Friday, October 17, 2008
Burn After Reading, is, on the other hand, brilliantly cast and scripted. Even if it's not their best film, it's definitely one of their best comedies, and has some true genious moments. The impressive cast performs wonderfully, even if all roles are not exactly flattering. "Intelligence is Relative", the film's tagline, can be applied to everyone in the movie, and especially to CIA spooks. Don't miss it!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Demonstrators protest the proposed 700 billion USD Wall Street bail-out in front of the New York Stock Exchange in the Financial District in New York on September 25, 2008. In response to the global financial crisis, protesters, from a variety of activist groups, denounced the capitalist system, Wall Street and the administration of US President George W, Bush. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas ROBERTS
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
Where do I want to go in 2008: a long holiday in Mexico and Japan, a long weekend in Rome,the compusolry yearly visit to Paris, London and Brussels and (provided we still have time and money) Brazil to kiss the year goodbye.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Sorry for the crappy photo. It's late and I took it with my mobile phone. Yes, I am that lazy.
Pablo, this one is for you, I think you'll like it: All thhe applications you saw on the iPhone (Google maps, a decent e-mail client, Weather and about a hundred more you have never seen) all in your iPod Touch. Now I really love this little thing.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
The seminar itself has so far being useful and interesting. Nice colleagues and good speakers, including people at very high level (I´ve just had dinner with three people just below the CEO). The best of all is the confirmation that there is a rigurous appraisal process, something I have never had for some reason or other, which means that if everuthing goes well, I only depend on the quality of my work to move up in this organization. I like that.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
People who know me a little bit know I'm crazy about electronics. I love having the latest technology, especially if it mixes good design with new ideas. I'vve never wrote anything about my shiny new toys, even tough I often though about it, especially whan I bought my digital SLR, later when I replaced my old SonyEricsson T610 with the excellent W810 (and missed, I lost it a mere six months later, and the one that replaced it in my pocket, despite being skinnier than a model on a diet, is not à la hauteur) and finally, when I finally persuaded my girlfriend to accept a new TV at home. But now I just can't resist it anymore. (Don't panic, I'm not going to review it, for that you can read better blogs than this one)
The Touch is a true Apple product: beautiful, easy to use and with features that every other Personal Media Player (MP3 player is so yesterday) will have in the near future. This one has a gorgeous 3.5" screesn that is good enough to watch movies, an amazin interface that lets you flick through your albums as if you were in a record store looking for that vinyl, a full-featured web browser that turns mobile internet into something that is actually useful and wi-fi capabilities tha let you donwload your misuc directly from iTunes without having your computer next to you. Now, if it also had a camera and a mobile phone it would be perfect, the fulfilment of my dream of integrating all the gadgets I use into a single one. But that would be the iPhone, which is not available yet here. Ok, I know I could get hold of one in the US, but for that one I think I'll wait until an updated version is lauched.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
A collection of apologies, read here.
I want to make it clear that everything you've heard and read is true.(1) I can also no longer deny to myself that there are issues I obviously need to examine within my own soul, and I've asked for help.(2) So if you're so thin-skinned that you took offense to a slip of the tongue that I had, then I offer my apology. I am, am sorry that you were offended.(3)
We admit that several members of our organization allowed an internal power struggle to cloud good judgment.(4) We should have done better.(5) I sincerely apologize and hope people realize that conversations can be easily manipulated in print.(6) And I don't care that he's black or green or purple or whatever.(7)
I failed.(8) I acknowledge that mistakes were made here.(9) I'm not a bad person. I'm a good person, but I said a bad thing.(10) I am not a bigot.(11) I never want to be portrayed as a guy who loses his cool.(12) That was a very intemperate remark made in the heat of the day yesterday in a very misguided attempt to defend my boss.(13) When I called him "Pruneface," it was campaign rhetoric.(14) I certainly would never intend to use the offensive word in its technical sense, and I would not and could not under any circumstances question the parentage of your son, our current governor.(15) Our trust has been broken, and only love can rebuild it.(16)
I probably should have waited a while before I scratch myself and spit.(17) I apologize, but I don't think I had the gay vote, anyway.(18) I certainly hope that no one was harmed or died.(19)
It is a shame that the metaphor I used was taken so radically out of context and slung about irresponsibly by the media.(20) I regret if my comment was misconstrued.(21) He didn't deserve to be whacked around like that, and I'll be the first to apologize to him for that. But he doesn't deserve to be a folk hero either.(22) If there were occasions when my grape turned into a raisin and my joy bell lost its resonance, please forgive me.(23) Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling.(24) It is with a heavy heart that I apologize this morning to Aunt Jemima.(25)
I did not view it as racial.(26) It's not an ethnic slur. You don't make an ethnic slur before several hundred people.(27) I grew up side by side with black people. Many are my dear friends.(28) As a Latino, I myself am offended.(29)
I can flap my lips all I want. Talk is cheap.(30) If we are deemed responsible for the accidents, that is another matter. However, there are maybe outside causes that had caused the accidents.(31)
There were a lot of human factors.(32) I grew up in a different era, and people said things then that are not acceptable today.(33) I suffered from an illness and I was sick.(34) I wanted to win so bad for my kids and my family, and I apologize to anyone who was inconvenienced.(35) I've lived in a state of constant fear and anxiety.(36) Dealing with being gay, while continuing to meet my public obligations, created tremendous internal pressures.(37) My days are incredible, you know: work, politics, troubles, moving around, public exams that never end, a life under constant pressure.(38) I have become so numb to the horrific things that happen in this world that I sometimes forget that there are still people who feel.(39) I shouldn't have labeled Mike as a "gay prostitute" or "male prostitute."(40)
We're sorry if this joke, which got a lot of laughs, offended anyone.(41) We have listened.(42) As you all know, I'm a satirical person.(43) In the course of the show, split-second judgment is made over ad libs.(44) Unfortunately, the need to babble as often as I do sometimes leads to unintended and unfortunate results.(45) It's three in the morning and the caffeine gets to us.(46) We've never had any type of complaint.(47)
I apologize to whoever I need to apologize to.(48) I apologize that some people don't have a sense of humor like I do.(49) I was trying to be the bigger man, but he was acting childish.(50) I said I'm sorry. What else can I say? I've lied and I admitted it. Life goes on.(51) I'm sure that I'm supposed to act all sorry or sad or guilty now that I've accepted that I've done something wrong. But you see, I'm just not built that way.(52) What do you want me to do? Go over and kiss the camera? What do you want me to do?(53)
1. Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco re his affair with the wife of his former campaign manager, 2007.
2. Isaiah Washington, a star of "Grey's Anatomy," re an anti-gay slur about his co-star T.R. Knight 2007.
3. Scott James, a Fox News Radio 600 KCOL host, re his on-air remarks equating homosexuals with child molesters, 2007.
4. The president of the Fayetteville (N.C.) Woman's Club re its rejection of a woman who would have been its first black member, 2007.
5. David Neeleman, the chief executive and founder of Jet Blue re the hundreds of passengers stranded at Kennedy Airport during an ice storm, 2007.
6. The actress Sienna Miller re anti-Pittsburgh remarks she made in Rolling Stone, 2006.
7. Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, re accusing Barry Bonds of using steroids and cheating on his wife and taxes, 2007.
8. Major General George W. Weightman re the uncleanliness of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 2007.
9. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales re the dismissal of United States attorneys, 2007.
10. Don Imus re racist comments he made about the Rutgers women's basketball team, 2007.
11. Mel Gibson re his anti-Semitic remarks to a law enforcement officer, 2007.
12. Cleveland Cavaliers guard Damon Jones re an outburst during a game, 2006.
13. Representative Daniel Crane's press secretary, William Mencarow, re saying, "If they required the resignation of all congressmen who have slept with young ladies, you wouldn't have a Congress," 1983.
14. Mayor Coleman Young of Detroit re Ronald Reagan, 1980.
15. Justin Dart, a Republican Party donor, to Pat Brown, the former California governor and father of Gov. Jerry Brown, 1982.
16. The president of Wikia re a Wikipedia editor who lied about his credentials, 2007.
17. Roseanne Barr, after singing the national anthem at a San Diego Padres game, 1990.
18. Louie Welch, a Houston mayoral candidate, re saying that one way to stop AIDS is to "shoot all the queers," 1985.
19. Mary Ann Thode, the president of Kaiser's Northern California region, re patients' complaints about Kaiser's kidney transplant program, 2006.
20. Johnny Depp re saying in Stern magazine that America is "a dumb puppy that has big teeth that can bite and hurt you," 2003.
21. Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., the White House budget director, re inflammatory remarks made about Sept. 11 victim compensation, 2002.
22. Daryl Gates, the Los Angeles police chief, re the beating of Rodney King, 1991.
23. The Reverend Jesse Jackson, to the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, re comments about Jews, 1984.
24. Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, admitting to having used escort services, 2007.
25. John Sylvester, a radio host in Madison, Wisconsin, re his comparing of Condoleezza Rice to Aunt Jemima, 2004.
26. Mary Horning, an Atglen, Pennsylvania, teacher, re having the two black students in her first-grade class portray slaves on an auction block, 1993.
27. Governor Guy Hunt of Alabama re saying he'd "never tried to Jew" a peach farmer, 1987.
28. Bob Crumpler, a Newport News, Virginia, car dealer, re being videotaped calling a black worker a "nigger," 1996.
29. Peter Dolara, an American Airlines senior vice president, re the airline's insensitive pilot training guide for Latin America, 1997.
30. Neeleman of Jet Blue.
31. Masatoshi Ono, Bridgestone/Firestone chief executive, re accidents attributed to his company's faulty automobile tires, 2000.
32. Former Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall re his $326 million worth of financial misdeeds, 1997.
33. Dan Peavy, a Dallas school board member, re his repeated use of racial epithets, 1995.
34. Francis X. Vitale, a former executive of the Englehard Corp., re-embezzling $12.5 million from his company, 1998.
35. Elecia Battle of Cleveland re claiming to have lost her $162 million winning lottery ticket, 2004.
36. Andrew Speaker, an Atlanta lawyer, re traveling on a plane when he knew he was tubercular, 2007.
37. Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, re Stephen L. Gobie, who ran a prostitution business out of Frank's Washington apartment, 1989.
38. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy to his wife re his flirtations with other women, 2007.
39. Marconi, a radio host in Portland, Oregon, re playing a tape of a beheading in Iraq and laughing about it, 2004.
40. Karen Booth, a leader of the Transforming Congregations ministry, re Mike Jones, who outed Ted Haggard, 2007.
41. David Young, the re-election campaign manager for Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, re the senator's comment that his competitor "looks like one of Saddam Hussein's sons," 2004.
42. Mars re using animal whey instead of vegetable whey in its candy bars, 2007.
43. Howard Stern re making jokes about the singer Selena, 1995.
44. Doug Tracht, a Washington radio host, re a joke he made on air about James Byrd Jr., who was dragged behind a car in Texas, 1999.
45. The Chicago Tribune's Mike Royko re a column on the unusual names of some black children, 1996.
46. Ryan Owens, an anchor for ABC's "World News Now" re his and his colleagues' laughter being overheard during the announcement of the actor Owen Wilson's suicide attempt, 2007.
47. The maker of the video Madden NFL '07 after a 14-year-old found pornography on his copy, 2007.
48. Herbert Miller, the vice president of sales for Merit Industries, re a plaque to be presented to James Earl Jones, but inscribed to James Earl Ray, 2002.
49. Shaquille O'Neal re having said, "Tell Yao Ming, 'Ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh,"' 2003.
50. Tommy Lee for having gotten into a fight with a fellow musician, Kid Rock, during Alicia Keys' performance during the Video Music Awards, 2007.
51. The Olympic runner Ben Johnson re having falsely denied taking steroids, 1990.
52. Pete Rose re his betting on baseball, 2004.
53. Bill O'Reilly, who'd said that if no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, "I will apologize to the nation and I will not trust the Bush administration again," 2004.
I just love this painting by Chinese artist Yue Minjun, whose styled is defined as " cynical realism". Execution was inspired by the 1989 protests in Tiannanmen Square,and was sold a couple of weeks ago in Sotheby's for a cool £2.9m, a record for a Chinese artist.
Monday, October 15, 2007
The PRS claims that it has logged over 250 incidents of Kwik-Fit employees audibly playing music since 2005. "The key point to note, it was said, was that the findings on each occasion were the same with music audibly 'blaring' from employee's radios in such circumstances that the defenders' [Kwik-Fit] local and central management could not have failed to be aware of what was going on," the judge in the case, Lord Emslie, told the BBC. "The allegations are of a widespread and consistent picture emerging over many years whereby routine copyright infringement in the workplace was, or inferentially must have been, known to and 'authorised' or 'permitted' by local and central management."
The PRS insists that the fact that the music can be heard by others amounts to a "performance" of the music in public—something that is not allowed unless the business has the proper licenses to do so. Such a license would cost Kwik-Fit roughly £30,000 per year, the PRS told The Scotsman in June. When multiplied by the number of years that the business has allegedly been violating copyrights, the PRS says that £200,000 would make a reasonable sum.
In the UK, any business that broadcasts music—even if it's commercial, publicly-accessible radio—must obtain a license to do so, according to the MCPS-PRS web site. Of course, customers who accidentally overhear the radio being played by a Kwik-Fit mechanic could just as easily go home and turn on the same radio station within the bounds of British copyright laws. Conversely, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers allows businesses to play publicly-accessible radio or TV as long as the transmission is being received by a single unit (and not broadcast from room-to-room) and there is no admission charge to enter the establishment. In other words, the mechanics' actions would be permissible in the US, but not in the UK.
But what's at stake is not just Kwik-Fit's official policy on broadcasting music (in fact, the company says that it has a 10-year policy outlawing radios at the workplace), but whether employees at any company can play music aloud. What about office employees that play music in a shared office or a cubicle farm? Even at relatively low volumes, someone is inevitably going to hear what is being played in a close working environment. At what point is it no longer acceptable for an individual to play music out loud, with the fear that someone else might hear it in passing?
Kwik-Fit asked the court to dismiss the suit at a procedural hearing last week, citing its official, anti-radio policy. The judge refused to dismiss the £200,000 claim, however, saying that there was at least enough evidence such that the case should be heard. He made clear, however, that his allowance of the suit did not necessarily mean that he felt the PRS would succeed.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Yesterday I went to the cinema. Julio Médem is probably my favourite Spanish director, and I had been waiting to see his latest movie, Caótica Ana, for a long time. The only thing I knew about it is that part of it had been shot in NYC and that it was in some way a homage to his sister Ana, who had recently died in a car crash.
This is what the director had said about his film:
Chaotic Ana is the story-journey of Ana over four years of her life, from 18 to 22. A countdown from 10 to 0, as in hypnosis, through which Ana comes to see that she doesn’t alone. Her existence seems to be the continuation of the lives of other young women who died tragically, all of them at 22, and who live in the abyss of her unconscious memory. That is her chaos. In words of the director and scriptwriter of the movie: Ana is the princess and the monster of this fable feminist against the tyranny of the white man.
OMFG. The film, though beautifully shot and well-acted, was a real mess: a very loosely-knit story about the suffering of women through the ages, in which hypnosis, an artists' commune, people living in a cave, the plight of the Sahrawi people and even a Donald Rumsfeld lookalike all play an important part.
All of these issues are interesting, well worth being filmed and publicised. A fiction film - and a Medem one the least of all- is not the place to raise awareness. That role is reserved to documentaries.
I miss Julio Médem. He's gone through a terrible time after the release of La Pelota Vasca and his sister's death, and I hope he gets its act together and starts making brilliant movies again. Unfortunately this is not one of them.