Lessons in the "alternative" Category

What is it about Friday 13th?

Today, let’s talk about Friday 13th. What is it about the day that many people are wary about? Why is it unlucky for so many?

Friday 13th is associated with bad luck. Many people avoid traveling on this day, so it’s actually one of the cheapest days to fly. Some people refuse to go to work on Friday 13th. Others won’t buy a property with a number 13 on its door. Some believe that seating 13 people at a table is bad luck. Movie fans like to watch Friday 13th.

Why do the clocks go back in October and forward in March?

Why do the clocks go back in October and forward in March in the UK and Europe? It’s an interesting question with an interesting answer. The clocks go forward in the spring to make the most of daylight hours. They go back in the autumn to allow more daylight hours in the mornings in the wintertime.

Benjamin Franklin, who was one of the US founding fathers, first proposed the idea in 1784. He said jokingly that Parisians should get out of bed early, to economise on their candle use.

Summer

Today, let’s talk about summer. The season falls between spring and autumn. Summer is normally the hottest time of the year. It’s when most of us take a summer holiday.

It is during summer that schoolchildren generally have their six week to two month long summer holiday break. The length of the break depends on which country they live in.

In summer, many families head for the beach. It’s a wonderful place to relax and get away from life for a while. Parents can relax and get a tan, while the kids build sandcastles and play in the sea. Some folk like to go hiking in the mountains. Others like to visit capital cities, like London or San Francisco.

Manchester attack: 22 dead at Ariana Grande concert

Last night, at an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena, pandemonium broke out, when a bomb went off at the end of the concert. The audience was just beginning to leave the arena, when the lone terrorist struck.

Many people were killed, with countless others injured, caused by the terrorist’s nail bomb going off. Concert-goers said there was a massive explosion, with nuts and bolts littering the ground. Panic then followed, with people fleeing.

So far, 22 people have died, including several children. A total of 119 people were injured, some critically. The bomber was instantly killed. People who were at the concert said security did not check bags at the Arena.

The Millennium Snowflake or Generation Snowflake

Today, let’s talk about the Millennium Snowflake or Generation Snowflake. These phrases refer to the current young generation. They are used to characterise young people of the 2010s, who, it appears, are more prone to taking offence than their peers.

Snowflakes are said to be less resilient than previous generations. They can be emotionally vulnerable to cope with views that challenge their own thinking. Snowflakes are said to be delicate and unique. They are furiously intolerant of those who dare to challenge them. To be fair, the term Generation Snowflake is a bit derogatory. It originated in the United States. Snowflake Generation is a slang term that made the Collins Dictionary 2016 edition.

Doors

Today’s English lesson, about doors, is inspired by one of my students, who happened to be looking at a door, when asked for a topic of conversation.

You’d be surprised what you can say about doors. For starters, there are several different shapes of door. Most doors are rectangular. Some are double-opening doors. They can be made of glass, wood, wood panelling, plastic, or uPVC. A good joiner can make a handmade door, though, many doors today are manufactured in a factory. There are also aluminium and steel doors. Wooden doors can be painted, stained or polished.

Spring

Today, we are going to talk about spring. It is one of the four seasons. Spring follows on from winter and precedes summer. The other season being autumn. Spring starts when the equinox is 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. In the UK, and Europe, spring is when the clocks go forward one hour.

Originally, spring was called Lent. In the 14th century that time of year was called springing time. This being a reference to plants springing from the ground. In the 15th century, it got shortened to spring-time. In the 16th century, it got further shortened to spring.

Robot Tax

Today let’s talk about a robot tax. By that, I mean a tax on robots. It is a subject that is currently being discussed, in earnest. Robots are taking over the jobs us humans have done before. If there are fewer workers, it means less tax for governments, right? So the governments have to raise taxes in another way and the introduction of a robot tax can’t be too far away.

These days, robots work in many places, for example, in car factories, on car assembly lines. They cook food and help package it. They are said to be the future workers on farms, picking fruit and vegetables. Who knows?

Fake news – Why is it happening?

Today, we will discuss fake news. Why is it happening? Why are people creating fake news? Have they got nothing better to do?

To clarify, fake news is the deliberate spread of misinformation. It is a type of hoax. It is phoney news. It can also be biased news, to derail a situation or real story. Fake news is not factual news. So when people read a story, they struggle to know whether it is fact or fiction.

Like it or lump it, fake news is everywhere. The internet is flooded with fake news. It helps amplify someone’s viewpoint and helps increase online readership and online sharing. This drives profits up, as payments are generated when ads are clicked. Fake news can go viral, thus increasing clicks and income, even more.

Good Housekeeping

Today let’s talk about good housekeeping. These are the little jobs that need to be done around the house and garden once a year, every few months, or on a more regular basis.

The windows in your house or flat need washing. Many people employ a window cleaner to clean the outside of windows. But how often you do wash the inside of them? When did you last wipe down the window or for that matter the doorframes? Many people forget or are lazy to wipe down the skirting board.

Washing the curtain netting and curtains, periodically, makes all the difference, especially if you live in a city, where the dirt soon makes your netting rather black. Likewise, wiping down lightbulbs might brighten the room up.