Botellón is a distinctly Spanish tradition that basically consists of young people who gather together in public squares or plazas to drink and socialize. Apparently this tradition started in the 90s because it was far cheaper for them to purchase the alcohol in supermarkets than in the bars. Mark, Brian, and I experienced this first hand during the festival of San Fermin in Pamplona. Like clockwork, we would gather in the same plaza, at the same time, and drink the same thing (you guys remember what it was called?) before hitting the bars. Its an interesting phenomenon, and as far as I can tell, is only getting bigger as time goes by.

As stated by this article that Beaubien sent me:

Police in the southern Spanish city of Granada said up to 25,000 people had gathered, causing the closure of a major road.

“We’ve never seen anything like this in Granada,” a police spokesman said. “There’s no doubt this is the biggest botellon in Spain … there must be 20,000 to 25,000 people.” Youths rallied revellers by email and SMS messages for “macrobotellones” in 20 cities around Spain, while authorities have pleaded with parents to keep their children under control and pointed out the dangers of under-age drinking.

The botellon (big bottle) has become a seedy part of city life over recent years as teenagers, bored at home and too poor to go to bars, buy beer, spirits and cartons of wine from food stores and lounge around in plazas, drinking the night away.

One has to love the mix of technology and drinking! Nothing like motivating the masses via SMS! I’m sure there will be ample opportunity to experience this first hand during my trip!

more pics below
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Destination: Spain

16th century map of Valladolid, Spain – click on image for high-res version

In a week’s time I will be boarding my flight and getting ready for my trip to Spain. This will be my first trip as a citizen, though I’m not sure it will be noticeable, outside of not having to wait in line at customs. Either way it promises to be a relaxing trip and, once again, a change in perspective from the rut I feel I have been stuck in as of late. The plan is to visit Teresa in Pamplona as well as spending Semana Santa with my family in Valladolid. I don’t recall if I have ever experienced Semana Santa in Spain before so it should be interesting. I will be there for 2 weeks and I plan on documenting my travels on this blog once again. So for those of you who have been bored from my lack of interesting content – stay tuned! My digital camera is armed and ready!

V for Vendetta

Katty and I went to see V for Vendetta last night at the IMAX with our friends Ben and Corie last night. Ben had e-mailed me in November about going to see it, but the movie was delayed – the filmmakers deny that the delay had anything to do with the actual London bombings. I didn’t really know what to expect, besides the fact that it was a Wachowski brothers film – I half expected some new Matrix like effects, nothing really new there. Though my expectations weren’t met as far as new effects, the movie was fantastic! Natalie was incredible as Evey! I really enjoyed it… way more than I thought I would! That being said, I think that my recent exposure to marches and protests made the “power to the people” message even more relevant. Will definitely see it again!

As an aside – shouldn’t an “IMAX” movie fill the whole screen? I could have sworn that when I saw The Matrix: Revolutions at the IMAX – it filled the whole screen top to bottom. V for Vendetta seemed more like a 16:9 than 4:3 aspect ratio. That being said, the picture was crystal clear and the sound was incredible!

We had a blast with Ben and Corie and ended up at the Cheesecake Factory (which we can’t seem to avoid) afterwards discussing the future of their website among many other things. Maybe linking them will motivate them to update?!

Update:Found this little tidbit on IMAX DMR:

IMAX DMR™ is a process by which a conventional 35mm cinema film is digitally re-mastered into IMAX’s larger-than-life format (15/70mm size and resolution).
Each individual 35mm frame is converted to high res digital format; the IMAX DMR™ software then removes the 35mm grain structure and creates an enhanced IMAX version with incredible visual clarity. Once the process is complete, V for Vendetta: The IMAX Experience film format will be 10 times larger than its original!
Please note: the dimensions of the original 35mm movie remain and so the DMR film does not completely fill the entire IMAX screen.

More info on IMAX DMR

Half a million march in protest of HR4377 – Los Angeles, CA

A crowd estimated by police at more than 500,000 boisterously marched in Los Angeles on Saturday to protest federal legislation that would crack down on undocumented immigrants, penalize those who help them and build a security wall along the U.S.’ southern border.

Spirited but peaceful marchers — ordinary immigrants alongside labor, religious and civil rights groups — stretched more than 20 blocks along Spring Street, Broadway and Main Street to City Hall, tooting kazoos, waving American flags and chanting, “Sí se puede!” (Yes we can!).

Attendance at the demonstration far surpassed the number of people who protested against the Vietnam War and Proposition 187, a 1994 state initiative that sought to deny public benefits to undocumented migrants but was struck down by the courts. Police said there were no arrests or injuries except for a few cases of exhaustion.

-LA Times
Continue reading Half a million march in protest of HR4377 – Los Angeles, CA

continuous partial attention

I saw an article yesterday about “continuous partial attention”. It stood out in the usual clutter of internet fodder because of the way it directly relates to me. I find technology fascinating, I always want to be on the cutting edge of what is going on, I want to be involved in everything around me. But at what cost?

With continuous partial attention we keep the top level item in focus and scan the periphery in case something more important emerges. Continuous partial attention is motivated by a desire not to miss opportunities. We want to ensure our place as a live node on the network, we feel alive when we’re connected. To be busy and to be connected is to be alive.

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Winter walk

I was feeling a bit unsettled today, I had way too much on my mind and I wasn’t getting anything done. With Brian’s entry still fresh in my mind, I decided to go out for a walk to search out some time and silence in my usually hectic day. It looked sunny and gorgeous from inside the house, why not go out and enjoy it for a bit? I didn’t really have much of a plan as far as where I was going to go, or what I would contemplate on my brief journey, but it became clear to me as I continued on. I saw the above family at a nearby schoolyard, the two kids were so thrilled to be outside and to be unleashed in the safety of the park. Its funny how easily that excitement is lost with age. But just seeing how happy it made them put a smile on my face.

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Coverage of the march?

I somehow missed this posting on the 13th. I wish I had seen it as now it has dropped into obscurity. It does bring up a good question. Was the coverage adequate for the march? Is this part of some right-wing conspiracy as the poster alludes? I was surprised that Mike hadn’t heard about it in Detroit – but now that I read the comments to the post, I guess nobody really heard about it except Chicago. Is there a reason that main-stream national media didn’t pick up the story – or perhaps they just wrote a blurb about it? I would think that a 100,000 person march would make news everywhere. Perhaps protesting like this isn’t as effective as people would hope?

Dave’s Birthday Extravaganza

We celebrated Dave’s birthday over the weekend. Katty and I stayed in on Friday in preparation for the crazyness that was going to ensue. After having a nice dinner with the fam, we headed out to Keri’s apartment in an attempt to surprise him. Well, much to OUR surpise, Dave had seen an e-mail that Bill had left open earlier in the day, so he was fully aware of the party. He did mention that he figured he would have been able to figure it out much sooner… so in that respect, he was sortof surprised. What began as a gathering at Keri’s placed turned into a late night outing to Nick’s Uptown followed up by some mexican food.

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