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CULTURE CORNER July 21, 2009

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(by Priscila Raposo)

Manners are Important
DON’TS (Taboos) in England

Do not greet people with a kiss:
We only kiss people who are close friends and relatives.

Avoid talking loudly in public

It is impolite to stare at anyone in public.
Privacy is highly regarded.

Do not ask a lady her age
It is considered impolite to ask a lady her age

Do not pick your nose in public:
We are disgusted by this. If your nostrils need de-bugging, use a handkerchief.

Avoid doing gestures such as backslapping and hugging
This is only done among close friends.

Do not spit.
Spitting in the street is considered to be very bad mannered.

Do not burp in public
You may feel better by burping loudly after eating or drinking, but other people will not! If you can not stop a burp from bursting out, then cover your mouth with your hand and say ‘excuse me’ afterwards.

Do not pass wind in public
Now how can we say this politely? Let’s say that you want to pass wind. What do you do? Go somewhere private and let it out. If you accidentally pass wind in company say ‘pardon me’.

HAvE YOU HEARD OF THE NEWS? July 21, 2009

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Audio slideshow: Man on the Moon

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In July 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong’s ‘giant leap for mankind’ was watched by millions of people around the world.

The BBC’s aerospace correspondent at the time, Reg Turnill, reported on the Apollo 11 launch from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, and later from Mission Control near Houston, Texas.

He is now retired, but here – with the help of archive material from the mission, and the US and UK number one records from that week – he recalls how NASA rose to the challenge of putting man on the Moon.

For further information visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8152161.stm

HOLIDAYS July 21, 2009

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Independence Day

4th of July

U.S.A.

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This is a national holiday in the United States, in commemoration of the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain.

Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States.

 

Summer Bank Holiday

August 31st

U.K.

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In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the summer bank holiday is on the last Monday in August, while in Scotland it is on the first Monday of August.

This day marks the end of the summer holidays for many people who return to work or school in the autumn.

MEANINGFUL WORDS July 21, 2009

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“An eye for eye only ends up making

the whole world blind.

(Gandhi)

LETTER TO READERS July 21, 2009

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Dear readers

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Half the year has gone and I would like to invite you all to think things over a bit.

The Earth is walking down the path of evolution and it is about time we became better people.

As a wise Brazilian writer, Machado de Assis, once said, ‘Forgetting is a need. Life is like a blackboard, in which destiny has to clean it up before writing down a new story.’

Up to a point, I agree…it is necessary to forget what has gone if we want to believe in a new start for things. Becoming better people involves understanding, forgiving, silencing, watching, learning, teaching.

Making a difference is just for the few who can be concerned about others, offer a helping hand, a shoulder for one to cry on. Making a difference is for those who have the eyes to see, the soul to feel and the will to give.

It is definitely time to give, to help, to renew, to recycle. Recycling is recreating. Recycling values, beliefs and attitudes.

So let’s rethink our values and not be afraid of making the same old mistakes. Let’s do as Albert Einstein once inspired us: ‘One who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new’.

Priscila Raposo

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.