Monday, July 9, 2007

Spain's Monday News: Goya and the Great Canarian Telescope ; Woody Allen & Scarlett Johansson in Barceloneta ; Spain is number 1 in...


Star Gazing with the Great Canarian Telescope - El Gran Telescopio Canarias will give a star gazing preview this Friday at the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma. Although only partially complete, enough of it has been assembled to allow telescope operators to make initial test runs. So, at 10 p.m. Canary Island time Crown Prince Felipe will fix the telescope on Polaris, the North Star, for a “first light” ceremonial observation.
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The rest of the telescope will be completed over the next year, with a grand opening presided over by King Juan Carlos I next summer. At that point the installation will be fully operational.
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One of the its first projects will be an investigation into the origin of galaxies. A team of 40 astronomers from Spain, France, the UK and the US, referred to collectively as the Galaxy Origins and Young Assembly, or GOYA, will conduct the study.
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The facilitywill have taken 7 years to build and will be the largest segmented mirror telescope in the world. The lens alone will weigh almost 17 tons and measure 10.4 meters (34.1 feet) across. It will reportedly have vision equivalent to four million human eyes.
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Star Gazing in Barceloneta - Today Woody Allen started filming his new movie in my neighborhood. Security was strong to keep him and Scarlett Johansson away from curious folks like me. Apparently Johansson plays a tourist in the film. Well, they're definitely in the right neighborhood! Click here for a photo and article.
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Spain is Number 1 - when speaking of cosmetic surgery in Europe, that is.
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Spain has more "esthetic interventions" annually than any other European country, with some 400,000 last year at an average cost of 2,000 euros. And the number in increasing between 8 and 10% each year, according to the Sociedad Española de Cirugía Plástica, Reparadora y Estética. (SECPRE - the Spanish Society for Plastic, Reparatory and Esthetic Surgery.)
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As a matter of fact, plastic surgery has become a common enough expense in the family budget to be included in Spain's official Consumer Price Index, which is used to calculate inflation!
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SECPRE reports that men, who make up 20% of patients, most often have surgery on the eyelids, abdomen and liposuction. Breast augmentation and liposuction are the most popular procedures for women.

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