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LETTER TO READERS May 20, 2009

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Dear all,

It is known that the world is going through harsh times and that something, we do not know exactly what, has come to definitely change the way people think, behave, act and react.

In times of recession, the winners are those who are able to maintain the positive attitude to life. Myth has it that we are what we think we are and I truly believe that the Universe blows positive winds towards for those who do not throw in the towel soon.

In times of change we are not given the right to hesitate and give up the fight. In the face of adversity we are to rethink our values and focus on our goals if we want to change habits at all. John Dryden once said

“We first make our habits, then our habits make us”

Fantasizing is important because it takes us to a temporarily unreal reality and prepares our mind to accept opportunity when it arrives. Without this preparation we would not recognize(s) opportunity.

Fantasizing before the opportunity is the difference between can-do leaders and followers. It prepares people for the day when dreams come true.

                              Are you ready?

                                                                                                           Priscila Raposo

MEANINGFUL WORDS May 20, 2009

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“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Barack Obama

(President of the United States of America)

HOLIDAYS May 20, 2009

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Memorial Day

(Last Monday in May)

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It was 1866 and the United States was recovering from the long and bloody Civil War between the North and the South. Surviving soldiers came home, all with stories to tell. Henry Welles, a drugstore owner in Waterloo, New York, heard the stories and had an idea. He suggested that all the shops in town close for one day to honor the soldiers who were killed in the Civil War and were buried in the Waterloo cemetery.

On the morning of May 5, the townspeople placed flowers, wreaths and crosses on the graves of the Northern soldiers in the cemetery. At about the same time, Retired Major General Jonathan A. Logan planned another ceremony, this time for the soldiers who survived the war. He led the veterans through town to the cemetery to decorate their comrades’ graves with flags. It was not a happy celebration, but a memorial. The townspeople called it Decoration Day.

Flag Day

(June 14)

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Americans take the treatment of their flag seriously and in the 20th century this has become an important issue. Included in the code of ethics are such rules as the national flag cannot be used for advertising. It cannot cover a monument or any ceilings. It must not be folded while being displayed. No one should write on an American flag. Ships can lower their flags slightly in greeting each other, but otherwise should not be dipped for any other object or person.

HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE NEWS? May 20, 2009

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Airline shares hit by flu fears

clip_image001The flu outbreak is causing global alarm

Shares in airlines and travel firms have fallen sharply around the world on concerns about the economic impact of the swine flu outbreak.

With the outbreak in Mexico spreading to the US and Canada, shares in cruise ship operator Carnival were down 7.7%, while British Airways had fallen 7.4%.

Earlier, shares in airlines Qantas and Cathay Pacific had fallen.

Investors fear the flu outbreak may lead to people cancelling overseas trips, or even travel restrictions.

Real concern

Analysts said investors were more cautious than panicked, but still concerned that if the outbreak worsened, especially in the US, it could potentially derail economic recovery efforts.

“In essence, this is an already dangerous time for financial markets so to have this spectre developing right now is just cause for some very real concern,” said analyst James Hughes of CMC Markets.

Health emergency

The UK’s main FTSE 100 index was down 0.7%, or 30 points, at 4,126 in morning trading, while Germany’s Dax had lost 1.6%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng share index had earlier ended down 2.7%, with shares in Cathay Pacific losing 8%.

In Australia, shares in Qantas ended down 3.5%.

US soy and corn prices have also fallen on fears that the flu outbreak will cause a slump in demand for pork products, which would hit demand for animal feed.

Meanwhile, Russia has already introduced bans on meat imports from North and Latin America.

However, despite the name “swine flu”, the new strain is not infecting pigs.

The World Health Organization has declared the flu a “public health emergency of international concern”, warning that it could spark a pandemic, or global outbreak.

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Shares in airlines have fallen around the world

CULTURE CORNER May 20, 2009

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(by Priscila Raposo)

The Vikings: 8th – 10th century AD

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In 793 the monks on the island of Lindisfarne, off the northeast coast of England, are unpleasantly surprised by the arrival of violent raiders from the sea. Their misfortune is the first clearly dated event in the saga of the Vikings – the last and most dramatic exodus in the long story of migration from Scandinavia, the original home of the Goths and Vandals.
The word Viking is Scandinavian for ‘pirate’, and it accurately describes the Norsemen who for two centuries raid the coasts of Britain and of northwest France. But in many places the Scandinavians also settle – in the islands of the north Atlantic, in the British Isles, in Normandy, in Sicily and in the very heart of Russia.

It is impossible to assign the various Viking groups at all precisely to places of origin. But broadly speaking, adventurers from the coast of Norway raid the north of England and continue round the Scottish coast to Ireland. Vikings from the same region later settle in the Scottish islands, Iceland and parts of Ireland.
The Vikings invading eastern Britain and northwest France, and eventually settling in both regions, come mainly from Denmark. The Swedes raid across the Baltic and penetrate deep into Russia as traders.

 

DID YOU KNOW..?

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…that Viking raiders founded Dublin during the 9th century?

…that About the year 1000, the Viking boarded a fleet of 80 “dragon ships,” which carried 100 soldiers, and launched an attack on Britain.

…that the largest slave market in the world belonged to the Vikings who resided in Dublin?

…that a Viking chief dreaded dying in peace within the comforts of his own bed? This was considered one of the worst ways to die for this group of people.

GRAMMAR LIFTING May 20, 2009

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(by Ecleia Fernandes/ Barbie)

Tips for Learning English

Learning any new language takes a lot of dedication, practice and time. But all of that pays off when you are able to express yourself in an exciting new way. Learning English has limitless advantages. Job markets increase, grades go up and new friends are made. You will benefit greatly from learning English simply because so many people speak the English language. New horizons and opportunities will expand before your eyes. Use the following tips to help you in your language learning process.

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  • Have desire –Want to learn a new language. Learning English requires a lot of study and dedication. Only true desire will keep you motivated.
  • Know your motive –Why do you want to learn English? Is it to help you in school, your business or something else? Identify your reason and remember it when you are having a hard time.
  • Set goals –Set goals for yourself whether it be learning twenty words a week or giving a presentation in English at work next month. Goals will keep you motivated.
  • Study a little each day –Studying formally for at least 30–60 minutes a day will help you retain what you learn. At the beginning of each study session, review what you learned in the lesson before.
  • Make a set study schedule –Set aside a specific time for study each day. That way you are less likely to skip your lessons.
  • Study out loud –Pronounce the words out loud to yourself as you study. You will remember them more easily and you will be able to practice your pronunciation at the same time.
  • Use different learning methods –Language can be learned through different activities such as speaking, reading, writing, and associating pictures with words. Find out which method works best for you and use a variety of other methods for practice.
  • Practice speaking –Practice the language you have learned as much as possible.
  • Don’t be afraid –Never be afraid to try speaking to other people even if you don’t know everything. They will appreciate your efforts.
  • Surround Yourself –Surround yourself with English. Read it, listen to it, watch it and speak it with others.
  • Listen to native speakers –Pay careful attention to native speakers using English. Observe the way they pronounce the words and how they use them.
  • Pronunciation is key –Imitate native English sounds as closely as you can. The more closely you pronounce words like native speakers, the better you will be understood.
  • Use good resources –Use dictionaries, workbooks, software and any other resource that will allow you to practice and expand your language.
  • Use what you know –Even if you know relatively little English, you should use what you know. You will be surprised at how much you can communicate with a few words or phrases.
  • Speed it up –Get used to listening to the language at normal speed. It will seem fast at first, but the more you know, the more it will sound normal.
  • Don’t get stuck –If you don’t know a certain word, work your way around it. Use different words and actions to explain it, but don’t give up.
  • Have fun! –Learning a new language is fun and exciting. Recognize your progress and use your language for ultimate enjoyment.

ENGLISH 4 FUN May 20, 2009

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(by Zeek)

My Mother Taught Me About…


1. My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION…
“Just wait until your father gets home.”
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2. My Mother taught me about RECEIVING….
“You are going to get it when we get home!”
3. My Mother taught me to MEET A CHALLENGE…
“What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you! Don’t talk back to me!”
4. My Mother taught me LOGIC…
“If you fall out off that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”
5. My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE…
“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way.”
6. My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD…
“If you don’t pass your spelling test, you’ll never get a good job.”
7. My Mother taught me HUMOR…
“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”
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8. My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT…
“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”
9. My Mother taught me about GENETICS…
“You’re just like your father.”
10. My Mother taught me about my ROOTS…
“Do you think you were born in a barn?”
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11. My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE…
“When you get to be my age, you will understand.”
And last but not least…
12. My Mother taught me about JUSTICE…
“One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you….Then you’ll see what it’s like!”

LET’S GET FLUENT? May 20, 2009

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(by Amoretinha)

Can you call it a name?

Lately the press has been talking a lot about Edmar Moreira and his castle; therefore a lot of students have been asking how to say “deputado” in English. Well, political position is usually really difficult to translate, since it changes from country to country; we all know, for example, that in the UK they do not have “president”; thus, if you are to mention Mr. Moreira case using the English language, you cannot say he is a “deputy”, since it means someone who is directly below another person in rank, and who is officially in charge when that person is not there, commonly translated to Portuguese as “substituto”, “suplente”, “adjunto”, “vice” and even “assistente”. So it is really common to hear “Deputy Sheriff”, sometimes only “Deputy” meaning “Xerife Adjunto”. You can also hear “Deputy Director” and “Deputy Governor”, as examples of “vice

Ok, I know I did not solve the problem if you are to talk about the owner of that beautiful castle in Brazil; if you are talking to an American, you would definitely have to say “Representative” or “Congressman”; however, if you are talking to a British person, you would say “Member of the Parliament” or simply MP, even though in a lot of coutries he would be called other names…

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WHAT’S ON? May 20, 2009

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(by Leonardo Magalhães)

An Actor’s Work

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A true actor is one of those brilliant-minded people in the world that undertake a lot of hard work highlighting discipline and creativity with the power of love and passion.

A true actor abundantly brings the warm-hearted pleasure, with his or her heart beating with joy, and who is honoured to accept such great merit from the world.

Bright actors are those who are talented and wise, who broaden their horizons beyond the stars throughout the vast universe so beautiful and admirable.

The actor then sells himself or herself as a genius, as he or she has managed to master the varieties of different souls in different forms of expression, through every experience out there… Most importantly, he or she is unlimited, in that he or she never stops learning. Therefore, good wisdom only burgeons for the best of spiritual beings.

When an actor gets prepared, he or she researches a character both physically and mentally, taking the risk needed for success. The actor then begins to build up the character through contact with nature and the infinite imagination… There are jungles to be explored and mountains to be climbed… the path for bringing laughter and emotional feelings, the unique values from life and a simple pastime to enjoy life. After all, it’s all magical.

That’s the true art of representation.

WE WILL ROCK YOU May 20, 2009

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(by Samara)

Have you ever heard of Amy?

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Britney Spears has just filmed her new music video entitled If you Seek Amy. Now you ask me…so, what’s up with that? The thing is Britney is again causing a stir in the US because of the lyrics to If You Seek Amy. In early January the pop princess announced this would be the third single from her current album named Circus, causing a great number of US radio stations to threaten to ban the track from being broadcast across the country. At first glance, the lyrics seem to be just another pop tune that does not make any sense at all…until you arrange them phonetically. The chorus features the phrase Love me, hate me, say what you want about me, but all of the boys and all of the girls are begging to if you seek Amy. Got it? No? Ok…try saying If You Seek Amy a little faster. The phrase if you seek Amy turns into the spelled alphabet letters to the ‘f-word’. Shocker!!

That is why, in order not to be banned from radio stations, Britney and her record label dropped the ‘k’ of the word seek and now fans can sing to a more polite version called If You See Amy without any harms, puns or bad words. Although the lyrics were altered after the uproar, the music video below, in an attempt to criticize the so-called perfect American wife, shows Britney singing the original verses to If You Seek Amy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FehBgQeVKFQ