Tag: fun

The Best 3D Street Art

They call him the “Chalk Man”. Julian Beever is a street artist who draws 3D pictures with chalk. He was born in Cheltenham, UK and has been painting 3D street art since the early 1990s He has worked in 28 countries.   You can see more of his work on his website here. (photo credit)....

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Why is 0 points in Tennis called ‘Love’?

There are a couple of theories as to why we use the word “love” to mean 0 points in Tennis. Here are the two most convincing: 1) By far the most popular theory is that the word ‘love’ comes from the French word ‘l’oeuf’ which means egg. This is because the number 0 when written looks kind of like an egg. 2) Another theory is that the word love is used to mean no points because love for the game is the only reason a player with no points would continue playing. He loves tennis so much that he...

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The Union Jack – Who is Jack?!

“Who is Jack?” This was a question a student asked me when we were talking about flags. The Union Jack is the name of the United Kingdom flag. But who is Jack? I honestly had no idea.  So I set out to find the answer. The Union part of the name Union Jack is easy to understand. The first version of the flag was made up of the English flag and the Scottish flag, when the two countries formed a union in 1606. The current version of the flag also includes the Cross of Saint Patrick. This is not the official flag of Northern Ireland, but is used to represent the country in the Union Jack. Saint Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland. This version of the flag  was introduced in 1801. The Welsh flag is not included in the design because when the flag was first introduced in 1606, Wales was part of England. The Welsh flag (below) was only officially adopted in 1959. Some people have suggested adding in the Welsh flag, but this idea has not really taken off. So then, what about Jack? I looked it up online and it turns out that Jack was not a person.  (Although Jack is a popular boys name these days). The word jack was used in the 1600s to mean small. The flag is traditionally called the Union...

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10 Signs You are 100% Fluent in a Language

Fluent is a relative term. I don’t know if I consider myself fluent in French, even though I’ve got a degree in it and spent 5 months living there. I still make stupid mistakes and I often tell people ‘he’s crying’ when I mean ‘it’s raining’. French people think that it’s adorable. And if someone thinks your French is adorable, then you can’t really be fluent, can you? There are varying definitions of fluent- some people measure fluency in number of words and grammar structures you know, others use a more qualitative method; can you hold a conversation? Can you ask for directions and write a formal letter? For me, fluency is not what you can or can’t do in a language, it’s about your attitude towards it. Here’s my list of signs you’re fluent in a foreign language; 1) You stop looking for opportunities to ‘practice’.  For me this is the most important sign of being fluent; that you can have the same conversation in both languages and you don’t feel the NEED to practice any more. If you need to practice, you’re still a learner. 2) You can have a meaningful relationship with someone who doesn’t speak your mother tongue You can talk to that person without the safety blanket of your first language to fall back on. You also stop looking for foreign friends just because...

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Ducks Get their Own Traffic Lane in London

“Duck Lanes” have been installed in London, Manchester and Birmingham, England.  The lanes are along canal areas where ducks usually live. The idea is to help people be more aware of the space, and to share the road with the ducks. The “Duck Lanes” were designed by the Canal River Trust who maintain the waterways in England and Wales. Their motto is “share the space, slow your pace: it is a special place”. It is not known if the ducks are following the duck lanes...

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