The extreme temperatures continue today after a recording breaking summer (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). A hot air mass from Northern Africa that reached Catalunya yesterday caused temperatures of around 40ºC and in Tornabous (Urgell) which reached 41.1ºC, the highest temperature measured in Catalunya since the summer of 2006. However this isn't exceptional where last year, in the third week of the month and 2007 records were set between 26th and 28th August. The Cabanes, the official observatory, recorded 39.9ºC yesterday beating the record of last year of 39.4ªC. Despite the high temperatures and week long duration, Meteocat and the Agencia Española de Meteorolgía (Aemet) maintain the heat alert for today but are expecting a moderate drop in temperatures from Saturday. Barcelona is also suffering from overly high humidity levels and uncomfortable temperatures at night. Last night they recorded a humidity level of over 90 percent on the coast. The lowest temperatures recorded at night were on Wednesday night to Thursday which were 24.4ºC in the neighbourhood of Raval.
The publication Newsweek has ranked Spain as third best for health but 32 for their education system (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The weekly magazine analysed five indicators of well being and power of 100 countries and pronounced the Spain's health system ranked third, tied with Sweden but only behind Japan and Switzerland. The publication highlights the universal coverage and the average lifespan of a healthy person living in Spain (74 years on average) and the efficiency and overall quality of the health system. However, it doesn't read so well for their education system, which Newsweek puts Spain at a ranking of 32, behind countries like Kazakhstan, (14th), Poland (17th) and Cuba (20th). However there are concerns over the indicators used to arrive at these figures, which doesn't include key skills but is based on the average years of schooling (16.1 years in Spain) and literacy rate, which hits 98 percent. Education minister, Àngel Gabilondo, acknowledged yesterday that he is "satisfied with what is happening" in Spanish education. He went on and said that we need to consider where they came from as a country and praised the work done in the last 25 years. The report places Spain at an overall 21st position, scores Spain's economy at 19th, political environment at 21, whilst for quality of live scores 22. In comparison to other EU countries, Spain is also in the middle of the table, and is the eleventh country in the Union.
Barcelona is fast becoming a favourite location for street wear and skater brands to film adverts and promotional videos (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). With a high amount of flat streets and large squares more and more companies are bringing skaters here to film their adverts. In the summer months, especially July and August after the big European competitions, skate, video producers took the city to make their campaign pieces next year. The streets and squares are smooth, perfect for skating which gives many parts of the city a international reputation. "All brands of clothes for skaters, who need to take out a new product advertise with a promotional video, said Marco Contreras, video producer for Vans, who went to Barcelona with three professional skaters to record ads for a month and a half. However as many of them use only hand held cameras and use a small team do not ask for permission to film on municipal roads. With this in mind, Itziar González, the ex councilor for the area has proposed a ban on skaters who gather in front of the MACBA square through reforming the ground that prevents slippage. The square is the main place for skaters but they also gather in the Tres Xemeneies, Plaça de la Universidad and the Forum. Many residents have complained of their presence and state that the practice of skateboarding is not permitted.