Madrid is Nature

If you ask people to describe Madrid in a few words, chances are «Nature» won't come up often. Maybe you'll get "traffic" or if you're lucky "culture" to sum up the Spanish Capital. Most people don't even know Madrid as a green city. Not only the surroundings are real green paradises but also inside Madrid you'll find wide natural spaces. A good example of it would definitely be the Retiro Park and the Casa de Campo; Should you do, you'll also get to see the Lagunas del Sur, the Cumbre Natural Park, Sierra de Guadarrama Natural Park and the Hayedo de Montejo.

Madrid is more than just culture, tourism and nightlife. Nature lovers and sport addicts will be able to go hiking, climbing, do some agro tourism and paintball, go cycling, horseback riding and kayaking.

One of the most amazing green areas of the capital is no doubt the Cumbre Natural Park, the Circus and Lagunas de Peñalara. The top of the Penarla is the highest point of the Sierra de Guadarrama with 2.430 meters of altitude. The whole area is full of glacier lagoons such as the Laguna Grande or Pepe Hernando and hilltops like Las Dos Hermanas (The Two Sisters).

The Hayedo de Montejo is definitely one of Madrid's natural treasures. We're talking about a huge forest of beech trees spread out on some 250 square meters located in the Sierra de Ayon. It has been declared Natural Site of National Interest in 1974; some of the trees are over 250 years old! You might see foxes and wild cats as well as wild boars, otters and aquatic blackbirds …

But there's no actual need to leave the heart of the capital to find green spaces. Check out the Casa de Campo, it's the main public park of Madrid. It is 1 722 hectares big. There, you may jog and you'll find a lake and picnic areas. It is considered to be Madrid's main lung with the Retiro Park. You'll see poplars, Holm oaks, pine trees, plane trees, chestnut trees, willows, ash trees and many aromatic plants.

Now you understand better how Madrid can be Nature. Come and see the greener side of the Spanish Capital. Rent the best apartments in Madrid and experience living in harmony with Nature.

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Wolves v. Sheffield United | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 12/1/19 | NBC Sports



Matt Doherty’s headed effort canceled out Lys Mousset’s opener as Wolves and Sheffield United finished honors even at Molineux. #NBCSports #PremierLeague #Wolves #SheffieldUnited
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Wolves v. Sheffield United | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 12/1/19 | NBC Sports

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PES Games – A History Of Pro Evolution Soccer Part 2

In 2003, Pro Evolution Soccer 3 was released and included a big game play engine update, introducing new features such as the advantage rule and much improved long-ball passing techniques. PES games were now starting to get their hands on lesser European licenses such as the Dutch Eredivisie, but at least this was a start or inroad into FIFA's dominance by Konami.

Pro Evo 3 was the first PES game to be programmed for PC via Microsoft and it was popular, but the lack of online mode disappointed. Further enhancements to the licensing agreement occurred over the next few PES iterations, with many more official teams and players included, but the big one, the Premier League, always eluded Konami – not something FIFA was willing to give up. The Master League (career mode) was expanded and editing options improved, making likenesses even closer to reality.

In 2005 Pro Evolution Soccer 5 finally cemented Pro Evo online, allowing players to play against other PES gamers anywhere in the world. Jubilation reigned in online forums as we finally got real English teams, albeit only two – Arsenal and Chelsea, but again it was a start.

At this point in history PES was still dominant over FIFA, generally getting higher review scores, despite the lack of complete licenses throughout the game. PES stood up so well against the FIFA machine because of the superb two player experience.

Playing against a computer can only ever be so good, as computer AI is still no match for the gaming experience of another human being. It was this sense of randomness and downright fun that kept Pro Evo at the top of the footy charts and this position was further solidified in Pro Evolution Soccer 6, which for many PES fans was the finest hour for Konami.

Pro Evo 6 or Winning Eleven 10 had most of the best elements that have survived to the present incarnation. Fast, fluid, attacking football, a combative tackling mechanic and a slew of new tricks and flicks. To go along with the ever present official Japanese strip, the England National team were now decked out in their official kit as well as other nations. The Xbox version even had next generation high-definition graphics and this would be the last version before Pro Evo made the transition to PS3.

There was no Pro Evo 7, the next installment would arrive in 2007 and the naming convention changed into what remains to this day – Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 or PES 2008. This was the first version to debut on PS3, but still remained on PS2 and the other consoles. High definition graphics enhanced the gaming experience and PES started to move away from FIFA in the player likenesses stakes, although at the same time the complacency led to FIFA closing the gap and it was around these years that FIFA for the first time started to achieve higher review scores, as ironically, it was likened to the PES game play of old.

Even though many things improved, PES games started to struggle during the versions 2008-2012. Improvements in graphics, master league, competitions, licenses and online play, were negated by fussy changes to game play, that made Pro Evo harder, but sometimes less fun. It seemed that the game almost had a cheat mode in player versus computer games on harder skill levels, as it could be almost impossible to win the ball back or keep it against the computer. Keepers would inexplicably parry weak shots straight back out to unmarked strikers for easy tap ins and referees could be incredibly harsh, sending players off for minor offences, whereas it seemed computer controlled players could get away with murder!

The last few years have been repeated 'overhaul' fixes for PES as they've tried to regain top spot. Shingo Takatsuka known as 'Seabass' has come up with multiple buzz words every year as Pro Evo innovates and pushes the limits of the high-definition consoles and what PS3 And XBOX 360 can handle. The online play has improved on PS3 as it struggled at first to catch up to the online system XBOX had in place and now the edit modes, coupled with the skill and efficiency of PES fans means that the lack of licenses is almost irrelevant.

PES games will have their latest blockbuster out in October 2012 and by all accounts, online rumors and playable demos, PES is back. The review scores were close to FIFA last year and although the FIFA machine now exudes a high level of polish and superb game play, if PES 2013 regains some of that magic from the mid noughties, it'll be top dog again this autumn.

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Coffee Culture In 2016

Like most cultures, coffee culture is no different really. A group of people brought together by a common interest. What better place than a coffee shop. There is always a buzz, and hive of activity. It attracts in some ways, so many like minded people, and in other ways such a variety. From businessmen, to housewives, students to teachers. Hundreds of years ago, they were popular meeting places for artists. A few years ago, Wine Masters were popping up everywhere, and now the latest trend seems to be becoming a Barrister. We were fortunate enough to be able to interview Winston, one of the top up and coming Barristers in the Country.

These days no matter where I am, or what I am doing, coffee seems to be screaming out at me! Coffee culture, coffee culture! Most people have coffee making machines, and there are shops dedicated to selling only coffee. We are so spoilt for choice, that it is difficult to know which coffee to drink, when, where and why? I am attending a Barristers course early next month, and will be back with loads more information on what all the different coffee beans are, and how to choose between them.

Meanwhile, not sure about you, but I am getting extremely confused between the different ways to drink coffee. Gone are the days when we only had the choice between an espresso and a cappuccino. And worse still, when I grew up, we either had instant or percolated coffee. Now we have a whole range of ways to drink our coffee:

– Latte: A coffee mixed with a frothed milk foam.

– Americana: Made by adding hot water to a mug with a tot of espresso coffee in it.

– Iced Coffee: Chilled coffee with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

– Cappuccino: A cup of coffee covered in a layer of frothed milk foam.

– Skinny Cappuccino. The same as a cappuccino, but made with fat free milk.

– Flat white: A cup of coffee with milk.

– Espresso: Extremely strong, and dense, with «crema» (coffee foam on the top). Hence, café crema being an alternative name for an Italian espresso.

– Macchiato: A cup of frothed milk, filled up with an espresso coffee.

– Moccachino: A café latte with chocolate added to it.

– Frappe. A coffee with ice, served black or white.

And to make coffee even more enticing, many Countries around the world have their own special coffees, such as:

Caffe Au Lait: France

Egg Coffee: Vietnam

Turkish Coffee: Turkey

Café Bombon: Spain

Café Cubana: Cuba

Wiener: Vienna

Palazzo: USA

Caffe De Ola: Mexico

To top it off we have alcoholic coffee drinks, like an Irish coffee, Bavarian coffee, Café royal, Kalua coffee, and even coffee liquors.

I have to say that my favourite is still a cappuccino. It has to be made with the best quality coffee beans, and brimming over the top of the mug with foam. If you can convince me otherwise, please share with me the way you love your coffee.

Winston’s Interview..

How did you get involved with espresso coffee. How did it all start?

Without romanticizing too much, there was a complaint in my local newspaper about the bad coffee served in my town. That was about 5 years ago. After reading that I started tasting different coffees trying to figure out what a good cup of coffee really was. This eventually led me to Origin Coffee Roasting where I did a barista course while studying in 2013. I worked part time at a roaster in Somerset West and a market in Woodstock until I completed my studies in June 2014. I started working full time at Origin in August 2014.

What makes you continue to work as a barista? Is the job repetitious?

No it’s not repetitious. It may seem that way because, on the opposite end of the bar, it looks like we’re just pouring coffee every day but that’s far from it. We’re using different coffees every day so there’s a lot of tasting involved, the weather is always changing which means the coffee pours differently throughout the day so we have to work accordingly, we meet different people every day, face different challenges on a daily basis etc. So far from repetitious. And that’s exactly why I continue to work as a barista.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find my inspiration by looking at all the people involved in the coffee cycle. From the farmer, to the green coffee buyer, the roaster, barista and finally the consumer. To know that I play a role in this process gives me the inspiration to try my hardest to serve the best cup of coffee possible. To justice to those who have played their part before me.

What is the new «in» in the current coffee industry?

To be honest I think that quality has become the new «in» in the coffee industry. More and more café are trying to produce better coffee, which makes things very competitive in terms of quality. This drives the industry in a positive direction. More cafés are also beginning to use alternative or filter brew methods like the aeropress and v60 pourover to make filter coffee. This is best enjoyed black without sugar to ensure that the nuisances and characteristics of the coffee can be picked up.

What kind of coffee do you like/not like to make

I like making all kinds of coffee. There is espresso based coffees like your typical Americano and latte and there is filter brew like the French press or aeropress. I can’t say I dislike making certain types of coffees but I do sometimes cringe when customers want an unusual order that takes away the emphasis of the coffee. For example a large milk based with a single shot and soya milk will completely overshadow the flavor of the coffee. But at the end of the day coffee is subjective and we cannot tell the customers what it is they like or dislike, we can only give advice and hopefully guide them.

What is the most time consuming coffee to make?

I’d say the filter methods we use in our café is the most time consuming. The French press takes about 5 minutes to complete. Whereas espresso based takes roughly 2 minutes.

What can you tell me about Coffee Culture?

Coffee Culture. Where do I start? Well right now in the coffee industry (worldwide) we’re experiencing what we call «Third wave.» «First wave» would be defined as the way our parents might’ve had their coffee. Instant coffee or a dark roasted Italian blend in the household filter machine. There was no real coffee or café culture. Then, with the arrival of Starbucks and other commercial coffee chains, the «Second wave» of coffee individuals evolved. People became more aware of what they were drinking and the trend of takeaway espresso based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos started.

Right now we’re experiencing «Third wave» where people in the coffee have become more conscious of the quality of the coffee they buy. Some companies going as far as establishing direct trade with farmers so they contribute to improving farming methods, exporting etc.

Green coffee beans are roasted with precision and a lot of care is taken in preparing both espresso based and filter drinks. Along with this, consumers are also conscious of the quality of coffee in cafes. Consumers know what they want when buying coffee, more so than before. And they are also a lot more educated. Because of this you find more cafes opening and more consumers visiting cafes thus a growing café culture. Bigger than before.

Tell me about the competitions you have won and what lies ahead for you.

Most recently I’ve won the South African National Aeropress title. The aeropress is basically a filtering device used to make coffee. And I won the national competition so I’ll be competing in the World Aeropress championships in Dublin, Ireland in June. I also came 2nd in the Western Cape Barista competition and 8th in the National Barista competition. In the future I’d like to enter more competitions with the goal of winning and competing at the World Barista Competition.

Your dream?

My dream is to put Africa on the map for coffee. As a continent we produce some of the best tasting coffees in the world but, other than in South Africa, we don’t necessarily serve this as it should be served. Most of the high quality coffee produced in Africa is exported and lower grade commercial coffees are left. I’d like to change this. Coffee was founded in Africa so I feel that we have a responsibility to be serving the best tasting African coffees in our cafes.

JACL Celebrates Its 90 Years

Celebrating a 90 Year Anniversary is a milestone which few organizations achieve. The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) has become one of those elite few.

Young leaders within the Japanese American community started the JACL in 1929 because they realized that they needed the clout of a national organization in order to gain the civil rights which they and their parents were routinely denied. Community leaders from several locations joined together to form the JACL. These were American citizens who were born in the United States of America of immigrant parents from Japan. They experienced racism and discrimination even though they were well educated college graduates. There were doctors, dentists, lawyers, and business leaders within their ranks.

Over the years, the JACL has been at the forefront of fighting against racism and discrimination. Originally concerned with the plight of Japanese immigrants who were not allowed to become citizens of the United States after many years of living in this country and other issues of civil rights for Americans of Japanese ancestry, the JACL now champions the fight for civil rights for all people.

Membership in the JACL had been restricted to only those with American citizenship in the early days of the organization, but everyone is welcome now to join.

The ongoing mission of the JACL is to secure and maintain the civil rights of Japanese Americans and all others who are victimized by injustice and bigotry. The JACL also promotes cultural, educational, and social values as they preserve the heritage and legacy of the Japanese American community.

Education was always stressed by the immigrant Japanese parents, and education continues to be a main focus of the JACL. They maintain a robust scholarship program for high school seniors entering college as well as graduate students.

This year the JACL will celebrate its 90 Year Anniversary with their annual convention which will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, from July 31 to August 4, 2019. An optional trip on the last day of the convention will be a trip to the Topaz Camp near Delta, Utah. This was one of the ten American concentration camps hastily constructed in remote areas of the country to incarcerate those people of Japanese heritage who were forced to leave their West Coast homes during World War II. Most of the 120,000 people lived in those camps for the duration of the war. Many suffered greatly from their unjust imprisonment. Members of the JACL want to make sure that no one else in the United States ever has to endure such mistreatment and injustice as their families did.

The JACL is known to be the oldest and largest Asian American civil and human rights organization in the United States. This 90 Year Anniversary of the JACL is a good time to remember history.

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A Short Biography of Famous Soccer Player – Zinedine Zidane

His complete name is Zinedine Yazid Zidane. He was born on 23 June 1972 in Marseille, France. He has nickname of Zizou. He got his start in soccer at an early age, when Zidane played for the club of US Saint-Henri. Zidane is an ex-French World Cup-winning soccer player. His playing position in the field is as attacking midfielder. Even if regarded as a brilliant player even from the time when he was a youngster, nobody imagined of Zidane as a considerable contender to Platini’s place as the best player in the history of France.

Zinedine Yazid Zidane experienced playing for some senior clubs, and they are Cannes (1987-1992) and Girondins (1992-1996) in France, Juventus in Italy (1996-2001), and Real Madrid in Spain (2001-2006), winning main championships and cups with every team.

He was regarded as one of the finest contemporary footballers. The achievements of his career contain assisting his national team of France gain the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, as well as with Real Madrid winning the 2002 UEFA Champions League. In 1998 he was entitled the European Footballer of the Year. And also a four-time was named world footballer of the year 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2006. In soccer history Zidane became the most costly player while Real Madrid got him for 46 million pounds (approximately $66 million US Dollars). His colleagues on Real Madrid included big names Luis Figo, David Beckham, and also Ronaldo, amongst others by 2003.

In 2001, Pelé include Zidane in the list of the 125 greatest living soccer players. A flamboyant midfielder, in the World Cups of 1998 and 2006 Zidane gained the Golden Ball as the most worthwhile player. After leading France to the finals of the 2006 World Cup, Zinedine Yazid Zidane got retirement from professional soccer.

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