Showing posts from May, 2008

Rats on wings?

Source: AFP/Getty Images

Venice Pigeon Feeding Ban Flouted
Animal rights campaigners in Venice crossed swords with the city council on Friday after distributing 30 kilos of birdseed to flocks of ravenous pigeons in St Mark's Square.
The birds had gone hungry for two days after the age-old tourist tradition of feeding the pigeons in the picturesque square came to an abrupt end.
Although feeding the pigeons has long been outlawed in other parts of the lagoon city, on Wednesday Mayor Massimo Cacciari won his battle to extend the ban city-wide and force the square's 19 licensed birdseed sellers to shut up shop.
Animal rights campaigners said they were feeding the birds on Friday in an effort to stop ''the shameful massacre of the animals through hunger and capture''.
''Pigeons have lived in Venice for centuries and they have a close link with its history, its traditions and its residents: they are one of (the city's) best-known symbols around the wo…

Ad ultimatum

The EU says the 12 minute advertising per hour limit is regularly broken in Spain.

The European Commission has given a final ultimatum to Spain ordering it to enforce a reduction in the amount of television advertising broadcast here. The Commission says it wants an urgent reply to their demand.
The Spanish Government has been working against the clock(1) to try to enforce the European laws on advertising limits here in Spain, but there has been resistance from the private broadcasters who see additional costs and the threat from the new channels that Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting represents.
The European Commission has said that the main TV channels in Spain, including the public TVE, regularly go over the limit of 12 minutes of advertising in an hour. European Commissioner, Viviane Reding has threatened now to take Spain to the EU Justice Court unless there is ‘urgent’ action in the next two months. She says that any other response would be interpreted as a lack of respect for the v…

Caminito del Rey - confront your fears

Spotlight on Vocabulary:

So often I hear the expression "I had fear" to express "tenía miedo". This is wrong.

You should use "to be afraid"; so the above translation would be "I was afraid".

"to have a fear of something" exists in English but is used to describe a physical condition or phobia:
My sister has a fear of spiders. (She suffers from arachnophobia)I have a fear of heights. (I suffer from vertigo)
More often we use the verb "to be/feel afraid":
I felt afraid when I heard a bump in the middle of the night.Are you afraid of flying? Remember that after a prepostion - verbing.

afraid = frightened = scared
frightening = scary

Have a look at the video of "el caminito del rey". Don't you feel dizzy? Would you be able to walk along that path? I for one couldn't!

What are you afraid of?

I am afraid of heights - I got dizzy crossing the bridge in Cuenca and had to crawl along most of it!

I am scared of creepy-crawli…

Are you bored or boring?

Source: Wikipedia (Harlequeen)
Do you remember the differences between -ed and -ing adjectives?

In short:

-ed adjectives are used to describe feelings

eg I am confused or I feel confused.

-ing adjectives are used to describe the cause of the "-ed feeling"

eg This exercise is really confusing. (I am confused because of it)

Choose from the following verbs to create an -ed or -ing adjective and put it into the appropriate sentence.

frighten bore interest exhaust tire amaze shock move disgust disappoint embarrass
I have had a really ___________ day; I'm going to have an early night.She was so _________ by the film that she burst into tears.I have never felt so ___________; I went bright red.I won't be going back to that restaurant; the meal was ___________ .I couldn't help yawning because his speech was so __________ .Barcelona's performance this year has been quite _________ given that they are only third in the league and haven't won any cups.You are really ___…

Ban bullfighting NOW!!! - Support Equanimal!

Six protestors jumped into the ring after the killing of the first bull in the fight yesterday

A group of half a dozen anti-bullfighting protesters jumped into the ring at Madrid’s famous Ventas bullring yesterday. They held up banners in Spanish and English protesting against animal ill-treatment and then sat down in the ring. Up to now such protests in Spain have been limited to gatherings outside bullrings.

The protestors who want to see an end to bullfighting were booed* by the crowd and finally removed by the bullring’s security guards.


Spotlight on Vocabulary:

*when you strongly dislike or disapprove of something or someone, you make a noise (boo). It is often accompanied by whistling. Listen to the bullfighting video for an example.

The fans were so angry at their team's performance that they started booing loudly. The crowd of protesters booed and whistled at the prime minister as he arrived.

Source: You Tube (iSayMadam)

I admire the guts of the p…

Bank Holidays

May 1st wasn't a public holiday in the UK. It is a holiday this Monday (5th May) instead.

How did you spend this long weekend? Were you lucky enough to get away? Or like me, couldn't afford to?

A bank holiday is a public holiday in the United Kingdom and also in the Republic of Ireland. Although there is no legal right to time off on these days, the majority of the population not employed in essential services (e.g. utilities, fire, ambulance, police, health-care workers) receive them as holidays; those employed in essential services usually receive extra pay for working on these days. Bank holidays are so called because they are days upon which banks are shut and therefore (traditionally) no other businesses could operate. Legislation allows certain payments to be deferred to the next working day.

Exactly a century after the 1871 Act, the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, which currently regulates bank holidays in the UK, was passed. Also listed are New Year's Day a…