Hi. How is your weekend going? I’ve been cleaning, spending time with family, and reading a lot (currently this creepy novel). Here are a few interesting things I’ve read recently on the Web related to the Basque Country:

This article about the effects of our plastic waste ending up in the world’s oceans is sobering. A team of international researchers estimated that in 2010 somewhere between 4.8 and 12.7 tons of plastic went out into the ocean. Over time the plastic breaks down into tiny particles that can then form a gel-like substance that fish eat. The University of the Basque Country’s Marine Station in Plentzia is studying these micro-plastics. The amount of plastic we go through on a daily and weekly basis is something that was already bothering me, but this article has got me thinking about it even more. I live in an area where most people recycle, but it still doesn’t seem like enough. Not all plastics can be recycled, and even if they could, wouldn’t it be better to use less of it in the first place? This reminds me of a TED Talk by a girl who changed her lifestyle to be almost completely waste-free. (Article in Basque, video in English.)

Have you ever heard of a time bank? I hadn’t, but it’s such a great idea, enabling a group of people to trade services with each other. Three young women are looking to start one in Sorginola. (In Basque.)

I liked this interview with Itziar Zabala, a young champion rock climber who decided to take a break from climbing to figure out what she really wanted for herself. (In Basque.)

” . . . nazioarteko txapelketetan hasi nintzenean, jolasa izateari utzi zion niretzat. Maila horretan aritzeak konpromiso maila handia eskatzen du, eta jolasa edo lehiaketa izatea nahi nuen pentsatzeak eraman ninduen txapelketak alde batera uztera.”

What are the top baby names in Euskadi? Ane for girls (it’s been number one for twenty years) and Markel for boys. In my time there I knew a lot of girls named Ane, but only one Markel. (In Basque.)

This article suggests that the reason Basque nationalism seems to have quieted down despite nationalist parties being in power is the economic crisis. (In English.)