Friday, March 30, 2012

Could Men Become Extinct? Possibly.

Hello everyone. Here are the answers to the latest six Minute English Quiz: In this programme, Rosie and Neil talk about a new study which suggests that men may become extinct in as little as 100,000 years.

Those questions, with the answers:

1. This week's official question: What is the ratio of men to women in the world? The right answer was:
b) 101 males to every 100 females. 

2. According to the most pessimistic research, how long will it be before men could be extinct? A hundred thousand years.

3. Men separated from the rhesus monkey 25 million years ago.

4. Jennifer Hughes of the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says that human genes will remain stable for many millions of years to come.

5. She says that natural selection is doing a very good job in preserving those genes.

6. What, according to the discussion, is the difference between men's sex chromosomes and those of women? They are not as sophisticated.

7. What difference would it make, according to the presenters, if there were no men?
            Rosie says, "More would get done."
            She says her boyfriend had never used a washing machine until he was 30 years old.

8. Neil says that if there were only women in the world, "you'd never get into the bathroom!"

9. Rosie's boyfriend is terrified of mice.

10. Rosie says that men are useful for lifting heavy things and opening jars with the lids tightly screwed on.

11. On a more serious note, Rosie says that if there were only women, there would be far fewer wars if there were only women.

12. She says women would be more likely to talk things over than resort to violence.

Very many thanks to Luisa, Alberto, Graziana, Catia, Manuela and others for your answers to the Quiz. 
I'll post a further message for you all before the Easter holidays start. watch this space!
Yours,

Mike


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Could Men Become Extinct?

Good day everyone. The above is the alarming title of this week's Six Minute English Quiz. Listen and draw your own conclusions.

In the programme, Rosie and Neil talk about a new study which suggests that men may become extinct in as little as 100,000 years. Listen to find out why this might be happening.

This week's official question: 


1. What is the ratio of men to women in the world? Is it

a) Equal – so 100 males to every 100 females;
b) 101 males to every 100 females;
c) 100 males to every 105 females? 

Listen out for the answer at the end of the programme.


For the following questions, you have two options. If you see a ____, this represents one missing word. Listen and see if you can identify the missing word in each case.

Alternatively, if you see a ....... (series of dots), answer the question in your own words. But you can use the words you hear in the programme.

2. According to the most pessimistic research, how long will it be before men could be extinct?


3. Men separated from the rhesus __________  _____ _____ million years ago.


4. Jennifer Hughes of the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says that human genes will remain _____ for many ____ ____ _____ to come.


5. She says that ____ ____ is doing a very good job in preserving those genes.


6. What, according to the discussion, is the difference between men's sex chromosomes and those of women?


7. What difference would it make, according to the presenters, if there were no men?

Rosie says, "......................."
She says her boyfriend had never _____ ____ _____ _____ until he was ____ years old.

8. Neil says that if there were only women in the world, "....................... !"


9. Rosie's boyfriend is terrified of ______.


10. Rosie says that men are useful for ____ ____ ____ and opening jars with the ____ ____ ____ ____.


11. On a more serious note, Rosie says that if there were only women, there would be ____ ____ ____ if there were only women.

12. She says women would be more likely to ____ ____ ____ than _____ ____ ____.


Now
listen to the programme. Then write your answers in a Comment, using the Comments link just below this post. Or use the Tag Board, which allows up to 200 characters per message.

I look forward to getting everyone's answers!
More later this week.
Yours,
Mike

Friday, March 16, 2012

Your Wedding Promises

What would you promise in your wedding vows? That's the question being asked right now on the BBC's "Express English" site. The word "vow" means a very formal, solemn promise. You usually encounter this word in a religious context, as when you get married, or become a priest, monk or nun.

Traditionally in an English wedding, a wife promised to "obey" her husband, but this vow has largely been replaced by both husband and wife promising to "honour" each other.

Now, have a look at Express English: Wedding Vows. Four different people speak. What promises would they make at their weddings? Write your answers to this question on the Tag Board or in a Comment.

And what promises would you make? Again, write your ideas on the Tag Board or, better, in a Comment at the end of this post. I look forward to as many different answers as possible!

Coming soon: more website recommendations to help you practise English using the Internet; and a Six Minute English Quiz.

Watch this space!
And have a nice day wherever you are - I'm in a sunny, springlike Rome.
Mike

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Blog Site Lists Reorganised

Hello everyone. This week I have started to reorganise some of the site lists on the Blog. I have started with 'Top Sites Right Now', just below the Tag Board.

I have changed the site descriptions to make them clearer. I have also added a few sites. The newcomers include "Pronunciation Tips" from the BBC's "Learning English" site. This is essential viewing and listening  at any level, if for example you're having problems distinguishing bards from birds, or cords from cards. Good for general listening skills.

Another addition is "Express English", also from the BBC. Here, you listen to people expressing their opinions on  a certain topic, which changes every week. You can then post your own opinion. This is a good idea if you want to practise writing short texts. You'll need to register first, and check out the house rules.

Later, I'll check and if necessary correct, the other lists of sites further down the right hand column. Here, I welcome help from you. If you discover a site that is 'dead', that is, doesn't work, let me know through the Tag Board or a comment.

And if you know about a site you enthusiastically recommend, same thing: leave me a message. Several sites listed here were originally recommended by Blog visitors.

Very soon, I will post a new Listening Quiz. Watch this space - and have a nice day.
Yours,
Mike

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Captain Scott of the Antarctic: The Answers

Dear readers,

Many thanks for the interest you have shown in Captain Scott's extraordinary expedition to the Antarctic. I can now give you the official answers to this latest Six Minute English Quiz, as follows:

1. This week's question: Which other famous British explorer led the first successful expedition across the Antarctic Circle in 1773? 

The right answer was a) Captain James Cook.

2. What sort of extreme conditions did Scot and his team have to face?
(pitch darkness, extraordinarily low temperatures)

3. How low did the temperatures go? (minus forty degrees Celsius)

4. What effect did the low temperatures have on the men's teeth? (they cracked)

5. What did the team collect during the expedition?  (rocks and emperor penguins' eggs)

6. What items of expedition equipment is the museum curator describing? (Terry Garrard’s balaclava [hat] with nose-piece; a thermal flask; a light they had with them)

Many thanks to Elisabetta, Catia, Graziana, Marco, Annalisa, Domenico and Giorgia for your kind participation.

Watch out for the next Quiz. Also for more pointers towards useful web sites to help you practise your English.

Have a nice day!
Mike