Friday, April 30, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's worth keeping an eye on that blog

Thanks to Inés (click on the picture to see her blog) for shortlisting the self-learning blog of the English Department at EOI Coruña for this prize.

Vale a pena ficar de olho nesse blog is a new initiative sweeping the ELT blogosphere at the moment. Basically, if someone tags you in their list of 10 recommend teaching blogs, you have to post the eye picture with a link to the blog from which you received the award and then post your own list of 10 other blogs you'd like to share. Although many more deserve to be here, I can only choose ten. Here they are:

Helendipity Weblog

Learning English with Mª Jesús

Argente's Blog

Mind your English

Our Advanced English Blog

Cristina's English Place

Avanzado 2 Cristina's Blog

A Cup of Tea?

EOI Leganés

Mcargobe's blog-room

This hour has 22 minutes - Weather in Canada

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Catherine Tate Show - Valley Girl

This episode of the Catherine Tate show divulges the outcome of what happens when a valley girl gets offered a drink in a bar.


Greenwashing is a marketing technique in which a company falsely claims environmental responsibility. As more and more consumers are concerned about sustainability and the environment, a growing number of corporations have stepped up, claiming to be improving their environmental practices and reforming their industries. While this may certainly be true in some cases, many of the claims of environmental stewardship made by companies are actually false, or at the very least extremely misleading.

The term is a portmanteau of “whitewashing,” in the sense of covering up misdeeds, and “green,” a common term used to refer to environmentally sound practices. The green movement encompasses food sources, building, energy, and everything in between, and it also represents a substantial source of potential income. A growing number of citizens, especially in the First World, are willing to pay a premium for “green” products. In addition to environmentally sensitive companies who are genuinely trying to practice business ethically, a number of corporations launch extensive greenwashing campaigns detailing all the ways in which they are environmentally responsible. For unwary consumers, the glossy greenwashing ads can suggest that the company is reputable and responsible.

The environment is dying, we need a solution fast.
If we don't find a big old plan, this simply will not last.
We don't wanna freak anybody out,
We don't wanna make a scene.
We'd rather sweep it under the mat,
But instead, we'll paint it green.
Green, green, green, we'll paint it green.

It doesn't really matter what it is,
What it does or why it stinks
Or what it means as long as it is green.

It doesn't really matter what it burns,
Or what it makes or what it kills
Or what it's for, as long as it is green.
Green, green, green, green, let's make it green.

Politicians feed us crap, celebrities are the same.
It's mostly about how green they are and who deserves the blame.

How green you are is not how much you give,
Or how loud you are, it's how you live.
So know your greens and think a bit.
Because you don't have to be green to be green

Friday, April 23, 2010

Shakespeare sketch - A Small Rewrite

This sketch was performed on stage for an AIDS benefit concert directed by Stephen Fry on September 18, 1989. Rowan Atkinson's character is unnamed, but from the look of him, it seems he's a member of the Blackadder family. Shakespeare was played by Hugh Laurie.

Blackadder - Don't mention Macbeth

The palace entertains two distinguished and highly superstitious actors. Blackadder is careful not to mention the name of the Scottish play.

The Scottish Play and the Bard's play are euphemisms for William Shakespeare's Macbeth. The first is a reference to the play's Scottish setting, the second a reference to Shakespeare's popular nickname. According to a theatrical superstition, called the Scottish curse, saying Macbeth inside a theatre will cause disaster. A variation of the superstition forbids direct quotation of the play while inside a theatre.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Agricultural report

It's a cow's life. Animation where a cow's life is turned upside down by a News radio programme. The shock of learning about Foot and Mouth Disease has a profound effect on the psychology of this poor animal with humorous results.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Not There Yet

A short animated film about the Irish transport system. Anyone who has ever been a commuter should totally get this.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Damien Rice - Volcano

Damien Rice is an Irish singer and songwriter.
This love song is about being in a situation as dangerous and unpredictable as a volcano, which has the power to hurt you if you get too close.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The League of Gentlemen - Attachments dating agency

OLIVE: So…caring, considerate, good looking. Is this what you are or what you want?
IAN: It’s what I want.
OLIVE: Right…I was going to say, good looking? OK, my name’s Olive and it’s my job to build up a profile of you and then match it to a suitable lady from our extensive files. So question one – are you very kind, kind, fairly kind or not at all kind to animals?
IAN: Sorry?
OLIVE: Are you very kind, kind, fairly kind or not at all kind to animals?
IAN: I can’t really say.
OLIVE: So, not at all kind to animals.
IAN: Well don’t put that!
OLIVE: I’ve got to take your first answer. Are you quiet?
IAN: When?
OLIVE: In general.
IAN: Sometimes…
OLIVE: So…quiet.
IAN: Well, do you have to put that?
OLIVE: Well, we need ally your bad points as well, you know.
IAN: Well that’s not so much of a bad point, is it?
OLIVE: You say that but you can’t get a girlfriend, can you? Let me explain a little bit about how a dating agency works. 95% of the people who come in here are weirdos. In fact, my boyfriend doesn’t like me working here. It’s not that he’s jealous – I tell him, “you see the state of them!” No, he just thinks it’s depressing for me.
IAN: Did you meet him through an agency?
OLIVE: God, no! I shall tell him that tonight in bed. He’ll laugh! No, we met at a friend’s party. You see, you meet people through people. And that’s what a lot of them haven’t got – friends. And ultimately, you have to question that, don’t you? Anyway, listen to me wittering on. Let’s get you paired up! Miracles can happen, you know! So how confident are you on a scale of one to ten? Ten being very confident.
IAN: Five...Two.
OLIVE: Are you single, married, divorced, widowed or separated? Single, obviously. Now do you want a physical relationship? Ian, I have to ask this, because frankly some of our ladies are not capable of blowing up a paper bag! Never mind the other!
IAN: Yes.
OLIVE: Yes, you are or you aren’t?
IAN: I am.
OLIVE: Ooh, it’s like “Cracker”, this! “Why did you force her, why did you force her?”
IAN: I DIDN’T FORCE HER! …I didn’t force her…
OLIVE: OK, Ian, we’ll put this into the computer and if we get a match we’ll let you know, OK?
IAN: Olive? Do you think, if – IF you didn’t have a boyfriend, one day you and me…

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children

The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children is a specialist centre for speech and language therapy for the treatment of stammering, located at Finsbury Health Centre, Islington.

Following his role in A Fish Called Wanda in which he portrayed Ken, a character who stammered, Michael Palin agreed for the centre to be named after him. Michael's continued support and involvement has helped create a high profile for the Centre.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nick Vujicic: No arms, no legs, no worries

Born with no arms or legs, Nick Vujicic gives an inspiring testimony about overcoming circumstances in one's life. Nick Vujicic (born December 4, 1982) is a preacher, a motivational speaker and the director of Life Without Limbs, an organization for the physically disabled.

The first-born child in his devout Serbian Christian family, Nick Vujicic was born in Melbourne, Australia with the rare Tetra-amelia disorder: limbless, missing both arms at shoulder level, and having one small foot with two toes protruding from his left thigh. Initially, his parents were devastated. Vujicic was otherwise healthy.

His life was filled with difficulties and hardships. One was not being able to attend a mainstream school because of his physical disability, as the law of Australia required, even though he was not mentally impaired. During his schooling, the laws were changed, and Nick was one of the first disabled students to be migrated to a mainstream school. He learned to write using the two toes on his left "foot," and a special device that slid onto his big toe to grip. He also learned to use a computer and type using the "heel and toe" method. He can also throw tennis balls and answer the phone.

Being bullied at his school, Nick grew extremely depressed, and by the age of eight, started contemplating suicide. After begging God to grow arms and legs, Nick eventually began to realize that his accomplishments were inspirational to many, and began to thank God he was alive. A key turning point was a newspaper article about a man dealing with severe disability that his mother showed him when he was 12, that led him to realise he wasn't the only one with major struggles. When he was seventeen, he started to give talks at his prayer group, and eventually started his non-profit organization, Life Without Limbs.

The Butterfly Circus

At the height of the Great Depression, the showman of a renowned circus leads his troupe through the devastated American landscape, lifting the spirits of audiences along the way. During their travels they discover a man without limbs at a carnival sideshow. However, after an intriguing encounter with the showman he becomes driven to hope against everything he has ever believed.

Creature discomforts: Aardman ads challenge views of disability

Leonard Cheshire Disability campaigns to change the way people think about, and respond to, disability. The campaign Creature discomforts features six animal characters, each of which is voiced by a disabled person. Characters include Flash the sausage dog, Spud the slug, Brian the bull terrier and Peg the hedgehog - all wheelchair users who have different disabilities - Slim the stick insect with a walking stick and Tim the tortoise on crutches. .

1 Watch me

2 Stick

3 Rubbish

4 Sweet shop

5 Love and sex

6 School / Sneaking up

Once kids find out you've got a disability they will play on it forever, although they didn't understand what was wrong, I'd lost my peripheral vision at school and they knew they could get up close to me, whack me in the side of a head with a book, and I'd never be able to spot who'd done it. So you develop other skills like very sensitive hearing and things like that as a counter measure. School wasn't particularly pleasant, but you learn how to deal with it.

7 Education

ADRIAN CARTER (Owl): It took me a little while to build up the courage to get back into the jist of going into education because you're interacting again isn't it you're back out there with the public. People look at you like, 'oh, he's in a wheelchair and he's in Uni, good on ya mate' you know what I mean.
CHRISTOPHER DAVIES (Chameleon): They can be quite judgemental about your disability. I mean the number of people who've told me 'you can't do that', really annoys me, especially as I can do better than they can sometimes.

8 Lesson

DEAN DAWES (Shrimp): Some people go, 'oh, look at that chair' and be all nice about it. But then I get these other people that go 'argh, look at that chair!'
DEBBIE REYNOLDS (Cat): If I did mention to someone that I was hard of hearing, they would start mouthing and talking to me like I was stupid, 'a li-ttle-bit-like-this', you know, 'a-re y-ou o-k?'
DEAN DAWES (Shrimp): They need to be taught a lesson... a very big one.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Barenaked Ladies - If I had a million dollars


Kraft Dinner, also known as KD or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner, is a prepackaged, boxed type of macaroni and cheese that requires minimal preparation by the consumer.

The term chesterfield is a North American term equivalent to couch or sofa. The use of the term 'chesterfield' has been found to be widespread among older Canadians, but is quickly vanishing from Canadian English. In the United Kingdom it refers to a particular style of sofa featuring a low rolled back and deep buttoning.

An ottoman is a piece of furniture consisting of a padded, upholstered seat or bench having neither back nor arms, often used as a stool or footstool, or in some cases as an improvised coffee table. An ottoman can also be known as a footstool, tuffet, hassock or pouffe.

The Plymouth Reliant (or Reliant K) was manufactured by the Chrysler Corporation. Though technically a compact car, the Reliant's had a spacious interior and could accommodate six-passengers.

Joseph Carey Merrick (5 August 1862 – 11 April 1890) was an Englishman who became known as "The Elephant Man" because of his physical appearance caused by a congenital disorder. A number of sources incorrectlygive his name as John Merrick. In the 80s there were rumours that Michael Jackson offered a lot of money for Elephant Man's bones.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

This hour has 22 minutes - Canine Whisperer

The Canine Whisperer with Cesar Millan (Shaun Majumder) assessed the nature of Transport Minister John Baird's (Mark Critch) aggression. Also with Fiona (Cathy Jones) and Liberal MP (Geri Hall).

Tim Minchin - I'm not perfect

Tim Minchin: This is a song about that feeling I think we all get sometimes when you feel you're the smallest doll in a babushka doll. (in the picture).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns are typically eaten on Good Friday and during Lent. Stories abound about the origins of the Hot Cross Bun. Yet, the common thread throughout is the symbolism of the "cross" of icing which adorns the bun itself. The bread may represent communion and the spices those used in Jesus's entombment.

Give Up Yer Aul Sins- Death of Jesus

Based on the original recordings taken by Peig Cunningham in Dublin schoolrooms from the 1960's, this film dramatises the event as a TV crew arrive to record the children and we are treated to the story of the death of Jesus told as only children can. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short at the 2001 Oscars.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Monty Phyton: Almost the truth about The Life of Brian

The Python Gang reflects on their misinterpreted and controversially banned film, The Life of Brian.

Monty Python - Always look on the bright side of life

‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ was originally featured in the 1979 Python film The Life of Brian. The song takes place at the very end of the film when Brian, played by Graham Chapman, is being crucified for involvement in a kidnap plot. A character on a nearby cross, Mr Frisbee III, played by Eric Idle, attempts to cheer up Brian by singing this song, a manifestation of the British custom of keeping a 'stiff upper lip' during a crisis. Soon, the other people being crucified join in singing and whistling. The film then fades to the music.

Chanted on football terraces, featured in numerous TV montages of disgraced celebrities and even sung at funerals, ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ has been voted the U.K.’s favourite comedy song.

Cheer up, Brian, you know what they say...