A minha Lista de blogues

terça-feira, 25 de dezembro de 2012

The Christmas Broadcast

The Christmas Broadcast (better known as The Queen's Speech) is broadcast every year at 15:00GMT on Christmas Day.

The first televised Christmas Broadcast in 1957

domingo, 23 de dezembro de 2012

Obama: Person of the Year 2012

For the second time, Time Magazine has named Barack Obama "Person of the Year."

Barack Obama: Person of the Year 2008

Queen Elizabeth Land

The British government announced that the southern part of the British Antarctic Territory has been named ‘Queen Elizabeth Land’ in honour of The Queen’s sixtieth year on the throne. 

The Foreign Secretary said: 

“As a mark of this country’s gratitude to The Queen for Her service, we are naming a part of the British Antarctic Territory in her honour as ‘Queen Elizabeth Land”. 

“This is a fitting tribute at the end of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee year, and I am very proud to be able to announce it as she visits the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.”

Sandringham House

The Royal Family and Sandringham

Each year, The Queen and other members of the Royal Family spend the Christmas period at Sandringham House in Norfolk, a tradition begun by The Queen's grandfather, King George V. Sandringham House in Norfolk has been the private home of four generations of Sovereigns since 1862.

http:// www.royal.gov.uk/TheRoyalResidences/SandringhamHouse/History.aspx

December 2012 Newsletter

e-mail: portugal@clever-pants.com

Christmassy Jokes

Did you hear about the dyslexic devil worshipper?
He sold his soul to Santa.

What do you get if you cross Santa with a duck?
A Christmas Quacker!

What do you call Santa's little helpers?
Subordinate clauses!

Snowed under?
Let’s get festive with this seasonal collection of idioms related to the the word season and Christmas

idiom (n): an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is separate from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made

Off season
Not in the busy time of the year.
 “We don't have much to do off season.” "Things are very quiet around here off season."

Open season (on someone)
A period of time when everyone is criticizing someone. 
"It seems as if it's always open season on politicians."

The silly season 
A period of time in the summer when there is not much news, especially political news, so the newspapers have articles about events that arenot important.
 "It's the silly season again, and as usual, the papers are full of stories about the Loch Ness Monster."

Full of the joys of spring.
To feel very happy and full of youthful energy.
"The sun was shining, and even though it was October, I was full of the joys of spring."

The dead of winter.
Used to describe the middle of winter, when it is very cold and dark.
"He disappeared in the dead of winter: The river was frozen, the streets almost

Be as pure as the driven snow
To be morally good
"How dare he criticise me for having an affair? He's not exactly as pure as the driven snow himself."

Be snowed under
To have so much work that you have problems dealing with it all (often + with) "She wants me to take some time off but I'm snowed under with “work at the moment”.

From everyone here at Clever Pants we wish you a very happy festive season, whatever you are celebrating!

See you in 2013!

© Clever Pants 2012

domingo, 9 de dezembro de 2012

Victorian Christmas Trees

The Royal Family at Windsor Castle in the Illustrated London News, in1848

Christmas was a special time for Queen Victoria and her family. A decorated Christmas tree was a custom introduced by Queen Charlotte, King George III´s German wife.

William Corden the Younger (1819-1900) Queen Victoria´s Christmas tree at Windsor Castle in 1850

Albert Chevallier Tayler (1862-1925)The Christmas Tree

sábado, 8 de dezembro de 2012

O Primeiro Postal de Natal

O costume de enviar cartões de Natal começou em Inglaterra, no ano de 1843. Sir Henry Cole, um alto-funcionário britânico, teve essa ideia de mandar imprimir postais natalícios, para poder enviar a todos os seus amigos e conhecidos as suas saudações de Natal. Assim, encomendou ao pintor John Calcott Horsley a criação do primeiro cartão de Natal, cuja cópia está à vista em cima. Dessa primeira edição foram vendidos 1000 exemplares em Londres. 

Nos nossos dias, está aos poucos a cair em desuso, sobretudo devido à cada vez maior utilização da internet para se remeter todo o tipo de mensagens. Dessa forma perde-se cada vez mais o hábito de se escrever aos familiares e amigos, mesmo nestas ocasiões tão especiais. Cada um escolherá o seu método. Eu, enquanto professora de inglês, aproveito o meu blog para enviar a todos os leitores Merry Christmas and a Very Happy 2013!

O Pai Natal

Esta personagem jovial e feliz tem as suas origens remotas em S. Nicolau, bispo de Myra, no sul da Turquia, onde viveu, há mais de 1600 anos. Tornou-se Santo, devido à sua bondade em ajudar os mais pobres dando tudo o que possuía, com atenção especial às crianças.

Na Holanda chamam-lhe Sinterklass e é especialmente querido pelos mais pequenos. Foram os emigrantes holandeses, que introduziram a sua figura nos EUA. De início era representado com as vestes de Bispo. Mas, no início da década de 1930, um anúncio da Coca-Cola decidiu apresentá-lo, alegre e redondo com um fato vermelho, as cores daquela marca, com o objetivo de levar o público a consumir mais daquele refrigerante também no inverno. O sucesso foi grande e, hoje, este velhote bonacheirão de belas barbas brancas faz as delícias das crianças em todo o mundo. Nos EUA, por influência do nome holandês chamam-no Santa Claus ou simplesmente Santa. No Reino Unido preferem chamá-lo Father Christmas 

domingo, 2 de dezembro de 2012

quinta-feira, 29 de novembro de 2012

Saint Andrew

Saint Andrew was an Apostle, the older brother of Saint Peter. He went to Greece to preach the gospel, where he was martyred by crucifixion at Patras in Achaia, being tied to a cross which was shaped like the letter X; called ever since the “Saint Andrew’s cross” (it is said that Saint Andrew felt unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross on which Christ had been crucified). He made his cross a pulpit and even preached from it before dying.

The flag of Scotland is the Cross of St. Andrew, and this is widely displayed as a symbol of national identity.

The Ruins of the Castle of St Andrews by Captain John Sleezer (1814 edition)

The relics of Saint Andrew were brought to Scotland in Antiquity by St Rule and placed in a specially constructed chapel in Scotland. This chapel was replaced by the Cathedral of St. Andrews in 1160, and the town of St. Andrews, which took its name from the Apostle, became the religious capital of Scotland and a great centre for medieval pilgrims who came to see the relics. St. Andrews Cathedral was destroyed during the Scottish Reformation and is now in ruins.

St. Andrews from the Pier. Engraving by William Bartlett (over 100 years old)

St Andrews from the Pier nowadays

Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Romania, Russia, Greece and Scotland. He died in the year 61 and his feast day is on  November 30, the national day of Scotland.

The town is home to the University of St Andrews, the third oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Britain's most prestigious. It is now 600 years old. This university became famous worldwide in 2011, when Prince William married Kate Middleton, since both had been students at the university where they met for the first time.

Rug at the entrance of the library.

Students from all over the world attend the university as either undergraduate or postgraduate students.

Graduation Day is a memorable day for students and their families.

St Andrews is a very charming, ancient town, in Fife, near a coastline with picturesque fishing villages.

It is also known worldwide as the "home of golf".

Two years ago I spent some days at St Andrews and I must admit that those were indeed very relaxing holidays!

St. Andrews, 2010

segunda-feira, 26 de novembro de 2012

70 Years Ago...

Exactly 70 years ago, Casablanca premiered at the Hollywood Theater in New York. This is a tribute to one of the greatest movies of all time- Casablanca

quinta-feira, 15 de novembro de 2012

National Day of the Sea

On November 16 we commemorate the National Day of the Sea in Portugal.

Strait Magellan

Portuguese Sea

O sea, how much of your salt
Is sharp with the tears of Portugal?
How many mothers have wept
And sons prayed vainly to cross you
And maidens remained unmarried
That we might claim you our own
O salty seas of Portugal.

And was the price too high?
Not if the soul can pay it
Not if the soul is big enough
To round the cape and discover
Further perils beyond
For God who created the waters
Made them also mirror his heaven.

  Fernando Pessoa (transl. John Betjeman)

                                                    Cape Horn, 2007 


sábado, 10 de novembro de 2012

TEFL 2012

23 - 24 November 2012 

(Auditoriums 1 and 2, FCSH) 

15 December 2012 

(workshop follow-up exclusive for English teachers in Portugal who need creditation; Auditorium 2, FCSH) 

What do ELT professionals need to know? 

about language 

about learning 

sexta-feira, 9 de novembro de 2012


Foodscape photographer Carl Warner uses fresh fruit, vegetables and meat to bring his imagination to life. He compares his work to Willy Wonka's creations in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. His new pieces were aimed at encouraging healthier eating among younger children: "I use my work as a vehicle to get kids to think about what they are eating,"

Fishscape features rocks made of oyster shells and crab claws, boats made of marrows and asparagus, and a shining, silvery, slippery sea of fish.

Pumpkin Paradise

Mr Warner, who was born in Liverpool, said the work rekindled the 'childhood imagination' in adults.

Mr Warner starts work by drawing his ideas on paper. He then buys the produce and spends between one and three days assembling it with the help of pins and superglue. He then photographs it layer after layer from the foreground to the background and assembles them into one image in post-production. 

quarta-feira, 7 de novembro de 2012

How this happened

President Obama won the presidential elections.

He kindly sent all supporters this email (at 6:28):

Teresa --

I'm about to go speak to the crowd here in Chicago, but I wanted to thank you first.

I want you to know that this wasn't fate, and it wasn't an accident. You made this happen.

You organized yourselves block by block. You took ownership of this campaign five and ten dollars at a time. And when it wasn't easy, you pressed forward.

I will spend the rest of my presidency honoring your support, and doing what I can to finish what we started.

But I want you to take real pride, as I do, in how we got the chance in the first place.

Today is the clearest proof yet that, against the odds, ordinary Americans can overcome powerful interests.

There's a lot more work to do.

But for right now: Thank you.


CNN Takes Over Empire State Building

The Empire State Building spire is displaying projections from the CNN Election Center. With many states too close to call, the world is watching...

Lisbon, Portugal 2.49 GMT

terça-feira, 6 de novembro de 2012

November 2012 Newsletter

e-mail: portugal@clever-pants.com

It’s getting cold outside, but we’re here to warm you up with our Clever Pants Monthly newsletter.

Feeling adventurous? Then have a look at our idioms on the theme of danger and safety!

idiom (n): an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is separate from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made

To throw caution to the wind
If you throw caution to the wind, you start taking risks and stop worrying about the danger involved.
“I was always so worried about having savings, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and buy myself a nice new car!”

A close shave
This term describes a situation where an accident or a disaster nearly happened. It originates from the days of the cut-throat razor being a risky way to have your beard cut!
“I almost hit the child who ran out in front of my car. It was a close shave.”

To batten down the hatches
A sailing term meaning to close all the windows on a ship in preparation for a storm. When you batten down the hatches, you prepare yourself for danger or a forthcoming difficult period.
“Susan is bringing her four young children to our house
today. Time to batten down the hatches!”

The coast is clear
Another idiom that comes from the world of sailing. To say that the coast is clear means that there is no danger in sight and it is safe to continue your activity.
“Relax! The coast is clear. The director has gone back into his office.”

Look before you leap
This is something you say when advising someone to think carefully about the possible dangers before doing something (leap (v.) is similar to jump and is usually used with off or out of, as in “leap off the edge of the cliff” or “He leapt out of bed”).
“Don't decide too quickly. Look before you leap!”

To be on the safe side
If you do something to be on the safe side, you do it as a precaution, to avoid any risks.
“I think I locked the door but I'll c heck again to be on the safe side.”


Look at the phrases below. Try to complete them with one of the prepositions

At        to         in        for       on       about      into      towards

1. I can’t concentrate __________ what I’m doing because you are talking too much!
2. My parents always complain _____________ how untidy my bedroom is.
3. I think you should apologize_____________ her for what you did.
4. The film is aimed___________ younger people.
5. I aim ____________ pass all of my exams this year.
6. We have to translate this phrase ____________ English.
7. I was thinking ___________ the best way to do the exercise.
8. The reason ____________ the delay was the late arrival of the train.
9. There has been a big decrease__________ the temperature lately.
10. I think my attitude __________ doing homework needs to improve.


2- about
10 towards

© Clever Pants 2012

Showcase 3

After the devastation of hurricane Sandy, New York is back in full splendour.

sexta-feira, 2 de novembro de 2012

Obama for America

In the past week, President Obama received two powerful endorsements from leaders who aren't exactly partisan Democrats: Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City.

"The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast -in lost lives, lost homes and lost business -brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief...the president has achieved some important victories on issues that will help define our future... If he listens to people on both sides of the aisle, and builds the trust of moderates, he can fulfill the hope he inspired four years ago and lead our country toward a better future for my children and yours. And that’s why I will be voting for him."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

With less than a week to go in this election, and millions of voters still making up their minds, I wish President Obama all the best for his reelection.