Tuesday, April 11, 2006
When Lightning ,In the light of several weather disturbances that we have been experiencing lately, the possibility of lightning strikes has once again increased. A huge concentration of lightning is certainly a great spectacle to view. But what may look like a grand pyrotechnics show can be very dangerous when the flash strikes close to you. The earth is struck by at least 100 flashes of lightning every second. That totals more than 8.6 million strikes a day. When lightning occurs in great intensity, the sky would seem ablaze. A regular flash of lightning carries around 100 million volts of electricity and reaches a temperature of up to five times hotter than in a crematory furnace. If you are near lighting's path, you could suffer injuries in several ways. For one, you could suffer a direct hit. Or more likely, you could be hit by electrical splashes from a stricken nearby object. Electrical current can also travel through the ground and enter your body through your legs. Electrocution could result, too, if you touch an object that is directly hit. Injuries could range from burns, dizziness, confusion, ruptured eardrums, temporary blindness or paralysis, to amnesia or cardiac arrest. But lightning, although commonly fearsome, has its good side too. It's possible that human beings discovered fire from some early lightning-sparked blazes. Lightning may also help create ozone, which is our protection from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. The thunderstorms, characterized by fierce flashes of lightning, also contribute to the creation of fixed nitrogen, a natural fertilizing substance for plants when carried to the ground by rain. The ancient Greeks are said to have thought of thunder and lightning as manifestations of the god Zeus. To this day, how lightning is created is still not fully understood. There have been continuing research to unravel the mystery surrounding lightning. Yet despite already considerable progress in the study, experts admit that full explanation of the phenomenon may never be reached. Scientists have found that lightning usually begins with concentrated negative electrical charges that collect in the lower part of storm clouds at an altitude of some 20,000 feet. These electrical charges are supposedly created by the collisions of rising ice crystals and falling hailstones. The clash of temperatures between the clouds and the ground below all the more contributes to the sparks. When the lightning sparks heat the air so much, thunder explodes. There is reportedly modern equipment that can detect where lightning would hit within a few seconds. But this gadget is rare or it allows too little time for a corresponding human reaction. Lightning strikes occur in a very quick flash that there is no way to tell whether the next one is going to hit you. On the whole, there is no way the risk of a lightning strike can be completely eliminated. So far, experts can only suggest that we take shelter in a big building or any substantial structure in case of a lightning flurry. Since lightning may strike even if it's not raining, it is advisable to take shelter at the first sound of thunder or if the sky suddenly darkens. If you can't help being outdoors and the weather is bad, it is advisable to keep away from isolated, tall trees and open places. Stay clear of swamps or potholes of water. If you're in a group, avoid clustering together. Electrical current can pass from one person to another even if they're not touching. Also stay clear of metal objects, especially standing poles and fences. They are good conductors. Lightning dancing across the sky is a force to be enjoyed and marveled at-but only from a safe distance. While the probability of a lightning strike may seem remote, it is very real nonetheless. It is always wise to take precautions.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Adelaide is a modern multi-cultural town with a great lifestyle. It is an important centre for education, art, culture and science. The town centre with its parks is characteristic for an Australian metropolis – despite its large size, all the facilities are within easy reach.
The climate in Adelaide can be compared to a Mediterranean climate and especially during the Summer the long beaches on the south coast are a popular holiday destination. We recommend a visit to Kangaroo Island where you can see kangaroos, koala bears and other animals in their natural habitat.
Our school in Adelaide is the oldest local language school. It is situated in the cultural centre of Adelaide opposite the university near various shops, cafes and cinemas. All 13 classrooms are air-conditioned. The school also has a computer room, a small kitchen and a rest room. All tutors are highly qualified and emphasize an international atmosphere. The school also organises excursions to Cleland Wildlife Park, the National Wine Centre or the Gaol Marialta Falls.
Average groups size
13, maximum 15
Adults of all ages, minimum age 18
free in school
summer (January) 32°, winter (August) 15°
Average water temperatures
summer (January) 22°, winter (August) 10°
LISA! Quality Mark
Study English in Adelaide: Member of IALC and EA. Accredited by NEAS.
Sightseeing in Adelaide
Adelaide has a lot of cultural and sports activities to offer. We recommend a visit to Adelaide Festival Center for concerts, exhibitions and theatre performances. The town centre of Adelaide is home to a variety of museums.The surroundings of Adelaide offer large parks which are ideal for relaxing. We also recommend a visit to Cleland Wildlife Park where you will see untouched nature and fascinating wildlife such as koala bears, kangaroos and emus. You can even book a guided tour through the night, an indescribable experience. For chocolate lovers we recommend a visit to Haigh’s Chocolate Factory and a guided tour after which you won’t be able to get past the gift shop! The Old Adelaide Prison was opened in 1841 and can now be visited on Saturdays from 11:00 to 15:30.
Family: Single room (SR) with full board (FB). Average distance to the school: 20 minutes by public transport.
Farmstay: Accommodation on a farm, single room (SR) with full board (FB). Average distance to the school: 60 minutes by public transport.
Hostel: Single room (SR) with shared bath / WC and shared kitchen. Laundrette and lobby. International atmosphere, basic equipment. Average distance to the school: 15 minutes by public transport.
Courses and prices
20 lessons (55 minutes each) per week group tuition
Prices in €
30 lessons (55 minutes each) per week group tuition
Prices in €
Star Course Plus 5
20 lessons (55 minutes each) per week group tuition+ 5 lessons per week private tuition
Prices in €
20 lessons (55 minutes each) per week private tuition
Prices in €
FCE, CAE Preparation Course
23 lessons (55 minutes each) per week group tuition
Prices in €
CPE Preparation Course
23 lessons (55 minutes each) per week group tuition
Prices in €
Dates and services
Outbound travel day:
Return travel day:
Course start dates:
Courses begin every MondayCambridge Certificate: 01.01.-11.03. (10 weeks) - Exam: 12.03.19.03.-09.06. (12 weeks) - Exam: 14.06.-16.06.17.09.-09.12. (12 weeks) - Exam: 13.12.- 15.12.
No lessons on the following dates:
03.01.; 26.01.; 14.04.; 17.04.; 25.04.; 16.05.; 13.06.; 03.10.; 25.12.; 26.12.
Language course as booked
Accommodation as booked
Loan of course materials
Organized social/activity programme
Travel advice and information
Certificate on course completion
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
A Sense of Wonder :
the greatest legacy any parent can leave his child is a sense of wonder. If it were the only thing that he is given, the child will naturally go on to discover by himself the rest of what life is about. And in his own journey of discovery, he will be educated and become wise. A child with a voracious sense of wonder is always in awe of life's beauties, always overwhelmed by life's bounty. He is never bored or lonely, because every unfolding moment reveals a new surprise. Life incessantly offers more, for him to engage in, to let him grow, no matter his actual circumstances. There is nothing to stop anyone from marveling at the sky-at dawn's and twilight's splendor, those heavenly colors, the moving clouds, those stars by night. Anyone can feel the rain on his face and ponder on the long journey of every drop, its many transformations - from the sea to the sky and back to earth. It does not have to cost anything either to listen to the wind, whether it blows with a majestic voice through a forest or resonates a lulling chorus among the steel and concrete structures of the city. There's always a place where nature thrives-in a meadow or in a park or in a golf course - anywhere! The magnificence of nature is evident even where there's only a swamp or grass or sand or wind or sky. Beauty is everywhere. A child sees the mystery of nature in everything. Even at home, in a pot of earth by the gutter, he finds an opportunity to see the wonder of a growing seed. He sees wonderful colors projected in a glass of water by the window under the afternoon sun. An army of ants pulling a dead cockroach beneath the kitchen table is a sight to captivate his attention for quite a while. We all need the eyes of a child to see the world as if we've never seen it before or like we'll never see it again. We need ears of a child to hear the song of crickets or a bird singing amid the noise that have long dulled our hearing. There is so much more to life than we ordinarily experience, so much more than the monotonous sounds of machines and what our bored eyes have grown used to see. There are countless other life forms on this planet that we know of or have seen. There are many creatures we're unable to connect with because we are either too busy or too lazy to notice, to look or listen closely enough. The beauty of life is not limited to size. A louse on a street child's head or the rainbow of colors that forms on a drop of sweat holds as much wonder as Mt. Matterhorn or the pyramids of Egypt. On some Sundays, I try to find a place away from the traffic snarls. Most of the time that special place is a park. Sometimes it's just my room. Then I listen, and I hear all of life speaking. I hear a sweet melancholy in the distant whistling of the swallows. I become keenly aware of small insects that twitter all around. These creatures are directed by forces beyond their choice or refusal, but they never complain. These life forms do not seek beyond nature's provisions, yet are too grateful to give back to nature whatever ration of good they get from it. Such profound experience is not possible without fresh, childlike sensitivity. The child in us dwells among the beauties and mysteries of the planet. The person who is in touch with this part of his being never feels alone or weary of life. Whatever the pains and difficulties of our personal lives, the child within us continues to hold a dogged sense of optimism that can lead us to inner contentment and a renewed excitement in living. There is symbolic meaning as well as actual purpose in the changing of the seasons, the coming and going of the tides, the daybreaks and the sunsets. There is something infinitely healing in the constant repetitions of nature-the assurance that dawn comes after night, and the sun after the rain. The child may not consciously comprehend all this, but it is in his nature to know that everything is connected. There is reason, too, why a feeling always shows in a person's eyes. Our common nature has a mysterious way of breaking through our cultured expressions. Our inner truths surface so that we may share each other's sadness or joy. But we need the innate wisdom of a child to rise over our selfish preoccupations, to fully understand what great power a simple touch has for healing the pain of a fellowman, how a friendly smile can lift the spirit of a weary stranger. The same precious legacy we can leave to a beloved child we can give to ourselves. We must nurture our own sense of wonder by keeping in touch with the child within us all. We must keep the fires of amazement and admiration burning, to keep our spirits soaring, to make the most of every second of our time, so that our life may be filled up by each passing moment. And realize how immensely lucky we are.