Lessons in the "2017" Category

Zimbabwe after Mugabe

Today, let’s talk about Zimbabwe. It’s a country in southern Africa. For the last 37 years Zimbabwe has been led by President Robert Mugabe. On Tuesday, 93 year old Mugabe finally resigned, bringing an end to his ruthless rule.

Following the news, there was wild jubilation on the streets of Harare, the county’s capital. Zimbabweans could hardly believe that finally they were free from the man that the majority of people in the country detested.

Mugabe only resigned because he was about to be impeached. Two days earlier he was thrown out of the ruling party ZANU-PF and dismissed as its leader. His wife Grace Mugabe was also expelled from the party and is facing prosecution.

Artificial Intelligence

Today, we are going to talk about artificial intelligence. It is supposedly the future.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is intelligence displayed by machines created by man. One could say that artificial intelligence is a way of making a computer-controlled robot, a computer, or software, think intelligently, in a similar manner to how humans think.

Certainly, AI is leading to workers’ jobs being replaced by robots. However, in order to do all this, it will need even more IT programmers.

Christmas and the advent calendar

Christmas is coming. Yes, it’s that time of year folks. So having an advent calendar is the ultimate countdown to Christmas. It’s a calendar that you hang up in December. There are 24 windows or doors on it. Each day you open a different window on it, so if it’s the 8th December, you open the 8 window, which can reveal a chocolate. It’s something that most of us have done since we were knee high.

The advent calendar starts on the 1st December and ends on the 24th December. Traditional advent calendars show various religious scenes, but they could also show different aspects of Christmas, bible verses, or different winter scenes.

Winter

Winter is one of four seasons. It follows autumn and precedes spring. In the northern hemisphere, winter is between December and March. It’s the darkest and coldest time of the year in Europe, as the nights are long and the days short. The shortest day of the year is December 21.

We associate snow, frost, and ice with winter. It’s when icicles form and hang from buildings and snowflakes really are snowflakes and not just people. It’s the time of the year when you put that winter coat on and wrap up well to keep warm. Inside your house you light that log fire and look out at the snow piled up outside.

Halloween v The Day of the Dead - in Europe, Mexico and beyond

While Halloween is celebrated on the evening of October 31, the Day of the Dead is commemorated on October 31, November 1 and 2.

Halloween sees people dress up as witches and skeletons. There are bats and black cats. Folk like to party. The night is popular in the USA and the UK. The event has spread itself around the world.

One day later, Catholics in Continental Europe, Central Europe, the Philippines, and in Mexico, like to commemorate the Day of the Dead. This is when thousands of people travel, sometimes hundreds of kilometres, to visit graveyards and cemeteries, to place candles and flowers on the graves of deceased loved ones.

Plague warning given: The Black Death spreads in Madagascar

The plague is a disease that killed millions of people across Europe during the Middle Ages. It became known as the Black Death.

It appears the killer disease is back. This time it is in Madagascar, which is a holiday destination island off the coast of south east Africa. Since August, 124 people have been killed by the deadly disease. A total of 1,133 people have been affected by the outbreak of the disease. According to the latest WHO analysis, there is a ‘very high risk’ of the disease spreading.

Nearby countries and overseas territories; including South Africa, Ethiopia, the Seychelles, Tanzania, Mauritius, La Réunion, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, as well as the Comoros Islands, which are a small group of islands near Madagascar, have all been put on alert.

Catalonia declares independence from Spain

Yesterday, in Barcelona, the Catalonian parliament declared independence from Spain. They did so, just before the Spanish government enacted article 155 against them.

The Spanish government immediately dissolved the Catalan parliament and called a snap election. Madrid then imposed direct rule on the newly self-declared ‘independent’ country.

Last night, following the declaration of independence in the Catalonian parliament, the people of Barcelona and Catalonia celebrated, though not all of its citizens agree with the new situation.

Inventions that changed our lives

Today, we are going to look at some of the inventions that have changed our lives.

Automatic washing machines (1962) changed how people did their washing. Many people used to use twin tub washing machines, before moving onto a front loader washing machine. Many people in the USA and Canada use top loaders.

In 1963, the fridge freezer was introduced. It helped revolutionise how we stored food, without having to can, pickle or dry it. Two years later, in 1965, dishwashers first appeared. I got my first one in 2007. My parents had one back in the ’90s.

What is it about Friday 13th?

Today, let’s talk about Friday 13th. What is it about the day that many people are wary about? Why is it unlucky for so many?

Friday 13th is associated with bad luck. Many people avoid traveling on this day, so it’s actually one of the cheapest days to fly. Some people refuse to go to work on Friday 13th. Others won’t buy a property with a number 13 on its door. Some believe that seating 13 people at a table is bad luck. Movie fans like to watch Friday 13th.

So what exactly does your mobile phone do?

So what exactly does your mobile phone do? These days, most mobiles have a vast number of different functions and apps on them. Today, we’ll look at some of them.

Consider though, how you would manage to do all of the things you do now do on your mobile, if they hadn’t been invented. How did we manage to do these things in the past?

Most mobiles, these days, have a camera on them. In fact, the current trend is to have two cameras front and back, for selfies and for taking other photos on. Mobiles also have video cameras on them. We can send and receive messages and talk to people on video using Skype, Viber, and Facebook. Incredible!