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Sonja Gangl: believe it or not, this is not a photograph

During my second week in Vienna, I visited one of the biggest prides of the city: the Albertina Museum – mainly because my girlfriend and me had a couple of free tickets. We showed up in evening, maybe with high expectations about the Matisse and The Fauves exhibition. Unfortunately, with my deep lack of knowledge I couldn’t enjoy it that much and just the André Derain’s unique and colourful points of view of London were worth the walk. We were about to leave when we discovered Sonja Gangl’s first solo exhibition.

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Sonja is a austrian artist with doubtless talent for drawing, specially when it comes to do it with a pencil. Dancing with the end is a large-format approach to the last frame of some of the most famous films in history using just paper and pencil. In “Captured in paper” Sonja shows human eyes working particularly hard on details. Viewers will need to move forward and backwards to zoom in and out to be sure is not a photograph.

More info | Albertina

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Ordinary men as sexy models on a Ducati

MotoCorsa’s regular clients participated in Alicia Mariah Elfving’s last photo-sesion posing as sexy motorcycle models over a Ducati 1199 Panigale. A few weeks ago Arun Sharma, the general manager, received tons of complaints on his Facebook page after publishing the first gallery focusing the camera on a woman’s astonishing shape. The answer couldn’t have been better and the result is hilarious.

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Source | MotoCorsa

A primary school painting sold for 34 M euros

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A few days ago Onement VI by Barnett Newman was sold for 34M euros. A dark blue plane paint with a straight, light blue line across. According to JotDown (aka. hipsters’ new magazine), this master-piece is an unique expression of ART that none of us could ever, ever imagine. Copy, at most. “It’s all about pushing the art’s limits” it says. Once again the art scene seems to be in a free, reinless falling. The value and the price have not met for decades, a fact that has led us into a ridiculous and pointless situation in which “talent” has lost its meaning. Come back down to Earth, Art.

Julien Dupont, from the elitist to the urban trial

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I do remember the first time I saw a guy on a trial bike climbing walls. It was late 2006 when a guy called Julien Dupont appeared on the internet riding a bike through the streets of the french city  of Lyon. It doesn’t seem to be a big thing since a guy jumped from outer space to the Earth. Yet it’s still something I will always admire; passion, regular-hard work and impetus.

Briefly, here’s Julien Dupont’s story, from the elitist trial competitions to the urban invasion. I’ll translate as soon as I have some spare time but you can check the official website as well.

Turning on captions if a spanish politician speaks English

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Trying to find some excuse to stop studying German for a while I found myself watching videos about spanish politicians speaking English… (is there anything better than that to cheer somebody to study?) when accidentally I turned on Captions and realized  the language Youtube detected was not what the politician was theoretically speaking… I just want you to activate Captions in the videos below to find out what they are really speaking. Let’s start… just in case they try:


Emilio Botín, not a politician, even more powerful: Executive Chairman of Grupo Santander:

José María Aznar, former president of Spain:

Francisco Franco, pig and dictator:

We no speak americano

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Let me write something off the record… during the last few days the spanish media has been talking about a very important topic nowadays. A couple of articles, one by the Huffington Post and other by El Confidencial, are creating some discussions between the spaniards. Why? Because we (the spaniards) don’t speak English, even though we start studying the language at the age of three.

In the first one, Raúl Fernández, professor in the Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan, says our problem is based on our education system, namely our English professors don’t have a proper level of the language to teach it. Consider someone with a B2 level and a high qualification(degree) title is able to get into the public education. For example, a lawyer who reached a B2 in English can be an English professor or teacher.

Well, to be honest I never considered that chance like a problem. I grew up in a country where you can be very proud of your B2 – I will deal with this in more detail later. It is so much so that the university where I used to study is trying hard to give B1 titles to the students before they finish their degrees, and they still think that’s too difficult… Once I am living abroad for a long time I notice I need to improve a lot if I want to compete with europeans students – time will say.

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Now let’s check quickly the article by El Confidencial. “We are not allow to be waiters in London. We don’t speak English” says the title. And this is it. Hundreds, maybe thousands of young people have left the country heading London. There they try to get a job, even when conditions and salary are awful just because they are able to improve their English. Engineers, lawyers, musicians, psychologists… serving in restaurants. But they don’t want us anymore because our language skills are quite poor.

Yet, they haven’t spoke about what I consider the two main problems: expectations and embarrassment.

  • Expectations or conformism refers to goals, to limits and success that a student can achieve. We are not genetically weaker than the rest of the europeans, we are not silly or retarded. It is true that I have been studying English since I was three years old, but it is also true that my A+ marks would not have been A+ in another environment.Then the problem are not the students or the professors, our fault is to not ask more to ourselves. We did not and we do not care if our knowledge is not enough, all that matters is what our marks say.If we want to improve we will need to rise the requirements and motivate the educators. Unfortunately, when Education suffers cuts of 2.000 millions euros this task seems too hard to me…
  • Embarrassment is all about our culture. English phonetics are not familiar at all to the spaniards as it is to the Germans for example, so every time a student tries to pronounce properly a word the rest of the class just starts laughing. So the only feedback that student has is embarrassment, will you keep trying when 29 more students are laughing at you? I don’t think so.

Fortunately young people is are starting to notice how difficult, tough and critical the situation is and our behavior facing language studies will change soon. It is up to us…

ps: feel free to correct my grammar mistakes.