Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Space facts

Did you know Venus spins in the opposite direction to all the other planets in our solar system and there are thought to be trillions of diamonds on Uranus?

On the following link you'll be able to check many special and weird facts about space and the universe.
Pick up your favourite one and write down in 75-100 words why is that.

Christmas Homework

In order to revise your knowledge of English during the Christmas holidays I propose you to train to a spelling competition we'll have after Christmas. In class we'll watch Spellbound, a documentary film on the subject. I hope you'll enjoy!

Check out the trailer right here --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkbJWZvBVvk

Guess what has been the word of the year 2015...

Any guesses?

Follow the link and enjoy doing the quiz!


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Grammar YUniversity

Have you ever visited a page that gathers cool tips in order to remember grammar rules properly? 

Follow the rabbit through the link! Visit it from time to time, or at least once in a blue moon.

--> https://twitter.com/The_YUNiversity

Tricky homophones

Find out the meaning of the following homophones and learn them by hahaheart!

Effects of digital worlds on human behaviour

For nearly 30 years now, Sherry Turkle, professor of social psychology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been exploring the effects of digital worlds on human behaviour.
Her books, have charted the seductions of “intimate machines”, the advance of social media and virtual realities and the all-pervasive internet, and the effect these things have had on our culture and our lives.
 Her latest book, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in the Digital Age, is a call to arms to arrest what she sees as the damaging consequences of never being far from email or text or Twitter or Facebook, in particular the impact it has on family life, on education, on romance and on the possibilities of solitude
She measures these effects in a breakdown of empathy between children, in the consequences of increasingly distracted family interaction and a growing need for constant stimulus. Her antidote is a simple one: we need to talk more to each other.
This interview took place by telephone last week.

You have been writing about these issues for a long time now. Has it always felt like a losing battle?

Less so now. In the beginning I thought I was saying things people didn’t want to hear. I think more people see something happening now that they don’t like, but they don’t know what to do about it. This new statistic seems telling: 89% of Americans admit they took out a phone at their last social encounter – and 82% say that they felt the conversation deteriorated after they did so.
It is captured by the story I tell of the young girl saying: “Daddy! Stop Googling! I want to talk to you.”

It is interesting to note that quite a lot of the antipathy towards being “always online” comes not from adults but from children. I suppose we have assumed that these habits would only become more ingrained among people who have grown up with them, but your work shows that is not necessarily the case.
Absolutely not. I was so impressed by kids who said: “I want to raise my children not the way I’ve been raised, but the way my parents think they have been raising me: in a house of conversation.” That was stunning.
But what if children haven’t had any experience of sitting around a dinner table, or of talking to their friends without a iPhone to hand? How do they know what they are missing?
That’s the danger. But I believe that we are resilient. I like the study that shows that after five days away at camp without connections you see the empathy markers among children rising. The ability to recognise the emotions of somebody in a video or a story go right back up. I believe we are wired to talk. It is a Darwinian thing.

I guess we are also wired for novelty and distraction…
Yes. But I feel we have now created an environment that will distract us to distraction. My recipe does not involve my giving up my phone. It’s too useful. But it means not using it on occasions like this when I am trying to give you my full attention. The human voice occupies a lot of bandwidth if you listen to it properly. If I was also texting, you would not be getting a sense of me.

I’ve worked in a newspaper office for 20-odd years. In that time, like all offices, it has become much quieter. Everyone used to be on the phone, now they are often emailing. Do you think something is lost in that?
If you sent me 10 email questions, you would get very different answers from me. Typing is not the same as talking. Students increasingly say they don’t want to see me in person, they just want to email me. When I ask why, they basically say they want to get their questions perfect, so I can make my answers perfect. They want my perfect to meet their perfect.
Email allows us to give the press-release version of ourselves?

Yes. But that is not who we are. It’s an algorithmic view of life. Who ever loved learning because they asked the professor a perfect question and the professor gave a perfect answer?
Certainly when I think of teachers who inspired me I couldn’t tell you precisely what they said, but I can certainly remember the tone and the circumstances in which they said it. It’s the fact you were there and thought: could I someday be like them?

I have to fight the impulse to use my phone as an alarm clock rather than leaving it in another room. If I don’t I will wake up in the middle of the night and think: I’ll check my messages. Or the number of my book on Amazon. If I start checking my phone at two in the morning I suddenly find it is four in the morning and I have to get up in two hours.

People really struggle. I have interviewed several people who say they now have to go to remote country cabins to get any concentrated work done. Then they find themselves driving around the neighbourhood trying desperately to find an unlocked Wi-Fi signal. Knocking on doors.
The scary thing about that is that these people are adults. Children have much less opportunity for self-control.
Yes but the thrust of my argument is not that we have a device that has constant conversation on it. It is with the fact that there are no limits on that. It is with the father who checks his email while giving his two-year-old a bath when he used to play with her. Those are the lost conversations I am worried about. The fact is we need to design around our vulnerabilities.
But there is no sense that the corporations that make billions of dollars from these habits are going to adopt that idea willingly.
I like to look at the food industry and how it has evolved. My mother, when I was growing up, adored me but she also fed me white bread, tinned vegetables, potatoes that she made from flakes, TV dinners. It was a profit-centred industrial kind of machine that led her to do that. But a young mother today – if that was what she was feeding her child – you would know she was not with the programme. How did we turn that around? It certainly wasn’t because the food industry said “Ooops!” It came from people seeing the effects of this diet. And that is how I think this will go also. There is study after study saying the same things: talk to each other, experience solitude, experience boredom. Boredom is your imagination calling to you. I think it will happen slowly.

I suppose in the case of nutrition there are physical effects that can be measured, though; isn’t this more intangible?
I’m not sure the effects of not talking are hard to measure. The interviews that I did in business settings, people said people come to them for jobs and literally don’t know how to have a conversation. I mean if you take a baby and put them on a baby bouncer that has a slot for an iPad, instead of taking time to have eye contact and reading to them, and then they go to a school where most of their instruction is on a screen, why be surprised when they show up as sixth-graders [those in the first year of secondary school] looking down at the floor and being unable to speak? I came across many kids who are set homework on tablets but can’t concentrate on reading it until they print it out. I am sympathetic to that. I know for a fact that it’s hell to try to read complicated things on a machine that also gives me access to every other thing in my life. We are asking kids to read homework on a device that also gives them access to everything that matters to them: Facebook. It’s sad to witness that struggle.

How did you negotiate these things with your own daughter?
I have two daughters, 16 and 12, and my experience is that you have to choose your battles…
We did the sacred space thing. And it mostly worked. No computers or phones in the kitchen, at the dining table, or in the car. Those are the places I think where you create family space. The car is very important. I don’t think it works if you talk about set hours or whatever. And it is of course crucial that you apply the same sacred space rule to yourself as to them. The issue is not that your child loves using their screen to write. The issue is that they should not be doing it when they are talking to you. I never friended my daughter on Facebook; that wasn’t our space to share things. Instead I had dinner with her pretty much every night. I am not anti-technology, I am pro-conversation.

Do you encounter hostility to that message?
Much less than five years ago. When I wrote my last book, Alone Together, people were angry. The dominant emotion I encountered was irritation: “Give it a rest.”
Isn’t that a classic symptom of addiction – people don’t want to be told that the thing they are in thrall to is harming them?
I wouldn’t use that metaphor. If you are addicted to heroin you have to give it up completely, go cold turkey. Here it is a different assignment. I am not planning to give up my phone. I just need to know what it is good for.

If people start to buy the idea that machines are great companions for the elderly or for children, as they increasingly seem to do, we are really playing with fire. I think the stakes are very high. But the good thing is we don’t have to invent anything to turn it around. We already have each other to talk to.


Friday, September 25, 2015

The Days

Today we have listened and watched the video of AVICII's "The Days".
I want you to tell me whether you have enjoyed it or not, and explain the meaning of the song.
(50-70 words)

Emotions and the Brain

After watching this wonderful video about the emotions I'd like you to write down in 50 - 100 words which of these chemical substances are released for each emotion. Could you please describe one particular experience attached to one of them?

Where do good ideas come from?

After having listened to Steven Johnson's video, make a short summary of the main ideas.
How would you use what you've learnt in order to solve your problems?

Corto is back!

I would be very pleased if you click on the following link:

And of course do the task that is proposed!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Divergent Contest 1st ESO VS 3rd ESO

Follow the link in order to discover which faction you belong to!

Now write down 20 questions about the film to check if you know better than your opponents the secrets of these wonderful movie!

How to sit correctly in front of the computer

Friday, April 17, 2015

What can you do for your brain?

Link: http://huff.to/1GU7EDo

Very few of us have been taught how to keep our brains healthy. 
We know too many sweets are bad for our weight. It's easy to remember too little sleep will affect our mood. Every child knows that a Band-Aid is the answer for a scrape or cut. But what about our brains? What are we supposed to do when our minds won't stop spinning? What do we do when we feel stressed all the time? 
Each of these nine behaviors will not only make your brain healthier, they are free and everyone can learn how to practice them.
Which one do you like best and why? Which one is more appealing to you?

1. Talk to strangers

2. Go away

3. Reframe everything negative

4. Reappraise everything painful

5. Meditate in a way you look forward to

6. Transfer blame

7. Find the mindfulness that works for you

8. Leave the crazy people

9. Forgive everyone

The Kite Runner

1. Fact File

Title:              The Kite Runner
Year:               2007
Duration:       122 minutes
Director:        Marc Foster
Script:            David Benioff
Soundtrack:   Alberto Iglesias
Photography: Roberto Schaefer
Novel:             Khaled Hosseini
Stars:              Khalid Abdalla. Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada, Zekeria Ebrahimi, Saïd Taghmaoui, Atossa leoni, Homayon Ershadi.

2. Synopsis

Translate from Catalan into English
Història de dos pares i dos fills, de la seva amistat i de com aquesta relació es pot veure afectada pel destí. Amir és el fill de Baba, qui mai està satisfet amb ell. Amir intent tota l’estona demostrar al seu pare que ja és un home.  Hassan és el fill del servent d’Amir, i tot i que és de classe inferior, és el seu millor amic de la infantesa. Amir es proposa guanyar la carrera anual d’estels perquè el seu pare es senti orgullós d’ell… I aquí comença la història.

3. Do you know that…

1. Due to Afghan mores concerning male rape, Paramount Vantage agreed to relocate the young actors out of the country to the United Arab Emirates and arrange visas, housing and schooling for the young actors and jobs for their guardians. Paramount Vantage accepts responsibility for the living expenses until they reach adulthood, a cost some estimated at up to $500,000.

2. Author Khalad Hosseini describes the filming (in Kashgar, China) of the Kabul kite tournament scenes: "There weren't actually any kites in the sky. We were just kind of looking up at these strings going up to these cables and hanging from the other side there were water bottles to give the string a sense of tension." To which director  Mark Foster adds "Yes, because we had no wind." CG kites were added in post-production.

3. Screenwriter David Benioff mentions on the DVD commentary that what Uncle Saifo the kite seller says in Dari is completely different from what is shown in the English subtitles. Director Mark Foster adds that the improvisation technique was common among the Afghan actors, many of whom weren't really actors.

4. In the book the servant boy, Hassan, was a harelip (cleft upper lip), but that was left out of the film because it would have required two hours of makeup every day, it would have been difficult for the boy to act in the makeup, Director Mark Foster didn't want to put the boy through it, and it wasn't essential to the script.

5. Director Mark Foster mentions in the DVD commentary that his passion to make the film as authentic as possible was responsible for his insistence on filming Afghanistani characters speaking in Dari (with English subtitles). Author  Khaled Hosseini says "Iran and Afghanistan share a language - they call it Farsi in Iran and we call it Dari in Afghanistan - it's essentially the same language, but the accent is very different." He mentions that the speaker at the soccer game is speaking in Pashdu, the other main language of Afghanistan.

6. The scenes ostensibly taking place in Afghanistan were mainly shot in the cities of Kashgar and Tashkurgan in the Xinjiang region of China (officially the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region). The DVD commentary mentions that scenes shot in Kashgar include the kite tournament, the mosque where Amir prays, and Rahim Khan's apartment in Peshawar, Pakistan. Scenes shot in Tashkurgan include the opening scenes of a kite duel and the boys running the kite, the Pomegranate tree, and the Taliban compound where Amir meets Sohrab. Scenes shot in or outside of Beijing include the wedding and the soccer match. The San Francisco bar scene was also shot in China.

7. Author Khaled Hosseini mentions in the commentary that the name on the door "Dr. Amani" is his homage to his medical school roommate. He mentions in the documentary "Words from the Kite Runner" also on the DVD that he, himself, was a practicing physician for eight and a half years before choosing to concentrate on writing after 'The Kite Runner' book became successful.

8. Assef's character is white with blond hair in the book, but he is brown with black hair in the movie.

9. Release prints were delivered to theaters with the fake title 'Playground Bully'.

10. 80 millions  books were sold.

11. The film sound track was composed by Alberto Iglesias, a Spanish  composer and he was the first to be nominated for  the Academy Award

4. Answer these questions:

1.    How does the real Assaf look like?
2.    Where is the mosque where Amir prays?
3.    Which language do Iran end Afghanistan share?
4.    Who was a harelip in the book, but he wasn’t in the film? Why?
5.    Where were the two young actors relocated and why?
6.    Why were water bottles used in the kite tournament scene?
7.    Who composed the sound track?
8.    Look for a map of Afghanistan. Find out which is its capital and which are the bordering countries?
9.    In the film you can see that at the end of the 70s the Russian army was in the country, why?

10. How many books did they sell in the last 8 years?
11. Who are the Taliban?
12. What is the Sharia?
13. What is the political situation of Afghanistan at present?
14. Write a short description of Amir Jan and Hassan.
15. Find out the meaning of these words: Mulas, Pashtunes, Hazara, Kebab,
Saur Revolution.
     16. Was there a theatre version of the novel?

5. Personal opinion:

1.    Which character do you like best and why?
2.    What do you think of the relationship of Amir and his father?
3.    The kites in the film have an important meaning. What do you think it is?
4.    Which is your opinion on how women and children are treated in the Afghanistan society?

10th December 1948 -  Paris

Here below you can read some of the Human Rights articles. Can you remember any scenes in the film in which these rights are not respected. 

Article 1.
            All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 3.
            Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 4.
            No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
Article 5.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 13.
            (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
            (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
Article 18.
            Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religión.
Article 19.
            Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
Article 26.

             Everyone has the right to education.