April 30, 2010

Coyoacán, Behlín

The best season for walking in Coyoacán is around Easter, when all jacaranda trees blossom and the asphalt turns purple.

These days I have a similar feeling in Behlín due to the so many "hanami" we have here: rows of cherry trees, blossoming despite the sadness of the people passing-by, trying to cheer(y) them up.

April 29, 2010

Warten, bis der Arzt kommt

This is my first text published by "Die Zeit" on the 'Magazin'. That week, I was told, more than 16 million people visited the site plus the 2.25 million readers of the printed version "we" have every week. Now "ZEITmagazin" is on Facebook as well.

No idea how many people read this little interview... There are some crazy ideas and projects going on, let's see what happens.

The background of the text is a discussion about the concentration of doctors in Germany: overpopulation in the cities, too few in the country. So I interviewed the major of some little town in the Black Forest with this problem. The town is called Schonach and hosts the biggest cuckoo clock in the world.

April 27, 2010


Oldest automatized image we have:
Heliographic engraving by Nicéphore Niépce (1825) of a 17th Century Flemish engraving.

Oldest foto we have:
"La cour du domaine du Gras" by Nicéphore Niépce (1826) at Saint-Loup-de-Varennes.

First self-portrait ever made with a camera:
Robert Cornelius used a daguerreotype (1839).

First cartoon in print media:
"Cartoon no. 1: Substance and Shadow" by John Leech (1843).

First sound ever recorded:
A fragment of the French folk song "Au claire de la lune" by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville using a phonautograph,
able to record sounds but unable to reproduce them

First color image ever:
James Clerk Maxwell shot a "Tartan Ribbon" (1861).

First motion (hard) picture:
Eadweard Muybridge photographed the horse "Occident" in California using 12 stereoscopic cameras along the horse's track (1878). This solved the mistake of painters putting two legs of the horses on the front and two on the back.

First illustrated song:
"The Little Lost Child" by Edward B. Marks and Joseph W. Stern (1894),
being the ancestor of modern music videos.

First X-ray:
"Hand mit Ringen" by Wilhelm Röntgen, who took the left hand of his wife (1895).

First movie poster:
By Marcellin Auzolle announces "L'arroseur arrosé",
a short (49'') black-and-white-comedy film (June 10, 1895).

One of the very first motion pictures:
Even before the Lumiéres, the Skladanowsky brothers were projecting in Berlin some short films using their Bioscop (July 1895). Due to the lack of money to improve their technology, they were soon overshaded by the Lumiéres.

First public motion picture in modern cinema:
"La Sortie des usines Lumière". The screening of ten short films was held
at the Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris (December 28, 1895).

First animated cartoon:
"Humorous Phases of Funny Faces" by James Stuart Blackton (1906).

First satellite image:
Taken by "Explorer 6" while being 27 km above Mexico (1959).

First e-mail:
Sent by UCLA student Charley Kline. The intended text was the word "login",
but the system crashed after sending the first two letters: "lo" (at 22:30 on October 29, 1969).
There are different theories about the origin of the "@", being this note of a wheat shipment from Castilla to Aragón called "Taula de Ariza" the oldest (1448).

First MTV transmission:
"Video killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles (at 0:01 on August 1, 1981).

First sms:
"Merry Christmas", sent from Neil Papworth to Richard Jarvis (December 3, 1992).

First YouTube video:
"Me at the zoo" by Jawed Karim (2005).

First tweet:
"just setting up my twttr" by Jack Dorsey (at 21:50 on March 21, 2006).

April 25, 2010

Where I would like to be right now II

This post refers to this one.

New York

Tel Aviv



On hair

I wasn't completely aware of the beauty of hair till last September. Before, for me the hair was just a matter of color. For many years I just liked blond girls. I was stroked when I met TW, a girl with copper on her head.

Two or three years ago, a Turk hairdresser talked to me for half an hour about my hair. She was a passionate of hair, you could notice it immediately. She draw my attention to my hair for the first time and encouraged me to take care of it more properly.

But it was in September, when I went to Israel (my first time in Middle East) when I became completely aware of human hair. No other women have such a strong, healthy, attractive, dark hair as they do. Only when you have seen that you understand better the meaning of tonsure for monks, of head-shaving in prisons, of headscarves among Muslim women and Christian nuns...

As a contrast, check these pics of great hair "sculptures".

Today I met again AD: We had met last September. Her hair seemed to me so impressive, that it started all the thoughts I just described. Today, so many people were turning around to see her hair. 

April 23, 2010

40-odd years later, the same

"Tooker Lips" by Martin Sokolsky (1961)

Daria Werbowy, Hilary Rhoda and Gemma Ward by Mert & Marcus (2007)

Wilhelmina by F.C. Gundlach (1966)

Hilary Rhoda by Stephen Meisel (2006)

Roger Melis

A great, great exhibition in Berlin c/o: Roger Melis, a photographer from Berlin, who passed away some months ago. He worked intensively in East Berlin and managed to capture the daily life of the people there. His pictures from Paris, London and Moscow are also great. Here some examples.

April 22, 2010

Faial: Tras los pasos de Mark Twain

El verano pasado visité las Islas Azores, ese archipiélago diminuto y desconocido que parecen salpicaduras de tierra en medio del Atlántico. El vértigo que me dio estar allí me hizo imaginar que estaba sobre los puntos suspensivos del continente europeo: con las Azores no termina Europa, allí comenzó el colonialismo moderno.

El primero en visitar las Azores y en escribir un travelogue fue Mark Twain, que ayer cumplió 100 años de muerto. Me pasé todo el 2009 leyendo su obra y visitando algunos lugares que también pisó. "Letras Libres" publicó mi historia twaineana en las Azores.

Foto casi desconocida de Twain jugando al billar procedente de la Colección Okinawa-soba: 11 de enero de 1908.

April 19, 2010

Yellow: Enid Crowe, Hilary Rhoda

Self-portrait of Enid Crowe for her Disasters series.

Hilary Rhoda for Eres collection '09, photo by Cedric Buchet.

April 18, 2010

Some wisdom in Heidi Montag

How to pronounce the name of the most famous volcano nowadays? Wikipedia helps: listen!

To me, there is no big difference between the reaction of the governments to the swine flu one year ago and the Eyjafjallajökull today. Too much ado about nothing!

Some years ago, Popocatépetl threw also ashes, I had in my room ashes for the next two weeks, it was a mess having a 2-centimeters thick lay of ashes at home. And there was no interruption of flights or whatsoever.

It's all because governments in very developed countries overreact. It's all about paternalism: let me take care of you, I will forbid this and that for your own sake. Bluff! Yes, there was an AirFrance-plane last year which fall into the ocean, and now they are afraid it will be the same.

I would say: let's behave like Heidi Montag did one year ago and start wearing masks: volcano ashes could eventually harm our health...

April 17, 2010

Tai chi tourism

When I went to Pisa, I had this image of Martin Parr in my head:
So, I tried to do the same with these tai chi tourists, but without the leaning tower and with a point-and-shoot camera:

And two quotes from Susan Sontag's On Photography:

“The predatory side of photography is at the heart of the alliance…between photography and tourism”. (p.64)
“[The camera is]a way of taking possession of the places they (tourists) visited”. (p.65)

April 14, 2010


Every single day, Ampers & Ampers & publishes a new "&" sign. A great collection for typography lovers!

De paso por la Feria del Libro de Leipzig

Hace unas semanas asistí a la Feria del Libro de Leipzig, la segunda más grande de Alemania después de la de Frankfurt.

El viaje fue bastante bueno, por razones muy variadas. Hace dos días publiqué mi recuento, que fue de inmediato fuertemente criticado por algún alemán muy ofendido que, supongo, trabaja ahí directamente.

Foto: ddp

April 9, 2010

First week

Foto: WorldHum

The first week at "Die Zeit" is over, and it was a stressful beginning. I am using the word "stress" in its right meaning, since I suddenly found myself working in an all-German-team of 20 people, who know each other quite well, and out of the blue I have some research to do. It took me a lot of time to realize what was going on, what were they expecting from me to do, etc. In any case, my first text is going to be published in "Die Zeit" ('Magazine') next Thursday, they liked it.

Have been very busy doing other stuff, have been unable to post more frequently, unfortunately... "Bin beim Produzieren"...

April 1, 2010

Der Architekt am Strand

My friend and former boss Niklas Maak published a book, "Der Architekt am Strand" (Carl Hanser Verlag) to show how Le Corbusier was inspired by shells and other cetacean-treasures he discovered in the French beaches. According to Niklas, these natural forms impressed Le Corbusier deeply. He was acquainted with Paul Valéry's "Theory of Objects", and this mix resulted in his architecture.

Die Zeit!

I just started today to work as an intern for German weekly newspaper "Die Zeit" (Magazin). My office is really cool, with a big window facing one of the two skyscrappers of former East Berlin. It is really an impressive experience to be here, with such a skilled group of people, so relaxed and professional. I got already some duties to do, although tomorrow it is Easter-long-weekend in Germany.

Last year was so great while working for the "FAS". More than a million readers. Now, I have learned, I am in a even bigger newspaper with more than two million readers.