Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The latest Paris Hilton presidential spoof

It's the third and last spot "supporting" Paris for presidency.

First Snowflakes :-(

Today, I had the (?) experience to see actual snow flakes here in Troy. Somehow, I feel that is really TOO SOON for that, I need some more Autumn with warm days and cold nice, foliage and farmers' markets. Don't you?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Economists's clips

Krugman facing O'Reilly
Would be nice to see a rematch now that Krugman got the big prize and his predictions came true about the Bush policies.

Stiglitz and Colbert
A more friendly chat on the Colbert Report show.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Positive externalities from long (segmented) haul flights

When I was coming back from Europe I had to face a hard route for the sake of saving some valuable bucks: from Maastricht I took a bus to Aachen, then a train to Cologne/Bonn Airport and then three planes: 1. Cologne-London Heathrow; 2. London-Washington Dulles; 3. Washington - Albany, NY. I was supposed to arrive in Albany close to midnight after an overall 23 hours of travel. However, in London, where always (almost) "funny" things happen, they managed to put the luggage load somehow wrong and they had to re-position it (30-40 minutes) and then re-fuel (why? and why not at the same time?) (another 10-15 minutes). Well, overall we had about 1:30 hrs delay which we never recovered. In Washington, unlike my previous trip from Mexico, there were a lot more officers at the US entry and things moved relatively swiftly. However, by the time I got out it was already 10:00 pm. My Albany plane was probably closing the boarding gate. However, the UNITED guys were on top of things: a person was already expecting us there with new tickets for next morning and hotel, dinner vouchers. Which is very nice. I had to spend some extra half an hour negociating to exchange my 8:00 am ticket to a 12:00 pm one..but it was fine. The I head out to the Hilton in Dulles which was very nice and confortable way to get re-accostumed to the US.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Re-visiting Brussels

I always enjoyed Belgium and its funny open-minded people. Now, there was no exception. After a really long and sleepless flight from Washington to Brussels (I hated United for its 767 with row 4X where there were only 4 seats on the middle row compared to 5 in front -- nothing fitted right--tables/TV screens/legroom etc) I finally landed there around 7:30am. This gave me the opportunity to check out the airport (full of hippies sleeping around closed stores), grab a cup of Starbucks and unwillingly peak at the conversation between two Romanian chicks going somewhere warm. Around 8:40 I couldn't stand it anymore and went to the city by the fast train connecting Bruxelles National avec Le City. people speak Flemish mostly in BXL..although I am not so sure on that one. There were about 4C outside and I was freezing my ..ears off walking in the early morning in BXL. Fortunately, by 10 the sun was up and I was like happy like a see lion. Magnificent buildings, the pissing boy, old houses and churches, the chocolate museum, all those familiar things that I was happy to revisit made me forget about the cold and my summer jacket. Around 11:30 I gave my old friend and ASP fellow a ring and we were set up to meet in the train station. Then Freddy gave me the Royal Tour, explaining me things in a pure Belgian relaxed/half joking style...which was pretty cool.We tried a Greek gyros just to remember the good old German Donner from Kiel but it was far from it. Then we strolled the city until 5 in the afternoon, sightseeing and checking out the Royal Palace, nice parks and European Institutions (were possibly I would like to work when I grow up) when both of us were basically finished. His roommate was kind enough to provide me with accommodation and (unknowingly) I gave up the chance to experience Brussel's funny White Nights, when Museums, Bars, Streets, Everything is full of people. Tomorrow I'm heading for Maastricht.