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LETTER TO READERS October 20, 2008

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Dear readers,

Have you ever been trapped in your life or felt confused about which way to go?

So, welcome to the team! Most of us keep whingeing about minor problems when what really matters is how we can get rid of them.

Have you ever asked yourself ‘What could be improved?’ or ‘Where did I go wrong?’ Maybe many of our problems could be avoided if we had wondered about out own attitude.

Learning from our mistakes is fundamental because, as human beings, we should understand that learning is a process and not a matter of memorizing rules.

So, let us keep our chins up and look ahead! Let us not fear anything.

Priscila Raposo

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MEANINGFUL WORDS October 9, 2008

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‘Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.’

(John Winston Lennon 1940 – 1980)

DATES IN OCTOBER October 9, 2008

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October 1

VEGETARIAN DAY

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World vegetarian day has been observed since 1977 bringing together vegetarians from all over the world for a common cause. It brings awareness to the ethical, environmental, health and humanitarian benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle.

October 13

COLUMBUS DAY

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Columbus Day is celebrated in the United States to honor Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to America in 1492.
Columbus is the explorer who discovered America in that year.

Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy in 1451 to Domenico Columbo, a wool weaver. 

October 31

HALLOWEEN

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The term Halloween is shortened from All-hallow-evening, as it is the eve of “All Hallows’ Day”, which is now also known as All Saints’ Day.

Like other vigils, it was celebrated on the previous day if it fell on a Sunday, although secular celebrations of the holiday remained on the 31st. The Vigil was suppressed in 1955, but was later restored in the post-Vatican II calendar.

HAvE YOU HEARD OF THE NEWS? October 9, 2008

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China milk scare ‘under control’

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The Chinese tainted milk scandal is now under control, according to China’s chief food inspection official.

Mr Xiang Yuzhang gave his reassurance on the sidelines of a food safety conference held here in Beijing.

He said that the Chinese government had taken a series of strong measures to get to the bottom of the matter and that there were now no more problems.

More than 50,000 children were treated after they were fed on baby milk powder contaminated with melamine.

“As far as I know, there will be no more bad news,” Mr Xiang said.

The government says that it has sent more than 1,600 teams across the country to inspect dairy production plants.

The authorities have also detained several dozen people suspected of involvement in the supply of tainted milk.

Speaking in New York, China’s premier Wen Jiabao insisted that his government would take measures to improve product quality and food safety in China in a fundamental way.

Extinct tortoise ‘can live again’

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An extinct Galapagos tortoise species could walk again, scientists believe.

Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers report finding relatives of Geochelone elephantopus alive and well.

Cross-breeding these living tortoises might re-create the extinct species – though it could take a century.

The distribution of related tortoises between the islands was one of the pieces of evidence Charles Darwin used in formulating his theory of evolution.

But of 15 known Galapagos species, four have since gone extinct – elephantopus less than two decades after Darwin visited the island.

Now, according to Gisella Caccone from Yale University in New Haven, US, there is a chance that its former island home of Floreana could one day feel its footsteps again.

“We might need three or four generations to do this,” she told BBC News.

“But in theory it could be done, and I think it’s pretty exciting to bring back from the dead a genome that we thought was gone.”

CULTURE CORNER October 9, 2008

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(by Priscila Raposo)

7 Things To Do In Europe That Will Make You Smarter

Combining academia with cultural immersion: surely this is the ultimate education? We strained our brains and came up with a list that balances lessons and leisure to turn you into a European scholar du jour.

1. Learn to sail a Yacht in Greece.

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Improve your motor skills and hand eye coordination and learn to sail a yacht around Greece.

2. Sit in Freud’s waiting room and peruse his books.

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The Sigmund Freud Museum in Austria is rather unsure of the best way of directing you around, but all you need to do to feel intellectual, is take a seat in the waiting room that launched an entire school of psychology. Select a book, sit back, and soak it up.

If there is anywhere one should stroll around, pontificating, it is beneath the Acropolis and amongst world famous ancient ruins, upon which walked some of the greatest thinkers to ever live. You’ll be philosophizing before you know it.

3. Learn to cook in Sicily.

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Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean basin, is famous for its citrus fruit, desserts and for being strategically placed in the trade routes throughout history.

Its cuisine is a fantastic fusion of cultural influences, from the various foreign populations that have surrounded and, at times, dominated it.

4. Bow to the Humble Walking Tour in Berlin.

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When it comes to cities with starring roles in Modern history, Berlin is the Oscar Winner.

Swallow your pride and book into a walking tour. They’re free, comprehensive and incredibly informative.

The guides are passionate and multilingual and you will be moved to tears on the steps of the Old National Gallery during the final speech.

5. Perfect Your Palette with a Wine Tasting Tour in France.

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Everyone wants to be the person people look to when ordering the wine for dinner, especially if you earned your (red, white and blue) stripes in France.

Book yourself into a Wine Tasting Tour in the land of Bordeux and Burgandy and improve your mind and your palette.

6. Brew your Signature Scent in Cologne.

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Take a fragrant chemistry lesson and walk away with your own personal signature scent. Learn the art behind the making of perfume, the different families, and how to distinguish an eau de cologne from an eau de toilette.

7. Take The Pub Crawl of Intellectuals in Dublin.

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What if you could walk away from a pub crawl with your brain cell count not only intact, but potentially multiplied? Is that even possible, I hear you ask? Some of the best writers to have ever lived would argue, absolutely, so why not give it a go?

Follow the trail of literary luminaries and drink in their favourite watering holes as actors perform scenes from their most famous works.

So there you have it. Learn to sail, cook and write, whilst sampling the finest wines and walking in the footsteps of humanity’s finest thinkers, from Socrates to Oscar Wilde. Learn by osmosis or get your hands dirty, either way, you’ll be the person at dinner parties that everyone wants to talk to.

Form of Passive October 9, 2008

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clip_image001[8]Passive voice is used when the focus is on the action. It is not important or not known, however, who or what is performing the action.

Example: My bike was stolen.

In the example above, the focus is on the fact that my bike was stolen. I do not know, however, who did it.

Sometimes a statement in passive is more polite than active voice, as the following example shows:

Example: A mistake was made.

In this case, I focus on the fact that a mistake was made, but I do not blame anyone (e.g. You have made a mistake.).

Form of Passive

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Subject + finite form of to be + Past Participle (3rd column of irregular verbs)

Example: A letter was written.

When rewriting active sentences in passive voice, note the following:

  • the object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence
  • the finite form of the verb is changed (to be + past participle)
  • the subject of the active sentence becomes the object of the passive sentence (or is dropped)

 

Passive Sentences with Two Objects

Rewriting an active sentence with two objects in passive voice means that one of the two objects becomes the subject, the other one remains an object. Which object to transform into a subject depends on what you want to put the focus on.

 

As you can see in the examples, adding by Rita does not sound very elegant. That’s why it is usually dropped.

Personal and Impersonal Passive

Personal Passive simply means that the object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence. So every verb that needs an object (transitive verb) can form a personal passive.

Example: They build houses. – Houses are built.

Verbs without an object (intransitive verb) normally cannot form a personal passive sentence (as there is no object that can become the subject of the passive sentence). If you want to use an intransitive verb in passive voice, you need an impersonal construction – therefore this passive is called Impersonal Passive.

Example: he says – it is said

Impersonal Passive is not as common in English as in some other languages (e.g. German, Latin). In English, Impersonal Passive is only possible with verbs of perception (e. g. say, think, know).

Example: They say that women live longer than men. – It is said that women live longer than men.

Although Impersonal Passive is possible here, Personal Passive is more common.

Example: They say that women live longer than men. – Women are said to live longer than men.

The subject of the subordinate clause (women) goes to the beginning of the sentence; the verb of perception is put into passive voice. The rest of the sentence is added using an infinitive construction with ‘to’ (certain auxiliary verbs and that are dropped).

Sometimes the term Personal Passive is used in English lessons if the indirect object of an active sentence is to become the subject of the passive sentence.

ENGLISH 4 FUN October 9, 2008

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(by Zeek)

Q. Why can’t a Skeleton Lift Weights?

A. He’s all bone & no muscle.

Q. Who was the most famous skeleton detective?

A. Sherlock Bones.

Q. What do the skeletons say be for eating?

A. Bone appetite

Q. Why didn’t the skeleton dance at the party?

A. He had no body to dance with.

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Q. What do you give a skeleton for valentine’s day?

A. Bone-bones in a heart shaped box.

Q. Why did the skeleton cross the road?

A. To go to the body shop.

Q. Who was the most famous French skeleton?

A. Napoleon bone-apart

Q. Why did the skeleton go disco dancing?

A. to see the boogy man.

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Q. What instrument do skeletons play?

A: Trom-BONE.

Q: Why did’t the skeleton cross the road?

A: He had no guts.

Q. What kind of key does a skeleton use?

A. A skeleton key.

Q. Why didn’t the skeleton go to see a scary movie?

A. He didn’t have the guts.

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Q. Why do skeletons drink milk?

A. To help their bones!

Q. What is a Skeleton’s favorite song.

A. Bad to the Bone

Q. What’s a skeletons favorite part of the house?

A. the living room

Q. Why didn’t the skeleton go to the halloween party?

A. Becuse he had no body to go with

MUSICALICIOUS October 9, 2008

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(by Zeek)

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R.E.M – Hollow man

I’ve been lost inside my head 
Echoes fall off me 
I took the prize last night 
for complicated mess 
for saying things I didn’t mean 
and don’t believe 
Believe in me 
Believe in nothing 
Corner me 
And make me something 
I’ve become the hollow man 
have I become the hollow man I see? 
I see this echoing 
You had placed your trust in me 
I went upside down 
I emptied out the room in thirty seconds left 
I can’t believe you held your ground 
Believe in me 
Believe in nothing 
Corner me 
And make me something 
I’ve become the hollow man 
have I become the hollow man I see? 
I’m overwhelmed 
I’m on repeat 
I’m emptied out 
I’m incomplete 
You trusted me 
I want to show you 
I don’t want to be the hollow man 
Believe in me 
Believe in nothing 
Corner me 
And make me something 
I’ve become the hollow man 
have I become the hollow man I see?

REM – O homem insincero
Eu tenho estado perdido
dentro da minha cabeça
Ecos caem em mim
Eu peguei
A noite sem preço
da bagunça complicada
Coisas persuadidas 
Eu não digo
Eu não acredito
Acredite em mim
Não acredite em nada
me coloque em um canto
e me faça alguma coisa
Eu tenho me tornado
O homem insincero, eu
Eu tenho me tornado
o homem insincero eu vejo
Oh, eu vejo esse eco
você tem existência 
sua crença em mim
eu fiquei de ponta cabeça
eu desocupei o quarto
30 segundos abandonados
eu não posso acreditar
você agarrou sua razão
Acredite em mim
Não acredite em nada
me coloque em um canto
e me faça alguma coisa
Eu tenho me tornado
o homem insincero, eu
eu tenho me tornado
o homem insincero eu vejo 
Eu estou muito oprimido
estou em uma repetição
eu estou vazio
estou incompleto
você crê em mim
eu quero te mostrar
eu não quero ser
o homem insincero
Acredite em mim
não acredite em nada
me coloque em um canto
e me faça alguma coisa
eu tenho me tornado
o homem insincero, eu
eu tenho me tornado

WHAT’S ON? October 9, 2008

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(by Leonardo Magalhães)

Blindness

A powerful story

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This year, people have been talking about the white sickness all over the place, which represents a strong metaphorical image of life values and morals out here in our world…José Saramago´s novel “Ensaio Sobre a Cegueira” is now on the screen and the tension has begun to spread due to the epidemic effect of Blindness. Fernando Meirelles and all the actors involved in the movie have worked really hard to make a fantanstic movie (it is a fantastic film)! 
Meirelles has done a splendid job transmitting the pain and urgency of the blindness spread, especially by making the scenes plain white. Brazil took a great part in the film; São Paulo appeared to be ruined, civilization had been broken apart, justice and security diminished, human beings gone out of control, human beings got all lost in life until savageness invaded the world where horrible actions had been talking place and people were locked in anger, aggression, suffering dismay and despair.  Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo together with the others in the cast interpreted characters, mysteriously with no names, fantastically truthful. It was interesting how it was all related to the eyesight…Sometimes…Many times…Very often actually, we are blinded by our own flaws…

IT’S ALL ABOUT COOKING! October 9, 2008

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BAKED POTATOES

Potatoes are baked then scooped out, mashed and seasoned, then spooned back into the shells. Scroll down to see similar potato recipes.

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Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

· 4 large baking potatoes, about 2 pounds

· 4 tablespoons softened butter or margarine

· 3/4 cup sour cream

· 3/4 teaspoon salt

· 1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper

· Paprika

· shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

Preparation:

Scrub potatoes and pat dry. Bake in a 350° oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until cooked through and tender. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp and mash or put through a ricer. Beat in butter, sour cream, salt and pepper. Pile potato mixture back into only 6 of the shells. Sprinkle with shredded cheese then sprinkle with paprika. Bake in a 425° oven for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and potatoes are heated through. Baked stuffed potato recipe serves 6.