The Future of Transportation

It may not be too far-fetched to say that flying could be the reality some time in the near future.

Prototypes like the Aeromobil have already been tested, and with positive results, apparently.

The video above shows a demonstration of a flying car. It claims that it could become the solution for traffic jams, for instance.  “One solution is to create a new type of transportation that doesn’t rely on roads, which could one day make traffic jams a 20th century relic. To do this, we must look to the sky.”

The Current Problems with Transportation

Whether with flying cars or not, we are definitely in need of a solution to all the problems generated by private and public transport. Take a look at this image of city traffic with 200 people.

What do you think are the biggest problems nowadays? What needs to be improved in your town? Do you think that governments should encourage public transportation more?

How do you feel about this?

Below are some questions to discuss the topic #occeoic

  • How would we all benefit from the introduction of flying cars?
  • What problems do you think would arise? Is it feasible that we all end up flying and not driving? Why?
  • How important do you think it is to use public transportation
  • Do you think city governments should discourage use of privately driven cars within city limits?
  • Can you think of other alternative ways of travelling?
  • If public transportation were free, would you use it more?
  • Do you feel safe when you use public transportation?
  • Do you feel safe going into the subway/metro/underground at all hours?

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An Underground Farm

How many things can be going on beneath your feet? What about in a big town like London? 

Amazingly, for two years now, Richard Ballard and Steven Dring have been developping a very interesting project called Zero Carbon Food which is all about using an abandonned underground line to farm and grow produce to supply local retailers and restaurants.  

The underground seems to gather the right conditions to make the produce grow. And, on top of that, it reduces the miles that food has to travel to reach people’s tables.

They came up with the idea two years ago. As Ballard explains: “Integrating farming into the urban environment makes a huge amount of sense and we’re delighted that we’re going to make it a reality,”

Watch the video. What do you think about this? Would you have ever imagined that something like this could happen?

A listening comprehension activity is available here: underground farm

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxTaXDxzIXE

If you are an English language learner and you would like to share your ideas about it, go ahead and post a comment or share your opinions, videos and articles on Twitter. All you have to do is tweet your opinion followed by #occeoic. For more information on how to use twitter and the hashtag #occeoic go to: http://wp.me/P3tqiu-7J

Here are some questions to help:

Can you think of any spot in your town that could serve a different purpose?

Is there any abandonned area in your town which could be transformed into something else? If so, what would you do?

Would you welcome the idea of building farms for growing produce like the Zero Carbon Project?

What do you miss in your town? What should there be more of? Or less of?

The Most Beautiful Sounds in the World

If you were to say which was the most beautiful sound in the world, what would you choose?

A baby giggling, or the sound of streams and rivers are just a couple of examples that could be listed among the most beautiful, indeed. If you would like to test your vocabulary of sounds and noises you can have a look at the following two links, which have interesting interactive games to learn verbs that describe sounds that people make: The Sound Monster Interactive GameSounds that people make. Game. Also, you will find extra practice of vocabulary and some grammar that can help you describe more easily how you feel about certain sounds here: Describing Sounds BBC Learning English

To find out which really is the most beautiful sound in the world, sound expert Julian Treasure created a competition where people recorded and submitted what they thought were the most pleasant sounds. The winning entry was the sound of a swamp with frogs singing. Before you listen, can you imagine what that might sound like? Would you say frogs produce a nice sound? Click below to  find out. What do you think?

By clicking on Beautiful Now you will hear samples of some other sounds that were submitted. Which one do you like?

Below you can listen to Julian Treasure interviewing Marc Anderson, who submitted the winning entry. They talk about where the sound was recorded and what makes sound sometimes more reliable than photos. There are four listening comprehension questions below which go from minute 0.00 to minute 4.00.

How does Julian Treasure describe the sound of the swamp? What struck him about it?

Why did Marc choose that sound in particular?

In what ways does he describe sound is more telling than a photo?

Why is sound more truthful at times than a photo?

After listening to these beautiful sounds here is an article which lists the most annoying sounds. The 10 most Annoying Sounds

If you would like to share your feelings and opinions about this, go ahead and post your comment. Is there any sound that you find pleasant or annoying that you hear very often? What do you like to listen to when you need to relax or concentrate?

Also, by using the hashtag #oneclick we can discuss on twitter. Not only can you say what you think, but you can also share links to videos, news items and other blog posts about the topic.

The Beauty of Pollination

I was taken aback by this astonishing video, which I would like to share with you. It reminds us that nature doesn’t need a click or a switch to work, it just does. All its creatures have been moving, and evolving with a magical and even mystical understanding among each other.

All the images we can see are real, they are happening right next to us, so silently and subtly that we hardly ever notice. Are we becoming too unaware of what really matters?

I suggest watching the video. And enjoy. Also, you have a listening comprehension activity below. Please post your comments if you would like to say something about it.

What animals does he mention as taking part in the pollination process?

How long has he been filming?

What event motivated him to make this film?

How much do we depend on pollinators? What do scientists claim?

Previous posts related to this topic are:

https://oneclickcloser.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/where-have-the-bees-gone/

https://oneclickcloser.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/the-march-of-the-beekepers/

Food waste…exchanged for meals

"The New Fred Meyer on Interstate on Lomb...

“The New Fred Meyer on Interstate on Lombard” (7404 N Interstate Ave, Portland, OR 97217). This version has additional correction to correct for poor white balance and slight counterclockwise rotation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A former post of mine Food Waste was about how much food is thrown away nowadays. Read the following news item Restaurant lets customers pay with trash and find out the answer to these questions:

What kind of business is BIOMAT? 

Is it an actual restaurant or was it only temporary?

What could customers bring to the restaurant?

What were customers given in return?

What would the biodegradable waste become?

For more information:

BIOMAT WEBSITE

https://twitter.com/hellocompost

 Related articles

Fighting the Filth with Forks and Flowers.

Let’s fight the filth with forks and flowers is the motto of the Guerilla Gardeners. It is a London-based community whose example is spreading very quicky to many other towns. Their challenge is to transform the abandonned and unloved patches of land in the city, which the council are supposed to be looking after, and make it grow with sunflowers, tulips…with life!

Anyone can join really. The main obstacle is that it is not allowed because it is not their land. The theory is that you need permission from the council to garden the urban development sites or neglected and shabby corners. Because of this, Richard Reynold and his supporters sometimes have to garden in the evenings.

The idea is spreading and Guerilla Gardeners around the world are creating small pieces of urban art on potholes and small-scale gardens (Steve Wheen). They are making statements every time they manage to carry out their “illicit acts of gardening”

Despite the challenges he has to face, no one can doubt that Richard Reynolds is sowing the seeds that are necessary to create environentally-friendly and pleasant areas to live.  Not only that, the message is probably more important than the produce. It just takes forks and seeds to make our life more natural and our towns more beautiful.

Urban Garden: Guerilla Gardening

Underground Movements: Gardening

Guerilla Gardening

Below is a talk given by Richard Reynolds where he explains the challenges and achievements of guerilla gardening. He also talks about Elephant and Castle, South London, where I spent my childhood years, so I’m very fond of hearing about it. Listening activity: guerilla gardening

 

If you are an English language learner and you would like to share your ideas about it, go ahead and post a comment or share your opinions, videos and articles on Twitter. All you have to do is tweet your opinion followed by #one_click. For more information on how to use twitter and the hashtag #one_click go to: http://wp.me/P3tqiu-7J

Here are some questions to help:

Is there any abandonned area in your town which could be transformed into something else? If so, what would you do?

What do you miss in your town? What should there be more of? Or less of?

 

Food Waste

With all the austerity and problems happening due to the critical social and economic situation, it’s heart-breaking to read this: Food waste: Tesco reveals most bagged salad and half its bread is thrown out. Find the answers to the following questions on the text:

How much bagged salad is thrown away?

How many apples, grapes and bananas are wasted? 

How many tonnes of food waste were generated?

How much money daoes an average family waste?