Tuesday, 17 August 2010
From a Vilanova Perspective
August is the typical summer vacation month in the whole of Spain and I relax with the books "La Màscara del Rei Artur" by Pilar Rahola and "Ghosts of Spain - Travels through a Country Hidden Past" by Giles Tremlett. I can recommend them both - the former was published only recently, while it is the second time I read the latter one.
The IT-company ADQA, based in Vilanova i la Geltrú has produced the viral program to create avatars currently used by the TV3-competition "La Partida". The avatars can, for example, be used in profiles on Facebook.
Garraf, Costa Daurada, Alt Empordà and Costa Brava again experience problems with mobile phone coverage when, during the peak season, the load on networks increases.
Last year, the local police of el Vendrell did not manage to stop the sales of counterfeit products ("top manta" in Catalan), despite extensive efforts. This year the local authorities of el Vendrell and Calafell have chosen a solution which stirs up a lot of debate: not to interfere with this illegal trade as long as it takes place in two designated locations and not along the beach walk.
Castellers de Vilafranca reap success after success. A week ago, they built human towers of eight levels in Cracow, Poland, and last Sunday, in Bisbal del Penedès, they completed not only two rounds of castells of nine levels but also their first 5de8 amb l’agulla for this year.
During the period August 16-21, the Gràcia district celebrates its festa major with the usual elaborate street decorations.
The NGO Barcelona Acció Solidària denies that it has received new evidence of life from the two help workers who were kidnapped by Al Qaeda. They are believed to be held somewhere in the desert of Mali but, since March, there has not been any new information about their situation.
The Catalan police Mossos d’Esquadra have, in Vilanova i la Geltrú and Sant Cugat del Vallès, arrested seven members of a criminal group which regularly brought in over one tonne of hashish per month to Catalonia. The same gang also committed burglary and was targeted thanks to the criminal investigations of such cases.
Sevilla F.C. won 3-1 over F.C. Barcelona in the first of two matches in the Spanish Super Cup (Supercopa de España - played between the winners of the liga and the Spanish Cup (Copa del Rey, in Spanish)). Zlatan Ibrahimović scored Barça’s only goal, in a team dominated by young people from the B-team, as the eight players of the Spanish World Cup squad did not take part, and Lionel Messi was allowed to rest during the start of the match. Despite the extraordinary line-up, many interpret the results as proof that Barça needs to carry out some further acquisitions of players.
MundoDeportivo.es has started a Facebook group called "Also I am MOUtivated and want to see Barça win the league and Spanish Cup over Real Madrid ("A mi también me MOUtiva que el Barça Gane la Liga y la Champions al Madrid", in Spanish).
Barça has candidates in all four categories to win the prize as the best UEFA club football player of the 2010 Champions’ League. Among the goalkeepers we find Victor Valdés against Julio Cesar (Inter Milan) and Hugo Lloris (Olympique Llyonnais). Among the defenders, Gerard Piqué is nominated along with Lucio and Maicon (both from Inter). Among the midfielders, Xavi Hernández stands against Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich) and Wesley Sneijder (Inter). Messi, finally, compete with the other forwards Diego Milito (Inter) and Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).
On Twitter the list WAG (wives and girl friends) is now being offered for those who want to follow what the football stars' wives and girlfriends are up to.
A neurologic study by the University of Castellón indicates that those who fully master both Catalan and Spanish do not only draw linguistic advantages of their bilingualism, but also have a faster response and better capacity to concentrate than those who only have one mother tongue.
Coming Thursday, the union of air traffic controllers will vote on whether to accept a draft agreement with AENA, and that would save Spain from the previously announced strike.
A new law on transparency and citizen access of to public information (Ley de Transparencia y Acceso de los Ciudadanos a la Información Pública, in Spanish) will come into force next year as a first step for Spain towards open government (cf. freedom of information legislation offentlighetsprincipen of Sweden).
Local politicians of all colours have made a rare joint call for access to loans in order to cover debts of 12.000 million Euro. The government was planning to resolve this through so called ICO loans but that does not work: partly since only 3.000 million Euro have been made available and partly because such loans must be repaid on the due date. Spanish municipalities therefore opt to continue funding many activities as they have done so far - by delaying payments to their suppliers.
August 15, many towns celebrate their patron saints (fiestas patronales, in Spanish) and that has historically resulted in a peak in the statistics over car accidents. This year, 10 people lost their lives - compared to the 31 traffic related deaths during the same weekend in 2009.
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The summary covers the period from my last text of this series until Monday August 16. If there are news which you think that I have missed, I ask you toleave a comment and, even better, include links. All news that I consider fit into this context will be added as up-dates.
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Sources and Inspiration:
Vilanova i la Geltrú, Garraf and the rest of Penedès
DiariDeVilanova: L’empresa vilanovina ADQA, present al programa de TV3 ‘La Partida’
DiariDeVilanova: Problemes de cobertura de mòbil durant l'estiu
El3deVuit.cat: Un pacte incòmode
Avui/ElPunt: El Vendrell i Calafell pacten els punts de ‘top manta'
Avui/ElPunt: Els verds se superen
El3deVuit.cat: Els Castellers de Vilafranca fan castells de vuit a Cracòvia
Avui/ElPunt: Gràcia arrenca les festes amb un esclat de color i creativitat
LaVanguardia: Barcelona Acción Solidària aclara que las pruebas de vida de los cooperantes secuestrados son de marzo y 'no actuales'
Avui/ElPunt: Una banda introduïa més d'una tona d'haixix al mes
MundoDeportivo.es: Fichar o no fichar: El 3-1 encajado en Sevilla realimenta el debate en el Barça
MundoDeportivo.es: Valdés, Piqué, Xavi y Messi candidatos a Jugador del Año de la Liga de Campeones
LaVanguardia: Valdés, Piqué, Xavi y Messi, candidatos a Jugador del Año
MundoDeportivo.es: Las WAG en Twitter. ¿Conoces la lista de novias y mujeres de deportistas en las redes sociales?
Catalonia and Spain
Avui/ElPunt: El cervell de les persones bilingües és més ràpid i eficaç
LaVanguardia: La votación de los controladores aéreos para aceptar el acuerdo se retrasa al jueves
ElPais: Una ley regulará el 'derecho a saber' de los ciudadanos ante la Administración
ElPais: Los Ayuntamientos exigen poder endeudarse para esquivar la ruina
ElPais: El fin de semana más temido en la carretera se salda con dos tercios menos de muertos