Sunday, October 24, 2010

Humour: "What teachers make", by Taylor Mali

What Teachers Make, or Objection Overruled, or If things don't work out, you can always go to law school, By Taylor Mali:

He says the problem with teachers is, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"
He reminds the other dinner guests that it's true what they say about teachers:
Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.
I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the other dinner guests
that it's also true what they say about lawyers.
Because we're eating, after all, and this is polite company.
"I mean, you¹re a teacher, Taylor," he says.
"Be honest. What do you make?"
And I wish he hadn't done that
(asked me to be honest)
because, you see, I have a policy
about honesty and ass-kicking:
if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional medal of honor
and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.
I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall in absolute silence.
No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won't I let you get a drink of water?
Because you're not thirsty, you're bored, that's why.
I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
I hope I haven't called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said today.
Billy said, "Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don't you?"
And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.
I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write, write, write.
And then I make them read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful over and over and over again until they will never misspell either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math.
And hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you got this (brains) then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you by what you make, you give them this (the finger).
Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
I make a goddamn difference! What about you?

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only

ESO1 - PBL 1st Term - Daily Routine

The British Council is a quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation based in the United Kingdom which specialises in international educational and cultural opportunities.

The British Council says its aim is "to build mutually beneficial cultural and educational relationships between the United Kingdom and other countries, and increase appreciation of the United Kingdom’s creative ideas and achievements." Its overseas network extends to 233 locations in 107 countries and territories.
There are 70 British Council Teaching Centres in 53 countries. It taught 1,189,000 class hours to 300,000 learners in 2006/07. The British council claims to be 'the world's largest English language teaching organisation'.

Within the UK the British Council administers the International Association of the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE). This programme operates in over 80 countries worldwide[8] and offers students, studying in the UK, the opportunity to take an internship as part of an international placement working abroad.

The British Council offers on YouTube a series of videos related to teaching and learning English. In this video you are about to watch, ESO 1 students must find as many sentences containing an ADVERB OF FREQUENCY (e.g.: always, usually, generally, normally, often, sometimes, seldom, rarely, hardly ever, never) as possible (attention: not all of them appear in writing, but the speakers do use them!). Write them down and submit the paper to your teacher BEFORE FRIDAY 12TH NOVEMBER. E-mails to are also accepted, but they must be clearly identified with your name, your class and your number; the same deadline applies for e-mails.

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Graded Readers for the 1st Term (2010-11)

You MUST buy the books (they are inexpensive: only about 6€ each). Photocopying books is ILLEGAL. You must respect copyright law, writers and editors! Authors make a living from it and lose revenue when you photocopy: COPYING is STEALING!

...And if you borrow a book you are taking advantage of another student, who has spent his or her money on that book. Be honest and buy the books: This is certainly one of the best investments you will do in your lives as students. Don't forget that most of the textbooks you are using this schoolyear (and during the last few schoolyears) have been provided by the Education Authorities for free.

If you want to read and LISTEN to your books at the same time, at Burlington Books Student's Zone you can download the MP3 audio files.

ESO 1: A Secret Fear, by Celia Starr (Fiction) (ISBN 978-9963-47-104-1)
Joey's got a secret fear. He's afraid of the dark. It's not a childish fear of ghosts, but a real phobia about being alone in he dark. Joey thinks he's too old to have this fear and he's ashamed. Then Joey discovers that his friend has a phobia, too -- a fear of heights. Slowly Joey begins to realise that many people have got phobias and that he isn't alone. But can he overcome his fear, and how?

ESO 2: Jenny Abel and the Snisster Mystery, by Laurence Michaels (Adventure) (ISBN 978-9963-47-107-2)
Evil Dr Sinister wants to control the world, so he creates a magic computer program. Twelve-year-old Jenny Abel, a computer genius, gets it by mistake in an e-mail and is sucked into the Internet. Will she become Dr Snisster's victim? Or will she be able to stop the magic program in time and put an end to his evil plan?

ESO 3: Who Am I?, by Ramón Ybarra Rubio (Non-fiction) 
(ISBN 978-9963-617-17-3)
An original set of teen-mag-style tests and quizzes that will make your students smile, frown, but most of all, think. Each test examines another facet of the complex human personality with frankness and humour.

ESO 4: A Safari Mystery, by Micky Jenkins (Adventure) 
(ISBN 978-9963-47-511-7)
Julie O'Neil, 20, is on safari in Kenya, in the Msai Nature Reserve -- "The Land of the Elephants". But Julie is disappointed because she doesn't see any elephants. Where are they? Julie senses that something strange is happening and she's determined to solve the mistery. But someone else is equally determined to stop her. Soon, Julie is involved in a very dangerous adventure trying to protect the elephants.

These are the dates of your exams on the books:

ESO 1 - Wednesday 1st December 2010
ESO 2 - Monday 29th November 2010
ESO 3 - Monday 29th November 2010
ESO 4 - Monday 29th November 2010

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Newsy: Scientists Discover a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Astronomers have identified a galaxy that's the oldest, farthest object discovered by humans.

Astronomers working with the European Southern Observatory, have discovered the oldest, most distant object ever detected by humans: a galaxy 13.1 billion light years away. Scientists say they’re seeing this galaxy as it was just 600 million years after the Big Bang, meaning if the universe were a 40-year-old human, this galaxy is the finger painting it made at 19 months old. (Video from European Southern Observatory)

Engineer Paul Czysz tells TechNewsWorld that this galaxy... “ about the first object that you can see, period. This had to be very shortly after the suns got enough density that they could ignite.”

Experts explain, since the observed light came from 13.1 billion light years away, they’re basically looking back in time at this galaxy 13.1 billion years ago. Study co-author Malcolm Bremer explains what probably happened to this ancient galaxy after it emitted the light we’re seeing now: “It’s likely that a galaxy like our own, the Milky Way, is built up from building blocks that are very much smaller than the Milky Way is today, made up of multiple components. And perhaps one of the earliest components of galaxies like the Milky Way is an object like the one that we’ve been observing.”

The difficulty in finding galaxies this distant is partly that their light is very dim and very redshifted -- or stretched -- and partly because the universe was filled with hydrogen gas this early in its life. That gas had a good chance of absorbing the galaxy’s light so it couldn’t be detected today, like an opaque fog. The European Southern Observatory’s Dr. Joe Liske explains why being able to find a galaxy like this, in spite of the difficulties, is good news: “So, holding the record for having measured the red shift of the most distant object in the universe is not just a trophy to hang on the wall. It does have important astrophysical implications. This is the first time that we’ve managed to obtain spectroscopic observations of a galaxy from the era of re-ionization, in other words, from the time when universe was still clearing out the hydrogen fog.”

So this galaxy isn’t just the oldest and most distant object detected, but it’s very nearly the oldest and most distant object scientists CAN detect. Light from this galaxy just now getting to Earth has been travelling through space almost as long as there has been space. New equipment, like the James Webb Space Telescope scheduled for launch in 2014, will be able to detect that light in greater detail. Astronomer Phil Plait looks forward to what the new technology will teach us: “Our understanding of the infant Universe will explode. Even more fun will be all the weird things we’ll see that at first we won’t understand. How can a galaxy like this have formed so rapidly after the Big Bang? Did the stars form first, or later, or did it all happen at the same time? ... What other types of objects are out there ... that we haven’t seen yet?”

Writer: Steven Sparkman

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Evernote: Make a Note... or 500,000 of Them


Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your notable life using your computer, phone, and the web. Click on the green "Remember" button on the right-hand column of this blog and start capturing and remembering useful info from Labor English Zone.

1. Capture everything
Chances are, if you can see it or think of it, Evernote can help you remember it. Type a text note. Clip a web page. Snap a photo. Grab a screenshot. Evernote will keep it all safe.

2. Organize it (or let Evernote do it)
Everything you capture is automatically processed, indexed, and made searchable. If you like, you can add tags or organize notes into different notebooks.

3. Find anything fast
Search for notes by keywords, titles, and tags. Evernote magically makes printed and handwritten text inside your images searchable, too.

Infinitely useful
Put your thoughts, ideas, inspiration, and things to remember all in one place. Use Evernote for work, for play, and for everything that’s noteworthy. Here are a few suggestions:

Research web sites and clip pages directly from your browser.

Keep notes from your classes all in one place. Take a picture of a whiteboard and you’ll be able to find it later.

Get inspired. Keep a file of anything cool you want to buy for yourself or as a gift, whether it’s online or out in the real world.

Remember the things you were supposed to remember. Create to-do lists, jot down random thoughts, leave a voice memo, and more.

Discover more great ways to use Evernote on their blog or get a first-hand tutorial on their videos page. Don't have an Evernote account? Get started now »

Newsy: Scientists Say Water on Moon Could Support Humans

Just over a year ago, NASA sent two probes to crash into the moon, hoping to find water under the surface. What they found was not just some water, but maybe enough to support a manned mission.

“Not only is there water on the moon, which we learned last November. But there is a lot of it. Billions of gallons across the entire surface of the moon.”(MSNBC)

The results of a NASA probe prove far better than anyone had imagined. The discovery of lots of water just beneath the moon’s surface is raising the specter that a manned mission living ON THE MOON, is a real possibility.

We’re analyzing coverage from MSNBC, National Geographic, ABC and TIME.

First, to the discovery. MSNBC’s Chris Jansing talks with an astronomer about the find. Mercury, silver, sulpher and methane: “Rather than carrying everything we need to the moon to make it possible to live there, we need to learn to live off the land, if you will. ... We can use that to create rocket fuels, we can use that to create the oxygen that we breathe and we can use the other elements that we find there...”

National Geographic says, this is a first step that begs further discovery. A NASA scientist agrees, and says, the next step in discovery is something we’d do right here on terra firma: "We go to Antarctica to study past atmospheres and to look for evidence of past impacts and changes of climate. Ice on the moon is probably hiding similar clues...We've got to look at the bigger picture. Is [the moon] something we want to save and study before we start exploiting it?"

ABC’s John Berman reports, all of this would be more exciting, if the moon were on the U.S. government’s docket: “The thing is right now, the US has no plans to visit the moon. President Obama cancelled the mission to go there. (Obama) “I have to say, pretty bluntly right now, we’ve been there before. ... In the near term, it might be China or India who gets to quench their thirst. Both have pledged to reach the moon in the next 15 years.”

Still, TIME magazine notes, let’s not get carried away. It’s not like the man on the moon turned on a spigot: “...5% by weight of the debris cloud blasted into the lunar sky by the Centaur booster. ‘That's about twice as wet as the Sahara,’ said [a] principal investigator of the LCROSS mission. That would be faint praise if you weren't talking about a world long considered to be without any water at all.”

So what do you think of the discovery? Reason to relaunch? Or are there more pressing matters to attend to here on Earth?

Writer: Jim Flink

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Friday, October 22, 2010

U2: I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight.

U2 are a rock band from Dublin, Ireland. The group consists of Bono (vocals and guitar), The Edge (guitar, keyboards and vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums and percussion). The band formed at Mount Temple Comprehensive School in 1976 when the members were teenagers with limited musical proficiency. Within four years, they signed to Island Records and released their debut album Boy. By the mid-1980s, they had become a top international act. They were more successful as a live act than they were at selling records, until their 1987 album The Joshua Tree, which, according to Rolling Stone, elevated the band's stature "from heroes to superstars".

U2 have released 12 studio albums and are among the most critically and commercially successful groups in popular music. They have won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other band, and they have sold more than 150 million records. In 2005, the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone magazine ranked U2 at number 22 in its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". Throughout their career, as a band and as individuals, they have campaigned for human rights and philanthropic causes, including Amnesty International, the ONE/DATA campaigns, Product Red, and The Edge's Music Rising.

I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
"I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" is the fifth song from U2's 2009 album "No Line on the Horizon".
The first music video received its world premiere on 17 July 2009 through U2's YouTube channel. Directed by David O'Reilly and designed by Jon Klassen, it is the band's first animated music video since 1995's "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me", and is one of the few not to feature the band. It depicts several people in a city undergoing hardships, and the events that interconnect them and bring them happiness as they decide to make changes in their lives.

The second music video was directed by Alex Courtes and produced by Malachy Mcanenny. While the O'Reilly video plays over the studio version of the song, the Courtes version is the single edit. It consists of a live performance taken from the U2 360° Tour, filmed at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, on 2 July 2009.

And these are the lyrics:
She's a rainbow and she loves the peaceful life
Knows I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight

There's a part of me in the chaos that's quiet

And there's a part of you that wants me to riot
Everybody needs to cry or needs to spit
Every sweet-tooth needs just a little hit
Every beauty needs to go out with an idiot
How can you stand next to the truth and not see it?
A change of heart comes slow...

It's not a hill it's a mountain

As you start out the climb
Do you believe me or are you doubting?
We're gonna make it all the way to the light
But I know I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight

Every generation gets a chance to change the world

Pity the nation that won't listen to your boys and girls
'Cos the sweetest melody is the one we haven't heard
Is it true the perfect love drives out all fear?
The right to appear ridiculous is something I hold dear
Oh, but a change of heart comes slow...

It's not a hill it's a mountain

As you start out the climb
Listen for me, I'll be shouting
But we're gonna make it all the way to the light
But I know I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight

Baby, baby, baby, I know I'm not alone

Baby, baby, baby, I know I'm not alone
Ha, ha, ha

It's not a hill it's a mountain

Listen for me, I'll be shouting
Shouting to the darkness, squeeze out sparks of light
You know we'll go crazy
You know we'll go crazy
You know we'll go crazy, if we don't go crazy tonight
Oh Oh
Slowly now
Oh Oh

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Newsy: Should Parents Snoop on Their Children Online?


A survey finds 72 percent of parents monitor their children's online activities, but the methods used by some parents have many kids saying "too far."

“According to a survey of 2,000 parents and teenagers conducted by an organization called TRUSTe and lightspeed research, 72 percent of parents look at their kids’ social networking media ... so the question is, are parents invading the privacy of teens by snooping on their facebook pages?” (KGO-TV)

The survey called “The Kids are Alright” finds 84 percent of parents had an accurate understanding of their teens’ online activity. But that good news is being overshadowed by another finding. One and ten are secretly logging into their children's accounts without their knowledge.

A blogger for says that in this world, snooping is necessary: “By snooping, we are saving children from a new world of internet and electronic predators ... Ask the parents of daughters who are abducted, raped or otherwise harmed through online predators if they wish they had spent more time snooping."

Some point to other dangers that await teens online as justification for parental spying. Adam Levin of tells ABC child identity theft is a growing problem: “Over 400,000 people below the age of 18 become victims of identity theft every year and for an identity theif it’s the gold mine because you get information about someone who won’t be checking credit reports for years, who wouldn’t even think about the fact that they might be getting bills, so as a result it’s like a tabula rasa.”

But many teens feel that fearful parents can go too far. One teen, writing for the non-profit My High School Journalism, says that it is easy for parents to cross the line from healthy monitoring to stalking: “[My mother] has used my password for Myspace; put my status as something very offensive ... ultimately creating a mass of confusion, and subsequently, drama. This is crossing the line, invading a teen’s privacy in such a perverse and inexcusable way is an outrage.”

Although the TRUSTe study did find that some children do engage in potentially reckless activity online, president of TRUSTe Fran Maier tells San Fransisco’sKGO-TV that kids can be responsible: “Kids do care about privacy, they do care about the control of their information, and in the last six months that we did this survey many have made changes to their privacy controls."

So how can parents provide both the protection their teens need to stay safe and the freedom they need to develop? Joe Sullivan, chief security officer for Facebook, tells ABC says that understanding of the technology and open communication is key.

If you want to see more of Joe Sullivan’s advice, visit the link here.

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Newsy: British Researchers Say Cancer is Man-Made

A controversial British study says cancer is based on modern factors and industrialization, and it suggests cancer was rare in ancient societies.

“Now there’s this fascinating new study. They looked at almost a 1,000 mummies and found that only a couple of them had any signs of tumors. It modern life styles and pollution that may be the cause of cancers.” 

Yep! You heard right--cancer could be man-made. That’s the conclusion from a controversial British study just released -- which says cancer is a relatively new phenomenon caused by modernization. After testing hundreds of Egyptian mummies, the study concluded cancer was virtually non-existent in the ancient world.

It led some scientists to suggest modern lifestyles were the cause for the disease. A cancer specialist on MSNBC says the study is not entirely true based on some facts: “But there’s a bit of misleading information. The problem is that all of these mummies died young and cancer is a disease that comes on as we get older, But there’s no doubt that the environment is responsible for most human cancers. Look around you now ask how many people that you know are thirty or forty have colon cancer or prostate cancer. These are diseases that increase remarkably as we get older.” 

But researchers of the study seem to disagree. In an opinion piece written on Professors Rosalie David and Michael Zimmerman dispute the naysayers. They say they still found modern day problems in the Egyptian mummies: “Although life expectancy was statistically lowered by infant and maternal mortality and infectious diseases, many individuals did live to a sufficiently advanced age to develop other degenerative diseases...”

A blogger for Cancer Research UK says it’s hard to believe the findings in the study -- and that there isn’t enough evidence to make sweeping claims about cancer rates in ancient populations.

In an interview with Cancer Research, Walker says cancer is not new at all, and certainly not man-made: “...When we look and think about cancer, it’s always been with us. It was actually found in mummies, so cancer was always there...The key risk factor is age, and then after that there are many other external factors that we know about.”

Finally - Marie Claire quotes Dr. Rachel Thompson of the World Cancer Research Fund -- saying the researchers could be onto something: ‘Scientists now say a healthy diet, regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight can prevent about a third of the most common cancers so perhaps our ancestors’ lifestyle reduced their risk from cancer.’

So what do you think, is cancer a man-made disease? 

Writer: Rico Bush

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pronunciation tips from

2nd A ESO student Adrián Castro Rodríguez has asked us to publish this post again. It was first published on Thursday 10th December 2009. Here you are, Adrián:

Learning the sounds.
These are the symbols for the sounds of English. Clicking on a symbol will take you to another page where you can watch a video about that particular sound.
The sounds are organised into the following different groups:
Short vowels
Long vowels

Diphthongs (double vowel sounds)
Voiceless consonants
Voiced consonants
Other consonants

No copyright infringement intended. For educational purposes only.

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