Thursday, 23 June 2016

June 29, 2016 Blog Discussion

Howdy class!

Please watch this interesting video before class. Remember you can pause it to read what is on the screen. There is no speaking in the video. Make sure to look up any words that you don't know. Also, consider the questions below before class.

See you in class!


Future Discussion
• What will the future be like?
• What is AI?
• Would you like any of the ‘skills’ seen in the video?
• Which human modification do you think is the scariest? The most useful? The most interesting?
• What is the definition of a 'robot'?
        • What is robotics?
        • Can robots tie shoes?
        • Will robots replace humans?
        • Will robots take our jobs?
• How will the development of robots that think change your     future?
• Imagine the job you wish to hold when you get older -    could a robot be programmed to do that job as well as you?
• Do you think we create a new problem with each invention?  
  Think of examples.
• How old will people live to be in the future?
• Is it possible to know the future?
• Do you think the future will be better or worse for your

   grandchildren?  In what ways?

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Blog Discussion: June 22, 2016

Please read the article below and answer the questions below. Please be ready to discuss this topic when you come to class on Wednesday. This means looking up unknown vocabulary before class. Please do not write anything to prepare for this discussion. Please just think about it.

Also, just for interest, have a look at this news video from my home town. Lightning can be dangerous!

See you in class!

   Reading: The Worst Hotel in the World

The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam is bad and it knows it. The hotel is proudly dubbed the “worst hotel in the world.” The hotel caters to backpackers and students, and its amenities include hostel-style rooms equipped with metal bunk beds and blue metal lockers from $22.50 a night. The hotel’s advertising warns customers of its filthy conditions in advance. Past slogans include:
–       Improve your immune system – stay at Hans Brinker!
–       It can’t get any worse. But we’ll do our best.
–       Now with beds in every room.
–       Proudly disappointing travelers for 40 years.
The hotel’s disclaimer: 'Those wishing to stay at the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel, Amsterdam, do so at their own risk and will not hold the hotel liable for food poisoning, mental breakdowns, terminal illness, lost limbs, radiation poisoning, certain diseases associated with the 18th century, plague, etc.’
The hotel operates a strict eco-friendly policy, which includes no hot water in its showers and eco-friendly elevators (the stairs). It also encourages customers to dry off using the curtains to save the planet.
Here are some reviews from from travelers who have taken the plunge:
"The accommodation is extremely basic and some of the rooms look like prison dorms, but it's cleanish and cheap, the bar sells a cheap pint, and you do get breakfast." (John W.)
– “Stayed here with a travel group last week. Had to be one of the worst experiences of the trip. The hostel stank of weed, our rooms were not clean, and the bathrooms stank of urine. At night, there were drunk people banging on the walls and they turned on the fire hose outside the room at 4 am and managed to get all our luggage wet. Please never stay here — Amsterdam is a wonderful city, but this truly almost ruined it for me.” (Ericholl94)
The hotel manager Tijmen Receveur says the hotel’s approach is a hit with travelers and students. “'They love our humour and sarcasm – and they have diminished their expectations to less than nothing,” he explains.

Hotel comprehension Questions

1) How does the Hans Brinker Hotel protect the environment?
2) Name three positive comments about the hotel mentioned in the reviews.
3) What does the manager think about the hotel being labeled ‘the worst hotel in the world’?

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Discussion Topic: Health vs. Appearance (June 15/16)

Howdy class!

Please watch at least the first 3 minutes of this video. Enjoy! Please watch those first three minutes more than one time.

See you in class!

An Epiemic of Beauty Sickness
Renee Engeln

1) Which do you think is more important, health, or appearance?
2) Would you take medicine to cure an appearance problem (for example, acne or serious pimples) even though it might negatively affect your health?
3) Do you think our culture is too worried about appearance?
4) If someone dies because they were taking a prescribed drug, whose fault is it? The company that makes the drug, the government for allowing the drug to me prescribed, the doctor for prescribing the drug, or the patient for choosing to take the drug?
5) Who puts more pressure on girls to be beautiful? Men or Women?

Sunday, 5 June 2016

June 8, 2016 Musical Blog!

The blog today will have us discussing the changing culture in some parts of Canada, Korea, and Japan.
Please read the article below and watch the video at the bottom before class. Make sure to look up any vocabulary you don't understand before class.

See you in class!


1)   Could you live in van? For a short time? For a long time? What do you think the benefits and drawbacks would be?
2)   Do you trust people who live in their vehicles?
3)   Is this a common situation in Korea/Japan?
4)   Should cities allow vans to park for free in certain areas of the city?
5)   Housing prices are getting very high in many parts of Canada. Do you think the government should get involved?
6)   Do you consider yourself and adventurous or cautious person?
7)   What is something adventurous that you dream of doing? Remember, ‘dream’ mean you might never do that thing.

8)   What changes are happening in Korean/Japanese culture?

Bonus: Did you see the 'Doobie Brothers' album in one of the vans. Here's a bit of the music from that band. Listen and get in the van-living mood!