mardi 29 janvier 2013

English Listening exercise

Submarine mystery solved

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Researchers say they may have the final clues needed to solve the mystery of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, which never resurfaced after it became the first sub in history to sink an enemy warship, taking its eight-man crew to a watery grave.
Scientists said Monday that the Hunley apparently was less than 20 feet away from the Housatonic when the crew ignited a torpedo that sank the Union blockade ship off South Carolina in 1864. That means it may have been close enough for the crew to be knocked unconscious by the explosion, long enough that they may have died before awakening.
For years, historians thought the Hunley was much farther away and had speculated the crew ran out of air before they were able to return to shore.
The discovery was based on a recent examination of the spar — the iron pole in front of the hand-cranked sub that held the torpedo.
The Hunley, built in Mobile, Ala., and deployed off Charleston in an attempt to break the Union blockade during the Civil War, was finally found in 1995. It was raised five years later and brought to a lab in North Charleston, where it is being conserved.
Conservator Paul Mardikian had to remove material crusted onto one end of the spar after 150 years at the bottom of the ocean. Beneath the muck he found evidence of a cooper sleeve. The sleeve is in keeping with a diagram of the purported design of a Hunley torpedo that a Union general acquired after the war and is in the National Archives in Washington.
"The sleeve is an indication the torpedo was attached to the end of the spar," Mardikian said. He said the rest of the 16-foot spar shows deformities in keeping with it being bent during an explosion.
Now it may be that the crew, found at their seats when the sub was raised with no evidence of an attempt to abandon ship, may have been knocked out by the concussion of an explosion so close by, said Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell, a member of the South Carolina Hunley Commission.
"I think the focus now goes down to the seconds and minutes around the attack on the Housatonic," he said. "Did the crew get knocked out? Did some of them get knocked out? Did it cause rivets to come loose and the water rush into the hull?"
The final answers will come when scientists begin to remove encrustations from the outer hull, a process that will begin later this year. McConnell said scientists will also arrange to have a computer simulation of the attack created based on the new information. The simulation might be able to tell what effect the explosion would have on the nearby sub.
Maria Jacobsen, the senior archaeologist on the project, said small models might also be used to recreate the attack.
Ironically, the crucial information was literally at the feet of scientists for years.
The spar has long been on display to the public in a case at Clemson University's Warren Lasch Conservation Lab where the Hunley is being conserved. With other priorities on the sub itself, it wasn't until last fall that Mardikian began the slow work of removing encrustations from the spar.
Scientists X-rayed the spar early on and found the denser material that proved to be the cooper sleeve. But Jacobsen said it had long been thought it was some sort of device to release the torpedo itself.
Finding evidence of the attached torpedo is "not only extremely unexpected, it's extremely critical," she said. "What we know now is the weapons system exploded at the end of the spar. That is very, very significant."

1. Please write a summary of the article

2. Essay (4-5 paragraphs). Write about some unsolved mysteries you know about and what you think the explanation for some of those mysteries could be.

Senators reach agreement on immigration reform

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of leading senators has reached agreement on the principles for a sweeping overhaul of the nation's immigration laws, including a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country. The deal, to be announced at a news conference Monday, also covers border security, non-citizen or "guest" workers and employer verification of immigration status.
Although thorny details remain to be negotiated and success is far from certain, the development heralds the start of what could be the most significant effort in years toward overhauling the nation's inefficient patchwork ofimmigration laws. President Barack Obama also is committed to enacting comprehensive immigration legislation and will travel to Nevada on Tuesday to lay out his vision, which is expected to overlap in important ways with the Senate effort.
"We welcome this. We think this is positive," said White House spokesman Jay Carney. He said the Senate plan mirrors the principles Obama believes must be included in immigration reform, but wouldn't say whether Obama would sign any legislation that ultimately emerges. Passage of legislation by the full Democratic-controlled Senate is far from assured, but the tallest hurdle could come in the House, which is dominated by conservative Republicans who've shown little interest in immigration reform.
Still, with some Republicans chastened by the November elections which demonstrated the importance of Latino voters and their increasing commitment to Democrats, some in the GOP say this time will be different. "What's changed, honestly, is that there is a new, I think, appreciation on both sides of the aisle — including maybe more importantly on the Republican side of the aisle — that we have to enact a comprehensive immigration reform bill," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "I think the time is right," McCain said.
Besides McCain, the senators expected to endorse the new principles Monday are Democrats Charles Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado; and Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeff Flake of Arizona. Several of these lawmakers have worked for years on the issue. McCain collaborated with the late Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on comprehensive immigration legislation pushed by then-President George W. Bush in 2007, only to see it collapse in the Senate when it couldn't get enough GOP support.
The group claims a notable newcomer in Rubio, a potential 2016 presidential candidate whose conservative bona fides may help smooth the way for support among conservatives wary of anything that smacks of amnesty. In an opinion piece published Sunday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Rubio wrote that the existing system amounts to "de facto amnesty," and he called for "commonsense reform."
According to documents obtained by The Associated Press, the senators will call for accomplishing four goals:
—Creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here, contingent upon securing the border and better tracking of people here on visas.
—Reforming the legal immigration system, including awarding green cards to immigrants who obtain advanced degrees in science, math, technology or engineering from an American university.
—Creating an effective employment verification system to ensure that employers do not hire illegal immigrants in the future, including requiring prospective workers to verify legal status and identity through a non-forgeable electronic system.
—Allowing more low-skill workers into the country and allowing employers to hire immigrants if they can demonstrate they couldn't recruit a U.S. citizen; and establishing an agricultural worker program.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., applauded the framework and said, "I will do everything in my power to get a bill across the finish line."
The principles being released Monday are outlined on just over four pages, leaving plenty of details left to fill in. What the senators do call for is similar to Obama's goals and some past efforts by Democrats and Republicans, since there's wide agreement in identifying problems with the currentimmigration system. The most difficult disagreement is likely to arise over how to accomplish the path to citizenship.
In order to satisfy the concerns of Rubio and other Republicans, the senators are calling for the completion of steps on border security and oversight of those here on visas before taking major steps forward on the path to citizenship.
Even then, those here illegally would have to pass background checks and pay fines and taxes in order to qualify for a "probationary legal status" that would allow them to live and work here — but not qualify for federal benefits — before being able to apply for permanent residency, a critical step toward citizenship. Once they are allowed to apply they would do so behind everyone else already in line for a green card within the current immigration system.

1.       What is this article about?
2.       What are some laws in your country that you think need reforming?

lundi 21 janvier 2013

Original Batmobile from TV series auctioned for $4.2M


"Holy windfall, Batman!" The Batmobile just sold for $4.2 million.
The original 19-foot-long black, bubble-topped car used in the 1960s "Batman" TV show sold at auction Saturday.
The Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. in Scottsdale, Ariz., revealed the selling price but says the winning bidder has not been disclosed.
The car's owner -- auto customizer George Barris, of Los Angeles -- transformed a one-of-a-kind 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car into the sleek crime-fighting machine. It boasted lasers and a "Batphone" and could lay down smoke screens and oil slicks.

The iconic car was used by Adam West who starred as the Caped Crusader and by Burt Ward, his sidekick Robin known for exclamations beginning with --"Holy."

Barris' publicist says his client is pleased with the auction result.

jeudi 17 janvier 2013

'Horsemeat burger' tests prompt Irish food plant suspension

An Irish food factory's production has been suspended after new tests revealed horse DNA in its frozen burgers.
The ABP Food Group said it had halted work at its Silvercrest Foods plant, in Co Monaghan, until further notice.
The firm said it believed the contamination had come from one supplier - after further results from the Irish Department of Agriculture.
On Tuesday, Irish food inspectors said they had found horse DNA in burgers sold across UK and Irish supermarkets.
Officials from the Republic of Ireland's food safety authority (FSAI) confirmed the meat had come from Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods, in Ireland, and the Dalepak Hambleton processing plant in Yorkshire.
The contaminated food - some of which was also found to contain pig DNA - was on sale in Tesco, Iceland, Lidl, Aldi and Dunnes stores.
'Burgers destroyed'
The ABP Food Group - one of Europe's largest processors and suppliers - said that, as a result of new tests two days ago, "the responsible course of action is to suspend all production at the Silvercrest plant in County Monaghan with immediate effect".
The firm had already recalled from supermarkets some 10 million burgers thought to contain horsemeat, which are due to be destroyed.
Commenting on the latest results, Ireland's Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said seven samples of raw ingredients had been tested, including one sourced from another European country that had tested positive.
But all ingredients in burgers sourced from Irish suppliers had tested negative for horse DNA, he said.
A statement released from his department added: "Thirteen samples of finished burgers were tested for the presence of equine DNA.
"Nine have tested positive for traces of equine DNA and another four have tested negative.
"The minister and the FSAI have repeated their clear statement that there is no concern from a food safety perspective."
'Matter of criminality'
Positive samples are set to be analysed further, in order to quantify the percentage of horsemeat present.
Meanwhile, the Food Minister in Westminster, David Heath, said on Thursday that the contamination of meat sold in the UK and Ireland was "almost certainly a matter of criminality" and it was possible prosecutions could take place.
The supermarkets involved in selling contaminated products have said they are looking into the matter and have withdrawn affected items.
On Thursday, Tesco took out adverts in British newspapers apologising and promising to investigate.

Subway Foot-Longs Coming Up Short

Subway customers are whipping out their measuring tapes after Internet postings that claim a short-shrifting of the worldwide chain's famous footlong sub, putting the Milford, Conn.-based company in the hot seat.
The controversy began Tuesday in Australia, when a very precise customer, identified as Matt Corby of Perth, ordered a footlong sub and then pulled out a tape measure. Corby found the sub measured only 11 inches long and took his outrage to Facebook, where he posted a photo of his sub alongside the tape measure on the company's page with the caption, "subway pls respond."
The page with Corby's photo appears to be no longer available on Facebook. Screengrabs taken of his image and reposted online show the photo quickly received more than 131,000 likes and thousands of comments.
The photo also sparked an abundance of photos on Facebook of subs being measured and countless comments on Subway's page, ranging from "I think they [Subway] owe us some," to "there are way more thing in life to worry about then 1 inch of sub."
The New York Post followed up on Corby's complaint with a New York City-based investigation of its own and found Corby's experience to be more the rule than the exception.
According to the Post, four out of seven "Five-dollar Footlongs" purchased at Subways in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, measured only 11 or 11.5 inches. A local franchise owner told the paper the chain has cut the portions of their cold-cut meats by 25 percent recently and raised the cost of food to individual store owners.
Subway attributes the discrepancy in sub length to the fact that the bread is baked fresh daily in each of their 38,000 restaurants. They do say, however, they are looking into the matter.
"We are committed to providing a consistent product delivering the same amount of bread to the customer with every order. The length however may vary slightly when not baked to our exact specifications. We are reinforcing our policies and procedures in an effort to ensure our offerings are always consistent no matter which Subway restaurant you visit," the company said in a statement provided to today.

the Beatles- Let it be (with lyrics)

mardi 15 janvier 2013

Origin of the Months of the Year

Month Abbreviation Month Abbreviation
January Jan July -
February Feb August Aug
March Mar September Sept
April Apr October Oct
May - November Nov
June - December Dec

Our calendar today originated in Roman times. This can still be seen in the names of the months that are Latin words or named after Roman gods. Try to find out the origin of each month.(Cual es la origen de los meses? Completar el texto.)

  1. This month is named after* the Roman emperor Julius Caesar : .....................
  2. This month is named after the Roman war god Mars. : .....................
  3. Before Julius Caesar decided that the year should begin in January (not March), this had been the seventh month of the year (The Latin word for seven is septem). : .....................
  4. This used to be the tenth month of the year. (The Latin word for ten is decem.) : .....................
  5. This month is named after the Roman god Janus : .....................
  6. This used to be the eighth month of the year (eight = octo). : .....................
  7. The name of this month stands for the opening of the buds in spring. (to open = aperire) : .....................
  8. This month is named after the Roman emperor Augustus : .....................
  9. This month is named after the Roman mother goddess Maia. : .....................
  10. This month is named after the Roman festival of Februa. : .....................
  11. In the old Roman calendar this used to be the ninth month (nine = novem). : .....................
  12. This month is named after the Roman goddess Juno, Jupiter's wife. : ..................... 
* is named after :  està nombrado siguiendo

mardi 8 janvier 2013

David Bowie' s new album

In an era of gossip websites and Twitter rumours, we should celebrate that one of the world's biggest pop stars can still surprise … by doing nothing more than making an album
David Bowie celebrates his 66th birthday by releasing a new single, Where Are We Now?, his first new music for 10 years 

A couple of months ago, BBC4 repeated David Bowie's Top of the Pops performance of Heroes from October 1977. It's an appearance understandably eclipsed in history by his performance of Starman five years before, where he camply slung his arm around Mick Ronson's shoulder and pointed directly down the camera lens as he sang "I had to phone someone, so I picked on you", as if issuing a personal invitation to every gay kid and teenage misfit who was watching. This time around, he just stood there and sang, but the appearance is still remarkable, simply for the fact that he turned up at all. It was the dawn of the video era, which meant that the really big stars – Elton John or Rod Stewart – no longer needed to schlep along to the BBC to mime when they had a new single out. But there he was, the defining artist of the era, mucking in alongside Smokie and Tina Charles. Perhaps he thought that Heroes needed an extra push: with its edge-of-hysteria vocal, lyrics in German and screaming guitar by Robert Fripp, it didn't sound much like anything else in the charts. From the moment he told Melody Maker's Michael Watts he was gay – one of the great audacious moves in rock history from a man whose previous two albums had failed to even make the charts – Bowie has always shown a brilliant understanding of how to promote records.
Judging by its page on iTunes, the cover of his 24th album The Next Day is the same as that of Heroes, with a large grey square covering most of the iconic photo of Bowie in a pose inspired by the paintings of Erich Heckel. The lyrics of his first single in a decade, Where Are We Now?, similarly hark back to the era and the city in which Heroes was made, depicting him "walking the dead", wandering around a variety of Berlin streets, musing on the passing of time and the way inspiration strikes without warning: "as long as there's fire … the moment you know, you know." The video seems to be filmed in his old Berlin apartment, which has apparently been turned into an artist's studio. Even with his head stuck on top of the body of a soft toy, he looks in remarkably good nick for someone who was so widely rumoured to be terminally ill a few years back that the Flaming Lips wrote a song about it, called Is David Bowie Dying?: indeed, he looks in remarkably good nick for a man in his late 60 who spent most his life smoking three packs of Marlboro a day.
On the evidence of Where Are We Now?, the music on The Next Day has almost nothing in common with the stuff he and its producer Tony Visconti recorded 36 years ago. It's a beautiful, elegiac ballad, Bowie's voice sounds gorgeously fragile – not the fragility of someone nearing 70 who's lost their vocal power to the ravages of age, but the fragility of someone who wants to communicate an aching wistfulness. No one who hears it is going to be baffled or horrified or struck by the thrilling sense that pop music has been pushed into new, uncharted regions. Perhaps Bowie's finished with that kind of thing, having done more of it between 1970 and 1980 than almost any other artist, save the Beatles.
Where Are We Now? wouldn't have sounded out of place on 2002's Heathen or 2003's Reality. Indeed, if it had been the lead single off Bowie's new album in 2004, it would have passed virtually without comment. The reason it's created such a fuss is partly because most people thought Bowie's retirement looked pretty final. He never said as much, but it felt right: while his peers pragmatically chose to work the public's thirst for nostalgia, playing the big hits on high-grossing tours and tacitly acknowledging that their best work was behind them, Bowie – an artist who'd never evinced much interest in looking back – slipped into a dignified silence. Like the guy singing Heroes on Top of the Pops, it seems remarkable that he turned up at all.
Of course, the main reason it's created such a fuss is simply because no one knew. It's incredible that, in an era of gossip websites and messageboard rumours, one of the biggest stars in the world, presumed retired, can spend two years making a new album without the merest whisper of it reaching the public. But somehow he did it. The first speculation that something was afoot came literally hours before the single appeared: no blurry cameraphone shots of him leaving a recording studio, no MP3s of demos leaked on to filesharing sites, no slip-up by someone involved in its making on Twitter. It's the opposite of how you're expected to do things: at the very least, a major artist releasing a new album is supposed to drop hints, create an online buzz of expectation, stoke the rumour mill, ensure the biggest audience possible is primed and waiting. Bowie has done none of that: whatever The Next Day sounds like, he's turned it into the biggest release of 2013 by the simple expedient of doing absolutely nothing other than make an album. Furthermore, he's managed to maintain the myth and mystique that was always central to his stardom and his art in a world where rock and pop music has almost no myth or mystique left, an age of 360-degree connectivity, where pop stars are supposed to be perpetually available to their fans via social networking. But as we've already established, David Bowie has always shown a brilliant understanding of how to promote records.

jeudi 3 janvier 2013

The Beatles- I´m so tired

I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink
I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink
I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink

I'm so tired I don't know what to do
I'm so tired my mind is set on you
I wonder should I call you but I know what you would do

You'd say I'm putting you on
But it's no joke, it's doing me harm
You know I can't sleep, I can't stop my brain
You know it's three weeks, I'm going insane
You know I'd give you everything I've got
for a little peace of mind

I'm so tired, I'm feeling so upset
Although I'm so tired I'll have another cigarette
And curse Sir Walter Raleigh
He was such a stupid git.

You'd say I'm putting you on
But it's no joke, it's doing me harm
You know I can't sleep, I can't stop my brain
You know it's three weeks, I'm going insane
You know I'd give you everything I've got
for a little peace of mind
I'd give you everything I've got for a little peace of mind
I'd give you everything I've got for a little peace of mind

You May Not Recognize Yourself in 10 Year

Think you'll be the same person in 10 years that you are today? Think again. Most people realize they've changed in the past, but few expect to change in the future, a new study finds.
Instead, while acknowledging that their tastes, values and even personality have varied over the past decade, people tend to insist the person they are today is the person they will be in 10 years — a belief belied by the evidence, said study researcher Daniel Gilbert, a psychologist at Harvard University.
"It's not that we don't realize change happens, because we all admit at every age that a lot of change has happened to us in the last 10 years," Gilbert told LiveScience. "All of us seem to have this sense that development is a process that has delivered us to this point and now we're done."
Permanent personality
In a new study published this week (Jan. 4) in the journal Science, Gilbert and his colleagues dub this mistaken belief the "end of history" illusion. No matter what age, Gilbert said, people act as if history shaped them and ended, leaving them in their final form.
The illusion emerged when the researchers recruited participants online to fill out various personality, preference and value surveys as themselves 10 years prior and as themselves 10 years in the future. Over the series of studies, more than 19,000 people participated.
In each case, the researchers compared the look-ahead answers of 18-year-olds with the look-back answers of 28-year-olds, and so forth (comparing 19-year-olds with 29-year-olds, and 20-year-olds with 30-year-olds) all the way up to age 68. The older ages always reported changing in the past decade, but the younger ages did not expect to change nearly as much in the future as their elders' experiences suggested they would.
"When a 40-year-old looks backward, they say, 'I've changed a lot in terms of my personality, in terms of my values, in terms of my preferences,'" Gilbert said. "But when 30-year-olds look forward, they say, 'I don't expect to change a lot on any of those dimensions.'"

mercredi 2 janvier 2013