Friday, February 27, 2009

Oscars 2009 - Hugh Jackman's opening number

Hugh Jackman received a standing ovation from the cream of Hollywood as he opened the 81st Academy Awards with a song and dance number in which he paid tribute to several of the nominated films, including Slumdog Millionaire, Milk, The Dark Knight and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

“Everything is being downsized because of the recession,” Jackman said at the start of the show. “Next year I’ll be starring in a movie called New Zealand and due to cutbacks the Academy said they didn’t have enough money for an opening number. “You know what, I’m going to do one anyway. I stayed up all night in my garage, I put together my own tribute to this year’s films.”

The highlight of the number was a duet with best actress nominee Anne Hathaway, before Jackman wrapped up the routine with a reference to the role he’s known best for in the US. “I am Hugh Jackman, and I’ve waited so long, and no recession can stop my confession or silence my song,” he sung. “These are the Oscars and this is my dream, I am a slumdog, I am a wrestler, I am the reader, I’m Wolverine!”

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscars 2009 - The winners

Click here to see the full list of winners at the 81st Academy Awards, in the order they were announced.

And the Oscar goes to ... Penélope Cruz

This is not going to be 45 seconds, I can say that right now. Has anybody ever fainted here? Because I might be the first one. Thank you so much to the Academy. I want to share this with my fellow nominees and with the amazing ensemble of actors that I had the privilege to work with in this movie. Thank you, Woody, for trusting me with this beautiful character. Thank for you having written over all these years some of the greatest characters for women. And I cannot talk about great female characters without thanking my friend Pedro Almodóvar for having made me part of so many of his adventures. Thank you, Bigas Luna, Fernando Trueba, for giving me my first movies. Thank you, Harvey Weinstein. I wanted to dedicate this to my parents and to my brother and sister, to my friend Robert Garlock, who is not with us anymore, and to everyone who has helped me from the beginning and you know who you are and I thank you from my heart.

I grew up in a place called Alcobendas, where this was not a very realistic dream. And I, always on the night of the Academy Awards, I stayed up to watch the show and I always felt that this was, this ceremony was a moment of unity for the world because art, in any form, is and has been and will always be our universal language and we should do everything we can, everything we can, to protect its survival. So I thank you so much and I have to say something in Spanish, because everyone: Todos los que desde España ahora estén compartiendo este momento conmigo y sientan que esto también es de ellos, se los dedico. Y a todos los actores de mi país. Muchisimas gracias.Thank you so much.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Word of the week 23 February - 1 March 2009 CARNIVAL AND SHROVETIDE

The origin of the name "Carnival" is unclear as there are two theories:

Most popularly, it is believed the term Carnival derives from the words
'carne vale' (farewell to meat), a reference to the excesses that led up to the sombre Lent (Cuaresma).

Some suspect Carnival is derived from the Roman solstice festival, the Saturnalia, where participants indulged in much drinking and dancing. Saturnalia is believed to have had the first parade floats (carrozas), called the 'carrus navalis' (naval car), in honour of the god Apollo.

Shrovetide is the English equivalent of Carnival. The word shrove is a past tense of the English verb 'shrive', which means to obtain absolution for one's sins by confessing and doing penance. Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the shriving (confession) that Anglo-Saxon Christians were expected to receive immediately before Lent. Shrove Tuesday is celebrated as Pancake Day.

The term 'Mardi Gras' or Fat Tuesday refers to the Carnival celebrations originated in the one time French colonial capitals of Mobile (now in Alabama), New Orleans (Louisiana) and Biloxi (Mississippi).

Friday, February 20, 2009

Escape from the Amazon

Three friends go to the Amazon for a trip but things get nasty when their guide leads them to jeopardy. As the four (three friends and guide) split into two groups, one pair faces disaster at every turn, while the other two are never heard from again.

Click here if you want to watch a fragment of this episode of the Discovery Channel series I shouldn't be alive .

Read an interview with Yossi Ghinsberg, one of the survivors

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The terminal: The man who lost his past

The real Terminal man: Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who lived in Charles de Gaulle Airport from 1988 to 2006.

Gloria Gaynor - I will survive

Lyrics | Gloria Gaynor - I will survive lyrics

Madness - Our house

Lyrics | Madness - Our house lyrics

Madonna - True blue

Lyrics | Madonna - True blue lyrics

Wednesday, February 18, 2009




Wednesday 18 February at 10.00

If you want to read the first chapter of John Barlow's book, click here.

Useful vocabulary and cooking tips:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Word of the week 16 - 22 February 2009 YOB

What are you really saying when you mispronounce the word "job" and say "yob" instead?

A yob (or yobbo) is an aggressive, impolite young man (or teenager) who engages in antisocial behaviour and/or drunkenness.

The word is believed to have derived from spelling "boy" backwards (maybe because a yob is the antithesis of a good boy).

It is usually used as an insult, so calling someone a yob or a yobbo can be dangerous.

Be careful if you go to a pub on Friday or Saturday night. The yobs will be out and lots of them will be looking for a fight.
Lots of yobbos travel to places like Spain or Greece and get drunk, behave badly, and damage the image of Britain and the British.

You can read and find out more about yob culture here in the first part of a BBC series of features focusing on different aspects of crime.

Just for fun:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Word of the week 9 -15 February 2009 SPAM

Most email users receive unwanted emails from senders with odd-sounding names offering a variety of products and services, which are also for the most part unwanted. These junk emails, sent simultaneously to thousands if not millions of computer users have been known since the early 1990s as spam.

This term appears to have nothing to do with the original word spam, which was a proprietary name for a brand of tinned meat first produced in the United States and much appreciated in the UK during World War II and the years of rationing that followed it. It is widely believed that spam originated as a short form of the words spiced ham.

How the same word came to be applied to junk email is more of a mystery. Some people attribute it to a sketch in the British cult comedy TV series Monty Python, in which a group of Vikings attempt to order food in a typical greasy spoon café in 1970s England where everything is served with spam. Perhaps like the spam in the comedy sketch spam emails are so-called because they are excessive and ultimately unwanted.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

And the BAFTA goes to ... Penélope Cruz

Penelope Cruz wins Best Supporting Actress - The British Academy Film Awards 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The art thief and the crisis

A thief in Paris planned to steal some paintings from the Louvre. After careful planning, he got past security, stole the paintings, and made it safely to his van. However, he was captured only two blocks away when his van ran out of gas. When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied, 'Monsieur, that is the reason I stole the paintings.'

I had no Monet

to buy Degas

to make the Van Gogh.'

See if you have De Gaulle to send a link to this page on to someone else.

Don't worry, you have nothing Toulouse.

Thanks, Almudena.

The dream omelet

Chef Cooks 'Dream Omelet' From Recipe That Came To Him In A Dream

What you need:

metal shoe horn (a plastic one or a spatula)


3 eggs (with WWII written on them)

a whisk

a scarf



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Word of the week 2 - 8 February 2009 MOCK EXAM

A mock exam is a "fake" exam taken for training or practice, with the same standards and often under the same conditions as the real examination. It's supposed to prepare students for the real exam.

Amusing commercial by Instant Kiwi, a scratch card for lottery in New Zealand.

A group of university students sits in an exam room. Our hero has finished his exam with a minute to spare. He pulls out an instant kiwi ’scratch-it’ card and proceeds to check out his luck. The exam supervisor calls the end of the exam and instructs students to put down their pens and bring their papers to the front of the room. He thanks the students as they place their papers in a neat pile on the front desk.
In the meantime our chap is still using his pen to check out the last of his numbers. As he approaches the front with his exam paper he’s told that he’s too late. “Gave you plenty of warnings about time. You failed. Sorry.” The student replies, “Excuse me do you know who I am.?” The teacher says, “I have absolutely no idea”. “Good!” says the student as he quickly puts his exam in the middle of the other papers and walks out - eating the teacher’s apple. “Instant Kiwi: Give it a go!”

Mr Bean's exam

STUDENT: Done your revision?
MR BEAN: Oh, yes. I've concentrated on trigonometry.
STUDENT: I've done calculus mainly.
MR BEAN: I believe they concentrated on calculus last year.
STUDENT: Oh. Oh, dear.
INVIGILATOR: Quiet, ladies and gentlemen, please. The exam will commence in two minutes.
Ladies and gentlemen, you may open the envelopes containing your papers. The exam
INVIGILATOR: Two minutes, ladies and gentlemen. At the end, will those who answered the green calculus papers please put them in the green box, and those who answered the white trigonometry papers, please put them in the white box.
Stop writing, please. I said stop writing. Will you stop writing!