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Blog criado por Bruno Coriolano de Almeida Costa, professor de Língua Inglesa desde 2002. Esse espaço surgiu em 2007 com o objetivo de unir alguns estudiosos e professores desse idioma. Abordamos, de forma rápida e simples, vários aspectos da Língua Inglesa e suas culturas. Agradeço a sua visita.

"Se tivesse perguntado ao cliente o que ele queria, ele teria dito: 'Um cavalo mais rápido!"

terça-feira, 18 de setembro de 2018

[Conversation] What book changed your perspective on life?



What book changed your perspective on life?




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sábado, 15 de setembro de 2018

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” George Bernard Shaw





Liberty is freedom, freedom to think for ourselves and live our lives in accordance with our own rational thought. “Give me liberty or give me death!” This famous quote by Patrick Henry is an interesting one to ponder. At first hearing, one cannot help but be inspired by a man who sought liberty so desperately that he would rather have it than live a life without it. Because of this passion, this quote has been manipulated over time to apply to anything of personal value that a person desperately seeks or desires, such as “Give me convenience or give me death!” While this passion is certainly one part of what Henry intended when he made this statement, I think there is also a deeper and perhaps less obvious implication. It is an either or statement. It is either liberty OR death. Liberty entitles you to your life. Henry knew in contrast, a life controlled by another, a life lived in servitude, a life directed by anything other than the dictates of one’s own conscience, is no real life at all.




However, if we are to live life by our decisions, then we have to accept the consequences (good and bad) of those decisions. We have to take responsibility. If you buy a house for more than you can afford and default, you lose the house. If you run a business unsuccessfully, you fail. You cannot make a decision and then avoid the consequences. It is against natural law, it is against common sense. If you want to have freedom, if you want to make your own decisions and embrace free agency, and live your life the way you see fit, then you absolutely have to accept responsibility for the life you choose to live. This is easy when our decisions go according to plan and the consequences are desirable.

However, when we make wrong decisions and are faced with undesirable consequences; this is when some place their liberty in jeopardy. We can either accept the consequences and fight our way through and preserve our freedom; OR we can shift blame, look for a bailout, and wait for someone else to clean up our mess. That is when our liberty is lost, the very minute we refuse to take responsibility for our own actions. That is when we opt for security over freedom, bondage over accountability, death over liberty.

We see this right now, as GM is not allowed to even make their own personnel decisions anymore. Story Story 2


What is the opposite of living a life of freedom and responsibility? You live a life directed by others and thus supposedly escape any responsibility for your actions, because your actions were at the command of another. Even if this were possible, how is it possibly appealing? Is it really so demanding to be accountable for your own actions that you would willingly give up your personal freedoms to achieve such a state? Is it really worth it to sacrifice your control over your existence just to avoid hard times? Is man’s potential really just that of following orders with no thought for their consequence? Can man even really exist as man without thinking for himself? (Ayn Rand makes an excellent point of this in Atlas Shrugged, John Galt’s speech)

There are so many in this country today that just want to be told what to do, what to believe, how to act, how to react, what principles (or lack thereof) to live by, who to be angry at, who not to question… how to live. They don’t want to think. They don’t want to explore their own potential. They don’t want to become great. They just want to exist. What for? Living just to not be dead, is not living. They just want to be taken care of. But at the expense of freedom? H.L. Mencken said;

“The average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe.”

It is no wonder socialism in our country is flourishing, if the mindset of the masses is such. They fear uncertainty and crave safety and security EVEN at the expense of their liberty. Perhaps ignorance is their sin, with no knowledge of the principles this country was founded on…

“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.” — John Adams

“Life is a daily IQ test. Regarding liberty, it seems that most people are failing the test. It is up to those of us who can see what is right to make sure we do not give up the fight.” — J.B. Pruitt

Perhaps they believe that as long as their intentions are good, the ends justify the means, even at the expense of freedom…

“The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes.” — Thomas Paine

“Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of power. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”
— Daniel Webster

Perhaps they have been duped by the media and the false promises of the current administration…

“If we become a people who are willing to give up our money and our freedom in exchange for rhetoric and promises, then nothing can save us.” — Thomas Sowell

or perhaps very simply:

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” –George Bernard Shaw

Why do men dread responsibility? Because they will have to live a life of their own choosing, with no one to blame but themselves if things don’t go exactly as planned. Why do men dread liberty? Because it requires them to live this type of life.


PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites are, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
In some instances, I have been unable to trace the owners of the pictures used here; therefore, I would appreciate any information that would enable me to do so. Thank you very much.
Is something important missing? Report an error or suggest an improvement. Please, I strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact me!
Your feedback is welcome. Please direct comments and questions to me at bruno_coriolano@hotmail.com
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domingo, 2 de setembro de 2018

COULD THE SWEDISH CONCEPT 'FIKA' HELP YOU FULFILL YOUR POTENTIAL


It’s hard to imagine a time when actively improving one’s lifestyle is more popular than now. In order to achieve happiness, we alter our diets and exercise routines, we embrace minimalism, spiritualism, we read self-help books, take digital breaks, monitor our heartbeats and meditate using apps. We spend a lot of time, money and effort seeking a lifestyle that will make us happy. The truth is, navigating this road to happiness can be nothing short of exhausting.




With this in mind, when the Scandinavian lifestyle concept 'Hygge' - the art of being cosy - became the buzzword of last year I wasn’t particularly surprised. Lighting candles, wearing comfortable clothes, snuggling up under a blanket and spending quality time with loved ones feels like going back to basics. It is so simple, and if you listen to the adopters, so effective.

But whilst hygge might help some of us achieve happiness at home, it does seem a hard concept to apply at work. Because surely, work cannot be cosy? I’m happy to say that us Scandinavians have another trick up our sleeve for this - allow me to introduce you to 'fika'.

Fika is taking a break from work, having a cup of coffee, eating baked goods and chatting to your fellow work colleagues in a relaxed environment. In Sweden, fika happens twice a day in the majority of workplaces, once in the morning and once in the afternoon (förmiddagsfika and eftermiddagsfika). That’s 20 minutes a pop for each break in addition to an hour’s lunch.

Try taking the fika break away from a Swede and you shall be met with utter resistance. In fact, since employers too can see the benefits of fika you’ll rarely find anyone wanting to take it away. Each time fika becomes the topic for research and study, the many benefits of the 20-minute coffee break are reaffirmed.

It may be that we Scandinavian’s aren’t exactly famous for being the cheeriest bunch, but look at the 2016 World Happiness Report and you’ll find all five Scandinavian countries in the top 10, with Denmark securing the top spot. So where does fika play into this and how does it actually work?



Margareta Troein Töllborn is a professor at Lund University and has been studying how employers can reduce stress and work related conditions that lead to long-term sick leave. She argues that increased fika breaks could hold the key to improved wellness among employees. What Margareta found in her research was that short, consistent 'recovery' periods drastically decrease the risk of staff burning out. Not only do such breaks lead to increased staff wellbeing and overall happiness, but they save employers from paying costly sick leave in the long term.

Furthermore, a recent survey conducted by United Minds showed that when it comes to creative ideas, Fika is of immense importance to Swedish businesses. In fact, the survey shows that only nine per cent of all new ideas were brought up in a traditional meeting environment. Rather, it is during the more relaxed get-togethers of fika where ideas are born. There are several potential explanations for this. Not only is fika cross-functional which aids perspective and helps generate new ideas, fika’s unofficial status and relaxed setting means staff are more open to brainstorm and less intimidated about suggesting new ideas.

Happiness, wellbeing and creativity are all great things but add to that another surprising benefit of fika - studies show that fika actually increases productivity. This fact has not gone unnoticed by the rest of the world. Renowned computer scientist and psychological professor Alex Pentland concluded in his research of workplaces that by scheduling regular coffee breaks, staff productivity increased by 10 to 15 per cent. As for happiness, employee satisfaction rose with 10 per cent. Some may call that a win-win. The main reason according to Pentland was the improved communication between employees. As people get together to talk and discuss both work and nonwork related topics, productivity increases. All Swedes know that it is during fika that we get to know one another, guards are down, hierarchies are flat and this helps work relationships even when fika is over and you’re back at your desk.



When I moved from Sweden to London I thought I was saying goodbye to fika at work for good. However, when I joined Hubble, a business whose vision is to empower people and businesses to love where they work by matching them with their perfect workspace, I knew that I might have a shot. If anyone would be open to the idea of fika, it was them. Luckily - I was right. For the past two weeks the whole company breaks at 3.30 for coffee, cake and chat. Although we’re yet to see the long-term results of fika, the feedback from teams and managers alike has been nothing short of glowing. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that since introducing fika we are a stronger, tighter, more efficient and above all - happier  - team than ever before.


From:



PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites are, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
In some instances, I have been unable to trace the owners of the pictures used here; therefore, I would appreciate any information that would enable me to do so. Thank you very much.
Is something important missing? Report an error or suggest an improvement. Please, I strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact me!
Your feedback is welcome. Please direct comments and questions to me at bruno_coriolano@hotmail.com
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quinta-feira, 9 de agosto de 2018

Global warming may become unstoppable even if we stick to Paris target


I don’t even know whether Global Warming is real or not, but…

“We could be on the verge of triggering a series of cascading tipping points that result in the planet warming 4 or 5°C hotter than the pre-industrial benchmark.
That, at least, is the view of a group of 16 climate scientists, who have spelled out a scenario in which sea levels would be 10 to 60 metres higher than today. This warming would continue even if we ceased pumping CO2 into the atmosphere – and the threshold could be as low as 2°C.

If they are right, it means that the supposed “safe” limit for global warming set out in the Paris agreement might be anything but. “Two degrees may actually be very dangerous,” says Johan Rockstrom of Stockholm University, who is one of the 16.”




From NEWSCIENTIST:



Global Warming Is the Biggest Fraud in History - Dan Pena



PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites are, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
In some instances, I have been unable to trace the owners of the pictures used here; therefore, I would appreciate any information that would enable me to do so. Thank you very much.
Is something important missing? Report an error or suggest an improvement. Please, I strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact me!
Your feedback is welcome. Please direct comments and questions to me at bruno_coriolano@hotmail.com
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quarta-feira, 18 de julho de 2018

What does 'a drop in the bucket' mean?





“If you count all the rich people in the world they are just a drop in the bucket in comparison to the world’s population.”

“These contributions are just a drop in the bucket; the new church wing will cost thousands more.”

“I'm glad Tony started repaying the money he borrowed from me, but the five dollars he gave me yesterday is just a drop in the bucket compared to what he still owes.”

“I know $200 is a drop in the bucket but please use it to make an extra payment on your student loans anyway.”

“I shouldn't be surprised I failed the class. The studying I did was a drop in the bucket of the requirements and I never went to class either.”



I’m sure you know the meaning of the expression a drop in the bucket. This expression is used to show:


1.   A very small quantity, especially one that is too small.;
2.   A tiny amount, especially when compared to a much larger one;
3.   A small, inadequate quantity;
4.   A very small proportion of the whole.


What's the origin of the phrase A drop in the bucket?

It comes from the Bible, more specifically, Isaiah 40:15 (King James Version):


"Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing."


Is there any difference between 'a drop in the bucket' and 'a drop in the ocean'?

The answer is straightforward: NO. 'A drop in the bucket' is the predecessor of 'a drop in the ocean'; they mean exactly the same thing. However, ‘a drop in the ocean’ seems to have been used for the first time in 1802 in a piece from the Edinburgh Weekly Journal:


"The votes for the appointment of Bonaparte to be Chief Consul for life are like a drop in the ocean compared with the aggregate of the population of France."  


Considering that it seems to be much easier to remember new vocabulary and new expressions when you write your own phrases, I would like to challenge you to write your own sample sentences in the comments section below. Can you do it?

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa   



Drop in the Bucket is also a Los Angeles based, charity with field offices in Uganda and South Sudan. You can check it here if you want.

You can also find them on





PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites are, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
In some instances, I have been unable to trace the owners of the pictures used here; therefore, I would appreciate any information that would enable me to do so. Thank you very much.
Is something important missing? Report an error or suggest an improvement. Please, I strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact me!
Your feedback is welcome. Please direct comments and questions to me at bruno_coriolano@hotmail.com
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segunda-feira, 16 de julho de 2018

Omega-6:3 Ratio More Than Absolute Lipid Level in Diet Affects Associative Learning in Honey Bees




Floral pollen is a major source of honey bee nutrition that provides them with micro- and macro-nutrients, including proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Different pollens vary in composition, including in the essential fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and linoleic acid (omega-6). Monocultures, prevalent in modern agriculture, may expose honey bee colonies to unbalanced omega-6:3 diets. The importance of omega-3 in the diet for adequate learning and cognitive function, with a focus on suitable omega-6:3 ratio, is well documented in mammals. We have recently shown, for the first time in invertebrates, the importance of omega-3 in diets for associative learning ability in honey bees. In the current work, we examine the effect of the absolute amount of omega-3 in diet compared to the omega-6:3 ratio on honey bee associative learning. We fed newly emerged bees for 1 week on different artificial diets, which had lipid concentration of 1, 2, 4, or 8%, with omega-6:3 ratios of 0.3, 1, or 5, respectively. We then tested the bees in a proboscis-extension response olfactory conditioning assay. We found that both omega-6:3 ratio and total lipid concentration affected learning. The most detrimental diet for learning was that with a high omega-6:3 ratio of 5, regardless of the absolute amount of omega-3 in the diet. Bees fed an omega-6:3 ratio of 1, with 4% total lipid concentration achieved the best performance. Our results with honey bees are consistent with those found in mammals. Best cognitive performance is achieved by a diet that is sufficiently rich in essential fatty acids, but as long as the omega-6:3 ratio is not high.



PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites are, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
In some instances, I have been unable to trace the owners of the pictures used here; therefore, I would appreciate any information that would enable me to do so. Thank you very much.
Is something important missing? Report an error or suggest an improvement. Please, I strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact me!
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sábado, 14 de julho de 2018

Conversation - Employees & Employers Negotiate (B2/C1)




One of the skills that I have most focused on in my classes is the oral one. Most part of the time, students want to SPEAK the language rather than just study its grammar (by answering some grammar exercises) in class.

Considering that speaking is developed by practice (that’s just my opinion), I developed some short activities that can be used by teachers in their EFL/ESL classes.

This one is meant to be used with B2 or C1 students.

PROCEDURE: Write the situation on the board
TIME: 30 to 40 minutes
TOPIC: business
SKILL: speaking
TEACHER’S ROLE: facilitator

Read the situation below and brainstorm with a partner a list of pints that both partners might want to include in a negotiation

Situation about the employees and employers:


IMAGINE A COMPANY. NOW, IMAGINE THAT THE COMPANY FINDS ITSELF IN ECONOMIC DIFFICULTY AND THEN EMPLOYEES HAVE ALREADY LOST THEIR JOBS. THE EMPLOYEES ARE UNHAPPY WITH EMPLOYMENT AND SALARY ISSUES.



Now, ask your students to reflect upon the following questions:  


WHY SHOULD EACH PARTY NEGOTIATE?
WHAT DOES EACH SIDE WANT TO ACHIEVE?


After the students have reflected upon the situation as well as discussed with their partners, ask them to share their thoughts on the topic. Then, divide the group into ‘employees’ and ‘employers’ and simulate the situation above.





Ask them to write short dialogues as well as practice them in pairs (or groups). Finally, when you feel that students should talk about negotiation, tell them to start a conversation in which they should use (some of) the structures/questions below:



I am willing to accept________ if ________.
I think we will have to agree with_________.
It would be an alternative to______________.
We can trade this against ________________.
Our intention is________________________.
I would like to_______________________.
We might like to____________________.
We must________________________.
Our main concern is __________________.
It is vital that __________________________.
We refuse to accept __________________________.
It is extremely important for us to include ____________.
How about ______________?
Do you feel that you can accept _______________?
How can we reach a compromise?
Could you tell us why you feel like that?
Shall we put this into a written proposal?
Can you offer us any other possibility?


And you can give them some production moment (I am considering the steps of the PPP approach) in which they are supposed to develop a role-play activity about negotiation (of any kind).

If you have enough time, you can ask your students to think about the last time they were involved in situation in which they were supposed to negotiate something.

HOW MUCH TIME DID THEY SPEND ON PREPARATION?

Ask them if they would prepare differently if they had to negotiate again.
  

PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites are, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
In some instances, I have been unable to trace the owners of the pictures used here; therefore, I would appreciate any information that would enable me to do so. Thank you very much.
Is something important missing? Report an error or suggest an improvement. Please, I strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact me!
Your feedback is welcome. Please direct comments and questions to me at bruno_coriolano@hotmail.com
Did you spot a typo?
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