terça-feira, 20 de dezembro de 2011

Barcelona crowned World Cup champions in Japan after beating Santos 4-0

BARCELONA were crowned FIFA Club World Cup champions in Japan yesterday after hammering Santos 4-0 in the final.
And Barca coach Pep Guardiola dedicated the win to injured striker David Villa, who broke his left leg in the semi-final on Thursday.

Argentine star Lionel Messi scored two goals with Xavi and former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas also on target.

Guardiola said: "I want to dedicate this victory to Villa.

"His injury was the most unfortunate thing of this tournament, but I am sure that he will return to the team soon.

"My players were like artists. Whatever they envisaged in their minds they were able to do on the pitch.

"It was an incredible performance."

Extracted from The Sun

quarta-feira, 14 de dezembro de 2011

Five predictions for the communications world in 2012

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer faces a cruacial year in 2012. Photograph: Paul Sakuma/AP
In the coming year, mobile internet devices and in particular smartphones will continue to bring the biggest changes to the way we communicate. For the first time, they will also change the way we do business.

As adoption of the recession-defying smartphone tips from 40% to 60% in the UK next year, these devices will morph from communication tools to become platforms for commercial activity, with eBay already reporting a mobile retail rush this Christmas.

And while many of us will be tempted to spend more, young tech-native users will find ways to save money by driving the explosion in free voice and messaging applications.

With these thoughts in mind, here are my five predictions for the communications industry in 2012.

1. Mobile retail

This was the year mobile retail entered the mainstream, and eBay tells the story. In 2010, its global sales via mobile tripled to $2bn (£1.3bn). The prediction for 2011 has been revised up from $4bn to $5bn.

More than 170,000 UK shoppers spend more than £30 using eBay's mobile app every week. On Cyber Monday, the peak day for online Christmas shopping in the US three times more people turned to eBay subsidiary PayPal's mobile app this year than last. Shoppers on the internet auction site have bought homes and even a £70,000 Ferrari from their phones.

Christmas shoppers were predicted to spend 12% of their £13.4bn online pounds on mobiles in the UK this year, according to the Centre for Retail Research, which thinks that by 2015, a quarter of online purchases will be made on mobiles.

2. Mobile wallets

Swiping phones at public transport ticket barriers instead of travel cards, or at shop tills instead of debit cards, redeeming electronic coupons in-store, scanning barcodes to compare prices ... mobile phone networks have been talking about turning these ideas into reality for years.

But Google is making it happen. This summer Google Wallet opened to the general public in the US, and the company hopesto bring it to Europe next year, beginning with the UK.

PayPal has similar designs, as do the mobile phone networks. This Christmas, Amazon had bricks and mortar retailers choking on their tinsel with the offer of a 5% discount for items scanned in physical shops using its price comparison barcode scanner, which runs on smartphones.

In the developing world, phones are being used not just as wallets but as a first bank account. Migrant workers are sending billions home using mobile phone money transfer services. Juniper Research says that $55bn will be sent in 2016, up from just under $12bn this year.

3. Change at the top

Seats are being reserved in the last chance saloon for two of technology's biggest chieftains: Sony Group's Sir Howard Stringer and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer.

A former CBS journalist who went on to run Sony's American business, including the record label and film studio, Stringer has made it his mission knit the conglomerate into a coherent entity.

During his six year reign he has scored individual hits with PlayStation games consoles, Bravia television sets, Vaio laptops and the Spider-Man films. But not all these initiatives have been profitable and the benefits of making both the content and the gadgets to consume it with have yet to materialise.

This year, Stringer had hoped to announce a $2bn annual profit. Thanks to Japan's Tsunami and a sluggish global economy, he reported a $3.1bn net loss, the biggest for 16 years.

Kazuo Hirai, credited with masterminding PlayStation's success and now corporate executive officer at group level, is the heir apparent.

2012 is also a crucial year for Ballmer. He has so far failed to catch up with Google on search advertising, and has yet to make an impact on smartphones.

None of this has mattered so long as Microsoft remained unchallenged on PCs, controlling 80% of the market. Ballmer's problem is that PCs are being challenged, by smartphones and tablets.

When Windows 8 is released later in 2012, billions of Ballmer customers will ask themselves whether to spend money updating an old computer, or buy a new one. Microsoft word processing, spreadsheets and email are very sticky services, but many people may opt for a tablet rather than a laptop, and Apple dominates the tablet market.

4. Free phone calls and messages

On personal computers and increasingly on phones, young technology natives and those who watch their pennies are finding ways to get something for virtually nothing.

Skype video phoning is a daily activity for schoolchildren. With a BlackBerry and a £10 a month Sim-only contract, messages are free and unlimited. If all your friends are messaging, there is no need to spend any money at all on calls and texts.

For those who can't do without, there are endless applications which cut the phone bill by pushing the traffic onto the internet. WhatsApp is used to send 1bn messages a day. Viber, with free international calls and texts, has been downloaded 30m times. Video calling app Tango has 20m users.

These services have arrived and are becoming mainstream. Good for consumers, bad for mobile network company revenues.

5. Apple TV

Nobody really knows what it will look like, but Apple TV is coming next year. A factory in Japan is being retooled to produce it, and unlike current Apple television gadgets, which hook up your existing box to the internet, this one will have a screen.

It will turn the iPhone into a remote control, and may also respond to hand gestures and voice commands. In 2012, shouting at the TV could take on a whole new meaning.

Juliette Garside
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 13 December 2011 11.28 GMT
Article history

segunda-feira, 12 de dezembro de 2011

Amy Winehouse's Lioness tops UK album chart

Amy Winehouse's Lioness tops UK album chart

The album features 12 original tracks and covers
Continue reading the main story
Related Stories

Amy Winehouse's posthumous album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, has topped the UK album chart.

The record, which features 12 original tracks and covers, was compiled by long-time musical partners Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson.

Proceeds from the album will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.

A coroner ruled the singer, who was found dead in her London flat on 23 July, died as a result of drinking too much alcohol.

A verdict of misadventure was recorded after the inquest heard the singer had 416mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

The first single from Winehouse's album, Our Day Will Come, also entered the singles chart at 29.

Producer Mark Ronson, who co-produced the star's breakthrough album Back To Black, said Lioness was "an insight into the songs she loved".

"She really was an encyclopaedia of these old jazz and soul standards," he told BBC Breakfast. "She could pick up a guitar and play any of them."

Ronson said he had initially refused to work on the tribute album.

"I didn't know if they necessarily needed what I had to give and it was a bit soon for me to spend that time listening to her voice on a loop, like you do when you're in a studio working on a record.

"Then I heard this vocal she'd recorded for Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow and I thought, 'this is really special and I want to be a part of this and make one more piece of something magical with Amy.'

Extracted from BBC News

terça-feira, 6 de dezembro de 2011

Why Learn English Language?

Whatever the reason you have to learn English, you will never regret to have done it. English is one of the moist widely language spoken around the world as well as the most taught. Many people learn English as their foreign or second language and it is the lingua franca of business. If you learn English, you will be able to get ahead professionally. Employers usually value their employees who handle many foreign languages. The following list shows some of the main reason why learn English language is very important today.


Many books, newspapers, airports and air-traffic control, technology, sports, pop music and advertising have the English as the dominant language.

In general, the universal language on the Internet is the English.

The majority of the electronically stored information around the world is in English.

English is one of the easiest languages to learn and to use for its simple alphabet, easy words, short words and easy plurals.

You can travel to any English speaking country without the need of have a translator. Usually, if you don't know the language your trip would be hard and maybe you wouldn't enjoy it.

Nowadays in the competitive job market it is necessary to speak English. So if you learn English you will have a better chance of getting a job that pays more.

Learn English will help you to communicate with relatives, in-laws or friends who speak a different language. English is also helpful if you are going to move to a different country because it is a “global language”.

A lot of educational information is in English; therefore to have access to this material or maybe communicate with other students it is necessary to have knowledge of English.

It is necessary to learn English if you are planning to study at a foreign university or school. Usually many educational institutions will provide you preparatory courses to improve your English language skills but you have to have at least a medium level of knowledge.

sexta-feira, 2 de dezembro de 2011

Rio’s Museum of Tomorrow

Rio’s Museum of Tomorrow

By Sunshine Flint - BBC

The Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow), designed by Santiago Calatrava.

The architectural stakes have been heating up in Rio de Janeiro since Brazil won hosting duties for both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow), designed by Santiago Calatrava is part of that excitement, and is one of the many projects bringing a new civic aesthetic to Rio’s harbour front.
Set on Pier Mauro, jutting into the bay, the museum has a long, white carapace that is segmented and airy at the same time. The sustainable building is part of the $5 billion Brazilian real “Marvelous Port” project that will revitalize Rio’s urban waterfront district. Recently discovered remains of a 19th-century wharf where enslaved people from Africa were held and sold will be preserved as part of the project. Surrounded by pools of recycled rainwater and five-and-a-half acres of gardens, the building’s roof will have photovoltaic panels that will follow the sun throughout the course of the day. The museum will focus on science, and on the sustainable and ecological future of 2061, 50 years from the museum’s 2011 ground breaking. Containing 5,000sqm of exhibition space, exhibitions are expected to feature technologies that will shape our future and the future of the planet. The museum should be completed by 2012 when it will host the UN Earth Summit “Rio + 20”.
Calatrava has also proposed dismantling an elevated highway along the water and extending a plaza nearby, although this has not yet been approved by city officials.

sexta-feira, 25 de novembro de 2011

Mini guide to Vermont, USA

Vermont’s rolling farmland, emblazoned with fall foliage, yields rich and varied produce. (Mark Newman/LPI)

Vermont is a slice of “Old World” New England with sleepy pre-Revolution towns, green mountains and rolling farmland stretching to the Canadian border. And with maple syrup, artisan cheeses and microbreweries, it’s a culinary force to be reckoned with.

Created in 1910, the Long Trail is a 250-mile north-south path and the USA’s first long-distance hiking route. Day hikers enjoy the views from the Green Mountain National Forest. The Green Mountain Club visitor centre has routes (00 1 802 244 7037).
Snow Farm Winery, situated on the island of South Hero in Lake Champlain, is Vermont’s first vineyard. You can sample its much-vaunted whites or an ice wine – a dessert wine made from grapes frozen on the vine. The vineyard hosts free concerts in summer (00 1 802 372 9463; open May-Dec).
Vermont has more craft brewers per person than any other state – the Magic Hat Brewery in Burlington is possibly the most celebrated and eccentric. Their “Artifactory” tour ends with the chance to try seasonal and experimental concoctions (00 1 802 658 2739; free).
The Robert Frost Stone House Museum in Shaftesbury was once the great poet’s home. And just a short distance away is the picturesque town, Old Bennington, where Frost is buried (museum closed December-April and Mondays; £3).
From anti-Vietnam War to nuclear disarmament demonstrations, the folks from the Bread and Puppet Museum in Glover have been staging politically charged, life-size puppetry performances for decades (00 1 802 525 301; 753 Heights Road, Glover; closed Sun; free).
Eat and drink
Vermont’s finest producers gather every Saturday at Burlington Farmer’s Market. As well as vegetables, artisan cheeses and meats, many stalls offer soups, stews and breakfast sandwiches (8:30am-2pm; cakes from £4.50).
One of Burlington’s most experimental restaurants, the Bluebird Tavern might offer smoked fallow deer or mussels with smoked almonds on its menu. There’s also live music (00 1 802 540 1786; dishes from £7).
One of the best restaurants in the state, Pangea in North Bennington mixes and matches New England produce with more international influences. Try the grilled mahi-mahi with ginger broth or Maryland-style crab cake with remoulade (00 1 802 442 7171; mains from £11).
A teaching kitchen for the New England Culinary Institute, Montpelier’s Main Street Bar and Grill describes itself as a gastronomic “production lab”. You can watch its students at work in the open-plan kitchen, and the Sunday brunch buffet is popular (00 1 802 223 3188; mains from £14).
Said to be haunted, the White House of Wilmington is a colonial revival mansion with views of Deerfield Valley. Mains might include homemade crab cakes, roasted Vermont duckling or Cajun pork. There’s a pretty heavyweight wine list, too (00 1 802 464 2135; mains from £18).
A ‘40s building with rustic wood-panelled rooms and brightly coloured quilts, the Inn at Mad River Barn is one of the last old-time Vermont ski lodges. There’s a massive stone fireplace, deep leather chairs and a deck overlooking landscaped gardens (00 1 802 496 3310; VT 17 Waitsfield; from £60).
A boarding house since 1908, Sunset House is the only bed and breakfast in the centre of downtown Burlington within walking distance of the waterfront. Four cosy guest rooms are tastefully decked out with antiques and ceiling fans (00 1 802 864 3790; 78 Main St; from £75).
The Inn at Shelburne Farms was once the 19th-century summer mansion of a wealthy family connected to the Vanderbilt dynasty. Inside, spacious rooms still display reminders of the previous occupants, with antique furnishings and ornate fireplaces. Don’t leave without exploring the hiking trails around the outlying countryside (00 1 802 985 8498; closed Oct-Apr; from £100).
The Inn at Round Barn Farm in Waitsfield is a decidedly upscale bed and breakfast – cosy rooms feature gas fires, antiques and canopy beds. Most overlook the meadows and the Green Mountains, plus there’s a hearty breakfast with Vermont roasted coffee (00 1 802 496 2276; from £110).
One of New England’s grandest hotels, Equinox in Manchester traces back to the 18th century and was frequented by Theodore Roosevelt and Ulysses S Grant. It’s now a luxury complex – bag a room in the Charles Orvis Inn with its own library and veranda (00 1 802 362 4747; 3567 Main St; from £160).
When to go
Winter sees throngs of skiers descend on Vermont’s resorts, while summer is festival season – the Discover Jazz Festival brings jazz luminaries to Burlington in June. Autumn is best for landscapes, with swathes of forest turning rusty red and amber.
Getting around
Public transportation is neither frequent nor widespread in rural New England, so the easiest way to get around Vermont is by car. Hertz, Alamo and Avis operate car hire centres at Burlington International airport (from £60 per day).
Getting there
Delta Air Lines flies from Heathrow to Burlington International airport via New York JFK (from £430). British Airways flies from Heathrow to Boston, Massachusetts (from £360). Greyhound buses run between Boston and Burlington (from £31).

Extracted from BBC - Travel. whith Lonely Planet

quarta-feira, 23 de novembro de 2011

Nasa gets ready for Mars mission

Nasa gets ready for Mars mission
By Jonathan Amos
Science correspondent, BBC News

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is the biggest, most capable robot ever built to land on another planet.

It is expected to lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on Saturday.

Lift-off is actually a day later than originally planned, to give engineers time to replace a problem battery in the spacecraft's Atlas rocket.

The one-hour-and-43-minute launch window will now open at 10:02 local time (15:02 GMT). MSL's cruise to Mars should take eight-and-a-half months.

The rover will aim to touch down in an equatorial depression called Gale Crater, where it will use its suite of 10 instruments to assess whether the Red Planet has ever been habitable.

It is not a life-detection mission as such; the $2.5bn robot cannot identify microbes or even microbial fossils. But it can assess whether ancient conditions could have ever supported organisms.

This means Gale must show evidence for the past presence of water, a source of energy with which lifeforms could have metabolised, and a source of organic compounds with which those organisms could have built their structures.

Gale has been chosen as the landing site because satellite imagery has suggested it may well be one of the best places on Mars to look for these biological preconditions.

quinta-feira, 10 de novembro de 2011

Colombia seeks a new, clean image

Colombia seeks a new, clean image
By Huw Cordey

Tourists have long flocked to Cartagena on the Caribbean coast

In 1993, while working in South Dakota, USA, I met a rancher who said, "So, you're from Britain. Isn't that where gangs are killing each other with machine guns?"

"Are you sure you're not thinking about somewhere else?" I replied.

"No, it's definitely England. You know, it's like a religious war - Catholics killing Protestants."

"Oh, do you mean Northern Ireland?" I asked.

"Yep, that's it," he said.

As it happened, the week before, I had read an article about gun crime in the States.

According to this report, three times more people died as a result of bullet wounds in Wichita, Kansas - an ordinary town in the Midwest - than in Northern Ireland, then at the height of the conflict.

My point here is about perception. It does not take much to form a negative opinion about a place.

Not so 'hostile'
And so it was, when I started to plan my trip to Colombia.

Colombia has worked hard to reduce the production of cocaine
Ask what Colombia is famous for, and the most likely response will be "cocaine, Farc (the left-wing guerrilla group) and Pablo Escobar", the notorious drug lord, now deceased.

It is a country that has had an almost permanent presence on the BBC's hostile environments list.

I imagine - in a light-hearted way - that, when the hostile environment committee meet, they start each session with the words: "So, apart from Colombia, what else have we got?"

I had been told by people in Colombia that things had changed, but as I tentatively emerged from Bogota's airport, I wondered how much.

While waiting for Francisco Forero, my contact, would I be bundled into the back of a car filled with gun-toting kidnappers?

Continue reading the main story
From Our Own Correspondent

Or would someone come up to me and say, "Ay, gringo, you want drugs?"

Someone did approach me, but only to politely ask whether I was looking for a taxi into town.

It was all very normal and, when my lift did show up and we drove into the city to a local restaurant, that seemed pretty normal too.

"Is this typical?" I asked Francisco.

"Sure," he said. "Of course, there are places I wouldn't want to go on my own at night in Bogota, but isn't that true of any city?"

Tracked by radar
The following day, we were the guests of Jorge Londono, a wealthy Colombian businessman, at his private nature reserve an hour's flight from Bogota.

It was my first insight into Colombia's troubles.

Before taxi-ing onto the runway, we were required to check in with the anti-narcotics police, who inspected Jorge's plane and examined our ID cards against the submitted paperwork, which doubled as our permit for where the plane was overnighting.

Once in the air, we would be tracked by radar and possibly spotter planes as well.

Later the pilot pointed out the plane's transponder - a device that sends a continuous signal back to a control tower.

I was relieved to see it. Without one, the air force is legally entitled to shoot the plane down.

All this security has one goal - to stop the free flow of drugs across the country - and it seems to be working. Increasingly drug operators are moving elsewhere.

New image
To understand just how much Colombia has changed over the last few years, you cannot do much better than ask Francisco and Jorge.

Shakira - Colombia's biggest export?
Francisco is head of Google in Colombia and, while satisfying his passion for photographing Colombia's wild places, he has travelled to the country's most remote corners.

Jorge, on the other hand, has hotels in 21 cities, which he visits regularly, and business is beginning to boom.

He is also something of an adventurer himself, having just jet-skied 1,000km (600 miles) through undisturbed jungles to the Orinoco river.

So, with their combined experience, I gave them a map of Colombia and asked them to mark areas I should not venture into.

They drew three small circles on Colombia's borders - two with Venezuela and one with Ecuador.

They represent less than 5% of the country. When I ask where neither of them would want to go, Jorge scribbles a small dot in one of the circles and Francisco agrees.

Admittedly this was hardly an exacting analysis of Colombia's security issues but it does seem to express what many Colombians are beginning to feel.

Ask the new generation of Colombians what the country's biggest export is now and they are more likely to say the global singing sensation Shakira (she of the gyrating hips) than cocaine.

And what of Farc?

Well, it appears they are on the retreat too, not just the group itself but in the minds of Colombians.

In a national survey last week, only 3% of respondents expressed any sympathy for the cause.

segunda-feira, 17 de outubro de 2011

The secret world of Disneyland

The park's design uses optical illusions to make structures appear larger or smaller than they actually are. (Richard Cummins/LPI)
Disneyland may look like a straightforward theme park. But there is a secret world hidden behind the balloons, castles and cotton candy – a place where wild cats roam the park at midnight, Mickey Mouse hides in the wallpaper and movie stars sip martinis behind closed doors.

Related article: Keeping Disney magic afloat
Feline security
It is not easy keeping the grounds of Disneyland utterly spotless and free of unwanted pests. Every night after closing time, 200 feral cats are released into the park to help keep the rodent population under control. Though Disney does not comment on the matter, rumour has it that the feline taskforce dates back to 1957, when renovations to Sleeping Beauty Castle revealed a colony of more than 100 stray cats. After unsuccessful attempts to chase them out of the park, Disney decided to put the cats to work instead. Today they spend their daylight hours resting in the park's well-concealed “cat houses”, though you can sometimes spot a furry face peeking out between the mechanical lions on the Jungle Cruise.

Hidden Mickeys
At Disneyland, the round-eared Mickey Mouse emblem is everywhere. But thanks to clever “Imagineers” (Disney's specially trained designers and engineers), hundreds of “Hidden Mickeys” are also scattered across the park. The subtle symbols are often difficult to spot; they are camouflaged in the architecture and landscaping as well as in the smallest stylistic details, from the floral wallpaper of the First Aid station and the rust marks atop a treasure chest in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, to the shapes of car speakers on Space Mountain. No one knows exactly how many exist.

Cocktails behind closed doors
Disneyland is dry - unless you can manage to get your name on the list at Club 33. The secret cocktail lounge, tucked away above the Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square, has a limited membership of just 487 and a waiting list of approximately 14 years. Walt Disney designed the club as an exclusive space to entertain possible investors; since then, the lounge, complete with an elegant dining room and a first-class wine cellar, has hosted US presidents, film stars, foreign dignitaries and lucky guests with connections. It is said that Robert Kennedy dined here on 3 June, 1968, two days before he was assassinated.

Trick of the eye
Things are not always as they appear at Disneyland. The park's design employs “forced perspective”, creating optical illusions that make structures appear larger or smaller than they actually are. Sleeping Beauty Castle, for example, looks much taller than its 189ft – that is because the “bricks” and other architectural features grow progressively smaller as the towers rise. The Matterhorn also appears more massive than it is, since the tallest trees are at the base of the mountain and the smallest are placed at the summit. Entering Main Street, thanks to clever angles and scaling techniques, the castle seems far away and the old-fashioned shops and ice cream parlours seem to be several stories tall. As you exit, the same Main Street seems much shorter. Walt Disney figured that families coming into the park would be filled with anticipation, but on leaving, they would be too tired for a leisurely stroll.

Always on stage
At Disneyland, a janitor is not a janitor – he is a “cast member”. So are the legions of cashiers, painters, ride operators, gardeners and performers, from the girl who portrays Cinderella to the guy pushing a broom around Frontierland. All cast members are trained to follow a specific code of etiquette that helps to preserve the Disney magic. On the list of dos and don'ts? Never break character. If wearing a costume that belongs in Fantasyland, do not set foot in Tomorrowland – it might confuse visitors or break the park's orderly image. When directing guests, point with two fingers or an open palm, never the index finger. Cast members are issued a Disney “look book” that details the fresh-faced ideal – no long fingernails, beards or unnaturally coloured hair allowed. It is a throwback to Walt Disney's All-American standards: when the park opened even guests with facial hair were not allowed entrance.

A light stays on
When construction was underway in the early 1950s, Walt didn't want to miss a moment of his dream coming to life, which is why he installed a small private apartment for his family above the Fire Department on Main Street. Decorated by one of Disney's set designers, the apartment featured turn-of-the-century decor; the apartment still contains Walt's tiled shower (fitted with multiple shower heads to soothe an old polo injury) and a ceramic bar set Walt used to serve his favourite hot drink, the rum- and brandy-based Tom & Jerry. The lamp in the window, visible from the park, was once illuminated to signal to cast members that the head honcho was on the premises. Today the lamp always stays lit in honour of the man behind the mouse.

Classic California road trips

© 2011 Lonely Planet. All rights reserved. The article ‘The secret world of Disneyland’ was published in partnership with Lonely Planet.

quinta-feira, 13 de outubro de 2011

What is the difference between TOEIC and TOEFL tests?
The TOEIC and the TOEFL® tests were developed by ETS to serve different purposes. Therefore, the design, content, context, and range of proficiency that each test measures are also different. The TOEFL test was created for foreign students seeking admission to undergraduate and graduate programmes in North America. The test hence is a measure of English used in academic settings. On the other hand, the TOEIC test certifies competence in workplace English. Organisations that document employees' English proficiency and individuals who want to demonstrate their ability to use English in the global workplace would find the TOEIC test more suitable to their needs.

sexta-feira, 7 de outubro de 2011

Bono One charity advert faces TV ban

Bono One charity advert faces TV ban
The advert features Bono himself and a host of other stars
A campaign advert made by a charity founded by U2 frontman Bono has been banned from UK TV because it may breach rules covering political advertising.
The short film is part of One's Hungry No More campaign which calls for governments to help tackle the causes of famine in Africa.
Clearcast, which approves adverts, said it could be in breach of rules laid down by the 2003 Communications Act.
One said it was "absurd" the advert could not be shown.
The minute-long film, called The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity, features stars including Bono, George Clooney, Colin Farrell and Sex and the City star Kristin Davis.
A Clearcast spokeswoman said: "These rules ensure that adverts aren't being broadcast by bodies whose objects are wholly or mainly political.
"One appears to be caught by this rule as they state that part of their raison d'etre is to pressure political leaders.
"It also appears that a number of the claims made in the version of the ad that we have seen are directed towards a political end, which is again against the rules."'
Urgent action'
However Adrian Lovett, Europe director of One said the charity was not a political party and had no political affiliation.
"We recognise the purpose of the broadcasting code is to keep political propaganda off British television," he said.
"But our ad highlights the desperate plight of 750,000 people in east Africa who, the UN warns, could die before the end of the year.
"Unless we keep the spotlight on this crisis and the need for urgent action, those people will be forgotten. Who can object to that message? We are challenging this decision and hope the broadcasters will reconsider."
Clearcast said that a broadcaster carrying an advert in breach of the rules on political advertising faces a possible fine from broadcasting watchdog Ofcom or even a revocation of its licence.

From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-15215682

terça-feira, 4 de outubro de 2011

Quanto Tempo é necessário para aprender Inglês

Segundo o prof. Michael Jacobs, qualquer pessoa pode aprender inglês em 1.200 horas de estudo. Isso não depende de inteligência ou aptidões especiais, apenas uma boa dose de querer.
A conta é simples. Se você estuda 3 horas semanais, normalmente 2 horários de uma hora e meia cada, o que é comum em escolas de idiomas, teremos:
1.200 / 3 = 400
Ou seja, 400 semanas de estudos, o que dá no final das contas aproximadamente 8 anos. Eu não quero esperar esse tempo todo para ser fluente em Inglês e você?
A única alternativa então é aumentar as horas de estudo semanais: ouvindo música, rádio, filmes, lendo livros, conversando. Não adianta fazer tudo isso tudo sem prestar atenção, o cérebro não vai armazenar nada se você não se esforçar. Recorro a um provérbio que diz o seguinte “No pain no gain”, algo como “Sem esforço não há recompensa”.
Vamos fazer uma outra conta. Digamos que você estude 2 horas por dia, assim teremos:
1200 / 2 = 600
Neste caso 600 dias, menos de 2 anos. Percebeu? Não há milagre, não acredite em cursos rápidos que prometem fluência em 2 meses. Isso é charlatanice. Lembre-se: “No pain no gain”.
Bons estudos!
That’s all folks!


quinta-feira, 22 de setembro de 2011

Bike sharing around the world

Bike sharing around the world

In Biking
09 September 2011 | By Suemedha Sood
Barclays Cycle Hire docking station
A Barclays Cycle Hire docking station in London. (Laurence Coss/BBC)
Bike sharing is on the verge of becoming an integral part of public transportation in cities across the globe.
This system of impromptu bike renting is helping urban areas reduce automotive traffic and pollution while providing locals and tourists with a convenient, cheap and healthy means of transport.
Currently, there are nearly 300 organized bike sharing programs worldwide. That number is growing – and not just in the West. In India, for example, the Ministry of Urban Development is preparing to launch a 10-city public bike scheme as part of its “Mission for Sustainable Habitat”.
So how does bike sharing work? In most cities, visitors can purchase short-term subscriptions at bike stations themselves. Just walk up to a station’s electronic kiosk, choose the duration for which you need access to the service, and swipe your credit card. You will receive an unlocking code which you can then use to release a bike from the docking station. Then you can start exploring the city via bicycle. When you reach your destination, find a nearby station and return your bike. Make sure to lock the bike carefully by pushing the front wheel into an empty dock. Most docks will show a green light and/or make a beeping sound when bikes are correctly secured.
Long-term subscriptions can usually be purchased online. During the time of your subscription (however short or long), you can rent and return a bike as many times as you want.
Bike sharing is a fun, easy, environmentally friendly way to explore a new place. Here are eight cities with great 24-hour bike sharing programs that travellers should know about.
Although community bicycle sharing has been around since at least the 1960s, Paris’s Vélib’ became the first high-profile program to spark global interested in organized bike sharing when it launched to great success in 2007. The program currently has about 20,000 bikes and 1,800 bike stations (one located every 300 metres), yielding about 50 million unique rides annually.
The details: Vélib’ required subscriptions are available for 1.70 euros per day, 8 euros per week, or 29 euros per year. Once you’ve subscribed, half-hour rides are free but each additional half-hour costs 1 euro for up to one-and-a-half hours. After that, each additional half-hour costs 2 euros.
Hangzhou, China
With more than 50,000 bikes and 2,050 bike stations, the Chinese city of Hangzhou is home to the world’s largest bike sharing program. Bike sharing is well integrated with other forms of public transport, with bike stations available near bus and water taxi stops.
The details: For tourists, a refundable deposit of 300 yuan is required to take out Hangzhou Public Bikes. Hour-long rides are free. Each additional hour costs 1 yuan each, for up to three hours. After that, each additional hour costs 3 yuan.
Washington DC
Washington DC’s Capital Bikeshare program is the largest of its kind in the United States. Currently, demand for bikes outweighs supply.
The details: Capital Bikeshare memberships are available for $5 per day, $15 for five days, $25 per month or $75 per year. Once you’ve purchased a membership, half-hour rides are free and each additional half-hour costs $1.50 for up to one-and-a-half hours. After that, each additional half-hour costs $6.
Mumbai, India
There are two bike sharing programs in Bombay: FreMo, which stands for “Freedom to Move”, and the student-run Cycle Chalao!, which translates to “Come on, let’s cycle!”. Both are small programs, but they are growing into a movement. Cycle Chalao! has recently teamed up with India’s national government to launch citywide programs across the subcontinent.
The details: Find FreMo’s various membership and pricing options at its website. For Cycle Chalao!’s rates, visit its stations near universities in Mumbai.
London’s Barclays Cycle Hire has only been operating for about a year, but it’s already quite user friendly. Since launching, casual users have gone on more than one million unique rides. Its interactive map plots out the city’s docking stations, providing real-time information on the number of bikes and parking spaces available at each one.
The details: Barclays Cycle Hire costs 1 pound per day, 5 pounds per week or 45 pounds per year. Half-hour rides are free. For longer rides, additional usage charges apply.
Mexico City
Last year, the populous and traffic-heavy Mexico City surprised the world by launching the EcoBici bike sharing program. Despite the city’s lack of bike lanes, EcoBici has around 30,000 registered members – and reported accidents have fortunately been few and far between.
The details: EcoBici riders have just one option: a year-long subscription for 300 pesos, which grants them an unlimited number of 45-minute rides. For longer rides, additional usage charges apply. Remember to return your bike within 24 hours, though, or you will incur a penalty of 5,000 pesos.
Melbourne, Australia
To introduce tourists to a new way of exploring the city, Melbourne, Australia is offering a Bike Share Tour. If you are already accustomed to bike sharing, opt instead for a Bicycle Tour, including a trip to Swanston Street, the Yarra River and/or the Port Phillip Bay.
The details: Melbourne Bike Share mandatory subscriptions are available for 2.50 Australian dollars per day, 8 Australian dollars per week, or 50 Australian dollars per year. You can rent up to two bikes at the same time. If you need helmets, participating 7-11 stores sell them for 5 Australian dollars each (you can then return them to get 3 Australian dollars back each). Half-hour rides are free. For longer rides, additional usage charges apply.
Exploring Dublin via bicycle is an age-old pastime for travellers to Ireland. Now, the dbs, or dublinbikes program has made this mode of transport even more convenient for visitors. While this bike share is currently modest in size, it is doing very well and has plans to expand rapidly.
The details: The dublinbikes program has 44 stations and 550 bikes. Visitors can either purchase a long-term hire card for 10 euros or a 3-day ticket for 2 euros. Only 15 bike stations have electronic kiosks for purchasing short-term tickets, though. Find those stations here. Half-hour rides are free. For longer rides, additional usage charges apply.

terça-feira, 20 de setembro de 2011


War of the Ragamuffins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Farroupilha Revolution)
War of the Ragamuffins
Charge of the Cavalry, Guilherme Litran (Júlio de Castilhos Museum, Porto Alegre, Brazil), depicting the Ragamuffin army[1].
Date September 19, 1835 – March 1, 1845
Location Southern Brazil
Result Brazilian victory
 Riograndense Republic
 Juliana Republic
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) Italian volunteers
Empire of Brazil Empire of Brazil
Commanders and leaders
Riograndense Republic Bento Gonçalves da Silva
Riograndense Republic Antônio de Sousa Neto
Juliana Republic David Canabarro
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) Giuseppe Garibaldi
Empire of Brazil Luís Alves de Lima e Silva
Empire of Brazil Manuel Marques de Sousa
+40.000 republicans separatists. +60.000 imperial soldiers.
The War of the Ragamuffins (Portuguese: Guerra dos Farrapos) was a Republican uprising that began in southern Brazil, in the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina in 1835. The rebels, led by generals Bento Gonçalves da Silva and Antônio de Sousa Neto with the support of the Italian fighter Giuseppe Garibaldi, surrendered to imperial forces in 1845.
The war was the cause of the rushed coronation of Dom Pedro II, at that time 15 years old in 1841, in direct violation of the Brazilian constitution. It is considered the second bloodiest civil war to have ever occurred in Brazil, after the War of Cabanagem.



[edit] The War

The uprising is believed to have begun due to the difference between the economy of Rio Grande do Sul and the rest of the country. Unlike the other provinces, the state economy focused in the internal market rather than exporting commodities, the state's main product, charque (dried and salted beef), suffering badly from competition from charque imported from Uruguay and Argentina, which had free access to Brazilian markets while the gauchos (as residents of Rio Grande do Sul are nicknamed) were charged high taxes inside Brazil.
In 1835, Antônio Rodrigues Fernandes Braga was nominated president of Rio Grande do Sul and at first his appointment pleased the liberal farmers, but that soon changed. In his first day in the office, he accused many farmers of being separatists.
On September 20, 1835, General Bento Gonçalves captured the capital, Porto Alegre, beginning an uprising against the perceived unfair trade reinforced by the state government; the state president fled to the city of Rio Grande, two hundred kilometers to the south. In Porto Alegre, the rebels, also known as farrapos (Ragamuffins), elected Marciano Pereira Ribeiro their new president.
Responding to the situation and further upsetting the Ragamuffin rebels, the Brazilian regent, Diogo Feijó, appointed a new state president, who was forced to take office in exile in Rio Grande.
Battle of Fanfa.
Battle Field.
Pushing for consolidation of their power, Antônio de Souza Netto declared the independence of the Piratini Republic on September 11, 1836 with Bento Gonçalves as president nominee. However, Bento was arrested and jailed by imperial forces until he escaped in 1837, returning to the province and bringing the revolution to a head. Nonetheless, Porto Alegre was recaptured by the empire and the rebels never managed to regain it.
The Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi joined the rebels in 1839. With his help, the revolution spread through Santa Catarina, which adjoined Rio Grande do Sul to the north. The capital of Santa Catarina, Laguna, was taken by the Ragamuffins; but, after four months, Laguna fell back into imperial hands.
It was in this struggle that Garibaldi gained his first military experience and got on the road leading to his becoming the famed military leader of the Unification of Italy.

[edit] Peace

In 1840, amnesty was offered to the rebels, which they refused although it was clear that they had no chances of winning, followed by the issuing of a republican constitution by the Ragamuffins in 1842, as a last attempt to maintain power. The same year saw General Lima e Silva (soon Duke of Caxias) take office and try to find a diplomatic settlement of the situation.
On March 1, 1845, the peace negotiations led by Lima e Silva and Antônio Vicente da Fontoura concluded with the signing of the Ponche Verde Treaty between the two sides, in Dom Pedrito.
The treaty offered the rebels a full amnesty, full incorporation into the imperial army and the choice of the next provincial president. All the debts of the Riograndense Republic were paid off by the Empire and a tariff of 25% was introduced on imported charque.[2]
As a goodwill gesture, the Ragamuffins chose Lima e Silva as the next provincial president.

[edit] References

  1. ^ It is noteworthy that the pennons flying from the cavalrymen's lances are not the Green, Red and Yellow Flag of the Riograndense Republic, but the Black, Red and Gold of the Flag of Germany, at this time a brand-new creation which got wide fame, far outside the boundaries of Germany, through the 1832 Hambach Festival. And at this time it was considered very much a revolutionary flag, standing for Liberty and Civil Rights as much as it stood for German Nationalism
  2. ^ The Treaty did not stay clearly if Riograndense and Juliana republics remained independent; however, they stayed in the Empire, and are nowadays two states of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina respectively.