Category Archives: Current issues

Social network – Facebook’s functions today


Facebook, which was founded by student Mark Zuckerberg, is only 7 years old and already has several million users. The secret of this social network’s popularity lies in its practical viability: the users can chat with each other, send messages, post their creative thoughts of the day or invite their idol as a friend. Facebook also gives them a unique opportunity to build vivid profiles with posh pictures.

According to Facebook’s statistics, people spend over 700 billion minutes per month on the site, an average user has 130 friends, and about 70% of users are outside the United States. It has been said that people who have many friends are perceived as more sociable. Others claim that a big number of virtual friends only shows how lonely the user is.

Lately, I read a very interesting article on wordpress.com, 5 reasons to quit Facebook. Its author shares his personal opinion about Facebook with readers. In his opinion, Facebook is a very good source for crackers and other dishonest people, as Facebook’s users tend to post very personal information, sometimes their credit card numbers. Also, Facebook can sell information about its users to advertisers. Moreover, the author of the article accurately observes people’s tendency to join the network just because their friends are there.

Avon and Somerset Police, UK, tried to find 25-year-old Jo Yeates’ killer by using Facebook: the users could see a special advert, which appeared on the site, Jo’s murder- can you help? Also, police were searching Jo’s Facebook account to find any trace of her murder.

Undoubtedly, apart from TV shows a social network is one of the most important entertainments in contemporary society, but not the only one. First of all, it’s a good source for PR campaigns, journalists, and sadly – for criminals.

 

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Was 2010 a good year for the world?


2010 was announced as The International Year of Biodiversity by The United Nations Organization (UNO); it was proclaimed The Year of Frédéric Chopin in Poland. In Italy the year 2010 was designated as The Year of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, the most notable Italian Baroque artist, and Lithuania celebrated the 600 anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald 1410.

 In 2010, the Burj Khalifa – the biggest structure in the world – was opened in Dubai; the Swedish Crown Princess Victoria married Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland, and the radioactive chemical element with the atomic number 112 was named Copernicium after the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

Definitely it was a year of new faces on the political scene; in January, Sebastián Piñera won the second round of the presidential election in Chile; Ivo Josipović became the president of Croatia; Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych became the president of Ukraine; in May David Cameron became Prime Minister of the UK; in June, Juan Manuel Santos  won the presidential election in Columbia, Benigno Aquino III became the president of the Philippines and  Julia Gillard became the first Australian woman Prime Minister. Also, in November, a political science professor, Alpha Condé, won presidential elections in Guinea.

It was a year of natural disasters; in January Haiti suffered from a 7.0 magnitude earthquake while 230,000 people died; February brought floods on the Portuguese island Madeira and an earthquake in Chile rated a magnitude of 8.8. In March there was an earthquake in Elazığ, Turkey and in April there was an earthquake in China’s Qinghai province and one of the smaller ice caps in Iceland – Eyjafjallajökull – erupted. In May and June there were floods in Central European countries (Poland, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Ukraine) and in Brazil. In July Pakistan floods affected above 15 million people and in July and August Russia suffered from forest fires.

Many famous people died in 2010, including 41-year-old British fashion designer, Alexander McQueen, whose clients among others were Charles, Prince of Wales and Mikhail Gorbachev. A Winter Olympics competition in Vancouver, Canada was marked by the death of a 21-year-old Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, who died of injuries after his fatal crash during the training. On April 10 the president of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, his wife and 94 others were killed in a plane crash on the Tupolev Tu-154M near Smoleńsk, Russia. Also, in April John Forsythe died, the star of an American prime time television soap opera – Dynasty, and singer and bassist  Peter Steele, the member of the gothic metal band from Brooklyn – Type O Negative. In May the Nigerian President, Umaru Yar’Adua died and Kama Chinen, a Japanese super centenarian also died, 8 days before her 115th birthday. In October the King of Rock and Soul, American singer Solomon Burke,who was famous for his hit Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, passed away.  In November one of the most outstanding Polish contemporary classical composers, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, best known for his Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, died. Also, a few weeks before Christmas Canadian actor and comedian, Leslie Nielsen died.

2010 was also the year of brave decisions:  Ecuador’s police rose in revolt against its President Rafael Correa, the Netherlands Antilles were dissolved into 5 constituent countries, Iceland refused to pay for the UK and Netherlands debts and in their national referendum, the Swiss rejected a proposition of law according to which animals would be represented at court by state-funded lawyers.

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Scared Charles and Camilla


 

Last Friday I realised that almost every single newspaper had a cover showing a scared Prince Charles and Camilla, who were attacked by protesters. Anyway, I saw that picture on the cover of The Daily Mirror – ‘Camilla attack terror’, The Daily Telegraph – ‘Rioters attack Prince in car’, Scottish Daily Mail – ‘How could they get this close?’, and The Times – ‘Assault on Whitehall’.

Last Thursday in London, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were attacked in their car by protesters who were furious about rising university tuition fees.  The couple were travelling to the theatre. According to the BBC, ‘A window was cracked and their car hit by paint, but the couple were unharmed’.

However, funnier was the fact that each of the aforementioned newspapers actually had the same picture, and I wonder how much the reporter, who sold them the picture earned. To be honest, I don’t know what to think about the incident but only yesterday I heard opinions that it was a good experience for the Royal couple, because they should wake up and taste the life of an average person.

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Winter offences


Yesterday when I was passing by one of the cottages in the street where I live, I noticed a man looking at something. When I approached him, I knew what he was admiring; there were three winter sculptures: a frog, snowman and an obscure lump of snow with the Scottish flag on the top. It reminded me of a funny accident that happened the week before, when a woman from Kent, England called 999 and reported that her snowman was stolen.

The snowman seemed to be very valuable to her, as she used pounds coins as his eyes and tea spoons for his arms. And this raises the question, ‘Is something that we value equal to its real importance?’ What is more important, a snowman worth £2 or someone’s life? According to The Sun, Kent Police received more than 8000 general and 999 calls in 48 hours.

Well, the snowman and frog from my street are not very valuable and they are not in danger of kidnapping, so that man can sleep very well and the 999 line is not busy when it is really necessary.

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