Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December, 2012

Christmas Images

A selection of festive images. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
https://www.google.ie/search?q=christmas+images&hl=en&tbo=u&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=NqXUUNX-Hs2QhQfB7oGICw&sqi=2&ved=0CC4QsAQ&biw=1366&bih=647

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Christmas Day is celebrated as a major festival and public holiday in countries around the world, including many whose populations are mostly non-Christian. In some non-Christian countries, periods of former colonial rule introduced the celebration (e.g. Hong Kong); in others, Christian minorities or foreign cultural influences have led populations to observe the holiday. Countries such as Japan, where Christmas is popular despite there being only a small number of Christians, have adopted many of the secular aspects of Christmas, such as gift-giving, decorations and Christmas trees.

Countries in which Christmas is not a formal public holiday include China, (excepting Hong Kong and Macao), Japan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Thailand, Iran, Turkey and North Korea. Christmas celebrations around the world can vary markedly in form, reflecting differing cultural and national traditions.

Among countries with a strong Christian tradition, a variety of Christmas celebrations have developed that incorporate regional and local cultures. For Christians, participating in a religious service plays an important part in the recognition of the season. Christmas, along with Easter, is the period of highest annual church attendance.

In Catholic countries, people hold religious processions or parades in the days preceding Christmas. In other countries, secular processions or parades featuring Santa Claus and other seasonal figures are often held. Family reunions and the exchange of gifts are a widespread feature of the season. Gift giving takes place on Christmas Day in most countries. Others practice gift giving on December 6, Saint Nicholas Day, and January 6, Epiphany.

Read Full Post »

The 2003 Rugby World Cup was held in Australia. Ireland was drawn in Group A in the first round.

Group A

Ireland 45 Romainia 17 at Gosford
Scorers
Tries:
S. Horgan
Wood
Hickie 2
Costello
Pens:
Humphreys 4
Cons:
Humphreys 3
O’Gara

Ireland 64 Namibia 7 at Sydney
Scorers
Tries:
Quinlan 2
Dempsey
Hickie
Horan
Miller 2
G. Easterby
S. Horgan
Kelly
Cons:
O’Gara 7

Argentina 15 Ireland 16 at Adelaide
Scorers
Try:
Quinlan
Pens:
Humphreys
O’Gara 2
Con:
Humphreys

Australia 17 Ireland 16 at Melbourne
Scorers
Try:
O’Driscoll
D.G.:
O’Driscoll
Pens:
O’Gara 2
Con:
O’Gara

Ireland finished second in the pool so qualified for the Quarter Final.

Quarter Final

France 43 Ireland 21 at Melbourne
Scorers
Tries:
Maggs
O’Driscoll 2
Cons:
Humphreys 3

England became the fifth World Cup Champions.

Read Full Post »

Countries of the World.

The Comoros i/ˈkɒməroʊz/ (Arabic: جزر القمر‎, Ǧuzur al-Qumur / Qamar), officially the Union of the Comoros (Comorian: Udzima wa Komori, French: Union des Comores, Arabic: الاتحاد القمري‎ al-Ittiḥād al-Qumurī / Qamarī) is a sovereign archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean, located at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel off the eastern coast of Africa, between northeastern Mozambique and northwestern Madagascar. Other countries near the Comoros are Tanzania to the northwest and the Seychelles to the northeast. Its capital is Moroni, on Grande Comore.

At 1,862 km2 (719 sq mi), excluding the contested island of Mayotte, the Comoros is the third-smallest African nation by area. The population, excluding Mayotte, is estimated at 798,000. The name “Comoros” derives from the Arabic word قمر qamar (“moon”). As a nation formed at a crossroads of many civilizations, the archipelago is noted for its diverse culture and history. The Union of the Comoros has three official languages – Comorian, Arabic and French – though French is the sole official language on Mayotte.

Officially, in addition to many smaller islands, the country consists of the four major islands in the volcanic Comoros archipelago: northwesternmost Grande Comore (Ngazidja); Mohéli (Mwali); Anjouan (Nzwani); and southeasternmost Mayotte (Maore). Mayotte, however, has never been administered by the Comoros government (or, before independence, its predecessors). Instead, Mayotte continues to be administered by France (currently as an overseas department) as it was the only island in the archipelago that voted against independence in 1974. France has since vetoed United Nations Security Council resolutions that would affirm Comorian sovereignty over the island. In addition, a referendum on the question of Mayotte becoming an overseas department of France in 2011 was held on 29 March 2009 and passed overwhelmingly.

The Comoros is the only state to be a member of all of the following: the African Union, Francophonie, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Arab League (of which it is the southernmost state) and the Indian Ocean Commission. Since independence in 1975, the country has experienced numerous coups d’état and, as of 2008, about half the population lives below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.

Read Full Post »

The Nativity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gerard_van_Honthorst_001.jpg

The Nativity of Jesus, also The Nativity, refers to the accounts of the birth of Jesus, primarily based on the two accounts in the gospels of Luke and Matthew, and secondarily on some apocryphal texts. The word is anglicized from Latin De nativitate Iesu, a section title in the Vulgate.

The canonical gospels of Luke and Matthew describe Jesus being born in Bethlehem, in Judea, to a virgin mother. Luke features the Christmas story, in which Joseph and Mary, as part of a census, travel to Bethlehem, where Jesus is born and laid in a manger. Angels proclaim him a savior for all people, and shepherds come to adore him. In Matthew, wise men follow a star to Bethlehem to bring gifts to Jesus, born the King of the Jews. King Herod massacres all the toddler boys in Bethlehem to kill Jesus, but the holy family flees to Egypt and later settles in Nazareth. Scholars debate whether these two accounts can be reconciled or not, and some view the narratives as non-historical. Some scholars view the discussion of historicity as secondary, given that gospels were primarily written as theological documents rather than chronological timelines. Other traditional Christian scholars maintain that the two accounts do not contradict each other, pointing to the similarities between them.

The main religious celebration among members of the Catholic Church and other Christian groups is the Church service on Christmas Eve or on the morning of Christmas Day. During the forty days leading up to Christmas, the Eastern Orthodox Church practices the Nativity Fast, while the majority of Christian congregations (including the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, many Mainline churches, and Baptists) begin observing the liturgical season of Advent four Sundays before Christmas—both are seen as times of spiritual cleansing, recollection and renewal to prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

In Christian theology, the Nativity of Jesus concerns the Incarnation of Jesus as the second Adam, in fulfilment of the divine will of God, undoing the damage caused by the fall of the first man, Adam. The Artistic depiction of Nativity has been a major subject for Christian artists since the 4th century. Since the 13th century, the Nativity scene has emphasized the humility of Jesus and promoted a more tender image of him, as a major turning point from the early “Lord and Master” image, affecting the basic approaches of Christian pastoral ministry.

Read Full Post »

Countries of the World.

Colombia ( /kəˈlʌmbiə/ kə-LUM-biə, or /kəˈlɒmbiə/ kə-LOM-biə), officially the Republic of Colombia (Spanish: República de Colombia [reˈpuβlika ðe koˈlombja]), is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the northwest by Panama; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; and to the west by the Pacific Ocean. Colombia is the 26th largest country by area and the fourth largest in South America after Brazil, Argentina and Peru. With over 46 million people, Colombia is the 27th largest country in the world by population and has the second largest population of any Spanish-speaking country in the world, after Mexico. Colombia is a middle power, and is now the fourth largest economy in Latin America, and the third largest in South America. Colombia produces coffee, flowers, emeralds, coal, and oil. These products comprise the primary sector of the economy.

The territory of what is now Colombia was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples including the Muisca, Quimbaya, and Tairona. The Spanish arrived in 1499 and initiated a period of conquest and colonization ultimately creating the Viceroyalty of New Granada (comprising modern-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, north-western Brazil and Panama), with its capital at Bogotá. Independence from Spain was won in 1819, but by 1830 “Gran Colombia” had collapsed with the secession of Venezuela and Ecuador. What is now Colombia and Panama emerged as the Republic of New Granada. The new nation experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation (1858), and then the United States of Colombia (1863), before the Republic of Colombia was finally declared in 1886. Panama seceded in 1903. Colombia was the first constitutional government in South America, and an important promoter of the Pan American organizations, initially through the Congress of Panama and later as founder of the Organization of American States. The Liberal and Conservative parties, founded in 1848 and 1849, are two of the oldest surviving political parties in the Americas.

Colombia is ethnically diverse. The interaction between descendants of the original native inhabitants, Spanish colonists, and twentieth-century immigrants from Europe and the Middle East, have produced a varied cultural heritage. This has also been influenced by Colombia’s varied geography. The majority of the urban centres are located in the highlands of the Andes mountains, but Colombian territory also encompasses Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland and both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. Ecologically, Colombia is one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries, and is considered the most megadiverse per square kilometer.

Tensions between political parties have frequently erupted into violence, most notably in the Thousand Days War (1899–1902) and La Violencia, beginning in 1948. Since the 1960s, government forces, left-wing insurgents and right-wing paramilitaries have been engaged in the continent’s longest-running armed conflict. Fueled by the cocaine trade, this escalated dramatically in the 1980s. Since 2010 the violence has decreased, with some paramilitary groups demobilising as part of a controversial peace process and the guerrillas losing control of much of the territory they once dominated. Meanwhile Colombia’s homicide rate almost halved between 2002 and 2006. Due to eradication policies, as of June 2012, Colombia, for many years the world’s largest producer of cocaine, is now widely considered to rank second or third, though some sources still consider it first. The United States of America are still the largest consumer of this drug, with a 150 to 160 tons per year.

Read Full Post »

The 1999 Rugby World Cup took palce in Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland and France. In the first round Ireland were drawn in Group E.

Group E
Ireland 53 USA 8 at Dublin
Scorers
Tries:
Wood 4
Elwood 2
O’Driscoll
Bishop
Pen:
Humphreys
Con:
Humphreys 5

Australia 23 Ireland 3 at Dublin
Scorer
Pen:
Humphreys

Ireland 44 Romainia 14
Scorers
Tries:
O’Shea 2
Ward
Tierney
O’Cuinneagain
D.G.:
O’Driscoll
Pen:
Elwood 2
Con:
Elwood 5

Ireland finished second in the pool and qualified for the Second Round.

Second Round
Argentina 28 Ireland 24 at Lens
Scores
D.G.:
Humphreys
Pen:
Humphreys 7

Australia became the fourth World Cup Champions and the first team to win the tournament twice.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »