Alice's Adventure in the Wonderland

Chapter 1: Down the Rabbit Hole

Alice is sitting by her sister lazily and became a bit tired, and she sees a White Rabbit in a waistcoat carrying a watch. She follows it down a rabbit hole, and falls down a very long chamber full of strange things on shelves. After landing safely on the ground, she goes into a long hallway with a glass table with a gold key. Alice opens up a curtain and finds a small door, which the key fits in perfectly, and behind it is a beautiful garden, but she can't fit in. Alice then finds a small bottle labeled "DRINK ME," and drinks it. The drink causes her to shrink. Alice accidentally leaves the key on the table, and with her diminished stature can no longer reach it and becomes very scared. She then sees a cake that says "EAT ME," and proceeds to eat it.

Chapter 2: The Pool of Tears

The consumption of the cake makes Alice grow to be 9 feet tall. She cries, creating a pool of tears. The White Rabbit comes into the hallway, and is so frightened he drops his fan and kid-gloves. Alice then fans herself with his fan and kid-gloves, causing her to shrink again, but she stops before she goes out altogether. She swims through the pool of tears she had cried when she was larger, and finds a mouse who is awfully scared of cats. They wash up onto a bank, where they meet many birds and animals, who are also soaking wet.

Chapter 3: A Caucus Race and a Long Tale

A Dodo decides that the birds and animals should dry off with a Caucus Race, which has no rules except to run in a circle. After half an hour or so, the race ends and everyone wins, which means they all get prizes. Alice gives out her comfits as the prizes, and the Mouse tells Alice his long and sad tale of why he hates cats, which Alice misinterprets as "tail." The chapter ends with Alice alienating the participants of the race, resulting in her being left alone once again.

Chapter 4: The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill

The White Rabbit mistakes Alice for his house maid, Mary Ann. He asks her to fetch a pair of gloves and a fan. Alice goes in to his house, and she finds a bottle. Though not labeled DRINK ME she drinks it anyway. The drink now makes her grow so big that she blocks the entrance and the White Rabbit is no longer able to get into the house. The White Rabbit asks a lizard named Bill to get her out. Bill climbs in through the chimney, but is kicked out by Alice's giant leg that is stuck there. The White Rabbit then decides out loud that house should be burned down, where Alice then responds fervently "If you do I'll set Dinah at you!", Dinah being a young kitten that Alice owns. Silence follows and then chatter about 'A barrowful will do, to begin with' followed by a shower of little pebbles being thrown through the window. The pebbles quickly turn into small cakes and Alice swallows one, suddenly causing her to shrink again to her earlier size. Back down to size Alice makes her way out of the house to find a small crowd of assorted animals, who in turn make a rush toward Alice when they see her. Quickly retreating into the nearby thick wood she finds herself confronted by an enormous puppy (note that Alice is merely a few inches tall at this time) and plays fetch with the puppy, tiring him into sleep. She rests for a moment herself, looking around and spotting a mushroom growing near her, she examines all angles of the mushroom and decides to have a peek at what might be on top of it. As she stands tiptoe and looks, her eyes meet with the ones of a blue Caterpillar, who is sitting arms folded quietly smoking a hookah.

Chapter 5: Advice from a Caterpillar

Alice asks how she can get bigger, but the Caterpillar asks her to recite "Old Father William" instead. After doing so (with a few errors), the Caterpillar tells her that one side of the mushroom will make her bigger and the other side will make her smaller. The Caterpillar disappears leaving Alice all alone. Alice first tries the right side, which makes her chin get stuck to her foot. Then she tries the left side, which makes her neck grow very long. A pigeon flies into her face, believing she is a serpent, but Alice tells her that she is a little girl. She then eats different sides of the mushroom and gets back to her usual height.

Chapter 6: Pig and Pepper

Now at her right size, Alice comes upon a house with a Frog-Footman and a Fish-Footman in front. The Fish-Footman has an invitation for the Duchess, which he delivers to the Frog-Footman. Alice observes this transaction and, after a perplexing conversation with the frog, goes into the house and meets The Duchess, The Cook, The Baby, and The Duchess's Cheshire-Cat. The Cook is throwing dishes and making a soup which has too much pepper, which causes Alice, the Duchess and the baby, but not the cook or the Cheshire-Cat, to sneeze. The Duchess tosses her baby up and down while reciting the poem "Speak roughly to your little boy." When the poem is over, The Duchess gives Alice the baby while she leaves to go play croquet with the Queen. To Alice's surprise, the baby later turns into a pig, so she lets it go off into the woods. The Cheshire-Cat then appears in a tree, telling her about the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. He then disappears, his grin remaining behind to float on its own in the air.

Chapter 7: A Mad Tea Party

Alice becomes a guest at a mad tea party, along with the Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse. In the course of the party, Alice reveals that the date is May 4 (which happens to be the birthday of her presumed real-life counterpart, Alice Pleasance Liddell). The other characters give Alice many riddles and stories, until she becomes so insulted that she leaves, claiming that it was the stupidest tea party that she had ever been to. Alice comes upon a door in a tree, and enters it, and finds herself back in the long hallway. She opens the door, eats part of her mushroom, and shrinks so she can get into the beautiful garden.

Chapter 8: The Queen's Croquet Ground

Now in the beautiful garden, she comes upon 3 cards painting the roses on a rose tree red, for they accidentally planted a white-rose tree which the Queen of Hearts hates. A procession of more cards, kings and queens and even the White Rabbit comes into the garden. She meets the violent Queen of Hearts and the less violent King of Hearts. The Queen tells the executioner to chop off the three card gardeners' heads.

A game of croquet begins, with flamingos as the mallets and hedgehogs as the balls. The Queen condemns more people to death, and Alice once again meets the Cheshire Cat, who asks her how the queen is. The Queen of Hearts then tries to find out how they can chop off the Cheshire Cat's head, even though he is only a floating head. Alice asks her about the Duchess, so the Queen asks the executioner to get the Duchess out of prison.

Chapter 9: The Mock Turtle's story

The Duchess is brought to the croquet ground. She is now less angry and is always trying to find morals in things (she claims the pepper made her angry.) The Queen of Hearts then shows Alice the Gryphon, who takes her to the Mock Turtle. The Mock Turtle is very sad, even though he has no sorrow. He tries to tell his story about how he used to be a turtle, which The Gryphon interrupts so they can play a game.

Chapter 10: The Lobster Quadrille

The Mock Turtle and the Gryphon start dancing to the Lobster Quadrille, singing "Tis the Voice of the Lobster." The Mock Turtle then sings "Beautiful Soup" during which Alice and The Gryphon have to leave for a trial while The Mock Turtle continues singing.

Chapter 11: Who Stole the Tarts?

At the trial, the Knave of Hearts is accused of stealing the tarts. The jury box is made up of twelve animals, including Bill the Lizard, and the judge is the King of Hearts. The first witness is the Mad Hatter, who doesn't help the case at all. In some versions, the second witness is the Duchess's cook. The next and last witness though, is Alice.

Chapter 12: Alice's Evidence

Alice eats part of the mushroom, causing her to grow and accidentally knocks over the jury box. The Queen of Hearts is about to sentence them to death, but Alice calls them all just a pack of cards, causing them to swirl around her and turn into dead leaves. Alice's sister wakes her up, since it was all a dream. Alice tells her sister all about the strange dream she had just awoken from.

Source: Wikipedia for Children

5:51 PM

Summary oy Christmas Carol

Posted by gkjcilacap

Stave I: Marley's Ghost

On a snowy Christmas Eve, seven years to the day after the death of his business partner Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge and his downtrodden clerk Bob Cratchit are at work in Scrooge’s counting-house. Scrooge's nephew, Fred, arrives with seasonal greetings and an invitation to Christmas dinner, but Scrooge dismisses him with "Bah! Humbug!", declaring that Christmas is a fraud. Two gentlemen collecting charitable donations for the poor are likewise rebuffed by Scrooge, he insists that the poor laws and workhouses are sufficient to care for the poor, and that "If they would rather die [than go there], they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population". As he and his clerk prepare to leave, he grudgingly permits Cratchit one day's paid holiday the following day.

After dinner, Scrooge returns home to his cheerless rooms in an otherwise deserted building, and a series of supernatural experiences begins. His door knocker appears to transform into Marley's face; a "locomotive hearse" seems to mount the dark stairs ahead of him; the pictures on the tiles in his fireplace transform into images of Marley's face. Finally all the bells in the house ring loudly, there is a clanking of chains in the cellar and on the stairs, and the ghost of Marley passes through the closed door into the room.

The ghost warns Scrooge that if he does not change his ways, he will suffer Marley's fate. He will walk the earth eternally after death, invisible among his fellow men, burdened with chains, seeing the misery and suffering he could have alleviated in his life but now powerless to intervene. Marley has arranged Scrooge's only chance of redemption: three spirits will visit him on successive nights, and they may help change him and save him from his fate. As Marley leaves, Scrooge gets a nightmare glimpse of the tormented spectres who drift unseen among the living, and, shattered, he falls into bed and sleeps.

Stave II: The First of the Three Spirits

The Ghost of Christmas Past, a strange mixture of young and old, male and female, with a light shining from the crown of its head, appears at the stroke of one. It leads Scrooge on a journey to some of his past Christmases, where key events shaped his life and character. He sees his late sister Fan, who intervened to rescue him from lonely exile at boarding school, and, recalling his recent treatment of Fan's son Fred, Scrooge feels the first stirrings of regret. They revisit a merry Christmas party given by Fezziwig, Scrooge's kindly apprentice-master, and Scrooge thinks guiltily of his own behaviour toward Bob Cratchit. Finally, he is reminded how his love of money lost him the love of his life, Belle, and the happiness this cost him. Furious, Scrooge turns on the spirit, snuffs it like a candle with its cap, and finds himself back in bed, where he instantly falls asleep.

Stave III: The Second of the Three Spirits

Scrooge wakes at the stroke of one, confused to find it is still night. After a time he rises and finds the second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, in an adjoining room, on a throne made of Christmas food and drink. This spirit, a great genial man in a green coat lined with fur, takes him through the bustling streets of London on the current Christmas morning, sprinkling the essence of Christmas onto the happy populace. They observe the meagre but happy Christmas celebrations of the Cratchit family and the sweet nature of their lame son Tiny Tim, and when the Spirit foretells an early death for the child if things remain unchanged, Scrooge is distraught. He is shown what others think of him: the Cratchits toast him, but reluctantly, and "a shadow was cast over the party for a full five minutes". Scrooge's nephew and his friends gently mock his miserly behaviour at their Christmas party, but Fred maintains his uncle's potential for change, and Scrooge demonstrates a childlike enjoyment of the celebrations.

They travel far and wide, and see how even the most wretched of people mark Christmas in some way, whatever their circumstances. The Ghost, however, grows visibly older, and explains he must die that night. He shows Scrooge two pitiful children huddled under his robes who personify the major causes of suffering in the world, "Ignorance" and "Want", with a grim warning that the former is especially harmful. At the end of the visitation, the bell strikes twelve. The Ghost of Christmas Present vanishes and the third spirit appears to Scrooge.

Stave IV: The Last of the Three Spirits

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come takes the form of a grim spectre, robed in black, who does not speak and whose body is entirely hidden except for one pointing hand. This spirit frightens Scrooge more than the others, and harrows him with a vision of a future Christmas with the Cratchit family bereft of Tiny Tim. A rich miser, whose death saddens nobody and whose home and corpse have been robbed by ghoulish attendants, is revealed to be Scrooge himself: this is the fate that awaits him. Without it explicitly being said, Scrooge learns that he can avoid the future he has been shown and alter the fate of Tiny Tim, but only if he changes. Weeping, he swears to do so, and awakes to find that all three spirits have visited in just one night, and that it is Christmas morning.

Stave V: The End of It

Scrooge changes his life and reverts to the generous, kind-hearted soul he was in his youth. He anonymously sends the Cratchits the biggest turkey in the butcher shop, meets the charity workers to pledge an unspecified but impressive amount of money, and spends Christmas Day with Fred and his wife.

The next day Scrooge catches his clerk arriving late and pretends to be his old miserly self, before revealing his new persona to an astonished Cratchit. He assists Bob and his family, becomes an adopted uncle to Tiny Tim, who does not die, and gains a reputation as a kind and generous man who embodies the spirit of Christmas in his life.

Source: Children Wikipedia

12:49 AM

How to Improve Your English

Posted by gkjcilacap

Getting Started

Learning a language is easier than it may seem. The first step is to look at it as a fun challenge. Be excited about learning something new and it will make learning a lot easier.

With the inventions of cassette tapes and CDs, it can be very easy.

[change] Vocabulary

* Think in whole phrases and with emotions. Try to remember not only words but a phrase with the emotion felt. E.g. (Spanish) To remember the word 'bread' - 'pan,' memorize the sentence, 'I eat bread with butter.' --'Como pan con mantequilla.' (Imagine you are eating the bread.) Some call this Total Physical Response.
* Imagine the word or action you learn. Can you see the bread with butter in your mind's eye, even very quickly? Include other senses too. Smell the bread, feel the bread crumbs, taste the butter, etc. Make those sensations extreme. Try making the butter rotten, smell the bread burnt, have the toast painfully hot.
* Repeat the whole phrase or sentence until you can say it very easily without thinking.
* Put words from your new language into the language you speak normally. This will cause fewer problems if you keep this to conversations with people who know what you are doing. E.g. (French) To make a cheese sandwich, put fromage between deux pieces of pain. This is known as code switching.
* Put words from your normal language into your new language. This helps learners with a small vocabulary to talk comfortably and stay confident. Learners with larger vocabularies may want to rephrase or describe a word they don't know or can't remember in their new language
* Read the dictionary. Make it a habit to skim or browse through the dictionary and note down a few words that are part of normal everyday speech.
* When developing a mnemonic, humorous phrases will help you to remember the new words.
* Write down new words in two columns, one for your native language and one for the language to be learned. Then go over them day after day in different directions and carry those words you didn't remember so far over to a new page. The repetitive writing often helps memorizing.
* Write down words on index cards or blank business cards, the target language on one side, the known language on the other. Carry a reasonable number in your pocket, purse, etc. and study them when you have free time. You can also create your own "flashcards" online or use someone else's at flashcardexchange.
* Try making an animated, nonsensical story based on the word. The word for bread, Pan, sounds exactly like the english word for cooking pan. Imagine batting a loaf of bread with a pan or hitting a bread monster with an oversized pan. Including all sensations to their extremes helps.

[change] Speaking and understanding

* While riding the train or car, walking down the street, waiting in line, etc. imagine conversations and dialogues in your head. Carry a pocket dictionary/grammar book with you for this. Talking to yourself out loud while showering will force yourself to voice sentences without making you feel ridiculous.
* Repeat and memorize phrases and sentences which use some grammatical rules you need to remember. Grammar requires thinking before speaking, so speak from a memorized sentence pattern instead. Make a number of phrases or sentences to memorize per day, depending on your what you are doing. For most people, memorizing 1 or 2 sentences everyday is not too difficult.
* Most new languages contain sounds you are not used to. Practice them a lot. Make yourself sentences full of new sounds and repeat them all the time. For instance, in French, "Il fait de la voile" can be used to practice French f's, v's and d's, or "un grand vin blanc" for French nasals.
* Watch movies in the language and pretend or imagine that you already understand. TV shows and radio broadcasts are also good ways to practice a language.
* Get the melody of the language by listening to songs you like and singing them. By doing this, you can reduce your accent and almost unconsciously memorize a lot of phrases. Get the lyrics though, it may be very difficult to understand the song without them.
* Listen to radio broadcasts in the language through the internet. The Deutsche Welle's slowly spoken news reports (in German) or the Polish Radio in Esperanto are both good examples of what you can find out there. The international french radio [1], just like the BBC [2] also offer broadcasts in 19 languages, including one in "easy french".
* Watch English movies subtitled in the language and vice-versa.
* Use your computer to help you learn a language by installing programs or games using your new language. For example if you use Firefox web browser you can install a version in your new language.
* Speak with a native speaker. Often there are local gatherings of native speakers for the sole intent of speaking. Listening or participating can be useful.
* While a one-to-one talk may appear ideal, it is does not really help. Either the person you are planning to talk with is already a friend - i.e someone you already have started to converse with in English - which will seem fake and tiring, or he/she is a stranger to you. In this last case again, either: a) you have nothing to talk about with that person besides basic introductions; or, b) the conversation started in the new language actually gets interesting and naturally go back to your native language. Groups usually work better.

[change] Reading and writing

* Try children's stories first, moving on to newspapers and magazines as your vocabulary builds. Reading will improve your vocabulary, your spelling, your grammar and your knowledge of the language culture a lot. It is almost necessary for good writing.
* Get yourself bilingual books. Or get a book in the new language and the same book in one you already know. Read them together, matching words in the two languages. It helps if the languages are quite close. For instance, learning Spanish is easier starting from French than from English, because it's easier to see the more general structures.
* Relating to the above, you could watch a favorite film with audio in one language and subtitles of another. Anime fans will be pretty familiar with this method.
* A very good "first read" is the book "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Originally in French, it is easily available in a lot of different languages. In many languages, it is even online (legally), and can be read for free. The book is short, interesting and contains simple grammar and vocabulary. Another good book is "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum.
* Get a digital dictionary. The faster word look-up will make first readings much easier.Freedict offers a collection of freely available (and modifiable) dictionaries.
* Once you get a good enough level of writing you can try to write on Wikimedia projects. You could try to add (or start) a Wikibook for learning a language, or translate a Wikipedia article of your interest, knowing that others, more advanced or native speakers, will correct you!

[change] Polishing

When you feel confident reading, try reading a grammar book in and about the language you are learning. It is not as bad as it sounds and will help you with difficult points. It will be a review of the basic rules and an introduction to the less obvious points of every language. Looking back will make the basic rules sound more clear and natural and you will be have a lot to help you remember them. You will learn (or just review) the most basic and useful things, e.g.: what is a direct object, an adverb, a nasal consonant, an infinitive, a case, etc. Overall, you will end up with a much clearer and organized picture of the language as a whole.

Source: Wikipedia