Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Have your say! - Are we a shithole country? (According to Trump)

From: José María Iglesias
Date: Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 12:54 PM

President Trump has shocked the world again with a new racist statement: "African and Haitian immigrants hail from shithole countries". These associations are found in our language denigrating explicitly an entire group of people, such as the definition of Africa as the "dark continent", and dominate our perceptions of success and attributions of worth and value.

This kind of ideas are connected with a book I have recently read: Atlas of prejudice by Yanko Tsvetkov, in which the author shows through hilarious maps the different points of view in the history of mankind. The book tries to demonstrate that prejudices almost always turn out to be false when examined closely. Everybody knows the most popular prejudices are often not quite nice and are mostly political incorrect. However, every society is prone to marginalize specific groups, using insults against those who are considered strange. Even in a globalized world stereotypes remain inevitable.

This book soon became a viral online sensation, expanding the initial idea with a large number of memes about any topic of common interest. Have we not yet freed ourselves from our prejudices?

José María Iglesias

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Have your say! - A film analysis

From: Telmo Graña
Date: Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 12:28 AM

Hello mates. I would like to share a video that may be interesting to those who love cinema. I think it is a sharp and clever analysis of Scorsese's 'Taxi Driver'. 

As you probably know, TD is one of the most aclaimed films of the Seventies, and one of the most intriguing to boot, to the point that its meaning is still discussed nowadays.

In my opinion, it is the main character Travis' attitude what causes it, along with its enigmatic ending. Both aspects are addressed in the analysis, but your conclusions may be different!

In adition to this, the video brings out the fact that maybe mainstream pictures have lost some depth of meaning in the last decades. Although Scorsese has built a solid reputation based on a bunch of good films, works like 'Taxi Driver' show he reached his prime a long time ago, which doesn't talk well about the Dream Factory's drift.

Have your say! - “The disaster artist” in my view

From: Lucía López Iglesias
Date: Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 10:37 PM

The disaster artist is a film currently available in almost every cinema. Directed and played by James Franco, the film is inspired in the book " The disaster artist: My life inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made". This book, written by Greg Sestero in 2003, details the development and production of the cult film "The Room", as well as the relationship between the Room director, Tommy Wiseau, and the writer.

I didn´t know anything about the book, neither the fim before going to the cinema last week. At least not last Sunday, the first time I went. I enjoyed so much that I went back to the cinema the following Wednesday. That´s why I want to talk to you about it.

Firstly, I am goint to introduce you the plot: there is a young actor contender who feels really insecure about his talent while he is trying to improve his skills going to interpretation lessons. During a daunting lesson, he has the chance to meet a classmate who is totally the opposite, a person who, apparently, is not affected by other´s people opinion at all. His name is Tommy Wiseau, and he lives in his own planet, Tommy´s Planet.

Tommy Planet is a place where people love each other so fear doesn´t exist. Tommy is trying to be famous as an actor when, as a consequence of his unbelievable faith and courage, decide to do his own film, getting to be an actor, producer and director at the same shot. But he, who is a relational person, because love needs more than one to exist, goes hand in hand with the boy who met during the interpretation lessons, his friend. His best friend. Greg.

The rest is ready to discover by yourself enjoying the intricacies throughout the course of this peculiar friendship. Here you have an aperitif:

Lucía López Iglesias

Have your say! - Peeing on a magazine?!

From: Elena Romero
Date: Thu, Jan 11, 2018 at 8:34 AM

We all know Ikea for offering unexpensive furniture and decor items. We talked about what we think of this company a while ago in class, but after watching this video, you may change your mind. In the new advertisement for the baby crib "Sundvik", they have came up with an innovating, original and a little bit disgusting idea, peeing on a magazine's page to check if someone is pregnant. I kind of like the idea that if you get positive on the test, the prize of the crib lowers. It is a good way to help meet the costs that raising a child involve. I am not so sure about the way you have to do it though. Finding out if you are pregnant in this way is not very special that we say.What do you think? It is just another of their many original advertising campains or will it make the difference in the publicity world?

Link to the video:

By Helen.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Have your say! - Flipped classroom

From: lola Montesinos
Date: Tue, Jan 2, 2018 at 11:35 AM

A good place to start  may be a simple question such as, "How can I help my students to succeed in learning maths?.  But, there is other important question, "How to educate digital natives?. Nowadays teachers have to combine both approaches.
 Teaching is fundamentally about human interactions between teacher and students and students and students, and that can't be replaced by technology.
Although it is true, teachers should always think about how technology could help us.
Flipped classroom is an instructional strategy that reverses the traditional learning environment.It  is based on the concept of students getting the input they would traditionally receive from the lecture in the form of videos or set texts that they study before class. Then in the classroom they do more practical work  while the teacher monitors and acts as support.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Have your say! - The human mind open to unknown things

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Carmen Toledo
Date: Thu, Jan 4, 2018 at 5:28 PM

I would like to show you a phenomenon and a scientific machine.

On the one hand, I ´m a teacher, and I had the opportunity with my physics students to visit in the Science´s week in Madrid an activity called “Superconductivity”. What does this term mean?
Superconductivy is the property of zero electrical resistance in some substances at very low absolute temperatures. This capacity produces interesting and potentially useful effects.  Let´s go to watch a video to check the behaviour of superconductor materials that experience superconductivity.

I found this phenomenon quite surprising to my students and myself. But what´s the reason why the materials have resistance zero at low temperature?

Let´s to analyze it with an example, Suppose you have a piece of gold wire in an electrical circuit. Gold is one of the best conductors there is: it shows very little resistance to electricity. But it increases its temperature and offers much more resistance. In general terms, the higher the temperature, the more thermal vibrations there are within the crystalline structure and the harder electrons will find it flow. On the contrary, if you lower the gold, you reduce the vibrations and make the electrons flow more easily.

On the other hand, I want to show you the largest and most powerful particle Accelerator. It surprise me because it enormous dimensions . The LHC (the large hadron collider) consists of a 27-kilometre ring of superconducting magnets with a number of accelerating structures to boost the energy of the particles along the way.

The mechanism is complex but basically is used to generate electromagnetic fields to accelerate charged particles at high speeds, and thus, collide with other particles in order to desintegrate the particles, then Scientifics can study that the starting particles were based on the generated particles.

Fortunatelly, today  the  European  Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) is available to be  visited by students and teachers, to help both groups learn more about CERN, particle physics and our place in the universe.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Have your say! - Cryptocurrency Bubble

With my techy friends all having read books about this long ago (and some of them making loads of money -- and I mean loads!), I really feel I need to learn more about it. :-(

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Guadalupe Roldán
Date: Wed, Dec 13, 2017

I hear everyday in my job how my workmates talk about their investment in cryptocurrencies, and I begin to be interested in this issue. Since Bitcoin was invented in 2008, many other cryptocurrencies have been appearing as different tradable digital assets. But what are they? In few words, cryptocurrencies are a form of digital money that are supposed to be secure and anonymous. 
We find the origin of cryptography in the Second World War, when it was used a method to keep sure all the communications, through elements of mathematical theory and computer science. The base of these new coins is the same secure outlook.
Not only can we invest in cryptocurrencies and trade them for other currencies, but also can we use our computers to create blocks on the network and generate coins. However, you would need a powerful computer to generate new Bitcoins, so, at the end, you also need to invest money on that.
The world of cryptocurrencies is really wild and even faster than wild, so I consider that spending time before going deep into it is essential to find out if this is a bubble waiting to burst or a good investment.