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Spotlight - 3 hours 28 min ago
"Astronauts on Mars will be able to lift heavy things because of the low gravity there."

Obama Moves to Normalize Relations with Cuba

VOA Special English - 19 December 2014 - 9:00pm
President Barack Obama announced a major change in United States’ policy toward Cuba this week. He said he wants Congress to ease more than 50 years of U.S. sanctions against the island nation. And he said the two nations should once again formally recognize one another. “I’ve instructed Secretary (of State John) Kerry to immediately begin discussions with Cuba to re-establish diplomatic relations that have been severed since January of 1961.”  Mr. Obama said he also wants...

A Los Angeles Christmas

VOA Special English - 19 December 2014 - 9:00pm
  The end of December is a time when many Americans are thinking about snow and cold weather. Yet the city of Los Angeles, California is almost always warm and sunny, even during the winter holiday season. Many people like all the holiday decorations and lights seen in and around Los Angeles. Marquis Rosales lives in Los Angeles. He likes being in southern California for the Christmas holiday. “Here it’s more unique because everyone’s so, like, kind-hearted and welcoming...

Disagreement Over Lower Mekong River Dam Project

VOA Special English - 19 December 2014 - 8:59pm
A two-day meeting in Laos has left government officials and environmental activists deeply divided. The meeting was called to examine plans for a 260 megawatt dam on the Lower Mekong River. The Lao government is prepared to start work on the project. Lao officials have dismissed concerns over the dam’s effect on the Mekong Delta area. The proposed Don Sahong hydropower dam would be built in the southern province of Champassak. If built, it would become one of nine dams for the...

1,061 - Shopping for Men's Shoes

English As A Second Language Podcast - 19 December 2014 - 9:00am

I hate shopping for shoes. This episode explains why.

Slow dialog: 1:31
Explanations: 4:05
Fast dialog: 19:05

Curran: I like these tennis shoes. I need a new pair.

Beth: We’re here to buy you some dress shoes for attending Chelsey’s wedding. You can’t go wearing those worn out loafers, and you need time to break them in.

Curran: All right. Just pick whatever you think is suitable and let’s go.

Beth: Don’t you want to have a say in what you wear? I think these oxfords are nice. What do you think?

Curran: Great. I’m a size 10 and a half. I’ll try them on and we’ll go.

Beth: You can’t just buy the first pair of shoes you see. How about these?

Curran: Those patent leather shoes? They have purple laces. Well, if you think they’re okay...

Beth: No, they’re not. These shoes are totally wrong for the occasion, not to mention hideous. I was just trying to get a rise out of you so you’ll pick the shoes you like.

Curran: But I don’t care what I wear. Just pick a pair.

Beth: No, you pick.

Curran: Fine. How about these?

Beth: No, they’re not dressy enough. They look more like sandals then dress shoes.

Curran: Then how about these?

Beth: Those boots? Definitely not.

Curran: Okay, these then.

Beth: Those shoes fasten with Velcro. Are you kidding me?

Curran: Okay, why don’t you just tell me what my taste should be and I’ll buy what you want me to buy?

Beth: And leave you with no say in your own purchase? What kind of cousin would I be if I did that?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

mysophobia: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Dictionary.com Word of the Day - 19 December 2014 - 9:00am
mysophobia: a dread of dirt or filth.

lion's share

Wordsmith.org Today's Word - 19 December 2014 - 6:06am
The largest part of something.


OALD Word Of The Day - 19 December 2014 - 2:00am
withstand: to be strong enough not to be hurt or damaged...

Top Islamic State Leaders Killed in Airstrikes

VOA Special English - 19 December 2014 - 12:37am
Three top Islamic State leaders were killed in a series of targeted airstrikes in Iraq, a senior U.S. Defense Department official said Thursday. The official said the recent killings, conducted between mid November and early December, will reduce the militant group's ability to command and control areas it occupies in Iraq and Syria. But a top commander warned the fight is far from over, adding that it might take at least three years to defeat the Islamic State...


Spotlight - 19 December 2014 - 12:14am
"Check all the eggs for cracks before you buy them."

A Princess of Mars, Part Four

VOA Special English - 18 December 2014 - 9:01pm
Editor's note: This is the fourth in our series of programs called “A Princess of Mars.” The story is from a series of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  Last week, we told how John Carter observed a fierce battle between the green Martians and a race of red, human-like creatures. He also saw the beautiful Princess Dejah Thoris being captured after the battle. A short time later, John Carter, the Princess and their friend, the green Martian woman Sola, attempt to escape...

Sony Criticized for Cancelling 'The Interview'

VOA Special English - 18 December 2014 - 9:00pm
“The Interview” is probably the most famous movie you might never be able to see. The dark comedy had been set to open in theaters across America next Thursday. But this week, Sony Pictures Entertainment cancelled the release of the film following threats from a group of computer hackers. “The Interview” stars American actors James Franco and Seth Rogen, who was also one of the film’s directors. The two men play television reporters who win an interview with the leader of North...

Music Shows in Private Homes Gain Popularity

VOA Special English - 18 December 2014 - 9:00pm
Attending a live musical performance in a huge sports center with thousands of other supporters of the musician is exciting. Even in a smaller place, such as a restaurant or theater, a skilled performer can provide a great show. Here in the U.S., a very different kind of performance space is gaining in popularity. Singer-songwriter Annalise Emerick is getting ready to play a show in Nashville, Tennessee. It is something she does most nights in coffee houses, bars, auditoriums, and...

Low-Cost Incubator May Save More Babies

VOA Special English - 18 December 2014 - 9:00pm
  Premature birth is the biggest killer of children worldwide. About one million babies around the world die of problems that strike because they are born too early. Many of these babies could have been saved if they had been placed in an incubator. Weak or sick newborns can be cared for in an incubator for special protection and treatment until they are stronger. Yet, this costly device is mostly unavailable in developing countries. A young British researcher says he has...

who's who

Wordsmith.org Today's Word - 18 December 2014 - 5:58pm
1. A reference work containing concise biographical sketches of well-known people. 2. Well-known people in a particular profession, region, etc.

beforetime: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Dictionary.com Word of the Day - 18 December 2014 - 9:00am
beforetime: formerly.


OALD Word Of The Day - 18 December 2014 - 2:00am
blizzard: a snowstorm with very strong winds...

Travel: London on a budget

Spotlight - 18 December 2014 - 12:14am

In our podcast for 18 December 2014, find out how to get the best views of London for little money.


Spotlight - 18 December 2014 - 12:14am
"Yesterday was a gloomy day. The sun hardly came out."

Mixed conditional

Spotlight - 18 December 2014 - 12:14am

When we talk about mixed conditionals, we usually mean a combination of the second and third conditionals. Find out more and get some practice in a short exercise.


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