Friday, December 18, 2015


Michael Mosley takes to the streets of Edinburgh to show people how to give themselves a hit of pleasure, using only a pencil.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Frank Sinatra's songs + lyrics

OM SINATRA is a very enjoyable section of an Argentinian website for learners of English. Frank Sinatra's voice and his clear diction are perfect ingredients for practising English, so this section provides wide possibilities for ESL students and teachers. Here you will find 50 best lyrics, together with audios, some videos, glossaries and explanations. Choose your favourite song with on-screen original lyrics. Don't miss such classics as My Way, New York, New Yorkor Strangers in the Night!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fighting Islamophobia


British soldier who lost leg in Iraq issues powerful message to those who think he should hate Muslims

Chris Herbert said he was frustrated by people expecting racism from him. Credit: Facebook/Chris Herbert
   British soldier who lost his leg in Iraq has posted a powerful message to people "expecting racism" from him just because he "got blown up".
Chris Herbert was just 19 when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in Basra, Iraq which killed his friend, injured another and left him facing the prospect of living the rest of his life without his right leg.
In the weeks after the Paris atrocities, the former serviceman said he has been troubled by the number of people who have expected him to be Islamophobic just because a "Muslim man blew me up".
In a powerful Facebook message, which has been shared tens of thousands of times, Herbert goes on to list the Muslims who have helped him - including the Muslim surgeon who performed the surgery that saved his life.
Herbert, who lives in Portsmouth, also speaks about the "white Brits" who have done unpleasant things to him in his life.
"If you want to hate an entire race of men and women for the actions of a few dickheads feel free, but don't push your views on me, thinking I am an easy target because one douchebag decided it was my day to die," he wrote.
"Blaming all Muslims for the actions of groups like Daeshe and the Taliban, is like blaming all Christians for the actions of the KKK or Westboro Baptist Church."
"Get a grip of your lives, hug your family and get back to work."
Here's his Facebook post in full:
Getting frustrated by some people expecting racism from me, because I got blown up.
Here it is:
Yes. A Muslim man blew me up, and I lost my leg.
A Muslim man also lost his arm that day wearing a British Uniform.
A Muslim medic was in the helicopter that took me from the field.
A Muslim surgeon performed the surgery that saved my life.
A Muslim Nurse was part of the team that helped me when I returned to the UK.
A Muslim Healthcare Assistant was part of the team that sorted out my day to day needs in rehabilitation when I was learning to walk.
A Muslim taxi driver gave me a free ride the first time I went for a beer with my Dad after I came home.
A Muslim doctor offered my Dad comfort and advice in a pub, when he didn't know how to deal with my medicines and side effects.
Contrary to that:
A white Brit spat in my girlfriend's face for 'fucking a cripple when you could have me [him]'
A White Brit pushed my wheelchair away from a lift so he could use it first.
A White Brit screamed at my Dad for parking in a disabled bay when I was in the services coming home.
(Although, alot of people helped in my recovery! I dont hate white brits either! hahaha)
Point is, fuck off. I know who I dislike, and I know who I don't. I know who I appreciate, and I know who I don't.
If you want to hate an entire race of men and women for the actions of a few dickheads feel free, but don't push your views on me, thinking I am an easy target because one douchebag decided it was my day to die.
Blaming all Muslims for the actions of groups like Daeshe and the Taliban, is like blaming all Christians for the actions of the KKK or Westboro Baptist Church. Get a grip of your lives, hug your family and get back to work.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Mafalda in Oviedo

Among many other things, Mafalda is an Oviedo girl. When she arrived in this Spanish northern town together with her creator, Argentinian cartoonist Quino, she said, "Stop the world, I want to get off!" And it's a good job that what Mafalda hates is soup and not fabada, the traditional Asturian bean stew. That happened in 2014, when the famous cartoonist received the Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities. Since then, Mafalda spends her days sitting on a bench in Oviedo's San Francisco Park, contemplating the pond and thinking about how to change the world.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

The Need to Read

Reading books is one of the most recommended language-learning activities to do outside the classroom. For one thing, reading is free. Also, reading helps you fix the structures you learn in your brain without you even noticing it. 

In hard times like these, when Public Education is subject to continuous budget cutbacks, checking out books freely from the Engineering School Library is one of those treats our diminishing welfare state still can provide for you. Take advantage of it! As the photo above shows, on shelf 66 on the second floor you will find a collection of about 200 books aimed at A2B1B2 and C1 learners. Some of these reading books come with an audio CD. They are a suggestion to help you improve your vocabulary and syntax, and with the audio mp3, improve your comprehension of spoken English. Check some of them out and enjoy reading a good story.

Don't forget there are tons of free books on the Internet that you can download too, or read them online; a good place to start is Project Gutenberg, which has more than 50,000 free books. And, if you are using a Kindle, you can use the English-English dictionary or an English-Spanish dictionary for difficult words.

BOOK LOAN PROGRAMME. Also, check with me for other A2 or B1 readers I can lend you in class or at my office at the ESI (Entreplanta 1ª) during my tutoring hours. You will improve your English enormously! After you borrow a book, send me an email with the Subject BOOK LOAN: 
"Hello, I am ________________ from group 000. I have borrowed the book ________________ from you. I will give it back in 6 weeks’ time. My phone number is 666 666 666. Thank you."

Torture Is Not Culture!

British comedian Ricky Gervais has called for bullfighting to be banned after learning of the death of 29-year-old Miguel Ruiz Pérez, who died after being gored during summer festivities in the town of Lerín, in the northeastern Navarre region.
“Poor terrified bull. Ban cruel sports,” he wrote on Monday in a retweet of a Daily Mirror video showing Ruiz Pérez attempting to outrun the animal in a makeshift bullring while hundreds of people looked on.
Gervais has since posted a video on his Facebook page in which he says: “If you decide to torture an animal to death, I hope it defends itself.” Describing the people who watch bullfights as morons, he adds: “If you choose to fight a bull for fun, fuck you.”
The comedian, who shot to fame a decade ago in The Office, dismissed arguments defending bullfighting on the grounds that it was tradition, noting that slavery, witchcraft and child sacrifice were also once regularly practiced: “We’ve moved on… it’s about fucking time you stopped.”
Gervais tweeted several times about bullfighting over the day: “A matador being killed by a bull is not the tragic bit. Torturing the bull for fun in the first place is the tragic bit.”
The video has since been shared around 10,000 times, with most people supporting Gervais’s position and calling for an end to bullfighting. Gervais is an active defender of animal rights, and recently joined a number of Hollywood stars in condemning the killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe last month by a US dentist. “Animals don’t have a voice, but I do. And it’s a big one. My voice is for them and I will never be quiet as long as they are suffering,” he has said.
Growing numbers of Spanish celebrities are also calling for an end to bullfighting and the use of animals in festivities. La tortura no es cultura (Torture isn’t culture) is an awareness drive initiated by PACMA, a political party that supports animal rights. Its campaign to ban the Toro de la Vega, an event dating back to medieval times in which a bull is ritually killed by residents of the town of Tordesillas, Valladolid province, each September 15, has been backed by actors and television personalities such as Dani Rovira, Jorge Javier Vázquez, Eva Isanta and David Muro.
“I find it abhorrent that people can enjoy the suffering of animals,” says Dani Rovira, star of last year’s hit Spanish comedy Ocho apellidos vascos. A demonstration is planned in Madrid for September 12 to call for an end to the Toro de la Vega.
Musicians and other artists have thrown their support behind a planned music festival in Tordesillas to coincide with the Toro de la Vega. (El País in English, August 19th, 2015)