Friday, January 28, 2011

Immigrants: Just another social problem?

Immigrants in Greece Occupy University, Start Hunger Strike:

Read this article and explain how you feel about this influx of immigrants.

The First Flight of the Frisbee

Taken from:

Every object has a history, and behind that history an inventor, the person who thought it up first. Sometimes who was first can be a topic for hot debate: often several people independent of each other will all think of the same good idea at around the same time and will later have to argue "No it was me, I thought of it first." Many people have claimed to have invented the Frisbee.

The Frisbie Baking Company (1871-1958) of Bridgeport, Connecticut, made pies that were sold to many New England colleges. Hungry college students soon discovered that the empty pie tins could be tossed and caught, providing endless hours of game and sport. Many colleges have claimed to be the home of 'he who was first to fling.' Yale College has even argued that in 1820, a Yale undergraduate named Elihu Frisbie grabbed a passing collection tray from the chapel and flung it out into the campus, thereby becoming the true inventor of the Frisbie and winning glory for Yale. That tale is unlikely to be true since the words 'Frisbie's Pies' was embossed in all the original pie tins and from the word 'Frisbie' was coined the common name for the toy.

In 1948, a Los Angeles building inspector named Walter Frederick Morrison and his partner Warren Franscioni invented a plastic version of the Frisbie that could fly further and with better accuracy than a tin pie plate. Morrison's father was also an inventor, who invented the automotive sealed-beam headlight. Another interesting tidbit was that Morrison had just returned to America after World War II, where he had been a prisoner in the infamous Stalag 13. His partnership with Warren Franscioni, who was also a war veteran, ended before their product had achieved any real success.

Morrison (after his split with Franscioni) produced a plastic Frisbie called the Pluto Platter, to cash in on the growing popularity of UFOs with the American public. The Pluto Platter has become the basic design for all Frisbies. The outer third of the Frisbie disc is called the 'Morrison Slope', listed in the patent. Rich Knerr and A.K. 'Spud' Melin were the owners of a new toy company called 'Wham-O'. Knerr and Melin also marketed the Hula-Hoop, the Super Ball and the Water Wiggle. They pair first saw Morrison's Pluto Platter in late 1955. They liked what they saw and convinced Morrison to sell them the rights to his design. With a deal signed, Wham-O began production (1/13/1957) of more Pluto Platters. The next year, the original Frisbie Baking Company shut down and coincidentally Fred Morrison was awarded a patent (Design patent 183,626) for his flying disc. Morrison received over one million dollars in royalties for his invention.

The word 'Frisbee' is pronounced the same as the word 'Frisbie'. Rich Knerr (Wham-O) was in search of a catchy new name to help increase sales, after hearing about the original use of the terms 'Frisbie' and 'Frisbie-ing'. He borrowed from the two words to create the registered trademark Frisbee ®. Sales soared for the toy, due to Wham-O's clever marketing of Frisbee playing as a new sport. In 1964, the first professional model went on sale. Ed Headrick was the inventor at Wham-O who patented Wham-O's designs for the modern frisbee (U.S. patent 3,359,678). Ed Headrick's frisbee with its band of raised ridges called the Rings of Headrick had stablized flight as opposed to the wobbly flight of its predecessor the Pluto Platter.

In 1967, high school students in Maplewood, New Jersey, invented Ultimate Frisbee, a recognized sport that is a cross between football, soccer and basketball. Ten years later, a form of Frisbee golf was introduced, complete with professional playing courses and associations.

Sotiria, why do you like Frisbee so much? How do you feel when you play this sport? What else do you usually do in your free time? Thodoris could answer the last question, as well! 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fate vs Chance

'Your mother's story is your grandmother's story and it is also your great-grandmother's story. It's your great- aunt's story too. Their lives are intertwined and that's what we really mean when we talk about fate in Greece. Our so-called fate is largely ordained by our ancestors, not by the stars. When we talk about ancient history here we always refer to destiny- but we don't really mean the uncontrollable. Of course events seem to take place out of the blue that change the course of our lives, but what really determines what happens to us are the actions of those around us now and those that came before us.'
Extract from 'The Island' (page 43) by Victoria Hislop

Do you agree with this interpretation of what fate is? Why? Why not?  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Adolescence: ECPE Reading Passage

Read the passage and answer the questions.

Adolescence is a time of tremendous changes. The adolescent may experience feelings which, at first, may seem strange. These feelings lead to changes in socialization. For example, boys and girls start to find one another attractive, which alters how they behave with friends and acquaintances. At the same time, there is a profound impact on the adolescent’s relationship with authority figures, notably parents. Perhaps, subconsciously, the adolescent realizes that parental support must be sacrificed for independence. As a result, the culmination of these changes influences how the adolescent views society and himself.

In an effort to understand the psychological development of a teenager, psychologists come across many obstacles. While a teenager, as compared to a child, is capable of discussing his emotions and rationale, he may find certain topics embarrassing. In addition, a teenager’s actions cannot be easily observed first-hand by psychologists, thus the actual facts of an adolescent’s behavior are difficult to accurately record.

A society’s perception of adolescence affects the expectations it has of a teenager. In countries such as the United States, a teenager is expected, to some extent, to be financially independent. What this means is that, instead of getting an allowance, the average teenager has an after-school, part-time job to earn pocket money. Similarly, he may be responsible for others, such as a younger brother or sister, while their parents are at work; whereas in other countries, such as those of southern Europe, a teenager is expected to devote his time solely to his studies and not work.

Once a teenager has proven to be responsible, then he is allowed certain privileges that are reserved for adults. In some states, for instance, an American high school student is allowed to drive by the age of 16. He is usually free to decide what to wear unless the school which he attends has dress restrictions. At the age of 18, an American teen can vote and live on his own but is not permitted to consume alcohol.

According to the passage, which statement is NOT true?
a Adolescents experience changes they don’t expect.
b Adolescents experience emotional changes.
c Adolescents become distant from their parents.
d Adolescents are indifferent towards the opposite sex.

What problem do psychologists face when they study adolescents?
a Psychologists won’t talk about embarrassing issues.
b Teenagers cannot explain why they act the way they do.
c First-hand observations are misleading.
d The behavior of teenagers cannot always be observed.

According to the passage, teenagers in southern European countries
a are responsible for younger siblings.
b are expected to have a part time job.
c are supposed to focus on school.
d can live alone.

In the United States, teenagers
a aren’t allowed to drink beer.
b don’t drive until they are 18.
c cannot vote until they get a job.
d wear what parents don’t allow.

The passage suggests that
a being a teenager is the best time of a person’s life.
b teenagers only worry about school.
c teenagers grow closer to their parents.
d rights and responsibilities are a part of adolescence.

Reading score: ___ / 5