Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,)
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Report: Half of all supermarket chicken harbors drug-resistant bacteria

Report: Half of all supermarket chicken harbors drug-resistant bacteria | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it
A Consumer Reports investigation found potentially dangerous pathogens in nearly all of the chicken it tested

 

Dangerous bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant “superbugs,” lurk in nearly all supermarket chicken, an investigation by Consumer Reports revealed.

 

The nonprofit organization tested 300 samples of store-bought chicken breasts, and found that 97 percent harbored one of six types of illness-inducing bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella. Over half contained fecal contaminants, most commonly enterococcus. Included in the test were samples labeled “organic” and “antibiotic-free” — neither showed a significant difference in bacteria from conventional samples. In fact, there was little difference in bacteria content between any of the brands or types of chicken tested.

 

“It’s unrealistic to expect that the uncooked chicken you buy won’t contain any potentially harmful bacteria,” the report acknowledges. “At the moment,” added Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., toxicologist and executive director of the Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center, “the only way to protect yourself from becoming sick is to remain vigilant about safe handling and cooking.”

But some pathogens are worse than others. Troublingly, the report found that about half of the samples contained drug-resistant bacteria.

Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern in the public health sphere: Currently, drug-resistant infections are responsible for at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. The FDA has taken initial steps toward phasing out the widespread use of antibiotics in meat, proposing voluntary guidelines for pharmaceutical companies. But Consumer Reports has joined other critics in insisting that this plan isn’t assertive enough: In a letter sent Wednesday to the FDA commissioner, the group wrote that there is “much more the agency must do to better protect the public health and to reduce the use of antibiotics in food animals.”

 

In an email to the Huffington Post, the National Chicken Council asserted that “99.99% of servings of chicken are consumed safely.” Given the large amount of chicken consumed in the U.S., HuffPo points out, that amounts to 16,000 unsafe servings each day.

Lindsay Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com. More Lindsay Abrams.

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Hundreds of Thousands Attend Women's March on Washington

Hundreds of Thousands Attend Women's March on Washington | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it
Hundreds of thousands of mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, parents and children, and groups of friends gathered January 21 for the Women’s March on Washington. Similar marches took place around the country and world.
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What We Get Wrong about Hannah Arendt

What We Get Wrong about Hannah Arendt | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it

The lessons we are drawing from her work may not be the one we most need to learn.


What We Get Wrong about Hannah Arendt Posted by Andrea Pitzer Hannah Arendt


 Within months of Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, a political investigator with the Berlin police detained twenty-six-year-old scholar Hannah Arendt and politely interrogated her for more than a week. Upon her release, she devised a plan to leave Germany and headed east with her mother. Taking refuge in the Erzgebirge Mountains, the two women approached the Czech border without travel papers. Arendt had already helped other Jews escape the country, sheltering some in her own apartment, and was familiar with escape networks. In broad daylight, mother and daughter entered a house that straddled the border, waiting until nighttime to walk out the back door on their way to Prague. She soon left for France, where she lived and worked through the end of the decade before winding up in detention again in the spring of 1940, interned this time by French authorities as an enemy alien after the German.  ..............

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NBC Fires Donald Trump Following Derogatory Statements Regarding Mexican Immigrants: June 30, 2015

NBC Fires Donald Trump Following Derogatory Statements Regarding Mexican Immigrants: June 30, 2015 | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it

The network will also no longer be airing the Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants as a result.


NBC has severed all ties with Donald Trump following his recent remarks regarding Mexican immigrants.


"At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values. Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump," the network said in a statement. "To that end, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, which are part of a joint venture between NBC and Trump, will no longer air on NBC. In addition, as Mr. Trump has already indicated, he will not be participating in The Celebrity Apprentice on NBC. Celebrity Apprentice is licensed from Mark Burnett's United Artists Media Group and that relationship will continue."


In case you've muted Donald Trump on Twitter and/or your every day life, during the recent speech in which Trump announced his presidential bid he said,


"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best... they're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists."


Soon after, Univision announced it would not air the Miss USA pageant, of which Donald Trump is partial owner, while NBC also stated that his opinions did not represent those of the company.

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French far-right Front National party’s links with the United Arab Emirates

French far-right Front National party’s links with the United Arab Emirates | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it

France’s far-right Front National party is attempting to find funding from abroad for the 2017 presidential election campaign of its leader Marine Le Pen; she has been unable to convince French banks to provide the sizeable loans the party needs.


Among potential foreign backers the party has already had contacts with is the United Arab Emirates which, according to one of Le Pen’s close entourage, financed an official visit she made to Egypt in 2015. Marine Turchi reports."


With six months to go before the first round of next year’s presidential elections, France’s far-right Front National party is actively seeking funds from abroad for its campaign behind party leader Marine Le Pen."

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Suicides, stress and strokes: the daily risks facing France's postal workers

Suicides, stress and strokes: the daily risks facing France's postal workers | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it

In 2012 the French post office La Poste agreed to set up a commission to find ways to reduce work-related stress, illness and suicides following its abrupt change of status from state-run enterprise to a limited company funded by the public purse.


But today unions and workplace health experts say that many of the group's 260,000 staff are still suffering from the pace of change caused by endless reorganisation. As Rachida El Azzouzi reports, management are now in talks with unions in a bid to solve the problem.


In 2012 the French post office La Poste agreed to set up a commission to find ways to reduce work-related stress, illness and suicides following its abrupt change of status from state-run enterprise to a limited company funded by the public purse. But today unions and workplace health experts say that many of the group's 260,000 staff are still suffering from the pace of change caused by endless reorganisation. As Rachida El Azzouzi reports, management are now in talks with unions in a bid to solve the problem.

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John's Wildflower tips for the New Year - Small Scale Green Roof Guide

John's Wildflower tips for the New Year - Small Scale Green Roof Guide | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it
John's Wildflower recommendations include nine of his favourites for the new year. This should whet the appetite for what can be grown on a small green roof

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Double amputee controls two prosthetic arms at once, using just his mind

Double amputee controls two prosthetic arms at once, using just his mind | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) have successfully tested bilateral shoulder-level prosthetics, allowing a test subject to perform complex tasks using both arms simultaneously. The tests indicate that the system is quick to learn, and it could one day drastically alter the lives of shoulder-level amputees.

 

For most of us, simple tasks like drinking a cup of coffee or using a vending machine don’t present any problems. But for people like Leslie Baugh, who lost both his arms in an electrical accident some 40 years ago, they can be simply impossible. The research and development of advanced prosthetics, such as those in this study, aims to change this, and has the potential to truly transform people’s lives.

 

In order for the technology to work, Mr. Baugh was first required to undergo a treatment known as targeted muscle reinnervation, designed to reassign nerves that once controlled the amputated limb. Following the treatment, the team used pattern recognition software to isolate individual contracting muscles, studying the communication between them, as well as the frequency and amplitude of the nerve impulses. That information was then translated into specific movements in the prostheses.

 

To allow Baugh to control the limbs, a custom socket was created for the top half of his torso, designed for the dual purposes of supporting the artificial limbs and allowing for the neurological connections with the reinnervated nerves. Though a computer-modeled version of the socket was produced first, the need for it to be precisely fitted to Baugh’s torso led to a second version being created, using a more traditional cast technique.

 

While waiting for the finished article to arrive, the team got to work training Baugh to use the prostheses via a Virtual Integration Environment (VIE) – a virtual reality version of the team's Modular Prosthetic Limbs (MPLs). Once the socket and protheses were fitted, he was able to carry out complex tasks such as moving a cup between shelves of varying heights, carrying out as many as eight separate motions to achieve the goals. He was even able to simultaneously control a combination of motions across both arms – a first for the field.

 

It’s been an exciting month for prosthetics research, and the Johns Hopkins University study isn’t the only positive result we’ve seen. Earlier this month, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh published the results of a similarly promising study involving a mind-controlled robotic arm.

 

Source: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Fun GIFs to talk about by scorpion dagger digital collages made from northern & early renaissance paintings

Fun GIFs to talk about by scorpion dagger  digital collages made  from northern & early renaissance paintings | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it
- SCORPION DAGGER -(james kerr)i'm going to try and post one of these GIFs everyday. they're digital...
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Giant rat takes over Swedish family’s kitchen after tunnelling through cement in cellar

Giant rat takes over Swedish family’s kitchen after tunnelling through cement in cellar | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it
A Swedish family have described how they were terrorised by a giant rat which tunnelled through cement to take over their kitchen.

 

"Monster 15-inch rodent finally caught in huge mousetrap – yet still almost escaped alive"

 

"A Swedish family have described how they were terrorised by a giant rat which tunnelled through cement to take over their kitchen.

Pest controllers said the “Viking” monster, measuring 15 inches (40cm) not including the tail, was the largest rat they had ever seen.

 

The Bengtsson-Korsås family thought they must have had a mouse infestation after they heard noises coming from behind appliances in the kitchen – but darker suspicions were aroused when their cat started refusing to go near that part of the house.

 

It emerged that the rat had entered their basement by burrowing through wood and cement, carving out a lair for itself behind the dishwasher.

Signe Bengtsson-Korsås told the Swedish edition of The Local that first contact was made when she went to empty the bin under the sink.

“It was right there in our rubbish bin, a mighty monster. I was petrified. I couldn't believe such a big rat could exist,” she said.

 

 “I couldn't help but do the old classic and jump on the kitchen table and scream.”

Her husband, Eric Bengtsson-Korsås, said he was away at the time and thought his wife must have been exaggerating.

 

  'It was quite a shocking experience', said Ms Bengtsson-Korsås “By the time I got home, the rat was so domesticated that it just sat under the kitchen table,” Mr Bengtsson-Korsås said.

 

When they realised that the rat had chewed through the pipes at the back of the dishwasher, flooding part of the kitchen, the family put the area “on lockdown” and called in exterminators.

 

Pest controllers put down three huge traps, and a day later one went off.

Yet not willing to go down without a fight, the rat had disappeared – dragging the trap with it back behind the dishwasher. It later died – though the family’s children remained unconvinced.

 

“The kids were afraid it would come back to life as some sort of zombie rat. They didn't want to touch it,” Mr Bengtsson-Korsås added."

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Color Photographs of Imperial Russia Reveal a World Lost to History : vibrant photos of the pre-Soviet Russian Empire - Smithsonian

Color Photographs of Imperial Russia Reveal a World Lost to History : vibrant photos of the pre-Soviet Russian Empire - Smithsonian | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it

"At Paris' Zadkine Museum, explore vibrant photos of the pre-Soviet Russian Empire..."

 

"In the early 20th century, two events changed Russia—and the world—forever: World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution.


There to capture Russia's way of life right before the change from a large, but isolated, agrarian society to an increasingly industrialized one was photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii.

 

In the early 1900s, Prokudin-Gorskii mapped out a plan for a photographic survey of the Russian Empire, a plan that won the support of Tsar Nicholas II.

 

Between 1909 and 1915, Prokudin-Gorskii crisscrossed the Russian Empire via train, taking photographs of 11 different regions. 150 of his photographs are now on display to the public in Paris' Zadkine Museum, to commemorate what would have been Prokudin-Gorskii's 150th birthday. 

 

Educated as a chemist, Prokudin-Gorskii studied with leading color photography experts in St. Petersburg, Berlin and Paris.

 

Through his inventive tinkering, he created a new method for producing vibrant color film slides. Prokudin-Gorskii created color images by exposing one oblong glass plate three times, in rapid succession, through three different color filters: red, green and blue.

He then presented these color images in slides by projecting the three different color images through three different lenses, one on top of another. When the three images were projected in concert, a full color image could be seen.

 

 Using this new method, Prokudin-Gorskii took over 2,000 images of the Empire, capturing everything from people to architecture to the Empire's expanding industrial infrastructure.

 

The images truly represent a lost world: many of the buildings that Prokudin-Gorskii photographed were destroyed in the Bolshevik Revolution.

 

The photos also show the wide ethnic diversity of the Russian Empire, from photographs of young peasant Russian girls to a series of images of Uzbek men and women.

 

The complete canon of Prokudin-Gorskii's work was purchased by the Library of Congress from his sons in 1948. You can view more of his work online through the Library of Congress's website.

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/


The exhibit in Paris is on display through May 18, 2014. Admission to the main museum is free, but the exhibit itself carries a €4 (about $5.50) fee."


Via musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac
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Dubai's Growth

Dubai's Growth | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it

Via Seth Dixon
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steve smith's curator insight, March 31, 2014 4:03 AM

Great for tourism development

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 2014 10:48 AM

This series of pictures shows the extremely rapid growth of Dubai. An extremely wealthy city, the oil richness of Dubai has allowed for it to grow at an unprecedented rate from a desert to a sprawling metropolis. Such an impressive city springing up in a desolate desert speaks to how much resources can dictate where and how city growth occurs.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 14, 2014 5:13 PM

 Dubai has drastically changed throughtout it's time before the globalization boom and was one of the only cities to be impacted positively by globalization. As you can see from the depiction that Dubai in 1991 was a deserted place and then in 2005 it transformed into becoming somewhat of a city. In 2012 this city drastically transformed in order to help the globalization process and the whole city in general was trasformed into a mega city.

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This Indian artist painted more than 1,000 paintings with his tongue

This Indian artist painted more than 1,000 paintings with his tongue | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it
Including an 8-foot Da Vinci and a portrait of Jesus Christ.

OK so this is relatively gross, but bear with me.

 

And also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SuokFJDZMI

 

This man, in an attempt to be a "different kind" of artist, has developed a method whereby he paints exclusively with his tongue.

 

Behold:

The artist's name is Ani K and when he isn't tilting his head at odd angles to achieve nuanced brushstrokes, he's a schoolteacher in Kerala, southern India.

 

"I wanted to be a different kind of artist," he says by way of explanation in the above video.

 

An age-old impulse, to be sure. But while some seek distinction through the content of their work, Ani K opted to explore the possiblities of form and method. 

 

He didn't jump straight to the tongue.

 

"I have tried painting with my nose, tried painting with my chin, my elbows and feet," the 35-year-old said. "I also tried drawing with both hands simultaneously, and also while riding on a moving bike."

The tongue, in the end, would serve Ani K, though not without a price.

"After painting with my tongue, I experience pain in my jaws, headaches, slight loss of vision and dip in memory power," he says. "The side effects stay around for two weeks."



With a slip of his tongue, Ani K has painted more than 1,000 works — including an eight-foot Da Vinci and a portrait of Jesus Christ. Keepin' it classic in some ways at least.

If the tongue won't lead Ani K to stardom, there are other ways.

"For the Guiness Records," he says, "I am going to paint four portraits using both hands and both feet at the same time.

 

Do send word when you do, Ani K. Don't bite your tongue.

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/140221/indian-artist-painted-more-1000-paintings-his-tongue

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Worked Over: The Global Decline of Labor Rights

Worked Over: The Global Decline of Labor Rights | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it

From May Day to Labor Day, GlobalPost explores the human cost of what's been called a "RACE TO THE BOTTOM"."

 

The hyper-accelerated movement of capital, jobs and resources from the world's corporations — manufacturing, agriculture and service — TO THE LOWER BIDDER . In an era of diminished expectations, broken promises and sleight of hand, these are labor stories of governments, employers, unions and workers.

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"Water is Life, Water is Sacred": Standing Rock's Bobbi Jean Three Legs Speaks Out Against Trump

"Water is Life, Water is Sacred": Standing Rock's Bobbi Jean Three Legs Speaks Out Against Trump | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it
As Donald Trump signs a presidential memorandum to revive the Dakota Access pipeline, we speak to Standing Rock activist Bobbi Jean Three Legs. Last year, she and Joseph White Eyes led a group of youth water runners on a 2,000-mile trek from Sacred Stone Camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, to Washington, D.C., where they delivered a petition against the Dakota Access pipeline to the Army Corps of Engineers headquarters.

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What does living in space do to your body From interactive.aljazeera.com Monday 01/16/2017

What does living in space do to your body From interactive.aljazeera.com Monday 01/16/2017 | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it

..........

..........................Some negative effects of living in space disappear as soon as an astronaut lands on Earth. But depending on the time spent in space, it becomes more difficult to recover from long-term consequences.A spotlight on the physical effects of living in space and time required
for recovery from its negative impact.


........According to conservative estimates, the first human expedition mission to Mars is expected to take place by the mid-2030s.With the current space technology, a one-way trip to Mars would take about five to six months, which is more than double that on a round trip. NASA estimates that a mission to Mars would take about 30 months in total..................


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Susan Boyle: 'My father hit me. He had a temper. And he hurt me'

Susan Boyle: 'My father hit me. He had a temper. And he hurt me' | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it
"............Susan Boyle, 55, came to international attention when she appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009. She was the runner-up – losing out to the dance troupe Diversity – but her first album, released in November of the same year, became the UK’s best-selling debut album of all time.

She has since released a further six albums – selling 20 million of them worldwide – and is said to be worth an estimated £25 million.......

......Susan Boyle is very open about romance and the problems she faces as an Asperger's sufferer. A lot of her memories of family life are fond ones. But towards the end of our conversation the mood changes.......


The video of Susan Boyle on Britain's got talent " subtitled in French

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyrxTgt4OwA


The Susan Boyle story "I dreamed a dream": 6 videos

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4C7BD7EE05E21DEC

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Lifting the lid on the secret EU 'trialogues' where laws are decided behind closed doors

Lifting the lid on the secret EU 'trialogues' where laws are decided behind closed doors | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it


When the European Union finalises legislation adopted by its executive body, the European Commission, the definitive texts of the directives are thrashed out in secret, closed-door meetings known as “trialogues”, unknown to the general public, where no minutes are kept. The trialogues – sometimes called trilogues – bring together, and without democratic control, representatives from the EU’s three major institutions: the Commission, the European Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. Mediapart's Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant reports.


Nathalie Griesbeck, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) who represents the French centre-right UDI-MoDem party alliance, travels to meetings of “the trialogue” as if she were heading off to war. “I go there with all the legitimacy of the mandate given to me by the European Parliament,” she said. “That mandate is my solid base. I don’t let go. It is my amour as a parliamentarian, to engage battle in face of the council and the commission.”

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Former President George H.W. Bush said Monday that he will vote for Hillary Clinton in November

Former President George H.W. Bush said Monday that he will vote for Hillary Clinton in November | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it
Former President George H.W. Bush said Monday that he will vote for Hillary Clinton in November, according to sources close to the 41st President -- an extraordinary rebuke of his own party's nominee.
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Brazilian Indians secure nationwide land victory

Brazilian Indians secure nationwide land victory | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it
A proposal to change the constitution and give Congress power in the demarcation of indigenous territories has been shelved.
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Lycra suits are designed to give racing camels the edge

Lycra suits are designed to give racing camels the edge | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it

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Sue Townsend dead: Adrian Mole's best quotes

Sue Townsend dead: Adrian Mole's best quotes | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it

 

Sue Townsend will best be remembered for her much-loved Adrian Mole diaries.

 

Sue Townsend will best be remembered for her much-loved Adrian Mole diaries.

 

Her socially awkward and self-proclaimed 'intellectual' teenage creation has spawned one of the most successful book series of our time.

Townsend instilled wit and wisdom into her 13 ¾ year old protagonist, whose commentary ranged from class consciousness, the British political system, and -not forgetting - his undying love for neighbour Pandora Braithwaite.

 

His wit and wisdom have planted him fondly in the British imagination where he will doubtless live for decades more.

 

Townsend said her favourite Adrian Mole quote was the last line of the first diary, written after Mole had tried glue sniffing and accidentally stuck a model aeroplane to his nose: “I rang Pandora, she is coming round after her viola lesson. Love is the only thing that keeps me sane…”

 

Here we round-up some of the best lines from Your Humble and Obedient Servant, A Mole.

Adrian Mole's best quotes

1. “My skin is dead good. I think it must be a combination of being in love and Lucozade.”

 

2. “I have realised I have never seen a dead body or a real female nipple. This is what comes of living in a cul-de-sac.”

 

3. “I have a problem. I am an intellectual, but at the same time I am not very clever."

 

4. “I asked Pandora how long she would love me. She said, ‘As long as Britain has Gibraltar.’”

 

5. “Guilt is a destructive emotion and doesn’t fit in with my Life Plan.”

6. “I was racked with sexuality but it wore off when I helped my father put manure on our rose bed.”

 

7. “Mrs Thatcher has got eyes like a psychotic killer, but a voice like a gentle person. It is a bit confusing.”

 

8. “My mother is in the hospital grounds smoking a cigarette. She is looking old and haggard. All the debauchery is catching up with her.”

 

9. “Perhaps when I am famous and my diary is discovered people will understand the torment of being a 13 3/4 year old undiscovered intellectual.”

 

10. “The tap drips and keeps me awake/ In the morning there will be a lake” – one of the first poems written by Adrian Albert Mole, aged 13 ¾.

 

11. “Pandora smiled at me in school dinner today, but I was choking on a piece of gristle so I couldn't smile back. Just my luck!”

 

12. “Evelyn Waugh must be dead proud of his daughter, Auberon.”

 

13. “There's only one thing more boring than listening to other people's dreams, and that's listening to their problems.”

 

14. “My father was reading Playboy under cover of the candlelight and I was reading Hard Times by my key-ring torch.”

 

15. “After hearing the disgusting noises from downstairs last night, I have also vowed never to drink alcohol.”

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Satirist, Political comedian Stephen Colbert is replacing Letterman on CBS’s late-night TV show: where real American power lies. A perfect platform to spread his satirical message..

Satirist, Political comedian Stephen Colbert is replacing  Letterman on CBS’s  late-night TV show: where real American power lies. A  perfect platform  to spread his satirical message.. | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it

"The Hollywood Reporter called him the “best possible candidate [with] an insatiable appetite for pop culture, politics, music – pretty much anything in the zeitgeist – and he has the ideal mind for taking in those information streams, filtering out what’s important and then commenting on that”.

 

And also:

"Stephen Colbert Is Replacing Letterman. Here Are His Best—and Worst—Political Moments"

 

:http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/stephen-colbert-best-worst-political-moments-replacing-letterman-cbs-late-show


A LIFE IN BRIEF


Born: 13 May 1964, Washington DC.
Family: Youngest of 11 children, his father and two brothers were killed in a plane crash in 1974. Married Evelyn McGee in 1993; they have three children.
Education: Dropped out of a Virginian college to transfer to Northwestern University in Chicago to study theatre.
Career: Spent eight years as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart before launching The Colbert Report in 2005."

 

As soon as Stephen Colbert – who was announced on Thursday as the replacement for David Letterman on CBS’s The Late Show – was given his own show in 2005, it would quickly be known, simply, as “Colbert”.

 

The Colbert Report would be a career peak for most comics. Spun off from the success of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, on which Colbert was a “correspondent” for eight years, the Report gave Colbert’s alter ego, a bloviating conservative in the style of Bill O’Reilly, half an hour to put America to rights, four nights a week.

 

Because of it, Colbert has become an unlikely influence on US politics. He would run for president twice; co-host a rally attended by 215,000 people; riff with Obama; dance with Henry Kissinger and, bizarrely, testify in character in Congress about immigration. Now he’s conquered politics, he’s landed where real American power lies: late-night TV.

 

Colbert has driven a long road to the Ed Sullivan Theater. The 49-year-old was the 11th of 11 children born to Lorna Tuck and James Colbert, a doctor. It was a numerical position in his family which he admits to this day makes him fight for attention. The giant Catholic family, which now has wide roots in Colbert’s home town of Charleston, South Carolina, was torn apart on 11 September 1974, when an Eastern Airlines flight carrying Colbert’s father and brothers Peter and Paul crashed, killing all three.

 

His mother, who died last summer, sister Elizabeth (an aspirant politician) and their faith helped to hold the family together and, as such, Colbert remains a committed Christian, who teaches Sunday school.

Having dropped out of an all-male college in Virginia, Colbert moved to Chicago to study theatre at Northwestern University.

 

After graduating, Colbert joined the Second City improv troupe whose graduates included John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray. His work there led to several shows on Comedy Central, and a later gig on The Dana Carvey Show – a short-lived sketch show which would help to launch the careers of Louis CK, Charlie Kaufman and Colbert’s Daily Show sparring partner Steve Carell. (The pair faced off in a segment called Even Stevphen.)

 

In 1997, Colbert got a call from a producer on ABC’s Good Morning America which was looking for “someone who looked straight but could act funny”,.......

 

A  mischief, his improved background and new press credentials led the Daily Show producer who hired him to suggest he may have been “genetically engineered” to be a correspondent on the show.

 

Colbert actually predated Jon Stewart there, but upon the latter’s arrival in 1998, The Daily Show began an arc towards its modern-day political influence. And, as the Bush years welcomed right-wing pundits such as Sean Hannity, O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, Colbert began to layer his character’s bombast.

 

But it wasn’t until The Colbert Report launched in 2005 that Colbert pushed himself into wider conversation.

 

His success came in part from a skill at creating the kind of content which can help spread the influence of late-night TV beyond 11pm.

 

Those included the hijacking of a poll to rename a Hungarian bridge and the invention of the word “truthiness” (“truth which comes from the gut, not the books”) which was named a 2005 word of the year.

 

As the Report aged, the comic’s persona sharpened. A behind-the-scenes 2007 clip gives the best explanation of how it works. In it, Colbert asks John Kerry: “You know that I’m in character, and that I’m an idiot? I’m wilfully ignorant of what we’re going to talk about, so disabuse me of my ignorance.”

 

As Stewart and Colbert became more influential, their role in politics has risen accordingly, with Colbert rarely breaking character.

 

That reached its apex with the pair’s 2010 Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington (a spoof of a similar event by Glenn Beck).

 

But it may have been Colbert’s surgical skewering of George W Bush at the 2006 White House correspondents’ dinner which made a global audience aware of Colbert’s comedy. Among many stings, Colbert told an unamused Bush: “Over the last five years, you people were so good – over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn’t want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out.” The clip was a YouTube sensation and gave Colbert a reputation even among those who didn’t know his show. (It had a brief run here on the FX channel.)

 

From there, he’s risen from cult star to a regular face at award shows and the White House. (In the absence of a Madame Hollande, he sat next to Michelle Obama at a recent state dinner for the French President.) Both Colberts fear no one, not even the creators of the pop hit of the decade. When Daft Punk stood him up to go to the MTV awards instead last summer, Colbert responded by corralling stars including Matt Damon, Bryan Cranston (and Kissinger) for a version of “Get Lucky”.

 

CBS will be hoping he can do more of the same. Its president of entertainment, Nina Tassler, described Colbert as “head and tails above everyone else” when it came to replacing Letterman. ......

 

As if to prove it, he recently appeared on both The Tonight Show (Jimmy Fallon) and The Late Show (Letterman) out of character and excelled. Asked by Fallon if he’d “ever been romantically involved with a horse”, Colbert replied: “No, I wouldn’t say any romance was involved.” On Letterman, he dressed as a Dickensian urchin and sang.

 

In a late-night environment where there’s all to play for – with Leno & Letterman gone and going – Colbert’s knowledge of the rigours of a daily show, added to his popularity among cultured Americans, should ensure he’s a hit.

 

There has been, however, one dissenting voice – right-wing radio presenter Rush Limbaugh. His take? “CBS has just declared war on the heartland of America.” Which sounds exactl

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Springtime ignites with melodious birdsong

Springtime ignites with melodious birdsong | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it
Gracing humanity with their melodious symphonic sounds, North American songbirds call attention to the advent of springtime.

Via Andrew McCluskey
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Andrew McCluskey's curator insight, March 27, 2014 1:55 PM

Lot's of interest in the beneficial effects of birdsong recently.  This article gives a nice summary as to the positive affect birdsong can have on us human beings and makes the case that with ever increasing population density, we could definitely use more of it.  Julian Treasure would approve!

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New Johnny Cash album rescued from the vaults | The Seattle Times

New Johnny Cash album rescued from the vaults | The Seattle Times | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it

Johnny Cash, ‘Out Among the Stars’ (Columbia/Legacy)

 

New Cash album uncovers tracks recorded in the 1980s. (Columbia/Legacy)

 

This release is a real find. It’s not a collection of unfinished demos, alternate tracks, or outtakes. It’s a bonafide, brand new Johnny Cash album compiled from tracks Cash recorded in 1981 and 1984 but were left to languish in the vaults. Until now.

 

 

Cash’s career had stalled in the ’80s, a time when he couldn’t even land an album on the country charts. But you wouldn’t know that from listening to these songs.

 

Working with “countrypolitan” producer Billy Sherrill (Tammy Wynette, George Jones), Cash has great fun duetting with wife June Carter Cash on the lively “Baby Ride Easy” and the mellow, romantic “Don’t You Think It’s Come Our Time.” “I’m Movin’ On,” where he trades lines with Waylon Jennings, foreshadows his later work with Jennings in country supergroup the Highwaymen.

 

It’s the light-hearted material that goes down best; the jokey “If I Told You Who It Was,” describes a romantic encounter with teasing lines like “Her tire, unlike her body, was very flat.”

 

The only disappointment for Cash fans is that the album is a mere 12 tracks (there’s also a superfluous bonus track with remix of “She Used to Love Me a Lot” by Elvis Costello). But it’s still nice to get to spend a little more time with the Man in Black.


Via musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac
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The Great Divide: Global income inequality and its cost

The Great Divide: Global income inequality and its cost | Interesting Reading to learn English -intermediate - advanced (B1, B2, C1,) | Scoop.it

Income inequality is surging, and there are few countries where it is rising faster than the United States.

 

The distance between rich and poor is greater in America than nearly all other developed countries, making the US a leader in a trend that economists warn has dire consequences.

 

GlobalPost sets out on a reporting journey to get at the ‘ground truth’ of inequality through the lenses of education, race, immigration, health care, government, labor and natural resources.

 

The hope is to hold a mirror up to the US to see how it compares to countries around the world.

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