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City backyards

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If you live in San Francisco, you might have a city backyard like this one. You might have a small pond under a fruit tree. Ferns and rocks surround the pond. You might have a brick walkway leading to the pond and potted plants might dot the walkway. Plus you might have a gate under a wooden arch, just a small arch. This is a lovely city backyard.

 

 

Vocabulary
Backyards: area behind a house or apartment
Ferns: green plants
Surround: around
Walkway: a path
Potted plants: plants growing in pots
Dot: a few along the path
Arch: a curved entry way

 

 

Words and phrases that you just heard
For a city
Not about parks
Trees and greenery
I sometimes wonder
Walk on sidewalks
Link us to other living creatures
24/7
Unnatural environments

Reading and books

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You read, right? My questions are about the format in which you read. Are you reading online? Are you reading printed material? Are you reading magazines? Are you reading newspapers? What about books? Do you read books? I wonder about the future of printed material.

 

Vocabulary
Format: how something is arranged
Printed material: books, magazines, newspapers

 

 

Words and phrases that you just heard
Approximately three
Steam printing press
Paper mills
Powered by streams and rivers
Reduced costs meant
Still be reading printed material

A miniature town

 

 

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This is a miniature town. You can see houses in the background. The houses are painted in a variety of colors: yellow, turquoise, purple, green, blue and gold. You can see train tracks in the foreground and in the middle. You can see the game house on the left side, which is the building with the chessboard rooftop.

 

 

Vocabulary
Miniature: small, tiny
Background: the area in the back, a compound word
Variety: different ones
Tracks: the train path
Foreground: the area in the front, a compound word

 

 

Words and phrases that you just heard
Suppose we talk about
A compound word
Two words
Several examples
Chessboard and rooftop

Litter

 

This miniature sailboat is moving gently around the lake. The day is sunny and peaceful, and the water in the lake is moving gently. In contrast, the littered east end of the lake is not moving. This is litter that we humans carelessly discard. We discard cups from the latte we drink; we discard cigarette butts; we discard plastic bags. Now maybe you put all your trash into the garbage. Maybe the wind takes your trash and morphs it into litter.

 

 

 

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Vocabulary
Litter: trash on the sidewalk, street and other places where it should not be
Miniature: small, tiny, mini
Contrast: difference
In contrast: an idiomatic expression meaning on the other hand
Discard: throw away, abandon
Morphs: changes

 

 

Words and phrases that you just heard
To assure you
New phenomenon
Littering for thousands
Governments address
Culprits are food wrappers
Mechanical sweepers
Debris every year

Fall days

 

What is your plan for this lovely fall day? You might have errands to do. You might have to go to school or work. You might have to take your children to school. You might have to prepare a report. Still you might have a free day today. You might want to play a round of golf by Lake Merced in San Francisco.

 

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Vocabulary
Fall: one of the four seasons
Errands: small tasks such as going to the cleaners or buying stamps
A round of golf: a game of golf

 

 

Words and phrases that you just heard
Many of us love
Tai chi
Ping pong
Energy in sports
The excitement of winning
The sorrow in losing
Experience life

City backyards

 

If you live in San Francisco, you might have a city backyard like this one. You might have a small pond under a fruit tree. Ferns and rocks surround the pond. You might have a brick walkway leading to the pond and potted plants might dot the walkway. Plus you might have a gate under a wooden arch, just a small arch. This is a lovely city backyard.

 

pic01

 

 

 

Vocabulary
Backyards: area behind a house or apartment
Ferns: green plants
Surround: around
Walkway: a path
Potted plants: plants growing in pots
Dot: a few along the path
Arch: a curved entry way

 

 

Words and phrases that you just heard
For a city
Not about parks
Trees and greenery
I sometimes wonder
Walk on sidewalks
Link us to other living creatures
24/7
Unnatural environments

Minutiae

 

 

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The minutiae of life take up a tremendous amount of time. Minutiae? Is that a new vocabulary word? Minutiae mean small details. What are the small details of life? Completing forms, cleaning off your desk, getting a haircut, washing your car, filling up the tank with gas. The minutiae of life take time and effort. Minutiae are the small tasks we all have to do each day.

 

 

Vocabulary
Minutiae: small details
Tremendous: huge, large
Completing: finishing
Tank: the place in your car where gasoline is stored
Effort: attempt, try
Have to do: must

 

 

Words and phrases that you just heard
This is Jenna
A coffee shop
Sips coffee
What human beings do
The question for you
Accomplish
Just part of

Summer activities

So what do you do on a sunny summery Sunday afternoon in San Francisco? You take your catamaran on the bay for the afternoon. You can sail out to Angel Island, which is at the top left of the photo or to Alcatraz, which is at the top right. You can go hiking on Angel Island, or you can see Alcatraz Prison, which is now a state park.

 

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Vocabulary
Summery: summer in adjective form
Catamaran: a boat with more than one hull

 

 

Words and phrases that you just heard
California cuisine
Locally grown fruits
And fusion
Kind of cuisine
California style pizza
Artichokes and spinach

Good fences

 

American poet Robert Frost wrote this: Good fences make good neighbors. He probably meant that fences give people some privacy. Neighbors do not usually walk into your garden if you have a fence. Good neighbors are people who understand the difference between where they are welcome and where they are not welcome. Good neighbors avoid barging in.

 

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Vocabulary
Probably: most likely
Meant: past tense of mean, intend
Privacy: space to yourself
Neighbors: people living near you
Avoid: keep away from
Barging in: entering without permission

 

 

Words and phrases that you just heard
We humans
Boundaries
Backyards
Separate traffic
Although no one
Invisible
Mark our territories

米国のランチ

 

Lunch

 

 

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This is not how we eat every day, but this lunch was unusual. We had a Halloween party and fifty or so people came for lunch. These were giant subs, which were being cut into smaller sizes. Some of the giant subs were filled with turkey and cheese. Some were tuna with celery and lettuce. Another had lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and pickles. They are all gone now. We served punch, a pasta salad and apple pie a la mode.

 

Vocabulary
Unusual: not usual
Giant: big, huge
Subs: Submarine sandwiches
Punch: fruit drink
Apple pie a la mode: apple pie with ice cream on top

 

 

Imagine the size
Gigantic
Grocery stores have
Large packages of cookies
Wrapped in cellophane
Two dozen-cartons
Large bottles of catsup

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