Lessons in the "2010" Category

Social networking in today’s world

Hands up those of you who like to chat online? How many of you use Facebook? Probably quite a few of you, as in today’s world we can’t seem to live without it. So what is a social network? It is a way of communicating with other people.

Why do we use them? Because we like to communicate with other people, especially our family and our friends. It is a good way to keep in touch. There are many different forms of social networking. Probably the most popular today are Facebook, Skype, MySpace, Twitter, Google chat and ICQ. All are different...

Category: Lifestyle / Social Networking / Chat

Is Africa a new Chinese colony?

Less than one hundred years ago Africa was still being colonised by the western imperial powers. Large parts had still yet to be discovered. The British Empire was nearing its peak with red covering many countries on the new map of the African continent. France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Belgium all had colonies there. Yet today where are they all?

Having kicked out their imperial western masters and gained their independence today’s African leaders have turned their backs on the west. Instead they have set their eyes firmly towards the east. China has emerged as the new Asian tiger – or should that be dragon. Hungry for raw materials, land and energy China has for a number of years now been quietly doing massive amounts of new business all over the African continent.

Thousands and thousands of Chinese have been relocated to Africa to organise and deliver many precious raw materials. China desperately needs them due to its own shortage of raw materials. Over the last decade a staggering 750,000 Chinese have resettled in Africa. Many more are coming. Africa is rapidly becoming a new Chinese colony or satellite state.

Yemen cargo bombs foiled

An international terror alert was sparked recently at East Midlands airport in Britain after several bomb making devices were discovered. The devices were en route from Yemen to several synagogues in Chicago, USA.

Just before their discovery an MI6 officer responsible for Yemen late on Thursday night received a tip-off from a local source of a possible Al-Qaeda plot to smuggle bombs to America on board a cargo plane. They were said to have been placed in the holds of cargo planes that had already taken off from Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, a country that has become one of the key fronts in the battle against Islamic terrorists.

Both flights were bound for Chicago. One was flying via Dubai, the other via the East Midlands, as it needed a fuel stop. Having passed the information on it became a race against time on three continents to intercept the bombs.

At 3.30am officers from Leicestershire police were asked to check the hold of the UPS mail plane after it landed at East Midlands airport. They discovered a suspect package in a sealed cargo container. It was addressed to a synagogue in Chicago. The parcel contained an office-sized printer cartridge, which had a small circuit board and wires crudely attached and white powder inside it rather than the black toner powder it should have contained.

Category: Yemen / Cargo Bomb / Al-Qaeda

General Knowledge Quiz - November 2010

Score 10 points for every correct answer – Score 5 points if half right! Play a JOKER in one round and get DOUBLE points in that round. Show it before you start the round. There are 12 rounds with 6 questions in each round.

Topics include:

  1. Music
  2. Geography Oceania
  3. The World Today
  4. Sport
  5. World History
  6. Europe
  7. British History
  8. Pot Luck
  9. UK
  10. Geography Northern Europe
  11. Business
  12. Film

Category: Quiz / General knowledge / English

Rusyns survive time in Central & Eastern Europe

One of the joys of living in Central Europe is to discover more about its history. On a trip over from Luxembourg, a while back, I came across an interesting article in Time Magazine about ‘Lost Tribes in Old Europe’. One of these ‘lost tribes’ is that of the Rusyns who are located in eight countries spread over Central and Eastern Europe. Most live in Eastern Slovakia and Western Ukraine.

Rusyns are also known as Ruthenians. They are members of a Slavic tribe that settled in this area in the 6th century. Rusyns speak a distinct language. They are renowned for their exquisite wooden churches, often built without nails. They were mainly a poor farming community yet their culture and tradition were very vibrant and widespread.

Rusyns have resisted assimilation for centuries. They have endured hardship. The Hungarians suppressed them by forcing them to learn Hungarian. The Austrians stole their land and taxed them to the hilt by demanding more animals and crops. This severe hardship forced thousands and thousands of Rusyns to emigrate after 1880 to the industrial regions of north-east America.

Category: History / Central & Eastern Europe / Rusyn

Great British Desserts

Today let’s look at some great British desserts. Traditional favourites are apple pie, apple (and blackberry) crumble and rhubarb crumble. All are served with custard or fresh cream. A similarly popular pie is lemon meringue pie. This tasty pastry tart is filled with thick lemon sauce and is topped with meringue.

Sponge puddings are very popular in Britain. Traditionally steamed, these days most are microwaveable. They include; treacle sponge pudding with custard, chocolate sponge with chocolate sauce and sticky toffee pudding. Spotted dick pudding is another favourite dessert. However, this is made with suet, currants and raisins. It’s served with either custard, a sprinkling of sugar or golden syrup.

A popular summer dish is summer pudding that’s made with sliced white bread and summer fruits. Another dessert to try is bread and butter pudding. It’s made with stale buttered bread, milk, eggs and raisins. Other old favourites include; a jam rolly-poly, baked custard, custard tarts, cheesecake, yogurt and fruit fool e.g. gooseberry or raspberry fool.

Category: Great Britain / Food / Desserts

Mystery of the real Robinson Crusoe solved

After nearly 300 years the mystery of the whereabouts of a campsite of a marooned Scottish sailor who is said to have inspired the fictional castaway Robinson Crusoe has now been solved. Archaeologists have finally found the campsite of Alexander Selkirk whose real life experiences stuck on a desert island inspired Daniel Defoe to create his imaginary experiences in the famous masterpiece novel Robinson Crusoe.

In 1704 Selkirk became marooned on a small tropical Argentinean island in the Pacific Ocean 470 miles west of Chile for more than four years. He was finally rescued in 1709. The island that used to be known as Aguas Buenas was renamed Robinson Crusoe Island after the character created by Defoe in his 18th Century classic.

During an archaeological dig on the island archaeologists discovered evidence of an early European occupant. They uncovered compelling evidence including the discovery of a pair of navigational dividers, which could only have belonged to a ship’s master or navigator, which historical evidence suggests Selkirk must have been.

Category: Lifestyle / Mystery / Desert Island

The things that make Slovakia great

So what do Slovaks think that make their country great? Well, many love its nature. The beautiful forests and mountains that are in its national parks. The Tatra Mountains are perhaps the country’s greatest asset. They form part of the Carpathian Mountain range.

Another great thing in Slovakia is the national park Slovak Paradise (Slovenský Raj). Slovakia also has many beautiful lakes to see including Štrbské Pleso in the High Tatras. Slovakia has a lot of interesting castles to visit including Spišský castle and Bratislava Castle.

Spas are pretty popular, especially those at Piešťany and Bardejov. There are some interesting caves to explore including those at Dobšinská l’adová and Demänovská. There is some great folk architecture to see including many traditional villages.

On the eastern side of Slovakia there are many wooden churches to visit. Folk music and dancers wearing traditional costumes are also great things to enjoy. Slovakia is also famous for its pretty girls. It is said they are the most beautiful women in the world. It thus boasts some top models. It also has some incredibly nice people.

Category: Central Europe / Slovakia / Places to Visit

The Great Hungarian Toxic Disaster

Hungary’s recent toxic sludge spill is the country’s worst ever environmental disaster. On the 4th October a reservoir holding deadly waste burst after heavy rains, releasing at least a million cubic metres of toxic red muddy water. It was like a mini tsunami and devastated three nearby villages.

The Hungarian government immediately declared a state of emergency in three counties. Seven people were killed; 150 were injured, with hundreds suffering toxic burns. The deadly sludge came from an aluminium plant reservoir. The toxic muddy waste is a waste product from the refinement of bauxite to alumina, the material used to manufacture aluminium.

The red mud contained an oxide that gave it a red colour. It also contained heavy metals, such as lead, that have a caustic affect on the skin and was slightly radioactive. The toxic water killed fish, and many other life forms. It made the immediate area look like the red planet Mars. The smell from the spill was also pretty bad.

Category: Europe / Hungary / Toxic Leak

Chile’s Trapped Miners

Deep underground in a gold and copper mine in San Jose, Chile, 33 miners await rescue. Buried alive these men have now lived at 700m (2,296ft) underground, cut off from the outside world, for longer than any other miner in history. Hopes of getting them all out alive rest on a drilling operation that is currently underway.

Initially, the miners were advised they might not be rescued till Christmas. However, the latest indicators are that they could be out by the first week in November. Chile’s Mining Minister Laurence Golbourne has so far refused to be drawn on a rescue date.

Category: South America / Chile / Mining Rescue