dimanche 30 mars 2008


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On March, 26th President Nicolas Sarkozy began the first state visit to Britain by a French president in 12 years.
During his two-day trip, he has been a guest of Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, he has held talks with British Prime minister Gordon Brown and has addressed members of both Houses of Parliament.
Thousands lined the streets to welcome the couple, whose visit comes just weeks after they married following a whirlwind romance. And on arrival, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh seemed to fall under her spell too.
The highlight of the visit for the Queen was the state banquet at Windsor Castle, which took months of planning. They had a sumptuous four-course meal including turbot, noisettes of lamb and rhubarb pudding washed down with Krug 1982 champagne.

The president had earlier received a standing ovation in Parliament after delivering a speech in which he outlined his new vision of Anglo-French relations.
Instead of the famed Entente Cordiale, he said, it was time for an Entente Amicale - our two nations should become close friends rather than just allies.
Paying tribute to British sacrifices in the two world wars, he said: "France will never forget that when it was virtually wiped out, it was Britain who stood by us."

( adapted from The Daily Mirror)

jeudi 27 mars 2008


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VARIATION ON THE SAME THEME : Imagine you grew up in Harlem. Write about your childhood

MARGAUX ( 3°4 )
During my childhood, I lived in Harlem, to the north of Manhattan. At first, I had good marks but I was considered as a traitor. Then , I decided to get bad marks in order to be accepted. My parents didn't undertand, but I was happy, I had friends. After school,with my friends, we used to smoke cigarettes and drugs to be cool and to be accepted in a group. Sometimes, when I wasn't respected, my parents encouraged me to fight, it was the one solution. Besides, I went downtown Manhattan and the kids rejected me just because I lived in a shabby area and Ididn't have as much money as them.
All my childhod was a battle in order to be accepted and respected. Now, I have managed to have a normal life, with a wife and children, but I can't forget that period of my life.


When I was a child, I lived in Harlem, a destitute area of New York. It was a world apart. I lived in a shabby neighborhood where there were unemployed people, junkies and ethnic problms.
I was used to fighting in order to be accepted. My parents even urged me to fight whenever I felt threatened !
We weren't used to communicating to solve our problems. We had to show that we weren't cowards. We had to show that we were tough guys.
Besides, I was in a very strict school which took a hard line with the pupils. If a student broke the rules, he was automatically thrown out.However, being good at school was considered as acting white, so good pupils had to get bad marks in order not to be rejected. I was quite clever but I wanted to be accepted, so I deceived the others by getting bad marks. So, I eventually failed. Nevertheless, I later resumed my studies and now, I live downtown Manhattan !

LUCIE ( 3°4 )

My parents and I came to Harlem in 1958. Since this moment, I really had to be strong. Harlem was a world apart, so different from downtown Manhattan. Iwas living in a derelict, destitute area, wih drug-dealers.
I remembr my first day of school very well. I was walking in a crowded corridor when I pushed a boy, unintentionally. The boy thought I wanted to "diss" him, which meant to disrespect him. A fight started between him and other guys, but the principal came and separated them. I was afraid. I have seen so many fights start just because of a simple glance.Thus, the kids of Harlem were used to fighting to solve their problems.
Likwise, I was sometimes getting A's and one day, I was told that I was a traitor. Indeed, I was acting white, which was a lack of respect for our culture.
My parents even urged me to fight to earn respect whenever I was threatened. But I didn't want to, all the more so as I was weak.
Luckily, thanks to some people, Harlem has become a better place.

VICTOR ( 3°6 )

I spent my childhood in a world apart. Harlem is the worst city I've ever seen. In Harlem, there are no laws except the law of the fittest.
I remember I used to work badly not to be a traitor. I used to fight with the other gangs. My best friend was killed in Harlem. When I was six, my brother was kidnapped by the worst gang of Harlem because my father had killed one of them, which was amazing.
I remember Mr Kostakis was the principal of my school but I got excluded because I had dealt some drugs to pay the rent of our flat, therefore, I became homeless.
I wrote this book to make teenagers aware of the educational problems in Harlem. Today, I live in Harlem and there are still the same problems. Unfortunately, Mr Kostakis has died, killed by a hispanic gang. Then, the school got closed and the war of the gangs has continued, which is stupid. That's why I have decided to build a school which isn't compulsory and only the most motivated students attend it and there are a lot of teenagers who want to succeed in their studies.

OLIVIA ( 3°5 )

I've spent my childhood in Harlem. I know what you're thnking about ! Yes, I'm white and my parents were white too, but they weren't rich. That's why I used to live there...That underprivileged area wasn't that bad. Don't you believe me ? Let me explain...
In Harlem, there's the law of the jungle: the stronger you are, the better it is. If you don't fight, they will hit you anyway. Imagine me, the little white, nerdy boy ! No need to tell you they weren't nice to me, especially because I was the only one who was getting good marks. " having good marks is acting white", they used to say.
Now you're thinking : "Oh, my god! It must have been terrible! Why did you say it wasn't that bad ? ". Well, my dear readers, I'm going to tell you...
Even though it was really hard, ( I don't even remember how many times I've cried !). Now, I can say: "I've come a long way !".

JULIA ( 3°4 )

When I was a child, I lived in Harlem which was a dilapidated area. There were a lot of drug-dealers and junkies.

My family was lucky because both of my parents had a job, which wasn't usual when you live in such a poor neighborhood. Although Harlem is situated in Manhattan, it was a world apart. One day, my friends and I went downtown. We felt a lot of anger because the kids of Manhattan didn't have the same standard of living as us. Indeed, we had fewer things than them. The people of Manhattan had beautiful cars, they wore nice clothes...I was jealous. So, I thought I had to study hard in order to have a good job and to improve my situation.

My school was situated in Harlem and it was created out of a former school which was closed down because of its terrible reputation. It became such a good school that it attracted students from all over the city. In Harlem, a lot of kids used to fight to solve their problems, but in the school, fighting and weapons were banned. If a student broke the rules, he was excluded.

This has been efficient because most of us have done long studies. Thanks to these studies, I've got a great job : I am a writer and I live in New York City.

lundi 24 mars 2008

CHARLIE CHAPLIN - Emma G. ( 4°4 )

Charlie Chaplin was born in 1889, in London. His parents were singers, that's why he appeared on the stage when he was only eight. Later, when Charlie was ten, his father died and then his mother had to go to a mental hospital. As she couldn't take care of him any more, Charlie had to go to an orphanage until he found various jobs. In the meantime, he spent a poor and miserable childhood.
From then on, he began a film career in Hollywood, in 1913. Charlie, who was both an actor and a
film director, spent forty years in the States, until he had to leave in 1953 because of political
and personal problems. Meanwhile, he became an extremely popular star who acted in seventy
silent films.

He finally died in Switzerland in 1977, thirty-one years ago.

vendredi 21 mars 2008


Happy April Fools' Day !
April Fools' Day is about more than playing
jokes, tricks and pranks. That's just the most fun part of the day! Check out why we're all so mischievous on April 1st.
The History dates back to the 16th century :
France celebrated the New Year just like we do today, except they partied on April 1st. In 1562, Pope Gregory changed the calendar to the one we use today and from then on, the New Year began on January 1st. Lots of people didn't know about the new calendar, or they ignored the new calendar and kept celebrating on April 1st. Everyone else called them April fools and played tricks on them.

In France today, April 1st is called Poisson d'Avril, which means April Fish. Children tape paper
fish to their friends' backs and when the young "fool" finds out, the prankster yells "Poisson d'Avril!"
In England, tricks can only be played in the morning. If a trick is played on you, you are a "noodle." In Scotland, you are called an "April gowk," which is another name for a cuckoo bird. In Portugal, pranksters usually throw flour at their friends.

Practical jokes should be done in good fun and not meant to harm anyone. The best jokes are the clever ones where everyone laughs, especially the person who had the joke played on them.
Here are some examples of good jokes :
* Put food coloring in milk.

* Superglue coins to a sidewalk. This works best on an old, worn sidewalk.
* Go with a couple of friends, stand near some busy street corner - stare and point up at the sky. Watch the reactions of people around you!
Click here for more practical jokes for you to pull on your friends and family!

I hid in my mom's closet before she got out of the shower at 6 am. When she got her clothes on and headed out, I grabbed her leg and made her cry!Kidz Submit by:Nickname: pirateAge: 14

lundi 17 mars 2008

For a more official version of the story see : http://www.history.com/


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Ironically, for almost its entire history St. Patrick's Day has been celebrated with far greater fanfare in Boston or New York than it was in Galway or Dublin. Until recently Dublin's St. Patrick's Day parade was largely made up of American participants—marching bands and drum majorettes.
In Ireland, banks, stores, and businesses were closed on March 17, but the day was primarily been celebrated as a religious feast day. Until the 1970s, pubs were in fact prohibited from opening on March 17.
In the United States, however, as anyone not color-blind knows, St. Patrick's Day is simply a celebration of Irishness. And as there are 30 million Americans of Irish ancestry, it's no wonder the celebration has been so successful. Compare that to the 4 million Irish living in Ireland.

Since 1995, Irish people have been catching up with the Americans. There are about 100 St Patrick's Day parades in the US whereas there are now about 30 in Ireland. The holiday in Ireland has become a "festival" which expands to a whole week. Last year, more than one million people took part in the festivities in Dublin.


St. Patrick is said to have converted almost all of Ireland to Christianity within his own lifetime. He is now so closely identified with Ireland that his feast day, March 17 (the alleged day of his death), has become a celebration of Irish culture. He is a patron saint of Ireland, Nigeria, excluded people, and engineers.

Patrick is thought to have been born in Britain, perhaps to a Christian family. Tradition has it that he was forced into slavery in Ireland, escaped and became a monk on an island near present-day Cannes, and eventually returned to Ireland as a missionary. There are more legends than facts associated with his work in Ireland; the most famous tells how he banished all the snakes (a pagan symbol) out of Ireland.

Besides being credited with Christianizing Ireland, Patrick is said to have introduced the Roman alphabet and helped to establish a written, and more democratic, legal code.

dimanche 16 mars 2008


St. Patrick's Festival is Ireland's official celebration for Ireland's national holiday - St. Patrick's Day. Around the globe on the 17th March, Ireland is celebrated with parties and parades but the BIG party is in Ireland where they celebrate in style with five days and nights of fantastic celebratory events, most of which are free!

From March 13th to 17th 2008 there will be so much on offer - music, street theatre, family carnivals, comedy, street performances, dance, a treasure hunt, night spectacles .... culminating on Monday March 17th with the world famous St. Patrick's Day Parade. Over five days, 4000 performers and 1 million people will be celebrating Ireland. So whether you are Irish or just wish you were, Ireland is the place to be next March to enjoy Ireland's biggest party.
On Saint Patrick's Day, lots of people wear green costumes : green jeans, green jumpers, green boots, green hats, and green hair !
What can you eat ? You can eat green sandwiches, green cakes, and have green drinks ! And at McDonald's, guess what ? The hamburgers are green too !
Sometimes, the river Liffey, in Dublin is coloured green too !

lundi 3 mars 2008