The most controversial ads in Britain

The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received  26,433 complaints about 15,556 ads – people in Britain do write letters of complaint, it is not just a class exercise.

In this article in The Guardian you can see the videos of the 10 most complained-about ads on TV. I particularly cannot see the reason why so many people (743 ) complained about the WV Polo ad.  It is explained in the article: apparently people were concerned about the dog’s welfare. Watch the video and judge.

Watch the rest of the videos and tell us: Would you have sent a letter of complaint about any of the ads in the top ten list?


Martha by Tom Waits

Martha by Tom Waits


Listen to the song and read the lyrics (with some gaps for the sake of practising listening comprehension…)

When I first heard this song I felt like crying: the power of a real love that was never meant to be! But as years went by I started to change my mind. What a nerve! What’s the purpose of his call? She has a life away from him, probably a happy one after a more than likely difficult relationship with someone who just wanted “to be a man”, whatever that’s supposed to mean. Ghosts from the past rubbing salt on wounds? He wants to recover his happy past now that he’s old and most likely alone in life. When I was young I thought his call was a sign of romantic love. Now I see it is as a desperate call from someone who knows he has wasted his life. It is a great song and very moving, though.

Do you agree with me?

(First published in Old Reviews, Debates and Resources.)


Posted by Quaver 1969


I’m reading an interesting book I bought last summer in London. I bought it in one of the airports to read it during the flight, but I haven’t read it yet. It’s title is “Yes!”. It was written by three people: Dr Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, and Dr Robert B. Cialdini. It is a collection of 50 usefull tips to increase your persuasiveness over others. All of these tips have been scientifically studied by putting them into practice on numerous groups of people. So I think this book is about social Psychology.

The authors of the book are two Psychology doctors and the director of an enterprise called “Influence At Work”, an enterprise which provides training and consultancy services based on the strategies in this book.

I will tell you some of them during this holidays in comments I’ll write related to this post.

Bye, bye.

Love and Marriage

I found this video by chance (how else, on the Internet?) and I agree so wholeheartedly with the presenter (Keith Olbermann) that I decided to post it here.

I’m not very sure if it’s going to start a debate. I think it should, considering the results of the Proposition 8.

In fact I’m not even sure you (my students, if anybody reads this it’s going to be you) are going to watch the whole video. Please, do. And when you do, tell us that you think.

As a listening exercise, I would like to challenge you with a double question: Why should the term marriage be redefined in the USA? / How and why has the word been redefined in the past?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(You can read the transcript here.)

Song Contest entry by Tears for Fears

Posted by Quaver1969

Hi all!

I think this song is great! It speaks about feminism.

I hope you like it.

Woman in chains

If the video is no longer available, click here.


See you!

No Logo: a response to globalization

Naomi Klein, Canadian journalist and writer, first published No Logo in December 1999 as a critical response to the increasingly powerful international corporations in the new globalized world. The social context in which No Logo appeared was preceded by the serious incidents during the World Trade Organization Conference in Seattle, with violent clashes between some anti-globalization protesters and the police.

You can learn more about the violent incidents in this article and with the trailer of the film, Battle in Seattle that is about to be released set at the time of the W.T.O. Conference.

In this interactive activity, you can watch Naomi Klein presenting her book and explaining the basic theories defended in her work. Do the exercise and see how you get on!

Read some excerpts from the book: Part I and Part II.

City of Immigrants: a song by Steve Earle

Steve Earle (1955) is an American singer-songwriter, well known for his rock and country music, as well as for his many political views. In his song City of Immigrants, from his latest album Washington Square Serenade, he talks about a reality in this globalized 21st century: you can find bits of many different worlds right next door.

Read more about Steve Earl in the the article “Is Steve Earle America’s greatest living songwriter?”, published on 22 July 2007 in The Independent)

You can do this exercise with the lyrics of the song. Be ready to concentrate because his accent makes the task quite challenging! In the exercise there is a link to the audio version of the song, which is longer than the video above.

Here’s the pdf version of the lyrics of the song with gaps and  without gaps.

Which is the city Steve Earle sings about? Do you think it is similar to the place you live in? Or any big cities in Spain? Tell us your opinion writing a comment for this post!