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Electronic Magazine in Spanish and English
Revista electrónica en inglés y español - Javier Bustamante, Editor, miembro de la Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española

Marzo - March 2008
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Health - Salud

Whites - 240m
Hispanics - 41.3m
Blacks - 39.2m
Asians - 14m
Native Americans - 4.4m
Native Islanders - 1m
(Totals do not equal population as people may belong to more than one group)
Source: US Census Bureau
Zip Code information

Other Sites:

Academia Norteamericana
de la Lengua Española

Biblioteca Digital Hispana de la Biblioteca Nacional de España
Famous Hispanics in the World and History
Los Toros

Club Andalucía
Semana Santa en Sevilla
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center
Instituto Cervantes

Baltimore Mayor's Hispanic Liaison Office

CASA de Maryland
Centro de la Comunidad

red Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
Maryland Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs
Maryland Latino Coalition for Justice
Baltimore Hispanic Democratic Club
Latino Providers Network
Maryland Hispanic Republicans
Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Baltimore Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

El Refranero Español:
A mucho vino, poco tino

Food for Thought
by Joan Bryan

-- Pray, verb. To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single confessedly unworthy petitioner. -Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

-- Political history is largely an account of mass violence and of the expenditure of vast resources to cope with mythical fears and hopes.
-Murray Edelman, professor, author (1919-2001)

-- A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. -Oscar Wilde, writer (1854-1900)

Famous Hispanics

Mario Vargas Llosa
1936-), Writer, Perú

Health - Salud

STROKE: Remember The 1st Three Letters...S.T.R.
Just a reminder that we can help someone if we recognize what is happening. Time is important!
STROKE: Remember The 1st Three Letters...S.T.R. 

During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) and that she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food.  While she appeared a bit shaken up, she went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Ingrid's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital and, at 6:00 pm, she passed away. She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps she would be alive today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.

It only takes a minute to read this...
A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.

                                            RECOGNIZING A STROKE
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions: 

S* Ask the individual to SMILE. (If the smile is lopsided, a stroke is likely to have occurred.)

T* Ask the person to TALK to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE 
(If the speech is slurred, a stroke is likely to have occurred.) Coherently: (for example) It is sunny out today. 
R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. If he or she cannot raise one arm,  a stroke is likely to have occurred.)

*NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out their tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other,
that is also an indication of a stroke. 
If he or she has trouble with  ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately !!  and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

A cardiologist estimates that if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people;  you can bet that at least one life will be saved.


submitted by Joan Bryan, Coloquio's Health Correspondent


·       Protects your heart
·       Prevents constipation
·       Blocks diarrhea
·       Improves lung capacity
·       Cushions joints


·       Combats cancer
·       Controls blood pressure
·       Saves your eyesight
·       Shields against Alzheimer's
·       Slows aging process


·       Aids digestion
·       Lowers cholesterol
·       Protects your heart
·       Stabilizes blood sugar
·       Guards against liver disease


·       Battles diabetes
·       Lowers cholesterol
·       Helps stops strokes
·       Controls blood pressure
·       Smoothes skin


·       Protects your heart
·       Quiets a cough
·       Strengthens bones
·       Controls blood pressure
·       Blocks diarrhea


·       Prevents constipation
·       Helps hemorrhoids
·       Lowers cholesterol
·       Combats cancer
·       Stabilizes blood sugar


·       Controls blood pressure
·       Combats cancer
·       Strengthens bones
·       Protects your heart
·       Aids weight loss


·       Combats cancer
·       Protects your heart
·       Stabilizes blood sugar
·       Boosts memory
·       Prevents constipation


·       Strengthens bones
·       Saves eyesight
·       Combats cancer
·       Protects your heart
·       Controls blood pressure


·       Combats cancer
·       Prevents constipation
·       Promotes weight loss
·       Protects your heart
·       Helps hemorrhoids


·       Saves eyesight
·       Controls blood pressure
·       Combats cancer
·       Supports immune system


·       Saves eyesight
·       Protects your heart
·       Prevents constipation
·       Combats cancer
·       Promotes weight loss


·       Protects against Prostate Cancer
·       Combats Breast Cancer
·       Strengthens bones
·       Banishes bruises
·       Guards against heart disease


·       Protects your heart
·       Combats Cancer
·       Ends insomnia
·       Slows aging process
·       Shields against Alzheimer's


·       Promotes weight loss
·       Protects your heart
·       Lowers cholesterol
·       Combats Cancer
·       Controls blood pressure

Chili pepper

·       Aids digestion
·       Soothes sore throat
·       Combats Cancer
·       Boosts immune system


·       Promotes weight loss
·       Helps stops strokes
·       Lowers cholesterol
·       Controls blood pressure


·       Protects your heart
·       Boosts memory
·       Protects your heart
·       Combats cancer
·       Supports immune syste


·       Aids digestion
·       Battles diabetes
·       Protects your heart
·       Improves mental health
·       Boosts immune system


·       Lowers cholesterol
·       Controls blood pressure
·       Kills bacteria
·       Fights fungus


·       Protects against heart attacks
·       Suppresses appetite
·       Helps stops strokes
·       Combats prostate cancer
·       Lowers cholesterol


·       Saves eyesight
·       Conquers kidney stones
·       Combats cancer
·       Enhances blood flow
·       Protects your heart

Green tea

·       Combats cancer
·       Protects your heart
·       Helps stops strokes
·       Promotes Weight loss
·       Kills bacteria


·       Heals wounds
·       Aids digestion
·       Guards against ulcers
·       Increases energy
·       Fights allergies


·       Combats cancer
·       Protects your heart
·       Controls blood pressure
·       Smoothes skin
·       Stops scurvy


·       Combats cancer
·       Protects your heart
·       Controls blood pressure
·       Smoothes skin
·       Stops scurvy


·       Combats cancer
·       Boosts memory
·       Regulates thyroid
·       Aids digestion
·       Shields from Alzheimer's


·       Controls blood pressure
·       Lowers cholesterol
·       Kills bacteria
·       Combats cancer
·       Strengthens bones


·       Lowers cholesterol
·       Combats cancer
·       Battles diabetes
·       Prevents constipation
·       Smoothes skin

Olive oil

·       Protects your heart
·       Promotes Weight loss
·       Combats cancer
·       Battles diabetes
·       Smoothes skin


·       Reduce risk of heart attack
·       Combats cancer
·       Kills bacteria
·       Lowers cholesterol
·       Fights fungus


·       Supports immune systems
·       Combats cancer
·       Protects your heart
·       Straightens respiration


·       Prevents constipation
·       Combats cancer
·       Helps stops strokes
·       Aids digestion
·       Helps hemorrhoids


·       Protects against heart disease
·       Promotes Weight loss
·       Combats Prostate Cancer
·       Lowers cholesterol


·       Strengthens bones
·       Relieves colds
·       Aids digestion
·       Blocks diarrhea


·       Prevents constipation
·       Boosts memory
·       Lowers cholesterol
·       Protects against heart disease


·       Protects your heart
·       Battles diabetes
·       Conquers kidney stones
·       Combats cancer
·       Helps stops strokes


·       Combats cancer
·       Protects your heart
·       Boosts memory
·       Calms stress

Sweet potato

·       Saves your eyesight
·       Lifts mood
·       Combats cancer
·       Strengthens bones


·       Protects prostate
·       Combats cancer
·       Lowers cholesterol
·       Protects your heart


·       Lowers cholesterol
·       Combats cancer
·       Boosts memory
·       Lifts mood
·       Protects against heart disease


·       Promotes Weight loss
·       Conquers kidney stones
·       Smoothes skin


·       Protects prostate
·       Promotes weight loss
·       Lowers cholesterol
·       Controls blood pressure

Wheat bran

·       Combats Colon Cancer
·       Prevents constipation
·       Lowers cholesterol
·       Helps stops strokes
·       Improves digestion

Wheat germ

·       Combats Colon Cancer
·       Prevents constipation
·       Lowers cholesterol
·       Helps stops strokes
·       Improves digestion


·       Guards against ulcers
·       Strengthens bones
·       Lowers cholesterol
·       Supports immune system
·       Aids digestion

We are made mostly of water

·       Blood is 83% water
·       Muscles are 75% water
·       The brain is 74% water
·       Bone is 22% water

75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. 

In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger! If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

Even mild dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%. 

Water is a natural appetite suppressant. One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of dieters studied at the University of Washington. 
Preliminary research indicates that 8 to10 8-ounce glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers. 
Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.  A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on computer screens or printed pages. 
Water removes toxins and waste products from your body. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and bladder cancer by 50%. 


Social Security: A Documentary History (published by Congressional Quarterly Press) contains excerpts from over 170 documents tracing the history of Social Security from its creation in 1935 to the debates of the present day. Filled with primary source documents, this unique reference traces the history of Social Security in an easy-to-follow chronological fashion that highlights the major moments and events in the program’s development. Headnotes introduce and provide comments for the documents, which include congressional testimonies, government reports, presidential speeches, and rare archival evidence. The documents are preceded by a summary essay which tells the story of Social Security in an accessible single narrative.

The co-editors of the work–Larry DeWitt, the public historian at the U.S. Social Security Administration, Daniel Béland of the Department of Sociology at the University of Calgary in Canada, and Edward D. Berkowitz of the Department of History at George Washington University–are recognized subject matter experts on Social Security’s history and this work will serve as a standard reference source for many years to come.

The volume is available now, directly from the Congressional Quarterly Press or through


Andrew Sullivan

El Trovador restaurant
Iraq War Casualties
Just so we remember
US and Coalition Iraq War casualties as of March 25, 2008 -- Days: 1832 (see here)
Total US Military Dead
Avge. per day:



Total US Wounded
as of 3/6/08
Avge. per day:



See some of the horrible wounds of the war (Washington Post pictures)
Total U.S.
contractors dead


Who were the dead? See here
Total Coalition Dead
Avge. per day:


Iraqis dead 1.3million
US Dead in Afghanistan

Other dead
Total Coalition dead
The unfeeling President by E.L. Doctorow
Dear Mr. President, a song by Pink
Democracy, a song by Leonard Cohen sang by Don Henley
Is the US being transformed into a radical Republic?
The Cinco de Mayo celebration is coming to Baltimore. There will be fun and games everywhere. The Hispanic Business Association is sponsoring its Festival on the 100 block of Broadway. Don't miss it [more]

Cantabria, una de las regiones más bellas, agrestes, marinas y desarrolladas de España
, presentada aquí en todo su esplendor que abarca desde las eras más antiguas hasta nuestros tiempos modernos [sigue]

Feria de Sevilla en Washington DC.
La XVIII! En Strathmore en Bethesda. No se la pierdan. Uno de los grandes acontecimientos españoles en nuestra área. [sigue]

presenta  "La pluma y la palabra"
MARATÓN DE LA POESÍA. XVI Encuentro de Poetas y Amantes de la Poesía. Viernes, 11 de abril, 2008 (2pm-4pm) en la BIBLIOTECA DEL CONGRESO y Sábado, 14 de abril, 2007 (2pm-8pm) en la CASA DE LA LUNA.
Entrada GRATIS (se aceptan donaciones) [sigue]

Semana Santa en Sevilla. Vean las cofradías de una de las tradiciones más famosas de España [sigue]

See a great explanation of the capitalist mess of subprimes loans that have brought the US economy to its knees. [more]

José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero gana las elecciones en España y continúa como Presidente del Gobierno por otros cuatro años [sigue]

Lean el Libro Blanco de Zapatero aquí

Because the administration actually cut taxes as we went to war, when we were already running huge deficits, this war has, effectively, been entirely financed by deficits. The national debt has increased by some $2.5 trillion since the beginning of the war, and of this, almost $1 trillion is due directly to the war itself ... By 2017, we estimate that the national debt will have increased, just because of the war, by some $2 trillion. Stop the war. Now! [more]

Education Based Latino Outreach offers Spanish classes [more]

El Club Andalucía en fiesta. Los boleros se multiplicaron y la fiesta estuvo magnífica. [sigue]

Teatro de la Luna: Teatro para Niños " LAS AVENTURAS DE PINOCHO" MARZO, SABADOS 15 y 22, a las 3 pm en el SALON BOLIVARIANO - EMBAJADA DE VENEZUELA 2443 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20008 [sigue]

La Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española, junto con las demás academias americanas de la misma lengua recibe el prestigioso "Premio Elio Antonio de Nebrija" concedido por la Universidad de Salamanca

La Gala de Los Enamorados de la Federation de Organizaciones Hispanas fue un gran éxito. Las bellezas presentes lo confirmaron [sigue]

Maryland State Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez Endorses Hillary for President [more]

Two Baltimore County families that have been ripped apart by our broken immigration system. Many of you know families like these – they are all too common. [more]

Governor O'Malley has selected his Commission on Hispanic Affairs for the State of Maryland.
Many counties and the city are represented. The Commissioners are: Maria Welch, (Baltimore County) Chair - Elizabeth Bellavance, (Wicomico Co.) - Javier Bustamante (Baltimore City) - Richard Cook (Baltimore Co.) - Veronica Cool (Baltimore Co.) - Marian Cordier (Montgomery Co.) -- Christina Diaz-Malone (Howard Co.) -- Lydia Espinosa Crafton (Frederick Co.) -- Ricardo Flores (Montgomery Co.) -- Colonel Roberto Hylton (Prince George's Co.) -- Elizabeth Ysla Leight (Ann Arundel Co.) -- Hector Manzano (Baltimore City) -- Ricardo Martinez (Frederick Co.) -- Jessy Mejia (Prince George's Co.) -- Luisa Montero-Diaz (Prince Goerge's Co.) -- Sonia Mora (Montgomery Co.) -- Carmen Ortiz Larsen (Montgomery Co.) -- Arelis Perez (Prince George's Co.) -- Maria Pinto Johnson (Hardford Co.) -- Nicolas Ramos (Baltimore Co.) -- Lea Ybarra (Baltimore Co.). Ruby Stemmle from Prince George's Co. will be the Executive Director.

Here is another view on immigration. "The largest obstacle to resolving what essentially is an economic issue is our obsession with assuming that every person who sets foot in the United States wants to be a permanent resident or citizen." [more]

Rogelio GómezLa cara humana de la inmigración se pierde a veces entre el odio, el veneno y la xenofobia más espantosa.
Nuestro corresponsal Rogelio Gómez nos enseña esa cara humana. [sigue]

Los tesoros de la Biblioteca Nacional de España ya se pueden consultar en Internet. La institución pone un pie en Internet con la Biblioteca Digital Hispánica.
Consulte y descargue, sin coste alguno, de unas 10.000 obras entre manuscritos, libros impresos del siglo XV al XIX, grabados, dibujos, mapas, fotografías y carteles.

Un fotógrafo alicantino, es el autor de un centenar de imágenes de la muestra "100% Natural", un magnífico escaparate de la naturaleza ibérica. [sigue]

Global shift against the death penalty: making our world a more human place.
104 nations approve a global moratorium on the death penalty. [more]

España supera por primera vez a Italia en riqueza por habitante. El PIB 'per cápita' español es cinco puntos mayor que la media europea [sigue]

Maravillosa explicación del proceso de inmunización sanguíneo de nuestro cuerpo, gracias al periódico El Mundo de Madrid [sigue]

Successful Gala of the National Latino Peace Officers Association in the Latin Palace in Baltimore [more]

Consumo hispano baja ante las políticas migratorias. Ante una debacle inminente —algunos empresarios reportan bajas de hasta el 80 por ciento en la actividad económica— ya se están “inventando” estrategias para no perder clientes. [sigue]

New York Times editorial:
"Hostility for illegal immigrants falls disproportionately on an entire population of people, documented or not, who speak Spanish and are working-class or poor. By blinding the country to solutions, it has harmed us all." [more]

Latinos Unite Across Classes Against Curbs on Immigration [more]

To Curb Illegal Migration, Spain Offers a Legal Route [more]

. Can't miss this one. It's wonderful. [more]

What is it that sets the Irish apart? It must be their Basque heritage.
That, and the awful truth that there's barely any difference between them and the English. All those centuries of fighting and religion and malarkey and stiff upper lips, and now it turns out that there's little that's Anglo-Saxon about the English and even less that's Celtic about the land of St. Patrick.

immigrationIntelligent Capitalism with a human face. Immigration issues are always ripe for demagoguery, particularly in an election year
. But the solution to the very real problems along the U.S.-Mexican border can be found, ironically, in that other part of the world that American demagogues love to ridicule: old Europe. [more]

Beautiful video of Van Gogh's paintings with a song to the Dutch painter by Don McNeal [more] English and Spanish titles

The stunning architecture of Spain (from Slate magazine) [more] and new projects for Seville [more]

Opportunity with the Baltimore Police Department for Police Cadets. [más]
More jobs with the City of Baltimore [más]
Madrid, destino europeo -- Spain's Ageless Beauties -- Explore Seville
¿Hispanos o Latinos?
Becas - Scholarships

Letters - Cartas

Coloquio encourages letters to the editor. Please email us your comments -- Coloquio acepta cartas al editor. Mándenos su email
Education Based Latino Outreach offers Spanish classes in an effort to bridge the cultural divide
EBLO offers Spanish classes for beginner and intermediate speakers interested in increasing their conversational skills and learning more about the Hispanic culture.  Most of their students want to learn Spanish because it is a widely popular language and is often used in their workplace. Their Spanish class instructor showcases the Hispanic culture each week by providing students with an opportunity to sample various kinds of food and listen to different types of music.  Students are encouraged to practice with native speakers.  Spanish classes are offered in the fall and in the spring on Tuesday nights from 7:00pm until 8:30pm for 10 weeks.  The Spring Spanish classes will began February 26, 2008.  Please Contact Elizabeth Ramos at (410) 563-3160 for more information.
The cost for the Spanish class is $120.00 for ten weeks, each class is for one hour and a half.  So that is only about $12 a session, a great deal

I have moved my office to a new location in Towson and am actively seeking Hispanic clients. My Spanish speaking secretary has left my employ and I need any help you can provide to replace her with a receptionist who speaks Spanish.
Ed MacVaugh & LeCompte, Attorneys at Law
1424 E. Joppa Rd., Ste 100 Towson, MD 21286
Congrats on your appointment to the Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs.
I hope to see more Hispanics appointed to other commissions under this Administration.
Carmen Camacho
In case you didn’t see it, the Baltimore Sun, the front page highlights two Baltimore County families that have been ripped apart by our broken immigration system.  Many of you know families like these – they are all too common.  The link to the article is below.   
In response to this touching, painful story, there ar already a whole list of hateful anti-immigrant "comments" on the sun website - please feel free to jump in and add some rationality or heart to the public dialogue if you wish. Also, if you wish to write a letter to the editor of the Baltimore sun, expressing your solidarity with these families and calling on our presidential candidates to reform the broken immigration system and make these families whole, you can write to:
Thank you for all you do, and for your support of immigrant families.
Liz Alex
CASA of Maryland
The complete article can be viewed here
Hola Javier;
Me llamo Alma y trabajo para la comunidad, mayormente inmigrante en Columbia MD. Gracias por enviar información que mantiene en contacto a nuestra familia hispana. Nos gustaría saber de eventos organizados para poder asistir y estar en comunicación. Podría mandar información a mi compañera Maria y a mi supervisora Judy Templempeton:
Alma Leibowitz
Don Javier,
hace varios años Beltrán Navarro me hizo la historia del Spanish Town, cuyo nombre, según me dijo, tuvo su origen a principios del pasado siglo, por la gran cantidad de barcos Españoles que venían a Baltimore con frecuencia. También me dijo que esa era la parte de los muelles favorita de los marineros españoles en el puerto... Cuando hicimos el monumento de Martí, vistamos quince lugares y varios de ellos estaban cerca de los muelles, casi en el centro del Spanish Town. Prevaleció sin embardo la idea de colocarlo donde está, al otro lado de la calle Fayette, sirviendo actualmente de centinela y límite al Spanish Town. Finalmente, me agrada ver que nuestro viejo amigo L.Queral se ha sumando a tu esfuerzo de mantener nuestro histórico Spanish Town con el nombre que le pertenece.
Un abrazo,
Pepe Herrera
Gracias por oponerte al cambio de nombre de Spanish Town. Es absurdo ponerle otro nombre cuando lo que carateriza dicha area es precisamente  la población hispana que allí existe.  Cuenta conmigo para cualquier ayuda en este respecto.  Un abrazo
Nota: Creo como tú que hay un juego político en tratar de cambiar el nombre. Hay que movilizar a toda la comunidad.
Luis Queral


Coloquio no se responsabiliza de las opiniones de nuestros corresponsales.
Coloquio is not responsible for the opinion of our correspondents.

Emilio LabradaEmilio Bernal Labrada, miembro de la Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española, es autor de La prensa liEbre o Los crímenes del idioma.
Pedidos a:

Nuestro idioma de cada día


Cuando ya pensábamos que habíamos llegado al fondo de los yerros publicitarios —el espanglés suelto y alocado— nos llegan más joyitas procedentes de fuentes insospechadas.
Trátase lo mismo de anuncios empresariales, de servicio público o de organismos benéficos que entregan su publicidad a quienes machacan el español cual si fuera cuestión de transliterar palabra por palabra lo que exige apenas una pizca de imaginación.
Veamos. El anuncio de una gran empresa de comunicaciones —Verizon Wíreles,  nada menos— termina diciéndonos enfáticamente estas misteriosas palabras: «¡Es la compañía» Bueno, ¿es la compañía de qué?, ¿la compañía de quién? ¿Qué nos habrán querido decir con eso? ¿Que es la mejor compañía?, ¿la peor?,  ¿o acaso la más espanglicista?
Pero adivinen qué. Se trata, para variar, de una transliteración del original, que dice «Versión Wíreless… it´s the company» (énfasis en THE). Con lo cual nos quieren indicar que Verizon es la empresa más importante, más destacada o acaso la inigualable, la suprema en su giro. Pero, ¡¿por qué no lo han dicho así!? Respuesta: ¡porque están pensando en inglés!
Luego, Wal-Mart, el coloso de los comercios minoristas, se quiere congraciar con la clientela hispana y nos dice que es «una compañía DONDE sus ASOCIADOS son» importantes miembros de su familia empresarial. ¿De dónde viene eso? Lo decimos porque donde indica lugar, y ninguna empresa es un lugar, sino que es entidad, organismo. Por otra parte, asociados no equivale a associates, voz que significa simplemente empleados, dependientes o personal de ventas.
Por el contrario: en español, asociado  significa alguien que es socio de los propietarios de la compañía, por lo cual es condueño o al menos partícipe de su cuadro dirigente.
En fin, que debieron haber dicho que es «una compañía CUYO PERSONAL» se considera miembro de su gran familia empresarial. Aunque estaba, para ser justos, mal expresado en inglés, ¿para qué vamos a copiar los errores de un original equivocado? Es el equivalente, en las letras, de lo que en matemáticas viene a ser interés compuesto: o sea, ERROR SOBRE ERROR.
Cualquiera pensara que habría que HILAR muy fino para no encaramar un espanglicismo sobre otro y así complicarnos la vida a quienes tratamos de hablar un castellano apenas tradicional y sencillo.  Lo traigo a colación por una misteriosa noticia «hilandera» según la cual algunos juguetes importados (adivinen de qué país) son peligrosos para los niños porque «pueden contener CRISTAL HILADO». Créase o no, ese cristal hilado (fiberglass) no es otra cosa que fibra de vidrio.
Nada, que ello nos deja totalmente en un HILO de falta de aliento. Que es lo que, según las últimas noticias, le pasó a una señora a quien le dio un ataque de calentura   provocado por la ola expansiva del «explosivo movimiento» de cierto precandidato. Todo ello, cuéntanos el señor presentador, hizo que la señora «hasta aire tuviera que echarse».
De lo cual dedujimos que la señora TUVO QUE ABANICARSE. Es suficiente para dejar al pobre idioma castellano, valga la contradicción … ¡totalmente DESAIRADO!


Es normal que los números sean noticia pero, ¿qué tal si las enredan? Tratándose de matemáticas, los profesionales de la noticia están en el ámbito más álgido de la innovación. Tiene que ser así porque francamente nos quedamos perplejos ante sus nuevas reglas.
Vean ustedes, mis queridos amigos —y si lo entienden por favor comuníquenme sus conclusiones—. Nos dijeron, por ejemplo, que la bebida alcohólica es un agente depresivo que, entre ciertas personas, engendra —fíjense bien— «UNA POSIBILIDAD Y MEDIA más» de exagerar su consumo. 
Cómo se tiene «media posibilidad» de algo es cosa que queda totalmente fuera del mundo de la lógica y las buenas costumbres.
                Dedujimos que, tal vez, quisieron decir algo así como «el 50% más» pero, ¿a partir de cuántas posibilidades? Si empezamos con una y tenemos una y media más (total: 2.5), entonces el aumento es del 150%. En cambio, si empezamos con dos y agregamos una y media (total: 3.5), tenemos un 75% de incremento. Bueno, no voy a seguir porque nos perderíamos irremisiblemente en un laberinto aritmético.
                Pero, ¿qué me dicen de la afirmación de que «un país es cuatro veces menos grande» que otro? ¿Cómo es posible que algo sea dos o tres o equis VECES MENOS grande? ¿Acaso no es cierto que VECES implica multiplicación? El país X (usando letras ecuacionales) puede ser dos veces —o sea el doble— del país Z  en cuanto a superficie, población, etc. Pero si lo que queremos destacar es la pequeñez , entonces diríamos que el país X tiene LA CUARTA PARTE —o sea el 25%— de la superficie, digamos, del país Z.
                Porque si decimos que tiene «dos veces menos» superficie. ¿cómo diablos se saca esa cuenta? ¿No les digo que están en un inverosímil dédalo matemático?
                 Pero, claro, ¡ahora caigo en la cuenta! Estas avanzadas «ecuaciones» son calcadas del inglés, cuyos legendarios errores —digo, horrores— de léxico y lógica son, por lo que vemos, sumamente contagiosos.
                Por último —y aunque no sea precisamente aritmético, sí tiene de números— reproducimos un comentario noticioso, en un programa de mucho «Impacto», sobre el IglooFest de Montreal, en que nos aseguraron que «se celebró bajo temperaturas más allá del punto de congelación».
                Entonces, ¿no hacía tanto frío? Creo que no, porque cuando la temperatura está MÁS ALLÁ de un punto se entiende, normalmente, que está por encima de él. Motivo por el cual el BAJO está dislocado: tendría que decir «se celebró a temperaturas BAJO [ese punto]».
Por si fuera poco, luego advirtieron que en Chicago se estableció un nuevo récord gélido (¿qué pasó con el entibiamiento global?): «dos grados bajo cero». Como no se molestaron en decirnos de cuál escala termométrica se trataba, nos quedamos en la incógnita: dos bajo cero Centígrado corresponde a unos 28 Fahrenheit, pero -2 Fahrenheit equivale a -20 Centígrado.  Adivinen cuál congela más.
Está visto que estos señores lo que tienen BAJO cero es el magín y están, evidentemente, una posibilidad y MEDIA MÁS ALLÁ de toda redención posible, lo que nos pone una docena de VECES MÁS (¿o MENOS?) helados de lo que ya nos deja, cotidianamente, su uso y abuso del castellano, cualquiera que sea la escala con que se mida.



Como ya, mis queridos lectores, estarán ustedes aburridos de oír hablar de política, siendo que los políticos son los profesionales del «cuento» y ya nos han contado demasiados, vamos a hablar hoy de los «cuentos» que nos hacen los  profesionales de la noticia.
                Uno de ellos nos anunció tranquilamente que un comentarista nos daría a  continuación una «lectura» de los resultados de cierta elección primaria. Pensé yo que nos iba a leer algo, pero no. Me equivocaba. Lo que iba a hacer el señor era otro tipo de «lectura» (transliteración de «reading»), pues se disponía a hacer un análisis o interpretación de la votación. Nada, que todos los días se aprende algo nuevo.
                Luego, otro nos dijo que el señor Obama «estaba diez puntos DETRÁS nacionalmente» respecto a su rival, la señora Clinton. Lo que está  DETRÁS de esa curiosa  jerigonza es puro espanglés, pues en buen castellano se diría así: «tiene diez puntos de DESVENTAJA a escala nacional». A diferencia del inglés, detrás/adelante (behind/ahead) indican más bien posición física y no son las voces que más se prestan para indicar ventaja/desventaja –o bien que alguien va ganando o va perdiendo– en un concurso o competencia.. Bien se ve que se están quedando A LA ZAGA de lo correcto.
                Otro más de los autotitulados «expertos» en la política –pero evidentemente no tan expertos en su idioma, el español– afirmó que se había celebrado la tan «ANTICIPADA» elección primaria. No es cierto. La primaria no se anticipó a nada: simplemente se cumplió en la fecha prevista. «Anticipar» no significa, como en inglés, anhelar, ansiar, esperar. Para nosotros, lo que «se anticipa» es lo que llega antes de su tiempo.u oportunidad.
                 Pasando a otro tema, en un «impactante» reportaje investigador nos afirmaron infinidad de veces que son muchas las víctimas de «MALA PRÁCTICA» quirúrgica. ¿Será que eso de «mala práctica» consiste en repetir algo hasta que salga mal? Debe ser, porque si no, habría menos perjudicados. Pero no: es transliteración irreflexiva de medical malpractice, cuyos equivalentes en castellano normal, para BIEN PRACTICARLOS (¡por favor!), son incompetencia, negligencia, ineptitud, o falta de ética profesional en la medicina.
Bueno, pasemos a otras PRÁCTICAS, como el uso de la marihuana. No, no se preocupen. No hablo de esa marihuana, la de los narcómanos. Me refiero a la marihuana medicinal, para satisfacer a enfermos que la necesitan a fin de aliviar su dolor y dolencia. Créase o no, nos aseguraron que en ciertos casos «su ACCESO está DISPONIBLE 24 horas al día». Menos mal, pensamos, temiendo que «su acceso» estuviera, contradictoriamente, INdisponible. Nada, que insisten en PRACTICAR MAL el idioma, puesto que hacerlo bien exigiría el cuidado de suprimir palabras redundantes y decir, por ejemplo, «estará accesible 24 horas al día».
                Por último, una gran empresa de insuperables éxitos comerciales ha fracasado rotundamente al traducir su publicidad, que termina con este incomprensible lema: «Wal Mart . . . es la compañía». Pues sí, pero, ¿de qué, o para qué, o de qué categoría, condiciones o calidad? El lema o consigna, en español, está cojo: le falta algo así como, por ejemplo, un adjetivo: «es la MEJOR [la GRAN o la PRIMERA] compañía» Más aun: el concepto anglo es que «Wal Mart es ÚNICA, SINGULAR».
Y aquí lo singular es la MALA PRÁCTICA o, mejor dicho, PRACTICAR MAL el idioma hasta ANTICIPAR su lamentable deterioro por la DESVENTAJA de imitar, inútilmente, al espanglés. Bueno fuera que los señores locutores dieran una LECTURA ANTICIPADA a estos principios, antes de hablar

Eric GoodmanEric D. Goodman is a full-time writer and editor. National Public Radio’s WYPR recently called him “a regular on the Baltimore literary scene.” His work as been published in The Washington Post, The Baltimore Review, Writers Weekly, JMWW, On Stage Magazine, The Arabesques Review, Travel Insights, Coloquio, To Be Read Aloud, Neck of My Guitar, and is forthcoming in The Potomac and Scribble. He took third place in the Maryland Writers Association 2007 Short Fiction Contest. Eric has read his fiction at events throughout Baltimore. His first children’s book, The Flightless Goose, is being published by Writers’ Lair Books in 2008. Eric seeks an agent for his novel in stories, Tracks, which was a semi-finalist in the Gather First Chapters Novel Contest. “The Silences” is a story from Tracks.

For more information see his literary blog or the online station for Tracks, a novel in stories.


The Silences
They were young, this couple seated on the train. Too young, their friends back home had teased them, to be riding an old-fashioned locomotive. But they'd boarded anyway, and here they sat, side by side, caught in the quiet of the passenger car during one of those rare moments when no one was speaking. The sound of the train's movement came to their ears like a lullaby, a soothing soundtrack to the window's serene scenery.
Malcolm and Tina were the same age: nineteen years old, just out of high school. She'd loved him for as long as she could remember, first as a friend, then as a soulmate. Malcolm worked as a dishwasher at Red Brick Station; Tina was a sandwich artist at Subway. They both had futures ahead of them, they knew, but their individual lives came second to their life together. They considered themselves two halves of a stable whole. They'd been a steady couple for years, ever since they transitioned from middle school to high school, and if they were sure of anything, they were sure of their love for one another.
That's why they weren't in any rush to get into college. There'd be plenty of time for that in the years to come. They knew where to place their value: in one another. It was more important to get married, have children, and devote themselves to one another and their family, than all the education, wealth and worldly success they could possibly muster.
"Too many people place too much importance on glamour, wealth and success," Tina had said early in their relationship, before they'd even exited the tenth grade, before they'd even seen one another in full.
"You got that right," Malcolm had been quick to agree, his gray eyes brightening. "If people put the kind of effort into their families that they put into their careers and making money and getting successful, we'd live in a better place."
"Right," she'd said. They used to spend their after-school hours by the neighborhood pond. The park around the pond was surrounded by a green, with esthetically placed stones and perfectly positioned trees. The tree without a bench underneath it was their favorite place — their place. Others could have their benches; Malcolm and Tina preferred to sit side-by-side beneath the tree in the fresh grass, his long arm around her, cuddling in the shade and watching the sun reflect off the water. They smiled contentedly and watched the ducks try to catch the reflecting sunlight, dipping their heads in the water and their tail feathers in the air. "It would be a better place. More … old fashioned."
Tina's parents and Malcolm's friends often teased them for being old souls in a new world. Malcolm and Tina just laughed it off. They listened to swing, show tunes, and classical music. He could name all of Glenn Miller's songs, but not one artist on the current pop charts. She'd seen every episode of Gilligan's Island but not one segment of Survivor. Others teased them for their old ways, but Tina was sure unspoken admiration was at the heart of it.
On the train, Tina glanced at Malcolm, his copper hair reflecting the sun in an autumn hue. He'd be a shift supervisor in another year; then they could afford to move out of their parents' homes, get married, and start their life as one. She'd get the perfect wedding gown, and it would be snow white, even though he'd taken her virginity when he gave his to her. "It'll be a storybook wedding," he promised, describing the horse-drawn carriage that would sweep them from the chapel to the swinging reception with big-band music. It sounded wonderful.
It was quiet now, on the train. Too quiet, for Tina's taste. Sometimes it seemed they had everything they needed in the having of one another. But now, she needed more. She needed his words, his attention. Malcolm was in the center of one of his silent spells again. She hated it when Malcolm fell into silence, and he seemed to do it more and more often the more comfortable he got in their relationship. She wanted him to say something romantic now. Something about how her radiant smile made his heart as light as her feathery hair, or the how the sound of her voice made his soul sing. She probed for the poetry of their past. It had been his idea, after all, to take the train. He'd said the plane was in too much of a hurry and that a train was nice and slow, that they'd have lots of time together, side-by-side. Railroads are romantic, he'd said.
Tina looked at the man of her life, young, handsome and at her side, his gray eyes reading a paperback of Poe's collected works. He'd been reading it for an hour straight, not sending so much as a word her way. While Malcolm read, Tina alternated between watching the scenery outside the window — young trees intermixed with old — and looking at him. Finally, Malcolm caught her looking. "What?"
Tina's longing eyes asked as eagerly as her voice. "Say something."
He slapped his paperback down, resting it open on his leg. "What do you want me to say?"
"Why don't you tell me you love me? Like you used to?"
He sighed. "I love you." The words and the annoyance in his voice did not match.
Annoyance infected her voice as well. "It's not the same when I have to tell you to say it."
"Can't win for losing," Malcolm griped. "I mean, you just asked me to say it, I said it, and now you're upset because I said it! What the hell do you want? Do you even know?"
Tina noticed the woman shifting in the seat in front of them. The lady peeked back at them and then quickly faced forward. Under the sound of the woman's sigh, Tina lowered her voice, not wanting to infuse the passengers around them with the personal problems between her and Malcolm. "I just want you to notice me!"
"Notice you?" Malcolm's voice didn't lower to meet hers. "You're right next to me — you're a part of me! How can I not notice you? It's like not noticing my left hand or right foot!"
"So you're comparing me to your right foot?" Tina couldn't help but turn up the volume herself. "Nice."
"Tina." Malcolm emitted a deep sigh. "You know what I mean."
The lady sitting in front of them continued to shift uncomfortably. She was probably ten years their senior. The woman stood from her seat and walked the aisle of the moving train, riding the rhythm. Tina watched her, embarrassed to have driven away this quiet neighbor with their argument. This wasn't the first time the woman had gotten up for a walk. Tina then looked back at Malcolm to see him watching the woman as she strutted; his eyes glided down the curvature of her back, onto her rounded behind, down her long, jean-hugged legs. She knows how to move, Malcolm's captivated gaze was saying — although he never would — as he admired the woman's slow, leisurely stroll.
"She's nice looking, for a thirty-something," Tina said softly.
"What? Oh, I was just staring off into space," he said.
"Yes, I saw the space you were staring off into."
Mal put on his devilishly embarrassed grin. "Cheer up, Honey! Of course I love you. Can't I read a little without having to say it?"
"I just want to spend some time with you, Mal. That's why we're here, isn't it?"
"All right," Malcolm said. "What do you want to talk about?"
"I don't know. Anything."
He held up his paperback. "How about Edgar Allen Poe?"
"Never...never mind," Tina said. She was no Poe fan. She gave Malcolm a look as distressed as the writer's prose. "Just go back to your reading."
He smiled and pecked her reddened cheek. "I'll just finish this story," he said. "Then we'll talk."
Tina smiled compliantly. She watched him return to his book, and she turned back to the window. They were somewhere along the border of Ohio and Kentucky, and she could see the Ohio River flowing outside. Leaves from nearby trees skydived from their secure places and soared down toward the water. Like little kayaks, the leaves flowed along the Ohio. Some of them had run one onto the other, connected. They traveled together, the pairs becoming wholes. But most of the kayaking leaves drifted alone down the cold autumn river. Only the lucky ones traveled in pairs.

Tina remembered a time when it had been all she could do to get a word in when Malcolm was talking. He'd spoken about everything under the sun and some things beyond it. Their early conversations had revolved around school subjects and teachers, then went on to movies and books. When puberty hit, the conversations grew awkward for awhile, but they leveled out into romantic proclamations and private poetry recitals, Malcolm declaring his love for her. Tina found it difficult to decline his words or his kisses. But then, she never really tried to.
Like their first few dates, their first intimate relations had been more awkward than satisfying. But since those early days, they'd landscaped one another's bodies and knew the lay of the land. He didn't need the rhythm of a train to arouse her.
As their relationship flourished, their conversation shriveled. Tina guessed he was less out to impress and more comfortable with her, and that made him less ambitious in his speech. Or perhaps he'd already said everything he had to say, exhausted all of the subject matters he'd mastered. She wondered whether there was anything he knew or thought that he'd not already told her. There was no question of his love for her. But she didn't want to be the comfortable old brown shoe for his right foot. She needed to be lifted from the place where she sometimes dragged herself down.
Sitting alone on the train — Malcolm submerged in the world of Poe — Tina worried about the route they were traveling. She had a clear vision of their future as husband and wife. There would be the nice wedding, the magical honeymoon, the excitement of children. But she wondered what they would be left with when the rearing of children was behind them, when the conversations were abandoned.
They would sit in the living room of their future cottage, just the two of them. He'd have his newspaper or a book open in his hands. She'd be watching a program on television or looking through an album of photos, remembering better times, wishing photos had audio clips, snippets of Malcolm's words, of the conversations that had made her fall in love with him. Sounds from before the silence. Who is this person beside me? she would wonder. And why won't he say anything? Why won't he talk to me? Tina would cook dinner and Malcolm would eat it. They would look at each other, perhaps he would grunt, "Mmm. Good, Honey." And then, back to the activity or inactivity that kept them from talking.
Tina imagined that in that far-off future she would have to break the ice sometimes. She would look at her husband of thirty years and see him in his recliner with the newspaper, working the crossword in his mind. "What are you thinking?"
He'd look up, startled at her voice. "What, Honey?"
She'd smile at him. She'd still be pretty and fit, attractive, still able to get his attention. "What are you thinking about?"
Malcolm would continue to look at her, puzzled by the question. "Nothing." He'd return to his crossword, hiding his face behind it.
"No, really," she'd persist because she'd need his words, the words of their youth, the ones she'd fallen in love with. "You've got to be thinking about something. What?"
This time he'd keep his face hidden behind the newspaper. "A seven letter word akin to love," he'd answer. Or he'd begin talking about a book he was reading and she never would.
Tina would put it to him directly. "Do you think we could talk?"
He'd squirm. "I'm working on this right now."
"After you're done with the paper," she'd say, narrowing her grip. "Can we talk then?"
"Well, sure. Sure we can."
But the newspaper would take longer to read that day. He never looked at coupons or the Taste sections, but Tina imagined he would that day. Finally, he would finish, only the entirety of the stock listings unread, and he would depend on Tina to guide their exploration of once-familiar territory.
But Tina would fall silent. She wouldn't know what to say when the opportunity to say it came, not any more than Malcolm would. After a lifetime together, after retiring from their jobs, raising their children and sending them out into the world to establish their own lines of communication with loved ones, there would be nothing left for Malcolm and Tina to talk about. Once you've said everything, what more was there to say? And so, in their uncomfortable silence, Malcolm would pick up a book and Tina would find yet another photo album to relive, another quiet set of images from the days when there was enough romance to keep the dialogue going.

The train continued alongside the Ohio River. Malcolm put the paperback of Poe on his lap and turned to Tina. "So what're you thinking?"
Tina turned from the window view. "Huh?"
"What're you thinking about? You're in a dream."
She smiled, seeing the book out of his hands. "About you," she said. "About us."
"That's what I like to hear." Sincere happiness resided on his face. "Let's go get something to drink." Tina agreed, and the two of them walked hand-in-hand from one passenger car to another until they hit the crowded lounge car.
The woman from the seat in front of them was here in the lounge, drinking a glass of white wine. It appeared she had come here to think, not to talk. Others engaged in friendly conversation: a woman with a huge tattoo on her lower back flirted with a younger man; an old couple talked about their grown kids and as they sipped beer and iced tea; a man in a military uniform comforted a confused-looking old woman. But many passengers sat silently: an older man jotted notes in his planner like he was in a race against time; a silver-haired guy read note cards; a big man in a leather jacket played with an unlit cigarette as he looked around the room.
A sad lady caught Tina's attention. The woman seemed to be trying to mend a broken heart with an old love poem on antique paper, crying over the words or what they represented. Tina hoped that wasn't how she turned out: a thirty-something crying over her memory of Malcolm's words.
Early in their relationship, they'd promised one another that there would be no secrets. Tina had remained true to her word, until recently. She hadn't told Malcolm about her daydreams of their quiet future. She hadn't told him that such visions had driven her to seek out alternatives. That she'd setup a new email account just to correspond with her friend from high school, Katie, who'd moved to New York after graduating. Katie waited tables while her agent tried to find her work as a model. Before leaving, Katie had encouraged Tina to join her, and Tina had refused; it was not part of her plans with Malcolm. But recently, Malcolm's silences had made her question the depth of his devotion to her, the intensity of his love, the stability of their future as one.
Tina had begun using the hours that Malcolm worked and she didn't to investigate the idea of moving to New York City on her own. She'd even called an apartment tower and inquired about rates and availability. The lady on the phone had gone over the details of several apartments she had open, stressing the unlimited opportunities waiting in the big apple. "Want me to reserve one for you? We can do the application over the phone."
Tina's heart raced at the idea. She had to swallow down a lump in her throat before answering. "I'll call back," she said, and hung up. But she never did. The big apple seemed a forbidden fruit, and she couldn't bear the thought of taking a bite without sharing it with Malcolm. It seemed a betrayal. Just thinking about it made her ill.
Forgetting the idea of an alternate life wasn't as easy as hanging up the phone. She thought about life alone in the big city often. That wasn't her desire — she needed Malcolm — but she didn't want to end up living with his silence instead of him. All she needed was his love, his words, his assurance. She wished he'd offer her something now.
"Cola?" Malcolm asked.
"Bottled water's fine."
Malcolm got their drinks and they found a corner with two empty chairs. They uncapped their bottles and drank. Malcolm broke the silence. "So what exactly were you thinking about us?"
"Oh, your favorite subject," she joked. "I was thinking about how much I need you."
Malcolm looked around, embarrassed. "Aw, we don't have to get into that right now."
"Well, you know it's true. I love you."
"Of course I know," he said softly. "You too."
Silence slithered back between them. Then he asked, "What do you want to do first? When we get there? Tickets to the Bears? Or hit the Field Museum?"
"What about Sally and Bo?" Visiting them had been the pretense for their visit to Chicago. Sally and Bo were friends from high school who had graduated a year earlier and moved to Chicago to attend the American Academy of Art. "They'll be at the station when we get there; they may have something to say about our schedule."
Malcolm took a drink of his water. "Yeah, but they'll want to do what we want," he said. "They live there; we're only visiting."
"Don't worry," she said. "We'll see the Bears in action, we'll get to see the dinosaurs at the Field Museum. They'll take us to Hard Rock and Jordan's restaurant."
Malcolm smiled at the activity their week promised. "And that place with the deep-dish pizza they're always talking about...Giordano's." He laughed. "Tina, we're gonna have a great time together."
Tina bent forward and kissed him. As they parted, leaning back in their seats, each took a drink of water. Each looked at the other in turn, but when one set of eyes caught the other, the first would turn away. Their silence lasted a couple minutes, but it seemed unbearably long to Tina. "I hate the silences," she whispered.
She met his eyes, then looked at the little bit of water left in her bottle. "The silences. I hate it when we don't have anything to say."
Malcolm looked at her as she averted her eyes. Her fluffy blonde hair swept along her shoulders. "I love them," he said.
Annoyance crept back into her voice. "Whatever."
"Really, I do," he said. "They're comfortable, the silences. We don't have to be yapping all the time. We can be comfortable just being together, without saying a thing."
Tina thought it over. "I guess so. I just hate it when we run out of things to say."
"We're not running out of things to say," Malcolm protested. "We're finding easier ways to say what we have to say." Registering her puzzled look, he elaborated. "We know each other so well, we can say things without really saying them. I know you really want a cola by the way you keep measuring how much water you have left, like you're fulfilling a requirement first. You told me without saying a thing. You want something with flavor, but you're trying to do the healthy thing and get your daily allotment of water in."
Tina grinned. "I guess that's true." She wanted to look at the bottom-dwelling water in her bottle again, but self-consciously refrained.
"The way I see it, the fact that we have these silences just proves how comfortable we are together, how we're made for each other. Your left hand doesn't have to talk to your right foot. We don't always have to be chatting to be into one another."
She smiled and gave him a purposeful look. "Then you're not bored with me? You didn't stop saying you love me because you stopped loving me?"
"Of course not, and you know it. It's just that when a couple is in love as much as we are — practically one person — we don't have to keep saying it to each other. It's like breathing, or our heartbeats. It's automatic. We just know. It's just there, in you, in me, in the speaking and the silences."
She took his hand in hers and looked him in the eyes. "It's still nice to hear it once in awhile."
"All right, all right. I love you, Tina." This time he didn't look around to see who may have heard. "Now, how about a cola?"

They were close now, somewhere west of Indianapolis. According to the map, after another stop the train would bend to the right and proceed north toward Chicago. Tina looked forward to a fun week with Malcolm, Sally, and Bo. As much as she was anxious to get off the train, she even looked forward to returning to it for their ride back to Baltimore. She looked forward to a lot of things, and she had a definite vision of her future with Malcolm.
In that distant future, Malcolm would be reclining in his favorite chair and Tina would be on the sofa. It would be quiet in their living room, with their children all raised and sent out to make tracks of their own in the world. Retirement would keep Malcolm and Tina together most of the time, enjoying each other's conversation, each other's presence, each other's silence.
When Malcolm finished the newspaper, he would look over to the sofa, over to Tina. She would return his gaze, no words between them, and pat the open space beside her. He would stand, strut over, and take his place by her side. They would look together at the photo album and remember good times together. There would be no need for audio clips — they would provide their own live commentary. They would talk about those times, remind each other of feelings conjured by the pictures. They would talk, and then not talk. They would kiss and make love and make more good times. Then they'd enjoy the silence.
Tina decided that when she got home she would delete all of her emails with Katie and close the separate account. Katie could have her modeling career in New York City. Tina had all that she wanted in her life with Malcolm.
On the train, back in their seats, Tina looked out the window at the autumn trees once again. Leaves came down like sporadic droplets from branches after a hard rain. Once in awhile, two leaves remained connected at the stems, two leaves joined together, falling as one. As she smiled, a hushed laugh fell out.
Malcolm looked out the window, then at Tina. "What're you thinking now?"
Tina smiled. "Oh, you know." She continued looking out the window.
Tina knew Malcolm could see her reflection in the window, so she smiled. "I love you too," he said, and then returned to the comfortable silence between them.

Paco Mora es un romántico desfasado y, según él, también trasnochado. Siempre dijo que se encontraría más a gusto con un trabuco en la Sierra Morena al lado del bandolero José María "el Tempranillo" en el siglo XIX, que en el barrio griego de Baltimore en el que vive. Es por eso que, habiendo nacido muy tarde, algunos le llaman Paquito "el Tardecillo". Coloquio disfruta de sus vagarías por los terrenos fronterizos del lenguage.

por Paco Mora


Nota del editor: Paco, después de un descanso para recargar su pluma con la tinta de su imaginación, de nuevo aparece en nuestras páginas divagando sobre diferentes temas con esa, su peculiar y amena manera de interpretar el mundo. Bienvenido.

Escribir no está de moda, y no debe extrañarnos. Desde que allá en la antigua Mesopotamia, el pueblo sumerio inventó la escritura cuneiforme (del latín "cunei", que significa cuña) hasta los modernos dígitos por computadora han transcurrido unos siete mil años. Muy poco tiempo. Nada. Una gota de agua en el océano si tenemos en cuenta que el ser humano lleva varios millones de años poblando el planeta. Hay quienes dicen que hay otros métodos más eficaces, que no tienen tiempo para perder escribiendo, que nada puede ser igual al teléfono, que el fax y la computadora son dos de los mejores inventos. Mentira. Lo cierto que todo eso no son más que excusas, argumentos expuestos de prisa por un mundo que vuela porque ya no sabe ni correr, porque la verdad es que las palabras escritas son demasiado peligrosas. Expliquémonos: ¿hay algo mas incómodo que releer una carta que, tiempos atrás, alguien nos escribió? ¿No es demasiado triste hurgar en lo que ya no existe? ¿No es incluso aberrante desentrañar ese viejo baúl de los recuerdos que solo queda en un pedazo de papel? Imaginemos una noche de domingo, sofocante y húmeda, una de esas noches en que la ciudad es como una botella de vino medio vacía que nos tienta a quedarnos en casa, y allá entre el aburrimiento y la televisión nos incita a remover cajones buscando no sabemos qué. De repente, en cualquier rincón, aparecen las palabras que un día escribimos. Esas que la memoria ha borrado, porque a menudo el olvido es el más sabio consejero. Entonces todo se dibuja otra vez, aunque a menudo no nos gusta, y nos vemos sin reconocernos. Exactamente igual que a esas personas a las que quisimos un día y que cuando las volvemos a ver, al cabo del tiempo, nos parecen casi unas desconocidas. La noche es la gran reveladora de secretos, cuanto más obscuro es el ambiente al otro lado de la ventana, más claro se ve el interior de uno. Hay silencio en la calle y tumulto en el alma. Todos los recuerdos, todos los temores, todos los sueños, se agolpan en la conciencia pidiendo derecho de prioridad. Es notable como el paso del tiempo va desnudando a la gente, revelándola tal cual es, sin máscara de ninguna clase. Una suerte de trágico "striptease", que va despojando a los actores de sus prendas de relumbrón, y los exhibe mucho más auténticos al llegar al final del camino. A unos más que a otros, porque todo lo que no sea humildad, sobra en el equipaje del ser humano. Las cartas son una presencia inoportuna, las que un día escribimos y ruedan por ahí, quien sabe en qué remoto paradero, a punto de aparecer en cualquier ocasión, como una amenaza a la vuelta de la esquina, sobre todo para los que escribimos lo que pensamos. Nadie debía de escribir las cosas que piensa, sino las que quiere hacer creer a los demás. Sabido es que la buena educación consiste en decir las cosas que pueden agradar y en callar las que pueden desagradar. Ya Maquiavelo decía que "en las reglas del arte de la política está el decir a cada uno lo que quiere escuchar". Si yo hubiese podido seguir tan sabios preceptos, otro gallo me hubiese cantado en la vida, y me hubiese ahorrado unos cuantos palos. De esos palos que te dejan medio ido, antes al contrario, cuando he sentido ganas de gritar lo he hecho sin importarme un pito las consecuencias. Jamás me ha inhibido el temor al ridículo o al que dirán. Pienso como el gran poeta francés de que "hay que ser siempre fiel a si mismo". Después de todo, los convencionalismos sociales son una cosa abstracta y una persona es una cosa concreta. Todo lo que podemos decir de nosotros mismos en nuestros escritos es lo que hemos hecho y el porqué, libres los demás de entenderlo como quieran. En último caso uno es como lo han hecho las circunstancias, y a todos se nos va a llevar el diablo el día menos pensado. Amarga un poco el pensar que hay personas que piensan que la literatura es como tocar la chirimía que, bien mirado no hace daño a nadie. Hoy por hoy la sociedad esta dominada por las masas, no por los filósofos y prefiere el entretenimiento al pensamiento, ignorando que la literatura constituye la memoria colectiva de los hombres, es el almacén que contiene la más universal colección de experiencias y pensamientos. Todo se guarda en ella, lo soportado y lo aceptado, nuestros anhelos y nuestras frustraciones, lo intentado y llorado durante milenios ha encontrado en ella alguna forma de expresión. Como la literatura se ha hecho casi exclusivamente por los hombres, la mujer en las obras literarias tiene carácter de premio, de ideal que se conquista. Todas las figuras de mujer en la literatura antigua son la hembra con sus atractivos. Helena, Venus... En los escritores modernos a mujer no es nunca lo que es en realidad, sino lo que el autor ha soñado de ella. En Dickens son ángeles o demonios, en Stendahl, seres caprichosos y llenos de curiosidad; para Poe son sombras poéticas e ideales y para Cela las mujeres son para ser gustadas. No creo que sea posible lograr grandes cambios en la sociedad a través de la literatura, y sin embargo, se sigue escribiendo con la esperanza de que nuestro esfuerzo en conjunto logre alguna vez alcanzar aunque sea cambios muy pequeños hacia lo deseado. Aunque el que vive de esperanzas, muere desesperado.

Bobby Fisher
por Pepe Herrera

En Islandia, a los sesenta y cuatro años de edad, ha muerto Bobby Fisher. El ajedrez esta de luto. Este genio norteamericano con raices hebreas no ha tenido paralelo en la historia del ajedrez mundial. Desde los 13 años en que le ganó una partida a Byrne en  una forma brillante, Fisher formó parte del panorama ajedrecístico norteamericano.
En la primera mitad de su vida, su genio ajedrecístico, su personalidad extrovertida y sus exigencias popularizaron el ajedrez... Como resultado, los buenos jugadores no solo empezaron a ganar juegos sino a ganar dólares; escribiendo, haciendo exhibiciones y dando conferencias... La magia de Fisher había rejuvenecido al ajedrez en norte América. Fisher ganó  el campeonato Americano cada vez que quiso, posición que nadie le discutía. Organizo exhibiciones de partidas simultáneas, que consisten en jugar contra cincuenta o sesenta  aficionados al mismo tiempo. En unos cuatro meses jugo con cerca de dos mil ajedrecistas, obteniendo un resultado de 94 %  victorias.
Bien establecido como jugador nacional su próximo objetivo fue el campeonato del mundo. Para ello tenía que romper la hegemonía rusa que por los últimos veinte años había dominado el ajedrez mundial. Los rusos conocían todas las partidas de ajedrez jugadas por Fisher. Sabían  sus aperturas, sus defensas y sus ataques. No había misterios para la elite rusa acerca de las novedades que pidiera crear Fisher en el tablero.
Para clasificar como retador al campeonato mundial tuvo que jugar en el ínter zonal de Palma de Mallorca. No solo quedo en primar lugar sino que venció en encuentros individual a Larsen y a Taímanos 6 -0. Ni siquiera le lograron un juego tablas. Habiendo ganado el ínter zonal ya tenía derecho a jugar un match con Spaski el campeón mundial ruso. La guerra fría estaba en su apogeo y hubo que encontrar Islandia, un lugar  neutral.  El premio de $125,000 dólares le pareció poco y alguien tuvo que agregar a otros $125,000 dólares al premio. Finalmente, cuando jugó contra Spaski perdió la primera partida. Indicó que había perdido por el ruido y la presencia cercana del público. Perdió el segundo juego por no presentarse a jugar hasta que sus demandas fueran satisfechas. Al fin aceptó a jugar por el campeo del mundo en un lugar aislado con un déficit de dos juegos, adicionalmente el campeón tenía  a su lado todo el consejo y la experiencia del  grupo ruso.  A pesar de  todas las predicciones Fisher le gano fácilmente el campeonato a Spaski y se coronó de campeón del mundo. Mas tarde, en el próximo ciclo se  negó a defender su título, no jugando contra el retador Karpov porque las condiciones impuestas por los rusos no le satisficieron. Así, sin defenderlo perdió su posición de campeón del mundo.
Aquí llegó Bobby Fisher a la segunda parte de la vida. Su mente perdió su brillo y se hundió en la penumbra. Lo abandona su personalidad gregaria y se convierte en un recluso. Por los últimos treinta años vive en la oscuridad y muere prácticamente solo. Nosotros lo consideramos un enfermo mental y pasamos un piadoso velo por las acciones en sus últimos años de su mente desquiciada. Descanse en paz Bobby Fisher para orgullo se su tierra natal y para deleite de las futuras generaciones de ajedrecistas.


por Fermín García Rodríguez, Sevillano y Pili Gonzalez, también Sevillana

Léelo de arriba a abajo y luego de abajo a arriba

En nuestro partido político cumplimos con lo que prometemos.
Sólo los imbéciles pueden creer que
no lucharemos contra la corrupción.
Porque si hay algo seguro para nosotros es que
la honestidad y la transparencia son fundamentales
para alcanzar nuestros ideales.
Demostraremos que es una gran estupidez creer que
las mafias seguirán formando parte del gobierno
como en otros tiempos.
Aseguramos sin resquicio de duda que
la justicia social será el fin principal de nuestro mandato.
Pese a eso, todavía hay gente estúpida que piensa que
se pueda seguir gobernando con las artimañas de la vieja política.
Cuando asumamos el poder, haremos lo imposible para que
se acaben las situaciones privilegiadas y el tráfico de influencias.
No permitiremos de ningún modo que
nuestros niños tengan una formación insuficiente.
Cumpliremos nuestros propósitos aunque
los recursos económicos se hayan agotado.
Ejerceremos el poder hasta que
comprendan desde ahora que
Somos  la "nueva política".

Ahora léelo del revés, empezando por la última frase y subiendo línea a línea


¡Basta ya! ¡Fuera Papá Noel y vivan los Reyes Magos!
Estos tres venerables ancianos que llevan dos mil años con su PYME, atendiendo únicamente al mercado hispano y sin intención de expandirse, están sufriendo una agresión que amenaza con destruirlos.
Todos los años por estas fechas sufrimos una agresión globalizadora en forma de tipo gordo y barbudo con un ridículo gorro... una manipulación de las mentes de los niños de España y del resto del universo.
Ese adefesio carente del más mínimo sentido de la elegancia y del ridículo, con aspecto de dipsómano avejentado y multi-reincidente en el allanamiento de morada, es un invento de la multinacional más multinacional de todas multinacionales, Coca-Cola. En los años 30, cogieron al San Nicolás de la tradición Nórdica, que se vestía de obispo o de duende zarrapastroso, y lo metieron a presión en un atuendo con los colores corporativos (rojo y blanco ,  nótese que son los mismos colores del Sevilla f.c. ).  

 Desde entonces, generaciones de tiernos infantes de medio mundo han sido machacadas por la publicidad, alienándose hasta tal punto que piensan que ese mamarracho representa todo lo bueno del ser humano. Los Reyes Magos, en cambio:
- Son un símbolo de la multirracialidad y nunca han causado problemas de inmigración.
- Los Reyes Magos son súper-mega-fashion total. Su elegancia no ha pasado de moda en dos milenios.
- Si no existiesen los Reyes Magos, las vacaciones se acabarían el 1 de enero (muy importante).
- Los Reyes Magos son ecológicos, utilizan vehículos de tracción animal que con su estiércol contribuyen a fertilizar el suelo patrio (nada de trineos, bichos volando y gilipolleces que no existen...)
- Los Reyes Magos generan mogollón de puestos de trabajo entre pajecillos, carteros reales y la gente que va en la cabalgata.
- De Papá Noel puede hacer cualquier mamarracho que se aburra, pero para hacer de Reyes Magos se necesitan al menos tres.
- Los Reyes Magos fomentan la industria del calzado y educan a los niños a que las botas se deben limpiar al menos una vez al año. En cambio, Papá Noel exige que se deje un calcetín, prenda proclive a acumular mugre e indecorosos "tomates".
- Los Reyes Magos planifican su trabajo y lo hacen discretamente, sin buscar protagonismo, sin colgarse de balcones y sin bajar por chimeneas llenándote de porquería todo el salón.
- Papá Noel vive en el Polo Norte y por eso es un amargado. Los Magos son de Oriente, cuna de la civilización de una elegancia no decadente.
- Los Reyes Magos tuvieron un papel destacado y protagonista en la Navidad. Papá Noel es un trepa oportunista que trata de aprovecharse del negocio y que no participó EN NADA de la Navidad.
- Los Reyes Magos son de los pocos que mantienen en pie la minería del carbón en Asturias. No han cambiado los saquitos de carbón dulce por gas natural ni por bombillitas horteras.
- Papá Noel es un zoquete que no respeta los sentimientos de los pobres renos y les atiza. En cambio, no hay ningún caso documentado de maltratofísico de los Reyes Magos hacia sus camellos.
- Los Reyes Magos son agradecidos, siempre se zampan lo que les dejamos en el plato.
- Sin los Reyes Magos no se habría inventado el Roscón de Reyes.
- Finalmente, Papá Noel se pasa la vida diciendo "hó- hó-hó"....risa forzada y sin sentido. Señal inequívoca de estupidez.

1. Bush: End of an Error
2. That's OK, I Wasn't Using My Civil Liberties Anyway
3. Let's Fix Democracy in this Country First
4. If You Want a Nation Ruled By Religion, Move to Iran
5. Bush. Like a Rock. Only Dumber.
6. If You Can Read This, You're Not Our President
7. Of Course It Hurts: You're Getting Screwed by an Elephant
8. Hey, Bush Supporters: Embarrassed Yet?
9. George Bush: Creating the Terrorists Our Kids Will Have to Fight
10. Impeachment: It's Not Just for Blowjobs Anymore
11. America: One Nation, Under Surveillance
12. They Call Him "W" So He Can Spell It
13. Whose God Do You Kill For?
14. Jail to the Chief
15. No, Seriously, Why Did We Invade Iraq?
16. Bush: God's Way of Proving Intelligent Design is Full Of Crap
17. Bad President! No Banana.
18. We Need a President Who's Fluent In At Least One Language
19. We're Making Enemies Faster Than We Can Kill Them
20. Is It Vietnam Yet?
21. Bush Doesn't Care About White People, Either
22. Where Are We Going? And Why Are We In This Handbasket?
23. You Elected Him. You Deserve Him.
24. Dubya, Your Dad Shoulda Pulled Out, Too
25. When Bush Took Office, Gas Was $1.46
26. Pray For Impeachment
27. The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century
28. What Part of "Bush Lied" Don't You Understand?
29. One Nation Under Clod
30. 2004: Embarrassed 2005: Horrified 2006: Terrified
31. Bush Never Exhaled
32. At Least Nixon Resigned


   The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term.

    Bonus Question:  Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

    Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

    One student, however, wrote the following:
    First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving.  I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave.  Therefore, no souls are
leaving.  As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today.

    Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.  Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.  With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.  Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

    This gives two possibilities:

    1.  If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

    2.  If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

    So which is it?

    If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, "It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.  The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct....leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a Divine Being which explains why last night, Teresa kept shouting:

    "Oh My God".

    This student received an A+

Juan Manuel Pérez, español, gallego y bibliotecario, es investigador en la sección hispánica de la Biblioteca del Congreso en Washington. Autor de numerosas obras, "Manolo" como le conocen los amigos, es también coleccionista de armas de los Siglos XVIII y XIX. Por su excelente obra como autor y su labor en la comunidad hispana del área, como vicepresidente de la Casa de España de Baltimore, el Rey de España le concedió la Medalla de Isabel la Católica.

The Hispanic Role in America


1372 Basques arrived in Newfoundland.  
1492 Cristóbal Colón discovered America for Spain.  
1493 Colón introduced sugar cane in the New World.  
1494 January 6. Fray Bernardo Boil celebrated mass in Hispaniola, perhaps the first mass celebrated in America.  
June 7. Treaty of Tordesillas was signed between Spain and Portugal, which divided the newly discovered lands between the two countries. Under this treaty, Portugal claimed Brazil.  
1499 Vicente Yáñez Pinzón, Alonso de Ojeda, Americo Vespucci, Juan de la Cosa, Alonso Niño and Cristóbal Guerra were sent by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to explore new territories. They went along the coast of Brazil to the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida coast. They also reached the Chesapeake Bay. [more]


Cantabria, una de las regiones más bellas, agrestes, marinas y desarrolladas de España, presentada aquí en todo su esplendor que abarca desde las eras más antiguas hasta nuestros tiempos modernos

Jobim y Joao Gilberto en la Garota de Ipanema Un clásico Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Fats Domino jamming together. What can we say to that?

500 Years of Women in Art. Fascinating!

Una vuelta por el mundo. Fotos increíbles y fabulosas

One of the greatest songs written in recent years: Leonard Cohen's "Democracy," from his astonishing album, "The Future." Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for discover it to us from You Tube. (Click on the photo twice and wait for awhile. It's a big file but worth waiting for. Also click on the word " Democracy" and read the lyrics while you listen. Also worthwile) Spanish bell making in Saladaña, Spain

La Plena. La música de Puerto Rico interpretada por Los Hijos e Plena. (Archivo muy grande que tarda mucho en descargar)

Driving in Bolivia
. A frightening experience of driving in the mountains Beautiful video of Van Gogh's paintings with a song to the Dutch painter by Don McNeal [more] English and Spanish subtitles

Muestras increíbles del franquismo en España . Esto no tiene precio
Great sleigh of hand by a Hispanic magician Nice!

Sergio Mendes: Mas que nada=Timeless
Music grows, blends with other musics and the world is more and more beautiful because of it.

Un paseíto por Sevilla
Views of the most beautiful city in Spain (the world?) --- Más Sevilla

Las Casas Palacios de Sevilla A great view of the collection of magnificient mansions in Seville

Curzo de andalú
. Ojú, ezagerao! No tiene precio.

" target="_blank">Strange cars you never see Honda Civic commercial All sounds produced by human voices!

See the creative art juices at work.

El juego de los estados Place the names on the maps

Pepe (Ramos) Céspedes es de Chiclayo al norte del Perú y vino a Baltimore hace más de 25 años. Trabaja para la Maryland Transit Administration desde hace 17 años, manteniendo los sistemas electrónicos del Metro. Tiene un portal taurino en el Internet y otro en la red local de MTA donde también hay una viñeta de su creación: METROMAN para distribuir consejos de seguridad laboral. Ramos ha colaborado con el Coloquio por muchos años y sus viñetas, muy graciosas y enormement apreciadas por nuestros lectores, tienen también un serio contenido político y social que refleja, muy a menudo, el sentimiento de nuestra comunidad.

"I hear some Americans can't find the US on a map".
"So? Why do they need to, after all they're already here"

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Increible hazaña de dos hermanos gemelos

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