The Students' Wall

05 mai 2009

Prisoners of Our Own Bodies

This so-called globalized world has lead humanity to nothing but wild, savage human-beings resembling perfectly the animal status they once were in. To start with, one should think about the most frequent terms on our mouth, succeeding of course the leader “money”. Technically, they are “Sex&Food” or “Food&Sex” (depending on how hungry the person is!). Seriously, has any day passed and one of us has succeeded to avoid hearing one of those sentences: “So, what do we have for dinner?”, “Did you sleep with her?”, “I'm starving! I need one of these gigantic cheeseburgers!”, “She's hot!”,.. Besides, how do we explain all these commercials of half-naked persons _ if not totally naked _ (again, depending on what type of magazine one's reading, or should I say watching!). No need to mention the TV channels because they're obviously over the edge! Or the fast food restaurants that are invading our neighborhoods! A lot of situations leave us rethinking of who we really are! Aren't we supposed to be civilized! Aristotle, speaking of the human-being, says he is “a civilized animal”. Well, I'm quite not sure about the first part! Furthermore, What about a man who had slightly drunk, had slightly sped up, had slightly got off the road, and passed totally away! If an innocent person didn't have a stupid body would he make it to commit a stupid suicide! If we didn't get shot by a gangster while going to the store! If we didn't get shot the wrong syringe by the overburdened nurse! If we didn't get swallowed by the avalanche trying to reach the summit of Everest! If we didn't jump from over the cliff or ate gallons of Jello trying to look like a hero and impress our beloved! Would we, insanely, die! Our body get us a nice date, promoted and even accepted! It's incontrollable! Life is absurd no matter heroic, brave, noble, loving, we are as long as it depends 100% on a hungry , vulnerable, hollow, imprudent body! So if you are thinking for once of a sweet escape from this mad world, succeeding in escaping your own body will be a far good step!

Posté par slim ben à 23:04 - Commentaires [1] - Permalien [#]


Interview of an Erasmus student.

I recently asked some questions to my cousin about his experience with Erasmus. He went to Pamplona in Spain a few years ago.

1- Which were your motivations to leave the country?
My University allowed me to spend 2 years abroad. University staff emphasized the importance of studying abroad and getting an international experience. I knew that it would add a great value to my resume, plus I wanted to discover a new culture.


2- Why did you choose Spain ?
The main reason why I chose to go to Spain was to learn Spanish, to party and to eat tapas.
Then, I wanted to go to a sunny and warm country, but not too far from home.
Studying in Spain allowed me to benefit from a scholarship called Erasmus.


3- How did you feel your arrival?
I wasn’t alone. 3 other people from my University came with me to Pamplona. We were helping each other find accommodation, get our Spanish marks around the city and the University.


4- Was it difficult to find an accommodation?
It was really easy to find a flat. There were more people offering accommodation than people looking for it.
I found mine in 2 days. However it wasn’t what I expected and I get really disappointed.
My flatmates, an American and a Mexican, were not really open-minded, and didn’t want to communicate a lot.
It was the reason why I moved to another flat for the second semester which was much better.


5- Was it easy to make new friends?
Yes. I was really excited about meeting new people from so many different horizons. Many parties were organized to meet up the international students at the University.


6- How was your first day in this new University?
First, we had a meeting with all the International students. We had a presentation of the University. People show us buildings and tips to get comfortable the schedule, rooms, computer facilities, library. There was a really friendship atmosphere.
We get a university email address, and get informed about all things going on.


7- What was the main differences you could notice there?
The teaching system is not the same as in France. There are no tutorial classes, but only Lectures. There are not so many hours of class either.


8- What kind of classes did you take?
The same classes I would have undertaken in France. That means business administration courses: Finance, marketing, Supply chain management, Human resources, Consumer behavior…


9- Can you talk about Pamplona a little bit?
Pamplona was a really nice city with many parks, a very safe city. There were 2 Universities, so a lot of students.
To be honest Pamplona wasn’t the place to be if you wanted to have an extraordinary nightlife. There were not so many pubs and discos. And you had to share your nights between a little numbers of places.
People in Pamplona were pretty old. In the north of Spain, near the Bask Country people are quiet rude. They are not very friendly at a first glance. But if you start speaking with them, the talk can last hours and hours. Spanish people like talking. They are very communicative. They like to show you how their country is beautiful and how it’s good to live there.


10- About the food, any advice?
Tapas were really good, which are Spanish appetizers. The serving of tapas is designed to encourage conversation because people are not so focused upon eating an entire meal that is set before them. Also, in some countries it is customary for diners to stand and move about while eating Tapas.


11- Now that you're back at home, can you tell us if this experience changed you?
Yes. It was the most enriching experience in my life. I became more responsible, and organized in my life. I developed my self confidence, independence and cross cultural skills.


12- Any advice for us?
Try to avoid French people. Try to get involved in many international events.
Visit the country, meet locals. Don’t be afraid of going abroad. You will not regret.


Alexandre.P

Posté par Alex_p à 22:41 - - Commentaires [4] - Permalien [#]

Hi everybody , for my article on the blog I choose to talk about one of my favourite film-maker : Danny Boyle.

Danny Boyle, a name which sound very fashionable these times with the great success of Slumdog Millionaire, his last film which as won 8 oscars - it's moreover pretty funny to observe the difference of interest the film has aroused before and after the ceremony - I'll be back on it, but before, let's start by the beginning. Danny Boyle is an English film-maker born on 20 October 1956 in Radcliffe (Great Manchester), into a working class Irish Catholic family ; his social background had, moreover, a significant importance on the beginning of his work as a director (with the Bag of Money trilogy). Bound by his parents to a career of priest, he diverts rapidly from this way to start doing drama - which is for him some kind of logical continuation of the religious career. He said in an interview at this purpose " There's something very theatrical about it, it's basically the same job : poncing around, telling people what to think..." Here is the key of his talent : the mastery of the cinematic codes, to know how to tell people what to think visually. After a brilliant carreer in theatre, Boyle made his feature film directorial debut with Shallow Grave ("Petits meutres entre amis" in French), the first opus of the Bag of Money trilogy, three cult film dealing with the lack of money ( a thematic linked to his social background). Then, he continues the trilogy with the biggest English cinematic success : Trainspotting (8 900 000 £). He closes the trilogy with "A Life Less Ordinary" which doesn't received the expected success. His  come back with the massive popular success recently (Slumdog Millionaire) sum-up perfectly the size of Danny Boyle's talent : popular and of great quality.

Posté par jules_yes_i à 19:51 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

03 mai 2009

Actor and Actresses

Some Biographies of Indians actors:

Katrina KAIF is a daughter of an Indian father and a British mother. She was born in Hong-Kong in 1984; she started her career in Bollywood in 2006.

katrina15

zayed_khan

Zayed Khan is Bollywood actor who was born in 1980. He is part of an actor’s family and he made his debut in the film Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne; his performance was nominated for the Zee Cine Award.

Aishwarya RAI is a very famous Bollywood actress and a former Miss World, she was born in 1973.She won the Best Actress Filmfare Award in 1999 for her performance in the film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. She won her second Filmfare Award for the best actress in 2002 for the film Devdas. She has acted in over 40 movies in Hindi, Tamil, Bengali and English.

aishwarya_rai

Posté par Sarah A à 19:13 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
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WELCOME TO BOLLYWOOD

Bollywood in India

Bollywood is an Indian film industry located in Mumbai.

During the last decades, the Indian Film Industry has changed a lot. In fact, the screenplays, the stories, the clothes of the actors have also gradually changed to become more appropriate for the viewer all around the world.

Within the industry, more and more European, American people with Indian origins or not, came to Bollywood to get their chance too.

Per year, there are over than 300 movies. It is easier for the Indian to act and dance and sing because they are used to do it since their childhood. In effect they have to sing and dance in their religion to worship their Gods. They have to learn classical Indian dance in which they also have to act to show their emotions of the songs but always toward their Gods, this is the reason why they have more abilities to be part of bollywood. The requirements of Bollywood films are not only know how to act but also how to dance. Most of Indian movies are based on dancing.

Nevertheless, from the last decades, there has been a great evolution about the exposition within Bollywood industry. In effect, we can notice that while Bollywood movies were turning toward the modernisation Indian tradition, in a way, followed this movement. In addition to that, the new generation in India is more open-minded, tries to imitate the developed countries and accepts better the modernisation unlike the eldest ones.

Furthermore, Bollywood has more and more foreign actors and all have no or not totally Indian roots. Indeed, there are some movies which proceed the traditional criteria but with an American or a British actress (Kisna; Salaam Ishq).

Bollywood in England

The Bollywood movies are very well accepted in England. We noticed it by Indian Cinema halls everywhere in England. Moreover a lot of shows are organized with Indian actors and in many cities. This kind of shows reinforces the relations between English population and Indian population.

More and more people born in England became part of the bollywood actors and even though the basic language “Hindi” isn’t very used in Britain thanks to Indian songs they manage to keep up. The songs allow more easily to catch up the words and to understand the songs. As the songs are mostly parts of films people are more convinced to watch the movies sometimes to understand the state of mind of the songs. In fact, one of the last actress who became part of the British industry is Katrina KAIF, for example she has learned the “hindi” language to be able to speak the dialogues herself but in her debus her voice was dubbed and in her film “Namaste London” which is a movie about British Indians in England. This film shows exactly what they are confronted to...

To be continued...bollywood

Posté par Sarah A à 18:25 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
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Link with others

"If I am not for myself who will be for me?

And if I'm for myself [alone], what am I?

And if not now, when?"

Hillel, Values Of Our Fathers

Life is a struggle. And it is a struggle which is not worth to be done to ourselves!

Today, we are in the heart of a global movement towards individualism and personal development. Large values are autonomy, independence, freedom and self-expression. These values have become  nowadays so central that even advertisers are used to make us buy the same thing our neighbour while we believe that we are thank to them  unique.

Here some examples that speaks to everybody: "Be yourself" claim cloth and perfume advertisements. Or "Give me your 'suggests an advertising for a brand of coffee. There is also a «Think different» or “Be like no other” order by the announcement of a computer manufacturer. In the

United States

, even the army which is not the symbol of individual values uses the same concept to attract young recruits: we can see written on posters on the bottom of tank manoeuvres in the desert. "Be all you can be"

These values taken from the American and French revolutions are now central for us.

But we have to say that the more we are moving into this direction, the more we find that there is however a cost of the independence. This cost is the isolation, suffering and loss of

Values and sense, all that are caused by this individualism. Never have we had as much freedom to separate us from our spouses who do not longer suit us: the divorce rate is approaching 50% in our societies. It was never so easy to divorce or to stop our family responsibility.

We also never moved as much: in the

United States

, it is estimated that an average family moves every five years. Detached by links, duties, obligations to others, we have never been so free to find our own path. Therefore there is a risk of finding ourselves and get alone and lost. The love of our spouse, our children, our family that we carry is probably the source of the most obvious meaning for our existence. But the importance of others for our own balance is not confined to this nuclear family. In fact, the more we are integrated into a community which means to us, the more we feel to play a role and the easiest it is for us to leave our feelings of anxiety, despair, lack of sense.

To such a point that many men and women have discovered a joy in taking risks in their life for a cause that far exceeds the limits of their existence: a joy to give his life for others. The sense that we find in the link to others, this is imposed by the culture or not social morality. It is a need for our own brain!

In the last thirty years, sociobiologists have proved in a very serious survey that it is our genes that are themselves altruistic. They gave the conclusion that orientation towards others (and inner peace that we won from it) are part of our genetic constructions.

American sociologists have established that the people involved in community activities are not only happier, but they are also healthier and live longer than others. A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology says that within equal conditions of health, and social classes, people who participate in volunteer activities that focus on others have 60% lower heath problem than people who do not participate to such activities.

So in the main scientific journal Science of the world an analysis of the effects of volunteering concludes that taking care of others is one of the best guarantees of a longer life: This would have more benefit effect than blood pressure controls,  low cholesterol drugs, and even giving up smoking!

Posté par TigerDevil à 13:54 - - Commentaires [2] - Permalien [#]

30 avril 2009

The American Food " The Inconvenients"

Here, are other American food :

2008_01_24_CincyChili2  Cincy Chili

filetsteak1    Filet Steak

H   Chiken   Pankakes  Pankakes

Fast foods usually consumed by Americans are fast to prepare, cheap and tasty. But these are also high in fat, sodium, calories, sugar and cholesterol. Some of the negative and expensive heath results are obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol and cancer. For example, McDonald's is a major symbol of the United States lifestyle and culture. In fact, the idea of a fast restaurant meal has completely changed eating habits and referred to as McDonaldization. Almost a generation ago, close to three quarters of meals eaten by Americans were home made, but these days more and more number of people prefer fast food restaurants to home made food; mainly because its quick, cheap and tasty, and American families do not have enough time to cook up a full meal at home.

Obesity is posing as one of the major health problems throughout America. It is a state characterized by an accumulation of weight that is often caused by incorrect eating habits coupled with a sedentary lifestyle. It is also been universally recognized as a major risk factor for chronic diseases.

Posté par JessiBelle à 01:32 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

The American Food "Influence on the other countries food"

Americans are not used to one typical single cuisine, like Italians. Their food consists of a mix of variety of foods from around the world.

bbq_salad

You will easily come across Mexican, Italian and Chinese restaurants all across America and situated next to one another. Americans do not have any deep-rooted cooking culture like Italians. One might as well profess that the most unique and typical American food is the junk and fast food types, coupled with soft drinks.

Posté par JessiBelle à 01:00 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

28 avril 2009

The American Food

Hi ClaSSSS !!!

I know that I am late, But now, all things right, cause here I am...

So, today, I will present you an American Hamburger !! Hmmmmmm !!!

No matter inconvients of some American meals... Just Enjoy and say Hmmmm !!!

mega_tamago_01

Posté par JessiBelle à 14:43 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

22 avril 2009

A GLimpse of the Very First History of New England

A Glimpse of the Very First History of New England

How the Whole Damn Thing Began

In year 986 Bjarni Herujulfson, a Viking, was aiming to sail to Greenland but he got lost. He was trying to get out of his troubles when he caught sight -he was the first of the kind- of what would be known later as the American coast. Years after, Leif Ericson explored the latter land and called it Vinland. The Vikings held colonies in Greenland up to the VIth century but didn't have much interest in what would later be called the New World...The Scandinavians weren’t much troublesome at that time… They only had this mean habit of letting nobody fool around their oceans. But mainly, that was all. You know how they are, even today, in Sweden or Norway… good health care system, nice blue eyed blond girls… Anyway, this was a good idea they didn't invest in the American land, it had saved five centuries of mess and trouble for the Indian Tribes.

With only one paragraph, a stock idea is pushed away from our minds and cancelled forever. The first Europeans to have discovered the American Continents weren't Italian staff members working for the Queen of Spain but some Vikings sailing without compass... Hoping the next paragraphs would do just as well as this first!

Centuries after, in the year of grace 1492, an Italian sailor, Cristoforo Colombo, working on the account of the Queen Isabelle the Catholic, aimed to explore a new ocean road leading to Asia through an expected extreme western way. Well, I bet he looked puzzled when, thinking he had just made quarter the work, his eyes caught sight of a piece of land. That wasn't an isolated isle, these were the Antilles. Later on, he rediscovered a new world and gave geographers a matter of trouble that would keep them busy a considerable time attempting to draw once again the True Map of the World. Sooner, Kings and Queens got their noses in the matter. Talking with a mob of enlightened advisers:

-How about enlarging the empire westwards?

-That would be a good idea, Your Majesty.

And pretty soon the European powers began a race toward the Brave New World. Portugal, Spain and France had the advantage first while England was much more concerned with internal affairs such as the Reform, the Struggles with the Powerful Spain and a growing concern on work and conditions of life among the population. That wasn’t but the beginning...! The future internal British events would shape the nature of the exploration and the colonisation of America. Britain, at last, would show much more success than what was expected.

During the second half of the XVth century, England affirmed itself as a maritime power especially after its victory over the terrifying armada of Philippe II in 1588. Then, Elizabeth I (1558-1603) began to see higher. She encouraged a couple of explorations and attempts to colonise the American coast. Among the volunteers we can remember Sir Humphrey Gilbert who disappeared in his second expedition. Sir Walter Raleigh, his turn coming after his half brother’s disappearance, did much better and explored much further territories. Nevertheless, his life had a sudden violent end, beheaded he was by his majesty in 1618. The latter was also an essayist who advised the Queen to focus on the necessity of tightened trade relationships with the future colonies of America. After some other adventures led by numerous other adventurous spirits through the Atlantic, all of them more or less successful, pens began to feel easy in writing and fantasying about this promising new world. The American dream, thus, started to become more and more popular in English people's minds while socio-economic conditions were harder than ever in England, encouraging, as a consequence, people’s attempts to flee the country.

Virginia, a Company Became a Colony

Samuel Champlain started his explorations, sent by the French, in 1603. In 1608 he’d already succeeded in giving birth to Quebec. Not indifferent to such a feat, some English merchants asked the crown for a charter in order to establish themselves in America toward the end of 1605. The company of Virginia -which was composed of two opposite private companies, the first based in London and the second in Plymouth- represented by a group of 14 persons nominated by His Majesty was then offered lands, woods, ports and rivers, giving them the possibility of developing trade with an exclusive partner: England. It is hard to argue the legitimacy of the “donation” of lands since He never visited, nor seen even through a picture a tiny piece of them. Why, He just sat easy on His throne and signed a paper. That was all! And I bet He was really convinced those lands, with all the stuff it contained, including even  mosquitoes and other bugs, were His...

Anyway, the company of Plymouth failed soon later. The basement of London succeeded in carrying in December 1606, 144 persons, all men, in a journey that would last more than four months. Only 1O5 survived to walk on the American soil. The first permanent English establishment was to be realised through the construction of Jamestown on May 24th , 1607. The hostility of the environment led to the death of more than sixty of them in a period shorter than a year. The difficulties were just about to start.

Up to the period of Restoration in 1660, many events affected and shaped the dynamic of development of the colony.

The proximity with the Indian Tribes alternated between peaceful periods where help and communication gathered the two neighbours in an easy atmosphere, and hostile ones in which a body had better not to be in betwixt them, for it was really hot!

The growth of population was assured by the arrival of lots of persons, among them girls and women who were to marry the lonely colonisers. Thus, they granted the long going of the colony. During the English Civil War, in the 1630s and 1640s, even members of the gentry who fled England joined the colony.

In terms of size, the crown enlarged the concession some years after, thus encouraging its extension. However, the status was to change from a private colony to a Royal Colony, in 1624.

In terms governance the colony did well. It started with a strictly vertical royal authority and evolved to a spectacular direct representation through the Council of Burgesses which was composed of 22 members, all elected by the population of the colony. It was a kind of a basis to the legislative body as known nowadays in democratic societies.

In terms of trade, there was good news. Starting with a subsisting culture of Indian Corn, the interest was gradually focused on a successful culture of Tobacco, assuring a regular income to the colony.

In 1670, Virginia counted more than 35 000 inhabitants. It was now to be regarded as a serious economic support to its mother homeland, England. It gave essence for the future American Democracy with all its contradictions lying on the centralisation of power and wealth in a small minority's hands while a large majority of unfortunate people were just begged to keep working hard. Virginia was the daughter of economic adventures more than humanitarian ones. It nevertheless evolved to a coherent modern society carrying inhabitants involved in a hierarchical class order.

Puritans in Massachusetts

The Mayflower Ship started its way to America on September 16th,  1620. On broad, there were 102 persons, among them, women and children. The majority of them were puritans. Puritanism could be defined as the radical branch of Protestantism. Its advocators were sharp critics of the Church of England. They fled England, being afraid of some persecutions. The project was actually a contract with the Company of Virginia legal for seven years of time. They were asked to work hard, cultivating the lands, in return, they were to share the profits with the company.

They arrived at New Plymouth on December 25th, 1620. On their sailing road, a social contract was written. The Mayflower Compact is ratified by 41 signatures. Above myth, while the contract described a future equal society, drawing thus the perfect image of Democracy, it concentrated power in the hands of a small minority.

Well, after being established, hard weather was to be faced. The first winter shrank the population number to its half. But instead of despair, those people, extremely religious they were, accepted their fate and remained dignified. Moreover, the satisfaction of the summer harvest gave hope a greater chance. This had been celebrated in Thanksgiving ceremony.

In 1628, some fervent puritans decided to buy the stockholdings from the company of Virginia. This was the act of birth of The Massachusetts Bay Company. The 1630s saw the Puritan migrations amplified after Charles I, whose wife was catholic, acceded to the throne in England. The religious ambition of those people encouraged them to extend their colony's development. Many cities were soon created among which Boston became the most important economic and intellectual centre. By the year 1660, the Massachusetts Bay Colony have more than 20 000 inhabitants.

The colony started as an Ecclesiastic State governed by some religious elite and where the right of vote was exclusively reserved to the members of the Congregationalist church. The revolt of the rest of the population in 1632 led to the creation of a legislative assembly, thus following the tracks of the Virginian example. From a puritan Republic, its status evolved to a Royal colony in 1691.

The Connecticut was the first colony daughter of  Massachusetts, in that way that it was created, city after city, by people originally belonging to the puritan population of Massachusetts. Rev. Thomas Hooker (1586-1647), being more liberal than John Cotton, a theologist of the Church of Boston, was exasperated by the way things were going on there. He fled, with his disciples to Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor in October 1635. Among cities that were founded a short period of time later, the well known New Haven. In 1636, the Connecticut had 800 inhabitants. From its origins, this was a colony devoted to liberty and democracy. It will be later remerbered as being the first “state” to hold a codified constitution in the western world, with The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. In 1662, Charles II offered a very inhabitual liberal charter to the colony, giving it the privilege to be self-governed.

Rhode Island was at its origins a creaton of Roger Williams (1603-1683) in 1636. This latter, reverend of Salem, was pushed to flee the country because of his advocation to a more secular governance, criticising fiercely the narrowness of the religious authority's vision. Rhode Island is to be remembered for its model of secularism in the political field.

Before 1640, were created as well the establishments of New Hampshire and the Maine, following an outline as represnted before. That is to say, the appearance of these new colonies were originally due to a clash in the religious visions among the theologists of Massachusetts.

The Maryland, a Haven for Catholics

There was a king, Charles I, reigning over a country, England. There was a guy, actually a lord, Cecilius Calvert. The King was an Anglican, the guy a Catholic. The Former being exagerately upset by the latter, he offered him the right, in a form of a charter, to establish his own colony, and to own it, far away, in America. He was clever king, wasn't he? He got rid of him forever. The Maryland was the first Owned Colony, whose owner aimed to realise his father's dream: make the land a refuge for catholics. But there warn't only catholics in it, and I guess it was better like that. Because, thanks to the mixture of religious beleifs, people were bound to tolerate each other. The Colony finally became a royal one, as the rest you may say, in 1692.

This was how the lands were divided up to the English Revolution and the Restoration. See how different the origins of every colony were and how generally people did well. See how the Crown remained always lazy and  offered the right to exploit lands and forests that weren't His. See how little concern was given to the aborigens who were already living in that false New World. All in all, this was how the ball got rolled in that part of the North American Continent nowadays known as The United States of America.

Aziz. B

Main Source:

Histoire des Etats-Unis, Jean Michel Lacroix, Editions PUF 1996

Posté par azizllce à 10:47 - - Commentaires [1] - Permalien [#]
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16 avril 2009

The American food

Hello,

To continue on the American Food subject, I am going to give you a few recipes. American food is a mix of different cultures : It's very hard to find a meal 100% American ! By the way, Mexican culture influences  the American food a lot.

For the moment, I am going to give you recipe of the milk biscuits.

To make these biscuits you will need 2 cups of flour (300g),1 soup spoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup of butter (120g), 2/3 cup of milk (15cl).

Preheat your oven to gaz mark 6. In a bowl, mix the flour, the baking powder and the salt. Next, add the butter cutted in dices. You need to obtain lumps. Next, add the milk to have a mixture. After, roll the mixture on a floured area. The mixture must be 2 cm of thickness. Cut the mixture with the help of a cercle form of 3,5 cm in diameter.Put them on an unbuttered baking tray. Let them bake from 12 to 15 minutes. Eat them hot, cutted in 2 parts and buttered.

These biscuits can be eaten for breakfast with butter and jam but you can also eat them with ham or with pâté, for diner.

Let me show you a picture : foxs_creams_malted_milk_barley_malt

Enjoy your meal!!

Posté par AuroreClement à 15:57 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

30 mars 2009

Los Angeles Gangs

Did you know that the most powerful and violent gang in the USA today was created by STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS. It is the

Crips street gang.

It is one of the main two black street gang with Blood that we are going to deal with in our study.

For your information Stanley Tookie William

was executed by the state of California in 2005

Williams was convicted and sentenced to death in 1981 for four murders committed during two separate robberies in 1979. Even though in his last years he committed himself fully to fight against gangs. He wrote book to prevent kids from joining gangs and his commitment saw him nominated for Nobel Peace prize. He was supported by well known people like Jessie Jackson, Snoop Dog and even Winnie Mandela, Nelson mandela's wife who visited him in prison and encouraged him not to lose hope.

Now Our question is; What do you think of street gangs, what does the word gang evoke to you and what effets does it cause on you?

we are inviting you to bring your opinions please.

Posté par IsaacAmoako à 12:51 - Commentaires [4] - Permalien [#]

18 mars 2009

Stuck in a safe.

As the teacher adviced me, I wrote my little text on the computer to post it on here ;)
Enjoy.. or not. xD

~

“  I told you we were gonna get caught, you silly boy~!”

The blonde boy was sitting on the ground, completely unaffected by his situation. His eyes were hidden by his golden locks, and a gigantic smile was the only thing his partner could see of his young face. Needless to say, that kind of smile was pretty unnerving, and since the man who had accompanied him used to lose his temper very quickly, their relationship had always been kind of… tense.
“Oy, why can’t you just shut up for a while?! It’s not only my fault if this operation was a failure, I just can’t be efficient when you’re there, all goofy and fooling around! ”
Walking in circles in the safe where they were trapped, an angry and panicked expression on the face, the other man, a little older than the blonde teenager sitting next to him, yelled at him and his long silver hair flew around him while he walked. His black and tight leather coat was covered in blood, but he didn’t care whatsoever. The blonde boy was in the same situation, his clothes were dripping with red drops, but that guy was a psychotic freak, so he even found it funny.

“Come on Squalo! We’re trapped because the guard I forgot to kill pushed on a stupid button, now what’s the problem?”
“The problem is that I’m stuck down here with you, moron! Boss wanted us to take the money tonight and do it without any problem, which means without getting caught! But since you’re just a pathetic and completely useless rookie, we both ended up here, looking DUMB, and I know you’re not the one who will have to face Xanxus when we’re out of here !”
“Oh dear, are you scared? I didn’t think you were such a crybaby. Mommy Xanxus is going to be mad at you, my cute boy?” the blonde said in a high-pitched voice meant to imitate a silly mother talking to her baby, just before a slightly psychotic laugh escaped his lips. The other man stopped walking and tried to kick the teenager in the face, but the latter saw it coming and jumped on the left to avoid the contact, and kept laughing maniacally, making the anger grow even more in the adult’s chest.
“SHUT UP! You annoying piece of trash! I wish I could just kill you right now!”
“Ushishishi… You can’t, because I’m a prince.”
“That’s not an excuse, and you know it very well! Stand up and fight!”
“That is useless. I would win, you would be all dead, and I should have to spend a very boring night watching your corpse. You’re already ugly enough, I don’t want to see you dead. Must be awful.”
“I swear I have to control myself not to chop your head off.”
“Anyways, that bank was tougher than I thought.” The blonde sat down again and toyed with the money between his long fingers, but the greedy look in his eyes was invisible, behind the curtain of his golden bangs. The silver-haired man named Squalo because of his fighting techniques was working in the mafia with that useless “prince” Belphegor, but he was only waiting for the moment he could just make his idiotic laugh stop forever. Were they friends? Enemies? Team partners? Or… just two guys who disliked each other in a very twisted form of love/hate relationship? Anyway, the blonde was irritating. Deeply irritating.

“And what are we going to do when the police arrive tomorrow?” Bel asked in a soft voice, almost ironic. Squalo glared at him with a look that could’ve killed, and pouted:
“You and I are going to have some fun with our weapons and stuff, we will get rid of that trash called police, then we’ll just go back to the headquarters and I’ll be the one to endure the boss’s anger.” The man looked rather annoyed, scared, and angry at the same time.
“You know you love it.”
“Go die.”
“So, what are we two going to do the whole night? It’s only been an hour and I’m already bored to no end. I mean, being stuck here with you and a couple of dollars…Troublesome. A prince deserves way better than this.”
“If you could just keep your stupid mouth shut, at least I would be able to think of a way of escaping!” he screamed.
“Squalo, Squalo, stop making such a fuss over nothing.” The blonde looked terribly amused.
“Anyway,” the said shark boy tried to change the topic to avoid murdering him. “We came here to get that money, and I am so not going back without it.”
“Sharky is so afraid of boss!” Belphegor said again, just to annoy the hell out of him.
“I don’t care about that stupid man! It’s just that I need to deserve my place as a mafia boss’s right-hand man.”
“Oh waw, such a manly motivation.”
“I am going to strangle you. Or do you prefer death by choking on money ?”
“The thing is we won’t have time to gather the money if the police is there tomorrow in the morning….” Bel whispered, ignoring Squalo as if he didn’t even existed. Squalo stopped spinning around in anger and sat down next  to the blonde boy wearing red and black stripes under his leather coat, covered in dry red liquid, and sighed.
“We’ll come back later. With more men. The two of us is not enough, I told you, but you wouldn’t listen, you brat.”
“I wanted to spend a little time alone with my best friend !”
Bel cheered, beaming with a sadistic joy, while he hugged the taller man who frowned and looked totally disgusted.
“Jesus… let go of me, you weirdo.”
“Aw. You’re so cold.”
“And you’re so stupid.”
“I think the best thing we can do now is to sleep, time will pass faster, don’t you think?” Bel asked.
“And I won’t hear your irritating voice any longer : for once, you have a good idea.” The silver-haired mafia man made a cushion with his coat and sat in the most comfortable way possible, closed his eyes, and waited for day break ; his partner laughed, wiped off some blood on his cheeks, and fell asleep too.

The next morning, they escaped without any trouble, but without the money. Belphegor never laughed so much than when he saw Squalo coming back from their boss’s office with a face covered with wounds. And since the man didn’t find his suffering any fun, he jumped on the annoying blonde to attack him and release his frustration.

Of course, they had to go back to the bank the next evening, and they had to be together again. Squalo felt as if his boss really hated him. Working in a murdering mafia was not a piece of cake everyday.

~

End. x)

Posté par Mellonia à 13:52 - Commentaires [2] - Permalien [#]
Tags :

American Food Introduction

Hi Guys !

Let's have a look on the American Food

In the most powerful country of the world, we decided to study the different type of food that exist. And we conclude that it varies regionally.

However we will try to sum up the main typical meals in the United States of America !

First of all, we will talk about the food typically american,

Then, we will have a look on the influence of the other countries on the food of the USA (because of the immigration!!)

Finally, we decided to study the influence of american food all around the world (americanisation & fast food)

Soon on the blog !

Ivana Habib

Yacine Benhamou

Jessica Belizaire

Aurore Clément

Posté par Iva18 à 10:10 - Commentaires [1] - Permalien [#]

17 mars 2009

Terry Fox, a Canadian hero.

When I went to Canada last summer, I heard about a man who is considered as a real hero there. In British Columbia (where I was), there were a lot of statues and plaques in his honor and maybe you also know him. His name is Terry Fox.

terry_fox1

Terry Fox was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in July 28, 1958. He was an athlete who loved sports of all kinds, such as diving, rugby, baseball and soccer. He was extremely competitive with a lot of determination. But in 1977 he began to feel pain in his right knee and was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. This form of cancer strikes men more than women around ages of twenty-five, it starts at the knee and then reaches muscles and tendons and at that time the only way to treat it was an amputation. At the age of eighteen, Terry Fox was being amputated of his right leg several inches above the knee.

Three years later, he took an important decision. He decided to run from coast to coast of Canada, which is a distance of about 7’500km, in order to raise money for cancer research. He called it “The Marathon of Hope” and his goal was to raise $1 from each Canadian citizen.
He began his run by dipping his leg in the Atlantic Ocean on the eastern coast at St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980 and his intention was then to dip it in the Pacific Ocean on the western coast, when he arrived in Victoria, British Columbia. He also filled two large bottles with Atlantic Ocean water; he wanted to keep one as a souvenir, pour the other one into the Pacific and fill another bottle with water from the Pacific Ocean.
He was going to run about 42km a day, which is the distance of a typical marathon but with one prosthetic leg. No one had ever done anything similar before.

But on September 1, 1980, Terry Fox was forced to stop the run just north-east of Thunder Bay, Ontario. X-rays revealed that his bone cancer had metastasized to his lungs and so he was unable to finish his run. His right lung had a lump the size of a golf ball and his left lung had a lump the size of a lemon. On 143 days he had run 5’373km through Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario. He had run 38km a day.
Soon after he was forced to stop, the CTV television network organized a telethon in hopes of raising additional funds for the cause. By February 1981, Terry Fox had raised $24,17 million while Canada's population was 24 million. His goal of raising $1 from each Canadian citizen was achieved.

In June 1981, Terry Fox developed pneumonia and on June 27 he went into a coma. He died on the 28th, a year after his legendary run and exactly one month before his twenty-third birthday.

His large funeral was broadcast live on national television. He is now considered one of Canada's greatest heroes of the 20th century and is celebrated internationally every September as people participate in the Terry Fox Run, the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research. That September 1st Terry Fox Run was run, 300'000 people participated and to date, the Run has raised $360 million and is run over 60 countries each year.

Posté par Melanie Relaut à 21:28 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

13 mars 2009

Differences between men and women

humm well ... ok i'll talk 'bout differences between men and women ^^' just to give some example :) :

-A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband. A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
-A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.
-To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little. To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.
-Married men live longer than single men do, but married men are a lot more willing to die.
-A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't. A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, and she does.
-A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

To finish, I would say that it is thanks to these differences that we love each other and it is what intrigues us in the other one ... that's just my "funny" point of view :) let me see yours ! Thanks

Baptiste

Posté par baptiste95370 à 22:10 - Commentaires [5] - Permalien [#]

03 mars 2009

~ Irish Dances ~

We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances,
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And is anxious in its sleep.
-WB Yeats, The Stolen Child

This article will deal with the evolution of Irish dance : Ireland has always been a land of conquests, invasions and migrations, so the culture and thus the traditional dances evolved at the same time as the people, but it kept it's folkloric aspect whatsoever.
The first thing that comes to mind when we mention "Irish" and "Dance" in the same sentence is mostly what we can see in films, when the characters go in crowded and smogy pubs and start dancing around when they're drunk, or having fun because those dances are mostly there to be danced together, singing loudly and jumping. The other aspect of Irish Dance is the one made famous by the two successful shows "Riverdance" and more recently "Lord of the Dance".
Those dances are less messy than the previous ones : a serious training is needed to accomplish them correctly, and they're made to be shown.

[ Here are links to some videos, for those of you who've never had the chance to watch those beautiful dances :
~> Lord of the Dance, with the main dancer Michael Flatley <~
~> RiverDance <~
I personally enjoy the story and dances of Lord of the Dance, but the music from RiverDance is absolutely beautiful. ]

It is always kind of difficult to find the true origins of a cultural fact, like for instance music and/or dance, as well as legends and myths : everyone has a different opinion, and most of the informations we can gather on the Internet are based on stories told, not written texts. Everything is oral, so real and very certain informations are difficult to find.
But the main information is that the first dances were those of the celtic druids, who prayed while dancing, to worship their gods, the sun and the oak tree. Later, the country was christianized. Songs and dances evolved, but stayed important in the Irish culture.
Three principal Irish dances are mentioned in sixteenth century writings : the Irish Hey, the Rinnce Fada (long dance) and the Trenchmore which was an adaptation of an old Irish peasant dance. Those dances were usually accompanied by bagpipes and harps which played entertaining and intense melodies.

t







The other important dances, or some of them, are mentionned here : Jigs, treble, the sets, and the hornpipe for the dances in solo, and as far as the group dances are concerned, I can mention the ceilis, the set dancing, the drama dancing, the figure team dancing and people also dance to English inspired dances. They're all different but basically they have the same goal : unite people without words and express emotions you can't describe in any other way.

*_*



Posté par Mellonia à 00:04 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
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02 mars 2009

Irish songs

As I went back from Ireland, I kept in my mind all the Irish songs I heard and I learned.

Let's imagine the place where I spent two weeks in July 2006 and July 2007. A village between the small moutain and the see, in the county of Castletown Bere. There are three hundred inhabitants, three pubs.

And a man.

A man famous in the South of Eire, who plays Irish musics and sing Irish songs with another musician. Ecki. The man who taught us Irish music (we were more or less twenty French musicians).

And I discovered Irish songs.

There are about five different subjects in Irish songs.
- Pub songs, which talk about Irish alcohols, whiskey, beer, Porter and Mountain Dew... Usually everybody in the pub sings the song with the musicians. The most famous pub song is The Wild Rover (here sung by The Dubliners)
- Love songs, which talk about... well, you can guess. One of the most famous is The Spanish Lady (once more by The Dubliners)
- Songs about past everyday life (usually before the civil war), as Scarbourough Fair (by Canticle)
- Songs about the civil war, as the famous Boulavogue (here by Bredan Bowyer, I don't really like the synthesizer but he has got a great voice) You can also search for "Only Our Rivers Run Free", which is also very famous.
- To finish, songs about America, as there was a very important emigration to America during the famin in the 18th century. It's between Irish music and Coutry music. For example : The House of Rising Sun (by The Animals, very hard to find it played by an Irish band... I'm sure you will recognize the melody). Another which is less famous, Joe Hill (by Luke Kelly, a great Irish singer)

Enjoy, comment and, please. If you know other Irish bands or if you find beautiful Irish songs, please share it.

Posté par Selenior à 21:53 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

01 mars 2009

Valentine's day

We think it's a great idea to deal with origins of the Valentine's day. Well, we celebrate this day, with or without enjoying it, depending on your point of view about the question.
So, in fact, Valentine's day is a traditional celebration of anglo-saxon countries and had a real development in France
only until the eighties.

But how was this celebration created?

It could be thanks to St Valentin under Claude II's reign. Claude II is said to be a Roman emperor who forbade weddings because he didn't want his soldiers to stay with their fiancée instead of going to the war. St Valentin disagreed with emperor's way to resolve the problem and decided to marry all lovers on the sly. However, he was discovered and put in jail until the rest of his life.

Though, it's only from the end of the Middle Age that Valentine's day really began! Indeed, during this period the valentinage was born in the English aristocracy. What's the meaning? Well, a young lady and a man had to spend one day together paying presents for each other and complimenting the valentine, in a secret way of course! Step by step, poems were written and finally, this proof of friendship became lovers' celebration!
Besides, in anglo-saxon countries, friends keep exchanging letters for Valentine's day, especially children for their best friends.

Of course, exchanging cards evolved with our time. If they used to write themselves their letters, nowadays people buy cards or send them by computer generally.

From the eighteenth century, this concept grew and was generalized in Great Britain and in the North of America. It's at the end of the world war II that Valentine's day was brought by the GI in Europe.

So, lovers thank Great Britain!! (or not hé hé)

Hélène C. et Amandine C.

Posté par Lennou à 18:27 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]

28 février 2009

The clurichaun

Hello! Today, let me introduce you to another creature in Irland fairies, the clurichaun.

The clurichaun is a close cousin to the leprechaun, he is said to be the “dark form” of the leprechaun, who goes out at night to drink or to ride dogs or sheeps. In fact, he is said to be always drunk and bad-tempered. Despite this description, he is always well-dressed and wears a red hat, maybe made of plants. His clothes are red and white to distinguish himself from the leprechaun. However he never carries a hammer and doesn’t have any desire to work.

He is also a solitary creature.

Some say that the clurichaun and the leprechaun are the same creature with two different names.

Some folklorists say that if you treat him well, he will protect your wine cellar and chase away thieves; but if you treat him bad, he will cause damages to your home and steal your wine stock. Sometimes he can be heard singing irish songs in the cellar. If you chase away your clurichan by ill-treating him, no other one will ever come.

Like his cousin, female clurichaun doesn’t exist.

I don’t think the clurichaun appears in Cergy, or even in France, but if you wanna try to catch one, leave a bit of wine for him. You don’t have to have a big stock of wine, but at least a collection in your cellar for him to be interested!

The clurichaun appears with the leprechaun and banshee in the short story “Herself” by Diane Duane (featured in “Emrald Magic” in 2004”). By the way, what is a banshee? Stay tunned, I’ll post an article about it later!

Posté par Stephanie_b à 17:35 - - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]