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martes, mayo 15, 2012

RIP The Mexican Writer: CARLOS FUENTES...

carlos fuentes @ festivaletteratura, originally uploaded by [luca] luca pareschi.

Carlos Fuentes Macías (November 11, 1928 – May 15, 2012) was a Mexican writer and one of the best-known novelists and essayists in the Spanish-speaking world. He has influenced contemporary Latin American literature, and his works have been translated into English and other languages.
Fuentes was born in Panama City to Mexican parents. His father was a diplomat, and he spent his childhood in various capital cities: Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro, Washington, Santiago, Quito, and Buenos Aires. As an adolescent he returned to Mexico, where he lived until 1965. He was married to film star Rita Macedo from 1959 until 1973, although he was a habitual philanderer and reportedly, his affairs—which he has claimed included film actresses such as Jeanne Moreau and Jean Seberg—brought her to despair. The couple ended their relationship amid scandal and Fuentes then married journalist and interviewer Silvia Lemus.
Following in the footsteps of his parents, he became a diplomat in 1965 and served in London, Paris (as ambassador), and other capitals. In 1978 he resigned as ambassador to France in protest over the appointment of Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, former president of Mexico, as ambassador to Spain. He has also taught courses at Brown, Princeton, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Cambridge, and George Mason University. He was a teacher at Brown University. He was also a friend of the U.S. sociologist C. Wright Mills, to whom he dedicated his book The Death of Artemio Cruz.
Fuentes fathered three children. Only one of them survived: Cecilia Fuentes Macedo, born in 1962, now working in television production. A son, Carlos Fuentes Lemus, died from complications associated with hemophilia in 1999 at the age of 25. A daughter, Natasha Fuentes Lemus (born 31 August 1974), died of an apparent drug overdose in Mexico City 22 August 2005, at the age of 30.
Carlos Fuentes received the Four Freedoms Award for Freedom of Speech and Expression in 2006, in Middelburg, the Netherlands.
On May 15, 2012, Consuelo Saizar, the head of the National Council for Culture and Arts, publicly announced the death of Carlos Fuentes at the age of 83. He died in a private hospital in southern Mexico City.
When he was 30 years old Fuentes published his first novel, La región más transparente, which became a classic. It was innovative not only for its prose, but also by having a metropolis, Mexico City, as its main setting. This novel provides insight into Mexican culture, which is made up of a mixture with the Spanish, the indigenous and the mestizo, all cohabiting in the same geographical area but with different cultures.
The author described himself as a pre-modern writer, using only pens, ink and paper. He asked, "Do words need anything else?" Fuentes mentioned that he detests those authors who from the beginning claim to have a recipe for success. In a speech on his writing process he mentioned that when he starts the writing process he begins by asking, "Who am I writing for?"
He published Las Buenas Conciencias in 1959. This is probably his most accessible novel depicting the privileged middle classes of a medium-sized town, probably modelled on Guanajuato.[citation needed]
His 1960s novels, Aura (1962) and La muerte de Artemio Cruz (1962) are acclaimed for using experimental modern narrative styles (including the second person form) to discuss history, society and identity.
In 1967, during a meeting with Alejo Carpentier, Julio Cortázar and Miguel Otero Silva, Carlos Fuentes launched the project of a series of biographies depicting Latin American caudillos, which would be called Los Padres de la Patria. Although the project was never completed, it provided the base for Alejo Carpentier's Reasons of State (El recurso del método, 1974) and various other Dictator Novels (novelas del dictador).

1975's Terra Nostra won the Venezuelan Rómulo Gallegos Prize.
His 1985 novel Gringo viejo, the first United States bestseller written by a Mexican author, was filmed as Old Gringo (1989) starring Gregory Peck and Jane Fonda.
In 1994, he published Diana, The Goddess Who Hunts Alone, a fictionalized account of his alleged affair with Jean Seberg. However, his account has been questioned several times.
Fuentes regularly contributed essays on politics and culture to the Spanish newspaper El País and the Mexican Reforma. He was an observer of Mexico-U.S. relations and critic of the United States' policies in Latin America. He also wrote Las Dos Elenas.



carlos fuentes @ festivaletteratura

RIP the mexican writer CARLOS FUENTES


lunes, febrero 06, 2012

The Next Generation of Neural Networks

Geoffrey Hinton (born 6 December 1947) is a British born informatician most noted for his work on the mathematics and applications of neural networks, and their relationship to information theory.

Hinton graduated from Cambridge in 1970, with a Bachelor of Arts in Experimental Psychology, and from Edinburgh in 1978, with a PhD in Artificial Intelligence. He has worked at Sussex, UCSD, Cambridge, Carnegie Mellon University and University College London. He was the founding director of the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at University College London, and is currently a professor in the computer science department at the University of Toronto. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Machine Learning. He is the director of the program on "Neural Computation and Adaptive Perception" which is funded by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

An accessible introduction to Geoffrey Hinton's research can be found in his articles in Scientific American in September 1992 and October 1993. He investigates ways of using neural networks for learning, memory, perception and symbol processing and has over 200 publications in these areas. He was one of the researchers who introduced the back-propagation algorithm for training multi-layer neural networks that has been widely used for practical applications. He coinvented Boltzmann machines with Terry Sejnowski. His other contributions to neural network research include distributed representations, time-delay neural networks, mixtures of experts, Helmholtz machines and Product of Experts. His current main interest is in unsupervised learning procedures for neural networks with rich sensory input.

Hinton was the first winner of the David E. Rumelhart Prize. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1998.

Hinton was the 2005 recipient of the IJCAI Award for Research Excellence lifetime-achievement award.

He has also been awarded the 2011 Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering.

Hinton is the great-great-grandson of logician George Boole whose work eventually became one of the foundations of modern computer science, and of surgeon and author James Hinton.



Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone

Bob Dylan, (play /ˈdɪlən/) born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941, is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and painter. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly reluctant figurehead of social unrest. A number of Dylan's early songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving his initial base in the culture of folk music behind, Dylan revolutionized perceptions of the limits of popular music in 1965 with the six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone". However, his recordings employing electric instruments attracted denunciation and criticism from others in the folk movement.

Dylan's lyrics incorporated a variety of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences. They defied existing pop music conventions and appealed hugely to the then burgeoning counterculture. Initially inspired by the songs of Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, and Hank Williams, as well as the music and performance styles of Buddy Holly and Little Richard, Dylan has both amplified and personalized musical genres. His recording career, spanning fifty years, has explored numerous distinct traditions in American song—from folk, blues and country to gospel, rock and roll, and rockabilly to English, Scottish, and Irish folk music, embracing even jazz and swing.

Dylan performs with guitar, keyboards, and harmonica. Backed by a changing line-up of musicians, he has toured steadily since the late 1980s on what has been dubbed the Never Ending Tour. His accomplishments as a recording artist and performer have been central to his career, but his greatest contribution is generally considered to be his songwriting.

Since 1994, Dylan has published three books of drawings and paintings, and his work has been exhibited in major art galleries. As a songwriter and musician, Dylan has received numerous awards over the years including Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards; he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2005, the street on which Dylan grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota, was formally re-named Bob Dylan Drive. In 2008, a road called the Bob Dylan Pathway was opened in the singer's honor in his birthplace of Duluth, Minnesota. The Pulitzer Prize jury in 2008 awarded him a special citation for "his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power."



viernes, febrero 03, 2012

Knut w/Thomas Dörflein | Polar Bear Cub - 003


Knut and Thomas

knut, originally uploaded by wazapandy.


RIP Knut and Thomas

Trauer um Thomas Dörflein, originally uploaded by ~babsy~.

Thomas Dörflein (13 October 1963 – 22 September 2008) was a German zookeeper at the Berlin Zoological Garden for 26 years. After the polar bear cub Knut was abandoned by his mother shortly after his birth in 2006, Dörflein—who cared for both the zoo's wolves and the bears—was assigned as the cub's caretaker. As a result of the zoo's controversial decision to raise Knut by hand, and the resultant close relationship between keeper and animal, Dörflein became a reluctant celebrity.

On 5 December 2006, Knut and his unnamed brother were born at the Berlin Zoo. The cubs' mother rejected them for unknown reasons, abandoning them on a rock in the polar bear enclosure. Zookeepers rescued the cubs by scooping them out of the enclosure with an extended fishing net, but Knut's brother died of an infection four days later. Only the size of a guinea pig, Knut spent the first 44 days of his life in an incubator before Dörflein began raising the cub.

Knut's need for around-the-clock care required that Dörflein not only sleep on a mattress next to Knut's sleeping crate at night, but also play with, bathe, and feed the cub daily. Knut's diet began with a bottle of baby formula mixed with cod liver oil every two hours, before graduating at the age of four months to a milk porridge mixed with cat food and vitamins.

Dörflein also accompanied Knut on his twice-daily one-hour shows for the public and therefore appeared in many videos and photographs alongside the cub. As a result, Dörflein became a minor celebrity in Germany. He received fan mail, and even marriage proposals, all of which made him uncomfortable; when asked about his sudden rise to fame, the zookeeper said, "It's very strange to me."

In October 2007, Dörflein was awarded Berlin's Medal of Merit in honor of his continuous care for the cub. Several months prior, Knut and Dörflein's daily shows were halted when it was decided that Knut had grown too large for the zookeeper to safely accompany him in the enclosure. With Knut nearing his first birthday, his zookeeper was barred from physical contact with the bear.



Eisbär Knut

Eisbär Knut, originally uploaded by Gofio.


Knut and Thomas

Knut and Thomas, originally uploaded by bonfils.


martes, enero 31, 2012


Powerhouse (1937) is a instrumental musical composition by Raymond Scott, probably best known today as the iconic "assembly line" music in animated cartoons released by Warner Brothers.

Structurally, Powerhouse consists of two distinct - and seemingly unrelated - musical themes, played at different tempos. Both have been used in numerous cartoons. The first theme, sometimes referred to as "Powerhouse A", is a frantic passage typically employed in chase and high-speed vehicle scenes to imply whirlwind velocity. The slower theme, "Powerhouse B", is the "assembly line" music, which sometimes accompanies scenes of repetitive, machine-like activity. Powerhouse in its entirety places "B" in the center while "A" opens and closes the work in the sequence A-B-A.



Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" in LOONEY TUNES


lunes, enero 23, 2012

drako ojo rosa - monad

drako ojo rosa - monad, originally uploaded by sanchezdot.


; ) connected - monad - dragon

; ) connected - monad, originally uploaded by sanchezdot.

; ) connected - monad


Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year 09 Dragon Head, originally uploaded by Half+Half.


Chinese New Year - Dragon

Manchester Chinatown for the Chinese New Year


Bellagio Chinese New Year dragon engraving

Bellagio Chinese New Year dragon engraving

Gold dragon beside a junk display in the Bellagio Botanical Gardens.


Chinese New Year dragon, year of the dog, Bangkok, Thailand


Serpent/Dragon lantern, Chinese New Year, Christchurch.

Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In China, it is known as "Spring Festival," the literal translation of the Chinese name 春節 (Pinyin: Chūnjié), since the spring season in Chinese calendar starts with lichun, the first solar term in a Chinese calendar year. It marks the end of the winter season, analogous to the Western carnival. The festival begins on the first day of the first month (Chinese: 正月; pinyin: Zhēngyuè) in the traditional Chinese calendar and ends with Lantern Festival which is on the 15th day. Chinese New Year's Eve, a day where Chinese families gather for their annual reunion dinner, is known as Chúxī (除夕) or "Eve of the Passing Year." Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the "Lunar New Year".

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese calendar. The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, such as Mainland China, Hong Kong,[2] Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines[3][4] , Singapore,[5] Taiwan, Thailand, and also in Chinatowns elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors. These include Korean (Seollal), Bhutanese (Losar), and Vietnamese cultures.

Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration, material, food, and clothing. It is also the tradition that every family thoroughly cleans the house to sweep away any ill-fortune in hopes to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red colour paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of "good fortune" or "happiness", "wealth", and "longevity". On the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with families. Food will include such items as pigs, ducks, chicken and sweet delicacies. The family will end the night with firecrackers. Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes. The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone.