Thursday, December 23, 2004

Closed for a long Christmas vacation, from Friday 24 December to Monday 17 January 2005. We are flying to Washington DC, renting a car and driving down to Florida. I'll pass your kind regards to Mickey Mouse, of course. And to George W Bush, too? ;-)

Cerrado por vacaciones de Navidad del viernes 24 de Diciembre al lunes 17 de Enero 2005. Volamos a Washington DC, alquilamos un coche y nos vamos hasta Florida. Le doy recuerdos a Mickey Mouse de parte vuestra, por supuesto. Le doy tambien recuerdos vuestros a George W Bush, quiza? ;-)

The weather today:

Mostly Cloudy and Windy
UV Index: 0 Low
Wind:From the West at 28 mph
Dew Point: 7C
Humidity: 78%
Visibility: 9 miles
Barometer: 1,012.2 mb

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

More on flying...the dreaded jetlag! Some smug people out there still maintain that jetlag is a myth. An imaginary illness. They say all is in the mind. Well, sorry but no , you smug people who probably don't fly that much. Jetlag is real and scientifically proved. Many experts have tried to give advice on how to minimize the effect of jetlag. Melatonin , a natural hormone ocurring in our body, has had its defenders and detractors. Our bodies naturally produce melatonin when it gets dark. It then makes us feel drowsy and sleepy. Daylight comes and production of melatonin stops in our bodies. So why not use melatonin for jetlag then? Well, several studies have been made and proved unconclusive. Some researchers said it didn't work. Others said it did. The doses and time of consumption varied in every study. And no big farmaceutical lab seems interested in researching onto it. Probably because melatonin is just as vitamins. You cannot patent it. No patent, no money. So I guess this is the explanation why big labs are not interested in melatonin. It can be bought over the counter in the US, though. And many people are using it to counteract jetlag when flying.

So I decided to give it a try and bought 80 one mg pills over the internet, using Biovea , who ships melatonin to the United Kingdom. Before trying it on the plane which could have unexpected results, I tested the melatonin pills last night. Experiments are best done at home than in a transatlantic flight, I think! Well... I slept like a log. And believe me, I very often wake up in the middle of the night, so I know what I'm talking about. And best of all, we are not talking about a sleeping pill, but about a hormone that our bodies already produce naturally every night. Will it work to help with jetlag? I'll tell you when I'm back in January. As all studies have proved unconclusive, the doses and timing are never clear. I have decide to follow the advice of a Canadian, Udo Erasmus , who popularised the use of flax oil. Even if he does not sell melatonin, he provides information about it as it has worked for him. I hope it works for me, too!

Y algo mas sobre volar... el temido jetlag! Algunos pedantes aun sostienen que el jetlag es un mito. Una enfermedad imaginaria. Dicen que no es fisico, que no existe. No comparto vuestra opinion, pedantes que nunca tomais un avion. El jetlag es real y esta cientificamente comprobado. Muchos expertos han intentado aconsejar sobre como minimizar los efectos del jetlag. La Melatonina , una hormona que el cuerpo humano segrega naturalmente, ha tenido defensores y detractores como cura para el jetlag. El cuerpo humano produce melatonina cuando anochece, es lo que nos hace sentir adormilados y con ganas de ir a la cama. En contacto con la luz del dia, nuestro cuerpo deja de producir melatonina. Asi que parece logico usar melatonina para combatir el jetlag. Se han realizado algunos estudios y todos han resultado inconclusivos. Algunos investigadores dijeron que no funcionaba. Otros sostuvieron que si. Las dosis y el tiempo de las tomas variaba en cada test. Y los grandes laboratorios farmaceuticos no estan interesados en financiar estos estudios. Probablemente, proque la melatonina es como las vitaminas. Sustancias naturales que nuestro cuerpo produce. No puedes pantentarlas. Y sin patente, no hay ganancia. Se puede comercializar, pero nadie posee la patente. En Estados Unidos la melatonina se compra en farmacias sin receta medica. Y muchos viajeros la estan usando desde hace anios para combatir el jetlag. En otros paises, solo puedes conseguirla mediante receta medica,lamentablemente.

Asi que decidi probar la melatonina y compre 80 grageas de 1 mg a traves de internet a la empresa Biovea , que vende melatonina en el Reino Unido desde el extranjero. Por supuesto, hice la prueba en casa, nada de subirte al avion en un vuelo transatlantico y empezar a probar nuevas sustancias!....lo sabre yo, que probe los chicles de nicotina en un avion hace anios y casi vomito mi primera papilla... Volviendo al experimento, tome melatonina ayer por la noche. Y dormi como un tronco! Y creedme, se lo que me digo, tengo gran experiencia en despertarme a menudo a medianoche. Asi que funciona. Y sin efectos secundarios. No son somniferos, que quede claro. Es una hormona que el cuerpo humano produce cada noche de nuestras vidas. Funcionara para el jetlag?? Os lo cuento cuando vuelva en Enero. Ya que todos los estudios realizados hasta ahora se han realizado con diferentes dosis y tiempos de toma, he decidido seguir los consejos de un canadiense, Udo Erasmus , personaje muy conocido en Canada ya que popularizo el uso de los aceites Omega 3 y 6. Aunque el no vende melatonina, si que proporciona informacion sobre esta hormona ya que a el le ha funcionado. Espero que a mi tambien me sea util!

The weather today:
UV Index:0 Low
Wind: From the West Southwest at 24 mph
Dew Point:9C
Humidity: 97%
Visibility: 5 miles
Barometer: 1,011.5 mb

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Flying anywhere this Xmas? Check this website : . For instance, I have just learnt that flights to and from some countries are regularly sprayed with pesticides! That first class passenger and pilots enjoy better air than coach passengers, who get just recycled air over an over again. Disgusting! Shocking!!

Vas a volar estas vacaciones? Echale un vistazo a esta pagina web (en ingles) : . Por ejemplo, me acabo de enterar que los vuelos a ciertos paises son desinfectados con insecticidas toxicos incluso mientras los pasajeros estan a bordo! Y que los pasajeros en primera clase (o business) y los pilotos respiran aire puro, mientras que los de clase Economica respiran aire reciclado durante casi todo el vuelo. Pero que deplorable!

The weather today:
UV Index: 0 Low
Wind: From the North at 7 mph
Dew Point: 3C
Humidity: 93%
Visibility: 4 miles
Barometer: 1,025.4 mb

Monday, December 20, 2004

My boss D. gave me this card for my birthday last Friday. It's from Harolds Planet . I didn't know my musings in front of the computer were THAT obvious!

Mi jefe D. me dio esta targeta de cumpleanios el viernes pasado. Es de Harolds Planet . Vaya, pues no pensaba yo que lo que hago en horas de trabajo frente al ordenador fuera TAN obvio!

The weather today:
Mostly Cloudy
UV Index: 0 Low
Wind: From the South Southwest at 15 mph
Dew Point: 2°C
Humidity: 70%
Visibility: Unlimited
Barometer: 1,017.3 mb

Friday, December 17, 2004

Today is my birthday. So I deserve a rest and there is no post today! Congrats to myself!

Hoy es mi cumpleanios y como me merezco un descanso, no escribo el post! Felicidades!!

The weather today:
CRAP! Of course! It couldn't be another way!!
UV Index: 0 Low
Wind: From the South at 20 mph
Dew Point: 8C
Humidity: 97%
Visibility: 2 miles
Barometer: 989.2 mb

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Yesterday we watched the The Butterfly Effect (2004),not to be confused with the 1995 Spanish film 'El efecto mariposa', the first doesn't have anything to do at all with the second! This film is more than what meets the eye, a young man who is able to travel to his past and change it, therefore changing also his present. But I see it also as a personal journey the young man takes to realise who is he and to learn to take the right decisions. Or rather, to learn than right decisions can have good and bad consequences. First, his decisions are made as to influence his life, he wants to discover what happened when he was a child and suffered several blackouts after which he could not remember what had happened. Then he tries to save his girlfriend. But he realises the outcomes can be good for some, but bad for other. Not all of them will be happy at the same time. But he keeps trying. He slowly realises his saving his girlfriend is still selfish, as he saves her because he loves her. He tries to commit suicide and end the story when everybody is happy except himself. But he changes his mind when he sees his mum is sick and dying in hospital, so not all of them are happy yet! Finally, he takes the right decision (for this film, at least). He decides to scare away the person he most loves, his girlfriend. Back in the past, so they will never become friends and lovers. Thus, through self-sacrifice, all of them will achieve happiness. He has become selfless and then the journey ends. A bit like Groundhog Day , although definitely not a comedy! An entertaining sci-fi film to watch, not at all boring with all these changes in the past and the present.

Ayer vimos The Butterfly Effect (2004), que no hay que confudir con la pelicula espaniola de 1995 'El efecto mariposa', ya que no tienen nada que ver la una con la otra. Esta 'Butterfly Effect' es mucho mas de lo que a simple vista parece. Un joven que tiene la capacidad de volver a su pasado y modificarlo, cambiando asi su vida actual. Pero yo la considere nas un viaje personal del protagonista, donde se descubre a si mismo y aprende a tomar las decisiones correctas. Al principio el proposito de sus decisiones es entender esas paginas en blanco de su vida. Al poco tiempo, los cambios son para salvar a su novia. Pero no funcionan. Cuando las cosas salen bien para unos, salen mal para otros. Su decision de salvar a su novia puede considerarse egoista. O interesada. La salva porque la quiere. Mas adelante, pierde el poco egoismo que tenia. Cuando cree que todos son felices pero el no lo es, decide suicidarse, aunque no lo intenta de nuevo al saber que su madre esta gravemente enferma en el hospital. Finalmente, toma la decision correcta (para la pelicula, al menos). Decide asustar en el pasado a su novia. Nunca seran amigos ni novios en el futuro. Asi, mediante su sacrificio, consigue que todos sean felices. El protagonista no tiene ya ni un gramo de egoismo en su persona y el viaje termina. Un poquito como Groundhog Day (El Dia de la Marmota) pero en este caso, de comedia nada de nada. Un film de ciencia-ficcion entretenido y nada aburrido, con un ritmo trepidante gracias al constante cambio de pasado y futuro.

The weather today:

Mostly Cloudy
UV Index: O Low
Wind: From the West at 24 mph
Dew Point:6C
Humidity: 70%
Visibility: 10 miles
Barometer: 1,001.4 mb

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I saw a mouse in our house yesterday night. Our tv was on and we were having a conversation when suddenly I turned my head and saw a mouse happily walking down the corridor as if it was going to open the main door and leave the house.
I shouted 'A rat! A rat in the house!'. I am still amazed at the capacity of understanding of these little animals. The little mouse turned its head to me, screamed back : 'I am a mouse, not a rat!' and ran away to the kitchen. We chased it and moved things in the kitchen. We thought it may come out and then we would hit it with the broom. But no luck. The mouse disappeared. We suspect it may have entered the kitchen through a crack on the wall behind the washing machine. We have now put a heavy piece of wood on top of the crack. And also rat poison nearby. But it's not a nice feeling knowing a mouse has been walking on your carpet and maybe looking for food in the kitchen.

PS: OK, you are right. I knew I could not fool you. The mouse did not screamed 'I am a mouse, not a rat!'. But I think he looked very offended by my saying he was a rat. He seemed really annoyed. Really.

Ayer noche vi a un raton en casa. Teniamos la television en marcha y estabamos hablando cuando, de pronto, gire la vista y vi a un raton andando alegremente por el pasillo, como si se dirigiese a la puerta para salir de casa. Grite : 'Una rata! Una rata en casa!'. Y que impresion me dio la capacidad de entendimiento del animalito. Se paro, me miro y grito a su vez : 'No soy una rata, soy un raton!' y se largo corriendo hacia la cocina. Lo perseguimos y movimos muebles de la cocina, para ver si salia corriendo y le podiamos dar un buen escobazo. Pero nada. El raton desaparecio. Sospechamos que podria haber entrado a la cocina a traves de una grieta que hay detras de la lavadora. Asi que hemos colocado una pesada tabla de madera encima de la grieta y hemos distribuido mata-ratas en la cocina. Pero como comprendereis, no hace ninguna gracia saber que un raton ha estado andando en tu moqueta o buscando comida en tu cocina.

PS: OK, teneis razon. Ya sabia que no os podria enganiar tan facilmente. El raton no grito nada de 'No soy una rata, soy un raton!" Pero os aseguro que parecia muy indignado y ofendido de que le hubiera confundido con una rata. De verdad.

The weather today:
Mostly Cloudy
UV Index: 0 Low
Wind: From the Southwest at 9 mph
Dew Point: 9C
Humidity: 88%
Visibility: 6 miles
Barometer: 1,017.3 mb

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

We are now seriously thinking about buying a digital camera. Because we don't want to go to a shop and buy the first camera that catches our eyes, I bought a magazine especialized in digital cameras. But... With all the reviews, and comparisons and features, we are now more confused that we were at the beginning, when we were totally naive and innocent about this. All this information is driving me crazy. Should we buy the Canon Powershot A95? It looks all right and the reviews on the internet seem good..although some reviewers talk about 'purple fringing' with this camera. What in the hell is that??!! I didn't even know something like that could exist. Which proves the more you know..the more complicated life is. Is it better not to have the knowledge and live your life with rose-tinted glasses? Or is it better to know and spend your life questioning everything? Ah you see, philosophy is not an old fashioned subject. It is there with you, even when buying a digital camera!

Estamos considerando seriamente la posibilidad de comprar una camara digital. Y como no queremos ir a una tienda y comprar la primera camara que caiga a la vista, compre una revista especializada en camaras digitales. Pero...con tanta informacion, comparaciones y especificaciones, ahora estamos mas confundidos que cuando empezamos a buscar, cuando eramos basicamente 'inocentes' en el mundo de las camaras digitales. Toda esta informacion nos esta volviendo locos. Que hacemos? Compramos la Canon Powershot A95? Parece que esta bien y las criticas en internet son buenas... aunque algunos usuarios hablan de 'purple fringing' con esta camara (porque leo las criticas en amazon en ingles). Y que carajo es 'purple fringing'? Ni siquiera sabia yo que existiera algo llamado asi. Lo que viene a demostrar que, cuanto mas sabes, mas se complica la vida. Es mejor no saber y vivir la vie en rose? O es mejor saber y pasarte la vida haciendo preguntas y cuestionandolo todo? Ya veis, no es verdad lo que dicen algunos de que la filosofia como asignatura esta pasada de moda y no se aplica al mundo de hoy en dia. Todo lo contrario. Se aplica a todo. Incluso a la compra de una camara digital!

The weather today:
UV Index: 0 Low
Wind: From the South Southwest at 12 mph
Dew Point: 8C
Humidity: 90%
Visibility: 5 miles
Barometer: 1,022.4 mb

Monday, December 13, 2004

I was playing with the remote control yesterday, having a look at the usual crap the different channels are offering us when near Xmas. I stopped for a minute in some channel when 'famous' people and 'celebrities' were talking about Xmas. Somebody said they liked Xmas because of the 'wonderful smell of the Xmas trees' on the streets. Uh? What smell? The smell of plastic needles? I have not smelt a 'real' Xmas tree in ages! I can't remember who this celeb was but considering their generally not very high nor cultivated intellects, it may have been that they were referring to plastic Xmas trees. It wouldn't surprise me. At all.

Ayer estaba jugando con el mando a distancia, cambiando de canal en canal para ver que cantidad de porqueria nos ofrece la television ahora que se acerca la Navidad. Pare por un minuto en un canal donde famosos y famosillos hablaban sobre la Navidad. Uno de ellos de cuyo nombre no puedo ni acordarme, dijo que le gustaba la Navidad por el 'maravilloso olor a abetos' de las calles. Eh? Pero que olor? Sera el olor de los abetos de plastico, no? Porque yo no he visto un arbol de Navidad 'real' ni en calles ni en centros comerciales desde hace anios! Aunque, reflexionando, se me ocurre que como estos 'famosillos' no gozan de un gran coeficiente intelectual, igual si que se referia a los arboles de plastico. No me sorprenderia. En absoluto.

The weather today:
UV Index: 0 Low
Wind: From the Northeast at 9 mph
Dew Point: 3C
Humidity: 84%
Visibility: 2 miles
Barometer: 1,025.4 mb

Friday, December 10, 2004

We had our office Xmas lunch today. I should go and get a t-shirt customized with the motto "I survived the Xmas lunch 2004". After four hours my face was frozen in a permanent smile. It looked like a Miss World contest: scary. Otherwise, it was the usual stuff. I've experienced by myself the annoying British trend of trying to get you drunk.
- Have another one!, they said
- But I still have not finished this drink! I replied a thousand times
- Nevermind, have another one! they insisted.
What an obsession they have!

Hoy tuvimos nuestra comida de Navidad de la oficina. Me dan ganas de salir a comprarme una camiseta e imprimir en ella : "Yo sobrevivi a la comida de Navidad del 2004". Despues de cuatro horas, se me habia congelado la cara con una permanente sonrisa que recordaba a los concursos de Miss Universo. Daba miedo. Por otro lado, fue de lo mas normalito. He vivido otra vez la irritante experiencia de que los britanicos traten de emborracharme.
-Tomate otro! me decian
- Pero si aun no me he acabado lo que estoy bebiendo - repetia yo por milesima vez
- Da igual, tomate otro! insistian ellos/as.
Pero que obsesion que tienen!

The weather today:
UV Index: 0 Low
Wind: calm
Dew Point: 3°C
Humidity: 87%
Visibility: 6 miles
Barometer: 1,025.4 mb

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Goodbye Lenin! This is not a sci-fi film but we watched it yesterday and found it hilarius, poignant and ironic. A teenage boy from the ex-GDR tries to recreate the world before the fall of the Berlin Wall for his mother, who spent eight months in a coma after suffering a heart attack. Her situation could deteriorate and she may die if she were to suffer another heart attack so it is obvious she cannot be told the world in she lived and believed does not exist anymore and that capitalism is now with them.

Goodbye Lenin! Esta no es una pelicula de ciencia ficcion pero la vimos ayer y nos parecio genial, hilarante, con toques ironicos y muy agudos. Un adolescente de la ex-Republica Democratica Alemana intenta recrear el mundo tal como era antes de la caida del muro de Berlin para su madre, quien ha pasado ocho meses en coma despues de sufrir un ataque al corazon. La situacion de la madre podria empeorar o podria incluso morir si sufriera otro ataque, asi que para el chico es obvio que ella no tiene que enterarse de que el mundo en el que vivia y creia ya no existe y que el capitalismo les ha invadido.

The weather today:
UV Index: 0 Low
Wind: From the North Northeast at 3 mph
Dew Point: 4C
Humidity: 80%
Visibility: 3 miles
Barometer: 1,021.3 mb

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Inspired by a comment by Hightoro ("Let's all watch Sci-fi movies then!")after his suffering when watching romantic flick Before Sunset , I thought about all the Sci-fi movies I've watched and liked in my life. And decided to put together a list, by alphabetical order, which you can see below. Clicking on the film's name will take you to the Internet's movie database file for each film. Because sometimes we don't remember the title of the film, but bells rign when reading the plot or seeing the poster. As I said, this is a list of films I like. You will notice 'outrageous' absences, like Space Odyssey by S Kubrick. Simply put, I don't like it. On the other hand, you will see B-films, cheap films, commercial flops and blockbusters. With excellent or terrible FX. Who cares if the ideas and characters are great. They are in the list because I like them. Because they made me laugh or scared me, or made me think or they inspired me. Whatever. I like them.

Sometimes it happens that you remember the plot but cannot remember the title of the film. This website : All Sci-fi can help! Although its design is not very attractive, the information is very good. Using the menus on the right-hand side of the screen, you can choose by different plots, actors and directors and find that film whose title you can't remember. I used it to find Silent Running and it worked! I could only remember giant spaceships carrying thousands of plants and trees to outer space to save them from a nuclear devastated Earth. Years later, when I saw the Eden Project , I thought 'gosh! like in that sci-fi film I saw when I was a child!'. Anyways, it's a good website to find those forgotten titles.
So...any sci-fi films you especially like?

Despues de leer un comentario de Hightoro ("Y si vemos de ciencia ficción y ya?") provocado por los sufrimientos que padecio al ver la pelicula romantica Before Sunset , me puse a pensar en todas las peliculas de ciencia-ficcion que he visto y que me han gustado. Y decidi hacer una lista, en orden alfabetico. La podeis ver abajo. Si haceis click en los titulos, os llevaran a la pagina correspondiente de la Internet's movie database de cada pelicula. Porque, a veces, no recordamos el titulo de la pelicula, pero al leer el argumento o ver el poster, todos decimos "ah si! esa pelicula! claro que la he visto!". Como he dicho, esta es una lista de peliculas que me gustan. Ya vereis que hay ausencias 'imperdonables' como Space Odyssey de S Kubrick. Simplemente, no me gusta. Por otro lado, hay un monton de peliculas de serie B, peliculas baratas, fracasos de taquilla y exitos comerciales. Con bonisimos o pesimos efectos especiales. Que mas da si las ideas y los personajes son excelentes! Si estan en la lista, es porque me gustan. Porque me hicieron reir, o me asustaron, o me hicieron pensar o me inspiraron. Lo que sea.

A veces ocurre que recordamos el argumento pero no hay manera de recordar el titulo. En esta web : All Sci-fi encontrareis ayuda! Aunque el disenio no es muy atractivo, lo que cuenta es la informacion que contiene. Usando los menus de la derecha, podeis buscar un titulo mediante el argumento, los actores y directores y encontrar ese titulo que no hay manera de que nos venga a la memoria. Use esta pagina para encontrar el titulo de Silent Running, que habia visto en mi niniez. Solo recordaba las enormes naves espaciales que contenian arboles y plantas, flotando en el espacio, a salvo de la devastacion nuclear que habia ocurrido en la Tierra. Anios despues, cuando vi el Eden Project , pense :"anda! como aquella pelicula de ciencia ficcion".
Y ya puestos, a vosotr@s...que peliculas de ciencia-ficcion os gustan?

My favourite Sci-fi films (in alphabetical order):

12 Monkeys
Accion Mutante
Abre los Ojos
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Alien Resurrection
Alien 3
Apollo XIII
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
Back to the Future
Back to the Future II
Back to the Future III
Battlestar Galactica
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
Blade Runner
Body Snatchers
The Boys from Brazil
The Butterfly Effect
Capricorn One
The Company of Wolves
A Clockwork Orange
The Crow
Dawn of the Dead
The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Dead Zone
Dr Strangelove
Earth Girls are Easy
Enemy Mine
Escape from LA
Farenheit 451
The Fifth Element
Flash Gordon
Forbidden Planet
Ghosts of Mars
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
The Invisible Man
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
King Kong
Logan's Run
Mad Max
Mad Max II
Mars Attacks!
The Matrix
Memoirs of an Invisible Man
Men in Black
Metropolis (1927)
Night of the Living Dead
The Omega Man
The Philadelphia Experiment
Plan 9 from Outer Space
Planet of the Apes
Silent Running
Solaris (1972)
Soylent Green
Star Wars
Starship Troopers
Strange Days
The Time Machine (1960)
Time after Time
Les Visiteurs
The War of the Worlds
The X Files (the movie)
The 5000 Fingers of Dr T

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I have written all my Xmas cards. The grand total of 59 Xmas cards! 17 for family abroad and 42 for my work colleagues. One cannot escape from sending Xmas cards if living in the UK. And we are talking 'real' Xmas cards that you have to write by hand, put in an envelope and write the address, and not electronic cards! Anyways now I'm on that topic...have I told you that...I wish you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year! And don't make me tell you or write it to you one more time!

Ya he escrito todas mis postales de Navidad . La suma total ascendia a 59!! 17 para familia y amigos en el extranjero y 42 para companieros de trabajo. Viviendo en el Reino Unido, no hay escapatoria. Hay que escribir postales. Y hablo de postales 'reales', de las que has de escribir a mano, poner en un sobre y escribir la direccion. Ah si fueran postales electronicas, eso si que es sencillo y rapido! Y ya que estoy en el tema... aprovecho la ocasion para desearos feliz Navidad y Prospero Anio Nuevo! Y no me lo hagais decir o escribir ni una vez mas!

The weather today:
Mostly Cloudy
UV Index: 0 Low
Wind: From the North Northeast at 3 mph
Dew Point: 7C
Humidity: 88%
Visibility: 6 miles
Barometer: 1,028.1 mb

Monday, December 06, 2004

Yesterday we went for a visit to the V&A Museum in London. We saw only a small bit as the museum is quite big. At one point, feeling tired and thirsty, we decided to go to the canteen and grab a coke. The canteen happened to be at the Gamble Room, pictured above, which the V&A offers to rent for corporate events. I guess that corporate events deserve proper lighting and because they pay, they will have it. However, normal visitors who pay the outrageous £3.95 for a ridiculous sandwich do not deserve proper lighting. The Gamble Room was so dark that a poor lady crashed onto the mirror, thinking there were more tables behind it. It is a beautiful tiled Victorian room, as you can see in the photo. With proper lighting. Without it, it feels depressing and prone to accidents. So come on, V&A, turn on the lights, the overpriced sandwiches and drinks we have paid deserve better treatment!

Ayer estuvimos visitando el V&A Museum en Londres. Vimos solo una pequenia parte del museo, ya que es un edificio enorme. Cuando, agotados y sedientos, decidimos ir a uno de los cafes del museo a tomar una Coca-cola, fuimos al que se encuentra en la Gamble Room (foto de arriba), que el museo tambien alquila para eventos corporativos. No dudo que en el caso de una cena o acontecimiento de empresa, pagando por el alquiler de la sala, los del V&A Museum la iluminan de maravilla, como en la foto. Sin embargo, los visitantes normalitos que pagamos la exhorbitante cantidad de £3.95 por un ridiculo sandwich, parece que no tenemos derecho a iluminacion decente. La Gamble Room estaba tan oscura que una pobre seniora se dio de narices con un enorme espejo, creyendo que era un arco que llevaba a la otra parte de la sala, donde ella veia mas mesas. He de decir que es una sala preciosa, cubierta de azulejos y perfecto exponente del estilo victoriano, como podeis ver en la foto. Eso si, con iluminacion adecuada. Con las cuatro bombillas que tenian encendidas ayer, es de lo mas deprimente y no me extrania que haya accidentes con los espejos. Asi que desde aqui hago un llamamiento al V&A Museum, y les digo que enciendan las luces ya, con lo que nos cobrais por los diminutos sandwiches y las bebidas, bien que podeis aniadir unas pocas bombillas mas!

The weather today:
Mostly Cloudy
UV Index: 0 Low
Wind: From the West Southwest at 15 mph
Dew Point: 5C
Humidity: 67%
Visibility: 6 miles

Friday, December 03, 2004

As if I didn't have enough things to do, I had to go and help with the mumps immunisation programme for University students. I was handing in forms and checking they had been completed correctly and keeping an eye on the students after the vaccination, to make sure nobody fainted or had an adverse reaction. Fine with this. What I found outrageous was the advice given by the nurse. When asked if somebody should be given the jab if the person had the mumps when they were a child, the nurse said yes, have the jab. Having had the mumps does not give you immunity. I was shocked to hear that. Of course you are immunised if you had the mumps as a child! Jeez, I could not believe it! And another one : should someone have the jab if they had it already when they were a child, complete with the booster some years later? Oh yes, said the nurse, you should have the jab again. What? What is the point of this? If you have been given the jab and the booster, you do not need to get vaccinated again! I know that and I am not a nurse or a doctor. It just reinforces my belief that the British medical system is full of morons who treat their patients as if the patients were idiots or ignorants. A doctor or a nurse cannot believe you know about your own vaccinations or the illnesses you suffered when you were a child.So there you go, just in case, have another jab! Mad. Mad. Mad.

Como si no tuviera bastantes cosas que hacer, me toco ir hoy a ayudar con la vacunacion de las paperas (Parotiditis)para estudiantes universitarios. Mi 'gran colaboracion' consistia en darles los formularios y comprobar que los habian rellenado correctamente, ademas de vigilar que ninguno se nos desmayara o tuviera una reaccion adversa a la vacuna. Hasta aqui bien. Pero lo que me parecio escandaloso fue la manera en que la enfermera les contestaba las preguntas. Se le pregunto si, habiendo tenido las paperas en la niniez, la vacuna era necesaria. Si, dice la enfermera. No estas inmunizado contra las paperas. Queee? Digo yo. Si tuviste las paperas, raro es el caso de que las vuelvas a tener, lo sabre yo! Otra vez le preguntaron si, habiendo recibido la vacuna en la niniez, y una segunda toma anios despues, era necesario vacunarse ahora de nuevo. Si, contesta la enfermera, y le pincha sin contemplaciones. Queee? Digo yo. Si te han vacunado dos veces, para que carajo otra vacunacion? Ya estas inmunizado, segun todos los canones medicos en Europa. Eso lo se yo, y no soy ni enfermera ni medico. Y estas situaciones no hacen mas que confirmar mi parecer de que el sistema medico britanico esta plagado de inutiles que tratan a sus pacientes como si estos fueran idiotas o ignorantes. Porque aqui, un doctor o enfermera no se cree que tu, como paciente, estes al dia del nombre correcto de la enfermedad, ni de si la pasaste, ni de si te vacunaron. Asi que, por si acaso, ya que el paciente es tonto, ala! vacunemosle de nuevo. Es de locos, locos, locos.

The weather today:
Mostly Cloudy
UV Index: 0 Low
Wind: From the South Southwest at 6 mph
Dew Point: 4C
Humidity: 93%
Visibility: 4 miles
Barometer: 1,023.0 mb

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Another beautiful day of meetings and stuff like that!

Otro dia encantador de reuniones e historias similares!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

When I was a child, my favourite cartoon character was Spiderman. He was clever, fast and friendly. Hiding behind the hero a shy and normal Pete Parker had trouble with girls and his bullying boss at the newspaper. It was very likable. A normal person with normal problems who becomes a super-hero. The child in me identified with that. I still have a soft spot for Spiderman. However, a new hero entered my life when I was in my twenties.It was a happy and naive child fighter with a monkey tail who never gave up. Goku from Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z . Goku's main strength is just that: he never gives up. It is also his main weakness because never giving up endangers his life several times and even kills him. Of course in the Dragon Ball world Goku always ends up resurrecting thanks to the seven magic dragon balls. Dragon Ball has many fans and also many critics. The critics have labelled the series as a non-demanding simple cartoon series. Personally, I find Goku's hope and endurance very inspiring. A Dragon Ball chapter always puts me in a good mood.

Cuando era nini@, mi personaje de tebeo preferido era Spiderman. Era inteligente, rapido de reflejos y simpatico. Y detras de la fachada del super hero se escondia el timido y sencillo Pete Parker. Siempre con problemas con las chicas y con su abusivo jefe. No podia dejar de caer bien. Una persona normal con problemas normales que se convierte en un super-heroe. Normal que muchos nini@s se identificaran con Pete. Aun hoy en dia tengo a Spiderman en un lugar especial de mi corazon. Sin embargo, un nuevo heroe entro en mi vida a los veinti-pocos anios. Era un ninio feliz e inocente con cola de mono que nunca se daba por vencido. Goku de Dragon Ball y Dragon Ball Z . El digamos 'super-poder' de Goku es que nunca se da por vencido. Esa es tambien su mayor debilidad, claro, porque seguir luchando hasta el final hace que muera varias veces en la serie. Digo varias veces porque en el fantastico mundo de Dragon Ball los amigos de Goku consiguen con esfuerzo las 7 magicas bolas de dragon y le piden como deseo al dragon que Goku resucite. Dragon Ball tiene muchos fans y muchos detractores. Los detractores dicen que es una serie muy simple y no acaban de entender la increible alegria e inocencia de Goku, incluso cuando es adulto. Personalmente creo que la esperanza, coraje y perseverancia de Goku me inspiran. Ver un capitulo de Dragon Ball siempre me pone de buen humor.

The weather today:
UV Index: 0 Low
Wind: From the North Northeast at 6 mph
Dew Point: 3C
Humidity: 83%
Visibility: 6 miles
Barometer: 1,009.8 mb