martes, 6 de febrero de 2018

Hope



I think that kindness is something that we should all have. That’s in an innate quality that we have, and we need more of that out there.”- Ellen Degeneres
Hi, people! Is everything ok? I hope it is. It’s funny how the topics for my blog came out of nowhere. Last night, I could not sleep, and I decided to watch a movie. I watched a korean movie called, “The Way Home." The movie is about a young boy who has to live with his mute grandmother in a poor village. Now, he has to live without any luxury and to learn how important family is. It was an amazing and emotional movie. 








According to Wikipedia, The film won South Korea's equivalent of the Oscars for best picture and screenplay.
 But today’s post is not going to be about this movie. Today, I was doing my research for my Korean homework, and I had to watch a TED talk. This talk was about the North Korean country and its people. I have to share this with you, because I think it has a beautiful message.  


The family I lost in North Korea


Joseph Kim was raised and born in North Korea. Like many other Koreans, his family struggled against poverty. In 1994, the great famine began, and his life went from bad to worst. In 2003, when Joseph was 13 years old, he saw his father died of starvation. A few days later, his mother and sister disappeared. Joseph’s sister told him that they would try to escape to China to get money and food. That was the last time he saw his mother and sister. He was alone and had to work to get some food. “When I could not fall asleep from bitter cold or hunger pains, I hoped, that the next morning, my sister would come back to wake me up with my favorite food. That hope kept me alive. I don’t mean big, grand hope. I mean the kind of hope that made me believe that the next trash can have bread even though it usually didn’t. But if I didn’t believe it, I wouldn’t even try and then I would die,” said Joseph. After three years of waiting for his mother and sister, he decided to cross the border to China. Joseph thought things would be easier in China, but he was wrong. He was worried about being caught all the time. Months later, he met a person who helped him to escape to The USA. He didn’t know how to speak English, but the social worker told him that he had to go to school. “Even in Norht Korea, I was an F student,” said Joseph. He went to school just because they told him to do it. 

The chicken wing 

Everything changed one night when his Foster mother made chicken wings for dinner. Joseph said, “I wanted to have one more wing, but I realized there were not enough for everyone, so I decided to against it. When I looked down at my plate, I saw the last chicken wing, that my foster father had given me his. I looked at him sitting next to him. He just looked at me very warmly, but said no words. My foster father’s small act of love reminded me of my father, who would to share his food with me when he was hungry, even if he was starving.” That night, he promised to himself that he would get the best education in America to honour his father. Joseph received an academic award for excellence. “Hope is personal. Hope is something that no one can give to you. You have to choose to believe in hope.” He also remarked how many people helped him along the way. 


Joseph’s message to the world

“Have hope for yourlsef, but also help each other. I confidently believe that your act of love and caring can also save another Joseph’s life and change thousand of other Josephs who are still having hope to survive.” 


At the end of the talk, Joseph sent a very emotional message to his mother and sister. 
I think that this is a beautiful message for everyone. Never lose hope, and if you can, help others in need. 


I want to end this post with another quote of Ellen Degeneres:

“It’s very easy to lose hope, but we cannot do that. I always say there is a lot more good in the world than there is bad. That’s what we have to focus on. The world is full of amazing people. Good will always win.” 


Have a great week! 



Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLeeTVmVrtA (TED talk) 






martes, 16 de enero de 2018

Let's celebrate

Hiya, mates! How are your summer holidays going? Really? Tell me everything about it! I’m glad to hear all about your adventures. I have wonderful news for all of you. Well, I think they are at least for me they are. Do you remember the other day I told you about this problem with chocolate running out? Wait! Don't cry...


I was really worried about this issue. So, I dug into the real story behind that article. Well, grab your cocoa mug everybody…The world is not running out of chocolate after all. 



According to USA today, the Business Insider published an article saying we are not going to have chocolate in 30 or 40 years. People were afraid. Support groups were created to give assistance to chocoholics around the world. But there is hope out there. 





Apparently, this article had “inaccurate information.” USA today says that different scientists are working together “to make plants resistant to viral and fungal diseases. A fungus has plagued cacao plants in South America for decades. The scientists are using CRISPR gene-editing to tweak the DNA of cacao to make it more disease-resistant.”



Experts from the University of California say that it is true that climate change is affecting cacao plants. They also say: “The vast majority of cacao is produced in West Africa and rising temperatures could reduce the amount of land suitable for its production, which in turn ‘could speed up the spread of disease’, but not "to the point of extinction."



So, I hope you are as happy as I am with this new. I mean, I can live without a car. I can live with the idea of not having Game Of Thrones for a year. But I say NO to a life without chocolate.





Have a great week, people!  :) 


Link: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/01/05/no-world-wont-run-out-chocolate-2050/1007061001/ 

viernes, 12 de enero de 2018

Cooking 101

Howdy, chingu? Are you enjoying this beautiful weather? I hate these hot days because you can’t sleep properly, and all my tv shows are on hiatus. Additionally, hot days make people rude and nasty. Yeah, I’m talking about you lady outside the supermarket. Even the mosquitos have given up because of the weather.


So, today’s post is going to be about something you can do in your house. We are going to cook. First of all, I’m a vegetarian, so the dishes we are going to make here are completely meat-free. As you probably know, Argentinians are the second consumers of beef in the world. Therefore, If you are a vegetarian living in Argentina, you have to be very creative in the kitchen. Sometimes it’s difficult to find places in Buenos Aires with a (real) vegetarian menu. One day, I was with my best friend, Vanesa, eating in a restaurant and I ordered what I thought was a vegetarian dish (a vegetable tortilla). Spoiler alert, it wasn’t a vegetarian dish at all. According to the menu, it had no meat on it, but I found pieces of chorizos in my tortilla. I explained to the waiter that this was not a vegetarian dish, he was like “but it has a lot of vegetables, and pieces of chorizo.” I stared at him like “Do you know chorizo is made of meat, right?” I had many bad experiences with “vegetarian menu” in different restaurants (even in a hospital).


So, after having bad experiences, I decided to cook my own food. The advantages, of preparing your own food, are that you know what your plate contains. One of the disadvantages is that most vegetarian ingredients (like seitan, couscous or kombu) are very expensive. If you live far from downtown, you probably are not going to be able to find some ingredients. Nevertheless, these next recipes are easy to make.

Vegetarian Empanadas (Argentina)

  • 700 g (1 lb 9 oz) baby spinach
  • olive oil
  • salt, black pepper
  • 200 g (7 oz) mozzarella or feta cheese, diced
  • 100 g (3½ oz) parmesan 

(In Argentina you can buy pre-made discs – tapas para empanadas – if you don’t want to make the dough by hand.)
Cook the spinach in a hot frying pan with a little oil until wilted. Drain thoroughly in a colander and roughly chop. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool. Combine the mozzarella, parmesan and spinach. Adjust the seasoning. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5). Sprinkle a little flour on the work surface. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 3 mm (¹⁄8 inch), and cut out circles with a 14 cm (5½ inch) cutter. Using a 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) ice-cream scoop or measuring cup, form small balls of filling and place one on each round of dough. Lightly moisten the edge of the dough with a little water and fold over into a half-moon shape.

Arrange the vegetarian empanadas on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush with egg yolk and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and cooked. Allow the vegetarian empanadas cool for a few minutes before serving.



Kimchi (Korea)

Kimchi is basically a catch-all Korean term for fermented vegetables.

Ingredients

1 medium head (2 pounds) napa cabbage
1/4 cup sea salt
Water
Garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
Red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
8 ounces Korean radish or daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

Instructions

Slice the cabbage: Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips.

Salt the cabbage: Place the cabbage and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands (gloves optional), massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit, then add water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy, like a jar or can of beans. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours.

Rinse and drain the cabbage: Rinse the cabbage under cold water 3 times and drain in a colander for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse and dry the bowl you used for salting, and set it aside to use in step 5.

Make the paste: Meanwhile, combine the garlic, ginger, sugar, and seafood flavor (or 3 tablespoons water) in a small bowl and mix to form a smooth paste. Mix in the gochugaru, using 1 tablespoon for mild and up to 5 tablespoons for spicy (I like about 3 1/2 tablespoons).

Combine the vegetables and paste: Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and return it to the bowl along with the radish, scallions, and seasoning paste.

Mix thoroughly: Using your hands, gently work the paste into the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated. The gloves are optional here but highly recommended to protect your hands from stings, stains, and smells!

Pack the kimchi into the jar: Pack the kimchi into the jar, pressing down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1 inch of headspace. Seal the jar with the lid.

Let it ferment: Let the jar stand at room temperature for 1 to 5 days. You may see bubbles inside the jar and brine may seep out of the lid; place a bowl or plate under the jar to help catch any overflow.



Here you have a video from JiniChannel on how to make Kimchi. 



Potato Scones (Scotland)
Ingredients
• Half pound (225g) boiled and mashed potatoes

• 2.5oz (65g) plain or all-purpose flour • 1oz (25g) Butter

• Half teaspoon salt

• Pinch of pepper

• Quarter Teaspoon of baking Powder

Instructions

1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender.

2. Drain the potatoes and mash them with the butter, salt, pepper and baking powder.

3. Mix in the flour to make a stiff dough. The exact amount of flour will depend on the type of potatoes used.

4.Roll out the dough on a floured surface to around 5 to 6 mm thickness.

5. Cut into rounds, use a saucer or small tea plate as a guide.

6. Prick all over with a fork and score the dough to mark 4 equal wedges.

7. Cook in a heavy pan or griddle which has been very lightly greased.

8. Cook each side for about three minutes on a medium heat until the scones are golden brown.






If you know another recipe I should try, let me know. See ya ;) 















viernes, 5 de enero de 2018

Chocotastrophe

Hi, mates! Happy new year, btw! How are the resolutions going? I would like to say I’m fine, but I would be lying. Yesterday, I was scrolling on Facebook when an article called my attention. I usually don’t trust on  Facebook news, because they are usually fake. So, I did my research and, to my surprise, it was totally true. I refuse to believe this article is real. It just can’t be real. You are probably asking what kind of article I’ve read to be like this. I’m going to ask you to sit down and drink some water. 



 Are you ready now? I have some horrible and disturbing news from the future. According to scientists, the world is running out of chocolate. Listen to the shock go over the house at this moment. You can’t believe it, right? But it’s true.


According to experts, global warming is the one to blame. Cocoa plants need high humidity, and plenty of rain to grow properly. The problem is that temperature is increasing a lot every year, and it would be really difficult for this plant to survive. This is an extract from the article I’ve read:

“Officials in chocolate-producing countries such as Ghana will be forced to choose whether to push cacao production areas uphill into mountainous terrain, which could cause issue for wildlife. They’ll have to either disrupt dying ecosystems or give up on chocolate. This, plus last year’s predictions of a chocolate deficit thanks to excessive consumption, points to a looming struggle to produce enough chocolate to meet the demand.
 ‘Unlike other tree crops that have benefited from the development of modern, high yielding cultivars and crop management techniques to realise their genetic potential, more than 90 per cent of the global cocoa crop is produced by smallholders on subsistence farms with unimproved planting material,’ Doug Hawkins, from Hardman Agribusiness, told the Mail Online. ‘All the indicators are that we could be looking at a chocolate deficit of 100,000 tonnes a year in the next few years.’



According to predictions, we have 40 years more to enjoy chocolate. How do you feel about it? 




Link: http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/01/warned-chocolate-shortage-may-looming-7195118/

miércoles, 27 de diciembre de 2017

Languages

 Hello, ! How are you doing? I was studying for my Korean test, and all of a sudden an interesting idea crossed my mind. I was thinking about writing a post about the differences and similarities, between learning Korean and English. I read some articles about this, and I decided to include them in this post.  I have to admit I’m not an expert in any of these languages, but I have found some significative differences and similarities. On with the post! 




The alphabet

Of course, the alphabet is going to be very different. First of all, Hangul (the Korean alphabet) has 21 vowels and 19 consonants. So, Hangul has 30 letters. In the English alphabet, you can find 26 letters. Hangul is written from left to right and top to bottom just like in English. But the Korean language can be written from top to bottom and right to left like Chinese.



Phonology

According to the Frankfurt International School, Korean is a syllable timed language in which individual word stress is insignificant. This is radically different from English. The most noticeable problem is the realization of consonants. For example, the /θ/ and /ð/ sounds in words such as then, thirteen and clothes, the /v/ sound, which is produced as a /b/, and the /f/ sound which leads, for example, to phone being pronounced pone.



Grammar

Korean does not conjugate verbs using agreement with the subject. This is a possible reason why it takes some learners so long to remember the -s ending in English in the third person singular present simple tense: He like… instead of he likes.
Korean has a Subject-Object-Verb word order. Since personal reference is avoided, it is common to encounter Korean sentences consisting of the verb only. Grammatical categories in Korean have no clear correspondence with those of English. This often results in Korean learners using a noun or adjective where English would have an adjective or a noun. For example: My daughter doesn't come to school today because she is illness.
Korean grammar is heavily influenced by honorifics. Verb endings and choice of nouns, adjectives or pronouns depend on the relative status of the speaker or writer to the listener or reader. Honorifics do not play a major part in the English language (except in conventions for addressing people as 'Professor' or 'Your Majesty'), which can make English much easier for Korean to learn than vice versa.




Differential Use of Vocabulary by Language

Does “see” mean the same thing in English as it does in Korean? You would think so, but the correct answer is “sometimes.” Used as “to view,” the meaning of the Korean word boda (보다) and its English equivalent “to see,” are the same. However, in Korean, one can not literally say “I’d like to see the manager,” as “see” in Korean only means “view.” In English, the context tells the listener that in fact you want to speak with the manager, but in Korean “see” is not used in this manner. You need to say “I want to talk to the manager.” These kinds of language-transfer issues work both ways, so be cautious when you speak.


  
 There are probably more examples of differences and similarities between these two languages. Actually,  I didn’t want to make a long post. So, I hope you have enjoyed reading about these two amazing languages. 

Btw, happy new year :) 


만나요! (See you later)




https://koreanalyst.wordpress.com/2009/01/09/the-korean-learner-of-english-english-korean-cross-linguistic-challenges/


domingo, 17 de diciembre de 2017

How to look after pets during fireworks



Hi, people! How are you? I had problems with my internet connection, that’s why I couldn’t post anything these past days.  In this post, I want to talk about something that is really important. Christmas is a great time to be with the family, and have a good time. The problem is that many people forget that pets are also part of the family. Why am I saying this? Many pets find fireworks very scary. So, before Christmas and New Year's Eve roll around, let’s talk about what we can do to help our furry friends.

Let me tell you that I hate fireworks. I know many people find fireworks entertaining. But when I think about how much pets, and many people, suffer because of them, I simply don’t understand why they are used.

First of all, you always have to talk with your vet, in order to see which options are suitable for your pet.

The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) says that in order to calm your dogs during fireworks you should:
  • Walk them during daylight hours to avoid times when fireworks are likely to be set off
  • Close windows and curtains to muffle the sound of fireworks
  • Put on some music or tv to mask the firework sounds
  • Create a quiet space where your dog can feel in control
  • Create some hiding places around your home
Blue Cross also says:
  • Stay calm, act normally and give lots of praise for calm behaviour. It’s OK to cuddle and stroke your pet if it helps them relax, but if they prefer to hide under your bed, then let them do this instead.
  • Avoid leaving your pet alone during such potentially upsetting events. If you do have to leave the house, don’t get angry with your pet if you find they have been destructive or toileted after being left on its own. Shouting at a frightened pet will only make them more stressed.
  • Don’t tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off, ie outside a shop while you pop inside, or leave them in the garden or in your car.
  • Never take your dog to a fireworks display. Even if they doesn’t bark or whimper at the noise, it doesn’t mean they are happy. Excessive panting and yawning can indicate that your dog is stressed.
Cats
  • Provide hiding places in your home
  • Cats can become more stressed if they’re outside during fireworks
  • Microchip your cats in case they’re startled and escape outside
Small animals
  • Partly cover outside cages and pens with blankets so an area is soundproofed and hidden, but allow another area for the animals to look out
  • Provide bedding small animals can burrow in
  • Consider bringing them indoors – this will need to be done gradually so plan ahead.
According to Purina, these are the things you should know about your pets:

Your  dog has keen senses that make fireworks a more intense experience. Your dog’s acute hearing makes him more sensitive to the sounds of fireworks than you are. “Fireworks also produce an odor that dogs may be sensitive to,” McGowan said.

During fireworks, your dog experiences the same kind of startled response you do when you’re surprised by a loud noise. This may mean an increase in heart rate, a rush of adrenaline, and an increase in stress hormones circulating through the body.

For your dog, fireworks aren’t the same experience as a thunderstorm. Thunderstorms come with a lot of warning signs, like changes in barometric pressure and high winds, so dogs anticipate them. Since fireworks are sudden and occur less frequently than thunderstorms, dogs might be more intimidated by them.

So, in this holiday season try to take care of your pets, and have a merry Christmas and a happy new year. 


Link

lunes, 20 de noviembre de 2017

Science Fair Projects

Hello, mates! How is your long weekend going? This post is going to be very short. This week my secondary students presented their science fair projects, and it was amazing. I want to share with you some of their work.
I took some pictures, so I hope you enjoy it. 


Department of Italian 

Brazilian dishes


Geography projects






Art  projects







History 





The true story of the three little pigs

It was really nice how all the students explained their projects to their teachers and parents. You can really notice how much they enjoyed it. 

Have a nice week :) 

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Hope

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