Albums Music

The Wombats – A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation

{mosimage}The Wombats do not come from Australia but from Liverpool and are ready to make you move your body in the dance floor.

The Wombats were born in 2003 in Liverpool, being the band composed by “Murph” Murphy (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Dan Haggis (drums, vocals) and Norwegian Tord Overland Knudsen (bass, vocals). They introduce us their debut album: A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation, that surely will not make you feel indifferent.

A lot of humour starting from the songs titles, in tracks like Kill the Director or in the off-kilter waltz Party in The Forest (Where is Laura?), but also with a certain touch of sadness and not taking themselves too seriously, like the singer Murph himself recognises: “It is fun, but with dark undertones thrown in there. There’s a fair bit of self-deprecation going on”. And certainly there must be a mix of both for mixing successfully concepts like dancing in a discotheque and the melancholy of Joy Division in a song like Let’s dance to Joy Division.

No band had had the balls to join such concepts before!  In a way, it is the same old story written with a softer and not so serious touch, the life of some young guys full of lost love, parties and some small mischief. Nothing better to resume the philosophy of the band that the first track’s title: Tales of Girls, Boys & Marsupials. At some point their rhythms can remind you of the Swedes The Hives, adding the perfect doses of nostalgia to be very well received by the Finnish audience. Definitely one of the best and freshest debut albums of the last months.

Rating 4/5

Albums Music

Widescreen Mode – Until the End

{mosimage}Widescreen Mode has become one of the newest and hottest hard rock bands in Finland, with the release of their debut album: Until the End.

he debut album of the Finnish metal band Widescreen Mode, Until the End, has raised like a rocket into the Finnish music charts, directly to the peak, and this is greatly due to the good promotion campaign in Internet, MySpace and Itunes with their first single Everlasting Bomb (lyrics inspired by the film The Planet of the Apes), a success that has been followed and even increased with the second single of the album: Dead Inside, an excellent choice since it is undoubtedly one of the best tunes of the whole record.

The band from Riihimaki is composed by Samu Brusila on the vocals, Janne Lahtinen as guitarist, Janne Stenroos on the bass and Janne Aaltonen on the drums (it could have perfectly been renamed as "the Jannes").

Widescreen Mode makes a perfect example on how the promotion in alternative channels like Internet can bring excellent results. They were finalist in the MTV’s unsigned competition and have gathered more than 65.000 fans in MySpace. But when I listen to them, I cannot see the special magic needed to push the songs to the number 1 of the charts. The melodies are correct and technically, they sound compact; the vocals skills of Samu work fine, the CD visual design is cool, but the sound, that explores more the softer than the rougher side of the metal, although the brutal beginning of the album in Without Me could mislead you, is typical and unsurprising; nothing that you could not hear from dozens of other Finnish bands trying to make their way in the difficult world of music business. In any case, for being a debut album, it gives a very praising result, and hopefully with more maturity and new works Widescreen Mode could reach the status of new Finnish super metal band. But there is still a long way to go…

Rating 3/5

Albums Music

Serj Tankian – Elect the Dead

{mosimage}Singer Serj Tankian launches his solo debut album, free of System of a Down's guitarist's Daron Malakian's influences. He is also touring and promoting the album with a new backing band that he calls the FCC: Flying Cunt of Chaos.

Many fans of System of a Down were not much happy with Malakian´s late attitude of taking a bigger role in the vocals parts of System of a Down. Now they can feel happy with Tankian's first solo album, introducing again in plenitude the unique Serj's vocal talents. Do not expect in any case bigger changes from SOAD´s style. The album is similar in many aspects to works like Mesmerize, but obviously with a more personal touch by Tankian. Furious, politically involved and combative and with Tankian´s elastic and expressive vocals flooding the album in every song.

The album enjoys some glorious moments like in Saving us or the final track Elect the Dead, but part of the magic that you could find in SOAD is lost here. It seems that Tankian wanted to satisfy the old fans while trying to create something a bit different, but at the end got disoriented in the middle of the crossroad and the result gets overcooked; his shouts can turn from dynamic into annoying. Not a bad effort though, since the songwriting is brilliant and the rebellious attitude continues at its top.

Tankian shows why he has more balls than most of the people in the American  musical industry, with a praising  balance of quality and dignity. While SOAD takes a break, Elect the Dead is a good choice to await until Malakian and Tankian will rejoin forces.

Rating 3/5

Albums Music

Sunrise Avenue – Live in Wonderland

{mosimage}Sunrise Avenue
is one of the new Finnish bands that got quite a big international
success, especially in Germany. They present their new DVD: Live in Wonderland.

The band appeared
recently also in the news for not such a happy reason: their guitar
player and founder member Janne Kärkkäinen was fired
due to differences with the rest of the musicians, and replaced by a
new guitarist, Riku, that made possible to save the present European
tour where the band is involved.

What we have here is
the new DVD recorded on March 25th at E-Werk, Cologne. Sunrise Avenue
is a big success in Germany, so it was an excellent chance to
transmit that devotion of the German public (many female teenagers in
the first rows of the show) towards Samu Haber, the singer and
composer, and his fellows. The live DVD comes after the release of
the first album of the band: One way to Wonderland, and I must
admit that I am not very kind of bands releasing live material at
such an early stage of their careers. Even the musicians themselves
admit that they lack a larger repertoire when facing the encore. All
along the 15 tracks (plus the bonus track Diamonds) you can
see a young band that transmits a happy spirit and sunshine in the
melodies. Samu connects pretty well with the audience testing his
German language skills, but I don’t consider his vocal skills any
special. My impression towards Sunrise Avenue is that they are not so
different from many other pop-rock bands that appeared recently in
the Finnish scene (for example, labels like Fullsteam have
literally flooded the market with bands with similar style). Easy
pop-rock that can be easily swallowed by a broad teenage audience;
Same old formula. The band shows its best when they try harder riffs
and they really rock in some songs like in the introductory Choose
to be me
or the final one Nasty, but the public clearly
appreciates more softer tunes like Into the Blue or Fairytale
Gone Bad

About the technical
features, the design of the DVD main menu is quite cool, and you can
also have access to some interesting extras like images taken on the
road during the tour. Pay attention to some funny comments like when
Samu affirms that “this is a non-alcoholic tour, as usual” but
some minutes later you can see some members of the band holding
bottles of beers in their hands… Well, otherwise that would not be
a Finnish band on tour!

In any case, my
perception is that this DVD on live comes too much earlier for a band
with hardly just one studio album released. It smells too much like a
product thought by the brains in the record label to take advantage
of the present success, but they should have waited a bit more to let
the guys mature and show more experience on stage. If you are not a
fan of the band, do not waste your money on it.

Rating: 2/5

Albums Music

RATT – Tell the world

{mosimage}Do you remember the eighties? And how the glam scene was dominating the

American bands coming mostly from the sleazy Los Angeles scene like Dokken,
Poison, Mötley Crüe,
or Faster Pussycat,
with tons of make-up, an androgynous image and a lot ease on stage that was
able to turn male and female audiences crazy. And RATT was one of the
sexiest bands of that era; straight guitar riffs from the excellent Warren
mixed with excellent lyrics that made them have a place in the
heart of millions of listeners.

For those of you who were too young to enjoy the “glammy” movement, now
you have the chance to rediscover the band, or just to jump a couple of decades
back in time with this greatest hits edited by Atlantic. 20 featured
tracks, material gathered mostly from their first and most successful four
albums although you can find also a couple of songs at the end from the latest
90s: Steel
and Way Cool
from their MTV Unplugged).

Listen again to the catchy chorus
of Round and Round, the powerful lyrics in I want a Woman, the
killer opening riff in You are in Love or the sultry Nobody rides for
.  RATT continues alive nowadays
in 2007, but only two original members are left after continuous formation
changes over the last years and the death of the guitarist Robin Crosby
in 2002.

If you already had the 91 RATT´s compilation called Ratt ´n Roll 8191,
probably this album is not going to add much to your collection, since the
material is quite similar, but for fans and new incomers, this is an excellent
chance to get some taste from the fabulous eighties.

Rating 4/5

Albums Music

Yes – Symphonic Live

in DVD in Finland of the classic show offered by Yes in Amsterdam during
their tour in 2001, when they fulfilled their dream of playing together with an

It seems
that symphonic rock is living a new golden era with new generations and old
fans rediscovering the mega bands that reached fame at the end of the 70s and
beginnings of the 80s. Recently we saw the appearance of a new DVD of Asia
featuring his old masterful guitarist Steve Howe, who stars again in
this re-release of the concert offered by Yes in Amsterdam during the 2001 tour: Yes
Symphonic Live.

This time
they enjoy the company on stage of the European Festival Orchestra, directed by
Wilhelm Keitel. Young and talented musicians who give a fresh note
backing the old monsters of rock. They provide dynamic introductions for the
songs, a lot of smiles and a good spirit that creates an excellent feeling on
stage and with the audience.

I must admit
that I have never been a fan of rock concerts where you have to seat in front
of the stage. For me rock is often associated with sweating, standing, clapping
hands, jumping and forgetting yourself for a couple of hours, but nevertheless
here you can really see the audience, composed by old and young people quite
equally, quite excited standing continuously and cheering up the band. The
vocalist Jon Anderson looks a bit forced in his speeches to the public
(sometimes he is funny, sometimes he pretends to be) but the quality of his
voice is undeniable. My favourite parts of the show are at the beginning with Close
to the Edge
, and later with the classics Gates of Delirium and Starship
. The new song Don´t go from Magnification album
released that same year also sounds excellent and harmonious with the
older hits. Roundabout puts the big end to the show with the orchestra
standing by the band, and although it was never one of my favourites, it is
still highly appreciated by the fans.

All in all,
what can you expect of a symphonic rock band accompanied by a symphonic
orchestra? Well, an overdose of symphonic music. The show sometimes feels
excessive, and although I am sure that many Yes fans will enjoy every
minute of it, I found myself a bit bored during some instrumental parts. Maybe
157 minutes of symphonic rock can turn to be too much if you don’t make pauses
or have a couple of bottles of wine while watching the show. The sound quality
is nevertheless excellent and the replacement keyboard player, the young Tom
connects perfectly with the rest of the band.

For many old
fans and unconditional followers of Yes, this could be probably the definite
DVD to be purchased. In my opinion, although with some brilliant parts, it
turns to be a bit too much excessive.

Rating 3/5

Albums Music

Asia – Fantasia

{mosimage}Asia, the progressive rock super band from
the eighties is back with its four original members in a DVD that celebrates
the 25th anniversary of the release of their first and acclaimed
album Asia.

The release
of the album Asia provoked a lot
of controversy among the followers of progressive rock. For many, it was
welcomed as one of the best albums of the decade. For others, it was a betrayal
to the style due to the excessive commercial touch of the lyrics. In any case,
and after several years when Asia did not enjoy much success, time has passed
by and history makes justice with this DVD filmed in Tokyo in March 2007 that
commemorates the 25h anniversary of the release of their first album, with the
4 original members: Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and John Wetton reunited in a
tour that made dreams come true for many old fans.

obviously the band does not sound as compact as it could be after so many years
of separation, the skilled musicians are able to display an entertaining and
plain show. 2 hours of music where Asia play
old classics that have turned into real history of rock as Sole Survivor
or Heat of the Moment (too much extended version for my taste) and also
every member of the band add 1 song brought from their other projects. One
Step Closer
sounds emotive while Video Killed the Radio Star sounds
funny. Later on Steve Howe wins the audience over with their solos playing the
mandolin and the Spanish guitar, although across some moments in the concert he
seems to be lost and not totally comfortable on stage. John Wetton´s vocal
skills sound superb, Carl Palmer shows once more how amazingly good he is
behind the drums, but somebody should advise Geoff Downes about his dressing
style; the man would have been perfectly taken from “Spinal Tap 2.0 progressive
rock version”… The sound of the show is clean and with excellent quality but we
miss a bit more of interaction of the public all along the DVD (maybe this can
be due to the post-production more than to the coldness of Japanese fans).

To sum up,
this is a product that probably won’t make feel especially excited to metal
headers and fans of Lordi, but that surely will delight all those lovers
of progressive rock and old Asia fans.

Rating 4/5 

Cinema DVD

Write for your rights

{sidebar id=29}In the world
where we live nowadays, full of intolerance, racism and hate that seems to grow
up without reason from every corner, films like Freedom Writers
are needed and received as a fresh breeze that brings some hope.


Based on the
book The Freedom Writers Diary that compiles the story of Erin Gruwell
and her pupils during her first years as teacher in a problematic and violent
high school in Los Angeles,
the film teaches that the first knowledge that the pupils must learn in the
classrooms is respect for the others. Hilary Swank is convincing as the
naïve but strong idealistic teacher, and Jack Dempsey plays his part as
forgotten husband who spends his lonely hours watching matches on TV.

The story,
which happens mostly inside the classrooms, has some really emotive moments
when the youngsters remember their relatives and friends fallen due to
violence, or when Gruwell make them face the story of Ana Frank and the
Nazi Holocaust.  Sometimes situations
cross the border of melodramatic and turn into ridiculous, with some dialogues
that we hardly expect to happen in a real classroom, but all in all, the film
is well enough balanced and achieves the goal of transmitting a message of
hope, understanding and equality for those viewers who want to listen to it.
For some of you, it can make you take a pencil again after a long time and
forget for some hours the personal computer on exchange of the familiar
notebook, or simply make you reflect for some minutes that the problems of your
neighbour are not so far from your own ones.

Cinema DVD

Leather, bikes and flames

{sidebar id=23} Director Mark Steven Johnson was not very popular character for
comic fans after his weak adaptations of previous comics Elektra and
. It seems that he does not want to “disappoint” anyone with this
reputation completing with this Ghost Rider a trilogy of films to forget.
Not even a couple of Hollywood super stars as
Nicholas Cage as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider and Peter Fonda as the devil
himself are able to disguise the lack of quality all over the film.

The storyline is very weak, the film is as predictable as it can get, so
it turns to be horribly boring. The decoration look cheap and the special
effects look totally artificial. Dialogues make you laugh, but not exactly due
to their inventive and nobody believes even that Cage has that hyper-muscled
body for real. Peter Fonda looks plausible but the gang of demons that wander
with Blackheart would not scare a 5 year old child. I think that Wes Bentley
was looking even scarier when filming a plastic bag in American Beauty
than here…

Added to all this Eva Mendes’s and Brett Cullen’s lines
can make you feel like going to prepare some popcorns in the middle of the

The question is: Was this adaptation needed? In recent years we have
assisted to the chained release of many movies whose inspiration is taken
directly from such a rich source as comics is. There have been products for all
kind of tastes, and not all the adaptations are bad (look at the excellent Spiderman
released not a long time ago). But maybe it is about time in Hollywood industry to think twice before wasting budget
in another bad film that will pass to story with no glory. Next time that
Steven Johnson’s name will be announced for a new adaptation, I am afraid that
more than one comic fans body will shake in pain. It is known that Cage
collaborated actively in the writing process of the film. From here, we can
just advice Nicholas to keep just in acting roles.

Cinema DVD

A rifle in your life

{sidebar id=22} We saw snipers in
films like the new version of The Jackal (1997, and by the way, for
those lovers of the detail, the action of the movie was starting in Helsinki) or most
recently with Jarhead, a shout of alert against the paranoid mood that
accompanies the American soldiers while staying in Iraq.

I must
recognize that until now, Antoine Fuqua was a director that had never been
able to convince me. I always consider him too lucky to handle enormous budgets
for creating mediocre products. He is the man behind movies like Replacement
or Training Day, and although he always achieves some
exciting action sequences, their films have always lacked some “punch” to turn
them into real classics. But well, it seems that he has finally
achieved it with The Shooter, his most solid film so far.

The storyline
is good with excellent twists; the action is astonishing, the actors are credible
all the time and you feel hooked to the plot from the beginning to the end.
Probably the success is in great part due to the excellent cast: big names and
great recognized actors like Danny Glover, Elias Koteas and Rade Serbedzija
together with promising new blood like Rhona Mitra and Michael Peña.
The main role as the “difficult-to-kill” sniper goes for Mark Wahlberg,
who shows film after film great skills and good taste when choosing new works, not
only like a tough guy but also touching other genres like comedy (check the
excellent I love Huckabees). Does anybody still remember him in his young
years as the political non-correct white raper singer Marky Mark? The
times are changing…

I hope that Fuqua
can make honour to his status in Hollywood
in the future with more interesting works like this The Shooter. One of
the best action movies of the year.

Albums Music

Uniklubi – Luotisade

{mosimage}Uniklubi, the young band from Tampere, releases their
third studio album, Luotisade,
 after having becoming the favourite of many
teenagers in Finland due in great part to their previous hit included in their
first album (and named after that song):
Rakkautta ja Piikkilankaa.

Being quite an unusual feature, in Uniklubi  the bass player, Teemu Rajämaki, is the
one who composes most of the lyrics. About the new work, just after a curious
short intro where you can listen to the voice of a child in a lullaby that
could perfectly be extracted from a Tubular Bells album, in Luotisade
you can find good and catchy melodic rock in tunes like Vnus or the more romantic one Luotisade
that gives name to the album.

There is also space for heavier sound as you can
find in the seventh track Varjoon Juuttunut. Singing all the songs in
Finnish language, the bands market gets reduced basically in a great extent to their
native Finland.
Uniklubi faces quite a tough competence in this national market against other bands
with similar style and more experienced as Apulanta (many guitar riffs
sound exactly the same), Technicolour or Negative but album after
album the “Tamperelaiset” boys achieve quite a personal sound and own style
that undoubtedly will make them gain positions in the band list of future
summer festivals.

At the cinema Cinema

Independence Day with robots

For me and many of my close friends, Transformers
was much more than just another science fiction movie project.  We belong to a generation that grew up sitting
on the sofa since early hours in the morning, in front of the TV set, devouring
one animation series after another, totally flabbergasted by the huge amount of
new and exciting shows coming from America and Japan. And Transformers was
for most of us, the cherry on top of the cake. It was a happy time with no much
worries; our glass of milk in one hand, the biscuits in the other, and the eyes
was totally hypnotized in front of the screen, watching the battles of Autobots
and Deserticons.

For many of you, the story is well known.
Two robotic clans with amazing skills and powers, coming from a destroyed
planet, that find the Earth their second home. One of them is evil and wants to
destroy human beings: The Decepticons. The others are friendly with
humans: The Autobots. Both clans have charismatic leaders whose names
are an evocation of power: Optimus Prime, the red and blue truck, leader
of the Autobots that fights against Megatron, the sneaky and nasty boss of the

Many were the fans of the original animation
series that was released in 1984 and the success was so huge that countless
series, comics and adaptations were made in following years. The product got
followers in Japan,
and Europe, becoming a worldwide phenomenon. I
have read many blogs where every Transformer´s character is deeply
analyzed to the last chapter and verse, and even some freaks fans had an
enormous pleasure in theorizing about twisted love relations between human
characters and robots.

And here we are in 2007, where finally the project
is taken by Hollywood
and put under the hands of Michael
(director among
others of The Island or Pearl Harbor).
Well, I was a bit afraid before watching the final product about what kind of
angle would be used for the adaptation. I suppose, as many other fans, you
always try to preserve the original spirit as much as possible. After watching
it, I think that the title of this article speaks by itself. Michael Bay
has created a film that is totally directed to hail the American way of life,
and the power and sophistication of their weapons and arsenal. This is really a
pity, because the original idea could have been developed into a really much
more wonderful result.

The robots, that should be basically the “main course” of
the film, are poorly depicted. You can hardly make any difference about who is
who, or what are the special features that every robot has. And the extremely
fast rhythm of the action and battles does not help at all to solve the
problem. Michael Bay continues stamping the “video clip
tempo” in his action movies, and the spectator continues praying for an
explanation to understand what is happening on the screen.

About the human
characters, Shia LaBeouf
looks like a clown all along the film, and it is difficult to concentrate on Megan
’s acting skills, since every shot where she appears is treated as if
taken from a Playboy sketch. The girl is really hot… and not much more to add.
I don’t know what is about with such a huge polemic about Iranian videogames promoting
actions against western countries, when products so unnecessarily pro-America
like this slap on our face month after month. I have nothing against USA. I am a
citizen of the world and I think that it should be easier if people just would
appreciate what is good from every culture. But I hate to feel betrayed as a
fan. I hate when such a nice original idea as Transformer was is just
turned into a political propaganda movie. I have no other option that just jumping
back in time and use my memory to remember again the good moments sitting on my
sofa with my glass of milk in one hand, and the Transformer's catchy
intro music announcing that another great episode was just going to be

The Best

When Optimus Prime cries: Autobots, transform
and roll out!

The couple of times
when the robot leaders really “mean business” and destroy an enemy.

The Worst

The Americanization of the concept that destroys the original spirit of the

The Detail

When the Autobots first crash to Earth in meteor form, a man with a
video camera exclaims, "This is so much better than Armageddon"; in
allusion to director Michael Bay's
earlier film Armageddon.

The poker deck with Saddam Hussein.

Participate in our Transformers competition and win good prizies. Click here

Articles Misc

All our lines are busy…

Why, why,
why? Tell me why! Why do we have to go through this torture every time we call
a customer service number of a big company or institution? If they do not have
enough personnel to attend the incoming calls, why do they not hire more staff?
Is this a worldwide Machiavellian plan to get on our nerves?

My second
favourite experience is when I call customer service numbers and they throw
recorded messages into your ears with a wide range of possibilities in three
different languages (I have to wait to for the English, which follows the
Finnish and Swedish explanations since I still do not have a mastery of this
beautiful Mikael Agricola language. So again, time to prepare coffee…).

 “If you want to consult your account
movements, press 1”. (this doesn’t make sense) “If you want to listen to the
last hockey match, press 2” etc. Most times you have to choose the last option
(“For other Inquiries”) since there is nothing that suits the simple question
you want to make. These are only the first steps of a tortuous ascent that,
usually, leads to the operator not understanding your enquiry, and you end up
being transferred from one department to another like a ping-pong ball.
Meanwhile, you pray that somebody with some common sense will attend to you.

So, my dear
friends, it cannot exactly be said that customer service culture in Finland is
highly developed. I still consider it a huge abuse to pay 2,5 euro in whatever
cafeteria of a city when I have to grab my cup, fill it with coffee, be careful
not to drop the milk jug and hunt for the sugar at the counter, while the
waiter/waitress’s only task is to hand you your bank card receipt to be signed.
Shouldn’t they be paying me for serving myself?

It is the
same when you try to purchase a train ticket at the station. Basically, the
customer service is there to make it more complicated when you want your money
back because you missed the train by a couple of minutes, or you buy a wrong
ticket because you do not understand the instructions in Finnish in the ticket
machine. Is it a part of the same worldwide Machiavellian plot that, with no
variation, half of the staff at the counters of railway stations cannot speak
proper English? No matter if it is in Helsinki, Beijing or Rome, the staff is
carefully selected and placed in customer service positions to make
communication more complicated. It is really a mysterious thing. Maybe Osama
Bin Laden is behind the recruitment processes for customer service positions
all over the world in order to create chaos and destruction.

Maybe, it is
just that I am getting old when I start to miss so many things from the good
old times: simple things such as making a phone call to ask a simple question,
and be greeted on the other end of the line by a real human being!

Cinema Features

The spider is back

Maybe many of you did not know that before this original appearance, Stan Lee dismissed the design for Spider-man that Jack Kirby initially drew. In this first design, that was never published, Spider-man was heavier and with more muscles, and instead of acquiring his powers because of the radiation, he could get his amazing powers carrying a ring. Ditko's ideas prevailed.

Marvel did not believe in the success of the new hero, and the first adventures were published in a magazine that was going to be imminently closed. In August 1962 Spider-man's first adventures were published in the magazine Amazing Fantasy #15. More issues of the magazine were published and the readers quickly identified with the new hero and asked for more. The result: the first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man was published in March 1963. The rest is comic history.

{mosimage}The first appearances of Spider-man in films date back in the 60s and have nothing to do with the enormous budgets of the Sam Raimi's movies. The first adaptation is an amateur movie directed and performed by Donald F. Glut done in 1963 in which Spiderman fights Dr. Lightning. Three years later, the first commercial Spider-man was done in Turkey (Örümcek adam, 1966). More popular were the tv movies and series in the end of the 70s.

Thanks to Sam Raimi the series went big in 2002. It was the first film of what it is expected to be a series of six. And what can the spectator expect in this third Spider-man film: Well, amazing new enemies such as Sandman and Venom, the extreme beauty of Kirsten Dunst as the red-haired Mary Jane, and overall the excitement of watching Spider-man dressed in a black costume fighting against his most powerful enemy: his dark side.

Articles Misc

Knut, the cute Polar Bear

Everybody seems to be delighted by the appearance of such a lovely creature that will be contemplated in future time in the German zoo. For me, I just can feel pity. Knut is not the first animal who becomes a symbol of a zoo, or even of a nation. To my mind come the names of the Panda bear Chu-Lin in Madrid zoo, or the exceptionally white gorilla Copito de Nieve (Snowflake) in Barcelona zoo. In these three cases, the species belong to the black list of animals under the risk of extinction.

As far as I understand, the justification of the existence of zoological parks, those should serve for having a glimpse of what you can find in the real nature, more than as last hope of survival for species that are annihilated in their natural habitats. Knut, Chu-Lin or Copito did not have any other choice than living inside a cage, because most probably they will be dead if belonging to their natural habitats.

Days ago a new report by the UN was published where it is affirmed that the change of climate can lead to the disappearance of 30% of the present existing species if things continue the way they are. My god! Almost one-third of all the species existing on our planet are at serious risk of perishing forever, which has huge negative consequences for humankind. And what is humankind doing meanwhile? Watching Idols on TV!

Would you allow somebody to attack your children while playing in a park? So at what point do the human race became so passive when facing the imminent tragedy that will devastate our future generations? How much do we have to wait before asking for real measures to save the world? Until it is too late? This same discourse has been told by the ecologists for decades, but now the scientists are undoubtedly telling us that the time is running out, and we still prefer to look the other way.

What amazes me is our capacity to continue drinking our coffee and turning the page to the following piece of news, instead of instantly breaking into tears contemplating the tragedy of our mother Gaia, provoked by none other than ourselves. Saramago, the Literature Nobel Prize winner, in his recent visit to Finland, said that he could not understand how we were so worried to send spacecrafts to Mars when at the same time millions of people were dying of starvation on Earth. But Saramago, at his age, seems to still have faith about humankind. I am starting to lose mine.

Knut, my cute polar bear, I just hope a long life for you in Berlin zoo, and I just also hope that the day when the flame of your existence disappears – and let’s expect a long healthy life for you, my dear teddy bear – you will not be remembered as the last one of your kind.