Archive for 16/05/2013

101 Books

A few years ago, Philip Roth hung up his pen/typewriter/keyboard and retired from writing novels.

For a guy that’s won a Pulitzer and a ridiculous amount of other awards, and for a guy who’s written a crapload of highly acclaimed novels, that’s significant.

Not long after his retirement, NPR sat down with Roth for an interview. And, as you would expect, he uttered brilliance. Some great quotes from the interview (all interview quotes via NPR):

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I would love to see some good talent emerge from this opportunity

I would love to see some good talent emerge from this opportunity. As always, I want to provide the Joy of Music through my Academy
Announcing the Sing With Shankar Mahadevan Contest! See details at
Sing with Shankar Mahadevan in USA Contest
Want to sing with Shankar Mahadevan on stage?
Here’s a never before opportunity to Sing With Shankar Mahadevan on stage during his US tour 2013. To participate, all you have to do is register, enroll for the contest by paying the contest enrollment fee and submit a recording of any Bollywood Song.
The Academy teachers will review the same and give you detailed feedback on your singing ability.
There will be 2 rounds of audition and a list of 12-14 winners will be announced who would then get an opportunity to sing with Shankar Mahadevan at different shows during the US Tour of 2013.
All participants will receive detailed written and audio feedback from expert musicians at the Academy based on the recording they have submitted. Hurry! last date to submit your entries for audition is 30th May, 2013.

Rennert New York TESOL Center | TESOL/TESL/TEFL Certification


Integrating language skills in your lesson can kill two birds with one stone: you can cover more material and attempt to simulate a more natural language environment (in my humble opinion).

There are many ways to do this, but one quick way is by using listening to introduce key language (like vocabulary or grammar). Pick a conversation or a song (If you can’t find one, just record one yourself! You can do this easily with this website.) that includes the language point you are covering. Prepare some questions for the students answer while listening to help them highlight key points of the language being taught. By answering the questions about the language, they are encountering the grammar or vocabulary you want to teach while at the same time getting some listening practice in.

This method can also help speed up the clarification of the lesson’s language because your students will already…

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The world of show jumping is complicated, not only in how the sport works, but also because of the phrases used around the show grounds. These terms are crucial to understand in order to describe how the sport works. Whether you are a young rider, or a spectator, here are some key terms you must know before going to your first show.

Hunter- This is a discipline within the sport of riding which is judged on how the horse looks while on the flat, and jumping over fences. Horses can be marked down for incorrect tack, as well as the rider’s apparel. Points can also be deducted when the legs of the horse do not tuck perfectly into their chest over the top of a jump. Hunter judging is complicated, but that is the distinction between equitation and jumper.



(Hunter photo of John French credit to James Parker)


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When I was 10 years old, I was hospitalized for a major operation. The time in the hospital was a big “delay” in my young social life. Aside from being in pain, I was also bored. My mom and other relatives would take turns in looking after me, but they offered little entertainment to a young child like me. Hehe 😛

One day, one of my uncles, Tito JR, gave me a book that would start my love affair with books. It was a hardbound Nancy Drew book entitled, The Haunted Showboat. I was hooked. I couldn’t stop reading and I looked forward to the time that my Mom and my visitors would start a conversation. I would immediately be quiet, open the book and escape to another world and be a smart, young sleuth like Nancy Drew.

A few weeks after being discharged from the hospital, I was…

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So, for all of you who don’t speak any Japanese at all, this is going to be a mini-lesson concentrating on ways of saying hello and good-bye.


So the most basic greeting is probably konnichiwa (こんにちは). This one is probably the most well know. It essentially means ‘good afternoon’. It’s polite and general enough to use in most daytime situations.

There are a couple more handy ones as well. Ohayou gozaimasu (おはいよ ございます) means ‘good morning’. The ‘gozaimasu’ makes this a polite greeting. In a casual, friendly setting you could drop it and just say ‘Ohayou’. Just be mindful of who you’re speaking to. Another one is konbanwa (こんばんは), which means ‘good evening’. Evening is generally considered to begin around nightfall. This another one which is fairly polite.

Some of you may have heard the greeting ‘moshi moshi’ (もし もし) used before. This is a greeting which is only used on…

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Fire'n Light - A World in Stories

Long time ago, when I was about thirteen, my father has decided to send me off to Brighton, England for three weeks to learn proper English.  Though I am still not sure whether he really wanted me to learn English or he wanted to relax and chill for three weeks. I’d love to believe in the former.

So, there I was standing in the middle of the Heathrow Airport along with my thirteen year old friends. We had three teachers who were there responsible for us but they seemed more like shepherds leading a herd. Not because they were really guiding but they were quite good at making you feel that you were dumb and stupid. They’d just hold up a passport and say “this is a passport” and wait for a while and “now we turn the page. Slowly, turn the page. That’s it”.  Sometimes I believe they might…

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The Early Economist

Authorities from the European Commission have raided the offices of major oil firms BP, Shell and Statoil in an investigation of suspected price-fixing.

The size of this investigation makes it one of the largest cross-border actions since the Libor scandal.

The European Commission yesterday said it was investigating a number of the world’s major oil companies over suspected price-fixing agreements. These agreements are related to the submission of prices to leading oil pricing agency Platts.

“Officials carried out unannounced inspections at the premises of several companies active in and providing services to the crude oil, refined oil products and bio-fuels sectors,” the EC said.

The Commission also confirmed that the inspections took place in two EU member states and one non-EU country.

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Applied Unificationism

Office training

By John Redmond, Chief Financial Officer, UTS

IMG_9544I spent ten years as a corporate training manager for community colleges.  My job was to go out to industry, large and small, and help design training for manufacturers.  Local manufacturing companies are highly prized as economic development engines.  Every job created by a medical products company for instance, whose customers are national and international, creates five to six other local jobs — teachers, tire salesman and restaurants owners to name a few.  Any improvement in the efficiency or effectiveness of a manufacturing company improves the community around it.

One thing I noticed is that modern companies hire very few people just because they have a strong back or only obey orders.  Karl Marx had a theory that people are just economic animals,  programmable entities that are interchangeable, like light bulbs.  He called it the Labor Theory of Value, and many companies…

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