Locura en Notting Hill… ¡es el Carnaval!

Dos participantes de la edición del Notting Hill Carnival de 2015 / The Guardian

En verano el color y la música se apoderan de Notting Hill

Aunque el Carnaval sea una fiesta más propia de países de tradición católica, los habitantes del barrio londinense de Notting Hill también lo celebran ¡y a lo grande!

El carnaval de Notting Hill se lleva celebrando a finales del mes de agosto desde hace más de cincuenta años. Esta tradición fue importada por inmigrantes de origen caribeño, especialmente de Trinidad y Tobago, y hoy en día es la fiesta callejera más grande de Europa.

¿Queréis saber más? Entonces leed este breve artículo del periódico The Guardian que, además, recoge imágenes increíbles de la edición de 2015.

Notting Hill carnival 2015: a visual tour

Guardian photojournalist David Levene donned his rain mac and got down and dirty on the streets of west London to bring us a late summer tour of Europe’s biggest street party.

London’s Notting Hill carnival has taken place on Sunday and Monday of the August bank holiday since 1965. It was originally led by members of the local West Indian community, especially those from Trinidad and Tobago. With its distinctive Caribbean feel, by the mid 1970s the carnival was attracting upwards of 150,000 people. In recent years it has pulled in 50,000 performers, 38 sound systems and 2.5 million people over the weekend, making it the second largest street carnival in the world after Rio de Janeiro


The traditional Trinidad carnival elements of mas, calypso/soca and steelpan are blended with Jamaican-style static sound systems, and hundreds of food and craft stalls



J’ouvert – the word comes from the french jour ouvert, meaning daybreak – originated in Trinidad and signals the start of the carnival. The early morning parade on Sunday is a messy affair …

… during which paint, mud and oil is smeared over the bodies of participants, known as jab jabs – French patois for diable (devil). Experienced revellers came well prepared in boiler suits

My cameras and lenses took a lot of abuse amid flying paint and powder – they will definitely need to go for a professional deep clean!

David Levene, photographer


A day out with the kids

Sunday is a family day involving a children’s parade. Although generally quieter than Monday, the atmosphere gradually builds throughout the day

Some last-minute adjustments to outfits are made as this troupe gets ready for the parade

Waiting for the parade, foghorns at the ready…



Dee J D Francis belts out soca aboard one of the floats along the route. A combination of soul and calypso, soca originated from underground culture in Trinidad and Tobago in the late 1970s and has developed to incorporate other musical genres including funk, soul, and zouk


Street food

Jerk chicken, curried goat, and saltfish are the traditional carnival food stall fare, along with sweetcorn, plantain, and lashings of barbecue smoke

Not forgetting the rice and peas … and tins of Red Stripe available on the go

Sounds on the streets

Roots reggae sound system Solution now sits on the legendary corner spot at the junction of Ledbury and Talbot Roads, formerly occupied by Jah Observer. Elsewhere it’s good times in the rain and hands in the air



A good vantage point is the key to the day – is that a window spot on the terraces or just a comfortable chair?


Party people

Costume is a serious business at the carnival





Para saber más

Página web oficial del festival: http://www.thelondonnottinghillcarnival.com/

Información sobre la edición de este año: http://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/event/9023471-notting-hill-carnival



Sin Roosevelt no existirían los «Teddy bears»

¿Qué relación hay entre los «Teddy bears» y Theodore Roosevelt?

En inglés, los osos de peluche se conocen como «Teddy bears». Este nombre se lo debemos a Theodore Roosevelt, presidente de los Estados Unidos desde 1901 hasta 1909. Pero, ¿por qué?

En noviembre de 1902, Theodore Roosevelt viajó a Mississipi para mediar en un conflicto entre los estados de Louisiana y Mississipi por una cuestión de fronteras. Durante el tiempo que estuvo allí fue invitado a participar en una expedición para cazar osos pero, tras cuatro días, Roosevelt no había sido capaz de cazar ni uno solo. Entonces, algunos de sus ayudantes decidieron atar un enorme oso negro a un sauce y le sugirieron que le disparara. Roosevelt, alegando que eso era una práctica poco deportiva (¡recordad que la caza se considera un deporte!), se negó a dispararle. Según se dice, estas fueron sus palabras:

«I’ve hunted game all over America and I’m proud to be a hunter. But I couldn’t be proud of myself if I shot an old, tired, worn-out bear that was tied to a tree.»

Este incidente, que podría haberse quedado en una simple anécdota, se hizo popular gracias a la viñeta del dibujante Clifford K. Berryman publicada en el periódico Washington Post el 16 de noviembre de 1902, un día después de que este mismo periódico se hiciera eco de la notícia.

‘Drawing The Line In Mississippi’, de Clifford K. Berryman, donde vemos a Theodore Roosevelt negándose a disparar a un adorable osito (The Washington Post, 16 de noviembre, 1902).

Poco después de la aparición de la viñeta en la prensa, un comerciante del distrito de Brooklyn (Nueva York) llamado Morris Michtom tuvo una idea que lo catapultaría al éxito. Michtom se dedicaba principalmente a la venta de dulces pero él y su mujer Rose también fabricaban animales de peluche. Tras ver la viñeta, Michtom se inspiró para crear un oso de peluche al que llamaría «Teddy’s Bear» («el oso de Teddy») en honor al presidente Roosevelt, ya que «Teddy» es uno de los diminutivos de Theodore. Después de conseguir el permiso del presidente para usar ese nombre, Michtom empezó a fabricar «Teddy bears» en masa y muy pronto se convirtieron en un éxito de ventas. Al cabo de poco tiempo, con los beneficios obtenidos gracias a los «Teddy bears», Morris y Rose Michtom fundaron la Ideal Novelty and Toy Company, la primera empresa que fabricó y distribuyó osos de peluche en Estados Unidos.

Uno de los «Teddy bears» de Michtom, de alrededor de 1903, conservado en el Museo Nacional de Historia Americana del Smithsonian / National Museum of American History.

La popularidad de los osos de peluche fue creciendo con el tiempo y se convirtieron en uno de los juguetes favoritos de millones de niños, algo que no ha cambiado hasta el día de hoy.

Theodore Roosevelt abrazando un cachorro de oso negro / Clifford K. Berryman




Travel sustainably and save the planet!

Cuando viajamos, no sólo hay muchos destinos a donde ir, sino que también hay muchas maneras de llegar hasta ellos. Algunas tienen un gran impacto sobre el medio ambiente sin que nosotros lo sepamos y viajar en avión es una de ellas.

Hoy queremos compartir un breve artículo (en inglés, ¡por supuesto!) de la fundación David Suzuki. La DSF es una organización ecologista canadiense dedicada a la protección del medio ambiente. ¿Su objetivo?

‘Work towards balancing human needs with the Earth’s ability to sustain all life’

En este artículo, la DSF nos da algunos consejos para viajar en avión de manera sostenible. Happy Reading!

Travel sustainably

Although aviation is a relatively small industry, it has a disproportionately large impact on the climate system. It presently accounts for four to nine per cent of the total climate change impact of human activity.

Compared to other modes of transport, such as driving or taking the train, travelling by air has a greater climate impact per passenger kilometre, even over longer distances. It’s also the mode of freight transport that produces the most emissions.

What can I do?

Because the climate impacts of air transportation are at present not adequately regulated under national or international laws, the onus is on individuals and businesses to limit their flying unless absolutely necessary. This needn’t be as drastic as it sounds:

  • Consider taking a vacation closer to home — or even being a tourist in your own town. You’ll save money and avoid the stress of airport security, travelling to and from the airport, and sitting in those tiny seats. Most of us live in places that tourists from elsewhere visit, so take a holiday in your hometown or region and find out what it has to offer.
  • Use other modes of transport where possible. Trains and buses, for example, are much more energy efficient than airplanes, and for regional trips can even be faster when airports are factored in. Even cars can be more efficient than planes — especially with more than one passenger.
  • Use video-conferences for meetings. The David Suzuki Foundation is doing it, and so are companies like Swiss Re andIKEA who use video-conferencing to reduce business air travel. Companies benefit from decreased costs at the same time that they’re helping the planet. Employees avoid the stress of travelling and time away from home and family.
  • Use webcams to keep in touch with family and friends who live far away.
  • Contact your political representatives, tell them you’re concerned about the contribution of aviation to global climate change, and ask them to take action to regulate and limit greenhouse gas emissions from this sector.

If you do have to fly:

  • Try to minimize the number of flights you take by combining trips. For example, book more than one meeting in your destination city, so you don’t need to fly there several times.
  • Fly the most direct route possible, since take-offs and landings use the most fuel.
  • Fly during the daytime, because studies have shown that flights taken at night have a greater impact on the climate.
  • Fly economy, because more people per plane means fewer emissions per person.
  • Pack light, because lighter planes mean less fuel is burned.
  • Purchase carbon offsets to account for the emissions from your flight. See our carbon neutral webpage for more information. If the airline or travel agent you are using doesn’t currently offer its customers the option of offsetting their flights, ask them to consider it.

What is the David Suzuki Foundation doing?

In 2010, the David Suzuki Foundation installed videoconferencing equipment in all of its offices. We also rely on teleconferencing for many of our meetings, and look for ways to minimize travel to conferences, training sessions and other functions where possible. For flights that cannot be avoided, we purchase high quality carbon offsets.


Fuente: http://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/reduce-your-carbon-footprint/travel-sustainably/

Fun with puns – Los juegos de palabras en inglés

The Universal Language of Puns

by Joseph A. Salazar – Teacher at AIT Language School


«Paper calendars—I think their days are numbered!»

Tim Vine (English Writer, Actor and Comedian)

Several years ago, The Los Angeles Times published a front-page article about a traffic accident involving a lorry that was transporting oranges and apples. The headline read: “Fruit Truck Crashes, Creating Terrible Jam.”

Today, it is not uncommon in English to come across humorous word play in the press, as well as in everyday conversation, emails, social media and TV. One of the most popular forms of word play are puns. Puns are words or phrases that create humour because they have more than one meaning. There are two basic kinds of puns: homographic and homophonic.

Homographic puns make use of the varied meanings of words that have the same spelling. The word “jam” in the headline above is a good example. Jam can mean a sweet preserve made from fruit and sugar. But it can also refer to traffic congestion.

Homophonic puns, on the other hand, exploit words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings. For example: jeans and genes, fair and fare, write and right.

Puns are generally considered to be a fairly basic form of humour, though they can also be very sophisticated and witty. Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets abound in puns, many of which are among the most quoted phrases in the English language. Why not read the following sentences and see if you can detect the pun!


  • I took my dog for a walk the other day and it got very angry with me. But that’s not surprising—it’s a cross breed (Tommy Cooper).
  • Marriage is a wonderful institution. But who wants to live in an institution? (Groucho Marx)
  • A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money (W.C. Fields).
  • This wallpaper will be the death of me. One of us will have to go (Oscar Wilde).
  • Religion is a non-prophet organization (Robert Carlin).

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