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Equestrianism

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

My favourite hobby is horse riding, undoubtedly. I have always had a special connection to these animals that I find not only beautiful but astonishing.

A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful – and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence. Pam Brown

Caballo-Arabe-NegroThe horse has played an important role throughout human history all over the world, horses have been used in wars and in peaceful moments. It is not easy to affirm the exact date horses were domesticated and when they were first ridden; it seems that horses first were ridden approximately 4500 BC. Nevertheless it seems evident that horses were ridden long before they were driven.

What is clear is that horse riding is a hobby which is enjoyed by all ages. Most people start horse riding when young,but there are many people who take up horse riding for the first time later in life.

Horse riding (British English) or Equestrianism (from Latin equester, equestr-, horseman, horse)  refers to the skill of riding or driving horses. This description includes the use of horses for working purposes or competitive sport, not forgetting that horses are also used to improve human health and emotional development. Read more…

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New Zealand history

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

There are many historical aconteciments in New Zealand which are the most important happenings for the development of the Australian country.

NEW-ZEALAND Read more…

Categories: History

The Wild Bunch

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

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The Wild Bunch is considered one of the best Westerns of all time, with a cast of an unquestionable strength. This unforgettable adventure of big general shots and fast action definitely deserves to stay in any films compendium. It stars William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O’Brien, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson and Jaime Sánchez. According to Vincent Canby, he called the film “very beautiful and the first truly interesting American-made Western in years. It’s also so full of violence –of an intensity that can hardly be supported by the story – that it’s going to prompt a lot of people who do not know the real effect of movie violence (as I do not) to write automatic condemnations of it.”

8104-21298[1]William Holden as Pike Bishop

 

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Ernest Borgnine as Dutch Engstrom

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Robert Ryan as Deke Thornton

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Edmond O’Brien as Freddie Sykes

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Ben Johnson as Tector Gorch/Warren Oates as Lyle Gorch

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Jaime Sánchez as Angel

 

Director Sam Peckinpah opens the film with a group of children who are throwing ants over scorpions and setting fire to the nest, while some robbers disguised as U.S. soldiers arrive at the city. They want to make one last hold-up at the bank before retiring with the booty. When they leave the bank, it occurs a shooting during an anti-alcohol demonstration, among the gang and an unscrupulous bounty hunters (led by Deke Thornton, Pike’s former partner), causing the death of many innocents. Once the gang manages to escape, they realize that the hold-up has gone wrong when they find that there is no money in the sacks. Despite this, they must continue their flight towards a Mexico in war between the army of Mapache and Pancho Villa’s men.

Sam Peckinpah, author of such iconic films like Straw Dogs or The Getaway, made ​​an impressive modern Western about a gang of aging outlaws that look for their site in a new West.368Sam_Peckinpah_3[1]

When almost all formulas of Western were used up, Sam uses the genre applying the formula by which characterizes his works: the violence. In this way, anyone could think that The Wild Bunch is a movie out of date.

Warner Bros accepted to produce The Wild Brunch in order to beat Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (George Roy Hill, 1969) to the theaters.

Thanks to this film, it is occurred a substantial change in the great western genre; the films before this were recreations of historical fact or mere adventures more or less likely, but in The Wild Bunch characters have a past, they have conflicts with law, they are able to show as much aggressiveness as solidarity or friendship: they are, in short, humans.

Wonderfully filmed, with an unforgettable soundtrack, The Wild Bunch is a heart-rending film about honor and camaraderie. There are many extraordinary scenes that remain in history like the final walk of Pike Bishop, Dutch Engstrom, Lyle and Tector Gorch Gorch towards the end of their destiny. It is advisable to see it in original version with subtitles because in this film characters speak both English and Spanish.

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References:

Abuín, A., 2010. Sam Peckinpah: “Grupo salvaje”. 12/01/2010. Available at: http://www.blogdecine.com/cine-clasico/sam-peckinpah-grupo-salvaje [Accessed December 11, 2012].

Argüelles, M., 2010. Grupo salvaje (The wild bunch). Sam Peckinpah, EUA, 1969. 01/02/2010. Available at: http://www.elespectadorimaginario.com/pages/febrero-2010/criticas/grupo-salvaje.php [Accessed December 11, 2012].

Blanco Rodríguez, D., 2012. Far West: GRUPO SALVAJE (1969). 14/10/2012. Available at: http://theendfarwest.blogspot.com.es/2012/10/grupo-salvaje-1969-de-sam-peckinpah.html [Accessed December 11, 2012].

MrSambo, 2012. Crítica: GRUPO SALVAJE (1969). 06/08/2012. Available at: http://cinemelodic.blogspot.com.es/2012/08/critica-grupo-salvaje-1969-parte-14.html [Accessed December 11, 2012].

Márquez, J., 2012. “Grupo salvaje”, la desesperanzadora obra maestra de Peckinpah. 28/02/2012. Available at: http://www.ecartelera.com/noticias/10102/grupo-salvaje-desesperazandora-obra-maestra-peckinpah/ [Accessed December 11, 2012].

Schneider, S.J., 2003. 1001 películas que hay que ver antes de morir S. J. Schneider, ed., London: Cassell Illustrated.

Torres, A.M., 2006. Cine mundial, Madrid: Espasa.

Various, 2012a. Grupo Salvaje. Available at: http://www.fotogramas.es/Peliculas/Grupo-salvaje [Accessed December 11, 2012].

Various, 2012b. Grupo salvaje (1969). Available at: http://www.filmaffinity.com/es/film256070.html [Accessed December 11, 2012].

Various, 2012c. The Wild Bunch. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wild_Bunch [Accessed December 11, 2012].

Categories: Cinema

Western Sahara

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

For the vast majority of the people, Western Sahara is a territory which can be easily placed in a map due to the same name given to the world’s largest hot desert. But what do we really know about Western Sahara? Through this post we want to focus our interest on the analysis of this territory to reveal those historical facts which are unknown about it.

As is widely known, Western Sahara or the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) is a territory located on the west of the African continent and it boarders with Morocco on the North, on the Northeast with Algeria and on the East and South with Mauritania. It takes the name of the desert which is part of, the Sahara desert and its largest city is El Aaiún.

Green March, 1975

This stateless nation which is not recognised by every United Nations countries became in the year 1884 a Spanish colony and was treated as Spanish territory until the colonizing country decided to make a referendum on independence to Western Sahara in 1975. But nothing would stop Morocco to achieve its aim of building a huge Moroccan empire. In addition, Morocco had always claimed that Western Sahara was within the country’s borders, and they wanted their territory back. In this way, and a cause of the United Nations’ decision of giving to Sahrawi people the right of self-determination, 350,000 people move towards Saharan territory with the objective of occupying the land. This strategy, known as Green March, will be the beginning of the Moroccan military invasion, and so Spain transferred the sovereignty of the Western Sahara to Mauritania and Morocco in 1976. However, in opposition to the agreement of the administration of the Sahrawi territory, Algeria and the recently created Polisario Front (1973) stood against both Moroccan and Mauritanian claims and demanded full independent of Western Sahara.

Then, Mauritanian and Moroccan troops started occupying the cities of Western Sahara, and consequently, Saharan people were forced to leave the cities and moved to Algerian territory, where they would settle down their refugees’ camps. One of these refugees’ camps is located in the Algerian region of Tindouf.

Refugee camp, Tindouf

When Moroccan troops had already entered the Sahrawi territory, the Polisario Front proclaimed the constitution of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) the 27th February 1976, and 3 years later Mauritania signed its peace agreement with the Polisario Front, renouncing their rights to the territory of Western Sahara. However, Morocco, instead of doing the same, annexed the part to which Mauritania had renounced and claimed it as their own while it continued the occupation.

Although nowadays the territory is mostly administrated by Morocco, there is a part of Western Sahara which is controlled by the Polisario Front and it is called the “Free Zone”. It is referred as the zone of freedom because is the only part of Western Sahara which is not under Morocco’s control. Moreover, Moroccan part and Free Zone are divided by the Moroccan Wall, a wall of 2,700km-long that started building in 1980 with the purpose of protecting the territory occupied by Morocco from the intrusion of the Polisario Front as well as of avoiding the return of Saharan refugees.

The Moroccan Wall divides the territory occupied by Morocco and the “Free Zone”

After the abandonment of Mauritania, SADR obtained its greatest international recognition in 1984 and in front of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1982. In September 1991 began the ceasefire guided by UN. However, disputes among Western Sahara and Morocco are still happening, and so its status remains unresolved.

References:

GORBEIA CENTRAL PARK

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized

God Save The Village Green

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

http://thisisitchycoo.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/god-save-the-village-green.jpg?w=577&h=313

Only a few days ago it was 44 years since The Kinks published in 1968 The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. The album, believe it or not, was not a succesful record as it did not even get to appear in the UK charts and only sold around 100,000 copies. However, there is a time and a place for everything and the audience consider now this album one of the best (if not the best) the band has ever made and have tried to “understand” its commercial failure stating that the record was out of its time.

Read more…

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La Concha Flag

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

La Concha flag is one of the oldest and most famous boat-race along the bay of San Sebastian in la “Kontxa”. The race takes place on the first two weekends of September and it gather more than 100.000 people, many dressed in the colors of their team, and the best 8 rowing of the Bay of Biscay. It was first held in 1879 and has been celebrated consequently with the exception of the war years. Undoubtedly is the most important sporting event held in the Basque country, if we consider the number of spectators who come to see them competing. In 2007 women’s competition was held for the first time.

The bay is crowded of people looking for the best place to see the race and there are some who prefer to see it from the hillsides overlooking the bay. Others followed the race from their boats, from recreational to fishing boats which come from nearby ports to add the final color and sound with their flags, horns and whistles. The streets of San Sebastian and especially the Old Town become the hub where the “experts” predict the possible outcomes. A lot of people bets who will be the winner or how many seconds will shave and this day this is the conversation throughout the city.

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La concha regatta has a different format and instead of having four lengths and three bends it only has two lengths and one bend which it is located once passed Santa Clara island. Even so, the regatta has the same length, 3 nautical miles. The Thursday before the first weekend there is a qualifying regatta where more than 20 teams take part and classified 8 teams. Then on Sunday the 8 boats are divided into two groups of four at random and then on the second Sunday the two batches are formed according to the time of the first Sunday. So the winner is the boat which scores the best time adding up both times.

The number of oarsmen inside the boat is the same, the only change is the length and the rules, because they haven’t got any limit with the amount of own oarsmen as it happens in the league. What is really particular is to see the boats passing next to Santa Clara island and the good atmosphere in the ramp after the regatta when the boats arrive. Everybody is encouraging their team, some because they have won and others to cheer up. But what always win here it´s the spectacle and the nice atmosphere among supporters.

The most awarded team in this race is Orio “aguiluchos” with 31 flags, a little fishing town next to San Sebastian. They are followed by San Pedro with 15 and Donostia with 14. Historically the teams from Gipuzkoa had been stronger but in the last years Biscayans teams are winning the race.

Legendary tradition

The tradition of this singular boat race called traineras regattas comes from a distinctive way of life: open sea fishing. The boats need strong men capable for rowing for hours on end to the fishing grounds. And after catching the fish they have to return as fast as possible to get the fish to market before the other boats and sell it in the best price.

Then with the years the strength of the men was replaced by the motor power, but for years rowing competitions continued to be closely linked to fishing. The best oarsmen came from the best fishing crews of the coast. Now the oarsmen are athletes who come from all type of athletic background but still are enlisted to teams from villages with long fishing traditions.

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La concha was organized for the first time in 1879 as part of San Sebastian´s summer events program. The boats which take part were fishing traineras, which until that time had been used in competitions of force between fishing crews making bets. The first boat winning the race was a trainera called “Avante” and there were so many people that they added the race to the next summer events program until today. With the exception of civil war years the regatta has been celebrated consequently.

My team in La Concha

My team, Deustuko arraun taldea, has took part three times in the qualifying regatta  in 2009, 2010 and 2011 with modest outcomes. This year Deusto has not participated in the regatta because we were fighting to save the category and we had to row the weekend after this regatta the play off, only if we didn´t get in the last position in the league. So we weren´t interested in getting tired. Ultimately we got in the last position so we didn´t take part in the play off to save the category, because we descend directly, neither the qualifying regatta. But this year we are going to win the league and we will return to the ARC-1 league obtaining the chance to take part again in this qualifyin race.

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Some nice pictures here:
http://aaitorm.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/la-concha-pictures/?preview=true&preview_id=35&preview_nonce=5c36fa82b2
A report about la concha in Canal Plus:


References:

Kontxako Bandera. (2009).Wikipedia, the free encloycopedia. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kontxako_Bandera

Bandera de la Concha. (2012.).Wikipedia, the free encloycopedia. Retrieved from:  http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandera_de_La_Concha

Donostia/San Sebastian. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://www.donostiasansebastian.com/regatas/

Categories: Uncategorized
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