Espeluznante reporte de una doctora mexicana que visita a Cuba

En Cuba es más fácil abortar que conseguir un condón”, afirma la sexóloga mexicana Claudia Rampazzo luego de una visita de ocho días a La Habana, en la cual la “increíble realidad cotidiana” la superó de tal manera que regresó deprimida. Relata la especialista que una colega cubana que conoció pasando un curso de superación en su país, actualmente tiene entre sus "obligaciones profesionales” limpiar los baños (servicios sanitarios) del Instituto Médico en el cual trabaja bajo la dirección de Mariela Castro.

 La entrevista fue realizada por Carlos Cataño para su programa “De regreso a casa” que transmite Radio Caracol de lunes a viernes de 4 a 7 p.m.


All Alone in the Night - Time-lapse footage of the Earth as seen from the ISS

The third industrial revolution

The digitisation of manufacturing will transform the way goods are made—and change the politics of jobs too.

The first industrial revolution began in Britain in the late 18th century, with the mechanisation of the textile industry. Tasks previously done laboriously by hand in hundreds of weavers’ cottages were brought together in a single cotton mill, and the factory was born. The second industrial revolution came in the early 20th century, when Henry Ford mastered the moving assembly line and ushered in the age of mass production. The first two industrial revolutions made people richer and more urban. Now a third revolution is under way. Manufacturing is going digital. As this week’s special report argues, this could change not just business, but much else besides.
A number of remarkable technologies are converging: clever software, novel materials, more dexterous robots, new processes (notably three-dimensional printing) and a whole range of web-based services. The factory of the past was based on cranking out zillions of identical products: Ford famously said that car-buyers could have any colour they liked, as long as it was black. But the cost of producing much smaller batches of a wider variety, with each product tailored precisely to each customer’s whims, is falling. The factory of the future will focus on mass customisation—and may look more like those weavers’ cottages than Ford’s assembly line.
Towards a third dimension.

The old way of making things involved taking lots of parts and screwing or welding them together. Now a product can be designed on a computer and “printed” on a 3D printer, which creates a solid object by building up successive layers of material. The digital design can be tweaked with a few mouseclicks. The 3D printer can run unattended, and can make many things which are too complex for a traditional factory to handle. In time, these amazing machines may be able to make almost anything, anywhere—from your garage to an African village.
The applications of 3D printing are especially mind-boggling. Already, hearing aids and high-tech parts of military jets are being printed in customised shapes. The geography of supply chains will change. An engineer working in the middle of a desert who finds he lacks a certain tool no longer has to have it delivered from the nearest city. He can simply download the design and print it. The days when projects ground to a halt for want of a piece of kit, or when customers complained that they could no longer find spare parts for things they had bought, will one day seem quaint.
Other changes are nearly as momentous. New materials are lighter, stronger and more durable than the old ones. Carbon fibre is replacing steel and aluminium in products ranging from aeroplanes to mountain bikes. New techniques let engineers shape objects at a tiny scale. Nanotechnology is giving products enhanced features, such as bandages that help heal cuts, engines that run more efficiently and crockery that cleans more easily. Genetically engineered viruses are being developed to make items such as batteries. And with the internet allowing ever more designers to collaborate on new products, the barriers to entry are falling. Ford needed heaps of capital to build his colossal River Rouge factory; his modern equivalent can start with little besides a laptop and a hunger to invent.
Like all revolutions, this one will be disruptive. Digital technology has already rocked the media and retailing industries, just as cotton mills crushed hand looms and the Model T put farriers out of work. Many people will look at the factories of the future and shudder. They will not be full of grimy machines manned by men in oily overalls. Many will be squeaky clean—and almost deserted. Some carmakers already produce twice as many vehicles per employee as they did only a decade or so ago. Most jobs will not be on the factory floor but in the offices nearby, which will be full of designers, engineers, IT specialists, logistics experts, marketing staff and other professionals. The manufacturing jobs of the future will require more skills. Many dull, repetitive tasks will become obsolete: you no longer need riveters when a product has no rivets.
The revolution will affect not only how things are made, but where. Factories used to move to low-wage countries to curb labour costs. But labour costs are growing less and less important: a $499 first-generation iPad included only about $33 of manufacturing labour, of which the final assembly in China accounted for just $8. Offshore production is increasingly moving back to rich countries not because Chinese wages are rising, but because companies now want to be closer to their customers so that they can respond more quickly to changes in demand. And some products are so sophisticated that it helps to have the people who design them and the people who make them in the same place. The Boston Consulting Group reckons that in areas such as transport, computers, fabricated metals and machinery, 10-30% of the goods that America now imports from China could be made at home by 2020, boosting American output by $20 billion-55 billion a year.
The shock of the new
Consumers will have little difficulty adapting to the new age of better products, swiftly delivered. Governments, however, may find it harder. Their instinct is to protect industries and companies that already exist, not the upstarts that would destroy them. They shower old factories with subsidies and bully bosses who want to move production abroad. They spend billions backing the new technologies which they, in their wisdom, think will prevail. And they cling to a romantic belief that manufacturing is superior to services, let alone finance.
None of this makes sense. The lines between manufacturing and services are blurring. Rolls-Royce no longer sells jet engines; it sells the hours that each engine is actually thrusting an aeroplane through the sky. Governments have always been lousy at picking winners, and they are likely to become more so, as legions of entrepreneurs and tinkerers swap designs online, turn them into products at home and market them globally from a garage. As the revolution rages, governments should stick to the basics: better schools for a skilled workforce, clear rules and a level playing field for enterprises of all kinds. Leave the rest to the revolutionaries.

Ferrer “está detenido en condiciones infrahumanas”

LA HABANA, Cuba, 19 de abril (Agencias, – El ex preso político José Daniel Ferrer permanece detenido en el cuartel de la policía política secreta de Santiago de Cuba, “bajo condiciones crueles y infrahumanas desde el pasado 2 de abril”, denunció el jueves la opositora Comisión Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional (CCDHRN).
Según un comunicado de la CCDHRN,  hasta las primeras horas del 19 de abril no se conocían los cargos formales contra él, ni tampoco se había facilitado la designación de un abogado defensor “que, de hecho, tiene que ser un empleado del gobierno”, enfatizó.
Ferrer se encuentra sometido, más allá del confinamiento solitario,  “a una particular forma de tortura biológica” porque, al igual que todos los detenidos del cuartel, está expuesto a una enorme plaga de mosquitos que no le permiten dormir desde el atardecer, denuncia el documento que divulgó Elizardo Sánchez, portavoz de la CCDHRN.
José Daniel Ferrer es uno de los opositores arrestados y condenados durante la Primavera Negra de 2003. Actualmente es el coordinador de la Unión Patriótica de Cuba (UNPACU).
El 30 de marzo pasado, Ferrer identificó a Andrés Carrión como el hombre que gritó “Abajo el comunismo” durante la misa del papa Benedicto XVI en Santiago de Cuba.
Carrión estaba incomunicado en una cárcel de esa ciudad oriental mientras las autoridades cubanas mantenían su nombre en un estricto silencio. Poco después de divulgarse el nombre, Ferrer fue arrestado en un operativo policial relámpago en Santiago y zonas aledañas donde se hicieron registros, se confiscaron computadoras y memorias flash y en el que fueron detenidos otros disidentes.
La CCDHRN destacó también la situación de “prisión provisional” de Bismarck Mustelier, un residente de Palma Soriano también miembro de la UNPACU,  que “ha sido internado en la prisión de alta seguridad de Aguadores” de Santiago, situada en las cercanías del aeropuerto provincial.
El comunicado de la CCDHRN alerta que ambos detenidos pudieran ser condenados a prisión y llama la atención de la opinión pública mundial y de las organizaciones de derechos humanos sobre estos casos.

Jornada sobre hormigones especiales

2008. [Descargar en PDF, 6.35 Mb]. UPC.

Incluyo esta tesis en mi recopilación sobre Estructuras.


El uso del hormigón en el pasado era más que nada destinado a construir estructuras portantes aprovechando las características mecánicas y de durabilidad del material, combinado con la gran ventaja de poder construir cualquier forma para los distintos elementos. En los últimos años hay una tendencia constante para mejorar estas características e introducir nuevos hormigones que den respuesta satisfactoria a unas necesidades crecientes en otros campos como es el de la sostenibilidad. De esta tendencia se ha impregnado la recientemente aprobada Instrucción del Hormigón Estructural EHE-08, la cual incorpora una serie de hormigones especiales. (ligero, autocompactante, con fibras), con una vertiente estructural y no sólo del material. Dado que algunos de estos hormigones ya han sido tratados en otras jornadas en profundidad, se entiende que en esta ocasión procede abordar otros aspectos y/o tipos de hormigones, como por ejemplo, los hormigones singulares por su densidad (ligeros y alta densidad), o los hormigones en entornos marinos, manteniendo asimismo la preocupación por los temas de durabilidad y puesta en obra, como es el caso de hormigones bombeables a larga distancia, todo ello ilustrado con casos reales de aplicaciones, tanto nacionales como internacionales. Por otro lado, en el contexto actual, al hormigón se le está exigiendo cada día más un nivel alto de las prestaciones de tipo estético, lo que da lugar a diversas formas de abordar el tema, teniendo en cuenta otras funciones exigidas a los mismos. En esta jornada se incluyen hormigones desactivados, hormigones autolimpiantes que evitan que un hormigón con cara vista se ensucie en poco tiempo, hormigones autocompactantes aplicados a la Ciudad de la Justicia de Barcelona y Hospitalet de Llobregat. Con todos estos ejemplos se pretende que ayuden al técnico y le den confianza para seguir innovando con el hormigón, tanto a nivel material como a nivel estructural.

Fuente: CivilGeeks.