Archive for August, 2012

What a sunbather!

August 7, 2012

Largest solar-powered boat arrives for brief tour of the island –

When Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sailed around the world in the 16th century, he left Spain with 280 men aboard five ships.

Only one ship and some 20 men would make it back. And while sailing techniques have evolved considerably, taking to the high seas remains a resource-hungry endeavour.

Unless you are one of the five crew members aboard the MS Tûranor Planetsolar, the world’s largest solar-powered boat, which earlier this year made it around the globe without expending a single gram of fuel.

The 100-foot catamaran is covered with more than 500 square metres of high-efficiency solar panels, which are connected to two electric motors found in its hulls.

Everything aboard, from its navigation system to coffee machine, is powered by the sun’s rays. Malta’s beating summer sun meant that the boat was generating more energy than it could store, captain Eric Dumont explained.

He was reluctant to say how much the boat cost to build, although the Guinness Book of Records puts its cost at a whopping €15 million.

Resources Minister George Pullicino paid the boat and its crew a brief visit yesterday morning. As he admired the feat of engineering, Dr Pullicino drew parallels with the increased uptake of solar-generated electricity by Maltese households.

The majestic boat arrived in Malta on Saturday as part of a brief Mediterranean tour. It will be making brief stops in Balluta Bay, St Paul’s Bay and Għadira Bay on Thursday before docking overnight at Mġarr, Gozo.

It will then leave Maltese shores on Friday morning, gradually making its way back to its home berth in Monaco, where it is expected to undergo a revamp based on the lessons learned throughout its round-the-world voyage.

I love you Malta – grazzi, says Laura

August 3, 2012


Italian star who has sold over 45million albums across the world performs some of her greatest hits at a sparkling concert in Ta’ Qali where she got a warm welcome

Italian singer Laura Pausini returned to the Maltese islands to give yet another show-stopping performance on Wednesday night.

Numerous fans packed the open-air grounds at the MFCC, in Ta’ Qali, to welcome back the artist who had given a successful concert here in 2009.

The singer performed some of her most popular hits such as La solitudine and Strani amori and numbers from her latest album, Inedito.

Video projections and costume changes complemented the performances.

The artiste showed her warmer side as she interacted with the audience continuously during the one-and-a-half-hour show. She also dabbled in Maltese, telling the crowd “inħobbokom” (I love you) on a number of occasions and “grazzi ħafna” (thanks a lot), among other phrases.

“It was a fantastic show,” said one fan, “despite some minor hitches”. The concert began about half an hour late because of some lighting problems. “This left the stage somehow dark,” according to the concert-goer.

Ever since winning the 1993 edition of the Sanremo festival with La Solitudine, Pausini has sold over 45 million albums throughout the world, winning three Latin Grammy Awards.

She is not only loved in Italy but also Spain, France, The Netherlands and as far away as South America.

Her latest world tour, titled Inedito like her latest release, is directed by Marco Balich, creator of the Winter Olympics’ ceremonies in Turin in 2006 and the inauguration of the Juventus stadium last summer.

The set was designed by Mark Fisher, who has worked with Pink Floyd and U2.