Saturday, 31 August 2019

How Far Back in Time Could an English Speaker Go and Still Communicate English


How Far Back in Time Could an English Speaker 
Go and Still Communicate English

                    

Friday, 30 August 2019

Ice On Fire

Your Friday movie
ICE ON FIRE


You can view the film with subtitles the following way:
1.     Download film
2. If you do not already have it, 
download from the internet the free version of
VLC media player at VLC download.
3.     Once installed, you will be able to view subsequent films.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Your Friday movie


You can view the film with subtitles the following way:
1.     Download film
2. If you do not already have it, 
download from the internet the free version of
VLC media player at VLC download.
3.     Once installed, you will be able to view subsequent films.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Missy Higgins Oh Canada with subtitles

Missy Higgins Oh Canada with subtitles



Lyrics


He was carried from the water by a solider

And the picture screams a thousand different words
He was running from the terror with his father
Who once believed that nothing could be worse
So he'd handed a man two thousand precious dollars

The way you'd rest a bird in a lion's open jaw
And he told his boys that Canada was waiting
That There was hope upon her golden shores
But at night he said a quiet prayer into the wind
Oh Canada, if you can hear me now

Won't you open up your arms towards the sea?
Oh Canada, if you can help me out
All I ever wanted was a safe place for my family
Well the days were long but the nights were even longer

And the baby boys never left their mothers' side
But the boat was small and the waves were getting stronger
And they began to fear they'd not survive
So the father said "We gotta hold each other tighter

I'm not losing everything I've loved tonight
And we've come so far I know that out there somewhere
There's a place where we'll not fear for our lives"
But as he held onto the side of the boat he looked up at the sky
Oh Canada, if you can hear me now

Won't you open up your arms towards the sea
Oh Canada, if you can help me out
The sea is turning and I think we're going down
Oh Canada, if you can hear me now

Won't you open up your heart towards me
Oh Anyone, please help me out
All we ever wanted was a safe place for our family
There's a million ways to justify your fear
There's a million ways to measure out your words
But the body of Alan being laid upon the sand
Tell me how do you live with that?

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Italian problems: Driving seven hours (in a heatwave) to sign a form

Italian problems: Driving seven hours (in a heatwave) to sign a form


Italian problems: Driving seven hours (in a heatwave) to sign a form
Photo: DepositPhotos
What do you do when you find yourself in the kind of infuriating situation that could only ever happen in Italy?
It's not news to anyone that Italian bureaucracy is tediously slow, and frequently malfunctions. But this week, a set of particularly Italian circumstances converged to leave me wondering, just briefly, why I ever thought moving to Italy was a good idea in the first place.
"No, we can't send the form by courier. You have to come in person," on the phone, the Italian bank employee had sounded extremely bored.
I took a deep breath. "But we're seven hours away and I'm working. Can we make an appointment to come next week?"
"No, we'll be on holiday. Until September."
"What, everyone? The whole bank?"
"It's August," he said, as if this was self-explanatory.
It was actually July 23rd but like pretty much everyone else in Italy, this particular bank employee seemed to have already mentally checked out for the summer holidays. The extreme heat probably wasn't helping.
"If you can't come this week then we'll just start the application process in September," he added.
I seethed inwardly, having already explained several times that we were in a rush to arrange the mortgage, as my husband's work had just transferred him to the other side of Italy – from Arezzo, Tuscany back to his home city of Bari - at very short notice.
He works for the Italian fire brigade, which - believe it or not - frequently transfers employees across the country with only one or two weeks' warning 
We needed to arrange everything as quickly as possible, and there was nothing else for it.
We considered switching banks, but we'd already spent more than a week having meetings and getting our documents in order, and we needed to get the process rolling before our notary, too, goes on holiday for a few weeks.
So my husband was soon checking the traffic conditions for the long drive to visit this particular regional bank in Puglia. The motorways were pretty busy with it being peak summer travel season. He went to check the train schedules until I reminded him that today, of all days, there was a national rail strike.
He briefly considered chancing it on the train, which is a ten-hour journey at the best of times, until he remembered it was also 38 degrees outside.
We had found ourselves stuck with a perfect storm of bureaucracy, strikes, traffic, long summer holidays and insufferable heat, with some bad customer service thrown in.  
I wondered: could this situation be any more Italian?
I made an ill-tempered comment about how "nothing works in this country"; and got a very characteristic response from my southern Italian husband. A smile, and a shrug.
"No problem," he told me repeatedly as he got into the car this morning, ready to set off on his seven-hour solo journey under the blazing sun.
"Things do function here, in their own way," he told me, not for the first time ever.
Italians may get worked up over certain important things (you know, like food) but when it comes to bureaucracy, the consensus seems to be "what's the point in worrying?".
After all, getting mad about bureaucracy not working here would be about as useful as shaking your fist at the sky when it rains.
And maybe I'm finally coming around to this way of thinking, or maybe I'm just too hot to care. But I know he's right. This situation is annoying, it's stressful, it's ridiculous, it's sweaty, and it's oh so very Italian – but it's not the end of the world.
And it's a reminder that the only way I'll be able to cope with living permanently in Italy is to totally revise any expectations of how things "should" work, and adjust my mindset accordingly. And maybe go and open a bottle of wine.
Nessun problema?
I'm working on it
.

Ernest Vaudry
cell. 3922885246

Endless English Blog

PayPal.me/EVaudry


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Friday, 16 August 2019


Your Friday movie


You can view the film with subtitles the following way:
1.     Download film
2. If you do not already have it, 
download from the internet the free version of
VLC media player at VLC download.
3.     Once installed, you will be able to view subsequent films.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Toni Morrison Nobel Lecture (1993)

Toni Morrison Nobel Lecture (1993)


Toni Morrison passed away this week.  (August 5th).  She is arguably America's greatest writer.  This is a speech she gave upon winning the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993.
Remember to turn on the subtitle function on YouTube

Here is an article from the GUARDIAN noting her passing as well as a link to the WIKIPEDIA information about her life and literature.

The couple in the iconic Woodstock photo are still together

The couple in the iconic Woodstock photo are still together



Monday, 5 August 2019

Calvin Harris, Rag'n'Bone Man - Giant (Lyric Video)


I understood loneliness

Before I knew what it was
I saw the pills on the table
For your unrequited love
I would be nothing
Without you holding me up
Now strong enough for both of us
Both of us, both of us, both of us
I am a giant (Ooh)

Stand up on my shoulders, tell me what you see
'Cause I am a giant (Ooh)
We'll be breaking boulders, underneath our feet
I am, I am, I am, I am, I am, I am a giant (Oh)
I am, I am, I am, I am, I am, I am a giant (Oh)
Don't hide your emotions

You can throw down your guard
And free from the notion
We can be who we are
You taught me something, yeah
Freedom is ours
It was you who taught me living is
Togetherness, togetherness, togetherness
I am a giant (Ooh)
Stand up on my shoulders, tell me what you see
'Cause I am a giant (Ooh)
We'll be breaking boulders, underneath our feet
I am, I am, I am, I am, I am, I am a giant (Oh)
I am, I am, I am, I am, I am, I am a giant (Oh)
Oh, oh, oh, hey-oh, oh, oh, oh, hey-oh
Gonna shake, throw it away in the dirt, under me, yeah, yeah
Oh, oh, oh, hey-oh, oh, oh, oh, hey-oh
Gonna shake, throw it away in the dirt, under me, yeah, yeah
Gonna shake, throw it away in the dirt, yeah, yeah
Gonna shake, throw it away in the dirt, yeah, yeah
Gonna shake, throw it away in the dirt, yeah, yeah
Gonna shake, throw it away in the dirt
I am, I am, I am (Ooh)
I am, I am, I am, I am, I am a giant (Ooh)
I am, I am, I am, I am, I am a giant (Ooh)

Sunday, 4 August 2019

The Racist History of Tipping



An illustration of the interior of a Pullman dining car. | Library of Congress
By REV. DR. WILLIAM J. BARBER II

July 17, 2019
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

This week, the House of Representatives will have a chance to end a pernicious legacy of slavery. Lawmakers will vote on the Raise the Wage Act, which would boost the minimum wage across the country to $15 an hour by 2024. This would be a crucial step toward the first federal minimum wage increase in more than a decade.
A just-released Congressional Budget Office report finds that a $15 minimum wage would have tremendous benefits for low-wage workers of all races and ethnicities. Yet the stakes are particularly high for black workers. The share who would benefit from the Raise the Wage Act is far larger than the share of white workers who would benefit—38 percent compared with 23 percent.
There’s another provision in the legislation—eliminating the subminimum tipped wage—that corrects a wrong that goes much further back than the previous federal minimum wage increase. For workers regularly making more than $30 a month in tips, employers can currently pay as little as $2.13 an hour. That subminimum wage has been frozen at this level for decades. Should the Raise the Wage Act pass the House, it will mark the first time that either chamber of Congress has moved to eliminate the subminimum wage, which not only deepens economic inequalities but also happens to be a relic of slavery.
You might not think of tipping as a legacy of slavery, but it has a far more racialized history than most Americans realize. Tipping originated in feudal Europe and was imported back to the United States by American travelers eager to seem sophisticated. The practice spread throughout the country after the Civil War as U.S. employers, largely in the hospitality sector, looked for ways to avoid paying formerly enslaved workers.
One of the most notorious examples comes from the Pullman Company, which hired newly freed African American men as porters. Rather than paying them a real wage, Pullman provided the black porters with just a meager pittance, forcing them to rely on tips from their white clientele for most of their pay.
Tipping further entrenched a unique and often racialized class structure in service jobs, in which workers must please both customer and employer to earn anything at all. A journalist quoted in Kerry Segrave’s 2009 bookTipping: An American Social History of Gratuities, wrote in 1902 that he was embarrassed to offer a tip to a white man. “Negroes take tips, of course; one expects that of them—it is a token of their inferiority,” he wrote. “Tips go with servility, and no man who is a voter in this country is in the least justified in being in service.”
The immorality of paying an insufficient wage to workers, who then were forced to rely on tips, was acknowledged at the time. In his popular 1916 anti-tipping study, The Itching Palm, writer William Scott described tipping as an aristocratic custom that went against American ideals. “The relation of a man giving a tip and a man accepting it is as undemocratic as the relation of master and slave,” Scott wrote. “A citizen in a republic ought to stand shoulder to shoulder with every other citizen, with no thought of cringing, without an assumption of superiority or an acknowledgment of inferiority.”
Several states sought to end the practice in the early 1900s, often in recognition of its racist roots. But the restaurant industry fought back and was powerful enough to roll back local bans on tipping. And tipped workers—along with most others, as the act applied to industries that together made up only one-fifth of the labor force—were excluded from the first, limited federal minimum wage law passed in 1938.
It took until 1966 for advocates to win a base wage for tipped workers, and that amounted to only 50 percent of the minimum wage already guaranteed to other workers. Congress continued to raise the subminimum tipped wage until 1996, when Herman Cain, who headed the National Restaurant Association at the time, offered legislators a bargain: The industry would accept a small increase in the minimum wage as long as the tipped wage was frozen at $2.13 an hour.
Congress agreed to the deal, and the tipped minimum wage remains just $2.13 to this day. Employers are supposed to pay the difference if tips don’t bring workers to the full regular minimum wage. But too often that law is not enforced. When the Department of Labor conducted an unusual compliance sweep of 9,000 full-service restaurants between 2010 and 2012, they found that 84 percent had violated the subminimum wage system.
A century later, the industry lobby continues its fight to uphold this two-tiered pay system. Where social movements have gotten cities to pass minimum wage hikes, the lobby has pressured state legislatures to ban local wage increases altogether. The industry also fought to overturnvoter-approved initiatives in Maine and Washington, D.C., that would have ended the subminimum tipped wage, while they lobbied legislators in Michigan to keep the issue from reaching the ballot in the first place.
That’s why national action to finally reverse this particular vestige of slavery is so vital. No one can live on $2.13 an hour—a poverty wage.
We may live in a very different society from 150 years ago, but the subminimum tipped wage still exacerbates the inequalities passed down from that time. Workers in the restaurant industry are far more likely to be poor or near-poor than the general population. Sure, upscale restaurants where wealthy patrons offer servers good tips on expensive menu items can provide a good living, but those jobs are few and far between—and dominated by white men.
Research also shows that tipping itself has a racial component: Customers generally give white workers bigger tips than black workers, regardless of service quality. Thanks in part to segregation  within the industry and discrimination from patrons, restaurant worker poverty rates are highestfor women and people of color.
Ending the subminimum wage would right one of the historical wrongs keeping certain groups of workers from receiving the full protections they are due, but ultimately, low wages driven by racism hurt workers of all races. Three times as many white workers as black workers stand to get a raise if the federal minimum wage hike passes. Undoing systemic racism opens up opportunities for all people.
With a Republican Senate and president, the Raise the Wage Act might not become national law in the immediate future. But a vote by the House to end the subminimum tipped wage would send an unmistakable signal to the several states considering similar legislation: The days of these racist tiered wage systems are coming to an end.