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Links to many online dictionaries for many professions.


Many English lessons and English-Mongolian side-by-side PDF books


Learning English and Buddhism in Mongolia


Learning Medical English for doctors, nurses and dentists in Mongolia

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

MV: Toy Story 3 - 2010

Andy is now 17 and ready to head off to college, leaving Woody, Buzz, Jessie, and the rest of the toy-box gang to ponder their uncertain futures. When the toys are accidentally donated to the Sunnyside Daycare center they're initially overjoyed to once again be played with, but their enthusiasm quickly gives way to horror as they discover the true nature of the establishment under the rule of the deceptively welcoming "Lotso" Bear. Now, all of the toys must band together in one final, crazy scheme to escape their confines and return home to Andy.

I always wanted to go out with a bang.
  • to go out with a bang = leave, finish or complete something with a memorable last action/event
Ride like the wind, Bull's-eye!
  • to ride like the wind = to ride very fast
To infinity and beyond.
  • infinity = to the farthest place in the universe
Reach for the sky.
  • reach for the sky” = put your hands up
And she's on a rampage!
  • rampage = to behave in an uncontrolled way, especially when this involves damaging or destroying property over a wide area
We are eternally grateful.
  • eternally = forever, or for a very long time
  • grateful = feeling that you want to thank someone because they have given you something or have done something for you
All right guys. We've got one shot at this.
  • one shot at this” = one time to do something
Ok. Uh, first off ... we all knew "Operation Playtime" was a long shot.
  • long shot = an attempt or guess that is not likely to be successful but that is worth trying
Anything you need for an orderly transition.
  • orderly = well-behaved, well-controlled, or well-organized
  • transition = the process of changing from one situation, form, or state to another
Finished. Over the hill.
  • over the hill” = no longer young and unable to do things that you could do in the past
You're going AWOL?
  • AWOL = absent without leave: someone leaves the place where they are without permission
We're being abandoned.
  • abandoned = left alone by someone who should stay with you and take care of you
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on a minute. Quiet!
  • whoa = stop
  • hold on a minute” = “stop what you are doing”
You wait. Andy's gonna tuck us in the attic. It'll be safe and warm.
  • to tuck [something] in = to leave inside someplace snuggly
Let's get our parts together, get ready and go out on a high note.
  • go out on a high note” = see “go out with a bang”
Molly! You're not off the hook either.
  • off the hook” = freed, as from blame or a vexatious obligation
The children at the daycare.
  • daycare = childcare during the day while parents work
Wait a minute. Hold on. This is no time to be hysterical.
  • hysterical = behaving in an uncontrolled way because you are extremely excited, afraid, or upset
What the heck?
  • What the heck?” = “What the hell?” if said in surprise, “What is happening?”
Daycare! What, have you all lost your marbles?
  • lost your marbles” = to be crazy
Andy's moving on, Woody.
  • to move on = to do something different
Molly and I have been growing apart for years.
  • to grow apart = to separate from one another gradually
Daycare is a sad, lonely place for washed up old toys who have no owners.
  • washed up = will never be popular or successful again
Quite the charmer, arenít you?
  • charmer = someone who is good at making people like them, especially to gain advantage
We hit the jackpot, Bull's-eye.
  • jackpot = a large unexpected success or reward
  • bull's eye = “a winner”
Let's keep this in perspective.
  • keep this in perspective” = analyze correctly
Ok, everyone recess. Come on.
  • recess = a period between school classes when students can eat, rest, or play
We're all cast-offs here. We've been dumped, donated ...
  • cast-off = a person or thing that has been discarded or abandoned
All them toys are disposable.
  • disposable = designed to be thrown away of after use
Zip it, Buck Rogers. You won't talk to Lotso till we say you can ...
  • to zip it = to stop talking, to shut up
He took over Sunnyside and rigged the whole system.
  • to rig = to influence something such as an election in a dishonest way in order to produce a particular result
They've cracked down hard since you left.
  • to crack down = to act more forcefully to regulate, repress, or restrain
Anyone concur with Ken?
  • to concur = to agree
Ain't one kid ever loved a toy, really. Chew on that when you're in the dump.
  • to chew on something = to think about something
Oh for crying out loud!
  • Oh for crying out loud! = used for expressing anger
Of course not, you imbecile! We're doomed!
  • imbecile = an insulting word for someone who behaves in a very stupid way
  • to be doomed = to make someone or something certain to fail, be destroyed, be extremely unhappy, etc.

Past Movie word lists can be found at Movie Vocabulary link at the top of the page

MUSIC: Enimen - Beautiful

Enimem - "Beautiful"

Lately I've been hard to reach, I've been too long on my own
Everybody has a private world where they can be alone
Are you calling me? Are you trying to get through
Are you reaching out for me, like I'm reaching out for you?

I'm just so fuckin' depressed, I just can seem to get out this slump
If I could just get over this hump
But I need something to pull me out this dump,
I took my bruises, took my lumps
Fell down and I got right back up
But I need that spark to get psyched back up
In order for me to pick the mic back up
I don't know how or why or when I ended up in this position I'm in
I'm starting to feel decent again
So I decided just to pick this pen
Up and try to make an attempt to vent
But I just can't admit
Or come to grips with the fact that I may be done with rap
I need a new outlet, I know some shit's so hard to swallow
And I just can't sit back and wallow
In my own sorrow
But I know one fact I'll be one tough act to follow
One tough act to follow
I'll be one tough act to follow
Here today, gone tomorrow
But you'd have to walk a thousand miles

In my shoes, just to see
What it's like, to be me
I'll be you, let's trade shoes
Just to see what it'd be like to
Feel your pain, you feel mine
Go inside each other's minds
Just to see what we find
Look at shit through each other's eyes
But don't let 'em say you ain't beautiful, oh
They can all get fucked.
Just stay true to you
So don't let 'em say you ain't beautiful
Oh, they can all get fucked.
Just stay true to you

I think I'm starting to lose my sense of humor
Everything is so tense and gloom
I almost feel like I gotta check the temperature in the room
Just as soon as I walk in
It's like all eyes on me
So I try to avoid any eye contact
'cause if I do that then it opens a door for conversation
Like I want that... I'm not looking for extra attention
I just want to be just like you
Blend in with the rest of the room
Maybe just point me to the closest restroom
I don't need no fucking man servant
Trying to follow me around and wipe my ass
Laugh at every single joke I crack
And half of them ain't even funny like
"Ha!, Marshall you're so funny man, you should be a comedian, god damn"
Unfortunately I am, but I just hide behind the tears of a clown
So why don't you all sit down?
Listen to the tale I'm about to tell
Hell, we don't gotta trade our shoes
And you ain't gotta walk no thousand miles


But don't let 'em say you ain't beautiful
Oh They can all get fucked.
Just stay true to you so
Don't let 'em say you ain't beautiful
Oh They can all get fucked. Just stay true to you so

Nobody asked for life to deal us
With these bullshit hands we're dealt
We have to take these cards ourselves
And flip them, don't expect no help
Now I could have either just
Sat on my ass and pissed and moaned
Or take this situation in which I'm placed in
And get up and get my own
I was never the type of kid
To wait by the door and pack his bags
Who sat on the porch and hoped and prayed
For a dad to show up who never did
I just wanted to fit in
At every single place
Every school I went
I dreamed of being that cool kid
Even if it meant acting stupid

Aunt Edna always told me "Keep makin' that face it'll get stuck like that"
Meanwhile I'm just standin' there
Holdin' my tongue tryna talk like this
'Til I stuck my tongue on that frozen stop sign pole at 8 years old
I learned my lesson then cause I wasn't tryna impress my friends no more
But I already told you my whole life story
Not just based on my description
'cause where you see it from where you're sitting
Is probably 110% different
I guess we would have to walk a mile
In each other's shoes, at least
What size you wear? I wear tens
Let's see if you can fit your feet


Lately I've been hard to reach, I've been too long on my own
Everybody has a private world where they can be alone...
So are you calling me, are you trying to get through, oh?
Are you reaching out for me, I'm reaching out for you?
So oh oh

Yea... To my babies. Stay strong.
Daddy will be home soon
And to the rest of the world, god gave you the shoes
That fit you, so put 'em on and wear 'em
And be yourself, man, be proud of who you are
Even if it sounds corny,
Don't ever let no one tell you, you ain't beautiful

2009 album from one of the most successful Rap artists in history. He's sold more albums than most Rock and Pop superstars. He's a Grammy winner. He's an Oscar winner. He's been on the cover of practically every music magazine since his debut album dropped in 1999. Now, 10 years after The Slim Shady LP, Eminem marks his 10th anniversary as a Hip Hop hurricane with Relapse, yet another skillful collaboration with Dr. Dre. Features the single 'Crack A Bottle' (which features Dre and 50 Cent).

Friday, December 23, 2011

MV: Dolphin Tale - 2011

A lonely and friendless boy finds and untangles a hurt dolphin that is caught in a crab trap. He becomes very attached to the dolphin when the tail must be taken off to save the dolphin's life. The boy believes the dolphin would be able to swim normally if it was given a prosthetic tail.

...is now on the verge of smashing those records.
  • “on the verge” = be close or similar to (something):
  • to smash = to completely defeat something
You know, just dropping in to say my final goodbyes.
  • to drop in = to make a short visit somewhere
Catch my time?
  • to catch = [slang] to see, watch, or listen to something
I'm just kidding.
  • “just kidding” = to say something that is not true, especially as a joke
Oh, for crying out loud.
  • “for crying out loud” = “I am annoyed or surprised by this”
Careful, now. Keep it sternal.
  • sternal = rear part or section.
Her eyes are clenched.
  • clenched = closed tightly together
Move. Scram.
  • to scram = to leave a place quickly and immediately
We're picky about what the dolphins eat.
  • picky = someone who is picky only likes specific things and is not easily pleased
There's a lot of dead tissue.
  • tissue = the substance that animal and plant cells are made of
Take the sentences, diagram them.
  • to diagram = to draw a plan showing the relationship between parts of something
It's just a massive infection.
  • massive = very large in amount or degree
Increase the topical antibiotics?
  • topical = used on a part of the body
Hey, Mom. I thought I'd go early today, get a jump on my studies.
  • to get a jump on [something/someone] = to start doing something before other people start, or before something happens, in order to get an advantage for yourself
Early bird gets the worm.
  • “early bird gets the worm” = [proverb] Whoever arrives first has the best chance of success; some opportunities are only available to the first competitors.
Nothing goes down with crappy news...
  • crappy = very bad
I'm home-schooled. That's why I'm such a chatterbox.
  • to homeschool = to educate your children completely at home instead of in a school
  • chatterbox = someone who talks a lot
Just keep an eye on the kids, will you?
  • to keep an eye on = to take care of someone or something
But we're swimming in debt here.
  • “swimming in debt” = to owe an extreme amount of money (too much)
What is that stench?
  • stench = a very bad smell, especially of decay
I have to scoot.
  • to scoot = to leave or go somewhere very quickly
He is so engaged, and it's not with a Game Boy.
  • “so engaged” = very involved in doing something, usually with a lot of concentration
See this bulge right here? It's hard to see.
  • bulge = a shape that curves outward on the surface of something, often made by something under it or inside it
Shrink is down the hall. I don't do heads, I do bodies.
  • “shrink” = a psychiatrist (a doctor who treats people with mental illnesses)
But how would you keep the doggone thing on her when there's nothing there?
  • doggone = used when you are annoyed or surprised
It's preposterous anyway, trying to put a tail on a fish.
  • preposterous = extremely unreasonable or silly
But their skin is hypersensitive. She might not tolerate anything against it at all.
  • hypersensitive = extremely sensitive to certain substances
You were talking about the abrasion part of it. Will you let me finish or what?
  • abrasion = an injured area of skin on your body, caused by your skin rubbing hard against something
You just slide it right over the stump and we'll put the prosthetic right over that.
  • stump = the remaining part of someone’s arm, leg, or finger after the rest is cut off
  • prosthetic = used for replacing a missing body part
This is something I cooked up from parts from an old Buick.
  • to cook up = to invent a story, excuse, plan or something
Gloria, I really feel like we've exhausted all of our options here.
  • exhausted = empty or finished, because a supply of something has all been used
We have to start thinking about putting Winter down.
  • to put [something] down = to kill an animal because it is very old, ill, or dangerous
I know it sounds crazy. I need you to stall him.
  • to stall [someone] = to make someone wait or stay somewhere in order to gain more time
But the plucky animal did, although her tail did not.
  • plucky = brave and determined, especially when success is unlikely
I guarantee she'll steal your heart, just like she did mine.
  • “steal [someone's] heart = to cause someone to love you
All right. Cross your fingers and toes if you got them.
  • “cross your fingers” = superstitious way of receiving good luck
What a mob.
  • Mob = a large crowd of people that is dangerous or difficult to control
Can't a man catch his breath for a minute......before you start bombarding him with questions?
  • “catch your breath” = to slow someone down because the conversation are moving too fast
  • to bombard = to ask someone so many questions, give them so much information, etc. that it is difficult for them to deal with it all
I think she's getting the hang of it.
  • to get the hang of = to succeed in learning how to do something after practicing it
So why don't you stick around.
  • to stick around = to remain in a place for longer than you originally intended, especially in order to wait for something to happen

Past Movie word lists can be found at Movie Vocabulary link at the top of the page

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

MUSIC: Sail!

‘Sail’ is the sound of the most tortured of souls in torment. Over a grimy, dirty blast of synthetic bass and plucked strings, the impassioned vocal pierces the heart, all angst ridden and…well, tormented. Awolnation uses electronica as their medium of choice, not softly strummed guitars. Listeners of a nervous or self-hating disposition may wish to listen to something else. Lines like ‘Maybe I should kill myself/blame it on my ADD baby’ may do little to soothe the troubled breast. It remains, though, a pitch-perfect soundtrack for despair and anguish, from the gnarled vocals to the distorted accompaniment cruising beneath the surface.

Awolnation - "Sail"
(dancer = Arthur Cadre)


This is how I show my love
I made it in my mind because
I blame it on my A.D.D. baby

This is how an angel cries
I blame it on my own supply
Blame it on my A.D.D. baby


Maybe I should cry for help
Maybe I should kill myself
Blame it on my A.D.D. baby

Maybe I'm a different breed
Maybe I'm not listening
So blame it on my A.D.D. baby


La la la la la la oh!

La la la la la la oh!


Sail with me into the dark
Sail with me into the dark
Sail with me into the dark
Sail with me, sail with me

Monday, December 19, 2011

TED: Matt Cutts: Try something new for 30 days

ABOUT THIS TALK: Is there something you've always meant to do, wanted to do, but just ... haven't? Matt Cutts suggests: Try it for 30 days. This short, lighthearted talk offers a neat way to think about setting and achieving goals.

Танд үргэлж хийхийг хүсэж, бодож ирсэн боловч хийж чадаагүй зүйлүүд байдагуу? Түүнийгээ 30 өдрийн турш хийгээд үз гэж Матт зөвлөж байна. Энэхүү богино бөгөөд хөгжөөнтэй яриа нь зорилго хэрхэн тавьж түүндээ хүрэх тухай нямбай арга ухааныг танд санал болгож байна.

Translated by Odgerel Ochbold / Reviewed by Dulguun Bayaraa

A few years ago, I felt like I was stuck in a rut, so I decided to follow in the footsteps of the great American philosopher, Morgan Spurlock, and try something new for 30 days. The idea is actually pretty simple. Think about something you've always wanted to add to your life and try it for the next 30 days. It turns out, 30 days is just about the right amount of time to add a new habit or subtract a habit -- like watching the news -- from your life. Хэдэн жилийн өмнө, би нэгэн хэвийн амьдралд гацсан мэт санагдаж Америкийн алдарт философич Morgan Spurlock-ийн арга барилыг дагахаар шийдэн, 30 өдрийн турш ямар нэг шинэ зүйлийг туршиж үзэхээр болов. Энэ санаа нь үнэндээ маш энгийн. Амьдралдаа үргэлж хийхийг хүсдэг байсан ямар нэг зүйлийн талаар бодоод тэгээд түүнийгээ дараагийн 30 өдрийн дотор туршиж үзэх юм. Эцэст нь харахад 30 өдөр гэдэг бол шинэ зуршил нэмж хасахад -- жишээ нь мэдээ үзэхийг хасахад хамгийн тохиромжтой хугацаа ажээ.
There's a few things I learned while doing these 30-day challenges. The first was, instead of the months flying by, forgotten, the time was much more memorable. This was part of a challenge I did to take a picture every day for a month. And I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing that day. I also noticed that as I started to do more and harder 30-day challenges, my self-confidence grew. I went from desk-dwelling computer nerd to the kind of guy who bikes to work -- for fun. Even last year, I ended up hiking up Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. I would never have been that adventurous before I started my 30-day challenges. Энэхүү 30 өдрийн сорилтыг хийж байх явцад би хэдэн зүйлийг олж мэдсэн юм. Эхнийх нь бол, сар, өдрүүд нисэн өнгөрч мартагдахын оронд, цаг хугацаа маш дурсамжтай, мартагдашгүй болж ирэв. Би өөртөө сарын турш өдөр болгон зураг авч байх сорилтыг тавьсан юм. Тэгээд би тэр үед хаана байсан, бас тэр өдөр юу хийж байснаа тов тодорхой санаж байв. Мөн түүнчлэн 30 өдрийн сорилтыг илүү ихээр, улам хүндрүүлэн хийж эхэлхэд миний өөртөө итгэх итгэл нэмэгдэж байсаныг би анзаарсан юм. Би ширээнд хадагдсан компьютерын хэнээтэй амьтанаас ажил руугаа дугуйгаар явдаг залуу боллоо-- зугаатай гэж. Бүр цаашлаад өнгөрсөн жил би Африкийн хамгийн өндөр уул Килламанжаро руу авирч гарав. Би 30 өдрийн сорилтыг эхлээгүй бол, би хэзээ ч ингэж адал явдалд хөтлөгдөхгүй байсан юм.
I also figured out that if you really want something badly enough, you can do anything for 30 days. Have you ever wanted to write a novel? Every November, tens of thousands of people try to write their own 50,000-word novel from scratch in 30 days. It turns out, all you have to do is write 1,667 words a day for a month. So I did. By the way, the secret is not to go to sleep until you've written your words for the day. You might be sleep-deprived, but you'll finish your novel. Now is my book the next great American novel? No. I wrote it in a month. It's awful. But for the rest of my life, if I meet John Hodgman at a TED party, I don't have to say, "I'm a computer scientist." No, no, if I want to, I can say, "I'm a novelist." Мөн түүнчлэн хэрвээ ямар нэг зүйлийг чи үнэхээр их хүсч байвал, 30 өдрийн турш чи юуг ч хийж чадах юм байна гэдгийг ойлгосон. Та хэзээ нэгэн цагт зохиол бичихийг хүсч байсан уу? 11 дүгээр сар болгон, хэдэн арван мянган хүмүүс өөрийн 50,000 үгтэй романыг 30 өдрийн дотор бичихийг оролддог. Үнэндээ үүнд чинийх хийх ёстой зүйл гэвэл сарын турш өдөр бүр 1667 үг бичих юм. Тэгээд би тэр ёсоор л яг хийв. Өө нээрээ, нууц нь тэр өдрийнхээ үгсийг бичиж дуусахаас нааш унтахгүй байх. Чи нойргүйдсэн ч байсан, романаа бичиж дуусгах л болно. Миний бичсэн ном Америкийн дараагийн алдартай зохиол болсон уу? Үгүй дээ. Би үүнийг чинь сарын дотор бичсэн шүү дээ. Энэ үнэн аймшигтай болсон. Гэхдээ үлдсэн амьдралынхаа туршид хэрвээ би TED-ийн үдэшлэг дээр John Hodgman-тай уулзвал, "Би компьютерийн мэргэжилтэн." гэж хэлэх шаардлагагүй. Үгүй ээ, үгүй, Хүсвэл би "Би бол зохиолч" гэж хэлж ч болно.

So here's one last thing I'd like to mention. I learned that when I made small, sustainable changes, things I could keep doing, they were more likely to stick. There's nothing wrong with big, crazy challenges. In fact, they're a ton of fun. But they're less likely to stick. When I gave up sugar for 30 days, day 31 looked like this.

Тэгэхээр би энд сүүлийн нэг зүйлийг дурдахыг хүсч байна. Би жижиг, үргэлжлүүлэн хийж болох өөрчлөлтүүдийг хийх нь илүү үлдэцтэй юм гэдгийг олж мэдсэн юм. Том, галзуу сорилтууд хийхэд буруу зүйл байхгүй л дээ. Үнэндээ, тэдгээр нь маш хөгжилтэй. Гэвч тэдгээр нь хэвшил болох нь цөөн. Би 30 өдрийн турш элсэн чихрээс татгалзсанаар 31 дэх өдөр ийм байдалтай байлаа.

So here's my question to you: What are you waiting for? I guarantee you the next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you have always wanted to try and give it a shot for the next 30 days.

Тэхээр миний танаас асуух асуулт бол: Та юуг хүлээгээд байгаа юм бэ? Би танд дараагийн 30 өдөр тань хүссэн хүсээгүй урсан өнгөрөөд л одно гэдгийг баталчихъя, тиймээс яагаад та ямар нэг өөрийнхөө үргэлж хийж үзэхийг хүсч байсан зүйлээ бодож үзэж болохгүй гэж тэгээд дараагийн 30 хоногт тэрийгээ туршаад үз.


(Алга ташилт)

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Matt Cutts is an engineer at Google, where he fights linkspam and helps webmasters understand how search works

Thursday, December 15, 2011

TED: Monika Bulaj: The hidden light of Afghanistan

Monika Bulaj: The hidden light of Afghanistan

My travels to Afghanistan began many, many years ago on the eastern border of my country, my homeland, Poland. I was walking through the forests of my grandmother's tales. A land where every field hides a grave, where millions of people have been deported or killed in the 20th century.

Behind the destruction, I found a soul of places. I met humble people. I heard their prayer and ate their bread. Then I have been walking East for 20 years -- from Eastern Europe to Central Asia -- through the Caucasus Mountains, Middle East, North Africa, Russia. And I ever met more humble people. And I shared their bread and their prayer. This is why I went to Afghanistan.

One day, I crossed the bridge over the Oxus River. I was alone on foot. And the Afghan soldier was so surprised to see me that he forgot to stamp my passport. But he gave me a cup of tea. And I understood that his surprise was my protection.

So I have been walking and traveling, by horses, by yak, by truck, by hitchhiking, from Iran's border to the bottom, to the edge of the Wakhan Corridor. And in this way I could find noor, the hidden light of Afghanistan. My only weapon was my notebook and my Leica. I heard prayers of the Sufi -- humble Muslims, hated by the Taliban. Hidden river, interconnected with the mysticism from Gibraltar to India. The mosque where the respectful foreigner is showered with blessings and with tears, and welcomed as a gift.

What do we know about the country and the people that we pretend to protect, about the villages where the only one medicine to kill the pain and to stop the hunger is opium? These are opium-addicted people on the roofs of Kabul 10 years after the beginning of our war. These are the nomad girls who became prostitutes for Afghan businessmen.

What do we know about the women 10 years after the war? Clothed in this nylon bag, made in China, with the name of burqa. I saw one day, the largest school in Afghanistan, a girls' school. 13,000 girls studying here in the rooms underground, full of scorpions. And their love [for studying] was so big that I cried.

What do we know about the death threats by the Taliban nailed on the doors of the people who dare to send their daughters to school as in Balkh? The region is not secure, but full of the Taliban, and they did it.

My aim is to give a voice to the silent people, to show the hidden lights behind the curtain of the great game, the small worlds ignored by the media and the prophets of a global conflict.



Word List:

  • tale = story, usually fiction
  • grave = place in the ground where a body is buried, often in a cemetery
  • to deport = to officially force someone to leave a country
  • to hitchhike = to travel by asking for free rides in vehicles of unknown people
  • Leica = a brand of camera
  • to shower = to give a large number of things or a large amount of something to someone
Monika Bulaj’s stunning, painting-like photographs blur religious and cultural divisions, exploding stereotypes. She is a TED Fellow.

Monika Bulaj is a photographer and writer who explores -- in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe -- the dim areas of monotheism, where the sacred can transcend borders: Bonfires, dances, cults of the dead, possession rites. She describes outskirts and deserts, frontiers and megalopolis. And the world of the last ones: nomads, farmers, immigrants, outcasts, untouchables and impure.

Her photos and reportaging have been published by GEO, National Geographic (Italy), La Repubblica, periodicals by Gruppo Espresso and Rcs, Courrier International, Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland), Internazionale, Freundin, Teatr (Poland) and other international magazines.
She has displayed more than 50 personal exibitions in Italy, Germany, Ungheria, Bulgaria, Egypt.

Her books include Libya felix, a travel into Sufism and the world of the Tuaregh; Figli di Noè, on minorities and faiths in Azerbaijian; Rebecca e la pioggia, on the nomadic tribe of the Dinka of South Sudan; Gerusalemme perduta with Paolo Rumiz, the special correspondent of La Repubblica, on the pellegrinage in the research of the Eastern Christians; Genti di Dio, viaggio nell'Altra Europa, a synthesis of 20 years of research in East Europe and Israel, and her latest book, Bozy ludzie.

She has screenwritten documentaries, among which is the movie Romani Rat (2002) by M. Orlandi, on the Holocaust of the Roms, with the contribution of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. She's the director, photography director, and screenwriter of the documentary Figli di Noè, about the villages of Caucasus on the border between Dagestan and Azerbaigian.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

MV: Twilight Saga - Eclipse - 2010

Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger as Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob -- knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella is confronted with the most important decision of her life.

From what I've tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire.
  • desire = a strong feeling of wanting to have or to do something
  • to favor = to support an idea and believe that it is better than other ideas that have been suggested
But if I had to perish twice...
  • to perish = to die, usually because of an illness or something that happens suddenly
And would suffice.
  • to suffice = to be enough
I gotta focus.
  • gotta = “have got to”
  • focus = concentrate, think about only what someone is doing
It's called a compromise.
  • compromise = a way of solving a problem or ending an argument in which both people or groups accept that they cannot have everything they want
It's just called coercion.
  • coercion = the use of force or threats to make someone do something
It's the way one says, 'I just got knocked up'.
  • knocked up = [slang] pregnant
Four o'clock on the dot.
  • on the dot = on time, exactly the time
That kid trying to brown nose me now or something?
  • to brown nose = to try very hard to please someone important or powerful, for example by agreeing with them all the time, in a way that annoys other people
I know, I put you through hell.
  • to put through hell = to make someone do or experience something difficult or unpleasant
But I have other reasons, for grounding you.
  • to ground [someone] = to punish a child or young person by stopping them from going to places that they enjoy
Yeah, I'm gathering that.
  • to gather = to believe that something is true, although no one has directly told you about it
You're going now to the reservation.
  • reservation = an area in the U.S. where Native Americans live in a separate community
Ya gotta embrace the clichés, Jess.
  • ya = [slang] you
  • to embrace = to accept and include something
  • cliché = a phrase or idea that is boring because people use it a lot and it is no longer original
They have the bread and butter of all valedictorians.
  • bread and butter = something that provides for the main subject
  • valedictorian = the student in a high school who has the best grades, and who usually makes a speech at a graduation ceremony
Speech is gonna be epic.
  • gonna = [slang] going to
  • epic = an epic fight or other activity is long and difficult
I decided to throw a party.
  • to throw a party = to have a party
I think that ship sailed long ago.
  • that ship sailed long ago = [idiom] something of the past and the present situation are different.
We've been tracking the situation in Seattle for a while.
  • tracking = to follow the development or progress of something
  • situation = the set of conditions that exist at a particular time in a particular place
If the situation gets anymore conspicuous, the Volturi will step in.
  • conspicuous = very noticeable or easy to see, especially because of being unusual or different
No, I'm just dropping her off.
  • to drop [someone/something] off = take someone to a place in a car, usually without getting out of the car yourself
Don't you just feel the vitamin D soaking up in your pores?
  • vitamin D = a vitamin found in fish and eggs that is important for bones and teeth. It is also produced by the action of sunlight on your skin.
  • pores = one of the very small holes in your skin that sweat can pass through
Are these all our old trip T-shirts?
  • old trip t-shirts = t-shirts bought while on vacation/holiday
I thought they'd make a good quilt.
  • quilt = a fairly thick cover for a bed, consisting of several layers of cloth sewn together, often with attractive patterns of cloth on the top layer
  • yep = yes
Maybe we can get a break from Jake's obsessive inner monologue.
  • to get a break = obtain a favorable opportunity; get special consideration or treatment.
  • obsessive = an emotional state in which someone or something is so important to you that you are always thinking about them, in a way that seems extreme to other people
  • inner monologue = talking to yourself
Sam keeps him home studying, but he's chomping at the bit.
  • to chomp at the bit = to be ready and anxious to do something
It's more than some crush, Bella. Sam imprinted on Emily.
  • crush = a feeling of love and admiration for someone, often someone you know you cannot have a relationship with
  • to imprint = to make something have a strong/permanent influence on someone/something
Someone's orchestrating this.
  • to orchestrate [something] = to plan and organize a complicated event or course of action so that it achieves the result you want
Edward hated the idea, but it wasn't about rivalry anymore.
  • rivalry = a situation in which people, teams, businesses, etc. compete with one another
It wasn't exactly an easy alliance.
  • alliance = a group of people, organizations, or countries who have united to work together to achieve something
I really hate being a party crasher.
  • party crasher = is someone that invites themselves to a party they are not invited to
Paul's been hovering the grub.
  • to hover = to stay somewhere because you are waiting for something to happen
  • grub = food
Police are baffled by the escalating murders and disappearances.
  • baffled = cannot understand something or solve it
  • escalating = to become much worse or more serious, or to make something do this
Let's take it down a notch. Alright?
  • to take it down a notch = be less emotional/angry/argumentative/etc
Go blather to someone else about the joys of becoming a newborn.
  • to blather = to talk for a long time about something that is boring or not important
Royce King was the most eligible bachelor in town.
  • eligible bachelor = one who many women want to marry because he is rich and attractive.
I barely knew him.
  • barely = used for emphasizing how small an amount is
I told you she was a looker.
  • “a looker” = [slang] good looking, beautiful
Was my right hook too subtle for you?
  • hook = a hit that a boxer (=someone who fights as a sport) makes with their arm bent
  • subtle = not obvious, and therefore difficult to notice
It was my job to dispose of them.
  • to dispose = to get rid of something that you no longer need or want
Your stench, however, is revolting.
  • stench = a very bad smell, especially of decay
  • revolting = extremely unpleasant
What he means, is that your scent will mask mine if you carry me.
  • to mask = to hide the smell, taste, or sound of something with a stronger smell or taste or a louder sound
Opted out.
  • to opt out = to decide not to take part in something or to stop taking part in it
Your alibi for the battle is all arranged.
  • alibi = can prove that they were somewhere else when a crime was committed and so can claim to be not guilty
And everyone says, once I'm changed......all I'm gonna want is to slaughter the whole town.
  • to slaughter = the violent killing of a large number of people
And if I met you back then, I would've courted to you.
  • to court [someone] = to have a romantic relationship with someone, especially someone that you get married to later
We'd have taken chaperoned strolls, or had iced tea on the porch.
  • to chaperon = in the past, an older woman who went with a young woman who was not married to a social event to make sure that she behaved well
  • stroll = to walk without hurrying, often for pleasure
So that we can feed, without their retaliation.
  • retaliation = the act of doing something harmful or unpleasant to someone because they have done something harmful or unpleasant to you
You're going overboard.
  • to go overboard = to do or say more than is reasonable or necessary
If this is all I can contribute, I want to be thorough.
  • to contribute = to be a part of a group or an activity and help it to be successful
The newborns will be frantic.
  • frantic = Wild or distraught with fear, anxiety, or other emotion
I just want him to have a clear head.
  • clear head = the ability to think quickly and calmly in a difficult situation
You'll need my connection to the pack, to keep tabs on what's going on.
  • to keep tabs on [something] = keep a record on or watch attentively
Seth will spell me in the morning.
  • to spell [someone] = to do someone’s work for a short time, so that they can rest
I can't sleep with all that teeth chattering going on.
  • chattering = if your teeth chatter, they knock together from fear or cold
That's an intriguing idea.
  • intriguing = very interesting, especially because of being strange or mysterious
He's checking to see if the woods are clear before he goes.
  • clear = empty
Yes. It's not often we're rendered unnecessary.
  • rendered = to make someone or something be or become something
Why'd he have to butt in?
  • to butt in = to join a conversation or activity without being asked to

Past Movie word lists can be found at Movie Vocabulary
link at the top of the page

Friday, December 9, 2011

FREE audiobook from His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama's Latest Book Spawns Free Audiobook Edition Read By Martin Sheen
originally posted at Huffingtonpost.com Dec 6, 2011

The actor Martin Sheen (real name: Ramón Antonio Gerard Estévez) has played a President of the U.S., King Arthur and the father of a super hero. Yet he still felt inadequate when facing his latest role: being the voice of a real-life enlightened spiritual being.

He was selected to read the audio edition of the latest book by Dalai Lama, "Beyond Religion". According to Sheen, "my first inclination was, 'nobody can be that voice.'"

Yet eventually, he accepted the challenge from audible.com of reading the audio version of the book, which is available to download for free until December 20th via Audible's website.

The book is perhaps a surprising call for humanity to move beyond religion in order to improve our lives. "What we need today," the Lama writes, "is an approach to ethics which makes no recourse to religion and can be equally acceptable to those with faith and those without: a secular ethics."

You can read an excerpt from the book here, and watch the short video above to learn just how Sheen reacted to being asked to perform the reading, what word he found the Lama kept using in his writing, and how the book is about much more than questions of religion and ethics.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

MV: Kung Fu Panda 2 - 2011

In the Valley of Peace, Po Ping is reveling in his fulfilled dreams as he serves as the fabled Dragon Warrior protecting his home with his heroes now his closest friends. However, Po and company learn that the murderous Lord Shen of Gongman City is threatening the land with a fearsome new weapon that could mean the end of kung fu. They attempt to stop him, but the panda is burdened with crippling memory flashbacks linked to this villain. Now with China in the balance, Po must learn about his past and find true inner peace against all opposition.

They brought great joy and prosperity to the city.
  • prosperity = the situation of being successful and having a lot of money
Shen's troubled parents consulted a Soothsayer.
  • troubled = worried about the problems that you have
  • to consult = to ask for information or advice from someone who has special knowledge about a particular subject
She foretold, that if Shen continued down this dark path, he would be defeated by a warrior of black and white.
  • to foretell = to say what will happen in the future
But he did next, only sealed it.
  • to seal = to assure, confirm, or bind with or as if with a seal
He was banished from the city forever.
  • to banish = to officially order someone to leave a country or region as a punishment
Vandals of Volcano Mountain?
  • vandal = someone who deliberately damages property
Whatever it is, I'll take them down.
  • to take [someone] down = opponent is swiftly defeated
It's your next phase of training.
  • phase = a particular period of time during the development of something
Without the slightest taste of food or water.
  • slightest = small in size, amount, or degree
And was able to harness the flow of the universe.
  • to harness = to get control of something in order to use it for a particular purpose
I saw you just sort of fanciful foot work.
  • fanciful = unusual and complicated rather than plain and practical
Chew on that, tubby.
  • tubby = [slang] fat person
Yes, I have a stain to prove it.
  • stain = to leave a mark on something accidentally
Now we got the pleasantries out of the way, please leave my house.
  • pleasantries = pleasant remarks that you make in order to be polite. When two people exchange pleasantries, they talk to each other politely about unimportant things.
Gongmen is under the stewardship of the Master's Council and we will protect it even from you.
  • stewardship = the way in which someone organizes and takes care of something
You insolent fool!
  • insolent = rude, especially when you should be showing respect
And that's me giving you a piggyback ride.
  • piggyback = carry on your back with your arms supporting their legs
On second thought, I'll hang on to this one.
  • to hang on to = to hold tightly to something
It's quiet, polite, and frankly, it does better Kung Fu.
  • frankly = used for emphasizing that what you are about to say is your honest opinion, even though the person you are talking to might not like it
That's severely cool.
  • severely = in a very strict or extreme way
So hardcore you don't feel anything.
  • hardcore = very determined and completely unwilling to change opinions or behavior
Po is the one freaking out.
  • to freak out = become so angry, surprised, excited, or frightened that you cannot control yourself
Everything must exactly how I envisioned it.
  • to envision = to imagine that something will happen in the future, or is happening now
Followed by denial.
  • denial = a refusal to accept the unpleasant truth about a situation or admit what you are feeling
He fought like a demon. Big and furry. Soft and squishy. Kind of plush and cuddly.
  • demon = an evil spirit
  • furry = covered with a substance that looks and feels like fur
  • squishy = rather soft, often softer than it should be
  • plush = made from or covered with a soft thick cloth similar to velvet
  • cuddly = you want to put your arms around them and hold them close to show that you like or love them them, especially because they look soft or round
We'll march in and proclaim, we're the Dragon Warrior and the Furious Five.
  • to proclaim = to state something publicly
This place is crawling with wolves.
  • to be crawling with [animals/people] = full of [animals/people] in a way that is unpleasant
We need to get to that tower without being spotted by those wolves.
  • to be spotted = to be seen
So that was stealth mode, uh?
  • stealth = a quiet and secret way of behaving so that no one sees or hears you
  • mode = a particular way of doing something
They must be in that jail gathering intelligence, hatching a plot to use their awesomeness, to defeat the weapon.
  • to hatch = if you hatch something such as a plan, you plan it, especially in secret
Spread out!
  • to spread out = move away from one another so that they cover a large area
I can feel the kung fu chill riding up my spine.
  • chill = to make someone feel extremely frightened or worried
  • to ride up my spine = [slang] to have a feeling of fear, to be frightened physically
We are going to free you from those bondages and injustice. No problem.
  • bondages = tied up with rope or chains
Then we use...a sneak attack.
  • sneak = to move somewhere quietly and secretly so that no one can see you or hear you
With bars made of hopelessness and all you get is three square meals of shame!
  • square meal = a large meal that makes you feel satisfied
With despair for dessert.
  • despair = the feeling that a situation is so bad that nothing you can do will change it
I like to squash you!
  • to squash = to hurt someone by pressing or pushing them hard
You mess with a Wolf, you get the fangs.
  • fang = one of the long pointed teeth that some animals have (snakes, dogs, tigers, vampires)
These are the best cuffs.
  • cuffs = handcuffs = metal rings that a police officer puts around a prisoner’s wrists to stop them from using their hands or arms
I threw up a little bit on the third floor.
  • to throw up = food and drink comes back up from your stomach and out of your mouth
Is there some sort of evil janitor or something?
  • janitor = [UK caretaker] takes care of a public building such as a hospital or school.
Keep your eyes peeled for the weapon!
  • to keep your eyes peeled = [slang] to watch carefully for someone or something
And we came to avenge him!
  • to avenge = to react to something wrong that has been done to you, your family, or your friends by punishing the person who did it
Would you guys spill the beans?
  • to spill the beans = [slang] to tell people secret information
It's chaos up there.
  • chaos = a situation in which everything is confused and in a mess
Give me a little credit.
  • to give [someone] a little credit = accept that [someone] is smart enough to handle a situation
Ya, okay. He caught me off guard.
  • to catch off guard = to surprise someone by doing or saying something they were not expecting
Stop being a wimp.
  • wimp = someone who is not brave, strong, or confident
A trivial sacrifice.
  • trivial = not very important, serious, or valuable
Will the subjugation of the whole world finally make you feel better?
  • subjugation = to defeat a place or a group of people and force them to obey you
I might as well convert the basement into a dungeon.
  • to convert = to change from one system, use, or method to another
And wipe those stupid grins off your faces.
  • to wipe a stupid grin off your face = [slang] stop laughing [at someone]
Fill some craters in your soul.
  • craters = large holes in the surface
This was a thriving village.
  • thriving = very successful
Your friend there is very persuasive.
  • persuasive = good at making people agree to do or believe what you want them to
I scarred you for life.
  • to scar = a permanent effect on someone’s mind, caused by an unpleasant experience that they have had

Past Movie word lists can be found at Movie Vocabulary
link at the top of the page

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

MUSIC: We Found Love

Rihanna - "We Found Love" (feat. Calvin Harris)

It's like you're screaming, and no one can hear
You almost feel ashamed
That someone could be that important
That without them, you feel like nothing
No one will ever understand how much it hurts
You feel hopeless; like nothing can save you
And when it's over, and it's gone
You almost wish that you could have all that bad stuff back
So that you could have the good

Yellow diamonds in the light
Now we’re standing side by side
As your shadow crosses mine
What it takes to come alive

It’s the way I’m feeling I just can’t deny
But I’ve gotta let it go

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

Shine a light through an open door
Love a life I will divide
Turn away 'cause I need you more
Feel the heartbeat in my mind

It’s the way I’m feeling I just can’t deny
But I’ve gotta let it go

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

Yellow diamonds in the light
Now we’re standing side by side
As your shadow crosses mine

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

Rihanna Fenty was born in the Caribbean island nation of Barbados in 1988. She was discovered by producer Evan Rogers (known for work with Christina Aguilera, *NSYNC, Jessica Simpson, and others) when he and his Barbadian wife Jackie were visiting the island for Christmas 2003. Her obvious talent impressed Def Jam Records CEO Jay-Z enough for the label to sign her to a 6 album contract at the young age of 16.

Friday, November 25, 2011

NEWS: In hard times, Americans still thankful

By Emanuella Grinberg, originally posted on CNN.com Nov 24, 2011

Clockwise from left: Linda Moses' family, Jannet Walsh, 
Egberto Willies, Ethel Marie Chadwick, Pelon Mercer.

(CNN) -- This Thanksgiving holiday, Linda Moses is thankful just to be alive.

The 54-year-old Texas woman was in a car crash in August with her son, his pregnant wife and a family friend. They were on their first family vacation together in the coastal area of Rockport when a texting driver veered into their lane and hit her son's Chevy Tahoe head-on.

Everyone survived, including the driver of the other car. But their struggles were far from over.

Moses lost her job when she was unable to immediately return to work while recovering from a cracked sternum and ribs. Her son, Ryan, lost part of his right leg, ending his dream of entering the National Guard, a few weeks before he would have started basic training. His wife, Courtney, went into labor in September, almost four months early.

It's been rough, Moses said, but amid the trauma, brights spots are starting to emerge. Her son received a prosthetic leg Wednesday and he starts physical therapy next week. Little Kaileigh, Moses' first grandchild, has grown from 1 pound 10 ounces to 3 pounds 8 ounces in two months. Her parents held her for the first time last week and posed for a picture that Moses submitted to CNN iReport.

"Just the fact we're all alive and that we survived despite the accident is a blessing," she said. "And to have Kaileigh -- they didn't give her much of a chance to live, and now she's 2 months old. We have a lot to be thankful for."

Despite a year of economic, political and social turmoil, many Americans didn't have to dig hard to find something they were grateful for on this most thankful day of the year. Among the submissions to CNN iReport's "what are you thankful for?" assignment, common themes emerged: gratitude for family, pride in being American and relief at having a job.

Jean Lindsay is especially thankful for the opportunity to be able to work from her home in Geneseo, New York.

"As an older worker, trying to get to work outside my home is stressful in extreme heat or cold of winter; costs additional time and money to drive to another location; and is hazardous in negotiating snow and ice in winter," the 70-year-old iReporter said.

Luckily, she was able to find a job as a customer service representative, working from the comfort of a desk in her dining room. She works about 25 hours a week without paid vacation time or benefits. But at her age, it's better than nothing, she said.

"I am truly grateful for companies that have a work from home component and I have seen first hand how it has benefited not only so many workers with disabilities, etc. but has benefited the company as well in garnering really dedicated workers."

Not everyone's as lucky as Lindsay. But with unemployment rates hovering around 9% since the summer, Jannet Walsh is grateful just to be receiving unemployment insurance.

The 47-year-old photojournalist was laid off in September from her job with a newspaper in Minnesota. She had worked there for 11 months after moving from Florida to care for her mother, who died in October.

This will be her first Thanksgiving without her mother or father, but at least she'll be spending it with family, she said.

It's hard to stay positive with each rejection letter that comes in, she said. To keep her mind occupied, she edits video she shot on a trip to Ireland this year.

"That's the best medicine for times like these, to be as creative as possible," she said. "I'm ready, willing and able to go back to work. I'm also very hopeful I'll find an even better job than I was laid off from."

As bad as the political and economic landscape in this country might seem, iReporter Egberto Willies said there's nowhere else he'd rather be.

"I am thankful to be in America and all those in America should be, too," said Willies, a naturalized citizen who moved to Texas from Panama in 1979 to attend the University of Texas-Austin. "Everyone in America has the ability to make a difference. I have the ability to make a difference."

Many iReporters were grateful for the support of family through layoffs, illness and financial hardship. But the small things on a day-to-day basis went a long way, too.

"During this holiday season, I am thankful that I am loved and that I have an opportunity to give love," said Ethel Marie Chadwick, a part-time office administrator and radio show host from Scottsville, New York.

"I thank God that I have three wonderful adult children who are kind, compassionate and affectionate, and also for my loving husband who warms me up when I am cold, who rubs my back when I can't sleep, who cheers me up when I am sad and encourages me when I feel discouraged," Chadwick said.

Moses said she isn't sure she would have made it through the past few months since the car crash without her son and daughter-in-law. And she's not sure how they've done it, either. She credits her son's positive attitude with keeping the family hopeful.

"We've been through so much. But if we can still find the blessings, I hope we'll inspire others to get through the hard times."

Word List:
  • coastal = on land beside a sea
  • to veer = to suddenly move in a different direction
  • head-on = if two vehicles crash head-on, the front of one vehicle hits the front of the other
  • to struggle = to try hard to do something that you find very difficult
  • cracked = a line or long narrow hole appears on its surface, but it does not break into pieces
  • sternum = the flat bone in the middle of your chest. Also called the 'breastbone.'
  • basic training = the initial indoctrination and instruction given to new military personnel,
  • amid = if something happens amid particular feelings or events, it happens while people have these feelings or while these events are happening
  • rough = difficult
  • to emerge = to stop being involved in a difficult situation or period of time
  • prosthetic = used for replacing a missing body part
  • turmoil = a state of great disturbance, confusion, or uncertainty.
  • to negotiate = to successfully travel on a road or path that is difficult to travel on or travel through
  • to garner = to collect or obtain a large amount of something useful or important
  • hovering = to be at or near a particular level without changing muc
  • to be laid off = someone’s employment is ended, especially temporarily, because there is not enough work for them
  • rejection letter = a refusal to accept someone for a job or course of study
  • naturalized = officially become a citizen of a country in which they were not born
  • to inspire = to give someone the enthusiasm to do or create something
  • hard times = difficult times

Monday, November 21, 2011

NEWS: Why Doctors And Patients Talk Around Our Growing Waistlines

Originally posted on NPR, November 14, 2011
Many doctors and patients
aren't discussing the health consequences of weight.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Today in Your Health, we continue our series Living Large. Many patients who are overweight say their doctors don't spend enough time, if any, talking with them about losing weight. Doctors often complain that when they do talk with patients about this, nothing changes. And the end result is frustrated patients along with frustrated doctors. Here's NPR's Patti Neighmond.

PATTI NEIGHMOND: You could say the frustration's playing itself out right here in the small town of Milford, Delaware - Dr. Domingo Aviado's scale. It's the first stop for all his patients.

DR. DOMINGO AVIADO: One-forty-six. Is that where you wanted it to be or is that...



NEIGHMOND: And most of Aviado's patients are overweight or obese, like 47-year-old Lisa Flowers.

LISA FLOWERS: You know, I used to call myself voluptuous. I'm so past the point of voluptuous now.

NEIGHMOND: At five foot seven and nearly 300 pounds, Flowers is obese. And most of that weight was gained over the past five years since having a child and moving to Milford, where she's been under Dr. Aviado's care. And here's where the story gets complicated. Flowers says Aviado never discusses her weight.

FLOWERS: You're weighed every single time you go to his office, but he doesn't ever talk about it. So you're kind of like, all right, so why did we go through that if we're not going to talk about it?

AVIADO: I have talked to her in the past. I was actually going to pull up her chart so I can refresh my memory.

NEIGHMOND: But when Dr. Aviado looks at Flowers' chart, he doesn't find any record of discussions about weight loss.

AVIADO: I'm trying to find the visit you're asking about. And I'm sure - I know I've - just refreshing my memory - I know I've talked to her about weight and different strategies to lose weight, but sometimes I don't document those because the insurance companies don't pay for those visits if it's just about weight.

NEIGHMOND: Flowers' body mass index is noted. And Aviado says he is concerned about the medical consequences of her weight.

AVIADO: She's at high risk of heart disease. She's at risk for developing diabetes and osteoarthritis of her knees and hips.

NEIGHMOND: All problems, Flowers says, he hasn't discussed with her.

FLOWERS: It's kind of just been beating around the bush kind of thing. Like I will say, you know, I'm really concerned about the amount of weight I've gained here. You know, my back hurts, my knees hurt. You know, is there anything that I can do? And it's kind of avoided. You know, it's almost as if he's uncomfortable.

NEIGHMOND: Dr. Aviado says he's not uncomfortable. And he says on some visits, Flowers just didn't want to be weighed.

AVIADO: If someone refuses, I take that as a signal they're not ready to talk about their weight.

NEIGHMOND: Flowers says it's not true. She never refused to be weighed.

Clearly, Dr. Aviado and Lisa Flowers see things differently. But this much is obvious. Discussion has not been direct. According to researchers, this type of disconnect is going on all across the country. Yale University psychologist Rebecca Puhl says just one-third of doctors surveyed say they talk with patients about losing weight. That means two-thirds don't.

DR. REBECCA PUHL: And when we consider that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, these numbers need to be a lot higher. And we're seeing that even among patients who are obese, they report that they're not receiving any kind of weight loss advice or counseling from physicians.

NEIGHMOND: So in a country with a rampant obesity epidemic, many doctors just aren't talking to patients about the health consequences.

CYNTHIA FERRIER: I do not think it's fair to blame the doctor if a person has not lost weight.

NEIGHMOND: At the Greenfield Health Clinic in Portland, Oregon, internist Cynthia Ferrier spends lots of time talking with her patients about their weight. And she says most are pretty savvy. They know that high fat, high-carb diets aren't healthy.

FERRIER: It's as unreasonable to say I didn't quit smoking because my doctor didn't tell me to as it is to say I didn't lose weight because my doctor didn't tell me to. Everybody knows that you shouldn't smoke. And everybody knows you should be at a healthy weight. It's not a mystery.

NEIGHMOND: Ferrier says there are a number of reasons why doctors don't talk with patients about weight. With an average of eight minutes per office visit, many just don't have time. And until recently, they weren't reimbursed for weight counseling, only for treating conditions - like diabetes and high blood pressure - that result from being overweight.

And because doctors aren't taught about obesity in medical school, many feel unprepared to bring up the sensitive topic. And with good reason, says Ferrier.

FERRIER: I have had patients tell me that they have cancelled appointments with me because they have not been able to lose enough weight. So I do have to be careful about how strongly I word weight loss recommendations so it doesn't scare them off and make them say, well, I'm never going back to see her again.

NEIGHMOND: One study found overweight and obese women felt stigmatized by their doctors and often stopped going in for routine care.

MARCIA NOYES: I avoided the doctor at all cost.

NEIGHMOND: Fifty-one-year-old Marcia Noyes.

NOYES: It was very shameful, you know, gowns don't fit. You just feel like you're looked down upon by everybody, from the nurse to everyone in the doctor's office.

NEIGHMOND: Noyes was the overweight child, the overweight teen, the overweight adult - who felt constantly judged by others and viewed as fat and lazy.

NOYES: Every birthday that I ever had with the cake and the candles, I wished to be thin - for 50 years. That was my wish.

NEIGHMOND: And when Noyes decided to try to lose weight for good, she didn't get the help she wanted from her doctor.

NOYES: I said to my general practitioner, I want to lose 80 pounds in eight months and I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Do you think it's possible? And he kind of looked at me and gave me an offhanded, yeah, well, it's possible but not likely that you can do that. But you know, give it your best shot.

NEIGHMOND: Not the motivation she hoped for, says Noyes, who eventually turned to a friend - a marathon runner - who offered the support she needed.


NOYES: My god, I'm running 26 miles now. I'm running a 10K every day.

Noyes did lose 80 pounds in eight months. Now she's training for her second marathon. And when she went back to see her doctor, he was obviously stunned.

He couldn't believe that someone my age could make that much change in their body. I think he's used to people choosing gastric bypass when they're as overweight as I was and I simply did it by eating right and exercising every day.

NEIGHMOND: Eating right and exercising every day is, of course, the key to curbing obesity, but doctors need to be in the loop. One way, says Dr. Cynthia Ferrier: be honest and direct with patients about health risks.

FERRIER: How likely it is that something will happen soon. Like if I have seen their blood sugar go up every year and now it's to the near diabetic range, I can tell them in very clear terms how likely it is they will be diabetic and complications of that, and if that doesn't motivate them, there's not much more I can say.

NEIGHMOND: This approach worked for Ferrier's patient Linda Teufel, who was dangerously overweight at nearly 300 pounds.

LINDA TEUFEL: Dr. Ferrier telling me I was going to be diabetic if I didn't do something right away, that was my motivation. And she wasn't threatening, she was very kind about it, but it scared the daylights out of me.

NEIGHMOND: Teufel quickly lost 20 pounds.

TEUFEL: Immediately my blood sugar came down, almost immediately.

NEIGHMOND: Teufel went on a strict diet and eventually lost 100 pounds. She credits Dr. Ferrier's direct and diplomatic discussion for her success. It was just the prescription she needed. Many say it's the prescription that's essential if the country is to make a dent in this dangerous obesity epidemic. Patti Neighmond NPR News.

Word List:
  • frustrated = feeling annoyed and impatient because you are prevented from achieving something
  • obese = too fat, in a way that is dangerous for your health
  • voluptuous = a voluptuous woman has a large curved body and is sexually attractive
  • strategy = a plan or method for achieving something, especially over a long period of time
  • body mass index = a weight-to-height ratio, calculated by dividing one's weight in kilograms by the square of one's height in meters and used as an indicator of obesity and underweight
  • osteoarthritis = a serious medical condition that affects the parts of your body where your bones join each other, for example your knees, making it difficult for you to move
  • to beat around the bush = to spend a long time getting to the main point of what you are saying, especially because it is embarrassing
  • savvy = knowing a lot about something and able to make good judgments about it
  • to bring up = to introduce into discussion; mention
  • to look down upon = to think that you are better or more important than someone else, or to think that something is not good enough for you
  • offhanded = unfriendly in the way you treat someone
  • to give it your best shot = to do something as well as you possibly can, although you are not sure whether you will be able to succeed
  • to be stunned = very shocked or upset, especially so that you are unable to act normally
  • to curb = to control or limit something that is harmful
  • range = all the numbers, ages, measurements, etc. that are included within particular fixed limits
  • to scare the daylights out of someone = to frighten someone very much
  • strict = completely following the rules of a particular belief

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NEWS: Mongolia bids to keep city cool with 'ice shield' experiment

by Jonathan Watts
originally posted by The Guardian, 15 Nov 2011

Geoengineering trial aims to 'store' winter temperatures in a giant block of ice that will cool and water Ulan Bator in summer

Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia. Scientists hope the 'ice shield'
will reduce demands on energy and regulate water during summer.

Mongolia is to launch one of the world's biggest ice-making experiments later this month in an attempt to combat the adverse affects of global warming and the urban heat island effect.

The geoengineering trial, that is being funded by the Ulan Bator government, aims to "store" freezing winter temperatures in a giant block of ice that will help to cool and water the city as it slowly melts during the summer.

The scientists behind the 1bn tugrik (£460,000) project hope the process will reduce energy demand from air conditioners and regulate drinking water and irrigation supplies. If successful, the model could be applied to other cities in the far north.

The project aims to artificially create "naleds" - ultra-thick slabs of ice that occur naturally in far northern climes when rivers or springs push through cracks in the surface to seep outwards during the day and then add an extra layer of ice during the night. Unlike regular ice formation on lakes - which only gets to a metre in thickness before it insulates the water below - naleds continue expanding for as long as there is enough water pressure to penetrate the surface. Many are more than seven metres thick, which means they melt much later than regular ice.

A Mongolian engineering firm ECOS & EMI will try to recreate this process by drilling bore holes into the ice that has started to form on the Tuul river. The water will be discharged across the surface, where it will freeze. This process - effectively adding layers of ice rinks - will be repeated at regular intervals throughout the winter.

The qualities of naleds (also known as Aufeis, German for "ice on top") have been known for hundreds of years. The North Korean military used them to build river crossings for tanks during the winter and Russia has used them as drilling platforms. But engineers usually see them in negative terms as a threat to railways and bridges.

The Anglo-Mongolian company believe their proposed use in Ulan Bator could set a positive example that allows northern cities around the world to save on summer air conditioning costs, regulate drinking supplies, and create cool microclimates.

"Everyone is panicking about melting glaciers and icecaps, but nobody has yet found a cheap, environmentally friendly alternative," said Robin Grayson, a Mongolian-based geologist. "If you know how to manipulate them, naled ice shields can repair permafrost and building cool parks in cities." He said the process will work in cities where the summer is intolerably hot and winters have at least a couple of months with temperatures of -5C to -20C.

Word List:
  • trial = the process of testing a product, plan, or person over a period of time
  • to launch = to start a major activity such as a military attack, a public investigation, or a new career or project
  • to combat = to do something in order to try to stop something bad from happening or a bad situation from becoming worse
  • adverse = negative, unpleasant, or harmful
  • slab = a large flat piece of a hard material such as stone or wood
  • to seep = to flow into or out of something through small holes, usually when this should not happen
  • borehole = a very deep narrow hole in the ground made in order to get water or oil
  • interval = a period of time between two events
  • intolerably = impossible to bear or deal with