House for Sale

Mar.19-House-for-Sale

 

 

Would you buy a house and an island for just $0.08?

A house located on the island of Buoya on the outer boundary of Artic Circle in Norway is for sale for just 5 pence ($0.08).

Aside from the house, you will also get its private beach and quiet surroundings. The only condition is you have to promise the seller that you will restore the house.

According to its historical data, the last tenant of the house moved out in the 1970s and ever since, the house is in ruins. The current owner of the island said that he hoped that the house will be renovated because the property is really beautiful. The only problem is that it will be difficult to find a neighbour.

He added that if you ever get lonely, you can always ride a boat to the neighbouring islands to chat with the people living there.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Boundary – the line or plane indicating the limit or extent of something
  2. Restore – return to its original or usable and functioning condition
  3. Tenant – someone who pays rent to use a land or building or a car that is owned by someone else
  4. Renovate – restore to previous or better condition

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. What do you think about the price of the house? Is it too crazy or just right? Why?
  2. If you have the chance to buy the house, will you buy it? Why or why not?
  3. How much is the average price of houses in your country? Do you consider them expensive? Why?

    Would you buy a house and an island for just $0.08? A house located on the island of […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Extreme Birthday Celebration

 

 

What did/will you do for your birthday this year?

Georgina Harwood celebrated her 100th birthday by skydiving in Cape Town, South Africa last Saturday.

She started skydiving at the age of 92 and she is planning to take a dip in a shark cage this week to further celebrate her birthday with her families. She is using this opportunity to help raise funds for the National Sea Rescue Institute by asking her friends, guests and fans to donate instead of giving her gifts.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Extreme – of the greatest possibility, degree, or intensity
  2. Skydiving – jump from an airplane and perform various movements before opening the parachute
  3. Dip – immense briefly into a liquid so as to wet
  4. Funds – assets in the form of money
  5. Donate – give to charity or good cause

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Have you ever done extreme sports in your life? If so, please describe.
  2. Would you do the same thing Georgina Harwood did? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think it’s alright to do dangerous sports and activities on your birthday? Why or why not?

    What did/will you do for your birthday this year? Georgina Harwood celebrated her 100th birthday by skydiving in […]


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Level:

Beginner

Mind Wandering

 

 

Do you often stare at nothing while your mind wanders?

According to a research published in “The Science of Sin,” we spend about 8 minutes of every hour daydreaming. 13% of the time, our mind wanders and about 30 – 40% of our time is being spent in daydreaming.

While most people will think that daydreaming is useless and unproductive. It also has some advantages.

People who often daydream are more creative and are better problem solvers. The reason why is because they are using their brain for two different things, one for doing the tasks and the other is for processing information and making connection. Mind wandering also allows our brain to compare and contrast different problems and solutions. This will lead to having better ideas.

However, the disadvantage of daydreaming is it is a sign of an unhappy mind. Additionally, people will not be focused on their tasks and their performance will be affected as well. Lastly, some experts believed that daydreaming is also a sign of poor health.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Wander – move about aimlessly or without any destination
  2. Spent – pass time in a specific way
  3. Daydream – have dreamlike fantasies while awake
  4. Unproductive – not producing desired results
  5. Contrast – the act of looking and comparing the differences between two or more things

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Does your mind wander while you are doing something? How often does your mind wander?
  2. Do you agree that mind wandering is good? Why or why not?
  3. What do you think people should do to become better problem solvers and be more creative?

    Do you often stare at nothing while your mind wanders? According to a research published in “The Science […]


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Level:

Intermediate

The Perfect Nap

 

 

How long should you take a nap and what are the benefits of taking a nap?

You have probably never heard of this, but do you know that 10 hours of sleep is better than 8 hours of sleep? While it’s true that 8 hours of sleep will make you perform well in your tasks, getting 2 hours more will enhance your performance more.

However, most of us don’t have enough time to sleep for 10 hours which is why it is better for us to take a quick break for a nap.

If you want to be more alert and focused, you better take a 10 – 20 minute nap. It will also reduce your blood pressure if you do so.

If you think your brain is not working. Take a 60 minute nap. You will be more alert, focused and at the same time, your memory and learning will improve. However, the side effect of 60 minutes nap will make you feel groggy.

Taking a 90 minutes nap allows your brain to experience a complete sleep cycle and you will get all the benefits without feeling groggy after you wake up.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Enhance – add something extra to make more intense or better
  2. Focused – direct one’s attention on something
  3. Reduce – decrease; to cut down
  4. Side-effect – a secondary and usually opposite effect of a drug or therapy
  5. Groggy – stunned or confused and slow to react

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you believe that 10 hours of sleep is much better than 8 hours? Why or why not?
  2. Do you take naps? How many minutes or hours do you take?
  3. Based from the article, what nap will you take?

    How long should you take a nap and what are the benefits of taking a nap? You have […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Tourists Behaving Badly

 

 

Did you know that some tourists were arrested because of writing their initials in a wall and statues?

A couple of US tourists were arrested in Rome for carving their initials into the walls of the Colosseum. However this is not the first time that it has happened. In fact, it happened in various tourist spots around the world. People have been arrested and punished for vandalising ancient properties.

A Chinese teenager has been shamed internationally because he wrote his name into a 3,500 year-old temple when he visited in Eygpt. A tourist from Finland has cut a piece of stone from the famous giant stone Moai of the Eastern Island and he paid 8.6 million Chilean peso ($18, 715) for penalty. Staffs at Stonehenge were left in tears after finding litter and graffiti all around the area.

Because of these incidents, the government and staff workers of museums and other tourist spots are reminding tourists to behave properly when visiting popular tourist spots.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Carve – cut or slice into pieces
  2. Vandalise – destroy a public or other people’s property
  3. Shame – cause someone to feel ashamed
  4. Litter – rubbish (trash) carelessly dropped or left about
  5. Graffiti – rude decoration inscribed in rocks or walls

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you think it’s alright of the government to arrest and penalise people who destroy their tourist spots? Why or why not?
  2. What are the other ways the government and staff can do to protect their tourist spots?
  3. Has this happened in your country as well? Can you describe the situation where a tourist has destroyed a public property?

    Did you know that some tourists were arrested because of writing their initials in a wall and statues? […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Live to 500

 

 

Is it possible to live at the age of 500 and above?

Google executive, Bill Maris, believes that it is possible for humans to live very long.

He had invested $425 million to healthcare companies to do some research about the expansion of human lifespan. He said that with modern technology we can achieve anything as long as we are brave enough to envision it.

Bill Maris is the vice-president of Google Venture which has funded a few popular projects in the past. Aside from investing in healthcare companies, Google Venture is busy in building cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots that will boost wireless connectivity of their Google Nexus smartphones.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Expansion – the act of increasing (something) in size, volume, quantity, or scope
  2. Lifespan – the period which something is functional (as between birth and death); lifetime
  3. Envision – imagine; see or visualize
  4. Boost – increase or raise

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you think that we could live to 500? Why or why not?
  2. Do you want to live to 500? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think it is more important to invest in healthcare than other industries? Why or why not?

    Is it possible to live at the age of 500 and above? Google executive, Bill Maris, believes that […]


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Level:

Beginner

What Music Can Do In Our Lives – Part 2

 

 

What are the other benefits of music?
  1. Music reduces our pain and anxiety.

An experiment was conducted to 80 participants where they listened to music as they felt different kinds of pains and different levels of anxiety. The results stated that listening to your preferred type of music can calm us down and increases our tolerance for pain, especially if you focus on the lyrics.

  1. Music helps you to improve your workout.

Gym instructors advise us to listen to our favourite songs when we do our workouts because they can increase the intensity of our exercise and they motivate us to do better.

  1. Music can save lives.

If you are going to give CPR to someone, you better do it with proper timing. The best way to remember the proper timing is to sing “Staying Alive” by the BeeGees. This has been proven by the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Anxiety – the feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
  2. Preferred – more desirable than another; something you choose; favoured
  3. Tolerance – the capacity to endure hardship or pain
  4. Intensity – the amount or degree of strength of something

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you listen to music? How often do you listen to music? When do you listen to music?
  2. What types of music do you listen to?
  3. What are the other benefits of music, in your opinion?

    What are the other benefits of music? Music reduces our pain and anxiety. An experiment was conducted to […]


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Level:

Intermediate

What Music Can Do In Our Lives – Part 1

 

 

What are the other benefits of music?

Music is so powerful. In fact it is actually possible to become addicted to music.

But other than that, there are many things music can do to make our lives better.

  1. Music helps us to relax.

Not just any type of music. Experts said that classical is best type of music to relax anyone. Studies show that our blood pressure decreases to normal level quickly when we listen to Chopin or Mozart.

  1. Angry music can improve our performance.

Psychologists explained that when we are angry, we tend to focus our attention to rewards. It increases our persistence and makes us feel in control. Additionally, people are more optimistic about achieving their goals when they are angry.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Addicted – to become dependent on something (i.e. drugs, alcohol, etc.)
  2. Psychologists – experts in the study of mental health;
  3. Persistence – the quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people
  4. Optimistic – hopeful about the future; having a positive outlook in life

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you listen to music? How often do you listen to music? When do you listen to music?
  2. What types of music do you listen to?
  3. The article says that music can also improve our performance, should we allow music inside the office during working hours? Why or why not?

    What are the other benefits of music? Music is so powerful. In fact it is actually possible to […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Positive Emotions Can Make Your Heart Healthy

MAR. 07 478-illust_(Mar7)Positive Emotions can make your Heart Healthy

 

 

Is laughter truly the best medicine?

Researchers from Harvard Medical School have made various studies about the connection of our emotions and heart attack. They found out that 40% of the patients who had heart attack had extremely powerful anger within the same year the heart attack occurred. Additionally, 8% of that group admitted that they felt rage two hours before the heart attack happened.

That’s why doctors encourage people to laugh as much as they can. Increase in blood flow, reduce build-up of cholesterol and lower chances of blood clots are some of the many benefits of laughter.

Additionally they also suggested that people should cuddle a lot. They believed that cuddling will decrease heart rate and blood pressure.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Occur – to happen; to take place
  2. Rage – extreme anger
  3. Encourage – to promote; to recommend
  4. Build-up – to enlarge; to develop
  5. Cuddle – a close and affectionate embrace

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you believe that laughter is the best medicine? Why or why not?
  2. Aside from the things mentioned in the article, can you list other benefits of laughter and positive emotions?
  3. Can you remember the time when you laughed so much? Please describe the situation.

    Is laughter truly the best medicine? Researchers from Harvard Medical School have made various studies about the connection […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Restaurants and Furniture

MAR. 06 477-illust_(Mar6)Restaurants and Furniture

 

 

Why does Starbucks have round tables? And why do restaurants choose uncomfortable chairs?

Do you know that some shops and restaurants are using psychology to take advantage of their customers? You might have noticed that most Starbucks have round tables. The reason why is because they are more welcoming than those tables with square edges. Additionally, people will look less alone while seated at a round table.

A book entitled “The Secrets of Happy Families” which is written by Bruce Feiler says that people will interact more when they sat facing each other in circling furniture.

Restaurant owners purposely choose uncomfortable seats because they wanted to encourage diners to eat and leave once they are done eating so other paying diners will have more space to eat.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Psychology – the science of mental life; the study of mental health
  2. Take advantage of – to make use of for gain;
  3. Edge – a line or border in which a surface ends
  4. Interact – to act upon one another
  5. Purposely – intentionally; with the particular purpose
  6. Diners – people who eat

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you often see these kinds of furniture in restaurants or coffee shops? Describe them.
  2. What are the most common colours do you also see? Please describe.
  3. Do you agree that these furniture changes the mental state of a person? Why or why not?

    Why does Starbucks have round tables? And why do restaurants choose uncomfortable chairs? Do you know that some […]


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Level:

Intermediate