A minha Lista de blogues

quarta-feira, 29 de agosto de 2012

Shakespeare´s birthplace

The house where William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born and brought up is in Stratford-Upon-Avon. It is now a memorial to the poet and attracts visitors from all over the world.

I visited it in 1981, after graduating in English Language and Literature in Lisbon, and kept the admission ticket as a souvenir.

The old house belonged to his father and the ownership of the property passed to William Shakespeare and then successively to his elder daughter Susanna and to his only granddaughter, Lady Barnard. On her death in 1670 she bequeathed it to her cousin, Thomas Hart, whose descendants continued to own the property until 1806, when it was sold to Thomas Court.

Following the death of Court´s widow the interest in the site increased when an American entrepreneur, P. T. Barnum proposed to buy the home in 1846 and send it to the USA, where it would be kept over wheels to be in perpetual digression.

The idea was so frightening that a Commitee was formed and raised the necessary money to buy it one year later. 

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust also owns Anne Hathaway´s Cottage, where Shakespeare´s wife lived; Mary Arden´s House, where Shakespeare´s mother lived, New Place and Hall´s Croft, Shakespeare´s daughter´s home.


Bryson, Bill. Shakespeare. Bertrand Editora, 2008

Fox, Levi. Pocket Guide to the Shakespearian Properties

domingo, 26 de agosto de 2012

Neil Armstrong

"Looking back, we were really very privileged to live in that thin slice of history where we changed how man looks at himself and what he might become and where he might go,"

Neil Armstrong.

Neil Armstrong, was born in Ohio, on August 5, 1930. He was interested in flying even as a young boy, earning his pilot's license at age 16. Armstrong studied aeronautical engineering and earned degrees from Purdue University and University of Southern California. He served in the Navy, and flew 78 combat missions during the Korean War.

Armstrong took two trips into space. He made his first journey in 1966 as commander of the Gemini 8 mission, which nearly ended in disaster after a thruster rocket malfunctioned and caused it to spin wildly out of control.

During his next space trip in July 1969, Armstrong and fellow astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins made a 250,000-mile journey to the moon, which took them four days to reach. About six and a half hours after landing, Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon, on July 20, 1969. Then he expressed the now-famous phrase: "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."

Armstrong was on the moon's surface for two hours and 32 minutes. He and Aldrin, who followed him, planted an American flag, collected moon rocks and started scientific experiments before returning to the main spacecraft.

All three returned home to a hero's welcome, and none ever returned to space.

Afterwards, Armstrong worked for NASA, coordinating and managing the administration's research and technology work.

In 1971, he resigned from NASA and taught engineering at the University of Cincinnati for nearly a decade.

Armstrong largely avoided the public spotlight and chose to lead a quiet, private life with his wife and children.

"Neil was among the greatest of American heroes -- not just of his time, but of all time," said President Barack Obama. "When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation. They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable -- that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible." 

Neil Armstrong died yesterday. He was 82. A statement from his family, announcing his death, ended with a request: “For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink”.

Information selected from:


quinta-feira, 23 de agosto de 2012

Adventures abroad 5


The borough of Manhattan is what most people think of when they speak of New York City, one of the most fascinating cities in the world. The other boroughs are: Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island.

Before the arrival of Europeans, the Indian tribe Algonquian inhabited the island and named it Manhattan, which meant “island of the hills”. The Dutch, the first Europeans to settle there, founded a city for commercial purposes called New Amsterdam, but as a consequence of the English and Dutch rivalries in Europe, the English took New Amsterdam and renamed it New York, after the Duke of York, brother of the English king Charles II, in 1664 (The borough of Queens was named after the wife of Charles II, the Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza).

Manhattan is the centre of American art, theatre, publishing, fashion, shopping, advertising, finance, and much more. It is divided into the East Side and the West Side. Fifth Avenue is the dividing line. Both the avenues and streets have numbers: avenues with lower numbers are on the east side and they increase as you move west; streets with lower numbers are in Lower Manhattan and they increase as you move north in the direction of Central Park. Therefore, it is hard to lose oneself in Manhattan.

To enjoy the place you must walk in the crowds but take a taxi to discover why New York is a mosaic of cultures, starting with taxi drivers.

See the beautiful skyscrapers, visit the museums,  go to Broadway and shop (there are real good bargains) or window-shop in Saks, Bergdorf Goodman, Brooks Brothers... The bookshops (Barnes & Noble) are a huge temptation, but you must realize that you can´t bring back home all that weight in gifts… 

                                                                                      Empire State Building

Rockefeller Center

A view of Central Park from the 85th floor of One57, a tower in Midtown Manhattan under construction

Nuno Madeira created a site that makes it possible to visit New York online.


quarta-feira, 15 de agosto de 2012

Assumption of Mary

August 15 is a public holiday in Portugal. As a catholic country we commemorate the assumption of Mary into Heaven.

This picture by the Portuguese artist Paula Rego is in the chapel of Belem Palace, the official residence of the President of the Republic, who shared it on facebook.

The biggest religious procession in Madeira Island takes place in Monte every year on 15 August. It is organized to honour Our Lady of Monte, the Patroness of Madeira. 

The Church of Our Lady of Monte  (1818) is located in the picturesque village of Monte, 6 km away from Funchal. It is in this church that the last emperor of Austria, Charles I was buried. He died in Monte, where he lived in exile, in 1922.

It is also near the Church of Monte that the famous wicker basket guides, dressed in traditional white with straw hats, wait for their customers to start the toboggan ride, which Ernest Hemingway described as “the most exhilarating experience of my life”.

Julia Child

Julia Child (1912-2004) was known for her culinary books and television programs.
She married Paul Child when she was 34 and they moved to France when her husband was assigned there as a Foreign Office officer. In Paris she attended the famous Cordon Bleu cooking school and began teaching French cuisine to American women living in Paris. Later, in the USA, she became an author and was a star in numerous television programs about the culinary art.

On the 100 anniversary of her birth, this is how Google presented her. 

Julia Child donated the kitchen from her home, which served as the set for three of her television series, to the National Museum of American History. It included the cabinets, appliances, cookbooks, kitchen table and hundreds of utensils and gadgets. The kitchen was designed by her husband and had high counters because Julia was very tall.

Julie & Julia ( 2009) is a film about the life of Julia Child ( Meryl Streep) in the early years of her culinary career in France and the life of young Julie Powell ( Amy Adams) , a New Yorker , who intended to cook all 524 recipes in Child's cookbook in 365 days, a challenge she described on her blog that would make her a published author.

In the film Julie cooked boeuf bourguignon for an important dinner party. Not just any boeuf bourguignon - Julia Child's boeuf bourguignon


segunda-feira, 13 de agosto de 2012

High expectations…

Low results

After watching the outstanding show for the Queen´s Jubilee and the spectacular opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics my expectations were high for the closing ceremony.

Unfortunately I was very disappointed. There were a few highlights, but most of it was a typical rock show.

 I was delightfully surprised by the homage to Freddy Mercury and the guitar performance by his fellow band member Brian May.

 However I was not rocked by Jessie J´s “I will rock you”.

I enjoyed Waterloo Sunset  by Ray Davies

I think my students loved One Direction

sexta-feira, 10 de agosto de 2012

The sardine is ours!

The Millenium Gallery has opened with the exhibition “The Sardine is ours”. It includes 193 sardine designs, chosen from among a pre-selection of 300.

It´s worth seeing this exhibition and enjoy the creative ways of portraying sardines.

Rua Augusta, 96

quinta-feira, 9 de agosto de 2012

Preocupo-me, LOGO EXISTO!

Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead

Preocupo-me, LOGO EXISTO! is an adaptation of the work by Eric Bogosian Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead. It´s on stage in Lisbon. It is performed by Diogo Infante as a solo artist.

Preocupo-me, LOGO EXISTO! is a monologue which carefully analyses in a critical and sarcastic manner contemporary daily life with a strong sense of self criticism. It deals with politics, race, social obligation and responsibility, all very up-to-date questions. The characters, which are very often funny, but also cynical, possess a striking level of humanity.

Diogo Infante is absolutely captivating in the 8 characters he performs: he switches between roles with ease and is very convincing whether playing the salesman, the racist taxi driver, the drug addicted superstar, the Devil, the doctor describing the side effects of the medicine he’s prescribing or the common man at the end who reflects about the play. His style is confrontational- he speaks directly to the audience.

An excellent play that is a must for anyone interested in theatre! 

Eric Bogosian is an American playwright and actor known for his plays Talk Radio and Suburbia as well as numerous solos: Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead and Wake Up and Smell the Coffee. He was born in Boston (MA) in 1953.

Diogo Infante is a very versatile and awarded Portuguese actor who has worked on stage, in the screen and on television. Diogo Infante was director of the Portuguese National Theatre D. Maria II. He was born in Lisbon in 1967.

quarta-feira, 8 de agosto de 2012

Estatística do THIS and THAT

7 agosto 2012

Este blog iniciou-se há um ano, a 7 de agosto de 2011. Teve como objetivo fornecer informações sobre a cultura anglo-americana aos alunos da EB Paula Vicente, por considerar que muitos manuais não contemplam esta matéria. Os primeiros artigos tinham sido publicados no jornal digital da escola, o qual, no final do ano letivo 2010/11, atingiu o seu limite de capacidade. Escrevi artigos em Inglês, destinados a alunos nos anos mais avançados e outros em Português. Todos os assuntos foram de início abordados nas minhas aulas de Inglês.

No entanto, constatei que manter o blog atualizado ultrapassava o objetivo inicial e escrever passou a ser um passatempo que me dá um gozo especial, fundamentalmente, porque descobri ser uma forma de partilhar ideias e curiosidades. Obviamente, não conheço nem 1/1000 das pessoas que visitaram o THIS and THAT, porém tive muito gosto em saber que talvez tenha suscitado aos meus alunos e a muita gente dos quatro cantos do globo um renovado interesse de saber mais acerca de variados temas. Depois, este meu blog, numa época onde o futuro já não parece possível sem o recurso à internet deu-me a plena consciência que o mundo é, finalmente, como diz o velho adágio, uma “aldeia”. E a partilha de leituras e o aprofundamento de velhos conhecimentos, resultantes desse avanço espantoso da tecnologia, revela-se útil e uma forma de me sentir cidadã dessa cidade universal. Assim, a vastidão dos mares, a altura das montanhas e as fronteiras nacionais deixam de ser intransponíveis - por momentos, todos nos aproximamos uns dos outros graças à “blogoesfera”. 

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                                             Maria Teresa Relva
                       Berlengas, Portugal, 7 agosto 2012

terça-feira, 7 de agosto de 2012

NASA`s Mars Rover

The Mars Curiosity rover landed safely on the surface of Mars on August 6, 2012. 

It is part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). Curiosity is a nuclear-powered Mars rover, which carries the most advanced scientific equipment ever used on the surface of the red planet. This extraordinary accomplishment represents a step forward for Martian exploration. 

The MSL spacecraft that carried Curiosity was launched on November 26, 2011.  




segunda-feira, 6 de agosto de 2012

WOW! Usain Bolt!

A legend in the making!

On  5 August,  the world´s fastest man, the Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt, won the men´s 100m gold medal in 9.63 seconds- a new Olympic record, justifying his nickname, Lighting Bolt.

Calm, focus, natural talent, hard work and amazing physical fitness will all make Usain Bolt a legend!

On 9 August the untouchable Jamaican won the 200m and became the first sprinter to win the 100 and 200 metres in consecutive Olympics. He finished in 19.32 seconds.

On  11 August Bolt won his third gold medal in the London 2012 Olympics by leading the Jamaican men´s 400m relay team in a new world record time of 36.84sec.

sábado, 4 de agosto de 2012

Marilyn Monroe

“Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”
Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe was born as Norma Jean Mortenson in Los Angeles, California in 1926 and died on August 5, 1962, precisely 50 years ago.

She came from a broken home. She never knew her father and her mother, Gladys, was mentally and financially unable to take care of her, so she spent her childhood in different foster homes.

In 1942 she married Jim Dougherty in an attempt to get rid of foster care. During the war she started working in a factory and was encouraged to apply to a modeling agency. As they were looking for light hair models she coloured her brunette hair blond. She appeared in many magazine covers and became very successful. She divorced Jim Dougherty in 1946.

In the same year Norma Jean caught the attention of film executives and after changing her name to Marilyn Monroe made her debut in some films in non-speaking roles. After several movie flops and in desperate need of money, she agreed to pose nude.When a calendar of her nude colour photos was discovered the studio went out of control. Marilyn calmly confirmed that she had needed the money and the problems quickly receded.

In 1953, during the wedding of Eunice Kennedy (one of the Kennedy sisters), someone decided that in honour of the bride´s family everyone should sing “Maryland, my Maryland”. That was fine until the Kennedys started singing “Marilyn, my Marilyn” in honour of Marilyn Monroe. (Leamer 426)

In  January 1954 she married Joe DiMaggio, a baseball player. In response to a question about married life, she said: “Ballplayers make good husbands. Joe and I want a lot of little DiMaggios.” (Cramer362)

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Diamonds Are a Girl´s Best Friends contributed to her popularity.

She won one of her most notable film roles in The Seven Year Itch. In September 1954, she appeared in a white summer dress standing on a subway grate with her skirt blowing up, as if cooling herself with the wind from the train below (this scene  was on Lexington Avenue at 52nd Street in New York City, but was never seen in the film-it was only for publicity).

Publicists knew that wherever she went, the town stopped around her. One of them even said: “The Russians could have invaded Manhattan, and nobody would have taken any notice”. In the crowd was her husband who didn´t like what he saw. That night, there was a fight in their suite on the 11th floor of the St Regis and that fight would stay famous as the end of their marriage. (Cramer 366) 

In 1956 she married Arthur Miller, an American playwright who wrote in his memoirs: “This golden girl was like champagne on the screen…with all her radiance she was surrounded by a darkness that perplexed me” He once told her: “You´re the saddest girl I´ve ever known”.

In Some like it hot, she won the Golden Globe award for best comedy actress (1960) and started filming The Misfits, (her last completed film) a short story by Arthur Miller adapted to screenplay. Before the film's premiere in 1961, they divorced.

Monroe started filming another film, Something’s Gotta Give, in 1962.  However, her deteriorating physical condition, her mood swings and her emotional instability (she forgot her lines and missed numerous shoots) reached a point that she was eventually dropped from the film.  She saw her psychiatrist almost daily and her doctor several times a week.

“She seemed to have a mind of immense capacity that had been assaulted by life, bludgeoned by a culture that asked only enticement of her. She had acted that role, and now she was petitioning to display another dimension, but in some difficult- to- grasp way she could not get a hearing, and this was hurtful when like any actor she was almost totally defined by what was said and written about her” (Miller 425)

On May 19, 1962, she made her last public appearance, singing “Happy Birthday, Mr President” to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden.

Monroe died of a possible drug overdose. Her ex-husband, Joe DiMaggio, came forward to manage her funeral. This happened 50 years ago but her myth continues…

Andy Warhol´s paintings that feature Monroe`s likeness are based on 1953 publicity for the film Niagara.

Elton John’s tribute to Princess Diana, “Candle in the Wind,” was originally written to commemorate Monroe’s life: (Goodbye Norma Jean…) 

Cramer, Richard Ben. Joe DiMaggio. Simon & Schuster. New York, 2000
Laurence Leamer. The Kennedy Women. Fawcett Columbine, New York, 1994
Miller, Arthur. Timebends. A Life. Grove Press. New York, 1987