This is the bottle that will revolutionize men’s cosmetics | ICON

When a fragrance likes, inertia calls to want to feel it on the skin more often. Spray it more times: after eating, when leaving the gym, for afterwork, before that special appointment, on that weekend of improvised getaway … The humans of the 21st century do not stand still and the fragrances must adapt to that adventurous eagerness.

The problem is that when you put it in your bag, sports bag or carry it in your travel bag, it means carrying a normally large bottle that, or weighs and can break, or takes up space. You can also give headaches in the cabin luggage if it exceeds 100 ml or, why not, if one needs to introduce other liquids for personal hygiene. IGO by Issey Miyake It is the ingenious response to this contemporary nomadic need.

This is the bottle that will revolutionize men's cosmetics

A revolutionary redesign of the mythical plug L’Eau d’Issey in which Shiseido design teams have invested no less than four years. The result marks a before and after in perfumery: a unique fragrance presented simultaneously in two bottles of different sizes. Apparently it respects the architecture of the classic Istay bottle, but the secret is in the cap.

Unbreakable, light and aesthetically beautiful, in turn, becomes a sprayer ‘on the go’. The bottle remains the basic to leave at home (80 ml for him and 60 ml for her) and the 20 ml cap comes to life and becomes the perfect accomplice for that restless user who wants to take his fragrance anywhere. Without complications: the essence of the format is preserved and, at the same time, it is given new life.

Traveling and restless spirit

IGO is a word game that becomes the perfect metaphor for this unique format. In English it means ‘I’m going’. In Japanese, it means ‘later’, a concept similar to ‘future’ and that connects with everything the creative universe of Issey Miyake. The Japanese designer revolutionized fashion by providing an architectural vision, with unusual cuts, folds and silhouettes that redefined the human body. A personal approach, timeless, but above all, functional and practical. Aesthetics at the service of the object and the object to enhance aesthetics. IGO picks up and exalts that functionality without undermining the aesthetics and the ability to surprise Miyake.

To present in society such an innovative format in times where the audiovisual dominates the message, the creative studio has been relied on Akatre Just 32 seconds are enough for the bottles to come alive in a mini animated film, exultant of naivety and imagination. The fragrances become a kind of mini dance robots that fly, fiddle and stoppers in a hypnotic choreography.

And while the format is updated, the juice remains unchanged. Both in its male version and in the two female ones. The men’s edition, L’Eau d’Issey pour Homme, keeps its freshness slightly spicy with woody bottom, with yuzu and tangerine chords, over a heart of blue waterlily and mentholated geranium. In the background, sandalwood and vetiver.

For women, the new IGO stopper is located both in the conical bottle of L’Eau d’Issey, with its legendary juice with water lotus, pink, cyclamen and peony chords, as in its opulent version L’Eau d’Issey Pure Nectar by Parfum, with pear notes and creamy sandalwood. An unusual encounter between the future and the classic as only Miyake could imagine.

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Coronavirus: Humans who eat wild animals without control: a powder magazine for global health | Future Planet

The bats, the Ebola; the civets, the SARS; the dogs, the rage; the monkeys, AIDS; the chickens, the bird flu. They are some of the animals that have been in the spotlight when outbreaks of new diseases have erupted. The last victim has been the pangolin, a suspect already ruled out of having acted as a transmitter of the coronavirus to humans. “The focus is always on markets with live animals,” says Santiago Mas-Coma, Professor of Parasitology and president of the World Federation of Tropical Medicine. “It happened already with bird flu, when the origin was investigated in some chickens that had acquired the virus with fecal remains of the animals they had in the cage above, ”he adds.

Following the coronavirus crisis, China has banned the consumption of wild animals temporarily, a measure that does not include medicinal or research uses. Experts doubt the effectiveness of the measure, which was already taken in previous crises. “Europe is the strictest region in the world, forget that this exists in other regions. It is very difficult to control this kind of thing in a country with 1,400 million people, ”says Mas-Coma. A similar view has Berhe Tekola, director of Animal Production and Health of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). “Every time there is a crisis, an epidemic, people accelerate and panic and laws are created or modified,” he says.

The control of consumption and trade is tremendously difficult for three reasons: the lack of statistics because it is not registered, huge populations with deep-rooted traditions and the lack of means to apply the law. Therefore, the possibility of seeing new ailments transmitted by animals to humans in the future is very real. “Absolutely. There is no zero risk, ”says Tekola bluntly.

Street markets where many specimens are mixed in dubious health conditions arouse suspicion when talking about new zoonotic diseases (those infected from animals to humans). “You take wild species, put them under a stress situation and mix them with others. This is the perfect habitat for viruses, which are very intelligent, ”says Rikkert Reijnen of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, an organization present in 40 countries.

In rural areas of Africa and Asia there are still many places where they eat meat and brains of uncooked dogs or where you find a child with a bite that has not gone to the doctor

The risk is not only in consumption, but also in commerce. “The human being hunts animals from the beginning of its existence, that is not something new, but the amounts that are consumed now and the ability for animals to travel from one side of the globe to another in a matter of hours,” says Reijnen .

The UN estimates that protected species traffic moves every year between 8,000 and 10,000 million dollars. “The convention on international trade in endangered species already regulates exchanges between countries, the problem is that in the internal market it has no jurisdiction and the demand in countries such as China or Vietnam is enormous. For us, this is an opportunity for animal protection laws to be reviewed, ”says Gema Rodríguez, from WWF. “We already have legislation, but we also need means to implement it,” Reijnen completes.

Delicious dog meat

Martha Pedraja is a Spanish veterinarian and researcher. This specialist has studied in detail the illegal trade and trafficking of dog meat. This served to understand the informal market in which many of the diseases that are transmitted to humans arise.

The researcher moves metaphorically to a market like Wuhan’s, where all eyes were directed at the beginning of the coronavirus. “In almost all of Asia, the stalls have a visible part, where you can buy a chicken. But then there is the back room, where are the species prohibited by the Government. The larger the country and the more entrenched customs, the harder it is to achieve change. Look at the rage. It seems incredible that we have not been able to eradicate a disease that has been with us thousands of years. But if you look at the rural areas of Africa and Asia there are still many places where they continue to eat meat and brain of an uncooked dog or where you find a child with a bite for weeks that has not gone to the doctor. Some communities in Nigeria, for example, believe that canine meat It is “delicious” and that defends them “against the witches”.

Machete used to skin the porcupine, an example of the conditions in which these foods are handled.

Machete used to skin the porcupine, an example of the conditions in which these foods are handled. Getty

Pedraja had a hard time studying the phenomenon. “The official data is almost non-existent, sometimes because the consumption of certain products is something taboo that society does not want to recognize. Countries recognize that there are farms, “he says in a phone call at the end of his working day. Pedraja used the investigations of Soi Dog organization, which has collected data on Pukhet, in Thailand, and other international entities such as WWF. “The gap between the few official figures compared to the estimates of NGOs working in the field is crazy,” he says.

The same is the opinion of FAO’s Tekola: “When we talk about consumption of wild meat, there is simply no data. Countries do not provide this information because it normally belongs to the informal market. And the lack of certainty leads to panic. ” This Ethiopian specialist has worked on the ground with many rural communities that continue to eat thanks to hunting and gathering. “You cannot arrive as if you were the boss. You have to sit with them, calmly and give them arguments. FAO’s recommendations in this regard are not to eat anything that has been sick or that has died for a reason that they do not know. ”

And how do you explain what can be eaten and what is not in a continent like Africa, where 275 million people are not insured for their food the next day? Hard answer. “We can’t go tell poor farmers” eat this, don’t eat the other. ” What alternative do they have if they are forbidden to hunt? Are we giving them a chicken or pig farm in return? No. So, who are we to order anything? They prefer to take risks, but have something to eat, ”says Tekola.

When we talk about consumption of wild meat there is simply no data. Countries do not provide this information because it normally belongs to the informal market. And the lack of certainty leads to panic

The consumption of wild products exists, although it is almost impossible to quantify it. “Despite the large information gaps at the regional and global level, there are local examples,” explains Julie Belanger, an FAO expert, in an email. The report The global state of biodiversity for food and agriculture It includes a survey carried out in some communities in Asia, Africa and Latin America between 2004 and 2010 in which it was concluded that more than 53.5% of households were supplied with animals and plants from the forests. The report also replicates another study that states that “in traditional rice-producing villages, families eat aquatic animals that are easily accessible, such as snails, crabs, frogs and fish from their fields.”

The report does attempt to compile different statistics provided by the countries themselves and some international organizations that include plants, animals, mushrooms and microorganisms. According to their data, there are 2,800 different species of wild species that are used for human consumption in the world. “However, these numbers are incomplete. For example, countries only record that 21 types of insects are consumed, when we know that this figure amounts to more than 2,000 ”, Belanger specifies.

The speed of sharing data in a global context and applying measures that slow down expansion will be the key. This is what specialists like the veterinarian Pedraja think: “I do not think that the measures taken abruptly in a time of crisis are a great change, but I think that the common approach makes us stronger. Now there are many veterinarians working for and for human medicine. ”

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Are you looking for an inflatable mattress for your visits? This is the best selling on Amazon | Showcase

It is always nice to receive visitors at home and be able to offer accommodation when they stay several days. However, sometimes the lack of beds and extra space can complicate the stay. But you can be prepared to properly serve friends or family without having to put an extra bed base at home, and it is as simple as having an inflatable mattress at hand.

Even so, since the most common problems with these types of mattresses are known – as they can be uncomfortable or lose air while they are being used -, the question arises of which model to buy. Without a doubt, one of the best options is the inflatable mattress Intex Comfort-Plush, besides being the best selling on Amazon, has an average score of 4.2 out of five Y over 9,700 ratings of users of this platform.

Buy from € 48.95 at Amazon

Comfortable and stable, like a bed

To ensure its durability, the Intex Comfort-Plush inflatable mattress features Fiber-Tech technology, which consists of a fabric with thousands of high-strength polyester fibers to prevent wear and maintain comfort for many years. “I never thought an inflatable mattress could be comfortable,” says the Ramón S client.

And it is that another of the benefits of its manufacture is that these thousands of polyester fibers make the mattress structure easily adapt to each body, so that the rest is more pleasant. In addition, the lower area is contoured to offer a greater clamping effect and an increase in stability. In the words of user Mateo, “Has the height of a bed and sleeps superbien.” For its part, other buyer he is impressed because, “when one person moves, it does not make the other move. That is, these fibers make the mattress adapt to the body independently. ”

Electric pump and better air retention

If what bothers you about an inflatable mattress is the inconvenience of inflating it, you should know that this particular model has a three-in-one electric pump, with which you don’t have to make any effort. Simply connect the power cable to the power and select the option of “inflation” to have it full of air in a maximum of four minutes. And the same happens in reverse, for deflation, when selecting the desired option in the pump. Precisely, this is one of the advantages that stands out one of the clients who have already tried it: “The assembly is very comfortable and very fast. In about three minutes, the mattress is ready, although I leave it some more time to make sure it’s full. ”

But the good impressions of the buyers do not end there. One of them explains that, after using it for 10 days with two people (an adult and a child), “there was no need to breathe in all that time.” In addition, he extends his comment by stating that, “even after leaving it swollen for a month and without being used, it still had air.” This is because it is made of lateral and internal walls reinforced with resistant material for better air retention.

Variety of measures and resistant up to 273 kg

Because the needs (or space) are different in each case, the Intex Comfort-Plush inflatable mattress is available in five different sizes, ranging from 99x191x33cm to 152x203x56cm, so there are options for both individual and marriage use. In this sense, they resist a maximum weight of 136 kg, in the case of small sizes, and up to 273 kg for larger ones.

“The important thing is that you swell and do not lose air all night, even sleeping two people (136 kg in total),” he says one of Amazon’s customers. As for the size, the user Hank, who has bought the 99x191x46cm model, considers that it has “great measures”, while the Buyer José Luis, which acquired the 152x203x56cm version, comments that “the mattress is huge, resistant and, in addition, easy to swell and collect”.

Buy from € 48.95 at Amazon

* All purchase prices included in this article are updated as of March 5, 2020.

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Vegetable Chips: Are They Healthier Than Lifelong Potato Chips Or Is It Just The Print? | Good Life

In supermarket aisles, potato chips are the queens of snacks. But, timidly, in recent years a curious competition has come out: they are known as vegetable chips and they are very good at entering through the eyes. They have a color never seen before in the snacks of all life, from purple beets to carrots orange, and there is also a great wealth of labels such as bio, organic or 100% natural. What if they were the longed-for healthy substitute for potato chips? What if they were even tastier on top? In search of answers, we gather friends and consult a dietitian-nutritionist to settle these and other questions.

The chips Vegetables are not only in supermarkets, they increasingly have them in more bars. “Some time they have put them to snack,” says my friend Camila when I invite her to taste various versions of this appetizer. I have four, some without dressing, others have honey and black pepper, the third combine sea salt with balsamic vinegar of Modena and the last ones are also without dressing, but “bio”. With a glass of beer for each of the participants in the tasting (nothing pairs better with some fries of a lifetime and we assume that the same will happen with these), I put a little of each flavor in separate bowls, without clarifying the type of vegetables that are in each one nor their nutritional values, although president of the Spanish Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Giuseppe Russolillo, has already told me.

Naturally sweet beets, sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips

Each one takes one of a different color and, after an exhaustive examination of its shapes, we put them in our mouths. First we shyly bring the tip of the tongue close to touching them, and we notice a slight salty touch. Beyond the color, it seems that nothing makes them very different from potatoes. Once in the mouth, things start to change. Mine, the orange, clearly tastes like sweet potato. He even remembers chips homemade that can be prepared with sheets of this vegetable, either by frying them or —a healthier option— in the oven. “This was beet,” says Javier after taking the purple one to his mouth, while Camila fails to distinguish the origin of hers. It is the one with a tone between yellowish and whitish. “Banana?” He asks. No, it is parsnip, a type of carrot-like white vegetable that is also in the mix. These are the four most common vegetables in this type of product, although on the market as well it is possible to find appetizers of broccoli, peas and even fruit such as apples.

Each of the four flavors in this bag is reminiscent of the vegetables it comes from. 72% of the content is of vegetables in variable proportion. Camila complains about the sweetness after having tried a few. All of these vegetables are naturally sweet, and in this case, manufacturers have added glucose syrup to the ingredient list. If we compare them to a bag of normal potato chips says Russolillo, “have fewer carbohydrates and most are sugars naturally present in vegetables, not harmful to health. “Of course, the dietitian-nutritionist warns that they may not be the best option for a diabetic.

Too salty and toasted

The next ones we tested are the two bags of flavored chips. The vegetables in both cases are beets, sweet potatoes and parsnips; And — as the packages say — they have neither added flavors nor colors. It is true, as in the previous one, the taste of vegetables is clearly distinguished. And that, despite the fact that in this case they are seasoned with honey and black pepper or with sea salt and balsamic vinegar from Modena, only that the latter are not as acidic as the vinegar-based legs we find on the market tend to be. All of them they are really crispy, like potatoes, although their thickness is noticeably greater. This means that – despite being fried – none have those translucent bubbles that remain in some potatoes due to the fineness of the cut. When chewing them, their volume is more clearly noticeable.

Some are too toasted, we look at all three. Although we remain calm, they do not reach the blackish tone that is considered harmful to health due to the appearance of acrylamide, a substance that could be carcinogenic and is produced when food is burned. What the president of the Spanish Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics does notice is the amount of salt they have: “I was surprised. One of them [la que tiene miel] it has 1.2 grams for every 100 chips and the other [la que está aliñada con vinagre] 1.8 grams. It is a lot and it can have an impact on health if we chop these types of products too much. “If the previous ones were not suitable for diabetics, now it is up to hypertensive people to stay away from these snacks.

Organic with artificial form

Taken out of the “bio” aisle of one of the supermarkets, if this bag could speak, it would scream organic at our faces, veggie, ecological and healthy it is. In general, the package contains more messages than the other products we have tested, which are limited to specifying that they are natural vegetables. These, in addition, are suitable for gluten intolerant and “are not fried”, in case all the phrases in the package did not make it clear that they were very healthy. Although its nutritional table does not say the same. They have as much salt as vinegar: 1.8 grams per 100. The appearance is not convincing in the tasting, they have a rough cut that is not reminiscent of any known vegetable, and their texture is lumpy and mealy. They leave a sensation in the mouth more like biting polystyrene than a vegetable. When reading the ingredients we realize why, they are mainly made with potato flour. Only 6% of the product comes from other types of vegetables (carrots, beets, spinach and broccoli). It turns out that There are two types of vegetable chips, those that are thinly cut and seasoned, and those that are made with a dough of starch, flour, additives and some vegetables., according an analysis that the Organization of Consumers and Users made these products a year ago.

The verdict of Russolillo, when comparing all the analyzed ones with the classic potatoes, is that there are no great differences. As much as we see them healthier, “they do not provide any advantage from the caloric point of view. All, vegetables and potatoes, range between 450 and 520 calories per 100 grams. In a snack they do not have any type of repercussion “clarifies the expert. Also, remember that almost all of them are still a fried product. So the choice between one and the other will have to be for “a gastronomic, social and taste issue”, concludes the expert.

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What is a ‘revolving’ card and why the Supreme declares its interest abusive | My Finance section

This Wednesday, the Supreme Court described as abusive the interests paid by the user of a card revolving WiZink, to reach 27% annually. In its judgment, the Supreme Court considers that the reference of the interest rate that is applied in this category of cards must be the average interest rate of the credit cards and revolving, which calculates the Bank of Spain and is around 20%. Therefore, the magistrates equate the interests that tax the debts of the revolving to usury. But what are these cards and why do they generate a debt that often turns into a snowball and is very difficult to extinguish? What can be claimed and how to do it? These are the keys.

How does a ‘revolving’ card work?

If through a common credit card the user pays with money borrowed by the entity but has to return everything he used for a month at the beginning of the following month, with the revolving defer payment of the capital arranged, splitting it into several monthly installments. In the case of the credit card, the fact of not being able to return the capital used the previous month (for example, because there is not enough money in the account linked to the card) will mean generating a debt pending payment, on which the Bank will apply interest.

How are your interests?

In the case of the card revolving, it is not allowed to extinguish the debt at one time the following month, so, although he always pays his monthly installments, the user will see how it decreases very gradually. This is also true because the interest on the outstanding debt is extremely high, up to 27%. In fact, it is the customer who chooses with what type of fee he wants to make the refund each month: a fixed amount or a percentage of the credit used. However, if this fee is too low, it may happen that the monthly repayment does not cover even the interest generated by the debt that, in this way, accumulates and increases month after month. A real spiral.

For a debt of 1,000 euros, with an equivalent annual rate (APR, which includes not only the nominal interest rate but also commissions and expenses) of 25.61%, and paying 25 euros each month to pay it off, it would take up to six years and 10 months to return the requested amount. And not only will the 1,000 euros have been returned, but 1,031 euros of interest will have been paid, that is, the same amount owed, according to an example prepared by the Association of Financial Users (Asufin).

Why is it called ‘revolving’?

Because the part of the credit that the consumer reimburses the bank each month when paying their monthly fee is again available for use again. In short, a revolving (of English to revolve, that is to say, to rotate, to rotate) is not another thing but “a credit that is automatically renewed to its monthly maturity, in such a way that in reality it is a rotating credit comparable to a permanent line of credit”, according to the definition of Bank of Spain.

Why is your APR abusive?

The average annual equivalent rate (APR, which includes not only the nominal interest rate but also commissions and expenses) of the cards revolving It is 25.2% for financing purchases and 29.63% for having cash at ATMs or in a current account, according to Asufin. Being much higher than the interest rate of credit cards and revolving calculated by the Bank of Spain – and which is around 20% -, the Supreme considers that these rates are abusive.

What does the Supreme Court ruling establish?

In the ruling delivered on Wednesday, the Supreme Court sets important criteria. On the one hand, he was called to decide what, in the specific case he was examining, was the reference interest that should be taken as “normal interest of money,” according to the Usury Law, a rule of 1908 still in force that prohibits lend money with “leonine” interests. This is “the average rate applied to credit operations using credit cards and revolving published in the official statistics of the Bank of Spain “, the judges answer in the opinion, that is, not the 27.24% that came to apply WiZink in the case analyzed by the magistrates, but 20%. Therefore, the Judges declare usury the interest rate used by the entity, for being higher than the one prepared by the Bank of Spain and disproportionate.

And they emphasize that the average type he uses to make the comparison “is already very high.” Therefore, “the higher the index to be taken as a reference as a ‘normal interest of money’, the less room there is to increase the price of the credit operation without incurring usury.” If this criterion were not followed, “it would be absurd that for a credit operation revolving could be considered usury, because the interest is significantly higher than normal money and disproportionate to the circumstances of the case, the interest would have to approach 50%, “they warn.

On the other hand, they remind that “it is not possible to justify the establishment of an interest significantly higher than the normal of the money for the risk derived from the high level of non-payments” linked to “consumer credit operations” which, incidentally, call “granted in an agile way and, sometimes, through aggressive marketing techniques and without properly checking the borrower’s ability to pay. ” And the Supreme Judges point out: “The irresponsible granting of consumer loans at much higher than normal interest rates, which facilitates the over-indebtedness of consumers, cannot be protected by the legal system.”

Is only the interest rate the problem?

Third, in the presentation of their decision, the Supreme Judges question “not only the interest rate, but other elements of the revolving that have to do with its commercialization “, underlines Fernando Herrero, general secretary of the Association for the defense of consumers and users of banks, boxes and insurance (Adicae). Herrero refers to the fact that the Supreme explicitly admits that, in the a specific case on which it was pronounced on Wednesday, the plaintiff had only requested the nullity of her contract with WiZink because of its usury nature.According to the judges, without thierness, nothing prevents the courts from exercising transparency control on how it was stipulated the interest rate

“All these considerations leave the door open for the courts to declare these credits void based on other criteria, beyond the mere usury nature of the interest rate,” notes Herrero.

What can be claimed, and how?

“With this sentence, those affected by cards revolving to those who apply a usurious interest, following the provisions of the Supreme Court, they will have the right to claim the amounts paid in excess to date ”, states the legal coordinator of the platform, Almudena Velázquez, who explains that the The first step will be to compile the documentation that serves as proof, that is, the contract signed with the entity and the depreciation tables of the card where all the movements generated with the use of the card are reflected. “With all these documents, the next step is to contact the bank and request the amounts that correspond to it,” adds Veláquez.

Once the extrajudicial claim has been filed, if the bank does not respond or the answer is negative, the consumer can initiate the judicial process. “Due to the size of the matter,” Herrero believes that class action lawsuits are “the most appropriate”, although there is always the possibility of resorting individually. In any case, Velázquez advises “to consult with a lawyer who accurately calculates the amount to be claimed and avoid future problems such as those with the ground clause: mortgaged and consumers extrajudicially negotiated an agreement whereby, in most cases, they received less money than their share (if they received it) and also signed clauses that prevented them from making subsequent legal claims. ”

How many users are affected?

Although the exact number of people affected by the cards is unknown revolving, from Adicae they calculate that they could be “tens of thousands”. In this regard, the same sources remember that “WiZink alone has about 2,500 lawsuits in the courts and there are thousands of others affected by this and other entities that do not yet know it, so they are not claiming.” In fact, not only banks and financial institutions have sold cards with modality revolving, but also “trademarks or supermarkets and even, as striking as it may seem, NGOs,” detail the same sources.

How much should entities return to users?

The amount to be returned to each of those affected will depend on the credit limit requested and the monthly installments to be returned, but, according to Adicae sources, “it could often exceed what was initially requested by the client”. And, as an example, they cite what happened to one of their partners: “He paid a trip of 6,000 euros through a revolving with interests of 26% and some comfortable monthly fees of 150 euros, and ended up returning to the entity 14,000 euros; now I could recover the 8,000 euros paid in excess ”. What these sources claim to see usually in similar procedures is that the return to users is around an average of 5,000 euros, “so we could be talking about a total of millions of euros, if everyone claims,” ​​they say.

What criteria have the courts followed so far?

So far, of the 50 Provincial Hearings, 31 have resolved card disputes revolving in favor of the consumer and 12 have done so against it, according to the data collected by the Adicae. However, after the ruling issued Wednesday by the Supreme Court, users and companies engaged in claims are said to be convinced that the judges will not be able to do anything other than adapt to their criteria. In this sense, Velázquez points out that “the Supreme unifies the jurisprudential line and therefore the rest of the courts must follow it in their sentences.”

“The publication of credit card interest rates has been of no use to financial institutions and revolving by the Bank of Spain, because the Supreme Court considers that the APR that applies to revolving It is still disproportionate, ”says Asufin President Patricia Suárez, adding:“ It is not only usury, it is lack of transparency, while the way to repay the debt is really cumbersome and is not easy for an average consumer to understand. ” Therefore, Suarez has asked the Government on Wednesday for the approval of an Order of Transparency, “with the aim of protecting consumers from the mass marketing of these types of cards.”

The spokeswoman for the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), Ileana Izverniceanu, expressed her satisfaction with the Supreme Court ruling, but regretted that the Court has clearly clarified the percentage from which an interest is usury. “In view of this ruling, consumers must claim their loans one by one so that a court will re-determine the application of usurious interests and abusive conditions in the credits intended to finance consumption,” he said.


Artificial intelligence looks at justice but raises ethical doubts | Innovation

A woman appears at the entrance table of a court in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It’s 10 a.m. on a cold Monday in August 2018. She is accompanied by her three children, who sit on the floor to play, while her mother talks with the employee. “I come to present an amparo to collect the subsidy for street situation”, the woman slides with some shame. After a few questions, whose answers go to a paper form, the employee asks for your identity card and enters the office. The lady decides to sit and wait. She is tired and knows that it will be months before this little snowball that she has just pushed becomes the possibility of sleeping indoors.

What is unknown is that, if your file is not resolved in the first and second instance, the Public Prosecutor’s Office will intervene as a last resort. And there, unlike the previous instances, the causes are resolved in minutes. How is it possible? Because they work with a computer system that uses artificial intelligence (AI). His name is Prometheus.

When a justice officer of the said ministry takes the file in their hands, they should only answer, speaking or writing, the questions of a chat like WhatsApp. And, in exactly four minutes, you will have obtained the opinion, in addition to the relevant statistics for the case and links of interest to illustrate the decision. Then, the lawyers of the organism only review the procedure, print and sign. They will have completed in half an hour a job that usually takes months.

A model that interests in Spain

In October 2019, authorities of the modernization area of ​​the Spanish Ministry of Justice visited the offices of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the City of Buenos Aires. The objective was to know Prometea, the computer system that is used in the Argentine capital to solve cases of diverse subject matter but simple resolution: minor infractions, traffic accidents or social policies, among others.

Sofía Duarte Domínguez, general director of the body formerly called Modernization of Justice of Spain – in January 2020 became the Digital Transformation of the Administration of Justice -, made statements in this regard in the Argentine press: “We have studied everything about Prometea , we know that it is a fabulous system and we want to see if we can take it to Spain. Even the [entonces] Secretary of State for Justice, Manuel Dolz, gave us a carte blanche to move forward with this, which is, without a doubt, the future of justice. ”

The subject should not take us by surprise. A few days before the visit of the Spanish delegation to the Buenos Aires organization, the professor of Law and Political Science of the Open University of Barcelona (UOC) David Martínez explained, in an article published by The vanguard, that AI could well be used in Spain in cases of “easy legal response”, which would be able to decongest the traffic of judicial files. Although Duarte Domínguez stresses that the digitization of the entire Ministry is fertile soil to automate justice, she warns that one of the main obstacles to the process lies in the resistance of judicial workers, who believe that computer science will take away the job.

In favor of automating justice

Martínez’s observations are in line with what some Argentine experts think, committed to the task of doing intelligent justice. This is the case of the judge of the Supreme Court of Justice of the province of Mendoza, Mario Adaro, who applies Prometea daily and recently participated in the first Ibero-American Summit of Artificial Intelligence, at the headquarters of MIT (Boston). “The AI ​​has a capacity for processing information in large volumes that shortens bureaucratic deadlines to a negligible extent because, usually, a greater number of causes and few decision makers, more time per case,” he says to THE COUNTRY RETINA. “Using automatic processes, the judge has greater capacity for analysis.”

The Deputy Attorney General of Buenos Aires, Juan G. Corvalán, created Prometea after having detected that, in half of the cases involving judicial personnel, most of the time is used to verify personal data, information that is repeated , etc. Adaro illustrates it with the example of tax causes, pointing out that “they are serial sentences, of a large volume, where decisions are grouped into clear sets and everything is quite mechanical and predictable. By using AI for these types of problems, Prometea makes the amount of errors in data loading, typing and redundancy decrease significantly, ”says the Mendoza judge.

“AI can process information in large volumes, which shortens bureaucratic deadlines”

The origin: United States

There are three emblematic cases of AI application in justice, in addition to Prometea. The most famous is the Compas (Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions) program, which is used in several United States. This is a software that has been used since 1998 to analyze, according to the criminal record of a defendant, his chances of reoffending. The program raises a questionnaire to the accused. Once this answers all questions, the system calculates the risk of recidivism, so the judge defines, for example, whether or not to grant parole while the judicial process is completed.

Compas rose to fame with the 2013 Loomis case. Accused of running away from the police and using a vehicle without authorization from its owner, Eric Loomis dropped six years in prison and five years on parole because Compas estimated a high risk of recidivism . Loomis appealed, claiming that his defense could not refute Compas’ methods because the algorithm was not public. The Wisconsin State Supreme Court dismissed the appeal. Years later, in 2018, it was learned that the system analyzes 137 aspects of each accused. But, when comparing the level of success between the predictions of Compas and those of jurists of flesh and blood, it was found that the level of success of AI is not superior, or even, serious errors are evident.

“Statistical averages say something about common behavior patterns in a collective. They do not describe individual profiles and are unable to capture the uniqueness of the human being, ”explains Lorena Jaume-Palasí, ethics and technology expert and founder of Algorithm Watch and The Ethical Tech Society. “With this we can understand groups with a slightly more architectural look, but we also incur the risk of putting individuals in standards that do not fit.”

To clarify whether it is feasible to judge someone criminally using AI, one must understand what criteria the algorithm acts on (which claimed Loomis’ defense). Jaume-Palasí argues that, after all, Law is an algorithm that has been applied long before there was information technology. “[Con el caso Loomis] they have all set their sights on the computer system and were scandalized by racism, but Compas allowed us to learn about the biases the judges have, because the system was created by humans who had been working and deciding with those biases that the program later showed. ”

“Statistical averages help to understand groups, but are unable to capture the uniqueness of the human being”

Is Prometea as Compas?

In addition to his position in Justice, Juan G. Corvalán is director of the Laboratory of Innovation and Artificial Intelligence of the Faculty of Law of the University of Buenos Aires. In 2017, he created the Prometea software together with his collaborators.

Corvalán highlights, among the qualities of the system, that “Prometea does not use black box AI techniques, or what is known as deep learning; that is, the entire process of the algorithm is open, auditable and traceable. ” Compas, on the other hand, applies two neural networks whose operation is unknown because “it was developed by a private company that holds the intellectual property rights of the algorithm”.

Argentine software, says Corvalán, only reproduces the procedure of the country’s magistracy. “Prometea’s predictions are based on the analysis of the history of what the judges have decided, it is they who train the system. For example, in the Constitutional Court of Colombia [país en el que también se aplica el programa] it is the magistrates themselves who carry out the permanent adjustment of Prometea’s predictions, with our technical assistance, of course. ”

Databases and biases

There is no AI worth without data. And when talking about data, the ghost of biases appears, such as the racism of which Compas has been accused. Numbers build a discourse of objectivity that sometimes prevents questioning decisions. “The algorithms are nothing more than opinions enclosed in mathematics,” Cathy O’Neil wrote in her famous Weapons of Mathematical Destruction.

“What the algorithms undoubtedly allow is to standardize the decisions. That is to say, to standardize criteria so that two different answers are not given to the same problem ”, says Pablo Mlynkiewicz, a graduate in Statistics and former head of the General Directorate of Information Sciences of Buenos Aires. “But, of course, for that to translate into a real breakthrough in justice, the database must have representation from all groups. If not, there will be mistakes. ”

Mlynkiewicz agrees, in this way, with Jaume-Palasí and Adaro, highlighting a strong point in favor of the automation of judicial proceedings: they avoid giving two different answers to the same problem. That is, it provides plot consistency in the judgments. Even being the most critical with these systems, the Mallorcan philosopher admits that automating judicial processes based on statistics can help correct errors that justice today refuses to accept. “We have known for some time that the judges and the judicial system we know are not very consistent. Being able to make traceability and statistics of judicial decisions thanks to AI is not bad, ”he emphasizes.

The robot judges in China

In October 2019, the Internet Court was presented in Beijing, defined as an “online litigation center”. According to the official information, it is a platform in which the parties load the data of the problem to be solved and the AI ​​does the rest: it looks for jurisprudence, analyzes the subject, contrasts evidence and gives judgment.

The system does not have large technical differences with that of Estonia, where there is also a strong commitment to the automation of justice: there is no human intervention in the whole process. But between the two countries there is a great distance in democratic standards. In the small Baltic country, considered the most advanced in the world in digital matters, the director of the project is the young Ott Velsberg, who intends that the lawsuits submitted to the digital court do not exceed 7,000 euros as the amount claimed for damages.

Everything flows there, because it is a society with high standards in civic matters. But when talking about the Asian giant, things charge another tenor. “The development of virtual or cyber judges in China has followed the same line as the Social Credit System: from the bottom up,” explains Dante Avaro, a specialist in the Chinese government control model, referring to the controversial scoring mechanism of citizens launched by Beijing to determine whether or not they are reliable. “Both began at the beginning of the new millennium. In the case of AI in justice, it was experienced in cities like Shandong, then in Hengezhou, Beijing and Guangzhou. The objective was to bring efficiency to judicial processes in electronic commerce, virtual payments, cloud transactions and intellectual property disputes, ”he illustrates.

The detail is that, in the hands of a non-democratic State that intends to order society working transversally a scoring that Avaro calls “citizen traceability”, the application of AI in justice is dangerous because it is linked to the Social Credit System and the Yitu Dragonfly Eye facial recognition system. “A huge state surveillance device is being built,” concludes Avaro


Between rain and drought: two exceptional sacrifices of children in Mexico and Peru | The feathered serpent blog

40 years ago, the team of archaeologists working in the ruins of the Templo Mayor de Tenochtitlan, in Mexico, announced the discovery of the remains of a mass ritual sacrifice of children. It was, they learned later, a sacrifice of times from the first Moctezuma, back in the middle of the 15th century. Archaeologists found bones of at least 42 infants, aged three to eight, next to jugs from Tláloc, the Mexican god of rain and fertility. It was an impressive, unique discovery. Investigators presumed that such a thing had never been found before.

Thirty years later, on the north coast of Peru, a team of archaeologists located the remains of another mass ritual sacrifice of children between the sand and mud of the Pacific Ocean coast. Their skeletons, the researchers discovered, lay next to the remains of llamas. A short time later, archaeologists already counted more than 200 infants, far exceeding the case of the Tenochtitlan Main Temple.

In this second case, they were the remains of a chimú sacrifice, a more or less contemporary civilization of the Mexica, which extended along the northern coast of what is now Peru, since the beginning of the 11th century. The place of sacrifice is on a cliff just over 300 meters above sea level, in the middle of a residential housing complex, in Huanchaco.

The archaeologists who led both excavations, the Mexican Leonardo López Luján and the Peruvian Gabriel Prieto, met a couple of years ago in the center of the world, in Quito. This week they both remembered that first meeting, at an event organized by the National College, in Mexico City. The first thing López Luján told him that day in Quito was: “I hate you!” And Prieto, amused, replied: “What Peruvians cannot do in football, we have to do with archeology.”

Jugs Tláloc, in the offering found in the Templo Mayor in 1980.

Jugs Tláloc, in the offering found in the Templo Mayor in 1980.

Prieto presented the results of his excavation this Thursday at the National College, at a conference presented by López Luján himself. Doctor in archeology from Yale University, Prieto explained that the chimú ceremony, where authentic anatomy experts took out the hearts of dozens of infants and llamas, after cutting the sternum and opening the ribcage, was the product of a meteorological phenomenon.

At that time, more than 500 years ago, torrential rains hit the region and the chimú sacrificed the little ones so that the waters stopped. In fact, the researchers found a thick layer of mud that suggests there was rain at the time of sacrifice. On the site, in addition to the children, they found the bones of two swollen women with their heads facing the ground and a man in his 40s, who has wounds on his right arm, which could suggest that it is the self-sacrificed victimizer.

“We know that the weapon they used to make sacrifices were metal knives known as tumis,” explains Prieto. The researchers suggest that the children, coming from various ethnic groups, were prepared in advance for the great moment of the ritual in Chan Chan, a nearby archeological site, declared a world heritage site.

Remains of sacrifice in the Templo Mayor.

Remains of sacrifice in the Templo Mayor.

If in the chimú domains everything flooded, in Tenochtitlan the water ran out. López Luján explained that the Aztec mass sacrifice was probably due to a huge drought, which the basin of Mexico suffered in the year 1454, year one rabbit, according to the Mexican account. López Luján says: “The fraternal Friars Toribio de Benavente and Juan de Torquemada identify it as the origin of the later widespread practice of child sacrifice. Its significance is also evident in the work of Durán, who asserts that, when Motecuhzoma Ilhuicamina [el primero de los dos] He put his own effigy on the rocks of Chapultepec to leave a memory of his glories, he ordered the artists: ‘And together you mark the year of Ce Tochtli, where the great past hunger began. “The famine was terrible at the time. Tlatoani had no choice but to distribute the city’s food reserves and then announce that there was nothing more to offer.

In their chronicles, Friars Motolinía and Diego Durán say that in the basin of Mexico, children selected because they had two swirls in their hair were sacrificed in honor of the God of the rain. They were slaughtered or drowned. Sometimes they were introduced to a cave and allowed to die of starvation. But no historian of the time described the sacrifice in Tenochtitlan that involved the 42 children.

What was death for ancient societies here and there? According to the famous historian Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, author of Death on the Edge of Obsidian: “the pre-Hispanic man conceived death as a process more than a constant cycle and blood as a vital element generating movement.” Birth and death, indissoluble unity. The sacrifice, turn something into sacred, establish a link with the gods. For them, death was the germ of life. Only then could we explain the mass burial of children and animals, they were the germ to start all over again.


The best selling potato peeler on Amazon is Victorinox | Showcase

Those who spend many hours in the kitchen know that there are kitchen gadgets that, although appealing at first sight, end up parked in the back of the closet because after trying them they are not practical. On the contrary, there are other articles that, due to their design and technology, can really make our lives much easier and more enjoyable.

This is the case with this peeler, the best selling of its category in Amazon, which is ideal for removing all types of fruit and vegetable peels. It is a product made in Switzerland by the prestigious knife and knife firm Victorinox which, thanks to its microdentated stainless steel blade, is extremely efficient and agile.

It also has an ergonomic handle that facilitates its use and can be purchased in six colors: yellow, orange, black, purple, green and red. The price, of course, varies depending on the color. The most economical are the black and violet tones, although the rest of the colors do not exceed 12 euros.

Buy from € 5.38 on Amazon

What’s so special?

Its main claim is that it is backed by the quality of Victorinox, the Swiss firm of knives and knives founded in 1884. The peeler integrates a super sharp blade, making it perfect to remove both soft and harder peels of fruits, vegetables and vegetables.

The blade, made of stainless steel, is double-edged and microdentate, so it is able to offer an optimal result when used on thicker surfaces. The handle material is polypropylene and the grip area is ergonomic to favor hand movement during use.

The peeler is very light, weighs only 21 grams, and its total dimensions are 210 x 45 x 21 mm. You can enter it in the dishwasher or wash by hand easily.

Buy from € 5.38 on Amazon

The # 1 best selling on Amazon

This universal peeler, in addition to being the favorite of Amazon buyers, has more than 2,700 ratings on the platform. Customers who have already tried it in their kitchens highlight in the reviews the quality of their leaf, how manageable it is, or how quickly fruits and vegetables can be assembled. The average rating of all of them adds 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Daniel, for example, indicates the following: “Peel any fruit, vegetable or tuber great, without hardly applying pressure, very fast and with thin strips so as not to remove more than the skin. The black handle is plastic. Highlight that, due to the shape of the blade (serrated), it leaves marks in the form of fine lines, almost imperceptible ”.

A. Rich, on the other hand, qualifies him as an excellent peeler: “I had never had a peeler of this type and the truth is that I can not be happier (opinions are well deserved in this case). It works great for peeling potatoes, fruits, carrots, tomatoes … Its use is equivalent to a knife, but with the advantage that the leaf grooves themselves help to follow the cut almost automatically. To say that the blade is in the form of saw teeth (it is not an edge as such), so it is not necessary to sharpen it and the duration will be longer. Tremendously recommended. ”

Another user, named Perovskita, also recommends: “I bought it because it seemed very cheap, just over € 5, and I knew the brand. I like this format better than slingshot-shaped peelers. It is ergonomic and handles well by peeling carrots, zucchini, etc. To clean it, just leave it under the tap for a few seconds and let it dry. I recommend it”.

Buy from € 5.38 on Amazon

Check out the most sold reusable water bottle on Amazon.

* All purchase prices included in this article are updated as of March 3, 2020.

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BE deputy expelled from Porto Municipal Assembly for filming

Left-wing deputy Pedro Lourenço was expelled this Monday night from the Porto Municipal Assembly for being on film.

Pedro Lourenço, who was in the area intended for the public and not on the benches reserved for deputies, was warned that filming was prohibited, but he protested and insisted on the action, having been ordered to leave, on the recommendation of the President of the Municipal Assembly.

The deputy left the room under the escort of the municipal police. The filming took place when using the word Susana Constante Pereira, from BE.

Deputy Miguel Gomes, of the movement that supports Rui Moreira, presented a protest vote regarding Pedro Lourenço, due to his “undue action” and because he understands that the assembly should not become a “media circus’.


Videogame turnover in Spain grows 14% in two years | Culture

DEV, the Spanish Association of video game producing and developing companies and software Entertainment, presented yesterday in Madrid the 2019 edition of the White Book of Spanish Video Game Development. The annual study (this is the sixth edition), traces an in-depth overview of the video game industry and market in Spain through surveys of Spanish studies. The Spanish videogame producing sector billed 813 million euros in 2018 (year from which the data is extracted), 14% more than in 2016. This figure represents 35% of the total turnover of videogames in Spain, which is already the 2,500 million euros a year.

Another significant fact of the text presented yesterday is the growth in the number of Spanish companies dedicated to development. Since 2016 (when there were 480), the data had fallen to 450 in 2017 and had stagnated. There are now 520 and, in addition, around 250 projects have been registered, waiting to become a legal entity. The evolution is exponential in the last decade: 80% of the companies were created in the last 10 years.

However, the growth in the number of companies is not uniform: the business fabric of the video game in Spain is highly polarized: 61% of companies invoice less than 200,000 euros and 75% employ less than 10 people. On average, 93% of the companies’ share capital comes only from the founding partners. The number of professionals dedicated to the medium in Spanish industries grew by 8.9%, reaching 6,900. Another point in which the Spanish market is polarized is the geographical one: only Catalonia has 47% of employment and 53% of the turnover of Spanish companies.

The report also establishes a series of measures that could be applied to help the videogame industry in Spain, such as the amendment of article 36.2 of the Corporation Tax Law, so that investors can capture international projects (as the industry does). audiovisual); improving public aid (in 2018 only 27% of companies benefited from any aid program, compared to 44% in 2013); o promoting women’s access (only 16% of professionals are women, while almost half of consumers). Another key measure is the implantation of the Spanish video game in China, which constitutes the largest market in the world, with a turnover of more than 36,500 million euros, and which today only accounts for 10% of the sector’s revenue in Spain.