Prince Charles 'black spider' memos reveal lobbying of Tony Blair | UK news A cache of secret memos sent by Prince Charles to senior UK ministers has finally been published, following a 10-year freedom of information battle between the Guardian and the government. The letters reveal that Charles lobbied ministers, including former prime minister Tony Blair, on a wide range of issues including agriculture, the armed forces, architecture and homeopathy. The correspondence was disclosed after the Guardian won a decade-long legal tussle with the government, which had argued that publication of the letters would make it hard for Charles to maintain a position of public neutrality when he became king. The letters, published at 4pm on Wednesday, reveal how Charles lobbied Tony Blair when he was prime minister to replace Lynx military helicopters. Charles complained: “I fear this one more example of our armed forces being asked to do an extremely challenging job without the necessary resources.” Blair replied: “We can do quite a lot here ...
Here are the funniest 'global stereotype' maps Unless you've been living in a cave for the last few years, you've definitely seen (and laughed at) the wildly popular 'global stereotype' maps. The man behind them is Bulgarian artist Yanko Tsvetkov, who told i100.co.uk he started making the satirical maps for fun when trying to explain European geopolitics to friends from abroad. Yanko said the maps he put up on Flickr "accidently" went viral, and based on the interest, he decided to expand the project. It was so popular it ended up spawning two books called Atlas of Prejudice Volumes 1 and 2, and Yanko has just finished a third which unveils "new fascinating landscapes of human bigotry." His ideas span from visualisations of how the ancients viewed the world: To the intricacies of modern geopolitics... Cultural phenomenons (these maps are brand new): And even predictions for the future. Yanko told i100.co.uk he doesn't have a simple explanation for why people love the stereotyping maps so much. Yanko Tsvetkov
Italy rescues 600 migrants from Mediterranean Italy has rescued about 600 migrants in six operations, one in cooperation with Maltese authorities, in the past 24 hours, the country's coastguard told Al Jazeera. The rescued people included 100 Somali migrants who were stranded on a plastic boat in the Mediterranean on Tuesday, an official involved in the rescue said. A coastguard source, contacted on Wednesday, did not to give further details about the operations. One of the stranded migrants had called Al Jazeera on Tuesday and said the boat was flooding with seawater and that those on board - men, women and children - needed to be rescued immediately. The migrant contacted Al Jazeera after obtaining the phone contact details of the channel's journalist from a friend in Somalia. "We left from Tripoli three days ago and we are going to Italy," said the migrant who declined to disclose his name to Al Jazeera. "We don't have supplies, we don't have food, there are pregnant women on board. Source: Al Jazeera and agencies
These 15 countries speak English as a second language best Nearly two billion people - that's almost one in three people - study English as a non-native language. In the developing world, English is less of a foreign language skill and more a tool synonymous with development, expanding a country's economy and increasing its connectedness to the rest of the world. And for small countries with few native-language speakers, it also makes sense to learn a little of the world's lingua franca for business and policy making. The English Proficiency Index has just released statistics on where English is learned around the world and quality of teaching to find the countries with the highest proficiency of English as a second language: Four Nordic countries and the Netherlands come top of the rankings, with at least 65 per cent of the population fluent in English. Other European nations dominate the rest of the list. The only non-European countries to feature are highly-developed city state Singapore, and its neighbour Malaysia, as well as Argentina.
If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud, and we’ll be honest with you, we struggled with parts of it. Dearest creature in creation, Study English pronunciation. I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse. I will keep you, Suzy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy. You’ve been reading “The Chaos” by Gerard Nolst Trenité, written nearly 100 years ago in 1922, designed to demonstrate the irregularity of English spelling and pronunciation.
Can you pronounce all the words in this poem? Most people probably can't Dutch poet Gerard Nolste Trenité wrote a colossal poem containing about 800 bizarre irregularities in the English language. Written in 1922, the poem reads part tongue twister, part instruction manual. It begins: Dearest Creature in creation Study English pronunciation I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse corps horse and worse Let's stop there for a moment. Once you've managed to stumble your way through the first part, surely you get used to it? No. Hear me say devoid of trickery Daughter laughter and Terpsichore Typhoid measles topsails aisles Exiles similes and reviles Scholar vicar and cigar Solar mica war and far One anemone Balmoral Kitchen lichen laundry laurel There's also this wonderfully simple line: Eye I ay aye whey and key The poem finally ends on a very important question: Finally which rhymes with enough Though through plough or dough or cough? To which he helpfully answers: My advice is to give up! How did you get on? HT The Poke
Get Organised! Collaborative Speaking Tasks | Tim's Free English Lesson Plans Image credit: www.organisemyhouse.com Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio This is a speaking lesson plan designed for teenagers that focuses on various exponents of suggesting, offering, agreeing and disagreeing. get-organised – Powerpoint Get organised Teachers notes Teacher’s notes The class is loosely based on Willis’s Task Based Learning in that students are given the opportunity to repeatedly practice a similar task and hopefully internalise some useful exponents for collaborative speaking. Put students into groups of 3, it would also work with pairs but 3s are ideal. Show the 2nd slide of the power point. Note: This is a good opportunity to teach the difference between “will” for decisions in the moment of speaking and “be going to” for a future intention. “We’ll have the party on Friday so we can stay up late.” “Yeah, that’s a good idea.” Then when the time comes to present their decisions to class they will change to “be going to.” Follow up Like this: Like Loading...
Twelve phrases only british people understand Americans have always had a bizarre fixation with the Queen (a remnant of the empire George Washington couldn’t scrub away?) and her birthday seems to be no different. The Queen is turning 90 this week, and it seems people abroad are more excited than many Britons themselves. But how well do people abroad actually understand Britain? Here are twelve phrases that'll be utter gobbledygook to everyone else but the British: 1. It basically means “there you are!” However “fanny” is also British slang for vagina, and although this ruder context isn’t used, it's still baffling to others. 2. This means someone has lost their temper, but it can also refer to a loss of sanity. For example, "Donald Trump has completely lost the plot." 3. For some reason British people think donkey’s years are really really long, and use this expression when talking about a long period of time. The phrase is believed to have originated from cockney rhyming slang “donkey’s ears” 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. No, it’s not a disease. 9. 10.
The most difficult words to pronounce in the English language revealed – as well as the world’s favourite English tongue-twisters | Weird News “Worcestershire”. “Choir”. “Sixth”. For some, these words may seem relatively normal and everyday – but to others, they represent an unrivalled linguistic challenge. For almost two weeks, users of the online social platform reddit have been submitting what they consider to be “the hardest English word to pronounce”. After more than 5,000 submissions, the message thread has become a fount of difficult vocabulary, with users from across the world sharing their favourites and personal experiences. There are references to popular culture, some very creative tongue-twisters – and because of reddit’s points system, a rough consensus has emerged as to which are the hardest. Here are the top 10: 10 - Rural Submitted by user ‘mattythedog’, rural appears to cause problem particularly when repeated or put next a word with similar “r” sounds. One user says: “I cannot say Rural Juror - comes out rurrrerr jerrrerr and sounds like I'm growling.” Weather man nails pronunciation of 58 letter Welsh name
Barbie challenges the 'white saviour complex' Image copyright Barbie Savior Barbie has ditched her riding gear, her ball gown and her ballerina costume and travelled to Africa to help the people there, while still managing to stay fashionable. That is at least according to a much talked about Instagram account, Barbie Savior, which is charting her imaginary volunteer journey. It starts with her saying farewell to her home in the US and wondering if the "sweet sweet orphans in the country of Africa" are going to love her the way she already loves them. The satirical account encapsulates what some see as the white saviour complex, a modern version of Rudyard Kipling's White Man's Burden. The 19th Century Kipling poem instructed colonialists to "Fill full the mouth of Famine And bid the sickness cease". Because of the history of slavery and colonialism, many people in Africa find such attitudes deeply patronising and offensive. "We have seen short-term medical teams do amazing things, as well as act in inexcusable ways."
Does Speaking A Foreign Language Change Your Personality? My high school English teacher used to tell us stuff like, “Learning a foreign language changes you forever.” Despite being an obvious attempt to make us passionate about her subject, her words made sense to me — the kid who quoted obscure Buffy the Vampire Slayer lines and treated Alanis Morissette’s lyrics like the word of God. After all, without a basic understanding of the English language I couldn’t have done any of that, and all those beautiful imaginary friendships would have never blossomed. Then I made it to adulthood (I think) and experienced first-hand the perks of speaking a foreign language: hitting on exotic men (whilst still using Buffy references as pick up lines #ForeverAlone) and weaseling my way into more office gossip than ever before. Split of the online self Learning English strongly affected my habits, but was I really profoundly changed by it? Blogging is where the signs of this metamorphosis first showed. The persistent vegetative state of the party
5 Sexist Things People Need To Stop Telling Boys I've written quite a few articles about all the sexist things women encounter from girlhood that men and boys pretty much never have to deal with — because there are a lot of them, and they all suck. In fact, the first article I pitched to Bustle was about how much I hope my nieces get to grow up in a less sexist world than I did. Until recently, however, I'd never considered writing about all the ways any future nephews or sons of mine might be verbally bullied into gender stereotypes, too. Last winter, all of that changed when my sister told me she and her husband were trying to adopt a little boy. Sadly for her, the adoption fell through — but that hasn't kept me from thinking about all the sexist things people say to boys that they don't say to girls. Obviously, I'm not trying to say that cisgender men and boys have been systemically oppressed based on their assigned gender in the same way that cisgender women and girls have. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Images: Pexels; Giphy/(4)