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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

HEALTH_Guardian- LIFESTYLE_Can you boost your immune system with that?

The secrets of people who never get sick
Some lucky folk claim to never get a cold or take days off work. Can we become more like them?  C. Rasmawany -10/02/17
People who never get illEvery now and then one pops up at work, down the pub, in the park, outside the school gate, or in your own family’s mythology. 
The person who claims never to get sick. Colds brush past them without leaving so much as a sniffle. They laugh in the flushed face of flu, spray hand sanitiser in the rheumy eyes of infection, and never take a day off work. 
They appear to be superhuman, with the kind of kickass immune systems the rest of us mere ailing mortals can only dream about as we dissolve another 1,000mg vitamin C tablet and hope for the best. What are their secrets? Can we become more like them? Do they even exist? 
Our unparalleled genetic diversity makes generalisations about stronger or weaker immune systems meaningless. It also throws into question the benefits of all the products out there claiming to boost our immunity; antioxidants, vitamin C, hot lemon and ginger tea, garlic, echinacea, or wheatgrass. Do any of them work?
So why do some people simply seem to be better at fighting infection than others? 

Some comments to (dis)agree:
  • “The bottom line is that we simply don’t know,” 
  • “Keep your scepticism wrapped around you like a cloak.”

Giles Fraser on ROBOTS at the second machine age

Robots can take our jobs, but they will never render obsolete our love    - 02/02/17

These days, when I wake in the night, my wife is invariably up, sitting in a chair at the side of the bed, breastfeeding our son. I make tea and say how lovely they look. And then, I usually drift back to sleep or reach for my book to stay awake in an act of silent solidarity. There is not much more that I can do.
My bedside reading is about robots. And it’s probably not a great idea to have it at the side of the bed because it has been nightmare-inducing. I have luddite sympathies and an instinctive distrust of technological innovation, so I don’t get some geeky thrill at the idea of robots taking over the world, taking our jobs and forcing human beings into obsolescence. (...)The stories you need to read, in one handy email

Just wait to see what robotics and artificial intelligence technologies will do to the employment prospects of the human race. Donald Trump tells the US working class that China and Mexico are stealing their jobs. But they’re not: it’s robots. (...) 
What jobs will be left? What jobs could metal and software never do? These were my night worries, churning round in my head. And then it struck me that the answer was quite possibly before me. Could you ever imagine a robot breastfeeding a child? Oh, I’m sure some idiot could come up with a humanoid with an artificial breast that lactated formula milk. But that is only one part of what’s going on at the side of the bed. As well as feeding, the mother is communicating a plethora of unconscious messages about being loved and feeling safe. And in getting up in the middle of the night, sleep-deprived and exhausted, she is putting herself out for our son in a way that a robot never could.
Yes, a robot could be there for the child, obviously – but not be there exhausted. And thus it couldn’t exhibit the love that overcomes exhaustion. In other words, what the second machine age could well do is bring to the fore the moral, spiritual and emotional aspects of being human. When the robots have taken all the hands and head jobs, we will be reminded again of the centrality of the heart.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

C1- WR_TASK 2 - OPTION A-B. Women in society and sexism

TASK 2. Choose one of the options.

 WR_Option B. 

  Susanna Schrobsdor at the essay The pursuit of happy-ish  with the title: A distressing summer of workplace sexism reminds us how far we have to go.  
HERE’S A NUMBER THAT MIGHT COME AS A SURPRISEAccording to a Pew Research survey released in August, most American men—56%—think sexism is over and done with. More than half believe that “the obstacles that once made it harder for women than men to get ahead are now largely gone.” (...)
(...) Donald Trump suggested in July 2017 that his daughter Ivanka would never put up with sexual harassment—she’d just nd another career or another company.  

Write about 250 words to discuss what Susanna Schrobsdorff raises about workplace and sexism in the last decade and scenarios for the near future.

Also, REACT to any of her columns at

For instance:
November -2016

There's a Startling Increase in Major Depression Among Teens in the U.S.

January -2017


 Pew Research survey 
- August 2016

 WR_Option A. 

The statistics below illustrate the degree of Gender-perceived obstacles in the US political parties.

Consider the figures and explain what they tell us about whether women still face obstacles to progress in society today.

Write a text of about 250 words analysing the data and drawing conclusions from them. 
Only mention the figures if needed to support your arguments. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Charming Lisbon

Lisbon the capital of Portugal.

Portugal went back to be also an exporter of it's own youth - 
everybody  there can give you news 
of a young graduate who, after her studies, got two minijobs of 300 euros/month here and was desesperate until she got an offer in a country in Europe: a real job  for 2000 euros/month. 
Some of  my friends went through the same: despair there in spite of being highly qualified and jobs you couldn't dream of in England, Switzerland and even Mozambique...

CITY life. An article  written in El País tell us about 
how Lisbon has lost 100,000 people per decade for the last 30 years. 
It is now in the  EU’s top ten most quickly shrinking cities.
 The reasons they list include:
  •  poor condition of public services like schools and hospitals, 
  • and the fact that property in Lisbon costs 3 times more than in surrounding municipalities. 

10 things we did in  Lisbon

A) Where to get lost:
Besides the obvious sites, where you will end up...
1- Market de Graça 
 on Saturday mornings.
often thought to mean "Thieve's Market" (in Portuguese "ladra" is a woman thief) 
Lisbon's flea market is called locally the Feira da Ladra, 

2- Panoramic View at "Jardim do Torel".  Near "Casa de Galicia"
For example, From Metro Martin  Monitz, go up along Rua Sao Lazaro till Manuel Bento.

B) Where to get walk the little lanes:
Mouraria  curiously remains the most multiethnic neighborhood in the city. It's nonetheless a very authentically Lisbon neighborhood, known as the birthplace of FadoAnother hidden treasure is the interior of the former Colégio dos Meninos Orfãos orphanage on Rua da Mouraria

Alfama. this quaint medieval district (once the Moorish and Jewish quarter before it became a fishing community) is the oldest neighborhood in EuropeGraça. Set in a visually stunning hill that extends to the neighborhood of Graça, this is Lisbon at its most picturesque and the very soul of the city. 

C) Where to spend the sunset.

Take the ferry at Cais do Sodre and get to the neighbourhood of Cacilhas. Walk some 10 minutes along the river till the lovely coffee place there. From 18 till sunset... get the last sun beams on your face while you enjoy are below the large bridge and a view of the city from the other site.

D) Where to have a bite.

O Eurico  -Largo de Sao Cristovao, 3A little chaotic and crowded inside this little family casa/restautant. Very genuin and the atmosphere was really nice.

LISBON- Alfarrabista . Round up the usual suspects

Lisbon has several book stores with the same purpose of selling old books; we call these shops “Alfarrabista”. Although there are other zones more populated with this kind of shops.Some info:


Livraria do Simão - A gathering of some preciosities   (A. Cotovio)
the smallest bookshop in Portugal, maybe one of the tightest of the world; believe me, tight is the right word! So tight that it’s impossible for the owner and the client to be inside together! This doesn’t mean the book offer is small; or the choice limited. I was told that
Simão, the owner, has about 4,000 books available here and some of them are rarities. And there are a lot of books in a variety of other languages.
this one unique and worth a visit even if you’re not a “reader”.
Easy to reach when entering the arch to “Escadinhas de São Cristóvão” from “Rua da Madalena”, 

  • Bivar Books (Rua de Ponta Delgada 34A) is an all-English secondhand bookstore in Estefânia with a penchant for Penguin editions and a bend toward science fiction titles, which are otherwise very hard to find in English in this town. It’s run by the affable Leena Marjola, who’s actively building a community of book-lovers with readings, exhibits, and more.
  • Estrela Hall (Rua da Estrela 10), home to the English-language theater troupe The Lisbon Players, has a shelf of books, many of them in English, for anyone to grab for a minimum suggested donation of just 1€. this community-oriented group doesn’t have much funding. While you’re at it, might as well grab a 1€ copo of wine .
Lisbon markets are also great for finding good deals on English-language book, as well as books in French and German. 
  • Feira da Ladra (Campo de Santa Clara, Tuesdays and Saturdays) in Alfama has a ton of used book sellers, so there are bargains galore.
  •  Belem Flea Market (Jardim Vasco de Gama, Rua Vieira, first and third Sunday of the month) also occasionally has English-language books.

RIP: Lisbon’s best used bookstore… Fyodor Books (Rua do Loreto 15), close to Praça de Camões, was run by literature graduates who sold carefully selected used books in English, Portuguese, French, and German. I

Livraria Britânica (Rua Luis Fernandes, 14), in Principe Real, is geared toward English language learners and teachers.

Ler Devagar
 (1300, R. Rodrigues de Faria 103) in LX Factory in Alcântara is one of the most gorgeous bookstores around, with a cafe.  where you can drink wine and smoke cigarettes while you look all smarty-pants. The English selection (all new books) skews toward Portuguese authors and Portugal travel and history books, though.
BONUS TRACK by AtlasLisboa:

10€ SANA Malhoa Hotel

Daily, 7h-22h  Av. José Malhoa, nº 8,1099-089 Lisboa
+351 210 061 800
For 10€ for the whole day, you can use SANA Malhoa’s their sauna, jacuzzi, and Turkish bath.  Also their fitness machines (if you must).

Sunday, February 5, 2017

multilingual Cameroon -camfranglais

Cameroon has been described as “Afrique en miniature” (with over 200 distinct national languages) as regards sheer linguistic complexity.
Francamglais, as it tends to be called by its adolescent speakers today (p.c. Gardy Stein) – is a hybrid language spoken in the big cities of Cameroon, Douala and Yaoundé.
In Cameroon, French and English are official languages, and over 250 other languages are spoken, making communication difficult without a common language. Camfranglais first emerged in the mid-1970s after the reunification of Francophone Cameroun and Anglophone Southern Cameroons. It became fashionable in the late 1990s, due partially to its use by popular musicians.
A thorough discussion of the many issues surrounding cultural identity and language use in contemporary Cameroon, Dr Peter Vakunta offers a cogent argument for the recognition of Camfranglais as a legitimate literary language.



Official bilingualism was guaranteed, as formulated in article 1, paragraph 3 of the constitution of 1996.  The reality, however, is drastically different. Official bilingualism (Echu 1999a, 1999b) is very imbalanced, due to the predominance of francophones on the political and administrative scene, many of whom cannot speak English.

In order to move up the social or professional ladder, it is absolutely necessary for anglophones to become bilingual in French, whereas francophones do not have to become bilingual in English. Eventually, many pupils in the francophone area leave secondary school without being able to hold a conversation in English
The genius of Camfranglais is that it integrates Non-French lexical items into a French morphosyntactic frame: “sa structure morphosyntaxique a surtout l’ossature du français”.
(Roland Kießling, University of Hamburg - 2003 )

PIECE 2. TASK. READ THE article from 2007  below:  Full text click at the headline and share your opinions at the option of a new interlanguage. 

 New language for divided Cameroon  

-By Francis Ngwa Niba  
20 February 2007,

BBC News, DoualaTeachers in Cameroon are concerned that the new language frananglais - a mixture of French, English and Creole - is affecting the way students speak and write the country's two official languages.

Tu as go au school - Did you go to school?
Tu as sleep hier? - Did you sleep well last night?
Tout le monde hate me, wey I no know - Everybody hates me, I don't know why
Je veux go - I want to go
Il est come - He has come
Tu play le damba tous les jours? - Do you play football every day?

          Opinion is sharply divided on the origins of frananglais.
Francoise Endwin, head of the French department of the Linguistic Centre in Douala says it developed because French and English have a lot of similarities, despite their different syntax.

A lot of musicians now also use frananglais in their music. One of the earliest musicians to do this was the famous Lapiro de Mbanga, but dozens of other artists have now joined the bandwagon and sing in a language that most people will understand. That now happens to be frananglais. The most popular of these musicians now is known as Koppo and his best-known frananglais song is titled Si Tu Vois Ma Go (If You See Me Go). A mother of three I met buying the album in Douala told me: "I love Koppo's music very much - he sings in a language everyone can relate to." Jacques Towe, head of the English department of the Linguistic Centre in Douala, says: "Only time will tell what will happen to frananglais. It might develop into a new type of language" that might help bring national unity in a country divided along strong linguistic lines. As far as I am concerned, "je ne suis pas sure about this" (I am not sure about this). To be recognised as a language on its own, frananglais will have to be codified. Some university post graduate students have carried out research on frananglais but they all agree only on one point - if it helps communications, it's good for the country. Vous reading this toujours? (Are you still reading this?) You might be hooked already.

PIECE 3.  
Multilingual Cameroon has awoken to a new linguistic reality characterised by reconstructing linguistic identities in order to fit in the global space. This is seen in more and more urban Francophones pursuing English medium education and the Anglophones consolidating their identity alignment to the English language. From a sociolinguistic perspective, this paper evaluates the prominence and implications and prospects of this rush for English education in contemporary urban Cameroon. 
The case study method and cost-benefit analysis confirm that there is a fast growing interest in English medium education and the beginnings of English as an L1 in urban Cameroon. The result is a paradoxical sociolinguistic outcome: first of all, there is a shift by the majority Francophone group, who are shifting from a predominantly French medium to an English medium education, principally for economic benefits. Secondly, the Anglophones are increasingly shifting to English as an L1, without losing French as they live in basically French-speaking urban zones. 
This state of language shift implies that there will subsequently be bilingualism without diglossia in Cameroon's two official languages, and loss of the long-standing French language hegemony in Cameroon. At the same time, this shift threatens Cameroon's ancestral languages, forcing them increasingly into attrition and possibly endangerment.

‘Back moi mes do!’ = ‘Give me back my money!’