Showing posts from October, 2009

Flight disruption for Iberia

Strike action in Iberia for Monday and Tuesday
Flights out of Madrid will be those most affected
Iberia company has been forced to cancel some 400 flights on Monday and Tuesday as cabin crewcall strike action as their TCP union demand increased wages.

The flights affected are those which connect Madrid with other European cities such as Lisbon, Paris, London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Frankfort, and also on the domestic routes to Andalucía, Valencia, Basque Country, Asturias, Galicia and Barcelona.

Flights using series IB5000, IB 7000 and IB8000, operated by Vueling, Air Nostrum and other code sharing companies will not be affected, and flights to both the Balearics and the Canaries are expected to run as normal.

A second round of similar stoppages is set for November 10 and 11.

Meanwhile, plans announced by Iberia to create a new short and mediumhaul airline, where they can pay pilots less and reduce other costs, have not been well received by current workers. The plans include a wage

UK economy still in the dumps

Record recession for UK economy

The UK economy unexpectedly contracted by 0.4% between July and September, according to official figures, meaning the country is still in recession.

It is the first time UK gross domestic product (GDP) has contracted for six consecutive quarters, since quarterly figures were first recorded in 1955.

But the figures could still be revisedup or down at a later date, because this figure is only the first estimate.

GDP measures the total amount of goods and services produced by a country.

The pound fellsharply after the figures were released, reflecting the fact that many observers had expected the UK to have grown during the quarter.

It was down 1.7% against the dollar, at $1.6323, and down 1.9% against the euro, at 1.0859 euros.

Quarterly growth of 0.2% had been expected in the figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), although expectations had been tempered by recent figures showing no growth in retail sales in September, and a 2.5% decline i…

Naked crime - news report

Man Arrested For Being Naked In Own Kitchen

An American man who brewed coffee naked in his own kitchen is facing indecent exposure charges and could be jailed.

Eric Williamson, 29, from Virginia, insists he has done nothing wrong and any exposure of his private parts was purely accidental.

Williamson was making coffee in the buff at 5.30am when a woman and her seven-year-old son walked past his kitchen window in Springfield.

The woman then called the police.

Fairfax County Police spokeswoman Mary Ann Jennings said the woman claimed Williamson then moved and exposed himself again through a large front window.

In his defence, Williamson said: "I'm by myself. So I come down here - the roommates are gone, and it's my house.

"I never had a conversation with anyone, never saw anyone. Didn't cross my mind, came and got coffee. I mean if I stood and seemed comfortable in my kitchen possibly it's natural. It's my kitchen."

Williamson, who is the father of a f…

Overcrowded island

UK population 'to rise to 71.6m'

The population of the UK will rise from 61m to 71.6m by 2033 if currenttrends in growth continue, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.

Just over two-thirds of the increase is likely to be related directly or indirectly to migration to the UK.

If the projected increase materialises, the population will have grown at its fastest rate in a century.

But one think tank said the projections were based on trends over the past few years that may not continue.

National population projections are produced every two years to provide an estimate of future population which is used for government planning for pensions and the welfare state.

The latest figures show that if current trends continue:

(a) The population will grow by more than 10m by2029, less than half the time it took to rise from 50m to 60m between 1948 and 2005

(b) The population of pensionable age will rise by 32% over the next 25 years to 15.6m, with the number aged over 85 mo…

Bend it like Beckham

Here is the synopsis of one of the films we talked about in class today:

Bend it like Beckham is a gentle comedy centred around a teenage, Indian girl. Her dream to be a professional footballer conflicts with the expectations of her family. Her talent for the game is spotted by another girl as she plays with boys in the park. Sh invites her to join the local girls' team but she has to train behind the back of her family.

The team is soon enjoying success but her family are not at all pleased to discover what she is up to. They want her to follow her sister and get married to a man from the same community. She is however, more interested in her Irish coach and this causes problems with her friend on the team.

The movie is set in multicultural London and is a wonderful example of how to smile at our cultural differences. It gives an insight into what life may be like for a young, British Asian.

The title of the film comes from the football player David Beckham and his skill at scori…

Confusion in Glasgow

Firm seeks Glaswegian interpreter

A translation company is looking to recruit Glaswegian interpreters to help business clients who are baffled by the local dialect.

Today Translations placed an advert in The Herald newspaper on Tuesday seeking speakers of "Glaswegian English".

Successful candidates, who could earn up to* £140 a day, must understand "vocabulary, accent and nuances".

The firm said, so far, 30 people had applied for the positions - some of them in Glaswegian.

Today Translations spokesman, Mick Thorburn said: "Over the last few months we've had clients asking us for Glaswegian translators.

"After some consideration we've decided this is a service we would like to offer.

"Usually, the role would involve translating documents but in this case its more likely to be assisting foreign visitors to the city whose 'business English' is not good enough to understand the local dialect."

Mr Thorburn said successful candidates m…

Not so famous

Did you know that David Bowie was not born with that name? He was born David Robert Jones. Would he have achieved fame and fortune had he kept his original name?

Here is a list of names with a clue. Can you guess how they are better known by?
Allen Konigsberg swapped his wife for his adopted daughter.Camille Javal was an icon but now devotes much of her life to animals.Cherilyn Sarkisian was part of a double-act and accepted her Oscar in a revealing dress.Caryn Johnson's most famous roles are that of a psychic and a nun.Reginald Dwight was made a Sir after singing at a famous friend's funeral.Edith Gassion was nicknamed "the little sparrow".Richard Starkey was part of the fab 4.Frances Gumm dreamt about a land over the rainbow.Maurice Mickelwhite started his career in the 60s and is the butler of Batman.Thomas Woodward's "It's not unsual" was a hit over 40 years ago.What else do you know about the famous people above? Write about them here.

Unique v only

What's the difference between unique and only?

Unique suggests that something is unusual or different from other things,
Venice is a unique city. There's no other city quite like it.In my opinion she has a unique voice. She can sing all different styles of songs.This property is a unique opportunity. It'll sell quickly.whereas only suggests just one.I am theonlyone who hasn't had a holiday this year.The car is theonlyway to get there. There's no public transport.You are theonlyperson I care about.
It' s the unique reason why I continue going. WRONG
It's the only reason why I continue going. RIGHT

Bee Gees - How deep is your love

We read about the Bee Gees and other family pop groups the other day.

This is one of the Bee Gees many hits but I doubt many people would own up to liking it.

Are you prepared to admit liking or having liked any "embarrassing" groups, singers or songs?

What groups, singers or songs represent the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s?

I know your eyes in the morning sun
I feel you touch me in the pouringrain
And the moment that you wander far from me
I wanna feel you in my arms again

And you come to me on a summer breeze
Keep me warm in your love and then softly leave
And its me you need to show

How deep is your love
I really need to learn
cause were living in a world of fools
When they all should letusbe
We belong to you and me

I believe in you
You know the door to my very soul
Youre the light in my deepest darkest hour
Youre my saviour when I fall
And you may not think
I care for you
When you know down inside
That I really do
And its me you need to show

Repeat a…

Childhood - used to / would

I used to be a really fussy eater as a child. I wouldn't eat anything. I didn't use to eat much fruit and vegetables: strawberries, tomatoes, onions, broccoli, mushrooms, sweetcorn etc were a definite no! I'd only eat oranges that didn't have seeds. I did, however, love cabbage and brussel sprouts; which is quite unusual for a child.

I would only have butter on toast when it was melted and I wouldpick out the orange-rind from the marmalade. I am still asfussy nowas I was then, when it comes to meat and fish. I won't eat anything that has bone, fat or blood in it. If it lookslike the animal, I won't touch it.

I used to have a computer called a ZX Spectrum. I think I got it when I was around 12 years old. I used to play a lot of computer games but my favourite was one called Horace and the Spiders. Children nowadays have Wii and Playstation but back in my day we had to load the games by cassette. Imagine my shock when I saw the ZX Spectrum in a museum, and this was …

Punctuation marks

Do you know how to say all the punctuation marks in English?

I was asked the other day how to say "guion -" in English.

You say hyphen:
Her surname has ahyphen. / She has a hyphenated surname.I don't think that "seafood" has a hyphen/is hyphenated.If the "guion -" is in a dialogue, we call it a dash.

I was then asked how to say "guion bajo _" in English and it was another one of the occasions when I couldn't give an immediate answer. It was on the tip of my tongue.
I had to look it up. We say underscore.

What about the other punctuation marks?

? question mark
! exclamation mark
. full stop
..... dot dot dot
" " in inverted commas
, comma
: colon
; semi-colon
( ) in brackets
' apostrophe
¿ inverted question mark
¡ inverted exclamation mark
/ slash or stroke
\ backslash

and I think that is the end of the list, unless you can think of any more. I hope you have found it useful.

Travel v trip v journey

What's the difference between trip, travel and journey?

We often use travel as a verb:
He travels a lot for work and so he likes to relax when he has the chance.I love travelling. I'd love to visit India next year.He's going to travel round the world during his gap year. Travel can also be used as a noun:
They say that travel broadens the mind but I don't necessarily agree.He is going to write a book about his travels around Africa.Airtravel is getting more and more stressful. but while we can talk about someone's travels (all the journeys they make) we can't talk about a travel:
A travel by train is relaxing. WRONGTravelling by train is relaxing. RIGHTTrain journeys are relaxing. RIGHT

A journey is one single piece of travel. It is the time you have spent in the form of transport. You make journeys when you travel from one place to another:
How long does your journey to work take?The journey from Madrid to Barcelona only takes three hours now.I had a horrible jour…

Be happy with Spanish diet

Med-style diet battles 'blues'

The Mediterranean diet, already thought to protect against heart disease and cancer, may also help to prevent depression, Spanish researchers say.

They found depression was more than 30% less likely to develop in people who followed a diet high in vegetables, fruit and cereals, and low in red meat.

They studied 10,094 healthy adults over four years, the Journal of the American Medical Association reports.

However, the team stressed additional, larger-scale studies were required.

Researchers at the Universities of Las Palmas and Navarra recruited university graduates to take part.

Dietary patterns

They completed questionnaires and the researchers calculated their adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern (MDP) for an average of four-and-a-half years.

They were more active physically and showed a higher total energy intake.

The researchers identified 480 new cases of depression during the follow-up period - 156 in men and 324 in women.

They fou…

Third time lucky / Beginner's luck

Third time lucky (a la tercera va la vencida) is a common saying in English. Its origins are debatable but it is thought to have come into common use after the following event:

John Henry George Lee (1864 – c. 1945), better known as John "Babbacombe" Lee or "The Man They Couldn't Hang", was a British man famous for surviving three attempts to hang him for murder.

Lee was born in Abbotskerswell, Devon, served in the Royal Navy and was a known thief. In 1885, he was convicted of the brutal murder of his employer, Emma Keyse, at her home at Babbacombe Bay near Torquay on 15 November, 1884. The evidence was weak and circumstantial, amounting to little more than Lee having been the only male in the house at the time of the murder, his previous criminal record, and being found with an unexplained cut on his arm. Despite this and his constant claim of innocence, he was sentenced to hang.

On February 23, 1885, three attempts were made to carry out his execution at Exe…

Madrid 2020 - 3rd time lucky?

Rio to stage 2016 Olympic Games 
Brazil will become the first South American country to host the Olympics after the city of Rio de Janeiro was chosen to stage the 2016 Games.

Rio won a majority of the 95 votes at the meeting in Copenhagen, eliminating Madrid in the final round. Tokyo and Chicago had already been knocked out.

"The world has recognised that the time has come for Brazil," said President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Chicago's early exit was a surprise, after bookmakers made them favourites.

US President Barack Obama had flown to Denmark on Friday morning to join his wife, Michelle, and make an emotional address to the International Olympic Committee delegates.

But the gesture - the first time a current US president had addressed the IOC in an attempt to win the Games - failed to persuade the voters as Chicago became the first city to see its dream of hosting the biggest sporting event in the world fall by the wayside.

Speaking to reporters at the White House …