martes, 26 de agosto de 2008

Useful facts for Time Sinks

In my daily dose of “Qué tal Fernanda” (a national radio emission broadcasted by Imagen). I heard some interesting facts from the Federal Investigation Agency, AFI (the Mexican FBI, for its initials in Spanish) very useful to the subject. They were in Spanish, but since I started this topic in English I will continue this way

“85% of burglaries take place in horizontal condominiums (‘cotos’)”
“Close to 90% of kidnappings come for someone from the inside i.e. underpaid workers, unhappy maids or butlers, etc.”

It means that living outside these concealed places is actually safer. Go on, by yourself a dog or better: adopt one! It also means beware of whom are you hiring to take care of your non-material more valuable goods.

Is living in a “coto” safer than living outside? Can we trust private security? Do we need private security?

lunes, 25 de agosto de 2008

Feedback Time Sinks

I’ve been getting feedback.

If I don’t like something, it’s my duty to discard it by all non-violent means within my reach. My essay may be a little exaggerated but was aimed for people who, eventually, will have the choice (for they will also have the economic power) to live in one these things. It doesn’t mean I will segregate those people from my life because it will be doing the exact same thing they do, I will be lowering myself to their level.

One subject is that driving long distances is not linked to living in “cotos”. True: any one may need to drive long distances without living in concealed urban developments. Once we’ve accepted that driving is dangerous, the main point is to prove if driving long distances is or is it not directly linked to “cotos”.

Most of these developments have only one entrance (maybe more if they’re very rich and big). So your backyard may be next to an avenue but you must make a very long detour and go thru several ‘security’ checkups. This means that if you live in these ‘cotos’ you have to drive a daily average of 5 minutes more. 5 minutes times 365 days: 30 hours 25 min of extra driving per year. So if you live in a ‘coto’, specially in ‘coto’ inside a ‘coto’ (it happens very often) you will need a bigger iPod, remember to preprogram your music before all the driving, we don’t want your attention sucked by these gadgets.

“I live in a ‘coto’ and my friends drive more than I do”. Is this your fault or theirs? Probably you’re richer than they are, because you chose the nearer most-expensive one, forcing your friend to live in cheaper and more remote areas. Let’s go back to the origins. The first development was built on the outsides of the city, and the next one a little bit further, and the next one still further. And surrounding them grew normal houses. This is called urban sprawl. People now need transport for long distances because the city is divided by secluded islands with only one entrance. Your friend drives more because he lives behind you.

The main reason people who can pay a car don’t use mass transportation is because we think it’s faster. It is faster if: A) you are not at a walking distance from the bus (metro, tramway) stop. B) There is no traffic. I usually hear “if there were a Metro I would use it” Clearly there will never be a metro station near enough if you have a distance of a five minute drive to the entrance. How will it be no traffic if everyone needs a car? We would eventually have traffic even if we had the Californian highways. So the reason there is no metro is because this people live in ‘cotos’.

We know these developments are strictly for housing. That means commerce and services must be located far away. That means jobs are far from your house. Do you want to reach them? Buy a car! Drive more, expose yourself more. And we’re just focusing in the risk of a direct car accident. We are not internalizing all the values. Drive more and you will eventually have to deal with stress-related health issues, acid rain, global warming, wildlife losses.

Even though people living in “cotos” seems not to be my problem, it is! Because I’m fed up with traffic and kidnappers. And it concerns me because I watch my city sprawl, more and more to unreachable limits and this costs me my (and your) money taxes.

Other reason is that it may seem that these enclosed habitats do not affect wildlife because they are within the city limits where it was already affected. But how about the “cotos” near a protected area (i.e. forest, lake, wetland)? The ecosystem is broken and has a terrible effect on wildlife. Most of private property (specially this kind) is nice, but not fare to all the creatures.

“To chose where I want to live is part of our God’s given free will”. Someone might say it is free will to decide where you want to live, but what about the people who don’t have the money. What happens when a poor guy looks at rich people driving their Hummers entering to “Puerta de Hierro” (one of the wealthiest ‘cotos’ in Guadalajara) and says, “whoa, I want to live in there!”. The only chance they stand to earn that kind of money is selling drugs. That’s why some of these “cotos” are full of drug dealers. And when a president faces them, and tries to stop the dealers, they run out of money and turn their heads to other profitable criminal activities: prostitution, kidnapping…

But who is in charge of changing this? We all are, but more important: rich people are. We are not forced to accept what we don’t like even if we don’t have the money. But when powerful people yell, there is a huge echo to those words and the odds of changing are grater. What happens if some poor guy raises his voice and says “I don’t like that”? The society (specially the first sectors) will only laugh and raise their shoulders. But what would happen if it was Carlos Slim who wrote this?

viernes, 22 de agosto de 2008

Time sinks

People who, as I do, are living in the third world, are constantly asked to do a bunch of time-wasting chores in order to fulfill obnoxious people’s expectative. There are some time sinks such as the queues in every money-involved procedure which cannot be avoided since money is always an issue. The problem is those time-consuming ‘security’ measures rich people tend to establish believing they will have a nicer life.

In these so called developing countries we face every day the fear of being exposed to crimes. Do we? Who are the most frightened people? Rich people think they have more to lose than everyone else. So they protect themselves the most. And in their vision, the way to assure safety is living apart from everyone else. And in order to achieve protection they install barriers, CCTV systems, guards, etc. But they ignore that by doing this they are exposing themselves for three main reasons. They show criminals where their goods are, they foment social resentment, and they have to drive long distances (there’s no driving-free transport that fits in this way of life)

When you enter a concealed neighborhood, called in Mexican Spanish “coto”, a private security guard asks you to stop the car, asks for the name of the person you’re visiting, asks for the exact address, and on top of it to show an ID. How many exact addresses do you know? Well, you’ve better memorize the addresses of your friends because if you don’t they won’t let you in. And what is the ID for? To prove you are over age? It can’t be to know who may or may not be a burglar.

If burglars have in their minds to rob a house, they won’t be stopped by a bunch of walls and fences. If the reward is good, they would invest time, money, and intelligence to get it. And this reward is most likely to be in rich houses rather than in a none-secured, less wealthy house.

By establishing security measures they are pointing themselves as a target. Because if you are able to pay for security in your home that means that you have more valuable assets in other places, such as the bank, the stock market. This will invite criminals to attack you when you are not home. Kidnappers may not “work” in this neighborhoods, but residents will have to go out eventually (to school, supermarket, dry-cleaning). So why not invest the money in security for our whole country, or the banking industry? And then move to a normal neighborhood, and infest it with hard working, good and rich people (assuming that their money is clean, of course).

Besides, what’s wrong with living in a low-profile, humble-living way of life? The kidnappers will stop looking at you as a possible “business”. Your kids will play with other kids. And eventually, if these things disappear, we will no longer be afraid to let our kids out to the park by themselves. If your house is well watched, it will attract well trained criminals; if not, a well trained Rottweiler will handle small burglars.

Named as the second reason is that this time consuming formulas encourage social resentment. This exclusive “cotos” tend to segregate people, sending an “I’m-better-than-you” message. The people in lower classes will grow angry with rich people and will use any chance of getting at them whenever they can, i.e. scratching with a key rich-people-looking cars. Until they reach heights of such magnitude as big politicians who say rich people are bad, poor people are good. And will shake entirely this country once again.

The third reason is that by driving extended distances they’re exposing themselves. First because they can be car-jacked in their long journeys home. The other is because some people living in richer “cotos” feel superior and tend to believe they can drive drunk (if they get stopped, they have enough money to bribe the officer, among other reasons). And we all know what happens when you mix powerful engines with powerful beverages.

We can choose to live or not to live in one of these suburban neighborhoods, but we cannot always choose where our friends will live. For lots of them will believe in the “cotos” developers bluff for a safer living. And we will eventually have to pay them a visit, stop our car at the entrance, yell their address, show an ID, and have endured car-packed streets.

So, this guarded neighborhoods point their inhabitants as a target, foment angry behaviors among lower classes, make the city less safe for car drivers, and on top of it, they force all the remaining society to waste our precious time. These time-wasting policies must be forbidden for they do not increase security, in fact, as we have discussed, they diminish it. If the government can’t, the people must discard them by any means.

sábado, 16 de agosto de 2008


Ça fait très longtemps que je n’écris en français, et maintenant je le fait parce que mes deux meilleures amies francophones me manquent. Une habite à Montpellier et l’outre à Montréal. Deux villes, deux monts, deux filles, les deux françaises. Dualité qui serait la base de ce post.

Selon l’Hérault de Montpellier (source pas très fiable, mais la plus convaincante que j’ai trouvé), le nom de la ville « dérive à la fois de la philologie et de l'histoire de la colline sur laquelle s'établirent les marchands d'épices » (Herault de Montpellier). Donc, Montpellier ca veut dire « monts des épices ». Et à l’outre coté de l’Océan Atlantique on trouvera Montréal, qui prend son nom de la colline de Mont Royal. Qui comme son nom l’indique ça veut dire quelque chose comme colline des rois.

A Montpellier on n’y trouverait pas une concentration des épices plus nourri que celle du supermarché. Bon, il faudrait qu’une résidente le dise, mais j’ai pas vu quelque chose qui m’indiquerait un situation différent (a propos des épices) en comparaison aux outres villes françaises. Et á Montréal la seule Royauté qui pourrait être présent c’est la Reine de la Grand Bretagne. Et qui est haï par la plus part de citoyens. Ok, ok, peut être pas haï, mais très indifférente quoique son visage soit présente dans chaque pièce de monnaie. Pas des épices et pas de rois.

J’ai toujours aime l’étymologie des villes. J’ai déjà expliqué deux villes, là où deux personnes habitent, maintenant je ferais une troisième, la mienne. Guadalajara. Depuis toujours a l’école ils nous on dit que Guadalajara ce voulait dire « fleuve sur des cailloux » oui des cailloux, des pierres, des roches. Faux. Bon, en partie; en arabe « al-Guadal » effectivement veut dire Fleuve, comme dans le Guadalquivir (guadal, fleuve ; quivir, grande), la fleuve espagnole. Mais Jara ? J’avais un ami Syrien en Montréal qui me disait que le vocable « jara » (avec un J espagnole, le son plus fort qu’une H en anglais) veut dire « Merde ». Et en arabe dire Jara ! Est beaucoup plus insultant que l’équivalence française. Donc Guadalajara veut dire Fleuve de Merde. Et pas fleuve des cailloux.

En définitif : épices, rois, merde. Pas des épices. Pas de rois. Pas de Merde ? C’est triste mais je peux plus dire que le fleuve de Guadalajara n’est pas un fleuve de Merde. On est destinées (ou ça ressemble a ça) a faire des fleuves Mexicains des fleuves remplis de Merde. Peut être si Guadalajara aurait été fonde sur le nom « Guadalépices » on aurait le fleuve remplie des épices, et le gens ici porteront plainte sur les fortes odeurs de la cannelle, et pas de la merde.

En fin, c’était que pour faire remarquer que mes amies sont chez les épices, et chez les rois, et moi je suis dans la merde. Peut être j’ai exagéré un peu. Je ne suis pas dans la merde mais je voudrais être ailleurs, avec mes cops. Ou au moins en faisant un job qui me permettra d’épargner du blé pour les rendre visite. Vous me manquez chères amies françaises.

Herault de Montpellier. (n.d.). Recuperé Aout 09, 2008, from

miércoles, 13 de agosto de 2008

Jorge Negrete

Ayer hice un cambio a mi imagen, el que me ya me ha visto seguro lo notó. Hoy en la mañana me sugirieron que era a Jorge Negrete a quien me parezco. Pili iene razón. No fue un gran cambio como volverme charro, tan solo me quité la barba de la piocha. Pero el aspecto de la cara cambia por completo. Espero no convertirme en un bigotón.

lunes, 11 de agosto de 2008

Qué vello

En uno de los abundantes periodos en los que mi radio esta en SCAN a falta de música decente, me topé que una chica solicitaba la canción Qué Vello. Normalmente entre la Ve y la Be en el español oral no hay diferencia en el sentido, pero me dio risa que dijera qué vello. Uno empieza a oír estas diferencias cuando en otro idioma puede cambiar completamente el sentido. Por ejemplo, en inglés va con Ve el apócope de Vincent, Vince; y con Be, frijoles, Beans. O en francés ésta es la única diferencia entre Ver y Beber, imagina a una deliciosa enfermera después de sacarte sangre: -¿Listo señor, ahora desea algo para ver? –Gracias, por qué no empiezas por tus chichis.

Me imaginé a la morra de la canción diciendo ¡Dios Santo, mira nomás qué vello (puede ser púbico)! Si has oído la (pésima) letra de la canción, hay una parte en que a la cantante le preparan un té, sí, ¡un té en una canción! Regresaré a este asunto más adelante, ahora estoy riéndome del vello. Pon en tu mente a la mona esta llevándose la taza a la boca e inmediatamente arrugar el ceño al descubrir el vello en sus labios ¡O Jesús, qué vello en mi té!

Ahora, si aún quieres reírte de la letra (¿quién demonios escribe en una canción que le preparen un té?) debes seguir leyendo. Debido a mi limitado acceso a Internet te ahorraré la letra completa de la canción, además, yo me ahorro la vergüenza de que aparezca en mi blog. (Afortunadamente) No me la sé, pero como la oigo en cada boda, en aquel momento que escuché el nombre en el radio, me vi motivado a presionar por segunda vez el botón SCAN, para detener el desfile de estaciones y poder captar más la letra. El caso es que la cantante, dice: “[…] me preparas un té”, no conforme de haber pedido un té de tila y no un caballito de tequila o un whisky en las rocas o hasta un pisco sour; se atreve a repetirlo y dice algo así como “[…] mientras me tomo el té”. No cabe duda que la Sonora Dinamita, no tiene la mínima idea de las cacofonías por repetición de palabras. ♪♫ Tu me preparas un té y luego me tomo el té ♪♫.

Avanzando un poco más en la hilaridad de esa precisa cumbia, cada que la oígo, suena algo así: “qué vellos en tus senos de hombre, que sientes cada vez que me voy”. A poco no es más gracioso imaginarse a un travesti haciendo rollitos (es decir, sintiendo) los vellos en el pecho agrandado artificialmente y haciendo esto cada vez que la mujer se va, que a una mujer adorando los celos de su Don. Imagina la escena: un güey norteño (norteño porque me imagino que de allá son los de la sonora ¿no?), que en cuanto ve salir a su mujer de la casa, va corriendo a ponerse sus vestidos y a palparse los senos rellenados con Wonderbra, haciendo cara de asco porque sus varoniles vellos del pecho no lo dejan vivir su transexualidad a gusto.

También tengo que admitir que ver a la señora que se toma un té es de por sí, demasiado gracioso. Más si en el líquido flota un vello ¡Aaa, qué bella es la guapachosidad de las canciones mexicanas!

miércoles, 6 de agosto de 2008

Las ciudades más caras del mundo

Pongo abajo las ciudades más caras del mundo. Se tomó como base Nueva York, con un valor de 100USD. Si las ciudades son más caras, entonces su valor será mayor a 100. Si son más baratas, menor a100. La tabla esta medio revoltosa, pero la primer columna es el costo en 2008; la segunda, en 2007; la tercera, la ciudad; cuarta, el país; quinta, el costo 2008; y sexta , el costo 2007. Ahora, si quieren ver la info directamente de la fuente, en un tabla bien hecha y con demás cosas que explican la metodología y todo, les dejo la fuente; ; yo lo visité el 6 de agosto de 2008.

De América ni el D.F. pinta como de las más caras, pero sí Río y Sao Paolo. Yo creo que es poruqe parece que la gasolina no sube de precio. O por lo menos no al ritmo del mundo no subsidiado. Por mí mejor, no se qué haría con los precios, no se diga de Tokio, con los precios del D.F. no me rendirían nada las quincenas.

1 1 Moscow Russia 142.4 134.4
2 4 Tokyo Japan 127.0 122.1
3 2 London UK 125.0 126.3
4 10 Oslo Norway 118.3 105.8
5 3 Seoul South Korea 117.7 122.4
6 5 Hong Kong China 117.6 119.4
7 6 Copenhagen Denmark 117.2 110.2
8 7 Geneva Switzerland 115.8 109.8
9 9 Zurich Switzerland 112.7 107.6
10 11 Milan Italy 111.3 104.4
11 8 Osaka Japan 110.0 108.4
12 13 Paris France 109.4 101.4
13 14 Singapore Singapore 109.1 100.4
14 17 Tel Aviv Israel 105.0 97.7
15 21 Sydney Australia 104.1 94.9
16 16 Dublin Ireland 103.9 99.6
16 18 Rome Italy 103.9 97.6
18 12 St. Petersburg Russia 103.1 103.0
19 19 Vienna Austria 102.3 96.9
20 20 Beijing China 101.9 95.9
21 22 Helsinki Finland 101.1 93.3
22 15 New York City US 100.0 100.0
23 38 Istanbul Turkey 99.4 87.7
24 26 Shanghai China 98.3 92.1
25 25 Amsterdam Netherlands 97.0 92.2
25 29 Athens Greece 97.0 90.6
25 62 São Paulo Brazil 97.0 82.8
28 26 Madrid Spain 96.7 92.1
29 49 Prague Czech Rep. 96.0 85.6
30 37 Lagos Nigeria 95.9 88.0
31 31 Barcelona Spain 95.2 89.2
31 64 Rio de Janeiro Brazil 95.2 82.5
31 23 Stockholm Sweden 95.2 93.1
34 24 Douala Cameroon 95.1 92.9
35 67 Warsaw Poland 95.0 82.4
36 64 Melbourne Australia 94.2 82.5
37 39 Munich Germany 93.1 87.6
38 45 Berlin Germany 93.0 85.9
39 44 Brussels Belgium 92.9 86.5
40 40 Frankfurt Germany 92.5 87.4
41 33 Dakar Senegal 92.2 89.0
42 28 Kiev Ukraine 91.7 91.4
43 43 Luxembourg Luxembourg 91.3 87.0
44 30 Almaty Kazakhstan 90.7 89.6
45 31 Bratislava Slovakia 90.6 89.2
46 45 Düsseldorf Germany 90.4 85.9
46 72 Riga Latvia 90.4 81.5
48 52 Mumbai India 90.3 84.9
49 59 Zagreb Croatia 90.0 83.5
50 57 Hamburg Germany 89.9 84.2