Saturday, September 30, 2006

Mr. Stephen Harper, that was great!

The Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, is a controversial politician: some people love him, some others don't. That's the cost of being involved in politics.
I must say that I don't have any preference about him, but I read an article published by The Globe and Mail (one of the most important newspapers in Canada) that shows that this PM is clever.
The article, titled "PM Blocks Lebanon Resolution"(click to read it) recognizes that Mr. Harper blocked a resolution that was to be taken by a summit of Frech-speaking countries in Bucharest (sometimes referred as La Francophonie), which recognized only the Lebanese suffering during the conflict that took place this summer in the Israeli-Lebanese border area. Canada's attitude was only backed by Switzerland, while Jacques Chirac said that the resolution was hit by the Canadian "hostility". Of course, the Arabic countries didn't see Mr. Harper's behaviour with any sympathy.
However, the Canadian PM's reasoning was the most correct: "I hope we can all recognize human suffering of men and women, all of the suffering".
I think that he's absolutely right. Why would only the suffering in the Lebanese side be recognized? This conflict was between two countries (and, let's not forget that the Lebanese Hebzollah was the first to attack!), and as such, there were casualties, injuries and tragedies in both sides. It's just not appropriate to emit an international resolution that doesn't take those basic issues into account, and which even depicts the offended party as evil, while the offender side remains the victim.
I send my greetings to Mr. Harper for this clever action, shall it serve as a good example of international neutrality to other leaders that just don't know what diplomacy is all about.

Long life to Canada!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Youth of the nation, in the south again, and reloaded... what will YOU do?

There is no doubt: The disease is spreading. The lack of social and moral values in the North American societies, especially in the U.S., is showing its effects.
A few days ago I wrote a post regarding the shooting registered in a school in Montreal, Canada, where a 18 years old student was killed, and nearly 20 other people were wounded (click here to read the post). Now the dramatic scenario returns to the U.S., and more specifically, it returns to Colorado, a state that has testified school massacres in several occasions (remember de massacre at Columbine, in 1999?). But now the panorama was a little different than (sadly) usual: Instead of being a student the one who opens fire against their fellow pupils, it was a 53 year old criminal named Duane Morrison who did. The result was catastrophic: He took six girls as hostages, killed one, sexually abused another, and he finally shot himself in the head. Unfortunately, the intervention of SWAT forces wasn't enough to avoid the tragedy at Platte Canyon High School .
And believe me, these shootings in schools aren't just coincidences. They arise from BIG social problems. The American youth and the entire American society has lost the most fundamental human principles and gifts that we've got: the family isn't important anymore, the spirit of helping other people has been forgotten, and the social responsibility of educating and protecting the youth remained in the past. Well, the pathetic results can be seen more and more often.
Maybe trying to change the attitude of a whole country towards issues that seem to be so antique and obsolete is difficult, but one of the greatest thinkers in the human history, Confucius, said: "The longest trip begins with the first step". And that first step is yourself. Each of us can start by trying to change ourselves. Perhaps in the long term, such change will save the lives of many persons, don't you think?
Photo by AP

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Six Flags Great America, you reached the lowest of the low so far!

Believe me when I'm telling you that, when you thought that you've seen the lowest of the world, you should maybe be prepared to find a new low. And Six Flags Great America, located in Chicago, Illinois, has reached a new bizarre, disgusting, grotesque and vulgar low. The reason? their October special: they'll grant a person and three friends unlimited access to the park throughout 2007, VIP status during their visits (this means, avoiding the lines of specific attractions) and plenty of Six Flags promotional goodies. Sounds great, but you may be wondering: "all that, in exchange of what?"
That's the sad part. All those prizes will go to the person who is able to eat the highest amount of live hissing Madagascar cockroaches (like the one in the picture on the right) during a contest that will take place in such amusement park the 13th October, at 7:00 pm.
If you ask me, these types of offerings are more likely to drive away customers rather than appealing them.
Want to get more information about this pathetic offer? click here to get redirected to Six Flags Great America's web page regarding this issue.
Goodbye now.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Gettin' cold in autumn?

Autumn has officially started in our beloved northern hemisphere, and with it, the spreading of common cold too. I'm sorry to be one of the first people that get the illness so quickly in this season.
However, there's no reason to feel bad for it after all. The common cold is a sickness that affects to almost every individual from time to time; while being sick, the person experiences all kind of undesirable symptoms such as throat irritation, sneezing, nasal flux... in more severe cases, some cough can be experienced as well.
As a curious fact, every person develops immunity against the specific type of bacterion that caused the cold; nonetheless, the amount of different bacteria related to cold is so huge, that such protection becomes quite useless, and we keep getting sick. Just remember that cold is not a joke, and it is necessary to take some measures to get fully cured of it, otherwise you're exposing yourself to make the illness even worse.
So, if you live in the northern hemisphere of this world and in your specific location it's starting to become a little chilly, use a sweater, eat food rich in vitamin C, and avoid contact with infected people. If you're lucky, you'll avoid a pair of unconfortable weeks that way!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

How does it feel to have a new look, Confucius?

Perhaps one of the greatest thinkers throughout Chinese (and world) history, Confucius (551-479 BC) would be very happy to know in these days that, exactly 2,557 years after his birth, his Chinese fellows decided to choose for him an "official face".
Apparently, some Chinese nationals were too concerned about a lack of an internationally recognized face for the most prominent Chinese citizen of all times. But what was the criteria used to select an "official face"?
Most of the description was based on a portrait painted by Wu Daozi during the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD -more than a thousand years after Confucius death!), but some other elements were added according to details provided by history experts, artists and other people involved.
What was the final result? well, the official face of Confucius, from now on, is somewhat like this:

I don't know if the real Confucius looked like this design or not. But what I can tell is that I find this project both interesting and useless. Trying to figure out how did Confucius look like is not really relevant for our times, what is relevant of his person is the legacy that he left for the Chinese folk and, in general, for mankind. However, many people are satisfied with the results of the project and, at the end of the day, choosing an official face for Confucius wouldn't hurt anybody... except for Confucius himself, if he didn't like his new look!

Photo by Reuters

Thursday, September 21, 2006

September 21, Independence Day

I'd like to send my greetings to the following countries, which are celebrating their respective independence days on this date:

Malta (1964, from the United Kingdom)

Belize (1981, from the United Kingdom)

Armenia (1991, from the extinct USSR)

It's curious to know that three different countries reached their respective independences on the same day, but different years. To what do we owe this strange coincidence? Is it that September 21 is a date that inspires sovereignity and indepentence spirit?


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It's a slug!!! No, it's a banana!!! No, it's a... bison???!!!

For some strange reason, the sports teams based in the city of Buffalo, NY, tend to use a bison as their mascots, although the bison is an animal that has nothing to do with the team's original names (except in the case of the local baseball team, the Buffalo Bisons). The two biggest teams in the city, the Buffalo Bills, one of the most important in the NFL, and the Buffalo Sabres, playing in the NHL, use bisons as mascots.
As a follower of both teams (the Bills and the Sabres), I find it very cool to have a common mascot for the different teams in the city. What I don't find cool, is to change a great logo of any team for a drawing that looks horrible, and that breaks the image that the fans see as an important part of the link that connects a sports team with them.
Let's be clear about this. Do you remember the logo that the Buffalo Sabres used in their uniforms? If you don't, the following picture will give you the idea:

What a great design. I'd really want to congratulate to whoever made it. This logo was cool. It inspired respect to the opposing teams, and pride to the fans. However, the team's managers decided that it was time to give the team a new look, which is ok. But by changing the look, we thought that they'd be worried to create a cool image for the team and its fans. It's totally unacceptable to change the (great) former logo for something like this:

Can you explain me what's that? A slug? Or maybe a banana? I'm Sorry to tell, Sabres' fans, that it's the new logo that the team will be using from now on. One of the worst designs I've ever seen, by the way. It's not surprising to know that some fans out there have already gathered around 30,000 signatures to ask the team to take back the old logo. I'd sign such petition as well, if I knew where it is right now. Do you know what? I don't like a banana to be the mascot of one of my favourite teams at all!

Two thumbs down for the Buffalo Sabres' new logo!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Annoyed of public transportation during rush hours? Read this...

In some cities of the world, traveling to the school or workplace in public transportation is horrible. Sometimes, the wagons of the subway and the public buses are so full, that the simple sight of the scene would discourage anyone from boarding one of those vehicles.
There are occasions in which people have no option but to travel in this kind of transport because their final destination is really far away. This is acceptable.
What is not acceptable are those who board public transportation to travel short distances, when they could be easily able to walk. While boarding a public bus today, I noticed that there were several people that did so.
It makes me think of some interesting questions: When did people lose the habit of walking? Why have people become so lazy to do basic physical activities, such as walking?
I must say that walking is not only healthy, but it's a joyful activity. Who'd like to waste a great opportunity to breathe the fresh air in the outdoors, by taking a (sometimes stinky) bus or subway wagon full of passengers, just to avoid walking six or seven blocks?
If you're one of those people who miss the chance to enjoy the great outdoors in the morning and your school or workplace is close enough to take a walk, try to change your routine. You'll love it, and you'll help to save some space in public transport for those who really need it! ;)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

More ridiculous businesses for dogs

More business for dogs. How far can the stupidity of some can go?
While navigating through the web, I found a page named (click here to go there), which happens to be a company dedicated to the confection of fancy dog clothing (like suits and tuxedos).
Believe me, such articles are useless for dogs, and worst of all, it's not even comfortable for them to wear clothing. They don't even appreciate it, it's just against their nature. I wonder how much materials are wasted in this ridiculous activity. Can you imagine how many useful human clothes would some companies be able to produce with such materials?
It's just deceiving. I have no more words for those bizarre companies. My advise to them: Use your time, vision, intelligence and strength to found businesses committed to developing our civilization in a sustainable way, not to fill our world with more stupid and useless stuff.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Youth of the nation, now to the north...

Some months ago, I published an article entitled "Youth of the nation" (click on the title to read it) in which, remembering the 7th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School, I criticized the lack of moral and social values that the modern youth is experiencing because of a partial isolation of their parents, or a lack of interest of the family on its children.
I wouldn't expect that such situation would be solved in a few years. And in fact, it hadn't changed much since 1999, when two armed students entered the mentioned High School and finished with the lives of 15 fellow students (making it one of the most -but not the only one- tragic chapters in the U.S. high schools' history). I would even say that the situation is worse, and its spreading beyond the U.S. borders.
This time, it was in the neighbouring Canada where the disease showed its symptoms. Yesterday, at Dawson College, in Montreal, a 25 year old student wearing black clothes and using a mohawk haircut (which, in my own personal view, bears a lot of resemblance with Travis Bickle, the vile hero-villain in Martin Scorsese's movie Taxi Driver) brought in three guns, with which he shot randomly inside the school. The result: a 18 year old girl dead, and 19 more injured. According to some sources, the gunman, named Kimveer Gill, shot over 20 bullets, and he finally shot himself in the head, dying instantly.
Can this be considered as an isolated event? Is the lack of moral values also affecting Canada?
Those are questions for which an immediate answer cannot be provided. But this kind of massacres should make us to think about the big moral and social value gap that some societies, especially in highly developed (and liberal) countries, are experiencing, and which is taking effect in individuals at very early ages.

Photo by AP

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Would you bite the hand that feeds you? A.B. Quintanilla did!

A.B. Quintanilla is a singer from the U.S., who has made his career focused mainly in latin music, especially cumbia and Tex Mex (genre of which his sister, Selena Quintanilla, is still considered one of the greatest icons).
But it seems that his fame has affected him badly. In an awkward, deceiving, sad and strange incident, he said in a video some words that would not only hurt his main audience's feelings (considering that most of its audience is composed by Mexicans or people from Mexican ascent), but it'd also make angry people that didn't even know that this person exist.
Here's the textual speech that he said in that video (inappropiate language censored!):
"N*ggers can get shot in Mexico city, for f*cking sleeping on the floor. I'm affraid even to thow myself on the floor, they're getting ready frogging jump in, they're right behind me, they're right behind us. Don't even look at them 'cause they f*cking frogging jump... They're... get out of here (from the U.S.A.). Yeah!, you better get out of here you...f*cking mexicans!"
How do you like such words? Apart from the precarious English, I just can't understand how can some singers and musicians insult their own fans and thinking that their actions won't have any consequences.
Please don't buy any material recorded by this sucker, I find him too racist and dumb. And A.B., I recommend you to not travel to Mexico City, 'cause the welcoming there won't be very charming for you (although you know that you have Mexican roots). Also, they can f*cking frogging jump at you, and believe me, you won't like it!

Monday, September 11, 2006


Sometimes, it's not necessary to say any words to express the feelings. Five years after, the world is still shocked. Let's not forget what happened that day.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Another one steps off the courts...

Only a few days after Andre Agassi decided to retire from the professional tennis, which marked the end of an era and the beginning of a legend, another master of the tennis courts decides to step off the professional courts to become a living legend of sports: Martina Navratilova, who occupied the number one position in the tennis rankings for several occasions during her career.
Regarded by some as the most prolific female tennis player of all times, it is actually the second time that this American (Czech born) player retires from professional tennis: the first time was in 1994, when she decided to leave the tennis courts after losing the Wimbledon final against Conchita Martinez. Navratilova has been a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame since year 2000, year in which she returned to the professional activity but to focus mainly in doubles tournaments, and she appeared seldomly in singles since then.
But this time, after winning the U.S. Open doubles tournament at age 49 (some days shy of turning 50) she is definitely retiring from all professional tennis games.
No other player in tennis history has won more titles than she did: 167 top level singles , and 177 doubles (including all four Grand Slams in several occasions for both game modes).
Bye, Martina! Best wishes for your future projects!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Cuban... I mean, Venezuelan democracy

Clearly inspired in ideas manufactured in either China, Cuba, North Korea or Iraq during Saddam's regime, Hugo Chavez decided that, starting from 2007 (if he wins the Venezuelan elections that are to take place next December), he'll modify the Constitution to establish a single party political system, with unlimited number of reelections for the acting president (this means, for himself).
And believe me, it's almost sure that he'll win those presidential elections in the same fraudulent way he did last time, when Venezuelan voted against him during a referendum (but the voting machines recorded the votes against Chavez as votes for him). What's next? Is Venezuela becoming the next Cuba, now that the world is wondering what will happen in Cuba once that Fidel's rule ends?
What is evident is that the Venezuelan president is becoming more and more sick of power every day, and the populist fantasies that he sells to the poor people in Venezuela keep having an intense effect, even when, after eight years ruling that country, the amount of poor people in Venezuela has increased drastically.
So the question is not only what will happen in Cuba after Fidel Castro's rule, but now it's time to start thinking about what's next for Venezuela after Chavez wins the elections. Any ideas? Please write a message!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A word about your comments

Hi folks!,
In the last few days I've received many messages greeting me for the quality of the blog. I thank all the people who had taken their time to write all those thoughts! Believe me that I'm very pleased to know that you find valuable things in my blog, I hope to be able to keep it that way!
I'd like to speak about a specific message that I received. Some days ago, I wrote a text in this blog called "More deceiving facts about auctions..." (click on the name to read the article), for which I received a message saying that maybe the old lady selling the paintings to the Jefferys auction house could be in fact a jewish old lady needing money to survive. I would say the following: It is possible that the old woman was having a hard financial time and thus she decided to sell those paintings, it is also possible that such action would maybe let survive a the person. The only thing that I don't find really possible is that such woman is jewish, I personally don't think that any jewish person would like to keep paintings made by an individual who committed his life in exterminating the jewish folk from Earth (with which, of course, I'm not implying that it's not possible at all, but it's not very likely to be, in my opinion). I want to thank this person for submitting such opinion, I really found it very interesting!
Thanks again for your support and interest, keep visiting this web site anytime!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The next economic power? Think about this...

The Chinese exportations of counterfeit products is growing every day. As a proof of that, there's an article found today in some American mass media, where they say that the police confiscated in Tucson, Arizona, some shipping containers loaded with 135,000 pairs of fake Nike shoes, which represent a retail value of approximately 16 million U.S. dollars. And although the shipment was coming from Mexico, all of the shoes were made in China.
After reading such note, I really took some time to think about this: Should we believe that China must be considered the next economic power? Maybe yes, but after becoming a powerful country (financially speaking, of course), the question would be: For how long will China be an economic power?.
I feel realistic in saying that China will be an international ruler for as long as the world keeps accepting imports from China, mainly containing counterfeit products manufactured in sweat shops, which the Chinese authorities and some companies that produce articles in China keep denying although everybody knows that they actually exist. For how long will the Chinese workers accept infrahuman labor conditions, in which sometimes they can't enjoy even a single day of the week to have some rest and in which the daily payment for their work is slightly enough to buy a plate of rice? For how long will the Chinese companies agree to settle their businesses under the rule of a corrupt regime? For how long would such companies apply dumping policies (selling to a price that does not cover the cost of the article) to set the prices for their products?
I'd say that, although China is the most populous country in the world, it's way too far to become a lasting economic power. The issues I mentioned before, along with some other political and social problems that such nation faces right now, are like a time bomb that could explode at any time.
Another issue that I find really annoying is the freedom with which Chinese companies produce counterfeit articles, violating all kinds of patents and copyrights under the protection of the Chinese government. How can this be possible? Why are they free to massively produce goods that violate international laws and rules, and which sometimes don't even fulfill the minimum safety regulations for an appropiate human use (but they're still sold in the market)?
The message that the Chinese companies send to all the regions in the world is very clear and simple: "We don't care about your rules and patents, and we don't care about you".
After reviewing all these simple points, I urge the international communities to find a solution for this phenomenon, to keep fair market rules in which every competitor can have the same opportunities and in which the consumers can be able to find original, good quality products to use safely and with confidence.
What's you opinion on this controversial topic? Please post any messages. See you!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Animal Planet mourning

Bad news are also news. It's a pitty that it's not always possible to spread the word only about good news, an this one is both shocking and sad.
Do you remember about Steve Irwin? Probably not, but maybe you'd better remember him as the "Crocodile Hunter", one of the most famous hosts in Animal Planet channel, well known for interacting with pretty dangerous animals such as crocodiles, lizards and snakes. Well, he died today, at age 44, during a scuba diving expedition in Low Island, Australia, after being attacked by a stingray while preparing some material for the TV series "Great Barrier Reef". Rescue services were sent from mainland Australia flying in a chopper, but for when they arrived, the Crocodile Hunter was already dead.
Irwin was also an owner of a zoo, and he created a foundation for the preservation of wild species.
A big loss for the animal research and preservation communities, and for the documentary TV industry as well. May he rest in peace.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Goodbye, Andre! We'll miss a master!

It is the end of a wonderful sports career, in which he won all the imaginable tournaments for his specialty: each of the Grand Slam titles, Masters, Davis Cup... and even an Olympic gold medal. Those are Andre Agassi's achievements.
This extraordinary American tennis player decided to end his career today, after playing a third round match of the US Open and losing it against Benjamin Becker. But believe me that this slip up means nothing, compared with the long and successfull 21 year career that this player developped in tennis, in which he was ranked as number 1 in the world for a quite long time.
But all of these memories are now part of history. There's no doubt that Agassi is now a living legend of tennis, and as such, he left a deep trace in this sport's history.
Thank you, Andre! Best luck in your future projects!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Mexico: Cheer the accurate information!

Some time ago, I posted an article named "After 4 days, Mexico knows who'll be the next President" (click here to read the entire article), in which I criticized the attitude taken by the left wing (and losing) candidate Lopez Obrador, by not accepting the official results of the presidential elections in that country. It is very sad to say that the situation in Mexico hasn't had any improvement at this time, and I'd even say that things are worse. It seems that this person tries to be president by force, and he has lately brought people to the streets to perform permanent civil demonstrations in which they claim that there was a fraud in the elections, and that he's the real winner (even when the Court has ratified the official results), having no respect for the people living in Mexico City who have to pass long hours to commute from their homes to their work places and they're even afraid to be in the surrounding streets.
But fortunately, it seems that to the international press' eyes, his pantomime is not having other effects than to know that this rebel is a fool and a false Messiah who tries to have power by any necessary means, even by force. I'd like to cheer many international informers for spreading the word about the unfair situation to which he's leading Mexico (with the help of his supporters, of course). One of them is the San Diego Tribune, who published a note regarding this topic. Its title is "Lopez Obrador's actions only hurt Mexico" (click here to read it, believe me it's worth). It strongly criticizes the left wing candidate by saying that "those kinds of tactics (launching people to build tents to block the streets and to make them live there) don't make friends. In this case, they seem to have cost the candidate some support in his own party". Which is most ridiculous, and this article emphasizes well, is that "most pathetically of all, and here is where we get into the stuff of reality shows, he has also threatened to set up a kind of parallel, shadow government to rule from the streets of Mexico City with possibly the support of thousands".
Another newspaper that deserves to be praised is the Spanish ABC, which published in recent days a note named "El golpismo cívico de López Obrador" (Lopez Obrador's Civic Coup d'état mentality). Such text says that "his (Lopez Obrador's) attitude has reached intolerable limits" for trying to ignore the actual government and legitimacy of the elected president. As they write, "in this consists more or less a coup d'état, whether it's made by the force of weapons or by blocking streets in a 'civic' mode, as he has been doing through his followers for more than a month". Also, they emphasize that his threats to "make unmanageable the next presidential cycle" only show his sickness for power.
The article I mention before is really worth to read, you can read it online if you wish by clicking here (this version is in Spanish).
Thanks for all the international newspapers and mass media that inform properly about the presidential results in Mexico, and that find in Lopez Obrador an insane person that is only provoking the ruin of that country.