Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Paul Newman Tribute



"I am a great believer in luck and the extraordinary role it has in all our life..."

We really were lucky to know him and his dedication to the others, visit his page and you'll know about his legacy.


Read more in the BBC News

Paul Newman (Jan 26, 1925 - Sep 26, 2008)was an actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian and auto racing enthusiast. He won numerous awards, including an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Cannes Film Festival Award, an Emmy award, and many honorary awards. He also won several national championships as a driver in Sports Car Club of America road racing and his race teams won several championships in open wheel IndyCar racing. He a co-founder of Newman's Own, a food company from which Newman donated all post-tax profits and royalties to charity. As of May 2007, these donations exceeded 220 million dollars. On Friday Sep 26, 2008 Newman died at his home in Westport, Connecticut, of complications arising from lung cancer.

Monday, 29 September 2008

The Story of the Six Blind Men and the Elephant

Once upon a time there were six blind men. They lived in a town in India. They thought they were very clever. One day an elephant came into the town. The blind men did not know what an elephant looked like but they could smell it and they could hear it. 'What is this animal like?' they said. Each man touched a different part of the elephant.
The first man touched the elephant's body. It felt hard, big and wide. 'An elephant is like a wall' he said.
The second man touched one of the elephant's tusks. It felt smooth and hard and sharp. 'An elephant is like a spear' he said.
The third man touched the elephant's trunk. It felt long and thin and wiggly. 'An elephant is like a snake' he said.
The fourth man touched on of the legs. It felt thick and rough and hard and round. 'An elephant is like a tree' he said.
The fifth man touched one of the elephant's ears. It felt thin and it moved. 'An elephant is like a fan' he said.
The sixth man touched the elephant's tail. It felt long and thin and strong. 'An elephant is like a rope' he said.

The men argued. It's like a wall! No, it isn't! It's like a spear! No it isn't! It's like a snake! They did not agree. The king had been watching and listening to the men. 'You are not very clever. You only touched part of the elephant. You did not feel the whole animal. An elephant is not like a wall or a spear or a snake, or a tree or a fan or a rope'.
The men left the town still arguing. A little girl heard them and said 'Each of you is right but you are all wrong … but I know what you are talking about'

And you...,what was the girl talking about?

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Speaking like a Native

When we start to learn a new language, we are usually obsessed with the pronunciaton and the accent. We feel ridiculous trying to say some words in a proper way, and sometimes that prevent us from learning more.
Penny Dyer has worked with many famous actors such as Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Helen Mirren, helping them to catch the most suitable accent for each role.
Now is your chance to hear her tips for speaking English in an accent that may be new for you! Join in a lesson to learn how to speak English like someone from the USA or from Yorkshire, in the north of England.

Boomp3.com
Tapescript

Vocabulary from the programme
an accent
a way of saying words that shows what country, region or social class someone comes from
RP
abbreviation of Received Pronunciation
RP is a way of speaking British English that is considered to be the standard pronunciation in the UK
to coach
to teach someone a special skill
topography
the study of the features of a particular place, especially the natural features, like hills and rivers
vowel sounds
the sounds you make without closing your mouth or throat
resonant
a resonant sound is deep and clear and continues for a long time

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Final Harry Potter

Thanks to BBC, we listen to programme about the seventh, and last, Harry Potter book - 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' by JK Rowling. The author and book critic, Amanda Craig, talks about the magic power of what is officially the fastest selling book in history!
Vocabulary from the programme
fantasy = a type of fiction featuring imaginary worlds and magical events
to be down to something = to be the result of something
irresistible = overpowering
to be turned on to something = to become interested in a subject or an activity
cooler = more fashionable
to kill off = to stop
paved the way = prepared the way


Tapescript.
Interview to J.K. Rowling to Newsround.

Boomp3.com

Monday, 22 September 2008

Using Personal Computers to Solve Humanitarian Problems


A project called the World Community Grid has found a way for computers connected to the Internet to help solve humanitarian problems. The World Community Grid is making technology available to public and non-profit organizations to use in humanitarian research.
Scientists at the University of Washington, for example, are using the technology to study ways to improve the nutritional value of rice. Another research project supported by the World Community Grid is studying mathematical ways to design drugs to treat the disease AIDS. Other projects are studying cancer. And still others are studying climate change in Africa.
Continue reading this VOA article.

Boomp3.com

Sunday, 21 September 2008

English Breakfast?


When travelling to England, what would you order for breakfast?
We can sit down to a traditional British breakfast in a smart London restaurant and then, an ordinary café!

If you listen to this article from BBC, you'll find out what the great British breakfast is made of, and why it is becoming more and more popular, especially in London, to eat breakfast in a café before arriving at the office for a hard day's work!

Let's listen to an American anthropologist, a top chef in a London restaurant, and the author of new book called 'Egg, Bacon, Chips and Beans: 50 Great Cafés and the Stuff That Makes Them Great'.

boomp3.com

Tapescript.

Friday, 19 September 2008

New Year of Learning



This year we'll have plenty of material on-line to do thanks to Macmillan Secondary Course in ESO and OUP English in Context textbook in BAC, but while we prepare it, why don't you start with some interactive games on vocabulary practice and interactive quizzes.

And if you want to try some other textbook practice enter the OUP web page and select.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Thursday, 11 September 2008

A Tragedy to Remember

Click on the image to enlarge
On Tuesday, 11 September 2001, nineteen members of the Islamic terrorist group Al Qaeda perpetrated a devastating, deadly assault on the United States, crashing airplanes into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, killing thousands. The attacks shattered Americans' sense of security, threw the nation into a state of emergency, and triggered a months-long war in Afghanistan and an extended worldwide "war on terrorism."

On the morning of 11 September, four teams of terrorists hijacked jetliners departing from Boston; Newark, New Jersey; and Washington, D.C. Once airborne, the terrorists, some of whom had gone to flight school in the United States, murdered the planes' pilots and took control of the aircrafts. At 8:46 A.M., the first plane flew directly into the north tower of the World Trade Center in southern Manhattan, tearing a gaping hole in the building and setting it ablaze. Seventeen minutes later, a second plane flew into the center's south tower, causing similar damage. At 9:43 A.M., a third plane plunged into the Pentagon in Virginia, smashing one wing of the government's military headquarters. The fourth plane appeared headed for Washington, D.C., but at 10:10 A.M. it crashed in western Pennsylvania, apparently after passengers, who had learned of the other attacks through conversations on their cellular phones, rushed the terrorists. Compounding the horror, the south and north towers of the Trade Center, their structures weakened by the heat of the blazes, collapsed entirely, at 10:05 and 10:28 A.M., respectively. The attack was seen as an act of war, likened to Japan's 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II.

History never must be forgotten.

Let's read the magazine covers and much more.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

The Idiot Test


How smart are you?

Try The Idiot Test and discover it.
The author, Ryan Curtis, explains that even if you're an idiot, don't worry because you can try as many times as you want. The question is, are you even average?

Monday, 8 September 2008

"Perico de los Palotes" or "an Average Joe"

Some names are commonly used to describe an especific person, not only in Spanish as you can learn from VOA programmes.
Some names have special meanings in popular American expressions. To better understand this, sit back and listen. You might even want to get a cup of Joe, I mean, a cup of coffee.

One day, an average Joe was walking down the street. An average Joe is a common person – either male or female. This average Joe was lost. He did not know Jack about where he was going. By this, I mean he did not know anything about where to find things in the city.

So average Joe asked John Q. Public for directions to the nearest bank. John Q. Public is also a common person – male or female...

Continue reading while you listen to this story .

Boomp3.com

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Names, Names, Names!


When choosing a name for a baby sometimes there is some trouble. Click on the gap filling exercise and discover some funny situations.
After that you can get more information about how to name a baby , how to escape from a silly name , a list of unusual baby names or listen to the BBC article.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Mozart in London?


Thanks to BBC The Blue Plaque articles we can know about famous people who lived in London during some time of their lives.
Learn about the famous composer Mozart,who was brought to London as a child of eight in the spring of 1764, together with his sister Nannerl, to impress English audiences with the same feats of precocious musical genius that had already created a stir on the Continent.

His father, Leopold, court musician to the Archbishop of Salzburg, installed the family in lodgings, first in Cecil Court off Tottenham Court Road and then in Frith Street in Soho, and set about advertising the arrival of the prodigies.

In a newspaper of March 1765, Leopold assured prospective visitors to the Mozarts that they 'may not only hear this young Music Master and his Sister perform in private; but likewise try his surprising Musical Capacity, by giving him anything to play at sight, or any Music without Bass, which he will write upon the spot, without recurring to his Harpsichord.'

London music lovers were suitably impressed and a report by the philosopher Daines Barrington on Wolfgang's remarkable abilities was presented to the Royal Society. The young Wolfgang also appeared three times at court where he easily mastered the keyboard exercises King George III had devised for him.

The Mozarts moved to Ebury Street, where the blue plaque can be seen, for several weeks in the summer of 1764 after Leopold had fallen ill. Barred from playing any musical instruments during his father's recuperation, Wolfgang amused himself with composition. His first symphony was one of the results and it was performed at one of the concerts the Mozarts undertook after Leopold recovered.

The Mozarts left London in July 1765, after fifteen months in the capital, and Wolfgang never returned. In 1790, the year before his death, he was offered the opportunity to conduct a series of concerts in the city but he declined.

Vocabulary
Comprehension Quiz

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Surfing in Ferrolterra

Perhaps as you know, surfing is practised on the North West of Spain, on a brave beach called Pantin.

The Pantin Classic is being held this week and you can see it alive travelling there or visiting its web page.

But if you want to know the history of surfing, start reading below and continue in "Surfing for life" web page.

On Captain James Cook's third expedition to the Pacific, his ships, HMS Discovery and Resolution, made the first recorded European visit to Hawai'i in 1778, when they stopped at the western end of the island chain on their way from Tahiti to the northwest coast of North America. After a frustrating year fruitlessly looking for a passage from the North Pacific into the Atlantic, Cook brought his ships back to the Hawaiian chain, this time stopping at the Big Island of Hawaii. There, at Kealakekua Bay, Cook was killed by Hawaiians when he made a misguided attempt to kidnap their high chief to force the return of a stolen boat.
After Cook's death in 1779 but before the Discovery and Resolution returned to England, Lt. King devoted two full pages to a description of surfboard riding, as practiced by the locals at Kealakekua Bay on the Kona coast of the Big Island. His following entry is the earliest written account of surfing.

Amazing, isn't it?

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Moses at the Bat


While baseball is generally considered a "modern" sport, there are references in the Bible that could lead one to deduce that, in fact, there were Giants in those days as well:

And Abner said to Joab, "Let the young men...arise and play before us" (II Samuel 2:14)
...[and] all the people rose up... (Exodus 33:8)
And Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder; and Sheva was scribe... (II Samuel 20:24-25)
And they said unto Jephthah, "Come and be our [Captain]" (Judges 11:6)
...and he measured two lines... (II Samuel 8:2)
And he set the bases... (I Kings 7:39)
And they stood every man in his place round about the camp (Judges 7:21)...

Go on reading on the Smithsonian Magazine

Monday, 1 September 2008

Let's Blog



Hi, again! After resting for a month, I'm here to start this new year with energy... and I hope you take part in new ideas to enjoy learning English, so LET's BLOG.
Remember, you can leave any message, question or suggestion in each post or send it by e-mail, you only have to enter the contact label on the upper left sidebar

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