Keep counting

Let’s learn a bit more about the figures that define the population of the world. Before you watch the video by National Geographic Magazine, try to guess what the figures below refer to:

7,000,000,000 / 25% / male / 8 hours / Chinese / India

Was there anything you found surprising about these facts? How typical are you?

Fun fact about this song:

On 30 September 2005, the writer and scientist Simon Singh accused Katie Melua in The Guardian of being scientifically incorrect with the lyrics.  In her song she says: We are 12 billion light-years from the edge. That’s a guess – no-one can ever say it’s true, but I know that I will always be with you.

Singh said it was an assault on the accuracy of the work of cosmologists, and the article motivated a series of letters from other  readers, agreeing or disagreeing.  On 15 October, Melua and Singh appeared together on the BBCs Today programme and Melua sang a new version of the song including Singh’s amendments to the lyrics:

We are 13.7 billion light-years from the edge of the observable universe / That’s a good estimate with well-defined error bars / And with the available information / I predict that I will always be with you”.

Both sides amicably agreed that the new lyrics were less attractive for commercial success, and continued with a discussion about scientific accuracy versus artistic licence.


New Year Resolutions


In class we stopped to think about what we would like to change in 2017, and found this great opportunity using the hashtag #My4WordNewYearResolutions

And here are some of the ideas we came up with:

We learnt that we can express intentions or resolutions using -be going to

I’m going to do more exercise     or     I’m going to learn how to cook

I’m gonna spend less money on clothes (more informal)

But we also found it very useful to use would like to+inf . Even though it doesn’t express a resolution, we needed it to share with each other the things we wish to change.

I‘d like to stop smoking     or     I‘d like to drive less and walk more

What was really tricky was to express it all in only four words!