Tuesday, February 28, 2012

[246] Mapas de Zonas de Exclusion

El racismo o exclusividad en las areas urbanas es tema comun. Si, tenemos la Fair Housing Act, yadda yadda yadda. Pero en realidad, muchas urbanizaciones y sectores tienen voto de quienes quieren
viviendo junto a ellos. Esquire saco este articulo recientemente y el autor desarrollo un mapa de exclusion de los Estados Unidos, enfocando en las areas que son nasty para los visitantes o que ponen trabas a
nuevos residentes. Les dejo la introduccion debajo:

MAPPING Exclusivity : Exclusion Maps
Interboro Partners: The Arsenal of Exclusion and Inclusion
Though we've lived in a post-Fair Housing Act America more than four decades, that
doesn't mean there aren't still ways for communities to be discriminatory. The way Brooklyn-based architecture firm Interboro Partners sees it, a housing discrimination exists still, through what they call the "Arsenal of Exclusion and Inclusion," legal policies that may keep some people in, and keep others out. The policies can be subtle, like in the case of "Ave Maria," a Catholic community in Florida created by Tom Monaghan (the founder of Domino's Pizza), which employs what's called an exclusionary mend: Members of the community are required to pay dues to a Catholic church that's built on the property. The policies can be outrageous, as in the case of an ordinance in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, which mandates that only blood relatives can be rented to by owners of single-family homes, if they had become rentals after the disaster. But whether or not the policies are necessarily good or bad can be less than obvious, and in some cases, cause for good: Rainbow Vision, a New Mexico retirement community created for the LGBT community, has created a place for LGBT retirees that can't be matched anywhere, with amenities like drag shows.


Animal Zoning Ordinance
Animals have a right to the city too! But most zoning ordinances prohibit animals of the farm variety, declaring them "inharmonious." Inspired in part by the urban agriculture movement, new animal-friendly zoning ordinances such as the one passed by the Cleveland City Council in January, 2009 seek to overturn these
restrictions. —Theresa Schwarz

While some cities in the southwest still annex territory, most of the American cities of the midwest and northeast have not expanded much further beyond their 1900s limits (New York, Philadelphia, and St.
Louis haven't added territory since the nineteenth century). As Kenneth Jackson illustrates in Crabgrass Frontier, a combination of new laws that made incorporation easy and annexation unworkable,
improved suburban services, a rising anti-urbanism that came to see the cities like New York as too big, foreign, and ungovernable, and an ensuing desire for home-rule effectively boxed big cities in. Without
tax-revenue sharing, small municipalities — who still relied on the big cities for working, shopping, transportation, and entertainment — depleted the cities' tax bases, and created the city / suburb divide
that still plagues cities today.

To deter the homeless from sleeping on park benches, decorative armrests are sometimes installed at the midpoint of the benches, making it impossible (or at least very difficult) to get too comfortable on them.

Automatic Elevators
Automatic elevators (also called Shabbat Elevators) are an
"exclusionary amenity." By automatically stopping on every floor on
Shabbat, they enable Orthodox Jews — who are forbidden from operating
machinery on Shabbat — to live in modern, high-rise buildings. On the
other hand, they are an inconvenience to non-Orthodox Jews, who
typically opt to live elsewhere.

Beach Badge
The use of beach badges to restrict access to beaches proliferated in
the 1960s and 1970s in suburban municipalities in the densely
populated northeastern corridor. Wealthy municipalities along
Connecticut's Gold Coast adopted some of the more extreme measures of
exclusion, allocating beach access permits to residents only,
installing guarded gates at points of entry, and aggressively
patrolling beaches for violators. —Andrew Kahrl

After Hurricane Katrina, the Council President of St. Bernard Parish
introduced an ordinance mandating that owners of single-family homes
that had not been rentals prior to Hurricane Katrina could only rent
said single-family homes to blood relatives. As 93 percent of St.
Bernard Parish's housing stock was owned by whites at the time of the
storm, the target of the ordinance is pretty clear.

Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) are rules governing
land use in private communities. Typically drafted by a Homeowners'
Association, or HOA, CC&Rs attempt to guard the property value of
homes in the community by regulating everything from paint colors to
landscape materials to lawn ornaments. CC&Rs are in the Arsenal of
Exclusion because they are often classist (CC&Rs have restricted
aluminum siding, barbecue grills, lawn ornaments, basketball hoops,
and even American flags). In his book Privatopia: Homeowner
Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government, Evan
McKenzie writes of a family in a private development outside
Philadelphia that was forced to remove a swing set because it was made
of metal and not, as the CC&Rs stipulated, wood.

The Concierge is essential to the "tourist bubble:" a package of
amenities that are designed to lull in and entertain the tourist while
steering him or her away from unexpected encounters with poverty,
crime, or decay. Tell a concierge in the downtown of an American city
that you are new in town and need some sight-seeing recommendations,
and they are likely to point you towards the same safe,
tourist-friendly, Chamber of Commerce-certified establishments.

Cul de Sac
A cul de sac is a "closed-end street," which produces closure and
discontinuity. Another name for the cul de sac is "dead end."
Interestingly, in 2009, Virginia became the first state to ban (or at
least seriously limit) culs-de-sac from future developments.

Teen curfews are arbitrary and legally-murky. Teen Curfews can be less
arbitrary — for example, when Baltimore last year announced a teen
curfew in response to a rash of teen stabbings — but many teen curfews
represent an unlawful imposition of martial law. In early 2010, San
Diego overturned its curfew law due to ambiguous language, and
Indianapolis recently overturned its curfew laws when it determined
that they forcefully undermine adolescents' first amendment rights.
Nonetheless, teen curfews are being implemented in cities and suburbs
around the country.

Eruv is a Hebrew term for a symbolic boundary, defined according to
Jewish religious property law, which allows Jews to conduct activities
on the Sabbath (the traditional day of rest) within a broader urban
area that would otherwise be prohibited outside of the home. In the
contemporary city this boundary is typically built by stringing wire
between the tops of existing utility poles, forming an uninterrupted
yet nearly invisible enclosure of "doorframes" (wire between two
poles) that allows the "wall" of the eruv to be maintained. The eruv
is in the Arsenal of Inclusion because it allows practicing Jews who
might otherwise be required to segregate themselves to enjoy the
benefits of living within a larger urban area while satisfying the
traditional requirements of religious property law.—Michael Kubo

Fire Hydrant
As much of Duxbury, MA's coast is blocked by large private residences,
the town established a series of public landings allowing waterfront
access at streets dead-ending at the water. However fire hydrants are
often placed directly in front of the only parking spot available at
public landings, thereby excluding those coming from outside the
neighborhood wishing to park and visit the waterfront.—Meredith
Tenhoor and William Tenhoor

Fire Zone
In beach-front communities like New York City's Rockaway, the streets
that dead-end at the beach are sometimes declared "fire zones," on
which parking is prohibited (the houses on these streets all have
driveways). In Rockaway, the ubiquity of fire zones — which are found
on over twenty streets — suggest a non-safety related motivation,
namely, keeping away non-residents who wish to access the beach.

The gates that guard gated communities offer one of the more obvious
examples of how we keep out "undesirables." Though statistically there
is little evidence that gated communities are safer (or have higher
home values) than non-gated communities, the perception that they are
has led to more and more Americans living in them each year.

Golf Course
As legal scholar Lior Jacob Strahilevitz points out, a golf course is
another type of "exclusionary amenity." Strahilevitz writes that
during the 1980s and 1990s, as African Americans began moving to the
suburbs in growing numbers, the number of "mandatory membership"
residential golf communities in the United States grew significantly.
At the time, golf was the most racially segregated warm weather,
mass-participation sport in America. (In 1997, 93.4 percent of all
American golfers were Caucasian while just 3.1 percent were African
American.) Might developers have discovered a method for creating
racially-homogeneous communities?

Hockey Rink
In 1994 the Division of Parks, Public Grounds & Recreation in the
borough of Glen Rock, NJ, a wealthy, white, suburb of New York City
with a population of 11,232, made a decision to replace two basketball
courts in the town's Wilde Memorial Park with a street hockey rink.
Glen Rock — which is 88 percent White Non-Hispanic — borders Paterson,
an older, poorer city that is 13 percent White Non-Hispanic. The
decision raised eyebrows because the basketball courts were heavily
used by African-Americans from Paterson. It is well known that hockey
is played primarily by whites and basketball primarily by
African-Americans: while 79 percent of NBA players are
African-American, only 2 percent of NHL players are. Moreover hockey —
like golf — is often criticized for being elitist: the equipment
required to play it — skates, sticks, pads, goals — is expensive, and
one typically needs a car to transport it.

Housing Voucher
The large-scale use of housing vouchers began in 1966, when Dorothy
Gautreaux and 43,000 other Chicago public housing tenants sued the
Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and the federal Department of Housing
and Urban Development (HUD) for discrimination. This case eventually
led to the Gautreaux Demonstration Project, where people were given
vouchers to move from inner city public housing to private housing all
over the Chicago metropolitan area, city and suburbs. Today, housing
vouchers are among the most progressive weapons in the Arsenal of
Inclusion, as they give the poor access to low-poverty communities
with good access to jobs, education, and health. —Damon Rich

Immigrant Recruitment
In a bid to save itself from a shrinking population and economic base
after General Electric Co. and other industries left the city,
Schenectady, NY actively recruited Guyanese immigrants from Richmond
Hill, Queens, a Borough of New York City. Starting with bus tours, the
Mayor of Schenectady went to unusual lengths to attract new residents
to dilapidated neighborhoods in his town of 62,000. Attracted by the
availability of affordable housing, in a few years the Guyanese
community in Schenectady swelled to 7,000, contributing to the local
economy by opening shops and restaurants and reclaiming much of
Schenectady's housing stock.—Julie Behrens, Kaja Kühl

Inclusionary Zoning
Inclusionary Zoning or Inclusionary Housing requires developers to
make a percentage of housing units in new residential developments
available to low and moderate-income households. A major victory for
inclusionary zoning took place in 1975 in Mount Laurel, NJ, where the
Southern Burlington County N.A.A.C.P. successfully argued that there
is a constitutional obligation for municipalities to produce
affordable housing. Eventually, this led to the Mount Laurel Doctrine,
which continues to encourage the development of affordable housing in
New Jersey.

Gays and lesbians have long conveyed queerness through the performance
of personal style, but it was only after the birth of the modern gay
rights movement that they began to openly delimit queer territory,
using sexual orientation as a tool of inclusion to create communities
that celebrated queerness, most famously in the Castro in San
Francisco and in Northampton, Massachusetts. However the movement also
produced places like Alapine, a lesbian-only community in Alabama.
—Gabrielle Esperdy

In 2007, The Los Angeles Urban Rangers, a Los Angeles-based group that
leads creative explorations of everyday habitats, made maps and led
safaris that helped people "find, park, walk, picnic, and sunbathe on
a Malibu beach legally and safely." Despite ubiquitous "private
property" signs found up and down Malibu beaches, numerous easements
and other "loopholes" exist that enable individuals to legally occupy
them. The safaris include skills-enhancing activities like a
public-private boundary hike, sign watching, a no-kill hunt for
accessways, and a public easement potluck.

Minimum Lot Size
Minimum Lot Size regulations, typically found in municipal zoning
codes, define the smallest lot size that a building can be built on.
Minimum Lot Size is in the Arsenal of Exclusion because suburban
municipalities use them to exclude affordable housing, public housing,
and the poor, for whom building on large lots is not possible. An
early exclusionary use of Minimum Lot Size regulations can be found in
New Caanan, CT, which in 1932 zoned 4,000 undeveloped acres "two-acre

"No Loitering" Sign
Loiterers have it tough. Consider the following, taken from the
website ehow.com: "People who loiter will often do some type of damage
to property, such as tagging buildings with graffiti or damaging
concrete with skateboards. Loiterers are sometimes associated with the
sale of illicit drugs... In short, loiterers almost always do some
level of damage to your business, and rarely provide anything
positive." How do you keep loiterers away? For the scourge of
teenagers and homeless people everywhere, the "No Loitering" Sign is
the most commonly-used weapon homeowners and businesses use to
discourage people from hanging out outside their buildings.

No-Cruising Zone
Cruising, or driving a motor vehicle past a traffic control point more
than twice within a designated period of time (usually about two
hours), has been a staple social activity of Americans as long as cars
have been symbols of social status. Many small towns have a route, or
"strip," that is an identified cruise zone, and have "cruising nights"
when cars drive slowly, bumper-to-bumper through urban boulevards or
small town centers. No-cruising zones are a weapon used by
municipalities to block recreational driving, and ergo, this
conglomeration of supposedly "anti-establishment" youth. In 1999, the
ACLU Utah unsuccessfully tried to overturn Salt Lake City's
no-cruising zone, stating that it "seeks to criminalize lawful
conduct" and "extends to innocuous behavior far removed from the
problem it seeks to remedy." Alas, Salt Lake City's no-cruising zone
remains in effect.

NORC stands for "Naturally Occurring Retirement Community." On the one
hand, a NORC is just a building or neighborhood that wasn't planned as
a retirement facility, but that has a large elderly population. But
NORC also refers to Social Service Providers (SSPs) that retroactively
service such buildings or neighborhoods with the amenities — home
health care, transportation, education, and entertainment — that are
found in "purpose-built" retirement facilities. NORC is in the Arsenal
of Inclusion because it is a potential foil to the phenomenon of
geriatric ghettoization, whereby senior citizens are segregated in
isolated, purpose-built retirement communities.

One-Way Street
Greenmount Avenue between 33rd Street and Cold Spring Lane in
Baltimore is a wall. On the east side, 85% of residents are black, 16%
have a Bachelor degree, and the median income is $40,000. On the west
side, 96% of residents are white, 75% have a Bachelor degree, and the
median income is $75,000. Such rapid shifts in demographics are common
in Baltimore, but this stretch of Greenmount Avenue is interesting for
the physical devices that one side deploys to maintain a disconnect
from the other. For example, of the eight streets that intersect
Greenmount Avenue between 33rd Street and Cold Spring Lane, only one
(39th Street) allows travel from east to west. Six of the streets are
one-way pointing east (i.e., out of the wealthy, white side), and one
of the streets (34th Street) thwarts westward movement with bollards.

In The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing
Us Apart, Bill Bishop writes about how the developers of the Ladera
Ranch, a planned community in Orange County, California, used a
questionnaire to steer prospective home buyers into one of its
lifestyle-themed developments. Thus for those who "see the Earth as a
living system" there is "Terramor," which features bamboo floors, and
photovoltaic cells. Across the way, in a development called "Winners,"
houses are more colonial than craftsman.

Racial Steering
Racial steering refers to the illegal practice whereby real estate
brokers guide prospective homebuyers towards or away from certain
neighborhoods based on their race. Racial steering is not a thing of
the past: in 2006, Corcoran, one of New York City's biggest real
estate brokerage companies, made headlines when a sting operation by
the National Fair Housing Alliance revealed that Corcoran brokers were
drawing maps of Brooklyn that outlined neighborhoods that were
"changing." The maps — whose source was a Census map showing percent
change in numbers of African-Americans — were used to show white
families where they should consider living. The map was not shown to
black families with similar financial qualifications.

Regional Contribution Agreement
If, under an inclusionary zoning provision, a developer is required to
set aside a percentage of the units for affordable housing, the
developer can in some states enter into an agreement with a separate
municipality, and effectively pay it to build the units. These
agreements are called Regional Contribution Agreements. They are
dubious because forcing affordable housing away from wealthier housing
discourages a mixture of areas and only serves to reinforce
ghettoization. An example of Regional Contribution Agreements are New
Jersey's COAH laws, which were created in response to the state's
Mount Laurel decision (see "Inclusionary Zoning").

Residential Parking Permit
Residential parking permits create restricted parking districts and
exclude the larger public from specific areas. While Residential
Parking Permits make sense in congested, residential areas next to
universities, medical institutions, sports complexes or tourist
attractions, they are often established and enforced in very
low-traffic neighborhoods that have plenty of street parking
available, especially wealthy ones that are next to poor ones.

School District
The stellar reputation of some public schools can segregate family
households from non-family households, especially in urban areas. When
a family is in a good district, the money mom and dad save not having
to send Ella and Emma to private school is tacked on to the cost of
housing. This in turn results in a self-sorting: people who don't have
kids find that it is not worth their while to live in the district,
and opt (or are forced) to live somewhere else where rent is cheaper
(and where they might find retail amenities less suited to the needs
of young parents).

Sidewalk Management Plan
Portland's sidewalk management plan proposes a 6' — 8' "pedestrian use
zone" in which pedestrians "must move immediately to accommodate the
multiple users of the sidewalk." Importantly, the zone measures out
from the property line, ruling out leaning on (or sleeping on)
buildings. Such a plan isn't needed on the sidewalks of midtown
Manhattan; what justifies one in relatively serene downtown Portland?
Needless to say, this is a barely disguised attempt to rid downtown
Portland of homeless people.

Skywalks are elevated bridges that create interior connections between
adjacent buildings. Many cold-weather cities have extensive skywalk
systems: Calgary has one that is ten miles long. In Minneapolis, which
boasts the largest continuous skywalk system in the United States,
skywalks span 8 miles and connect 69 blocks of the city's downtown.
While the appeal of skywalks is obvious to anyone who has visited
places like Calgary and Minneapolis in the Winter, the fact that
skywalks can be privately owned and controlled appealed to other, less
frost-bitten cities, who used them to build a secondary,
access-restricted circulation system that avoided confrontation with
the elements of the public sidewalk below.

Functionally, the stoop provides formal access to the parlor-level
floor of a brownstone, townhouse, or rowhouse. Stoops are in the
Arsenal of Inclusion because they are semi-private spaces that have
the qualities of openness and community, but also an unspoken boundary
of ownership. In some neighborhoods, they promote interaction and
communication among residents of a street or block. At their best,
they are crucibles of neighborhood gossip and observation.

Ultrasonic Noise
"Is your business suffering from anti social youths driving your
customers away? Are you bothered by crowds of teenagers hanging around
your street or business and making life unpleasant?" These questions
come from the website of "kids be gone," the exclusive North American
importer for the Mosquito Kid Deterrent Device, a small box that
emits, as the name suggests, a high frequency sound that only
teenagers can hear (persons over 20 typically can't hear high
frequencies in the range of 18 to 20 kHz). The company's website brags
that the Mosquito has been successfully used in railway stations,
shops, and, of course, shopping malls.

Ave Maria
Ave Maria is a master-planned, Catholic-themed town just northeast of
Naples, Florida. Developed by Domino's Pizza founder and Roman
Catholic philanthropist Tom Monaghan, Ave Maria puts Catholicism at
the center of community life, a fact that is evidenced by the 100 foot
tall, neo-Gothic oratory in the main square. Through the Ave Maria
Foundation, Monaghan also controls a new Catholic university, Ave
Maria University, which has over 600 students and is planned to
accommodate up to 5,000.

Snowflake is an "Environmental Isolation" community in Arizona, where
a group of people with debilitating sensitivities to certain chemicals
live in about thirty homes on large, widely-spaced lots. Snowflake
offers isolation and neutrality to individuals who would otherwise
suffer from exposure to life-threatening ailments and diseases. Have
an aversion to common house paints and solvents? Snowflake's rigid
product guidelines include a provision that bans them. Originally
founded by two Mormons (last names: "Snow" and "Flake"), the community
offers privacy and isolation for people unable to healthfully exist in
other, more chemically saturated, areas.

Rainbow Vision
Rainbow Vision, a GLBT (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender)
retirement community near the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Santa Fe,
New Mexico, provides a familiar array of resort and retirement
community amenities to a demographic underserved by planned
communities. (The untapped market has been highly successful as three
more branches are soon opening in the Bay Area and Palm Springs,
California, and Vancouver, Canada.) Whether providing assisted-living
services to the elderly, or offering Wednesday night drag shows in the
community center, the development offers an inclusive array of
activities and properties for those attracted to a GLBT-centric
environment. Even heterosexual homebuyers have been attracted to the
spa, dancing, and nightlife that the community offers.

Sky Village
The residents of Arizona's Sky Village, a planned community at the
foot of the Chiricahua Mountains, use their homes to indulge a passion
for the night sky. Amateur astronomers, stargazers, and outdoor buffs
alike find solace in this low-light, sparsely electrified community of
time-share haciendas. Far from any significant city and located in one
of America's darkest regions, denizens of Sky Village enjoy night-time
hikes, evenings gazing through their personal telescope, or cocktail
parties with fellow astro-geeks.

That's not thunder you hear overhead: that's a 707 Jetliner
approaching Jumbolair's 7,550 foot runway in time for dinner at one of
the development's 29 contiguous estates. While the commute from this
Ocala, Florida community might be measured in nautical miles,
everything else resembles the private glitz of a gated neighborhood,
from the gated entryway to its formal dining hall. Originally a 380
acre horse farm, Jumbolair was first licensed in 1984 as a fly-in
community, one of several across the nation, but the only one with
private taxi-ways for its jet-lagged residents.

Peace Village
Peace Village, a 265-home suburban subdivision outside Toronto, looks
like a typical North American suburb, until one notices that its
streets and culs de sac are dedicated to prominent Muslim thinkers. In
fact, Peace Village was built for members of Ahmadiyya, an Islamic
sect that fled Pakistan in the 1970s and 80s to avoid religious
persecution. The subdivision has unassumingly given these Muslims
refuge, as well as license to live according to their conventions
within a modern, Western city. A mosque built into the subdivision
dominates the skyline, prayer speakers (mounted on poles in the
parking lot) call residents to prayer each morning, and in the homes,
dual sitting rooms separate men and women at social gathering, while
heavy-duty ventilation equipment attenuates the strong odor of Middle
Eastern cooking in each kitchen.

To learn more about Interboro Partners, see their Web site.
Credits: Tobias Armborst, Daniel D'Oca, Georgeen Theodore, Rebecca
Beyer Winik, Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez (illustrator).
Interesante ver lo creativos que somos para segregarnos en subgrupos…

Saturday, February 25, 2012

[244] Daft Punk - Derezzed

Me gustan los arreglos de Daft Punk.  Les dejo con este video que usaron para promo de la pelicula.  Ironicamente no recuerdo haberlo visto.

Referencias previas:

Y creo que comente ya de DJ King Arthur...Un DJ que ameniza fiestas corporativas al estilo de Daft Pnk, Justice, etc.

y la escena del club, donde sale la version virtual de daft punk musicalizando:

Friday, February 24, 2012

[243] Curioser and Curioser Rant

Ante las aventuras mas recientes del candidato a la alcaldía de San Juan, Hector Ferrer se comienza a cumplir mi negativa y nefasta opinion de que la campa/na que viene no sera para elegir el major candidato sino que se circunscribira a quien quede en la papeleta.

Comenzaron desacreditando a Garcia Padilla con los viajes, los mismos hipocritas que aceptan kick backs todos los dias y tienen grandes deudas a grandes intereses.
Ahora usan la excusa de la separacion de la familia Ferrer para sacarlo de carrera.
Estos son los mismos de no metan la pata en san juan o que investigan caprichosamente a una figura de intachable moral como el juez Denton.  I mean, everybody fibs, everyone has a kickback every now and then.

Moral en calzonzillos, si preguntan mi opinion.  Se podra declarar una candidatura desierta si no hay un candidato u obra digno de ser electo?  Si no, deberia haberla.

Bueno, en temas relacionados he tenido que estar discutiendo de varios temas con la ex esta semana.  Ironicamente todavia recibo sus llamadas y textos, la tengo en mi lista de friends de FB, etc.  La relacion tiene que mantener ciertos detalles en beneficio del menor (que ya tiene la estatura de la madre y come como llaga).

Ella sigue todo este ambito de politica y discutiamos sobre los 5000 gatos que protestaron por el gasoducto (de nuevo).  Ella entiende que todo esta peachy porque asi lo dicta Luis Fortu/no Burset.  Curiosamente compara a los buscones como la UTIER, Casa Pueblo y Luis Gutierrez con este video de Spin Doctor’s – Cleopatra’s Cat.

Cleopatra's favorite cat
Got his hands on Caesar's spats
The heat was on as you could see
So he front 'em to Mark Antony.
Said, "My girlfriend's cat is smarter than me."

Caesar had an eye for clothes
He saw them spats and said, "I like those."
Caesar had no thing to say, except,
"Jesu Christi Domine,
Et tu, Brute,
Jesu Christi Domine,
Et tu, Brute."

The senate tried to sympathize
It was the cat they should despise
Informant told his whereabouts
Centurions to seek him out

Centurions! There go the centurions.

Brutus had to turn his head
When THIS cat done went and said,
"If he's got this thing for shoes,
He just might be ambitious, too.
They got holidays all in his name,
And all a tyrant needs is fame.
Those fascists don't play pretty games
Egypt is the place to be...
But Rome is a democracy.

Caesar never got them back
'Cause they killed his ass in the second act.
Brutus spoke, then Antony:
Said, "My girlfriend's cat is smarter than me.
Friends, Romans, can't you see
My girlfriend's cat is smarter than me
Egypt's biggest rivalry:
Cleopatra's cat and me."

Entiendo que lo que quiso fue comparer a los buscones con Cleopatra y sus maquinaciones. 

Aun asi, quede impresionado de su comentario tan rebuscado.  Pero de nuevo, synchronicity…relacionemos esa cancion a la pelicula de Cleopatra, donde Elizabeth Taylor estaba a todo lujo y fue por a/nos una de las peliculas mas caras en la historia del cine:

sobre todo, cierta entrada a roma que Madonna copio en el halftime 2012

En cuanto a la exactitude historica aquella pelicula se basaba en las historias de los triumviratos, la quema de la biblioteca de Alejandria o los ides of march de la obra de Antonio y Cleopatra.

Por si no lan hecho chequeense a Kate Beaton y su blog Hark! A Vagrant.  Muchos chistes de contexto literario e historico.  Como la muerte del Cesar:

O Wuthering Heights:

Les dejo detalles adicionales del emperador Augusto y de Antonio y Cleopatra por W. Shakespeare

En otro giro la version de Asterix estaba sumamente entretenida cuando ni/no…
The book begins with an argument between Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, and Julius Caesar, in which Caesar belittles the accomplishments of the Egyptian people. Infuriated, Cleopatra makes a wager with Caesar promising to build a new palace in Alexandria within three months. Cleopatra summons Edifis, who claims to be the best architect in Egypt. She promises Edifis that if he builds the palace on time he will be covered with gold; if he fails, he will be a meal for the sacred crocodiles.
A worried Edifis thinks he needs magic to help him, enlists the help of the Gauls, Asterix, Obelix, Getafix, and Dogmatix. Thanks to Getafix and his magic potion, the work goes forward on schedule, despite multiple attempts by Edifis's arch rival, Artifis, to sabotage the construction after Edifis says he doesn't want to get help of them. Artifis tells the workers to demand less whipping, which would slow construction. However Getafix gives the workers magic potion. Artifis bribes the stone-delivery man to throw his quarry away, before Obelix beats him up, causing him to reveal the truth, a henchman tries to lock the Gauls inside a pyramid but Dogmatix helps him find his way out, he tries to frame the Gauls by sending a poisoned cake to Cleopatra, but Getafix makes an antidote enabling the Gauls to eat it, then cures the taster and claims eating too much rich food was giving him a bad stomach. Edifis is kidnapped and hidden in a sarcophagus in the house of Artifis, but Obelix frees him. Artfis and his henchman are forced to work on the palace, but without magic potion.
Just before the palace is due to be completed, Caesar intervenes by sending legions to try to arrest the Gauls, after he realises the three Gauls are in Egypt when a spy disguises himself as a worker, and sees the effects of the magic potion. The Gauls fight off the Roman soldiers, but the commanding officer proceeds to shell the building with his catapults. In desperation, Asterix and Dogmatix deliver the news to Cleopatra. A furious Cleopatra then hurries to the construction site to berate Caesar. Caesar's legions are required to fix the damage they caused (without any magic potion to help them) and the palace is successfully completed on time. Cleopatra wins her bet and covers Edifis with gold. Edifis and Artifis reconcile and agree to build pyramids together, and Cleopatra gives Getafix some papyrus manuscripts from the Library of Alexandria as a gift.

A la misma vez que puso ese video de analogia ella cambia su logo de FB por un angel dentro de dos piramides formando una estrella de David.  Mi reaccion inmediata al simbolo es la presentacion de Moebius sobre el Incal y aquella pelicula del quinto elemento…


Por si acaso, aqui algo mas de L’Incal y dos preproducciones para una pelicula basada en la serie.  De vez incluyo una foto que presenta las dos piramides…De moebius, ese flikr set da una idea de su arte.

Cierro demostrando mi curiosidad y obsesion con tonterias solo para decirles que estas maquinaciones no son nuevas.  Y que nos preparemos que la campa/na 2012 va a ser mejor que rolaccion…


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

[242] welcome our parasytic overlords

Forzado por el sistema me he visto obligado a editar mis articulos de blogger en vias alternas.  Mientras el bug en el blogger es corregido tendre que usar word para postear mis articulos.  Fin de la discussion.


Habian visto este articulo?  De acuerdo a un nuevo studio se ha vinculado a los microorganismos que causan la toxoplasmosis a la irracionalidad y control de los gatos.  Citan como anecdotas como la presencia de un gato hace que los ratones tomen riesgos innecesarios y sean mas faciles de exterminar.  Mi interes particular es mi querida gata Roxie, que vela por mi la casa cuando no estoy.



The parasite, which is excreted by cats in their feces, is called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii or Toxo for short) and is the microbe that causes toxoplasmosis-the reason pregnant women are told to avoid cats' litter boxes. Since the 1920s, doctors have recognized that a woman who becomes infected during pregnancy can transmit the disease to the fetus, in some cases resulting in severe brain damage or death. T. gondii is also a major threat to people with weakened immunity: in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, before good antiretroviral drugs were developed, it was to blame for the dementia that afflicted many patients at the disease's end stage. Healthy children and adults, however, usually experience nothing worse than brief flu-like symptoms before quickly fighting off the protozoan, which thereafter lies dormant inside brain cells-or at least that's the standard medical wisdom.

But if Flegr is right, the "latent" parasite may be quietly tweaking the connections between our neurons, changing our response to frightening situations, our trust in others, how outgoing we are, and even our preference for certain scents. And that's not all. He also believes that the organism contributes to car crashes, suicides, and mental disorders such as schizophrenia. When you add up all the different ways it can harm us, says Flegr, "Toxoplasma might even kill as many people as malaria, or at least a million people a year."


How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy

 Jaroslav Flegr is no kook. And yet, for years, he suspected his mind had been taken over by parasites that had invaded his brain. So the prolific biologist took his science-fiction hunch into the lab. What he’s now discovering will startle you. Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia?




Un poco mas del tema aqui:


Upon learning that parasites can alter human behaviour, all sorts of questions may be raised, from global culture to behaviour at home. Take extreme cat-lovers (and hoarders) for example. Are they really choosing to be obsessed with cats? Some people keep scores of cats in their homes, and many see them as children. We see countless avatars online dedicated to the owner’s favourite feline companion. Sure, most species have fans (for me it's reptiles), and I’m not claiming that all (or any) cat-lovers are definitely being influenced by parasites when they love their pets. But cat obsession is more prevalent in certain countries and cultures than others. Is it possible that many humans could be affected by T.gondii in such a way that it attracts them to cats? As I mentioned earlier, mice and rats usually avoid cats and their scent, but infected rodents will seek them out. And we’re not talking about reducing the overall level of fear or making them more risk-taking, we’re talking about something very specific. They were still scared of open spaces for example. It was specifically the response to cats that was altered. Could T.gondii cause a similar specific change in human brains to make us more attracted to our feline friends? Could “crazy cat lady” be a symptom of an infection? If any cat-lovers are reading, what do you think about the possibilities? It would be interesting to see if there is a strong correlation between cat-lovers and infected individuals, but such a study would be difficult. If there was a strong correlation, it wouldn’t necessarily mean that infected individuals become more likely to love cats. It could simply be that people who already love cats are simply more likely to become infected since T.gondii is easily picked up from cat faeces. It all comes back to cats.



Sin entrar en juicios a mi personalmente lo que me recordo es de aquel libro de Robert Heinlin llamado The Puppet Masters y un manga noventoso de VIZ titulado parasite…


In Iowa, they discover that the people are being brought under the mental control of repulsive, slug-like creatures that attach to their backs, just below the neck. Detaching one slug from its host, they seal it in a film canister and bring it back to headquarters in Washington, D.C. By the time they get there though, the remains of the slug are a stinking mess, and they are unable to convince the President that there is an invasion.


Sam eventually leads a small team back to Iowa. They inadvertently succeed in capturing a live slug, as one agent becomes "hagridden" without them realizing it. However, Mary spots it when he does not react to her allure like a normal male. The agent is unmasked, subdued and confined. The slug escapes by transferring to another person, and eventually to Sam himself. He immediately becomes enslaved and escapes the agency.


Meanwhile, the invasion continues to expand. Slugs are shipped through the mail to recruit more humans. Gradually they infect more and more important people, especially the members of exclusive clubs frequented by politicians. Before the Old Man tracks Sam down and captures him, they have infected the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, whose department controls the United States Secret Service (responsible for the President's personal security); the slugs are a step away from infecting the President himself.


The aliens who take over the school do so by injecting a parasitic organism into the ear, which takes over the brain and creates what appears to be a different version of the person - one that desires to spread the parasite as much as it can. The faculty sends the entire student body to the nurse one by one for ear inspections, where they are taken over. Casey figures this out and soon warns the other five. During the meeting in Mr. Furlong's (Jon Stewart) class, he enters the room and acts suspicious, leading to an altercation which ultimately ends up with attempts to infect Zeke with the alien, but Zeke pulls out a pen filled with his drug, and jams it into Furlong's eye, which then dries out the alien inside of him. It kills the alien organism as the drug is a diuretic and the aliens require excessive amounts of water to cope with life on Earth.


Parasites have the ability to shapeshift the area of the body of which they took control. They can alter their facial features in order to change their identity. When necessary, they can perform bizarre and grotesque transformations, sprouting supernumerary eyes, mouths, and even wings, as well as extruding an array of blades, fangs, and tentacles, later returning their face to its normal shape. These extrusions can be moved with superhuman speed, and a Parasite can easily kill several nearby humans with an array of whirring blades before the humans are even aware that they are being attacked. Their primary use for this ability is murder in order to feed; although they can eat other foods, all normal Parasites have an instinctive compulsion to kill and feed upon beings of the same species as the host body they occupy.

A parasite attacking

Parasites have neither compassion for nor malice against humans. As a general rule, they display little to no emotion and act according to whatever seems sensible and likely to ensure their own survival. However, Parasites do sometimes appear shocked or surprised, and do develop individual personality traits. For example, Reiko Tamura (Tamara Rockford) is philosophical, Mr. A is antisocial and violent, Goto enjoys playing the piano, and Hideo Shimada prefers practicing sports. Iwaaki said that parasites are 'social animals' who are 'a lot like humans' so he believed that the development of personalities and alliances was 'unavoidable'.[7] Because they are not emotionally troubled by pain or physical exhaustion, a Parasite can push its host body to the limit, performing much better than the host may have originally been capable of doing. Of course, this also increases the risk of exhaustion or injury.

Relacionado, les dejo este increible clip de la BBC con abejas y avispas, con musica epica de 300 en el background.


<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_BHEkjBDWKs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



Bueno, que sea lo que Dios quiera.  No me voy a deshacer de la gata…(si, la referencia es a Liniers)



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Monday, February 20, 2012

[241] Demolition and Infrastructure

Habia comentado en algun foro que he estado bien vago para subir mi laptop.  Utilizo mi smartphone para mantenerme al dia en toda la blogosfera, seguir mis articulos, escuchar videos y esencialmente todo lo que no implique redactar o escribir en exceso.  Realmente es un gran telefono con gran potencia, pero como todo, se le gasta la bateria demasiado de rapido.

Mi tema de hoy enfocaba en la demolicion, que aparenta convertirse en uso y costumbre en la isla, con la partida de industrias y refinerias.  :Los otros dias discutiamos en mi oficina la demolicion de la antigua refineria de Chevron Phillips en Guayama.  Mencionaba en algun otro lado de las necesidades de adiestramiento especializado que requieren las brigadas de emergencia y los planes de contingencia:

Algo previo aqui:

Ejercicios de la Brigada de Phillips, tambien hay de otras industrias.  Es esencial tener un equipo altamente adiestrado para manejar adecuadamente las emergencias ambientales.  Les dejo un clip aqui:

Bueno, CPC ha sido demolida.  La misma suerte le espera a CORCO, a la antigua Sun Oil y hasta CAPECO.  La politica inicial de manejar estos cierres era reactiva, esperar el cierre para reaccionar.  Ahora se fomenta el cierre sustentable, buscando maximizar la recuperacion y reuso de los materiales.  Ese es el tema de hoy.  Comienzo con dos articulos donde mi compania (Environmental Resources Management) ha estado haciendo consultoria en estas operaciones de recobro:


Y una increible toma de la demolicion de un horno y una colujmna de destilacion:



Porque es tan lento hacer cualquier cosa aca?  Miren este articulo demostrando lo rapido de los esfuerzos de Japon en volver a la normalidad:


Cierro diciendo que necesitamos asegurar que las corporaciones tengan la responsabilidad de cerrar adecuadamente sus operaciones.  Les doy con estos articulos una idea de la magnitud de la tarea...

Relacionado, tema futuro.  El status de nuestra infrastructura nacional.  Si en Estados Unidos esta deficiente que podemos esperar en Puerto Rico?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

[240] st michael leyline

Mi ultimo proyecto fue esta imagen de San Miguel Arcangel.  18x24, acuarela y boligrafo dorado para la textura de la capa.

Comienzo con el interes con el Arcangel.  Mi familia es oriunda de Naranjito, cuyo santo patron es San Miguel.  Voy a Biloxi, que tiene una gran basilica dedicada al Arcangel.  En mi parroquia habia una ex monja que me contaba de que visito un lugar con la huella del Arcangel.  Inglaterra tiene muchos de estos templos, colocados estrategicamente.  Supuestamente asociado a leyendas de dragones de la antiguedad.  Se refleja en el dibujo?  Como lo encontre curioso lo dibuje asi.  Decidi indagar un poco.

La veneración del arcángel Miguel en el Cristianismo se basa en su mayor parte en lecturas del Nuevo Testamento y adoptando las que se refieren a él en el Antiguo. Precisamente en el Apocalipsis se lee:
"Hubo un gran combate en los cielos. Miguel y sus ángeles lucharon contra el Dragón. También el Dragón y sus ángeles combatieron, pero no prevalecieron y no hubo ya lugar en el Cielo para ellos. Y fue arrojado el Dragón, la Serpiente antigua, el llamado Diablo y Satanás, el seductor del mundo entero; fue arrojado a la tierra y sus ángeles con él." (Apocalipsis 12, 7-9)
Y en la Epístola de San Judas (ver. 9), se vincula del culto a Miguel con las tradiciones judías:
"Cuando el arcángel Miguel disputaba con el diablo, la posesión del cuerpo de Moisés, no se atrevió a decir maldición sino que dijo: "El Señor te reprenda.".
Tal vez citando al escrito apócrifo conocido como la Asunción de Moisés, en él se menciona que Satán reclamó el cuerpo para sí, argumentando que Moisés provocó la muerte de muchos egipcios. Razón por la cual el arcángel se enfureció y luchó contra él, venciéndolo.
Antiguas autoridades gubernamentales y eclesiásticas reconocieron temprano las virtudes de esta criatura alada. Por ejemplo, el emperador Constantino atribuía a Miguel la derrota de sus adversarios. Por ese motivo mandó edificar cerca de Constantinopla una espléndida iglesia en su homenaje (Michaelion, en Sosthenion). Cabe señalar también que diferentes visiones de la Virgen María incluyen alguna manifestación de la presencia del arcángel. Algunas de las apariciones atestiguadas son: la de Fátima, en el año 1916, que atestiguó haber visto al ángel arrodillarse lamentando el escepticismo de los incrédulos y rogar oración por él y por el Señor. En una posterior aparición volvió a pedir la práctica del rezo, los sacrificios y las oraciones.

A veces aparece con una bascula, a veces con una lanza.  Trate de hacer algo en contexto sincretizando todo...

Sobre el dibujo, inclui varios elementos historicos para amarrarlos al contexto del folklore alrededor del arcangel.  Uno de esos elementos es el Escudo de la Trinidad:
The Shield of the Trinity or Scutum Fidei is a traditional Christian visual symbol which expresses many aspects of the doctrine of the Trinity, summarizing the first part of the Athanasian Creed in a compact diagram. In late medieval England and France, this emblem was considered to be the heraldic arms of God (and of the Trinity).

Reproduction of heraldic arms attributed to St. Michael (the archangel) in a ca. mid-15th century manuscript of "Aunciant Coates", ms. Harley 2169 from the Harleian collection of the British Library (sometimes also known as "Randle Holme's Book").
The caption at top reads: "Sent Myhell Armys" (i.e. St. Michael's Arms). For the other text in the shield, see article Shield of the Trinity.

Mencion Previa de San Miguel Arcangel y Plegaria aqui:

De la capilla de St. Michael en Biloxi aqui:

San Miguel luchando contra el diablo. La imagen del dragón ha sido sustituida por la del Maligno.Vencedor de Satanás y Lucifer, San Miguel es protector de las sinagogas judías, de las iglesias coptas, ortodoxas y cristianas. Su nombre se traduce por "¿Quien como Dios?" y en la iconografía ortodoxa se le representa llevando una lanza o una espada en una mano y en la otra una esfera con una cruz que simboliza el orbe celeste que él gobierna en nombre de Dios.

Curiosamente se le representa vestido de soldado romano, cuando no hay razón que lo justifique por su intemporalidad como arcángel, mientras que sí resultaría adecuada en la de San Jorge. Uniforme y dragón serían elementos comunes a los dos santos, siendo adecuado en un caso (San Jorge) pero no en otro (San Miguel), pudiendo interpretarse como una asimilación de la idea que se quería significar en el mártir capadocio.

Cuando la iglesia se consolida definitivamente como religión hegemónica en Occidente, la simbología busca otras formas de concretarse, para resultar más efectiva y didáctica, tanto a sus acólitos como a los "infieles". Es entonces cuando la figura del dragón empieza a ser sustituida por la del demonio. Ya no es "el Mal" en abstracto, heredero de mitologías clásicas, sino el enemigo de todos aquellos que están fuera de la cristiandad. El demonio adopta forma antropomórfica para facilitar la asociación aleccionadora entre el santo cristiano que lo extermina y el impío que sucumbe ante la fuerza de la nueva fe. Cambia la antigua lanza por la espada, la balanza para medir con justicia las acciones de los hombres por unas cadenas relacionadas con la liberación de las almas que están en pecado. Todo ello para justificar su actitud soldadesca en que podrían verse identificados los ejércitos papales. Cuando el auge de las enseñanzas del Corán avanzaban sobre el mundo entonces conocido, otra figura con iconografía muy semejante a la de San Miguel se abrirá paso en el culto de Occidente; nos referimos a la del apóstol Santiago Matamoros.

Interesante discusion historica relacionando a Miguel y al Poblado de Jaen....Iconografia como propaganda

La identificación con algunas señas de identidad de los mitos medievales trascenderá a sus monarcas. Podemos ver como muchos reyes cristianos adoptan en sus representaciones aspectos que los asemejan a santos y héroes. Esto es lo que sucede con la imagen de Fernando III el Santo en la fachada de la catedral de Jaén. Conquistador de la histórica Yayyan, logró anexionar a Castilla el reino de León, comprando los derechos de herencia a sus hermanas Doña Dulce y Doña Sancha. Fortalecido con esta unión territorial pudo concentrar sus esfuerzos en conquistar gran parte de Andalucía a los árabes. El reino de Aragón, su gran rival en la Península Ibérica, contemplaba con recelo este crecimiento de poder castellano, quedando esto de manifiesto en continuos enfrentamientos diplomáticos y en las guerras surgidas con Pedro I de Castilla, último rey de la casa de Borgoña a la que también pertenecía el rey Fernando III.

Castilla tenía como patrón protector a Santiago Apóstol. Su iconografía recuerda a la de San Jorge, pero ya completamente desprovista de su imagen caballeresca de rescatador de doncellas y hacedor de milagros. Es mucho más real, haciendo proselitismo de la idea de un apostolado armado espada en mano. Aragón, por su parte y seguramente bajo el influjo de otras influencias europeas, se puso bajo la advocación de San Jorge, como hicieran Francia o Inglaterra.

Jaén, durante muchos siglos bajo dominación musulmana, necesitaba tras la conquista cristiana una figura que identificara a su población con la idea de que había un enemigo "infiel" al que derrotar. San Jorge podría haber servido, pues como ser mortal y soldado de Roma, tenía una imagen de guerrero con mucha más fuerza que la de un arcángel (San Miguel), ser "celeste", en definitiva. Pero San Jorge era el patrón del reino de Aragón, enemigo en armas de Castilla. Adoptar un símbolo del rival (San Jorge), era a todas luces inconcebible.

El momento histórico por el que atravesaba Jaén durante el reinado de la casa de Borgoña no podía permitirse estampas que crearan confusión en este sentido. La imagen del apóstol Santiago importada por Fernando III desde su reino de castilla hubiera podido servir, pero no tenía la identidad suficiente para entronizarse en esas tierras y hubiera podido crear el ánimo de cierta "extranjería" entre los lugareños.

San Miguel, sin embargo no resultaba una figura ajena, ya que era un santo también aceptado en el Corán, como ya hemos visto antes. A la población eso le resultaría, sin duda, mucho más fácil de aceptar y asimilar. Por otra parte, reunía las condiciones necesarias: bastaba con sustituir a la serpiente-dragón por infieles o almas del purgatorio. San Miguel, derrotando enemigos sarracenos y protegiendo a las almas cristianas, combatiente y heredero de las más nobles tradiciones del mundo militar romano, aceptado por moros (mozárabes) y cristianaos, se erigió como icono-fetiche de una ciudad y un reino que buscaba una nueva identidad, acorde con su presente, pero sin desvincularse drásticamente de su pasado.

Semejanza entre una imagen bizantina de San Miguel bizantino y la escultura de Fernando III el Santo presidiendo la fachada principal de la catedral de Jaén. Ambos llevan en sus manos la espada, el orbe terrestre y van ataviados con ropajes militares.

st michaels layline

The St. Michael Alignment is arguably the most prominent and intriguing of the many ley lines that criss-cross Britain. It runs in a straight line between Land's End, England's southwestern extremity, and Hopton-on-Sea, on the Norfolk coast. Its name derives from the many sites devoted to St. Michael that it touches or skirts on its 350-mile course - and from its orientation: the direction of the sunrise on May 8th, when the Latin liturgy celebrates… the Apparition of St. Michael.
In spite of their supposed antiquity and the bewildering multitude of esoteric theories associated with them, ley lines have been (re)discovered only relatively recently, and were initially described in mainly exoteric [1] terms.
The first book devoted to ley lines was The Old Straight Track (1925), in which amateur archaeologist Alfred Watkins argued for the existence in Britain of an ancient system of straight trackways that connected landscape features and prehistoric monuments. The book led to a flurry of ley line exploration in the twenties and thirties, but Watkins' hypothenuse-rich hypothesis proved too iffy for mainstream science. 
Ley line lore was rediscovered and embellished a few decades later, most notably by John Michell, whose book The View Over Atlantis (1969) was the first to discuss the St. Michael Line extensively: 
"The St. Michael Line of traditional dragons sites in south-west England (…) is remarkable for its length and accuracy. It appears to be set between two prominent Somerset hills, both dedicated to St. Michael with ruined churches on their summit. These two hills are Glastonbury Tor and 'The Mump' at Burrowbridge some ten miles to the south-west. Both these hills appear to have been artificially shaped so that their axis align with each other, and their orientation, 27 degrees north of east, can be read off a large Ordnance Survey sheet."
As this quote suggests, the 'revived' ley lines are no longer merely putative remnants of neolithic surveying; they are imbued with mystical qualities, their significance explained by or explaining such diverse phenomena as dowsing, ancient astronomy, feng shui, the Nazca lines in Peru, and sacred geography of both the Christian and pagan sort.

Las antiguas estructuras se dise/naban siguiendo un Canon u orden establecido para obtener consistencia.  Asi mismo se teorizaba que la ubicacion de las estructuras seguian una logica particular u ocultista.

Creo prudente dejarlo aqui.  Me he extendido demasiado en los conceptos.
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