Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Maulik Pancholy

I love this season of Weeds. All the characters are so well written, including this out-of-the-closet future father:


Today, my boss has made something super smart, so I told him: "That was a pure MacGyverism!" The girls in my lab looked at me with curiosity and asked me who was that person I just mentioned. I said: "You know the one who was able to make a nuclear bomb out of the box of sugar cubes and half a bottle of bleach." And they said: "Oh, you mean [Mak Giber]!" Yes, that's exactly who I meant.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

For Kids, By Kids

Gap Inc. has been caught in a child labor scandal as Dan McDougall's reports in The Observer: Jivaj, who is from West Bengal and looks around 12, told The Observer that some of the boys in the sweatshop had been badly beaten. 'Our hours are hard and violence is used against us if we don't work hard enough. This is a big order for abroad, they keep telling us that. 'Last week, we spent four days working from dawn until about one o'clock in the morning the following day. I was so tired I felt sick,' he whispers, tears streaming down his face. 'If any of us cried we were hit with a rubber pipe. Some of the boys had oily cloths stuffed in our mouths as punishment.'
Living and shopping in Spain, I am keeping in mind that "50% of the products Zara sells are manufactured in Spain, 26% in the rest of Europe, and ONLY 24% in Asian countries and the rest of the world."

Monday, October 29, 2007


John Siracusa reviews MacOS 10.5 at the Ars Technica. This may as well be the only review that matters.
Summary: John hates the GUI visual "improvements" and likes the internals. For me, that's a good thing, as the makeup can change or be wiped off later but the guts must stay.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007


The South Park show continues its 11th season with a second part of the Imaginationland trilogy. The Imaginationland is invaded by some terrorists that broke the barrier between the good part, inhabited by creatures like Luke Skywalker, Zeus and Popeye, and the bad, bad part, the home of Freddy Kruger, a Xenomorph and many others. Watching the first two episodes, I had the feeling that it might be a parody of the current US politics with the "monsters from the other side" (but from the SAME land) being the good, patriotic citizens who went berserk after 9/11. Consider this: Strawberry Shortcake is captured by the monsters that want to question her when The Woodland Critters appear with the cruellest ideas. These cute little squirrels, raccoons and porcupines reminded me the soccer mums with the "Support our troops" bumper stickers.

Monday, October 22, 2007

ADN (again)

The ADN newspaper is reporting the surprising victory of Kimi Raikkonen on four pages today. That's fine with me, the only problem I have with this is that his last name is Räikkönen. It will not surprise me if these ignorants spell his name next time as Rayconen to castellanized him even more.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hard Rain

Today, I have visited my favourite Real Jardín Botánico again and I took a walk through their olive trees collection when I discovered an open air exhibition of the Hard Rain Project, a series of disturbing pictures taken by Mark Edwards accompanied by Bob Dylan’s lyric written more than 40 years ago.
"Most of the photographs are from the personal archive of Edwards, who first had the idea of illustrating the apocalyptic imagery of the song when he was lost on the edge of Sahara Desert in 1969. He was rescued by a Tuareg nomad, who led him to safety, made a fire, then produced a cassette player and played the Dylan masterpiece. As the song unfolded, Mark Edwards was struck by the idea of illustrating each line with a photograph. In the years that followed, he took pictures of his travels through more than 150 countries. The resulting collection reinterprets Dylan’s classic song as a powerful commentary on climate change, environmental collapse and global poverty. It is an urgent appeal to world leaders – and all citizens – to act responsibly to sustain all of humanity, while also sustaining the planet. The pictures are displayed on a spectacular 40-metre outdoor canvas – the first reportage exhibition of its kind."
It's such a breathtaking piece of beauty!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I just finished a chirimoya fruit and started to dig Wikipedia for some details about this world wonder. The most interesting part for me as a biologist is the pollination mystery. "The flowers are hermaphroditic, but have a mechanism to avoid self pollination. The short-lived flowers open as female, then progress to a later, male stage in a matter of hours. This requires a separate pollinator that not only can collect the pollen from flowers in the male stage, but also deposit it in flowers in the female stage. It is acknowledged that there must be such a natural pollinator, and while so far studies of insects in the cherimoya's native region have been inconclusive, some form of beetle is suspected. For fruit production outside the cherimoya's native region, cultivators must either rely upon the wind to spread pollen in dense orchards or else pollinate flowers by hand. Complicating matters is the notoriously short lifespan of cherimoya pollen." Isn't it amazing?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fountains in Brno

Four moody pictures from my four-day stay in my hometown.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tuesday, October 2, 2007