Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ylämäki-Alamäki not like uphill-downhill

The literal translations are the same, but the meanings are opposite. Who'd have thought?

Día de los Santos Inocentes

Las noticias de Reformado.com, Beckham por fin fichó por el Barsa, FIFA le da el FIFA World Player a Zidane y se lo quita a Cannavaro, la federación de Jai-Alai denuncia a Nintendo por plagio del Wii son algunas de las que han dado vueltas este 28 de Diciembre, Día de los Santos Inocentes.

Pero si las creen, es su bronca.

Tex-Mex is not Mexican food!

I bump into this issue from time to time (this photo is from Helsingin Sanomat), so I guess I have to tell my audience about it. The long rant that follows simply boils down to this: Tex-Mex is not Mexican food! The first time I saw hard-shell so-called tacos was in Europe. The only truly Mexican brand of chillies on sale here is "La Costeña", all others are European or American copycats.

Most of the food on sale in "Mexican" restaurants outside of North America (there are honourable exceptions, but they're few) is unknown to a Mexican, including such things as burritos (which are only found in Northern Mexico, if at all) or nachos with cheese. Those things to us are like a salmon burger would be to a Finn, or mussels with cheddar to a Belgian.

I don't deny Tex-Mex can be good food, just please don't call it Mexican. You have no idea how much you're missing. The funniest thing is that now in the States you can get proper Mexican food, but in Europe we're still stuck with the Americanised adaptation (just like the differences between rodeo and charrería).

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Winter sunsets over Hanasaari

Were one of those things that I hadn't noticed that I missed so much from Finland. Pity it is so difficult to take a picture.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

They're afraid of me...

One of the funniest things that has happened to me in Brussels is that when I find Finns in the street and talk to them in Finnish, they get scared as hell. Why? Because I sure as hell don't look Finnish, so they don't know what's going on.

At least with the younger generation that's not such a big problem anymore, but I sure hope it'd change.

Monday, December 25, 2006

UNICEF Smurfs ad

It is not difficult to see why this ad was so controversial in Belgium. However, I quite like it. We should keep in our minds those who are less fortunate than us, especially at this time of the year.



The text at the end reads: Don't let war destroy the universe of children.

Mandando mensajes de texto a México

No sé si la situación sea diferente con Movistar, pero al menos con Telcel no puedo mandar mensajes de celulares de otros países a números Telcel. Eso me parece muy raro ya que puedo mandar a números de otros países, e incluso haciendo roaming en México me llegó a pasar que recibía y podía mandar mensajes con mi número finlandés de un amigo con un número de Singapur tomando vacaciones en Nueva Zelanda, pero no podía recibir y mandar mensajes a mi papá con un Telcel en el cuarto de al lado.

¿Cuándo van a conectar su SMSC (la parte de la red de GSM que manipula los mensajes de texto) al mundo? ¿Realmente necesitan convencimiento sobre el modelo de negocio, dada la cantidad de mexicanos que vivimos fuera del país que podríamos causar una explosión en el uso de los mensajes de texto internacionales?

Infraestructura telefónica en México

Esta mañana me dí de topes otra vez con la infraestructura telefónica mexicana. Dado que soy uno de los 20 millones de mexicanos que viven en el extranjero, quise hablarle a mi familia a las 00:00 del 25 de diciembre para desearles feliz navidad. Dado que en Finlandia eran las 08:00 a.m. del mismo 25, que mi llamada saliera no fue mayor problema... el problema fue que entrara. Intenté dos números de celular y uno fijo, y durante quince minutos no hubo ni cómo. Recibí mensajes de "Intente más tarde" en finés, inglés, sueco, español y uno hasta en chino. Cuando por fin mi llamada pudo entrar a alguno de los celulares, me mandó inmediatamente al buzón de voz ambas veces.

Con razón el país ha perdido negocios de call centers para América Latina, si la red no puede ni siquiera manejar las llamadas de navidad.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Helsinki Complaints Choir

Small country syndrome

Heard from a Finn who had just visited Costa Rica:

"Costa Rica felt somehow similar to Finland. Also a small country, right after asking where are you from they would turn to "How do you like our country?"."

I'm not so sure it is exclusive from small countries, but it is true that at least in Finland everybody asks you that.

Lordi Cola


Lordi Cola, originally uploaded by Chiva Congelado.

Picture the scene: I'm in Finland after a while, go to the supermarket and find Lordi Cola. Then a kid around 8 years old stands in front of it, and starts singing "Hard Rock Hallelujah" with a French accent...

Priceless!

Back in Finland

For the holidays at least. Feels really nice actually to be here. I understand the language and the people much better.

Hair colour scales

One thing that has caught my attention for a while now is how people see hair colour differently. For example: many people in northern Europe would describe my hair colour and my eyes as black, whereas in Mexico or in Africa my hair colour is brown, and so are my eyes. Same thing with blond, many people that I would consider blond really don't think of themselves as blond, and vice-versa.

Being nordic

I was in a class the other day, and the teacher asked "Who here is from the Nordic countries?". All my friends turned around and looked at me. Should I have said yes, or no?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs

Another post in the Rock en Español series.

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs is a group of Argentina that became very famous in the 90's with their eclectic mix of rock, ska, jazz, tango, samba and big band. They had many members, but their singer and co-leader was Vicentico, who has since gone solo, the other leader being Sr. Flavio. They released many albums, but reached continental notoriety through their single Matador (Vasos Vacíos, 1993), whose video is below.


Other videos available in YouTube are:
Strawberry Fields Forever (Rey Azúcar, 1995) A cover on The Beatles.
Mal Bicho (Rey Azúcar, 1995)
Calaveras y Diablitos (Fabulosos Calavera, 1997)
La Vida (La Marcha del Golazo Solitario, 1999) This is a great video, and a great spoof.

More information, as usual, from Wikipedia.

Carl Sagan

Wandering through Technorati while taking a break from studying International Economics I found the Carl Sagan blog-a-thon. Many in my audience will probably not have the slightest idea about who this man who died 10 years ago today was and why is he important, so check out Wikipedia.

In Mexico, where I grew up, I don't think they ever broadcasted the Cosmos PBS series, but I was fortunate enough that my school had bought the tapes (yes, tapes, after all, I was 8 or so at the time). Also at the same age, I received as a birthday present the book "Comet" from a neighbour. It was a present I devoured, and made me realise that science can be as much fun as science fiction (even though later I discovered I don't have the patience to be a scientist myself). During the following years I bought Cosmos, Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Pale Blue Dot and The Demon-Haunted World. I also joined the Planetary Society as a kid, with which my name went to Mars in the Mars Pathfinder (I'm not currently a member, but plan on rejoining). He is one of two persons (the other being Isaac Asimov) that planted firmly in my mind the idea that colonising other planets is what our species needs if it wants to survive (all this before global warming and the terrorist threat became the issues they are now).

He died on December 20th, 1996 after a long battle with mielodysplasia. Even though he didn't believe in God the way I do, my prayers are with him and his family ;-) .

How was your 2006?

I was checking out some forums I post in from time to time, and they had a thread about your personal highlights for 2006. I have to say that it got me thinking.

This year's gone in a blur! Below my highlights of this year that is about to end:

1. Family & friends are all healthy and doing well.
2. Still with the same girl for the last 6 years and loving every minute of it!
3. Got a lot of recognition at my job, but still went on study leave.
4. Travelled quite a bit: Chilangolandia (Mexico City), London, Dubai, Tokyo, Tel-Aviv, Berlin, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Barcelona...
5. Moved to Brussels from Helsinki to start a masters in international business. Enjoying it immensely! This city is great, and I needed a change.
5.5. I've found a different side of myself, and got in touch with my creative side (even started a blog).
6. Started another couple of languages (# 7 & 8). I still speak them like crap, though...
7. Met a lot of interesting people, but still keep in touch with my old friends.
8. Reconnected with some people I hadn't seen in quite a while.
9. Learned to cook sushi! And chicharrón en salsa verde, hehehehe.
10. Discovered new music (Nortec Collective rules).

Don't know what life will bring next year, but that makes it even more exciting. I have no idea about where I'm going to live after I finish my degree next summer, and you know what? No problem!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

TIME magazine person of the year: You

With 2006 being the year of Web 2.0, it was bound to happen. Head over to TIME.com to read the articles.

Mexican hand gestures

I've been asked so many times about certain things I do that I decided to explain.

  1. Extending and contracting your index finger while all others are contracted means yes.
  2. Extending your index finger and then moving it from side to side while all others are contracted means no.
  3. Extending all fingers, then taking the tips of them to your forehead with your palm facing you and doing a movement outward of about twenty centimetres means thank you.
Update: The video is available here.

Use Sunscreen and the Generation Gap



Two questions:

  1. Are you inspired by this video, or just completely bored?
  2. Are you below, or over 30?
There's an answer here somewhere...

El Santo contra los Clones

If you know any Spanish and anything about Mexico City, you'll enjoy this miniseries of 5 "El Santo" cartoons. El Santo is a freestyle wrestler, a sort of third-world superhero. He can't be that bad if these shorts are produced by the Cartoon Network, right?



Found at Mexploitation.

m(_ _)m

You know emoticons, right? Things like =) =D =P .

The one above is also an emoticon, but a Japanese one. Do you have any idea what it is?

It's a guy bowing ;-)

Types of Finnish silences

Talking with a friend and my significant other we came to the conclusion that there are different kinds of silences in Finland:
  • Uncomfortable silences, those where you don't want to say anything so as to not screw up
  • "It's happy to be here" silences
  • "I'm working on something" silences
  • And the most important ones, silences that just are there. No reason, no message.
There are more, but I can't remember them now...

Te, ystävät ja perhe, olette sitä osa Suomesta että minä rakastan

Ja josta syystä kaipaan Suomea. Nähdään pian!

Great week for Mexican football (almost)

It is said in Mexico that when Chivas does well, the National Team does well. We hope this is the case now that we won the Mexican Championship. To make matters even better, Pachuca won the Copa Sudamericana, becoming the first Mexican team to win a CONMEBOL tournament, where we play as guests.

Now if only Club América had actually done something at the World Club Cup, instead of getting trashed by FC Barcelona and then humilliated by Al Ahly. They don't even deserve our hate, only our pity (their slogan after they qualified to the WCC was "Hate me in Japanese"... I guess it backfired).

Mexican view of death

You may have heard about the Day of the Dead, when Mexicans remember their dearly departed. What you may not know is that this view of death as part of life permeates their (our) lives. You may know that we eat sugar skulls with our names on the forehead around those days, but I'll tell you a story that will leave you speechless.

A young Mexican football fan saw the Mexico 1986 World Cup when he was a kid, and idolised Maradona. He cheered for his local team, UANL Tigres, and his dream was to see his team play in his idol's country, Argentina. Fast forward to 2005. UANL Tigres goes through to the group stages of the Copa Libertadores, and is placed in the same group as Banfield from Argentina. This fan (who is now in his twenties) is very happy and buys his ticket to go with the supporters group all the way there. However, he dies in a car accident the week before. No matter, his friends say. They do all the paperwork and bring the urn with his ashes all the way to Buenos Aires. The team goes to the field with a big sign in his honour, and they duly win 3-0. His friends sing and jump with his urn in their hands. Why? Because "that's what he wanted".

No wonder they sell caskets with the seal of your favourite team in Mexico...

Europe in the seventies

People very close to me lived in Europe in the seventies (the crazy seventies). It seems that moral attitudes have changed since then, as some of the conducts (especially relating to sexual promiscuity) are something that don't seem as widespread here as they once were. It is true that the current twenty-somethings are more moralistic than their parents' generation.

Does it have to do with the rise of AIDS (e.g., it was discovered the year I was born)?

Multiculturalism and different identities

I was talking with some friends about multiculturalism and different levels of culture identification (what do you feel part of, basically). I, for example, am Mexicano, Chilango/Sateluco, Espoolainen, Uussuomalainen and Brusselaar. I'm a North American, a Latin American, but also Europeanised and with a light Asian sensitivity. I'm the couple to my significant other, son of my parents, member of my family, friend of my friends and alumnus of the different schools I've studied in. I've taken parts of the places I've been to, so I eat a lot of Japanese food, listen to Brazilian pagode and read American sci-fi. I'm a techie, an engineer, a photographer, a linguist and a business person. But most importantly, I'm myself, and I know I'm all those things. I'll use them when I need to, and depending on where I am.

As a friend of mine said: "It's like a snowball, wherever you've rolled some things stick to you". Just be sure they're the good ones.

Sunny boy or cloudy boy

A Chinese friend of mine said that I'm a sunny boy, but she prefers cloudy boys (referring to my temperament). I know I might be a little bit too annoying sometimes, but I make the conscious choice to smile as much as possible, as it makes me and others feel good.

HIV drug marketing

In London we had a marketing workshop with Beaconbrands, where they showed some examples of advertising campaigns they have done about drugs that are used to treat HIV/AIDS. What really struck me is that they mentioned that HIV patients have to love life, otherwise it would destroy them emotionally as well as physically. I had never thought about it that way. These people must be tough.

Tama-Chan the seal

I was listening to the Tama-Chan song the other day, and it made me smile... =)

While we were away, Belgium ceased to exist... not!

As we came back from London in the Eurostar, I came accross this newspaper article (also reported in the Beeb). If you're not aware of the story, check it first before continuing reading this post.

The good news is that at least now people noticed that this can really happen, and the backlash was, I'd say, healthy. I, for one, would be very sad to see the idea of Belgium be defeated, as this country is very unique, and I quite like the good sides of it (in both Dutch and French). More background about Belgium and Belgian politics in Wikipedia.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Mind the Gap (London trip review)

Parliament
The funniest part of London is that they all speak English (sort of). At least that's the first thing that strikes you when you're there after living in countries with other languages for so long ("oh my, all the ads shout at me directly").

I have to say that the city looks in very good shape. Everything seems clean, fixed and properly maintained, besides being a beautiful place per se.

We visited JPMorgan, Mergermarket and Lloyd's, besides attending a marketing workshop with Beaconbrands at the Anglo-Belgian Club. The visits were very well organised and we had plenty of time to explore the city. Even though I had been to London many times before, there were many places I didn't know and enjoyed immensely.

Having visited many firms in the City, I realised one thing: City life is not for me. These guys have no life outside of the office, and no time for marriage or kids. Maybe if I were another kind of person, but I'm not; money is very important, but it's definitely not everything in life. I'd rather have a chat with my significant other any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.

Another thing that really strikes you when you reach London is their different take to multiculturalism form what we're used to in the Continent. In England policement are allowed to wear scarves or turbants, as long as their face is seen. There is many, many foreigners, but they're, if not accepted, at least tolerated. The situation is not perfect, but I believe it fosters less marginalisation in general. The level of society acceptance is reflected in something that is obvious to Brits, but not very well understood anywhere else: the national food of England is not fish and chips, but curry.

The pictures from the trip are in Flickr, of course.

There can be more cultural differences between Belgians than between a Mexican and a Chinese

Which reminded me of bulletpoint #16 in this post. Of maybe it is not that there are more differences, but less awareness of their existence, and therefore less flexibility. All in all, it's always fun.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

¡Chivas Campeón! (2-1 vs. Toluca)




Finally, after a long wait the Mexican Championship is ours in the year of our 100th birthday. I'm overflowing with joy right now.

The match was quite a ride, as Toluca scored first and they're known for their sturdy defence. All the details at mediotiempo.com.

¡Chivas, Chivas, Chivas!

They almost kicked me out of the internet café where I was watching the game when Bofo Bautista scored the second goal, as a little shout came out of my mouth without me noticing where I was... ;-)

Now, we'll have the publishing break. See you next week.

Update: The goals below. 100,000 people celebrated in Guadalajara, and a couple of thousand in Mexico City. Not bad for a club with 50 million followers.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Publishing break

This blog will be on publishing break all of next week because I'll be in London. I promise to come back with a lot of stuff for my 4 readers (Dehesa dixit).

Mexican league Finals (first leg): Chivas 1-1 Toluca


What we didn't want to happened happened, and Toluca got a tie out of the first leg of the Mexican league finals (and to think I woke up at 5 a.m. CET friday to listen to the second half). The game was tactical as expected (Chivas plays very attacking football, whereas Toluca is pure catenaccio these days). The refereeing was horrible (they didn't signal a penalty), and Toluca got what they went to the Jalisco Stadium for, they got the tie.

The goals courtesy of Youtube here and here.

The penalty that wasn't awarded below:


Now Chivas has to beat Toluca at their stadium on Sunday either in regular time, extra time or penalties, something the team hasn't pulled off for 9 years. Now would be the time.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The 13th warrior

Even though this is not the greatest movie ever, I feel quite identified with the main character, as I was also a southerner living in the northern lands (though I'd be more of an Aztec amongst Fenni instead of an Arab amongst Norsemen). The whole scene where the guy starts to understand their language was especially strong to me, as I went through the same process.

El Tri

Another post in the Rock en Español series

El Tri (originally known as "Three Souls in my mind") is a hard rock/blues old school group from Mexico City, that has been active since the 1960's. They have an active following accross Latin America and many of their songs are considered real classics. Below some videos.

Virgen Morena


Niño sin amor
Chismes de Lavadero & A.D.O.
Las Piedras rodantes
Triste canción de amor (MTV Unplugged)

At last!

We have internet in the flat. The connection is quite bad, but it works...

Itsenäisyyspäivä suomalaisten kanssa

Me vietimme itsenäisyyspäiväjuhlaa muiden suomalaisten opiskelijoiden kanssa. Söimme makaronilaattikkoa ja pullaa ja joimme kahvia. Olin tosi iloinen että ne ajattelivat että olin osa porukasta, eli yksi heistä.

Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää kaikille!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Babel


Babel, originally uploaded by Chiva Congelado.

Best movie I've seen in a while (and I've seen a few lately). It is really striking how González Iñárritu uses the theme of misunderstandings in such a recurrent and striking way. If this movie doesn't win at least one Oscar then I really don't understand the committee that awards them.

If you haven't seen it already, go!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas is coming

I found this huge Christmas tree at the Grand Place last weekend.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Mexican league semifinals: Chivas 0(2)-(0)0 América


Chivas again demonstrated that it's just a much better team than América this year by holding them to a goalless draw at the Azteca Stadium. América and Chivas met 4 times during 2006, with Chivas taking the scalp in the Superclásico 3 times, and this goalless draw that gets them through to the finals against Toluca. Information from mediotiempo.

The highlights courtesy of Youtube.

Old Internet fads

Friday, December 01, 2006

Mexican League Semifinals: Chivas 2-0 América


Chivas played last night a Superclásico in the semifinals, beating América 2-0. After a lot of media coverage, the game started rather imprecisely in the first half, but the goals came in the second: penalty scored by Ramoncito Morales and a header by Omar Bravo. San Oswaldo Sánchez, Chivas goalkeeper, saved a dubious penalty.

The return leg will be on Sunday night (Monday very early morning CET). I'll post a video of the goals when available. In the meantime, you can watch the gallery at mediotiempo.com.

Update:Video with the goals below.

Big Brother DIP: Canal del Congreso

Como tal vez hayan visto en las noticias, la situación en el Congreso antes de la toma de protesta del presidente Calderón está calientita. Un amigo que estaba escuchando la radio mexicana me dijo que cuando mencionaron que la transmisión era "en vivo por el Canal del Congreso" se le ocurrió que ya tenemos una versión muy mexicana de Big Brother. Primera vez en su historia que el Canal del Congreso tiene rating.

¿Podremos votar por botar al diputado que peor nos caiga (o que ya nos tenga hasta el gorro)? ¿Con lo que gane el Congreso en el Big Brother DIP resanarán los hoyos en el presupuesto? ¿Quién quedará en la casota de Big Brother en San Lázaro?

Pulp fiction dialogue

Jules & Vincent are talking about Vincent's European experiences.

Vincent: ...But you know what the funniest thing about Europe is?
Jules: What?
Vincent: It's the little differences. I mean they got the same shit over there that they got here, but it's just - it's just there it's a little different.
Jules: Examples?
Vincent: Alright, well you can walk into a movie theater in Amsterdam and buy a beer. And I don't mean just like in no paper cup, I'm talking about a glass of beer. And in Paris, you can buy a beer at McDonald's. And you know what they call a, uh, a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
Jules: They don't call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?
Vincent: Nah, man, they got the metric system, they wouldn't know what the fuck a Quarter Pounder is.
Jules: What do they call it?
Vincent: They call it a "Royale with Cheese."
Jules: "Royale with Cheese."
Vincent: That's right.
Jules: What do they call a Big Mac?
Vincent: A Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it "Le Big Mac."
Jules: "Le Big Mac." [laughs] What do they call a Whopper?
Vincent: I dunno, I didn't go into Burger King. But, you know what they put on french fries in Holland instead of ketchup?
Jules: What?
Vincent: Mayonnaise.
Jules: God damn!
Vincent: I seen 'em do it, man, they fuckin' drown 'em in that shit.
Jules: That's some fucked up shit.

Best ad I've seen in a long, long time...

Sorry, this one's in Spanish.



The kid asks "Who scored?".

Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's sunny today!


Botanique, originally uploaded by Chiva Congelado.

Some of the best moments in football history, courtesy of YouTube

The Guardian has a very interesting article about sports history highlights now available because they've been posted at YouTube. Very interesting.

Check out especially the Garrincha highlight video.

Belgium and the Netherlands, so close but so different

I did a lightning trip to Amsterdam yesterday, and was really surprised at the slight but definite changes at the border between Belgium and the Netherlands, even though they're both part of what is generally defined as the Low Countries and I had made the same trip before. Below some that I could think about:

  • Languages: Suddenly people only speak English and Dutch in the train, German and French disappeared (except for the tourists, of course).
  • Landscape: Much more channels, bridges and water surrounding you.
  • Infrastructure: The train stations look newer. Funnily enough, they also look somehow dirtier.
  • Architecture: We went past a few windmills, and there are some definitely distinctive elements of architecture that are not found in Belgium. Brussels is more Frenchified, the Netherlands looks somehow, well, I don't know how to explain it... German/Nordic maybe? We also passed in front of a couple of mosques.
  • Bycicles: I expected that to be part of the Brussels landscape, but it isn't. In the Netherlands in general but in Amsterdam in particular bikes are everywhere.

Nordic alcohol consumption

I was discussing about that with a friend of mine who has never been in Finland, and had to explain him the basics: yes, Finns tend to have more, say, heavy-duty drinking habits, some people (especially the young) tend to literally drink to get drunk (so beers with high alcoholic content represent more value for money :-0 ), taxes to alcohol are therefore very high although they were dropped a couple of years ago and alcoholic beverages above a certain percentage are only available at the national monopoly.

The good news is that not everybody drinks like that (or maybe they do, but only in their student years ;-) ) and you find quite a few people who drink in a more Continental European kind of way (maybe some wine with food, but nothing of the harder stuff). Now that's more like it.

Russian Kotka

Funnily enough, I read that Kotka in southeastern Finland wants more Russian immigrants. After the well-known animosities between both nations, and the prejudices Russians face there, it's quite a surprising turn.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Belgian bureaucracy

I had heard before that Belgium is renowned throughout Europe for being so thoroughly bureaucratic. I didn't want to believe it (after all, Latin countries have exacly the same problem), but, boy, were they right. I won't rant here about the immigration/residence permit procedures, which are excruciating as usual, but even simple stuff like ordering cable TV and getting WLAN at our flat has been an ordeal. The bureaucracy at the school has been the exception that confirms the rule, though, they've been spotless.

My advice: if you move here, make sure you don't need anything urgently.

The inventor for a cure for snoring...

would become a millionaire. Sorry to all that people I haven't let sleep, now I know how it feels... =)

Recommended book: Freakonomics

Borrowed this book from a friend. Very interesting idea: using tools from economics to answer day-to-day questions. The second edition has also some posts from their blog (where I could lose myself for hours).

Bersuit Vergarabat

Another post in the Rock en Español series.

Bersuit Vergarabat is a band from Argentina, famous for their fusion of Rock, cumbia, chacarera and other Latin American rythms with very potent protest lyrics Even though they had released LPs since the beginning of the 90's, they became famous in Latin America in 1998 with their song Sr. Cobranza, which was a very good reflection of the anti-governmental mood in youth at the time (this was just before the Argentine crisis). A very interesting band.

Yo tomo (Libertinaje, 1998)


Sr. Cobranza (Libertinaje, 1998)
La Argentinidad al Palo (La Argentinidad al Palo, 2004)
Madre hay una sola (Testosterona, 2005)

Monday, November 27, 2006

This was probably for the Mexican tourists...

"Attention:
it is forbidden to throw stones. It is dangerous for the inhabitants of the valley.
-Friends of the Castle"

Found at Vianden Castle in Luxembourg.

Cruz Azul 2 (2)-(4) 2 Chivas

Chivas tied with Cruz Azul at their stadium in Mexico City, but went through to the semifinals of the Apertura 2006 tournament thanks to their previous victory of 2-0 at the Jalisco stadium in the first leg. The video highlights below:




Now Chivas will play América in the semifinals on Thursday night (early Friday CET)... the Superclásico is served. In the other semifinal, Pachuca will play Toluca.

¡Vamos Chivas!

Friday, November 24, 2006

On kaikki niinkuin ennenkin

by J. Karjalainen

Oli aika kuuma kesä tää
nyt on jo vähän viileempää
Tulee paljon omenaa
kohta mehua taas saa
on kaikki niinkuin ennenkin

Vielä lienee lammet paikoillaan
täytyis vissiin lähtä katsomaan
Yhden vanhan virvelin
aamulla mä putsasin
on kaikki niinkuin ennenkin

Eräs leikki traktoreillaan
se tykkää niistä aina vaan
Minä laulujani teen
putoo riimit paikoilleen
on kaikki niinkuin ennenkin

Keväällä jälleen lähdetään
tämä Suomi kiertämään
Ehkä mennään Turkkuseen
kaadetaan viinaa kurkkuseen
on kaikki niinkuin ennenkin

Mä tykkään tästä juuri näin
soitella kanssa ystäväin
San Francisco kuuskytyhdeksän
äkkiä kaiken ymmärrän
on kaikki niinkuin ennenkin

Pilvet on kuin laivoja
ne taivaanrannassa odottaa
Kerran kotiin minut vie
tämä röpelöinen tie
on kaikki niinkuin ennenkin

Lasissa viini vähenee
vaikka pyydän: älä mee
No vielä toiset ostetaan
suulle malja nostetaan
on kaikki niinkuin ennenkin

No vielä toiset ostetaan
suulle malja nostetaan
on kaikki niinkuin ennenkin

Kaikille suomalaisille ystäville.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Finally we're in the news for the right reasons

The Mexican government inaugurated a giant radio telescope. More from the Beeb.

Second Life in the FT

Funnily enough, after writing an entry about Second life yesterday, I found an article about it in today's issue of the FT. I don't think Alan Cane quite "gets it" with his metaphor that Second Life is just a more advanced way of current icon-based interfases, it seems to me over-simplistic. The most interesting thing about it in my opinion is that when you're interacting in an environment that looks closer to the real world, you will react in ways that are closer to the real world, and create social bonds that are closer to those of the real world. I may be wrong of course.

Useless technology


Useless technology, originally uploaded by Chiva Congelado.

I'm usually a technology advocate, but this is stupid. I saw in a restaurant a plasma screen with video of a fireplace instead of a real fireplace. Is there any point?

Mexican league quarterfinal first leg: Chivas 2-0 Cruz Azul

Chivas seemed unstoppable last night, beating Cruz Azul at home at the Jalisco Stadium by 2-0. Bofo Bautista played a remarkable game, scoring one goal and setting up the other. I'll post a video as soon as it is online.

Update: The videos of the goals are online. The first video is here. The second is below.


Both are absolutely excellent. I hope my Chivas keep on playing as well.


Globalisation is...

listening to "La Bamba" being played and sung in Spanish by a guy with a marked Arab accent in the Brussels Metro...

Priceless!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

You know you've been in Belgium too long when...

I saw this list at Genki David's blog. Much better than the list I had originally published.

And I haven't been here that long...

Star Wars in different languages

Saw a post at Jedifreac's blog about Star Wars in different languages. Hilarious!

Second Life

Second Life is a 3D virtual world. Just tried it and was absolutely amazed by its functionality (including a virtual economy), customisability, and the whole "feel" of it. We hear at the CWF about how are residents using this world to do things that they wouldn't be otherwise able to, even at work. I've tried not to use it too much because it is quite addictive.

Talking with a friend of mine about it he came to the conclusion that the danger of it (exposed in many cyberpunk novels before) is that people would use these kind of virtual worlds to escape reality. Whereas I'm sure that some will do exactly that, I believe most people will learn to live with it, as it is a tool to engage imagination and create something new, which in the physical world may not exist.

Could anybody with more experience on it share their insight?

Illya Kuriaki and the Valderramas

Another post in the Series of Rock en Español.

Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas was an Argentine duet that mix hip-hop, funk, rock and traditional Latin American rythms. They published 8 albums and enjoyed moderate success throughout the region, before separating in 2001. Some of their songs below:

Coolo (Leche, 1999)


Abarajame (Chaco, 1995)
Jennifer del Estero (Leche, 1999)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Romantic time in Leuven


Romantic time in Leuven, originally uploaded by Chiva Congelado.

Liked the trees and the couple in the background. I'm not sure they liked being photographed that much ;-) .

Chivas 4-0 Veracruz

In the second game of the play-off series, Chivas absolutely demolished Veracruz by 4-0. I'm a happy man. We're meeting Cruz Azul in the quarter finals. Review and pictures of the game at mediotiempo.com. I'll post a video as soon as somebody uploads it to YouTube.

Update: The video is here. I was amazed by the quality of the goals and goalkeeping. The game against Cruz Azul is tonight (wednesday 22nd). Let's see how it goes.


The Economist Mexico Survey

I read during the weekend the Economist Mexico Survey. If you follow the situation in the country the conclusions they reached won't surprise you very much.

  • The economy hasn't collapsed, but is growing very slowly.
  • The country needs structural reforms in order to grow.
  • The informal part of the economy is unhealthily big, and the tax collection rates are abysmal.
  • Mexico is still too dependent on oil, especially for its public finances.
  • Security is a bigger concern than it should be.
  • The new government should focus on improving its standing with the part of the population that doesn't share its programme.
I have to say, that it didn't make me happy, but could've been worse. If only the politicians read this...

Do you get your best ideas at 2 a.m.?

Most of the posts I wrote during the weekend were thought/dreamt in the period between 1-3 a.m. last friday. It was so bad that I had an idea, wrote it down, then another one, wrote it down, then another one and so on until, finally, I got too tired to go on. Does it happen to you?

As inspiration, I'll leave you with an ad-hoc video. Sleeping Awake by P.O.D. (from the Matrix Reloaded Soundtrack)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Must read business books

The business books I have read, will read or have used that more or less have defined my current business thinking (of course it will change and I'm still missing quite a bit of topics, give me time):

Finnish TV: Mogadishu Avenue

Finland is a very homogeneous country, but there are foreigners there as well (this poster was one of them for quite a while, and is open to becoming one again). Mostly they are people from Russian, Estonian, Somali, Vietnamese, Chinese, Swedish or American extraction. They tend to stick to certain specific cities and areas of the country, and there are certain stereotypes to each. MTV3, one of the local TV channels (not related to MTV, Music Television) started airing a drama/comic series about an area of Helsinki with many immigrants, and how the different inhabitants adapt to each other.

Even though I only share with the foreigner characters in the series the fact that I was also a foreigner living in Hesa, I have to admit that reading about one of them who according to the plot is an African man that tries to become more Finnish than the Finns, taking a local surname from his wife, hanging pictures of Mannerheim in his house and making his son try to win the tango king contest to become the first black tango king, well, brought a smile to my face and a little bit of moisture to my eyes. =) And I haven't even seen the series yet. Is it any good?

Ode to curiosity

I still remember that I learned to read when I was 4. After that all mayhem broke loose and you could not make me part from a book, regardles. I was so interested in everything, and literally devoured any written material that came to my hands. It took me some time to learn that curiosity was not only about the contents of books, but about what would happen if you kicked a ball a certain way, did something to a frog, or how would people be. During the years I have met some people that are not (or seem not to) be curious about pretty much anything. I really don't understand them, because to be curious is part of what being human is all about (but one we share with other organisms... after all, "curiosity killed the cat", which is a horrible saying). We're all very curious when we're children, but not so much anymore as adults. Why?

I admire our grandparents

One point brought home from another of the speakers at the CWF is the fact that people of our grandparents' generation (65+ years old) have already gone through very big changes in the world, something that I don't think we recognise often enough. If your grandparents are old enough, they saw the introduction of radio, TV, trans-atlantic travel, the Second World War, decolonisation, the European Union, the nuclear bomb, the massification of the automobile... without even talking about microwave ovens, immigrants from different parts of the world, computers and the internet... If you take into account that the rate of change is much faster now than when they were your or my age, you can only come to the conclusion that the world will be even more drastically different when we reach their age.

If there's people over 70 wathching pictures in Flickr and doing their banking over the internet, that's the kind of person I want to be when I'm their age, and I understand why not everybody can be like that (there's also cultural issues of, say, uncertainty avoidance involved which they are not responsible for, among many other factors). If at that age they still take the world at face value and enjoy what they do, that's the person I want to be. So if you agree with me spare a thought for your parents and grandparents and give them your love and respect. Probably a hug would be nice too.

The singularity vs. chauvinism

One of the speakers at the CWF made some very interesting points that I had already thought about but not really articulated in the fluid, structured way he did, but of course I need to start from the beginning.

The singularity I'm talking about is something that to some people might sound like a concept out of science fiction: the fact that in the next few years, the processing power of a computer will be reaching that of a human brain, and we will be able to augment our grey matter with cybernetic prostethics. As such, we will have more "processing muscle" than ever before, but our ability to imagine, that what takes us apart from machines, is what adds value. At the same time, we're more connected than ever, but that doesn't make us less chauvinistic, and maybe even more, because we're able to see up close those things that we didn't lay our sight on before, like poverty, war and strange people and customs. A point that was very important is that we don't know where it's taking us, how it is changing us and even whether we will survive these opposing forces bringing us together and at the same time further away from each other. I sure hope we do.

La estrategia del Tec de Monterrey

No fui al Encuentro Ex-a-Tec Europa este año (con eso de que no soy Ex-a-Tec pero amigo del Tec, Rangel dixit y además, ni tiempo tuve), pero me imagino que no han de haber cambiado demasiado su estrategia. Estaba checando mis notas del evento del año pasado y me dí cuenta de un "detallito": ya se les quemó el agua en algunas cosas. En la estrategia del Tec hablaban de la economía del conocimiento, cuando durante los últimos 3 o 4 años se está hablando de la emergencia de una economía de la creatividad. ¿Se habrán dado cuenta, o el ITESM sigue siendo el Instituto Transformador de Estudiantes en Simples Máquinas?

Hugo Sánchez: Mexico coach

The legend of Real Madrid, the man that as a player scored the second largest amount of goals in the Spanish league, the man that took Pumas to win back-to-back titles and to beat Real Madrid at the Bernabéu in 2004 to leave them in the relegation zone in 2005 has been appointed coach of the Mexico football national team. I didn't like our previous coach Lavolpe far too much, but their battle in the media was absolutely annoying and counter-productive. Even though I'm wearing my Mexico '86 commemorative edition jersey I have to say A ver si como roncas duermes (a phrase in Spanish similar to asking whether one can walk the walk having talked the talk).

I just hope that not only he instills that winning mentality he so much talks about, but also that he really wins, period.

When will Latin American governments get it?

As said in some of my previous posts, I was at the Creativity World Forum in Ghent this week and I was really surprised by one thing, but let's start from the beginning.

The event itself was organised by the self-proclaimed Districts of Creativity, an association of what I can only term regions-state borrowing from Kenichi Ohmae's term. These districts of creativity include Flanders (Belgium), Qingdao (China), Shanghai (China), Lombardy (Italy), Nord-Pas de Calais (France), Karnataka (India), Maryland (USA), Baden-Württemberg (Germany), Rhône-Alps (France), Catalonia (Spain), Scotland (UK) and Québec (Canada).

I was at the Karnataka booth (Bangalore, the IT capital of India is in this state) and I was pleasantly surprised by the attitude of the government representatives there. Regardless of the fact that I am a student and I don't have anything to bring to their country they really explained to me what are they all about and invited me to come. I couldn't help but contrast it with the attitude prevalent in most of Latin America that Foreign Direct Investment is the devil and we are so much better without it, and how the Indians really try to attract as much as they can but not only stay at the lower end of, in this case, software production, but keep on repeating their matra of "moving up the value chain" (no pun intended).


When will our governments start doing that?

Séléction Féderale

You can see that Belgium is quite a dividied country when the newscasters here don't talk about the football national team, they talk about the football federal team. They say that Belgians are only united around the football team, the king and the flag, and I'm really starting to see that it's (almost/mostly/???) true. Interesting.

Suomi 1-0 Adzerbaijan

Valkosininen joukkue pelasi hyvin ja uskomaton fakta on, että kansallisjoukkue on taulukon päässä Portugalin, Puolan ja Belgian edessä Eurooppanmestaruukseen väylällä. Hyvä Suomi!

Veracruz 1-2 Chivas

The Mexican football league follows a very strange system for those that follow European competitions. It has two tournaments per year (Apertura during the fall and Clausura in spring) and a system of league followed by playoffs. 18 teams are divided in three groups based on last year's performance out of which the top 2 qualify to the quarterfinals, and another 4 teams to a preliminary play-off round. If you don't get it, don't worry, neither did I when I was a kid...

Why is this important? Because Chivas did qualify to the preliminary play-off phase, and played on wednesday against Veracruz, beating them 1-2. Tonight the "holy flock" plays at home, and we hope to get to the quarters. It would be very important for the team and the fans to win the league given that we haven't won in 9 years, we're still the team with the most titles in the league, and this year is our 100th anniversary (we had big celebrations in May).

In the meantime, I'll leave you with wednesday's goals and I hope I wake up a happy man tomorrow morning.

FU Business School

I was talking with a guy who runs a biotech start up I met at the Creativity World Forum about the fact that he feels that he hasn't heard enough in business literature and training about the failed cases in business, meaning all the companies that for some reason or another failed, and why. That's why I propose the creation of a new paradigm in business education:

The Fuck Up Business School

At the FUB you don't learn how to be an efficient business leader, you learn how to be an inefficient one. You study all the mistakes that previous companies have made so that you can innovate and make new ones. After all, trial and error is the best way to learn, so why don't we leave the error part to previous attempts? ;-)

Constitución de Cádiz

Juro que no sé por qué siempre que hablo con algún amigo catalán o valenciano que conozca un poco de historia siempre terminamos hablando sobre la Constitución de Cádiz. Ésta fue la primera constitución liberal en el reino español, la cual reconocía "Las Españas" como partes integrales del reino, ya estuvieran éstas en la península o en ultramar. ¿Por qué es esto importante? Porque algunos historiadores piensan que si la constitución de Cádiz no hubiera sido prohibida por Fernando VII, las colonias americanas no se habrían independizado (p.ej. algo que muchos mexicanos no saben es que la guerra de independencia de México empezó como una protesta contar el rey, no contra España), y sin forzar demasiado la imagiación se puede llegar a pensar que viviríamos en una especie de confederación, en lugar de ser el cúmulo de países descoyuntados que somos. No sé si sea plausible dado un entorno histórico que contiene tanto la revolución francesa como la estadounidense ni tampoco si estuviéramos mejor o peor, pero es interesante pensarlo.

Creativity World Forum in Ghent, Belgium

This week I had the opportunity to attend the Creativity World Forum in Ghent, basically mentioning how regional governments, enterprises and individals can compete and benefit in the so-called creative economy. The event was comprised of two days of conferences and workshops, with some cocktails and extensive networking thrown in between as it happens in this kind of events.

Generally I can say that I was inspired by the congress, but there is still left one nagging feeling that the word "World" is slightly too pretentious in the name, given that there was nobody from two continents (South America and Africa) and the vast majority of the participants were Belgians from Flanders. However, I believe that it was a very good initaitive by the local government and it's interesting to see the already the rise of the region-state that had been predicted by Thomas L. Friedman and Kenichi Ohmae.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Planta 4a

I saw this movie some weeks ago in Dutch TV. Quite nice, but very, very sad. Recommendable if you have a chance to see it.

This blog will most probably be on "publishing holiday" for the next week or so. Hope my four readers (Germán Dehesa dixit) don't miss me too much.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Addicted to languages

I have to say that I'm really glad that I have a TV in Brussels, even though in the beginning I was very reluctant. The reason is simple: except for Finnish, Portuguese and Spanish-language channels, in my (very small) TV I have plenty of channels in French, English, Dutch, German and Italian, which means that I can practise those languages in the comfort of my home.

It's not that I speak any of them perfectly (there is no such thing anyway), but I really like the different doors they open, different ways of thinking and so on. As my old German texbook name said, they're bridges between peoples.

The most fascinating thing is that there's still so many to learn. I'd like to study Latin, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, Náhuatl, Yucatecan Maya...

So much to learn, so little time...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

When beach or city holidays are not enough

I read an article in the newspaper about trends in the tourist industry that made me think. Now there are tours on offer to see the favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Ground Zero in New York, the destruction of Hurricane Katrina in Lousiana or the tsunamis in Thailand, and even an "illegal immigrant tour" in central Mexico where the tourist pays to feel how it is to cross the border through the desert guided by people who have done it.

Is it that we want to empathise with people who are less fortunate, or only that lives in the rich parts of the planet are just too boring?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Aterciopelados

Another post in the series of "Rock en Español".

Aterciopelados is a band from Colombia who has enjoyed success accross Latin America for the past 15 years. As is the trend for Rock en Español acts, they fuse Colombian music with rock and hip hop to astounding success. They have even been nominated by TIME as one of the 10 best bands in the world, and the same magazine has also just published a review of their latest album, "Oye".

Below some videos.

Bolero Falaz (El Dorado, 1994)


Florecita Rockera (El Dorado, 1994)
El Estuche (Caribe Atómico, 1998)
Maligno (Caribe Atómico, 1998)
El Álbum (Gozo Poderoso, 2000)
Luz Azul (Gozo Poderoso, 2000)

More information from Wikipedia or the Official Site.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The news you see determine your reality

I've noticed something very interesting during my trips around the world, and that's summarised in how I decided to title this post. Even though we have become more "globalised" there is no single news source (to the dismay of CNN, BBC News, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and all the others I'm forgetting). Some examples below:

  • In the U.S. newscasts tend to be of a local, state or national nature, and international news tend to be about Iraq, Afghanistan or any other perceived security threat. Seldom do you hear anything about their neighbours (Canada & Mexico) unless there is a problem. Almost never do you hear about Europe.
  • In the UK the news are mostly local or national, but they tend to report quite a bit on both Europe, the U.S. and the security crises of the day.
  • In Brazil, they're mostly national, about the neighbouring countries (Argentina, Venezuela, etc.), the U.S. or Europe.
  • In Japan, they're mostly about Japan (at all different levels), the U.S., China or Korea.
  • In Finland they talk mostly about local news, national news, what happens in Europe, the U.S., Sweden and Russia.
  • In Mexico they spend their time talking about national politics, security and local news. The international news section is brief but usually quite varied, although there is a big focus on news items about the U.S. anyway.
It is very interesting to see that even though we live in a time when world wide information truly is at our fingertips, we tend to receive very little of it if we don't search for it ourselves, and the differences in perspective are absolute startling. That's what it's all about, of course.

Belgians are nice, but their country is weird

I have now quite a few local friends, mainly from school, and I think we get along quite well. They are in general nice people and everything seems to be OK. However, I can't help but notice how deeply is their country divided along linguistic lines, and how difficult it is for some of the Belgians to bridge that chasm.

I'll give a stupid example: TV. You have several channels in French and several in Dutch, and you may have the same football game at the same time being broadcast in both channels. The French-speaking news say very little about what happens in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, and vice-versa. Even the Telemarketing ads are in both languages depending on the channel, even when they're selling the same thing (these days they keep on pushing a "Disco Fever" CD collection, which actually looks quite nice, but anyway) .

I don't think they'll truly separate, because, as a teacher said: "What do we do with Brussels then?". However, it is quite interesting to see the dynamics between two communities that live next to each other but only rally around the Red Devils (the football team), the Flag, the King and Kim Clijsters (the tennis player).

Sigue la mata dando en Oaxaca

Sigue la violencia, sigue habiendo muertos, sigue la policía, las demostraciones y la intransigencia, sigue Ulises Ruiz en la gubernatura, y ahora para acabar, hubo bombazos en el D.F. ¿Hasta cuándo?

Suomen talvi ja hiihto

On jo alkanut, ja en ole siellä. Toivottavasti pärjäätte hyvin (nöh, tiedän jo). Täällä on vaan pilvistä ja sateista. Eilen näin joku mainos telkkarissa jossa joku kaveri hiihtia, ja minulle tuli ikävä. En mä usko että muiden on helppoa ymmärtää miten hyvältä hiihtaminen voi tuntua. Ehkä jos pystyn jäämän Suomeen kauemmaksi aikaa voisin mennä kilpailemaan, hehehe.

En V.F. ou en V.O.

Mieux en V.F... quelque chose que s'écoute trés bien en francais.
  • Seigneur des Anneaux
  • La noveau publicité de BMW ("pas que une voiture est seulement une voiture")
Mieux en V.O... quand en francais s'écoute légèrement ridicule.
  • Quelq'un film avec Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Les Simpsons

Recommended Book: Everything is illuminated

This is a very good book. Just finished reading it. The use of language is very interesting here, even though I'm still thinking about the messages. The story is very moving, and it has a lot of character.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Soda Stereo

Another in the series of posts on Rock en Español.
No anthology of Rock en Español could approach something resembling completeness without mentioning this legendary Argentine band. Soda Stereo was one of the groups that defined the sound of Rock en Español, and they were one ofthe first to prove that Spanish-speaking rock acts could also have success beyong their countries of origin. From their first album in 1982 to their disbanding in 1997 (after a farewell tour that took them across Latin America to sold-out venues) they were one of the most recognised bands in the scene, and are still a big influence in the music heard today. Singer Gustavo Cerati still has a certain success with his solo carreer.

Some videos below.

De Música Ligera (El Último Concierto, 1997)



Cuando pase el temblor (Nada Personal, 1985)
Zoom (Sueño Stereo, 1995)
La Ciudad de la Furia (Comfort y Música para Volar, 1996)
Ella usó mi Cabeza como un Revólver (Comfort y Música para Volar, 1996)
Persiana Americana (El Último Concierto, 1997)

For more information you can check Wikipedia or the Official Site.

Chivas 3- 1 Atlas

The Guadalajara city derby ended with a nice 3-1 result for my beloved Chivas. Alberto "El Venado" Medina had a very good performance, scoring 2 goals.


Monday, October 30, 2006

La situación de Oaxaca

Después de ya varios meses fueron desalojados ayer los maestros de la APPO (Asamblea Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca) del centro de la ciudad de Oaxaca por la Policía Federal Preventiva. Por desgracia, hay reportes de que hubo un muerto. El conflicto empezó con un plantón en mayo porque los maestros de la entidad demandaron mejores salarios, pero sufrió una escalada porque en un enfrentamiento entre éstos y la policía estatal hubo un muerto, con lo cual los maestros exigieron la renuncia del gobernador de Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz, del PRI. La capital del estado ha estado tomada desde finales de mayo, con las consecuentes pérdidas económicas en una entidad que depende mucho del turismo nacional y extranjero (por ejemplo, el festival de la Guelaguetza fue cancelado). Ahora que se ha reestablecido el orden en la ciudad sería buena idea forzar la renuncia del gobernador que no gobierna para garantizar el cambio en una entidad que es de las más rezagadas del país.

The fence

I posted this Paco Calderón cartoon last week, and this morning I was thinking about this situation. I believe in following the laws of the country you reside in regardless of whether you agree with them or not, but I think the current situation is rather tragicomic. If the current US government were really serious about curbing illegal immigration to their country, they would simply enforce the laws they have regarding the prohibition of employment of people without papers (as it is done, for example, in Finland). The idea of building a fence simply smells of populism to me, trying to appease the anti-immigration constituency before the Congress elections this month.

This doesn't mean that the governments of the countries of origin of those illegal immigrants (namely Mexico) should forget their responsibility to get jobs for their own population by ensuring the conditions for job creation by private enterprises is there. It would be unsustainable to pay for those jobs with taxes, especially since currently the tax income in Mexico is so low compared to GDP.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Plastilina Mosh

Another post in the series of Rock en Español. Plastilina Mosh is a duet from the northern city of Monterrey in Mexico. Their style has been described as alternative rock (I think it's anything but) and they tend to mix Spanish, English and other languages in the same song. They are usually associated with the "Nintendo generation" as that is how both band members met. I bought one of their CDs in Japan, of all places. Some examples of their music below.

Peligroso Pop (Hola Chicuelos, 2003)


Mr. P Mosh (Aquamosh, 1998)
Afroman (Aquamosh, 1998)
Monster Truck (Aquamosh, 1998)
Te lo juro por Madonna (Hola Chicuelos, 2003)
Los Oxidados (Hola Chicuelos, 2003)
Millionaire (Tasty, 2006)

More information from Wikipedia or the official site.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Children of Men

We saw this movie during the weekend, and I have to say, it really got me thinking. I won't spoil it for you, but it had a lot of relevance to me given that I'm a person who has been living abroad almost one quarter of my life. Absolutely recommendable.