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"The ESF ... considers that the statement cited above is slanderous"

Last year, Dr. Amaya Moro-Martin, an astrophysicist specializing in circumstellar disks and planetary systems, started a great deal of discussion in the astronomy community when she wrote an open letter to the Spanish Prime Minister explaining that she was leaving Spain because of the bizarrely oppressive bureaucratic policies of the Spanish government and their broken promises to scientific researchers. This year, she has written an opinion piece in Nature arguing that Europe's drastic research budget cuts are short-sighted. In response, the European Science Foundation (ESF) has threatened to sue her unless she retracts the statement that called an evaluation process supported by ESF "flawed".
posted by kyrademon on Oct 13, 2014 - 21 comments

Empty Houses in Spain

The Spanish housing boom goes bust. "Some 65km from Madrid, in the quintessentially Spanish heart of a country riven by competing regional identities, Valdeluz – the notorious ciudad fantasma (ghost town) of the crisis – was conceived at the height of what is sometimes called Spain’s economic miracle. In a Catholic nation, whose faith has declined substantially during its three decades of democracy, there is an increasing reluctance to believe in miracles of any kind."
posted by Occam's Aftershave on Aug 6, 2014 - 37 comments

The three Chicken Wars, and their (less than) lasting impacts

In the records of human conflicts, there are at least three Chicken Wars. Two left little mark on the world at large, and the third resulted in some strange work-arounds for heavy tariffs. The first was Wojna kokosza, the Chicken or Hen War of 1537, when an anti-royalist and anti-absolutist rokosz (rebellion) by the Polish nobility resulted in near-extinction of local "kokosz" (an egg laying hen), but little else. The second was an odd spin-off of the more serious War of the Quarduple Alliance that lasted from 1717 to 1720. Though most of the activity happened in Europe, there were some battles in North America. The Texas manifestation was the capture of some chickens by French forces from a Spanish mission, and a costly overreaction by Spanish religious and military men. The third Chicken War was a duel of tariffs during the Cold War, with the only lasting casualty being the availability of foreign-made light trucks in the United States. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 4, 2014 - 15 comments

Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation

7 countries' attempts to grapple with their troubled pasts, and move beyond them.
posted by smoke on Jul 5, 2014 - 3 comments

Why Spain Got KO'd

It's now been a day since we saw defending World Cup and Euro champions Spain lose to Chile, 2-0, a day since they were mathematically eliminated from the knockout stages, and a day since we witnessed the grisly end of an era. It was a profound moment in soccer and in soccer's history, and still, all I can think about is boxing.
posted by josher71 on Jun 20, 2014 - 57 comments

Don Juan Carlos de Borbon will step down

Juan Carlos I of Spain will abdicate in favor of his son, Felipe, Prince of Asturias. Juan Carlos may best be remembered for delivering democracy to post-Franco Spain and for defeating a 1981 coup attempt. [more inside]
posted by Ranucci on Jun 2, 2014 - 46 comments

Barca Defender Eats Banana

"Barcelona's Dani Alves reacted to having a banana thrown at him during Sunday's dramatic 3-2 win at Villarreal by peeling it and then taking a bite. He was about to take a corner when the banana landed on the pitch". "We have suffered this in Spain for some time," said Alves. "You have to take it with a dose of humour."
Former Barca striker Gary Lineker praised Alves. "Picked it up, peeled it, ate it and proceeded to take the corner," he tweeted. "Top response." The ex-England striker added: "Utterly brilliant reaction from Alves. Treat the racist berk with complete disdain!"
Alves has been a regular target of racist abuse during his 12 years in Spain with both Sevilla and Barcelona.
Dani Alves: “If you don't give it importance, they don't achieve their objective”
posted by marienbad on Apr 28, 2014 - 59 comments

Massacres, Toponymy, Inertia, Easter

In the Spanish province of Burgos, Castile y León, about 200 kilometers north of Madrid, is a tiny little village named Castrillo Matajudíos (pop. 60). The village is considering changing its name. [more inside]
posted by skoosh on Apr 12, 2014 - 37 comments

No people without houses, no houses without people.

Photojournal of Spain's new squatters: families, young professionals, degree-holders, single mothers, the elderly. "I have grandchildren," she says. "When I die I would like to be able to say to myself that they will have jobs, homes and a happy life. The corralas are important. They set an example to people who are struggling. They show that we can help ourselves and each other. I don't know what the future will hold for any of us, but one way or another I believe that this will be a successful fight. I have to, otherwise I wouldn't be able to sleep at night." [more inside]
posted by alona on Mar 10, 2014 - 11 comments

Naturalis Historia

"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."
Naturalis Historia was written by Pliny the Elder between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger.
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 16, 2013 - 24 comments

The UK's first social supermarket

The UK has opened its first social supermarket as a means of combatting food poverty.* [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Dec 9, 2013 - 7 comments

Gored in the USA

The Running Of The Bulls Comes To America (Single Link BF)
posted by josher71 on Oct 18, 2013 - 47 comments

Way out west

Editors - Formaldehyde. First music video by British director Ben Wheatley [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Aug 8, 2013 - 0 comments

Spain Privatizes The Sun

Spain Secretary of State for Energy, Alberto Nadal has signed a draft royal decree that levies a consumption taxes on solar power (El Pais translation, lol version)
posted by jeffburdges on Jul 30, 2013 - 40 comments

"I hope no one's been killed because they'll be on my conscience"

Spain has declared three days of mourning following a deadly train crash that killed at least 80 people and injured many more. [more inside]
posted by randomnity on Jul 25, 2013 - 88 comments

Messing around in boats

"For nearly two centuries, biologists have been struck by a mystery of geography and biodiversity peculiar to Europe. As Edward Forbes pointed out as far back as 1846, there are a number of life forms (including the Kerry slug, a particular species of strawberry tree and the Pyrenean glass snail) that are found in two specific distant places—Ireland and the Iberian Peninsula—but few areas in between." -- How did a specific snail species from the Pyrenees end up in Ireland but nowhere else?
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 23, 2013 - 16 comments

More News from the Right.

Erected just two years ago a Spanish Monument to the International Brigades has been ordered to be pulled down.
The lawyer who lodged the complaint stated "There is nothing to celebrate, and especially not in a public space devoted to education."
Amid scars of past conflict the Spanish far right is growing. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Jun 5, 2013 - 58 comments

"Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community."

The autonomous town of Marinaleda, Spain is doing well.
posted by artof.mulata on May 19, 2013 - 17 comments

"to restructure your debt is to declare yourself similar to …"

Lee Buchheit, fairy godmother to finance ministers in distress
Lee Buchheit, a lawyer at US firm Cleary Gottlieb, has been present at all the major debt crises of the past three decades. His reputation among investors is as a fearsome and aggressive litigator, but finance ministers in distress see him as something of a fairy godmother.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 19, 2013 - 5 comments

The Times They are a-Changing.

Two days ago M15 the original Spanish "occupy" movement celebrated its second birthday. Earlier this year it publicised a campaign of civil disobediance. Now Catalunya has Teresa Forcades, a nun on a mission who opposes the excesses of capitalism. Here is a recent interview.
posted by adamvasco on May 17, 2013 - 39 comments

Mesmerizing!

A contestant on a Spanish talent show builds a mobile using natural materials. It's worth watching to the very end.
posted by carmicha on May 17, 2013 - 32 comments

The Luckiest Village In The World

It was a tiny town of farmers, a village where everyone knew everyone and nearly all struggled to make ends meet. But then, a few days before Christmas, they won the largest lottery in the history of Spain. The entire town. All of them. (Well, almost all of them.) Instantly, Sodeto became known as the luckiest place on earth. Michael Paterniti visits the town that fortune smiled upon and finds that the people there—now flush—are still uncertain of just how lucky they really are.
posted by empath on May 16, 2013 - 26 comments

''Escrache'' it's direct action.

Mortgage fraud, faux-democracy and escrache in Spain. Those unfortunate enough to lose their homes are also burdened with a debt for life.
Anatomy of an ‘escrache’.
Spanish banks repossessed 30,000 family homes in 2012 and those who take part in doorstep protests may face fines of up to 6,000 euros in Madrid.
Between 2002 and 2008 an average of 754,000 new homes were built in Spain every year. It is currently estimated that up to 6 million homes remain vacant.
posted by adamvasco on Apr 14, 2013 - 17 comments

I feel that cinema should be like a box of surprises, like a magic box

RIP Jesús 'Jess' Franco, the prolific Spanish horror and exploitation writer and director of films such as Vampyros Lesbos and The Awful Dr. Orloff who was once condemned by the Vatican as one of the most dangerous filmmakers in the world. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 2, 2013 - 19 comments

Her work was complete

In 1933 political activist and champion for sexual freedom Aurora Rodriguez killed her Utopian 'project' and brilliant young daughter Hildegart. The Red Virgin is a short film about Hildegart by Sheila Pye. (all films somewhat NSFW) [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Mar 31, 2013 - 4 comments

20 minutes of hand-drawn and CGI teasers and trailers from Headless Prod

Strange Oaks is the latest teaser trailer from the Barcelona-based Headless Productions (and friends), this time about a retirement community for witches. The Headless Productions Vimeo account has 13 more teasers and trailers, mostly featuring hand-drawn animation, some of which has since made its way into full movies. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 23, 2013 - 8 comments

Trashman Forever

Spain Rodriguez Fought the Good Fight - underground comics artist Spain Rodriguez, most famous for his violent antihero Trashman, passed away yesterday.
posted by Artw on Nov 29, 2012 - 30 comments

Prison of Debt Paralyzes West

Be it the United States or the European Union, most Western countries are so highly indebted today that the markets have a greater say in their policies than the people. Why are democratic countries so pathetic when it comes to managing their money sustainably? This clear, well-written essay in Der Speigel lays out the current debt crisis - along with current, proposed solutions - in an understandable manner. Not included among the so-far-proposed solutions is one other that has opened up a veritable financial market and debt Pandora's Box - i.e. a central bank debt jubilee.
posted by Vibrissae on Nov 19, 2012 - 118 comments

1.5 million protestors demand Catalan autonomy

Huge crowds gathered yesterday on the streets of Barcelona to demand autonomy for Catalonia. Police estimated that 1.5 million people protested. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. on Sep 12, 2012 - 48 comments

Tapas

On November 7, more than 60 chefs will converge on Valladolid, Spain to vie for glory in the annual National Tapas Competition. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Sep 10, 2012 - 17 comments

Flamenco Music: El Barrio

El Barrio makes contemporary flamenco music.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Aug 4, 2012 - 5 comments

You know, "let them eat cake" would actually have been nicer...

During the presentation of tough new austerity measures at the Spanish parliament, and more specifically of a cut in unemployment benefits (with unemployment currently standing at 24%), and as her fellow conservative MPs clapped, Andrea Fabra yelled "Fuck 'em all!". Hilarity has predictably ensued... [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Jul 13, 2012 - 50 comments

Casino economy

The Las Vegas Sands Corporation, headed by multibillionaire and notorious supporter of right-wing causes Sheldon Adelson, is considering building an enormous gambling resort in crisis-stricken Spain: Euro Vegas [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Jun 8, 2012 - 24 comments

Animated Histories of European Football

In advance of Euro 2012, the Guardian has made animated histories of six of the competitors: England, Spain, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Germany and France. (Autoplay video in last six links.)
posted by hoyland on Jun 6, 2012 - 21 comments

"And what were they serving at El Bulli? Water!"

Drive 8.7 km (5.4 miles) west of the municipality of Roses in Catalonia, Spain, and you'll get to the gates of the renowned avant-garde restaurant, El Bulli. Run by Ferran Adrià since 1987, the restaurant closed in 2012 due to Adrià and his partner Juli Soler losing a half million Euros a year on the restaurant and Adrià's cooking workshop in Barcelona. Slate's Noreen Malone wrote an article on the history of the "I Ate at El Bulli" piece, giving an overview of tropes that you could expect in an IAaEB piece, and you can browse images tagged "elbulli" on Flickr for snapshots of personal experiences. But for an extended look into what went into making the ever-changing 35-course taster's menu, El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (Trailer on YT and Vimeo) is a 109 minute documentary on the preparation and implementation of the 2008/9 season, an "extreme fly-on-the-wall vérité, with only the barest context provided." If you're looking for recipes, Molecular Recipes has a few listed under the El Bulli tag. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 4, 2012 - 26 comments

Free camping in Europe by bicycle

Adrift in a bleak economy and our isolated urban bubble, in 2010 my sweetheart and I set out to see the world the old-fashioned way: by bicycle. We did it on the cheap and without any itinerary, gadgets, or training. We moved south with the sun as the seasons changed, cooked food we found at local markets, and slept in fields or on strangers’ couches. [more inside]
posted by latkes on May 29, 2012 - 50 comments

Navassa Island

Navassa Island is a small uninhabited Caribbean island 74 km off the coast of Haiti. Both the US and Haiti claim sovereignty over the island, though Haiti claims it in it's constitution. Discovered in 1498 and explored in 1504 as part of Columbus's expedition when he became stranded on Jamaica and sent a canoe to Hispaniola; the canoes ran into the island on the way and two Spaniards and several Indians who arrived on the island drank contaminated water killing most of the group. The island was avoided until 1857 when it was claimed by the US as part of the Guano Islands Act despite an earlier Haitian claim. Working conditions were very harsh on the island, manually moving over a ton guano from mines via rail cars to the landing point at Lulu Bay which sacked the guano for transport on the S.S. Romance. In 1889 the workers started a rebellion that killed several supervisors and lead to a series of court cases that affirmed the constitutionality of the Guano Act. The island was abandoned in 1898 during the Spanish-American war forced the operator, Navassa Phosphate Company of Baltimore to file for bankruptcy. In 1917 a lighthouse was built since the island posed a hazard for ships entering the newly built Panama Canal. The island has remained uninhabited, save a few Haitian fishermen that camp now and again, though it is highly coveted by amateur radio operators seeking a DX call-sign of KP1. The island has been bounced around several federal agencies until 1999 when the United States Fish and Wildlife Service cataloged it as a National Wildlife Refuge. In 2009 NOAA's Southeast Fisheries Science launched an expedition to catalog the flora and fauna of the reefs of the island, including a few feral cats roaming on the island.
posted by wcfields on Apr 5, 2012 - 21 comments

La verdad triunfará

In Hiding:The Life of Manuel Cortes the Socialist barber and mayor who hid inside his house for 30 years to escape Francoist retribution was the first publication by the noted oral historian Ronald Fraser who has recently died aged 81.
A gifted and prolific historian of Spain, Fraser helped establish oral history as a discipline in its own right.
His civil war opus Blood of Spain confirmed his scholarship.
He had a long association with the New Left Review which he helped found.
His last publication was Napoleon’s Cursed War: Popular Resistance in the Spanish Peninsular War.
posted by adamvasco on Mar 1, 2012 - 5 comments

Saving Rasquera

Mired in debt, the small town of Rasquera, in Spain, is considering an unorthodox source of funding: growing marijuana. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Feb 29, 2012 - 8 comments

78 78s

78 78s - In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
posted by carter on Jan 29, 2012 - 15 comments

Pocoyo!

Pocoyó is a charming little animated children's show from Spain. Many episodes are available online in English (narrated by Stephen Fry), in the original Spanish, and in a few other languages. You can make your own Pocoyo-style avatar and read the Pocoyo blog at the show's website. [more inside]
posted by flex on Jan 28, 2012 - 22 comments

Júzcar, the Smurfy blue Spanish town

Júzcar is a little Spanish village that voted to stay blue, but their buildings weren't always that hue. In fact, if you view the Google maps, you'll see the traditional whitewashed walls, as you'd expect for one of the (former) White Towns of Andalusia. It happened in advance of Global Smurfs Day, to celebrate the birthday of Peyo (25 June 1928 – 24 December 1992), the Belgian creator of the Smurfs comics. The town was chosen by Sony as the site for the international debut of its new Smurfs movie, who offered to pay for the town to become temporarily blue. The citizens unanimously voted to accept the offer. In September, the 221 residents voted to keep the town blue, as the media coverage was huge, and tourism was boosted from 300 summer tourists to thousands. More photos. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 12, 2012 - 21 comments

Your No. 2 favorite Christmas tradition

No Nativity scene is complete without the caganer - a figure caught in the act of taking a dump near the manger. (NSFW tag, ahoy!) The figurine (whose name translates as "the shitter") is an addition to the Nativity tableaus in the Catalonia region of Spain. Some interpret the caganer as a reminder that God can arrive on earth at any moment - and he doesn't care if he catches you with your britches down. [more inside]
posted by The demon that lives in the air on Dec 12, 2011 - 64 comments

How Leonard Cohen got his song.

Leonard Cohen's speech from his acceptance of the Prince Of Asturias Award for Letters, whereby he details a moving yet previously untold story about where he received his inspiration. [transcript]
posted by myopicman on Oct 26, 2011 - 11 comments

Surely this..

A new BBC Documentary titled This World: Spain's Stolen Babies alleges that up to three hundred thousand Spanish infants were stolen from their mothers at birth over a fifty year period, and then sold by the Catholic Church through illicit adoption services.
posted by FatherDagon on Oct 17, 2011 - 64 comments

It's a beautiful day to fly or die

The hotel Bali in Spain is a wonderful place to base jump from.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 16, 2011 - 27 comments

Sleepdrunk Vademecum

Tania Blanco is a modern artist who shares her time in France and Spain. She says of her collection Sleepdrunk Vademecum, "The body is made up of a large set of rounded painting formats. Medical instruments, high precision technology, scientific devices, anatomical models, clandestine laboratories and human representation become the object of study and thought. The bizarre represented objects reflect a mixture of past and future, and an ambiguous clinical atmosphere flows in them. On many of these painted surfaces, a soft cool-cold gradient isolates the represented elements and gives a non-gravitational character to the compositions." [via]
posted by netbros on Sep 11, 2011 - 3 comments

Pretty Trash

"No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that a rubbish dump being created would, in the space of a century, become a protected area. Yet that is exactly what happened to what has come to be known as Glass Beach, just outside Fort Bragg in California." [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Sep 1, 2011 - 20 comments

Antoni Gaudí

"Hiroshi Teshigahara's Antonio Gaudi is a spare, astonishing, and haunting documentary on the designs of famed turn of the century Spanish architect, Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926). A profound influence on the Spanish art nouveau movement, Gaudi's sensual adaptation of Gothic, Middle Eastern, and traditional architecture is a truly a unique artistic vision. Teshigahara immerses the viewer into Gaudi's unorthodox vision using lingering takes and mesmerizing panning sequences, accompanied by an equally eclectic soundtrack that vacillates from lyrical symphony to disquieting near silence. The film, largely structured without verbal narrative, unfolds as a figurative mosaic of Gaudi's early influences and nascent vision in the mid 1800's - from an overview of the Catalonian culture, to the contemporary works of other prominent architects, to the medieval art and architecture pervasive in the region." (Janus/Criterion, 1:12, color)
posted by puny human on Aug 3, 2011 - 15 comments

Mata-morose

On July 25th pilgrims arrive at Santiago de Compostela for the holy feast day of St. James. The medieval pilgrimage route has seen a spike in popularity in recent years and has been portrayed in both classic and contemporary film as an introspective journey. However, travelers along the way also pass many reminders of Spain's history of religious conflict such as a monument to Ferregut's final duel, the final resting place of El Sid, and the final battleground of Roland. Images of the saint himself can sometimes be controversial as well.
posted by Winnemac on Jul 24, 2011 - 24 comments

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