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Archive for the 'Life in the United States' Category

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 History.com.

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.

Tuesday - June 10, 2014

Medical Diagnosis: “Moron”

494px-Brooklyn_Museum_-_Climbing_into_the_Promised_Land_Ellis_Island_-_Lewis_Wickes_HineIf someone calls you a “moron,” you should be very offended (feel insulted). A moron is someone who is very stupid. The term is harsher (more severe; more of an insult) than “stupid” or “dumb.” Today, Americans use this term as an insult, but in the early 1910s, being a “moron” might put you in a mental hospital (hospital for people with problems of the mind) or get you deported (kicked out of or told to leave a county permanently).

The term “moron” was a medical term invented by a psychologist (doctor studying the mind) named Henry H. Goddard. Goddard was interested in intelligence (how smart someone is) and he created a scale (measurement) to classify people of low intelligence. He initially used the term “feeble-minded” as his first category. (“Feeble” means weak or not strong. The other, more severe, categories of low intelligence were “imbecile” and “idiot,” terms also still used today as insults.)  He didn’t think the term “feeble-minded” was scientific enough, so he created the term “moron.” Today, none of these terms are used in science and medicine, of course.

Goddard was concerned about eugenics, the study of how to produce a better race of people by eliminating a population’s “bad” characteristics, such as low intelligence. His ideas were so influential that they affected immigration policy (rules allowing people to enter a country permanently) in the United States.

In 1913, Goddard sent his female assistant to Ellis Island, the entry point for immigrants in the 1800s and early 1900s, to spot (recognize) possible “morons” and to administer (give them) his intelligence tests. He believed that women were more intuitive (able to sense or feel things more easily) and could simply look at a person and determine who is and is not feeble-minded. The result was that 40% of the Jews, Italians, and Hungarians who were tested were determined to be morons. Based in part on his results, the following (next) year, the number of people deported for being feeble-minded doubled (increased 100%).

Goddard’s research was eventually disproved (shown to be false). In fact, Goddard himself later said that some of his most influential work was flawed (had problems). More importantly, he eventually said that he no longer believed that morons were incurable (cannot be treated and made to improve) and that they needed to be segregated (separated) from society and placed in institutions (mental hospitals).

Today, Goddard’s ideas no longer affect immigration policy, but the term “moron” continues to be a legacy (influence after death) and reminder of his dubious (of doubtful use or quality) work in the 1900s.

- Lucy

Photo Credit:  Brooklyn Museum – Climbing into the Promised Land Ellis Island – Lewis Wickes Hine from Wikipedia

Tuesday - June 3, 2014

Why You Can’t Be Creative and Check Your Facebook Page At The Same Time

isolator-500pxAt universities and research organizations today, there is a very common buzzword (a word or phrase that has become popular, like a slogan): collaboration. Collaboration refers to working with others to share ideas, with the aim (goal) of creating something better.

Some scientists, however, are pushing back (resisting). They say that collaboration on the scientists’ own terms (done when they want to, in the way they want to) is fine, but what some call “enforced interaction” — working and communicating with others when you don’t want to — might actually be standing in the way of (preventing) scientific progress.

An organization called Silences of Science was formed (started) to push back against this trend for collaboration and constant communication. Its website says that it “aims (tries) to remind the research community of the creative importance of silence, of interruptions in communication, of isolation and of ‘stuckness’.” Isolation refers to being alone, away from other people. Being stuck means feeling like you can’t move forward because you don’t know how to solve a problem.

A recent article cited (reported) the case of Peter Higgs, the 2013 winner of a Nobel prize for his work on the the Higgs boson, work done primarily (mainly) in the 1960s. Higgs said that the peace and quiet he had to work in those days no longer exists today.

Felicity Mellor, one of the co-founders (one of two or more people who began the organization) of Silences of Science and a professor at the Imperial College London, says that Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton also liked to work alone. Newton in particular (especially) liked to shut himself away (close the door and not see others) and work in isolation. He showed his work to very few people and only published his work reluctantly (without really wanting to). In fact, he only published Principia, his three-volume (three book) work with the laws and theories he’s known for today and regarded as (seen as; believed to be) one of the most important scientific works in the history of science, after much urging (others saying he should).

Other researchers have talked about the importance of what Cal Newport calls “deep work“: periods of very focused concentration when your most important and creative work gets done. Deep work cannot be done when other people are talking to you or in a meeting. It can’t happen when you’re constantly checking your Facebook page and watching cat videos on YouTube. It requires silence and, more often than not, isolation from the environment around you.

When do you get your most important or creative work of the day done?

- Jeff

*Caption below the photo says: “The author at work in his private study (office) aided by (helped by) The Isolator (that thing over his head!). Outside noises being eliminated, the worker can concentrate with ease (easily) upon the subject at hand (what he’s working on ).” I’m going to get myself one of those soon.

Photo Credit: Study Hacks, a blog by Cal Newport

Thursday - May 29, 2014

They Encourage, Challenge, and Entertain

5829638363_7b65791374_bThis time every year, thousands of young people graduate from colleges and universities. We usually celebrate this occasion by a ceremony (a traditional event) we call graduation or commencement.

The word graduation emphasizes what they have finished; commencement emphasizes the beginning of a new chapter (period of time) in their lives.

Well-known men and women from the worlds of business, politics, religion, and entertainment are often asked to come to these ceremonies to speak to the graduates. Some speeches encourage (give students courage or confidence). Some challenge (ask them to try something difficult). Some entertain (provide enjoyment or pleasure).

Some speakers are memorable (easy to remember or worth remembering) for who they are. Others for what they say. This year has provided some interesting twists (unexpected situations) and given us speakers who will be memorable for other reasons.

This year some speakers will be remembered for the speeches they didn’t give. According to NPR (National Public Radio), almost a dozen “big-name commencement speakers” withdrew (decided not to participate) or had their invitations cancelled because of student protests (something you do or say when you disagree with someone or something). These speakers included Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, and Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, but it is becoming more common (happening more often).

Jill Abramson will be remembered for the speech she did give just a few days after being fired from (being told to leave) her job as editor (the person in charge of a newspaper or magazine) of the New York Times. She began her speech by smiling and telling the students that “I’m talking to anyone who has been dumped (to  a relationship ended suddenly by someone else)….” And she encouraged students to be resilient – to become strong, happy, or successful again after a difficult situation.

Thanks to YouTube, some commencement speeches have become very popular. For example, Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement address at Stanford University has been viewed almost 20 million times. In that speech he told students that everyday he asked himself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” If the answer was “no” too many days in a row (one after another), he said he knew he needed to change something. He died just a few years later when he was only 56 years old.

Recently NPR (National Public Radio) made it easy to find and listen to or read popular commencement speeches when they created The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever – a collection of more than 300 speeches. You can look at the list of speakers to find someone you want to hear or read, or click on one of the different themes, or topics, to find a list of speeches that talk about that theme.

I found David Brooks, a New York Times writer I enjoy reading, on the list and smiled at his humor and wisdom. For example, last year he told graduates that “The daily activity that contributes the most to happiness is having dinner with friends. The daily activity that detracts (takes away from) most from happiness is commuting (traveling a long distance to work). Eat more. Commute less.”

I’m curious – if you could speak to graduating university students, what would you tell them?

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

Photo by Senator Boxer used under Creative Commons license. 

 

Thursday - May 15, 2014

How To Win At Rock-Paper-Scissors

RPS imageAs long as I can remember, children – and others – have played rock-paper-scissors, also called roshambo. Sometimes it’s played as a game, usually between two players. Other times it’s used as a way to choose, for example, who goes first in a game or who pays for lunch.

In rock-paper-scissors, players use their hands to make a gesture (a movement that means something) for rock, paper, or scissors (see the photo or click here for a larger one). You win if your gesture beats (wins over) the gesture of your opponent (the person you are trying to beat).

Here’s how the gestures work:

  • Rocks break scissors, so rock beats scissors.
  • Paper covers rock, so paper beats rock.
  • Scissors cut paper, so scissors beats paper.

Here’s how we used to play rock-paper-scissors: To prepare to play, each player puts his/her fist (closed hand) on the palm (inside) of his/her other hand – like putting a cup on a saucer (small round plate). They then raise and lower their fists together (at the same time), hitting their palm each time. The third time, they make the gesture they have chosen – rock, paper, or scissors. The winner is the player whose gesture beats his opponent’s. If the players make the same gesture, they repeat the process until one player wins.

I hadn’t thought about rock-paper-scissors for a long time. Then the other day I saw an article in the Washington Post that promised to tell me How to win rock-paper-scissors (almost) every time. I like to win, so that got my attention!

We usually assume (believe without proof or evidence) that people who play games like rock-paper-scissors make random (without a plan or pattern) choices when they choose which gesture to use. Scientists in China recently studied 360 subjects (people tested in a research study) to see if that is true. And they discovered that it’s not.

Here’s what they discovered:

  • If a player wins the first time, he/she will repeat the same gesture.
  • If a player loses, he/she will change gestures in a predictable (expected) way: rock to paper, paper to scissors, and scissors to rock.

You can use that information to help you win the next time you play rock-paper-scissors. Let me show you how. Imagine that my friend and I are trying to decide who pays for lunch. We’re going to play best of three (one of us must win twice):

  1. The first time my friend plays paper; I play rock. He wins.
  2. The second time my friend plays paper (because paper won the first time); I expect him to play paper again because he won, so I change to scissors. I win. Since we have both won once, we have to play one more time.
  3. The third time my friend changes to scissors (because paper lost last time); I expect him to do that, so I change to rock. I win again! And my friend has to pay for lunch.

I haven’t played rock-paper-scissors for many years, but the next time Jeff and I have lunch together, I think I’ll see if he wants to roshambo to see who pays. I hope he doesn’t read this. I’d like to win!

Have you ever played rock-paper scissors?

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

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.