Mia Varsavsky was born this morning. As you can see we are all well. This picture was taken only 2 hours after birth. Nina was amazing, brave, confident, and very happy. Mia struggled through the whole thing. We promised her that life gets better later on. Birth took place at Ruber Internacional in Madrid. Dr Luis Recasens, an amazing obstetrician did the C Section. I had the easy part of course 🙂
In this video you see my son Tom and I conducting a simple, yet important experiment, that allows you to approximate the speed of light only using a microwave oven and cheese. How? Well the speed of light is equal to the frequency times the wavelength. And a microwave oven comes with an indication in the back that shows the frequency. Ours is 2450 MHz. So then all you need to do is to melt cheese in a plate and with a simple ruler measure the distances between the first two areas in the cheese that start melting. In order to do this it is important that you prevent the platter of the microwave from turning. For other details just watch the video.
We have known that Nina, my wife is pregnant since December but we waited until the 12 week sonogram to announce it. In this video you see the sonogram. It is crucial because you can discard a number of common diseases from the morphology of the baby. Interestingly a big nose and a well shaped back neck (nucha) are indications of a non Down syndrome child. Other results come in the blood tests.
As you can see we are very happy! Nina is radiant.
We just spent a long weekend in Baeza and Ubeda in Andalusia.
I moved to Spain in 1995 and I thought that by now I knew this country very well. But then there is always something new to see. In this case these two beautiful towns in Northern Andalusia. Other than my family and friends here, what I love about my life in Spain is that I get to build global start ups, out of Spain. That I get to build Fon in Spain. That when I leave work, I am in Spain. I am not saying that California is not attractive, and it also has great weather. But to me, there’s something missing in California, or New York, or Florida. I love visiting USA but after spending 18 years of my life there I still feel better in Spain. And I feel better in Spain than in UK or Germany. Italy and France could be a contenders as they are beautiful countries as well. But the environment for start ups in those two countries is horrendous.
In any case here are two minor, further proofs as to why Spain is better.
We were trying to get to London from Madrid in my plane to attend Google Zeitgeist. As I insisted in going there, and as the airports reopened, my pilots alerted me to the fact that the trick airlines are using to avoid the ash cloud is to fly long distances at very low altitudes.
This is something that I haven’t heard in the media. Flying long distances, at say 3000 feet, may be good to avoid the ash cloud, but it’s terrible for the environment. Aircraft consume twice the fuel to fly the same distance, and in general it is less safe. While most people think that low and slow may mean safety, the opposite is true in aviation where high and fast somehow works better.
We did not go in the end. We did not think it was safe to fly long distances at low altitude. And we did not know what effect that would have on the range of our small Citation Jet.
I never liked Michael Jackson. I acknowledged him, occasionally enjoyed him, but if you were at university in the 80´s he was shoved down your throat. Way too overplayed. MTV was already big and those of us who were not fans thought Michael Jackson was produced. A follower, not a leader.
Fast forward 2010. I am on a flight Madrid – Paris. Turn my MacBook on, put on the noise canceling headphones and start watching “This is It“. Everything changes. I see the genius. It took a documentary for me to realize that Michael Jackson may have been overplayed, may have had his dark side, but as a musician/dancer there was nobody like him.
In “This is It” you realize that Michael Jackson is the REAL song writer, actor, choreographer, dancer, singer: he is all those things and more. Plus, in 2009, before his death, he still had it. Watch the documentary. It’s worth it.
I greatly enjoyed it and I also want to thank my daughter Alexa, who, as a dancer, took part in the Union Square launch of “This is It”, the DVD. It’s great that the production invited her and her Columbia University dance group to participate of the live performance.
Today, for the first time, I am truly sorry that Michael Jackson is dead.
Since its start in 2002, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has spent $19bn and saved 4.9 million lives. And you have not heard about them. Or at least I had not heard about them. And that was fine. Until now. That is because The Global Fund is in the process of organizing its next commitment round for another estimated $20bn. But what is interesting about this new campaign is that The Global Fund is not asking for your money. Or, at least, it is not asking for your money directly. And that is because, knowingly or unknowingly, you are already a contributor to this campaign, as a taxpayer wherever you live.
In these times of huge government deficits, however, it is important that your voice be heard. That you let your government know that you believe that saving lives around the world, that preventing the spread of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria is a worthwhile use of your tax money, that you are in favor of what The Global Fund is doing.
The Global Fund is starting a campaign on May 19th that will attract personalities from around the world to alert citizens of donor nations to how important it is that these efforts go on. And you will be asked to sign a digital petition saying that you endorse these efforts. Your signature counts in the sense that governments need to know that their citizens care.
On May 19th I will sign. I hope you do as well.
I came across the Mein Kampf article in the Wikipedia. The horror and weirdness of his antisemitism aside, what is remarkable is how well he described his war strategy, how his plan was laid out so ahead of its execution a decade later. How nobody seemed to believe him until he actually implemented it.
Hitler predicts the stages of Germany’s political emergence on the world scene: in the first stage, Germany would, through a program of massive re-armament, overthrow the shackles of the Treaty of Versailles and form alliances with the British Empire and Fascist Italy. The second stage would feature wars against France and her allies in Eastern Europe by the combined forces of Germany, Britain and Italy. The third and final stage would be a war to destroy what Hitler saw as the “Judeo-Bolshevik” regime in the Soviet Union that would give Germany the necessary Lebensraum (literally “living space”).