Queen Says ‘Friendly’ Ghosts Haunt This Palace

[Places & Travel ★★★]

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(P1) The home of the Swedish royal family is apparently “spook central”. But Queen Silvia says not to worry, the “small friends … ghosts” that haunt the 17th-century halls of Drottningholm Palace mean no harm and don’t scare her, reports the AFP. “They’re all very friendly but you sometimes feel that you’re not completely alone,” the 73-year-old queen says in a new documentary by the country’s public TV network SVT. Located on Lovön Island off Stockholm, Drottningholm is the principal home of Queen Silvia, Sweden’s longest-serving queen, and King Carl XVI Gustaf, her husband of 40 years. Its UNESCO World Heritage listing describes it as “the finest example of an 18th-century north European royal residence inspired by the Palace of Versailles.”

(P2) While the queen doesn’t get into specifics about individual spirits, Time cites a 2010 Swedish article that references a “gray man” and a “white lady” said to roam there. As for backup, the king’s sister, Princess Christina, agrees the castle is indeed a phantom favorite. “There is much energy in this house. It would be strange if it didn’t take the form of guises,” she tells the filmmakers. The Local reports that those who want to seek out the paranormal guests can indeed do so: Only the southern wing is off-limits to the public.

WORDS: 213

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/236363/queen-says-friendly-ghosts-haunt-this-palace.html

VOCABULARY: spook, halls, spirits, phantom, guises, seek out, paranormal

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you believe that ghosts actually exist? Why or why not?
  3. Would you like to stay for a weekend in this palace? Why or why not?
  4. Are you frightened of anything? If so, what and why?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What roams the corridors of the palace?
  2. Where is the royal palace situated in Switzerland?
  3. The architecture of Drottningholm Palace was in influenced by _______________.
  4. According to a writing in 2010, supposedly a ____________ and a ___________ wander in the palace.
  5. Which part of the royal palace is closed to visitors?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • is apparently spook central (P1)
  • Located on Lovön Island off Stockholm, Drottningholm (P1)
  • said to roam there (P2)
  • off-limits (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: by AYImages/Getty Images http://www.newser.com/story/236363/queen-says-friendly-ghosts-haunt-this-palace.html

The 10 Rules of Packing

[Travel ★★★★]

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(P1) When you’ve spent more than a decade on the road, you get asked some pretty interesting questions. The one query I get most, though, is about packing: what to take, what to leave, where to put it. I’ve taken a boatload of trips, but every time I get back, I know I could have gone even lighter. Let’s save you some trouble and start with the basics of my lessons learned.

The 10 Rules of Packing

  1. The Golden Rule: Take half of the clothes you were planning to bring and twice the money. I cannot stress how true this is.
  1. Take only what you can fit in a carry on. We’ve all lost luggage before, and it’s a pain. But when it’s 3 degrees in Poland and you’re rocking those horrible sweats you insist on wearing on long flights, hearing “as soon as we find your bag, we’ll send it to you” can really put a damper on your first day. And, no offense to the Polish, but having to buy an entire wardrobe in Warsaw might not be exactly how you want to spend your travel pennies. This also means you’ll have luggage with wheels, which is worth its weight in gold.
  1. If you simply must check luggage, ask them to put a “Fragile” sticker on it, which helps ensure your bags will be put on top of the pile and be first off the plane. Also, yours is not the only black suitcase, so slap a sticker or red ribbon on it — anything that will help you pick it out in the crowd. Think airport security is scary these days? Try making it through customs with someone else’s bag.
  1. Mix and match. Bring three shirts and three “bottoms.” That’s 9 outfits.
  1. Books are sexy. So are vinyl records. But save yourself the extra pounds and fill your Kindle with every book/country guide you need and stick to your iPod.
  1. Don’t be a diva. If you’re the type who has to travel with your own hair dryer (and won’t use the hotel’s), then I might suggest a weekend in the Smokies over the Alps.
  1. Jackets and sweaters take up a lot of precious bag space and weigh you down. Unless you’re going to Russia in winter, layers work just as well.
  1. If you can bear it, stay away from jeans. This is huge and I should have moved it up to number 2. They absorb dirt (and odors), are bulky and take days to air dry. Cotton and khaki are the way to go.
  1. If it’s important and can’t fit into your daypack, leave it at home. Stuff gets stolen no matter where you go. As big as a pain as it is, I am constantly carrying my computer, cameras, etc. on my back and in crowded places, as ridiculous as it looks, in front of me.
  2. Every country I’ve ever visited sells soap, shampoo, socks, and t-shirts. I.e. What you forget, you can buy.

(P2) One last thing: those plastic gardening shoes that somehow made it into the acceptable mainstream of fashion footwear? Do your country a favor and don’t take them.

WORDS: 532

SOURCE: http://intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com/2012/02/24/the-10-rules-of-packing/

VOCABULARY: query, boatload, golden rule, damper, diva, mainstream

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Which of these travel tips do you currently do when packing your suitcase?
  3. Which of these travel tips will you start to do the next time you travel? Why?
  4. Do you have any travel tips to share?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. The author of the article states that the number one thing to remember when packing is to pack fewer clothes and take more money. (T or F)
  2. If you have to check in a suitcase, ask for a ___________________ so it is loaded on the top and will be one of the first pieces of luggage unloaded.
  3. The author suggests to wear _________________ of clothes instead of taking heavy and bulky coats.
  4. What types of pants does the author suggest to take?
  5. When it comes to shoes, the author suggests not taking those so-called fashionable ______________________.

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • rocking those horrible sweats (#2)
  • spend your travel pennies (#2)
  • worth its weight in gold (#2)
  • mix and match (#4)
  • if you can bear it (#8)

Cambly Practice ButtonImage source: by Photo: Cyndi DiMicco/My Shot http://intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com/2012/02/24/the-10-rules-of-packing/

Dark beer and dumplings in Bavaria: a visit to the world’s oldest monastic brewery

[Travel ★★★★]

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(P1) Weltenburg Abbey stands on a bend of the upper Danube, deep in a wooded gorge where the river cuts through the white limestone cliffs of the Fränkische Alb mountains, about 25 miles west of Regensburg in Bavaria. The abbey church, a spectacular concoction of late-baroque flamboyance, is worth the journey, but the main draw for most visitors is alcoholic rather than spiritual. The abbey houses the oldest monastic brewery in the world, which first started brewing in 1050 and produces a number of beers, the most popular being a dark, almost black, beer known as Kloster Barock Dunkel. It’s a lovely thing to sip in the beer garden in the abbey courtyard, accompanied by roast schweinshaxe (pork knuckle) and Bavarian dumplings, and is also available in bottles to take away.

(P2) The abbey was founded in AD620, but the current buildings date from the early 18th century. The highlight is the interior of St George church, designed by late-baroque architects Cosmas and Egid Asam, with a combination of frescoes, stucco, and sculpture. Outside the monastery, there are great walks through the deep wooded gorge and into the surrounding hills.

(P3) As there is no road through the gorge, visitors arriving by car must park in nearby Weltenburg village and walk along the riverside track. Much better, however, is to park on the quayside in Kelheim, three miles downstream, and catch one of the frequent boats that follow the winding gorge to the monastery landing stage. And if you end up overdoing the Kloster Barock Dunkel, there’s aways the option of overnighting in the monastery guesthouse (from €54 a night B&B).

WORDS: 268

SOURCE: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2016/dec/14/dark-beer-bavaria-oldest-monastic-brewery-in-world-weltenburg-abbey-germany

VOCABULARY: gorge, concoction, baroque, flamboyance, monastic, frescoes, stucco, quayside

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Describe the picture above of Weltenburg Abbey and it’s surroundings.
  3. Are you interested in going to this destination for a weekend getaway? Why or why not?
  4. Describe the architecture of a building in your country.

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What is the name of the waterway that Weltenburg Abbey overlooks?
  2. The abbey used to be a place of worship where monks resided (T or F)
  3. Beer in bottles can be consumed in the abbey as well as purchased for _________.
  4. There are plenty of parking spaces at the abbey for visitors. (T or F)
  5. Where can you sleep overnight at the abbey?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • the river cuts through (P1)
  • in bottles to take away (P1)
  • the riverside track (P3)
  • winding gorge (P3)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: by Val Thoermer/Getty Images https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2016/dec/14/dark-beer-bavaria-oldest-monastic-brewery-in-world-weltenburg-abbey-germany

Vietnam

[Travel ★★]

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(P1) Vietnam is a country in Southeast Asia. The official name of the country is the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The capital of Vietnam is Hanoi. The largest city is Ho Chi Minh City. That city was called Saigon, before 1975. The population of Vietnam is about 87 million people. It is a long and thin country and there are so many different things to see and do there. Vietnam is a beautiful and exciting country to visit. It’s one of the few countries that has wonderful scenery, interesting history, and amazing culture all in the same place.

(P2) Vietnam is a safe and friendly country to visit. The majority of people in Vietnam are farmers, and the people are friendly and welcoming to tourists. There is a lot to see. Vietnam has beautiful mountains which you can climb. It also has large clean beaches. Many of the beaches in Vietnam are considered some of the best in the world. Vietnam is also cheap to travel around. Transport, shopping, and eating out is not so expensive. In some places, lunch or dinner only costs about $1. For your next vacation, why not visit Vietnam?

WORDS: 192

SOURCE: http://dreamreader.net/lesson/vietnam/

VOCABULARY: official, scenery, amazing, farmers, climb, considered

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Have you ever been to Vietnam? If yes, describe it. If no, do you want to go there? Why or why not?
  3. Is there beautiful scenery in your country? If yes, where?
  4. Do you prefer to go to the mountains or the beach? Why?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What part of Asia is Vietnam located in?
  2. Saigon is the former name of Hanoi. (T or F)
  3. Vietnam is a ________ and friendly nation.
  4. A lot of people in this country are tour guides. (T or F)
  5. It’s possible to pay one dollar for lunch and dinner. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • official name (P1)
  • to see and do there (P1)
  • not so expensive (P2)
  • why not visit Vietnam? (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: by Pixabay / CC0 https://www.roughguides.com/article/most-beautiful-places-in-southeast-asia/

Find Love in the Skies With This New Dating App

[Technology, Travel, Lifestyle ★★★]

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(P1) Whether you’re a passenger prone to making eyes across the aisle or just thinking about the mile high club every time you board a plane, singles have more fun in the skies. And now there’s a new dating app specifically designed to make flights an opportunity to meet new people.

(P2) AirDates, which bills itself as “the only in-flight dating app,” strives to make air travel an opportunity to find love, before, during, and after a flight.

(P3) Users start by building a profile and spell out exactly what (business, social, party, dating) and whom (age, gender, sexuality, location) they’re looking for. Then users are suggested to update their status and let everybody around know their travel plans.

(P4) Before taking off, users can share their itineraries and find travelers that are going to be on the same flight. The app can also be used to find other singles hanging out in the same airport at the same time.

(P5) And while in the air, travelers can open their app and connect with other singles onboard. The app uses WeChat technology (turn on airplane mode, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth) to connect without using data or relying on spotty plane Wi-Fi.  However, the chat feature only works up to 70 meters (230 feet), so those looking to connect with everyone possible on the flight should probably book a seat in the middle of the plane.

(P6) But the app is also practical. For those who travel too frequently to ever use the app to find a relationship, AirDates’s website points out that you can chat with nearby users to share a cab into the city, find out what’s cool a destination, or even uncover secret frequent traveler’s airport hacks.

(P7) The app is currently in beta on iOS but, according to Mashable, will be more widely distributed and updated by February 2017.

WORDS: 302

SOURCE: http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/mobile-apps/in-flight-dating-app

VOCABULARY: prone, strives, spell out, onboard, spotty, hacks

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Would you use this app to find love in the air? Why or why not?
  3. Do people in your country use dating websites? If so, which ones?
  4. Do you think it’s possible to find the love of your life in an airport or onboard a plane? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Airdates claims it’s the only _________________________.
  2. Users of the app should give out their travel arrangements to find other people. (T or F)
  3. Airdates doesn’t use another app’s technology to connect people on flights. (T or F)
  4. It’s best to reserve a seat in the _______________ of the airplane because the maximum distance of the technology is limited.
  5. When will the live version of the app be available to some of the public?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • to making eyes across the aisle (P1)
  • to find other singles (P4)
  • what’s a cool destination (P6)
  • widely distributed (P7)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: by “unknown” http://donthatethegeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/airdates-home-page-660×330.png

High-Altitude Flying: What You Need to Know

[Jobs, Travel ★★★]

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(P1) The pilots of a Learjet 36 cruising high over Cleveland Center’s airspace are fighting a desperate battle for survival, but they don’t realize it. Suffering the effects of extreme hypoxia in the thin air at 32,000 feet, the copilot is passed out. The captain in the left seat is barely hanging on. Most chilling about the ATC recording of the 2006 incident is that the crew in all probability survived only by a chance of fate. The copilot, slumped unconscious with his arms swinging uncontrollably, continuously keys the microphone, alerting the Cleveland Center controller on duty that something is wrong.

(P2) When the controller queried the Learjet, the barely conscious captain sounded extremely drunk. By then the copilot’s convulsions had nudged the control lever, disconnecting the autopilot and initiating a climb. The captain, dimly aware of a problem but not aware of the urgent need to don his oxygen mask, declared an emergency.

“Unable to maintain altitude. Unable to maintain airspeed. Unable to maintain heading,” the pilot radios in slow, stuttered speech. “Other than that,” he wrongly adds, “everything A-OK.”

(P3) It was a second controller on duty who heard the exchange and recognized the symptoms of hypoxia. She instructed her colleague to tell the Learjet to descend immediately. Upon reaching a more oxygen-rich altitude of 11,000 feet, the pilots are suddenly both fully alert.

(P4) No amount of hypoxia awareness training can ensure you won’t succumb to the effects of a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. The speed of hypoxia onset varies by individual. At 45,000 feet in a rapid decompression, on average you will have less than 12 seconds to respond.

(P5) Hypoxia Symptoms

The following is a partial list of potential signs and symptoms associated with a lack of oxygen concentration in the blood. Specific symptoms will vary by individual, making high-altitude physiology training a good idea for pilots who will travel into the flight levels.

  • Increased breathing rate
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Drowsiness
  • Blue lips and fingernails
  • Poor coordination
  • Impaired judgment
  • Loss of consciousness

WORDS: 339

SOURCE: http://www.flyingmag.com/high-altitude-flying-what-you-need-to-know

VOCABULARY: hypoxia, queried, convulsions, stuttered, succumb, decompression

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Why do you think it’s important for pilots to be highly trained and retrained?
  3. Do you think the pilot and copilot are lucky to be alive? Why?
  4. Have you ever experienced any of the hypoxia symptoms for other reasons? If so, describe a time you did.

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. How high in altitude were the pilots of the Learjet 36?
  2. According to the article, both the pilot and copilot were unconscious for a short period of time. (T or F)
  3. Even though the pilot was barely hanging on and not able to put on his oxygen mask, he was still able to __________________________.
  4. No matter what, every person experiences symptoms of hypoxia at the same rate of time. (T or F)
  5. One of the many symptoms of hypoxia is sleepiness. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • passed out (P1)
  • barely hanging on (P1)
  • don his oxygen mask (2)
  • oxygen-rich (P3)
  • hypoxia onset (P4)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: Getty Images by “unknown” http://www.flyingmag.com/sites/flyingmag.com/files/styles/medium_1x_/public/high_altitude_flying.jpg?itok=Gxz9SmzJ

JetBlue To Test Ab Initio Training Program

[Jobs, Training ★★★]

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(P1) JetBlue Airways is considering a new training program to get pilots ready for the copilot and captain’s seats. The program would take pilot candidates with no previous experience and train them to become competent airline pilots. Rather than training in smaller, cost-effecting airplanes, most of the flight training would focus on airline-related tasks, such as emergency decision-making, coordinating crews, and simulator training.

(P2) Under the current rules, the pilots would still need to reach the required 1,500 hours before they could fly airplanes carrying passengers.

(P3) The program has been named Gateway 7 and is slated to start next year. Only a small number of pilot candidates, who would go through a rigorous screening process, would be accepted into the test program. After going through a JetBlue ground school, the candidates would go to a partner company for flight training. Pilot candidates would pay for their own training and, if successful, would be qualified to join the airline in 2020. The FAA is currently evaluating the program.

(P4) The trial program would train pilots slated to fly the 100-passenger Embraer E190. Once the trail program is complete, JetBlue will evaluate whether the training program could be a viable option for its Airbus fleet.

WORDS: 201

SOURCE: http://www.flyingmag.com/training/learn-fly/jetblue-test-ab-initio-training-program

VOCABULARY: competent, slated, rigorous, ground school, viable

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. In your opinion, what are some of the advantages of this new training program?
  3. In your opinion, what are some of the disadvantages of this new training program?
  4. Do you think the required 1500 flying hours is adequate to start flying planes with passengers? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. The new training program that JetBlue wants to use is for candidates with some prior experience. (T or F)
  2. A majority of the new pilot training will be centered around __________________.
  3. The future pilots in this program will not have to pay for the training out of their own pockets. (T or F)
  4. JetBlue is still waiting on the approval from the FAA to implement the program. (T or F)
  5. Which aircraft will the newly trained pilots operate?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • ad initio (title)
  • cost-effecting airplanes (P1)
  • under the current rules (P2)
  • trial program (P4)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: by “unknown” http://www.flyingmag.com/training/learn-fly/jetblue-test-ab-initio-training-program