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Friday, July 6, 2012

Alphabet Soup - Looney Last Names

The following activity is brought to you by Nicole from The Madlab Post...

It’s time for Alphabet Soup - The Word Scramble Puzzle of A to Z Champions!

For every person who has a funny, strange or embarrassing first name, there are probably just as many with unordinary last names. If one strange name isn’t awkward enough, just think of how hesitant some people are to answer to roll calls or fill out a form when their full name causes other people to snicker. It reminds me of the male nurse named Gaylor Focker in “Meet the Parents” and who could forget the female banker named Marcy D’Arcy on “Married with Children?!” So today, L is for Last Names, particularly where movie titles are concerned.

Unscramble the following movie titles that end with a Letter L word. The first commenter who is able to correctly unscramble all or most of these movie titles at best wins this weeks’ Alphabet Soup game. Answers and the name of the winner will be posted here at the A to Z blog during next week’s “Friday Fun Time.”

1. LoeaotLhdtsnf________________

2. etoLosgnothNi________________

3. inneLhlTBeiu________________

4. hTeaLmaorpustseLferot________________

5. edoLfsBoyi________________

6. ffmoienaIitLtio________________

7. izroyaeLutSdCvp________________

8. e8tya2rsDaL________________

EXTRA CREDIT: What are some of the strangest names of people you’ve met in the workplace, school, casual outings, meetings or on vacation?

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Higgs Boson

The Higgs Boson In light of the exciting and amazing and awesome news coming out of CERN, I thought I’d post some highlights from an article from Reuters concerning confirmation of the long sought after Higgs Boson. And it only cost about $10 billion dollars!

(Reuters) - Scientists at Europe's CERN research center have found a new subatomic particle, a basic building block of the universe, which appears to be the boson imagined and named half a century ago by theoretical physicist Peter Higgs.

The discovery of the particle is likely to shed light on other mysteries of our universe. Scientists see confirmation of this theory as accelerating investigations into the still unexplained "dark matter" they believe pervades the universe and into the possibility of a fourth or more dimensions, or of parallel universes (now we're talking my language!). It may help in resolving contradictions between their model of how the world works at the subatomic level and Einstein's theory of gravity.

CERN's Large Hadron Collider is the world's biggest and most powerful particle accelerator. Two beams of protons are fired in opposite directions around the 27-km (17-mile) looped pipe built under the Swiss-French border before smashing into each other. The collisions, which mimic the moments just after the Big Bang, throw off debris signals picked up by a vast complex of detectors and the data is examined by banks of computers.
Large Hadron Collider (see the man standing in the center?)

The Higgs theory explains how particles clumped together to form stars, planets and life itself. Without the Higgs boson, the universe would have remained a formless soup of particles shooting around at the speed of light, the theory goes.

We will certainly get into the conversation of God and science in future posts!

It is the last undiscovered piece of the Standard Model that describes the fundamental make-up of the universe. The model is for physicists what the theory of evolution is for biologists.

What scientists do not yet know from the latest findings is whether the particle they have discovered is the Higgs boson as exactly described by the Standard Model. It could be a variant of the Higgs idea or an entirely new subatomic particle that could force a rethink on the fundamental structure of matter. The last two possibilities are, in scientific terms, even more exciting.

We do live in exciting times and I’ll have more to post on this matter in the days and weeks to come. Stephen Tremp is author of the Breakthrough trilogy. You can visit him at Breakthrough Blogs.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Common Misconceptions About Greece: Guest Post from Bex at Leaving Cairo

        Bex blogs at Leaving Cairo, the UK, and Back to Greece.  She is quite the world traveler and she writes about places that many of us will only dream of ever going.  Visit her blog and let her take you away.  Today she takes us to her adopted country of Greece.  This country has been getting some bad press of late and Bex wants to address some of these issues in this guest post.

Common misconceptions about Greece
            As an EFL teacher, I had started my career in Sri Lanka pre-CELTA as a volunteer for 3 months.  I soon realised I loved teaching and after completing the CELTA, decided I wanted to continue my visit to far flung destinations, anything in Europe to my mind was not far enough removed, both geographically and culturally.

         How wrong could I be?  Thinking I would spend just one year in Greece to gain experience and move on, 3 and a half years later I find myself loving this diverse country and choosing to stay.

            Unfortunately there are some common misconceptions about Greece and the Greeks, especially with the International media’s reportage.  I hope to give you a slightly clearer picture here:

1) They throw plates a lot

            Er, no – it’s not even really traditional.  They actually have a special Greek dance called “Zebekiko” where women sit in a circle (or men) and in the centre, a man dances to the women (or visa versa) whilst the admirers in the circle clap and throw flower petals at him/her.  The dancer is expressing their love for someone in the circle – you have to hear the accompanying music to appreciate how expressive it is, and how FREE people are when they dance to this.  It brings tears to the eyes.

2) Greeks are lazy

Fisherman mending his net.
            OK, this is clearly a racist comment, particularly flouted around in Northern European countries like Germany to discredit the Southern European states. The Office of National Statistics shows us that, ironically, Greeks have a longer working week that Germans (42.2 hours per week compared to 35.6 hours).  Many Greeks, due to recent austerity measures, hold down 2 jobs and I think what people need to concentrate on is the inflated public sector.  But not every Greek is a public sector worker, remember that.  And not every Greek is a tax dodger!!  Look at the people in the upper echelons of every nation – THAT’S where you’ll find the tax dodgers.

3) Greeks are always rioting

        Oh dear – the International Media have a lot to answer for don’t they?!  Bombarding us with pictures of rioting Greeks in Syntagma (Parliament) Square. 

       Greeks have always been a passionate race and due to hard austerity passed down to them, instead of sitting around moaning about it – they take to the streets and demonstrate.  Unfortunately, occasionally these demonstrations can turn nasty – but invariable it’s by a minority of people instigating it.  I’ve been quite happily sitting at home, updating my blog when the phone’s rung and a panicky voice of one of my friends had bleated down the line:

“Oh my God!  I’ve just seen the news – are you OK?!”  for me to reply“What are you talking about?” 

          I’m sure the media use ‘library footage’ a lot.  Remember, the majority of Greeks are NOT violent people.  Which brings me onto: 
Old house in Kypseli,
Athens Greece
4) Athens is constantly burning

            Athens is not in the midst of mortar fire constantly.  Interestingly, I have been sitting down having a coffee (a famous Greek pastime) whilst round the corner a demonstration has passed by…with no problems!  Which reminds me…

5) Greeks spend all day in the coffee shops/Kafeneos

            Hold on, you don’t hear a Greek saying “Well, the British spend all day in the pubs don’t they?”  And I ask you – what’s a more civilized picture in your mind: a Greek sipping on a frappe with his mates, slapping each other on the backs in a friendly fashion or a British man drinking ridiculous amounts of beer and spoiling for a fight (see what I mean about stereotypes)?

          So I do hope you’ll come and enjoy all this country has to offer.  I, for one, feel like an honorary Greek, which is an honour indeed.  These people have taken me into the bosom of their homes, fed me, looked after me and accepted me.  I love Greece – may she continue to fight against the negative stereotypes bestowed upon her.


Sunset --Paros Island
Paros Sunset

        Have you ever been to Greece?   Have you been to Cairo?  What is your dream place to visit?   Perhaps Bex has been there and can tell you about it.

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