Witches help Romanian entrepreneurs get EU grants

Sez Florica from Pitesti: You cannot pretend you are a real witch if you cannot help a businessman get the European Union funds he wants. For example, only the other day I had a young businessman who came to me with his papers applying for European funds. I spread the cards on his documents, said…

Damn bagpipers

Whoever runs Fabirol‘s website tells us on a page re a museum near Zaragoza called La casa del gaitero, Bagpiper House in corporate speak, that in Aragon gaitero can be used to describe any popular musician. What would an equivalent lowest-common-denominator term be in the English-speaking world? “Artiste” misses the instrument component and, frequently, the…

Bilingual English-Spanish nursery attacked by Basque terrorists

Here, via Carlos Ferrero, thanks to MM. (Is paint-bombing and slogan-daubing terrorism? Yes, when it’s part of the systematic campaign of violence and intimidation being conducted by regional nationalists in Spain with the goal of disenfranchising other shades of opinion.)

Olive oil subsidies

Someone asked me the other day whether agricultural subsidies had gone the same way as in the UK, and I gave a lousy answer. Charles Butler over at IBEX Salad has a partial account, in the course of which he uses the words “very simple”. Right…

“46% of software on Spanish PCs is pirated”

I wonder if this isn’t an under-estimate–everyone I know in Barcelona who takes the government-subsidised software skills courses does so not because they expect to learn anything useful from the course leader but because they know they will receive a pirate copy of the software involved, be it Photoshop, Cubase or whatever.

Intercultural contact roundup

Does the principle that “If it’s too important to you, then you’ll mess it up” mean that enthusiastic believers should be advised to refrain from Bible translation? If not, would it be cool to have them translate your wife’s diary? Since when have Irishmen taken beatings from mullet?

Ralph Forte and the Valentine’s Day Massacre

Mmax says that, on February 14 1929, his great-uncle, Ralph Forte, was listening to Chicago police radio from the offices of AP when he heard some slightly unusual news from North Clark Street. Apparently Mr Forte had just fled Italy after writing an article entitled “Everyone obeys Mussolini except the cats”. Can his welcome in…