The English Learners' Blog

A blog for English learners and their teachers everywhere, initiated in 2010 with the contribution of students from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. More about me on the On-line Profile below. Welcome!

76 Responses

  1. Alina Alens says:

    On, for instance, you can read articles like: Biotech start-ups turn to US for finance, which discusses the European brain-drain, as more and more scientists are tempted to emigrate to the US.
    It generally keeps you up to date with what goes on in the European Union today.

  2. Krzysztof says:

    I am not sure if I caught the idea of the beginning of Zuckerberg’s letter, but I generally do not argee with these words. Of course, websites such as Facebook are great if you want to share messages or photos with your friends. I also have an account there. But on the other hand there are a lot of problems caused by irresponsible users. For instance, they publish uncensored photos. Such websites are personal details data bases which might be used by some organisations. So I do not think that ‘sharing more’ makes our world ‘more open and connected’.

    • Alina Alens says:

      Phishing is the practice of luring unsuspecting Internet users to a fake Web site by using authentic-looking email with the real organization’s logo, in an attempt to steal passwords, financial or personal information, or introduce a virus attack. The creation of a Web site replica for fooling unsuspecting Internet users into submitting personal or financial information or passwords, can occur in the case of any site, not only Facebook, even though it has also claimed its victims.

      You have reached a mid-level STEP 1. STEP 2 awaits your typing, so busy fingers, type on! 🙂

  3. karol says:

    I don’t agree with the statement “a world that’s more open and connected is a better world.”
    We cannot share everything with everybody. Nowadays many people forget about this when they write about their private lives. One must be careful in doing this as they can be the aim for spammers, identity thieves etc.

    • Alina Alens says:

      Aim for or the target of?
      “They may be the target of spammers, identity thieves etc.”

    • Krzysztof says:

      I can remember that once there was a website, I guess, some kind of blog. The main idea was that if you publish something in the Internet it will stay there forever. The website was full of stupid photos, comments, etc. and this shows that sometimes it would be better not to let people show everything they want.

      • Krzysztof says:

        I mean photos and other things which were found on popular sites such as Facebook, etc. and were published by their users.

  4. karol says:

    My favourite sites: – for everybody who likes good photos – a site with tons of science articles – journals of the American Physics Society (you need to log in – for free from the computers at our department)
    In Polish:– a very good site about economy -for lefebvists

  5. karol says:

    It’s a common name for the members of the Society of Saint Pius X, a traditional organisation. The members were excommunicated after the Second Vatican Council.
    Pope Benedict XVI cancelled the excommunication in 2009, but they are still controversial.

  6. Alina Alens says:

    With regard to privacy, here is a link to a site that will check your Facebook privacy settings free of charge:

  7. mike says:

    I don’t see the reason in posting too many private things on pages like facebook. I actually don’t feel the need to share photos from my holiday or parties with others and I don’t do this. Actually, who cares what I do in my free time…

    • Mariusz says:

      I completely agree. I find some informations posted on Facebook a bit irritaiting. Especially those involving someone’s recent activities, for example “Jan Kowalski is drinking a beer”.

    • Rafał G. says:

      I agree in 100% with Mike. What is more, for me especially crazy is posting on facebook “I’m engaged” and waiting to see how many comments will be posted under it.
      I think that the idea of facebook will last not for a long time. The people will become bored soon and if the trend will do a 180, then the people will be removing their accounts (the example is here nasza-klasa).

      • Alina Alens says:

        Hm, I see that you agree with Mike 100%.
        I don’t understand what you mean by “will do a 180” (degrees, millions?)
        The statement in parentheses is also unclear. I can read it in at least 3 ways:
        1. the example is, here, nasza klasa
        2. the example is here, nasza klasa
        3. the example is (without “here”) nasza klasa
        4. the example(,) here(,) is …
        Besides rewriting it, what do you mean? (Will people cancel their accounts on both Facebook & nasza klasa in the future?) etc

  8. NataliaB says:

    I like Facebook. It is a very useful tool, and there’s nothing wrong with it, as long as you use it like a tool only, not as the sense of your life.
    It helps to keep in touch with people who live far away, and with those who live close by as well – and you don’t have to pay for it ;). It is a huge virtual photoalbum, and a personalized calendar, helping to remember about all the events and even friends’ birthdays.

    As for the privacy issues – well. If you don’t want to be googled by your real name, you put a fictional one, if you don’t want people to see your photos from a recent party, you don’t share them, if you don’t want everyone to know that you hurt your leg or that you would like to eat chocolate, you don’t say it with your status. I think Facebook crew will work on the privacy issues, I can agree with the author of the letter – it has recenly become more simple to protect your privacy.

  9. Tomek B says:

    I must mention that your privacy can be endangered not only by other users, but also by Facebook as a company.
    My friend’s Facebook account sent an invitation to everybody in her address book without her knowledge. That means it searched her address book without her permission and by this violated her privacy.

    • Pawel D says:

      I think it’s more likely that it was either some sort of error or she didn’t notice that she agreed to do so, as Facebook does remind about this option several times (which is quite annoying, but that’s another story) but will do nothing unless you agree. I think that the latter is most probable especially since this corporation is really bent on making us safe (or at least making us think we are safe).

      As for the main topic I think that with sharing information you just have to be careful and you’ll be fine. Unfortunately many people suffer from a slightly different problem when someone else posts pictures of them or information about them – usually it’s completely innocent, since it’s mostly done by friends: for some people this might, nevertheless, be considered as violation of privacy, as it makes them “visible” on the Internet.

  10. Magdalena G. says:

    I personally don’t use Facebook. I have an account there, but it was created to allow me to take part in a short event connected to one of my favourite video game series some time ago, and I don’t need it after that.
    And as for my favourite websites… let me see…;; – these three are virtual pet adoption pages. English language (though Flower Game has an option to switch to another language, and some texts there are German only). and – two Polish message boards for fans of the Pokemon franchise. – another Pokemon website, English this time. Usually it is first (or among the first) to publish news about the franchise. – news about another well known video game franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog. English. and – two small daughters of Auntie Wikipedia 😉 The first one is about Pokemon, the second is about Sonic. English (although they have smaller Polish counterparts). and – these two are so-called comparison sites, containing information about the differences between English dub of a particular anime (Japanese animation) series and its original version. Especially American dubs can be heavily edited because of censorship, removal of elements of the Japanese culture (yes, it happens), cutting some scenes to fit the episode in a broadcast time slot and many other, often not clear reasons. These particular sites exploit the dub edits of Pokemon TV series and Sonic X, respectively – two series which aren’t maybe edited that much, but their American versions were distributed to most of countries in which they were aired (including Poland). English. – a site with a lot of things like papercraft templates for download. Multilingual. – a great source of information about anime and manga. And currently the best place to check which seiyuu (voice actor) voiced that one character from the series you are watching now. English. – Sonic the Hedgehog official Japanese website. Yes, I know Japanese… a bit, actually, and understand spoken language much better than written. Nevertheless, I sometimes visit Japanese pages – especially in cases like this, when more-friendly-language counterparts are either closed or not updated for a few years. And contents of the download sections there are marvellous. – blog of Jun’ichi Kanemaru, Japanese voice actor a.k.a. Sonic’s current Japanese voice (although he played many more anime characters). He is known for being particularly good in English (according to some sources, he’s English teacher as well) and the characters voiced by him tend to use a lot of English mixed into their Japanese speaking (check YouTube for examples). The blog itself is in Japanese, unfortunately, but even some of the photos alone are worth seeing – especially those of his cats.
    And you already know I’m a great fan of both Pokemon and Sonic… 🙂

    • Imladris says:

      I also like anime so there are my favorite sites:
      On this site you can watch for free many well-known anime series – with English dubbing or subtitles – it’s one of the best ways to learn this language 🙂
      Here is a site with hundreds of anime movies free to watch, with English subtitles or dubbing
      Just in case somebody doesn’t know what fanfiction is: it’s a story/poem/insert of your idea about chosen characters from any book/anime/ or whatever other source. It’s a lot of fun!
      This site contains hundreds of fanfictions about nearly every movie/book/manga you can imagine. There are thousands of anime but one is brillant – the same goes for fanfiction. You can also try to write it yourself.
      Heck, now I know what’s eating my time:/

  11. Tomek B. says:

    Websites I often visit:

    These websites collect money for kids and poor people once a day if you visit them ; click a link and see the advertisement placed there.

    Comic strip with Garfield

    Show with comics.

  12. Krzysztof Sz. says:


    • Alina Alens says:

      Alright, no Facebook for you. 😀 (Even though if you ARRRGGHH we might get the opposite idea.)
      How do you spend your on-line time?

      • Krzysztof Sz. says:

        Usually on YouTube 😛 and a few sites I don’t really want to share. In high school I’ve spent a lot of time on on-line games, but recently every spare minute is worth a lot, so I don’t play anymore. And of course I’m older now.

  13. Piotr C. says:

    Sometimes I use to determine if a film is worth watching or to find something interesting:, – websites aggregating film reviews of notable (and unfortunately mostly American) critics.– a database of data related to films

    Instead of Mathematica or mathematical tables (or as a database in which one can find a lot of interesting data not necessarily connected with Math) one can use:ttp:// – a mathematical encyclopedia created by the producer of Mathematica.

  14. Mariusz says:

    If we are discussing about websites we are using, I must mention one. Recently I created an account on Lastfm. This gives you a possibility of logging the tunes you listen to after you install a plug-in on your computer music player. The main advantages of the Last fm account are the following:
    You have convenient access to the list of your favourite music titles and artists, you can compare your musical preferences with your friends’, and you can find people interested in the same kind of music you like.

  15. Iza B. says:

    I often visit which are, as you can easily guess, funny comics about PhD students.
    I also often visit the Cracow public transport browser, where I can find suitable connections by bus and tram:
    The best weather forecast is available at:

    • Alina Alens says:

      The weather forecast site is very useful, especially with the ongoing rain these days!
      Curious about the comics, I’ll check some soon.
      Thanks, Iza!

      • Iza B. says:

        I would like to add that from my experience this weather forecast is correct even for a half an hour. So if it says that it will be raining at 2 p.m. you should definately take your umbrella 😉

      • Mariusz says:

        Not always Iza ! I must say that there is no ideal weather forecast. Even sometimes makes a mistake. I know it from my own experience. But, of course, it has the best prediction power among the weather forecasts I know 🙂

    • karol says:

      Iza, you don’t neet to read ”phd comics”, you can go to the NKF’s headquarters, where entertainment is guaranteed. (the tea as well) 🙂

    • Szymon H. says:

      Oh, this “comics” thing is great! My English exam tomorrow is now threatened. 😀

  16. karol says:

    I sang Chopin’s ”Funeral march”, and got
    Gosia Andrzejewicz’s “Pozwól żyć” 🙂
    So it needs improvement.
    What is strange, this pad wants access to my microphone and also to my Internet camera.
    Big Brother will be watching me.

    • Mariusz says:

      Karol, I don’t want to suggest anything, but maybe you should work on your vocal and after that you will receive the correct title ? 😛

  17. Aga P. says:

    I don’t like Facebook and other websites similar to it. If people don’t know how to use it and what the aim of these websites is, I think it is a waste of time. The idea is good; unfortunately, some people – in my opinion, of course, – aren’t using it in the right way. People are sharing all their photos, but I have no idea what for? Generally, they want to boast about what they were doing, where they have been and how great they are when there is nothing to be boasting about. Well, it is O.K. if someone truly has interesting pictures, which are really worth seeing, but I can’t see any sense in sharing photos showing: “Me and my half-day hairstyle before going to school”, “Me and my second breakfast”, “We – the elite – completely drunk during our last party (in the background someone unconscious lying on the floor)” or (my favourite one!) “Me and the foot of my darling”. Photos like these are irritating me. I really saw a photo where my friend was holding in her hand her boyfriend’s foot and some hearts and pink butterflies painted around it. After that I cancelled my account. Maybe I just don’t have a sense of humour. 😉

    • Mariusz says:

      For me such photos are also irritaiting. But I try to ignore them by not watching.
      You can also remove people who upload such photos from the list of your friends or block them. Then you will not receive any information about their Facebook activity.

  18. Krzysztof Sz. says:

    If someone is learning guitar, just as I do, there’s one obligatory website:

    An awesome player, Justin, has got A LOT of video courses (youtube videos) free for everyone, from very basic to advanced. It’s really worth visiting.

  19. Magdalena G. says:

    One site I forgot to mention: – this is another Wikipedia-like website, which catalogues “tropes” – “devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations”, to quote the main page. Despite the name “TV Tropes wiki” (which is kind of historical), as for now it covers practically all types of media, including books, movies, video games, webcomics, music, even mythology and fanfiction.

  20. Agnieszka Kow. says:

    You probably could see that I’m a huge Facebook fan, so I’ll skip that part, 😉 but I can share some of my favourite websites.

    1. – I love her as an actress and as a woman, and this website has a large photo gallery of her and also the most recent news about Monica.
    2. I loooooove web-comics (in Polish and in English) for example:,,
    3. Baking is a relaxing activity for me and I take all the recipes

  21. KasiaU2 says:

    Well, I really like Facebook because it lets me share my thoughts and ideas with friends. What’s more, there are lots of cool applications. 😀 Facebook is definitely better than Nasza Klasa. 😛 I think that people from my group may agree with me. 😉

  22. Łukasz G. says:

    hmm.. favourite sites.. specialized.. ok 🙂 – a blog with the newest info about the world of creating music – the best pictures ever seen (sometimes also the worst) – a source of any kind of software connected to sound design – tv series online

    • Mariusz says:

      I also like plfoto 🙂
      Today I saw there this photo. Such a shape of the water is the effect of gravity and electromagnetism (viscosity is caused by the electromagnetic force). Think about this while looking at this image. For me it is amazing that such beautiful and complicated structures can be formed by such simple objects like atoms ruled by relatively simple laws. 🙂

      • karol says:

        Really great, but don’t you think it could be photoshoped?
        Sometimes when I see photos at exhibitions I don’t know if they’re ”real”.
        Is there any way to verify the authenticity of pictures?

      • Mariusz says:

        Yes, it could be. But even “classical” photography gives a modified view of the world. The image depends on the objective, film, the various kinds of filters etc. So I think that the “real” image doesn’t exist.

      • karol says:

        You’re right,
        I will not tell that I like it, but I see that I must get accustomed to this.
        Maybe I’m simply old-fashioned.
        Some have the same problem when they see an impressionist painting.

      • Mariusz says:

        Why you don’t like it ?
        Digital techniques gives new opportunities of modifying images to make them more interesting. Let’s consider the HDR (High Dynamic Range) technique. It gives you the possibility of taking nice photos of extremely high contrast scenes.
        Here you have an example of HDR image with short explanation of this technique:

      • Tomek B. says:

        It looks great, but don’t you think it is in some way ‘not real‘?

      • karol says:

        I didn’t mean that I didn’t like the photos, they are really beautiful, but during some exhibition or picture contest, some is the best and wins. In my opinion it’s hard to compare what is ”normal” and what is HDR; maybe they should make several categories.

      • Tomek B. says:

        Exactly! I mean the same. Photos always look better in HDR, because we don’t see them in that way, and so it seems unusual. In a similar way, an artistic photo is more likely to win than a normal photo.

      • Mariusz says:

        Yes, I agree it looks unnatural. But for me this is the point. HDR gives a different point of view on our world.

        Karol, in some competitions there is a category called “graphics” that includes strongly HDR-ed and photoshopped images.

        Tomek, I think images do not always look better in HDR. I saw over-HDR-ed images. They’re terrible, so this technique is also some kind of art.

      • Tomek B. says:

        I don’t know how it looks in practice to take an HDR photo, maybe you can comment on this, but I see it in this way: you take a few photos with varied parameters and later try to compile them. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. If it is true, for me it is rather craftsmanship than art. In art you should have the vision of it before, not after seeing your result.

      • Mariusz says:

        I can’t agree with you, Tomek.

        Firstly, in “normal” photography you don’t have to have the exact vision for your image. Of course you should have an idea, but I know some great ones where the elements of the majority of images of the same object were taken at various exposition parameters. Only after watching them on the computer screen or after developing the film, can the photographer decide which one is the best.

        Secondly, believe me that creating a really good HDR image is more difficult than taking the non-HDR one. That is because in the process of making the HDR you have to pay attention to more things than in the “classical” case. You should have a tripod, all of the component images of HDR have to be exactly the same display frames. What is more, moving object like cars, people, animals are very problematic, because they look like ghosts in the final image if the delay between component shots is too long. It implies that you should have really fast camera (read: very expensive) to avoid such problems. Finally, the software used in creating HDR‘s is equipped with a lot of tools and you have to have some experience to set the best options.

        On the other hand, I agree that the random factor is also involved in HDR images 🙂

      • Tomek B. says:

        So I do know now how „ghost” photos are created. 🙂
        Maybe you’re right. I’ve never done this kind of photography. However, I don’t agree with your second statement. If you don’t have an idea for your photo, no expensive equipment will help you. Of course it is very useful to have it. 🙂

      • Mariusz says:

        I said that you should have an idea, but not necessarily the exact vision 🙂
        If you have never taken HDR images, I recommend that you try. This is really good fun 🙂

      • Tomek B. says:

        So if you have experience with it, what sophisticated equipment and software do you recommend to have before taking it up?

      • Mariusz says:

        The equipment doesn’t have to be sophisticated 🙂
        A camera with manual control of exposition, a tripod and a Photomatix software should be enough 🙂

      • Piotrek says:

        Have u ever thought about building a new camera by your self? The easiest way is to take a match box with a really small hole in the center. A photo plate has to be put inside the box, in a very dark room, and a thin piece of paper with one gap which will have to be moved very quickly over the box hole – so the photo will be taken.

      • Mariusz says:

        Yes, I’ve constructed something similar. It is called camera obscura, I suppose. Am I right Piotrek ?
        Here you can read more about it:

  23. Justyna French Accent says: – the first web network 100% live allowing you to listen to clubs and venues around the world in real time! – a blog where every day a French man has been picturing himself with a digital camera at 9:9am… since September 2002! – industrial design today: courses, education, competitions, history and contemporary, shop, interviews, snapshots, design-aerobics, the intelligent hand competition

  24. Szymon says:

    I really like The author posts there short stories written by himself. They are usually sci-fi, and, in spite of the fact that I don’t like this kind of literature, I’m a great fan of this blog. The stories are interesting, full of humor and written in very nice Polish (which is not frequent on the Internet).
    I also visit regularly. This is a main page of one of the authors writing on a larger blog platform. His blog has the same advantages as the previous one. Its topic is quite more serious, but this does not prevent the author from posting really funny texts (from time to time).

  25. Piotrek says:

    It is obvious that facebook is popular, but i don’t agree with the words ‘And a world that’s more open and connected is a better world’. It is utopic to think that everybody has good intentions. What about the evil designs?
    Each connection offers you a possibility to get great information or pictures of someone. And i don’t like it. Thus, this kind of pages stop you from being anonymous on the Internet.

  26. KasiaU2 says: Here you can meet new friends from around the world. 🙂

  27. Chrisco says:

    I think the author is simply defending himself and his colleagues. The individual data of Facebook visitors were just inadequately protected, which is against the law and might be truly harmful to the users. There are lots of cheats, perverts and thieves on the NET. All the crew should follow the precautions (listed in the letter) to avoid such inconveniences in the future…

  28. Chrisco says:

    By the way,I avoid using such portals(sites) like facebook,””,”nasza klasa” etc.In my opinion it’s better to send an e-mail,talk by GG or use your cell phone to connect with foreign or remote friends…

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