Covid-19 series part 3: History of Eyam Plague Village

Covid-19 series part 3: History of Eyam Plague Village

In this podcast Chris and Sue talk about a lockdown situation that took place in the 17th century in a village called Eyam which is located in north Derbyshire.

Back then the situation was very serious and the majority of the villagers lost their lives to the plague. Of course we are absolutely not living through a plague situation but some of the social distancing measures that the villagers undertook may seem familiar today.

What did you understand from the conversation?

Where is Eyam?

When was the outbreak of the plague?

How did it start ?

What did the villagers do?

Who encouraged them in to stay put and not leave the village?

How did the villagers get food?

How did they “sanitize” their money?

What other “social distancing measures” did they have ?

What were the symptoms of the plague?

What is the village like now ?

What numbers did you pick up ? What do they refer to?

Vocabulary check: listen out for these unfamiliar words :

fleas – cloth – boils – cysts – vicar – burials – grave digger – contagious disease – quirky – quaint – picturesque 

These pictures will help you to visualize the story.

                    

Friday the 13th Superstition Quiz

Friday the 13th Superstition Quiz

Friday the 13th Superstition Quiz

Are you superstitious ? Do you avoid walking under ladders ? Do you often cross your fingers ? Do you have any special rituals which bring you good luck ? Or do you think it’s just plain silly to let yourself be ruled by such irrational behavior?

Many people think that Friday the 13th is unlucky and indeed this fear even has a name: Triskaidekaphobia.

People who suffer from this phobia radically adapt their behavior, they don’t fly, don’t drive, don’t make any important decisions on that day.

But many other people believe that Friday the 13th is lucky. They buy lottery tickets, cross their fingers and believe in their good fortune.

There is no real scientific data to say one way or the other…. it just depends on how you look at life.

In this quiz we look at many other superstitions from all other the world. You may find them incredible, silly, irrational, contradictory or true ….. but whichever opinion you have, you’ll certainly learn some great vocabulary and that can only be a good thing !!

Friday the 13th Superstition Quiz

This quiz is full of great everyday vocabulary. We can't promise that you'll be lucky enough to come into money, but if you are superstitious, or not, you will certainly learn a lot and increase your vocabulary bank !

Cross your fingers and click on the start button.....Good Luck !!

What is going on in these sequences

What is going on in these sequences

What is going on in these sequences

What is going on in these sequences – can you tell just by listening to the sounds?

The best language learners are a combination of people who are curious, who keep asking themselves questions and are actively involved in their own learning proces, and those that can hear well, and I’m not talking about hearing well versus hearing impairment – that is an altogether different subject.

What I am talking about is those learners that can hear the sounds that are specifically English sounds (as in the language and not the nationality).

This includes things such as; elision, glottals, liaisons between words, low and high tones, pitch, volume, rate and intonations etc.

The story goes that if you can’t hear the sounds in a language, you will never be able to understand nor be able to produce accurate language through speech.

This takes a lot of time and perseverance and does not, in any way mean that a learner has to understand every single word in a sentence or a section of speech, because sometimes we don’t even do this in their own native language – sometimes we listen to parts of what are said to us, sometimes we lose concentration or we drift off.

This activity is designed to train your ears to sounds and not words.

Sounds will often give a lot of clues about the context of a conversation – where the people are for example.

See if you can work out what is happening and send your answers through the comments at the bottom of the page or you can comment on Facebook.

Developing listening skills is a language is at times difficult, often frustrating, rarely made up of shortcuts and always rewarding – at the end.

Try listening to a video or DvD in English without looking at the picture, now pause the video and without looking at the screen, try to imagine :

  • Where the scene takes place?
  • How many people are in the scene?
  • How they are dressed?
  • How old they are?
  • Are they men women, or children?
  • What relationship are they to each other? etc. etc.

Now turn around and look at the paused image – How close did you get?

The more of this type of activity you do, the more you will sharpen your hearing skills and thus your listening skills – give it a try, you have nothing to lose!

What will humans look like in 1000 Years?

What will humans look like in 1000 Years?

What will humans look like in 1000 Years?

What will humans look like in 1000 Years? What will humanity look like in 1000 years?

About 10,000 years ago, humans evolved a tolerance to cow’s milk; over the past 150 years, we’ve added 10 centimetres to our average height; and over the past 65 years, we’ve added 20 years to the average lifespan, mostly thanks to advances in science.

We’ve come so far in such an incredibly short period of time, so what will we look like in another 1,000 years.

First off, we humans have a reason to be as smug as we are – our brains are so good, even the most advanced computer system doesn’t even come close. In fact, last year researchers used the K computer in Japan – one of the most powerful computers in the world –  to simulate human brain activity, and it took 705,024 processor cores, 1.4 million GB of RAM, and 40 minutes to process the same amount of data processed by 1 second of brain activity. 

But we might not always have an edge over the machines we create. 

Scientists predict that in the future, computers will not only match the computational speed of the human brain, we’ll also develop artificial intelligence that can speak, interact, listen, and remember. Let’s just hope they don’t use all that information to turn against us.

And as computers grow progressively more human, so too will humans become more integrated with robots. In the future, scientists predict that we’ll have minuscule robots called nanobots swimming around our bodies and enhancing our natural abilities. Known as transhumanism, this could see us no longer limited to what biology can be achieved, and the possibilities of that are pretty incredible to think about.

And it’s not just our own bodies that technology has the potential to completely change. As the video points out, ‘utility clouds’ of microscopic robots could assemble themselves into entire buildings and them disassemble just as easily. “Picture your house disassembling when you leave in the morning so that space can be used for something else,” says AsapSCIENCE. 

In the next 1,000 years, the amount of languages spoken on the planet are set to seriously diminish, and all that extra heat and UV radiation could see darker skin become an evolutionary advantage. And we’re all set to get a whole lot taller and thinner, if we want to survive, that is. Why? I’ll let AsapSCIENCE explain that one in the video above, but let’s just say global warming is going to have a much bigger impact on our appearance than you might think. 

Watch as we cover some cutting-edge innovations happening today. Thanks to the National Geographic Channel for sponsoring this video!

 

Famous people past and present interviewed

Famous people past and present interviewed

Famous people past and present interviewed

Have you ever dreamt about interviewing a famous person or a person who is no longer among us? We have some Famous people past and present interviewed here.

Well, we have harnessed the power of podcasting to do just that, just for fun.

This also shows what can happen in communication when conversations are taken out of context.

We must stress that this is just for fun and not meant to deride or make fun of anyone, so we hope we haven’t hurt anybody’s feelings with this.

Have you ever arrived half-way through a conversation and slightly misunderstood what was being said, or completely got the wrong end of the stick?

This often happens and we have deliberately played on this for this podcast.

Can you work out who is being interviewed from the sound of their voices?

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