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jueves, 28 de junio de 2012

GOOD BYE BIG BEN - HELLO ELIZABETH TOWER


The iconic Clock Tower, commonly known as Big Ben, symbol of the English capital is due to be renamed very soon to celebrate the 60 year reign of her Royal Majesty.
To change the name of the popular Big Ben, that is the motion that has been considered and finally confirmed by the British Parliament that will see the Queen forever tower over London to celebrate the Queen of England's Diamond Jubilee.




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jueves, 21 de junio de 2012

RAFA NADAL NAMED OLYMPIC FLAG BEARER FOR SPAIN



Rafael Nadal will carry the flag for the Spanish Olympic team at the London Games.

The 11-time Grand Slam champion was chosen Wednesday by the Spanish Olympic Committee to lead the team at the opening ceremony July 27.
"For me the chance to carry the flag representing all the Spanish athletes in London is a true honor," Nadal said in a statement. "I think carrying the flag will be one of the most moving moments of my entire career.
"I can only say thanks and wish my fellow athletes the best of luck."
Nadal will defend his gold medal in singles from the 2008 Beijing Games and participate in doubles with Marcel Granollers.
These will be his third Olympics.
The Mallorca native is a national figure in Spain and has won a record seven French Opens.
The tennis events run from July 28 to Aug. 5 on Wimbledon's grass courts. Nadal has won Wimbledon twice. Last week, Russia's sports minister said French Open champion Maria Sharapova was among the contenders to carry the Russian Olympic team flag at the London Games. Djokovic was also in line to lead Serbia's team in the opening ceremony.
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martes, 19 de junio de 2012

THE LONGEST DAY: SUMMER SOLSTICE 2012


This year’s summer solstice takes place a day earlier than it’s been for the past three years, due to the fact that 2012 is a leap year—this February got an extra day, to keep our calendar year of 365 days in sync with the astronomical year, which is about 365.24 days.  In general, the exact timing of the summer solstice changes from year to year, “but there’s a bigger jump when you have a leap year,” explained Mark Hammergren, an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium inChicago.  “But it’s still always going to be around June 20 or 21.”

What is the Summer Solstice?
The solstices are the results of Earth’s north-south axis being tilted 23.4 degrees relative to the ecliptic, the plane of our solar system. This tilt causes different amounts of sunlight to reach different regions of the planet during Earth’s year-long orbit around the sun.
Today the North Pole is tipped more toward the sun than on any other day of 2012. (The opposite holds true for the Southern Hemisphere, where today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.)  As a result of Earth’s tilt, the path of the sun across the sky rises in the lead-up to the summer solstice and then begins descending for the rest of the summer.






At high noon on the summer solstice, the sun appears at its highest point in the sky—it’s most directly overhead position—in the Northern Hemisphere.  That doesn’t mean the sun will be exactly overhead at noon for everyone, saidCornellUniversityastronomer James Bell.  It depends on the viewer’s latitude—the sun will shine down directly overhead at noon only along the Tropic of Cancer, a line that circles the planet at about the latitude ofCuba.  “It’s still at a low angle if you’re up inAlaska,”Bellexplained.
Ancient Celebrations
The summer solstice, also referred to as ‘midsummer,’ has been a time of celebration for centuries.

Egyptians
The ancient Egyptians built the Great Pyramids so that the sun, when viewed from the Sphinx, sets precisely between two of the Pyramids on the summer solstice.

Inca
The Inca of South America celebrated the corresponding winter solstice with a ceremony called Inti Raymi, in the city ofCuzco.  The festival included food offerings and sacrifices of animals, and sometimes even people.


Mayans
Recently, archaeologists discovered the remains of an astronomical observatory in a long-buried Maya city inGuatemalain which the buildings were designed to align with the sun during the solstices. During such times, the city’s populace gathered at the observatory to watch as their king appeared to command the heavens.




Stonehenge
Stonehenge in theUnited Kingdomhas been associated with the winter and summer solstices for about 5,000 years.  Observers in the center of the standing stones can still watch the summer solstice sun rise over the Heel Stone, which stands just outside the main ring ofStonehenge.













Modern Day Festivities
The summer celebrations continue all over the globe.  Last year, modern-day Druids gathered at Stonehenge to celebrate the solstice for the first time as members of an officially recognized religion in theU.K., following a controversial vote by the national Charity Commission forEnglandandWalesin the fall of 2011.
Traditionally, Scandinavians celebrated midsummer on the solstice itself—the longest day of the year. Today, they observe it on a weekend around the solstice, so merrymakers can take an extra day off work.  InScandinavia, the solstice celebrations consist of decorating homes with birch leaves, dancing around maypoles, and lighting bonfires.  Also, during the summer solstice, Scandinavians enjoy the ‘midnight sun.’  During that time of the year, the sun is out all day (and night) long, allowing people to enjoy nature and the outdoors even at midnight.



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sábado, 16 de junio de 2012

TROPPING THE COLOUR 2012 - 16th JUNE


What is The Trooping Colour?
The official birthday of Queen Elizabeth II is marked each year by a military parade and march-past, known as Trooping the Colour (Carrying of the Flag). The official name is “the Queen’s Birthday Parade”.
Each June, the Queen and other members of the Royal Family attend the Trooping the Colour ceremony on Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall in London. The Queen attends the ceremony to take the salute from thousands of guardsmen who parade the Colour (their regiment's flag).

It is only the Foot Guards of the Household Division that take part in the Queen’s Birthday Parade, with the exception of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, (based in St. John’s Wood). The Kings Troop, parade round with the Household Cavalry after the Foot Guards have trooped the Colour in slow and quick time.

The Sovereign's Official Birthday
The Queen's birthday parade is the biggest royal event of the year. In 1748, the celebration of the official birthday of the sovereign was amalgamated (merged) with the Trooping the Colour.
The Trooping the Colour is tradition going back to the days when the Colours (regimental flag of the regiment) was trooped in front of soldiers to make sure everyone could recognise their flag in battle.
The Colours today are trooped in front of the Queen troops of the Household Division (Foot Guards and Household Cavalry)
Parade Route
The parade route goes from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horseguards Parade, Whitehall and back again.

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viernes, 15 de junio de 2012

DAY OF AN AFRICA CHILD - 16th JUNE

"The Day of the African Child is celebrated on 16 June in recognition of the day when, in 1976, thousands of black school children in Soweto, South Africa, took to the streets to protest the inferior quality of their education and to demand their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young boys and girls were shot; and in the two weeks of protest that followed, more than 100 people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured."
UNICEF 
The Day of the African Child is a day to fight for the cause of children in trouble: the AIDS orphans, child soldiers and impoverished youth who will inherit the continent.
As many as 50,000 African children under the age of five will lose their lives as the result of preventable or curable diseases. And as many as 38 million children of primary school age in Africa still remain out of school.

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EXAM ENGLISH



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Free Practice Tests for learners of English



This web site is for people studying for an English language exam.
These pages contain Free Online Practice Tests for the most important international ESL/EFL exams:IELTSTOEFLTOEIC, and the Cambridge ESOL exams such as CAEFCE, and PET.


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lunes, 11 de junio de 2012

RAFA NADAL MAKES HISTORY IN FRENCH OPEN FINAL 2012

Rafa Nadal beat Kjokovic over four sets and two sessions to secure a record seventh French Open title in eight years. Nadal won 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 in 3hr 49min
Djokovic said of Nadal: "He's definitely the best player in history on this surface and results are showing that he's one of the best players to have played the game. He's only 26 years old. We are very young and whave played over 30 times against each other. Hopefully, we can have many more battles in the next years."

Nadal, who celebrated in tears and laughter with his family in the stands after the match, said: "It's probably the most special moment of my career. To hold this trophy is unforgettable.

The Spaniard turned 26 during the tournament – the same age Bjorn Borg retired – but said he will play for as long as his mind, body and spirit can stand it.





sábado, 9 de junio de 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI FESTIVAL

INTRODUCTION

The festival of Corpus Christi celebrates the Eucharist as the body of Christ. The name 'Corpus Christi' is Latin for 'the body of Christ'.
This jubilant festival is celebrated by Roman Catholics and other Christians to proclaim the truth of the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the actual body of Christ during Mass.
In some countries in the world, Catholic churches still celebrate the festival, not only with a Mass, but also with a procession that carries the consecrated wafer through the streets as a public statement that the sacrifice of Christ was for the salvation of the whole world.
Corpus Christi falls between late May and the middle of June, on the first Thursday after Trinity Sunday (60 days after Easter). In some countries the festival is celebrated on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday.
In the Church of England this feast is also kept on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday and known as the Day of Thanksgiving for the Institution of Holy Communion (Corpus Christi).
It's worth noting that Christians already mark the Last Supper, when Christ instituted the Eucharist, on Maundy Thursday (the day before Good Friday). Because Maundy Thursday falls during the solemn period of Holy Week, it was thought necessary to have a separate festival of the Eucharist that would allow the celebration not to be muted by sadness.

THE CELEBRATION

The main feature of Corpus Christi celebrations is the triumphant liturgical procession in which the sacred host (the wafer that has been consecrated during the Mass) is carried out of the Church "for the Christian faithful to make public profession of faith and worship of the Most Blessed Sacrament".
The practice is no longer common in the UK, where traditional processions started to wane in the 1970s after the Second Vatican Council. Attempts have been made to revive the tradition in some UK towns and villages in recent years.


martes, 5 de junio de 2012

5th MAY - DIAMOND JUBILEE: ST. PAUL'S SERVICE AND CARRIAGE PROCESSION

  • The final day of the Diamond Jubilee weekend will be marked by a service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral.

  • The Queen and other royals will attend, and there will be a special Diamond Jubilee prayer.
  • The Queen will go on to a reception at Mansion House and a lunch at Westminster Hall before embarking on a formal procession in a ceremonial carriage.
  • Tens of thousands of well-wishers are expected to line the procession route along Whitehall and The Mall.
  • After arriving at Buckingham Palace, the Royal Family will appear on the balcony and watch an RAF flypast.
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WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY - 5th JUNE

World Environment Day is held each year on the 5th of June. It is one of the main vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and raises political attention and actions.

Watch this amazing BBC video on man and our planet. Human Planet

domingo, 3 de junio de 2012

DIAMOND JUBILEE RIVER THAMES PAGEANT TO HONOUR QUEEN


Thousands of people are lining (3rd June 2012) the Thames in London for the Jubilee river pageant despite wet weather, as street parties get under way nationwide.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to watch the Queen's barge lead a 1,000-strong flotilla.





The nautical parade, marking 60 years of her reign, promises to be the most spectacular in London for 350 years.
Prince Charles has joined a London street party in Piccadilly and concerts and events are taking place UK-wide.
Meanwhile, some people heading into London for the celebrations have been delayed because they have been unable to get on crowded trains.
When the pageant begins, the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and other senior royals will travel from Albert Bridge to Tower Bridge aboard a lavishly adapted royal barge - the Spirit of Chartwell - decorated with almost 10,000 cut flowers.
The spectacle, which began with mustering at 11:30 BST, will end at about17:30 after the last vessel completes the seven-mile route at Tower Bridge.
The Thames barrier is being lowered to slow the river's flow. Some 20,000 people are expected to be in the boats of the flotilla, which will travel at 4 knots (4.6 miles) an hour.
Boats heading to the muster points at Hammersmith and Battersea bridges sounded their horns and were met with cheers from crowds on the banks as bells from churches sounded. A steady stream of rowing and paddle boats headed up to the front of the flotilla.

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QUEEN'S DIAMOND JUBILEE INSPIRES RECORD BREAKERS ACROSS THE UK



Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 60 years as British monarch in 2012, and the celebration have triggered a burst of record breaking across the UK.

The Jubilee-themed attempts have records have already started as seen by the longest line of fanfare trumpeters at Wellington Barracks which took place last week, but a host of others are set over the bank holiday weekend.


Guinness World Records has confirmed that the Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant (3rd June 2012)  has set a new world record for the number of boats taking part in a parade. The previous record - now smashed - was 327, set in in Bremerhaven, Germany, last year.

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ROYALS ARRIVE FOR JUBILEE PAGEANT 3rd JUNE 2012

THE DIAMOND JUBILEE 


Members of the Royal family arrives as the Diamond Jubilee river pageant gets under way.
Hundreds of thousands of people have lined the Thames to watch the Queen's barge in a 1,000-strong flotilla.
The nautical parade, marking 60 years of her reign, promises to be the most spectacular in London for 350 years.
The Queen and other senior royals are aboard a lavishly-adapted royal barge called the Spirit of Chartwell.

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viernes, 1 de junio de 2012

CORONATION DAY - GUN SALUTE 2nd JUNE


On 2nd June 1953, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place. Villages, towns and cities across the UK were decorated in red, white and blue bunting, and in London the roads were packed with people waiting to see the royal processions. The Coronation was the first ever to be televised, and the sales of TV. sets rocketed. Most homes before the coronation had no television. Many people bought a television for this special occasion. Compared to our present day ones, the televisions in the 1950s were black and white, as colour-sets were not available then, and the tiny 14-inch screen was the most popular size.

Where did the Coronation take place?

Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in Westminster Abbey in London, in a ceremony that lasted almost three hours, starting at 11:15 am. The crowning of the Sovereign is an ancient ceremony which has taken place at Westminster Abbey for over 900 years. Before the Abbey was built, Coronations were carried out wherever was convenient, for example at Bath, Oxford and Canterbury. Towards the end of the ceremony the Queen was handed the four symbols of authority:
1. the orb - representing the Sovereign's role as Defender of the Faith.
2.the sceptre with the cross- representing Christianity over the British Empire (not politically correct today)
3.the rod of mercy (sceptre with the dove) - symbolising the Holy Ghost
4.the Coronation ring (often referred to as 'The Wedding Ring of England')

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Geoffrey Fisher, then placed St Edward's Crown on her head to complete the ceremony. The St. Edward's Crown, made in 1661,weighs 4 pounds and 12 ounces and is made of solid gold. The Queen replaced her father, King George VI, as monarch following his death on 6 February 1952.




 A 41-gun salute at 12 noon fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Hyde Park, London.



THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE QUEEN'S DIAMOND  JUBILEE



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THE BOOK FAIR IN MALAGA 1-10 JUNE

Another year is being celebrated the Book Fair in many Spanish cities, the annual meeting with news of the publishing world and bookselling in general.
 
In Malaga the Book fair is celebrating from the 3rd  to 6th of June its XLI edition in the Paseo Park, which is close to the town hall. The Book Fair is also a good opportunity to enjoy the beautiful gardens of the best park in Malaga during an excellent season.
If you want to find rarities, old books, comics, encyclopedias, and lots more, just wander from stand to stand in the gardens of the park. If you like reading, this is your opportunity to roam about and buy whatever you want.
Around fifty posts turn the Paseo del Parque in a great celebration of the written with the presence many local and national authors.
 




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