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!

1, 2, 3, Think, Read, Speak!!!

Like most students, Millenials or otherwise, mine love to stay current & be able to discuss the latest trends, so here’s a Think & Read three-pack I came up with to help the discussion flow & connect present to future technologically as well as linguistically. The texts below are taken from Content Loop, one of our latest favourites here at the ELB.

Have a fab Feb and keep your mind well fed with valuable information!

(Further reading suggested:

click the numbers pics 4 extra reads on senses, skating & L o V e <3.)

1

No.

 THINK about your TOP 3 most annoying habits people have connected with technology in your opinion (like spending time checking the phone during face-to-face meetings) and think of ways people should/could change those habits.
READ this article on technology etiquette for the emerging generation, write down any tricky words, phrases & questions you might have for further discussion.

2

 No.THINK about the specific traits of our generation, the Millennials. (In what ways are we different from other generations?)
READ this article on  how to grab the attention of Millenials via email and compare your ideas against the ideas presented in the text. Would you read mails written in the styles suggested in the text? Which style(s) would you find more appealing? Why? Why not? Be ready to speak your mind on the issues you find most relevant to you, your life & living today.

 3

No.THINK about the type of content/topics/styles/genres you like to read about and describe it/them briefly. Then try to analyse why  you are attracted to these types of content?
READ this text about the link between viral content and emotional intelligence. What do you agree and disagree with, and why?
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Filed under: 1►TO DO, 2►READ, 3►SPEAK▼, ■ Communicate, ■ CONTENT LOOP, ■ Generations, ■ Inspiration, ■ Physics, ■ Relation ships, ■ Science & Technology, ■ Technology & Our Generation, ■ The W W WEB, ■ The World, ■ Thinking Space

Introducing: Physics Students

Some of my Physics Students at the Jagiellonian University: Piotr, Krzysztof, Karol, Lila, Pawel, Mariusz, Szymon, I, Pawel & Krzysztof. Behind the camera: Przemek.


Time has come to present to you, global English learners, some pieces of writing signed by some of my Physics students. As this blog develops I am glad to include as many such scientific pieces as possible.

Here’s an interesting paper signed by Piotr (the first on the left-hand side in the photo, barely visible).

Read the essay below, his take on ways of dealing with toxic waste.

Enjoy!


Nuclear Waste

By  Piotr Czarnik


Radioactive waste is probably one of the most feared types of waste. One of the reasons why this situation is a common belief is that radioactivity is a phenomenon occurring only as the result of human activity. In fact, radioactivity is a natural property of some substances, and as such, it is quite common. It is connected with the instability of atomic nuclei (only a part of which have this property) which could emit particles capable of the damage to or even the destruction of cells. Radioactive nuclei, which are called radioactive isotopes by physicists, naturally occur in rocks, the walls of our houses, in food, and, eventually, even in our bodies. UNSECAR calculated that in 2000 natural radiation (measured by effective dose per capita) absorbed by our bodies was 6 times larger than the radiation produced by man-made sources. Among them the most significant were diagnostic medical experiments. The effective dose coming from radioactive waste was less than 1 percent of the total effective dose. In spite of its small impact on our health, which is a result of high standards of security used during process of their storage, its utilization poses a severe problem.

Radioactive waste, which has the highest level of radioactivity, is produced by nuclear reactors in nuclear plants. The nuclear fuel used contains a high percentage of radioactive isotopes of uranium or plutonium. After some time it becomes unsuitable for use because of the toxic byproducts of the reactor. Nevertheless, it is still highly radioactive, just like the toxic byproducts themselves, which have a large half-life span. The term half-life refers to the time period in which half of the nuclei in an isotope will decay. Because the reactor produces isotopes with a long half-life, it was estimated that the waste produced would be potentially dangerous even after a million years. Moreover, this waste contains a lot of plutonium, which is a basic material used to construct an atomic bomb. The extraction of plutonium from this waste is a very difficult and dangerous task, one that requires advanced technology. However, it is possible.

The properties of nuclear waste described above make the process of storage or utilization of waste extremely important. Before beginning the process of the storage in its final destination, it should be transformed into a form which could not react with the environment. There are propositions as to how this process should look, but there is not a common agreement on which of them should be commonly used and if they are sufficiently safe. One of them is a process of synthetic rock (Synrock) production during which radioactive isotopes become minerals. After that process nuclear waste should be stored in a safe place. One of the most realistic propositions is storing it in geologically inactive formations, 500 – 1000 meters below the surface of the ground, in old mines or drills made for that purpose.  Another very interesting proposition is storing it in subduction zones in which tectonic plates sink into the Earth’s mantle, which could provide its permanent removal from our environment. Another possibility is its storage in outer space, but it is temporally impossible because of the high rate of rocket launches failure. Another interesting approach dealing with nuclear waste is its transmutation into non-radioactive isotopes in specially designed reactors. This method provides its total utilization.

The question of how to deal with radioactive waste efficiently and safely is still unanswered. Continous progress in science and technology and a lot of interesting ideas which was proposed give us hope that an answer will be found in the near future. Paradoxically, dealing with this kind of waste, because of its special character, could be much easier than dealing with more common types of pollution, which, are in fact, causing more casualties than nuclear waste.

______________________________________

Filed under: 6►THEME CHEST, ■ Physics, ■ Science & Technology, ■ Writing Samples

The_New_Media_Landscape

Can you imagine a completely “unplugged” daily routine for yourself?

With no Internet, mobile phone or digital music players?

A Day Without Media is a research conducted by ICMPA and students at the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland (College Park, USA) that investigates the possibility of “surviving” without media for a day.

What is your comment on “going unplugged“?

How would you and/or the average young man or woman in your country respond to this challenge?

If you are interested in learning more about the media landscape change in recent years you can watch this video posted last September on YouTube by the Economist magazine. Start with answering the quizz below, then watch the video to check the answer.

By the way, how often do you text your acquaintances and friends per month?

Filed under: ■ Science & Technology

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