Saturday, April 24, 2010

Signs, The Day the Earth Stood Still & District 9: Extra-Terrestrials

A. Work in small groups:

1. Do you believe in ETs and UFOs? Why (not)?

2. Have you ever seen or known anyone who has already seen a UFO?

3. Is it possible that ETs are already among us on Earth? Why (not)?

4. According to NASA, about 2000 reports of people claiming to have seen a UFO every month only in the USA. Why does that happen?

5. 98% of the reports are proven fake. Why do people do it? What about the other 2%?

6. Scientist have said that ETs have been captured and dissected in Roswell, USA and in the countryside in Russia? What's your opinion about it?

7. If ETs do exist, what do you think they look like? Do they look like us?

8. Why would they come to Earth, such a distant planet?

9. Most people describe ETs with similar physical characteristics. Is it evidence they actually exist or is it a proof that people are influenced by the descriptions provided by the media?

10. Why do countries, such as the USA, invest billions of dollars every year in projects to locate aliens, including a US$ 79 billion concluded project in New Mexico with landing tracks for UFOs?

B. Watch the movie segment from the movie Signs now and discuss the questions that follow.

1. Describe the segment.

2. Where did the scene take place?

3. Who probably shot the scene?

4. D0es the scene look real or fake? Explain it?

5. What would you do if you were at that birthday party? Would you try any contact?

6. Would NASA consider this footage a hoax or would they investigate it? Explain it.

C. Now read the discoveries made and found in the intriguing site Absolute Which ones may indicate that life on other planets or satellites may exist? What about intelligent life?

( ) Scientists have long speculated about the possibility of life on Mars owing to the planet's proximity and similarity to Earth. It remains an open question whether life currently exists on Mars, or has existed there in the past because liquid water is widely thought to have existed there in the past, and there may still be liquid water beneath the surface.

( ) Mercury (planet): An expedition to Mercury has discovered that a large amount of water exists in its exosphere.

( ) Europa (moon) may contain liquid water beneath its thick ice layer. It is possible that vents on the bottom of the ocean warm the ice, so liquid could exist beneath the ice layer, perhaps capable of supporting microbes and simple plants.

( ) Ganymede is a Moon of Jupiter and the List of natural satellites by diameter in the Solar System. Completing an orbit in a little more than seven days, it is the seventh satellite and third Galilean satellite from Jupiter and has a possible underground ocean( ) Callisto (moon) has a possible underground ocean.

( ) Enceladus (moon) has evidenced geothermal activity, water vapor. Possible under-ice oceans heated by tidal effects.

( ) Saturn (planet): A lake is present on the surface of the planet, the first liquid lakes discovered outside of Earth.

( ) Venus (planet): Scientists have speculated on the existence of germs and microbes in cloud layers 50 km above the surface.

D. Now watch the second segment from the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still and discuss these questions:

1. Describe the scene.

2. What does the Extra Terrestrial look like?

3. How different is this alien from the one in the segment from Signs?

4. Which one do you think is more believable? Why?

5. What were some of the powers this ET has?

6. The American Army rescued one alien during the scene. What will they probably do with it? Study its anatomy by killing it, keep it in a study room, try to communicate, etc?

7. Should the government make this discovery public? Why (not)?

8. Do you think a spacecraft will ever land or be seen on earth like the one in the segment did?

E. Watch the third segment of the movie District 9. Then discuss the questions that follow about the movie segment.

1. Describe the scene.

2. What happened to the space craft?

3. Where was the craft located?

4. How did they find the aliens?

5. How was the extra-terrestrials health condition?

6. What did humans do to them?

7. What were the problems humans were facing because of the extra-terrestrials?

8. Do you think this is a possible scenario? Why (not)?

9. Describe the extra-terrestrials.

10. If the situation were real, should humans be concerned about the ETs the way we are about wild animals dying out? Why (not)?

11. What were some of the opinions given by the population in the segment?




Saturday, April 17, 2010

What Happens in Vegas: Breaking Up

A. Talk to a partner and discuss the following questions.

1. Do you agree that everybody has already experienced the feeling of breaking up a relationship?

2. Make a list of all the feelings one may have when they break up an affair. Share it with the rest of the class.

B. Work with someone of the same sex as yours. Men will make a list with 8 excuses girls usually give to dump their boyfriends. Women, on the other hand, will make a list with 8 excuses men usually give to dump their girlfriends. Rank them (1 the least believable, 8 the most believable)

C. Read your excuses out loud and check with the opposite sex if you're right.

D. Watch the movie segment and check if any of you have come up with the excuse the character gives to break his engagement up.

E. Discuss these questions about the segment with a partner.

1. Do you like surprise parties? Have you ever had one? Was it different from the one in the segment?

2. Do you think her fiance was telling the truth? What makes you believe it?

3. Do you think his excuse is believable? If not, what should he say in a situation like that?

4. What would you do if you were in her shoes?

5. What do you think will happen next?


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Slumdog Millionaire & My Life in Ruins: Tour Guides - Traveling Abroad - Taj Mahal - India - Greece

Slumdog Millionaire, in my opinion, is an overrated movie. It is a good movie, but I've seen much better ones which have never won an Oscar. My Life in Ruins, on the other hand, does not have the intention of being a master piece, but it is entertaining and enjoyable. Both films have tour guide scenes and traveling, great topics for conversation.

A. Work in pairs. Take turns asking the following questions:

1. When you travel to a new place, do prefer to make use of a local tour guide or do you prefer to be on your own? Why?

2. Is it important to hire local tour guides? Why (not)?

3. Do you trust the information provided by tour guides? explain it.

4. How can tour guides become dangerous for the tourist?

5. What are the most important qualities of a good tour guide?

6. Is the guide's age important? How old does he/she have to be for you to hire one?

B. Read some characteristics that describe a good tour guide. Write L if the characteristic applies especially for local tour guides in very small tourist towns, M if it applies for long international tourist trips or B if it applies to both of them.

1. ( ) Uses non verbal communication, such as smiles, eye contact or body language.

2. ( ) is punctual, courteous, attentive.

3. ( ) Dresses well.

4. ( ) Researches about the history of the place.

5. ( ) Informs what they will need to wear and bring to the tour.

6. ( ) Learns about the visitors in between the stops.

7. ( ) Does not repeat a memorized text, but provides meaningful messages to different kinds of groups or tourists.

8. ( ) Uses games and activities to entertain the tourists.

9. ( ) Does not ask for extra money or tips.

10. ( ) Speaks several languages.

C. Now watch the segment from the movie Slumdog Millionaire and answer the questions that follow in pairs:

1. Where does the scene take place?

2. What kind of tour guide did they hire?

3. Was he a real tour guide? How do you know it?

4. How did they hire the tour guide?

5. How much experience did he have?

6. What can you say about the information he gave the couple?

7. How honest was the guide? How do you know it?

8. What kinds of places did he show the tourists?

9. Where was the last tourist couple from? What happened to them. And to the guide?

10. Take a look at exercise B. Write down the items with qualities that you think apply to the movie segment's tour guide.

11. Would you like to visit India and the Taj Mahal? Why (not)? If you would, would you hire a local tour guide to help you around? Why (not)?´

D. Now watch the next segment from the movie My Life in Ruins. Then answer the questions that follow.

1. Describe the scene.

2. Is the tour guide right to promote Greece's history even if the tourists are not interested? Why?

3. How would you describe this group of tourists? Are you like them when you are a tourist in another country?

4. What would you do if you were in a tour on a bus like the one in the segment?

5. How different or similar are the tour guides in this movie segment? Explain it.

6. Which of the two guides would you prefer? Why?

7. How do you compare the tour guides in this segment with the one from the movie Slumdog Millionaire?

8. Take a look at exercise B. Write down the items with qualities that you think apply to this movie segment's tour guides.



Thursday, April 1, 2010

Amelia & Night at the Museum Battle of the Smithsonian: Amelia Earheart

A. Watch the movie segment from the movie Night at the Museum - Battle of the Smithsonian and talk about the questions that follow:

1. Describe the scene.

2. Who did he meet in the museum?

3. What achievements did she mention?

4. What adjectives would you use to describe her, having what she said and did as a reference.

5. Why do you think she is in the museum?

A. Work in small groups:

1. What do you know about Amelia Earheart?

B. Amelia Earheart continues to be an inspiration to all those who seek adventures around the world. Several schools have her name. She received several prizes for her aviation records, but she is really famous for her disappearance during her last flight. Read the paragraph below about Earheart's last flight and choose the alternative you believe is the most plausible explanation for her disappearance:

Amelia Earheart decided that her next trip would be to fly around the world. In 1937, she took off to Hawaii with pilot Paul Mantz. On takeoff, Amelia lost control of the plane, but it was repaired in the factory. She changed navigators. Fred Noonan was her lover. No one knows why she left behind some important navigation and communication instruments. On the third day of the trip, they communicated with the Coastal Guard ship. They were never heard again.

a. She simply died after a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean.

b. Her around-the-world flight was a cover for a spy mission to determine what the Japanese were up to in the Pacific.

c. She was captured by the Japanese and died in their hands.

d. She started living on a paradise island in the Pacific Ocean with her lover, Fred Noonan, who was traveling with her.

e. A combination of some of the alternatives above - explain it.

C. Earheart was a determined and adventurous woman whose quotes also became famous. Explain what she meant with them and what conclusions can you come up with about her personality and life style.

"Adventure is worthwhile in itself."

"Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things; knows not the livid loneliness of fear."

"Flying might not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price."

"In soloing - as in other activities - it is far easier to start something than it is to finish it."

"Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done."

"Please know that I am aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others."

"The most effective way to do it, is to do it."

"The woman who can create her own job is the woman who will win fame and fortune."

"There is so much that must be done in a civilized barbarism like war."

"Women must pay for everything. They do get more glory than men for comparable feats, but, they also get more notoriety when they crash."

These quotes were taken from the excellent site
Now watch the segment from the movie Amelia. Then discuss these questions:

1. Describe the scene.

2. Do you think this is the most probable explanation for Amelia's disappearance?

3. What was done by the government when her plane disappeared?

4. Did she deserve it? Why?

5. What's your opinion about Amelia Earheart?

6. Was she an real hero or too reckless to be a hero?