Can one person make a difference?

Elin Ersson has restored my faith in mankind.  Her single-handed, non-violent act of bravery last week prevented the deportation of an Afghan asylum seeker from Sweden to Afghanistan.

Many people have pointed out that this victory will be very short-lived as the Swedish government will just eject asylum seekers in more covert ways. However, I would argue that her act of defiance has already had more effect than many organisational lobbyists, as she has raised global awareness of the plight of asylum seekers in Sweden. Thank you Elin, I am indebted to you, and you will be my heroine for many, many years to come.

If you haven´t got a clue what I´m talking about, then please read about her and pass it on. Knowledge is a powerful tool, and just because our governments want us to be dumb, it doesn´t mean we have to oblige.

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How do you make a cosmopolitan?

cosmopolitanA cosmopolitan, or informally a cosmo, is a cocktail made with vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed lime juice or sweetened lime juice.  It’s delicious!

Want to make one?  No problem.  Watch the video here

The arts: why is it not valued in a capitalist society?

What is the purpose of art?  Well, according to the Ted Talks speaker, Hadi Eldebeck: ”The arts brings meaning to life, it is the spirit of our culture, it brings people together, and it´s a force of creativity and social cohesion.”

And yet, despite this undeniable truth, why do we invest so little in the arts? Why are artists valued so poorly? And, why do we actively discourage people from developing careers in the arts?

Improve your listening comprehension by listening to Hadi´s presentation.  And don´t worry if you think the level will be too difficult, there are spanish subtitles that you can turn on, or turn off.

The British Way: How to make a complaint!

Nikki Big BrotherControversially, Nikki is considered to be, by far, one of the most entertaining British Big Brother TV contestants.

She is well known for her furious Diary Room rants and her daily battles with the other housemates.

Watch this video to find out how she complains to Big Brother about the lack of heating in the house and try to hear what words she uses to say that she is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cold. It´s hilarious and I love her!

The British Way: How to make a cup of tea!

making a cup of teaSeriously, someone is pulling my leg.

Is it possible that we need an instructional video to show us how to make a cup of tea? Well, perhaps the answer is yes.

So, if you’ve never made a cup of tea before, here’s a simple 5 step video to help you learn the skills and key vocabulary. The main verbs include the following: To fill, To stir, To add, To boil, To brew, To remove. Good luck! Oh, and if you don’t have a kettle, you might be in trouble!

School is a back-up plan!

For millions of young people around the world, living with autism is challenging enough without also having to deal with the prejudices of others.

Australian Hamish Finlayson is using his own experience of the condition to change perceptions of autism and increase awareness among his peers. The 13-year-old builds apps and games that help players better understand what it’s like to live with autism.

Many of this youngest generation, having grown up with technology, are building their own software to help spread awareness for many issues, from anxiety and mental health to cyberbullying. Finlayson is one of these bright sparks using his coding gift for the greater good.

Improve your English listening comprehension, and your general knowledge by listening to his story.