Friday, July 31, 2009

Campus Party 2009, Valencia, Spain

Who could imagine under this peaceful photograph there are over 6000 people hooked on their computers, as shown on the picture below?

When I decided to create this blog, one of my aims was to improve my Computing skills, which are poorly indeed. I am interested in new technologies as they are the most attractive way to approach to my students, mainly when the subjects are more arduous. I try my best, but I often need an extra help to prevent from any occassional accident...and on that score, once I started surfing the net this morning, I found this amazing piece of news I wanted to share with everyone. This has been the case of the opening of the Campus Party 2009, at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia.

Can it be real? Yes, it is! During seven frenzied days (27th.July-2nd.August), 12/13 hours a day, over 6000 people from all over the world are participating in all kind of activities related to Computing and its uses on Science, Medicine and everyday tasks. By this time, I am staggered!

This Campus Party is divided into 4 sections:
  • Science
  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Digital leisure
Each section has its own workshops, special activities, lectures and competitions, so it's a bit complicated to take part in all of them as they overlap in time.
If you are interested (you'll have likely become my hero by now), here's a selection.
You can't miss:
-Show on Overclockers (Modding) from Germany, Latvia and Spain.
-The Robotics workshop and competition.
-Lecture about Medicine on Space.
-Desarrollador_es Prizes, with Paulina Bozek (Singstar's creator).
-Getting started into Arduino.
-Challenges CP Labs.
-You are the star! (Online series created by Campus' participants.
-Hip-Hop, Cooking Soul workshop.
-Lecture on new techniques of animation and a director on the net by Rodrigo Blaas and Nacho Vigalondo.
-Ping Pong Photo competition.
Digital Leisure:
-Getting started into simulation.
-Workshop: How to build a flight deck to pilot from home.
-Traffic controllers in action. PC and PSP official competitions.
So, if you love Computing, why don't you take part in this party? The only thing you need is your computer and your camping equipment to spend several days with people who enjoy the same as you do. Ooopss! I almost forgot! If you know or even best, learn how to change a logo from a blog, please, post it to me!!! I'll be delighted to face the challenge.

For more information:
(Sorry, it's in Spanish).

Campus Party 2009, Official Webpage

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A view on Gibraltar

Today, a historical event is taking place in The Rock. The Spanish Foreign Secretary, Miguel Angel Moratinos is crossing the gate to meet his counterpart, David Miliband, and Gibraltar Minister, Peter Caruana, on the Third Forum for the Dialogue between the British and the Spanish government. This is the first time in 300 years a Spanish Foreign Secretary steps Gibraltar's land.
The main aim of this meeting is to reach new cooperative measures to benefit its population, the Llanitos, putting aside the discussion on the colony's sovereignty,ceded to the United Kingdom after the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), and the controversy about its surrounding waters.
The agreements expected to be reached are on maritime and environmental cooperation, apart from a joint fight against organized crime gangs and a shared use of the airport. The idea is to avoid sea disputes when dealing with environmental disasters, such as the dumping of fuel on the sea. The closest accidents, New Flame's (2007) and Fedra's (2008) are still in their memory.
We hope this forum approaches both countries for a common welfare. Let's see what happens.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Maypole dance in Sweden

The dancers perform circle dances around a tall pole which is decorated with garlands, painted stripes, flowers, flags and other emblems. In the second most common form, dancers dance in a circle each holding a coloured ribbon attached to a much smaller pole; the ribbons are intertwined and plaited either on to the pole itself or into a web around the pole. The dancers may then retrace their steps exactly in order to unravel the ribbons.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tales from the World

As I'm very fond of reading, any time I have the chance, I will suggest the titles I've most enjoyed. I also want to share my collection of tales with all of you. I will be publishing them little by little. The following one is a traditional Iranian tale. I hope you like it!

Mr. Sun and Mrs. Moon
It's fashionable to argue, both in the media and our surroundings.But, is all this controversy worth the trouble?
In a farm where different animals lived together, an argument broke out foolishly. The dog said to the rooster: "What a romantic night the Moon offered us with his silvery beams over the plain!". "I prefer the light of the Sun: it's warmer and more pleasant and besides, it doesn't make me say silly things", answered the rooster with his beak held high.
The dog, offended, began to insult the rooster and there was such a hullabaloo that the cat, the sheep and the horse joined in. There were shouts and shoves. Everyone wanted to give their opinion about who was more important, the Sun or the Moon. But the Sun, who was watching this ridiculous sight, wanted to give them a lesson and hid behind some mountains. Night came in the middle of the day and the animals, who had not seen anything like this, were so frightened that they began to blame each other. They wanted someone to end the argument and then...
The Moon told them the Sun was very angry and that he would never appear again unless they shut up. The animals listened to the Moon carefully and went to bed. Next morning, the sun beams lit up the meadow. The animals, delighted, had a big party and never argued again.
We all have the right to give our opinion, but calmly, not by force.

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza speak Spanglish

If you have ever visited Gibraltar, Puerto Rico or Mexico, you may have heard something like:"Juan, come here now, que vas a coger frío y luego get a cold". It's a mixture between Spanish and English known as Spanglish. In United States, many Latin Americans include English words to their mother tongue.
Professor Ilan Stavans knows this reality and he has finished the translation of the first part of The Quixote. This piece of news has not been welcomed by Spanish Academicians who are considered old-fashioned scholars anchored in strict laws. Stavans has declared English has not liked it either, although from his viewpoint "it's the best way to fight against Washington authoritarism".Anyway, to cut a long story short, here you are. This is the beginning of the first book. Stavans' work won't be published until the translation of the second volume, so you can have your own opinion by reading this fragment meanwhile.

In un placete de la Mancha of which nombre no quiero remembrearme, vivía, not so long ago, uno de esos gentlemen who always tienen una lanza in the rack, una buckler antigua, a skinny caballo y un grayhound para el chase. A cazuela with más beef than mutón, carne choppeada para la dinner, un omelet pa' los sábados, lentil pa' los viernes, y algún pigeon como delicacy especial pa' los domingos.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Reading during summertime

When we go on holiday, many people think that reading is not a leisure activity. In fact, many youngsters admit to being obliged while studying, and they are not used to doing it in their spare time. However, they would change their minds if they visited Porto. This city in the North of Portugal houses one of the most fascinating bookshops in Europe, the Livraria Lello & Irmao. Opened in 1869, it keeps its magnificence with a spectacular facade in the neogothic style. Inside this two-storey building, its spiral staircase catches the visitors' attention. Meanwhile, anyone can have a cup of coffee and peep at J.K. Rowling's stories upstairs. Don't you wonder why hers? Yes, this bookshop was used as the setting for many Harry Potter's adventures at Hogwarts. Now, there's no excuse to go straight past a bookshop. Get in and find an enjoyable title for a hot sleepless night...a door to new worlds is opened to you waiting to be found somewhere.

Statue of Liberty Crown to reopen on Fourth of July

Liberty Enlightening the World

After the terrorist attacks on 11th September 2001, its crown was closed for security reasons.
On 4th July 2009, tourists will be able to climb once again 168 steps for a breathtaking view of New York harbour, from more than 250 ft (76,2 m) above the ground.
Designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi,the copper statue was a gift from the people of France to commemorate the centenary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and as a sign of friendship between the two countries. Being 151 ft (46 m) tall, it was shipped in 350 pieces aboard a frigate and reassembled on an island in New York harbour.
Being one of America's most beloved and recognizable symbols across the world, the monument was declared a Unesco heritage site in 1984.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies

Full text

On the photo,Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

Happy Independence Day

Dates to remember:

1776,4th July,the Declaration of Independence was signed.
1783-Treaty of Paris: Britain recognises the independence of the American colonies.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Music to defend multiculturalism

As there are many countries where the crucible of cultures is a fact, these songs were created to praise their diversity and promote tolerance for a better communication. I hope you enjoy them! Don't worry if you don't understand its lyrics. Rhythm and music are universal!

La France des couleurs