Saturday, March 03, 2007

Finland from A to Z

I found this list that reminded me very much of my student days, even if some of the references are only Tampere-specific and I studied in Espoo. If you are planning to visit or move to Finland, you should know at least some of these terms.

Lunar eclipse tonight

There will be a full lunar eclipse tonight, so let's hope for clear skies. More information from the Beeb.

Medios sin fines

Hablando con un amigo un poco mayor, me decía que el problema actualmente es que estamos enfocados en los medios de comunicación sin ponernos realmente a pensar para qué fines los queremos. Uno no tiene mas que ver toda la basura que hay en la televisión, en la radio, en las revistas para darse cuenta que no sólo es cierto, si no que además muchos de nosotros la consumimos por gusto.

La próxima vez que veas un programa o leas una noticia, ponte a pensar qué es lo que te quieren decir.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Mexican Hand Gestures, now with video

After this post, I had agreed with Rafa Peñaloza to shoot a video, explaining the point better.

Here it is. Hope it helps.

Shot with my N93.

Meet Darth Sinus

My first contribution to YouTube, and a bad joke as usual.

What happens when you mix the Imperial March with a terrible flu?

Shot with my N93.

25 things not to post in your blog

Hilarious. I guess it proves that the usage of tools doesn't always correspond with the usage of the brain...

Via Gwyn's blog.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tale of two Finlands

Finland is in general a very egalitarian society, where mobility is common and opportunities available, which is something I think other countries should learn from. However, I have noticed certain, if not polarization, at least divisions in society regarding how they see the outside world.

There are those that understand that Finland's economic success is dependent on globalization and those who only see the Chinese threat; those who have travelled and seen the world and those who haven't; the young who are used to having people with foreign backgrounds in their classroom and the old who first saw a black man in their street in the 90's; those that welcome foreign labour and those that feel threatened by it (especially if they are already unemployed); those that speak foreign languages with confidence and those who feel they threaten the status of the Finnish language; those that want a more generous welfare state and those who want to pay less taxes; those who think racism is stupid and those who are unabashedly racist; those who have taken advantage of EU farm subsidies, Erasmus exchange programmes and the like and those who strongly dislike the EU...

Difference of opinion is of course what democracy is made of. Finnish society, however, needs to be aware that these differences exist, and that not everything is smooth and perfect.

Päivän sanonta

"Suomen puhuminen on vaikeaa, kun olet nähnyt maailmaa."

Concacaf Champions Cup second leg: Chivas 3-0 West Connection

The team from Guadalajara did what it was supposed to do since the first match and beat the Trinitarians by three goals without reply, including a brace by bench boy Santana. Bofo Bautista failed to score from the penalty spot, but he still scored in an unrelated play. Below the second goal.

In other news, the Mexican national team (without the Europe-based players) beat Venezuela by 3-1, in the first victory of the Hugo Sánchez era. Below the first two goals.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I hate the flu...

And I can't get rid of it. And just at the time of the year when I just cannot rest.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

4 out of 16

In the end, Babel won 1 Oscar for original soundtrack, and Laberinto del Fauno (Pan's Labrynth) won 3 for cinematography, art direction and make-up. Children of Men left blank. Even though the harvest was very good for Mexican cinema (bordering on the historic), these films missed out on the big categories, such as best picture, best foreign language film, best director, and best (supporting) actor/actress.

Last King of Scotland
truly deserved the award given to Forest Witaker. I can't yet comment on the big winner of the night, The Departed, since I haven't seen it.

I hope Cuarón, del Toro and González Iñárritu have another shot at the big prizes. I'm very happy for the winners, but it feels a little bit like losing on penalties.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Immigration in Finland

I found this old article about Brett Young (whom I know personally and can vouch for his Finnish language fluency), and it got me thinking. I lived in pääkaupunkiseutu (Helsinki & Espoo) for six years, will marry a Finn this summer, have plenty of Finnish friends and speak Finnish fluently at home (with the odd partitive instead of accusative mistake, heh). I also studied engineering in Finland and pretty much became an adult there, having adapted to and adopted parts of the culture, for which I'm grateful.

However, compared with my current stay in Brussels, I noticed that the society in general hadn't truly accepted me. Whereas those closest to me treat me like "one of them", as soon as I was on my own people would be suspicious, or even downright hostile. Why? I guess because I look different. I have brown skin and dark eyes and hair, and my features are very non-descript (people usually can't guess that I was born in Mexico, at times I've been told I'm Spanish, Portuguese, Arab, Turkish and even half-Finnish half-Thai).

Even though I'm currently abroad, I plan to eventually come back to Finland to raise our children there, and in time I would like to apply for citizenship out of gratitude. However, I sometimes have my doubts about whether all the effort to integrate is worth it, since I'm afraid I'll always find somebody shouting at me "Vitun turkkilainen, mene kotiin!"

7th Matchday: Necaxa 2-4 Chivas

The holy flock visited Aguascalientes yesterday and won again away from home (which is rather relative, since being the most popular team in the country means that at most stadiums the crowd is mostly composed of their supporters). Bofo Bautista started again after mending his differences with the coach, and a hattrick from Omar Bravo and a nice goal by Ramoncito Morales sealed the scoresheet. Alberto Venado Medina also played an important part in the game.

Now I hope they play like this next Wednesday.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Men wearing suits

We attended a gala cocktail party at school last friday, so we had to look smart. My fiancée commented that many men don't know how to wear a suit properly and how to bear it (standing upright and so on), so instead of looking smart they look like lacking confidence.

So guys, my piece of advice today is to pay attention to how you walk and stand when wearing a suit. It might help you get the girl ;-).

5th Matchday: Chivas 1-1 Monterrey

This game was postponed due to the CONCACAF Champions Cup match. The game was not great, and Chivas still hasn't won at home.

Belgian Beer Review: Leffe Triple/Tripel

This is a post in the Belgian beer review series.

Another in the Leffe abbey beer family, this light amber-coloured beer has a fresh aroma and a strong flavour with more than a hint of chocolate. At 8.5% alcoholic content, it's a beer for tasting.

Mexico developed in 20 years?

Agustín Carstens, Mexican finance minister and former IMF deputy managing director, said in an interview with the FT that Mexico could follow a similar path as Ireland and Spain and become a developed country in 20 years.

I would really like to believe him, but given the current political situation and our will not to change I somehow doubt it.