Showing posts from April, 2010

Bad news for chocolate lovers

Chocolate lovers 'are more depressive', say experts

People who regularly eat chocolate are more depressive, experts have found.

Research in Archives of Internal Medicine shows those who eat at least a bar every week are more glum than those who only eat chocolate now and again.

Source: BBC News
a bar (of chocolate) -
glum (adj) -
now and again -
to lift (your mood) -
to lack -
to rule out -
rather than -
to score -
findings -
to crave -
short-term -

Do you keep up-to-date with news regarding what food and drink is healthy or otherwise? Are you sometimes worried about what you read? Do you try to change your diet because of what you read?
Here are some more articles advising what is good and bad:

White wines bad for teethSource: BBC news

Five a day will not cut cancer(video)Source: BBC news

Pick the right veg for healthSource: BBC news

First v second conditional

Look at the following examples:
If it's sunny this weekend, we'll go to the beach.We won't stay at home if it's sunny this weekend.If it's sunny this weekend, we can go to the beach.We might go to the beach if it's sunny this weekend.The above examples are all examples of  the first conditional structure:

if + present simple, + will / won't / other modal

The first conditional shows a real possibility (present/future) and its consequence.

If Scotland was a sunny country, we would go to the beach at the weekend. If I were/was prime minister, I'd stop wars and I wouldn't have nuclear weapons.I'd buy a house if I had a better job and earned more than I do now.The above are examples of the second conditional structure:

if + past simple, + would / wouldn't

We use the past to express an impossible or improbable situation and would/n't to express the consequence.

Compare the following two sentences:
I'll give up work if I win the lottery.I'd…

The mystery of the Mary Celeste

Mary Celeste

The Mary Celeste (often incorrectly referred to as Marie Celeste) was a merchant ship notably discovered in December 1872 in the Atlantic Ocean unmanned and apparently abandoned, despite the fact that the weather was fine and her crew had been experienced and able seamen. The Mary Celeste was in seaworthy condition and still under sail headingtowards the Strait of Gibraltar. She had been at sea for a month and had over six months'worth of food and water on board. Her cargo was virtually untouched and the personal belongings of passengers and crew were still in place, including valuables. The crew was never seen or heard from again. Their disappearance is often cited as the greatest maritime mystery of all time.

The fate of her crew has been the subject of much speculation. Theories range from alcoholic fumes, to underwater earthquakes, to waterspouts, to paranormal explanations involving hypothetical extraterrestrial, unidentified flying objects, sea monsters, and the…

if I were Prime Minister for a day...

What would you do if you were Prime Minister for a day?

Click on the main title to see other videos.

If I were a boy - Beyonce

Source: You Tube (TheJustKiddy) Key Words: Beyonce were boy

Some more examples with words and expressions from the song:

I woke up late. I had a quick shower, threw onsome clothes and ran to work.

The policeman chased after thief but he managed to escape.

He doesn't let anyone critisize his girlfriend. He always sticks up forher.

I don't know the answer, I swear. If I knew it, I'd tell you.


I used to take my parents for granted when I was younger. I appreciate them more now.
I think you expect too much from me. Don't take me for granted.
He took his position in the company for granted. Now that others are losing their jobs, he realizes how luck he is.

Ok the next clip isn't exactly Beyonce and neither is it in English but it's funny nevertheless.

Source: You Tube (Pablo Avila) Key Words: Mota Single Lady

Update on cheese rolling

Big screen could cut Gloucestershire cheese race crowds

Gloucestershire's historic cheese-rolling contest could be televised on big screens to help ease overcrowding.

This year's race was cancelled after concerns over the number of spectators it attracts at the Cooper's Hill site.

About 15,000 people flocked to the event last year - more than three times the site's capacity.

A bid to save this year's competition failed, but organisers said streaming videos of the event in Gloucester city centre could help to spread the crowds.

The proposal is part of new plans to extend the event, which include the possible introduction of a cheese and cider festival.

A statement from the Cheese-Rolling Committee said: "For the past few weeks we have been working together and talking about how we can take this historic event forward and we are now confident that we will be able to go ahead next year and continue well into the future.

"We're still working on the de…

So Long at the Fair

Here's the synopsis of an old film - the plot might seem familiar - it's the same as the one we listened to in class this week.

So Long at the Fair is a 1950 British thriller film directed by Terence Fisher and Anthony Darnborough, and starring Jean Simmons and Dirk Bogarde. It was adapted from the 1947 novel of the same name by Anthony Thorne. The story "Maybe You Will Remember" told in Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories 3 and the episode "Into Thin Air" of the TV show Alfred Hitchcock Presents were based on the same story.

In its plot elements and style, the film is reminiscent of many of the films of Alfred Hitchcock. The title derives from the nursery rhyme, "Oh Dear! What Can the Matter Be?"


In 1889, young Englishwoman Vicky Barton (Jean Simmons) and her brother Johnny (David Tomlinson) arrive in Paris to see the Exposition Universelle. This is Vicky's first time in Paris, and after checking into a hotel, she drags her tired brother t…

El clasico 2010

Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona
Barcelona took a huge step towards successfully defending their Spanish title with a key win over Real Madrid.
The architect of Barca's win was Xavi, who in the first half picked out Lionel Messi, with the Argentine controlling the ball and firing past Iker Casillas.

In the second half Xavi's pass sliced apart Real, with Pedro collecting the ball and curling a shot past Casillas.

Soon after Rafael van der Vaart missed a golden chance for Real, while Victor Valdes made some key saves for Barca.

The win moved Barca three points clear at the top of the table and leaves Real with a real struggle on their hands to wrestle the title away from Pep Guardiola's side with seven games to play.

"It's a big blow but they can't consider themselves champions yet," said Real coach Manuel Pellegrini after the game.

Cristiano Ronaldo was overshadowed by Messi and Xavi, with the Barcelona captain providing midfield control for the visitors.…

UK elections past

An election has beencalled in the UK. Here is a look back at party political broadcasts from the 1983 and 1997 elections.

Source: You Tube (thatcheritescot) Key words party political 1983 tories

Famous hoaxes

Read about the Cottingley fairy hoax. Source:

Read about the Hitler diaries hoax. Source: BBC On this day
Read about the Piltdown man hoax. Source:

Read about the Loch Ness monster hoax. Source:

Turin hoax?

Turin Shroud goes on display for first time in 10 years

The Turin Shroud, which is believed by some Christians to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, has gone on display for the first time in 10 years.

The shroud is expected to draw some two million visitors to the northern Italian city over the next few weeks.

The cloth shows the faint image of a bearded man with stains of blood on his hands and feet.

Tests in 1988 suggested it dated from the medieval period but those carbon dating findings are contested.

Measuring just over 4m x 1m (14ft x 3.5ft), the frail linen sheet shows an image of a man's body complete with bloodstains and what appear to be wounds from crucifixion.

Millions of Christians believe the cloth is the burial shroud of Jesus.

In 1988, special tests dated it to between 1260 and 1390, suggesting it was a medieval forgery.

But since then, other scientists have cast doubt on those findings and appealed to the Vatican to allow new tests using more modern techni…

Vocab - intermediate

Here is some vocab from last week:
What a heat! to gain / to put on weighta great grandmothera necklacehide and seekto heat stg up in the microwaveto sew / a sewing machinea fountainto feel like doing stgto break down (car)to charge for stga ceiling / a roof(to pay) in installementsto suit sb (clothes)to fit (clothes)to take your mind of stga department storeto get a bargainto be worth (a lot of money)
Do you prefer the heat or the cold?

What do you use the microwave for?

What kind of food makes you put on weight? What do you avoid eating when yougo on a diet?

What do you know about your great-grandparents?

Did you used to play hide and seek as a child? What was your favourite hiding place?

Do you know how to sew on a button?

Which is your favourite fountain?

Has your car ever broken down? What did you do?

What do you feel like doing tonight? What do you feel like having for dinner? Where do you feel like going for your next holiday?

What colour and style suits you?

Have you ever lost/broken som…

Bullfighting demo


Demolishing homes

Spanish MEPs join criticism of holiday home law

Spanish MEPs have joined counterparts in criticising the treatment of expats who face having homes in Spain bulldozed under coastal protection law.

Rules introduced in 1988 left coastal properties liable to demolition and thousands of British and other European owners stripped of property rights.

MEPs say homeowners have been given no legal redress or compensation. They have asked for the law to be clarified.

Spain insists owners of legally built homes are being "fairly compensated".

The law was designed to protect the coast and set limits on building, allowing municipal leisure developments but not private homes.

Since its introduction, thousands of people who live or have holiday homes in Spain have discovered that properties bought legitimately through the Spanish legal system had, in fact, been built in breach of the regulations.

Meanwhile, in Andalucia, regional authorities have applied the law retrospectively to decla…

Popular lies

Britain's most popular lie: 'sorry I had no mobile phone signal'

Researchers found the average Briton tells on average four lies every day or almost 1500 every year.

Almost one in six men admitted they were most likely to lie to their wife or girlfriend, on average at least twice a day.

The most popular lie was saying you had no mobile phone signal, with one in four people admitting regularly using the little white lie. It usually came after they hit the "ignore" button when their mobile rang.

One in three Britons have lied about their weight, a quarter fibbed about the amount of debt they are in and 30 per cent have bent the truth about the amount of exercise they do.

Kissing or spending the night with another person emerged as the worst lie to tell while one in five males admitted to lying to their girlfriend to go to the pub or watch sport.

Almost a quarter of blokes have told their partner they look good in an outfit, despite thinking the opposite.


Viagra thief

Police in Spain arrest Viagra robber

Spanish police say they have detained a man suspected of robbing 10 pharmacies at gunpoint, taking their money and all available boxes of Viagra.

Police in Madrid began receiving reports of the thefts in January.

Victims said the "only objective" of the lone gunman was to take boxes of Viagra and cash.

The authorities suspect the 43-year-old man of selling the pills on the black market, where they are sought by users for recreational purposes.

Combined with the illegal drug Ecstasy, the anti-impotence pill is well known on the club scene as Sexstasy.

Viagra manufacturer Pfizer warns the drug should not be taken unless recommended by a doctor.

Source: BBC News

No more DVDs for Spain

Spain finds that film piracy is a hard habit to break
It has been the settingfor many a spaghetti western, but now Hollywood has warned that Spain could be facing high noon over its appallingrecord of movie piracy, with a future devoid of DVDs.

The unauthorised downloading of films from the internet is sorife, with film-makers complaining that a legal void makes people think movies are free, that Spain could become the first European country to be abandoned by Hollywood studios.

Source: The Guardian
the setting -
to face high noon -
appalling (adj) -
rife (adj) -
a void -
on the brink of ... -
on a par with -
to plummet -
shameful (adj) -
to pull out of stg -

Are you guilty of downloading films and contributing to this story?
How often do you download?
What do you think of the film makers threat?

April Fools' Day

Today is also April Fools' Day.

Read here about afamous hoax from this day in 1957.

Read here10 stories that could be April Fools... but aren't

'Alien invasion' April Fools' story angers Jordan mayor

A Jordanian mayor is considering suing a newspaper over an April Fools' Day report saying aliens had landed nearby.

Al-Ghad's front-page story on 1 April said flying saucers flown by 3m (10ft) creatures had landed in the desert town of Jafr, in eastern Jordan.

It said communication networks went down and frightened townspeople fled into the streets.

The mayor, Mohammed Mleihan, said parents were so frightened they did not send their children to school that day.

"Students didn't go to school, their parents were frightened and I almost evacuated the town's 13,000 residents," Mr Mleihan told the Associated Press.

"People were scared that aliens would attack them."

He immediately notified the security authorities, who he said combed t…

Maundy Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday.

Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter. Christians remember it as the day of the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and established the ceremony known as the Eucharist.

The night of Maundy Thursday is the night on which Jesus was betrayed by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The word maundy comes from the command (mandate) given by Christ at the Last Supper, that we should love one another.

In Roman Catholic churches the anthem Mandatum novum do vobis (a new commandment I give to you) would be sung on Maundy Thursday.

In many other countries this day is known as Holy Thursday.

Maundy Thursday ceremonies

In Britain, the sovereign takes part in the Ceremony of the Royal Maundy.

This ceremony, held at a great cathedral, involves the distribution of Maundy money to deserving senior citizens (one man and one woman for each year of the sovereign's age), usually chosen for having done service to their community.

They receive ceremoni…