Friday, March 9, 2012

Thank you, Ms. K. Jacobson!

I concur wholeheartedly with the young Ms. K. Jacobson and congratulate her on her neighborhood garbage sorting quest in order to see firsthand the organic matter that could have been recycled!
It is strange how sometimes a person’s garbage canister speaks more clearly about ecology than the person itself, isn’t it?

We live in a society that is not really very efficient, as it generates thousands of tons of trash and garbage daily on a global scale. To prove our point, all we need do is make our casual, weekly shopping trip to the grocery store. Once we get back home and start putting everything away in its place after unpacking, unwrapping and removing the actual product, we can clearly see that we’re left with a rather considerable mound of either paper, plastic, cardboard, metal or a combination of all, most of it perfectly suitable for recycling. The staggering statistics really begin to add up when that single example of casual shopping is multiplied by the millions of people who are doing exactly the same thing.

But wait!... I haven’t even gotten to the forgotten groceries stashed away at the back of the vegetable bin, such as the mushy celery, the wrinkled-up kiwi fruit we bought two weeks ago, the flaccid carrots, the mummified orange with its greenish patches, or the bunch of parsley on the verge of life support!
Chances are, that we’ll simply gather up the dead greens and toss them in the kitchen’s trash can and be done with it, right?

Unfortunately, yes.

In my particular case my business generates quite a considerable amount of waste paper, primarily letter-size sheets and envelopes. The next greatest amount comes through what I call “recyclable mail”, such as announcements, catalogs, unsolicited mail, occasional periodicals and such. From the domestic side, there are quite a few cans, plastic and glass bottles, plastic shopping bags and cardboard boxes, all usually coming from the now-depleted staples. Happily, though, I can say that my blue recycling canister fills up almost three times as fast as my trash canister and I only pull it to the curb on collection days once every two weeks. That makes for efficient collection as well as fuel savings.

Let’s not forget that another one of the major culprits of these titanic tons of trash, are the manufactured goods that cannot be repaired and therefore must be discarded entirely and a new one purchased to replace it. Examples of it, are the millions of perfectly good writing pens that after running out of ink, are simply thrown away because replacement ink cartridges are not available for them. The same happens with disposable lighters, cell phones, computers and similar items that we are forced to throw away because the manufacturers rather sell you a whole new replacement item rather than make replacement parts for it. The modern automotive industry is a good example of that.

I prefer to believe that we must educate ourselves in rethinking the ways in which future trash and garbage are NOT created, rather than how they are disposed. Going back to the organics, I am grateful that we do have those green canisters into which we can place and safely keep organic material until collection day. Let’s not complain too much about the smell, because when I lift the lift the lid of my trash canister, the whiff could knock me over, especially during the summer months, so I think it’s a very small price to pay, considering the alternative.

Thank you, Ms. K. Jacobson for your very stimulating and important article!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

A instancia de la mamá que quiere ser escritora, mi hija redactó este articulo para Welcome Home, un periodico mensual que se publica en nuestra zona.

Get on the Green Bandwagon
By K. Jacobson
I was very pleased to hear that our neighborhood would be part of the City of San Antonio’s field trial efforts to collect and process organic garbage. I knew first hand how helpful this program could be in our community because during my freshman year, my school science fair project was to find out whether people were truly recycling.
As part of my project, I looked into people’s garbage to gather data. For six weeks, I collected bags and sorted their contents. My findings were rather surprising. The organic material, including fruit and vegetable peels, spoiled produces, tea and coffee grinds, soiled paper towels, cereal boxes and shredded paper accounted for over 40% of the total garbage sample. (Figure 1)
San Antonio’s new plan to collect organic matter will require some additional work when disposing of garbage, but I feel it is well worth the effort. Nevertheless, after talking with family and neighbors about the new green canisters, I hear there is some apprehension or even apathy about joining in. Their concerns are related to the potential smell, mess, maggots and the extra effort and time required, but just as everything else, people need to be educated to understand that on the long run, the benefits derived from this program certainly outweigh the trouble we must go through to see it happen.
If all residential neighborhoods involved work together to support this initiative, a large amount of organic waste will be composted, thus reducing current landfill needs considerably. The community as a whole will contribute to create San Antonio’s path to Zero waste, a ten year goal established by the city in June 2010 .
To find about household items that can be placed into an organic compost system, please refer to: “75 Things You Can Compost, But Thought You Couldn't” by Colleen Vanderlinden published on, Jul 30, 2009 10:47.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Agradecimiento máximo

Mi sincero agradecimiento general a la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), y en especial a su director, el Dr. José Antonio Vela quien con su desbordante generosidad y como adalid de la cultura en San Antonio, ha permitido que se lleve a cabo este singular evento en tan distinguidas instalaciones.

Agradezco también a Paula de Gortari, directora de proyectos culturales, a Lily Corrales, diseñadora del anuncio y del material publicitario, a Jake Pacheco, coordinador, y demás miembros y personal de la UNAM por su amabilidad y asistencia en llevar a cabo este evento.

Agradezco a la Dra. Florence B. Weinberg por confiar en mis habilidades traductivas, como también felicitarla por una magnífica e intensa labor investigativa cuyo resultado se manifiesta a plenitud en las tres novelas traducidas.

Agradezco el privilegio por la asistencia de tantos colegas y amistades a quienes quiero mucho, y quienes orgullosamente me hicieron sentir como uno de los hombres más afortunados del mundo.

De todo corazón, ¡muchas gracias a todos!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Reseña Evento UNAM - Enero 19, 2012


El pasado Jueves, 19 de enero, 2012 tuvimos el placer de acompañar en el auditorio de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México en San Antonio a la eminente escritora histórica Dra. Florence Weinberg y a nuestro compañero André Csihas durante el evento cultural organizado por ellos mismos para marcar la culminación del proyecto de traducción al español de la trilogía misterio-policíaca que tiene como personaje principal a Ygnacio (Ignaz) Pfefferkorn, sacerdote jesuita y figura histórica del siglo XVIII.

Durante una agradable velada, la numerosa concurrencia disfrutó del encanto y conocimiento de la Dra. Weinberg quien nos contó cómo surgió su interés por este poco conocido sacerdote jesuita habitante del desierto de Sonora en la segunda parte del siglo XVIII, quien posteriormente fue expulsado del país y apresado por órdenes de la corona española. Una vez iniciadas sus indagaciones, la autora no pudo controlarse. Entre más conocía de su vida, más deseaba descubrir. Así pues, el fruto de su trabajo generó suficiente material para tres novelas históricas y un sinnúmero de anécdotas divertidas.

Acompañada por su traductor al idioma español, André Csihas, quien cabe mencionar realizó una excelente labor al plasmar en la lengua castellana las palabras originalmente escritas en inglés de la Dra. Weinberg, se procedió a una breve lectura tanto en inglés como en español del primer capítulo del tercer libro: “The Storks of La Caridad” o “El Jesuita y La Caridad.”

La plática concluyó tras una sesión de preguntas y respuestas, y los invitados fueron convidados a una recepción donde la Dra. Weinberg y André Csihas personalmente dedicaron los libros previamente adquiridos por los asistentes.

Felicidades a ambos y a la UNAM de San Antonio por orquestar un evento sumamente interesante y por el gran logro profesional en las carreras de ambos. Les deseamos mucho éxito.

La página de Internet de la Dra. Weinberg es:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dennis Ritchie, creador de Unix, fallece a los 70 años

Dennis Ritchie - Descanse en Paz.

September 8, 1941–October 8/9, 2011
Se murió un poeta. Un poeta que guió mis primeros pasos en el andar del mundo virtual cuando éste era apenas un jardín de 64Kb (2**16) de memoria. Hoy en día la tarjeta de mi cámara fotográfica tiene 4Gb (2**32) de memoria.
Se murió el poeta que me inspiró a aprender a hablar binario, octal y hexadecimal. Mi frase favorita era CD CD CD– cuando se ejecuta esta frase en la memoria de un microprocesador INTEL, se genera un INT 3 (interrupción forzada).
Se murió un poeta cuyos seguidores emulaban y repetían aquella poesía de tres palabras que todos los estudiantes de C llegamos a conocer tan bien:

Puchar(“Hello word”);

¿Qué no era poeta? Se necesita ser muy romántico y visionario para poder ver más allá de los límites de la tecnología e inventar un idioma conciso que revolucione el mundo.



¿Pueden oír la melodía de esta rima?
Se murió Denis Ritchie. El inventor de Unix y C. La piedra angular de los sistemas operativos de hoy en día.

Al final, las cosas quedan las gentes se van….otros que vienen las continuarán….la vida sigue igual.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Al fin Labrapalabra

Después de un hiato de varios años Labrapalabra vuelve a estar en la red. Con este número, el octavo, que acabo de subir a la Internet para ponerlo a disposición de todos, esperamos reiniciar lo que fue un proyecto no tanto pretensioso como iluso. De ilusión se vive. Y la ilusión que Labrapalabra ha sido tanto tiempo tiene ahora cuerpo y presencia en el espacio cibernético. Esperamos que cuente con lectores y colaboradores que la mantengan activa y efectiva por mucho tiempo.

Para acceder a la revista úsese la dirección que se indica abajo; si se usa el buscador aparecerán otras páginas que no tienen nada que ver con nuestra revista:

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of San Antonio (SLHWSA) and Barnes and Noble, San Pedro Crossing, invites the public to attend its second Book Fair Saturday, October 1, 2011, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

A panel of Hispanic writers will talk about their path to publication and will present their latest works.

San Antonio award-winning children’s writer, Diane Gonzales Bertrand, who has been a supporter of the Society for many years, will open the panel discussion with a Children’s Hour at 1 p.m. She is the author of more than thirty books, children’s picture books and books for young adults. Seven other authors will join Gonzalez Bertrand in what promises to be an entertaining afternoon.

Poet and essay writer Marian Haddad will charm listeners with her down to earth poetry, and authors Martha Caso and Barbara Sonnen-Hernandez, who have written about serious subjects dealing with illnesses and the Mexican-American civil rights struggle, will leave their mark on the public’s heart.

Ani Palacios McBride, whose novel “Nos Vemos en Purgatorio” won first place in the Spanish adventure category of the Twelfth Annual International Latino Books Awards in 2010, will present her third novel, “Plúmbago Torres y el Sueño Americano”. Photographer Steve Valdes, developed and published a planning guide for quinceañeras, a beautiful tradition which celebrates the passing from girlhood to womanhood in the Hispanic culture. Nanette Guadiano and Bertha Jacobson will present a young adult mystery anthology, “You Don’t Have a Clue”, published by Arte Público Press.

“We have been working very hard on this event, and we feel we have a good mix of authors that represent the talents and diversity of the Hispanic culture,” stated SLHWSA president Lupe M. Gonzalez. “The Society’s mission is to inspire, promote and support Hispanic writers. Our vision is to make an impact in the literary world by sharing our culture through our writings as well as to increase literacy.”

The Book Fair will also be an opportunity for the Society to raise funds since Barnes and Noble will donate a percentage of the proceeds to the organization. “This will help us to create more learning activities for our writers,” Gonzalez continued, “as well as to do more outreach in the community.”

Barnes and Noble, San Pedro Crossing, is located at 321 NW Loop 410 #104, at the intersection of Loop 410 and San Pedro.