Hand-made corporate logos

If phone companies don’t provide window stickers, Pakistani shopkeepers may have a go themselves.

Phone shop in Barcelona's Raval district.

Mattress sales down

Figures from the International Sleep Products Association show the economy is hitting the mattress industry pretty hard, so where are smart people keeping their money now that deaky little hiding place in the hedge is gone?

The Spanish media and Madoff’s Jewishness

I looked a while back at allegations of a Spanish media obsession with Israel and concluded that they were without basis in fact. Someone of similar political views to the reactionary squatter hooligan leader, Joan Txàpal, said to me last night that the Spanish press would be all over Bernie Madoff’s Jewishness. The numbers at…

How the políticos screwed DVB-T in Spain

Check out this good short piece by Pedro Soria-Rodriguez on how for party political ends Spanish national and regional government have ensured that DVB-T/TDT will not increase choice for consumers. This is not a direct issue for me–I only see the telly in Spain in bars (the same applies in France and the UK)–but it’s…

Tolstoy’s finch, linnet mania, and a false etymology of “shibboleth”

The following description of birdsong contests is taken from Josep Pla’s brilliant anecdotography of Rafael Puget, Un señor de Barcelona, and is mid- to late-19th century (): Singing competitions A fondness for birdsong has existed in Manlleu, Barcelona province for as far back as my memory reaches. The “Societat d’aucellistes”, the Society of Bird-Fanciers, is…

Enterprising Romanian gypsy beggar

Crouched on the street with the usual placard. A granny passes: –5 cents, for the love of God! –Sorry, no. –Well then let me give you a lucky gypsy kiss! (Leaps up and embraces the granny, despite her protests.) –Oh all right then. Wait, I want to give you 20 cents. –Thanks, I’ve already got…