domingo, 26 de marzo de 2017



EEUU No se está entendiendo por qué ganó Trump. V. Navarro.org
Este artículo critica el consenso generalizado de interpretar la realidad estadounidense a través de la figura de Trump, sin comprender que lo más importante no es tanto Trump, sino el hecho de que fuera elegido por casi la mitad de los votantes que votaron en las elecciones presidenciales de 2016.

El artículo señala la importancia de entender este hecho, pues sin ello es imposible entender por qué Trump ganó las elecciones, existiendo la posibilidad de que haya Trumps durante muchos años a no ser que se cambien las políticas que facilitaron el surgimiento de un enorme enfado y rechazo hacia el establishment político-mediático estadounidense. El artículo también es una crítica de otro hecho generalizado en España, que es el definir lo que ocurre en Estados Unidos como un caso de populismo.

Todoele. 03/06/2017

Swimming pools contain pee

For a new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, researchers measured how much urine was in a sampling of swimming pools and hot tubs across Canada using the help of acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), an artificial sweetener found in many processed foods (which, as we know, many people consume on a regular basis). Measuring these sweeteners, which go through the body and don’t break down in the chlorinated water, allowed the team to estimate how much pee actually goes into pools.

(...)  It’s not a joke. People who visit pools that smell highly chlorinated may be reassured, assuming that the chlorine content is so high that the pool must be clean. Not so! The strong odor of chlorine is a sign of chemical compounds that form when urine interacts with sweat, urine and bodily oils. So, the cleaner the pool smells, the more urine it likely contains.

First of all, chlorine itself is not good for you. It has been linked to eye irritation and gut bacteria imbalance. It is also a possible carcinogen. However, things get even worse when chlorine reacts to urine (as well as sweat and body oils). This interaction forms a variety of chemical compounds. Exposure to these compounds, especially in the long term, may lead to:

  • Respiratory issues such as asthma
  • Eye and throat irritation
  • Weakened immune system
  • Nervous system damage
  • Cardiovascular damage
  • A higher risk of certain cancers, such as bladder cáncer




If you love to swim and have no choice but to swim in a chlorinated pool, there are few things that you can do to lessen the effects of chlorine on your body.
If you have to swim in a chlorinated pool, swim outdoors. It is much safer due to the fact that the majority of the toxic gases are eliminated in the air.

  • Swim in chlorinated pools on occasion only.
  • Shower immediately before and after.
  • Drink plenty of non-chlorinated, filtered water beforehand so that you are well hydrated.
  • Consider wearing a mask and snorkel to protect your eyes – and if you feel like going the extra step for protection, put on a wet suit. If your hair is particularly sensitive to the chlorine, try a bathing cap. 5 reasons to stop swimming in chlorinated pools
Use caution when choosing a pool that use chlorine. If you have the opportunity, look at pools that are treated with ozone, ionizers, bromine, silver-copper, or other alternatives. Remember to do your research on these as well, so that you are making the safest and healthiest choice for your swim!


There are alternatives in some areas, such as pools treated with ozone or ionizers. If this isn’t an option in your area, be sure to shower before and after you swim, and wear swim goggles to protect your eyes if you’re diving underwater. Hazards lurking in your swimming pool


Newscientist. Article. Chronic pain and depression are linked by brain gene changes
People who have chronic pain are more likely to experience mood disorders, but it’s not clear how this happens. Now a study in mice has found that chronic pain can induce genetic changes in brain regions that are linked to depression and anxiety, a finding that may lead to new treatments for pain.

 Blockchain  Salim Ismail

Asegura que la disrupción, uno de los elementos clave de su descripción, ha dejado de ser la anécdota para configurar el entorno que nos ha tocado vivir.
Habla de la economía colaborativa como un elemento de disrupción. ¿Qué opina de los modelos colaborativos?
Ahora recurrimos a la comunidad para hacer cosas; eso acabará cuando irrumpa la inteligencia artificial (IA).
Defiende que el empleo bajo demanda será pronto una tendencia.
A la banca de consumo le doy diez años de vida. Pero creo que las mayores implicaciones vendrán de las instituciones gubernamentales. En el momento en que se pueda autentificar que tienes el papeleo hecho, que cumples los requisitos de edad o de seguridad sin tener que pasar por una única autoridad, todos los procesos se abaratarán y acelerarán. Internet abrió un mundo de posibilidades.

viernes, 10 de marzo de 2017


Headsupenglish. Advanced English students Listening

St. Patrick´s Day

What does St. Patrick's Day mean to you? For many, it means being honorary Irish for a day. It means a large parade with marching bands, floats, and folk dressed in green top hats and tails. It means green beer, and a lot of it. In Chicago, the river is dyed green. In New York, 150,000 marchers participate in the parade. And in Dublin, the party lasts for five days!

The holiday honors St. Patrick, who is the patron saint of Ireland and believed to have died on March 17th. He lived in the 6th century A.D., and came to Ireland to convert its people to Christianity. Much of his real life has been mixed with legend and stories, though, and scholars disagree on many points. For example, some say that Irish pirates captured and enslaved Patrick as a boy. Or, according to legend, he herded all the snakes out of Ireland and into the sea, even if scientists now know that Ireland has never had any snakes. In fact, some historians boldly state that the St. Patrick we know today is actually the composite of two people who lived in the 5th and 6th centuries.

Besides Ireland, in countries where the holiday is celebrated, many people of Irish descent usual live. In the U.S., for example, New York, Boston, and Chicago all have very large Irish communities, and so the cities have a long tradition of festivities. But Munich in Germany, Birmingham in England, and even Moscow in Russia celebrate the day, too, as the holiday has become more and more commercialized and common.

It's in Dublin nowadays that you can find the largest goings on. Not too long ago, the Irish celebrated St. Patrick's Day as a religious holiday only. In fact, all the pubs were closed on March 17th in observance of the day, which didn't change until the 1970s. Since the mid-1990s, though, the Irish government has used the holiday as an opportunity to display Ireland and Irish culture to the world. Specifically, they wanted a festival that equaled the best celebrations anywhere in the world, provided motivation for people of Irish descent, and portrayed a positive and accurate image of the country. What began as a one day festival in 1996, became a three day festival the next year. In 2006, it lasted five days!

And green is the theme of the day, of course. The nickname of Ireland is the "Emerald Isle," due to the rich green of the countryside. People often wear a shamrock in their lapel or cap, as well as a green, white, and orange badge in honor of the Irish flag. Let's not also forget the beer, an important tradition to any St. Patrick's Day celebration, which gets a squire of green dye.
So now, what does St. Patrick's Day mean to you? And do you have any plans?

Discuss or debate the questions below. Remember to support your answers!
  • Have you ever been to Ireland? If yes, how was it? If no, do you want to go?
  • Have you ever celebrated St. Patrick's Day? If yes, what did you do? Please explain.
  • Do you have any special plans for St. Patrick's Day this year? Why/not?
  • Do you have any holidays similar to St. Patrick's Day in your country? If yes, please explain. If no, would you want a similar holiday?
  • Do you have a particular holiday that you would call your favorite? If yes, what is it?

  • What do you know about St. Patrick's Day?
  • On St. Patrick's Day, it's traditional to wear something green. Why do you think so?
  • What is a leprechaun /ˈlɛprəˌkɔːn/ (Irish mythology: elf) ? If you're not sure, check your dictionary. Then answer the following question: Do you think leprechauns are real? Why/not?
  • What is a shamrock   /ˈʃæmˌrɒk/ (trébol)? Why is it important in Ireland?
  • What are your impressions about Ireland? How do they compare to your classmates' opinions? Do you think these ideas are accurate or inaccurate? Please explain.
  • Many countries celebrate St. Patrick's Day with large parades, Irish food, and beer. Why do you think so many places celebrate this day?
  • Why don't more countries in the world celebrate St. Patrick's Day, like they do Christmas or Halloween? Please explain.
  • What holidays are unique to your country? Please explain.

  • Do you think St. Patrick's Day is a real holiday, or is just another hallmark /ˈhɔːlˌmɑːk/ (sello distintivo, distintivo) holiday for some company to make money? Why/not?
  • Would you want to visit Ireland for St. Patrick's Day next year? Why/not?
  • Have you ever heard of the "Blarney Stone?" What do you think it is? Now check your dictionary to confirm your answer. Was your answer right or wrong?

English pronuntiation AND SPEAKING

Pronunciation studio. Spanish speaker´s English pronunciation errors

Lo peor:

1.  Spanish uses 5 vowel sound positions in pronunciation, GB English uses 12 vowel sound positions – so this is a key area for Spanish speakers to learn. The most important area is making the right shape with the mouth, rather than focussing on the length of the sound:

Spanish has just one high front vowel [i] and Spanish speakers often use this vowel for both the /ɪ/ vowel in HIT and the /iː/ vowel in HEAT. One ‘i’ in English is normally the lower /ɪ/ vowel

 Spanish speakers often make the vowels in HUT /hʌt/, HAT /hæt/ and HEART /hɑːt/ into the Spanish /a/ – they should be made in different positions in English.

2. The ‘h’ in little function words like HAVE, HE, HIS, HER, HIM is often silent in connected speech, but Spanish speakers may put it in.

3. Spanish speakers often de-voice (/d/=/t/, /b/=/p/, /v/=/f/) at the end of syllables, as the distinction is not made in Spanish.
4. The spelling ‘s’ is often pronounced as voiced /z/ at the end of syllables in English, Spanish speakers tend to always pronounce it as voiceless /s/

5. Spanish is a syllable-timed language so you stress every syllable, whereas English stress-time involves choosing (normally only one or two) certain syllables to stress, with everything else becoming weak and/or shorter.

6. GB English uses a wide pitch range and high falling tones are very common, whereas Spanish uses more rising tones.

Pronunciation. What is accent reduction?

Britain is full of regional accents, in fact it’s hard to travel more than 50 miles in any one direction without noticing some key changes. There’s Northern, West Country, Welsh, Scottish, Scouse, Geordie, Cockney to name a few, and you’ll find plenty of variations within these.
But unless you are an actor, or you have a keen interest in accents, you don’t want to learn to produce all of those as you learn English, so it’s important from a teaching and learning perspective to use a model for your studies. The problem is, which one?

The most famous accent is probably ‘The Queen’s English’ – many would say that the Queen speaks ‘correctly’, but the accent itself is very old-fashioned and somewhat idiosyncratic. You would certainly have heard something similar 50 years ago on the BBC, but it is rarely heard these days. It is generally referred to now as ‘Upper RP’ or CGB (Conspicuous General British), and whilst it is certainly fun to explore this kind of accent, few students genuinely want to emulate it.

Received Pronunciation, often abbreviated to RP, is an accent of spoken English. Unlike other UK accents, it's identified not so much with a particular region as with a particular social group, although it has connections with the accent of Southern England. RP is associated with educated speakers and formal speech. It has connotations of prestige and authority, but also of privilege and arrogance. Some people even think that the name 'Received Pronunciation' is a problem - if only some accents or pronunciations are 'received', then the implication is that others should be rejected or refused. (...) BBC

RP (Received Pronunciation), sometimes termed ‘BBC’ or ‘Oxford’ is reportedly spoken by 2% of the English population, largely in the South. Traditionally popular also with actors and presenters, it is somewhat ironically recognised as a ‘standard’ English accent.
All of these terms though are starting to feel very outdated. RP in particular has strong middle/upper class associations and the accent is very fixed; it doesn’t allow for modern influences, particularly in connected speech.
Perhaps the greatest irony is that you will not hear RP very often on the BBC anymore, so the need to update the terminology is clear. This article on the BBC website gives a good indication of the problems associated with the RP/BBC connotations.

GB English is the modern RP/BBC/Oxford. It’s a ‘standard’ model, but it is not old-fashioned.  There are 2 main reasons we use the term instead of RP:
1. It gives us freedom to teach and learn a model that is more widely spoken now.
2. The term makes sense as an international alternative to General American.
The range of sounds and intonation in GB English is identical to RP, the key differences can occur in connected speech (particularly with /t/,/r/ & /l/) and some areas of sound selection. Effectively, RP is an old-fashioned, rigid form of GB, and you may see the terms used interchangeably, at least for the time being.

Learning english. Intermediate. Unit-4. Session-1, INFORMAL.

Vocabulary points to take away

Spoken short forms are ways of saying phrases quickly in informal situations. Some common examples are:
gonna - going to
I'm gonna watch a DVD.
wanna - want toDo you wanna watch too?
whatcha - what are you
Whatcha doing?
dunno - don’t know
I dunno.
gotta - got to (or got a)
I've gotta go now.
hafta - have to
Do you hafta go already?
gimme - give me
Gimme a call tomorrow.
lemme - let me
Lemme know what you think.
kinda - kind of
She's kinda nice.