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Thursday, 17 December 2009

ANOTHER BIRTHDAY: THE SIMPSONS, 20 TODAY!





The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional city of Springfield, and lampoons American culture, society, television and many aspects of the human condition.
The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with the producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and was an early hit for Fox.
Since its debut on December 17, 1989 the show has broadcast 449 episodes and the twenty-first season began airing on September 27, 2009.The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and July 27, 2007, and grossed US$527 million worldwide.
The Simpsons has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 25 Primetime Emmy Awards, 26 Annie Awards and a Peabody Award. Time magazine's December 31, 1999 issue named it the 20th century's best television series, and on January 14, 2000 the Simpson family was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Simpsons is the longest-running American sitcom, the longest-running American animated program, and in 2009 it became the longest American primetime entertainment series, and have influenced many adult-oriented animated sitcoms.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

THE ULTIMATE GLOBAL ISSUE: CLIMATE CHANGE


Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather over periods of time that range from decades to millions of years. It can be a change in the average weather or a change in the distribution of weather events around an average (for example, greater or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change may be limited to a specific region, or may occur across the whole Earth.
In recent usage, especially in the context of environmental policy, climate change usually refers to changes in modern climate. It may be qualified as anthropogenic climate change, more generally known as global warming.

Factors that can shape climate are climate forcings. These include such processes as variations in solar radiation, deviations in the Earth's orbit, mountain-building and continental drift, and changes in greenhouse gas concentrations. There are a variety of climate change feedbacks that can either amplify or diminish the initial forcing. Some parts of the climate system, such as the oceans and ice caps, respond slowly in reaction to climate forcing because of their large mass. Therefore, the climate system can take centuries or longer to fully respond to new external forcings
Meanwhile the United Nations Climate Change Conference is being held at Copenhagen with little success in taking decisions as talks are at a deadlock. Below enclosed are diagrams, pictures and even jokes on the issue:

AMINATOU HAIDAR'S STORY UP TO HER HUNGER STRIKE




Born July 24, 1966 in the town of Tata, Morocco, Ms. Haidar studied modern literature and received her Bachelor's degree in Laayoune.
Because of her pro-Sahrawi ideology, she was persecuted by the Moroccan authorities on several occasions. In 1987, then aged 21, she participated (with 700 other people) in an event seeking a referendum for independence of the Sahara. She was taken into custody and sentenced to four years in prison.
In 2005, she was sentenced by Moroccan authorities to seven months in prison in Laayoune. Amnesty International, which sent an observer to identify any irregularities in the conditions and reasons for her detention, classified her as a prisoner of conscience. Members of Parliament have also launched an international campaign to release Ms. Haidar. It was signed by 178 members.
After more than a month of detention, Ms. Haidar was released in January 2006. Her release revived militancy among the pro-Sahrawi, which resulted in street demonstrations in Laayoune and among Sahrawi students at the University Cadi Ayyad of Marrakesh.
In August 2006, Haidar was denied a Moroccan passport for her two children.
Under the Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER). Aminatou received 45,000 Euros in compensation from the Moroccan authorities when she presented herself as a Moroccan.
On November 13, 2009, returning from New York where she received a civic courage award from the Train Foundation, Ms. Haidar marked on her immigration form while entering Morocco that she was "resident in Western Sahara" and left the nationality section blank. She then argued with the customs who objected. She was then heard by an attorney and several witnesses of her own family, before whom she proclaimed herself a non-Moroccan by throwing her passport and identity card at the Moroccan official. She then decided to take a plane bound for Lanzarote, Canary Islands, where the flight had previously stopped. Despite having no passport, she persuaded the captain of the aircraft, pointing out her Spanish residency card. The captain was initially reluctant but finally received approval from Spanish authorities to board.
Once in Lanzarote airport in the Canary Islands, Ms. Haidar began a hunger strike.
Prizes: Given her activism on behalf of independence of Western Sahara, Ms. Haidar was nominated for several awards:
Juan Maria Bandrés (2006)
Solidar Silver Rose Award (2007)
RFK Human Rights Award (2008)
Civil Courage Award (2009)

Saturday, 5 December 2009

THE VERVE: "BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY"

The Verve



"Bitter Sweet Symphony" is a song by English alternative rock band The Verve. It is the lead track on their third album Urban Hymns (1997). It was released on 16 June 1997 as the first single from the album, reaching number two on the UK Singles Chart.
The video for "Bitter Sweet Symphony" features Ashcroft lip-synching the song while walking down a busy street; Ashcroft refuses to change his stride or direction throughout, apparently oblivious to what is going on around him. He repeatedly bumps into passers-by (causing at least one to trip and fall), narrowly avoids being hit by a car, and jumps on top of the bonnet of another vehicle stopped in his path (the owner proceeds to shout at him while he seems to be unaware). At the end of the video, the rest of The Verve join Ashcroft, and the final shot sees them walking down the street into the distance.
Ashcroft starts walking from the southeast corner of the intersection of Hoxton and Falkirk Streets in Hoxton, north London, subsequently proceeding north along the east side of Hoxton Street. Hope you like it!

LINK: Video with English subtitles:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24-YFCp1FXI
Video with Spanish translation:

Friday, 27 November 2009

PREPOSITIONS: AT / IN / ON


Somebody wanted to have clear information on prepostions AT, IN & ON. Here are links to their uses refering to TIME & PLACE.

AT, IN, ON as Prepositions of Time:
Link:
http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/prepositions-at-in-on-time.htm

AT, IN, ON as Prepostions of Place:
Link:
http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/prepositions-at-in-on-place.htm

And here are links to quizzes to practice:
(1) http://esl.about.com/library/quiz/blgrquiz_prep3.htm
(2) http://a4esl.org/q/h/9704/dg-in-at-on.html
(3) http://www.usingenglish.com/quizzes/64.html


Information on prepositions on a later entry on this blog: MORE ON PREPOSITIONS. Posted on February 27th, 2011 under blog label: Grammar.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

25th NOVEMBER: INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN



I Got Flowers Today
I got flowers today.
It wasn't my birthday or any other special day.
We had our first argument last night,
And he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me.
I know he is sorry and didn't mean the things he said.
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today.
It wasn't our anniversary any other special day.
Last night, he threw me into a wall and started to choke me.
It seemed like a nightmare.
I couldn't believe it was real.
I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over.
I know he must be sorry.
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today,and it wasn't Mother's Day or any other special day.
Last night, he beat me up again.
And it was much worse than all the other times.
If I leave him, what will I do?
How will I take care of my kids?
What about money?
I'm afraid of him and scared to leave.
But I know he must be sorry.
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today.
Today was a very special day.
It was the day of my funeral.
Last night, he finally killed me.
He beat me to death.
If only I had gathered enough courage and strength to leave him,
I would not have gotten flowers...today. (Paulette Kelly)



Violence Against Women:

Sunday, 22 November 2009

"I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU", THE REMBRANDTS, MUSIC THEME FROM "FRIENDS"




In previous post, we enclosed videos from TV-series "Friends" with reference to Thanksgiving Day. I'm enclosing now video & lyrics from the main music theme of the series for you to practice & enjoy.


Video "I'll be there for you" (music theme from "Friends") by The Rembrandts:


Song lyrics:
So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your jobs a joke, you're broke, your love life's D.O.A.
It's like you're always stuck in second gear
Well it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year but..

I'll be there for you
When the rain starts to pour
I'll be there for you
Like I've been there before
I'll be there for you
'Cuz you're there for me too...

You're still in bed at ten
And work began at eight
You've burned your breakfast
So far... things are goin' great
Your mother warned you there'd be days like these
Oh but she didn't tell you
when the world would drop you down on your knees but....
I'll be there for you
When the rain starts to pour
I'll be there for you
Like I've been there before
I'll be there for you
'Cuz you're there for me too...

No one could ever know me
No one could ever see me
Seems you're the only one who knows
What it's like to be me
Someone to face the day with
Make it through all the rest with
Someone I'll always laugh with
Even at my worst I'm best with you, yeah
It's like you're always stuck in second gear
And it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year...

I'll be there for you...

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

EVERYBODY GROWS OLD: "SESAME STREET" TURNS 40 TODAY!

Big Bird, Ernie, Cookie Monster, Bert, Elmo...





Sesame Street is an American educational children's television series, specially aimed for preschoolers, and a pioneer of the contemporary educational television standard, combining both education and entertainment. The series, which has produced over 4,200 episodes, celebrates its 40th anniversary this season, making it one of the longest-running shows in television history.
Sesame Street is well known for its Muppets characters created by Jim Henson. It premiered on November 10, 1969, and is the longest running children's programme on US television.The show is produced in the United States by the non-profit organization Sesame Workshop, formerly known as the Children's Television Workshop (CTW), founded by Joan Ganz Cooney and Ralph Rogers.
Sesame Street uses a combination of animation, puppets, and live actors to stimulate young children's minds, improve their letter and word recognition, basic arithmetic, geometric forms, classification, simple problem solving, and socialization by showing children or people in their everyday lives. Since the show's inception, other instructional goals have been basic life skills, such as how to cross the street safely, proper hygiene, healthy eating habits, and social skills; in addition, real-world situations are taught, such as death, divorce, pregnancy and birth, adoption, and even all of the human emotions such as happiness, love, anger, fear, sadness, and hatred.
The show is broadcast worldwide; in addition to the U.S. version, many countries have locally-produced versions adapted to local needs, some with their own characters, and in a variety of different languages. The Spanish version is called "Barrio Sésamo".
Have you grown up with them, too?
Have a look at some videos from the programme in English:
Links:
Video Ernie & Bert (=Epi & Blas in the Spanish version): "Cookies in Bed":

Video Ernie & Bert: ·Bananaphone"

Video beginning of "Barrio Sésamo" (Spanish TV):

Video "Manamana" (A famous "Sesame Street" song):

Monday, 9 November 2009

WHEN TO USE AN APOSTROPHE


Here's a quick guide to the use of apostrophes. Remember:
- USE IT IN CONTRACTIONS.
don't / can't / it's / we're / you'd / etc...
- USE IT WITH THE POSSESSIVE GENITIVE.
Peter's car / Mary's umbrella / the cat's feet / etc...
- BUT NEVER USE IT TO MAKE PLURALS OF NOUNS.
books / houses / tomatoes / DVDs / CDs / 80s / etc...

Friday, 6 November 2009

SUZANNE VEGA: "LUKA"

Suzanne Vega


"Luka" is a song recorded by Suzanne Vega and released as a single in 1987. It remains her highest-charting hit in the United States, reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. This song was one of the earliest to deal with child abuse and domestic violence. One critic said, "the 'happy' music is a metaphorical denial, making this seem beautiful and serene while discussing something terrible and devastating. It is a wonderful use of tune as a metaphor for how many abuse victims also deny their abuse, and is a profound classic".
"Luka" is written from the perspective of an abused boy of that name who is evasive about what sounds are coming from his apartment. He eventually opens up, trying to understand his situation."A few years ago, I used to see this group of children playing in front of my building, and there was one of them, whose name was Luka, who seemed a little bit distinctive from the other children. I always remembered his name, and I always remembered his face, and I didn't know much about him, but he just seemed set apart from these other children that I would see playing. And his character is what I based the song Luka on. In the song, the boy Luka is an abused child -- In real life I don't think he was. I think he was just different."—Suzanne Vega, in a Swedish television special recorded 3 November 1987
"LUKA" lyrics for karaoke:


"LUKA" original videoclip with lyrics:

Friday, 30 October 2009

KEANE: "EVERYBODY'S CHANGING"

Keane

"Hopes & fears" (2004)


"Hopes and Fears" is the debut album by English rock band Keane and was released on 10 May 2004 in the United Kingdom. It topped the UK album charts upon release, was the best selling British album of 2004, and has since gone eight times platinum. It returned to the top of the charts after winning a BRIT Award for Best Album in February 2005. With almost six million copies sold, it has been ranked the 16th biggest-selling album of the millennium so far in the UK.
On November, 9th it'll be rereleased in a deluxe edition. We remember it here with videos from one of the singles from the album "Everybody's changing".
"Everybody's Changing" uses similar instrumentation as is used throughout Hopes and Fears. The style of "Everybody's Changing" has been described as "piano rock", a style of rock in which the piano is the main instrument instead of the guitar. After the main piano riff, the piano is not used until the second verse. Throughout the song, a synthesizer is played in the background. The song is about trying to work out where you are in the world, while some of the people around you are going off and doing different things. Tim wrote it while we were really struggling to get anywhere as a band, and we were watching all our friends move away and get on with their lives, while we were stuck in Battle getting nowhere, and wondering if we were doing the right thing.
Sing-along.
Links to "EVERYBODY'S CHANGING":
Original videoclip of the song


"EVERYBODY'S CHANGING" live (with English lyrics & Spanish translation):

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

WHAT'S HALLOWEEN ALL ABOUT?




Halloween (also spelled Hallowe'en) is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints. It is largely a secular celebration but some have expressed strong feelings about perceived religious overtones.
The day is often associated with orange and black, and is strongly associated with symbols like the
jack-o'-lantern. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties, ghost tours, bonfires, visiting haunted attractions, pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.
Halloween has origins in the ancient festival known as Samhain (pronounced sow-in or sau-an),[ which is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end".This was a Gaelic festival celebrated mainly in Ireland and Scotland. However, similar festivals were held by other Celts – for example the festival of Calan Gaeaf (pronounced kalan-geyf) which was held by the ancient Britons.
The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half", and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year".
The celebration has some elements of a
festival of the dead. The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home whilst harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.
Another common practise was
divination, which often involved the use of food and drink.
The name Halloween and many present-day traditions, derive from the Old English era
The term Halloween, originally spelled Hallowe’en, is shortened from All Hallows' Even – e'en is a shortening of even, which is a shortening of evening. This is ultimately derived from the Old English Eallra Hālgena ǣfen It is now known as "Eve of" All Saints' Day, which is November 1st.
A time of pagan festivities,
Popes Gregory III (731–741) and Gregory IV (827–844) tried to supplant it with the Christian holiday (All Saints' Day) by moving it from May 13 to November 1.
In the 800s, the Church measured the day as starting at sunset, in accordance with the
Florentine calendar. Although All Saints' Day is now considered to occur one day after Halloween, the two holidays were once celebrated on the same day.
Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to a (mostly idle) threat to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. In some parts of Ireland and Scotland children still go guising. In this custom the child performs some sort of show, i.e. sings a song or tells a ghost story, in order to earn their treats.
Halloween costumes are traditionally those of monsters such as ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. They are said to be used to scare off demons. Costumes are also based on themes other than traditional horror, such as those of characters from television shows, movies, and other pop culture icons.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

ASTERIX & OBELIX, 50th ANNIVERSARY



Asterix & his friend Obelix turn 50!!


France is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Astérix, the comic book character whose adventures find him battling the armies of Julius Caesar with his Gallic buddies in Brittany more than 2,000 years ago. Since Astérix made his debut in 1959, he has starred in three movies and 34 books, and has fans worldwide. From Paris, Lisa Bryant takes a look at what makes France's cartoon mascot so beloved.Astérix is not your typical hero. He is not tall or handsome, and he is certainly not a prince. But along with his sidekicks, enormous, goofy Obelix and dog Idéfix, Astérix wages battle against the ancient Romans to defend the Gaullish way of life.
Astérix comic books and cartoon strips have been published in 107 languages and dialects. Three Astérix movies have drawn millions of viewers. The French version of the latest Astérix book, The Birthday of Astérix and Obelix, was launched Thursday.Nobody could be more surprised about Astérix's stunning success than the original illustrator of Astérix, Albert Uderzo, who has also authored the series since the death of the original writer, Rene Goscinny.
Uderzo told French radio that Astérix was born when the owner of a French magazine called Pilote wanted a comic strip his kids could read that represented French culture. The creators settled on Gaulles as their characters, because he said, nothing is more French than the Gaulles.Astérix' half-century birthday is being celebrated around France with special exhibits and other commemorations. In the Paris suburb of Bobigny, a plaque was unveiled honoring his 1959 birth there. Several villages in Brittany, the part of ancient Gaulle never conquered by the Romans, are also claiming to have inspired the Astérix series.Many see Astérix as the ultimate symbol of France and the battle of many French to preserve their culture and way of life.But Astérix has fans worldwide, including Brian Spence, the Canadian owner of The Abbey Bookshop in Paris. Spence has a copy of every Astérix book in his English language book store. He says they remain in demand. Spence started reading Astérix when he was young."I am still a fan. I have not kept up with the latest ones, to tell you the truth," he said. "But sure, I went to see the premiere of Astérix and Cleopatra when it was at the Grand Rex [movie theatre], almost 30,000 people there just to laugh along. There is a very special place in my heart for Astérix."So what is Astérix' appeal, 50 years later?"Maybe we identify with the imperial pretensions," he explained. "Manifest destiny, and so forth. And I think most of the world probably feels it is in the same situation as Astérix and his village Gaullois in that we can identify with that sense of wanting to hold out and resist against the encroaching powers. That sense of using your wits and a little bit of brawn to get out of peril, danger or any kind of threat."And besides, Spence says, there is always a bit of exoticism, because Astérix is French. That makes fans want to keep on reading, to get a better understanding of what Astérix, and France, is all about.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

HISTORY OF THE NOBEL PRIZE



The Nobel Prize (Swedish: Nobelpriset) is a Sweden-based international monetary prize. The award was established by the 1895 will and estate of Swedish chemist and inventor Alfred Nobel. It was first awarded in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace in 1901. An associated prize, The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, was instituted by Sweden's central bank in 1968 and first awarded in 1969.The Nobel Prizes in the specific disciplines (Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature) and the Prize in Economics, which is commonly identified with them, are widely regarded as the most prestigious award one can receive in those fields.
With the exception of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Prizes and the Prize in Economics are presented in Stockholm, Sweden, at the annual Prize Award Ceremony on the 10th of December, the anniversary of Nobel's death. The recipients' lectures are presented in the days prior to the award ceremony. The Nobel Peace Prize and its recipients' lectures are presented at the annual Prize Award Ceremony in Oslo, Norway, also on the 10th of December. The award ceremonies and the associated banquets are typically major international events.
It is unclear why Nobel wished the Peace Prize to be administered in Norway. The Norwegian Nobel Committee speculates that Norway may have been better suited to awarding the prize as it did not have the same militaristic traditions as Sweden and that at the end of the nineteenth century the Norwegian parliament had become closely involved in the Inter-Parliamentary Union's efforts to resolve conflicts through mediation and arbitration.
Further, at the time the Nobel prizes were instituted, Norway and Sweden were joined together in a union known as the Swedish-Norwegian Union. It is possible Nobel felt that Norway deserved a share of awarding the prize honors.
Nobel Laureates 2009

Friday, 9 October 2009

SOME INFO ON EDGAR ALLAN POE

Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.
He was born as Edgar Poe in Boston, Massachusetts; his parents died when he was young. Poe was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia, but they never formally adopted him. After spending a short period at the University of Virginia and briefly attempting a military career. Poe's publishing career began humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only to "a Bostonian".
Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. His work forced him to move between several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. In Baltimore in 1835, he married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year-old cousin. In January 1845, Poe published his poem "The Raven" to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years later. He began planning to produce his own journal, The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), though he died before it could be produced. On October 7, 1849, at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.
Poe and his works influenced literature in the United States and around the world. Poe and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television. A number of his homes are dedicated museums today.
Poe's best known fiction works are Gothic, a genre he followed to appease the public taste. His most recurring themes deal with questions of death, including its physical signs, the effects of decomposition, concerns of premature burial, the reanimation of the dead, and mourning. Many of his works are generally considered part of the dark romanticism genre. Poe also wrote satires, humor tales. For comic effect, he used irony and ludicrous extravagance. Poe also reinvented science fiction.
His influence in pop culture has been considerable and long-standing, with the works, life and image of the horror fiction writer and poet inspiring scrip-writers, composers and musicians from diverse genres for more than a century.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

HYPATIA OF ALEXANDRIA: PROTAGONIST OF AMENABAR'S NEW FILM "AGORA"





Hypatia of Alexandria (pronounced /haɪˈpeɪʃə/ in English) (Greek: Ὑπατία; born between AD 350 and 370 – 415) was a Greek scholar from Alexandria in Egypt, considered the first notable woman in mathematics, who also taught philosophy and astronomy. She lived in Roman Egypt, and was killed by a Christian mob who blamed her for religious turmoil. Some suggest that her murder marked the end of what is traditionally known as Classical antiquity, although others observe that Hellenistic philosophy continued to flourish until the age of Justinian in the sixth century.
A Neoplatonist philosopher, she belonged to the mathematical tradition of the Academy of Athens represented by Eudoxus of Cnidus; she followed the school of the 3rd century thinker Plotinus, discouraging empirical enquiry and encouraging logical and mathematical studies.
Hypatia was the daughter of Theon, who was her teacher and the last known mathematician associated with the Museum of Alexandria. She travelled to both Athens and Italy to study, before becoming head of the Platonist school at Alexandria in approximately 400 AD. According to the 10th century Byzantine encyclopedia the Suda, she worked as teacher of philosophy, teaching the works of Plato and Aristotle. It is believed that there were both Christians and foreigners among her students.
Although Hypatia was herself a pagan, she was respected by a number of Christians, and later held up by Christian authors as a symbol of virtue.
Many of the works commonly attributed to Hypatia are believed to have been collaborative works with her father, Theon Alexandricus; this kind of authorial uncertainty being typical for the situation of feminine philosophy in Antiquity.
A partial list of specific accomplishments:
A commentary on the 13-volume Arithmetica by Diophantus.
A commentary on the Conics of Apollonius.
Edited the existing version of Ptolemy's Almagest.
Edited her father's commentary on Euclid's Elements
She wrote a text "The Astronomical Canon." (Possibly a new edition of Ptolemy's Handy Tables.) Her contributions to science are reputed to include the charting of celestial bodies and the invention of the hydrometer, used to determine the relative density and gravity of liquids.
Her pupil Synesius, bishop of Cyrene, wrote a letter defending her as the inventor of the astrolabe, although earlier astrolabes predate Hypatia's model by at least a century - and her father had gained fame for his treatise on the subject.
Believed to have been the reason for the strained relationship between the Imperial Prefect Orestes and the Bishop Cyril, Hypatia attracted the ire of a Christian population eager to see the two reconciled. One day in March 415, during the season of Lent, her chariot was waylaid on her route home by a Christian mob, possibly Nitrian monks led by a man identified only as Peter, who is thought to be Peter the Reader, Cyril's assistant. The Christian monks stripped her naked and dragged her through the streets to the newly Christianised Caesareum church, where she was brutally killed.

"AGORA" is an upcoming 2009 historical drama film directed by Alejandro Amenábar, written by Amenábar and Mateo Gil, and starring Rachel Weisz and Max Minghella. It was screened Out of Competition at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. It will then get a general release on December 18, 2009, but in Spain this Friday, October 9th.

It tells the story of astronomer-philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria (Weisz) and her relationship with her slave Davus (Minghella), who is torn between his love for his mistress and the possibility of gaining his freedom by joining the rising tide of Christianity

Links to:

"AGORA" video trailer of film in English:





Official film website:

http://agorathemovie.com/

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

ENGLISH VOCABULARY CHARACTERISTICS: FLEXIBILITY, COMPOUNDS & DERIVATION



1) FLEXIBILITY OF FORM
The same form of a word can act as different parts of speech (noun, verb...) with little or no change.
Example: "PARTS OF THE BODY"Can you remember any vocabulary of this group?
Once you have, can you complete the following sentences using a verb (in the correct tense) which denotes a part of the body.
- Could you _________ me that book on the table next to you?
- In the final minutes of the football match, Ronaldo _________ the ball into the back of the net.
- She ____________ the car carefully out of the garage and drove off.
- After her father’s death, Mary had to _____________ the responsibilty of her family’s debts.
- The bank robber was ___________ with a knife and a gun.
- I ran out of petrol, so I had to _________ a lift to the nearest petrol station.

2) COMPOUNDS: TWO WORDS TOGETHER MAKE UP A NEW WORD.
Example: "PARTS OF BODY" Compounds with HEAD-
- headlights: front lights of a car
- headlines: of a newspaper the lines that show the important news
- headstone: stone in a cementery with the information of the person buried
- headband: band that sportspersons wear around their head to keep their hair off their eyes
- headquarters: main offices of a company or organization
Can you find compound words with EYE, HAIR and FINGER?

3) DERIVATION.New words made up from suffixes or prefixes added to the same root.
- Some common suffixes. When are they used? Look at the examples:
- to make nouns:
-ESS (actress)
-ER/-OR, (teacher/actor)
-EE, (employee, referee)
-(T)ION, (action)
-IST/-ISM, (journalist, journalism)
-NESS, (happiness)
-MENT, (government)
-NGTH, (strength, length)
-Y/-TY, (nationality)
-HOOD, (neighbourhood)
-SHIP (friendship)
- to make adjectives:
-ABLE/-IBLE, (comfortable, sensible)
-IVE, (sensitive)
-AL, (industrial)
-OUS, (famous)
-FUL, (useful)
-LESS, (useless)
-ISH/-ESE/-CH (Spanish, Japanese, French)
-ER/-EST (bigger, biggest)
- to make verbs:
-ISE/-IZE, (modernize)
-IFY (identify)
- to make adverbs:
-LY (happily)

- Some common prefixes (some have a Latin origin): Look at their meanings and some examples for each:
UN-/IN-/IM-/IR-/DIS-/DE- = negative/opposite (unidentified, incorrect, impossible, irregular, dishonest, defrost)
ANTI- = not in favour, against (antisocial)
AUTO- = of oneself/one’s own (autobiography)
BI- = two (bilingual)
CO- together with (co-pilot, cooperate)
EX- = former/not anymore (ex-husband, ex-wife)
INTER- = between/among (international)
MICRO- = very small (microphone, microwave)
MIS- = wrong/incorrect (mistake)
MONO- = one (monolingual)
MULTI- = many (multilateral)
OVER- = too much (overweight)
POST- = after (postgraduate)
PRE- = before (predict)
PRO- =in favour of (pro-American)
RE- = again (redecorate)
SEMI- = half (semifinal)
SELF- = alone, on one’s own (selfconfidence)
SUB- = underneath (subtitle)
TRANS- = from one place to another (transatlantic)
UNDER- = not enough / underneath (undercook, underground)
 
 
 
 
[Answers to exercises:
1- (parts of body used as verbs) hand / headed / backed / shoulder /armed/ thumb
2- (compounds) eyeball, eyebrow, eyecatching, eyedrops, eyelashes, eyelid, eyeliner, eye-opener, eyesight, eyewitness / hairband, hairbrush, hairclip, haircut, hairdo, hairdresser, hairdrier, hairnet, hairpiece, hairpin, hairspray, hairstyle / fingerboard, fingermark, fingernails, fingerprint, fingertip]

Monday, 5 October 2009

OCTOBER, 5th 2009. TEACHER'S DAY


World Teachers’ Day, held annually on October 5th since 1994 - when it was created by UNESCO - celebrates teachers worldwide. Its aim is to mobilise support for teachers and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met by teachers.

5 October is a day to celebrate teachers and the central role they play in guiding children, youths & adults through the life-long learning process. This year, World Teachers’ Day will focus on the role of teachers within the context of the global financial and economic crisis and the need to invest in teachers now as a means to secure post-crisis regeneration.
It is critical, during these difficult times, to seek mechanisms that protect the teaching profession. It is also crucial, despite the crisis, to ensure that investment in teachers is sufficient and proportionate to the demands made upon them. It is the teaching force with its knowledge, experience and foresight which can bring new insights to global solutions. Join us in celebrating this!


Saturday, 3 October 2009

THE 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES WON'T BE HELD IN MADRID EITHER



The Madrid 2016 Olympic bid was the unsuccessful attempt by Madrid, the capital city of Spain, to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Madrid is one of the few major European capitals that has not yet hosted the games, and it is following in the footsteps of Barcelona, which brought the Games to Spain for the 1992 Summer Olympics. Madrid had previously bid for the 1972 and the 2012 Summer Olympics. The city's strong bid for 2012 ultimately lost to the bid from London. On 2 October 2009, Rio de Janeiro's bid beat that of Madrid for the rights to host the 2016 summer games.

On October 4, 2007 the IOC accepted the Madrid Olympic bid. The Spanish Field Hockey Federation vice-chairwoman Mercedes Coghen was chosen as chairwoman of the project. Former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch offered his help in this new attempt. With 77% of the Olympic sports' venues in place, Madrid has hosted many previous Olympic qualifying events, such as the 2002 IAAF World Cup for Athletics.

Madrid has a strong sports culture, hosting three football (soccer) teams and two basketball teams; the most successful being Real Madrid C.F. which plays in Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Madrid hosted the 1982 FIFA World Cup final. The cycling classic Vuelta a España final stages are held in Madrid as Paris serves for the Tour de France.
Venues
The competition venues for the Games would have been sited in two main clusters:
The Eastern zone would have been the location of the Olympic Stadium, Aquatic Centre, the Olympic Village, the Telefónica Arena (called before Madrid Arena and earlier Rockódromo de Casa de Campo, which would have held basketball events), and the IFEMA Fairgrounds (eight sports plus the Press Center).

The River Zone aside the Manzanares River would have hosted the venues for rowing, beach volleyball, archery, cycling, tennis, modern pentathlon, triathlon, equestrian and rhythmic gymnastics. After the games, the river bank would have become a public park celebrating sport, culture and music.

The city is currently completing new swimming and tennis venues (Caja Mágica - The Magic Box) and looking to expand and modernize existing sporting facilities. Bernabeu, and Estadio La Peineta are likely venues should Madrid win the games. A new center for sport with the aim of improving facilities for disabled athletes will also be created as part of the push for the Paralympic Games.

Public support
Madrid's bid enjoyed extremely high levels of support from its citizens. A recent poll put Madrid's support levels at 92.6%, and 25,000 volunteers had signed up to demonstrate their support for the city's candidacy. Madrid 2016 also had over 60 corporate sponsors.

Logo
A contest was run to submit a logo for the games. A number were chosen from which the public could vote, finalizing the final three. The official logo was revealed in late September 2007, which was elected by a group of experts. The logo is named "Corle" and represents a hand in the colors of the Olympics, welcoming (but reminds of stopping) foreigners to the games. The silhouette of an 'M', representing Madrid, is also hidden in the hand. It was designed by an Argentine, Joaquin Malle. The initial design was merely an outline of the hand; the final version bursts with color rings within the hand.
2012 bid
Madrid previously bid for the 2012 Olympics. Changes were made to the 2012 bid, while the city expected to build on its high reputation from its previous bids. In the 2012 bid, experts considered Madrid's bid very strong, and it actually placed first in the third round (before being eliminated in the fourth round). The 2012 bid was overall second in technical evaluation, with a rating of 8.3. Madrid was ranked first in seven categories: Government support, legal issues and public opinion; General infrastructure; Environment; Sports venues; Olympic Village; Transport concept; and Overall project and legacy.

When Madrid was promoted to the 2016 "Candidate City" phase in June 2008, it ranked second in the evaluation of the technical bid, with a score of 8.1 (on a 10 point scale). The city was ranked a close fourth on two predicting indice scales, primarily because of geographical factors. Coghen has emphasized in interviews that "cities, not continents" are chosen to host. Madrid repeatedly described itself as the "safe bid".
After the selection of Rio de Janeiro on 2 October 2009, commentators agreed that Madrid had once again put forward a powerful bid with many positive aspects. One problem with the 2016 bid was Madrid's geographic location, as it occupied a position that followed the 2012 Summer Olympics to be held in London and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. This would have staged three Olympic games in Europe in a row, a historically uncommon occurrence.

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