Friday, July 18, 2014

Six Minute English: What kind of men do women find attractive?

Hello everyone!

it's the Tour de France right now - possibly the biggest cycling event in Europe along with the Giro d'Italia. And it began, strangely, in Leeds in the UK, not in France.

Although I would not personally want to be a competition cyclist, I follow both the Tour and the Giro occasionally. And I have found an interesting piece on the BBC's 'Six Minute English' in which Rob and Finn discuss the question of whether women really find winning cyclists more attractive than other men, as some research suggests. 

Read the following questions and then listen to the programme:

1. (Official): How long is the first stage of the Tour de France? Is it: a) 151 km; b) 191 km; c) 221 km ? 

2. Rob enjoys cycling for [____], as a [_____] and as a [____] to keep [____].

3. Finn bought a bike but he stopped cycling when he got ___ ___ ___ (three words)

4. Dr. Erik Postma of Zurich University found that the [___] 10 per cent of riders were [____] more attractive to  women than the [____] ten per cent.

5. Men are seen as more attractive when they are [___], [___ ___] and [____].

6. The study also showed that women [___] men with good [___ ___].

7. How many women were asked to evaluate male cyclists? (Give a short answer.)

8. What characteristic in men was rated as 'likeable but not attractive'? [____]

Now listen to the programme and post your answers on the Tag Board or in a Comment. Let's hope lots of people reply - the more, the merrier!

Today is my last day at work before the summer holidays. I'll be back regularly on 1 September. But I'll drop in to 'Rome English' from time to time. Watch this space!

And have a very good time wherever you are!


Monday, July 14, 2014

Brazilian Music: The Answers

Hello readers! I can now post the official answers to the recent Six Minute English Quiz on Brazilian Music:. Rob was talking to Brazilian music expert Grace.

1. This week's Question:
When was the song 'The Girl from Ipanema' recorded commercially for the first time? It was: b) 1962.

The story goes that poet and composer Vinicus De Moraes wrote the song in honour of a real girl whom he used to observe walking along the beach at Ipanema every evening at sunset wearing only a bikini and high-heeled shoes. They were even together briefly; her parents disapproved of their relationship because Vinicius was much older than she was.

2. Rob definitely sings out of tune.

3. How does Monica Vasconcelos compare 'samba' and 'bossanova'? Samba is very energetic and full of life while bossanova is smoother, more understated.

4. Bossanova composers were into beauty.

5. The bossanova 'groove' is cool, funky and smooth.

6. What effect has rock-and-roll had on Brazilian music? It has flattened and simplified its rhythms.

7. For Rob, travelling is all about hearing local music, discovering local food, things that are different from things back at home.

Many thanks to all participants: Giovanni, Manola, Federica, Ada and Giovanni Prelli. I have removed one comment because it bore no relation to our Quiz.

I will be posting another Quiz very soon. Meanwhile, improve your listening skills by returning to this Blog every day and choosing a listening site such as the British Council's Learn English, the BBC's Learning English, and Real English by American teacher in France, Michael Marzio. Among many others.

More soon,