Why does do church bells chime every fifteen minutes?

January 23, 2012 By: erik Category: Musings, Religion, Spain 3,675 views

Bell TowerWhere I grew up, there weren’t any church bells that I could hear from my house, but there was one in the center of town near the municipal recreation center, where I spent many hours of my youth. As a kid, I became quite fond of that Big Ben tune that preceded the hourly chimes.
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State of the Offspring Address – January 2012

January 20, 2012 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting 244 views

Good Morning, Sunshine!We have had our first month of nocturnal ambulation. The first incident occurred while I was asleep in Nora’s room. Often, if Nora cries at night, I will get up from my bed and go sleep in the guest bed in Nora’s room. This enables me to calm her down without getting up using just my voice, nipping a possible crying episode in the bud. In the time it takes her to crescendo up to a cry that I can hear from my room plus the time it takes me to get up and make it to her room, sometimes the emotions have snowballed into a bawl that’s harder to quash. On the night in question, I awoke at 3:00 AM to the sound of latex on latex; Nora was rubbing a deflated balloon over my ear. When I opened my eyes, I saw her big eyes there on the bed beside me staring intently. I told her that she had to go back to bed, and I put her there with little protest. It was only in the morning that I noticed that many of the objects, like her bedtime books had moved across the room to various places during the night.
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Why WWW is stupid

January 19, 2012 By: erik Category: Complaining, Fighting Stupidity, Geeky, Internet 593 views

Back when the internet first began way back in yesteryear, there were many protocols (i.e. ways of transferring data). There was telnet for actually logging into command shells on remote servers; there was FTP for transferring files to and from remote servers; there was Gopher, which provided a very user-friendly system of menus to navigate to get to various information; and there was HTTP for requesting these newfangled documents with hyperlinks in them. Because of the interconnectedness of these hypertext documents, Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau coined the phrase World Wide Web. There was a previous long-standing practice of naming servers by the internet service they provided, so FTP servers had a “ftp.” prefix, Gopher servers had a “gopher.” prefix, etc. So naturally they started naming these “web” servers with a “www.” prefix.
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SOPA y PIPA

January 18, 2012 By: erik Category: Fighting Stupidity, Funny, Internet, Spanish 313 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 651 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 105 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 136 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 1,306 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 277 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 3,326 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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