viernes, 9 de diciembre de 2016

Dealing with a parent with dementia

Reporter Louis Theroux drops in at a traumatic time for new residents and their families at the Beatitudes Senior Living Campus, in Arizona.

Self-study activity:
Watch the video and anwer the questions belowl

1. What problem is Janet Cottrell having?
2. How long has she been staying at Beatitudes?
3. Why did the family take the decision to send her to the retirement centre?
4. Does Janet know that she's going to stay at Beatitudes for ever?
5. What do the staff tell residents at Beautitudes all day long?

My journey began here, at Beatitudes, a retirement community with a specialist unit for people with dementia.
I don't know where she is, if she's OK.
A resident on the second floor, called Janet Cottrell, had seen an intruder.
Janet, who was yelling at you?
The woman that was in here. She was climbing in her pyjamas and going... She was in that room.  I don't know where she could have gone so fast.
Well, if you see her again, let her know, or you can push your button.
Dawn Grant is in charge of the unit.
Do you think that was a hallucination?
I do believe so.
Why could it not be a real person?
I don't have any other small females, skinny, running round in their jammies right now.  Another resident. And they can't move that fast, either.  So it's probably a hallucination. Well, it is a hallucination.
Janet was a new arrival at Beatitudes.  Her daughter, Nancy, came to see how she was settling in.
Do you like the chair, Mom?
Do you like the chair?
Do I like the chair? Yes, very much so.
So your mum just moved in yesterday, is that right?
And how did that go?
It was pretty emotional. In the morning it was very, very difficult  when we told her she was coming.
How did you get to the point of feeling she needed to be here?
She walked away from the house one day, and she didn't know where she was, and nobody knew where she was,  so that was the end of my being able to take care of her,  because I couldn't keep her safe anymore.
Course, I keep thinking, you know, she likes to go out a lot, but we aren't allowed to go out. We don't have a car.
Once your car was taken away, was that quite a big thing for you?
It was terrible, and it still is. And Nancy says I cannot get my car back.
My mom, I hope, knows that I love her very much, and that the reason that I'm doing these things is to keep her safe, and I hope she remembers that.
See, if you just leave me alone, I do all good things by myself.
At any point did you kind of say to Janet, ‘This is basically where you'll be living now’?
Not yesterday before we left, no.  It wasn’t until… And we really actually haven't said that, I've not said that to her at all.
Do not talk about her as though she's not in the room.
Include her in, or don't have a conversation in front of her.
She's not saying, ‘When can I go home?’, or anything?
She's not, but she is under the impression she's here temporarily.
She is, but so is Sonja, her roommate.
Right, and half of the people here.
Yeah, they all think they're going.
They do?
It's just such a transition to take them from what they're so used to, to putting them in a new setting.
It's OK to tell...I guess they'd be white lies, is that the right term?
Yes. We do it all the time.
Yeah, we tell white lies all day long here, all day.

1 She says she's seen an intruder
2 Just one day 
3 They can't look after her. One day she walked away from the house and she didn't know where she was.
4 No, they haven't told her yet. 
5 (White) lies

jueves, 8 de diciembre de 2016

Moscow on the move

Choosing the right speed for exploring Moscow is vital, as this Euronews report explains.

Self-study activity:
Watch the video and answer the questions below.

1 What is the other name tube stations are known for in Moscow?
2 Why do people pat the dog's nose at Revolution Square?
3 Which two categories does Aleksis divide travellers into?
4 How far is the bike ride to see the avant-garde architecture?
5 How far off the ground are the passengers sitting on a double-decker bus?
6 How old is Moscow's tram?
7 Why is the river a key element in the city?

Choosing the right speed for exploring Moscow is vital because according to architects, the city is best seen on the move.
The underground is the fastest way to get around but take your time because tube stations here are often like palaces, or art museums. Sometimes people even call them time machines.
Let's take the Mayakovskaya station, for example. Here we see portrayals of the days of Soviet people who will soar into the sky in the future, because life will be wonderful. At Revolution Square station you see the 20 first years of Soviet history. First, you see the heroes of the revolution and then the heroes of the Civil War.
At Revolution Square people also pat this dog's nose for luck.
At first, people thought that patting the dog's nose before an exam would help you pass. This belief just expanded. Today people think it will bring you money and other things.
Aleksis thinks that a scooter is lucky. The founder of the "Arts and Culture Project" enjoys exploring the new pedestrian zones which have recently been constructed in the city centre. Aleksis has his own philosophy for exploring Moscow, and he divides travellers into two groups: the "birds", who just fly around; and the "mandarins", who do not get out of the bus.
They see the iconic buildings but not the details. I try to reach another level when I talk to tourists about the city and its history, paying special attention to those details.
To see the hidden treasures of Moscow's avant-garde architecture, Aleksis and his group have chosen another means of transport, the bicycle. But you have to be in good shape for this excursion, because it's a 30 kilometre bike ride.
Now, everyone can use a bicycle to get around Moscow. The long-awaited public rent-a-bike service has opened. And for now there are several dozen stations, but more will be built soon.
Another novelty is the double-decker sightseeing buses that have finally appeared on Moscow streets. They are not only popular with tourists but also with native Muscovites who enjoy seeing their city from a new perspective.
Three and a half metres might not seem far off the ground but you can see the facades of the so-called Old Moscow. They are unique and even magical.
And then there are the trams which give a flavour of Old Moscow, a city full of charm which inspired writers to describe the trams in their books. Moscow ethnographer Natalia Leonova created a tour on a real tram route that has existed since she was a child.
The tram is the oldest form of transport in Moscow. Just imagine, it's 114 years old. That is why it allows us to go back in time and travel around the distant parts of Moscow, uniting districts which used to be the far-flung outskirts.
But some people say that the best way to see Moscow is from a boat. The Moscow River, like all rivers in capital cities, has played a very large role in the past. And that's why the major historical buildings were constructed on its banks.
The river is a uniting element. It unites not only the city itself, but also the perception of a man who is looking at the city from the river. At the same time, the perception from the very low angles is always better and more interesting. This is why I put the boats in the first place on the list of transport for tourists.
Architects also suggest combining all the different angles to create a unique picture of Moscow that you will remember like a good film.

1 time machines
2 for luck 
3 the "birds", who just fly around; and the "mandarins", who do not get out of the bus.
4 thirty kilometres 
5 three and half metres
6 one hundred and fourteen years
7 it is a uniting element

miércoles, 7 de diciembre de 2016

Talking point: Computers and gadgets

This week's talking point is computers and gadgets. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below so that ideas come to mind more easily the day you get together with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.

Have a look at the photo below and answer the questions.
When do you think this photo was taken?
What do you think the equipment in the photo is and what is it for?
How have computers changed since your first started using them?
What do you think has been the most significant change? Why?
Which of the following do you have, a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone?
Which make(s) do you have? Why did you choose them? Are you happy with them?
Have you ever used a computer to do the following?
prepare presentations
design things
edit videos
manage accounts
hold video meetings
code new programmes
What else do you use your computer for at work, when studying, in your free time?
What typical problems do you have with your computer?
Who do you usually turn to for help?
Do you know anyone who always buys the latest gadgets, technology or software? Give examples of what they have bought or use.
Do you know anyone who is a bit of a technophobe?
Have you bought any new gadgets, apps or software recently? What? Why did you get them?

martes, 6 de diciembre de 2016

In the kitchen with Barbara Lynch

Barbara Lynch is a gritty Boston restaurateur whose home kitchen is the height of industrial chic.

Self-study activity:
Watch the video and answer the questions below.

1 What does Barbara hate?
2 How old is she?
3 Who taught her how to cook?
4 What was she like as a child?
5 When does she cry now?
6 How many children does she have?
7 What effect does cooking at home have for her?

You may also be interested in Barbary Lynch's TED Talk in Boston Back to the Basics.

I think my approach to cooking is somewhat different from other chefs. You know, it's chaos usually here. It's fun.
Most of my life is in the kitchen, so why wouldn't I want to have a professional kitchen at home? And I wanted it to sort of look professional, but yet home, like it's been here. I like to have clean minds and clean space. I hate clutter. I hate it.
Believe it or not, I was a really shy person, a really shy kid, up until 40, so that's 10 years ago. It's so nice not to have to talk. It's so nice just to cook and just to focus on what you're doing.
My one obsession, just because I'm self-taught, is cookbooks. I mean, I don't follow recipes.  It's the food porn.  It's the beautiful photos.  I got Suzanne Goin.  I got Julia Child.  I got it all.
I'm still self-conscious, you know? Do I really cook good?  Can I… am I really doing this?  I always feel like, jeez, what the hell? How'd I get here?
So I grew up in South Boston. We were crafty as kids.  We weren't bad.  We were just creative. I was selling drugs off of like a moped, which we stole, so I kind of had that like tough attitude, but honestly, I'm really like a softy. I cry at commercials. You know, I'm a softy.  I am.
For some reason, I always felt like I'm was Italian. Here I am, I named my daughter Marchesa Fiorella Petri. I thought my mother was going to kill me. She's like, why couldn't you name a Katherine, or Denise, or Margaret?  I'm like, I don't know, mom.  I just didn't want to.
I think people have a different perception of me. I think they always think of me of Barbara the chef, but not Barbara the mother. You know, I'm a different person at home.
I have an 11-year-old girl, and she has a million friends, and my God, they're picky.  One has been a vegetarian since she's seven. One will just eat pasta with butter. But I don't hold that against them. I was a vegan once, maybe for a week.
Cooking to me is like, I don't know, if you were a runner, you get into a zone.  Your breathing is right.  You feel good. There could be chaos all around me, and if I'm working on a particular dish, I don't even look up.  When I'm home, I'm cooking, and it's therapeutic.

1 clutter
2 fifty
3 nobody, she taught herself
4 (shy), crafty, creative, not bad
5 when watching commercials
6 an eleven-year-old daughter
7 it's therapeutic

lunes, 5 de diciembre de 2016

Listening test: Gambling

Listen to a report on gambling and choose the heading A-J which corresponds to each extract. There are two headings you do not need to use. 0 is an example.

A - A ban on gambling
B – An old, popular pastime 0 Example
C - A very strange bet
D - Highest wins
E - How to achieve success in gambling
F - Hundreds of types of gambling
G - Gambling tourism
H - The longest-running bet
I - Unsuccessful gambler
J - Why lotteries exist

0 - Example
Human beings have spent large amounts of money trying to beat the laws of probability for centuries. More than thirty countries currently have legalized gambling in the form of national lotteries or private casinos. In the last ten years this addictive pastime has been generating millions more via the internet.

Back in 1873, engineer Joseph Jaggers won $300,000 dollars in three days at the casino in Monte Carlo by noticing that the mechanical faults in their roulette wheels made certain numbers come up more often than others. More recently, an Australian wrote a software programme to help him spot winners on the horses in Hong Kong and has supposedly won $150 million over the last 20 years.

What’s the biggest lottery jackpot ever? – the record is currently $350 million, won by two people in the USA in May 2000. This, of course, is peanuts. It costs $444 million a year just to keep an aircraft carrier in the water…The biggest single win on a national lottery was $314.9 million in the Powerball game in 2002 by a man who had already made a fortune in the sewer business. Another American won $39.7 million from a slot machine in a Las Vegas casino in 2003 after putting in about $100 worth of coins. The lucky man had actually only gone to watch a basketball match.

Often to make money for the state. The Chinese had a lottery over 2000 years ago to raise money to build the Great Wall. King James I of England set one up to finance the new colony of Virginia in America in the 17th century. The British Museum in London was also built this way.

Before gaming was legalized there in the 1930s Las Vegas was a small desert town; today it has 35 million visitors and earns seven and a half thousand million dollars from its casinos every year. What do they do with the profits? Build hotels, it seems – the world’s biggest is the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino with 5,005 rooms. In fact somebody estimated it would take one person 329 years to sleep in every hotel room in Vegas.

Politician and fraudster Horatio Bottomley went to Belgium in 1914 and bought all six horses in a race. He also paid the jockeys to cross the finishing line in a particular order. Then he put huge amounts of money on all the horses. Unfortunately, the race meeting was by the sea and a mist came in and covered the entire course. The jockeys couldn’t see each other and the judges couldn’t make out who had won. Bottomley lost a fortune.

There was a ten-year bet between writer Paul Ehrlich and businessman Julian Simon that the price of certain metals would be higher in 1990 than in 1980. Ehrlich lost when copper, chrome, nickel, tin and tungsten dropped in price. Simon was trying to make the point that the world is not heading for catastrophe and that we are not using up the world’s resources as Ehrlich had predicted. He refused, however, to agree to a second bet that in the following ten years there would be an increase in greenhouse gases and AIDS victims and a decrease in tropical rainforests, agricultural land and human sperm counts.

An American businessman bet a British investor $100,000 that it was not possible to walk around the world without being recognised. A certain Harry Bensley agreed to take up the challenge. He had to wear an iron mask for the whole trip and pay his way by selling pictures of himself. While travelling, he also had to find a woman who would marry him, to push a pram and carry only one change of underwear! He set off from London in January 1908 and was arrested a few miles down the road for selling postcards without a licence. He supposedly got most of the way round the world and was in Italy on his way home in 1914 when the First World War broke out and he had to call the whole thing off.

KEY: 1E 2D 3J 4G 5I 6H 7C

domingo, 4 de diciembre de 2016

Extensive listening: Your smartphone is a civil rights issue

The smartphone you use reflects more than just personal taste ... it could determine how closely you can be tracked, too.

Privacy expert and TED Fellow Christopher Soghoian details a glaring difference between the encryption used on Apple and Android devices and urges us to pay attention to a growing digital security divide.

"If the only people who can protect themselves from the gaze of the government are the rich and powerful, that's a problem," he says. "It's not just a cybersecurity problem — it's a civil rights problem."

Christopher Soghoian researches and exposes the high-tech surveillance tools that governments use to spy on their own citizens, and he is a champion of digital privacy rights.

You can read a full transcript here.

sábado, 3 de diciembre de 2016

Reading test: Does travel really broaden the mind?

In this week's reading test we are going to practise the 'insert the word' kind of task. To do so, we are going to use The Independent article Does travel really broaden the mind?

Read the text and choose the word or phrase below which best fits into the corresponding gap 1 to 12. Three of the words are not needed. 0 has been completed as an example.

Does travel really broaden the mind?

Mark Twain wrote: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

Perhaps, with the summer holidays upon us, and Brexit-based discussions about tolerance, immigration and our relationship with foreigners ringing in our (0) ears, it’s worth examining Twain’s quote. Does travel really broaden the mind, or does it tend to reinforce existing (1) …?
Parts of the travel industry have long been (2) … creating a “home away from home”, with English bars and familiar pizza restaurants to comfort Brits that their holiday experience will be different, but not that different. It’s perfectly possible to stay within the (3) … and have limited contact with “the locals”.
At the other end of the spectrum, parts of the industry offering more “immersive” experiences in distant places are (4) … marketing slogans such as “come back different” or “life-changing travel” – an indication that they see their holidays as transformative, (5) … is not always true.
For some people meeting (6) …, often with different languages and ways of life is very exciting, and the essence of travel, for others it’s quite naturally a little (7) … . How the tourist chooses to manage this - whether you are an experienced traveller, like me, heading to Kenya to be hosted by the Maasai on safari, or a young family on your way to Spain for the first time – is more important than how much (8) … they have or what they book.
Despite the type of holiday we choose or can afford, as Westerners we often have the habit of thinking we know (9) …, that our ways of doing things are universal. We learn little travelling this way. Travellers who, instead, develop the habit of asking questions, being (10) …, curious and respectful find their holiday is enriched.
Of course, many tourism businesses have understood this and help (11) … mutually beneficial encounters with local people, by designing trips “responsibly” with good local benefits, a (12) … welcome and open door to learn about and experience different ways of life. Perhaps it’s time to review our approach to strangers at home and on holiday.

accused of
ears  0 Example
fond of

1 prejudices
2 accused of
3 resort
4 fond of
5 which
6 strangers
7 frightening
8 money
9 best
10 open-minded
11 facilitate
12 warm