100

Posted in Uncategorized on November 14, 2013 by thedoctorm

For my hundredth post, I will award myself with a few inspiring mountain biking scenes from last summer. Do not hesitate to watch them on Youtube, full-screen, and HD (we did the job at 1080p –you’re welcome, you’re welcome…-) :

Firstly, the appetizer in 16 seconds:

Secondly, the making-of trailer in 2 minutes:

And lastly, the blockbuster in less than 4 minutes:

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Season Smoothie Recipe for Babies

Posted in Uncategorized on November 3, 2013 by thedoctorm

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I’m sorry for you the crew at Innocent, but you would just never win a contest against the smoothie recipe that I managed for today, guys:

Title: Autumn Lust

Ingredients:

-1 home grown king-sized persimmon (i.e. ‘diospyros sinnensis’)

-1 local, Tropical Coast grown, custard apple (i.e. ‘annona cherimolia’)

-1 genuine banana from the Canary Islands.

-1 Lecrín Valley orange (squeezed).

Blend it all to smooth and enjoy!

I have an inkling about some babies who are going to be delighted today…

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Coming soon…:

Title: Quince & Pomegranate Fest (‘Cydonia oblonga’ & ‘Punica granatum’)

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To know more…:

– How to eat a persimmon (article  & video).

– Custard apples in the antipodes: you won’t miss them if you emigrate away from our national crisis (whole website).

– Canarian Banana vs common banana: everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask (article).

Orange Over Black for Halloween

Posted in Uncategorized on October 31, 2013 by thedoctorm

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For what it’s worth, it’s the motto of this blog, so… today is the day.

…or the night. Boo!

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And…

As long as a genuine festive mood is prone to be quickly adopted in this country whatever the situation, it seems that the Halloween stuff has already been adopted too and has settled. To last.

One of the main environments to spot it all is that related to schools. Incidentally (not) , this is the contribution of my students to the occasion, from the point of view of my subject (and based upon Tower of London‘s paper moving models):

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Where’s the Octopus?

Posted in Uncategorized on October 23, 2013 by thedoctorm

Just (er… ‘just’) some wildlife awesome scenes, plus interesting listening

Bilbao-BBK-Live 2012 Rock Festival Flashback

Posted in Music on October 19, 2013 by thedoctorm

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Under no circumstances have I ever dreamt of this my ‘blog’, in the literal meaning of the word, as a ‘diary.’ I’m tasting cheerfully the idea that this post is going to confirm it by referring to a certain event after a delay of more than a year. Since it took place, I was always eager to post about it but never found time. Now I will recall my impressions and memories of an unforgettable rock festival. To finally settle the score.

Bilbao BBK Live 2012 Rock Festival

Beforehand, my main aim was to enjoy –again after the years- the Garbage live. They themselves were enough to justify the journey… and the fare! -ouch!-, so I didn’t even take much interest in checking the wide list of artists. But then there was much good more: not only the other top quality main-courses but also a crew of (not-so)-minor bands

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During the first day, The Cure kept up to the expected… and surpassed it from the very beginning: the start, clouded behind audio problems, was overcome masterfully when leader Robert Smith, all of a sudden, took the initiative to restrain us, the hungry pack, alone with his guitar, unplugged, until technical problems were solved. A gift. Their rest was quite studio-like playing that I thanked (I just don’t usually enjoy too much of straying the sounds I expect, when bands play live). I also thanked their genuine Lovesong: after having been listening to the ‘21‘ by Adele for a while, sorry but her cover of this song was just intoxicating the original in my head. We later had fun with the curious Varry Brava band’s… er… party pop: funny guys…

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‘Whole mouthful’ ticket. Spot the fare: Ouch!

In the meantime, ambling from one stage to another, the weird sort of  triple male chemical toilets offered a sad sight: is pissing surrounded by a crowd an advantage??!! -I was surprised: no doubt because rock festivals are not my usual-

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After such a good start as the first day’s, the second was promising: we bet for a sitting spot on this Kobetamendi hill… but it turned out to be a bit too far away from the stage, in respect to properly enjoying the impressive light&sound show unleashed by Radiohead. Shame… Although the comfy grass made up for our slight mistake. Incidentally, Radiohead were so charming that it was no big deal to achieve to forget the DJ that, thick as a brick, preceded them -Aargh!- and whose name might better be not remembered.

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The schoolgirlish Keane dealt with their fans while the crowd waited for Garbage on the third day. They were not that bad for a start, though, with hits that echoed in everybody’s mind. To avoid the previous day’s mistakes, we pushed hard for a place near the stage for Garbage. So n-e-a-r that it turned out to be deafening! Their performance was interesting: no canned versions but real live, but with no betrayal to their sound parameters, all at a time. A curious annoying incident happend in the middle of their Push It: sound power suddenly dropped off for a while and a kind of silent cacophony surrounded the band for some seconds. Remarkable were, too, the gloriously weird sort of red massive diaper-wrapping knickers in the attire by leader Shirley Manson:

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Redhead-matching knickers

While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats‘ (Mark Twain)

The Garbage experience was so fierce that we preferred not to dilute the taste left in the back of our mouths with any other music for an evening that clasped perfectly the festival. And ‘we were happy even though it didn’t rain.’

Unexpected Written Works by an Economist

Posted in Books on July 10, 2013 by thedoctorm

Little could I have wondered the fan of Fernando Trías de Bes [his website clicking here] that I would turn out to become when his book El Vendedor de Tiempo was recommended to me some years ago.

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The Trigger

This original work was a perfect pilot piece, the seed that invoked my curiosity, and the very right precedent to make me continue with some other issues of his nonfiction series: the abstract to El Libro Negro del Emprendedor was amusing and inviting enough to make the reading a must. Not so much that to La Buena Suerte, though, whose title I found odd, for a start… but it was at hand on the same shelf at the bookshop that day, so… 😛 -it didn’t disappointed, though-.

By then, and together with a pinch of his fiction works via his Relatos Absurdos, I was getting trapped -warmly- in the spiderweb that was making, from me, a follower of the author.

Engaged as I was, I dared to face Marketing Lateral, which, to be honest, meant a moot point in my fan rush: I like Economy (partly, due to the books by Trías de Bes, I must acknowledge), but this work is a bit too much into Economics, as well as too academically specialized, in comparison with the other nonfiction works. Even though, I made the most of it… And today, after the years, I believe that it exposes some of the clues to the techniques and rare creativity of the author, through lateral thinking.

Not much later, did I devoured in amusement, joy, and awe, El Hombre que Cambió su Casa por un Tulipán and Mil Millones de Mejillones, as soon as they saw the light.

At this point, and when checking his website for the latest works, recently, I decided that it was high time I fulfilled my collector-freak thrill by reading all his remaining works: I got hold of the latest Tinta, plus Palabras Bajo el Mar, El Coleccionista de Sonidos, and La Historia Que Me Escribe, all at a time. And I abandoned myself to the reading of them by order of thickness (yeah, yeah: call me naive, but the criterion is as good/bad as any other :P). That was during the days of my audio-reading of the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy (about which I was posting here right before), by the way. And I must say that each one of these four fiction books has been better than the previous; and unique all of them. At the moment I am bewitched in the first third of the latter in the list -La Historia Que Me Escribe-, and afraid that it is my last until Trías de Bes publishes again (incidentally, there is only one left for me at present: Innovar Para Ganar. But I guess it follows the purpose line of Marketing Lateral, so I prefer not to take it, by now at least).

With the reading of my last issues of the collection of works by Fernando Trías de Bes, I am rediscovering a helluva imagination, sweet surrealism, astonishing creativity, and wide variety of issues through which he can feel comfy when writing. As I said up there: bewitching.

50 Shades of Grey: What a Bad Book?

Posted in Books on July 2, 2013 by thedoctorm

INTRO

Know your enemy.‘ I could have borrowed -and shielded behind- this chapter title of Richard Stengel’s ‘Mandela’s Way’ since my students, at a mere 14-15 age, are bewitched by the novel :P . But I don’t even feel the need. I just advocate for the plain, rightfully subjective, unarguable, ‘I like it‘ (incidentally, and beyond the variety of moral judgements to possibly be considered in this case, from a very personal point of view I have always been in favour of easy, engaging pageturners with respect to the promotion of reading habits in youngsters. Mainly, against the costume of forcing them to start with the classics at school).

Nope! Didn’t take advantage of this offer.

But the fact of liking it is not the core reason for this post. Conversely, is the opinion of those not-liking-it what moves me. And yes: together with a pinch of that temporary freak flow and happy mood promoted by thick-as-a-brick trilogies (mind the double meaning, please: it’s my opening present for those who argue heatedly against the book 😛 ).

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All of a sudden, it seems that everybody is an expert in literature AND in erotic literature. But EL James is the down-to-earth one who signs the best-seller… Go do it better!?

BAD REVIEWS

So much is being elaborated on why the book is just crap, that one can’t keep oblivious to this phenomenon (notice 3 pages long newspaper articles -sort of thorough essays!- trying to reduce to powder the novel; not to mention the loads of punishing customer reviews poured on Amazon about it, for instance). The author must really be thanking the bad review as the best marketing for her work, that for sure.

Prone to criticize the Fifty Shades fantasy? Have this mouthful of reality, then (The Monty Python made ‘Life of Brian’ too, although that was a masterpiece)… Or stick to the classics instead. But consider to shut up in any case 🙂 ; thanks

But far from a predictable post on quoting arguments against the book and/or fighting them, I will just punish them with the whip of my indifference 😛 Nevertheless, it’s preoccupying to notice such hordes putting forward issues based on scared morality, poor style/literature, bad research, or… lack of reality! (???… Isn’t this a f-i-c-t-i-o-n?). Narrowminded?… Or is it just about why-didn’t-I-happen-to-be-the-first-to-manage-such-an-approach? I may understand the efforts and the vast array of encouraged biased&twisted reviews from the point of view of possibly having felt a loss of time while reading, but I suppose that nobody is reading this book at point of gun up to the last page. Why, then, such annoyance?

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Funny: nobody would ever criticize the Twilight for its ‘lack of reality’, despite the vampires and wolfmen. So much waffle about teenagers books!… by reviewers who consider themselves grown-ups (rightfully?)

To put it into few words, my conclusion is that a) if the 50 Shades is criticized after having read the third volume, the reader is either a masochist or a liar, and b) if you don’t like it, just don’t take it; anything else looks like the very human envy and/or need for mockery. I don’t waste my time bothering around things that other people like when I don’t. Also, I don’t feel superior to anyone for the books I read or the things I do; I do take pride in being eclectic to the bone, though.

My contention is a plain tautology: this romance is what it is: a sort of quick paced written film* to be read for fun and leisure and relax. The mistake is to feel disappointed for not being what it isn’t (*Conversely, I don’t think it’s a good book to make a film from: naturally aiming to become a blockbuster, it would for sure be an American release… but it just wouldn’t be because the explicit sex would be unbearable except for certain theaters -no popular, open blockbuster then!-. The Spaniards could make it explicit, though, but then it would never be a global blockbuster 😛 ).

THE WAY I’M ENJOYING IT

In any case, I’m taking good advantage of the reading… or better to say the listening, since I’m actually enjoying the audiobook version: 60 hours of English listening practice, yesss! The wording is rich enough as a C1 profitable revision: ways of walking, ways of smiling and laughing, postures and movements (err… beyond the sex!, the latter :P); Commuting has become daily quality time that I face with joy instead of boring wasted duty time and, at last, I’ve found something that truly prevents me from falling asleep while driving, which was -up to now- a daily struggle rating from painful to extremely painful (err… Frankly, sorry but Virginia Woolf is not up to this task); and curiosity for new vocabulary and expressions is keeping my English learning avidity alive! (moreover, I’m taking advantage to experience how much is lost in a translation, when I listen to some tricky expression and, later, check it out in the Spanish version). And that just for the example, but what else could I ask for?!

For:

-I hadn’t been involved in such a thrilling pageturning since the Millenium trilogy;

-The music matter, along the book, is just wise: the author seems to have set it up, in advance, as her wish soundtrack for the forthcoming filmed version of a best-seller. It looks as though she had already planned it to become such!;

-It is massively making people joyful: just check out the playlists ventures on Youtube… Freak, freak, freak;

-I recaptured the rapture of  ‘reading’ at proper pace, through the listening of a properly paced impressive reading (this Becca Battoe kicks ass! I’ll have to find time to follow her in other audiobooks).

Against:

-I’m reaching the end (!).

CONCLUSION

So… Don’t you like it? Fecht another book and let the 50 go. Don’t mess; what for?!