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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Camels, an undervalued castaway

Camel ( Catalan camell, French chameau ), both from Latin camēlus, from Ancient Greek κάμηλος (kamēlos), from Proto-Semitic *gamal-; compare Arabic جمل (jamal) and Hebrew גמל (gamal).

A starting point can be the maxim: "a camel is a horse designed by committee." 

which has been attributed to three sources (wikipedia:  Vogue magazine, July 1958, to Sir Alec Issigonis and also to professor Lester Hunt)

The story goes further on the wrong side with the image of the Camel on the 

A children favourite has been How the Camel Got His Hump by Rudyard Kipling. Collected in Just So Stories, 1902, illustrated by the author, and introduced by: "Now this is the second tale, and it tells how the camel got his big hump.

Penjat per el 10/12/2010
When the animals began to work for Ma

My favourite, the Mongolian fable, where the camel lost the contest with the mouse:

A long, long time ago, the Great Borhan Khan invited all the animals to apply for the great honor of having a year named after themselves for their new calendar. 
"Hey Elder Brother Camel! Did you hear?" cried the mouse as he scurried up the tall legs and perched on the rearmost hump of his Bactrian friend.  "There is to be a new calendar, one which will repeat every twelve years. And each year will have as its totem one of us animals! What do you say Elder Brother Camel? Shall we put ourselves forth as representatives of our families?"

Based on a traditional Mongolian folktale from George Lane's Daily Life in Mongolia. A brief online version of the tale can be found here. Also, the open spaces of Mongolia can be read in the superb novel The naked name of love (by Sanjida O'Connel)

But in another version, Buddha felt sorry for the camel. If you look carefully at the camel, you will see that the Buddha has kept His word, because the camel has:

  • the ears of the Mouse
  • the stomach of the Cow
  • the paws of the Tiger
  • the nose of the Hare
  • the body of the Dragon
  • the eyes of the Snake
  • the mane of the Horse
  • the wool of the Sheep
  • the hump of the Ape
  • the head-crest of the Rooster
  • the crooked back-legs of the Dog
  • and the tail of the Pig.

As early as 1800 BC, trade routes from Asia and Africa crossed the Arabian Peninsula carrying spices, incense, gold, ivory, and silk on their way to Europe and the lands of the Fertile Crescent. Camels were used by the Nabateans in the first century BC, on their way from the Gulf of Aqaba to the trading capital of Petra in central Jordan. Camels were used by the Bedouin, whose warriors formed the nucleus of the Muslim armies that conquered the Byzantine and Persian Empires in the 7th century AD. War, trade, and civilization -- all riding on the back of a hump.

Try to answer these questions:
Question #1: The camel has played such an important role in Arab culture there are how many words for it in the Arab language?
Question #2: You can easily identify a dromedary camel if you remember that their single hump forms the letter "D" on its side. Can you remember what the two hump camel is called?
Question #3: The camel's eye is protected from sand by two rows of extra long eyelashes, one on the upper eyelid, and one on the lower eyelid. In addition to this, each eye also has a very thin third eyelid that moves in which direction?
Question #4: Although camels will normally select the freshest vegetation available, when food is scarce they will eat anything-- salty plants, dried plants, bones, fish, meat, leather, and even on occasion their owner's tent. What is the scientific term for an animal that will eat anything?

Question #5: In the wintertime, camels can gather enough moisture from the plants they eat to go as much as 50 days without water. In the summertime, how many days can a camel go without water?

Question #6: Camels are capable of losing safely how much of their body's weight in water?
Question #7: The term hydrophilicity, which describes the hemoglobins in a camel's red blood cells, means what?
Question #8: Camels are capable of drinking how many gallons / liters of water in 10 minutes?
Question #9: A camel keeps as cool as it can by resting when the weather is extremely hot. It will lay down in a shady place, if it can find one. What will a camel do if it cannot find a shady place to rest on a hot day?
Question #10: Although chicken is the most widely consumed domestic meat in Saudi Arabia today, camel meat could be the meat of the future, especially in health-conscious Western countries. Why is this?
The Camelidae family includes:
Genus Camelus:
Camelus dromedarius (dromedary, one-hump camel)
Camelus bactrianus (Bactrian camel, two-hump camel)
Genus Lama:
Lama glama (llama)
Lama guanicoe (guanaco)
Lama pacos (alpaca)
Genus Vicugna:
Vicugna vicugna (vicugna)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

weird technology: gourmet oddity with the iHam 5Js

Order it now and you'll receive in the same pack an iKnife with Cut 'n Play technology; I think, I eat  ... therefore iHam (in Latin: Cogito, edo, ergo iHam)!
Shackleton welcomes you to the world of iHam.Iham is the perfect parternship of two unique concepts.“i” naturally meaning “I” and “Ham” meaning “ham”iHam is the ultimate in “black hooves” products, featuring the revolutionary 5Js technology: 7k of storage capacity and up to 35 days of gourmet playback over Christmas; Futhermore its unique touch system facilitates easy access to the rind and its "try me anywhere" wireless technology; 
The pack also features this exclusive iKnife...with X4 technology for enhanced cutting capabilityideal for sleeker slices.Thanks to its universal Cut & Play (UCnP) I eat ... therefore iham!
Importantly, if your iHam becomes locked up, simply turn it 180º.This automatically restart the iHam, allowing you to resume the normal activity.Welcome to a brand new sensation.Welcome to the world of iHam.And now... the new iHam nano!

Order it now and improve your iLife;
The two unique concepts I and Ham blend together to bring you the ultimate revolutionary 5Js technology.

Siete giù per le cattive notizie sulle tariffe di iPhone 3G? Consolatevi con il nuovissimoiHam 5Js, il prodotto più ricercato degli ultimi tempi e soprattuto il più atteso per il Natale 2008. iHam nasce dalla fusione di due concetti: “i” come “Io” e “ham” come… “prosciutto”. iHam è il Pata Negra definitivo, dotato di tecnologia 5Js, ha una capacità di 7Kg e un’autonomia da 1 a 35 giorni sotto le festività natalizie. Sul sito di iHam troverete anche altri rivoluzionari prodotti come iLoin, iHam Nano, iChis e iFua.
Per chi vuole provare un’esperienza da iGourmandise completa, Shackleton, l’azienda di comunicazione che ha ideato la simpatica trovata, ha pensato a tutto, anche alle periferiche. Il Guided Tour, accessibile dalla home del sito ufficiale, offre una straordinaria panoramica sul mondo dell’incredibile iHam. Con iKnife, incluso nella confezione, potrete scoprire una seamless integration fra coltello e prosciutto mai provata prima. Grazie ad  iHand potrete servire il vostro esclusivo Pata Negra con tutta la classe richiesta dal prodotto, magari integrandolo con un paio di fette di iBread, per poi offrire ai vostri ospiti un iClean per pulirsi le dita.

Click on peripherals 

Imagine if vegetarian Steve Jobs were to suddenly take his company into the delicatessen business and you get an idea of what iJam , pronounced "iHam", is about. 
The online parody not only sends-up Apple's products, showcasing cuts of meat in minimal white packaging, but also their website and through a "guided tour" video, their presentations. It's more strange than funny to see a leg of ham presented like a piece of hardware, promising "35 days of gourmet playback over Christmas" and "cut and play" performance. 
The prank is the creation of Barcelona-based multimedia agency Shackleton who is hoping the gag will net them new clients.

From the PR/Marketing firm Shackleton in Spain, a super funny riff on Apple products (which has been circulating in the Spanish blogosphere for months). The introductory video will make you burp bacon, it's so funny. 

Lulz deconstruction, for non-Spanish readers: the "j" would sound like "h" in Spanish if you said the word "iJam." Anyway, somehow the guy's Castellano accent makes it even funnier, because the "th" sounds are all so fancy to my mexican-spanish-trained ear.
click here: iHam 5Js.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Man of the match performance! Sign for a mINIESTAdi -Andres for agesthinking

A performance for the ages: 

Find (at least) 13 ways to not repeat yourself

 about the key player at the Spanish Classico

A performance for the ages: Andres Iniesta’s masterclass in Barcelona’s 3-1 win at Real Madrid

Sunday, December 11th, 2011
To call Andres Iniesta a “big-game player” is doing a disservice to the Barcelona schemer who appears to have the temperament for any occasion, and the silky skills to go with it.
The list of huge landmark matches where Iniesta has dictated play in the middle of the park and had an indelible impact on the outcome are simply staggering.
Obviously, the 2010 World Cup final is the immediate choice but the Euro 2008 semi-final and the 2009 Champions League semi-final also stand out. Whilst Iniesta has also been imperious in Champions League finals and countless Clasicos.
Quite simply Andres Iniesta is a living legend and he has the medals to prove it. He also has a man of the match performance on Saturday night in the Bernabeu to prove that despite all the above, the diminutive playmaker can still turn it on.
And the worldwide love for Iniesta has been gushing in the hours since Barcelona’s 3-1 victory in the Bernabeu. The pale midfielder is dominating every poll for man of the match and here at 101gg we have been inundated with requests for the video below.

Andres Iniesta’s man of the match 8-minute performance vs Real Madrid

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Andrés Iniesta: FC Barcelona's Key Player vs Real Madrid in el Clásico

Andres Iniesta is the most important man on the pitch when it comes to taking down Real Madrid. Iniesta’s creative runs and big-game poise will be critical against an imposing Madrid defense, and if there’s one man most likely to make the game-winning plays for Barcelona on Saturday, it’s Iniesta.
Iniesta takes up position on the attacking edge of midfield. While Xavi tracks back to help bring the ball up, Andrés stays focused on goal, no matter if he’s 35 yards out. Always aware of the opposing defense and the position of his own strikers, by the time Barça get him the ball, Iniesta has an ideal attacking scenario fully formed in his sizable skull.
With dribbling abilities second to none, and a fair amount of quicks remaining in his 27-year-old legs, Iniesta is a pure danger man on the ball. Inviting defenders to close him down too tightly, Iniesta can get past anybody that doesn’t give him enough respect. If space is given, he’ll eat it up quickly, getting as close to goal and attracting as many defenders as possible. When the moment is right, he’ll unleash a dagger through-ball, take a crack of his own, or win a corner kick.
'nuff said!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Several working hours go unpaid overtime weekly in UK (Guess! -out of 43)


   Unpaid overtime hours are the                      number of hours actually worked by an employee in excess of his or her contractual or normal daily or weekly hours of work for which the employee is not entitled to compensation, in pay, kind or compensatory leave.


     FACTS about Work-work-work (in Australia):
   Employees were asked about the main reason for working unpaid extra hours in a 2000 ABS survey (Table 3). The overwhelming majority (73.5 percent) of full-time employees who worked these extra unpaid hours referred to the fact that 'there is too much work' or that they needed to do the extra hours 'to get the work done'. A further ten percent stated that the 'employer expected it'.

These responses point to feelings of obligation and even compulsion, which allow unpaid overtime, somewhat parallel to paid overtime, to appear as more-or-less mandatory. (...) In a later survey, employees identified work barriers such as a lack of resources to cover for people on leave and the increased workloads before and after leave.

Click to read  Work-life balance in the EU 
  • Long working hours are bad for work-life balance, health, productivity and safety. In the UK we have reached epidemic levels.
  • Overwork is forcing workers into unhealthy lifestyles as they attempt to reconcile long working hours and family responsibilities, according to a new report. A majority reported that work dominated their lives, and  also led to increased levels of stress, resulting in irritability, exhaustion and depression, said the report from Working Families.
  • Britons put in 36 million hours of free overtime each year 
  • with one in three refusing to take all their holidays fearing a backlog of work when they return. 

British workers clock up some of the longest weeks in Europe as average office employee spends 43 hours at their desk

Six hours of that will be unpaid overtime
  • Managers and senior staff work longest weeks at 46.2 hours (7.6 unpaid hours)

Read more:

Average hours worked per week in EU countries
Only workers in Austria and Greece put in a longer week, with the shortest hours recorded in Denmark, at 39.1.
The UK has the highest percentage of part-time workers in the EU, which pushes down the length of the average working week.
But the research shows that more and more British workers are simply in part-time jobs while they look for full-time work.
A huge 27 per cent of employees in this country are part-time, compared with 20 per cent across the EU as a whole.
Factory workers and those in lower-skilled jobs worked 44 and 41 hours a week respectively, with little unpaid overtime.
Part-time workers in the UK
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: 'These figures shine a light on the valuable but too often unrewarded extra hours that UK workers put in every week.
'Employers should do more to recognise the unpaid overtime that their staff do, which contributes £29billion to the UK economy every year.
But the union leader added: 'While average hours are falling across the economy - both as a result of the recession and changes in working practices - UK workers are still doing the third longest shifts in Europe, with only Austrians and Greeks working longer.
'Smarter working practises and an end to pointless presenteeism would help make staff more productive and get a better work-life balance.'

Read more:

Friday, December 2, 2011

How to get some perks -figures over figures in Leon

To make ends meet (or the art of to earn a living with such a golden career ladder, holding on a post, and any other post), avoiding getting peanuts for your worthy work.

The politician whose 12 jobs see her  double her official salary

Carrasco Lorenzo presides the provincial authority of León, known as the Diputación. She also heads up the Culture Institute of León, and the Airport Authority of León, and the provincial branch of the Popular Party (PP)... 
And so on, and so on, for a total of 12 positions.

PROFILE: Isabel Carrasco Lorenzo    JOAQUÍN GIL - Madrid - 02/12/2011

If it's been five years since you've had a raise,
Why would you tink I'd give you one now?
On paper, Carrasco Lorenzo is only paid a salary from the first job, because it requires exclusive dedication.  
Her income from that source is 79,800 euros a year before tax. 
But even though her aides insisted on this point, an analysis by EL PAÍS of official documents shows that by adding allowances and travel expenses, this politician, who has two decades' worth of experience as a public official, made more than 158,000 euros last year.  
This income is twice what the outgoing prime minister, Rodríguez Zapatero, made during the same period.

For instance, Carrasco Lorenzo received 62,150 euros last year from the savings bank Caja España, of which she is a board member. She made 19,037 euros for attending the lender's weekly meetings, which were held in León until October, and then in Salamanca following Caja España's merger with Caja Duero - a move dictated by necessity, as with most other cash-strapped savings banks in Spain. Caja España also paid her 43,113 euros for showing up at monthly meetings with companies in which the lender has a stake.
Besides that source of revenue, last year Carrasco Lorenzo accepted 13,392 euros from the Culture Institute of León, an agency of the provincial authority - which she also presides. Since last May, this multitasking professional has also been a councilor in the city of León, which will pay her 3,673 euros a year for dropping by the local plenary sessions.
Since 2008, the politician with 12 jobs has been paid nearly 200,000 euros for travel expenses and other allowances in connection with the meetings at Caja España and its investees Invergestión, Inmocaja, Viproelco and Tinsa, among others.
In 2008 and 2009, Carrasco Lorenzo charged Caja España 3,368 euros for road travel expenses, even though the trips were made in the official Diputación of León car at her disposal, chauffeur included, as four board members of the savings bank told this newspaper. All four also said that their colleague specifically asked for these amounts to be deposited directly in her account. (...)
we are the 1

Isabel Carrasco Lorenzo refused to answer EL PAÍS' questions on this matter. "I neither confirm nor refute those figures. All the relevant information must be provided by the financial institution and the Diputación of León," she stated.
This is just the latest case to emerge involving political leaders who earn up to six-figure amounts between salaries and allowances. In Catalonia, a region that has made significant spending cuts on healthcare, it recently transpired that Jordi Portabella, a Barcelona councilor for Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, makes almost 127,000 euros between his salary and extra stipends, thanks to a variety of positions at public agencies.