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Nueva Hipótesis De Construcción De La Pirámide De Keops

HIPÓTESIS DE CONSTRUCCIÓN DE LAS PIRÁMIDES

DEL VALLE DE GIZEH (Giza).

- RESUMEN -

Autor : Lic. Carlos E. Rodríguez Varona

Coautor : Téc. Dámaso René Rodríguez Vives

Derechos reservados bajo licencia No. 90–2003 del CENDA (Centro Nacional de Derecho de Autor). La Habana, Cuba.

INTRODUCCIÓN

La siguiente hipótesis pretende demostrar la probable técnica utilizada para la construcción, específicamente la elevación y ubicación a determinada altura, de los elementos constructivos que componen las pirámides egipcias del valle de Gizeh, en específico la pirámide de Keops. Se expone una teoría que utiliza dos tipos de rampas: las de carácter estático, situadas en el interior del cuerpo de la pirámide, construidas con el cuerpo de ésta; y otras más pequeñas de carácter dinámico, ubicadas sobre los escalones de los niveles, de estructura flexible y variable, fácil de trasladar y maniobrar respecto a las anteriores. Presentando ambas una ángulo de inclinación casi nulo en la pendiente.

Las piezas están colocadas en forma de aparejo al estilo soga de sillería, por lo que se encuentran sujetas – o mordidas – por la masa que se encuentra encima distribuida firme y uniformemente de forma permanente. En las referencias bibliográficas aparecen los fundamentos generales de las teorías anteriores.

Esta hipótesis presenta 4 rasgos que constituyen conceptos totalmente novedosos respecto a las hipótesis anteriores:

• Las pequeñas dimensiones que poseen respecto a las pirámides y el ángulo de inclinación casi nulo que poseen respecto al plano horizontal, de 3.9 grados.

• El espacio donde se desarrolla esta hipótesis lo constituyen los escalones y bordes que poseen los niveles de la pirámide.

• El primer tipo de rampas emplea rampas, plataformas y soportes, que van colocados sobre los escalones que conforman los niveles; cantidad que varia según la altura y el tipo de elemento a subir.

• El segundo tipo utiliza pequeñas secciones de los bordes de los niveles que aumentan en longitud y profundidad dentro del nivel según avanza la construcción de la rampa, acorde con las dimensiones que se requiere tenga la misma.

El objetivo de este trabajo consiste en enunciar la probable técnica utilizada para construir la pirámide mediante el uso de rampas para elevar las piezas, sin abarcar la totalidad del proceso constructivo de la misma; teniendo presente que éste constituye el aspecto fundamental para llevar a cabo la construcción: sin una técnica para transportar las piezas no es posible hacer nada.

PRIMER TIPO DE RAMPA

La construcción del modelo se realiza mediante el siguiente procedimiento: tomando dimensiones aproximadas a las de los bloques que componen la pirámide, utilizando formas geométricas básicas, un breve razonamiento físico – matemático y medidas de longitud comunes en aquella época; se escoge un ángulo adecuado para la pendiente que posibilite anular casi completamente la acción de la fuerza de gravedad; confeccionándose una rampa que satisfaga las dos condiciones fundamentales:

• Transformar el trabajo de elevar los bloques en vencer la fuerza de rozamiento al arrastrarlos y no en vencer la acción de la fuerza de gravedad sobre ellos.

• Posibilidad de trasladar los bloques de manera cómoda, segura y rápida, haciendo posible realizar complejas maniobras con un mínimo de riesgo; aún cuando esto implique recorrer mayores distancias y trasladar un mayor número de piezas que componen las rampas debido a la necesidad de aumentar el volumen y las dimensiones de la misma.

Estas dos condiciones, de obligatorio cumplimiento para los dos tipos de rampas, constituyen la premisa teórica que sustenta esta hipótesis.

Para el caso específico del modelo de rampa patrón confeccionado para determinar el ángulo de la pendiente, las medidas utilizadas fueron – empleando el codo bíblico como longitud:

• Altura inicial: 0.45 metros (1 codo),

• Altura final: 2.70 metros (6 codos, incluyendo la altura inicial),

• Longitud de la rampa: 33.75 metros (75 codos),

• Ancho (opcional): 1.8 metros (4 codos) – (el ancho varia según la altura en le caso del segundo tipo de rampas)

Mediante el Teorema del Triángulo rectángulo de Pitágoras, se determina el ángulo de inclinación que tendrá la pendiente, lográndose el resultado buscado. De forma aleatoria: no se utiliza algún procedimiento específico para calcularlo. Este procedimiento se refleja en los anexos. Las medidas se escogen según la necesidad de elevar los objetos hasta determinada altura y posición. Puede observarse cómo diseñar rampas de distintas longitudes conforme a lo anterior en los anexos. Las dimensiones y el ángulo de inclinación que poseen las rampas son mayores de lo que realmente pudieran haber sido. Esto es válido también para el segundo tipo de rampa. Esto evita discutir las cuestiones relacionadas con las medidas reales.

El primer tipo presenta un conjunto estructural complementario conformado por dos plataformas horizontales: la primera destinada para ubicar los bloques, como un lugar intermedio entre la rampa y el nivel al lado de la misma para colocarlos posteriormente sobre dicho nivel o elevarlos por otra rampa paralelamente ubicada; y la segunda como soporte para sostener las rampas y plataformas que sobresalgan de los escalones. Es característica fundamental el casi nulo ángulo de inclinación: 3.9 grados de pendiente respecto al plano horizontal. Esto equivale a trabajar sobre superficies casi totalmente horizontales. El mismo se obtiene a partir de dimensiones escogidas aleatoriamente.

Se obtiene un método eficaz para elevar objetos de cualesquiera dimensiones de un nivel a otro, empleando un sistema de rampas capaz de variar sus dimensiones rápidamente utilizando más de un nivel como soporte para ajustarse a las necesidades existentes. Esto permite combinar varios conjuntos con el objetivo de utilizarlos de forma alterna para elevar los elementos en secciones complicadas. Esto aparece ejemplificado en las figuras. Esta cualidad cobra gran validez en el caso de la construcción de las cámaras y habitaciones interiores y los niveles más altos de la pirámide.

Este primer tipo sería fundamental en la construcción de la parte más alta – el llamado PIRAMIDON – utilizándose para esto varias caras, para realizar el acabado final de las caras, y para corregir desperfectos o rematar detalles durante el proceso constructivo; en la transportación de las joyas, símbolos y demás piezas funerarias; y en el sellaje de las cámaras y rellenado del camino. El proceso de rellenado de los escalones en la parte más alta, donde supuestamente no caben por la longitud tan reducida que poseen las aristas de los niveles respecto a la longitud que poseen las rampas, se realizaría de forma vertical. O sea: se rellenarán los espacios de los escalones inferiores donde se encuentra la rampa, de forma que las secciones rellenadas correspondan con el plano vertical de la misma.

La utilización de este primer tipo es esencial a la hora de concebir la pirámide debido a la cualidad que la caracteriza: es una estructura fácil de mover, aunque resulte considerable el número de piezas que la componen. Esto posibilita desmontarla completamente en cualquier momento de la construcción para colocarla en otro lugar. Deja de ser un objeto estático, posibilitando diseños de gran complejidad y dadas sus amplias posibilidades para variar sus dimensiones, se adapta fácilmente al lugar, posición y maniobra que se requiera durante el proceso constructivo.

SEGUNDO TIPO DE RAMPA

Consiste en aplicar el tipo anterior utilizando una nueva variante: usando rampas iguales pero de dimensiones mayores, combinadas con el cuerpo de la pirámide. Estas rampas serían las utilizadas a gran escala para realizar la mayor parte del trabajo, empleada para transportar la mayor cantidad de bloques y elementos constructivos. La altura está expresada por la cantidad de niveles que ocupan, la cual obedecerá a la exigencia de avanzar más rápidamente en el trabajo.

La longitud debe ajustarse para conservar el ángulo de la pendiente de 3.9 grados. El objetivo consiste en vencer la fuerza de rozamiento y no la fuerza de gravedad. Constituyen grandes y largas rampas construidas utilizando secciones tomadas de los bordes de los niveles, cercanas a los escalones de la pirámide, pero ubicadas sobre los niveles. Presentan grandes longitudes, cercanas a los 80 metros como se muestra en la tabla de medidas. Y la altura inicial es análoga a las del primer tipo: un codo de altura y una superficie superior conformada por bloques casi cúbicos con una pendiente de inclinación de 3.9 grados.

Las secciones de los bordes de los niveles –o de las esquinas, según el caso– literalmente son absorbidas por las rampas a medida que éstos últimos se van construyendo, utilizando como plataforma para soportar la rampa los niveles inferiores. Por lo que la pirámide se convierte en la vía para subir las piezas, sin necesidad de escalones ni plataformas.

Se toman los bloques de determinadas secciones de los bordes de los niveles para construir la base sobre la cual se construirá la rampa. La cantidad tomada disminuye horizontalmente en cada nivel a medida que se construye, pues la longitud de la rampa disminuye a medida que aumenta la altura: La dirección de las rampas dependerá de la trayectoria inicial tomada.

El volumen que ocupan las rampas propiamente es el conformado por la parte de la pendiente únicamente, o sea, el volumen correspondiente a la sección limitada entre la pendiente y el plano horizontal corresponde a la rampa propiamente dicha. El resto son los bloques de los niveles. El ancho de la rampa equivale al de varios bloques o escalones, para permitir transportar varios elementos a la vez u otros de mayores proporciones. La rampa se construye adentrándose hacia el interior de la misma a medida que se avanza en la construcción, mediante un trayecto que las interconecta, manteniendo la pendiente de 3,9 grados. Semejando una enorme escalera lateral con forma de zig-zag dentro de la pirámide. Esto permite trasladar cualquiera de las piezas que componen la pirámide, sin importar las dimensiones y/o la masa que posean, hasta cierta altura.

Si existe necesidad de variar el sentido de dirección porque se interpone algún obstáculo: un pasaje, una cámara, un fallo o accidente, una esquina, u otro detalle; se determina si es necesario cambiar el sentido, las dimensiones, continuar sobre una cara u otras, reemplazarlas por las del primer tipo, etc., brindando un proceso bastante dinámico. Pero teniendo en cuenta que una vez construidas no es posible volver hacia atrás pues los bloques que componen el cuerpo de las rampas no se pueden quitar ya que forma parte de lo que ha sido construido.

El segundo tipo de rampa resulta de fusionar las del primer tipo repetidas varias veces una al lado de la otra en varios niveles; aprovechando como plataformas de soporte para los elementos constructivos y para las anteriores rampas, los bloques que se encuentran al final de las rampas montadas sucesivamente y los que quedan por debajo de las secciones tomadas en los bordes de los niveles, respectivamente. Se utilizará para construir la mayor parte de la pirámide. Cuando se llegue a una altura donde no exista espacio para instalarlas se disminuyen sus dimensiones. Y cuando no se pueda seguir reduciendo las dimensiones, se sustituyen por las del primer tipo. Esto incluye además la posibilidad de combinar, temporalmente o no, los dos tipos de rampas para superar obstáculos o aplicar técnicas constructivas determinadas.

Resulta ventajoso destinar una sección o área fija de la cara para trabajar con las rampas. Esto facilita el diseño y la planificación del trabajo, pues las secciones empleadas son más fáciles de controlar, reservando la utilización de las restantes secciones para posibles problemas o variaciones del diseño.

Todo esto posibilita confeccionar una maqueta de la pirámide para determinar cómo va a ser construida, dónde van colocadas las rampas y cómo serán utilizadas.

Planificando acertadamente, se posee un margen de errores que facilita superar fallos o modificaciones necesarias, permitiendo ejecutar acciones acordes con las necesidades y posibilidades existentes.

Y al llegar a la parte más alta de la pirámide – que incluye el PIRAMIDON – se utiliza el primer tipo de rampas y finalmente se rellenan los espacios utilizados por las rampas del segundo tipo. Esta última operación se lleva a cabo de forma descendente empleando el primer tipo: el primer tipo de rampas se utiliza de forma permanente en la etapa final.

Este trabajo no pretende exponer un ejemplo concreto que muestre el procedimiento exacto para construir la pirámide, donde se especifique la utilización de los dos tipos de rampas, pues los dos modelos de rampas aquí expuestos pueden ser utilizados empleando disímiles variantes técnicas en cualquier construcción donde se empleen rampas. Se incluyen los anexos relacionados al final con este fin: utilizarlos como guía para elaborar un determinado y exacto procedimiento constructivo. El objetivo de esta hipótesis consiste solamente en transmitir la técnica; no el procedimiento.

CONCLUSIONES

Esta técnica presenta varias ventajas y aportes respecto a las existentes anteriormente:

Posee un fundamento preciso y razonable respecto a las anteriores hipótesis existentes. Emplea las rampas de manera eficiente, utilizando medidas conocidas y una técnica concreta, sin presentar graves inconvenientes como son: constituir un riesgo para la seguridad personal de los constructores, ser demasiado costosa; no establecer de forma clara, sencilla y adecuada a las condiciones de aquellos tiempos, un procedimiento técnico fiable que garantice el proceso constructivo. A su vez, permite disuadir de pensar en recurrir a métodos o procedimientos tales como los de carácter sobrenatural o extraterrestre.

Conforma un modelo seguro y fiable que sirve como herramienta fundamental en el diseño y construcción de la pirámide, posibilitando planificar de forma exacta la misma, calcular el tiempo de construcción, la cantidad de recursos, personal y elementos técnicos necesarios.

Esta hipótesis acarrea implícitamente la posibilidad que el faraón contara con una técnica segura que le permitiera tomar la decisión de construir la pirámide.

Esta hipótesis, de validarse desde el punto de vista histórico, replantea el enigma de la construcción de la pirámide orientando la incógnita del enfoque investigativo dirigida a descubrir cómo fue calculada y diseñada la pirámide y cómo fueron elaboradas, colocadas y construidas todas sus piezas y secciones.

Este trabajo no descarta la posibilidad del uso de otras técnicas expresadas con anterioridad que pudieran servir como complementarias, pues pudieran ser aplicadas al realizar maniobras singulares o transportar elementos específicos como pudieran ser enormes piezas. Además, está dirigido a facilitar un estudio y comprensión de la arquitectura del antiguo Egipto. Es, en parte, un reconocimiento al desarrollo socio – cultural alcanzado por los antiguos egipcios. Es el motor impulsor de este trabajo fundamentar hasta donde sea posible, una hipótesis de carácter lo más razonable y cercano posible a las condiciones técnicas y socio – culturales que existieron en aquel entonces.

De esta forma quedan planteadas las rampas de esta hipótesis; las cuales a primera vista pueden resultar ineficaces debido a lo pequeñas que parecen con respecto a las dimensiones de la pirámide; pero que poco a poco, utilizándolas de forma sistemática, proporcionan una solución bastante consistente y satisfactoria respecto al dilema de la técnica utilizada para elevar las piezas, posibilitando utilizar estas rampas en la construcción de una pirámide con la complejidad y el tamaño que se desee, como se verá más adelante. Con una adecuada planificación y diseño, se pueden utilizar de forma efectiva colocándolas sistemáticamente paralelas a y sobre los escalones, de forma continua para conformar una trayectoria a través de una o varias de las caras – según el diseño del arquitecto – por donde se puede transportar los elementos.

REFERENCIAS BIBLIOGRAFICAS

I. Aldred, Cyril, Aparición de los reyes – dioses. Primer florecimiento del antiguo Egipto. / Piggott, Stuart, El despertar de la civilización. Los enigmas de las antiguas culturas revelados, Ed. Labour, S.A. Barcelona, España, 1963.

II. Enciclopedia digital ENCARTA, Edición año 2000. Microsoft Corporation.

III. Moreux, T. (Abate), La ciencia misteriosa de los faraones, Ed. Sabian, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1956.

IV. Pijoán, José, El arte egipcio hasta la conquista romana / Summa Artis: Historia general del arte, Ed. Espasa – Calpe, S.A. Vol. III. Segunda edición, Madrid, Epaña, 1945.

V. Sitio web: Touregypt: http://www.touregypt.net/antiq.

VI. Sitio web: Biblioteca del Congreso de los Estados unidos: mailto: lcweb.loc.gov.

VII. Sitio web: Biblioteca Universidad Zaragoza: http://wzar.unizar.es

VIII. Stadelmann, Rainer, Las pirámides, colosales obras de ingeniería, Rev. “El correo de la UNESCO”, número El Egipto de los faraones, Ed. Maury – Imprimeur S.A., año XLI, Septiembre de 1988.

ANEXOS

TABLA DE DATOS PARA EL CÁLCULO DE LA UTILIZACIÓN DE LAS RAMPAS (SIN TENER EN CUENTA EL TIPO)

Cálculo para N-codos de altura, de la longitud de la rampa, respecto al ángulo de la pendiente (3.9 grados), teniendo en cuenta que la altura total no contiene a A1 (0.45 metros):

Fórmula:

Longitud (D) = (Altura)/(cot(ángulo))

Cálculo para determinar la altura hasta la cual se puede utilizar la rampa:

Fórmula:

Altura (A) = ((230.4/2)-(longitud de la rampa/2))/(146.6/(230.4/2))

Tabla de resultados:

Medidas: Altura(H): Longitud(D): Altura en la pirámide:

1 codo 0,45 metros 6,6008 metros 82,6697 metros

2 codos 0,90 metros 13,2017 metros 80,2314 metros

3 codos 1,35 metros 19,8025 metros 77,7931 metros

4 codos 1,80 metros 26,4034 metros 75,3548 metros

5 codos 2,25 metros 33,0042 metros 72,9165 metros

6 codos 2,70 metros 39,6050 metros 70,4782 metros

7 codos 3,15 metros 46,2059 metros 68,0399 metros

8 codos 3,60 metros 52,8067 metros 65,6016 metros

9 codos 4,05 metros 59,4075 metros 63,1633 metros

10 codos 4,50 metros 66,0084 metros 60,7250 metros

11 codos 4,95 metros 72,6092 metros 58,2867 metros

12 codos 5,40 metros 79,2101 metros 55,8484 metros

Nota: El ancho de la rampa dependerá de las necesidades para transportar los objetos, partiendo de un ancho mínimo equivalente al doble del que posee el objeto a transportar.

CALCULOS DE LOS PARAMETROS DE LA RAMPA PATRON

Cálculos de la rampa

Parámetros:

Altura inicial de la rampa: A1: 0,4500 Metros

Altura final de la rampa: A2: 2,7000 Metros

Longitud de la rampa: B: 33,7500 Metros

Ancho de la rampa: L: 1,8000 Metros

Fórmula para hallar el ángulo de inclinación:

Ángulo(ƒ): (ƒ)= Arcot(B/(A2-A1)) = 1/Arctan(B/(A2-A1));

siendo: cot(ƒ) = (B/(A2-A1))

cot(ƒ)=1/tan(ƒ)= 15,0000

(ƒ)= 3,9054

A Country Within A Country: Travel To Barcelona

The distinctive regional culture of Barcelona is largely due to geography and a plentitude of national pride and elitism. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, one of Spain’s 17 semi-autonomous states. The regional language is Catalan, along with the national language of Castilian Spanish. There has long been pressure from the Catalonian government and nationalists to earn complete autonomy from Spain. Consequently, the exclusive culture can be difficult to adjust to and there is significant animosity towards foreigners around the main tourist street of Las Ramblas. To thoroughly enjoy the sweet life and gentle hospitality of Barcelona, leave this busy area and explore the many diverse districts, endless with possibility.

Café Life and Nightlife for the Night Owl

Barcelona is truly a city that never sleeps, particularly during the warm Mediterranean summers. Avoid standing out like a sore thumb by eating dinner when the locals do: after 10 p.m. It is common to see children, grandparents and the family dog gathering at the outdoor cafes at these hours when the day’s work is finished and time for friends and family has commenced. Since Barcelona hosted the Olympics in 1992, the city has been revamped with visitor friendly attractions such as the massive Olympic Village, a string of swanky restaurants, state-of-the-art nightclubs and boutiques along the beach. Most nightclubs do not get going until after 1 a.m. and club-goers typically wander out onto the beach around 5:30 to watch the sunrise over the Mediterranean.

A Modernista Mecca

The architectural wonders of Barcelona will keep even the most novice eye bewildered and intrigued. Antoni Gaudi decorated Barcelona with his treasures of modernism as a painter on a canvas. The grand boulevard of Passeig de Gracia is lined with elaborately adorned Casa Batllo and Casa Mila, both with the most intricate rooftops known to modern architecture. Arguably the most stunning of Gaudi’s work is the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia. Each of the church’s facades are meticulously designed with different themes and styles combining nature with religion and the soaring towers topped with mosaic grapes are built around a conch-like coiled staircase that visitors may choose to take instead of the elevator. Another tribute to Barcelona’s artistic heritage is the Palau da la Musica Catalana. A view of the glass and mosaic inverted chandelier on the ceiling of the theater is alone worth the visit. Daily tours are offered in addition to the regularly held musical performances. Afterward, get lost in the tiny twisting passages of the surrounding historic Gothic Quarter.

Traveling Barcelona Right Not Your Weekend Visit

It is best to avoid traveling to Spain in August, when most of the locals (and most of Mediterranean Europe) take their vacations. Chances are that the restaurant you wanted to visit will be closed and museums will have extremely curtailed hours. August can also be uncomfortably hot.

Barcelona should be traveled with care and patience. The only disappointment visitors have is the inability to see all of the city’s landmarks and hidden corners in a realistic amount of time.

The Must See Attractions In Barcelona, Spain

If you think you are in need of a vacation, then Barcelona Spain is just the place you need to pay a visit. Barcelona is a place with history, culture, customs and excitement. Although Barcelona is full of culture and history there are fun things to do in the city as well. One thing that comes to buying it surfing along the Costa Brava. The waves are big, the winds are strong and you can surf for miles. Many people come to this area for some great surfing because of the waves. You will find that the beaches are just as beautiful as anywhere else in the world. The white Sandy beaches with the blue waters in the background are inviting.

Sailing along the Costa Brava is just as much fun. You can rent a sailboat or have a guide take you. The coastline is beautiful from the water and Barcelona has a beautiful coastline that can be enjoyed from a sailboat. If sailing is in for you, you might enjoy a boat Regatta race. Many of the sailing clubs hold Regatta races for visitors to see. If you have never seen a Regatta race you must see one why you are in Barcelona. If you have never done any sailing or surfing you can sign up and take classes while you are in Barcelona. This is just going to make your vacation more enjoyable.

The Mediterranean climate, water temperatures and sunny skies is why people travel to Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona is really about one thing and that is fun and excitement. After you have had a day in the sun, you can enjoy some fine cuisine at one of the many restaurants in Barcelona. You will find that the restaurants have America cuisine, Italian cuisine, French cuisine and Spanish cuisine. Whatever your taste is you will find a restaurant in Barcelona that has just what you want.

If you are looking for a little bit of nightlife in Barcelona, you will find that after the Sun goes down everybody gets out and enjoy some dancing, music and a few drinks. Although the fun and excitement starts a little later at night, you have nowhere to be the next day so enjoy some fun with the locals. You will see how they dance, how they enjoy the night and what they do to relax after a long day. After a night out, you might need a nice day relaxing by the pool or on the beach soaking up some sunrays.

One thing is for sure when you take your holiday to Barcelona your going to have exciting days, exciting nights and see so many different things. Traveling and vacations are not just about seeing historical sites they are about having fun, doing the things that you remember. You can plan your trip to Barcelona and plan to do just about anything. Take some time to enjoy the beaches, take some time to see the sights, but always make sure to have fun.

This is What Makes a Bestseller – a Recipe for a Bestseller Finally Found?

What is it that make a critics all occupied with a novel that in part has passages that look like the Bobsey children book language? A melo- dramatic plot and all to well known gallery of personalities, that at least will make it look like a novel of dukes and dutchesses?

The plot of the book by Ildefonso Falcones, called the Cathedral of the Ocean is a cruel master and a hero called Arnau Estanoyal. The hero is born in 1321 and his roots are a proud farmers family from a kathalonian farm. On the wedding night to his parents, the cruel master comes and makes his claim to sleep with the bride. This destroys Aranaus mother completely, and makes his father Bernat to escape with little Arnau born 9 months later. He assure himself that the boy is not the son of the cruel master, but a real Estanoyal, by identification of the noble family birthmark above his right eye.

Arnau grows up Barcelona during its 14th century period. A city full of freedom to its citizens if they have been living there for a year or more. Father and son works hard, starvs, and are being treated bad by gready relatives. Berant can take it all, expect when the war creates a hunger and he can no longer stand that the rich has storage of food, while the poor dies of hunger. Bernat becomes one of the back men of a riot that happened in real life in Barcelona in the year of 1334. kelighetens» Barcelona i 1334.

Wealth and nobel title

The Cathedral of the Ocean is a so called historic novel. The title reflects on Satna Maria del Mar, and is according to Falcones one of the most beautiful churches of the world. It was built by volunteers of the people itself the ”bastaix” who carried rocks to build the church. Little Arnau has become one of these proud ”Bastaix’s”. Later the faith brings wealth and a noble title to our noble and beautiful hero. The story also makes him loose his loved one as a act of rank play, and he is thrown into prison and becomes the victim of the Spanish inquisition. But all is well in the end..

The author Falcones has done a thorough historic research. We are to be witnesses to a society that looks down on women, where the law in society determined that if you later married the woman you raped, you did not have to take any penalty. Here you will find descriptions of the inquisitors, the plague of black death, the continuous wars between the small states, a heroic slave and not least the Jews are described in the book. Every Easter lots of people had to die due to the crucifixion thirteen hundred years earlier, before the whole Jewish quarter in Barcelona is eradicated.

Small lads

Seen from a litterary standpoint of view, the book is dead. Translations can take part of this blame, however not totally. It is some what curious that middle age people consisting of small lads, Scots which are noisy and have hidden laughs.

On the other side, the plot and characters are in line with the flat language, so it is tempting to assume that the book has gotten the translation it deserves.

A Copy novel

Recently a Italian professor went out and warned against Harry Potter copies destroyed the children’s book market. Harry Potter books are not dangerous by itself. Neither is the Barcelona novel called Shadow of the wind, which apparently is the inspirational source for the Cathedral of the Ocean book. The book is promoted through an enormous marketing apparatus. It has already sold more then 2 million copies and in pact with any success novel the author claims that seven publishers refused the book before it finally made it through its present publisher. It is hard to believe this story, but it makes good marketing material at least. The novel follows exactly the recipe of a modern bestseller, so it looks like something created for this purpose alone.

“If only all bestsellers were like this novel”, a Spanish critics announced in the Spanish newspapers. Well, if the book market continues to develop in the same commercial trend there is a good chance that his wish will come through. That all bestsellers will become like this where great entertainment is made out of pure recipes.

Fight Asthma With These Diet and Eating Tips

According to the latest information, asthma with its coughing and wheezing is up 60% from about 25 years ago.Approximately 23 million Americans now have asthma with the figures continuing to climb. Experts claim that what you eat helps fight asthma and coupled with diet will go a long way toward curing or at least reducing asthma’s inflammation. 

Some of the research-based tips that were suggested:

First of all eat a Mediterranean type diet. Overall this is a good diet not only for fighting asthma but to lose weight and get healthier. The main ingredients of this diet are lots of of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, fish instead of meat, cooking with olive oil as well as staying away from white flour products and sugar. A new study finds that by eating a Mediterranean Diet the risk of asthma was cut by 78% after adjusting for gender, age, education, etc. Kids, who eat a Mediterranean diet, especially lots of oranges, apples, tomatoes and grapes, have less wheezing, allergic rhinitis and asthma. Children of mothers who followed a high-quality Mediterranean diet were 80 percent less likely to have persistent wheezing, the most common symptom of childhood asthma, the study found. They were also 45 percent less likely to develop allergies. The research, which was published in the journal Thorax, was carried out by teams from the Royal Brompton Hospital, in London; the University of Crete; Venezelio General Hospital in Crete and the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, in Barcelona. The Faculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal, and Department of Immunoallergology, Hospital of S. João, Porto, Portugal.s. reported similar findings.

If you are overweight or obese you should lose weight because your odds of developing asthma jump 50%, according to a recent review of 330,000 subjects by researchers at Denver’s National Jewish Health Center. They estimate that being overweight or obese accounts for at least 250,000 new cases of adult asthma every year. Although it’s a fact that children that are overweight increased the chances for asthma no figures were given.

Eat the good fats and avoid the bad ones. Omega-3 oil, found in certain kinds of fish (sardines, salmon, tuna) is a potent anti-inflammatory. A study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and reported in Nature Immunology found that adults who ate fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids reduced asthmatic symptoms. These fatty acids are found in cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel and anchovies. Adults who never ate fish as children, were more apt to develop asthma and at an earlier age. An Indiana University study shows that high doses of fish oil of at least 5 g daily helped prevent exercise-induced asthma symptoms. Stay clear of omega-6polyunsaturated fats (in corn, soybean, regular safflower and sunflower oils, and in meat and many processed foods) as much as possible, as they induce inflammation and promote asthma according to studies by the University of Maryland Medical Center.

 

Low sodium intake won’t help. Up until recently it was thought that a low sodium diet would help control asthma. Recently in a British study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers compared the effects of a low-sodium vs. normal-sodium diet on asthma control in nearly 200 adults with asthma for six weeks. The study showed that subjects who restricted sodium intake for six weeks had just as many asthma symptoms as those on normal diets. It still might be a good idea to restrict your sodium intake though.

Pregnant women need to watch what they eat. Dutch research, reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and

Critical Care Medicine shows that pregnant women who eat nuts or nut products like peanut butter every day up their children’s odds of developing asthma by nearly 50%.

A Brief Guide To Barcelona – Part 1

Outside the city limits of Barcelona lie intriguing suburbs, a striking coastline and amazing mountains. All lie in wait for the intrepid visitor.

Antonio Gaudi, the late famous architect, commissioned Parc Güell, a peculiar array of vibrant ceramic benches, large ornamental lizards, mosaics and pavilions of knotted stone. It is located behind the city and commands a great view of Barcelona. Initially constructed with a view to being a market, the 84 stone columns of the Sala Hipóstila are well worth a visit. Gaudi resided for his last 20 years in the Casa Museu Gaudí the spired house found on the same site.

A well established home of learning, Gràcia has a very down to earth feel. Vibrant nightlife can be found in its Plaça del Sol which is also a great place to visit by day.

People either love or hate the Temple del Sagrat Cor, a majestic basilica near the centre of Barcelona. Fantastic views and an amusement park are two of the attractions at Tibidabo, a peak among a wooded range that sits behind the city. Tibidabo is serviced by a glass lift that reaches 115m to the peak.

Constructed over 900 years ago and still attracting pilgrims to its La Moreneta (The Black Virgin), the Monestir de Montserrat is situated among a mountain range 50 km north west of Barcelona.

Accommodation in Barcelona is vast and varied. There is so much to choose from whether you are into hostels or modern, luxurious five star hotels. There are backpacker lodgings and various hotels spread across the city. It is not difficult to find a lodging that provides easy access to the cities main attractions.

Dining in Barcelona is a wonderful experience. The city has all there is to offer in means of great food and wine. There are plenty of Cervecerias which are bars that serve beer and various other drinks. There are dozens of restaurants scattered through the city that offer a variety of international cuisine. If traditional sea food dishes are your thing then head to one of the many marisquerias.

Travel destinations: Aquopolis Water Park, Barcelona

We went to visit this water theme park near Barcelona about a year ago with my 3 teenage sons and baby daughter and other friends.

The first thing I should say is it is not actually in Barcelona, but about an hour’s drive away in La Pineda (Vila-seca), south of Tarragona, on the N340.

There are lots of outdoor pools, slides, etc which older children/teenagers in particular can really have fun with. There are many grassy area where you can sunbathe etc, but of course what people do is arrive and spread all their towels out on a spot and camp there for the day, so if you didn’t arrive in plenty of time you would struggle to find a good spot. There is plenty of space but a lot of it is either in the sun all day (not good) or a long way from the pools, so you can’t see your children, also not good. so get there fairly early and get a good spot!

There are some helter-skelter type slides with bumps in them the older boys especially enjoyed, but at busy times you had to queue for them. There is also one really fast one called Kamikazi, and the queues were serious for that one, but apparently you did 50km per hour down that one! That’s the speed of a moped on full throttle! You’d need to hang on to your swimming costume on that one! The whole park is massive, and you can’t see across it, so in terms of younger children you do have to be careful because they can wander off… There was a good range of types of water – some with fountains and some with smaller slides and splash pools; there was not a huge area if just wanted to swim lengths though – everything was shaped but you could swim round and round a bit with a current that wove around the whole park.

I spent some quite good quality time by myself just lying in the sun reading, knowing my kids were all having fun and not bored or bothering me!

There are many places to eat and drink providing welcome shade and cold beer! Some traditional Spanish food can be had in pone bar and and nasty burgers and chips in another, so my recommendation if you are staying nearby and self-catering is to bring a cold box full of a packed lunch, but that’s ont always practical on holiday, so it is good to know you can buy food there. It is a bit over-priced for the quality, but not a total rip off.

Beer and coke etc in large quantities are a good thing, and there are electric vending machines with ice cold bottles of water everywhere, which is great as there were queues at the bars at times. Certainly in Spanish

A Whistlestop Tour Of Barcelona

Visiting Barcelona, with limited time? There is so much to see in this fascinating city, which would normally take at least a week, but it is possible to see the major highlights in a couple of days too.

I would highly recommend the following:

The Gaudí masterpieces:

1. Temple de la Sagrada Familia – or Temple of the Sacred Family – Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece and a must-see in Barcelona. A fascinating combination of the original architects’ vision (Martorell and De Villar), combined with the magic of Gaudí. Unfortunately Gaudí passed away before the work was complete. Construction still continues on this amazing building and your entry fee helps towards this.

2. Casa Milà (La Pedrera) – in the L’Eixample neighbourhood – Antoni Gaudí was commissioned by the industrialist, Pere Milà, to construct a building on the boundary of Barcelona and Gràcia, as both a family residence and also to be leased as separate dwellings. Owing to the way its facade appears to be carved out of rock, the Casa Milà was nicknamed “La Pedrera”, which means stone quarry. Amazing interior architecture, as well as the famous and fascinating chimneys on the rooftop.

3. Casa Battló also in the L’Eixample neighbourhood – a fairytale building. Originally Gaudí was commissioned to demolish the building, and build from scratch, but he convinced the owner to let him completely redesign the existing building. This was in the days when the Paseo de Gracia was undergoing a “keep up with the Jones’” battle – everyone trying to outdo each other with their architecture. Gaudí did an incredible job using tiles and scales on the exterior of the building, wonderful interior design, plus again the famous chimneys on the roof top.

4. Parque Güell (Güell Park) – ideal for a restful stroll after your busy days in Barcelona. Originally planned to be a residential area, it is now a beautiful park with many wonderful Gaudí creations in tilework and stone. The views over Barcelona to the sea are simply beautiful.

Other areas worth visiting are the following:

- The very famous Las Ramblas – a busy street between the Plaza de Catalunya and the port with many restaurants, cafes, bars, kiosks and the famous Human Statues of Barcelona

- Poble Español de Montjuic (the Spanish Village) – situated at the foot of Mount Montjuic. Created in 1929 on the occasion of the Barcelona International Exhibition, the Spanish Village is the only initiative of its kind which has survived the test of time. A collection of streets and squares, monuments and buildings, representing the different peoples and cultures of Spain. Some might call it kitsch, but it is an attractive and interesting place to visit, full of shops selling the handicrafts of the various regions. There are restaurants and cafes to enjoy a break and also an art gallery, Fundacio Fran Daurel. Above the entrance is a terrace cafe with incredible views (but alas, bad service and incredibly high prices!) However, the views were worth it!

- The Cathedral – a Gothic creation of great beauty

- The Palau de la Musica – a beautiful concert hall

- The Port, Barceloneta and the beaches

Barcelona has many more attractions, too numerous to list here – so if you are only spending a couple of days in this city, plan ahead for a longer trip to Barcelona in the future – you will not regret it.

Top ten places to visit in Europe

Within a week of my retirement ceremony … which I didn’t attend … my spouse and I were on our way to Europe. I had seen all the Pacific lands I cared to see during Navy tours of duty in World War II and Korea. We flew to London, then traveled everywhere with just one wheeled bag each and a knapsack. We went to the places when, where and for as long as we wanted.

It was great fun. No schedules, no tourist traps, no pressures, no job that required hurrying back. We wandered for a month on that trip, and have been back to Europe several times since. We’ve already started to put together an itinerary for our next jaunt in September. In our happy memories, these are the top ten places we enjoyed most in Europe.

1. London: There are so many historic sites and sights. We especially liked the Covent Garden area of shops, cafes and street performers. London theater is the best in the world, especially if you can line up at the two-fer booth in the morning and get two tickets for the price of one for that evening’s performance.

2. St. Petersburg: The people are friendly, especially to American wanderers, unlike many other cities in Europe. The Hermitage is one of the most fantastic museums in the world, and we could have spent a week there and never could be able to view the entire collections.

3. Paris: Of course, Paris has to be on the list. We stayed at a little hotel near the Sorbonne, and our window looked across a narrow alley into the art classes. We watched junior Monets, Gaugins, Degas’ and Seurats at work with some very interesting models. The cafes were great for people-watching. We just wish the food had been a little more and the smoking a little less. We also spent fascinating hours at the Louvre and other museums.

4. Barcelona: My spouse loved the late, late night cafes that offered menus of Spanish and Basque delicacies. The city’s architecture features all kinds of original works, from the Byzantine to the bizarre.

5. Rome: The Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountains, the Forum, the Coleseum, the Vatican. We saw them all. Also, we found some great little cafes far away from the tourist traps, where the Romans do their dining and discussing.

6. Brussels: We somehow got a cheap, second-floor room with a balcony that looked out on one of the city’s busiest intersections. We sat there in the evening and watched the people scene. This city also has great restaurants, and unfortunately for our waistlines, great chocolate.

7. Dublin:

Bio Fuels Take Food Off My Plate

The changing of existing crops to bio fuels from existing farmers or the creation of new opportunities for some farmers is leading to jobs and increased prosperity for some, but they are also helping to push up the price of bread in London, tortillas in Mexico City and beer in Barcelona. Food aid for the poorest people in Africa, pork in China and beef in Britain are all more expensive.What about my pennies? This increased use of food for fuel is leading to record prices for maize, as the demand increases so does the cost. Warburtons my favorite bread in the whole world will have to pay more for wheat which will then passed onto good old me! Could the days of a 20 pence supermarket own branded loaves that I ate as a student be over? And its not just bread that is effected, my bacon butties will get more expenssive as pigs are fed mainly on grain.The immediate best bet is that countries that are new to the EU such as Poland and the Ukraine will grow more food for export as they have a bigger market with more demand.
This at least will lead to my bacon butties remaining affordable and keep a smile on my face.