US Attractions Banned Selfie Sticks

 

 

Should selfie sticks be banned?

Camera extension devices also known as “Selfie Sticks” have been banned in various tourist attractions in the US.

The Getty Centre in Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture in Washington DC, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum are among those attractions that have imposed a ban on the said device.

The reason why they banned the selfie sticks is because of their concern about the safety of the people as well as the art. Additionally, some stadiums in America have also followed the ban like the White Hart Lane Stadium because they believed that these sticks can be used as an offense weapon.

A recent survey of posts in the internet revealed that the Eiffel Tower in Paris is the most popular place to take a selfie. In fact, more than 1 million selfies are taken every day with the Eiffel Tower.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Ban – to prohibit or not allow
  2. Tourist attraction – places that are popular for tourists when they visit other countries and cities
  3. Impose – force (something unwelcome or unfamiliar) to be accepted or put in place
  4. Concern – worry (someone or something); make anxious

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Have you ever tried using selfie sticks? Where?
  2. Do you agree in banning selfie sticks in tourists’ attractions? Why or why not?
  3. Does your country have a similar ban? Can you describe it?

    Should selfie sticks be banned? Camera extension devices also known as “Selfie Sticks” have been banned in various […]


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Level:

Intermediate

The Scariest Places on Earth

NOV. 01 421-illust_(oct 31)The Scariest Places on Earth

 

 

Where are the scariest places on earth?

OUR WORLD is a big, beautiful place. However, there are some places in this world that can terrify you. If you are the type of person who likes to have exciting yet scary adventures then these places are for you.

Lome Bazaar

This market is located at Togo, a West African nation, and it’s popular among the locals and a few tourists for being a voodoo market. Some people travel here to get medicines for sicknesses that have no cure because of their desperation. Animal sacrifices are common in this place and voodoo healers honour the gods to ask the patients’ sickness and its cure.

Suicide Forest

The Aokigahara Forest is the second most popular place to commit suicide worldwide after San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Dozens and dozens of people have come here to end their life that the Japanese government has placed numerous signs all over the forest to beg people not to do it.

Snake Island

Ilha da Queimada Grande is an island 93 miles south of Sao Paolo, Brazil and it’s the home of one of the most venomous snakes in the world, the golden lancehead viper. This island has thousands and thousands of snakes that in every square meter of Snake Island you will definitely find a snake. It’s so dangerous that the Brazilian Army has forbidden anyone to enter the island except for maintenance crews and scientists.

Island of the Dolls

Locally known as La Isla de le Munecas, this island is located in Teshuilo Lake, Mexico. According to the story, the man who owns the island reportedly saw a young girl’s body in the lake and afterwards he found a doll that he thought belonged to the girl. He decided to hang it up the trees as a show of respect and ever since he become obsessed with the girl. For 50 years, the man continued to hang the dolls. Some of those dolls look scary and creepy because they are sometimes missing their legs, arms or eyes. In 2001, the man was found drowned in the same place he saw the young girl many years ago.

Catacombs

Under the streets of Paris is a system of tunnels and caverns decorated with bones of between 6 and 7 million dead Parisians. This catacomb is called “The Catacombs of Saint Giovanni“, located in France. During the Middle Ages, Parisians didn’t have enough space to bury their dead relatives which is why the cemetery caretakers decided to transfer the old bones to the catacombs to give space for new dead bodies. The walls and the ceilings are decorated with bones of humans.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Terrify – fill with terror; be scared
  2. Voodoo – some sort of charms made by religious cults (commonly found in African nations, Caribbean countries especially Haiti) that involved witchcraft and animistic deities
  3. Desperation – a state in which all hope is lost or absent
  4. Dozen – a quantity consisting of 12 items or units
  5. Obsessed – having or showing excessive or compulsive concern with something
  6. Creepy – something that is annoying and unpleasant
  7. Caverns – a large cave or any large area in a cave

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Do you think these places mentioned in the articles are scary? Why or why not?
  2. What kind of place scares you the most? Why is it scary?
  3. Would you like to see these places at least once in your life?

    Where are the scariest places on earth? OUR WORLD is a big, beautiful place. However, there are some […]


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Level:

Intermediate

The Best and Worst Street Food of South-East Asia – Part 2

OCT. 21 401-illust_(oct21)The Best and Worst Street Food of South-East Asia

 

 

Have you tried eating street foods from South-East Asian countries?

Here is the list of WORST street food of South-East Asia that was picked by food bloggers:

Cambodia offers fried spiders as one of their exotic street food. In the town of Skuon in Phnom Penh markets, vendors offer deep fry spiders to locals and tourists. Food bloggers said that this food is only for the brave hearts.

Balut is not for the queasy of stomach, according to food bloggers. This fertilized egg duck which is hard boiled is a popular street food in the Philippines.

In Thailand, there is a fruit that releases a foul smell. That is Durian. Although most locals in Thai said that the fruit is actually sweet. This fruit is also available in other south-east Asian countries like Philippines.

Additionally, Thailand also offers locusts, silkworms, and grasshoppers are their exotic street food. It’s widely available in Khao San Road. Tourists and food bloggers who were brave enough to try it said that they are crunchy and sometimes they tend to stick in the teeth.

 

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Exotic – strikingly unusual or strange
  2. Brave hearts – having or displaying courage; not cowardly or timid
  3. Queasy – feeling nausea; feeling about to vomit
  4. Foul – highly offensive; arousing aversion or disgust

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Have you ever been to these countries mentioned in the article? What kind of street foods have you tried which you think are the worst?
  2. What is your opinion about these worst Southeast Asian street foods?
  3. Does your country have street foods as well? What is the worst one in your opinion?

    Have you tried eating street foods from South-East Asian countries? Here is the list of WORST street food […]


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Level:

Intermediate

The Best and Worst Street Food of South-East Asia – Part 1

OCT. 20 400-illust_(oct20)The Best and Worst Street Food of South-East Asia

 

 

Have you tried eating street foods from South-East Asian countries?

Aside from cheap living accommodation and travel destination, South East Asia is also known for its astonishing variety of cheap and delicious street food. Below is the list of countries, picked by writers and food bloggers, which has the best and worst street food.

Here are South-east Asia’s BEST street foods:

In Thailand, bloggers picked rice vermicelli with fish ball green curry as the best one. They liked the fish balls because they are home-made and small. The curry’s taste was perfectly prepared, not too hot and they can smell the different spices used in the dish. Other dishes that were also good are white or brown rice with spicy stir-fried crabmeat, som tam, tom yum and pad Thai.

In Vietnam, bloggers chose pho tiu, originally from China. It’s a noodle type dish that is salty, sweet, sour and spicy at the same time, capturing the essence of Vietnamese cuisine. Other delicious street foods of Vietnam are Pho, Hu Tieu and com tam.

Bloggers chose khao tom as the best street food in Laos. It is made of sticky rice, black bean and fresh coconut cream which they think is addictive in taste. It’s cheap, delicious and widely available. Other bloggers also chose Kaipen as the second best street food in Laos.

In Malaysia, Malaysians are proud of their assam laksa, a delicious fish noodle soup that is spicy and sour at the same time. Food bloggers find it challenging to eat because its spiciness and sourness is really high.

Lastly, in Cambodia, bloggers chose grilled roasted bananas. The sweet banana is wrapped in sticky rice that was cooked with coconut milk and palm sugar.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Astonishing – surprisingly great
  2. Bloggers – a person who keeps and updates a shared on-line journal where people can post daily entries about their personal experiences and hobbies
  3. Spices – any of a variety of pungent aromatic vegetable substances used for flavouring food
  4. Essence – the true nature of anything; the defining property or properties of something
  5. Addictive – causing addiction; being abnormally tolerant and dependent on something that is habit-forming

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Have you ever been to these countries mentioned in the article? What kind of street foods have you tried?
  2. What is your opinion about South-east Asian street foods?
  3. Does your country have street foods as well? What is the best one in your opinion?

    Have you tried eating street foods from South-East Asian countries? Aside from cheap living accommodation and travel destination, […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Solo Travellers’ Best Countries – Part 2

OCT. 14 395-illust_(oct14Solo Travellers' Best Countries

 

 

Do you travel with a group or alone?

Travellers can enjoy watching the northern lights at night and they can visit the country’s most beautiful sceneries while boarding the Hurtigruten coastal cruise liners that sail up the coast of Norway into the city of Bergen.

No. Switzerland

Safety Ranking: 5

Happiness Ranking: 30

Switzerland is known for people who mind their own business. Travellers can enjoy their stay in Zurich and then head to Lake Geneva for the nightlife, museums and bistros.

No. 4 Costa Rica

Safety Ranking: 42

Happiness Ranking: 1

The world’s happiest country is located in Central America. In Costa Rica, you can surf on the pacific coast and join an activity riding a raft on the waters of Reventazon or Pacuare rivers.

No. 5 Austria

Safety Ranking: 3

Happiness Ranking: 42

Being small, Vienna is one of the easiest European cities to navigate as a solo traveller. Travellers can start their journey by going to dozens of museums, concert halls and lingering in their cafes.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Board – the act of passengers and crew getting aboard a ship or aircraft
  2. Nightlife – the activity of people seeking night-time diversion (as at the theatre, a nightclub, etc.)
  3. Raft – flat float (usually made of logs or planks) that can be used for transport or as a platform for swimmers
  4. Navigate – direct carefully and safely

 

Perspective Exchange

  1. How many times have you travelled in other countries for leisure?
  2. Do you prefer to travel alone or with a group? Why?
  3. Which country is the best for travelling in your own opinion?

    Do you travel with a group or alone? Travellers can enjoy watching the northern lights at night and […]


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Level:

Beginner

Solo Travellers’ Best Countries – Part 1

OCT. 15 396-illust_(oct15Solo Travellers' Best Countries

 

 

Do you travel with a group or alone?

Some travellers prefer to travel alone because they think that they want to experience the world without being influenced by other people’s tastes, prejudices and preferences. They also think that when they travel in a group, they tend to focus on their travel partners that they forget to meet other travellers.

Solo travel can be exciting. You can do self-discovery by doing nothing but cafes hopping, staying in a single museum, stroll on a beach or hire a guide to visit remote ruins. However, there are two concerns for many solo travellers. First is safety and the second is whether the country they have chosen is a happy place.

To answer these two questions, Travel+Leisure Magazine studied the reports released by Global Peace Index which ranks 162 countries for their peacefulness and the Happy Planet Index which looks at environmental factors and human-well-being in 151 countries to measure where people live long and happy lives.

Here are the top 5 best destination for Solo Travellers.

No. 1 New Zealand.

Safety Ranking: 4

Happiness Ranking: 24

Travellers can enjoy bungee jumping, jet boarding and hiking on the legendary Milford Track while meeting some of the friendliest and open-minded people in the world. Additionally, this country has a Lord of the Ring atmosphere so that is a plus.

Vocabulary Enhancement

  1. Prejudice – a kind of judgement formed before meeting the said the said person or thing
  2. Guide – someone who shows the way by leading or advising
  3. Remote – located far away
  4. Ruins – an old and destroyed building
  5. Global Peace Index – kind of measurement used to determine the rank of a country or a region when it comes to peacefulness and safety; it was developed by Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) in Sydney Australia
  6. Happy Planet Index – kind of measurement used to determine the rank of a country or a region when it comes to people’s willingness to live in a particular area and whether people live a long and happy life there
  7. Open-minded – willing to entertain new ideas

 

Perspective Exchange

  1. How many times have you travelled in other countries for leisure?
  2. Do you prefer to travel alone or with a group? Why?
  3. Which country is the best for travelling in your own opinion?

 

    Do you travel with a group or alone? Some travellers prefer to travel alone because they think that […]


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Level:

Beginner

Google Street View: Arabian Style

OCT. 12 393-illust_(oct12)Google Street View- Arabian Style

 

 

Do you use Google Map’s Streetview?

We have grown accustomed to seeing Google Street View images via a car. However there are some areas which need a slightly different mode of transportation.

Google Maps has just extended its street view into the Arabian Desert. Google Maps will travel through the Liwa desert, 150 kilometres southwest of Abu Dhabi going through endless sand dunes. Google said that they are going to achieve it by mounting Google’s streetview camera on top of a camel’s back.

Google hopes that people all over the world will be able to have a glimpse of what it looks like to travel the desert as caravan merchants have for the past 3,000 years.

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Accustom – make psychologically or physically used (to something); get used to (something)
  2. Mount – attach to a support
  3. Glimpse – a quick look; a glance or a brief or incomplete view
  4. Caravan merchants – are businessmen that travel the desert or through any dangerous territory

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Do you use Google Maps? In what occasions do you use it for?
  2. Do you think it’s useful for users to see the Arabian Desert through Google Map’s Streetview? Why or why not?
  3. Some people said that Google Maps’ Streetview function is not safe to use? Do you agree or disagree? Why?

    Do you use Google Map’s Streetview? We have grown accustomed to seeing Google Street View images via a […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Studying Abroad Can Make Us Smarter

OCT. 08 389-illust_(oct8)Studying Abroad Can Make Us Smarter

 

 

Have you tried studying or working abroad?

William Maddux, an associate professor of organizational behaviour at INSEAD, found that those students who are enrolled in an international MBA program adopted an open attitude toward foreign cultures. They were able to make connection among disparate ideas.

According to Maddux’s research, those people who experienced living internationally are better problem solvers and display more creativity. He also found out that those people having international experience will likely create new products and set up new businesses.

Another professor, Angela Leung of Singapore Management University, has investigated the psychological effects of living abroad. She stated that people with more experiences of different cultures generate creative ideas faster and are more flexible compared to those who have never experienced studying in other countries.

Vocabulary Enhancement

  1. MBA – a master degree in business
  2. Adopted – acquired as your own by free choice
  3. Disparate – essentially different in kind; not allowing comparison
  4. Flexible – able to adjust readily to different conditions

 

Perspective Exchange

  1. Have you studied or worked abroad? Where and how long?
  2. Did it change the way you think? How so?
  3. Do you believe that experiencing different culture can make us more flexible and generate more ideas? Why or why not?

    Have you tried studying or working abroad? William Maddux, an associate professor of organizational behaviour at INSEAD, found […]


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Level:

Beginner

Most Expensive Cities in the World

OCT. 03 384-illust_(oct3)Most Expensive Cities in the World

 

 

Is it expensive to live in your city? Do you want to know which cities are too expensive to live in?

Most people who were born in a small, quaint and boring town want to transfer to the big, bustling city and live a glamorous life. But if the monthly rent costs you around $4,250 and public transportation comes in at about $215 a month, is it really worth it?

According to Expatistan, a cost of living index calculator that allows users to compare cost of living between cities around the world, these cities below are the most expensive because of the current costs of housing, clothes, transportation, medicine and food.

Despite having other perks like affordable health care to gorgeous places like Central Park, they will certainly cost you a penny along the way.

No. 10. Copenhagen, Denmark

No. 09. San Francisco, USA

No. 08. Paris, France

No. 07. Singapore, Singapore

No. 06. Lausanne, Switzerland

No. 05. New York City, USA

No. 04. Zurich, Switzerland

No. 03. Geneva, Switzerland

No. 02. Oslo, Norway

No. 01. London, U.K.

Vocabulary Enhancement

  1. Quaint – strange in an interesting or pleasing way
  2. Bustle – move or cause to move energetically or busily
  3. Glamorous – having an air of allure, romance and excitement
  4. Perks – benefits
  5. Gorgeous – beautiful

 

Perspective Exchange

  1. Have you been to these cities? Do you think it was expensive to live there?
  2. Do you think the cost of living in your country is also expensive? Why or why not?
  3. Which other cities do you think are expensive? Which cities do you think are cheap?

    Is it expensive to live in your city? Do you want to know which cities are too expensive […]


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Level:

Beginner

The Magic Number for Booking A Plane Ticket

OCT. 02 383-illust_(oct2)The Magic Number for Booking A Plane Ticket

 

 

When should you buy your airline ticket?

CheapAir, an online booking site that compares one air ticket price from another, has spent the last year analysing over four million airline trips. They studied ticket prices 320 days before take-off all the way up until the day before, calculating which day hit its lowest price.

Most air travellers believed that they’ll find the lowest prices when they book “at the last minute.” According to all present data, however is 100% false. The researchers found that, on average, a ticket was at its highest price on the day before the flight and the second-highest price was two days before the flight.

If you really want to get the best deal, you should book a flight 54 days before take-off. This is when most domestic airline tickets are at their absolute lower price. If you didn’t hit the 54 days, you should look between 104 to 29 days before your trip which they call as the “prime booking window.”

If you are going somewhere incredibly popular at an incredibly popular time, like for example, Cherry Blossom Season in Japan, you should book your flight before the “prime booking window.”

Here are the other “magic numbers” for some common international destinations:

  • Europe: 151 days before your flight
  • Asia: 129 days before your flight
  • The Caribbean: 101 days before your flight
  • Mexico: 89 days before your flight
  • Latin America: 80 days before your flight

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Analyse – consider in detail and subject to an analysis in order to discover essential features or meaning
  2. Take-off – a departure; especially of airplanes
  3. Calculate – to make an estimate of; evaluate

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. How do you buy airline tickets? Do you book them online or buy through an agency? Why do you prefer that?
  2. What do you do in order to have a cheaper airline ticket price? Do you use coupons or sale discount by airline companies?
  3. What season is the most expensive season to buy an airplane ticket? Why?

    When should you buy your airline ticket? CheapAir, an online booking site that compares one air ticket price […]


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Level:

Beginner