Friday, May 22, 2009

Time to Reveal

The blog's party has taken place so... now it's the time to reveal my real identity. The course has finished, but I'd like to use this blog to give everybody news from Stockholm next year. Then, you can keep on reading it if you want.

See you soon.

Marc Farré

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Next Stop: Stockholm

Since I started my studies at the university, I've hesitated to go abroad to finish my studies or not. When everything pointed to my stay in Barcelona, I decided to take the plunge: next year I will study at KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm). I've no idea of Swedish, but the courses are given in English and it seems that Swedes speak really good this language. So, I hope I'll improve my English once and for all. I'm scared of leaving everybody here for a year, but I think "everything's gonna be alright".

James Wilkinson

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Uncanny Story of The Relative Velocity

I haven't studied physics and I know most of you haven't either. Then, I'll try to tell that as simply as I could.

As you might know, if you are driving your car at 80km/h and there's another car that overtakes you at 120km/h, his driver will be fined if he's near Barcelona and, anyway, you will see him as he was driving at 40km/h. Then, we might conclude Vb/a = Vb - Va. It might seem a logical conclusion and it's the conclusion Newtonian mechanics would take out. But let's see it's not as easy as it seems.

In non-relativistic mechanics, the velocities are simply added. But using the relativistic theory we can conclude that:If the velocities we are talking about are both small compared to the speed of the light c, then the answer is approximately the same as the non-relativistic theory. But if, for example, we are moving (let's suppose it's possible) at 0.25c and we are overtaken by an object moving at 0.75c, we will see this object as it was moving at 0.61c (and not 0.50c).

Notice that in the limit where the velocity of the object is equal to c, it doesn't matter what's our velocity: the sum gives c. This confirms that anything going at the speed of light does so in all reference frames.

James Wilkinson

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Gran Scala: Reality or Fiction

Gran Scala is a huge project to build a city of leisure on 2700 hectares in the desert of Los Monegros. This project was made public by a consortium called IDL (International Leisure Development) two years ago. But anybody thought it would be built until, some weeks ago, IDL started the buying of the lands they needed to place Gran Scala. It was near Otiñena, in the province of Huesca.

This city will include 32 casinos set in 16 different historical themes with their own museums, 70 hotels, 5 theme parks, three golf courses, a racecourse, lots of restaurants, around 250 shops and, maybe, even a bullring!!!

It's not clear if this city will include a town with 100,000 inhabitants or if there will only be homes for the employees. Anyway, IDL said 65,000 direct employees will be needed in 2022, when they think the city will be finished. Whe should add up around 135,000 indirect jobs to this number.

This huge project will need a 17,000 million euro total investment and I don't really know if it will be finally built. But, if it is, it will become the 2nd most important gambling destination after Las Begas and the most important destination in Spain, with around 25 million expected visitors per year.

James Wilkinson

Friday, February 20, 2009

0.7%: The 1st World's Hypocrisy

In 1980, many States agreed to use 0.7% of their GDP to develop the Third World. Only four of these States have achieved this objective and Spain, as you might suppose, is not one of them.

Anyway, the only purpose of this measure is to pretend the governments of 1st World are worried about the problems of developing countries. Besides, most of these developing countries are governed by corrupt dictators. I think giving money to them is the worst way to help people who live in these States. And, honestly, I cannot believe our politicians think in the other direction.

On the one hand, our governments give money (our money) to these dictators telling us it's to develop the Third World. On the other hand, they put duties taxing every product from the developing countries and "they" give (actually, it's our money what they give) edowment to our agriculture.

In my opinion, the only way to help these countries is to let them develop themselves. And it will only be possible if the First World removes those duties and subventions. I know it would mean the unemployment of most of our farmers, but it's the only way to let their products become competitive in our market and, besides, it would improve the efficiency and benefit consumers.

After all, I think it's stupid to invest most of the budget of the European Union in subsidizing agricultural products that are going to be burnt. But it's another question we will talk about in the future.

James Wilkinson

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Serious Danger of Deflation

In Spain, inflation is plummeting. If nothing changes, everything points to deflation next months.

At first sight, the fact that prices fall could seem something positive. After all, we would have a higher purchasing power (if we keep our job).

However, if you think about it, you will see it isn't as good as it seems: would you buy something today if you know it will be cheaper tomorrow? Actually, you would buy your most pressing needs, but not a house or a sofa, for example. Other people would do the same and sales will take a nose-dive. So, more people would be fired (increasing the number of unemployed people).

Today, there are more than 3,200,000 unemployed people in Spain. Unemployment increased in 200,000 people last month: it means more than 6,600 people a day. What will happen if our economy gets in deflation?

James Wilkinson

Taking Up my Blog Again

I'm sorry I haven't post anything since November. Other tasks I cannot disclose (in order not to show you who I am) took up my whole time. Anyway, let's resume the blog again.

James Wilkinson