Friday, January 30, 2009



Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Just around the corner, there's a one-week holiday waiting for me... there will be sleeping, reading, studying and other unorthodox things in between, plus a few plans for a new semester, including a Shakespeare play for children, a reading club, a few visits abroad (just for the fun of it :) ) and plenty more. Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Another left-handed US president...

President Barack Obama signs an executive order closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.



The Romanian publishing house LEDA has started publishing entries from Canongate's Myth Series, a line of novellas by different authors revising tales from mythology.
The Penelopiad is the story of the return home of Odysseus after his long journey, told from the point of view of his wife Penelope. The book is engaging and entertaining. The author, Margaret Atwood, sticks to the story from The Odyssey but shows it from the viewpoint of Penelope, to whom she lends the voice of a twenty-first-century woman with cheeky remarks. If interested in myths up-dated, you should read it.

BTW, what do you know about myths? Could you name a mythological character?
Here's a little help.

Care for a quiz?

Sunday, January 18, 2009


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Click here to understand more.

Friday, January 16, 2009


The 3 incredibles: Alex, Mihai and Flavius!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Anti-virus software - A program that finds and removes viruses from a computer.

Backup - A copy on floppy disk or tape of files on a PC's hard disk. A backup is used in case the hard disk file(s) are erased or damaged.

Bit, bytes - A bit is the smallest piece of information that computers use. For simplicity, a PC uses bits in groups of 8 called bytes (8 bits = 1 byte).

Boot, boot up, boot disk - You boot (or boot up) your computer when you switch it on and wait while it prepares itself. Instructions for startup are given to the computer from the boot disk, which is usually the hard disk.

Browser, to browse - A browser is a program like Netscape or Internet Explorer. You use it to view or browse the Internet.

Bug - A (small) defect or fault in a program.

Cache - A kind of memory used to make a computer work faster.

CD-ROM - A disk for storing computer information. It looks like an audio CD.

CPU - Central Processing Unit. This is a PC's heart or 'brains'.

DOS - Disk Operating System. The original system used for PCs. You type in commands instead of pointing and clicking.

Driver - A small program that tells a PC how a peripheral works.

Electronic mail (email, e-mail) - Messages sent from one computer to another. You can see email on the screen or print it out.

Floppy disk - A cheap, removable disk used for storing or transferring information. It is floppy (soft) because it is plastic. See hard disk.

Floppy drive - The device used to run a floppy disk (usually drive 'A'.)

Folder (directory) - A sub-division of a computer's hard disk into which you put files.

Font - A particular sort of lettering (on the screen or on paper). Arial is a font. Times New Roman is another.

Format - All hard disks and floppy disks have to be electronically prepared for use by a process called formatting. Hard disks are pre-formatted by the computer manufacturer. If you buy a floppy disk that is not pre-formatted, you format it yourself, using a program that comes with your PC.

Graphics card - The equipment inside a computer that creates the image on the screen.

Hard disk - The main disk inside a computer used for storing programs and information. It is hard because it is metal. See floppy disk.

Icon - A small image or picture on a computer screen that is a symbol for folders, disks, peripherals, programs etc.

Internet - International network of computers that you connect to by telephone line. Two popular services of the Internet are the World Wide Web and electronic mail.

Kb, Mb, Gb - Kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes. Used to measure computer memory and storage.

Memory - Memory is for the temporary storing of information while a computer is being used. See RAM, ROM and Cache.

MHz - Megahertz. This describes the speed of computer equipment. The higher the MHz the better the performance.

Modem - Equipment connected to a computer for sending/receiving digital information by telephone line. You need a modem to connect to the Internet, to send electronic mail and to fax.

Operating System - The basic software that manages a computer.

OCR - Optical Character Recognition. OCR lets a PC read a fax or scanned image and convert it to actual lettering.

Parallel port - A socket at the back of a computer for connecting external equipment or peripherals, especially printers.

PC card - A device that is the same size as a thick credit card, for plugging into a slot on notebook computers. You can buy memory, modems and hard disks as PC cards.

Peripheral - Any equipment that is connected externally to a computer. For example, printers, scanners and modems are peripherals.

Pixel - The image that you see on the screen is made of thousands of tiny dots, points or pixels.

Program Software that operates a PC and does various things, such as writing text (word-processing program), keeping accounts (accounts program) and drawing pictures (graphics program).

QWERTY - The first 6 letters on English-language keyboards are Q-W-E-R-T-Y. The first 6 letters on French-language keyboards are A-Z-E-R-T-Y.

RAM, ROM - Two types of memory. RAM (Random Access Memory) is the main memory used while the PC is working. RAM is temporary. ROM (Read Only Memory) is for information needed by the PC and cannot be changed.

Resolution - The number of dots or pixels per inch (sometimes per centimetre) used to create the screen image.

Scanner - Equipment for converting paper documents to electronic documents that can be used by a computer.

Serial port - Socket at the back of a PC for connecting peripherals.

Taskbar, Start button - Two areas of the screen. The taskbar, at the bottom of the screen, shows the programs in use. The start button, in the bottom left corner, is for opening new programs.

TFT - Thin Film Transistor, a type of high quality screen for notebook computers.

Virus - A small, unauthorized program that can damage a PC.

Windows - An operating system used by the majority of PCs.

World Wide Web, WWW, the Web - WWW are initials that stand for World Wide Web. The Web is one of the services available on the Internet. It lets you access millions of pages through a system of links. Because it is 'world-wide', it was originally called the World Wide Web or WWW.

WYSIWIG - 'What You See Is What You Get.' With a WYSIWIG program, if you print a document it looks the same on paper as it looks on the screen.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009


"IGOR" is an animated movie about the ambitious assistant of an evil scientist who gets the chance to become a scientist himself, with the help of two of his creations. Adventures unfold when he invents Eva, a supposed monster who is actually an aspiring actress, while also trying to save Malaria, his kingdom, from an evil plan.
I myself really liked Scamper, the cynical bunny. The movie is full of funny moments and lines that might be useful to know in desperate situations :)
"Puuuuuuulllllll the switch!!!!!"

And you? Do you like watching animated movies? If so, what's your favorite and for what reason?

Monday, January 5, 2009


Summertime makes me happy. Rain, sun, wind - what does it matter as long as the geraniums are on the back step and the peas and beans are growing in the garden?

I have been looking after my two godchildren all week - both girls, one aged 12 and the other nine. One is a vampire and thinks that sunlight will kill her - actually, it's just that she can't see the computer screen; the other is a little outdoor tyke who made me plant 120 sunflower seeds, which have now grown into around 100 sunflowers.

Planning my week was really about planning their week and it had to begin with a visit to the Borzoi bookshop in Stow-on-the-Wold, near my home. I let them choose six books each while I took the cats to the vet for their flea jab (oh, the glamour of a country life). Then we all went swimming (not the cats).

I have a little house in London in Spitalfields, and a deli on the ground floor, which does the best coffee anywhere. Whizzing up there for the day (kids safely parked with my lovely ex-wife, and please bear in mind I am an ex-wife, too, not an ex-husband), I discovered that someone is pretending to be Jeanette Winterson. My neighbour Tracey Emin was down in the shop and she said that there was another 'Tracey Emin' living in Southend, who she imagined was a prostitute, and that my doppelgänger was probably a prostitute, too.

My whiz to London included lunch with Ali Smith at my favourite restaurant - Alastair Little in Soho. There is no finer food to be had, unless it's from my garden, and Juliet Peston is the sort of chef who makes cooking into a miracle. It is simple but perfect.

I rushed back to the Cotswolds because another bit of English eccentricity - the Guiting Power music festival - is featuring my friend, cellist Natalie Clein, and I want the kids to hear her play. The last time I saw her live was in the Albert Hall playing Elgar's cello concerto, and now she's in a tiny village nearby with other world-class musicians, doing it for love.

Life has to be about love and life has to be about finding happiness where we can and not letting the shadows in our lives block out the happiness. I am having quite a tough time in some ways right now, but this has been a week of simple, contented life.

The bad stuff so easily wipes out the good and maybe it needs to be the other way round. Shadows, rain, but if the sun shines, stand in it.

Jeanette Winterson
The Guardian, August 2008

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Every new year people talk about resolutions, you know, those decisions you say you are going to apply in your life in the new year but then, either forget about or you don't have the time or patience to follow and by the end of the year, they turn into delusions.
This year though, I am going to strive to accomplish them.
Not in a particular order:
~ Read more
~ Laugh more
~ Exercise more
~ Love more
~ Be more understanding
~ Use my time meaningfully
~ Visit new places

The magazine "Self Help" offers a few keys to a successful result when it comes to resolutions:
- put some thought into your resolution
- make it realistic
- set a firm resolution
- set a timetable
- make a plan
- find resources
- don't give up
- find a resolution partner
- reward yourself

I hope you find them useful! Now, what are your resolutions for 2009?

Friday, January 2, 2009

HAPPY Happy New Year!

Madonna Like a Prayer Live in Frankfurt 09.09.08
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