Google Glass – is progress always positive?

Google Glass

When we define the « idea of progress » we usually say that progress is positive: medical progress, social progress, technological progress …all have contributed to our modern-day world being a better place. But how does this technological progress change our lives, is it really a positive change or are we becoming too dependent on new technologies?

One of the latest inventions is Google Glass, a pair of glasses which do much more than the average smartphone or computer. Is this kind of technological progress positive or will it lead to people becoming more isolated and more stressed?

Here are a few links to help you think about it:

An article about the pros and cons of Google Glass

A BBC News report about the advantages and disadvantages of the Google Glass

The ad showing what the Google glass can do :

A video showing a typical day with Google Glass :

The John Lewis Christmas Advert – another Christmas tradition!

One of the new Christmas traditions in the UK is the John Lewis advert which usually comes out in the middle of November. John Lewis is a famous department store in the UK and every year they bring out a new ad which tells a little story about giving a present at Christmas.

The advert is shown on all commercial TV channels in the UK, but it is shown so often that by Christmas Day most people are fed up of it!

This year the story is about the Hare who wants to give his best friend Bear a Christmas he’ll never forget. The story is set in a forest and Bear is the only animal that never gets to celebrate Christmas because he has to hibernate every year. However, this year is different. This year Hare has a brilliant idea.

The commercial uses a unique animation style that combines traditional 2D hand-drawn animation, stop frame, and 3D model made sets.The story is set to a cover of Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ performed by Lily Allen.

This is the link to the advert : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqWig2WARb0

If you would like to learn the lyrics you will find them here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGibGmKvZA0

If you want to see more of Bear and Hare you can visit the John Lewis website

Merry Christmas everyone 😉téléchargement

Homeless Boston man hailed as a hero

A homeless man who returned a backpack containing $40,000 in cash and travelers checks has been rewarded by well-wishers who have donated more than $75,000 to help him.

Former Boston courthouse employee Glen James had lost his job because of health problems, but said he would not have tried to keep any of the money he found at the weekend.

After hearing about his story a Virginia man set up a GoFundMe website which has raised thousands to help Mr James in just one day

You can read more about the story here: New York Daily News

What would you do if you found $40,000 in the street? Would you keep it or would you hand it in to the police?

Do you consider this man to be a modern-day hero?

Phonebloks – the smartphone that never dies

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Could this be the phone of the future? The idea for the world’s first sustainable (durable) smartphone is certainly creating a buzz on the social networks at the moment!

Have you ever broken your phone screen and decided to buy a new phone? Or perhaps you don’t have enough memory for all your music downloads? Would you like to be able to build your own phone? Phonebloks could be the solution.

Dutchman Dave Hakkens is currently developing Phonebloks, a sustainable smartphone made up of small, easily replaced modules. In theory, the smartphone would never have to be replaced, each part is removable and this makes it easier to personalize your phone.  For example, if you like taking photos you could incorporate a better camera model, of the brand of your choice.

The idea is currently making a buzz on the social networks and interested parties or individuals can support the idea via Twitter or Facebook. The developer is not asking for money but wants to know if demand would be large enough to be able to launch (lancer) it.

Some critics have said that it will be impossible to make the idea work, that it will be difficult to make all the different parts compatible. It has also been named « the Lego phone »!

What do you think? Would you be prepared to give up your smartphone for this one?

Watch the video below:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57602510-1/phonebloks-a-modular-phone-you-update-a-piece-at-a-time/

The idea of progress

Do you consider the invention of smartphones a progress?

You can talk to your friends at any time of the day (or night!), keep in touch with friends and family abroad, read your emails, see your friends’ holiday photos on Facebook, comment on the news on Twitter, download music, play games………….

But how many hours do you actually spend on your phone? Have you ever counted?

2011-04-30-smartphone-waste-time

Do smartphones bring people closer through modern technology or are they making us more isolated? Technology and smartphones are not bad, but they can take too much time out of our lives. They can be major distractions that hinder our relationships.

Another disadvantage of smartphones is the amount of waste generated: new models are constantly being released, creating a « need » to have the latest model. But what do you do with your old phone? Do you sell it? Exchange it? Recycle it? Put it in a drawer?

Read about how phones can be recycled here: learn about recycling

The Butler – the film that made Barack Obama cry

LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER tells the story of a White House butler, Eugene Allen who served eight American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family. Eugene grew up during the time of Southern segregation and Jim Crow laws but he went on to find work as a waiter and went on to serve in the White House, working for for eight different US presidents.

Forest Whitaker stars as the butler with Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy.

The film is currently topping the American box office and is already being spoken of as a multiple Academy Award contender.

In a recent radio interview Obama admitted: « I teared up just thinking about not just the butlers who have worked here in the White House, but an entire generation of people who were talented and skilled, but because of Jim Crow, because of discrimination, there was only so far they could go. »

« And yet, with dignity and tenacity, they got up and worked every single day, » said Obama, the first African-American US president, noting that those who were discriminated against put up with a lot « because they hoped for something better for their kids ».

From the 1880s into the 1960s, a majority of American states enforced segregation through « Jim Crow » laws . Many states could impose legal punishments on people for consorting with members of another race. The most common types of laws forbade intermarriage and ordered business owners and public institutions to keep their black and white clientele separated.

Jim Crow Law   USAjimcrow1   Jim Crow law

The film is released in France on the 11th September 2013, the title in French is « Le Majordome »

Here is the trailer for the film : link

Bac 2013: confusion à l’épreuve d’anglais ?

Selon un journaliste anglais, les concepteurs du sujet d’anglais LV1 se seraient risqués à comparer le prestigieux ‘ »Oxford Union » avec une vulgaire association étudiante…
En savoir plus sur http://www.lexpress.fr/education/bac-2013-shocking-confusion-a-l-epreuve-d-anglais_1259312.html#f6YfvGVzIA8OFYGj.99

et aussi ici:

http://enseignementsup.blog.lemonde.fr/2013/06/22/confusion-ou-formulation-volontaire-le-sujet-dexpression-ecrite-du-bac-danglais-fait-polemique/

Qu’est ce que c’est « Oxford Union »?

Read about it here: http://www.oxford-union.org/about_us

A skyscraper melts a car!

article-2409073-1B898673000005DC-114_634x540        car damage

A new London skyscraper, known as the « Walkie Talkie » has been blamed for reflecting light which melted parts of a car parked on a nearby street.

The skyscraper has a concave design and so the sunlight is reflected in a a very localised point in the early afternoon. This man had parked his car here for only 1 hour and came back to find parts of it had melted! Members of the public wanting to prove how dangerous the beams can be even managed to fry eggs in the heat!

You can read more about this story on the BBC news website

You can watch a news report about it on DailyMotion

Anglosphere.fr – le City guide sur tout ce qui se fait en anglais dans votre ville

anglosphere-bg

Vous habitez à Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille ou Strasbourg et vous voulez savoir ce qu’il se passe dans votre ville en anglais?

Sur le site anglosphere.fr vous trouverez tous les bons plans pour des sorties en anglais, pour aller voir des films en VO, où trouver des cours d’anglais ou des groupes de conversation, des magasins anglais….

Il y a également une page de ressources avec des liens pour vous aider à améliorer votre anglais!

Go and check it out! It’s a great idea!!

Also go and see their brand new audio and video magazine The Angloklaxon

The Royal Baby

royal baby

At 4.24 pm. on July 22nd a baby was born in London. But not just any baby! This baby boy is a prince and will probably one day be the King of England.

Read more about the royal baby:

– on the British Council website

– on the UK newspaper front pages

– on the English news lesson website

– on the 6-minute English website

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