Central Park renovation programme

Central Park renovation programme
In terms of its size and beauty, Central Park is the envy of cities the world over. Its safety record is, however, less impressive. Things reached an all-time low one night in 1989 when a female Wall Street executive went out jogging, only to be brutally raped and beaten by a gang of black teenagers. This example of inter-racial violence became an international news story. Irate black community leaders pointed out that on the same night a Harlem woman was murdered under even more gruesome circumstances and this episode was hardly mentioned in the local press.
Race relations in America may be as bad as ever, but Central Park has come bouncing back. The northern section of the Park, where the attack took place, has been the subject of a costly renovation programme that has begun to bear fruit. The Harlem Meer lake, for example, has been transformed from a marshy swamp into a playground where locals of all ages can go fishing and sunbathing. In actual fact the Parks and Recreation Department was working hard to improve things before 1989. Fun projects like Steve “Wildman” Brill´s “eating tour” of Central and other Parks were a case in point. Brill´s tour does not take you to restaurants: it shows the edible plants that are yours for free. Throughout the city, smaller parks are being transformed from havens for low-lifes into places where normal people can go and relax. The case of Central Park is a bit like that of New York as a whole: in spite of the image problem, things were probably never that bad. After all, Jackeline Kennedy Onassis used to go jogging in Central Park every day and the only people who used to bother her where the press photographers.
(adapted from Speak Up, nº 121)

Learn about the Earth, Moon, and Sun

Each day we learn more about the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun.
From far out in space, Earth looks like a blue ball. Since water covers three-fourths of the Earth’s surface, blue is the colour we see most. The continents look brown, like small islands floating in the huge, blue sea. White clouds wrap around the Earth like a great blanket. The Earth is shaped like a sphere or a ball. It is 25,000 miles around! It would take more than a year to walk around the whole planet. A spaceship can fly around the widest part of the sphere in only 90 minutes.
Even though spaceships have travelled to the Moon, people cannot visit the Moon without special suits. The Moon has no air or water. Plants and animals can’t live there either. Astronauts first landed on the Moon in 1969. After that, there were six more trips to the moon.
They brought back Moon rocks, which scientists are still studying. There are holes, or crates, all over the Moon’s surface. Scientists believe that meteorites smashed into the Moon millions of years ago and formed the craters.
The Sun is the closest star to Earth. A star is a hot ball of burning gas. The Sun looks very big because it is so close. But the Sun is just a medium-sized star. Billions of far away stars are much bigger than our Sun. The burning gases from the Sun are so hot that they warm the Earth from 93 million miles away! Even though the Sun is always glowing, the night here on Earth is dark. That’s because the Earth rotates, or turns around, every 24 hours. During the day, the Earth faces the Sun. Then we see light. During the night, the Earth turns away from the Sun. Then it faces the darkness of space.
Each day we learn more about the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun.

Qui contrôlera le savoir à l’avenir?

Eurpopeana - Pensez culture
Qui contrôlera le savoir à l’avenir ? Alors que la numérisation de la culture humaine s’accélère, les éditeurs et les universitaires ont été amenés à se poser la question. Jusqu’à présent, la réponse la plus vraisemblable était Google. Le moteur de recherche numérise des livres et les diffuse en ligne depuis 2004.
Mais un concurrent est en train d’apparaître. En 2010, Robert Darnton, historien de la culture et directeur des bibliothèques de Harvard, est bien décidé à ne pas laisser une entreprise privée monopoliser l’accès au savoir de l’humanité. Son projet de bibliothèque numérique ouverte à tous devrait être prêt pour 2013. Elle rassemblerait les fonds numérisés des grands instituts de recherche américains, mais intégrerait aussi d’autres supports que le texte –vidéos, musique, films- ainsi que les archives du web conservés par l’association Internet Archive.
Comme dans le cas de Google Books, il s’agit de numériser le patrimoine culturel de l’humanité, afin de conserver les œuvres des auteurs, intellectuels et artistes, et d’en assurer une large diffusion. La différence, c’est que cette bibliothèque ne serait pas gérée par une entreprise privée. Elle serait accessible à tous, partout et à tout moment, gratuitement.
M. Darnton a exprimé pour la première fois son idée lors d’un discours à l’université Harvard : « Ce n’est pas l’utopie d’un prof de fac, assure-t-il. C’est quelque chose de tout à fait faisable. ». Et il continue : « C’est une idée qui trottait dans la tète de pas mal de monde depuis vingt ans. Mais dans le cas présent l’élément déclencheur a été le service Google Recherche de livres. À mesure que le projet Google a évolué il est devenu clair que ce serait une entreprise commerciale en situation de monopole. Un monopole plein de bonnes intentions peut-être, mais pas forcement au service du bien public, car Google rend d’abord et avant tout des comptes à ses actionnaires. »
En Europe, un projet similaire, Europeana (europeana.eu), a été lancé dès 2008. Cette bibliothèque numérique inclut le résultat de la numérisation des différentes bibliothèques nationales européennes. Elle compte à ce jour 20 millions d’objets numérisés et entend atteindre les 30 millions d’ici à 2015.
Courrier International. Février 2012 (texte adapté)

Exámenes Comunidad Valenciana inglés resueltos

Examenes Comunidad Valenciana inglés resueltos




Exámenes Valencia Inglés PAU resueltos


Otros Exámenes Resueltos


Le rire n’est pas toujours drôle

Le rire n’est pas toujours drôle
Dans une interview accordée l’an dernier, le professeur de psychologie Peter McGraw, auteur d’une étude sur l’humour dans le monde, expliquait pourquoi les gens rient et pourquoi le rire peut être thérapeutique.
« Nous rions quand quelqu’un a fait quelque chose de mal. Quand il existe une menace, mais qu’il n’y a pas de réel danger. C’est ce que j’appelle la théorie de la violation bénigne. Prenons un exemple : dans une comédie, quelqu’un est blessé, on lui a tapé sur la tête avec un marteau. Or vous savez que la personne n’est pas réellement blessée parce que c’est un acteur, ou parce qu’elle continue de se comporter comme avant. Par contre, dans la réalité, taper sur la tête de quelqu’un avec un marteau, ce n’est pas drôle : il ya vraiment quelque chose de mal. »
« Mais le rire n’est pas toujours l’expression d’un amusement. Robert Provine, un psychologue qui a catalogué les situations dans lesquelles on rit dans le monde réel, a conclu que moins de 20% des cas étaient drôles. Entre autres choses, il a montré que le rire peut être une forme de politesse (« nous ponctuons nos phrases de rires et ils semblent faciliter nos interactions sociales »). Et le rire n’est pas toujours associé à des expériences positives. C’est sûr ! En 1962 on a parlé d’une épidémie de fou rire en Tanzanie. Elle a commencé chez quelques jeunes filles d’un pensionnat et ce serait propagée comme un virus, d’une personne à la suivante, d’un village à l’autre. Pour finir, on a fermé l’école et renvoyé les pensionnaires chez elles. Nous nous sommes rendus en Tanzanie pour rencontrer les personnes « contaminées ». D’emblée, ce qui nous a paru clair c’est que le pensionnat était très religieux et que la vie y était dure. (... …. ….). Nous sommes arrivés à la conclusion qu’il s’agissait d’un cas d’hystérie collective, une sorte de pathologie psychosomatique déclenchée par le stress. Le rire n’en est qu’un des symptômes »
« Enfin, on parle tout le temps des effets du rire sur le corps, et il ne fait aucun doute que le rire possède des effets physiques bénéfiques. Mais son intérêt va bien au-delà : Il peut changer notre manière de percevoir le monde. Assister à un événement menaçant ou tragique et en rire, c’est rire de ses difficultés ; cela permet de les voir différemment, de les dédramatiser. »
Courier International. Mars 2015. (Texte adapté)

From classroom to office

From classroom to office - Young entrepreneurs
Getting an education and going into business are both hard work. But some teenagers manage to start their own companies while they are still at school! So, how did they do it? Has their age been a problem? I talked to some young entrepreneurs to find out.
Andrew Butt is the twenty-year-old manager of a computer software business. When he was twelve, he offered to do small jobs at a local helicopter training centre after school. At first, he made people cups of tea, then he began programming the centre´s computer system. During his time at the centre, Andrew realized that he might have the ability and experience to work for himself. Unfortunately, his teachers disagreed with him! At fifteen, Andrew left school. He hired a tutor, and by the age of sixteen he was running his own company, which was called Enable Software.
Harlem Lyrics Cards was launched by Chauncey Holloman in Arkansas, USA, when Chauncey was only sixteen. Her greeting cards are brightly-coloured, and they often feature hiphop characters and informal, colloquial language. Chauncey explained that she started designing cards because she couldn´t find anything suitable for her friends´ birthdays.
In California, seventeen-year-old student Ryan Glasgow has started his seventh company! His latest business is Pure Five Audio, which is an online shop that sells more than 700 products. Ryan certainly wasted no time in getting started in the business world. He started his career by selling locally-picked fruit to friends- before the age of eight!
All these young people became very successful entrepreneurs at an early age. All are very positive, ambitious people, who were prepared to give their all in fulfilling their dreams. But has their commitment to business had any negative impact on their lives? Andrew wonders whether some of his friendships might have been damaged by his decision to leave school early. If he hadn´t left school, it would have been easier to stay in touch. In general, however, he feels very glad that he took the risk! Chauncey has been able to rely on her family to help with her company. She has missed a few days of school, but she hopes to finish her education and go to business college. Ryan thinks that it is a challenge to keep school, business, and a social life in balance, but he feels that it is a challenge that he can meet. In conclusion, it seems that age is no barrier to business success. All you need is a good idea, confidence, and a willingness to put in a lot of hard work. After that, the sky is the limit!

Pas de sexe à l’école

Pas de sexe à l’école: cours d’éducation sexuelle

Les nouveaux programmes scolaires en Croatie provoquent l’ire de l’Église catholique.

Le jour de Noël, les croyants venus assister à la messe dans une église de Split ont été surpris par une décoration atypique : la Sainte Famille avait été placée dans une cage à oiseaux. Ils ont dû attendre l’homélie du père dominicain qui y officie pour comprendre le sens de cette installation conceptuelle. « En Croatie, la chrétienté se trouve de nouveau en prison », a-t-il dit. Le même jour, dans l’église Saint Pierre, le prêtre n’a pas eu recours à la métaphore. Il a dit haut et fort que l’éducation sexuelle à l’école était « le refuge du diable »
Ces deux histoires illustrent bien le conflit qui fait actuellement rage entre le clergé et le gouvernement. Le torchon brûle entre l’Église et le gouvernement social-démocrate croate depuis que le ministre de l’Éducation, Zoran Jovanovic, a introduit dans le programme scolaire obligatoire des cours d’éducation sexuelle, dont un petit module traite de l’homosexualité et de la procréation médicalement assistée.
Selon le clergé, cet enseignement « initie les jeunes à la pornographie, à la masturbation, à l’homosexualité et favorise la propagation des maladies sexuellement transmissibles ». Le cardinal Bozanic a estimé que « l’éducation sexuelle menait à l’anéantissement de l’homme » alors qu’un théologien de renom, Adalbert Rebic, a affirmé que « la Croatie était en train de rejoindre le complot mondial des pédés et des gouines, qui menacent la société toute entière de leur déchéance »
Et pendant que les ministres se chamaillent comme des commères avec les évêques, on a l’impression de voir la société croate revenir avec un immense plaisir à son état naturel, celui de la guerre idéologique permanente. Parce que même si les croates ne vivent plus dans un système totalitaire, mais dans un pays démocratique, en démocratie le pouvoir est éparpillé, atomisé entre plusieurs instances. Et cela l’Église le sait : elle ne tient pas les commandes du ministère de l’Éducation, mais elle n’a pas perdu le pouvoir. Ni à la télévision, ni dans la sphère des affaires économiques ni dans les manuels scolaires.
Courrier International. Janvier 2013 (texte adapté)

Food for thought

Food for thought - Super size me - Morgan Spurlock
What would happen if you ate nothing but fast food for a month? Film-maker Morgan Spurlock wanted to find out, so he made a documentary called ‘Super Size Me’. Morgan ate fast food meals three times a day, and he had large or ‘supersize’ servings whenever he was offered them. It was hard work, and after just two days he wished he had never started.
He was pushing his body to its limits, and his new diet made him ill. Several weeks later, his health had deteriorated so badly that doctors advised him to stop. ‘Unless there is an improvement in Morgan’s diet, he runs a risk of permanently damaging his liver´ said one medical expert. But it was not just Morgan’s body that was suffering - fast food was also having a negative influence on his mind. He would feel great just after he had eaten, then an hour later he would be grumpy, angry and tired. Even though he was suffering, Morgan continued this experiment for thirty days. Unfortunately, it took him nearly a year to return to previous levels of health and well-being!
Morgan Spurlock was not the first person to explore the connection between food and behaviour. Towards the end of the last century, American researchers carried out an investigation into diet and development. They analysed the behaviour of a group of children over several years, with surprising results. At eight years old, the children who ate a larger than average amount of junk food were more likely to get into fights than their healthy-eating peers.
Aged eleven, the same children were often more aggressive, bullying and attacking other classmates. By the age of seventeen, a large percentage of this group had left school, and they were more likely to have problems with drugs or alcohol. A few of these teens were victims of peer pressure; others had a difficult family background. However, they all had one thing in common: they all had bad diets. The study concluded that an unhealthy lifestyle was one of the most significant reasons for their behavioural problems.
Despite these grim statistics, fast food restaurants still feed more tan 45 million people a day! So why do we continue to eat this junk? In ‘Super Size Me’, Morgan Spurlock eventually got used to his diet of hamburgers and chips. After a while, he even started to enjoy it.
The sweet, fattening food is so tempting that many of us, like Morgan, develop an addiction to it. That is the problem with fast food: it is just too tasty!

Green Gyms

Green Gyms
We all know what a gym is: every month you pay money, you exercise indoors with machines, usually on your own. You become fitter …but then often, especially by this time of the year, you abandon the whole thing! A Green Gym is different: it is free. In a Green Gym, a group of people work together outdoors, in a green space, to improve the environment, to increase biodiversity.
Green Gyms work in parks and forests, in abandoned and forgotten spaces, in schools and in prisons. In London, residents and visitors can participate in Green Gym activities most days of the week. For tourists, this is a great way to meet real Londoners and to discover the city in a different way.
The Green Gym was the idea of an English doctor, William Bird. About 12 years ago, Dr. Bird realised the benefits of working outdoors for his patients. It helped combat excess weight, diabetes and depression, for example. Working outside is stimulating and is good for stress levels. The colour green has a calming effect. Activity in nature reduces stress and diminishes blood pressure. Working with other people, growing and creating things is also good for people’s confidence.
The Green Gym idea certainly came at the right time. Physical inactivity costs the UK economy billions of pounds a year. Obesity figures are the highest in the European Union; nearly a quarter of British adults are officially obese. Mental health problems affect one in four people at some point in their lives.
A Green Gym group consists of a variety of individuals who come for different reasons: to lose weight, to learn new skills, to meet new people and to make a difference. Green Gyms are forming all over the country, and the concept is being exported to other countries like Australia.
 (adapted article from SPEAK UP 312)

Changing consumer behaviour

Changing consumer behaviour
The present economic situation is affecting people’s spending habits. As living costs rise and incomes fall, consumers need to control their finances, cut spending habits and start saving. There is a general change in consumer attitudes and behaviours.
Consumers have a more selective attitude to shopping, they want good value. Price is important but products must offer more than low prices. They must be perceived as good value, that is, a combination of best price and best quality.
Consumers are planning their shopping. They do not want to waste money, food, time or fuel so they are shopping less and buying only what they need. They go shopping less frequently out-of-town to save fuel, cutting down on big shopping centres and increasing visits to local shops or supermarkets.
Leisure and entertainment occur at home and in local venues. This saves costs of travel and leisure activities. People dine at home with family and friends instead of visiting restaurants and they go to local coffee shops to meet rather than pubs and wine bars. They prefer downloading the latest film rather than going to the cinema.
Online shopping saves travel and time costs. Consumers can have easy access to instant information on prices, vouchers and promotions.
There are also changes in different age groups. Young shoppers are not immune to the economic crisis. Unemployment, university fees, inflation and poorer support from parents are seriously impacting their spending capabilities. Meanwhile, the older generations are expanding in number and becoming a large market but with restricted spending power.

Technology is eating my family

Technology is eating my family
I once wrote the article “Technology ate my marriage”. Since the introduction of the Internet, mobile phone and PC, my wife and I spent less and less time in face-to-face contact. Now, things have become worse. Technology is eating my family –myself included. Virtual space is eating physical space.
I asked my daughter not to ask for a tablet for Christmas. I knew very well what would happen. Since 25 December, she has spent 20% of her free time completely out of Earth contact. Computer games are now her principal family. My son sent me once an sms from his bedroom to ask for a cup of tea.
I cannot simply watch a film on TV together with my wife. She is tweeting simultaneously and she spends more time with her eyes on the computer than on the TV. Until I insisted she stopped, she used to take her computer to bed and surf while I was trying to get asleep.
I thought I was the exception to this virtualisation of family life, but I have gradually changed. Now I access my computer to check my tweets. I suffer from “tweet incontinence”. In the evenings, I often play Scrabble* online with a friend when I used to play real Scrabble with my wife.
The web has made the world more interesting. Too interesting. Real life, real people, real members of the family are monotonous and problematic in comparison. However, they have a unique advantage: they are real!
Adapted from article written by Tim Lott. 

Vegetarian UK

Vegetarian UK - eat right
Vegetarianism is increasing in the UK. A recent survey estimated that there are over 3 million vegetarians in the UK today. Vegetarians (people who don’t eat meat), and vegans (people who don’t eat or use any animal products) are becoming increasingly common in UK culture. Visit a British supermarket and you will see a wide range of vegetarian products and prepared meals including vegan cheese, vegetarian sausages and burgers.
So why are more and more British people changing to a meat-free diet? Many people do not eat meat or animal products for ethical reasons. They are unhappy about the cruel treatment of the animals and the effects of meat and fish production on the environment. People can also be worried about food safety (for example ‘mad cow disease’). Others change to improve their general health. According to the Vegetarian Society, a meat-free diet could help reduce the risk of certain cancers and the possibility of heart disease, as well as other health problems such as obesity and high blood pressure.
Another rising trend in the UK’s food culture is related to how our food is produced. Many people reject GM (genetically modified) food. They want their food to be organically produced. Organic food is produced in a more 'natural' way. Organic farmers use very few or no chemicals, pesticides or fertilisers. Organic meat is produced without the use of drugs and antibiotics. Although it’s often more expensive, fans of organic food say it tastes much better!

The world's movie capital is not Hollywood but Bollywood

The world's movie capital is not Hollywood but Bollywood
Bollywood is the nickname given to the Indian film industry. It is a combination of the word Hollywood and theletter “B” from Bombay (now known as Mumbai), a big city in India. Indian movies are becoming more and more popular around the world. Fourteen million Indians go to the movies every day (about 1.4% of the population of 1 billion) to see any of the over 800 films produced in Bollywood each year. That is more than twice the number of films produced in the United States.
Most Bollywood movies follow a similar format. They are three to four hours long. They have dozens of songs and dances with top stars and a hundred choreographed dancers. Between the songs there is a love story without any kissing or sexual contact, lots of action and a happy ending.The stars of Bollywood are very popular and highly paid. Movies are made so fast that actors can be working on four films at the same time.
Bollywood's biggest problem is piracy; not all films make more money than they cost to make, even though they can be seen by millions of people. Another problem is that younger generations sometimes find the stories a bit predictable and boring. Film-makers are trying to solve this by changing the movies to reflect real life stories.
The future looks good for Bollywood. Big US film companies such as Warner Bros and Twentieth Century Fox have opened offices in India. Indian film-makers have found it difficult to compete with Hollywood's special effects and this is seen as the next big area for Bollywood to develop.

Les découvertes scientifiques et les inventions qui changent le monde

Les découvertes scientifiques et les inventions qui changent le monde
À quel âge sont faites les grandes découvertes scientifiques et sont mises au point les inventions qui changent le monde ? C’est la question à laquelle ont tenté de répondre les auteurs d’un article publié par le prestigieux Bureau National de Recherche Économique (NBER) américain. Pour cela, ils ont examiné les moments clés des carrières des grands inventeurs et des scientifiques ayant gagné un prix Nobel au XXème. siècle.
Il ne s’agît donc pas d’une étude produisant de nouvelles données, mais plutôt d’un travail de recoupement et d’analyse permettant d’avoir une vision d’ensemble des nombreuses recherches effectuées sur le lien entre l’âge et le génie scientifique. Le résultat ? La fin de la trentaine est le moment où le génie scientifique a tendance à s’exprimer le plus, ce qui place par exemple Albert Einstein, qui a publié sa théorie de la relativité à 36 ans, dans la moyenne.
Les auteurs de l’étude écrivent : « Contrairement à une idée reçue, la plupart des grandes contributions scientifiques ne sont pas le produit de jeunes précoces, mais arrivent plutôt de manière disproportionnée à un âge mûr. »
En même temps, les découvertes capitales se font ensuite moins nombreuses en vieillissant parce que l’on investit moins dans l’apprentissage à un âge avancé, et parce que le savoir que l’on a devient de moins en moins pertinent.
Enfin, les mêmes auteurs ont trouvé que les personnes qui excellent dans des domaines abstraits comme la physique, ont tendance à être plus jeunes que ceux qui gagnent des prix dans des matières qui requièrent plus de contexte comme l’histoire ou la médecine. Une étude de 1977 avait montré que les prix Nobel de physique avaient en moyenne 36 ans, contre les 41 ans pour ceux de médecine, par exemple.

Grégoire Fleurot. 17/02/2014. slate.fr (Texte adapté)

Pruebas de acceso a ciclos formativos de Grado Superior - FP

RELACIÓN DE PRUEBAS OFICIALES DE ACCESO AL CICLO SUPERIOR DE FORMACIÓN PROFESIONAL RESUELTAS

 

PRUEBA COMÚN DE LENGUA EXTRANJERA:



+EXÁMENES RESUELTOS

Winning at any cost

Winning at any cost
To be ‘the best’ at any sport means long hours and a lot of effort. The training can be very demanding, and many coaches believe it is best to begin when you are young. But is the physical and mental cost too great? We asked three young sportspeople for their views.

Sixteen-year-old Sonia Martin believes that her swimming training made her ill: 
‘At first, entering national competitions was really enjoyable, because it gave me a real sense of achievement. But my coach, who was always shouting, told me I was fat and lazy. In fact, I practised for hours and I hardly ever ate. One day, I fainted. The doctor who treated me was really sympathetic. She said that instead of being fat, I was actually underweight and over-stressed. I got rid of my coach, and now I just swim for fun. I don't enter competitions any more—I eat normal food and have a normal life. I don’t have any regrets.

Mike Green, seventeen, is a basketball player who thinks that sport is too competitive: 
‘People are only interested in winners! No one cares about how hard you've tried or how passionate you are – if you aren't number one, you're nobody. Success is everything! I know some fifteen-year-olds who have taken illegal drugs like steroids to help them succeed. Often, young players haven't got anyone to talk to and advise them. Sportspeople usually view other sportspeople as rivals. So nobody wants to be friendly- everybody just wants to help themselves.

Brenda Jones, eighteen, worries that child stars are sometimes exploited by their families:
‘I was only twelve when I started training, but my parents wanted me to win trophies and earn money for the family. If I won, they bought glamorous clothes and expensive cars. But if I lost, they were furious, which make me feel dreadful. Once, when I had a painful fall on the ice, my parents shouted at me because I forgot to keep smiling’

So, what can we learn from these three young stars?
All have been very successful in their sports, but ultimately all have paid a high price for it. The long hours, intensive training, and highly competitive atmosphere of professional sports put young athletes under great pressure. Perhaps we should reconsider our attitude to sport. Perhaps winning isn't everything?

Legal doesn't mean right

Legal doesn't mean right: nun wiht a rulerI had a liberal upbringing, growing up in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s. I was free to go where I pleased, bicycling alone almost everywhere from the age of 12. I was never warned against drugs, underage sex, subversive television or dangerous strangers. There was a nun who told us we should never visit a man’s room alone after 12 o’clock at night and an aunt who said you shouldn’t marry a Protestant because they accept divorce, but apart from that I can scarcely remember being forbidden anything.
We lived then in an authoritarian country, where the law did all the forbidding, so our families hardly had to do any. The world has changed since then –in part for the better, in part for the worse– and the opposite is now common for parents raising their children. The culture now is officially liberal, so parents and educationalists have to do all the forbidding, warning against the dangers that await careless young people, from unsafe sex to predatory horrors on the Internet.
The cannabis law states that those in possession of marijuana will not be prosecuted. This is an example of how this paradox works. Once the law protected us from ourselves: but as the protection of the law decreases, so we have to take more responsibility to be our own inner police.

Classes du patrimoine : pratiquer le français autrement

Classes du patrimoine : pratiquer le français autrement
Depuis plus de quatre ans, c’est un énorme succès grâce à la participation de milliers d’enfants, de jeunes et d’adultes. Lancées dans un premier temps à Barcelone, les classes du patrimoine se présentent comme des journées culturelles en français qui allient des parcours urbains dans Madrid à des visites d’oeuvres de musées et des ateliers de création artistique.
Cette idée originale permet de découvrir en français les aspects les plus typiques de Madrid mais aussi des éléments plus insolites, de sorte que même certains Madrilènes sont surpris des découvertes qu’ils font au cours des classes du patrimoine !
Evidemment, la spécificité de la ville de Madrid est au centre de cette action de pratique linguistique. Les intervenants ont à coeur* d’offrir aux élèves des clés de lecture qui facilitent la compréhension de chaque thématique dans un contexte historique, urbanistique, architectural, paysager, sociologique… tout en s’adaptant à l’âge, aux centres d’intérêt et au niveau de compréhension du français des participants.
Intitulée « De l’Alcazar au Palacio Real », la première journée propose une découverte de Madrid à partir de ses personnages et lieux emblématiques. Pour compléter la visite, les élèves participent à un atelier en français de création de blasons, symboles d’identité dont la codification est à la fois mystérieuse et amusante.
D’après Claire Vagogne, Le Français dans le Monde, mai-juin 2012

Être volontaire, donner un sens à sa vie

Être volontaire, donner un sens à sa vie
Les chiffres parlent d’eux-mêmes : plus d’un quart des jeunes de 16 à 24 ans sont engagés* dans une association, et ce pourcentage ne cesse d’augmenter. Quand on sait qu’il existe plus d’un million d’associations en France et qu’il s’en crée à peu près 70.000 par an, cela fait beaucoup de monde au service d’innombrables causes et projets.
Parmi les terrains que les jeunes privilégient, on trouve, entre autres, la protection de l’environnement, la solidarité internationale ou encore le développement de l’économie sociale et solidaire. Ils sont demandeurs d’activités concrètes où ils peuvent s’impliquer à tous les niveaux et constater eux-mêmes les résultats. C’est principalement au niveau local qu’ils concrétisent leur action : ici, c’est un travail d’accompagnement en milieu pénitentiaire dans la région parisienne ; là, l’ouverture d’une bibliothèque dans un village tunisien.
Au-delà de l’engagement social, devenir volontaire apparaît clairement pour les jeunes comme un investissement* pour leur propre avenir. Les universités ne s’y trompent pas* : elles sont plus d’une cinquantaine à permettre aux étudiants de transformer leur expérience associative en crédits ECTS*. Opportunisme ? Non, d’abord une histoire d’engagement, de cet engagement qui fait dire à Timothée : « Ma mobilisation a donné du sens à ma vie. Je me sens utile. »
D’après Jean-Jacques Paubel, Le Français dans le Monde, mars-avril 2012

Jet lag

Jet lag action plan
Jet lag is a combination of fatigue and other symptoms caused by travelling abruptly across different time zones. Travelling to a different time zone disrupts the circadian rhythm. And it can take many days to readjust to the new time zone. In fact, NASA estimates that you'll need one day for every one-hour time zone crossed to get back to your normal rhythm and energy levels. So a five hour time difference means that you'll need five days to get back to normal. There is no cure for jet lag, but its effects (memory lapses, irritability, digestive upsets,...) can be reduced with careful planning.
Flying east or west makes a difference. Your circadian rhythm (body clock) is less confused if you travel westward. This is because travelling west ‘prolongs’ the body clock’s experience of its normal day–night
cycle. Travelling eastwards, however, runs in direct opposition to the body clock. 
There is no evidence that popular strategies, such as fasting or eating complicated diets, have any effect. Suggestions to reduce the impact of jet lag while travelling include avoiding alcohol and caffeinated drinks, eating small meals frequently, choosing lighter foods like fruit and vegetables or wearing loose, comfortable clothing.
Some travellers use alcohol to help them get to sleep, but this actually disrupts the normal sleep cycles and can prolong jet lag. The impact of alcohol on the body is 2-3 times more potent when you're flying.

Computer education for young children: a growing concern

Computer education for young children: a growing concern
Over the past few years, computers have become a vastly popular household item. Our children's lives are already getting influenced by technology. Today, we find computers in use everywhere, whether we go to reserve a train ticket or to a bank. This is because it is faster and helps us complete our work without errors. So parents too have realized the need to help their children develop strong computer skills.
Slowly traditions are being broken and the computer is becoming a child’s learning tool. Children are reading their bedtime stories online instead of in bed with their parents. Parents are leaving the learning up to the computers and spending less quality time with their children. The most important learning step for children is interaction with others. If they are sitting in front of the screen all day, they do not learn to share, wait their turn, or even something as simple as manners.
Kids with access to software that is not age appropriate may be exposed to such negative influences as violence, strong language, and over-stimulation from fast-action graphics. Moreover, frequent and prolonged computer sessions may pose physical health risks like visual strain, and posture and skeletal problems.
Overall, however, the benefits seem to outweigh the drawbacks. And actively involved parents can control most of the drawbacks. This puts even greater responsibility on parents to be vigilant and conservative in their judgement about their children's computer usage, especially regarding the internet.

Des roses pour célébrer la centième Journée de la femme

Des roses pour célébrer la centième Journée de la femme

Mardi 8 mars, c'était la Journée Internationale de la Femme. Une journée consacrée aux femmes du monde entier, pour rendre hommage à leur lutte, à leur talent et à leur travail, mais aussi pour ne pas oublier que l’égalité entre l’homme et la femme est encore loin. En 2010, au Parlement européen de Strasbourg, pour célébrer les cent ans de cette journée, une rose a été posée sur les sièges occupés par une femme députée.


Depuis la première Journée de la femme en 1910, le destin des femmes dans le monde a beaucoup évolué. Mais l'égalité avec les hommes est encore bien loin, et cent ans plus tard, ce 8 mars 2011 est l'occasion de faire un bilan sur la condition des femmes dans le monde et sur l’égalité des sexes.
En France, le droit des femmes a évolué tout au long du XXe siècle : elles ont obtenu le droit de vote en 1945 et il y a de plus en plus de femmes en politique et dans la direction des grandes entreprises. Malheureusement, ces avances ne se sont pas faites naturellement : pour parvenir à la parité entre hommes et femmes en politique et à l'égalité des salaires, des lois spécifiques ont été nécessaires.
Malgré ces avancées, des inégalités persistent dans la France de 2011. Les femmes sont toujours responsables de la majorité des tâches ménagères. Elles occupent généralement des postes moins bien payés que les hommes. Et pour un même travail, elles touchent un salaire inférieur à celui des hommes.
La situation de la femme dans le monde est pire encore. On calcule qu’une femme sur deux est victime de mauvais traitements.
Chaque année, la journée internationale de la femme est l’occasion d’une analyse particulière. En 2011, le thème central était la situation des femmes déplacées dans les zones en conflit, qui sont fréquemment victimes de violences sexuelles, de discrimination et d’intimidations.

White House goes green with solar panels

Solar panels will be installed on the White House roof a quarter of a century after they were removed by President Ronald Reagan.

White House goes green with solar panels
A mix of different panels will be fitted in spring 2011 to generate both hot water and renewable electricity.
The move will come as a surprise to many green campaigners after the White House apparently rejected a recent request by environmentalists to install the technology.
It will be the first time since 1986 that solar panels have sat on the White House, since Reagan removed a system installed by his predecessor Jimmy Carter. In 1979 Carter held a conference on the roof, showing off the 32 panels and his desire to reduce the US’s dependence on oil.
The return of solar at the White House follows other symbolic green efforts since Obama took power, including Michelle Obama’s creation of an organic vegetable garden in the White House grounds last year.
Green campaigners have been pressing the president to reinstate solar at the White House. They have been driving around the US in a biodiesel-powered van with one of the original panels installed by Carter.
The campaigners visited the White House in September and made a symbolic demand for the old panel to be reinstalled on the roof. But the request was rejected and no plans for future solar panels were given.
Bill McKibben, who led the campaign, welcomed Obama’s decision to fit new panels: “Solar panels on one house, even this house, won’t save the climate, of course. But they’re a powerful symbol to the whole nation about where the future lies.”
To mark last month’s 10/10/10 day of mass participation climate events around the world, the president of the Maldives also decided to use solar energy. Mohamed Nasheed, whose low-lying island country is at risk from rising sea levels caused by global warming, has installed 50 panels on his presidential home.
Original article by Adam Vaughan, rewritten by Janet Hardy-Gould. guardian.co.uk/weekly/

My best holiday

My best holiday- Russia
I've just come back from a school trip to Russia. It was for students who are studying art or history. The day before we left I was very nervous about going to a country with a culture so different from my own.
We arrived in Moscow at lunchtime. That afternoon we went to Red Square and the Kremlin. It really brought my history lessons alive. Over the next two days we saw a lot of squares and churches. At the end of the third day we took an overnight train to St Petersburg. I only slept for about half an hour because it was really hot. We tried to open the windows, but we couldn't. The next morning we discovered that we had passed an enormous nuclear power plant and the guards had closed all the doors and windows for security reasons!
St Petersburg was even more impressive than Moscow. In the morning we visited some beautiful squares and churches and after lunch we went to the amazing Hermitage Museum. The next day, our last day, in the morning there was snow everywhere and the sky was blue. I think it was the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen. We all had a snowball fight in a park – it was brilliant fun.
I loved the trip because I saw some brilliant sights, I discovered a new culture and now I feel closer than before to my classmates.

La Gaule, 2 millions de sangliers !

La Gaule, 2 millions de sangliers !
Dans de nombreux départements, le nombre de sangliers a littéralement explosé. Jamais la France n’en avait connu autant, plus de 2 millions soit près de quatre fois la somme des prélèvements annuels effectués par les chasseurs (550.000 en 2010-2011 et 522.000 en 2011-2012). Un phénomène qui ne touche plus seulement le monde rural, mais qui s'étend aux grandes agglomérations. D'où des incursions de plus en plus fréquentes de ces animaux dans les parcs, les jardins et même... des magasins. Plus préoccupant encore, ils sont à l'origine de plus de 60 % des quelque 40.000 accidents de la route. Leurs dégâts annuels se chiffrent à plus de 50 millions d'euros. Au point que, depuis 2009, un «plan national de maîtrise du sanglier» a été mis en place pour permettre aux préfets d'organiser des battues administratives et de réguler la prolifération des sangliers.
D’innombrables photos de sangliers font le bonheur de la presse cynégétique mais cependant pour les chasseurs, l'addition est salée. En 2011, ils ont ainsi dû acquitter la somme colossale de 50 millions d'euros, dont 38 millions versés directement aux agriculteurs, pour rembourser les dégâts dans les cultures imputables au grand gibier et plus particulièrement au sanglier. «Mais ce système de remboursement, décidé il y a plus de quarante ans, est-il toujours justifié et d'actualité? se demande le directeur de la rédaction de Plaisirs de la chasse. En effet, de récentes dispositions réglementaires libéralisent la «destruction» des sangliers, en cas de surpopulation, sans faire appel aux chasseurs. Pourquoi donc les chasseurs devraient-ils continuer à payer?»
D’après Cyril Hofstein . Novembre 2012.

Plus on a d’amis sur Facebook, plus on est stressé

Plus on a d’amis sur Facebook, plus on est stressé
Une étude universitaire montre que les personnes populaires sur le réseau Facebook sont aussi plus anxieuses, car elles doivent gérer leur image auprès de publics très divers. La plupart des étudiants voient le nombre d’amis sur le réseau comme un indice de popularité. Mais cette étude explique que plus on a d’amis plus on ressent du stress.
En multipliant les contacts, on multiplie aussi les horizons auxquels les amis appartiennent. En moyenne, un utilisateur aurait ainsi sept groupes d’amis différents. C’est dans cette diversité que l’anxiété naît. Le stress augmente lorsque les utilisateurs présentent une version d’eux-mêmes inacceptable comme poster des messages insultants ou des photos les montrant en train de boire ou de fumer. De plus avec l’arrivée des parents qui suivraient aujourd’hui l’activité de leur enfant sur le réseau cela se complique. La moitié des employeurs interrogés dans l’étude déclarent avoir déjà renoncé à une embauche de quelqu’un après avoir consulté son profil sur Facebook.
Avant, Facebook était comme une discothèque où les jeunes dansaient, buvaient et flirtaient avec leurs amis. Puis le père, la mère, l’employeur ont débarqué. De sorte que le réseau peut devenir un terrain miné où le moindre faux pas coûte cher socialement.
Une solution simple existe pourtant pour éviter ces situations gênantes. Une solution qui a pour nom «paramètres de confidentialité». Un site américain permet effectivement à ses membres de regrouper les amis par groupe et de choisir quels contenus seront rendus visibles aux différents groupes. Ces quelques minutes d’efforts peuvent épargner les affres du stress!
D’après Quentin Blanc. Décembre 2012.

Ces photos d’ados qui finissent sur des sites porno

Ces photos d’ados qui finissent sur des sites porno
Pour être sûr de ne pas vous découvrir sur un site porno, il n'y a qu'une seule solution: refuser d'apparaître dans des photos sexuellement explicites. C'est ce qui ressort de l'étude menée par la fondation Internet Watch.
88% des contenus sexuellement explicites postés par des jeunes sur Internet, en particulier sur les réseaux sociaux, finissent par être récupérés par des sites pornographiques. En toute illégalité bien sûr. Malgré les avertissements répétés de leurs parents, de nombreux jeunes, continuent de se prendre en photo à moitié dénudés. Un phénomène qui touche principalement les filles. Une fois qu'une image a été récupérée par un site pornographique “parasite”, il est trop tard. Même en la retirant du compte Facebook ou du blog, cela ne changera rien.
Les conséquences sont désastreuses sur la santé mentale de ces jeunes. «Je regrettais d'avoir été naïve pour poster des photos de moi sur Internet et j'essayais de l'oublier. Mais des garçons de mon école ont découvert les images et j'ai été harcelée de remarques… J'ai dû être hospitalisée pour une dépression et une tentative de suicide… », témoigne une jeune fille dans l'étude.
La résolution du problème passe par l'éducation. La seule façon d'endiguer ce phénomène est d'y sensibiliser les jeunes, explique un responsable de Childnet visant à protéger les jeunes sur Internet. «Nous avons développé des ressources concrètes, comme des jeux de rôle, afin d'aider les professeurs à entamer un dialogue avec les plus jeunes. Pour les aider à réfléchir aux conséquences de ce qui leur semble souvent de banals jeux érotiques. Or ces images indécentes restent sur Internet ».
D’après Quentin Blanc. Octobre 2012.

L’ex-millionnaire est un smicard heureux

L’ex-millionnaire est un smicard heureux
(c) Le Figaro Internet
Un homme d'affaires a renoncé à sa fortune pour vivre avec 1000 euros par mois dans une cabane. Il habitait une luxueuse villa dans les montagnes autrichiennes. Un voyage en Amérique du Sud lui a ouvert les yeux : «J'ai réalisé que la plupart des gens pauvres qui vivent là-bas sont plus heureux que l'Européen moyen ». L'homme d'affaires prend une décision radicale : il choisit de vendre toutes ses possessions. Il imagine une méthode originale. Au lieu de mettre sa maison en vente, il organise une loterie et 22.000 personnes achètent un billet à 99 euros dans l'espoir de remporter la maison. Les 2,2 millions d'euros récoltés vont rejoindre la fortune gagnée grâce à la vente de son entreprise dans un fond caritatif consacré aux microcrédits dans les pays en développement. Depuis un an, l'ex-millionnaire vit dans une maison de bois. Sa vie lui semble désormais idyllique. « Le matin je me réveille quand mon corps se réveille. Parfois j'écris pendant dix heures d'affilée, parfois je pars simplement marcher en montagne. » Maintenant ses relations avec les gens sont plus faciles: « Avant les gens que je rencontrais me prenaient pour une tirelire. Désormais, quand quelqu'un s'intéresse à moi, ce n'est plus à cause de l'argent » . De sa maison et de sa vie passée, il n'a rien emporté. La seule chose qu'il regrette, c'est le temps. « Pendant vingt ans j'ai senti que je menais une vie qui ne me convenait pas». Il ne veut rien changer à son nouveau bonheur : « Les possessions matérielles ne représentent rien. Je suis plus heureux aujourd'hui, parce que je vis enfin comme j'aurais toujours dû vivre. »

The decline of children's right to roam

Just one in four primary school pupils are allowed to walk home alone


Free Range Kids: The decline of children's right to roam
Primary school children in England have lost much of their freedom to get about without adult supervision over the last four decades, according to a report published today. British children also have far less time to get about alone when compared to German children of the same age.
Ben Watson, research fellow at the Institute, and one of the authors of the report, said: "Independent mobility has been shown to be good for children's wellbeing and development. The experience from Germany shows that this drop is not an inevitable result of modern life. If we care about the future health of our children, action should be taken to enable them to regain the right to a safe outdoor environment without the need for adult supervision."
Campaigning group Sustrans has recently launched a campaign for 'Free Range Kids' to make it easier for children to travel independently, play outdoors and explore their local community, and have the skills and opportunities to do so safely. Chief executive Malcolm Shepherd said: "Parents don't feel that their local streets are safe. We urgently need to make our communities safer if we are to get kids active by walking and cycling to school and playing outdoors. Parents want to see safer streets."
Children were asked whether they were allowed to cross main roads alone, use buses and bicycles without an adult, come home from school alone, travel to other places on their own or with friends, and to go out after dark alone.
Adapted from The Daily Telegraph January 2013

Headmaster who banned mobile phones makes the right call

Headmaster who banned mobile phones makes the right call
Academic standards at Burnage Media Arts College have soared since pupils were forbidden to use mobile phones. The world, for these youngsters, began not with basic mobiles but with the BlackBerry and the touchscreen. In their lives, face-to-face social contact often takes second place to electronic text, Facebook and Skype. Real life like playing football or simply hanging around with one’s friends is not important in comparison with the virtual.
So it came as something of a shock when, in September of last year, the school’s headmaster, Ian Fenn, banned the use of mobiles by pupils on his premises. They can be brought into school but must be switched off at the gate in the morning and not switched on again until leaving time. Many schools allow the use of phones during break times, but pupils at Burnage who are caught using one must surrender it immediately or face exclusion. Confiscated devices can be recovered only by a parent or other responsible adult.
It seems to have worked in terms of lessening disruption in class, improving learning and reducing cyber bullying. Children are playing football at playtime again and rediscovering face-to-face contact.
Has Mr. F nn considered banning phones altogether at Burnage, given that children once managed perfectly well without them? “They are an extremely effective means of contacting home if someone is stranded or has missed the bus,” he concedes.
Adapted from The Daily Telegraph December 2012
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