Brazil Fifa World Cup = Deep Corruption

 

 Two referees at World Cup suspected of match-fixing…but FIFA        only found out about past allegations after tournament started

  • Suspicions relate to past games involving officials that had unusual in-game incidents and high betting
  • Information came to light after officials had taken charge of games in Brazil
  • World Cup already rocked by allegations of corruption in Cameroon’s 4-0 win over Croatia
  • FIFA insist integrity of World Cup has not been damaged

Questions: Two World Cup officials are under suspicion but there are no suggestions Ravshan Irmatov is one of them

But it is understood that by the time the latest information filtered up to FIFA’s security hierarchy in Brazil, the two referees in question had already officiated matches.

The suspicions surrounding the officials are linked to historic games involving the ‘double whammy’ identifiers of unusual in-game incidents matched with highly unusual betting.

Poor: Germany coach Joachim Low believes the level of officiating at the World Cup has been sub-standard

FIFA responded to Mail on Sunday questions about the allegedly corrupt officials by saying: ‘It is important to note that we have no indications that the integrity of the FIFA World Cup has been compromised.’

There was no denial the information had been received or that it was considered serious.

‘Generally speaking, we are not in a position to comment or provide information on any match-manipulation investigations that are ongoing so as not to compromise investigations, nor do we provide any comments as to whether or not any investigations are underway,’ said a spokesman.

Focused: Germany striker Thomas Muller is ready to strike a ball during training

The tournament has already been rocked by allegations of fixing after German magazine Der Spiegel reported that convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal had told them before Cameroon’s group match with Croatia that Croatia would win 4-0 and Cameroon would have a man sent off. Perumal denies telling Der Spiegel this, saying he spoke to them after the match.

FIFA have publicly requested that Der Spiegel supply evidence of their claims, with FIFA director of security, Ralf Mutschke, saying the allegations ‘put the integrity of FIFA World Cup matches in question, which is a serious allegation’

One source suggested to the Mail on Sunday that Der Spiegel may have been hoaxed by somebody on Facebook pretending to be Perumal. Der Spiegel has yet to hand any evidence to FIFA.

Seeing red: Alex Song was sent off in Cameroon's 4-0 defeat to Croatia, leading to suspicions about the game

On the subject of the allegedly corrupt referees who have been working at Brazil 2014, a FIFA spokesman told the Mail on Sunday that any action taken against a corrupt party would become public only after such action had been sanctioned by various FIFA committees.

‘It would be only after a decision has been taken by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee or FIFA Ethics Committee and first notified to the parties concerned that FIFA would be in a position to communicate the contents of that decision publicly,’ said a spokesman.

Applaud: Muller (second left) claps his team-mates during their training session ahead of Brazil clash

‘FIFA continue to work closely with law enforcement agencies as well as the respective public authorities and other sports organisations on a national, regional and global level to tackle the issue of match manipulation.

‘And we encourage that anyone with information about any suspicious matches should contact relevant authorities such as through FIFA’s integrity hotline or email address and confidential reporting system.’

 
La mano de dios Maradona

Lynyrd Skynyrd The American Way

Lynyrd Skynyrd (pronounced /ˌlɛnərd ˈskɪnərd/) is an American rockband best known for popularizing the southern hard-rock genre during the 1970s. Originally formed in 1966 as the The Pretty Ones inJacksonville, Florida, they then went through two name changes: The Noble Five and One Percent, before coming up with Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1969. The band rose to worldwide recognition on the basis of its driving live performances and signature tunes “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird“. At the peak of their success, three members died in anairplane crash in 1977, putting an abrupt end to the band’s most popular incarnation.

The surviving band members re-formed in 1988 for a reunion tour with lead vocalist Johnny Van Zant, the younger brother of lead singer and founder Ronnie Van Zant. The re-formed band continues to tour and record with co-founding member Gary Rossington and core members Johnny Van Zant, along with guitarist Rickey Medlocke, who recorded with the band for a short time in the early 1970s. Drummer Michael Cartellone has recorded and toured with the band since 1999. Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2006.[1]

Early years[edit]

In the summer of 1966, teenage friends Ronnie Van ZantAllen Collins, and Gary Rossington formed the earliest incarnation of the band inJacksonville, Florida as My Backyard. The band then changed its name to The Noble Five.[2] when Larry Junstrom and Bob Burnsjoined.[citation needed] The band used different names before using One Percent during 1968.[2]

In 1969, Van Zant sought a new name. The group settled on Leonard Skinnerd, a mocking tribute to a physical-education teacher at Robert E. Lee High SchoolLeonard Skinner,[3] who was notorious for strictly enforcing the school’s policy against boys having long hair.[4][5] Rossington dropped out of school, tired of being hassled about his hair.[6] The more distinctive spelling was being used at least as early as 1970. Despite their high school acrimony, the band developed a friendlier relationship with Skinner in later years, and invited him to introduce them at a concert in the Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum.[7] Skinner also allowed the band to use a photo of his Leonard Skinner Realty sign for the inside of their third album.[8]

In 1970, Pat Armstrong, a Jacksonville native and partner in Macon-based Hustlers Inc. with Phil Walden‘s younger brother,Alan Walden, became the band’s managers. Armstrong left Hustlers shortly thereafter to start his own agency. Walden stayed with the band until 1974, when management was turned over to Peter Rudge. The band continued to perform throughout the South in the early 1970s, further developing their hard-driving, blues-rock sound and image, and experimenting with making studio recordings.

During this time, the band experienced some lineup changes for the first time. Junstrom left and was briefly replaced byGreg T. Walker on bass. At the same time, Ricky Medlocke joined as a second drummer and vocalist. Medlocke grew up with the founding members of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Some versions of the band’s history also have Burns leaving the band for a short time during this period. The band played some shows with both Burns and Medlocke, using a dual-drummer approach similar to that of The Allman Brothers. In 1971, they made some recordings at the famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studio with Walker and Medlocke serving as the rhythm section, without the participation of Burns.

Medlocke and Walker left the band to play with another southern rock band, Blackfoot, and when the band made a second round of Muscle Shoals recordings in 1972, Burns was featured on drums and Leon Wilkeson was Larry Junstrom’s replacement on bass. Also in 1972, roadie Billy Powell became the keyboardist for the band. Medlocke later returned to play drums for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Medlocke and Walker did not appear on any album until 1978, when First and… Last, which collected the band’s recordings in the biennium 1971-1972, was posthumously released. This album was considered essential by most fans.[citation needed]

Peak years (1973–1977)[edit]

In 1972 the band (now Van Zant, Collins, Rossington, Burns, Wilkeson, and Powell) was discovered by musician, songwriter, and producer Al Kooper of Blood, Sweat & Tears, who had attended one of their shows at Funocchio’s in Atlanta. They changed the spelling of their name to Lynyrd Skynyrd[9] and Kooper signed them to his Sounds of the South label that was to be distributed and supported by MCA Records, producing their first album. Leon Wilkeson temporarily left the band during the early recording sessions for the album, only playing on two tracks. Wilkeson rejoined the band shortly after the album’s release at Van Zant’s invitation[citation needed] and is pictured on the album cover. Strawberry Alarm Clock guitarist Ed Kingjoined the band and played bass on the album (the only part, which Wilkeson had not already written being the solo section in “Simple Man“), along with some guitar work. King stayed in the band and switched solely to guitar after the album’s release, allowing the band to replicate the three-guitar mix used in the studio for their live performances. Released August 13, 1973,[10] the self-titled album with the subtitle “Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd” featured the hit song “Free Bird“, which received national airplay, eventually reaching No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

Ronnie Van Zant

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s fan base continued to grow rapidly throughout 1973, largely due to their opening slot on The Who‘s Quadrophenia tour in the United States. On their 1974 follow-up, Second Helping, the band successfully avoided any sophomore slump, with King, Collins and Rossington all collaborating with Van Zant on the songwriting. The album was the band’s breakthrough hit, and featured their most popular single, “Sweet Home Alabama” (#8 on the charts in August 1974), a response to Neil Young‘s “Southern Man“, and featuring some outstanding guitar work by King (Young and Van Zant were not rivals, but fans of each other’s music and good friends; Young even wrote the song “Powderfinger” for the band, but they never recorded it.[11] Van Zant, meanwhile, can be seen on the cover of Street Survivors and in concert wearing a Neil Young Tonight’s the Night t-shirt. The album reached No. 12 in 1974, eventually going multi-platinum. In July of that year, Lynyrd Skynyrd was one of the headline acts at The Ozark Music Festival at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia, Missouri.

In January 1975, Burns left the band and was replaced by Kentucky native Artimus Pyle on drums. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s third album, Nuthin’ Fancy, was released the same year. The album had lower sales than its predecessor. Kooper and the band parted by mutual agreement after the raucous recording of the LP. Kooper was left with the tapes to complete the mix before release. Midway through the tour, Ed King left the band, citing tour exhaustion. In January 1976, backup singers Leslie HawkinsCassie Gaines and JoJo Billingsley(collectively known as The Honkettes) were added to the band, although they were not considered official members. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s fourth album Gimme Back My Bullets was released in the new year, but did not achieve the same success as the previous two albums. Van Zant and Collins both felt that the band was seriously missing the three-guitar attack that had been one of its early hallmarks. Although Skynyrd auditioned several guitarists, including such high-profile names as Leslie West, the solution was closer than they realized.

Soon after joining Skynyrd, Cassie Gaines began touting the guitar and songwriting prowess of her younger brother, Steve. The junior Gaines, who led his own band, Crawdad (which occasionally would perform Skynyrd’s “Saturday Night Special” in their set), was invited to audition onstage with Skynyrd at a concert in Kansas City on May 11, 1976. Liking what they heard, the group also jammed informally with the Oklahoma native several times, then invited him into the group in June. With Gaines on board, the newly reconstituted band recorded the double-live album One More from the Road at the Fox Theatre (Atlanta, Georgia) in Atlanta, and performed at the Knebworth festival, which also featured The Rolling Stones.

Both Collins and Rossington had serious car accidents over Labor Day weekend in 1976, which slowed the recording of the follow-up album and forced the band to cancel some concert dates. Rossington’s accident inspired the ominous “That Smell” – a cautionary tale about drug abuse that was clearly aimed towards him and at least one other band member. Rossington has admitted repeatedly that he was the “Prince Charming” of the song who crashed his car into an oak tree while drunk and stoned on Quaaludes. Van Zant, at least, was making a serious attempt to clean up his act and curtail the cycle of boozed-up brawling that was part of Skynyrd’s reputation.

1977′s Street Survivors turned out to be a showcase for guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines, who had joined the band just a year earlier and was making his studio debut with them. Publicly and privately, Ronnie Van Zant marveled at the multiple talents of Skynyrd’s newest member, claiming that the band would “all be in his shadow one day”.[citation needed] Gaines’ contributions included his co-lead vocal with Van Zant on the co-written “You Got That Right” and the rousing guitar boogie “I Know a Little”, which he had written before he joined Skynyrd. So confident was Skynyrd’s leader of Gaines’ abilities that the album (and some concerts) featured Gaines delivering his self-penned bluesy “Ain’t No Good Life” – the only song in the pre-crash Skynyrd catalog to feature a lead vocalist other than Ronnie Van Zant. The album also included the hit singles “What’s Your Name” and “That Smell“. The band was poised for their biggest tour yet, with shows always highlighted by the iconic rock anthem “Free Bird”.[12] In November, the band was scheduled to fulfill Van Zant’s lifelong dream of headlining New York’s Madison Square Garden.

The song “Freebird” in the movie Freebird the Movie was actually filmed on July 2, 1977 at the Oakland Coliseum and not on July 4 as stated by Bill Graham and in the credits.[citation needed]

Plane crash (1977)[edit]

Following a performance at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium in Greenville, South Carolina, on October 20, 1977 the band boarded a chartered Convair CV-300 to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where they were scheduled to appear at LSU the following night. Due to a faulty engine, the airplane ran low on fuel and the pilots were diverted to the McComb-Pike County Airport. But the fuel was exhausted and they attempted an emergency landing before crashing in a heavily forested area five miles northeast of Gillsburg, Mississippi.[13][14] Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray were killed on impact; the other band members (Collins, Rossington, Wilkeson, Powell, Pyle, and Hawkins), tour manager Ron Eckerman,[15] and road crew suffered serious injuries.

The accident came just three days after the release of Street Survivors. Following the crash and the ensuing press, Street Survivors became the band’s second platinum album and reached No. 5 on the U.S. album chart. The single “What’s Your Name” reached No. 13 on the single airplay charts in January 1978. The original cover sleeve for Street Survivors had featured a photograph of the band, particularly Steve Gaines, engulfed in flames. Out of respect for the deceased (and at the request of Teresa Gaines, Steve’s widow), MCA Records withdrew the original cover and replaced it with a similar image of the band against a simple black background.[16] Thirty years later, for the deluxe CD version of Street Survivors, the original “flames” cover was restored.

Lynyrd Skynyrd disbanded after the tragedy, reuniting just once to perform an instrumental version of “Free Bird” at Charlie Daniels’ Volunteer Jam V in January 1979. Collins, Rossington, Powell and Pyle performed the song with Charlie Daniels and members of his band. Leon Wilkeson, who was still undergoing physical therapy for his badly broken left arm, was in attendance, along with Judy Van Zant, Teresa Gaines, JoJo Billingsley and Leslie Hawkins.

Hiatus (1977–1987)[edit]

Rossington, Collins, Wilkeson and Powell formed The Rossington-Collins Band, which released two albums between 1980 and 1983. Deliberately avoiding comparisons with Ronnie Van Zant as well as suggestions that this band was Lynyrd Skynyrd reborn, Rossington and Collins chose a woman, Dale Krantz, as lead vocalist. However, as an acknowledgment of their past, the band’s concert encore would always be an instrumental version of “Free Bird”. Rossington and Collins eventually had a falling out over the affections of Dale Krantz, whom Rossington married and with whom he formed the Rossington Band, which released two albums in the late 1980s and opened for the Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Tour in 1987–1988.

The other former members of Lynyrd Skynyrd continued to make music during the hiatus era. Billy Powell played keyboards in a Christian Rock band named Vision, touring with established Christian rocker Mylon LeFevre. During Vision concerts, Powell’s trademark keyboard talent was often spotlighted and he spoke about his conversion to Christianity after the near-fatal plane crash. Pyle formed The Artimus Pyle Band in 1982, which occasionally featured former Honkettes JoJo Billingsleyand Leslie Hawkins.

In 1980, Allen Collins’ wife Kathy died of a massive hemorrhage while miscarrying their third child. He formed the Allen Collins Band in 1983 from the remnants of the Rossington-Collins Band and released one tepidly-received album, but many around him believed that the guitarist’s heart just was not in it anymore. Most point to his wife’s death as the moment that Collins’ life began to spin out of control; he spent several years binging on drugs and alcohol. In 1986, Collins crashed his car while driving drunk near his home in Jacksonville, killing his girlfriend and leaving himself permanently paralyzed from the chest down. Collins eventually pled no contest to DUI manslaughter, but was not given a prison sentence since his injuries made it obvious that he would never drive or be a danger to society again.[citation needed]

Return (1987–present)[edit]

In 1987, Lynyrd Skynyrd reunited for a full-scale tour with five major members of the pre-crash band: crash survivors Gary Rossington, Billy Powell, Leon Wilkeson and Artimus Pyle, along with guitarist Ed King, who had left the band two years before the crash. Ronnie Van Zant’s younger brother, Johnny, took over as the new lead singer and primary songwriter. Due to Collins’ paralysis from a 1986 car accident, he was only able to participate as the musical director, choosing Randall Hall, his former bandmate in the Allen Collins Band, as his stand-in. As part of his plea deal, Collins would be wheeled out onstage each night to explain to the audience why he could no longer perform (usually before the performance of “That Smell”, which had been partially directed at him). Collins was stricken with pneumonia in 1989 and died on January 23, 1990.

The reunited band was meant to be a one-time tribute to the original lineup, captured on the double-live album Southern by the Grace of God: Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Tour 1987. The fact that the band chose to continue after the 1987 tribute tour caused legal problems for the survivors, as Judy Van Zant Jenness and Teresa Gaines Rapp (widows of Ronnie and Steve, respectively) sued the others for violating an agreement made shortly after the plane crash, stating that they would not “exploit” the Skynyrd name for profit. As part of the settlement, Jenness and Rapp collect nearly 30% of the band’s touring revenues (representing the shares their husbands would have earned had they lived), and hold a proviso which forces any band touring as Lynyrd Skynyrd to include at least three from the pre-crash era.

The reconstituted Lynyrd Skynyrd has gone through a large number of lineup changes and continues to record and tour today. One by one, the members of the pre-crash band have left, been forced out, or have died. Artimus Pyle left the band in 1991 and his place has been taken by a variety of drummers since, with Michael Cartellone finally becoming his permanent replacement. Randall Hall was replaced by Mike Estes in 1993. Ed King had to take a break from touring in 1996. In his absence, he was replaced by Hughie Thomasson. The band did not let King rejoin after he recovered.[citation needed]At the same time, Mike Estes was replaced by Rickey Medlocke, who was briefly the second drummer and a vocalist (playing also mandolin) with the band in the early 1970s. Leon Wilkeson, Skynyrd’s bassist since 1972, was found dead in his hotel room on July 27, 2001; his death was found to be due to emphysema and chronic liver disease. He was replaced in 2001 byEan Evans.

The remaining members released a double collection album called Thyrty, which had songs from the original lineup to the present. Lynyrd Skynyrd also released a live DVD of their Vicious Cycle Tour and on June 22, 2004, Lynyrd Skynyrd released the album Lynyrd Skynyrd Lyve: The Vicious Cycle Tour. On December 10, 2004, Lynyrd Skynyrd did a show forCMTCrossroads, a concert featuring country duo Montgomery Gentry and other genres of music. In the beginning of 2005Hughie Thomasson left the band to reform his disbanded Southern Rock band Outlaws. Thomasson died in his sleep on September 9, 2007 of an apparent heart attack in his home in Brooksville, Florida. He was 55 years old.

On February 5, 2005, Lynyrd Skynyrd did a Super Bowl party in Jacksonville with special guests 3 Doors DownJo Dee MessinaCharlie Daniels and Ronnie and Johnny Van Zant’s brother Donnie Van Zant of 38 Special. On February 13 of that year Lynyrd Skynyrd did a tribute to Southern Rock on the Grammy Awards with Gretchen WilsonTim McGrawKeith Urbanand Dickey Betts. In the summer of 2005, lead singer Johnny Van Zant had to have surgery on his vocal cord to have a polyp removed. He was told not to sing for three months. On September 10, 2005, Lynyrd Skynyrd performed without Johnny Van Zant at the Music Relief Concert for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, with Kid Rock standing in for Johnny. In December 2005, Johnny Van Zant returned to sing for Lynyrd Skynyrd. The band performed live at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky, as a part of their 2007 tour. The concert was recorded in high definition for HDNet and premiered on December 1, 2007.

The band in 2008

Mark “Sparky” Matejka, formerly of the country music band Hot Apple Pie, joined Lynyrd Skynyrd in 2006 as Thomasson’s replacement. On November 2, 2007, the band performed at the University of Florida’sGator Growl, the world’s largest student-run pep rally, in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – also known as “The Swamp”. The event’s 50,000-person attendance marked the largest crowd that Lynyrd Skynyrd had ever played in front of in the United States, until the July 2008 Bama Jam in Enterprise, Alabama where more than 111,000 people were in attendance.[17]

On January 28, 2009, keyboardist Billy Powell died of a suspected heart attack at age 56 at his home near Jacksonville, Florida. No autopsy was ever carried out. Powell’s death left Gary Rossington as the sole pre-crash member still in the band, unless Rickey Medlocke’s brief stint with the band in the early 1970s is counted.

On March 17, 2009, it was announced that Skynyrd had signed a worldwide deal with Roadrunner Records, in association with their label, Loud & Proud Records, and released their new album God & Guns on September 29 of that year. They toured Europe and the United States in 2009 with Peter Keys of the 420 Funk Mob on keyboards and Robert Kearns of The Bottle Rockets on bass (in place of Ean Evans, who died of cancer at age 48 on May 6, 2009, at his home in Columbus, Mississippi).[18] Scottish rock band Gun performed as special guests for the UK leg of Skynyrd’s tour in 2010.[19]

In addition to the tour, Skynyrd appeared at the Sean Hannity Freedom Concert series in late 2010. Hannity had been actively promoting the God & Guns album, frequently playing portions of the track “That Ain’t My America” on his radio show. The tour is titled “Rebels and Bandoleros”. The band continued to tour throughout 2011, playing alongside ZZ Top and The Doobie Brothers.

On May 2, 2012, the band announced the impending release of a new studio album, Last of a Dyin’ Breed, along with a North American and European tour.[20] On August 21, 2012, Last of a Dyin’ Breed was released. In celebration of its release, the band did four autograph signings throughout the southeast.[21]

While promoting the album on CNN on September 9, 2012, members of the band talked about its discontinued use of Confederate imagery.[22] In September 2012, the band briefly did not display the Confederate Flag, which had for years been a part of their stage show, because they did not want to be associated with racists who had adopted the flag. After protests from fans they reversed this decision, noting it is part of their Southern American heritage and states rightssymbolism.[23]

Recognition[edit]

Honors[edit]

In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the group No. 95 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.[24][25]

On November 28, 2005, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced that Lynyrd Skynyrd would be inducted alongside Black SabbathBlondieMiles Davis, and the Sex Pistols. They were inducted in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan on March 13, 2006.

On March 13, 2006, Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 21st annual induction ceremony. The inductees included Ronnie Van ZantAllen CollinsGary RossingtonEd KingSteve GainesBilly Powell,Leon WilkesonBob Burns, and Artimus Pyle (no post-crash members of the band were inducted, nor were any of theHonkettes). The current version of Skynyrd, augmented by King, Pyle, Burns and former Honkettes JoJo Billingsley, and Leslie Hawkins, performed “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird” at the ceremony, which was also attended by Judy Van Zant Jenness and Ronnie’s two daughters, Teresa Gaines Rapp and her daughter Corinna, Allen Collins’ daughters, and Leon Wilkeson’s mother and son.

In October 2008, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s song “Free Bird“‘s solo was named the 3rd greatest guitar solo by Guitar World. In September 2010, Lynyrd Skynyrd was named No. 77 VH1‘s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Tributes[edit]

Members[edit]

Current members
Current touring members
  • Dale Krantz-Rossington – backing vocals (1987–present)
  • Carol Chase – backing vocals (1996–present)

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Date of release Title Billboard peak RIAA cert. Label
August 13, 1973 (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-’nérd ‘Skin-’nérd) 27 2× Platinum MCA
April 15, 1974 Second Helping 12 2× Platinum
March 24, 1975 Nuthin’ Fancy 9 Platinum
February 2, 1976 Gimme Back My Bullets 20 Gold
October 17, 1977 Street Survivors 5 2× Platinum
June 11, 1991 Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 64 Atlantic
February 16, 1993 The Last Rebel 64
August 9, 1994 Endangered Species Capricorn
April 29, 1997 Twenty 97 CMC
August 10, 1999 Edge of Forever 96
September 12, 2000 Christmas Time Again 38 Sanctuary
May 20, 2003 Vicious Cycle 30
September 29, 2009 God & Guns 18 Roadrunner
August 21, 2012 Last of a Dyin’ Breed 14

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^

    Lynyrd Skynyrd

Finca Calamay English Inmersion Programs

Hacienda Calamay whatsapp 3177365426

Finca Calamay is a Finca Hacienda Resort  With an Extension of ( 24 ac) (30,951 ft2 ) located in San Sebastian De Mariquita Tolima Colombia ( South America ) .

The Hacienda is sorrounded by all kinds of fruit trees like mangos mangas,pineapples,lemmons,bananas, mangostinos, papayas 2 rivers 1 lake and plenty of water to grow fish ( cachama and mojarra ) . And is visited from people  all over the world as well as local tourists.

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San Sebastian de Mariquita is a town and municipality in the Tolima department ofColombia, about 150 km (93 mi) northwest of Bogotá. This town and municipality contains several important Spanish settlements that were located here due to its vicinity to the Magdalena River. Today, Mariquita is frequented by tourists from the capital visiting attractions like the Medina Waterfalls (Las Cataratas de Medina) and themint (casa de la moneda). The Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada is buried here. Today it is home to large hotels and haciendas, among them La Villa de los Caballeros, Finca Calamay

The population of the municipality was 32,642 as of the 2005 census

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http://www.tolimaturismo.gov.co/

 

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http://www.tolimaturismo.gov.co/index.php?option=com_phocagallery&view=category&id=18:mariquita

 

The Mutis route is a fascinating journey based around the Magdalena valley. During this fieldtrip, we will learn about many different aspects of Colombian history, such as the creation of the railway, commercial activities along the Magdalena River and the lifestyle of the first inhabitants of our country in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Mutis Route allows students to find out about the traditional architecture of this period as well as learning about momentous events such as the Armero catastrophe.

Finally, we will find out about the type of botanical work carried out by José Celestino Mutis during the Royal Botanical Expedition in the New Kingdom of Granada. We will also get to know the places where Mutis collected many of his botanical samples and will learn how botanical scientists collect their plant materials as well as the importance of collecting samples as a tool for building scientific knowledge.

 

JOSE CELESTINO MUTIS

He was born in Cádiz and baptized with the name José Celestino Bruno Mutis y Bosio. He began his medical studies at the College of Surgery in Cádiz, where he also studied physics, chemistry and botany. He graduated in medicine from the University of Seville on May 2, 1755.

On July 5, 1757 he received his doctorate in medicine. From 1757 to 1760 he was interim professor of anatomy in Madrid. During those same years he continued to study botany at the Migas Calientes Botanical Gardens (now the Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid), and also astronomy and philosopher mathematics.

After three years he decided to leave for America, as the private physician of the new viceroy of New GranadaPedro Messía de la Cerda. He sailed on September 7, 1760, arriving at Santa Fe de Bogotá on February 24, 1761. During the long transatlantic passage he began writing his Diario de Observaciones, which he continued until 1791.

From his arrival in the Viceroyalty, Mutis concentrated on his botanical studies, beginning work on an herbal and investigating for cinchona, which was considered a panacea for the treatment of all kinds of diseases. He wrote El Arcano de la Quina.

Botanical expedition[edit]

Beginning in 1763, Mutis proposed to the king that he sponsor an expedition to study the flora and fauna of the region. He had to wait 20 years for the authorization, but in 1783 the king authorized his expedition (one of three royal botanical expeditions to the New World at about that time). In the interim, Mutis concentrated on commercial and mineralogical projects, not neglecting medicine. He also studied the social and economic conditions of the viceroyalty, and continued to expand his collection of flora and fauna. On December 19, 1772 he was ordained a priest. He was in regular correspondence with scientists in Spain and elsewhere in Europe, particularly Carolus Linnaeus.

Mutis led the Royal Botanical Expedition, established in 1783, for 25 years. It explored some 8,000 km2 in a range of climates, using the Río Magdalena for access to the interior. He developed a meticulous methodology that included the harvesting of the samples in the field together with detailed descriptions, including data on the surroundings of each species and its utility. Hundreds of plants were discovered and described. More than 8,000 plates, plus maps, correspondence, notes and manuscripts were sent to Spain. His museum consisted of 24,000 dried plants, 5,000 drawings of plants by his pupils, and a collection of woods, shells, resins, minerals, and skins. These treasures arrived safely at Madrid in 105 boxes, and the plants, manuscripts, and drawings were sent to the botanical gardens, where they were relegated to a tool-house.

The Royal Botanical Expedition headquarters moved in two different occasions. Initially it was based on the municipality of La Mesa de Juan Diaz (Department of Cundinamarca), then in November 1783 it was moved to Mariquita (Department of Tolima). Finally in 1791 it was moved to Santa Fe de Bogota.

Much of the work was wasted because the results remained unedited and unanalyzed. Also, the collation between the notes and the plates was lost during the transfer to Spain. His work on the species and varieties of Chinchona had lasting influence.

He determined the longitude of Bogotá by the observation of an eclipse of a satellite of Jupiter and was a major influence on the construction of the National Astronomical Observatory.

In March 1762, at the inauguration of the chair of mathematics at the Colegio del Rosario, he expounded the principles of the Copernican system and of the experimental method of science, leading to a confrontation with the church. In 1774 he had to defend the teaching of the principles of Copernicus, as well as natural philosophy and modern, Newtonian physics and mathematics, before the Inquisition.

In 1784, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Alexander von Humboldt visited Mutis in 1801, during his expedition to America. Humboldt stayed with Mutis for two months, and greatly admired his botanical collection.

Mutis died in Bogotá on September 2, 1808, at age 76, a victim of apoplexy. Because much of his botanical work was lost or unpublished, he is known to history not as a great scientist, but as a great promoter of science and knowledge.[1]

Works[edit]

  • Botany: He studied the flora of his surroundings, and produced a marvelous collection of plates of Colombian plants that are now located in the Royal Botanical Garden in Madrid.
  • Linguistics: He studied the indigenous languages of the area. By order of King Charles III, he developed a series of elementary vocabularies of various languages (about 100 words in each language). King Charles was responding to a request from Tsarina Catherine the Great to provide vocabularies of all the languages spoken in his realms, in order to develop a monumental dictionary of all the languages of the world. The dictionary was in fact published, but the compilers published it in alphabetical order, making it nearly impossible to consult.
  • Other sciences, including important contributions to industrial processes, like silver mining and the distillation of rum.

Legacy[edit]

 

Street named after Celestino Mutis, in CadizSpain

José Celestino Mutis banknote.jpg 

His likeness is well known to Spaniards, because his image was used on the old banknotes of 2,000 pesetas. This was the first in a series of banknotes commemorating Spain in America. On the reverse was a drawing of the Mutisia orchid, named in his honor.

José Celestino Mutis Botanical Gardens, a park and center of scientific investigation, is named in his honor in Bogotá. It includes climate-controlled exhibits of the flora in all climate zones of Colombia. There is also an exhibit of 5,000 Colombian orchids, one of Colombia’s most extensive.

The official name of the town of Bahia Solano on Colombia’s Pacific coast in the Department of Choco is Puerto Mutis, in honor of Jose Celestino Mutis. The airport there is Aeropuerto Jose Celestino Mutis, as well. This town is located north of the city of Buenaventura and north of the San Juan River, the largest river in South America to empty into the Pacific Ocean.

Other expeditions[edit]

The four expeditions authorized by King Charles III to the Spanish colonies were those of Hipólito Ruiz López and José Antonio Pavón to Peru and Chile (1777–88); Mutis to New Granada (1783–1808); Juan de Cuéllar to the Philippines (1786–97); and Martín Sessé y Lacasta to New Spain (1787–1803).

Nevado del Ruiz

The Nevado del Ruiz (Spanish pronunciation: [neβaðo ðel ˈrwis]), also known as La Mesa de Herveo[4] (English: Mesa of Herveo (the nearby town)), or Kumanday in the language of the local pre-Columbianindigenous people,[5] is a volcano located on the border of thedepartments of Caldas and Tolima in Colombia, about 129 kilometers (80 mi) west of the capital city Bogotá. It is a stratovolcano, composed of many layers of lava alternating with hardened volcanic ash and otherpyroclastic rocks. Nevado del Ruiz has been active for about two million years, since the early Pleistocene or late Pliocene epoch, with three major eruptive periods. The current volcanic cone formed during the present eruptive period, which began 150 thousand years ago.

The volcano usually generates Plinian eruptions, which produce swift-moving currents of hot gas and rock called pyroclastic flows. These eruptions often cause massive lahars (mud and debris flows), which pose a threat to human life and the environment. The impact of such an eruption is increased as the hot gas and lava melts the mountain’s snowcap, adding large quantities of water to the flow. On November 13, 1985, a small eruption produced an enormous lahar that buried and destroyed the town of Armero in Tolima, causing an estimated 25,000 deaths. This event later became known as the Armero tragedy—the deadliest lahar in recorded history. Similar but less deadly incidents occurred in 1595 and 1845, consisting of a small explosive eruption followed by a large lahar.

The volcano is part of Los Nevados National Natural Park, which also contains several other volcanoes. The summit of Nevado del Ruiz is covered by large glaciers, although these have retreated significantly since 1985 because of global warming. The volcano continues to pose a threat to the nearby towns and villages, and it is estimated that up to 500,000 people could be at risk from lahars from future eruptions.

 

Eruption (1985)[edit]

Main article: Armero tragedy

Beginning November 1984, geologists observed an increasing level of seismic activity near Nevado del Ruiz.[27] Other signs of a forthcoming eruption included increased fumarole activity, deposition of sulfur on the summit of the volcano, and smallphreatic eruptions. In the latter, hot magma came in contact with water, resulting in explosions as the water was almost instantly turned into steam. The most notable of these events was an ash ejection on September 11, 1985.[27] The activity of the volcano decreased in October 1985.[27] The most likely explanation of the events is that new magma rose into the volcanic edifice before September 1985.[27]

 

Before the eruption in 1985

An Italian volcanological mission analyzed gas samples from fumaroles along the Arenas crater floor and proved them to be a mixture of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, indicating a direct release of magma into the surface environment. The mission’s report, delivered on October 22, 1985, judged the risk of lahars to be very high. The report proposed various simple preparedness techniques to local authorities.[29]

In November 1985, volcanic activity once again increased[27] as magma neared the surface. The volcano began releasing increasing quantities of gases rich in sulfur dioxide and elementary sulfur. The water content of the fumaroles’ gases decreased, and water springs in the vicinity of Nevado del Ruiz became enriched in magnesiumcalcium and potassium, which were leached from the magma.[27] The thermodynamic equilibration (stationary heat energy) temperatures, corresponding to the chemical composition of the discharged gases, were from 200 °C (400 °F) to 600 °C (1,000 °F). The extensive degassing of the magma caused pressure to build up inside the volcano, which eventually resulted in the explosive eruption.[30]

Inmersion Programs

Immersion Programs are encouraged in several states by state adoption of English-only legislation. In this program, the classes and related textare primarily in English. Children with very low English proficiency are put in ESL (English-as-a-Second-Language) classes (see Gersten, 1985; Rossell & Baker, 1996).

There are two kinds of immersion programs: “submersion” or “structured”. The first kind is also called “sink or swim” because it does not provide any kind of aid for the children to learn English. Structured English immersion helps the students with better-planed classes focusing on building their vocabulary. It also uses direct and intense instructions to help them learn the language faster and be able to join the regular classes.

On the other hand, most immersion programs are only focused on developing English-language proficiency through direct contact with the language. They are not so concerned about how well the students are learning the material. Their goal is to have a homogenous group of students being taught in English. This approach does not include teaching ELL’s children to maintain their cultural and linguistic heritage.

The purpose of these English only programs is to immerse the students in the American way of life starting with the language. Educators believe that by doing this the students will assimilate the culture and the language faster. All of the students are taught as if they have the same background and values. In reality, most classrooms in areas where the number of immigrants is large have a variety of different cultures and nationalities all together in one classroom.

Students enrolled in these programs are expected to learn English as best as they can with the few resources that are available for them. What happens most of the time is that some students are not able to keep up with the majority of the class and lose their motivation. Some drop out of school while others graduate with very low grades and even lower chances of having a good future.

Reptilians Running the U.S. Government

 

As 12 million Americans “know,” the United States government is run by lizard people (or, to be scientifically accurate, reptilians). But they never said whichmembers of the government are the reptilians. So we’re here to help.

 

Piecing together the latest groundbreaking research being conducted by commenters at conspiracy websites, we’ve been able to isolate a number of prominent individuals who possess reptilian-compatible bloodlines. As “ufochick”writes at DavidIcke.com (Icke is a prominent reptile theorist, as evidenced by his book at right), even if a person has compatible bloodlines, “they will not become a reptilian unless a reptilian entity inhabits their physical body.”

Or maybe it isn’t important. UnderstandingEvil.com describes how to tell if you’re “under assault” by reptilians; “Protector of Mankind” writes at Alien-UFOs.com that you can be a “reptilian/human hybrid.” It sort of varies. But according to Icke, this is how it works.

OBAMAS REPTILIAN SECRET SERVICE

Reptilians (also called reptoids,[1] reptiloids, or draconians) are purported reptilianhumanoids that play a prominent role in science fiction, as well as modern ufology andconspiracy theories.[2][3][4] The idea of reptilians on Earth was popularized by David Icke, a conspiracy theorist who says shape-shifting reptilian people control our world by taking on human form and gaining political power to manipulate our societies. Icke has claimed on multiple occasions that many of the world leaders are, or are possessed by, reptilians ruling the world.

According to British writer David Icke, 5- to 12-foot (1.5–3.7 m) tall, blood-drinking, shape-shiftingreptilian humanoids from the Alpha Draconis star system, now hiding in underground bases, are the force behind a worldwide conspiracy against humanity.[7] He contends that most of the world’s leaders are related to these reptilians, including George W. Bush of the United States, and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.[8] Icke’s conspiracy theories now have supporters in 47 countries and he has given lectures to crowds of up to 6,000.[9][10] American writer Vicki Santillano included it in her list of the 10 most popular conspiracy theories, describing it as the “wackiest theory” she had encountered.[11] A poll of Americans in 2013 by Public Policy Polling showed that 4% of registered voters believed in David Icke’s ideas.[12]

REPTILIAN ILLUMINATI HYBRIDS FBI AGENTS 

Politics[edit]

In the closely fought 2008 U.S. Senate election between comedian and commentator Al Franken and incumbent SenatorNorm Coleman, one of the ballots challenged by Coleman included a vote for Franken with “Lizard People” written in the space provided for write-in candidates.[13] Lucas Davenport who later claimed to have written the gag ballot, said, “I don’t know if you’ve heard the conspiracy theory about the Lizard Men; a friend of mine, we didn’t like the candidates, so we were at first going to write in ‘revolution’, because we thought that was good and to the point. And then, we thought ‘the Lizard People’ would be even funnier.”[14]

Evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet” was a pejorative used to refer to then Ontario Liberal Party opposition leaderDalton McGuinty in a press release disseminated by the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario on September 12, 2003, during the provincial election campaign in OntarioCanada.

In February 2011, on the Opie and Anthony radio show, the comedian Louis C.K. asked former U.S. Secretary of DefenseDonald Rumsfeld a number of times if he and Dick Cheney were lizard people who enjoyed the taste of human flesh. Rumsfeld did not answer the question. Louis C.K. interpreted Rumsfeld’s refusal to answer as an admission and further suggested that those who are lizard people cannot lie about it; when asked if they are lizards, they either have to avoid answering the question or say yes.[15]

On March 4, 2013, a video depicting a security agent with unusual features guarding a speech by U.S. President Barack Obama was spotlighted in a Wired report about shapeshifting reptilian humanoids, leading to a tongue-in-cheek response from chief National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden that “any alleged program to guard the president with aliens or robots would likely have to be scaled back or eliminated in the sequester.”[16]

Are Reptilians Controlling Our Planet?
Unfortunately, this is precisely what is believed to be going on.  Reptilians came to Earth for its precious metals (like
other beings looking for natural resources). Icke argues that the Anunnaki came specifically for “monoatomic gold,” a
mineral he says can increase the carrying capacity of the nervous system ten thousand fold. After ingesting it, the
Anunnaki are able to process vast amounts of information, speed up trans-dimensional travel, and shape shift from
reptilian to human form. They use human fear, guilt, and aggression as energy in a similar way, part of the reason they
organize human conflict.  The more negative emotion we emit, the more the reptilians absorb: Thus we have the
encouragement of wars, human genocide, the mass slaughter of animals, sexual perversions which create highly
charged negative energy, and black magic ritual and sacrifice which takes place on a scale that will stagger those who
have not studied the subject.  Looking back at history we are able to account for all of these kinds of events; however,
today we can all agree that kings, lords, and deity like leaders haven’t the ability to control the mass populations of
today, like they once ruled in the past.   That is why Reptilian Aliens saw the opportunity in controlling our modern day
society through the manipulation of wealth, wars, and power.  Many would agree that the only way to truly have such an
influence would be to have some kind of “overseeing entity” that could influence any aspect of today’s modern age.

A secret society, a powerful ability to control banking systems, governments, and most importantly PEOPLE!  Reptilian
Aliens have always been known for their “Agenda,” but many  who seek the answer to the question of that very agenda
seem oversee the evidence that the control and manipulation has already began in the very center of our own human
power structure.   Perhaps through your research you have come across statements that Presidents, actors, and/or
authors are Reptilian Aliens?  The truth may lead us to see that these people would be the perfect solution for setting up
a One World Order and deceive us through the very conspiracy theories that we know about today.  

 

KING OF POP

Tags

FIRST TAKING TO THE STAGE AT THE AGE OF JUST 11 AS PART OF HIS FAMILY’S GIG THE JACKSON 5, MICHAEL JACKSON GREW QUICKLY INTO THE SUPERSTARDOM WHICH WOULD BOTH REWARD AND PLAGUE HIS LIFE. AN APPARENTLY UNSTOPPABLE CREATIVE AND FINANCIAL FORCE THROUGH THE HIGHS OF HIS CAREER, ‘THE KING OF POP’ STRUGGLED WITH A CONFUSED AND TURBULENT PRIVATE LIFE THAT WAS OFTEN MADE APPALLING PUBLIC. IN THE WAKE OF HIS SHOCK DEATH THOUGH, IT IS FOR HIS ARTISTRY – AND NOT HIS CONTROVERSIES – THAT HE WILL BE REMEMBERED AND SADLY MISSED.

 

Jackson was born 29 August 1958, in Gary, Indiana, to an African-American working-class family. His father, Joseph Jackson, had been a guitarist but had put aside his musical aspirations to provide for his family as a crane operator. Believing his sons had talent, he molded them into a musical group in the early 1960s. At first, the Jackson Family performers consisted of Michael’s older brothers Tito, Jermaine, and Jackie. Michael joined his siblings when he was five, and emerged as the group’s lead vocalist. He showed remarkable range and depth for such a young performer, impressing audiences with his ability to convey complex emotions. Older brother Marlonalso became a member of the group, which evolved into the The Jackson 5.

Behind the scenes, Joseph Jackson pushed his sons to succeed. He was also reportedly known to become violent with them. Michael and his brothers spent endless hours rehearsing and polishing up their act. At first, the Jackson 5 played local gigs and built a strong following. They recorded one single on their own, ‘Big Boy’ with the b-side ‘You’ve Changed’, but it failed to generate much interest.

 

The Jackson 5 moved on to working an opening act for such R&B artists as Gladys Knight and the Pips, James Brown, and Sam and Dave. Many of these performers were signed to the legendary Motown record label, and it has been reported that Gladys Knight may have been the one to tell Motown founder Berry Gordy about the Jackson 5. Impressed by the group, Gordy signed them to his label in 1968.

Relocating to Los Angeles, Michael and his brothers started work on their music and dancing with their father as their manager. They lived with Gordy and also with Supremes singer Diana Ross when they first arrived there. In August 1969, the Jackson 5 was introduced to the music industry at a special event, and later served as the opening act for the Supremes. Their first album, ‘Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5′, hit the charts in December of that year. It’s first single, ‘I Want You Back’, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in January 1970.

More chart-topping singles quickly followed, such as ‘ABC’, ‘The Love You Save’, and ‘I’ll Be There’. At the age of 13, Jackson launched a solo career in addition to his work with the Jackson 5. He made the charts in 1971 with ‘Got to Be There’ from the album of the same name. His 1972 album, ‘Ben’, featured the eponymous ballad about a rat. The song became Jackson’s first solo No. 1 single.

For several years, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 maintained a busy tour and recording schedule, under the supervision of Berry Gordy and his Motown staff. Gordy wrote many of the songs recorded by the group and by Michael Jackson as a solo artist. The group became so popular that they even had their own self-titled cartoon show, which ran from 1971 to 1973.

Despite Jackson’s individual achievements and the group’s great success, there was trouble between the Jacksons and their record company. Tensions mounted between Gordy and Joseph Jackson over the management of his children’s careers, and their level of participation in making their music. The Jacksons wanted more control over their recordings, which led to most of the Jacksons breaking ties with Motown in 1975. Jermaine Jackson remained with the label and continued to pursue a solo career, having previously released several albums—none of which had matched the success of his younger brother Michael.

Now calling themselves the Jacksons, the group signed a new recording deal with Epic Records. With 1978′s ‘Destiny’, Michael Jackson and his brothers (which by now included younger brother Randy) emerged as talented songwriters, penning all of the record’s tracks. Working with producer Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson wowed the music world with his next solo album, 1979′s ‘Off the Wall’. It featured an infectious blend of pop and funk with such hit tracks as the Grammy Award-winning ‘Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough’, ‘Rock with You’, and the title track. He also found success with the ballad ‘She’s Out of My Life’.

The overwhelmingly positive response to Michael’s latest solo album also helped buoy the Jacksons’ career as well. ‘Triumph’ (1980) sold more than one million copies, and the brothers went on an extensive tour to support the recording. Jackson, however, began to branch out on his own more. Teaming up with rock legend Paul McCartney, Jackson sang on their 1982 duet, ‘The Girl Is Mine’, which nearly reached the top of the pop charts.

The song also appeared on his next solo album, ‘Thriller’ (1982), which generated seven top 10 hits. On a television special honoring Motown, Jackson performed ‘Billie Jean’—eventually a number one hit—and debuted his soon-to-be-famous dance move called the moonwalk. Jackson, a veteran performer by this time, created this step himself and choreographed the dance sequences for the video of his other No. 1 hit, ‘Beat It’.

His most elaborate video, however, was for the album’s title track. John Landis directed the horror-tinged video, which featured complex dance scenes, special effects, and a voice-over done by actor Vincent Price. The video for ‘Thriller’ became immensely popular, boosting sales for the already successful album. It stayed on the charts for 80 weeks, holding the No. 1 spot for 37 weeks. In addition to its unparalleled commercial achievements, Thriller earned 12 Grammy Award nominations and won eight of those awards.

Jackson’s Grammy victories showcased the diverse nature of his work. For his songwriting talents, he received the Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Song for ‘Billie Jean’. Jackson also won Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male for ‘Thriller’ and Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male for ‘Beat It’. With co-producer Quincy Jones, he shared the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

At the top of his game creatively and commercially, Jackson signed a $5 million endorsement deal with Pepsi-Cola around this time. He, however, was badly injured while filming a commercial for the soda giant in 1984, suffering burns to his face and scalp. Jackson had surgery to repair his injuries, and is believed to have begun experimenting with plastic surgery around this time. His face, especially his nose, would become dramatically altered in the coming years.

That same year, Jackson embarked on his final tour with the Jacksons to the support the album ‘Victory’. The one major hit from the recording was Michael Jackson’s duet with Mick Jagger, ‘State of Shock’. In 1985, Jackson showed his altruistic side, co-writing and singing on ‘We Are the World’, a charity single for USA for Africa. A veritable who’s who of music stars participated in the project including Lionel Ritchie, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, and Tina Turner.

Releasing his follow-up to Thriller in 1987, Jackson reached the top of the charts with ‘Bad’. It featured five No. 1 hits, including ‘Man in the Mirror’, ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’, and the title track, which was supported by a video directed by Martin Scorsese. Jackson spent more than a year on the road, playing concerts to promote the album. While successful, Bad was unable to duplicate the phenomenal sales of Thriller.

Raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, Jackson was a shy and quiet person off-stage. He was never truly comfortable with the media attention he received and rarely gave interviews. By the late 1980s, Jackson had created his own fantasy retreat—a California ranch called Neverland. There he kept exotic pets, such as a chimpanzee named Bubbles, and had his own amusement rides. To some, it seemed that Jackson perhaps was exploring a second childhood. He sometimes opened up the ranch for children’s events. Rumors swirled around him, including that he was lightening the color of his skin to appear more white and slept in a special chamber to increase his life span.

In 1991, Jackson released ‘Dangerous’, featuring the hit ‘Black or White’. The video for this song included an appearance by child star Macaulay Culkin, and was directed by John Landis. In the video’s final minutes, Jackson caused some controversy with his sexual gesturing and violent actions. Many were surprised to see the Peter Pan-like Jackson act in this manner.

Jackson’s music continued to enjoy wide-spread popularity in the upcoming years. In 1993, he performed several important events, including the half-time show at Superbowl XXVII. Jackson gave a rare television interview, which aired that February. Sitting down with Oprah Winfrey, he explained that the change in his skin tone was the result of a disease known as vitiligo. Jackson also opened about the abuse he suffered from his father.

Allegations of child molestation against Jackson emerged later that year. A 13-year-old boy claimed that the music star had fondled him. Jackson was known to have sleepovers with boys at his Neverland Ranch, but this was the first public charge of wrongdoing. The police searched the ranch, but they found no evidence to support the claim. The following year, Jackson settled the case out of court with the boy’s family. Other allegations emerged, but Jackson maintained his innocence.

In August 1994, Jackson announced that he had married Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of rock icon Elvis Presley. The couple gave a joint television interview with Diane Sawyer, but the union proved to be short-lived. They divorced in 1996. Some thought that the marriage was a publicity ploy to restore Jackson’s image after the molestation allegations.

Later that same year, Jackson wed nurse Debbie Rowe. The couple had two children through artificial insemination. Son Prince Michael Jackson was born in 1997 and daughter Paris Michael Jackson was born in 1998. Rowe and Jackson divorced in 1999 with Jackson receiving full custody of their two children. He would go on to have a third child, Prince Michael Jackson II, with an unknown surrogate.

Jackson’s musical career began to decline with the lukewarm reception to 1995′s ‘HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I’, which featured some of his earlier hits as well as new material. The record spawned two hits, ‘You Are Not Alone’ and his duet with sister Janet Jackson, ‘Scream’. ‘Scream’ earned Michael and Janet a Grammy Award for Best Music Video, Short Form that year. Another track from the album, ‘They Don’t Care About Us’, however, brought Jackson intense criticism for using an anti-Semitic term.

By the release of 2001′s ‘Invincible’, Jackson was better known as an eccentric whose quirks were reported in the tabloids than as a performer. The album sold well, but stories of his odd behavior started to overshadow his talent. He often appeared in public wearing a surgical mask, and he hid his children’s faces under veils.

In 2002, Jackson made headlines when he seemed confused and disoriented on stage at an MTV awards show. Soon after, he received enormous criticism for dangling his son, Prince Michael II, over a balcony while greeting fans in Berlin, Germany. In a later interview, Jackson explained that “We were waiting for thousands of fans down below, and they were chanting they wanted to see my child, so I was kind enough to let them see. I was doing something out of innocence.” But many were unforgiving of the star’s behavior, with former fans and media outlets clamouring to have Child Protective Services take Jackson’s children from him.

Jackson’s reputation was served another blow in 2003 with the television documentary, ‘Living with Michael Jackson’. British journalist Martin Bashir spent several months with Jackson, and he got Jackson to discuss his relationships with children. He admitted that he continued to have children sleepover at his ranch, even after the 1993 allegations. Jackson said that sometimes he slept with the children in his bed. “Why can’t you share your bed? That’s the most loving thing to do, to share your bed with someone,” Jackson told Beshir.

Jackson faced more legal woes in 2004 when he was arrested on charges related to incidents with a 13-year-old boy the previous year. Facing 10 counts in all, he was charged with lewd conduct with a minor, attempted lewd conduct, administering alcohol to facilitate molestation, and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. The resulting 2005 trial was a media circus with fans, detractors, and camera crews surrounding the courthouse. More than 130 people testified, including Macaulay Culkin who appeared on Jackson’s behalf. He said that he had been friends with Jackson as a young teen. While he had stayed over at the Neverland Ranch, he told the court that Jackson never tried to molest him. Jackson’s accuser also appeared via videotape and described how Jackson had given him wine and molested him.

On 14 June 2005, Jackson was acquitted of all charges. His reputation, however, was effectively destroyed, and his finances were in shambles. Thanks to mounting legal bills, the singer no longer had a bank account and was unable to maintain even his most basic finances. Jackson soon found refuge in his friendship with the prince of Bahrain, Prince Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, who wired Jackson the money needed to pay Neverland’s utility bills. He then invited the pop star to his country as a personal guest.

In Bahrain, the prince provided Jackson with more than $7 million, not including living expenses. He also built the singer a recording studio, hired him a “motivational guru” and helped Jackson to entertain family at Christmas. In return, Jackson promised to collaborate with the prince on a new album on Al-Khalifa’s record label, as well as write an autobiography, and create a stage play. None of the work materialised, however, and Jackson soon faced litigation from his friend for reneging on his promises. In even greater financial straits, Jackson defaulted on the $23.5 million loan owed on his Neverland Ranch in 2008. Unable to part with certain items, including the crystal gloves he used in performances, Jackson sued to block the auction of some of his personal items from the home the following year.

Around this same time, the largely reclusive Jackson announced that he would be performing a series of concerts in London as his “final curtain call.” There had been some speculation regarding whether the fragile singer would be able to handle the rigors of 50 concerts. Despite all of the allegations and stories of odd behavior, Jackson remained a figure of great interest, as demonstrated by the strong response to his concert plans; set to appear at the O2 Arena in London, England, beginning 8 July 2009, Jackson saw all the tickets to his ‘This Is It’ tour sell out in only four hours.

But Jackson would never get to experience the success of his comeback tour. On 25 June 2009, Jackson suffered cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles home. He was rushed to the hospital after his heart stopped and CPR attempts failed, but he died later that morning. He was 50-years-old at the time of his death.

News of Jackson’s death resulted in an outpouring of public grief and sympathy. Memorials to Jackson were erected around the world, including one at the arena where he was set to perform and another at his childhood home in Gary, Indiana. On 12 July 2009, a televised memorial was held for fans of the King of Pop at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. While 17,500 free tickets were issued to fans via lottery, more than an estimated one billion viewers watched the memorial on television and the Internet.

The Jackson family held a private funeral on 3 September 2009, for the immediate family and 200 guests at Forest Lawn Memorial park in Los Angeles. The celebrity mourners included former child star Macaulay Culkin, ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley, and actress Elizabeth Taylor.

A film documenting Jackson’s preparations for his final performance entitled ‘This Is It’, hit theaters in October of 2009. The film, featuring a compilation of interviews, rehearsals and backstage footage of Michael Jackson, made $23 million in its opening weekend and sky-rocketed to No. 1 at the box office. This Is It would go on to make more than $260.8 million worldwide, and become the highest grossing documentary of all time. With this final tribute, the family hoped to finally have closure on the passing of Michael Jackson.

But in February 2010, the coroner released an official report detailing the cause of Jackson’s death. The results revealed that the singer died from “acute propofol intoxication.” The overdose worked in combination with a number of other sedatives to shut down the star’s weakened heart. Jackson reportedly used the drugs, with the aid of personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray, to help him sleep in the evenings. He was also reported to have a dependency on the painkiller, demerol and may have been taking sedatives to help him withdraw from the drug. Conrad later told police that he believed Jackson had developed a particular addiction to propofol, which Jackson referred to as his “milk”. He had the drug administered by I.V. in the evenings in 50 mg dosages, and Murray was attempting to ween the pop star off the drug at the time of Jackson’s death.

 

 

A police investigation revealed that Murray was not licensed to prescribe most controlled drugs in the state of California. The steps he took to save Jackson also came under scrutiny, as evidence showed that the standard of care for administering propofol was not met, and the recommended equipment for patient monitoring, precision dosing and resuscitation were not present. As a result, Jackson’s death was ruled a homicide, and Murray found himself at the center of an involuntary manslaughter investigation. The Jackson family also began pursuing measures that would have Murray’s medical license revoked. The family is in continuing litigation with Murray.

Meanwhile, the Jackson family has attempted to move forward with their lives. As dictated in his will, Jackson’s children were placed in the care of their grandmother, Katherine Jackson. In respect to their father’s wishes, Paris, Prince Michael and Prince Michael II (also known as “Blanket”) have been kept largely out of the limelight, appearing publicly only a few times in the last year. They stepped up to the mic in 2009 to speak to fans at their father’s funeral, and again in January 2010 to accept a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award for their father at the Grammys.

Air Plane Abducted by UFO Caught on Tape

Since 1947 our Government has been lying to us about aliens. Everyone sees them, UFOs are everywhere, in every nation. They are a threat to our sovereignty as a nation and as a world

Now a whole entire airplane has vanished into thin air.  A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 souls lost contact with air traffic control and disappeared. Known as Flight MH370, it is a B777-200 aircraft heading to Beijing, China from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Associated Press reports that the flight lost contact somewhere over Vietnam.

There were no reports of bad weather and no sign of why the plane would vanished from radar screens almost an hour after it took off. There are reports of two oil slicks off the coast but absolutely no wreckage has yet to be found. Where did the plane go?

Malaysia UFOThere is only one possible answer. Aliens.

Aliens have been abducting ships and planes in the Burmuda Triangle for as long as civilized people have been sailing those seas. Could the aliens have decided to abduct yet another plane form a different place?

“We are not ruling out any possibilities,” Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya told a news conference full of journalists.

Now it is being reported that atleast two of the people on the plane had stolen passports. The passenger manifest issued by the airline included the names of two Europeans, Austrian Christian Kozel and Italian Luigi Maraldi, both of which were not on the plane, according to their foreign ministries. Both men reported their passports stolen in Thailand in 2013. There were no indications of sabotage nor claims of a terrorist attack, but Thailand is known as a hotbed of alien activity.

So once again, the only possible cause is Aliens.

So will this finally drive our Government to admit that there really is an alien race here on our soil and in our air? Will Obama finally stop asking the Russians to fly us to space and reinvest in NASA so that we can fight this Alien scourge? Calls to the White House were not returned.

 

The Graduate

The Graduate is a 1967 American comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols.[3] It is based on the 1963 novel The Graduate byCharles Webb, who wrote it shortly after graduating from Williams College. The screenplay was by Buck Henry, who makes a cameo appearance as a hotel clerk, and Calder Willingham.

The film tells the story of Benjamin Braddock (played by Dustin Hoffman), a recent university graduate with no well-defined aim in life, who is seduced by an older woman, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), and then proceeds to fall in love with her daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross).

In 1996, The Graduate was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Initially, the film was placed at #7 on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies list in 1998. When AFI revised the list in 2007, the film was moved to #17.

Adjusted for inflation, the film is #21 on the list of highest-grossing films in the United States and Canada.[

 

Plot[edit]

Benjamin Braddock, who will soon turn 21, returns to his parents’ home in the Los Angeles area after graduating from a college on the East Coast. At his graduation party, all his parents’ friends want to know about Benjamin’s upcoming plans for graduate school or a career, something about which Benjamin is clearly uncomfortable and anxious. His parents ignore his anxiety and are only interested in talking about his academic and athletic successes and their plans for him to attend graduate school.

Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his father’s law partner, asks Benjamin to drive her home from the party. She invites Benjamin inside and attempts to seduce him, removing her clothes. She tells Benjamin, who becomes increasingly nervous, that she finds him attractive and wants him to know that she is available to him anytime. Mr. Robinson arrives home but neither sees nor suspects anything. He advises Benjamin that he should relax and enjoy his youth while he still can. A few days later, following a humiliating incident with a well-intentioned but absurd birthday gift from his parents, Benjamin contacts Mrs. Robinson and organizes a tryst at a hotel, and their affair begins.

Benjamin spends the summer floating in a pool by day and meeting Mrs. Robinson at the hotel at night. Through their encounters, Benjamin discovers that they have nothing in common but also learns that Mrs. Robinson was forced to give up college and marry someone whom she did not love when she became pregnant with her daughter, Elaine.

However, under increasing pressure from his parents to begin a career or enroll in graduate school, Benjamin is set up on a date with Elaine, whom Benjamin last saw in high school, by his father and Mr. Robinson. Although Mrs. Robinson has made it clear to Benjamin that he is to have nothing to do with Elaine, Benjamin eventually succumbs to the pressure and takes Elaine out on a date. During the course of their date, Benjamin goes out of his way to mistreat and be rude to Elaine, even going as far as taking her to a lewd strip joint, in order to sabotage the evening. Upon seeing Elaine sobbing, Benjamin kisses her. He explains his motives and that he only asked her out on a date as an obligation from each of their fathers. The two reconcile and each discover that they are able to discuss their current worries and their plans for future happiness.

Upon Benjamin’s arriving at the Robinsons’ home to take Elaine out again, Mrs. Robinson threatens to reveal to Elaine her earlier relationship with Benjamin. However, Benjamin preemptively blurts out the details of his affair to Elaine before Mrs. Robinson can make good on her threat. Upset and heartbroken, Elaine returns to college at Berkeley and severs all communication with him.

Benjamin resolves that he must marry Elaine and follows her to Berkeley. There, he finds Elaine and accompanies her to a date between her and a classmate, Carl Smith. Later that evening, Elaine confronts Benjamin, asking what he is doing there after having raped her mother while she was drunk. Benjamin reveals his side of the story to Elaine and that he was the one who was pursued by Mrs. Robinson, which further upsets Elaine. Benjamin tells Elaine he will leave her alone, but Elaine asks him to remain until he has a plan.

The following day, Elaine confronts Benjamin again and asks him to kiss her. Although Benjamin wants to marry Elaine and presses her to obtain a blood test so they can wed, Elaine laments that she has already told Carl that she might marry him. Mr. Robinson, who has learned about his wife’s affair with Benjamin, goes to Benjamin’s apartment in Berkeley and berates him, threatening to have him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, should Benjamin ever come near Elaine again. He forces Elaine to drop out of school and takes her away to marry Carl. Elaine leaves Benjamin a note saying that although she loves him, her father’s anger would prevent the family from ever accepting Benjamin as Elaine’s husband.

Benjamin races back south looking for Elaine but finds Mrs. Robinson, who tells him she cannot stop the wedding. Benjamin learns from Carl’s fraternity brothers that the wedding is taking place in Santa Barbara. En route to the church, his car runs out of gas, forcing him to run the final few blocks to the chapel, arriving just in time to see Elaine and Carl, already married, in the traditional kiss. Watching from the loft at the back of the church, Benjamin bangs on the glass window and screams, “Elaine!” several times, in a desperate attempt to win her over. With some hesitation, Elaine returns a cry of “Ben!” and rushes toward Benjamin. A brawl breaks out as everyone tries to stop her and Benjamin from leaving. Elaine manages to break free from her mother, who claims “It’s too late!”, to which Elaine replies, “Not for me!” Benjamin and Elaine escape the chapel by barring the chapel’s double doors with a wooden cross, trapping the attendees inside. Benjamin and Elaine then flag down a bus. After making their way to the back seat of the bus as it pulls away, Elaine in her wedding dress and Benjamin in tattered clothing, they both initially appear ecstatic about their dramatic escape. Gradually however, this exhilaration subsides, with Benjamin just looking forward and Elaine occasionally looking at Benjamin, into realization of what they have done.

In the closing shot, Elaine and Benjamin are shown through the rear window sitting at the back of the bus as it travels down the road.

Music[edit]

The Graduate Original Soundtrackalbum cover.

The film boosted the profile of folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel. Originally, Nichols and O’Steen used their existing songs like “The Sound of Silence” merely as a pacing device for the editing until Nichols decided that substituting original music would not be effective and decided to include them on the soundtrack, an unusual move at that time.[7]

According to a Variety article by Peter Bart in the 15 May 2005 issue, Lawrence Turman, his producer, then made a deal for Simon to write three new songs for the movie. By the time they had nearly finished editing the film, Simon had only written one new song. Nichols begged him for more, but Simon, who was touring constantly, told him he did not have the time. He did play him a few notes of a new song he had been working on; “It’s not for the movie… it’s a song about times past — about Mrs. Roosevelt and Joe DiMaggio and stuff.” Nichols advised Simon, “It’s now about Mrs. Robinson, not Mrs. Roosevelt.”[8]

On the strength of the hit single “Mrs. Robinson“, the soundtrack album rose to the top of the charts in 1968 (knocking off The BeatlesWhite Album). However, the version that appears in the film is markedly different from the hit single version, which would not be issued until Simon and Garfunkel’s next album, Bookends. The actual film version of “Mrs. Robinson” does appear on The Graduate soundtrack LP.

Air Force 1

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Air Force One

Air Force One over Mount Rushmore

No matter where in the world the President travels, if he flies in an Air Force jet, the plane is called Air Force One. Technically, Air Force One is the call sign of any Air Force aircraft carrying the President. In practice, however, Air Force One is used to refer to one of two highly customized Boeing 747-200B series aircraft, which carry the tail codes 28000 and 29000. The Air Force designation for the aircraft is VC-25A.

Air Force One is one of the most recognizable symbols of the presidency, spawning countless references not just in American culture but across the world. Emblazoned with the words “United States of America,” the American flag, and the Seal of the President of the United States, it is an undeniable presence wherever it flies.

Capable of refueling midair, Air Force One has unlimited range and can carry the President wherever he needs to travel. The onboard electronics are hardened to protect against an electromagnetic pulse, and Air Force One is equipped with advanced secure communications equipment, allowing the aircraft to function as a mobile command center in the event of an attack on the United States.

Inside, the President and his travel companions enjoy 4,000 square feet of floor space on three levels, including an extensive suite for the President that features a large office, lavatory, and conference room. Air Force One includes a medical suite that can function as an operating room, and a doctor is permanently on board. The plane’s two food preparation galleys can feed 100 people at a time.

Air Force One also has quarters for those who accompany the President, including senior advisors, Secret Service officers, traveling press, and other guests. Several cargo planes typically fly ahead of Air Force One to provide the President with services needed in remote locations.

Air Force One is maintained and operated by the Presidential Airlift Group, part of the White House Military Office. The Airlift Group was founded in 1944 as the Presidential Pilot Office at the direction of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. For the next 20 years, various propeller driven aircraft served the President. In 1962,President John F. Kennedy became the first President to fly in his own jet aircraft, a modified Boeing 707. Over the years, several other jet aircraft have been used, with the first of the current aircraft being delivered in 1990 during the administration of President George H. W. Bush.

TOEFL-Test of English as a Foreign Language

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Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL /ˈtfəl/ toh-fəl, is astandardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers wishing to enroll in U.S. universities. The test is accepted by many English-speaking academic and professional institutions. TOEFL is one of the two major English-language test in the world, the other being theIELTS.

TOEFL test scores are accepted by more than 9000 colleges, universities, agencies and other institutions in 130 countries and that list includes the top 100 universities in the world. In addition it can be used to satisfy visa requirements for both Australia and the U.K.[5][6]

TOEFL is a trademark of ETS (Educational Testing Service), a private non-profit organisation, which designs and administers the tests. The scores are valid for two years; then they are no longer reported.[7]

In 1962, a national council made up of representatives of thirty government and private organizations was formed to address the problem of ensuring English language proficiency for non-native speakers wishing to study at U.S. universities. This council recommended the development and administration of the TOEFL exam for the 1963-1964 time frame.[8]

The test was originally developed at the Center for Applied Linguistics under the direction of Stanford University applied linguistics professor Dr. Charles A. Ferguson.[9]

The TOEFL test was first administered in 1964 by the Modern Language Association financed by grants from the Ford Foundation and Danforth Foundation.[8]

In 1965, The College Board and ETS jointly assumed responsibility for the continuation of the TOEFL testing program.[8]

In 1973, a cooperative arrangement was made between ETS, The College Board, and the Graduate Record Examinations board of advisers to oversee and run the program. ETS was to administer the exam with the guidance of the TOEFL board

Internet-based test[edit]

Since its introduction in late 2005, the TOEFL Internet-based Test (iBT) format has progressively replaced the computer-based tests (CBT) and paper-based tests (PBT), although paper-based testing is still used in select areas. The TOEFL iBT test has been introduced in phases, with the United StatesCanadaFranceGermany, and Italy in 2005 and the rest of the world in 2006, with test centers added regularly. The CBT was discontinued in September 2006 and these scores are no longer valid.

Initially, the demand for test seats was higher than availability, and candidates had to wait for months. It is now possible to take the test within one to four weeks in most countries.[10] The four-hour test consists of four sections, each measuring one of the basic language skills (while some tasks require integrating multiple skills) and all tasks focus on language used in an academic, higher-education environment. Note-taking is allowed during the TOEFL iBT test. The test cannot be taken more than once a week.

  1. Reading
    The Reading section consists of 4–6 passages, each approximately 700 words in length, and questions about them. The passages are on academic topics; they are the kind of material that might be found in an undergraduate university textbook. Passages require understanding of rhetorical functions such as cause-effect, compare-contrast and argumentation. Students answer questions about main ideas, details, inferences, essential information, sentence insertion, vocabulary, rhetorical purpose and overall ideas. New types of questions in the TOEFL iBT test require filling out tables or completing summaries. Prior knowledge of the subject under discussion is not necessary to come to the correct answer.
  2. Listening
    The Listening section consists of six passages 3–5 minutes in length and questions about them. These passages include two student conversations and four academic lectures or discussions. A conversation involves two speakers, a student and either a professor or a campus service provider. A lecture is a self-contained portion of an academic lecture, which may involve student participation and does not assume specialized background knowledge in the subject area. Each conversation and lecture stimulus is heard only once. Test-takers may take notes while they listen and they may refer to their notes when they answer the questions. Each conversation is associated with five questions and each lecture with six. The questions are meant to measure the ability to understand main ideas, important details, implications, relationships between ideas, organization of information, speaker purpose and speaker attitude.
  3. Speaking
    The Speaking section consists of six tasks: two independent and four integrated. In the two independent tasks, test-takers answer opinion questions on familiar topics. They are evaluated on their ability to speak spontaneously and convey their ideas clearly and coherently. In two of the integrated tasks, test-takers read a short passage, listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and answer a question by combining appropriate information from the text and the talk. In the two remaining integrated tasks, test-takers listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and then respond to a question about what they heard. In the integrated tasks, test-takers are evaluated on their ability to appropriately synthesize and effectively convey information from the reading and listening material. Test-takers may take notes as they read and listen and may use their notes to help prepare their responses. Test-takers are given a short preparation time before they have to begin speaking. The responses are digitally recorded, sent to ETS’s Online Scoring Network (OSN), and evaluated by three to six raters.
  4. Writing
    The Writing section measures a test taker’s ability to write in an academic setting and consists of two tasks: one integrated and one independent. In the integrated task, test-takers read a passage on an academic topic and then listen to a speaker discuss it. The test-taker then writes a summary about the important points in the listening passage and explains how these relate to the key points of the reading passage. In the independent task, the test-taker must write an essay that states, explains, and supports their opinion on an issue, supporting their opinions or choices, rather than simply listing personal preferences or choices. Responses are sent to the ETS OSN and evaluated by four raters.
Task Description Approximate time
Reading 3–5 passages, each containing 12–14 questions 60–100 minutes
Listening 6–9 passages, each containing 5–6 questions 60–90 minutes
Break 10 minutes
Speaking 6 tasks 20 minutes
Writing 2 tasks 50 minutes

One of the sections of the test will include extra, uncounted material. Educational Testing Service includes extra material to pilot test questions for future test forms. When test-takers are given a longer section, they should give equal effort to all of the questions because they do not know which question will count and which will be considered extra. For example, if there are four reading passages instead of three, then one of the passages will not be counted. Any of the four could be the uncounted one.

Taking the TOEFL is a necessary step for any non US educated student wanting to study at a North American university. It is also increasingly required from other educational institutions throughout the world as well as a desired or mandatory job qualification.

While it is true that the TOEFL is an extremely difficult test there are a number of resources to help students prepare for the test. Luckily the Internet has an ever expanding treasure trove of study materials. Most of these areas require registration and payment however a number of the sites do offer some free services. If you are interested in taking the TOEFL it will probably be necessary to purchase some of these services. This guide shows you a number of the free services available on the Internet. By using this feature you can get an excellent headstart on your studies without paying a dime.

What is the TOEFL?

Before beginning to study for the TOEFL it is a good idea to understand the philosophy and purpose behind this standardized test. Here is an excellent detailed description of the Internet based test.

What can I expect from TOEFL?

There are a number of resources available to help you discover exactly what grammar listening and reading skills will be expected on the TOEFL. One of the most thorough of these resources isTestwise.Com

which explains each type of question in terms of the grammar or skill required to answer that type of question successfully.

How do I approach the TOEFL?

One of the most important skills to acquire before taking the test is not a language skill. It is TOEFL test taking strategy. To get up to speed on test taking, this guide to taking tests can help you understand general test taking preparation. The TOEFL, like all standardized American tests, has a very particular structure and typical traps for you to fall into. By understanding these traps and structures you can go a long way to improving your score.

The writing section of the TOEFL requires that you write an essay based on a set topic. Testmagic.com has a wonderful selection of sample essays

discussing common mistakes and giving examples of essays with various scores to show you the range expected on the essay.

Christmas in Colombia “Navidad en Colombia”

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Ajiaco santafereño

Ajiaco santafereño (Photo credit: El Agujero)

Español: El día de las velitas en Bogotá Colombia

Español: El día de las velitas en Bogotá Colombia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christmas in Colombia is a religious event also mixed with lots of “parranda” or fiesta, like it is common in Hispanic culture. As soon as December starts we take out our decorations which must include “el pesebre” or nativity, the Christmas tree, red and white candles, angels, and lights that we display on the windows or balconies of our home.

In Colombia Christmas or “Navidad” starts on December 7th by celebrating the day of “La Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepción” or The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception. This day is widely known as “El Día de las Velitas” or the day of the candles.

Lighting “Las Velitas”
Or The Candles. 

ágora

ágora (Photo credit: M. Ewert)

How do we celebrate “El Día de las Velitas”? Simple, we start at dusk by lighting candles (skinny ones) on long pieces of wood board to make infinite lines that illuminate the front of homes, house complexes, churches, etc.

“El Día de las Velitas” is not complete until we mix in dancing music, foods like “buñuelos” or fritters, “empanadas” which are fried dough stuffed with potatoes and meat or grilled meats. We drink rum and the famous “Aguardiente,” an anise drink that is pretty powerful.

“La Novena de Aguinaldos” or
The Christmas Novena

Christmas in Colombia is deeply rooted in Catholic tradition like most of the Hispanic culture countries, therefore the novena is a must. On the 16th of December we reunite with family members, and I mean everybody, each night until the 24th to pray the novena. “La Novena de Aguinaldos” is a special occasion to get closer to our faith byremembering the birth of Jesus.

Inauguración de la Navidad en la UTPL

Inauguración de la Navidad en la UTPL (Photo credit: UTPL Unidad de Gestión de la Comunicación)

 

Each night of the novena we sing “villancicos” or Spanish Christmas carols and enjoy typical Hispanic Christmas foods. The novena can rotate from one home to another or in many cases, the grand parents host it and everybody brings a dish.

The Role of Children
During Christmas in Colombia

There is no doubt, celebrating Christmas in Colombia is a major event for our children. The first thing they do is to write a Carta al Niño Dios or baby Jesus. The letter goes in the nativity from where it mysteriously disappears, meaning baby Jesus took it so he can know what presents to place on or near your bed on the 24th of December. It can also remain on display for baby Jesus to read.

Nativity Underneath the Christmas Tree.
Picture by Asdrubal Colombia

Christmas traditions in Colombia also have a lot to do with giving during this time of the year. We buy gifts and ask the children to help us wrap them to deliver them at corner streets where less fortunate children may be begging.

We let our children stay up late expecting to see baby Jesus delivering presents. The youngest ones fall asleep before midnight. The older ones stay up late and participate in games like finding the baby Jesus with money that one of the adults previously hid.

“La Nochebuena” One of the Top
Christmas Traditions in Colombia

In Colombia Christmas gives an opportunity to indulge in typical foods by enjoying a special “Cena de Navidad” or Christmas Eve dinner.

The main dish can be pork, ham or even Ajiaco Bogotano, a hearty chicken soup people from the capital cook. If you are celebrating Christmas in Colombia on a farm, which is what we call our second homes, the main dish is a roasted pig or an “asado” which includes a variety of grilled meats. We do the “asado” with coal not gas, and it is outdoors while we enjoy the wonderful weather.

 

Natilla” Colombian Style

Postres de Navidad

Postres de Navidad (Photo credit: Cris Valencia)

During Christmas in Colombia the entire country enjoys a dessert called “Natilla.” We make it with cinnamon, corn starch, milk, “panela” a hard sweetener from sugar cane, and cloves.

“Buñuelos” or cheesy fritters, “arepas” a thick corn mass, “empanadas,” “hojuelas” a fried dough pastry with sugar and jam are amongst the favorite munchies.

My mom used to make a multicolored gelatin dessert with “leche consensada” or condensed milk that always turned out to be delicious.

For dessert, people who live on the Atlantic coast prefer “arroz con coco” or coconut rice pudding, and people who live in the colder states close to the capital prefer “postre de natas,” which is made with milk and condensed milk cooked with sugar, cinnamon and raisins.

At midnight we toast with “aguardiente,” rum or champagne. We also have “ponche de frutas” or fruit punch, and “Micheladas” which are beers with salt and lemon.

Other Typical Christmas Traditions in Colombia

Many people “quema pólvora” or light fireworks during the month of December even though they are prohibited. Children always get sparklers.

“Voladores” a Type of Fireworks
Picture by Steve8642005

We also love to “elevar globos” which are paper globes that we light inside to let them fly freely in the sky. It is a nice tradition because requires many people to hold many corners of the “globo” while one person lights it.

And What Happens After “La Nochebuena?” “El Año Nuevo”

Many families after going to mass on the 24th and celebrating “La Nochebuena” continue partying the next day on the 25th. We typically wake up very late, eat leftovers, play more music, and have more fun.

On the 31st of December we say good bye to the old year and prepare ourselves to receive the New Year. In many areas of the country, people reunite on their “fincas” to make a human size rag doll stuffed with fireworks.

We call this doll “El A&natilde;o Viejo,” and at midnight we burn it after we walk around with it crying because it is going away forever. We toast with champagne and wish everybody a “feliz año nuevo.”

Christmas in Colombia follows many traditions or “agueros” to bring on good fortune in the new year, for example, we wear new clothes, we eat 12 grapes during the final 12 seconds of the old year, we wear something yellow, we broom our homes and clean them very well to take out all the bad energies, we do “saumerios” or cleansings of the homes with eucalyptus leaves, etc.

Last but not least we continue feasting with typical foods and partying with excellent dance music. Three Kings Day is not such a special event in Colombian Christmas like it is in Central America, even though we celebrate it.

Hispanic Christmas Decorations

Hispanic Christmas decorations are very important during the festivities. Many families take pride in adorning their homes for these special days.

The Christmas tree or el arbolito de navidad is a most as well as the nativity or pesebre. Lots or Christmas ornaments hand in beautiful decorated trees, and we specially value ornaments that reflect our artisans traditions and materials.

My parents loved ornaments that Andean artisans made using fibers, woods and materials that came from South America and that depicted typical nativity scenes from catholic traditions.

Gourd, cloth and ceramic ornaments have a special place in our hearts. I confess I have cloth and straw ornaments that are handmade that we hang in our tree every year.

Read more: http://www.hispanic-culture-online.com/christmas-in-colombia.html#ixzz2FzfWjHVR

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