Thursday, December 30, 2010

So Long 2010 and Welcome 2011

I wish you Health...
So you may enjoy each day in comfort.

I wish you the Love of friends and family...
And Peace within your heart.

I wish you the Beauty of nature...
That you may enjoy the work of God.

I wish you Wisdom to choose priorities...
For those things that really matter in life.

I wish you Generousity so you may share...
All good things that come to you.

I wish you Happiness and Joy...
And Blessings for the New Year.

I wish you the best of everything...
That you so well deserve.


Look-Alikes & Sound Alikes

Which is underage...a minor or a miner? On a dark night in a dark alley...are you likelyto be scared or sacred? Who runs the school...the principal or the principle? Is Washington D.C. the Unites States' capital or capitol? And do you and your friends look for adventure altogether or all together? Words that look or sound exactly alike or similar are the cause of many spelling errors. Here's chance to get some of them straightened out. Choose the correct word.

- Jaycee is 15. She doesn't work in a mine. She is a minor/miner.
- On a dark night in a dark alley, you'll probably be feeling scared/sacret and thinking that your life is very scared/sacred to you.
- The bold, ambitious knight from King Arthur's court had one favorite steel sword/soared, which he left to his favorite hair/heir after he died.
- The school principal/principle reported 22 principal/principle of food-throwing in the cafeteria last month. She noted that the stationary/stationery of these episodes had doubled since September. As a result, she declared that stationary/stationery would no longer be served at the end of school lunches.
- If a bike doesn't have a pedal/peddle, it will be extremely hard to pedal/peddle up the hill to the high school.
- If a peer/pier in your classroom dove off a 50-foot peer/pier into the ocean, would you be likely to do the same?
- On my vacation, I desert/dessert in a glider, rode a camel acroos a desert/dessert, and helped a desert/dessert pan for gold.
- Magda decided that, for her visit to the capital/capitol city of her state and the capital/capitol building, she would dy her capital/capitol blue, the color of her state bird.
- All together/altogether, I have collected seven different varieties of scorpions (all dead, of course!).
- When my sister becomes president, as I know she will, I'll write her a letter of congratulations on the incidents/incidence she designed for me when she was in kindergarden.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse

A town mouse went to visit his cousin in the country. The country cousin was poor, but he gladly served his town cousin the only food he had - some beans and some bread. The town mouse ate the bread and laughed. He said, "What poor food you country mice eat! Come home with me. I will show you how to live." The moon was shining brightly that night, so the mice left immediately.

As soon as they arrived at the town mouse's house, they went into the dining room. There they found theleftovers of a wonderful dinner, and soon the mice were eating jelly and cake and many mice things. Suddenly, the door flew open, and an enomous dog ran in. The mice ran away quickly. "Good-bye, Cousin," said the country mouse. "Are you leaving so soon?" asked the town mouse. "Yes," his honest cousin replied. "This has been a great adventure, but I'd rather eat break id peace than cake in fear."

A Year Without TV

Ryan Ruby is ten years old. He loves to watch TV. But for one full year, he did not watch TV at all. What was the reason? Ryan's parents said they would give him $600 if he didn't watch TV for a year.
Ryan's parents thought he watched too much TV. One day his mother saw a newspaper story about a boy who didn't watch TV for a year. She showed the story to Ryan. "It was a joke," his mother said. "I didn't think he would do it." But Ryan liket the idea. He turned off the TV right away. He said, "It doesn't bother me not to watch TV. I just want the money."
At first, Ryan's parents were very happy. Ryan read the newspaper, played outside, played computer games, and played cards with his mother. But after a while, he got bored. Every evening, he asked his parents, "What are we doing tonight?" Sometimes his mother and father wished he would watch TV, just for one evening. Ryan always said, "No, it would cost me money!"
Finally the year was over. Then Ryan started watching his favorite TV shows all day long again. Ryan got the money from his parents. What does he plan to do with the $600? "I want to buy myself a TV set!" he said.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Poem - A New Life Was Waiting

Author: Joyce Hemsley

Inviting - exciting - emotion
with power I had never known,
a world of unchained devotion
because you were my very own.
I had fallen in love with you.

Together we sailed in springtime
to an isle beyond seas of blue,
and when we returned, a new life
was waiting, in a valley of dreams
where I first fell in love with you.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Small Words

This poem has been written using only single syllable words by Robert Anthony Thiel

I like small words the Best
Much more than all the rest
They are just what they seem
And say just what they mean
Big words canlose their way
When I write or what I say
But small words can shed light
On all that I may write
And will light the whole way
On all that I might say
Small words can be sharp like a knife
Or the salt in your tears at night
They are soft like a child you hold
Or like a small whie flake of snow
At times they can be quite strong
Like hot, cold, life, death and storm
They they can be so mild and sweet
Like mom, dad, love or a spring breeze
If big words say just what you mean
They yes do use them by all means
But the worlds tongues were built on small words
They are the first words that a child learns
Small words are your true friends here and now
And like true friends will not let you down

Words that describe behaviour

active - always doing something: She's an active person and never wants to stay in.
aggressive - being angry or threatening: He's aggressive and starts arguments.
ambitious - wantingto succeed: He's ambitious and wants to lead the company.
argumentative - always arguing with people: He won't accept what you say - he's argumentative and loves to disagree!
arrogant - thinking you are better than anyone else: He always behaves as if nobody else's opinion is important - I find him very arrogant.
assertive - being confident, so people can't force you to do things you don't want to do: It's important to be assertive at work.
bad-tempered - in a bad mood: What's got into him lately? He's so bad-tempered.
big-headed - thinking you're very important or clever: I've never met anyone so big-headed.
bossy - telling people what to do all the time: He's so bossy - he never lets me do thinks the way I want to do them.
careless - not taking care: He's careless driver - I'm sure he'll have an accident.
caring - wanting to help people: My boss is caring and often asks me how things are going.
cautious - being careful, so that you avoid mistakes: He's cautious about investing money in the stock market.
charming - pleasant and likeable: What a charming man!
clever- intelligent : She's clever student and picks things up quickly.
conceited - thinking you're very clever, or better than others: He's so concited -he thinks everyone should admire him.
conscientious - doing something carefully, because you want to o it well: She's a conscientious student and always does her homework.
creative - someone who can make or design things, or can think of solutions to a problem: She's creative and artistic.
curious - wanting to know things: I'm curious to find out what you think of the situation.
enthusiastic - having a lot of interest in something: He's an enthusiastic supporter of equal rights.
faithful - being loyal to someone or something: She's a faithful friend.
fussy - only liking certain things: She's fussy about what she wears.
good-natured - kind and thoughtful: She's good-natured and always tries to help.

How did Mr. Johnson save the Gibson family?

One night, a man named Carl Johnson was suddenly awakened by the sound of a tremendous blast. He ran to his bedroom window and looked out. The house next door was on fire. Mr. Johnson quickly, calmly threw on some chothes. He told his wife to call the fire department. Then he hurried next door.

The house, owned by Barbara Gibson, had been blown apart by a gas explosion. The second floor had collapsed into the lower half of the building. There was fire everywhere.

Mr. Johnson found a large hoe in the side of the house. He heard a scream inside. He ran in and fund Mrs. Gibson stumbling around in a daze. Mr. Johnsn grabbed her and pushed her through the hole.

Then Mr. Johnson went back inside to look for Mrs. Gibson's children. He foun Susan Gibson in a state of shock. He picked her up and quickly brought her out. But wher ewas Mrs. Gibson's son, Joseph?

Again Mr. Johnson bravely entered the burning building. The flames were gettng higher. The heat was unbearable. Mr. Johnson could hardly see through the thick smoke. Finally he found Joseph. His clothers were on fire, and he was bleeding from a deep cut. Mr Johnson smothered the flames and led Joseph to safety. Seconds later, the entire house was completely engulfed in flames.

The Gibsons were alive only because their neighbor had acted quickly, with courage.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Old Man And The Envelope

An old man awakes-awoke in the middle of the night. He leans-leaned over and sees-saw that his wife is-was sleeping. Quietly, he creeps-crept down the stairs into the basement, and sits-sit down next to a brown trunk. He has-had an old key hanging on a chain around his neck. He uses-used the key to unlock the trunk. Slowly, he goes-went through old photographs and books. He opens-opened one of the books and an evelope drops-dropped out. He takes-took the envelope over to the furnace and throws-threw it in. The envelope slowly burns-burned. After he watches-watched the envelope burn he returns-returned to bed, kisses-kissed his wife on the check, and falls-fell asleep.

Think up a possible story behind this story to discuss.
What was in the envelope?
Why did the old many put te envelope in the first place (basement)?
Why did he burn the envelope?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Peter, Paul & Mary - If I Had A Hammer


If I had a hammer, I had hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening, all over this land
I'd hammer out danger, I'd hammer out a warning
I'd hammer out love between my brothers an my sisters
All over this land

If I had a bell, I'd ring it in the morning
I'd ring it in the evening all over this land
I'd ring out danger, I'd ring over a warning
I'd ring out love between my brothers and sisters
All over this land

If I had song, I'd sing it in the morning
I'd sing it in the evening all over this land
I'd sing out danger, I'd sing out a warning
I'd sing out love between my brothers and sisters
All over this land

Well I've got a hammer and I've got a bell
And I've got a song to sing all over this land
It's the hammer of justice. It's the bell of freedom.
It's the song about love between my borthers and my sisters
All over this land

It's the hammer of justice. It's the bell of freedom
It's the song about love between my brothers and sisters
All over this land

Want To Get Married? Go Skiing

Mimi: I'm looking forward to a Christmas vacation in the Rocky Mountains.
Sam: What'll you do there?
Mimi: I'm going skiing as usual. I go skiing every year.
Sam: I heard from a friend yesterday. There was no snow anywhere in the West.
Mimi: I'm hoping for at least twelve inches of snow. It depends on the weather at Aspen.
Sam: Aspen, Colorado?
Mimi: That's right. Why do you ask?
Sam: To make sure we're going to the sae place. I mean, I'm skiing there this Christmas, too.
Mimi: Wonderful! We can go skiing together.

look forward to - Anticipate, usually with pleasure.
as usual - As one very often does; in the customary way
hear from - Receive a letter, phone call, news etc. from somebody.
at (the) least - Not less or fewer than, a minimum of, at the smallest guess. Contrast: at (the) most.
make sure + of / about - Be certain of something, check; investigate carefully.

Example 1 - I looked carefully at the letter to make sure that it was from Sam. It was wonderful to hear from him again, and I looked forward to reading his letter.
I read it slowly. It was full of news and at least ten pages long. As usual, he wrote about many interesting things.
Example 2 - Fred phones me yesterday. It was good to hear from him. He told me he was working hard at least ten hours a day, sometimes more, and that he always got up early. He look forward to Sunday to sleep late.
Yesterday Fred got up at 5am as usual. He made sure to rewind his alarm clock right away. Then he remembered it was Sunday.

"Get" + Prepositions

Welcome to "Introduction to Computers and the Internet." This course is designed to help inexperienced computer users get over their fear of technology and get with it "technically." We are going to teach you how to get by with computers and get on the Internet. I am your instructor, Mr. Pfeffer, and these are my two asistants, Mrs. Frank and Miss DePaul. Together, we are going to help you get through concepts you need to uccessfully navigate the web.
First, I would like everyone to get into groups and choose a computer. Once you have gotten together and chosen a place to sit, we will get down to work. We will be learning about different browsers and how they function. We will teach you how to interpret the layout of a web page and how to know where to click to move to other parts of the web site. At that point, we are going to take a short fifteen minute break.
After you all get back to class, we are going to discuss web based content. We are going to teach you how to find the content you want using sources such as Yahoo or Alta Vista. So, let's get started.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas is a time for Families, Fun, and Festivities! A time of family gatherings and holiday meals. A time for Santa, stars, and singing carolers. A time for ornaments, gifts, and twinkling lights. Of sleigh rides, hot cocoa, and gingerbread cookies.

At its core, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. The holiday's connection to Christ is obvious through its Old English root of "Cristes maesse" or Christ's Mass. For Christians, it is the time to renew one's faith, give generously and consider the past. But Christmas is also a secular celebration of family--one that many non-practicing Christians and people of other religions are comfortable accepting as their own. The secular nature of Christmas was officially acknowledged in 1870 when the United States Congress made it a federal holiday. Federal and state employees and most private businesses observe Dec. 25 by not working.
Christmas is also a fascinating miscellany of traditions: one that combines pre-Christian pagan rituals with modern traditions. Every family that celebrates Christmas has its own customs--some surprisingly universal, others entirely unique--but all comfortably familiar in their seeming antiquity.

Looking for Love

John is 52 years old. He is not married. Every day h comes home from work and eats dinner alone. Then he watches TV alone. At 11 o'clock he goes to bed alone.
John is not happy. He has a good job and a nice house, but he doesn't have love. He wants a wife.
How can John find a wife? One day he has an idea.
John  is a painter, and he drives a small truck. He paints these words on his truck:
Hundreds of women write letters to John. He reads all the letters. He likes one letter very much.
The letter is from Bobbi. Bobbi is 33 years old, and she is divorced. She has two children and a dog. John calls Bobbi, and they meet. One week later, John paints his truck white.
"I'm not thinking looking for love now," John says with a smile.
One year later, John and Bobbi are married.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Qualities you are looking for in a mate

Romantic "I want to take you to a candle lit restaurant."
Reliable " I finisihed painting the babies room."
Good listener "Let me think about what you said."
Good sense of humor "I enjoy laughing."
Hard working "I've been working at it all day."
Intelligent "I just read a great book."
Faithful "I have only eyes for you."
Easy going "Don't worry so much."

Pick the three qualities you think are most important to find in a mate.
Reliable, hard working, intelligent, down-to-earth...

Which of the following activities do you enjoy?
- I really enjoy dancing.
- I love jumpng off the diving board.
- I like to go to a bar and hang out with friends.
- Art museums are great.
- The Beatles are one of my favorite bands.
- I like camping whenever I get the chance.

ambitious - unmotivated
generous - stingy
hardworking - lazy
honest - dishonest
humble - bigheaded
independent - depended
kind - inconsiderate
nervous - calm
open-minded - close-minded
optimistic - pessimistic
outgoing - shy
punctual - late
reliale - unreliable
talkative - quiet
unselfish - self-centered

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Can Money Buy Happiness?

On July 23, 2000, forty-two-year-old forklift operator in Corbin,  Kentucky, named Mack Metcalf was working a 12-hour nightshift. On his last break, he halfheartedly checked the Sunday paper for the winning Kentucky lottery numbers. He didn't expect to be a winner, of course - but hey, you never know.

Mack Metcalf's ticket, it turned out, was the winner of the $65 million Powerball jackpot, and it changed his life forever. What did he do first? He quit his job. "I clocked out right then, and I haven't been back," he later recounted. In fact, his firs impulse was to quit everything, after a life characterized by problem drinking, dysfunctioal family life, and poorly paid work. "I'm moving to Australia, I'm going to totally get away. I'm going to buy severel house there, including one on the beach," he told Kentucky lottery officials.

Metcalf never worked again. But he never moved to Australia. Instead he bought a 43-acre estate with astentatious, plantatio-syle home in southern Kentucky for more than $1 million. There, he spent his days pursuing pastimes like collectng expensive cars and exotic pets, including tarantulas and snakes.

Trouble started for Metcaf as soon as he won the lottery. Seeing him on television, a social worker recognized him as delinquent for child support from a past marriage, resulting in a settlement that cost him half a million dollars. A former girlfriend bilked him out of another half million while he was drunk. He fell deeper and deeper into alcoholism and became paranoid that those around him wanted to kill him. Racked with cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis, he died in December 2003 at the age of forty-five, only about three years after his lottey dream had finally come true. His tombstone reads, "Loving father and brother, finally at rest."

Did millions of dollars bring enduring happiness to Mack Metcalf? Obviously not. On the contary, those who knew him blame the money for his demise. "If he hadn't won," Metcalf's former wife told a New York Times reporter, "he would have worked like regular people and maybe had 20 years left. But when you put that kind of money in the hands of somebody with problems, it just helps them kill themselves."

Money doesn't buy happiness, but success does.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Western Astrology Personality Traits

January 21 to February 20
Primary Characteristics
- Generous
- Tolerant
Positive Personality Traits
- Friendly
- Independent and intellectual
- Loyal and honest
- Orginial and inventive
- Can be intractable and contrary
- Can be unemotional/cold and detached
- Sometimes perverse and/or unpredictable
February 21 to March 20
Primary Characteristics
- Kind
- Psychic or Intuitive
- Sensitive
Positive Personality Traits
- Compassionate and kind
- Imaginative and sensitive
- Intuitive and sympathetic
- Selfless and unworldly
- Can be detached and aloof
- Can be lazy and lack motivation
- Can be irresponsible and undependable
March 21 to April 20
Primary Characteristics
- Energetics
- Passionate
Positive Personality Traits
- Adventurous and energetic
- Dynamic and quick-witted
- Enthusiastic and confident
- Pioneering and courageous
- Can be foolhardy
- Can be impulsive and impatient
- Can be selfish and quick-tempered
April 21 to May 20 
Primary Characteristics
- Self Reliant
- Wise
Positive Personality Traits
- Patient and reliable
- Persistent and determined
- Placid and security loving
- Warmhearted and loving
- Can be jealous and possessive
- Can be resentful and inflexible
- Can be self-indulgent and greedy
May 21 to June 20
Primary Characteristics
- Fun Loving
- Intelligent
Positive Personality Traits
- Adaptable and versatile
- Communicative and witty
- Intellectual and eloquent
- Youthful and lively
- Can be cunning and inquisitive
- Can be nervous and tense
- Can be superficial and inconsistent
June 21 to July 20
Primary Characteristics
- Creative
- Romantic
Positive Personality Traits
- Emotional and loving
- Intuitive and imaginative
- Protective and sympathetic
- Shrewd and cautious
- Can be changeable and moody
- Can be clinging, and may be unable to let go
- Can be be overemotional and touchy
July 21 to August 20
Primary Characteristics
- Loving
- Outgoing
Positive Personality Traits
- Broad-minded and expansive
- Creative and enthusiastic
- Faitful and loving
- Generous and warmhearted
- Can act bossy and interfering
- Can be dogmatic and intolerant
- Can be pompous and patronizing
August 21 to Semtember 20
Primary Characteristics
- Creative
- Helpful
- Loyal
Positive Personality Traits
- Intelligent and analytical
- Meticulous and reliable
- Modest and shy
- Practical and diligent
- Can be fussy and a worrier
- Can be a perfectionist and conservative
- Sometimes overcritical and harsh
September 21 to October 20
Primary Characteristics
- Understanding
- Witty
Positive Personality Traits
- Diplomatic and urbane
- Easy-going and sociable
- Idealistic and peaceable
- Romantic and charming
- Can be flirtatious and self-indulgent
- Can be indecisive and changeable
- Sometimes gullible and easily influenced
October 21 to November 20
Primary Characteristics
- Dependable
- Intense
Positive Personality Traits
- Determined and forceful
- Emotional and intuitive
- Exciting and magnetic
- Powerful and passionate
- Can be jealous and resentful
- May be secretive and obstinate
- Risk of being compulsive and obsessive
November 21 to December 20
Primary Characteristics
- Affectionate
- Honest
Positive Personality Traits
- Honest and straightforward
- Intellectual and philosophical
- Jovial and good-humored
- Optimistic and freedom-loving
- Can be blindly optimistic and careless
- May be irresponsible and superficial
- May become restless
- Sometimes tactless
December 21 to January 20
Primary Characteristics
- Ambitious
- Practical
Positive Personality Traits
- Ambitious and disciplined
- Ofter humorous
- Patient and careful
- Practical and prudent
- Sometimes reserved
- Can be miserly and grudging
- Sometimes over conventional and rigid
- Sometimes pessimistic or fatalistic

a/one/two/three, etc. + measure word + of

a tube of toothpaste
a bar of soap
a bottle shampoo
two rolls of toilet tissue
a quart of milk
a stick of butter
a carton of eggs
a head of lettuce
three pounds of hamburger
a can of beans
a box of cereal
4 bags of potato chips
a tin of tea
a bunch of grapes
small basket of apples

Please go on to add the new ones by your comments.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm Feeling Very Blue Today

Red is a hot color. American often use it to express heat. They may say they are red hot about omething unfair. When they are red hot thery are very angry about something. The small hot tasting peppers found in many Mexican foods are called red hots for their color and their fiery taste. Fast loud music is popular with many people. They may say the music is red hot, especially the kind called Dixieland jazz.

Pink is a lighter kind of red. People sometimes say they are in the pink when they are in good health. The expression was first used in America at the beginning of the txentieth century. It probably comes from the fact that many babies are born with a nice pink color that shows that they are in good health.

Blue is a cool color. The traditional blues music in the United States is the opposite of red hot music. Blues is slow, sad and soulful. Duke Elligton and his orchestra recorded a famous song - Mood Indigo - about the deep blue color, indigo. In the words of the song: "You ain't been blue till you've had that Mood Indigo." Someone who is blue is very sad.

The color green is natural for trees and grass. But it is an unnatural color for humans. A person who was a sick feeling stomach may say she feels a little green. A passenger on a boat who is feeling very sick from high waves may look very green.

Sometimes a person may be upset because he does ot have sometimes as nice as a friend has, like a fast new car. That person may say he is green with envy. Some people are green with envy because a friend has more dollars or greenbacks. Dollars are called greenbacks because that is the color of the back side of the paper money.

The color black is used often in expressions. People describe a day in which everything goes wrong as a black day. The date of a major tragedy is remembered as a black day.  A blacklist is illegal now. But at one time, some businesses refused to employ people who were on a blacklist for belonging to unpopular organizations.

In some cases, colors describe a situation. A brown out is an expression for a reduction in electric power. Brown out happen when there is too much demand for electricity. The electric system is unable to offer al the power needed in an area. Black outs were common during World War Two. Officials would order all light in a city turned off to make it difficult for enemy planes to find a target in the dark of night.
(VOA Special English Program, Words and Their Stories).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

She Is In Hot Water

"To be in hot water" - "Hot water" was used five hundred years ago to mean being n trouble. One story says it got that meaning from the custom of throwing extremely hot water down on enemies attacking a castle.

When we are in "hot water," we are in trouble. It can be any kind of trouble--serious, or not so serious. A person who breaks a law can be in hot water with the police. A young boy can be in hot water with his mother, if he walks in the house with dirty shoes.

Being in "deep water" is almost the same as being in hot water. When you are in "deep water," you are in a difficult position. Imagine a person who cannot swim being thrown in water over his head.

You are in deep water when you are facing a roblem that you o not have the ability to solve. You can be in dee water, for example, if you invest in stocks without knowing anything about the stock market.

"To keep yor head above water" is a colorful expression that means taying out of debt. A company seeks to keep its head above water during economic hard times. A man who loses his job tries to keep his head above water until he find a new job.

"Water over the dam" is another expression about a past event. It is something that is finished. It cannot be changed. The expression comes from the idea that water that has flowed over a dam cannot be brought back again.

When a friend is troubled by a mistake she has made, you might tell her to forget about it. You say it is water over the dam.

Another common expression, "to hold water," is about the strength or weakness of an idea or opinion that you may be arguing about. It probably comes fro a way of testing the condition of a container. If it can hold water,  it is strong and has no holes in it. If your argument can hold water, it is strong and does not have any holes. If it does not hold water, then it is weak and not worth debating.

"Throwing cold water" also is an expression that deals with ideas or proposals. It means to not like an idea. For example, you want to buy a new car because th old one has some problems. But your wife "throws cold water" on the idea, because she says a new car costs too much.
(VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories.)

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Team Player

I want to tell you about my new coworker. His name is Alan and he just started working here last week. Even though he is just a rookie, I can already tell he is going to be a team player and work well with the other people in our office.
When Alan interviewed for the job, the boss tried to throw him a curve ball by asking him some very difficult questions. However, Alan was on the ball and gave very intelligent answers. The boss was very impressed. The boss can be tough sometimes and is determined to make his company successful. Sometimes this means he has to play hard ball with people. Alan took all of this in stride and didn't get upset once. He was a real sport about it. The boss really liked him and gave him the job.
Gary, the last person who had this job, really dropped the ball and made a lot of mistakes. His ideas were way out in left field and didn't make sense, so the boss fired him. When Alan started, there were a lot of projects waiting for him. He didn't waste any time and took the ball and ran with it. He has done more work in his first week, than Gary did in a month. Already we are bouncing the ideas off of him. Alan seems ready to tackle the problems facing our company and make it even more successful.

a rookie - someone who has just started doing a job and has little experience.
team player - someone who works well with other people so the whole group is successful.
throw him a curve ball - to surprise someone with a question or problem that is difficult to deal with.
on the ball - thinking or acting quickly and intelligently.
play hard ball - to be very determined to get what you want, especially in business or politics.
took all of this in stride - to not allow something to annoy, embarrass, or upset you.
a real sport - a helpful and cheerful person who never complains when there is trouble.
dropped the ball - to make a mistake or do a bad job.
to be out in left field - ideas etc. that are strange or unusual.
took the ball and ran with it - to understand a situation or task and know what to do about it or how to do it.
bouncing the ideas off of him - to ask someone's opinion on an idea; to play with an idea.
to tackle something - to deal with a difficult problem determinedly.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Not for Love nor Money

For years, my wife has been asking me to dg dancing with her. I'm a terrible dancer and would never go, not for love nor money. However, last week was my wife birthday,so I decided to surprise her with a one-hour dance lesson. As much as I hate to dance, I did not have the heart to tell her we couldn't go dancing. I didn't want to make her unhappy.
I found a dance studio near the International Center and made an appointment. At first, I didn't want to go. My heart wasn't in it. But it was my wife's birthday and I wanted to do this for her. I'm head over heels in love with her. I was really afraid if I didn't take her dancing after all these years, I would have to kiss my marriage goodbye.
The istructor at the dance studio was very nice and showed us some steps. I was really trying my best to learn the moves. Before long I was dancing my heart out and spinning my wife around the room. The instructor told me I was doing great, but to be honest, I don't think she had the heart to tell me I was the worst dancer she had ever seen. "Take heart," she told me. "You're doing great!"
For one hour, we danced till our heart's content and had a great time. I only stepped on my wife's feet a couple of times. She told me that this was the best birthday of her life an that I have a heart of gold. Even though the dance lesson was a labor of love for me, I had a better time than I thought I would, and would even consider doing it again. Honest. Cross my heart. I'm not just saying that to kiss up to my wife. Dancing is not so bad as I thought it would be. Eat your heart out Fred Astaire!

not for love nor money - something that is impossible to obtain or do
not have the heart to do something - to be unable to do something because you do not want to make someone unhappy
My heart wasn't in it - used to say that someone doesn not really want to do something or does not care about what they are doing
kiss my marriage goodbye - used when you think it is certain that someone will lose their chance of getting or doing something
dancing my heart out - to sing, dance etcc. with all your energy
had the heart to tell me - to be able to do something
Take heart - to feel encouraged or have more hope; to not give up
danced till our heart's content - to do something as much as you want to
heart of gold - someone is good and kind although they may not appear to be
labor of love - something that is hard work, but that you do because you want to very much, or enjoy
Cross my heart - used to say that you promise that you will do something or that waht you are saying is true
kiss up to my wife - to try to please or impress someone in order to get them to do something for you
Eat your heart out - used to tell someone that you are better than them at something

Numbers and Measure Words

Hello, fellow travellers! As you know, my wife Helen and I travel a lot. We used to travel by train, but then we discovered campers - mobile homes - and we just love them! We travel (ten thousand/ten thousand of) miles a year in our mobile home. Sometimes we drive (six hundred of/six hundred) miles a day. Sometimes we only cover (sixty of/sixty) miles.
Today I'm going to talk about travelling in a mobile home. What do you need to take with you? Of course you'll need (a/one of) good road map, but there are a few other itmes you need as well. Always take (two/two of) extra tires. It's no fun being (fifty of/fifty) miles from a city with a falt tire! Make sure you also take extra (bottles of/bottles) antifreeze and at least (five gallons/five gallons of) gasoline. I always take (a quart/a quart of) oil, too.
You'll also need a good first-aid kit in your mobile home. Make sure you have (box of/ a box of) bandages, (a can of/a can) insect repellent spray, (a bottle of/ a bottle) rubbing alcohol, an ( a jar of/ a jar) first-aid cream.

Answers: ten thousand, six hundred, sixty, a, two, fifty, bottles of, five gallons of, a quart of, a box of, a can of, a bottle of, a jar of.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Theory of The Broken Window

Let's start by reviewing the "broken windows" insight: It is basically that if a busted window in a building is left unrepaired, all remaining windows will soon be broken -- an unrepaired window signals that no one cares about property damage, or by extension the rule of law. Small problems threreby creat an atmosphere of chaos, leading to larger problem.

All this is dramatized by retelling a fascinating study conducted by Stanford psychologist Philip Zimbardo:

He arranged to have an automobile without license plates with its hod up on a street in the Bronx and a comparable automobile on a street in Palo Alto, California. The car in the Bronx was attacked by "vandals" within ten minutes of its "abandonment." The first to arrive were a familiy--father, mother, and young son--who removed the radiator and battery. Within twenty four hours, virtually everything of value had been removed. Then random destruction began--windows were smashed, parts torn off, upholstery ripped. Children began to use the car as a playground. Most of the adult "vandals" were well-dressed, apparently clean-cut whites. The car in Palo Alto sat untouched for more than a week. Then Zimbardo smashed part of it with a sledgehammer. Soon, passersby were joining in. Within a few hours, the car had been turned upside down and utterly destroyed. Again, the "vandals" appeared to be primarily respectable whites.

Even folks who never read  "Broken Windows" are familiar with some of the remedies the two authors proposed: Windows should be fixed promptly; graffitiy should be cleaned up immediately; drunks should be rousted from street corners; police should crackdown on petty crimes like turn-style jumping in the subway; officers should walk rather than drive their beats, and otherwise engage in what we now call "communiy policing."

Should police activity on the street be shaped, in important ways, by the standart of the neighborhood rather than by the rules of the state?
Until quite recently in many states, and even today in some places, the police made arrest on such charges a "suspicious person" or "public drunkenness"--charges with scarcely any legal meaning. These charges exist not because society wants judges to punish vagrants or drunks but because it wants an officer to have the legal tools to remove undesirable persons from a neighborhood when informal efforts to preserve order in the streets have failed.

Monday, December 13, 2010


FIND A CLASSMATE WHO ----------------------------.

Get up and circulate! Try to find classmates who can answer "yes" to your questions. Be sure to ask a complete question each time.

Example: Natasha loves snow.  Question: Do you love snow?

1. --------------------------lives in my neighborhood.
2. --------------------------is single.
3. --------------------------is married.
4. --------------------------hates snow.
5. --------------------------loves junk food.
6. --------------------------takes the subway every weekday.
7. --------------------------is stressed-out.
8. --------------------------eats healty food.
9. --------------------------was born in January.
10. ------------------------is a workaholic.
11. ------------------------exercises atleast three times a week.
12. ------------------------is homesick.
13. ------------------------is going to go back to his/her country this year.
14. ------------------------speaks English at work.
15. ------------------------makes telephone calls in English.
16. ------------------------likes his/her job.
17. ------------------------wants to change jobs.
18. ------------------------studied in this program before.
19. ------------------------is a couch potato.
20. ------------------------is a bookworm.
21. ------------------------is a chocoholic.
22. ------------------------loves New York City.
23. ------------------------is going to get married soon.
24. ------------------------has more than two children.
25. ------------------------has been in New York City for more than five years.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Everyday Learn One Idiom

A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush:
Having something that is certain is much better than taking a risk for more, because chances are you might lose everything.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Idioms with Words That Go Together

A while ago, I decided o put together one of those five thousand-piece jigsaw puzzles all by myself. I was sure tht I colud do it because I'm got at all kinds of games - from crossword puzles to video games. But it wasn't seasy after all. First, I put all the pieces on the table, and I started to work on the sky part of the puzzle. But every other piece was bule and seemed to fit in the sky. I must have stared at the pieces for two hours. "Take it easy," I told myself. "Sooner or later you'll put some piece together." And I was right. Before long, I had several pieces together. But finishing the entire puzzle was a project that took me quite a few months. Of course, at the end, I learned the most improtant fact about putting together puzzles. The last piece is always missing! Just the other day I found that missing piece behind the sofa. No wonder I hadn't found it before! (By Shawn)

after all - different from what you expected
every other - this one but not the next, then the next but not the one after that, and so on
take it easy - calm down, relax, don't worry
sooner or later/before long - eventually, after some time
quite a few - many
the other day - a short time ago
no wonder - not surprising

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Professor Ernest Brennecke of Columbia is credited with inventing a sentence that can be made to have eight different meanings by placing ONE WORD in all possible positions in the sentence. "I hit him in the eye yesterday."
The word is "ONLY".
Hmm, sounds interesting? Let's take a look it...

- ONLY I hit him in the eye yesterday. (No one else did.)
- I ONLY hit him in the eye yesterday. (Did not slap him.)
- I hit ONLY him in the eye yesterday. (I did not hit others.)
- I hit him ONLY in the eye yesterday. (I did not hit outside the eye.)
- I hit him in ONLY the eye yesterday. (Not other organs.)
- I hit him in the ONLY eye yesterday. (He doesn't have another eye.)
- I hit him in the eye ONLY yesterday. (Not today.)
- I hit him in the eye yesterday ONLY. (Did not wait for today.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Idioms from the Weather

For some folks, everything is easy. Life is a breeze. They're always healthy. They're never under the weather. If they walk into a room full of strangers, they make friends in five minutes. They have no trouble breaking the ice. They earn enough to save some money every week. They're saving money for a rainy day. So if trouble ever does come, they'll be able to weather the storm. Yes, some people have no problems if times are good or bad. They're okay come rain or shine.

a breeze - something easy for a person to do
under the weather - sick
breaking the ice - to begin a conversation with a stranger
saving money for a rainy day - to prepare for trouble, usually by saving money
to weather the storm - to wait and be patient until things get better
come rain or shine - no matter how hard it is to do

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Some Useful Notes

strong coffe -  This coffee is too strong. Can I add a drop of water?
overdone steak  -  I prefer my steak medium rare.
stale bread -  This bread isn't very fresh. It is rather stale.
lumpy sauce -  My sauce came out rather lumpy.
hot curry -  The spicier the better!
burnt toast and weak tea. Terrible breakfast!
sour cream -  This cream has gone sour. Milk has gone off and it smells.
rotten fruit -   Fruit has rotten.
ripe tomatoes  -  They need a few days sunshine.
Don't eat that now. You'll spoil your appetite.

Which negative prefix?

un pleasant   This is a very unpleasent situtation.
un reliable    He never does what he says he is going to do. He is very unreliable.
un friendly   Nobody spoke to me. They are very unfriendly.
un selfish   He is very generous. You can say that he is unselfish.
un lucky    This is an unlucky chance.
un ambitious   He is happy doing a very menial job. He is totaly unambitions.
un happy   Why is she so unhappy?

dis satisfied   What a dissatisfied look she is wearing!
dis obedient   They never do as they're told. They are very disobedient.
dis honest   They cheat everybody. They are totaly dishonest.
dis loyal   He didn't stand up for me. It was terribly disloyal.

in capable   As an administrator, he is simply incapable.
in tolerant   He can't work with other people. He is very intolerant.
in decisive   He can never make up his mind. He is so indecisive.
in sensitive  What a terrible comment to make! She is so insensitive to other people's feeling.
in expensive

im mature    He is very childish. He is very immature.
im patient   Wait a while. Don't be so impatient.
im movable   Christman is the immovable feast.