Thursday, February 28, 2008


November 23, 2007: In the Brno Zoo, two polar bear cubs were born. The event was announced only in the local media to avoid a possible disappointment if things go wrong. Kept in a dark den with their mother, without human intervention to protect them from infections, they survived the difficult first three months, observed only by infrared cameras.
February 25, 2008: The first pictures of yet-to-be-named cubs are released.

Monday, February 25, 2008


This coming Friday, Spain will elect Miss and Míster España 2008. My favourite contestant is Pedro Enrique García, Míster Alicante.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Madrid was famous for its "Golden Triangle of Arts", where the vertices were formed by El Prado, the MNCARS and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Now there is a new vertex, a new building of Caixa Forum, designed by the Herzog and de Meuron Studio, originally an electrical power plant. It's much smaller than the big players, but it has a potential.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Two days ago, a woman from the Health and Safety Department came to tell me that the next morning I had to go for a medical check-up. It's a wide institutional thing that was going on for months. The place is quite far away from Madrid, but she assured me there was a Metro station around. Well, suicidally walking on the Fuencarral motorway it took about 20 minutes to get there. While totally hungry because of the coming blood tests and already fed up, the day turned out to be one of the funniest days in Madrid. The reason was the nurse who was performing all the tests on me. At first, she tried to attach the "octopus" 12-lead EKG device on my chest. As soon as she attached 4 electrodes and tried to attach the rest, the first four fell off. This battle continued for about 10 minutes and I already started to laugh. After she brought some magic adhesive gel and the situation hadn't changed, I was laughing so much that the electrodes would have to be attached by a Superglue not to fall off. I had to take a five minute break. Then we continued in an acoustic anechoic chamber when I was supposed to hear something in the headphones that might remember El Caudillo. She described the sound I was supposed to hear as "toot", but not "beep". Well, in this special isolated cabin I could hear the doctor speaking across 2 walls but nothing out of those antique headphones. As a result, I am officially sordo now. Then we continued with lung capacity tests. I swear I tried really hard and after six attempts to satisfy her, she said that it could be finally OK, but then she wasn't able to print the last successful result. I was leaving the room with diaphragm spasms.
The further illustrate the hilariousness of that place, the doctor reminded me of Dr. Kylie Johnson from MADtv:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Morning, Madrid

From Facebook:
Joseph Mc Loughlin wrote at 1:23pm on February 14th, 2008:
When the streets are deserted, the shops close early, the bars and restaurants are empty, no one wants to come out and everyone is miserable and suicidal, and in school only half the students appear for classes... is it a public holiday (again?)... or is it the fiesta of Santo "Triste"... or has the King died?... NO IT'S RAINING!
Applies to trains, too.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Albanians in Kosovo declared independence. When I see them waving the bloody red flags of Albania and also the Stars and Stripes (but not the Kosovo flags), I keep wondering that the European Union diplomats, isolated in their glamorous Brussels palaces, ignited a fire, which effect cannot be foreseen. Instead of working harder to reach a compromise (where ALL parties have to loose), they simply gave up. Similarly to the Sudetendeutsche in the pre-WWII Czechoslovakia with their "Heims in Reich", the Albanian Kosovans have already started planning a unification with Albania. This fire may spread to Macedonia and as a precedent can be (and will be) easily applied to any province or minority anywhere in the world. The appeasing Europeans will pay the price soon, as they did for the Munich Agreement.

Inland Empire

David Lynch's Inland Empire is the best-selling DVD in the Callao fnac store in Madrid. Simply unbelievable. I love his movies, but this one was on the edge of being unwatchable. When I saw it in the cinema a year ago, about a half of the people left the room before the movie ended.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

PR S04 Near the End

Although the Bryant Park Runway Shows have already happened, the TV is obviously running late: in the last episode we still had five designers to compete. Not to spoil the elimination surprise for the viewers, the producers decided to let all five contestants to present their collections in NYC. As we know now, in the MET episode Sweet P was eliminated, but we can still appreciate what she would compete with if she could. I have to say that while the execution was not always 100%, I really enjoyed her unique colour palette and most of the designs:
Bravo Sweet P! Your genuine personality was the highlight of this season for me.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Painting a petal

I have never experienced such a gloomy state of mind as now, when I read Cormac McCarthy's The Road. That book is brilliantly written and his English is a pure poetry. The language switches between a full but heartless style when he describes the burnt, lifeless Earth and a short, elliptic one for the talks between the father and his son. It's those dialogues that make my heart stop for a second or two.

Monday, February 4, 2008


Walking to the swimming pool today, the air was filled with a light rain. The sky was patchy, with deep dark clouds but also with promising flashes of blue. The swimming pool in Cantoblanco is on a little hill, overlooking the Autónoma campus. After couple of laps, the sun finally showed up for a minute and I looked through the glass wall and saw a gigantic rainbow spanning the campus valley. Unfortunately, it only lasted for one lap, as the rain shortly returned to wash the colours to the drainage as if nothing had happened.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Bizarre Love Triangle

Cover by Davi Não Vê Estrelas

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Lost, Season 4

After neverending 8 months, the first episode of the season 4 of Lost! In May 2007, in the "Through the Looking Glass" episode, we learnt from those shocking flashforwards that Jack, Kate and possibly more survivors of the Oceanic Flight 815 had left the island. What we are told now is that maybe it was only six of them (!) who returned, including Hurley, who was the central character in this episode and referred to himself in the future as one of the Oceanic 6. The mysteries escalate and deepen and it's too early to draw any conclusion. I was happy to see Jeremy Davies parachuted on the island in the last two minutes of the show, portraying one the bad (?) guys who fool the survivors to be somebody else than they really are (Not Penny's Boat). There are only seven more episodes in this season, due to the WGA strike, sigh.


Yesterday I learnt a new word. In the morning, our sister lab came to pick us up to celebrate José's birthday in the cafeteria. Juanjo, THE camarero, asked his typical: ¿Qué queréis?, and we ordered "seis con leche, dos solos, tres medianas, uno cortado y uno manchado". The manchado coffee was for a new post-doc in their lab and we haven't order anything like that before. ¿Manchado?, I asked and they explained me that it was a hot milk just stained a little bit with coffee.