Monday, December 28, 2009

If you want to learn about languages:

http://www.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15108609

This article (above link) is a thrill.
If you're interested in languages, that is. And who isn't?!
What is the hardest language? Not English.Lucky you English learners!

ineffective spying?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Neil de Grasse Tyson about 2012



This great scientist is both entertaining and enlightening. For all those who would be worried about 2012, listen and relax!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

MORE TROOPS

So, more U.S. troops in Afghanistan?
Listen to Rachel Maddow and find out. Excellent oral comprehension exercise about war...

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Patrick baillet,


http://www.patrick-baillet.fr/

A BIG THANK YOU to G.G.

http://rea.ccdmd.qc.ca/ri/listening/

G.G. has just sent me this link to a new great ORAL COMPREHENSION SITE,
with great oral comprehension exercises to do!
Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

OBAMA PRO-LANDMINES



As a former active member of Handicap International, I feel deeply miserable.
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/11/25/us-obama-rejection-mine-ban-treaty-reprehensible
So the Obama administration is not going to sign the Ottawa treaty banning landmines.
The one that G.W.Bush said he would never sign...

Well, Obama didn't abolish the patriot act either. Quite the contrary, he voted to reauthorize it.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/16/obama-seeks-patriot-act-extensions/

And as for stopping wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, here it is :
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/13/obama-afghanistan-troop-deployment
and the video of a sadly unforgettable moment here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/video/2009/oct/29/obama-defence-budget

Indeed, Obama is not the president anti-war-minded people could legitimately be hoping for.

Should we keep hoping the world becomes a better place or should we give up hope?
Let's keep hoping!
Yes, always. I mean at least as long as we live... PEACE
http://www.handicap-international.org/
http://www.icbl.org/index.php/icbl/Treaties/MBT/Treaty-Basics

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Talk about surveillance...

spy stuff available in retail stores near you...


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Sunday, November 01, 2009

CELL : Size and scale

A fabulous visual representation of microscopic life: from a grain of salt to an atom of carbon.
Fascinating! Move the cursor! http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/begin/cells/scale/

Saturday, October 24, 2009

URGENT !! CORRESPONDANTS!

Etes-vous interessé par un correspondant américain?
Une amie collègue de français aux U.S. veut faire correspondre ses élèves avec les miens.
N'hésitez-pas! Envoyez-moi un mail à l'adresse arago2311@gmail.com avec comme sujet:
U.S. penpal.
Je me chargerai d'envoyer votre adresse mail à ma collègue qui la donnera à l'un ou l'une de ses élèves.
Merci d'avance. Mme Bilien

Saturday, October 17, 2009

News about Gary McKinnon


ComputerWeeklydotcom's essential guide to Gary McKinnon's story with links to articles from the beginning. (2002)
http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2008/08/28/231065/hacker-gary-mckinnon-essential-guide.htm

Gary McKinnon talks to Huw Edwards on BBC News in July 2006
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4715612.stm
Indeed, the above link features McKinnon telling us why he is not such a good hacker since he was only doing what is called 'blank password scanning' which is not a proper computer hack.
Listen to him saying " I would be considered by a proper computer hacker, a professional, to be completely amateur."
Then listen to his answer to the broadcaster's question: "What's your case against extradition?"

And here is the latest news from TimesOnline :http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article6878553.ece

What could we do to help those children?

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/17/world/main5392572.shtml

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Obama Okayed 13,000 More Afghan Troops

Yes we can.
But no we won't...


http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/13/politics/washingtonpost/main5381329.shtml?tag=stack
extract :
The request reportedly includes different options for adding troops for combat, training and support, with one option totaling about 40,000. The ability of the Army and Marine Corps to meet the request would depend on the type and number of troops McChrystal asked for, and when he wants them. A significant troop increase in Afghanistan early next year - similar to the 2007 increase in Iraq - would be difficult to sustain given the current size of the Army and Marine Corps and ongoing troop demands in Iraq, officials said.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

CHECK OUT THIS GREAT WEBSITE TO IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH

http://www.englishmaven.org/

Explore in the above link the blue column on the left . Some labels have few lessons. Others have lots.
I suggest you begin with the "Pronouncing -ed endings" lesson.

You can do the lessons for free BUT JUST ONCE.

This site is now referenced under the label "LESSONS" on the left column of this blog. I called it MAVEN there.
Enjoy and check out the other links as well as the other labels...

Obama Nobel Peace Prize


http://www.truthout.org/101009A

The above link is an interesting comment on the picture of those 4 famous people...
Or are they that well-known?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Kissinger
http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/woodrowwilson/
http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/theodoreroosevelt/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama

Saturday, October 10, 2009

LISTEN TO GREG PATILLO !




HERE'S A PHOTO OF HIS GROUP: PROJECT TRIO
and the link to their website: http://www.whatisproject.org/index.html
I can't wait to see them in France!

We Will Not Pay To Use Facebook. We Are Gone If This Happens

Apparently if Facebook gets sold then theres a major possibility that it will turn into a "Paysite". This is just stupid! Lets all stick together on this one and let them know that we will leave Facebook if they decide to charge us to use it.

WILL YOU PAY TO USE FACEBOOK ?
I don't use it much but if this happens, I'm gone!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Colton Harris Moore



http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/10/facebook_fan_page_for_teen_ban.html

A new oral comprehension site: Learn English Feel Good

I hope you all feel good... I knew that you would!

http://www.learnenglishfeelgood.com/eslvideo/esl_movieclip9.html

It's now referenced under the label "Oral comprehension sites" on the left column of this blog. Enjoy and check out the other labels.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Mc Donald's in the U.S.


No comment !!!

One of the most important video I've ever watched...

Because the truth will ALWAYS prevail and because freedom is our most precious possession, I believe everybody should watch it. Thank you.
This is the French version but you'll easily find the English one on the web.
I hope we'll have the web for ever. But I'm not so sure about it.
http://video.google.fr/videoplay?docid=-647042342894016035#

TO ALL THOSE WHO VISIT MY BLOG

WELCOME!!!
My blog was first created for my pupils. I'm a female John Doe... (any idea how you'd call her?) but I've got to admit that few of them visit it :-(
Many of you visitors come from around the world:
Britain, Germany, Poland, Croatia, Turkey, India, Philippines, Korea, Japan, U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and so on and so forth.
Indeed, thanks to sitemeter (the free version, thank you Sitemeter!), I'm able to see where my visitors come from and it's a thrill to see these web connections.

I'd love to hear from you all. Why don't you say hello right below in the comments. I promise to reply to every single comment. Or if you wish to send me a private message, please contact me at arago2311 at gmail.com.
I'm very much interested in teaching, UFOs, science and the 9/11 truth movement.
What about you?
Thanks in advance. Enjoy every single second of your life and your world. Our wonderful world. Peace. Elisabeth

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Preventing the Flu in France ou Comment dire "Hugh" en Américain!


http://www.lecielestbleu.com/html/main_pateason.htm

Great creative crazy stuff you find on the web...
A quote by Harry S. Truman, 33rd president of the United States (1945-1953) :
"The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know."
as quoted in Plain Speaking : An Oral Biography of Harry S Truman (1974) by Merle Miller, p. 26

Friday, September 11, 2009

WTC 1 and WTC 2 collapsed on the morning of 9/11/01.
Did you know that WTC 7 collapsed at 05:20 pm on the same day?


And what about that?

Monday, September 07, 2009

I MUST NOT COPY WHAT I SEE ON THE SIMPSONS

Back to school in France. We call it "la rentrée". (No such noun in English).
Anyway, it's high time I posted something new for september. Well, I went on Banksy's site again and saw his new work and I thought you should have a look.
http://www.banksy.co.uk/menu.html
Because I consider Banksy's art to be extremely worth studying, we'll go back there together in the multimedia room.
http://www.banksy.co.uk/outdoors/horizontal_1.htm
He's got nothing to sell, nothing to proselytize.
Nothing of that sort.
He is just creating a great work of art in progress, his acute lucidity is here for us to ponder on our urban world.
All those walls.
119 friendly admirative French earthly free hugs to Banksy and Welcome back to school, kids!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

About Global Warming

and nature terribly off-balance.
http://thebigask.eu/
Radiohead on tour with the Big Ask

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Rattrapés!

En TS: Rémi, Fadila, Erwan et Damien. Good job.
En TES: Hélène, Manu, Katiba, Pierrine, Laura et Yassine.
Que les autres se consolent, ils pourront repasser une année à Arago.
What a thrill ...

BRAVO to the baccalaureates!

Bravo aux reçus du premier tour. Un ban pour Sophie et Marvin, mention très bien en S Un ban pour Emilie et Jérôme, mention bien en S et STI. Je suis très contente aussi pour tous les autres reçus.
Maintenant, j'attends avec impatience les résultats du rattrapage pour ceux qui doivent surmonter cette épreuve supplémentaire.Merci de me laiser un message pour me donner des news.
Et puis... HAVE A VERY NICE SUMMER ALL!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

JON couldn't believe his ears.

Some people make major mistakes: here, at 1 minute, a Michael Scheuer, interviewed by Glenn Beck on Fox News and presented as a "Former CIA Anti-terrorism Analyst" utters a shocking comment.
JON STEWART's denounces it all in his own humurous puzzled way. Once again, thanks to Jon for making us laugh and think.
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

Safety instructions

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

GAÏA



Earth, That's her name. Well, her English name.
How do you say Earth in different languages?
We earthlings sometimes call it ADAMA in hebrew, ARD in Arabic, BHUVAN in Sanskrit, BIN in Greek, CHIKYUU in Japanese, die ERDE in German,LUR in Basque,TERRA in Italian, Latin, Portuguese Spanish, DIQIU in Chinese, ZEM in Czech, , ZIMLIA in Russian, ZIEMIA in Polish, TERO in Esperanto,

We all love our planet, don't we?

Well, same to you kids... the future is in your hands! Anyway, we're all in the same boat!
Quite a boat, isn't it? She's called Earth

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Prisoners pay tribute to Michael Jackson

CBS NEWS Sat Jun 27 12:38:18 PDT 2009
INMATES PERFORM "THRILLER"
1,500 plus CPDRC inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, Cebu, Philippines at practice!
After being told of Jackson's departure, 1,500 Filipino inmates hit the exercise yard, practicing for nine hours to pay tribute to Michael Jackson by recreating the 'Thriller' dance and some other Jackson hits.
Find a synonym of
1) "inmate" : ..........
2) "departure" : ............

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

SPIN



spin n. [spɪn] spins
1. A swift whirling motion (usually of a missile).
2. The act of rotating rapidly: “he gave the crank a spin”; Synonyms: twirl, twist, twisting, whirl.

spin v. [spɪn] spun ◊ spinning ◊ spins
1. To revolve quickly and repeatedly around one’s own axis; Synonyms: spin around, whirl, reel, gyrate.
2. To work natural fibers into a thread: “spin silk.”
3. To form a web by making a thread, as of spiders.
4. To prolong or extend: “spin out a visit”; Synonyms: spin out.
5. To make up a story, as in “spin a yarn.”
6. To stream in jets, of liquids: “The creek spun its course through the woods.”

PHRASES:
spin doctor n.
A spokesperson for a political party or candidate who tries to forestall negative publicity.

spin dryer (or drier) n.
A machine that uses centrifugal motion to dry the clothes that are put into it;

spin the bottle n.
A game in which a player spins a bottle and kisses the person that it points to when it stops spinning.

spin the plate n.
A game in which something round (as a plate) is spun on edge and the name of a player is called; the named player must catch the spinning object before it falls or pay a forfeit; Synonyms: spin the platter.

spin off v. [spɪn ɔːf]
To produce as a consequence or an unplanned result.

spin a yarn v.expr.
To tell a story, esp. a long or fabulous tale.

spin-dry v. [spɪn draɪ]
To dry by spinning and making use of centrifugal forces; as of clothes.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

For those who are taking the Baccalauréat...

"Intelligence is not what you know, but what you do when you don't know. " - Piaget
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..
The poor thinker dashes madly after an answer; the good thinker takes his time and looks at the problem….. - John Holt

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ANTI BULLYING CAMPAIGN

Anti bullying campaign advertisement featuring Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, Jake Shears of the Scissor Sisters, and many more.

How two FOX news journalists were fired...

A video about GMOs

A video about Genetically Modified Organisms...
and more particularly Genetically Modified Foods... and about Monsanto of course.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

About the sun, its sunspots and Northern Lights.

News from SOHO, the solar and heliospheric observatory.
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/29may_noaaprediction.htm?list53494

""The 1859 storm--known as the "Carrington Event" after astronomer Richard Carrington who witnessed the instigating solar flare--electrified transmission cables, set fires in telegraph offices, and produced Northern Lights so bright that people could read newspapers by their red and green glow. A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found that if a similar storm occurred today, it could cause $1 to 2 trillion in damages to society's high-tech infrastructure and require four to ten years for complete recovery. For comparison, Hurricane Katrina caused "only" $80 to 125 billion in damage.
The latest forecast revises an earlier prediction issued in 2007. At that time, a sharply divided panel believed solar minimum would come in March 2008 followed by either a strong solar maximum in 2011 or a weak solar maximum in 2012. Competing models gave different answers, and researchers were eager for the sun to reveal which was correct.
It turns out that none of our models were totally correct," says Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA's lead representative on the panel. "The sun is behaving in an unexpected and very interesting way."

Researchers have known about the solar cycle since the mid-1800s. Graphs of sunspot numbers resemble a roller coaster, going up and down with an approximately 11-year period.
""
cf http://bilien.blogspot.com/2008/09/spotless-sun.html

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

ENJOY JON - Oral Comprehension exercise

Watch this video in another window and ENJOY JON'S HUMOR-
http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=228042&title=bronx-bombers

We could do the exercise below in the multimedia room .
Why not do it at home? Don't put your answers in the comments but bring them or mail them to me!
In the comments, tell me if you had fun watching it. If you did, you'll probably be willing to do the Test. ENJOY!


A... 1'14'' - 1'24 : Is that a .......................... or a .............................. I'm doing B... 1'45'' What does Jon say about the police car?
C... Then what does he suggest about the cuts in the New York City budget?
D... What did the 4 so-called "homegrown terrorists" allegedly plan to do?
E... 2'14'' Why does Jon look so surprised? And he says he's done what?!
F... 2'30'' What's the joke!
G... The public was at no time in any danger... Why?
H... What does Jon say about the suspected terrorists?
I... 3'22''What does he compare their cellphones to? And their Stinger missiles? And their beards?!!!
J... 3'45''Fox news says they have proof Obama is endangering America... Explain. And say what Gitmo is.
K... What is Jon's conclusion?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard

A gripping short film about our world: The SoS, the Story of Stuff is a must see.

"Do you have one of these?" (Annie Leonard shows her iPod). "I got a little obsessed with mine. In fact, I got a little obsessed with all my stuff. Have you ever wondered where all the stuff we buy comes from and where it goes when we throw it out? I couldn't stop wondering about that so I looked it up. And what the text books said is that our stuff simply moves along these stages: extraction to production to distribution to consumption to disposal. All together, it's called the materials economy.
Well, I looked into it a little bit more. In fact, I spent ten years traveling the world tracking where our stuff comes from and where it goes. And you know what I found out? That is not the whole story. There's a lot missing from this explanation. " ............................................
Watch that great video and learn!

Here is a New York Times article about this film:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/11/education/11stuff.html?_r=1

Monday, May 11, 2009

Friday, May 08, 2009

Monday, May 04, 2009

Chicken à la carte: A Must See



I heard on the radio yesterday that in rich countries, 30% of the food we bought was thrown away.
We're careless, so careless... Maybe we'll be more careful after watching Chicken à la carte.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Looking for a job!


The job
envoyé par trescourt

CONFICKER DIDN'T GET ME

BEWARE! YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD OF CONFICKER!

A WORM :-(:-)(:-)(:-)(:-)(:-)(:-)(((((< >
Conficker Eye Chart may help you. Google it or click on the link below.
And DON'T buy any program to protect you. It IS conficker!
DON'T click on anything you're not familiar with... just don't.


Conficker is just a money maker. Identity theft is its sole purpose. Once it has infested you, it is able to steal your money directly from the bank.
http://www.confickerworkinggroup.org/infection_test/cfeyechart.html

Watch the CBS news video and read the article too.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/04/13/earlyshow/main4939004.shtml

Monday, April 13, 2009

OH MY... Poor babies and toddlers!!

The Gun Show Loophole: Oral comprehension exercise



Some vocabulary:
A gun ... you know what a gun is I guess...
A gun show is a public sale where people may buy and sell guns to and from private citizens
A loophole is something missing that prevents -here- the law that requires background checks before selling a gun. In French, we say "une lacune".
Background checks are the information that must be provided to the person who sells the gun about the potential customer. If the latter is a felon, a domestic abuser or a mentally ill person, he is not supposed to be allowed to buy the gun. this one is way more difficult to translate in French. But I suggest something like "Pour pouvoir acheter une arme, il faut montrer patte blanche!"
Here are a couple of a links about the subject:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/18/AR2008011801881.html

http://ncpc.typepad.com/prevention_works_blog/2008/01/the-gun-show-lo.html

Saturday, March 28, 2009

MONEY, Money, money!

You remember the old ABBA song?

Money, money, money
Must be funny,
In the rich man's world
Money, money, money,
Always sunny,
In the rich man's world


What does a million look like ? ... And a billion? ... How about a trillion?
Discover it here
http://deliveriesgalore.com/2009/03/18/one-trillion-dollars/

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Wire

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wire_(TV_series)



Hey Pupils! If you EVER drop by...
[ obviously, my site meter free membership says you don't but still, I keep posting... ha ha ]
... know that you'll be given a 20/20, the anglo-saxon A, if you do a 2-mn-oral report about
that TV series.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Playing for change / Song around the world.

THE PLAYING FOR CHANGE FOUNDATION
Mission statement:
"The playing for change foundation (PFCF) is dedicated to connecting the world through music by providing resources (including but not limited to facilities, supplies, and educational programs) to musicians and their communities around the world. [...]"
Also read Mark Johnson's and Jonathan Walls' résumés on their website.
They co-direct Playing For Change.They're the co- and talk about them in class.
http://playingforchange.com
You can also read about Mark's "Director's vision" here: http://playingforchange.com/blog/?p=16
AND NOW ! Here 's the "video qui fait du bien." Thanks to my dear friend Mimi. I've come up with a few propositions of translations and I'll give them to you. But before, why don't you post a comment to suggest a translation?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Nasa launches Earth hunter probe

"An unmanned Nasa mission to search the sky for Earth-like planets with the potential to host life has launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida."

The Kepler telescope will orbit the Sun to watch a patch of space thought to contain about 100,000 stars like ours.[...] Controllers took their first opportunity to launch the probe, at 0349GMT (2249EST) on 7 March, 2009. Kepler blasted off atop a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. "This is a historical mission; it's not just a science mission," said Dr Edward Weiler, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at Nasa."I maintain that it really attacks some very basic human questions that have been part of our genetic code since that first man or woman looked up into the sky and asked the question: 'are we alone?'." ... Nice video of the lift off here: and the article in full.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7929831.stm

Thursday, March 05, 2009

About the brain



Jill Bolt Taylor has a fabulously clear way to speak about her experience (tough one) with the brain. It is enlightening, don't you think?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Follow-up

A Giant Breach in Earth's Magnetic Field

Themis discovers hole in Earth's solar storm shield a.k.a. the magnetosphere.

"NASA's five THEMIS spacecraft have discovered a breach in Earth's magnetic field ten times larger than anything previously thought to exist.
" [...] "At first I didn't believe it," says THEMIS project scientist David Sibeck of the Goddard Space Flight Center. "This finding fundamentally alters our understanding of the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction." ...Read more below

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/16dec_giantbreach.htm

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/themis/news/themis_leaky_shield.html

The 2007 THEMIS Mission: investigate what causes auroras in the Earth's atmosphere to dramatically change from slowly shimmering waves of light to wildly shifting streaks of color. Discovering what causes auroras to change will provide scientists with important details on how the planet's magnetosphere works and the important Sun-Earth connection.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

WSJ : Wall Street Journal online

Kids are learning English everywhere around the globe.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Leasing of Guantanamo Bay

Some time ago, I met an American living in Paris. His name is Michael J. Strauss. He sent me a postcard from Guantanamo bay a few months ago.
First time i met him, he intended to write a book about the leasing of Guantanamo Bay. He told me a funny story then:
Incredible as it may seem, since 1903, the U.S. has been paying $4,000 by U.S. Treasury General cheques every month to keep that U.S. enclave which was primarily a naval base.
Of course, post 9/11, it came to be sadly known as the infamous detention center a.k.a. Gitmo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guantanamo_Bay_detention_camp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guantanamo_Bay
The funny thing is that Fidel Castro doesn't cash those cheques but keeps them in a drawer because he, Fidel Castro, considers that the U.S. presence in Cuba is not legitimate. You can read about that story here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4169790a12.html

Well, I'm very glad to tell you that Michael J. Strauss has now finished writing that book. Congratulations Michael! : "The Leasing of Guantanamo Bay".
Read more here: http://www.greenwood.com/books/printFlyer.aspx?sku=C37782&location=international
and here: http://www.greenwood.com/catalog/C37782.aspx


Here is a description of the book:

Post-2002 events at the U.S. naval facility at Guantanamo Bay have generated a spate of books on its use as a detention center in the U.S. fight against terrorism. Yet the crucial enabling factor-the lease that gave the U.S. control over the territory in Cuba-has till now escaped any but cursory consideration. The Leasing of Guantanamo Bay explains just how Guantanamo Bay came to be a leased territory where the U.S. has no sovereignty and Cuba has no jurisdiction. This is the first definitive account of the details and workings of the unusual and problematic state-to-state leasing arrangement that is the essential but murky foundation for all the ongoing controversies about Guantanamo Bay's role in U.S. anti-terrorism efforts, charges of U.S. human rights violations, and U.S.-Cuban relations.


Friday, February 06, 2009

Karen Greenberg: "The Least Worst Place"


An insightful piece of John Stewart's Daily Show
with Karen Greenberg about her book:
The Least Worst Place: the first 100 days at Guantanamo.

Here is a link about the author KAREN GREENBERG
http://www.lawandsecurity.org/about_staff.cfm
and a radio interview
http://lots-o-thoughts.blogspot.com/2009/02/karen-greenberg-on-closing-guantanamo.html
More about guantanamo
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7845585.stm
or more here: http://thepoliticus.com/content/evolution-guantanamo-bay



Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jimmy Carter

PART 1


PART 2

Neil de Grasse Tyson

A funny, friendly scientist, an astrophysicist in love with the whole universe.
http://www.haydenplanetarium.org/tyson/

Monday, January 26, 2009

Jamal, Salim and Latika

Slumdog Millionaire is a great movie. Here is the trailer.
I hope it makes you feel like seeing the film.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama took the oath a second time


Read the following article and find out why the U.S. president chose to take the oath again.

http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2009/01/president_obamas_oath_twice_fo.html

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama takes the oath of office, slips of the tongue and the place of adverbs

Yesterday, Obama took the oath of office. He had to repeat it after the Chief Justice. See previous post.

The 35-word oath is explicitly prescribed in the Constitution. It reads:
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
But Chief Justice John Roberts' administration of the presidential oath to Barack Obama was far from smooth.

But here's exactly what was said yesterday:

ROBERTS: Are you prepared to take the oath, Senator?
OBAMA: I am.
ROBERTS: I, Barack Hussein Obama…
OBAMA: I, Barack…
ROBERTS: … do solemnly swear…
OBAMA: I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear…
ROBERTS: … that I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully
OBAMA: … that I will execute…
ROBERTS: … faithfully the office of president of the United States…
OBAMA: … the office of president of the United States faithfully
ROBERTS: … and will to the best of my ability…
OBAMA: … and will to the best of my ability…
ROBERTS: … preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
OBAMA: … preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
ROBERTS: So help you God?
OBAMA: So help me God.
ROBERTS: Congratulations, Mr. President.

Who stumbled? The flub was Roberts'.
During the oath, Chief Justice Roberts switched some words up. ... When Roberts erred, one child shouted: "That's not right!"
Their momentary disfluency came down to a problem of adverbial placement. In giving the oath, Roberts misplaced the word "faithfully," at which point Obama paused quizzically. Roberts then corrected himself, but Obama repeated the words as Roberts initially said them.
There was one other minor slip-up on Roberts' part: in his first run-through of the embedded clause, he got a preposition wrong, saying "I will execute the office of president 'to' the United States," rather than 'of '. A less noticeable speech error, but nonetheless the type of thing that happens when one speaks from memory without written prompts, as Roberts apparently did.
Several constitutional lawyers said President Obama should, just to be safe, retake the oath of office that was flubbed by Chief Justice John Roberts.


Thanks to Language Log
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1039#more-1039
and the San Francisco Chronicles
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/01/20/MNAF15E20I.DTL&feed=rss.news

Obama's inaugural address

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/20/national/inauguration09/main4737816.shtml?tag=centerColumn;centerColumnContent

Last part of that speech:
"So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hurricane by Bob Dylan



Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter patty valentine from the upper hall.
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood,
Cries out, my god, they killed them all!
Here comes the story of the hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin that he never done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

Three bodies lyin there does patty see
And another man named bello, movin around mysteriously.
I didnt do it, he says, and he throws up his hands
I was only robbin the register, I hope you understand.
I saw them leavin, he says, and he stops
One of us had better call up the cops.
And so patty calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashin
In the hot new jersey night.

Meanwhile, far away in another part of town
Rubin carter and a couple of friends are drivin around.
Number one contender for the middleweight crown
Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down
When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road
Just like the time before and the time before that.
In paterson thats just the way things go.
If youre black you might as well not show up on the street
less you wanna draw the heat.

Alfred bello had a partner and he had a rap for the cops.
Him and arthur dexter bradley were just out prowlin around
He said, I saw two men runnin out, they looked like middleweights
They jumped into a white car with out-of-state plates.
And miss patty valentine just nodded her head.
Cop said, wait a minute, boys, this ones not dead
So they took him to the infirmary
And though this man could hardly see
They told him that he could identify the guilty men.

Four in the mornin and they haul rubin in,
Take him to the hospital and they bring him upstairs.
The wounded man looks up through his one dyin eye
Says, whad you bring him in here for? he aint the guy!
Yes, heres the story of the hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin that he never done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

Four months later, the ghettos are in flame,
Rubins in south america, fightin for his name
While arthur dexter bradleys still in the robbery game
And the cops are puttin the screws to him, lookin for somebody to blame.
Remember that murder that happened in a bar?
Remember you said you saw the getaway car?
You think youd like to play ball with the law?
Think it might-a been that fighter that you saw runnin that night?
Dont forget that you are white.

Arthur dexter bradley said, Im really not sure.
Cops said, a poor boy like you could use a break
We got you for the motel job and were talkin to your friend bello
Now you dont wanta have to go back to jail, be a nice fellow.
Youll be doin society a favor.
That sonofabitch is brave and gettin braver.
We want to put his ass in stir
We want to pin this triple murder on him
He aint no gentleman jim.

Rubin could take a man out with just one punch
But he never did like to talk about it all that much.
Its my work, hed say, and I do it for pay
And when its over Id just as soon go on my way
Up to some paradise
Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice
And ride a horse along a trail.
But then they took him to the jailhouse
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse.

All of rubins cards were marked in advance
The trial was a pig-circus, he never had a chance.
The judge made rubin’s witnesses drunkards from the slums
To the white folks who watched he was a revolutionary bum
And to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger.
No one doubted that he pulled the trigger.
And though they could not produce the gun,
The d.a. said he was the one who did the deed
And the all-white jury agreed.

Rubin carter was falsely tried.
The crime was murder one, guess who testified?
Bello and bradley and they both baldly lied
And the newspapers, they all went along for the ride.
How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fools hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldnt help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game.

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
While rubin sits like buddha in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell.
Thats the story of the hurricane,
But it wont be over till they clear his name
And give him back the time hes done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

Noam Chomsky about the current situation

http://www.lemonde.fr/ameriques/visuel/2009/01/16/noam-chomsky-regard-critique-sur-l-amerique_1142592_3222.html

Friday, January 16, 2009

Aldous Huxley



Aldous Huxley :

« What I may call : ‘The messages of Brave New World’ : that it is possible to make people contented with their servitude.
I think this can be done. I think it has been done in the past but then I think it could be done even more effectively now ‘cause you could provide them with bread and circuses and you can provide them with endless amounts of distractions and propaganda. »
A.Huxley sends the following letter after the publishing
of 1984 by George Orwell)

October 21st, 1949
Dear M. Orwell, the nightmare of 1984 is destined to modulate into the nightmare of Brave New World. The change will be brought about as a resulf of a felt need for an increase in efficiency. Thank you once again for the book.
Yours sincerely.
Aldous Huxley



« What is to me very interesting. It looks as though the totalitarian regimes of the future will not be based upon terror but that they will have other means. These means that now are described as brainwashing and propaganda which will be much more efficient and much more economical than .......... force ??? and more pleasurable .................................................................................
and now there are techniques available at present which do seem to duplicate some of the techniques I invented. »

I thank those of you who will help me fill in those blanks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

President Goofus and President Gallant