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Sunday, 29 August 2010

Why is Bella called Swan?

Swan is the surname given to the character of Bella in the Twilight Series. Why is Bella's surname Swan? According to vampiric terminology, there are two types of swans: black swans and white swans.
* Black Swan:
A non-Vampire lover or friend, favourably inclined towards Vampires. They may or may not frequent vampire nightclubs and usually understand the vampire lifestyle.
* White Swan:
Someone who cannot tolerate the Vampire lifestyle. In general, White Swans are still a part of the Gothic scene, which often brings them into contact with the vampire community despite their disgust of vampirism.  

Did you know?

The kind of font (type of letter) Bella uses in her handwriting is called Pablo. Edward Cullen, instead, uses a font called Carmilla.
Carmilla is also the title of a Gothic novel written by Sheridan Le Fanu.  

Special Vocabulary: Seafood

Seafood is food made from fish or other sea animals (such as shrimp and lobsters). The harvesting (= collecting) of seafood is called fishing. Seafood is rich in protein, and is usually thought as healthy food.
Seafood includes fish, shellfish (moluscos) and roe (= eggs of fish eaten as food). Shellfish (marisco) is a culimary term which includes crustaceans and mollusks.

* Types of seafood 

Bass: róbalo
Blowfish: pez globo
Catfish: bagre
Caviar: caviar
Clam: almeja
Crab: cangrejo
Cockle: berberecho
Cod: bacalao
Drum (also croaker, hardhead): corvina
Eel: anguila
Hake: merluza
Herring: arenque
Lobster: langosta
Mackerel: caballa
Mussel: mejillón
Octopus: pulpo
Oyster: ostra
Pollock: abadejo
Prawn: camarón
Sardine: sardina
Salmon: salmón
Shark: tiburón
Shrimp: langostino
Silverside: cornalito
Snail: caracol
Sole: lenguado
Squid: calamar
Swordfish: pez espada
Trout: trucha
Tuna: atún

Anchovy: anchoa

Monday, 23 August 2010

No emperor behind the salad

A Caesar salad has romaine lettuce (lechuga romana) and croutons (=small pieces of bread fried in butter an oil) dressed (aderezada) with parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce (salsa inglesa), and black pepper. Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies (anchoas) and garlic (ajo).
Many people believe the Caesar Salad owes (debe) its name to the Roman emperor Julius Caesar. The name Caesar, however, comes from the original creator of the salad: Caesar Cardini. Cardini was an Italian-born Mexican who lived in San Diego and had a restaurant in Tijuana.
According to Caesar's daughter Rosa, on July 4th 1924 the salad was created on a busy weekend at Caesar's Restaurant. It is said that Caesar was short of (se quedó sin) supplies (provisiones) and didn't want to disappoint the customers so he created this salad with what was on hand (a mano). The salad soon became a hit and people came to the restaurant just to get the salad. In particular, the Caesar salad became a favourite of Hollywood actors.  Many restaurants serve a Caesar salad with grilled (a la parrilla) chicken, steak, salmon or shrimp (camarones).

An insect, a virgin & a saint

A ladybird is a small, rounded, usually brightly coloured beetle (escarabajo), often reddish with black spots (manchas).
The name "ladybird" originated in the Middle Ages when the insects were called the "beetle of Our Lady" . They were named after The Virgin Mary because in early religious paintings she was often shown wearing a red cloak (capa). The German name Marienkäfer means "Marybeetle". In the United States the name was Americanized to "ladybug".
In Argentina a ladybird is associated to a male saint (Saint Anthony) and not to the Virgin Mary: it is called "Vaquita de San Antonio" (San Antonio's little cow) and it is considered to bring good luck. People also believe ladybirds bring good weather.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

English Language: Fruits that discriminate?

Due to the colour of their skin (cáscara), some fruits are used as ethnic slurs (insultos étnicos) in English.
An apple is a red-skinned person who behaves in a servile way (como un esclavo) towards white people or who behaves like a white person. The term apple then refers to an American Indian (Native American) who is "red on the outside but white on the inside."
A banana means somebody who is "yellow on the outside and white on the inside."
A coconut is a person who has black skin who acts like a white person.
There is a cookie called Oreo which is also used to refer to somebody who has black skin trying to be "white".

Angels, devils and pigs in the kitchen

Angels on horseback

Angels on horseback (ángeles a caballo) is a hot appetizer (aperitivo) made of oysters (ostras) wrapped with (envueltas en) bacon.

Devils on horseback

They are a 'darker' (and cheaper) version of angels on horseback. Most recipes contain a pitted prune (ciruela descarozada) stuffed with (rellena con) mango chutney and wrapped in bacon. Instead of prunes, sometimes dates (dátiles) are used.

Pigs in a blanket

In the United Kingdom, "pigs in blankets" refers to small sausages (usually chipolatas) wrapped in bacon. Usually served at Christmas lunch or with roast dinners, pigs in blankets are now considered a traditional part of the Christmas meal.
Pigs in blankets can also refer to chipolata sausages wrapped in pastry (masa).
A variation of the recipe in the UK is to use a layer (capa) of bread around the bacon.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Food with a funny name: The Muffuletta Sandwich

The muffuletta is a mighty meaty sandwich native to New Orleans. It is traditionally made with a large, round loaf of crusty bread, a variety of cured meats and cheeses (typically capicola, salami, mortadella, emmentaler and provolone) and most importantly olive salad. This salad of course has olives, but also carrots, cauliflower and celery.

* Mini-dictionary:

mighty: poderoso
meaty: relleno de carne
native to: originario de
loaf of bread: hogaza de pan
crusty: crujiente
cured meats: fiambres
capicola: bondiola
emmentaler: queso emmental
olive: aceituna
carrot: zanahoria
cauliflower: coliflor
celery: apio

Friday, 20 August 2010

Different Types of Smells

There are different names for different types of smells in English. Some smells are pleasant and others are not.

a pleasant characteristic smell of a plant, spice (especia) or food.

the aroma of garlic (ajo) and bacon
the aroma of carefully selected tobacco

Fragrance: a pleasant smell
the fragrance of lilacs

a pleasant smell

She loved French perfumes.

Odour: it can be pleasant
the odour of roses
or unpleasant
body odour: olor a transpiración

a pleasant smell

the scent of fresh flowers
or a small left by a person or animal
hounds (sabuesos) smelling the scent of the prey (presa)

Stench: a strnong and offensive smell
the stench of stale (estancadas) waters

Stink: a strong unplesant smell
the stink of garbage (basura)
stink bomb: bombita de mal olor

The writers behind the businesswoman

Elizabeth Arden was the business name adopted by Florence Nightingale Graham, the Canadian businesswoman who built a cosmetics empire in the United States. She took the name Elizabeth Arden by combining the names of her previous business partner -Elizabeth Hubbard- and the poem Enoch Arden, written by the British poet Lord Alfred Tennyson. Her name is also related to a place made popular by another writer called Washington Irving.

* Lord Tennyson's Enoch Arden

Enoch Arden was published in 1864. The story on which it was based was provided to Tennyson by Thomas Woolner. The hero of the poem was a fisherman and sailor called Enoch Arden, who leaves his wife Annie and three children to go to sea.  However during his voyage he is shipwrecked and remains lost and missing for ten years. When he returns, he finds that, after his long absence, his wife, who believed him dead, is married happily to another man, his childhood friend Philip, and has a child by him.
Tragically Enoch does not ever reveal to his wife and children that he is really alive, and dies of a broken heart.

* Washignton Irving's Sleepy Hollow

Arden died in New York City in 1966 and was buried in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery under the name Elizabeth N. Graham. Sleepy Hollow is a village New York, United States. It was originally known as North Tarrytown and it was given its current name in 1996 to honour the short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, written by Washington Irving.
In 1999 Sleepy Hollow was made into a film, whose name in Spanish was La leyenda del jinete sin cabeza. The movie was directed by Tim Burton. Johnny Depp starred as Ichabod Crane while Christopher Walken played the Headless Horseman.  

Arden-inspired Colours

Several products created by Elizabeth Arden have colourful names:

- Blue Grass:
the flowery scent of this perfume reminded Elizabeth of the prairies of Kentucky and horse stables there, that is why the image of a blue horse illustrates the package of the product.

- Green Tea:
this fragrance, which energizes the body, has Asiatic overtones.

- Montezuma Red:
a lipstick for the women in the armed forces to match the red on their uniforms.

- Red Door:
named after the Arden day spas which are called "Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salons".

- White Diamonds: perfume worn by Elizabeth Taylor.

* Mini-dictionary:

flowery: floral

scent: fragancia
remind: hacer acordar
prairie: pradera
stable: establo
package: paquete
Asiatic overtones: tonos asiáticos
match: combinar; hace juego con

The school teacher behind the rock band

The members of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd named their group after a physical-education teacher at Robert E. Lee High School, Leonard Skinner, who strictly enforced (aplicaba por la fuerza) the school's policy against boys having long hair.
Though the band did not get on well with Skinner in high school, they developed a friendlier relationship with him in later years, and invited him to introduce them at a concert in the Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum.
Lynyrd Skynyrd's major hits are Sweet Home Alabama and Free Bird.

The breakfast food behind the Beatle song

Yesterday, the song recorded by The Beatles in 1965, was not originally called like that. Paul McCartney wrote the melody after he woke from a dream one night. He used to call the song Scrambled Eggs (huevos revueltos) as the original opening verse was "Scrambled Eggs/Oh, my baby how I love your legs".
After working on the music for months, he wrote the lyrics as we know them today and considered the song complete.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

All About Goths & Vampires

A complete description of the history of the Goth subculture and the different types that make up the Goth community.

Cool Link in English:
Encyclopedia Dramatica: Goth

A cool site leading to other sites explaining the myth of vampires, and even including information about Psychic Vampirism.

Cool Link in English:
Reference Answers: Vampire