La Esterella

I guess Esterella is a play on Esther, as in Lambrechts, and the Spanish estrella, star. The obvious connection is in the Sephardi community, but it would be interesting to know why Russian immigrant Charly Schleimovitz thought this stage name would work for his client and wife, the Antwerp nightingale, the Belgian Zarah Leander. Godzjumenas…

Linguistic mapping of the Iberian peninsula

Cool post by Carlos Ferrero on linguistic maps of Spain and Portugal that appear arbitrary or ideologically driven. Power, preference and politics in the linguistic mapping of the Romania: representations of reality or the reality of geolinguistic representation?, Erin M Halm’s UPenn dissertation, looks like a really interesting followup. Unfortunately the download is USD37.

Youp on Nastic

It will surely be taken as a compliment if I say that Youp van ‘t Hek reminds me a bit of Tarragona’s finest: Gelukkig was ik in Spanje en niet alleen in Barcelona. Zondag zat ik ruim op tijd in de trein naar Tarragona. Op naar de topper Nastic tegen Sevilla, de koploper op dat… review

I’m terrible at collecting testimonials, but here, with permission, is an extract from a thoughtful longer piece by a Chicago woman who came out on one of my hikes a while back: I was taking a long and difficult hike through the back hills of Barcelona. Upon meeting my tour guide, Trevor, I wasn’t surprised…

Meteorological data for 1930s Spain?

Lots of sites promise, but I still haven’t found one that delivers serious historical weather data outside of the US, the UK and other dominions of Anglocabronia. I’ll roast a baby lamb for the winning respondent.

Ideal dancing partner

I hope they’re working hard on the bar-call module, but the second sentence could revolutionise my social life: A robot blob that dances “soulfully” to different tunes could pave the way for machines that interact more naturally with human beings, researchers claim… It can also track the rhythmic motion of a person or another object…

Opportunist orthography

Interesting bit in a NYT review of David Crystal’s The Fight For English: How Language Pundits Ate, Shot, and Left (via Conversational Reading): Crystal is … especially good on the Middle Ages. When printing came to Britain in 1400, English was a merry old mess. Choices had to be made, he says, and typesetters were…

Unreal estate

Juan Pedro QuiƱonero links to an IHT story suggesting the beginnings of a crash in Spanish second home valuations. I’ve seen how they’re built and I think there’s a fair chance the buildings will fall before prices do.