Category Archives: English-Chinese culture and education

Let’s enjoy some crime!

It’s a Crime: readings and exercises from F2F (chapter 3B)

First let’s have a quick look at the wonderful work of our Thespians and their friends.

Now, thanks to Pan Jiaoshou for his document on the six words from the exercise last week. Let’s have a look at that together.

Remember, the exercise was this:

Write or say three true and three false things about yourself using the following adjectives:

  • Terrified
  • Fascinated
  • Excited
  • Disappointed
  • Fond
  • Sick

Tell each other and see if you can guess whether the things are true or not. Let’s spend a little more time on it.

Let’s do the quick review question from chapter 3B: It’s a crime.

Think of five crimes you know and tell each other about them, using the word for the type of criminal and the verb for the crime being done/that was done (actually, we usually say someone committed a crime).

  1. b) Who normally does the things in 1a): a criminal, the police, the judge, the jury or a witness?

Have a good look at picture A and picture B below.

picturea

pictureb

2a. What is happening in the pictures? What do you think happened next?

  1. Let’s do the reading of three friends talking about the pictures (if you want to listen to it first, it’s recording R3.1)

R3.1a

R3.1b

  1. Working in your small groups take turns retelling story A (goes with picture A) and story B (goes with picture B).

For story A, use the following words: shopping, four men, wrong car, not charged.

For story B, use the following words: car alarm, tyres, arrested, charged, a fine.

Let’s listen to the recording  (R3.1) and check our stories.

  1. Fill in the gaps in the sentences a-f with the following words: note, trouble, run, owner, alarm.

a. If the woman had shot the men, she’d have been in serious …..

b. If the men hadn’t …. Away, she could have been killed.

c. I wouldn’t have been too happy if the …. Had woken me up.

d. If it had been me, I might have eft a …. On the car.

e. What would the …… of the car have done if he’d seen him?

Group discussion: gun control.

  • Is gun crime a big problem in the United States?
  • Are ordinary people allowed to own guns in America?
  • Do you think they should be? Why/why not?
  • What about China? How is it similar or different? Is that similarity or difference good?
  • What about England, what do you think happens there with guns? Can ordinary people own them? Do the police carry them?  How does what happens in England compare to China and the U.S.

 

  1. The third conditional. Let’s read the following sentences using the third conditional, and then listen to the recording (it’s recording R3.2).

a. If I’d known about it, I’d have come.

b. If you’d told me, I could have helped you.

c. She wouldn’t have been upset if you’d called her.

d. If Fred had studied harder, he might have passed.

Did you notice the contractions (I’d, you’d etc.)? Did you notice the weak forms of have and had?

8.i. Read about Jim’s terrible evening (in 1-6 below) and fill in the gaps with the correct form of the verbs in brackets.

  1. It …. (might be) better if I ….. (take) the bus to Juliet’s party last night.
  2. If Mary ………….. (tell) me where she was going, I …………… (could ask) her for a lift.
  3. I ……………. (not park) in the street if I ………………… (know) there were car thieves in the area.
  4. If I ……………………. (not leave) my car unlocked, the thieves …………….. (might not steal) it.
  5. If Mary ………………… (not give) me a lift home, I don’t know where I ………… (stay).
  6. My parents ……………. (be) very worried if I …………….. (not come) home last night.

8.ii. What happened to Jim last night? How did he get home?

  1. Let’s do the reading below.

robbersstory

 

9i.Questions on the reading:

  1. How much money did the robbers steal?
  2. Why did they get lost?
  3. Where did they end up?
  4. Why had they gone there?
  5. What do you think happened to the robbers?

9ii. Think of two sentences about things that would, could or might have happened if things had happened differently (tell each other in your small groups, and then we can talk together).

Work in your small groups on the following exercise.

10i. Make note of three interesting things that happened in your life. See if you can remember the order they happened in (and the date as well (just approximately, for example, 1998).

10ii. Make third conditionals to describe how life might have been different if these things had not happened.

  1. Class discussion. Tell us something interesting you learned from your partners.

 

 

 

Further adventures in American Idioms

Dear students,

this week we will do another reading and some exercises on American Idioms again from Lesson 6, Speak Like an American.

Let’s do the reading first.

Susan stays home and bakes cookies

Susan decides to cheer up her husband. Bob loves her homemade cookies. Nicole suggests she starts a cookie business.

Susan: Bob, I baked cookies for you.

Bob: That was nice of you, dear. You’ve got a heart of gold.

Susan: Go ahead and pig out!

Bob: These are delicious!

Susan: I thought they might cheer you up. You’ve been in a bad mood lately.

Bob: I guess I have been a little on edge. But these cookies are just what the doctor ordered!

Nicole: Do I smell cookies?

Susan: Yes, Nicole. Help yourself.

Nicole: Yum-yum* These are out of this world. You could go into business selling these!

Susan: Good thinking!

Nicole: Don’t forget to give me credit for the idea after you’re rich and famous!

Susan: You know I always give credit where credit is due!

idioms6a

idioms6b

idioms6c

idioms6d

idioms6f

 

Blue Yves Klein (Daily Art article)

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

10 Blue Yves Klein Masterpieces You Must Know

 

009-yves-klein-theredlist

20th century

10 Blue Yves Klein Masterpieces You Must Know

Yves Klein Blue

Yves Klein is famous of one thing in particular – of his International Klein Blue (IKB). It is a color of deep blue hue which was “created” by Klein and used in his art. In May 1960, Klein registered the paint formula under the name International Klein Blue (IKB) at the Institut national de la propriété industrielle (INPI), but he never patented IKB.

Klein of course, created masterpieces also without IKB – you can read about his golden period in our other article, but today, we want to introduce to you 10 of his most famous works in blue.

1. IKB 191

Yves Klein, IKB 191, 1962, Blue Yves Klein

Yves Klein began making monochromes in 1947. For him they were a rejection of the idea of representation in painting and therefore the way to attain creative freedom. Klein did not give titles to these works but after his death in 1962 his widow Rotraut Klein-Moquay numbered all the known blue monochromes IKB 1 to IKB 194, in a sequence which did not reflect their chronological order.

2. IKB 45

Yves Klein, IKB 45, 1960 Blue Yves Klein

IKB 45 was one of nearly two hundred blue monochrome paintings Yves Klein made during his short life. On May 12, 1962, Klein showed symptoms of a heart attack, and on May 15 he suffered a second, full heart attack after attending a friend’s opening night exhibition. Yves never recovered, and died at his home on June 6, 1962 at the age of 34.

3. Big Blue Anthropometry in gallery

Yves Klein - Big Blue Anthropometry in gallery , 1960 Blue Yves Klein

For his Anthropometries series, Klein used nude female models as “brushes.” He had a  system of pressing bodies against the paper support. He staged the making of Anthropometries as elaborate performances for an audience, complete with blue cocktails and a performance of his Monotone Symphony—a single note played for twenty minutes, followed by twenty minutes of silence.

The making of one of Klein’s “Anthropométries,” 1960 Blue Yves Klein

 

“Anthropométries” as a performance piece, 1960 Blue Yves Klein

4. Anthropometry of the Blue Period (ANT 82)

 Blue Yves Klein Yves Klein, Anthropometry of the Blue Period (ANT 82), 1960. Artwork © Yves Klein, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, 2017

Klein believed that International Klein Blue was the perfect instrument with which to elaborate his belief in spiritual powers and the immaterial. Ultramarine is the traditional symbolic color of the Holy Ghost in Christian religion and also evokes the expanse of the infinite sky and the depth of the oceans.

5. Large Blue Anthropometry (ANT 105)

Yves Klein, Large Blue Anthropometry (ANT 105), ca. 1960, Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa, © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris Blue Yves Klein

Klein was determined to evoke emotions and sensations independent of line, rendered objects, or abstracted symbols, believing the monochromatic surface released the painting from materiality through the totality of pure pigment.

6. Anthropometry: Princess Helena. 1960

Yves Klein. Anthropometry: Princess Helena. 1960 Blue Yves Klein

Klein commented the use of bodies as brushes: “In this way, I stayed clean. I no longer dirtied myself with color, not even the tips of my fingers.” In 1970s, feminists like Julia Steinmetz have analyzed Klein’s piece as him using female models as objects by slathering them across the canvas. In this way, Klein becomes the authoritative, male-dominated artist. But – it’s only an interpretation.

7. Yves Klein, SE 161

Yves Klein; 'Untitled (SE 161)', 1959 Blue Yves Klein

In 1960s, Klein became fascinated by natural elements and would incorporate fire, water, sea sponges, and gravel into his canvases and sculptures. This resulted in a series of fire paintings, monochromatic relief paintings, and IKB sculptures that expressed cosmological ideas of infinite space – like this one here.

8. Blue Earth

Yves Klein, Blue Earth, 1957, Blue Yves Klein

The Earth is a recurrent theme in Klein’s oeuvre. It appears in multiple variants and forming a series more globally entitled “Planetary reliefs”. “… In 1957, Yves Klein declared that the whole world is blue. He marked the occasion by creating a model globe in IKM relief blue, which he portrayed levitating in space, out of its stand and axis, to make it easier to contemplate.

9. The Victory of Samothrace

victoryofsamothrace

Starting in 1962, Yves Klein produced a series of plaster replicas of the Nike coated in dry pigment of his Yves Klein Blue affixed by resin entitled Victoire de Samotrace.

10. Portrait relief Arman

portraitreliefarman

This is a plaster cast of Klein’s friend and fellow French Nouveau Realiste artist Arman. Klein molded the body of Arman in plaster and had it cast in bronze. The bronze was then painted with “Yves Klein Blue”, and the life-size sculpture was placed against a gilded wooden panel.

Art Historian, huge fan of Giorgione and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Founder and CEO of DailyArtMagazine.com and DailyArt mobile app. But to be honest, her greatest accomplishment is being the owner of Pimpek the Cat.

Daily Art article shared privately with students for educational purposes only. Please see the website for donations and subscriptions.

Tianjin Lesson 8; Personal time zones, ways to live a healthy long life

Nimen Hao,

today we will finish our discussion about time. Let’s play Professor Pan’s video and have a discussion.

Professor Pan’s video: personal time zones

Let’s play Laoshi Pan’s video and have a discussion

  • What do you think about the idea that people live in their own time zones? Does this idea apply to your life, the lives of people you know?

Childishness: discussion

Let’s talk about the idea that you are only as old as you feel and can retain some of your childish feeling for the world.

How (in what ways) can or do you/we keep our inner child alive?

Next we will begin the reading on good health in old age, and pause for discussions throughout. (This is a condensed version of the article).

Reading: 25 ways to live well into old age

Illustration of woman meditating
Illustration: Guardian Design

Susan’s mother had dementia and she became her mother’s carer. Her friend Annabel watched her mother care for her grandmother, who lived with dementia for nearly 30 years.

Susan and Annabel decided to do everything she could to increase their own chances of ageing well. They started researching the latest science on how to have a healthier, happier old age. Both of them are in their 50s, and say they have never been in better health.

What did they learn?

Mind and emotions

Cultivate optimism

Studies have found that older people with a positive attitude to ageing have better functional health, faster walking speeds and higher thinking abilities than those with a more negative attitude.

Negativity puts stress on the body, which can impact heart health, sleep quality, weight and thinking billity. You really are as old as you feel.

Cultivate friendships

Loneliness is linked to dementia, heart disease, stroke, depression and a 29% greater risk of dying.

Researchers found having a large social network is linked living longer. The quality of friendships also helps keep us alive.

Helping and caring for others also helps longevity.

Read books

Although reading is sedentary and solitary, frequent reading has been linked to longer, healthier life. A Yale study of 3,600 over-50s found that reading increased longevity by almost two years; readers of books outlived readers of newspapers and magazines. While those who read for more than 3.5 hours a week lived longest, the researchers said “30 minutes a day was still beneficial”.

Also, every expert seems to recommend reading as a means of getting to sleep.

Keep learning

Brains knowledge ability works equally well in both young and old age.

What matters for the brain, in not youth or age, but learning new things.

The brain loves novelty: crafts, games, even cooking from a new recipe, all trigger the creation of neuron.

The more complex and more difficult the new activity is, the greater the rewards. Choose something that also involves social interaction and a bit of movement, such as singing. Best of all, try learning complex new dance moves.

Take a nap

Several studies have found that nappers have better attention and focus, better memory and better non-verbal reasoning. Oddly, nappers also appear to sleep better at night. But the key is to keep the nap short (about 30 minutes).

Meditate

Meditation reduces stress and promote empathy, and regular practitioners seem not to lose grey matter, or suffer reduced concentration, as they age. Just 15 minutes a day is enough to help. Can’t spare 15 minutes? Take a few moments to focus on your breath or your surroundings to promote a feeling of calm.

Four legs good … having a dog has health benefits.
Four legs good … having a dog has health benefits. Photograph: Getty Images/Maskot

Walk a dog

The routine of walking and caring for dogs help us age better. A study of 3 million Swedes+ aged 40 to 80 found that dog owners had a lower risk of death due to all causes. Pet owners have lower blood pressure, cholesterol and lower levels of stress. Dogs bring bacteria into the home, which in turns boosts gut health.

Walk faster

Walking is good, but faster is better than slower. Brisk walking has been linked to better memory, better health and a longer life. Increase your pace until you are slightly out of breath or sweaty and aim for 30 minutes a day, ideally outdoors to get the additional benefits of vitamin D and light. New research suggests that those walking first thing in the morning make better decisions during the day,.

Exercise in green space

Trees produce substances which help to lower blood pressure, reduce stress and boost immunity. Tiny substances in forest soil have been found to reduce depression and may contribute to immunity from disease .

Why weights? They build muscle.
Why weights? They build muscle. Photograph: dragana991/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Build muscle

Experts believe weight training is as important for ageing as aerobic exercise, eating vegetables and sleeping well. Recent research found that older adults who did twice-weekly strength training lived longer and with less illness than those who did none. We like rowing and weight-training and keep weights near the kettle and the TV and lift them if we have a few minutes to spare.

Build bone density

Bones strength weakens with age, unless we exercise.

Jumping, running or skipping increase bone density.

Lifting weights also strengthens bones.

Dancing improves balance and coordination, resulting in fewer falls and fractures.

Avoid pollution

Research links pollution to lung cancer, heart disease, dementia, hypertension and diabetes. Avoid congested roads, switch to an anti-inflammatory diet, invest in a good quality air purifier and rotate it round your house, and fill your apartment with plants.

It is vital that we protest for cleaner air and reduce our own personal pollution.

Liquid gold … olive oil. Photograph: Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images

Eating and fasting

Fast every day

Fasting is a proven method for increasing longevity. It also reduces Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and weight gain. It is important to find the type of fasting that suits you. Susan and Annabel like the overnight fast of 14-16 hours, which improves gut health. This fast was practiced by our ancestors who ate supper at sundown, rarely snacked, and then ate mid-morning the following day.

Use olive oil

Olive oil is best used with multicoloured vegetables.

Studies show it improves heart health. It reduces heart attacks and strokes, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and helps give better blood glucose (sugar) control.

Olive oil may also slow of the progression of breast cancer, and reduce bone mass loss.

Enjoy coffee

Researchers think coffee may help fend off Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Drinking coffee has also been linked to reduced risks for several cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Drink your coffee without sugar or sweet syrups, and don’t make it too milky: the health benefits appears to drop when milk is added.

Only spend money on vitamin D and zinc

Study after study has found that supplements have very little benefit; we invest in good food instead. However, when it comes to vitamin D and zinc, the data is robust: vitamin D can help us age well while zinc has been shown to reduce the severity of coughs and colds. Those of us who aren’t able to get the sunlight necessary for the body to make vitamin D need a supplement.

Support immunity by eating leafy greens, and …

Research indicates that the immune system overreacts as we get older, and speeds up the ageing process. Support your immune system with a diet high in dark leafy greens, cabbage and broccoli), garlic, leeks, onions, and mushrooms (Shiitake mushrooms are best).

shiitake-mushrooms-benefits

Eat more fibre

An Australian study found the healthiest agers (those most free of disease) were the ones with the highest fibre intake – usually from fruit, wholegrain bread and oats. Fibre also helps reduce cholesterol levels, which in turn supports heart health, and lowers some cancer risks.

The Age Well Project: Easy Ways to a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life by Annabel Streets and Susan Saunders (Piatkus, £14.99).

Article shared privately for Tianjin Laoren Daxue discussion

End of semester discussions

After we have talked about the health ideas, we will discuss our holiday plans, including travel, and learning and time with family.

Think about the following questions, and we will use them for discussion.

  1. Are you going away.? Where are you going? Have you been there before? What can you tell us about it? How long will you go for. Do you have any photos to show us?
  2. Are you going to visit someone/some people. Tell us about them, and about who they are to you. How do you feel about seeing them? Do you have any photos to show us?
  3. What kind of learning will you do in the summer holidays? What will you study or learn, how will you do it?
  4. what other things do you plan to do in the holidays? Tell us about them.

How shall we learn together next semester?

A few weeks ago you wrote me a letter about how we could make the classes more simple. Let’s discuss how to do what we will do in class next semester. And we can also talk a little about when (Class times).

#KuToo: Japanese women submit anti-high heels petition

 

Campaigners urge government to ban employers from forcing footwear on female staff

 

Yumi Ishikawa, the founder of the KuToo movement
Yumi Ishikawa, the founder of the KuToo movement. Photograph: Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images

A group of Japanese women have submitted a petition to the government to protest against what they say is a de facto requirement for female staff to wear high heels at work.

The KuToo campaign – a play on words from the Japanese kutsu, meaning shoes, and kutsuu, meaning pain – was launched by the actor and freelance writer Yumi Ishikawa and quickly won support online.

Campaigners said wearing high heels was considered to be near-obligatory when job hunting or working at many Japanese companies.

Ishikawa told reporters after meeting labour ministry officials: “Today we submitted a petition calling for the introduction of laws banning employers from forcing women to wear heels as sexual discrimination or harassment.”

The actor explained how a government official had told her she “was a woman and sympathetic to our petition … and told us that this is the first time voices of this kind had reached the ministry”.

“It’s the first step forward,” Ishikawa added.

Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment.

The case underlines what some experts say is a deep-seated problem with misogyny in Japan. Last year, an MP from Japan’s governing party said women should have multiple children. Women who preferred to remain single would become a burden on the state later in life, added Kanji Kato.

A tweet by Ishikawa earlier this year, complaining about the requirement to wear high heels for a hotel job, went viral, prompting her to launch the campaign.

She said in response to the global anti-sexual-harassment #MeToo movement: “As I realised that so many people face the same problem, I decided to launch the campaign.”

Campaigners said the shoes were akin to modern foot-binding. Others also urged that dress codes such as the near-ubiquitous business suits for men be loosened in the Japanese workplace.

A similar petition against high heels at work was signed by more than 150,000 people in the UK in support of the receptionist Nicola Thorp, who was sent home from work for wearing flat shoes. She was told to go home by the City accountancy firm PwC on her first day as a temporary receptionist in May 2016 for refusing to wear 2-4in heels.

The case prompted an inquiry on workplace dress codes by a committee of MPs, which highlighted other cases in the UK where women were required to wear heels, even for jobs that included climbing ladders, carrying heavy luggage, carrying food and drink up and down stairs and walking long distances.

However, the government refused to change the law, claiming scope for redress already existed under the Equality Act 2010.

In 2015 the director of the Cannes film festival apologised over women being denied access to the red carpet for not wearing high heels. Cannes kept the dress code, despite a protest by the actor Julia Roberts, who went barefoot the next year.

In 2017, Canada’s British Columbia province banned companies from forcing female employees to wear high heels, saying the practice was dangerous and discriminatory.

Earlier this year, Norwegian Air was widely criticised for requiring female cabin crew to carry a doctor’s note if they wanted to wear flat shoes. Ingrid Hodnebo, a women’s spokesperson for the country’s Socialist Left party, accused the airline of being stuck in the “Mad Men universe from the 1950s and 60s”.

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