News With Marcus

Europe will require USB-C chargers. Apple isn’t happy

The European Union proposed new rules on Thursday that will make USB-C ports standard on smartphones, tablets, cameras, phones, portable speakers and handheld video game systems.The move is a setback for Apple (AAPL), which uses its own “Lightning” port on the iPhone. While the new rules are years away from coming into force, Apple could be compelled to make changes to its signature product.”European consumers were frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers. We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now [the] time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger,” EU tech chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

“This is an important win for our consumers and environment and in line with our green and digital ambitions,” she added.

EU citizens own three mobile phone chargers on average, according to the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm. But 38% of consumers have not been able to charge their phone on at least one occasion because they didn’t have the correct charger to hand.Roughly €2.4 billion ($2.8 billion) is spent annually on standalone chargers that do not come with electronic devices, according to the Commission.

European officials have been pushing the tech industry to standardize chargers for more than a decade. During that time, the number of mobile phone charging ports on the market has declined from 30 to three.

Apple said it would continue to “engage with stakeholders to help find a solution that protects consumer interest.””We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,” the company added in a statement.

Stop making employees turn on webcams during meetings

The latest battle in office life may be over whether or not to keep the camera on during virtual meetings.One woman who works at a New York-based nonprofit told CNN Business she received an HR complaint in August for the first time in her career because she kept her camera off during virtual work meetings. Shortly after, she said she received another HR complaint for the same reason.

“I was on a call with about 15 employees and [the speaker] said everyone should have their camera on because it’s company policy and part of our culture now,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of company retaliation. She said she has long disliked being in front of a camera, whether it’s for pictures or videos, and the meetings only added to that discomfort. “I told them being on camera causes me anxiety and didn’t turn it on. I eventually got a doctor’s note.”

Although she is still required to keep her camera on, she now sits mostly out of frame with only her shoulder showing — something her company said is acceptable. But she feels this makes things even more awkward. She is currently looking for a new job.

She’s not alone in wrestling with the new normal of constant video calls. In interviews with CNN Business, several workers described how leaving the camera on in meetings made it harder to focus on their work, sparked feelings of frustration about having to stay in one place for long periods of time, and created some discomfort about broadcasting their living situations to others. Yet workers can also feel pressure to leave the camera on, whether it’s because of an explicit request from the company to do so, or because of the perception — refuted by one recent study — that they’re less productive and engaged if they have it off.

Cartoons and children’s shows are next on the chopping block in China’s entertainment crackdown

Comic and animation fans in China were in for a nasty shock this weekend as authorities turned their crackdown on the entertainment industry to yet another target.The National Radio and Television Administration, the country’s broadcasting authority, announced late Friday that it would ban cartoons and other TV shows primarily produced for children that contain any mention of violence, blood, vulgarity or pornography.TV channels must “resolutely resist bad plots,” and instead only broadcast “excellent cartoons with healthy content and promote truth, goodness and beauty,” said the authority in a statement on its website.

“Children and adolescents are the main audience groups of cartoons,” the authority said, adding that broadcast organizations should set up special TV channels for children that create a good environment for “the healthy growth of young people.”

The new regulation applies to all cartoons broadcast on television as well as those streamed online — and though the authority did not name any specific shows, networks wasted no time in enforcing it.

A pill to treat Covid-19: ‘We’re talking about a return to, maybe, normal life’

Within a day of testing positive for covid-19 in June, Miranda Kelly was sick enough to be scared. At 44, with diabetes and high blood pressure, Kelly, a certified nursing assistant, was having trouble breathing, symptoms serious enough to send her to the emergency room.When her husband, Joe, 46, fell ill with the virus, too, she really got worried, especially about their five teenagers at home: “I thought, ‘I hope to God we don’t wind up on ventilators. We have children. Who’s going to raise these kids?”But the Kellys, who live in Seattle, had agreed just after their diagnoses to join a clinical trial at the nearby Fred Hutch cancer research center that’s part of an international effort to test an antiviral treatment that could halt covid early in its course.

By the next day, the couple were taking four pills, twice a day. Though they weren’t told whether they had received an active medication or placebo, within a week, they said, their symptoms were better. Within two weeks, they had recovered.

“I don’t know if we got the treatment, but I kind of feel like we did,” Miranda Kelly said. “To have all these underlying conditions, I felt like the recovery was very quick.”

The Kellys have a role in developing what could be the world’s next chance to thwart covid: a short-term regimen of daily pills that can fight the virus early after diagnosis and conceivably prevent symptoms from developing after exposure.”Oral antivirals have the potential to not only curtail the duration of one’s covid-19 syndrome, but also have the potential to limit transmission to people in your household if you are sick,” said Timothy Sheahan, a virologist at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill who has helped pioneer these therapies.Antivirals are already essential treatments for other viral infections, including hepatitis C and HIV. One of the best known is Tamiflu, the widely prescribed pill that can shorten the duration of influenza and reduce the risk of hospitalization if given quickly.The medications, developed to treat and prevent viral infections in people and animals, work differently depending on the type.

But they can be engineered to boost the immune system to fight infection, block receptors so viruses can’t enter healthy cells, or lower the amount of active virus in the body.At least three promising antivirals for covid are being tested in clinical trials, with results expected as soon as late fall or winter, said Carl Dieffenbach, director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who is overseeing antiviral development.”I think that we will have answers as to what these pills are capable of within the next several months,” Dieffenbach said.

China tells Tencent and Netease to focus less on profit as gaming crackdown expands

Chinese regulators have summoned companies to demand they play down profits and further clamp down on how minors can play video games, just days after children in the country were banned from access during the week.State-run news agency Xinhua reported Wednesday that authorities had called in firms, including industry leaders Tencent (TCEHY) and NetEase (NTES), to discuss restrictions around the streaming and playing of video games among minors.During the meeting, companies were “urged to break from the solitary focus of pursuing profit or attracting players and fans,” according to the report. They were also told to modify any rules or design elements of games that could be seen as “inducing addictions.”

The discussions included representatives from four government agencies: the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the National Press and Publication Administration, the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, according to Xinhua.

“Companies failing to follow the requirements will be stringently punished,” the state news agency reported.

In a huge blow, judge rules Apple can’t force developers to exclusively use its App Store payment system

Apple can no longer prohibit app developers from directing users to payment options outside its App Store, a judge ruled on Friday. The decision, which followed a contentious court battle with the maker of the hugely popular Fortnite video game, is a major blow to Apple — but the company also scored a partial victory as the judge stopped short of calling it a monopoly.Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the US District Court in the Northern District of California ruled on Friday that Apple (AAPL) had violated California’s Unfair Competition Law by forcing Fortnite and its maker Epic Games to use Apple’s payment systems on the App Store, with the iPhone maker extracting a 30% commission on every in-app purchase in the process. She issued an injunction saying Apple can no longer prohibit developers from adding links within their apps to outside payment options; for example, alerting users to the option to pay for a subscription on a web browser, rather than through the app.But Gonzalez Rogers sided with Apple on the suit’s other claims and said she could not conclude that the iPhone maker is a monopoly.

“Given the trial record, the Court cannot ultimately conclude that Apple is a monopolist under either federal or state antitrust laws,” court documents read. “Success is not illegal. The final trial record did not include evidence of other critical factors, such as barriers to entry and conduct decreasing output or decreasing innovation in the relevant market.”

Facebook and Ray-Ban are rolling out smart glasses that actually look cool. Will anyone buy them?

On a sunny May day in 2012, Google cofounder Sergey Brin walked down King Street in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood with a pair of black, lens-free smart glasses on his face.He was trying out Google Glass about a month before the company publicly unveiled the device. But he wasn’t actually doing anything with it, because it was out of batteries. (I know, because I saw him walking down the street that day, and asked him.)Google Glass eventually flopped as a consumer product, with some wearers of the gadget dubbed “Glassholes” for the perceived creepiness of the device and its prism-shaped over-eye display. But it set the stage for years of wonderment and bewilderment about smart glasses: What should they look like? What will we do with them? And who even wants to wear them, anyway?

In the nearly a decade since, many tech companies (including Amazon, Bose, and Snap) have tried to answer these questions in different ways, but none have truly popularized the idea of smart eyewear. On Wednesday, Facebook became the latest to offer an attempt for public consumption: glasses called Ray-Ban Stories, created with Ray-Ban (the brand is owned by eyewear giant EssilorLuxottica). Facebook hopes they’ll be worn to take pictures and short videos, listen to music, and make phone calls, by anyone 13 or older.

Australian court says media companies are liable for comments on their Facebook pages

Media companies in Australia are liable for the comments that Facebook users post under their articles, the country’s highest court ruled this week. The decision could have widespread consequences for how Australian publishers interact with their readers on social media.The High Court of Australia on Wednesday dismissed an argument brought by three major news organizations, which contended that they could not be held responsible for comments that people posted on their Facebook (FB) news pages. The news outlets had appealed a lower court ruling.”The appellants’ attempt to portray themselves as passive and unwitting victims of Facebook’s functionality has an air of unreality,” the court wrote. “Having taken action to secure the commercial benefit of the Facebook functionality, the appellants bear the legal consequences.

The appeals court “was correct to hold that the acts of the appellants in facilitating, encouraging and thereby assisting the posting of comments by the third-party Facebook users rendered them publishers of those comments,” the High Court wrote.

iPhone users will no longer need to bring their IDs to the airport in these states

Apple has enlisted eight states in a program that allows people to “seamlessly and securely” add their driver’s license or state IDs to their Apple Wallet to use at airport security checkpoints.Arizona and Georgia are the first states to enroll in the program, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah following soon. In a release Wednesday, Apple said the initiative is an “easy, fast, and more secure way” for people to present their IDs on their iPhone or Apple Watch to Transportation Security Administration officers.Apple (AAPL) didn’t say when the TSA program, which was first announced in June, will officially launch in these states.

To ensure it’s official, the user will have to take a selfie after uploading a picture of their driver’s license or state ID card. They will also be required to complete facial and head movements, similar to how Face ID is activated. The upload will be “securely provided” to the state for verification.

Once activated and approved, users can tap their iPhone or Apple Watch at the identity reader at the security checkpoint and the agent will see information required to fly. It works similarly to how people use the Wallet to make purchases at card readers.Of course, don’t leave your ID at home completely — you’ll still need it to fly home if you’re traveling to a state that’s not in the Apple program.

For security, Apple says the information on the IDs is “encrypted and protected against tampering and theft.” Biometric authentication is also used to ensure the proper person is using the phone or watch.

JULY 1ST 2021

Bill Cosby is a free man after Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturns sex assault conviction

Bill Cosby was released from prison Wednesday after Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned his sexual assault conviction, saying the disgraced actor’s due process rights were violated.The stunning decision in the case of the man once known as “America’s Dad” reverses the first high-profile celebrity criminal trial of the #MeToo era.The panel of Pennsylvania State Supreme Court judges said in their opinion that a former Montgomery County district attorney’s decision to not prosecute Cosby in 2005 in return for his deposition in a civil case was ultimately used against him at trial.

Woman who allegedly caused Tour de France crash arrested

The woman who allegedly held out a banner causing the crash of dozens of cyclists during the first stage of the Tour de France last Saturday has been identified and is undergoing police questioning, the Brest prosecutor’s office told CNN.The accident happened 45 kilometers from the finish of the first stage of the race on Saturday — from Brest to Landerneau — when a female spectator on the side of the road held up a big sign which caused the pile up.It’s not evident what she meant to say on the sign which said ‘ALLEZ OPI-OMI !’ in French and German, which translates to ‘Go Grandma and Grandpa.’ According to the race’s video coverage of Saturday’s incident, the sign hit German rider Tony Martin who was cycling near the head of the pack. Martin fell, which led to the subsequent crash of dozens of riders behind him.

June 14th 2021

Israel’s new prime minister is sworn in, ending Netanyahu’s 12-year grip on power

Naftali Bennett was sworn in as Israel’s new prime minister on Sunday, after winning a confidence vote with the narrowest of margins, just 60 votes to 59. His victory ends a 12-year grip on power by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the country’s longest-serving leader.After four elections in two years, Bennett’s incoming government breaks a long political deadlock and ushers in the most diverse coalition Israel has ever seen, including the first Arab party to serve in the government. In his speech before the Knesset confidence vote, Bennett celebrated the diversity and warned of polarization within the country.

Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest during Euros match and ‘was gone’ before resuscitation, doctor says

Christian Eriksen “was gone” before being resuscitated from cardiac arrest, Denmark’s team doctor said at a press conference Sunday.The Danish soccer player collapsed on the pitch during his team’s opening Euro 2020 match against Finland.”Well, what should I say? He was gone. And we did cardiac resuscitation and it was cardiac arrest. How close were we? I don’t know,” said Morten Boesen.

“We got him back after one ‘de-fib,’ so that is quite fast,” the team doctor added, referring to the defibrillator used to revive Eriksen. “The details…I am not a cardiologist, so the details about what happened and further I will leave to the experts.”

Eriksen sent greetings to his Danish teammates from hospital where he is recovering after falling on the pitch shortly before halftime.

Mark Zuckerberg plans to work remotely for at least half of the next year

Facebook is giving its employees more flexibility to work outside the office — and Mark Zuckerberg is leading by example.The Facebook CEO told employees in a memo Wednesday that he plans to work remotely for at least half of the next year, a company spokesperson confirmed to CNN Business. The memo was previously reported by the Wall Street Journal.”I’ve found that working remotely has given me more space for long-term thinking and helped me spend more time with my family, which has made me happier and more productive at work,” Zuckerberg wrote, according to the Journal.

On Wednesday, Facebook said it would allow employees across all levels of the company to apply for remote work if their role allows them to do so. Employees who want to come back to the office can do so on a flexible basis but will be encouraged to spend at least half their time in the office, and employees can spend up to 20 working days in a year in a remote location.

Spare ticket for spaceflight with Jeff Bezos auctioned for $28 million

What would you pay to take a jolting, 11-minute trip into suborbital space alongside Jeff Bezos? According to bidders in an auction that wrapped up Saturday, it’s worth $28 million.The company kicked off the auction last month — before it was revealed that billionaire founder and Amazon mogul Bezos, along with his brother Mark Bezos, would be on board New Shepard’s inaugural crewed mission.

Blue Origin sales director Ariane Cornell said during a livestream of the event that 7,600 people from 159 countries had registered and were able to bid in the auction, which was hosted by Boston-based RR Auction, on Saturday. The name of the winning bidder was not revealed. The flight is expected to take off from Blue Origin’s facilities in West Texas town of Van Horn, on July 20.

How a massive part of the internet went down for an hour

The company behind Tuesday’s massive internet outage has apologized for making a costly mistake that knocked out websites, apps and online services across the world.Fastly, which runs a content delivery network of servers and data centers, also said in a statement late Tuesday that it would work to prevent such a widespread failure in the future.”Even though there were specific conditions that triggered this outage, we should have anticipated it,” said Nick Rockwell, Fastly’s senior vice president of engineering and infrastructure in the statement. “We provide mission critical services, and we treat any action that can cause service issues with the utmost sensitivity and priority. We apologize to our customers and those who rely on them for the outage.”

Box Office: ‘In the Heights’ Disappoints With $11 Million Opening Weekend

“In the Heights,” the acclaimed adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway show, didn’t hit all the right notes in its box office debut.

The Warner Bros. musical generated a wane $11.4 million from 3,456 U.S. theaters in its first four days of release, below earlier expectations suggesting the feel-good film would reach $20 million. “In the Heights” also opened on HBO Max, the streaming service owned by the studio’s parent company WarnerMedia, though the company didn’t report its digital viewership.

The disappointing commercial reception for “In the Heights” is puzzling because critics embraced the joyous film, showering it with some of the best reviews of the pandemic era. Moreover, Warner Bros. put substantial marketing heft behind the picture, and director Jon M. Chu and Miranda devoted a great deal of energy into promoting the movie, which compensated for the fact that its cast was comprised of mostly unknown stars and emerging actors.

Though it’s impossible to know the full impact, the film’s hybrid release on HBO Max likely affected its box office business.

Forget Going Back to the Office—People Are Just Quitting Instead

More U.S. workers are quitting their jobs than at any time in at least two decades, signaling optimism among many professionals while also adding to the struggle companies face trying to keep up with the economic recovery.

The wave of resignations marks a sharp turn from the darkest days of the pandemic, when workers craved job security while weathering a national health and economic crisis. In April, the share of U.S. workers leaving jobs was 2.7%, according to the Labor Department, a jump from 1.6% a year earlier to the highest level since at least 2000.

The shift by workers into new jobs and careers is prompting employers to raise wages and offer promotions to keep hold of talent. The appetite for change by employees indicates many professionals are feeling confident about jumping ship for better prospects, despite elevated unemployment rates.

He saved her from drowning and they fell in love

Question : Do you know of any strange love stories?

Nupur Gupta was nearing the end of a two-week stint teaching at a yoga retreat in Goa, India.It was February 2019 and the weather was balmy, bathing Goa’s famous beaches in a warm glow. The sea glistened, invitingly.In between yoga practice, Gupta always made time for a swim.On this particular day, she floated out further than she usually would. When she realized how strong the current was, it was too late. The water had started to pull her under.She tried not to panic.”I knew somewhere that, ‘Okay, if I constantly, and with consistency, keep swimming, I might make it,'” she tells CNN Travel today.Whenever Gupta attempted to crawl back to shore, the current dragged her under and she’d fight her way back to the surface, gasping for air. “Then I saw this man coming towards me.”This was Attila Bosnyak, a financial adviser in his forties hailing from Hungary but based in the Netherlands.Coincidentally, Bosnyak was a student at Gupta’s yoga retreat where, he says, he’d been trying to “disconnect from the hustle and work pressure and the Dutch winter. “Gupta didn’t teach Bosnyak’s beginners group, so they’d never spoken directly. Bosnyak was a strong swimmer, so he wasn’t scared, but he was struggling to reach Gupta in the face of the strong current.”He came very close to me, to hold my hand and pull me out, but just about that time I was pulled in by the ocean,” says Gupta.

That’s when Bosnyak realized that, even if he could get hold of Gupta’s hand, he wasn’t strong enough to pull her back to the shore alone. Glancing around, trying to stay calm, he spotted a nearby cluster of rocks that were blocking Gupta and Bosnyak from the view of anyone on shore.Bosnyak figured if he could climb on top of one of them, he could wave back to land and catch a lifeguard’s attention, but there was a risk of being thrown onto a rock and injuring himself. “So I tried to do it carefully,” Bosnyak recalls. “But I couldn’t really, so two, three, four times I was basically pushed onto the rock by the wave.”From Gupta’s perspective, it looked like her potential savior was drifting uncontrollably.

“That’s when I panicked,” she says, recalling thinking: “What if the wave just throws me on the rock and I have a head injury or something?” Eventually Bosnyak managed to clamber on top, and pull himself to his feet. Waving and shouting, he caught the attention of the lifeguard on the beach, who swam out immediately. The lifeguard assisted Gupta back to the beach, while Bosnyak swam on ahead. It was only when Bosynak reached the shore that he realized he was bleeding.”Especially my back and my thighs because of the scratches, and my fingers — because I’d tried to hold on to the rock,” he recalls.”My heart sank when I saw that, because it just made me realize that what this man just did to help someone, to help me,” says Gupta.As Bosynak, exhausted, collapsed onto a sun bed, Gupta jogged to the nearest store to get some disinfectant and, on a whim, chocolate ice cream.Back on the beach, Gupta started tending to Bosnyak’s wounds. Then she handed him the ice cream and he smiled gratefully.”Something changed, for me, in that moment,” she recalls. “There was a click in my heart somewhere.”Bosnyak felt it too, even as he lay there, bleeding.”I think that was a magic moment,” he says.

YouTubers face deportation from Bali over fake mask stunt

Question: Should they be deported?

Two YouTubers are facing deportation from Bali after they made a prank video that depicted one of them breaking local mask laws.Josh Paler Lin and Leia Se have reportedly had their passports seized by local government and risk being forced to leave Indonesia as a result of the video.In the clip, Se attempts to enter a grocery store, only to be turned away because she isn’t wearing a face mask. Lin then paints a fake mask on her face and she is able to go into the shop.The video, which was posted on April 22, went viral. Lin has 3.4 million subscribers on YouTube.Indonesia has been strictly enforcing its mask mandates. Police are allowed to issue fines on the first offense and deport foreigners on the second offense. Though this was Lin’s and Se’s first known offense, the hubbub surrounding the video drew so much attention that Balinese authorities seized both of their passports. Lin is reportedly from Taiwan but lives in the United States, while Se (who goes by the name Lisha online) is a Russian citizen, according to a police statement.

Rome debuts hot pizza vending machine

Question: Do you like this idea? What do you like to buy from the vending machines?

Raffaele Esposito, the 19th century Neapolitan credited with inventing Italy’s most famous type of pizza, may be turning in his grave: Rome has a new vending machine which slides out freshly cooked pizzas in just three minutes.Buyers using the flaming red “Mr. Go Pizza” machine can choose from four different kinds of pizzas costing from 4.50 to 6 euros ($5.20–$7.20). The machine kneads and tops the dough and customers can watch the pizza cook behind a small glass window.Reviews by customers on Thursday of the machine, one of the first in Rome, ranged from “acceptable if you’re in a hurry” to outright horror.”It looks good but it is much smaller than in a restaurant and there is less topping,” said Claudio Zampiga, a pensioner. People have been eating forms of flat bread with toppings for millennia, but it is generally accepted that pizza was perfected in Naples, where it was a street food for the poor.Tradition holds that Esposito created the classic “Pizza Margherita” on June 11, 1889 to honour the queen consort, Margherita of Savoy, during her visit to Naples with King Umberto I.He used tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves to represent the colours of the flag of a just united Italy – red, white and green. A plaque is affixed to a wall in Naples saying “Pizza Margherita was born here.”Fabrizia Pugliese, a Naples native and university student in Rome, gave the machine-made pizza a try and gave it a thumbs down, saying it tasted more like a “piadina”, an ultra-thin soft unleavened bread wrap popular in northern Italy. “It’s OK but it’s not pizza,” was her verdict.Gina, a pensioner who declined to give her surname, rejected the concept outright.”Terrible. Pizza really needs to be eaten hot, immediately. This doesn’t work for me,” she said.In fact, for many Italians, the classic pizza experience includes watching a “pizzaiolo,” (pizzamaker) knead the dough and cooking it in a wood-burning brick oven within sight of your table. In its current location, at least, the “Mr. Go Pizza” machine will face stiff competition getting a slice of the market.Nearby is the Napolitano restaurant, which uses a brick oven.”I wouldn’t even think of eating a pizza made by a machine,” said Giovanni Campana, biting into one.Esposito, who made a pizza fit for a queen 132 years ago, would likely agree.

Indonesia airport scammers reused Covid nasal swab tests on passengers, police say

Question: Have you ever heard of any type of scam?

Up to 10,000 airline passengers may have been tested for coronavirus with reused nasal swabs in a scam that netted thousands of dollars for the perpetrators, according to Indonesian police.Five employees for major Indonesian pharmaceutical company Kimia Farma were arrested on April 27 for allegedly washing and repackaging rapid antigen nasal swab kits, and using them on passengers at the Kualanamu International Airport in Medan, North Sumatra.Indonesia requires all passengers to provide a negative coronavirus test before they board a domestic flight, and the company sells the test kits in Medan airport. The scam had been ongoing for about four months, police said. North Sumatra Police spokesman, Grand Commissioner Hadi Wahyudi, said authorities were still investigating the number of victims affected by the reused swabs.”They started their crime on December 17, 2020. If every day they have 50 to 100 customers, the victims number are estimated to be about 10,000,” he said. The suspects have been charged with crimes under Indonesia’s health law, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment if found guilty, and under the country’s consumer protection law, which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.

‘You are wonderful’: JFK love letters to Swedish mistress up for sale

Question: Would your opinion changed about someone based on their personal life?

A series of love letters, handwritten by President John F. Kennedy to his Swedish mistress, are going up for sale at a Boston auction house.The intimate letters — addressed to Gunilla von Post, an aristocrat he met weeks prior to his 1953 marriage to Jacqueline Bouvier — reveal Kennedy describing their time together as a “bright memory of my life.”The eight-page collection, which includes one full letter and two partial messages, come from Von Post’s personal collection and are expected to fetch over $30,000. Von Post passed away in 2011 and, prior to her death, penned a 1997 memoir about her relationship with the former president titled “Love, Jack.”Written between 1955 and 1956, the love letters predate Kennedy’s presidency. He was serving as a senator in Massachusetts at the time, and the notes were written on United States Senate letterhead.

I got a hideous tattoo while on holiday. 20 years later, I’ve covered it up

Question: Have you ever gotten or seen a hideous tattoo?

For some, they’re the ultimate holiday souvenir. A permanent symbol of an enriching experience in a foreign land, a work of art to gaze upon as you recall a time and place that left an indelible impression not just on your soul, but on your skin as well. For the rest of us, they’re a cringe-inducing reminder of the day we perhaps had a few drinks too many on the beach and asked a stranger to ink us with a bizarre design that did not hold up well to the cruel hands of time.Sadly, I fell into the latter group. In my case, it was a large piece of black “tribal” art etched across the length of my lower back with an arrow in the lower center pointed in a rather unfortunate direction. And sorry, I’m not showing it here. Call me a coward if you must, but it was just that bad.I was in my early 20s, in Bali. It was just one stop on a year-long adventures filled with mishaps including a bad Thailand motorbike accident and a stint on an Australian farm putting stickers on papayas after getting robbed at a nature reserve. None of those experiences were as regrettable as this tattoo. I put little thought into it, deciding to get the ink on a whim after meeting an up-and-coming tattooist in the island’s north. Fast forward two decades and, big shocker, I loathed the thing. I spent years trying to hide it while at the beach or the pool, leaving me with limited swimwear choices, deeming it a constant reminder of my younger self’s penchant for making rash decisions.

Peloton recalls all treadmills after a child’s death and 70 injuries

Question: Have you ever been injured while using exercise equipment?

Peloton recalled its Tread+ and Tread treadmills Wednesday, and the company admitted it was wrong to fight the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request that it do so.About 125,000 treadmills are included in the recall. The CPSC said that there has been one child death and 70 other injuries tied to the treadmills. But when the federal safety agency issued a warning about the dangers last month, Peloton took the unusual step of refusing to recall them.”I want to be clear, Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the CPSC’s request,” said Peloton CEO John Foley. “We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize. In a statement, CPSC’s acting chairman Robert Adler said that the announcement was the “result of weeks of intense negotiation and effort, culminating in a cooperative agreement that I believe serves the best interests of Peloton and of consumers.” Wednesday’s recall covers the $4,295 Tread+ as well as Peloton’s cheaper Tread, which costs $2,495. That machine hasn’t yet been released in the United States. Peloton pulled both machines off its website Wednesday.The reversal comes more than two weeks after the US agency issued an “urgent warning” for users of the machine. At the time, the CPSC said it was aware of at least 39 accidents involving the treadmill, including “multiple reports of children becoming entrapped, pinned, and pulled under” the device.

Qantas supermoon flight to nowhere sells out in ‘record time’

Question: Would you take this flight?

Qantas is offering a new “flight to nowhere” that will give travel-starved Australian residents the chance to admire the late May supermoon and full lunar eclipse from over 40,000 feet in the sky.If you were hoping to nab tickets, you’re out of luck — the airline says they were snapped up in “record time” — 2.5 minutes to be exact.The supermoon flight is the latest in a series of Qantas-operated trips that take travelers up for a joy ride, before returning them right back to where they came from.Tickets for the supermoon flight started at AUS $499 for an economy ticket (US $386), while business class was on sale for $1,499 a pop (US $1,160).After tickets sold out, a wait list was also created, but this has since closed. The flight promises some pretty spectacular lunar views. The airline said in a press release that it’s working with astronomer Dr. Vanessa Moss to design “the optimal flight path over the Pacific Ocean.”Moss will also be on board to entertain travelers with facts and insights about the May 26 lunar event, which NASA calls a “super blood Moon eclipse.”NASA explains that the “super” part comes from the fact that the full moon will be near its closest orbital position to Earth, which will render it larger and brighter to the human eye.From some parts of the world, the moon will appear to take on a reddish hue due to the total lunar eclipse. As the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, it’ll look darker and redder.”The red color comes from sunlight filtering through Earth’s atmosphere — a ring of light created by all the sunrises and sunsets happening around our planet at that time,” says NASA’s website.The US space agency adds that how red the moon will appear is “hard to predict” as this can also be impacted by dust in the atmosphere.The total lunar eclipse, the only one of 2021, should be visible from Australia, New Zealand, some Pacific territories and the US west coast.While it’s dangerous to look at a solar eclipse directly, it is safe to admire a lunar eclipse.

More than 40 attorneys general urge Facebook to stop plans for an Instagram for kids

Question: What do you think about this?

Facebook’s plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13 continues to get backlash. On Monday, 44 attorneys general signed a letter addressed to Facebook  CEO Mark Zuckerberg, urging him to scrap plans for an Instagram intended for younger users, citing mental health and privacy concerns. The letter comes less than a month after child safety groups and Congress expressed similar concerns.”Use of social media can be detrimental to the health and well-being of children, who are not equipped to navigate the challenges of having a social media account,” the latest letter said. “Further, Facebook has historically failed to protect the welfare of children on its platforms. The attorneys general have an interest in protecting our youngest citizens, and Facebook’s plans to create a platform where kids under the age of 13 are encouraged to share content online is contrary to that interest.” Facebook claims such a service would give parents greater control over their children’s online activity. “As every parent knows, kids are already online. We want to improve this situation by delivering experiences that give parents visibility and control over what their kids are doing,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Business. “We are developing these experiences in consultation with experts in child development, child safety and mental health, and privacy advocates. We also look forward to working with legislators and regulators, including the nation’s attorneys general. In addition, we commit today to not showing ads in any Instagram experience we develop for people under the age of 13.”

China can’t stop talking about the Bill and Melinda Gates divorce

Question: Which celebrities are always in the news in your country? Who is the most loved or hated?

The divorce of Bill and Melinda Gates has sent shockwaves through China, where the Microsoft  co-founder has achieved a level of fame unlike almost any other Western entrepreneur.The “Bill Gates’ divorce” hashtag had generated more than 830 million views and 66,000 discussion posts on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo by Wednesday — far surpassing the 91 million views accumulated when Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott divorced in 2019.Weibo users fretted about everything, from how the couple would divide their massive fortune to whether the divorce would affect Microsoft or their charitable foundation. Through their philanthropic organization, the pair have spent $53.8 billion on global health, poverty alleviation and other initiatives. Bill Gates is worth about $146 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and the couple has pledged to give the vast majority of their wealth away to charity. “You and Melinda have made huge contributions to people around the world. Even if you don’t hold hands together in future life, I hope your foundation can still continue and help more people,” one Weibo user wrote, responding to a post on Bill Gates’ official Weibo account that announced the divorce in Chinese.

Tiffany & Co launches engagement rings for men

Question: Do you like this idea?

Luxury jewelry brand Tiffany & Co. is selling men’s engagement rings for the first time in its 184-year history.Amid reports of growing demand for fine jewelry among male shoppers, the new designs mark a major departure for the American jeweler, which is known for its classic solitaire engagement rings for women. Available at Tiffany’s flagship New York store from this month, the range is named the Charles Tiffany Setting after the company’s founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany. The design was inspired by classic signets and comes in either a titanium or platinum setting. The thickset rings feature angular beveled edges and a sparkling center diamond up to five carats in size. The brand said in a press release the line “honors the jeweler’s long-standing legacy in love and inclusivity, paving the way for new traditions.” Tiffany & Co. began selling diamond engagement rings in 1886 with the introduction of the Tiffany Setting, which remains one of its best known styles to date. Engagement jewelry forms a crucial part of the business, making up 26% of the company’s revenue last year, according to Business of Fashion.

Jenner opposes transgender girls participating in girls’ sports

Question: Should transgender girls play sports with boys or girls?

When former Olympian and reality TV personality Caitlyn Jenner announced that she planned to challenge California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in the state’s expected recall election this year, many trans activists across the country were quick to make it clear that she did not speak for them.A brief TMZ interview with Jenner Saturday — where she outlined her views on trans athletes participating in school sports — makes it clear why. When a reporter asked Jenner during the impromptu interview for her opinion on the efforts by some Republican legislatures to ban transgender athletes from participating in sports consistent with their gender identities, she replied that she does not support trans girls playing on girls’ teams.”This is a question of fairness. That’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school,” said Jenner, a Republican who is one of the most high-profile transgender Americans in public life. “It just isn’t fair. And we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools.” She did not answer a follow-up question from the reporter about whether that view delegitimizes the identity of children who transition and now identify as girls. Jenner, who won a gold medal in the 1976 Olympics, added in a tweet: “I didn’t expect to get asked this on my Saturday morning coffee run, but I’m clear about where I stand. It’s an issue of fairness and we need to protect girls’ sports in our schools.” Her campaign did not immediately respond to questions about whether she believes the issue should be determined locally or at the state level, and what her views are on the specific bans that have been enacted in half a dozen states prohibiting trans girls and women from competing on teams that match their gender identity.

8 eating habits that can interfere with sleep

Question: Do you have any of these bad habits?

Food choices can make all the difference when it comes to getting a good night’s rest.If you struggle with falling and staying asleep, or wake up feeling tired, it might be time to take inventory of what you’re eating and when.These eight diet habits can cause you to toss and turn, so avoid them for an uninterrupted slumber:

1. Consuming too much caffeine

Caffeine can interfere with sleep even when consumed up to six hours before bedtime, according to one study.

Caffeine interferes with the action of a chemical known as adenosine, which has sedative properties and builds up in the brain to signal sleep. The stimulant compound can also interfere with circadian rhythms, which can delay the onset of sleep.In addition to coffee, caffeine is found in tea, soft drinks, energy drinks and chocolate. For a more extensive list of caffeine content from various sources, check out this chart from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

2. Eating big meals

That big creamy pasta or steak dinner may seem appealing if you haven’t eaten much all day, but a large, heavy meal can cause bloating, making it difficult to fall or stay asleep.

Additionally, fat takes longer to digest and can cause discomfort when lying down. Try avoiding high-fat meals for dinner, and wait at least two hours after eating before going to bed. “And don’t just sit on the couch and watch Netflix (after you eat) — do some stretching and move around a bit,” said Vandana Sheth, a California-based registered dietitian nutritionist who provides counseling about diet and sleep hygiene to clients.If hunger hits before bedtime, “a light, low calorie snack may help to reduce hunger pangs that can disrupt sleep,” said Gary Zammit, executive director of the Sleep Disorders Institute in New York City, via email.

3. Consuming too much sugar

Avoid bedtime snacks containing lots of sugar, which can disrupt sleep. “Research suggests that high sugar intakes can predispose postmenopausal women to night sweats,” said Nancy Z. Farrell Allen, a Virginia-based registered dietitian nutritionist and national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

4. Spicy foods

Spicy foods can contribute to heartburn, making it difficult to fall asleep and causing discomfort during the night. Limit or avoid chiles, curry and other red-hot foods.Additionally, highly acidic foods, especially soft drinks, can contribute to nighttime awakenings, Zamitt explained.

5. Alcohol

Having a glass of wine or a nightcap may help you fall asleep, but drinking before bedtime can disturb your sleep during the night, Farrell Allen explained. “It can hamper the amount of deep sleep we get, increase those nightly trips in the middle of the night to the bathroom, and dehydrate us with a resultant headache.””Limit the late-night alcohol consumption to 1 to 2 standard serving sizes, interspersed with water, and certainly call it quits a few hours before bedtime to give your body time to process these beverages,” Farrell Allen said via email.

6. Too many fluids

Consuming large amounts of any fluid in the evening can increase the frequency of urination, contributing to awakenings during the night. Try to avoid fluids close to bedtime to help ensure an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

7. Carrying too many or too few pounds

In addition to these offenders, carrying excess body weight may increase the risk of sleep apnea, which can affect the ability to breathe at night and be disruptive to sleep, Sheth said.”A high body mass index is the most significant predictor of whether or not someone will be diagnosed with sleep apnea,” Zammit said.Zammit pointed out that those who are too thin can also experience disruptions in sleep. “Individuals with anorexia or bulimia, who are severely underweight, often have a fragmented, insomnia-like sleep,” he said.

8. Restricting calories during the day

Some people who severely restrict calories during daytime hours will rebound at night and consume food in the hours just before sleep and during the sleep period, which can contribute to sleep disturbances, Zammit explained.”If people experience night eating, they should talk with their doctors about their dietary plan,” he added.It no doubt can be tough switching your habits, but the changes will be well worth it in the long term.If you need help, don’t hesitate to enlist the help of a doctor, as Zammit suggests, or work with a registered dietitian nutritionist. (You can search for one in your area on the website of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.)Above all, ease into any adjustments by tackling one at a time to set yourself on a solid path to sounder sleep.

Teen Vogue Editor Alexi McCammond Quits Over Past Racist Tweets

Question: Is it right to fire someone for their past mistakes?

One week before Alexi McCammond was to start as editor-in-chief of Condé Nast’s Teen Vogue, she has agreed to “part ways” with the company over racist tweets she had posted as a teenager a decade ago.

Condé Nast announced the appointment of McCammond, formerly a political reporter at Axios, to the EIC spot at the all-digital Teen Vogue brand on March 5. Soon afterward, since-deleted Twitter posts came to light in which she used derogatory stereotypes about Asians and homophobic language. McCammond had deleted the offensive tweets two years ago but screenshots of the tweets were recirculated after news of her Teen Vogue appointment.

“My past tweets have overshadowed the work I’ve done to highlight the people and issues that I care about — issues that Teen Vogue has worked tirelessly to share with the world — and so Condé Nast and I have decided to part ways,” she said in a statement, which she shared in a tweet.

McCammond added, “I should not have tweeted what I did and I have taken full responsibility for that. I look at my work and growth in the years since, and have redoubled my commitment to growing in the years to come as both a person and as a professional.” In her statement, she said, “I became a journalist to help lift up the stories and voices of our most vulnerable communities. As a young woman of color, that’s part of the reason I was so excited to lead the Teen Vogue team in their next chapter.”

Condé Nast confirmed that McCammond has resigned from the Teen Vogue job.

In a memo to U.S. employees Thursday that was obtained by Variety, Condé Nast head of HR Stan Duncan said that McCammond was “straightforward and transparent about these posts during our interview process and through public apologies years ago.” After meeting with her on March 18, Duncan wrote, “we agreed that it was best to part ways, so as to not overshadow the important work happening at Teen Vogue.”

According to social media posts, McCammond’s old tweets — which dated back to 2011 — included “Now googling how to not wake up with swollen, asian eyes” and “Give me a 2/10 on my chem problem, cross out all of my work and don’t explain what i did wrong… thanks a lot stupid asian T.A. you’re great.”

Last week, a group of 20-plus Teen Vogue staffers posted a statement on Twitter saying they had sent a letter complaining about McCammond’s tweets to Condé Nast management. “In a moment of historically high anti-Asian violence and amid the ongoing struggles of the LGBTQ community, we as the staff of Teen Vogue fully reject these sentiments,” the group said in the statement.

Amid the controversy, retailer Ulta Beauty last week said it was suspending ads on Teen Vogue and was in talks with Condé Nast “as we seek to better understand their next steps and determine ours.”

In response to McCammond’s resignation announcement, Axios CEO and co-founder Jim VandeHei tweeted comments in support of his former employee. “You will always be part of the @axios family,” VandeHei replied to McCammond. “@alexi admited [sic] her mistakes, repented (years ago and again of late) and showed during her four years with us she was a strong woman with a big heart. She was a great colleague who often stood up 4 others. Sad outcome @TeenVogue.”

McCammond, 27, first joined Axios in 2017 covering politics was the lead reporter covering President Biden’s 2020 campaign. She also appeared on NBC and MSNBC as a contributor as well as “Axios on HBO.” In 2019, the National Association of Black Journalists named her Emerging Journalist of the Year. McCammond started in media as freelancer for Cosmopolitan before joining Bustle as a news editor during the 2016 election.

Condé Nast shut down the regular print edition of Teen Vogue in late 2017, after having cut the mag’s frequency that year to quarterly. In January 2021, according to the company, Teen Vogue had 10.8 million unique visitors (up 21% year over year) who spent over 18 million minutes on the site — its highest monthly time-spent to date.

Berating Nike for plus-size mannequins is no war on obesity – it’s just war on bigger bodies

Question: What do you think about how mannequins are currently used? Should we use different skin tones and body shapes?

When you think of activewear, you probably think of lean, tanned bodies with abs that look carved out of stone. And, for a lot of retailers of sportswear, this is reflected in the way these clothes are marketed – right down to the faceless mannequins in stores.

Not any more. Last week Nike proved its status as a disruptor when its London store introduced a female plus-size mannequin standing alongside a slender counterpart. The company introduced its plus-sized range back in 2017 but now shoppers of all body types can see the full and natural range that female bodies come in. The plus-size mannequins are being joined by mannequins with disabilities, another welcome addition to the generally exclusionary sportswear industry.

Nike’s mannequins have been well received by shoppers and on social media, where pictures of them went viral at the weekend. As is the nature of the internet though, other people have berated Nike for glamorising obesity, going so far as to say that the mannequin, were she real, would be diabetic and riddled with osteoarthritis. I’m not sure where their outrage was when research showed that most high-street mannequins are so thin they wouldn’t menstruate.

When we are shown bigger bodies, the concern trolls are never far away. They don’t come right out and say they are disgusted by squishy rolls of fat and bigger bottoms. Instead, they feign concern for the health and wellbeing of that person, based solely on their looks. Completely unsolicited, these people dish out advice or blame, under the guise of caring about their health. They’re so prevalent, even being a plastic mannequin in a Nike store doesn’t make you immune from them.

There are two problems with this reaction to seeing bigger bodies. The first is that there is no way for any of us to look at the body of a larger person and make any rational or even accurate judgment about how their health is. There are a proportion of people who we might consider to be bigger who do not have the diseases that we commonly associate with obesity, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. That is, it is entirely possible to be fit and fat. But a quick glance at the rolls on someone’s tummy won’t tell you that.

One of the biggest predictors of someone’s health if they are in a larger body is not their fatness but rather their healthy habits. Physical fitness is one of the most important markers for health and may offset some of the negative effects that someone who has extra fat may be otherwise subject to. No matter how much you weigh, being active is important and needs to be encouraged. You cannot tell this just by looking at someone’s body – and you could also argue that it’s none of your business.

If people were really serious about caring for the health of mannequins – or real-life people who are larger than society normally deems acceptable – you would understand the effect that comments can have. Stigma related to their size is actually likely to stop bigger people exercising. Shaming them doesn’t translate into the health gains we pretend to be so desperately interested in.

The backlash against an inanimate object – a shiny plastic mannequin – is just the tip of the iceberg in the war on obesity. Except there is no war on obesity; there is only a war on the people who inhabit bigger bodies. There is no denying that we should be healthy and that we should encourage healthy habits, but every time someone points out that anyone who is larger can’t possibly be healthy, not only could they be wrong, they’re actually making it harder for anyone who isn’t able-bodied, cis-gendered or thin to achieve health, in mind and body.

Looking at a bigger mannequin or even a bigger body will not make you fat. But berating and shaming bigger bodies, even if they are made of plastic, may make someone who doesn’t look thin too embarrassed to enjoy moving his or her body. Nike should be applauded for its inclusive approach: it is good for our physical and mental health and throws down the gauntlet for other retailers to follow suit. There is everything to gain from this move, despite what the haters say.

What happened when one company switched to a four-day workweek

Question: Why don’t more companies use this schedule?

Permanent three-day weekends may seem like a dream, but they’re a reality for workers at Elephant Ventures. The software and data engineering company,headquartered in New York City, started testing a four-day work week in August to help prevent employee burnout and maintain work-life balance during the pandemic. The company went full remote in March 2020, and will likely stay that way for the foreseeable future. The plan was to try out 10-hour days Monday through Thursday for two months. To see what workers thought of the new schedule, the company surveyed employees about the shift before, during and at the end of that trial period. “You have to really focus on empowering the team and make the decision together because everyone has to make modifications to their life. It took employees about three to four weeks to adjust, he said. After the first three-day weekend, workers returned feeling rested and excited, but at the end of that week they felt the toll of the longer days and the readjustment to their normal routines. “By the third week, it was more routine. People were really starting to have adventures and plan ahead and leveraging to make use of the three-day weekend. “Ultimately, the compressed workweek was well received, so much so that the company adopted the schedule permanently.

More flexibility led to more worker satisfaction

While most employees now start their days at 7:00 am and go offline at 6:00 pm with an hour-long lunch break, schedules are somewhat flexible. For one thing, starting that early isn’t possible for all employees all the time — including Shectman.”I am the fun morning dad, which means I get the kids up and give them breakfast … I do the morning routine. From around 7:45 through 9:00 I clock out for family duty, so I try to either start early or extend a little later.”Employees can make up hours on Fridays or the weekend if they aren’t able to get in their hours in four days. We trust people to fill in the gaps if they missed hours.

Inside the complicated business of disguising 5G equipment

Question: Did you know about the difficulty of 5G? Do you know about any other similar situations?

For years, artificial cacti have lined the sandy roadsides of North Scottsdale, Arizona. They look real at first glance but tucked inside are antennas and radio equipment that provide 4G LTE wireless connectivity to the area. Large concealment structures like this, which in this case are about 24 feet tall, have become so good it’s sometimes hard to tell the real cacti from the fakes. Across the United States, clunky 4G cell towers are often “disguised” with regionally-prominent foliage. Evergreens are attached to sites in the Northeast. In the South, they’re decorated to look like palm trees. And then there’s the cacti out West. In some cases, the equipment is tucked into existing church bell towers, town square signs and on the side of historic landmarks. On farmland, 4G-enabled water towers are set up as props to give the impression they’re part of the landscape.But with the rollout of 5G, the next-generation of wireless speed, cities like Scottsdale will rely less on elaborate cover ups and more on a piece of architecture that’s been a mainstay in urban and suburban environments for well over a century: street lights. It’s not as creative as hiding technology in a faux plant but the shift is currently playing out all over the world. Design will be just as important moving forward with the 5G installations, but we will have a greater focus on streetlights than the cacti. That’s because 5G radio signals for small cell sites operate at a higher millimeter wave frequency than 4G, making them more easily blocked by objects, such as wooden fixtures or leaves, and certain materials. Consequently, installations must be set up every couple hundred feet — and that distance will shrink even more as data-needy technology like self-driving cars hit the roads. They also need to be close to street level for people to access the signals and the antennas, for the most part, must remain exposed.All this is to say, you can’t quite put 5G in a pretty box. The technology needs to be out in the open — on main streets, residential roads and frankly, everywhere.

First on CNN: Cameron Diaz wants to ship you her wine

Question: What products do you like to buy online and what do you prefer to buy in-store?

Actress Cameron Diaz and fashion entrepreneur Katherine Power have a problem: Their new wine label is so popular that even they are having trouble tracking down bottles to buy. That’s about to become easier for them and their loyal fans.Avaline, an organic wine label co-founded by the duo last year, is now selling wine on its website. The brand’s shift into the direct-to-consumer sphere comes following strong demand, partially spurred from people that are stuck at home during the pandemic. The consumer is now primed and comfortable ordering alcohol online and it’s only going to grow from here. Power, who also co-founded the fashion brand Who What Wear, said there have been “roadblocks” with buying alcohol online, such as paying for shipping or being home to sign for it, that people are now overcoming. For Diaz, selling directly is part of making Avaline a more accessible and everyday brand. The bottles have twist-off caps and text-only labels that say what’s in the wine (organic grapes) and what’s not (additives like artificial colors.) “Our drinkers aren’t worried about the vintage or what regions it’s coming from,” she said. “What’s important to them is that it holds their values as far as what they’re consuming and what it tastes like.”Power said she’s proud that Avaline is one of the first wine brands to offer a direct-to-consumer service. Of course, shipping wine isn’t a new concept as monthly wine clubs have been around for decades. But budding brands are increasingly focused on getting a piece of booming online sales. Avaline also plans to debut exclusive wines for its website, a subscription option for “die hard” fans, and is even eying making other drinks besides wine, Power said. Avaline markets itself as a “clean” alternative compared to other wines because it’s made from organic grapes from wineries that meets its certifications. The brand is part of massive “better for you” trend in the food and beverage industry aimed at attracting health-conscious millennials. Sales of organic and natural wines have grown about 14% over the past five years. It’s also affordable: A bottle costs less than $20 and is available in four blends including white, red, rosé and sparkling.

Instagram wants Reels to be more than a hub for ‘recycled’ TikToks

Question: What do you look for on each social media site, (Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok LinkedIn etc.) ?

Instagram’s short-form video feature has been flooded with popular TikToks — and the Facebook-owned company seems to have noticed.On Tuesday, Instagram said it’s making changes to the videos it recommends in the dedicated Reels tab on the home screen, including not serving up videos with watermarks or logos from other platforms as often.”We heard in research that people have a less satisfying experience when they see content that is recycled from other apps or is blurry and low resolution. So, we’re making this content less discoverable in places like the Reels tab. Instagram doesn’t mention TikTok by name, but CNN Business has previously reported that it’s common to see one TikTok video after another while scrolling through Reels. Some influencers have also acknowledged that they repost their TikToks on Reels. It really does cheapen the experience when people just promote their TikToks with the logo in Reels. “Instagram has become a TikTok farm.” While those types of videos won’t be recommended as often in the Reels tab, they’ll still be shown to the user’s followers via their profile or in the feed.

Why Apple, Sephora and Nordstrom are jumping on this trend to pull in shoppers

Question: Can you think of some good possible collaborations? What stores would you like to see together?

As the pandemic drags on, big chains like Target and Nordstrom are looking for ways to keep consumers coming back to their stores. One go-to strategy is the store-within-a-store concept. It’s a way for one retailer to join forces with another by setting up a pop-up shop within their stores. Industry analysts say the approach has benefits for both parties. For instance, department store Kohl’s is adding as many as 200 Sephora mini shops inside of its stores in 2021 as a way to expand its beauty and cosmetics category. For Sephora, the deal helps the retailer expand its market to Kohl’s shoppers. Meanwhile, Target is opening mini Apple shops in a handful of its stores as it strives to become a one-stop shop to meet all of its consumers’ needs. From Sephora co-locating in Kohl’s to Apple in Target stores, these collaborations bring complementary customer traffic and added income, especially for the host retailer. It’s also a way to get shoppers to visit stores more frequently. For stores like Kohl’s or Nordstrom, shoppers maybe go once a month or once a quarter. By adding a store-in-a-store, now you can get a Kohl’s shopper returning more often for their beauty and cosmetics needs.

RoboKiller puts spam callers to shame with a prescreening

Question: Would you pay for this service?

No matter how advanced our smartphone might be, iPhone or Android included, there hasn’t been a solution for ending the dreaded spam call. We, for one, regularly get notified that our vehicle’s extended warranty is about to expire.

While iPhones and Pixels alike have been able to tell us when a phone call is a spam risk, it’s not completely accurate. And the spammers have gotten smarter by using local area codes.

But what if there were a way to prescreen your calls? That’s exactly what RoboKiller, a combination subscription service and app for Android or iOS, aims to do. Better yet, you can score savings on a one-, two- and three-year subscription via StackSocial.

  • RoboKiller 1-year subscription ($29.99, originally $39.99; stacksocial)
  • RoboKiller 2-year subscription ($49.99, originally $79.99; stacksocial)
  • RoboKiller 3-year subscription ($69.99, originally $119.99; stacksocial)

And here’s how RoboKiller works: Using an algorithm and a database, it can make a determination on the incoming call, mainly whether it’s a real person or a known spam number. It can even toss it into different categories — credit card offer or car insurance scam — directly within the app. And for calls that it isn’t sure on, it will pick up and ask them what they want, then send the call to you on your phone with a description of who it is. In our case, it let us know that a prescription was ready at CVS and that an Amazon Fresh order was out for delivery.

When it is a spammer, you can pick from a few witty and wacky responses to hit them with. A little bit of revenge, but also firmly letting them know not to call again. And generally, once they see RoboKiller, at least in our experience, they stop calling.

When you know you’re expecting an important call, you can also opt to pause RoboKiller’s intelligent screening of calls. As we’ve spent more time at home, we’ve been more inclined to take calls, and RoboKiller has been helpful in making sure we’re not wasting our time on spam calls.

Italy has a new way to combat overtourism

Question: Do you like this idea?

Selfies in front of Botticelli’s Venus. Closeups of David’s manhood. Bottlenecks climbing to the top of the famous Duomo.Back in the halcyon pre-pandemic times, Florence was struggling with overtourism. And the Uffizi Gallery — one of the most popular museums in the world — was at the center of it all.At its busiest, 12,000 visitors per day passed through, more often than not rushing past the renaissance works of art to snap selfies with the big hitters: Botticelli’s Venus, Michelangelo’s Holy Family, and Titian’s Venus of Urbino. Tales of hours-long queues to enter abounded, and the Uffizi took its place on that unenviable list of places you should really go once in a lifetime, but the experience will likely be so stressful that once you’ve ticked it off, you should move on. What’s more, so many tourists were behaving badly, that the Florentine authorities had to institute a good behavior campaign, Enjoy Respect Florence, with fines of up to €500 ($608) for those caught picnicking outside or sitting on, or graffiti-ing monuments. The pandemic, of course, has made this all a thing of the past. But before travel opens up again, the director of the Uffizi wants to make sure things will not return to the way they were before. One way to make sure of that? Diverting visitors away from Florence itself. Enter the Uffizi Diffusi project. Meaning “scattered Uffizi,” it’s a reimagining of Italy’s “scattered hotel” concept, in which individual “rooms” are located in different houses of a village.In this project, artworks stored in the Uffizi’s deposit will be put on show throughout the surrounding area of Tuscany, turning Italy’s most famous region into one big “scattered” museum. Towns and villages around Tuscany are now nominating buildings that could potentially become exhibition spaces. Uffizi director Eike Schmidt told CNN Travel that the idea had come to him during 2020’s lockdown, and that he’s spent much of the time that the museum has been closed working out potential sites and artwork pairings. The aim? To “create a different type of tourism,” he said, adding that for locals, it will “ground culture in people’s daily lives.” “Art can’t survive on big galleries alone,” he added. “We need multiple exhibition spaces all over the region — especially in the places where the art itself was born.

Smartphone addiction ruins sleep, study says, but you can fight back

Question: Do you use your phone before bed?

Addiction to smartphones will result in poor sleep, according to a new study. The study, published Tuesday in Frontiers in Psychiatry, looked at smartphone use among 1,043 students between the ages of 18 and 30 at King’s College London. Researchers asked the students to complete two questionnaires on their sleep quality and smartphone usage, in person and online. Using a 10-question validated scale that was developed to assess smartphone addiction in children, nearly 40% of the university students qualified as “addicted” to smartphones, the study found. Students who reported high use of cellphones also reported poor sleep quality, the study found. That falls in line with prior studies that have found overuse of smartphones at night to be associated with trouble falling asleep, reduced sleep duration and daytime tiredness. That’s likely because use of smartphones close to bedtime has been shown to delay circadian rhythm, the body’s normal sleep-and-wake clock.

How long should movies be in theaters before streaming? Hollywood is trying to find out

Question: How long should theaters wait before streaming movies on platforms?

With the movie business upended during the pandemic and tilting more towards streaming than cineplexes, Hollywood is rethinking its business model. One significant debate is how long a gap there should be between a film’s theatrical release and its availability on streaming services.Although some studios have tried releasing films simultaneously in theaters and on streaming platforms, that model can undercut the millions, or even billions, of dollars a movie might earn at the box office. But it’s unlikely studios will revert back to the pre-pandemic model of waiting multiple months between a movie’s theatrical release and its availability on-demand.So is there a “Goldilocks Zone” for theaters and streaming? If so what would it look like?Studios are trying to figure that out, and now Paramount has added yet another variable into the equation.

Disney+ warns viewers that ‘The Muppet Show’ includes offensive content

Question: How should we handle offensive content?

Disney+ is warning viewers that some episodes of “The Muppet Show” feature “negative depictions” and “mistreatment of people or cultures.”The variety show, which ran for 120 episodes in the 1970s and features puppet characters interacting with celebrity guests, was added to Disney’s streaming service last week. Viewers are being shown the warning label before episodes.It says the show “includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures,” adding that “these stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.”An episode hosted by Johnny Cash in which the country star performs in front of the US flag and the Confederate battle flag was among the installments flagged by the service. Another features folk star Joan Baez doing an Indian accent, while the opening to an episode with Kenny Rogers shows Muppets dressed in Arab garb drilling for oil. The warning says that rather than removing the episodes, Disney wants to “acknowledge (their) harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future. “The service already uses the disclaimer on several other films and programs, including “The Aristocats,” which uses caricatures of East Asian people, and “Dumbo,” which features a musical number that references minstrel shows. “The Muppet Show” was hugely popular in both the United States and the United Kingdom, where it was filmed. It was added to Disney+ on Friday, as the new service nears 100 million subscribers. Streamers are increasingly looking to acquire children’s programming for their platforms, looking to build up loyalty among viewers and encourage parents to subscribe.

Google Maps will now let you pay for parking and transit without leaving the app

Question: Love it or hate it?

Google Maps can already tell you which train to take or map out an optimal driving route. Now, it’s simplifying travel even more by letting users pay for parking or public transportation right from their phones.As of Wednesday, users can connect their Google  Maps accounts with their Google Pay wallets and make transportation-related payments without ever leaving the app. By bypassing parking meters and train ticket machines, people can save time and also avoid touching public surfaces — a plus during the pandemic.

The new features are just the latest update to Google Maps, which has aimed to become more than just a place to find directions. In December, for example, Google added the ability for verified businesses to message customers directly through the app, as more companies rely on digital interactions to drive sales.

The app also added a feature in September that shows how prevalent coronavirus is in a given area.”From booking an online yoga class to ordering takeout from your favorite restaurant —Google Maps is a powerful sidekick that lets you accomplish tasks all throughout your day,” the company said in a Wednesday blog post.For parking, the company has partnered with two tech providers — Passport and ParkMobile — that will link Google Maps to street parking meters.

When people are using Google Maps to navigate to a destination, the app will automatically prompt them to “pay for parking.” They can then enter their meter number, the amount of time they want to park for and hit “pay.” The new pay for parking feature will also let users extend the time on their parking meter remotely.

For users who rely on public transportation, Google says it’s expanding the ability to pay for transit fares through the app: It will now connect to more than 80 transit agencies around the world. As users plan their trip, Google Maps will show them how to pay for their trip and let them do it in advance using a credit or debit card saved in their Google Pay wallet.

That way, when they arrive at the station, they can be on their way without having to pull out their wallet or switch to another app.”Once you’ve purchased your fare, all you need to do is tap your phone on the reader or show your digital ticket to breeze on board,” Google said. While many people are still spending a lot of time at home because of the pandemic, these features will likely come in handy as more people get vaccinated and the reopening continues.

Amazon just teased 3 new products. They may never hit the market

Question: Which product do you like the most?

Amazon announced three new Alexa-enabled products on Wednesday: a smart sticky note printer, nutrition scale and cuckoo clock. But there’s a catch — the tech giant will only ship these items if enough people pre-order them.It’s like Kickstarter for Alexa. Artists, startups and organizations typically turn to Kickstarter to pitch new products and hit a certain funding goal to help the project get off the ground.

Now Amazon is doing something similar, except the trillion-dollar company certainly doesn’t need help raising money for its production process.Instead, Amazon’s new program, called Build It, aims to give customers a say in what it creates next. The tech giant has been stuffing its voice-control software into nearly everything in the past few years, including its speakers, microwaves, glasses and earbuds.

Do we really need an Alexa-enabled cuckoo clock that lets you set timers? Maybe. Amazon  will know in 30 days if it’s something customers actually want.If a concept reaches Amazon’s pre-order goal, it’ll arrive on doorsteps this summer. If interest is lacking, Amazon will stand down and shoppers won’t be charged.Amazon's cookoo clock, available now for pre-order, is Alexa-enabled. If there's enough customer interest, it'll ship later this summerAmazon’s cookoo clock, available now for pre-order, is Alexa-enabled. If there’s enough customer interest, it’ll ship later this summer”It’s low risk, high reward, and a whole lot of fun,” Amazon said in a blog post. “If your favorite concept doesn’t get built this time, don’t worry — there are more fun ideas to come.”But it also comes at a time of widespread concerns about how Amazon uses data to fuel its dominance.

The company has faced scrutiny for allegedly using sales data from sellers on its platform to determine which products are popular and what Amazon should begin to sell. (Outgoing CEO Jeff Bezos told Congress last year that Amazon has a policy prohibiting the use of third-party seller data to support Amazon’s private-label business, but he said he “can’t guarantee” it was never violated.)

If Amazon were to lean on this Kickstarter model more often, it would effectively gain additional user data that could help it launch countless products — some perhaps similar to others already on the market — while minimizing the chance and cost of any flops in the process, potentially making it that much more of a fearsome competitor.

The three new concepts introduced this week come from inventors, designers and engineers within Amazon: To start, there’s a $89.99 hands-free smart sticky note printer the size of a receipt printer you’d see next to a cash register. It works with Alexa to print shopping lists, reminders and calendar events on small Post-it-sized notes.

Meanwhile, a $34.99 smart scale lets you ask Alexa to weigh 200 calories of blueberries and provides nutritional information for thousands of ingredients and food based on weight. Finally, the cuckoo clock ($79.99) features a mechanical pop-out cuckoo bird, built-in speakers for timers and alarms and can be mounted on the wall or sit on a shelf.Amazon's concept gadget for an Alexa-enabled sticky-note printerAmazon’s concept gadget for an Alexa-enabled sticky-note printerThe company said it has produced some workable models for each item to make sure development was possible.The effort is an expansion of Amazon’s Day One Edition program which launched last year to give customers access to new products the company wanted early feedback on.

For example, its Echo Frames — Alexa-enabled smart glasses — required people to sign up online for an invitation to make a purchase. Shoppers were then asked to provide direct feedback about the item. Amazon ultimately moved the glasses into production and they’re now available to everyone for $249.00 on the site.

At the same time, Amazon retired its Loop smart ring concept after lackluster feedback.The company told CNN Business it won’t publicly list the goal amount for the new products, but product pages will display a percentage progress bar to show how close they are to the benchmark.

Running out of iPhone battery? You may soon be able to slap on a new one

Question: Would you buy this charger?

Remember the good old days when your phone was running out of juice and you could easily snap off the back cover, pull out the battery and swap in a new one? Those days are long gone. But Apple  is rumored to be developing the next best thing: a battery-boosting accessory that attaches magnetically and wirelessly charges your iPhone while you’re using it. The iPhone maker has been working for at least a year on a battery pack that would attach to the back of iPhone 12s using MagSafe (the same tech that the new iPhones use to connect with wireless charging pads and other accessories), according to a Bloomberg report Friday citing people familiar with the matter. Apple was planning to launch the product in the months following the iPhone 12’s October release, but faced software issues “such as the iPhone erroneously indicating that the pack is overheating,” according to the report. Sources told Bloomberg that the development challenges could cause the product’s release to be delayed or scrapped altogether. Although it feels like the future, this kind of technology has been used before. Exhibit A: the Moto Z, a modular phone from Motorola that gained little traction but featured some bold innovations. Motorola sold a thin “power pack” battery accessory that snapped onto the back of Moto Z phones using magnets, which added up to 16 hours of battery life. The phone also had other modular accessories, including a speaker and high-quality zoom camera.

Insist or incentivize? Companies are deciding whether to make vaccines mandatory

Question: Should companies make vaccines mandatory or not?

Companies are now being forced to answer a question that was until recently mostly hypothetical. Should they require their employees to get a coronavirus vaccine, or incentivize them to get the shot? British business is at the forefront of the debate. While vaccination programs are accelerating in many countries, Britain is among the most advanced. One in three adults have received their first vaccine shot, and the UK government confirmed on Monday that it hopes to offer every adult a first dose of the vaccine by July 31. The vaccine question is vexing executives, who want to protect their workers and customers but avoid legal battles and accusations of discrimination against people who are not vaccinated. The UK government has said it will not issue “vaccine passports” that would clear people for work or travel, leaving companies to establish their own policies.

Peloton is releasing a cheaper treadmill. It’s still $2,495

Question: What is the most money that you have ever spent for exercise equipment or an activity?

Peloton is releasing a lower-priced treadmill to become more than a purveyor of high-end stationary-bikes. The public company, which reported revenue of more than $1 billion for the quarter ending in December, already has one treadmill on the market, called Tread+, which has earned celebrity endorsements from the likes of Miley Cyrus and Lizzo who regularly post about their Treads on social media.Peloton (PTON) is best known for its stationary bikes that cost between$1,895 and $2,495, but it’s hoping to build out its brand, said Betina Evancha, Peloton’s vice president of product management. “We want Peloton to be a fitness brand, a wellness brand, and so the Tread is a big part of that story. “The Tread+ retails for $4,295, but the new Tread, to be released on May 27 in the United States, is meant to make the experience of the Tread+ “more accessible to more folks,” according to Evancha. It will cost $2,495 and will be a few inches slimmer. Peloton also sells fitness subscriptions, which can be used to take Pilates, weight lifting, yoga and other classes. The company said it has 4.4 million members, which includes people who have subscriptions as well as multiple people sharing a single subscription.(You can use your Tread without subscribing, but you can take only a few free classes or simply run on your own.)

Coca-Cola company trials first paper bottle

Question: Do you think that we need to go completely green?

Coca-Cola is to test a paper bottle as part of a longer-term bid to eliminate plastic from its packaging entirely.

The prototype is made by a Danish company from an extra-strong paper shell that still contains a thin plastic liner.

But the goal is to create a 100% recyclable, plastic-free bottle capable of preventing gas escaping from carbonated drinks.

The barrier must also ensure no fibres flake off into the liquid.

That would pose a risk of altering the taste of the drink – or potentially fall foul of health and safety checks.

But industry giants are backing the plan. Coca-Cola, for example, has set a goal of producing zero waste by 2030.

Coca-Cola was ranked the world’s number one plastic polluter by charity group Break Free From Plastic last year, closely followed by other drink-producers Pepsi and Nestle.

Under pressure

The Paper Bottle Company, or Paboco, is the Danish firm behind development of the paper-based container.

Part of the challenge has been to create a structure capable of withstanding the forces exerted by fizzy drinks – such as cola and beer – which are bottled under pressure.

On top of that, the paper needs to be mouldable, to create distinct bottle shapes and sizes for different brands, and take ink for printing their labels.

  • Single-use plastics ban backed by Euro MPs
  • ‘Staggering’ levels of plastic pollution by 2040

After more than seven years of lab work, the firm is now ready to host a trial in Hungary this summer of Coca-Cola’s fruit drink Adez. Initially, this will involve 2,000 bottles distributed via a local retail chain.

But it is also working with others.

Absolut, the vodka-maker, is due to test 2,000 paper bottles of it own in the UK and Sweden of its pre-mixed, carbonated raspberry drink.

And beer company Carlsberg is also building prototypes of a paper beer bottle.

Zero plastic

Michael Michelsen, the firm’s commercial manager, says the bottles are formed out of a single piece of paper-fibre-based material to give them strength.

“That’s part of the secret really,” he explained, adding that moulding a single object – rather than relying on joins – ensured the bonds between the fibres stayed robust.

“With a clever combination of product design and the strong fibre blend, that’s what makes it really possible to not break under pressure.”

Coca-Cola and Absolut’s trials will be the first real-world test of whether the technology holds up to the rough-and-tumble logistics of food transport.

Paper bottles at the filling plant, moving along rollers on the assembly plan
image captionThis image from Coca-Cola’s filling line gives a clear view of the plastic cap still in use

“We have a good understanding already of what the bottle will go through as we put it into the real world. But there is a certain point where you just can’t design yourself out of this at a desk, right?

“You need to get into that real world and you need to get that real world feedback,” Mr Michelsen said.

But even if the tests go flawlessly, the real challenge lies in getting rid of plastic altogether.

Because the paper cannot come into direct contact with liquids, the plan is to use a plant-based coating on the inside of the bottle.

“It’s going to be a bio-based barrier, that’s really something minimal, that keeps that food safe, that keeps the product safe at the same time,” Mr Michelsen said.

“We have a couple of different options… we have the technology path pretty much chosen, but it is something that we definitely need to pilot and prototype.”

For now, one of the benefits of using a plastic screw top is that the prototypes can be used on existing production lines.

But in time they will need to be adapted for an all-paper cap.

Long-lasting

Even if these tests go well, paper bottles will be “a niche product for a while yet”, according to Fin Slater, digital editor at Packaging Europe magazine.

“Paper bottles are really exciting for packaging innovation geeks like us, but pilot concepts like this have been knocking around for a few years without taking off in a big way,” he explained.

Plastic bottles are embedded in the industry, and in many countries, are widely recycled, he said.

Plastic bottles
image captionMany discarded plastic bottles are collected and recycled

“Scaling up to replace that infrastructure is a huge challenge.”

And there’s a cost issue. Plastic bottles are cheap and effective – “another reason why the paper bottle is likely to be used in added-value niche applications at the start”.

But Tetra Pak – which you may know as the paper-and-plastic carton that milk and juices often come in – managed to pull off a similar feat in the mid-20th Century.

“There’s always competition on sustainability credentials, but this is a healthy thing,” Mr Slater said.

“Each sustainable innovation not only pushes the boundaries in relation to that particular packaging material, but increases the pressure on other materials to drive up recyclability, and drive down carbon footprints.”

Full-face hot-wax TikTok videos prompt warnings

Question: Should these videos be banned or should be people use common sense and not do stupid things?

Viral videos of people having full-face “hot wax” treatments on TikTok have led to warnings from skin experts.

They show softened resin covering subjects’ face, mouth and neck – and partially penetrating their ears and nose – before being removed.

A barber posting some of the most watched examples says it is beneficial.

But the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) said: “Attempting to wax inside your nose or ears is not recommended.”

A UK-based skin specialist has also raised safety concerns about the risk of obstructed breathing.

And one expert has suggested TikTok should add a warning.

But it has indicated the videos are excluded from its community guidelines on dangerous behaviour because they show skilled professionals.

‘World first’

They have gained barbershop Kapsalon Freedom, in the Netherlands, a following more than 800,000 TikTok users.

One of its first attempts, posted in November, attracted nearly 84 million views, after Dutch media reports.

It left the bottom portion of the customer’s face exposed.

But a more recent example, with more than 19 million views, shows the wax resin coming down over a man’s chin and on to his neck.

Sections pulled out of his ears and nose are held up to the camera to show dozens of hairs poking out of the now hardened substance.

In this case, the wax runs around but not over his mouth.

But other clips show fully covered faces, with cotton swabs used to create air passages.

Full-face wax
image captionOne video with more than one million views shows this full-face mask being removed from a woman’s face and neck

Strips of paper are also used to protect eyelashes and eyebrows.

Barber Renaz Ismael has said face-waxing is common in the Middle East, where he was born.

But he has taken it to a new level.

“I am the first person in the world who has done whole waxing,” he told BBC News.

“It’s not bad for your skin.”

Smaller audiences

Mr Ismael is now using the hashtag #viral to promote the clips.

And some have been set to music.

He has also posted examples on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

But they have attracted much smaller audiences.

‘Cause suffocation’

Alex Echeverri, who works at John and Ginger salon, in West Sussex, raised safety concerns about others attempting the process.

“Our first consideration would be that it could cause suffocation,” the beautician, who has more than two decades of experience in the industry, said.

“There’s no control element to smothering the face with wax.

“And wax hardens.

“So it could harden in the airways and have to be surgically removed.”

‘Pus-filled bumps’

London-based Turkish barbershop Adam Grooming Atelier said: “To wax such a large area of delicate skin is very irresponsible.”

The BAD also raised concern the videos could lead to copycat incidents.

“Social-media platforms have the ability of quickly spreading health and beauty trends,” Dr Anjali Mahto said.

“Waxing is a traumatic process for the skin, especially sensitive areas such as those found around the eyes.

“These areas can become inflamed and irritated.

“In some cases, tiny pimples or pus-filled bumps could develop as a result.

“This is known as folliculitis.”

‘Potentially harmful’

The British Skin Foundation also raised concern some of the clips showed the wax being used on what appear to be primary-school-age youngsters.

“Personally I would not recommend treating children,” consultant dermatologist Dr Emma Wedgeworth said.

“It seems sensible to have a warning.

“There is a lot of misinformation and potentially harmful DIY beauty practices on TikTok and other social-media channels.

“And it would be good to see these more tightly regulated.”

Fake Amazon reviews ‘being sold in bulk’ online

Question: Do you trust reviews ?Have you ever found a fake review?

The consumer group found 10 websites selling fake reviews from £5 each and incentivising positive reviews in exchange for payment or free products.

It suggested the firm was facing an “uphill struggle” against a “widespread fake reviews industry”.

An Amazon spokesman said: “We remove fake reviews and take action against anyone involved in abuse.”

The retail giant’s Marketplace allows other retailers to sell their goods via the Amazon website.

Which? identified websites offering review services for goods for sale on Amazon Marketplace that violated the firm’s terms and conditions.

‘Loyalty schemes’

These included “packages” of fake reviews available for sellers to buy for about £15 individually, as well as bulk packages starting at £620 for 50 reviews and going up to £8,000 for 1,000.

The group also suggested that five of the businesses it looked at had more than 702,000 “product reviewers” on their books.

Product reviewers are offered small payments ranging from a few pounds up to more than £10, alongside free or discounted products. They can even take part in “loyalty schemes” and earn themselves premium goods, from children’s toys to exercise equipment.

The websites Which? reviewed also offered advice on how to write reviews so as not to arouse Amazon’s suspicion, and in some cases had criteria for reviewers to meet to qualify for rewards, it said. They included leaving reviews that were at least two sentences long, or including photos, for example.

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How to spot fake online reviews:

  • Be sceptical. This is probably your best weapon, especially if there is an unusually high number of reviews of one product compared with others in that category.
  • Read and read again. Look for the same language used in multiple reviews.
  • Brands you don’t know. If you don’t recognise the brand, check to see if it has its own legitimate-looking website, with clear contact details.
  • Be wary of products with lots of pictures or videos. Sellers can incentivise fake reviewers to encourage people to add photos and videos.

French workers can now eat lunch at their desks without breaking the law

Question: Should eating at your desk be banned in the office? What do you normally do for lunch at work?

Many French workers can now eat at their desks without breaking the law.To help curb the spread of Covid-19, the country has suspended a longstanding prohibition on desk lunches, according to a government decree published Sunday.

The lunch break, or “la pause déjeuner,” has long been considered sacrosanct in France. Until now, French labor code forbid employers from allowing workers “to have their meals in the workplace,” reflecting the importance of food and meals in national culture.Before the pandemic, French workers typically enjoyed a two or three course meal with colleagues at a nearby bistro.

French media outlets have tried to project what the future will look like by running images of unhappy workers eating sandwiches at their desks.The temporary rule applies to offices with more than 50 employees and where the layout of the cafeteria does not allow for social distancing. People must be at least one meter apart when not wearing a face mask.

France has implemented a slew of containment measures as it battles the pandemic.Restaurants, bars and cafes have been closed since the end of October and a nationwide 6 p.m. CET curfew remains in place. More than 2.2 million people in France have received their first vaccine injection and roughly 650,000 have been fully vaccinated.

Sorry, millennials. The 😂 emoji isn’t cool anymore

Question: Do you use emojis? Which one do you use the most?

Bad news for people who frequently use the 😂 emoji: It is no longer cool.In recent weeks, two internet-savvy generations have been clashing in videos and comments on TikTok over the hallmarks of millennial culture that are now deemed uncool by Gen Z.

The list includes skinny jeans (Gen Z verdict: set them on fire), side parts (Gen Z verdict: middle part or bust) and perhaps most painful of all, the popular laughing crying emoji that some millennials, myself included, use hundreds of times a day, or more.

“What’s wrong with the laughing emoji[?],” one user asked in a TikTok comment. Another responded: “it’s so off.”

On a different video of a woman saying she’s cut back on using it after learning kids don’t, one teen commented: “As a 15 year old I say you should use that emoji bc [because] we sure aren’t going to.”

“I use everything but the laughing emoji,” 21-year-old Walid Mohammed told CNN Business. “I stopped using it a while back because I saw older people using it, like my mom, my older siblings and just older people in general.”

255 restaurants, 37 Michelin stars: Meet the American who spent a year eating his way through Singapore

Question: What adventure would you like to go on? Eat your way through a country? Surf the coasts of a particular region? Visit museums or sports stadiums?

No one wants to be stuck in a foreign country during a global pandemic.But, by his own admission, 25-year-old Jon Lu, an American software engineer, chose to remain in Singapore when the world’s borders began to shutter last year.”I arrived in Singapore for the first time in August 2019, although my time was mostly spent abroad for work,” says the New York native.

“I didn’t start truly living in Singapore until March 2020.”The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) grad says that he had a choice of where he wanted to be based during his year-long project in Asia.Fluent in both English and Mandarin, Lu — a recreational figure skater who used to participate in intercollegiate competitions — ultimately decided on Singapore.

He worked hard for the most part, practicing figure skating about four to five times a week. But he also did what Singaporeans do best — eat.As of today, the American has visited a total of 255 food and beverage establishments including cafes and hawker stalls, covering 30 Michelin-rated restaurants with 37 Michelin stars collectively (55 Michelin stars including repeat visits).

An impressive feat, considering the city’s restaurants were closed to in-person dining for more than two months, not to mention the fact he was temporarily sidelined due to ill health.When the city entered into a nationwide partial lockdown — also known as the Circuit Breaker — from April 7 to June 1, 2020, eateries were forced to offer takeout only. That didn’t stop Lu, who continued to eat well by ordering food deliveries, not once but twice a day, for the first half of the period.But these were no ordinary meals.

He chose to focus on the city’s many gastronomic offerings, including Michelin-starred venues that often take weeks if not months to secure tables in.”It was such a tough time for the F&B industry — I wanted to do as much as I could to help support local businesses,” Lu says, adding that some of his most memorable Circuit Breaker meals were tasting menus designed for the home, where he’d have to put finishing touches on the dishes himself.”One such meal was from Odette at Home,” says Lu, who even managed to procure a table cloth and a small potted plant from staff in the hotel he’d been staying in for a month to recreate the feted French restaurant’s booth seat within his room.

“It was such a tough time for the F&B industry — I wanted to do as much as I could to help support local businesses.”Jon Lu, American software engineerBut in early May, Lu started having issues with his vision.Doctors diagnosed him with retinal vein occlusion, caused by extremely elevated LDL cholesterol levels — presumably a result of the foodie’s dining habits over the preceding seven-month period of intensive traveling and eating before the lockdown.

It didn’t help that gyms and ice rinks were closed.”I worked with local specialists to treat the vision symptoms and started running every day,” Lu says. “I also went on a low cholesterol, heart-healthy diet for two months during which I avoided foods moderate to high in added sugars.”After two months of dieting and running, Lu’s health issues were resolved. In July, just a few weeks after dining in was allowed under the city’s second reopening phase, he started populating his calendar with reservations again.

Lu’s top dining picks

American software engineer Jon Lu has eaten at Michelin-starred Odette, helmed by chef Julien Royer, four times.

American software engineer Jon Lu has eaten at Michelin-starred Odette, helmed by chef Julien Royer, four times.Jon LuHaving sampled the cream of Singapore’s top restaurants, a feat that even food critics would take a year or two to accomplish, Lu is well-positioned to offer advice on where to find the city’s finest eats.Joining his ranks of favorite Michelin-awarded restaurants is chef Julien Royer’s three Michelin-starred Odette, where Lu has dined four times.

He highly rates the contemporary French restaurant for its “incredibly refined and technically well executed” cuisine, headlined by Royer’s signature Pigeon “Beak to Tail” course, that “tastes amazing.”In the Japanese category, Lu singles out the one Michelin-starred Sushi Kimura, which he has visited twice. He says that chef-owner Tomo-o Kimura offers “thicker” and “more exotic” cuts of fish — like sujiko (salmon roe sac), oki aji (white-tongue jack fish) and usubu hagi (unicorn leatherjacket fish).

That’s not to mention Kimura’s shari (sushi rice), which is “amazingly firm and airy” and served at the “perfect temperature.”When it comes to Singaporean cuisine, it’s the Michelin-starred Labyrinth by chef Han Li Guang that pulls at Lu’s heartstrings.The restaurant is famed for showcasing elevated versions of local dishes — like the Signature Chilli Crab — that are unmistakably Singaporean in origin, with ingredients mostly locally sourced. Lu declares his November trip to Labyrinth, his second, to be one of his favorite post-Circuit Breaker meals.

Among Lu's top Japanese picks in Singapore is Sushi Kimura.

Among Lu’s top Japanese picks in Singapore is Sushi Kimura.Jon LuMenu standouts include the Ang Moh Chicken Rice and An Ode to Cairnhill Steakhouse, both of which pay homage to Han’s grandmother and grandfather respectively.Michelin-rated restaurants aside, Lu also makes a point of checking out new eateries.

His favorite new opening, Euphoria, serves “gastro-botanica” cuisine created by Singaporean chef-owner Jason Tan during his time at the one-starred Corner House.”At the heart of Euphoria are four botanical essences made purely from vegetables,” says Lu. “I was extremely impressed by how tasty every single dish was, and particularly by the complexity of flavor from the vegetable components.”In spite of his impressive coverage of reputed restaurants, Lu says he does not believe in “star chasing” — i.e. dining at a restaurant solely on the basis that it has been awarded stars by Michelin. There remain 13 starred restaurants in Singapore that he has not visited.

His most-visited venue in Singapore, the two-year-old avant-garde restaurant Preludio, has no stars.Run by Colombian chef Fernando Arevalo, Preludio serves “author’s cuisine” that revolves around a yearly changing theme called “chapter.” From its debut Monochrome chapter, Lu raves about the Pata Negra course with “astounding” flavors, featuring panko crumb-breaded Iberico pork shoulder with a “distinctive” blend of spices — cumin, cayenne and paprika — paired with tomatoes soaked in a two-day marinade.”As someone who usually doesn’t like to repeat dishes at fine-dining restaurants, the fact that I’ve already dined at Preludio nine times (in 2020) is a testament to their inventiveness,” says Lu.

Inspired by “Chef’s Table”

Lu says that eating out and exploring food spots has been a hobby since 2015, when he interned in downtown Chicago and was surrounded by myriad food options within walking distance of his office.Since then, the avid food lover says he’s visited at least 300 different restaurants every year, starting with cafes and casual outlets, before graduating to finer venues in 2019.Attributing his interest in fine dining to the Netflix Series “Chef’s Table,” Lu says he was fascinated by how the show depicted food as a seemingly boundless art form, limited only by the chef’s skill and imagination.

“There were so many instances where I’d watch an episode and immediately bookmarked the featured restaurant, saying to myself that I need to dine there one day,” says Lu, who visited popular global restaurants GAA, MUME, Central, Dinner by Heston, NARISAWA and Momofuku Seiobo between September 2019 to March 2020. He’s shared many of his dining experiences on his Instagram account.The American says that Singapore has certainly been the “most impressive” dining city so far, and that it is “entirely possible” to eat out every day at a quality venue without repeating meals for years.”The variety of cuisines as well as the range of available ingredients (which truly span every corner of the world) in Singapore is incredible,” says Lu.

Spain launches low-cost bullet train between Madrid and Barcelona

Tamara Hardingham-Gill, CNN • Updated 28th January 2021FacebookTwitterEmail

Spain high-speed train from Madrid to Barcelona

Question: Do you like low-cost travel services? Have you ever had a bad experience?

(CNN) — Like many destinations around the world, Spain has been pretty much stopped in its tracks during the pandemic. But the ambitious expansion of the European country’s high-speed rail service appears to be going full speed ahead this year.

Spanish state operator Renfe’s low-cost service Avlo will whisk passengers the 500 kilometers (300 miles) between Madrid and Barcelona in just two and half hours, with prices starting at €5 (about US$6). The Avlo service, which travels at speeds of up to 330 kilometers an hour and has 438 seats, will begin operating four daily return journeys between the two Spanish cities from June 23.

While most journeys will take at least three hours, with additional stops in Guadalajara, Calatayud, Zaragoza, Lleida, Tarragona and Girona, the fastest trains will reach their final destination in around 150 minutes. Renfe has converted its 112 high-speed trains for the new service, which had been scheduled to launch in April 2020.However, this was delayed due to the coronavirus crisis.

Avlo’s new launch date coincides with Renfe’s 80th anniversary and the operator opted to mark the occasion by offering €5 tickets for journeys up until December. Standard prices range from €10 to €60 for a single journey.

Stiff competition

Spain high-speed train from Madrid to Barcelona

Avlo trains are equipped with 438 seats and have automatic vending machines with drinks and snacks onboard.Courtesy Renfe Tickets went on sale on Tuesday and, according to a statement on Renfe’s official website, 100,000 were sold within 24 hours.

Avlo is essentially a cheaper alternative to Renfe’s Alta Velocidad Española (AVE) network, which operates on the second longest high-speed rail network in the world after China’s bullet train service.It faces stiff competition from French state operator SNCF’s Ouigo network, another low-cost high-speed rail service between Madrid and Barcelona, which is due to launch in May. Ouigo’s first 10,000 return tickets are to go on sale for just €1 each, while standard prices will begin at €9 each way.

As the two networks battle it out for customers, those who manage to snap up train tickets for journeys of more than 600 kilometers for €5 or less will surely feel like the real winners. But while the future looks bright for Spain’s high-speed rail service, the country has been hit hard by the pandemic and it’s impossible to predict how things will pan out in the coming months.

After imposing one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe, the country reopened to visitors during the summer, but has since entered a state of emergency. Residents are currently only permitted to leave their homes to attend work, for education, to buy medicine, or care for elderly people or children, and masks are compulsory on public transport and in indoor public spaces.Spain’s nationwide curfew is set to be lifted in May.

Facebook tries to remind users about benefits of data collection ahead of Apple privacy change

Question: Do you agree with data collection or not?

Facebook said Monday that it is testing a new pop-up alert for iPhone and iPad users that stresses the benefits of its apps collecting personal data.

The test comes ahead of an Apple privacy change with the potential to upend the social network’s core business. Apple  is set to introduce a new requirement for users to give explicit permission for apps to track them across the internet, a move that has roiled Facebook, which relies on data collection to target ads.

Now, Facebook plans to show a prompt “of our own, along with Apple’s” in an effort to show users how personalized ads “support small businesses and keep apps free,” the company said in an update Monday to an older blog post called “Speaking Up for Small Businesses.”

“As we shared in December, we disagree with Apple’s approach, but will be showing their prompt to ensure stability for the businesses and people who use our services,” Facebook said in the post.

For Facebook, the stakes of Apple’s new privacy change couldn’t be higher. The social media company, which makes almost all of its revenue from advertising, has repeatedly warned investors that Apple’s software changes could hurt its business if users reject tracking permissions.

In December, Facebook took out ads in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, saying the requirement could be “devastating” to millions of small businesses that advertise on its platform.

It also held a press event to trot out small businesses opposed to the change and debuted a new hashtag to discuss it.Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO and cofounder, hammered a similar point on a conference call with analysts last month to discuss the company’s most recent earnings report.”

Apple has every incentive to use their dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps and other apps work, which they regularly do, to preference their own,” Zuckerberg said. “This impacts the growth of millions of businesses around the world, including with the upcoming iOS 14 changes.

Many small businesses will no longer be able to reach their customers with targeted ads.”While this latest move may seem like yet another shot fired at Apple, Facebook is taking Apple up on its offer for any developer to explain why it wants certain permissions for tracking.

“We feel that people deserve the additional context, and Apple has said that providing education is allowed,” Facebook said in the blog post.On Apple’s privacy and data webpage, the company said developers are allowed to do this “so long as you are transparent to users about your use of the data in your explanation. … Apps must respect the user’s permission settings and not attempt to manipulate, trick, or force people to consent to unnecessary data access.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Apple declined to comment.In a December tweet, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared an image of what Facebook’s app tracking transparency messaging could look like.

Under the permissions prompt, the example language said: “Here, in addition to other screens, Facebook can explain why users should allow tracking.” Users can then “ask app not to track” or “allow.”

Nike made a hands-free shoe and you have to see it to believe it

Question: Love it or hate it?

Nike’s newest shoe is “easy on, easy off” for those who cannot be bothered with the most minor inconveniences, like putting on shoes.Called the Go Flyease, it’s Nike’s first pair of lace-less sneakers that can easily be put on and taken off without using your hands. The casual shoe arrives at a time when people are touching fewer things during the pandemic and a revival of comfier counterparts that take minimal effort to take on and off, such as Crocs.The Go Flyease has unique features, including a tension band that secures the shoe in place of laces. Putting them on involves just stepping into the shoe so that it will snap into place. Taking them off is done by stepping on the heel.

The shoes go on sale February 15 for $120 for subscribers of the free membership program on Nike’s website. Broader availability is planned for later this year.Nike’s new shoes are coming at a time when home-bound consumers are craving comfort. That’s evident from Crocs (CROX)’ most recent earnings, which revealed a 55% jump in revenue. The company said it expects 2020 to have been its biggest year of sales ever.Launching the new shoes on its website first also fits into Nike’s (NKE) strategy of selling directly to consumers rather through third-party retailers. The company reported in December that its online sales soared 84% in its most recent quarter as people snapped up fitness and casual shoes.

He flew to Paris to surprise his girlfriend. She flew to Edinburgh to surprise him

Finlay-Salma-photo

Question: Have you ever had a surprise failure? What happened?

(CNN) — When Finlay McAfee boarded a flight from Edinburgh to Paris to surprise his girlfriend Salma, he knew it was a big, romantic gesture.”I wasn’t like trying to compare it to any film, or rom-com, or anything,” McAfee tells CNN Travel. But still, anyone who’s watched a few movies in their time knows that a surprise visit to one of the most beautiful cities in the world, not to mention an unexpected airport reunion, has been the basis for many a great cinematic moment.It was January 2017, and McAfee was a 23-year-old student at Edinburgh University. Before he booked his plane ticket, he told his roommate, Adam Jenkins, about the idea. Jenkins laughed, telling him it was silly but romantic.McAfee phoned his father for the final seal of approval. His dad told him it was a great idea, so McAfee went for it: the plane ticket was booked. Meanwhile, his girlfriend, then-21-year-old Salma Saade, was on her way back to Edinburgh from Beirut.Saade had a day layover scheduled in Paris, and she was traveling alone. McAfee figured he’d surprise her at Charles de Gaulle airport.In theory, what could go wrong?

There weren’t that many flights between Beirut and Paris, so McAfee was pretty sure he’d pinpointed which Saade was on.Little did McAfee know that just as he boarded his Edinburgh to Paris flight, Saade was already landing in the Scottish capital.Turns out, she’d switched to an earlier flight, with the same goal: to surprise her partner and be reunited a day earlier.The couple had no idea that they’d both been transiting through Edinburgh Airport at the same time. Even worse, the Scottish air hub is so small, they could have easily bumped into one another. And if Saade had texted McAfee right away upon landing, he could have avoided getting on his flight.”It’s crazy to think about, there’s probably a point in Edinburgh Airport where we literally walked past each other,” says McAfee.

Missed connection

Fast forward to January 2021 and Saade and McAfee are still together, now living in London where McAfee is a software engineer and Saade works for the Scottish National Party.Today, they’re on Zoom, drinking coffee together in their kitchen, reminiscing about the early days of their relationship and their missed connection.”We’d only been going out for three months,” says McAfee.”Yeah, like two and a half months,” says Saade. “It was our first time apart.””We really missed each other,” says McAfee.”Your first time apart is so difficult,” agrees Saade.When Saade disembarked her flight in Edinburgh, she decided not to contact McAfee right away. She was tired from the flight — and she wanted to go home first, shower, get ready — and then head round to his flat (apartment) and surprise him.

“I was ready to be back with my boyfriend… and then I realized we were not in the same place,” she laughs.Saade found out things had gone wrong when, back in her apartment, she dropped McAfee’s roommate a text.”Hey Adam do you know if Finlay’s in the flat by any chance?” she wrote. “I’m back a day early and wanting to surprise him.””He just flew to Paris,” wrote back Adam. “Like to do the same thing. Like literally.”Saade was in disbelief.”I genuinely thought he was messing with me.”She quickly texted her boyfriend: “Please tell me you’re not in Paris lol.”No answer, so she tried to call him. When McAfee didn’t pick up, the realization of what had happened started to sink in.”It was a combination of disbelief, and I don’t know, I was upset, but I also thought it was really funny,” says Saade.

“COME BACK I AM HERE,” she typed. “HERE AS IN EDINBURGH NOT PARIS.””I’M SORRY I WAS TRYING TO BE CUTE. COME BACK NOW.””Hahaha,” responded McAfee, also in disbelief that his surprise had failed so dramatically. “Wow. I’m in Paris.”Saade booked McAfee an airport hotel in Paris for the evening, while McAfee updated his Facebook status:”Anyone in Paris? I flew in to surprise Salma but she flew back to surprise me and now I’ve got 12 hours to kill.”It received 173 likes, and the comments came flooding in: “This situation is trophy-worthy,” wrote one friend.”Your love is killing the planet,” said another.No friends were in Paris, so McAfee had a solo winter wander around the sites, snapping a photo of himself in front of Notre Dame looking melancholy, and getting that prerequisite shot of the illuminated Eiffel Tower.The next day, he flew back in Edinburgh. Saade picked him up from the airport, her second visit in as many days.She was just really happy to see him, she says, and for everything to be back in control after things had gone unexpectedly haywire.

“Icebreaker story”

Finlay-Paris-1

Alone in Paris, McAfee embarked on a solo sightseeing tour.Courtesy Finlay McAfee and Salma SaadeAs they’d only been dating a short while at the time, the couple hadn’t met each other’s families.In the years since, it’s become “a really great sort of icebreaker story,” says McAfee.”Anytime I’ve met Salma’s family, we tell the story and they’re like, ‘This guy’s just an idiot,'” he laughs.”We’re not a very impulsive couple,” says Saade. “Apart from this story, I think we have a very normal relationship. So I find it even funnier that both of us made a really impulsive decision when neither of us are particularly impulsive.”It solidified what they’d already started to suspect, that they had a good basis for a strong partnership, and they were falling love.Saade and McAfee had met in the fall of 2016 on Tinder, for both of them, it was their first ever Tinder date and it was a success.

They quickly figured out they had a mutual friend in common. The friend had actually been in a student play that McAfee had directed, and Saade had gone to see the show, but their paths hadn’t directly crossed at the time.When they finally met, the duo quickly hit it off. They spent their days exploring their historic home city of Edinburgh together — their second date was a memorable visit to the city’s dungeons.

Worldwide reaction

Finlay-paris-pic2

While killing time alone in Paris, McAfee snapped this shot of the Eiffel Tower lit up at night.Courtesy Finlay McAfee and Salma SaadeOn January 12 of this year, Saade was reminded of the eventful trip to Paris via Facebook’s “Memories” function, where past posts from years earlier resurface on your timeline.The memory made Saade smile, as it always did, and she decided to Tweet about it.”I usually just Tweet about politics,” says Saade.But she thought this slightly more personal post might bring others a bit of joy, as it had her.

“Happy 4 year anniversary to when I flew to Edinburgh to surprise Finlay and he flew to Paris to surprise me and this is why we don’t do surprises anymore,” she posted, alongside screenshots of their messages, and Finlay’s forlorn Facebook status.

The Tweet has since had over 1 million likes and over 150,000 Retweets and Quote Tweets. Their story has gone viral, much to the couple’s surprise.”The whole Twitter response has been really surprising, and lovely,” says McAfee. “It’s weird that so many people have responded to it, and almost everything everyone has said has been genuinely lovely.”Saade says people have reached out to her from across the globe with sweet messages.”Although comparing us to Ross and Emily [from the TV show “Friends”] is not the best comparison,” she laughs.Related contentRediscovered 70-year-old photos spark worldwide questIn the intervening years, Saade and McAfee have enjoyed other memorable vacations — ones where they both managed to be in the same place at the same time.Highlights include a snowy road trip through Iceland, and a visit to the stunning Baalbeck Roman ruins in Lebanon, where Saade has family.

Right now, the couple are locked down together in their apartment in London. It’s been a little surreal, they say, to watch their story reverberate across the world while they’ve barely left their home.As for Paris, well, the couple have still never made it there together. They’d actually hoped to go last year, but the Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to those plans.But seeing their story spread across the globe, and spending the last week reflecting on that fateful day, has only made them more determined to one day make it to the City of Light together.

Illusion of control: Why the world is full of buttons that don’t work

BOSTON, MA - JULY 21: A pedestrian presses a traffic signal button at Congress and Sudbury Streets in Boston on Jul. 21, 2017. The vast majority of these buttons that dot downtown neighborhoods don't actually do anything. Thats by design. Officials say the citys core is just too congested  with cars and pedestrians  to allow any one person to manipulate the cycle. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Credit: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Illusion of control: Why the world is full of buttons that don’t work SHAREWritten byJacopo Prisco,

Have you ever pressed the pedestrian button at a crosswalk and wondered if it really worked? Or bashed the “close door” button in an elevator, while suspecting that it may, in fact, have no effect whatsoever?You’re not alone, and you may be right. The world is full of buttons that don’t actually do anything.They’re sometimes called “placebo buttons” — buttons that are mechanically sound and can be pushed, but provide no functionality. Like placebo pills, however, these buttons may still serve a purpose, according to Ellen Langer, a Harvard psychologist who pioneered a concept known as the “illusion of control.””They do have a psychological effect,” she said in a phone interview. “Taking some action leads people to feel a sense of control over a situation, and that feels good, rather than just being a passive bystander.”Doing something typically feels better than doing nothing.”

Don’t walk

In New York City, only about 100 of the 1,000 crosswalk buttons actually function, confirmed a spokesperson from the city’s Department of Transportation in an email. That number has steadily decreased in recent years: When the New York Times revealed that the majority of New York’s buttons didn’t work in 2004, about 750 were still operational.This is your brain on tidiness: The psychology of ‘organization porn’ Worsening traffic may be behind the shift. Crosswalk signals were generally installed before congestion had reached today’s levels, and, over time, they started to interfere with the complex coordination of traffic lights.But while their function was taken over by more advanced systems — such as automated lights or traffic sensors — the physical buttons were often kept, rather than being replaced at further expense.

A pedestrian crossing in London.

A pedestrian crossing in London. Credit: Newscast/UIG/Getty Images

Other cities, such as Boston, Dallas and Seattle, have gone through a similar process, leaving them with their own placebo pedestrian buttons. In London, which has 6,000 traffic signals, pressing the pedestrian button results in a reassuring “Wait” light. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the “green man” — or “pedestrian stage,” in traffic signal design terminology — will appear any sooner.”We do have some crossings where the green light comes on automatically, but we still ask people to press the button because that enables accessible features,” said Glynn Barton, director of network management at Transport for London, in a phone interview.These features, such as tactile paving and audible traffic signals, help people with visual impairments cross the road and are only activated when the button is pressed. As for the lights, a growing number of them are now integrated into an electronic system that detects traffic and adjusts intervals accordingly (giving priority to buses if they’re running late, for example), which means that pressing the button has no effect.Others, meanwhile, only respond to the button at certain times of day.”But, in the majority of cases, pressing the button will call the pedestrian stage,” said Barton.

Close the door?

So what about the most jabbed button of them all: the “close door” in elevators? If you live in the US, it almost certainly doesn’t work.”To put it simply, the riding public will not be able to make the doors close any faster using that button,” said Kevin Brinkman of the National Elevator Industry in an email.But there’s a very good reason for this: the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. “This legislation required that an elevator’s doors remain open long enough for anyone with disability or mobility issues, such as using crutches or a wheelchair, to get on board the cab safely,” said Brinkman.

Buttons found on elevators.

Buttons found on elevators. Credit: praphab louilarpprasert/Shutterstock

So, unless the allotted boarding time has been reached, pressing the button will do nothing. It’s only there for firefighters, emergency personnel and maintenance workers, who can override the delay with a key or a code.Outside the US, there’s a higher chance — though not a certainty — that the button will work.”The functionality of the button — whether or not it actually closes the door sooner — is determined by the building code or customer,” said Robin Fiala of Otis, the world’s largest manufacturer of elevators, in an email.

Too hot to handle

Thermostats in hotel rooms are known to limit the temperature range available to users, thus reducing energy costs. The practice isn’t limited to hotels, according to Robert Bean of the American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. But that’s not strictly a bad thing, because air temperature, which is what most thermostats control, is just one piece of the thermal puzzle.Follow the arrow: Hidden designs in famous logos”In absence of controlling the other metrics, air temperature often makes a poor proxy for thermal comfort,” he said. In other words: Full control doesn’t necessarily equate to more comfort. Sometimes, however, thermostats can be deceptive by design. Some models even include a “placebo function” option.

Office thermostats may not always be operational.

Office thermostats may not always be operational. Credit: Martin Keene/PA Images/Getty Images”

Thermal comfort research demonstrates that when people have perceived temperature control over their spaces, some may tolerate higher levels of discomfort,” said Bean.”If a non-functioning (placebo) thermostat or limited function thermostat is installed, just having the option to manipulate it can affect one’s perception.”Dummy thermostats — those not wired into the system at all — can also be found in offices, according to Donald Prather of Air Conditioning Contractors of America. Laser mapping uncovers dozens of ancient Mayan cities”(They) were placed there to quiet a constant complainer by giving them control,” he said in an email. “As an engineering trainee I was sent to calibrate one. When I asked why they had me calibrate a thermostat that was not hooked up, they panicked and asked if I told the occupant it wasn’t hooked up.”After assuring them I hadn’t spilled the beans, they admitted that, by not telling me it was disconnected, they thought I would put on a more realistic calibration show.”

Good buttons

According to Langer, placebo buttons have a net positive effect on our lives, because they give us the illusion of control — and something to do in situations where the alternative would be doing nothing (which explains why people press the elevator call button when it’s already lit).

Buttons can give people an "illusion of control."

Buttons can give people an “illusion of control.” Credit: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In the case of pedestrian crossings, they may even make us safer by forcing us to pay attention to our surroundings. And ultimately, pressing a button doesn’t require much effort.”When you think about it, it’s such a small response that, even if it doesn’t have any effect, it hardly has a cost,” Langer said. “I think it’s a shame if people call it a ‘placebo button’ and, by that name, think that people are behaving foolishly. Hidden in that (term), is the belief that people are foolish for pressing them — or mean for putting buttons there that serve no purpose in the first place.”They serve a psychological purpose at the very least,” she added, “and sometimes they do have an effect.”

This restaurant’s menu offers bluntly honest descriptions of the dishes

Cuisine AuntDai in Montreal has seen a rise in customers after the owner's honest descriptions of dishes went viral.

Question: Do you like the honesty or is it too much?

(CNN) — Feigang Fei, owner of Cuisine AuntDai in Montreal, wants to be honest with you.The orange beef? Not very good, especially compared to the restaurant’s General Tao Chicken. But Fei isn’t a big fan of North American Chinese food anyway, so, “It’s your call.”And the sweet and spicy pork strips? Well, Fei has high expectations. It was one of his favorites in China.”Since I have so high expectation on this dish, I am not a huge fan for our version, to be honest,” he states bluntly.All this is listed on the online menu for AuntDai, which serves a variety of traditional and non-traditional Chinese dishes, with each item including a few lines of commentary from Fei. When Kim Belair, a writer, posted the menu to Twitter last week, Fei’s descriptions quickly blew up, with tens of thousands of people enjoying his words.Mainly, his notes are helpful, pointing out which dishes aren’t really as spicy as they look, which are popular, and which are his favorites.

From Cuisine AuntDaiBeneath a photo of Tofu Skin Salad, for instance, he gives a brief history: “QianZhang is translated thousands of layers. It’s a big sheet made of Tofu and it’s magical that Chinese people can make so many different food using soy beans. We cut QianZhang sheets into thin julienne. This plate is very tasty and healthy and it’s widely accepted. Totally recommend this one.”Others, he writes, he hasn’t had a chance to even try.

And these honest descriptions of the dishes aren’t a new addition. Most of them he wrote years ago, he told CNN partner CBC news. He just didn’t want customers to get disappointed.”A lot of people want to be the best … and we are simply not the best. That’s a fact,” he said. “We just try to be a little bit better every day. And that’s how I see it.”Now, as news of Fei’s menu and brilliant commentary went viral, business has gone up, too.”Friday and Saturday we saw a lot of new customers, and a lot of them told me they heard me on the radio or saw me on TV and they loved it,” Fei wrote in a blog post on Monday, following his eventful week.It’s good news for the restaurant, which has spent months doing take-out only amid the pandemic. Though AuntDai has been all right, other restaurants and small businesses in Canada, like those in the US, have been hit hard. In British Columbia alone, for example, more than 25,000 businesses closed in March and April of 2020, the first two months of the pandemic, according to reporting by CBC.”We are super lucky to be alive,” Fei told CBC.

South Korea has used AI to bring a dead superstar’s voice back to the stage, but ethical concerns abound

Singer Ock Joo-hyun sings a duet with the AI version of the late Kim Kwang-seok. 
Singer Ock Joo-hyun sings a duet with the AI version of the late Kim Kwang-seok.

Question: Is this a great use of AI or is it crossing the line?

Seoul (CNN)For the first time in 25 years, the distinctive vocals of South Korean superstar Kim Kwang-seok will be heard on national television singing new material.It’s a feat made all the more extraordinary because the famous folk singer is dead.National broadcaster SBS plans to use artificial intelligence (AI) to bring Kim’s voice back to life on a new program, “Competition of the Century: AI vs Human,” to air later this week.It’s not the first time AI has been used to revive a famous singer in South Korea.In December, music channel Mnet aired “One More Time,” a show that used AI and holograms of late artists to pay tribute to their work.And, on New Year’s Eve, K-Pop superstars BTS performed online with an AI version of singer Shin Hae-chul, who died after surgery in 2014.Recent AI performances have excited fans of their music and the technology, but others have raised concerns about the ethics and legalities of resurrecting the voices of the dead. The creation of new works — or revived voices — by AI also raises copyright issues. Who is considered the owner? The creator of the AI program or the AI system itself?

Legendary Korean singer

Kim was aged just 31 when he died in 1996 at the peak of his career after a string of hits including “A Letter From a Private,” “Song of My Life” and “In the Wilderness.”His death was considered to be so shocking that some have never accepted the official cause of suicide, instead choosing to believe conspiracy theories that he was murdered.Decades later, fans still gather in a street named in his honor near his childhood home in the city of Daegu, though this year’s tributes were mostly held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.Murals of the artist gaze over the street, where tourists sit on benches shaped like guitars and listen to musicians playing his greatest hits.A hologram concert of late South Korean singer Kim Kwang-seok was held in his hometown of Daegu on June 10, 2016.A hologram concert of late South Korean singer Kim Kwang-seok was held in his hometown of Daegu on June 10, 2016.Tourists can visit a street dedicated to Kim Kwang-seok in the city of Daegu.Tourists can visit a street dedicated to Kim Kwang-seok in the city of Daegu.So, when national broadcaster SBS announced that it was using AI to recreate the Kim’s voice on a new program set to air this month, it sent fans into a frenzy.A one-minute promotional clip of Kim singing “I Miss You,” a ballad released by Kim Bum-soo in 2002, has been viewed more than 145,000 times on YouTube since December. And a video showing the process behind the episode has been viewed more than 750,000 times since it was posted on January 6.”The recovered voice sounds very much alike him, as if Kim recorded it alive,” said Kim Jou-yeon, a Kim fan for 30 years.It even impressed a young fan Park Hye-hyun, who was just two years old when Kim died. “One of my wishes was to hear more songs in Kim’s voice … I had tears,” she said.

Show inspired by a Go match

SBS Producer Nam Sang-moon said the idea for an AI versus human competition came to him after he watched world champion Lee Se-dol take on South Korean AI program HanDol in the ancient strategy game of Go in 2019.Surprisingly, Lee won one of their three matches.Just a month earlier, Lee had announced his retirement from professional Go competition, saying AI was “an entity that cannot be defeated.”Go requires two players to place black and white stones on a 19-by-19 grid. Each competitor tries to claim the most territory by surrounding their opponent’s pieces so they’re removed from the board.Go world champion Lee Se-dol took on Google's AlphaGo program in 2016.Go world champion Lee Se-dol took on Google’s AlphaGo program in 2016.Lee’s game against HanDol reminded Nam of Lee’s earlier match against AlphaGo, an AI program developed by Google DeepMind, in 2016. That time, AlphaGo won four out of five games, and afterward Lee said he had “misjudged” the machine’s capabilities.”Lee-AlphaGo was a big shock followed by short but huge interest in AI, which is still being developed somewhere, but we’re unfamiliar with it yet,” SBS producer Nam said in a phone interview.Nam sensed the Korean public was ready for an update and began pulling together the six-part AI competition series, including the AI performance from the late Kim Kwang-seok.

Recreating Kim

The audio AI company behind Kim’s reincarnated voice is Supertone, a South Korean startup founded in 2020 that provides AI audio solutions for content creators, according to co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Choi Hee-doo.

This is how deepfakes differ from video manipulation we've seen before

This is how deepfakes differ from video manipulation we’ve seen before 01:17″For example, BTS is really busy these days, and it’d be unfortunate if they can’t participate in content due to lack of time. So, if BTS uses our technology when making games or audiobooks or dubbing an animation, for instance, they wouldn’t necessarily have to record in person,” Choi said.Supertone’s Singing Voice Synthesis (SVS) technology learns voices by listening to multiple songs with corresponding notes and lyrics, Choi explained.The system learned 100 songs by 20 singers before it was given 10 Kim Kwang-seok songs to learn. It now knows his voice well enough to mimic the singer’s unique style and pronunciation, Choi said.In the SBS show, the AI Kim won’t be competing against a human singer — he’ll be singing a duet with one. “We revived Kim Kwang-seok to show the capability of it,” said Nam, the show’s producer.Instead, Ock Joo-hyun, the former leader singer of girl band Fin.K.L, will be taking on the AI machine. Just as the AI system learned Kim’s voice, it will be trained to mimic her, too.While some may consider a competition between an AI singer and a human as harmless fun, others warn the technology poses threats that need to be addressed by stricter guidelines and regulations.Ock Joo-hyun rose to fame in the 1990s as the lead singer of Fin.K.L.Ock Joo-hyun rose to fame in the 1990s as the lead singer of Fin.K.L.

Potential dangers of AI

Tech-savvy South Korea is considered to be at the forefront of AI technology, but there are calls for more regulation.Within days of the launch of a petition last week, more than 376,000 people had put their signature to calls for tougher punishments for the creators of deepfake videos, particularly those that use the faces of female celebrities for pornography.Amsterdam-based researchers Deeptrace counted more than 14,000 deepfake videos online in 2019, and found that almost all of them — 96% — were non-consensual deepfake pornography using the images of female celebrities, many from South Korea.Replicating someone’s voice also poses serious risks, especially if fake audio is used in misinformation campaigns and fraud. In 2019, scammers convinced an executive to transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to an account, by faking the voice of his boss using audio software.”Every year, we see about $470 million in fraud losses, including from wire transfer and phone scams. It’s a massive scale,” Vijay Balasubramaniyan, the CEO and co-founder of Pindrop, told CNN last year.

Dem Party deepfaked own chairman to highlight concerns

Dem Party deepfaked own chairman to highlight concerns 02:26Worldwide, nations and organizations are calling for legal reform, ethical guidelines and social agreements to prevent the misuse of AI.UNESCO is working with its 193 member states to lay the ethical foundations for regulating the technology. Last September, it released a draft of its “Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence.” The final report is expected to be presented to the UNESCO’s General Conference later this year.In December, South Korea’s Ministry of Science and Information, Communication Technology released the “National AI Ethical Guideline,” a document that lays out basic standards for people involved in the development and application of AI. It says AI should be “developed and used in accord with its purpose and intention as a tool for human life, and that process should also be ethical.”The same month, the ministry released what it calls a roadmap for AI legislation, which proposes to expand South Korea’s intellectual property rights beyond works created by humans to the investors and inventors behind AI creations.Supertone’s Chief Technology Officer Heo Hoon said he supports laws to regulate the industry. He said to mitigate the current risks the company doesn’t deal directly with the public, preferring to work with businesses that share its ethics.

What is a deepfake, explained

What is a deepfake, explained 01:37″We are clearly aware of the possibility of our technology being misused when in hands of the public,” Heo said. “I think reviving the voice of the deceased would bring backlash, which hopefully would begin a social debate and conclusively lead to legislation.”The company has built a level of protection into its recordings by marking the audio as being produced by its AI, though casual listeners are unlikely to know.”We have watermarking technology, which is an information planted in audio, that can’t be heard, but tracks where it was made and how it’s being distributed,” Heo said.

Questions of ownership

The use of AI to create works traditionally produced by human creativity raises the issue of ownership. If AI creates the works, does the program hold the copyright, or does it belong to the programmer?Lawyer Ko Hwan-kyoung, an expert in AI and data protection, said the issue needs to be addressed as AI becomes more advanced.”What’s interesting about AI is that it’s evolving to a level where it can write and compose by studying datas,” Ko said.Last year, singer Hayeon released “Eyes on You,” a single composed by an AI program. Human producers later refined the song, according to her record label, Enterarts.Elsewhere, AI has been used to create news stories, books and even art. Typically, the creator is considered to own the work, but in the case of AI it’s less clear.”Are we going to acknowledge AI as legal entity with legal personality like humans, and grant copyright?” Ko, the lawyer, asked. “We need necessary regulation that guarantees human safety, not an excessive one that hinders development of AI technology.”In the case of Kim Kwang-seok, producer Nam said SBS gained the consent of Kim’s family to reproduce his voice before proceeding with the show.SBS paid a one-off fee to his family for featuring his voice in the show, as they did with other cast members, Nam said. Parts of the show will be published on YouTube after it airs, but neither SBS nor Supertone plan to release Kim’s song as a single.”We’ve agreed not to officially release the songs introduced in the show,” Supertone’s Choi said.

History of Sunglasses

The right pair of shades can make or break an outfit. But just who do we have to thank for this sartorial — yet practical — invention?

Primitive sunglasses were worn by the Inuit all the way back in prehistoric times, but these were merely walrus ivory with slits in them — good for helping with snow blindness but not particularly fashionable (unless you were a prehistoric Inuit). See our version, the Hitomi sunglass.

primitive sunglasses

Image: Anavik at Banks Peninsula, Bathurst Inlet, Northwest Territories (Nunavut), May 18, 1916, Photo by Rudolph Martin Anderson, Canadian, 1876–1961, Canadian Museum of Civilization, 39026.

Legend has it that the emperor Nero watched gladiator fights wearing emerald lenses, but many historians cite this claim as iffy.

The Chinese made a slight improvement over the Inuit model in the 12th century, when they used smoky quartz for lenses, but the specs were used for concealing judges’ facial expressions rather than style or sunlight purposes. In the mid-1700s, a London optician began experimenting with green lenses to help with certain vision problems — and, indeed, green is the best color for protecting your peepers from the sun’s rays. Emerald-tinted specs remained quite the rage for some time, as evidenced by several mentions in the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that modern sunglasses as we know them were invented. In 1929, Sam Foster began selling the first mass-produced shades, which soon became a hot fashion item on the Atlantic City boardwalk. A few years later, Bausch & Lomb got in on the act when the company began making sunglasses for American military aviators, a design that has changed little since General Douglas MacArthur sparked a new trend when he wore a pair to the movies.

In the decades since, sunglasses have enjoyed various degrees of popularity and more than a few design upgrades. Perhaps the most important technological improvement has been polarized lens, introduced in the 1930s, which help to further reduce glare and also reduce the risk of eye damage due to UV light.

History of the Refrigerator

PRIMITIVE TIMES – 500 B.C.

One of the earliest forms of refrigeration was called an ice house. These were commonly used to store ice throughout the year, usually cut from nearby lakes and rivers. Hebrews, Greeks and Romans were also known to use snow placed in storage pits, and Egyptians placed jars out overnight to cool.

1740S

The first form of artificial refrigeration was invented by William Cullen, a Scottish scientist. Cullen showed how the rapid heating of liquid to a gas can result in cooling. This is the principle behind refrigeration that still remains today. Cullen never turned his theory into practice, but many were inspired to try to realize his idea.

1802

Thomas Moore, an American businessman, created an icebox to cool dairy products for transport. He called it a “refrigiratory” until he patented “refrigerator” in 1803.

In the early 1800s, more and more Americans moved into cities, expanding the distance between the consumer and the source of the food. The need for refrigeration was growing day by day.

1830S

Consumer demand for fresh food was growing, leading to dietary changes between 1830 and the American Civil War of the 1860s. These were fueled by general economic growth and dramatically growing cities.

1834

American inventor Jacob Perkins, living in London at the time, built the world’s first working vapor-compression refrigeration system, using ether in a closed cycle. His prototype system worked and was the first step to modern refrigerators, but it didn’t succeed commercially.

1840S

The first iceboxes were made by carpenters, designed to take advantage of the regular household delivery of large blocks of ice. They were insulated wooden boxes lined with tin or zinc and used to hold blocks of ice to keep the food cool. A drip pan collected the melt water – and had to be emptied daily.

1876

German engineering professor Carl von Linde patented the process of liquefying gas that has become part of basic refrigeration technology. His findings led to his invention of the first reliable and efficient compressed-ammonia refrigerator. Refrigeration rapidly displaced ice in food handling and was introduced into many industrial processes.

The popular use of ice refrigeration was coming to an end, as using natural ice posed health problems because of pollution and sewage dumping. The solution became ice mechanically manufactured, leading the way for electric fridge-freezers.

1913

The first electric refrigerator for domestic use was invented by American Fred W. Wolf and was called the Domelre, or the DOMestic ELectric REfrigerator. His model was a flop, but one of his innovations – the ice cube tray – caught on and was included in competitors’ models.

1918

William C. Durant started the Frigidaire Company to mass-produce refrigerators based on Alfred Mellowes’ invention of a self-contained refrigerator, with a compressor on the bottom of the cabinet. Meanwhile, the Kelvinator Company introduced the first refrigerator with any type of automatic control.

1927

General Electric introduced the “Monitor-Top,” which became the first refrigerator to see widespread use – more than a million units were produced. The compressor assembly, which emitted a great deal of heat, was placed above the cabinet. These refrigerators used either sulphur dioxide or methyl formate as a refrigerant.

1920S

Electric fridges were not yet mass-produced and were mainly owned by the wealthy, costing around USD 1,000.

As the cost started to drop, the market expanded. Sales rose from 200,000 in 1926 to 1.5 million in 1935. By the mid 1930s, the number grew to around 6 million.

1922

Swedish inventors Baltzar von Platen and Carl Munters come up with the absorption refrigerator, which is put into mass production by AB Arctic in 1923. Two years later the company is acquired by Electrolux.

1930

In an attempt to prove that Munters’ and von Platen’s design was potentially dangerous, Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd patented the “Einstein refrigerator.” The new design had no moving parts and operated at constant pressure using only a heat source.

1930S

Up until 1929, refrigerators with vapor compression systems had caused several fatal accidents when the toxic gases leaked. Research was initiated to develop a less dangerous method of refrigeration, leading to the discovery of Freon, which became the standard for almost all domestic refrigerators.

The introduction of Freon played a major role in expanding the refrigerator market.

1940S

Home freezers as separate compartments (larger than necessary just for ice cubes) were introduced as frozen foods, previously a luxury item, became commonplace.

1945

Full mass production of modern refrigerators began after World War II. The 1940s brought the bottom-cooling refrigerator we recognize today. It brought efficient food storage to the American home, setting a new standard of food safety.

1950

1950 More than 80 percent of American farms and more than 90 percent of urban homes had a refrigerator. Focus turned to design with new pastel colors such as turquoise and pink.

Meanwhile in Britain, austerity ruled and just 2 percent of households owned a refrigerator. In 1959, as the country bounced back to prosperity, the number rose to a mere 13 percent. Housewives stored meat in a wire mesh “safe” in the pantry, and vegetables wilted on a rack.

1960

With mass production of refrigerators in full swing, Sandvik began, in cooperation with customers, to develop tailored compressor valve materials to meet the ever-stricter requirements from the industry.

1970S

Focus turned to more energy-efficient refrigerators and elimination of chlorofluorocarbons in refrigeration sealed systems.

The environment became a top priority in the 1970s and 1980s, when Freon was seen to pose a threat to the ozone layer.

History of the Elevator

Elevator history begins several hundred years before Christ. The earliest elevators were called hoists. They were powered by human and animal power, or sometimes water-driven mechanisms. They were in use as early as the 3rd century BC.

Modern elevators were developed during the 1800s. These crude elevators slowly evolved from steam driven to hydraulic power. The first hydraulic elevators were designed using water pressure as the source of power.

They were used for conveying materials in factories, warehouses and mines. Hydraulic elevators were often used in European factories.

In 1852, Elisha Graves Otis introduced the first safety contrivance for elevators.

Otis established a company for manufacturing elevators and went on to dominate the elevator industry. Today the Otis Elevator Factory is the world’s largest manufacturer of vertical transport systems.

Revolution in elevator technology began with the invention of hydraulic and electricity.

Motor technology and control methods evolved rapidly and electricity quickly became the accepted source of power. The safety and speed of these elevators were significantly enhanced.

The first electric elevator was built by the German inventor Wener Von Siemens in 1880.

In 1889, the first commercially successful electric elevator was installed.

In 1887, an electric elevator with automatic doors that would close off the elevator shaft was patented. This invention made elevators safer.

Many changes in elevator design and installation was made by the great advances in electronic systems during World War II.

Space elevators use the same concept of classic elevator. They will be used to transport people to space station. This concept theoretically can considerably reduce the cost for putting a person into space.

Here are some facts about elevators and escalators:

  • Elevator has been around for many years, but escalators too.
  • People always searched for the way to easily transport the goods and people from one place to the other. An escalator is a type of transport device that moves people.
  • Escalator that we know today was created in 1859. This first escalator-like machine was developed by the Jesse Reno from Massachusetts, USA. His escalator used steam to power.
  • In 1892, the earliest working type of escalator was patented by Jesse W. Reno.
  • In 1897 first commercial moving staircases escalator was made by Charles Seeberger in cooperation with the Otis Elevator Company.
  • Escalator had become a common descriptive term for moving stairways.
  • Statistically, elevators and escalators are extremely safe.
  • Did you know that if you travel by escalator to the Moon with regular speed, your trip would last 20 years!

Here’s why Apple could pick Hyundai for its iCar

Question: Do you like this type of collaboration?

Apple is reportedly in talks with Hyundai about cooperating on electric cars. A partnership with the South Korean company makes a lot of sense, but it might not be the only carmaker keen to develop a relationship with the iPhone maker.This is not the first time Apple (AAPL) has been caught kicking the tires.

Senior Apple executives toured a BMW (BMWYY) factory in 2014 to check out the company’s electric car manufacturing, but the courtship didn’t lead to much. Since then, there’s been plenty of speculation about “Project Titan,” Apple’s secretive but plodding effort to break into the auto business.

Any iCar is still years away under any circumstances. But now may be a very good time for Apple to accelerate its plans.

The pandemic has triggered a global sales slump just as carmakers begin seriously to confront the huge challenge of ditching the internal combustion engine to tackle the climate crisis. The investment required to develop electric cars has helped spark a wave of partnerships across the industry, with companies teaming up to spread the costs.

In this environment, carmakers that have shied away from making it easier for upstarts to gain a foothold in their industry are suddenly more open to collaboration. Hyundai (HYMTF) has been among the most open to joining forces with other companies — and even tech firms, according to analysts.

The South Korean company, which also owns Kia, is working with China’s Baidu (BIDU) and US chipmaker Nvidia on autonomous driving. It is partnering with upstart Croatian automaker Rimac on electric cars, and Uber (UBER) rivals Grab and Ola on mobility services.

The large number of existing partnerships could make Hyundai a more appealing partner to Apple.The carmaker is also the crown jewel of one of the huge family-linked conglomerates, or chaebol, that dominate the South Korean economy, churning out everything from steel to elevators.

Being part of a much bigger industrial network is a plus, according to David Bailey, an automotive expert and professor at Birmingham Business School in England.Hyundai has already made significant strides on next-generation vehicles.

In December, Hyundai unveiled a new manufacturing platform called E-GMP, which should enable it to sell electric vehicles with more than 300 miles of driving range, and that can be charged to 80% of full power in 18 minutes, similar to other electric vehicles on the market today. It can be used as the basis of sedans and SUVs, said the company, which has also developed a hydrogen fuel cell system.

“Hyundai has done all the hard yards — they make a good car. They are reliable, good quality and competitively priced,” said Peter Wells, a professor at Cardiff Business School in Wales and director of the Centre for Automotive Industry Research.

A partnership with Apple would be “an interesting match to open up a new era in the automotive industry,” he added.Another reason why Hyundai makes sense: The company is an experienced player in Asia, which is expected to be the center of global economic growth over the next few decades, and its manufacturing base is near China, which is the world’s largest car market and the biggest driver of demand for electric vehicles. (A large chunk of Apple’s supply chain is already based in the region, with Taiwan’s Foxconn and others making the iPhone in China and India.)

Investors recognized the potential benefits on Friday, sending Hyundai’s shares up by roughly 20% in Seoul. It was the stock’s best day in at least two decades.Shares in Apple dipped slightly in New York.Apple (AAPL) declined to comment to CNN Business.

Hyundai said in a statement only that “we are receiving proposals for cooperation from various companies, but no decision has been made.”

Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives said in a research note that electric vehicles “could ultimately be a trillion dollar opportunity globally over the next decade and its a smart strategic move for Apple to dive into the deep end of the pool.” But building cars at scale is incredibly difficult, and a partnership was the most likely route to market for a would-be “iCar,” he added.

“We believe based on our investor conversations over the last few weeks that many on the Street would rather see Apple partner on the [electric vehicle] path, than start building its own vehicles [and] factories,” said Ives.

“A potential larger strategic partnership with an established [electric vehicle] player such as Tesla or Volkswagen would be a golden partnership.”Apple may also choose to enter multiple partnerships. Wells said that Honda (HMC) has “always been more open and fluid” than other Japanese carmakers such as Toyota (TM), and the company sells millions of cars each year in the United States.

“I could see [Apple] working with someone like Honda in terms of their position in the market,” he said.Volkswagen (VLKAF), the world’s largest carmaker, could be another option.

The German company has opened its Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) electric vehicle platform to other automakers, and it has struck a deal with Ford (F) to develop electric and self-driving cars. Analysts also floated Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover and Geely, the Chinese owner of Volvo, as potential Apple partners.

But it may be unlikely that Apple would team up with the world’s largest electric vehicle company, Tesla (TSLA). Last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed that he had once attempted to sell Tesla to Apple, but that Apple CEO Tim Cook “refused to take the meeting.”Apple declined to comment on Musk’s claims at the time.

The prospect of a cash infusion from Apple would be appealing to carmakers as they seek to boost sales and emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.

But making a car with another company’s brand may prove a bridge too far for many, particularly those with established premium brands.”Which vehicle manufacturer is going to buckle first and become a contract builder for a company like Apple? That’s the question,” said Wells.

Sales of unapologetically ugly Crocs soar due to Covid

Question: Style or comfort?

Crocs’ bittersweet moment has arrived in the midst of a global pandemic. The foam clog, derided by many for being “ugly,” expects 2020 to be a record sales year.

On Monday, Crocs raised its fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31) outlook and full-year outlook for 2021, now forecasting fourth quarterly year-over-year revenue to have increased about 55% to between $407 and $410 million, up from its previous estimate of a 20% to 30% increase.

The company expects sales to have increased over 12% in 2020, to a record $1.38 billion, up from its previous forecast of about 5% to 7% growth. It also anticipates sales growth of 20% to 25% in 2021. Crocs has not yet released the date of its fourth-quarter results.Investors cheered the news, lifting Crocs (CROX)shares up over 12% to $74.91 on the Nasdaq.

“Amidst a global pandemic in 2020, we will deliver the strongest revenue in Crocs’ history,” Crocs CEO Andrew Rees said in a statement. “Our brand momentum is exceptional, and we anticipate another record year in 2021.”[Speaking at the annual ICR investor conference on Monday, Rees said consumers’ overwhelming need for comfort in a turbulent year helped drive strong sales of its iconic shoe.

“We definitely benefited from consumer casualization,” said Rees, adding that the clogs are also easy to clean and sanitize, thereby enhancing their pandemic-time appeal. Looking ahead, he said value and comfort will continue to be important for shoppers.More younger consumers also gravitated to the brand during the pandemic, said Rees.”They were younger, predominantly female consumers.

This was a big driver of growth in North America. As the year progressed, it broadened to new younger male consumers,” he said.A couple of quirky collaborations, too, likely helped sell millennial and TikTok-loving Gen Z’ers on the clogs.

In 2020, Crocs teamed up with a number of artists and brands, including Post Malone, Justin Bieber and fast-food chain KFC on special edition collections. Its glow-in-the-dark collaboration with Latin trap artist Bad Bunny quickly sold out after its September launch.

Only 39% of Americans can afford a $1,000 emergency expense

Question: Do you plan for emergencies? What is your financial philosophy?

Just 39% of Americans would be able to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense, according to a new report from Bankrate.com.

That’s down from 2020, when 41% of people said they could cover a $1,000 cost with their savings. Another 38% would need to borrow money, either by using a credit card or borrowing from family to pay for a surprise cost such as a medical bill or emergency repair.

“The precarious state of Americans’ emergency savings has been further set back by the pandemic, with nearly as many needing to borrow to cover a $1,000 unplanned expense as those that can pay for it from savings,” says Greg McBride, Bankrate.com’s chief financial analyst.Many households have been able to stockpile savings because they can work from home or have eliminated travel or entertainment spending.

But for millions of others, job losses and pay cuts have sent them on a precarious downward slide.Older people are more likely to be able to pay for an unexpected expense, with only a third of Millennials (aged 24-39) able to afford it.

That’s compared with 46% of Gen Xers (aged 40-55) and 45% of Baby Boomers (aged 56-74).Handling emergency expenses is hardest for lower income households. Only 21% of those earning less than $30,000 a year can cover emergency costs with savings, while 58% of those earning $75,000 or more per year have the money available.

The lowest-earning households were also the most likely to borrow from family or friends or take out a personal loan.But many Americans remain optimistic for 2021, the report found, with 44% of people reporting that they expect their finances will get better this year.

Some people, 40%, expect their personal financial situation will stay about the same, while 14% expect their finances to get worse.Older Americans are less optimistic about the future. Just 28% of those aged 66 and older expect a better financial situation this year.

That’s compared to 53% of Millennials.”Widespread vaccine availability brings the hope of normalcy we’ve all been craving, and optimism that this year will be better for our finances,” explains McBride. “For many households, 2021 will be a year of trying to right the financial ship.”

Parler sues Amazon for cutting off its services

Question: Is it appropriate to ban individuals or groups from free speech if it is considered offensive?

Parler, the alternative social media platform favored by the far-right, sued Amazon on Monday in response to being deplatformed, alleging an antitrust violation, breach of contract and interference with the company’s business relationships with users.

The complaint asks a federal court for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Amazon (AMZN) and calls Amazon Web Services’ decision a “death blow” to Parler.”Without AWS, Parler is finished as it has no way to get online,” the complaint said. “And a delay of granting this TRO by even one day could also sound Parler’s death knell as President Trump and others move on to other platforms.

“Parler’s lawsuit argues that Amazon has unlawfully sought to restrain competition by eliminating a player from the market.It also claims Amazon breached its contract with Parler by not providing Parler 30 days’ notice of termination — and that its actions interfere with Parler’s relationships with current and future users.

In a letter obtained by CNN Business that was sent to Parler Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff on Saturday, Amazon Web Services said that in recent weeks it has reported 98 examples to Parler of “posts that clearly encourage and incite violence.”

The letter includes screenshots of several examples.”We’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms,” AWS wrote. “It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service.”In a statement Monday evening, Amazon said that Parler’s lawsuit has “no merit.”

“It is clear that there is significant content on Parler that encourages and incites violence against others, and that Parler is unable or unwilling to promptly identify and remove this content, which is a violation of our terms of service,” an Amazon spokesperson said.

“We made our concerns known to Parler over a number of weeks and during that time we saw a significant increase in this type of dangerous content, not a decrease, which led to our suspension of their services Sunday evening.”

Daily Reading Vocabulary Masterclass – Week 5

Monday

Paula Dean reveals secrets to perfect Thanksgiving menu: Deep fried turkey, sweet potato pie and more

https://www.foxnews.com/media/paula-dean-thanksgiving-menu

In a special Thanksgiving episode of Fox Nation’s “At Home With Paula Deen,” the celebrity chef and her sons reveal their foolproof method of deep frying the traditional turkey while whipping up some of their favorite family recipes.  Bringing viewers inside her famous Georgia kitchen — “back where it all started” —  Dean reveals the tricks of the trade as she prepares her family’s tried and true fried turkey, cornbread stuffing, root vegetables, broccoli casserole, sweet potato pie, and more.  Dean begins by massaging the turkey in a coat of oil before applying a thick coat of seasoning.  “When it comes to your turkeys, it’s all about personal preference,” she says. “Some people like to brown them, some people like to inject … but I would season my turkey real good and put him in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.” Later, Dean and her son Michael place the bird in the electric turkey fryer, where it cooks for 41 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The trick to a perfect fried turkey is an electric turkey fryer, Dean reveals. “But,” she warned, “you must not overfill it, that’s the main thing.”

Paula Dean rivela i segreti per perfezionare il menu del Ringraziamento: Tacchino fritto, torta di patate dolci e altro ancora

In un episodio speciale del Ringraziamento di “At Home With Paula Deen” di Fox Nation, la celebre chef e i suoi figli rivelano il loro metodo infallibile di friggere il tacchino tradizionale mentre preparano alcune delle loro ricette di famiglia preferite. Portando gli spettatori all’interno della sua famosa cucina georgiana – “indietro dove tutto è iniziato” – Dean rivela i trucchi del mestiere mentre prepara il provato e vero tacchino fritto della sua famiglia, il ripieno di pane di mais, le verdure a base di radici, la casseruola di broccoli, il pasticcio di patate dolci e altro ancora. Dean inizia massaggiando il tacchino con uno strato di olio prima di applicare uno spesso strato di condimento. “Quando si tratta dei tacchini, è tutta una questione di preferenze personali”, dice. “Ad alcuni piace rosolarli, ad altri piace iniettarli… ma io spezierie il mio tacchino molto bene e lo metterei in frigorifero per almeno 24 ore”. Più tardi, Dean e suo figlio Michael mettono l’uccello nella friggitrice elettrica per tacchini, dove cuoce per 41 minuti a 350 gradi Fahrenheit. Il trucco per un perfetto tacchino fritto è una friggitrice elettrica per tacchini, rivela Dean. “Ma”, avverte, “non bisogna riempirla troppo, è la cosa principale”.

Tuesday

Instagram model claims she was banned from Tinder for being ‘too hot,’ inspiring catfishes

One model claims she caused too many sparks to fly on Tinder, and she was booted from the dating app when her sultry snaps were stolen for catfish accounts. Though Luna Benna commands a following of 1.2 million on Instagram, the young woman claims she’s been banned from the dating app after trolls stole her photos to create fake profiles. Unable to discern which accounts were real, she alleges that the popular site locked her out. “I’m too hot for Tinder,” the 21-year-old reckoned, according to the The New York Post. Benna said that she was “young, dumb and … looking for love” when she joined the dating site in 2017, claiming it wasn’t long before smitten suitors made outlandish overtures to get her attention. “I received so many odd and silly messages during my time on Tinder. People offering me vacations, proposing to me, even offering money if I agreed to meet up with them,” she said. “I never actually went through with that one, by the way.” Though she initially had fun matching with men on the app, things eventually spun out of control. “From time to time, people would threaten me on Tinder for being too good-looking,” Benna alleged. “People were stealing my photos and making money using my images. Catfishing, basically.” “It’s really disappointing when people create fake profiles after stealing my images – it’s sad for the person behind the image, and sad for the person who gets catfished.” From there, she claims Tinder couldn’t differentiate if the profiles were fictitious or for real, and removed her authentic account. “I met my new guy, my current significant other, on Tinder, just before the ban,” Benna revealed. “I knew friends of his before meeting him, so I already expected to have things in common and be with safe company. We had such a fun time, didn’t want it to end!” Now, the two create content for social media. “We’re pretty much a power couple,” Benna said of their relationship.

La modella di Instagram sostiene di essere stata bandita da Tinder perché “troppo bella”, ispiratrice dei catfishes

Una modella sostiene di aver fatto volare troppe scintille su Tinder e di essere stata cacciata dall’applicazione per gli appuntamenti quando le sono stati rubati gli scatti per i conti del pesce gatto. Anche se Luna Benna ha un seguito di 1,2 milioni di persone su Instagram, la giovane donna sostiene di essere stata bandita dall’app per gli appuntamenti dopo che i troll le hanno rubato le foto per creare profili falsi. Non riuscendo a distinguere quali conti fossero reali, sostiene che il popolare sito l’abbia chiusa fuori. “Ho troppo caldo per Tinder”, ha dichiarato la ventunenne, secondo il New York Post. Benna ha detto che era “giovane, stupida e… in cerca d’amore” quando si è iscritta al sito di incontri nel 2017, sostenendo che non passò molto tempo prima che i corteggiatori innamorati facessero stravaganti ouverture per attirare la sua attenzione. “Ho ricevuto tanti messaggi strani e stupidi durante il mio periodo su Tinder. Gente che mi offriva le vacanze, che mi faceva la proposta, che mi offriva anche del denaro se accettavo di incontrarli”, ha detto. “In realtà non sono mai andato fino in fondo con quello, tra l’altro”. Anche se all’inizio si è divertita ad abbinare gli uomini dell’app, alla fine le cose sono andate fuori controllo. “Di tanto in tanto, la gente mi minacciava su Tinder perché ero troppo bello”, ha affermato Benna. “La gente rubava le mie foto e faceva soldi usando le mie immagini. La pesca dei gatti, in pratica”. “È davvero deludente quando la gente crea profili falsi dopo aver rubato le mie immagini – è triste per la persona dietro l’immagine, e triste per la persona che viene pescata dal gatto”. Da lì, sostiene che Tinder non riusciva a distinguere se i profili erano fittizi o reali, e ha rimosso il suo account autentico. “Ho incontrato il mio nuovo ragazzo, il mio attuale e significativo altro, su Tinder, poco prima del divieto”, ha rivelato Benna. “Conoscevo i suoi amici prima di incontrarlo, quindi mi aspettavo già di avere delle cose in comune e di essere in buona compagnia”. Ci siamo divertiti tanto, non volevo che finisse”. Ora, i due creano contenuti per i social media. “Siamo praticamente una coppia di potere”, ha detto Benna della loro relazione.

Wednesday

Starbucks ‘snickerdoodle cold brew’ how-to video goes viral, wins fans

’Tis the season for snickerdoodles. And a creative Starbucks customer got into the festive spirit with a custom cold brew order that reportedly tastes like the beloved cookie and is only 90 calories, as seen in a viral TikTok video shared by The Macro Barista. The video, which shows The Macro Barista (AKA Alex Moe), has racked up more than 205,100 views and 23,600 likes as of Monday. It shows Moe ordering a grande cold brew with one pump of white chocolate mocha sauce, two pumps of sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup and a splash of half-and-half. Moe explained that his snickerdoodle creation is a health-conscious blend that is meant to only contain 4.5 grams of fat, 12 gram carbs, a 0.5 gram of protein and 200 mg of caffeine, according to nutrition facts he obtained from Starbucks’ website. TikTok users shared their approval for Moe’s snickerdoodle beverage with enthusiastic comments. “I got this today and it tasted JUST LIKE SNIKERDOODLE AND I WAS IN HEAVEN FOR 90 CALORIES,” one user wrote. “I JUST ORDERED THIS! I DONT DRINK COFFEE!! I DRANK THE WHOLE [THING] BEFORE I GOT TO WORK,” another user shared. Although Moe’s cold brew order is wildly successful on TikTok, he noted that it is not vegan-friendly since Starbucks’ white chocolate mocha sauce contains milk. There are more than 170,000 flavor combinations that customers can try to find their perfect brew, according to a Starbucks spokesperson.

Starbucks ‘snickerdoodle cold brew’ how-to video diventa virale, vince i fan

È la stagione dei biscotti alla cannella. E un cliente creativo di Starbucks è entrato nello spirito festoso con un ordine personalizzato di birra fredda che, a quanto pare, ha il sapore dell’amato biscotto ed è di sole 90 calorie, come si vede in un video virale di TikTok condiviso da The Macro Barista. Il video, che mostra The Macro Barista (alias Alex Moe), ha accumulato più di 205.100 visualizzazioni e 23.600 gusti a partire da lunedì. Mostra Moe che ordina una grande birra fredda con una pompa di salsa di moka al cioccolato bianco, due pompe di sciroppo dolce alla cannella senza zucchero e una spruzzata di metà e metà. Moe ha spiegato che la sua creazione di snickerdoodle è una miscela attenta alla salute che dovrebbe contenere solo 4,5 grammi di grassi, 12 grammi di carboidrati, 0,5 grammi di proteine e 200 mg di caffeina, secondo i dati nutrizionali che ha ottenuto dal sito web di Starbucks. Gli utenti di TikTok hanno condiviso la loro approvazione per la bevanda Snickerdoodle di Moe con commenti entusiastici. “Ho ricevuto questo oggi e ha assaggiato JUST LIKE SNIKERDOODLE E sono rimasto in piedi per 90 CALORIE”, ha scritto un utente. “HO APPENA ORDINATO QUESTO! NON BEVO CAFFÈ! BEVO TUTTO [COSO] PRIMA DI LAVORARE”, scrisse un altro utente. Anche se l’ordine di Moe per l’infuso freddo ha un successo strepitoso su TikTok, ha notato che non è vegan-friendly dal momento che la salsa di moka al cioccolato bianco di Starbucks contiene latte. Secondo un portavoce di Starbucks, ci sono più di 170.000 combinazioni di sapori che i clienti possono provare a trovare il loro perfetto infuso.

Thursday

Bride sends angry email to company after wedding dress arrives incorrect, realizes she put it on inside out

“Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much school we put behind us….we’re still going to lack common sense,” a bride wrote, lamenting of her own recent wedding dress gaffe. A woman in Kentucky has gone viral and learned a very valuable lesson about how to put on clothes earlier this month. Aubrey of Louisville penned a lengthy Facebook post detailing her experience with purchasing a wedding dress. The bride-to-be ordered the dress online and when it arrived she was eager to try it on. However, upon putting on the gown, she became “really upset about the looks of it and sent an angry email to the company wanting to return it,” she wrote online.

Aubrey attached photos of herself in the dress, showing off how it looked on her compared to the photos from the website of how the dress should appear. Fuming at the mix-up, Aubrey was shocked to receive the company’s response: “You put the dress on inside out, please put it on the right way.”

Stunned by her own mistake, the bride couldn’t help but laugh at the situation. When she did manage to put it on the right way, she wrote “the dress actually turned out beautiful.” The 33-year-old decided to share her hilarious experience on Facebook as a way to thank the company, and seemingly apologize for her aggravated email. “They probably didn’t appreciate my angry email, this post is the least I could do to thank them for ‘fixing’ the problem (me, the problem was me) . But I hope they appreciated a good laugh,” she wrote.

La sposa invia un’e-mail arrabbiata alla società dopo che l’abito da sposa arriva non corretto, si rende conto di averlo messo al rovescio

“A volte non importa quanta scuola ci lasciamo alle spalle….ci mancherà ancora il buon senso”, scriveva una sposa, lamentandosi della sua recente gaffe sull’abito da sposa. Una donna del Kentucky è diventata virale e ha imparato una lezione molto preziosa su come vestirsi all’inizio di questo mese. Aubrey di Louisville ha scritto un lungo post su Facebook che descrive la sua esperienza nell’acquisto di un abito da sposa. La futura sposa ha ordinato il vestito online e quando è arrivato era ansiosa di provarlo. Tuttavia, dopo aver indossato l’abito, si è “arrabbiata molto per il suo aspetto e ha inviato un’e-mail arrabbiata all’azienda che voleva restituirlo”, ha scritto online. Aubrey ha allegato le foto di se stessa con il vestito, mostrando come le stava a pennello rispetto alle foto del sito web di come l’abito doveva apparire. Fumando per la confusione, Aubrey è rimasta scioccata nel ricevere la risposta dell’azienda: “Mettiti il vestito al rovescio, mettilo nel modo giusto”. Stordita dal suo stesso errore, la sposa non ha potuto fare a meno di ridere della situazione. Quando riuscì a metterlo nel modo giusto, scrisse: “Il vestito è diventato davvero bello”. La trentatreenne ha deciso di condividere la sua esilarante esperienza su Facebook per ringraziare l’azienda e scusarsi, a quanto pare, per l’e-mail aggravata. “Probabilmente non hanno apprezzato la mia email arrabbiata, questo post è il minimo che potessi fare per ringraziarli per aver “risolto” il problema (io, il problema ero io). Ma spero che abbiano apprezzato una bella risata”, ha scritto.

Friday

Burger King Japan releases ‘extreme’ burger with pound of meat, no bun

If you’re under the impression the bun makes the burger, you might want to avoid Burger King Japan’s newest creation.The limited-edition “Extreme Super Pound Beef Burger” boasts, as its name implies, a pound of beef. In fact, the new burger, which clocks in at 1.12 pounds, is almost entirely beef, forgoing the bun and leaving only .12 pounds for cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and condiments. The four-patty burger launched in the market Friday as the brand’s first bunless option and seems to be a hit on Twitter, with many customers posting about their experience with the protein-packed option. According to Business Insider, the burger costs $13.50, three times the amount of the chain’s signature Whopper sandwich because of the added meat patties. The burger is available until Dec. 3. Burger King Japan is hardly the first fast food chain to eschew a bun for the sake of more meat. In 2010, KFC released its Double Down chicken sandwich for a limited time to immediate success, which it then followed-up with a 2014 re-release that involved the original chicken double down, but with an added hamburger and bacon layer for the meat lover who truly can’t decide.

Burger King Japan rilascia hamburger “estremi” con chili di carne, senza panino

Se avete l’impressione che il panino faccia l’hamburger, potreste voler evitare l’ultima creazione di Burger King Japan.l’edizione limitata “Extreme Super Pound Beef Burger” vanta, come suggerisce il nome, una libbra di manzo. Infatti, il nuovo hamburger, che arriva a 1,12 libbre, è quasi interamente di manzo, rinunciando al panino e lasciando solo .12 libbre per formaggio, lattuga, pomodori, cipolle e condimenti. L’hamburger a quattro patatine è stato lanciato sul mercato venerdì come prima opzione senza panino del marchio e sembra essere un successo su Twitter, con molti clienti che hanno postato la loro esperienza con l’opzione a base di proteine. Secondo Business Insider, l’hamburger costa 13,50 dollari, tre volte la quantità del panino Whopper firmato dalla catena a causa delle polpette di carne aggiunte. L’hamburger è disponibile fino al 3 dicembre. Burger King Japan non è certo la prima catena di fast food a evitare un panino per il gusto di più carne. Nel 2010, KFC ha rilasciato il suo panino di pollo Double Down per un tempo limitato al successo immediato, che ha poi seguito con una riedizione del 2014 che ha coinvolto il pollo originale double down, ma con un hamburger aggiunto e strato di pancetta per l’amante della carne che davvero non riesce a decidere.

Daily Reading Vocabulary – Masterclass Week 4 – (Audio coming)

Migliorare le tue capacità di scrittura. Scrivi quanto vuoi! Rispondete a tutte o a una delle domande qui sotto e inviatela per le correzioni. Possiamo correggerla insieme durante la nostra lezione oppure puoi chiedermi di correggere la tua scrittura da solo, in modo da usare la tua lezione per parlare il più possibile.

Improve you writing skills. Write as much as you want! Respond to all or one of the questions below and submit it for corrections. We can correct it together during our lesson or you can ask me about correcting your writing on my own so you use your lesson to speak as much as possible.

Monday

Virgin Hyperloop completes first test with actual passengers

Question: Which form of transportation do you feel the safest on? Which form of transportation do you dislike?

Virgin Hyperloop gave the first ride on its test track Sunday in Las Vegas, but it will be years before the public can potentially take a high-speed ride on a hyperloop. A hyperloop is an unproven transportation system in which people travel in a vehicle in a vacuum tube at speeds as high as 600 mph. Virgin’s system includes magnetic levitation, much like used in advanced high speed rail projects in Japan and Germany. Magnetic levitation lifts a train car above a track, as the magnets‘ like poles push the train upward. The magnets also propel the train as like poles repel and push the train forward, and the opposite poles attract and pull the train forward. Magnetic levitation has been used on some train systems since the 1970s. Virgin Hyperloop’s pod only reached 100 mph on the track, according to the company, rather than the 600 mph that hyperloop advocates have long promised. Virgin Hyperloop says its track is 500 meters long, limiting how fast the pods can go.

Virgin Hyperloop completa il primo test con i passeggeri effettivi

Domanda: Su quale mezzo di trasporto vi sentite più sicuri? Quale mezzo di trasporto non ti piace?

Virgin Hyperloop ha dato il primo giro sul suo circuito di prova domenica a Las Vegas, ma ci vorranno anni prima che il pubblico possa potenzialmente fare un giro ad alta velocità su un hyperloop. Un hyperloop è un sistema di trasporto non provato in cui le persone viaggiano in un veicolo in un tubo a vuoto a velocità fino a 600 mph. Il sistema di Virgin comprende la levitazione magnetica, molto simile a quella utilizzata nei progetti ferroviari avanzati ad alta velocità in Giappone e in Germania.La levitazione magnetica solleva un vagone ferroviario sopra un binario, mentre i poli magnetici spingono il treno verso l’alto. I magneti spingono anche il treno, mentre i poli simili ai poli respingono e spingono il treno in avanti, e i poli opposti attraggono e spingono il treno in avanti. La levitazione magnetica è stata usata su alcuni sistemi ferroviari fin dagli anni ’70. Secondo la società, la capsula di Virgin Hyperloop ha raggiunto solo i 100 mph sul binario, piuttosto che i 600 mph che i sostenitori di Hyperloop hanno promesso da tempo. Virgin Hyperloop dice che il suo binario è lungo 500 metri, limitando la velocità delle capsule.

Tuesday

Yes, You Should Be Using Apple Pay or Google Pay

Question: How do you prefer to pay for your purchases?

When Apple Pay was first announced back in 2014, it  seemed like a revolutionary idea that would take a while to catch on. Six years later, a little under half the iPhone users out there are paying with their phone, with Google and Samsung Pay growing on Android as well. Apple Pay currently accounts for 10 percent of all global card transactions. That’s impressive, but I can’t help feeling it should be even more popular than it is. If you aren’t using Apple and Google Pay at the grocery store, it’s time to start—it’s better than a credit card in pretty much every way. It’s Much Faster Than Chip-Based Credit Cards To start, credit cards have gotten annoyingly slow, thanks to the new chip-based readers. This new (old) tech is much slower than the old swipe-to-pay credit cards of yore, making plastic a bit more of a hassle. Pull out your wallet, dig through to find the right card, put it in, wait, then do it all in reverse when the reader beeps at you like you’ve accidentally tripped some sort of alarm. With Apple and Google Pay, you just pull out your phone, unlock the home screen, and hover it over the reader—it’ll “swipe” your digital credit card instantaneously, faster than any chip-based card. You don’t even have to open the app—just unlock your phone and tap. If you have a smartwatch, you might be able to tap it to the reader without even touching your phone.

Sì, dovresti usare Apple Pay o Google Pay

Domanda: Come preferite pagare i vostri acquisti?

Quando Apple Pay è stata annunciata per la prima volta nel 2014, sembrava un’idea rivoluzionaria che ci avrebbe messo un po’ a prendere piede. Sei anni dopo, poco meno della metà degli utenti di iPhone pagano con il loro telefono, con Google e Samsung Pay che cresce anche su Android. Attualmente Apple Pay rappresenta il 10% di tutte le transazioni con carta a livello mondiale. È impressionante, ma non posso fare a meno di pensare che dovrebbe essere ancora più popolare di quanto non lo sia. Se non si usa Apple e Google Pay al supermercato, è il momento di iniziare, è meglio di una carta di credito in ogni senso. È molto più veloce delle carte di credito basate su chip Per iniziare, le carte di credito sono diventate fastidiosamente lente, grazie ai nuovi lettori basati su chip. Questa nuova (vecchia) tecnologia è molto più lenta delle vecchie carte di credito swipe-to-pay di una volta, rendendo la plastica un po’ più fastidiosa. Tirate fuori il portafoglio, scavate per trovare la carta giusta, mettetela dentro, aspettate, poi fate tutto al contrario quando il lettore vi fa il bip come se aveste accidentalmente fatto scattare una specie di allarme. Con Apple e Google Pay, basta tirare fuori il telefono, sbloccare la schermata iniziale e farla passare sul lettore: “strisciare” la carta di credito digitale istantaneamente, più velocemente di qualsiasi altra carta basata su chip. Non è nemmeno necessario aprire l’app, basta sbloccare il telefono e toccare. Se avete uno smartwatch, potreste essere in grado di toccare il lettore senza nemmeno toccare il telefono.

Wednesday

CEOs, now is the time to reach out to your employees

Question: What are some things that you should never talk about at work? What should you speak about even more?

The 2020 presidential election has shown just how divided, angry and politically energized Americans have become. It also has spurred fear, anxiety and exhaustion, not to mention a constant twitchy need to check our phones, computers and televisions for the latest developments. It’s all proving a huge distraction for people at work. Even after the votes have been counted, the next few months are likely going to be an anxious, volatile period for everyone. That’s why now is a good time for CEOs and other leaders to reach out to their employees, said Jocelyn Kung, CEO of The Kung Group, a leadership coaching and organizational consulting firm. “This is affecting people at such a visceral level.” And that can lead to lower productivity, anger, passive-aggressive behavior or other negative ways of handling conflict at work.”Even if someone doesn’t look upset or anxious, they probably are under the surface,” Kung said.Reaching out — in writing and in meetings — can accomplish a few things if done right. First, you can let employees know that you understand how tough this period is for everyone. Empathy, if sincere, is a powerful way to connect with your staff.

CEO, ora è il momento di contattare i vostri dipendenti

Domanda: Quali sono alcune cose di cui non si dovrebbe mai parlare al lavoro? Di cosa dovresti parlare ancora di più?

Le elezioni presidenziali del 2020 hanno dimostrato quanto gli americani siano diventati divisi, arrabbiati e politicamente energici; hanno anche stimolato la paura, l’ansia e la stanchezza, per non parlare della costante necessità di controllare i nostri telefoni, computer e televisori per gli ultimi sviluppi. Tutto ciò si sta rivelando un’enorme distrazione per le persone al lavoro. Anche dopo il conteggio dei voti, i prossimi mesi saranno probabilmente un periodo di ansia e volatilità per tutti. Ecco perché questo è un buon momento per i CEO e gli altri leader per raggiungere i loro dipendenti, ha detto Jocelyn Kung, CEO di The Kung Group, una società di consulenza organizzativa e di coaching per la leadership. “Questo sta influenzando le persone a un livello così viscerale“. E questo può portare a una minore produttività, rabbia, comportamenti passivi-aggressivi o altri modi negativi di gestire i conflitti sul lavoro: “Anche se qualcuno non sembra turbato o ansioso, probabilmente è sotto la superficie“, ha detto Kung. L’empatia, se sincera, è un modo potente per entrare in contatto con il proprio personale.

Thursday

McDonald’s announces new chicken sandwich and ‘McPlant’ burger

Question: What do you think about this? Would you trust a company like McDonald’s to provide you with meat alternatives?

Would anyone eat a burger called McPlant? McDonald’s is about to find out.The company said Monday that it will test the new plant-based burger in key markets next year. After testing a plant-based burger in some international markets, “we have created a delicious burger that will be the first menu option in a plant-based platform,” said, the president of McDonald’s International. He added that the McPlant line could eventually include plant-based chicken and breakfast sandwiches, too. The company joins other fast food chains like Burger King and Dunkin’ in getting in on the plant-based trend. Last year, it began testing a burger in Canada made with patties from Beyond Meat, a seller of meatless products. McDonald’s isn’t just going all in on meat substitutes.In addition to the McPlant line, McDonald’s said in a strategy update to investors that it would capitalize on consumer trends that strengthened during the pandemic — like eating comfort food. That means focusing on its most popular menu items and selling more chicken”Demand for the familiar in these uncertain times is more important than ever,” McDonald’s said in its investor update, adding that it expects core menu items like its Big Mac and Quarter Pounder burgers, Chicken McNuggets and french fries to contribute to its growth moving forward.

McDonald’s annuncia il nuovo panino al pollo e l’hamburger ‘McPlant

Domanda: Cosa ne pensi di questo? Confideresti che un’azienda come McDonald’s ti fornisca alternative alla carne?

Qualcuno mangerebbe un hamburger chiamato McPlant? McDonald’s sta per scoprirlo. L’azienda ha detto lunedì che l’anno prossimo testerà il nuovo hamburger a base di piante nei mercati chiave. Dopo aver testato un hamburger a base di piante in alcuni mercati internazionali, “abbiamo creato un delizioso hamburger che sarà la prima opzione di menu in una piattaforma a base di piante”, ha detto, il presidente di McDonald’s International. L’azienda si unisce ad altre catene di fast food come Burger King e Dunkin’ per entrare nel trend delle piante. L’anno scorso ha iniziato a testare un hamburger in Canada fatto con le polpette di Beyond Meat, un venditore di prodotti senza carne. Oltre alla linea McPlant, McDonald’s ha detto in un aggiornamento della strategia agli investitori che avrebbe capitalizzato le tendenze dei consumatori che si sono rafforzate durante la pandemia – come mangiare cibo di conforto. Ciò significa concentrarsi sulle sue voci di menu più popolari e vendere più pollo “La domanda per il familiare in questi tempi incerti è più importante che mai”, ha detto McDonald’s nel suo aggiornamento per gli investitori, aggiungendo che si aspetta che le voci di menu principali come il Big Mac e gli hamburger Quarter Pounder, i Chicken McNuggets e le patatine fritte contribuiscano a far progredire la sua crescita.

Friday

Could a smart light bulb help reset your body clock?

Question: Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you have advice for creating the right atmosphere?

After finishing a film on Netflix and taking one final scroll through your Facebook feed, you go to bed. It’s much harder to switch off your mind than a screen, though, and after tossing and turning, you finally drift off. When your alarm goes off, it feels like you barely closed your eyes. Sound familiar? It’s more common than you might think. According to the American Sleep Association, more than a third of adults in the US report sleeping less than seven hours a night — the bare minimum suggested for optimum health. For many people, our busy modern lives have put the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle — called the circadian rhythm — out of whack. But new research might help. Earlier this year, scientists at the University of Washington identified how cells in the eye respond to different colored lights, signaling the part of the brain that regulates our circadian rhythm. Now, US company TUO has used those findings to create an LED light bulb it says can help energize you in the morning and calm you at night.

Una lampadina intelligente può aiutare a resettare l’orologio del corpo?

Domanda: Hai problemi a dormire? Avete dei consigli per creare l’atmosfera giusta?

Dopo aver finito un filmato su Netflix e aver fatto un ultimo scroll finale sul tuo feed di Facebook, vai a letto. È molto più difficile spegnere la mente rispetto a uno schermo, però, e dopo averlo girato e girato, alla fine si va alla deriva. Quando la sveglia si spegne, è come se avessi chiuso a malapena gli occhi. È più comune di quanto si possa pensare. Secondo l’American Sleep Association, più di un terzo degli adulti negli Stati Uniti dichiara di dormire meno di sette ore a notte – il minimo indispensabile per una salute ottimale. Per molte persone, la nostra vita moderna ha messo fuori uso il naturale ciclo sonno-veglia del corpo, chiamato ritmo circadiano. Ma nuove ricerche potrebbero aiutare. All’inizio di quest’anno, gli scienziati dell’Università di Washington hanno identificato come le cellule dell’occhio rispondono a diverse luci colorate, segnalando la parte del cervello che regola il nostro ritmo circadiano. Ora, l’azienda statunitense TUO ha usato queste scoperte per creare una lampadina a LED che, come dice, può aiutare a dare energia al mattino e a calmare la notte.

Daily Reading Vocabulary Masterclass – Week 3

 

 

Monday

gifts-2998593_1920

Want something delivered by Christmas? Order way in advance

Good luck getting your holiday gifts delivered on time this year. You’ll need it. A surge in online purchases during the pandemic means that parcel delivery services are struggling to keep up with shipments. Demand for shipping has reached levels they didn’t expect to deliver until several years from now. Now everyone in the industry — senders, recipients and those who deliver the shipments — are growing concerned about an even bigger surge in shipments as the holiday season gets underway*“The spread of Covid-19 in the US has triggered such an increase in e-commerce since March that shipping volumes have consistently been at Christmas peak or Cyber Monday levels every day,”. “Now we’re headed into a peak on top of a peak. We expect there will be limits to capacity on certain days this season.” UPS and the US Postal Service insist that they’re working with customers to handle the influx of packages, including adding more temporary staff and increasing Saturday and Sunday deliveries. But experts who track shipping capacity say that shippers — those who send out the packages — will still run into capacity bottlenecks*.

Vuoi che ti venga consegnato qualcosa entro Natale? Ordina con largo anticipo

In bocca al lupo per la consegna puntuale dei regali di Natale quest’anno. Ne avrete bisogno. Un’impennata degli acquisti online durante la pandemia significa che i servizi di consegna dei pacchi faticano a tenere il passo con le spedizioni. La domanda di spedizione ha raggiunto livelli che non si aspettavano di raggiungere fino a diversi anni da oggi. Ora tutti nel settore – mittenti, destinatari e coloro che consegnano le spedizioni – sono sempre più preoccupati per un’impennata ancora maggiore delle spedizioni con l’inizio delle vacanze. “La diffusione di Covid-19 negli Stati Uniti ha innescato un tale aumento dell’e-commerce da marzo che i volumi di spedizione sono stati costantemente al picco natalizio o ai livelli del Cyber Monday ogni giorno”, “Ora ci stiamo dirigendo verso un picco su un picco. Ci aspettiamo che ci saranno dei limiti di capacità in certi giorni di questa stagione”. UPS e il Servizio Postale degli Stati Uniti insistono sul fatto che stanno lavorando con i clienti per gestire l’afflusso di pacchi, compresa l’aggiunta di personale temporaneo e l’aumento delle consegne del sabato e della domenica. Ma gli esperti che tengono traccia della capacità di spedizione dicono che gli spedizionieri – quelli che spediscono i pacchi – si troveranno ancora in difficoltà di capacità.

Tuesday

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Delta has banned 460 anti-maskers

In a new memo, Delta Air Lines says it has banned more than 400 people from flying for not following the airline’s mask policy. “As of this week, we’ve added 460 people to our no-fly list for refusing to comply with our mask requirement,” Delta CEO  said in a message to employees. In August, the airline said it had banned roughly 270 passengers since the outset of the pandemic. Delta  began requiring that passengers wear masks on flights on May 4.  All major airlines now mandate that passengers wear masks in the absence of any new regulations from the federal government.  Airlines in June agreed to ban passengers from future flights for refusing to wear masks. But the airlines are not sharing information with one another about the passengers they have banned. So, for example, a passenger banned on Delta can still book a flight on American and vice versa.

Delta ha messo al bando 460 antimascherini

In un nuovo promemoria, Delta Air Lines afferma di aver vietato a più di 400 persone di volare per non aver seguito la politica delle maschere della compagnia aerea. “Da questa settimana, abbiamo aggiunto 460 persone alla nostra no-fly list per aver rifiutato di rispettare il nostro requisito della maschera”, ha detto l’amministratore delegato di Delta in un messaggio ai dipendenti. Ad agosto, la compagnia aerea ha dichiarato di aver bandito circa 270 passeggeri dall’inizio della pandemia. Delta ha iniziato a richiedere ai passeggeri di indossare le maschere sui voli il 4 maggio.  Tutte le principali compagnie aeree ora richiedono che i passeggeri indossino le maschere in assenza di nuovi regolamenti da parte del governo federale.  A giugno le compagnie aeree hanno accettato di vietare ai passeggeri dei voli futuri di rifiutarsi di indossare le maschere. Ma le compagnie aeree non si scambiano informazioni sui passeggeri che hanno bandito. Così, per esempio, un passeggero a cui è stato vietato l’accesso a Delta può comunque prenotare un volo su American e viceversa.

Wednesday 

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This is what Burger King’s new reusable packaging looks like

Burger King is planning to test reusable containers starting next year as part of its efforts to reduce waste. The trial is part of a partnership with TerraCycle’s zero-waste delivery platform, Loop. Customers can opt in for reusable packaging for menu items such as sandwiches, soft drinks and coffee. They can then return the reusable sandwich container or beverage cup to Burger King restaurants to be cleaned and reused. But for those who participate, the program comes with a cost: Customers will be charged a small deposit upon purchase, and once the packaging is returned, they’ll receive a refund. The reusable containers and cups will be introduced at select restaurants in New York, Portland and Tokyo. The fast food giant says it plans to add more cities following its first three locations afterward

Ecco come si presenta la nuova confezione riutilizzabile di Burger King

Burger King ha in programma di testare i contenitori riutilizzabili a partire dal prossimo anno come parte dei suoi sforzi per ridurre i rifiuti. Il test fa parte di una partnership con la piattaforma di consegna a rifiuti zero di TerraCycle, Loop. I clienti possono optare per imballaggi riutilizzabili per le voci di menu come panini, bevande analcoliche e caffè. Possono poi restituire il contenitore riutilizzabile per panini o la tazza per bevande ai ristoranti Burger King per essere puliti e riutilizzati. Ma per coloro che partecipano, il programma ha un costo: Ai clienti verrà addebitato un piccolo deposito al momento dell’acquisto, e una volta restituito l’imballaggio, riceveranno un rimborso. I contenitori e le tazze riutilizzabili saranno introdotti in ristoranti selezionati di New York, Portland e Tokyo. Il gigante del fast food dice di voler aggiungere altre città dopo le prime tre sedi. 

Thursday 

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Smart sensors could track social distancing in the office

If businesses are to get reluctant workers back into the office, finding ways to maintain social distancing will be key. An Israeli company thinks it can help, using smart sensors mounted on workplace ceilings. PointGrab developed its technology before the pandemic to help workspace managers optimize how employees use office space.  About the size of a smoke alarm, the sensors can record the exact number and location of people in buildings including offices, hotels and restaurants. One of the company’s first clients was Deloitte, which installed the system at its flagship London office last year. PointGrab’s sensors were connected to screens in the building to show the availability of desks and shared areas in real time. PointGrab CEO says it was one of a range of innovations that helped Deloitte fit 30% more people into 3% less space. 

I sensori intelligenti potrebbero tracciare le distanze sociali in ufficio

Se le aziende devono far rientrare in ufficio i lavoratori riluttanti, sarà fondamentale trovare il modo di mantenere la distanza sociale. Un’azienda israeliana pensa di poter aiutare, utilizzando sensori intelligenti montati sul soffitto del posto di lavoro. PointGrab ha sviluppato la sua tecnologia prima della pandemia per aiutare i manager dello spazio di lavoro a ottimizzare l’uso dello spazio dell’ufficio da parte dei dipendenti.  Circa le dimensioni di un allarme antifumo, i sensori possono registrare il numero esatto e la posizione delle persone negli edifici, compresi uffici, alberghi e ristoranti. Uno dei primi clienti dell’azienda è stato Deloitte, che l’anno scorso ha installato il sistema nella sua sede principale di Londra. I sensori di PointGrab sono stati collegati agli schermi dell’edificio per mostrare la disponibilità di scrivanie e aree condivise in tempo reale. Il CEO di PointGrab afferma che è stata una delle innovazioni che hanno aiutato Deloitte ad inserire il 30% di persone in più nel 3% di spazio in meno. 

Friday 

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The first firefighting robot in America is here — and it has already helped fight a major fire in Los Angeles

A newly recruited firefighter in Los Angeles put out a major fire even before being formally introduced at a news conference. That new recruit is a robot. The Thermite RS3, the first robotic firefighting vehicle in the United States, was scheduled to arrive at the news conference the morning of October 13, but it was diverted to a major emergency structure fire in the fashion district in Downtown Los Angeles earlier that day. The Los Angeles Fire Department is the first in the nation to add a robotic firefighting vehicle to its fleet. The roughly $277,000 purchase was made by the LAFD Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting the department. The tool will be used in situations where risk to firefighters would be high, for example in the case of buildings that become structurally unstable, or when hazardous materials are involved.

Il primo robot antincendio in America è qui – e ha già aiutato a combattere un grande incendio a Los Angeles

Un vigile del fuoco appena assunto a Los Angeles ha spento un grosso incendio prima ancora di essere presentato formalmente ad una conferenza stampa. La nuova recluta è un robot. La Thermite RS3, il primo veicolo robotico antincendio degli Stati Uniti, avrebbe dovuto arrivare alla conferenza stampa la mattina del 13 ottobre, ma è stato deviato verso un grande incendio di una struttura di emergenza nel quartiere della moda nel centro di Los Angeles. Il dipartimento dei vigili del fuoco di Los Angeles è il primo nella nazione ad aggiungere un veicolo robotico antincendio alla sua flotta. L’acquisto di circa 277.000 dollari è stato fatto dalla LAFD Foundation, un’organizzazione no-profit che sostiene il dipartimento. Lo strumento sarà utilizzato in situazioni in cui il rischio per i vigili del fuoco sarebbe elevato, ad esempio nel caso di edifici che diventano strutturalmente instabili, o quando sono coinvolti materiali pericolosi.

Daily Reading Vocabulary Masterclass – Week 2

 

Monday

dog

Demand for pets is soaring during the pandemic. This company is cashing in

When the pandemic first hit, things were looking precarious for pet supply company West Paw’s ordinarily steady business. But then people were suddenly spending more time at home, locked inside with their pets. People who’d never owned pets before started adopting them in drovesThat’s resulted in extra attention — and dollars — going toward humanity’s best friend. Pet supplies, toys, beds, and grooming products saw double-digit percentage increases in sales from late-March through early July, compared to the same period a year earlier, according to research from market research firms SPINS and IRI. West Paw’s sales in recent months have responded accordingly. From May through September, they were up 55% from the same period last year. One of the bestsellers has been the Toppl — a bowl-shaped, treat-dispensing puzzle toy — which has seen its year-to-date sales jump 160%, Spencer Williams, CEO, said, noting the puzzle toy category has grown about 125% year-to-date.

La domanda di animali domestici è in aumento durante la pandemia. Questa azienda sta incassando

Quando la pandemia ha colpito per la prima volta, le cose sembravano precarie per l’azienda di fornitura di animali domestici West Paw, che di solito ha un’attività costante. Ma poi la gente passava improvvisamente più tempo a casa, chiusa dentro con i propri animali domestici. Le persone che non avevano mai posseduto animali domestici prima hanno iniziato ad adottarli a frotte. Questo ha portato a un’attenzione extra – e dollari – verso il migliore amico dell’umanità. Forniture per animali domestici, giocattoli, letti e prodotti per la toelettatura hanno visto un aumento percentuale a due cifre delle vendite dalla fine di marzo all’inizio di luglio, rispetto allo stesso periodo dell’anno precedente, secondo le ricerche delle società di ricerche di mercato SPINS e IRI. Le vendite di West Paw negli ultimi mesi hanno risposto di conseguenza. Da maggio a settembre sono aumentate del 55% rispetto allo stesso periodo dell’anno precedente. Uno dei bestseller è stato il Toppl – un giocattolo puzzle a forma di ciotola, che ha visto le sue vendite annuali salire del 160%, ha detto Spencer Williams, CEO, notando che la categoria dei giocattoli puzzle è cresciuta di circa il 125% rispetto allo stesso periodo dell’anno scorso.

Tuesday

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How to ask for a raise in the middle of a pandemic

You’ve been working longer days and increasing your output, taking on more responsibilities, and really stepping up. You’ve earned a pay raise. But is now the time to ask? With massive job losses and continued economic uncertainty as the pandemic drags on, workers might be hesitant to ask for anything, let alone a raise. “If you are in a place where you’ve had a significant impact on the organization and taken on more responsibility and the company isn’t saying, ‘Have some more money or this promotion,’ you do owe it to yourself to ask,” said Kate Dixon, author of “Pay UP!: Unlocking Insider Secrets of Salary Negotiation. “They may not say yes, but what if they do?” Starting the conversation about a pay raise can be uncomfortable during normal times, but it gets a little more complicated in the middle of an economic slowdown. Before you start negotiating, assess your company’s health. The argument that you are working hard isn’t going to result in a raise. It’s all about showing the value you bring to the company. Come to the meeting prepared with detailed examples of how you’ve helped the company. Do your homework to find out what your peers with similar experience in your industry and in your area are making. There are many online tools that provide salary estimates, including Glassdoor, Indeed and Salary.com. Even if you aren’t successful in getting a raise, there are still benefits just from asking.

Come chiedere un aumento nel bel mezzo di una pandemia

Hai lavorato più a lungo e hai aumentato la tua produzione, assumendoti più responsabilità e facendoti davvero avanti. Ti sei guadagnato un aumento di stipendio. Ma è il momento di chiederlo? Con le massicce perdite di posti di lavoro e la continua incertezza economica che la pandemia si trascina, i lavoratori potrebbero esitare a chiedere qualsiasi cosa, per non parlare di un aumento. “Se ti trovi in una situazione in cui hai avuto un impatto significativo sull’organizzazione e ti sei assunto maggiori responsabilità e l’azienda non ti dice: ‘Avere un po’ più di soldi o questa promozione’, devi chiedere a te stesso”, ha detto Kate Dixon, autrice di “Pay UP! Svelare i segreti degli insider della negoziazione salariale. “Potrebbero non dire di sì, ma se lo facessero?”. Iniziare la conversazione su un aumento di stipendio può essere scomodo in tempi normali, ma diventa un po’ più complicato nel bel mezzo di un rallentamento economico. Prima di iniziare a negoziare, valutate lo stato di salute della vostra azienda. L’argomentazione secondo cui si sta lavorando sodo non si tradurrà in un aumento. Si tratta di mostrare il valore che apporti all’azienda. Venite all’incontro preparato con esempi dettagliati di come avete aiutato l’azienda. Fate i vostri compiti per scoprire cosa stanno facendo i vostri colleghi con un’esperienza simile nel vostro settore e nella vostra area. Ci sono molti strumenti online che forniscono stime di stipendio, tra cui Glassdoor, Indeed e Salary.com. Anche se non riesci ad ottenere un aumento, ci sono comunque dei benefici anche solo chiedendo.

Wednesday 

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Finland PM’s photoshoot sparks sexism debate

A photo shoot involving Finland’s Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, has sparked a debate about sexism in the country. Marin, who became the world’s youngest Prime Minister when she took office aged 34 last year, posed for the October issue of Trendi magazine wearing a blazer, with no shirt underneathMari Paalosalo-Jussinmäki, director of women’s media at A-lehdet magazine group — publisher of Trendi — told CNN that there was an “enormous” backlash against the photoshoot and cover story in Finland. She said the magazine received fierce criticism on social media soon after it was released on October 9. “If you had to generalize it, it will be men saying it was wrong, and women saying it was fabulous,” Paalosalo-Jussinmäki said. “It was a little bit surprising,” she said, adding: “We’ve had that sort of photo before, obviously, in a woman’s glossy fashion magazine: we have portrayed women in blazers with nothing underneath for years and years, with famous people, and they had never created any response like this.” Paalosalo-Jussinmäki told CNN that many critics of the cover story seemed upset that the Prime Minister had featured in a women’s lifestyle magazine, and some were angry that she did so as the government deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Il servizio fotografico del premier finlandese scatena il dibattito sul sessismo

Un servizio fotografico che ha coinvolto il primo ministro finlandese Sanna Marin ha scatenato un dibattito sul sessismo nel paese. Marin, che è diventata il primo ministro più giovane al mondo quando ha assunto l’incarico a 34 anni l’anno scorso, ha posato per il numero di ottobre della rivista Trendi indossando un blazer, senza camicia sotto. Mari Paalosalo-Jussinmäki, direttrice dei media femminili del gruppo A-lehdet magazine group – editore di Trendi – ha raccontato alla CNN che c’è stato un “enorme” contraccolpo contro il servizio fotografico e la storia di copertina in Finlandia. Ha detto che la rivista ha ricevuto critiche feroci sui social media subito dopo la sua uscita il 9 ottobre. “Se si deve generalizzare, saranno gli uomini a dire che era sbagliato, e le donne a dire che era favolosa”, ha detto Paalosalo-Jussinmäki. “È stato un po’ sorprendente”, ha detto, aggiungendo: “Abbiamo già avuto questo tipo di foto in passato, ovviamente, in una rivista di moda femminile patinata: per anni e anni abbiamo ritratto donne in giacca senza niente sotto, con personaggi famosi, e non avevano mai creato una risposta del genere”. Paalosalo-Jussinmäki ha detto alla CNN che molti critici della storia di copertina sembravano sconvolti dal fatto che il Primo Ministro fosse apparsa in una rivista di lifestyle femminile, e alcuni erano arrabbiati perché lo aveva fatto mentre il governo si occupava della pandemia di coronavirus.

Thursday 

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Air New Zealand offers ‘mystery breaks’ to lure travelers back

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, all of travel seems like a big question mark. So, one airline argues, why not embrace that question mark? Air New Zealand is bringing back its Mystery Breaks program, where travelers pay a flat fee to book an entire vacation package with the airline and agree not to find out their destination until two days before they leave. The packages, which begin at $599 AUD ($422 USD), allow travelers to choose from three tiers — Great, Deluxe or Luxury. They will also select the dates they wish to travel and one place they are not interested in going. The airline flies to 20 destinations in New Zealand, including Art Deco-filled Napier, adventure capital Queensland and historic DunedinThe accommodations will be at an Accor Hotel and car hires by Avis, as both brands are partners with Air New Zealand. New Zealand has been successful at containing coronavirus within its borders, but residents are unable to travel anywhere outside the country, save a few Australian states, without quarantining or going through other security measures upon their returnAccording to the New Zealand Ministry of Health, the country has had 1,531 confirmed coronavirus cases within its borders, and just 25 deaths. Nationwide coronavirus restrictions were lifted in June. There are presently no limits on domestic travel.

Air New Zealand offre “pause misteriose” per attirare i viaggiatori

In mezzo alla pandemia di Covid-19, tutti i viaggi sembrano un grande punto interrogativo. Così, una compagnia aerea sostiene, perché non abbracciare quel punto interrogativo? Air New Zealand sta riportando il suo programma Mystery Breaks, dove i viaggiatori pagano una quota fissa per prenotare un intero pacchetto vacanza con la compagnia aerea e accettano di non scoprire la loro destinazione fino a due giorni prima della partenza. I pacchetti, che partono da $599 AUD ($422 USD), permettono ai viaggiatori di scegliere tra tre livelli: Great, Deluxe o Luxury. Selezioneranno anche le date in cui desiderano viaggiare e un posto dove non sono interessati ad andare. La compagnia aerea vola verso 20 destinazioni in Nuova Zelanda, tra cui Napier, la capitale dell’avventura Queensland e la storica Dunedin. Le sistemazioni saranno presso un hotel Accor e autonoleggio Avis, in quanto entrambi i marchi sono partner di Air New Zealand. La Nuova Zelanda è riuscita a contenere il coronavirus all’interno dei suoi confini, ma i residenti non sono in grado di viaggiare al di fuori del Paese, salvo alcuni stati australiani, senza dover ricorrere a quarantena o ad altre misure di sicurezza al loro ritorno. Secondo il Ministero della Salute neozelandese, il Paese ha avuto 1.531 casi confermati di coronavirus all’interno dei suoi confini e solo 25 morti. Le restrizioni sul coronavirus a livello nazionale sono state revocate a giugno. Attualmente non ci sono limiti ai viaggi nazionali.

Friday 

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Struggling to work productively from home? Let strangers watch you

Some days Diana Calvo Martínez works at the laboratory, moving from microscope to test tube, studying microbes. Other days she’s analyzing graphs from her living room, or has her head down writing her thesis from the kitchen table. Occasionally, she’s washing the dishes or cleaning the floor. These may seem like standard activities for someone completing a PhD in environmental biotechnology. What’s unusual is that she performs all these tasks in front of an audience of strangers on her laptop screen. Calvo Martínez, 35, is using Ultraworking, an online “work gym,” where people from all over the world gather on a group Zoom call, leaving their cameras on, and work side-by-side in 30-minute cycles. Each cycle is led by a moderator, who notifies users when the time is up and chairs a 10-minute break during which people can interact. Users currently pay $49 a month for unlimited work cycles available 24 hours a day. The cycles are designed to encourage concentration and productivity, while also providing structure and company.

Lottando per lavorare in modo produttivo da casa? Lasciatevi guardare da estranei

Alcuni giorni Diana Calvo Martínez lavora in laboratorio, passando dal microscopio alla provetta, studiando i microbi. Altri giorni analizza i grafici dal suo soggiorno, oppure si fa scrivere la tesi a testa in giù dal tavolo della cucina. Ogni tanto lava i piatti o pulisce il pavimento. Queste possono sembrare attività standard per chi sta completando un dottorato di ricerca in biotecnologie ambientali. La cosa insolita è che svolge tutte queste attività davanti a un pubblico di sconosciuti sullo schermo del suo portatile. Calvo Martínez, 35 anni, utilizza Ultraworking, una “palestra di lavoro” online, dove persone provenienti da tutto il mondo si riuniscono su una chiamata di gruppo Zoom, lasciando le loro telecamere accese, e lavorano fianco a fianco in cicli di 30 minuti. Ogni ciclo è guidato da un moderatore, che avvisa gli utenti quando il tempo è scaduto e presiede una pausa di 10 minuti durante la quale le persone possono interagire. Attualmente gli utenti pagano 49 dollari al mese per cicli di lavoro illimitati disponibili 24 ore al giorno. I cicli sono progettati per incoraggiare la concentrazione e la produttività, fornendo al tempo stesso struttura e azienda.

News with Marcus Volume 3

Question: Have you seen anything crazy on your way to work?

Question: What have you seen while waiting for an appointment?

Question: What “standard” thing would you like to change?

Question: What foods do love and what foods always make you make a strange face?

Question: What are your tips for working from home?

Daily Reading Vocabulary Masterclass – Week 1

Monday

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 Trump chooses denial and recklessness as he’s set to resume campaign rallies

As President Donald Trump stood on a White House balcony Saturday — spewing mistruths about his opponent’s plan for policing and claiming the coronavirus is “disappearing”while hundreds of people watched from below— it was clear that his illness has taught him very little and he will continue to endanger Americans until Election Day. There was a chance for a strategic pivot by the President after he contracted Covid-19 that would have helped him shore up his flagging approval ratings on the handling of the virus. After learning a great deal about coronavirus, as he claimed during his stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he could have chosen a path of responsibility by using his platform to educate the public about the risks of the virus at a time when US cases are surging and doctors fear that the nation is entering a second wave.

Question: Have you ever been in a situation where you should have changed your mind but decided to be stubborn instead?

Italian

Mentre il presidente Donald Trump stava in piedi sul balcone della Casa Bianca sabato – spargendo menzogne sul piano di polizia del suo avversario e sostenendo che il coronavirus sta “scomparendo” mentre centinaia di persone lo guardavano dal basso– era chiaro che la sua malattia gli ha insegnato molto poco e che continuerà a mettere in pericolo gli americani fino al giorno delle elezioni. C’è stata la possibilità di un perno strategico da parte del Presidente dopo aver contratto il Covid-19 che lo avrebbe aiutato a puntellare i suoi voti di approvazione sulla gestione del virus. Dopo aver appreso molto sul coronavirus, come ha affermato durante la sua permanenza al Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, avrebbe potuto scegliere un percorso di responsabilità usando la sua piattaforma per educare il pubblico sui rischi del virus in un momento in cui i casi americani sono in aumento e i medici temono che la nazione stia entrando in una seconda ondata.

Domanda: Ti sei mai trovato in una situazione in cui avresti dovuto cambiare idea e invece hai deciso di essere testardo?

Tuesday

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Prime Day, peak season and the pandemic: Amazon warehouse workers brace for the months ahead

Amazon is gearing up for one of its largest shopping events of the year, which is set to begin Tuesday. When layered on top of the ongoing pandemic and followed closely by the start of the holiday shopping season, some workers are worried about risks to their health and their jobs. CNN Business spoke to ten Amazon warehouse employees about pandemic-related conditions and what it has been like to work past Prime Days and holiday seasons. Some spoke on the record, while others spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. Attitudes about pandemic-related policies varied depending on which warehouse, and which department, workers were in. At one warehouse, workers expressed concerns about the ability to follow social distancing guidelines and being reprimanded if unable to do so. In others, workers were stressed in anticipation of the extra work. Under normal circumstances, Amazon warehouses are teeming with activity and workers, but demand spurred by the pandemic sent that into overdrive. Beginning in March, Amazon hired 175,000 temporary employees to keep up with the surge in orders, later stating it would keep 70% of them permanently. In September, the company announced plans to hire an additional 100,000 employees across its operations, telling Reuters it was still evaluating demand for seasonal employment. Last year it announced it would bring on 200,000 workers for seasonal needs. 

Question: Are you more worried about the risks of Covid-19 or the stress and frustration of living and working in lockdown?

Italian

Amazon si sta preparando per uno dei suoi più grandi eventi di shopping dell’anno, che inizierà martedì. Quando si stratifica sulla pandemia in corso e segue da vicino l’inizio della stagione degli acquisti per le vacanze, alcuni lavoratori sono preoccupati per i rischi per la loro salute e per il loro lavoro. La CNN Business ha parlato con dieci dipendenti del magazzino di Amazon delle condizioni legate alla pandemia e di come è stato lavorare dopo le prime giornate e le festività natalizie. Alcuni hanno parlato a voce alta, mentre altri hanno parlato in condizioni di anonimato per paura di ritorsioni. L’atteggiamento nei confronti delle politiche relative alla pandemia variava a seconda del magazzino e del reparto in cui si trovavano i lavoratori. In un magazzino, i lavoratori hanno espresso preoccupazioni circa la capacità di seguire le linee guida per l’allontanamento sociale e di essere rimproverati se non sono in grado di farlo. In altri, i lavoratori sono stati stressati in previsione del lavoro extra. In circostanze normali, i magazzini di Amazon brulicano di attività e di lavoratori, ma la domanda, stimolata dalla pandemia, ha mandato tutto all’aria. A partire da marzo, Amazon ha assunto 175.000 dipendenti temporanei per tenere il passo con l’aumento degli ordini, dichiarando in seguito che ne avrebbe mantenuto il 70% in modo permanente. A settembre, l’azienda ha annunciato l’intenzione di assumere altri 100.000 dipendenti in tutte le sue attività, dicendo alla Reuters che stava ancora valutando la domanda di lavoro stagionale. L’anno scorso ha annunciato che avrebbe portato 200.000 lavoratori per le esigenze stagionali.

Domanda: Siete più preoccupati per i rischi di Covid-19 o per lo stress e la frustrazione di vivere e lavorare in isolamento?

Wednesday 

travel stranger

No one wanted to travel with me, so I went on vacation with a total stranger

In a year of lockdowns, flight bans and general coronavirus chaos, there are still some options for people seeking overseas adventures. But what happens if you are the only one in your friend group willing to travel during these strange times? That’s exactly what happened to both Josiah Burton and Therese Rocca. No one wanted to travel with them. And so, even though they were total strangers, they decided to go on vacation together. “I was supposed to be going to Japan with a friend, but Japan is now closed,” Burton, a 32-year-old from Iowa, tells CNN Travel. “So, I was looking for a country open to Americans.
“My friend decided he didn’t want to travel during the coronavirus, but I still wanted to go. I was originally looking at Croatia, but you needed a negative Covid test within 72 hours. Turkey didn’t have any such requirement, so I chose there.” With no one to go with, he turned to 10XTravel, a Facebook group followed by 40,000 people that offers advice on ways to save money on the road. “I didn’t really want to travel alone, so I posted a message in the Facebook group that if anyone’s interested in coming or meeting up, or who will be in Turkey at the same time, to let me know.” Rocca, 36, from Denver, saw the message and responded almost immediately.
 
Question: Have you ever traveled with a stranger? Would you like to try?
 

Italian

In un anno di blocchi, divieti di volo e caos generale da coronavirus, ci sono ancora alcune opzioni per chi cerca avventure oltreoceano. Ma cosa succede se sei l’unico del tuo gruppo di amici disposto a viaggiare in questi strani tempi? È esattamente quello che è successo sia a Josiah Burton che a Therese Rocca. Nessuno voleva viaggiare con loro. E così, anche se erano dei perfetti sconosciuti, hanno deciso di andare in vacanza insieme. “Dovevo andare in Giappone con un amico, ma ora il Giappone è chiuso”, racconta alla CNN Travel Burton, un 32enne dell’Iowa. “Quindi, stavo cercando un paese aperto agli americani.
“Il mio amico ha deciso che non voleva viaggiare durante il coronavirus, ma io volevo comunque andarci. All’inizio stavo guardando la Croazia, ma il test Covid era negativo entro 72 ore. La Turchia non aveva questo requisito, così ho scelto di andare lì”. Non avendo nessuno con cui andarci, si è rivolto a 10XTravel, un gruppo di Facebook seguito da 40.000 persone che offre consigli su come risparmiare in viaggio. “Non volevo viaggiare da solo, così ho postato un messaggio nel gruppo di Facebook che se qualcuno è interessato a venire o a incontrarsi, o che sarà in Turchia allo stesso tempo, mi faccia sapere”. Rocca, 36 anni, di Denver, ha visto il messaggio e ha risposto quasi subito.
 
Domanda: Hai mai viaggiato con uno sconosciuto? Ti piacerebbe provare?

Thursday 

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Researchers gave thousands of dollars to homeless people. The results defied stereotypes.

You’ve heard this refrain before — giving money to homeless people is not the best way to help them because it might be squandered, or spent on harmful habits. But a new Canadian study makes a powerful case to the contrary. The study, dubbed “The New Leaf Project,” is an initiative of Foundations for Social Change, a charitable organization based in Vancouver, in partnership with the University of British Columbia. Researchers gave 50 recently homeless people a lump sum of 7,500 Canadian dollars (nearly $5,700). They followed the cash recipients’ life over 12-18 months and compared their outcomes to that of a control group who didn’t receive the payment. The preliminary findings, which will be peer-reviewed next year, show that those who received cash were able to find stable housing faster, on average. By comparison, those who didn’t receive cash lagged about 12 months behind in securing more permanent housingPeople who received cash were able to access the food they needed to live faster. Nearly 70% did after one month, and maintained greater food security throughout the year. The recipients spent more on food, clothing and rent, while there was a 39% decrease in spending on goods like alcohol, cigarettes or drugs.

Question: Do you normally give money to homeless people? What do you think is the best way to help them?

Italian

Avete già sentito questo ritornello – dare denaro ai senzatetto non è il modo migliore per aiutarli perché potrebbe essere sprecato, o speso per abitudini dannose. Ma un nuovo studio canadese sostiene il contrario. Lo studio, soprannominato “The New Leaf Project”, è un’iniziativa delle Fondazioni per il cambiamento sociale, un’organizzazione caritatevole con sede a Vancouver, in collaborazione con la University of British Columbia. I ricercatori hanno dato a 50 persone senza tetto, recentemente, una somma forfettaria di 7.500 dollari canadesi (quasi 5.700 dollari). Hanno seguito la vita dei destinatari del denaro per 12-18 mesi e hanno confrontato i loro risultati con quelli di un gruppo di controllo che non ha ricevuto il pagamento. I risultati preliminari, che saranno sottoposti a una valutazione tra pari il prossimo anno, mostrano che coloro che hanno ricevuto denaro contante sono stati in grado di trovare un alloggio stabile più velocemente, in media. In confronto, coloro che non hanno ricevuto denaro contante sono rimasti indietro di circa 12 mesi nella ricerca di un alloggio più stabile. Le persone che hanno ricevuto denaro contante sono state in grado di accedere al cibo di cui avevano bisogno per vivere più velocemente. Quasi il 70% lo ha fatto dopo un mese e ha mantenuto una maggiore sicurezza alimentare durante tutto l’anno. I beneficiari hanno speso di più per il cibo, il vestiario e l’affitto, mentre c’è stata una diminuzione del 39% della spesa per beni come alcol, sigarette o droghe.

Domanda: Di solito date soldi ai senzatetto? Quale pensi sia il modo migliore per aiutarli?

Friday 

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California wildfires ravage dozens of family-run wineries

The sight is every winemaker‘s nightmare“Smoke-tainted” grapes, blackened casks of wine, charred and broken bottles where once there were picturesque vineyardsIn California’s celebrated Napa Valley, instead of welcoming visitors to their wineries for the autumn harvest season, winemakers this year are looking at decimated vineyards. Massive wind-driven wildfires have damaged and destroyed dozens of the region’s famed wineries, many of them family-owned businesses. And the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t helped either. But despite major losses, some Napa Valley winemakers say they hope to attract visitors soon to uphold the region’s reputation for making some of the world’s finest wines. Fairwinds Estate Winery is one of them. The historic property known for being the fourth winery established in Napa Valley shortly after prohibition, has been nearly destroyed by the Glass Fire. Over 40,000 square-feet of production facilities and a tasting room were completely gutted. Hundreds of bottles of wine were cracked in the heat of the flames, and tanks of unused wine have been damaged beyond repair, said Brandon Chaney, proprietor and CEO of Fairwinds Estate Winery.

Question: Have you ever lost or had anything damaged in a dramatic way?

Italian

La vista è l’incubo di ogni viticoltore. Uve “affumicate”, botti di vino annerite, bottiglie carbonizzate e rotte dove un tempo c’erano pittoreschi vigneti. Nella celebre Napa Valley della California, invece di accogliere i visitatori nelle loro cantine per la stagione della vendemmia autunnale, quest’anno i viticoltori guardano ai vigneti decimati. Enormi incendi provocati dal vento hanno danneggiato e distrutto decine di aziende vinicole famose della regione, molte delle quali a conduzione familiare. E nemmeno la pandemia di coronavirus ha aiutato. Ma nonostante le gravi perdite, alcuni viticoltori della Napa Valley dicono di sperare di attrarre presto visitatori per sostenere la reputazione della regione di produrre alcuni dei migliori vini del mondo. Fairwinds Estate Winery è uno di questi. La storica proprietà, nota per essere la quarta cantina fondata nella Napa Valley poco dopo il divieto, è stata quasi distrutta dall’incendio del vetro. Oltre 40.000 metri quadrati di impianti di produzione e una sala di degustazione sono stati completamente sventrati. Centinaia di bottiglie di vino sono state incrinate dal calore delle fiamme e i serbatoi di vino inutilizzati sono stati danneggiati in modo irreparabile, ha detto Brandon Chaney, proprietario e amministratore delegato della Fairwinds Estate Winery.

Domanda: Hai mai perso o hai mai avuto qualcosa di danneggiato in modo drammatico?

News with Marcus Volume 2

Question: Love it or hate it?

Parents sue Louisiana school district after 4th grader suspended for BB gun during virtual class at home

Ka Mauri Harrison, 9, pictured in his home participating in virtual learning. Ka Mauri was suspended from Woodmere Elementary School in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, after a teacher said a gun was seen in his bedroom during a virtual class.

Question: Have you ever gotten in trouble at school? If so, for what?

The parents of a Louisiana fourth grader suspended over a BB gun in his bedroom visible during a virtual class have sued the school district, the family attorney says. The lawsuit filed Friday against the Jefferson Parish School Board and officials on behalf of the family of Ka’Mauri Harrison seeks damages of at least $50,000 for “mental pain, suffering, anguish and embarrassment, humiliation and loss of self-esteem, future counseling and tutoring and lost income,” the lawsuit said. amily attorney Chelsea Cusimano said earlier that school officials went too far — applying its on-campus weapons policy without considering the privacy of the child and his family.

Question: Do you have a special talent?

A woman who stole goods for 19 years and sold them on eBay has been sentenced to prison and ordered to pay $3.8M

Question:Have you heard any crazy stories about shoplifting or stealing in general?

A Texas woman has been sentenced to 54 months in federal prison for stealing millions of dollars in merchandise and selling it on eBay. Kim Richardson, 63, agreed to pay $3.8 million in restitution following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Secret Service, US Attorney Ryan K. Patrick announced in a news release on Thursday.  The Dallas resident shoplifted during her travels across the US and then sold the merchandise on eBay and via direct Internet sales before mailing the items by US mail, Federal Express and United Parcel Service.  “Richardson stole items from numerous retail stores. She used shoplifting tools to disable security devices and would exit the store by placing the stolen merchandise in a large black bag she carried,” the news release said. Buyers who purchased the stolen goods sent about $3.8 million into four PayPal accounts linked to Richardson.

Question: Is your house normally messy or organized?

News With Marcus Volume 1

Question: Have you ever received an incredible unexpected surprise?

Question: Are you more concerned with security or privacy?

Ring, the Amazon-owned home security business, introduced a flying camera on Thursday that may excite home-surveillance fans but is almost certain to rankle privacy advocates. The $250 drone, called Ring Always Home Cam, is among a slew of products unveiled during Amazon’s invitation-only online hardware event.The drone is small and light, with a high-definition camera, and it can automatically fly on preset paths to specific spots in your home, streaming video to your smartphone of what it sees along the way. Users can set up paths for the drone via a smartphone app, or if the drone detects motion in a part of your home it can fly on its own to that spot and take video of what’s going on. Set for release next year, the drone is meant for indoor use only, and it can be set to work with the Ring Alarm system so that it will fly a preset route if the alarm is triggered.

Question: Would you make guests get tested at your wedding or event?

In a Covid-19 world, what’s next for deluxe, all-you-can-eat buffets?

Question: Are buffets dead forever? Do you have any buffet stories?

David Yeskel remembers the days of yore with packed shows and crowded casinos and, especially, all-you-can-eat buffets.Yeskel, a Las Vegas travel writer known as “The Vegas Guru,” remembers the endless supplies of caviar at the Bellagio. The Peking duck pancakes made to order at the Wynn. The foie gras peanut-butter-and-jelly at the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars. Endless stacks of crab legs and racks of spare ribs and crocks of chocolate mousse. The buffets could cost a pretty casino chip — $40 and $50 and even $100 a head — but it was Vegas, baby. They were temples to appetite; they filled tourists with wonder.”There’s nothing like them in any other destination for both quantity and quality,” he says in a phone call. “The Vegas buffet had become an iconic thing in its own way. They were over the top, like everything else in Vegas, with delicacies you’d find at no other buffet anywhere else.”Those days weren’t so long ago. But now, in the Covid-19 world, the high-end all-you-can-eat Vegas buffets have been mostly shuttered, with a handful of exceptions. The buffet at the Wynn, which reopened in June with guests ordering from servers who delivered their food to the table — close to a standard restaurant operation, in other words — closed in early September “based upon guest feedback,” the hotel said in a statement.

Question: What would you like to change about your house?

Question: What national food day would you like to create?

Rome’s Fiumicino Airport awarded world’s first five-star anti-Covid award

Question: Where would you like to visit when the travel restrictions are lifted?

Travelers eager to fly again may want to consider Italy as their next destination.Rome’s Fiumicino Airport has become the first airport in the world to earn “the COVID-19 5-Star Airport Rating” from Skytrax, an international airport industry ratings body.Though Skytrax is best known for its annual rankings of the world’s best airports, the global Covid-19 crisis prompted the organization to come up with a designation for airport hygiene.

According to a release from Skytrax, the organization based its rating on “a combination of procedural efficiency checks, visual observation analysis and ATP sampling tests.”Fiumicino Airport (FCO), also known as Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport, is the busiest airport in Italy. On September 1, the airport opened a 7,000-square-foot Covid testing center, which is co-managed with the Italian Red Cross.But it’s not only organized, rapid testing that Skytrax noted in its review of FCO. The airport scored points for having easy-to-read signage in multiple languages, strict enforcement of mask wearing, visibly present cleaning staff and efficiency thanks to the consolidation of all incoming and outgoing flights to a single terminal for easier tracking.

Renters in U.S. cannot be evicted through the end of the year due to coronavirus, CDC order states

rent

Question: Is this the right thing to do in your opinion?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention implemented a temporary eviction moratorium through the end of the year, protecting U.S. renters from losing their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration announced Tuesday.

The CDC’s moratorium will apply to all rental units nationwide until Dec. 31 and goes into effect immediately, senior administration officials said of an unpublished CDC agency order. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a U.S. House of Representatives panel Tuesday that the moratorium would cover around 40 million renters.

A previous federal eviction moratorium created by the CARES Act ended in late July and only applied to federally-funded housing, including rental units with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The moratorium will apply to any state in which there is not already a more protective ban in effect, according to the order. Multiple states have eviction moratoriums in place, including California, which established new rules in a late-night vote Monday.

Renters will be eligible for the moratorium’s protection if they received an economic impact payment, or stimulus check, as provided for by the CARES Act. Therefore, single renters must earn no more than $99,000 a year, while couples filing jointly can earn up to $198,000 annually.

Americans are saving more than just money by not commuting

bus-690508_1920Question: How much time and money have you saved since the beginning of quarantine?  

The pandemic lockdown has killed the work commute. And as the number of miles people travel every day has collapsed, commuters have saved themselves billions of dollars.

In June, Americans traveled nearly 37 billion — yes, billion — fewer miles than in the same month last year, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Usually, the number of miles traveled peaks in the summer when people go on vacation, but of course this summer is quite different.

That’s translating to a lot of cost savings: Workers who once commuted by car but now work from home are saving a total of $758 million per day, according to research from freelancing platform Upwork. Over the months since the pandemic hit the US, that figure amounts to a cumulative $90 billion.

The savings comprise gas, car maintenance and repairs, as well as the costs that driving imposes on society, such as congestion and polluting, said Adam Ozimek, chief economist at Upwork.

Coffee seltzer is a thing now — and here’s how to make it

 

Question: Do you like any cold coffee drinks? Have you ever created a new drink at home?

Coffee seltzer, espresso tonic, carbonated cold brew, iced coffee soda — one of these may sound familiar, or maybe this whole sparkling coffee trend is new to you. What is it? Well, it depends who you talk to, but essentially it’s a mix of some kind of coffee and some kind of sparkling drink, and it’s delicious. 

If you’ve ever gone to a high-end coffee shop and had a shot of espresso with a sidecar of sparkling water, that’s likely the inspiration for the coffee seltzer drinks we’ve seen trending right now. While recipes have been floating around on the internet for a couple of years, it seems like the dog days of summer have bubbled up the trend again. 

Roasters and baristas love to experiment, and many have created their own unique versions of the drink.

“We created a beverage that is some vanilla syrup with S.Pellegrino sparkling water and ice, and then we pour a double shot of our espresso on top,” “And people went bonkers. People love it. We also have a number of customers who really love it without the vanilla syrup, which gives it the sweetness that some customers really enjoy.”

And it’s not just vanilla that makes for a lovely accent to espresso. “We had an espresso honey tonic on our menu” . “We have a very engaged staff that loves to experiment, and we obviously allow that because a lot of good things come out of it.” 

Like many of our most innovative creations, coffee seltzers offer a chance for real experimentation. 

“We were playing around with the idea of a coffee seltzer, but everything was really bitter”. “We knew we wanted to sweeten it a little bit, but sugar really didn’t just seem like our thing. First we tried sugar. We tried even some mocha powder and things like that. And we really loved the idea of honey in there and just, it hit all the right notes and [turned] into this really pleasing, cool coffee drink that did really well for us.”

Both experts we spoke with had different techniques for mixing their drinks, with Marlette saying, “We start off with honey, then we pour the espresso, then we top it off with tonic water. No ice.”

“I personally do it seltzer first, then some ice, then the espresso on top,” says Higgins. “The alternative way is to do ice first, then the seltzer, then the espresso. But the important thing is to put the espresso last.”

As a fan myself, I make a shot of espresso and let it cool. Then I take an 8-ounce glass, add ice, pour lime or lemon seltzer and top with the shot of espresso. 

Whatever your method, it’s a fun drink to play around with at home during the warmer months, and even into fall. The most important thing is to use high-quality ingredients that you love!

MasterClass Sample

A Masterclass is a lesson to help you improve the other skills that you do not cover with me during our conversation lessons. Here you can improve your listening, reading, vocabulary and writing skills without wasting time searching for material. Also, differently than studying alone and wondering if you are improving or not, you will receive feedback directly from me. You can always decide if and when you would like to do a Masterclass which makes it very flexible and convenient. Each MasterClass lesson costs €30 and lasts 1 hour.

Listening

Reading

 

Vaccines are safe. But huge numbers of people around the world say they wouldn’t take a Covid jab

Susan Bailey, a 57-year-old retired nurse from Florida, has had all her jabs and gets a flu shot every year. She’s a vocal Joe Biden supporter — and one of a growing number of people globally who say they wouldn’t take a coronavirus vaccine even if one becomes available soon.”I’m not anti-vaccine. My kids were both vaccinated with everything, but I would not take a Covid vaccine today,” Bailey told CNN. “I have underlying health issues … I would want to see enough studies in a long-term period of what the ramifications are for the vaccine.”Bailey said she doesn’t trust US President Donald Trump, and that consensus around a vaccine among the world’s top scientists and at least six months of testing would be just “a start” in persuading her to take it. “It’s much too soon for me, I’d have to say, 18 months.”Infecting volunteers with Covid-19 might speed up the race for a vaccine. But it could be riskyHer trepidation is echoed by a significant proportion of adults all over the world, who reject the extreme views of the anti-vaccine community, but say they have major concerns about a coronavirus jab.

Overcrowded, overpriced and overwhelmed. The UK’s Covid-19 staycation nightmare

Beaches strewn with waste, wild campers destroying fragile habitats, warnings from an increasingly overstretched Coastguard, unaffordable accommodations. What was supposed to have been a Great British summer has, for many, become a staycation nightmare.Cut off by quarantine regulations from cheap trips to popular overseas destinations, UK vacationers were encouraged by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to enjoy their own, sometimes overlooked, holiday hotspots when Covid-19 lockdown measures eased in July.Brits have also been permitted to venture abroad, with those traveling to countries identified on a coronavirus “safe” list exempted from quarantine on their return. But with Spain, which usually attracts 18 million British tourists each year, hastily withdrawn from the list because of a virus resurgence and France, another popular destination, being dropped from the list this weekend, the demand for UK holidays has skyrocketed. The result has been clogged roads, emergency incidents on the most popular stretches of coastline, a rise in travel scams and soaring prices for accommodation.

Passports for purchase: How the elite get through a pandemic

For most people, the coronavirus pandemic has meant fewer travel options. Not so for super-rich families who are increasingly using their money to cross borders that would otherwise be closed to them. This is the elite world of investment migration, where passport applications are based not on nationality or citizenship, but on wealth and the willingness to move it around the planet.These so-called citizen-by-investment programs, or CIPs, are currently a growth industry, as are residence-by-investment arrangements, also known as “golden visas.”They’re a way for ultra-rich individuals to not only diversify their portfolio by moving their money into a country, but also receive the benefits of citizenship, including a new passport. Over the past five to 10 years, the primary motivations amongst CIP participants — who tend to have a net worth of anywhere from $2 million to over $50 million — have been freedom of movement, tax benefits and lifestyle factors, such as better education or civil liberties.But with Covid-19 dramatically transforming our 2020, some elite families are also considering healthcare, pandemic responses and potential safe havens to ensure they have a backup plan for the future.

 

Writing

Max 250 words

Feel free to respond to any or all of the questions below related to this MasterClass:

  1. Do you travel with pets? If not, do other people’s pets disturb you while on vacation?

2. Where would you like to host a slumber party?

3. Have any of your relationships suffered during Covid-19?

4. Would you take the Cover-19 vaccine if it were available?

5. Did you travel in your country instead of going abroad? Was it better or worse than expected?

6. Where would the best place to spend quarantine be for you?

Prague celebrates end of coronavirus lockdown with mass dinner party at 1,600-foot table

Le mie lezioni giornaliere sono gratuite per tutti. Se siete interessati a migliorare le vostre capacità di conversazione o di scrittura, contattatemi qui. Vi sto aspettando.

*NEW* American Sayings

Se si cresce sentendo sempre certe espressioni o frasi, può essere facile trascurare quanto siano effettivamente strane. È il caso di una serie di americanismi – i detti americani che siamo talmente abituati a pronunciare che ci dimentichiamo che in realtà non hanno alcun senso o sono stati così lontani dai loro significati originali che ci vuole un linguista per collegarli. Spesso ci vuole un estraneo per far notare quanto siano strane alcune espressioni americane – uno straniero che può alzare un sopracciglio nella confusione al giro di parole che molti negli Stati Uniti danno per scontato. Vi insegnerò 30 di queste frasi americane che lasciano i non americani a grattarsi la testa.

concept-1868728_1920

“Up my alley” – If something is right up your alley, it is the kind of thing you like or know about.

Vocabulary Word of the Day

noodles-3029166_1920

CLAMS – VONGOLE

Improve your listening skills

(cliccare “cc” nell’angolo in basso a destra del video per vedere i sottotitoli quando sono disponibili: Ricordate, guardare i video senza sottotitoli vi aiuterà a sviluppare ancora di più le vostre capacità di ascolto perché non sarete distratti. Provate a guardare il video una seconda volta se avete difficoltà a capire la prima volta. )

Improve your reading skills and vocabulary

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People in the Czech capital, Prague, built a 1,600-foot table and held a massive public dinner party on Tuesday, to celebrate the end of the country’s coronavirus lockdown. Residents stretched through the city’s streets and over its famous Charles Bridge after the government lifted restrictions on large gatherings. The Czech Republic was quick to implement a lockdown at the start of the global coronavirus outbreak and became one of the first countries to tell its citizens to wear masks — helping it avoid the worst of the pandemic and ease restrictions earlier than many other nations. This meant that locals could enjoy a jaw-dropping spectacle of alfresco dining and forgo social distancing to celebrate the country’s progress. But the World Health Organization has warned that the pandemic is not over, and the Czech Republic is still banning many foreigners from crossing its borders — a rule that allowed the event to take place. “We want to celebrate the end of the coronavirus crisis with people meeting up and showing they’re no longer afraid to meet others. That they aren’t afraid to accept a bite of a sandwich from someone,” Ondrej Kobza, the Prague cafe owner who organized the event, told the Agence France-Presse news agency. “Everyone had to do something to be here, bring food or a flower. The idea was for everyone to get involved,” Kobza said. Tables were adorned with white tablecloths and flowers, and locals drank and shared food as the sun set over the city. A country of around 10 million, the Czech Republic has seen around 12,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 349 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Those figures are relatively low compared with some of its close European neighbors.

*NEW* Question: Was this a wonderful idea or a stupid one?

gatherings – an assembly or meeting, especially one held for a specific purpose.

jaw-dropping. – amazing.

forgo – refrain from.

Italian

La gente nella capitale ceca, Praga, ha costruito un tavolo di 1.600 piedi e ha organizzato un’enorme cena pubblica martedì, per celebrare la fine del blocco del coronavirus del paese. I residenti si sono allungati per le strade della città e sul suo famoso Ponte Carlo dopo che il governo ha abolito le restrizioni sui grandi raduni. La Repubblica Ceca è stata rapida nell’attuare un blocco all’inizio dell’epidemia globale di coronavirus ed è diventata uno dei primi paesi a dire ai suoi cittadini di indossare le maschere – aiutandola ad evitare il peggio della pandemia e ad allentare le restrizioni prima di molte altre nazioni. Questo significava che la gente del posto poteva godere di uno spettacolo sbalorditivo di cene all’aperto e rinunciare alla lontananza sociale per celebrare il progresso del Paese. Ma l’Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità ha avvertito che la pandemia non è finita, e la Repubblica Ceca sta ancora vietando a molti stranieri di attraversare i suoi confini – una regola che ha permesso lo svolgimento dell’evento. Vogliamo celebrare la fine della crisi del coronavirus con persone che si incontrano e che dimostrano di non avere più paura di incontrare gli altri”. Che non hanno paura di accettare un morso di un panino da qualcuno”, ha detto Ondrej Kobza, il proprietario del caffè di Praga che ha organizzato l’evento, all’agenzia di stampa Agence France-Presse. “Tutti dovevano fare qualcosa per essere qui, portare cibo o un fiore”. L’idea era di coinvolgere tutti”, ha detto Kobza. I tavoli erano ornati con tovaglie bianche e fiori, e la gente del posto beveva e condivideva il cibo mentre il sole tramontava sulla città. Un Paese di circa 10 milioni di abitanti, la Repubblica Ceca ha visto circa 12.000 casi confermati di Covid-19 e 349 morti, secondo i dati dell’Università Johns Hopkins. Queste cifre sono relativamente basse rispetto ad alcuni dei suoi vicini europei.

Optional Reading Assignment

Choose one sentence from the reading that you think can be useful for you to learn and send it to me in a message on WhatsApp.

Scegliete una frase della lettura che pensate possa esservi utile e inviatemela in un messaggio su WhatsApp.

Optional Video Assignment

Send me a message on WhatsApp VOCAL MESSAGE repeating one of the complete sentences or phrases that you learned from the video!

Mandami un messaggio su WhatsApp VOCAL MESSAGE ripetendo una delle frasi complete che hai imparato dal video!

Optional Writing Assignment : Practice your writing skills

Share your opinion about the article and video using a maximum of 50 words. I will correct your mistakes and send it back to you. The goal is to learn to express yourself well using as few words as possible.

Condividi la tua opinione sull’articolo e sul video con un massimo di 50 parole. Correggerò i vostri errori e ve lo rispedirò. L’obiettivo è quello di imparare ad esprimersi bene usando il minor numero possibile di parole.

 

What are daily lessons?

These short lessons cannot substitute speaking on a regular basis, which is the best way to improve. These lessons are a great way to keep improving in between lessons. They are short readings and videos selected by Marcus to help you save time and energy. It is not easy to stay motivated and even when you are motivated, it is difficult to find something new and interesting every day. I will take care of that for you, making it very simple for you to improve your English skills every single day!

Queste brevi lezioni non possono sostituire il parlare regolarmente, che è il modo migliore per migliorare. Queste lezioni sono un ottimo modo per continuare a migliorare tra una lezione e l’altra. Sono brevi letture e video selezionati da Marcus per aiutarvi a risparmiare tempo ed energia. Non è facile rimanere motivati e anche quando si è motivati, è difficile trovare qualcosa di nuovo e interessante ogni giorno. Me ne occuperò io per voi, rendendo molto semplice per voi migliorare la vostra conoscenza dell’inglese ogni singolo giorno!

How to use daily lessons

No stress! My goal is to provide new and interesting material every day for those who like to learn a little bit at a time. For others who don’t have time to study everyday, I don’t wan’t you to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. When you have time, do what you can and decide when and if you have time to practice. Every person is different and each of us has our own learning method.

Niente stress! Il mio obiettivo è quello di fornire ogni giorno materiale nuovo e interessante per chi ama imparare un po’ alla volta. Per gli altri che non hanno tempo di studiare ogni giorno, non voglio che vi sentiate scoraggiati o sopraffatti. Quando avete tempo, fate quello che potete e decidete quando e se avete tempo per esercitarvi. Ogni persona è diversa e ognuno di noi ha il proprio metodo di apprendimento.

Suggestion

Keep a “Daily Lesson” diary to track your progress and the new things that you learn, specifically the new sentences from the reading and video. You can easily come back and find all of the vocabulary words from the article on my website at a later date.

Tieni un diario “Lezione quotidiana” per seguire i tuoi progressi e le novità che impari, in particolare le nuove frasi della lettura e del video. Potete tornare facilmente indietro e trovare tutte le parole del vocabolario dell’articolo sul mio sito web in un secondo momento.

Share with friends, family and colleagues

Feel free to share this with everyone. However, if they would like to do the exercises and contact me directly for writing and speaking training they can click the link below:

Sentitevi liberi di condividerlo con tutti. Tuttavia, se vogliono fare gli esercizi e contattarmi direttamente per l’allenamento di scrittura e conversazione, possono cliccare sul link qui sotto:

click here

 

I tried to delete myself from the internet. Here’s what I learned

Le mie lezioni giornaliere sono gratuite per tutti. Se siete interessati a migliorare le vostre capacità di conversazione o di scrittura, contattatemi qui. Vi sto aspettando.

*NEW* American Sayings

Se si cresce sentendo sempre certe espressioni o frasi, può essere facile trascurare quanto siano effettivamente strane. È il caso di una serie di americanismi – i detti americani che siamo talmente abituati a pronunciare che ci dimentichiamo che in realtà non hanno alcun senso o sono stati così lontani dai loro significati originali che ci vuole un linguista per collegarli. Spesso ci vuole un estraneo per far notare quanto siano strane alcune espressioni americane – uno straniero che può alzare un sopracciglio nella confusione al giro di parole che molti negli Stati Uniti danno per scontato. Vi insegnerò 30 di queste frasi americane che lasciano i non americani a grattarsi la testa.

young-couple-kissing

“First base,” “second base” – First base, second base, third base, and a home run are your basic baseball euphemisms for sexual activity, intercourse, and everything leading up to. However, other terms are borrowed from the sport to describe other things within a relationship.

Vocabulary Word of the Day

spices-887348_1920-2

SPICES – SPEZIE

Improve your listening skills

(cliccare “cc” nell’angolo in basso a destra del video per vedere i sottotitoli quando sono disponibili: Ricordate, guardare i video senza sottotitoli vi aiuterà a sviluppare ancora di più le vostre capacità di ascolto perché non sarete distratti. Provate a guardare il video una seconda volta se avete difficoltà a capire la prima volta. )

*NEW* Question: How much do you follow politics, both national and international? 

Improve your reading skills and vocabulary

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It was MyLife that broke me. After spending hours studying FAQ pages, sending terse emails and making occasional phone calls in an earnest-if-naive attempt to take back some control of my personal information online, I had my first demoralizing moment. MyLife pulls together vast amounts of public data to create background reports and “reputation scores” on millions of people in the US, all available to those willing to pay for a monthly membership. On it, I found a sometimes inaccurate but eerie amount of personal information about, well, my life: my birthday and home city; my previous job title (though curiously not my current one); a list of people “Seth maintains relationships with,” including the names of both my parents, each linked to their own profile pages with still more data. All there in one place waiting to be discovered. When I called the site, a customer service representative stressed that the information doesn’t come from MyLife, but rather from across the “interwebs.” Following some back and forth, the representative agreed to delete my profile page. I felt victorious — until two hours later when I received the first of many promotional emails from the company, one encouraging me to sign up for a membership, another talking about raising my credit score. By the end of my experiment, I felt even worse off about my ability to wrestle back control of my data than when I started.

*NEW* Question: Do you care about your personal info being available online?

terse – sparing in the use of words; abrupt.

earnest – resulting from or showing sincere and intense conviction.

naive – (of a person or action) showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgement.

willing – ready, eager, or prepared to do something.

Italian

È stata MyLife a rompermi. Dopo aver passato ore a studiare le pagine delle FAQ, a inviare e-mail concise e a fare occasionali telefonate nel tentativo di riprendere il controllo dei miei dati personali online, ho avuto il mio primo momento demoralizzante. MyLife raccoglie una grande quantità di dati pubblici per creare rapporti di background e “punteggi di reputazione” su milioni di persone negli Stati Uniti, il tutto a disposizione di chi è disposto a pagare un abbonamento mensile. Su di esso, ho trovato una quantità a volte imprecisa ma inquietante di informazioni personali su, beh, la mia vita: il mio compleanno e la mia città natale; il mio precedente titolo di lavoro (anche se curiosamente non quello attuale); una lista di persone con cui “Seth mantiene rapporti”, compresi i nomi di entrambi i miei genitori, ognuno collegato alle pagine del proprio profilo con ancora più dati. Tutti lì, in un unico posto, in attesa di essere scoperti. Quando ho chiamato il sito, un rappresentante del servizio clienti ha sottolineato che le informazioni non provengono da MyLife, ma piuttosto da “interwebs”. Dopo un po’ di avanti e indietro, il rappresentante ha accettato di cancellare la pagina del mio profilo. Mi sono sentito vittorioso – fino a due ore dopo, quando ho ricevuto la prima di molte e-mail promozionali da parte dell’azienda, una che mi incoraggiava a iscrivermi, un’altra che parlava di aumentare il mio punteggio di credito. Alla fine del mio esperimento, mi sentivo ancora peggio di quando ho iniziato.

Optional Reading Assignment

Choose one sentence from the reading that you think can be useful for you to learn and send it to me in a message on WhatsApp.

Scegliete una frase della lettura che pensate possa esservi utile e inviatemela in un messaggio su WhatsApp.

Optional Video Assignment

Send me a message on WhatsApp VOCAL MESSAGE repeating one of the complete sentences or phrases that you learned from the video!

Mandami un messaggio su WhatsApp VOCAL MESSAGE ripetendo una delle frasi complete che hai imparato dal video!

Optional Writing Assignment : Practice your writing skills

Share your opinion about the article and video using a maximum of 50 words. I will correct your mistakes and send it back to you. The goal is to learn to express yourself well using as few words as possible.

Condividi la tua opinione sull’articolo e sul video con un massimo di 50 parole. Correggerò i vostri errori e ve lo rispedirò. L’obiettivo è quello di imparare ad esprimersi bene usando il minor numero possibile di parole.

What are daily lessons?

These short lessons cannot substitute speaking on a regular basis, which is the best way to improve. These lessons are a great way to keep improving in between lessons. They are short readings and videos selected by Marcus to help you save time and energy. It is not easy to stay motivated and even when you are motivated, it is difficult to find something new and interesting every day. I will take care of that for you, making it very simple for you to improve your English skills every single day!

Queste brevi lezioni non possono sostituire il parlare regolarmente, che è il modo migliore per migliorare. Queste lezioni sono un ottimo modo per continuare a migliorare tra una lezione e l’altra. Sono brevi letture e video selezionati da Marcus per aiutarvi a risparmiare tempo ed energia. Non è facile rimanere motivati e anche quando si è motivati, è difficile trovare qualcosa di nuovo e interessante ogni giorno. Me ne occuperò io per voi, rendendo molto semplice per voi migliorare la vostra conoscenza dell’inglese ogni singolo giorno!

How to use daily lessons

No stress! My goal is to provide new and interesting material every day for those who like to learn a little bit at a time. For others who don’t have time to study everyday, I don’t wan’t you to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. When you have time, do what you can and decide when and if you have time to practice. Every person is different and each of us has our own learning method.

Niente stress! Il mio obiettivo è quello di fornire ogni giorno materiale nuovo e interessante per chi ama imparare un po’ alla volta. Per gli altri che non hanno tempo di studiare ogni giorno, non voglio che vi sentiate scoraggiati o sopraffatti. Quando avete tempo, fate quello che potete e decidete quando e se avete tempo per esercitarvi. Ogni persona è diversa e ognuno di noi ha il proprio metodo di apprendimento.

Suggestion

Keep a “Daily Lesson” diary to track your progress and the new things that you learn, specifically the new sentences from the reading and video. You can easily come back and find all of the vocabulary words from the article on my website at a later date.

Tieni un diario “Lezione quotidiana” per seguire i tuoi progressi e le novità che impari, in particolare le nuove frasi della lettura e del video. Potete tornare facilmente indietro e trovare tutte le parole del vocabolario dell’articolo sul mio sito web in un secondo momento.

Share with friends, family and colleagues

Feel free to share this with everyone. However, if they would like to do the exercises and contact me directly for writing and speaking training they can click the link below:

Sentitevi liberi di condividerlo con tutti. Tuttavia, se vogliono fare gli esercizi e contattarmi direttamente per l’allenamento di scrittura e conversazione, possono cliccare sul link qui sotto:

click here

 

Secondhand clothing is more popular than ever. Even in a pandemic.

Le mie lezioni giornaliere sono gratuite per tutti. Se siete interessati a migliorare le vostre capacità di conversazione o di scrittura, contattatemi qui. Vi sto aspettando.

*NEW* American Sayings

Se si cresce sentendo sempre certe espressioni o frasi, può essere facile trascurare quanto siano effettivamente strane. È il caso di una serie di americanismi – i detti americani che siamo talmente abituati a pronunciare che ci dimentichiamo che in realtà non hanno alcun senso o sono stati così lontani dai loro significati originali che ci vuole un linguista per collegarli. Spesso ci vuole un estraneo per far notare quanto siano strane alcune espressioni americane – uno straniero che può alzare un sopracciglio nella confusione al giro di parole che molti negli Stati Uniti danno per scontato. Vi insegnerò 30 di queste frasi americane che lasciano i non americani a grattarsi la testa.

shutterstock_394279666
“Working the graveyard shift”Graveyard shift is a work shift running through the late hours of the evening to the early hours of the morning, typically from midnight until 8 am.

Vocabulary Word of the Day

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SOFT DRINK – BIBITA ANALCOLICA

Improve your listening skills

(cliccare “cc” nell’angolo in basso a destra del video per vedere i sottotitoli quando sono disponibili: Ricordate, guardare i video senza sottotitoli vi aiuterà a sviluppare ancora di più le vostre capacità di ascolto perché non sarete distratti. Provate a guardare il video una seconda volta se avete difficoltà a capire la prima volta. )

*NEW* Question: Was it correct to remove the man from the flight in your opinion?

Improve your reading skills and vocabulary

ludwigsburg-germany-2779468_1920

Big clothing chains are struggling in the pandemic, but for Christina Hurtado, sales are booming.  Hurtado, a full-time nurse, sells clothing under the handle @glittermethod on resale site Poshmark, which connects buyers with sellers of new and used merchandise. Shoppers have been scooping up athletic wear and swimwear from her, she said, and they can’t seem to get enough of her Lululemon-branded clothes, which sell within hours or even minutes of being posted. Consumers looking for deals in the recession are turning to resale marketplaces like Poshmark, OfferUp and Mercari to score previously owned items that range from clothes to cars. Secondhand clothing in particular was hot even before the coronavirus hit, and the category is expected to grow despite any concerns of consumer squeamishness over used items in the pandemic, retail analysts say. The average selling price has been $20 for clothing, $35 for accessories and handbags and $40 for footwear, she said. But there are signs that some consumers still have an interest in second-hand luxury goods, too, despite record unemployment and a recession. 

handle – a name or nickname.

scooping up – to take or buy (something) in a quick and eager way.

to score – buy or acquire (something, typically illegal drugs).

squeamishness – the fact of being easily upset or shocked by things that you find unpleasant or that you do not approve of.

*NEW* Question: Do you bug anything second-hand? If so, what?

Italian

Le grandi catene di abbigliamento stanno lottando contro la pandemia, ma per Christina Hurtado le vendite sono in pieno boom. Hurtado, un’infermiera a tempo pieno, vende abbigliamento sotto la maniglia @glittermethod sul sito di rivendita Poshmark, che mette in contatto gli acquirenti con i venditori di merce nuova e usata.  Gli acquirenti si sono procurati da lei abiti sportivi e costumi da bagno, ha detto, e non ne hanno mai abbastanza dei suoi abiti a marchio Lululemon, che vendono in poche ore o addirittura pochi minuti dopo essere stati pubblicati. I consumatori in cerca di offerte durante la recessione si stanno rivolgendo a mercati di rivendita come Poshmark, OfferUp e Mercari per ottenere articoli già posseduti che vanno dai vestiti alle auto. L’abbigliamento di seconda mano in particolare era caldo anche prima che il coronavirus colpisse, e ci si aspetta che la categoria cresca nonostante le preoccupazioni dei consumatori per gli articoli usati nella pandemia, dicono gli analisti al dettaglio. Il prezzo medio di vendita è stato di 20 dollari per l’abbigliamento, 35 dollari per gli accessori e le borse e 40 dollari per le calzature, ha detto. Ma ci sono segnali che alcuni consumatori hanno ancora interesse anche per i beni di lusso di seconda mano, nonostante la disoccupazione record e la recessione.

What are daily lessons?

These short lessons cannot substitute speaking on a regular basis, which is the best way to improve. These lessons are a great way to keep improving in between lessons. They are short readings and videos selected by Marcus to help you save time and energy. It is not easy to stay motivated and even when you are motivated, it is difficult to find something new and interesting every day. I will take care of that for you, making it very simple for you to improve your English skills every single day!

Queste brevi lezioni non possono sostituire il parlare regolarmente, che è il modo migliore per migliorare. Queste lezioni sono un ottimo modo per continuare a migliorare tra una lezione e l’altra. Sono brevi letture e video selezionati da Marcus per aiutarvi a risparmiare tempo ed energia. Non è facile rimanere motivati e anche quando si è motivati, è difficile trovare qualcosa di nuovo e interessante ogni giorno. Me ne occuperò io per voi, rendendo molto semplice per voi migliorare la vostra conoscenza dell’inglese ogni singolo giorno!

How to use daily lessons

No stress! My goal is to provide new and interesting material every day for those who like to learn a little bit at a time. For others who don’t have time to study everyday, I don’t wan’t you to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. When you have time, do what you can and decide when and if you have time to practice. Every person is different and each of us has our own learning method.

Niente stress! Il mio obiettivo è quello di fornire ogni giorno materiale nuovo e interessante per chi ama imparare un po’ alla volta. Per gli altri che non hanno tempo di studiare ogni giorno, non voglio che vi sentiate scoraggiati o sopraffatti. Quando avete tempo, fate quello che potete e decidete quando e se avete tempo per esercitarvi. Ogni persona è diversa e ognuno di noi ha il proprio metodo di apprendimento.

Suggestion

Keep a “Daily Lesson” diary to track your progress and the new things that you learn, specifically the new sentences from the reading and video. You can easily come back and find all of the vocabulary words from the article on my website at a later date.

Tieni un diario “Lezione quotidiana” per seguire i tuoi progressi e le novità che impari, in particolare le nuove frasi della lettura e del video. Potete tornare facilmente indietro e trovare tutte le parole del vocabolario dell’articolo sul mio sito web in un secondo momento.

Share with friends, family and colleagues

Feel free to share this with everyone. However, if they would like to do the exercises and contact me directly for writing and speaking training they can click the link below:

Sentitevi liberi di condividerlo con tutti. Tuttavia, se vogliono fare gli esercizi e contattarmi direttamente per l’allenamento di scrittura e conversazione, possono cliccare sul link qui sotto:

click here

 

Want to attract women? Keep your cat out of your dating profile

Le mie lezioni giornaliere sono gratuite per tutti. Se siete interessati a migliorare le vostre capacità di conversazione o di scrittura, contattatemi qui. Vi sto aspettando.

*NEW* American Sayings

Se si cresce sentendo sempre certe espressioni o frasi, può essere facile trascurare quanto siano effettivamente strane. È il caso di una serie di americanismi – i detti americani che siamo talmente abituati a pronunciare che ci dimentichiamo che in realtà non hanno alcun senso o sono stati così lontani dai loro significati originali che ci vuole un linguista per collegarli. Spesso ci vuole un estraneo per far notare quanto siano strane alcune espressioni americane – uno straniero che può alzare un sopracciglio nella confusione al giro di parole che molti negli Stati Uniti danno per scontato. Vi insegnerò 30 di queste frasi americane che lasciano i non americani a grattarsi la testa.

shutterstock_345071645

“Behind the eight ball.” – at a disadvantage.

Vocabulary Word of the Day

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PEBBLES – SASSOLINI

Improve your listening skills

(cliccare “cc” nell’angolo in basso a destra del video per vedere i sottotitoli quando sono disponibili: Ricordate, guardare i video senza sottotitoli vi aiuterà a sviluppare ancora di più le vostre capacità di ascolto perché non sarete distratti. Provate a guardare il video una seconda volta se avete difficoltà a capire la prima volta. )

*NEW* Question: Are you going back to the gym any time soon?

Improve your reading skills and vocabulary

cat-1285634_1920

We have cat-astrophic news for animal lovers: Men who like cats are less likely to get a dateThat’s the takeaway from a study by Colorado State University, which found that women are less likely to swipe right — or say yes — to men if they’re posing with a cat in a picture. Scientists showed hundreds of women photos of two men, both men pictured with and without a furry companion. Their responses showed that the men’s luck got noticeably worse when women saw the picture with a cat.  A total of 708 women aged between 18 and 24 were surveyed in the online experiment. The findings are likely the result of long-held cultural stereotypes about cat and dog owners, the authors said. “It is important to note that these findings were influenced by whether the female viewer self-identified as a ‘dog’ or ‘cat’ person, suggesting that American culture has distinguished ‘cat men’ as less masculine, perhaps creating a cultural preference for ‘dog men’ among most heterosexual women in the studied age group,” they wrote. “Women prefer men with ‘good genes,’ often defined as more masculine traits,” they added, citing previous research. “Clearly, the presence of a cat diminishes that perception.”

date – a social or romantic appointment or engagement.

likely – such as well might happen or be true; probable.

among – indicating a division, choice, or differentiation involving three or more participants.

*NEW* Question: What do you find very unattractive about the opposite sex?

Italian

Abbiamo una notizia catastrofica per gli amanti degli animali: Gli uomini che amano i gatti hanno meno probabilità di avere un appuntamento.
Questo è il risultato di uno studio della Colorado State University, che ha scoperto che le donne sono meno propense a strisciare a destra – o dire di sì – agli uomini se sono in posa con un gatto in una foto. Gli scienziati hanno mostrato a centinaia di donne le foto di due uomini, entrambi gli uomini fotografati con e senza un compagno peloso. Le loro risposte hanno mostrato che la fortuna degli uomini è peggiorata notevolmente quando le donne hanno visto la foto con un gatto. Nell’esperimento online sono state intervistate complessivamente 708 donne di età compresa tra i 18 e i 24 anni. I risultati sono probabilmente il risultato di stereotipi culturali di lunga data sui proprietari di cani e gatti, hanno detto gli autori. “È importante notare che questi risultati sono stati influenzati dal fatto che lo spettatore femminile si sia auto-identificato come ‘cane’ o ‘gatto’, suggerendo che la cultura americana ha distinto gli ‘uomini gatto’ come meno maschili, forse creando una preferenza culturale per gli ‘uomini cane’ tra la maggior parte delle donne eterosessuali nella fascia d’età studiata”, hanno scritto. Le donne preferiscono gli uomini con “buoni geni”, spesso definiti come tratti più maschili”, hanno aggiunto, citando ricerche precedenti. “Chiaramente, la presenza di un gatto diminuisce questa percezione”.

What are daily lessons?

These short lessons cannot substitute speaking on a regular basis, which is the best way to improve. These lessons are a great way to keep improving in between lessons. They are short readings and videos selected by Marcus to help you save time and energy. It is not easy to stay motivated and even when you are motivated, it is difficult to find something new and interesting every day. I will take care of that for you, making it very simple for you to improve your English skills every single day!

Queste brevi lezioni non possono sostituire il parlare regolarmente, che è il modo migliore per migliorare. Queste lezioni sono un ottimo modo per continuare a migliorare tra una lezione e l’altra. Sono brevi letture e video selezionati da Marcus per aiutarvi a risparmiare tempo ed energia. Non è facile rimanere motivati e anche quando si è motivati, è difficile trovare qualcosa di nuovo e interessante ogni giorno. Me ne occuperò io per voi, rendendo molto semplice per voi migliorare la vostra conoscenza dell’inglese ogni singolo giorno!

How to use daily lessons

No stress! My goal is to provide new and interesting material every day for those who like to learn a little bit at a time. For others who don’t have time to study everyday, I don’t wan’t you to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. When you have time, do what you can and decide when and if you have time to practice. Every person is different and each of us has our own learning method.

Niente stress! Il mio obiettivo è quello di fornire ogni giorno materiale nuovo e interessante per chi ama imparare un po’ alla volta. Per gli altri che non hanno tempo di studiare ogni giorno, non voglio che vi sentiate scoraggiati o sopraffatti. Quando avete tempo, fate quello che potete e decidete quando e se avete tempo per esercitarvi. Ogni persona è diversa e ognuno di noi ha il proprio metodo di apprendimento.

Suggestion

Keep a “Daily Lesson” diary to track your progress and the new things that you learn, specifically the new sentences from the reading and video. You can easily come back and find all of the vocabulary words from the article on my website at a later date.

Tieni un diario “Lezione quotidiana” per seguire i tuoi progressi e le novità che impari, in particolare le nuove frasi della lettura e del video. Potete tornare facilmente indietro e trovare tutte le parole del vocabolario dell’articolo sul mio sito web in un secondo momento.

Share with friends, family and colleagues

Feel free to share this with everyone. However, if they would like to do the exercises and contact me directly for writing and speaking training they can click the link below:

Sentitevi liberi di condividerlo con tutti. Tuttavia, se vogliono fare gli esercizi e contattarmi direttamente per l’allenamento di scrittura e conversazione, possono cliccare sul link qui sotto:

click here

 

Daily Lesson Video Review #4 (Extended)

Guardate di nuovo i video e fatemi sapere se è più facile da capire la seconda volta. Naturalmente sarà comunque una sfida, ma l’idea è quella di fare progressi lenti e costanti. Ricordatevi di imparare una frase utile da ogni video. Solo una, non due, non sette, solo una. Come al solito, mandatemi un messaggio vocale o un messaggio normale con qualche feedback.

What are daily lessons?

These short lessons cannot substitute speaking on a regular basis, which is the best way to improve. These lessons are a great way to keep improving in between lessons. They are short readings and videos selected by Marcus to help you save time and energy. It is not easy to stay motivated and even when you are motivated, it is difficult to find something new and interesting every day. I will take care of that for you, making it very simple for you to improve your English skills every single day!

Queste brevi lezioni non possono sostituire il parlare regolarmente, che è il modo migliore per migliorare. Queste lezioni sono un ottimo modo per continuare a migliorare tra una lezione e l’altra. Sono brevi letture e video selezionati da Marcus per aiutarvi a risparmiare tempo ed energia. Non è facile rimanere motivati e anche quando si è motivati, è difficile trovare qualcosa di nuovo e interessante ogni giorno. Me ne occuperò io per voi, rendendo molto semplice per voi migliorare la vostra conoscenza dell’inglese ogni singolo giorno!

How to use daily lessons

No stress! My goal is to provide new and interesting material every day for those who like to learn a little bit at a time. For others who don’t have time to study everyday, I don’t wan’t you to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. When you have time, do what you can and decide when and if you have time to practice. Every person is different and each of us has our own learning method.

Niente stress! Il mio obiettivo è quello di fornire ogni giorno materiale nuovo e interessante per chi ama imparare un po’ alla volta. Per gli altri che non hanno tempo di studiare ogni giorno, non voglio che vi sentiate scoraggiati o sopraffatti. Quando avete tempo, fate quello che potete e decidete quando e se avete tempo per esercitarvi. Ogni persona è diversa e ognuno di noi ha il proprio metodo di apprendimento.

Suggestion

Keep a “Daily Lesson” diary to track your progress and the new things that you learn, specifically the new sentences from the reading and video. You can easily come back and find all of the vocabulary words from the article on my website at a later date.

Tieni un diario “Lezione quotidiana” per seguire i tuoi progressi e le novità che impari, in particolare le nuove frasi della lettura e del video. Potete tornare facilmente indietro e trovare tutte le parole del vocabolario dell’articolo sul mio sito web in un secondo momento.

Share with friends, family and colleagues

Feel free to share this with everyone. However, if they would like to do the exercises and contact me directly for writing and speaking training they can click the link below:

Sentitevi liberi di condividerlo con tutti. Tuttavia, se vogliono fare gli esercizi e contattarmi direttamente per l’allenamento di scrittura e conversazione, possono cliccare sul link qui sotto:

click here

 

Daily Lesson Photo Vocabulary Review #3

A volte, invece di imparare cose nuove, basta ricordare ciò che si è già imparato.

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HANGER – APPENDINO, GRUCCIA

DOOR KNOB & DOOR HANDLE – MONOPOLA & MANIGLIA

POT & PAN – PENTOLA & PADELLA

What are daily lessons?

These short lessons cannot substitute speaking on a regular basis, which is the best way to improve. These lessons are a great way to keep improving in between lessons. They are short readings and videos selected by Marcus to help you save time and energy. It is not easy to stay motivated and even when you are motivated, it is difficult to find something new and interesting every day. I will take care of that for you, making it very simple for you to improve your English skills every single day!

Queste brevi lezioni non possono sostituire il parlare regolarmente, che è il modo migliore per migliorare. Queste lezioni sono un ottimo modo per continuare a migliorare tra una lezione e l’altra. Sono brevi letture e video selezionati da Marcus per aiutarvi a risparmiare tempo ed energia. Non è facile rimanere motivati e anche quando si è motivati, è difficile trovare qualcosa di nuovo e interessante ogni giorno. Me ne occuperò io per voi, rendendo molto semplice per voi migliorare la vostra conoscenza dell’inglese ogni singolo giorno!

How to use daily lessons

No stress! My goal is to provide new and interesting material every day for those who like to learn a little bit at a time. For others who don’t have time to study everyday, I don’t wan’t you to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. When you have time, do what you can and decide when and if you have time to practice. Every person is different and each of us has our own learning method.

Niente stress! Il mio obiettivo è quello di fornire ogni giorno materiale nuovo e interessante per chi ama imparare un po’ alla volta. Per gli altri che non hanno tempo di studiare ogni giorno, non voglio che vi sentiate scoraggiati o sopraffatti. Quando avete tempo, fate quello che potete e decidete quando e se avete tempo per esercitarvi. Ogni persona è diversa e ognuno di noi ha il proprio metodo di apprendimento.

Suggestion

Keep a “Daily Lesson” diary to track your progress and the new things that you learn, specifically the new sentences from the reading and video. You can easily come back and find all of the vocabulary words from the article on my website at a later date.

Tieni un diario “Lezione quotidiana” per seguire i tuoi progressi e le novità che impari, in particolare le nuove frasi della lettura e del video. Potete tornare facilmente indietro e trovare tutte le parole del vocabolario dell’articolo sul mio sito web in un secondo momento.

Share with friends, family and colleagues

Feel free to share this with everyone. However, if they would like to do the exercises and contact me directly for writing and speaking training they can click the link below:

Sentitevi liberi di condividerlo con tutti. Tuttavia, se vogliono fare gli esercizi e contattarmi direttamente per l’allenamento di scrittura e conversazione, possono cliccare sul link qui sotto:

click here

 

Daily Lesson Reading Review #3

Read the articles and let me know if you understand the meaning or not.

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Well, someone forgot to mute. The Supreme Court was making history Wednesday afternoon, holding arguments over the phone because of Covid-19, when all of a sudden there was the distinct sound of a toilet flushing. Across the country, the public that has never before this week been able to listen in real time to oral arguments held remotely was treated not only to deep questions related to the First Amendment and robocalls but also to someone’s apparent bathroom break. The errantflush from an unknown source comes as the justices, lawyers and the country are dealing with the new realities — and hazards — of conducting their business over teleconference lines.

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Eleven-year-old Jorja Boller wanted to cheer up older adults in the nursing homes around her hometown of Beatrice, Nebraska. And when she thought of who makes her smile when she feels lonely, she knew her little pony Peanut would have to pay them a visit while they are isolated during the coronavirus pandemic. “We brushed him and braided his hair with some colored pipe cleaners,” Jorja told CNN. ” And we put on a unicorn horn but he shook that off!” Jorja and her 8-year-old sister Jurnee led Peanut up to the windows of the nursing homes. Staff on the phone helped facilitate conversations with the residents.  “I would talk to them … and Peanut was acting up so he put on quite a show.” Jorja explained. “And of course, my sister was dancing around.” The residents really enjoyed seeing Peanut. Some would follow the girls and their pony from window to window.

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You make reservations at restaurants, sure. But how about booking in advance just to get a spot on the sand at the beach? That’s exactly what some beachgoers will have to do in Spain this summer, thanks to the coronavirus crisis. Canet d’en Berenguer, a Mediterranean town located just north of Valencia, will only allow 5,000 daily sunbathers on its local beach, around half the usual number, in order to maintain social distancing. These spaces will need to be reserved in advance via a mobile phone app. “This summer will be very different,” Pere Joan Antoni Chordá, the town’s mayor, tells CNN. “There’ll be more space between you and your neighbor. Like a ‘business-class’ beach.” Canet will use a grid pattern to divide its broad, flat beach into square sections, each separated by two meters (six feet). The sections are to be delineated by laying a series of nets on the sand that look like huge soccer goal post nets to accommodate bigger groups of sunbathers. Beachgoers will be allowed to book a sunbathing session for either the morning or afternoon, but not all day. According to the mayor, sunbathers can reserve any available area, much like selecting seats online at a movie theater, and arrival times will be staggered to avoid crowds. Access points to the beach are also to be reduced. Once they arrive and confirm their reservation with staff, beachgoers will be led to their allocated section.

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If you love your mom, consider staying away from her this Mother’s Day. Health officials are warningAmericans to avoid celebrating Mother’s Day in big groups, saying physical distancing is still critical to reducing the spread of coronavirus. All it takes is one infected person at a gathering to launch a new outbreak. In Pasadena, California, officials traced a cluster of coronavirus cases back to one person at a birthday party who was coughing and not wearing a face mask. “Guests were also not wearing face coverings or practicing social distancing,” the city of Pasadena posted on Facebook. “As a result, COVID-19 spread among attendees. Remember, the best way to celebrate #MothersDay and any other occasion is by STAYING HOME and staying healthy”.

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Nearly all states partially reopened last week and businesses across the country are preparing to welcome customers back. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, things are far from normal. An ice cream shop in Massachusetts had to close its doors on Saturday, just one day after reopening, because customers refused to follow social distancing rules and even harassed employees. Things got so bad at the Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour in Mashpee that an employee quit the same day. “One of my best workers quit yesterday at the end of her shift. She stuck it through her shift,” owner Mark Lawrence told CNN. “But the words she was called and the language, you wouldn’t even say in a men’s locker room. And to say it to a 17-year-old kid, they should be ashamed of themselves.”

Sony finally reveals the PlayStation 5’s design and its exclusive games

American Culture: Sayings

Se si cresce sentendo sempre certe espressioni o frasi, può essere facile trascurare quanto siano effettivamente strane. È il caso di una serie di americanismi – i detti americani che siamo talmente abituati a pronunciare che ci dimentichiamo che in realtà non hanno alcun senso o sono stati così lontani dai loro significati originali che ci vuole un linguista per collegarli. Spesso ci vuole un estraneo per far notare quanto siano strane alcune espressioni americane – uno straniero che può alzare un sopracciglio nella confusione al giro di parole che molti negli Stati Uniti danno per scontato. Vi insegnerò 30 di queste frasi americane che lasciano i non americani a grattarsi la testa.

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“Period.” – When we’re being dramatic or trying to emphasize a point, Americans will occasionally add “period” to the end of their sentence. For us, it might seem like a powerful statement, but for outsiders, it can just seem weird.

Vocabulary Word of the Day

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LIGHT BULB – LAMPADINA

Improve your listening skills

(cliccare “cc” nell’angolo in basso a destra del video per vedere i sottotitoli quando sono disponibili: Ricordate, guardare i video senza sottotitoli vi aiuterà a sviluppare ancora di più le vostre capacità di ascolto perché non sarete distratti. Provate a guardare il video una seconda volta se avete difficoltà a capire la prima volta. )

Question: What are your favorite games to play with your family?

Improve your reading skills and vocabulary

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Sony teased Thursday which games will be available to play on its upcoming next-gen PlayStation 5 console and finally revealed the device’s new design. Sony showed two versions of the PlayStation 5: a standard one, and a “Digital Edition” that does away with the console’s disc drive. Without the disc drive, the PS5 looks symmetrical. The sleek white console with a black trim is tall and appears to be thinner than the Xbox Series X. A media remote control, a camera and headphones will be available as accessories. Pricing remains a mystery. Thursday’s announcement included some games coming to the PS5 that already exist on PS4, the current generation gaming console, such as “Grand Theft Auto V.”

Question: Have you ever played video games? What game or types of games do you like the most?

teased – give a preview or hint at something.

upcoming – about to happen; forthcoming.

does away with – put an end to; remove

sleek – (of an object) having an elegant, streamlined shape or design.

trim – additional decoration, typically along the edges of something and in contrasting colour or material.

Italian

Giovedì Sony ha accennato a quali giochi saranno disponibili per giocare sulla sua prossima console PlayStation 5 di prossima generazione e ha finalmente rivelato il nuovo design del dispositivo. Sony ha mostrato due versioni della PlayStation 5: una standard e una “Digital Edition” che elimina il drive del disco della console. Senza l’unità disco, la PS5 appare simmetrica. L’elegante console bianca con finiture nere è alta e sembra essere più sottile della Xbox Serie X. Un telecomando per i media, una fotocamera e delle cuffie saranno disponibili come accessori. Il prezzo rimane un mistero. L’annuncio di giovedì includeva alcuni giochi in arrivo sulla PS5 già presenti sulla PS4, la console di gioco di ultima generazione, come “Grand Theft Auto V”.

Young Americans are having less sex than ever

American Culture: Sayings

Se si cresce sentendo sempre certe espressioni o frasi, può essere facile trascurare quanto siano effettivamente strane. È il caso di una serie di americanismi – i detti americani che siamo talmente abituati a pronunciare che ci dimentichiamo che in realtà non hanno alcun senso o sono stati così lontani dai loro significati originali che ci vuole un linguista per collegarli. Spesso ci vuole un estraneo per far notare quanto siano strane alcune espressioni americane – uno straniero che può alzare un sopracciglio nella confusione al giro di parole che molti negli Stati Uniti danno per scontato. Vi insegnerò 30 di queste frasi americane che lasciano i non americani a grattarsi la testa.

young-couple-on-date

“How are you?” – Visiting foreigners often comment on just how friendly Americans tend to be, even to complete strangers. But the most confusing aspect about this openness is our tendency to ask people, “How are you?” “Took me a while to figure out that they just mean ‘hi,'” said Huffington Post reader Nynke Bottinga. As one redditor says about hearing the expression, “I actually answered, until I figured it out. It was very awkward.”

Vocabulary Word of the Day

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BUTCHER – MACELLAIO

Improve your listening skills

(cliccare “cc” nell’angolo in basso a destra del video per vedere i sottotitoli quando sono disponibili: Ricordate, guardare i video senza sottotitoli vi aiuterà a sviluppare ancora di più le vostre capacità di ascolto perché non sarete distratti. Provate a guardare il video una seconda volta se avete difficoltà a capire la prima volta. )

Question: Are you ready to touch people again or do you prefer to keep your distance for now?

Improve your reading skills and vocabulary

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Young Americans are having less sex — and they can’t even blame the coronavirus pandemic for this one.  Sexual inactivity increased among young American men between 2000 and 2018, according to San Diego State University researchers who studied survey data from US adults. Postponement of adulthood and the growth of the internet and digital media could be reasons for why. Psychologists analyzed data looking at sexual frequency and number of sexual partners, looking at responses supplied by more than 4,000 men and 5,000 women for each question. Men who were unemployed, had part-time employment or lower incomes were more likely to be sexually inactive, psychologists found, noting that the percentage of sexually inactive 18- to 24 year-old men increased from 18.9% between 2000 and 2002 to 30.9% between 2016 and 2018. These reproductive trends are “part of a broader cultural trend toward delayed development,” Twenge said, and had not occurred in isolation. However, researchers were also quick to point out that the trend of “growing up slowly” did not explain why sexual activity had decreased among older and married adults, noting that “the growth of the internet and digital media” could be affecting sex lives.

Question: Do you have any idea why this is happening? What are your thoughts?

blame – feel or declare that (someone or something) is responsible for a fault or wrong.

point out (something) – say something to make someone aware of a fact or circumstance.

sex life – a person’s sexual activity and relationships considered as a whole.

Italian

I giovani americani fanno meno sesso – e non possono nemmeno dare la colpa alla pandemia di coronavirus per questo.  L’inattività sessuale è aumentata tra i giovani americani tra il 2000 e il 2018, secondo i ricercatori dell’Università Statale di San Diego che hanno studiato i dati di un sondaggio condotto tra gli adulti americani. Il rinvio dell’età adulta e la crescita di internet e dei media digitali potrebbero esserne la causa. Gli psicologi hanno analizzato i dati relativi alla frequenza sessuale e al numero di partner sessuali, esaminando le risposte fornite da più di 4.000 uomini e 5.000 donne per ogni domanda. Gli uomini che erano disoccupati, che avevano un lavoro part-time o redditi più bassi avevano più probabilità di essere sessualmente inattivi, gli psicologi hanno scoperto, osservando che la percentuale di uomini inattivi da 18 a 24 anni è aumentata dal 18,9% tra il 2000 e il 2002 al 30,9% tra il 2016 e il 2018. Queste tendenze riproduttive sono “parte di una più ampia tendenza culturale verso uno sviluppo ritardato”, ha detto Twenge, e non si erano verificate in modo isolato. Tuttavia, i ricercatori sono stati anche rapidi a sottolineare che la tendenza a “crescere lentamente” non spiega perché l’attività sessuale sia diminuita tra gli adulti più anziani e sposati, osservando che “la crescita di internet e dei media digitali” potrebbe influire sulla vita sessuale.

Starbucks is closing up to 400 stores in shift to takeout strategy

Avrete l’opportunità di esprimere la vostra opinione su tutti gli argomenti della lezione quando parleremo.

*NEW* American Sayings

Se si cresce sentendo sempre certe espressioni o frasi, può essere facile trascurare quanto siano effettivamente strane. È il caso di una serie di americanismi – i detti americani che siamo talmente abituati a pronunciare che ci dimentichiamo che in realtà non hanno alcun senso o sono stati così lontani dai loro significati originali che ci vuole un linguista per collegarli. Spesso ci vuole un estraneo per far notare quanto siano strane alcune espressioni americane – uno straniero che può alzare un sopracciglio nella confusione al giro di parole che molti negli Stati Uniti danno per scontato. Vi insegnerò 30 di queste frasi americane che lasciano i non americani a grattarsi la testa.

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“Keeper” – She’s a keeper is a colloquial phrase derived from “for keeps,” which means worth keeping forever. Therefore, the phrase is tantamount to saying she’s good wife material. … Someone else thinks that the person you are dating is someone who would be a good husband or wife for you hence ( he/ she is a keeper ).

Vocabulary Word of the Day

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CHARGER – CARICABATTERIA

Improve your listening skills

(cliccare “cc” nell’angolo in basso a destra del video per vedere i sottotitoli quando sono disponibili: Ricordate, guardare i video senza sottotitoli vi aiuterà a sviluppare ancora di più le vostre capacità di ascolto perché non sarete distratti. Provate a guardare il video una seconda volta se avete difficoltà a capire la prima volta. )

*NEW* Question: What do you think about this? Are the teachers ridiculous or do they have a point?

Improve your reading skills and vocabulary

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Starbucks is pivoting hundreds of North American stores away from the cafe model it helped make ubiquitous and will expand its pickup-only and to-go business — a strategy shift that illustrates how much consumer behavior has changed during the pandemic.  The company said it plans to close up to 400 stores in the US and Canada over the next 18 months, while at the same time adding carryout and pick-up only locations. In its latest SEC filing, the company said it ultimately expects to open about 300 new North American stores that specialize in carryout and pickup options over the next year and a half. In an email to CNN Business, the company said it has recently reexamined its brick-and-mortar retail strategy. Starbucks said about 80% of transactions at nearly 15,000 US stores are “on-the-go” purchases.  “Our vision is that each large city in the US will ultimately have a mix of traditional Starbucks cafés and Starbucks Pickup locations,” the company said in the email.  Starbucks said its new pickup stores will better serve “on-the-go” customers while limiting crowd sizes in its cafes.

*NEW* Question: Do you like this shift in strategy and business model? Why or why not?

pivoting – A pivot usually occurs when a company make a fundamental change to their business after determining (usually through market research) that their product isn’t meeting the needs of their intended market.

ubiquitous – present, appearing, or found everywhere.

brick-and-mortar – Brick and mortar refers to a physical presence of an organization or business in a building or other structure. The term brick-and-mortar business is often used to refer to a company that possesses or leases retail shops, factory production facilities, or warehouses for its operations

Italian

Starbucks sta facendo perno su centinaia di negozi nordamericani, allontanandosi dal modello di caffetteria che ha contribuito a rendere onnipresente e che espanderà il suo business solo per il pickup e per l’acquisto – un cambiamento di strategia che illustra quanto sia cambiato il comportamento dei consumatori durante la pandemia.  L’azienda ha detto che prevede di chiudere fino a 400 negozi negli Stati Uniti e in Canada nei prossimi 18 mesi, aggiungendo allo stesso tempo le sedi di carryout e pick-up only. Nel suo ultimo deposito SEC, l’azienda ha detto che alla fine si aspetta di aprire circa 300 nuovi negozi nordamericani specializzati in opzioni di carryout e pickup nel corso del prossimo anno e mezzo. In una e-mail alla CNN Business, l’azienda ha dichiarato di aver recentemente riesaminato la sua strategia di vendita al dettaglio di mattoni e mortai. Starbucks ha dichiarato che circa l’80% delle transazioni in quasi 15.000 negozi statunitensi sono acquisti “on the go”.  “La nostra visione è che ogni grande città degli Stati Uniti avrà un mix di caffè tradizionali Starbucks e di punti vendita Starbucks Pickup”, ha detto l’azienda nell’e-mail.  Starbucks ha detto che i suoi nuovi negozi di pickup serviranno meglio i clienti “on-the-go”, limitando al contempo le dimensioni della folla nei suoi caffè.

 

Apple has been granted a patent for software that would allow for socially distant group selfies

Le mie lezioni giornaliere sono gratuite per tutti. Se siete interessati a migliorare le vostre capacità di conversazione o di scrittura, contattatemi qui. Vi sto aspettando.

*NEW* American Sayings

Se si cresce sentendo sempre certe espressioni o frasi, può essere facile trascurare quanto siano effettivamente strane. È il caso di una serie di americanismi – i detti americani che siamo talmente abituati a pronunciare che ci dimentichiamo che in realtà non hanno alcun senso o sono stati così lontani dai loro significati originali che ci vuole un linguista per collegarli. Spesso ci vuole un estraneo per far notare quanto siano strane alcune espressioni americane – uno straniero che può alzare un sopracciglio nella confusione al giro di parole che molti negli Stati Uniti danno per scontato. Vi insegnerò 30 di queste frasi americane che lasciano i non americani a grattarsi la testa.

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“Green thumb” – A knack for making plants grow well, as in Just look at Louise’s plants—she really has a green thumb. This term presumably alludes to the stained fingers of an avid gardener. [ First half of 1900s]

Vocabulary Word of the Day

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DOORMAT – ZERBINO

Improve your listening skills

(cliccare “cc” nell’angolo in basso a destra del video per vedere i sottotitoli quando sono disponibili: Ricordate, guardare i video senza sottotitoli vi aiuterà a sviluppare ancora di più le vostre capacità di ascolto perché non sarete distratti. Provate a guardare il video una seconda volta se avete difficoltà a capire la prima volta. )

*NEW* Question: What do you think about those recipes?

Improve your reading skills and vocabulary

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With people around the world self-isolating at home in order to curb the spread of Covid-19, Apple has received a patent for software that would allow people to take group selfies while socially distancing from one another. The US Patent and Trademark Office recently granted Apple a patent for the software that would allow for “synthetic group selfies,” or socially distant group selfies. The software would allow a user to invite others to participate in a group selfie that would arrange multiple people into a single image. It would remove the background image from other users’ selfies and place them into the user’s photo.  While it appears as if Apple filed for the patent as a response to the pandemic, the tech giant originally filed for the patent in 2018 and it received it June 2.

*NEW* Question: Is this another brilliant idea from Apple or just ridiculous?

curb – restrain or keep in check.

patent – a government authority or licence conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention.

filed – submit (a legal document, application, or charge) to be placed on record by the appropriate authority.

Italian

Con persone in tutto il mondo che si auto-isolano a casa per frenare la diffusione di Covid-19, Apple ha ricevuto un brevetto per un software che permetterebbe alle persone di prendere selfs di gruppo mentre si allontanano socialmente l’uno dall’altro. L’Ufficio Brevetti e Marchi degli Stati Uniti ha recentemente concesso ad Apple un brevetto per il software che permetterebbe di “selfies di gruppo sintetico”, o selfies di gruppo socialmente distanti. Il software permetterebbe a un utente di invitare altri a partecipare a un selfie di gruppo che organizzerebbe più persone in un’unica immagine. Rimuoverebbe l’immagine di sfondo dai selfies degli altri utenti e li metterebbe nella foto dell’utente.  Mentre sembra che Apple abbia richiesto il brevetto come risposta alla pandemia, il gigante tecnologico ha originariamente richiesto il brevetto nel 2018 e lo ha ricevuto il 2 giugno.

Optional Reading Assignment

Choose one sentence from the reading that you think can be useful for you to learn and send it to me in a message on WhatsApp.

Scegliete una frase della lettura che pensate possa esservi utile e inviatemela in un messaggio su WhatsApp.

Optional Video Assignment

Send me a message on WhatsApp VOCAL MESSAGE repeating one of the complete sentences or phrases that you learned from the video!

Mandami un messaggio su WhatsApp VOCAL MESSAGE ripetendo una delle frasi complete che hai imparato dal video!

Optional Writing Assignment : Practice your writing skills

Share your opinion about the article and video using a maximum of 50 words. I will correct your mistakes and send it back to you. The goal is to learn to express yourself well using as few words as possible.

Condividi la tua opinione sull’articolo e sul video con un massimo di 50 parole. Correggerò i vostri errori e ve lo rispedirò. L’obiettivo è quello di imparare ad esprimersi bene usando il minor numero possibile di parole.

 

 

 

What are daily lessons?

These short lessons cannot substitute speaking on a regular basis, which is the best way to improve. These lessons are a great way to keep improving in between lessons. They are short readings and videos selected by Marcus to help you save time and energy. It is not easy to stay motivated and even when you are motivated, it is difficult to find something new and interesting every day. I will take care of that for you, making it very simple for you to improve your English skills every single day!

Queste brevi lezioni non possono sostituire il parlare regolarmente, che è il modo migliore per migliorare. Queste lezioni sono un ottimo modo per continuare a migliorare tra una lezione e l’altra. Sono brevi letture e video selezionati da Marcus per aiutarvi a risparmiare tempo ed energia. Non è facile rimanere motivati e anche quando si è motivati, è difficile trovare qualcosa di nuovo e interessante ogni giorno. Me ne occuperò io per voi, rendendo molto semplice per voi migliorare la vostra conoscenza dell’inglese ogni singolo giorno!

How to use daily lessons

No stress! My goal is to provide new and interesting material every day for those who like to learn a little bit at a time. For others who don’t have time to study everyday, I don’t wan’t you to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. When you have time, do what you can and decide when and if you have time to practice. Every person is different and each of us has our own learning method.

Niente stress! Il mio obiettivo è quello di fornire ogni giorno materiale nuovo e interessante per chi ama imparare un po’ alla volta. Per gli altri che non hanno tempo di studiare ogni giorno, non voglio che vi sentiate scoraggiati o sopraffatti. Quando avete tempo, fate quello che potete e decidete quando e se avete tempo per esercitarvi. Ogni persona è diversa e ognuno di noi ha il proprio metodo di apprendimento.

Suggestion

Keep a “Daily Lesson” diary to track your progress and the new things that you learn, specifically the new sentences from the reading and video. You can easily come back and find all of the vocabulary words from the article on my website at a later date.

Tieni un diario “Lezione quotidiana” per seguire i tuoi progressi e le novità che impari, in particolare le nuove frasi della lettura e del video. Potete tornare facilmente indietro e trovare tutte le parole del vocabolario dell’articolo sul mio sito web in un secondo momento.

Share with friends, family and colleagues

Feel free to share this with everyone. However, if they would like to do the exercises and contact me directly for writing and speaking training they can click the link below:

Sentitevi liberi di condividerlo con tutti. Tuttavia, se vogliono fare gli esercizi e contattarmi direttamente per l’allenamento di scrittura e conversazione, possono cliccare sul link qui sotto:

click here

 

Airbnb is making a huge comeback

Le mie lezioni giornaliere sono gratuite per tutti. Se siete interessati a migliorare le vostre capacità di conversazione o di scrittura, contattatemi qui. Vi sto aspettando.

*NEW* American Sayings

Se si cresce sentendo sempre certe espressioni o frasi, può essere facile trascurare quanto siano effettivamente strane. È il caso di una serie di americanismi – i detti americani che siamo talmente abituati a pronunciare che ci dimentichiamo che in realtà non hanno alcun senso o sono stati così lontani dai loro significati originali che ci vuole un linguista per collegarli. Spesso ci vuole un estraneo per far notare quanto siano strane alcune espressioni americane – uno straniero che può alzare un sopracciglio nella confusione al giro di parole che molti negli Stati Uniti danno per scontato. Vi insegnerò 30 di queste frasi americane che lasciano i non americani a grattarsi la testa.

old-men-laughing

“Long in the tooth” – rather old. Aunt Aggie’s a little long in the toothto be helping us move. This expression alludes to a horse’s gums receding with age and making the teeth appear longer.

Vocabulary Word of the Day

garden-hose-413684_1920

HOSE – TUBO DELL’AQUA

Improve your listening skills

(cliccare “cc” nell’angolo in basso a destra del video per vedere i sottotitoli quando sono disponibili: Ricordate, guardare i video senza sottotitoli vi aiuterà a sviluppare ancora di più le vostre capacità di ascolto perché non sarete distratti. Provate a guardare il video una seconda volta se avete difficoltà a capire la prima volta. )

*NEW* Question: What do you think about this type of demonstration? Great or Stupid?

Improve your reading skills and vocabulary

living-room-2732939_1920

Here’s another sign that summer travel is rebounding: Airbnb said it’s experiencing a surge in bookings as customers emerge from several months of being cooped up in their homes because of Covid-19. Airbnb revealed that it had more US bookings between May 17 and June 3, which encompassed Memorial Day on May 25, than the same time period a year earlier. That signals Americans are ready to travel, albeit primarily within the United States. CEO Brian Chesky said he’s noticed travelers are preferring to stick to drivable domestic destinations within 200 miles of their home. The malaise of international travel restrictions is making it difficult for people to explore outside of their home countries. In an interview with Bloomberg, Chesky said customers are booking for one week or longer because of the shift to remote working.  “Work from home is becoming working from any home,” he told Bloomberg.

*NEW* Question: What are your favorite vacation destinations in your country?

rebounding – recover in value, amount, or strength after a decrease or decline.

cooped up – If you are cooped up somewhere, you are in a smallclosedspace from which you cannot escape, or you feel as if you are:

albeit – though. despite the fact that; although.

malaise – a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or unease whose exact cause is difficult to identify.

Italian

Ecco un altro segno che i viaggi estivi sono in ripresa: Airbnb ha detto che sta vivendo un’impennata nelle prenotazioni, dato che i clienti escono da diversi mesi rinchiusi nelle loro case a causa di Covid-19. Airbnb ha rivelato di aver avuto più prenotazioni negli Stati Uniti tra il 17 maggio e il 3 giugno, che comprendeva il Memorial Day il 25 maggio, rispetto allo stesso periodo dell’anno precedente. Ciò indica che gli americani sono pronti a viaggiare, anche se principalmente all’interno degli Stati Uniti. L’amministratore delegato Brian Chesky ha dichiarato di aver notato che i viaggiatori preferiscono attenersi a destinazioni nazionali raggiungibili entro 200 miglia da casa. Il malessere delle restrizioni sui viaggi internazionali sta rendendo difficile per le persone esplorare al di fuori del loro paese d’origine. In un’intervista con Bloomberg, Chesky ha detto che i clienti prenotano per una settimana o più a causa del passaggio al lavoro a distanza.  “Il lavoro da casa sta diventando un lavoro da qualsiasi casa”, ha detto a Bloomberg.

Optional Reading Assignment

Choose one sentence from the reading that you think can be useful for you to learn and send it to me in a message on WhatsApp.

Scegliete una frase della lettura che pensate possa esservi utile e inviatemela in un messaggio su WhatsApp.

Optional Video Assignment

Send me a message on WhatsApp VOCAL MESSAGE repeating one of the complete sentences or phrases that you learned from the video!

Mandami un messaggio su WhatsApp VOCAL MESSAGE ripetendo una delle frasi complete che hai imparato dal video!

Optional Writing Assignment : Practice your writing skills

Share your opinion about the article and video using a maximum of 50 words. I will correct your mistakes and send it back to you. The goal is to learn to express yourself well using as few words as possible.

Condividi la tua opinione sull’articolo e sul video con un massimo di 50 parole. Correggerò i vostri errori e ve lo rispedirò. L’obiettivo è quello di imparare ad esprimersi bene usando il minor numero possibile di parole.

 

 

What are daily lessons?

These short lessons cannot substitute speaking on a regular basis, which is the best way to improve. These lessons are a great way to keep improving in between lessons. They are short readings and videos selected by Marcus to help you save time and energy. It is not easy to stay motivated and even when you are motivated, it is difficult to find something new and interesting every day. I will take care of that for you, making it very simple for you to improve your English skills every single day!

Queste brevi lezioni non possono sostituire il parlare regolarmente, che è il modo migliore per migliorare. Queste lezioni sono un ottimo modo per continuare a migliorare tra una lezione e l’altra. Sono brevi letture e video selezionati da Marcus per aiutarvi a risparmiare tempo ed energia. Non è facile rimanere motivati e anche quando si è motivati, è difficile trovare qualcosa di nuovo e interessante ogni giorno. Me ne occuperò io per voi, rendendo molto semplice per voi migliorare la vostra conoscenza dell’inglese ogni singolo giorno!

How to use daily lessons

No stress! My goal is to provide new and interesting material every day for those who like to learn a little bit at a time. For others who don’t have time to study everyday, I don’t wan’t you to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. When you have time, do what you can and decide when and if you have time to practice. Every person is different and each of us has our own learning method.

Niente stress! Il mio obiettivo è quello di fornire ogni giorno materiale nuovo e interessante per chi ama imparare un po’ alla volta. Per gli altri che non hanno tempo di studiare ogni giorno, non voglio che vi sentiate scoraggiati o sopraffatti. Quando avete tempo, fate quello che potete e decidete quando e se avete tempo per esercitarvi. Ogni persona è diversa e ognuno di noi ha il proprio metodo di apprendimento.

Suggestion

Keep a “Daily Lesson” diary to track your progress and the new things that you learn, specifically the new sentences from the reading and video. You can easily come back and find all of the vocabulary words from the article on my website at a later date.

Tieni un diario “Lezione quotidiana” per seguire i tuoi progressi e le novità che impari, in particolare le nuove frasi della lettura e del video. Potete tornare facilmente indietro e trovare tutte le parole del vocabolario dell’articolo sul mio sito web in un secondo momento.

Share with friends, family and colleagues

Feel free to share this with everyone. However, if they would like to do the exercises and contact me directly for writing and speaking training they can click the link below:

Sentitevi liberi di condividerlo con tutti. Tuttavia, se vogliono fare gli esercizi e contattarmi direttamente per l’allenamento di scrittura e conversazione, possono cliccare sul link qui sotto:

click here

 

The pandemic is saving soup sales as people stock up and eat at home

Le mie lezioni giornaliere sono gratuite per tutti. Se siete interessati a migliorare le vostre capacità di conversazione o di scrittura, contattatemi qui. Vi sto aspettando.

*NEW* American Sayings

Se si cresce sentendo sempre certe espressioni o frasi, può essere facile trascurare quanto siano effettivamente strane. È il caso di una serie di americanismi – i detti americani che siamo talmente abituati a pronunciare che ci dimentichiamo che in realtà non hanno alcun senso o sono stati così lontani dai loro significati originali che ci vuole un linguista per collegarli. Spesso ci vuole un estraneo per far notare quanto siano strane alcune espressioni americane – uno straniero che può alzare un sopracciglio nella confusione al giro di parole che molti negli Stati Uniti danno per scontato. Vi insegnerò 30 di queste frasi americane che lasciano i non americani a grattarsi la testa.

shutterstock_274705307

“Don’t be such a wet blanket.” – A person who discourages enjoyment or enthusiasm. his expression alludes to smothering a fire with a wet blanket.

Vocabulary Word of the Day

apple-1873078_1920

LADDER – LA SCALA

Improve your listening skills

(cliccare “cc” nell’angolo in basso a destra del video per vedere i sottotitoli quando sono disponibili: Ricordate, guardare i video senza sottotitoli vi aiuterà a sviluppare ancora di più le vostre capacità di ascolto perché non sarete distratti. Provate a guardare il video una seconda volta se avete difficoltà a capire la prima volta. )

Improve your reading skills and vocabulary

<> on November 21, 2017 in San Rafael, California.

As people stocked up for an unknown future and sheltered in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, they reached for soup — and helped spark a turnaround for Campbell.  The company reported a 35% increase in US soup sales in retail for the three months ending on April 26.  “Now more than ever, consumers are looking for quick, easy meals and soup clearly plays a vital role,” said Campbell Soup CEO Mark Clouse in remarks discussing the financial results Wednesday. A number of different shopping and behavioral trends have contributed to Campbell’s success during the pandemic. At first, people were stocking up on canned and shelf-stable goods — at one point, demand for its soup shot up by 140%, Campbell said. People have also been shopping for comfort foods and nostalgic brands. Campbell ticks those boxes, as well. 

*NEW* Question: What things did you eat the most during quarantine? 

stocked up – to buy a largequantity of something

sheltered – find refuge or take cover from bad weather or danger.

canned – (of food or drink) preserved or supplied in a sealed can.

Italian

Mentre le persone si rifornivano per un futuro sconosciuto e si rifugiavano sul posto a causa della pandemia di coronavirus, sono andate a prendere una zuppa – e hanno contribuito a innescare un’inversione di tendenza per Campbell.  L’azienda ha registrato un aumento del 35% delle vendite di zuppe statunitensi al dettaglio per i tre mesi che si sono conclusi il 26 aprile.  “Ora più che mai, i consumatori sono alla ricerca di pasti facili e veloci e la zuppa gioca chiaramente un ruolo vitale”, ha detto il CEO di Campbell Soup, Mark Clouse, commentando i risultati finanziari di mercoledì. Una serie di diverse tendenze di acquisto e di comportamento hanno contribuito al successo di Campbell durante la pandemia. All’inizio, la gente faceva scorta di prodotti in scatola e a scaffale – a un certo punto, la domanda per la sua zuppa è aumentata del 140%, ha detto Campbell. La gente ha anche fatto acquisti di cibi di conforto e di marchi nostalgici. Anche Campbell ha fatto la stessa cosa.

Optional Reading Assignment

Choose one sentence from the reading that you think can be useful for you to learn and send it to me in a message on WhatsApp.

Scegliete una frase della lettura che pensate possa esservi utile e inviatemela in un messaggio su WhatsApp.

Optional Video Assignment

Send me a message on WhatsApp VOCAL MESSAGE repeating one of the complete sentences or phrases that you learned from the video!

Mandami un messaggio su WhatsApp VOCAL MESSAGE ripetendo una delle frasi complete che hai imparato dal video!

Optional Writing Assignment : Practice your writing skills

Share your opinion about the article and video using a maximum of 50 words. I will correct your mistakes and send it back to you. The goal is to learn to express yourself well using as few words as possible.

Condividi la tua opinione sull’articolo e sul video con un massimo di 50 parole. Correggerò i vostri errori e ve lo rispedirò. L’obiettivo è quello di imparare ad esprimersi bene usando il minor numero possibile di parole.

 

 

What are daily lessons?

These short lessons cannot substitute speaking on a regular basis, which is the best way to improve. These lessons are a great way to keep improving in between lessons. They are short readings and videos selected by Marcus to help you save time and energy. It is not easy to stay motivated and even when you are motivated, it is difficult to find something new and interesting every day. I will take care of that for you, making it very simple for you to improve your English skills every single day!

Queste brevi lezioni non possono sostituire il parlare regolarmente, che è il modo migliore per migliorare. Queste lezioni sono un ottimo modo per continuare a migliorare tra una lezione e l’altra. Sono brevi letture e video selezionati da Marcus per aiutarvi a risparmiare tempo ed energia. Non è facile rimanere motivati e anche quando si è motivati, è difficile trovare qualcosa di nuovo e interessante ogni giorno. Me ne occuperò io per voi, rendendo molto semplice per voi migliorare la vostra conoscenza dell’inglese ogni singolo giorno!

How to use daily lessons

No stress! My goal is to provide new and interesting material every day for those who like to learn a little bit at a time. For others who don’t have time to study everyday, I don’t wan’t you to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. When you have time, do what you can and decide when and if you have time to practice. Every person is different and each of us has our own learning method.

Niente stress! Il mio obiettivo è quello di fornire ogni giorno materiale nuovo e interessante per chi ama imparare un po’ alla volta. Per gli altri che non hanno tempo di studiare ogni giorno, non voglio che vi sentiate scoraggiati o sopraffatti. Quando avete tempo, fate quello che potete e decidete quando e se avete tempo per esercitarvi. Ogni persona è diversa e ognuno di noi ha il proprio metodo di apprendimento.

Suggestion

Keep a “Daily Lesson” diary to track your progress and the new things that you learn, specifically the new sentences from the reading and video. You can easily come back and find all of the vocabulary words from the article on my website at a later date.

Tieni un diario “Lezione quotidiana” per seguire i tuoi progressi e le novità che impari, in particolare le nuove frasi della lettura e del video. Potete tornare facilmente indietro e trovare tutte le parole del vocabolario dell’articolo sul mio sito web in un secondo momento.

Share with friends, family and colleagues

Feel free to share this with everyone. However, if they would like to do the exercises and contact me directly for writing and speaking training they can click the link below:

Sentitevi liberi di condividerlo con tutti. Tuttavia, se vogliono fare gli esercizi e contattarmi direttamente per l’allenamento di scrittura e conversazione, possono cliccare sul link qui sotto:

click here

 

When we go back to eating out, more of us will pay with our phones

Le mie lezioni giornaliere sono gratuite per tutti. Se siete interessati a migliorare le vostre capacità di conversazione o di scrittura, contattatemi qui. Vi sto aspettando.

*NEW* American Sayings

Se si cresce sentendo sempre certe espressioni o frasi, può essere facile trascurare quanto siano effettivamente strane. È il caso di una serie di americanismi – i detti americani che siamo talmente abituati a pronunciare che ci dimentichiamo che in realtà non hanno alcun senso o sono stati così lontani dai loro significati originali che ci vuole un linguista per collegarli. Spesso ci vuole un estraneo per far notare quanto siano strane alcune espressioni americane – uno straniero che può alzare un sopracciglio nella confusione al giro di parole che molti negli Stati Uniti danno per scontato. Vi insegnerò 30 di queste frasi americane che lasciano i non americani a grattarsi la testa.

make-it-creepy-conversationalist

“Let’s table this.” – In American English, to table something means to postpone discussion on something. It might mean to postpone it indefinitely, but usually it just means that the discussion should be resumed at a later date.

Vocabulary Word of the Day

architecture-3552162_1920

HANDRAIL – CORRIMANO

Improve your listening skills

(cliccare “cc” nell’angolo in basso a destra del video per vedere i sottotitoli quando sono disponibili: Ricordate, guardare i video senza sottotitoli vi aiuterà a sviluppare ancora di più le vostre capacità di ascolto perché non sarete distratti. Provate a guardare il video una seconda volta se avete difficoltà a capire la prima volta. )

Improve your reading skills and vocabulary

200601105827-starbucks-0513-restricted-exlarge-169

Major restaurant chains are trying to make it easier for customers to get their food without touching anything but their own phones. It’s a trend that started before the pandemic hit and has only accelerated as consumers and restaurants adjust to a new normal, where contact with others is discouraged. Now, restaurants are betting people will want to peruse digital menus instead of physical ones and opt for mobile ordering rather than paying at the register with cash or credit card. “The handling of cash creates consumer concerns about the spread of viruses,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson wrote in an open letter in early May describing the company’s plan to reopen. He noted that Starbucks is adding new features to its app to include voice ordering through Siri and more opportunities for rewards. The app already shows which restaurants have mobile order and pickup so that customers can plan their visits and manage expectations before they get to the store. Johnson predicted that “the mobile app will become the dominant form of payment.”

*NEW* Question: Would you prefer to view menus and pay your bill with new technology or continue the traditional way?

betting – used to express certainty.

peruse – read (something), typically in a thorough or careful way.

register – a machine used in shops that has a drawer for money and totals, displays, and records the amount of each sale.

Italian

Le principali catene di ristoranti stanno cercando di rendere più facile per i clienti procurarsi il cibo senza toccare nulla se non il proprio telefono. È una tendenza che è iniziata prima che la pandemia colpisse e che ha subito un’accelerazione solo quando i consumatori e i ristoranti si adeguano a una nuova normalità, dove il contatto con gli altri è scoraggiato. Ora, i ristoranti scommettono che la gente vorrà sfogliare i menu digitali invece di quelli fisici e optare per l’ordinazione via cellulare piuttosto che pagare alla cassa con contanti o carta di credito. “La gestione del contante crea preoccupazioni nei consumatori sulla diffusione dei virus”, ha scritto Kevin Johnson, CEO di Starbucks, in una lettera aperta all’inizio di maggio, descrivendo il piano dell’azienda per la riapertura. Ha osservato che Starbucks sta aggiungendo nuove funzionalità alla sua app per includere l’ordinazione vocale attraverso Siri e maggiori opportunità di ricompense. L’app mostra già quali ristoranti hanno l’ordine e il ritiro mobile in modo che i clienti possano pianificare le loro visite e gestire le aspettative prima di arrivare al negozio. Johnson ha previsto che “l’app mobile diventerà la forma di pagamento dominante”.

Optional Reading Assignment

Choose one sentence from the reading that you think can be useful for you to learn and send it to me in a message on WhatsApp.

Scegliete una frase della lettura che pensate possa esservi utile e inviatemela in un messaggio su WhatsApp.

Optional Video Assignment

Send me a message on WhatsApp VOCAL MESSAGE repeating one of the complete sentences or phrases that you learned from the video!

Mandami un messaggio su WhatsApp VOCAL MESSAGE ripetendo una delle frasi complete che hai imparato dal video!

Optional Writing Assignment : Practice your writing skills

*NEW* Question: Would you prefer to view menus and pay your bill with new technology or continue the traditional way?

Share your opinion about the article and video using a maximum of 50 words. I will correct your mistakes and send it back to you. The goal is to learn to express yourself well using as few words as possible.

Condividi la tua opinione sull’articolo e sul video con un massimo di 50 parole. Correggerò i vostri errori e ve lo rispedirò. L’obiettivo è quello di imparare ad esprimersi bene usando il minor numero possibile di parole.

 

What are daily lessons?

These short lessons cannot substitute speaking on a regular basis, which is the best way to improve. These lessons are a great way to keep improving in between lessons. They are short readings and videos selected by Marcus to help you save time and energy. It is not easy to stay motivated and even when you are motivated, it is difficult to find something new and interesting every day. I will take care of that for you, making it very simple for you to improve your English skills every single day!

Queste brevi lezioni non possono sostituire il parlare regolarmente, che è il modo migliore per migliorare. Queste lezioni sono un ottimo modo per continuare a migliorare tra una lezione e l’altra. Sono brevi letture e video selezionati da Marcus per aiutarvi a risparmiare tempo ed energia. Non è facile rimanere motivati e anche quando si è motivati, è difficile trovare qualcosa di nuovo e interessante ogni giorno. Me ne occuperò io per voi, rendendo molto semplice per voi migliorare la vostra conoscenza dell’inglese ogni singolo giorno!

How to use daily lessons

No stress! My goal is to provide new and interesting material every day for those who like to learn a little bit at a time. For others who don’t have time to study everyday, I don’t wan’t you to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. When you have time, do what you can and decide when and if you have time to practice. Every person is different and each of us has our own learning method.

Niente stress! Il mio obiettivo è quello di fornire ogni giorno materiale nuovo e interessante per chi ama imparare un po’ alla volta. Per gli altri che non hanno tempo di studiare ogni giorno, non voglio che vi sentiate scoraggiati o sopraffatti. Quando avete tempo, fate quello che potete e decidete quando e se avete tempo per esercitarvi. Ogni persona è diversa e ognuno di noi ha il proprio metodo di apprendimento.

Suggestion

Keep a “Daily Lesson” diary to track your progress and the new things that you learn, specifically the new sentences from the reading and video. You can easily come back and find all of the vocabulary words from the article on my website at a later date.

Tieni un diario “Lezione quotidiana” per seguire i tuoi progressi e le novità che impari, in particolare le nuove frasi della lettura e del video. Potete tornare facilmente indietro e trovare tutte le parole del vocabolario dell’articolo sul mio sito web in un secondo momento.

Share with friends, family and colleagues

Feel free to share this with everyone. However, if they would like to do the exercises and contact me directly for writing and speaking training they can click the link below:

Sentitevi liberi di condividerlo con tutti. Tuttavia, se vogliono fare gli esercizi e contattarmi direttamente per l’allenamento di scrittura e conversazione, possono cliccare sul link qui sotto:

click here

 

Daily Lesson Photo Vocabulary Review #2

A volte, invece di imparare cose nuove, basta ricordare ciò che si è già imparato.

tray-2546077_1920

TRAY – VASSOIO

broom-1837434_1920

MOP – MOCIO, STRACCIO

BROOM – SCOPA

DUSTPAN – PALETTA

kitchen-5139610_1920

(KITCHEN COUNTER) COUNTERTOP – BANCONE DELLA CUCINA, PIANO DI LAVORO

coronavirus-5037224_1920

PAPER TOWEL – ASCIUGATUTTO, CARTA DA CUCINA

jug-3464829_1920

PITCHER – BROCCA

What are daily lessons?

These short lessons cannot substitute speaking on a regular basis, which is the best way to improve. These lessons are a great way to keep improving in between lessons. They are short readings and videos selected by Marcus to help you save time and energy. It is not easy to stay motivated and even when you are motivated, it is difficult to find something new and interesting every day. I will take care of that for you, making it very simple for you to improve your English skills every single day!

Queste brevi lezioni non possono sostituire il parlare regolarmente, che è il modo migliore per migliorare. Queste lezioni sono un ottimo modo per continuare a migliorare tra una lezione e l’altra. Sono brevi letture e video selezionati da Marcus per aiutarvi a risparmiare tempo ed energia. Non è facile rimanere motivati e anche quando si è motivati, è difficile trovare qualcosa di nuovo e interessante ogni giorno. Me ne occuperò io per voi, rendendo molto semplice per voi migliorare la vostra conoscenza dell’inglese ogni singolo giorno!

How to use daily lessons

No stress! My goal is to provide new and interesting material every day for those who like to learn a little bit at a time. For others who don’t have time to study everyday, I don’t wan’t you to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. When you have time, do what you can and decide when and if you have time to practice. Every person is different and each of us has our own learning method.

Niente stress! Il mio obiettivo è quello di fornire ogni giorno materiale nuovo e interessante per chi ama imparare un po’ alla volta. Per gli altri che non hanno tempo di studiare ogni giorno, non voglio che vi sentiate scoraggiati o sopraffatti. Quando avete tempo, fate quello che potete e decidete quando e se avete tempo per esercitarvi. Ogni persona è diversa e ognuno di noi ha il proprio metodo di apprendimento.

Suggestion

Keep a “Daily Lesson” diary to track your progress and the new things that you learn, specifically the new sentences from the reading and video. You can easily come back and find all of the vocabulary words from the article on my website at a later date.

Tieni un diario “Lezione quotidiana” per seguire i tuoi progressi e le novità che impari, in particolare le nuove frasi della lettura e del video. Potete tornare facilmente indietro e trovare tutte le parole del vocabolario dell’articolo sul mio sito web in un secondo momento.

Share with friends, family and colleagues

Feel free to share this with everyone. However, if they would like to do the exercises and contact me directly for writing and speaking training they can click the link below:

Sentitevi liberi di condividerlo con tutti. Tuttavia, se vogliono fare gli esercizi e contattarmi direttamente per l’allenamento di scrittura e conversazione, possono cliccare sul link qui sotto:

click here

 

Daily Lesson Vocabulary Review #2

Date un’occhiata al significato di alcune parole degli articoli. Ho messo un * accanto alle parole più utili.

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spread – open out (something) so as to extend its surface area, width, or length

despite – without being affected by; in spite of.

lung – each of the pair of organs situated within the ribcage, consisting of elastic sacs with branching passages into which air is drawn

paycheck – a salary or wages cheque made out to an employee.

according to – as stated by or in

injured – harmed, damaged, or impaired.

due – (of a payment) required at a certain time.

unclear – not easy to see, hear, or understand.

contracted – catch or develop (a disease or infectious agent).

coughing – expel air from the lungs with a sudden sharp sound.

cash register – a machine used in shops that has a drawer for money and totals, displays, and records the amount of each sale.

instituted – introduce or establish (a scheme, undertaking, or policy).

several – more than two but not many.

providing – make available for use; supply.

sneeze – make a sudden involuntary expulsion of air from the nose and mouth due to irritation of one’s nostrils.

item – an individual article or unit, especially one that is part of a list, collection, or set.

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spot – a particular place or point.

rave – When journalists write rave reviews, they praise something in a very enthusiastic way.

packed – cram a large number of things into.

abrupt – sudden and unexpected.

halt – bring or come to an abrupt stop.

charred – burnt and blackened.

dry-aged – something that has been hung or placed on a rack to dry for several weeks

meals – any of the regular occasions in a day when a reasonably large amount of food is eaten.

heat – make or become hot or warm.

gross – very unpleasant; repulsive.

en route – during the course of a journey; on the way.

upsell – persuade a customer to buy something additional or more expensive.

frivolity – lack of seriousness; light-heartedness.

tuxedo-clad – wearing a tuxedo

tuxedo – Black tie is a semi-formal Western dress code for evening events, originating in British and American conventions for attire in the 19th century.

bunny – a child’s term for a rabbit.

monotony – ack of variety and interest; tedious repetition and routine.

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shaming – make (someone) feel ashamed.

fierce – having or displaying an intense or ferocious aggressiveness.

mere – used to emphasize how small or insignificant someone or something is.

neighbor – a person living next door to or very near to the speaker or person referred to.

foursome – a group of four people.

held court – Be surrounded by and command the attention of admirers, subordinates, or hangers-on

catching up – an instance of two or more people meeting to discuss what has happened since the last time they met or spoke.

challenges – a task or situation that tests someone’s abilities.

yelling – shout in a loud, sharp way.

screams – a loud, piercing sound.

recognize – identify (someone or something) from having encountered them before; know again.

prattled – talk at length in a foolish or inconsequential way.

ire – anger.

laid out – sprawled or arranged, depending on context.

nearly – very close to; almost.

mind her own business – refrain from prying or interfering.

petered out – to diminish gradually and stop; dwindle to nothing.

awkward – causing or feeling uneasy embarrassment or inconvenience.

sparked – provide the stimulus for (an event or process).

exacerbating – make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse.

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achievements – a thing done successfully with effort, skill, or courage.

hard-earned – having taken a great deal of effort to earn or acquire.

degree – an academic rank conferred by a college or university after examination or after completion of a course, or conferred as an honour on a distinguished person.

under their belt – safely or satisfactorily achieved, experienced, or acquired.

postpone – cause or arrange for (something) to take place at a time later than that first scheduled.

afterward – at a later or future time.

bleakest – (of a situation) not hopeful or encouraging; unlikely to have a favourable outcome.

internships – the position of a student or trainee who works in an organization, sometimes without pay, in order to gain work experience or satisfy requirements for a qualification.

uphill battleuphill battle, an uphill struggle or an uphill task, it is difficult to do because of obstacles such as opposition from other people.

hiring – employ (someone) for wages.

hardest-hit – badly affected.

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pulled over – (of a vehicle) move to the side of or off the road.

SUV – An SUV is a powerful vehicle with four-wheel drive that can be driven over rough ground. SUV is an abbreviation for ‘sport utility vehicle‘.

spotted – see, notice, or recognize (someone or something) that is difficult to detect or that one is searching for.

weaving – twist and turn from side to side while moving somewhere in order to avoid obstructions.

impaired – affected by alcohol or drugs to the extent of losing control over one’s faculties or behaviour.

brake pedal – The brake pedal is the pedal that you press with your foot in order to make a vehicle go slower or stop

up to – the responsibility or choice of (someone).

whether – expressing a doubt or choice between alternatives.

file charges – to make a formal legal complaint of wrongdoing or mistreatment against another person.

sibling – each of two or more children or offspring having one or both parents in common; a brother or sister.

*Completamente gratuito: Al momento le lezioni giornaliere sono completamente gratuite per tutti, ma da 1 Giugno 2020 ci sarà un costo accessibile di solo 30 euro per 30 lezioni. Ogni nuovo studente ha la possibilità di provare 30 lezioni gratuitamente*

What are daily lessons?

These short lessons cannot substitute speaking on a regular basis, which is the best way to improve. These lessons are a great way to keep improving in between lessons. They are short readings and videos selected by Marcus to help you save time and energy. It is not easy to stay motivated and even when you are motivated, it is difficult to find something new and interesting every day. I will take care of that for you, making it very simple for you to improve your English skills every single day!

Queste brevi lezioni non possono sostituire il parlare regolarmente, che è il modo migliore per migliorare. Queste lezioni sono un ottimo modo per continuare a migliorare tra una lezione e l’altra. Sono brevi letture e video selezionati da Marcus per aiutarvi a risparmiare tempo ed energia. Non è facile rimanere motivati e anche quando si è motivati, è difficile trovare qualcosa di nuovo e interessante ogni giorno. Me ne occuperò io per voi, rendendo molto semplice per voi migliorare la vostra conoscenza dell’inglese ogni singolo giorno!

How to use daily lessons

No stress! My goal is to provide new and interesting material every day for those who like to learn a little bit at a time. For others who don’t have time to study everyday, I don’t wan’t you to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. When you have time, do what you can and decide when and if you have time to practice. Every person is different and each of us has our own learning method.

Niente stress! Il mio obiettivo è quello di fornire ogni giorno materiale nuovo e interessante per chi ama imparare un po’ alla volta. Per gli altri che non hanno tempo di studiare ogni giorno, non voglio che vi sentiate scoraggiati o sopraffatti. Quando avete tempo, fate quello che potete e decidete quando e se avete tempo per esercitarvi. Ogni persona è diversa e ognuno di noi ha il proprio metodo di apprendimento.

Suggestion

Keep a “Daily Lesson” diary to track your progress and the new things that you learn, specifically the new sentences from the reading and video. You can easily come back and find all of the vocabulary words from the article on my website at a later date.

Tieni un diario “Lezione quotidiana” per seguire i tuoi progressi e le novità che impari, in particolare le nuove frasi della lettura e del video. Potete tornare facilmente indietro e trovare tutte le parole del vocabolario dell’articolo sul mio sito web in un secondo momento.

Share with friends, family and colleagues

Feel free to share this with everyone. However, if they would like to do the exercises and contact me directly for writing and speaking training they can click the link below:

Sentitevi liberi di condividerlo con tutti. Tuttavia, se vogliono fare gli esercizi e contattarmi direttamente per l’allenamento di scrittura e conversazione, possono cliccare sul link qui sotto:

click here

 

Daily Lesson Video Review #3

Guardate di nuovo i video e fatemi sapere se è più facile da capire la seconda volta. Naturalmente sarà comunque una sfida, ma l’idea è quella di fare progressi lenti e costanti. Ricordatevi di imparare una frase utile da ogni video. Solo una, non due, non sette, solo una. Come al solito, mandatemi un messaggio vocale o un messaggio normale con qualche feedback.

 

*Completamente gratuito: Al momento le lezioni giornaliere sono completamente gratuite per tutti, ma da 1 Giugno 2020 ci sarà un costo accessibile di solo 30 euro per 30 lezioni. Ogni nuovo studente ha la possibilità di provare 30 lezioni gratuitamente*

What are daily lessons?

These short lessons cannot substitute speaking on a regular basis, which is the best way to improve. These lessons are a great way to keep improving in between lessons. They are short readings and videos selected by Marcus to help you save time and energy. It is not easy to stay motivated and even when you are motivated, it is difficult to find something new and interesting every day. I will take care of that for you, making it very simple for you to improve your English skills every single day!

Queste brevi lezioni non possono sostituire il parlare regolarmente, che è il modo migliore per migliorare. Queste lezioni sono un ottimo modo per continuare a migliorare tra una lezione e l’altra. Sono brevi letture e video selezionati da Marcus per aiutarvi a risparmiare tempo ed energia. Non è facile rimanere motivati e anche quando si è motivati, è difficile trovare qualcosa di nuovo e interessante ogni giorno. Me ne occuperò io per voi, rendendo molto semplice per voi migliorare la vostra conoscenza dell’inglese ogni singolo giorno!

How to use daily lessons

No stress! My goal is to provide new and interesting material every day for those who like to learn a little bit at a time. For others who don’t have time to study everyday, I don’t wan’t you to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. When you have time, do what you can and decide when and if you have time to practice. Every person is different and each of us has our own learning method.

Niente stress! Il mio obiettivo è quello di fornire ogni giorno materiale nuovo e interessante per chi ama imparare un po’ alla volta. Per gli altri che non hanno tempo di studiare ogni giorno, non voglio che vi sentiate scoraggiati o sopraffatti. Quando avete tempo, fate quello che potete e decidete quando e se avete tempo per esercitarvi. Ogni persona è diversa e ognuno di noi ha il proprio metodo di apprendimento.

Suggestion

Keep a “Daily Lesson” diary to track your progress and the new things that you learn, specifically the new sentences from the reading and video. You can easily come back and find all of the vocabulary words from the article on my website at a later date.

Tieni un diario “Lezione quotidiana” per seguire i tuoi progressi e le novità che impari, in particolare le nuove frasi della lettura e del video. Potete tornare facilmente indietro e trovare tutte le parole del vocabolario dell’articolo sul mio sito web in un secondo momento.

Share with friends, family and colleagues

Feel free to share this with everyone. However, if they would like to do the exercises and contact me directly for writing and speaking training they can click the link below:

Sentitevi liberi di condividerlo con tutti. Tuttavia, se vogliono fare gli esercizi e contattarmi direttamente per l’allenamento di scrittura e conversazione, possono cliccare sul link qui sotto:

click here

 

American Sayings Review #1

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“Piece of cake.” – means something that’s simple to accomplish. If a school assignment is a piece of cake, it’s so easy that you will barely have to think about it

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“Scoot over” – if someone sitting down scoots over, they move to a different position, for example to make space for someone else to sit down.

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“Put lipstick on a pig.” – make superficial changes to something generally regarded with dislike or disfavour in a fruitless attempt to make it more appealing.

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“Break a leg.” – is a typical English idiom used in theatre to wish a performer “good luck”. … The expression probably reflects a superstition (perhaps a theatrical superstition) in which directly wishing a person “good luck” would be considered bad luck, therefore an alternative way of wishing luck was developed.

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“Knock on wood.” – is an apotropaic tradition of literally touching, tapping, or knocking on wood, or merely stating that one is doing or intending to do so, in order to avoid “tempting fate” after making a favorable prediction or boast, or a declaration concerning one’s own death or another unfavorable situation.

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“I’m not a big fan of (something)”  – You can say “I’m not a big fan of . . .” or “I’m not a huge fan of . . .” to express that you don’t like something/someone very much.