Wednesday, 27 November 2013

2013 National Turkey

One of the more lighthearted White House events, the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation and Pardoning Ceremony, takes place each year just before the Thanksgiving holiday. During the ceremony, the President of the United States grants a presidential pardon to the turkey, fortunate enough to be selected as the National Thanksgiving Turkey.
This somewhat odd tradition has evolved through the years, with its earliest roots possibly dating back to the Lincoln administration. Although the details are not documented, President Lincoln is thought to have spared the life of a turkey at the request of his son, Tad, who wanted to keep it as a pet.

The first record of a turkey being spared is from 1961 when President Kennedy decided not to eat that year's 55-pound  turkey, saying, "We'll just keep him." The bird was returned to his farm home.
In 1989, President George H.W. Bush started the tradition of an official presidential pardon for the National Thanksgiving Turkey with the words, "This fine tom turkey has been granted a presidential pardon as of right now." Since then, the tradition has continued every year, usually on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day.

In addition to the actual National Thanksgiving Turkey, a second turkey is selected to serve as the first runner up each year, just in case the winner is not able to fulfill its duties.

Both turkeys receive pardons but only one takes the title of  National Thanksgiving turkey. American peole vote on Facebook , Twitter to choose the best candidate.

This year the candidates are POPCORN and CARAMEL

You can still vote for one of them !!

Ways to Vote: On Twitter, use #TeamCaramel or #TeamPopcorn
On Instagram, use #TeamCaramel or #TeamPopcorn and regram your favorite
On Facebook, "like" and "share" your bird of choice
Click on the image below to hear them  gobble


The story of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in the month of November, every year, is essentially a harvest festival. It is a time characterized with lot of fun , gifting, family feasting, community praying etc.

Thanksgiving is most celebrated in the countries of America and Canada. It is a time to thank not only God but also your fellow for their continuous support and care.

Parades,  fairs, eating at restaurants, shopping are an inherent part of the festive celebration. Football game is closely associated with thanksgiving celebration in America. Foot ball matches are organised every year to mark the occasion. Thanksgiving weekend is also the official beginning of the Christmas season in America.

But how did this celebration start?  Watch the video  and learn a bit more about the story of this holiday.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Swimming in the North Pole

 Climate change is for real and we need to do something  about it now.

Watch this fantastic video - you´ll surely enjoy it. It deals with the topic of polar ice melting. It explains how ice is unfreezing very rapidly.

You can change subtitles and do it completely in English

Where do our old mobiles go?

Worried about recycling??

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Prince of Wales retiring?

Is the Prince of Wales retiring?

Prince Charles was born on 14 November 1948 in London , England. He is celebrating his 65 birthday today.

The Prince can celebrate this milestone birthday content in the knowledge that 65 is no longer considered old in modern Britain .
Charles, who is still waiting to start the job for which he was born, is always “working, working, working” and is “not going to stop” just because he is now a pensioner, his wife the Duchess said.

Watch a short bio of his life 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Rubbish piling up in Madrid

Spanish garbage collectors have continued their indefinite strike over the government’s proposed lay-offs and wage cuts.

On Saturday, people in the capital Madrid started their fifth day of strike among huge piles of rubbish blocking narrow streets and emitting an awful stench.

After five days of strike, residents are demanding an urgent solution to resolve the crisis. 

 Click on the picture to watch a video
 City authorities have tried to maintain a basic collection service by sending out rubbish trucks under heavy police escort.

“Nobody likes a strike. The streets are really dirty and it’s disgusting,” said Maravillas Prieto, a teacher from Madrid. “But I understand the workers. They were going to reduce their wages and sack more than 1,000 workers. This is because of the town hall. I blame the town hall completely.”

José Luis Rodríguez, a wedding photographer from Madrid, agreed: “I support the strike. Whose fault is it? I blame the city. They sold all the public services.”

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Digging into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean. Marine debris is litter that ends up in oceans, seas, and other large bodies of water.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch lies in an area between the U.S. states of Hawaii and California. This area is in the middle of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre.

An ocean gyre is a circular ocean current formed by the Earth’s wind patterns and the forces created by the rotation of the planet. The area in the center of a gyre tends to be very calm and stable. The circular motion of the gyre draws in debris. Debris eventually makes its way into the center of the gyre, where it becomes trapped and builds up. A similar garbage patch exists in the Atlantic Ocean, in the North Atlantic Gyre.

The motion of the gyre prevents garbage and other materials from escaping. The amount of material in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch accumulates because much of it is not biodegradable. Many plastics, for instance, do not wear down; they simply break into tinier and tinier pieces.

For many people, the idea of a “garbage patch” conjures up images of an island of trash floating on the ocean. In reality, these patches are usually made up of tiny bits of plastic, called microplastics. Microplastics that make up the majority of garbage patches can’t always be seen by the naked eye. Satellite imagery of oceans doesn’t show a giant patch of garbage.

The existence of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch was predicted by many oceanographers and climatologists. However, the actual discovery of the patch was made by a racing boat captain, Charles Moore. Moore was sailing from Hawaii to California after competing in a yachting race. Crossing the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, Moore and his crew noticed millions of pieces of plastic surrounding his ship.

Plastic products can be very harmful to marine life in the gyre. For instance, loggerhead sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, their favorite food. And many marine mammals and birds,
 such as albatrosses, have become strangled by the plastic rings used to hold six-packs of soda together.

Marine debris can also disturb marine food webs in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. As microplastics and other trash collect on the surface of the ocean, they block sunlight from reaching plankton and algae below. Algae and plankton are the most common autotrophs in the marine food web. Autotrophs are organisms that can produce their own nutrients from oxygen, carbon, and sunlight.

If algae and plankton communities are threatened, the entire food web may change. Animals such as fish and turtles that feed on algae and plankton will have less food. If those animals start to die, there will be less food for predator species such as tuna, sharks, and whales.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch collects marine debris from North America and Asia, as well as ships traveling through the area. Trash from the coast of North America takes about six years to reach the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, while trash from Japan and other Asian countries takes about a year.

No one knows how much debris makes up the entire patch. The North Pacific Subtropical Gyre is about 19 million square kilometers (7 million square miles). It is too large for scientists to trawl the entire surface. In addition, not all of the trash floats on the surface. Denser debris can sink to the middle or bottom of the water. We have no way to measure this unseen litter.

Taken from  National Geographic Education