26 October 2022: The real CC; Bad air; Bad spies; Very bad social media, & other stuff.

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Awake! For, Morning, in the Bowl of Night, has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight
And, Lo, has caught the Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable
Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’

Cosas de España/Galicia    

We all know it’s true – that Christopher Columbus was born here in my barrio of Poio – so I really don’t know why it’s necessary for the Archbishop of Santiago to permit DNA testing of his presumed relatives. Assuming they can find any. I guess they’ll start with the descendants of Pedro Madruga, of nearby Sotomaior. Thought by some to be CC himself.

A parochially good headline in today’s VdG: All of Galicia, except Pontevedra, breathes air contaminated by tropospheric air. I’m not sure what this is but the several side effects seem quite serious.

Talking of Pontevedra – the city, not the province – this chap and his fotos have received a lot of media attention recently. Which is merited, in my view.

Still on Pontevedra city  . . . Or, more accurately, the nearby town of Bueu  . . . A company there has developed an artificial bait which is very attractive to shellfish. As this is patented, its composition is denied to those competitors who’ve watched the company’s revenues soar in the last 10 years. One of these recently these sent spies into the company’s premises but they weren’t very good and were arrested in flagrante delicto, by the police who’d realised something fishy was going on there.

The UK and France

This French columnist warns here against Macron’s romantic ouvertures.

Social Media

Silicon Valley has given many of – including those on the violent fringes of society – the power to communicate and organise at a speed and scale unprecedented in human history. All the possible responses are complex and must balance different rights, responsibilities and risks, including those of government overreach; of billionaires deciding whose speech matters; of untold dangers as yet unforeseen. But we can no longer pretend that the oversight we demand of so many industries, from transport to telecoms, is unnecessary in the online speech world. . . Above all, we must recognise that social media is no longer an emerging technology imbued with the possibility of fostering social change by giving voice to small groups; it has instead become a tool of the powerful used to dominate, harass and coerce vulnerable groups. If we don’t acknowledge this shift, we are in a “no-win game for democracy” where the free-est speech will only benefit those who are already powerful.

With Trump polling double digits ahead of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination for 2024, these warnings could not be more urgent.

Spanish  

María tells me that violentarse means. To get extremely uncomfortable, or angry with someone, not necessarily commit violence, though that could certainly happen in the course of getting angry.

Tragar saliva: Literally: To swallow saliva. To gulp.

Did you know?

1. Old-style print-setters stored their letters in a wooden case. Capitalised letters were kept in the top portion and the rest in the bottom one. Hence the terms upper and lower case.

2. In the November 1938 issue of the UK magazine Homes and Gardens, a good deal of praise was given to a place in the Bavarian Alps. The colour scheme throughout this bright, airy chalet is light jade green, enlivened by the passion for cut flowers displayed by the owner – who is  also the property’s decorator, designer and furnisher, as well as an architect. And who is a ‘droll raconteur’ and loves being surrounded by a range of brilliant foreigners, especially painters, musicians and singers and will often bring in local talent to play pieces by Mozart or Brahms for after-dinner entertainment. Yes, folks. This artistic paragon was one  Adolf Hitler. 

Finally   . . . .    

What a headline! . . . The world’s dirtiest man dies at 94, shortly after taking a bath.

For new readers: If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here. If you’re passing through Pontevedra on the Camino, you’ll find a guide to the city there.

One comment

  1. The troposphere is between 5 and 9 miles (8 and 14 kilometers) thick depending on where you are on Earth. It’s thinnest at the North and South Pole. This layer has the air we breathe and the clouds in the sky. The air is densest in this lowest layer. In fact, the troposphere contains three-quarters of the mass of the entire atmosphere. It’s a pity the VdG author did not explain how the citizens of Pontevedra do not breathe the air available to Galicia, let alone the the rest of the world’s population. It occurs to me that a letter to the editior is necessary, eh Colin?

    Amou Haji died at the age of 94 – after being forced to take a shower. He went 67 years without washing, because he was worried it would make him ill. He wasn’t wrong!

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