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Archive for December, 2005

2005 review



005 in the news : on the picture Leonard Thomas, 23, cries after a SWAT team burst into a flooded New Orleans home on Sept. 5, 2005, where he and his family were staying. Neighbors said authorities left after Thomas’ family proved they owned the house. Hurricane Katrina engulfed coastlines in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama on Aug. 29. To date, the official death toll tops 1,300, and thousands remain displaced. Much of the devastation resulted from dilapidated levees in New Orleans, too weak to withstand Katrina’s strength. The flooding shone a spotlight on poor planning and bureaucratic tangles that crippled rescue and relief efforts, adding to the suffering of victims and frustrating onlookers. A month later, Hurricane Rita threatened to devastate Galveston, Texas, but weakened and changed course at the last moment — another mark of the most active Atlantic hurricane season ever recorded.
Click here or on the picture to see the passed year 2005 in the news at Yahoo.



IGER – REUTERS. The fingers of malnourished one – year – old Alassa Galisou are pressed against the lips of his mother Fatou Ousseini at an emergency feeding clinic in the town of Tahoua in Northwestern Niger, August 1 2005. Torrential rain promesing a better harvest in Niger threathens to slow aid deliveries to may of the millions of hungry people in desperate need of help before their crops ripen, aid workers said on m onday. (02 december 2005 REUTERS).

Click here or on the picture to see the passed year 2005 in the news at Reuters.

2005 in the news at Google :

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday mother, Grandma !!!

Esther and Marcel

Oma en Esther

New Year


005 is almost over. A new year is ahead of us. What will 2006 bring to us? That’s a question many people will ask themselves this time of the year. The answer can be given this time next year. “Happy New Year “ or “Good luck for the New Year” …that greeting will be said and heard for at least the first couple of weeks as a new year gets under way.  



raditionally, it was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. For that reason, it has become common for folks to celebrate the first few minutes of a brand new year in the company of family and friends. Parties often last into the middle of the night after the ringing in of a new year. It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year’s Day would bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year. It was particularly lucky if that visitor happened to be a tall dark-haired man. Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes “coming full circle,” completing a year’s cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year’s Day will bring good fortune.

raditional New Year foods are also thougt to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes “coming full circel”, completing a year’s cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year’s Day will bring good fortune. 
Everyone around the globe celebrates with food.  Here are just a few traditional foods eaten around the world to ring in the New Year. 

  • Olie Bollen (a donut-like fritter) is popular in Holland for New Year.  

  • Eating pickled herring as the first bite of the New Year is said to bring good luck to those of Polish descent.

  • Eating noodles at midnight is traditional at Buddhist temples in Japan.  

  • In Cuba they eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight for good luck. The 12 grapes signify the last twelve months of the year.

  • Black-eyed peas, fish, apples, and beets are eaten for luck at the Jewish New Year’s celebration.

  • German tradition is eating herring at the stroke of midnight to bring luck for the next year.

  • In the southern United States, it is believed eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Eve will bring luck for the coming year.  Other customary New Year foods in the south include eating greens such as cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens, kale or spinach to bring money and cornbread to bring wealth.  

  • The traditional eating greens can be found in other cultures as well, although the cabbage can take many forms, such as sauerkraut or even kimchee.

  • In the Philippines, it is important to have food on the table at midnight in order to insure an abundance of food in the upcoming year.  

  •  And in Denmark Boiled Cod is the fare for New Year’s Eve.

he song, “Auld Lang Syne,” is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns (1759-1796) in the 1700’s, it was first published in 1796 after Burns’ death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scotch tune, “Auld Lang Syne” literally means “old long ago,” or simply, “the good old days.”

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
And here’s a hand, my trusty friend
And gie’s a hand o’ thine
We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne


Should old friendships be forgotten
and never remembered
Should old friendships be forgotten
For old friends and days
For old friends and days, my dear
For old friends and days
We will still take a drink
For old friends and days

And here is a hand my trusted friend
And give me your hand
And we will take a good toast
For old friends and days
For old friends and days, my dear
For old friends and days
We will still take a drink
For old friends and days

Link: www.wilstar.com/xmas/auldlangsyne.htm

Lady Bug

Lady Bug

ONDON – British ladybugs are in danger of being overrun by insects from Central and Southeast Asia that are encroaching on their food supply, experts said Wednesday. Harlequin ladybugs, already a pest in North America, were first spotted in Britain in September 2004 and are flourishing without the presence of natural predators. Michael Majerus, of Cambridge University, predicted the foreign ladybugs — the insects are known in Britain as ladybirds — could be found all around the country by 2008. “There are currently 46 species of British ladybird,” he said. “A few of those may be lost 10 to 20 years down the road.” Scientists launched a survey at the Natural History Museum in March to track the pesky beauties. Majerus said the public had been extremely helpful. Harlequins are orange with black spots or black with either red or orange spots and larger than their British counterparts. Introduced to the United States to control aphid populations, the harlequins morphed into pests by 1988, blemishing soft fruit, ruining grapes meant for wine production and invading homes. After similar insect control programs in continental Europe, harlequins made their way to Britain by hitching rides on flowers shipped from the Netherlands and Belgium. The bugs are able to fly for miles and up to 10,000 feet high and Majerus believes that many simply flew over the English Channel. Harlequins have a voracious appetite and eat aphids, pollen, nectar and even other ladybugs. They have even been known to nip humans when hungry. If temperatures are right, harlequins can produce two or three generations annually. Native British ladybugs are limited to one generation per year. Harlequins also threaten other species that eat aphids, and those who, in turn, eat them, and can disrupt entire ecosystems. “This is a concern worldwide in terms of invasive species unless we want to have a global fauna,” said Helen Roy, a ladybug expert at Anglia Polytechnic University. Currently, scientists have no way of stopping the bugs.

Uranus rings

Rings on Uranus

OS ANGELES – Astronomers aided by the Hubble Space Telescope have spied two more rings encircling Uranus, the first additions to the planet’s ring system in nearly two decades. The faint, dusty rings orbit outside of Uranus’ previously known rings, but within the orbits of its large moons, said Mark Showalter, an astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., who made the discovery. Details will appear online Friday in the journal Science. The discovery, announced Thursday, means scientists now believe the seventh planet from the sun possesses 13 rings. In 1986, Voyager 2 became the first spacecraft to zip past Uranus and beam back thousands of images of its dazzling rings and numerous moons. It found two new rings in addition to the nine previously discovered from Earth. Scientists peering through the Hubble Space Telescope made the latest ring discoveries in 2004. Then they went back to process hundreds of images taken by Voyager and found the rings in the pictures. Scientists speculate that the rings may not have been discovered during the spacecraft flyby because of their faintness. The newly discovered rings are made up of short-lived, faint bands of dust grains that are constantly being replenished by erosion of larger space bodies. Scientist think the dust in the outermost ring is being supplied by the moon Mab, discovered in 2003. Scientists also measured changes in the orbits of Uranus’ inner moons since 1994. The new measurements suggest the moons are in a “random and chaotic” fashion, said Jack Lissauer of the NASA Ames Research Center. Because of the moons’ instability, scientists think the satellites will collide with one another in the next few million years. Uranus, four times the diameter of Earth, is one of the solar system’s giant, gaseous planets that also include Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune.

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