Lessons in the "Lifestyle" Category

The best and worst airports and airlines in the world

Today, we are going to talk about the best and worst airports, and airlines, in the world. Try to think of your own experiences, when reading this article.

Most of us, at some point, will have had an opportunity to travel around the world, using different airlines and airports. Some terminals are old, others modern. Their facilities can vary from very good to dire. The same applies to airlines.

According to AirHelp, who conducted a survey, the best airport in the world to visit is Singapore Changi, followed by Munich in Germany, and then Hong Kong. Copenhagen was fourth, then Helsinki. The main metrics to rate the airports were their quality of services and claim processing records, as well as their on-time performances.

How safe is your office or tower block, if there is a fire?

How safe is your office or tower block, if there is a fire? It’s a hot topic, following the dreadful news story about the recent London tower block fire at the Grenfell Tower, in White City, London.

How could the fire have happened? Apparently, it was a faulty fridge, in a fourth floor flat of the building that caused the terrible fire. It spread rapidly, mainly because of non-fireproof cladding that had recently been fixed to the outside of the building.

So, if you work in a high rise office, or live in a high rise tower block – just how safe are you in it? Safety standards seem to vary in each country. Are there regular fire drills in your tower block? Do the occupants assemble a safe distance away from the building?

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.

Prince Philip to retire

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is to retire from public engagements from the autumn of this year. The announcement was made at Buckingham Palace yesterday.

When someone said to the Duke, who is 95, “I’m sorry to hear you’re standing down, sir,” he replied, in his typically humorous way, “Well, I can’t stand up much longer!”

The decision was made by Prince Philip himself. Her Majesty the Queen has given her husband her ‘full support’ to step down. He will be 96 in June.

May Day celebrations in Europe

Today, let’s talk about how May Day is celebrated in some parts of Europe. For many, it is a traditional workers' holiday.

In Greece, one of the more popular activities on May Day is fire jumping. This is done after the sun sets. Women dance around the lit fire. The children wet their clothes and hair, before jumping over the fire. It is a symbolic act, to keep away winter and disease. Another popular tradition is picking flowers, and creating a May Day wreath, to hang on their doors. It is meant to bring people closer to nature.

In France, May Day is really a day off for its workers. French people like to give family and friends little sprigs, bouquets, or even whole plants of lily of the valley, for good luck. The more bell-like the flower, the better the luck.

The United Airlines fiasco: Passenger dragged off flight

Today, we are going to talk about the extraordinary news story, of an airline passenger, who was dragged, yelling, off a United Airlines flight in America. Three other passengers, on flight 3411 from Chicago, were also ejected, so four-crew could take their seats, to connect them onto other flights.

Dr David Dao, 69, was forcibly ejected from the plane he was on, in Chicago. His crime? To book a seat with United Airlines, sit in it, and expect them to honour its side of the contract. When no one agreed to give up their seats, four passengers were randomly selected to be removed.

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.

New cyber curriculum to be taught to British teens

Thousands of British teenagers are to be taught a new cyber curriculum. Training will be given in cyber security. The idea being, that it will help boost British defences against the rising threat of online hacking attacks.

The new cyber curriculum scheme is led by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It is aimed at teenagers between 14 and 18 years of age. An initial target of 5,700 students will be selected for the scheme. Older teenagers will be allowed to join the scheme, if they meet the right criteria. A pilot launch will begin in September.

NFE CHRISTMAS QUIZ - DECEMBER 2016

Score 10 points for every correct answer – Score 5 points if half right! Play a JOKER in one round and get DOUBLE points in that round. Show it before you start the round. There are 12 rounds with 6 questions in each round.

Classic Christmas Music / Santa / International Xmas / Christmas General / More Classic Christmas Music / The Nativity Story / A Christmas Mix / Christmas Pot Luck / A UK Christmas / Christmas History / Famous Carols / Another Christmas Mix

Have lots of fun - good luck!

Merry Christmas!