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Web Log Archive

Postings 116 to 120.

Log #120. A New Madrid Blog

We have been contacted by MadridesMadrid - a very interesting and regularly updated blog all about Madrid. If your Spanish is up to it (no English entries) then click on over and check it out. It's particularly strong on building developments in the city and community initiatives with lots of photos and plans of some of the exciting new architectural projects currently taking place.

Log #119. English Lessons

Log #118. English Premier League Now On Spanish TV

TVE, the Spanish equivalent of the BBC but without the left-wing bias, has secured rights to show English Premier League matches. We will get two matches a week and you can be sure that Liverpool and Arsenal will be the featured matches because these two teams both have Spanish 'seleccion' players. Liverpool in particular seem to be the focus as they have 3 Spanish stars (Torres, Alonso and Reina) plus the manager is Madrid-born Rafa Benitez, and sure enough the first match screened is Aston Villa vs Liverpool.

The appetite for all football remains incredibly strong here. A friendly warm up match between current La Liga champions Real Madrid and Portuguese side Belenses took 26% of audience share mid-week - 3.2 million viewers, whilst on the same night Atletico de Madrid vs Celta Vigo garnered 6% audience share. Also, a recent internet poll on (a Spanish TV guide) on the question "What is the worst thing about TV during the summer?", some 9.4% answered "That there's no football."

Log #117. A Madrileño To Win The Tour De France

Alberto with friend. Local pride is about to be raised even further if tomorrow Alberto Contador holds on to his narrow (23 seconds) advantage in the world's leading drug taking contest, sorry, bicycle race, over the final stage into Paris. If he wins Contador will do so with the second-closest margin of victory ever at the Tour, the record being American Greg Lemond's 8 second edge over France's Laurent Fignon in 1989. He would also be the Tour's youngest winner since Jan Ullrich in 1997.

Born in 1982 and growing up in the unprepossing suburb of Pinto, in the South of the Communidad, Alberto seems to have shrugged off the drug scandals that have haunted the running of this year's Tour and indeed those of the earlier Spanish doping probe known as 'Operation Puerto', which many of the country's leading cyclists were caught up in. Contador inherited the leader's yellow jersey after former leader Michael Rasmussen was ousted Wednesday by his Rabobank team, which said the Dane had lied about where he was when he missed a doping test last month. Italy's Cristian Moreni and pre-race favourite Alexandre Vinokourov were also ejected after testing positive for doping.

"We've won this Tour de France barring a freak accident tomorrow (and) I am obviously very happy for Alberto," said teammate Leipheimer who won the penultimate stage and is now in third place overall, trailing by only 31 seconds. "This Tour has been crazy, crazier than expected," Contador said. "I think cycling is crazy now, we see that there are a lot of problems and it's clear that we can't continue with all the scandals and all the problems we had." In an ironic twist, the riders in Sunday's final stage will pass by the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory where doping tests are carried out.

Log #116. Free Wifi In Central Madrid

¡Hola! ¿Qué Tal? Last month saw the launch of Chuecawifi, a project that has created a zone of some 75 hectares of free wifi coverage for the 18,000 inhabitants living within the barrio of Chueca. Sponsored by Fon and Zero (a magazine), the idea is that people share their home broadband Internet connection via a cheap router (called a 'Fonera') and this creates a zone of free access within the whole community of 'FON Spots'. It's a worldwide project but Madrid is being used as a European advance initiative. More details here: ChuecaWifi.

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