Showing posts from January, 2011

Job hunting on the streets

Swindon cardboard job sign woman secures two interviews
An unemployed teenager who has been carrying a cardboard placard around Swindon asking people to employ her, has two interviewslined up.

Hanna Evans, 19, has been out of work for a year and is on benefits. She said life had become "very hectic" since her plea for work on Monday.

She said: "I've had lots of phone calls. My interview next Monday is for a call-centre job.

"I'm so excited - it's a job I want."

Ms Evans, who lives with her boyfriend in the Pinehurst area of the town, said: "I don't regretdoing what I did and I have had lots of calls of support.

'Prank calls'

"It got to the point where I'd been turned down so many times. I thought I've had enough - what's the most desperate thing I can do?

"I dokind of regret putting my mobile phone number on there due to the amount of prank calls I got.

"But at the end of the day*, I'm happy to pu…

Naked advertising

Barack Obama's streaker Juan Rodriguez sentenced

A streaker who ran in front of President Barack Obama to try and win a million dollar prize has been sentenced to two years probation.

Juan Rodriguez, 24, of New York City, was arrested in America on charges of indecent exposure, disorderly conduct and open lewdness after streaking at a rally in Philadelphia in October.

"Philadelphia has a history of streaking," Mr Rodriguez said, as he sat fully clothed in a sweater and jeans at the probation office of the Criminal Justice Center.

"I didn't pickPhiladelphiaout of the hat."

He said he thought the state "would be more lenient toward me and see it for what it was – a guy just chilling."

"You could see I had no weapons on me," he added.

Mr Rodriguez, an unemployed father of three, had hoped to claim a cash prize offered by billionaire Alki David.

Mr David said he would award $1 million (£630,000) to anyone who ran naked past Mr Obama wit…

Men v Women

Put the words into the correct order.

Always start with the "male idea".

Then say if you agree with the statement or not.

eg. drive women than Men faster much

Men drive much faster than women.

I think so although there are many women who drive fast.

than Men generally better cook womengirls worse maths Boys than are atmore women Men friends than haveless the women time Men spend bathroom in timemuch tennis women's than interesting is Men's more good Men as languages women aren't as atboss is boss male easier female A to for work than abit honest women than are Men a moreMen housework the as women as good are atwomen things easily Men remember than more
Now add some of your own ideas too.

Read this post about The biggest liars.

Read this post about a liar from Barcelona.

Read this post about the differences between men and women.

Read these posts about sexism in the workplaceand sexism in sport.

Does this video answer the question of who is more intelligent?

Read and contribu…

The Botins

Santander's new UK boss Ana Patricia Botin has admitted to MPs that the bank has "a lot of work to do" following reports that it had the most customer complaints of any British bank.

Ms Botin was questioned by the Treasury Select Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie MP after the Financial Services Authority found that the high-street bank had amassed 216,158 complaints in the first six months of 2010.

It has also repeatedly ranked at the bottom of customer satisfaction polls, the most recent being from Which?, and JD Power & Associates.

Santander's service levels are said to have suffered while it tried to integrate the Abbey and Alliance & Leicester brands acquired in 2004 and 2008 respectively.

The purchase of 318 branches from Royal Bank of Scotland is set to be completed in December 2011.

The bank’s boss told MPs that service was "beginning to improve" by addressing underlying issues such as systems and processes and hiring 1,0…

What future?

Most students only use "will" to talk about the future. This is a mistake.

There are three basic future forms:
I'm having lunch with my mother tomorrow. (present continuous)I'm going to have a party for my birthday. (be going to)Waiter: Are you ready to order? Customer: Yes, I'll have the steak. (will)
Present Continuous

We usually use this form with a future time expression. Without one, it means that the action is in progress.

She is leaving. (now)She is leaving at two o'clock this afternoon.What are you doing? (now)What are you doingnext weekend?We use this form to talk about future arrangements with other people (but you don't necessarily state them); the date and/or place have already been decided.
Rangers are playing Celtic in the Cup on Sunday.He's flying to Berlin on Monday morning.Are you seeing your parents later?I'm working until 8 next week.They are getting married on 3rd March.
We can also use the "be going to" form wit…

Sexism in football

Sky Sports presenter Andy Gray has been sacked after he made sexist remarks about a female match official - and new evidence of "unacceptable behaviour" emerged.

Gray was initially disciplined over off-air comments about assistant referee Sian Massey before Saturday's Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool.

But Sky Sports has now issued a statement saying Gray's contract had been terminated.

It continued: "The decision, which is effective immediately, was made in response to new evidence of unacceptable and offensive behaviour.

"The new evidence, relating to an off-air incident that took place in December 2010, came to light after Andy Gray had already been subjected to disciplinary action for his comments of January 22, 2011.

The off-air incident in December involved video footage showing Gray asking a female co-presenter to "tuck this in", gesturing towards the microphone near his waist.

Barney Francis, managing direc…

Confusing words - education

Education is the knowledge or skills that you learn from a teacher (to educate).
I think education standards here aren't as high as in other countries.She is aiming to have a career in education.The PM was educated at the top public school in the country.The Three R's are a crucial element of a child's education. I didn't like Physical Education at school. I wasn't good at sports.

Your upbringing is what you learn as a child about behaviour and morality, usually from your parents (to bring somebody up).
I couldn't have wished for a better upbringing.He was brought up by his grandmother. / His grandmother brought him up. I don't know what happened to his parents.Most youngsters get involved in crime because of a bad upbringing. / because they are not wellbrought-up.I was brought up to respect my elders.She had a strict Catholic upbringing.

What do you think of education standards in Spain now?

Do you think that you received a good education?

How has education cha…

Start loving pigeons!

In my opinion pigeons have an undeserved, bad reputation. They are thought of as disease-carrying pests. I find them fascinating creatures and I think it's time we saw them in a different light. I love feeding them, usually much to the annoyance of people nearby. I find it relaxing and it amuses me how they behave. I even find their cooing a pleasant sound.

Consider the following the next time you see one:

In both World Wars the pigeon saved countless human lives by carrying messages across enemy lines. Pigeons were carried on ships in convoys and in the event of a U-boat attack, a messenger pigeon was released with details of the location of the sinking ship. As a result, many survivors were rescued. Mobile pigeon lofts were set up behind the trenches in the First World War from which pigeons often had to fly through enemy fire and poison gas to get their messages home. The birds played a vital role in intelligence gathering.

The earliest large scale communication network using…

Stress at work

Tuesday at 10am is most stressful time of week
Half of British employees pin-pointed mid-morning on Tuesday as their 'stress peak' - when their workload becomes 'too much' and they start to crumble under the pressure.

The (1) most/majority of workers said they coast through Monday getting their brain in gear and *catch up with gossip from the weekend and (2) discussing/speaking TV shows they've watched.

But on Tuesday reality sets in and staff spend the very first part of the day *going through emails they ignored on Monday before planning the week (3) forward/ahead.

And they're faced with a mountain of a to-do list to tackle and struggle with their boss' demands or impending deadlines.

A spokesman for leading recruitment agency Michael Page, which (4) made/carried out the research of 3,000 Brits, said: ''It seems our jobs are the biggest cause of stress in our lives - even little things like the computer freezing - is enough to get us *worked …

Alone in the universe

Hope of alien life fades
Leading astronomer pours cold water on hope of finding alien life

Howard Smith, a senior astrophysicist at Harvard, made the claim that we are alone in the universe after an analysis of the 500 planets discovered so far showed all were hostile to life.

Dr Smith said the extreme conditions found so far on planets discovered outside out Solar System are likely to be the norm, and that the hospitable conditions on Earth could be unique.

“We have found that most other planets and solar systems are wildly different from our own. They are very hostile to life as we know it,” he said.

He pointed to stars such as HD10180, which sparked great excitement when it was found to be orbited by a planet of similar size and appearance to Earth.

But the similarities turned out to be superficial. The planet lies less than two million miles from its sun, meaning it is roasting hot, stripped of its atmosphere and blasted by radiation.

Many of the other planets have highly elli…

Pre Int - question forming

Put the words into the correct order to form a question and then answer it. Don't just give a short answer; give more information.

eg. any brothers got have you sisters or?

Have you got any brothers or sisters? Yes, I have a brother who is 10 years older than me and a younger sister who lives in England.
book at reading what moment you are the?on time usually up Sunday what do get you?in when last see English did a film you?breakfast morning what have you did this for?night o'clock you doing last were at ten what?English enjoying you your are course?for how do go often weekend the you away?did go holiday you last where for summer year your?long take journey your to how does work?free your do playing time in sport you like?first living were job you you where started your when?weekend going do what you this are to?

Subject questions - again!

This is a part of grammar that appears more complicated than it really is. Don't think too much; it gets easier with practice.

Before doing the quiz below
read these examples of Subject / Object questionslisten to the explanation about Sub / Obj questionscomplete and write some of your own General Knowledge questions

Quiz 2010

This is a quiz in which you have to make the questions (Subject or Object) and then choose  the correct answer. They are all related to events in 2010.

1. Who / become / UK PM in May?
A. Gordon BrownB. David CameronC. Nick Clegg2. Which teams / come / 3rd and 4th respectively in the World Cup?
A. Germany and UruguayB. Uruguay and PortugalC. Portugal and Germany3. Who / score / the most goals for Spain?
A. IniestaB. VillaC. Pedro4. In December they decided the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Which countries / hold / them?
A. England and QatarB. Russia and QatarC. Russia and Holland5. How many miners /  rescue / from a mine in Chile?
A. 23B. 33C. 436. Which EU c…

Insects for dinner

Dutch scientist advocates bugs as a green superfood
Dutch scientist Arnold van Huis has advocated bugs as a healthy, green, alternative food, saying it is time to break old eating habits.

Insect dishes could be the answer to the global food crisis, shrinking land and water resources and climate-changing carbon emissions, he argued.

"Children don't have a problem with eating insects," he told Reuters.

Prof van Huis gives lectures, tastings and cookery classes with a master chef who prepares Dutch-farmed bugs.

The problem for adults is psychological, he said, and "only tasting and experience can make them change their minds".

Insects are a long-established food in some parts of the world such as Mexico and Thailand.

Worm sprinkles

The professor at Wageningen University said insects had more protein than cattle per bite, cost less to raise, consumed less water and did not have much of a carbon footprint.

To encourage bug consumption, the profe…

usually v used to v be used to

What is the difference between the following sentences?

A. I usually get up early.

B. I used to get up early.

C. I am used to getting up early.

D. I will never get used to getting up early.

usually = normally:  we use this adverb to describe how often we do something. It acts in the same way as any other frequency adverb (always, sometimes, never..)
I usually get up early (but I sometimes get up later on a Sunday). used to: we use this to describe a past habit; something we did in the past but don't do now.
I used to get up early (but not anymore - I get up later now). be used to ___ing : we use this to describe something you do now that you are familiar with and isn't a problem to do.
I am used to getting up early (it was difficult at first, but I have been getting up early for some time and it isn't a problem now). get used to ___ing: we use this to describe the process until something is no longer a problem
I will never get used to getting up so early.

Tell me about:
what y…

Pre Int - File 1 Vocab

Complete the sentences with a suitable word.
They like going a_____ on holiday. They went to Thailand last year and Argentina the year before that.She has a very u______ name. I don't know anyone else with that name.I l____ a lot with her - she is really funny.Her boyfriend is very s__ - he doesn't feel comfortable at parties.I don't g__ o_ with my sister-in -law. She isn't very friendly.He never eats f______ food - he only goes to Spanish restaurants.He is very l___. He takes the car to work but the office is only 10 minutes on foot.She has dark hair but her sister has f___ hair.You use your nose to s____ and your t_____ to taste things.My h____ says one thingbut my head says another.I didn't have time to do the homework - I was very b___ this week.A: How was the f_____? B: Tiring. It takes 10 hours to Chicago.
Remember to use the English File webpage for extra practice.

Pre Int - File 1 Grammar

Are the following sentences right or wrong? If wrong, correct them.
A: Where do you born? B: in Glasgow.What means this word?What kind of music do you listen to?How do you write your name?What time starts the class?A: How do you do? B: I'm an engineer.He teachs English in a language school.She doesn't like living in cities.He hasn't a car but he has a motorbike.Her husband often works until seven or eight.A: Why do you smile? B: because I'm happy.I usually drive to work but today I take the bus.Your keys are next the phone.A. What's a remote control? B: It's a thing which you use to turn on the TV.
Remember to use the English File webpage for extra practice.

Clinton's latest trip

She's the US Secretary of State and goes on many trips around the world but this was one trip she would have preferred us not to see.

Many of you confuse trip with journey and travelbut trip has an additional meaning (hence the double meaning of the title).

Check out the other confusing words. (see labels)

We all like to see politicians fall over or make fools of themselves.

Do you remember the sportsmanship of Morales? Check out the political gaffes that are at the end of the post.

Successful adverts

The above are three adverts that I remember well - two of which are from my childhood.

Choose one and recount what happens in it.

What makes an advert successful?

Can you remember an advert that you like? Or one that gets on your nerves? What happens in it?

Here are some adverts from previous posts:
Nessie adLager adControversial ad
Remember you can write comments in older posts and not just the latest ones.

Will the smoking ban work this time?

Spain’s smokers have a New Year’s resolution: quitlighting up. And they didn’t have much of a choice in the matter- Spain’s nationwide smoking ban forced them to put out their butts in public areas. NY1 News explains where the smoke was cleared.

“Spain says ‘adios’ to smoking in most indoor public places. The country introduced a tough anti-smoking law today that prohibits lighting up in bars, restaurants, casinos and airports. Children's outdoor playgrounds and areas around hospitals and schools are also off limits to smokers.”

Spain is known for its quintessential cafe culture. But owners might stop serving the “tapas” and “cervezas” if there are no customers to stick around for another smoke. CNN visited Madrid to catch the reaction of cafe owners and their regulars.

REPORTER: “Spain's hotel and restaurant federation warns of a 10 percent drop in business and tens of thousands of job losses, in the midst of the nation's deep economic crisis... But the government says s…