Volver a Madrid: a recuperar la ciudad

Una crítica constructiva a Madrid ciudad y región.

Archive for diciembre 2016

EDAR gene

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So I think my talk on breast sizes and Asians triggered Celine to find an explanation, or she potentially has it: EDAR gene. Impressive


Written by volveramadrid

9 diciembre 2016 at 9:05 pm

Publicado en evolution, research

sexism and research on sizes?

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Yup, that’s what we talked for during coffee break. And sure, it was me who brought the subject after sharing yesterday’s experience with my colleagues at Musée de l’Homme. It was fun to share the idea of whether actually Japanese/East Asian women have maybe less diversity of breasts, according to the salesman at the bra shop, and that after a few generations in Europe, third generations had the same diversity, in this man’s experience selling bras.

But I also saw some reactions, like a male colleague saying he could sadly not participate in the conversation, but being quite interested on the topic of why men evolved to look at breasts. I know, it was a way to engage in the conversation. A female colleague knew a lot about clothes sizes and about some relationship between mimetism and the evolution of male appeal for breasts (I seem to recall because this was all in French). And then someone else pointed that the salesman had caused me some problem because the salesman told me something like I was unusually asymmetric (in breast sizes). Sexism?

I still find the topic interesting and surely, somewhat amusing (like all sexual traits). We thought the data are probably not available, but here’s some research on why humans may have evolved to be so amused with breasts.

Written by volveramadrid

7 diciembre 2016 at 10:34 pm

Publicado en evolution, research

Easyjet again

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Well, I thought I may write this down in here, now I have linked to my Twitter account. A couple of weeks ago I ranted about the delay I had thanks to Easyjet, just another low cost company. As I stated there, after being quite faithful to them during my 3 years of weekly commuting between Paris and Madrid, they started losing my loyalty about a year ago. Firstly, they cut the number of flights between Madrid and Paris, so that I had to experience the joys of Transavia and in January this year, even non low cost companies like Air France or Iberia, or… Ryanair. My first flight with Transavia was delayed, but not 3 hours. They provided us with a bus to get us to a few places in Paris. Back in 2015, after having booked all my flights and receiving a cancellation, I complained via Easyjet’s facebook, receiving the most impersonal response ever.

Secondly, a flight from Paris to Madrid in September 2016 was cancelled. We were treated like rubbish. Yes, they offered an alternative. 36 hours afterwards. Reason for the cancellation: technical fault. Thanks to partners, friends and family (and Iberia), I was back “home” with my kids about 14 hours after the cancellation. Exhausted, having helped lots other people. Taking a train, bus, sleeping 4 hours, waking up, bus, train, bus, flight. I received the standard compensation: 250 euros. Whoever is interested can read what they should provide in “2. Right to care” and I can assure that nothing was provided while we waited for explanations and alternatives. I claimed at least 250 more for my time, energy and exhaustion. No answer has arrived from them.

Thirdly, two weeks ago my flight was delayed. Charles told me on the way to the gate that the delay was slightly over one hour. It turned out to be, due to technical faults again, over two hours and a half. At some point it seemed as if it was going to be over those three magical hours, when they have to reimburse 250 euros. They really seemed to hassle us (customers) so that they were under those three hours. No bus was provided after arriving after 2am at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. I shared a taxi. They said they would reimburse those 20 euros. I claimed more. One more time, no care was provided.

Last Sunday, I did what may be my last Madrid to Paris with easyjet. Perfectly on time. All was fine. The stewardess in Madrid Barajas were nice. But yet again, I felt the rush. In order to board more quickly, those on rows 15 to the end had to walk downstairs, take a bus for what could be the shortest bus route ever, and surely, walk up the steps into the plane. I had told my daughter I would call her again when I was on my seat. I couldn’t do it. Why? It took forever to shuffle customers to actually board efficiently, so after entering by the back door, I arrived to my row to find no space to place my small suitcase. A stewardess who was not very happy (I wasn’t happy either) came to make space for me. By the time I sat down, the plane had started to move.

So easyjet is cetainly not the nice low cost company of which I used to think more or less highly. Unhappy customers and unhappy staff. But surely it is providing benefits to whoever has optimised it so tightly, the guy who applies the algorithm, the guy that decides no more planes can be bought in case something goes wrong with a plane, or more staff to sort out what go wrong.

Written by volveramadrid

6 diciembre 2016 at 9:36 pm

Publicado en complaints

Tagged with ,

Just another day

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Sometimes life is surprising. Like this morning, when I finally decide to go into the shop specialised in lingerie around the corner from my flat in Pixerecourt. A man manages the shop! Turns out he thinks my size is not 90D but 85F, and he has rarely seen such breast asymmetry before… I’ve got “heavy” breasts and a small back. Hmmm….

Well, I’ve pretty much always known that my right breast is larger than my left one, but I think time has enhanced this difference, this asymmetry. It was in London 15 years ago with Charles in Selfridges, I think, that I got into that size. Back then I had to admit what I was hearing in another dressing room: that Spanish shops knew nothing about bras. I’d say in their defence that maybe it’s because they’re not really focused on bras, but on the whole lingerie business.

Okay, so besides differences between breasts and between countries, there I finally come out of the shop, having bought two bras. Why two? Well, because this bra connoisseur has informed me that for my breasts, the most suitable cup is balconette and not corbeille. Now, I’m sorry, corbeille is basket (or bin in the email program). The distinction is subtle, but according to the guy, one rises more quickly or covering more breast than the other. What else have I learnt from this guy? As someone we know would say, here are two interesting facts (to me): the first fact is that this guy thinks the best makers for my breasts (F cup, not light, small bust/back) are English, German and apparently, a very good American one (cannot recall the name, nothing I had heard before, and I know a bit about bras).

The second fact is that, because of being Spanish and being somehow baffled about why the Spanish bra industry (if there is such thing) does not provide for all sorts of breasts (like mine) and some prejudices in Europe about Spanish and Italian women having larger breasts, he tells me that the smallest cups (A-B) are commonly called in the sector (and in France, at least) Japanese bras. And that first generation Chinese/Asian women had small cup sizes, but second and third generations have the diversity of breasts that he has seen across European women. So, as an evolutionary geneticist, is this true? And if so, is this adaptation or hybridisation?

You see, you learn something every day…

Right after that I headed into the tube, not without being demanded by a homeless/beggar to help him trundle his stuff inside the station. So there was I, happy as a lark with my bras, helping carrying what could be a house down some steps.

Written by volveramadrid

6 diciembre 2016 at 8:41 pm

Publicado en Uncategorized

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