Lessons in the "alternative" Category

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.

Many under 35s in the UK can’t do basic DIY skills

Recently, a survey conducted by UK store Poundland, uncovered the fact that many young people, under 35, don’t have key life skills. For example, a third of young adults, don’t know how to change a lightbulb.

A quarter, admitted that they would have to ask, to know how to boil an egg. They said it’s tricky to get it right, as ‘you can’t see if it’s cooked, or not, inside the shell’. Some, even tried cooking a boiled egg in a microwave, with explosive consequences. Another 13%, tried to boil an egg, in a kettle.

Killer Clown Craze - Why?

Something very strange and disturbing is happening right now, around the world. We are suddenly seeing people dressed up as killer clowns. They are appearing in strange places. It’s scary and weird. The question is, why? Are these people attention seekers? Or, just nutters? What is making people want to dress up in a killer clown outfit, and go round scaring people? Worse, is that some of them are attacking innocent people; hence the term ‘Killer Clowns’.

The craze may have begun in South Carolina, USA, in August, when some clowns tried to entice children into a wood, with large sums of money. The US born craze, has seen clowns chasing children, with weapons, such as knives and baseball bats. In some instances, they specifically targeted schools.

Autumn

Today, let’s talk about autumn. What exactly is autumn? It is a season that follows summer and is before winter. Autumn starts in Britain on the 23rd September. It is on this day that daylight and night are the same length of time. The nights now get longer and the days shorter.

Autumn is probably the most colourful time of year. It is when the leaves change colour. Many leaves turn into vivid autumn red, yellow and brown colours that so many people love to see. Autumn is also conker season when the conkers fall from Horse Chestnut trees.

Autumn is the time of falling leaves. Many leaves are blown off the trees. Often they form a magnificent carpet of different coloured leaves on the ground. It is a sign that winter is on its way!

Summer in Europe

Today let’s talk about summer. For some, it’s the best time of year. For schoolchildren, summer is the time of long school holidays. It’s also when many families go on their summer holidays.

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere in Europe is the season after spring and before autumn. The summer solstice on June 21 is the traditional date of summer starting. June 21 has the longest day and the shortest night. Druids like to meet at Stonehenge in Southwest England on this day.

Summer is traditionally June, July and August. It is when the weather in Europe is normally at its best. It is hot and sunny.

British Astronaut returns to Earth

Recently, British astronaut Tim Peake returned to earth from the International Space Station (ISS). His journey back to earth was with two other spacemen on board a Soyuz space capsule that travelled through the atmosphere, with temperatures outside reaching more than 1,600°C (2,912°F).

Peake travelled home with fellow astronaut Col Tim Kopra from NASA, and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko. The three completed their deorbit to enter the Earth’s atmosphere at around 10am on Saturday June 18. The Soyuz space capsule landed by parachute on its side in a remote spot in the vast scrubland steppe of Kazakhstan 15 minutes later.

Orlando shootings

Today, let’s talk about the terrible shootings that took place recently at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. More than 50 innocent people were killed with 53 others wounded.

The terrorist attack was carried out by Omar Mateen. Most of the victims were men in their 20s and 30s. The 29-year-old gunman was killed after taking hostages at the Pulse club. The attack is the worst mass shooting in recent US history.

Omar Mateen was an American who declared allegiance to the Islamic State. He was the son of an immigrant from Afghanistan.

Food scandal in Eastern Europe – lower quality than West Europe

Recently a friend suggested I write an English lesson about inferior food being sold in Central and Eastern Europe. In other words products of lower quality, or the same product - but the contents having lower quality inside the package.

How can this be possible? Believe me it is! I live in Slovakia and I hear this story time and time again from my students and friends.

Many Slovaks like to go to Austria to go shopping. Why? Because food is cheaper, and of better quality.

Anyone shopping in Slovak supermarkets is likely to be sold inferior quality goods, like cheese, washing powder, coffee, milk chocolate, and Coca Cola. In Austria those same products are of a much higher quality.