# 5 books to comprehend the Day of the Race

October the 12th is not remembered in America as a jolly holiday. For millions of people from the Arctic in Canada to “Tierra del Fuego” in the Strait of Magellan, this day is the beginning of a suffering persisting today. Continue reading

# Boost your Octave (for MATLAB users)

Let’s face it, you are using Octave because MATLAB is too expensive for you. Maybe you’re not student anymore and got used to play with MATLAB, but now you need the best free alternative.

Certainly, if money is not a problem, MATLAB would overperform Octave in most of their characteristics (not all of them and I’ll show you) and is surely the best option.

Fear not! GNU Octave is here, and yes, it is indeed the best alternative to MATLAB, but… it’s not the same. We know, and here I present some useful tips to avoid any conflict with your migration to the Octave world.

# Opera: Tijuana style

Ciudad Juárez, Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa… what do these cities have in common? They are border cities, where the violence in Mexico exploded due to the War on Drugs that devastated the northern part of the country.

Tijuana is precisely one of those cities that felt it heavily, but today teaches us a very nice lesson. Since years (even before the War on Drugs) Tijuana was world-known for its careless way of life. Alcohol, drugs, women, nasty streets and tough night life were part of the imagination when someone imagined the city.

The inhabitants, however, never lost their faith and found new ways to fight that feeling. As true Mexicans, they knew that violence cannot be stopped with more violence, and thus fought it the way they knew: sing and smile.

The Tijuana Cultural Centre and their young talents decided to give hope and draw smiles in its inhabitants with their own version of street Opera, a movement that has been seen previously in Europe, but a movement that Tijuana needed to gain energy and encourage their people to not give up and live peacefully. Did it work? Too soon to say, but oh boy! truly inspires.

# Día de Muertos: Tips to enjoy the tradition

Probably you know a bit about this tradition due to the curiosity about the “celebration of Death”. Well, Death is a topic with different points of view in the world.

As a Mexican there are many things that still surprise about this festivity, mainly because it is celebrated in different ways all along Mexico. Oh yeah, last year I made a video with the historical background and main topics of it. I recommend you to watch it before proceeding with the lines below.

I assume that you now understood that Mexicans are not celebrating Death, in the same sense that we are not having parties to say good-bye to our beloved dead. Continue reading

# The unforgettable October the 2nd

October the 2nd is a day making history in Mexico. Mexicans look at it with disgust and sadness, adding one painful memory to the national feeling.

1968 was the year of worldwide awakening and cultural revolutions led by students and social activists, and Mexico was not the exception. It was also the year in which the Olympics were held in Mexico, where the eyes of the world were pointing to the country. Continue reading

# How to use polyval

One of the easiest and most useful tools in Matlab is polyval, a very nice function that evaluates a polynomial function given its parameters and the range to evaluate… huh? All right, all right, we wanna be clear here, right?

Suppose we are given a polynomial function, let’s say:

$f(x) = 3x^3 + 4x + 2$

and we would like to represent it in Matlab like that. Well, we cannot just write it like that. Remember Matlab is a numerical computation programm, which means, that it won’t compute any symbol. So forget it if you wanna computate something writting letters. Matlabs wants only numbers. You might put names to the variables, but still, Matlab computes only with numbers.

Now, what to do? There’s where our great friend polyval comes to the rescue! Continue reading

# Cinco de Mayo: The battle

Without being a stereotype per se, the famous “May 5th” is loud and internationally linked to a Mexican celebration, but… what is supposed to be celebrated?

I’ll be short: the battle where Mexico defeated France. That’s all. In the second french intervention in Mexico (yes, they were two major french interventions in Mexico) in the middle of the XIX century, France invaded Mexico to annex it as a satellite state of France. The invasion started in Veracruz and headed to Mexico City, but in the middle of the way (in Puebla) the french army was slammed on the brakes and defeated by a totally underrated Mexican army.