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martes, 24 de noviembre de 2015


Graffiti is the plural of the Italian word ‘graffito’ and refers to writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted illicitly on a wall or other surface, often in a public place. It has existed since ancient times, dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.

Some of the meanings of these ancient scrawls, such as the little fish and the lady with a child on her lap, carved by the workmen into the door posts  of  the Palace of Merenptah at Memphis, have been lost. Other graffiti, such as the foot carved into a pavement at Ephesus, we are able to understand. We are told that it is an advertisement for a brothel and means ‘turn left at the cross roads where you can ‘buy a woman’s love’. In Ancient Rome scribblings have been left by Christians and it is believed that the first representation of Jesus Christ can be found in graffiti on the walls of the Catacombs.

Modern graffiti began in Philadelphia in the 1960s but by the 1970s New York City had become the centre of graffiti culture. Many artists chose the subway to express their art because of its accessibility and it served as a magnet for many dispersed graffitists. At the beginning it was accepted or at least tolerated, mainly because there were not enough resources to deal with what some people perceived as a problem.

The question emerged; ‘Is graffiti vandalism or art?’ Some people consider it ugly and destructive. The word ‘vandal’ refers to the Germanic people who invaded parts of Europe in the fourth and fifth centuries, destroying property and anything beautiful. Yet for most graffiti artists their work is not about destruction, so much as being an addition to the environment in a chosen place. It is not the slashing of seats, nor is it the smashing of windows; it is not permanent nor is it a physical attack.

However, it is illegal, and some academics support the ‘broken windows theory’; which links disorder and incivility within a community to subsequent occurrences of serious crime. If you get one broken window, you will end up with more broken windows and a deteriorated house; one act of vandalism will be followed by others.

Other people argue that in areas of urban decay where property owners don't really care one way or another, graffiti can be a great improvement, bringing spirit, energy and colour to degraded landscapes. To sum up it can be art.

In the same way as ‘the broken window theory’ can be applied so it can also be true that if you get one beautiful piece of art, more will follow and a whole degraded quarter can be transformed. This is my theory and I’m going to call it ‘The Extended Splash of colour’.

domingo, 15 de noviembre de 2015


Lots of people say that education is about learning skills that will help students find employment- such as using a word processor or spread sheet. Yet what about helping people to figure out the meaning of life? Or becoming good people? Or making a difference to others? Is this also the purpose of education? Some people think its is; Martin Luther King said ‘’we must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character- that is the goal of true education.’’ One wonders what King meant by ‘character’. Does he mean being a good citizen? Some government polices state that the aim of education is to produce good citizens. One wonders what they mean by ‘good citizens’. Of course it is in the interest of the government to have law-abiding members of community; it makes their job easier. Some people may quote the famous saying ‘’the end justifies the means’’ and economically it makes sense for nations to invest in education of children in order to produce adults that benefit society, especially economically. But is this really the aim of education, to reap benefits? A society benefits from producing educated adults that are socially aware and well equipped to help others in the society; but is this the whole intent of education? Having read a little about the philosophy of education, I have come to the conclusion that the purpose of education is multifaceted. I have compiled a list of the aims of educating: - Teaching skills to find work. - Enabling pupils to be materially successful. - Enabling people to be useful to society. - Producing pupils that will make a difference to others. - Teaching pupils how they should live their lives (ethics/moral choices) - Making them aware of cause and consequences. - Teaching the values of a society. - Helping people to figure out the meaning of life. Should we be teaching Ethics in schools? Maybe it is essential for a pupil to understand his place in society and how he could be useful to it? Arguably, the pupil’s happiness might depend on this, not just society’s well-being. Human-beings, after all, are social beings. The true purpose of education should be to educate the whole child, so as not to just have academic success but to have success in all aspects of their lives. Education must nurture not just the social person but also the individual, and at a deeper level, education should be a way of helping a person to discover more about himself, as well as the world which he is living in. We need to teach people to be aware of their own thoughts, as well as the way life is viewed by other people; teach them rather how to think rather than what to think; so that they can think for themselves while being aware of the thoughts of other men. The learning process never ends and the teacher’s aim is to teach people how to teach themselves. Ultimately, we should equip them so that they can continue with their quest for the meaning of life.

domingo, 11 de octubre de 2015


My Spanish friends are quite astonished when I tell them that I get slightly worried when we have an English test. I’ve even got lower marks than my friends at times, despite the fact that I attended an English International School from the age of 5 to 12 and I speak English quite fluently. My parents and teachers are surprised that I never received any English grammar lessons at school!
I will always be grateful that I went to English school and it does have its advantages; but it also has its downside. I was shocked when I changed into a Spanish secondary school and only got a 7 in my first English language test. What had happened? For a long time I didn’t know, but recently I read a blog by a Chinese boy who was brought up in the USA. His experience reflects my own. The link is below, if you wish to read it.
Now I understand that I was taught English as if I were a native English child. Learning a native language as a young child is a very different process than learning a foreign language as an older child or adult.
Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to take up a language after you have grown up? It’s because as an adult, you no longer follow the steps that babies do to learn a language. How do babies learn languages? First, they listen, second, they speak. They don’t begin reading or writing until 5 or 6. They learn grammar in what is called an inductive way; inducing the rules from exposure to the language in use. I was never taught that you have to put ‘ed’ as a suffix to the verb in the past simple tense.  I induced (learnt by absorption) the rule by listening to the spoken language and then I learned the exceptions to the rule. I was never taught to conjugate a verb, nor even the different verb tenses.

The teaching of English language in British and American schools is radically different from that of learning English as a foreign language in other countries. There is a wealth of story books for infants in English and every year new ones appear. There is a long tradition of reading to very young children both in the home and at school.

My first memory of listening to a story in English was when I was only 5. I didn’t speak or understand English at that point, but I understood the story and the pictures; it was the ‘’Hungry Caterpillar’’ by Eric Carle. I didn’t really know that I had started to learn a language. I was just having fun. Language teaching should be entertaining!

I know that I have great gaps in my knowledge of English, especially of grammar; I think I’ll eventually have to sit down and learn to conjugate verbs properly! But the Hungry Caterpillar remains one of my favourite books!       

martes, 22 de septiembre de 2015


In English there exists a saying; it exists in Spanish too, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. This maxim also applies to people and it is very relevant now-a-days when we have many people with alternative ‘looks’. In the street today you might meet Goths, wearing all black, or you might meet a person covered in tattoos or piercings. It is becoming more acceptable every day.
Make up and piercings can be removed easily but tattoos are permanent. There may come a day in which you might wish that you had not chosen to tattoo your body. Don’t worry, there is a solution, follow this link.
‘Go beyond the cover’ is the slogan for Dermablend Professional a wonder cream that will cover up any tattoo effectively. I love the slogan as it refers to the timeless proverb quoted above, but the video is quite shocking. If you read the comment section you will find that most people found it disturbing. But why?
In the video we see, in reverse how a young person whose body, head and face which are covered with tattoos are made over with the body foundation. The first image we have of him he seems to be a normal white male adult except for two piercings, but as we see how the make-up is applied his normal image appears. At first glance he appears intimidating, but why? When we first saw him we presumed that this was his ‘normal’ appearance, just another young white male with two piercings.
Maybe what is most disturbing is that our first assumption is proved to be wrong. In some way we have been ‘tricked’. We are made to feel uncomfortable because the information which we have received through our sight perception turns out to be false.
In reality however, it is the values that we have associated with his first appearance that have been prove wrong. It has nothing to do with the information received. In our minds we judge appearances and link ideas with a particular look. We have come to believe that we can trust our eyes.
In the end tattoos are just ink, skin deep. The real person is beyond the skin.

lunes, 18 de mayo de 2015


I would highly recommend the film ‘Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows’ produced in 2011; it is the sequel of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ produced in 2009. Loosely based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story ‘’The Final Problem’,it stars Robert Downey as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Watson. The director of the film is Guy Ritchie, well known for his highly successful films such as gyyg and hkbkgb.

The film is about the famous detective Sherlock Holmes and his helper Watson as they confront their old enemy Professor Moriarty. It is full of fights and chases and has won an award for the best action/adventure film.  

One of the things that I liked most about the film was the soundtrack; it was very similar to the previous film which was nominated for Best Original Score. The designs of the setting of the scenes in London were particularly evocative of Victorian London, creating a realistic atmosphere. The dialogue was very humorous and I loved the interplay between Sherlock and Watson, as Sherlock tries to prevent Watson not to get married.  I loved the ending; it was very unexpected and funny.

In conclusion, the film was great at all levels; the music score,the dialogue, the costumes, the scenes, the action and the stunts. The last scene hints that Sherlock is not in fact dead, and leaves room for a third film.
I hope it comes soon.

martes, 5 de mayo de 2015

txt mssage gd or bd?‏

On December 3rd 1992 Neil Papworth, a technician who worked for Vodafone, sent the first text message to his colleague, Richard Jarvis; it read ‘Happy Christmas’. Nowadays nobody would think of writing ‘Christmas’, but would substitute it with the word ‘Xmas’. To begin with these messages were known as ‘telenotes’ but now we call them texts, and trillions are sent around the world every year.
Text language can be characterised by the lack of punctuation, abbreviation of words, use of initials such as ‘lol’ (meaning laugh out loud) and the use of emoticons; and it is wildly used today, but not without controversy. Many educators and linguists say that text messaging is seriously destroying the capabilities of young people to write correct English. The lack of punctuation and misspelling makes sentences illegible. Proof of this was a well-quoted sentence which appeared in a candidate’s exam:-
"My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we used 2go2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 :- kids FTF. ILNY, it's a gr8 plc."
So can you read this? Maybe even young people who are well acquainted with text language might find it difficult to understand. Let me translate.
‘’My summer holidays were a complete waste of time. We used to go to New York City to see my brother, his girlfriend and their three children face to face. I love New York, it’s a great place.’’
I must admit that I occasionally make a slip, and write ‘gonna’ instead of ‘going to’ in formal writing because I habitually use ‘gonna’ in text language. However, usually I am well aware of what is inappropriate language for a formal text is, and what is appropriate for a whatsapp message. I don’t confuse the two, unlike the exam candidate above! I think that most young people can, and do make a clear distinction.
English is an evolving language. Indeed the very thing that makes English such a powerful and flexible language is that over the centuries it has adopted and borrowed from other languages. English nowadays is very different from 200 years ago and it is still changing. It has become a very dominant language in the world today, probably because of its ability to change. History has shown us that any adaptations only serve to make a language more flexible. So why should we not accept text language?
Languages are invented for people to communicate. It is always better when a language is convenient to use, and is effective in delivering one's thought. Text language is quick at communication about everyday situations. Formal language can express a depth of ideas and feeling which text language cannot transmit. You cannot write a love letter in text.
In conclusion text language has its place in today’s society as does formal writing. Long may they both be written!

domingo, 19 de abril de 2015


₵₦₰ CHILDREN FOR NATURAL SPACES                                                                  
15 Church Road
15TH April 2015
Telford Weekly
High Street

Dear Sir or Madam,
                                  I am the president of a group called ‘Children for Natural Spaces’ which is an organization that tries to protect unspoilt areas open to the public. I am writing to you because we are concerned about plans to build a motorway in our area which will go straight through the park and recreational land to the west of our town.

In our opinion a motorway would totally destroy the beauty of this natural space. It is a place enjoyed by residents; hikers, families who go on picnics, dog walkers, photographers and lovers of nature. The traffic would be noisy and create fumes as well as endangering the flora and fauna. What is more, it is completely unnecessary as we already have the A49 only a few miles away and it can be easily upgraded to motorway standard.

We have therefore decided to take action and we are going to organize a protest in front of the town hall on Thursday 20th of April. We have also drawn up a petition for people to sign and we will be visiting houses during this next week. This newspaper has always supported local initiatives; so we hope that you will support our endeavour and send a reporter on the day we protest.

Yours faithfully,
                           Molly Brown
Molly Brown
Children for Natural Spaces


Men say that women put on makeup mainly in order to attract males and ‘’get laid’’; but is this true?
Women have worn makeup since early times. The story of cosmetics spans at least 6000 years of human history and we still use makeup nowadays. Body art was the earliest form of ritual in human culture, the evidence for this comes from utilised red mineral pigments (red ochre) found at Palaeolithic sites. Many cultures throughout the world have used makeup;  in Africa, the Middle East and Egypt they used Kohl on eyes and Henna on skin. In China they stained their fingernails with gelatine and beeswax and in Japan women used to wear lipstick made out of Safflower.

There are many reasons why women wore makeup. One reason was for covering up scars and burns, particularly in Africa and the Middle East.  The Ancient Egyptians used kohl, as a powder to darken the edges of their eyelids, similar to eyeliner. There were two reasons for this; one for the practical reason of keeping flies away and the other was for a religious belief, to keep the evil spirits away. In China they painted their nails to identify with a certain social class. Royalty wore gold and silver, and the lower classes were forbidden to wear bright colours. Women also used make up to identify their gender.

Today, our reasons for wearing makeup are not dissimilar. We use cosmetics  to hide blemishes, although we don’t use it to repel insects, we do use it to filter UV rays, and to emphasise natural feminine features. Women generally have larger eyes and mouths.  As far as I know makeup isn’t used to protect a person from evil spirits, but we do use makeup to identify attachments to a certain social group. One example would be the dark eye and lip makeup together with black nail polish used by Goths and Emos.
But what reasons do individuals give for wearing makeup?

Many women claim that they put makeup on just for themselves. While they admit that it is to impress both men and women, they nevertheless say that the main reason is because it makes them feel good and gives them extra confidence. It is also a way to be expressive, artistic and to reveal our inner self by creating an image.

History shows us that in some cultures men have worn makeup. It is not a custom, however, which has been prevalent in modern western society in the last two centuries. In the 21st century it is becoming more acceptable. I wonder what the main motivation would be for men to wear cosmetics. I suspect that it might be as the man in the video said, ‘’if men had to wear makeup in order to get laid, they’d probably would’’.

jueves, 12 de marzo de 2015



Dakota Johnson is an actress that is 25 years old. She was born in Austin Texas USA and is the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. She’s part of a family that has always been involved in film making. She has always danced since she was a child and she became interested in modelling at 12.

Her debut was as a child in the film Crazy in Alabama which was directed by her stepfather Antonio Banderas and she and her half-sister stared in the roles of daughters to their real life mother Melanie Griffith. Seven years later she was chosen as Miss Golden Globe when she was 18.

When she graduated from high school she started to work for the William Morris Agency and her acting career began. She was very lucky because her first film as an adult was a big box office success it was called The Social Network. She starred in several successful films such, The Five-year Engagement, For Ellen and 21 Jump Street.

 In 2015 Johnson played Anastasia Steele in Fifty shades of Grey, which was based on the New York bestseller of the same name.

She has had the advantage of belonging to a family which helped her a lot in her acting career, but she’s also recognised as being a good actress in her own right. She is only 25 years old and I hope that she has a long and successful career.

miércoles, 11 de marzo de 2015


It’s difficult to define when an addiction really becomes a problem; I suppose it becomes a problem when it interferes with real life. I agree with Mygirl_Ruby that people can be obsessive about everything. However, Internet is so readily available that it is particularly easy to become obsessed with it. 

I disagree with Mygirl_Ruby when she says that TV is more addictive than the internet. Internet nowadays has in some ways replaced TV as nearly all popular films and series are available on it on demand; you don’t have to wait for the following week to watch the next episode.  So it is possible to spend hours and hours watching your favourite programmes without being conscious of time passing.

Mark002 says ‘’real life isn’t as interesting as  the Internet’’  and it is certainly true that the internet offers a wide range of activities in which the user can engage; downloading music and films,  playing interactive worldwide games with other users, corresponding via emails or chats, searching the internet for interesting life hacks and reports of human interest.

Internet is unique in that it allows the user to be anonymous or to take on a completely different character. Most people like to take on a role, and pretend that they’re someone they’re not. This can be done by interactive video games when you take on a specific heroic personality or by revealing only the information you wish to on social media. Although there is of course the danger of revealing too much to a possible criminal.

So what about real life?  It is harder to hide our own weaknesses or inadequacies in the actual world and the real danger of the internet, in my opinion, is that we escape into the world of cyberspace in order to avoid daily problems or difficulties. There are thing you can’t do on the internet like playing sports, socialise at a deeper level when you have to cope with other people’s personalities and there are certain senses which can’t be transmitted via the Internet, such as taste, touch and smell.
We are who we are and if we are to be true to ourselves then we need to live out our lives in the world. Internet can’t substitute life.

sábado, 21 de febrero de 2015


Have you ever kissed a total stranger?  Of course there is kissing and there is kissing ; I mean a full kiss on the lips between two strangers.

I found part of this video very funny, other parts I found touching but I also felt at times uncomfortable. I mean not uncomfortable about the gay couples kissing, but I shared the awkwardness that the people in the video showed having to kiss somebody completely unknown to them.

I thought the lesbian couple handled the situation best, because one of them suggested that they look into each other’s eyes for a second, which seemed to break down the barriers between them. Some of them just laughed because they  felt so embarrassed. Others felt the need to know the other person’s name before they kissed and all of them felt the need to converse before the kiss. This points to the universal fact that most humans feel it inappropriate to kiss a stranger.

I think my embarrassment was caused by my empathy with the people in the video, I felt what they felt. Maybe many of them were fearful that they would not be able to do it well. There was one couple that really amused me, they seemed more relaxed and to be kissing passionately.  Can you guess which couple it was?
When they separated the girl appeared embarrassed and laughingly said ‘’what was your name again?’’ it was funny, but also it shows the human need to establish a relationship before kissing a person.


I’m writing this because I was annoyed at the long traffic jam which I observed this summer in Salobreña. It went from the beach right up to the main road, the N340. I took a photo of it; the cars were at a standstill or moving incredibly slowly.

I think that there are one or two reasons for this. Firstly, the access to the beaches is limited to one road. Secondly, in the summer everybody tend to leave the beaches at the same time. For the residents the traffic jams can be very annoying because it interferes with their daily lives.

We must do something about this situation. I suggest that a second access road should be built at the end of the beach connecting it directly to the Granada cross roads and the motorway. This would mean that the visitors would not have to go through the town in order to access the road.

Something needs to be done.

domingo, 25 de enero de 2015


Do you know what FOMO means? They are initials that stand for ‘Fear  Of Missing Out’. It’s a modern word that refers primarily to teenagers who have a fear of missing an opportunity for social interaction with modern technologies such as mobile phones and social networking services. People remain continually connected because they are constantly concerned about not knowing last minute events.
Vsauce recommends that we should not become ‘FOMO’ because each era has it’s own beautiful natural events and feature. We can see the wonders of the Niagara Falls which will cease to be a waterfall by year 52 000 because of erosion. Six hundred million years from now there will no longer be any complete solar eclipses as the moon is receding 1cm each year.
Michael seems enthusiastic about seeing the collision of supernovas which will make it appear as if the earth has two suns. But he’s even more passionate about they approach of the Andromeda Galaxy which is 2.5 million light years away from our Milky Way. In 2 billions years it will be visible but distant. However, in 2.75 million years it will be so close that the sky will look like something from a science fiction movie full of explosions of glowing coloured light as stars are being born.

I must admit that I’m suffering from FOMO in regard to the collisions of stars and the resulting beautiful skies. I know I will not be here to see it, but will any human being be?

domingo, 18 de enero de 2015


Please watch the video before you read this comment, because I don’t want to spoil it for you! I would love to do a survey and find out how many people thought the same as me and Josh, the guy in the video; that the homeless man would spend the $100 on liquor. 

I think many people are often reluctant to give money to tramps because they are convinced that it will be wasted, as they will spend it on drugs or drink. This homeless man however, proves us wrong, as he spends the $100 dollars on food and shares it out amongst other homeless people whom he doesn’t even know. The tramp says, in the video, that he’s amazed when Josh gives him another $100, but Josh replies that he’s even more astonished of what he did with the money. 
The tramp explains how he has become homeless through no fault of his own and assures Josh that many of the people who are homeless are not lazy or bad but that circumstances outside their control have left them on the street.
Maybe this restores our confidence in human kind and that there are today still people out there who are honourable, generous and genuine.