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April 2010
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Archive for April, 2010

The General Election debate

Thursday, April 29th, 2010
YouTube Preview Image

Gordon Brown an interview before the General Election in Britain

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

An interview in The Guardian

PREPA BAC

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

http://www.anglarene.com/index.php?lng=fr

Un bon site pour réviser.

et  aussi : la rubrique BAC du site !

bookworm.jpg proud bookworm - too funny image by thefireisinside337

 

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

This is the title of  a short story by Allan Sillitoe

IT chronicled the hopeless prospects, drunkenness, casual fights and lives of young working class men of that era. In so doing, they captured the desire of readers to experience the dramatic possibilities of a world that had remained unseen.

In his earliest work, before his powerful sense of social injustice began to dominate his fiction, Sillitoe created plausible, complex youths who rebelled against the establishment, epitomised by parent, policeman and boss. Inevitably his work chimed at a time when youth culture and adolescent anger were beginning to dominate the media through the work not only of  Brando, James Dean, JD Salinger and the still-embryonic pop music.

Among his further novels, collections of poetry, screenplays, essays, plays and children’s books, Sillitoe developed his themes and understanding of humanity and began to internalise injustice, to reflect oppression on the workings of the human psyche. If his life’s work forever explored the privations of his upbringing, in his maturity his singular characters were touched by the universal.

Alan Sillitoe was born in Nottingham on March 4 1928. His father was an unskilled labourer, often unemployed, and the family were perpetually moving to avoid the ministrations of rent collectors. He was educated at local elementary schools from where, despite an early enthusiasm for English Literature, he failed to pass the entrance exam for the local grammar school and he left at 14.

He walked out of his first job, at the Raleigh Bicycle works, after three months over a wage dispute. The following year he enlisted in the RAF.

Although he was initially accepted as a pilot, the cessation of hostilities with Japan had rendered further pilots unnecessary, and Sillitoe served his time as a telegraphist and radio operator in Malaya. In 1948 he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and spent 16 months in an Air Force hospital, where he began educating himself by reading Greek and Latin classics in translation.

In 1952 Sillitoe and the American poet, Ruth Fainlight, moved to Europe and lived for six years in France, Spain and Majorca, surviving on his limited RAF disability pension. He wrote steadily — short stories for magazines and unpublished novels — even writing on book covers when money was too tight for paper.

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was an instant critical and commercial success. Its portrayal of Arthur Seaton, a rebellious factory worker and amoral adulterous lover, was praised for its unsentimental evocation of working-class existence. The novel established many of the themes that were to occupy Sillitoe throughout his life; social injustice, the “bunker” mentality of the working-class, the mindlessness of their only realistic employment and the consequent banality and ephemerality of their lives.

Having moved to London, Sillitoe published, to great acclaim, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and Other Stories which won the Hawthornden Prize. The collection included some of his finest work, but it was the title story, in which a Borstal boy deliberately loses a race he is capable of winning in order to spite the governor and thus retain his self-esteem, which won particular praise.

After The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner was successfully filmed with Sir Michael Redgrave and Tom Courtenay in 1961, Sillitoe moved his family to Morocco.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s Sillitoe continued to expand his range as a novelist. Although he mined working-class Nottingham for Out of the Whirlwind (1987), he wrote a traditional adventure story in The Lost Flying Boat (1983), in addition to further volumes of poetry and stories for children. In 1994 he published his autobiography, Life without Armour, which enabled his readers to attempt to establish where the young Alan Sillitoe ended and the young Arthur Seaton began.

If Alan Sillitoe never regained the fame and focus of his early years, he nevertheless produced a substantial and variegated body of work that was, when taken as a whole, probably as underrated as his initial success, though undoubtedly merited, was excessive.

Sillitoe was a mild-mannered man who remained committed to political causes and social justice throughout his life. A workaholic, he relaxed by travelling, taking bicycle rides in the Kent countryside and tuning into foreign stations on his radio transmitter.

He married Ruth Fainlight in 1959. They had a son and a daughter.

 

Happy Easter !

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Enjoy your Easter break ! Eat loads of chocolate ! Relax and chill out !

Good luck to the Terminale and BTS students  for  mock exams’ revisions ! Use the “Methodologie” part of the blog.

 

Obama’s census choice: simply African-American

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

WASHINGTON – He may be the world’s foremost mixed-race leader, but when it came to the official government head count, President Barack Obama gave only one answer to the question about his ethnic background: African-American.

The White House confirmed on Friday that Obama did not check multiple boxes on his U.S. Census form, or choose the option that allows him to elaborate on his racial heritage. He ticked the box that says “Black, African Am., or Negro.”

Obama filled out the form on Monday, supplying information for himself, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha, as well as for Mrs. Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, who lives with the family in the White House.

For Obama, whose mother Ann Dunham, a white woman from Kansas, married his father, the Kenyan native Barack Obama Sr., the question of his racial identity has been a lifelong struggle. His first memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” is an account of a difficult journey of discovery.

Obama the community activist and then politician always self-identified as African-American, and he now wears the mantle of America’s first black president with pride. On a visit to Ghana last year, he took his wife and daughters to see Gold Coast Castle, the one-time slave trading depot from which thousands of Africans were sent in shackles to a life of toil in the New World. Mrs. Obama is descended from a South Carolina slave.

The president’s multiracial heritage has been a subject for oceans of commentary in America and around the world. But it’s also been a cause for teasing, and even satire.

“The first black president!” exclaimed comedian Wanda Sykes at a dinner last year of the White House Correspondents’ Association. “I’m proud to be able to say that. That’s unless you screw up. And then it’s going to be, ‘What’s up with the half-white guy?'”

 

The White House confirmed on Friday that Obama did not check multiple boxes on his U.S. Census form, or choose the option that allows him to elaborate on his racial heritage. He ticked the box that says “Black, African Am., or Negro.”

Obama filled out the form on Monday, supplying information for himself, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha, as well as for Mrs. Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, who lives with the family in the White House.

For Obama, whose mother Ann Dunham, a white woman from Kansas, married his father, the Kenyan native Barack Obama Sr., the question of his racial identity has been a lifelong struggle. His first memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” is an account of a difficult journey of discovery.

Obama the community activist and then politician always self-identified as African-American, and he now wears the mantle of America’s first black president with pride. On a visit to Ghana last year, he took his wife and daughters to see Gold Coast Castle, the one-time slave trading depot from which thousands of Africans were sent in shackles to a life of toil in the New World. Mrs. Obama is descended from a South Carolina slave.

The president’s multiracial heritage has been a subject for oceans of commentary in America and around the world. But it’s also been a cause for teasing, and even satire.

“The first black president!” exclaimed comedian Wanda Sykes at a dinner last year of the White House Correspondents’ Association. “I’m proud to be able to say that. That’s unless you screw up. And then it’s going to be, ‘What’s up with the half-white guy?'”

 http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100402/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_obama_census

Drill, Barack, drill: Obama to open up US East Coast for oil exploration

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Barack Obama earned the instant anger of environmentalists and many of his core liberal supporters yesterday by declaring his intention to open vast areas of off-shore waters for future drilling for oil and gas, reversing decades-old policies of leaving the waves to fish, gulls and holidaymakers.

 

 The highly controversial plan, unveiled at Andrews Air Force Base, could, over time, give multinational energy companies access to the seabed along much of the eastern seaboard from Delaware all the way south to Florida, in eastern areas of the Gulf of Mexico and off the North Slope of Alaska.

 

While the President often derided Republicans during the 2008 campaign, including Sarah Palin, for holding out offshore drilling as an answer to escalating petrol prices with their rallying cry “Drill, baby, drill”, he has been dropping hints for months of his intention to shift position.

 

While the President often derided Republicans during the 2008 campaign, including Sarah Palin, for holding out offshore drilling as an answer to escalating petrol prices with their rallying cry “Drill, baby, drill”, he has been dropping hints for months of his intention to shift position.

The White House is hoping it may help garner Republican support in the push to get a climate change bill through the US Senate. His aides pitched the change as just one part of a wider effort to reduce US dependence on foreign oil. “This is about giving energy security the American people,” press secretary Robert Gibbs said, pointing out that the US is currently about 60 per cent dependent on foreign oil. Mr Obama, he was swift to add, is equally supporting solar and wind options and the construction of new nuclear electricity plants.

 

The impact would be seen first in a swathe of ocean territory off the coast of Virginia where leases will be put up for sale to energy companies within two years. No new drilling has been permitted in US Atlantic waters for two decades. Meanwhile, government geologists will begin assessing the viability of exploration in other areas along the eastern seaboard.

 

“This is not a decision that I’ve made lightly,” Mr Obama said, standing in front of a jet fighter that will fly with biofuel. “But the bottom line is this: given our energy needs, in order to sustain economic growth, produce jobs, and keep our businesses competitive, we’re going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel even as we ramp up production of new sources of renewable, home-grown energy.”

 

“There will be those who strongly disagree with this decision, including those who say we should not open any new areas to drilling,” he added. “But what I want to emphasise is that this announcement is part of a broader strategy that will move us from an economy that runs on fossil fuels and foreign oil to one that relies more on home-grown fuels and clean energy.”

 

The retort from environmentalists was swift. “Is this President Obama’s clean energy plan or Palin’s ‘Drill, baby, drill’ campaign?” asked Greenpeace executive director Phil Radford. “While China and Germany are winning the clean energy race, this act furthers America’s addiction to oil. Expanding offshore drilling in areas that have been protected for decades threatens our oceans and the coastal communities that depend on them with devastating oil spills, more pollution and climate change.”

 

Other groups reacted in a similar way. “Offshore drilling, especially as close as four miles from Florida’s Atlantic beaches, tastes bad no matter which president from whatever party is serving it,” said Mark Ferrulo of Environment Florida. “The President’s support doesn’t change the facts: expanded drilling won’t lower gas prices and it represents a dirty and dangerous activity that risks catastrophic damage to our beloved beaches.”

 

“This is stunning. Baffling,” said the environmental website Grist. “Obama appears to be taking a major step toward siding with carbon-polluting industries in the battle to defend the energy status quo.”

 

It is not an all-out cave-in to the fossil fuel industry, though, nor to conservatives. The ban will remain for the Pacific coast from California to Washington, where political opposition has been strongest, and a planned sale of leases in the environmentally sensitive Bristol Bay area of Alaska will be cancelled.

 

Moreover, while areas available for exploration in the Gulf of Mexico will be greatly expanded – contingent on approval by the US Congress – officials said that a buffer will be imposed off the Florida and Alabama shorelines to ensure that rigs will not be visible from land.

 

Emphasising the need for a broader retooling of energy policy, Mr Obama also announced the introduction of thousands of hybrid cars to the federal fleet while revealing that new rules on fuel economy standards for cars will be finalised today. “This rule will not only save drivers money; it will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil,” Mr Obama said. “That’s like taking 58 million cars off the road for an entire year.”

 

But the political backdrop is the pending attempt to get the climate change bill through a very reluctant US Senate. Already passed by the House of Representatives, the final version may or may not include a cap-and-trade system designed to enable the meeting of American emission ceilings. The passage of some kind of climate law will be crucial to Mr Obama’s credibility on the issue on the world stage.

 

With yesterday’s announcements on offshore drilling, Mr Obama may have availed himself of a crucial bargaining chip, particularly with Republicans in the Senate, whose support for the climate change bill will be crucial if it is ever to pass. However, 10 Democratic senators representing coastal states recently signed a joint letter expressing fervent opposition to an expansion of offshore exploration.

taken from : The Independent

test MP3

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

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