One of the greatest benefits of country walks around Barcelona is the break they provide from street rage induced by the complete lack of interest shown by urban pavement users in the needs of others. The conventional explanation is that bumping is the result of a different sense of the relationship between self and society,…

Poor spelling costs money

This is good: the NY Times says that smart dealers are trawling eBay for misspelled items, buying them cheap, spelling them correctly and relisting them: John H. Green, a jeweler in Central Florida, is one of them. Mr. Green once bought a box of gers for $2. They were gears for pocket watches, which he…


Hell, I didn’t know that Thomas Pynchon had been referred to on the Simpsons, nor that we’ll get to see him (not) on the show in Spain in about 2010. Via Elastico.


In a country in which even traffic wardens carry guns, both ERC, the party of disgraced politico Carod-Rovira, and its youth wing, JERC, like to refer to ETA as an armed organisation. Why this vagueness? A wolf and a sheep are both mammals, but it seems to me important to be able to distinguish between…

Truth 1, Ramos 0

Hahahahahahaha. This is going to drive La Vanguardia’s apparently deranged plagiarist and liar Rafael Ramos completely bonkers. After months of him telling us, allegedly from London, that Blair’s lies and the BBC’s overwhelming saintliness were about to be exposed for all to see, it seems that Hutton has said the opposite. Now, I’m sure The…

The way of all busts

Featuring Josep-Lluís Carod-Rovira, Uncle Joe Stalin and the Singh brothers from Mohali.

The people’s friend?

Far be it from me to want to draw attention away from the Carod Rovira roadshow or to mock or criticise Esquerra in any way, but is it really true – as someone in a position to know told me last night – that Carod’s party colleague, Jordi Portabella, is heir to a decent proportion…


This suggests that it may not be as easy as I had thought to have myself declared a latter-day Celtiberian.

c(h)/qu => k and early/mobile spanish/italian writing

Tearing myself away from puffing the undoubted pleasures of wines of the Penedès for a moment, I would point out that mediaeval Romance languages constitute another possible origin of the use of k- instead of c- or qu- by naughty boys and girls. Here’s a brief and highly speculative sequence of events that I hope…


JWdB asks: How can a force that acts upon matter stop the expansion of the space that matter sits in? Go and make fun of him.