Is beauty overrated?

A Mercedes-Benz commercial:

Carnival

Carnival is celebrated all around the world just before the fasting season of Lent. Here in Spain, the week leading up to Lent is a time for wild partying when anything goes,  and many cities play host to some of Europe’s biggest and best Carnival festivals.

Some theories speculate that Carnival has its origin in the Roman Saturnalia,  a pagan festival where people indulged in much eating and drinking.  An alternative theory is that it comes from ‘farewell to the flesh’ (carne =meat and valle= farewell), again a reference to the excesses that led up to the sombre Lent. With these pagan roots and widespread ‘permissiveness’, it’s no wonder that the dictator General Franco banned the festival for forty years!

Carnival in Spain is celebrated nationwide, although the most well-known festivities are in the Canary Islands, Cadiz and Sitges. While each town has its own unique flavour of celebration, they all have a devotion to having a good time. No one seems to sleep, as the drinking and dancing go from dusk until dawn. You’ll see extravagant costumes and people in masks everywhere, with parades and fancy dress events culminating in the traditional Burial of the Sardine on Ash Wednesday.

The sardine is a symbol which reminds the people that now they will be eating fish instead of meat – some Catholics still observe the tradition of not eating meat on miércoles de Ceniza and on Fridays during Lent. This is the event that truly symbolises the end of the good times and the beginning of a period of abstinence.

In Catalunya Carnival is a particularly exciting time as celebrations were illegal under Franco’s rule. So, since the end of his dictatorship in 1980 people have been making up for all of those years without a carnival!

As for Carnival in Rio, Venice, New Orleans … (sigh) follow the links and enjoy them virtually. But don’t despair, there’s also London’s Notting Hill Carnival in August!

Two Brains… or a bit more on men and women

A hilarious look at male and female brains. Don’t miss it!

And if you want to know if your brain is 100% male or female, click on this link and do the test!

http://www.tv3.cat/fitxaplus/sexesenguerra/test/

Introducing the Book

My dear friend Helen found this video. I thought I would post it here!

Obama’s Nobel Prize

US President Barack Obama has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.

Throughout its history, the Nobel Peace Price has sparked lots of controversy. For example, in 1937  Hitler forbade German nationals from accepting any Nobel Prize in future after growing offended with the Nobel Foundation when the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Carl von Ossietzky, a German writer who publicly opposed Hitler and Nazism.  Surprisingly enough, Mahatma Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace Prize, though he was nominated for it five times  between 1937 and 1948. However, decades later, the Nobel Committee publicly declared its regret for the omission.

More recently, Yasser Arafat’s Peace Prize in 1994, received much criticism, as he was widely regarded a terrorist.  And, last but not least, Obama’s prize, which the American President himself was not too thrilled about, was for many people undeserved and premature: 

Click on the link below to read about the reactions of some of the most important world leaders:

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1929393,00.html?xid=feed-yahoo-full-nation-related

And here is a video of Obama’s reaction on first hearing the news:

And some more food for thought on why winning the Nobel Prize could hurt Obama:

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1929385,00.html?iid=sphere-inline-sidebar

 

Men and Dating

And you always thought that dating and relationships in general were difficult… You know, a ‘men are from Mars women are from Venus’ kind of thing. Apparently, you were wrong, but it’s never too late to mend your ways.  Alec Greven, America’s latest whiz kid, has written  ‘How to Talk to Girls’, the ultimate guide to relationships. In the book, young Greven tells us how to win the girl you want by sharing all kinds of tips, from how not to act desperate to how to comb your hair. So, what are you waiting for? if you are a boy – from eight to eighty – who needs help getting girls, this book has all the answers, he claims:

That was fun, wasn´t it? kind of cute. What I am going to show you next is… I don’t know, hilarious?, unbelievable?, scary? This is Alec Greven gone ‘pro’!

What men need to know about women

What men need to know about women

http://www.artofseductions.com/how-to-talk-to-girls/

Shopping Frenzy

A very funny video about how answering the wrong phone can make someone’s day