Romanian people

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The participation in the Solidarity March to be held on Sunday in Paris is ‘a strong signal of Romania’s desire for involvement in the fight against terrorism and extremism of any kind,’ on Saturday said president Klaus Iohannis, in a release to AGERPRES.

Photo: (c) Angelo Brezoianu / AGERPRES Photo

The head of state will participate, at the invitation of the President of the French Republic, François Hollande in the manifestation organized in memory of the victims of the armed attacks which took place in Paris this week, from Wednesday through Friday.

‘Facing the barbarian attacks which took place in France, Europe and the entire free world show their unity and solidarity. Our thoughts and hearts were next to the French citizens from the very beginning of these attacks. The presence, next to other heads of state and government in Paris will give a strong signal of Romania’s desire of involvement in the fight against terrorism and extremism of any kind,’ the document sent on Saturday to Agerpres by the Presidential Administration read.

President Klaus Iohannis added that the ample demonstration which is to take place in Paris is not only a condemnation of the attack over the French magazine, but also of the anti-Semitism.

‘By participating in this march against hatred and violence, we condemn not only the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine, but the anti-Semitism that led yesterday to other murders in a Jewish shop in Paris, too,’ the head of state said.AGERPRES

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Romanian athletics legend, high jump Olympic champion Iolanda Balas-Soter celebrates her 78th anniversary on Friday.


The only Romanian athlete who was two times Olympic champion celebrated her birthday while having an active life, namely president of the Romanian Athletics Foundation and honorary president of the Romanian Athletics Federation

Born in Timisoara (western Romania) on Dec. 12, 1936, Balas-Soter, the one who opens the Hall of Fame of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), was an Olympic champion in Rome in 1960 and in Tokyo in 1964, making history by setting as many as 14 world records.

She was three times an European champion and record-holder on 100 stadiums from all over the world (the one in Rio de Janeiro is still standing) and is arguably more than a great athlete, she is a great supporter of this field with all the force, aptness, civility and charm she possesses. Balas-Soter was a president of the Romanian Athletics Federation from 1988 — 2005, from which position she backed many athletes to take the difficult step from the sports to the ‘civil’ activity, with some becoming ministers, federation chairs and, in turn, representing a life model.


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Romanian gymnast Larisa Iordache won the all-around gold medal in this year’s edition of the Glasgow World Cup Gymnastics on Saturday, with a total of 59.232 points scored.

Photo credit (c) Angelo BREZOIANU / AGERPRES AECHIVE

Iordache, who is considered to be the best gymnast of the moment in Romania was followed by Elisabeth Black (Canada), who scored 56.432 points and Jessica Lopez (Venezuela), 55.899 points.

She also won gold in vault, floor, bars and beam.

Larisa Iordache is also the winner of last year’s edition of the World Cup in Glasgow. AGERPRES

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In connoisseur language, Valcea is also called the Romanian NASA (“National Aeronautics and Space Administration”) because in this county of Oltenia, undisturbed by trivial everyday problems, a handful of researchers, rather taciturn but pragmatic people, focus all their energy on spatial projects. And more than that, in the commune of Pausesti-Maglasi, less than ten kilometers from the city of Ramnicu Valcea, a team of engineers of the Romanian Cosmonautics and Aeronautics Association (ARCA) work on the first home-built supersonic aircraft.

IAR 111 ‘Excelsior’ supersonic mothership
Photo credit:

ARCA’s story begins in 1998, when a few aerospace engineering students visiting Sibiu city (not far from where the Memorial House of rocketry and astronautics founding father Hermann Oberth sits) vowed to give the until then lacklustre Romanian aerospace research some impetus. One of these enthusiasts was ARCA president Dumitru Popescu. In 1999, ARCA was legally registered as a non-governmental association.

ARCA’s headquarters and yards are located in the Pausesti-Maglasi commune, ten kilometers from Ramnicu Valcea. This is where the Romanian dream of the first home-built supersonic aircraft developed by Romanian engineers is taking wing.

“ARCA appeared out of the necessity to create and do positive things, to do applied research and strive for reaching as high as possible, because our major goal is to go to the outer space, this is where we started from,” explains Dumitru Popescu.

ARCA’s achievements are already well known. Among them, the Demonstrator 2 Rocket, equipped with the world’s first engine made of composite, reusable material, and which was successfully launched on September 9, 2004 from the Cape Midia Air Force Polygon. This was the first 100 percent Romanian-made civil rocket. Then there is Stabilo — the suborbital manned vehicle that has accomplished two missions so far, the second completed in 2007, at 12,000 m above the Black Sea. Also worth mentioning is the suborbital rocket HELEN 2, a technological demonstrator for the Google Lunar X Prize Competition.

Actually, the main objective of ARCA’s spatial program is the launch of a lunar probe capable of beaming images from the Moon down to the Earth.

“There were 20 teams left in the contest, who are allowed to use only 10 percent government funding, the rest of 90 percent must come from private funds. ARCA has so far used only private funds, as the Romanian Government and local and county administrations did not get involved in sponsoring it,” says Dumitru Popescu.

Another ARCA first rank achievement is HAAS II, a three-stage rocket built for the Lunar X Prize Competition, which is capable to place a 400 kg payload into low Earth orbit. ARCA started to build the IAR 111 Excelsior supersonic jet as a carrier for the HAAS II rocket, for taking it to the launching altitude. This is the first Romanian supersonic aircraft and will also be used for the development of spatial technologies, for space tourism.

The second engine of the supersonic being built at Pausesti-Maglasi was completed to an extent of 50 percent; overall, four complete aggregates and 12 combustion chambers need to be built. The Executor engine uses liquid oxygen as oxidizer and kerosene as fuel. The engine’s vacuum thrust is 23 tonnes-force and its maximum operation time during flight is 190 seconds. Thanks to the extensive use of composite materials and duralumin, the Executor engine weighs only 210 kg, which results in a thrust / weight ratio of 110, the best ever achieved by a European engine. ARCA expects an even better ratio after the completion of the tests.

“Executor is ARCA’s most important program so far. When the tests are completed, we will have a high technology product, a top-notch achievement at European and global scale. We pride ourselves with the fact that this is a privately-financed Romanian program. Executor will allow us to approach orbital flights. We were very particular about building all engine components at ARCA’s site. As we don’t depend on subcontractors, costs are lower and we have greatly increased the speed of execution. Moreover, any necessary change regarding performance enhancement will be easily and rapidly implemented,” says the ARCA president.

The latest achievement of the ARCA team was announced on February 13, 2014, when the electrically-powered unmanned air vehicle Air Strato took off for the first time, rose to the altitude of 25 meters, and then landed. Air Strato was powered by four electric engines, two of which had the role to reduce the take-off distance. Suspensions were installed on the landing gear for difficult track tests.

“The aircraft was equipped with 10 percent of the power accumulators required for the commercial version, so we added ballast to simulate the take-off weight. The additional engines were installed in order to increase the thrust on grassy field and reduce the take-off distance. The suspensions on the landing gear ensured a smooth run. It took just 30 m to take off using the engines at maximum thrust. The aircraft’s climb rate was impressive,” said ARCA flight dynamics engineer Teodor Diaconu.

Air Strato is an automatic, electrically powered machine that can reach heights of up to 18 km and has a flight range of seven hours with internal accumulators and three days, respectively, when using solar panels. It can carry a variable load of more than 30 kg, consisting of surveillance equipment and scientific instruments.

So, it is not long until the first Romanian supersonic will take to the skies, propelling Ramnicu Valcea to the constellation of international aeronautics centres, thanks to a team of dreamers who hone technological marvels here, in Pausesti-Maglasi. AGERPRES

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By Dover Express  |  Posted: March 27, 2014

By Phil Hayes

LIVING WITH A GENIUS:  Iulian Barascu, 11, celebrates his  high IQ score with dad Gheorghe and mum GabrielaLIVING WITH A GENIUS: Iulian Barascu, 11, celebrates his high IQ score with dad Gheorghe and mum Gabriela
 Comments (2)THE cleverest person in Dover is an 11-year-old Romanian who lives in the Gateway flats.Mihail Iulian Barascu, who speaks perfect English, is in fact in the top one per cent of the UK’s brainiest people.

The child genius recently applied to be in Mensa and got an IQ score of 162 – higher than that of Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

Creative whizz Iulian, who is happiest when at his computer and has just started writing a novel, said: “It’s not that I don’t like reality – but it can be boring sometimes.”

His superhuman mind powers can often lead to confrontations at home, according to dad Gheorghe.

The 36-year-old priest and teacher, who invited the Express to their seafront flat last week, said: “When he’s doing something he likes to skip steps because he can get to the end so quickly.

“We are too big-headed, both of us. Sometimes it’s not easy.”

And while Mr Barascu is talking, Iulian clearly becomes impatient and even asks to check what his dad has said.

But Mr Barascu, who moved his family to the UK in 2009, said: “At the end of the day, he’s a very good child. I don’t want to push him too hard.”

Iulian spoke out about overly pushy parents when he auditioned for Channel 4’s Child Genius show – and believes this is why he did not make the final cut.

He said: “I was pretty harsh. But I don’t regret it – somebody needed to say it.”

Iulian is only “pushed” to play basketball and get involved at drama club. You are unlikely to find him pouring over Plato or Aristotle after school.

He said: “I always relax when I’m at home. I barely do any work. I’m just lazy sometimes.”

But it is obvious that his mind never stops working. In little under two hours he explains how the universe began (he disagrees with Stephen Hawking), and why the chicken came before the egg.

And when you ask Iulian a question, it is as if he immediately crafts a 500-word answer in his head. If you interrupt, he will return to finish what he is saying.

So, how well does this lad, who dreams of becoming an architect and would rather go on holiday to Versailles than Parc Asterix, get on with other 11-year-olds?

Iulian, who started at St Mary’s Primary a few months ago, said: “I found making friends hard at first but then, you know, I have people to play with and stuff.”

Like a lot of youngsters, Iulian likes “weird things”. He said: “There’s this man who stuck 600 pins all over his face. I like to see how far the human body can go – to see how far things can be pushed to their extremes.”

Does he ever push his parents too far? His mum Gabriela, 40, said: “He’s got so much imagination. Sometimes it’s too much. We say, ‘slow down!'”

But they always knew they had an exceptional child. Dover dentist Mrs Barascu remembers how she would be singing and her son, aged two, would finish the song with his own lyrics.

It is this ability to logically think things through to an appropriate conclusion – rather than being able to work out 26 times 39 on the spot – which is his strength.

So what does Iulian, set to start at Dover Grammar School for Boys in September, think of his adopted hometown?

He said: “It’s not very colourful. You need something fun.”

And with Burlington House – and this lad’s mental prowess – towering over us, who are we to argue?



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