NEW Daily English and Cultural Lessons – January 2017

icon_51812New lessons are released the first day of each month.

Here are a few of the new lessons available for January 2017.

To listen to these and other Daily English and Cultural English lessons, become a Select English Member today!


Daily English 1276 – Using an On-site Daycare

In the Learning Guide: Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear), vocabulary list and sample sentences, and comprehension questions.
In “What Else Does it Mean,” learn the other meanings of “to pop over” and “to keep it short.”
In the “Culture Note,” learn about “Things to Consider When Considering a Daycare Facility.”
“Many new parents are ‘nervous’ (anxious and worried) about leaving their children in a daycare facility…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

Cultural English 589
Topics: Famous Americans – Kenny Rogers; Elements of Style; over time; pronouncing “rushing” versus “Russian”

In the Learning Guide:  Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear).
In “What Insiders Know,” you will read about “Gamblers Anonymous.”
“People who have a ‘gambling’ addiction are ‘driven to’ (feel that they must act in a particular way) risk large amounts…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

Daily English 1277 – Inconsiderate Subway-Train Passengers

In the Learning Guide: Get a full transcript (written version of every word you hear), vocabulary list and sample sentences, and comprehension questions.
In “What Else Does it Mean,” learn the other meanings of “to hog” and “pole.”
In the “Culture Note,” learn about “Common Subway Rules and Prohibitions.”
“Many large ‘metropolitan’ (city) areas have subways, but ‘commuters’ (people who travel to and from work) have to agree to follow rules…” – READ MORE in the Learning Guide

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13 Responses to NEW Daily English and Cultural Lessons – January 2017

  1. emiliano says:

    If there is a writer, a good writer which books have been translated to the movies, it has been Philip K. Dick
    Being a Young boy I read several of his novels that I liked so much, but afterward I have seen good, very good movies based on his stories, short or long novels.
    Just to have an idea of his Works, here there are some of the films adaptations:
    A number of Dick’s stories have been made into films. Dick himself wrote a screenplay for an intended film adaptation of Ubik in 1974, but the film was never made. Many film adaptations have not used Dick’s original titles. When asked why this was, Dick’s ex-wife Tessa said, “Actually, the books rarely carry Phil’s original titles, as the editors usually wrote new titles after reading his manuscripts. Phil often commented that he couldn’t write good titles. If he could, he would have been an advertising writer instead of a novelist.”
    Films based on Dick’s writing have accumulated a total revenue of over US $1 billion as of 2009
    We could investigate about some of the movies:

    Blade Runner (1982), based on Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford. A screenplay had been in the works for years before Scott took the helm, with Dick being extremely critical of all versions.

    Total Recall (1990), based on the short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale”, directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Screamers (1995), based on Dick’s short story “Second Variety”, directed by Christian Duguay and starring Peter Weller. The location was altered from a war-devastated Earth to a distant planet.

    Minority Report (2002), based on Dick’s short story of “The Minority Report”, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise. The film translates many of Dick’s themes, but changes major plot points and adds an action-adventure framework.

    Paycheck (2003), directed by John Woo and starring Ben Affleck, based on Dick’s short story of the same name.

    Next (2007), directed by Lee Tamahori and starring Nicolas Cage, loosely based on the short story “The Golden Man”.

    Radio Free Albemuth (2010), directed by John Alan Simon loosely based on the novel “Radio Free Albemuth”.

    The Adjustment Bureau (2011), directed by George Nolfi and starring Matt Damon, loosely based on the short story “Adjustment Team”.

    Total Recall (2012), directed by Len Wiseman and starring Colin Farrell, second film adaptation of the short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale”.

    It is a pity this genious died very soon, as he could write too much good books.
    Usually genious people died too soon, and history it is full of them.

    This is a small tribute to a great writer in every sense. You, me or which ever reader that have one of his novels, or short stories, could enjoy very much.
    Just the same about nearly all the movies that have been done by good directors.
    One of them BLADE RUNNER It is a myth in the science fiction film.

    Nearly all this novels have been read by emiliano being Philp K.Dick one of my favorite writers.
    Then I did not know that his novels and short stories the best I think) will be so famous and He will be the most adapted writer in the cinema.

    Science Fiction was one of my favorites themes to read being a young boy and man.

    Happy Year…..emiliano

  2. emiliano says:

    By the way:

    At the beginning of the ESL web change it cost me a lot to adapt myself to
    these changes.
    After being here in ESL site for so many years, nearly from the first lessons,
    a single change could be like a high mountain for a man of my age.

    After a month or two since the blog change I have to recognize that it has been for good.

    Congratulations to all ESL staf, specially to Jeff an Lucy, as I know they have
    worked very hard to make another better web page, having time nearly for

    Thank you Jeff, thank you Lucy, thank you to all persons that work here my fidelity and gratitude will be always with you.


  3. Tania says:


    Dear Emiliano, I can’t believe. I access our blog thinking to write
    something about Philip K. Dick , English Cafe 579.
    I have just read Ubik by Philip K. Dick and I would like to share
    with you all my poor opinions.
    But you are a real encyclopedia. As I do not like the science – fiction genre,
    I have to recognize that I have never heard of Philip K. Dick.
    Thanks to Jeff I have read Ubik.
    A good idea to write all the movies based on Dick’s works,
    as I was able to recognize some of them, and in this way to realize
    how great Philip K. Dick is.
    Thank you.

    Best wishes,


  4. Tania says:


    Ubik by Philip K. Dick…

    The novel takes place in the “North American Confederation” of 1992,
    where civilians travel to the Moon, and the agencies of “anti-psis”
    that stop telepaths invading other people’s privacy are common.
    People can be kept in a state of “half-life”, a form of cryonic suspension
    that gives the deceased (dead people) the ability to communicate.

  5. Tania says:


    Using the cryonic suspensions, a world of the frozen sleeper,
    a contact between two frozen individuals, the ability to
    travel through time… according to Wikipedia,
    Philip K. Dick is a cyberpunk, a subgenre of science-fiction
    in near- future Earth.
    Cyberpunk plots center on conflict among artificial intelligences,
    hackers, advanced technological and scientific achievements.

    Cyberpunk is a new word to me.

  6. Tania says:


    “Ubik” means “everywhere”, it can preserve people who
    are in half-life, it is a metaphor for God.
    It could be taken as a divine symbol, or a kind
    of anti-psychedelic.
    Jeff told us about the meaning of the psychedelic.

    “I am Ubik. Before the universe was, I am.
    I made the sun, I made the worlds… I am called Ubik,
    but that is not my name. I am. I shall always be.”

  7. Tania says:


    I have read about the interpretation of the novel Ubik.
    “We can’t be sure of anything in the world that we call ‘reality’.
    It is possible that they are all dead. It is also possible that
    they are all alive and dreaming.
    It can be a world’s pseudo-reality.”

  8. Tania says:


    Maybe in 1996, when the novel Ubik was written,
    its theme was of a science-fiction type.
    But today, with the advanced technological and
    scientific achievements, … I don’t know what to say.
    I agree with the writer, with his warning from the last
    page of the novel, the fright that someone can intrude
    in your own life, invading your privacy.

    “Protect your intimacy.
    I wonder, does any stranger intercept you?
    Are you alone indeed?”
    (my translation)

  9. Tania says:


    To me, the culmination of the novel was the phrase,
    “I am alive. You are dead.”
    (my translation)

    Taking into account the achievements of the GVRA,
    Global Virtual Reality Association,
    (Google, HTC, Oculus, Samsung, Sony, Acer)
    regarding the virtual reality industry, and the online
    Digital Trends publication… I wonder what is science-fiction?

  10. Tania says:


    Devices of virtual reality found on the market:
    HoloLens – Microsoft,
    Samsung Gear VR,
    Oculus Rift,
    HTC Vice,
    Google Daydream,
    Sony Playstation…

  11. Tania says:


    We will see the news from Las Vegas, this month.
    All gadgets, devices for virtual reality, for us…
    all seem to be of science-fiction.

  12. emiliano says:

    Dear Tania, since I was twelve more or less I was a Science Fiction lover, I read everything I could grasp in my hands, and it was a difficult time to the this kind of
    readers as I was.
    So may be I could read hundred of books about this kind of Literature.
    See some of the authors I could read being representative the generation that is
    colled “The Goden Age of the Science Fiction”.

    Poul Anderson
    Isaac Asimov
    Alfred Bester
    James Blish
    Nelson S. Bond
    Leigh Brackett
    Ray Bradbury
    Fredric Brown
    Bertram Chandler
    John Christopher
    Arthur C. Clarke
    Hal Clement
    L. Sprague de Camp
    Lester del Rey
    Robert A. Heinlein
    L. Ron Hubbard
    C. M. Kornbluth
    Henry Kuttner
    Fritz Leiber
    Walter M. Miller, Jr.
    C. L. Moore
    Chad Oliver
    Frederik Pohl
    Ross Rocklynne
    Eric Frank Russell
    Clifford D. Simak
    E.E. “Doc” Smith
    Theodore Sturgeon
    William Tenn
    A. E. van Vogt
    Jack Vance
    John Wyndham

    I have reade nearly some of their books for sure.
    Jack Vance, Ray Bradbury, Robert H Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Clifford D. Simak, John Wyndham, and several other that are not here like Phil K. Dick or Clifford D. Simak, where very good one for me.
    About all these there are two authors and novels that are like the bible for
    me and other that like science fiction.
    One is “DUNE” may be the best for the majority even for me.

    Dune is a 1965 epic science fiction novel by American author Frank Herbert. It tied with Roger Zelazny’s This Immortal for the Hugo Award in 1966 and it won the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel.[4] It is the first installment of the Dune saga, and in 2003 was cited as the world’s best-selling science fiction novel.

    The other is: Ender´s Game

    Ender’s Game is a 1985 military science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card. Set in Earth’s future, the novel presents an imperiled mankind after two conflicts with the “buggers”, an insectoid alien species. In preparation for an anticipated third invasion, children, including the novel’s protagonist, Ender Wiggin, are trained from a very young age through increasingly difficult games including some in zero gravity, where Ender’s tactical genius is revealed.

    Orson Scott Card is a genial writer, be sure about that and Ender´s Game it is
    a mythic.

    Another one incredible writer is: George R.R. Martin who has lot of novels
    and serials, the best known now is …..A Game of Thrones for the TV.
    serial that is really good too.

    A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels, the first of which is A Game of Thrones. It is filmed at Titanic Studios in Belfast, on location in the United Kingdom, and in Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco, Spain, and the United States.
    The series premiered on HBO in the United States on April 17, 2011, and its sixth season ended on June 26, 2016. The series was renewed for a seventh season, scheduled to premiere in mid-2017 with seven episodes. The series will conclude with its eighth season in 2018.
    Enough, I could write pages and pages about this item of science fiction
    Imagine me being a reader since the twelve age……..
    As the last, Ray Bradbury took a great influence on me and I read nearly all
    his books and short stories.

    Quiet down emiliano and stop.

    last recomendation……….read “Dune” if you could, it is possible that the novel
    make a change in your way of thinking and looking
    life and other people too.


  13. emiliano says:

    Another mythic movie and short story:

    In the film “Blady Runner”, the dying replicant Roy Batty makes this speech to Harrison Ford’s character Deckard moments after saving him from falling off a tall building.
    Deckard had been tasked to kill him and his replicant friends. The words are spoken during a downpour, moments before Batty’s death:

    I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

    This phrase is called: “Tears in Rain” and the movie is also a mythic film based
    on the short story of Phil K. Dick “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” .

    Not more please, emiliano, no more……

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