SOPA y PIPA

January 18, 2012 By: erik Category: Fighting Stupidity, Funny, Internet, Spanish 260 views

Vota contra SOPA y PIPAThe internet has pretty much shut down today. Well, most of the sites that make the internet entertaining, such as Fark, Reddit, The Oatmeal and Wikipedia. They are protesting possible US Congressional legislation that could potentially give the US Government the power to shut down any internet site that any corporation claims is violating copyright laws. This “shoot first, ask questions later” approach is rather ridiculous to anyone that takes even the briefest moment to consider the consequences. Learn more here. Anyway, I thought I’d join in the protest by providing a graphic that uses some images to playfully demonstrate what these acronyms mean in Spanish.
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Friday the 13th is most common 13th

January 13, 2012 By: erik Category: Fighting Stupidity, Geeky, Math, Musings 496 views

Friday the 13th Facts and TheoriesI’ve always been fascinated by superstition, and friggatriskaidekaphobia – or, to be more clear, paraskevidekatriaphobia – strikes me as a particularly interesting one. The origin can only be traced back into the 19th century. I am disappointed to discover that experts find little reason to associate it with the slaughter of the Knights Templar on October 13, 1307, exactly seven hundred years before my wedding day. Oh well, something else Dan Brown got wrong. As if to show just how arbitrary the choice of Friday is, the Spanish speaking world fears Tuesday the 13th, and they even have their own tongue-twisting phobia word: trezidavomartiofobia.
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Sunset Flock

January 09, 2012 By: erik Category: Damn, Nature!, Geeky, Photos, Videos 98 views

Sunset Flock (thumbnail)During the months when the northern hemisphere of our pale blue dot on which I reside is leaning away from our stellar space heater, the light from our star enters my office window at sunset and distracts me from my work, causing me to get up and go to the window to shut the blinds. Depending on the formations of water vapor in the atmosphere, the view of the setting sun can be either boring and gray or spectacularly amber and crimson. Today, when I went to shut the blinds, I saw a lovely display of long wavelength visual electromagnetic radiation, which I felt compelled to take a photograph of.
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Neighborhood Kings Day Fire

January 06, 2012 By: erik Category: Colindres, News, Photos, Scary 127 views

Fire in Colindres - Incendio en ColindresOn Kings Day, my family woke up excited to see what presents the Magi had brought us. We looked out our sixth story window and saw fog. But there was something strange about the fog; it was moving very quickly and…billowing. Smoke! One of the old houses that our bedroom window overlooks was billowing white smoke, and a fireman was perched on a cherry picker spraying water down into the interior of the house. It’s three hours later as I write this and they are still spraying even more water and more smoke is billowing out. I took some photos.
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I asked my mother for fifty cents

January 04, 2012 By: erik Category: Music, Offspring, Videos 740 views

I asked my mother for fifty cents (thumbnail)When my parents last visited, I got to hear my mother sing songs to my daughter that I haven’t heard since I was a child and she was singing to me. One of them was this rhyme that Nora has come to call “July”, since she loves to emphasize the ultimate word. It goes like this:

I asked my mother for fifty cents
To see the elephant jump the fence.
He jumped so high,
He reached the sky,
And didn’t come down ’til the fourth of July

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Viral Video Idea: Skydiving Proposal Gone Wrong

January 04, 2012 By: erik Category: Marketing, Musings 258 views

Proposal shot @ 7000'!The video starts with an attractive, rugged adventurous-looking guy and a group of his friends out in a corn field at night pushing around a long board as if they are making crop circles. In the 15 second clip, the protagonist twice checks with his best friend behind the shaky camera – “You getting this?” “Yeah, dude. This is gonna be awesome!”

- CUT -

Now it’s the daytime with our protagonist, who is clearly a veteran skydiver, is giddy as he walks to an airplane with his girlfriend who is excited, but a bit timid, about doing her first solo jump. She murmurs something to this effect and he comforts her. The best friend cameraman whips the camera around on himself and gives a grin and a wink as they all three climb into the plane.
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Papa Americano

December 28, 2011 By: erik Category: Funny, Music, Offspring, Videos 2,665 views

Papa Americano (thumbnail)Over the past two years, a song by an Australian group, Yolanda Be Cool, called We No Speak Americano (known colloquially as Papa Americano), has swept across Europe. Every so often a Spaniard who knows that I am both a United States citizen and a father, will think they are being clever and original by calling me “Papa Americano” and singing a bar or two of the hit song. I think it’s cute, and I enjoy the song, so I decided to make it my ringtone. Over the course of the last few months, my daughter has fallen in love with my ringtone, often reminding me out of the blue, “Poppy, your phone says papa americano!!”, adding, “Sometimes.”
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Crescent Moonset 2

December 27, 2011 By: erik Category: Photos, Science, Timelapse 169 views

MoonsetThe moon just after sunset today was really gorgeous, hanging there in the sky next to Venus. The new moon was on Christmas Eve night, so Rudolph’s nose must have been extra important this year. After seeing the pretty Moon, up high in the sky, I told myself to go and look in an hour or two to see if I could catch it approach the horizon. Normally, I would never be capable of such a thing, but I actually did remember, and I caught it just as it was touching the horizon. Unfortunately, in the time it took me to set up my tripod, the tip of the moon went behind the hill on the horizon, but I still got nine shots in the time it took to set completely.
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Elementary Fun

December 26, 2011 By: erik Category: Geeky, Musings, Photoshop, Science 147 views

NoRaThis afternoon I was succumbing to a risky vice of mine, surfing the product pages over at ThinkGeek, when I came across this t-shirt where they had used chemical symbols for elements to write a dirty word. Silly, yes, but also kind of fun as a tool to separate people who know a lot of science from those that don’t, which seems to be the primary goal of the t-shirts at ThinkGeek. For instance, I always get a chuckle out of the one that says, “There are 10 kinds of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who don’t.” Is that kind of elitist behavior rude? Yes, but it’s a social defense mechanism, creating an “us vs. them” mentality that is ubiquitous in our species.
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A Basque Christmas

December 26, 2011 By: erik Category: Mondragon, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain, Videos 590 views

Olentzero - A Basque ChristmasWe spent Christmas in Mondragón, in the Basque Country, this year like we have every year for a while now. This year was a little more somber than most because of the recent death of the family patriarch, but I think we did a pretty good job of being respectful but not wallowing in our sorrow too much. The best part was catching a glimpse of the wonder of Christmas through the eyes of my two year old daughter.
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