hourly salary for performing ecotours on the dolphin watch. From May 15- June 11 and August 18- September 30, the intern will conduct mate/naturalist duties and opportunistic photo-id aboard the Nags Head Dolphin Watch for 4-5 days per week. From June 12- August 17, time commitment to the dolphin ecotours will be 2 days per week. During this time, the internship requires a minimum of 30 hours per week, consisting of ecotours, dedicated field surveys, and lab photo-id. The rest of the week, the intern may seek employment in the Outer Banks or have the time off.

    Housing: A studio apartment is available for rent in Kill Devil Hills for the duration of the research season ($50 per week), however transportation to and from the Outer Banks as well as to and from the field site is not provided.

    The successful applicant would ideally have the following qualifications:
    - Minimum of 18 years of age and currently or recently enrolled in a college-level program in marine biology, biology, zoology, or related field
    - Strong interest in the marine environment and conservation
    - Ability to swim
    - Basic computer proficiency in MS Office Access
    - Enthusiasm, attention to detail, responsible, and works well on a team
    - Field research/small boat operation experience preferred but not required
    - First AID/CPR certification preferred but not required

    NOTE: The United States Coast Guard requires all passenger vessels to be drug free work environments. In order to work aboard the dolphin ecotours, the intern will be required to pass a pre-employment drug test and to participate in random drug testing during the period of the research season.

    Application Process:

    Please submit cover letter, resume, and contact information for 3 references via email to: obxcdr@hotmail.com Use "Dolphin photo-id internship" in the subject line of the email. All applications will be reviewed; those received by April 1st will be given priority.

    Jessica Weiss, M.E.M. Coastal Environmental Management
    Scientific Advisor, Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research
    7517 Virginia Dare Trail
    Nags Head, NC 27959

              Actividades: curso biología e identificación cetáceos SEAWOLVES!        

    22 al 25 de Julio de 2010

    Lugar: Salón de Actos del Hotel Al Mar

    Algeciras (Cádiz)

    Prácticas en Tarifa - SALIDAS EN BARCO

    Contacto: info@seawolves.es


    (0034) 619 69 01 15



    1.- Orcen Cetacea

    1. Introducción
    2. Adaptaciones
    3. Taxonomía

    2.- Odontocetos

    1. Características del grupo
    2. Especies a nivel mundial
    3. Especies de aguas españolas: características físicas y biológicas

    3.- Misticetos

    1. Características del grupo
    2. Especies a nivel mundial
    3. Especies de aguas españolas: características físicas y biológicas

    4.- Identificación

    1. Criterios de localización e identificación de cetáceos en el mar
    2. Identificación de las especies de aguas ibéricas
      1. Morfología
      2. Coloración
      3. Patrones de comportamiento
      4. Distribución
      5. Hábitos

    5.- Varamientos

    1. Definición, concepto y tipos
    2. Causas
    3. Protocolo de actuación


    - 3 SALIDAS EN BARCO en el Estrecho de Gibraltar para la búsqueda, observación e identificación de cetáceos en estado silvestre: delfines mulares (Tursiops truncatus), Orcas (Orcinus orca), delfines comunes (Delphinus delphi), listado (Stenella coeruleoalba), calderones comunes (Globicephala melas), etc.

    - Simulacro de Actuación en un Varamiento: protocolos de trabajo y práctica in situ.


    - Inicio curso: día 22 de Julio a las 10:00 de la mañana

    - Clausura: día 25 hacia las 15:30 o 16:00 horas

    - Jornada mañana y tarde todos los días, salvo el 25.



    - Antiguos alumnos de Sea Wolves: 330 €

    - Estudiantes: 350 €

    - Resto: 370 €

    Si quieres ALOJAMIENTO en el Hotel Al Mar mándanos un correo a carmen_arija@hotmail.com y te facilitaremos las tarifas especiales con las que cuentan los alumnos de Sea Wolves.

    El precio del curso incluye:

    - Certificado de asistencia

    - Resumen de los contenidos tratados en el curso

    - Clases teóricas

    - Desplazamientos entre Algeciras y Tarifa para las prácticas

    - Salidas en barco

    No se incluye:

    - Desplazamiento hasta Algeciras (Cádiz) desde el punto de origen de cada participante

    - Manutención

              Volunteer: California!        


    The California Wildlife Center in Malibu, California, seeks applicants for spring and summer internships working with stranded marine mammals. These are part time 8-week internship positions beginning March 15th (Spring session) and May 15th (Summer session). There is some flexibility of start dates. These internship positions are unpaid.

    Summary/Program Description:

    The California Wildlife Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of injured, orphaned and sick native wildlife. CWC fulfills this mission through marine mammal rescue, and treatment of avian and terrestrial wildlife in our rehabilitation hospital.

    This internship will provide an exciting and challenging educational
    experience in the marine mammal field, while also allowing for additional hands-on experience with other native California wildlife. The interns will be working closely with the Marine Mammal program staff in all aspects of stranding response, including logistics, assessment, capture/restraint,transport to the marine mammal rehabilitation facility, and public relations. In addition, interns will provide support to CWC Hospital staff in animal husbandry tasks for avian and terrestrial wildlife.

    Intern Responsibilities & Qualifications:

    - The internship is open to all applicants at least 18 years of age or older. Undergraduate students and non-students alike are encouraged to apply.

    - If the intern intends to receive academic credit, the intern will be responsible for making all arrangements with their educational institutions.

    - Spring internships are 3 days a week, minimum 24 hours per week for 8 weeks.
    - Summer internships are 4 days a week, minimum 32 hours per week for 8 weeks.

    - Due to the unpredictable nature of marine mammal stranding response, interns may sometimes be required to work beyond their normal scheduled hours.

    - Interns must be able and willing to work flexible hours including weekends and holidays.

    - Interns will be required to have good physical strength and the ability to lift/carry 50 lbs. Interns need to have the ability to
    multitask and work in a fast paced environment.

    - Animal care and/or marine mammal experience is a plus but not required. Applicant must demonstrate proof of negative TB test within the past year and a current tetanus vaccination.

    Under supervision of Marine Mammal staff, duties will include:

    - Answering and responding to all calls, pages and messages concerning
    marine mammals in a timely and courteous manner
    - Assessing stranded marine mammals
    - Coordinating and leading responder team in the capture and handling of stranded marine mammals needing medical attention
    - Coordinating transport of stranded marine mammals to the rehabilitation facility
    - Completion of NMFS Level A data sheets. Maintaining detailed database records of Malibu strandings, including reports of stranding, human interaction issues, etc.
    - Assist with marine mammal necropsy and sample collection
    - Ensuring marine mammal-designated equipment is kept in clean working order
    - Maintaining good rapport with representatives of various public agencies


    Housing and transportation are the responsibility of the intern. Must have own transportation and current drivers license. Very limited on-sire housing is available (i.e., up to 2 individuals at a time). All individuals selected for on-site housing, regardless of Session, will be required to complete 40 hours/week.

    Application Process:

    Interested individuals must send the following:

    * Letter of intent
    * Resume
    * Two letters of reference

    Your letter of intent must state the Session you are applying for and detail interests, experience, housing accommodations and availability.

    Submit the above items via regular mail or email (preferred) to:

    California Wildlife Center
    Attn: Cynthia Reyes
    P.O. Box 2022
    Malibu, California 90265
    Email: Cynthia@californiawildlifecenter.org

    If you would like to find out more about our Organization, please visit our website at

              Teaching and Living in Korea, Gangwon-do Public School and Busan Hagwon        
    After a year of teaching EFL in a Hagwon and a semester of teaching English in a public school in Gangwon-do, here are my thoughts on teaching English in Korea in general, and about the differences between the public school gig and the hagwon gig. I hope it will be helpful to those that are thinking about coming to Korea to teach English.

    Before I get into it, I want to preface this by saying that real culture shock, in my experience and the experience of my friends that have lived in Korea and other foreign cultures, sets in around the three to four month mark. It is characterized by disdain for the local culture, frustration with other aspects of one's life, and a strong desire to escape the “shocking” culture. For more on culture shock, check out this post from about a month ago. I have been here about four and a half months, and I feel like I'm on the tail end of what has been a fairly severe culture shock. Just wanted to throw that in for completeness, for those readers contemplating coming to Korea, or to Gangwon-do to teach for EPIK in a public school.

    Living in Korea

    Korea is not particularly hospitable to foreigners. There is a lot of kindness in the Korean people as a whole, but there is more xenophobia (fear of foreigners). There is a historical reason for this: the Korean people have, throughout their history, had to fight off invading forces – Japanese, Mongol, Chinese, etc. The result is a people that are very insular and distrusting if not downright disrespectful toward foreigners. Of course there are exceptions – I've had friends (male and female) marry into Korean families and be, to varying degrees, accepted by the culture. There are also some teachers that come here for a year and enjoy the time they spend with Korean people. But the vast majority of foreigners I've talked to and emailed with feel isolated and disliked by Koreans and look forward to the day they get to go home or to another culture.

    What is the difference between those who have a great time here and those who can't wait to leave? I've thought about this a lot, and I think I have some insight into the personalities that fit best and worst here.

    Those that have the hardest time here are typically:

    - Female – sorry ladies, but this is a culture of and for men. I've known a lot of strong women who have had a very hard time here. The disrespect I experience is multiplied several times over for women. I suspect beautiful women have it easier than others, with blond hair and thinness being primary qualities of beauty here. Also women that are okay with being less involved in conversations, decision making and the like will do better.

    Those who have the best time here are typically:

    - Drinkers/Smokers/Red Meat Eaters – I am none of these things, and that has proved hard. Had I come here just out of college, I would have been going to the bars and cook-your-own-meat-at-the-table restaurants with other teachers from my school three times a week, getting drunk and smoking cigarettes with them and building social bonds through that. This seems to be the primary social opportunity here. Of the people I've met that are happy in Korea and plan to stay, nearly 100% have enjoyed regularly consuming at least 2 of these 3 things.

    The other big difference I see between those who are happy here and those who are not is sensitivity. Korea is not a place for sensitive westerners. Expressions of appreciation are few and far between and ostricization – most often expressed non-verbally – is constant. On the streets, smells of sewage hit you like a truck every couple of minutes. Buildings are aesthetically devoid and covered in advertisements, and loud noises are constant. Those who set their own emotional state, or who are relatively constant in their feelings, regardless of their surroundings, can do very well here, but this is not the place for those who are sensitive to their environment and the way they are received by the people they work with.

    Teaching English in Korea

    Public Schools

    In public schools, foreigners are hired as assistant teachers, and we are more assistant than teacher. For the fall semester, which we've just finished, I had three co-teachers that I worked with at my primary school. With one of them, I taught eight hours a week (actually eight, forty minute classes) of sixth grade, for which I prepared one, forty minute lesson and usually got to deliver it to both sixth grade classes. Sometimes my lesson plans ended up in the trash because something took precedence – a special event or falling behind schedule or the children misbehaving and the teacher needing to take thirty minutes to yell at them (no kidding, that happened several times). With my two fifth grade teachers, with each of whom I taught four hours a week, I simply sat next to the desk while they taught. Sometimes I would be asked to speak words or phrases for the students to mimic the correct pronunciation; sometimes I would sit silently and do nothing for the entire class. Of the three teachers, one would consistently offer me his comfy teacher's chair; for the other two, I would sit in a fifth-grade-student-sized wooden chair.

    That was the bulk of the semester. For winter vacation the students and most of the teachers get six weeks off. We get three (I'm leaving for Thailand tomorrow!), and run “winter camps” for the other three. Winter camps were hard, but rewarding. For one week, we had a budget, two Korean teachers who actually helped us and seven hours a day to do whatever we wanted with the kids. That was great, but very demanding. For the other two weeks, we had three hours a day with the kids, with no budget and no Korean teacher to translate or help us control the students. That was more difficult, but we got to go home at 12:30 everyday, which is nice. Summer vacation will probably be similar, except that it's a bit longer, and our vacation is shorter (two weeks), so there will probably be more camp and special education activities.

    Our situation here isn't exceptional, but it isn't universal either. Some teachers have much better rapport with their schools. I think this is mostly just a crap shoot. One couple hasn't had to go into school at all over vacation and is teaching a winter camp after the spring semester starts. Lucky them. Where we are (in Samcheok County), situations like ours seem more common, but I think this county might be particularly tough on its foreign teachers.


    In 2005 – 2006, I taught in a hagwon (a private after-school academy) in Busan. That teaching was very different than what I'm doing now. Much has been written on the internet about the hagwon-teaching experience, so I'll be brief. It was extremely tiring to teach without a Korean to translate for me, but on the other hand, I got to design my lessons and could teach anything I wanted. I taught six, fifty-minute classes a day, as opposed to four, forty-minute classes a day in my public school. Every day I would step outside between classes and think, “I can't do this any more, I've got to get out of here.” But I did do it, and so do lots of other people. I was always scared that my boss was going to cheat me out of money, but in the end he ended up paying me all I was owed, within a couple hundred dollars anyway. I suspect if he had sensed he could have pushed me around more, he would have. There were two big upsides to the hagwon gig: the hours – 3:30 to 10:30pm with an hour to go home for dinner beats the pants off 9-5 with lunch in the school cafeteria in my book. The other biggie is that you know exactly where you're going before you get on that plane. With the public schools, you typically know only the province you're going to before you leave home. We got massively unlucky in this regard, as we came to Gangwon-do, the mountainous, rural province the northeast corner of South Korea and ended up in one of the last remaining coal mining towns in the country. With a hagwon, not only do you know where you're going, but you can find out the details of who you'll be working with, how far your apartment is from your school (in my hagwon, I was a three minute walk away, in our public school we were initially placed a $3, forty-minute bus ride away), and even what your apartment looks like. Here as everywhere, the devil is in the details, and before you sign up with a hagwon, you can know a lot more of the details than with the public schools.


    I would recommend teaching English in Korea primarily to guys strait out of college. If you want to do something interesting for a year or two, save a ton of money and put an interesting item on your resume, this can be a very good gig. If you want to go to the bars most nights, and would enjoy cooking beef at your table, you might even fit in with some of the people you work with. And of course there's travel – most people experience major personal growth while living here, and the opportunities for travel (either on vacations if you go with Gangwon-do public schools, or afterward if you don't have as much vacation) are second to none.

    If I were doing it again, I would go with the public school over the hagwon – it's a ton less stress, but I would try to come at an off time (not 3/1 or 9/1), and I would want to know exactly where I was going to be placed before I signed anything. I would also make a huge effort to build report with the teachers and administrators in my school in the first weeks.

    If you're interested in teaching in the public schools, we came with a recruiter, Jen, who did an excellent job of answering our questions before we came, and of representing us through our battle with the authorities to move closer to our school. If you'd like to get in tough with her, send me an email – mlevy79 (at) gmail (dot) com, and I'll put you in touch with her.

    Whatever you decide to do, good luck, and if you do come to Korea, let me know how it goes.


    Be sure to check out the comments below -- there is a lot of insight there from other westerners that are teaching here.
              Want to Climb the Corporate Ladder or Jump Off: Learn to Surf        
    So, if you want to up your resume or your cool quotient and you don’t surf, maybe it’s high tide, I mean time, that you thought about schooling yourself in the ways of waves.
              SF Goodwill’s April 8th Job Fair Connects Hundreds of Work Ready People with More than 50 of the Bay Area’s Biggest Employers        

    San Francisco's Largest Hiring Hub Offers: On-the-Spot Interviews, Resume and Job Application Support; Assistance for Spanish and Cantonese Speakers

    (PRWeb March 31, 2015)

    Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/04/prweb12619079.htm

              Senior PICK Programmer        
    NY-Dobbs Ferry, Excellent opportunity to be part of a growing company. We are looking for a senior level candidate with strong development skills. 5-10+ years minimum experience with PICK, UNIVERSE or UNIDATA. Experience with Distribution, Warehousing and/or Financial systems would be a plus. Salary is negotiable depending on skill level. Relocation assistance available. Please forward your resume for immediate c
              La técnica de recolección de información mediante los grupos focales        
    Miguel Aigneren

    Artículo publicado en CEO, Revista Electrónica no. 7, http://huitoto.udea.edu.co/~ceo/


    Hay muchas definiciones en la literatura especializada, sin embargo las principales están asociadas a la idea de grupos de discusión organizados alrededor de una temática. Todas ellas, de alguna manera, localizan metodológicamente hablando, el objeto y objetivos de los grupos focales en la contribución que hacen al conocimiento de lo social. En nuestro medio, esta metodología es asociada erróneamente a modalidades de talleres participativos, o a ciertas modalidades de interacción social al interior de grupos sociales.

    Korman define un grupo focal como: "una reunión de un grupo de individuos seleccionados por los investigadores para discutir y elaborar, desde la experiencia personal, una temática o hecho social que es objeto de investigación". Erróneamente, los grupos focales generalmente son considerados una modalidad de talleres participativos por lo cual es importante hacer una distinción entre ellos. Los talleres participativos implican la participación de un número de personas y el énfasis está puesto en el desarrollo de unas preguntas y unas respuestas entre los talleristas y los participantes. En cambio, los grupos focales requieren de procesos de interacción, discusión y elaboración de unos acuerdos dentro del grupo acerca de unas temáticas que son propuestas por el investigador. Por lo tanto el punto característico que distingue a los grupos focales es la participación dirigida y consciente y unas conclusiones producto de la interacción y elaboración de unos acuerdos entre los participantes.

    Robert Merton, en su artículo "La entrevista focalizada" define los parámetros para el desarrollo de grupos focales: "Hay que asegurar que los participantes tengan una experiencia específica u opinión sobre la temática o hecho de investigación; requiere de una guión de funcionamiento que reuna los principales tópicos a desarrollar – hipótesis o caracterizaciones - y que la experiencia subjetiva de los participantes sea explorada con relación a las hipótesis investigativas".

    Las entrevistas logradas mediante la estrategia de grupos focales tienen como propósito registrar cómo los participantes elaboran grupalmente su realidad y experiencia. Como todo acto comunicativo tiene siempre un contexto (cultural, social), entonces el investigador debe dar prioridad a la comprensión de esos contextos comunicativos y a sus diferentes modalidades. Esta modalidad de entrevista grupal es abierta y estructurada : generalmente toma la forma de una conversación grupal, en la cual el investigador plantea algunas temáticas - preguntas asociadas a algunos antecedentes que orientan la dirección de la misma, de acuerdo con los propósitos de la investigación. En este sentido, se diferencia de una conversación coloquial porque el investigador plantea, previamente las temáticas y, si es el caso, el tópico no se da por agotado retornando nuevamente una y otra vez ya que interesa captar en profundidad los diversos puntos de vista sobre el asunto discutido.

    Esto permite que la entrevista, bajo esta modalidad grupal, se convierta también un real intercambio de experiencias ya que habitualmente cuando un entrevistado percibe que su interlocutor tiene una experiencia o una vivencia similar o conocimientos sobre el tema reacciona positivamente; en síntesis, esta situación comunicacional retroalimenta su interés por el tema. La idea es que mediante esta estrategia, efectivamente se logre, la clave de una buena entrevista, la cual estriba en gran parte en que se pueda despertar-estimular un interés en el entrevistado sobre el tema.

    El desarrollo del grupo focal se inicia desde el momento mismo que se elabora un guión de temáticas-preguntas, o diferentes guías, según las condiciones y experiencias personales de los entrevistados; de esta manera se puede tener la posibilidad de efectuar una exploración sistemática aunque no cerrada. Las temáticas deben formularse en un lenguaje accesible al grupo de entrevistados y el orden o énfasis en las mismas pueden alterarse según la personas, las circunstancias y el contexto cultural. Si bien la estructuración de una entrevista puede variar, el investigador debe tener una posición activa, vale decir, debe estar alerta y perceptivo a la situación.

    De otra parte, es conveniente explicar suficiente y adecuadamente el propósito de la reunión, e insistir en la necesidad de que el participante utilice sus propios conocimientos, experiencias y lenguaje. Así mismo, se debe explicar el contenido y objetivos de cada una de las temáticas - preguntas. Se sugiere aclarar el sentido de tomar notas, grabar o filmar las intervenciones.

    Una buena sesión de trabajo debe generar una relación activa entre el equipo investigador representado por él que hace el papel de moderador y los participantes. Sabido es, que en el curso de la misma se pueden presentar diversos tipos de comportamientos, por ejemplo salir a luz actitudes y sentimientos (afectos, desafectos, prejuicios, hostilidad, simpatías, etc.) entre los interlocutores, fenómenos de transferencia o de contratransferencia entre los mismos. Unos y otros pueden influir considerablemente en los acuerdos que se buscan. Esta situación es prácticamente inevitable, pero bien manejada puede contribuir a conformar un clima favorable para lograr una mayor profundidad en la información.

    El moderador debe confrontar uno o varios de los participantes sobre un asunto previamente conocido, para explorar sobre cierto tipo de información o discutir en el grupo las posiciones de personas ajenas pero que tienen cierta representatividad o cuyas opiniones son dignas de tomar en cuenta.

    Esta modalidad de elaborar una información es la conocida como técnica de grupos focales que entre sus grandes logros permite una aproximación y discusión relativamente rápida y multidimensional de una temática. Por lo regular, un moderador conduce la discusión, mientras que otro que generalmente hace el papel de "relator" tomando atenta nota del comportamiento global del grupo, en términos de reacciones, actitudes, formas de comunicación no verbal, etc. En este caso, es posible que en el diálogo se teja una nueva versión que pueda contrastar con la que individualmente se presentaría al investigador.

    En síntesis, la investigación social que se apoya en la técnica de grupos focales requiere de la implementación de una metodología de talleres o reuniones con un grupo escogido de individuos con el objetivo de obtener información acerca de sus puntos de vista y experiencias sobre hechos, expectativas y conocimientos de un tema. Es un grupo de discusión teóricamente artificial que empieza y termina con la conversación, sostenida, o con la reunión. Estos grupos no son tal ni antes ni después de la discusión. Su existencia se reduce a la situación objeto del estudio, en efecto, realiza una tarea, Su dinámica, en ese sentido, se orienta a producir algo y existe por y para ese objetivo. El grupo instaura un espacio de "opinión grupal". En él, los participantes hacen uso del derecho de omitir opiniones que quedan reguladas en el intercambio grupal. Esto es lo esencial de su carácter artificial ya que el investigador los reúne y constituye como grupo. En un proyecto bien diseñado, un mínimo de una sesión con dos diversos grupos se recomienda. Esto elimina al sesgo, permitiendo comparaciones.


    El principal propósito de la técnica de grupos focales en la investigación social es lograr una información asociada a conocimientos, actitudes, sentimientos, creencias y experiencias que no serian posibles de obtener, con suficiente profundidad, mediante otras técnicas tradicionales tales como por ejemplo la observación, la entrevista personal o la encuesta social. Estas actitudes sentimientos y creencias pueden ser parcialmente independientes de un grupo o su contexto social, sin embargo son factibles de ser reveladas por medio de una interacción colectiva que puede ser lograda a través de un grupo focal. Comparada con la entrevista personal, la cual tiene como objetivo obtener información individualizada acerca de actitudes, creencias y sentimientos; los grupos focales permiten obtener múltiples opiniones y procesos emocionales dentro de un contexto social. Sin embargo, una de las ventajas de la entrevista personal, la de un mayor control sobre el informante, se convierte en desventaja para el investigador en un grupo focal, debido a que los participantes pueden tomar la iniciativa y la conducción de la discusión y ocultar esa opinión individual tan valiosa.

    Comparado con la técnica tradicional de la observación científica, un grupo focal permite al investigador obtener una información especifica y colectiva en un corto período de tiempo. Sabemos que la metodología de la observación tiende a depender mas del desarrollo de los acontecimientos, en cambio en el grupo focal el investigador recrea, genera o precipita una dinámica al desarrollar un guión de discusión a partir de las temáticas - preguntas. En este sentido los grupos focales no son naturales sino organizados.


    Los grupos focales pueden ser usados en las etapas preliminares o exploratorias de un estudio, también son de gran utilidad para evaluar, desarrollar o complementar un aspecto específico de dicho estudio o también cuando se ha finalizado para evaluar su impacto o

    para producir nuevas líneas de investigación. Ellos pueden ser usados como una técnica específica de recolección de información o como complemento de otras especialmente en las técnicas de triangulación y validación.


    Korman, argumenta que la interacción social es una característica fundamental de los grupos focales ya que la dinámica creada entre los participantes permite resaltar y rescatar su concepción de su realidad, sus vivencias, su lenguaje cotidiano, sus valores y creencias acerca de la situación en que viven. La interacción también permite a los participantes preguntarse uno a otros y reconsiderar sus propios puntos de vista sobre sus experiencias específicas. Pero más que eso, consiste en traducir vivencias, experiencias, creencias y costumbres propias de una subcultura al lenguaje de una cultura total de la cual la primera forma parte.

    La principal ventaja de la investigación a través de los grupos focales es la de obtener una descripción global de los conocimientos, actitudes y comportamientos sociales de un colectivo social y la forma en que cada individuo es influenciado por otro en una situación de grupo.

    Otra ventaja es que permiten analizar y seleccionar la información de una manera tal que ayuda a los investigadores a encontrar cual es el asunto importante y cual no lo es, cuál es el discurso real y cual el ideal. Como resultado, la brecha existente entre lo que la gente dice y lo que hace puede ser mejor entendida. Sus múltiples comprensiones y significados son revelados por los participantes, en consecuencia las múltiples explicaciones de sus conductas y actitudes serán mas rápidamente reelaboradas y comprendidas por parte de los investigadores.

    La participación en un grupo focal tiene innumerables ventajas tanto desde el punto de vista cognitivo como desde lo psicológico. La oportunidad de ser parte de un proceso participativo, decisorio, de ser considerados como "conocedores" y la principal, ser parte del trabajo investigativo puede ser un elemento que favorece la autoestima y el desarrollo de un grupo. Si un grupo logra conformarse tanto en su parte funcional como social, podrá explorar interpretaciones y soluciones a problemas particulares que no podrían ser ni analizados ni solucionados por sujetos aislados, ya que individualmente puede ser muy intimatorio. Son extremadamente útiles, en situaciones cuando los participantes están comprometidos en algo que ellos creen importante pero que las condiciones objetivas no permiten, lo que facilita proceso de conciliación, de intereses comunes y búsqueda de soluciones negociadas.

    Los grupos focales son particularmente útiles para dirimir diferencias cuando existen fuertes discrepancias, por ejemplo, entre los participantes o beneficiarios y los planificadores o coordinadores de un programa; también lo son cuando es imposible prescindir del lenguaje cotidiano y la cultura de un grupo particular de interés para un estudio, e igualmente cuando se necesita explorar el nivel de consenso o de discenso en un contexto social dado.

    Tradicionalmente, la técnica de grupos focales, ha sido utilizada en estudios asociados con la medición de los niveles de satisfacción de usuarios, consumidores o clientes de servicios. En esta situación, los usuarios pueden convertirse en un medio institucionalizado para mejorar o cambiar los servicios. Por ejemplo, los pacientes de un servicio de salud fueron invitados a dar sus opiniones acerca de los servicios recibidos y a dar ideas de cómo mejorarlos. Posteriormente se hizo público que los cambios realizados eran resultado directo de las opiniones de los usuarios, lo cual generó una nueva y más amable atmósfera corporativa.

    Esta técnica es de gran ayuda en la fase exploratoria de generación de hipótesis en un estudio de mayor envergadura. La técnica de grupos focales es sin embargo, limitada en términos de su capacidad para generar resultados representativos principalmente porque el número de participantes es relativamente pequeño y no representativo.

    Aunque la técnica de los grupos focales tiene muchas ventajas, también tiene sus grandes limitaciones. Unas pueden ser evitadas mediante un cuidadoso trabajo de planificación y un habilidoso moderador, sin embargo, otras son inevitables y propias de esta técnica. El investigador en su rol de moderador en el grupo de discusión, por ejemplo, tiene menos control sobre la validez y confiabilidad de las conclusiones producidas que en otras técnicas de recolección de información. Es condición necesaria que el moderador deba crear un ambiente de comunicación entre los participantes que permita a los participantes hablar entre sí, hacer preguntas, expresar dudas y opiniones, el problema es como lograr, pese al limitado control sobre la interacción, mantener el hilo conductor sobre la temática y que la elaboración conceptual y operativa no sea desbordada por factores ideológicos, políticos o existenciales a los participantes interesados en la temática.

    Otra desventaja es que por su propia naturaleza la técnica de los grupos focales es de difícil planificación en lo que respecta a: el manejo del tiempo en el desarrollo de los tópicos a tratar y el logro de acuerdos o conclusiones colectivas representativas.

    Y, ya que estamos hablando de conclusiones colectivas, no se debería asumir que los individuos en un grupo focal estén expresando sus propios puntos de vista. Ellos están hablando en un contexto específico dentro de una cultura específica y por eso puede ser difícil para los investigadores identificar claramente cual es o no, el discurso individual y cual, el colectivo. Generalmente, las apreciaciones, opiniones y comportamientos sociales colectivos tienden a diferir de los individuales, es decir, surgen conflictos cuando se pretende identificar, diferenciar o especificar los puntos de vista individuales de los puntos de vista colectivos.

    Otra desventaja notoria está asociada con la organización y manejo de los grupos focales: El papel del coordinador o del moderador es esencial en esta técnica, pero lo que parece ser una ventaja en estos casos puede convertirse en una desventaja en otros, debido al gran peso que tiene su capacidad de liderazgo y de comunicación para coordinar y moderar exitosamente el accionar un grupo focal.


    La situación o "modus vivendi" de la discusión en grupos focales puede desmotivar a algunas personas a expresar una opinión, como por ejemplo, desconfiar en hacer publica una información que sea personal o "delicada o arriesgada". En tales casos, la estrategia sería combinarla con la entrevista personal o el uso de tarjetones o videos ilustrativos que permitan romper el hielo. Finalmente, la información que se maneja en los grupos focales si bien no es confidencial ni anónima ya que es compartida, generalmente puede ser contradictoria a la opinión individual (externa al grupo), por lo cual hay que resaltar que los acuerdos y conclusiones son colectivas y la responsabilidad de ellos es compartida grupalmente.

    Las consideraciones de tipo ético para el trabajo de los grupos focales son las mismas que para otras técnicas de investigación social. Por ejemplo, cuando seleccionamos y comprometemos a los participantes, los investigadores deben asegurar darles la mayor y real información acerca de los propósitos y usos de las conclusiones del estudio. Igualmente mantener a los participantes informados acerca de las expectativas del grupo investigador También se recomienda no presionar a los participantes a expresar obligadamente una opinión en un contexto que puede convertirse en algo peligroso para él. Un elemento importante de tipo ético que hay que considerar es el manejo de la información que se produce al interior del grupo de trabajo como la que resulta del análisis de los resultados, la cual debe ser mantenida como confidencial. Hay que tener en cuenta que cada uno de los participantes puede llegar a conclusiones que en un contexto externo al grupo pueden ser conflictivas o peligrosas para él o el resto de los participantes. Al comienzo de cada taller el moderador deberá clarificar que la contribución u opinión de cada uno de los participantes desde el momento en que es compartida con el resto del grupo, se convierte en una opinión colectiva así haya sido expresada en término personales. Es por eso que los participantes deben ser motivados a mantener la confidencialidad de lo que ellos escuchan durante el taller al igual los investigadores tienen la gran responsabilidad de mantener el anonimato y confidencialidad de lo expresado por los participantes.



    Como primer paso, se requiere de una definición específica de los objetivos del estudio, para que desde allí, se planteen:

    Un guión de desarrollo del Taller.

    La guía de temáticas - preguntas a desarrollar en el Taller.


    La programación y desarrollo de un grupo focal no se debe improvisar. Se sugiere comenzar a planear con antelación (cuatro o seis semanas). Con toda probabilidad, tomará por lo menos ese tiempo para identificar, analizar, formular y evaluar el problema de investigación; definir un marco de referencia teórico – metodológico; identificar, seleccionar y comprometer a los participantes. Localizar un sitio adecuado. Igualmente, diseñar y conseguir los materiales de ayuda para las sesiones, etcétera.

    A continuación, se muestra un listado de las etapas de un cronograma típico:

    1. Planteamiento del objeto y objetivos del estudio. 4 - 6 semanas antes de la fecha de la sesión de taller.
    2. Identificación y selección de los participantes 4 - 6 semanas
    3. Análisis de la información sobre los participantes 4 - 6 semanas
    4. Seleccionar un o moderador(es) 4 - 5 semanas
    5. Diseño de la Guía de Discusión temáticas - preguntas 4 - 5 semanas
    6. Desarrollar y validar una estrategia de taller a través de las técnicas de dinámica grupal. 4 semanas
    7. Reservar y preparar el sitio donde se van a realizar los talleres 4 semanas.
    8. Invitar, comprometer personal o institucionalmente a los participantes, mediante invitaciones escritas o verbales 3 - 4 semanas
    9. Verificar la asistencia y compromiso por otros medios tales como llamadas telefónicas o confirmaciones indirectas (Terceros) 2 semanas
    10. Organizar la adecuación del sitio y la logística de la reunión (Número y tipo de asientos, equipos, refrigerios, etc.) 1 semana
    11. Ultima invitación a los participantes 2 días
    12. Organizar los materiales didácticos u operativos que se van a utilizar en el Taller 2 días
    13. Desarrollo del Taller: Inducción, conducción, y discusión grupal.
    14. Clausura del Taller: Presentación de las conclusiones y acuerdos; entrega de un certificado.
    15. Proceso de validación de las relatorías, acuerdos y resultados por parte del equipo investigador
    16. Informe final.


    Al desarrollar la guía de la discusión es necesario identificar quién participará en las sesiones de trabajo grupal. Esto proporcionará a una indicación de cuanto es el número más adecuado los participantes. Un número adecuado está entre 6 a 12 participantes por sesión.

    El número de participantes por la sesión está determinado por el número potencial de participantes. Hay que establecer una población de participantes potenciales. Una vez que el número de participantes se haya determinado, es necesario establecer una población de participantes reales. Una estrategia es realizar un sondeo sobre posibles participantes. Existen varias ventajas al conformar estos grupos potenciales, por medio de un sondeo exploratorio. Este proveerá información general sobre los encuestados lo que permitirá una mejor selección y un conocimiento sobre disposición a colaborar o a participar. Esta metodología de seleccionar a los participantes ayuda ahorrar mucho tiempo en la selección final ya que a priori se sabrá si la gente esta disponible o no.

    De acuerdo a los objetivos del estudio desarrolle una lista de los atributos o características predominantes o principales para seleccionar a los participantes y de acuerdo a esos atributos haga una primera selección.

    Hay que asumir que algunos de los invitados no aparecerán, por esta razón, se recomienda seleccionar además una población de reemplazo (10 % de los invitados originales). Es posible, entones que debido a las ausencias de última hora, el grupo quede finalmente conformado por 9 o 10 personas. Lo cual lleva a considerar algunos mecanismos que faciliten la asistencia tales como lugares adecuados y bien situados, también se recomienda atraer a los participantes comprometiéndolos a través de terceros.

    Se sugiere que una vez seleccionados los participantes, estos sean invitados oficialmente, reiterándoles el objeto y los objetivos del estudio, la metodología de trabajo a seguir, su papel e incentivos por su participación.

    Con respecto a la selección de participantes de un grupo focal: no es fácil identificar el grupo de participantes más indicado, por ejemplo, si el grupo es demasiado heterogéneo en términos de edad o estrato o en términos de oficio o posición ocupacional, las diferencias entre participantes pueden provocar un impacto considerable en sus contribuciones. Alternativamente si el grupo es homogéneo con respecto a unas características específicas puede suceder que las diversas opiniones y experiencias no sean reveladas al no generar o provocar al interior del grupo una atmósfera de contradicción. Los participantes necesitan sentirse en confianza unos con otros reunirse con otros de los cuales ellos piensan que tienen similares características o niveles de conocimiento sobre determinado tema será mas atractivo pero improductivo. Es posible reunirse con aquellos que son percibidos como contradictores pero con un interés global compartido que permita una mayor riqueza de los resultados. Refinar el listado de invitados potenciales buscando "características comunes " o de "homogeneidad y de heterogeneidad" en los participantes potenciales.

    Una vez que se ha decidido el tipo de participantes que a van integrar el grupo el siguiente paso es conseguirlos. El reclutamiento de participantes puede demandar mucho tiempo especialmente si la temática a trabajar en el taller no tiene beneficios inmediatos o no es del gusto de los participantes. Es preferible que estas personas con intereses específicos sean reclutadas a través de informantes claves o a través de las redes sociales existentes (religiosas, educativas y económicas). También es sabido que el éxito del desarrollo de estos talleres está muchas veces asociado a algunos beneficios inmediatos que se les pueden ofrecer a los participantes.

    Los individuos que participan en una sesión de la discusión deben ser compensados por su participación. Al entrar en contacto con los participantes potenciales se recomienda utilizar un incentivo para animar o para persuadir a un individuo a que participe en una sesión de la discusión. Esto a menudo facilita la interacción dada la tensión creada por la conformación del grupo focal y hace a los participantes más abiertos a discutir el asunto.


    Cuándo se está organizando la guía de discusión en el grupo focal hay que tener en cuenta varias consideraciones básicas: ¿Cuáles son las dimensiones del estudio? ¿Qué preguntas serán hechas?, ¿Quién participará?, y ¿Quién conducirá las sesiones?

    La guía de la discusión contiene las temáticas - preguntas que serán presentadas a los participantes durante las sesiones de discusión. No más 5 o seis temáticas - preguntas se deben utilizar para el trabajo en grupo. Hay dos elementos que deben ser considerados al bosquejar el guía. Primero, es necesario no olvidar quienes son sus invitados y en segundo lugar, qué tipo de información es la que usted desea obtener. Segundo, se recomienda, a partir de una lluvia de ideas, diseñar una matriz de dimensiones – temáticas – preguntas potenciales y proceder a seleccionar las definitivas a partir de una prueba piloto preliminar. Una vez que se tiene una lista de preguntas, trate de evaluar la concordancia de ellas con los objetivos del estudio otra vez. ¿Cuáles no se deben aplicar? ¿Cuáles son realmente importantes?

    No se debe olvidar que la capacidad de cooperación de los integrantes de un grupo focal no dura más allá de una o dos horas. En consecuencia, solo se dispondrá de tiempo para cinco o seis temáticas preguntas. Esto no es mucho, especialmente cuando usted considera que hay realmente dos clases de preguntas: preguntas introductoria o del calentamiento y preguntas que apuntan a obtener las respuestas de fondo del estudio. Puesto que las primeras dos preguntas son generalmente una inducción sobre la temática, esto le deja tres o cuatro o cinco preguntas para sondear sobre lo que se está investigando.

    Al desarrollar las preguntas, tenga presente que todos los grupos de discusión deben seguir la misma guía de discusión. Una pregunta por ejemplo "¿A quién beneficia el SISBEN?", podría recibir diversas respuestas dependiendo de sí los participantes son beneficiarios, o no beneficiarios. Usando un formato común, permitirá al analista hacer comparaciones entre las respuestas de los varios grupos.

    La secuencia y el tono de las preguntas son tan significativo como las preguntas mismas. Deben ser no solo concretas sino también estimulantes, las preguntas que se plantearán en el grupo focal deben ser ampliables y en lo posible hay que llevar la discusión de lo más general a lo específico.

    A continuación se sugiere, volver al listado de participantes posibles y preguntarse: ¿Qué preguntas podrían contestar? Se sugiere eliminar tantas preguntas como sea posible. Si la estrategia de formulación de las preguntas se hace a partir de "una lluvia de ideas" del grupo de estudio o de personal asociado, haga que cada uno seleccione, por ejemplo, las cinco preguntas más pertinente del total. Una vez que se hayan seleccionado las cinco o seis preguntas mas adecuadas y pertinentes, proceda a posicionar las preguntas en una secuencia que sea cómoda para los participantes, moviéndose desde lo general a lo específico, de lo más fácil a lo más difícil, y de lo positivo a lo negativo.

    Antes de usar las preguntas en una sesión real del grupo focal, realice una prueba piloto. Evalúe, con un grupo externo, su confiabilidad, es decir, si las respuestas logran la información que usted necesita. ¿Si son validas?, es decir, si en mediciones sucesivas, preguntan lo que se quiere preguntar y obtiene respuestas relativamente similares. Hay que averiguar si todos entienden de igual forma la pregunta etc.

    Según los públicos, la complejidad del tema y objetivos del estudio se pueden considerar la idea de enviarle previamente a los participantes un resumen introductorio sobre lo que se va a tratar en la reunión de trabajo.


    Se recomienda diseñar un plan operativo estandarizado que abarque todas las posibles etapas del taller. Esto tiene muchas ventajas desde el punto de vista funcional, por ejemplo, asegura que cada grupo focal se desarrollará con idéntica metodología haciendo los resultados más confiables. Además, este guión le ayudará al moderador o coordinador a manejar el problema del tiempo y especialmente si él es externo al proceso (un moderador profesional).


    El guión de organización del Taller

    La guía de temáticas - preguntas

    Listado de Participantes

    Equipos de sonido, grabación y video

    Tarjetas de identificación o escarapelas

    Libreta de notas, lápices, marcadores

    Papelografos, papel y fichas

    5.2. Hay que planear el desarrollo del taller en un marco de tiempo no mayor a dos horas. Un mínimo de una hora se recomienda porque el proceso requiere un cierto tiempo para las observaciones de la apertura y de cierre del taller, al igual tener en cuenta por lo menos una o dos preguntas introductorias o de inducción. Se sugiere no exceder más de dos horas de duración. Después de este tiempo, tanto los participantes como el moderador comenzarán a "distraerse"; y es muy posible que las preguntas y la discusión subsecuente pierdan su importancia. La capacidad de concentración de un adulto es alrededor de 20 minutos, lo cual sugiere que no se debe gastar mas allá de 20 minutos por temática - pregunta

    5.3. Con respecto al lugar de reunión se recomiendan sitios o lugares "neutrales" que no sean asociados con los promotores ni con los sujetos del conflicto o con la situación problema de discusión. En síntesis, las reuniones de los grupos focales si bien pueden ser realizadas en diversos lugares, por ejemplo, en hogares, salones comunales o donde los participantes desarrollan sus reuniones regulares se recomienda utilizar espacios institucionales incluso, se sugiere utilizar aquellos geográficamente ajenos.

    Se recomienda que en el salón de reunión los participantes, en lo posible, rodeen al moderador (configuración en U). Si el equipo de investigadores esta presente en el salón se debe tratar que estos no interfieran y que su presencia sea lo más discreta posible.

    5.4. Equipos de audiovisuales: El equipo de investigación debe determinar cuales son más apropiados para facilitar la sesión de trabajo. Esto definirá si se requiere de grabadora, videocinta, o simplemente a las notas de la relatorías. Generalmente, las sesiones de discusión son grabadas. Grabar permite que el equipo de investigación recupere fácilmente los aportes más importantes y los comentarios que fueron hechos durante la discusión. Y registrar la información lo más exacta. Si la sesión de trabajo va a ser grabada en equipos de audio o video se recomienda que estos sean instalados y probados anteriormente. Su presencia debe ser igualmente discreta. Se debe determinar previamente qué equipos de ayudas audiovisuales son necesarios.

    Se recomienda, primero grabar las sesiones y segundo tener un aparato de televisión para presentar algún tipo de video que ayude a la dinámica grupal de la discusión. Si las notas son tomadas por el equipo de investigación durante la sesión, éstas también facilitarán el desarrollo del informe final para el grupo focal.

    5.5. Refrigerios: si se van a ofrecer, en un horario determinado estos deberán ser colocado en un salón diferente.

    5.6. Otras recomendaciones: escarapelas de identificación, de un tamaño tal, que permitan al moderador identificar fácilmente al participante.


    Un elemento que distingue a los grupos focales de la técnica de la entrevista científica o de la encuesta social es que requieren de un Moderador con una cierta habilidad para desarrollarlos. Es necesario contar con alguien con un conocimiento y manejo de dinámica del grupo y un conocimiento sobre la problemática. En síntesis, un Moderador del grupo focal debe poder ocuparse no solo de mantener a los miembros del grupo atentos y concentrados, sino también mantener el hilo central de la discusión, y cerciorarse que cada participante participe activamente.

    El Moderador puede ser un miembro del equipo de investigación, o un profesional especializado en el manejo de taller. También se puede utilizar un equipo de dos personas, donde una persona modera la discusión y la otra lleva la relatoría o hace un trabajo de observación del comportamiento asociado de los asistentes. Se recomienda, en el caso de organizaciones complejas, considerar las características tanto personales como profesionales del Moderador para hacer más fácil la discusión grupal. Por ejemplo, un Moderador que venga de fuera de la organización puede verse como más objetivo y puede obtener respuestas más válidas y confiables de los participantes.


    Una vez que la reunión ha sido organizada el papel del moderador o facilitador se convierte en algo esencial especialmente en términos de dar explicaciones claras sobre los propósitos del taller, ayudar a la gente a sentirse en confianza y especialmente, en facilitar la integración entre los miembros del grupo. Durante la reunión el moderador deberá promover el debate planteando preguntas que estimulen la participación demandando y desafiando a los participantes con el objetivo de sacar a flote las diferencias y contradecir las diferentes opiniones que surgen sobre el tema en discusión. Algunas veces los moderadores necesitarán llevar la discusión a los pequeños detalles o si es el caso impulsar la discusión hacia temas más generales cuando está ha alcanzado un rumbo equivocado o ambiguo. El moderador también debe mantener a los participantes atentos al tema en discusión, y es posible que en ciertas circunstancias él deba conducir la conversación hacia sus orígenes con el objetivo de reordenarla. El moderador también deberá de asegurarse que cada uno de los participantes tenga la oportunidad de expresar sus opiniones. En su papel de moderador se recomienda que no muestre preferencias o rechazos que influencien a los participantes a una opinión determinada o a una posición en particular.

    El rol del moderador es vital en el trabajo de taller y no solo requiere tener habilidades de comunicación sino también ciertas calidades personales tales como, saber escuchar asociado a tener una capacidad de adaptación y sentido común, todo lo anterior facilitará un dialogo abierto y confidente al interior del grupo.

    Finalmente, el grado de control y dirección impuesto por el moderador dependerá tanto de los objetivos del estudio como de su estilo. Si uno o más moderadores están comprometidos en un trabajo de taller con un grupo focal es necesario que exista una sola línea de conducción. Se recomienda que un moderador haga el papel de coordinador principal y que los otros hagan el papel de facilitadores o talleristas durante la reunión todo lo anterior hace necesario que exista una cuidadosa preparación con vista a definir los roles y responsabilidades de cada uno de los miembros del equipo de moderadores.


    Al elegir un sitio se recomienda tener en cuenta los siguientes criterios:

    El sitio debe ser lo más "neutro" posible con respecto a los participantes. Si no se logra acceder a un lugar que reúna tal característica la sesión de taller se puede realizar en un lugar de reunión usual del grupo.

    Las características físicas y ornamentales del salón deben crear la sensación de cooperación y familiaridad. El salón debe acomodar cómodamente de seis a quince participantes y permitir una relación "cara a cara" entre los participantes (una configuración en U). Hay que insistir en la accesibilidad al salón (considere la facilidad de acceso para la gente con inhabilidades, la seguridad, facilidad de transporte, el estacionamiento, etc.)


    1. El moderador debe ser una persona con el suficiente conocimiento del tema y experiencia en le manejo de grupos, de tal manera, que pueda conducir la discusión hacia los objetivos preestablecidos.
    2. Si es posible conseguir un moderador con conocimiento y experiencia en el tema se le sugiere tener en cuenta las siguientes recomendaciones:

    * Mantener el control de la discusión –que no se atrasen ni se adelanten los participantes
    * Tratar de mantener la discusión en un tono informal, incentivando a los participantes que digan lo que les viene a la cabeza.
    * Recordar que el moderador es un conductor que tiene el objetivo principal de lograr una información lo más confiable y válida.
    * La duración de los talleres: se recomienda que las sesiones de discusión no superen los 120 minutos.
    * Ser neutral: Una de las ventajas de una persona ajena tal grupo de interés es que este teóricamente no este involucrada en la problemática y cuales serían las soluciones posibles. Cualquier comentario o respuesta del moderador influenciaría a los participantes.
    * No permitir que el moderador sea interrogado. Recuerde que el principal objetivo de la sesión de trabajo es reunir información sobre qué y cuanto sabe el grupo sobre la
    * El papel del moderador no es el de informar o convencer al grupo sobre tal o cual situación o producto, su papel es el conductor de un grupo de discusión.

    El manejo y conducción de un grupo focal debe hacerse de acuerdo al "guión" previamente diseñado. Tanto el Moderador como los relatores o personal de ayuda debe organizar previamente el lugar, el material de trabajo y las tarjetas de identificación. Una vez que el grupo esta reunido, el Moderador deberá comenzar dando la bienvenida al grupo teniendo siempre en cuenta que debe combinar una metodología de trabajo de conducción de grupos aplicando en lo posible algunas herramientas de dinámica grupal. Al respecto tradicionalmente se recomienda


    1. La apertura: es el tiempo para que el moderador dé la bienvenida al grupo, de introducir el tema y sus objetivos y explicitar el papel del grupo focal, de explicar qué es un grupo focal y cómo funcionará.

    Defina cual es el objeto y objetivo de la reunión. Ponga en claro desde un comienzo quién dirigirá la discusión, cual será la metodología a seguir y lo más importante trate que los participantes se sientan importantes y cómodos con la temática.

    Asegúrese que cada participante sea visible, escuche y sea escuchado perfectamente (distribúyalos en una configuración en U.)

    2. La segunda etapa, planteará (a través de alguna estrategia preestablecida y probada) las temáticas "preguntas" que son el objeto del estudio.

    Se recomienda considerar si la presencia de algunos observadores externos, puede inhibir a los participantes.

    Evitar las respuestas ambiguas, las socialmente aceptables o las "muy abiertas". Hay que tratar que sean especificas a la pregunta y lo más exhaustivas y excluyentes posibles y mantener un cuidadoso control sobre el tiempo de desarrollo del Taller.

    3. La sección de Cierre: no solo debe incluir el llegar a un consenso en las conclusiones finales sino también la parte formal que incluye el agradecimiento a los participantes, insistiendo no solo de la importancia de su participación sino también en la forma cómo los datos serán utilizados.


    Se recomiendan tres etapas para redactar un informe final de las conclusiones del grupo focal:

    1. Resumir inmediatamente la discusión y acuerdos de la reunión. Es más fácil reconstruir lo sucedido inmediatamente. El Moderador deberá reconstruir con alguno de los participantes los acuerdos de mayor trascendencia al igual los detalles que pueden ayudar a enriquecer el informe final.

    2. Transcribir las notas de la relatoría o grabaciones inmediatamente se terminó la sesión de Taller. Lo anterior permitirá que se reconstruya no solo la atmósfera de la reunión sino también lo tratado. Analice las relatorías: comience por leer todos los resúmenes o relatorías, analizando las actitudes y opiniones que aparecen reiteradamente o comentarios sorpresivos, conceptos o vocablos que generaron algunas reacciones positivas o negativas de los participantes, etc.


    Este documento debe incluir no solo los aspectos formales del estudio: planteamiento del problema, objetivos, estrategia metodológica y técnica sino también detalles acerca de la configuración del grupo focal, desarrollo de las sesiones de taller, resultados y conclusiones finales.

    Debe incluir los siguientes aspectos

    1. Planteamiento del problema, antecedentes y objetivos.

    2. Ficha técnica: temática, objetivos, moderador, participantes – características del grupo, criterios de selección- guía de temáticas – preguntas.

    3. Conclusiones y recomendaciones. Se sugiere presentar los hallazgos como respuestas a la hipótesis- preguntas llevadas a la sesión de trabajo.


    La mayor y más recurrente critica que se hace al uso de los grupos focales se expresa en dos áreas: Por un lado, se insiste que se olvida la premisa que la comunidad o grupo participante debe participar de la retroalimentación de los resultados obtenidos. Y, segundo, la incapacidad de aplicar los resultados a los objetivos por los cuales originalmente fueron convocados.

    Al respecto, caben algunas sugerencias operativas para traducir los resultados en planes y programas de acción:

    * Programar una reunión para revisar los resultados y discutir sus implicaciones.
    * Contextualizar la información lograda a partir de los objetivos. No olvidar de analizar las respuestas y aportes que el grupo focal produjo. Comparar, contrastar y combinar la información obtenida con otra lograda por otros medios tales como encuestas, entrevistas u observaciones o información secundaria.
    * Resaltar los temas, sucesos y preguntas principales que afloraron en la discusión al interior del grupo focal. En esta etapa es conveniente clasificar estos aportes de acuerdo a unos criterios o códigos preestablecidos.
    * Si la información es demasiada y compleja, se hace necesario definir unos criterios de prioridad y clasificación. Luego hay que decidir que acción será necesario tomar con relación a los temas prioritarios, por ejemplo, compartir la información con personas que alguna relación tengan con políticas comunitarias y con ellos decidir lo que es pertinente o no.


    Hay que recordar que uno de los mayores beneficios de la estrategia de grupos focales es el hecho de la participación y compromiso de las personas en la problemática en estudio. Esta relación deberá ser permanente desde el momento que fue establecida; es recomendable informarlos desde el planteamiento del problema, la ficha técnica del estudio y mantenerlos informados sobre los procesos y resultados obtenidos y si es el caso, el uso que se le dará a la información obtenida.

    En la práctica los grupos focales pueden ser difíciles de organizar. De hecho no es fácil obtener una población o grupo representativo. El trabajo de los grupos focales puede motivar a cierto tipo de personas para participar, por ejemplo aquellos que tienen un gran espíritu de colaboración pero no tienen mucho conocimiento o práctica sobre el tema o aquellos que tienen problemas de comunicación o limitaciones o los que participan per se. (los llamados lideres históricos o profesionales). La organización de formas participativas a través de los grupos focales usualmente requiere más planificación que en otros tipos de participación.

    El número recomendado de personas por grupo puede variar entre seis y doce personas, aunque algunos grupos han trabajado exitosamente hasta con quince. El número de sesiones de trabajo de grupo puede variar de acuerdo a la temática, los objetivos del estudio o las circunstancias. En algunos estudios ha bastado con una reunión, en otros, según el tema han requerido de un número mayor. En relación con el tiempo necesario para desarrollar los talleres las cifras van de una a dos horas de duración.

    Como estrategia de recolección de información, los grupos focales permiten "sistematizar" una información acerca de unos conocimientos, unas actitudes y unas practicas sociales que difícilmente serían obtenidas a través de otras técnicas tradicionales. En otras palabras, creemos que los procesos sociales existen no solo en la mente sino también en el mundo objetivo y que hay algunas relaciones estables a descubrir entre ellos. Así, a diferencia de algunas escuelas de la fenomenología, consideramos importante desarrollar un conjunto de metodologías y técnicas válidas y verificables para aprehender esas relaciones sociales y sus determinaciones. Deseamos interpretar y explicar esos procesos y tener confianza en que otros investigadores, usando los mismos procedimientos llegarán a conclusiones análogas.

    Metodológicamente nuestra insistencia por el uso de un marco teórico metodológico estandarizado está dirigida a intentar superar aquel casi mágico enfoque del análisis de datos cualitativos según el cual éste es idiosincrático, incomunicable y artístico y que solo aquellos que han sido totalmente socializados en su práctica están autorizados para pronunciarse sobre ese enfoque. Tal posición - nos parece a nosotros - en gran medida, una mistificación"

    En síntesis este artículo bosqueja las principales características de la técnica de grupos focales poniendo particular atención en los beneficios de la interacción social y en la dinámica de grupos, como procesos de recolección de información primaria. Es posible que algunas de las consideraciones expuestas anteriormente sobre configuración de los grupos, tiempo, lugar y características de los participantes muestren a esta técnica como de difícil realización, sin embargo, aquellos que la han utilizado en forma combinada o complementaria con la técnica de la encuesta social la han clasificado de gran utilidad. Sin lugar a dudas, pueden convertirse en una valiosa herramienta para el tratamiento de problemáticas en ciertos ambientes sociales ya que otras metodologías de investigación no permitirían un mayor acercamiento a la expresión de conocimientos, actitudes y comportamientos sociales.


    Flores J.G. and Alonso C.G. ‘Using focus groups in educational research’, Evaluation Review 19 (1): 84-101. Sociology at Surrey, 1995

    Galeano, Eumelia, et al. Curso Especializado en la Modalidad a Distancia sobre Investigación en las Ciencias Sociales, Modulo 5, La Investigación Cualitativa, Teoría. Medellín, ICFES, INER, Universidad de Antioquia. 1993.

    Gibbs, Anita. Focus Group. Social Research Update. Nineteen. Sociology at Surrey, 1997

    Hoppe M.J., Wells E.A., Morrison D.M., Gilmore M.R., Wilsdon A. ‘Using focus groups to discuss sensitive topics with children, Evaluation Review 19 (1): 102-14. 1995

    Kitzinger J. ‘Introducing focus groups’, British Medical Journal 311: 299-302. 1995

    Kitzinger J. "The methodology of focus groups: the importance of interaction between research participants", Sociology of Health 16(1): 103-21. 1994

    Kreuger R.A. Focus groups: a practical guide for applied research. London: Sage. 1988

    Merton R.K., Kendall P.L "The focused Interview", American Journal of Sociology 51: 541-557. New York, 1946

    Lankshear A.J. ‘The use of focus groups in a study of attitudes to student nurse assessment’, Journal of Advanced Nursing 18: 1986-89. 1993

    Pineda, Roberto, El Método Etnográfico, Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales. Universidad de los Andes. Modulo 5, La Investigación Cualitativa, Teoría. Medellín, ICFES, INER, Universidad de Antioquia. 1993.

    MacIntosh J. ‘Focus groups in distance nursing education’, Journal of Advanced Nursing 18: 1981-85. Londres. Sage, 1981

    Merton R.K., Kendall P.L. ‘The Focused Interview’, American Journal of Sociology 51, 541-557. New York, 1946

    Morgan D.L. Focus groups as qualitative research. Londres, 2nd Edition, Sage. 1997

    Morgan D.L. and Spanish M.T. ‘Focus groups: a new tool for qualitative research’, Qualitative Sociology 7: 253-70. Londres, 1984

    Morgan D.L. and Kreuger R.A. ‘When to use focus groups and why’ in Morgan D.L. (Ed.) Successful Focus Groups. London: Sage. 1993

    Powell R.A. and Single H.M. ‘Focus groups’, International Journal of Quality in Health Care 8 (5): 499-504. Surrey: 1996.

    Powell R.A., Single H.M., Lloyd K.R. ‘Focus groups in mental health research: enhancing the validity of user and provider questionnaires’, International Journal of Social Psychology 42 (3): 193-206. Stony Brook at New York: 1996

    Race K.E., Hotch D.F., Parker T. ‘Rehabilitation program evaluation: use of focus groups to empower clients, Evaluation Review 18 (6): 730-40. Stony Brook . Nueva York, 1994

    Stewart D.W. and Shamdasani P.N. Focus groups: theory and practice. London: Sage. 1992

    White G.E. and Thomson A.N. ‘Anonymized focus groups as a research tool for health professionals’, Qualitative Health Research 5.(2): 256-61. NYU, New York, 1995

              pokemon perla y diamante        
    aunque no lo crean les doy ´´algunas cosas sobre el juego recien salido de pokemon``
    aqui les va disfrutenlo :

    Pokemon Diamante y Pokemon Perl son los dos nuevos videojuegos RPG de la cuarta generación Pokémon, desarrollados por Game Freak y publicados por Nintendo. Son las primeras versiones salidas para la consola Nintendo DS. Pokemon Diamante y Perla fueron lanzados en el mercado a comienzos del 2006. Han tenido el más impresionante éxito de ventas jamás visto en una serie de juegos de Pokemon. Además marcaron un record de ventas como los juegos Pokemon más vendidos en Japón dentro de los tres primeros meses de salir a las tiendas.Pokemon Diamante y Perla están ambientados en la región de Sinnoh, y el juego narra la aventura de un protagonista que tiene el desafío de capturar y entrenar Pokemon mientras que al mismo tiempo debe enfrentarse a la organización de criminales del Equipo Galáctico.Diamante y perla, al igual que en las anteriores generaciones de Pokemon, tienen una enorme cantidad de nuevas características, como la posibilidad de jugar a través de Internet mediante una conexión de Nintendo Wi-Fi.Trama y ambientación: Pokemon Diamante y Perla están ambientados en la región de Sinnoh, caracterizada tanto por sus montañas como por sus zonas repletas de nieve, dentro de las cuales se encuentran tres lagos centrales.El juego contiene 107 nuevos Pokemon y cronica la aventura de un nuevo entrenador Pokemon que buscará volverse el Campeón de la Liga Pokemon, recolectando y entrenando varias especies nuevas de Pokemon a lo largo de la travesía. Como en la mayoría de estos juegos de Pokemon, Diamante y Perla presentan ocho gimnasios que deben ser superados, derrotando al líder de cada uno. Los líderes tendrán también especialidades en determinadas clases de Pokemon. Para avanzar a lo largo del juego, se debe derrotarlos y conseguir sus medallas. Jugabilidad: la forma de juego es muy similar a la de los otros RPGs de Pokemon, aunque hay varios agregados que lo hacen interesante. Dentro de cada especia, ahora cada Pokemon presenta diferencias en relación a su género, incluyendo diferentes tamaños físicos o características psicológicas particulares. Por ejemplo, una hembra Wooper tiene antenas de menor tamaño que los Wooper de género masculino, y un Scizor macho tiene un abdomen menor que una hembra. Como en Pokemon Cristal y Esmeralda, los Pokemon que batallan tienen una pequeña animación cuando entran en combate. Se pueden encontrar además nuevos Pokemon bebé en Pokemon Diamante y Perla, como la preevolución de Roselia, Budew, en lugares salvajes, mientras que en las versiones anteriores se requería una crianza. También se pueden encontrar huevos Pokemon al nivel 1, mientras que en los juegos de Pokemon anteriores se encontraban a partir del nivel 5. Como se vió originalmente en Pokemon Oro y Plata, las áreas de Pokemon Diamante y Perla tienen diferentes comportamientos dependiendo del dia y la hora de la semana, lo cual se puede aprecia de diferentes maneras, no sólamente por las ambientaciones de día o de noche, sino por la capacidad de capturar ciertas especies de Pokemon dependiendo estos factores. La escala de día y noche ha crecido comparado a las versiones anteriores. Pokemon Diamante y Pokemon Perla tienen cinco diferentes períodos temporales: mañana, día, tarde, mediodia y noche. También se presenta un nuevo aparato llamado Pokétch, una especie de agenda portatil que tiene varias características como un administrador del sistema, una calculadora, un mapa, un contador, un buscador de vinculos wireless, y otras cosas más.Luego de Sinnoh se encuentra una gran área subterránea, usada para partidas multijugador. Los juegadores pueden crear y decorar "bases secretas", como se podía hacer en Pokemon Rubi y Zafiro, y participar en minijuegos, algunos de los cuales permitirán a los jugadores conseguir fósiles de Pokemon especiales como Zugaidos y Shieldon. Éstos Pokemon, como así también Mikaruge, sólo pueden ser obtenidos explorando estas áreas subterráneas.Pokemon Diamante y Perla soportan conexiones de Nintendo Wi-Fi, permitiendo de este modo a los jugadores intercambiar, batallar y comunicarse a través de un "chat de voz" en línea. El sistema principal donde se pueden intercambiar Pokemon es la Estación Global de Intercambio. Ésta le permitirá a los jugadores buscar por cualquier Pokemon que hallan visto antes, ¡en todo el mundo!, o sea, mostrando gente de todos lados del globo que quieran intercambiar el Pokemon que estás buscando. Una buena ventaja que se añade a este sistema es la posibilidad de trabajar offline, así que no tienes que estar conectado esperando que alguien aparezca con el Pokemon que buscas, puedes dejar la órden y completar la operación mientras no estás conectado.Algunos centros sirven para diferentes propósitos, algunos permiten al jugador entrar en batalla contra amigos a través de una conexión a Internet, mientras que otros permiten al jugador entrar en la unión Pokemon, una sala de chat en donde los jugadores pueden comunicarse entre ellos y agregarse a sus Listas de Amigos. Además de los 50 conocidos MT, que enseñan a los Pokemon un nuevo movimiento, se agregaron 42 MT nuevas, llegando de esta forma a 92 en total.Relación con otros juegos Pokemon: Pokemon Diamante y Perla tienen una amplia compatibilidad con otros juegos Pokemon. Puedes conectarte con cualquier juego Pokemon de GBA para obtener la Pokedex Nacional. Además, Pokemon Diamante y Perla pueden ser conectados con Pokemon Ranger. Usando esta característica un jugador va a poder enviar, por ejemplo, un huevo Manaphy desde Pokemon Ranger a Pokemon Diamante y Perla luego de completar la misión especial para obtener dicho huevo en Pokemon Ranger. Además, Diamante y Perla presentan conectividad Wi-Fi con los Pokemon de la consola Wii, como Pokemon Battle Revolution.
    Japón: 28 de Septiembre del 2006.Estados Unidos: Primavera 2007.
    Pokemon Diamante y Perla son para Nintendo DS.
    Resumen del juego
    El juego toma lugar en la región de Shino, y el pueblo en el que iniciaremos será Futaba Town. Una gran cantidad de nuevos Pokemon se encuentran a lo largo de todo el juego. Podrás intercambiar tus Pokemon a los juegos de GBA (Pokemon Rubi, Pokemon Zafiro, Pokemon Rojo Fuego, Pokemon Verde Hoja y Pokemon Esmeralda) al Pokemon Diamante o Pokemon Perla.
    Los Dos Pokemon Legendarios
    Pokemon Diamante está representado por Diaruga (que tiene poder sobre el espacio), y Pokemon Perla está representado por Parukia (que tiene poder sobre el tiempo).
    Caraterísticas Wi-Fi - Batallas Online e Intercambio Online
    Las Batallas e Intercambios Online van a estar disponibles para Pokemon Diamante / Perla via la conección Wi-Fi DS. También tendrá chat online por voz. Las características Wi-Fi pueden ser accedidas a través de cualquier planta baja de todos los Centros Pokemon a lo largo del juego.

    espero que les haya gustado a mi mucho
              Comentario en Historia de un ignorante, ma non troppo… Sinfonía núm. 1, Titán, de Gustav Mahler por José M. Tinajero        

    “…aunque, por algún oscuro motivo, la realización se va a por uvas en esta parte y no se centra en los trompas levantados y soplando con toda su alma más que unos pocos segundos“.

    ¡Es cierto! El momento es tan sublime, tan gigantesco, que exigiría la atención exclusiva del realizador por centrarse sobre todo en el grupo de trompas. Debería registrarse con detalle el proceso de incorporación de éstas a la épica de la descriptiva solemne. Es el compendio, es la revelación del sentir de la obra, es clamor, es la exaltación del tema supremo. El goce emocional llega aquí a su clímax.

    Para mí es inolvidable la interpretación que presencié hace años en el Auditorio madrileño. La escenificación del pasaje fue bellísima: las ocho trompas, y acompañadas con algún otro metal, se pusieron de pie al unísono, levantando sus instrumentos a una cota superior a sus cabezas. Respondían al precioso reto dibujando en la atmósfera, impetuoso y sublime, el goce supremo, el resumen exultante de la Obra.

              Post 'Aguas Tuertas-Arlet-Pic d'Aillary-Achar de Hombres'        
    Autor: Javier y Martín, con fecha 14/06/2011 16:01

    <b></b><b>21 de mayo de 2011.</b><b></b><br><br>Iniciamos el recorrido en la pista de Guarrinza junto a la barrera que marca el final de la zona transitable para vehículos a la altura del Barranco de Barcal, por donde tenemos pensado descender. Seguimos brevemente la pista hasta encontrar el atajo que nos situa en la entrada del valle de Aguas Tuertas, un lugar de ensueño donde parecen revivir historias de pastores y recuerdos de infancia, imposible de dejar de contemplar durante un buen rato. Afortunadamente nos dirijimos al Col d'Arlet para ver el ibón y durante el ascenso no dejaremos de obtener espectaculares vistas del valle con el caprichoso serpentear del río. Confundimos el inicio (salimos justo desde la entrada del valle, por encima del salto, y el camino comienza junto al barranco de Acué, a muy pocos metros) y tenemos que remontar la ladera sin sendero marcado hasta dar con una senda desdibujada que muy por debajo de la línea fronteriza se dirije al collado; un resalte rocoso de color rojizo sirve como punto de referencia. Del collado al Pic d'Aillary, el más alto en la cresta entre los ibones de Estanés y Acherito, hay un paseo, y la vista se presume digna de un pequeño esfuerzo, aunque luego la recompensa la veamos mermada por las nubes que comienzan a adueñarse del panorama. Aún tenemos buenas vistas sobre Guarrinza y los picos de Ansó, Castillo de Acher, Aguas Tuertas y el pequeño ibón d'Arlet acurrucado en la falda del pico. El tiempo empeora y alguien tiene prisa por completar la jornada. Descenso a Aguas Tuertas y subida al Achar de los Hombres por el barranco de la Rueda en medio de un cromatismo impactante a pesar de la mengua de luz. El contraste de colores parece intensificarse entre el Achar y el Puerto de Acher, en un paisaje dominado por el Castillo de Acher y Costatiza y la presencia añadida de la nieve. Desde aquí no hay más que seguir la línea del barranco que desciende hacia el río Aragón Subordán. Nosotros bajamos por la derecha del barranco principal hasta que en la línea del bosque encontramos un sendero más marcado que nos conduce a la pista. Ver post | Ver más blog
              Free Creative Resume Template PSD - Freebie No: 67 #237042        

              Decompiling Async/Await        

    Just after the ILSpy 2.0 release, I started adding support for decompiling C# 5 async/await to ILSpy.

    You can get the async-enabled ILSpy build from our build server.

    The async support is not yet complete; for example decompilation fails if the IL evaluation stack is not empty at the point of the await expression.

    The decompilation logic highly depends on the patterns produced by the C# 5 compiler - it only works with code compiled with the C# compiler in the .NET 4.5 beta release, not with any previous CTPs. Also, it is likely that ILSpy will need adjustments for the final C# 5 compiler.

    While testing, I found that the .NET 4.5 beta BCL was not compiled with the beta compiler - where the beta compiler uses multiple awaiter fields, the BCL code uses a single field of type object and uses arrays of length 1. This is similar to the code generated by the .NET 4.5 developer preview, so my guess is that Microsoft used some internal version in between the developer preview and the beta for compiling the .NET 4.5 beta BCL. For more information, take a look at Jon Skeet's description of the async codegen changes.
    This means the ILSpy cannot decompile async methods in the .NET 4.5 beta BCL. This problem should disappear with the next .NET 4.5 release (.NET 4.5 RC?).

    So how does ILSpy decompile async methods, then? Consider the compiler-generated code of the move next method:

    // Async.$AwaitInLoopCondition$d__17
    void IAsyncStateMachine.MoveNext()
            int num = this.$1__state;
            TaskAwaiter<bool> taskAwaiter;
            if (num == 0)
                taskAwaiter = this.$u__$awaiter18;
                this.$u__$awaiter18 = default(TaskAwaiter<bool>);
                this.$1__state = -1;
                goto IL_7C;
            taskAwaiter = this.$4__this.SimpleBoolTaskMethod().GetAwaiter();
            if (!taskAwaiter.IsCompleted)
                this.$1__state = 0;
                this.$u__$awaiter18 = taskAwaiter;
                this.$t__builder.AwaitUnsafeOnCompleted<TaskAwaiter<bool>, Async.$AwaitInLoopCondition$d__17>(ref taskAwaiter, ref this);
            bool arg_8B_0 = taskAwaiter.GetResult();
            taskAwaiter = default(TaskAwaiter<bool>);
            if (arg_8B_0)
                goto IL_23;
        catch (Exception exception)
            this.$1__state = -2;
        this.$1__state = -2;

    The state machine works similar to the one used by yield return; so we could reuse a lot of the code from the yield return decompiler.
    Each try block begins with a state dispatcher: depending on the value of this.$1__state, the code jumps to the appropriate location. If the async method involves exception handling, there will be a separate state dispatcher at the beginning of each try block.
    In this case, there are only two states: the initial state (state = -1) and the state at the await expression (state = 0). The state dispatcher consists only of the two statements "int num = this.$1__state; if (num == 0)". We rely on the fact that in the actual IL code, the state dispatcher is a contiguous sequence of IL instructions, in front of any of the method's actual code.

    Note that the async/await decompiler step runs on the ILAst very early in the decompiler pipeline, immediately after the yield return transform, which is prior to any control flow analysis. We're basically still dealing with IL instructions here; but I'm explaining it in terms of C# as that is easier to read (and makes the code much shorter).

    The analysis of the state dispatcher works using symbolic execution; it is described in more detail in the yield return decompiler explanation. In our example, the result of the analysis is that the beginning of the first if statement is reached for state==0, and label IL_23 is reached for all other states.

    With this information, we start cleaning up the control flow of the method. We look for any 'return;' statements and analyze the instructions directly in front:

                this.$1__state = 0;
                this.$u__$awaiter18 = taskAwaiter;
                this.$t__builder.AwaitUnsafeOnCompleted<TaskAwaiter<bool>, Async.$AwaitInLoopCondition$d__17>(ref taskAwaiter, ref this);

    We then replace this piece code with an instruction that represents the AwaitUnsafeOnCompleted call (represented as "await ref taskAwaiter;" in the following code), followed by a goto to the label for the target state (using the information gained from the symbolic execution). We also remove the boilerplate associated with the $t__builder and the state dispatcher. For demonstration purposes, I'll skip the remaining steps of the async/await decompiler and resume the pipeline to decompile the ILAst to C#, producing the following code:

    public async void AwaitInLoopCondition()
        while (true)
            TaskAwaiter<bool> taskAwaiter = this.$4__this.SimpleBoolTaskMethod().GetAwaiter();
            if (!taskAwaiter.IsCompleted)
                await ref taskAwaiter;
                taskAwaiter = this.$u__$awaiter18;
                this.$u__$awaiter18 = default(TaskAwaiter<bool>);
                this.$1__state = -1;
            bool arg_8B_0 = taskAwaiter.GetResult();
            taskAwaiter = default(TaskAwaiter<bool>);
            if (!arg_8B_0)

    As you can see, this transformation has simplified the control flow of the method dramatically.

    We now just perform some finishing touches on the method:

    • Access to the state machine fields is replaced with local variable access, e.g. "this.$4__this" becomes "this".
    • We detect the "GetAwaiter() / if (!taskAwaiter.IsCompleted) / GetResult() / clear awaiter" pattern and replace it with a simple await expression

    Mind that all of this isn't done on the C# representation, but in an early stage of the ILAst pipeline. After some simplifications (variable inlining, copy propagation), the resulting ILAst looks like this:

    call(Console::WriteLine, ldstr("Body"))
    brtrue(IL_16, await(callvirt(Async::SimpleBoolTaskMethod, ldloc(this))))

    Apart from the 'await' opcode, this is exactly the same as the while-loop would look in a non-async method. The remainder of the decompiler pipeline will detect the loop and translate it to the C# code you've seen in the introductory screenshot.

              #MientrasEstabasDeFiesta Resumen del fin de semana        
    Por fin lunes, y nosotros como siempre, puntuales a nuestra cita del resumen sobre el fin de semana, ¿quieres saber
              Christianity as Progress in Season 3 of Vikings?        
    Big fans of television series available for binge-watching after the kids go to sleep, my husband and I recently worked through the first three seasons of the History Channel’s hit Vikings. So far, the series has followed the rise of Scandinavian Ragnar Lothbrok from farmer to earl to king and his growing interest in Western Europe and mostly successful exploits in England and France. Although roundly criticized for its historical inaccuracies, Vikings is loosely based on Scandinavian figures and events passed down through the oral tradition to writers who finally recorded them during the late Middle Ages. It includes the infamous Viking raid of the monastery at Lindisfarne, for instance, as well as the figure of Rollo, known in history as having founded the Scandinavian settlement of Normandy and as the great-great-great grandfather of William the Conqueror. The character of Ragnarhimself is based on a legendary king and hero, said to have battled Charlemagne and borne important warrior sons (the same sons whom he is shown to have fathered in the show as well). The accuracy of the legends of Ragnar are debated by historians, some saying that they are based in truth and others perceiving them as mostly fictional. Vikingsadmittedly plays fast and loose with history, combining legends from diverse regions of Scandinavia (by, for instance, depicting Rollo as Ragnar’s brother) and often flouting the chronology of historical occurrences (by placing Ragnar in the time of Charles II’s rule instead of Charlemagne’s, to name one example). Moreover, while many of the events depicted in the show might plausibly have happened within the Scandinavian cultures of the early Middle Ages, others seem unlikely. The intense (and often homoerotic) friendship that develops between Ragnar and Athelstan, a monk who Ragnar captures in the Lindisfarne raid, is one such fabrication, perhaps unrealistic but effectively used in the show to heighten one of the central tensions of the series—between the paganism of the Scandinavians and the Christianity of the Western Europeans.

    Athelstan originally perceives the Vikings as heralds of Satan, sent from God as punishment for the sins of man, but he comes to respect and love Ragnar, teaching him the language of the English and sharing information about the cities and cultures of Western Europe. When he is first taken captive, Athelstan brings a religious text with him to Scandinavia, and he is shown as reading it faithfully during his first few months as a slave to Ragnar and his family. He also maintains his practice of tonsure, very painfully and bloodily using a dull blade to shave the top of his head. But, as he becomes more and more integrated into Ragnar’s family and community, Athelstan begins to doubt the existence and power of Christ. He calls out to God, saying that, for the first time in his life, he cannot feel His presence. Eventually, Athelstan’s holy book disintegrates, and he begins wearing his hair in the style of the Scandinavians. He accepts an arm ring from Ragnar when the latter becomes earl, thus pledging his allegiance to Ragnar and the ways of the Scandinavians. In Season 2, Athelstan returns to England to raid with Ragnar and, through a series of extraordinary events, becomes the prisoner—and confidant—of the intelligent but morally dubious King Ecbert of Wessex. At this point, Athelstan eagerly returns to the kind of writing that he once did at the monastery, this time transcribing Ecbert’s secret Roman scrolls. He is unable to resume priesthood, however, professing that he has strayed too far from his Christian beliefs. A dark beast—symbolic perhaps of his sin against God or maybe of the duty that he now owes to Odin—haunts him in waking dreams, and he seems to feel, at once, disloyal to Christ and to the belief system of the Scandinavians. Athelstan even admits to Ecbert that Scandinavian customs are, in some ways, superior to English customs. When given the opportunity, Athelstan leaves England, to reside again in Scandinavia with Ragnar, who offers him affection and protection—as well as a somewhat more consistent moral code than Ecbert’s.

    In his interactions with both Ragnar and Ecbert, Athelstan acts—sometimes unwittingly—as an agent of what either king, and certainly the show’s viewers, might perceive as “progress.” As a former monk, he is a learned man, and he affirms Ecbert’s appreciation for Roman architecture, art, and literature. He agrees with Ecbert that the Christians have much to learn from pagans—presumably both Roman and Scandinavian—and encourages Ecbert’s curiosity in Scandinavian customs and his decision to allow the Scandinavians to settle in Wessex. Athelstan shares information with Ragnar about England and France that ultimately facilitates profitable Scandinavian raids, settlement in the fertile regions of Western Europe, and adoption of important technological advances in farming equipment (a plough in Season 2) and weaponry (a cross-bow in Season 3). On many occasions, Athelstan acts as translator between the Scandinavians and the Western Europeans, enabling that which we know to be the massive changes in the cultures and languages of Western Europe that the Viking settlements ultimately produced. Perhaps most importantly, Athelstan promotes the blending of traditions, teaching Ragnar to recite the Lord’s Prayer, for example, before taking up arms himself to fight in his now beloved friend’s battle for the kingship of Scandinavia. Indeed, Athelstan seems to embody cultural exchange, which both Ragnar and Ecbert value, at least in part, and certainly that many 21st-century viewers imagine as progressive in our age of globalization.

    (As another example of how Vikings plays with history, we might note that Ecbert, Athelstan, and Athelstan’s son Alfred, borne of Athelstan’s affair with Ecbert’s daughter-in-law and so far fiercely protected by Ecbert despite the infant’s well-known status as a bastard, are all also based on historical figures. The historical Ecbert was a Christian king of Wessex who battled regularly with the pagan Vikings. Alfred the Great was Ecbert’s grandson, and he made peace with the Scandinavians after their king Gunthrum was baptized. Finally, the historical Athelstanwas the grandson of Alfred, and he ousted the sitting Scandinavian ruler from the Viking settlement of York. As with their counterparts in the show, the lives and times of these three figures were very much influenced by the conflicts—and blending—of English culture and Viking culture as well as Christianity and paganism.)

    Late in Season 3, however, Athelstan’s symbology in the show shifts. No longer does he seem to promote the blending of traditions but, instead, advocates for a return to seeing Christianity as distinct from—and superior to—paganism. He experiences a sign from God and returns with fervor to his Christian faith. After a scene in which he seems to re-baptize himself in the waters off the coast of Scandinavia, he tosses his arm ring out to sea. Athelstan then announces to Ragnar that he has been born again and that he can no longer stay in Ragnar’s kingdom. Ragnar refuses to allow him to go, saying that Athelstan is the only person who he can truly trust, and the scene ends with Athelstan reaffirming his dedication to Ragnar’s planned attack on Paris. In some ways, this seems another example of Athelstan’s ability to blend belief systems: he is renewed in his Christianity but willing to facilitate a Viking raid of an important Christian city, indeed, the center of Western Christendom during much of the Middle Ages. But, when Athelstan is killed by a member of Ragnar’s inner circle who fears Athelstan’s growing Christian influence over the king, Ragnar remembers him as a Christian, first and foremost. Ragnar carries Athelstan’s dead body to the top of a tall hill and buries him there, intending to lay him to rest as close to Athelstan’s god as he can get him. He then places Athelstan’s cross necklace around his own neck and shaves his head in a bloody scene reminiscent of Athelstan’s shaving episode at the beginning of the series. As Vikings creator Michael Hirst has pointed out in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, here, Ragnar adopts a version of the Christian practice of tonsure to signal the significant change that he has experienced as a result of his friend’s death.

    Like Athelstan during his time in Wessex, Ragnar seems caught between Christianity and paganism at this point in the show. When he is injured in the raid on Paris and fears that he is dying, he imagines two competing visions of that which awaits him after death. One of these is the figure of Odin, pictured throughout the series as a black silhouette with a raven on his shoulder; the other is Athelstan, who seems to function, for Ragnar, as a stand-in for the Christian God. Ragnar reaches toward Athelstan, but the latter turns to walk away, and Ragnar is left with Odin. Fearing eternal separation from his friend, Ragnar bargains with the Parisians, agreeing to send his warriors back to Scandinavia in exchange for a large quantity of gold and, more importantly, his own baptism and Christian burial. When he is baptized in front of his shocked and angry kinsmen, Ragnar seems to have finally chosen, like Athelstan, Christianity over paganism. After he is carried inside the Parisian cathedral for his final rites, however, Ragnar jumps up from his casket and brutally slays the Christian priest who had previously expressed revulsion at the prospect of having to baptize him. Ragnar escapes the battle that ensues and, then, in the final scene of the season, is shown aboard a Viking longship bound for home in Scandinavia.

    Given Althelstan’s and Ragnar’s conflicted thoughts and contradictory behaviors in Season 3, it is difficult to interpret the show’s message regarding Christian conversion. Throughout Season 1 and Season 2, Athelstan suffers with his conflicting feeling of duty toward Christ and his attraction to the Vikings gods, but he lives with both and seems to work toward an ethic of cultural exchange that perhaps most viewers in the 21st-century can get behind. For his part, Ragnar is presented as a visionary, a leader who imagines a better future for his people through raiding and settlement in Western Europe. His attachment to Athelstan is used to highlight the conflicts between Christianity and paganism in the Viking Age, but viewers are also able to see it as indicative of Ragnar’s willingness to embrace the kind of progress embodied in the priest-turned-Viking-warrior, the progress of economic and financial advancement for the Scandinavians as well as of the cultural blending that occurred between Scandinavians and Western Europeans during this historical period. Given their characterization throughout the series, what are we to make of Athelstan’s and Ragnar’s actions in Season 3? Is Athelstan still representative of progress? Is Ragnar still dedicated to progress? Maybe most importantly, is cultural blending still inherent to progress?

    Since Athelstan is gone from the show by the end of the season, we are left to reckon most violently with Ragnar’s lingering dedication to his dead friend and his resulting baptism, as well as his decision in the last episode to kill the Christian priest and return to Scandinavia with his people. I would argue that there are ways to read Ragnar’s actions in the last few episodes as in keeping with his role as visionary. It is plausible, for example, that Ragnar is baptized only to ensure that he rejoin Athelstan in the afterlife but that he intends to remain loyal to Scandinavian traditions during his remaining time on Earth and, thus, that the baptism signals only the further blending of cultural systems that we have witnessed heretofore through Athelstan. Ragnar’s baptism might also serve as simply one more move toward the progress that he sees as essential for his people. Historically, of course, the adoption—or partial, or even feigned, adoption—of Christianity eased the way for Scandinavian groups’ acceptance in Western European trading and settlement. Renowned Viking historian Anders Winroth offers further clarification of the reasons for conversion, stating that the Scandinavians came to perceive Christianity as prestigious by associating it with the material wealth that they found in raiding monasteries and, ironically, that Scandinavian leaders sometimes used the practice of converting potential followers to Christianity as a way of convincing them to dedicate themselves to these leaders’ future raids in Western Europe. Whether to align their beliefs with those of new friends, to appease the Christian rulers of Western Europe, or to gain Scandinavian followers, masses of Scandinavians did eventually convert to Christianity throughout the Middle Ages. Ragnar’s baptism, therefore, seems at least somewhat historically plausible and, in that it foreshadows the future of conversion in store for his people, in keeping with his characterization as adept at navigating the tides of change in order advance the interests of his kinsmen.

    Nonetheless, it is difficult (and disappointing) to imagine this show as depicting progress as simply a matter of conversion to Christianity instead of a process of cultural blending. My hope is that Ragnar and Ecbert, as well as other important figures in the show, will continue to contend, in complex and convincing ways, with the clashes between their two cultures and belief systems in Season 4, scheduled for release in early 2016—despite the show’s loss of Athelstan as a figurehead of cultural exchange.

    Ready for a new show . . .
    Until then, my husband I will have to find a new series. Any suggestions?

              Búsqueda de trabajo 2.0        
    Con las cifras de paro actuales, la búsqueda de trabajo se convierte en un tema casi de primera necesidad. Muchos ven en las nuevas tecnologías un buen aliado para encontrar nuevas oportunidades laborales; y es que las herramientas 2.0 no garantizan el éxito, pero ayudan. Por ejemplo, las redes sociales facilitan el networking, aunque no reemplazan por completo las relaciones cara a cara, siempre mucho más poderosas. Precisamente hoy leo en El Economista un artículo sobre la importancia de ser visibles en el mercado laboral, en el que actualmente existe una fuerte competencia: “todos los expertos coinciden en que una buena visibilidad de nuestro perfil puede marcar la diferencia a la hora de recibir ofertas”.

    En sectores como el de la comunicación y el marketing, no ser visible en Internet puede ser sinónimo de perder una oportunidad de trabajo. Más de una vez he oído a directivos de este ámbito comentar que si han de contratar a un colaborador o un trabajador, además del CV, les interesa que tengan unos conocimientos básicos de la Red, y estar presentes en ella (gestionar la reputación digital) es un primer paso para demostrarlo.

    También el último Cava & Twitts se centró en el trabajo 2.0. Aunque no pude asistir, Senior Manager y Antonio Guerrero han publicado buenos resúmenes.

              Dos investigaciones sobre los usos de los podcast        
    Buscando información sobre podcasts corporativos, encontré estos dos posts en Podcastellano que recogen documentos de gran interés sobre el tema. En primer lugar, recomiendo la consulta del trabajo El podcast como medio de comunicación: caracterización del podcast independiente y adopción por las cadenas de radio, de Arturo F. Velasco. Podéis ver un resumen con las ideas principales en la presentación de Slideshare que encabeza este post.

    Por otra parte, hacen referencia a la tesis doctoral de Toni Sellas, La voz de la Web 2.0. Análisis del contexto, retos y oportunidades del podcasting en el marco de la comunicación sonora está disponible en pdf a través de Tesis Doctorals en Xarxa . Una de las conclusiones de este trabajo es que “el podcasting supone un cambio en el escenario de la comunicación sonora, en el que la radio pierde la exclusiva”.

    Toni explica que “esta tesis doctoral es un estudio conceptual del podcasting, un análisis de su presente y de su potencial en el marco de la comunicación sonora. Se divide en dos partes. La primera consiste en una exposición del contexto sociológico y tecnológico en el que nace el podcasting y en una descripción del objeto de estudio, que es un fenómeno muy reciente nacido a finales de 2004 en Estados Unidos. La segunda parte consta de un análisis del uso del podcasting por parte de los medios de comunicación tradicionales, un examen del universo temático del podcasting y un estudio de la figura de los podcasters independientes.”

              Recursos interesantes de la semana; neuromarketing y cómo gestionar una marca en Internet        
    Recojo en este post algunos recursos interesantes que he descubierto esta semana navegando por la Red.

    Javier Piedrahita, director de MarketingDirecto.com, resume en su columna de la Comunidad del ICEMD las principales conclusiones del Congreso Anual del Neuromarketing, celebrado en Munich el pasado abril. Lo que más me ha interesado de su post es la ponencia del doctor Hans-Georg Häusel (autor del libro Neuromarketing), un gran experto en estos temas. Explica lo importante que es que la marca tenga un posicionamiento emocional y motivacional adecuado.

    “BrainBrands, las marcas que están en el cerebro del consumidor, activan estructuras motivacionales muy importantes en el cerebro. Pero debe saberse qué sistemas emocionales se activan. El sistema límbico, que constituye el sistema emocional de nuestro cerebro, se compone de tres sistemas activos: el de dominación, que impulsa al avance y al poder; el de estimulación, que empuja a descubrir cosas nuevas, y el de equilibrio, que inclina a los individuos a la seguridad y la confianza.”

    Como ejemplo, Häusel aplica” este mapa emocional a la categoría de producto "agua mineral" -prosigue Javier en su crónica-, para averiguar cómo se produce el aumento de valor de un producto que inicialmente tiene un valor de 13 céntimos de euro por litro y que puede llegar a venderse por 7.900 céntimos por litro, como ocurre con el agua de la marca Bling. Para que el agua mineral alcance este precio de venta, tiene que situarse en una serie de campos emocionales y motivacionales. Porque el agua mineral no solo resuelve necesidades fisiológicas, sino también necesidades emocionales. El producto "agua" apela a la dominación (reforzamiento, fuerza, revitalizante), a la estimulación (placer, refrescante) y al equilibrio (salud, control del cuerpo, desbloqueo).”

    Podéis ver la primera parte del resumen, y a lo largo de las próximas semanas irá publicando más información sobre este congreso. También están disponibles siete vídeos en alemán.

    Por otra parte, hace unos días ABC publicaba un interesante artículo sobre ¿Cómo gestionar con éxito una marca en Internet?, que recoge declaraciones de Marc Cortés. Una buena forma de inaugurar una nueva sección en este diario: Medios y Redes, que tendremos que seguir de cerca.

    En el reportaje, Marc insiste en que “para gestionar una marca en internet es imprescindible disponer de un plan”, algo que ya le hemos oído decir muchas veces, pero que nunca está de más recordar, especialmente en un medio de comunicación masivo como es ABC, que permite llegar a lectores que no siguen la blogosfera. Eso sí, advierte: “este plan no es algo cerrado, sino todo lo contrario, es un proceso de «tunning continuo» y, en este sentido, es preciso «ir retocando y revisando porque los objetivos pueden cambiar, el ecosistema de internet puede cambiar y aquella red donde tú estás bien posicionado o donde tu marca es reconocida y que antes era muy reputada ahora ha dejado de serlo”.

    Podéis leer la entrevista completa en ABC.es.

              Algunas ideas de "Hoy es marketing" (ESIC)        
    Estoy estos días analizando los datos que he recogido para el estudio sobre nuevos perfiles profesionales que demanda la Sociedad de la Información. Espero poder compartir muy pronto los primeros resultados. ¡Muchas gracias a todos los que habéis participado! En total hemos recogido la opinión de 50 profesionales.

    Mientras llegan las primeras conclusiones, aprovecho para compartir algunas pinceladas de lo que se habló el jueves pasado en Hoy es Marketing. Liderando la incertidumbre: innovación y marketing en estado puro. Las claves del Marketing por ESIC. Es la primera vez que asistía a esta cita anual de ESIC y valió la pena, aunque he de reconocer que, como casi siempre, algunos ponentes brillaron mucho más que otros.

    La jornada se centró en nuevas formas de relacionarse con los clientes. Se habló de consumering (Javier Rovira) y de las oportunidades que ofrecen las nuevas tecnologías de la mano de empresas como Vueling (Vicenç Martí, Chief Marketing Officer), Nespresso (Vicent Termote, director General de Nespresso Iberia), Atrápalo (Silvia Carreño, Social Media Manager) y Facebook(Laura González-Estefani, Country Marketing Manager de Facebook España).
    Os recomiendo el resumen de Canal IP y algunos vídeos de YouTube grabados durante las sesiones (y más vídeos de las jornadas celebradas en otras ciudades españolas).

    ¿La idea que mejor resume las jornadas? Los consumidores cambian y las empresas han de cambiar con ellos. Las nuevas tecnologías ya no son una opción sino algo indispensable.

    Por si os interesa el tema, la gente de ESIC ha lanzado el blog Hoy es marketing y ya está a la venta el libro de la jornada que se celebró el año pasado sobre nuevos mercados, nuevos clientes, nuevas soluciones, que incluye un DVD con todas las ponencias.

              Social Media para Emprendedores (Marc Cortés en Iniciador)        

    Ayer estuve por primera vez en Iniciador y me encantó, tanto por la conferencia de Marc Cortés como porque me sirvió para desvirtualizar a María Ripoll y Encarna Batet, y para reencontrarme con colegas como Senior Manager, Verónica Aimar, Eva Sanagustín, Xavi Güell…

    Jordi Pérez ejerció de presentador-moderador y Marc habló de "Social Media para Emprendedores" (ver su presentación al principio del post). Quizá al ver este título pienses que el tema no va contigo (“si yo no soy emprendedor”), pero Marc dio una definición de emprendedor que seguro que te sorprende: “Cuando entramos en Internet, todos somos emprendedores. Emprendemos una aventura con algún objetivo, aunque sólo sea ocupar tu tiempo libre”. ¿Te interesa entonces el tema?

    Marc destacó los cuatro puntos esenciales de un Social Media Plan:
    • Tener unos objetivos definidos
    • Elegir el posicionamiento
    • Escuchar y hablar
    • La medición (para saber si el plan está funcionando)
    (Estas fases pueden hacerse de forma simultánea o una tras otra.)

    Lo mejor de todo es que explicó cómo hacer un Social Media Plan basándose en su propia experiencia personal y eso dio un gran dinamismo a la sesión, que estuvo repletita de ejemplos y también contó con la participación de algunos de los asistentes.

    Algunas ideas para recordar:
    • Es importante vincular el mundo virtual al físico.
    • Hay que entender el ecosistema de Internet, que está formado por muchos subecosistemas.
    • Es importante que las acciones 2.0 se integren en un plan (de forma aislada, no tienen sentido).
    • ¿Cuánto tiempo he de dedicar a mi blog? Según lo que quieras sacar de él.
      Planificación y escucha activa son las claves para poder gestionar una crisis online.
    Senior Manager también ha publicado un resumen. Y supongo que pronto podremos ver un vídeo resumen en la web de Iniciador, donde veo que están colgados los vídeos de ediciones anteriores.

    Actualización 21/5/09, 15:39 h: añado la presentación de Marc Cortés al principio del post.

              Netpeak Spider — продвинутый инструмент для SEO анализа сайтов        

    Здравствуйте, уважаемые читатели блога Goldbusinessnet.com. Сегодня я хотел бы предложить вам обзор одного из инструментов сервиса Netpeak Software — Netpeak Spider, который может оказаться полезным при анализе и выявлении ошибок, препятствующих успешному продвижению сайта. Правда, данное ПО адаптировано пока лишь для Windows, но, насколько я знаю, разработка для Linux и Mac OS идет полным ходом.

    В сети немало аналитических ресурсов подобного направления, которые позволяют производить проверку страниц в онлайн режиме на их соответствие необходимым нормам SEO. Однако, применение программы Netpeak Spider позволяет произвести анализ скрупулезно и получить более качественные результаты.

    Сразу скажу, что получить Спайдер в свое пользование удовольствие платное, поэтому, возможно, начинающим вебмастерам будет сложно сразу потратить свои кровные на активацию и продление лицензии. Однако, владельцам коммерческих ресурсов и сеошникам этот софт может оказать услугу и в перспективе с лихвой вернуть вложенные средства. Ну а теперь самое время узнать поподробнее о нашем герое.


              Greyhound Industry Cover Up Live On TV!        
    Anyone who follows greyhound welfare issues will know that very little is ever revealed in the press about the cruel and disgusting treatment that some of these beautiful animals face. In actual fact, this may be why many of you read this blog in the first place and spread the word about it. However, the cover up that millions witnessed on a BBC program last week takes the biscuit.

    The BBC show "Inside Out London" did a ten minute piece from Romford Greyhound Stadium in the UK. The coverage was supposed to be unbiased, impartial, honest and independent but was in fact the opposite. Although they failed to speak to welfare groups and greyhound rescues, they completely ridiculed those of us seeking better treatment for greyhounds and an end to the needless slaughter many of them suffer every year. In fact, the host (Matthew Wright) actually said "there are those that are glad to see the closure of any greyhound stadium because they claim it’s a cruel sport and it’s the old dogs that suffer. They say that once they stop racing – it’s the knackers yard for them – but it appears this is far from the truth".

    The email I recieved pointed out the following:

    Clearly the BBC have failed to research and acknowledge the overwhelming evidence of ALL welfare issues such as over breeding, lack of welfare, injuries, destruction of healthy greyhounds, irresponsible re-homing practices and further exploitation of the racing greyhound in retirement.

    Had the Inside Out London team remained impartial, they would have addressed not only the concerns of greyhound protection groups but also the concerns contained in the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare Report, the industry’s commissioned Donoughue Report and those of the RSPCA and the League Against Cruel Sports. All of the aforementioned organisations being highly critical of greyhound racing in its present day form.

    This is spot on the truth and exposes the coverage as propaganda rather than unbiased and factual news.

    The email also called for the greyhound lovers out there to protest. After all, this is why we are constantly drowned out when trying to create a better world for greyhounds to live and grow old in instead of being brutally killed when they can no longer make their owners money. Even responsible trainers that do treat their dogs well call for better regulation... which is really saying something! Coverage like this can only harm our cause so please take the time to copy and paste the email below and send it to the BBC about the shameless piece that will do greyhounds no good at all:

    Dear BBC

    I wish to complain regarding the Inside Out London programme broadcast on Wednesday October 15, promoting a night at the dogs at Romford Stadium.

    The BBC must surely be aware of the publication of the APGAW and the industry’s commissioned Donoughue reports which concluded there were many areas of grave concern regarding welfare within the industry.

    The BBC must also be aware of the further damming of these already highly critical reports by the RSPCA and the League Against Cruel Sports who in response, demanded even more drastic welfare changes to ensure minimum welfare standards for greyhounds.

    More recently the Sunday Times, in exposing this ruthless industry, have published two investigative articles earlier this year, which could not have escaped your attention.

    Ironically, the first article exposed a veterinary clinic at an Ockendon greyhound complex, euthanasing healthy greyhounds and then selling their warm body parts to the Royal Veterinary College. This was the very same complex which is home to Romford Homefinders, who you featured in the programme.

    The second article exposed the largest greyhound breeder in the UK selling puppies who would not chase or too slow, to Liverpool University for research and dissection.

    You only have to read the online comments on both these articles to ascertain the public’s opinion and disgust of greyhound racing.

    Why, as a public service broadcaster, who is supposed to be ‘free from commercial influence and answer to its viewers and listeners’ has the BBC chosen to promote an industry which has failed to address very serious welfare concerns, an industry that is dependent on gambling and an industry that is in sharp decline, the promotion of such, being further fuelled by those interviewed on the programme and needless to say, who are financially dependent on the industry - without the airing of any welfare issues?

    Astonishingly, the presenter Mathew Wright, remained anything but impartial throughout and gave his firm stamp of approval on this exploitative industry with his closing statement - ‘A night at the dogs – always a good evening’

    I sincerely hope the BBC research the facts behind greyhound racing and you give the public, welfare organisations and greyhound protection groups the opportunity in the very near future to address this inaccurate piece of pro racing propaganda you have irresponsibly broadcast.

    In meantime, please be advised of the following facts and statements

    *For every greyhound puppy that makes it to the track, at least one other puppy will be culled or killed because they won’t chase or are too slow to make the grade – analysis made from APGAW report.
    *‘Dogs are generally kennelled for 23 hours a day for their entire racing life, usually two dogs per small kennel sharing one bed and to avoid fighting, dogs are muzzled as a long term solution’ – RSPCA
    *The National Greyhound Racing Club processed 18,861 greyhound Retirement Forms last year and refuse to disclose the fate or fortune of those greyhounds – NGRC
    *At least 20 greyhounds a day, either puppies which do not make it to the track or ‘retired’ dogs aged 3 or 4 simply disappear, presumed destroyed – RSPCA
    *‘Greyhounds suffer through the breeding and selection process, injury and inhumane destruction when they are no longer needed’ – League Against Cruel Sports

    Yours sincerely

    Please send your emails to :-

    dippy.chaudhary@bbc.co.uk – Editor of Inside Out London

    david.holdsworth@bbc.co.uk – BBC Deputy Controller English Regions

    pov@bbc.co.uk - Points of View (full name and telephone number required)

    You can also make a formal complaint to the BBC Trust on this automated complaints form
              Catedrais e universidades: criações e florões da cultura medieval        
    Catedral de Soissons, detalhe do púlpito
    Catedral de Soissons, detalhe do púlpito
    Luis Dufaur
    Escritor, jornalista,
    conferencista de
    política internacional,
    sócio do IPCO,
    webmaster de
    diversos blogs

    Quando os cristãos saíram das catacumbas, após o Edito de Milão (313), ocuparam antigos templos pagãos e os consagraram ao culto verdadeiro.

    Aproveitaram também prédios civis como as imponentes basílicas, onde outrora desenvolviam-se atividades judiciais, comerciais, bancárias e feiras no inverno.

    As basílicas romanas eram imponentes, solenes e espaçosas.

    Mas, o conceito que presidiu sua construção em nada se assemelha ao conceito de catedral elaborado na França.

    A “filha primogênita da Igreja” ideou a catedral como resumo do Universo todo ele ordenado em função da glória do Criador e de sua Santíssima Mãe, Nossa Senhora.

    Elas foram chamadas de “Bíblia dos pobres”, explica um dos maiores autoridades em catedrais góticas, o professor Émile Mâle .

    Nelas, a “sancta plebs Dei” ‒ a santa plebe de Deus ‒ aprendia com seus olhos quase tudo o que sabia sobre a fé.

    As estátuas distribuídas segundo um plano escolástico simbolizavam a maravilhosa ordem que, por meio do gênio de Santo Tomás de Aquino, reinava no mundo do pensamento.

    Assim, por meio da arte os mais altos conceitos da teologia eram acessíveis para as mentes mais humildes.

    Catedral, detalhe da fachada.
    Catedral, detalhe da fachada.
    Os grandes temas representados na estatuária ou nos vitrais de catedrais como as de Paris, Chartres ou Reims encontram-se admiravelmente desenvolvidos em Burgos, Toledo, Siena, Orvieto, Bamberg, Friburg ou Cracóvia.

    Mas, em poucas eles estão tão bem expressos como na França. Em toda Europa ‒ observa Emile Mâle ‒ não há um só conjunto de obras de arte dogmática comparável ao da catedral de Chartres.

    Nos canteiros de abadias e catedrais góticas a “filha primogênita da Igreja” gerou os vitrais.

    Tratava-se de livros escritos com luz que iluminavam as mentes com a linguagem das imagens, resumiam todo o saber humano, eram um espelho da vida, um apanhado do passado, do presente e do futuro.

    Notre Dame de la Belle Verrière, catedral de Chartres, França
    Notre Dame de la Belle Verrière, catedral de Chartres, França
    Os primeiros vitrais do século X foram meras aberturas para permitir a entrada de luz e preenchidas com cristais coloridos.

    O gótico, porém, quis liberar imensos muros para instalar colossais vitrais. Só a catedral de Metz tem hoje 6.496 m2 de vitrais!

    Os vitrais encerram múltiplos significados e simbolismos, inclusive místicos.

    O principal deles é que o universo é uma imagem do Criador.

    A graça divina ilumina a inteligência e lhe faz ver o lado das coisas que espelha melhor a Deus.

    No vitral a luz do sol (símbolo da graça) torna a realidade compreensível, bela e admirável e facilita subir até a fonte de tudo, o sol, quer dizer, Deus, com grande e nobre prazer estético.

    Na catedral de Chartres, o vitral mais famoso é o de Notre Dame de La Belle Verrière. (ao lado)

    Mas, há muitas outras joias como o vitral da Árvore de Jessé (genealogia de Jesus Cristo), o da vida de Santo Eustáquio, ou o dos feitos de Carlos Magno.

    Outro conjunto supremo é o da Sainte-Chapelle em Paris. Entrando nela logo à direita lê-se de baixo para cima o Gênese, a história da Criação.

    As janelas seguintes resumem o Antigo Testamento até chegar no altar mor.

    Ali lemos no vitral a Vida, Paixão e Morte de Cristo. Continuando o giro, encontramos os Atos dos Apóstolos e a vida dos Santos.

    Por fim, fechando a volta, acima da entrada resplandece a rosácea do Apocalipse, portanto o anúncio do fim do mundo. É um percurso do início ao fim da História da humanidade.

    As igrejas olhavam para o Oriente, de onde Cristo há de vir na sua segunda vinda. Então, quando o sol nascia iluminava o vitral da vida de Cristo centro da História.

    Mas quando se punha fazia brilhar a rosácea do fim da História, com Cristo gladífero que virá julgar os vivos e os mortos.

    Nos vitrais, as crianças aprendiam o catecismo, a História Sagrada e a vida dos Santos. Os adultos encontravam a descrição da ordem das ciências, das técnicas e profissões.

    Os doutores tiravam inspiração para suas eruditas disputas.

    Os simples fiéis sofredores recebiam afago, sorriso, compreensão, novo ânimo e apoio sobrenatural.

    Vídeo: O sonho da catedral de cristal

    Se seu email não visualiza corretamente o vídeo embaixo CLIQUE AQUI


              Tuesday, April 15 schedule/postponements        
    Softball Lourdes 3, North Salem 0 (susp. after 2 innings, will resume at later date) Poughkeepsie at Spackenkill, ppd., rescheduled 5/9, 4:30 p.m. Arlington at Beacon, ppd. Haldane at Hendrick Hudson, ppd. Pawling at Palisade Prep, ppd., rescheduled 4/17, 4:30 p.m. Girls lacrosse Beacon 14, Croton-Harmon 10 Baseball Beacon Spring Bash tournament at Dutchess Stadium, […]
              Important recall notice        
    Imagine you were the owner of a business and needed to hire some employees. (Ok, first imagine there isn't a labour shortage) Would you immediately offer your brand new employees three, four or even five year, iron-clad guaranteed contracts, ensuring that you couldn't fire them even if they didn't show up to work every day, did a lousy job when they did, or made false claims on their resumes about the work they would do for you

    Guess what You already have.

              Movie review: Crime and punishment and a thrilling search for justice in ‘Wind River’         
    At a preview screening of “Wind River,” as the end credits were scrolling by, one of the critics in the audience said to himself, but loud enough for everyone around him to hear, “More proof that writers shouldn’t be allowed to direct.”He was referring to Taylor Sheridan, who has on his resume the terrific scripts for “Sicario” and “Hell or High Water” (for which he was Oscar nominated). The script for “Wind River” [...]
              10 cosas que seguramente no sabías sobre Corea del Sur        

    10 cosas que seguramente no sabías sobre Corea del Sur

    Como dicen en Corea: annyeong-haseyo!
    10 cosas que seguramente no sabías sobre Corea del Sur
    Tras contar curiosidades sobre Japón, hoy toca el turno a Corea del Sur. No se quedan atrás en excentricidades interesantes. De nuevo, habrá cosas que todos saben ¿verdad?, como que hacen dramas casi tan famosos como el anime japonés, ya lograron arrebatar el primer puesto en el informe PISA sobre educación a Finlandia o que Samsung dentro del país no es meramente un productor de móviles y ordenadores sino toda una corporación que lo ha construido casi todo. Sin embargo, existen otras cosas como las de a continuación que espero no supieran.

    Eres un año más viejo, a veces dos.

    Los surcoreanos suelen sumar un año a la edad internacional. El concepto cultural proviene de China y no sólo sucede en Corea del Sur sino también en países influenciados como Corea del Norte, Vietnam o Japón. Lo que ocurre es que los otros países asiáticos han aceptado la internacionalización de la edad y prácticamente ya no usan esta costumbre, sin embargo, en Corea del Sur lo normal es utilizar la edad coreana cuando te preguntan.
    En cuanto a por qué hay que sumarse uno es simplemente porque se cree que ya naces con un año, no con cero. Pero añadido a esto, además, los coreanos no cumplen años sólo cuando nacieron sino cada «ib chun» o periodo solar, así que cumples dos veces. Por tanto, dependiendo del mes, es posible que entre un periodo solar y otro tengas hasta dos años más. Si una persona ha nacido a principios de año, la diferencia de un año será la habitual. En cambio, si una persona nació a finales, pasará muchos meses añadiendo dos años a su edad internacional.

    No hay desodorante

    El chico deprimido se llama Le Ming Ho.
    El chico deprimido se llama Le Ming Ho.
    Es una cosa que incluso suelen añadirte en la guía de viajes cuando compras un vuelo a Corea: deberías traer tu desodorante porque es muy difícil encontrarlo. Esto es porque los coreanos sudan pero no huelen.
    El olor corporal se debe a una mezcla de compuestos orgánicos volátiles. Las investigaciones sobre este tema comenzaron en la década de los sesenta, descubriendo que el olor axilar era producido por la interacción de secreciones apocrinas con los microorganismos cutáneos de las axilas. Y en 2009, un equipo de investigación descubrió que casi toda la etnia asiática tiene una mutación genética que detiene la producción de los compuestos del sudor apocrino que causan el mal olor. Por eso, las personas en China y Corea no usan mucho los desodorantes y tan claro como el agua, como no se vende, no hay.

    Si tienes un problema físico, se espera que lo soluciones.

    After and before.
    After and before.
    Hay cirugías de todo, absolutamente de todo, cosas como la reducción de volumen craneal es posible. Resulta que son tan increíbles los cambios que, tras someterse a una operación, les obligan a actualizar su tarjeta de identificación porque normalmente no se les puede reconocer después.
    También está el punto de que operarse no es raro. Cuando digo que no es raro es que adolescentes piden la cirugía de doble párpado como premio por graduarse en la preparatoria. De hecho, lo deleznable es que no lo soluciones. Si tienes una nariz aguileña, te pueden preguntar en una entrevista laboral porqué no te la has quitado esperando que tengas una razón de «verdadero peso» para no haberlo hecho. Corea tiene una sociedad muy superficial, que valora en demasía el aspecto físico y no poseerlo es todo un problema para cualquier empleo de cierto nivel.

    Si se mueve, se come.

    Corea tiene comidas muy extrañas, más o menos siguiendo la línea de toda Asia. Déjenme decir primero que hay algunas comidas «tradicionales» que un capitalino no habrá probado jamás y que les dan tanto asco como a nosotros, pero existen los que las comen y restaurantes que las sirven, por lo cual, no está de más contarlo. Podemos empezar por la famosa sopa de perro. Sí, tradicionalmente se comía el perro. Pero hay cosas peores como un vino con fetos de rata dentro, el «gaebul» que es una lombriz de mar abierta por la mitad, «gusanos-pene» en salsa —se llaman así— que se comen crudos con salsa de sésamo o el «beondegi» que son larvas de gusano de seda al vapor. Nunca os haría la canallada de poner fotos de todo ello y tampoco os puedo comentar a qué saben porque tengo mis límites en cuando a probar cosas nuevas.

    Los más alcoholizados del mundo

    Según datos de la OMS, es efectivamente el país que más alcohol consume. De hecho, su bebida nacional, el soju, es el alcohol más vendido del mundo y quizás la única bebida alcohólica coreana conocida fuera de las fronteras (aunque hay muchas más). Está hecha a partir de licor de arroz pero no sabe a arroz, se toma en vasos pequeños como los de chupito y las botellas tienen un precio muy económico. En cuanto a su «potencia», tiene alta graduación —entre los 15º-25º el malo, el caro puede tener más— y se toma solo. Su sabor es tan fuerte como el de alcohol de curar heridas y quema bajando, pero las ajummas (abuelas mayores) lo bajan como si nada.
    Estarás pensando, bien, me abstendré de probarlo. Difícil. Ni se te ocurra rechazar si te ofrecen una bebida alcohólica, lo interpretarán como un gesto de descortesía, sobre todo si quien te lo ha ofrecido es alguien de mayor edad que tú. De hecho, los jefes tienen la costumbre de emborrachar a sus subordinados al salir de la empresa. Beber en Corea del Sur está bien visto, en reuniones, en negocios, en fiestas, en encuentros... incluso existe la creencia de que beber alcohol adelgaza.

    Los coreanos conducen bastante mal

    KIA es la marca de coches más vendida y en su mayoría los coreanos prefieren coches automáticos. Y a pesar de que los automáticos son más fáciles de conducir y los máximos de velocidad en Corea son bastante bajos, hay muchos accidentes. Según la OMS, Corea del Sur es el segundo país con mayor número de muertes de tráfico.

    Cosmética para todos.

    Bajo la misma idea perfeccionadora de las cirugías, hay una industria cosmética que lo invade todo. Los idols —cantantes y actores famosos— promocionan productos en todas partes, desde espaldares de asientos en el metro a paneles iluminados tamaño edificio. La cosmética suele intentan tener una base natural en la línea conceptual de ser «comida para la piel» y se vende tanto para hombres como para mujeres.
    Los hombres en corea consumen tanta cosmética como las mujeres, se ponen «bb creams» para el día a día —maquillaje con tratamiento de cobertura baja— polvos, usan serums y tónicos, se tiñen, se hacen la cera integral en las piernas y pecho, no salen a la calle sin protector 50 y ver un coreano con pelo en la cara es tan raro como ver pasar el cometa Halley.
    Se consumen productos con ácido hialurónico, vitamina C, salicílicos, proteínas de arroz y leche, caviar, tierras volcánicas mineralizadas… y en definitiva, todo lo que por su composición «aclare y terse» la piel. A los coreanos no les gusta el moreno, odian las manchas y a los 20 pocos, ya están preocupados por las arrugas. Como consecuencia o en base a esto, inventaron el cuidado facial en capas, en el que se usan al menos diez productos diferentes que hay que utilizar en un orden específico, según ingredientes y textura, uno detrás de otro post absorción para alimentar la piel a la par que «protegerla del exterior». Y los hombres lo hacen también.


    ¿Cómo haces el símbolo del corazón? Si eres occidental seguramente juntarás los pulgares y los índices haciendo la forma. Los coreanos no hacen los corazones así sino juntando índice y pulgar de la misma mano, lo que para nosotros significa «dinero» o «¿cuánto cuesta?».

    El K-pop

    Estos concretamente se llaman Super Junior.
    Estos concretamente se llaman Super Junior.
    ¿Se acuerdan del Gangnam Style? Pues no fue una casualidad. La industria cultural de Corea del Sur lleva más de veinte años potenciando y haciendo globales sus producciones. El K-pop es nombre que recibe su estilo de música, integrado por varios géneros musicales como el dance pop, la balada pop, la música electrónica, el rock, la música hip hop y el R&B. Se caracteriza por tener elementos audiovisuales integrados en el directo como coreografías, fuegos artificiales en escena, caracterización y/o interpretación, una perfección técnica en la coordinación grupal de baile, aprovechan en muchos casos a explotar la estética cute, usan excéntricos peinados y/o maquillaje llamativo. No se puede decir que las letras tengan en su mayoría un gran repertorio o sean muy profundas pero reconozcámoslo, sus Justin Bieber lo hacen mejor porque por lo menos no paran quietos y vienen en packs.

    Los 100 días.

    En Corea las «Sogaeting» o citas a ciegas son muy normales y se habla de ellas públicamente. La verdad es que para los coreanos suele ser difícil conocer gente nueva por su introversión y a la vez es casi un delito llegar a los treinta y estar solo. La familia insiste mucho en esto y a veces es la madre la que le presenta al hijo chicas, también puede ocurrir por medio de la hermana o las amigas de la novia de un amigo. Vamos, trapicheo de contactos. Cuando las parejas empiezan a salir cuentan los días y existe una celebración a los 100 en la que la chica le hace bombones caseros (en San Valentín también los hacen).
    También decir que si te parece duro estar solo y ver parejas por la calle en occidente, allá es mucho peor. Puedes ver cosas como camisetas de parejas en conjunto, bufandas para dos o guantes dobles para tomarse de la mano sin separarse. En resumen, no es un buen sitio para estar soltero.

              Work from Home Resume Writer        
    An established and continually growing resume writing firm is filling a position for a Work from Home Resume Writer. Core Responsibilities Include: Utilizing experience as a writer Writing and editing professional resumes Qualifications for this position include: Background in professional writing, human resources/recruitment, or associated fields Proficiency in Microsoft Word - please note, owning a copy of Microsoft Word is required Outstanding writing and editing skills An excellent customer support background Impeccable attention to detail
               - Media slowly resurfacing, operations centre approaching three-month mark        
    Twenty-five of Port-au-Prince's approximately 50 radio stations were able to resume broadcasting during the month after the earthquake, while others took longer and many are operating from makeshift studios.
              Oh, the places UNI graduates go!        
    Grad Report

    Each year, the University of Northern Iowa Office of Career Services releases a report detailing post-graduation success. In 2013, 88 percent of respondents were either employed or receiving further education – the highest number in the past five years.

    The annual graduate report categorizes respondents by department and major. The overall "occupied" percentage accounts for students who are employed, full-time volunteers, serving in the military, or full-time, stay-at-home parents.

    "We are getting really close to pre-recession levels of hiring," said Matt Nuese, associate director of Career Services. "We are seeing a strong trend that, if there are jobs in Iowa, our students want to stay in Iowa."

    Career Services offers many forms of assistance, including resume and interview tips, connections to employers and an online job board. Through the office, students can attend workshops, schedule mock interviews, connect with employers through the career fair and meet one-on-one with career advisers for help.

    For Nuese, finding post-graduate success is not a difficult formula. "I find that a 3.0 GPA, two leadership experiences and three pre-professional experiences will almost always lead to success," noted Nuese.

    "My passion is helping students with job search skills," added Libby Vanderwall, career adviser for Career Services. "In fact, many of the majors I work with require their students to get help from our office prior to seeking internships or jobs."

    One of the most important parts of Career Services is creating connections with employers. For example, Nuese meets with the employer relations and advising teams to make sure they are creating connections for students. "We conduct a significant amount of employer outreach, including hosting more than 250 employers on campus annually," said Nuese.

    Although the annual graduate report is important, it is not the complete picture. "The best way to read this data is by looking at the employers and graduate programs, listening to students, and then making curriculum changes," noted Nuese. Career Services uses the numbers as a benchmark for how they are reaching the state and ways to improve.

    "Every student has a goal of what they want to do upon graduation," said Nuese. "Career Services will help develop a realistic plan to obtain those goals." And as noted by the 2013 job report, many UNI students are finding success.

    To view the Career Services Graduate Report, visit www.uni.edu/careerservices.

              A heart for art        
    Art for El Salvador

    Prior to becoming Panthers, Dallas Center high school students Maria and Niah Howard went on a mission trip to El Salvador with a delegation from their church.

    "We fell in love with the country and the people we met," said Maria. "They had a spirit of genuineness, compassion and resilience that was simply unforgettable."

    The sisters were deeply concerned, however, about the poor living conditions and their new friends' stories of hardship. "Our eyes were opened to a reality we had previously not understood," Maria said.

    In 2010, the summer after their trip, Maria, Niah and their younger sister, Sarah, launched a charity, Art for El Salvador, in their hometown to raise funds for general mission work in that country. The sisters sold handmade art, including drawings, painted boxes, photographs and T-shirts, at their local farmers market.

    Business was brisk. The Howards raised $1,000, which was used to supply bean seeds to Salvadoran farmers who had lost their crop due to drought.

    The Howard's lives and fundraising efforts came to a halt in August 2010 when the sisters were involved in a car accident. Sarah did not survive.

    "Sarah was compassionate, loving and devoted to helping other people," said Maria.
 "She was a huge part of Art for El Salvador, as she was right by my side each week at the farmers market."

    Maria and Niah wanted to continue their fundraising work, and they also wanted to honor Sarah and celebrate her love for education. They decided to do so by using additional funds raised to build a school in El Salvador.

    "Even though she never got the chance to visit El Salvador, through this school, which will be named La Escuela De Sarah Lana, her legacy will live on," said Niah.

    To reach their $20,000 seed-money goal for the school ($10,000 has already been raised), the sisters resumed their fundraising efforts in Dallas Center in summer 2012. Their fundraising work began at UNI in fall 2012 when Maria joined her sister on campus. Since that time, Art for El Salvador has become a UNI service and fundraising organization that hosts a variety of events, including an art and variety show each February called Art from the Heart. The show features works and performances by UNI students and other contributors. Art for El Salvador also holds art nights throughout the school year. Adviser Denise Tallakson, an instructor in the College of Education, oversees the organization's work.

    "I got to know Maria when she was a student in my Methods of Teaching Visual and Performing Arts Integration in the Elementary Classroom course," said Tallakson. "When Maria introduced herself the first day of class, she mentioned her charity and then told us more about it. I saw such a great connection between her mission and our class. We all decided to help. It added such a meaningful service opportunity to my course."

 From 4-8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 27, on UNI's Lawther Field, Art for El Salvador and the Hispanic Latino Student Union will host UNI's first Latino Fest. The event will feature live music by Latin American music duo Calle Sur, music by the UNI Salsa band, dancing, children's activities, Zumba, an Art for El Salvador art sale and food tastings. The fest is free and all are welcome.

    Students interested in joining Art for El Salvador are encouraged to contact Maria Howard at howarmab@uni.edu or Tallakson at denise.tallakson@uni.edu.

              Welcome to the Pro Team Alek Østreng        

    We at the Rome SDS are stoked to announce Alek Østreng as the newest member of the pro team!

    With this addition, the SDS adds a rider with a snowboarding resume that demands attention. With years of filming full parts, competing in 5-star events and constantly producing online edits with RK1, it’s clear that Alek’s riding speaks for itself. His stoke for snowboarding is undeniable and shared with his close friends and RK1 members, Len Jørgensen and Ståle Sandbech.

    “We always dreamed about being on the same team and now it’s finally happened!” -Ståle Sandbech.

    So crack a beer and join everyone at the Rome Snowboard Design Syndicate as we cheers to welcoming Alek Østreng to our team!

    Here’s to a great addition to the Rome family!

    Cast: Rome Snowboards and IANTMACY

    Tags: Alek Østreng, Rome SDS, Team, RK1, Norway, Rome Snowboards, Welcome, RK1 Snowboarding and Snowboarding

              Getting noticed...        
    ...is NOT making sure your chair spots you at seminars in hopes that you're hired internally. By now I presume you've read the train wreck of a "careers" article over at Science, puzzlingly titled "Getting noticed is half the battle" when in fact the bulk of the piece is dedicated not to tips on getting noticed […]
              El Reclutamiento        
    Reclutamiento Del Personal

    El Reclutamiento De Personal es el proceso de busqueda y atraccion de los solicitantes de empleo que cumplen los requisitos establecidos para los cargos vacantes.

    Objetivo Del Reclutamiento

    el objetivo principal del reclutamiento, es tener el mayor número de personas disponibles,
    que reúnan los requisitos de los puestos o cargos a cubrirse en la organización.
    Pasos En El proceso De Reclutamiento
    1. Necesidad de cubrir un puesto con otro empleado.
    2. Solicitud de personal.
    3. Descripción del puesto
    4. Información del perfil del puesto
    5. Análisis de la persona dentro de la organización
    6. Decisión en realizar búsqueda interior
    7. Definición fuentes de reclutamiento externas
    8. Recepción de candidatos postulados
    9. Revisión de antecedentes (curriculum)
    10. Entrevistas
    11. Evaluaciones específicas y/o psicológicas
    12. Formación de candidaturas
    13. Informes sobre los finalistas
    14. Presentación de finalistas con cliente interno
    15. Selección de ganador por cliente interno
    16. Negociación de contrato con ganador
    17. Oferta al postulante por escrito
    18. Comunicación con candidatos no seleccionados
    19. Proceso de admisión
    20. Inducción y capacitación
    La Primera Etapa se concreta con la elaboracion de la solicitud de personal por parte del responsable de la division en donde aparece la vacante.
    Si la requisicion de personal es elaborada adecuadamente se facilita la consecucion de los candidatos, pues es admitido que si se tiene claro lo que se necesita, se facilitara su obtencion. Las demas etapas del proceso de Reclutamiento son realizadas por el especialista de personal y por los aspirantes, e incluyen actividades tales como la identificacion de las fuentes en donde se esperan reclutar los aspirantes, la escogencia de los medios mas adecuados para llegar al segmento del mercado laboral correspondiente, el diligenciamiento de la hoja de vida por parte de los aspirantes y finalmente la verificacion de los requisitos y referencias.
    El Procedimiento De Reclutamiento concluye al entregarse un numero adecuado de candidatos elegibles.

    Comparativo Entre El Reclutamiento Interno y Externo

    Ambos tipos de Reclutamiento tienen sus ventajas y desventajas, pero no son excluyentes entre si. Esto quiere decir que las empresas pueden optar por un Reclutamiento Mixto, que incluya tanto fuentes internas como externas. De esta manera se incrementa la posibilidad de localizar los aspirantes mas calificados, al mismo tiempo que se ofrecen oportunidades de desarrollo personal ya vinculado a la empresa, con lo cual incrementa sus posibilidades de volverse autosuficiente en energia humana.

    Hoja De Vida

    La Hoja De Vida es un resumen escrito y ordenado de su capacitacion profesional y de su experiencia laboral. De su correcta elaboracion y presentacion, dependera el exito en su busqueda de empleo. El objetivo principal de la misma sera presentar a su potencial empleador informacion sobre usted mismo, que posibilite una entrevista posterior.

    Como Debe Presentarse Una Hoja De Vida

    Antes De Enviar La H de V

    -Seleccionar H de V (Minerva gris, azul, word)
    -Autoevaluacion (Competencias)
    -Generar Perfil acorde con la oferta
    -Informacion de la H de V completa y veraz

    Contenido De La H de V

    -Inicia con la fotografia
    -Informacion Personal
    -Nombre y Apellido completo
    -Fecha de nacimiento y lugar
    -Direccion, Telefonos, Correo Electronico
    -Estado Civil, Edad y numero de hijos
    *Informacion De Estudios:
    -Institucion donde estudio, Bachiller, Año
    *Otros Estudios
    *Referencias Laborales
    *Referencias Personales

    Que Se Debe Tener En Cuenta Para Evaluar Una H de V

    Que Cumpla con todas las pautas de presentacion de una hoja de vida, entre estas estan : Informacion Personal, Informacion Academica, Otros Estudios, Referencias Laborales, Referencias Personales, Firma. ( Informacion Verdaera ).
    Resaltando que debe de ser una hoja de vida que cumpla con todos los requisitos para ocupar un determinado cargo. (Vacante).

              mp3: Sleep Over "Bathsalts"        

    Stef from Sleep Over dropped this smokey screw in my inbox last week. Fittingly, it's a cassette screw created by running sound through two different speed controlled tape decks and, one could presume, a few other efx modules. It.is.100%.concussed.

    BathSalts by Sleep ∞ Over

              M Ravi resumes posting        
    On 4th August, I heard M Ravi, was again in Woodbridge. I checked his FB and there were no postings since 1 August, giving credence to the story. Yesterday lunch time, I checked again and there were still no new postings. This morning (5.00am) there were several new postings. Based on the latest postings, he’s […]
              A la caza del mamut        

    Del  13 AL 17 DE JUNIO DE 2011
    1 Semana
    La prehistoria
    -Valoren el legado que ha dejado el pasado evolutivo del ser humano en el presente

    -Eligen información para hacer un texto propio.
    - Reflexionen sobre las maneras de crear características
    definidas de personajes y escenarios a partir de diálogos

    Aplican los términos siglo y milenio.
    Identifican a.C. y d.C.
    Reconstruyen algunas características de la vida cotidiana durante la prehistoria.
    Reconozca los elementos que involucran una representación,(escenografía, vestuario, luz, sonido, espacio).


    A la caza del mamut

    Una representación de la vida cotidiana durante la prehistoria con imágenes en el pizarrón electrónico a manera de escenografía.


    Organizar al grupo en equipos
    Promover la investigación en páginas electrónicas acerca de la vida durante la prehistoria
    Archivar imágenes en USB  u otro medio electrónico de la vida durante la prehistoria ( animales, cuevas, paisajes)

    Distingue entre la información relevante e irrelevante de diversas fuentes electrónicas para dar respuesta a sus dudas.
    Resume información de diversas fuentes electrónicas conservando los datos esenciales.

    Aula digital


    La escritura individual de la información encontrada, identificando las fortalezas y debilidades en la construcción del texto.
    Escritura de las características de la vida durante la prehistoria.

    Escribe textos propios , recuperando datos de las fuentes encontradas
    Aula digital


    Escritura de los diálogos y acotaciones para la representación.
    Preparan y organizan la representación.
    Integran sus imágenes en una presentación de power point para utilizarla como escenografía de la representación.
    Reconoce la estructura de una de una obra de teatro (diálogos, descripción de acciones, características de los personajes, características de los lugares, situaciones).
    Hace uso de los medios electrónicos para
    la escenografía de la representación de la vida en la Prehistoria.
    Aula digital


    Presentar el trabajo ante el grupo.
    Comentarios e intercambio de opiniones sobre los trabajos presentados.
    Mostrar las características de la prehistoria.
    Valorar las fortalezas y debilidades de cada alumno.
    Pizarrón electrónico
    Los materiales necesarios para la representación de cada equipo

    Reconoce la influencia del medio natural en el ser humano?
    Identifica las actividades que predominaron en la historia?

    La información encontrada es adecuada?
    La información que comunico es correcta?
    Obtiene información de los ambientes en la prehistoria?
    Presenta información escrita sobre la vida en la prehistoria?

    Desarrollo las actividades con entusiasmo?
    Participo activamente en el equipo?

              Top Ten Horror Directors Making Non-Horror Television        
    Shock Till You Drop
    Top Ten Horror Directors Making Non-Horror Television




    SHOCK goes wild and reveals ten horror legends and their ventures into mainstream television.

    It’s a sad fact that theatrical feature films are today suffering through a sort of creative dormancy, causing Hollywood’s top talents to migrate over to television’s artist-friendly climate. The horror genre has been especially affected by this trend, with beloved directors seeking work in TV not only for a paying gig, but also to stretch out with subject matter not usually brought their way. Many of these directors have actually been tacking television for years, as the examples below illustrate. Now, this list isn’t to showcase horror folks doing yet more scary stuff on the small screen, such as stints on TWILIGHT ZONE or HANNIBAL or THE WALKING DEAD, but are a look at familiar filmmakers using (or having used) the dominance of television programs for the chance to do something a little unexpected…

    CASEBUSTERS (Wes Craven)

    No filmmaker felt more ghettoized by the horror genre than the late Wes Craven, and he famously leveraged his SCREAM clout for the opportunity to direct Meryl Streep in the cloying biopic MUSIC FROM THE HEART. But in 1986, well before his Streep gambit, Craven was thinking of the kids—his film DEADLY FRIEND was something he hoped would connect with younger audiences, and it was instead hijacked by the studio and loaded up with ridiculous gore sequences. That same year, Craven would finally get to make a genuine kiddie flick, as he went into league with the House of Mouse to direct an installment of their stalwart WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY program. Craven’s effort, feeling very much like an aborted series pilot, is called CASEBUSTERS, and it concerns a brother (Noah Hathaway of TROLL) and sister, the latter of which is obsessed with detective novels. The duo are helping out their kindly, podgy grandpa (character actor Pat Hingle), who happens to be a private investigator-slash-neighborhood watchman. Teaming up with local delinquent “Ski”, Grandpa and the youngsters take on a geeky Rick Moranis clone and a harridan in mom jeans who are out running a lame counterfeiting scheme. From hilariously awkward and misplaced narration by Hingle, to three (!) ineptly-staged car chases, to dumbed-down and preposterous plotting (the little sister blackmails a guy into chasing down the baddies by threatening him with a fine for dumping garbage?), CASEBUSTERS is juvenile, moronic fluff. Sorry, Wes.

    GAME OF THRONES (Neil Marshall)

    Fiendishly popular GAME OF THRONES has no shortage of epic set pieces and enormous battles, something Neil Marshall had previous experience in mounting through his swashbuckling 2010 film CENTURION. Marshall got the nod to direct two of GAMES’ heaviest episodes, and it’s difficult to discuss the particulars without spoiling any of the series’ intricate political machinations. Suffice it to say that when Marshall’s name flashes up on the credits of a particular episode, in-tune viewers know that they are primed for scope and scale—it was Marshall who marshalled the massive brawl between the sentries of the Night’s Watch and the feral tribe known as the Wildlings, and the results can be witnessed in the clip below:


    Having set or broken ratings records with his Stephen King miniseries, it makes sense that Mick Garris would be recruited over the years to hop aboard a number of successful programs. Garris has thus demonstrated his ability to work with the darker corners of teen-driven dramas like PRETTY LITTLE LIARS and RAVENSWOOD, and macabre grownup fare like THE WITCHES OF EAST END and HAPPY TOWN, but it was his helming an episode of Dick Wolf’s mid-nineties cop actioner NEW YORK UNDERCOVER that comes out of left field. UNDERCOVER was part of the then-upstart Fox network’s attempt to coax a younger demographic, and featured regular performances from hip-hop and R n’ B stars of the day. Garris’s episode has cool-guy detectives Williams and Torres backing a local reverend against an evil cigarette conglomerate’s attempts to discredit him, and boasts an appearance by controversial social critic Al Sharpton.

    CSI: MIAMI (Rob Zombie)

    For Rob Zombie’s many critics who would dearly love to see him direct a script that he didn’t write himself, look no further—in 2010, Zombie was behind the camera for an episode of CSI: MIAMI, conjuring that Bruckheimer beige glow around star David Caruso. There are traces of Zombie’s visual flair during an opening party sequence, and members of the Zombie zoo show up in the form of William Forsyth, Malcolm McDowell, and Sheri Moon Zombie (and there’s also a cameo by ZZ top’s Billy Gibbons!), but the episode hews closely to the standard CSI procedural outlay. The far more amusing result of Zombie’s network television dalliance is his interview anecdote regarding the notoriously crotchety Caruso, starting at 3:55:

    DREAM ON (John Landis)

    John Landis will the first person to tell you that he’s hardly a horror icon, having only ever made two features in the genre. He most definitely has a dozen blockbuster comedies to his name, so it was hardly an out of character move for Landis to concoct his own sitcom, bringing in FRIENDS’ Marta Kaufman and David Crane to assist in developing it. Alongside TALES FROM THE CRYPT, DREAM ON was a key component of HBO’s early wave of original programming, and Landis would direct many of the episodes himself. The show starred Brian Benben (with whom Landis would reunite in the awful MASTERS OF HORROR episode ‘Deer Woman’) as Martin Tupper, an NYC book editor fumbling through post-divorce dating life. The show’s gimmick is that Tupper spent so much time in front of the television as a child that footage from ancient programs would be spliced in to comment on the action, as Tupper’s brain presumably would do. While DREAM ON’s risqué humor, spicy language, and frequent instances of nudity broke ground for the TV sitcom format, the plots were repetitive and the clips themselves quickly become annoying. Still, Landis can take heart in knowing that his show was in on the ground floor of the towering program slate for which HBO has since become renowned. Here’s a trailer for the show, in German:

     HAWAII FIVE-0 (Joe Dante)

    Joe Dante has made the odd venture into television throughout his career with a number of forgotten series, such as the excellent kid-oriented spookshow EERIE, INDIANA. And like Rob Zombie, Dante dipped his toe into the CSI world by directing an Amityville-themed 2009 episode of CSI: NY. It’s no big stunner to see that Dante can handle horror on large or small screens, but the surprise is how he became a staple of the HAWAII FIVE-0 revival, directing a total of nine episodes of what has proven to be a solid and consistently entertaining cop series. Of course, the assignment of shooting this year’s atmospheric Halloween-themed HAWAII episode went to Dante, and here’s a nasty, maggoty clip of that particular work:

    SCALES OF JUSTICE (David Cronenberg)

    As most die-hard fans are aware, David Cronenberg veered into television by directing an episode of FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES, a show that conveniently shot in Cronenberg’s hometown of Toronto. Less prominent on Cronenberg’s T.V. resume is his direction of two episodes of SCALES OF JUSTICE, a crime re-enactment program hosted by esteemed Canadian defence attorney Edward Greenspan. SCALES was adapted from a long-running radio program of the same name, and the screen version was, to be honest, a stiff and amateurish Northern answer to slicker U.S. fare like UNSOLVED MYSTERIES. Surviving episodes are almost impossible to find—though a brief, unremarkable clip from one of Cronenberg’s efforts can be viewed here:

    THE WINNERS (George A. Romero)

    Laurel Entertainment was the name of the Pittsburgh production company founded by George A. Romero and partner Richard Rubenstein. In addition to Laurel’s involvement with feature films, the company also produced a series of sports documentaries during the mid-seventies under the title THE WINNERS. Romero himself would cut several episodes of THE WINNERS together; besides a celebration of legendary Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Willie Stargell, there was also a 1974 ode to the gridiron accomplishments of one O.J. Simpson. In retrospect, this short doc is arguably the most horrific project of Romero’s career, but at the time Simpson was a spotless paragon of athletic prowess and adored for his affable, approachable public demeanor. The documentary itself amounts to standard sports-profile fawning, and fairly drips with hilarious seventies’ funky-flute music and graphics, but brush aside the now-odious subject matter and it stands as an excellent example of Romero’s tremendous editing skill, especially in the short pre-credits locker room sequence.

    THE EQUALIZER (Tobe Hooper)

    In between shooting his features TCM2 and SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION in the late eighties, Tobe Hooper also got sidetracked by several TV projects. There were the shows that one might expect, from Spielberg’s Garris-guided AMAZING STORIES to the pilot of FREDDY’S NIGHTMARES, and a real curveball among them—an episode of righteous action-drama THE EQUALIZER, a sort of upscale A-TEAM in which a retired British spy (played primly by THE WICKER MAN’s Edward Woodward) is contacted via personal ad by New York’s downtrodden, and then Woodward goes to work in their defense. Hooper’s episode has a family battling a slumlord, and features an uncharacteristically restrained performance by a young Michael (HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER) Rooker, which balances a hilarious, over-the-top Michael (BARTON FINK) Lerner as the heartless slumlord. As with most EQUALIZER episodes, the two-dimensional melodrama is laid on thicker than mayonnaise, and Hooper can’t manage to impart enough of his personality to rescue a single minute of this soppy network slop.

    RAKE (Sam Raimi)

    Sam Raimi is no stranger to filling up T.V. schedules with Renaissance Pictures’ output in the capacity of producer, and he very recently directed the opening salvo of the Starz channel’s ASH VS. EVIL DEAD series. Less acknowledged is his participation in 2014’s Greg Kinnear vehicle RAKE. Any inch of film or byte of DV directed by Raimi is prized by film nerds for its visual inventiveness, but beyond the splatstick of the EVIL DEAD trilogy or the grandiose spectacle of his SPIDER-MAN and OZ films, Raimi is also an unheralded master of slow-burn drama (Sure, THE GIFT may be spotty, but A SIMPLE PLAN is an American crime classic). RAKE sits squarely in the comedic side of Raimi’s repertoire, and gives him another puffed-up protagonist to torture through karmic misfortunes; this one deftly played by Raimi’s GIFT star Kinnear. Kinnear’s character Keegan Dean isn’t quite in Ash’s delusory league, but roguish attorney Dean is a pretty flawed hero nonetheless. Raimi directed RAKE’s pilot, guest starring the great Peter (FARGO) Stormare as a serial killer, and returned for episode four. Entitled ‘Cannibal’, the episode has AMERICAN HORROR STORY’s Denis O’Hare playing a debonair flesheater that Kean is hired defend in court—before horror fans get too excited, know that this cannibal is handled mostly for laughs, and that the consumption turns out to be consensual. Overall, the short-lived RAKE was a witty, acerbic show gone too soon. (And yes, Raimi devotees, “The Classic” makes a split-second cameo at the end of ‘Cannibal’.)

    The post Top Ten Horror Directors Making Non-Horror Television appeared first on Shock Till You Drop.

              Watch Bradley Cooper Show Off His Oddly Impressive Air Guitar Chops        
    Like many of us, 'Tonight Show' host Jimmy Fallon appears to believe that Hollywood superstar Bradley Cooper can do anything -- and, based on his impressive resume of stage and screen roles and accolades, the guy can't be too off the mark. But there is one that Cooper isn't so great at: music. It's sort of surprising, really, and even the overly solicitous Fallon was a little dumbstruck when Cooper admitted that his musical talents are minimal on last night's show. Continue reading…
    I was so happy earlier this week to get this unsolicited LinkedIn recommendation from Jonathan Allen: “Arnie is an experienced Job Coach who really knows what it takes to land the interview. I gave Bose my very best resume, cover letter and follow ups, but still got a refusal. Arnie then put forward a better […]
              Swap a Stale Objective for a Fresh Branding Statement on Your Resume        
    These days resume evaluators assume that their job is your objective.  They are tired of looking at “Objective Statements” at the top of a resume, because at this stage the process is all about the employer’s objective to find great talent rather than the job hunter’s objective of finding a great job. A successful resume […]
              3 Tips To Power-Up Your Resume        
    The New Year is at hand. With holiday parties over, now is the time to roll up your sleeves and execute your resolution to move your career to the next level. As you sit down to compose or edit your resume, remember that its singular purpose is to address an employer’s first question: “Can this […]
              Glenn Ford Must Be Denied Compensation        
    Glenn Ford Must Be Denied Compensation
    Dudley Sharp

    Remember Isadore Rozeman

    I review why Glenn Ford must be denied compensation, based upon his "wrongful release", as follows:

    I. Glenn Ford's Wrongful Release
    II. The Evidence of Glenn Ford's Guilt
    III. Ford Must Be Denied Compensation

    Nearly all comments are from:

    STATE v. FORD, No. 50,525-CA., 193 So.3d 1242 (2016), STATE of Louisiana, Plaintiff-Appellee v. Glenn FORD, Defendant-Appellant, Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Second Circuit, May 18, 2016.

    Which is the 2016 appellate opinion upholding the denial of compensation for Ford and his immediate descendants.

    The (X) footnote refers to that opinion.

    I. Glenn Ford's Wrongful Release    In 2013, the Caddo Parish District Attorney's Office stated that it had obtained credible evidence that Ford "was neither present at, nor a participant in, the robbery and murder of Isadore Rozeman," and filed a motion to vacate Ford's conviction and sentence. On March 10, 2014, the trial court granted the state's motion. Ford was released the following day after spending nearly 30 years on death row. (X)

    The facts are that Ford, by his own admission,  was a principal participant in the robbery/murder, that he was, at the least,  guilty of second degree murder and Ford cannot be excluded from actually murdering Isadore Rozeman.

    (2016) Justice C.J.  BROWN: "The evidence as presented supports Ford's guilt of second degree murder and that his connection was certainly not "tangential." (X)

    The 2013 "credible evidence" for Ford's 2014 release came from a reliable informant, who remains anonymous.

    Even reliable informants are known to be unreliable, occasionally. Informants are only as reliable as their sources, which was Jake Robinson, who, allegedly, stated, to the informant, that he (Robinson)  was the shooter of Isadore Robinson and that Glenn Ford was not there. Robinson is a career criminal, who no one trusts (1).

    Glenn Ford, at his 1984 trial, did not deny being at the scene of the robbery/murder. Nor can he be excluded from committing the murder.

    The record reflects that, at the time of the filing of the 2014 instant petition (to release Ford), two other individuals, Jake Robinson and Henry Robinson, were being prosecuted for the robbery and murder of Mr. Rozeman. (X)

    Those charges, which originated from that informant, have, now, been dropped, for lack of evidence. 

    That doesn't mean the informant was lying, although, such may be the case.  The informant's information could not be confirmed.

    We know that Ford was released, based upon information that could not be confirmed.

    The evidence of Glenn Ford's guilt is overwhelming, yet, he was released.

    2016: "The (informant's) statement of the district attorney is not evidence, nor has Ford produced any evidence that he was not concerned in the commission of this crime. We find no manifest error in the trial judge's (2015) conclusion regarding Ford as a principal to this crime." (X)

    2016: Justice J. DREW:   " . . . it is accurate to say that the trial court (2015) found that Ford committed armed robbery. Even if not present at the moment of a crime, a person can be convicted of that crime, if otherwise involved as a principal." (X) " . . . Ford arguably committed second degree murder arising out of the facts of this case. Had he actually been convicted of that crime, in a petit jury trial conducted in accordance with the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Ford would have never been released from prison." (X)


    False claims of "innocent" and "exonerated" death row inmates are a standard, every day anti death strategy (2).


    II. The Evidence of Glenn Ford's Guilt

    Detective Ashley testified that a neighbor of Mr. Rozeman's had told investigating officers that he had seen Ford and Mr. Rozeman having a discussion a few days before the murder and that Ford appeared to have been upset over a debt related to the lawn mowing service. (X)

    "From (Deming, a friend of Ford's), the police also learned that Ford had discussed purchasing a handgun, the night before or morning of the robbery/murder)." (X)

    Alice Smith, Ford's landlord, also testified. On the morning of the robbery and murder, Ford advised Ms. Smith that he would be able to pay her rent later that day. Sometime in the late afternoon, Ford brought the rent to Ms. Smith. (X)

    Ford stated that he and O.B. (Henry Robinson) went to Mr. Rozeman's neighborhood, the morning or early afternoon of Nov. 5. (X)

    Ford stated that he saw Rozeman at 1:20 the day of the robbery/murder (X).

    "Heidi and Spring James, two young neighbors of Mr. Rozeman, had seen Mr. Rozeman's yardman (Ford) in an alley adjacent to his property at approximately noon. Another neighbor placed (Ford) in the vicinity at between 1:30 and 2:00 p.m." (X)

    Detective Ashley confirmed that there were several witnesses who placed Ford within one city block of Mr. Rozeman's house on the day of the murder (X).

    Ford stated " . . . that the Robinson brothers had told him of their plan to rob Mr. Rozeman and asked him to join them, but that he declined to do so." (X)

    That is contradicted, by Ford, who admitted going into the neighborhood, with Robinson, the day of the robbery/murder (X),

     . . .  further confirmed by  Detective Gary Pittman who testified that Ford admitted to him that he and Henry Robinson had been at Mr. Rozeman's house on the day of the murder . . .

    and that Robinson had asked him about selling a gun, with Ford having spoken with two potential buyers about the .38. (X), the caliber used in the murder and presumed to be the murder weapon.

    "In February police interviewed Marvella Brown, Jake Robinson's girl friend. She stated that Ford arrived at her apartment around noon the day of the offense, and asked the Robinsons, Is you still going? The three left, she said, returning around 3:00 p.m. with a sack containing jewelry. Ford carried a.22 pistol, and Jake Robinson had a .38." (X).

    ".  . . (customer) Ebrahim had spoken to Mr. Rozeman, he said, at approximately 2:30 p.m. (Nov. 5, 1983) and had arranged to meet him later that afternoon. (X) The timeline suggest he called him earlier.

    The timeline indicates that Ebrahim discovered Isadore Rozeman's body around 2:45 pm.

    The testimony of Heidi James, Chandra Nash, Joseph Nash and James Spring placed Ford at or near Mr. Rozeman's house on the day of the robbery and murder", inclusive of Ford still in the neighborhood when the ambulance arrived to pick up Rozeman's body. (X)

    "Jake Robinson's girlfriend, Marvella Brown also testified at trial. She stated that Ford (who she called "Long Hair") was at her house the evening of the crime. Ford asked the Robinsons "if they were going," or "are we going?" Ms. Brown then testified that she saw the three men together a few hours later. She then stated that she saw Ford with a gun, that was not a .22 caliber. Ms. Brown then related that Jake Robinson showed her items of jewelry and a pocket watch and let her keep two of the rings, which she said she "was hiding" after she found out Mr. Rozeman was dead." (X).

    In the punishment phase of the trial, Brown recanted all her testimony, stating that she had lied about everything. Based upon all the other evidence, including her original witness statement, above, it is most likely, that she was, originally, telling the truth and that her recantation was perjury. There was no reason for her to lie in the first place and very good reasons for her to lie in the second, as all knowing people were, rightly, afraid of the Robinson brothers (1). In addition, Brown's original statements fit with the timeline and the evidence.

    The 5 appellate judges, in this 2016 opinion (X) didn't even mention her recantation. Why? They viewed it as having no credibility. They did, however, mention both her original witness statement and her testimony, confirming their belief in it.

    Shortly after the robbery/murder, pawn shop receipts confirmed Ford had sold jewelry, confirmed as that which was stolen from Mr. Rozeman's shop (X). "(Ford) said he received these items from O.B. (Henry Robinson) and pawned them at his request." (X)  "(Police) found demitasse spoons, a cross, gold chains, a pill box and shirt studs, all similar to items customarily sold by Mr. Rozeman.",  later confirmed as those stolen from Rozeman (X).

    The pawn tickets dated the day of the robbery and murder were introduced at trial and handwriting exemplars matched Ford's signature. Detective Gary Alderman testified that a search warrant executed on Ford's hotel room produced an antique spoon, gold chain, cufflink and four studs, which bore the same markings as studs found in a bag belonging to Henry Robinson. Richard Moore, an employee of the pawn shop, identified Ford as the individual who sold certain items (determined to have been from Mr. Rozeman's shop) at 5:00 p.m. on the day of the robbery and murder. (X)

    Detective Ashley confirmed that Ford had stated that Henry Robinson  asked Ford to sell items connected to the robbery — which Ford then sold to the International Pawn Shop, at approximately 5:00 p.m., just two hours after Mr. Rozeman's body was found. (X)

    From "Pouncey and White (friends of Ford's)",  . . . "the police also learned that Ford had attempted to sell a handgun that afternoon (the day of the robbery/murder)". (X) " (Ford) admitted to trying to sell (a gun) on behalf of O.B. (Henry  Robinson). (X) Alvin White and Clarence Pouncy each testified at trial that Ford approached them after the robbery and murder about purchasing a .38 pistol (X), the caliber of pistol used in the murder and, presumed, to be the murder weapon.

    Ford had gunshot residue on his left hand. The residue was of such small amount that it could neither be confirmed nor denied that Ford fired a weapon (3).

    There was a partial leaving fingerprints on the weapon.  That fingerprint did not exclude Ford, but could not be matched to him (3). That partial fingerprint excluded the other suspects (3).

    "On November 11th Ford gave a fourth statement, implicating Henry and Jake Robinson in the murder." (X)

    "In January of 1984, Donnie Thomas, a co-defendant's brother-in-law and Ford's cellmate, related to police that Ford had discussed with him the details of the robbery and murder. According to him, Ford was able to gain access to Mr. Rozeman's shop because he was recognized by his employer." (X)

    The Rozeman family, as well as customers, confirmed that Isadore Rozeman used multiple bolted doors for security.

    Trial commenced on November 26, 1984. The defense was alibi (X).

    None of Ford's alibis could be confirmed.

     Ford testified at his trial. Ford did not deny (X):

    -- "being with the other perpetrators of the crime, either before or after the murder; 

    --  being at Mr. Rozeman's shop at the time of the murder/robbery;

    --  attempting to sell a .38 caliber pistol;

    --  pawning items taken in the robbery.

    Ford told the jury that he did not commit 52 prior burglaries to which he pled guilty (X) . . . , likely, destroying any credibility that he may have had. (X)

    Depending upon jurisdictions, only about 3-20% of burglaries are solved, indicating, by average, that Ford may have committed 472 burglaries at the time of his guilty plea. 

    Also review   
    Guilty: Glenn Ford and Marty Stroud



    III. Ford Must Be Denied Compensation

    Ford has to prove his "actual innocence". Such is impossible. Ford is included in 3-4 felonies in this cases, which could, easily, have resulted in a life sentence and Ford cannot be excluded from being an actual participant in the robbery/murder.

    And folks think Ford deserves $330,000? Incredible. If anyone deserves it, it is the Rozeman family, if justice means anything to you. 

    "It is clear from a reading of the statute that the burden of proof in this case is on the petitioner. Ford must prove his factual innocence by clear and convincing evidence." " . . . the entire burden is on Ford to prove that he did not commit any crime based upon the same set of facts used in the original conviction." (X)

    "The argument that Louisiana's statute is inherently unfair is misplaced and misleading, especially when comparison is made to the other jurisdictions that have analogous statutes." (X)

    Read this carefully, from the 2016 ruling:

    " . . . at the (2015) compensation hearing, Ford did not refute or explain these assertions (against him)  . . .   glaringly significant  . . . an adverse presumption exists when a party having control of a favorable witness fails to call him or her to testify.  . . .   Ford's failure to testify, and potentially explain that he was not involved in other criminal activity on the day of the murder, and for some time before and after it, corroborates Ford's actual commission of other crimes. Ford had no privilege against testifying, constitutional or statutory . . . Ford committed other crimes . . . confirmed by Ford's resounding silence at the compensation hearing." (X)

    Ford failed to disprove that he committed the crimes of possession of stolen goods, accessory after the fact and being a principal to the armed robbery. In fact, he admitted to them.

     "  . . .  the overwhelming evidence of Ford's knowledge of and involvement in the criminal activity that day and night: his participation in selling the stolen property from the robbery; his acting as a lookout; meeting with Jake Robinson and Henry Robinson before and after the crime; and his attempts to procure buyers for the probable murder weapon." (X)

    "The testimony of Ms. Brown that Ford was with the Robinsons prior to the robbery and murder and asked if the three "were going to go," coupled with his presence at Mr. Rozeman's on the day of the crime and activity around the shop, could be construed as "casing" the shop. These actions could easily be construed as showing Ford's knowledge of the planned crime." (X)

    Ford admitted his prior knowledge.

    "The evidence clearly establishes that Ford took the stolen items and sold them at the pawn shop. Ford's argument that there is no evidence as to how he came into possession of the items is without foundation. . . .  Ford failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he was not in illegal possession of stolen things." (X)

    "Ford was aware of the plan to rob Mr. Rozeman. . .  agreed to sell some of the stolen items in his name, which he did  . . . agreed to procure buyers for the .38 caliber pistol  . . . the trial judge concluded that the evidence "clearly established" that Ford was trying to help the Robinsons avoid arrest. Accessory after the fact, which — in this case concealed the identity of murderers — may well be the type of crime which the legislature contemplated as a crime unworthy of compensation. She stated that Ford's "willingness and attempts to find a buyer for the weapon used in the crime" added to the fact that he was assisting the Robinsons. These conclusions are well supported by the record and we agree with the trial judge that Ford's assertion that he did not know the items were stolen is unbelievable. We find no manifest error in the finding that Ford failed to carry his burden of disproving his commission of accessory after the fact." (X)

    "Henry Robinson had told Ford of the plan to rob Mr. Rozeman. Ford also emphasizes the state's assertion, in its motion to vacate, that he was "neither present nor a participant in the robbery and murder of Isadore Rozeman." First, the overwhelming evidence in the record before us supports the conclusion that Ford was concerned in the commission of this crime. Despite his purported absence, Ford aided in its commission in several respects." (X)

    " . . . the evidence also supports a finding that Ford was engaged in a criminal conspiracy . . . the uncontroverted evidence shows that Ford knew of the plan to rob Mr. Rozeman and committed an act in furtherance of the crime by his presence around the shop prior to and after the crime and agreeing to sell the stolen items and murder weapon . . . Ford committed criminal conspiracy. Yet, Ford presented no evidence whatsoever to rebut such a finding." (X)

    " . . .  Ford failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he did not commit any crime based upon the facts used in his conviction, as required . . . the trial court was clearly correct in finding that Ford is not entitled to compensation for wrongful conviction under the subject statute." (X)

    "As a final note, in light of our holding that Ford is not entitled to compensation, we pretermit any discussion of the heritability of the wrongful conviction compensation cause of action." "For the foregoing reasons, the judgment of the trial court denying the petition of Glenn Ford, through Andrea Armstrong, the executrix of the estate of Glenn Ford, for compensation under La. R.S. 15:572.8 is affirmed at the cost of petitioner/appellant." (X)

    Justice J  DREW:  "In this civil case, the trial court ruled that Mr. Ford was not entitled to compensation, finding that he failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he did not commit multiple felonies emanating directly from the facts of this robbery/murder. The burden here was on Ford, not the state." (X)

    "The (2015) trial court produced sound and organized reasons for judgment . . .  The court's hard work, diligence, and fairness are noted and appreciated." (X)

    "This record reveals that the defendant committed at least two felonies arising from the facts of the robbery/murder: illegal possession of stolen things and accessory after the fact to first degree murder. Besides these two crimes, the compensation court also found that Ford was a principal to the crime of armed robbery." (X)

    Why would, anyone, find that this career criminal deserved compensation? It's just foul.

    Give the money to the most deserving Rozemans and/or to some of Ford's 52 known burglary victims.

    Remember Isadore Rozeman


    As per the Death Penalty Information Center's normal absurdities, Ford is listed as no. 144 on their "innocent" or "exonerated" from death row list.


    1) CPSO detective committed to solving cold cases, Vickie Welborn, Shreveport Times, July 21, 2014, 

    2)  a) The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy

        b)  The 4.1% "Innocent" on Death Row: More Nonsense

       c)  Innocence Project Invents False Confessions: 150% fraud rate in "confessions"?

    3) STATE v. FORD, No. 85-KA-1039.489 So.2d 1250 (1986), STATE of Louisiana v. Glenn FORD. Supreme Court of Louisiana. March 31, 1986. Rehearing Denied May 30, 1986.


    Victim's Voices - These are the murder victims

              Chief River 2012 platform has fast flash standby        

    Resumes like standby, consumes like Hibernate
    Intel will try to convince more consumers to hop aboard the SSD train in 2012, especially if it's part of 2012 Chief River, Ivy Bridge 22nm based notebook platform.

    This new technology is rather easy to understand as it acts as an improvement to the existing standby technology. Of course, the system has to have a new Core processor of Ivy Bridge order, Panther Point PCH chipset, Windows 7, SSD drive and BIOS that will enable it. The technology allows user to put his machine in standby mode, after which the configured amount of time data moves from DRAM to non-volatile memory, in this case the SSD.

    When a user turns on the PC, information goes back from SSD to DRAM and system resume time is the same as from traditional Standby. The second and the biggest benefit is that despite the fact that it resumes like standby, it consumes like Hibernate.

    Of course this will only work with Chief River compatible notebooks that are coming at some point in 1H 2012, but it looks like a nice feature that will keep your system locked and loaded at all times. It means waking up much faster than from hibernate and all the applications will be ready, just the way they were when you got your system to standby, and all that in just a few seconds.

              Teacher Question        
    Busy, busy week. I've been in new teacher orientation and training the past couple of days. Fortunately the soon-to-be ex has helped out by taking Monkey Boy with him to the Michigan House, so I can focus on my work. I have a question for those of you who are teachers: Is being asked to join a school district committee a good thing?

    I was wrapping up at orientation this morning and someone asked me what my last name was so I told her. After telling her, the trainer whipped around and asked, "Are you [insert real name here]?" I suspiciously asked, "Why?"

    "Human Resources forwarded your resume to me because they were so excited about it. They said that you could do some teacher training and we want you on our technology committee."

    You see, I'm not just a geek. I'm their queen. I've written several books and once upon a time, I was a trainer for Microsoft. I was informed by the trainer that my resume has been circulated around the county already. Very scary.

    Hmmm, is this request to join a committee a good thing? Seems like a good thing, but I'm such a newbie, I don't know if this is something I should get involved with. Any feedback would be appreciated.

    New topic: I'll try to get photos of my room posted this weekend. I'm in a trailer, which they actually call trailers at my school. No pretty names are being used for these things like 'pods' or 'instructional cottages' or 'mobile training units.' Nope, they just call them plain ol' trailers. I have decided that my students and I will not be calling it a trailer. I've renamed mine to the Cabana. I like the sauciness of it. How about you?
              My Maltesian Misadventures        
    An overview of my experiences...

    Saturday, April 17th

    Because my flight is out of Madrid, I have to endure the 6 hour bus ride from Sevilla to Madrid. I board the bus at 10:00 AM, even though my flight does not leave until 11:00 PM that night. (If you recall my story from Dublin--sprinting through the airport... international jet setters shouldn't have to deal with back sweat) So, I want to make sure I can leisurely make my way to the airport and have time to relax once I get there. So I'm sitting on the bus when a group of 3 Americans girls sits behind me. I, of course, listen to their conversation for awhile, only to discover that one of them had their wallet pick pocketed at the bus station. She's really, very upset. I guess who just took like 300 euro out of the ATM and her debit card. (That really fucking sucks, I hate those assholes) After awhile, once she has calmed down from her post pick pocket freak out, I turn around to make the usual study abroad conversation. YadaYadaYada, they begin to talk about the volcanic ash and how they were suppose to fly from Madrid to London, and then a couple days later, London to Italy, but they had to change their flight so it was just from Madrid to Italy and they weren't sure if that would be cancelled too. So they were all kind of a wreck and the one who got pick pocketed was twice as bad. I made good enough friends with them that they invited me to take the Metro with them to the airport. Score. We brave the Metro together, arrive at the airport, approach the departure screen. Frantically, they're scanning the list of out bound flights until they lay their eyes on... Madrid-Rome CANCELLED. How shitty would that be to get your wallet stolen, take a 6 hour bus to Madrid, find out your whole vacation is cancelled, take another 6 hour bus back to Sevilla, and after all of that no Italian vacation, 12 hours spent on a bus, and to top it all off no money. God, I feel so bad for them, especially that girl. They quickly peace out to try and sort out their cancelled flight.
    While checking the departures I realize I'm at the wrong terminal. Good thing I took the 10:00 AM bus, I've got HOURS. Oh hey. I stroll through the airport on my way to the bus that travels between the 2 different terminals. Hop on and then off the bus a quick 3 minutes later and I'm in the correct terminal. It was the terminal Heidi (my roommate) and I first explored together when we had an 8 hour lay over in Madrid on our way to Sevilla for the first time, bringing back the memories, it seems like yesterday! Anyways, I walk inside and am bombarded with people everywhere! Everyone was stuck at the airport because of the volcanic ash. Thank god I didn't have to check any bags. I ROLLED (my parents brought me my cute, rolling Betsey Johnson carry on bag just like I wanted to bring in the beginning but I was over ruled and was forced to carry a bulky, stick-out-like-a-sore-thumb American studying abroad backpack.) As I was saying.. I rolled my bag to security, I was the only person in line. Perfect. Made my way past the security guards with WAY more than the allotted amount of liquids and without taking my shoes off, way to patrol. So, I spent countless hours in the empty airport before going to my gate to wait for my flight. As, I'm sitting waiting to board the plane, I look up and spot a decent looking Spaniard (what I think to be a decent looking Spaniard because I didn't have my glasses on and I couldn't really make out his face, maybe I should look into contacts? hah) Everyone on the flight boards a bus that takes us the plane. Weird, but I went with it. I board the plane sit down and to my amusement, the decent Spaniard is sitting across the aisle from me. Coincidence or destiny? I have the row to myself, but the Spaniard is seated next to a young Maltesian man. They make conversation in entertaining English while I listen in, and quickly become buddies. Next thing I know, the Spaniard turns to me and mutters something in Spanish. Totally thought I was Spanish. Oh hey. With a dumbfounded look on my face, he began to speak in English. After a little small talk, I find out that his name is Javier, he's from Madrid and is studying English in Malta. His little Malestian friend was in Madrid for a business trip and was returning home. He tried to advise as to what I should do for the next couple of days, but I had no clue what the hell he was saying. After the small talk is over and the awkward pauses begin, we each indulge in our own activities for the remainder of the flight. As we approach Malta, we resume small talk. I tell them I'm staying in St. Julian's. Javier says he's staying there too and we should split a taxi. I agree, why not? It's not like it's unsafe to share a taxi with a complete stranger, in a foreign town, at 1:00 AM in the morning, right? I use good judgment, don't worry. The Maltesian cuts in and offers us both a ride via this father's BOAT. Javier agrees, but that is where I draw the line. Sounds like a set up for being kidnapped aboard. I'll stick with public transit. I politely decline the invite and reassure the two that I am fine taking a taxi and advise Javier to do whatever he wants. The Maltesian is really persistent to take us to St. Julian's via boat and proceeds to call his father to see if it would be alright once we get off of the plane. Javier and I are at the taxi stand arranging a taxi when we spot the Maltesian with his father who continues to ask if we would like a ride. We both decline. He seems let down and departs with his father. Javier and I are in the taxi making more small talk. He whips out this his mobile and asks for my number. I proceed to give it to him, what the hell.. I don't know anyone here and he seems decent (the kid is a little nerd, he is decked out in white Nike's, tight jeans, and a Victoria sweatshirt from Canada and won't stop talking--totally harmless) We reach the street that my apartments are on, get out of the taxi and OMG. (are you nervous right now?) haha.
    The street is SOOOO packed with people and the music from the discos is bumping! I knew I was staying in the nightlife town, but holy hell, this was crazy. My apartment was literally right above all of the discos. The 7 sign on the top right of the picture is the entrance to my apartment building and that may be a gentleman's club right next door... hah. Sweet, little Jav walks me to my apartment and we make plans to meet up at a later date.
    I walk inside of the apartment building and am shown to the apartment by the nice reception lady. (I'll explain how this apartment/hostel works. So there are apartments and you can rent a bed in the apartments. In my apartment there were 2 bedrooms, each with 2 beds and a kitchen/dinning room area, and private bathroom. The apartments weren't anything special, but the way it worked by having your own shared apartment was really nice.) So it's around 1:30 AM, my roommate wasn't there and the other bedroom door was closed. I peak around at my roommates belongings to try and get a feel for what kind of person she is. Oh no.. baggy, over-sized man jeans, short and wide V-neck sweaters, and ugly skater shoes from the 90's. WHO IS THIS PERSON? hahah. I put my belongings in the corner, fall asleep and hope for the best in the morning when I wake up to find out just who this person is.
    I'm peacefully dreaming when suddenly the lights are flipped on and I hear two Spaniards chatting up a storm. I half way roll over to look at them, it was awkward. It's a little guy, the kind I could put in my pocket, and a stout, tom-boyish girl. What a pair.. who the hell are these characters? I roll back over and face opposite them. The lights stay on for like 15 minutes. WHAT IS GOING ON? I fall back and asleep.What an exciting day.

    Sunday, April 18th

    I wake up at like 10:30 AM, quickly prepare for the day and try to ditch out of that room before I wake the sleeping giant. Damnit...she wakes up, mutters a hello, I introduce myself and ask her her name, to which she replies "Elena". I uncomfortably extend my hand for an awkward handshake. She goes to the bathroom. I run out of the apartment.
    That day I took the two story tourist bus around the island. It was a nice, informative ride. AND.....I SAW THE POPE. He was in Malta regarding some little boy scandal, what a surprise, and performing his Pope like duties. Everyone had a boner over the Pope, or as the Spaniards would say El Papa, being there. His picture was hanging from almost every balcony with cheesy garland and other decorations surrounding it.For a dunch/linner, I indulged in a little pizza.The pizza was SO huge and SO cheap--1.75 euro!
    So later that day, I go back to the apartment. It's empty. Thank goodness. I decide to utilize the free WiFi, 2o minutes later I hear the door open. Oh no. Who could this be? I peak into the hallway from the end of my bed, it's a Chinese girl. She sees me and approaches my room. I say hello, she replies 你好. This is going to be interesting. She runs into her room and pulls out a Chinese to English translator. After a silent conversation of translation, I find out that her name is Zhang, she's just got to Malta today, she will be here for 3 weeks learning English, she is 29 years old (I honestly thought she was 19), and she has a boyfriend. Midway through our converslation (fusing conversation + translation), someone else walks in the apartment. China jumps up to see who it is and I hear ENGLISH coming from the other person. So relieved. I run out there to find another woman who is China's roommate. Her name is Cristina, she is 30 years old, she is from Madrid, she's been in Malta for a week and is studying English there for 3 weeks. She is very nice and very 90's. Cristina and I have a laugh over our communication difficulties with China. I tell her about my incident last night with Elena and friend. Some 30 minutes later, another woman walks into the apartment followed by a small man. Now, this my roommate and her little friend. I find out that Elena is from a small town in Southern Spain and teaches sailing there. She traveled to Malta alone and was going to be there for like 2 weeks. Her little friend's name is Raul and they had just met a couple of days ago. Soon we all found ourselves collected at the kitchen table conversing in a Spanish/English/translator. It was incredibly entertaining!! Later that night we all went out together minus China because she was chatting with her boyfriend. We stepped outside the apartment and met up with Cristina's man friend who lives in the apartment too and is also studying in Malta for 3 weeks. He was like 50 years old. Not creepy, just old and awkwardly trying to be young. Now picture this please, us 5 going to some bar with a bunch of people in their early 20's. I had to remove myself from the situation to think about just how fucking ridiculous my life is. Imagine this group...Me (the normal one), Cristina (30 year old in 90's get up, awkwardly half dancing to the music), Elena (who I think is a lesbian, dressed in baggy man jeans and tennis shoes), Baby Raul (who I think is gay), and 50 year old (who is old and side stepping back and forth slowly and off beat). It was a scene. I go to bed at 2:00 AM because this is too crazy. What an experience. Wow.

    Monday, April 19th
    I wake up and decide to walk along the coastline down to Sliemma to explore and shop. I walk for forever, it was nice outside and I enjoyed it. Shopping in Malta is horrible. There were all cheap, ugly clothes. I found a nice restaurant overlooking the water and had lunch. It was a delicious asparagus, butternut squash, lettuce, pine nut, goat cheese salad. I walked all the way back home checked my email and found out that my flight to Italy the next day was cancelled. This sucks. What do I do now? So I had to extend my Malta stay until Thursday because that's when the next, reasonably priced flight was. Later that night I decide to text Javier to see what he's doing because I couldn't handle another night with Odd Squad. After some back and forth texts, he meets me outside my apartment. I open the door and there he is..white Nike's, tight Khaki's this time, and now a London sweatshirt.. hahahhaha. We get a beer and he chats my head off about how he's the best English speaker in his class, how he loves Spain, hates Spanish stereotypes, and is confused as to why on spring break in Cancun people thought he was Mexican just because he was speaking Spanish (he lectured about the different accents (Spanish vs. Mexican) and how Mexicans are brown with black hair and he is white with brown hair--he just didn't understand why American's thought he was Mexican because there's an obvious difference). Throughout our conversation (or should I say the conversation he had with himself?),
    I did a lot of smiling and laughing because witty jokes and sarcasm don't translate well. I don't know how much longer I can take this, and then his mother called and he left go to have a 10 minutes conversation with her. During the duration of the call, I thought about getting up and running the 20 yards back to my apartment because this night was going nowhere quickly, that or chugging 3 beers while he was tawking to mommie. I decided that I would probably get caught in the midst of my run and that chugging 3 beers would probably make me sick, so both ideas were ruled out. So after 10 minutes of baby talk with mommie, he reappears and proceeds to tell me that he told his mother that he went out for a drink with me and that his mother was asking if we were together. He quickly mumbled a short conversation between him and his mother about me, I couldn't really understand it (by the way everything is in English, no Spanish), nor did I want to understand what he was saying and got weirded out. We finish our beers, he suggests to check out another bar he likes. We walk past it, nothing much going on. Now we come to my apartment entrance, I make a quick get away by saying, Thanks for the beer, I owe you one. See you later! I run up to my apartment where I recap the strange events of that night to myself. Now this is where the story gets odder...like 5 minutes after I bounced from that agonizing, I don't even know what to call it.. meeting?, I receive a text from him..."Do u want to come to sleep with me?" WHAAAAAAAAT? Hold the phone...where the hell did this come from!?!? I, of course, rejected the invitation with a polite, "No thank you." Crazy European men. What an experience. Wow.

    Tuesday, April