“Awe, contentedness, joy, amusement, curiosity”

Classes are finished for the spring semester, so I’m going to take a break from adding topics until just before we start up again in September. There’s plenty in the archives to keep you busy, though. Try to get a little English input every day over the summer and do something with it — summarizing, expressing your opinions, asking questions, and language noticing.

I’ll leave you with 10 (really 50 if you watch them all) hours of relaxing planet earth visual soundscapes from the BBC, which “”significant increases in feelings of awe, contentedness, joy, amusement and curiosity” and  “reduce feelings of tiredness, anger and stress” (says this study). If you don’t like the mountain one, there are also 10 hours each of islands, jungles, grasslands, and deserts.

(via Open Culture)


🐬 Have a great summer! 🐳


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All about mosquitos

A small town in Sweden has a mosquito catching contest. Sound like fun?

“The Unofficial Mosquito-Catching World Championship” (from Atlas Obscura)

Looks like they do something similar in Russia, too:

“With 43 bites, 9-year-old wins ‘tastiest girl’ competition at annual Russian Mosquito Festival” (from the Washington Post)

What unsual contests have you heard of or participated in? If you could create an original contest, what would you have people do?

And speaking of mosquitos, here’s an unusual, counter-intuitive strategy to get rid of the pests:

“To Shrink Mosquito Population, Scientists Are Releasing 20 Million Mosquitoes” (from NPR)

Meanwhile, in Scotland one railway company has installed a “mosquito device” — a device emitting an annoying sound — to keep young people from loitering around train stations.

“Anger over Hamilton station ‘mosquito’ device” (from BBC)

Can you think of better ways to prevent loitering?

From selfies to movies

This funny short film was made in two weeks, using only an iPhone and an editing app that costs less than ¥2000. An inspiration for something creative to do during your summer vacation?

From Open Culture, with a title suggesting we should be using our smart phones for more than selfies, and including some constructive criticism in the comments section.