Lessons in the "Alternative" Category

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.

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.