10 tips to healthy eating

[Health ★★★★]

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1. Eat a Variety of Foods

You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health and no single food can supply them all. Today’s food supply makes it easy to eat a wide variety of foods whether or not you are buying fresh foods to cook, taking advantage of ready-prepared dishes and meals, or buying “take-away” foods. Balance your choice over time! If you have a high-fat lunch, have a low-fat dinner. If you eat a large serving of meat at dinner one day, perhaps choose fish the next day.

2. Base your diet on plenty of foods rich in carbohydrates

Most people do not eat enough of foods such as bread, pasta, rice, other cereals, and potatoes. More than half the calories in your diet should come from these foods. Try whole grain bread, pasta, and other whole grain cereals, too, to increase your fiber intake.

3. Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables

Most of us do not eat enough of these foods either although they provide important protective nutrients. Try to eat at least five servings a day and if you do not enjoy them at first, try some new recipes or see what ready prepared dishes are available in the supermarket.

4. Maintain a healthy body weight and feel good

The weight that is right for you depends on many factors including your sex, height, age and heredity. Being overweight increases your risk of a wide range of diseases including heart disease and cancer. Excess body fat results when you eat more calories than you need. These extra calories can come from any caloric nutrient like protein, fat, carbohydrate or alcohol, but fat is the most concentrated source of calories. Physical activity is a good way of increasing the energy (calories) you expend each day and it can make you feel good. The message is simple: if you are gaining weight, you need to eat less and be more active.

5. Eat moderate portions

If you keep portion sizes reasonable, it’s easier to eat all the foods you enjoy without having to eliminate any. For example, some reasonable serving sizes are 100g of meat, one medium piece of fruit, half a cup of raw pasta and 50ml of ice-cream. Ready-prepared meals can offer a handy means of portion control and they often have the calorie values on the pack to help those who are counting. If you are eating out, you could share a portion with a friend.

6. Eat regularly

Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in helpless overeating. Snacking between meals can help curb hunger, but don’t eat so much as to substitute for proper meals. Don’t forget to count your snacks as part of your total calorie intake.

7. Drink plenty of fluids

Adults need to drink at least 1.5 liters of fluid a day! Or more if it’s very hot or they are physically active. Plain tap water is obviously a good source of liquid but variety can be both pleasant and healthy. Alternative choices are juices, soft drinks, tea, coffee, milk etc.

8. Get on the move

As we have seen, too many calories and not enough activity can result in weight gain. Moderately physical activity helps burn off those extra calories. It is also good for the heart and circulatory system and for general health and well-being. So, make physical activity part of your daily routine. Use the stairs instead of the elevator (up and down!). Go for a walk in your lunch break. You don’t have to be an athlete to get on the move!

9. Start now!

Gradual changes in your lifestyle are much easier to make than major changes all at once. For three days, write down the foods and drinks you consume at meals and as snacks – Do you have too few fruits and or portions of vegetables? To start with, try to eat just one extra piece of fruit and vegetables a day. Are your favorite foods high in fat and making you gain weight? Don’t eliminate those foods and feel miserable, but try to choose low-fat options or eat smaller portions. And start using the stairs at work!

10. It’s all about balance

There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods, only good or bad diets. Don’t feel guilty about the foods you love, rather eat them in moderation and choose other foods to provide the balance and variety that are vital to good health.

WORDS: 745

SOURCE: http://www.eufic.org/article/en/expid/10-tips-healthy-eating/

VOCABULARY: carbohydrates, intake, heredity, miserable, moderation

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. How many of the 10 tips do you actually do?
  3. Do the schools in your country provide healthy meals to their students?
  4. In your opinion, why do people like to overeat and eat unhealthy food?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Most individuals eat way too many foods loaded with carbohydrates. (T or F)
  2. You hunger can increase if you __________ meals, especially ____________.
  3. Drinking fluids are important, but only consider water, juice, and tea in your diet. (T or F)
  4. An alternative to using an elevator is the ___________.
  5. Junk food should be avoided altogether. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • “take away” foods (#1)
  • the weight that is right for you (#4)
  • help curb hunger (#6)
  • plain tap water (#7)
  • burn off (#8)

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Image source: by “unknown” Credit: wordpress.com https://healthyripple.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/screen-shot-2014-11-29-at-2-21-07-pm.png

Find Love in the Skies With This New Dating App

[Technology, Travel, Lifestyle ★★★]

airdates-home-page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WORDS: 302

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

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

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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

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

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

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

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

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

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

Are chia seeds the answer to weight loss?

[Health ★★★★]

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(P1) It’s no secret that chia seeds are a powerful superfood. Through the years, people have eagerly added them to a variety of foods, from smoothies and yogurts to oats and fruit. With three times more iron than spinach and twice the amount of protein of any other seed or grain, it comes as no surprise that their very name means “strength”.

(P2) This member of the sage family also fills the body with antioxidants, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and potassium galore. For all of these reasons, chia seeds are considered to be an incredible source of ongoing energy.

(P3) As if this isn’t incredible enough, it gets even better if you’re looking to lose weight. If you haven’t already, consider heading out to purchase these amazing seeds because they do wonders when it comes to shedding pounds. In fact, chia seeds are frequently referred to as a “dieter’s dream” for their ability to help people see the numbers on the scale drop.

(P4) First of all, because chia seeds are jam-packed with the aforementioned nutrients, dieters can be assured that they won’t sacrifice important minerals and essential fatty acids during their weight loss process. As the body adjusts to reduced portions and cleaner eating choices, chia seeds help to offset any potential nutritional deficits that a dieter might experience.

(P5) Additionally, because chia seeds are super absorbent, or hydrophilic, they have the ability to bulk foods up. Interestingly, the tiny seeds can hold up to 12 times their weight in water, and they can do so in less than 10 minutes. So what’s this have to do with weight loss?

(P6) As any person trying to lose weight knows, the hunger pains that accompany the new lifestyle aren’t any fun. Chia seeds to the rescue! Because they add such incredible bulk to foods, a person is able to enjoy a feeling of fullness, all while consuming fewer calories. When chia seeds are added to a typical serving of food, for example, a dieter actually ends up consuming about half the calories, thanks to the fact that the seeds displace calories and fat, all without compromising the good flavor of the food they’re added to.

(p7) In fact, licensed nutritionist Lisa Goldberg says that chia seeds are ideal for achieving weight loss goals. She says that in addition to their ability to absorb water, they’re also a high-fiber source (four grams per tablespoon), both of which contribute to reducing weight. “You have that feeling of fullness in your stomach because when you wet chia seeds, they form a gelatinous substance that takes longer to digest,” Goldberg explains. “You’ll overeat less and tend to snack less. If you eat chia before a meal, you’ll eat less at the next meal. It packs a nutritional punch without adding a lot of food to your diet.”

(P8) The benefits don’t stop there. Since this “dieters dream” provides sustained energy levels, that’s great news when it comes to exercise, a vital component of achieving weight loss. Even non-dieters know that exercise can sometimes leave them feeling drained. However, chia seeds have the ability to keep energy levels soaring, allowing dieters to give their all during workouts, and still have copious amounts of energy left over.

(P9) Chia seeds are also affordable. Why spend insane amounts of money on weight loss products that often lower your bank account instead of your pant size? At about $8 for a one-pound bag (different states or stores vary, of course), a person can make about 17 ounces (which can last about four days) of chia gel for approximately $1. That’s a mere 25 cents daily, which certainly won’t break the bank.

(P10) Making chia seeds a part of a weight loss process is a wise decision. They’re a nutritional powerhouse that keeps energy levels going strong while helping people feel full and satisfied during their healthy transition.

WORDS: 642

SOURCE: http://www.naturalnews.com/053063_chia_seeds_weight_loss_feeling_full.html

VOCABULARY: eagerly, sage family, aforementioned, offset, bulk up, gelatinous, copious

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you include chia seeds in your daily diet? Why or why not?
  3. Do you take vitamins or other supplements daily? Why or why not?
  4. Is it important for people to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What’s the meaning of the word chia?
  2. Chia seeds are often called the _______________.
  3. Chia seeds are not packed with fiber. (T or F)
  4. If you are worried about high cost, you don’t have to be with chia seeds. (T or F)
  5. These seeds are a nutritional ________________.

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • a powerful superfood (P1)
  • ongoing energy (P2)
  • the numbers on the scale drop (P3)
  • the hunger pains (P6)
  • a nutritional punch (P7)
  • break the bank (P9)

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Image source: by FOTOGRAFIABASICA VIA GETTY IMAGES http://www.naturalnews.com/053063_chia_seeds_weight_loss_feeling_full.html

St Petersburg wins top title during World Travel Awards Grand Final 2016

[Travel ★★★★]

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(P1) World Travel Awards has recognized St Petersburg’s potential for tourism growth, arguing the Russian destination has a bright future on the international hospitality stage.

(P2) The city earlier claimed the title of the World’s Leading Cultural City Destination at the World Travel Awards Grand Final 2016. The event took place at The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi in the Maldives with hundreds of industry leaders in attendance.

(P3) Andrey Mushkarev, Chairman of the St Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development, said: “St Petersburg is now at the peak of its popularity. The city has won the most prestigious award in tourism.

(P4) “The northern capital of Russia hosts a large number of cultural and business events each year and this is recognition of our growing significance in hospitality. “This is the result of city authorities’ work in terms of St. Petersburg promotion as a world tourist destination.”

(P5) A global cultural center, St Petersburg is more than just home to the Hermitage Museum and the Kirov Ballet. With an exceptionally rich history, centuries-old traditions and a bright future, this fascinating destination is built on more than 45 islands and has been modeled in the French style by some of the world’s great architects.

(P6) World Travel Awards President Graham Cooke said: “It will be an honor for World Travel Awards to visit for Russia for the first time in 2017. “St Petersburg is one of the most famous cities in the world and this is a fantastic opportunity for the city to take its rightful place as a top rank tourism destination.”

(P7) The news comes at an exciting time for St Petersburg, which will itself welcome the World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony in summer 2017. The ceremony is one of a large number of important events on the horizon, with the FIFA Confederations Cup also set to visit St Petersburg next year.

(P8) In 2018, the sporting capital will also welcome the biggest event of them all, the FIFA World Cup, when Russia plays host to the competition.

(P9) Lev Kuznetsov, Deputy General Manager, St Petersburg Tourism Information Bureau, part of the government of St Petersburg, said: “St Petersburg is the cultural tourist capital, not only of Russia but of the world. “The cultural heritage of our city is the heritage of the entire world. “This award is a great Christmas present for all of St Petersburg’s citizens and all Russians. “At the same time, it is a warm invitation to visit our majestic city during this Christmas holidays. “Next year promises to become the top year for the number of visitors in St Petersburg. “I am sure that a visit to our city for everyone will become one of the most memorable experiences in life. “Welcome to St Petersburg!”

WORDS: 452

SOURCE: http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/st-petersburg-wins-top-title-during-world-travel-awards-grand-final-20/

VOCABULARY: hospitality, prestigious, gala, heritage, majestic

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Have you ever been to St. Petersburg? If so, describe your visit. If not, would you like to go and why?
  3. What are some awesome travel destinations in your country? Why?
  4. Were or are there any important events or galas in your country? If so, describe them.

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. The 2016 World Travel Awards ceremony was held in ____________________.
  2. Who is the head of the St Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development?
  3. What celebration will be held in St. Petersburg in 2017?
  4. Russia will not be hosting the World Cup in the near future. (T or F)
  5. Who said, “The cultural heritage of our city is the heritage of the entire world.”?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • has a bright future (P1)
  • at the peak of its popularity (P3)
  • to take its rightful place (P6)
  • on the horizon (P7)
  • sporting capital (P8)

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Image source: by Ivan Smelov http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/st-petersburg-wins-top-title-during-world-travel-awards-grand-final-20/

Next target for Tiger Woods return: December tournament in the Bahamas

[Sports ★★★★]

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(P1) Tiger Woods has a new return date: Dec. 1.

(P2) That might not come as a surprise, considering the tournament he plans to enter. It’s the World Hero Challenge, and he just happens to be the host.

(P3) What the heck, if you’re going to be on hand anyway why not play a few rounds of golf while you’re in the Bahamas? And, why not return ahead of your 41st birthday?

(P4) Woods hasn’t played a PGA Tour event since August 2015. He continues his long, arduous recovery from back surgeries. After announcing he would play the first tournament of the 2016-17 Tour schedule, Woods withdrew a few days before last month’s Safeway Open.

(P5) It sounded as if he was worried about embarrassing himself when he pulled out of that California tournament. “My game is vulnerable and not where it needed to be,” Woods said at the time.

(P6) Here was Woods’ statement in announcing his plans for the Safeway Open: “I’m looking forward to going to California for my foundation event and Safeway. I’m also excited to return to Turkey and Albany. It could be a fun fall.”

(P7) Contrast that with his announcement this week of playing in the Bahamas: “I am excited to make my return at the Hero World Challenge at Albany and play in this terrific tournament.”

(P8) The Turkey tournament, the Turkish Airlines Open, begins Thursday. Woods will not be the main course.

(P9) Woods did hedge on playing the Safeway Open, and there is no guarantee he won’t back out of the Bahamas event.

(P10) If Woods plays in the Bahamas, he still would not have made his return to the PGA Tour. The December tournament is open to 18 plays and not on any pro golf tour.

(P11) So how are fans taking the news of Woods’ Bahama plans? Not well, according to Golf Digest. If Twitter comments it posts are any indication, Tiger will be toast as a major attraction.

(P12) And if he backs out of this tournament, Woods will only alienate fans further. So unless he plays like Tiger Woods in his prime, Tiger Woods will not impress.

(P13) Hero, by the way, is an Indian motorcycle and scooter maker.

WORDS: 359

SOURCE: http://www.sportingnews.com/golf/news/tiger-woods-return-bahamas-world-hero-challenge-safeway-open-back-surgery-rehab-recovery/rpbgootdcnxx1s3cw385q1s70

VOCABULARY: arduous, vulnerable, hedge, be toast, alienate

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Are you a golf fan? If yes, who are your favorite golfers? If no, why not?
  3. Have you ever participated in a tournament of any kind? If yes, what type of tournament was it?
  4. If you could be a champion sports player, which sport would it be and why?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Tiger Woods will be back in action on _______________.
  2. When was the last time Tiger played in a tournament in the PGA?
  3. Woods will be the main attraction in the Turkish Airlines Open. (T or F)
  4. By playing in the golf tournament in the Bahamas, means Tiger Woods will be back in action in a PGA tournament. (T or F)
  5. What are 2 products produced by the company Hero?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • what the heck (P3)
  • pulled out (P5)
  • Woods will not be the main course (P8)
  • backs out (P12)
  • in his prime (P12)

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Image source: by THEARON W. HENDERSON/GETTY http://www.sportingnews.com/golf/news/tiger-woods-return-bahamas-world-hero-challenge-safeway-open-back-surgery-rehab-recovery/rpbgootdcnxx1s3cw385q1s70

Cuban leader Fidel Castro leaves strong mark on modern political literature

[Literature ★★★★]

Cuba Fidel Castro

(P1) The leader of the Cuban revolution and former President, Fidel Castro, who died on Friday night at the age of 90, left a strong mark on contemporary political literature, the media reported on Sunday.

(P2) A voracious reader, Castro was a close friend of Colombian writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who affirmed that “an intellectual friendship” united them and they often discussed literature together, Xinhua news agency reported.

(P3) Castro once described himself as a “frustrated journalist” and, since leaving power in 2008, has often written opinion pieces for the state media.

(P4) The former President has remained politically active, beginning his column, “Reflections of comrade Fidel”, in March 2007, which eventually grew to over 400 articles on international and historical matters.

(P5) On various occasions, Castro referred to himself as “a soldier of ideas”. In 2011, Fidel Castro passed on the mantle of First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) to his brother Raul Castro. At that time, Raul said: “Fidel is Fidel and does not need any rank to always occupy a leading place in the history, in the present, and the future of the Cuban nation.”

(P6) “While he has the strength to do so, and as he is luckily at the height of his political thought, from his modest condition of party militant and soldier of ideas, he will continue to contribute to the revolutionary struggle and to humanity’s most noble proposals,” Raul had said.

(P7) Since then, Castro was rarely seen or heard in public, a fact many saw as him not wanting to interfere in the updating of the island’s economic model, led by Raul. However, Castro published a number of books, including “One Hundred Hours with Fidel”, a lengthy autobiographical interview with the French-Spanish journalist, Ignacio Ramonet, in 2006.

(P8) In November 2008, “Peace in Colombia” was published, a text in which Castro revealed the inner workings of negotiations between different Colombian governments and Cuba and Havana’s participation in the Colombian peace process.

(P9) In 2010, the Cuban leader published “The Strategic Victory”, chronicling his early setback in the Sierra Maestra in the summer of 1958 and his constant days of struggle against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.

(P10) That same year, “The Strategic Counteroffensive” was published, which was a continuation of the previous volume, containing war stories, military orders, letters, photos, and maps of the push onto Havana and victory.

(P13) In 2012, came out “Guerrilla of Time”, another long autobiographical interview, spanning over 1,000 pages in two volumes, this time with Cuban journalist Katiushka Blanco.

(P14) Son of a Spanish immigrant and a Cuban farmer, Castro was born in Biran, a village in Holguin province, and went on to become one of the most prominent figures of the 20th century.

WORDS: 453

SOURCE: http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/books/cuban-leader-fidel-castro-leaves-strong-mark-on-modern-political-literature-4398516/

VOCABULARY: voracious, mantle, chronicling, counteroffensive, prominent

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. What do you think it was like to live in Cuba when Castro was in power?
  3. What types of literature do you like to read? Why?
  4. After reading this article, do you want to read some of Castro’s writings? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. At one point in time, Castro described himself as a ___________________.
  2. When did Castro relinquish his power to his brother?
  3. In one of Castro’s writings, ___________________, he writes about helping Colombia with their internal peace.
  4. Who did Castro overthrow to gain power in Cuba?
  5. Castro’s parents were originally from what country?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • left a strong mark on contemporary political literature (P1)
  • passed on the mantle (P5)
  • in the updating (P7)
  • revealed the inner workings of negotiations (P8)
  • went on to become (P14)

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Image source: AP http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/books/cuban-leader-fidel-castro-leaves-strong-mark-on-modern-political-literature-4398516/

Discovery opens door to new Alzheimer’s treatments

[Science ★★★★]

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These are neurons in culture dishes. The colors highlight the human tau protein in green, a structural component in red and the DNA inside the cell nucleus in blue.
Credit: UNSW/Lars Ittner

(P1) Australian researchers have shed new light on the nerve cell processes that lead to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), overturning previously held ideas of how the disease develops and opening the door to new treatment options that could halt or slow its progression.

(P2) The study is published in the journal Science.

(P3) Studying human brain tissue, the UNSW and Neuroscience Research Australia research team identified a protein, kinase p38γ, which is lost as AD progresses. When they reintroduced the protein into the brains of mice, it was shown to have a protective effect against memory deficits associated with the disease.

(P4) “This study has completely changed our understanding of what happens in the brain during the development of Alzheimer’s disease,” said lead author UNSW Professor Lars Ittner.

(P5) Two of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s are the presence of protein plaques (made up of amyloid-beta) and tangles (made up of tau protein) in the brain. The accumulation of these plaques and tangles is associated with cell death, brain atrophy, and memory loss.

(P6) The research team has revealed that a crucial step in the process that leads to tangles has been misunderstood. Previously, scientists believed the plaque-forming protein, amyloid-beta, caused a modification, called phosphorylation, to the tau protein resulting in cell death and, ultimately, Alzheimer’s disease. Increased phosphorylation of tau eventually leads to its accumulation as tangles.

(P7) Results from the new study suggest that the phosphorylation of tau initially has a protective effect on neurons and that amyloid-beta assaults the protective functionality until it is progressively lost. This is the stage at which toxicity levels cause the destruction of neurons and results in the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

(P8) “Amyloid-beta induces toxicity in the neurons but the first step in tau phosphorylation is actually to decrease this toxicity,” said Professor Ittner.

(P9) “This is a completely new mindset; that the reason tau becomes modified is actually to protect from damage.”

(P10) The study used different mice models and human brain tissue from the Sydney Brain Bank to identify a protein called kinase p38γ, which assisted the protective phosphorylation of tau and interfered with the toxicity created by amyloid-beta.

(P12) “We used mice to screen for a very specific toxicity that we knew from previous work is involved in the progression of the disease,” said Professor Ittner.

(P13) “We set out to find mediators of this progression, which led us quickly to our surprising discovery. It was the opposite of what we expected. It was only when we changed our view of the process involved in the development of AD that these results started to make sense.”

(P14) Studying human brain tissue, Professor Ittner and his team identified that p38γ is lost as AD progresses. However, a small amount does remain in the brain.

(P15) “We found that p38γ, which initially offers protection, fades away early in the brains of people with AD, suggesting a loss of protection,” he said.

(P16) “Part of our study involved reintroducing p38γ and increasing its activity. We saw that, in mice, it could prevent memory deficits from happening, so it has true therapeutic potential. If we can stimulate that activity, we may be able to delay or even halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”

(P17) The next step for the researchers will be to develop their patented discoveries into a novel treatment for humans, subject to new funding.

WORDS: 551

SOURCE: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161117151205.htm

VOCABULARY: deficits, hallmarks, tangles, tau protein, atrophy, amyloid-beta, phosphorylation, mediators

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you think there will ever be a cure for AD? Why or why not?
  3. In your opinion, should more money be spent on researching a cure for AD? Why or why not? If yes, where should the money come from?
  4. Do you think animals should be used in lab research to find cures for diseases? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. After more studies, researchers have changed their mind about the AD cycle of advancement. (T or F)
  2. What species is being used in this research to help find a cure for AD?
  3. Amyloid-beta doesn’t generate poison in the neurons. (T or F)
  4. According to Professor Ittner, p38y provides protection in the ___________, but ___________ in patients with AD.
  5. The money to fund the discoverer of a new treatment is still pending for researchers. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • have shed new light (P1)
  • is associated with cell death (P5)
  • until it’s progressively lost (P7)
  • a completely new mindset (P9)
  • fades away early (P15)
  • subject to new funding (P17)

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Image source: by Credit: UNSW/Lars Ittner https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161117151205.htm

4 REASONS DINING OUT IS JUST AS BAD AS FAST FOOD

[Lifestyle ★★★★]

main_dining

(P1) You know that even with new low-cal options fast-food joints are usually a big health no-no. But chances are you never suspected your favorite sit-down spot could be doing you in as well.  A new study shows that dine-in restaurants can be just as bad as their faster counterparts.

(P2) According to research, both fast food and dine-in restaurants serve up more cholesterol and trans fat than what you make at home. Fast food customers got an average of 3.5 more grams of trans fat a day, while restaurant eaters took in an extra 2.5 grams. That may not sound like much, but we’re talking about something so bad that the FDA has just outlawed it. So even just a little bit can be serious. What’s more, people who regularly dine out consume an average of 200 calories and 58 mg of cholesterol more a day than their home-cooking counterparts.

(P3) Of course, we don’t expect you to become a master chef and whip up breakfast, lunch, and dinner at home every single day. Going out with friends gives your social life a boost, and that can be important for lowering stress and avoiding mental health problems. Here are four reasons restaurant food is bad for you.

1. Fatty cuts and blends

(P4) When you go to the grocery store, you’re likely to choose a nice lean blend of ground beef to make your burger patties. Ideally, you can get a burger that’s 95% lean beef with just two grams of saturated fat.

(P5) On the other hand, chefs prioritize flavor over health, and higher fat content is an easy way to boost taste. A restaurant burger might have as much as 30% fat or more. That means less protein and more calories between those sugary white-bread buns. The same rule applies to various cuts of steak and other proteins tucked into wraps or salads.

2. Cooking in grease

(P6) You know those big fryers full of bubbling grease behind the registers at your favorite fast food joint? They should pretty much speak for themselves. But even if your food isn’t being prepared in a simmering bath of fat and empty calories, it might still be cooked in melted butter (as opposed to a healthy oil like olive or coconut).

3. Rich sauces

(P7) We love a thick, creamy sauce just as much as the next guy, especially when we can control how much of it goes on our food. At home, you use just enough to get some flavor onto your food, and then up the game with herbs and spices. But at a restaurant, things are often smothered in sauce. It’s delicious but dangerous.

(P8) McDonald’s ranch dip has 110 calories and 12g of total fat. A restaurant-made aioli may sound like a healthier option but can be almost as dangerous (calorie- and fat-wise) as it’s non-gourmet counterpart.

4. Hidden salt and sugar

(P9) Hidden sugars appear in many condiments like pasta sauce, BBQ sauce, and ketchup. That ranch dip we mentioned, 410 mg of sodium and 6g of sugar. Dried fruits often used as a salad topping, can also pack in extra sugar without doing much to curb your appetite for sweetness. Sugar and sodium also appear in basic carbs like that breadbasket they stick right in front of you as you wait hungrily for your meal. These little things, often thrown into chef-made meals to up their complexity, can add up to a lot of sugar and sodium.

WORDS: 574

SOURCE: http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/4-reasons-dining-out-just-bad-fast-food

VOCABULARY: outlawed, whip up, vats, smothered, pack in

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you eat out at restaurants frequently? Why or why not?
  3. In your opinion, do eat-in restaurants cook healthier foods or not? Why?
  4. Do you read the nutrition labels on the containers of food you buy at the supermarket? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. According to the article, restaurants can equally be as bad healthwise as fast food restaurants. (T or F).
  2. Eating out with good company will not lower stress. (T or F)
  3. According to the article, butter is overused in restaurants to cook food. (T or F)
  4. Aioli made in a restaurant is a truly healthy option. (T or F)
  5. Only a few condiments have high sugar content. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • your favorite sit-down spot could be doing you in as well (P1)
  • home-cooking counterparts (P2)
  • cuts of steak (P5)
  • simmering bath of fat (P6)
  • just as much as the next guy (P7)
  • curb your appetite (P9)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://cdn-mf1.heartyhosting.com/sites/mensfitness.com/files/styles/wide_videos/public/_main_dining.jpg?itok=O4NM_EaF

A History of Curry

[Food ★★★★]

curry1

(P1) Curry is a very popular dish served and enjoyed globally. According to one British website, about 23 million people regularly eat it.  Despite curry’s current popularity, it took a long time for the famous dish to spread around the globe and become renowned.

(P2) Historians have traced the origins of curry to the pre-historic era in what is now known as India. At this time, curry was a mix of seeds that were mixed together and ground into a fine powder.  It was used very much like salt and sprinkled on other food to give it additional flavor. Curry then spread to other Asian countries. In the mid-17th century, British traders became acquainted with the dish and its popularity took off. As curry restaurants were opened in different countries and traders brought the dishes to far-off and exotic places, curry became a hit in most parts of the world. Despite the worldwide curry craze, however, there is great regional variation in terms of the ingredients and preparation of curry.

(P3) In Asia, for example, curry is generally milder in flavor than in other parts of the world. Potatoes and meat are usually used in the curry and it is usually served alongside rice. It is common in China for curry to be cooked with fish with green peppers, onions, and potatoes. The result is a mild yellow curry sauce. Diners may add soy sauce or chili oil to bring out the flavor. Japan, meanwhile, considers curry to be a kind of stew often made using meat, onions, carrots, and potatoes and served with pickled vegetables.

(P4) In Britain, curry is synonymous with a dish called “Chicken Tikka Masala”. This is a curry dish that was brought to English restaurants long ago and tweaked from the original Indian curry recipe to suit British tastes. This refers to roasted pieces of chicken that are soaked in yogurt and baked in an oven. The chicken is then served with a spicy sauce that may include tomatoes and coconut cream. This style of curry is so popular among Britons that one politician declared it the British national dish in 2001.

(P5) South Africans have long embraced curry, which was introduced there by Indians over 250 years ago. The local variant is often called “Durban Curry”, which is red hot in flavor as it uses cayenne pepper and chili. Garlic and ginger are added to fried onions topped with chili powder.  Other ingredients may include cinnamon and coriander. The dish is commonly served with rice and might include chicken or fish although most Durban Curry lovers seem to prefer lamb with it.

WORDS: 433

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

VOCABULARY: renowned, pre-historic, diners, synonymous, tweaked, variant

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you like to eat curry dishes? Why or why not?
  3. Are curry dishes popular in your country? If so, how are they prepared and cooked?
  4. What are some other food dishes you enjoy eating?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Curry was always a popular dish throughout history. (T or F)
  2. When did the British become aware of curry?
  3. When did Great Britan proclaim curry as a national dish of their country?
  4. Traders from Great Britan brought curry to South Africa. (T or F)
  5. People who eat Durban Curry favor lamb over fish or chicken. (T orF)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

  • traced the origins (P1)
  • took off (P2)
  • curry craze (P2)
  • bring out the flavor (P3)
  • national dish (P4)

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

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Image source: by “unknown” http://dreamreader.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Curry1.jpg

Germany builds first wind turbines powered by water

[Environment ★★★★]

highest wind park in Europe

(P1) German engineers are storing water for hydroelectricity inside wind turbines allowing the towers to act like massive batteries once the wind stops blowing. This is being reported as the first major example of the two technologies being physically integrated to supply reliable renewable energy.

(P2) General Electric announced the four-turbine project earlier this month. As reported by Quartz online, it can store energy from the spinning blades by pumping water about 30m up inside the turbine structure itself. Basins around each base will store 9m gallons. When the wind stops, water flows downhill to generate hydroelectric power. A man-made lake in the valley below collects water until turbines pump the water back up again.

(P3) According to Quartz, the wind farm in Germany’s Swabian-Franconian forest will feature the tallest turbines in the world at 246.5m. At full capacity, it should produce 13.6 megawatts, along with another 16 megawatts from the hydroelectric plant.

(P4) The project is being built by German firm Max Boegl Wind AG and GE Renewable Energy. The wind farm should connect to the grid by 2017, and hydropower units will be finished by the end of 2018.

(P5) Meanwhile, the online edition of POWER magazine reported that German lawmakers had passed three major laws in July in order to ensure the transition to renewable energy: the 2017 revision of the Renewable Energy Sources Act, the Electricity Market Act, and the Act on the Digitisation of the Energy Transition.

(P6) “These three pieces of legislation will ensure that the transition of our energy supply can proceed in a foreseeable and cost-efficient way,” said Federal Economics and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel. “Renewable energy, the electricity market, energy efficiency, the grids, and digitization used to be treated as separate elements, but have now been turned into a consistent overall framework for the energy transition.”

(P6) But paramount to fostering this growth is fixing the current transmission bottleneck problems. “The grid is not in a position today to take up all the renewable energy” coming on stream, said Tony Adam, manager of Public Affairs and Government Relations with wind turbine producer Nordex, in an interview with POWER.

WORDS: 350

SOURCE: https://www.neweurope.eu/article/germany-builds-first-wind-turbines-powered-water/

VOCABULARY: turbines, basins, wind farms, grid, foreseeable, paramount, bottleneck

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Does your country use or are they working on renewable energy? If so, what types?
  3. In your opinion, do you think it’s important to use renewable energy sources? Why or why not?
  4. Would you like to work on a renewable energy project? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What are the engineers keeping inside the turbines?
  2. General Electric’s project that they made public calls for using a five-turbines. (T or F)
  3. GE’s wind farm project should be linked to the grid system by ________.
  4. What are the names of the laws that had to be passed in Germany?
  5. The grid can start to use renewable energy at ant time. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • back up (P2)
  • turned into (P6)
  • used to (P6)
  • take up (P7)

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Image source:  by EPA/OLIVIER MAIRE https://www.neweurope.eu/article/germany-builds-first-wind-turbines-powered-water/