viernes, 9 de febrero de 2018


Hi my dear friends, have you ever watched "The Muppets"? I suppose so. Today we are going to  know more about these lovely "muppets" and his creator Jim Henson.

Hola queridos amigos, ¿habéis visto alguna vez Los Teleñecos? Supongo que sí.  Hoy vamos a conocer más sobre estos encantadores muñecos y sobre su creador Jim Henson.

Info: From Speak Up magazine.
Photos:  /


 In British English a "muppet" is a slang term for a stupid person. It comes from the famous TV show of the same name. Technically, the original TV show has celebrated its 40th birthday in 2016 but the characters are even older. Some of them have been around for more than 60 years. 


The first Muppets were created in 1955, by a young American puppeteer called Jim Henson. The Muppets appeared in TV commercials and in a show called "Sam and Friends".  Later Henson worked on a more famous puppet show, "Sesame Street", but he wanted to change.  Sesame Street was for kids and Henson wanted to create a show with a more "adult" sense of humour.  He wanted to use the Muppet characters, and produced a pilot show but American TV executives weren't interested.  Strangely enough. a British executive, Lew Grade, was.  And so The Muppet Show was British, even though its characters, like Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear were all American.  So was the show's format:  it took place in an old vaudeville theatre called the Benny Vandergast Memorial Theater.


The first episode was broadcast on September 5th, 1976. It was a big hit with fans of all ages. Celebrities loved to appear as guests on the show as it was good publicity. They included singers like Elton John, Diana Ross, ballet dancers, actors, etc.  The Muppet Show ran for five seasons until 1981. Muppet fans were sad when the show ended, but they were even sadder when its creator, Jim Henson died suddenly in 1990. He was 53.


The Muppets' popularity continued long after the show ended.  There were many repeats, many movies and many TV movies. Clearly, the  Muppet brand was still very strong and so a new Muppets TV show began two years ago.  It's called "The Muppets" and it's a parody of other TV "drama documentary" shows like Modern Family.

The Muppets' movies include: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), Muppet Treasure Island (1996), Muppets from Space (1999), It's a Very Muppet Christmas Movie (2002), The Muppets Wizard of Oz (2005), The Muppets (2011) and Muppets Most Wanted (2014).



-CHARACTER: personaje.
-PUPETEER:  titiritero.
-COMMERCIAL: anuncio.
-TO BROADCAST: transmitir.
-HIT: éxito.


miércoles, 7 de febrero de 2018


Hi my dear friends, today we're going to read a short story. Do you like flying? If not, at least,  I hope you'll like the story!

Hola mis queridos amigos, hoy vamos a leer un relato corto.  ¿Os gusta volar? Si no es así, ¡Al menos, espero que os guste el relato!

FLYING ON HOME by Carl Schonbeck.

Gil Passy woke up sweating for the fourth consecutive morning. The month was July, the place Perugia, Italy and the reason was a recurring nightmare that seemed as real as the knock he now heard on his hotel door.

-"Gil, we're going down to breakfast!"
It was Billy Stern, the bass player in Gil's jazz quintet. He and pianist Connie Blackwell were usually the first at the breakfast table when they were on the road. In this case, the "road" was the Umbria Jazz Festival, where they would play that evening.

-"Order me a coffee," said Gil. "Be right down".

The plane had landed. It was a phrase Gil often repeated to himself. For someone as terrified of flying as he was, it was a comforting mantra. It helped him remember that planes take off and they land. Usually. It was the "usually" that gave him problems.

Gil pulled himself together and went down to breakfast. Along with Billy and Connie, there was the drummer Dan Freeman and saxophonist Vinnie Mariano.

The others noticed Gil's pale face and troubled expression.
-"What's wrong, Gil?" asked Dan. "You haven't been right since we arrived here, man."

Gil had considered telling his bandmates about the dream but it seemed too crazy. Even so, he needed to talk to someone. If you couldn't tell a group of jazz musicians something crazy, who could you tell?

-"I've been having this weird dream since we got over here. You know the kind that seem real? I'm sitting alone in this place...a combination of a jazz club and a funeral home. These guys are on stage playing old swing standars. They look like undertakers..."

The guys laughed at the joke and urged Gil to continue.

"Anyway, I'm sitting there and on the table there's an airline ticket. I look down at it and it's for the flight we came over on from Boston, SX 436. I'm looking at this ticket and I've got a really bad feeling, you know?  Just then the band leader says they're going to play "Flying on Home", the old song by Mojo Kirkland. He dedicates it to me and gives me this strange smile. Really creepy. I look down at the ticket again and when I look up there's a closed coffin in front of the stage. Then I wake up. The whole thing seems so real. Guys, I'm afraid we're not going to make it home tomorrow."

It was Connie who spoke. The ticket had been for the flight over, from Boston to Rome. Flight SX 435. There was nothing about the flight home.
"Yeah, that's the strange part", admitted Gil. "Why would it be the flight over and not the one back?" But still he worried.

The concert that evening was a success. Gil knew they'd be invited back the following year and that could only bring good things both in Europe and back home. If they got there.
-"Well Gil, if your dream means we're finished, at least we went out with a bang," joked Billy back at the hotel.
The following morning Gil awoke with a start. He'd had the dream for the fifth consecutive night. It had to mean something.

It wasn't until flight SX 436 was over the Atlantic that Gil spoke to anyone. Reasoning that most airline disasters happened either during takeoff or landing, he relaxed a little but not much. As the plane began its final approach to Boston's Logan Airport, Gil braced himself. In a moment it would all be over. Either he'd be on the ground or somewhere else.

It was the smoothest landing Gil could remember. The Gil Passy Quintet gathered its luggage and exchanged goodbyes. Gil was tired and wanted to get home. Fortunately, he didn't live far from the airport.

Crossing the arrival hall towards the exit Gil heard a familiar voice call to him. It was his old friend and fellow trumpet player Scott Hyler. He was catching a late flight to Paris to work on a film soundtrack. Would Gil feel like having a drink or two? He was tired but said yes.

The two musicians ordered drinks in the airport lounge. An hour quickly passed. Scott said: "You know Gil, just the other night I dreamt about you. We were on stage playing "Flying on Home" together. That's quite a coincidence, sin't it?"

Before Gil could respond, a cry of alarm went up from the bar. All eyes were fixed on the television. A plane had made a crash landing nearby. An apartment building had been struck...the details were certain. It was the flight from Boston to Rome SX 436.

Fortunately, the world would soon learn that all the passengers had survived the crash landing in a nearby field and the damage to the apartment had been relatively small. Only one top-floor had been destroyed. It was the apartment of one Gilvert Passy, who fortunately, in the fateful moment was having a drink with a friend and learning that having one's feet on the ground can be as dangerous as flying on home!!!


-TO URGE: rogar, instar.
-CREEPY: inquietante.
-COFFIN: ataúd.
-TO GO OUT WITH A BANG: salir a lo grande.
-WITH A START: de un sobresalto.
-BRACED HIMSELF: se puso tenso.
-SMOOTH: suave.
-TO GATHER: recoger.
-LUGGAGE: equipaje.
-TO STRIKE: golpear.

Photos by:  /


martes, 6 de febrero de 2018

TRINITY ISE III PRACTICE TESTS / Exámenes Trinity ISE III - Nivel C1.- Advanced.

Hi my dear friends, today we are going to show you  one of the the Trinity ISE III tests, the MULTI-TEXT reading. It is a C1 level (advanced)

Hola mis queridos amigos, hoy vamos a enseñaros uno de los exámenes correspondientes al Trinity ISE III, concretamente, el Multi Text reading. Es un nivel C1 (advanced) 

The whole reading and writing Trinity ISE III  C1 consists of:


* Task 1 - Long Reading (20 minutes)
* Task 2 - Multi-Text reading (20 minutes)
* Task 3 - Reading into Writing (40 minutes)
* Task 4 - Extended Writing (40 minutes)

Here you can see Task 2 - Multi-Text reading.

Questions 16-20
Read questions 16-20 first and then read texts A,B,C and D below the questions. As you read each text, decide which text each question refers to. Choose one letter A,B,C or D and write it on the lines below. You can use any letter more than once.

Which text:

16 gives details of how rapidly mobile phone photography has grown?  ___
17 gives an example of the changing role of media photographers? ___
18 explains the need to understand the equipment you are using? ___
19 explores the idea of the financial worth of particular image taken on a  mobile phone? ___
20 expresses the view that traditional photographers may need to change their ideas? ___


Professional photographers are becoming alarmed at the rise in popularity of photographs taken on mobile phones. An extreme view is that although phtotography is more popular than it ever was, with more people doing photography courses, the idea of photography as an art form is bein destroyed. Others think that what might be happening is simply that photography is moving on.

Photographers can no longer make large sums of money photographing events like weddings. We can photograph events like these ourselves, even if the results may not be as impressive as hiring an expensive prhotographer. And photo-journalism often face fierce competition from people who just happen to be passing a dramatic event takes place. These mobile phone photos taken by amateurs can capture the immediacy of the event.

Photographers as artists are also suffering grom people using apps that can enhance even the dullest of their shots. Admittedly, some of the results of this technique are pretty awful, but some mobile phone photos do have a great deal of artistic merit. The new mobile photography awards have produced some memorable images.

Perhaps what's actually happening is that photography is becoming more democratic and less exclussive, which could be seen as a positive development. In response, photographers may need to undergo a shift in attitude.
Pete Morgan.

Tips on taking effective photos on your phone.

Cameras on our phones are becoming more sophisticated all the time. It's possible that soon they will be able to produce photos to equal those of even the most expensive cameras. In the meantime, though, it's not enough just to use an app to enhance photos later. You need to control how your photo looks at the time when you're taking it.

1. Make sure you know how to control the focus and light exposure. You should use the camera software like it's second nature, so that you don't have to stop and thinks about it. You don't want to miss an event or the chance of a great shot while you're fidding with buttons.
2. Learn the basics of picture composition. This may sound boring, but it's vital, and it will make all the difference to your photos. You can find lots of advice about this online.
3. Do what photographers call "working the scene". Don't just take one shot, but try it from different angles or different distances. After all, the great advantage of digital photos is that you can delete any that don't work out as you intended.

Try following these tips and you could produce some really great images with your phone camera.


Jen: The rise of the mobile phone camera has definitely affected me professionally. I find that nowadays I'm having to work harder to persuade people to use my services.

Carl: What makes a huge difference for me is the fact that nowadays any image can be reproduced endlessly. It means that individual photos are losing their value. But people's everyday snapshots can hardly be called art, can they?

Jen: My most popular shot recently was one that I took on my mbile phone and shared on social media. It's had thousands of viewings so far. Imagine if someone liked it and bought it without knowing how it was taken. Would they think it was less valuable if they discovered later that it had been taken on my mobile phone?

Carl: Yes, maybe they would. It's certainly an interesting thought, isn't it? But surely the value of a photo should be for what it is, not the method used to take it.


The rise of the camera phone

*1990: 58 billion photos taken; 100% on traditional cameras. 2011: 380 billion photos taken; 1% on traditional cameras.

*Over 5 billion phones with cameras are in use.
*70% of all social media activity is based on photos.

*Only 1% of photos today are on film.
*Sales of all cameras fell by 45% between 2012 and 2014.

*1826: first photo taken.  By 2022: a predicted 7 trillion + photos.

Questions 21-15. Choose the five statements from A-H below that are TRUE according to the infomation given in the texts above. Write the letters of the TRUE statements on the lines below (in any order).

21 ___  A People are less willing to pay for photographs of special occasions by professionals.
22 ___  B Mobile phones are already producing photos of the same quality as the best cameras.
23 ___  C Camera sales are reported to have fallen by around a half in a two-year period.
24 ___  D Using an app to improve photos cannot make up for having some photographic skill.
25 ___  E People entering photography competitions have taken great photos using phones.
             F Carl believes that the main problem is the ease of copying pictures these days.
             G Journalists are finding that the use of mobile phones helps them to photograph dramatic                       events.
             H Pete Morgan thinks photos taken on mobile phones are all of similar quality.

Questions 26-30.  The summary notes below contain information from the texts. Find a number, word or phrase (maximum three words) from texts A,B,C or D to complete the missing information in gaps 26-30. Write your answers on the lines below.

Summary notes

Some facts
* 1826 - first photo taken. In 2022 over 7 trillion predicted.
* Over 5 billion people use camera phones.
* Photos represent over half of all (26) _________________________.

What photographers fear
* Photography as a form of art is being destroyed.
* Passers-by with cameras are (27) __________________for photo journalists.
* Apps available to (28) ___________________very boring photos.
* Value of photographs as works of art in question.

The Upsides
* People on the street (29) _________________of something happening at that moment.
* The quality of mobile phone photos is surprising -they can have a lot of (30)_______________.
* More people taking up creative photography.
* People are learning hot to take great photos.



16 D  /  17 A  /  18B  /  19 C  /  20 A
21 A  /  22 C  /  23 D  /  24 E  /  25 F
26 social media activity
27 (fierce) competition
28 enhance
29 capture the immediacy
30 artistic merit


lunes, 22 de enero de 2018

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. A GREAT SLOGAN. / Mantened la calma y sigamos adelante. ¡Un slogan genial!

Hi my dear friends. Have you ever seen the slogan "Keep calm and carry on"? Surely! So, today we're going to look at its origins! Do you think it's a current slogan? I hope you'll find this information interesting and curious!

Hola mis queridos amigos. ¿Habéis visto alguna vez el slogan o frase "Mantened la calma y sigamos adelante"? ¡Seguro que sí! Hoy vamos a ver sus orígenes. ¿Pensáis que es un slogan actual? Espero que  esta información os parezca interesante y curiosa.

Info: Speak Up magazine.
Photos: /

**"Keep Calm and Carry On", a slogan dating back to the Second World War, is these days applied to merchandise including T-shirts, chocolate, deckchairs and mugs.


If you have been to Britain, you may have seen a red poster that says "KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON". This message was typical of the nation's spirit during the Second World War. In actual fact, the poster was created in 1939 by the Ministry of Information and 2.5 million copies were printed. But the really strange thing is that the poster was never distributed. It was completely forgotten about until the year 2000, when a copy was found in a second-hand bookshop in Northumberland!


It was now out of copyright and so the bookshop's owner made copies and started selling them. It was a success and in 2007 another entrepreneur, a former TV producer named Mark Coop, set up a rival company called which sells posters, T-shirts, mugs and other forms of merchandise.

But why has this forgotten war slogan become so popular? Mark Coop says that it's become so popular because it's such a fantastic message that is applicable to so many different situations, for instance: at work, in exams, at home, etc. "KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON" covers a lot ot areas, it's definitely a good message!!!


It's a fact that the sales have improved during the recent economic crisis because there's always some situation associated with the slogan. A lot of people associated it with the terrorist risk that we were facing, the recession, health problems and different bad situations in general.

Moreover, the simplicity of the message is its success.  The greatest thing of "Keep calm and carry on" is that it's so simple and straight to the point. Just five very simple words that reassure and get a message across!  It is like the old saying: "Less is more" because you don't really need say any more than that, or any long-winded message; straight to the point, keep it simple!

So, KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON everbody!  Everything has a solution!



-TO CARRY ON: seguir adelante.
-OUT OF: libre de.
-ENTREPRENEUR: empresario.
-TO SET UP: montar, iniciar.
-MUG: taza.
-TO IMPROVE: mejorar.
-STRAIGHT TO THE POINT: directo al grano.
-LONG-WINDED: extenso.


viernes, 12 de enero de 2018

TRINITY ISE II Practice Tests / Exámenes Prácticos de TRINITY ISE II

Hi my dear friends, today, we are going to continue with some English Practice Tests. We will do the first test of the Reading and Writing examination to obtain the Trinity College ISE II Certificate, B2 level. I hope you'll do it to know what it is about! You may need to prepare it!
The Reading and Writing Module consists of 4 different parts (Tasks) and in the real exam you'll have "2 hours to do it" 

Task 1 Long Reading (20 minutes)
Task 2 Multi-text reading (20 minutes)
Task 3 Reading into writing (40 minutes)
Task 4 Extended reading (20 minutes)

Hola mis queridos amigos, hoy, vamos a continuar con algunos tests prácticos de Inglés. Haremos la primera prueba del "Reading and Writing" (lectura y escritura") para obtener el Certificado Oficial ISE II del Trinity College, nivel B2. Espero que lo hagáis para saber cómo es por si necesitáis prepararlo. 
El módulo de Reading and Writing consta de 4 partes diferentes llamadas "Tasks" y en el examen real tendréis 2 horas para hacerlo.



Reading and Writing module.
Task 1 - Long Reading.  Read the following text about "Little people with big problems" and answer the 15 questions.

Paragraph 1.  No one knows exactly how many of them there are, but estimates suggest that between one quarter and half a million pygmies live in Central Africa, in and around the Congo rainforest. Together the various groups of Congo Pygmies make up the largest population of traditional hunter-gatherers left on Earth. They survive off the wild products, the animals and plants, as nature puts in the environment around them. Or, at least, they used to before we interfered. Now the pygmy people are being forced out of the rainforest by both the Bantu and the men from the West.

Paragraph 2.  The term "pygmy" was originally used by the Ancient Greeks to describe a group of small people they believed lived in Ethiopia. Many hundreds of years later, when European explorers arrived in Central Africa, they used this same term to label the small forest people they found living there. These jungle people were not only very short in height  (typically under five feet tall) but also very small in build. In contrast, the other native Africans, the Bantu, were similar in both build and height to the Europeans themselves.

Paragraph 3.   It is known exactly why the pygmies developed such small body frames. One theory suggests it was due to the lack of natural light in the rainforests. This meant the forest people did not get enough calcium for proper bone growth so they developed smaller skeletons. Another theory claims the pygmies are small because they have naturally adapted to forest live over hundreds of years. It is after all, easier to travel through thick jungle if you are short and thin. One thing that's not small, however, is the pygmy love of music. In fact, this is enormous. Music is a huge part of daily life and not just for entertainment purposes; there are songs for specific events and for activities, such as hunting, too.

Paragraph 4.   The Baka Pygmies of Cameroon, one of the largest pygmy groups, have little to sing about these days, though. They, like the most of their people, are under attack. Deforestation is one big issue. For this, both the Bantu and the European are to blame. Thousands of pygmies have been forced from their homes, only to see the forests and their way of life destroyed. And then there is war. The pygmies are often caught in the middle of fights between rival Bantu groups.

Paragraph 5.   Struggling pygmies are forced to move into built-up areas. Here, in the larger villages and towns of Cameroon, they can only find the lowest-paid jobs. They live in poverty and are often victims of unfair treatment by the locals. To make matters worse, the pygmies have been exposed to new diseases here too, causing the population further harm. And they have little access to medical assistance, which makes the  situation even more serious. It is not just the Baka Pygmies that are in crisis, either. Pygmies across Africa are facing there same issues. Their jungle home is being destroyed at an alarming rate so is their culture and way of life.

QUESTIONS  1-5.  Choose the best title for each paragraph from A-F. There is one tilte you don't need.

Paragraph  1 ____     A. Suggestions for how the pymy people developed and an important part of                                        their culture.
Paragraph  2 ____     B. How the pygmy people got their name and what they look like.
Paragraph  3 ____     C. Important parts of pygmy culture and their different animal-hunting methods.
Paragraph  4 ____     D. How the pygmy people are struggling to adapt to the threats they face.
Paragraph  5 ____     E. Where in Africa the pygmy people live and their traditional way of life.
                                  F. Serious threats facing one specific group of pygmies in Africa.

QUESTIONS 6-10.  Choose the five statements from A-H that are TRUE according to the information given in the text.

6 ____ A. The Bantu people of Africa are much shorter than Europeans.
7 ____ B. The Baka Pygmies don't like music and they don't sing.
8 ____ C. Pygmies in urban areas have low incomes.
9 ____ D. Fighting between different groups of pygmies has harmed their way of life.
10____E. Pygmies are typically shorter and thinner than Bantu people.
            F. There is not an accurate figure for the number of pygmies living in Africa.
            G. The cutting down of forests where pygmies live is the fault of both local Africans and                      Europeans.
            H. One theory for why pygmies are short suggests it may be because there is not much                        sunshine in the forests where they live.

QUESTIONS 11-15.  Complete the sentences with an exact word, phrase or number from the text (maximum 3 words).
11. Some _____________ put the figure of Congo Pygmies that live in Central Africa as high as one quarter and half a million.
12. _________________ gave the pygmies their name when they first visited Africa.
13. A lack of calcium may have caused pygmies to develop __________________.
14. Destruction of forests is a _______________ for the Baka Pygmies.
15. Pygmies in built-up areas have suffered from _____________ they never had before, damaging their health and population numbers.



**Questions 1-5.  1 E  /  2 B  /  3 A  /  4 F  /  5 D

**Questions 6-10.   6 C  /  7 E  /  8 F  /  9 G  /  10 H  /

**Questions 11-15.  11 estimates  /  12 European explorers  /  13 smaller skeletons  /  14 big issue  /  15 (new) diseases.


martes, 9 de enero de 2018

B2 English Tests / Pruebas de Inglés nivel B2

Hi my dear friends, today we're going to do some English tests to practice the B2 level. 

Hola mis queridos amigos, hoy vamos a hacer algunas pruebas de Inglés para practicar el nivel B2.


Exercise 1
Read the following text and decide which answer A,B,C or D best fits the gap. 


Rachel Grant looks like a normal teenager, but she is far from average. She has an extraordinary voice. Her fans stand in (1)_____ for hours to get tickets for her concerts and she is often on television. Rachel's singing (2)_______began when she acted on a TV show at the age of 10. The director of a record company was so impressed by her voice that he (3)____ her up on the spot. Her first album rose to number one in the charts.

Rachel still  goes to school in her home town when she can. (4)_____, she is often away on tour for weeks at a time. She doesn't miss out on lessons because she takes her own tutor with her! She (5)____ three hours every morning with her. Her exam marks in all the (6)____ she studies are impressive.

But how does she (7) ____ with this unusual way of life? She (8) ____  that she has the same friends as before. That may be true  but she can no longer go into town with them because everybody stops her in the street to asf for an (9)____  . It seems that, like most stars, she must learn to (10)____  these restrictions and the lack of privacy. It's the price of fame!

1 A rows    B queues    C ranks    D files
2 A profession  B  job  C labour  D career
3 A signed  B wrote  C made  D picked
4 A Although  B While  C For  D However
5 A takes  B utilises  C spends  D uses
6 A titles  B materials  C subjects  D lessons
7 A cope  B adjust  C bear  D tolerate
8 A denies  B refuses  C insists  D complains
9 A signature  B autograph  D sign  D writing
10 A look down on  B make do with  C put up with  D run out of

Read the text below and think of the word that best fits the gap. Use only ONE word in each space.


You're searched all over the house but you still can't find your keys and you're late. (11)________this sounds familiar, follow this advice to make sure it never happens again. Stop and think about where to start looking. Don't start searching (12) ________any idea of where the lost item could (13)_____.

Lost items are often in the place they should be. Have a look in the place where it's supposed to be first. Someone might (14)______put it away for you.

Relax and take another look. When you're in (15) _____agitated state of mind, it's quite possible to see the item you've lost but (16)_____ notice it. Take a deep breath and look properly.

Look under everything. The item you're looking for could be hidden from view, it may be under a newspaper (17)_____ it may have fallen off the table. Check carefully in, under, on and beside the place where the object is usually kept.

Retrace your steps. Take a few moments (18)______ to think about when and where you last had the object. Go back to that place and search it thoroughly.

Ask for a little help. Check that (19) _______ else hasn't taken it. You'll (20)______ yourself valuable time and lots of effort searching when something isn't really lost, but has been "borrowed".




1 B   /   2 D  /  3 A  /  4 D  /  5 C  /  6 C  /  7 A  /  8 C  /  9 B  /  10 C


11 if
12 without
13 be
14 have
15 an
16 not
17 or
18 to
19 someone
20 save



martes, 19 de septiembre de 2017

DESIGNING FREEDOM / ADVERTISING/ GADGETS / Diseñando Libertad / Publicidad / Aparatos.

Hi my dear friends, here we are again, today to look at some different news about: Designing, Advertising, Gadgets and more! Here we go!

Hola mis queridos amigos, aquí estamos otra vez, hoy veremos noticias diferentes sobre; Diseño, Publicidad, Aparatos, y más. ¡Allá vamos!

Info from: Speak Up magazine.
Photos from: / / /  /


An exhibition at London's Design Museum, which opened in a new location on Kensington High Street at the end of last year, pays homage to California as the world centre of design and technology for the last 70 years.  "Designed in California" (24May to 15 October) reveals how the US state defined a modern culture of design and technology based on the concept of personal freedom, from 1960s counterculture to the tech revolution of Silicon Valley.  Political posters, personal computers and self-driving cars are on display, while the exhibition also examines California's global reach, showing how user interface designers in the Bay Area are shaping some of our most common daily experiences.


US cultural icon the Empire State Building commemorates the 85th anniversary of its opening, on May 1st 1931.  The lights of the 102-storey Art Deco skyscraper were first turned on by President Herbert Hoover, who pushed a button from Washignton D.C.


-TO PAY HOMAGE: rendir homenaje.,
-SELF-DRIVING CAR: coche autónomo.
-TO BE ON DISPLAY: exhibirse.
-REACH: alcance.
-TO SHAPE: determinar.
-OPENING: inauguración.
-TO TURN ON: encender.
-TO PUSH: pulsar.


This honest slogan for YouTube "Don't Read the Comments" could apply to all social networks and online publications.  It isn't worth it;  the Internet is full of people who have nothing better to do with their time than write irrelevant and meaningless comments.  Of course some people do make useful observations, but they are in a minority.  And then there are trolls, those loathsome individuals whose main aim in life is to sabotage sites and provoke their readers.


Graphic designer Ji Lee was born in Korea and grew up in Brazil, but he now lives in New York.  He created the "redundant clock" as a joke, but it has been a great success.  Basically, it shows what time it is and each hour is indicated by its clock form, rather than by a numeral.  It costs $49:  to buy one, simply go to and type in "redundant clock".  Redundant instructions are also included!


-IT ISN'T WORTH IT:  no vale la pena.
-MEANINGLESS:  sin sentido.
-LOATHSOME: odioso.
-AIM: objetivo.
-REDUNDANT: redundante, superfluo, prescindible.
-JOKE: chiste, broma.
-TO TYPE: escribir (en un teclado).


Developing inner values is much like physical exercise.  The more we train our abilities, the stronger they become.  The difference is that, unlike the body, when it comes to training the mind, there is no limit to how far we can go. (Dalai Lama)


-INNER: interior.
-TO TRAIN: ejercitar.
-UNLIKE:  a diferencia de



martes, 12 de septiembre de 2017


Hi my dear friends. Have you ever sung in your car while driving or as a passenger with family or friends? For sure! In my case, I have! Carpool Karaoke is a very popular television entertainement because  the people who sing into the car are "celebritites". We are going to see more about this famous programme!

Hola mis queridos amigos. ¿Habéis cantado alguna vez en el coche mientras conducíais o como pasajero con familia o amigos? ¡Seguramente! En mi caso, yo sí. Carpool Karaoke es un programa de televisión de entretenimiento muy popular porque la gente que canta dentro del coche es "gente famosa". Vamos a saber más sobre este famoso programa. 


Info:  from  Speak Up  magazine.
Photos:  /  /  /

Carpooling is the practice of two or more people travelling in one car to reduce their travel costs and because it is good for the environment.  Karaoke is a form of entertainment in which people sing along to music.  What do you get when you combine carpooling and karaoke with the world's biggest celebrities?  You get CARPOOL KARAOKE, one of the most popular online series of all time!


The man who invented Carpool Karaoke is James Corden.  Originally from Buckinghamshire in England, Corden started acting when he was a teenager, first in theatre and later in television and film.  He became a successful actor, producer and television host.  Then, in March 2015, he became the new host of the popular American talk show "The Late Late Show".

Corden wanted to create a new segment for the show.  In 2011, he did a segment for a British television special in which he sang along to old Wham! songs with George Michael in a car.  He wanted to sing along with other celebrities to other songs in a car.  But every celebrity he asked to participate in the segment said :  NO.


Then Mariah Carey, who was a big fan of George Michael and had seen the 2011 segment, said YES. The first Carpool Karaoke was created, and it was an enormous success.  Since then, Corden has also done episodes of Carpool Karaoke with Justin Bieber, Elton John, Britney Spears, One Direction, Rod Steward, Bruno Mars, Take That...


Each segment is about 15 minutes long and is on The Late Late Show and on YouTube, where the series has had hundreds of millions of views.  Adele's episode, for example, got about 100 million views in its first six months.  In July 2016, Corden did an episode with First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House.  It got more than 40 million views in its first month!

Carpool Karaoke is filmed in Los Angeles.  The city is famous for having bad traffic, but it has special lanes on the freeway for cars with more than one person, to encourage people to carpool.

So next time you're driving in Los Angeles, look out for Corden with his famous friends!


-CARPOOLING:  compartir coche.
-HOST: presentador.
-TALK SHOW: programa de entrevistas.
-LANE: carril.
-FREEWAY: autopista.
-TO LOOK OUT: estar atento.



martes, 5 de septiembre de 2017


Hi my dear friends, today we're going to look at "tornados". Unfortunately, Hurricane Harvey has just devastated the State of Texas in USA so hurricanes and tornados are extremely dangerous for people and everything they are finding on their way! However, Storm busters dedicate their lives and they sometimes lose them to chase these tornados! Pure adrenaline!

Hola mis queridos amigos, hoy vamos a mirar a los tornados. Desgraciadamente, el Huracán Harvey acaba de devastar el Estado de Tejas en USA ya que los huracanes y tornados son extremadamente peligrosos para la gente y para todo lo que encuentran a su paso. Sin embargo, los Cazadores de Tormentas dedican sus vidas y a veces las pierden a atrapar estos tornados. ¡Adrenalina pura!


Info: from Speak Up magazine.

It is storm-chasing season in Tornado Alley, USA.  Tour companies offer courageous, and possibly insane, tourists the chance to see a tornado from a distance of only 300 metres.


Tornado Alley is famous for its thunderstorms and tornadoes.  It's located between the Rocky and the Appalachian mountain ranges:  hundreds of miles of flat, open plains.  It runs through Northern Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado.The buildings in this region have reinforced roofs, solid foundations and storm cellars.  Local people rely on storm warnings to avoid disaster.


Tornados are very dangerous, so why do people want to chase them?  Documentary-maker Sean Casey says:  "It's addictive!"  His driver Byron Turk agrees: "It's the adrenaline...the ultimate challenge!"  Casey built a Tornado Intercept Vehicle.  It weighs 680 kilos and has steel-plated armour. Its windows are 4 centimetres thick.  Casey and his team filmed as a tornado hit the vehicle.  You can see his documentaries on the "Discovery Channel".

Unfortunately another storm buster, Tim Samaras (55) died together with his son Paul (24) and the meteorologist Carl Young (45) on 1st June, 2013 in El Reno, Oklahoma when they were chasing a tornado and making a documentary for the Discovery Chanel, too. Their car became totally destroyed! They had no chance to survive!


Are you still interested in storm-chasing?  Well, it's very important to find expert guides.  A company like Storm Chasing Adventure Tours (SCAT) can guarantee tourists' safety.  They have years of experience, and understand how storms develop.  They use advanced computer systems to predict the location of the storms.  SCAT chief, Todd Thorn says, however: "Guides cannot rely only on the technology. They must have the ability to read the sky."

The SCAT team aren't simply tourist guides.  They also provide important information to National Weather Centres on the position and strength of storms.  They help save lives.


Storms usually occur in the late afternoon, early evening.  Teams must drive hundreds of miles to arrive at storm locations.  So they leave their base in Amarillo, Texas in the morning.  The chase often continues until late in the evening.  What is it like to chase a storm?  SCAT driver Kevin Harned says: "It's one thing to see a tornado on TV,  but totally different to see it with your own eyes!"



jueves, 6 de julio de 2017


Hi my dear friends, here I am again. Today we 're going to explain the origins of a word. Are you OK?

Hola mis queridos amigos, aquí estoy otra vez. Hoy vamos a explicar los orígEnes de una palabra. ¿Estáis bien? ¿Todo OK?

Info:  from Speak Up magazine.


Millions of people all over the world use the word "okay".  In fact, some people say the word is used more often than any other word in the world.  "Okay" means "all right" or "acceptable".  It expresses agreement or approval.  You might ask your brother, "Is it okay if I borrow your car?"  Or if someone asks you to do something, you might say, "Okay, I will."


It may be common, but language experts do not agree about where the word came from.

Some people say it came from the Native American Indian tribe known as the Choctaw.  The Choctaw word "okeh" means the same as the American word "okay".  Experts say early explorers in the American West spoke the Choctaw language in the 19th century.  The language spread across the country, but many people dispute this.


Language expert Allen Walker Read wrote about the word "okay" in reports published in the 1960s. He believed that people first used the word in the 1830s.  It was a short way of writing a different spelling of the words "all correct".  Some foreign-born people wrote"all correct" as "o-l-l-k-o-r-r-e-c-t"  and used the latters OK.

Other people say that a railroad worker named Obadiah Kelly invented the word long ago.  They say he put the first letters of his names -O and K- on each object that people gave him to send on the train.  Still others say a political organization invented the word.  The organization supported Martin Van Buren for president in 1840.  They called their group the OK Club.  The letters were taken from the name of the town where Martin Van Buren was born -Old Kinderhook, New York.  Not everyone agrees with this explanation, either.  But experts do agree that the word is purely American. And it has spread to almost every country on Earth.


Then there is the expression A-Okay.  This means everything is fine.  A-Okay is a space-age expression.  It was used in 1961 during the flight of astronaut Alan Shepard.  He was the first American to be launched into space.  His flight ended wheh his spacecraft landed in the ocean, as planned.  Shepard reported:  "Everything is A-Okay."


However, some experst say the expression did not begin with the space age.  One story says it was first used during the early days of the telephone to tell an operator that a message had been received.

There are also funny ways to say "okay".  Some people say "okey-dokey" or "okey-doke".  These expressions were first used in the 1930s.  Today, a character on the American television series, The Simpsons, says it another way.  Homer Simpson's irritating neighbour Ned Flanders says, "Okely-dokely".



-AGREEMENT: acuerdo.
-TO BORROW: pedir prestado.
-I WILL:  lo haré.
-TO SPREAD:  extenderse.
-FOREIGN-BORN:  extranjero.




expression  /  story  /  word  /  language  /  letters  /  spelling.

a) The ________"okey" is used by millions of people all over the world.
b) Some experts say it comes from the _______ of the Choctaw Indians.
c) Others believe it was short for a different _____of "all correct".
d) Some foreigners wrote the _____inaccurately, to spell "oll korrect".
e) The _______ A-Okay comes from the space age, used by Alan Shepard.
f) Another _____says it comes from the early days fo the telefone.

a) explain, say, state
b) express, describe, articulate
c) dispute, argue, ask
d) authorise, agree, concur
e) invent, create, adopt
f) make, use, apply


Exercise 1
a) word   /   b) language  /  c) spelling  /  d) letters  /  e) expression  /  f) story
Exercise 2
a) explain  /  b) describe  /  c) ask  /  d) authorise  /  e) adopt  /  f) make