Men can be pigs. And they can be most swine-like when it comes to bathroom behavior. They often don’t clean up after themselves and they frequently don’t wash their hands after relieving themselves. It’s disgusting, as women know all too well.
A 2005 study of bathroom etiquette in the US found that 90% of American women wash their hands after using the bathroom while just 75% of American males clean up. That percentage for men had actually fallen to 66% by 2007, according to a newer version of the study.
As quoted in the NY Times, Michael T. Osterholm, chairman of the public health committee of the American Society of Microbiologists, which commissioned the survey, said he couldn’t explain the difference:
“I don’t think anyone knows why men are so much less likely to wash than women. People who use urinals probably think they don’t need to wash their hands. But the overall message is that most Americans do wash their hands after using the bathroom, even though we have a long way to go.”
We have a long way to go, indeed, especially in Argentina, where poor bathroom infrastructure tends to promote bad behavior. (more…)
By Javier Arevalo Rendall
Andrew Graham-Yooll is one of the most respected journalists in Argentina and the UK. Born in Buenos Aires in 1944, his father was Scottish and his mother English. He started his career at the Buenos Aires Herald in 1966, where he eventually became its editor-in-chief and president. He was one of only a few journalists who dared to write about Argentina’s vicious military junta.
In 1976, after writing extensively about the dictatorship, Graham-Yooll was forced into exile in the UK, where he contributed to the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian, among other publications. He has authored around 30 books in Spanish and English.
Now, after about half a century in journalism, he’s become an icon for young journalists. In this interview he shares some of his views on the Argentine and British press, literature, today’s media, and his beginnings as a journalist. Finally, he talks about the Kirchners and their relationship with the press, and Argentina’s new media law.
What are the biggest challenges facing journalism today?
The complexity of the media, the number of groups and their owners (can make things confusing). It very often happens that you don’t know who you are working for. Particularly in Argentina, where ownership changes hands very quickly. The challenge for journalists is to face this situation and stay balanced, objective and try to not be intimidated. It’s a hell of a handful that journalists have these days.
Is that difficult to achieve?
Well, I’ve already been there and done that. But knowing how to approach information is hard for everyone. There’s a great deal of manipulation, you can be tricked in small things and that itself is a complication. If you put your foot in it once, even if it’s something small, you can be left scarred. It can be just a simple goodwill mistake, such as believing someone you shouldn’t believe. Maybe these kinds of problems were always around, but now they’re magnified by the speed at which the world goes round. Who should you believe when it comes to politics? That problem has always existed. (more…)
Scooping Argentina is back!
After a lengthy hiatus, I’ve finally installed Final Cut Pro on my new laptop and am back in the saddle again, ready to shoot and edit new videos for your viewing pleasure.
All new videos will be shot and posted in HD. You should be able to watch them full-screen.
This one is from the now classic “lunfardo” series. Enjoy.
A friend of mine wrote the following letter and sent it to the newspaper La Nación, which published it last week in its Letters to the Editor section. It’s a moving message of hope that I wanted to share with you here.
Despite the Robbery, Hope and Happiness Prevailed
On August 10, someone broke into my car and stole everything I had in it. Among other things, they took my laptop, which contained all of my work and personal information.
A month later I got an email from an unknown email address. It read:
“Natalia, we don’t know each other. Last week I sent you a DVD with all of the files that were on your laptop that was stolen from you. In a package I sent you, you’ll find an envelop with an explanation of what happened. I hope it’s useful to you. Saludos cordiales.”
I went to the post office and got the package. It contained a DVD and a letter. The letter said:
“Natalia, we don’t know each other. I am a computer repairman. A few days ago a person came into my store, bringing a laptop with him. He asked me to reformat it for him. It was evident that the laptop had been stolen. I realized this once I saw the information that was stored on the laptop. I asked the guy where he got the laptop. He said, “I bought it from a kid for 400 pesos.”
“If we were in a country where institutions work like they’re supposed to, I would have reported this guy to the police and the justice system would have taken care of this. But we both know that things don’t work that way here. If I had reported the guy to the police, he would have said he bought the laptop in good faith. Then, later on, he would have made my life impossible.”
“If I had not formatted the laptop, somebody else would have done it and all of your valuable information would have been lost forever. So I formatted your laptop, but not before making a backup of all your information. That information is yours, and surely it’s very valuable to you. I don’t know you, I don’t know who you are, but these kind of things make me feel very bad.”
“I created an email account so that when you get this DVD, you can confirm it’s receipt to me. Your files are still on my “pen-drive” and I won’t delete them until I know that you’ve received them properly. I hope to have helped you out at least a little by doing this.”
I couldn’t help but become very emotional about this. I felt a profound sense of happiness and strong hope. If we see the world as full of possibility, we can change it. If we treat each other with greater care and commitment, we can build a better Argentina.
It’s good to know that the person who sent me this DVD will be able to leave his children with a legacy of values like this. You see, there still are honest people in the world.
Natalia Fossati: email@example.com
The magnificent Teatro Colón, one of the world’s theatrical wonders, has been given the dubious distinction of appearing on a list of the world’s most endangered monuments list.
The anuual list, which was released Monday by the World Monuments Fund, includes 93 “at-risk” sites in 47 countries.
As for the Colón, it says the following:
“Widely recognized as the most important opera house in the Americas and one of the best in the world, Teatro Colón is an icon of excellence in the operatic tradition. This renowned institution is known for its high production standards: everything on stage is made at the theater’s legendary workshops by specialized technicians, artisans, and artists who maintain a skilled craftsmanship now lost in many parts of the world.” (more…)
Just watch it, preferably in complete silence, with nothing to disturb you or your thoughts.
I found this incredibly interesting, though it left me feeling that there’s a lot to this entire era that I simply don’t understand and perhaps never will.
Link: Al Jazeera People & Power: Interrogating a Torturer
In a country famous for its predilection for psychotherapy, Argentines have done a good job of living up to their reputation:
Almost one third of Argentines have visited a psychologist or psychiatrist for treatment, according to a new survey released this week by TNS Gallup.
According to the study, women (37%) are more likely to have visited a shrink than are men (27%).
Meanwhile, wealthier people are more likely to have visited a therapist than are poorer people. Indeed, 51% of wealthy Argentines have been to a psychotherapist while just 24% of poorer Argentines have done so.
Almost six million people have watched this video.
Why? I’m not sure. It’s not that interesting. But it’s interesting enough. It’s a tale that’s been told a million times, over and over again, in all countries and in all languages.
Part of what’s interesting about this video, perhaps, for Argentina observers, is that it dispels a couple of myths about the country.
One of those myths is that the cops are all bad, all untrustworthy, corrupt scalawags. That may be the case some of the time, but it’s certainly not the case all of the time, and the attitude of the cop in this video seems to underscore that notion.
He couldn’t be more polite. It’s as if he were cast especially for this role just to show how decent cops behave. Just listen to the way he tells the drunkard to refrain from using vulgarities in the presence of a lady.
Another myth, one that’s often propagated by Argentines themselves, is that everything that’s what’s wrong with the country is the fault of Argentines, themselves. Some problems – alcoholism and drug abuse among them – derive more from human nature and biochemistry than from nationality.
At one point in the video the woman (let’s call her the Good Samaritan) becomes so frustrated by the lack of help from others that she says, “Thanks for nothing, we’re Argentines.” What she’s doing, of course, is denigrating all Argentines because of the actions of a few select people.
By doing so, she’s exaggerating the nature of the problem she’s confronting and illogically extrapolating from it to conclude that the entire nation of Argentina is responsible for the trouble she’s experiencing.
In reality, the events shown in this video could just as easily have taken place in my hometown in Colorado, or in your hometown, or on the streets of New York, or Beijing or Cairo.
Alcoholism, drug abuse, stupidity and violence are universal demons (I’m using the word figuratively) whose causes and consequences are endemic not to one people, or one city or country, but to the entire human race.
Perhaps it’s because of this that so many people, in so many countries, have deemed it worthwhile to watch this video.
Have you ever been scared or angered while driving down the streets of Buenos Aires?
If so, you’re not alone.
That’s because Porteños are exceptionally aggressive drivers, according to a new survey from the Road Safety and Experimentation Center (CESVI).
A whopping 78% of Porteños drive aggressively at some point while on the road, according to the survey.
Around 38% of people polled said they “usually” drive aggressively while 40% say they are sometimes aggressive.
Some 12% of people surveyed said they “only insult people while driving if they themselves are insulted first.”
Just 10% of those polled said they are drive like the Buddha – peacefully.
It’s common to hear horns honking and insults on the city’s streets. In some ways it’s part of the city’s mystique.
But the aggressive behavior and the constant insults and single-fingered gestures obviously have a downside.
“This behavior reflects the constant state of intolerance and aggression with which we live in our country,” said the study.
Around 75% of aggressive drivers are men, according to the study.
Link: 15 Rules For Stress-Free Driving In Argentina
Link: Argentine Post Video: Traffic in Argentina
By Fiorella Donayre
The ninth annual “Vinos y Bodegas” wine exposition opens at La Rural Tuesday, bringing together big name local wine producers and boutique vineyards for three nights under one roof to showcase the 2009 harvest.
Among activities, there will be cooking demonstrations and live music shows. The supermarket Jumbo will also be selling 100 different labels at a 35% discount.
The trade promotion group ExportAr will also hold a roundtable to put Argentine producers in touch with foreign importers (Click here for more info about this.)
This year’s grape harvest dropped 24 percent from last year, as cold weather in the Argentine Fall of 2008 damaged plants. The slide may lead Argentina to import cheap wine from Chile to meet large domestic demand for everyday table wines that cost around five pesos per bottle, according to this article in the Argentine business newspaper El Cronista.
Argentina last imported Chilean wine in 1993 after hail and cold weather during the previous year damaged vines.
While weather hurt this year’s grape production, exports of bottled wines to the U.S., Argentina’s top market, jumped 39 percent to 25 million liters during the first half of this year, according to the USDA.
When: 6pm to 11pm daily.
Where: Pedestrian entrance: Av. Santa Fe 4201.
Parking entrance: Av. Sarmiento 2704 and Cervino 4476
Cost: 60 Pesos
For more information: www.expovinosybodegas.com.ar
*Fiorella Donayre is a Peruvian lawyer who moved to Buenos Aires in 2004. She completed the professional chef’s program at Mausi Sebess in 2006 and has worked as a pasante at the Caesar Park Hotel’s Agraz restaurante in Recoleta and at El Señorio de Sulco in Lima. She can be reached at: fiorella (AT) argentinepost.com
If you like art and photography, mark your calendars now.
The globally renown World Press Photo is coming to Buenos Aires.
WPP organizes “the world’s largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest. Prize-winning photographs are assembled into a traveling exhibition that is visited by over two million people in some 45 countries worldwide. A yearbook presenting all prize-winning entries is published annually in six languages.”
Last year’s winner of the WPP’s 52nd annual Photo of the Year prize was a black-and-white photo by American photographer Anthony Suau.
International jury chair Mary Anne Golon said this about the image:
“The strength of the picture is in its opposites. It’s a double entendre. It looks like a classic conflict photograph, but it is simply the eviction of people from a house following foreclosure. Now war in its classic sense is coming into people’s houses because they can’t pay their mortgages.”
Where: Centro Cultural Borges (corner of Viamonte & San Martin, en el microcentro)
When: Sept 11 thru Oct 4
Monday - Saturday: 10.00 – 21.00
Sunday: 12.00 – 21.00
Link: World Press Photo
Hiroshi and Kyoto Yamao danced their way into greatness Saturday night, winning the World Tango Championship here in Buenos Aires.
The Japanese husband and wife team won in the “Salon Tango” category, beating out a Colombian duo that came in second place. Argentines Jorge Mariño and Sara Parnigoni came in third.
Around 6,000 people watched the competition, which took place at Luna Park in downtown Buenos Aires.
For more information, click here.