Argentina is abuzz today. Former Argentine president Néstor Kirchner, husband of the nation's current leader Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, died suddenly this morning of a heart attack at the age of 60. While I don't support the politics of the Kirchners, my heart goes out to the president and her family at this difficult time.
The political landscape of Argentina will surely be altered by this event. As Taos Turner of The Argentine Post noted on Twitter, "This feels like the death of a head of state, not that of a former president. It changes everything." For more on the details and political implications of Néstor Kirchner's death, click here.
On a lighter note, the Argentine government declared today Census Day, and businesses and schools have been ordered to remain closed until 8pm so that every citizen may be counted. Rather than mailing out forms to households, which would surely either a) never be returned or b) get lost/intercepted/ stained beyond legibility by a postal worker's mate at Correo Argentino, census takers have been hired to visit each and every home.
While I didn't venture out to the grocery store yesterday, Dan Perlman of SaltShaker tweeted that in Buenos Aires, "supermarkets look like war zones as people are buying everything they can lay their hands on. Come on, it's only a 12 hour closure tomorrow!" His observation reminded me of how people generally react to the forecast of a winter storm back in the Philly area. The major difference in this case seemed to lie in the fact that no one was clamoring to stock up on rock salt, though I imagine that supplies of toilet paper were similarly hard hit.
Lastly, I leave you all with a piece of news that's not likely to change the course of human events, but it's exciting to me nonetheless. Seashells and Sunflowers now boasts its very own .com domain! The blog can now be accessed at www.seashellsandsunflowers.com. Visitors to the old Blogspot domain will be automatically directed to the new address; however, I'd appreciate it if you'd take the time to update your bookmarks, links, blogrolls, etc. ¡Gracias!
[Photo credit: Mike Bailey-Gates]