Grape Flies

September 12, 2012 By: erik Category: Damn, Nature!, Food, Photography, Photos 448 views

Fruit Flies on GrapesMy wife brought back several kilos of grapes from her grandfather’s grapevine in Extremadura last month. They are very sweet and delicious, but, having grown up eating only seedless grapes, I have found it nearly impossible to adjust to eating grapes I can’t just chomp down on but have to be careful to either remove or swallow the seeds. I had no problem adjusted to eating olives with pits, but I think it’s the ambiguity between whether or not grape seeds are small enough to swallow or big enough to spit out that has kept me from enjoying Spanish grapes.
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Meeting Nora’s Teacher

September 06, 2012 By: erik Category: Education, Offspring, Parenting, Spain 236 views

AppleToday we had a meeting where the parents of all the 25 kids in Nora’s school class had to go and meet the teacher, get information about the school schedule, and see the classroom and facilities. Nora has been getting up at 10:30 or 11:00 this week, but this morning I had to wake her up at 8:45 to make sure we were on time for the 10:00 meeting. She was not pleased. But when I told her, “We have to go meet your teacher!”, a huge smile broke out across her sleepy face and she sat right up, ready to start the day.
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App Idea: Synchronized Social Commentary for Television

September 06, 2012 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet, Marketing, Media 134 views

TV Idea ThumbnailLike many of my friends, I rarely watch live television anymore, aside from sporting events. I did, however, watch the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics alone on my sofa. Except it didn’t feel like I was alone, because I had my smartphone, and many of my Facebook and Twitter friends were also watching the same event and making witty comments about what they were seeing. Though separated by vast distances, we enjoyed the spectacle much more than if we hadn’t had the social networks to unite us.

My friends in the United States, however, could not participate, since their Olympics coverage was delayed in a ridiculous prime time ratings power play by NBC. A few of them expressed annoyance at my “spoiler” comments about the event. And sure enough, when it aired in the US, there was a wave of social media commentary as they were witnessing the event. That’s when the idea came to me…
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Egocentric Light Painting

September 05, 2012 By: erik Category: Experiments, Photography, Photos, Weird 92 views

Light painting: erikrasOn Flickr, I follow the work of this Finnish guy, named Janne Parviainen, who does absolutely crazy things with a trick photography technique called “light painting”, which involves opening the camera’s shutter and then “painting” with an LED in three dimensions. In the same way that a long exposure photograph of cars at night shows only the headlights and no cars since the cars don’t reflect enough light from one position to leave an image on the film or digital sensor, the body of a light painter is also invisible in such photographs.
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State of the Offspring Address – August 2012

August 31, 2012 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos 156 views

Daycare GraduateNora spent most of August vacationing (from what?) in Extremadura, southern Spain, with her abuelos, drinking grape juice, splashing around in water to stay cool and bossing her abuelos around. She came back the most tan she’s ever been, slightly taller and happy to be home.
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Deadly Spanish Air Currents

August 26, 2012 By: erik Category: Fighting Stupidity, Science, Skepticism, Spain, Weird 493 views

Curtain in BreezeCultural differences fascinate me, as do superstitions. So naturally I am enthralled by the utter mortal fear Spaniards have for air currents, specifically those running through a house. Every time I open two windows on either side of my house to get a nice current of fresh air running through, I am told to close one of the windows, because air currents (corrientes) are dangerous. When there’s a baby or child in the house – forget about it! – the importance of reducing air pressure differentials goes up by several orders of magnitude. Everyone in Spain knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who died because they had fresh air running through their house.
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Haiku Competition – Win a free Kindle Touch!

August 23, 2012 By: erik Category: Art, Marketing, Weird 299 views

Kindle Touch - Haiku Competition

This is a contest
to find syllabic poems.
Win a Kindle Touch!

Haikus for Kindles?
The very best poem wins!
Judged by yours truly.

You know you want one.
Enter multiple poems!
Only the best wins.

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Sauga Folk Festival 2012

August 22, 2012 By: erik Category: Colindres, Ireland, Music, Spain, Videos 513 views

Sauga Folk 2012 - Virgen de Palacios - VotoLast weekend, I attended the 18th annual Sauga Folk festival, held each year in my town of Colindres. The festival focuses on local, Cantabrian music and dance, as well as celtic music in general. Each year we get some pretty famous (as the celtic music scene goes) acts from Ireland and sometimes Scotland traveling here to perform. Due to collisions with August summer vacations, this is only the second year that I have been able to attend.
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Higuera de la Serena – 2012

August 21, 2012 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain 327 views

Grapes 2012On the evening of August 6, we arrived in Higuera de la Serena, my wife’s family’s summer town in Extremadura, the original hometown of her maternal grandmother, and town where her mother grew up. Despite only having known my wife for fewer than twelve years, this was the third time I have watched the Summer Olympics from Extremadura, having visited every August since 2003.
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I don’t understand information crimes

August 17, 2012 By: erik Category: Anarchy, Musings, Politics, USA 187 views

whistleLet’s say I have a secret. Perhaps I’m gay, or I secretly won the lottery, or I killed a guy once, or I have a terminal disease, or I’m in witness protection, or I’m embezzling money from my employer, or I’m having an affair, or I have a supernumerary nipple. Whatever it is, it’s absolutely true, but no one knows it, and I’d prefer that it stays that way. Now let’s say you somehow discover my secret and you tell everyone. What moral, ethical or legal lines have you just crossed?
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