Teenagers: Architecture and mythology

13th March 2020

Image result for architecture and mythology

Contents

Art – giving opinions

Collocations

Expressions

Egyptian pyramids

Greek mythology

Music (naturally !)

Hello everyone, I welcome you to my blog page, and may I take this opportunity to thank ALL OF YOU who have visited my site. Having nearly 100 visits for a teaching blog is extremely gratifying.

Now, without further ado, let’s jump straight in, “Time waits for no man.”

Image result for time waits for no man quote
A famous quote from the English writer Geoffrey Chaucer

First off the bat, a little plug for my friend ‘Pete’ who has an online radio show on Mixcloud. If you’re interested, you can listen here: https://www.mixcloud.com/flatwoundssounds/

Show 4, 29th August 2019

The playlist is a mix of Jazz, Blues, Soul, R ‘n’ B & Rock ‘n’ Roll. However, in terms of an English lesson, listen to his narrative between songs. Although Pete lives in Birmingham now (central England), his accent betrays his Kent, (south-England) origins. Listen to how his voice deviates from Standard English.

A Propos (speaking about) of music, my last lesson featured two songs, one Nubian, the other a 50s Rock ‘n’ Roll number:

Nubia is a region that encompasses south Egypt and north Sudan
One of my online students has chosen the English moniker ‘Ivy’; consequently, this song is for her.

Now, time to get down to work. I introduced the class to some expressions; therefore we need to revise and practice:

between you and me // let’s get it over and done with // my hands are tied // off the cuff

I would like to let you go home early but …..

……… I think students have too much homework

Jazz musicians are famous for their spontaneity; they often play ………..

Oh, man ! We have to clear up after the party. Oh, well, ……….

Collocations

collect / raise / undertake / boycott

Charities run campaigns to ……….. money

I’m going to ……….. shops that treat their staff poorly

Scientists need to ……. further research into the Corona Virus

There is little recycling, if any, in Vietnam. We need to ……… awareness of the importance to the planet.

ART

Giving opinions – remember, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer; the exercise is to help you express what YOU feel when you see these works of art.

Expressions:

It’s not my cup of tea // it doesn’t appeal to me // I just don’t get // I see no artistic value // I have no time for it.

OR … positive:

It’s very uplifting // the picture speaks to me // I’m drawn to the image // it is ineffable (unable to be expressed in words) // it transcends language.

Image result for constable haywain
John Constable 1821
Image result for wyndham lewis as a tyro
Wyndham Lewis 1921
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Jean-Michel Basquet 1980s
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Ancient Egyptian art

NOW – a curious point … how can a civilisation that can construct these:

Image result for pyramid of giza

only represent the human form like this:

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How perfect are the Pyramids ?

“The builders of the Great Pyramid of Khufu aligned the great monument to the cardinal points with an accuracy of better than four minutes of arc, or one-fifteenth of one degree,” Glen Dash, an engineer who studies the Giza pyramids, wrote in a paper published recently in The Journal of Ancient Egyptian Architecture … ” https://www.livescience.com/61799-great-pyramid-near-perfect-alignment.html

Now, take a look at his ariel view, showing the layout:

Image result for aerial view of pyramids

At this juncture, let’s take a little diversion, from ancient Egypt to ancient Greece.

The night sky has 88 constellations, many named after characters or creatures from Greek mythology. I’d like to focus on one, the giant hunter Orion. This is his constellation, and is one of the more easier groups to see, especially at this time of year:

Image result for orion constellation

These random stars (which may in fact be many millions of light years apart) were seen by the Greeks thus:

Image result for orion constellation

You see the hunter with his bow and arrow, but I wish to draw your attention to the three stars arranged diagonally in the centre, the ‘belt’ of the hunter. Compare those with the arrangement of the Egyptian pyramids:

Image result for orion constellation and pyramids
Image result for orion constellation and pyramids

How would you account for this ? Coincidence or conspiracy ?

Let’s leave the last word to our National Poet, William Shakespeare, with this famous quote from Hamlet:

Image result for there are more things in heaven and earth

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2. Theme: Plan a luxury day

12th March 2020

Grammar: second conditional

Object: encourage creative thinking and sentence building.

Vocabulary: expressions related to money

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What would you do IF you were a millionaire ?

What would you do IF you were a millionaire for a day ?

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Second conditional – this is used for a situation that is not impossible … but not very probable.

If I had a million pounds, I would … (stop working !)

If you had a billion $, you could … (buy an island)

If + Sub + had …, Sub + would / could

If you had unlimited money, what would you do ?

Plan a luxury day

How would you spend a luxury day ? 

To develop narrative writing / speaking – use words/phrases such as:

Firstly, initially, I would start, it would kick off with …

secondly, thirdly etc

after that, afterwards, following that, and then …

for a change, as a contrast, for a break, to take a break from all the …

lastly, I’d end up, I’d round the day off with

Example:

To kick off, I would have salmon breakfast at a five-star … no, seven-star hotel. After that, I would go shopping for some suits and ties and then drive around London in a Rolls-Royce car, chauffer-driven, of course.

To take a break from the hustle and bustle, I’d relax at my hotel spa, then go for afternoon tea at another top hotel.

Lastly, I’d round the day off with a helicopter trip around the city and then fly direct to a stadium and go to my VIP (Very Important Person) seat to see one of my favourite bands play live.

Your turn:

You could:

luxury breakfast
luxury spa treatment
horse-carriage ride
shopping
luxury yacht
Attend a play at a London theatre
See Barcelona play

OR add your own ideas

Where would you go ? What would you do ? What would you buy ?

Expressions connected to money

A ton of money = very much money

Having money to burn = having more money that someone needs

It costs an arm and a leg = something very expensive

Money talks ! = having money can solve many problems

Rolling in it = having so much money (‘it’ refers to money)

Swanky = slang for very expensive or elegant (it’s a swanky restaurant)

However, as Shakespeare said,

Image result for all that glisters is not gold quote

Would money make you happy ?

Can money buy you health, love or happiness … maybe that is for another lesson.

Adult Speaking Class, level 3. News for Vietnamese

11th March 2020

Making the news, across the world, is the continued spread of the Corona Virus.

This is a topic which is affecting millions of people, and having a significant impact on the global economy but of course … health comes first.

I’m writing from Vietnam, where precautions were implemented rapidly. Schools were closed, for example, so my centre is offering online-classes.

I recommend students read as much ‘real-life’ English as possible, not rely solely on the text books, so I was interested by this clip from the BBC, specifically aimed at Vietnamese.

Image result for bbc tieng viet

This is a speech by POTUS (President of the United States), Donald Trump. The purpose of this blog is not politics BUT to encourage students to listen to the language and thereby learn new words and expressions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twd60cPH7t0

Image result for president trump speaking

The clip has Viet subtitles so is a great way to learn expressions, vocabulary as well as HOW native speakers speak … where we put the stress and intonation.

Everyone, please keep safe, keep well.

Business English: email writing

8th March 2020

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Formal– answering a customer

Be concise – to the point. Just say what is important in as few words as necessary.

Abbreviations:

Cc: = carbon copy used to send the same email to other people

Bcc: = blind carbon copy  used to send the email to people BUT their address is hidden

enclosed (inside) attached. A file or photo sent by attachment. It is polite to say how the file is sent e.g. by ppt, in (.doc) etc.

EXAMPLE

To: f.fricke@stauberg_gmbh.de

From: gavin.smith@hwz.uk

Cc:

Bcc:

Subject: Progress update

Email example: Mr Fricke wrote an email to enquire about the work progress. Here is a template response:

Subject: regarding your question, 

Dear Mr Fricke

Thank you for your recent email of the 11th.

In response to your enquiry, I can inform you that the preliminary designs are 

now complete and I would be happy to send them to you by email in PDF format.

If you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me

Yours sincerely

Gavin Smith

Customer Services Officer

HWZ UK

YOUR TURN:

Image result for person email writing

Write an email to Mr Fricke. He wants to know when he can see the final design

Thank him for his email. 

Tell him the designs will be finished on 17th November.

How he can receive them (PDF, Word or weblink). 

Email writing

Your supervisor needs you to write an email to a client in India, 

Ms Agarwal of SAG Engineering.

Convey the following information:

  • There will be a Skype meeting at 07.00 GMT
  • The agenda will include expanding into the Indian market
  • Need to decide to base in Mumbai, Kolkata or New Delhi
  • What red tape is there ? (Paperwork, forms, licenses)
  • When will she be able to visit HCM ?
  • Does she have any special requirements (diet, religion)

Start with a friendly but appropriate greeting and a suitable sign off.

Email practice:

A supplier has sent the wrong parts. Write an email to complain. Again, an example for you:

From : HWZ UK

To : Le Thi Thanh Computers

Subject: Wrong parts

Dear Le Thi Thanh

On 27thFebruary, we ordered ten (10) cables for our Windows-based laptops. Unfortunately, you sent cables for Apple Mac computers.

We would appreciate it if you could send the correct cables as soon as possible. Our staff are unable to work without them.

This is the first time we have had any problem with your company. Until now, you have always given perfect service.

Hope to hear from you very soon

Nguyen Minh Phuc CFO

YOUR TURN

A supplier has sent the wrong textbooks to your office. They sent iPhone 8 and you requested, and paid for, iPhone X workbooks. Write a suitable email … remember … ALWAYS BE POLITE

Image result for person email writing

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: London, Part 2

6th March 2020

Guess the building

These are photos of real buildings in London. Can you guess what they were / are ?

Image result for Tate modern
Image result for London smalles police
Image result for London globe theatre
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Image result for London new zealand house ho chi minh
Image result for London new zealand house ho chi minh

Can you guess ?

ONE: Tate Modern art gallery – it used to be a power station, hence the large, imposing scale and tall chimney.

TWO: It was the smallest police station; it had a telephone and space for one officer. No longer in service. This is in a corner of Trafalgar Square.

THREE: Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. This is a reconstruction; the original building burnt down in the C17th.

FOUR: Lloyds Building. Lloyds of London are an insurance company, providing financial services.

FIVE: This is New Zealand House, near Trafalgar Square. The building itself is rather nondescript but, for my Vietnamese students, there is a feature of interest …

SIX: A Blue Plaque stating that Ho Chi Minh once worked at a hotel that stood on this site. There are many Blue Plaques around London saying where famous people lived or worked.

New vocabulary

imposing– powerful or scary-looking. Normally police stations or government buildings

reconstruction– rebuilding (in this example, made to look like the original The Globe Theatre)

nondescript – nothing special, ordinary, plain

stood on this site- a building WAS here but is now gone (demolished / torn down)

England doesn’t really manufacture – our wealth is derived (comes) from services such as banking, finance, insurance and teaching !

Synth pop 

(listening & British pop culture)

Image result for 80s synth pop

Electronic music from the early 1980s. The band is called Human League, the song, a chart-topper (was No. 1 in the music charts), is called ‘Don’t You Want Me.’ What do you think ? Is it up your street (you like it) or not your cup of tea (you don’t like it) ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPudE8nDog0

What do you think is meant by ‘synth’ pop ?

What is happening in this song ? 

How much do you understand ? 

Do you notice any phrasal verbs ?

REAL LIFE LISTENING

This is a British TV comedy show called ‘Only Fools and Horses.’

Have a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvsvnW49qRU

Image result for only fools and horses

Trigger You never know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

Jim Hey ? Yeah, I suppose you’re right there, Trigger.

Trigger I know how much it can hurt. I had a relationship break-up a few years ago. She worked in my council depot. (local government office)

Mike (barman) She was a lady roadsweeper ?

Trigger Oh, no, she was management … real high-flyer … you had to go to her when you wanted a a new broom ! Linda … nice girl, had a funny eye. Never knew if she was looking at me or seeing if the bus was coming. Anyway, she’d heard about this little hotel down Henley-on-Thames (outside London) and she said to me, “How about spending a weekend there ?”

Del-boy (on phone) What sort of money we talking about ? Well, I’ll have to pop down and see you, won’t I, eh ?

Mike Yeah ?

Trigger What ?

Mike What happened ?

Jim Was it a nice weekend ?

Trigger Yeah, at least I thought it was, but she didn’t wanna see me no more after it.

Jim Well, I don’t like to pry, Trig but …

Mike No, no, no … it’s a bit personal.

Del Hang on, Bronco … Trig ! What ‘appened ?

Trigger She got jealous ! I ‘eard later, through friends, that she wanted to go with me.

Jim I’ll have a large scotch, Mike !

What was wrong with the weekend ? What was Trigger’s mistake ?

Do you notice how in parts of London, native speakers drop the ‘h’ so we have “What ‘appened ?” instead of “What happened ?” “I ‘eard, ” instead of “I heard.”

Finally, a famous song about London: Ralph McTell ‘Streets of London.’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z91n5Vskjg

Image result for streets of london ralph

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: London

3rd March 2020

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London, my hometown, is a multi-cultural world city. However, there are some problems. For students who live in S.E. Asia, the weather will be awful; grey skies, bitter wind, freezing, depressing rain.

A second factor is money. Unless one has a good job and a good income, London can be a hard place to live.

How can you afford to live in London ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz9fZLamyy0

Image result for how can you afford to live in London ?

How many words and expressions do you recognise ?

How does she link her ideas together and keep talking ? 

REMEMBER: listening to native speakers in a great way to improve your English. I suggest you only listen to SHORT pieces … maybe just ten or twenty seconds. Write down any new words or phrases. Listen again, then repeat. Speak along with her. Listen to how native-speakers link words and use intonations. Notice how often we use expressions.

Quick thinking

What famous buildings or attractions can you think of in London ?

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Image result for london
Image result for Harrods
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To help you, here’s a video about Top 10 London Attractions

London Attractions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0r0VTos_wU

Which ones appeal to you ? Expand your sentences. Explain why you are interested. Conversely, say which ones don’t appeal to you, again giving your reasons. Try to incorporate these idioms:

Not my cup of tea – a polite way of saying you don’t like something

Right up my street – something that you really like or enjoy

EXAMPLE: I don’t want to go to the ballet, it’s not my cup of tea. However, watching a football game is right up my street.

London, naturally, is a big city and you will probably have to use buses or the Tube (underground trains) at some point. So how to get around ?

Getting around in London

Travelling in London – buy an Oyster Card: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlZ_xDx2Zl0

Image result for London oyster car

Watch the video then explain how someone can travel on public transport in London.

Now, this video is chockablock (full) of new words and expressions. I’ve selected a sample:

about which more later  / bank fees on transactions / hang around

get in everybody’s way / money put onto / top-up / cap

pay-as-you-go / stick (as verb) / as long as it’s nice and fresh / escalator

as far as …. concerned / obvious /on no account swipe

you’ve got to / the thing about …… is / particularly weirdos

get charged  / get skinned / reasonable  / Routemaster

Now, by listening to the video, and using a dictionary, you try to make some sentences using these new words or phrases.

Here are some examples for you:

On no account tell anybody your PIN number for your bank card.

Prices are so high in central London, you can easily get skinned (pay TOO much).

The thing about the British Museum is that is can get so crowded.

Don’t stand in front of the escalators or you will get in everyone’s way.

Give a summary of ‘getting around’ London by public transport. 

What are the ‘dos and don’ts’ ? 

How many different kinds of transport is the Oyster valid on ?

Famous Londonders – real and fictional

Who is the most famous detective in literature ? Most of you would probably say Sherlock Holmes … but have you read him ? This is a great site for English learners – literature but in simple, everyday English

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Sherlock Holmes Investigates: https://www.english-online.org.uk/reading/elementread.htm

Description Game

Describe a household object

Image result for union jack kettle

Example – a kettle

I am an English man, so I always drink damn fine tea. In order to make tea I naturally need boiling water. In my house I have an appliance which boils water. It plugs in to the electric and can boil water in just a few minutes. However, it has no other purpose.

Think of something you use everyday – but don’t make it too obvious.

Maybe: a rice cooker / washing machine / laptop / motorbike / food blender etc

Image result for union jack purse
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Three Nights in Bangkok: reading, resting & curry

28th February 2020

Tuesday morning, alarm set for 5.00 am UK time (12.00 midday in Bangkok), at the Tube before 6.00 for the 90-minute, three-train ride to Heathrow Airport. From there, Thai Airways to Bangkok.

I got the early Tube (London underground trains) because the first line is so busy, and I had a suitcase and a shoulder bag. Luckily, all three trains came within one or two minutes, while most of the journey was quiet (apart from some idiots playing videos on their phones out loud). Hard to concentrate on my book (‘Notes From Underground’ by Dostoevsky). By the time of the flight, I’d read a third of it.

Image result for notes from underground

Repacking at the airport, putting the coat in the case, then onto the self-service baggage tag print-out, which I’ve just about mastered by now.

Checked-in, security checked, re-belted and all gadgets back in the bag. A lot of time to kill. A lot of pointless, over-priced shops in which to wander, no intention of buying anything … except coffee.

Eventually time was killed or wasted or passed but ironically enough, not flew; we boarded … and just as the flight to London, this was very cold. Air-con turned up (down ?), no doubt to combat the Corona Virus, but it was like eleven hours in a flying refrigerator. The bathrooms were even colder. Before long, people were sniffing, blowing noses, sneezing. The precautions seemed to be making people ill.

The flight ? We got there, that’s all that counts. Generally, the worst thing about travelling is other passengers. There was a young chap (sturdy, young & healthy, but was stuck down by the sniffles) two seats from me who simply could NOT keep still, and naturally, at one point, the lady (term employed with irony) in front put her chair all the way back.

Next problem – we arrived very early, even ahead of schedule but I couldn’t check in to the hotel until 2.00 pm. More time to kill. I had an over-sized cappuccino at the airport and slowly meandered to the Citylink train. The airport, as the plane, freezing. The train, as the airport, freezing and the BRT (subway) … freezing. Still only 8.30 am. I took an iced Thai tea in a cafe near the hotel and read, still wearing my jumper (a jumper ? In Thailand ?), and the cafe … freezing.

I thought I’d leave my case at the hotel and walk around, head up to a shopping mall until check in time. However the hotel, when I arrived at 9.30 looking like I’d spent eleven hours in a flying refrigerator, found me a room, so a big ‘thank you’ to the staff of the Red Planet.

For those who know Bangkok, I’m staying on Surawong Road, nearest BRT is Chong Nonsi by Silom.

The hotel, by night:

I thought I’d feel better after some lunch, so I took prawn pa-nang curry. In the evening, near the hotel, I went to Jianng’s Healthy Fish Balls where, for 60 THB (£1.47 / $1.90):

Then a walk south on Silom to the Hindu temple, Wat Khaek:

Across the road is a soi (small road off a main road) with lots of street food:

The next morning began with traditional iced Thai coffee at The Coffee Club. 80 THB (£1.96 / $2.53).

Then a walk up (north) Silom to Lumphini Park. On the way, I spotted a soi (Soi 5) with a street market. Typically, there are food courts. It was still early, so I decided to come back and eat lunch here:

And I only saw two other farangs (foreigners) here.

At the end of Silom is the Metro, giving access to the park. While there, I made a new friend:

And then … “The rain began, the jolly old rain.” Before the rain got too heavy, lunch back at the market at Silom 5

Prawns and noodles 70 THB (£1.72 / $2.21), extra spicy sauce.

Later, not really hungry but thought I’d take a walk and see what caught my eye. I found Restoran Ibu, near Wat Khaek:

Restoran Ibu on Silom

The food from the menu:

And the reality:

Just as good, I’d say. Ibu fried be hun for 100 THB (£2.46 / $3.16)

That night, the jet lag caught up with me. Couldn’t sleep, with the exception of a catnap around 4.30am, until 6.30 am and then only until 8.00 am. I gave up trying, and went out to read and NOT have any caffeine … instead, at a Cafe Amazon, by the Chong Nonsi BRT, a strawberry smoothie for 65 THB (£1.60 / $2.05)

Tomorrow is the flight back to Viet Nam, which should be painless, a mere 90 minutes, but I’m flying Vietjet and these smaller airlines tend to be low- down on airport take-off slots. Consequently, Vietjet has a reputation for always having delays. The last time I flew Bangkok to Sai Gon, the delay was longer than the flight.

And now, my final afternoon in Bangkok … and just twenty pages to go of my travel reading:

Image result for chabon amazing adventures kavalier clay

At 13.10, I finished the book, sitting in Lumphini Park. Time to walk back to the hotel, and some more street food – the market at Silom 10:

This is the stall I chose, spicy Thai vegetable soup (with prawn):

A mere 50 THB (£1.23 / $1.59)

For my last meal, where else but back to Ibu, this time for something traditionally Thai, prawns in coconut milk:

115 THB (£2.84 / $3.65). The staff are really friendly and I highly recommend this restoran.

And so, back at the hotel blogging. Reading, accomplished, curries – no problem, resting … not so much, but at least I’ll be home tomorrow – Unless Vietjet decide otherwise …

Goodbye from Red Planet

Red Planet – I paid about £75 / $96 for three nights. The rooms are fine for a single budget traveller and come with a fridge, large TV, safe and hair-dryer. The room also takes the three-pin UK plug.

On the downside, the walls are very thin (I can hear the chap in the next room talking and whooping and now he apparently has the hiccups). There is liquid soap, but this is not so good for hair, so bring your own shampoo, comb, also a toothbrush and paste. Being Bangkok, and near a night-time bar area, people come and go at all hours (this is a hotel, after all) and last night, there were doors banging until sunrise.

Room cleaning consists of changing the towels and supplying plenty of bathroom paper. Sheets not changed, but maybe if you ask nicely …

UK Break: A Walk around Bloomsbury.

27th February 2020

My penultimate day in London; sky grey, wind bitter, prices high and queues at the British Museum, prohibitively long.

I left east London around 9.00 am and took the Tube straight to Holborn and from there, walked the ten minutes up to the Museum, pausing only to take these snaps:

Looking south, towards Holborn Station.
An iconic British phone box.
Bloombury Ballroom, an art deco building from the 1920s
Always … people wait in the cold for a bus … and then two come at once.
Great camera-themed cafe. Naturally, it was closed.
Last time I was here, the museum was free; now they charge £1.
The British Museum. Usually open at 10.00 am but today delayed due to filming. However, on a Sunday, the queues were so long, I decided to go for coffee and then lunch instead. The choice …

Japanese … ?

Mexican … ?

Chinese … ?

One of my favourite Korean restaurants. I ordered seafood bibimbap with flying fish eggs.

And a final walk around central London. Above what used to be a great cinema bookshop near The Museum …

It ends for me where it began for Dickens; his first success, the ‘Sketches by Boz’. The following day, I had some final business to take care of, and then try to rest. Tuesday was the big flight back to Asia … but that is another blog.

Adult Professionals, Mechanics. Theme: Archimedes

26th February 2020

Archimedes

This could be an interesting website for you: https://www.engineering.com/Library/ArticlesPage/tabid/85/ArticleID/12/categoryId/5/Archimedes-of-Syracuse.aspx

The whole article is quite long, consequently I have been selective and ‘cherry-picked’ information. 

Born: 287 BC in Syracuse, Sicily
Died: 212 BC in Syracuse, Sicily
Archimedes’ father was Phidias, an astronomer. A friend of Archimedes called Heracleides wrote a biography of him but sadly this work is lost. How our knowledge of Archimedes would be transformed if this lost work were ever found.

It is reported by some authors that he visited Egypt and there invented a device now known as Archimedes’ screw. This is a pump, still used in many parts of the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IsqAejuaBw (theory)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EECNgK_Cv0 (practical application)

Yet Archimedes, although he achieved fame by his mechanical inventions, believed that pure mathematics was the only worthy pursuit. He is considered by most historians of mathematics as one of the greatest mathematicians of all time.

The Sandreckoner is a remarkable work in which Archimedes proposes a number system capable of expressing numbers up to 8×1016 in modern notation. He argues in this work that this number is large enough to count the number of grains of sand which could be fitted into the universe. There are also important historical remarks in this work, for Archimedes has to give the dimensions of the universe to be able to count the number of grains of sand which it could contain. He states that Aristarchus has proposed a system with the sun at the centre and the planets, including the Earth, revolving round it. There are other sources which mention Archimedes’ work on distances to the heavenly bodies. For example in Osborne reconstructs and discusses:-

…a theory of the distances of the heavenly bodies ascribed to Archimedes, but the corrupt state of the numerals in the sole surviving manuscript [due to Hippolytus of Rome, about 220 AD]means that the material is difficult to handle.Ascribed to is similar to ‘attributed to’ – when we don’t have source material to proof positively. Here we have a mixture of science AND history.
Image result for archimedes screw
Image result for archimedes screw

Adult Speaking Class, level 3. Theme: Germany

26th February 2020

Germany – what do you know about the country ?

Image result for germany

What do you associate with it ?

(I associate Viet Nam with rice, motorbikes, Uncle Ho etc)

Image result for germany
Image result for german beer and football

This is a travel guide (‘Lonely Planet’ are guides for independent travellers):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7e8sv7lFeY

Which of the ‘Top 5’ appeals to you the most ?

How much do they recommend you need per day ?

Is the train network good ?

Image result for german attractions

There is a lot of new vocabulary, so write down any new or interesting words.

Did you notice how many adjectives are employed (used) ? This is very common in travel writing and guides.

WHY ?

Why do you think travel guides use so many powerful adjectives ?

Listening-skills-practice: Germany

Top ten facts about Germany: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEYvi4kl-f4

while you watch, try to write your own question(s)

How many kinds of bread are there ?

Name the top three beer-drinking countries – what is interesting here ?

What do the Germans call a motorway (UK) / freeway (US). Why is it different ?

Image result for german autobahn

What was the first printed book ?

Historical note – this was in 1455. How do you think books were made before printing ?

Where is German spoken ? Would you considerGerman a global language ?

How long did Cologne (Köln) Cathedral take to build ?

Listening-skills-practice: German Music

Image result for german krautrock

Krautrock– what is krautrock ? Listening – a non-native speaker. (0 – 4.34): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNouEqTBPtw

Notice all the discourse markers– expressions that don’t add any information, but allow him to think while he keeps talking (examples: all right, yeah,) and expressions (it hit the $300 mark – means the price was $300).

Dialogue

Present perfect, past continuous and questions. Listen for adverbs

Mark: Have you been to Germany ?

Amy: No, not yet. Have you ?

Mary: Yes, twice. I have (I’ve) visited Berlin and Munich.

Amy: Which did you like best ?

Mary:Well, Munich is very clean, elegant and stylish, but quite expensive.

Amy: And Berlin, the capital ?

Mary: I was working there for six months. It was really cool.

They continue after eating a big piece of pie.

Amy: Sounds like you had lots of fun !

Mary: Oh, yes ! The food was cheap and the people were incredibly friendly.

Amy: How about the weather ? I have heard it can be cold.

Mary: It was terrible ! Every day it rained cats and dogs.

Amy: You must have been so glad to get back to Vietnam. (glad = happy)

Mary: Yes, but I miss the German trains and buses; they were so reliable.

How different is England to Germany ?

This is an interesting question because, despite both being Northern European countries with similar climates and a shared language root, both nations have very strong national identities. 

Historically, there is an obvious difference; the two World Wars. This originated from economic conflicts to actual conflicts which consequently altered the map of Europe.

There are many cultural differences, the English see the Germans as very efficient, hard-working, punctual albeit lacking any sense of humour.

Putting myself in their shoes, and based on my experiences of Germany, we Brits are seen as aloof and isolated, preferring tea-breaks to solid work.

These factors notwithstanding, the two countries have a lot in common; protestant religion, not Catholic (mostly), a love of both football and beer. Even our Royal Family has German blood.

Now with Brexit, it will be interesting to see what develops over the next generation. We can only speculate whether the nations move closer together or further apart.