Lesson Archive

British oil dispute with Argentina deepens

A new dispute is escalating in the South Atlantic between Argentina and Britain over the disputed Falkland Islands. This time, it is about black gold – oil. So far, it is only a diplomatic war of words between the two countries. The trigger for the latest bout of words was a ship called Thor Leader. Its cargo was pipes bound for the Falkland Islands where an oil drilling platform is about to start drilling for oil.

Argentina has accused Britain of illegally promoting drilling operations. Geologists have estimated there could be up to 60 billion barrels of high grade oil in the 200 square mile seabed zone surrounding the Falkland’s. That could make the Falklands one of the world’s largest oil reserves, comparable with the North Sea, which so far has produced about 40 billion barrels of oil.

Cream coloured carrots make a comeback

Ask anyone what colour a carrot is and the chances are they’ll tell you it is orange. Recently however the humble carrot in the UK has had a makeover. Now cream coloured carrots have made a comeback. They are crisp and crunchy in texture and sweeter in taste than their orange cousin. The new carrots are grown in Scotland in the Moray Firth area by local farmer Steven Jack.

The new variety called Crème de Lite has started to be sold by British department store Marks & Spencer. The organically grown root vegetable went on sale in mid October. The new cream coloured carrots might easily be mistaken for other similar coloured and shaped vegetables like parsnips or swedes. Carrots were originally white, cream and purple.

The first carrots were cultivated in Afghanistan. They were then brought to the Mediterranean area more than 2,000 years ago; becoming popular with the Greeks and Romans. Carrots only became orange through cross-breeding 400 years ago. The orange variety was developed by Dutch growers aiming to produce a less bitter version. It was adopted by the royal family in Holland, where orange is the national colour.

Category: Lifestyle / Vegetables / Carrots

Bratislava old and new

Today we are looking at the Slovak capital Bratislava. Let’s start with its Old Town. Dating from the 15th century, its centre has largely been preserved and is a positive delight to see. It has charm!

Since the collapse of communism and gradually since independence the Old Town has seen much reconstruction. Today it has many highly popular coffee shops and bars to visit. During the summer months the streets are packed with bar terraces, which bring the Old Town alive. One can sit, relax and enjoy a cup of coffee or have a beer and watch the world go by.

There is also the Bratislava Summer Festival where one can see street entertainers, exhibitions, open air opera, orchestras and music festivals. In wintertime when it snows the Old Town becomes a winter wonderland. The narrow streets give one a glimpse into the past right here in the present. December sees the Christmas market in the Old Town. It offers visitors a multitude of unusual gifts to buy, hot wine and excellent foods.

Category: Central Europe / Slovakia / Bratislava

Killer spiders invade Sydney!

Never mind crocodiles and sharks, it is killer funnel-web spiders that you have to look out for in Sydney, Australia. Recently several residents were bitten by a plague of these poisonous arachnids. The spiders are a real menace at this time of the year, especially for Sydneysiders. The backyard spider, if it bites can kill you in the space of two hours - so meeting one is best avoided.

Life’s greatest pleasures

Just what are life’s greatest pleasures? Is it popping bubble wrap or maybe watching a DVD? Perhaps it’s even your mum’s cooking or waking up in a room with an amazing view? Of course, there are many ideas and what may be good for one may be different for others.

So just what are the little thrills we all enjoy? Batchelors Cup-a-Soup in Britain has compiled a top 50 list of suggestions sent in by 3,000 people. The top three suggestions were cuddling up with a partner in bed; finding a forgotten tenner in your pocket; and topping the list was a good night’s sleep. Insomniacs everywhere will agree!

Many Brits like to laugh at things that have happened in the past. They also like catching up with old friends, as well as making someone smile. I am sure that anyone would agree there is nothing like sleeping in newly laundered laundry or even having a lie-in. The list suggests the moments we love are unsurprisingly the ones we share with others, such as catching up with old friends, girlie nights in, or looking through old photo albums.

Category: Living / Survey / Life’s Greatest Pleasures