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Ad of the Day: UPS Wrapping vs. Packing

The English Blog - 49 min 23 sec ago

Here's a humorous Christmas-themed ad from UPS that nicely illustrates the difference between wrapping and packing.

You deal with the wrapping. Let the UPS Store deal with getting it there. Come in today and ask our certified packing experts about our pack and ship guarantee.

1. To wrap (pronounced 'rap') means to ​cover or ​surround something with ​paper, ​cloth, or other ​material. • She wrapped the ​present and ​tied it with ​ribbon. To pack means to put goods into containers so that they can be sent somewhere and sold. • The bananas are packed in cardboard boxes before being shipped by air.
2. The verb ship can mean to send goods by ship (logical) but it can also mean to send goods by land or air.
• Toxic waste is shipped from Western Europe to other countries.
• Your order was shipped on July 10th by first class mail.

1. Get students to tick off the following items as they see them: sellotape, scissors, ribbon, present, bow, wrapping paper, Christmas tree, decorations, duct tape, cuddly toy, snowmen.
Use video as a discussion starter about wrapping and unwrapping Christmas presents. Do you wrap your own? Are you good at wrapping presents? Do you have any techniques or tips to share? What sort of wrapping paper do you use? Do you put any ribbons or bows? What about gift tags? Have you wrapped any presents yet? How do you unwrap presents - carefully or by ripping off the paper? Do you ever re-use wrapping paper? 

How to wrap a present (Real Simple video)
5 Wrapping Hacks You Need To Know (BuzzFeed video)

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Spotlight - 8 hours 12 min ago
"After beating cancer, Lance Armstrong made a miraculous comeback in the world of sport."

Colorado Shootings Restart Gun Debate

VOA Special English - 30 November 2015 - 10:15pm
Another shooting incident – this time in Colorado -- has brought attention to the debate about gun violence in the United States. “Enough is enough,” said President Barack Obama on Saturday. A police officer and two civilians were killed Friday during a five-hour shooting spree in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Nine other victims were wounded. The shooting happened at a Planned Parenthood healthcare facility. The man accused in the shooting, Robert Lewis Dear, was due in court...

Can We Reduce HIV Infections to Zero?

VOA Special English - 30 November 2015 - 10:10pm
From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report. A diagnosis of HIV/AIDS used to be a death sentence. Now, with proper treatment, people with HIV can live long, healthy lives. If they take their anti-AIDS drugs, the amount of the virus in their blood can be so small that it is impossible to infect others. And, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a daily pill can prevent HIV infection for those who don't have the virus. Dr....

Driving Safer, Easier With New Electronics for Cars

VOA Special English - 30 November 2015 - 10:10pm
Improvements in electronics for autos are making cars safer and smarter. Some new car models are fashionable. Others can go a long way on only a little gas. But all are taking advantage of technology that is making driving safer and easier. The new Ford Escape has technology that helps the car avoid crashes. A new cruise control system changes the car’s speed to keep a safe distance from other cars on the road. It works by using sensors that measure the Escape’s distance from...

COP21, Kobe Bryant, Cyber Monday

VOA Special English - 30 November 2015 - 10:03pm
  Climate change on the Agenda The hashtag #COP21 started trending over the weekend ahead of the United Nations’ conference on climate change. What is COP21? It stands for the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. World leaders like U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke about this year’s conference as a new beginning. Xi called the summit “a new starting point.” Obama said, “Our...

US Warns of 'Imminent' Attack in Kabul

VOA Special English - 30 November 2015 - 10:01pm
Officials say they have “credible reports of an imminent attack” on American assets in the Afghan capital Kabul. The American Embassy released an emergency message on Monday. The message said American citizens should be very careful if traveling in the city. It said the embassy did not have “further details regarding the targets, timing or method of the planned attack.” And it again warned U.S. citizens not to travel to Afghanistan. It said “the security situation in...

World Leaders Seek Climate Change Agreement

VOA Special English - 30 November 2015 - 10:00pm
Representatives from more than 150 countries are meeting in Paris to try to reach an agreement on climate change. The world leaders are debating ways to reduce emissions from fossil fuels -- like oil and gasoline -- to slow the rise of the Earth’s temperature. The U.N. weather agency says the average global temperature will rise by 1 degree Celsius. The U.N. wants to keep the global temperature from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius. The leaders will be joined by 40,000...

VOA English Newscast 1600 UTC: November 30, 2015

VOA Special English - 30 November 2015 - 9:38pm
  From Washington, this is VOA News.      I’m Joe Palka reporting. President Barack Obama speaks to UN Climate Summit. President Obama urged world leaders to "rise to this moment" Monday, telling them their progress at a U.N. climate summit in Paris will be measured by "the suffering that is averted and a planet that is preserved." He called on the delegations to agree to a system that is transparent and gives them confidence...

BBC Learning English Upper Intermediate Course

The English Blog - 30 November 2015 - 3:48pm

Good news for more advanced English learners - today BBC Learning English is launching its brand new Upper Intermediate Course!

This new Upper Intermediate course follows the same format as the earlier Lower Intermediate and Intermediate course. That is to say, 30 units each divided into 5 'sessions' with vocabulary and grammar reference notes. In short, BBC Learning English has created one of the best multi-level online English courses available today - and certainly the best free one! 

Related articles BBC Learning English Lower Intermediate Course BBC Learning English Intermediate Course BBC Learning English's New Website 5 Great YouTube Channels for Learning English Top Best Website to Learn English Online for Free - Tricks Forums

Cartoon: Climate Change Summit Begins in Paris

The English Blog - 30 November 2015 - 12:09pm

Chappatte cartoon 30-11-15

The crucial COP 21 global summit on climate change started today in Paris with a moment of silence to honor the victims of the city's terror attacks. Shortly afterward, French President Francois Hollande acknowledged the magnitude of both events. "France is receiving 150 heads of state," the President said. "Never have the stakes been so high because this is about the future of the planet, the future of life. And yet two weeks ago, here in Paris itself, a group of fanatics was sowing the seeds of death in the streets." Read more >>

The cartoon by Chappatte from NZZ am Sonntag shows a presentation at the climate change conference. Some members of the audience are reading the latest news about ISIS and the terror attacks. A man says to the woman beside him, who is reading a newspaper, "It feels good to take your mind off things". 

The man's remark is ironic because climate change represents a potentially greater threat than terrorism.

To take someone's mind off something means to make someone stop thinking and worrying about something. • Going back to work helped take my mind off my Ian's death. • Want a game? It might take your mind off things.

Related articles World leaders condemn deadly attacks in Paris Cartoon: Boots on the Ground Cartoon: The ISIS Museum of Arts Paris people observed a minute of silence | Athavan English News


Wordsmith.org Today's Word - 30 November 2015 - 10:21am
Occult learning; magic.

1,160 - Being Reprimanded at work

English As A Second Language Podcast - 30 November 2015 - 9:00am

Behave yourself at work or you may find yourself looking for a new job. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 0:47
Explanations: 3:23
Fast dialog: 17:33

Tania: What time is your meeting with Ted?

James: It’s at 3:00. Why?

Tania: You don’t seem worried. If I were being accused of misconduct and up for disciplinary action, I’d be on edge.

James: It was a minor offense. I’m sure I’ll just get a slap on the wrist.

Tania: I heard about it and it didn’t sound that minor.

James: People blow things out of proportion. It’s not like I’ll be up for dismissal or anything.

Tania: I hope not, but you might get a written reprimand placed in your personnel file. That could affect your chances for a raise or promotion.

James: I don’t have much of a chance of getting either one, quite frankly, so why sweat it? I’ll deal with whatever punishment I get.

Tania: I’m glad that’s your attitude.

James: What I say is: Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

bibliotaph: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Dictionary.com Word of the Day - 30 November 2015 - 9:00am
bibliotaph: a person who caches or hoards books.


OALD Word Of The Day - 30 November 2015 - 2:00am
exacerbate: to make something worse...


Spotlight - 30 November 2015 - 12:14am
"The minister's choice of words caused a kerfuffle."

Critics: Peanut Butter With Caffeine Unfit for Kids

VOA Special English - 29 November 2015 - 10:06pm
  Americans love peanut butter. The average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before he or she graduates high school, according to the U.S.-based National Peanut Board. But there is a dispute over a new peanut butter. It is called S-T-E-E-M, or STEEM Peanut Butter. This peanut butter adds a new ingredient: caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that helps people become more awake or energetic. Coffee is a popular morning drink because it has...

Freedom Threatens New York's White Deer

VOA Special English - 29 November 2015 - 10:00pm
In the 1940s, the U.S. Army fenced 40 kilometers of wilderness in Central New York and turned it into a weapons depot. By chance, the fencing enclosed a community of rare white deer and protected them from hunters and predators for more than 60 years. The refuge is near Seneca Lake, a resort area. White deer are rare in most places around the world because they are easy to spot against green or brown forest backgrounds. It makes them a good target for hunters and animal predators...

Colombia Tries to End Five Decades of War with Rebels

VOA Special English - 29 November 2015 - 10:00pm
The government of Colombia and the rebel group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia are talking to end 50 years of violence. In one breakthrough of the peace talks, Colombia plans to pardon 30 Marxist rebels who are in prison. The talks have been ongoing in Havana, Cuba since 2012. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos set a target date of March 2016 for a final treaty.  In September, government negotiator Humberto de la Calle said both sides will “definitely” meet...

African Union Promises to Stop Child Marriage

VOA Special English - 29 November 2015 - 10:00pm
The number of girls married in Africa is expected to double in the next 35 years, experts say. That means almost half, or 310 million girls, by 2050 will be married before they reach adulthood, says a United Nations report. The African Union says it wants to end child marriage in Africa. Delegates at a summit in Zambia are expected to set 18 years old as the lowest legal age for marriage across the continent.   Marriage before age 18 is already against the law in...


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