The sighting of a shark, some 70 metres off the coast yesterday caused three areas of sea to be evacuated yesterday (article in Castilian, El Periodico). The three beaches who undertook the preventative evictions were Vilanova i la Geltrú, Sant Gervasi and Ribes Roges. However visitors were still allowed to enjoy the sand area of the beaches. The dogfish, possibly that of a female shark was sighted at 14.30 near Ribes Roges - at a time when hundreds of people were enjoying the sun and sea. A local police source from Vilanova yesterday confirmed the sighting and said "there was no place for doubt" that it was definitely a shark. The authorities are waiting to hear instruction from the Protección Civil about whether the three beaches will remain shut today. On hearing witness descriptions from bathers and lifeguards, experts suspect the shark was small at between 1.5 to 2 metres long.
Two Catalan businesses are taking part in the Google Lunar X Prize by trying to be the first team to put a robot on the surface of the moon by December 31st 2012 (article in Castilian, El Pais). The two companies are competing against teams from 16 countries for a prize of $21 millon. The two teams competing are Galactic Suite Design (GSD) a company that specialises in developing aerospace projects and New Ouput, a stategic consultants working with the Centro de Tecnologia Aeronàutica y del Espacio (CTAE). The rules state that they have to put a robot vehicle on the moon and it has to travel 500 metres over the surface and take pictures, sending the images to earth showing the moon's surface. The estimated cost of the project is €60 millon.
The current financial crisis and the number of people unemployed means that it isn't a good time to be a dog (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). According to the Fundación Affinity some 18,000 dogs were abandoned in 2008, 3,000 more than in 2007. Although numbers haven't been published by the municipal pounds they are said to be a breaking point. The common reasons for abandoning your dog have gone from allergies and irresponsible behaviour to evictions and people losing their jobs and not being able to afford to keep their pets anymore. Silvia Serra, president of the Societat Protectora d'Animals de Mataró, (SPAM) says that with every abandoned and left animal comes a dramatic human story; "evictions, people that lived in detached houses and have had to move to a room in a shared flat having failed to keep up with mortgage payments, young people having to return to their parents house or moving to rented property that doesn't allow dogs".
Also in the news: the introduction of TDT television causes chaos due to decoders not being ready until after the start of the league' (El Periodico) Only 11,000 from a possible 440,000 children aged between 4 and 12 have signed up for the T-12 which allows them to travel for free. (El Pais)