Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Teachers saved from rubble after 66 hours - Hurriyet Daily News

Teachers saved from rubble after 66 hours - Hurriyet Daily News

Rescuers plucked a 27-year-old woman from the wreckage in eastern Turkey, 66 hours after a devastating earthquake that killed at least 459 people, TV reports said.

Gözde Bahar was a teacher in Ercis town in Van province, worst hit by Sunday's quake, the reports said. "She was our tenant. They pulled her out an hour ago," Akif Göltaş, another quake survivor, told AFP, after Nehar was rushed to hospital in Erciş.

A television report says Turkish rescuers have pulled a 25-year old school teacher out of a ruined building three days after a devastating earthquake that struck eastern Turkey.

NTV television said Seniye Erdem was pulled out on Wednesday around the same time that rescue workers also freed Gözde Bahar.
The report said the woman told rescuers she was thirsty and asked about her husband who had died.

A major earthquake of 7.2 magnitude hit Van province of eastern Turkey recently, claiming the lives of over 400 people.

Compiled from AFP and AP stories by the Daily News staff.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My blog has been featured! YAY !!!

Scrapbook Ideas

Turkish pop singer's cover of Pink Floyd hit angers Twittersphere.. :)

An amateur video of Turkish pop singer Serdar Ortaç singing Pink Floyd's rock classic "Another Brick in the Wall" taken during a concert has gone viral on the Internet, drawing criticism from music fans.

A hashtag was created on the micro-blogging site Twitter that read "don't touch my Pink Floyd," a reference to the phrase used to protest Turkish government's control over the Internet.

Web surfers voiced their discontent through their tweets, such as "Hey, Serdar! Leave the Turks alone!" "We don't need your musicianship!!" and "We don't need no Serdar Ortaç." Hurriyet Daily News

For tonight,

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why your beliefs matter more than your experience - Michele Knight

Why your beliefs matter more than your experience - Michele Knight

Why your beliefs matter more than your experience
If you’ve read most of the articles I’ve written, you’ll see that I keep talking about the importance of your beliefs when it comes to any kind of manifestation work but I’ve said very little about the impact of your experiences in life.
The reason for that is very simple. One of the most influential things that we carry with us throughout our lives is the beliefs we develop from our experiences, and not the actual experiences themselves.
Two people can have what really amounts to exactly the same experience and develop totally different beliefs as a result from it. Or they can process the same experience in radically different ways according to the beliefs they already carry.
Let’s take a common experience, one we all know and have been through in our lives, and that’s being single. We’ve all been single at some point and as we can all react differently, you just have to conclude that there is nothing inherent within being single that means we have to respond in any one way at all!
To illustrate what I mean, let’s take two fictitious people, Sally and Karen.
When it comes to being single, Sally trusts that the universe will deliver the right person at the right time and thinks that being single is a time to treasure as being a period in which she can indulge herself totally. She enjoys being free to follow her own bliss in whatever form that takes. She doesn’t feel lacking in love as she has lots of friends and people that she cares about deeply in her life and she knows they care about her too. She believes that relationships are really important but that they don’t define who she is and is just as happy single as she is with a partner. She believes that she is responsible for creating her own happiness.
Karen feels okay in general about herself, but there’s a lot she’d change if she could and she really can’t imagine why anyone would genuinely like her. Having a partner does make her feel better about herself. In her view, it tells her and the world that she is worth something, and without someone in her life she questions her true worth and she experiences shame when she goes along to yet another formal function without a date and has to make excuses about why she doesn’t have someone special in her life. Everywhere she looks, she sees happy couples and wonders if the universe is punishing her by making sure she’s still alone.
You can see how their beliefs would create a totally different reality for each of them, which would in turn impact on their vibration and generate very different attractor forces when it comes to actually sending out a signal for a loving relationship. I’ve used extreme examples quite deliberately so that you can see the contrast, but many of us can operate with a mix of beliefs, some that support us in keeping our vibration high and some that we would probably want to root out and tackle!
If you’re not sure what your hidden beliefs are, it’s quite easy to do a bit of forensic digging to find out. All you need to do is take how you feel and ask yourself, what would I have to believe in order to feel the way that I do about this?
Understanding the influence of our beliefs puts you in a position of power to tweak them in order to raise your vibration. For example, you can’t change what has happened in your past, but you can change your beliefs about it, and when you do that, you transform how you feel. And when you transform how you feel, you alter your vibration which in turn affects what you attract in the future. In a nutshell, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by changing your beliefs to those that empower you!

Saturday, May 7, 2011



Today the music in Turkey lays on a fairly large spectrum, from traditional to pop, from soufi to modern jazz, from countryside folk to arab influenced, so called "arabesque" and so on.  This means that a music claiming to represent the musical climate of the whole country will be pretending more than it is. Instead, it is possible to talk about "the Classical Turkish Music", "the Turkish Pop Music", "the Turkish Jazz", "the Turkish Soufi Music", etc.

Incesaz stands on the modern territories of the musical spectrum of Turkey, however, they take root from the Classical Turkish Music. This is a new and fresh concept extending the existing musical cathegories and bringing an extra shelf to the music markets.

 Incesaz' music has the full taste of the classical .The "makam" (the mode) and the melodic texture, the instruments chosen and the style they are played, traditional rhythmic patterns and the way they are elaborated make this music standing on historically reliable, strong resources.

 On the other hand, Incesaz' music sounds very modern compared to the classical. This music is polyphonic (the Classical Turkish Music is monophonic) and has orchestral arrangment (the classical is not), brings together the traditional Turkish instruments with universal instruments like guitar, bass, piano, accordeon and violoncello and has an overall contemporary sound.

This new approach earned unprecedented praise from the industry and the critics.  It is even suggested that Incesaz should be taken as the creator of a new Turkish music format.


incesaz 2009 - kalbimdeki deniz ebrinisan

Friday, May 6, 2011

Daytime in my Darkness

Its daytime in my darkness

Always surrounding me

A crowd is near

But yet i am lonely

Its only daytime here in my darkness

With only loneliness as company

I listen to the silence

Since no one can hear me

But still its daytime in my darkness

With a sun of black coal

My tears fall in a corner

And my silent cries echo

Bademler village reflects Alevi philosophy

Bademler village reflects Alevi philosophy - Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review

The village of Bademler and its people have their own unique social structure, mixing tradition with modernism and depending entirely on gender equality

The Alevi travelers settled beneath the imposing trees and so begun the village of Bademler.
Bademler village is a small farming community located on a hillside near the bustling market town of Urla near İzmir in western Turkey. The legend of how the village of Bademler began focuses on a period in time roughly 200 years before, when a group of Alevi farmers who were looking for work traveled from Central Anatolia to the western coast of Turkey.
The travelers searched the region for an ideal spot to set up camp and came across a group of local farmers from the nearby village of Ulamış. Those farmers recommended a hillside on the opposite side of the valley where two great almond trees stood. The Alevi travelers settled beneath the imposing trees and so begun the village of Bademler. Bademler, meaning “almonds,” is recognized locally as an Alevi village. They retain their traditional farming roots and today agriculture is responsible for approximately 75 percent of their economy. Although the ties to their historical beginnings are strong, the village is recognized throughout the region for being a modern society; a community built on gender equality. The atmosphere in Bademler is relaxed and friendly.
The muhtar (village headman) of Bademler, Mehmet Uysal, attributes this to the special philosophy of the village people. He believes this because the Alevi of Bademler are like no other.
In a league of their own
Uysal has been the village muhtar for the past two years. Uysal agreed to an interview in the hope of explaining the village’s beliefs. They are Alevi, a branch of Shiite Islam, however there are significant differences between Alevis in terms of beliefs, traditions and rituals. Alevism can be described as a moderate branch of Islam, however according to Uysal, it is not something people can convert to. Uysal said it is more than just a religion; it is a type of culture. “The origins of this village lie with Alevism. We were born Alevi. Alevism is not something that can be taught, it’s something that you ‘are.’ That’s not to say we differentiate ourselves from anyone else. We are simply Turks who follow a slightly different brand of Islam and share a common belief in Allah.”
Uysal confirmed the majority of Alevi who live in the village of Bademler were also born there, although a handful of Alevi moved to the village after hearing about it’s tranquil setting close to the city of İzmir.
Music, art and theater
Bademler’s amenities include a bar and Internet cafe, a couple of small village stores, a handful of traditional lokanta restaurants that serve whatever the chef is preparing that day, a library and a bakery. The library has around 7,000 books, covering subjects such as art and culture, religion, philosophy, geography and poetry. There’s also a section for foreign languages including French, German and English, although there are no foreigners residing in the village.
On a Sunday they hold a traditional village bazaar, which Uysal claims is totally organic and apparently was running before the Cittaslow Sığacık bazaar, some 15 kilometers further south. However Bademler’s most renowned facility is undoubtedly the theater.
Mustafa Anarat, a young high school teacher, was assigned to Bademler in the late 1920s. He became an instant hit with the children and village folk alike and seemed to admire the village philosophy. Uysal said it was Anarat who first brought theater to Bademler. “Anarat introduced the villagers to the concept of theater. He began teaching the children how to perform and raised an interest in the entire community. He was an instant success.” Uysal said that in the early days, Anarat’s productions were performed outside in the village square, where everyone would gather to enjoy the latest performance. It was Anarat’s determination and encouragement that ultimately led to the community’s decision to set up a fund in order to build the village’s very own theater house.
“During the 1960s, the villagers donated every spare penny to the theater construction fund. It was our main priority. However, the villagers’ main income at the time came from the newly sowed tobacco fields and quite regularly the farmers wouldn’t have a penny between them for weeks,” Uysal said. “Villagers relied upon a great deal of trust that allowed people to shop from the local stores without the need of paper money. This ‘loan’ system continued for years, and was always repaid when the crops came in, but every spare penny was spent on the construction of the theater. Eventually the money did run out and the village was almost bankrupt.”
Finally in the late 1960s, the village people turned to the well-respected businessman Selçuk Yaşar, of Yaşar Holding, and asked for financial support. Yaşar agreed to help finance the project and the theater was officially opened by the governor of İzmir, Namık Kemal Şentürk, in 1969.
The theater hall is possibly one of the busiest in the region nowadays, hosting productions every other week or so. Although it is small with a capacity of approximately 300, plus standing room, it is the most popular venue in town.
Alevis and the arts
There is a strong bond between the Alevi and the arts. In Bademler, their interest in art exceeds their need for religious practice, and this is highlighted by the fact that the residents chose to build a theater instead of a cemevi (an Alevi place of worship, assembly house) or a mosque. A large portion of the community’s social time is spent participating in productions. It is almost a right of passage in Bademler and something that is undertaken by everyone at some point or another. The theater’s long entrance hall walls are laden with pictures dating back to the early 1950s. There’s a picture entitled “first tourists” dated 1958 and another depicting a blind shopkeeper standing behind his countertop. In the black-and-white picture, the blind shopkeeper stands in front of a shelf of rakı bottles and before him is a till. Legend has it that this shopkeeper had the unusual ability of being able to tell the difference between banknotes simply by touch.
In 1963, a Turkish movie named “Susuz Yaz” (Dry Summer), a benchmark in Turkish film history to say the least, was filmed in Bademler and depicted typical village life. There are many photos from productions and a few of renowned artists who have visited the place. Aşık Veysel, a celebrated Alevi folk musician, visited the village and his picture is displayed prominently on the wall.
A unique culture
A brief jaunt to the village of Bademler may leave visitors with the impression that it is a typical Turkish agricultural village; the scene is set like any other – men sit outside coffee houses playing cards, children play in the empty streets and women in colorful attire sweep the steps leading to their front doors. Yet a second glance could afford you a deeper understanding – a lone woman perched on a bench reading a newspaper, a group of men sit on a curb talking fervently about last night’s episode of their favorite TV show and the realization that things may not be what they seem or that there is a distinct role reversal, begins to dawn. This is not your stereotypical Turkish village; this is the village of Bademler and the people have their own unique social structure that depends entirely on gender equality.
Gürsel Saygılı is the director of the local primary school and the sole English language teacher. Saygılı is quick to impress the importance of a society that values gender equality and she firmly believes that women and men share an equal footing in the village. “Women are valued in our community, perhaps even revered. I’m given the same opportunities as a man. I can achieve the same position as a man. I can enter the cafe and sit and drink tea with the men. I won’t be stared at or ignored. I am free from stereotypical social pressures.”
Saygılı also said it is normal for families in Bademler to have only one child and that the sex of the child in inconsequential. Other cultural differences are noticeable in the traditions surrounding marriage and funerals. “Alevi funerals are different from Sunni Muslims. Sunni Muslims bury their loved ones directly in the ground, in a simple wooden coffin. We also bury our departed in a coffin, but this is placed within a concrete casing. This tradition developed over time, when Alevi farmers lived in the hills and forests of Central Anatolia. The farmers would bury their loved ones in a handmade wooden casket but they were fearful of wild animals disturbing the ground, so I believe they started to encase the graves in cement so that their loved ones final resting place was protected.”
Villagers often head to İzmir to visit the memorial site of Hamza Baba, or Ameer Hamza Shinwari, who was a 20th century poet, playwright and philosopher and whose teachings are deeply respected throughout Anatolia. At the memorial site the villagers pray together and make requests, in return they promise Hamza Baba gifts such as homemade food or locally grown produce. The villagers’ requests vary but generally include wishes for the safe keeping of sons serving in the armed forces or for the health of their children. When their wishes are thought to have been granted, the villagers return in small groups with a picnic and the promised goods.
The tradition of cooking for an upcoming wedding is standard practice in Turkish society, but the food the Alevi prepare is different. During the wedding festivities, they cook keşkek, described as an egg coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. Uysal said these traditions are specific to Bademler’s Alevi but that the slight differences are not always entirely understood. “Some people don’t understand our moderate form of Islam and that’s a shame. There’s a lot of negative propaganda about our culture and religion. This village benefits from being close to İzmir, one of the most forward-thinking and modern cities in Turkey, and we welcome people to come and see for themselves our unique lifestyle. We are Turks after all.”
Prominent figures
Headman Uysal said the village was also home to many renowned Turkish academics. “One of numerous prominent local residents of Bademler was Musa Baran, manager of the Ephesus museum in Selçuk. Baran was born and raised in Bademler.”
Baran was born in the village in 1924. As a young man, Baran studied archaeology at the University of Istanbul, later working at the sites of Ephesus and Pergamum (Bergama). In honor of Baran’s personal achievements, his former childhood home has been transformed into a children’s toy museum, documenting his studies on the subject through hundreds of generations. Pictures from the 16th century displayed in the museum show children playing with the same toys as 20th-century children, such as role-play games, building catapults, cooking imaginary food and making household utensils. Baran’s interest in children’s toys led him to discover that the games and toys children played throughout childhood remained similar throughout the ages. He once wrote, “Everywhere there seems to be a similarity among children’s games. One discovers no great differences between countries, peoples and times. We read in the works of Homer about some games; ball playing, the game of knucklebones, playing with wasps, playing in the sand and playing with tops. These games are still played in my hometown in western Anatolia.”
The Japanese authorities sent a selection of antique toys to be displayed in the museum in Bademler, acknowledging Baran’s success in the field. The museum is one of only two children’s toy museums in Turkey and is located in the center of the village.
Mahmut Türkmenoğlu, who was the customs minister in the 1970s, was also born and raised in Bademler. Uysal recounted how Türkmenoğlu’s advice and support during the 1970s helped save the village from a great financial crisis. “Mahmut Türkmenoğlu became the customs minister in Turkey and continued to support the people of Bademler with practical advice,” Uysal said. “During the 1970s, the German government offered Turkish citizens the opportunity to live and work in Germany, which at the time lacked manual laborers. Türkmenoğlu suggested that Bademler send some members of the community to Germany to work. His advice was well received and the move helped boost the village economy during the late 1970s and early 80s.” The money earned in Germany helped sustain the village economy for a number of years, however Türkmenoğlu’s greatest advice and the advice that continues to positively affect the village today well into the new millennium was his suggestion to build a cooperative. “Türkmenoğlu also introduced the idea of the cooperative to us. He suggested we develop our agricultural industry based on a cooperative scheme,” Uysal said. “The villagers built greenhouses to grow flowers and created a co-op for both the farmers and the villagers who supply the water to these farms. We continue to work together in this way. We have gained greater respect from the buyers and have become a stronger bargaining force.”
In 2009, a group of high-profile guests visited the village and raised awareness in the region, bringing about a renewed curiosity. Members from the World Bank were examining the region and stopped at Bademler during their guided tour. Uysal recalled how the event was important for the villagers. “Members of the World Bank wanted to visit a traditional working village and at first the Turkish authorities arranged for them to visit Çeşme, but somehow they were directed to us. We printed brochures for our guests in English and Turkish and wore fresh flowers in our buttonholes. The children of the village performed a traditional dance in honor of the guests. There were approximately 35 members in the group. It was a memorable day.”
Free to drink alcohol
According to Uysal, there are rituals and traditions such as the freedom to drink alcohol, the freedom to eat wild boar and shared religious festivals that are typical to all Alevis. On a Sunday, the village hunters indulge in the ritual of gathering at the municipal cafe and talk about the latest escapades of the hunt for wild boar. They feel free to eat wild boar and this social activity is undertaken every week with often the same tales of the hunt being relayed over brunch.
Generally life in Bademler is peaceful and relaxed. Improvements to the infrastructure and the continuous developments in the surrounding area of Urla and Seferihisar have established the region as an up-and-coming tourist destination, even if those tourists are homegrown. The organic village market, held every Sunday, has become a welcome boost to Bademler’s economy. Not only that, the majority of residents agree that it has improved the relationships between neighboring villages and created a social hub that everyone can participate in. Emine, a young local trader explained, “The market has encouraged day-trippers to the village and now we benefit from a secondary income. We cook homemade ‘mantı’ (similar to ravioli) and ‘gözleme’ (Turkish-style pancake) and even though our terrace is small with only four tables, it’s an added bonus and a fun activity. Four years have past since the opening of this market and it’s going well. I can say it’s been a success.”
On the whole, life in Bademler is moving at a reasonable pace and most residents would agree that the future does indeed look bright.
What is Alevism? Posing this question to a wide cross-section of the general public in Turkey – Alevis included – would likely net you dramatically different answers.
Alevism is often described as a liberal form of Islam, yet the definition fails to articulate the nuances of the community’s beliefs, which vary from region to region and person to person.
On the whole, Alevis believe that Allah is the supreme spirit, but also that the energies of the Prophet Muhammad and Ali, the nephew of the Prophet, represent Allah. Alevi religious life centers on the cemevi, or gathering house, where congregants of both genders mix freely while participating in ritualized song and dance.
Experts and community leaders, however, disagree over the finer description of Alevism as there is no centralized body or holy book to provide a authoritative definition of the community’s beliefs.
Alevis may define Alevism as a part of Islam, the true Islam, an independent religion with few ties to Islam, a Shamanist-influenced heterodox community, a humanist life philosophy with no connection to religion and more.
Alevis often simplify the community’s basic rules with just one sentence: “Eline, diline, beline sahip ol” (Control your hand, your mouth, and your loins), which effectively directs people to avoid stealing or hurting others, watch what they say and refrain from giving in to lust.
Close ties with the neighboring village
Demircili is a small coastal village, nine kilometers west of Bademler on the southern side of the Çeşme peninsula.
The residents of Demircili hail from a nomadic tribe which historically traveled between the coastal regions and the mountain retreats around the district of İzmir, western Turkey.
Typically, nomads spend the winters herding their sheep and goats and working their agricultural lands somewhere near the coast until the beginning of summer when the earth hardens and the grazing dries out in the hot sun. They then head to the cooler, more fertile pastures of the mountains. Nomads traditionally live in large family tents, the material of which is woven from goat’s hair, yet nowadays the settled nomads choose to build more permanent shelters, and the Demircili villagers reside in brick-constructed homes.
The settled nomads who choose to retain part of their ancestral culture construct their tents and shelters out of a more convenient plastic sheeting. Bademler share a friendly outlook and often visit the festivals and gatherings of each other’s communities.
Bademler village headman, or muhtar, Mehmet Uysal explained a compliment shared between the two communities: “We have a saying in Turkish which roughly translates to ‘See the thin membrane of an onion? This is the difference between us.’ It was said to express the humanity we share, and reiterate that ultimately all humans are the same.”

For tonight..

Monday, April 11, 2011

Where is home?

You can never go home again, but the truth is
you can never leave home, so it's all right.
Maya Angelou

What is home?
“A roof to keep out the rain?  Four walls to keep out the wind?
Floors to keep out the cold?  Yes, but home is more than that.
It is the laugh of a baby, the song of a mother, the strength
of a father, warmth of loving hearts, lights from happy eyes,
kindness, loyalty, comradeship. Home is first school
  for young ones, where they learn what is right, what
is good, and what is kind, where they go for comfort when
they are hurt or sick; where joy is shared and sorrow eased;
where fathers and mothers are respected and loved, where
children are wanted; where the simplest food is good enough
for kings because it is earned; where money is not as important
as loving-kindness; where even the tea kettle sings
from happiness. That is home.  God bless it!”


Thursday, March 24, 2011


People in Turkey, do not care about the tsunami in Japan ,the war in Libya or forthcoming elections if it's Wednesday..

Muhteşem Yüzyıl (English: Magnificent Century) is a Turkish prime time historical soap opera television series broadcast on Turkey's Show TV network. It is based on the life of Süleyman I (also known as Suleiman the Magnificent), the longest reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and Hürrem (also known as Roxelana), the slave girl who became his queen.
The show generated controversy and complaints from some viewers, for what they referred to as a "disrespectful", "indecent" and "hedonistic" portrayal of the historical sultan.

About the story;
The magnificent century of the Ottomans begins.
The magnificent ascent of Sultan Suleiman the Lawgiver to sovereignty commences.
At the age of twenty six, when his rule began, sultan Suleiman aimed at such an objective that he was,going to build a sovereignty in this world more powerful and more extensive than Alexander the Great and render the Ottomans invincible...
Throughout his reign that lasted 46 years,Sultan Suleiman became the greatest warrior and ruler of the East and West ,Young Suleiman , who acceded to the throne after receiving the news of his crowning at a hunting party in 1520,unaware that he would be ruling a reign beyond his dreams , leaving behind his wife Mahidevran and his son ,little prince Mustafa,şn his palaca in Manisa,took the road with his close friend and companion,İbrahim to reach the Topkapı Palaca in İstanbul
While they proceeded on their course,an Ottoman ship sailed off of Crimea onto the Black Sea,to bring female slaves as gifts for the Ottoman palace...On this ship was Alexandra La Rossa,the daughter of a Ukrainian Orthodox minister...This young girl,who had been taken away from her family and sold to the Crimean palace, certainly had no idea that in the future she would become Hurrem,the wife of Sultan Suleiman and give birth to princes,ruling his empire together with him whrough bloodshed and intrigue...
As Sultan Suleiman conquered the world,he would be paying the pricefor his great passion for Hurrem with the beheading of his most trusted friend and Grand Vizier İbrahim as well as ordering the death commands for his own sons...For Hurrem,the game of power was bloody and ruthless...Anything was acceptable in order to be victorious in this game...

She quickly came to the attention of her master, and attracted the jealousy of her rivals. One day Süleyman's favorite, the concubine Mahidevran (also called "Gülbahar", Gül meaning Rose and Bahar meaning Spring ), got into a fight with Hürrem and beat her badly. Upset by this, Süleyman banished Mahidevran to the provincial capital of Manisa, together with her son, the heir apparent, Prince Mustafa. This exile was shown officially as the traditional training of heir apparents, sancak beyligi. Thereafter, Hürrem became Süleyman's unrivalled favorite or haseki. Many years later, because of a fear of rebellion (a fear probably incepted by Hürrem), the Sultan ordered Mustafa to be strangled. After the death of her son, Gulbahar lost her state in the palace (as being the mother of the heir apparent) and moved to Bursa.
Hürrem's influence over the Sultan soon became legendary; she was to bear Süleyman five children Mihrimah (daughter), Selim, Beyazıt, Cihangir) and, in an astonishing break with tradition, eventually was freed and became his legal wife, making Suleyman the first Ottoman Emperor to have a wed wife since Orhan Gazi. This strengthened her position in the palace and eventually led to one of her sons, Selim, inheriting the empire. Hürrem also may have acted as Süleyman's adviser on matters of state, and seems to have had an influence upon foreign affairs and international politics. Two of her letters to the Polish King Sigismund II Augustus have been preserved, and during her lifetime, the Ottoman Empire generally had peaceful relations with the Polish state within a Polish-Ottoman alliance. Some historians also believe that she may have intervened with her husband to control Crimean Tatar slave-raiding in her native land.



The U.S. and France, and all the allied forces who have chosen to enforce the United Nations Resolution for a No-Fly Zone over Libya have begun air strikes against military targets under Gaddafi’s command.  The Libyan people have suffered enough, it seems, for the World to take action.   

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spectacular Turkey

Are you OK ?

Is your temper under control?
Do stress and anxiety interfere with your life?
Are your emotional highs and lows normal?
Do you stand up for yourself?
Are you suffering from depression?

Check out the tests and have an idea...
 Psychology Today

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Insulted and Injured- Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Insulted and Injured is that tale of a love quadrangle -- an improbably unpossessive and uninvidious love quadrangle, at that -- told by a young novelist not to unlike Dostoevsky himself. (A young author who has just published a novel so much like Dostoevsky's Poor Folk, in fact, that we find ourselves tempted to wonder over the author's private life. But we'll refrain.) Vanya (the narrator and fictional author) has a crush on Natasha, who has left her family to live with her new lover, Alyosha. Alyosha is a sweetheart, but he's also a little dim; he's the son of Prince Valkovsky, a Machiavellian character who's the villain of the tale. Prince Valkovsky hopes to gain wealth and stature by marrying Alyosha off to an heiress -- Katya. The Prince's machinations make him one of the most memorable "predatory types" in the Dostoevsky ouvre.

LET IT SNOW!!! thumbs down for the Mayor

A cold front that hit Turkey on Wednesday brought heavy snowfall that paralyzed traffic and shut down schools in the capital Ankara while disrupting road and air travel in other cities..
   Residents blamed the Ankara Municipality for not taking the necessary precautions, causing   Mayor Melih Gökçek to release statements defending the municipality, and joking that at least the city’s children get to enjoy a break from school to play in the snow. Some took to Twitter to criticize Gökçek for not taking action before the storm hit. “How can I convince you that we have salted the roads? Maybe you should lick the roads,” the mayor wrote in reply on the social-networking website. (!!!!!)


European court asks Turkey to explain its Internet bans - Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review


European court asks Turkey to explain its Internet bans - Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Place I want to be right now..


Stuffed grapevine leaves

(4 servings)
½ kg grapevine leaves
1 potato, medium size
2 onions, medium size
4 tomatoes
½ bunch parsley
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 cup rice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
If you are using fresh grapevine leaves, blanch, drain and rinse. If you are using preserved leaves, drain them in a colander and rinse under cold water to reduce salt.
Clean parsley and onion. Finely chop. Peel and dice three tomatoes.
In a mixing bowl, combine parsley, one onion, tomatoes, ground white pepper, rice, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss well. Set aside.
Peel potato and slice finely. Slice remaining onion and tomato. Place potatoes, onion and half of tomato slices on bottom of a pot in which you are going to cook.
Place a grapevine leaf, veined side up, on a wooden board and nip off stem.
Top with one tablespoon of stuffing. Roll up leaf, folding in ends to prevent leaking. Repeat filling with all remaining leaves.
Set rolls in pan side by side, pressing to make compact. Place remaining sliced tomatoes on top. Pour one cup of water over rolls. Set a heatproof plate upside down on top to keep them from unfolding while cooking. Reduce heat to low after boiling, let simmer for 45 minutes.
Remove from heat. Let cool. Serve at room temperature. Enjoy..

Taken from

This may be my last post... -God knows-

Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself.  It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.  ~Potter Stewart

Blogger becomes latest victim of Turkish Internet bans

 A spat over rights to broadcast Turkish football matches has led a local court to issue a blanket ban on the popular blogging platform Blogger, angering Turkish Internet users with what experts said was a disproportionate response.

The court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır banned the website, a property of Google Inc., in response to a complaint by the satellite television provider Digiturk, which owns the broadcast rights to Turkish Super League games. Matches broadcast on Digiturk’s Lig TV channel had been illegally posted by several Blogger users on their blogs.
“This is a disproportionate response by the court and undoubtedly has a huge impact on all law-abiding citizens,” cyber-rights activist Yaman Akdeniz told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Wednesday, adding that millions of Turkish bloggers and blog readers would be affected by the Diyarbakır court decision.
“[I understand] there is a legitimate concern [regarding Digiturk’s commercial rights] but banning all these websites will not solve the issue. The decision opens the way to collateral damage,” said Akdeniz, who is also a law professor at Istanbul Bilgi University.
There are more than 600,000 Turkish bloggers actively using Blogger and some 18 million users from Turkey visited pages hosted by the site last month, Akdeniz said. The ban is expected to fully go into effect within a few days unless it is successfully challenged in court.
“If two people plan a criminal activity on the phone, should we ban the use of telephones all over the country?” asked Deniz Ergürel, the secretary-general of the Media Association.
“We believe this is a wrong approach to the issue and deprives millions of bloggers and Internet users from writing and sharing ideas online,” Ergürel, who is also a regular blogger, told the Daily News on Wednesday. He added that while the violation of Digiturk’s commercial rights should not be ignored, other solutions had to be found. “Even cursing, threatening or cheating over the phone is considered a crime, but this does not imply access to phones all over the country would be banned if there is a case against them,” he said.
In a press release Wednesday, Digiturk said illegal broadcasts of the league games had not stopped despite many warnings about the issue.
“Digiturk has spent $321 million in order to get the right to broadcast Spor Toto Super League matches. However, matches [whose broadcasting rights] belong to Digiturk and Lig TV are broadcasted by certain websites, disregarding all relevant laws,” the company said in its statement. “Thus, we applied to court to ban these websites, and the court decided to ban access to them, after it was proved that although all legal procedures were conducted, the violations were not stopped.”
Bloggers and their readers reacted angrily and quickly to the court decision, with nearly 9,000 users of the social-networking website Facebook joining a group called “Do not touch my blog” in less than two days after the decision was announced. Similar campaigns have also been created on other websites, such as Twitter.
“I can understand that a company tries to protect its rights when they are violated. But I cannot make sense of the banning of all blogs for content illegally used on only a few blogs,” regular blogger Gülşen Çetin, 24, told the Daily News on Wednesday. “The company that is involved says it couldn’t handle the issue with Google. Of course, everybody is responsible for their own claims, but this is not an excuse for them to cause such a big censorship event.”
In addition to harming innocent parties, the court decision is unlikely to solve the copyright problem, said another regular blogger.
“The people doing pirate broadcasting are skilled in this. Shutting down only one or a few [sites] will not solve the problem because they will find other ways to do it,” said Güldem Zeybek. “How about us, the innocent bloggers? Here, without doing anything, we face the charge of [being] criminals and have to [find ways to work around the ban]. No company’s copyrights should come before me expressing my thoughts.”
Cyber-rights activist Akdeniz drew a differentiation between regular websites and platforms for user-generated content such as Blogger, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, saying the courts must be sensitive to this distinction when they make decisions. “In my view, access to such platforms should not be banned, whatever the cause,” he said, adding that other technical solutions could be found to address issues of property and intellectual rights.
“The [impact of the decision] will be censorship, although it might not have been the court decision’s final purpose,” said Ergürel of the Media Association. He added that depriving millions of people of a way of communicating and sharing with each other could be considered a kind of censorship.
“We would not see such a phenomenon [like this court decision] in more developed democracies, such as in the EU countries,” Akdeniz said.


Six Word Stories for ESL learners..

 Dear Colleagues,
Please check out this great idea... :)

Six Word Stories

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A very interesting website

 I found this interesting website whilst surfing on the net..

Angelic Magick, Astrology, Tarot and Theurgy.

This website is about Magick, Angels and angelic magick, astrology, tarot, qabalah, neoplatonism, occult philosophy, hermetics and theurgy and its actual application today. As its name says, it pretends to do some kind of work like what Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa did in the renaissance, I.E., a complete system of magick but actualised for the actual XXI century, so it will also treat new ways of doing magick like chaos magick, modern magick, radionics and experimental magick.

Here in you can also find horoscopes for all the 12 astrological signs.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The postcard of the day..

IZMIR of today,SMYRNA of 1880's

I am someone..

by Annastasia Aressia

I am someone

I walked past a dead face
even though the person was alive

I saw my eyes in the mirror

and cried at the sight

I looked at a person I didn�t know

and I met a friend

I got heads to turn

when I walked past

I learned a lot about myself

when I lost a new friend

I cried every tear in my body

when I thought about love

I got hit bad

then got back in the ring

I climbed a mountain of rocks

and saw an eagle fly over- head

I heard terrible things about myself

when no one thought I was listening

I realized I was strong

when I didn't cry when it hurt

I found out who I was

when I was with someone else

I thought I was lost forever

when a friend found me

I held a life in my hand

and it was my own

I was a pawn in someone else's game

so I surrendered to a brook

I walked the fine line between surviving

and not wanting to survive

I still am

I am someone

Sweet Pumpkin

3 lbs pumpkin (1500 gr)

2-3 cups sugar

½ cup walnuts or pecans

thickened cream (optional)

Cut the pumpkin in chunks larger than bite size (you can cut them in any size you like). Clean the seeds inside and peel the pumpkin chunks. Place them in a large pot and spread the sugar evenly on the surface.

Let them stand for 3-4 hours, for sugar to dissolve. After you see the sugar dissolved, place the pot on a low-medium heat and cook for 40-50 minutes until the pumpkins are darken in color. The water should be mostly drained.

When they are cooled; garnish them with thickened cream, walnuts, pecans or any kind of nuts.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dear Maths,grow up and solve your own problems.. Leave my daughter alone!!

I have had problems with Maths in my entire student life.. It was a great relief not having any contact with Maths after school...until.. my daughter started 3rd grade..
   God..I do not know the sevens,eights and nines in the times table,how can I teach it to my nine year old??

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A tribute to Defne Joy Foster

Turkish-American celebrity found dead in Istanbul - Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review

I met you almost twenty years ago when we were teenagers at high school. As cheerleaders, we were the most popular girls around. You were always the one who made us all laugh and cheer.. The years passed by, you went to your own way, made a career in TV business and shared all your joy and energy with all the country. Whenever you showed up,we smiled.. I was always proud of you while telling people that you were my friend. (although they thought you were crazy (c: )

It has been two days since you passed away.. And I am in a great sorrow.. I'm so sorry..
I'm so sorry for your little son..
I'm so sorry for your dear husband that loves you SO MUCH..
Who is still there for you ..
And I'm so sorry for your lovely family...
I'm so sorry for the CRUEL,TYRANNIC,COLDHEARTED onslaughts that are made because of the reason and the place of your death...

Boy,you went just the day after you sent me the message telling me you were so sorry that my grandpa passed away.. What a life..

God saw you getting tired and a cure was not to be. So He put His arms around you and whispered "come to me." With tearful eyes we watched you, and saw you pass away. Although we loved you dearly, we could not make you stay. A golden heart stopped beating, hardworking hands at rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best.

But Heaven is a place nearby, so there’s no need to say goodbye..

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

'Cinderella Ate My Daughter': Are Princesses Bad for Girls' Self-Esteem? - Newsweek

'Cinderella Ate My Daughter': Are Princesses Bad for Girls' Self-Esteem? - Newsweek

Disney Princesses and the Battle for Your Daughter’s Soul

Can pink frilly dresses and magic wands really harm young girls? Peggy Orenstein thinks so.

Gallery: A Century of Outrageous Beauty Ads
Youth in a Jar
When it comes to raising girls, today’s moms have plenty to worry about: self-image, depression, eating disorders, and, of course, a culture that teaches women that their worth is as much about their beauty as it is about their smarts. Peggy Orenstein knows this all too well: she’s written about girls for years as a critic for The New York Times, and her 1994 book Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self Esteem, and the Confidence Gap was a bestseller (as was her 2007 one). All of which is why, when Orenstein got pregnant, she kept to herself a dirty secret. “I was terrified at the thought of having a daughter,” she writes. “I was supposed to be an expert on girls’ behavior. What if, after all that, I wasn’t up to the challenge myself? What if I couldn’t raise the ideal daughter?”
In her new book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Orenstein documents her struggle to do just that: raise a daughter who is happy and self-confident amid a world that encourages little girls to engulf their rooms in pink chiffon and rhinestone tiaras. Yes, she’s talking about the princess complex—the little-girl love affair that starts with Cinderella and ends with sheets and toothbrushes and cups and tiaras and home décor and pint-size wedding gowns and myriad other products. And the ultrafeminine messages that come along with it.
This princess mania, many argue, leaves girls all mixed up: while they excel in school and outpace their male peers in science and math, they also obsess about Prince Charming and who has the prettiest dress, learning—from a mix of mass marketing and media—not that girls are strong, smart, or creative, but that each is a little princess of her own, judged by the beauty of her face (and gown). Just think about the fairy tales themselves: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White—all pitted against evil, ugly old women (read: age = awfulness), waiting for the prince they’ve never met to fall for their beauty (not smarts) and rescue them from misery. In The Little Mermaid, Ariel literally trades in her voice for the chance a man she’s never met will love her in return.
Orenstein’s own daughter didn’t start out princess-obsessed. Daisy marched into her first day of preschool in Berkeley, Calif., in her favorite pinstriped overalls and carrying a Thomas the Tank Engine lunchbox. (Gender-neutrality success!) But it would be less than a month before the now-7-year-old would scream as her mother tried to wrestle her into pants, begging for a “real princess dress” with matching plastic high heels. Suddenly, as if on princess steroids, Orenstein began noticing princess mania at every turn: Daisy’s classmates—even one with two mothers—showed up to school in princess outfits. The supermarket checkout woman addressed her daughter with “Hi, Princess.” She found her daughter lying on the floor at a bat mitzvah, surrounded by a group of boys, waiting for her “prince” to come and wake her.
Orenstein knew there was something about this she didn’t like. Frilly dresses? Waiting for Prince Charming? Isn’t that a retrograde role model? One would think—but as it turns out, it’s harder than it sounds to find the science to back up that notion. So instead, Orenstein decided to head to the front lines of this girl culture herself—observing the world of gyrating pretweens at a Miley Cyrus concert, the powdered pop tarts of the child-pageant circuit, an American Girl store, a toy fair, and, last, Disney, whose princess line of merchandise has become the largest franchise on the planet for girls ages 2 to 6. What she learned? “It’s not that princesses can’t expand girls’ imaginations,” Orenstein explains. “But in today’s culture, princess starts to turn into something else. It’s not just being the fairest of them all, it’s being the hottest of them all, the most Paris Hilton of them all, the most Kim Kardashian of them all.” Translation: shallow, narcissistic, slutty.
Much of Orenstein’s territory is well trod (there are only so many times you can hear about toddlers and beauty pageants, or the outrage over sexy Bratz dolls). But the way she sees it, there is one very big thing that separates Daisy’s generation from those who came before her—and it’s called mass marketing. Disney alone has 26,000 Disney princess items on the market today, part of a $4 billion-a-year franchise that is the fastest-growing brand the company has ever created. “What these companies will tell you is that girls want this, so they give it to them,” says Orenstein. But for girls who don’t want to play with pink princess toys, there’s virtually no other option.
And when princesses grow up? Let’s just say that Miley Cyrus isn’t exactly the best role model. There may not be research that looks at the detriments of princess culture specifically, but there is certainly evidence to show that girls are struggling. Studies show young girls today face more pressure than ever to be “perfect” (like a princess?)—not only to get straight A’s and excel academically, but to be beautiful, fashionable, and kind. And the more mainstream media girls consume, the more they worry about being pretty and sexy. One study, from the University of Minnesota, found that just seeing advertisements from one to three minutes can have a negative impact on girls’ self-esteem.
Orenstein is the first to admit she’s not a perfect parent. But her advice to others is to pride yourself on saying no. “People have said to me, ‘Don’t you feel like you’re brainwashing your daughter because you’re not giving her the choice of what she consumes?’ ” Orenstein says. “But there’s not really a choice. Disney isn’t giving you a choice.” Being a princess may seem simple. But raising one takes a whole lot of brains.

Sweet Talk

Web 2.0. and Teaching..

Hi everyone,

I had no idea about web 2.0 and its importance in education until I attended an online course 'Learning Technologies In The Classroom' held by British Council,Turkey. This course made me see that traditional education in the classroom is no longer the one and only way to reach our students. My first action about Web 2.0 was to start this blog. Although it started as an ELT blog,it turned out to be a personal blog as well.. You may ask me why I did not seperate the personal and the proffesional blogs and my answer is clear; I can not seperate these two issues in my life.. I mean,I am the same Burcu in the classroom and I am still a teacher and I keep on working at home. Teaching and 'learning' for teaching is all I do both at home and at school..

My second action about Web 2.0 was a page in Facebook. As I kept adding my students as friends,I realised that they spent their time with useless videos and applications. So with the help of my dear collegue Filiz Ayşe Youzofewich, we created a FB page in order to keep our students continue learning English with enjoyable video posts. Although it has only been three weeks,the results are unbelievable.. Currently we have 163 followers, 43.657 page views and 1768 post feedback. The students also use the page's wall so effectively; they ask and answer eachother's questions. By this way, English learning process continues at home as we planned..Fun2LearnEnglish

I can only say that I am no longer the same old ESL teacher who writes grammar exercises on the board.. Teaching and learning has no limits for me now, with the help of web 2.0 technology..

Saturday, January 8, 2011

10 Child Stars Who Are Also Serious Students

After making millions of dollars as a TV star, movie actress or singer, it can be hard to make yourself study for a math test or even decide to go on to college, especially if you still have a bright career ahead of you. But for these young stars, school is still a priority. Through tutors, home schooling, online programs, or even breaks from working, high school and college are just as important as waking up for hair and makeup.

Dakota Fanning: Dakota Fanning — with her big blue eyes — has been startling audiences with her intelligence and sensitivity since she was just a tiny thing, playing bit roles in popular TV shows like Ally McBeal and ER before making audiences sob as Sean Penn’s daughter in I Am Sam. Since then, Fanning has been one of Hollywood’s most consistent child stars, acting alongside serious movie stars like Denzel Washington, Robert DeNiro, Tom Cruise, Reese Witherspoon, Michael Meyers and Queen Latifah. Now, Fanning has a recurring role as a vampire in the immensely popular Twilight films, but she’s got an active, exciting life offscreen, too. She’s been named homecoming queen of her high school two years in a row, goes to prom, and even dropped out of a film to finish up — and thoroughly enjoy — her senior year. She’s decided not to take on any major roles until after graduation.

Emma Watson: British actress Emma Watson has actually been in a few other movies besides Harry Potter, but most of the world knows her as wizardry class pet Hermione Granger. Watson virtually grew up on film, a fact that often left directors unsure of how to handle her adolescence. And for Watson, who’s said that she’s glad she saw Hermione and the film series "through to the end," it’s clear she wants to take a new direction with her life. She enrolled at Brown University on the U.S. East Coast in the fall of 2009, where she’s worked hard to disappear on campus behind a protective group of friends.

Hailee Steinfeld: The young True Grit remake star is just fourteen years old, but she’s already garnering real praise from her Academy Award-winning costars like Jeff Bridges for her poise and professionalism. Steinfeld left Colina Middle School before finishing sixth grade to be homeschooled, but she’s still a serious student. An avid reader, she talked with Scholastic about how excited she is to dive in to her U.S. history books and curriculum: "Now I can come home, I can read twenty pages and take a test on it, and I learn so much more than sitting in a classroom just listening to a teacher talk," she said.

Elle Fanning: No longer known as just "Dakota’s little sister," Elle Fanning is starring in one of this year’s more popular festival films, Sofia Coppola’s sweet Somewhere, with Stephen Dorff. She’s quickly becoming a favorite among the fashion crowd, too, and she’s only 12. Formerly home schooled, Fanning and her parents decided to enroll her in a private Episcopal school in Studio City, CA. Like her sister, Elle seems determined to have as normal a childhood as she possibly can: she plays volleyball and hopes to get into theater programs when she’s in middle school.

Hayden Panettiere: At one time one of the most popular and in-demand teen actresses, the Heroes star is still poised for a successful, long-term career in Hollywood. Panettiere has been acting since she was a little girl, first appearing in commercials at just 11 months old, then in soap operas, and in memorable, spunky roles in movies like Remember the Titans. She attended a conventional middle school in New York but was homeschooled — involving online education — for high school.

Zac Efron: When Zac Efron became a major sensation after the release of the High School Musical franchise, he wasn’t dismissed as a generic teeny bobber star. Instead, he caught the eye of directors and critics, and has since carved out a very respectable career for himself, which is only expected to grow. Besides acing roles in movies like Hairspray and Me and Orson Welles, Efron’s also interested in higher education. He’s been accepted to USC but has deferred a couple of times to finish up film projects.

Nastia Liukin: Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin was known for her fierce concentration and ballerina-like grace during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and the gymnast hopes to be just as dedicated to her schoolwork. Even while training for the Olympics, Liukin couldn’t resist registering for one class at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, near her home. She deferred until after Beijing, but still had to drop out after the Olympics as she trained for other championships. But Liukin has said that college is still at the forefront of her mind.

Karlie Kloss: She’s just now 18 years old, but Karlie Kloss is a veteran of the biggest runways in the world, and even debuted as an exclusive for Calvin Klein when she was only 15. Kloss has snagged lucrative campaign deals, editorial opportunities, and magazine covers, and was most recently featured as a star model in December’s British Vogue with Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. Beyond jetting around the world for shoots, awards galas and shows, the St. Louis native also goes to a normal high school. She attends classes when she’s at home in Missouri and takes online courses when she’s on the road. Kloss goes to school dances — she wore Oscar de la Renta to homecoming — and also plans to go to medical school.

Nolan Gould: Modern Family‘s Nolan Gould is a member of one of the most celebrated TV casts in the industry. He plays the goofy, common sense-deprived son of Claire and Phil, but in real life, he’s a smart kid. Gould is seriously dedicated about his acting education, performing in improv shows each week, and working with actors and trainers to improve his craft.

Miranda Cosgrove: Nickelodeon actress Miranda Cosgrove has created a successful career for herself as a popular singer among kids and teens, too. But she’s also a serious student. She’s finishing school via homeschooling and online classes and puts in serious time at the library, even on weekends. Cosgrove is said to want to attend college at NYU, but may be convinced by her father to stay close to home, going to USC instead.

10 Child Stars Who Are Also Serious Students

Thursday, January 6, 2011

whoop whoop!!! Great news from planets this month! :))

Gemini Horoscope January 2011

By Susan Miller

You had money on the brain most of last year, but trust that this near-obsession of yours will end sometime soon because good news will come in to soothe you and give you reason for celebration.

Mars has been going through your eighth house of other people's money ruling money / debt / credit since December 7, sending credit card bills to much higher levels than you are used to seeing. It looks as though you were very generous to friends and family at holiday time. As January dawns, you'll have several bills on your desk that seem larger than usual and will be trying to figure out how to pay them. Not to worry.

On January 4, a new moon solar eclipse will come by that may fix all (or at least a large portion) of your financial dilemmas. A financial offer of stunning proportions could easily come in suddenly that could help you balance your ledgers once and for all. Or, news of a big lump sum of money coming to you through news of a bonus, commission, prize, inheritance, insurance payout, back child support, divorce settlement, or other source will resolve problems and leave you relieved.

Mars will be conjunct this eclipse, suggesting that you will hear news immediately, near June 4, with little or no waiting in January. If you are in a business deal, you may have to spend money to make money, but you would be willing to do that, for it looks like you would see a powerful backend benefit.

Mars will leave your financial sector on January 15, so that exit of Mars would instantly help you reduce your need to spend. Solar eclipses are very different - and generally much easier and more fun - than the emotional lunar full moon eclipses (like the one we had on December 21), for lunar eclipses bring endings or culminations. A solar eclipse, like we have January 4, open doors, often quite unexpectedly, and create outstanding opportunity where none existed before.

The only hard part about the January 4 eclipse is that the new moon will be in tough angle to Saturn. Because Saturn often requires a personal sacrifice, you may have to put out a hefty sum to help one of your children. Alternatively, you (or your partner) may be pregnant and experiencing high expenses in regard to the doctor or other outlays you need to make for the baby's arrival.

I say this because Saturn is in your fifth house, and the fifth house rules children, but this same house also rules creative efforts and social events.

With this in mind, here are alternative ways things could work out. A creative project may be bringing in cost overruns, and you may have to figure out how to keep things going despite these budgetary concerns. Or, a social event, such as a friend's wedding, may start to become far more expensive than you had anticipated, but by now you are in too deep to pull out! Have a little faith, dear Gemini, for I feel you will be able to cover these costs AND still have some money left over to put aside if this eclipse works the way I think it will for you.

Sometimes, with a lot of emphasis on the eighth house, as you will have on January 4, the topic of surgery comes up, for the eighth house is the house of transformation. This is the house where the surgeon takes out what your body does not need so that you can heal and recover. If you do need an operation, you should feel confident that things will go well, and this includes both medical operations and dental work. With so many planets in Capricorn, teeth and bones might need special care, for Capricorn rules both. No need to worry, dear Gemini. While no one ever wants surgery, if you do need to have it done, and you have completed your research and trust your doctor, you can feel confident that this is the time to act on your doctor's advice.

On this very same day, January 4, remarkably, one OTHER of the most beautiful and exciting aspects possible will take place, namely, the meeting of Jupiter and Uranus in Pisces to light your house of honors, awards, and achievement. This is another piece of evidence that whatever financial offer comes up for you to consider, quite suddenly on or just AFTER January 4, it will not only be potentially quite lucrative, but prestigious, too. Good fortune planet Jupiter is now in his final days of Pisces and will make his last link up with Uranus before the two bid adieu and go their separate ways. After their meeting on January 4 in your career sector, they will not meet again until 2021, next time in Taurus, and at that time it will not be in your career sector. This month's meeting is very special, indeed!

Pisces is the sign that guards the cusp of your tenth house of career honors and achievement, so the good work you've done in the past will now bring you exceptional reward, opportunity, kudos, or publicity (or several of these possibilities, rolled up in one!) January 4, and the days to follow, should be really exciting.

Mars will be in a perfect place to support Jupiter and Uranus! Mars is the planet of action, Jupiter the planet of gifts and luck, and Uranus the planet of surprise, all working together. Hooray - help is on the way, dear Gemini.

Two days that will be outstanding for financial news or talks will be January 12 and 13 when the Mars and Uranus (the former day) and the Mars and Jupiter (the latter day) will receive golden beams from Jupiter. If you can wait to seal a deal on January 13, do, for it's the best time to sign.

There is another reason mid-month will be important. You will see a blast of energy on January 12 for another reason, because Mercury will reach the same degree it was when it first retrograded last month - an important mathematical point.

Now the plot thickens and the news gets even better. Venus will be in your sixth house of work projects, in late degrees of Scorpio, and will jump in to help out this trio (Jupiter, Uranus, the eclipse / new moon) on January 4. Venus is closely associated with money, as well as the affairs of women, so both will be intertwined, and women seem to bring you profits. Wow, Gemini, you have a crowd of planets that are trying to help you.

If you are in a court case or hoping to get funds from a client, with four planets in your eighth house of shared income, this topic will be up for discussion, but it looks like negotiations will go exceedingly well. Mercury, your ruler, will be moving direct speed, no longer retrograde in January (as it has been in December), so you will have an open road ahead, with no roadblocks and can get to a speedy conclusion IF the other side wants to finish things now.

Financial talks will wind up by the full moon, January 19, minus one or plus four days, much to your enormous satisfaction. Jupiter will be at perfect angle to the Sun at that time, in one of the best possible planetary contacts in the heavens. At the same time, Pluto, planet of transformation, will conjoin Mercury, so an agreement you make should please you - it seems like a big deal. This is one of the best full moons I have seen in a very long time.

If you didn't see anything happen with the eclipse of December 21 last month, you may find this full moon, happening one month to the day later, plus or minus five days, to be a major moment for a partnership in business or in love. You'll likely want to celebrate!

The project on your desk now that you are negotiating likely will tap your writing or speaking abilities, and if so, you will be eminently qualified to do it. In fact, there would be no one better for this project, and the other side will want you because your reputation will precede you.

Here is something to keep in mind: The very best career aspects you will enjoy in 2011 will happen in the first three weeks of January (January 1 to 22). The runner up dates will happen just after the new moon March 2. I love this month for you, for Jupiter, the giver of gifts and luck, in a rare once-in-12-year cycle, will make your career wishes come true until it leaves January 22, 2011.

On January 26 Saturn will be angry with Mercury, reason enough to seal your critical career deals far ahead of this date. Mercury is the planet of contracts and agreements, so when you make any sort of written or contractual agreement, you need Mercury to be strong and in good shape, which won't be the case at the end of January.

Here's another reason to get your career show on the road. Saturn is the planet in charge of Gemini's profits, for Saturn is the natural ruler of your eighth house of money that comes in chucks, or as bonuses, commissions, royalties, licensing fees, and so forth. Saturn will go retrograde on January 26, the same date, as Mercury will be at a 90-degree square to Saturn, showing obstacles will come up. As you see, you must work quickly.

Here is some excellent news. From January 1 to 25, every planet in our solar system will be moving at top speed, and none will be retrograde. (Last month, Mercury was retrograde and created havoc in your life, but Mercury is back on track now, thank goodness.) When you have eight very independent-minded little planets that keep doing things their way, in their own time, it's nearly impossible to get them all to behave and be moving direct speed at once. It's been years since this has happened, and when it has, it was never for as long a period as we have now!

This is important to know because when you plan a big initiation, you want to have as many planets moving at top speed as you can get, for they will contribute good energy to your endeavor or new relationship. A retrograde planet is weak, or said in a funny way - a little drunk. You simply can't get your little planet to wake up and help you. He just keeps babbling and going back to sleep, so you are left to fend for yourself.

We saw the nightmares that occurred in transportation all over the world from December 7-30, due to Mercury retrograde last month. Whenever Saturn and Jupiter are retrograde, profits are held down. When Neptune is retrograde, the creativity and vision of a project is limited. When Mars goes retrograde, the project lacks energy. When Venus is retrograde, love is absent or withheld. You get the idea - you see how important all this is for you to have all the planets in strong shape! They will be from January 1 to 25. I feel you should get things wrapped up by the full moon for best luck, January 19. You can coast after that!

Now you may think: January is great, I am so happy! Wonderful! You should be feeling that way! But wait! I have saved some MORE good news for you, and this is monumental!

On January 22, Jupiter will enter fire sign Aries and fill your house of hopes and wishes until June 4. This will be a boon to your social life, for the eleventh house, where Jupiter (giver of gifts and luck) will be, rules friendships, events, and new people you meet. Lots of new people will pour into your life now, and some will be very, very good for you. Joining new clubs and organizations will also bring benefits, whether online or in real life. Jupiter in Aries will be adventuresome and exciting, and even if you are shy, you'll find the courage to venture out and meet many new people.

Things may even improve romantically. Often when you have a major planet like Jupiter in one house, it will ping energy into the opposite house on the horoscope wheel, in this case your fifth house of true love. In truth, Gemini has not had the best romantic aspects since October 29, 2009, when Saturn arrived in the fifth house, which can brings delays and obstacles to finding true love. While Saturn will not leave until October 2012, you will have reason to hope for a thawing of this situation between now and June 4.

Jupiter in Aries will help you socialize and perhaps help you find the right person for you romantically. Jupiter rules your marriage house, so it will be through friends that you have your best chance of meeting your "true north" between now and June 4. As we go along in 2011 I will have more to say about this, but in the meantime, stay optimistic! You have reason to do so!

One other thing about Jupiter in Aries: The eleventh house is also considered the house where profits show up from hard work done and plans put in place the year earlier (2010). This means you may see the blossoming of many of the meetings and plans you put in place last year.

Last year, you made your best career headway by having formal meetings and sending formal proposals. This year, from now through June 4, you will do best by circulating and networking through friends and contacts in a more relaxed and social way. In short, the first half of 2011 seems to be a lot more fun than you've seen in a long time.

You may also be inspired to work on a charity, community, or humanitarian project in the coming months, and be amazed to see what a difference you make to a group that dearly needs your help. In the process, you will meet many like-minded people, and among them may be a romantic interest that will blossom beautifully in time.

Keep in mind that as a Gemini, you are an air sign, and with Jupiter in Aries, a fire sign, he can now help you in a more direct, helpful way than he can when in Pisces, a water sign. Jupiter has not been in Aries since February to June 1999, so think back to that year - did something wonderful happen to you then? Even if the answer is no, you will have reason to be happy because other planets are now in new positions, and you have a second chance at fun and happiness.

Romantically, this month, as said, attached Gemini will have the edge, for Venus - in Sagittarius - will tour your seventh house of committed love from January 7 to February 4. On January 23, Venus will be in lovely angle to Saturn, a time when you can make plans together and simply have fun - see how this works for you! If you are not attached, your best time comes near January 4, and at month's end, after January 22 onward.

Most romantic, fun days for you include: January 5, 6, 10, 15-16 (special weekend), 20, 21, 24, 28, and 29.

Travel to a distant city, possibly abroad, is one option you may take after January 15, when Mars goes into Aquarius, or if not, there is a very good chance you'll be at the airport taking off in February. Mars, the planet of energy and determination, will brighten your ninth house of distant travel from January 15 through February 22 and help make the pieces of your puzzle fit into place.

Next month you may become more deeply involved in this area of international commerce, or get a chance to work on a new publishing or broadcasting project. If you are a university teacher / professor or student, academia is also a growing area of favor. You will see signs of growth in one of these areas at month's end: Science, biology, high tech, telecommunications, the Internet or digital media, social work or any of the human sciences will play into this new trend.


At the very start of the New Year, you could be celebrating outstanding career success. Jupiter and Uranus are now ending their visit to your tenth house of fame, but before they go, they are planning a fireworks display to outdo any you've seen in recent memory. It will come on the new moon solar eclipse of January 4, so get ready for some sort of surprise. You won't be able to guess what's coming, but it should be a dream offer. With Neptune making its ascent to the top of your chart, you may be moving into a role where your picture or an image of you will be "out there" much more than it has in the past - you will like what is coming! A friend might be very instrumental to your career progress this month.

Money will be on your mind too, just after the solar eclipse January 4. You can now pave the way for getting the money you need to finance a large goal or complex plan. If you need a line of credit, infusion of venture capital, a mortgage, scholarship, or other such lump sum infusion of cash, it could now appear. Alternatively you may be given a generous bonus, commission, or licensing fee, or perhaps an insurance payout or as a court settlement. No matter where the money emanates, you are happy to have it. If you work for yourself, this date could mark the start of a new and very lucrative client.

In early January, Pluto will reach the same degree of the past June 26, 2010 eclipse, so a financial matter that you discussed then may now resurface for more talks. Saturn will be in hard angles to this eclipse, so you may have to figure out how to get what you want even though the other side seems unable or unwilling to give it to you. Gemini can talk circles around the other side in these types of situations, so you have what it takes to be persuasive. If you are working on a creative project, you may have to figure out how to keep its creative integrity intact despite budget restraints.

Keep your spirits up because by January 12, 13, and 17, VERY exciting news should arrive involving your career and money. News will be surprising and play out in ways you could never anticipate.

By the full moon July 19 (plus four days) your financial talks will conclude. If you are in salary negotiations, the final offer will match or exceed your expectations.

Travel could be on your list sometime between January 15 and February 22, as Mars will be heating up your long-distance travel house in the most perfect way. This is a trend you will see grow in February, just after the new moon February 2. It will be an exciting time for you, so get that suitcase, and possibly a passport, ready to use!

Breaking news will occur on January 22, when Jupiter, giver of gifts and luck, enters Aries. You made a lot of progress in your career last year, but your personal life may have been neglected. In the next five months, the universe will help you bring better balance to your life.

You will still progress in your career - March looks to be a huge month for career progress - but you will also have more time to enjoy the company of friends, and possibly even start a romantic relationship. You will enjoy Jupiter in fire sign Aries - fire and your air sign element go together like spicy tomato sauce on pasta. The house that Jupiter will visit will not only encourage friendships, and humanitarian and charitable efforts, but also will help you materialize a dream dear to you.

Gemini Dates to Note:

Watch January 4 for sensational news to emerge about your career.

More spectacular days for your professional progress include January 12, 13, and 17, although in truth, January 1 to 21 will be amazing!

The solar eclipse on January 4 (same date) will bring news about a one-time lump sum of money. It could be a bank loan or a court settlement, commission, a gift or prize, a bonus, large amount of back-owed child support, insurance payout, or other types of funds, but it will not be salary.

A purchase or payment may be made at the full moon July 19. You may finish salary talks, purchase something expensive, or get a check in the mail. This point of the month is positive.

If you need surgery, it would most likely happen this month, just after January 4 (anytime within the two weeks that follow).

Jupiter will enter Aries on January 22 and will light your house of hopes and wishes, friendships, and humanitarian efforts. All are areas that glitter and glow for you!

Most romantic, fun days for you include: January 5, 6, 10, 15-16 (special weekend), 20, 21, 24, 28, and 29.