Saturday, February 27, 2010

Elephant in the Room


An important and obvious topic, which everyone present is aware of, but which isn't discussed, as such discussion is considered to be uncomfortable.


The expression is of US origin, although the precise source isn't known. The meaning, if not the exact wording, dates from at least the 1950s and is possibly some years older than that. The first reference to the phrase is found in The Charleston Gazette, July 1952:

"Chicago, that's an old Indian word meaning get that elephant out of your room."

It isn't clear quite what the author of that intended, but we can be sure he was being ironic. Chicago is a word coined by the people that now prefer to call themselves Native Americans. Their original meaning for the word isn't known, but we can be sure it wasn't anything to do with elephants.

The first known citation that uses the phrase with the clear intention of conveying our current understanding of the phrase is the title of Typpo and Hastings' book An elephant in the living room: a leader's guide for helping children of alcoholics, 1984.

The number of times that a variety of authors have called on the expression in recent years, whenever a topic that they thought was important and deserved more attention, has caused it to become clichéd.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Red Herring

red herring:
a fact or idea that is not important but is introduced to take your attention away from the points that are important

The only thing that basescu is able to say, during these troubled times, is that 99% of Romanians enjoy "manele"... I can only add that his 100% does not equal mine! No wonder kids are school are not interested in maths... who would be with such a high-placed example of utter crap in one's head???

Monday, February 22, 2010

In Case You Care

Bill Gates on energy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The First Step

British Council Seminar: using literature to aid language learning

British Council Seminars - BritLit Event Manchester from British Council on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What British Council Teaches Us


As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best INFORMATION. (Benjamin Disraeli)

If you have KNOWLEDGE, let the others light their candles in it. (Margaret Fuller)

I have travelled more than anyone else, and I have noticed that even the angels speak ENGLISH with an accent. (Mark Twain)

OPPORTUNITY means the freedom to be what we never thought we would be. (Daniel Boorstin)

To be continued.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

10 Things I Learnt from AVATAR

Yes, I have seen it. I thought it would be a a waste of precious time, but it wasn't, even if I will never choose a 95% animated movie over a "real" one... Still, it was worth it because I discovered that:

1. Women will still continue to be as hysterical as they are today.

2. Things seen from above seem deeper than seen from below.

3. Long hair will be essential.

4. No matter how pressed for time you are, you will still find some minutes for a new hairdo.

5. Having a big bird is more important than possessing a gun.

6. A look can tame even a pussycat.

7. The bad guy always misses when confronted with choosing the best option in order to destroy the hero.

8. Americans will afford to invade a new planet, but it will still be almost impossible for their soldiers to "get' a new pair of legs.

9. The Americans don't win at the end of this movie, which makes it even more ironical, given the fact that they spent millions of dollars to produce/see it.

10. English will be the only language worth knowing.

Friday, February 5, 2010

What Book Am I?

You're The Poisonwood Bible!

by Barbara Kingsolver

Deeply rooted in a religious background, you have since become both
isolated and schizophrenic. You were naively sure that your actions would help people,
but of course they were resistant to your message and ultimately disaster ensued. Since
you can see so many sides of the same issue, you are both wise beyond your years and
tied to worthless perspectives. If you were a type of waffle, it would be

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Movie of the Month 1


If you watch more movies than the average, then you might know that there was once (in 2006) a movie called "Paris, je t'aime". The Americans could not stand aside and not create a movie that will proclaim their strong love towards the most cosmopolitan city of all: New York.

I admit, I watched it without expecting too much, and I was blown away. There is so much poetry and beauty in-between words, a palette of images sculpted out of desire that you cannot help revelling in it hours after you have seen it.

P.S. Did I mention that a few great actors are present in the short yet charming parts of the movie?
P.P.S. If you enjoyed it, then you have the chance to watch the bonus, "These vagabond shoes", an extract directed by Scarlett Johansson starring Kevin Bacon...

Here's the trailer.