Tuesday, January 13, 2009


The giant clam, Tridacna Gigas, is the largest living bivalve mollusks. They live in shallow coral reefs of the South Pacific , Indian and the Red Sea . They can weigh more than 200 kilograms,measure as much as 1.2 metres across, and have an average lifespan in the sea of 100 years or more
When adults they´re sessile, the creature's mantle tissues act as a habitat for the symbiotic algae zooxanthellae from which it gets its food. By day, the clam spreads out its mantle tissue so that the algae receive the sunlight they need to photosynthesize
The giant clam has been historically known in times past as the killer clam or man-eating clam, reputable scientific and technical manuals once claimed that the great mollusk had caused deaths.
Wilburn Cobb said he was told that a diver was drowned when the Tridacna closed its shell on his arm.
Today the giant clam is considered neither aggressive nor particularly dangerous. While it is certainly theoretically capable of holding one fast in its grip, in reality the shell's closing action is a defensive response, not an aggressive one, and the process of closing the shell valves is slow, far too slow to be a serious threat. In other words, the clam is incapable of suddenly snapping shut on a person's arm or leg and therefore drowning them.
The giant clams is very vulnerable . There is concern among conservationists for the sustainability of practices among those who use the animal as a source of food. The numbers in the wild have been greatly reduced by extensive over harvesting for food and the aquarium trade. On the black market, giant clam shells are sold for decoration, and the meat, called Himejako in Japan , is said to be a delicacy.


Wilde, Oscar 1854–1900, Irish author and wit, b. Dublin. He is most famous for his sophisticated, brilliantly witty plays with both dramatic and literary merit. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he distinguished himself for his scholarship and wit, and also for his elegant eccentricity in dress, tastes, and manners. , Wilde became the center of a group glorifying beauty for itself alone, and he was famously satirized (with other exponents of “art for art's sake”) in Punch and in Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta Patience. His first published work, Poems (1881), was well received. The next year he lectured to great acclaim in the United States, where his drama Vera (1883) was produced. In 1884 he married Constance Lloyd, and they had two sons, Cyril and Vyvyan.
His active literary career began with the publication of Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories (1891) and two collections of fairy tales, The Happy Prince (1888) and The House of Pomegranates (1892). In 1891 his novel Picture of Dorian Gray appeared. A tale of horror, it depicts the corruption of a beautiful young man pursuing an ideal of sensual indulgence and moral indifference; although he himself remains young and handsome, his portrait becomes ugly, reflecting his degeneration.
Wilde's stories and essays were well received, but his creative genius found its highest expression in his plays—Lady Windermere's Fan (1892), A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), which were all extremely clever and filled with pithy epigrams and paradoxes. Wilde explained away their lack of depth by saying that he put his genius into his life and only his talent into his books.
In 1891, Wilde met and quite soon became intimate with the considerably younger, handsome, and dissolute Lord Alfred Douglas . Soon the marquess of Queensberry, Douglas's father, began railing against Wilde and later wrote him a note accusing him of homosexual practices. Foolishly, Wilde brought action for libel against the marquess and was himself charged with homosexual offenses under the Criminal Law Amendment, found guilty, and sentenced (1895) to prison for two years. His experiences in jail inspired his most famous poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), and the apology published by his literary executor as De Profundis (1905). Released from prison in 1897, Wilde found himself a complete social outcast in England and, plagued by ill health and bankruptcy, lived in France under an assumed name until his death.
This author is worth reading for his wit. It´s highly recommended.

I´m very sorry to tell you than I´m sick and I won´t be able to come to class for a few weeks. Check the EOI web page and ask downstairs at the secetary office.The ageing process is similar to houses and cars : at the beginning they are brand new ,then, when time goes by maybe the washing machine breaks down and you need a new one , like going to the dentist, then things get worse and you have leaks on the roof which make your daily life a nuisance , it´s here when you need a serious check up to cope with what may come in the future , both physically and psychologically . Perhaps my engine needs a different kind of petrol ,maybe it´s the steeering wheel that needs to follow a new different path in life, or perhaps there are too many seats in my car for only one person,becoming this a burden. I might need a sports car. A Jaguar Why not?

PLEASE: Borrow books from the library with its audio either cassette or CD. Whith these things you can:
- read and learn new vocabulary
- read and listen and then you´ll easily learn the pronunciation of words and intonation
- listen with the book shut to understand complete messages or stories.

Borrow films from the library. This is extensive listening and don´t get discouraged if you don´t get the whole thing.
Let me remind you to post me your favourite songs in you tube ,so that I´ll post them in an entry. My e-mail: mariatc@educastur.princast.es KEEP ME INFORMED WITH YOUR PROGRESS