Artículos de Febrero 2008

Dakar 2009

Jueves, 28 Febrero 2008

The 2009 Dakar rally : on the tracks of South America.

ARGENTINA - CHILE               

Patrice Clerc, President of Amaury Sport Organisation and Etienne Lavigne, Director of the Dakar, have announced that the 2009 Dakar would take place in Argentina and Chile from the 3rd to the 18th of January. They promise an amazing course, a 9000 km loop including 6000 of specials between Buenos Aires, Valparaiso and Buenos Aires. The Dakar rally, the legendary event of the off-road rally discipline, will for the first time go to South America in 2009.


During the last thirty years, the race has forged itself a legendary reputation on the African territory that helped it grow and become one of the major events of the international calendar. The Dakar will know how to keep and maintain values and a unique spirit. A first choice sporting competition that mixes great champions and amateurs, the event has become extremely international throughout the years, uniting up to 52 different nationalities. Added to that, the Dakar gathers a state of spirit driven by a quest for adventure, open-mindedness and discovery. A nomadic event by excellence with 21 African countries visited during its history, it has the vocation to explore the deserts of the World and A.S.O. studies the possibility for other territories to welcome the Dakar.

While keeping an undamaged challenge, the 2009 edition has accepted the invitation of Argentina and Chile, countries with which A.S.O. was in contact for several years.

The organisers were seduced by the discovery of territories where navigation, sand, and crossings will be on the menu. Argentina and Chile gather all the ingredients for a fantastic Dakar both in terms of the level of the varied topography and the splendour of the landscapes or through its infrastructures. The enthusiasm launched by the prospect of welcoming the event promises a great Dakar.

The registrations for this new challenge will start on the 15th of May 2008. The competitors registered for the 2008 edition will have priority and will benefit during a month from a similar tariff as this year’s one.


Juande Ramos

Lunes, 25 Febrero 2008

Ramos wins another cup, and Tottenham’s first trophy in nine years


WEMBLEY, England: Juande Ramos arrived at Tottenham as the cup final specialist, and it’s taken him only four months to prove he can do it in England as well as in Spain.

Tottenham rallied to beat Chelsea 2-1 Sunday in extra time in the League Cup final, giving Spurs their first trophy in nine years.

Now Ramos, who won two straight UEFA Cup titles at Sevilla, will immediately turn his focus to winning a third in Europe’s No. 2 competition.

“To come in after a few months and win a trophy is an incredible achievement,” Tottenham striker Robbie Keane said. “He’s given us the belief that we can win every game and you can see that in our performances since he took over.”

With Tottenham faltering under Martin Jol, Ramos was lured from Sevilla, where he also won the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Super Cup and the European Super Cup. 

“It’s always a tremendous satisfaction to win a trophy,” Ramos said. “This one maybe has a special flavor to it because it was against a team that was superior to us. Perhaps it makes it taste better.


Javier Bardem

Lunes, 25 Febrero 2008


Javier Bardem’s  menacing portrayal of psychotic killer ANTON CHIGURH in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN earned the actor his first Oscar on Sunday night (24th February 2008). The Spanish movie star was a red-hot favourite to win the Best Supporting Actor prize. Bardem delivered half his acceptance speech in his native Spanish tongue for the benefit of his actress mother, who accompanied him to the 80th Academy Awards. The award was Bardem’s first Oscar, but he was previously nominated for his portrayal of poet/artist Reinaldo Arenas in 2000 movie Before Night Falls. 

Teen health and fitness

Jueves, 14 Febrero 2008

Until the teenage years, it’s largely possible to control what and when children eat, how much exercise they get and when they go to bed. While all this may change once a child reaches the teenage years, there are ways you can help him eat healthily and stay fit.

    Food for growing

Teenagers grow quickly. They need an increase in food to supply the energy they need for growth. Teenagers need more calories than adults, but the sort of food that’s best is just the same as for anyone else. We should all:

  • Eat plenty of: bread, other cereals, potatoes, fruit and vegetables. These foods supply energy, fibre, and important vitamins and minerals.
  • Eat moderate amounts of: milk and dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, nuts and pulses such as beans. These foods supply protein for growth as well as vitamins and minerals.
  • Eat small amounts of: fat including butter, margarine, oils and cream, and fried foods including crisps and chips.
  • Eat small amounts of sugary foods including cakes, biscuits, sweets, soft drinks, and ice cream. These foods supply energy but can contribute to tooth decay.

As a general rule of thumb, about half of all calories should come from complex carbohydrates such as cereals, pasta, rice and bread, and from root and leaf vegetables and fruit. About a third of calories should come from foods like chicken, meat, oily fish, milk, cheese, eggs, and yoghurt. The rest will be made up of other foods like fats.

However, even if you offer good food at regular intervals, a teenager may not always eat it. Erratic meal patterns, skipping breakfast and fasting to lose weight are not uncommon, as is eating too much of the wrong foods.

    Big eaters

Some teenagers put on weight slowly but surely in early adolescence. If weight-gain starts to become a problem, it’s easier to try to change the eating patterns that caused the gain sooner rather than later. Try to ensure that the teenager is eating sensibly from all food groups. Small changes in diet such as cutting out snacks and high-fat foods like crisps can make a difference, as can smaller meal portions. Plenty of regular exercise will also help.

    Small eaters

Many teenagers worry about their weight. Social pressure and media images combine to put fat near the top of most teenagers’ hate lists. However, while most teenagers worry, very few go on to develop eating disorders. One that worries parents is anorexia, which is more common amongst teenage girls than boys. Anorexia occurs when a girl sees herself as fat and continues to diet even when she is already very thin.  Try to make sure their diet is healthy and they take a fair amount of exercise. Exercise and fitness are part of looking good, feeling good and being healthy. 


Healthy sleeping is an essential part of looking after the body. Teenagers need more sleep than children because of the changes they are experiencing both physically and mentally.  It doesn’t indicate that they are lazy or will grow up to be lazy.

British Nutrition Foundation:

Love in Rome

Miércoles, 13 Febrero 2008

In Rome, a New Ritual on an Old Bridge

Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Locks with lovers’ names on a Rome bridge are a new rite, with some unusual results.

ROME, Aug. 5 — Love, in all its splendor and mess, found a fit expression on Rome’s oldest bridge last year. Inspired by a best-selling book, then the movie version, young couples wrote their names on a padlock. They chained their locks around lampposts on Ponte Milvio. Then they symbolically cut off escape by tossing the keys into the wine-dark Tiber below.

Built in 206 B.C., Ponte Milvio is Rome’s oldest bridge.

Locks and keys are for sale on Ponte Milvio, where couples write their names on the locks and then throw the keys into the river.


But reality quickly set in, as it often does after passion. Thousands of locks and chains piled up. The lamps atop two light posts crumbled under the weight. Neighbors complained of vandalism. Politicians who tried to solve the problem were accused — and this is bad in Italy — of being anti-love.

Late last month, a solution was put into place. City officials set up six sets of steel posts with chains on the bridge, so now lovers can declare themselves without damage to the infrastructure. And so this city of monuments has just created another one, if at a cost: tossing a key off Ponte Milvio, some Italians complain, may soon be as touristy as flipping a coin into the Trevi Fountain.

 And in the few days since the new posts went up, dozens of new love locks have been sealed shut on Ponte Milvio, in a perfect world, forever. (Though in practice, the city will periodically prune the locks just as they sweep the coins from the Trevi Fountain.) People are also being encouraged to use a Web site,, where they can create virtual padlocks.

The story of how Ponte Milvio, north of Rome’s center, became the city’s symbol of love follows a particularly Italian script blending history, myth, truly ludicrous political posturing and the unexpected.

Built in 206 B.C., the bridge attracted lovers long ago. 

Last year, the writer Federico Moccia created the second installment of a story of young Romans called “I Want You.” Like many affairs, his hero’s starts with a lie: he convinces a potential girlfriend of an invented legend in which lovers wrap a lock and a chain around the third lamppost on the bridge’s northern side, lock it and throw the key into the Tiber.

“And then?” the girl asks.

“We’ll never leave each other,” he says, with no shame.

Mr. Moccia, 44, said he dreamed up the ritual. “I liked the idea of tying locks to love because it is more solid, tangible,” he said. The book sold 1.1 million copies, then the movie came out and soon life began imitating art.

Mr. Moccia said he was stunned when locks and chains appeared on the bridge.

“It is a precise sign of our times — there is a lack of dreaming,” he said. “We only hear bad news. There is no longer the smile of who we see from afar or near the dream. And that gesture of the lock on the bridge, of the feeling of the iron closing, it’s a promise. It’s beautiful.”

Soon beauty turned to menace. Lovers came from all over Italy, joined by some tourists. The ancient bridge, which also attracts not only lovers but drinkers and no small number of pot smokers, began to be covered in lovers’ graffiti, along with the overwhelming number of chains. This spring, the city cracked down.

 (Text adapted from The New York Times)


A hobby or an obsession?

Viernes, 8 Febrero 2008


Richard Rodríguez is a 39-year-old teacher at an American university. Richard has been interested in rollercoasters for more than 20 years. In fact, it’s more than a hobby now - it’s become an obsession!

Richard has always enjoyed rollercoasters, but he didn’t set his first world record until 1977. On that occasion, he rode a rollercoaster for 103 hours continuously. Since 1977, he’s broken his own record two times.

In 1998, Richard decided to break his own record of 549 hours at Blackpool Beach in the UK. Two days after Richard started riding the rollercoaster, a Canadian called Norman St Pierre started riding another rollercoaster in Montreal in Canada. After 670 hours, Norman St Pierre gave up and got off his rollercoaster. In Blackpool, Richard continued and rode the rollercoaster for a total of 1,013 hours. That’s 47 days and nights! During that time, he travelled about 18,000 kilometres - but of course, he didn’t go anywhere!

Did he enjoy the experience? “It was a great adventure,” he said, immediately after he finished. “The worst part of it was the rain.”

Meeting other passengers was the most interesting part. Richard talked happily to people from all over the world. When he wasn’t talking, he spent the time quietly reading magazines and newspapers.



If you want to know more about  roller coasters, amusement parks, theme parks and thrill rides, click on:

Valentine’s Day

Jueves, 7 Febrero 2008


Valentine’s Day started over two thousand years ago, as a winter festival, on 15th February. On that day, pagans asked their gods to give them good fruit and vegetables, and strong animals.

When the Christians came to Britain, they came with a story about a man called Saint Valentine. The story is that Valentine was a Christian who lived in the third century (between the years 200 and 300). The Roman Emperor at the time, Claudius II, was not a Christian. Claudius decided that his soldiers must not marry, because married soldiers do not make good soldiers. Valentine worked for the church, and one day he helped a soldier to get married. The Emperor said that Valentine had to die because he did wrong. In prison Valentine started to love the daughter of a man who worked in the prison. The day he died, he sent a note to this woman, and at the end of the note, he said: “Your Valentine.” He died on 14th February, so the date of the festival changed from 15th to 14th February, and the name changed to Saint Valentine’s Day.

In the early nineteenth century, when the post office started in Britain, people started to send Valentine’s cards to the person they loved on 14th February.

The cards had pictures of flowers and birds on, and words inside like:

Roses are red, my love,

Violets are blue,

Sugar is sweet, my love,

But not as sweet as you.

People still send each other Valentine’s cards, but often they do not write their names inside: they just write “Be my Valentine,” or “From your Valentine”. It is a kind of game.

Some children give their friends or teachers cards or chocolates. A man will perhaps give his girlfriend or wife red roses.

A lot of people go out to restaurants for the evening and have dinner for two, with candles and soft music.


(Text from Seasons and Celebrations   - OXFORD BOOKWORMS 2)

The Oscars

Jueves, 7 Febrero 2008

    The Academy Awards Show is one of the biggest show-business parties in the world. It is held every year in Los Angeles.

The show is organized every year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science in the USA. Invitations are sent to famous film stars and directors. Ordinary members of the public are not invited! However, a few fans are allowed to watch the celebrities arrive. Expensive and elegant clothes are worn by the guests.


At the ceremony, awards are given to the best actors and directors. These awards are called Oscars. Short clips of the films are shown to the audience. The ceremony is broadcast live on television around the world. It is watched by millions of people.

(Text from HOLIDAY ENGLISH   4º ESO   -   OXFORD) 


Jueves, 7 Febrero 2008


The Carnival in Rio is probably the world’s most famous party. It is held every year in February or March. It lasts for four days. Most shops and offices are closed during the Carnival, and everyone has a fantastic time!

Most of the entertainment takes place in the streets of Rio. There are processions of samba groups from seven o’clock in the evening until early the next morning. These processions are watched by thousands of people in the Avenida Rio Branco.

There are also special indoor parties called “Carnival balls”. Tickets cost about $50. There are normally two bands at each ball. The guests don’t have to wear fancy dress, but a lot of them do. Some of the balls are broadcast on TV.