viernes, 8 de junio de 2018

KILT AND TARTAN / HOW TO BE A TRUE SCOTSMAN - FALDAS ESCOCESAS ¡Cómo ser un buen escocés!

Hi my dear friends. Do you know what a kilt is? Scotsmen know it for sure! It's their traditional tartan skirt and this is what we are going to speak about today: KILTS! Here we go!

Hola mis queridos amigos. ¿Sabéis lo que es un kilt? ¡Los  hombres escoceses lo saben seguro! Es su falda escocesa tradicional y de esto es de lo que vamos a hablar hoy: ¡FALDAS ESCOCESAS! ¡Allá vamos!









Info: Speak up magazine.
Photos: pinterest  /  ebay.es (2)  /  buenavibra.es



HOW TO BE A TRUE SCOTSMAN   /   KILT AND TARTAN

Kilts are the traditional tartan skirts that Scotsmen wear on formal occasions, such as weddings and the Highland Games.  Do you remember the film "Four Weddings and a Funeral?"  One of the weddings is in Scotland and the guests wear tartan.



A QUESTION OF TASTE

Traditionally, the true Scostman did not wear anything under his kilt, but times have changed. Not wearing underwear is now considered "unhygienic", childish and "indecent" says the Scottish Tartans Authority (STA), a Scottish-based society that documents all things tartan.

The kilt is  basically a skirt for men made from colourful checked fabric with pleats in the back.  It originated in the 16th century but the "modern" version of the kilt didn't appear until the late 17th or early 18th century.








VICTORIA AND ALBERT

Kilts were once part of the military uniform for the Scottish army, the fabric indicating the region or clan (family) you came from. As the kilt has no pockets, the sporan, made from leather or fur, served as a container for personal items, a bit like a "fanny pack" or "bum bag" today.

In 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie, a Stuart, led a rebellion against the Hanoverian King, George II.  Many Scottish clans, whose members wore tartan, supported the rebellion, but the English army massacred them at the Battle of Culloden Moor in Scotland in 1746.  The same year the London government banned tartan with the "Dress Act", but tartan became popular again in the 19th century.

The Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott was a big fan, so were Queen Victoria and her German husband, Prince Albert.  They fell in love with the romantic Highlands and built a castle there called Balmoral.  Albert designed several tartans and Balmoral was decorated in tartan from floor to curtain.  Queen Victoria started a trend for tartan.  New tartans were created as well as tartanware, everyday objects, such as jewellery boxes and tableware, in tartan.




POP AND PUNK

Today  there are up to 7,000 different tartans and about 150 new designs are created each year.  Love it or hate it, tartan, and more specifically, the kilt, will stand out in a crowd.  The avant-garde fashion designers Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Wetswood have incorporated tartan into their designs.  In the 1970s, tartan was popular in the music world.  Rod Stewart wore tartan and so did kitsch Scottish group, The Bay City Rollers.  Punk rockers also often wore tartan!







ANYONE FOR TENNIS?

These days the Scots see the kilt as their national dress and save it for special occasions.  Tennis player Andy Murray revealed that he'd wear a kilt when he got married to Kim Sears, in April, 2015. He even said he may go commando, that is, without underwear!  On this wedding day, Murray didn't disappoint and did indeed wear a kilt, although we can't confirm if he wore anything underneath it!!!



 VOCABULARY

-KILT: falda escocesa.
-TARTAN: tela de cuadros escoceses.
-UNDERWEAR: ropa interior.
-CHILDISH:  infantil.
-CHECKED:  de cuadros.
-FABRIC: tela.
-PLEAT: pliegue.
-SPORRAN: morral.
-FANNY PACK / BUM BAG: riñonera.
-CURTAIN: cortina.
-TARTANWARE: productos con diseño de cuadros.
-TABLEWARE: vajilla.
-TO STAND OUT:  destacar.
-TO GO COMMANDO: ir sin ropa interior.

HAVE A NICE DAY

SEE YOU!

viernes, 25 de mayo de 2018

COFFEE - MORE THAN A DRINK / EL CAFÉ - MÁS QUE UNA BEBIDA.

Hi my dear friends, do you like coffee?  Do you usually drink coffee? Do you think coffee is healthy? Just now, we are going to know a bit more about this delicious drink that, either you love it or you hate it! In my case, I love coffee but only at breakfast and sometimes, after lunch and I must confess that coffee is healthy and good to me!

Hola mis queridos amigos, ¿os gusta el café? ¿Soléis tomar café? ¿Pensáis que el café es saludable? Ahora mismo, vamos a saber un poquito más sobre esta deliciosa bebida ¡que o te encanta o la odias! En mi caso, me encanta el café pero solo en el desayuno y a veces después de comer y debo confesar que ¡el café es saludable y  bueno para mí!


Info: Speak Up magazine.
Photos: radiofelicidad.mx  / muyinteresante.es (2)  /  planetadellibro.es  /



ADDICTED TO COFFEE

Coffee is probably the most widely consumed drink in the world. For this reason it has been the subject of many scientific studies that have tried to determine whether it is healthy or harmful.  There are many articles claiming that coffee is bad for our health.  There is a research that links it with an increased risk of heart disease and even diabetes.  But is this really true?


CONFUSING

The general problem with some of these studies is that they can lead to confusing conclusions.  Moderate consumption of coffee by healthy adults reduces the sensation of physical exhaustion and mental fatigue, increases concentration and improves short-term, memory and coordination.

Nevertheless, people who metabolize caffeine slowly may be at increased risk of a heart problem if they drink more than four cups of coffee a day.



MAKING A CHOICE

Moreover, not all kinds of coffee have the same health effects.  Coffee that's roasted at low temperatures (known as natural roasting) and without sugar has a lower concentration of toxins and carcinogens than "torrefacto" -which is quite common in Spain and Italy.

Other factors to take into account when choosing your coffee is that Arabica variety has less caffeine than the Robusta variety.

Finally, we must not forget that from a societal point of view, and if possible,  it is important that the coffee we buy is from fair trade sources.


CHOLESTEROL

According to recent studies, while more than six cups of coffee a day increases overall cholesterol levels, when coffee is filtered, the compounds that cause this increase are removed.  If coffee is consumed regularly, addiction symptons may appear such as headaches and anxiety.



A NICE CUP OF TEA

Decaffeinated coffee is definitely the right choice for pregnant women, nursing mothers and people who have difficulty sleeping.  Normal coffee can increase heartburn and acid reflux, but decaffeinated coffees and teas do not.  If you do opt for decaf, though, choose the one made "with water only" or made "with carbon dioxide".

Anyway, if after reading this article you decide to drink less coffee, tea is a good alternative.  It also contains caffeine but it is healthier.

Tea consumption is linked to the strengthening of bones and the cardiovascular system.  What's more, tea improves blood flow and does not cause acid reflux.


DECISION

Coffee and tea are both healthy drinks but we must always have them in moderation!

Now, you choose, coffee or tea? Or both?

                                                          *******************************


VOCABULARY

-SHORT-TERM MEMORY: memoria a corto plazo.
-NEVERTHELESS: sin embargo.
-MOREOVER: además.
-TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT:  tener en cuenta.
-SOCIETAL POINT OF VIEW:  desde un punto de vista social.
-NURSING MOTHER: madre lactante.
-FAIR TRADE:  comercio justo.
-HEARTBURN:  ardor de estómago.
-ACID REFLUX: reflujo gástrico.
-IF YOU DO OPT:  si te decantas...
-BLOOD FLOW:  circulación sanguínea.

                                                    ***********************************



EXERCISES

1 Match these adjectives with their antonyms.

a) fair                                      1 harmful
b) right                                    2 unusual
c) common                              3 exaggerated
d) moderate                             4 reduced
e) healthy                                5 unjust
f) increased                             6 wrong


  2 Decide whether the following statements are TRUE or FALSE.

a) High consumption of coffee reduces mental fatigue     _______
b) The Robusta variety has more caffeine than the Arabica variety _______
c) Drinking more than two cups of coffee a day increases cholesterol levels ______
d) Drinking caffeine regularly can cause mild physical dependence ______
e) Not only coffee, tea also contains caffeine ______

                                     ************************************




SOLUTIONS

1 a) 5   /   b) 6   /  c) 2   /   d) 3  /  e) 1  /  f) 4

2 a) FALSE  /  b) TRUE  c) FALSE  d) TRUE  /  e) TRUE


HAVE A NICE DAY!

lunes, 21 de mayo de 2018

TRINITY ISE II - MULTI-TEXT EXERCISE / TRINITY ISE II Exámen - B2.

Hi my dear friends, today we're going to continue with our Trinity College Tests. We're doing one of the reading and writing tasks of Trinity ISE II (B2) examination, the MULTI-TEXT part. At the end of the test, you'll find the solutions. 

Hola mis queridos amigos, hoy vamos a continuar con nuestros Tests del Trinity College. Vamos a hacer una de las pruebas del  examen escrito del Trinity ISE II (B2), el Multi-Text. Al final del test, encontraréis las soluciones. 




TRINITY ISE II (B2)

MULTI-TEXT EXERCISETask 2.  Read the following texts about "The bad Roman influence" and answer the questions.


TEXT A
The title of Peter Jones' book "Vote for a Caesar", how the ancient Greeks and Romans solved the problems of today", is itself explanatory. He believes that if we study the Greeks and Romans, we can be great like them.  Greek and Latin are often cited as the best languages:  they are more complete and accurate than modern languages. These claims are nonsense.

TEXT B
The Romans and Greeks had as many problems as we do. They were greedy, genocidal and cruel to animals. Perhaps that is why we like them: their errors, as well as their achievements, are familiar. Empires come and go, but it was the Romans who deveoped the systematic exploitation of colonies. Their phenomenal military machine enslaved natives, extracted resources and generated taxes.

TEXT C
The Romans gained luxuries: cheap food, wine, bathing and sanitation. Slaves provided labour, skills and entertainment (gladiatorial and sexual)  This model of empire led to European colonization;  the slave trade, exploitation of Africa and the Americas.  The US cotton industry and the Industrial Revolution.  At the opening of the Colosseum, 5,000 animals were killed. In one hunting spectacle, they massacred hundreds of lions, leopards and bears and thousands of ostriches, deer and wild boars.

TEXT D
The Romans invented sporting celebrities. We may not allow gladiatorial fights, but today's boxing and Formula One echo that fatal thrill.  Danger was not enough. The Romans turned Greek sports into gambling extravaganzas. Fortunes were won and lost at the Circus Maximus, as in horse racing today. We don't kill people on TV, but Big Brother has something in common with the voyeurism of throwing Christians to the lions.


QUESTIONS 1-5.  Read the following statements and decide which text each title refers to.

1 The Latin Touch                        _____
2 Games and gambling                 _____
3 Animals pushed to extinction    _____
4 A terrible human exploitation    _____
5 Romans are similar to us            _____

QUESTIONS 6-10.  Choose five TRUE statements from A-H.

6 _____     A   No influence can be found from Romans in our society.
7 _____     B   Romans bet at the time, huge amounts of money.
8 _____     C   The most accurate languages ever are Latin and Greek.
9 _____     D   Romans and Greeks weren't cruel at all.
10_____    E   Such a cruelty against animals is unthinkable nowadays.
                  F   Romans didn't have any colonies to exploit.
                  G   Romans invented and promoted slavery.
                  H   Some programmes on TV today can be compared with the Roman Circus.

QUESTIONS 11-15.  Find a suitable word or phrase in the texts to complete the missing information, Use no more than 3 words.

11  If we study the Greeks and Romans we can become ______________ like them.
12  Colonies were totally exploited by ____________.
13  More than _______________ were massacred at the Colloseum.
14  Sports like __________remain the gladiator fights.
15  Labour was provided by _________.


                                           ***********************************




SOLUTIONS

1 A  2 D  3 C  4 B  5 D

6 B  7 C  8 G  9 E  10 H

11 great  / 12 Romans / 13 5,000 / 14 boxing and F1 / 15 slaves


HAVE A NICE DAY! 

viernes, 18 de mayo de 2018

MUSIC AND ENERGY / MÚSICA Y ENERGÍA.

Hi my dear friends, are you fond of running or doing any exercise? Do you like listening to music while jogging or  running? Today we are going to know more about Running and Music.  I hope you'll like it!

Hola mis queridos amigos, ¿sois aficionados a correr o a hacer ejercicio? ¿Os gusta escuchar música mientras camináis o corréis? Hoy vamos a saber más sobre  Música y Correr . ¿Espero que os guste! 

Info: Speak Up magazine.
Photos: tone.and.tighten.com  /  buy.garmin.com  /  fr.wikipedia.org








GET FIT IN RHYTHM!       /     MUSIC AND ENERGY

Many runners and gym members feel that music makes exercise more enjoyable.  However, they might not know that scientists have found some kinds of music can improve people's energy by 15 per cent.  This was discovered by Dr. Costas Karageorghis at Brunel University's School of Sport and Education.  Karageorghis has worked with organisations such as Nike and with many champion athletes.  In the study,  thirty people listened to inspiring music by Queen, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Madonna.  They did exercise at the same time.


NERVE COMMUNICATION "STOPPED"

When they were doing exercise in time with the music, people showed higher energy levels.  Even when they were positive about how they felt.  When people are doing exercise, their nerves send messages saying that their body is getting tired. However, when they are listening to music at the same time,these messages are blocked. Karageorghis thinks this is because the music causes part of the brain to send different messages to the body that make it feel happy and relaxed.



DIFFERENT EFFECTS

Karageorghis' work shows that different types of music can have different effects on different people. The effect of some music can also depend on how tiring the exercise is. People who have extrovert personalities prefer faster and louder kinds of music compared to people who have a reserved personality.  This is because, for the music to have an effect, the brains of extrovert people need more stimulation than the brains of reserved people.  Reserved people want to feel less worried and so have better results when the music makes them feel relaxed.

The doctor was asked to provide music for the "Run to the Beat" half marathon in the UK, and which has also now started in other countries. "I also have lots of other exciting projects that I am working on," says Karageorghis.

One of these is to find out if the speed of the music we listen to has an effect on our heart rate while we exercise.

                                              ***********************


VOCABULARY

-ENJOYABLE: placentero.
-TO PROVIDE: suministrar.
-HEART RATE: ritmo cardíaco.
-HOT: picante
-TIRING : cansado.


EXERCISEWrite the correct word in the gaps. The first letter and a description are given to help you.

a) Many athletes feel that music makes exercise more  e______________(pleasant)
b) Scientists have  p___________(demonstrated) that music has a positive effect on energy levels.
c) Music has a direct  e_______ (influence) on the brain.
d) People with different  a________ (dispositions) need different kinds of music.
e) Reserved people need to listen to slower and more  p_______ (soothing) music.
f) Dr Karageorghis was asked to  p________ (supply) music for the half marathon in the UK.


                                                ************************************



SOLUTIONS
a) enjoyable   b) proved  c) effect  d) attitudes  e) peaceful  f) provide


HAVE A NICE DAY!




miércoles, 9 de mayo de 2018

LIFE STORIES / MY CAT SAVED MY LIFE / HISTORIAS DE VIDA - MI GATA ME SALVÓ LA VIDA.

Hi my dear friends, today we're going to read  about a "life story" and a cat. Pets are very important to us and to our lives. It's demonstrated that a life with a pet is a "better life".  I hope you'll like this story! 
Dedicated to cats' lovers!

Hola mis queridos amigos, hoy vamos a leer sobre una "historia de vida" y una gata. Las mascotas son muy importantes para nosotros y nuestras vidas. Está demostrado que la vida con una mascota es "una vida mejor".  ¡Espero que os guste la historia! 
¡Dedicado a los amantes de los gatos!


Info: from Speak Up magazine.
Photos: royalcanin.es/ gatodomestico.com / veterinatiogatos.com



MY CAT SAVED ME FROM A FIRE  by Claire Hopkinson.

Early one morning last February, my cat Tink jumped onto my legs. I was fast asleep and she woke me up, which had never happened before. It was completely uncharacteristic:  she sleeps downstairs and never comes into the bedroom.

As she insisted and insisted, I sat up feeling groggy because I'd been out the night before, but I soon realized something was very wrong. The room was half-filled with white smoke, hanging in the air about one metre deep like a bank of white cloud.


PANIC!

I woke up my partner, Russ, in a panic and we jumped out of bed. As we made our way through the thick smoke, I was still trying to process exactly what was going on, and the danger only really hit me when I went out on to the landing.

Our son Jake, 19, had woken up, and as he opened his brother Scott's door, black smoke came out.  The smoke from Scott's room went up to the ceiling;  it was only then that the smoke alarm was triggered.  Scott, 22, emerged, shouting above the noise that he was struggling to breathe. I phoned the fire brigade, who told us to leave the house as quickly as we could.


NEIGHBOURS

Obviously we didn't want to leave our belongings behind and we dind't want to leave Tink behind,  but we couldn't find her and what was even worse, we knew we had no choice. We had to get out of the house!  We assumed Tink had slipped out of the house, too.

Within minutes, six fire engines arrived. As I stood in the road, I looked at our house and realised that the source of the fire was actually our next-door neighbours -flames were licking the front of her house. She had also managed to get out and was later taken to hospital for smoke inhalation. I couldn't even imagine what was happening in our house as the smoke poured out of the windows. I couldn't bear to look.


WHERE'S TINK?

For half an hour, our two houses were sprayed with water until the firefighters were satisfied that the fire was out. By now, however, our assumption that Tink was safe began to falter. We assumed she had managed to escape, but there was no sign of her. Russ told a firefighter and, even though he wasn't meant to, he went back into our house to look for her.


A MIRACLE

After a few moments he emerged with Tink over his arm. She was completely limp. She wasn't breathing and her tongue was hanging out. He had found her behind a cupboard in Jake's room. We assumed she was dead, and I felt heartbroken; she had saved us but died in the process. Then the firefighter put an oxygen mask on her and incredibly she took a breath and coughed. She was alive!  Groggy and stinking of smoke, but alive! Thanks to the firefighter, she was alive!!!!


A SENSE OF LOSS

As our house was totally wet and smoke-damaged, we had nowhere to live, so Tink went to my daughter Lesley's while we stayed in a hotel for a month.  It took weeks to recover from the trauma of what had happened. One corner of our house had been burnt and all our belongings were ruined. I was especially devastated to lose all my photographs and couldn't bear to open a cupboard to see what was salvageable. It all felt dreadful, but at least we were alive.


SIXTH SENSE

When we went to visit my daughter, it was clear that Tink had been traumatized, too. She was timid, refusing to leave my lap when I tried to get up. We have moved into rented accomodation while our house is renovated and Tink has finally come back to us.

The source of the fire was electrical. The firefighters told us we would have had six minutes to get out before we died in the fire, so Tink's sixth sense saved us!  She could have deserted us, but she came up to the most dangerous smoke-filled area to warn us. Generally, it is said that cats aren't known for their altruism but Tink seems to be the exception!!! Or, simply, cats are as altruistic as other animals!


VOCABULARY

-I COULDN'T BEAR: no pude soportar.
-TO FALTER: flaquear.
-LIMP: sin fuerzas.
-TO COUGH:  toser.
-TO STINK: apestar.
-LAP: regazo.


HAVE A NICE DAY MY FRIENDS!
SEE YOU!


miércoles, 25 de abril de 2018

READING / A SHORT STORY /COINCIDENCES - LECTURA / UN RELATO CORTO/ COINCIDENCIAS.

Hi my dear friends, today we're going to read a short story. Coincidences! I hope you'll like it!

Hola mis queridos amigos, hoy vamos a leer un relato corto. ¡Coincidencias! ¡Espero que os guste!


From:  Speak Up magazine.
Photos: news.bbc.uk



COINCIDENCES by Rachel Roberts. (When Jenny met Richard on a train, a series of coincidences made their meeting seem predestinated...)


The train came to a stop not long after we left Paddington station. I didn't notice at first because I was on the phone to my new assistant Bethan, carefully going over her instructions one more time. She was very young, and not the sharpest knife in the drawer!

I finished the call and realised we'd stopped moving. Then I heard the announcement. "This is the 15.52 London Paddington to Oxford train. We apologise for the delay to this train which is due to circumstances beyond our control."

I groaned aloud and the man sitting next to me made a similar noise. We looked at each other and smiled.
-You know this is so awesome!" My neighbour had a soft American accent.
-"What? The delay?"
- "No, this coincidence. I just read that exact same announcement in this book;  word for word!"

He was holding a Colin Dexter novel about Inspector Morse, an Oxford-based detective. It wasn't that much of a coincidence, but my neighbour had that fun, enthusiastic expression typical of Americans, so I laughed.

-"That's really funny!"

He stretched out his arm and looked at his wristwatch. "Do you think we'll be stuck here long?"

The watch caught my attention. The face showed a picture of Chairman Mao waving to the people. His arm moved to and fro in time to the seconds. I had bought an identical one years ago in Hong Kong. "I have a wristwatch just like that one," I said. "I think they're quite rare."
-"Really?"  Again he was happily enthusiastic. "My wife bought this for me in 1997 in Hong Kong. A shop called Shanghai Tang."

-"Yeah? That's where mine came from!" I was glad he'd mentioned his wife. It made me feel more relaxed about talking to him.
-"I wasn't even supposed to be on this train." the American went on. "I wanted to go earlier and now I'll definitely be late for my appointment. My assistant booked it for me and he's hot -what is it you Brits say? - he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer."
I looked at him. That phrase!

I had thought those very words about my own assistant only minutes before.  I began to feel intrigued. With a series of coincidences like this, maybe there was a reason for our meeting.

-"I'm an acupuncturist!" I said, wondering if maybe he did the same job.
-"Yeah?" he smiled. "I'm a computer systems analyst."  No links there, then. "Oh, and I'm Richard, by the way."

We shook hands. "Really? That's my brother's name. I'm Jennifer, Jenny."
-Nice to meet you." I began to feel inadequate.  All the coincidences were coming from him.
-"I don't even know how long it'll take me to get to my appointment from the station," said Richard. "I'm going to the China Centre. It's part of Oxford Univeristy. They're having problems with their new computers."

This was too much. "You're not going to believe this!" said Richard. "You know I'm beginning to think there must be a reason for us meeting!"



Me too. In fact I had thought those very words just seconds previously. "I don't suppose you're staying at the Linton Lodge Hotel, by any chance?"
-"Oh no. I'm going straight back right after the meeting."

Damn! Why did I never come up with any coincidences?

Richard looked a little embarrased. Maybe my mentioning hotels had made it seem like I wanted to meet up later. We fell silent and a few minutes later the train moved off. Richard went out of the window, still wishing I could have found the link between myself and this likeable American.

We arrived in Oxford only 20 minutes behind schedule and walked out of the station together. The front of the building was covered in scaffolding because of renovation work and I helped Richard find the taxi rank. He offered to share a taxi with me. My meeting was much later and I wanted to do some sightseeing first, but I didn't want to let him go. Not yet.

-"Richard, come and have a quick coffee."
His hand was on the door handle of the taxi.He hesitated and checked his Mao watch. "I'm kind of late."
-"Oh, go on. Maybe you have a message for me," I said.
He smiled. "OK, just a couple of minutes."

We walked away from the taxi and some other passengers climbed in. We had just turned around to look for the closest coffee shop, when we heard an immense crash followed by screams and cries of alarm.  Spinning round, we saw to our horror that part of the scaffolding had collapsed right on top of the taxi, burying it in twisted metal and brickwork. Things didn't look good for the people inside.

-"Oh my God," said Richard, "if you hadn't stopped me, I'd have been there!" We looked at each other, in shock. "Wow", said Richard, "so that was why we met!"


                                                   ******************************
VOCABULARY
-NOT THE SHARPEST KNIFE IN THE DRAWER: no es un lumbreras.
-TO GROAN: quejarse.
-ALOUD: en voz alta.
-AWESOME: increíble.
-STUCK: parado.
-CHAIRMAN: presidente.
-TO AND FRO: de un lado para otro.
-THOSE VERY WORDS: las mismísimas palabras.
-LIKEABLE: agradable.
-SCAFFOLDING: andamios.
-I'M KIND OF LATE:  tengo un poco de prisa.
-TO SPIN ROUND: girarse.
-TO COLLPASE: derrumbarse.
-TO BURY: enterrar.
-TWISTED: retorcido.
-BRICKWORK: enladrillado.

SEE YOU MY FRIENDS!


martes, 17 de abril de 2018

A GREAT BRITSH BAKE OFF / COMPETITIVE COOKING .

Hi my dear friends,  cooking seems to be a "must" in our society nowadays and so we can watch plenty of TV programmes dedicated to  "competitive cooking". In the UK one of this famous programmes is "THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF" and this post is about it. Bon appétit!

Hola mis queridos amigos, cocinar parece ser un imprescindible hoy en día en nuestra sociedad y así  podemos ver cantidad de programas de televisión dedicados a la "cocina competitiva". En Reino Unido uno de estos famosos programas es "The Great British Bake Off" y esta publicación es sobre él. ¡Que aproveche!


Info: SPEAK UP magazine.
Photos:  razzmag.wordpress.com  / bookriot.com / express.co.uk






A GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF  /  COMPETITIVE COOKING

One of the most popular TV programmes in the UK is a reality show called "The Great British Bake Off". Each week, ordinary people compete to make the best cakes and bread within a time limit. The competition takes place in a very large tent in a big garden. There are two judges and two hosts, and each week the judges choose a "star baker" (the best baker).  They also choose one person who must leave the competition. At the end of ten weeks there is one winner.


THE BIG RISK

The programme started in 2010, and nobody expected it to be popular. People really enjoyed watching the baking and the good atmosphere on the show.

Originally broadcast on BBC one, last year the show made a risky move to Channel 4.  Many people thought that this would mean much smaller audiences but they were wrong!  In fact, and despite competition from big digital giants such as Netflix, Apple and Amazon, that show received high ratings especially among 16 to 34 year-olds, who are the hardest audience to attract.






GOOD ATMOSPHERE

"Bake Off" is very different from other reality TV shows. Some people think the show is typically British, with a good sense of humour and friendly people. Viewers also really enjoy learning how to make different types of cakes, biscuits and bread.

Since the show started, baking has become very popular in the UK, and many young people have started baking at home. Shops have sold lots of products for baking, like bowls and food mixers.  More than 19 per cent of British people bake at least once a week at home now.




A SWEET VICTORY

Around nine million people watched the final episode of the show last October. The winner was former Army officer Sophie Faldo. She beat health and safety inspector Kate Lyon and marketing professional Steven Carter-Bailey.

The new hosts are the comedian Noel Fielding and the quiz show presenter Sandi Toksvig. The judges are food columnist Prue Ruth and celebrity chef Paul Hollywood, who stayed with the show after it moved to Channel 4.  There was controversy as Ruth mistakenly announced the winner eleven hours early on Twiter. She apologised and explained that she was in Bhutan and had become confused by the time difference. Everyone laughed and forgave her!

                                         




EXERCISE
Write the correct word in the gaps. The first letter and a description are given in brackets to help you.

a) The UK reality show The Great British Bake off  s___________(began) in 2010.
b) At the beginning nobody expected the programme to be  p_________(successful).
c) The  c________ (contest) takes place in a large tent in a big garden.
d) Viewers especially enjoy the good  a___________(ambiance) on the show.
e) Usually 16 to 34 year-olds are the hardest  a__________ (spectators) to attract.
f) Since the show started, shops have sold a lot of  p_______(articles) for baking.


VOCABULARY

-TO BAKE: hornear.
-ORDINARY PEOPLE: gente corriente.
-HOST: presentador anfitrión.
-TO LEAVE: dejar, abandonar.
-TO BROADCAST: emitir.
-RISKY: arriesgado.
-MOVE: mudanza,  trasladarse.
-DESPITE:  a pesar de.
-HIGH RATINGS: altos índices de audiencia.
-AMONG:  entre (varios, más de dos).
-VIEWER: espectador.
-FOOD MIXER: batidora.
-FORMER: ex, antiguo.
-TO BEAT: derrotar.
-MISTAKENLY: por equivocación.
-TO FORGIVE: perdonar.


EXERCISE SOLUTION
a) started  /  b) popular  /  c) competition  /  d) atmosphere /  e) audience  /  f) products

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SEE YOU MY FRIENDS!!

viernes, 13 de abril de 2018

ART AND NATURE / THE WELLS OF DERBYSHIRE - ARTE Y NATURALEZA / LOS POZOS DE DERBYSHIRE.

Hi my dear friends, the month of May approaches and so today we are going to see a destination to go to,  where Art and Nature join together! The destination and Nature  is the County of Derbyshire (UK) and the Art,  its artistic Wells!

Hola mis queridos amigos, el mes de mayo se acerca y por eso hoy vamos a ver un destino para ir, donde Arte y Naturaleza se unen. El destino y la Naturaleza es el Condado de  Derbyshire (Reino Unido)  y el Arte, sus artísticos "Pozos".


Info from:  Speak Up magazine.
Photos: welldressing.com  /  derbyshire-peakdistrict.com  /  megalithic.co.uk






THE WELLS OF DERBYSHIRE   /   ART AND NATURE

The county of Derbyshire in the English Midlands has some interesting customs.  One of these is well dressing.  Well dressing is an old tradition that the people of Derbyshire still enjoy today.

We don't know the exact reason for decorating wells, but some people believe that it started as a pagan tradition.  Others think that it was a way of saying thank you for clean water supplies during the Black Death.  The Black Death spread throughout Derbyshire very quickly and it was difficult to find uncontaminated water.

CHRISTIANITY

When Chirstianity came to Derbyshire, people stopped well dressing because it was probably a pagan tradition, but in 1349 the villages wanted to revive it.

Tissington was the first village to start decorating its wells again.  Well dressing in Tissington is very important and on the first day there is a service outside St Mary's church.  After the service the vicar and the congregation walk round the village and bless each well.

In Etwall, well dressing day is a festival and there are lots of fun things to do, like a children's art competition and various food stalls.


DESIGN

Today most villages in the Midlands follow the well dressing custom and they still use traditional methods during the preparation.  First, an artist draws a picture on clay, then the people in the village colour it in. They use petals and flowers but also seeds, pieces of coloured glass and plastic.

The pictures are usually of important events that have happened in England. Because the villages are jealous of their designs, they plan them months before and keep them a secret for as long as possible.

In 2012, a lot of the designs were of the Olympic Games and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.  It takes five or six days to complete a well dressing, but you can only see it for about a week, while the flowers stay fresh.

IN SEASON

The best time to visit Derbyshire and the wells is from May to August, but some villages decorate their wells in September and even in December.

For more information about the well dressings, go to  www.welldressing.com


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VOCABULARY

-MIDLANDS: región central.
-WELL: pozo.
-DRESSING: decoración.
-STILL: todavía.
-SUPLY: abastecimiento.
-BLACK DEATH: la Peste Negra.
-TO SPREAD:  extenderse.
-TO BLESS: bendecir.
-STALL: puesto, tenderete.
-CLAY:  arcilla.
-SEED: semilla.
-IT TAKES:  se tarda.

                                       ******************************************

EXERCISES

1.- DECIDE WHETHER THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS ARE "TRUE or FALSE".

a) The best time to see Derbyshire's well dressings is in autumn ______
b) Well dressing might be an old pagan tradition ____
c) Towns try to publicise their well designs ___
d) Designs celebrate little-known events ____
e) Pictures usually depict a scene from medieval history ____
f) Well decorations last for about a week ____
g) A town may have about twenty well dressings ____
h) Villages in Derbyshire decided to revive the tradition in 1349 ____

2.- DECIDE WHICH OF THE WORDS DOESN'T BELONG IN THE GROUP.

a) grass / dress / decorate
b) custom / tradition / faith
c) dirty / clean / uncontaminated
d) village / centre / town
e) church / vicar / competition
f) flowers / clay / paint



SOLUTIONS

EXERCISE 1
a) False  b) True  c) False  d) False  e) True  f) True  g) True  h) True

EXERCISE 2
a) grass  b) faith  c) dirty  d) centre  e) competition  f) flowers



HAVE A NICE DAY MY FRIENDS!!!

martes, 27 de marzo de 2018

GOTHAM - BATMAN'S VIOLENT HOMETOWN / GOTHAM - Violenta ciudad natal y hogar de Batman.

Hi my dear friends, are you fond of comics? Today we are going to know a bit more about BATMAN and his violent hometown "GOTHAM".

Hola mis queridos amigos,¿sois aficionados a los comics? Hoy vamos a saber un poquito más sobre Batman y su violenta ciudad natal "GOTHAM".

Info:  Speak Up Magazine.
Photos: allposters.es / lists.20.minutos/ comics.books.com




GOTHAM CITY  /  BATMAN'S VIOLENT HOME

GANGS

Like all Batman movies, "The Dark Knight Rises" is set in Gotham CityGotham City is a major economic centre located on the northeast coast of America. It has major industries such as Ace Chemical Processing, Incorporated.  This is where the Joker fell into a vat of chemicals. There is the Diamond District, famous for its jewellers.  This district was ruled by the Penguin.  The Penguin also dominated the celebrated Fashion District.  Then there is the East End, where Italian and Irish criminals fight for control.  This is also the location of Crime Alley, where Batman's parents were murdered.


THE BATCAVE

Another important landmark is Arkham Asylum. Gotham's insane super villains are imprisoned here. In contrast, we can go uptown to Gotham Heights. Here we find Wayne Manor, a stylish country home. Bruce Wayne (Batman's real name) lives here. It is also, of course, the location of Batman's famous base, the Batcave.



NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Is Gotham City based on New York?  Well, Gotham City is one of New York's nicknames.  In the 19th century the writer Washington Irving compared New York to a corrupt English village, Gotham in Nottinghamshire.  The people of this village pretended to suffer from a dangerous plague.  In this way they avoided visits from the taxman.  Irving was writing about the corruption of New York.


OR CHICAGO?

Many New York businesses adopted Gotham as their name.  Batman writer Bill Finger remembers: "Originally, I liked the names Civic City, Capital City and Coast City. Then I saw the name Gotham Jewellers in a New York phonebook. That was it: Gotham City!"

Finger didn't call it New York City because he wanted everyone to identify with the story.  Ironically director Christopher Nolan chose Chicago as the main location for his film "The Dark Knight Rises".



GOTHAM CITY'S HISTORY

Gotham City's history is very similar to that of New York City.
It was founded by a Norwegian mercenary.  Later the English took control of the City.

New York City was founded by the Dutch. It was originally called New Amsterdam. During the American Revolutionary War, Gotham City was the location of an important battle. Gotham City appears in other DC comics:  the story of this battle takes place in the Tomahawk series, for example, New York was the site of the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776.

On the other hand, Gotham City has suffered terrible disasters. The city was hit by a virus called the Clench. The city survived, but immediately after this, there was a terrible earthquake. It measured 7.6 on the  Richter Scale.


THE ORIGIN OF THE NAME

Gotham was a village in a farming region in Nottinghamshire. The name Gotham comes from Old English: "gat" was goat and "ham" was home. So Gotham means "goat home!" (goat farm)
   
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VOCABULARY
-TO WOUND: herir.
-TO SHOUT: gritar.
-MAJOR: importante.
-VAT: cuba, tanque.
-CHEMICAL: sustancia química.
-TO RULE: controlar, gobernar.
-LANDMARK: lugar emblemático.
-INSANE: loco.
-NICKNAME: apodo.
-TAXMAN: recaudador de impuestos.
-DUTCH: holandés.
-GOAT: cabra.


I HOPE YOU'LL LIKE THIS POST ABOUT GOTHAM CITY!

SEE YOU!!!

miércoles, 21 de marzo de 2018

CURIOUS NEWS - LIVING IN A DREAM / NOTICIAS CURIOSAS - VIVIENDO EN UN SUEÑO.

Hi my dear friends, from time to time we read or listen to curious news or information. Today we're going to look at some of these curious things.

Hola mis queridos amigos, de vez en cuando leemos o escuchamos información o noticias curiosas. Hoy vamos a ver algunas de estas cosas curiosas.  


Info: Speak Up magazine.
Photos: psiquicos.org / makeuseofcom / amazon.es / huffingtonpost.co.uk/ newsweek.com








LIVING IN A DREAM

If you have ever experienced a lucid dream, that is, a dream that you knowingly experience and control, then you will be aware of its potential benefits.  In an attempt to potentially trigger such a dream, an online community surveyed its users, who reported being more likely to have a lucid dream after the morning alarm had been switched off.  This led to a study which found that you are more likely to have a lucid dream if you're woken up during the late stages of sleep and then drift back off again.  If you want to test out this theory  my advice would be to set two alarms -just in case.






SAFE AND SECURE WALLET

A mini safe wallet designed by Ögon Designs allows you to carry and protect your most valuable personal effects: cash, credit cards, driver's licence...
The CODE WALLET features a 3 digit locking code and RFID blocking technology designed to deter pickpockets while also protecting your contactless cards from electronic data theft.







NATURAL REMINDER

The death of a loved one is devastating, but BIOS URN offer a way of creating a natural homage and reminder of that person.
The Bios Incube acts as an urn, an incubator and a plantpot. It containes a seed that, nourished by human ashes, cultivates a tree which will grow in the name of your loved one.
www.urnabios.com










KEEPING WINE

Company Kuvée claims to have designed a bottle that keeps wine oxygen-free and so "fresh" for up to 30 days.
It consists of a sealed capsule with a valve that replaces the cork. An outer, sealed valve opens when a pin punctures it and reseals again after the wine has been poured.










COMFY CRUTCH

A crutch by Mobility Design, bids to improve a user's quality of life by making crutches more comfortable.
The M&D crutch has flexible armbands that hold it to the arm, allowing the crutch to be used hands free, while concentrating the body weight on the elbows not on the armpits.

                                             


VOCABULARY

-KNOWLINGLY:  a sabiendas.
-TO TRIGGER: desencadernar.
-TO DRIFT...AGAIN: volver a dormirse.
-TO TEST OUT: comprobar.
-TO SET: poner.
-TO DETER: impedir, disuadir.
-PICKPOCKET: carterista.
-REMINDER: recuerdo.
-PLANTPOT: maceta.
-SEED: semilla.
-ASHES: cenizas.
-COMFY: cómodo.
-CRUTCH: muleta.
-TO BID: pretender.
-TO HOLD: ajustar, sujetar.
-ELBOW: codo.
-ARMPIT: axilar.


SEE YOU MY FRIENDS!!!