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  • Friday, October 31

    Where Do All the Lonely People Go?

    Where Do All the Lonely People Go? [enlarge]

    Where do lonely people go? Those who seldom know a shelter of their own.
    Where do lonely people go? Those who left for good one day slamming the door
    Where do all those homeless people go? All those forgotten by their sons
    Where do all those shipwrecks repose? Banished castaways on nowhere land
    Where do all desperate bodies rest when the mind abandons every hope?
    What becomes of them when all is lost but death refuses their requests?
    Why are there such limbos upon Earth? What kind of vicious fate can take you there?
    What were they? Who were they? How do you know it is not your turn?
    How can you tell? I see a bunch of kids playing in the park, laughing
    What horrendous scheming decides who's gonna be next?

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    Thursday, October 30

    Detail of Columbus Monument, Portal de la Pau, Barcelona

    Detail of Columbus Monument, Portal de la Pau, Barcelona [enlarge]

    Today, a close look on the column and pedestal of the Christopher Columbus monument at the end of Las Ramblas. Did you know that inside this column there is a lift, a very narrow one, that takes visitors to the top? This detail in the image which looks like a cigar ring to me can be appreciated here but if you really want to feel the place click and drag inside the embedded Google street view map of the roundabout where the monument is, facing Barcelona harbor. To get some information and take a look at the bronze lions at the base, go here.


    View Larger Map

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    Wednesday, October 29

    Taxi Drivers: A World Apart!

    Taxi Drivers: A World Apart![enlarge]

    This is some kind of natural law, taxi drivers are a world apart. It is a very venerable profession given all the crap they have to take from us daily but...what about them?. Who hasn't lived an enriching experience after talking to a friendly cab driver? Many people have. But, who hasn't been as talkative as Buster Keaton before breakfast on the way to the airport (usually a long ride) after finding out how funny your random driver is that morning? There are many kinds of taxi drivers, they are people after all, not automatic pilots. They have their existential problems as we all have. That's quite normal. The problem is that in such small space their influence can jump at you like lice from head to head on a hippie convention. Some peculiar behaviors are already documented in Psychiatry, but many of them are still considered normal. You've got the sports fan type (normally the other team's fan),the political type (the other party's follower), the philosopher, basically nihilists (no change, not going your way, no smoking in here), the braggart (they can brag just about everything and my post is short)...and the discreet, who I certainly prefer. This fiction rant is dedicated to all taxi drivers who work around the clock and have saved our butts on many occasions. Please, don't get mad at my words today, especially my friend in the picture for obvious reasons.

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    Tuesday, October 28

    It's A Letter

    Man reading letter at Sant Jaume square, Barcelona [enlarge]

    You see, any story could arise from this image. But to tell a story inspiration is a must and my well is very dry tonight. If I had the will to write, I imagine I would say this man came to Barcelona, was visiting Sant Jaume square after meandering the "solitary" streets of the old Gothic quarter when suddenly he decided to open the secret letter that someone had left at the hotel desk that morning. "Gosh, I told them I had paid for that and they are charging me twice". No, that's irrelevant and too common!. What can I say?. He was a musician, yes, an orchestra conductor, mentally rehearsing tonight's score. Wait, maybe he's just following some route on a map, a sort of Da Vinci code. Hum, no fountains or secret church entrance in this square. Perhaps he was a lost Manga artist drawing some new character. Well, you know what, why don't you finish the story for me. It's A Letter...

    If you need inspiration for more irrelevant things to add to my irrelevant story please check this Monthy Python video first: It's A Tree (specially the introduction!)

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    Monday, October 27

    Feeding Your Child: Extreme Methods

    closeup of baby eating baby food [enlarge]

    If you have a child you may recall how hard it was to make them swallow their first baby food. This is our friends' baby daughter. I took the liberty of taking some macros of the feeding act. I have never seen such stubborn child before. No wonder her mother had to use the pacifier to push the food into her mouth and stop her from spitting it. I guess patience is a must in cases like this. You can try singing, chasing her mouth from left to right, calling your spoon names of well known cartoon characters like Tweety, Mickey, imitating sounds of every mean of transportation you know of, trains, motorbikes, etc. You can act like a clown or simply make use of this extreme method, using the pacifier as a stopper. Here are some real tips to feed your child.

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    Sunday, October 26

    Reflections on a Wine Porron

    Porron or jug with red wine [enlarge]

    Wine is served sometimes in recipients like this at food market stalls and they are known as a porron. George Orwell gave a great definition of this typical Catalan container: "…and drank out of a dreadful thing called a porron. A porron is a sort of glass bottle with a pointed spout from which a thin jet of wine spurts out whenever you tip it up; you can thus drink from a distance, without touching it with your lips, and it can be passed from hand to hand. I went on strike and demanded a drinking-cup as soon as I saw a porron in use. To my eye the things were altogether too like bed-bottles, especially when they were filled with white wine" (Wikipedia). The porron is available for possible clients to quench their thirst while they try samples of some products and make up their minds. More than often, they finally buy something, now that the stall owner has treated them so well, although some people take a good sip, eat all they can and leave empty handed. There are authentic professionals doing this, but the fact they are over there fluttering around attracts more possible consumers so we can say they act as bait. Well, as an anecdote, that's me reflected on the porron of this Monistrol market stall.

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    Saturday, October 25

    Metallica Drawing: Skeleton and Girl With Gun

    Metallica Drawing: Skeleton and Girl With Gun [enlarge]

    The post will not deal with the famous band, Metallica cause I am not a follower. I am just here for the artistic part of the drawing. I have to admit that I do like their ballads. Having said that I should tell you that I just liked the comics style and thought I might frame it at the stall where it was displayed. Then I thought that as Halloween was coming what better than something spooky. There were no pumpkins so I came up with skulls and bones. Here are two ballads you can listen too: One and Nothing Else Matters

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    Friday, October 24

    Stones And Gems, Shapes, Light And Energy

    Stones And Gems [enlarge]

    Quartz or methacrylate , energy generating or not, you have to admit that faceted geometric objects when exposed to light do transmit a certain feeling of relaxation and can trigger a hypnotic state. You may remember your childhood for example, when you spent hours looking to the reflections of a prism under the sun. Is that the origin of greed? Is that what makes people go crazy about buying jewels?. I mean, gems are just mineral. Diamonds come from carbon, what makes it so precious? Everything lies in that fascination for stones, light and maybe some hidden energy that hooks us into collecting color crystals. The magic of mother Earth...This image was captured at a stall in a local market of a town called Monistrol.

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    Thursday, October 23

    Sugary Candy Treats: Jelly Candy or Gominolas

    Jelly Candy, Gummies,

    Still some time for Halloween but you can feel it round the corner, don't you? That gusty wind not only brings leaves but the echoes of witches too. Soon enough children will be knocking at your door, again! Time flies! Maybe jelly candy is not the right treat but they wouldn't say no, would they. They say eating too many can cause diabetes II, but what the heck, they are yummy. Sugar, starch, pectin, gum or gelatin make up some of the ingredients of these delicious sweets that come in all sorts of colors and flavors. Who hasn't got an indigestion of gummies right after watching a movie? Can you think of jelly candy names? We call them gominolas, here are some: Turkish delight, cola bottle gummies, gumdrops, gummi bears...

    Now that the trick or treat ceremony is coming while don't you take a look at Halloween candy.

    To create a mood let's suggest some Halloween photography tips found at Darren Rowse's (@problogger) Digital Photography School.

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    Wednesday, October 22

    Balloon By Montserrat

    Balloon By Montserrat [enlarge]

    There's nothing like a good landscape and a big balloon with shiny colors standing out against some mountain walls and a deep blue sky. Unfortunately some of them show off some publicity sometimes like this Caixa Manresa (a local bank) logo. Obviously banks tend to inflate big balloons every now and then, they rise and fall, and on many occasions they blow up or get drifted away. This one was firmly tied up to the ground just in case. Behind it the beautiful mountain of Montserrat.

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    Tuesday, October 21

    Wish List: Valdeon Blue Cheese

    Valdeon blue cheese [enlarge]

    From the region of Castilla y Leon we have today this excellent Spanish blue cheese called Valdeon after the name of the valley where is it is elaborated in Picos de Europa national park. Made out of cow or goat milk or a combination of both, Valdeon is a creamy, intense flavored cheese not as biting as Cabrales. Did I tell you that I love Cabrales? The wheel of Valdeon is wrapped in sycamore leaves, as the ones you see in the image, that add a peculiar taste to it (learn here about other cheese wrappings). Valdeon was named best blue cheese back in 2003 in a national contest. Here is a tasty recipe Smoked Paprika-Rubbed Steaks With Valdeon Butter. This particular cheese I found at a food market in Monistrol de Monserrat.

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    Monday, October 20

    Beads Necklaces

    Beads necklaces at a stall in Monistrol [enlarge]

    During my visit to Monistrol, there was this stall selling beads necklaces. I reckon this is quite common in many countries so there's no need to tell you a story about the origin of beads or to start talking about religion and rosaries. I saw a line of those necklaces and decided to play with dof for a while. Remember in the next days I will show you market products from Monistrol de Montserrat and folk dancers that participated in recent local celebrations.

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    Sunday, October 19

    Evil Mask, Monistrol de Montserrat

    Devil Mask, Monistrol de Montserrat [enlarge]

    You know the devil disguises or manifests in oh, so many ways. One day he may be McCain himself, some other day the hideous child of our neighbors, maybe a cat, a pumpkin or simply an evil mask with firecrackers inside, as is the case of this one at Monistrol de Montserrat. It was on one of the stalls of the market organized during the Fira de la Coca i el Mató 2008 (a local food fair). Remember this fair at Monistrol has been featured here in the past, as for example in: Say Cheese. Follow label Monistrol below for more.

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    Saturday, October 18

    Wooden Toys, Las Ramblas Stall, Barcelona

     [enlarge]

    Rambling Las Ramblas of Barcelona, camera on hand and nothing else to do, I decided to leave human statues alone for a while and concentrate on small details. Hundreds of souvenirs were shouting at me to be under the spotlight, to step into the limelight. Hey, me!. Forget about her! She's too ugly. I couldn't resist that urgent cry and headed for the little elf or whatever that was and gave him his moment of glory. Lady elf wasn't bad either. I suppose taking these wooden toys home would make your kids very happy or not?

    By the way if you want to be in the spotlight check Picture Social the social network for photographers.

    And finally talking about tiny characters, did you know that the Smurfs celebrate their 50th anniversary?

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    Friday, October 17

    Neocon Danger in Europe

    Neocon danger protest sign [enlarge]

    Apropos of this flashy protest sign warning us about the danger of neocon offensive attacks over Europe, I wondered what a neocon is after all. It sounds like Vietcom but it doesn't have anything to do with it obviously. I hate it when I use the wrong word to refer to something, so in order to avoid stupid mistakes like saying that ecologists are the new communists, as ex-president José María Aznar recently said, I sat and read some articles. Among them I found one titled So, what is a 'neocon'? which is quite illustrative. In spite of all the reading I jumped to the conclusion that this is a complex subject and that there are many possible lines of investigation considering each neocon and the scenario. You have to learn about weapons, state monopoly, powerful influences, factions, bankers, corruption, religious sects, pharmaceutical industries, vast media holdings and even evolutionist theories! But let's resume the article. Here are some key phrases that cleared some doubts: "...people who came to the realization that modern liberalism was not the kind of liberalism that they had subscribed to...", "...concerned about forging national crusades that can tap either the American public's patriotism or its desire for reform...", "...they are influential because they promote each other...", "...they say that America is a nation uniquely equipped as the sole remaining superpower to order the world and spread our values...". After I read this a new question started popping out in my mind: Is McCain a newcon? Given the evidence and according to analysts, he is. Following that line of thought I asked myself: Is José María Aznar a newcon? Yes, the man that proclaimed that global warming is not a scientific truth and that the process may not be affected by the human factor, is a newcon. If you want to meet the authentic newcon check Aznar, interviewed by the BBC. I think I understand the sign in the image a little bit now although it may have been drawn by "ecologists" of course.

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    Thursday, October 16

    Jogging in La Rambla, Barcelona

    Jogging in La Rambla, Barcelona [enlarge]

    Jogging in Las Ramblas de Barcelona is so difficult that instead of that we should call it dribbling or slalom. On the other hand, stubborn athletes you can find all year long in any part of the world. I don't know, you are in the middle of a safari in Africa and suddenly you see a jogger waving at you right behind the lions. An old man is being mugged in a dark suburban street and a person in a hooded sweater passes by swiftly as a ghost in a Japanese horror movie, probably so isolated in their thoughts following a podcast on the benefits of sports that they inadvertently end up in the most transited and smoggy street of the city. In this case, there was some kind of cosmic impasse and for some milliseconds there was no one near the jogger, probably due to the use of a special force field or protective shield invisible to the human eye. Come to think of it, she was just a lucky tourist on the wrong street.

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    Wednesday, October 15

    Coming and Going, Carrer Petritxol, Barri Gotic, Barcelona

    Carrer Petritxol, Barri Gotic, Barcelona [enlarge]

    Resuming Barcelona as a topic, here I leave you with a view of carrer Petritxol at Barri Gotic. Some people come and some other go for time immemorial. Streets remain but they will also disappear some day and Barcelona will not be the same. History is caged in this part of town and without it we will be dehydrated, decaffeinated or whatever "de" something you may think of. So let's protect our history and restore the Gothic quarter! By the way, remember churros at carrer Petritxol!

    I encourage you to check the magnificent work of Jay Wesler.

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    Tuesday, October 14

    Baturricos Playing Bandurrias, Torre Llobeta Square, Barcelona

    Baturricos Playing Bandurrias, Torre Llobeta Square, Barcelona [enlarge]

    There you go, yet another image about jotas. This time I've got the musicians. Men dressed as baturros (the link is in Spanish I know. It refers to the different nuances of the word in our language, some good and some bad) a term that refers to peasants from Aragon playing traditional instruments like this Bandurria (Mandurria). Remember this group was part of Festa Major celebrations at Torre Llobeta square in Nou Barris, Barcelona. There are many Barcelona inhabitants coming from different regions of Spain, so I found it more than adequate to show them in Barcelona Photoblog.

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    Monday, October 13

    Three Jota Singers From Aragon, Spain

    Three Jota Singers From Aragon, Spain [enlarge]

    Following in the steps of yesterday's post about Festa Major de Vilapicina i La Torre Llobeta in Barcelona, today I show you three jota singers in traditional dresses from Aragon, Spain. Notice the colorful shawls and the hair-cages with "false" braids. If you are fond of Spanish traditions and you are interested in knowing how a jota sounds please watch the video.

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    Sunday, October 12

    Jota Dancer from Aragon at Festa Major of Vilapicina and Torre Llobeta, Barcelona

    Jota Dancer from Aragon at Festa Major of Vilapicina and Torre Llobeta, Barcelona [enlarge]

    I have been taking pictures at the Festa Major de Vilapicina i la Torre Llobeta, a sort of popular celebration. Each municipality in Barcelona has its own party on a given time of the year and this one was very near to my place. The lady wearing a traditional dress and shawl is a jota dancer from the region of Aragon. She is a member of the dance group Abenjot representing such region of Spain. It is not by chance that I choose October 12th to post this, as it was the day of Virgin of Pilar, the patroness of Zaragoza, capital of Aragon.

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    Saturday, October 11

    Monge, Philately and Numismatic Store, Barri Gotic, Barcelona

    Monge, Philately and Numismatic Store, Barri Gotic, Barcelona [enlarge]

    If you ever collected postage stamps then this image will bring back some memories. Come to think of it, stamps are just stamps, a tiny jagged sticky-on-one-side piece of paper but this obsession for antique or rare "pieces of paper" is more than a hobby for many people. I remember well how I used to collect them when I was a child. I had this album that had the black and white image of the future stamp you were suppose to find and stick in place after buying or trading with other collectors. I had some rare stamps of China which were a real beauty, generally with socialist allegories on them and other stamp collections organized by countries. I also had reproductions of the first stamp, the Penny Black issued on May 06 1840, as the one you see engraved on the glass of this remarkable epoch philately and numismatic store (A. Monge, carrer Boters, 2) at the Gothic quarter of Barcelona. But why did they create stamps after all? Postage used to be paid upon delivery and it happened that many letters were rejected by the addressees so a pre-paid delivery system was imposed in 1837 in which the stamp became the proof of payment.

    Now you can share music with me: barnasound or listen while you browse via blip.fm player on my sidebar.

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    Friday, October 10

    Crossroads Signs, The Nature of Symbols

    A Crossroad sign in Barcelona [enlarge]

    Crossroads signs are one of those hallmarks of civilization, they are part of a universal symbolic language. We take them for granted but basically wouldn't live without them unless we carry a gps of course. To talk about signs we should first understand their nature, that is, what they are and how they signify. Greek philosophers defined significance as a relationship between two things, signs and the things they signify. One of the terms in the relationship causes another to come to mind. There are things which are not signs, things which are signs of other things and finally there are things that are always signs. Some act as signs whether we want it or not, like natural signs. Some others have to acquire the signification as is the case of signboards. Almost everyone would identify this post as a crossroad sign, almost every mentally healthy individual would understand which direction to follow. Many would notice that there is a color code combined with the size of the letters. Latin derived language speakers would interpret many of the words. And you can even imply that these are pedestrian only roads and that there is a subway station nearby. Did you see how easily do we communicate each other? Here is another idea to think about, one of the synonyms of crossroads is...crisis! But that is part of a different story.

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    Thursday, October 9

    Gargoyle at Plaza del Rey, Barcelona

    Gargoyle at Plaza del Rey, Barcelona [enlarge]

    In the previous post we talked about witches and mystic places so why not keeping the same mood to contemplate in awe this devilish gargoyle at Plaza del Rey. A horrible creature twitching every muscle, stretching to howl in a sinister gesture. I try to imagine the creepy sound while a shiver comes down my spine. Fortunately there is only silence, a trail of water perhaps coming out of the snout. You know what, this twisted cry reminds me of the Scream by Munch. You don't hear it but it gives you the creeps.

    I would like to suggest today some Photoshop Killer Tips by Matt Kloskowski via Layers Magazine

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    Wednesday, October 8

    Autumn Falls Over Vallgorguina Near Montseny Mountains

    Autumn leaves around wooden table and benches [enlarge]

    Everybody has its secret place to enjoy the beauty of autumn. This is one of my many hidden glades. The town is called Vallgorguina, near Montseny mountain and out of Barcelona. Well, in fact it is not too poetic and by any means secret because those rustic tables and benches are used for public costilladas (derived from ribs), a sort of BBQ where you make your own fire with the wood you buy there. You have to rent the grill but you carry your own meat. You pay the restaurant nearby for using the tables too. So as you see enjoying the fall is not that cheap anymore. One curious thing, the area is said to be a magic place where witches celebrate their aquelarres or sabbaths. Locals say they gather near the Dolmen of Piedra Gentil when there's a full moon. So try to finish your ribs before dusk.

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    Tuesday, October 7

    The Digital Era And The Evolution of Tourists

    Tourists in Barri Gotic, Barcelona [enlarge]

    The digital era has arrived in photography too, and some species like these hunters have evolved into more complex organisms or individuals. Hunting mechanisms have been perfected so shooting is no longer associated with reloading. This photographer is proudly carrying his Sony dslr camera looking for fresh preys to take home as trophies. The woman follows absently, almost frightened by the unknown perils behind every corner of Barri Gotic. Now seriously, I took this picture last month in the Gothic quarter and this kind couple happened to be admiring the streets of Barcelona. They looked passionate and interested in what they were coming across, like children with a new toy, so from here I wish to thank them for their visit. I hope they had a nice stay in the city.

    Suggested link: 30 Beautiful Photoshop Illustration Tutorials via Six Revisions.

    Do you want to be amazed today, check Dave Hill Photography

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    Monday, October 6

    Las Ramblas: The Most Frequented Street in Barcelona

    Las Ramblas street, Barcelona on a Saturday morning [enlarge]

    Las Ramblas, a small scale Catalan version of the Champs Elysées, is perhaps Barcelona's most frequented street and not precisely by the locals. Hordes of tourists wander up and down around the clock under the plataneros (hybrid plane trees) of the famous walk. This is how it looked on a Saturday morning last month. Recently, authorities met the local guild of stall owners to listen to their complaints and they have started cleaning Las Ramblas from pickpockets, trileros (a sort of shell game swindlers) and other petty criminals. In return the stalls will be replaced more than a meter backwards so they are not another obstacle in the way. Workers alleged that the living statues are also responsible for jamming the area as each of them gathers their own circle of admirers. Besides, there is the ever growing number of visitors. Did you know that according to a recent report by Saffron Brand Consultants, Barcelona is the third most attractive city for tourism, business and foreign investment after Paris and London from a list of 72 European cities. The data was obtained after interviewing 2000 people and considering different factors such as location, culture, history, food, business potential and residents attitude towards visitors.

    Now for you to rejoice here are some breathtaking shots: The Earth From Above via The Boston Globe

    And why not, some tip for the road: How To Set Twitterspy in GTalk via Techlifeweb

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    Sunday, October 5

    A Wedding Photograph From Barcelona

    A Wedding Photograph From Barcelona [enlarge]

    This is something I never tamper with, brides. There are authentic specialists that do wedding photography like Bambi Cantrell. I wish I could learn from them but I will have to accept the inevitable I am not good at that. This is just a random picture taken during a walk with my fellow photo bloggers. The place, Via Laietana. Who was getting married, no idea. Congratulations to the newlyweds! She was truly amazed at so many cameras pointing at her. To tell you the truth, I was there for the vintage car too.

    Here is a brief beginners guide to wedding photography.

    This is an article about Barcelona as a destination to get married

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    Saturday, October 4

    Exotic Animals in Barcelona: Pyxicephalus Adspersus

     [enlarge]

    The exotic animals market in Barcelona is a prosperous business but I am not here to denounce anything. Many things are not right in this world. It is just this stupid obsession we humans have to collect things up. I will merely show you the frighten face of this beautiful Pyxicephalus adspersus or African Bullfrog. Check this other bullfrog image by Phil Bishop found via CalPhotos database. I had to look at several pictures to find the correct name since I foolishly forgot to take it down properly. Well, in fact he doesn't look scared but I imagine he must be under stress in the hands of this disgusting pale being that curiously comes everyday and feeds him. Here is a comprehensive database on amphibian species: AmphibiaWeb.

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    Friday, October 3

    Under the Archway, Carrer del Bisbe, Barri Gotic, Barcelona

    Under the Archway, Carrer del Bisbe, Barri Gotic, Barcelona [enlarge]

    Walking in slow motion under the archway at Casa de los Canónigos in Bisbe Irurita street, if you really concentrate you can manage to stop time for a couple of seconds, while you bathe in the bright light of the sun. You should stay there, spreading your arms in the way only a child can do, stretching your head back up to face the backlit figures, the same sculptures that have witnessed the existence of so many souls. Quiet now, you almost hear them murmuring. They have this melancholic expression and they are whispering: "I am with you my son, please don't worry, people come and people go, you don't need to hurry. Some have left, others will come, but the flame is always burning. The world is cruel, there is pain, the flesh hurts but I am here to save you from your demons, I will sacrifice myself for you. Go and cross this bridge now, you will not remember me, but I will always be with you". And then you'll feel a sudden cold breeze and a little pain on your neck and shoulders of looking up so intensely and you will ask yourself: "What the heck was that?
    Please, this is only a fiction, do not block the archway. Wear some protection, looking directly at the sun may hurt your eyes badly. Do not ask passerbyes if they also heard that. They know but they will act normal and pretend nothing happened. 

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    Thursday, October 2

    Jamon Serrano Tastes Better At The Source

    Jamon Serrano Tastes Better At The Source [enlarge]

    One of the most representative Spanish products is jamón serrano (cured ham). Like any other traditional product, serrano ham's quality may vary according to many factors, the breeding farm conditions, the swine diet or the curing process. The same happens with cheese for example (exclude the pig). It is not the same to buy an imported Italian cheese than to go and visit the town where it was made and try it on site. First of all, there it will be cheaper and you would get a higher quality product. So the same story applies to our cured serrano ham, even for us inside the Spanish market. It is not the same to buy a Jabugo serrano leg at La Boqueria market (today's picture is taken there although it doesn't seem to be Jabugo) than to visit Jabugo town in Huelva mountains. I know what I am talking about, because I've done it myself. Of course you can buy one here for Christmas at a higher price, but you know in your heart that the leg you are buying may not be as good although it carried the Jabugo stamp on it. The same happens with olive oil. When on holidays I buy olive oil in Candon, Huelva or Priego, Córdoba. I can find similar stuff sometimes in El Corte Inglés shopping center, but my tongue tells me it is not the same. I don't know, maybe it is due to storage problems, transportation, hot weather, intermediaries, lower quality lots destined to major dealers, who knows. The point is, jamon serrano tastes better at the source (not the pig farm of course). Besides there's the external factor, the good beer, the nice weather, the tapas and the friendly people who cuts it for you. Even in Jabugo or any other town famous for selling good products, you can fall in the typical tourist trap and buy to the wrong stuff. Where am I getting at? Well, what I mean is that quality can be lost along the way and that you'd better visit those local markets to find cheap gourmet delicacies, Spain is still full of them. Visit them before they disappear forever.

    Recommended reading: Introduction to Spanish Ham - Serrano and Ibérico

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    Wednesday, October 1

    Dali, Artist, Star and Icon

    Dali, Artist, Star and Icon [enlarge]

    There are artists who have to wait until death to become famous, others are worshipped long before they even grow old. Such is the case of Salvador Dalí. Not only because of his surrealist paintings, his sculptures, his drawings. Not even for his multifaceted creativity in other areas like fashion, photography, theater or jewelry! Not just for that overwhelming legacy. He was also widely known for his eccentricity. And every eccentric carries his own cohort of detractors chewing on his bones and flesh like worms in a sort of symbiotic relationship. Relevant personalities and experts that get their moment of glory by feeding on crumbles left by the host and unknowingly magnifying his fame. Of course this is not always the case. But Dali and his genius, put a blemish on the bad reviews of all those who did not have the vision that only a gifted mind can give you. As talent always wins over mediocrity and shortsightedness. Dali the artist and Dali the star, altogether have evolved into a new parasite-proof living organism: Dali the icon. It is very hard to libel on icons. Once they reach the "divine" category your words may become heretical. By the way, I almost forget, this balcony you probably have seen at the end of Las Ramblas, near Columbus monument. There was this man painting on canvas. First I thought the other guy was his model but the female figure on the painting clearly discarded him. I would like to know how much was that huge Dali painting to the left? Bidding is open.

    Unlike recent posts, in this one I am going to stick to the subject regarding suggested links. An icon is an icon and I don't want to sound apocryphal. Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the Salvador Dali Museum.

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