• San Rafael Neighborhood Weekly Coffee Meet-Up
    They are meeting again today.
  • Vote Here: May 2019 Contest
    If you are having any trouble registering, confirming your email or voting please see Getting Started. Read this before Registering. Read this before Posting.
  • Chess at Cafe Arab'ella Saturday
    We are meeting again this Saturday. Last week we had five players including a seven year old total beginner, a good nine year old and three strong adults.

    The solution to the chess problem in the original post is:
    1. Qf8+ Rxf8
    2. Ne7#
    or, in words, Queen to f8 check, Rook takes Queen on f8, Knight to e7 checkmate.
  • Causes of Death
    As for the US State Department data, mentioned above, for foreign non-natural deaths of U.S. citizens, looking at San Miguel de Allende I see zero homicides for 2018, zero homicides for 2017, zero homicides for 2016, and one homicide in 2015 and a total of five for the time frame covered by the database (late 2002 through 2018).

    Based on this, US citizens are probably less likely to be murdered in SMA than in many places in the US.

    When it comes to murder, SMA has been a more dangerous place for Mexicans than for US citizens. But, past performance is no guarantee of future results. So, don't get too complacent if you are a US citizen here.

    These observations are not meant to minimize the deaths or the pain to the families and friends of the victims.
  • Causes of Death
    An estimated 161,250 preventable deaths occur each year in U.S. hospitals, a decline from three years ago, according to a new analysis from the Leapfrog Group.
    161,000 avoidable deaths occur in hospitals annually, Leapfrog Group finds

    Which is roughly about 50 per 100,000. What is or is not a "preventable" death in a hospital may be hard to define and classify but it seems way too many and at 50 per 100,000 would be one of the leading causes of death in the US.

    So we could go in for a simple operation and come out with a life-threatening infection, or not come out at all. And 12,000 die from surgeries that were unnecessary in the first place. For those keeping score, that’s 225,000 people dead from iatrogenic causes, meaning death by doctor, death by medical care. And that’s mostly just for patients in a hospital. In an outpatient setting, adverse effects can send millions to the hospital and result in perhaps 199,000 additional deaths. And this is not including all those just non-fatally injured, like oops, we just accidentally amputated the tip of your penis. And these estimates are on the low end. The Institute of Medicine estimated that deaths from medical errors may kill up to 98,000 Americans. That would bump us up to 284,000 dead, but even if we use the lower estimate, the medical profession constitutes the third leading cause of death in the United States. It goes heart disease, cancer, then me.

    One respondent pointed out that it was misleading to call medicine the third leading cause of death since many of those we kill also had heart disease or cancer. Doctors aren’t out there gunning down healthy people. Only people on medications are killed by medication errors or side effects. You have to be in a hospital to be killed by a hospital error. Exactly! That’s why lifestyle medicine is so important, because the most common reasons people are on drugs or in hospitals is for diseases that can be prevented with a healthy diet and lifestyle. The best way to avoid the adverse effects of medical care is to not get sick in the first place.

    Why Prevention is Worth a Ton of Cure
  • The Art of Nicole Brêda
    Nicole has some pieces listed on her website as available for purchase that were not there when we first posted this.
  • Tacos Don Felix
    Is the table tiny or the margarita massive?
    Photo © 2018 Glenn E Wilson (CC BY 4.0).
  • Forest Fires and Air Quality
    According to a count by the newspaper El Universal, there were at least 108 active wildfires in 17 states yesterday. Federal Civil Protection chief David León placed the figure at a slightly more modest 106.
    León said that 7,500 firefighters are working across the country to control and extinguish the blazes and called on the public to be alert to warnings and instructions from authorities.

    He said that Puebla was the worst affected state in terms of the area of land affected by wildfires.

    108 wildfires are burning in 17 states, most in central and southern regions
  • Plaza de los Insurgentes
    Thanks Bill.

    Google maps shows both "Plaza Canadá" and "Plaza Garibaldi" for that plaza. But they don't show "Plaza de los Insurgentes." The first use of Plaza de los Insurgentes I've noticed for that area is Sorprende a Sanmiguelenses pista de hielo en Plaza de los Insurgentes.
  • Forest Fires and Air Quality
    #NASAWorldview Image of the Week: Fires in Southern Mexico, as observed by the NASA Aqua MODIS instrument on 5/12/19. Interact with image using Worldview:

    NASA Worldview
  • The Best Cup Of Coffee In San Miguel de Allende
    Thanks Liz.

    As it turns out, National Geographic published an article on May 7 that I just noticed and, they too, like Ki’bok Coffee:

    Coffee-brewing is an art in this historic Mexican city

    In addition to lots of great photos, they say:
    At the top of a steep cobblestone street framed by mustard-yellow buildings hides Ki’bok Coffee, a tiny café that serves some of the best coffee in the world.
    Why is San Miguel’s coffee perfect for true aficionados? It all comes down to a few factors: source, preparation, and pride.

    “We have strong faith in Mexican beans,” says Christian Zaíd, one of the owners of El Café de la Mancha. The tiny joint in San Miguel’s downtown Zona Centro ethically sources its beans from a small farm some 400 miles away in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca.
    National Geographic

    Guess I need to try Ki’bok, La Ventana and the other spots mentioned.

    When we are in the states and want some great coffee (including coffee from the small, family farm in Oaxaca) we get our coffee from Proyecto Diaz Coffee. Full disclosure -- Fernando and Hannah-Love, who own and operate Proyecto Diaz Coffee, are our cousins.
  • Chess at Cafe Arab'ella Saturday
    Saturday May 11, we are meeting again for chess, 9am-11am at Cafe Arab'ella. Chess sets and beginner workbooks are available there anytime they are open.
  • Causes of Death
    Update: To clarify, the phrase above
    "all foreign deaths of U.S. citizens"
    should read
    "all foreign non-natural deaths of U.S. citizens"

    and that is what the US Department of State site shows, "each United States citizen who dies in a foreign country from a non-natural cause."
  • Causes of Death
    Between June 2017 and June 2018, 238 Americans died in Mexico, amounting to 29 percent of all U.S. citizens who perished overseas during the period, according to the U.S. Department of State. But in terms of homicide, Mexico looms much larger in the figures: Of the 152 who were murdered overseas during the 12 months in question, exactly half died in Mexico. Naturally, however, the question of scale is paramount in interpreting the figures. The 35 million U.S. tourists who visit Mexico dwarf the number of their compatriots (1.5 million) who go to nearby destinations such as Jamaica. And while just six Americans fell victim to homicide in the latter, the murder rate for U.S. citizens is, per capita, higher on the Caribbean island than it is in Mexico.

    To put things further into perspective, Chicago has a population of 2.7 million — about the same as the number of Americans that live in Mexico (to say nothing of the 35 million that visited last year). Last year, however, 561 people died in homicides in the Windy City, more than seven times the number of Americans who were murdered in Mexico.

    The Statfor article has useful context and advice on avoiding or minimizing risk and is worth a read.

    The graphic mentions "American Tourists" but the text in the article makes it clear that they are referring to all foreign deaths of U.S. citizens, whether tourists or residents. You can verify these numbers yourself at:

    US Department of State: U.S. Citizen Deaths Overseas.

    I can see the 76 homicides for June 2017 to June 2018 at that site, but in doing so I realized that it is a 13 month period. For July 2017 to June 2018 (12 months) there are 64 homicides. And the most recent 12 month period available, January 2018 to December 2018, shows 67 homicides out of 193 total deaths.

    If we use 67 homicides and 2.7 million U.S. citizens living in Mexico that results in a figure of about 2.5 per 100,000, well under the average U.S. murder rate.

    There is a wide range reported for how many U.S. citizens are living in Mexico and that makes a difference in this calculation. I would appreciate any pointers to a solid source.
  • Cinco de Mayo
    Some dispute the Wikipedia entry quoted above:

  • Causes of Death
    Based on a recent More Security in San Miguel de Allende Facebook post there have been 35 murders in SMA through April this year. At that rate, there would be 105 murders in 2019 or about 62 per 100,000 (105/170,000).

    That would put San Miguel at about number 15 on the Mexico's Citizens' Council for Public Security's annual ranking of the world's most violent cities, about tied with St. Louis, Missouri.

    Or, on the chart above that would be below Heart disease and Cancer but above Unintentional injuries ("accidents").
  • Chess at Cafe Arab'ella Saturday
    Again, this Saturday May 4, we are meeting for chess, 9am-11am at Cafe Arab'ella. Chess sets are available there anytime they are open.