Don't forget to check the calendar(s) for session times. Sessions are held on different platforms, so be sure to find out where the session will take place:-

Speaking Practice

LEN English sessions:-
http://www.learnenglish.de/calendar/learnenglishcalendar.html

Listening Practice 24/7

English radio playlists:-
http://www.englishradio.be/musicevents/calendar.html

Documentary films you might find interesting

mheredgemheredge TeacherHere and therePosts: 26,119 mod
edited May 17 in Films, TV and Theatre
Each week, I propose to point you to a selection of documentary films that might be of interest which you can play directly from the internet. I will copy the description of the film so you can see if it takes your fancy.

The Private Life of Cows


To start off, here is one about cows. If you've ever wondered what cows are really thinking, then you might find The Private Life of Cows interesting. Humans have co-existed with cows for so long that most of us take them for granted, even though our demand for the meat and dairy products they produce continues to grow. The majority of us probably believe that all cows are the same, and that they're one of the least intelligent species on the planet. The filmmakers seek to challenge these preconceptions by conducting a series of intriguing behavioral tests.

The first test centers on intelligence. Inspired by the Pavlovian dog experiments of the early 1900s, the filmmakers create a device containing a large bell and a food dispenser. Can the cows become conditioned to ring the bell in order to receive their reward? If they succeed in making this connection, it would prove that the species possesses some level of intellect.

Common sense dictates that individual distinctions must exist within a worldwide population of 1.5 billion cows. In one of the film's most entertaining segments, we're introduced to a female cattle breeder in Britain who spends each day in the company of over a hundred cows. She claims that each of them have their own distinct personalities. Some are gentle and approachable. Others are aggressive and solitary.

Additional interviews and experiments expand our understanding of this enigmatic species. We gain a deeper appreciation for their sense of self-awareness, the process by which they interpret commands and respond to fear, and how wild cattle behave differently than the domesticated variety. All of these concepts come together to create a complex psychological portrait. This is particularly essential for the figures who work to breed and herd them.

We're also given a brief history of the species, an outline of the genetic modifications they've undergone throughout the years, and a review of their most unique physical characteristics. For instance, we learn that cows possess an astonishing field of vision which gives them the ability to detect potential predators from any direction.

The Private Life of Cows is filled with a wealth of surprising tidbits, and it's presented in an irresistibly playful tone.

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/private-life-cows/

«13

Comments

  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    One Man, Six Wives and 29 Children

    One Man, Six Wives and 29 Children tells the revealing and surreal story of a practicing polygamist who lives with his large brood in the middle of a Utah desert. The filmmakers document the family's daily existence, and probe the controversial aspects of the fundamentalist Mormon faith which define their way of life.

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/one-man-six-wives-29-children/
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    Escape! From the Cult of Materialism

    In the western world, the accumulation of wealth has become the ultimate symbol of success. According to the new documentary Escape! From the Cult of Materialism, this unquenchable thirst for more has made slaves of us all, and suppressed the most basic human virtues of decency, solidarity and compassion. A mosaic of inventively edited stock footage, animations and clips from various popular films, this enlightening documentary provides a brief but sweeping overview of materialism's origins, and its continued clutch on society today.

    It all starts with simple desire. The drive to attain greater resources is understandable from a survivalist's perspective; after all, more sophisticated tools allow us better access to food and protection from nature's harshest elements. But over the years, this need has been manipulated by the corporatized machine of materialism. We no longer know where our food is coming from, and that impersonal relationship is making us sick and weakening our once harmonious relationship with the environment.

    We purchase goods and services that don't nourish us, and produce an endless stream of pollution-inducing waste as a result. Our children die in wars that fatten the wallets of big industry. Even in the face of the 9/11 tragedy, Americans were urged by their president to respond by going shopping. Marketing is the platform for mass seduction, and we're entranced by its central message that possessions increase our personal value and social status.

    The film argues that materialism's influence is all-consuming and unsustainable. The United States contains 5% of the world's population, but uses 25% of the Earth's resources. What will become of the planet when more populated countries like China and India begin to produce and consume at this scale?

    In addition to illustrating the destructive brainwashing tactics of modern consumerism, the film also offers practical steps we can take to curb its ongoing dominance in our daily lives. These include a renewed reliance on local farmers and craftspeople, limiting our exposure to mass media, and banning the swarms of advertising from the vicinity of our schools.

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/escape-cult-materialism/
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    Pyramids

    Even after more than four thousand years, the Pyramids in Egypt continue to inspire awe and wonderment for their sheer size, complexity, and the lingering questions and myths regarding the manner in which they were constructed so long ago. With no record of how they were originally constructed, much work has been done to untangle these mysteries, and researchers have arrived at a series of probable conclusions. These revelations form the basis for the new Naked Science documentary Pyramids.

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/naked-science-pyramids/
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    Lucid dreamer

    The quest to unlock the mysteries of the mind lies at the heart of the documentary The Lucid Dreamer. Following committed Buddhist and teacher Charlie Morley, the film explores our capacity to maintain awareness during our deepest sleeping state, and how this practice may reap enormous benefits that we can then carry into our waking lives.

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/lucid-dreamer/
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    Mosquitoes

    On the surface, the match-up of man versus mosquito may sound like a comical notion, but it actually represents a grave challenge for countless people throughout the world. In some regions, the uncontrolled infestation of mosquitoes constitutes a major humanitarian crisis, and results in an alarmingly high number of deaths every year. This phenomenon can come to resemble many of the most damaging plagues that are recounted in the Bible. Return of the Bible Plagues: Mosquitoes makes the connections between biblical times and what we are living with today, and profiles the desperate efforts to curb this increasingly deadly phenomenon.

    Mosquitoes have the potential to carry and transmit a host of destructive diseases, including West Nile virus, Zika and Dengue Fever. Most notably, they infect in excess of 200 million people a year with malaria. Statistics provided in the film conclude that the spread of malaria alone is responsible for millions of deaths each year, particularly in Africa where a child will die from the disease every 30 seconds.

    From frogs to flies, the Bible is rife with stories of plagues where the people are terrorized by massive swarms of insects and other pests. These plagues are interpreted as a punishment from God. Many of the communities where these plagues continue to be prevalent still abide by this biblical belief. This poses a challenge to those who work to make a difference in these regions.

    The film follows teams of researchers, biologists, clinicians and other activists as they attempt to combat this epidemic. They assume a multi-pronged approach which includes education, prevention, research studies, insecticide use, and the destruction of as many harbors for mosquito infestations as possible, particularly the pools of dank, long standing water in which they breed most successfully.

    This crisis is by no means limited to Africa. Concerns of mosquito-borne illnesses have spread throughout Central Europe and the United States. Return of the Bible Plagues: Mosquitoes provides valuable lessons on the severity of the epidemic, the reasons behind its continued prominence across the globe, and the steps which need to taken to survive this modern-day plague.

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/return-bible-plagues-mosquitoes/
  • mounamouna Posts: 1,304 ✭✭✭
    In the past I dislike the documentary series.now when I start to listen to historic stories,I find it very amazing since then I'm interesting about theses topics.I watch film about the second world war,Islamic dynasty.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 4,907 mod
    mouna said:

    In the past I dislike the documentary series.now when I start to listen to historic stories,I find it very amazing since then I'm interesting about theses topics.I watch film about the second world war,Islamic dynasty.

    It's always good to watch this type of programme. I also enjoy watching things like that when they have been made in other countries, too, as it means that you can get the same story but from another angle, which is always interesting.
  • mounamouna Posts: 1,304 ✭✭✭
    I have already watch One Man, Six Wives and 29 Children.it's strange for me,I can't believe that man could marry a women and his daughter.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    It's very strange @mouna. I don't have a problem about a man marrying more than one wife, but within reason! In Tibet, women used to commonly have several husbands, who were usually brothers. It is not so common now. Then in Nepal I know a few guys with more than one wife, but that's plain bigamy and usually because they want a visa to stay in another country!
  • mounamouna Posts: 1,304 ✭✭✭
    Exactly.more than one wife is common in many societies.for us a man could married to 04 wives if there are a strong reasons and only If he could get their several needs(physical,mental,and sexual),he have to treat them with the same way,He don't have to make any difference between them.
    Women who has several husband in the same time don't exist in our society.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    I think as long as the husband is kind and looks after all of his wives well and equally, then this could be very nice, especially if the wives get along.

    You might find this map interesting. The dark blue area (mainly Russia) consider polygamy illegal although it is still widely practiced. However in many parts of Africa it is practiced and legal too.



    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyandry
  • WirginiaWirginia Posts: 1,429 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @mouna @mheredge

    I consider that polygamy is not good behavior. First how one man can support two or more wifes and families. Second I consider that he will not treat all wives equally. Third I can`t imagine how wife could stand thinking that her husband is at the time with other woman. For me that situation is sick.
  • mohit_singhmohit_singh Posts: 2,175 ✭✭✭✭
    I also doesn't​ support polygamy but one of our mythological book has shown polyandry.

    Dropadi have to marry all five brothers of Pandav because of certain reason. But it's not something justified in our system as well.

    In today's time you must be married to one spouse.Especially, for the country like India. We are already much populous. And this kind of thing will boost population.

    There is also some very hot debate going on on triple talak(divorce ) ( a flaws in the Indian constitution for appeaseing Muslims population).

    There was several cases happen with married Muslim women that was picked by Indian media where spouseof the woman have given divorce by saying three golden word on WhatsApp. The women activist says this kind of act makes the condition of women more vulnerable.

    Everyday there is some debate going on in this issue.

  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 4,907 mod
    mheredge said:

    I think as long as the husband is kind and looks after all of his wives well and equally, then this could be very nice, especially if the wives get along.

    You might find this map interesting. The dark blue area (mainly Russia) consider polygamy illegal although it is still widely practiced. However in many parts of Africa it is practiced and legal too.



    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyandry

    Yes, I think it can work in certain cases, but I can't imagine it ever working in a country like England - because I think most people here have a jealous streak, which definitely wouldn't work.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    I agree @GemmaRowlands in certain circumstances it might work. @Wirginia has a point though as I'm sure that it many cases wives will feel they're not treated fairly and I think may get jealous.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    Here are a couple more interesting documentaries:

    Gluten: A Gut Feeling
    The latest diet fad revolves around a term most of us were unaware even existed a few short years ago. Many dieters and health conscious eaters throughout the globe consider gluten a primary enemy in the battle of the bulge. But is all of the gluten-free hoopla just smoke and mirrors, or does the science actually support this growing dietary movement? The documentary short Gluten: A Gut Feeling investigates by offering invaluable insights from assorted nutritional specialists, food scientists, and medical experts.

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/gluten-gut-feeling/

    Digital Food
    It is estimated that by the year 2050, the world population will reach nine billion. Digital Food asks how we will feed this future population, and what steps can be taken today to prepare for those sustenance needs. The filmmakers speak to authors,...

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/digital-food/
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 382 ✭✭✭
    > @GemmaRowlands said:
    > Yes, I think it can work in certain cases, but I can't imagine it ever working in a country like England - because I think most people here have a jealous streak, which definitely wouldn't work.

    "I don't know but I've been told" that in England some men of Muslim heretage marry and divorce several women without splitting de-facto. The ex-wives collect child benefits on which all the people live.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 4,907 mod
    mheredge said:

    Here are a couple more interesting documentaries:

    Gluten: A Gut Feeling
    The latest diet fad revolves around a term most of us were unaware even existed a few short years ago. Many dieters and health conscious eaters throughout the globe consider gluten a primary enemy in the battle of the bulge. But is all of the gluten-free hoopla just smoke and mirrors, or does the science actually support this growing dietary movement? The documentary short Gluten: A Gut Feeling investigates by offering invaluable insights from assorted nutritional specialists, food scientists, and medical experts.

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/gluten-gut-feeling/

    Digital Food
    It is estimated that by the year 2050, the world population will reach nine billion. Digital Food asks how we will feed this future population, and what steps can be taken today to prepare for those sustenance needs. The filmmakers speak to authors,...

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/digital-food/

    The gluten issue is a very interesting one. I think it makes sense though that our bodies should only really be eating naturally existing foods like meat, fruit and vegetables - because they're not made to eat manmade food!
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 382 ✭✭✭
    > @mheredge said:

    > You might find this map interesting. The dark blue area (mainly Russia) consider polygamy illegal although it is still widely practiced.
    >
    > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyandry

    Well, the original Wikipedia's article states that polygamy in Russia is "not criminalised" instead of "widely practiced". In fact, here it's not widely practiced.

    In North Caucasusian traditionally Muslim provinces (but not all of them) maybe, but even there it's not widespread. It can't be even theoretically, supporting several wives is very expensive, few people could afford it.

    Anyway in Russia one can't register a polygamous marriage, while living in such marriage isn't a criminal offence.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    I think @GemmaRowlands point that jealousy might make marrying several wives less than easy is a valid one that doesn't just apply to the UK @Practical_Severard. I was surprised about Russia as I wasn't aware of the practice being acceptable there. I wasn't surprised to see most of Africa shaded in blue however.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 382 ✭✭✭
    > @mheredge said:
    I was surprised about Russia as I wasn't aware of the practice being acceptable there.
    If 'acceptable' means that polygamy isn't a criminal offence then it's quite true.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    In Britain bigamy is a criminal offence as most western countries do not recognize polygamous marriages. Quite a few countries also prohibit people from living a polygamous lifestyle like in some states of the USA where the criminalisation of a polygamous lifestyle started out as anti-Mormon laws even if rarely enforced. In diplomatic law, consular spouses from polygamous countries are sometimes exempt from a general prohibition on polygamy in host countries.

    Penalties in different countries vary (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigamy) but in all 27 countries of the EU it is illegal, though as usual, Britain has to be different and polygamous marriages that are legally performed in another country where the law allows it are legally recognised for the purposes of welfare benefits, but not for pension, immigration or citizenship purposes. It is believed that there are up to 20,000 polygamous marriages in the Muslim community of the UK.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 382 ✭✭✭
    > @mheredge said:
    > In Britain bigamy is a criminal offence as most western countries do not recognize polygamous marriages.

    If someone has a long-time lover besides a legal spouse will it be a criminal offence? Or there must be two legally registered marriages?
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    As long as they don't get married, mistresses seem to to okay @Practical_Severard!
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 382 ✭✭✭
    > @mheredge said:
    > mistresses seem to to okay
    Oh, don't narrow it down to men only ;) I think women should be also allowed their lovers.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    Equality! Quite right too @Practical_Severard. In Tibet women sometimes have a few husbands particularly when they live a nomadic lifestyle. The husbands take turns being at home!
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 382 ✭✭✭
    > @mheredge said:
    > The husbands take turns being at home!

    Those wives are cheating. Two husbands must come with the double rate of household chores. Cooking, ironing business suits of those Tibetian gentlemen, etc.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    Well usually they are brothers and the woman marries two or three husbands because they often are out and away herding animals or working elsewhere. I can imagine it must be a bit tricky juggling things if they are all home at the same time though @Practical_Severard.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 382 ✭✭✭
    > @mheredge said:
    > I can imagine it must be a bit tricky juggling things if they are all home at the same time though @Practical_Severard.

    Now you can see that bigamy is a harsh punishment by itself, therefore we, here in Russia, consider a criminal penalty pointless.

    Several wives mean buying several furcoats, sets of jewellery, and, the most frightening thing, several mothers-in-law.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 26,119 mod
    Hahaha! Poor old mother-in-laws! They always get it in the neck. Do you remember the topic on jokes about the in laws @Practical_Severard?

    "Two men were in a pub. One says to his mate, “My mother-in law is an angel.” His friend replies, “You’re lucky. Mine is still alive.”

    http://learn-english-forum.org/discussion/3907/jokes-about-the-in-laws
Sign In or Register to comment.