“Local barbershop sets the tone for presidential election!”

•January 18, 2008 • 1 Comment

Southern Blacks Are Split on Clinton vs. Obama”, this was the headline of an article that appeared today on the New York Times website.  Pretty straight forward article, although it doesn’t actually give any new info or data (slow news day anyone.)  But what I found particularly hilarious was one particular line from the article:

“While the official ground game is just beginning, chatter about the two candidates — both of whom have substantial claims to African-American support — is constant on black radio shows and e-mail lists and at barbershops.”

Black radio shows, e-mail lists and barbershops  Who would have thought that the Times would be able to so succinctly break down all the forums that comprise the southern black intellectual arena?  It’s so simple! If you want to know who’ll win the black vote in the south all you have to do is head on down to your local barbershop!  Bravo mass media, Bravo…

Climbing in Germany in mid-winter, not so smart…

•December 30, 2007 • 2 Comments

Well boys and girls, i’ve decided to take a few moments from my ill-fated climbing trip to communicate with you, the people. As it turns out this particular trip is just another example of a zest for life and wish for altitude going horribly, horribly awry. Apparently mid-december isn’ what you’d “technically” call climbing season in Berlin. Who knew?!? I’m just a simple boy from the carribean. When we feel like climbing we climb!!! As it happens it’s just too D&;#% cold!!! …Sigh… Oh well…

As for those of you savvy to the ways of climbing who feel obligated to mention “ICE climbing” you can just bypass those “smart-&#$” comments right now. Warm up the ice to a manageable 80° and then MAYBE i’ll take a crack at it.

The Dangers of Solid Rock

•December 23, 2007 • 9 Comments

Just a quick word to the wise for those of you considering a visit to the indoor climbing gym Solid Rock located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Safety-wise the place can be troublesome. Unlike most gyms which require passing a standard examination with an instructor, Solid Rock instructors give you a five minute chat and send you on your way. Even worse is that most of the instructors (with the exception of one or two actual climbers) have little to no experience in the sport and have zero practical knowledge to provide to the clients (other than how to pull a rope through a gri-gri).

Now as for equipment Solid Rock has always adhered to a very simple motto “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. The ropes are changed much less than protocols say they should be. The anchors supporting the climbers have not been changed in years which should be worrisome to anybody imagining the effect of even a couple of months of gym falls without anything resembling an inspection and the belay devices (in this case gri-gris) have been almost eaten through due to the amounts of falls they’ve taken (the crash of the metal of the carabiner and the metal of the device is having a serious corrosive effect.)

For those of you savvy to the ways of lead climbing you might want to check out another locale. The few routes that actually provide for sport climbing have lowering anchors composed of webbing and ‘biners as old as the building. Which on the one hand is great if you’re into antiques but not so great when your 40 ft off the deck hoping that nothing breaks.

Quality wise the gym is a nice place to visit with a good number of routes. Unfortunately those routes are set for life and never change. The gym has apparently changed its focus in recent years and is now directed to a younger crowd, specializing more in birthday parties than the sport itself. Due to this most of the routes will be considered fairly easy to anything but the most novice of climbers. Yet, despite all this it’s still possible to get some good exercise just try to stick to the ground level bouldering cave, you’ll be a lot safer.

*If you do decide to hit the routes try to ask around for Eduardo or Hector who are basically the only two instructors who can also be considered accomplished climbers. Have a good climb and try to be safe!

Climbing Guides in Puerto Rico / Guías de escalada en Puerto Rico

•December 12, 2007 • 9 Comments

These are guides to five of the most popular climbing areas in Puerto Rico courtesy of the good people at Aventura Tierra Adentro, the Puerto Rican Rock Climbing Association (AEPRI), and Suraventureros:

Bayamon I
Bayamon II
San Germán
Ciales- Caliche 

Juana Diaz- “Relincho”
Map to reach “Relincho”

*For the San Germán and Caliche guides you must navigate to the climbing guide section of the Aventura Tierra Adentro homepage.

Violencia en Youtube

•December 9, 2007 • Leave a Comment

La violencia esta adquiriendo una nueva cara mediante la red y los “social networks”. Se ha popularizado el concepto de tomar escenas violentas y ponerlos ante el escrutinio publico. Desde los declaraciones del asesino de Virginia Tech por su Videoblog hasta el estudiante que proclamo su intención de atacar a sus profesores en España mediante Youtube, la violencia esta penetrando todas las capas de nuestras vidas(Televisión, radio, la prensa, los juegos, etc.).

Ahora esta tendencia aparenta haber llegado a Puerto Rico. Varios jóvenes han “posteado” en Youtube videos de peleas escolares donde el conflicto se ha vuelto todo un espectáculo.

Sin embargo no nos deberíamos de sorprender tanto. Vivimos en una sociedad donde la violencia es parte del diario vivir se esta volviendo hasta cotidiano con conceptos como el “Ultimate Fighting Championship”, las artes marciales, y el boxeo. Y estas tendencias que siempre nos han rodeado meramente se están adaptando a nuestro mundo globalizado y tecnológico. Lo grande de este suceso no es que la violencia de nuestra isla esta infiltrando la red sino que se tardó tanto en hacerlo.

Que los conservadores no levanten la guardia y que no se despeinen los religiosos el “Internet” no es la cara del anticristo. Las problemas son las mismas lo unicó que ahora tienen una nueva audiencia.

 

Rock Climbing in Puerto Rico: Craig Luebben

•December 4, 2007 • Leave a Comment

World renowned author and climber Craig Luebben was recently pulling down in the pearl of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico. Luebben visited our little slice of paradise upon the invitation of noteworthy local climbers Rossano Boscarino and Edda Rodriguez.

Luebben has approximately 25 years experience in rock and ice climbing, he’s a senior contributing editor at Climbing Magazine, and has written 9 books on the subject (two of which are still in progress) including: Advanced Rock Climbing, How to Ice climb, and How to Rappel. On a more local scale Luebben can already lay claim to 8 first ascents in Puerto Rico and Mona Island (routes which fluctuate between 5.9 and 5.12.)

how-to-ice-climb.jpg

Upon arriving on the island this trio went on a tour of the Islands more established climbing areas, including Bayamón II and the newly formed multi-pitch routes in San Germán. Visits which apparently left Mr.Luebben with a very favorable opinion of the local climbing scene.

Luebben is renowned as a rock god to many a climber, a reputation forged by the miles and miles of rock upon which the man has pulled down. Feel free to visit his website, for additional information about the man, or if you simply wish to hire an A class guide.

Climb on!

Related Posts:

Rock Climbing: Ciales / Rock Climbing: Bayamón II

 

Esterilización forzada en Puerto Rico

•November 20, 2007 • Leave a Comment

En su blog, Mississippi Appendectomy, Serena Sebring está recopilando información sobre la esterilización forzada de mujeres de “color” en las poblaciones “tercer” mundistas. Aquí les dejo enlaces hacia tres “posts” que escribió con relación a este tema en Puerto Rico:

La operación
Population Control

Puerto Rico

¿La muerte del grabado en Puerto Rico?

•November 19, 2007 • 2 Comments

El martes 6 de noviembre el cuartel de Ballajá del viejo San Juan presenció la primera gran exhibición de grabado en Puerto Rico desde hace aproximadamente una década.

En los años 50, artistas puertorriqueños como Lorenzo Homar, Rafael Tufiño, y Carlos Martinó convirtieron el grabado en uno de los movimientos artísticos más influyentes de Puerto Rico, pero desde esta época, la técnica ha perdido auge. Según José Pelaez, profesor de la Universidad de Puerto Rico y participante de la exhibición, esto se debe a una campaña por parte de las galerías en contra del grabado.

 grabado-en-puerto-rico-1.jpg

En las décadas del 70 y 80, las galerías comenzaron esta campaña negativa y el grabado se convirtió en victima de “mala publicidad”. Las razones fueron varias, entre ellas, lo problemático que solía ser la preservación de las obras. Este problema surgió a raíz de los materiales utilizados por los enmarcadores de la época que tendían a dañar las piezas más que protegerlas.

Factores económicos también formaron parte en esta decisión ya que las comisiones de las piezas en grabado eran más bajas que las de arte más “tradicional.” Las galerías estaban predispuestas a promover aquellas piezas que les dieran más ganancias.

antonio-martorell-el-velorioop.jpg

Pese a todo esto, se está dando un giro positivo a raíz de la nueva exhibición y los artistas que formaron parte de el. Mediante esta actividad, aptamente titulado Persistencia en el grabado puertorriqueño, se está movilizando una nueva generación de artistas que trabajan el grabado y gracias a la recepción de la primera exhibición ya se habla de hacer una siguiente presentación.