A minha Lista de blogues

terça-feira, 30 de outubro de 2012

World Savings Day.

a piggy bank

World Savings Day was established on October 31, 1924, during the first International Savings Bank Congress in Milano, Italy. The aim was to alert consumers of the need of containing expenditure and establishing liquidity in order to avoid situations of over indebtedness. 

segunda-feira, 29 de outubro de 2012

50 years of James Bond films

Ian Fleming (1908 –1964) was an English author, journalist and naval intelligence officer, who became especially famous for his James Bond espionage novels. 

Ian Fleming had mentioned to friends during the war that he hoped to write an espionage novel, an ambition he achieved when he published his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1952, sixty years ago. The book revolved around James Bond, an officer of the Secret Intelligence Service (commonly known as MI6); also known by his code number, 007. The book was success and eleven more Bond novels in addition to two short-story collections were written. 

Ian Fleming and Sean Connery (007) at Goldeneye

Fleming´s desk at Goldeneye, Jamaica

Curiously, they were all written at Ian Fleming’s house in Jamaica, facing the Caribbean, which he called Goldeneye

Fleming got the name for his character from the American ornithologist James Bond, an expert on Caribbean birds and author of the guide Birds of the West Indies.

Ian Fleming was inspired by his own experiences and imagination: He based his characters on a number of individuals he came across during his time in World War II. However, it seems that the deciding factor for writing James Bond came when two British diplomats went missing in 1951: Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess, both of whom were Soviet spies. 

Many of the names used in the Bond novels came from people Fleming knew: Scaramanga, the principal villain in The Man with the Golden Gun, was named after a Eton schoolboy with whom Fleming fought; Goldfinger, was named after British architect Ernő Goldfinger, whose work Fleming hated. 

James Bond Books 

Casino Royale , Live and Let Die, Moonraker, Diamonds Are Forever, From Russia, with Love, Dr. No, Goldfinger, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, The Spy Who Loved Me ,On Her Majesty's Secret Service, You Only Live Twice, The Man with the Golden Gun, Octopussy and the Living Daylights 

After a decade of fighting the Cold War, the western world needed a new hero. Bond needed to be an irresistible image of masculinity, an appeal that would come not only from his good looks but also from a particular confidence, a certainty within himself. 

He would dress in the best clothes, drink the most expensive drinks (Dom Perignon Champagne) and drive the most sophisticated cars (the famous Aston Martin) accompanied by beautiful women (the famous Bond girls). 

James Bond had to be everything that made Britain attractive to the outside world and Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Salzman, two film producers, thought they knew the answer: Sean Connery, the first actor to play the role of James Bond. Sean O´Connery and Bond were both born in Scotland and the actor had just competed in the Mr. Universe Contest. 

The first Bond film to be released was Dr No, in 1962, fifty years ago. After Sean Connery there were five more James Bond actors: George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, making a total of 23 films.

Famous Bond Quotes

"My name is Bond, James Bond"

"Shaken, not stirred" shows Bond´s preference in the way he likes his Martini prepared. 

Ian Fleming liked his martinis shaken, not stirred because he thought that stirring a drink diminished its flavour.

The world Premiere of the last film of the James Bond series, Skyfall, was at the Royal Albert Hall on October 23rd. There were high expectations for the movie, since the release of the famed teaser in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London starring the Queen herself and 007 in Buckingham Palace. 

(Beware spoilers below)

Even though I arrived at the ticket office an hour and a half before the movie started, I could only get front row tickets… I only hesitated for a second, because I’m a big fan of the 007 saga. I can truly say that I enjoyed the movie. It was entertaining, fun and with mystery. 

To have a great hero, like James Bond (Daniel Craig), you must have a matching villain. Javier Bardem was an excellent choice. 

Also, the movie had more humor than the previous two. And to wrap it all up, it brought back two of my favourite supporting characters: Q and Moneypenny... Not to mention James Bond driving in his old Aston Martin car. 

Also, it is important not to forget the music of James Bond, which came back in full swing in Skyfall. The movie ends with a return to the renowned theme by John Barry, which starred in Dr. No. Most people know of this tune and associate it immediately with thrills, action, espionage and a bit of Bond charm. Besides the themes, James Bond movies are famous for their great entry songs. In Skyfall, it was British Singer Adele’s turn to introduce the new movie! 


Cork, J and Bruce Scivally. James Bond The Legacy. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Publishers. New York, 2002




terça-feira, 16 de outubro de 2012


According to David Reynolds the word Summit began being applied to diplomacy and international politics in 1950 when Winston Churchill first called for “another talk with the Soviet Union at the highest level… a parley at the summit”. The use of the word “summit” then probably stuck once expeditions to the world’s highest peak became important events. Indeed, in 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first men to reach the summit of the Everest; the same year that Mr. Churchill repeated his appeal for peace “at the summit of the nations”.

This may then explain why Churchill´s metaphor stuck and why today the word is used to characterize high-level meetings between state representatives.

In his book, David Reynolds also shows some interesting depictions at the time of cartoonists who portrayed world leaders on the top of mountains. Henceforth, newspapers also began applying the term, which nowadays is of common usage around the world. 

Reynolds, David. Summits- Six Meetings that Shaped the Twentieth Century, Penguin Books. London, 2008.

The New York times PAGE ONE 100 Years of Headlines. New York, 2000

segunda-feira, 15 de outubro de 2012

World Food Day

World Food Day is an event organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. It is celebrated on 16th October, the date of the founding of that organization in 1945. Its purpose is to help build a world without hunger.


While Asia and Latin America have reduced the number of hungry people, the number is increasing in sub-Saharan Africa.

The World Food Day theme for 2012 is "Agricultural cooperatives – key to feeding the world". It has been chosen to highlight the role of cooperatives in contributing to the eradication of hunger. Countries and the international community must do more to fight hunger: invest in farmers and agriculture and create jobs and safety nets for the poorest.

http://www.fao.org/index_en.htm consulted on October 15, 2012

quinta-feira, 11 de outubro de 2012

October 2012 Newsletter

e-mail: portugal@clever-pants.com

October jokes

A French fry walks into the bar and says to the bartender "Hi, I would like a beer please.”
The barman looks at him, shakes his head and says "No, we don't serve food here."

What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?
A towel.

What can you catch but not throw?
A cold.

What begins with E, ends with E, and has one letter?

Here's a selection of idioms on keenness!

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.

bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
A person who is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed is very enthusiastic and full of energy. This idiom originates with the squirrel; always up early and eagerly hunting nuts!
“Gary was fantastic. He arrived bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 7am and worked with us all day.”

champ at the bit
Someone who is champing at the bit is ready and eager to start an activity, and is showing impatience at being delayed. This idiom comes from describing horses before a race, biting on the jockey ropes in anticipation.
“The press conference was delayed for such a longtime that the journalists were champing at the bit.”

eager beaver
The term eager beaver refers to a person who is hardworking and enthusiastic, sometimes considered overzealous - like a beaver building a dam!
“The new accountant works all the time - first to arrive and last to leave. He's a real eager beaver!”

edge of one's seat
Someone who is on the edge of their seat is very interested in something and finds it both extremely exciting and nerve-wracking.
“At the end of the film we were all on the edge of  our seats. It was just so exciting!”

put your heart (and soul) into
If you put your heart (and soul) into something, you are very enthusiastic and invest a lot of energy and hard work in it.
“Paul was determined to make a success of the project. He put his heart and soul into it.”

eat, sleep and breathe something
If you eat, sleep and breathe something, you are so enthusiastic and passionate about it that you think about it constantly.
“He's a really keen golfer; he eats, sleeps and breathes golf!”

 One Direction - You don’t know you’re beautiful

One Direction are a British-Irish boy band formed in London in 2010, consisting of members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson.They appeared on the TV talent show THE X FACTOR and went on to become the first British group to go straight to number one in the US charts with their debut album.

Listen to the song and complete the lyrics using the following phrases:

You’re turning heads
make up,
To cover up,
The way that you flip your hair
it ain’t hard to tell,
If only you saw what I can see,
I want you so desperately,
To prove I’m right
You’re being shy,
you light up my world
Check any other vocabulary you don’t know.

Don’t know what for,
______________when you walk through the door,
Don’t need_________________
Being the way that you are is enough,
Everyone else in the room can see it,
Everyone else but you,
Baby you light up my world like nobody else,
____________________ gets me overwhelmed,
But when you smile at the ground
You don’t know (oh oh),
You don’t know you’re beautiful!
You’d understand why_______________
Right now I’m looking at you and I can’t believe,
You don’t know (oh oh),
You don’t know you’re beautiful!
(Oh oh)
That’s what makes you beautiful!
So come on,
You got it wrong,
________________I put it in a song,
I don’t why,
And turn away when I look into your eyes,
Everyone else in the room can see it,
Everyone else but you,
Baby_____________________ like nobody else,
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed,
But when you smile at the ground it ain’t hard to tell,
You don’t know (oh oh),
You don’t know you’re beautiful!

© Clever Pants 2012

terça-feira, 9 de outubro de 2012

Showcase 2

This shocase is about the Presidential elections in USA on November 6. There is a display of  magazines with front covers of former presidents of the USA:

Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)

Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)

George Bush (1989-1993)

Bill Clinton (1993-2001)

George W. Bush (2001-2009)

Barack Obama (2009-)

                        Barack Obama        Mitt Romney

                    Democratic Party        Republican Party  

President Obama is the incumbent.

Did you know that the Democratic Party is historically represented with a donkey and the Republican Party with an elephant

Did you know that Madeira Wine was used to toast the Declaration of Independence and that it was regularly served by George Washington to his guests? 

The other showcase is about the importance of learning English.

English is the official language of 44 countries.

English is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
English is spoken worldwide by 500 million native speakers.
English is the most studied language in the world as a foreign language.
English is very important as a Lingua Franca used by people        who aren´t native speakers of English.
English is used daily all over the world in music, films, internet, faxes, emails.
English is the leading language of science, technology, commerce, air transport, sport, tourism.

English is the mother tongue of some of the best universities in the world.

segunda-feira, 8 de outubro de 2012

World Post Day

World Post Day is celebrated on 9th October. It marks the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a specialized agency of the United Nations, established in 1874, with its headquarters in the Swiss capital Berne. With 192 member countries, the UPU sets the rules for international mail exchanges.

Mail Coach

The old system of postal delivery introduced in Britain in the 17th century proved to be inefficient as the carriers, who had to ride between “posts” to deliver mail, were often the target of robbers. In the 18th century the system of mail coach provided seating for four passengers inside and more passengers were allowed to sit outside with the driver. In the 19th century the role of the coach mail was replaced by trains as the railway network expanded. 

Sir Rowland Hill (1795 - 1879) was the reformer of the modern postal service, which included the invention of the postage stamp. He based his ideas on the concept of a prepaid service that would facilitate the transfer of letters in a faster, cheaper and safer way.

In 1861, a law in the USA permitted the use of postcards in the mail. It was the beginning of its golden era. 

                                       Humor at wartime

In an era of digital communication, postal services are still very important for distributing goods bought in Internet stores. In communities with lower levels of access to digital communication, postal services are essential for the distribution of information and goods. 

Mail truck in the USA 

segunda-feira, 1 de outubro de 2012


Verbs are the most important words in the English language. Without them we can´t construct a complete sentence.

A complete list of irregular verbs can be found in any dictionary, but if you have difficulty with verbs, it might be a good idea to learn them by heart.

F. Scott Fitzferald (1896-1940), an American writer said: "All fine prose is based on the verbs carrying the sentence".