Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Holiday brain food

I came across this interesting article in the Guardian today and thought my keen students would be interested in checking out some new vocabulary. Follow this link to find out what snollygoster means.

Then there's the challenge to remember what happened in 2009! Try this.
Too hard/too easy? Try an interactive quiz from the BBC.

OK, so you think you know a few things about sport? Beat my score (12) if you can, here.

Remember, you are supposed to be cleaning the house or tidying something up, so this is called 'doing your English homework' - you need a cup of tea or coffee to help you concentrate...Enjoy!
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Saturday, 26 December 2009

Boxing Day

So, what is it all about then, "Boxing Day"?

The original logo of The Premier League (1992–...Image via Wikipedia

Personally, it's about picking up the pieces after a hectic Christmas Day - wrapping paper still everywhere; trying to find batteries that fit; there's the smell of Turkey soup in the air, simmering all morning and munching on tasty left overs/turkey sandwiches; finding time to edit some pictures from the previous day, and catching family on Skype if we couldn't during yesterday's mayhem. We also need to go for a walk, and get some fresh air to blow away the cobwebs!

Later tonight it'll be about trying to catch some football from the Premier league as the kids sleep, and maybe sneak a peak at the Boxing Day Test Matches (in Australia & South Africa) online.

What else do people traditionally do on Boxing Day (besides freezing in a queue for the Sales to open)? Well, in Britain they get up to some fairly daft activities - check a few out here.

Hope you all had a super Christmas - Santa found you & didn't get stuck in the chimney etc? Enjoy Boxing Day just as much!
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Thursday, 24 December 2009

A Town Like Alice

This is a story of Jean, a prisoner lady, who was caught by Japanese army in World War II. She and other prisoner ladies and children are forced to march for long long distance in hard environment of Malaya. They were starved and Many ladies and some children dead of disease like malaria. However Jean endured and lead the group to live. At last War was over and she lived in piece and became rich in her home country England, but she went back to Malaya...

This is so impressive story. I recommend this for everyone who loves piece and hate the war. In this story, Japanese is hateful nation. It was true in the war. We all Japanese must realize it again. This story gives us a chance to do it.

Points for understanding 15

1 Why did Jane decide to go to Australia?
Because she wanted to see if Joe Harman was all right. Australia was his
home country.

2 What did Jean learn from the nurse in Kuantan?

She learned from her about Joe. He was well and sent to Singapole.

3 Jean began to think that she would like to live in Alice Springs. Why?

Because Alice was Joe's home town and comfortable to live.

4 Jean had a big disappointment in Midhurst. What was it?
There was a dull place to live.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Late announcement - OE Training

Last minute announcement before the school closes for the holiday. There will be a training and co-ordination session for new Cambridge ESOL Oral Examiners at KET & PET level in Nagoya, over the Jan 30-1 weekend.

Anyone interested in attending should contact Jim directly asap for details, minimum requirements, pre-training & enrollment.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Brave Heart

Writing #33
How much do you know about Scotland? What is the capital city? What are the top football teams? What is the highest mountain?
Find out some facts. Write questions. Test your friends.

I don't know so much about Scotland. I only know that Scotland is in Great Britain Island. So I studied about Scotland with internet.

# The capital city of Scotland is Edinburgh that is the second city of Scotland. The national flag is the St.Andrew's Cross, and the national emblem is a lion rampant.
The national flag:

The national emblem:

# The population is about five millions, and the language are English or Scottish Gaelic. The weather of Scotland is comfortable, because of a flow of the ocean and the westerlies, winter isn't very cold, summer isn't very hot.
# The highest mountain is Mt.Ben Nevis. It's altitude is 1,343 meters and it is in the Grampian Mountains.
# The top football teams are Celtic Football Club and Rangers Football Club. These teams belong to the Scottish Premier League.
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Sunday, 20 December 2009

“A” is for Alibi

This is first time for me to read Sue Grafton’s detective story. I like her story, because it was unpredictable and exciting. I couldn’t find the real culprit until the end of the story.

What’s interesting is that she is going to write Kinsey Millhone series with one for each letter of the alphabet. “A” is for Alibi was published in 1982, “B” is for Burglar in 1985, “C” is for Corpse in 1986 and so on. In 2009, this year, she have published “U” is for Undertow. Definitely, she’ll write remaining five stories, “V” to “Z” in the future.

Why don’t you click here to know her and her stories?

Points for Understanding

Q14: Kinsey looks at John Power’s black Lincoln car. One headlight and part of the fender were broken. What does this tell Kinsey about the death of Gwen Fife?

A14: Yes, it means John Power has killed Gwen Fife by his car to protect his alibi.


The Darling Buds of May

Imagine that you are Mr Charlton. Write your letter to the tax office. Explain why you can't go to work. Don't give the real reasons!
Dear my boss,
I'm sorry that I have been absent from the tax office, because I had a big trouble.
Last Friday, I went to Mr. Larkin's house to get tax from him. On the way the tax office from his house, I was caught by a robbery.The robbery had put me under house arrest for several days.
I'm getting away now and posted this letter. but I will be caught by the robbery soon.
Please don't search me. If you found me, you would be dangerous too.
By the way, I checked that Larkin's family doesn't earn money. Therefore, you don't need to visit Mr. Larkin's house again.
written by Yoichi

Dangerou Game

Writing 26
Julie was your best friend. She wrote to you just before her death. What dis she say? Was she well? Was she happy? What did she say about William? Write her letter.
xxx street 1234
10 February

Hi Yuji,

How are you? I haven't met you long time. Everyone (include you) believe that I'm very ill. Maybe, William said to everyone. I'm not ill.
A few months ago, I was very happy. I went to dance party every weekend. I enjoyed dancing and chatting with my friends.
Recently William said to me, 'Don't go dance party. Don't go outside alone.'. I guess that he was jealous of my friends.
He is kind to me, of course I know that he loves me. I love him, too.
I want to go to the dance party. I want to chat with my friends. Please write to me about New Year dance party. I'm looking forward to hear about my friends Claire, Emma and others.

Best wishes

PS.I made my new dress, but I haven't worn it yet.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

King Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table

I’ve read this story when I was a child. Now that I almost don’t remember the story, I enjoyed it. I found the story has not only adventures, battles but also love, romance, unfaithfulness and so on. When I was a child, maybe I couldn’t understand all of the stories.

Sir Gawain and the Green KnightImage by litmuse via Flickr

My favorite story is chapter 6, ‘The Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’. One day, a green knight came to Camelot and said ‘Cut my head by my axe and then I cut your head.’ If you hear it, it might sound awful or strange, but Sir Gawain tried to cut the green knight’s head. After the green knight’s head rolled onto the floor, surprisingly the green knight was not dead! Then he picked up his head and held it by the hair. Next turn, Gawain should be cut his head by the green knight. He had to made a long journey to a castle where the green knight lived in order to die, but he didn’t escape from deadly event. I found it knighthood like Bushido. (I will stop explaining this continuation because I don’t want to disturb someone who didn’t read it.)

I like adventure like this. For example, ‘The load of the ring’, I became to want to see the movie. I think the final battle between Arthur and Mordred would be very exciting if I watch it on a movie. I also want to see exciting scene which Morgana changed her figure to dragon. I searched the movie on the web site and I found some. I want to watch it some day.

Posted for Masao K.
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Thursday, 17 December 2009


本日、Nagat WAON様のご厚意により、明日(12月18日(金))松本文化会館で行われる、爆笑スペシャルライブのチケットをいただきました!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Unquiet Graves

Four children go across the past time and the present time to help a poor phantom airman. They are brave and cooperative. If I was Regan, I couldn't do same as her. I'm too scary to talke to a phantom.

Many mysterious things happended through this story, but at the end, these are all clear and you can understand everything.

The four children had mysterious experience in Unquiet Grave story, too. I think they have a sense of recalling dead people from their sleep. I prefer this story to Unquiet Grave because the four children cooperated each other to understand Glen's message.

Unquiet Grave
I think many sad stories like this are sleeping under the ground in every graveyard, and many people who had dead wanted to say their wishes. Franki happened to hear the voice because she found a half of coin. Althogh many horrible things happened to her and her friends, Frankie did right thing. Thanks for her, a sad couple could gain their happiness.

Many mysterious things happened in this story, but at the end, these are all clear except one thing. It's the meaning of the picture, a wolf with a small boy, which was carved in the stone above the doors. If you underatand or know this meaning, please let me know.

Posted for Tomoko

Posting number 1000

Just a little incentive for contributors - in just over two years, you have made 970 individual postings to our blog. THANK YOU !!! Whoever posts the 1,000th will be celebrating (New Year) with a nice bottle of red wine from me.

So, get your pencils sharpened and blog away!


Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Last of mohicans

Q6 is interesting question.

If I will make the Japanese film about 'Last of mohicans'.
I think make the "YAKUZA story".
Those compositions similar very well,because small organization implicated in unified struggle of large organization. And, scrambling for the woman is also the same.Location is Tokyo in postwar Japan.Music is Ryuichi Sakamoto. His sound is the tension, and is magnificent.

Japanese actors is as follows.

Hawk-eye is "Etsushi Toyokawa",His masterpiece is "New Battles Without Honor and Humanity".He is typical of the serious character at Japan,and performed the powerful man by "21th Century Boy"

Magua is very important character,because he has relationship with all happening. So difficult.

I think choose to" Tatuya Fujiwara".His masterpiece is "BATTLE ROYALE".

Chingachgook is "Bunta Sugawara", He performs in a quietly refined way.

Cora is"Koyuki",She is beautiful and strong feeling.

About Uncas and Alice,I will choose the popular young actors at that time.

And,Tamenund is"Hisaya Morishige".But he recently dead.

What do you think this direction?


Monday, 14 December 2009

The Perfect Storm

This is a true story. I re-realized "The leader should behave carefully on carefulness" by reading this story. The captain of the Andrea Gail rushed into the storm because he had a ploblwm with ice machine and he had to get back to Gloucester as quickly as possible.
The captain of the Sayori didn't throw away the ship though his ship was too small to withstand storm, and he jeopardized his crew.
The leader should know that his decision dominates the life of his related people. After the storm, a lot of crew families see and feel the ghost. I think the crew could't help saying something to tell their falimies.
How do they feel now about that sail?
Question. 11. What has happened to the Terri Lei? Make a guess.
Answer: There are the ghosts of men who died at sea around the Terri Lei. I think that they caused the surge, and draged Terri Lei to the sea. Because Adam Randall was a marked man.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

The Picture of Dorian Gray

I read The Picture of Dorian Gray. This is very strange story.
Basil painted Dorian's portrait. This was a very fine portrait. Then he had feared that he get older so he wished the portrait get older instead of him and his wish came true.
Dorian have never get older. he had been evil more. he had killed another man and he had beat up another person. He had been young ever but his portrait had became older and eviler.
At last, he had broken his portrait and he had became old and evil. I thought that he have get tried himself. If I were him, I couldn't bear up because my friend will become older but I never become older. I don't think I want to be young forever.

Massive deja - vu: Akihabara station

I had one of those "hair prickling on the back of my neck" moments this evening, walking along the platform in Akihabara station towards the Sobu line for Shinjuku. It really was a "wow, I have done this before" feeling. Unlike deja-vu, I can actually remember when I did this before: exactly twenty (yes, 20) years ago.

Akihabara, Chiyoda-ku, TokyoImage via Wikipedia

Do you want to know something that makes it extremely weird? I was wearing the same jacket (rarely worn since) that I bought for interviews - always wore back then as my 'teacher uniform' because I didn't actually know how to teach but figured I needed to look the part. Yes, the jacket is a bit tighter now than it used to be...maybe I should wear it more often?

I used to grab a bowl of noodles on the opposite platform after my last class, once a week, teaching Phillipina hostesses on cultural visaes, just around the corner on Showa dori. I didn't have to speak to get food - it was one of those vending machine jobs outside; coins in, ticket out, noodles on counter. Just enough time to wolf that down, before making the last train 'home', all the way around Tokyo Bay Kemigawahama (nr Makuhari) in China, with the drunks and the porno manga reading losers.

Strewth. 20 years? Same clothes. That says a lot doesn't it?! My last trip to Akihabara then had been to buy a 'ghetto blaster', before I escaped the crap job, crap money, crap flat-mates, crap lifestyle to get "gaijinned" constantly in Suzaka. Consolation prize there was discovering a beer machine outside my apartment; drawback was the Arctic blast delivered from the long-drop khazi in a very cold winter, and the even colder flatmate Barbara I had to pretend I didn't hate. God, she was a miserable cow!

Absolutely twenty years ago, pretty much to the weekend. Thanks Dad, for lending me the cash to survive that first week in Tokyo - bought that jacket down the side of tracks in the famous markets beside Ueno station. Serious decision then was "food or clothes?" - so, again, nothing new!
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Thursday, 10 December 2009


☆★☆★ クリスマスパーティのご案内 ☆★☆★




会場  ルナインターナショナル 松本教室
日時  12月23日(水) 14:00~16:00
持ち物 500円相当のプレゼント(プレゼント交換用)
会費  一人1,000円 (写真CD-Rは別途 500円)






Today is Thursday - must be CPE

This is my third day invigilating and supervising Cambridge ESOL exams in Tokyo. Once again we are grateful for the facilities available to us at ILC.

The Old Speckled Hen logoImage via Wikipedia

On Tuesday I was curious to realise that all the FCE candidates were very careful drivers - all had gold licences! I was trying to figure out how old everyone was, but I still get confused on Showa & Heisei years. Don't you? I was not at all impressed when the nationalist nutters started blaring their 'patriotic' music & insults at the Prime Minister and the's rude to shout, especially when some people have got better things to do, like taking a serious examination. I the evening, I had a nice meal with an old colleague in a Turkish restaurant. I think the Raki was a bit strong, but the food was great!

Wednesday is CAE day, and I recognised several candidates from last year. We had a chat after their written papers had finished to figure out if they were optimistic about passing this time. Obviously, I can't comment, but it is a nice way to warm up and get in the mood for the speaking test - not easy if you have been silently concentrating, reading and writing all day.
One candidate had travelled all the way from Okayama to sit the exam. That's dedication! I had an interesting evening banging heads on the low ceiling of a Spanish restaurant with my hard-working examiners. Fantastic spare ribs and cold cerveza.

So Thursday is CPE day - the really really creme de la creme of English examinations! I take my hat off to anyone attempting this level, and suggest a lot of native speakers would not pass. How many people actually write with paper and pen much these days? The writing paper alone have candidates scribbling like fury for two whole hours. Once our admin is all taken care of, I hope to test the Wychwood ales in the Hobgoblin locally, and maybe an Old Speckled Hen or two as well. No, I shan't be on my own. Meeting up with another old friend of mine to chat about IT solutions for Web 2.0 learning. I really hope he doesn't buy any Tequila!

I wonder if my regular students missed me this week? Thanks Magnus & Jai for covering.

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Monday, 7 December 2009

Grey Owl

Writing #29: Describe an animal or a beautiful area that is in danger in your country. What is the problem? Is there a way of saving it?

We can know the animals in danger in Japan by reading RED DATA BOOK that is published by Ministry of the Environment. We can read that in below URL.

The reason of danger is almost development and overhunting. A golden eagle that is one of animals in danger is damaged by the development. For example, a development of ski resort will cut a lot of trees that golden eagle needs. A otter is in danger too, because people have done overhunting. A otter's fur is very beautiful.

To save these animals, when we develop something, we should research animal's life enough. And we have to follow the rule, study the danger of animal's.
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Matilda is a little girl at the age of 5 who has an extraordinary intelligence and an amazing ability.

(There is a hint of her ability on the image of cover, can you find?)

The point I was interested in weren't only her amazing ability ,but also her character.

In fact, her situation isn't good.

Her parents aren't interested in her, they don't give her any books ,her school's principal is almost enemy among the students and she(principle) hates her.

Regardless of such a situation, she is very sensible and kind to her friend and her homeroom teacher too.

This is my opinion,I think such kind of ability doesn't effect on her mind good influent.

For example she may use it for making a trouble...

In this story she just used it for helping her classmate and her homeroom teacher from their enemy principle.

(Although Matilda used the ability once to her parents who were doing bad business for preparation of the battle toward the principle..)

Anyway,her amazing ability is great and exciting, but I don't know it's necessary on this story.

Because at first, I imagined Matilda would fight to the principle using only her courage and intelligence

and I thought it would be good experience for her in her life.

I think her nice character gave me a stronger impression than her amazing ability.

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Sunday, 6 December 2009

A is for Alibi

"A is for Alibi"

Sue Grafton

This is a crime detection novel written by Sue Grafton. The main character of this novel is Kinsey Millhone, famale private detective.

I enjoyed this novel very much, because this main character is so attarctive for me.
Wise and active, good-looking (maybe). And the story has a lot of doubtful characters, I can't solve the murder case.
And I was in trouble to remember all of their name! But I recommend this novel (taking note of their name and character).

Points for understanding 2

1 They had been law pertners for seven years.
2 Gwen thought that there are so many people who hate Laurence.
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Bilingual - article in Sydney Morning Herald

Multicultural diet is great brain fodder
November 27, 2009
Pathways involved with language.

Pathways involved with language. Photo: Sydney Morning Herald

IT'S an excellent party trick: un, two, trois, four, cinq, six, sept … counting while switching languages. It has also been the subject of plenty of serious research in the past decade - how the bilingual brain stores multiple languages, and retrieves the information without confusing cross-talk.

Hundreds of hi-tech scanning experiments have located brain activity associated with language use. For example, bilinguals use larger and different areas of the brain when switching between languages, and different areas of the brain are activated depending on the age a second language is acquired.

Exactly how two or more languages are wired in the brain is not yet fully understood. But current brain research can answer many questions about the role of bilingualism in education - particularly for Australia's indigenous communities, which are among our most linguistically diverse.

Laura-Ann Petitto is a senior scientist in language, bilingualism and childhood development at the University of Toronto.

She directed a study that showed monolingual and bilingual people had similar brain activity in the classic language regions of the brain - the left Broca's area and the left prefrontal cortex (PFC) - when speaking in one language.

However, when bilinguals switched rapidly between two languages, brain activity increased in both the left and right Broca's area and the right PFC. "Bilinguals appear to engage more of the neural landscape available for language processing than monolinguals, which is a very good thing," says Professor Petitto.

It is good because the brain has an amazing ability to restructure itself according to experience and learning.

"One of the major benefits of learning a second language is the straight brain power, the cognitive power, that arises," says Sydney University's Brain & Mind Research Institute director, Ian Hickie. "You end up with better overall brain function as a consequence of the challenge of learning an additional language in those early preschool to primary school years."

Not only does brain power increase in bilinguals, but those who learn a second language at a younger age are more likely to have more advanced grey matter than those who learn later.

"Childhood is most suited to acquiring language, because there is an open system for learning in the brain," says Professor Hickie.

"When you are young, the brain is forming millions of new connections every minute of every day. How you organise information cognitively is quite different to later periods of development."

While earlier is better for language learning, can it detract from learning other things?

Key experiments in which people were required to learn an invented language revealed those who were bilingual mastered twice the number of words than the single language participants.

"All of the scientific evidence points to a bilingual advantage, rather then disadvantage," says Professor Matthew Finkbeiner, neurocognitive psychologist at the Institute for Human Cognition and Brain Sciences at Macquarie University. ''Learning a second language does not confuse children. This is an extremely unfortunate, albeit widely held, belief."

The Eye of the Tiger

Dear all,

Do you know this story?

Harry Fletcher was almost killed for valuable treasure.
why was he almost killed?

Chubby and Angelo have searched the treasure.
If Harry Fletcher refused this suggestion, he wouldn't be injured.

Because, silver and jewels,which was lying in the wreck of a ship which was sunk in a

The diamond was size of a chicken's egg.

At last He lost his friend Jimmy North.

By the way, this title is famous for a music.

While I read it ,I have been considering the same title of music.
and I will watch the movie of "Rocky" with this music.

by keiko

Saturday, 5 December 2009


This story is set in America. The main characters are Tom and Anastasia. Tom is an artist and
Anastasia is a movie star's daughter. One day they are kidnapped. There are three kidnappers and they took them to the woods. But Tom and Anastasia survived because the girl's bodyguard called the police. The police found them and they could catch the kidnappers. So it had a happy ending.

Thanks for reading.

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Friday, 4 December 2009


Attention bloggers - please check out this article and have some fun?

I would like all our blog writers (yes, you!) to update your profile with either
  • a picture of yourself
  • an avatar (computer animated 'version' of you)
As I guess most of you are shy, please have some fun making yourself an avatar. The article has lots of different website recommendations. Become a superhero, manga, lego, whatever.

Check it out!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


Which is your favourite story? Why? What did you like about the main character? If you made a film, who would you cast in it?

The best interested story is "THE GOLD BUG". It is because this story is most difficult to for me to guess the ending. I like mystery and horror, but almost all the story is easy to guess the ending. I also like happy end story. When I read successful ending story, I feel very good.
The most impressive character is Mr. William Legrand. He is a little mysterious but curious man. It is because I prefer him.


Monday, 30 November 2009

Silver Blaze & other stories

I like mystery story and I enjoyed reading this book. There were three stories in this book and all of them had a unexpected ending. Especially the third story " The six Napoleons" did. The speedy pace of change and unforeseen development pull me in to this story. In the last scene which shows how Holmes had solved the mystery, I had delightful surprise by his brilliant deduction.


Sunday, 29 November 2009

Rendezvous with Rama

This book is pure science fiction story. I enjoyed this better than the other which I read before this book, because I like to see science fiction movies and I've been interested in science.

This book was written by Arthur C. Clarke who is the most famous science fiction writers of the twentieth centuries. I think his most popular story is 2001: A Space Odyssey written in 1968. The story was written for a movie directed by Stanley Kubrick. I was impressed to see the movie when I was in high school. The movie has been one of my favorite movies even now. I think this story should become movie too. If it is possible, I would like to see the movie, Rendezvous with Rama, directed by Stanley Kubrick. But Arthur and Stanley were already dead. My hope is impossible.

I found a common point between Rendezvous with Rama and 2001: A Space Odyssey. A huge geometrical shape is used for the most important object in each story. A cylinder is used for the shape of big space ship called Rama in Rendezvous with Rama. Then a rectangular box is used for the shape of mysterious huge object called Monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. I think that these primitive geometrical shapes are effective in expressing mysteriousness and symbolizing wonder. The purposes of these huge objects aren't written actually.

Points for Understanding
3-1. 'The number three must be important to the Ramans,' Norton tells himself. What things, described in this chapter and in chapter two, have made him think this?
There were three upright cylinders standing on the ends of Rama. There were three airlocks into Rama. There were three ladders leading away from Hub, the centre of a wheel and the ladders are 120 degrees apart. There were three very long stairways lead on from the ladders, our towards the cylinder wall.

3-2. Norton and his crew have used flares to photograph the interior of Rama. They have photographed something that looks like an island in a sea. They have named this place New York. Why?
Because the shapes look like the buildings that people used to call skyscrapers in New York.

3-3. Doctor Perera says that Rama has been travelling for at least 200,000 years. How does he know this?
He know this from tracking path back through space and he know its speed.

Dangerous Game

Q)William says that he is not an interesting person. Do you agree? Why (not)?

Of course I agree that William is not an interesting person, because the story doesn't describe what he is interesting.
As he wrote, he doesn't go out muh, he doesn't dance, He hasn't got many friends. He has a talk with only 2 persons (his wife Julie and his old friend Louis). He is always jealous about Julie because she is very sociable type.
At last William killed Julie, but He was killed by Poldy (probably Julie's mind).
Anyway, I think he is not interesting but terrible.

The Perfect Storm

Before reading the book, I know what "The Perfect Storm" is and, I expected that it is exciting, buddy, cheesy and happy-end panic story. Like, fishermen were caught up in the storm and stood against the storm, and they eventually returned the their homeport Glouster. However, Contrary to my expectations, The fishing vessel Andrea Gail had been sunken and all crew member were dead.

After reading the book, I watch the film version of this story. It is peculiarly focused on the Andrea Gail more than the book. Geroge Clooney was performing the role of Billy who was Captain of the Andrea Gail. He performed well and advanced CG technology made the film exciting and alive. I can recommend the film as entertaining movie, however you should to read the book if you would like to know more. The book has more detail and it tells us more information linking The Perfect Storm.

Silver Blaze and Other Stories

This book is Sherlock Holmes's short collection.

I read Sherlock Holmes's stories when I was a child, but there is no story that I read before. Therefore, all stories were able to be read being interested. I think the mystery is trivial when a reader knows the trick before reading. I think the third story "The Six Napoleons" is the most interesting. A mysterious event in the first half of the story and the end from which the mystery is beautifully solved is wonderful.

By the way, the Sherlock Holmes series are made into films many times. The famous actor who performed Holmes posts was Buster Keaton, Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing, Jeremy Brett and Roger Moore. I hardly saw those films, but I think Roger Moore matches unexpectedly to the image of Holms. James Bond and Sherlock Holmes were good at combative sports and gun, actives, and heavy smoker.

[Points for Understanding]
2-1 Inside the goose.
2-2 The Countess of Morcar.
2-3 At the Hotel Cosmopolitan.
2-4 Mr. James Ryder, he was under-manager of the hotel.
2-5 Someone had broke into the Countess's room.
2-6 He thought Henry Baker knows anything about Blue Carbuncle.
2-7 He advertised in the newspaper.

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

I have known the title of this book since my childhood, but this is the first time for me to read the book. This is the kind of a heroic story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I think the story were lasting to the present for generations.
You can see about King Arthur, Click here.

Q12-1: Why did Morgana Le Fey put a spell on the secret garden in the forest?
A12-1: She put a spell to fill King Arthur up the rumours of his wife, Guinever and Lancelot’s affair.

Q12-2: Where did Arthur fight his last battle?
A12-2: On the plain of sand

Q12-3: How did Morgana die?
A12-3: Arthur drove his sward Excalibur into Morgana’s body and killed him.


The Promise

This book was interesting for me.

Pedro and Maria live in Brazil. They were very poor. When son (Paulo) was born, a old woman said to them. "This boy will grow up and become famous." "He will give happiness to many countries all over the world." "He will help poor people." Paulo becames the excellent footballer. What the old woman said comes true afterwards.

Paulo fails once, but recovers from a failure. I want to imitate the shape he made an effort.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

The eye of the Tiger

This story is a kind of suspense. If you like Hollywood's action movies, you would like it.

I was interested in reading about searching treasure under water. For example, they did wreck diving in the beautiful water. In chapter 11, Harry used a explosives to enter the wreck, but for the explosions, a lot of fish died and a shark appeared to eat them. It might be horrible, but I keep my mind to watch a shark such as whale sharks under the water.

About 6 to 10 years ago, I used to dive, because I developed dive computers for my job, so I had to check them by myself. I often went to Osezaki in Izu or Lake Motosu around Mt. Fuji for testing. This story reminded me that Lake Motosu has monument at the bottom of the lake. We hired a professional diver who was a owner of diving shop named GIGI. He used to collect some items from monument. He said those would be Yayoi-Period items.

I like diving in Lake Motosu, because the water transparency is so high that you can see everything well. Plus the water is not sea water, but fresh water, I feel comfortable after diving. Sea water is usually a little bit sticky. And I like watching fish such as eels, carps and crucian carps(Funa in Japanese). There were a lot of findings. For example, an eel escaped backward from the tail fin or carps were swimming in a couple. The best thing I liked was that the world was monotone and very quiet. It's so mysterious that it would be called Wabi-Sabi diving.

15-1. Harry Bruce was Harry’s real name, and Lorna Page was the blonde girl’s name.
15-2. Harry knew Manny well and his eyes were cold and hard.
15-3. She hits Sherry’s face.
15-4. This was the signal Harry planned with Chubby
15-5. They want to escape from Manny.
15-6. There was an enormous explosion.
15-7. He was shot by Resnick’s men in the motor boat.
15-8. Manny Resnick was killed by explosion.

Masao Kuroda

Friday, 27 November 2009


Q.32 Think of an important person from your country's history. Find out about her or him. Write about her or his life.

Tadataka Inou. He was a man who made very exact map of Japan. He was born in 1745. He worked at sake brewing about 30 years. When he was 50 years old, he had started to survey the shape of Japan. He was very interested in astronomy. He was very good at astronomy.
He surveyed the shape of Japan by his foot. It was very very difficulty work. At last, he walked about 40000 km. It was as long as about circumference of the earth.
He finished surveying the shape of Japan in 1815. Then he started to make a map from his surveyed data. He died in 1818.His companion completed the map in 1821. The map was very very exact. It is really surprize that the map made by him was a little difference by satellite photograph.
I think he was an important person of our country.

L.A. Winners

This story begins with a man meets a woman. A man is private detective in L.A. A woman is client.
That woman want to find her horse. And she hired private detective.Her horse has missed when she lend her horse to another man. They didn't come back. The horse was retired horse racing.
The detective looked for her horse. But there were a lot of riddle and had relation to the horse.

This story is described detailedly well. I understand very well. Several scene changed dramatically was interesting to me with had unimaginable next.
I recommend to read this book.

The Perfect Storm

This story is based on the true story which certain US ships caught in terrible storm. The first half of the story is a drama of the crew of swordfishing boat "Andrea Gail ". As for this story, it is drawn immediately before Andrea Gale's being rolled in a terrible storm. Next, the story continues to which other swordfish fishing boats and yachts are rescued in the storm. Do you think how the Andrea Gail became?

I felt short on fun. What does Andrea Gail that was the center of the story happen in the storm? What happened to the crews? These are the completely mysteries. Therefore, it is up to reader's imagination. As for this work, the mystery has been filled with. The difference of the common mystery story is there is no answer. Had Andrea Gail originated EPIRB signal before it sank? Why did not it originate if EPIRB was not originated? My reading comprehension might be insufficiency. Please comment if you have read this book.

Best wishes,
Masao Nishimura

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Ideal home

Would you like to live in this enormous house, 5 minutes from school?

It's a spacious house with three larege bedrooms which have big windows, a living room, a kitchen, four bathrooms, a storage room and a garage for two cars. It also has a beautiful garden. The house has wooden floors, cable television, an Internet.

It's a very quiet place. The neighbours are very friendly. There are lots of kids around the house. The house is walking distance from restaurants and shops. It's thirty minutes from the airport by taxi.

The house is suitable for families. There are no restrictions.

Toshiya (12)

Speed up your typing

Kill sharks, piranhas (yes, in the same salty waters) and boost your typing speed.
Turn off the volume if your boss is watching?!


Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Letter to Lisa

Hi! This is Kiho. I'm Japanese and I live in Azumino. I'm fifteen.

I love sport. My favorite sport is swimming. I swim twice a week. I also enjoy riding my bike.

Write soon! Kiho x

A super new widget

Hey, funky learners and online gophers!

Found a brilliant & easy to use widget for you to enhance your learning day - it's the cool blue BBC World Service one on the right-hand side (scroll down a bit). Use it in this browser to search for stuff - a lot of you have asked how to find good podcasts, and this is one of my answers! Get it for yourself if you use iGoogle here

Another useful tool = a new list of podcast content providers (not individual podcasts because that would really take forever) also on the right-hand side, a little lower down.

Please remember to "follow" the blog to keep up to date with new postings etc.

Proofreading - what the doctor said

I have been helping a new student out with his paper for this conference in Singapore next month.

I can actually guess a bit when it comes to 'cortical processing of language' because I do some myself from time to time. With pictures, I can also get an idea about positron emission tomography (and the Latin, as I have said, helps).

I have no idea what otorhinolyrngology really means, but I can guess which part of my body might get poked and prodded if I went to see an otorhinolyrngologist!

I found talking with this very clever surgeon about language acquisition, learning, visual and audio cues, hearing, speech, speech therapy, voice timbre, rhythm/cadence, bi-lingualism & left-handedness/ambidextrousity absolutely fascinating - it does have a lot to do with my trade and from a completely opposite angle. We had polar perspectives but arrived at very similar conclusions (his empirical & medical, mine observational & linguistic)...

We finished our first chat together realising we had been talking about the same person for an hour! His data on hearing loss, and his insistence on the importance of early learning for speech development convinced me more than ever before of the crucial groundwork we are laying at Luna in our pre-school.

Proofreading - why I should have stayed awake in class

I have just finished proof-reading a document for this Conference (next June) which has had me scratching my head for several days. I was hopeless at physics and my maths is almost as bad.

I think I am allowed to say that the topic was Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors...I don't think I have ever been more baffled since my science teachers tried to teach left-hand and right-hand rules for magneticism or current or whatever it is.

I used to think proof-reading medical papers was tough (it is), but at least I can pretty much figure out the anatomy with the Latin I can remember. The pictures are usually gory but I know what they are supposed to be - never keen on the blood though, and lung cancer is pretty depressing...

Electrical wiring diagrams, phi over three, Greek letters and equations three lines long? Oh my head Hertz :)

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Canterville Ghost (and other stories)

At the first I guessed this story was frightening and hoped so, but not freighting at all. The Ghost was so poor and misery guy. He couldn't frightened all Otis's family and was helped to go to heaven by the daughter who lived in the house. The children will enjoy this funny story.

I spent 3 hours to read this book. It was not easy for me to read the book. I try to read the next book faster than this book.

Posted for Shin