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viernes, 27 de julio de 2012

Olympic Games London 2012

It all started with the lighting of the Olympic torch in the ancient city of Olympia, the sanctuary were the first Olympic Games were held in 776 B.C. Before lighting the fire, they perform a dance called "The Gable on the Hill". Then the high priestess lift the ancient pot of fire. This fire will be transfered to the Olympic torch. After that, a dove is freed. Peace is the sovereign now. An armistice was agreed among Greek "polis"
WRONG! There is no peace anymore during the Olympic Games. Don't you hear the news coming from Syria, for instance. Are Human Rights respected around the world? Therefore, the Olympic spirit has been lost.
The modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896 thanks to the efforts of Baron de Coubertin. The commemoration of the 100th anniversary should have taken place in Athens, however thanks to the pressure of a big entreprise of soda drinks based in Atlanta, Georgia, the Games were held in the USA. It was not until 2004, that Greece could have their Games back HOME.
Now it is time to tell why London has the Olympic Games for the third time (1908, 1948, 2012) in a little bit more than a century. If we think about the alternance of continents, this was Madrid time; opportunity flew away, among other things, thanks to the word of the princess of Monaco, Albert. Shame on the monarchy that it is reflected on never-getting-to-be-a-king Prince Charles of Wales, calling bastards to the press, the king of Spain as a poacher or his own daughter as a criminal, stealing money and not giving it back in a mourning country.

Back to London 2012, apart from football that kicked off in Cardiff two days ago, today is the official opening ceremony. I remember that year, the countdown in Trafalgar square, or the works at Leicester square. The most amazing thing will be the artificial beach at the Horse Guards Parade.
These are the mascots of London 2012: 
Good luck to every country and athlete on the Olympic Games London 2012!Countdown is even closer now...

Teaching English by Fran | Olympic Games History
Teaching English by Fran | Sport Relief
Teaching English by Fran | Mother's Day

miércoles, 18 de julio de 2012

Mandela's Day

Mandela's Day is a day to make the world a better place. This year motto is “Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day.” There are many ways to help.
  • You can help in an elderly house.
  • You can spend more time with those in need.
What would you do to make a the world a better place? The idea is: if Mandela gave sixty-seven years of his life helping the others, can't you give sixty-seven minutes of your week to help your local community?

You have just heard a message by The Elders – a group of eminent global leaders founded by Nelson Mandela.

The Mandela Foundation started as a movement to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS; however, now is linked to any humanitarian action. It started with the name 46664, the number of Mandela as prisoner. In 2003 there was a concert in South Africa to collect fundings for the cause with lots of artists, among them Anastacia.

A little bit of Mandela's biography on this Mandela's Day; and remember, you can do something to make the world a better place!

Teaching English by Fran |Black History Month
Teaching English by Fran |Martin Luther King

sábado, 14 de julio de 2012

Brighton Carnival

Brighton Carnival is a biannual festival that takes places in July. It's a celebration of the summer and nowadays is a platform for local or national artists to exhibit their talents. The first Brighton Carnival took place in 1922.
The city has several parades during the year:
ph by F. Muñoz
  • The Children's Parade in May.
  • Burning of the Clocks in the Winter Solstice.
  • Pride parade in summer. Brighton has one of the biggest gay communities in the UK.
This is Brighton for you!

This is their motto:
It's not bums-on-seats,
it's feet-on-streets! Enjoy Brighton Carnival!

Teaching English by Fran | Mardi Gras
Teaching English by Fran | Gay Pride

viernes, 13 de julio de 2012

Friday 13th

It's Friday and summer. We shouldn't be worried about anything. However, there is something wrong going on in this country. We are being insulted and we keep on quiet. Some people are making big amounts of money and others are loosing their jobs. Education is being mistreated by this government. 
Lots of things lots of things with the f*** word could be said, as #AndreaFabra did. However, I am going to talk about reasons why Friday 13th is considered a bad luck day:

  • The great flood during the time of Noah.
  • The confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel.
  • The day Eve tempted Adam with the apple.
  • The day Jesus Christ died. 
  • In October 1307, a warrant was issued for the Knights Templars to be arrested. Masses of Templars were tortured or executed by burning at the stake.

Fear of Friday 13th is known as  paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greek word "Friday, thirteen and fear of".
Why thirteen? Thirteen were the number of people at the Last Supper, and one of them happened to be a traitor. So, never organize and even with thirteen or fourteen as one of them may decline your invitation.
Twelve is considered a special number in the Bible; think about the number of months
On the other hand in Greek mythology, twelve are the Olympic god/desses.
For the Egyptians, 13th stage of life was related to the afterlife.

In Spain and Greece, bad luck day is Tuesday 13th since in Latin, Mars Dies, was related to the god of war, Mars(Ares) and the Fall of Constantinople happend on a day like this in 1453.

Be brave to cope with Friday 13th!

Teaching English by Fran | Months and Days of Week
Teaching English by Fran | Olympic Games

sábado, 7 de julio de 2012

The Sun Also Rises [St. Fermin]

I wasn't really thinking about writing anything about the Fiesta of St. Fermin, but Manu, the Chef Cat and my friend Lúu told me that they were sure I could say something about St. Fermin. Some of the most popular idioms with the word bull are: 
To be like a bull in a china shop "andar como un elefante en una cacharrería", is when someone often drop or break things because they move awkwardly, or behaves in a way that offends people.
To be like a bull at a gate, is when you do something very quickly.
To take the bull by the horns, "coger el toro por los cuernos" to do something difficult in a determined and confident way.
Today is St. Fermin, which is known internationally thanks to the reference of the American writer Ernest Hemingway in his novel The Sun Also Rises. He came for the first time to Pamplona on July 6th 1923, the day of the chupinazo, a piece of fireworks that marks the beginning of the celebration which will be ended by the singing of Pobre de mi on the 14th July. Remarkable is the procession of the saint on July 7th. 
One of the most important events during the Fiesta is the running of the bulls: 

I won't express my point of view as the topic of bulls in Spain as I let people do free; I won't attend any of these festivals, though.
From his thrid wife Martha Gellhorn, was a writer and a war reporter. They actually met while she was covering the Spanish Civil War. I have read Last Words on Vietnam (1987), a impressive relate of her visions of the war.

Teaching English by Fran | Cats in Literature 
Teaching English by Fran | St Anthony the Great

miércoles, 4 de julio de 2012

4th of July

4th of July is THE American biggest celebration. I have done a power point presentation to learn about it

 ThIS video explains, in a funny way, how the independence from Britain took place.

We are going to do a crossword, while we are listening to the American anthem Star Spangled Banner.

"O say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"

Happy 4th of July!!

Teaching English by Fran | Flag Day
Teaching English by Fran | Thanksgiving

domingo, 1 de julio de 2012

Canada Day

On a day like today in 1867, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada (nowadays Ontario and Quebec) were united into a single country. This union was a result of the Constitution Act which granted Canada a great deal of independence from England. Over the course of a century, Canada gradually shed its dependence on the United Kingdom. It did not become fully independent until 1982, the same year that Canada Day became an official holiday. It was formely known as Dominion Day

The Maple Leaf flag. Photo by FM

There would be celebrations, such as parades, concerts, carnivals, fireworks, etc. all around the country, mainly in the capital, Ottawa. In London (UK), some celebrations have already started and will last all day long in Trafalgar Square. 

Some facts you should remember:
Arriving at Toronto with CN in the background. 
  • Although the capital is Ottawa, the most populated city is Toronto
  • The highest building in America can be found in Toronto: CN Tower.
  • There are two official languages in Canada, English and French.
  • The first name of the country was New France.
  • The name Canada may come from the Iroquoian word kanata meaning "village".
  • Canada is the second biggest country on earth.
  • The British monarch is Canada's head of state. Canada became British in the 18th century.
  • There are about thirty-four million of Canadians. 80% of them live no further than two hours driving from the USA.
  • Canada is formed by thirteen provinces and territories. I am going to name them by areas with their capitals on the right. 

  • The Northern provinces are 
   Yukon Territory, Whitehorse
   Northwest Territories, Yellowknife
   Nunavut, Iqualuit (we will be writing   
   about Nunavut later on this year).

   The Atlantic Regions 
   Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's
   New Brunswick, Fredericton
   Nova Scotia, Halifax
   Prince Edward Island (PEI), Charlottetown

   Central Canada
   Québec, Québec City
   Ontario, Toronto

   The Prairie Provinces
   Alberta, Edmonton
   Saskatchewan, Regina
   Manitoba, Winnipeg
   British Columbia, Victoria

Those pictures are while sailing and swimming in Lake Huron. Enjoy Canada Day and have a fabulous summer!

Nuestros queridos amigos de La Ribera Veterinaris están celebrando su 3er aniversario y Manu el Gato Chef ha querido celebrarlo con esta maravillosa tarta, verde y morada, como sus colores. Visita su blog para saber como hacerla!

Photo by Manu Catman

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