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