English Lesson: Anytime, Anywhere


N:  Nicole    K:  Koichi    T:  Tetsu

N: How are things, Koichi?
K: Oh, you know.  Same old same old.
   Did you have a nice ride today (referring to the taxi ride)?
N: Now that you've mentioned it, I think that was the most          
  entertaining taxi ride I have ever had.
K: Tell me all about it.

Just before Nicole started her story, Tetsu arrived on that 
precise moment.

T: Hi guys!  I hope I am not interrupting.
K: Nicole was just about to recount her cab ride.
T: Were you involved in a vehicular accident?  
N: Calm down, Tetsu.  I am fine.  It's nothing like that.
   On the contrary, it was a very interesting experience.

Nicole told the two eager learners about how the taxi driver 
wanted to talk about Steve Jobs and her take on nuclear 
energy issue.

K: That's one smart taxi driver!
N: And a very loquacious man at that!
T: I admire him for carrying on a conversation with you for 
   20 minutes.  He must really have wanted to practice English 
   with you.
N: He sure did!  It felt like it was a lesson.
K: So, you had a lesson with him.
   I hope you got paid.
N: Actually, I teased him about it.
   I was hoping he would take the bait.
   As he pulled the taxi to a halt in front of the building, 
   I asked him if it was a free ride.
T: And what did he say?
N: He was flabbergasted and couldn't say anything.
   I think it was the only moment that he was at a loss for 
   words during the entire time we were together.
K: Looks like you got him with that comment, Nicole.


★Same old same old. - いつもと同じである。相変わらずだ。
★now that you've mentioned it~ - そう言われてみると~、
★entertaining - 面白い、愉快な
★precise - まさにその、ちょうどその
★recount - ~について詳しく話す、~を物語る
★cab - タクシー
★vehicular accident - 自動車事故
★calm down~ - ~を落ち着かせる、なだめる
★on the contrary~ - それどころか
★eager - しきりに~したがる、~を切望した
★take on~ - ~についての見解(見方・解釈)
★smart - 賢い、頭が切れる
★loquacious - 多弁な、おしゃべりな
★at that - さらに、その上
★admire - ~を称賛(敬服)する
★carry on a conversation - 会話を続ける
★take the bait - 餌に食いつく
★pull to a halt - 駐車場に車を止める
★free ride -  無料乗車、ただ乗り
★flabbergasted - あっけに取られた、あぜんとした
★loss for words - 言葉に詰まる、絶句する、言葉を失う


N:  ニコル    K:  コウイチ    T:  テツ

N: 調子はどう、コウイチ?
K: ああ、いつもと一緒だよ。
N: そう言われてみると、今までで一番面白いタクシー移動だった
K: それは聞きたいな。


T: やあみんな! 邪魔してないといいけど。
K: ニコルがタクシーについて話そうとしてたとこなんだ。
T: 交通事故に巻き込まれたのかい?
N: 落ち着いてよテツ。私は大丈夫。そういうんじゃないの。


K: それはなかなか知的なタクシー運転手さんだったね!
N: それにとても話し好きで!
T: きみと20分も会話をしたなんてすごいね。ニコルと本当に英語
N: ほんとそうね! まさしくレッスンのようだったわ。
K: じゃ、彼とレッスンしたんだね。お金もらえたならいいけど。
N: 実はそのことを冗談で言ってみたのよ。食いついてくれればと
T: それでなんだって?
N: あっけにとられて何も言えなくなってたわ。一緒にいるあいだ
K: その一言で一杯食わせたせたようだね、ニコル。



Not Again


 S: Scott F: Felicity E: Euneece
 One ordinary evening, when classes are over…
 E: Goodbye, Scott! We’re leaving now.
S: Wait for me, please.
F: (whispering to Euneece after a minute or two) What’s taking him so long?
E: He was logging out... about five minutes ago. (In a more audible voice) Let’s go!
 F: We’ll be missing our train if he dilly-dallies. (Peeping at the door to see where Scott is) Come on! After a few minutes…
E: OK, Scott, we’ll just send you your pillows.
S: (in a pleading tone) Saint Peter, please!
F: (impatient) … and your futon, too! Any other essentials?
S: Hahaha! (coming out of the office) Thanks for waiting.
F: Now we have to dash to catch our train. Grrrr…
S: You don’t have to do that. There’s plenty of time.
E: Yeah, for the next schedule. We don’t have strides like yours, you know.
F: (Ignoring Scott) Hurry, Euneece. We could still make it. Let’s run for it!
E: I hate this! (starts running) Upon reaching the platform…
 F: (Slows down, panting) The train is delayed.
 E: Whew!
 S: (catching up with Euneece & Felicity on his usual stride) Told you we could make it.
 E: (still catching her breath) Thanks, psychic!
 F: Please remind me not to wait for him again!
S: Poor me!
E: No, poor us!

★whisper - 囁く
★log out - ログアウトする
★audible - 聞こえる
★dilly-dally - ぐずぐずする、
★peep at - ~を覗く、盗み見する
★pleading - 訴えるような、嘆願する
★Saint Peter - 聖ペテロ、サン・ピエトロ ※天国の鍵を司る人として知られる
★impatient -(待たされたり遅らされたりすることに)ジリジリして、 待ちきれずに
★essentials - 必需品
★dash - ダッシュする、突進する
★stride - (大股の)歩幅
★make it - 時間に間に合う
★pant - 息を切らす
★catch up with - ~に追いつく
★catch one’s breath - 一息つく、一休みする
★psychic - 霊能者
★poor - かわいそうな 「また?」

 S: スコット
 F: フェリシティー
 E: ユニース いつもの夜、授業が終わり... 
E: じゃあね、スコット! 帰るわね。
S: ちょっと待ってよ。
E: ログアウトしてたわよ...5分くらい前に。 (聞こえるように)行きましょ!
 F: ぐずぐずしてると電車に乗り遅れるわ。(ドアからスコット のいるところを覗き込む)ほら! 数分後...
 E: いいわスコット、あなたの枕送ってあげるわね。
F:(待ち切れずに)...それに布団もね! 他に要るものは?
S: ハハハ!(オフィスから出てきて)待っててくれてありがとう。
F: 電車に乗るために走らないと。も~。
S: その必要はないよ。時間はたっぷりある。
E: ええ、次の電車までね。私たちはあなたほどの歩幅ないから。
F:(スコットに構わず)急いでユニース。まだ間に合うわ。 走りましょう!
E: もうイヤ!(走り出す) ホームに到着すると... 
 E: フー!
S:(ユニースとフェリシティーにいつも通りの歩調で追いついて) だから間に合うって言ったじゃないか。
F: もう今度からスコットを待たないって思い出させて。
S: 僕かわいそう!
E: いいえ、私たちがかわいそうなの!



The Modern English Alphabet

人気ブログランキングへ Most of us, if not all, started our journey with the English language learning our ABCs. Do you still remember the song?
Once we have mastered the song, our relatives would always ask us to sing it and after we have finished, they would clap like crazy… as if we achieved something excellent. My friend’s daughter would sing that song every chance she got in her cute little voice. Before the standard was “A is for apple… B is for boy…” However, some people now might disagree. It is no longer relevant in this day and age. So there’s a new way to study the English alphabet…
$Nicoleの”英語で楽しい情報をどうぞ!”-The Modern Way to  Learn ABCs
Note: This is just for fun. I am sure the nursery schools are not teaching this to the kids… yet! Source: http://youtu.be/eOb9Bs86dMU 人気ブログランキングへ


Enjoying "Gakuensai"

人気ブログランキングへ Do you have fond memories of your school festivals? It’s that time of the year again when students have fun playing games and setting up booths to entertain other people. Last Saturday (Oct. 8), I visited my alma mater to take part in its annual “gakuensai” or school festival. I visited the booth of our association and was able to watch some performances by the students. At the same time, I sampled the various dishes being sold by the different association of the international community at the university. I love going to these festivals because the air is always charged with a lot of energy. You can smell, feel and taste the energy that the students are emanating. I have the fondest memories of my own “gakuensai”. How about you?


Deja vu

人気ブログランキングへ Have you ever had a déjà vu? For those who do not know the meaning of déjà vu, it is the feeling that what is happening now has happened before in exactly the same way. The recent stock market crash and the EU’s bailout plan for Greece are very reminiscent of the 2008 recession which caused a lot of companies to go bankrupt. Most countries (United States and Japan included) are not faring really well in this ongoing economic slump. However, some countries are using this economic stagnation to their advantage. While the big economies are halting, the developing countries are roaring ahead. Just take for example Brazil, Russia, India and China or collectively known as BRICs. The situation is very unpredictable. It can go either way, for the better or (Heaven forbid!) for the worse. But what is interesting, the current situation of the United States right is depicted in an animation dating to the late 1940s.
Sources: http://godfatherpolitics.com/1006/63-year-old-cartoon-depicts-america-today/#.Tnd3DEWFs9o.facebook http://youtu.be/mVh75ylAUXY 人気ブログランキングへ


Book Cover

人気ブログランキングへ I have always been fascinated by the people I see in the trains. You can see them kill time by doing different things. Some sleep while the others play games on their phones or gadgets. However, most of them use the time to catch up on their reading… be it the newspaper or a book. What is interesting is that when people read a book, there is always a book cover (well, most of the time). So, I thought it would be interesting to post this. I read this in a website and found it hilarious! I am pretty sure people will get the idea when you use this.
nicole book cover
Source: http://arnikristjansson.com/?/graphics/staringbook/ 人気ブログランキングへ


A Little Green Bottle

人気ブログランキングへ I grew up drinking Coke. Probably, I got it from my father who loved the drink as much as he loved his chocolates. Yes, he had a sweet tooth, and so do I. After a long time, I ate sushi again last week and enjoyed so much. I haven’t had any since after the earthquake for fear of radiation. However, my craving for it last week was too intense to ignore. As I ate my last piece, I wanted to wash the fishy aftertaste from my mouth and decided to order a Coke. Lo and behold, they gave me a tiny green bottle with my favorite drink inside it. My friends laughed at my reaction; it was my first time to have one. As you may have guessed, I downed the entire contents of the bottle in a matter of seconds.
Nicoleの”英語で楽しい情報をどうぞ!”-green Coke bottle


30-day challenge

人気ブログランキングへ Have you ever felt you are stuck in a rut? And you find yourself wishing that some things will change in your life? Well, what are you waiting for?! Changes can happen even without your permission. However, you can also initiate it. Our life becomes boring only when we allow it to be. We have the option to spice it up if we want to.
nicole make up
Try to listen to Matt Cutts’ TED Talk presentation about trying something new for 30 days. Is there anything that you would like to try for the next 30 days?
Sources: http://youtu.be/JnfBXjWm7hc http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_cutts_try_something_new_for_30_days.html
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. 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 everyday 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. 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." (Laughter) 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. (Laughter) 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 tryand give it a shot for the next 30 days. Thanks. (Applause)


Humanity and Civilizations

人気ブログランキングへ If you would like to listen to a seminar about humanity and civilizations, you might be interested in the 13th Environmental Diplomatic Leader seminar which will be held on September 30, 2011 (Friday) from 3pm to 5pm at Room 110, Laboratory of Advanced Research A, University of Tsukuba. The speaker will be Dr. Koichiro Matsuura, a former Director-general of UNESCO. Below is the seminar poster…
This seminar will be in English so it will be a good chance for English learners out there. 人気ブログランキングへ

It was a roast

人気ブログランキングへ Characters: N - Nicole Y - Yuri To - Tomo Ta - Tatsuya During Free Chat, Nicole's learners shared their respective stories. N: Thanks for sharing your knowledge about wines. I didn't know that we had a wine connoisseur in the house. Y: You flatter me, Nicole. It's just a hobby. N: Alright. How about Tomo, anything you would like to share? To: A junior co-worker got married last week and I attended his wedding reception and afterparty. We did something crazy during the afterparty. (piquing everyone's curiosity) Ta: Let me guess... you performed like Lady Gaga or AKB48? To: You're getting warmer. We danced naked! N: What?! (her eyes as round as saucers) Y: Oh, please spare me the details. (covering her ears) Ta: Buck naked? To: Not really. We had our pants on. N: Oh ok. Whew! Y: What else did you do besides dance? To: We told embarrassing stories about the groom. Ta: Oh no! How did the bride react to the stories? (imagining the situation) N: I hope she didn't have a change of heart... Y: Well, I think it was already too late for that. Ha ha ha! N: I guess the groom was roasted at his own wedding. To: The bride was game and so was my friend. It was all in the name of fun. Ta: Good thing I got married in Hawaii and didn't have such experience. N: Do your friends have blackmail material on you? Ta: Well, let's just not go into that. ●Vocabulary ★roast - 焼く(あぶる)こと ★respective - それぞれの、各自の ★wine connoisseur - ワイン通 ★in the house - ~がいる、~がもう来ている ★flatter - ~を褒めそやす、~にお世辞を言う ★afterparty - 二次会 ★pique - (興味・好奇心を)そそる ★perform - 演じる ★warmer - be getting warmerで正解に近づいている ★naked - 裸の、すっぽんぽんの ★eyes as round as saucers - 目を皿のように丸くし ★spare me the details - 細かい話はやめて、詳細は割愛して ★buck naked - 素っ裸の(で) ★embarrassing - 気恥ずかしい、きまり悪い、ばつの悪い、 ★groom - 花婿、新郎 ★bride - 花嫁、新婦 ★change of heart - 心変わり、気持ちの変化 ★game - やる気がある、乗り気な ★in the name of ~ - ~の名において、~という名目で ★blackmail - 脅迫(メール)、恐喝、ゆすり ★let's just not get into that - その点は深入りしないことにしよう 「丸焼き」 登場人物: N:ニコル Y:ユリ To:トモ Ta:タツヤ フリーチャットにて、ニコルの生徒たちが、それぞれの話をする。 N: ワインに関する知識をありがとう。ここにワイン専門家がいた   なんて知らなかったわ。 Y: お世辞が上手ね、ニコル。趣味なだけよ。 N: 分かったわ。トモはどう、なにか話したいことはある? To: 先週、会社の後輩が結婚して、披露宴と二次会の両方に出たんだ。   二次会ではちょっと羽目を外しちゃったよ。 (みんなの興味をひく) Ta: 当てさせて...レディー・ガガかAKB48を披露したとか? To: 近いね。裸踊りしたんだ! N: ええっ?!(皿のように目を丸くして) Y: わあ、詳しくは言わないで。(目を覆う) Ta: 素っ裸? To: ううん。パンツははいてたよ。 N: それならよかったわ。ホッ! Y: 踊りの他には何かやったの? To: 新郎の恥ずかしい話をしたんだ。 Ta: あらら!新婦の反応は?(状況を思い浮かべて) N: 彼女が心変わりしなかったならいいんだけど... Y: まあ、それについては時すでに遅しね。ハハハ! N: 新郎は結婚式で丸焼きにされちゃったようね。 To: 新婦は乗り気だったけどね、僕の友達も。   楽しみと言う名のもとに。 Ta: よかったー、僕ハワイで結婚して、そんな経験しなくて。 N: 友だちはおどしをかけてきたりはしないの? Ta: うーん、そこは深入りしないでおくことにしよう。 人気ブログランキングへ


September: Chinese Moon Festival


The Chinese Moon Festival or Zhongqiu Festival (traditional Chinese: 中秋節; simplified Chinese: 中秋节; pinyin: Zhōngqiūjié; Vietnamese: Tết Trung Thu), is a popular harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people. It is one of the biggest annual holidays in China. It is also referred to as the Mooncake Festival or Lantern Festival. It is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar. It is a date that parallels the autumnal equinox of the solar calendar, when the moon is the brightest and the highest in the sky. This year, it falls on September 12, 2011.

中国の中秋節(繁体字:中秋節、簡体字:中秋节、併音Zhōngqiūjié、ベトナム語:Tết Trung Thu)は、中国とベトナムの人々によるもっとも人気のある収穫祭です。中国では1年のうちでもっとも大きな祝日の一つで、月餅と提灯の祭りともいわれています。中国の暦で8月15日、新暦の9月か10月の始めに催されます。これは太陽暦の秋分の日に相当し、月が夜空に最も高く明るく輝きます。今年2011年は9月12日にあたります。

This celebration is one of the oldest holidays in the world, dating back to 3, 000 years. Early celebrations include worship of the moon as a god. Farmers celebrate the end of the fall harvesting season on this date. Traditionally on this day, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat moon cakes and pomelos under the moon together. Today, the Chinese Moon Festival is celebrated as a national holiday in China and other Asian countries. People take the day off from work. They view the moon, cook and enjoy with family and friends.


Accompanying the celebration, there are additional cultural or regional customs, such as:
carrying brightly lit lanterns, lighting lanterns on towers, floating sky lanterns
burning incense in reverence to deities including Chang'e (Chinese: 嫦娥; pinyin: Cháng'é)


Erect the Mid-Autumn Festival.(树中秋,竖中秋,in China,树 and 竖 are homophones)It is not about planting trees but hanging lanterns on the bamboo pole and putting them on a high point, such as roofs, trees, terraces, etc. It is a custom in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, etc. collecting dandelion leaves and distributing them evenly among family members, fire dragon dances.
In Taiwan, since the 1980s, barbecuing meat outdoors has become a widespread way to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.


Making, giving, and eating mooncakes is a tradition on this day.





This is the end of the line for you, pilgrim


Sc = Scott  J = Jeremy

Scott is making a long distance call to one of his overseas

Sc: Hey Jeremy
J: Hi Scott. How are things over there? The word on the
  street is that they’re going to fire up one of the
nuclear plants in Hokkaido.
Sc: Really? I hadn’t heard about that. I’ve been a little
preoccupied with other things to worry about keeping up
on the gossip.
J: Yeah that’s right. I heard you and your girlfriend cut
Sc: Sort of. We’re going through a rough patch right now,
and things are a bit…
J: Unstable?
Sc: Not really unstable per say, but definitely edging closer.
J: That’s a crying shame. Any plans to rectify the situation?
Sc: We’re going to try and hash a few things out.
J: I’m glad to hear that.
Sc: One could say it’s a last ditch effort to reinforce a few
weak points before our relationship goes to shambles and
we’re left picking up the pieces.
J: Well, if she throws you away again she’ll get what’s
coming to her.
Sc: Perhaps, but I think hell will freeze over before she
gives up hunting for other cute guys, so we’re bound to
have more troubles.
J: I hope not. You two make a cute couple. Just make sure
you don’t have babies that glow in the dark.
(Scott laughs)
Sc: Thank you, although it would make it easier to find them
in a crowd.
(Jeremy also laughs)
J: Too true.
Sc: Well, I gotta count sheep.
J: Yeah, I’m off to the grindstone myself.


★The word on the street is __: 噂によれば~だ
★fire up - 稼働させる、始動させる
★preoccupied - 頭がいっぱいで
★gossip - 噂、陰口
★cut ties - 縁を切る
★unstable - 不安定な
★per say - 正確な意味においては
★edging closer - 近づいている
★It’s a crying shame. - 非常に残念だ。
★rectify - 修正する、正す
★hash (something) out - とことん話し合って解決する
★last ditch effort - 最後(土壇場)の努力
★goes to shambles - 修羅場になる
★pick up the pieces - 困難な事態を修復する、収拾する
★__’ll get what’s coming. - 自業自得だ、当然の報いを受ける
★hell freeze over. - when hell freezes over で決して起こらない
★hunting - 探求する、探す
★bound - be bound to~で、~しなければならない、~する運命にある
★glow in the dark - 暗闇で光る
★too true - いかにも
★count sheep - 羊を数える、眠ろうと努める


Sc = スコット  J = ジェレミー


Sc: やあジェレミー。
J: ハイ、スコット。そっちはどうだい? 噂では北海道の原子炉
Sc: 本当に? それは聞いてなかったな。他のことで頭がいっぱい
J: ああ、そうだね。君が彼女と別れたって聞いたよ。
Sc: まあね。今ちょうど難しいところで、事態はちょっと...
J: 不安定?
Sc: 正確には不安定っていうわけではないけど、まあ確実にそれに
J: そりゃ残念だな。なにか状況を改善する策は?
Sc: なんとかしようと、今とことん話し合ってるところだよ。
J: それをきいて嬉しいよ。
Sc: よく言うだろ、関係が修羅場を迎える前の数ある欠点を補強
J: ああ、もし彼女がまたきみを捨てたら、当然の報いを受けるだ
Sc: たぶんね、でも彼女がほかの男の子たちを誘うのを諦めること
J: そうならないことを願うよ。きみたちお似合いのカップルだ
Sc: ありがとう。でも人ごみの中から見つけるのは簡単だろうけどね。
J: いかにも。
Sc: じゃあ、僕はもう寝るとするよ。
J: うん、僕はこれから身を粉にして働かなきゃ。



Kua 'Aina


Do you like to eat hamburgers? I do!
Do you like fries to go with it? I think fries and burgers are like your cream and coffee; they always go well together.
Have you tried avocado on your burger? I have!

Nicoleの”英語で楽しい情報をどうぞ!”-Avocado burger

When I went to Kamakura, I had lunch at Kua ‘Aina in Kamakura.
The burger patty was very moist and I adore their fries.
It was my first time to eat a hamburger with avocado.
Surprisingly, it suited my palate.




The Luckiest Birthday Girl


E: Emery Y : Yoko S: Shoko

It’s Yoko’s birthday. A birthday song was sung for her
and in return Yoko thanked the singers. Emery, Yoko and
Shoko settled in to enjoy the cake.

S: I wonder what you wished for.
E: Don't say it Yoko, keep the cards close to your chest.
Y: By the way, I have an announcement to make. (almost
bounced at her feet).
S: I always get gingered up with any good news.
Y: I will travel abroad to present my research paper.
S: That's a big news! Where and when?
Y: To America three months from now. I should burn the
midnight oil starting next week to work on my presentation
in English. My professor will be the proofreader.
E: Must be easy for you since you knew the ins and outs of
your research.
Y: Yeah, but this will be my first time. My biggest hurdles
will be the question and answer part and the cocktail
party (feeling a bit down).
E: Do not be apprehensive. Just remember the two P's and
one R. Prepare, Practice and Relax. Take charge of the
first P and the R. Then, I will help you out with the
second P.
Y: (Eyes widened and beaming). Really?
S: I am gonna cheer for you Yoko. Do not forget to share
your experience plus the souvenir. (the last comment
is just to tease Yoko).
Y: (Almost in tears). Two P's and one R plus words of
encouragement! I am the luckiest birthday girl in the


★luckiest - もっとも幸運な
★settled in - に納まる、落ち着く
★keep the cards to your chest - 秘密にしておく
★announcement - お知らせ
★bounced at her feet - ぱっと立ちあがる
★gingered up - 活気づける
★research paper - 研究論文
★burn the midnight oil - 夜遅くまで働く(勉強する)
★proofreader - 校正者
★ins and outs - 裏と表、内実と表面
★hurdle - ハードル、障害
★cocktail party - カクテルパーティー
★apprehensive - 危惧している、気にかける
★take charge - 世話をする、責任を負う
★help someone out - (困っている)人を助ける
★beaming - 輝いて、晴れやかな
★words of encouragement - 励ましの言葉


E: エメリー Y : ヨウコ S: ショウコ


S: ヨウコは何をお願いしたのかしら。
E: ヨウコ、言っちゃだめよ、秘密にしておいて。
Y: ところで、お知らせがあるの。(ぱっと立ちあがらんばかりに)
S: いいニュースを聞くといつでも元気になるわ。
Y: 論文発表のために、海外へ行くことになったの。
S: すごいニュースじゃない! いつ、どこへ?
Y: 3ヶ月後にアメリカへ。英語でのプレゼンのために来週から夜
E: 研究の内実をよく知ってるんだから、あなたにとってはたやす
Y: ええ、でも私にとってこんなこと初めてだから。最大の難関は
E: 心配しないで。2つのPと1つのRを覚えておいて。プリペア
S: あなたを応援するわよ、ヨウコ。体験してきたことを教えるの



August: La Tomatina


La Tomatina is a food fight festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Buñol, near to Valencia in Spain. Thousands upon thousands of people make their way from all corners of the world to throw tomatoes at each other in this 'World's Biggest Food Fight' where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets.

The week-long festival features music, parades, dancing, and fireworks. On the night before the tomato fight, participants of the festival compete in a paella cooking contest.

Anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 people come to this huge tomato fight, greatly expanding Bunol's normal 9,000 person population. There is limited accommodation for people who come to La Tomatina, so many people take the easier option of staying in nearby Valencia just 38km to Bunol by bus or train. In preparation for the dirty mess that will ensue, shopkeepers use huge plastic covers on their storefronts in order to protect them from the carnage.







Big Shoes To FIll


According to Heraclitus, change is the only thing that endures.
We cannot prevent it from happening.
All we can do is to accept it and adapt.
If we choose not to, we will be left behind or left out.

Last week, big changes shook the world.
First, Apple's iconic CEO, Steve Jobs announced his resignation.
Upon hearing this news, a lot of his followers were saddened.
The other news was Japan's Prime Minister Kan's decision to step down.
After being severely criticized for his administration's handling of the Tohoku earthquake, former PM Kan has long been nudged to resign from his post.
His announcement last Friday garnered mixed emotions from the public both in Japan and overseas.

Both newsmakers will soon be replaced by their successors.
For Apple it will be Tim Cook and for Japan, it will probably be Mr. Yoshihiko Noda.
The two gentlemen will be scrutinized severely in their first few days.
In addition, the public will expect a lot from both so they have to deliver.
They both have their work cut out for them... and they both have big shoes to fill.
I wish them luck in their respective fields.



The Magic of Deception


People lie everyday.
The gravity of the deception might differ but basically it's still a lie.

A friend of mine was not in perfect health last weekend.
When I called yesterday to check up on this friend, she said she is A-okay.
However, I learned this morning that she still has fever and is still resting in her home.
I took no offense that my friend told a white lie.
Probably, she just didn't want me to worry about her.

We lie for different reasons as well.
We say we are fine even thought we are not, so that people will not worry about us.
Some of us say we are on our way, but in reality we haven't even began the journey.

In this short video, you will see how a man and three iPods explain deception and lies through magic.
Please watch this TED talk offering by Mr. Marco Tempest.

So the type of magic I like, and I'm a magician, is a magic that uses technology to create illusions. So I would like to show you something I've been working on. It's an application that I think will be useful for artists -- multimedia artists in particular. It synchronizes videos across multiple screens of mobile devices. And I borrowed these three iPods from people here in the audience to show you what I mean. And I'm going to use them to tell you a little bit about my favorite subject: deception.


One of my favorite magicians is Karl Germain. He had this wonderful trick where a rosebush would bloom right in front of your eyes. But it was his production of a butterfly that was the most beautiful.

(Recording) Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, the creation of life.



Marco Tempest: When asked about deception, he said this:

Announcer: Magic is the only honest profession. A magician promises to deceive you -- and he does.

MT: I like to think of myself as an honest magician. I use a lot of tricks, which means that sometimes I have to lie to you. Now I feel bad about that. But people lie every day.

(Ringing) Hold on.

Girl in Phone: Hey, where are you?

MT: Stuck in traffic. I'll be there soon. You've all done it.


Lady: I'll be ready in just a minute, darling.

Man: It's just what I've always wanted.

Woman: You look great.

MT: Deception, it's a fundamental part of life. Now polls show that men tell twice as many lies as women -- assuming the women they ask told the truth.


We deceive to gain advantage and to hide our weaknesses. The Chinese general Sun Tzu said that all war was based on deception. Oscar Wilde said the same thing of romance.

Some people deceive for money. Let's play a game. Three cards, three chances.

Announcer: One five will get you 10, 10 will get you 20. Now where's the lady? Where is the queen?

MT: This one? Sorry. You lose. Well, I didn't deceive you. You deceived yourself. Self-deception. That's when we convince ourselves that a lie is the truth. Sometimes it's hard to tell the two apart. Compulsive gamblers are experts at self-deception. (Slot machine noise) They believe they can win. They forget the times they lose.

The brain is very good at forgetting. Bad experiences are quickly forgotten. Bad experiences quickly disappear. Which is why in this vast and lonely cosmos, we are so wonderfully optimistic. Our self-deception becomes a positive illusion -- why movies are able to take us onto extraordinary adventures; why we believe Romeo when he says he loves Juliet; and why single notes of music, when played together, become a sonata and conjure up meaning.

That's "Clair de Lune." Its composer called Debussy said that art was the greatest deception of all. Art is a deception that creates real emotions -- a lie that creates a truth. And when you give yourself over to that deception, it becomes magic.


Thank you. Thank you very much.






Exotic coffee lover


During the free-style lesson…

T: Tre K: Katz

T: Alright Katz, I’m all ears to listen to your
free-style lesson topic.
K: To begin with, I am a HUGE coffee fan! I love coffee
and I consume three cups on a regular day.
T: Wow! That’s a tremendous amount of caffeine to perk
up your day.
K: I couldn’t agree more… my day is not complete without
T: So, do you have a preferred type of coffee preparation?
I assume you are a coffee connoisseur.
K: Nothing in particular. I prefer pure black coffee,
without any milk, cream or sugar. I’m not particular
about the preparation. I’m more concerned with the
kind, aroma and quality of coffee beans. I have tried
Arabica and Robusta coffee beans processed in various
ways. But there is a particular coffee that I wanted
to give a try…
T: Hmm… probably that coffee is uniquely processed and
quite rare in the market.
K: Exactly! Exotic as you call it and coffee growers
could hardly mass produce it.
T: Surely that coffee has a NAME…
K: Have you heard of the "Kopi Luwak or Civet/Weasel
T: The word "civet" rings a bell - it means the Asian
Palm Civet or "Musang/Alamid" in the Filipino language.
  By the way, what’s the lowdown on civet coffee
K: Civets can eat selectively and process single handedly
pulped coffee berries that have the right maturity.
In its stomach, proteolytic enzymes seep into the beans
thereby altering their chemical components. The coffee
beans are then channeled through the intestines and
finally defecated keeping the shape of the coffee beans
minus the pulp.
Farmers collect the defecated beans and undergo series
of thorough washing, sun drying, light roasting and
brewing to yield an aromatic coffee with significantly
reduced bitterness.
T: Wow! The civets are just like "bio-factories" …
that' s out of the ordinary coffee processing!
K: Indeed… due to its bizarre and labor-intensive processing,
this coffee commands a premium price especially the
Vietnamese Weasel Coffee at $6,600 per kilogram!
T: Well, I will just stick to a healthy and affordable green
K: If I have a chance, I will surely try a cup for its
heavenly taste!


★exotic - 異国風の、風変わりな
★all ears - (be~)一心に耳を傾ける、熱心に傾聴する
★tremendous - 途方もなく大きい、とてつもない
★perk up - 元気づける、~を引き立たせる
★connoisseur - 目の肥えた人、玄人、通
★aroma - 匂い、香り
★mass produce - 大量生産
★rings a bell - ピンとくる
★single handedly - 自力で、人の手を借りずに
★lowdown - 秘密情報、内実
★proteolytic enzymes - タンパク質分解酵素
★seep - 浸透する、染み込む
★altering - 変える
★chemical components - 化学成分
★channelled - 導かれた、もたらされた
★defecated - 排便された
★aromatic coffee - 香りのある(芳醇な)コーヒー
★significantly reduced - 著しく低下した、大幅に削減された
★bio-factories = bio + factories - 生命工場
★out of the ordinary - 並外れた、常軌を逸した
★bizarre - 奇妙な、風変りな、とっぴな
★labor-intensive processing - 労働集約的過程
★premium price - 割増料金
★heavenly taste - 極上の味



T: トレ K: カズ

T: じゃカズ、きみのフリースタイルレッスンのトピックを聞く
K: まず最初に、僕は大のコーヒー好きなんだ! コーヒーが
T: ワオ!1日を活気づけるにはものすごい量のカフェインだね。
K: 全くその通り... それなしでは僕の1日は完成しないからね。
T: それで、好きなコーヒーの入れ方はあるのかい? 君はコーヒ
K: 特にはないよ。でもブラックが好きだな、ミルクもクリーム

T: ふーん。きっとそのコーヒーは独自加工で市場ではとても珍し
K: その通り!珍しいといわれているように、コーヒー豆を栽培
T: そのコーヒーの名は間違いなく...
K: コピ・ルアク、あるいはジャコウネコまたはイタチコーヒー
K: シベットは、適度に成熟したコーヒーの実を選んで食べて、
T: すごい!シベットって「生物工場」みたいだね。...普通の
K: まさしく... この風変りで労働集約的な過程のおかげで、特に
T: 僕はヘルシーで手頃な値段の緑茶でいいや。
K: 機会があれば、絶対その極上の味を試してみたいね!



使える英会話表現がいっぱい。DCECメルマガダイアルグ  "The Big Search"


N - Nicole M - Mari A - Ami

N: Hi guys! (greeted her learners)
M: Geesh, Nicole! You're nicely made-up today.
What's the occasion?
A: Yeah, I think this is the first time I've seen you
in this style.
I like the smoky effect on your eyelids.
N: Miraculously, I woke up early so I experimented with
some new stuff.
M: (leaned over to get a closer look) And you're
wearing mascara too!
N: (blushed profusely) Okay, enough about me.
A: Is there something you aren't telling us?
N: Nothing. It's just that my friend came for a visit
and she brought all the stuff for me as a birthday
M: I wish I had a friend like that too.
A: Does she work for a cosmetic company?
N: Well, you can say that.
One of their subsidiary companies is in that industry.
A: I see. So what goodies did she bring you?
N: Let's see... (enumerated the things she recalled)
She brought a lot of mascara... eye shadow...
eyeliner... anti-frizz mousse... perfume...
vanilla-scented lotion... etc.
M: Wow! Now you can open your own cosmetic shop.
Now, all you have to do is buy some clothes and you're
ready for your big day.
N: Ummm...
A: Don't tell she gave you clothes as well?!
N: Not really. Three of my friends and I had a date
yesterday and we splurged a little.
M: A little? (raised her right eyebrow at Nicole)
A: Define a little. (challenged her governess)
N: Just a pair of jeans and some strappy sandals.
A: You should have bought a top to complete the outfit.
N: That was already in my mind but something stopped me.
M: Was it a what or a who? (quizzed Nicole)
N: I just realized I could still go to another mall this
week to search for that perfect top.
A/M: Ha ha ha! We won't stop you then.


★made-up - メイクした、仕上がった
★occasion - 大事な行事
★smoky - かすんだ、煙のような
★miraculously - 奇跡的に
★experiment - 実験
★stuff - もの
★lean over - ~に身を乗り出す
★get a closer look - 近くで見る
★cosmetic company - 化粧品会社
★subsidiary company - 子会社
★industry - 産業
★goodies - おいしいもの、ちょっとしたおまけのもの
★enumerate - 数え上げる、列挙する
★recall - 思い出す
★anti-frizz mousse - 縮れ毛直し整髪料
★-scented - ~の香りの、匂いがする
★big day - 大事な日、記念すべき日
★splurged - 散財する、ぜいたくをする
★define - 定義する
★strappy - ストラップのついた
★quizzed - 質問する


N - ニコル M - マリ A - アミ

N: ハイ、みんな!(生徒にあいさつする)
M: うわあ、ニコル! 今日はきれいにお化粧してるね。
A: ほんと、そのスタイルを見るのは初めてだと思うわ。その
N: 奇跡的なことに早く起きたから、新しいものを試してみたの。
A: 言ってないことがなにかあるんじゃない?
N: ないわよ。友だちが訪ねてきて、誕生日プレゼントとして
M: 私にもそんな友だちがいたらなー。
A: 化粧品会社で働いてるの?
N: まあ、そうともいえるわね。子会社のうちの一つがその産業
A: なるほどね、それでどんないいものを持ってきてくれたの?
N: ええとね...(思い出して数え上げる)たくさんのマスカラ...
M: すごい! 自分で化粧品店を開けるわね。あとは服を買って、
N: うーん...
A: まさか服までくれたの?!
N: そうではないんだけどね。昨日友だち3人と私で出かけて
M: ちょっと?(ニコルに向けて右眉を上げ)
A: 少しの意味を説明して。(ガヴァネスに食いつく)
N: ジーンズ1着とストラップの付いたサンダルよ。
A: トップスも買って、服装一式そろえればよかったのに。
N: それ考えたんだけど、なにかが止めたの。
M: なにかって何、または誰?(ニコルに聞き)
N: ピッタリのトップスを探しに、今週他のショッピングモール
A/M: ははは! どうぞどうぞ、それなら止めないわ。



Ways to cool down this summer


It’s so freaking hot!
Every time I go out of my house, I would like to go back in and stay in my air-conditioned room.

Last Monday night, I had a terrible headache.
I felt so weak and really couldn’t hold myself up well, thus I decided to go home early.
The symptoms I had were very similar to a heatstroke, I was told.
Though, I am not really sure if it was.

So, please stay out of the sun as much as possible.
Hydrate yourself all the time.
Also, you could check out some of these methods a colleague suggested:

Cool gadgets
nicole cool pillow

nicole UV

nicole hankie

Cool food
nicole kakigori

nicole soumen

If all else fails, then you could just do this…

nicole soumen