Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Protesters Call for Hong Kong Chief to Step Down

VOALearningEnglish: Protesters Call for Hong Kong Chief to Step Down

On China’s National Day, Wednesday, pro-democracy student demonstrators in Hong Kong warned of much larger protests in the future. The demonstrators said the protests would grow if the territory’s chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, did not resign today or tomorrow. Their movement is called Occupy Central

Words in the news

boo – v. to show dislike of someone or something by shouting ‘boo’ slowly

escalate – v. to become worse or make (something) worse or more severe

shell – n. a metal container that is fired from a large gun and explodes when it reaches its target.

elevator – n. a machine used for carrying people and things to different levels in a building

Monday, September 29, 2014

Two articles about the Hong Kong Protests

VOA Learning English: Pro-Democracy Protest Grows in Hong Kong

Thousands of Hong Kong protesters have ignored government calls to leave the streets to permit the return of public transport services. Police clashed with the protestors overnight when they tried to end the unrest that had spread over the weekend. (listen)

VOA Learning English: Chinese Media React to Hong Kong Protests

Protesters are demanding that China permit public nominations for the territory’s chief executive. Police used tear gas and pepper spray to force protesters off the streets. But many protesters refused to leave. (listen)
  • clash - n. a battle; v. to fight or oppose
  • dispute – v. to oppose strongly by argument
  • protester (also, protestor) - n. person who speaks against something; objects to something
  • stability - n. the state of being stable; not easily changed or likely to change
  • territory – n. a large area of land

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Making of: ‘@Large, Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz’ | KQED Arts

KQED: ‘@Large, Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz’ | KQED Arts

The installation of international art star Ai Weiwei's Alcatraz exhibition was a labyrinthian affair, coordinated across continents, complicated by multiple layers of jurisdiction and permission and requiring more than 100 volunteers and staffers. KQED visited the site and came back with footage that shows some of the works in process. For more on Ai Weiwei, visit kqed.org/ai

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Smartphone App Gives 'Sight' to the Blind

VOALearningEnglish: Smartphone App Gives 'Sight' to the Blind

A new computer program is being praised as a life-changer for blind people. The new program is known as the KNFB Reader app. It can help users listen to an audio read-back -- the sound -- of printed material.

(read more) (listen)

Friday, September 26, 2014

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Used to Kill Cancer Tumor

VOAVideo: High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Used to Kill Cancer Tumor

There is a new way of killing certain cancer tumors that allows the patient to go home on the same day. Surgeons at the Keck Medical Center of the University of Southern California became the first doctors to use this procedure on a patient with the help of high intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU, and new robotic technology. Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

China Targets Chinese with Dual Citizenship

VOA Learning English: China Targets Chinese with Dual Citizenship

China’s Ministry of Public Security has announced a new policy to support reporting of Chinese dual citizens. A dual citizen is someone who accepts citizenship in another country while keeping his or her first citizenship. The new policy has led to a sharp debate. It is expected to have a major effect on Chinese citizens who live outside of China. (read more) (listen)

For further info, see US State Dept Dual Citizenship

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Teens Help Seniors Bridge Technology Gap

VOAVideo: Teens Help Seniors Bridge Technology Gap

When most people imagine a classroom, they think of older people teaching younger ones. But when it comes to learning about high-technology devices, the opposite can often be true. That is what is happening through a program in the eastern American city of Columbia, Maryland. The 50 Plus Center offers free technology classes for adults ages 50 and older. The teachers are often teenagers and even younger children.

(read more) and Listen

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How Did You Get so Intelligent?

VOA Learning English: How Did You Get so Intelligent?

You may have heard people say that hard work is more important than the intelligence you are born with. Recently, researchers noted changes in the brains of individuals immediately after they were told this.

Hans Schroder led a study at Michigan State University. Mr. Schroder is a student at the university. As he noted, whether or not what people were told was true, “giving people messages that encourage learning and motivation may promote more efficient performance.”

(read more) (listen)

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's Up to You

VOA Learning English in a Minute: It's Up To You

If somebody told you "it's up to you" what would you think? Watch this program to find out what this phrase means in American English.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sit Less, Live Longer

VOA Leaning News: Sit Less, Live Longer

If you are sitting down listening to this Health Report, stand up. Move your legs. Touch your toes, if you can. Do anything but sit.

If you cut down on the time you spend sitting, you might live longer. New research shows that sitting less than three hours a day might extend your life by two years. (read more)    (listen)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

VOAVideo: Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Originally published at - http://www.voanews.com/media/video/alibaba-shares-ipo-first-day-of-trading-stock/2456131.html

Monday, September 15, 2014

Scientists Base a Hearing Aid Design on the Ears of a Fly

VOALearningEnglish: Scientists Base a Hearing Aid Design on the Ears of a Fly
Published 08/25/2014
Scientists at the University of Texas are developing technology based on structures in the tiny ears of an unusual fly.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

While We Sleep, Our Brains Are Hard at Work

VOA Learning English: While We Sleep, Our Brains Are Hard at Work

What happens in the brain when we sleep? The answer may surprise you.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Chinese Publisher Profits From Growth of Houston’s Asian Population

VOAVideo: Chinese Publisher Profits From Growth of Houston’s Asian Population

The rapid growth of the Asian population in and around Houston, Texas, has helped make the fourth largest city in the United States one of the country’s most diverse cities. Many Asians come to Houston to fill high-paying jobs in the city’s energy and medical sectors. But many also come to start businesses in a relatively inexpensive city. And, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the Asian influx has helped one Chinese immigrant build an empire. Originally published at http://www.voanews.com/media/video/2437793.html

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Palm Reading

readingesl.ca: Palm Reading

Can you tell something about a person just by looking at their hands? Some people like to think that you can!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy Birthday, California!

The Star-Spangled Banner is the name of the national anthem.
What is the name of state anthem of California?

I love you, California, you're the greatest state of all.
I love you in the winter, summer, spring and in the fall.
I love your fertile valleys; your dear mountains I adore.
I love your grand old ocean and I love her rugged shore.

Where the snow crowned Golden Sierras
Keep their watch o'er the valleys bloom,
It is there I would be in our land by the sea,
Every breeze bearing rich perfume.
It is here nature gives of her rarest. It is Home Sweet Home to me,
And I know when I die I shall breathe my last sigh
For my sunny California.

I love your red-wood forests - love your fields of yellow grain.
I love your summer breezes and I love your winter rain.
I love you, land of flowers; land of honey, fruit and wine.
I love you, California; you have won this heart of mine.

I love your old gray Missions - love your vineyards stretching far.
I love you, California, with your Golden Gate ajar.
I love your purple sun-sets, love your skies of azure blue.
I love you, California; I just can't help loving you.

I love you, Catalina, you are very dear to me.
I love you, Tamalpais, and I love Yosemite.
I love you, Land of Sunshine, half your beauties are untold.
I loved you in my childhood, and I'll love you when I'm old.

Also see bendstunde49: "I Love You, California" - Prince's Orchestra (1914) California State Song (instrumental--great old pictures)

Monday, September 8, 2014


NTDTV: "Mooncake Mania" on Chinese Holiday

As Chinese around the globe celebrated the Moon Festival this weekend, many found themselves swept up in the search for the perfect mooncake.

For Chinese people around the world it's that time of year again...

Every year as the Chinese Moon Festival approaches, from Hong Kong to Shanghai to London--Chinese people around the world are buying boxes of sweet bean paste pastries as gifts for family and friends.

They're called mooncakes. And, like the holiday fruitcake in Western culture, the mooncake in Chinese culture is more important for its symbolism and tradition than for its taste. In fact, many of these cakes are said to go uneaten.

But that may be changing.

As Chinese tastes become more "global," there is an ever-greater variety of mooncake flavors on the market. It's no longer just limited to the traditional lotus seed paste or red bean paste. Now mooncake enthusiasts can enjoy dainty custard-filled cakes, or delicate white sugar powder confections. Flavors like green tea and even shark's fin have come into fashion.

And jumping on the trendy mooncake band wagon, ice cream giant Häagen Dazs has created a line of high-end, ice cream-filled mooncakes for those really seeking to make an impression. In these "cakes," the traditional preserved duck egg yolk is replaced by a sphere of mango sorbet.

Some mooncake purists are, of course, crying foul--commenting that these days anything round can be called a mooncake. But the cornucopia of new mooncake flavors and styles is sure to bring one welcome change: more mooncakes in the belly and less in the bin.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mooncakes and the Moon Festival

readingesl.ca: Mooncakes and the Moon Festival

Mooncakes are special pastries. In the middle of a mooncake is a thick filling made from bean paste or lotus seed paste . . .Mooncakes are traditionally eaten during the Moon Festival in many parts of Asia. (read more)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

VOANews: Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Originally published at - http://www.voanews.com/media/video/2436463.html

Friday, September 5, 2014

What Americans Think About China

VOANews NEW SERIES: What Americans Think About China by Michael Lipin

VOANews Editor’s Note: Looking through VOA's listener mail, we came across a letter that asked a simple question. "What do Americans think about China?" We all care about the perceptions of others. It helps us better understand who we are. VOA Reporter Michael Lipin begins a series providing some answers to our listener's question. His assignment: present a clearer picture of what Americans think about their chief world rival, and what drives those perceptions.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

VOAVideo: New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

When could a video game possibly save your life? A new imaging technology, now being used at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, has direct links to video games. It can provide detailed views of patients’ bodies -- helping surgeons plan and execute complicated operations with much more confidence. VOA’s George Putic has more. Originally posted at http://www.voanews.com/media/video/new-technology-gives-surgeons-unprecendented-views-of-patients-bodies/2424447.html

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

ESL Podcast 1027 – Adding Condiments to Food

ESL Podcast 1027 – Adding Condiments to Food 

What sort of things do you like on your hamburgers and hot dogs? Learn about some delicious (or disgusting) possibilities in this episode. 
Download Podcast 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Living to 90 and beyond (Part two)

CBS News 60 Minutes: Living to 90 and beyond (Part two)

AUGUST 31, 2014, 7:40 PM|The 90+ study is generating some of its most provocative and surprising findings in the areas of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Also, what about romance? Lesley Stahl reports. (read more)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Living to 90 and beyond (Part one)

CBSNews: Living to 90 and beyond (Part one)

What factors determine which of us will make it past age 90? Lesley Stahl reports on a groundbreaking study that has revealed some unexpected findings (read more)