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miércoles, 28 de septiembre de 2016

An earthquake, a "habitable" planet and the longest glass-bottomed bridge... What's more?!


On 24th August 2016, Italy suffered one of the biggest natural disasters of its history. Since L’Aquila earthquake in 2009 when 308 people were killed, Italy hadn’t suffered a calamity like this one: Nearly three hundred people got killed and more than four hundred people wounded. However, could this disaster have been less damaging? 

After Aquila’s disaster, in Italy new rules concerning building construction were established in order to gave money so as to build these new buildings in order to resist natural disasters, like this earthquake. So Europe gave money in order to build this new buildings. Nevertheless, this money never arrived, and in 2015 a study revealed that only a 14% of the buildings of the most vulnerable part of the country were conditioned by the Standards of Seismic Safety. Moreover, the villages and cities that were completely destroyed with the last earthquake, continue in the same way: absolutely destroyed. It’s for these reasons that the 6.2-magnitude quake that suffered the centre of Italy, ruining Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto; has been so damaging.

But nevertheless in a paradoxical way, science has made a lot of efforts trying to find a “habitable” planet, similar to the Earth where we would be able to live in some million years, and China making the longest glass-bottomed bridge, without thinking in their own planet problems. With all that I’m not saying that is bad to invest in astronomy or in making bridges of glass. However I reckon that there are more important problems like preventing an earthquake, helping the Syrian refugees, solving world famine problem…

domingo, 4 de septiembre de 2016

English is evolving: New words

English, the second most spoken language in the world, is for sure one of the languages that is evolving more and more in the recent years. Neither all the words evolve in the same way, nor at the same time, but they are constantly changing. Therefore, how and why do they change?

Languages usually change due to their speakers, but especially because of young people, who introduce a new range of vocabulary when they are speaking among them. It’s a fact that they are a very important tool in the development of the language, however not all the words that they “invent” are later accepted in the dictionaries. For instance, acronyms like WTF, LOL I don’t sincerely think that they’re going to be in the dictionaries in a few years’ time.

Another fact to take into account is the period of time that we’re living, for example now with all the social networks that we have, we usually try to make words shorter (not everybody), inciting to create short words. In addition to this, these words and also expressions are usually related with new technology and online games like for instance: good game (gg), to feed the lane or well played (wp).

In Spanish those new words have been adapted by teenagers. One interesting thing that has happened is that in the case of verbs in Spanish is that we’ve added the suffix –ar to all of them like for instance “wasapear” or “tuitear”, making verbs really easy to conjugate. In addition to this, we've also created new words that, depending on the different regions that we live, we use or we don't.


In conclusion, English is a language that changes and will change really fast (like Spanish) due to the amount of speakers that use it. In my view, I see that it is a language that will be spoken by everybody soon. It’s for this reason that I consider that dictionaries will have to admit more new words comparing to the last twenty or fifty years’ time.

domingo, 7 de agosto de 2016

FRENCH STEREOTYPES 

Cyprien's video


Watching Cyprien’s video about the stereotypes of Spain, I‘ve decided to write about the stereotypes of France. I’ve been in France so many times that I could say that I know more about French people than from any other people with a different nationality. It’s for this reason that I’m going to write about their stereotypes from a very close point of view.

In relation with food the first stereotype that I realise when I’m in France is that all mornings, even if it rains, they go to the nearest bakery of their neighbourhood to buy a baguette for their breakfast, wearing a kind of beret and usually smoking. Another funny stereotype that I realise when I’m travelling by car in France is that every midday, especially during the holidays, they all park their cars in a service area to have what they call “le midi” (a very relaxing picnic that all the family use to have). And I think that the best known stereotype of French people related with food is that in all their dinners they must eat cheese with a glass of wine before dessert.

Apart from this type of stereotypes, there some others, for instance those which are related to their personality. Friends of mine say that the typical French man or woman is really arrogant, not very sociable and even apathetic, but it’s only because when they “travel to France” they only visit one place… Paris, and I agree with them in this point, because Parisian people can be arrogant and sometimes a bit self-centred, believing to be the centre of the world. However, in fact, the rest of France is extremely different from them, they are usually quite helpful, polite and quite happy, although I find they are not as open-minded as Spanish people are and they use to say that everything is okay when in fact, it’s not. Moreover, another aspect that I notice is that they use to idolatrise their sport players, even if they finish the second or third position (fact that Spanish people don’t do and I really appreciate it).


In conclusion, I think that I have a very different point of view from most of my friends that think they “have visited France”, but I find quite interesting what other people from other nationalities think about France when I’m in “l’Alliance française”, because they have truly visited France. And I reckon that these are the main stereotypes that I’ve confirmed during my stays in France.

lunes, 18 de julio de 2016

DIABETES


Today I am going to write about Diabetes, but first of all we must know in what it consists. Diabetes is the condition that results from lack of insulin in a person's blood, or when their body has a problem using the insulin it produces (that’s what Wikipedia says). But, how can a diabetic person be cured? Has Diabetes got a cure? Is Diabetes the Biggest Epidemic of the Twenty-first Century?

According to the Diabetes International Federation, based in Belgium, as of 2015, an estimated 415 million people have diabetes worldwide. This represents 8.3% of the adult population, with equal rates in both women and men. And about 18 million people die every year from cardiovascular disease, for which diabetes and hypertension are major predisposing factors. 

This disease can be inherited, but most of the times it is caused by eating fast food. Because of this, Diabetes is usually related with obesity. Overweight usually produces this lack of insulin and this, added to not doing sport increases the possibility of a serious case of Diabetes. 


At my school there were a few students that had a big Diabetes and they must take three times a day insulin (which is too much). However, they handle the disease much better and they don’t have to go to hospital too many times, (only for revisions), because they are now doing a lot of sport and eating healthier. In my opinion, even if recent studies say that they have discovered the cure, I think that we could prevent it, simply eating more healthily. 

sábado, 25 de junio de 2016

BREXIT. A SAD DAY.

Today, 24th June 2016, the UK has decided to leave the European Union. Yesterday, with a 51.9% the Eurosceptics voted not to stay in Europe anymore and with this, the UK would probably become the first country to leave the EU. However, how will this affect us? What advantages and disadvantages are we going to have?

First of all, we have to talk about which countries in the UK are for and against leaving the EU. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted against leaving the EU, while Wales and England voted for it. As a result of this, Scotland and Northern Ireland want to have referendums to decide if they want to leave the UK or remain. In the case of Scotland, for example, they want a referendum to leave the UK and stay in the EU, especially because that was the reason  England used to convince Scottish people to stay in the UK, “If Scotland leaves the UK, they will also leave the EU”. And in the case of Northern Ireland they would want a referendum to belong to the Republic of Ireland, which is in the EU.

Secondly, we have to know the main reasons why they think that it’s better to leave the EU. Leaving the EU, they reckon that they would make stronger trade deals with other nations, they would have more freedom to control their national borders (having fewer problems with immigration) and they also think that they would restore Britain’s special legal system.

Thirdly, how will this affect a European country like Spain? On the one hand, this will have an economic impact: in our commercial trades with England which are really important for our economy, in tourism (English tourists are the ones who visited our country the most last year). And on the other hand, it will affect the Spanish people that are now working or studying in England. Moreover, this will also affect us at school, because until now, English was the official language in Europe, but now, we don’t know if it will continue being it.

Another important problem would be Gibraltar, a little region situated in the South of Spain that belongs to the United Kingdom and that voted with a 94% to stay in the EU. They voted for staying in the EU, because its main economic source is their commercial trades that they do with Europe and England, and now they could even decide to join Spain.


In my case, it will probably affect me directly, because in two years’ time I will have to decide where I’m going to do my Erasmus, and I’ll probably choose Ireland or Scotland rather than England. For me it’s a sad day, because I love England and I would have liked them in the EU, but I respect their decision. Nevertheless, I have travelled to all the UK (except Northern Ireland) and I know that British people are a bit more arrogant than for example Irish or Scottish (don’t misunderstand my words) for example having a different currency from EU or a different manner for driving…, but I would have never expected this. It’s true that there would also be some advantages, such as the fact that England would be cheaper. However, as I said before, today is a sad day.

martes, 7 de junio de 2016

FOXES NEVER QUIT!

Only one month ago, one of the humblest teams in the Premier League, was proclaimed champion. This team, which last season slipped to the bottom of the league table with only 19 points from 29 games, has won one of the most prominent and toughest leagues in Europe. However, did anyone know them before this happened?

In fact, not many people in the world knew the existence of an English team called Leicester, which last season had had so many problems to survive in the English Premier League one more year (I included myself). Nevertheless, at the beginning of the season the commitment they made to do their best has ended in such an incredible achievement. Another important variable has been their players, many of whom played in the second division in other European leagues, or even in the English seventh division!!! before joining this team, as Jamie Vardy). They have given us a lesson of team sport and bravery.

This team has reminded me when our football national team (before winning all that it has won in the latest years). Nobody trusted that we were even going to go through the quarter finals of European Team Cup of 2008, and they won it, and then the World Cup of 2010 and afterwards the European Team Cup of 2012 (and far more to come). 

All in all, now I’m not going to say that I’m an unconditional supporter of Leicester, only for winning the Premier League, because that would be dishonest (and my favourite English team is Liverpool), but apart from that, I think that everyone who likes football now has a small part of the Leicester team in their hearts, as Ranieri said “Why can’t we continue to run, run, run? We are like Forrest Gump!”

viernes, 29 de abril de 2016

A REAL FRIEND

It’s a well-known fact that in your life you will meet a lot of friends. However, not all these friends are going to be part of your life and not all of them will be forever. So, how can find “a real friend”? Do they exist?

In many countries having a good relation with your friends means that you’re a sociable person, and in Spain it also does. Nevertheless, more and more young people reckon that this fact is relates with social networks like Facebook or Twitter. That is to say, they think that having more “followers” on Twitter or more “friends” on Facebook, they’re more sociable and popular. And they’re totally wrong, because the majority of these “friends” don’t even know them.

Other people however, prefer having fewer friends, but with whom they are closer. They usually have a better relation with them and what is more important, they can do many things together: going to the cinema, playing a film… It’s true that if they lost them, because one of them goes abroad or they have an argument, they can end in a bad way, but in my view this is the best type of friendship.


In my case, I don’t reckon I have lots of friends, but I think that I can always trust them, so for me, it’s enough. Moreover, I could say that I have a real friend, because even if we are very different and he isn’t still at the university, we get on really well since nursery school, so I think that is the best way to know if you have a real friend.