I watched the European Champions League final between Arsenal and Barcelona in an Irish pub in Paris on 17 May, knowing that the action was taking place just kilometres away.
Needless to say, I was heartbroken by the result, but I was proud of Arsenal's performance. I believe even neutral spectators would have to agree that the team which lost that night was not an inferior team.
Our bird bath has been quite busy these days. The white cockatoo has returned after having gone away for a few months. As usual, it drinks from the water outlet by standing on top of the grape boy. Smaller birds, however, drink from the rim. In recent days, the small birds have been coming in groups, some of them actually taking a bath in the water!
It has just been announced that level 3 water restrictions will be introduced on 13 June. That means no hose can be used for watering the garden at any time. Only water bucket is allowed.
The news presenter also said that according to current projections (i.e. a continuation of little or no rain), a total ban could be enforced in September. I don't precisely know what a total ban would imply, but a total ban in watering the garden is a possibility.
According to the findings of a study commissioned by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the most serious form of film piracy is still "bootlegging", which the association defines as buying illegally copied discs or acquiring hard copies of bootleg movies. MPAA estimates that its member companies lost US$2.4 billion in revenue to "bootlegging" in 2005.
Just behind, however, was lost revenue due to "Internet piracy" (illegal downloading of films), which amounted to US$2.3 billion. With the increasing availability and affordability of broadband Internet, this component of film piracy looks set to rise exponentially and is likely to surpass "bootlegging" very soon.
The third form of film piracy is "illegal copying", which is making or receiving illegal copying of legitimate discs (US$ 1.4 billion).
The countries where piracy is most prevalent as a percentage of the marketplace are China, Russia, Hungary, Poland, Thailand and Mexico. MPAA estimates that the percentage of potential market lost due to piracy in China was a whopping 93%.
The study results show that the average offender is a young urban male 16-24 years of age. "College students in the US, Korea and Hungary contribute the most to each country’s individual loss. The 16-24 age range represents a disproportionately high percentage of pirates, especially downloaders, across the 22 directly researched countries. It is even higher in the US, where the same age range represents 71% of downloaders."