Dec 4, 2009

The Discovery Files: Winning By A Toe (Learning English with Science)

Audio Transcript:

Winning By A Toe.

I'm Bob Karson with the discovery files -- new advances in science and engineering from the National Science Foundation.

Getting a leg up in the sprinting world may have a lot to do with a certain kind of physiology of the foot. Specifically, a runner having longer toes and a unique ankle structure may have an edge.

New research out of Penn State compared the feet of sprinters with non-sprinters, and found some significant structural differences. They measured the distance between the heel and the end of the toes, and used ultrasound images to reveal the leverage of the Achilles tendon1 within the foot. The long and the short of it is that the runners had longer toes, and a shorter 'lever arm' or distance between the tendon and the center rotation of the ankle.

Those long toes let sprinters maintain contact with the ground just a little bit longer than other runners, giving them an extra boost of acceleration.

To take the research into the next heat2, the team used the stats they collected to design a computer model of the foot in various configurations. The greatest acceleration was achieved with the longest toes, and the shortest lever arm.

Built for speed? The jury is still out as to whether a runner can develop a more favorable foot structure through training or whether it's purely genetics.

On your mark -- get set -- toe!Sorry, it's a running gag.

Play audio

For the original, please visit:
The Discovery Files

1. Achilles tendon
Please refer to the link below:

2. heat
a single effort, round, bout, or trial; esp., any of the preliminary rounds of a race, etc., the winners of which compete in the final round
--The winner of each show will move into the next heat.
--I'll just take the confidence into the next heat now.

3. on your mark, get set, go!
a three-command start when racing
For more information, visit the following link:,_get_set,_go!

Dec 3, 2009

Remembrance (Word of the Day, 2009/12/2)

remembrance /rɪˋmɛmbrəns/
[singular, uncountable]
►A remembering or being remembered
►when people remember and give honour to someone who has died
--The Anglican church held a service in remembrance of September 11 victims on Sunday morning.
--President Obama gave the keynote address Thursday at a Holocaust (/ˋhɑləˏkɔst/大屠殺) remembrance ceremony at the US Capitol.

[uncountable and countable]
►a memory that you have of a person or event
--Miss Chen was torn between telling the truth and the remembrance of her promise to her headmistress.

►The power to remember
--The witness lost all remembrance of the accident.

►The extent of time over which one can remember
--He had a lively remembrance of his childhood.

►An object that serves to bring to mind or keep in mind some person, event, etc.; souvenir, gift, keepsake, memento, etc.
--He sent me a birthday remembrance.

--Give my remembrance to your father.

Remembrance Day / Remembrance Sunday
►November 11th or The Sunday nearest to it, when a ceremony is held in Britain to remember people who were killed in the two world wars.
--A Canadian soldier in Afghanistan marks Remembrance Day in Nov. 11, 2008, the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Memory /ˋmɛmərɪ/
[countable usually plural]
►something that you remember from the past about a person, place, or experience
--She talked about her memories of the war.
--He has lots of happy memories of his stay in Japan.
--My most vivid memory is not the accident itself but being in the ambulance.
--One of my earliest childhood memories is of my mother reading stories to me by the fire.
--Those old songs bring back memories.

a walk/trip down memory lane
►When you spend some time remembering the past
--She returned to her old school yesterday for a trip down memory lane.

►the total of what one remembers
--Fighting memory loss is not as difficult as you might imagine, and you definitely don't have to assume that simply because you're getting older you'll have memory issues.

[uncountable and countable]
►someone's ability to remember things, places, experiences etc
--His phone number has slipped my memory.

►the length of time over which remembering extends;
in/within memory
►during the time that people can remember
--The disaster was within the memory of many men still working at the station.

►commemoration or remembrance
in memory of somebody
►if something is done or made in memory of someone, it is done to remember them and remind other people of them after they have died
--She set up a charitable fund in her father's memory.

►the way you remember someone who has died
somebody's memory
--She died over 40 years ago but her memory lives on
--There's a bench to his memory in the local park.
--People always cherish the memory of the national hero.

remembrance vs. memory
Memory is the generic term, denoting the power by which we reproduce past impressions.
Remembrance is an exercise of that power when things occur spontaneously to our thoughts.

Memory is the faculty of retaining and reviving impressions or recalling past experiences.
Remembrance most often denotes the process or act of recalling.

memory is stored information about the unique and personal aspects.
Remembrance is the process of recalling and reliving of an experience.

Nov 19, 2009

Auspicious (Word of the Day, 2009/11/18)

►attended by favorable circumstances
►showing that something is likely to successful
--Her excellent recording is an auspicious start to what promises to be a distinguished musical career.
--An auspicious start is really half the battle won.

auspicious day/date
--November 11 is an especially auspicious day for those inclined to supernatural beliefs.
--We know well that any new business can only begin operations after the Feng Shui master has visited the premises and given the auspicious date for opening.

►tending to favor or bring good luck
--Served with a spicy-sweet mustard sauce, this was an auspicious beginning to our meal.

►in an auspicious way
--He started his new job auspiciously on his birthday.

►The state or quality of being auspicious or successful
--This Chinese knots is decorated with auspiciousness and prosperity wood carving.

►A favorable omen
--He took that as an auspice of happiness.

►a sign of what will happen in the future
--It's a good omen for the future.

under the auspices of somebody/something
►with the help and support of a particular organization or person
--The negotiations, held under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program, produced a tentative agreement.

Nov 5, 2009

Carbon Offset (Word of the Day, 2009/11/4)

►A compensating equivalent
--Today's victory was an offset to yesterday's defeat.

►relating to a method of printing in which ink is put onto rollers and the paper then passes between the rollers
--offset printing

Offset/ˋɔfˏsɛt/past tense and past participle, offset; present participle, offsetting/[transitive]
►if the cost or amount of something offsets another cost or amount, the two things have an opposite effect so that the situation remains the same
--Cuts in prices for milk, butter, and cheese will be offset by direct payments to farmers.

►to make something look better by being close to it and different
--Her blonde hair offset a deep tan.

►produce by offset printing
-- Offset printing is a commonly used printing technique where the inked image is offset from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface.

Carbon /ˋkɑrbən/[uncountable]
►a chemical substance that exists in a pure form as diamonds, graphite etc, or in an impure form as coal, petrol etc. It is a chemical element: symbol C

ˋcarbon ˏpaper [uncountable and countable]
►thin paper with a blue or black substance on one side, that you put between sheets of paper when typing on a typewriter in order to make a copy onto the second sheet of paper
--Carbonless paper coated with chemicals and dye which will produce copies without carbon paper.

ˏCarbon ˋcopy [countable]
►a copy, especially of something that has been typed using carbon paper
--To her annoyance Holly pushed the carbon copy on to Rain's desk and went away with the other.

►someone or something that is very similar to another person or thing
--It was a carbon copy of an attack 18 months ago.

ˏCarbon ˋdating [uncountable]
►a method of finding out the age of very old objects by measuring the amount of carbon in them
--Radio carbon dating determines the age of ancient objects by means of measuring the amount of carbon-14 there is left in an object.

ˏCarbon diˋoxide [uncountable]
►the gas produced when animals breathe out, when carbon is burned in air, or when animal or vegetable substances decay
--An increase in the amount of carbon dioxide is responsible for about half the total warming.

ˏCarbon moˋnoxide [uncountable]
►a poisonous gas produced when carbon, especially in petrol, burns in a small amount of air
--Two workers are taken to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning after an incident at a helicopter company in Aberdeen.
--For example the formula for carbon monoxide is CO. It tells you that each molecule of carbonmonoxide consists of one carbon atom joined to one oxygen atom.

ˋCarbon sink [countable]
►a large area of forest that is believed to help the environment by taking in carbon from the air so that the effects of global warming are reduced
--A 40-year-study by the University of Leeds of African forests - which account for a third of the world's total tropical forest - demonstrates that Africa is, indeed, a significant carbon sink.

ˋCarbon ˏtax [uncountable and countable]
►a tax on businesses and industries which produce substances with a carbon base, that can damage the environment
--The carbon tax plans have already encountered stiff opposition across the political spectrum.

Carbon footprint
A carbon footprint is "the total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an organization, event or product"
--Compared to home-grown apples they cost more and come with a larger carbon footprint because of the CO2 produced by their journey to the shops.

Carbon neutral
►A business or a process is described as carbon neutral if it doesn't add to the net amount of in the atmosphere.
--A city council plans to become carbon neutral with its green electricity supplies over the next 40 years.

Carbon offset
►a compensatory measure made by an individual or company for carbon emissions, usually through sponsoring activities or projects which increase carbon dioxide absorption, such as tree planting
--My advice is to save your carbon offset money and invest it yourself directly in carbon saving schemes, cut out the middle man and make better use of the cash.

Oct 31, 2009

October Reading: Emotional Intelligence

Joe Mande grew up idolizing his favorite comedian, Eddie Murphy. So when Mande started doing stand-up in clubs around New York five years ago, he tried to imitate his style. Murphy bounced around the stage in loud leather clothing and told rapid-fire jokes in his signature manic voice. But when Mande tried using that same frantic energy, he could tell the audience didn’t respond the same way that Murphy’s did.

Find the full text at:


Joe Mande
Please refer to the link:

Eddie Murphy
Please refer to the link:

stand-up also standup /ˋstændˏʌp/ [adjective, only before noun]

stand-up [comedy] involves one person telling jokes alone as a performance
--a stand-up comedian

a stand-up meeting, meal etc is one in which people stand up
--We had a stand-up buffet.

a stand-up fight, argument etc is one in which people shout loudly at each other or are violent
--If it came to a stand-up fight, I wouldn't have a chance.

able to stay upright
--a photo in a stand-up frame
--a stand-up collar

stand-up also standup /ˋstændˏʌp/ [noun, uncountable]

stand-up comedy
--Mark used to do stand-up at Roxy's Bar.
a comedian who does stand-up comedy

Someone (never) can tell also someone can (never) tell [spoken]

Used to say that someone can(not) be certain about what will happen in the future
--But when Mande tried using that same frantic energy, he could tell the audience didn’t respond the same way that Murphy’s did.
--People can tell if you’re posturing or trying too hard.


An eight-day Jewish holiday, also known as the Festival of Lights. Please refer to the link:


a four-sided spinning top, played with during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Please refer to the link:

Oct 23, 2009

Harvest (Word of the Day, 2009/10/21)

Nina Chou
harvest /ˋhɑrvɪst/
►[uncountable and countable] the season for crop gathering
--The strawberry harvest starts in April.
--The apple harvest has begun. 

►[countable] amount of crops gathered
--This year’s rice harvest was very poor.
--A good harvest of strawberry is expected this year.

►a result or consequence
--The new medicine is the harvest of thirty year’s research.
-- I’m now reaping the harvests of my wrong decisions.

harvest festival [countable]
►a church service held in the autumn to thank God for the harvest
--People used to come here at night at harvest festival time and pray and dance.

harvest moon
►the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox.
--Does the harvest moon always occur in September? No, It depends on the date of the full moon with relationship to the equinox.

harvest /ˋhɑrvɪst/ [intransitive and transitive]
►gather or reap
--Try to harvest the fruit before first frost.
--When will you harvest your wheat?

harvester /ˋhɑrvɪstɚ/
►someone who gathers crops
--And like the swallows that harvest the thin fields of air, we must become harvesters of ever more intangible fields.

combine harvester
►a machine used by farmers to cut grain, separate the seeds from it, and clean it
--Instead of driving a modern combine harvester, he's using a binder to cut the corn into sheaves.

Another useful examples :
--Bring in (reap) a good harvest 獲得豐收
--Yield a rich harvest 成果豐碩
--Expect a plentiful harvest 預期豐收
--An abundant [ an ample, a good, a large, a plentiful, a rich, a splendid] harvest豐收
--A bad [ poor, scanty, wretched ] harvest 歉收

Oct 22, 2009

Autumn Leaves (Learning by Singing)

Autumn Leaves is one of the most beautiful popular songs I’ve ever heard. Originally, it’s a 1945 French song titled "Les feuilles mortes (The Dead Leaves)".

The music was composed by Joseph Kosma, a Hungarian-French composer. The French lyrics was written by poet Jacques Prévert.

Following is an English Translation for the French Lyrics.

Les feuilles mortes 
(The Dead Leaves)
French Lyrics: Jacques Prévert
Oh, how I wish that you would remember
The happy days when we were loving friends!
At that time life was more beautiful,
And the sun more brilliant than today.

The dead leaves are gathered in a shovel.
You see, I haven’t forgotten!
The dead leaves are gathered in a shovel,
Memories and regrets as well.

And the wind from the north carries them off
In the cold night of oblivion1.
You see, I haven’t forgotten,
The song you sang to me.
This is a song that resembles2 us.

You who loved me, I who loved you,
And we lived, the two of us, together.
You who loved me, I who loved you,
But life separates those who love each other
Very gently, without making noise.
And the sea erases on the sand
The footsteps of separated lovers.
1 oblivion/əˋblɪvɪən/
►when something is completely forgotten or no longer important
-- And by the end of the war, the issue had fallen into oblivion.

►the state of being unconscious or of not noticing what is happening:
-- He longed for the oblivion of sleep.
-- He had drunk himself into oblivion.

2 resemble/rɪˋzɛmbl/[transitive not in progressive or passive]
►to look like or be similar to someone or something
-- It's amazing how closely Brian and Steve resemble each other.
-- He grew up to resemble his father.

* reassemble/riəˋsɛmbl/[easy to confuse with “resemble”]
►[transitive] to bring together the different parts of something to make a whole again, after they have been separated
--The equipment had to be dismantled and reassembled at each new location.

►[intransitive] if a group of people reassemble, they meet together again after a period apart
--Parliament reassembled after a seven-week break.

Let's listen to the French version sung by Juliette Gréco.

The following French-English hybrid version was sung by the blind Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and his fiancee Veronica Berti.

The English lyrics was written by American songwriter Johnny Mercer in 1947.

Autumn leaves
Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
The falling leaves drift by the window,
The autumn leaves of red and gold.
I see your lips, the summer kisses,
The sunburned hand I used to hold.

Since you went away the days grow long.
And soon I'll hear old winter's song.
But I miss you most of all, my darling,
When autumn leaves start to fall.

Let's listen to Frank Sinatra.

Oct 2, 2009

The Discovery Files: Mind Scans (Learning English with Science)

For podcast please visit:

Audio transcript:

I Think I'm Having a "Where's Waldo"1 Moment.

I'm Bob Karson with the discovery files -- new advances in science and engineering from the National Science Foundation.

Looking for a friend in a crowded room? Are you likely to scan the room, moving from face to face? Or take in the whole scene, hoping your friend's face will pop out at you? If you said, "scan the room," neuroscientists2 at MIT would likely agree, based on a new study.

The researchers monitored brain activity of monkeys, who were given the task of finding a certain tilted colored bar on a computer screen filled with many colored bars. Rather than looking at the big picture, the monkeys shifted their attention in sequence -- like a moving spotlight that jumped from location to location.

The team found that the spotlight shifted focus 25 times a second and that the shifting was regulated by brain waves. It seems these waves may provide a clock that tells the brain when to shift attention from one stimulus to another. They might also keep different parts of the brain on the same page at the same time -- much the way computers use an internal clock to synchronize3 the different components inside.

The scientists say that if we could find ways to direct brain waves, it could be of immense4 help to patients with A.D.D.5, even speed up the cognitive powers of the brain.

Or help me find my keys.

Play audio

For the original, please visit:
The Discovery Files



1. Where's Waldo
It’s a game. The intent is to find a man named Waldo. For more information, visit the following link:'s_Wally%3F

2. neuroscientist/ˋnjυroˏsаɪəntɪst/
A scientist who studies the brain and the nervous system

3. synchronize /ˋsiŋkrənаɪz/[intransitive and transitive]
To happen at exactly the same time, or to arrange for two or more actions to happen at exactly the same time.
-- Colourful flashing lights synchronize the sound.

4. immense /ɪˋmɛns/
extremely large [= enormous]
--Regular visits from a social worker can be of immense value to old people living alone.

5. A.D.D.
= Attention-Deficit Disorder

5.1 Deficit /ˋdɛfɪsɪt/
The difference between the amount of something that you have and the higher amount that you need.

5.2 disorder /dɪsˋɔrdɚ/[countable]
[medical] A mental or physical illness which prevents part of your body from working properly.

Sep 24, 2009

September Reading: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

How speech evaluations can help - or hurt.

from the August 2009 Toastmaster

Some time ago I presented a three-hour workshop called “Push-ups for Self-Esteem.” After the session, the meeting planner and I looked over the evaluations. The first three I picked up were from people who had graded the workshop “poor” on everything: the room, the food, the location, the hotel and the speaker. The third person even wrote, “I have been more stimulated at a Tupperware party!”

Find the full text at:

Click on the link below to listen to the interview with the author, Carol Dean Schreiner, DTM:


the rest of the stack
►the remainder
-- a hard disk can be replaced with flash memory while all the rest of the stack stays unchanged.

what/why/how etc. on earth ...?
►[spoken] used to ask a question when you are very surprised or angry
-- What on earth did you do that for?

die down
►To lose strength; subside
--The winds died down.

drive home
►carry out or perform; "deliver an attack", "deliver a blow";
--The boxer drove home a solid left"
►make clear by special emphasis and try to convince somebody of something; make something completely clear to someone
-- drive home a point or an argument
--I'm trying to drive home these basic ideas
--He didn't have to drive the point home. The videotape had done that.

gloss over
►to avoid talking about something unpleasant, or to say as little as possible about it
►cover up a misdemeanor, fault, or error
--She tried to gloss over her mistakes
--It is bad policy to gloss over the difficulties.

pick on somebody/something
►to behave in an unfair way to someone, for example by blaming them or criticizing them unfairly
--Why pick on me every time?

in any case
►whatever happens or happened
--I don't see why I couldn't do it. In any case, I'm going to try.
--He's too young to come and in any case I want him to spend the time with Mom.

take advantage of somebody
►to treat someone unfairly in order to get what you want, especially someone who is generous or easily persuaded
--Don't lend them the car - they're taking advantage of you!

take advantage of something (to do something)
►to use a particular situation to do or get what you want
--I took advantage of the good weather to paint the shed.
--You'll want to take full advantage of the beachfront clubs.

Sep 18, 2009

Humor (World of the Day, 2009/9/16)

Humor / humour /ˋhjumɚ/ [uncountable]
►the ability or tendency to think that things are funny, or funny things you say that show you have this ability
˙sense of humor
--It’s vital to have a sense of humor in this job.
˙somebody’s brand of humor
--The host puts the contestants at ease with his own brand of humor.
˙black humor (=jokes, funny stories etc about the unpleasant parts of life)
--A little black humor never hurts.
˙Schoolboy humor (=jokes, funny stories etc that are silly and rude but not offensive)
--Isn't he a bit old for this type of schoolboy humor?
˙dry/deadpan humor (=when someone pretends to be serious when they are really joking)
--Some people find it harder to catch a deadpan humor, which makes it more charming.
˙wry humor (=when someone jokes about something bad or difficult)
--The film shows the challenges that confront teachers, but it does so with a subtle and wry humor.
˙a flash/trace/touch of humor (=a small amount of humor)
--He showed flashes of humor that delighted the audience.
►the quality in something that makes it funny and makes people laugh
--He failed to see the humor of the situation.
˙in a good/an ill/a bad humor (= in a good or bad mood)
--At eighty her eyes still sparkled with good humor.

Humor / humour /ˋhjumɚ/ [transitive]
►to do what someone wants or to pretend to agree with them so that they do not become upset
--'Of course,' he said, humoring her.
--Children go through defined periods of oppositional behavior and may need humoring out of them.

Humorous /ˋhjumərəs/ [adjective]
►funny and enjoyable
--The film has some mildly humorous moments.

Humorously /ˋhjumərəslɪ/ [adverb]

Humorless /ˋhjumɚlɪs/ [adjective]
►too serious and not able to laugh at things that other people think are funny

Humorlessly /ˋhjumɚlɪslɪ/ [adverb]

Humorist / ˋhjumərɪst/ [countable]
►someone, especially a writer, who tells funny stories
--Her brother is quite a humorist.

Sep 4, 2009

Conflict (Word of the Day, 2009/9/2)

By Jessie Tseng
conflict (verb) /kən'flɪkt/ (used without object)
conflict(s) – conflicted – conflicted
► to come into disagreement; be contradictory, at variance, or in opposition
-- The account of one eyewitness conflicted ith that of the other.
-- My class conflicts with my going to the concert.
► to fight or contend; do battle
-- Companies often conflicts over the interests.

conflict (noun) /'kɑnflɪkt/
► a fight, battle, or struggle, esp. a prolonged struggle.
-- the Arab-Israeli conflict
► controversy; quarrel
-- conflicts between parties
► discord of action, feeling, or effect; antagonism or opposition, as of interests or principles: a conflict of ideas.
-- She found herself in conflict with her parents over her future career.
-- John often comes into conflict with his boss.
► incompatibility or interference, as of one idea, desire, event, or activity with another
-- a conflict in the schedule.
► [Psychiatry] a mental struggle arising from opposing demands or impulses.
-- There is a conflict between two sides of his personality.
-- Her diary was a record of her inner conflicts

Related forms

confliction (noun)

conflicted (adj)
►unable to decide what your feelings or opinions are about something.
-- I am ___________ to make the right decision.

►similar with contradictory
-- It’s a ___________ findings with earlier results.


conflict of interest(s)
► a situation in which someone cannot make a fair decision because they will be affected by the results.
► a situation in which something that is good for one person, but is bad for another person
-- In the conflict of interests, we often could see the cruel side of human nature.
conflict diamond
► It’s similar with blood diamond. Some countries in Africa in battles situation(belligerent交戰國),they will sell the diamond they exploit in their land in the national markets for raising the fighting funds.


conflict vs. battle vs. fight

► "Conflict" usually happened when there are more than one individual who have different opinions, and they all disagree with other people's thoughts it can be used between two persons, groups or countries. The usage range is widest of three.
-- This is an irreconcilable conflict.
-- Armed conflict is likely to break out between the two countries.

► The main differences is often used to describe a situation that using real swords, guns, or other weapons.
-- The ringleader (元兇)was shot to death in a gun battle.
-- His younger brother died in battle during World War II.

► It’s usually used in person-person body or opinions argument. The usage is narrowest and not formal.
-- Who won the fight?
-- Their fights were always over money.
-- He has plenty of fight (戰鬥力) in him.

role conflict vs. role strain
Role conflict is a special form of social conflict that takes place when one is forced to take on two different and incompatible roles at the same time. Consider the example of a doctor who is himself a patient, or who must decide whether he should be present for his daughter's birthday party (in his role as "father") or attend an ailing patient (as "doctor"). (Also compare the psychological concept of cognitive dissonance.)

Role strain characterises a situation where fulfilling a certain role has a conflict with fulfilling another role. For example, you found your teacher made a mistake and should you report that? If you did, you might disgrace him and if you didn't, you might not fulfill your role as student. While role conflict takes place across different role sets, role strain happens within the same role set.

Aug 31, 2009

Candor / Candour (Word of the Day, 2009/8/19)

by Grace Lee


►the quality of saying what you think openly and honestly


-- “I don’t trust him,” he said, in a rare moment of candor.

--He talked with unusual candor.

1a. whiteness, brilliance

--The sun poured with a more golden candor.(Christopher Morley)

1b. obs.unstained purity and innocence

--a young prince of valor and candor

2. disposition to open mindednessfreedom free bias, prejudice and maliceFAIRNESS, IMPARTIALITY

--A heavy accusation …from a gentleman of your talents, liberality, and candor.(Noah Webster)

3. archaicKINDLINESS

--candor in pardoning errors

4. unreserved, honest, or sincere expressionFRANKNESS CANDIDNESS

--The candor with which he acknowledged a weakness in his own case.

--Candor and courtesy, the desire to please and perfect openness, are mutually inimical.(W.C. Brownell)


►saying what you think openly and honestly; not hiding your thoughts

--A candid statement /interview

--To be candid, I don't like your hairstyle.

--This is really a candid decision.

►a candid photograph is one that is taken without the person in it knowing that they are being photographed.

►Candid camera


1. white

--A welding blast of candid flame(E.C. Stedman)

2. free from bias, prejudice, or malicemarked by concern for truth and justicefairly disposedDISINTERESTED, FAIR, JUST

--In the back of his candid mind…he knew that ….the charged against him were true.(Irwin Edman)

3. archaicfree from stainCLEAR, PURE

4a. marked by honest sincere expressionuttered or given out as fair and unbiasedfree from expedient reservation and modification

--To tell you my private and candid opinion…I think he’s a man from the other camp.

4b. indicating or suggesting sincere honestly and absence of deception and duplicity

--His candid eyes took on an expression of genuine sympathy.(Archibald Marashell)

4c. performed, expressed, or acknowledged without concealment or reservation

--her eyes burning with a candid excitement(Edith Wharton)

4d. disposed to criticize severelyBLUNT, FORTH-RIGHT

--as a leader…I have never lacked candid critics in my own ranks.(Clement Attlee)

5. relating to photograph or other presentation or recording of subjects acting naturally informally, or spontaneously without being posed, rehearsed, or inhibited

--a candid picture

--a candid microphone interview

--candid camera

a. usu. small camera equipped with a fast lens and used for taking informal photographs of unposed subjects often without their acknowledge

b. a miniature camera

candor (n)

Candidly (adv.) In a candid manner

Candidness (n) the quality or state of being candid

Aug 17, 2009

Amazing Grace (Learning by Singing)

Amazing Grace is a well-known Christian hymn. The melody is believed to be a Scottish folk song in origin. The lyrics were written by John Newton.

John Newton once was a slave trader, until the night of a great storm that tossed his slave ship in the high waters. He began to pray and repented of his sin. He saw the Amazing Grace of God. He turned from his sin of the slave trade and began to walk a life of service to God.

He wrote down many well-known hymns. One of them is “faith’s Review and Expectation”, which came to be known by its opening, “Amazing Grace”. The lyrics tell his story.

Amazing Grace

John Newton (1725-1807)
Amazing Grace1, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch2 like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils3 and snares4
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
And Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion
6 be,
As long as life endures

Yea, when this flesh8 and heart shall fail,
And mortal
9 life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less
11 days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

1 grace /ɡres/
►God’s kindness that is shown to people

2 wretch /rɛtʃ/
►Someone that you feel sorry for

3 toil /tɔɪl/
►Hard unpleasant work done over a long period.

4 snare /snɛr/
►= trap

5 secure /sɪkjur/
►To get or achieve something that will be permanent, especially after a lot of effort.

6 portion /porʃən/
►Your overall circumstances or condition in life (including everything that happens to you).

7 endure /ɪnˋdjur/
►To remain alive or continue to exist for a long time.

8 flesh /flɛʃ/
►The physical human body, as opposed to the mind or spirit.

9 mortal /ˋmɔrtl/
►Human -- used especially when comparing humans with gods, spirits etc.

10 within tne veil
►The Most Holy Place

11 no less
►Used to emphasize that a person or thing you are talking about is important or impressive.

A newer version of Amazing Grace was sung In the movie Amazing Grace.

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now I'm found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

My chains are gone.
I've been set free.
My God, my Savior12 has ransomed13 me.
And like a flood
14 His mercy15 reigns16.
Unending love, Amazing grace.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be.
As long as life endures.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow.
The sun forbear
17 to shine.
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine.
Will be forever mine.
You are forever mine.

12 savior /ˋsevjɚ/
►Someone who saves you from a difficult or dangerous situation.
12 Savior /ˋsevjɚ/
►Jesus Christ

13 ransom /ˋrænsəm/
►To pay an amount of money so that someone who is being held as a prisoner is set free.

14 flood /flʌd/
►A very large number of things or people that arrive at the same time.

15 mercy /ˋmɝsɪ/
►A disposition to be kind and forgiving.

16 reign /ren/
►If a feeling or quality reigns, it exists strongly for a period of time.

17 forbear /fɔrˋbɛr/
►To not do something you could or would like to do because you think it is wiser not to.

18 below /bəˋlo/
►Refers to the Earth or the ground.

Aug 10, 2009

Stringency (Word of the Day, 2009/8/5)

By Nina Chou

Stringency [noun] / stringencies [pl.]

the quality or state of being stringent; strictness; severity

Stringent [adj.]

Usage Example:

(1) in these days of financial stringency

(2) short-term economic stringencies

(3) Preposition: of


The stringency of the requirements reflects the course’s popularity with applicants rather than its ‘value’ to employers.


Mr. Maclean should not have permitted the MLC advertisements to claim that with the stringency of controls even the remotest perceived risk was avoided.

(4) Converse of object


Other millions must have taken refuge behind the British and American lines, thus increasing the food stringency in our sector.


The colony successfully surmounted the financial stringency caused by the withdrawal of the imperial troops in 1905.

(5) Adjective modifier


We live in a wasteful society at a time of economic stringency.

May 31, 2009

Epidemic Influenza

By Oliver Wen & Alan Lin

Influenza/ˎɪnflu′enzə / [uncountable]

►an infectious disease that is like a very bad cold

►= flu

►a common illness that makes you feel very tired and weak, gives you a sore throat, and makes you cough and have to clear your nose a lot

--Steven's still in bed with flu.

--She's got the flu.

--I couldn't go because I had flu.

--Flu shots are recommended for people 55 and older.

Flu Types

˙There are three basic types of flu viruses: A, B, and C.

˙Influenza A is divided into subtypes based upon two proteins found on the virus itself: hemagglutinin [ˌhiməˈglutənən] (H, 紅血球凝集素) and the neuraminidase [ˌnjurəˈmɪˌdes ] (N, 神經胺酸水解酶). The flu pandemic of 1918 was a type A flu.

˙A-type influenza affects both animals and humans.

˙B-types affect only humans.

˙C-types result in mild respiratory(呼吸的) illnesses and are not believed to cause flu outbreaks.

˙A and B cause the majority of the flu seen today, although there is a C type, which is much less severe.

Subtypes of flu A viruses

˙H1N1 (Swine flu)
˙H5N1 (Bird flu)

New H1N1 Flu

˙This new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs.
˙It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and avian(鳥類的) genes and human genes.

Epidemic /ˌɛpɪˈdɛmɪk / [countable]

►a large number of cases of a disease that happen at the same time

--50 to 100 million people died during the flu epidemic of 1918.

--An epidemic of hepatitis (肝炎)is terrible.

Epidemic /ˌɛpɪˈdɛmɪk / [countable]

►a sudden increase in the number of times that something bad happens

--The recent epidemic of car thefts has been blamed on bored teenagers.

Epidemic /ˌɛpɪˈdɛmɪk / adjective [only before noun]

►of disease or anything resembling a disease

--The epidemic disease could be wiped out.

►attacking or affecting many individuals in a community or a population at the same time

--Epidemic Influenza A H1N1 Spreads in 20 Countries.

--Violent crime is reaching epidemic proportions in some cities.

--Buying goods on the installment plan has become epidemic in recent years.

►= epidemical

Epidemical/ɛpəˈdɛmɪkl/ adjective

--The swine flu is epidemical, and its symptom is similar to influenza.


►the study of the way diseases spread, and how to control them

--Epidemiology is the compulsory credit of medical students.


--The epidemiologist who is the representative of Taiwan suffered a protest abruptly.

Epidemiological/ˈɛpɪˌdimɪrˈlɑdʒɪkl/ adjective

--Recently, the HINI flu has become an outbreak in Japan, however, the domestic epidemiological experts were resentful about the quarantine and efforts of Japan.