My Bucket List Sebastien

My Bucket List Sebastien

Sebastien shares his bucket list with us.

To be fair, he was asked with little or no time to think about it, so maybe, if we did it again, as we most probably will do, the bucket list would probably be very fifferent than this one.

It is quite an interesting exercise to redo a bucket list, as in fact, it almost forces people to really think about what they would lreally like to do – hence a bucket list is created almost by accident.

Why you forget your words when speaking English

Why you forget your words when speaking English

Why you forget your words when speaking English

Aphasia is an inability to comprehend or formulate language because of damage to specific brain regions.

This damage is typically caused by a cerebral vascular accident (stroke), or head trauma; however, these are not the only possible causes.

To be diagnosed with aphasia, a person’s speech or language must be significantly impaired in one (or several) of the four communication modalities following acquired brain injury or have significant decline over a short time period (progressive aphasia).

The four communication modalities are :

  1. Auditory comprehension,
  2. Verbal expression,
  3. Reading and writing,  
  4. Functional communication.

The difficulties of people with aphasia can range from occasional trouble finding words to losing the ability to speak, read, or write; intelligence, however, is unaffected.[

Expressive language and receptive language can both be affected as well. Aphasia also affects visual language such as sign language.

In contrast, the use of formulaic expressions in everyday communication is often preserved.One prevalent deficit in the aphasias is anomia, which is a deficit in word finding ability.

The term aphasia implies that one or more communication modalities in the brain have been damaged and are therefore functioning incorrectly.

Aphasia does not refer to damage to the brain that results in motor or sensory deficits, which produces abnormal speech; that is, aphasia is not related to the mechanics of speech but rather the individual’s language cognition (although a person can have both problems).

An individual’s “language” is the socially shared set of rules as well as the thought processes that go behind verbalized speech.

It is not a result of a more peripheral motor or sensory difficulty, such as paralysis affecting the speech muscles or a general hearing impairment.

Aphasia affects about 2 million people in the US and 250,000 people in Great Britain.

Though nearly 180,000 people in the US acquire the disorder a year, 84.5% of people have never heard of the condition.


Try the lesson here 

The worst polluters in the world

The worst polluters in the world

The worst polluters in the world are generally assumed to be the oil, mining and manufacturing industries.

Industrial wastes are one of the top sources of environmental pollution.

Across the world, untreated or improperly treated industrial waste pollutes the air, water, and soil in and around the industrial sites. The pollution caused by an industry often depends on its nature with some industries generating more toxic wastes than others. Pure Earth, an international non-profit organization, has compiled a list of the 10 worst polluting industries in the world.

Pure Earth, formerly known as the Blacksmith Institute until on 10 March 2015, is a New York City-based international not-for-profit organization founded in 1999 that aims to identify and clean up pollution, focusing primarily on contaminated sites and soil in developing countries.

Over the last decade it has cleaned up 84 sites in 20 countries,focusing on communities where children are most at risk. These communities suffer disproportionately from pollution-related diseases.

Blacksmith changed to a new name – Pure Earth – with the aim of broadening awareness of global toxic pollution issues to the general public.

The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world…second only to oil, although this is often disputed.

Criticisms of fast fashion include its negative environmental impact, water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals and increasing levels of textile waste.

Vibrant colours, prints and fabric finishes are appealing features of fashion garments, but many of these are achieved with toxic chemicals. Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water globally, after agriculture.

Greenpeace’s recent Detox campaign has been instrumental in pressuring fashion brands to take action to remove toxic chemicals from their supply chains, after it tested a number of brands’ products and confirmed the presence of hazardous chemicals.

Many of these are banned or strictly regulated in various countries because they are toxic, bio-accumulative (meaning the substance builds up in an organism faster than the organism can excrete or metabolise it), disruptive to hormones and carcinogenic.

Please don’t be put off by the quality of the podcast, as I was interviewing Susan on a boat. 😁

The symbols of Australia

The symbols of Australia

The symbols of Australia

The symbols of Australia include the flag, national colours, the coat of arms and the national anthem, but there are many other things that make up the symbols of Australia – listen to Sue interview an Australian about the symbols of Australia.

The Australian Flag

The stars of the Southern Cross represent Australia’s geographic position in the Southern Hemisphere. The large Commonwealth star symbolises the federation of the states and territories, and the Union Jack reflects Australia’s early ties to Great Britain.

The National Colours

Australia’s national colours are green and gold, the colours of its national floral emblem, the Golden Wattle.

The Coat of Arms

The Australian coat of arms consists of a shield containing the badges of the six Australian states symbolising federation, and the national symbols of the Golden Wattle, the kangaroo and the emu. By popular tradition, the kangaroo is accepted as the national animal emblem. The Golden Wattle was proclaimed the national floral emblem in August 1988.

National Anthem

Advance Australia Fair has been Australia’s official national anthem since 19 April 1984.

National Day

Australia Day is celebrated each year on 26 January. The date is the anniversary of the unfurling of the British flag at Sydney Cove in 1788.

National Holidays

Australia has 12 public holidays a year, including New Year’s Day, Australia Day and Anzac Day.

An Australian soldier carries a wounded comrade near North Beach, Gallipoli
An Australian soldier carries a wounded comrade near North Beach, Gallipoli (AWM H10363)


Anzac Day, 25 April, is a national day of commemoration for all Australians who have fought in wars. It is the day the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed at Gallipoli in Turkey in 1915 during World War I. To mark Anzac Day, Australians and New Zealanders attend ceremonies at home and around the world, including in Gallipoli. In 2015, Australia marked the centenary of the Anzac landing with a ceremony at Gallipoli.

Drawn from the collection of the National Museum of Australia, the Symbols of Australia exhibition explored some of the symbols Australians have chosen to represent themselves and their nation.

Australia — both ancient continent and recent nation — is represented by many symbols. National symbols are often used to represent a distinctive national identity. Some symbols endure, others fade away and new symbols develop as attitudes and values change. Often a source of unity and pride, symbols can also divide and exclude.

The Australian flag is legislated as an official symbol. Others, like the kangaroo and wattle, have changed from popular to official symbols over time. The boomerang was a symbol of the continent long before the nation came into being. In the 20th century, the Sydney Harbour Bridge came to symbolise Australia’s spectacular attractions, while the Holden car became an emblem of the everyday.

Text courtesy of Australian Government department of foreign affairs & Trade

Why do learners have difficulties listening in English?

Why do learners have difficulties listening in English?

Why do learners have difficulties listening in English?

Why do learners have difficulties listening in English ? This is a real problem for learners of English or any foreign language and there are no real shortcuts, but there are many tips, based on common sense that you can try out, which we will see in the next podcast.

The reality is that if the ear doesn’t work, then everything becomes difficult in language learning, although there is a clear difference between listening (which is a somewhat active process) and hearing, which is a passive process.

However, if you cannot hear the range of sounds that make up a language, then it will be almost impossible to have a chance of developing listening skills. The mystery is, why is there so little focus on developing hearing skills, whilst a lot of effort is put into listening skills. 

Your brain is also acting like a filter when it hears English sounds, constructions, rythmns or certain syllables. It is filtering out those sounds as foreign which is causing it to completely ignore some of the more important English sounds. 

There are typically 120–150 words spoken per minute in normal audio or conversation and that is a lot of information for your brain to process in very short time. You might feel like you are only hearing a few words that you know really well and you are left guessing what the audio means based on a few words, or worse, you may block and filter them out completely. 

You may be reading this and thinking this process is really hard work and it might sound like it takes a lot of time. And, yes, you are absolutely right and you are definitely going to go deeper with your listening but you will see results in the end as a reward for your efforts.

Just remember that learning is not a spectator sport! Here are some Language Learning tips 

What English sounds like to speakers of other languages And some learning hacks

What difficulties do you have listening in English?

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Yuka The Healthy Eating App

Yuka The Healthy Eating App

Yuka The Healthy Eating App that checks out the quality of your shopping basket
Do you really know what you eat?
Well yes! With Yuka The Healthy Eating App you can scan your products and analyze their impact on your health.

In the blink of an eye, Yuka The Healthy Eating App decodes complicated and sometimes confusing labels for you: you visualise products that are good and those that are best avoided.

Get personalized recommendations for your shopping
When you scan a product that has a negative impact on your health, Yuka The Healthy Eating App recommends a better equivalent product.

So, you continue to enjoy yourself while eating healthier!

An independent evaluation based on 3 criteria

Nutritional quality
60% of the evaluation is based on nutritional quality, which takes into account the amount of energy, saturated fats, sugars, salt, fruits and vegetables, fiber and protein of the product. The calculation method is based on the Nutriscore (brand of Public Health France), built by Professor Serge Hercberg. 

30% of the evaluation is based on the presence of harmful additives in the product. Yuka is based on many sources that have studied the dangerousness of food additives, among which are: “Food additives” Corinne Gouget, “Food additives” Maire-Laure André and the studies of the UFC Que Choisir, The French equivalent of ‘Which’ Magazine.

Biological dimension
10% of the evaluation is based on the biological dimension of the product.

Products considered organic are those with the French bio label (AB) and / or the European organic label (Eurofeuille)
Yuka uses the OpenFoodFacts free database.

Yuka The Healthy Eating App is free and available for download to a smartphone – have a look at the Yuka Website.

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