donderdag 17 december 2009

Bugatti Exhibition Brussels


From December 18th, 2009 to January 17th, 2010, Autoworld will be celebrating the very essence of the make: sport, design and elegance.

Excerpt from their website:

From the Type 13 to the present-day Veyron Grand Sport (unveiled for the 1st time here in Belgium*), you will also see one of the six Royales (also making its first appearance in our country) and the prototype forerunners of the Veyron. Enthusiasts and fine car-lovers alike will feast their eyes in this exhibition that explores the world of one of the truly classic makes of car.

The vehicles will be displayed so as to contrast the two aspects of a DNA (sport and elegance) that often combine to produce universally-admired models.

Most of the cars in the exhibition come from Belgian and foreign private collections and will not be seen together anywhere else. Several are on loan from the Mulhouse Cité de l’Automobile’s unique collection, others from Bugatti SAS.

On display alongside these iconic cars will be posters, paintings, catalogues, models, sculptures, bronzes and other artworks on a Bugatti theme.


I have 2 free entrance tickets to distribute. Just tell me why YOU should win these tickets.

dinsdag 29 september 2009

What on earth is a Theremin?

The theremin, also know as aetherphone / etherophone or termenvox / thereminvox is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without contact from the player. It was invented by Russian scientist Leon Theremin and was first demonstrated in 1920. It predates the modern synthesizer by about 40 years, but its uniqueness stems from the fact that it is the only instrument that is played without actually being touched. Its electronic circuits are controlled by two antennas, left and right of the instrument, toward which the player moves his or her hands. The closer the right hand to one antenna, the higher the pitch. Similarly the proximity of the left hand to the other antenna controls the volume. The theremin has a range well in excess of eight octaves, and is capable of all kinds of strange effects. These sounds have been put to use in science fiction and other films including Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945) and Robert Wise's The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). This unique instrument has also been used on The Beach Boys' song "Good Vibrations." The late Clara Rockmore was the theremin's greatest virtuoso, and the instrument and its inventor were profiled in the documentary Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey (1994).

dinsdag 18 augustus 2009

Rules of Cricket for Dummies



People sometimes complain that the rules of cricket are difficult to understand. This is of course not true. But still, a bit of simplification has never hurt anybody:

Start: you have 2 teams in the game, one is out in the field and one in.

1. Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out.

2. When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out.

p.s. Sometimes you get men still in and not out. This should not worry you too much.

3. When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in.

4. There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out.

5. When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!

donderdag 2 juli 2009

What is Flash Mobbing?

A flash mob (or flashmob) is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual action for a brief time, then quickly disperse. The term flash mob is generally applied only to gatherings organized via social media or viral emails. The term is generally not applied to events organized by public relations firms or as publicity stunts.

The first flash mob was created in Manhattan in May 2003, by Bill Wasik, senior editor of Harper's Magazine. The origins of the flash mobs were unknown until Wasik published an article about his creation in the March 2006 edition of Harper's. The first attempt was unsuccessful after the targeted retail store was tipped off about the plan for people to gather. Wasik avoided such problems during the second flash mob, which occurred on June 3, 2003 at Macy's department store, by sending participants to preliminary staging areas—in four prearranged Manhattan bars—where they received further instructions about the ultimate event and location just before the event began

Another example of a well known flash mob was the April 2006 silent disco in London. At various London Underground stations, people gathered with their portable music devices, and at a set time began dancing to their music. It was reported that more than 4,000 people participated at London Victoria station. This impacted the regular service of the system enough for the city's police to begin crowd control and slowly clear people. Though no one was arrested, it was reported that the City of London pledged to counter future disruption of the underground system.[citation needed] Since 2006, there have been several flash mobs in the London Underground, including subsequent silent discos comparable in size

zondag 28 juni 2009

Weird Celebrity Names - Part 10

Emma Thompson + Greg Wise / Actress + Actor / Gaia Romilly (daughter)

Isaiah Washington + Jenisa Marie Washington / Actor / Isaiah Akin (son) + Thyme (son) + Iman (daughter)

Robert Van Winkle (Vanilla Ice) + Laura Giarritta / Musician / Dusti Raine (daughter) + Keelee Breeze (daughter)

Bruce Willis + Demi Moore / Actor + Actress / Rumer Glenn (daughter) + Scout Larue (daughter) + Tallulah Belle (daughter)

Frank Zappa + Gail Zappa / Musician / Dweezil (son) + Ahmet Emuukha Rodan (son) + Moon Unit (daughter) + Diva Muffin (daughter)

woensdag 24 juni 2009

What is the Pledgebank?


Have you already heard about the Pledgebank? It is an initiative in the same line of thought as Pay It Forward where users take positive action by using the 'snowball effect' principle. In England the Pledgebank has already scored some important successes like reducing the amount of plastic bags that are used in supermarkets, or convince people to vote.

The principle is very simple: somebody takes the initiative to make a promise (or pledge), where they say that they will do something, but only if a certain number of other people do the same. Some call it "positive peer-pressure", other just another way of informing others about a good idea.

I first heard about the initiative when a member of BeWelcome made a pledge to donate a small amount to BeWelcome through the Pledgebank. He will do this (and put up posters) if at least 20 people do the same. So far we have already 10 pledges, only 10 more to go. Maybe you want to help out? Just go to the BeWelcome pledge page.

The organisation behind this initiative is called MySociety and they have started other sustainable projects, like for example making the complicated British voting system clearer, or make the Web more democratic

zondag 21 juni 2009

Weird Celebrity Names - Part 9

Rob Morrow + Debbon Ayer / Actor + Actress / Tu Simone Ayer (daughter)

Jamie Oliver + Jools Oliver / Chef + Model / Poppy Honey (daughter) + Daisy Boo (daughter)

Gwyneth Paltrow + Chris Martin / Actress + Musician / Apple (daughter) + Moses (son)

Brad Pitt + Angelina Jolie / Actor + Actress / Zahara Marley (daughter) + Maddox Chivan Thornton (son) + Shiloh Nouvel (daughter) + Pax Thien (son)

David "Puck" Rainey + Betty Rainey / Reality TV Star / Bogart Che Peyote (son) + Rocco Kokopelli (son)

dinsdag 16 juni 2009

Weird Celebrity Names - Part 8

Shannyn Sossamon + Dallas Clayton / Actress / Audio Science (son)

Sylvester Stallone + Sasha Czack / Actor + Actress / Sage Moonblood (daughter) + Seargeoh (son)

Sylvester Stallone + Jennifer Flavin / Actor / Sophia Rose (daughter) + Sistine Rose + (daughter) Scarlet Rose (daughter)

Roger Taylor + Dominique Beyrand / Musician / Felix Luther (son) + Rory (daughter)

Roger Taylor + Deborah Leng / Musician / Rufus Tiger (son) + Tiger Lily (daughter) + Lola Daisy (daughter)

donderdag 11 juni 2009

Weird Celebrity Names - Part 7

Milla Jovovich + Paul Anderson / Actress + Director / Ever Gabo (daughter)

Simon LeBon + Yasmin Parvaneh / Musician + Model / Amber Rose Tamara (daughter) +
Saffron Sahara (daughter) + Tallulah Pine (daughter)

Jennifer Lopez + Marc Anthony / Singer / Max Marco (son) + Emme Jenna (daughter)

John Cougar Mellencamp + Vicky Granucci / Musician / Teddy Jo (daughter) + Justice (daughter)

John Cougar Mellencamp + Elaine Irwin / Musician / Hud (son) + Spec Wildhorse (son)

donderdag 4 juni 2009

Top 10 Searches - News Stories

Natural disasters affected virtually every corner of our planet. Hurricanes Gustav and Ike devastated the southern U.S. and the Caribbean. The fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan continued to be a focus throughout the year. But a few surprises to this list included the human interest stories that captivated the curiosity of the country, such as Caylee Anthony, a missing Florida toddler; the pregnant man who allegedly gave birth to a baby girl; and Patrick Swayze's battle against cancer.

News Stories -- Top 10 News Stories according to Yahoo!

1. Hurricanes

2. Caylee and Casey Anthony

3. Election 2008

4. Pakistan

5. Pregnant Man

6. China

7. Iraq

8. Shelley Malil

9. Patrick Swayze

10. Afghanistan

dinsdag 2 juni 2009

Weird Celebrity Names - Part 6

Ving Rhames + Deborah Reed / Actor / Reignbeau (daughter) + Freedom (son)

Gabrielle Reece + Laird Hamilton / Volleyball Player + Model / Surfer Brody Jo (daughter)

Nicole Richie + Joel Madden / TV Personality + Vocalist / Harlow Winter Kate (daughter)

Robert Rodriguez + Elizabeth Avellan / Director / Rocket Valentin (son) + Racer Maximilliano (son) + Rebel Antonio (son) + Rogue (son) + Rhiannon (daughter)

Kyra Sedgwick + Kevin Bacon / Actress / Actor / Sosie Ruth (daughter) + Travis Sedg (son)

Olympia Scott-Richardson + Al Richardson / Basketball Player / BreAzia Ranee (daughter)

zondag 31 mei 2009

Weird Celebrity Names - Part 5

Barbara Hershey + David Carradine / Actor + Actress / Free (son)

Kate Hudson + Chris Robinson / Actress + Musician / Ryder Russell (son)

Helen Hunt + Matthew Carnahan / Actress + Writer and Producer / Makena'lei Gordon (daughter)

Michael Hutchence + Paula Yates / Musician + TV Host / Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily (daughter)

Penn Jillette + Emily Jillette / Comedian + Magician / Moxie CrimeFighter (daughter)

donderdag 28 mei 2009

Top 10 Searches for Sport

A worldwide audience couldn't get enough of the Olympics, hungrily hunting down every detail on the characters playing out sports' most marvelously unscripted drama. The Olympics was a nightly epic story, in which Michael Phelps played the ideal leading man, with the mystery of his estranged father breaking the list of most clicked on stories of yahoo.com.

Top 10 Olympian and Sport Searches

1. Michael Phelps

2. Leryn Franco

3. Serena Williams

4. Kobe Bryant

5. Shawn Johnson

6. Jennie Finch

7. Misty May Treanor

8. Ronaldinho

9. Alicia Sacramone

10. Nastia Liukin

woensdag 27 mei 2009

Weird Celebrity Names - Part 4

Cher + Sonny Bono / Musician / Chastity (daughter)

Cher + Greg Allman / Musician / Elijah Blue (son)

Tom Cruise + Katie Holmes / Actor + Actress / Suri (daughter)

Melissa Etheridge + Julie Cypher / Musician + Director / Beckett (son) + Bailey Jean (daughter)

Courteney Cox Arquette + David Arquette / Actress + Actor / Coco Riley (daughter)

zondag 24 mei 2009

What are the most popular search topics on the World Wide Web?

Ever wondered what the most popular search terms were in the last year? Yahoo! made a comprehensive list of the top 10. This not only presents the top ten searches, but overall themes and popular trends that came to the surface, including the economy, politicians, news stories, Olympians, rising celebrities, influential women, and notable deaths. Also included in this year's review are additional top tens in select areas throughout Yahoo!.

Top 10 Overall Searches

1. Britney Spears

2. WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment)

3. Barack Obama

4. Miley Cyrus

5. RuneScape

6. Jessica Alba

7. Naruto

8. Lindsay Lohan

9. Angelina Jolie

10. American Idol

vrijdag 22 mei 2009

Weird Celebrity Names - Part 3

Some more great and weird Celebrity Baby Names

David Bowie + Angela Bowie / Musician + Model / Duncan Zowie Heywood Jones (son)

Toni Braxton + Keri Lewis / Musician / Denim Cole (son) + Diezel Ky (son)

Christie Brinkley + Peter Cook / Model + Architect / Sailor Lee (daughter)

Pierce Brosnan + Keely Shaye Smith / Actor + Model / Dylan Thomas (son)

Nicholas Cage + Alice Kim / Actor / Kal-el (son)

donderdag 21 mei 2009

Top Searches for new Celebrities

In 2008, tabloid staples cleaned up their acts due to court-ordered conservatorships (Britney Spears), pledges of sobriety (Lindsay Lohan), and motherhood (Nicole Richie). As a result, celebrity publications and bloggers shifted their focus to a new, younger set of headline makers, the New Brat Pack. Like their 1980s counterparts, the New Brat Pack celebs appear in each other's movies, music videos and social circles. They're all young (21 and under), popular and major money makers. And, their youth subjects them to greater public scrutiny.Disney proteges are coming into their own with huge success, including Miley Cyrus, Vanessa Hudgens, the Jonas Brothers and Zac Efron.

Top 10 Rising Celebrity Searches

1. Miley Cyrus

2. Vanessa Anne Hudgens

3. Chris Brown

4. Jonas Brothers

5. Rihanna

6. Taylor Swift

7. Jamie Lynn Spears

8. Hayden Panettiere

9. Zac Efron

10. Selena Gomez

woensdag 20 mei 2009

Recipe for All-American Banana Split

My favourite ice-cream is without any doubt the "All-American Banana Split". I got to know this of all places in Austria, where they had some great shops that sold these.

Here is an easy recipe:

1 firm, large Banana, cut in half lengthwise

1 scoop each: chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream*
2 tablespoons bottled butterscotch topping
2 tablespoons chocolate-flavored syrup
1 tablespoon chopped pecans or walnuts
Whipped cream
1 maraschino cherry

Instructions
Place banana halves in individual dessert dish. Arrange ice cream between banana halves.


Drizzle butterscotch topping and chocolate syrup over ice cream. Sprinkle with nuts; top with whipped cream and cherry.

*If all 3 ice cream flavors are not available, 1 or 2 flavors of ice cream can be used.

dinsdag 19 mei 2009

Weird Celebrity Names - Part 2

Bob Geldof + Paula Yates / Musician + TV Host / Fifi Trixibelle (daughter) + Peaches Honeyblossom (daughter) + Little Pixie (daughter)

Richard Gere + Carey Lowell / Actor + Actress / Homer James Jigme (son)

Teri Hatcher + Jon Tenney / Actress + Actor / Emerson Rose (daughter)

Rachel Griffiths + Andrew Taylor / Actress / Banjo Patrick (son)

Lance Henriksen + Mary Jane Henriksen / Actor / Alcamy (daughter)

Top Searches - politicians

What were the top searches on the political battlefield? It was an election of many firsts. Not only did the U.S. elect an African American president for the first time but 2008 also had a notable campaign by former First Lady and Senator Hillary Clinton, and the first female nominee for Vice President in the Republican Party, Alaska governor Sarah Palin. Other candidates secured their fair share of searches as well. On the other hand, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn't involved in the presidential race, but searches for the "Governator" beat Democratic vice presidential pick Joe Biden and Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

Top 10 Politician Searches

1. Barack Obama

2. Sarah Palin

3. John McCain

4. Hillary Clinton

5. George Bush

6. Ron Paul

7. John Edwards

8. Mike Huckabee

9. Arnold Schwarzenegger

10. Mitt Romney

maandag 18 mei 2009

Australian proverb

"You can't polish a turd"

Meaning : A turd is a shit for those of you who don't know. The
meaning is that you can't make something great from a shitty base product.

List of Free Online English Dictionaries

>Are you looking for a good free online dictionary? Look no further, because we provide you with the links to the best...and the rest.

We will also test some of the most commonly used dictionaries, thesauruses and reference sites. Watch this space for updates

The list:

- Dictionary.com : one of the best and user-friendly dictionaries available on the web
- Merriam-Webster: One of the best but not as user-friendly as Dictionary. It will take you some time to get used to the interface, but you can't beat the quality
- American Heritage Dictionary: easy, quick, no-frills but delivers what it promises
- Cambridge dictionaries: good but very superficial

zondag 17 mei 2009

How to live forever - 1

Do you want to live forever? No problem, every month we will publish one simple tip to eternal life.

1. Be curious

A study of more than 1,100 elderly men found taking an interest in the world is strongly associated with longevity.

How to Use OneStopBlogs

Explore onestopblogs today

Onestopblogs collects data from all of the listed blogs and then does useful and interesting things with that data. Here are just some of its features:

Top stories: Stories that are being discussed on several blogs are brought together on the homepage, making it easy to see what’s new.

Latest posts: Keep up-to-date with the latest thoughts from our bloggers, all on one page.

Publications: Find out which books and academic papers are creating a buzz in the blogosphere.

Search or filter: Use the Search function or filter blogs and posts by your own specialist subject or field; from business and exams to teacher training, technology and linguistics.

Submit a blog: Put your own blog forward for inclusion or suggest a blog that you like.

Setting up your own blog

The best way to become part of the onestopblogs community it to set up your own blog! This is very easy to do. There are lots of blog platforms you could use, but three that offer the platform, domain name and hosting for free are:

Blogger: https://www.blogger.com/start
WordPress: http://wordpress.com/
TypePad: http://www.typepad.com/

What is Basic Education?

Basic education refers to the whole range of educational activities taking place in various settings (formal, non formal and informal), that aim to meet basic learning needs. According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), basic education comprises primary education (first stage of basic education) and lower secondary education (second stage). In countries (developing countries in particlar), Basic Education often includes also pre-primary education and/or adult litteracy programs.

Universal basic education is regarded as a priority for developing countries and is the focus of the Education For All movement led by UNESCO. A extensive number of studies have proven its benefits on public health (lower spread of HIV/AIDS, better vaccination, prevention and medication of disease, better nutrition, lower maternal, infant and child mortality,...), demography (longer life expectancy, accelerated demographic transition through better birth control,...) and economy (increase of purchase power, increased producativity in traditional sector, increased demand on service sectors,...). Other benefits, although more difficult to measure, include impact on democarty, human rights, governance and political stability through increasing understanding of non-violent ways to solve problems and mutual understanding between groups in conflict.

The Convention on the Rights of the Children, established by UNICEF in 1989, protects children's inalienable rights by setting standards for multiple aspects, one of which is education.

Source: wikipedia

zaterdag 16 mei 2009

We are now a proud member of OneStopBlogs

A Study in Scarlet is proud to announce their inclusion into the OneStopBlogs directory.

Onestopblogs brings together blogs from throughout the English language teaching community. Featuring blogs from the best teachers, trainers and linguists on the web, onestopblogs is the portal for news, views, tips and trends in the world of ELT.

A service for teachers
It can be hard to keep up with the latest methodologies and technologies in ELT and how they are being used in the classroom. One way to stay in the know is by subscribing to some good, authoritative blogs. But keeping track of them all can be hard work. Now, thanks to onestopblogs, you can read all the best ELT blogs in one place.

We launched onestopblogs with 70 of the most varied and interesting blogs in the ELT community, covering everything from Exams and ESP to teacher training and technology. Look out for specialist blogs from authors and academics such as David Crystal, Pete Sharma, Lindsay Clandfield and Nik Peachey.

A service for bloggers
You can reach new audiences by making sure your blog is listed on onestopblogs. So please join us by sending your blog to the onestopenglish team. Of course if you object to having your blog listed, please let us know and we will take it down immediately.

Spelling - Dates

1 Using dates:

Examples: The meeting is scheduled for June 30.
The meeting is scheduled for the 30th of June.
We have had tricks played on us on April 1.
The 1st of April puts some people on edge.

2. When expressing decades, you may spell them out and lowercase them.
Example: During the eighties and nineties, the U.S. economy grew.

3. If you wish to express decades using incomplete numerals, put an apostrophe before the incomplete numeral but not between the year and the s.

Correct: During the '80s and '90s, the U.S. economy grew.

4. You may also express decades in complete numerals. Again, don't use an apostrophe between the year and the s.

Example: During the 1980s and 1990s, the U.S. economy grew.

Decimals - Spelling

Write decimals in figures. Put a zero in front of a decimal unless the decimal itself begins with a zero.

Examples: The plant grew 0.79 of a foot in one year.
The plant grew only .07 of a foot this year because of the drought.

With numbers that have decimal points, use a comma only when the number has five or more digits before the decimal point. Place the comma in front of the third digit to the left of the decimal point. When writing out such numbers, use the comma where it would appear in the figure format. Use the word and where the decimal point appears in the figure format.

Examples:

$15,768.13: Fifteen thousand, seven hundred sixty-eight dollars and thirteen cents

$1054.21: One thousand fifty-four dollars and twenty-one cents

Note: If the number has no decimal point, authorities disagree on whether to begin using the comma with four-digit numbers or to begin using the comma with five-digit numbers. When writing out these numbers, I recommend using the comma where it appears in the numerical form.

1,054 schools OR 1054 schools: one thousand, fifty-four schools OR one thousand fifty-four schools

12,154 schools: twelve thousand, one hundred fifty-four schools

German Proverbs

Du bist was du isst

Translation : "You are what you eat"

Meaning : Your eating habits define who you are

What is the most popular search term on the internet?

Britney Spears has been the most popular search term and person for seven out of eight years on Yahoo!. In 2008, she made a comeback with a new album, three MTV Music Awards, a sitcom guest star role and documentary on her rise, fall and career comeback.

For the benefit of those extra-terrestrial being who have no clue who Britney Spears is, a quick overview of this Princess of Pop:

Britney Jean Spears (born December 2, 1981), is an American recording artist and entertainer. Born in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana, Spears first appeared on national television in 1992 as a contestant on the Star Search program, and went on to star in Disney Channel's television series The New Mickey Mouse Club from 1993–1994. After a brief membership with the pop musical group Innosense, Spears signed a recording contract with Jive Records, releasing her debut album ...Baby One More Time in 1999. The album established her as a pop icon and "bona fide pop phenomenon", credited for influencing the revival of teen pop in the late 1990s.

Spears is ranked as the eighth best-selling female recording artist in the United States according to the Recording Industry Association of America with 31 million certified albums and one of the world's best-selling music artists having sold an estimated 83 million records worldwide. Spears also holds the title to multiple Guinness World Records.

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vrijdag 15 mei 2009

A Poem for the Departed

One of the most famous poems of comfort and sadness, is "Do not stand at my grave and weep", a favourite at any funeral or remembrance service.

The poem was written by Mary Elizabeth Frye, and there are actually two versions:

Version one:

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Version 2:

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

Numbers and Spelling

1. Always spell out simple fractions and use hyphens with them.

Examples: One-half of the pies have been eaten.
A two-thirds majority is required for that bill to pass in Congress.

2. A mixed fraction can be expressed in figures unless it is the first word of a sentence.

Examples: We expect a 5 1/2 percent wage increase.
Five and one-half percent was the maximum allowable interest.

3. The simplest way to express large numbers is best. Round numbers are usually spelled out. Be careful to be consistent within a sentence.

Correct: You can earn from one million to five million dollars.

Correct: You can earn from five hundred to five million dollars.

Top Search Topics - Barack Obama

Barack Obama was the second most searched for person in 2008 on Yahoo!. Headlines of his election victory received the most clicks than any other story on yahoo.com this year, and he was the third most searched term overall. Obama soared up the search ranks tremendously as the election campaign moved forward with consumers using Yahoo! Search to get informed, learn more about him and decide how to vote in this critically important election.

Barack Hussein Obama II is an American politician and the President-elect of the United States. The first African American to be elected President of the United States, Obama was elected to be the junior United States Senator from Illinois in 2004 and served until his resignation on November 16, 2008, following his election to the Presidency. His term of office as the forty-fourth U.S. president will begin on January 20, 2009.

He is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Obama worked as a community organizer and practiced as a civil rights attorney in Chicago before serving three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. He also taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, Obama was elected to the Senate in November 2004. Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004.

As a member of the Democratic minority in the 109th Congress, Obama helped create legislation to control conventional weapons and to promote greater public accountability in the use of federal funds. He also made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. During the 110th Congress, he helped create legislation regarding lobbying and electoral fraud, climate change, nuclear terrorism, and care for U.S. military personnel returning from combat assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Breaking Electronic Locks on DVDs

A lot of teachers use DVDs in their classroom. And sometimes they might be tempted to break an electronic lock on a DVD in order to distribute several copies to their students. This is in most cases illegal. But the U.S. Law makes an exception for some classrooms.

Breaking Electronic Locks

Most copies of movies (DVDs, electronic copies, etc.) have digital locks that prevent the use of snippets and, except in a few specific circumstances, it is illegal to circumvent those locks. 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(A). The only exception relating to the classroom is for the film or media studies department of a university.

In Title 17 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Section 201.40 the Librarian of Congress determined that "during the period from November 27, 2006 through October 27, 2009, the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that effectively control access to copyrighted works set forth in 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(1)(A) shall not apply to persons who engage in noninfringing uses of . . .
(1) Audiovisual works included in the educational library of a college or university's film or media studies department, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of making compilations of portions of those works for educational use in the classroom by media studies or film professors."
There is an exception in 17 U.S.C. 201(d) which provides that "A nonprofit library, archives, or educational institution which gains access to a commercially exploited copyrighted work solely in order to make a good faith determination of whether to acquire a copy of that work for the sole purpose of engaging in conduct permitted under this title [17 U.S.C.A. S 1 et seq.]." This would include the educational use permitted by Section 110(1) or fair use. However, the exception only applies to making a determination of "whether to acquire a copy" of the work, not to the use of the work.

N.B.: The analysis on this web page applies only to copyrights in the U.S. and we are informed that in other countries, Canada for instance, a license must be obtained for the uses permitted in the U.S. This analysis should not be construed as legal advice and, any person, before acting on it should seek advice from their own attorney.

Authorities: 17 United States Code, Sections 110(1) and 1201; Public Performance Rights for Movies and the Face to Face Teaching Exemption from the College of St. Benedict, St. John's University; "Use of Video Cassettes in the Classroom," by Ralph D. Mawdsley; 32 Education Law Reporter 1163; West Publishing Company, 1986; and "Copyrights, Cassettes and Classrooms: The Performance Puzzle," by Francis M. Nevins, 43 Journal of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. 1 (1995).

OneStopEnglish - Free Language Material

Are you looking for interesting ELT resources? You want to talk to 420,000 other language teachers? Maybe even share some of your lesson plans or download exercises? Well, join OneStopEnglish and jump right in.

OneStopEnglish is the world's leading ELT resource site and offers the largest range of ELT materials on the web, including lesson plans, worksheets, news articles and professional support, all available for you to download and use in the classroom, absolutely free.

The website is composed of 3 parts :

1. the free "browse" part where you can find lots of interesting reading material and lesson plans

2. the free "registered" part with a monthly newsletter with up-to-date information about what's new on the site. You will also be able to use a new worksheet search and access an interactive forum for sharing ideas

3. the subscription which costs about €36 and gives you brand-new content created by expert authors, including weekly news lessons published in conjunction with the Guardian Weekly, downloadable flashcards and games, as well as monthly lesson plans in key content areas.

donderdag 14 mei 2009

Chinese Proverb

Chinese proverb

dui niu tan qin


Translation : playing the guitar/some stringed instrument to a cow

Meaning : a cow cannot understand/appreciate the music being played, or a person who is stubborn will not listen to reason

Numbers - Spelling

1. Spell out single-digit whole numbers. Use numerals for numbers greater than nine.

Examples:

I want five books.
I want 10 books.

2. Be consistent within a category. For example, if you choose numerals because one of the numbers is greater than nine, use numerals for all numbers in that category. If you choose to spell out numbers because one of the numbers is a single digit, spell out all numbers in that category.

If you have numbers in different categories, use numerals for one category and spell out the other.

Example:

My 10 dogs fought with their 2 cats.
My ten dogs fought with their two cats.

Given the economic crisis, if all 30 ELT students attend the four plays, then the 7 math students will be able to attend only two plays. (Students are represented with figures; plays are represented with words.)

Fair Use of DVDs in a Classroom

The U.S. Laws prohibit the unauthorized use of copyrighted material in Classrooms. However, there are some exceptions like for example "Fair Use".

Fair Use in Any Classroom Context

Section 107 of Title 17 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered "fair use" and, as such, does not require a license. "Fair Use" is limited to relatively small portions of copyrighted materials used for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. The statute sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:
1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The distinction between "fair use" (which is permitted) and infringement (which is not permitted) is unclear and is not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission. Adapted from: Article on Fair Use by the U.S. Copyright Office. Click on the link for more about fair use.


Fair use does not entitle a person to break any electronic locks.

Cmabdrigde Uinervtisy - Can you read this?

Can you read this Text?

"Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe."

It's amazing how it is possible to read this sentence, even when the letters are mixed up.

woensdag 13 mei 2009

How illogical is English spelling

Did you ever think that English was an easy language? Well, think again. Just read the following out loud, and marvel at how one letter can sound so different depending on the meaning in a sentence.

The Chaos

by G. Nolst Trenite' a.k.a. "Charivarius" 1870 - 1946

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse
I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye your dress you'll tear,
So shall I! Oh, hear my prayer,
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
Just compare heart, beard and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written).
Made has not the sound of bade,
Say said, pay-paid, laid, but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak,
Say break, steak, but bleak and streak.
Previous, precious, fuchsia, via,
Pipe, snipe, recipe and choir,
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery:
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles.
Exiles, similes, reviles.
Wholly, holly, signal, signing.
Thames, examining, combining
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war, and far.
From "desire": desirable--admirable from "admire."
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier.
Chatham, brougham, renown, but known.
Knowledge, done, but gone and tone,
One, anemone. Balmoral.
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel,
Gertrude, German, wind, and mind.
Scene, Melpomene, mankind,
Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
Reading, reading, heathen, heather.
This phonetic labyrinth
Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.
Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet;
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which is said to rime with "darky."
Viscous, Viscount, load, and broad.
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's O.K.,
When you say correctly: croquet.
Rounded, wounded, grieve, and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive, and live,
Liberty, library, heave, and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven,
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover,
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police, and lice.
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label,
Petal, penal, and canal,
Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal.
Suit, suite, ruin, circuit, conduit,
Rime with "shirk it" and "beyond it."
But it is not hard to tell,
Why it's pall, mall, but Pall Mall.
Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,
Timber, climber, bullion, lion,
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, and chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor,
Ivy, privy, famous, clamour
And enamour rime with hammer.
Pussy, hussy, and possess,
Desert, but dessert, address.
Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants.
Hoist, in lieu of flags, left pennants.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rime with anger.
Neither does devour with clangour.
Soul, but foul and gaunt but aunt.
Font, front, won't, want, grand, and grant.
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say: finger.
And then: singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, age.
Query does not rime with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post; and doth, cloth, loth;
Job, Job; blossom, bosom, oath.
Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual.
Seat, sweat; chaste, caste.; Leigh, eight, height;
Put, nut; granite, and unite.
Reefer does not rime with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,
Hint, pint, Senate, but sedate.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific,
Tour, but our and succour, four,
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria,
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay.
Say aver, but ever, fever.
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
Never guess--it is not safe:
We say calves, valves, half, but Ralph.
Heron, granary, canary,
Crevice and device, and eyrie,
Face but preface, but efface,
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust, and scour, but scourging,
Ear but earn, and wear and bear
Do not rime with here, but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, clerk, and jerk,
Asp, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation--think of psyche--!
Is a paling, stout and spikey,
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing "groats" and saying "grits"?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel,
Strewn with stones, like rowlock, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict, and indict!
Don't you think so, reader, rather,
Saying lather, bather, father?
Finally: which rimes with "enough"
Though, through, plough, cough, hough, or tough?
Hiccough has the sound of "cup."
My advice is--give it up!

Punctuation

When should you use spaces with punctuation in English?

1. When using a computer, use only one space following periods, commas, semicolons, colons, exclamation points, question marks, and quotation marks. The space needed after these punctuation marks is proportioned automatically.

2. With some typewriters and word processors, follow ending punctuation with two spaces when using a fixed-pitch font.

3. Use no spaces on either side of a hyphen.

Example: We borrowed twenty-three sheets of paper.

The use of Who vs. Whom

Many students of English have a problem with deciding when to use Who or Whom.

However, by applying a simple rule, students will no longer suffer


Rule: Use the he/him method to decide which word is correct.

he = who
him = whom

Examples: Who/Whom bought the car?
He bought the car. Therefore, who is correct.

For who/whom should I call?
Should I call him? Therefore, whom is correct.

We all know who/whom pulled that prank.
This sentence contains two clauses: We all know and who/whom pulled that prank. We are interested in the second clause because it contains the who/whom. He pulled that prank. Therefore, who is correct.

We want to know on who/whom the prank was pulled.
This sentence contains two clauses: We want to know and the prank was pulled on who/whom. Again, we are interested in the second clause because it contains the who/whom. The prank was pulled on him. Therefore, whom is correct.

Using Movies in your ELT Classroom - Copyright Laws

We all love to use movies in our ELT classroom. But what are the risk? Are we breaking the law when we show a DVD or BluRay that was copied? Or is it illegal to show a movie that we rented from our local Blockbuster video store?

The following article deals with the U.S. Copyright Laws. Feel free to send us those copyright laws that apply in your country.

ISSUES OF U.S. COPYRIGHT LAW RELATING TO
THE USE OF MOVIES IN THE CLASSROOM



Rented or Purchased Movies May Be Played By Teachers Without a License in the Classrooms of Public Schools and Nonprofit Educational Institutions

Section 110(1) of Title 17 of the United States Code grants a specific exemption from the copyright laws for:
performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction, unless, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, the performance, or the display of individual images, is given by means of a copy that was not lawfully made under this title, and that the person responsible for the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made ....
This means that no license from the copyright holder is required when a teacher at a public school or non-profit educational institution uses a lawfully purchased or rented copy of a movie in classroom instruction. It doesn't matter who purchased or rented the film, so long as it was legally obtained. The exemption is granted for "face-to-face" teaching activities only. This means that the teacher (or a substitute teacher) must be present. The exemption covers a "classroom or similar place devoted to instruction". This gives teachers some flexibility. For example, it is likely that a gymnasium used for large educational presentations in which several classes are convened together would be covered so long as a teacher presented the film. Note that remotely accessing a film from a central memory storage facility is probably not permitted. See 17 U.S.C. § 1201(a).

It is illegal to circumvent technological measures that effectively control access to copyrighted works, such as digital locks, to make compilations of scenes from various movies. Title 17 U.S. Code § 1201(a)(1)(A). However renting or purchasing a movie and showing a small portion of it and then taking it out of the DVD or VHS player and putting in another does not involve circumventing any type of lock.

What do women REALLY want?

Sometimes it can be difficult for simple men to understand what women really mean when they are talking to us. Especially for those simple men we have a simple guide to what women really mean and want.

1.FINE
This is the word women use to end an argument when they feel they are
right and you need to shut up. Never use "fine" to describe how a
woman looks - this will cause you to have one of those arguments.

2.FIVE MINUTES
This is half an hour. It is equivalent to the five minutes that your
football game is going to last before you take out the trash, so it's
an even trade.

3.NOTHING
This means "something," and you should be on your toes. "Nothing" is
usually used to describe the feeling a woman has of wanting to turn
you inside out, upside down, and backwards. "Nothing" usually
signifies an argument that will last "Five Minutes" and end with "Fine"

4.GO AHEAD (With Raised Eyebrows! )
This is a dare. One that will result in a woman getting upset over
"Nothing" and will end with the word "Fine"

5.GO AHEAD (Normal Eyebrows)
This means "I give up" or "do what you want because I don't care" You
will get a "Raised Eyebrow Go Ahead" in just a few minutes, followed
by "Nothing" and "Fine" and she will talk to you in about "Five
Minutes" when she cools off.

6.LOUD SIGH
This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often
misunderstood by men. A "Loud Sigh" means she thinks you are an idiot
at that moment, and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here
and arguing with you over "Nothing"

7.SOFT SIGH
Again, not a word, but a non-verbal statement. "Soft Sighs" mean that
she is content. Your best bet is to not move or breathe, and she will
stay content.

8. THAT'S OKAY
This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to
a man. "That's Okay" means that she wants to think long and hard
before paying you back for whatever it is that you have done. "That's
Okay" is often used with the word "Fine" and in conjunction with a
"Raised Eyebrow."

9. GO AHEAD!
At some point in the near future, you are going to be in some mighty
big trouble.

10. PLEASE DO
This is not a statement, it is an offer. A woman is giving you the
chance to come up with whatever excuse or reason you have for doing
whatever it is that you have done. You have a fair chance with the
truth, so be careful and you shouldn't get a "That's Okay"

11.THANKS
A woman is thanking you. Do not! faint. Just say you're welcome.

12.THANKS A LOT
This is much different from "Thanks." A woman will say, "Thanks A Lot"
when she is really ticked off at you. It signifies that you have
offended her in some callous way, and will be followed by the "Loud
Sigh." Be careful not to ask what is wrong after the "Loud Sigh," as
she will only tell you "Nothing"

dinsdag 12 mei 2009

How can you use Songs in ELT?

It all depends on the age group, but I have had quite some success with the following technique:

1. take a song that you know is suitable (vocabulary/grammar/context) for your students. So no "Cream" by Prince if they are younger than 18 :)

2. copy the lyrics and leave holes whenever there is a difficult word or an interesting phrase.

3. hand out the partial lyrics and ask your students to listen to the song (once or twice). The third time they can then write the missing words.

4. Compare and correct together with your students.

What is a Learner Blog?

Aaron Campbell (2003) has outlined three types of blogs for use with language classes. The most demanding is probably the Learner Blog:

The Learner Blog is the third type of blog and it requires more time and effort from the teacher to both set up and moderate, but is probably the most rewarding. It involves giving each student an individual blog. The benefit of this is that this becomes the student's own personal online space. Students can be encouraged to write frequently about what interests them, and can post comments on other students' blogs.

Top Search Terms - Miley Cyrus

This year also marked the coming out party for Miley Cyrus, who discarded her Disney persona of "Hannah Montana" and launched her own album under her real name to make the top five in Yahoo's top search terms

Miley Ray Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus on November 23, 1992) is an American actress and singer-songwriter. Cyrus is better known for starring as Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana in the television series Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel.

Cyrus became a sensation after Hannah Montana debuted in March 2006. Following the success of the show, in October 2006, a soundtrack CD was released in which she sang eight songs from the show. In December 2007, she was ranked #17 in the list of "Forbes Top Twenty Superstar Earners under the age of 25" with an annual earning of US$3.5 million. As of December 2007, she is working on a movie spin-off of Hannah Montana, titled Hannah Montana: The Movie which set to release on April 10, 2009.

Cyrus's solo music career began with the release of her debut album, Meet Miley Cyrus on June 23, 2007. Her second album, Breakout was released on July 22, 2008. Breakout is Cyrus's first album that does not involve the Hannah Montana franchise. Both albums debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200.

In 2008, Cyrus was listed among artists and entertainers as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World.

What is a Class blog

Aaron Campbell (2003) has outlined three types of blogs for use with language classes. Nowadays, Class blogs are becoming increasingly important:

The Class Blog is a shared space, with teacher and students being able to write to the main area. It is best used as a collaborative discussion space, an extra-curricular extension of the classroom. Students can be encouraged to reflect in more depth, in writing, on themes touched upon in class. Students are given a greater sense of freedom and involvement than with the tutor blog. Often this blog is not made public, as it focuses on the life inside the classroom.

Top Search Terms - Runescape

The 5th most popular search term on Yahoo! is Runescape, an online adventure game that has captivated the entire world.

RuneScape is a Java-based MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) operated by Jagex Ltd. Recognised by Guiness World Records as the world's most popular free MMORPG, RuneScape has approximately fifteen million active free accounts and is a graphical browser-based game with a large degree of 3D rendering.

RuneScape was created by Andrew Gower, the creator of DeviousMUD, the forerunner to RuneScape, in 1998. Rewritten and renamed, the first version of RuneScape was released to the public on 4 January 2001 in beta form. It has a free-to-play option, and a simple interface that is accessible on most web browsers.

RuneScape takes place in the fantasy-themed realm of Gielinor, which is divided into several different kingdoms, regions, and cities. Players can travel throughout Gielinor on foot, by using magical teleportation spells and devices, or mechanical means of transportation. Each region offers different types of monsters, materials, and quests to challenge players.

Unlike many other MMORPGs, there is no linear path that must be followed. Players appear on the screen as customizable avatars, setting their own goals and objectives. Players can combat both monsters and other players, complete quests, or increase their experience in any of the available skills. Players interact with each other through trading, chatting, or playing combative or cooperative mini-games.

My Dog's Party - ELT Edition

If you are looking for books to motivate your learners in your classroom, then I can warmly recommend Bill and W.E.C Gillham's books.

This series of delightful storybooks is a flexible resource designed to help teachers engage and motivate young learners in the classroom. They are an ideal way to support children in the early stages of learning English. Teacher's Books and Audio Cassettes/CDs make the Storybooks simple to use: the Teacher's Books cover the entire level and include step-by-step teaching notes with ideas for classes of different ability, photocopiable worksheets, and 'If you have time' sections suggesting...



Authors: Bill Gillham , W.E.C Gillham
Illustrator: Alan Snow
Dimensions: 142x4x162 mm
Weight 28 gr
ISBN10 0521006546
ISBN13 9780521006545

11 Reasons to use a Blog in your Classroom?

There are many reasons to use a blog in your classroom.

1. It provides your students with a "live" audience.

Normally assignments will have only one reader: The Teacher. By asking your students to contribute on the blog, they will increase the interactivity with other readers (fellow students or the millions of internet users all over the globe).


2. The focus will be more on content
(as opposed to form)

3. It provide extra reading practice for students.

This reading can be produced by the teacher, other students in the same class, or, in the case of comments posted to a blog, by people from all over the world.

4. Blogs can be used as online student learner journals

The value of using learner journals has been well documented. Usually they are private channels between teacher and student. Using a blog as a learner journal can increase the audience.

5. To guide students to online resources appropriate for their level.

The Internet has a bewildering array of resources that are potentially useful for your students. The problem is finding and directing your learners to them. For this reason, you can use your tutor blog as a portal for your learners.

6. Blogs can increase the sense of community in a class.

A class blog can help foster a feeling of community between the members of a class, especially if learners are sharing information about themselves and their hobbies, and are responding to what other students are writing.

7. To encourage shy students to participate.

There is evidence to suggest that students who are quiet in class can find their voice when given the opportunity to express themselves in a blog.
To stimulate out-of-class discussion.

8. To create a space for pre-class or post-class discussion.

And what students write about in the blog can also be used to promote discussion in class.

9. To encourage a process-writing approach.


Because students are writing for publication, they are usually more concerned about getting things right, and usually understand the value of rewriting more than if the only audience for their written work is the teacher.

10.As an online portfolio or even an archive of student written work.

There is much to be gained from students keeping a portfolio of their work. One example is the ease at which learners can return to previous written work and evaluate the progress they have made during a course.

11. To help build a closer relationship between students in large classes.

Sometimes students in large classes can spend all year studying with the same people without getting to know them well. A blog is another tool that can help bring students together.

What is ELT and other Abbreviations

ESL (English as a second language), ESOL (English for speakers of other languages), and EFL (English as a foreign language) all refer to the use or study of English by speakers with a different native language. The precise usage, including the different use of the terms ESL and ESOL in different countries, is described below. These terms are most commonly used in relation to teaching and learning English, but they may also be used in relation to demographic information.

ELT (English language teaching) is a widely-used teacher-centred term, as in the English language teaching divisions of large publishing houses, ELT training, etc. The abbreviations TESL (teaching English as a second language), TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) and TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) are also used.

Other terms used in this field include EAL (English as an additional language), ESD (English as a second dialect), EIL (English as an international language), ELF (English as a lingua franca), ESP (English for special purposes, or English for Specific Purposes), EAP (English for academic purposes). Some terms that refer to those who are learning English are ELL (English language learner), LEP (limited English proficiency) and CLD (culturally and linguistically diverse).




Source: Wikipedia.org

What is a Tutor Blog?

Aaron Campbell (2003) has outlined three types of blogs for use with language classes. Today we will talk about the 'classic' blog: The Tutor Blog.

The Tutor Blog is run by the teacher of a class. Most of the time the content of this type of blog will be limited to syllabus, course information, homework, assignments, etc. But in recent times we have seen that the teacher may also choose to write about his or her life, sharing reflections about the local culture, target culture and language to stimulate online and in-class discussion. In this type of blog, students are normally restricted to being able to write comments to the teacher's posts.

Top Searches for influential women

Not only were Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton closer than ever to the nation's top elected offices, but many other women were popular among Yahoo! searchers this year. The presidential race fed into a huge rise in popularity for Tina Fey (portraying Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live"), Michelle Obama (wife of the President-elect) and Katie Couric (political interviewer and newscaster). Undefeated kickboxing champ Gina Carano also upped her profile in her turn as Crush on "American Gladiators," then later made television history in the first primetime female fight.

Top 10 Searched Influential Women

1. Angelina Jolie

2. Sarah Palin

3. Oprah

4. Hillary Clinton

5. Gina Carano

6. Tina Fey

7. Michelle Obama

8. Katie Couric

9. Barbara Walters

10. Dara Torres

maandag 11 mei 2009

Weird Celebrity Names - Part 1

I found several lists on the internet that give an overview of some of the weird and funny Baby names that celebrities like to give. Funny for us, not for the babies of course.

My theory is very simple: if you can't tell if a name is for a girl or a boy, there is something wrong.

Read, laugh and wheep:


Celebrity / Occupation / Baby Name(s)


Christina Aguilera + Jordan Bratman / Singer / Max Liron (son)

Gillian Anderson + Clyde Klotz / Actress / Piper Maru (daughter)

Arthur Ashe + Jeanne Moutoussamy Ashe / Tennis Player / Camera (daughter)

Erykah Badu + Andre Benjamin (Andre 3000) / Musician / Seven Sirius (son)

Erykah Badu + Tracy Curry (The D.O.C.) / Musician / Puma (daughter)

Bike Ride with Older Boys

Bike Ride with Older Boys


a poem about growing up

Bike Ride with Older Boys

The one I didn't go on.
I was thirteen,
and they were older.
I'd met them at the public pool. I must
have given them my number. I'm sure
I'd given them my number,
knowing the girl I was. . .

It was summer. My afternoons
were made of time and vinyl.
My mother worked,
but I had a bike. They wanted
to go for a ride.
Just me and them. I said
okay fine, I'd
meet them at the Stop-n-Go
at four o'clock.
And then I didn't show.
I have been given a little gift—
something sweet
and inexpensive, something
I never worked or asked or said
thank you for, most
days not aware
of what I have been given, or what I missed—
because it's that, too, isn't it?
I never saw those boys again.
I'm not as dumb
as they think I am
but neither am I wise. Perhaps
it is the best
afternoon of my life. Two
cute and older boys
pedaling beside me—respectful, awed. When we
turn down my street, the other girls see me ...
Everything as I imagined it would be.
Or, I am in a vacant field. When I
stand up again, there are bits of glass and gravel
ground into my knees.
I will never love myself again.
Who knew then
that someday I would be
thirty-seven, wiping
crumbs off the kitchen table with a sponge, remembering
them, thinking
of this—
those boys still waiting
outside the Stop-n-Go, smoking
cigarettes, growing older.

Laura Kasischke
(from Dance and Disappear, 2002
University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, MA)

Online Poetry - help with Rhymes

Are you trying to write a poem but are stuck for words? Do you need to find something that rhymes with "MP3" or "ugly"? Then you came to the right address, because here below you will find a treasure trove filled with useful websites, easy tools and ready-made rhymes.

There is also a link to Wikipedia where you can find lots of info about ancient Chinese Rime books or Rhyme dictionaries.

Here is a list of tools and websites

- Rhyme Zone : type in any word and it will give you a large selection of words that rhyme, nicely order per number of syllables.

- Write Express

- Wikipedia about Chinese Rime books

zondag 10 mei 2009

Vista Holograms are not so safe

If you have a credit card or just bought a copy of Windows Vista, you're familiar with security holograms -- those sparkly bits of film that vouch for the validity of everything from driver's licenses to software and sports league items.

It turns out, they aren't as secure as they are sparkly.

Experts say the number of counterfeit holograms affixed to equally counterfeit merchandise has tripled in the past three years, as the technology to make them has spread. Today, crafting a convincing duplicate of a security hologram has never been easier or more profitable.

"The hardest part is peeling the original off," says Jeff Allen, one of the pioneers of holography. "You can duplicate a hologram, and the duplicate becomes a master you can use for production."

Embossed holograms first turned up on credit cards as a security device in the 1980s. Today, software makers and CD manufacturers use them for package seals, and high-end clothing companies ranging from sports league to Italian runway designers have them on their labels. They're also found on driver's licenses, ID cards, tax stamps, and dozens of other places where they're meant to certify the genuineness of an article, whether it's a Microsoft program, a Chicago Bears T-shirt or a pair of Roberto Cavalli jeans.

But as the goods they certify become more valuable, the profit incentive to add counterfeit holograms to counterfeit goods has grown.

Now fake holograms are turning up everywhere, says Courtney Martin, who is the investigations coordinator for the Idaho-based Trademark Management Inc. The company counts sports league memorabilia makers among its clients -- vendors that sell a genuine pro or college league T-shirt for as much as $250. The leagues mark their products with holograms on the tags and labels.

"For a trained eye, it used to be easier to tell a fake, but the counterfeits are getting so much better," Martin says.

Law enforcement hasn't shown much enthusiasm for going after fake holograms. The FBI lists three cases involving counterfeited holograms since 1997, and when contacted, was only able to say the agency "is aware that there are individuals and/or criminal enterprise organizations that are actively involved in the production of holograms. These fraudulent holograms are being used to effectively produce false passports, driver's licenses, tax stamps and credit cards."

If you have a credit card or just bought a copy of Windows Vista, you're familiar with security holograms -- those sparkly bits of film that vouch for the validity of everything from driver's licenses to software and sports league items.

It turns out, they're aren't as secure as they are sparkly.

Experts say the number of counterfeit holograms affixed to equally counterfeit merchandise has tripled in the past three years, as the technology to make them has spread. Today, crafting a convincing duplicate of a security hologram has never been easier or more profitable.

"The hardest part is peeling the original off," says Jeff Allen, one of the pioneers of holography. "You can duplicate a hologram, and the duplicate becomes a master you can use for production."

Embossed holograms first turned up on credit cards as a security device in the 1980s. Today, software makers and CD manufacturers use them for package seals, and high-end clothing companies ranging from sports league to Italian runway designers have them on their labels. They're also found on driver's licenses, ID cards, tax stamps, and dozens of other places where they're meant to certify the genuineness of an article, whether it's a Microsoft program, a Chicago Bears T-shirt or a pair of Roberto Cavalli jeans.

But as the goods they certify become more valuable, the profit incentive to add counterfeit holograms to counterfeit goods has grown.

Now fake holograms are turning up everywhere, says Courtney Martin, who is the investigations coordinator for the Idaho-based Trademark Management Inc. The company counts sports league memorabilia makers among its clients -- vendors that sell a genuine pro or college league T-shirt for as much as $250. The leagues mark their products with holograms on the tags and labels.

"For a trained eye, it used to be easier to tell a fake, but the counterfeits are getting so much better," Martin says.

Law enforcement hasn't shown much enthusiasm for going after fake holograms. The FBI lists three cases involving counterfeited holograms since 1997, and when contacted, was only able to say the agency "is aware that there are individuals and/or criminal enterprise organizations that are actively involved in the production of holograms. These fraudulent holograms are being used to effectively produce false passports, driver's licenses, tax stamps and credit cards."

Serbian Proverb

Ne meshaj babe i zhabe!

brutally translated: Do not mix grandmothers and frogs!

Meaning : you should make difference between this and that.

this proverb became famous when a Serbian minister of Foreign Affairs used it once during some speech in the UN :)

zaterdag 9 mei 2009

List of the most hated internet words

British pollsters YouGov questioned 2,091 adults earlier this month for the poll commissioned by the Lulu Blooker Prize, a literary award for books, which released the results in a statement.

Earlier this month, the growing use of words inspired by cyberspace was highlighted when the Collins English Dictionary announced that a string of them would be included in their ninth edition.

Can you guess which words were most hated ?

"Blog", "netiquette", "cookie" and "wiki" have been voted among the most irritating words spawned by the Internet, according to the results of a poll published Thursday.

Topping the list of words most likely to make web users "wince, shudder or want to bang your head on the keyboard" was folksonomy, a term for a web classification system.

"Blogosphere", the collective name for blogs or online journals, was second; "blog" itself was third; "netiquette", or Internet etiquette, came fourth and "blook", a book based on a blog, was fifth.

"Cookie", a file sent to a user's computer after they visit a website, came in ninth, while "wiki", a collaborative website edited by its readers, was tenth.

vrijdag 8 mei 2009

OneStopBlogs - Your Guide to Blogs on the Internet

If you are an ELT teacher, you will love the new features of OneStopEnglish. Take for example onestopblogs, the online grapevine for English teachers. Featuring blogs from the best teachers, trainers and linguists on the web, onestopblogs is your portal for news, views, tips and trends in ELT.

How does it work? Simple

-> Find out what teachers are talking about in Top Stories

-> Read your favourite blogs or find new ones

-> Keep up to date with publications, papers and conferences

6 things you should NEVER get your mum for Mother's Day


Frankly, let's be honest: Most moms are thrilled with whatever gift they receive: the necklaces made from toilet paper rolls, the cards with the sticky fingers made at school, the flowerpot decorated clothes pegs, and the mug that says "#1 Mom" (remember: corny but cute). These are all sentimental favorites.

But let's face it, when it comes to shopping for Mother's Day gifts, a lot can go wrong. So, we present the worst Mother's Day gifts (along with some alternatives). And don't say we didn't warn you.

1. Jane Fonda's Work-Out DVD

You may have heard mom talking about wanting to become a "supermodel," but it's probably not wise for you buy her the "Jane Fonda Work-out" DVD (or any other celebrity work-out kit. Instead of viewing it as a way to kickstart a new fitness plan, she may see it as hint that you're not happy with her body. Instead, get her a copy of her favorite movie that you'll watch together. Better yet? Hire a babysitter and take her to the movies, and let her pick the film.

2. A subscription to the local fitness gym

"Ouch" and "no pain, no gain". That's what your mother will be thinking if you give her a session with a personal trainer––and not because of the post-workout pain. We repeat: Stay away from any gifts that implies that the mother in your life needs to exercise. Instead, why not fill in for her a few nights a week so she can have some time to herself.

3. A new dishwasher, an apron, detergents or anything else remotely associated with cleaning.

Does mom really need a reminder of how much time she spends cleaning the house? Instead, send her away to a spa for the morning while you do the cleaning up!

4. A Snuggie

Haven't we all agreed that the Snuggie is not cool? If you want your mom or wife to feel warm and cozy, try finding a super comfortable quilt that she can share on a picnic, at a ball game, or watching the sunset on a date night with hubby.

5. Clothes in the wrong size

We have all been there and done that, so why make the same mistake over and over? It's not because she gets you a tie every year that you should pay her back by buying her sexy lingerie that are 2 sizes too big (horror) or too small (even worse).

Even if you have a smooth sense of style, getting mom clothes in the wrong size has always been a huge gift-giving no-no. Just sneak a peek at the tags on her clothes for sizes and make sure to go to the same store as the tags you looked at!

6. Nothing

Dads, this message is for you. Just because, you know, she's not your mom (she's only helping you raise your beautiful kids), doesn't mean you should forget her on this special day. Have a heart and show your lady how much you adore her and how you appreciate the amazing job she's doing as a mom.

How do I become a Web Designer


Did you always wanted to be a Webpage Designer, but were afraid to ask how to become one? Just read the life story of Sebastian...

First name : sebastian

Function/job description : designer, managing director of a family owned pr and design company

Studies : I didn't finish my design studies because of boredom and because I had less time as i was working already

Previous job(s) : always designer

How did you find your current job : since I have always been creative, i never had any other job in mind

What are your main tasks at work : it is splitted in two parts:
1. designs for web and print, creating ideas of advertising campaigns etc.
2. client contact, organisation etc.

Which qualities do you need to perform your job : stamina, knowledge of design, knowledge of web and print technologies/programms (in these days good designers should know how to connect both techniques), soft skills
for client contacts, as our business is going more international some knowledge of the english language is neccessary

Which aspect of your job do you like best : i am in the great position to attend the process of a designwork from the very beginning idea to the finish, what is very satisfying. besides i have the possibility to
invent new ideas or technologies in our company. in a nutshell: every day is a challenge

what don't you like about your job : too much time in the office. i dont mind spending 16h/day in front of the computer, but i wished i could do it (like at rare free weekends) in a cafe or somewhere with my laptop.
less time for my girlfriend and no time for sports.. for a former professional icehockey player quite hard

Famous last words: if you are not glad to spend your lifetime for design, you can't stand that business

donderdag 7 mei 2009

I Wish You Enough...

Recently I found the following text in my spam folder. It seems like a chain letter that has been around for years and years. Just wanted to share it with you in case it never got to your mailbox or you deleted it because it was too corny. It is corny. It is also true :)

I WISH YOU ENOUGH

Recently I overheard a mother & daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure.

Standing near the security gate, they hugged & the mother said, 'I love you, & I wish you enough.'

The daughter replied, 'Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.'

They kissed & the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see she wanted & needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy, but she welcomed me in by asking, 'Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?'

'Yes, I have,' I replied. 'Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?'.

'I am old, & she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead & the reality is - the next trip back will be for my funeral,' she said.

'When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I wish you enough.' May I ask what that means?'

She began to smile. 'That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.' She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, & she smiled even more. 'When we said, 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.' Then turning tow ard me, she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive & everlasting.

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

She then began to cry & walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget them.

woensdag 6 mei 2009

Turkish proverb

Bana bir harf ögretenin 40 yil kölesi olurum

roughly translated : For 40 years I would be the slave of the person who teaches me one letter

Proverb attributed to Prophet Ali (not a prophet but one of descendents of muhammed), and emphasizes the importance of learning.

What is the difference between United Kingdom and Great Britain?

what is the difference between the United Kingdom and Great Britain?

Many people wonder if there is a difference between Great Britain and the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom is made up of the countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its full name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Great Britain on the other hand comprises only England, Scotland and Wales. It is the largest island of the Britisch Isles. Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic form the second largest island.

Strangely enough, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom. They are largely self-governing with their own legislative assemblies and systems of law. The British government is, however, responsible for their defence and international relations.

Source: Wikipedia & The Foreign & Commonwealth Office

dinsdag 5 mei 2009

BeBlogger

There is a new blog in town: BeBlogger.

An English-language about how life was, is and should be. A personal look into the life of a all-round guy who wants to share his inner thoughts with you. Sometimes exciting, sometimes sentimental but always very personal. Take a look at it if you want, and leave a message

What is a Frenchman ?

Who are they talking about in the following sentence...

"Look Roger! There are so many more Frenchmen living this neighbourhood than there used to be!" exclaimed Dana, nodding toward a group of Asian shopkeepers.


It may seem strange, but anciently the word "Frenchman" was used for every stranger, regardless where they came from.

What is Smishing

You have probably heard about spamming, scamming, phising...but now there is a new threat: SMISHING.

This is what Wikipedia writes :"In computing, Smishing is a form of criminal activity using social engineering techniques similar to phishing. The name is derived from "SMs phISHING". SMS (Short Message Service) is the technology used for text messages on cell phones."

Similar to phishing, smishing uses cell phone text messages to deliver the "bait" to get you to divulge your personal information. The "hook" (the method used to actually "capture" your information) in the text message may be a web site URL, however it has become more common to see a phone number that connects to automated voice response system.


"Smishing" is the name for a new kind of phising, that is not completely new and still on the rise: It is the practice of sending phishing come-ons and scams via SMS message. And spammers are apparently finding it an increasingly easier proposition to text a phishing message to you rather than to email it traditionally.

Why? Because what is the best way to disguise a phishing attempt so no one can tell where a request for personal information or a password really came from? Easy: Send it via text message.

Why's that? You've probably received hundreds or thousands of phishing emails and immediately saw all the signs that this was a scam:
- Images were broken,
- the "from" address was wrong,
- words were misspelled,
- links in the message were obviously directing you to phony websites.

There are dozens of things that phishers have to get right for an email scam to fool anyone, and that's apparently quite difficult to do. Making things even tougher, many of those emails are now blocked by ISPs and spam filters and never make it to their intended targets.

Those problems don't really exist at the SMS level: Very few SMS messages are blocked, and since they are composed entirely of text, no images required, it's often impossible at a glance to determine if a message is real or fake.

One popular smish threatens the user that he is about to be charged for something unless he cancels it, with a message like: "We're confirming you've signed up for our dating service. You will be charged €2/day unless you cancel your order by clicking here: phonysite.com." Of course there are no pending charges, and the site you're directed to is completely fake, its goal being to collect your credit card number (which you will helpfully enter in order to "cancel" the charges), or install a bit of malware on your computer (or even, someday, on your phone).

Smishing messages may instead direct you to call a toll-free number in order to complete or cancel some financial transaction, the only difference being that a human operator will handily take down your credit card or bank account number for you, to save you the trouble of typing it online. Of course, the number you called is phony, too.

What should you do if you receive a message you fear is a smish attack? The answer should be pretty obvious but bears repeating: Virtually no credible financial institution, utility, or other business will communicate with you via SMS with the exception of your cell phone provider.

If you don't recognize the website or phone number being sent to you? Don't call it.
If you're worried about an upcoming charge, contact the service provider or bank directly via means you know are legitimate and ask them directly about the message. They'll likely tell you what you already know: Just ignore it.


Source: ZDNET/Yahoo/Wikipedia

maandag 4 mei 2009

Top 10 Economic Search Topics

As 2008 came to a close, the nation's economic turmoil battled with the presidential election for the hearts and wallets of searchers. In February, the Treasury Department announced it would be disbursing stimulus checks to boost economic activity and taxpayers clamored to know if the check was actually in the mail. The fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis hit Wall Street hard in October as the Dow Jones Industrials fell to its lowest point, producing the biggest point drop in the Dow's 112-year history. Gas prices marked the only silver lining, falling sharply late in the year after reaching all-time highs during the summer.

Here is the top 10 of Yahoo's Search Topics concerning the Economy


1. IRS Stimulus Checks

2. Oil Prices

3. Gold Prices

4. Gas Prices

5. Dow Jones

6. Sallie Mae

7. Stock Market

8. AIG

9. Foreclosures

10. Debt Consolidation

Kinderwagenkino in Berlin

Seit April 2006 sehen Junge Familien mit Babys aktuelle Kinofilme in kindgerechtem Ambiente. Der vormals geliebte Kinobesuch lässt sich bei jungen Eltern mit Babys oft nur noch schwer realisieren. Dass die neuen Familien von der (Kino)Welt nicht automatisch abgeschnitten sein müssen, beweist das Babylon.

In Zusammenarbeit mit IKEA Berlin startete das Filmtheater gegenüber der Volksbühne seit dem 2. April 2006 die neue Programmschiene „KinderWagenKino“. An jedem Mittwoch um 11 Uhr können Familien mit ihren Babys einen aktuellen Kinofilm sehen – ohne Angst haben zu müssen, dass die Kleinen durch die Lautstärke oder Lichtreflexe gestört werden. Besitzer der IKEA-FamilyCard zahlen nur 5,- Euro Eintritt, die Partner 2,50 Euro.

Die Kinderwagen werden im Kino geparkt, an der Kasse gibt es kostenlos Windeln und im Kinosaal werden die Filme bei verminderter Lautstärke vorgeführt, damit die empfindlichen Babyohren nicht geschädigt werden. Der Saal ist während der Vorführung leicht beleuchtet. Und auch ein Wickeltisch ist vorhanden.

„Die Idee des Kinderwagenkinos hat sich in Ländern wie Schweden oder den USA bereits fest etabliert. Und mit IKEA Berlin ist ein familienfreundlicher Partner mit im Boot“, so Timothy Grossman, zusammen mit Tobias Hackel Geschäftsführer des Traditionskinos.

Anders Klintborg von IKEA Berlin ergänzt: „IKEA ist aus Tradition familienfreundlich. Wir lieben kleine Kinder. Und wir lieben großes Kino. Kinderwagenkino gibt es in Schweden schon lange. Höchste Zeit also, diese wunderbare Idee auch in Berlin zu etablieren.

Using Baby Sign Language

Specialized sign language is sometimes used to communicate with infants and toddlers. While infants and toddlers have a desire to communicate their needs and wishes, they lack the ability to do so clearly because the production of speech lags behind cognitive ability in the first months and years of life.

Proponents of baby sign language say that this gap between desire to communicate and ability often leads to frustration and tantrums. Hand-eye coordination develops sooner than acquisition of verbal skills, allowing infants to learn simple signs for common words such as "eat", "sleep", "more", "hug", "play", "cookie", "teddy bear", before they are able to produce understandable speech

Proponents say that teaching sign language to infants improves communication skills between the child, parent, and other caregivers. Infants also quickly learn to match an item with a certain gesture, thus communicating what they are truly thinking, feeling, and needing.

Proponents say learning sign language promotes the development of language skills and reinforces language skills already developed. It increases the speed of spatial reasoning development as well as increasing early literacy skills. Babies who communicate through signs are much happier than babies or infants who do not. They are less likely to throw tantrums and in some cases develop a higher IQ. Giving children the power to communicate their wants and needs can help them develop self-esteem, social-emotional skills and an ability to communicate effectively. Proponents say it teaches infants how to start as well as engage in a conversation. Proponents say it creates feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Children can begin to learn sign language at between six and eight months of age. At this age, a baby can hold a gaze for a couple of seconds. Teaching usually starts with three to five signs. Because speaking remains a goal, words are usually used along with the signs. Eye contact and emphasis on the word also help.

Since the appropriate time to begin sign language instruction can vary, a good indication is when the baby begins to use or mimic simple hand motions like waving bye or hi. With consistent instruction, most babies will produce their first sign after 2 months, however, some babies have produced their first sign after just 2 weeks of instruction. It is best to start with a few basic signs that can be accompanied by a direct action or object for easier association. As the baby begins to sign some basic words and makes the connection that hand gestures convey a message, additional words can be added with greater ease as the baby will be more receptive and attentive to hand motions

Source: Wikipedia.org

zaterdag 2 mei 2009

Top Search for Dead Celebrities

2008 began with the unexpected death of actor Heath Ledger. Ledger's death launched the world into a stunned Search frenzy over the actor who showed promise of being a Hollywood great. His passing renewed searches for 25-year-old Brad Renfro, a child actor who died in a heroin overdose a week earlier.

Top 10 Send-Offs

1. Heath Ledger

2. Bernie Mac

3. Paul Newman

4. Randy Pausch

5. George Carlin

6. Estelle Getty

7. Tim Russert

8. Brad Renfro

9. Isaac Hayes

10. Boyd Coddington

What is the difference between United Kingdom and Great Britain?

what is the difference between the United Kingdom and Great Britain?

Many people wonder if there is a difference between Great Britain and the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom is made up of the countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its full name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Great Britain on the other hand comprises only England, Scotland and Wales. It is the largest island of the Britisch Isles. Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic form the second largest island.

Strangely enough, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom. They are largely self-governing with their own legislative assemblies and systems of law. The British government is, however, responsible for their defence and international relations.

Source: Wikipedia & The Foreign & Commonwealth Office

vrijdag 1 mei 2009

A Short Guide to the National Parks of Great Britain

Where are the National Parks of Great Britain?

National Parks aim both to protect the outstanding countryside within their boundaries and to provide opportunities for outside recreation for their many thousands of visitors each year.

There are seven National Parks in England: Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, North York Moors, Northumberland, the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales.

There are three National Parks in Wales: Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and the Pembrokeshire Coast that together account for about 20 percent of the total land area.

In Scotland there are four regional Parks - Loch Lomond, Fife, Clyde Muirsbrief, Pentland Hills - and 40 national Scenic Areas plus 77 national nature reserves

Religions in Britain

Which religions are represented in Britain?

Everyone in Britain has the right to religious freedom. Britain is predominantly Christian - one British citizen in 10 is a member of the Roman Catholic Church and there are 1.7 million members of the Presbyterian Chruch - the established church in Scotland. In Northern Ireland, about half the people regard themselves as Protestants and nearly 40 per cent as Roman Catholics

In Wales, the Anglican church was disestablished in 1920. This means that there i so one officially established church, but Methodistm and Baptism are the two most widespread religions.

Britain has one of the largest Muslim communities in Western Europe, estimated around 1.5 millon people, with over 600 mosques and prayer centres.

The Sikh community in Britain comprises between 400,000 and 500,000 people, with the largest groups of Sikhs concentrated in Greater London.

The Hindu community in Britain accounts for a further 320,000 people.

donderdag 30 april 2009

Ethnic minorities in Britain

Which are Britain's largest ethnic minorities groups?

The largest ethnic minorities in Britain are those of Caribbean or African descent (875,000 people). The next largest ethnic groups are Indians (850,000 people) and Pakistani and Bangladeshis (650,000 people). Overal, ethnic minority groups represent just under 6 per cent of the population of Great Britan. The ethnic population has evolved from the substantial immigration of people from former British colonies in the Caribbean and South Asian sub-continent during the 1950s and 1960s. In addition, in the 1970s Britain admitted some 28,000 Asians expelled from Uganda and some 22,000 refugees from South East Asia.

Considerable numbers of Chinese, Italians, Greek and Turkish Cypriots, Poles, Australians, New Zealanders and people from the United States and Canada are also resident in Britain.