Tuesday, 30 December 2008

New Year's fireworks game

It's almost New Year's Eve, and to get you in the mood, here's a simple but fun online game to play. Turn up the sound, and set off those fireworks over London!
Happy New Year!!

Games at Miniclip.com - Fireworks

Start the New Year off with a bang!

Play this free game now!!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008


Here's a new answer to the age old question of what to do with the certificate you get upon successfully completely a course... put it on your blog! (although the white certificate on a white background is not ideal)

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Christmas cracker jokes

If, like me, you're not able to make it to England this Christmas, you'll be missing the jokes that fall out of the crackers along with the paper hat.

So that you don't feel too left out, here (according to one national newspaper) are the top ten best / worst Christmas cracker jokes.

1. What is Santa's favourite pizza?
One that's deep pan, crisp and even.

2. On which side do chickens have the most feathers?
The outside.

3. What kind of paper likes music?
(W)rapping paper.

4. What's white and goes up?
A confused snowflake.

5. What do you call a woman who stands between two goal posts?

6. Did you hear about the man who bought a paper shop?
It blew away.

7. What's furry and minty?
A polo bear.

8. How do snowmen get around?
They ride an icicle.

9. Who hides in the bakery at Christmas?
A mince spy.

10. What do you call a penguin in the Sahara desert?

Friday, 19 December 2008

End of year stuff 2008

It's that time of year when we start looking back and discovering what was the most popular this and that in 2008.
Here's an interesting one from Google. You can also find out what the most-searched for words were country by country.

2008 Year-End Google Zeitgeist

As the year comes to a close, it's time to look at the big events, memorable moments and emerging trends that captivated us in 2008. As it happens, studying the aggregation of the billions of search queries that people type into the Google search box gives us a glimpse into the zeitgeist — the spirit of the times. Google has compiled some of the highlights from Google searches around the globe.

Fastest Rising (Global)

1. sarah palin
2. beijing 2008
3. facebook login
4. tuenti
5. heath ledger
6. obama
7. nasza klasa
8. wer kennt wen
9. euro 2008
10. jonas brothers

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

How to say it

If you would like to hear how individual English words are spoken, type the word into the box on the howjsay website, click submit and the word will be spoken back to you.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Creature Comforts Christmas video

How to sound fluent in Business English

These are the top 4 and 6 word clusters in Business English according to Cambridge and Nottingham Spoken Business English Corpus (CANBEC)
Scatter these phrases around in your English conversation, make sure you say them in one breath, and your English will sound much more fluent!

The top ten 4-word clusters:
1. at the end of
2. the end of the
3. have a look at
4. end of the day
5. a bit of a
6. I don't know if
7. at the same time
8. I don't know what
9. a lot of the
10. to be able to

The top ten 6-word clusters:
1. At the end of the day
2. And this that and the other
3. Between now and the end of
4. But at the end of
5. A hell of a lot of
6. Do you know what I mean
7. If you know what I mean
8. At the end of the year
9. Go and have a look at
10. The end of the day if

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Chat with Santa (or Father Christmas)

you can have a chat with Father Christmas, or Santa,and find out a bit more about him.
Be careful though as he only answers gramattically correct sentences.
Chat with Santa

Thanks to Nik Peachy for this activity.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

500 places to see podcast

This podcast accompanies the onestopenglish Guardian Weekly news lesson

click here

Frommers.com Podcast: 500 Places to See Before They Disappear

By The Frommer's Staff
November 24, 2008

Many of the world's most beautiful and fascinating sites are at risk from development, environmental factors and human presence. Author Holly Hughes and host Kelly Regan discuss some of these places and how they were selected for the new book, Frommer's 500 Places to See Before They Disappear.

Friday, 28 November 2008


If you didn't make it to Bonn last weekend, you can find and download many of the presentations from the BESIG website

Friday, 14 November 2008

Spot On monthly lessons for teens

One Stop English www.onestopenglish.com have introduced a new monthly series of news lessons for teens. I'm very happy to be writing these as they compliment the weekly adult news lessons from the Guardian Weekly very well.
The first Spot On lesson in October was about New Zealand. The lesson for November is about Fairtrade and has just been uploaded to the website.
Here you can see a screen grab of the latest lesson (intermedaite level - there are also elementary and advanced levels available) and the new layout.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Glow in the Dark Cat Created to Treat Cystic Fibrosis

Glow in the Dark Cat to Treat Cystic Fibrosis Created

A cat that may look like a normal tabby in light but glows in the dark has been created by scientists in New Orleans.

The six-month-old cat, named Mr Green Genes, has been genetically modified as part of an experiment at the Audubon Centre for Research of Endangered Species in New Orleans that could lead to treatments for conditions like cystic fibrosis.

It was created so that researchers could learn whether a gene could be introduced harmlessly into the feline's genetic sequence to create what is formally known as a transgenic cat.

If so, it would be the first step in a process that could lead to the development of ways to combat diseases via gene therapy.

Dresser said that the gene, which was added to Mr. Green Genes' DNA when he was created, has no effect on his health.

Dr. Martha Gomez, a veterinarian and staff scientist at the center, said that cats are ideal for this project because their genetic makeup is similar to that of humans.

To show that the gene went where it was supposed to go, the researchers settled on one that would glow.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

News instead of weather

For some reason the BBC RSS feed didn't work. Whichever town I chose, it gave me the weather forecast for August 2007. I will try again at a later date, but in the meantime I'll leave up the nice weather man (below) but change the feed to the latest BBC news.

New blog

After playing around and becoming frustrated with blog.de I have decided to change over to blogger.com which seems easier and clearer to navigate. Time will tell...

The first fun thing I've done is add a three-day weather forecast for Stuttgart. :-)