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Nortec Collective

Nortec Collective is a group of musicians and other artists from Tijuana, Mexico, that mix norteña with techno. Even though the mix sounds really weird, it’s really good! An example below (Tijuana makes me happy, Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 3, 2006):

Other videos in Youtube:
Tijuana Bass (Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 3, 2006)
Olvídela Compa (Tijuana Sessions, Vol 3., 2006)
Ensamble de Lupe
Odyssea

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Things that I’ve learned/discovered in the last 10 years

It is now 10 years that I graduated from Junior High and entered High School. After an uneasy start of my teens, in the latter I became the person that I am now. After some thinking, these are some of the things that I’ve learned since:

  • There is good people in this world, besides those found close to me. ”The more I meet people, the more I like my dog” doesn’t apply, even though I really like dogs.

  • There are two ways to get rid of a bully: ignore him or kick his butt.

  • Speaking English doesn’t necessarily make you international. Not speaking it makes you lose out. Regardless of whether we like it or not, it’s the language of globalisation.

  • I really hate snobbishness. Knowing you’re from a certain (privileged) group is fine by me, but excluding everybody else just because of that is stupid. I’m referring mostly to the naco-fresa dichotomy and related social illnesses here.

  • -20°C is not cold, unless it’s also windy (then it’s REALLY cold).

  • It is possible to find love outside of your friends and family, you just have to be brave enough to search for it and wise enough to recognise it and grow with it.

  • The first step to become a good (or at least decent) cook is to like food. Everything else flows from there.

  • Yes, it is possible to learn languages as weird as Finnish if it’s not your mother tongue.

  • I’m actually the only punctual member of my family.

  • Don’t assume you’re right only because you know something.

  • Search for different sides of a story. That’s why I keep on reading newspapers I won’t necessarily agree with.

  • You’re able to learn anything you want as long as you put your mind to it, including (but not limited to) cartwheels.

  • Aikido has shown me to flow like water, flexible like wood and strong like stone, the difficult part is knowing when to be each.

  • I’m not patient enough to be a software developer, much less a scientist… but engineering showed me how things work, and how to learn how new things work. Now if only humans were so easy, but then we wouldn’t be human.

  • Don’t think in terms of us and the foreigners. Think of people like you and me. You might be the foreigner next time.

  • There might be more cultural differences between people of your own country than between you and somebody from accross the globe.

  • One stupid comment at the wrong time can sour relationships almost forever.

  • Help people help themselves.

  • All my life I wanted to be an adult. Now that I’m one, I try to keep on smiling as a kid.

  • Music makes my day.

  • I don’t like most R&B & hip hop songs these days, but Outkast is pretty OK. I’m still mostly a Rock (mostly Alternative, Punk or En Español) kind of guy, but found out that traditional Latin American music (ranchera & mariachi, tambora, corridos, marimba, samba e pagode, axé & tango) are quite nice too.

  • Try to keep a clean environment around you, even if you’re lazy. It helps organise your ideas. I don’t always succeed on this one.

  • Peace, silence and solitude don’t bite, as long as you don’t overindulge.

  • For a techie guy, I can be very political when I want to (and even when I don’t want to).

  • 4 years of Models United Nations mean that I am compelled to watch news every day. Not many people of my age group do so, which means they don’t know what’s going on with the world we are inheriting.

  • Like Thomas L. Friedman said, ”The world is flat”. A great book, by the way.

I’ll think of some other stuff later on.

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República Árabe Saharahuí Democrática

La República Áraba Saharahuí Democrática es un país que fuera colonia española que no es reconocido por muchos estados fuera de África y el mundo hispanoparlante puesto que su territorio está en disputa con Marruecos (en algunos mapas se encuentra como Sahara Occidental). Es una pena dado que ellos reclaman por el mismo derecho de autodeterminación de los pueblos que tienen todos los demás países, y que es parte de la Carta de las Naciones Unidas. Hay un referéndum que determinaría el futuro de los habitantes de este territorio, pero Marruecos y Francia lo siguen bloqueando después de más de 10 años porque no les conviene que haya un país hispanoparlante en esa parte de África. Para desgracia de los Saharahuíes, su lucha por la autodeterminación no es tan ”sexy” como aquella que en su momento tuvo Timor Leste, y aunque son apoyados por la mayoría de los países hispanoparlantes y la Unión Africana, no ha habido mucho progreso con su situación desde que el Frente Polisario depuso las armas.

Con información de ”Más Allá de las Fronteras”, proporcionada por la Embajada de la República Árabe Saharahuí en México.

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Movies not to see when you’re flying

I have recently seen two movies not recommended for those with frequent flyer platinum status: World Trade Center & United 93. Both were actually not very good from the cinematic point of view, but brought back the memories from September 11th, 2001. Do you remember what you were doing then?

I definitely do. We had a meeting with some suppliers that day. After leaving the meeting, we took a cab and there we heard from the driver that something had happened in NY. When we got to my boss’s hotel, everybody was in the lobby watching CNN. I remember thinking that this was something out of Hollywood, and immediately called my mom to check if my dad was not in the States. He wasn’t, but a friend of the family was (we heard later from him that he was fine). When I took the commuter train back home everybody (mostly Finns who are usually very reserved) was talking about the day’s events. When I got home I couldn’t stop watching TV until I fell finally asleep. A co-worker was flying to Britain. He got home 7 hours late.

March 11th was similar. I read the news on the BBC website and immediately called our Spanish office. They were all OK and I then called a friend of mine who lives in Madrid. He was rather freaked out because he usually takes one of those trains to go to school, but he didn’t that day. That night there was an anti-terror rally in Helsinki, and I attended with my Spanish friends. One good friend of mine just couldn’t stop crying (even though I believe nothing happened to any close people to her), and I remember that it broke my heart. And to think that it was my birthday…

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The Islamic influence in Europe

Ramadan is widely celebrated near my school. Walking down the streets you find a lot of women with headscarves and other protective clothing. There is talk about agreeing on some sort of European Islam, but the Muslim world itself is torn between tradition and modernity, religiousness and secularism, and the Muslims here have to deal with an unfamiliar (and I guess sometimes threatening) environment. I can only start guessing what goes through their heads when their bazaar is next to the red light district of Brussels, for example. I hope that there is some sense in all parties involved in these discussions, as these are trying times for us all.

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Musings from a child of globalisation.

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