Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Stockholm Syndrome

After remaining captive for 8 years, Austrian citizen Natascha Kampusch finally managed to flee the place where she lived since she was abducted by an engineer named Wolfgang Prikopil.
8 years... could be a whole life. The world is not the same after such time. How can anybody hold captive another person for eight years?
I'm not a psychologist, and my knowledge about mental medicine is very limited, but I can tell that a person that lived under such conditions for a long time obviously suffers traumas for the rest of their life. And Stockholm Syndrome is one of the effects that can be immediately noticed, as Kampusch has showed lately. She actually let know that she felt sympathy for her raptor, as she stated that he was "part of his life" after he commited suicide.
But what exactly is the Stockholm Syndrome? It is a psychological phenomenon in which a a hostage, a kidnapped individual, or any other kind of victim shows loyalty and even afectiveness for their captor, instead of showing fear. The origin of its name is a robbery committed in August, 1973, in a city named Norrmalmstorg, Sweden. The robbers held some employees of the bank captive during 5 days, and during that time, the hostages showed sympathy for their captors. They even defended them after being freed.
But Kampusch's case is not the only recent case related to this syndrome. We could also remember cases of abducted girls like Elizabeth Smart.
Do you have any deep knowledge about this strange mental state? Share it, write a message! Thanks!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Did you know that dogs can't drive?

Albert Einstein said once a phrase that I have picked as my favourite one because it says a great (and painful) truth that sometimes we reject to accept: "There are only two infinite things: universe and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former".
And although some humans make a great effort everyday to show that Einstein's theory is wrong, some others just don't know any limits for their stupidity and they just keep trying harder to be more and more dumb, like a Chinese woman surnamed Li in Hohhot, China. She apparently decided that she had enough of driving her car around the town, so it would be better to find a chaffeur to drive the vehicle. And of course she wasn't thinking of paying a high amount of money for the service, so she found out that the best idea would be to appoint for the job... HER DOG! But she would have to give the animal some training, so she decided to give it a try.
And she did. On the very first lesson, the dog only had to drive a few meters to crash the car against another unfortunate driver's car that was coming from the opposite way.
Fortunately there weren't any injuries in the crash, but when the woman was questioned about this bizarre incident, she said that her dog "was fond of crouching on the steering wheel and often watched her drive," so she decided to give the dog a chance to control the steering wheel while she operated the gas and brake pedals.
How do you like this? No further comments for this case. I think that my silence in this occasion speaks by itself.

To read the original article, click here

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Barbie can be really, really dirty sometimes...

I must confess something: I've always hated Barbie. I think that it's one of the most immoral and stupid toys ever created. She's a bad, bad influence for small girls, who think that living a life in the Barbie style is so cool. Do you know what? If I wanted to compare Barbie with a person of the real life, maybe its closest connection would be Paris Hilton. That's not something to feel very proud of.
And it seems that I'm not the only nemesis of that useless doll: a person in Brazil named Karin Scharz decided that it'd be really cool to change Barbie's way of life by picturing her trying new things... let's say, lesbian actions.
Obviously, the people at Mattel (the company that massively produces that horrible toy) are really mad about that, and they threatened to sue Scharz if such pictures aren't removed from the picture exhibition in which it's seen. But Scharz isn't really worried about it: "Barbie is exploited by Mattel, she shows her butt, her huge breasts, and she always has a boyfriend".
On the counterpart, a Mattel spokesman said that "Barbie [...] doesn't like to be pictured in a different way than she actually is. Besides, she's 46 years old and she deserves to be respected".
I never thought of Barbie in such way, but she deserves to be ashamed from time to time as well!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sorry Pluto: You're out!

The International Astronomical Union (or IAU) has decided today in Prague that Pluto shouldn't be considered as a planet anymore because of its different characteristics (it's tiny and its orbit is quite irregular as well); therefore, from now on it should be defined as a dwarf planet.
This decision ends a long controversy held during many years, to decide whether Pluto should be considered as a planet or not. According to many experts, Pluto wouldn't fit the definition of a planet since the very beginning because it's almost the same size as its satellite Charon, thus a better name for this strange phenomenon would be a "binary planet".
In my very own opinion, there's no difference in calling it a planet, a dwarf planet, or a binary planet. The fact is that it actually exists, and it will keep having its same behaviour whether they call it a planet or not. Do you think that the inhabitants in Pluto, if there were any, would be pretty concerned about how do we humans call their planet? I don't think so. I really find ridiculous that scientists waste their time discussing a merely grammatical issue. Instead, they should use their great knowledge an ability to discover new things, develop more projects, and warn us about potential threats that our planet could face in the future, shouldn't they?.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Chinese productivity

Do you use the toilets in your workplace when you're on duty? If you wanted to work for Foshan, you should give up that habit!
Foshan is a company that manufactures appliances in the province of Canton, China. Its managers decided that they should increase their efficiency by avoiding that their workers wander and lose time during the day, for which, effective immediately, it's strictly forbidden to the employees to use the toilets during working hours. Failure to regard this ridiculous rule could result in a fine as high as 5 yuans (half euro) to the employee. Also, the workshop leaders get fined with 2 yuans (20 cents of euro) for every employee that leaves their tasks to go to the toilets. The usage of the toilets is allowed only at the employees' lunch time (or any other kind of time off) and "on emergencies".
This has caused the rage of the employees, and the local government has allegedly begun an investigation on the situation.
There is no doubt that, although they do their best to deny it, Chinese authorities allow sweat shops to operate in China. For how long will the Chinese "prosperous growth" last this way?
Bye now people. Please post any comments. Thanks.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

This year's Tri Nations Series is... all black!!

The Tri Nation Series is a rugby competition which takes place every year. The only teams that take part in the series are Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
And this year, the competition was painted all black! yeah, the New Zealand "All Blacks" were successful in taking over the competition, despite of the fact that there were three rounds remaining to finish the tournament.
This is the tenth year since the first Tri Nations Series took place. It has been won 7 times (including this year's award) by New Zealand, twice by South Africa and twice by Australia.
Thus, New Zealand has been the dominant team in such event throughout its history. I want to congratulate the Kiwis for this new title, keep up the good work!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Ranking: Airlines

Oh, it's been a long time since I don't post any of my infamous rankings, but now that I had the chance to travel abroad, I realized how different is it to travel with one or another airline. Hence, I made this airline ranking, containing only the principal airlines (picking the three best and the two worst) arranged by world zone. Note that this ranking is based only in the quality of service, regardless of prices.



1. Mexicana (Mexico): Definitely, the best airline in America. The service is charming and a high quality one. The only cons it has is the short range of destinations outside Mexico and the US.
2. Northwest Ailrines (U.S.A.): Good airline. The service is pretty good, the aircrafts are very clean and the food is great. Highly recommended to travel to and from the U.S.
3. Aeromexico (Mexico): Another fine airline from Mexico, very accurate on its schedules (they're seldomly late). The quality of service is also very good, but the food is sometimes non worthy.
4. Alaska Airlines (U.S.A.): Decent airline. The service is reasonable and so is the cleanliness of its aircrafts. The food is bad, but it's compensated with its service.


1. Continental Airlines (U.S.A.): Their overall service is bad. The cleanliness of its planes could be better, and the attention is not very warm. I'd rather use other airlines, although it's not awful.
2. American Airlines (U.S.A.): Definitely, the worst airline in North America. The aircrafts are normally dirty and the in flight service is slow and bad. The food is also disgusting. Not recommended.



1. Lufthansa (Germany): I'd dare to say that they're the best airline in Europe. Good and fast service, nice food, nice hygiene. They really make an effort to make every passenger a satisfied customer.
2. Air France (France): Fine airline, they also have good cooks so the food is very decent. The seats of their airplanes are confortable and the flight attendants are kind.
3. Aer Lingus (Ireland): They're good at their job, altough from time to time they're late. But they make you feel like if you were important for them, and that counts.


1. KLM (Netherlands): Bad service. Bad food. It's not rare to find out that they're delayed, and if that wasn't enough, they use to lose luggage. The only point I find for them is that the personnel always smiles to you (at least, the on board personnel).
2. Iberia (Spain): The worst of the worst. The flight attendants seem to be always in a bad mood, the food is terrible and they also lose baggage. The cleanliness of the seats needs a very hard improvement as well.
That's it for now. I hope that this little listing may help you the next time you have to choose an airline to travel. See you now!!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Back home

Hello everyone.
As you may have noticed, I wasn't able to update the blog for a while. This because I had to travel these days, anyway I'm back and I'll look to update the blog often, as I usually do!
By the way, I want to thank all the people who has taken their time to write messages with comments and suggestions for the blog, I appreciate that and each of them is read! I hope you keep liking this page though!
See you now, people...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Some thoughts

Hi people! Firs of all, I want to thank all of you who have written messages to me. It's really pleasant to know that many of you people find interesting this blog, please keep participating! remember that this is forum to share!
Next, I want to express my sadness and concern about the recent terrorist attempts to blow several aircrafts that were to fly from the UK to the US... Thank heavens the security personnel in London was able to detect the dark purposes of those persons and that way many innocent lives were saved!
But it's really frustrating, surprising and deceiving to know that these things happen in our world, and most of the cases, this kind of acts are committed by people from Arabic countries (extremists, obviously). I mean, they argue that their acts are all made according to Quran. But is there any part in Quran that reads that you should attack other people who don't share your beliefs? Is there any writting in Quran that says that you own somebody else's life?
I'm not muslim, and I have read only little parts of Quran... but I'm sure that it must be a sacred book full of knowledge and wisdom, and I don't believe that a great religion such as Islam could be based in terrorism and crimes. I am sorry to tell that I really don't think that terrorism is written in Quran.
Then why do terrorist keep acting this way? Wouldn't they like to live in a peaceful world too, instead of trying to get rid of people? Wouldn't it be nice for them as well?
This is just a part of my thoughts. I'm pretty touched by all this topics. If you want to express something regarding this issue, please post a message and share it in the blog. Thank you!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

More deceiving facts about auctions...

This is somehow deceiving. I always thought that the goods sold through auctions had a very high intrinsic value, but today I found out that that theory is just a myth and the reality could vary greatly from it.
Jefferys is an auction house that decided to sell 21 paintings by Adolf Hitler (yeah, believe it or not, that jerk painted some stuff too!). The paintings were kept by an old woman in Belgium for several years, and recently she came to an agreement with such auction house to sell those toilet tissues... ehhr, I mean, paintings.
The most surprising fact for me is that it's not the first time that they think of this idea at that joint, the last year they auctioned a portrait of a mailman painted by the same sucker, and they collected 15,000 € for it (I'm sorry for the loser that paid for it, what a dumbass!! Hopefully they used it to fire their chimney or to clean after their dogs while jogging every morning).
I really wish that nobody buys those things. No money should be ever collected for paintings done by such a big criminal, because that's like showing sympathy for him. I would widely recommend the people at Jeffrys to flush all that junk down the toilet, and even that would hardly be a convenient place to throw those things.
See you, guys. Messages welcome!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Christie's wouldn't bid stolen goods...

... or at least, they're not supposed to do so. But they mistakenly did.
On June 22, 2006, they performed the auctions to sell nine drawings made by a Ukranian constructivist architect named Yakov Chernikhov (1889-1951), who is recognized as one of the most prominent artists following that movement.
By the time when the auction was expected to take place, Andrej Chernikhov, one of the architect's grandchildren, decided (just by curiosity) to check out in Internet the catalogue of the drawings that were to be sold by Christie's. And what he discovered was really surprising: he had doubts about the authenticity of six of them, which he communicated to Christie's. They decided to proceed with the auction, collecting about 49,000 € for the nine drawings.
But they were forced to cancel such operation, as it was later discovered that such drawings were actually stolen from the Literature and Arts File of Russia. According to the Russian Authorities, those works are various million Euros worth. All of them were returned to Russia.
This is a wicked story, isn't it? The only doubt I have about it is where did Christies obtain that stuff from? Something smells fishy here.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Need a fast transportation? Why don't you buy your own jet?

It appears that the cheap flying era is approaching fast to us; someday people won't park cars inside their garages, but they'll park jets.
We're nearing that point. According to an article found in Sympatico/MSN Homepage, Honda, the Japanese motor company, is decided to be the pioneer in this new market segment. Jointly with the aircraft manufacturer Piper, they're studying the possibility of launching to the market a prototype jet named HondaJet, the first low-price aircraft of its type.
The estimated price of such product has not been announced, however it is expected to be an affordable one. Other doubts remaining in the air for now are the technical specs of such vessel (speed, range limit, gas consumption, etc).
Anyway, such product could really change the aeronautical history, as having an own jet for some people could not be a far dream to reach anymore.
To read the original article, click here.

Monday, August 07, 2006

B.C. Day

Today is a national holiday in most Canadian provinces, being celebrated in the British Columbia the B.C. Day (because the name varies from province to province, for example, in Saskatchewan it is known as "Saskatchewan Day" and in Alberta "Heritage Day", just to mention some). For this reason, yesterday there were many events that took part in the city of Victoria, the provincial capital city. During the day, some acrobatic tricks performed by airplanes at Willows Beach, and during the evening, an orchestra played some classical music, starting with the national anthem, and finishing with the overture 1812 by Tchaikovsky, accompanyied by some cannons and fireworks.
I would really like to let the BC authorities know that the organization was a real success, and that I (and I think, all of the people that were there tonight) had a great and unforgettable time...
Happy holiday to all the provinces in Canada that are celebrating something today!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

U r fired. Thx 4 ur time :)

Hi people. I read a very strange note today in Yahoo, which I found really bizarre and which, somehow, depicts the reality that the modern human civilization is living at the beginning of this 21st century.
A person named Katy Tanner, 21, failed to show up at her workplace, a store in England named Blue Banana, which offers piercings and jewellery. This because she was allegedly suffering a migraine that wouldn't let her work that day.
Suddenly she received an SMS message in her cell phone, which said "We will not require your services anymore...Thank you for your time with us".
And this, obviously, has generated a big dilemma: Is this an ethical way to tell employees that they're fired?
There are some different thoughts for this issue. The first one, Ms. Tanner's idea is that it's not an acceptable manner. She argues that "I don't think it's right to just text someone. At least they should have talked to me face to face; [...] you're not allowed to text in sick, you have to phone. The fact that they texted me is a bit of double standards".
On the other hand, Blue Banana's managers have a different point of view, claiming that they tried to contact their employee five or six times by phone, having no results. By then they decided to send such an SMS message; however, they argue that their business is a youth orientated one and all of their employees (many of them aged below 21) are so familiar with SMS messaging that it could be considered one of their main means of communication.
If you ask me, I agree with Katy. Although it's a fact that SMS messaging is very popular to communicate with other people, especially among the young population, it's also true that firing a person from their job this way is pretty informal. I mean, who'd like to be informed of such an important situation without even being able to ask: "Why?" As Katy argues in her statement, "they should talk to you face to face".
What do you think about this topic? Please post your messages and let me know... see you!
To read the original note in Yahoo, click here.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Once again, Mr. Gibson... you're drunk, and you're definitely a jerk

Mel Gibson was arrested for driving drunk, and that's not really news... but what is really news is that he's obviously a shame for Hollywood and the whole society.
I must admit that I'm really mad to this guy, especially because of his antisemitic comments while he was drunk. He obviously apologized later for those comments. But in the place where I come from, they say that there are two only types of person that always tell the truth: children, and drunks. And I believe that those are his true thoughts, especially when I consider that one of his "master" movies, The passion of the Christ, is all about blaming the Jews for Jesus' death... a very antisemitic way to teach the Bible to the people, isn't it Mel? Well, I have news for you: the christian bible also teaches to love other people; and that obviously demonstrates that you're not as good christian as you say to be. But I'm sure it's not all your fault, those are the ideologies that your father taught you since you were a youngster, as he is convinced that the holocaust against the Jews in Eastern Europe is "mostly fiction", right?
One thing I have to recognize: Mr. Gibson has starred and produced some masterpieces of the movies history. For example, who could ever forget Braveheart? But, I have to say that even his best movies don't give him the right to do such dirty comments.
I understand that Gibson's new movie, called Apocalypto (or something like that) will arrive to the movie theatres next fall or winter... the main topic of this movie is the end of the Mayan civilization (which, being aware of Gibson's ideology, is occasionated by the Jews for sure). I really recommend you not to watch such movie, let's not support an individual who disrespects other religions and his own beliefs too. It's time to show Mr. Gibson to respect other folks and cultures, no matter if he's drunk or not.
By the way, what's the matter with his new look?? I think that this fellow reached a new low in his career and in his whole life.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

New power usage record!

This is a record not worth to be proud of. The Canadian province of Ontario reached a high electricity consumption of 26,854 megawatts, which drove the authorities to issue a "power warning" to the local population: such high consumption could lead to possible blackouts that will affect the whole province, including of course the main cities (Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Thunder Bay).
To avoid cuts on the energy supply, the local authorities asked the citizens to take some easy steps, such as turning off appliances that aren't strictly necessary; also they asked to use microwave ovens instead of conventional ones and to hang wet clothes instead of using the dryer machines. But what's the reason for which the power consumption increased so much in the past days? The answer is very simple: this summer is one of the hottest ever, especially for the eastern regions in Canada and the US, which leads to the continuous usage of air condition and fans. If we add to that a higher consumption of electricity for fridges, for example, we obtain that the demand of electricity boosts dramatically. And that's exactly what's happening there.
So if you live in Ontario, be aware of this situation and try to save some energy. Be patient, as cooler days are already approaching.