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Archive for the 'Life in the United States' Category

Tuesday - August 26, 2014

Attack of the Killer Cabbages?*

AKStateFairAlaska is known for many things: cold weather, beautiful scenery, and, of course, giant cabbages.

Giant cabbages?!  That’s right.

If you want to find a 130-pound (59-kilogram) cabbage, visit Alaska. If you’re in the mood for (feel like eating) some cantaloupe, A LOT of cantaloupe, you can find a 65-pound (30-kilogram) one at the Alaska State Fair.

Summer and fall are common times for fairs that feature agricultural (farming) contests, from livestock (farm animals) to crops (plants grown for food or to produce useful products). At the Alaska State Fair each year, you will see some things that you will not see at any other fairs: giant fruit and vegetables.

The secret is the Alaska summer. It’s not uncommon in Alaska during the summer to have 20 hours of sunshine per day because of the state’s northern latitude (location measured by distance to the equator). These extra hours of sunlight give crops extra time for photosynthesis (the process of green plants using sunlight to get food), allowing plants to grow faster and bigger. More sunlight also produces sweeter produce. It’s not surprising, then, that some of the world records (official list of the best) for largest fruits and vegetables belong to growers in Alaska.

Some growers painstakingly (very carefully) cultivate (encourage to grow) large crops, spending years experimenting with different seeds (the part of the plant that allows new growth), soil (dirt used for growing things), fertilizers (substance put on soil to encourage growth), and amount of sunlight. Some even sleep outdoors to protect their crops from foragers (people or animals who travel across a land to find food). For others, these giants (very large things) grow on their own without special effort, surprising their growers.

The Alaska State Fair is going on now until September 1st, so it’s not too late to see these freaks of nature (something with abnormal or unusual growth) for yourself. The pumpkins are certainly worth seeing, but the main attraction (most interesting for an audience) are the cabbages.

My wife often makes a cabbage casserole (dish with a mix of ingredients cooked in the oven) for dinner. I wonder how many she can make with a 130-pound cabbage. Perhaps enough for all of the ESL Podcast listeners?

- Jeff

Photo Credit: Alaska State Fair from Wikipedia

* The title of this post is a play on (another version of) the title of a 1978 film called Attach of the Killer Tomatoes.

Thursday - August 21, 2014

Digital Detox*

404896_10150450222869272_235187681_nDo you suffer from (have, like a disease) FOMO? Many people do.

FOMO is an acronym (a word made up of the first letters of several words) for Fear Of Missing Out. To miss out on something is to not have the opportunity to do or experience it – for example, I missed out on the party because I had to work.

People who suffer from FOMO have a constant (all the time) desire or need to to be plugged in (connected to the Internet). Even when they’re with other people, they keep their phones or tablets close at hand (nearby). They feel the need to connect with their friends on Facebook. Check their email. See what’s happening on their Twitter feed. If they can’t or don’t, they get anxious (feel nervous, worried).

Being connected digitally (using the Internet) can be a good thing. But for people who suffer from FOMO, the need to be constantly connected can have a downside (negative or undesirable effect). It can easily hurt their mental health and relationships with other people.

Several years ago someone came up with an idea, called Digital Detox, to help people who feel the need to be constantly connected. More than 300 million people have tried it.

The idea behind Digital Detox is very simple – set aside (schedule) a specific time to turn off your phone, tablet, or computer to do things that will contribute to (add to) your mental health and relationships with other people. It’s a way to help you free up time for activities and people that are truly (in fact) important.

A writer in Forbes has several suggestions for a successful Digital Detox:

  1. Schedule a specific time and put it on your calendar. Try starting with one day – 24 hours.
  2. Make specific plans. Spend time with friends and family. Go for a bike ride or take a hike (a long walk in the mountains or countryside). Volunteer (do something without expecting to be paid) your time to a person or organization that needs help. Find a quiet place to read a book.
  3. When the day comes, turn off your phone, tablet, and computer. Begin immediately to do what you planned for the day. Don’t turn your devices back on until the end of the day.
  4. Enjoy the activities you planned and the people you wanted to spend time with. Relax. Take your time (don’t hurry).
  5. Do it again! Don’t do a Digital Detox only once. Do it every week or every month. Make it a habit (something you do regularly).

What do you think? Is it time for you to try a Digital Detox?

* Detox; also detoxification – medical treatment for an addiction (not being able to stop doing or taking something that is bad for you).

~ Warren Ediger – ESL tutor/coach and creator of the Successful English web site, where you will find clear explanations and practical suggestions for better English.

Photo courtesy of Tell IT Media.


Monday - August 18, 2014

The Turban Makes the Man*

800px-Segregation_1938bIf you lived in the American South in the 1940s and you were African American, you would likely be very aware of the Jim Crow laws (see “What Insiders Know” in the Learning Guide of English Cafe 197). These laws segregated (separated into different groups) white and black Americans, preventing African Americans from going to the same places, using the same services, or having the same rights.

For many people at that time, the issue was black and white (very clear) — literally — and only focused on whether someone was white or black. This meant that there was some ambiguity (uncertainly; not clear distinctions) for people who were neither of European or African descent (origin; background). This ambiguity help some people avoid the harsh (tough; rough) treatment of Jim Crow laws. Take, for example, the Reverend Jesse Wayman Routté. When he visited the American South for the second time, he wore a disguise (clothing and accessories that prevented others from knowing one’s true identity).

The Reverend Routté was a minister (church leader; priest) of a Lutheran church in New York. On a 1943 trip to Alabama to officiate (perform a ceremony, usually a wedding) at his brother’s wedding, he was treated very poorly, like any other African American would expect at that time. Being from the North, Routté wasn’t accustomed to (used to) this treatment and was dismayed (upset). So when he was invited to return to Alabama to visit his brother in 1947, he decided, on the advice of colleagues (coworkers), to wear a turban, a few yards of material wrapped and tied around his head. This, they said, would make things a lot easier.   

The turban is worn by many cultures in many different countries, but was not common in the U.S. at that time. If the Reverend Routté was considered foreign – not African American — would his treatment change? That’s what he wanted to find out. Instead of just wearing a simple turban, however, Reverend Routté decided to go all out (do the maximum). He went to a costume (clothing and accessories worn to appear as someone or something else) shop and rented a tall, purple, sparkling (reflecting a lot of light) turban. And when his train was about to arrive in Alabama, he put on the turban and a long robe (a long, loosely-fitting piece of clothing, similar to a coat). 

He stepped off the train in his new costume and wore it for nearly the entire week of his visit. He not only saw his family, but wanted to get wider reaction. Although Routté never said he was a visitor from abroad (another country), he was treated like foreign royalty (king, queen, or another member of the royal family) or a foreign dignitary (important representative of a country). He ate in fancy restaurants where African Americans were not allowed to enter, he visited a segregated school and was given a tour, and he even visited a police station, where he was treated deferentially (with respect) and given a tour by the police chief (leader of the police). He also visited important business owners and many other places Africans Americans were not allowed to go. Everywhere he went, he was treated with respect.

Within days of Routté returning to New York, an article appeared in the newspaper recounting (describing) his “experiment” and the story spread across the country. Routté later treated the entire experience as a joke and laughed about it, but other people were not so amused (entertained), including the leaders of his own Lutheran church and important civil rights figures such as Eleanor Roosevelt.

Routté was not the only person who used the turban to avoid problems in the American South at this time, but his experience was one of the most talked about. To find out more about Routté, you can read an article about him here, and to learn about others who also used this “turban trick,” see this National Public Radio story (where you’ll also see a picture of Routté in his turban).

- Lucy

* There is a popular expression, “Clothes makes the man,” which means that people judge others by how they dress and the clothes they wear.

Photo Credit: Segregation 1936 from Wikipedia
(The term “colored” was used to refer to African Americans at that time, but is now considered offensive.)

Thursday - August 7, 2014

They Came, and They Continue To Come

FieldofDreamsMay06Twenty-five years ago, in the movie Field* of Dreams, a mysterious (difficult to explain or understand) voice told Ray Kinsella, “If you build it, he will come.”

Ray,  a young Iowa farmer, was not sure who “he” was, but he got the idea that he was supposed to build a baseball field in a cornfield on his farm in rural (in the countryside, not the city) Iowa. His wife hesitated (was nervous, not sure) at first. His brother-in-law opposed (disagreed with) the idea. And his neighbors laughed at him. But Ray built the field.

When he was alive, Ray’s father loved baseball, especially one player – Shoeless Joe Jackson – and the Chicago White Sox team. After the baseball field was finished, the ghost (the spirit of a dead person that people can see) of Shoeless Joe and other players from the past walked out of the cornfield one by one, onto the baseball field, and began to play.

Near the end of the movie, the players began to walk back into the cornfield. Before he went, Shoeless Joe glanced (looked quickly) at the one player who was still on the field, turned to Ray and told him one more time, “If you build it, HE will come.” Ray looked at the other player again, and when he did, he recognized his father as a young man.

Terrence Mann, a character in the movie, predicted (said that something will happen before it does) that “People will come, Ray. They will come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom (understand). They’ll turn up (arrive) at your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door … longing for (wanting, wishing for) the past.”

Mann was right. Every year, as many as 70,000 people make their way (travel) to Dyersville, Iowa, drive out of town on the gravel (small stones) road, park near the white farmhouse, and walk onto the field, which is still surrounded (to be all around something) by cornfields. And they dream.

Bill Plaschke, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, visited the Field of Dreams this summer and met some of those people.

One of them, Frank, was sitting on a bench near the field, crying softly, when Plaschke found him. He and his son, who has a birth condition that makes it difficult to walk normally, had been on the field playing catch (throwing a baseball back and forth). “To connect with my son in a place like this,” Frank told Plaschke, “there are no words for it. It’s hard to explain, but it’s like we’re supposed to be here, we’re supposed to share this.”

Plaschke writes, “They come to play a first catch with a toddler (young child), or a final catch with a dying relative. They hold family reunions (a gathering after being separated for a long time) with giant games of catch. They hold impromptu (without planning) weddings after quick games of catch. They have even discreetly (carefully to avoid upsetting anyone) spread loved ones’ ashes (what remains when a dead person’s body has been cremated (burned)) when they have finished playing catch.”

They came. And they continue to come.

* A field is an area of open land, especially one planted with crops, like corn. A field can also be a piece of land, like a baseball field, used for a specific purpose.

~ Warren Ediger – ESL coach/tutor and creator of the Successful English web site, where you’ll find clear explanations and practical suggestions for better English.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Thursday - July 24, 2014

When The Rain Doesn’t Come

History_Great_Depression_Black_Blizzard_SF_still_624x352If you had been driving across California’s Central Valley (low land between mountains) recently, you would have seen a low-lying (just above the ground) cloud on the horizon (where the sky touches the earth).

The cloud stretched (spread out) as far as you could see on both sides of the road. And as you approached (moved closer to) it, you would have discovered that it was a cloud of dust that was being driven (pushed) by a strong wind. It looked similar to the cloud in the photograph, which was taken during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

Experiences like this give evidence (signs that show that something exists) that California is experiencing the worst drought in its history. Droughts, which are periods of time when an area does not receive enough water, are not unusual. Many countries and other areas of the U.S. have experienced them.

Droughts like California’s are the result of receiving less rain or snow than usual, often for several years. The annual rainfall (amount of rain received in one year) in California has been much lower than usual for the last three years. Last year, for example, our state capital Sacramento, which usually receives 18.5 inches (470 mm), received only 3.5 inches (88.9 mm). And Los Angeles, which usually receives about 15 inches (385 mm), received only 3.6 inches (91.4 mm).

The situation created by the low rainfall has been made more serious by a small snowpack – the snow that collects in the mountains during the winter. The snowpack is important, because when it melts, the water from it flows into rivers and reservoirs (a lake where water is stored) until it is needed. About one-third (33%) of the water California uses usually comes from the snowpack, but the snowpack at the end of last winter was much smaller – about 85% smaller – than usual.

The drought is a particular problem for farmers in the Central Valley, an important agricultural (farming) area. Farmers there grow tomatoes, almonds, grapes, apricots, asparagus, and other crops (plants used for food) and raise cattle (cows) for milk and meat. A significant (important) part of America’s food crops come from the Central Valley. Now, because of the drought, some of the water needed to grow the crops has been cut off (stopped).

So far (until now), farmers and farm workers have been hit the hardest (affected most negatively). Some farmers are concerned that they will not be able to continue to operate their farms.

All Californians (people who live in California) have been asked to voluntarily (because they want to) use 20% less water than usual. And the state recently announced a fine (money you pay for breaking a law) of $500 for wasting water – for example by watering your lawn more than twice a week or washing your sidewalk or driveway. If the drought gets worse, stricter (more difficult) laws may be needed.

While we try to preserve (save) as much water as we can, we wait and hope for more rain and snow next year. And we are hopeful, because meteorologists (weather scientists) believe that we may have an El Niño year (a year with more precipitation (rain and snow) than usual) next year.

~ Warren Ediger – ESL coach/tutor and creator of the Successful English web site, where you will find clear explanations and practical suggestions for better English.

Photo courtesy of

Tuesday - July 15, 2014

How to Marry a Beautiful Woman (Half Your Age)

640px-Cranach_Ill-matched_coupleIf you walk — actually, you’d more likely drive — around Los Angeles, you’ll notice one thing: a lot of successful and wealthy-looking older men with beautiful young women.

No, that’s not his daughter. It’s probably his girlfriend or trophy wife.

A “trophy” is a statue or cup, often made of metal or heavy stone, used as a prize in a contest. If you are the winner, you can show other people your shiny (bright; reflecting light) trophy for them to admire. A trophy wife is a wife whom a man marries as a sign of his success, a beautiful decoration more than a partner in life.

This is true everywhere, right? Successful men marry trophy wives, right?

Not according to a recent study looking at how couples are matched across the United States. By looking at a nationally-representative sample (smaller group that reflects the characters of a larger group or population), a researcher at the University of Notre Dame found that attractive women didn’t mainly (usually) marry wealthy men. Instead they choose attractive men. Overall, she found that attractive men married attractive women, and successful men married successful women.

But how do you account for (explain) all of those successful men with beautiful wives?

The researcher, Elizabeth A. McClintock, concluded (said based her results): [O]n average (generally), high-status men do have better-looking wives, but this is because they themselves are considered better looking — perhaps because they are less likely to be overweight (fat) and more likely to afford (have enough money for) braces (devices put on teeth to straighten them over time), nice clothes, and trips to the dermatologist (skin doctor), etc.”

You often hear people say that Hollywood (the TV and movie business) is out of touch with (not having the knowledge or understanding about) regular people in the rest of the country. For evidence of this, you don’t have to look far to find trophy wives on TV or in films.

So instead of reflecting life in the U.S., Hollywood may simply show what life is like in — well — Hollywood!

- Jeff

Image photo: from Wikipedia 

Thursday - July 10, 2014

Wally Byam’s Airstream Trailer

Airstream-parkIt’s summertime. Vacation time for most people. And for many Americans, RV time.

There are close to 10 million recreational (an activity done for enjoyment) vehicles, or RVs, in the U.S. RVs are motor vehicles or trailers (a vehicle pulled by another vehicle) with living space and some of the amenities (useful or desirable things) that you enjoy in your apartment or house.

Some RVs are as big as a bus. They have their own motor, a kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, and many other conveniences (things that make life easy). Others are small enough to pull behind a motorcycle, with only enough space for one or two sleeping bags and supplies for outdoor living.

Most RVs are used for vacations and camping (to visit an area and, usually, stay outdoors). When they’re not on the road (driving) you’ll usually find them in RV parks (places where people with RVs can stay overnight or longer) and campgrounds (places for staying overnight outdoors).

No RV has become more a part of Americana (things associated with American history or culture) than the Airstream travel trailer created by Wally Byam. In 1931, Byam dreamed about making a “travel trailer that would move like a stream (smooth, steady movement) of air, be light (not heavy) enough to be towed (pulled) by a car, and create first-class (the best kind) accommodations (a place to stay or live) anywhere.”

Byam began to bring his dream to life in 1931 when he opened his first factory in California. Travel trailers were becoming popular and demand (need or desire for something) grew quickly in spite of (wasn’t affected by) the Great Depression (serious economic problems during the 1930s). World War II interrupted (stopped for a time) the growth of the travel trailer industry, and Byam and many of his employees went to work in aircraft factories in California.

When the Airstream factory reopened (opened again after being closed) after World War II, Byam applied (used) many of the things he had learned from making airplanes to the design and manufacture of the sleek (with a smooth attractive shape), streamlined (shaped to move easily through the air), silver travel trailers Airstream is known for.

A few years after the war, Byam and his friend Neil traveled across Europe in one of his Airstream trailers. That experience gave Byam a new dream and opened the door to (led to; resulted in) a new chapter (part) in the Airstream story.

In 1951, Byam used the Los Angeles Times newspaper to invite other travel-trailer lovers to join him in a caravan (a group of people or vehicles that travel together) from Texas in the U.S. to Nicaragua in Central America. He hoped for 35. He got 63. Unfortunately, only 14 finished the trip. The rest dropped out (stopped doing something) because of bad roads, bad weather, and mechanical problems.

Byam died of cancer in 1962, but his dreams didn’t. Airstream continued to design and make travel trailers that were ahead of the times (advanced). And his dream of helping people enjoy the travel experience continued to grow, thanks to the Wally Byam Caravan Club International, which he started in the 1950s. Especially during the 1970s and 80s, Airstream and the Club held many rallies (large public meeting) and caravans around the world.

Airstream is 80 years old now, and the Caravan Club is 55 years old. Both of them continue to help Americans and people around the world experience and enjoy the dream Wally Byam had so many years ago.

Note: Historical Airstream information was taken from the Airstream web site, where you can learn more and see photos of Airstream travel trailers.

~ Warren Ediger – ESL coach/tutor and creator of the Successful English web site, where you’ll find clear explanations and practical suggestions for better English.

Photo of Airstream travel trailers courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.


Thursday - June 26, 2014

The Lively Morgue

tumblr_m59b96PqCe1r5568mo1_1280If you walk down two flights (a set of steps between one floor and the next) of stairs to the basement of an office building near Times Square and through some heavy metal doors, you’ll enter a place people rarely see – the morgue of the New York Times.

Lively” (full of life) isn’t a word you’d usually associate (connect) with “morgue.” Usually a morgue is a building or room in a hospital where bodies are kept until they are buried.

In the newspaper business, a morgue is something quite different. A newspaper morgue is an archive – a historical collection of photographs and information. Jeff Roth, who is the Times’ “morgue keeper,” called their morgue a “living, breathing thing” in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR). The photos and other documents in the morgue are used for historical stories and when writing obituaries – short biographies (story of a person’s life) that are written when someone dies.

The Times’ morgue is very large. In fact, huge (extremely large; enormous) would be an even better word to describe it. According to The Lively Morgue web site, the photos and other information fill 4,000 drawers. If you count all the forms (kinds) of traditional photographs, there are at least 10 million. To that you can add 13,500 DVDs, each containing about 5 gigabytes worth of images. If you have trouble wrapping your head around (understanding) all those numbers, think about it like this: If the Times published 10 of the traditional photos every weekday (Monday through Friday), it would take until the year 3935 to publish all of them.

A little more than two years ago, the Times created The Lively Morgue web site to begin to make it possible for people to see – and buy – their photographs and to share in the life and history of New York and the United States as well as in major events in world history.

Every month the Times chooses a group of photos at random (without plan or pattern) to add to The Lively Morgue web site. The most recent photos are on the home page, and you can find all the photos they have published on the archive page. When you click on a photo, you will be shown the back of the photo with a description and information about how it was used when it appeared in the Times.

Photographs like those in The Lively Morgue are great teachers. When we take time to study them, we can learn a lot about the life and history of the people and places we see in them. If you’d like to spend some time in the morgue, here is the link to The Lively Morgue home page. And here’s a short video introduction to The Lively Morgue by Jeff Roth.

~ Warren Ediger – ESL coach/tutor and creator of the Successful English web site, where you’ll find clear explanations and practical suggestions for better English.

Photo from The Lively Morgue.

Tuesday - June 17, 2014

“Football” Versus “Soccer”

1024px-U20-WorldCup2007-Okotie-Onka_edit2Americans and Brits have a love-hate relationship (unclear feelings about each other). We love the British and the British hate us.

This is evident (clear) if you watch any British drama shows. Americans are portrayed as (shown to be) loud, brash (aggressive in a rude way), demanding (wanting things now and at a high standard), swaggering (walking and moving as though we think we are better than other people), rich and ostentatious (showing what you have to impress others), and boasting (saying you are great). I could go on and on (continue) — I know some Brits would be happy to – but I think you get the idea. To be honest, I really can’t blame them. If you’ve ever encountered (met) an “ugly American” traveling abroad (overseas), you’d feel the same way, too.

On the other hand, Americans love the British, especially the English, and we portray (show) the British in a very different way in our movies and TV shows. Generally speaking, British characters are well-mannered (behave well toward others), highly literate (read and write very well, knowing the great authors and are well-informed), elegant (graceful and stylish), and sophisticated (have good taste). Americans believe the Brits to be all of those things we are not, and we want to be like them.

Perhaps that’s why here in the U.S., big-city literati (highly-educated people who consider themselves well-read (well-informed about literature and important ideas)) are turning into soccer fans. These Americans follow British teams and gather at bars (places of business where people gather to drink alcohol and to socialize) — or “pubs” to the Brits — to watch games on big-screen TVs.  And, they’ve started calling “soccer” by the British name, “football,” and referring to the field where the game is played by the British term, “pitch.”

All of this is rather silly, in my opinion, and may backfire (have the opposite effect). All we need to do is look at the history of the terms “football” and “soccer” to see why.

The term “soccer” is actually a British term. It was developed in the 1800s to distinguish the sport of soccer, officially called “association football,” from other similar sports, such as rugby football. It was also useful in the U.S. to distinguish this sport from “gridiron football,” the sport that most Americans associate with the term “football.”

For some years in Britain, both terms — “soccer” and “football” — were used interchangeably (one for the other, without any difference in meaning). However, the Brits in the end preferred “football” over “soccer.” Why? Because Americans were using the term “soccer.” They didn’t want to associate themselves with us then, and they may not want to associate themselves with us now.

That’s why I say Brit-loving Americans may find their embrace (acceptance and love) of soccer/football backfiring. The Brits may, once again, find it so distasteful (unpleasant; disgusting) to share terms for a beloved (much-loved) sport that they will come up with (invent; create) entirely new terms to thwart (oppose; prevent someone from achieving their goal) us annoying Americans.

- Lucy

Photo Credit from Wikipedia

Thursday - June 12, 2014

A New Kind Of Streaker

SutherlandAmericans who remember the 1970s probably remember streakers – usually students – who ran naked (without clothes) in public places as a joke or to shock (surprise and upset) people.

Today there’s a new group of streakers. At least that’s what some of them call themselves. But as far as I know, none of them has taken off their clothes to do what they do.

A streak is a period of time during which you continue to be successful or to fail. In sports you hear a lot about streaks, and there have been long ones. Cal Ripken, a well-known American baseball player, played 2,632 games without missing one. That’s an impressive streak!

From 1996 until 2007, the Caltech (California Institute of Technology) Beavers basketball team lost every game they played – 207! That’s not an impressive streak!

Jon Sutherland is one of the new breed (particular kind of person or type of thing) of streakers. He is a streak runner. To be a streak runner, you must run at least one mile (1.6 km) every day under your own power (without any mechanical help), but treadmills (a machine for walking or running in the same place) are okay.

Sutherland recently set an American record for the longest running streak. He has run every day since May 26, 1969. When the Los Angeles Times reported (told) his story, he had run every day for 45 years – that’s 16,425 consecutive (one after the other) days. During that time, he ran about 11 miles (18 km) a day – more than 190,000 miles (305,775 km).

Years ago, one of Sutherland’s friends told him that he had run every day for a year. So Sutherland decided to try it, too. The first year was “no big deal (not so important)”, he says. And pretty (very) soon one year became five, then 10, 15, and now 45 years.

Sutherland’s commitment (a promise to do something) to running have helped him continue to run in spite of (without being stopped by) 10 broken bones, including a broken hip, and arthroscopic surgery – surgery in which doctors insert very small instruments (tools) into small incisions (cuts) so there is less damage and the patient heals (becomes healthy again) faster – to both knees.

Sutherland has a simple explanation for why he runs – “I keep running because I like it. The first thing I think about when I get up every morning is, ‘Where are me and Puck (his dog) going to go? Where are we going to run today?” Sutherland is retired (doesn’t work) now, and he plans to run as long as he can, though he doesn’t run as far every day as he used to. “As long as I’m healthy, I’m going to keep going,” he says. “I’m addicted (not able to stop) to running. It’s all I do.”

The United States Running Streak Association (USRSA) – which was started in 2000 – says that there were 86 streak runners in the U.S. in 2002 and more than 430 in March 2014.

If you’d like to read stories of other streak runners, look at The People Who Can’t Not Run. And if you’d like to hear Jon Sutherland tell his story, watch this short video from the Los Angeles Times.

Are you working on any kind of streak – it doesn’t have to be running?

Since I read Jon Sutherland’s story, I’ve been pushing (strongly encouraging) my students to become streak readers – to read every day, without missing a day – to improve their English.

~ Warren Ediger – ESL coach/tutor and creator of the Successful English web site.

Photo of Jon Sutherland and Puck is a screenshot from the YouTube video by Los Angeles Times.