Sunday, June 26, 2011

Video: An inside look at FC Barcelona

La Masia is a training school for future Barcelona stars.

This video gives you an inside look into the training school, which is based on the three pillars of athletics, values and academics. Only one of every 10 graduates typically makes it to the Barcelona senior team. Current squad members who are also alumni include Xavi, Messi, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol.

La Masia is a place where art and science are fused together to create the finished product you see on the pitch each week during the season...It's a pretty guarded place when it comes to media intrusion, and you won't get too much detail out of the school's coaches about their training techniques (they guard it like Coca-Cola protects its secret recipe). But it's interesting to see Xavi and Lionel Messi talk about their experiences at the academy -- how they played all day, every day, learning the Barca way...

Friday, June 24, 2011

"Singular" - A Poem for Barcelona

fold tomorrows rain

and under the loose world night

play blind on young ground


one earth full of single stars

blown here by unrelenting years

those seas of sorrows know

written in liars lines


come and become the past

full like her darkest pity

to show

such thought is mine


might I tonight

pocket a kinder hour and

look long into todays spare quiet

(B.Hetherington, 2011.)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Barcelona neo-Nazi's go free

In a disturbing decision this week, Spain’s high court has overturned the conviction of four men involved in circulating Nazi propaganda from a Barcelona bookshop.

(Pedro Varela, the owner of the now-closed bookshop is already well-known for being the first person to be jailed for similar crimes in Spain following the reform of the Penal Code in 1996. On that occasion, he received a five-year sentence, reduced to six months on appeal to the Supreme Court.)

Along with the three others, including a publisher from Molins de Rei, Varela was acquitted on Monday of fostering xenophobia and anti-Semitism through the selling of literature.

In 2009, the four men were each sentenced to 3 1/2 years in jail after being found guilty of selling publications that justified the Holocaust and praised the Nazi regime.

In the Supreme Court's ruling, Justice Miguel Colmenero wrote that the selling of Nazi propaganda that promotes genocide is only a crime when there exists a danger that it could create a climate of hostility that would incite violence.

"Jews in Spain view with extreme concern the fact that the Spanish judiciary, so sensitive in certain situations, does not consider as criminal conduct the sale of books denying the Holocaust and promoting racism, in spite of standing criminal legislation to the contrary," the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain said in a statement.

Before the court's decision this week a prominent Israeli Rabbi had praised Spain's progress with Jewish relations while touring the city as the first Jewish religious leader to visit Granada since Jews were expelled from Spain over five centuries ago.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Leonard Cohen wins Prince of Asturias award

"Veteran songwriter and musician Leonard Cohen has won a top Spanish literature award for a body of work which has influenced three generations around the world" it was reported today.

Amongst many others, his inspirational classic 'Who By Fire' has stood the test of time.