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1. The Dolmen of Abuime, in Galicia, Spain

Five big rocks that may surprise you.
Here it stands, a collection four immense standing stones, the fifth one fallen to the side, tucked back in the far end of a field nearly hidden by trees, easily missed, if you didn't know about it. We knew about it because good friends in Galicia, Craig and Melanie, told us about it.

Craig, Melanie, and their
loveable dog, Slawit
A brief introduction here: Craig and Melanie are good friends in Galicia who sold us our house in Trasulfe.


They are from England, but they have lived in Galicia for about ten years, and Craig has written a book about their adventures. He also has a blog, and he wrote nice a post about the dolmen HERE  . Enjoyment of wine in Spain is contagious, and he has started growing his own vines and making his own wine (which is pretty good; we get to sample it whenever we go to Galicia. ) In addition, they have restored another home, and this one they rent out. (You can learn more about it at his blog site.)

So, back to the dolmen. And what is a dolmen? you might ask? Wikipedia gives a pretty good explanation of dolmens and where they can be found, HERE .  Basically a dolmen is considered a megalithic tomb. Usually it has a flat capstone on top of the standing stones. Rajan and I wonder if the stone in the picture above that is off to the right is the original capstone for this dolmen. Originally dolmens were covered up with earth mounds, and 5,000 to 6,000 years of erosion have uncovered them.
Even with enlarged photo, it's hard to tell. After all, the
trees are pretty tall, and it's hard to tell hear just how tall.

Even with Craig and Melanie's good directions and the picture on Craig's blog post, we had to look for it. Despite signs, from a distance, it's hard to appreciate the size.

This should give you a better idea:
How on earth did they prop these stones up?

Anyone who know me knows I have a thing about old buildings. I love to touch old man-made structures, whether 12th century walls or Roman era bridges, whether in England or Spain. But our British friends all find this somewhat amusing. After all, they remind me, they grew up surrounded by historic buildings and Roman bridges. It's no big deal to them. But I always have to touch these old edifices that, I feel, bear still the mystical aura of humans touching them long ago.

So, you can imagine how enthralled I was to touch something that humans touched maybe 5,000 or 6,000 years ago.
Yup! Pretttty impressed. And pretty happy, too.
On another note, this week I had two pieces of pleasant news:
 1. A blog friend, Julian Hones, gave me the "Inspiring Blog" award on her great site, My Writing Life . Julia is an editor of a magazine and writes poetry and short fiction. The blog carries some "pass it on and give information" duties that will have to wait for another post, but I was certainly pleased to get it. Thank you, Julia.

2. I made this announcement on Facebook, but for those of my blog friends who are not on FB, My Flash Fiction, "Persephone," is in the current issue of Fiction Attic Press and will also be in the Flash in the Attic anthology. You can read it HERE: If you have time to read it, I'd love your feedback.

Meanwhile, how do you feel about old buildings? Do have that irresistible urge to touch them and imagine who touched them so many years ago?


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2. Watch An Animated Feature and Help The Alzheimer’s Foundation At the Same Time

In a unique partnership with the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, a portion of digital sales of 'Wrinkles' will be donated to the organization.

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3. ‘Wrinkles’ Coming to DVD and VOD Next Week (Exclusive Video)

The 2011 Spanish animated feature "Wrinkles," based on Paco Roca's graphic novel, will be released onto DVD and VOD in the United States on July 15.

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4. Lo Siento

Lo Siento on grainedit.com

Lo Siento is a small Barcelona-based studio that enjoys exploring the intersections where graphic and industrial design meet.

 

Lo Siento on grainedit.com

Lo Siento on grainedit.com

Lo Siento on grainedit.com

Lo Siento on grainedit.com

 

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5. The Town of Toro - Part Two




Originally we had planned to spend all three days, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in Salamanca and return Monday afternoon. But the desk clerk advised us that on Monday everything would be closed. So we decided to go to Toro that day instead.

Toro is an unbelievably beautiful municipality in the province of Zamora, part of the autonomous community of Castille-Leon. It's high above a fertile plain known for its wines (from the Tempranillo grape), and recently Rajan has gotten interested in Toro wines, so that was also part of the inspiration for the trip. You can see how the buildings beckon one from afar.

This is the kind of country we traveled through to get there. Beautiful, and lush and green. Appartently a lot of farming goes on in this region. But the Toro region is becoming more and more known for its wines. When we arrived and parked, we started walking around and one of the first areas of interest we came to was an overlook point with a plaza around an old, intact wall enclosing a rectangular area with round towers at various points. A gardener told me was from Roman times. (My Spanish is still limited, so I couldn't really learn much more from him than that.) Here it is:

One view of the structure at one corner.
There were towers at each corner and
also in the middle of each side of the
rectangle.
 From the enclosure's condition, it may actually be from a later date. I looked Toro up in Wikipedia, and Toro was once a Roman town. The article mentions remains of a wall going back to 910, but, as you can see here, this is far more than "remains."
Another view. Each corner
had a round tower.

Heavy doors were in walls on each
side of the structure.
 Since battles took place in Toro between heirs vying for the Spanish throne, this might actually have been a fortress. Plaques mentioned the crowning of King Ferdinand III in 1230, and that Isabella I of Castille defeated Juana La Beltraneja there, and that her father, Juan II of Castille, was born in Toro in 1404. But if anyone else can find out more for me about the structure itself, I'd appreciate the information. (Isabella I, by the way, was the Isabella who married Ferdinand II of Aragon, and they are the famous couple behind the Inquisition in Spain and the financing of Columbus's voyage to what became known in Europe as "the New World.")


The Rio Duero


Red tile roofs that seem so typical.

Since it really is a grand look-out point, Rajan and I took tons of pictures of the vast plains and the Rio Duero below. (The Rio Duero cuts through northern and Central Spain and flows on south to become the Rio Douro in Portugal, which ends at Porto.) Here are a couple.


Here is a video he took that I think you will enjoy:


Then we all wandered around the beautiful city, admiring the architecture and the color of the buildings. Here are some pictures of a church that is considered a "must see" in Toro, Collegiate church of Santa María la Mayor.

The buildings have such a
golden tone. 

I felt like I was in Oz, at the
end of the yellow brick road.

Here is the building in all its
splendor.
One of the wine shops was open and the man inside was very knowledgeable about wines and wineries from the region. He spoke in Spanish, and we could understand most of what he said, but luckily our friends David and Terri are quite fluent, and so they were able to tell us whatever we missed. There are a number of wineries all around, but, again, most of them were closed. Still, it's good information for the future, and we bought some wine from the shop.

Meanwhile, the town was bustling with people out and about. I saw a beautiful arch at one end of a street, and a woman told me that it had been made with wine. Seriously. I think what she meant was that wine was mixed with the clay instead of water. But what a unique feature! She also tole me there was another arch at the other end of town, so of course I had to go there.

People out and about.

The arch made with wine,
which may account for
its color.

The other arch. Presumbably
not made with wine. 
After that, it seemed time to go, as there was a long drive home to Galicia and our part of Galicia. But it was a day well spent, and we were so glad that we had decided to take this little side trip on such a beautiful day. 

I  hope you enjoyed this little peek into this area of Spain. The next posts will still be about the earlier weeks in Galicia, before our trip to Braga, Portugal; and then I will follow up with pictures and posts about Braga, a most remarkable and wonderful city.

Till then, please leave a comment, and if you have any questions, I'll try to answer them. Also, if you have any additional information for us about Toro, please leave it. The turism office was closed that day, and there isn't an awful lot on line about this beautiful town.

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6. Vicente García Morillo

vicente garcia morillo

Meet Vicente Garcia Morillo, an established designer out of Madrid whose client list includes Adidas, Urban Outfitters and Wired Magazine. His uninhibited style is fresh and unexpected, integrating typography and illustration elements with ease. Keep an eye out for more work to come, as Morillo has recently founded his own studio.

vicente garcia morillo

vicente garcia morillo

vicente garcia morillo

vicente garcia morillo

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7. Maggie Welcomes Thousands of Visitors Worldwide

Maggie Steele, the storybook heroine who vaults over the moon, has been attracting thousands of visitors from around the world. So many visitors, in fact, that she’s using a time zone map to keep track of them all.* People are … Continue reading

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8. Animated Fragments #24

Interesting animation is being produced everywhere you look nowadays. This evening, we’re delighted to present animated fragments from six different countries: Chile, Iran, UK, US, Japan and Spain. For more, visit the Animated Fragments archive.

“Lollypop Man—The Escape” (work-in-progress) by Estudio Pintamonos (Chile)

“Bazar” by Mehdi Alibeygi (Iran)

“Time” by Max Halley (UK)

Hand-drawn development animation for Wreck-It Ralph to “explore animation possibilities before [Gene's] model and rig were finalised” by Sarah Airriess (US)

“Rithm loops” for an iPhone/iPad app by AllaKinda (Spain)

“Against” by Yukie Nakauchi (Japan)

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9. Spain and the UK: between a rock and a hard place over Gibraltar

By William Chislett


The installation of a concrete reef by Gibraltar in disputed waters off the British territory, which is designed to encourage sea-life to flourish, was the final straw for Spain, which has long claimed sovereignty over the Rock at the southern tip of the country.

British diplomats say there is little room for doubt in international law that the waters are British, despite the Spanish government’s argument that they were not specifically referred to in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht under which Spain ceded the territory to Britain.

As a result of the 72 concrete blocks dropped on the seabed, Madrid imposed extra border checks on the Spanish side that have caused lengthy traffic queues of up to several hours. Spain has similar reefs for environmental purposes in various areas of the Spanish coast.

The UK government in London says the checks are excessive and break EU free movement rules. The conservative Popular Party (PP) government of Mariano Rajoy insists they are needed to control smuggling, particularly of cigarettes. A European Union (EU) team is to monitor the border.

In a move that was reminiscent of the conflict over the Falklands in 1982 (another relic of the British Empire invaded by Argentina), the Royal Navy’s HMS Westminster docked in Gibraltar in the middle of August after a flotilla of Spanish fishing boats staged a protest about the reef.

In a reversal of the Spanish Armada, the Spanish fleet that sailed against England in 1588 and was defeated, other British warships joined HMS Westminster in what UK defence officials called a long-scheduled deployment in the Mediterranean and the Gulf. A British aircraft carrier, the Illustrious, sailed along the Spanish coast as part of the military training exercise.

Obviously, the two countries are not going to war. Spain, however, has threatened to join forces with Argentina and take the sovereignty issue to the United Nations, while the UK government might take the case of border controls to the European Court of Human Rights. In Spain, the spat is seen as a diversion from the country’s five-year recession and tough austerity measures, and the slush fund scandal in which the PP is embroiled.

The Rock of Gibraltar. Photo by Karyn Sig, 2006. Creative Commons License via Wikimedia Commons

The Rock of Gibraltar. Photo by Karyn Sig, 2006. Creative Commons License via Wikimedia Commons.

Unlike in the 16th century, Spain and the UK are allies and not sworn enemies today: both are members of NATO and of the EU. Some 12 million British tourists visit Spain every year, the largest country group, and two-way trade and direct investment is very strong.

The squabble comes at a time when Gibraltar is celebrating 300 years of British rule. The anniversary has been marked by a set of four Gibraltarian stamps, which bear the Union Jack, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth and the words from the Treaty “for ever, without any exception or impediment whatsoever” which Madrid regards as provocative.

While the previous Spanish government of the Socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (2004-2011) sought to ease the tone over the contentious issue of sovereignty by agreeing to set up with London a trilateral forum (Spain, the UK, and Gibraltar) to air grievances other than sovereignty, the PP killed this initiative by insisting on widening the forum to include local interests in the Campo de Gibraltar (the area in Spain close to the Rock). The UK and Gibraltar rejected this. Had the trilateral forum still existed, Gibraltar would probably have informed the Spanish government about the reef and the current situation might have been avoided.

The PP government hankers after a return to the 1984 Brussels Process, which established a bilateral negotiating framework with the UK for the discussion of all issues including sovereignty.

The trilateral forum was a modest step in winning the hearts and minds of Gibraltarians. The PP government’s heavy-handed response to the artificial reef, though it has legitimate concerns over other issues such as money laundering, has only served to harden Gibraltarian attitudes to Spain and remind them of previous crises, particularly the closing of the border in 1969 by General Franco, Spain’s dictator (1939-75). Last March, the US Department of State called the Rock “a major European centre of money laundering.”

The preamble to the Constitution declares that “her Majesty’s Government will never enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their freely and democratically expressed wishes.” In other words, Gibraltarians have the last word and it is highly unlikely they would ever vote to come under Spanish rule or even some kind of shared rule (the idea, as opposed to an actual agreement, was rejected in a 2002 referendum by 98.9% of votes, although it carried no legal weight). The residents of Hong Kong were not consulted when handed to China in 1997 when the New Territories’ lease ended; Gibraltar has a different status.

My wife and I suffered the consequences of the closure of the border, which was not re-opened until 1982. We were married in Gibraltar in 1974 because during the Franco regime Catholicism was the state religion and it was difficult for a Catholic (my wife) to marry a Protestant. Civil marriages did not exist in Spain. The only way to get to the Rock from Madrid, where we lived, was either by flying to London and then to Gibraltar or by train from the Spanish capital to the port of Algeciras and from there to Tangiers by boat and then in another ship to the British territory, an arduous journey and the route we took there and back.

We are hoping that by the time I appear at the Gibraltar Literary Festival at the end of October, it will not take hours to cross the border and common sense will have prevailed.

William Chislett, the author of Spain: What Everyone Needs to Know, is a journalist who has lived in Madrid since 1986. His book will be presented at the Cervantes Institute in London on 9 September, in Madrid on 24 September and at Gibraltar’s Literary Festival at the end of October. He covered Spain’s transition to democracy (1975-78) for The Times of London and was later the Mexico correspondent for the Financial Times (1978-84). He writes about Spain for the Elcano Royal Institute, which has published three books of his on the country, and he has a weekly column in the online newspaper El Imparcial.

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10. On Our Way Tomorrow

By the time you read this, we will be on our way to Galicia, Spain, to the village and the people that have stolen our hearts. It's a long trip. But stay tuned. I'll be posting about our new ventures soon.

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11. Fusenews: I’m going back to Indiana! Indiana here I come!

Those of you familiar with the Jackson 5 song I’ve referenced in my title are probably now throwing virtual rotten fruit in my general direction.  Still, I can’t say it isn’t accurate.  This weekend I am pleased to be a speaker at the SCBWI Indiana conference in Zionsville, IN.  I haven’t been back in Indiana since my last college reunion in 2010.  It’ll be good for me to fill the lungs with some pure uncut Midwestern air once more.  A gal need to fill up before heading back into the NYC fray.  While you read this I may be zooming up into the clouds above, so enjoy some ephemera in my absence.

  • ReadingNet 300x174 Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!Sure.  On the one hand Spain’s reading net, highlighted by Boing Boing this week, looks AMAZING.  But while it may work well for Spanish children, you just know that our kids would be leaping and jumping all over that thing within seconds.  Plus, there appears to be a gigantic hole in it that’s just asking for trouble.  Or maybe that’s how you get in.  That would make sense.
  • Views From the Tesseract has reached its 100th post and as a result Stephanie came up with What Stories Have Taught Me in 100 Small Lessons.  It’s nice without being sentimental.  Plus, if you’re in the market for good quotes from children’s books, this here’s the place to go for your one stop shopping!
  • My l’il sis is at it again.  This time she came up with a way to create comic book shoes.  I cannot help but think that this might be possible with old Advanced Readers Copies.  Or YA craft programs.  Yeah.  I think you can tell that the next time I go to the Newbery/Caldecott Banquet I’m recruiting Kate to help me with my outfit.  She made one shoe superheroes and one supervillains.

SupervillainShoe Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!

For the record, she also did a post on how to make a hollow book.  If you read it, just remember that the world is FULL of extra Harry Potter 7s.  One or two less isn’t gonna hurt anything.

  • And while we’re feeling crafty, Delightful Children’s Books has come up with such a good idea: a Bookish Advent Calendar.  Genius!  I may have to steal this idea myself.  If I do, though, I’d better get cracking.  Start placing holds now.  December is practically nigh!
  • On the more serious side of things, Marjorie Ingall writes great posts no matter where she is, but it’s her titles that consistently blow me away.  At the blog Modern Loss (a site for “navigating your life after a death”) Marjorie wrote 5 Kids Books That Go There: The best of the ‘talking to kids about death’ genre (drumroll, please).  It’s a strong five.  I’m trying to think what I might add.  This year’s Missing Mommy by Rebecca Cobb, maybe.  That book ripped my heart from my chest and danced a tarantella on the remains.
  • *sigh*  Well, if nothing else, this clarifies for me who exactly “McKenna” is and why folks keep asking me to buy her books.  And Saige, for that matter.  Alexandra Petri writes a rather amusing piece on what has happened to American Girl.

WhatFoxSay 232x300 Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!I’m far less upset about the fact that they’re turning What Does the Fox Say? into a picture book.  For one thing, I’m weirdly thrilled that the Norwegian YouTube hit sensation has a Norwegian illustrator.  And one that clearly has a sense of humor.  Hey!  Whatever it takes to get some new names from overseas into the American market.  At the very least, I want to see it (though I’m fairly certain it is NOT the first picture book to be based on a YouTube sensation).  Thanks to Playing By the Book and Matt for the info.

  • Daily Image:

Today, I show something I may have shown before.  It’s lithographs of famous books where the text from the story makes up the image itself.  Here are some examples:

A Christmas Carol

ChristmasCarol 500x324 Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!

Alice in Wonderland

Wonderland 500x324 Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!

A Little Princess

LittlePrincess 500x324 Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!

Thanks to Marci for the link!

 

printfriendly Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!email Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!twitter Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!facebook Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!google plus Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!tumblr Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!share save 171 16 Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!

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12. Collective emotions and the European crisis

By Mikko Salmela and Christian von Scheve


Nationalist, conservative, and anti-immigration parties as well as political movements have risen or become stronger all over Europe in the aftermath of EU’s financial crisis and its alleged solution, the politics of austerity. This development has been similar in countries like Greece, Portugal, and Spain where radical cuts to public services such as social security and health care have been implemented as a precondition for the bail out loans arranged by the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, and in countries such as Finland, France, and the Netherlands that have contributed to the bailout while struggling with the crisis themselves. Together, the downturn that was initiated by the crisis and its management with austerity politics have created an enormous potential of discontent, despair, and anger among Europeans. These collective emotions have fueled protests against governments held responsible for unpopular decisions.

Protests in Greece after recent austerity cuts

Protests in Greece after austerity cuts in 2008

However, the financial crisis alone cannot fully explain these developments, since they have also gained momentum in countries like Britain, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden that do not belong to the Eurozone and have not directly participated in the bailout programs. Another unresolved question is why protests channel (once again) through the political right, rather than the left that has benefited from dissatisfaction for the last decades? And how is it that political debate across Europe makes increasing use of stereotypes and populist arguments, fueling nationalist resentments?

A protester with Occupy Wall Street

A protester with Occupy Wall Street

One way to look at these issues is through the complex affective processes intertwining with personal and collective identities as well as with fundamental social change. A particularly obvious building block consists of fear and insecurity regarding environmental, economic, cultural, or social changes. At the collective level, both are constructed and shaped in discourse with political parties and various interest groups strategically stirring the emotions of millions of citizens. At the individual level, insecurities manifest themselves as fear of not being able to live up to salient social identities and their inherent values, many of which originate from more secure and affluent times, and as shame about this anticipated or actual inability, especially in competitive market societies where responsibility for success and failure is attributed primarily to the individual. Under these conditions, many tend to emotionally distance themselves from the social identities that inflict shame and other negative feelings, instead seeking meaning and self-esteem from those aspects of identity perceived to be stable and immune to transformation, such as nationality, ethnicity, religion, language, and traditional gender roles – many of which are emphasized by populist and nationalist parties.

The urgent need to better understand the various kinds of collective emotions and their psychological and social repercussions is not only evident by looking at the European crisis and the re-emergence of nationalist movements throughout Europe. Across the globe, collective emotions have been at the center of major social movements and political transformations, Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring just being two further vivid examples. Unfortunately, our knowledge of the collective emotional processes underlying these developments is yet sparse. This is in part so because the social and behavioral sciences have only recently begun to systematically address collective emotions in both individual and social terms. The relevance of collective emotions in recent political developments both in Europe and around the globe suggests that it is time to expand the “emotional turn” of sciences to these affective phenomena as well.

Christian von Scheve is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Freie Universität Berlin, where he heads the Research Area Sociology of Emotion at the Institute of Sociology. Mikko Salmela is an Academy Research Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies and a member of Finnish Center of Excellence in the Philosophy of Social Sciences. Together they are the authors of Collective Emotions published by Oxford University Press.

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Image credits: (1) Protests in Greece after austerity cuts in 2008. Photo by Joanna. CC-BY-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons. (2) A protester with Occupy Wall Street. Photo by David Shankbone. CC-BY-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

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13. ‘Chorus’ by Dvein

"Chorus" is a contribution to This is NOW, an exhibition that took place in Oslo, showcasing international talents in poster art and motion graphics. This project started as a poster but quickly evolved into a disturbing video with this mouthlike-character producing weird noises and fusing with the buzz of the exhibition visitors.

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14. What does the economic future hold for Spain?

By William Chislett


The good news is that Spain has finally come out of a five-year recession that was triggered by the bursting of its property bubble. The bad news is that the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high at a whopping 26%, double the European Union average.

The scale of the property madness was such that in 2006 the number of housing starts (762,214) was more than that of Germany, France, and Italy combined. This sector, to borrow the title of a novel by Gabriel García Márquez, was a Chronicle of a Death Foretold. There are still an estimated more than one million new and second hand unsold homes.

The excessive concentration on the property sector, as the motor of an economy that boomed for a decade, created a lopsided economic model and fertile ground for corruption. When the sector crashed as of 2008 and house prices plummeted, 1.7 million people lost their jobs in construction out of a total of 3.7 million job losses in the last six years, households were left with mortgages they could not pay and property development companies unable to service their bank loans. This, in turn, severely weakened parts of the banking system which had to be rescued by the European Stability Mechanism with a €42 billion bailout programme. Spain exited the bail-out in January, but bad loans still account for more than 13% of total credit, up from a mere 0.7% in 2006.

Spain has emerged from recession thanks largely to an impressive export performance, achieved through an “internal devaluation” (lower unit labour costs stemming from wage cuts or a wage freeze and higher productivity). As a euro country, Spain cannot devalue. Merchandise exports rose from €160 billion in 2009 to €234 billion in 2013, an increase equivalent to more than 7% of GDP. This growth has been faster than the pace of powerhouse Germany, albeit from a smaller base. Exports of goods and services rose from 27% of GDP in 2007 to around 35% last year. The surge in exports combined with the drop in imports and a record year for tourism, with 60 million visitors, turned around the current account, which was in surplus for the first time in 27 years. In 2007, the current account recorded a deficit of 10%, the highest in relative terms among developed countries.

Unemployment is the most pressing problem. The depth of the jobs’ crisis is such that Spain, which represents 11% of the euro zone’s economy and has a population of 47 million, has almost 6 million unemployed (around one-third of the zone’s total jobless), whereas Germany (population 82 million and 30% of the GDP) has only 2.8 million jobless (15% of the zone’s total). Germany’s jobless rate is at its lowest since the country’s reunification, while Spain’s is at its highest level ever.

Mariano Rajoy

Young Spanish adults, particularly the better qualified, are increasingly moving abroad in search of a job, though not in the scale suggested by the Spanish media which gives the impression there is a massive exodus and brain drain. One thing is the large flow of those who go abroad, especially to Germany, and return after a couple of months; another the permanent stock of Spaniards abroad (those who stay beyond a certain amount of time), which is surprisingly small. According to research conducted by the Elcano Royal Institute, Spain’s main think tank, between January 2009 and January 2013, the worst years of Spain’s recession, the stock of Spaniards who resided abroad increased in net terms by a mere 40,000, which is less than 0.1% of Spain’s population, to 1.9 million. These figures are based on official Spanish statistics cross-checked with data in the countries where Spaniards reside. The number of Spaniards living abroad is less than one-third the size of Spain’s foreign-born population of 6.4 million (13.2% of the total population). Immigrants in Spain are returning to their country of origin, particularly Latin Americans.

Spain’s crisis has also resulted in a long overdue crackdown on corruption. There are around 800 cases under investigation, most of them involving politicians and their business associates. Spain was ranked 40th out of 177 countries in the 2013 corruption perceptions ranking by the Berlin-based Transparency International, down from 30th place in 2012. Its score of 59 was six points lower. The nearer to 100, the cleaner the country. Spain was the second-biggest loser of points, and only topped by war-torn Syria. The country is in for a long haul.

William Chislett, the author of Spain: What Everyone Needs to Know, is a journalist who has lived in Madrid since 1986. He will be talking on his book at the Oxford Literary Festival on 29 March. He covered Spain’s transition to democracy (1975-78) for The Times of London and was later the Mexico correspondent for the Financial Times (1978-84). He writes about Spain for the Elcano Royal Institute, which has published three books of his on the country, and he has a weekly column in the online newspaper El Imparcial. He has previously written on Spanish unemployment and Gibraltar for the OUPblog.

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Image credits: (1) Spanish Falg By Iker Parriza. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons (2) Mariano Rajoy By Gilad Rom. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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15. Beautiful Galicia, Otra Vez

It's hard to believe that we arrived in Spain 8 days ago. Time flows by in a different way, even though we bring work with us. The trip is long, we arrive exhausted, but we have rituals along the way. The trip is more than 24 hours (door to door) and spans two days. We leave Saturday morning, have a long stretch in Dallas/FW Airport, where we have battered and fried green beans and a glass of beer at TGIF, waiting for our next flight. We arrive in Madrid around 10:30 a.m. Sunday, and have a lunch of smoked salmon, bread, and wine, then fight sleep while waiting for our connection to Santiago de Composetela. We arrive in Santiago a little after 5:00 p.m. and collect baggage. Our friends, Terri and David,  meet us, drive us back to our house in Trasulfe, where we "turn on the house" (electricity, water, gas-tank connections, etc.), then we all go out to eat at a restaurant in Monforte, called O Pincho, where we split delicious raciones. (Rations are smaller than dinners, bigger than tapas.) 

Here's a picture of Terri and David from last summer (we haven't yet gotten around to pictures of friends on this trip.) As soon as we got to O Pincho, we woke up and had a great time catching up on news, eating rations and drinking the house wine. The next morning, waking with the sun (about seven-ish), eating lunch at 2:00 p.m. and dinner around 8:00 or 9:00 p.m., Rajan and I realized we'd fallen into Spanish time right away, with very little jet lag!

Friends and neighbors tell us it was a continually rainy winter, but our first few days were sunny. There was the usual morning mist and intermittent sprinkles through the day that vanished in afternoon heat. Still, we felt free to bring out our patio table and chairs. Then things changed.
The small pasture across the sheep
path in front of our gate. The thin
tree in the foreground is a volunteer
peach tree that so far doesn't bear.

A neighbor's pasture below ours.
See those little fruit trees? The storm
blew all the petals away. No fruit
this year. 


After four beautiful sunshiny days, on Thursday afternoon a fierce hailstorm struck. First thunder rolled and roared for about an hour, and then hail beat down for about thirty minutes. This was the result :
These aren't snow drifts. Just lots and lots of hail.


I wanted to put a video here, with all its great sound effects, but I couldn't get my video to play. (I've sent to Google for help.) But this should give you some idea.
On another note, we've been making a point to walk at least two miles a day. In about a year, I want to walk a portion of the Camino that ends in Santiago. (One item on my bucket list.) I won't be able to make it to Santiago, but a friend informed me that if you walk 100 km, you can get a certificate. That's about sixty miles. Next spring I'd like to do about 30 miles, and then in the fall of 2015 do the second set. So far, a few times we've parked at Gadis, one of the big supermarkets at the edge of Monforte, and walked up to the Parador.
Here's the Parador, seen from the Gadis parking lot.
Below is Gadis, seen from Parador, to give you and
idea of how far we walk.
Gadis, where we parked, seen from the Parador: See the thin pale blue
stripe about two thirds up in the middle? Above the center green? To the
left of that is a teeny yellow sign. That's Gadis.

Other walks have been along country roads. Beautiful nature walks, really. This will give you some 
idea: The picture on the left is an example of most of the scenery here. 


The picture to the right is of a pretty church in Toiriz. We don't have pictures yet of the stork nests, but on tall posts nearby, there are two separate stork nests, and we sometimes see one of the parent birds feeding the baby birds. All you can see is the upended body, so we aren't quite sure how big those babies get. Hopefully we'll get a good photo sometime soon.



And now, it's time for a walk! But stay tuned, because the next post will be about a wonderful Fado singer we heard Sunday night. 


Meanwhile, if you have special items on your bucket list, I'd love to hear what they are.






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16. Fiesta de San Froilán





Here we are, still in our first week, and it has felt jam-packed. We arrived Monday evening, late. It was midnight before we got to bed. Then we spent the first couple of days opening the house, vacuuming and dusting, etc., and unpacking. Thursday we met friends in town at our favorite café bar in Monforte, Adega do Carlos, and yesterday we went to Lugo and stayed overnight for the San Froilán Fiesta.

The festival actually goes on for eight days, and yesterday, Friday, was the major religious day as San Froilán is the patron saint of Lugo, and the second day was the actual saint's day. Lugo is an ancient city about 60 miles north of Monforte, and it has both a Roman and Celtic past. (Well, for that matter, you can say that of all of Galicia: a Roman and Celtic past. There are old Roman bridges with arches everywhere, and the culture is both castiliano and galegan .)

What's fascinating about Lugo is that the center of town—the original town—is enclosed in a circular wall with about 17 arched entrances; a wall so thick it's wide enough for a car to drive atop, although only walking is permitted. Inside the walls are the old crooked cobbled streets, replete with restaurants and café bars, as well as two cathedrals and several plazas. Once we drove in and found the closest parking garage to our hotel, we unpacked and headed out to stroll the plazas and listen to music. Because it was the saint's day, all the clothing shops, etc., were closed, although eateries and bakeries were open.

Around the Plaza Mayor two huge stages were in preparation for the evening orchestra/bands.  But the ayuntamiento (council building) flanks one side of the Plaza Mayor, and the municipal orchestra of Lugo was playing excerpts from Tschaikovky's Swan Lake, as well as music by Rodrigo and other composers. Really lovely to listen to. Walking down one of the narrow streets, waiting for lunch time (2:00 p.m.), we heard strains by Mozart floating from a restaurant's open doorway.

We are vegetarians, so sometimes it's hard to find restaurant food in Spain, but, luckily we eat fish and seafood. So we had a really tasty lunch of croquetas bacalao (codfish), grilled prawns, and—a real adventurous "first" for us—steamed cockles with lemon. My goodness, they were good. They looked to me like tiny versions of clams, and they had that "ocean" flavor that was quite evocative. Along with wine, of course.

After lunch, wandering around, we found a band in rehearsal at the Plaza Santa Maria. They were playing all the traditional Galician music with traditional instruments. Their orchestra was composed of four harps, four bagpipes, four violins, six tambourines, one huge set of drums and a smaller drum, and about eight "lap" organs with handles, as well as castanets and a mouth instrument that was "twanged".  The music was haunting and beautiful, and sometimes sounded Irish, and sometimes sounded Greek, and sometimes sounded Spanish. Just fantastic. Later, around nine p.m., after a picnic dinner in our room, we heard the concert all over again and enjoyed it just as much. Then, at 10:30 p.m. we returned to the Plaza Mayor to listen to another Latin orchestra. We sat and enjoyed that until nearly midnight, and then returned to the hotel and went to bed.

After rolls and coffee at a bakery this morning, we walked along the shopping areas (and I did find a nice belt and scarf.) We returned, then, to the "artesian" tent, where local artisans were showing their beautiful handicrafts. And then we headed back "home" around noon.

Weather-wise, we have been lucky. Except for rain this morning, and not a heavy one, it's another beautiful sunny day. And now, I must wrap this up. I'm at a wi-fi café, and I want to post this before we return to the house. Later, I'll try to post some pictures.

Meanwhile, for us, Galicia is a magical place. I write poetry about it at times. Before we started coming here, McKinley Park in Sacramento used to affect me that way. Do you have a place like that? If so, where?

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17. Secession: let the battle commence

By James Ker-Lindsay


There has rarely been a more interesting time to study secession. It is not just that the number of separatist movements appears to be growing, particularly in Europe, it is the fact that the international debate on the rights of people to determine their future, and pursue independence, seems to be on the verge of a many change. The calm debate over Scotland’s future, which builds on Canada’s approach towards Quebec, is a testament to the fact that a peaceful and democratic debate over separatism is possible. It may yet be the case that other European governments choose to adopt a similar approach; the most obvious cases being Spain and Belgium towards Catalonia and Flanders.

However, for the meanwhile, the British and Canadian examples remain very much the exception rather than the rule. In most cases, states still do everything possible to prevent parts of their territory from breaking away, often using force if necessary.

It is hardly surprising that most states have a deep aversion to secession. In part, this is driven by a sense of geographical and symbolic identity. A state has an image of itself, and the geographic boundaries of the state are seared onto the consciousness of the citizenry. For example, from an early age school pupils draw maps of their country. But the quest to preserve the borders of a country is rooted in a range of other factors. In some cases, the territory seeking to break away may hold mineral wealth, or historical and cultural riches. Sometimes secession is opposed because of fears that if one area is allowed to go its own way, other will follow.

For the most part, states are aided in their campaign to tackle separatism by international law and norms of international politics. While much has been made of the right to self-determination, the reality is that its application is extremely limited. Outside the context of decolonisation, this idea has almost always taken a backseat to the principle of the territorial integrity of states. This gives a country fighting a secessionist movement a massive advantage. Other countries rarely want to be seen to break ranks and recognise a state that has unilaterally seceded.

When a decision is taken to recognise unilateral declarations of independence, it is usually done by a state with close ethnic, political or strategic ties to the breakaway territory.Turkey’s recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are obvious examples. Even when other factors shape the decision, as happened in the case of Kosovo, which has been recognised by the United States and most of the European Union, considerable effort has been made by recognising states to present this as a unique case that should be seen as sitting outside of the accepted boundaries of established practice.

However, states facing a secessionist challenge cannot afford to be complacent. While there is a deep aversion to secession, there is always the danger that the passage of time will lead to the gradual acceptance of the situation on the ground. It is therefore important to wage a concerted campaign to reinforce a claim to sovereignty over the territory and prevent countries from recognising – or merely even unofficially engaging with – the breakaway territory.

At the same time, international organisations are also crucial battlegrounds. Membership of the United Nations, for example, has come to be seen as the ultimate proof that a state has been accepted by the wider international community. To a lesser extent, participation in other international and regional bodies, and even in sporting and cultural activities, can send the same message concerning international acceptance.

The British government’s decision to accept a referendum over Scotland’s future is still a rather unusual approach to the question of secession. Governments rarely accept the democratic right of a group of people living within its borders to pursue the creation of a new state. In most cases, the central authority seeks to keep the state together; and in doing so choosing to fight what can often be a prolonged campaign to prevent recognition or legitimisation by the wider international community.

James Ker-Lindsay is Eurobank EFG Senior Research Fellow on the Politics of South East Europe at the European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author of The Foreign Policy of Counter Secession: Preventing the Recognition of Contested States (2012) and The Cyprus Problem: What Everyone Needs to Know (2011), and a number of other books on conflict, peace and security in the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean.

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18. “Doomed” By Guillermo Garcia Carsi

Natural selection can be cruel—especially for the outcast creatures of Doomed: A Biological Cartoon, a series pilot by Pocoyo co-creator Guillermo Garcia Carsi. The short was produced through Carsi’s Madrid studio El Senor. Like his earlier series Pocoyo, the world of Doomed finds virtue in restraint. A stark-white backdrop sets the stage for a parade of sparely designed creatures (cube-fish says it all) who move in unexpected fits and spurts (credit belongs to animation director Txesco Montalt for the latter). The sole embellishment is the hyperreal rendering style, which is the perfect touch of whimsy in this fresh approach to CGI.

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19. Thomas Gray and Horace Walpole on the grand tour to spread news of a papal election, 1739/1740

By Dr. Robert V. McNamee


On Sunday, 29 March 1739, two young men, aspiring authors and student friends from Eton College and Cambridge, departed Dover for the Continent. The twenty-two year old Horace Walpole, 4th earl of Orford (1717–1797), was setting out on his turn at the Grand Tour. Accompanying him on the journey, which would take them through France to Italy, was Thomas Gray (1716–1771), future author of the “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”. The pair stayed abroad until September 1741, when an argument saw Gray return to England alone.

Travelling through Catholic domains, they would witness at arms-length one of the longest transfers of papal power in history, only four days shorter than the Interregnum, later imposed by the Napoleonic French, between the expulsion from the Papal States of Pius VI (who died 1799) and the election of Pius VII (14 March 1800). The on-going power struggle between the papacy and Catholic rulers of Europe, particularly with France, Spain and Portugal, had reached new levels of intensity — the latter two objecting in particular to unwelcome Jesuit interference in their treatment (read, “mistreatment”) of native populations in their overseas empires. The issue was still critical twenty years later, when Voltaire, under the pseudonym M. Demand, wrote to the Journal encyclopédique (1 April 1759), in the guise of identifying the real author of Candide, offering in partial evidence reports from the confrontations between Jesuits and colonial officials over their dealings with native populations in Paraguay.

The correspondence and journals of Gray and Walpole chart their travels, visits and discoveries across France and into Italy. The two young English travellers arrived in Florence on 16 December 1739, after a two days’ journey from Bologna across the Apennines. It was only two months before the ancient drama of papal passing and election would attract the attention of the world. Gray reported this news, when it came, to his friend Dr Thomas Wharton, writing on Saturday, 12 March 1740:

I conclude you will write to me; won’t you? oh! yes, when you know, that in a week I set out for Rome, & that the Pope is dead, & that I shall be (I should say, God willing; & if nothing extraordinary intervene; & if I’m alive, & well; & in all human probability) at the Coronation of a new one.

Clement XII (Papa Clemens duodecimus, born Lorenzo Corsini) had been pope from his election on 12 July 1730. He was the oldest person to become pope until Benedict XVI was elected in 2005. Clement died on 6 February 1740, and was eventually succeeded by Benedict XIV (Papa Benedictus quartus decimus, born Pròspero Lorenzo Lambertini), who was elected six months later on 17 August 1740. In a well-known anecdote of the election, Benedict is reported to have said to the cardinals: “If you wish to elect a saint, choose Gotti; a statesman, Aldrovandi; an honest man, me” (M. J. Walsh, Pocket Dictionary of Popes, London: Burns & Oates, 2006) — though as we will see from a contemporary report below, this is a rather colourless translation of the original.

A week later, Gray wrote to his mother Dorothy (Saturday, 19 March 1740):

The Pope is at last dead, and we are to set out for Rome on Monday next. The Conclave is still sitting there, and likely to continue so some time longer, as the two French Cardinals are but just arrived, and the German ones are still expected. It agrees mighty ill with those that remain inclosed: Ottoboni is already dead of an apoplexy; Altieri and several others are said to be dying, or very bad: Yet it is not expected to break up till after Easter. We shall lie at Sienna the first night, spend a day there, and in two more get to Rome. One begins to see in this country the first promises of an Italian spring, clear unclouded skies, and warm suns, such as are not often felt in England; yet, for your sake, I hope at present you have your proportion of them, and that all your frosts, and snows, and short-breaths are, by this time, utterly vanished. I have nothing new or particular to inform you of; and, if you see things at home go on much in their old course, you must not imagine them more various abroad. The diversions of a Florentine Lent are composed of a sermon in the morning, full of hell and the devil; a dinner at noon, full of fish and meager diet; and, in the evening, what is called a Conversazione, a sort of aſsembly at the principal people’s houses, full of I cannot tell what: Besides this, there is twice a week a very grand concert.

Two weeks later, after their arrival in Rome, Gray wrote another Saturday letter to his mother (2 April 1740):

St. Peter’s I saw the day after we arrived, and was struck dumb with wonder. I there saw the Cardinal d’Auvergne, one of the French ones, who, upon coming off his journey, immediately repaired hither to offer up his vows at the high altar, and went directly into the Conclave; the doors of which we saw opened to him, and all the other immured Cardinals came thither to receive him. Upon his entrance they were closed again directly. It is supposed they will not come to an agreement about a Pope till after Easter, though the confinement is very disagreeable.”

The conflict between catholic rulers, their national churches and the papacy led to prolonged disagreements and manoeuvrings in the Conclave, as evidenced by this letter from Walpole and Gray to their schoolboy friend, then fellow of King’s College Cambridge (Rome, 14 May 1740):

Boileau’s Discord dwelt in a College of Monks. At present the Lady is in the Conclave. Cardinal Corsini has been interrogated about certain Millions of Crowns that are absent from the Apostolic Chamber; He refuses giving Account, but to a Pope: However he has set several Arithmeticians to work, to compose Summs, & flourish out Expenses, which probably never existed. Cardinal Cibo pretends to have a Banker at Genoa, who will prove that he has received three Millions on the Part of the Eminent Corsini. This Cibo is a madman, but set on by others. He had formerly some great office in the government, from whence they are generally rais’d to the Cardinalate. After a time, not being promoted as he expected, he resign’d his Post, and retir’d to a Mountain where He built a most magnificient Hermitage. There He inhabited for two years, grew tir’d, came back and received the Hat.

Other feuds have been between Card. Portia and the Faction of Benedict the Thirteenth, by whom He was made Cardinal. About a month ago, he was within three Votes of being Pope. he did not apply to any Party, but went gleaning privately from all & of a sudden burst out with a Number; but too soon, & that threw Him quite out. Having been since left out of their Meetings, he ask’d one of the Benedictine Cardinals the reason; who replied, that he never had been their Friend, & never should be of their assemblies; & did not even hesitate to call him Apostate. This flung Portia into such a Rage that He spit blood, & instantly left the Conclave with all his Baggage. But the great Cause of their Antipathy to Him, was His having been one of the Four, that voted for putting Coscia to Death; Who now regains his Interest, & may prove somewhat disagreable to his Enemies; Whose Honesty is not abundantly heavier than His Own. He met Corsini t’other Day, & told Him, He heard His Eminence had a mind to his Cell: Corsini answer’d He was very well contented with that He had. Oh, says Coscia, I don’t mean here in the Conclave; but in the Castle St. Angelo.

With all these Animosities, One is near having a Pope. Card. Gotti, an Old, inoffensive Dominican, without any Relations, wanted yesterday but two voices; & is still most likely to succeed. Card. Altieri has been sent for from Albano, whither he was retir’d upon account of his Brother’s Death, & his own Illness; & where He was to stay till the Election drew nigh. There! there’s a sufficient Competency of Conclave News, I think. We have miserable Weather for the Season; Coud You think I was writing to You by my fireside at Rome in the middle of May? the Common People say tis occasion’d by the Pope’s Soul, which cannot find Rest.

As the bickering and accusations continued, Gray returned to Florence, where he reported to his father Philip (10 July 1740):

The Conclave we left in greater uncertainty than ever; the more than ordinary liberty they enjoy there, and the unusual coolneſs of the season, makes the confinement leſs disagreeable to them than common, and, consequently, maintains them in their irresolution. There have been very high words, one or two (it is said) have come even to blows; two more are dead within this last month, Cenci and Portia; the latter died distracted; and we left another (Altieri) at the extremity: Yet nobody dreams of an election till the latter end of September. All this gives great scandal to all good catholics, and everybody talks very freely on the subject.

Pope Benedict XIVFinally, on Sunday, 21 August 1740, Gray wrote again to his mother with the news of the new pope’s election:

The day before yesterday arrived the news of a Pope; and I have the mortification of being within four days journey of Rome, and not seeing his coronation, the heats being violent, and the infectious air now at its height. We had an instance, the other day, that it is not only fancy. Two country fellows, strong men, and used to the country about Rome, having occasion to come from thence hither, and travelling on foot, as common with them, one died suddenly on the road; the other got hither, but extremely weak, and in a manner stupid; he was carried to the hospital, but died in two days. So, between fear and lazineſs, we remain here, and must be satisfied with the accounts other people give us of the matter. The new Pope is called Benedict XIV. being created Cardinal by Benedict XIII. the last Pope but one. His name is Lambertini, a noble Bolognese, and Archbishop of that city. When I was first there, I remember to have seen him two or three times; he is a short, fat man, about sixty-five years of age, of a hearty, merry countenance, and likely to live some years. He bears a good character for generosity, affability, and other virtues; and, they say, wants neither knowledge nor capacity. The worst side of him is, that he has a nephew or two; besides a certain young favourite, called Melara, who is said to have had, for some time, the arbitrary disposal of his purse and family. He is reported to have made a little speech to the Cardinals in the Conclave, while they were undetermined about an election, as follows: ‘Most eminent Lords, here are three Bolognese of different characters, but all equally proper for the Popedom. If it be your pleasures, to pitch upon a Saint, there is Cardinal Gotti; if upon a Politician, there is Aldrovandi; if upon a Booby, here am I.’ The Italian is much more expreſsive, and, indeed, not to be translated; wherefore, if you meet with any body that understands it, you may show them what he said in the language he spoke it. ‘Eminſsimi. Sigri. Ci siamo tré, diversi sì, mà tutti idonei al Papato. Si vi piace un Santo, c’ è l’Gotti; se volete una testa scaltra, e Politica, c’ è l’Aldrovandé;c se un Coglione, eccomi!’ Cardinal Coscia is restored to his liberty, and, it is said, will be to all his benefices. Corsini (the late Pope’s nephew) as he has had no hand in this election, it is hoped, will be called to account for all his villanous practices.”

Dr. Robert V. McNamee is the Director of the Electronic Enlightenment Project, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford.

Electronic Enlightenment is a scholarly research project of the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, and is available exclusively from Oxford University Press. It is the most wide-ranging online collection of edited correspondence of the early modern period, linking people across Europe, the Americas, and Asia from the early 17th to the mid-19th century — reconstructing one of the world’s great historical “conversations”.

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Image Credit: (1) Print Collection portrait file, Thomas Gray, Portraits. Source NYPL Digital Gallery
(2) Print Collection portrait file, B, Pope Benedict XIV. Source NYPL Digital Gallery

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20. The Spanish Cartoon Modern of Estudios Moro

Estudios Moro was a Madrid, Spain animation studio started in 1955 by brothers Santiago and Jose Luis Moro. Their approach, while not strictly modernist, was heavily influenced by the Cartoon Modern approach of the era. There is little written about the studio in the English language, but from what I can discern, Moro appears to have been Spain’s leading producer of animated commercials. The studio’s success allowed it to open satellites in Barcelona and Lisbon during the Sixties.

Below are a few examples of theatrical commercials produced by the studio. If Spanish Brew readers know about Moro’s history or how to see more of their work, please share.

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21. Inside Spain’s Grangel Studio

Carlos Grangel has had a long career in animation, working on DreamWorks features from The Prince of Egypt through Kung Fu Panda, and also doing design work on films like The Corpse Bride and Hotel Transylvania. A lesser known aspect of his career is that concurrent with his work on Hollywood films, he has operated Barcelona-based Grangel Studio with his brother Jordi for over 20 years.

The Spanish animation website Arte y Animación caught up with the two brothers, Carlos and Jordi, and created this well-produced video podcast in which they discuss their studio’s work.

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22. “Strange Oaks” by Headless Productions

Barcelona-based Headless Productions has attracted a lot of attention for its hand-drawn projects. They’ve translated their quirky aesthetic into CGI before, such as this feature trailer, and now they’ve tried it again with a CG test piece called Strange Oaks.

CREDITS
Directed and designed by HEADLESS
3D supervisor: Javier Verdugo
Modeling&Lighting: Javier Verdugo
Rigging: Miquel Campos
Animation: PH Dallaire, David St-Amant, Guillaume Pelletier, Christine Houle

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23. Weekend Groove: Music Videos from US, UK, Spain and Belgium

Our weekly roundup of the most interesting, creative and original animated music videos.

“Latter Days” directed by Matt Christensen (US)

Music video for The Middle Eight. Go to Matt’s website for a behind-the-scenes photo album.

“We Can Be Ghosts Now” directed by Tom Jobbins (UK)

Music video for Hiatus feat. Shura.
Art Director: John Jobe Reynolds
Cinematographer: Matthias Pilz
Colorist: Danny Atkinson
Compositor: Jonathan Topf
Editor:Robert Mila

“Magdalena” directed by Lucas Borras (Spain/US)

Music video for Quantic & Alice Russell.

“Separated” directed by Mark Borgions (Belgium)

Music video for Stan Lee Cole.

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24. NSFW: “Libidinis” by Rosa Peris and Mercedes Peris

Libidinis manages to be gently erotic even though the two main characters spend the film ripping off each other’s skin. The filmmakers, Spanish twin sisters Rosa Peris and Mercedes Peris, create a fluid, ethereal space with sensuous pencil and ink linework, and splashes of color in gouache, pastel and marker:

A man and a woman uncover each other, taking off their skin as an intimate act. They are interrupted by two children who attend the Love School. Libidinis is a short film produced by the research group Plastic Art Expression of Movement, Animation and Light-Kinetics (Universidad Politecnica de Valencia), specially made for the exhibition SKIN, which aimed to show the human skin as a humanistic study object. It was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust London and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).

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25. Argijale

argijale

Grain Edit recently launched on Instagram, and one of our most exciting discoveries was the the Spanish illustrator and photographer Argijale. Using Instagram as his personal portfolio, he posts his artistic explorations with colorful characters and intricate pattern work. Hopefully a more formal web presence will be in his future as we look to explore his work in more detail. Catch his updates here.


argijale

argijale

argijale

argijale

Also catch him on Dribble and Pinterest.

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