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Australian birds

The most famous of Australian birds is 'Kookaburra Jackass, whose derisive call seems to mock everyone who hears it. The Kookburra's head is almost as big as his body which has a downy grey waistcoat, brown feathers, and wings speckled with pale blue. He is a brave little bird and will seize a snake in his strong beak, fly up to the treetops and drop the snake on the ground, doing this again and again until the snake is dead.

The Lyre Bird gets his name from the unusual shape of his tail. He is about the size of a chicken and is fine singer and mimic. He can imitate, not only forest sounds, but any noises that he hears, and practise new imitation for hours until he has them perfected.

The largest and stateliest of Australian birds is Emu which is about seven feet high and has brownish black plumage, small wings, and a very shot tail. The emu cannot fly, but it does swim, and it can run almost as fast as kangaroo can hop. Young emus, with their vivid black and white stripped fe…

Jackeroo

A jackeroo is an apprentice to a sheep farm in Australia.

The big estate on which sheep or cattle are reared in large numbers are always called "station," and not farms; the owner is always the "boss"; and the men who work for them are "stockmen," and never shepherds or cowmen, although you are quite in order if you speak to them as "hands".

The land over which the sheep roam is the "run". A large station will probably be divided into what should be called in Britain "fields," but which the jackeroo soon learns to call " padocks".

The life of a jackeroo of Australia, likes the rancher of Canada and the veld-rider of south Africa, if we may say.
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The real Eskimo

The real Eskimo whom we believed to live always in his igloo, in an eternally frozen land, never exist.

During the summer, Eskimo take to the land with their hunting kit and their tupic or skin tent, as well as to the sea in their light and wonderfully-made kayaks, and gather what food they can from both.

As winter comes down from the north, the Eskimo retire to their winter huts or anis, built of stone and turves, and often slightly underground, and perhaps built partly of drift-wood found on the summer beaches. Here they live snugly while the blizzards rage and howl outside, until the sea ice is strong enough to bear them on their winter hunting trips.

Each little Eskimo winter village is strung out over a considerable distance to give the people of every home a fairly wide area over which to hunt. Igloo or houses of hard blocks of frozen snow form the hunting and fishing headquarters of each family.
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The Red Hand of Ulster

Ulster is another and older name for Northern Ireland, and its badge is a red hand.

Long years ago, so legend tells, a party of bold adventurers was approaching the coast of Ireland when the leader announced that whoever of his party first touched the shore should possess the territory he reached. Thereupon an ancestor of the O'Neills from whom descended the Kings of Ulster, finding another boat forging slowly ahead of his, struck off his left hand and flung it on to the land. Thus the hand of Ulster, red with O'Neill blood, still remains an emblem.
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John O' Groats' Octagonal House

On the edge of northeast Scotland there once stood John 'O Ggroat's House.

According to some legends, John de Groot was a Dutchman. His family grew and grew since settled there until eventually there were eight brothers, and a dispute then arose as to which of them should sit at the head of the table, near the door.

To settle the quarrel once and for all John built a house that was octagonal, or eight-sided. It had eight doors and eight windows on the ground floor and the dinning table had eight sides to match. Thus each brother came into the main living-room by his own door, went straight to his place at the festive board, and so there was no excuse whatever for any arguments.
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Big ben

" Big Ben " is actually the bell upon which the hours are struck, but many people give the name to the Clock Tower in which the bell hangs.
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Cisterian rule

Tintern Abby was founded in 1131 for Cisterian monks, and was built according to the Cisterian rule: "None of our houses I'd to be built in cities, in castles, or villages; but in places remote from the conversation of men."

The monks of Tintern Abbey were driven out in the reign of Henry VIII, from then the decay has overtaken, but cannot destroy the faultless of its early English style and beauty of its proportions. It has been called "the most perfect ruin in England."
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The Land's End

Land's End, the westernmost tip of England, is some 293 miles from London.

In China, similar land's end is called Tian Ya Hai Jiao (天涯海角).
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Syboes

I bought a bunch of spring onions, and on the receipt it was called 'syboes', local people says it is a Scottish word for Spring Onions.
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MIDI and WAV Music

MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface.

MIDI music is the computer equivalent of writing down music on paper and getting the computer to perform the piece of music each time it needs to be played. This means that the way it sounds depends on the computer's sound card, so the music will often sound different on different computer. We may also say that MIDI is very much like a player piano roll that specify the action of the piano, while the tone or effect is generated by the piano itself of different brand.

While WAV music sounds exactly the same on every computer. WAV file is much larger in size than the original MIDI.

Buddha Day or Wesak Fact Sheet

Buddha Day Buddha Day is also known as Wesak and is one of the most celebrated Buddhist festivals. Celebrations of the birth of Buddha take place on the full moon in May and for some Buddhists it is also a mark of his death.

Buddha translates into “one who is awake” and therefore is enlightened. The term is used to describe a person who has gained supreme wisdom and compassion of Enlightenment and is viewed as a blessed state of being.
Buddha disciples Many of Buddha's disciples have attained Enlightenment, and there have been many other Enlightened teachers.

Wesak is when Buddhists remember the story of how Buddha gained Enlightenment as well reflecting on what it would mean to an individual to go down the path of Enlightenment.
Celebrations The celebrations involve much colour and enjoyment where houses are given a spring clean and then decorated with colourful objects for example, paper and wood lanterns are used to decorates homes in Thailand.

There are many activities during…

Scrolling shooter

Scrolling shooter is a kind of game that them game world scrolls horizontally or vertically across the screen as the game progresses. Although the player's position on the screen remains fairly static, the scrolling creates the illusion of continues movement through a larger world. Scrolling shooter effect is achieved through scrolling background by using a tiling background image that moves through the room.
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How to ask people to brainstorm for you?

Whenever you ask people to brainstorm for you, I can guarantee that you get many crazy ideas as "pie in the sky."

If you are faced with a very creative opportunity, it's easy to let the enthusiasm get the better of you, of course, it should be easier for you to spot the ideas that are impossible or just too much work. Be gentle with your collaborators and try to bring them down to earth without too much of a bump. If you reject all their ideas before they finish their sentence, they'll quickly stop continuing! Explain how the same idea might be turned into something more feasible, and don't dismiss any ideas until you've finished the brainstorming process. It's worth keeping everyone brainstorming, as it's often the case that people who have the craziest idea eventually come up with brilliant idea that no one else would thought of.
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Game genres

Reading The Game Maker's Apprentice, a nice book for beginners, by jacob Habgood, and Mark Overmars.

(Their surnames sound a bit strange, Over Mars? Is he an alien?)

While I am reading along, I suddenly feel game making is as easy as playing a game, just by drag-and-drop thanks to the simple interface the developer's tool called Game Maker. Object oriented programming jargons are explained inside the game making procedure, and become easy-understood concepts.

Now I am at chapter 5, I would like to share with you their list of the main game genres:

Action games, such as sport, combat,racing;

Simulator games, such as flight sims;

Strategy games, e.g. War game, puzzle games;

Adventure games, e.g., point-and click, usually let player interact at their own pace, providing short-term puzzle-based challenges and long-term story-led challenges.

Rol-playing games, such as online RPGs.
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Hallowe'en was Celtic New Year

The ancient Celtic peoples of north-west Europe celebrated New Year around the start of November.

As Christianity spread in the Celtic lands during the ninth century, the Celtic festival was used as a base for a new Christian Holy day. So 1 November was made All saints' day, or All Hallows.

One hundred and fifty years later, the Christian Church chose 2 November as All Souls' Day. On All Souls' Day Christians remember those who have died and pray that their souls may enter Heaven.

Despite the Christian Church's efforts, Celtic tradition continued in a festival that became known as Hallowe'en. This is held on 31 October, the evening of All Hallows.

Is the suffix -e'en meant evening? Like that in Christmas Eve?
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True love never ends

By Poon Wing Lam. It's also very interesting that in her short biography she claimed "Encounter Lord in 2002".
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Thanksgiving Day

When the first European settled in America they arrived too late to sow crops for the following year's harvest. Nearly half the settlers died of starvation during that winter. The next spring, those who had survived were able to plant their seeds and,celebrated with festival. The festival became known as Thanksgiving Day, and in 1941 it was given the fixed date each year of the fourth Thursday in November.

Traditional thanksgiving foods include turkey, which is eaten with cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving is also celebrated in canada, where it is held on the second Monday in october. Canadian hold Thanksgiving before the Americans because winter begins earlier in Canada than the USA.
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Children in China are starving for food like that

In a very interesting novel, Lanark, by Alasdair Gray, with a story of the young Duncan Thaw, growing up in post-war Glasgow, I see this similar line which Chinese parents now use to teach their own children in China, they say, "Children in Africa are starving for food like that!"

The little Duncan always refused shepherd's pie or any other food whose appearance disgusted him: spongy white tripe, soft penis-like sausages, stuffed sheep's hearts with their valves and little arteries. When one of these came before him he poked it uncertainly with his fork and the argument between the mother and son began:-

"I don't want it."

"Why not?"

"It looks queer."

"But you haven't taste it! Taste just a little bit. For my sake."

"No."

"Children in China are starving for food like that."

"Send it to them."

It is very funny that now I may sometime use "starving African children" to for…

You never see the same body twice

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus believed in a world of perpetual change, of eternal 'becoming'. He made the interesting observation, 'you cannot step into the same river twice', because the river is constantly flowing. Likewise, if we could see the body the way it really is, we would never see the same body twice. Far from being solid mass like a sculpture, the body is in a state of constant change like the river. The skeleton, for instance, may seem solid, ye the bone we have today were not there three months ago. Cells of the body are constantly being replaced. We make a new liver every six weeks, a new skin every month, and a new stomach lining every four days. In fact, ninety-eight percent of the atoms in our body were not there a year ago. So the body we can see and touch is, in reality, a stream of energy.
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flue

A flue is the void through which smoke, fumes and gaseous discharges pass, not the pipe or structure forming the void. The pipe is referred to as a flue pipe and a chimney is that part of the structure of a building which forms a flue. For example, the space within a brick-built chimney is the flue. Most heat-producing appliances must be connected to a flue, in the form of either a chimney or a flue pipe. Unflued appliances can lead to condensation trouble, but some oil-burning and gas appliances are designed to operate without being connected to any kind of flue. Some gas appliances do not connect directly to a flue, for example, a gas cooker.

Technical terms for writing about poetry

Stanza is the proper word for a verse.

A couplet is a two-line stanza

A triplet is a three-line stanza.

A quatrain is a four-line stanza.

Alliteration is the repetition of consonants.

Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds.

Onomatopoeia is a word that sounds like what it means.

Caesura is a pause in mid-line, often with commas.

Enjambment helps emphasize meaning by extending a sentence from one line of poetry into the next one.

Rhythm is the arrangement of words alternating stressed and unstressed elements.

Simile is a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with 'like' or 'as').

Metaphor is a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance by comparison not using like or as.

Syntax is the order of words.

Pace is how quick/slow/clunky/graceful the words actually sound.

Tone is what feeling the words are spoken with (e.g. anger, happiness, fear, etc...).

A dramatic monologue is a poem written in the first person that deals…

Different types of poem

There are different types or forms of poems. Different structures and styles are chosen for different kinds of poem:

Ballads have a regular rhythm and are usually in four-line verses. They usually tell an epic or dramatic story, and often have a chorus.

Elegies are written for someone who has died, and is usually quite a slow, thoughtful poem.

Sonnets are usually 14 lines long, with a regular scheme. Popular with Shakespeare himself, and many other traditional writers.

Free verse has lines of irregular length that do not have to rhyme. Some poets think it's more like the way people talk, while other poets think it's an excuse to be lazy.

Treasure Islands

The book Treasure Islands, by Rosemary Kingsland. it lists fifteen 16 treasure islands:
1. La Plata, Ecuador, Pacific Ocean;
2. Elba, Italy, Mediterranean Sea; 3. Auckland Islands, New Zealand, South Pacific Ocean; 4. Tortuga, Haiti, Caribbean Sea;
5. Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire, USA, Atlantic Ocean.
6. Mahé, Seychelles, Indian Ocean.
7. Mauritius, Mascarene Islands, Indian Ocean.
8. Balambangan, Borneo, South China Sea.
9. Trinidad, Brazil, South Atlantic Ocean.
10. Aruba, Venezuela, Antilles Islands, Caribbean Sea.
11. Grigan, Philippines, Pacific Ocean.
12. Taumatos, Polynesia, south Pacific Ocean.
13. Lord Howe Island.
14. Plum Island Nova Scotia, Atlantic Ocean.
15. Oak Island, Nova Scotia, Atlantic Ocean.
16. Caldy Island, South Wales Bristol channel.

Killibibin

Killibinbin is a word the ancient Aussies used to describe anything extremely bright or shining.

Saw this word in the Subway advertise for Aussie hair shine product.
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The Holy Grail

To many people the Holy Grail is only a religious myth, the romantic object that King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table searched for, a symbol of all that was pure. To others the Holy Grail is as factual as the Cross itself -- although it has never, in fact, had any historical substance or form.

It is supposed to be the chalice from which Christ drank during the Last Supper -- and on which the Mass is based. It was said that it also used to catch His blood as He hung on the cross.

A less popular version of what the Holy Grail represents is that it was the shallow dish -- a wooden platter -- on which the bread of the Last Supper was broken and served.

King Arthur -- whose magical city Camelot is supposed to be in Somerset, not far from Glastonbury -- always declared that the Holy Grail was a rare jewelled goblet, but this is most unlikely if it is indeed one of the objects used by Christ, who had nothing rich or exotic in His whole life. It is possible, of course, that the orig…

About Idolatry

Talking with Christian, you can't avoid a pejorative term 'idolatry'.

But I don't think there is anything wrong to pray to an idol, because idol worshipers don't actually believe those images or statues made of mud, or carved from wood, or  chiseled out of stone are alive, those objects are just an image representing god or angels. That's why people choose a special day, on 1st and 15th of each month or birthday to go the temple, to light incense and make offer. On these days, Buddhas and other angels will come down from Heaven to listen to the prayers.

Idol worshipers actually acknowledge one Supreme God above those gods, such as Chinese,  once a year they sent their kitchen god to Heaven, the kitchen god acts as a medium between human being and the Highest God, he report good deed or wrongdoings of every household.

We may ask if you have some difficulties or unjust done to you, will you go straight to Prime Minister, or first to your local councilor? In the p…

Fairy Puck

In Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, Puck is an interesting character. He is the servant fairy, but he is a different kind of fairy from fairy King and Queen Oberon and Titania. Although he plays the part of Oberon's servant and messenger, he is more like the goblins that appeared in fairy stories. In the play he also called Robin Goodfellow and Hobgoblin and this character was a mischievous fellow, well known in many fairy tales for the pranks he played.

Puck plays jokes on ordinary village folk. Sometimes he upsets the dairymaids by skimming the cream from the milk or by getting in the dairy churn so that they cannot turn the cream into butter. On other occasions, he spoils beer which is being brewed, just for fun. Another favorite trick is to transform himself into a crab-apple hidden inside a jug of ale. Then when an old grandmother sips the ale, he bobs against her lips so that she spills it. His best 'joke', however, is to whip away a stool from …

Pirate and Privateer

Pirate were cut-throat robbers who had no loyalty to any king or country, and who swooped on any ship of every nation, including their own. Treachery and murder were a way of life in the days when sailing-ships roamed the world.

There was also another sort of pirate, a privateer. He was a kind of commissioned pirate, actually given permission by his own country  to rob his enemies; but if he ever stole from his own country's ships, then he was called a pirate, and hunted down and hanged. The treasure stolen by privateers was shared with the king.

Four Divine Creatures

Four Supernatural creatures which the Chinese look upon as omens of good are the Unicorn, phoenix, the tortoise, and the dragon.

The K'i-lin, or Chinese Unicorn, is a hooved divine creature which appears with the imminent arrival or passing of a wise sage or an illustrious ruler.

The Fenghuang, or phoenix, is reign over all birds,  the male is called Feng, and the female is called Huang.