19 de noviembre de 2011

Final Revision for Level 6 - 2011

13 de noviembre de 2011

A New Generation of Buddhism in America

At a crossroads: Buddhism in USA is facing a generation shift

Crosses still adorn one wall of this former Roman Catholic monastery, but a 6-foot golden Buddha now anchors the main room. The meditation hall, also used as a meeting space, is where the luminaries of Buddhism in the West recently gathered to debate.

The issue they were facing had been percolating for years on blogs, in Buddhist magazines and on the sidelines of spiritual retreats. It often played out as a clash of elders versus young people, the preservers of spiritual depth versus the alleged purveyors of “Buddhism-lite.” Organizers of the gathering wanted the finger-pointing to end. The future of American Buddhism was at stake, they said.

So on a sweltering day at the Garrison Institute, a Buddhist retreat overlooking the Hudson River, the baby boomers who had popularized the tradition in the West met with younger leaders to tackle their differences.

“How can those of us who were pioneers in the ’60s and ’70s, support them without getting in their way and let them know that they have our blessings and support?” said Jack Kornfield, a prominent Buddhist teacher who helped introduce mindfulness, or insight, meditation to the U.S. four decades ago.

Buddhism in America is at a crossroads. The best-known Buddhist leaders, mostly white converts who emerged from the counterculture and protest movements of the Vietnam era, are nearing retirement or dying. Charlotte Joko Beck, a pioneer of Zen practice in America, passed away in June.

9 de octubre de 2011

Martin Luther King Jr. Statue in Washington

The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, DC will honor Dr. King’s national and international contributions and vision for all to enjoy a life of freedom, opportunity, and justice. Congress passed a Joint Resolution in 1996 authorizing the construction of the Memorial and a foundation was created to "Build the Dream", raising the estimated $120 million required for the project. One of the most prestigious sites remaining on the National Mall was selected for the memorial for Martin Luther King, Jr., adjacent to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. It is the first major memorial along the National Mall to be dedicated to an African-American, and to a non-president. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial opened to the public on August 22, 2011.

And now, take a tour of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC, United States - part of the World's Greatest Attractions travel video series by GeoBeats.

The highly anticipated memorial of Martin Luther King Junior was recently unveiled on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

It is a result of nearly two decades of construction and planning and cost $120 million dollars to complete.

Set amidst four magnificently landscaped acres, the beautifully constructed statue stands 30 feet tell and was sculpted by Lei Yixin, a prominent Chinese sculptor.

This is the first monument on National Mall that honors a man of color.

Depicting a determined looking Martin Luther King Junior, the site draws strong emotions of hope and strength from visitors.

After a long wait spanning many years, people from all over the country can now see this great leader standing tall in our nation's capital.

25 de septiembre de 2011

Far From Any Ocean, a Home for Dolphins

Each year, more than 2,000,000 people visit the Seven Seas exhibit at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. The exhibit opened 50 years ago, and this is this week's report (subtitles in English!)

14 de septiembre de 2011

The city of London

This is London!!!!!

This is the River Thames. It is almost 346 kilometres long, and is the second longest river in Great Britain. It flows through London, and it’s this part of the river that most tourists see.

But there’s more to the Thames than a trip down the river.

The Romans built a settlement on the River Thames, and over the centuries it grew into the City of London, with a huge port. Ships from around the world brought food, goods and people to the capital.

But by the 1980’s, most of the docks had closed and the area became run-down.

A lot of money has been invested in this huge riverside area. And today it’s know as ‘Docklands’.

The old warehouses are now attractive apartments. There are new office buildings, shopping centres and leisure facilities, too. People enjoy living and working by the river.

People also enjoy living on the water! This is a houseboat on the Thames.


Nick: Hi Alistair.

Alistair: Hey Nick, welcome aboard.

Nick: Thank you. So why do you live on a houseboat?

Alistair: I love being close to the water. And it’s a brilliant place to invite friends over.

Nick: What’s it like to live on a boat?

Alistair: In the summer, it’s beautiful. And in the winter, it’s a bit cold.

Nick: Could you give me a tour?

Alistair: Please. Follow me. So this is the kitchen. The bedroom.

Nick: I like it. What’s the best thing about living on the river?

Alistair: For me, it’s being so close to nature. And it’s really cheap.

Nick: Is there anything you miss about living on dry land?

Alistair: I miss not being able to grow my own food and not having a garden.

Nick: Do you think you will ever move?

Alistair: Only if I have to leave London. It’s a really brilliant place to live in the city.


The Thames has seen a lot of changes over the years. But perhaps the biggest change is still to come.

This image is of the River Thames frozen over. It’s not a real photograph. It’s been created digitally. It shows the effect climate change may have on the river if temperatures drop significantly.

They were created by two illustrators: Didier Madoc-Jones and Robert Graves.


Nick: Didier, Tell us about this exhibition.

Didier: We wanted to create postcards from the future – well-known views of London – to show people how it might look with the effects of climate change.

Nick: Why does this one show the Thames frozen over?

Gareth: Well some scientists think we might experience a new mini ice age with very cold winters and in the summer we’d experience flooding due to melting ice sheets.

Nick: Do you think that could really happen?

Didier: Nobody really knows. The point of our exhibition was to get people thinking about climate change and the future of London.


The River Thames has changed over the centuries, and will continue to do so. But hopefully it will always be here for both local people and tourists to enjoy and explore.

16 de agosto de 2011

How to ask someone where they got something

Man: Hey, nice shoes!
Woman: Thanks!
Man: Could do with a pair like that myself.
Woman: Oh really? They’re very comfortable.
Man: Yeah. Where did you get them?
Woman: Just that place on the high street.
Man: On yeah, I’ll have to go and take a look sometime.


Man: Hey!
Woman: What?
Man: I’ve been looking for that book for ages!
Woman: Really?
Man: Yeah...where did you get it?
Woman: I bought it online. I just did a search and found it, you know...
Man: Really?
Woman: Yes. It’s not that difficult.
Man: I’ll have to have a look.


Man: Hey!
Woman: What?
Man: That’s a tasty-looking sandwich!
Woman: It’s a tasty-tasting sandwich too...
Man: Where did you er...
Woman: Where did I get it?
Man: Yeah! That’s exactly what I was going to say....!
Woman: I made it myself.
Man: Oh.
Woman: Here – have it!

21 de julio de 2011

Banking in the UK

If you want to live in the UK, you will need a bank account.
Watch the video to find out more about banking and financial services in the UK.

If you are resident you will find it useful to open a bank account. All the large banks and most building societies have a network of branches across the country and all offer similar services.

A visit to any one of them will be a friendly experience, although to open an account, be prepared to prove your identity in a number of ways. You will find your passport useful, but the bank will also want to see some form of proof that you are living where you say you are. This can be proved by a housing rent book, a Council Tax, water or electricity bill for the property, as long as it’s in your name. In the bank, and elsewhere, you may hear the term ‘utility bill’ – this simply refers to bills relating to the provision of services to your property such as electricity, gas, water and telephone.

There are other local facilities such as credit unions where you can save your money and have access to affordable low cost loans. Where they exist in your local area, contact details can be obtained from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.