The Turbo Roundabout – Just What Spain Needs

January 21, 2015 By: erik Category: Complaining, Fighting Stupidity, Photos, Spain

Turbo RoundaboutToday I saw this article in the local newspaper, which informed me of this Dutch invention of what is called the “turbo roundabout”. This is followup post from my previous rant about how Spaniards Don’t Understand Roundabouts. The turbo roundabout is pure genius, as it eliminates most of the problems that Spaniards have in roundabout situations, forcing the correct behavior. The way the turbo roundabout works is how I think all roundabouts should be used (see previous rant for details on my views).
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La Otra Carta – Horrible Spanish IKEA Ad

December 18, 2014 By: erik Category: Complaining, Internet, Marketing, Videos

Swedish furniture giant, IKEA, has released a commercial in Spain that has quickly gone viral around El Internet. It’s meant to be a tearjerker, and it is, if you suspend all your critical faculties and ignore the underlying message. It only came to my attention because my daughter’s kindergarten teacher played it for all the parents of her students during a parent-teacher meeting yesterday. Some of the more intelligent parents questioned her motives, and rightly so. I’ll run you through it…
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Why do pilots tell the passengers about the wind?

April 23, 2012 By: erik Category: Complaining, Travel, Weird

Another prohibition sign from AirplaneHave you ever noticed how, on a commercial airline flight, the pilot always – without fail – informs the passengers of the speed and direction of the wind at the destination? I can understand telling us about the local time, temperature, and general weather (e.g. foggy, sunny, raining) at the destination. That’s useful information about how much clothing to don before exiting the aircraft.
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The Golden Age Fallacy and Our Social Decline

April 04, 2012 By: erik Category: Complaining, Fighting Stupidity, Geeky, Internet, Science, Videos

thumbnailRemember back when you were a child, and the world wasn’t so complicated and messed up? That was a simpler time, wasn’t it? WRONG. It was a simpler time for you, because you were a child, free to play and almost entirely free from responsibility. We live in the most peaceful time in all of human history. Thinking that things were better in the past is called the Golden Age Fallacy, and it annoys the crap out of me.
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Why WWW is stupid

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

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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Spaniards Don’t Understand Roundabouts

August 05, 2011 By: erik Category: Complaining, Fighting Stupidity, Skepticism, Spain

RoundaboutThis rant has been near the surface for several years now, but a news report on television yesterday set me off, and I need to write it down to get it off my chest. Let me be clear. It’s not that Spaniards are stupid or generally bad drivers, the problem is that they are taught wrong at driving school! Believe me, I know, because I had to go to Spanish driving school to get my Spanish license.
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No, let me pay!

October 01, 2010 By: erik Category: Complaining, Fighting Stupidity, Musings, Spain

Fourteen Thousand EurosThere are many, many social customs that confuse the hell out of me, but one of the most strange is the insistence of adults to pay for each others’ meals. In the US, when I would go out to eat with my coworkers, we’d always split the bill among everyone. Each person would pull out their credit card, and the waiter or waitress would give us each individual bills. Simple and fair.

In Spain, however, there is a big “buying rounds” culture that was very foreign to me at first. While this somewhat extends to meals, in Spain the “no, let me pay!” issue comes up more often with buying rounds of drinks. Due to the geographical layout of towns and the prevalence of bars, there is a big bar-hopping culture. So it’s very common to visit several bars on a midday walk with your friends, and in each bar, only one person in the group pays for the drinks. It rotates at each bar, and if you go an outing or two without paying for any rounds, people notice. I’m fine with this. The drinks are so cheap and the company so good that I rather enjoy it. You pay for a round, and then it feels, emotionally, that you get a bunch of “free” drinks after that.

What I don’t get is when people get insistent, or even angry, about the right to pay. This is not unique to Spaniards. Americans do this too, but mostly over whole meals, which is even stupider.
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