sábado, 22 de julio de 2017

BBC News: Nine lifestyle changes can reduce dementia risk, study says

One in three cases of dementia could be prevented if more people looked after their brain health throughout life, according to an international study in the Lancet.
It lists nine key risk factors including lack of education, hearing loss, smoking and physical inactivity.
The study is being presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in London.
By 2050, 131 million people could be living with dementia globally.
There are estimated to be 47 million people with the condition at the moment.

Nine factors that contribute to the risk of dementia

  • Mid-life hearing loss - responsible for 9% of the risk
  • Failing to complete secondary education - 8%
  • Smoking - 5%
  • Failing to seek early treatment for depression - 4%
  • Physical inactivity - 3%
  • Social isolation - 2%
  • High blood pressure - 2%
  • Obesity - 1%
  • Type 2 diabetes - 1%
These risk factors - which are described as potentially modifiable - add up to 35%. The other 65% of dementia risk is thought to be potentially non-modifiable.
Source: Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention and care

You can read the whole article clicking here:

 BBC NEWS - Reduce dementia

jueves, 20 de julio de 2017

Holiday complaints

These are real complaints received by "Thomas Cook Holidays" from dissatisfied customers.

Have a good laugh!

1. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.”
2. “They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax.”
3. “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”
4. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price.”
5. “The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room.”
6. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow.”
7. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallartato close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time — this should be banned.”
8. “No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared.”
9. “Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers.”
10. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”
11. “The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun.”
12. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair.”
13. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends’ three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller.”
14. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the resort.’ We’re trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service.”
15. “When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners.”
16. “We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning.”
17. “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”
18. “I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes.”
19. “My fiancée and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”
       By NewsRoom24

lunes, 17 de julio de 2017

43 Embarrassing Grammar Mistakes Even Smart People Make

Like it or not, words, spelling, and punctuation can leave a lasting impression on others. But even the most educated people often unknowingly make these common flubs.
By Christina DesMarais

When someone uses grammar incorrectly do you make an assumption about his or her intelligence or education? Like it or not, words, spelling, and punctuation are powerful and can leave a lasting impression on others. But even the most educated people often unknowingly make common writing and speaking flubs. Check out this long list of ubiquitous grammar mistakes. Guarantee: You'll either learn something new or find a few of your biggest pet peeves here. (And likely, you'll find fault with my own use of the English language. I welcome your thoughts, critiques, and insults in the comments.)

1. First-come, first-serve

It should actually be "served." Without the d, the phrase above suggests that the first individual who arrives will be the one who serves everyone, which is not the idiom's intent.

2. I could care less

Think about this one for a minute. The way it's written above suggests you possess care which still could be allocated to the situation in question. "I couldn't care less" is correct because it communicates that "I have no more care to give."

3. Irregardless

This is not a word. It's simply "regardless," as in "Regardless of what you think about grammar, you'll look silly if you use it incorrectly."

4. "I" as the last word in a sentence.

This mistake is remarkably common, yet a correct example would be "Karlee talked with Brandon and me." The trick to getting this one straight is to take the other person's name out of the sentence and see if your personal pronoun choice still sounds right. "Karlee talked with I" is awkward and incorrect.

5. "Me" as the first word in a sentence.

I hear people saying things such as "Me and Brandon met at Starbucks this morning" all the time, even though it's always wrong. "Brandon and I met at Starbucks this morning" is correct.

6. Shoe-in

"Shoo-in" is what you really want to write when you're trying to say that someone is a sure winner. It's because when you "shoo" something you're urging it in a certain direction.

7. Emigrated to

"Emigrate" and "from" always go together, as do "immigrate" and "to." To emigrate is to come from somewhere, and to immigrate is to go to somewhere. "Colin emigrated from Ireland to the United States" means the same as "Colin immigrated to the United States from Ireland."

8. Overuse of apostrophes

These little guys are ubiquitously misused. Apostrophes indicate one of two things: possession or letters missing, as in "Sara's iPad" and "it's" for "it is" (second i missing). They don't belong on plurals. "FAQs," for example, should not have an apostrophe. Also, people often make a mistake with their own last name. If you want to refer to your family but don't want to list everyone's first name write "The Johnsons" not "The Johnson's." Another big one: Decades should not have apostrophes. For example, "1980s" is correct but "1980's" is not.

9. Prostrate cancer

This one is a simple spelling mistake resulting from an extra r. "Prostrate" actually means to lie face down. The "prostate" gland is a part of the male reproductive anatomy.

10. Slight of hand

A "slight" is an insult, whereas "sleight" indicates dexterity or cunning. It's why "sleight of hand" is commonly used in the world of magic and illusion.

11. Honed in

Just know that to "home in" on something means to move toward a goal, such as "The missile homed in on its target." To "hone" is to sharpen.

12. Baited breath

When I think about bait, worms and lures come to mind. The first word should actually be "bated," which stems from the verb "abate," meaning to stop or lessen. So, if you're trying to say that someone is holding his breath, you can see that "bated breath" makes the most sense.

13. Piece of mind

If you want to share what you're thinking with someone, this could work if you add "my" before "mind." But if you're trying to indicate tranquility, then spell it "peace."

14. Wet your appetite

"Whet" means to sharpen or stimulate. As such, the latter spelling is more appropriate.

15. Make due

"Due" means "owed," and that's not the intent with this idiom. "Make do" is the proper way to say that you're going to get along with what you have.

16. Do diligence

"Due diligence" is the proper business and legal term. It means you will investigate an individual or company before signing a contract.

17. Peaked my interest

To pique means to arouse, so the correct phrase is "piqued my interest," meaning that my interest was stimulated. While the incorrect way it's written in the heading may suggest that someone's interest was taken to a high level, it's still wrong.

18. Must of, should of, would of, and could of

All those ofs should be "have." The proper versions were corrupted by contractions such as "must've."

19. Per say or persay

Both are incorrect because the Latin phrase which means "in itself" or "intrinsically" is spelled "per se." The best communicators speak and write clearly and concisely and probably avoid phrases like this one anyway.

20. All the sudden

Whether you say "all of a sudden" or "all of the sudden," the preposition "of" must be involved either way. But if you're really trying to say "suddenly," just do.

21. The first-year anniversary

The use of the word "year" is redundant. "The first anniversary" or "the 50th anniversary" suffice.

22. Worse comes to worse

"Worse comes to worst,"--note the t--is better because it indicates something has degraded from one negative plane to the lowest possible.

23. Unthaw

Even though people use this word as a verb all the time, the best way to "un-thaw" something would be to put it in the freezer. Is freezing what you mean, or thawing?

24. Hot water heater

If anything, it's a cold water heater. Just use "water heater."

25. Boldface lie

"Bald-face" means shameless or showing no guilt. When a person tells a bald-faced lie, they are openly lying. An acceptable variant of this phrase is a "barefaced lie."

26. Chock it up

The correct version--"chalk it up"-- comes from keeping score on a chalkboard.

27. Through the ringer

The incorrect example above is missing a w. A wringer is an old-fashioned mechanism which presses water out of clothes being washed by hand, a process indicative of giving someone a hard time.

28. Subject and pronoun disagreement.

This one is subject to debate, but here's my two cents. Take the sentence, "A person who smokes damages their lungs." See anything wrong there? You should. "A person" is--obviously--one person. But "their" is a word you would use if you were referring to more than one person. Correct sentences could either read:
  • "People who smoke damage their lungs."
  • "A person who smokes damages his or her lungs."
In the first bullet, "people" is more than one person and now agrees with "their." In the second bullet, the use of "his or her" can be awkward, so you can just pick one or the other as long as you're sensitive to any gender issues an audience might raise.

29. Given free reign

It's easy to see why this one looks correct, considering that "reign" is something that kings, queens, and other sovereigns do. Yet the correct idiom refers to the reins which control a horse. When you give a horse "free rein" you let it go where it wants to go.

30. Nip it in the butt

To "nip" means to pinch or to bite. Therefore, the correct version is "nip it in the bud," which refers to snipping off a flower bud before it can bloom. The idea is to put an end to something before it gets worse.

31. Tie me over

You don't really want someone to tie you on top of something, do you? The phrase "tide me over" is talking about sustaining someone through a difficult time and refers to the ocean's tide, which is capable of moving boats to a new location when the wind will not.

32. Tow the line

To "toe the line" means to follow the rules. It comes from runners who put their toe to the line before running a race.

33. Chalk full

The word "chock" is an Old English word which means "cheek" as well as "full to the brim." In other words, "chock-full" means "mouthful."

34. Throws of passion

Just know that a throe is a sharp attack of emotion. So, to be in the "throes of passion" is to be violently consumed by something.

35. A mute point

Mute means silent, so would you really want to make a point that doesn't say anything? A point that is "moot" is debatable or doubtful. So, a point can be moot, but not mute.

36. Overuse of "literally"

Some people throw this word around as an embellishment to intensify whatever they're trying to say. But "literally" means "actually" or "in a strict sense." So, if you say, "My head literally exploded," you are lying.

37. Expresso

The strong coffee drink brewed into a tiny cup is pronounced with an "s" in the first syllable and written "espresso."

38. Jive with the facts

Jive can be defined as a colorful form of speaking, or as referring to certain kinds of jazz or swing music. Since "jibe" means "to agree," the correct phrase would be "jibe with the facts."

39. "For-tay" for forte

If you're trying to say that something is or isn't your talent, the technically correct way to pronounce "forte" is "fort." The only problem: Lots of people understand what you're trying to communicate if you pronounce it "for-tay," which is incorrect. So, if you use the correct version you'll sound intelligent to the grammarians of the world but you risk alienating a certain percentage of people who will not understand your meaning. My approach: Avoid "forte" altogether and say, "It's not my strength."

40. Eccetera

Pronounce "etcetera" exactly how it is spelled. Lots of people bristle when a speaker drops the "t."

41. Deep-seeded

The incorrect spelling above seems like it could be right since something that is planted deeply in the ground would be firmly established. The correct expression, though, is "deep-seated."

42. Extract revenge

When you "extract" something, you remove it. "Exact," when used as a verb, means "to require or demand." Look it up if you don't believe me.

43. Sneak peak

A "peak" is the top of a mountain. The correct word is "peek," which means a quick look.

lunes, 10 de julio de 2017

The Day John Lennon Met Paul McCartney and Changed Music Forever

On July 6, 1957—60 years ago today—John met Paul. And music was never the same.

If you’re someone whose heart harbors notions of true romanticism, you are probably keenly aware of how often the romantic ends up apologizing for his or her predilections.
Usually this is by way of disclaimer or undercutting joke. As in, “I know it’s a long shot, but I’m a bit of a romantic, to be honest.” I’m not sure there are people who are only slight romantics—you either are one, or you’re not. You believe in that other person being out there for you; you believe in the tide reversing course after years of hard work; you believe that you and the person you kept it together for, whom you have yet to meet, will eventually walk up to each other and say, “So here we are at last.” And if you’re a Beatles fan and a romantic, there is nothing sweeter than the events that transpired 60 years ago on July 6, 1957, when a 16-year-old John Lennon met a freshly 15 Paul McCartney.
The Beatles stories that we tend to focus on are of the post-fame variety. The recording session for the orchestral overdubs on “A Day in the Life,” with various musical celebrities in attendance and classical musicians donning silly masks, or the rooftop concert of Jan. 30, 1969, when the Beatles broke free from a dismal raft of studio sessions and went for it out in the cold London air.
But before the band tore into that English winter air, there was that first, far quieter, far more bucolic, meeting between its two crucial members, in a time and place so different it might as well have been from when Sherlock Holmes still advanced over moors.
It’s common for Americans to picture the Liverpool the Beatles sprang from—and grew up in—as nothing but a port city, far more urban than Edenic. But both Lennon and McCartney knew vast rural spaces, forests, and quaint grounds you could encounter in an episode of Grantchester, like St. Peter’s Church in Woolton, where the social highlight of the year—mark your calendars!—was the annual church fete, with the crowning of the Rose Queen.
You would walk over to the church, bring some baked goods, drink tea, hope for a breeze, feel refreshed, and gossip with your friends—more or less politely—as you enjoyed a range of village-fair-based divertimenti. In 1957, these amusements included the dogs of the Liverpool police force, a fancy dress parade, the band of the Cheshire Yeomantry, and our men of the march, the Quarrymen Skiffle Group. Get pumped, tea imbibers.
Len Garry was on tea chest bass, the invaluable-to-history Pete Shotton was on washboard, Colin Hanton manned the drums, Rod Davies was on banjo, Eric Griffiths was on guitar, and playing another guitar with banjo chords—and singing—was John Lennon.
Surprised by the lineup? Not very rock ’n’ roll? That’s because this was skiffle: a combination of household instrument rockabilly and nascent rock to produce a musical salmagundi that wasn’t terribly long for the world. But there may be no shorter-lived musical moment that had more lasting reverberations than skiffle, with the Quarrymen—so named for the school the boys went to—now being, of course, a major footnote to history.
Lennon had had some problems earlier in the day prior to the 2 o’clock parade procession, with the acts riding to the grounds on the backs of lorries. He wanted to wear a pair of tight-fitting drainpipe trousers, which his Aunt Mimi put the kibosh on, requiring Lennon to find a place to stash them outside and hasten into them later on the way to the gig. The things a young rock and roller must overcome.
The Quarrymen did their thing on the back of that lorry, with the mother of a school friend waving at Lennon—much to his embarrassment. Mimi turned up, of course, saw the drainpipe trousers, which led to Lennon extemporizing some lyrics to reference Mimi’s rage—albeit of the good-natured surrogate-parent variety—into the rumble coming from the back of the Quarrymen’s truck. After which point it was time for liquid and light refreshments on the church grounds. And it was also time for one Paul McCartney—who was quite chubby then—to turn up on his bike.
The Quarrymen’s proper gig—the one they would have been excited for—was that night in the church hall. No moving trucks this time. A school friend of the band, Ivan Vaughan, had invited McCartney to attend if he wished. And now that he was there, Vaughan went a step further, introducing McCartney to the leader of this ragtag assembly.
They talked. McCartney noticed that Lennon’s guitar was in banjo tuning and he offered to tune it properly for him, while breaking out into renditions of Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock” and Gene Vincent’s “Be-Bop-a-Lula.”
Ever seen the lyrics to “Twenty Flight Rock?”
They’re a mouthful, no? Or how about this: Ever been 15 or 16? Ever been that age and ventured into someone else’s social circle with all eyes on you? What did you do? You probably turtled a bit, right? Let people on the other side do their thing, maybe wait for a moment to ingratiate yourself later?
Not McCartney. It’s a stunning amount of confidence, really, and for someone so young. Lennon, even at this age, couldn’t have been a non-intimidating presence. But he was probably delighted that someone had no problem being themselves around him, as there was little Lennon liked less than people pretending to be things they were not. Affected poses, and cowardice, were among his chief anathemas.
McCartney watched as the Quarrymen played that night. Lennon must have already been wondering if he was going to ask the new boy to join his band. On the one hand, the band would become better. On the other, his authority might be challenged. McCartney was clearly the better musician. But hey: Fortune sometimes lets a coward squeak by, but it never favors one.
Amazingly—almost unbelievably—recordings survive from that gig, the music that the Quarrymen made, that Paul McCartney stood hearing. I cannot think of a less likely recording to exist in the history of rock. Can you? Why on earth would someone be bootlegging a gig at a church by teenagers with no appreciable musical skill? Just madness. But one Bob Molyneux was there with a Grundig reel-to-reel tape recorder, and you can hear the Quarrymen cover Gene Vincent’s “Puttin’ on the Style” and Elvis’ “Baby Let’s Play House.” The artifacts of some kind of miracle, if you believe in things like miracles.
The weather vane of the church was auctioned off not too long back—I guess you never know what a weather vane knows—and Lennon, of course, did invite that new boy to join the band. It took him a few weeks. You didn’t just cross everyone’s path in a Twitter feed back then.
It was Pete Shotton, Lennon’s best mate—even during the Beatles era—who served as proxy. He cycled up to McCartney, who was also on his bike, in Woolton, and asked if he wanted to join the band. You probably know the rest from there.
Just like you probably know, if you are indeed a romantic, that the jokes and the disclaimers aren’t really necessary. They don’t help populate the kind of stage you’re looking to share. Faith does. Like when you ask a kid who’s better on the guitar to join up with you, and trust that it’s going to be cool. 
By Colin Fleming/6 jul. 2017

lunes, 3 de julio de 2017

Don't you know where to go on holiday yet?

 Maybe you can get some ideas reading this article from The Guardian:

Sweden’s High Coast: an uplifting experience 

Click here to read it: The_Guardian

miércoles, 28 de junio de 2017

Improve your communication skills

You can watch here a very interesting video: Think fast, Talk smart. It can help you improve your communication techniques:

Think Fast, Talk Smart

martes, 27 de junio de 2017

Summer time

Hello! As summer is already here, I have opened all the tests you have on the platform as well as some extra material in case you'd like to study or practise during the summer.

If you have any problem to access, please write a comment here and I'll try to sort it out.

Congratulations to everyone who passed all their exams!!

And to those who have to retake any part, cheer up! I'm sure you'll do it.

Have a very nice summer all of you!

Resultado de imagen de summer time