A minha Lista de blogues

quarta-feira, 30 de outubro de 2013

Portugal – your destination 2014

The Lonely Planet has chosen Portugal as one of the best destinations for 2014, because “when times are tight we suggest you travel more, not less – but pick carefully. This is where your wallet will smile at the memories for years to come.”

"Each year the British Post Office surveys the prices in European holiday resorts. The most recent edition names Albufeira in the Algarve as the cheapest option for a summer family holiday. The Algarve in high summer may not be to everyone’s taste, but it shows that Portugal is great for the budget-conscious. There are excellent deals elsewhere too. Lisbon has wonderful coffee and sweet treats for a few euros, and you can ride cheap trams around to your heart’s content. Portugal is also, for Europeans, a superb place to surf without having to fork out the airfare to the sport’s traditional heartlands"

Lonely Planet’s best value travel destinations for 2014

domingo, 27 de outubro de 2013

Humphrey Bogart’s ‘Casablanca’ car to be sold

The 1940 Buick phaeton driven by Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca will be part of Bonham’s "What Dreams Are Made Of: A Century Movie Magic" auction in New York City on November 25.

This Buick model 81C trunk back convertible Phaeton is one of just 230 made in 1940. It currently shows 42,000 miles on the odometer. The vehicle had a mechanical restoration in the 1990s and is in drivable condition. The original interior shows evidence of water damage and there are burns in the custom-ordered broadcloth, too, but these are reportedly “period correct,” from Humphrey Bogart’s perpetual cigarette.

The car was owned by Warner Brothers until 1970 (it appeared in another Bogart classic, High Sierra) when it was sold to the first of a series of private owners. It was last sold in June 1995 for $211,500, but the Aztec Brown 1940 Buick convertible is estimated to be sold now for $450,000 to $500,000.



sábado, 26 de outubro de 2013

Royal Paintbox

Queen Victoria.The Children at Osborne. 1850.

Members of the British Royal family have been inspired to paint, draw and sculpt for generations. Royal Paintbox: Royal Artists Past and Present, an exhibition at Windsor Castle, from 22 June 2013 to 26 January 2014, shows examples of their handiwork from the last 350 years.

Duke of Edinburgh.The Queen  Reading in the Private Dining Room, Windsor Castle. 1965. Oil on panel

Also on display are a series of watercolours by the Prince of Wales who often paints in the open air, particularly on The Queen’s Balmoral estate in Scotland, which served as a great source of inspiration.

The Prince of Wales sometimes calls himself “Carrick”. One of his titles is Earl of Carrick. He signs some personal notes with this name.

Photo: Nadav Kander for TIME

The prints of his watercolour paintings are marketed by A.G. Carrick, a trading arm of the Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation.

Balmoral Castle. 1989.Watercolour

Beinn a Bhuird from Ballochbuie, Deeside. 1991.Watercolour

Sandringham House. 1991.Watercolour

Lochnagar from the Gelder Cottage. 2012.Watercolour



quinta-feira, 24 de outubro de 2013

68th anniversary of the United Nations

UN Headquarters from the East River

The United Nations Headquarters is located between 42nd and 48th Street on the East Side of New York. This glass-fronted building dominates the skyline of New York and is one of the most popular destinations of tourists in the city.

The signing of the charter by President Truman

On this day in 1945, the United Nations was born when the UN charter took effect after being ratified by the five permanent members of the Security Council (United States, Great Britain, France, Soviet Union and the Republic of China) and a majority of the other 46 members. 

Member States of the United Nations


Practice makes perfect

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

Can you match the expression with its meaning?

1. "The pen is mightier than the sword."

2. "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

3. "Better late than never."

4. "A picture is worth a thousand words."

5. “The early bird catches the worm."

6. "Actions speak louder than words."

7. "Practice makes perfect."

8. “You can't judge a book by its cover."

9. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

a. You should wake up and start work early if you want to succeed.

b. You have to practice a skill a lot to become good at it.

c. Pictures convey emotions and messages better than written or spoken explanations.

d. Things sometimes look different than they really are. A restaurant that looks old and small might have amazing food, for example.

e. Sometimes it's good to be away from the people you love, because it makes you want to see each other again.

f. Strong people don't give up when they come across challenges. They just work harder.

g. Trying to convince people with ideas and words is more effective than trying to force people to do what you want.

h. Just saying that you'll do something doesn't mean much. Actually doing it is harder and more meaningful.

i. It’s better to do something late than to give up and not do it at all.

© Clever Pants 2012


Key: 1-g ; 2-f; 3-i; 4-c ; 5-a ; 6-h ; 7-b; 8-d ; 9.e

quarta-feira, 23 de outubro de 2013

The christening of Prince George

The christening of Prince George took place today at The Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, as announced before.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have asked the following people to be Godparents to Prince George:

Mr Oliver Baker (Oliver Baker attended the University of St Andrews with The Duke and Duchess)

Mrs David Jardine-Paterson (Emilia Jardine-Paterson attended Marlborough College with The Duchess)

Earl Grosvenor (Hugh) (Earl Grosvenor is the son of The Duke of Westminster)

Mr Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton (Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton served as Private Secretary to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry from 2005-2012 and continues to serve part-time as Principal Private Secretary and Equerry)

The Hon Mrs Michael Samuel (Julia Samuel was a close friend of The Princess of Wales)

Mrs Michael Tindall (Zara Tindall is The Duke of Cambridge’s cousin)

Mr William van Cutsem (William van Cutsem is a childhood friend of The Duke of Cambridge)

Prince Charles wore the precious silk and lace gown when he was baptised at Buckingham Palace in December 1948.

Prince William himself wore the original Victoria gown when he was christened on August 4, 1982.

Prince George wore the hand made replica of the Royal Christening Robe. The original dress, created for Queen Victoria's eldest daughter Victoria, Princess Royal in 1841, was worn by more than 60 royal babies, including Prince William himself. However it is now said to be incredibly fragile. A replica by the Queen's dressmaker Angela Kelly was first worn by James, Viscount Severn, in 2008.

The Lily Font and water from the River Jordan was used during the baptism.

Following the service, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall gave a private tea in Clarence House. Guests were served slices of christening cake, which is a tier taken from The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding cake.



Alligator at Florida supermarket

Employees at a supermarket in the southern U.S. state of Florida were forced to close their doors to a nearly two-meter-long alligator that had stopped in the store's entrance on Sunday morning, causing the automatic doors to open and close until they were locked.

Local police officers tried to attract the reptile away as customers gathered to watch and snap pictures.


The alligator eventually made its way to nearby woods. Officers searched the area but could not find the animal.

The Everglades National Park is home to 36 threatened or protected species including the alligator, the american crocodile.

segunda-feira, 21 de outubro de 2013

The most spectacular libraries in the world

University of Coimbra Library 

The newspaper, The Telegraph, showcased a list of the most speactacular libraries in the world.

 Mafra Palace Library

Portugal features twice in the list, with Coimbra coming first and Mafra fourth!


United Nations Stamps: Endangered Species

On 10 October 2013, the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) issued a set of 12 stamps showing endangered species. The series was launched in 1993 to highlight the need for the protection of endangered species throughout the world. For this year's Endangered Species stamps the topic is the wonder of nocturnal animals.

The US$ 1.10 stamps show the following endangered species: 
Asian tapir (Tapirus indicus) 
Mongoose lemur (Eulemur mongoz) 
Flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps) 
Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)

The artist is Fernando J.S. Correia from Portugal, a biologist who holds a MS degree in Animal Ecology and specialized in Illustration and Scientific Communication.

The € 0.70 stamps depict the following endangered species:
Banded civet (Hemigalus derbyanus)
Pharaoh eagle-owl (Bubo ascalaphus)
Greater slow loris (Nycticebus coucang)
Long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus spp.)

The artist is Emily S. Damstra from Canada, a natural science illustrator.

The F.s. 1.40 stamps depict the following endangered species:
Ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii)
Potto (Perodicticus potto)
Philippine tarsier (Tarsius syrichta)
Livingstone's flying fox (Pteropus livingstonii)

The artist is Sara Menon from Italy who has got an academic degree in Conservation of Cultural Heritage.


sábado, 19 de outubro de 2013

Make or do?

I have been grading tests since yesterday and realized some students still find it difficult to use the verbs make and do.

In fact these two words have very similar meanings besides the fact they are translated into Portuguese with the same word (fazer). It is often difficult to choose between them.


However, we use do when we are talking about an activity without saying exactly what it is.

Do something!

I don´t know what to do.

What are you doing?

He likes doing nothing.

Do is isually the correct word when we are talking about work.

I dislike doing housework. I hate doing the cooking/ the shopping/the cleaning/ the washing up. I think I should get a maid to do all that.

Do is also used with the following expressions:

Do good/ harm/ business/ one´s best/ a favour.


Make expresses the idea of creation and construction.

My mother has just made a delicious cake.

Let´s make a plan!

I always make my bed in the morning.

Make is also used with the following expressions:

Make an offer/ an arrangement / an attempt/ an effort/ an excuse/ an exception/ an impression

Make/ a mistake/ a noise/ a profit/ a speech / a suggestion/ a decision/ a claim/ a comment/ a promise/ a protest/ a start/ a success/ a change/ a point

Make love/ war/ peace/ progress

The internet provides many explanations and exercises. Try these:

Play the game


Queen Mary´s Dolls´House

Queen Mary´s Dolls´House is probably the largest, most beautiful and most famous dolls’ house in the world. 

It is not a doll´s house in the usual meaning of the word, a children´s toy. Standing over 2 metres high, it is a replica of an aristocratic residence with salon, library, dining room, private apartments, servants’ rooms, kitchen, wine cellar, a garden and a garage full of vintage miniature limousines. Did you know that Queen Mary's Dolls' House has electricity, running water, working lifts and flushing lavatories?

It was created by the British architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, who was responsible for public memorials to the First World War, like the Cenotaph in Whitehall, and the British embassies in Washington and New Delhi. The house was built between 1921 and 1924 and was the star at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924, planed ”as an advertisement and celebration of the economic products of Britain and her colonies… to promote international trade and economic growth after the disruption of the war”.

The house was an idea of Princess Marie Louise, a grandchild of Queen Victoria and a childhood friend of Queen Mary, King George V´s wife who had a passion for miniature objects.

                                                 Queen Mary

The dining room with a beautiful table set for dinner 

and the library with amazing miniature books, and  the chimneypiece of white marble and lapis lazuli are the highlights of this exhibition you shouldn´t miss when you visit Windsor Castle.

Now you can explore it 


Windsor Castle Official guidebook. Royal Collection Publications, 2004

Queen Mary´s Dolls´House. Official guidebook. . Royal Collection Publications, 2006

quinta-feira, 17 de outubro de 2013

The Paradise

I´ve been keenly watching the BBC TV show “The Paradise” (season 1, 9 episodes) based on Emile Zola´s novel Au Bonheur des Dames. The story is set in 1875 and portrays the daily lives of workers in the first English department store. It is not only quite entertaining with its contrasting characters, romantic storyline and the day to day drama of people who work closely together, but also quite interesting. Some recurrent topics include the prospect of local stores fighting to compete with a huge commercial enterprise, women in the workplace and the establishment of shopping as a modern pastime. 

If you miss those classical TV shows as “Pride and Prejudice” and “Persuasion” or enjoy modern tales as “Downton Abbey”, you will find “The Paradise” quite a delight as a period drama with intrigue and fun characters.

I could not have enough of it. When will the next season premiere? November?! Must I wait that long?

quarta-feira, 16 de outubro de 2013


Hoje, dia 16 de Outubro, comemora-se o Dia Mundial da Alimentação.

“Sistemas sustentáveis para a segurança alimentar e nutrição”, constitui o tema geral das comemorações do Dia Mundial da Alimentação, em 2013.

O “PAIPA – Projeto de Apoio à Intensificação da Produção Alimentar”, que se desenvolve na Guiné-Bissau graças à cooperação portuguesa tem presente, quer a necessidade de aumentar a produção de alimentos quer a sua variedade. Desse modo, apoia com o envolvimento direto dos habitantes locais a produção de arroz (base alimentar de toda a população guineense), utilizando processos e maquinaria moderna, como tratores, debulhadoras e descascadores. Incentiva também, com aconselhamento técnico, o desenvolvimento da horticultura (cebola, tomate, repolho, etc.), através da formação de cooperativas de mulheres.

Nas fotografias, tiradas no ano passado, vêem-se bem os jardins hortícolas de duas aldeias (tabankas) da região de Bafatá, onde o programa começou.

A produção de arroz aumentou muito significativamente, dando segurança alimentar às respetivas populações, assim como já foi possível ter excedentes resultantes da horticultura, sobretudo cebola, que permitiu a sua venda nos centros urbanos, dando um rendimento acrescido bastante importante para as mulheres agricultoras.

 Este ano o PAIPA já se estendeu para algumas zonas de Gabu, aí mais dedicado à produção das espécies de milho regionais. Sem qualquer dúvida a cooperação portuguesa através do PAIPA promove um projecto integrado e sustentável para a segurança alimentar e nutrição da Guiné-Bissau com plena participação das gentes guineenses.

World Food Day 2012

Entrevista ao nutricionista Dr Júlio de Castro Soares (2012)

terça-feira, 15 de outubro de 2013

Alice Munro Won Nobel Prize in Literature


The Canadian short-story writer, Alice Munro, won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature on October 10. Announcing the award in Stockholm, the Swedish Academy said that Ms. Munro, 82, who has written 14 story collections, was a “master of the contemporary short story.”

Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister, issued a statement praising Ms. Munro as the first Canadian woman to win the Nobel in literature. “Canadians are enormously proud of this remarkable accomplishment, which is the culmination of a lifetime of brilliant writing,” he said.

You can read here:

James Galea's Unbelievable Trick

One of the top magicians in Australia, James Galea made his US television debut with some unbelievable magic.

A propósito de Angola

Fortaleza de S. Miguel, Luanda

Não fiquei nada surpreendida ao tomar conhecimento das recentes declarações do presidente de Angola, que se chama José Eduardo dos Santos e está na presidência, desde 1979, portanto há 34 anos, quase tanto tempo como Salazar. Angolanos que conheci tinham atitude idêntica, que me faz lembrar aqueles pobres e complexados novos-ricos, mal agradecidos.

Há que ter muita paciência com estas velhas táticas do senhor eng. Santos, o qual é formado em Baku, ex-república soviética do Azerbeijão, no tempo da União Soviética e aí ter aprendido e cultivado no partido e no estado as táticas comunistas. 

E veio-me à memória as fotografias, que reproduzo da Fortaleza de São Miguel de Luanda. Uma bela fortificação estrategicamente edificada no ano de 1634. Foi a primeira estrutura defensiva permanente construída na bela baía de Luanda. 

O interior da casamata estava revestido com paineis de azulejos, de azulejaria portuguesa do século XVIII, reproduzindo momentos históricos do século XV ao XIX, assim como a fauna e flora de Angola. Infelizmente foram vandalizados pelos angolanos e cubanos, após a independência e permaneciam no estado que se vê na fotografia, em 2006. Aliás, naquele ano, os únicos edifícios dignos visíveis ainda eram do tempo colonial. 

Tem que se mostrar alguma piedade perante um país que teve 13 anos de guerra colonial, finda a qual, em 1974, Angola era uma potência africana próspera e economicamente vibrante. Após 27 anos de guerra civil, entre 1975 e 2002 e 11 anos de paz, constata-se um país rico em recursos naturais, mas de gente muito pobre e que figura entre os mais corruptos de todo o mundo, conforme todas as fontes. Indiscutível, a esmagadora maioria da população de Angola pouco ou nada desfruta da riqueza, já hoje produzida, no país. E Luanda talvez ainda se pareça com os paineis de azulejos, esburacada, suja e agressiva. Assim, em vez de olhar para a sua própria terra… pois é, não admira que o presidente angolano procure uma escapatória e, claro está, a antiga potência colonial dá sempre jeito. Felizmente, Portugal tem quase novecentos anos de História e não são engenheiros formados na terra defunta soviética, que provocarão abalo. Talvez irritante pela tonta arrogância. Porém, trata-se de apenas mais um episódio.

No hotel em Luanda em 2006.

domingo, 13 de outubro de 2013

The Night Watch

Rembrandt van Rijin (1606-1669).Amsterdam archers under the command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq, also known as “The Night Watch”. 1642. Canvas 379,5x453,5 cm

Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, reopened April 13 after an enormous 10-year rebuild.Watch the video to see a popular presentation to the public of the painting in a shopping centre.

The painting explained.

sexta-feira, 11 de outubro de 2013

Christopher Columbus

    Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) was a Genoese navigator, explorer and colonizer. From the Portuguese, he learned about efficient travel in the Atlantic and the direction of the winds.
   When he proposed to King John II of Portugal to reach the Indies (comprising India, China, the East Indies and Japan) by sailing westward, his idea was rejected because Bartolomeu Dias, a Portuguese navigator, had recently returned with news of his successful trip to the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, from which an eastern route to Asia was now possible. Columbus, therefore, turned to the Spanish crown for support. 

    On August 3rd 1492, he left the port of Palos de la Frontera with a small fleet of three ships: Santa Maria, Nina and Pinta. Seven weeks later, on October 12, he landed in an island of the Bahamas, which he later called San Salvador. 
   Thinking he was in Asia, Columbus promptly named its inhabitants “indios”- Indians  - natives of the Indies. Afterwards, he made three more voyages, between 1494 and 1504, in which he made new and important discoveries, such as exploring more islands and the coast of mainland South America. Nevertheless, he never reached Asia, which was the original goal of his expeditions. 

   Columbus was married to Filipa Moniz Perestrelo. Her father, Bartolomeu Perestrelo, was the first governor of the island of Porto Santo in the Archipelago of Madeira. Columbus lived in this island and his first child, Diogo, was also born there. The house where he supposedly lived is now the House/Museum of Christopher Columbus.

     The anniversary of Christopher Columbus´ arrival in the Americas (on October 12, 1492) is celebrated in the USA as Columbus Day.

Grimberg, Carl. História Universal vol 9. Publicações Europa-América . Lisboa 1967

quarta-feira, 9 de outubro de 2013

Nobel Prizes

Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel left U.S. $5,000,000 in his will to finance prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace. Nobel died on December 10, 1896. The prizes were first awarded in 1901 and have been awarded annually on the anniversary of his death. Each award consists of a gold medal, a diploma and a sum of money depending on the income of the foundation.
The Bank of Sweden inaugurated a new Nobel Prize for Economics in 1969 in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

In 1949, Egas Moniz was awarded the Nobel Prize of Medicine for his discovery of the therapeutic of leucotomy in certain psycoses.

In 1998 José Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize of Literature for his parables sustained by imagination.

Don´t Spoil Your Children!

In https://www.facebook.com/9gag

terça-feira, 8 de outubro de 2013

October 9- World Post Day

On May 6, 1840, Britain issued the world's first postage stamp, the "Penny Black" featuring an engraving of Queen Victoria wearing King George IV´s State Diadem.

Read about World Post Day here.

domingo, 6 de outubro de 2013


Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Full recipe is here!
Note: I was told you´d better mix the cheese with the other ingredientes instead of using it only on the top of each mushroom. 

It worked really well and was delicious! 

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has officially declared the year 2013 to be recognized as "The International Year of the Quinoa” due to its high nutritional value.

Try this recipe Quinoa Salad. It is delicious.