See What Tomorrow Will Look Like by Visiting the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

The last time we thought about Valencia was when we ordered the 1961 epic movie «El Cid» from Netflix. However, our recent trip to Spain showed us there were many contemporary reasons to consider the ancient and relatively humble Valencia as a first class vacation destination.

A place where yesterday meets tomorrow

Since the time of El Cid – over the last thousand years or so – Valencia has seen Christian and Muslim conquerors come and go. Its history also includes being the birthplace of two Catholic Popes and three of the kings of Europe.

More recently, the city hosted the America’s Cup races and the Formula One European Grand Prix, but for the most part Valencia had taken up a quiet place in Spain’s colorful history – until the decade of the 1990s.

Enter the City of Arts and Sciences

If Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991) had lived to see the creation of the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias by renowned Valencian architect, Santiago Calatrava, he may not have selected Marin County, California as the 2161 building site of the Starfleet Academy. Instead, he might have asked Senor Calatrava to design it for him in Valencia.

Construction on Calatrava’s amazing complex of otherworldly buildings began in 1998 along the old bed of the redirected Turia River at a reputed cost of more than $2.5 billion dollars.

The main structures

The Umbracle is the huge promenade entrance to the City of Arts and Sciences. Numerous lofty arches are covered in verdant vines that protect a garden and several species of tropical plants and trees.Along the colorful walk you will also find the ‘Stroll of the Sculptures’ an outdoor gallery of nine unusual figures by contemporary artists.

The Prince Phillip Museum of Sciences opened in 2000 and its design is often said to resemble a whale’s skeleton, or a dinosaur’s spine. Whatever your muse, this magnificent exhibit is actually an interactive museum that will prove fascinating to anyone interested in the scientific disciplines that study everything from questions about the origin of the universe to contemporary issues like the enigma of climate change.

The Queen Sophia Palace of Arts sits amidst a setting of Mediterranean blue reflecting pools. When it opened in 2005, it became the signature performing arts center in Spain for opera, theatre, and dance. At 248 feet, it is the tallest opera house in the world. The site encompasses four multi-purpose auditoriums and the smallest hall seats 400, the largest 1,700 people.

Proudly, the Queen Sophia Company hosts the Centre of Perfeccionament Placido Domingo, which is a celebrated program for young talented opera artists. As the name indicates, the program honors Spain’s most famous tenor, Placido Domingo.

The Oceanographic is like an underwater city and is the largest aquarium in Europe. It features over 500 species of fish and mammal inhabitants collected from the world’s oceans. The oceanographic compound covers some 20-acres and includes an unusual aquarium restaurant with floor to ceiling glass walls where curious fish can watch you savor the catch of the day along with your paella.

The Hemispheric is a visually striking eye-shaped Planetarium in the midst of a stunning turquoise pool. This popular attraction has a computerized astro-projector that shows the night sky with all the planets and stars on a screen so large you feel like an astronaut.

There is also a laser show displayed on a 900 square foot screen, and visitors can watch IMAX and 3-D journeys through space. It is no wonder that the Hemispheric Planetarium is now one of the top five buildings visited in Spain.

The Agora is the latest structure created by Calatrava’s architectural genius. This surrealistic multi-use sports arena is 262 feet high and seats over 5,500 spectators. The Agora is the venue for the Valencia Open 500 and is expected to take its place among the greatest sports facilities in the world.

The combined images

The various buildings of the Valencia City of Arts and Sciences have been called ‘techno-palaces’ and they certainly live up to the name. The scope of this unusual complex is breathtaking and an architectural marvel. The light, reflecting waters, shapes, and structural designs are a photographer’s dream. This is an intellectual Disneyland and could be a megalopolis base in the Galactic Empire in Star Wars.

Don’t miss the rest of Valencia

Visitors to Valencia will want to tour other attractions in the ancient city, like the Barrio del Carmen. Our bet is that your most cherished memories of Valencia will include both Calatrava’s brilliant gift of a glimpse of the future right along with the historic monuments of the past.

If you go

Valencia is 220 miles south of Barcelona on the sunny eastern coast of Spain. Valencia is easy to reach by airplane, train, bus, auto, and ship. If you arrive in Spain through Barcelona, be sure to check out our favorite boutique and unique hotel in Barcelona, the L’Antic Espai.

We flew to Barcelona from New York, with a stopover in Dublin via Air Lingus. We enjoyed the Irish hospitality in the air. We think you will too.

Happy travels!

Travels with Wayne and Judy

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English and Spanish Leagues Are the Most Glamorous, German Bundesliga the Best on Most Bench Marks

A financial disaster is threatening the English and Spanish leagues.  The economic disaster that has affected the world of business does not appear to be sparing the world of football.

In these two countries football clubs spend a lot of money not yet earned to acquire the best players and also to pay players salaries that all other businesses simply dream about.

The Times of London has gone as far as calling it ‘financial doping’ whereby short term success can be bought at the expense of long term financial stability.

But there are clubs that are either leaving within their means or do understand the dynamics of football business that starts with understanding the value of fans.  Real Madrid and Barcelona come to mind. 

It is believed that Barcelona has to around 44 million fans around the world.  You can imagine how much the club can collect from the sell of jerseys to just a half of that support base. 

The Barcelona museum is another example of proper football business management and marketing.  This museum receives a million people through it’s doors every year paying something like seven Euros each.  

But for any football league around the world looking for a blue print on how best to run football and football business the obvious choice would be the English League but regrettably it is not the best example on how to run football.

The English League does not start and stop with Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal.  There are sixteen or so other clubs that are not doing as well as the top four on all levels of football business.  Their stadiums are not full through out the season.  The English game is also laden with debt.

The English game best foot forward has been the marketing of their game world wide.  They have been able to promote their game to every corner of the world.

But, for all those football leagues and clubs looking for the best league to learn from they should not look any further than the German Bundesliga.  The Bundesliga  is the benchmark organisation in many areas.

The Bundesliga has the highest average attendance per game through the season through out Europe and possibly world wide.

83% of the clubs are in financially sound, incomes of players are capped not to run down the clubs.

The Bundesliga clubs have the highest average sponsorship per club in Europe.

The Bundesliga has also the best stadium atmosphere in Europe and possibly the world.

Each club is also obliged to have a youth academy.  Regular checks are carried out on every club to ensure that laid out criteria of running these academies is maintained.  The rationale is that it is better to grow stars than buy them.

So for any football organization looking for a league to copy and learn from possibly think Bundesliga.

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ABSOLUTE ROCKET & LONG RANGE GOALS 🚀 Premier League Compilation



Ahead of Bonfire Night 2019 here’s a compilation of rocket and long range goals from the Premier League. This video features Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard, Vincent Kompany and loads more!

Which rocket goal is your favourite? Let us know in the comments.

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Shoe Covers Can Prevent Bacteria From Spreading While Protecting Investment in Shoes

Would you ever lick your dirty hands after you finished your gym workout? Most people wouldn't. The same concept can be applied to dirty shoes. Dirty shoes can contain up to 9 species of bacteria and millions of bacteria cells. Most of the bacteria species come from waste matter. Have you ever wondered what you're stepping on in the bathroom? How about stepping animal feces on the golf course or in a field? That's your answer. The most common forms of bacteria are as follows:

  • Escherichia coli (E. Coli) – causing symptoms ranging from severe stomach pain accompanied by diarrhea to kidney failure and potential death in 1 out of 50 victims.
  • Klebsiella pneumonia – a gram-negative bacteria that can rapidly destroy lung tissue and in 25 to 50% of patients will cause death.
  • Serratia ficaria – causing gallbladder empyemas and sepsis as well as biliary infections.

Bacteria can live on your shoes for up to 3 days. They also have up to a 99% transfer rate. Everything your dirty shoes touch will most likely get the nasty bacteria on them.

People place those dirty shoes into a suitcase when they travel. It wouldn't make a good vacation if you changed into a shirt that was sitting under your shoes and got an E. Coli infection. Beyond travel, people throw their dirty shoes in golf bags, gym bags, soccer bags, football bags, and other sports bags. If you are regularly active, you run the risk of exposing your body to potentially dangerous infections.

There is one way to protect the spread of bacteria from your shoes to your clothes or towels. Shoe covers are an excellent way to keep the bacteria on your shoes and away from your bags. Shoe covers can also be used to protect your investment in shoes.

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Manchester City v. Watford | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 9/21/19 | NBC Sports



A virtuoso performance from Kevin De Bruyne and a hat trick from Bernardo Silva highlighted Manchester City’s merciless 8-0 beatdown against Watford. #NBCSports #PremierLeague #ManCity #Watford #KevinDeBruyne #BernardoSilva
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NBC Sports Group serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. NBC Sports is an established leader in the sports media landscape with an unparalleled collection of sports properties that include the Olympics, NFL, Premier League, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, the Kentucky Derby, Tour de France, French Open, IndyCar and many more. Subscribe to our channel for the latest sporting news and highlights!

The Premier League across NBC Sports Group launched in 2013 with their biggest and broadest programming commitment to-date in the United States. With live multi-platform coverage of all 380 games, analysis from best-in-class talent and extensive surrounding coverage all week long, NBC Sports Group has become the ultimate destination for new and existing Premier League fans.

The Premier League maintains strong and consistent reach across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, and NBC Sports Group’s live streaming products, led by the biggest stars and most prestigious teams in the world.

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Manchester City v. Watford | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 9/21/19 | NBC Sports

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Steps To Dry Your Wet Cleats Quickly

Cleats can get wet just like other types of shoes. And playing in wet cleats is not a good idea. Plus, it won’t be enjoyable to play in wet shoes. Aside from this, moisture will cause severe damage to your shoes making them irreparable with time. Fortunately, you can dry your wet cleats with a bit of care and a few household objects. Here are a few steps that you can follow to dry your shoes.

Loosen the laces

First of all, loosen the laces so you can access the inside of the shoes. Moreover, the cleats contract when they dry. This puts a lot of stress on the seams. By loosening the laces, you can reduce the stress. The air will go inside the cleats.

Remove the insole

After you have removed the insole, you can put it aside to dry. As a matter of fact, exposing different parts of the boot to air will make it dry faster. You can wrap paper towels around the insole or put it in an open window to dry it.

Use a Damp Towel

You can use a damp towel to remove dirt, mud or grass from the cleats. Make sure you remove the mud before the mud dries out. Once the mud and dirt becomes solid, it will be a lot tougher for you to remove it. You can also soak the towel in some water to wipe away the soft mud.

Drying Your Cleats

You can stuff newspapers in your cleats to dry them quickly. Make sure you don’t stuff a lot of newspapers as it may make the shoes bulge. All you have to do is to put some newspapers in the cleats to prevent them from shrinking. For the laces and the tongue, you can put a piece of newspaper in between them.

Put your cleats in front of a fan

Your wet boots will dry faster if put in front of a fan. It will actually speed up the process of drying. On the other hand, putting your shoes in a humid or damp space is not a good idea. Actually, you need dry air to dry your boots.

Use new pieces of newspapers

You can use a new piece of newspaper every 2 to 3 hours to boost the process of drying. As a newspaper becomes wet, it won’t be able to absorb more water. Therefore, changing the newspapers over and over again will dry your cleats faster.

Avoid Direct Heat

Your cleats will get permanently damaged if exposed to direct heat. In other words, you shouldn’t use a drying machine, a hair dryer or an oven to dry your cleats. Doing so will cause some irreversible damage to your cleats. Lastly, it’s not a good idea to be impatient when drying your boots quickly as this will result in wrapped shoes or damaged leather.

So, if you have a wet pair of cleats and you want to dry it, make sure you know the dos and don’ts. Hope this will help.

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Every goal from Premier League 2019/20 Matchweek 3 | NBC Sports



Watch every single goal from Matchweek 3 in the Premier League, from stunning volleys to a sublime free kick. #NBCSports #PremierLeague #Matchweek3

» Subscribe to NBC Sports:
» Watch Live Sports on NBCSports.com:
» Get more Premier League news on NBC Sports:

NBC Sports Group serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. NBC Sports is an established leader in the sports media landscape with an unparalleled collection of sports properties that include the Olympics, NFL, Premier League, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, the Kentucky Derby, Tour de France, French Open, IndyCar and many more. Subscribe to our channel for the latest sporting news and highlights!

The Premier League across NBC Sports Group launched in 2013 with their biggest and broadest programming commitment to-date in the United States. With live multi-platform coverage of all 380 games, analysis from best-in-class talent and extensive surrounding coverage all week long, NBC Sports Group has become the ultimate destination for new and existing Premier League fans.

The Premier League maintains strong and consistent reach across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, and NBC Sports Group’s live streaming products, led by the biggest stars and most prestigious teams in the world.

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Every goal from Premier League 2019/20 Matchweek 3 | NBC Sports

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Indian World Cup Win No Fluke, Suggests Flash Cricket Simulator

Earlier this year, the Indian cricket team won the 2011 edition of the Cricket World Cup. Although India were the favourites leading into the tournament, cricket is a sport where any of the top teams can beat any other on their day. Thanks to the existence of online cricket simulators, we can try to determine what the chances were of India winning, and how the other placings should have gone.

ODI CricSim is a flash cricket simulator that determines the results of matches by crunching over 200 variables from each player’s actual world career, including the average length of a batsman’s innings, the chance of hitting a four or a six on any given ball, the bowler’s strike rate and the bowler’s economy rate. For this experiment I used the ODI CricSim engine to run 1,000 simulated World Cups based on the quarterfinal standings of the various teams. The teams for each match were the same as the teams in the actual world, and in cases where a simulated team advanced when their actual world counterpart did not, the quarterfinal team was used for their next match.

The results were as follows:

First Quarterfinal – Pakistan vs. West Indies:

Pakistan 572
West Indies 428

Second Quarterfinal – India vs. Australia:

India 576
Australia 424

Third Quarterfinal – New Zealand vs. South Africa:

New Zealand 399
South Africa 601

Fourth Quarterfinal – Sri Lanka vs. England:

Sri Lanka 568
England 432

The results from these quarterfinal matchups suggest that New Zealand beating South Africa was the biggest upset of this stage of the tournament. South Africa was the only losing team that the simulator suggested should have won. In fact, South Africa were the team with the highest simulated chance of winning their quarterfinal, which will add more heartbreak to Proteas fans who felt that this tournament was a great chance for their team to break their Cricket World Cup duck.

First Semifinal:

There were four possible matchups for this semifinal, and the following were the predicted chances that the matchup in question would have resulted:

New Zealand vs. England (172 iterations)
New Zealand vs. Sri Lanka (same as actual world) (227 iterations)
South Africa vs. England (260 iterations)
South Africa vs. Sri Lanka (341 iterations)

The simulator results were as follows:

New Zealand vs. England: NZL 105, ENG 67.
New Zealand vs. Sri Lanka: NZL 134, SRL 93.
South Africa vs. England: SAF 181, ENG 79.
South Africa vs. Sri Lanka: SAF 180, SRL 161.

Second Semifinal:

There were four possible matchups for this semifinal, and the following were the predicted chances that the matchup in question would have resulted:

India vs. West Indies (247 iterations)
India vs. Pakistan (same as actual world) (329 iterations)
Australia vs. West Indies (181 iterations)
Australia vs. Pakistan (243 iterations)

The simulator results were as follows:

India vs. West Indies: IND 197, WIN 50.
India vs. Pakistan: IND 238, PAK 91.
Australia vs. West Indies: AUS 138, WIN 43.
Australia vs. Pakistan: AUS 186, PAK 57.

Final:

There were sixteen possible matchups for the final, and the following were the predicted chances that the matchup in question would have resulted:

India vs. South Africa (157 iterations)
India vs. Sri Lanka (same as actual world) (110 iterations)
India vs. New Zealand (104 iterations)
India vs. England (64 iterations)
Australia vs. South Africa (117 iterations)
Australia vs. Sri Lanka (82 iterations)
Australia vs. New Zealand (78 iterations)
Australia vs. England (47 iterations)
Pakistan vs. South Africa (53 iterations)
Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka (38 iterations)
Pakistan vs. New Zealand (35 iterations)
Pakistan vs. England (22 iterations)
West Indies vs. South Africa (34 iterations)
West Indies vs. Sri Lanka (24 iterations)
West Indies vs. New Zealand (22 iterations)
West Indies vs. England (13 iterations)

The simulator results were as follows:

India vs. South Africa: IND 98, SAF 59.
India vs. Sri Lanka: IND 69, SRL 41.
India vs. New Zealand: IND 63, NZL 41.
India vs. England: IND 54, ENG 10.
Australia vs. South Africa: AUS 65, SAF 52.
Australia vs. Sri Lanka: AUS 57, SRL 25.
Australia vs. New Zealand: AUS 47, NZL 31.
Australia vs. England: AUS 37, ENG 10.
Pakistan vs. South Africa: PAK 22, SAF 31.
Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka: PAK 19, SRL 19.
Pakistan vs. New Zealand: PAK 14, NZL 21.
Pakistan vs. England: PAK 12, ENG 9.
West Indies vs. South Africa: WIN 13, SAF 21.
West Indies vs. Sri Lanka: WIN, SRL 14.
West Indies vs. New Zealand: WIN 8, NZL 14.
West Indies vs. England: WIN 6, ENG 7.

These results give the following percentage chances of winning the 2011 Cricket World Cup, given the quarterfinal standings and given that the simulator is accurate:

India 28.5%
Australia 20.6%
South Africa 16.3%
New Zealand 10.7%
Sri Lanka 9.9%
Pakistan 6.7%
West Indies 3.7%
England 3.6%

It is important to note here that these rankings do not reflect the relative merits of each team, but their chances of winning the tournament given the quarterfinal standings and eventual opponents in the semifinals and final. Perhaps disappointingly for the tournament itself, the two top teams met each other in the quarterfinal stages, robbing it of what would have been a titanic final between the eventual champions and the triple defending champions.

FIFA World Cup 2010 South Africa – Scaffold and Formwork Contractors

The FIFA World Cup 2010 Football Tournament (Soccer World Cup to South Africans) is a mere 20 months away and South Africa is truly abuzz with preparations. There is an enormous amount of pressure on South Africa to execute a successful and memorable tournament and work has begun in full force to ensure that the tournament is fault-free.

Construction and Scaffolding is Key

The construction sector is booming and reaping the benefits of these preparations as stadiums are built along with new roads and freeways. Buildings, suburbs and districts are being renovated to create an attractive, first-world image of South Africa to visiting foreigners and television audiences from around the world.

Scaffolding is imperative to the preparatory processes as scaffolding is required for not only various formwork and construction projects, but also to provide safe and easy access for renovations and restorations.

Roads

The influx of people into South Africa for the World Cup, and especially into the main cities of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, requires that many infrastructure upgrades be made in these cities. The Department of Transport has been given a budget of R92-billion to bring the standard of the roads up to a level where they can cope with the enormous influx of traffic.

In Cape Town, the freeway system has always been relatively small and unable to cope with the volume of everyday traffic in and out of town. Roads are being widened to cope with the increased traffic that 2010 will bring. Many other cities are expanding their road infrastructure and repairing problems such as potholes. Scaffolding is used to build these new roads and complete the necessary formwork for the new infrastructure.

Buildings and Structures

In 2010 host cities, hotels are being built, old buildings are being restored to their former attractiveness and ‘bad’ areas are being cleaned up. The older buildings that are being restored are a mixture of high-rise blocks and smaller structures and scaffolding is needed to complete all of these adjustments and new structures.

Scaffolding is needed in the restoration process to allow workers access to high and difficult places to reach, whilst maintaining the safety of the workmen and bystanders.

Airports

One of the major construction projects taking place to accommodate the World Cup in 2010 is the expansion of South Africa’s main airports. Over R5.2-billion has been invested in developing South Africa’s airports to world-class standards. Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg have seen the majority of expansions, especially Johannesburg’s OR Tambo Airport which has benefitted from a R1.6-billion investment to develop the central terminal.

The terminal is linked to the Gautrain, a high speed train which will travel from OR Tambo Airport to Johannesburg.

Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg airports have had their existing parking facilities upgraded to large, multi-story parkades to allow sufficient parking for the influx of visitors. R132-million has been budgeted for refurbishments at national airports which will provide temporary facilities during the tournament.

Stadiums

There are five stadiums which are being constructed from new, adding to the stadiums already existing in South Africa. Green Point Stadium in the Western Cape (the previous Green Point Stadium was demolished in 2007), the Peter Mokaba Sports Complex, the Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth and the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban are under construction currently to be finished for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The FNB Stadium, Ellis Park in Johannesburg and Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane, along with the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in North West and Vodacom Park in Mangaung (Bloemfontein) are in the process of being upgraded to increase capacity and improve facilities.

These stadiums require enormous engineering feats and advanced use of scaffolding and formwork to ensure that the structures are completed on time and in good quality to achieve the maximum success for South Africa in hosting the tournament.

The FIFA World Cup is the most watched sporting event in the world. All eyes will be on South Africa to perform not only on the field, but also as a host country. With current construction underway, scaffolding is helping engineers and contractors to achieve top results in less time, with less man power but with the maximum safety available.