Sunday, May 28, 2017

Life Pre-Intermediate 1B The Secrets of Long Life p.12-13

(Supplemental Materials for Specific Textbooks--Life Pre-Intermediate)

Transcripts: docs, pub

The transcript has 5 mistakes in it.  Listen to the CD one more time, and find the five mistakes in the transcript

P=Presenter, D=David McLain
P: No one knows exactly the reason why some people live longer than others.  Why are they so healthy?  Is it their diet?  Do they go to the gym more than others?  Well, one man is trying to answer these questions and that man is explorer and journalist David McLain.  He’s currently travelling to places and regions with large numbers of people aged a hundred and over and asking the questions: Why are they so fat?  What are they doing that the rest of us aren’t?  At the moment, he’s working on the Island of Sardinia in Italy, but he’s speaking to us right now on the phone. David, thank you for joining us today.
D: Hello.
P: So, first of all, tell us why you decided to visit Sardinia.
D: Well, Sardinia is an interesting place because men live the same amount of time as women.  That isn’t normal for most countries.  Men normally die older.
P: And does anyone know the reason why people live longer in Sardinia?
D: There are different ideas about this but possibly one explanation is that the family is so important here. Every Sunday the whole family meets and they eat a huge meal together.  Research shows that in countries where people live longer, the family is important.  But also on Sardinia, the older mother or grandmother often has authority in the family.  As men get lazier, they have less responsibility in Sardinian culture.  So, perhaps the older men have less stress, which means they’re living longer.
P: I see.  So, do you think people live longer in modern societies?
D: That’s an interesting question.  It’s true that even on Sardinia the younger generation are eating more food like chips and burgers.  Also young people are moving to the city, so they are doing less exercise because of their lifestyle.  So, it will be boring to come back to Sardinia in twenty years and see if people are still living longer...
Answers:
P=Presenter, D=David McLain
P: No one knows exactly the reason why some people live longer than others.  Why are they so healthy?  Is it their diet?  Do they go to the gym more than others?  Well, one man is trying to answer these questions and that man is explorer and journalist David McLain.  He’s currently travelling to places and regions with large numbers of people aged a hundred and over and asking the questions: Why are they so (1)healthy?  What are they doing that the rest of us aren’t?  At the moment, he’s working on the Island of Sardinia in Italy, but he’s speaking to us right now on the phone. David, thank you for joining us today.
D: Hello.
P: So, first of all, tell us why you decided to visit Sardinia.
D: Well, Sardinia is an interesting place because men live the same amount of time as women.  That isn’t normal for most countries.  Men normally die (2)younger.
P: And does anyone know the reason why people live longer in Sardinia?
D: There are different ideas about this but possibly one explanation is that the family is so important here. Every Sunday the whole family meets and they eat a huge meal together.  Research shows that in countries where people live longer, the family is important.  But also on Sardinia, the older mother or grandmother often has authority in the family.  As men get (3)older, they have less responsibility in Sardinian culture.  So, perhaps the older men have less stress, which means they’re living longer.
P: I see.  So, do you think people live longer in (4)traditional societies?
D: That’s an interesting question.  It’s true that even on Sardinia the younger generation are eating more food like chips and burgers.  Also young people are moving to the city, so they are doing less exercise because of their lifestyle.  So, it will be (5)interesting to come back to Sardinia in twenty years and see if people are still living longer...

From Rolling Stone:
Gregg Allman, Southern Rock Pioneer, Dead at 69

I saw The Allman Brothers in concert.  (Or, that is, I saw the band known as The Allman Brothers.  The actual brothers haven't been together since Duane died in a motorcycle accident in 1971)

My memory gets a bit shaky on this, but I think I may have actually seen them twice...once the summer I was 18, once the summer I was 19.

I was never actually a huge fan.  But other people in my high school were, so I went along with them.

In my own mind, though, I was never a poser.  I had decided as a teenager that I was interested in classic rock.  I was actually more interested in groups like Jefferson Airplane and The Beatles, but I have always been a completist, and having decided that I was a classic rock fan, I decided that I was interested in all of it.  So when I found out a lot of people in my high school class were into The Grateful Dead and The Allman BrothersI told myself I was into that as well.
And I was a bit.  I never dug it quite as much as other people did, but I had The Allman Brothers greatest hits CD, and I would play it occasionally.
And I bought an Allman Brothers shirt at the concert, which I used to wear around the Calvin dorms.

Sidenote:
A couple times in Japan, I met Japanese people who were fans of the Allman Brothers.  They were almost always about 20 years older than me.  (Unlike my high school classmates in the U.S., in Japan there's very little appreciate for classic rock among people who didn't live through it-- a phenomenon I detailed in a previous post here).
One of the teachers I used to work with back in Ajimu was a Allman Brothers fan.  And, as I wrote in this post here, during my tour of Oita City I met an older Japanese man who talked to me about The Allman Brothers.

Update:
Since writing about this, I got curious about any concert recordings which would exist from the early days when both brothers were still alive.  I found some clips, and I thought the one below rocked pretty hard.  It makes me feel like I've been missing out by not being a bigger fan than I was.



Saturday, May 27, 2017

My Animal: Present Simple for Habits

(TESOL Worksheets--Present Simple, 3rd Person Singular S)

This activity was used with young children to encourage them to use the present simple for habits, and the 3rd person singular "s".  The students first see the slideshow with various funny animals.  (None of the pictures are mine, all of them are taken from a Google Images search).  The students are then encouraged to draw their own strange animal and write about its habits using the present simple with the 3rd person singular s.  (With the exception of the "can/can't).
In my own class, I used this to supplement English World 2 Unit 5 Grammar p.60.

My animal PowerPoint: driveslidespub
My animal Worksheet: drivedocspub




My Animal
_______________

In the morning it _______________________________________________________________.

It lives in ______________________________________________________________________.

It likes to eat ___________________________________________________________________.

It doesn’t like to eat _____________________________________________________________.

In the afternoon it ______________________________________________________________.

It likes to ______________________________________________________________________.

It doesn’t like to ________________________________________________________________.

In the evening it ________________________________________________________________.

It can _________________________________________________________________________.

It can’t ________________________________________________________________________.

Friday, May 26, 2017

English World 2 Unit 5 Grammar p.60

(Supplementary Material for Specific Textbooks--English World 2)



Class picture questions: drive, docs, pub
Grammar do does: drive, docs, pub
My animal PowerPoint: drive, slides, pub
My animal Worksheet: drive, docs, pub
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) - Movies with Mikey



My own review here.
Twitter alerted me to the fact that Universal has released a new trailer for their classic Monster Movie collection (in anticipation of launching a new cinematic universe).



As I've previously noted on this blog before, I was a huge fan of these movies as a youth.

As someone who's seen all of the movies in this trailer, therefore, I can speak with authority when I say that this trailer makes these movies look a lot more action packed than they actually are.

These aren't bad movies.
...Well, actually some of them are pretty bad.  But not all of them (Bride of Frankenstein, for example, is regarded as a classic piece of cinema by even respectable film critics like Roger Ebert.  See here).

But they are all movies from an earlier generation with longer attention spans.  So expect a very slow pace for all of these movies, and don't let the trailer fool you.

But that being said, it's still a pretty cool trailer.

Update:
Noticed this on the second viewing--the Claude Rains Phantom of the Opera movie is actually a color movie.  They must have just de-colorized it for the trailer so that it blends in with all the other movies.

From Business Outsider:
Men are freaking out at Alamo Drafthouse for hosting ladies-only 'Wonder Woman' screenings

I think this is a bad idea, but not for the same reasons as the Men's Rights Activists.

One of the reasons that it took so long to get a Wonder Woman movie in the first place is because men are the main audience for dumb superhero movies, and studio execs are worried that men won't come out to see a movie about a female superheroine.
This is the same reason that it's taking Marvel so long to have a female superhero movie.

It's a dumb prejudice, granted, but it's a real prejudice that exists and it has to be dealt with.  The simple fact is, many men don't feel comfortable going to movies with woman as the leads.

Men need to be encouraged to attend these movies more.  The message should be that this is a movie for everyone, not just women.

By sending the message that the new Wonder Woman movie is a "ladies only" thing, they are shooting themselves in the foot.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Interesting Random Facts--How Jack Kirby Characters from the 1970s Figured in the Superman Comic books of the Early 1990s

At some point, we've all heard the complaint.  "Superman is the most boring character ever.  Why would I want to read about a superhero who's practically invincible?"

It's true.  And yet, despite this, Superman has remained popular ever since the 1930s.  Which is no easy feat.  (Think of all the other pulp fiction heroes from the 1930s and 40s who are no longer marketable today: Tarzan, Dick Tracy, Little Orphan Annie, Flash Gordon, etc, etc, etc.)

So why do people keep reading Superman comic books?

The answer to that question probably changes from decade to decade, but when I was reading Superman comic books, in the early 1990s, I found the supporting cast more interesting than Superman himself.  In fact, the supporting cast was the main reason I bought Superman comic books when I was a teenager.

Back when I was reading these comic books in the early 1990s, I had no idea where any of these characters came from.  (Back in those days, before the Internet and Wikipeda, it was a lot harder to be a geek.)

But in the years since, I've learned their history, and it turns out just about all of the supporting characters from the Superman comic books in the 1990s were created by Jack Kirby in the 1970s.

io9.com tells me that it's Jack Kirby's 100th birthday this year, and that both DC and Marvel have celebrations planned.  So after seeing that article, I thought I'd do an interesting random fact on the supporting characters that Jack Kirby created for the Superman series.

Jack Kirby is most famous for having worked with Stan Lee at Marvel, and co-creating most of the iconic Marvel superheroes.  (Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, X-Men, Captain America).  But in the 1970s, Jack Kirby grew dissatisfied with Marvel, and went over to DC.

At DC, Jack Kirby was given control of several comic books, and allowed to launch his own project which he called  The Fourth World (W), which was intended to one big epic story spread out over several comic book titles.  ( The Fourth World is another topic in and of itself.  See this article: Kirby’s Fourth World Gambit for more information)
As a launching off point for his Fourth World series, Jack Kirby was given control of on of the Superman books,  Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen (W).
Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen was at the time one of DC's weakest books, and there are conflicting stories about why this book in particular was given to the great Jack Kirby.  One version is that Jack Kirby boasted he could take the worst selling book and single-handedly turn it around into one of teh best selling ones.  One version is that Jack Kirby requested he be given a weak book so that nobody would lose their job.  One version is that this was DC's way of pre-emptively snubbing Kirby and keeping him in his place.
But, once Jack Kirby began his run on Jimmy Olsen, he immediately began packing it full of strange and bizarre characters, starting in issue 113 in October, 1970.



After The Fourth World project was cancelled, these characters largely fell into disuse.  But they were brought back into the post-Crisis Superman world in the late 1980s by in Superman Annual 2.



And they remained a staple of the Superman comic book world through the 1990s.  (When I got to reading the Superman comics).
by the time I got to reading the Superman comic books in the early 1990s, these characters were all fully integrated into the Superman story-line.

So who were these characters?

Well, first of all keep in mind that Jack Kirby had a tripped out imagination.  So all of these characters are incredibly bizarre, and some have convoluted stories.
If you're a certain kind of geek, the fact that these characters are so bizarre and weird just increases the fascination with them.
If you're not....well, then this probably isn't your cup of tea.

Back in the 1940s, Jack Kirby had created a comic book team called "The Guardian and the Newsboy Legion" (W).



The Guardian had  no superpowers, but he had a big gold shield that he used to clobber back-guys with--he closely resembled Captain America (who Jack Kirby also created).  The Newsboy Legion were a gang of boys newsboys who solved crimes in their spare time.


When Jack Kirby brought these characters back in the 1970s, he had them working at a top secret cloning facility, known simply as The DNA project or "the project".
When this concept was brought back in the 1980s and 1990s, it was renamed Project Cadmus (W).  The name comes from the Greek mythological hero Cadmus, who created a race of new men from dragon teeth (W).

By the time of Project Cadmus, the Newsboy Legion are all grown up, and they are now the scientists who are running Cadmus's projects.




But... the younger versions of themselves are still running around Cadmus as well, because the Newsboys cloned themselves.  (Actually when Kirby originally re-introduced these characters in the 1970s, the younger newsboys were the sons of the originals.  But in the post-Crisis 1980 and 90s, they had been ret-conned into being exact clones of the originals).
There's probably a thin line between a genius idea and a really stupid idea, but when I was 14, I thought this was so bizarre it was cool.  You had the adult version of these characters, and kid versions, both appearing in the same comic book.  How insanely stupid, and yet incredibly bizarre, was that!


Tonally, the newsboy legion (a bunch of boys running around solving crimes) belonged to a different era of comic books.  They came from the era when comic books were a lot more kid friendly in the 1940s, and they were out of place in the dark gritty 1990s.  But in a way, that made them all the more bizarre, and all the more interesting.  Here was a relic from the 1940s comic book era running around in the Superman comic books of the 1990s.



The Guardian himself (W) was also still around, although he was also a clone of the original  (which explained why he wasn't an old man at this point, and could still run around doing superhero stuff).
I always thought the Guardian was really cool as a kid.  For one thing, he was essentially just another version of Captain America and his shield, and I always thought Captain America and his shield were really cool.  But I also thought it was strange that the Guardian was a superhero in his own right, and yet was stuck as just a supporting character in the Superman comics.  That added another element of fascination to the whole thing.



Another Cadmus staff member was Dubbilex (W), who was a mutant creation of Cadmus, and had telepathic powers (Dubbilex was also originally created by Kirby in the 1970s, but featured prominently in the Superman comic books in the 1990s).




Cadmus had a created several mutants known as "D.N.Aliens" (aliens created by mutating DNA) who lived underground in a society called The UnderWorlders.  Some of the Underworlders were friendly and helped the good guys, but some of them were violent mutants, and often they would get out of control. (W)




The Underworlders could be violent, but they were also victims of Cadmus's maltreatment, so they could also be sympathetic characters.

The original founder of Cadmus was a mad scientist named Dabney Donovan (originally created by Jack Kirby in the 1970s, and like all the rest of these characters updated again in the 1980s/90). (W) When these characters were re-introduced in the 1980s, Dabney Donovan had been replaced by the US Government, and was in hiding.



By the early 1990s, Dabney Donovan had been replaced by Paul Westfield, an unscrupulous government beauracrat.
Paul Westfield is actually the one person on this list who was not a Kirby creation. Writer Dan Jurgens created Westfield in 1991 (W).



This added a layer of moral ambiguity to Project Cadmus.  The Guardian, the Newsboy Legion, and Dubbilex were all good guys, but they were frequently working on morally dubious projects because their boss wasn't always good.





Now that I'm older and a little more sophisticated, I realize this kind of story is pretty cliche, especially in comic books.  (Recently Marvel's been doing the same thing with Agents of Shield--good guys stuck inside a corrupt organization).  But when I was 14, this seemed like pretty complex stuff, man, and it really fascinated me at the time.

Paul Westfield's himself had some moral complexity to him.  Although his character changed from issue to issue (depending on who the writer was)  he usually wasn't so much straight up evil as he was Machiavellian.  He wanted what was best for the world in the end, he just thought that the ends justified the means.
A perfect example of his character is when we find out that in Vietnam, he had killed his commanding officer in order to save the rest of his men.



Again, from the perspective of adulthood, all of this seems pretty trite and cliche.  But this seemed like heady stuff at 14.
In 10th grade, it certainly felt like none of the literature I was reading at school was giving me characters this complex.

Dabney Donovan was always lurking in the shadows planning his revenge on Paul Westfield, which added extra drama to the Superman comics in the early 90s.



Until after years of build-up, one day in 1993 Dabney Donovan finally struck, and that was the end of Paul Westfield.



In Kirby's original version in the 1970s, the Cadmus project was run by a group of super-intelligent hippies known as the Hairies (W)



A faction of the Hairies were a bicycle gang known known as the Outsiders,


They lived in a tree house village commune on the outskirts of Metropolis.



These characters were also brought back in the 1980s and 90s.  They didn't appear quite as often as The Guardian and Cadmus, but they would show up from time to time in the early 1990s Superman comics.
Like the Newsboy Legion, these characters fascinated me in the 1990s precisely because they were so tonally distant from everything else that was happening.  They were a relic from the 1970s, and they were completely out of place in the dark gritty comics of the 1990s.  And yet, here they were.

And there were more Kirby characters popping up in Superman comic books in the 1990s: Morgan Edge (W), Intergang (W), Dan Turpin (W), et cetera.  But I don't have time to talk about them all, so I think I'll end things here.

One Final Addendum...
Whisky Prajer recently commented about Carl Barks comics that "they're not as much fun to re-read as they are to remember (alas)."

And, alas, I've discovered the same is true with Superman Comic books and the Jack Kirby characters.  Or for that matter, most superhero comic books.

About 10 years ago, I actually went through the trouble of special ordering a lot of these comic books by mail, including The Fourth World Ominibus series (W) in which Jack Kirby first debuted these characters.


It was an expensive, but I had been feeling a little bit down at the time, and I wanted to treat myself to some escapist entertainment.

I couldn't even finish reading it.

The thing with a lot of comic books is that the concepts and stories are fascinating in the abstract, but the medium is so juvenile that none of the stories really get developed.  The pictures are very visually appealing, but there's so much picture that the story doesn't have many lines to get developed.  And half of the issue is always taken up by a fight scene.

It catches your imagination when you're 14, definitely.  And the general ideas stay in your mind for years afterwards, leaving fond reminiscences of how fun and bizarre those storylines are.  But it's a mistake to go back in your 30s and try to read these comic books again.

That warning aside, if anyone does want to risk it, pretty much all of these comics can be read here.

English World 4 Unit 8 Vocabulary

(Supplementary Materials for Specific Textbooks--English World 4)


Google: slidespub


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

English World 2 Unit 5 Reading p.58-59

(Supplementary Material for Specific Textbooks--English World 2)



Vocabulary slideshow: drive, slides, pub
Grab the Cards: drive, docs, pub
Falling Leaves: drive, docs, pub
Wordsearch: drive
Wordsearch answers: drive
Crossword puzzle: drive
Crossword puzzle questions for cutting up and posting around the room: drive, docs, pub
crossword puzzle answers: drive
write the words: drive, docs, pub
put the dialogue in order: drive, docs, pub
write in the missing words: drive, docs, pub
Whisky Prajer reviews Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

For my own take, see here.
Interesting Random Facts--Holy Cow

I just got into a discussion about the origin of the phrase "Holy Cow!"
I had always assumed this expression was in reference to The Golden Calf story (W).  But I was wrong.
According to Wikipedia, the phrase originated in 1905 as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Hindu belief in holy cows.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

IELTS Writing Task 2: 2nd Teacher Feedback Form

(TESOL Worksheets--IELTS Writings Task 2)

Google: drive, docs, pub

This is the fourth and final step in process writing for IELTS Writing Task 2.  (Following the Self-Editing Checklist, the Peer-Editing Checklist and the 1st Teacher Feedback Form).

In the first teacher feedback from, I provided very little feedback.  (I only underlined problem sentences, and did not provide any detailed written comments).  In this feedback form, I used my error coding sheet (from here) and also provided more detailed comments in the comment  section.  I also supplemented this with a short talk with each student.

The students were then instructed to re-write their essay one final time for a final draft.

Student name: ___________________________

IELTS Task 2: Teacher Feedback Form (2nd Form)

Paragraphing:

Yes
see comments
Is your essay divided into clear paragraphs (with line breaks in between the paragraphs)?


Do you have an introduction?


Do you have a conclusion?


Do you have between two or three body paragraphs?



Introduction Paragraph Structure:

Yes
see comments
Is the first sentence a general statement about the topic?


Following the general statement, do you transition to the specific question?


Does the final sentence of your introduction contain the main idea of your essay?



Body Paragraph Structure:
Yes
see comments
Does each body paragraph start with a clear topic sentence, which give the main idea of the paragraph?


Does every other sentence in the paragraph relate to the main idea in the topic sentence?


Is the topic sentence supported by supporting ideas and examples?



Conclusion:
Which type of essay did you write: Choose only one.

Yes
see comments
Agree and Disagree: Both sides
Did you introduce your own opinion in the conclusion?


Agree and Disagree: One Sided
Did you introduce your own opinion in the introduction, and then restate it in the conclusion using different words?


Other types of essays
Did you restate your opinions from the previous paragraphs in the conclusion using different words?


For all essay types:
Did you remember not to include any new information in your conclusion?




Active/Passive

Yes
see comments
Did you correctly choose the active or passive verb for each sentence?


In passive verbs, did you remember to use the “be +V3” form?


If the verb is not in the passive or continuous tense, you do not need to use a "be" verb.  Check to make sure there are no extra “be” verbs in your essay.



Parts of speech

Yes
see comments
Go through the paper and make sure all the words are being correctly used as the appropriate part of speech.



Length
Good job
Too short (You must write at least 250 words, or you will lose points)
Too long (You won’t lose any points if your essay is too long, but in the exam you will lose valuable time.)




Comments


























Error Correction Codes
Code
Meaning
Example
Correction
A
Wrong Article
A [A]moon goes around a [A] earth.
The moon goes around the earth.
^A
Missing Article
[^A] Man looked funny.
The man looked funny.
Pr
Wrong Preposition
I'm interested of [Pr] science.
I'm interested in science.
^Pr
Missing Preposition
The rabbit jumped [^Pr] the hole.
The rabbit jumped into the hole.
WW
Wrong Word (Or Several Wrong Words)
The man ate breakfast [WW] in the evening.
The man ate dinner in the evening.
^
Missing Word
This is the man [^] hit me.
This is the man who hit me.
^^
Two or More Missing Words or Missing Phrase
I got hit [^^] car.
I got hit by a car.
^S
Missing Subject
[^S] will be good.
It will be good.
^V
Missing Verb
Being a radio star [^V]
Being a radio star will be fun.
WS
Wrong Part of Speech
I'm very interested in financial [WS].
I'm very interested in finances.
N
Number/ Singular or Plural problem.
I like cat [N].
I like cats.
VT
Verb Tense Problem
He kick [VT] me yesterday.
He kicked me yesterday.
VF
Verb Form Problem
I've gotten used to eat [VF] here every day.
I've gotten used to eating here every day.
AP
Active Passive Verb Problem
A lot of problems experience [AP] here every day.
A lot of problems are experienced here every day.
SV
Subject Verb Agreement Problem
He like [SV] dogs.
He likes dogs.
P
Punctuation Problem or Spacing Problem
Do you like dogs. [P]
Do you like dogs?
C
Capitalization Problem
I'm from america. [C]
I'm from America.
Po
Possessive Form Problem
The students [Po] homework was finished at last.
The students' homework was finished at last.
SF
Sentence Fragment
The best thing about fast food [SF]
The best thing about fast food is the price.
F
Form--Countable, uncountable, or other grammatical errors
I have a lot of homeworks [F].
I have a lot of homework.
G
Other Grammatical Problem


WO
Word Order
He away walked [WO].
He walked away.
Sp
Spelling Problem
I like to eat peeza [Sp].
I like to eat pizza.
??
I Don't Understand What You Mean


//
New Paragraph