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Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Andean Rockefeller

Simón Iturri Patiño (Santiváñez, 1 June 1862 – Buenos Aires, 20 April 1947) was a Bolivian industrialist who was among the world's wealthiest people at the time of his death. With a fortune built from ownership its majority from the tin industry in Bolivia, Patiño was nicknamed "The Andean Rockefeller". During World War II, Patiño was believed to be one of the five wealthiest men in the world.

Patiño's biographers are not in agreement on the details of his early life. Many wrote that he was a cholo, with a mixed Quechua and Spanish heritage, and born to a poor mother, while his authorized biography holds that he was solely of European ancestry, and the son of a provincial leader. He was actually the illegitimate son of Eugénio Iturri, a Basque man and his mother was María Patiño, from Cochabamba. Before entering the mining industry, he managed a store in Oruro and a few years spent years in private schools.

Eventually, Patiño started in mining with Hunanchaca Compaby of Bolivia, a silver company, and then with Fricke y Compañía. Patiño was assigned to collections for the store, and in 1894, he agreed to accept a deed of land in compromise for a $250 debt owed by a prospector. The deed turned out to be the rocky side of a mountain and Patiño was fired from his job for settling an account in exchange for a worthless piece of property. Legend has it that Patiño was forced to pay back the store from his own funds, and was stuck with his own bad bargain.

The mountain, located near Llallagua, turned out to be richer in minerals than anyone had imagined. Although the first several years of work yielded a little, the turning point came in 1900 when Patiño located a very rich vein of tin, later called "La Salvadora" (The Savior). Over the next 10 years he built up the control of nearby mines and other important mines in Bolivia, including Catavi, Siglo XX, Uncia and Huanuni. By the 1920s he had also bought out Chilean interests in his mining company and went on to buy tin smelters in England and Germany. By the 1940s he controlled the international tin market and was one of the wealthiest men in the world, hence his "title" The Tin King (Rey del Estaño).

In his 2008 book "Outliers", Malcolm Gladwell estimated the total net worth of Simon I. Patiño around USD 81.2 billion in 2008 dollars. That amount placed him in number 26 of all time wealthiest individuals in human history, ahead of Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, Warren Buffet and J.P. Morgan.

Patiño had been living between Europe and Bolivia since around 1912. In 1924, following a heart attack, his doctors told him not to return to Bolivia and he moved abroad permanently, first to Paris, then to New York and finally to Buenos Aires where he died, close to the homeland he was so fond of and wanted so desperately to return to. 

Among the many gifts that Patiño did to his wife when he was alive was the Palacio Portales in Cochabamba (which was begun in 1912) is one of the most luxurious; however, the family never lived there. The entrepreneur's widow moved to Villa Albina.

The Portales Palace was designed by French architect Eugène Bliault. The construction has an eclectic style, mixing the French Arabic trend, and Italian in different rooms. One of the halls is a replica of the library at the Vatican, for example. Statues of Roman emperors, female figures simulating the four seasons, the zodiacal signs, plus cherubs and angels, are combined in the decoration of the rooms, giving the impression that one is inside a huge kaleidoscope.'

(For more photos of The Palace click THIS LINK )

The mirrors and gold multiply everywhere, and it seems that the salons have a dispute with each other over which one is more luxurious. In the main hall presentations, conferences, concerts, tributes, etc. are presented. This large room has a unique sound, so most piano recitals are held there.

The huge mansion, considered one of the most important cultural heritage of the country, which took six years to build, this place was never properly inhabited, although planned in detail by Patiño. He even instructed to built public showers for residents of the area, so they could use them and so ingratiate himself with them.

Shortly before his death, and already knowing he had a heart disease, Patiño decided to create the Foundation that bears his name to this day, especially to please her two daughters who were very attached to bolivian culture.

Patiño is without doubt the greatest industrialist Bolivia has ever had. His substantial wealth made him powerful in Bolivian politics and he was locally both admired and hated. Previous to a political shift away from his allies in the government, Patiño merged the company owning his Bolivian tin property with a British company active in Malaysia.

Patiño died in 1947 and was buried in the city of Cochabamba high in the bolivian mountains of his birth place in a white mausoleum. This mausoleum is in the property where a small cottage was builded for his wife, this property is called Villa Albina. 

-If you want to see pictures of Villa Albina visit THIS link
-If you want to see pictures of The Portales Palace visit THIS link

(Source: Wikipedia and Los Tiempos - 
Photography by { 7 Fotos }

Saturday, February 21, 2015

What goes on before and after The Oscars (The Academy Awards)

Is that time of the year again, my favorite one. The Oscars are here and there is a big expectation not only about who is going to win but about what celebrities are going to wear. Fashion critics enjoy guessing who is going to be the best and the worst dressed of the year... they enjoy it more than the award show itself. Here are some information about how celebrities prepare weeks before this important event and what goes on after the show.

How celebrities get ready for the Oscars

Picking –The- outfit

Celebrities hire people to get lend jewelry, shoes and dresses of the most famous designers exclusively for them (this means no other celebrity will wear the same things on the red carpet) the right outfit can make them even more popular! and of course...who wouldn't like to look incredible in case they get to when accept the award . The celebs obtain these and other benefits for free (So Ironic ). An exchange is made: “ I wear your clothes and your name will appear on all media and you will lend me your dress for a night for free. This is how Hollywood works.


Stars are obsessed with the jolt of energy they get from vitamin B12 shots injected right into their blood stream — the perfect pick-me-up before a big night like the Oscars.


Stars in skin-baring dresses won’t risk the camera catching any stubble, so most turn to laser hair removal months before the awards show.


Makeup isn’t enough to make stars glow on the red carpet.
Celebrities will be arriving during daytime sun on the red carpet so their skin has to be flawless. Also, the skin is a canvas for their makeup. If the skin is perfect, they will be glowing!

Nope, those pearly whites aren’t natural. Stars usually get professional teeth whitening treatments a few days before major events, according to Dr. Bill Dorfman, a celebrity dentist in Los Angeles.


Aging actresses don’t look that good without a little help. It’s no secret stars love Botox for smoothing skin and vanishing wrinkles, and injectable fillers help plump up lips and cheeks.


Honestly, celebs are into crazy diets, some last months and others last a couple of weeks ( fast/cleans ).

Part Time !

Have you ever wonder if there is one official Academy Awards party ? Actually there is not one official Oscars after party, but there are many and they all sounds fun.

Here are the main ones:

1.      "Night of 100 Stars" Oscar Viewing Dinner/Party
2.      In-Style Oscar Viewing Dinner/Party
3.      Weinstein Brothers Oscar Viewing Dinner
4.      2015 Elton John Oscar Viewing Dinner/Party
5.      Motion Picture & Television Fund's The Night Before Party 
6.      Fox After Party at Boa Hollywood
7.      Elton John After Party Only
8.      Vanity Fair Party
9.      The 87th Oscars and Governors Ball
10. Fox Oscar party

This, just to name a few, there are even private parties hosted by celebrities but we won’t get to see this people posing on a red carpet. The tickets for these parties are between $1490.00 to $5990.00. A good way to keep track of what happens before, during and after the show is through social networks and following the official accounts of your favorite celebs. This way you can feel that you enjoy the experience of the Oscars next to the rich and famous.

You can also plan a small get together with your closest friends. Buy some decoration, dress up, take your drinks in glasses and buy some snacks.

Our favorite celebrities will enjoy a night of drinks,music and food. If that wasn’t enough, they nominees will get a gift bag (probably they will need more than one bag) full of the latest and popular products worth $160,000.

-The Oscars 2015 Bingo game !

This are some cards for you to play with your family or friends.

-Facts about the Academy Awards that you didn’t knew:

  • 61.4% of the audience for last year’s telecast was female (28.1 million viewers). 

  • Bob Hope has hosted the Oscars telecast 19 times more than anybody else.

  • Since 1978 there have been three films to win both Best Picture Oscar and gross over $300 million in the U.S. Titanic $600.8 million released in 1997, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King $377.0 million released in 2003 and Forrest Gump $329.7 million released in 1994.

  • There has only been one Oscar winner named Oscar: Oscar Hammerstein II, who won two for best song.

  • The first person ever presented with an Academy Award was Emil Jannings, a silent-film actor who took the Best Actor award for two films.

  • Jennifer Lawrence, who won Best Actress in 2013 for "Silver Linings Playbook," felt weird having hers in the house, so her mom took it and displays it on her piano.

  • The goodies in Oscar attendees gift bags are famously pricey last year’s  swag bag is reportedly worth about $80,000.

  • There are 2 movies that got the most nominations: All About Eve (1950) and Titanic (1997)

  • Walt Disney won 22 Oscars. He also won the most Oscars in one year, with four in 1954.

  • Cedric Gibbons (Art Director), who designed the Oscar statuette, won 11 awards out of a total of 39 nominations.

  • Most film nominations without a win: The Turning Point (1977) and The Color Purple (1985), with 11 nominations each.

  • Shortest performance to win an acting Oscar: Beatrice Straight in Network (1976) - 5 minutes and 2 seconds and Anthony Hopkins' 16 minutes of screen time in Silence of the Lambs.

  • Helen Hayes won in 1932 for The Sin of Madelon Claudet and in 1971 for Airport, which made it  the longest gap between awards.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Electra Heart of Marina and the Diamonds

If you are looking for a classic album that in 10 years you will still love and give you the chills then -Electra Heart- is the one for you. Believe me when I say that, just like there are cult movies...there are cult albums.

Electra Heart is the second studio album by Welsh singer Marina Diamandis, professionally known as Marina and the Diamonds. It was released on 27 April 2012 by 679 Artists and Atlantic Records. Diamandis collaborated with producers including Liam Howe, Greg Kurstin, Dr. Luke, Diplo, and StarGate during its recording, and subsequently transitioned from the new wave musical styles seen throughout her debut studio album The Family Jewels (2010). 

Their efforts resulted in a concept album inspired by electropop music, a distinct departure from her earlier projects; its lyrical content is united by the topics of love and identity. Diamandis created the titular character "Electra Heart" to represent female archetypes of stereotypical American culture.

The concept behind Electra Heart it’s brilliant, Marina did what I always wanted my favorite singer and groups do for an album. She actually created a concept for the whole album, I don’t mean just a pretty package for the CD but each songs talk about the types of transitions people go through when the heartbreak door hit us straight to the face.

In fact, Marina decided to release 11 music videos (of an album of  13 songs ) during the promotion of Electra Heart, Being the most successful one:  Primadonna Girl.  Each video was uploaded every 3 months which created great expectations and excitement with fans. This videos were strategically chosen to tell the story of a person who goes to a breakup. In this case, Marina personifies a woman who goes from a romantic state to a disheartened state. The aesthetics to the concept of the album was taken from the 50's and 60's and mixed with modern pieces to give Marina and the album a classic yet singular/twisted style.

She must shed her identity as someone’s girlfriend and must find her true identity again. For this purpose, she must dress up, she must be rebellious, she must try out what the world has to offers, she should be cynical about love, and then wake up of the fantastic idea of a perfect world and finally, after her great journey she will have to face her pain and reality dealing with it the best way she can.

Her music is eclectic-pop-electric-deep and honest. I can not see in Marina Diamandis any trace of falsehood and hypocrisy. Nice to hear and see a woman who is not afraid to say that a feminist can show her tenderness and sensuality without being fragile. ♡

The creation of her characters and their stories were smart, not only from a creative and commercial point of view but because it talk about the self-imposed or imposed archetypes that women often get trapped in. We might look or be like one of the women showed in one of the Electra Heart videos but, it certainly doesn't mean we have to stay the same and play the part forever.

Music critics were divided in their opinions of Electra Heart, expressing ambivalence towards Diamandis' shift in musical style and its overall production. The record debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart with first-week sales of 21,358 copies. In doing so, it became Diamandis' first chart-topping record there, although it was then distinguished as the lowest-selling number-one record of the 21st century in the country. The project was eventually certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry for exceeding shipments of 60,000 units. Electra Heart performed moderately on international record charts, including a peak position at number 31 on the US Billboard 200, and became Diamandis' highest-charting project in the United States.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ash-Wednesday: " ...And to dust you shall return."

" Memento homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris "

February 18 is Ash Wednesday, which kicks off the first day of Lent and it’s the sign that tells us that Easter approaches. The Bible does not mention Ash Wednesday or the custom of Lent, however, the practice of repentance and mourning in ashes is found in 2 Samuel 13:19; Esther 4:1; Job 2:8; Daniel 9:3; and Matthew 11:21.
Ashes are ceremonially placed on the heads of Christians on Ash Wednesday, either by being sprinkled over their heads or, in English-speaking countries, more often by being marked on their foreheads as a visible cross.

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes ....that comes from dead people...NOT! they are made from palm branches blessed on the previous year's Palm Sunday, and placing them on the heads of participants to the accompaniment of the words "Repent, and believe in the Gospel" or "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Lent is a solemn religious observance in the liturgical calendar of many Christian denominations that begins on Ash Wednesday and covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Sunday. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial.

" It is fast from the comfort of an easy life, low resistance, herd mentality, pleasure for pleasure. And above all, it is fast from power, and the glory complacency [... ] fast from selfishness, callousness and inhumanity. " It is the opposite of the Carnival season.

During Mardi Gras the world goes upside down. What do I mean? It’s simple really, some people wear masks to hide their identity and hiding means doing what you want without being judged by others, we wear different clothes even costumes and we become different people. The people, who wear more formal/serious clothes, will wear colors and relaxed outfits. Women will show alot of skin and Men will look at them without feeling guilty. We make fun of the church, politicians and public personalities in our society during this time because it is permitted.

In the early Middle Ages the Catholic Church proposed an etymology Carnival: the meat-levare in Vulgar Latin, meaning 'give up meat' (which was precisely the mandatory requirement for all people for all Fridays of Lent). Later another etymology which is currently handled in the popular area emerged: the Italian word carnevale, which meant the time during which you could eat. So Lent is the opposite of this, you don’t have to eat meat; you have to restrain yourself from eating and drinking with no control. Also it’s a time to control your body (sex -clothes) we get liberated during carnival and we satisfy our carnal body but during Lent, it is time to take care of our soul. 

The phrase from God to Adam: "Remember, man, that you are dust and unto dust you shall return." reminds him (and us) that we should not forget of our soul, our body is a temporary home/temple, we can do what ever we want with it but our soul is eternal and we should take care of it.

  • Here are three things to know about the day.

It marks first day of the 40 days of Lent, a roughly six-week period (not including Sundays) dedicated to reflection, prayer and fasting in preparation for Easter. It ends on Holy Thursday, the fifth day of Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter) that marks the Last Supper. In addition to certain rules about foods and fasting, many Christians (and even non-Christians) abstain from additional foods, luxury or material goods or certain activities and habits.

The ashes, applied in the shape of a cross, are a symbol of penance, mourning and mortality.

Have a happy Lent !


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