Friday, May 27, 2016

Betty MacDonald and four eyes



#vierauge #newworld

Ich bin lecker. #lec

Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.


Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

you can win the most interesting Betty MacDonald fan club items.

You only have to answer this Betty MacDonald fan club contest question:

Do you know anything of the eye sight of Betty MacDonald and her sister Mary Bard Jensen? ( see also very interesting article below )

Too difficult? 

I'd say a real Betty MacDonald fan club fan can answer this question very easily.

Deadline:   June 30, 2016

Do you wear glasses? 

Can you remember the first two things you noticed after getting glasses?

Despite some Betty MacDonald experts there is always something new under the sun after all those years.

Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are going to include many new fascinating details and info in updated Betty MacDonald biography.

You'll be able to read many great info in Betty MacDonald fan club newsletter June.
 
Betty MacDonald documentary will be very interesting with many new interviews.

Betty MacDonald, Claudette Colbert and the other Betty MacDonald fan club honor members will be included in Wolfgang Hampel's new project Vita Magica.
 
I hope Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli will be able to support our politicans to solve some very important problems.


I'm convinced Mr. Tigerli can!  

Yes he can!!!!


Yours,

Michael  



Don't miss this very special book, please.

 



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'I may now be a four eyes, but I'm not the only one going blind'

Telegraph writer Joe Shute, who has just been given his first pair of glasses at the age of 30, may not like it, but he is part of a "short-sighted epidemic" now sweeping the world

Joe Shute wearing his new glasses
Joe Shute wearing his new glasses Photo: Julian Simmonds


Like most great revelations, it occurred late at night on a street corner. I was walking home - sober, I should add – with my fiancée down Seven Sisters Road, the busy London thoroughfare near to where we live. As we approached our turning, I saw, no more than a few feet away, what I thought to be an urban fox.
“Look, it’s just sitting there looking at us,” I shouted. She followed my gaze to what turned out to be, in fact, a large upturned brown paper KFC bag squatting on the pavement. I was booked in for an eye test the very next morning. Yesterday, I was presented with my first pair of glasses.
I say revelation, but deep down I had seen this coming – albeit through rather blurred eyes. I had noticed I was going home with headaches following a day’s tapping away at my computer keyboard; the various names of worldwide cities on the clocks suspended above the Telegraph newsroom had long stopped making sense. New Delhi looked like New York. If you’d asked me to point towards Moscow I could very easily have sent you in the direction of Sydney.
Yet I had suffered in silence, reluctant to confess my ailment. Glasses have, of course, nowadays been reborn as a fashion essential – watch Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Junior swanning around in theirs. But I am a child of the Eighties and Nineties where glasses were most certainly not cool.
Arnie and Bruce Willis were shades or nothing type of guys. Hulk Hogan would most likely snatch them off and kick sand in your face. Later in life I never bothered with Harry Potter and his thick round specs held together with scotch tape. Give me Lord of the Rings every time, and Legolas’s elven acuity.

Our eyes are fading and nobody quite knows why

Perhaps part of the reason glasses are now so resolutely back in style, is that ever more of us need them. A report published in the respected science journal Nature a few weeks ago claimed short-sightedness is now reaching epidemic proportions. This so-called “myopia boom” is most pronounced in East Asia: 90 per cent of teenagers and young adults in China are short-sighted; in Seoul, 96.5 per cent of 19-year-old men suffer the same affliction. By some estimates, one-third of the world's population — 2.5 billion people — could be affected by short-sightedness at the end of this decade and Europe has also witnessed a dramatic increase in the condition. In Britain, two million people experience sight loss of some sort or another – a number that by 2050 will double. Partly this is down to an an ageing population where ever more pensioners are busy assuring worried relatives that their eyes have never been better – even as they reach for a toffee in the pot pourri. But problems are particularly pronounced among the young, with up to one million children presumed to currently have undiagnosed vision problems. The reasons for this boom are varied, but it is increasingly thought that – as the Nature study points out - a lifestyle largely spent indoors staring at computer screens is exacerbating the issue. Fresh air is now seen by researchers as crucial to preserving our eyesight. It was not for nothing that renowned British eye surgeon Henry Edward Juler wrote in A Handbook of Ophthalmic Science and Practice in 1904 that when “the myopia had become stationary, change of air — a sea voyage if possible — should be prescribed”. And then there are the genes. Research has identified 26 genes linked to short-sightedness. Children with one short-sighted parent have a one in three risk of developing myopia, if both parents are short-sighted, that risk increases to one in two. A quick scan of family photographs told me – as with hair loss – I didn’t come from particularly good stock with regard to poor sight. But even in my mid 20s my vision seemed perfectly fine so I thought I had escaped. While presbyopia – age-related long-sightedness – sets in for many around the age of 40; for some, eyesight can continue to improve until then. Orlando Bloom as the keen-eyed Legolas in Lord of the Rings As Karen Sparrow, head of professional development at the Association of Optometrists, explains, your eyes continue to develop in adulthood. “Generally people don’t realise your eyes are changing and growing well into your twenties. Some people think they have got to 16 and 17 and that is that.” In my case, I was told I have developed an astigmatism in each eye (the term for an irregular shaped cornea or lens). This distortion exacerbates my prescription of -075 – a minor one, I know, in the competitive game of who is the blindest which I now realise takes place between spectacle wearers. But what a difference my new glasses have made. As soon as I slipped them on the world burst into extraordinary clarity and has remained so ever since. I have realised I had previously been reading newspapers at a distance of about two inches from my face, where now I can hold them aloft to peruse like a gentleman of leisure at a country club. I no longer hunch in quite such wizened fashion over my computer screen. Occasionally, I look down just below the lens and see my old world swirling nauseously out of focus.  
Michael Caine shows how to wear a pair in the
 1965 film The Ipcress File 
As for getting used to actually now being a four eyes at the age of 30, well, that will take a little longer. As I walked out of the opticians and caught a glimpse of my reflection in a shop window, there was a part of me that thought of the scorn my younger self would no doubt pour. This was not helped by stumbling twice on the pavement on the way to the tube as I got used to my new eyes. But a blow to one’s ego is a small price to pay for the gift of knowing the difference between a KFC wrapper and a fox. And the present time in Moscow, since you ask, is 17:38. 

#selfie #me #selfmad

Betty MacDonald, new contest and försöka duger

Betty MacDonald in the living room at Vashon on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.



Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

Betty MacDonald fan club newsletter May is available with many International Betty MacDonald and Mary Bard Jensen book covers.

You can read two very interesting letters by Betty MacDonald and Mary Bard Jensen. 


We are looking for signed or dedicated first editions in great condition with dust jackets by Betty MacDonald and Mary Bard Jensen for our fans.

Betty MacDonald Memorial Award Winner Wolfgang Hampel  and Betty MacDonald fan club research team are working on an updated Betty MacDonald biography and new Betty MacDonald documentary.


You'll receive a Betty MacDonald fan club message very soon.

This message includes a very nice Betty MacDonald fan club surprise and many info on our current Betty MacDonald fan club projects.

Join one of our Betty MacDonald fan club research teams, please. 

Thanks a million in advance for your outstanding support.

Let's talk about Betty MacDonald fan club book cover contest.

You can vote for your favourite Betty MacDonald book cover.

Deadline: June 30, 2016

Betty MacDonald fan club book cover contest winner will be  owner of a signed first edition of one of Betty MacDonald's books.  


In which language the book ' försöka duger  '  has been published? ( see book cover above )


Send the answer, please and maybe you'll be the winner of Betty MacDonald fan club surprise.

Good luck!

Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli  and our 'Italian Betty MacDonald' - Betty MacDonald fan club honor member author and artist Letizia Mancino belong to the most popular Betty MacDonald fan club teams in our history.

Their many devoted fans are waiting for a new Mr. Tigerli adventure.

Letizia Mancino's  magical Betty MacDonald Gallery  is a special gift for our Betty MacDonald fan club fans.

 
Enjoy a new breakfast at the bookstore with Brad and Nick, please.



Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli  shares his autobiography.

He is a real Casanova but this magical guy got fans from all over the world.

I belong to Mr. Tigerli's devoted fans.

Thank you so much for sharing this witty memories with us.

Wolfgang Hampel invited some very interesting guests for Vita Magica May and June 2016.

We hope Angela Merkel's very close friend  Mr. Erdogan won't have any problems with their works. 


Jamie-Lee Kriewitz 

 

Jamie-Lee with Ghost got over 6,7 million views and more than 60.000 people like the song.

This is our Betty MacDonald fan club ESC 2016 TOP 5 according to Betty MacDonald fan club ESC fans in 40 countries.  

Have a great Friday,

Tom

 

Don't miss this very special book, please.








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Rita Knobel Ulrich - Islam in Germany - a very interesting ZDF  ( 2nd German Television ) documentary with English subtitles 








anybody can do anything_swedish_1951_paperback_FRONT


A new political era in Austria as centrists fade







Van der Bellen wins Austrian presidential election

Van der Bellen wins Austrian presidential election 

Story highlights

  • Norbert Hofer of far-right Freedom Party concedes to rival Alexander Van der Bellen
  • Van der Bellen is the former leader of Austria's Green Party
(CNN)Austria's presidential election ushered in a profound change in the country's political landscape, dominated by two centrist parties since the end of World War II.
Left-leaning candidate Alexander Van der Bellen narrowly defeated far-right candidate Norbert Hofer to become Austria's next president, a tightly fought contest decided by mail-in votes.
The win placed Austria at the head of a populist groundswell sweeping Europe amid rising frustration over the European Union's failure to deal with the ongoing economic and migrant crises.
The victory held off Hofer, of Austria's Freedom Party, from becoming the European Union's first far-right head of state.
Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka announced the results Monday in Vienna, revealing that Van der Bellen had won 50.3% of the ballot (2,254,484 votes) to Hofer's 49.7% (2,223,458 votes).
Van der Bellen, a 72-year-old economist, ran as an independent, although the Green Party, of which he was a former leader, financially backed his campaign.
A Hofer victory would have been hugely encouraging to other far-right parties across Europe, such as France's National Front, the Danish People's Party and Germany's AFD, Jeremy Cliffe, political correspondent for The Economist, told CNN.
 Alexander Van der Bellen (L) and Norbert Hofer (R)

Anti-migrant platform touched a nerve

The migrant crisis radically altered the race.
When Germany opened its borders to migrants in September last year, Austria followed suit and was applauded internationally for the welcome it gave thousands of migrants who had been trapped in their attempts to transit through Hungary, which was widely criticized for its hard-line stance in defending its borders.
But eight months on, almost half of the Austrian population has expressed its support for a party that campaigned on a Euroskeptic, anti-migrant and anti-establishment platform.
It's a meteoric rise for the Freedom Party which has had a checkered history.
In 2000, the European Union slapped sanctions on the party when under the late Joerg Haider, it entered a coalition government that ultimately collapsed.
At the time, thousands of Austrians protested the Freedom Party's place in their parliament with demonstrators labeling Haider a fascist.
Sixteen years on, Hofer is batting away the same accusations.
"I am not, because you will see," he said when a reporter asked him how he felt about being called a Nazi. "You have to take a look at me, where I am in one or two years. I have to work and then everybody will see I am really OK. I am not a dangerous person, of course."
Few people outside the Freedom Party had even heard of Hofer before the presidential election.
Now he has been catapulted into the spotlight and Austrian voters will be watching to see if his party's populist momentum can carry through to the next parliamentary elections due within the next two years.
The rest of Europe, meanwhile, will also be paying attention as nationalist parties within their own borders try to capitalize off what the Austrian presidential election result has delivered -- hope that they, too, can emerge from the fringes.

A nail-biting race

The Sunday poll was so close that Austrians had to wait until all the postal votes were counted on Monday before Hofer conceded defeat on his Facebook page.
"Of course I'm sad today," he wrote. "The effort that went into this campaign isn't lost but is an investment in the future."
In the end, the Freedom Party had lost by just over 61,000 votes and Austria had come nail-bitingly close to electing the European Union's first far right head of state.
Instead, they voted in a left-leaning independent science professor and former member of the Green Party.
"Above all the political difference, for all the people in this country. I will be a president, a comprehensive president," Van der Bellen told reporters after his victory was announced.
Hofer had held a narrow lead in the neck-and-neck race on Sunday evening, with 51.9% of the vote to Van der Bellen's 48.1%, according to Austria's Interior Ministry.
In the end, the race was decided by more than 700,000 mail-in votes, accounting for 14% of eligible voters.
Van der Bellen, who fared better with urban voters, had been expected to secure more of the mail-in votes than his 45-year-old rival, a trained aeronautical engineer, who drew strong support in rural areas. Hofer had won 35% in the first round of voting last month to Van der Bellen's 21%.
In a Facebook post conceding to Van der Bellen on Monday, Hofer said he was thankful for the opportunity given, urged voters not to despair and said he would have been happy to take care of the country.

Centrists eliminated

The campaign was notable for the "polarization" of the political landscape, the Economist's Cliffe said.
Candidates backed by the two centrist parties who had dominated Austrian politics since World War II -- the left-leaning Social Democratic Party and conservative People's Party -- had been eliminated in the first round of voting, resulting in a situation where the center was "really nowhere to be seen."
Austria passes stringent new asylum laws

Austria passes stringent new asylum laws 02:34
This was due to public disillusionment with the centrist parties -- seen as too "cozy" and "complacent" -- combined with the migrant crisis, which had been a key issue on the campaign trail, over which Van der Bellen and Hofer had clashed.
"You're left with this clash between quite a conventionally left-wing politician in Mr. Van der Bellen and a far-right politician, Mr. Hofer."
While Hofer's Freedom Party campaigned against migration, Van der Bellen -- whose parents spent time in a refugee camp before settling in Austria -- has championed liberal migration policies.
He had told voters during the campaign: "I've experienced how Austria rose from the ruins of World War II, caused by the madness of nationalism."
Last month, Austria passed controversial new laws -- among the toughest European responses to the migrant crisis -- restricting the right of asylum.
The laws, which would allow authorities to turn away most migrants at the border if a state of emergency is invoked, reflected hardening attitudes toward migrants in Austria, which has been erecting security fences along its borders.

Hofer wanted to transform role

Cliffe said the role of president in Austria has traditionally been largely ceremonial, a head of state with formal constitutional powers that by convention aren't used.
Hofer had indicated he wanted to change this, he said. The incumbent president, Heinz Fischer, was unable to run again after two terms in office.

 

Gentleman's Quick-tip: Healthy Breakfast

One aspect of a gentleman is his attention to detail and a very important detail should be his health. While it might be easy to grab something quick and sugary for breakfast, an ideal breakfast should be high in protein and have enough healthy fats to keep you satiated for the first few hours of the day.

After you down a liter of water (you become dehydrated when you sleep) a good breakfast is the best way to tackle the rest of the morning.  I am a huge fan of cooking.  Sometimes things turn out badly, but after a while you start to know what would taste great.  That way you can experiment and create healthy meals for yourself, instead of being at the mercy of whatever the local restaurant serves you. 

Here's a recipe for my latest success: 


















The Eggwhite - Cottage Cheese Omelet

3 egg whites
2-3 Tbsp cottage cheese
1/2 tsp basil (fresh is best - of course)
optional - I add a load of red pepper flakes, because I love spicy food sprinkled cheddar cheese on top for taste and appearance

Heat frying pan on a stove top set at medium-low to medium. If your pan is not non-stick, you should spray it with a cooking spray first.  Allow the pan to heat for a moment while you combine the ingredients (no more than 2-3 minutes).

With a fork or whisk mix the eggs, cottage cheese, basil and other optional additions.  Pour into pan.  I put a lid on the pan to allow the heat and steam to cook the top of the omelet; this will make flipping the omelet much easier.  After you flip the omelet, add the shredded cheddar cheese to the cooked side. After the eggs are sufficiently cooked through, serve and enjoy!  
For additional health tips, check out my classmate's blog about healthy living.  Her blog goes into greater detail about healthy diet and fitness.  Definitely worth checking out. 


Betty MacDonald Fan Club proudly presents:

The amazing, very witty, charming, intelligent story written by our brilliant Betty MacDonald Fan Club Honor Member - artist and writer Letizia Mancino.

WHEN YOU DREAM, DREAM BIG

Copyright 2011/2016 by Letizia Mancino
All rights reserved
Translated by D. Tsiaprakas

Betty, I love you! Your books „Anybody can do anything“ and „Onions in the Stew“ are really outstanding! I take them into my hand, and at a stone's throw I am right away in America ! Columbus and the egg: The great discovery!

Your bestseller „The Egg and I“ the greatest discovery. And you and I! I know America: It's true what you are writing: That's America: Absolutely right! No, even to the least detail! The landscape and the passion: Do you know the country where pistols blossom? Brava, Betty, you are describing the Americans vividly, genuinely, insufferably, brushed upon paper. If I like to read your works? To read doesn't even express it! I can even hear and see everything: Nature, culture, subculture.

America has almost remained unchanged! O those cool Americans! Calculating, stockmarket, Wall Street, the financial crisis (even back in 1930), the gamblers, the bankruptcy of companies! The swarming of dodgers and cheaters. People left without money. Dispair und hunger! A terrible „Worst Case“ (when I knew but little English I thought it is sausage with cheese).

Still how impressive is the ability to adaptone self of the Americans: They know how to enjoy life, acrobats of survival! In the twinkle of an eye they achieved to adapt themselves and effect the work of pioneers: In the morning you are a cleaningwoman, in the evening a brothel woman! No problem!

„The insufficient, here it's becoming an event; The indescribable, here it's done;“ Mary Bard Jensen, your sister, was the treasure trove of procuring work: My word, what a power woman with unlimited imagination! She has recommended you everywhere: Betty can do everything, also write novels! Go ahead, sister, hurry up! The editor wants to see your manuscripts! Up to that point you had not written a single line! Wow! And if still everything goes wrong? No problem: When you dream, dream big!

Just look, you have become famous.The Egg and I You know that, Betty? I'll slip into „The Egg and I“ and come and be your guest! I want to get to know your chickens. I hate chickens! I'm a chickens slave from North America! O Betty, without these damned animals, no chance of you becoming famous! „The Egg and I“ you would never have written! How many readers you have made happy!

Your book is so amusing! Your witty fine (almost nasty) remarks about your family members and roundabout neighbours made me laugh so much! You have been born into a special family: Comfort was not desired: I can't but be amazed: What did your father say to your mother? After tomorrow I am going to work elsewhere: Thousands of miles away...He sent her a telegram: LEAVING FOR TWO YEARS ON THURSDAY FOR MEXICO CITY STOP GET READY IF YOU WANT TO COME ALONG – That was on Monday. Mother wired back: SHALL BE READY, and so she was.That's America! Improvisation, change, adventure. You show no weakness: Let's go! Your descriptions, Betty, about the tremendous happenings in nature have deeply frightened me.

Continent America, I'm terrified by you! I feel so small and threatened like a tiny fly before an enormous flyswatter! Your novel is very many-sided! The reader may use it even as a cook book! „The Egg and I“ starts straight away with a recipe: „Next to the wisdom that lamb meat doesn't taste good unless it has been roasted with garlic“. Do you enjoy the American food?

O Betty, it's too fatty for me and I hate garlic! (Betty is presently cooking lunch for Bob. She's continually talking to „STOVE“: STOVE is Bob's rival; in the beginning I thought it was being himself). She turns round and says: Well, so no garlic for you. No lamb either, Betty. I don't eat any meat! I'd actually prefer only fried eggs. Betty, let me make them myself. Then you try it!

Blow! „STOVE“ out of order! I don't succeed in turning it on! Damned! It's got more of a mind of its own than „STOVE“ of my friend, Hilde Domin! Bob's coming! He must eat directly! „Men eat anything, the swines! Says your grandmother Gammy“. Is it true? Do you like my chickens? Bob asked me without introducing himself. Yes, Bob (rude) I love them! I'm vegetarian. Do you want to clean the henhouse with me tomorrow? A, you're always getting up so early at four o'clock! Bob, that's not a job for me! He looked at me disdainfully! A Roman cissy! You need a reeducation at once! Help, Bob's attacking me! I rather change the novel immediately and move to the „Island“!




anybody can do anything_swedish_1951_paperback_FRONT


The UK's EU referendum: All you need to know

What will the referendum question be?

"Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?" Read more: Does the wording of a referendum question matter?

What does Brexit mean?

It is a word that has become used as a shorthand way of saying the UK leaving the EU - merging the words Britain and exit to get Brexit, in a same way as a Greek exit from the EU was dubbed Grexit in the past.

Who will be able to vote?

British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens over 18 who are resident in the UK, along with UK nationals living abroad who have been on the electoral register in the UK in the past 15 years. Members of the House of Lords and Commonwealth citizens in Gibraltar will also be eligible, unlike in a general election. Citizens from EU countries - apart from Ireland, Malta and Cyprus - will not get a vote.

How do you vote?

It will be a similar system to that during other elections. Firstly, if you have registered to vote, you'll be sent a card telling you when voting takes place and where you should go to vote on 23 June. On that day, when you go to the polling station you will be given a piece of paper with the referendum question on it. You then go to a booth, which will have a pencil in it for your use. You then put a X in the box which reflects your choice and put the paper into a ballot box. Alternatively you will also be able to opt to vote by post. Read more: Electoral Commission's guide to applying to vote by post.

Didn't David Cameron try and change the rules of the UK's EU membership?

Yes. This was the big news back in January and February as David Cameron sought an agreement with other European Union leaders to change the terms of Britain's membership. He says the deal, which will take effect immediately if the UK votes to remain in the EU, gives Britain "special" status within the 28 nation club, and will help sort out some of the things British people say they don't like about the EU, such as high levels of immigration and giving up the ability to run our own affairs.
Critics say his deal will make little difference and falls well short of what he had promised when he announced his plan for a referendum. Read more: What Cameron wanted v what he got
The main points of the deal are:
  • Child benefit - Migrant workers will still be able to send child benefit payments back to to their home country - Mr Cameron had wanted to end this practice - but the payments will be set at a level reflecting the cost of living in their home country rather than the full UK rate
  • Migrant welfare payments - Mr Cameron says cutting the amount of benefits low paid workers from other EU nations can claim when they take a job in the UK will remove one of the reasons people come to Britain in such large numbers (critics say it will make little difference). He did not get the blanket ban he wanted. New arrivals will not be able to claim tax credits and other welfare payments straight away - but will gradually gain the right to more benefits the longer they stay, at a rate yet to be decided.
  • Keeping the pound - Mr Cameron has said Britain will never join the euro. He secured assurances that the eurozone countries will not discriminate against Britain for having a different currency. Any British money spent on bailing out eurozone nations that get into trouble will also be reimbursed.
  • Protection for the City of London - Safeguards for Britain's large financial services industry to prevent eurozone regulations being imposed on it
  • Running its own affairs - For the first time, there will be a clear commitment that Britain is not part of a move towards "ever closer union" with other EU member states - one of the core principles of the EU. This will be incorporated in an EU treaty change. Mr Cameron also secured a "red card" system for national parliaments making it easier for governments to band together to block unwanted legislation. If 55% of national EU parliaments object to a piece of EU legislation it will be rethought. Critics say it is not clear if this would ever be used in practice.

Who wants the UK to leave the EU?

The British public are fairly evenly split, according to the latest opinion polls. The UK Independence Party, which won the last European elections, and received nearly four million votes - 13% of those cast - in May's general election, campaigns for Britain's exit from the EU. About half of Conservative MPs, including five cabinet ministers, several Labour MPs and the DUP are also in favour of leaving.

Why do they want the UK to leave?

They believe Britain is being held back by the EU, which they say imposes too many rules on business and charges billions of pounds a year in membership fees for little in return. They also want Britain to take back full control of its borders and reduce the number of people coming here to work. One of the main principles of EU membership is "free movement", which means you don't need to get a visa to go and live in another EU country. They also object to the idea of "ever closer union" and what they see as moves towards the creation of a "United States of Europe".

Who wants the UK to stay in the EU?

Prime Minister David Cameron wants Britain to stay in the EU, now he has got some powers back from it. Sixteen members of his cabinet also back staying in. The Conservative Party has pledged to be neutral in the campaign - but the Labour Party, SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems are all in favour of staying in. US president Barack Obama also wants Britain to remain in the EU, as do other EU nations such as France and Germany. As mentioned above, according to polls, the British public seems pretty evenly split on the issue.

Why do they want the UK to stay?

Those campaigning for Britain to stay in the EU say it gets a big boost from membership - it makes selling things to other EU countries easier and, they argue, the flow of immigrants, most of whom are young and keen to work, fuels economic growth and helps pay for public services. They also believe Britain's status in the world would be damaged by leaving and that we are more secure as part of the 28 nation club, rather than going it alone.

So would Britain be better in or out?

It depends which way you look at it - or what you believe is important. Leaving the EU would be a big step - arguably far more important than who wins a general election - but would it set the nation free or condemn it to economic ruin? Here is a rundown of the arguments for and against.

What about businesses?

Big business - with a few exceptions - tends to be in favour of Britain staying in the EU because it makes it easier for them to move money, people and products around the world. BT chairman Sir Mike Rake, a recent CBI president, says there are "no credible alternatives" to staying in the EU. But others disagree, such as Lord Bamford, chairman of JCB, who says an EU exit would allow the UK to negotiate trade deals as our country "rather than being one of 28 nations". Many small and medium-sized firms would welcome a cut in red tape and what they see as petty regulations. The British Chambers of Commerce says 55% of members back staying in a reformed EU.

What are the rules for campaigning?

The Electoral Commission is in charge of making sure it's a fair contest. It has designated lead campaigns for both the "leave" and "remain" sides. The official campaigns - Vote Leave and Britain Stronger in Europe - get access to a grant of up to £600,000, an overall spending limit of £7m, campaign broadcasts, free mailshots and free access to meeting rooms. The Electoral Commission has published a guide to the rules.

So who is leading the rival sides in the campaign?

  • Britain Stronger in Europe - the main cross-party group campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU is headed by former Marks and Spencer chairman Lord Rose. It is backed by key figures from the Conservative Party, including prime minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne, most Labour MPs, including party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Alan Johnson, who is running the Labour In for Britain campaign, the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, the Alliance party and the SDLP in Northern Ireland, and the Green Party. Who is funding the campaign: Britain Stronger in Europe has raised £6.88m so far, boosted by two donations totalling £2.3m from the supermarket magnate and Labour peer Lord Sainsbury. Other prominent Remain donors included hedge fund manager David Harding (£750,000), businessman and Travelex founder Lloyd Dorfman (£500,000) and the Tower Limited Partnership (£500,000). Read a Who's Who guide. Who else is campaigning to remain: The SNP is running its own remain campaign in Scotland as it does not want to share a platform with the Conservatives. Several smaller groups have also registered to campaign.
  • Vote Leave - A cross-party campaign that has the backing of senior Conservatives such as Michael Gove and Boris Johnson plus a handful of Labour MPs, including Gisela Stuart and Graham Stringer, and UKIP's Douglas Carswell and Suzanne Evans, and the DUP in Northern Ireland. Former Tory chancellor Lord Lawson and SDP founder Lord Owen are also involved. It has a string of affiliated groups such as Farmers for Britain, Muslims for Britain and Out and Proud, a gay anti-EU group, aimed at building support in different communities. Who is funding the campaign: Vote Leave has raised £2.78m so far. Its largest supporter is businessman Patrick Barbour, who gave £500,000. Former Conservative Party treasurer Peter Cruddas gave a £350,000 donation and construction mogul Terence Adams handed over £300,000. Read a Who's Who guide. Who else is campaigning to leave: UKIP leader Nigel Farage is not part of Vote Leave. His party is running its own campaign. The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition is also running its own out campaign. Several smaller groups have also registered to campaign.
Thanks for sending in your questions. Here are a selection of them, and our answers:

Do I have to register to take part in the EU referendum?

A lot of people asked about this. To be clear, if you are a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen on the electoral register you will be able to vote in the referendum. You will not have to register specially. You can check with your local authority's electoral services team if you are worried that you are not on the register. If you want to take part in the referendum and you are not on the register you have until midnight on Tuesday, 7 June to submit an application for a vote. The deadlines for applying for a postal vote at the referendum are:
Northern Ireland - 5pm, Friday 3 June 2016
Great Britain - 5pm, Wednesday 8 June 2016
In England, Scotland or Wales, you can register to vote online anytime at gov.uk/register-to-vote. If you are a British citizen living abroad, you can register to vote online in the same way. In Northern Ireland, visit the government's Register to vote in Northern Ireland page to download a registration form. If you are an Irish citizen living abroad who was born in Northern Ireland, visit the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland website to download the correct form.

Which MPs are for staying and which are for leaving?

The good news for Edward, from Cambridge, who asked this question, is we have been working on exactly such a list. Click here for the latest version..

Will it simply be the case of all votes being counted to give two totals?

Yes, is the answer to this question from William from West Sussex. All the votes will be counted and then added up, with a straight majority needed to provide the result. In answer to some other people's questions, there is no minimum turnout needed. So if, for the sake of argument, only three people voted on the day, if two of them voted to leave, that would be the result.

I'm away on holiday for the week of 23 June - can I still vote?

The good news for Dean from West Sussex - and the many others of you who asked the same question - is that you will be able to vote by post, as people can in local and general elections. Here's the Electoral Commission's guide to applying to vote by post.

When and how will the results be announced?

In answer to a question from John, from Lewes, counts will get under way when polls close at 22:00 GMT Thursday, 23 June at 382 local centres around the UK. These local results will be declared as the counts are completed before being collated at 12 regional centres, which will also declare the totals for each side. A chief counting officer will then announce the overall result at Manchester Town Hall.

If the UK left the EU would UK citizens need special permits to work in the EU?

Lots of people asked about this. A lot would depend on the kind of deal the UK agreed with the EU after exit. If it remained within the single market, it would almost certainly retain free movement rights allowing UK citizens to work in the EU and vice versa. If the government opted to impose work permit restrictions, as UKIP wants, then other countries could reciprocate, meaning Britons would have to apply for visas to work.

What about EU nationals who want to work in the UK?

As explained in the answer above, it would depend on whether the UK government decided to introduce a work permit system of the kind that currently applies to non-EU citizens, limiting entry to skilled workers in professions where there are shortages.

Would leaving the EU mean we wouldn't have to abide by the European Court of Human Rights?

Duncan, from Chippenham, wanted to know if the UK could deport terror suspects to their own countries to face charges without being overruled by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg.
The ECHR is not a European Union institution. It was set up by the Council of Europe, which has 47 members including Russia and Ukraine. So quitting the EU would not exempt the UK from its decisions.
The UK government is, however, committed to repealing the Human Rights Act which requires UK courts to treat the ECHR as setting legal precedents for the UK, in favour of a British Bill of Rights. As part of that, David Cameron is expected to announce measures that will boost the powers of courts in England and Wales to over-rule judgements handed down by the ECHR.

Has any member state ever left the EU, or would the UK be the first?

Pauline, from Shipston on Stour, asked this one. No nation state has ever left the EU. But Greenland, one of Denmark's overseas territories, held a referendum in 1982, after gaining a greater degree of self government, and voted by 52% to 48% to leave, which it duly did after a period of negotiation. The BBC's Carolyn Quinn visited Greenland at the end of last year to find out how they did it.

If we stay in do we keep the pound for ever?

It is up the UK government to decide whether or not to keep the pound or switch to the euro. The deal David Cameron struck with the EU included recognition that the UK has no plans to switch to the euro currency.

How much does the UK contribute to the EU and how much do we get in return?

In answer to this query from Nancy from Hornchurch - the UK is one of 10 member states who pay more into the EU budget than they get out, only France and Germany contribute more. In 2014/15, Poland was the largest beneficiary, followed by Hungary and Greece.
The UK also gets an annual rebate that was negotiated by Margaret Thatcher and money back, in the form of regional development grants and payments to farmers, which added up to £4.6bn in 2014/15. According to the latest Treasury figures, the UK's net contribution for 2014/15 was £8.8bn - nearly double what it was in 2009/10.
The National Audit Office, using a different formula which takes into account EU money paid directly to private sector companies and universities to fund research, and measured over the EU's financial year, shows the UK's net contribution for 2014 was £5.7bn. Read more number crunching from Reality Check.

If I retire to Spain or another EU country will my healthcare costs still be covered?

David, from East Sussex, is worried about what would happen to his retirement plans if Britain votes to leave the EU. This is one of those issues where it is not possible to say definitively what would happen. At the moment, the large British expat community in Spain gets free access to Spanish GPs and their hospital treatment is paid for by the NHS. After they become permanent residents Spain pays for their hospital treatment. Similar arrangements are in place with other EU countries.
If Britain leaves the EU but remains in the single market, or the European Economic Area as it is known, it might be able to continue with this arrangement, according to a House of Commons library research note. If Britain has to negotiate trade deals with individual member states, it may opt to continue paying for expats' healthcare through the NHS or decide that they would have to cover their own costs if they continue to live abroad, if the country where they live declines to do so.

Will the opinion polls get it wrong again?

The short answer is that we'll find out on 24 June! John wrote to ask whether we are in for a repeat of the general election when the opinion polls underestimated support for one side, the Conservatives, and overstated support for the other, Labour. As John points out, research suggests younger people are more likely to vote to remain in the EU, while older voters tend to favour out. But as a general rule, older people are more likely to vote in elections than younger people. The "don't knows" are also running at between 17% and 20%. Prof John Curtice, who supervised the general election exit poll, has also noticed a difference between polls conducted online, which suggest the race is close, and ones conducted over the telephone, which put the Remain campaign ahead. Opinion polling is not an exact science - for more information on the latest referendum polls and analysis by Prof Curtice, visit the National Centre for Social Research's What UK thinks site.

Who counts as a British citizen?

Jude wanted to know if his Peruvian girlfriend, who is a British citizen but has been living in Peru for five years, can take part in the referendum. The answer is yes, if she has appeared on the UK electoral register in the past 15 years.

How long will it take for Britain to leave the EU?

This was a question asked by many people. The minimum period after a vote to leave would be two years. During that time Britain would continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not take part in any decision-making, as it negotiated a withdrawal agreement and the terms of its relationship with the now 27 nation bloc. In practice it may take longer than two years, depending on how the negotiations go.

Could MPs block an EU exit if Britain votes for it?

Michael, from East Sussex asks an intriguing question - could the necessary legislation pass the Commons if all SNP and Lib Dems, nearly all Labour and many Conservative MPs were in favour of staying?
The answer is that technically MPs could block an EU exit - but it would be seen as political suicide to go against the will of the people as expressed in a referendum. The referendum result is not legally binding - Parliament still has to pass the laws that will get Britain out of the 28 nation bloc, starting with the repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act.
The withdrawal agreement would also have to be ratified by Parliament - the House of Lords and/or the Commons could vote against ratification, according to a House of Commons library report.
It adds: "If the Commons resolves against ratification, the treaty can still be ratified if the Government lays a statement explaining why the treaty should nonetheless be ratified and the House of Commons does not resolve against ratification a second time within 21 days (this process can be repeated ad infinitum)."
In practice, Conservative MPs who voted to remain in the EU would be whipped to vote with the government. Any who defied the whip would have to face the wrath of voters at the next general election.
One scenario that could see the referendum result overturned, is if MPs forced a general election and a party campaigned on a promise to keep Britain in the EU, got elected and then claimed that the election mandate topped the referendum one. Two thirds of MPs would have to vote for a general election to be held before the next scheduled one in 2020.

What is the single market?

Virginia, from Hayling Island, asked several questions around the concept of the single market. You could probably write a book on this one. But we'll try to keep it brief. The single market is seen by its advocates as the EU's biggest achievement and one of the main reasons it was set up in the first place. Britain was a member of a free trade area in Europe before it joined what was then known as the common market. In a free trade area countries can trade with each other without paying tariffs - but it is not a single market because the member states do not have to merge their economies together.
The European Union single market, which was completed in 1992, allows the free movement of goods, services, money and people within the European Union, as if it was a single country. It is possible to set up a business or take a job anywhere within it. The idea was to boost trade, create jobs and lower prices. But it requires common law-making to ensure products are made to the same technical standards and imposes other rules to ensure a "level playing field". Critics say it generates too many petty regulations and robs members of control over their own affairs. Mass migration from poorer to richer countries has also raised questions about the free movement rule. Read more: A free trade area v EU single market

What will happen to protected species if Britain leaves the EU?

Dee, from Launceston, wanted to know what would happen to EU laws covering protected species such as bats if Britain left. The answer is that they would remain in place, initially at least. After a leave vote, the government would probably review all EU-derived laws in the two years leading up to the official exit date to see which ones to keep or scrap.
The status of Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas, which are designated by the EU, would be reviewed to see what alternative protections could be applied. The same process would apply to European Protected Species legislation, which relate to bats and their habitats.
The government would want to avoid a legislative vacuum caused by the repeal of EU laws before new UK laws are in place - it would also continue to abide by other international agreements covering environmental protection.

How much money will the UK save through changes to migrant child benefits and welfare payments?

Martin, from Poole, in Dorset, wanted to know what taxpayers are likely to get back from the benefit curbs negotiated by David Cameron in Brussels. We don't exactly know because the details have not been worked out. HM Revenue and Customs have suggested about 20,000 EU nationals receive child benefit payments in respect of 34,000 children in their country of origin at an estimated cost of about £30m.
But the total saving is likely to be significantly less than that because Mr Cameron did not get the blanket ban he wanted. Instead, payments will be linked to the cost of living in the countries where the children live. David Cameron has said that as many as 40% of EU migrant families who come to Britain could lose an average of £6,000 a year of in-work benefits when his "emergency brake" is applied. The DWP estimates between 128,700 and 155,100 people would be affected. But the cuts will be phased in. New arrivals will not get tax credits and other in-work benefits straight away but will gradually gain access to them over a four year period at a rate yet to be decided.

If we leave the EU does it mean we would be barred from the Eurovision Song Contest?

Sophie from Peterborough, who asks the question, need not worry. We have consulted Alasdair Rendall, president of the UK Eurovision fan club, who says: "No, we would not be barred. All participating countries must be a member of the European Broadcasting Union. The EBU - which is totally independent of the EU - includes countries both inside and outside of the EU, and also includes countries such as Israel that are outside of Europe. Indeed the UK started participating in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957, 16 years before joining the then EEC."

Do Commonwealth citizens resident in the UK on a limited work visa get to vote?

Brendan, from London, wonders whether Commonwealth citizens need to have been granted indefinite leave to remain to get a vote. The Electoral Commission guidelines say: "Any type of leave to enter or remain is acceptable, whether indefinite, time limited or conditional." That means all citizens of India, Australia, Pakistan, Canada and 48 other Commonwealth nations who are living in the UK can take part (provided they are old enough and are on the electoral register). As can citizens of British overseas territories, such as the Falkland Islands, Bermuda or Gibraltar, if they are currently residing in the UK. Here is a full list of Commonwealth countries.

Can EU citizens who are resident in the UK and on the electoral roll vote in the referendum?

Philip, from Kriton in Lindsey, North Lincolnshire, asked this. The answer is no, unless you are an Irish, Malta or Cyprus citizen. The rules are the same as for a general election, when EU citizens living in the UK are not allowed to take part. So they will not get a polling card and not be on the list at the polling station.

What impact would leaving the EU have on house prices?

John, in London, is concerned about what will happen to house prices if Britain leaves the EU and "millions of EU citizens need to leave" creating a flood of available housing. This is one of those questions where there is no clear-cut factual answer. But we can say that none of the main players are suggesting that citizens of other EU countries will be "sent packing" (to use John's phrase) after a Leave vote. There are a host of other variables that have an impact on property prices, including things like interest rates and the general state of the economy. But expect this to be one of those issues fought over by both sides during the campaign.

What is the 'red tape' that the opponents of the EU go on about?

Ged, from Liverpool, suspects "red tape" is a euphemism for employment rights and environmental protection. According to the Open Europe think tank, four of the top five most costly EU regulations are either employment or environment-related. The UK renewable energy strategy, which the think-tank says costs £4.7bn a year, tops the list. The working time directive (£4.2bn a year) - which limits the working week to 48 hours - and the temporary agency workers directive (£2.1bn a year), giving temporary staff many of the same rights as permanent ones - are also on the list.
There is nothing to stop a future UK government reproducing these regulations in British law, if the country left the EU. And the costs of so-called "red tape" would not necessarily disappear overnight in the event of an exit - if Britain opted to follow the "Norway model" and remained in the European Economic Area most of the EU-derived laws would remain in place.

Would Britain be party to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership if it left?

Ste, in Bolton, asked about this. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership - or TTIP - currently under negotiation between the EU and United States will create the biggest free trade area the world has ever seen. Cheerleaders for TTIP, including David Cameron, believe it could make American imports cheaper and boost British exports to the US to the tune of £10bn a year. But many on the left, including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, fear it will shift more power to multinational corporations, undermine public services, wreck food standards and threaten basic rights. Quitting the EU would mean the UK would not be part of TTIP. It would have negotiate its own trade deal with the US.

What impact would leaving the EU have on the NHS?

Paddy, from Widnes, wanted to know how leaving the EU would affect the number of doctors we have and how it would impact the NHS. This became an issue in the referendum debate after the Leave campaign claimed the money Britain sends to the EU, which it claims is £350m a week, could be spent on the NHS instead. The BBC's Reality Check team looked into this claim and found it to be dubious. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned that leaving the EU would lead to budget cuts and an exodus of overseas doctors and nurses. The Leave campaign dismissed his intervention as "scaremongering" and continues to insist that EU membership fees could be spent on domestic services like the NHS. Former Labour health secretary Lord Owen has said the only way to protect the NHS from further privatisation is to get out of the EU. He says a planned trade deal between the EU and US - the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) - would put the NHS in "serious danger".