Lessons in the "2013" Category

What is Christmas today?

Today, let’s talk about Christmas. What is it? Why is it? How do we celebrate it? What does it mean to you? Also how has it changed over the years? Some interesting questions for you to mull over…maybe over a glass of Glühwein? This German pre-Christmas tradition has in recent years spread across Europe to the UK in the form of popular Christmas markets.

In Britain, people celebrate Christmas with roast turkey and all the trimmings followed by Christmas pudding. Families open their presents that surround the Christmas tree. In Europe, many people eat fish, a good catholic tradition, for their Christmas meal. In Central Europe, they celebrate Christmas one day early on the evening of December 24. It is also a public holiday on this day in some of these countries!

The Pope resigns!

Recently the world was shocked with the news that Pope Benedict XVI had resigned. The news that the Head of the Catholic Church was to step down at the end of February shocked world political leaders, as well as religious figures.

The Pope said he is too old to continue, citing ill health. He is 85, has arthritis and has been wearing a pacemaker for many years. It is the first time in nearly 600 years that a Pope has resigned. Most normally die of old age while in office.

Category: Religion / The Vatican / The Pope

BlackBerry launches Z10 and Q10

Recently BlackBerry launched two new handsets. The Z10 with a touchscreen and the Q10 with a physical keyboard. The new mobile phones, BlackBerry hopes, will resurrect the struggling brand.

Thorsten Heins, CEO of BlackBerry: “We have been on a journey of transformation. It has been one year since I was handed the reins, and it has been challenging, but exhilarating.”

Category: Technology / BlackBerry / Business

Sandwich saga at Subway!

Recently the fast food restaurant chain Subway announced it would live up to its promise of ‘a foot long sandwich’. The announcement follows days after two men filed a lawsuit in the states (where else would anyone do this?) contesting the company was skimping on its sandwich size.

Subway said “it regrets ‘any instance’ where we did not fully deliver on our promise to our customers.” Subway said it will ‘ensure that every Subway Footlong sandwich is 12 inches long at each location worldwide.’

Category: Food / Sandwich / Subway

Mega file-sharing site launched by Kim Dotcom

Recently Kim Dotcom, real name Kim Schmitz, returned to the world stage to launch his new file-sharing site ‘Mega’. Within 24 hours of the new website’s launch it had received more than one million hits! Mr Dotcom’s new cloud service ‘Mega.co.nz’ says, “We promise. We deliver. Bigger – Better – Stronger – Faster - Safer.”

The new webpage follows last year’s raid by New Zealand police at Mr Dotcom’s mansion where he was arrested. His webpage Megaupload was shut down. US law enforcement agencies forced its closure, saying many users of Megaupload were engaged in pirating content and illegally sharing it. All of which Mr Dotcom denied.

Category: Technology / Webpage - Mega / Kim Dotcom

Horse meat found in beefburgers

Recently horse meat was discovered to be in beefburgers sold in British supermarkets Tesco and Iceland. The beef products containing horse and pig DNA came from three companies in Ireland. Following the discovery more than ten million burgers were subsequently withdrawn from UK supermarket shelves.

The discovery of horse meat in beefburgers in the UK has horrified many Brits! Tesco immediately took out a full page advertisement to apologise to its customers. This is because in Britain it is considered taboo to eat horse meat. Eating beef and pig, is considered normal in Britain.

Category: Food / Beefburgers / Horse Meat

Elephant poaching in Africa

Today, let’s talk about elephant poaching in Africa. The killing of these giant beasts for their ivory is truly shocking. Africa has seen its elephant population decimated because of it.

The situation was at its worst during the 1980s, when more than half of Africa’s elephants were estimated to have been wiped out by man. Most of them were killed by poachers for their ivory.

Category: Africa / Elephants Poaching / The Ivory Trade

Purple and pink colours introduced on Australian weather map

Recently weather maps in Australia began to show two entirely new colours on them. Purple and pink have been introduced by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology due to the extreme temperatures that have been recorded in the country.

Australia has seen a record heatwave, which has caused hundreds of bush fires right across the country. The increased temperature has forced the country’s meteorologists to redraw their national temperature scales upwards.

Category: Australian Heatwave / Meteorology / Weather

The Commonwealth

Today, let’s talk about the Commonwealth. (Full name - The Commonwealth of Nations). It is a group of 54 independent Member States, most of whom are former British Empire countries. The exceptions are Rwanda and Mozambique.

Like the British Empire once did, the Commonwealth today spans the world. Ninety four per cent of the Commonwealth is in Africa and Asia. It covers nearly one third of the world and has over 2.1 billion people in it. This is almost a third of the world’s population...

Category: Economic / Trade / The Commonwealth

Online Dating Sites…

Today, let’s talk about online dating sites. Why do people visit them? Can you find love on the web? How many people actually marry someone they find online? Are these sites safe?

In recent years attitudes in many countries to online dating have changed. In the UK, according to YouGov, an internet market research firm, one in five relationships in the UK now begins online. Meeting via the internet is the third most popular way to find a date after ‘through friends’ or making acquaintance at a pub or bar.

Category: Internet / Online Dating Sites / Matchmaking