Listening activity – “This Farm of the Future Uses No Soil and 95% Less Water”

The following activity is based on a short documentary published on the YouTube channel Stories, and its theme is VERTICAL FARMING as a way to reduce water usage and contamination.

Before watching the video I suggest that you read the vocabulary list, you can also download it (PDF file).

VOCABULARY 

  • LEAFY: having a lot of leaves.
    Plants Flora Foliage Greens Greenery Leafy Leaves
  • HUGE: very large in size, amount o degree.
    Endangered Elephant Trunk Skin Care African Big
  • MASSIVE: very large and heavy.
    Ex. Falkirk Wheelis a massive boat lift in Scotland.
    FalkirkWheelSide_2004_SeanMcClean.jpg
     
  • INDOOR: used, located, done or happening inside a building.
    An indoor field 1024px-Starfire_Sports_Complex_-_indoor_soccer_01
  • NUTRITIOUS: having substances that a person or animal needs to stay healthy and grow properly.
    fruits-and-vegetables-displayed
  • CROP: a plant that is grown by farmers and used as food.
    MaxPixel.freegreatpicture.com-Wheat-Spike-Cereals-Spike-Wheat-Field-Grain-Wheat-8762.jpg
  • TO STACK: to make things into a neat pile.
    Insulated food storage containers are stacked for loading onto Red Cross ERVs and Salvation Army canteens.
    FEMA_-_39207_-_Food_storage_containers_stacked_on_shipping_pallets_in_Texas.jpg
  • ROOT: the part of a plant that grows underground.
    root-276636_1920.jpg
  • TO MIST: to cover something with very small drops of liquid in order to keep it wet.
    Ex. These plants have to be misted regularly.

    Rooting_of_softwood_cuttings_of_elm_under_the_mist_propagation_system.jpg
  • ROW: a line of things or people next to each other.
    seagulls-591437_1280.jpg
  • TREND: a general direction in which a situation is changing or developing.
    Ex. Investments showed a positive trend over the period considered.
     
  • TO FEED (FED/FED): to give food to a person or an animal.
    Bottle_Feeding_Iberian_Lynx_cub_02
  • OVERPOPULATED: with too many people leaving in it.
    514px-TNagar_Ranganathan_Street.JPG
  • TO SPROUT: to appear suddenly and in large numbers.
    Ex. New houses are sprouting everywhere these days. 
  • STEEL: strong metal that can be shaped easily.
    1186px-Steel-Dowel-Pins.jpg 
  • MILL: a factory that produces a particular type of material; a building fitted with machinery for grinding grain into flour.
  • TOUGH: very difficult to deal with; physically and emotionally strong.
    Ex. Karen’s last pregnancy was tough.
  • STRIVE: to try very hard to achieve something.
    Ex. I enjoy watching people strive for their dreams.
  • LANDFILL: a place where waste is buried under the ground.
    120821-F-BP133-050.JPG

PDF version: This Farm of the Future Uses No Soil and 95% Less Water – Vocabulary – Free English Materials For You

Fill in the gaps in the following sentences while listening:

NARRATOR: You can’t see it on the outside, but this old industrial neighborhood is an agricultural oasis. Inside this former laser tag arena, about 250 kinds of ______________ greens are growing in _______________ quantities, to be sold to local supermarkets and restaurants. This is AeroFarms, a massive ______________ vertical farm in Newark, New Jersey. 

DAVID ROSENBERG: Our mission is to build farms in cities all over the world so people have access to ______________, great tasting, highly __________________food.

NARRATOR: ______________ are stacked more than 30 feet high inside this 30,000 square foot space. They’re grown using aeroponic technology.

DAVID ROSENBERG: Typically in indoor growing, the ______________sit in water and one tries to oxygenate the water. Our key inventor realized that if we mist nutrition to the root structure, then the roots have a better oxygenation.

NARRATOR: AeroFarms says the root misting system allows them to use 95% less water than a regular field farm. They also use no pesticides or herbicides. Instead of soil, plants are grown in reusable cloth, made from recycled plastic. And ___________________the sun, there are ______________________of specialized LED lighting.

DAVID ROSENBERG: A lot of people say, sunless? Wait, plants need sun. In fact, the plants don’t need yellow spectrum, so we’re able to reduce our energy footprint by doing things like reducing certain types of spectrum.

NARRATOR: This sophisticated climate controlled system ______________ the growing cycle in half, so crops can be grown all year round, but with a much smaller ______________on the environment.

DAVID ROSENBERG: There are all these stresses on our planet. 70% of our fresh water contamination comes from agriculture. 70% of our fresh water usage goes to agriculture. One third of our arable land has been degraded in the last 40 years. All these macro trends point to the fact that we need a new way to feed our planet.

NARRATOR: One of the early champions of vertical farming is Columbia University ecologist Dickson Despommier. In 1999, Despommier and his students proposed that vertical farms could ___________ ___________________ cities while using less land and less water. They would also cut greenhouse gases by eliminating the need to transport food over long distances. And the idea is finally taking root. Over the past few years, vertical farms have sprouted all over the world, including in Vancouver, Singapore, Panama, the UK, and around the US. Here in Newark, AeroFarms is building out another new farm in a former steel mill, one that’s bigger than a football field. Once it’s fully operational, it’s expected to produce two million pounds of greens a year– all grown vertically.

DAVID ROSENBERG: We listen to the plants very carefully to try and understand what they’re telling us and try and optimize all these different qualities of the plant. It’s a ______________ business, but it’s one that’s going to stay and it’s going to have a bigger and bigger impact.

NARRATOR: Do you think vertical farms will help solve our food production problems?Let us know in the comments below. And check out this next episode to see how this major US city is _________________ to become zero waste.

ROBERT REED: When I started at Recology 23 years ago, the recycling rate was around 38%. Today, we’ve more than __________________that.

NARRATOR: So far, San Francisco has diverted 80% of its waste away from landfills, and its success has been getting global attention.

PDF version (without key): This Farm of the Future Uses No Soil and 95% Less Water – Fill in the gaps
PDF version (KEY): This Farm of the Future Uses No Soil and 95% Less Water – KEY

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Splinter – Vocabulary (Intermediate – Advanced)

Splinter- vocabulary - femfy - Free English Materials For You - FCE - intermediate.png

Example sentences:

  • The splinter already hurts more than pulling it out.
  • They did pull over 50 glass splinters from her hands.
  • I landed on the glass. I’ve got splinters.

TO BACK UP

to-back-up-phrasal-verb-femfy-free-english-materials-for-you

Example sentences from the web:

  • Does the Council intend to back up the diplomatic work being carried out by Spain and the other Member States on this issue?
  • He is backed up by other professors at Copenhagen University, Kaj Sand-Jensen and Carsten Rahbek.
  • Everyone, back up a little bit here.
  • Could you back up a little to give me some room?

SYNONYMS

back up synonyms.png

Source

To concede – Vocabulary (advanced)

to-concede-meaning-vocabulary-ielts-advanced-c2-c1-fce-femfy-free-english-materials-for-you

Example sentences:

  • Steve had to concede the rival another victory.
  • The company was forced to concede that items of private data had been illegally stored.
  • I don’t concede that I’m being unreasonable for merely trying to be rational about our living arrangement.

Visual thesaurus (source: http://www.visualthesaurus.com)

to-concede-visual-thesaurus-synonyms

In the news:

17-01-2017-03-09-38

Source:  Adam Withnall Gambia election: President Yahya Jammeh in shock defeat to former Argos security guard Adama Barrow, Independent

17-01-2017-03-13-12

Source: Hardik Vyas, Independent

17-01-2017-03-15-25.png

Source:  in Chicago and in Washington, The Guardian

Listening activity -What’s the big deal with gluten? by William D. Chey – TED-Ed

Yesterday, I came across this Ted-Ed video and I found it quite informative. It’s just 5 minutes long and it isn’t difficult to understand. As you can guess reading the heading, it’s about GLUTEN, allergies, and intolerances. On Ted-Ed‘s website, you can find other listening activities on the video. 

Below a vocabulary list you should read before watching the video:

cereals-visual-vocabulary

Image source

BIG DEAL: something that is very important.
Ex. This was a really big deal for me.

RECENTLY: not long ago
Ex. I received a letter from her recently.

DIETARY: related to your diet.
Ex. This kind of dietary behaviour needs to be stopped immediately.

CRAZE: an activity, object or idea that is very popular for a short time.
Ex. The new dance craze is spreading.

INSOLUBLE: not able to be dissolved in a liquid.

DOUGH: flour mixed with water, and other ingredients that is baked to make bread, cookies, etc.

TO MOUNT: to activate; to launch.

MILD: not strong in action or effect.
Ex. Your friend had a mild heart attack.

TO IMPAIR: to make something weaker or worse.
Ex. Smoking can impair your health.

RASH: a lot of small red spots on the skin that is caused by an illness or a reaction to something.

FORTUITOUS: happening by chance; not planned.
Ex. My presence here is fortuitous.

PDF version: what-is-the-big-deal-with-gluten-vocabulary

Fill in the gaps in the following sentences:

  1. Maybe you’ve recently seen the phrase “gluten-free” on food ________________, or take-out menus, shampoo bottles, apartment listings, the _______________of your shirt, on a hammer, as a lower back tattoo, or in your friend’s resume.
  2. Next time someone starts telling you about their newfound freedom from gluten, here are some questions you can ask, and the _________________ answers that your friend, being a reasonable individual making educated _________________choices, and by no means just following the latest diet _________________, will tell you.
  3. What is gluten? Gluten is an insoluble protein composite _________________ of two proteins named gliadin and glutenin.
  4. Gluten is found in certain grains, particularly wheat, rye and _______________ .
  5. Gluten is responsible for the elastic consistency of and the chewiness of _______________ foods made from wheat flour, like bread and pasta.
  6. For some people, these foods cause problems, namely wheat allergy, celiac _________________, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
  7. Wheat allergy is an uncommon _________________ that occurs when a person’s immune system _________________an allergic response to wheat proteins, leading to mild problems, and in rare cases, a potential dangerous reaction called anaphylaxis.
  8. Celiac disease is an _________________ disease, in which eating foods with gluten leads to inflammation and damage of the lining of the small intestine.
  9. This impairs intestinal function, _________________ to problems like belly pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, weight loss, skin _________________, bone problems like osteoporosis, iron deficiency, small stature, infertility, fatigue and depression.
  10. Celiac disease is present in one in every 100 to ____________persons in the U.S.
  11. The most effective _________________ is a gluten-free diet, which helps heal intestinal damage and improve symptoms.
  12. Gluten sensitivity’s _________________ in the general population is unclear, but likely much more common than wheat allergy or celiac disease.
  13. For example, it may be the case that gluten can activate the immune system in the small intestine, or cause it to become _________________.
  14. The human intestine can’t _________________ or absorb fructans, so they make their way to the large intestine or colon, where they’re fermented by bacteria, producing short-chain fatty acids and gases.
  15. Another possible explanation behind gluten sensitivity is the ________________ effect.  This occurs when a person believes something will cause problems, and because of that belief, it does. It’s the opposite of the more well-known and much more ____________________ placebo effect.
  16. So a better name than non-celiac gluten___________________might be wheat _____________________.

PDF version: whats-the-big-deal-with-gluten-fill-in-the-gaps-without-answers

Answers: what-is-the-big-deal-with-gluten-answers

 

Listening activity – ART/ARCHITECTURE – Andrea Palladio (video by The School of Life)

I’m sorry I haven’t been sharing resources for a while, but I’ve been very busy lately.
This is a listening activity based on the video ‘ART/ARCHITECTURE – Andrea Palladio’ by The School of Life. I suggest that you read the vocabulary list before watching the video. If you want to test your listening skills, try the fill in the gaps exercise below the video, you can also download a printable pdf version.

Art_architecture - Andrea Palladio - The School of Life - Visual Vocabulary - Free English Materials For You - femfy

VOCABULARY 

Located: Something or someone that is located in a specified place is in or at that place.
Ex. Our target is located somewhere on the second level.

Stonemason: a person whose job is cutting and preparing stone for buildings.

Stonecutter/ stone carver: a person who cuts or carves stone.

A handful (of somebody/something): a small number of people or things.
Ex. We’ve got a handful of professional soldiers like myself.

Setback: an unanticipated or sudden check in progress; a change from better to worse.
Ex. There has been a slight setback in our plans.

To emerge: to appear by coming out of something or out from behind something.
Ex. A mole emerged from a hole in the ground.

Virtue: a good moral quality in a person, or the general quality of being morally good.
Ex. Patience is a virtue.

Dignity: calm, serious, and controlled behaviour that makes people respect you.
Ex. Try to maintain your dignity, no matter what they call you.

To line up: to form a line; to put into a proper and systematic order.
Ex. They will all have to line up behind you.

Unworthy: lacking merit or value.
Ex. This Tosk is unworthy of such a noble description.

Barn: a large building on a farm where animals, crops, or machines are kept.

Stable: a building where horses or farm animals are kept.

To disguise: to change the usual appearance, sound, taste, etc., of (someone or something) so that people will not recognize that person or thing.
Ex. And I’ve configured the shields to disguise our visual profile.

Utilitarian: designed for use rather than beauty.
Ex. Their furniture was very plain and utilitarian.

To compensate: to provide something good as a balance against something bad or undesirable.
Ex. Nothing will ever compensate for his lost childhood.

Collected: calm and in control of your emotions.
Ex. Even in a life-threatening situation, the captain of the ship was collected.

Poised: showing very calm and controlled behavior.
Ex. Try to be more poised and confident.

Reliably: in a way that you can trust to be accurate.
Ex. Moreover, following this method would require significant adjustments which cannot be reliably quantified.

Distinguished: characterized by excellence or distinction; eminent.
Ex. You’re a government major, inspired by your distinguished aunt.

Cement: a fine grey powder made of a mixture of calcined limestone and clay, used with water and sand to make mortar, or with water, sand, and aggregate, to make concrete.

Harmonious: having a pleasant tune or harmony.
Ex. It will become a harmonious eco-friendly space.

Resonated: to continue to have a powerful effect or value.
Ex. Her speech resonated with voters.

Underlying: used to identify the idea, cause, problem, etc., that forms the basis of something.
Ex. Insomnia may represent an underlying physical or psychiatric disorder.

Advocate: a person who upholds or defends a cause; supporter.
Ex. The European Parliament has always been an advocate of inland navigation.

Downloadable PDF file: Andrea Palladio – Vocabulary

Watch again the video and try to fill in the gaps in the following sentences:

1.   Andrea Palladio was born at the end of November in _______ in Padua.

2.   He was an apprentice ______________ and later stone carver.

3.   Over the next 40 years of his working life, Palladio designed 40 or so villas, a couple of town houses and a ______________  of churches.

4.   For most of his career he had a mix of professional successes and ______________.

5.  Palladio thought we should build in order to ______________  good state of mind in ourselves and others.

6.   All the elements in a room are centered, balanced, ______________.

7.   He only uses simple geometrical ______________. Generally the walls are ______________  and there is little furniture.

8.   Palladio was ______________  with making sure that every element for building fitted perfectly with every other.

9.   One of the ambitions of Palladio’s architecture was to give greater ______________  to parts of life that had been ______________ regarded as unworthy.

10. Rather than being hidden and set at a distance these ______________  buildings are presented as ______________  and important.

11. He wasn’t disguising the ______________  reality of the farm, rather he was demonstrating its ______________  dignity.

12. We need serene ______________  and confident buildings precisely because we’re not reliably like that.

13. Ideally, architecture ______________ our better selves, the ideal building is like the ideal person.

14. There’s a practical guide to digging ______________  and how to judge the quality of cement and the reliable ways of constructing ______________  and laying floors.

15. The fancy surrounds are not the ______________  thing. Without them the window opening will still look ______________.

16. He went on to provide a wide ______________  of rules for making buildings ______________.

17. Palladio saw himself as a ______________, he was simply following a set of rules which others could follow too.

18. He was working against the idea that architecture ______________  a special genius.

19. Buildings are ‘palladium’ when they are devoted to ______________, harmony, and dignity on the basis of rules which can and should be wildly reused.

20. It’s then, they display the same ______________  ambition of which Palladio is a central advocate and ______________.

Downloadable PDF file: Andrea Palladio – Fill in the gaps – Without answers

Downloadable PDF file: Andrea Palladio – Fill in the gaps – Answers