City man heads to the North Pole to hit £100,000 target

12 Dec

On 19 April 2012, Geoff Major will battle temperatures of -35°C, polar bears and thin ice, on his hike to the North Pole to raise money for ten different charities across the UK.

Geoff Major’s training for the Polar Trek

The 50-year-old businessman is planning to embark on an 8-day ski-trek to the Top of the World while pulling his own 30kg sled of supplies.

He hopes to raise up to £100,000 for a string of worthwhile causes, as well as setting himself a once-in-a-lifetime personal challenge.

It all started back in December 2010, four weeks after he returned from a charity cycle across Cuba. Geoff was still eager for adventure so he did not hesitate to browse amongst the latest available challenges offered by City Challenge on its website. He ended up joining a 75-mile ski trek to the North Pole.

This ultimate survival challenge is the second extreme adventure which Mr. Major embarks on so far. In Cuba, he cycled a total of 220 miles in five days. Continue reading

The Skin I Live In (La Piel que Habito)

1 Dec

by Natalia Rodríguez Domínguez

 Brilliant Almodóvar! Only he could have created The Skin I Live in. Provocative, bizarre, dramatic, perverse, sensual, funny, surprising and moving in equal measure. A different macabre thriller which Pedro has simply mastered.

Award-winning Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar needed three months of shooting and a further 14 weeks of postproduction to be able to carry out this provoking morbid tale about obsessions, insanity and the struggle for survival. The Skin I Live in is based on Thierry Jonquet’s novel Mygale (“Tarantula”, in English) about a brilliant plastic surgeon who seeks revenge against the man who raped her daughter. Continue reading

Students across Edinburgh say NO to Rest of UK £9,000 tuition fees

24 Nov

by Natalia Rodríguez Domínguez

On Wednesday, students and supporters took to the streets of Edinburgh to protest against the fee hikes for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland studying in Scotland.

Demonstrators met at 12:30 outside the Scottish Parliament and marched to the Scotland Office (place of the UK Government in Scotland) as response to the Scottish Government’s announcement to de-regulate fees for this year.

‘RUKidding?’ Anti fees March was organised by Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) to fight against the University’s decision to raise the fees for students from the Rest of the United Kingdom (RUK) to £9,000 per year from September 2012.

Edinburgh and St. Andrews’ universities have set non-Scottish UK students to pay £36,000 for a four-year course, while Scots will continue to receive free higher education. The measure will not affect European Union Students from outside the UK either. Thanks to the EU competition law, they will still be entitled to benefit from free higher education as long as they are domiciled in Scotland.

Around 200 students carried placards reading “RUKidding? No £9k” and claimed “No matter where you are from, no matter where you study – NO to £9,000 fees”.

Matt McPherson, EUSA President, said: “In the summer, Mike Russell, the Education Secretary, met with Principals from each of Scotland’s universities to set what the fee level would be. He set out his agenda, and the universities set out theirs.” and added: “Well at the march we set out ours – and I’m proud of the message of fair and equal access to education which we promoted.”

Despite the raise of fees does not affect Scottish students so far, Matt considers it essential to continue protesting about this issue. He said: “The one thing that makes universities in Scotland so important is that they are ambitious global institutions and we want to make sure we they remain that way.

“A third of our students are from the rest of the UK and we have to campaign and represent them as much as we can and as much as we would any Scottish student”.

University Rector, Iain McWhirter and NUS Scotland president, Robin Parker, also joined the demonstrators and lead some assemblies expressing their indignation over the introduction of fees of £9,000 a year for some students.

Matt keeps his optimism about their initiative. He said: “We are winning our argument where it matters – in the hearts of our people and communities.

“We may not get rid of fees in the next few weeks or years, but I think we will see the end of them within our lifetime, because we believe in our cause.”

New future ahead for Spain after the General Election Day?

24 Nov

by Natalia Rodríguez Domínguez

Mariano Rajoy, new president of Spanish Goverment

Will Spanish General Election results mark the beginning of a new era for the country to get over its worst-ever economic crisis?

This year’s elections have been dominated by Spain’s deepest debt crisis. In his victory speech, Mariano Rajoy, new President of the Spanish Government stated: “There won’t be any miracles. We never promised any”. However, despite the seriousness of the current situation, he also expressed his optimism: “As we have said before, when things are done properly, the results come in.” Continue reading

Future energy options discussed in Madrid today

17 Nov

by Natalia Rodríguez Domínguez

MixGenera International Conference took place today, from 8:15 to 17:45, in Madrid, Spain. It  brought together researchers, engineers and practitioners to analyse the future of electricity supply and other alternative energy  sources.

The Conference was sponsored by IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES), CIGRÉ (International Council on Large Electric Systems), Red Eléctrica de España and Carlos III University. It presented papers with new research results on the new electricity supply equipments and methods which will converge in 2020 and 2030.

Some of the topics discussed today have been the following: Introduction and control of renewable generations; perspectives for the nuclear generation, utilisation of gas turbines, CO2 and Hydro generation capture, distributed generation, smart grids and the future of electricity markets.

More info on their website:

Original story published on 17th Novemeber 2011, Edinburgh Napier News. Link.

Thousands of students protest against Spanish education cuts

17 Nov

by Natalia Rodríguez Domínguez

Just three days before the Spanish General Elections, thousands of students and teaching staff from  Spanish Universities have taken to the streets in order to protest against education cuts, difficult working conditions and educational reform which is to be implemented by the government in 2015. Continue reading