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.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Have your say! - Who owns the Moon

In connection with the topic, I'm so excited I'm visiting NASA's

Kennedy Space Center in Florida for my next birthday! 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Carlos Honrado
Date: Tue, Dec 12, 2017


Recently, Trump's administration has put a spotlight on the Moon again, many years after the Apollo missions.  It seems that as Mars deadlines approach the US government has realized that there are many things to be tested before, and the Moon it's a perfect place: a stepping-stone to Mars.
The other major space agencies, ESA and Roscosmos, which have long been interested in the Moon over Mars, have now a new ally.  The main collaboration purpose is to stablish a colony on the moon or at least a manned base.
The article I bring here is about a topic that drew my attention while attending a Moon Seminar: the outer space law. No country has legal ownership on the Moon. However, should you make a rocket, get it launched with you inside, land in the Moon, and then build your happy place there in bare land, you would be de facto the owner of that place.
The Moon is believed to be rich in Helium H3 and hold rare-earth elements. Rare-earth elements are used today in many electronic components such as televisions, mobile phones and solar panels. We currently have got plenty of rare-earth elements but the vast majority are in China. From a political point of view, no western country wants China controlling the world's market of this minerals. Given this, being the first company to find a deposit and mine the Moon grants an extremely lucrative business.
I think that it is going to take a long time to have such a necessity on Earth which should make moon mining profitable. However, as the article points out, countries signing and ratifying the Moon Agreement is essential in order that private companies don't misuse the Moon and its resources.

P.S.:  You can visit  to see the landing sites of the Apollo missions which organizations want to preserve as a World Heritage site.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Have your say! Gunpowder at the Prado

Thanks, Pilar. I can't talk about Fortuny's yet, but I found Cai's exhibition most extraordinary, once you learn about the technique.

From: pilar Mallén Bernal
Date: Tue, Dec 12, 2017

How to make the most of a day just as ordinary as any other.

It is autumn, Tuesday and you are in Madrid.  You have the whole day ahead of you. Despite the beauty of the autumn colours and the sunshine outside, you have been invited to see the Fortuny exhibition at the Prado Museum. "Go with the flow", you think to yourself. "Never has the Prado leave you nonchalant".

Then, magic happens. While you are letting yourself go in the painting of the Spanish artist who achieved most international renown in the last third of the 19th century, still another exhibition awaits you next door: Cai Guo-Qiang, the first contemporary artist to create on-site at the Prado.

If you think that Fortuny's trips to cover the Spanish-Moroccan War (1859)were pretty much about his need to express colour, light and shadow, what can we say of this Chinese artist, with his nearly 30 paintings made with gunpowder?

Fortuny (1838-1874)

Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid 11/21/2017 - 3/18/2018
The Museo Nacional del Prado is presenting an exhibition on Mariano Fortuny y Marsal (1838-1874), to be displayed in the two principal galleries of the Museum's extension. This is the first retrospective on this leading Spanish artist to be presented at the Prado, which houses most of Fortuny's masterpieces due to the generous bequests of Ramón de Errazu and of Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, the painter's son, as well as acquisitions purchased by the Museum.
As with the previous monographic exhibitions held at the Prado, Mariano Fortuny (1838-1874) will offer a reassessment of the artist's finest works.
Mariano Fortuny was the Spanish artist who achieved most international renown in the… | +

The Spirit of Painting. Cai Guo-Qiang at the Prado

Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid 10/25/2017 - 3/4/2018
Cai Guo-Qiang is the first contemporary artist to create on-site at the Prado. This is his first solo exhibition solely focused on painting in over 30 years.
This exhibition, which arises from Cai Guo-Qiang's ongoing dialogue with El Greco and in which he establishes a relationship with the great masters represented in the Prado, comprises nearly 30 paintings made with gunpowder; eight of them ignited on-site at the Salón de Reinos. Also on view are an oil and an acrylic created at the start of his activities as a painter; and various sketches and drawings on matchboxes by his father, Cai Ruiqin, who steered him towards painting.
Room D will be showing a 20-minute documentary by Isabel… | +

Profesor: dícese por algunos del prototipo de moda de chivo expiatorio y paria

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Have your say! - 3D hearing experience. Use of headphones mandatory

From: Gema Rodríguez Núñez
Date: Fri, Dec 8, 2017

I have selected this link because it really called my attention when I heard it for the first time.  As it is in English I think is too good an audio for this activity, but for getting the effect, you need to hear it with headphones. It is absolutely compulsory, because if not, it doesn't work.
What surprise me the most is that if you really close your eyes and relax yourself for a while, you can actually feel that someone is cutting your hair around you. I had seen several times this kind of illusions but only with images, however this audio shows that sounds can also cheat on your brain. The effect is known as "binaural sounds", and it is based on the different position of each ear. Although they are quite close one of each other, there are some centimeters between them, and that's the reason why the sound frequencies that arrive at them are slightly different on each. By moving the volume and the wavelength, the sensation can be recreated and one completely feels that the sounds are in different places of 3D space even when they have been reproduced only on two headphones.
For me, though all the audio is great, there are some extra awesome moments: when the door is closed, the moment with the bag on your head and when the scissors and the electric razor go from right to left and you can sense they are nearly touching you. And the best is that the haircut is free!!!
                If you have enjoyed it (what I hope), you can find more examples of this sort of "auditory illusion" on the internet searching for "3D hearing experience".

Have Your Say! - Synesthesia in the language

From: Julio
Date: Sat, Dec 9, 2017

Synesthesia is the natural-born skill in which some people perceive one sensory stimulus in two senses, mixing senses. For example, there are people who can see images when they hear sounds, or feel on their skin some sounds, or taste some sounds, etc.

But, what call my attention more is that apparently there is some kind of slight synesthesia in the everyday language, (and specially in literature). This would prove that everybody is a bit synesthetic.

There are many examples. For instance, expressions like "dark music", "to feel blue", "bitter truth", etc., use adjectives belonging to the realm of one sense with nouns belonging to the realm of another different, as visual with hearing, for instance. Apparently, these are semantic mistakes. However, everybody somewhat understands the meaning of these expressions, and I think this is because we all have a bit of sensory intermixing.

Another stronger proof of this is the bouba/kiki experiment: Most people associate the name kiki with the image with vertices, (because both the pronunciation of kiki and the vertices in the starred image are spiky), and associate the name bouba with the rounded image, (because they aren't spiky).

Monday, December 4, 2017

Have your Say! - City growth and urban mobility

From: Javier Domínguez Martínez
Date: Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 10:10 AM

Gran Vía Street, in the 30's
Gran Vía Street, today
Project of Gran Vía Street transformation

Some days ago, we were talking in class about the world's biggest cities by population and its growth. I've thought it over and I would like to connect this topic with the urban mobility and the outlook for the cities future.
As you know, the cities are swelling - according to some studies, urban population are going to rise by 2.5 billion by 2030 - and therefore the car usage will soar. Due to the expectation of this scenario, some challenges come for the biggest cities such as air pollution, climate change, traffic congestion, …
Talking of traffic congestion, in the 60's and 70's the cities tried to solve these issues by constructing more and larger highways in order to respond to the emerging of private vehicle travel demands. Nevertheless, this path seems not to have solve the issues that were supposed to sort out. This way, I do believe that not only haven't this measures solved these issues but also they have made it worse.
Consequently, nowadays some cities have begun to choose other way to solve the growth of urban mobility demand. Thus, the traditional public transport – underground trains, buses or trams – is improved at the same time that other systems or urban mobility are developed such as shared bicycles or shared electric vehicles programmes.
These measures are usually combined with traffic restrictions such as congestion charges (London), alternate circulation permission depending on the vehicle plate number (Athens, Paris), restricted areas (Madrid).
On the whole, I do believe that there are going to be a lot more changes in our urban mobility habits and only the future will show us if nowadays trends will solve current and future urban mobility needs.

Links with some videos and articles:

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Have your say! - As time goes by

From: Clara Lago Blasco
Date: Sun, Nov 26, 2017 at 7:20 PM

For the last decades, we have been hearing that global change will destroy our way of life if we don’t change our habits. But time continues passing and the situation not doesn’t only get better, but it is also getting worse all the time. For example, have you ever wondered how much CO2 is being released to the atmosphere while you are reading these lines?

The Poodwaddle world clock is a tool that takes the pulse of the world. It is a world statistics counter, based on a gathering of statistics about the past and predictions for the future which gives us an accurate view of what is actually happening. You can check the statistics at the website from the starting of this year until you leave the website, watching how the numbers are constantly increasing. Despite it’s funny name, the statistics provided by Poodwaddle are grim. These are some of the most worrying ones: The population continues increasing while over 11,667,000 hectares have been deforested during this year, 12,564,500,000 pounds of garbage has been dumped in to the sea and 7,438,400,000 tones of CO2 have been emitted, and all this numbers were increasing while I was checking the website. If you think this sounds depressing consider that 1,637,900 children have been killed by unclear water, 186,000,000 of people have contracted malaria, 416,004 have suffered sexual violence and 30,750 human smuggling and trafficking. The situation is even worst for the animals, 61,080,000,000 of livestock have been butchered and almost 9.000 species are extinct. Scientists have defined 9 planetary boundaries that if exceeded could generate abrupt or irreversible changes in our planet, we have already surpassed 4 of them. Savage capitalism continues devouring our resources, polluting the environment and destroying human lives, but clock hands never stop.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Have your say! - Whodonnuit?

From: Pilar Oteo Cerrato
Date: Sun, Nov 26, 2017

I recommend watching this video before reading this text.

The scene appears to be a murderer mistery in which the suspects talked to the detective and they remained innocent until proven guilty. Finally, the woman of the house pleaded guilty because petunias are not planted until may. The detective claimed that it was a matter of observation.

In fact, this video is a tool that test your awareness. How many changes were you able to see? This video shows how bad we are at noticing details we are not looking for. I have to say I didnt see it coming.

The add ends with this sentense: "It's easy to miss something you are not looking for. On a busy road this could be fatal. Look out for cyclists." The marketing  deparment of the company "Transport for London" make a good point with this idea. 

Getting beyond, we can say that everyone has their own perspective and their own way of looking at things. We should get as many perspectives as possible to try to see the whole situation. The world would run better if we werent so self-centred.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Have you say! - Eco-friendly fashion

From: Josefa Lloret Llaneza
Date: Sat, Nov 18, 2017

Vivienne Westwood, the British fashion icon, does it again. In 2010, this everlasting young woman, takes the scene wearing marvelous rags.
As an energetic activist, she denounces the excessive consumption that rules the capitalist society. " Buy less, choose well and do it yourself ".
The outstanding designer demonstrates that style is not a question of money but of compromise. It is possible to defend important values by getting dressed, even ecology. Use a strong character, lots of conviction and be completely shameless.
Vivienne shows herself proudly got up in the best outfit: her message.
She is always that generous. 

Have your Say! - Let's talk about Gender

From: Antonio A. Caballero Gálvez
Date: Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 2:07 PM

Voice comment:

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Have you say! - How democratic a country is ...

From: Jimmy Jimmy
Date: Wed, Nov 15, 2017

These days, we have been hearing – by the separatists in Catalonia -, that Spain is not such a democratic country because ´they - only them -  cannot decide what belongs to every of us and not just to them´ .

I wouldn't  want to open a debate about this subject because we have been having enough for many months and it may be boring and useless.

But, the question itself made me wonder if you can measure how democratic a country is …

And, voilà ! This is the result of my research:

There are scientific studies from the most reputed institutions in the world that have been ranking countries for many decades depending on many factors that may contribute to this finale outcome.

And, we can be proud, because Spain is, after the Scandinavian countries in Europe, one of the most democratic States in the world, even above France, the UK or the USA.

Do this as an exercise : Try and enter a country in the box and you'll find its score fluctuating all along the years.


Have Your Say! - Air pollution in numbers

Date: Wed, Nov 15, 2017

The main picture of this article is quite significant. It shows a group of Asian riders affected by a large column of smog, produced after the burning of waste materials in a town of Bangladesh. The fact that international press focuses more and more on pollution matter reflects at what extent the protection of the environment  is considered one the great challenges on which the current world must takle.

According to The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, nine million people die every year as a result of air pollution around the planet. The majority of deaths happen in poor countries while in other developing nations a quarter of all deaths are caused due to quick industrialization, urbanisation and globalisation.

Futhermore, the study reveals that trillions dollar´s worth of lethal damages of contamination and emphasizes the connection between air pollution and some diseases like lung cancer, dementia, diabetes or kidney diseases. Contrary to what some lobbies argument about the negative effects of pollution control policies on Economy, many researches tell that the environmental rules help to improve people´s health and increase the domestic GPD.

Therefore, the solutions to overcome pollution depend on the political will of Governments. Therefore, ¿how can we contribute to turn our congested world into a more sustainable habitat? I firmly believe that recycling and using public means of transport can be some effective steps to start with. What´s more on?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Have Your Say! - Life Expectancy

From: carolina duro
Date: Sun, Nov 12, 2017

As all of you probably know, life expectancy has been increasing during the last few decades. However, are you sure that you are awareness of what that fact means?

As you can see in the video, many countries in the world are trying to improve the evolution in medical treatments in order to make our lives not only pleasant but also longer. It goes without saying, that our country is one on the top of the list of those who provides more life expectancy. Consequently, we are getting closer to a situation with ageing society that could not be sustain for unlimited period.

Don´t get me wrong, I really really want people to life more but, we have to keep in mind that also death is part of the life. Just think about it, knowing that we are going to die one day, is what shows us that we have only one life to live and that we have to live it now. 

The link of the video:  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Have your say! - Would you be afraid of a Kangaroo?

From: Isabel Madruga Torremocha
Date: Wed, Nov 8, 2017

Would you be afraid of a Kangaroo?


What do you know about Australia and the life there?  Since I was a child I really have liked Kangaroos, that animal with so small arms and a pouch. A marsupial!  That animal was a symbol for me of tenderness in primary school. I found so cute a kangaroo mother with her breeding within her pouch.  Sometime after, I learnt that the Kangaroo is the symbol of Australia.
Last summer I have met some girls from Australia and my knowledge about  Kangaroos  have been increased. Not only was it a shocking surprise for me to know that people in Australia eat Kangaroo meat but also to discover that the increasing population of  kangaroos is generating a problem to Australian people.
The article I have chosen shows us different aspects about these animals. First, the way they behave when confronting a risk. Second, besides their hopping across open landscapes they can also swim. Finally, my idyllic image of Kangaroos has completely disappeared when I saw the gaze of the roo in the Mid-water standoff.
Do you like Kangaroos? Would you feel thrilled or be frightened if you stumble across a Kangaroo when you were walking in the countryside?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Have your say! - TV Series

From: susana ronco
Date: Sat, Nov 4, 2017 at 1:28 PM

I have realized TVseries is a trend topic and a way to connect with the people. Threre are a lot of series you can see on the TV and even on your mobile phone and tablets.The main advantage of TVseries in comparison with cinema is that they are more accesible and cheap.On the other hand, I like watching movies in the cinema because the big screen is a better way to enjoy and appreciate the images and the quality of the sound.

I am in two minds. Could you help me? Can you choose?

I have heard that TV series are more free and open-minded nowadays.The scriptwriters are daring because producers let them to introduce controversial topics such as homosexuality, dysfunctional families, alcoholism, transsexualim,drugs dealing, and so on.They think that all the society deserve to appeare in a show.It is said to be the place where you can see our real problems and changes.

Furthermore, some famous and prestigious directors have introduced their hands inside this field like Steven Sorderberg or Ron Howard.Nicole Kidman or Glenn Close have made that respec and quality are new coments applicable to the small screem programs.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Have your say! - The best country in the world

From: Myrian Miranda
Date: Wed, May 3, 2017 at 10:53 AM


Hi guys,

Today is my turn of have your say. In this occasion I am going to use a video that a friend sent me a days ago by whatssapp. I did not know if it was part of some kind of campaing or it was a real video, I mean, a real debate in wich someone dares to tell the truth. More when the person who says it is a known actor. That is what impressed me the most. I researched a little and now I know what the video is part of. But, what about you? What is your opinion? real or not?

I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Have your say! - Do all the movie posters look the same?

From: Emilio Molina
Date: Mon, May 1, 2017 at 10:55 AM

The original post that made me write about this was in Spanish but I found the version in English: .
(The Spanish one includes more interesting information, so I can share it with you if you are interested).

The blog entry shows the similarities between a bunch of movie posters and the innovation, or lack of it, in cinema, specially in Hollywood.

But is this shortage of freshness something deliberate? We all would agree that putting all these images together creates the sensation of multiple copies of the same poster, same category and sometimes even the same movie. But Hollywood is not a new business, and if there is any concept they know well, it is marketing. Most likely these posters are the best and quickest way to tell the potential spectator what he or she will see in the cinema. The main goal is to get as many people as possible to the cinema, not to win an award to the most original poster. 

What is your opinion? Should they be more artistic or creative? Do the poster designers think we are dummy? Do a poster determine your choice when going to the cinema?... Your insights are welcome!

Emilio Molina

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Have your say! - "Spain drought"

From: Cris RS
Date: Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 7:38 PM

Hello everyone!
I want to talk about the droughts of Spain. This is the source of my contribution.

I have chosen the spoken version so, if interested, please listen to my clip:

Transcription, just in case it is needed because of my poor pronunciation: 

Hello everyone!
I want to talk about the droughts of Spain. This topic gets my attention because in Spain there are big problems when it comes to water supplies but, surprisingly, there are not policies which deal with it. On the contrary, we are a country that tent to waste water even when we are in a period of drought.

If you have a quick look at the website I have shared, at the very beginning you can read the following sentence referring to the most immediate changes with regards to water we are going to have as a result of climate change:

Most studies on water supply and demand conclude that annual water availability would generally increase in northern and northwestern Europe and decrease in southern and southeastern Europe.

I think these studies should be taken under consideration.

If we scroll down we can read some orientations for future actions. Most of them are addressed to the Government, but there is one that we, as citizens, can consider:
Fostering the emergence of a water-saving culture in Europe

Every day we can contribute to such purpose by saving water in our daily activities. Closing the tap when brushing your teeth and having a shower instead of having a bath are quite obvious, but we can do more. Less washing of our cars; collecting the water that runs before it is enough hot/cold and using it to water the plants or do the dishes; eating meat products which require less amount of water in its production process… There are many possibilities, be original and come up with some more or just google it and find more ideas.
Thanks for listening!

Have your say! - New Yorkers March for Science on Earth Day

From: Jimmy Jimmy
Date: Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 1:19 PM

A calendar full of silly things to commemorate is as useless as an old calendar.

But, attached is what I think can be a wake-up call for raising awareness about the importance of keeping giving public funds to scientific research after the cuts in budget that governments have made using recession as a pretext.

Hundreds of people ´had their own say´ on past Saturday just to claim for more public resource to be invested for the sake of everyone.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Have your say! - Palm oil: What are the issues?

From: Javier Gomez
Date: Sat, Apr 22, 2017 at 1:47 PM

This article of the BBC gives a lot of information about palm oil including what is palm oil and how it is produced, reasons of why it's see as a good thing or bad thing and finally possible solutions to deal with the problems of producing massively it and the massively use of it in all kind of products.
In my opinion, I agree with the fact that we shouldn't stop buying products which contain palm oil but, its production should be oversee to guarantee that is sustainable and these products must be properly labelled in order to inform the customer about what is he buying.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Have your say! - Vegetarians against new notes

From: Alberto Sanchez 

The new five pound note in the U.k. is made with fat, specifically with tallow (a substance derived from fat and used in candles and soaps).
After this decision, by The Bank of England, vegetarians and vegans are rising  their voices over this outrageous choice.
The company that makes the banknotes, Innovia, said that this substance gives to the notes properties, that they are necessary. Some of them are: anti-static and anti-slip properties. The company denotes that many products contain tallow.
My point of view also is this product is recyclable, and it´s one mark to consider. Thus it´s possible to decrease oil by-products, that always are very contaminated.
On the other hand, the attitude of vegans and vegetarians are respectable. Their choice is a way of life, and nobody change their values.
What do you think?
You can read the article in this link.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Have your say! - Homelessness

From: Jorge GQ
Date: El mié, 25 ene 2017 a las 13:10

I usually find at least 5 homeless when going to work. It´s so sad and I usually think "How can I help them?". It´s not fear!. I usually buy them some food, I give my old cloths as well as I give them alms. I feel that I have to do more. Although we pay a lot of taxes, neither the Government nor the municipality are going to solve the homeless problem, nevertheless, this news is a glimmer of hope. Utah set itself an ambitious goal: end chronic homelessness and It does the best job.
Rightly or wrongly, chronically homeless are the most vulnerable. Moreover, there´re people who have been living on the street for years. I don´t manage to find a solution by myself to the problem, there´s no doubt that together we can give it our best.
Apparently, Government of the Basque country wants to carry out something similar and in my opinion, Madrid should be at the forefront of human right too.
To sum up, we become so consumed with our troubles, we need to be reminded of the less fortunate and I wish this project, First Housing, arrived soon here. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Have your Say! - The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

From: lola Montesinos
Date: Sat, Jan 21, 2017

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an enormeous amount of trash located rougly between Asia and America. It is like a big island. This marine mass of plastic extends over 1.400.000 km2, nearly triple that Spain.

Plastic is not biodegradable which means that it is not able to descompose naturally, just breaking into timier and timier pieces, called microplastics. Millions of fishes eat those microplastics.

What kind of things could we find there? Mainly household waste like plastic bags, plastic bottles, syringes, computers and all you can imagine.

Watching the video, you are going to learn how all these plastics arrive there and why it is possible.

I hope you think twice when you do not recycle.



Guys, comments welcome below!