Dec 17, 2008

Personal Observation : A Better Railway Service in England

A3 Speech, Rebecca Chou

Traveling by train probably is a common experience we all had before, and we all knew the origin of this transportation started from England because of the industrial revolution. As our railway company suffers from big losses, it would be a good idea to learn something from other countries. Since I have stayed in England for a while, I’d like to share my observation with you and hopefully provide another option to improve our service.


Besides the difference of territory and population, the Railway UK has three unique marketing strategies to attract customers.


First, they provide special offers to different groups of people. People aged over 60 are free to take any trains. For young people from 16 to 26 or full time students, there is a youth railcard for them. Once they spend 20 pounds for this card, they can buy tickets with only one third of the original price at anytime within a year. With a group of four people, the price will be paid for only two when you buy the round-way/return tickets. Traveling at off-peak time can save you money if you don’t belong to any of the above groups.


The best part is that if you buy tickets in advance, you can pay less. Early-bird discount is beyond your expectation. I decided to go to London last Christmas and the price of return ticket went up from 32 pounds to 59 pounds within one week. Of course I paid 59 so I learnt how to save money for following journeys. Normally the price is 24 pounds but when it’s bank or national holiday, the price will be higher because cheaper tickets are longer available. Because of this system, the railway company can make sure the capacity beforehand and make the best arrangement for all passengers especially when the number is increasing, more cars will be needed. This assures the efficiency of their service and reduces unnecessary cost, such as, ticket refund.


Second, they have online booking service accessible for everyone. You can book ticket at anytime you want. Our system is scheduled for two-week term and is opened only from 6am to 9pm everyday but they can buy tickets within six weeks from today at anytime, anywhere because the system will send the ticket to their houses. But we have to book the return ticket separately. They have to pay online but with one booking procedure, they can get return ticket. Let’s see the website now and I’ll show you how easy it works to book tickets online.

Choose your location and destination and then the preferred date and time. Don’t forget to book your ticket earlier to enjoy discount. Make sure the station names are correct otherwise you will go to somewhere you don’t want to go. For example, there are six zones in London so it’s better to find the closer one to save your time. After that, you will see different routes showing you can take direct train or take two or more than two transitions. It depends on your time allowance. Sometimes you will wait more than one hour for the next train. If you don’t want to be late, you need to check it very carefully.


Then, press a button “check fares” and it will show you the price. The more the transition stops, the less you have to pay. Press another one “go” and it leads you to the purchasing page. Log in your email address and password or register as a newcomer and give them your postcode and search for your address and it’s done. Just give them your credit card number then you can wait for your mail.


Third, they have strategic alliance with different industry offering a whole package of service. The Plusbus project gives you a chance to buy the railway tickets with an extra little money for the day pass bus ticket. If you go to London with a person, you can show the tickets and spend less for museum admission fee, delicious meal or theater ticket.


Taiwan Railway Company is facing strong competition with HSR and other public transportation; however, learning from other countries may be another solution. I don’t take trains very often in Taiwan but I definitely want to have more special offers as a customer. Therefore, it’s time for them to re-consider the pricing, booking system and promotional strategy.

Dec 2, 2008

Charity Shop: A New Shopping Paradise

A2 Speech, Rebecca Chou

Have you thought about shopping can help others? In Britain, there are different charity organizations opening its own shops to collect donations which are things people don’t need anymore and sell them to those who don’t want to spend that much money or to those who are willing to help others because most of the revenue goes to support their specific purposes but they all have the same motive, that is, to provide others a better life. I like shopping in charity shops because I will never know what I will get and I can help different people with my own little money.

Charity shops are a type of social enterprise. They usually sell mainly second-hand goods donated by the public, and are often staffed by volunteers. Because the items for sale are free, and business costs are low, the items can be sold at very low prices. After costs are paid, all remaining income from the sales is used for the organization's stated charitable purpose. Costs include maintenance, municipal service fees, water, electricity, telephone, limited advertising and the rent or mortgage.

Based on the time limit, I will focus on the benefits of charity shops and if you are interested in more details, you may take a look of the handout with the most popular charity shops. Below you will see some pictures of them.

......Charity shops can provide three benefits.

First, it is a good way of fundraising for social welfare organizations. They sell second hand things from books, clothing, CDs, to furniture, footwear, cookware, toys…Almost everything you need in daily life. So the shops do not have problem of cost and they can sell them in very low price to attract people who don’t want to spend too much. They have their target consumers and when it’s the credit crunch now, more and more people will be interested in used goods. According to an article of the Guardian on July 13, they said “charity shops benefit from crisis”. What I wear today is all from charity shops. And guess what? It’s just about 10 pounds only!! You can find good quality things with little money. We may find excuses for ourselves not donate money to the social welfare organizations but we can’t resist the stimulation of shopping. It’s human nature.


Charity shops benefit from crisis

Middle-class shoppers are pouncing on bargains in charity shops and searching for savings in value supermarkets as the credit crunch bites.

Oxfam reports a sharp rise in browsers in its 729 stores. 'We have had an improvement in footfall and sales in the last quarter, if not a little bit longer,' said its deputy trading director, Barney Tallack. He said that just as in the 1991 recession, customer numbers are increasing - but it is sometimes hard to get the stock, as hard-pressed consumers hang on to their old clothes for a little longer.

In another sign of tightening belts, Asda reports this weekend that a quarter of its sales growth in the past year has come from 'AB' shoppers - those in the top social classes. Chief executive Andy Bond said 'a tough economic climate means that more and more people are shopping for value'.

Tesco corporate and legal affairs director Lucy Neville-Rolfe said rising energy and food prices were also leading customers to stock up on home insulation, composters and gardening equipment, while sales of energy-saving light bulbs have quadrupled, with over 10 million sold.

Second, they build up a specific social network for customers and their staffs. They recruit volunteers to be the shop assistants and most of them are elderly or unemployed people, students or housewives. They have plenty of time to decorate the shop, arrange the donations, and the most important is to socialize with people. It’s a great opportunity for them to talk to people, get in touch with others and get feedbacks from the customers to build up their confidence or release the emptiness. Sometimes they can also help customers who are normally disadvantaged families or elderly people because some of them will come to the shop buying nothing but be very happy to talk to them as they don’t have anyone to listen to them. All the volunteers are very friendly saying “Morning, sweet heart” and actually sometimes they do become friends of customers.

The last, it helps to reduce and recycle the waste. People used to throw away things they don’t need anymore; however, some may create different value of those unwanted things. If you want to donate old furniture, they can collect it for free. So why not give them away to charity shops? You can make profit for the charity and help others and make the garbage disappear at the same time. Take myself as an example. Before going back home, I brought a single quilt, a bed sheet and a pair of boots to the shops in Barnstaple and let others to re-use them with a very low price without any waste or I would be worried about how to empty the garbage bin in the shared house.

It’s probably not easy for us to have this kind of shops in Taiwan as we already have flea markets. But at least it’s another option for our government to improve the distribution of social resource and for all the social welfare organizations to attain their annual target with more ease. Moreover, being a volunteer is also a kind of citizenship education. With fundraising ability and an opportunity to help ourselves and others and to reduce garbage, charity shops are somewhere you can’t miss and have the potential to be a new shopping paradise.

Nov 5, 2008

Couchsurfing: Surfing Couches Around the World

A1 Speech, Rebecca Chou

Traveling is interesting but sometimes it costs quite a lot. If you want to go on vacation with very little money, Couchsurfing is the best choice for you. It’s a worldwide non-profit organization where you can meet new people with different culture and once you are a member, you may apply for free accommodation around the world.

I joined it before going to the UK because I know I wouldn’t have much money for traveling as we didn’t have much salary. So after my friend’s suggestion, I found the website and signed myself in.

The only thing you have to do is writing your personal profile, like, personal description, interest, philosophy, types of people you enjoy, favorite music, movies, or books, languages and etc as a self-introduction. Then you can enjoy surfing other members’ couches. You can send out your requests and wait for reply. Of course, not every time you can get positive answer but it’s always worth trying.


When you set your profile, you may decide to be a member with a couch, or just a cup of coffee/tea which means you can accommodate someone or you can just meet up with them. You may need to describe your couch or room and upload a picture for review. It’s totally up to you. If you are welcoming people to stay with you for a couple of days, you can show you have a couch to share. Or you can just be a local tour guide and tell others where to go or what to see when they come to your city or town. Or you will be traveling at the moment and is not available to host anyone like me at that time.

However, saving money is not the only purpose I join couchsurfing. Practicing languages, increasing life experiences and making friends with people who probably have the same interests or hobbies are the other advantages you can find if you’d to try it.

I start with introducing myself to other couchsurfers including my itinerary and planning and ask them for their available dates to host me. Even though we are absolutely strangers, they are still very friendly and nice. Most of the time, I need to use English and it helps me to understand the art of communication. As you know, I went to England to teach Mandarin but before going there, I have no idea about English people. Then I found the way they use English is different from the Americans. They are very conservative and polite and you need to be very indirect when you talk to them. For example, if you are asking for something, you may have to say “Is it possible for you to bring something to me?” Honestly, I am not used to speak English like this probably because I watch too many Hollywood movies. So I learnt how to talk to English people. Always start with the weather. Or greet people with “Are you alright?” And many couchsurfers I met during my journey are curious about Tibet when they saw the news on TV. They also like to ask me what different between China and Taiwan. Then I have to use my poor English to explain the political situations in Tibet and Taiwan. They also want to know about Kaohsiung or anything about Taiwan so I try to be their tour guide and find different pictures on google so that they can get to know my city as well.


Moreover, you may wonder couchsurfing is only for young people or is only for very active people but as a matter of fact, many middle-aged or retired people are couchsurfers and they are all from different background. I met a couchsurfer in Oxford who is already 67 and he teaches English to wealthy new comers. Another one in Oxford is a lady, 39, from Italy and she is a physicist in Oxford University and she plays Frisbee for Italian team. I also met a Taiwanese couchsurfer in Edinburgh and she studies bio-technology. A computer programmer who is a gay , a couple, one is a social volunteer and the other is a doctor in London, a town councilor in Swansea, a musician in Nottingham or another couple who are both nurses in Newcastle, a Californian housewife in Newport or a journalist-to-be and bride-to-be in Edinburgh. When I stay with them, sometimes we will cook together or share our opinions about global warming or other problems. I have made fried noodles, spring opinion pancakes and red bean tang yuan and since I am not good at cooking, they are not very tasty but still not too bad except tang yuan. At least, it’s a whole new experience for them and for me.

Some of them became friends of mine and I appreciate their help for offering me a free place to stay and welcome me as a family or a friend. You may say couchsurfers are people who love traveling and sharing and I am very happy to join this big family. At least it’s easier than Toastmasters. You don’t have to deliver speeches or take any assignments.

At last, we have local couchsurfers in three major cities from Taipei, Taichuang to Kaohsiung and other places. Probably you can find one in 屏東 and plan your 海角七號 day tour with a free local guide and free house to stay.

Not every time you will have wonderful experience. At least I had one unlucky chance when I went to Wales and I waited for a couchsurfer for over 3 hours till midnight. But I still believe Couchsurfing is a warming place for people who love traveling and sharing. I have been to Spain and the UK but hope to go to the United States, Italy or Japan in the future. Are you looking forward meeting someone in Taiwan or abroad? It’s time to join Couchsurfing and enjoy couchsurfing!

Oct 2, 2008

Slump (Word of the Day, 2008/10/1)

slump /slʌmp/ verb [intransitive]
to fall or lean against something because you are not strong enough to stand
--She slumped with grief.

slump against/over/back/in/into/on/onto etc.
--She slumped against the wall.
--Carol slumped back in her chair, defeated.
--He slumped onto the couch.
--A witness stated that he had seen the driver slump over the wheel immediately before the accident.

to suddenly go down in price, value, or number
--Sales slumped by 20% last year.
--Oil prices slump four dollars as greenback rises.

slump to
-- The currency slumped to a record low.
--The Dow Jones index slumped 180 to 10,098.2, its lowest since this year.

(also be slumped) if your shoulders or head slump or are slumped, they bend forward because you are unhappy, tired, or unconscious:
--Her shoulders slumped and her eyes filled with tears.

slumped /slʌmpt/ adjective
-- For the last two years OPEC has reduced the production of oil to boost slumped prices.

slump noun [countable, usually singular]
a sudden decrease in prices, sales, profits etc

slump in
--A drop in consumer confidence has caused a slump in house sales in 2008.

a period when there is a reduction in business and many people lose their jobs
--The war was followed by an economic slump.
--Stocks in Taiwan continued to fall on Monday in the wake of a worldwide slump prompted by last week's market plunge in New York, causing Taiwan's economics minister to call for investors to hold their stocks.

(especially American English) a period when a player or team does not play well
--The team went into a slump.

landslide in which mass of rock moves as a coherent body
--Heavy rain caused a slump.

in a slump
--The US’ housing market has been in a slump for more than two years.

slumpflation /ˋslʌmpˏfleʃən/ noun
bad financial period: an economic situation in which an economic depression is accompanied by increasing inflation
-- The Chairman of the Fed in the USA says the current situation is not like the 1970s and the slumpflation crisis at that time.

Sep 25, 2008

September Reading: Seven Staples of Public Speaking


bullet point [countable]
a thing in a list that consists of a word or short phrase, with a small printed symbol in front of it

know one’s stuff / know one's onions 
be experienced or knowledgeable in one's field or in the matter at hand
-- Patrice knows her stuff when it comes to Mexican history.
-- He’s a good lecturer as he really knows his stuff.
-- We need a handyman who knows his onions.

screw up [phrasal verb][ informal]
to make a bad mistake or do something very stupid [= mess up]
--You'd better not screw up this time.

screw (something) up [ informal]
to spoil something by doing something stupid [= mess something up]
--She realized that she had screwed up her life.

screw up your eyes/face
to move the muscles in your face in a way that makes your eyes seem narrow
--He screwed up his eyes against the bright light.
--Her face was screwed up with pain.

screw (somebody ) up [informal]
to make someone feel very unhappy, confused, or upset so that they have emotional problems for a long time [=mess somebody up]
--It really screwed her up when her mother died.

screw up the/enough courage to do something / screw up your courage 
to be brave enough to do something you are very nervous about
--I finally screwed up enough courage to talk to her.

wing it [spoken]
to do something without planning or preparing it
--We'll just have to wing it.

Chicken Soup for the Soul
is a series of books, usually featuring a collection of short, inspirational stories and motivational essays.

word for word
in exactly the same words
--The newspaper printed his speech more or less word for word.
--he repeated the conversation word for word.

also word by word
if you translate a piece of writing word for word, you translate the meaning of each single word rather than the meaning of a whole phrase or sentence

bore to tears / bore to death / bore stiff / bore the pants off
= make them very bored
-- Sam was bored to tears by the opera but didn't dare to admit it.
-- Carol bores the pants off me with her constant talk of remodeling.
-- His books bore me to death.

Sep 13, 2008

Fly Me to the Moon (Learning by Singing, 2008/9/3)

"Fly Me to the Moon", a pop standard song written by Bart Howard in 1954, originally titled "In Other Words". 

Lyrics: Bart Howard

Poets often use many words
To say a simple thing
It takes thought and time and rhyme
To make a poem sing

With music and words I've been playing[1]
For you I have written a song
To be sure that you know what I'm saying
I'll translate as I go along[2]

Fly me to the moon 
And let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars

In other words, hold my hand
In other words, darling, kiss me

Fill my heart with song 
And let me sing forevermore
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore

In other words, please be true
In other words, I love you

[1] With music and words I’ve been playing.
It’s an inverted sentence. We may rearrange it as:
I’ve been playing with the music and words.
The verb “play” in Present Perfect Continuous Tense indicates that writing music and lyrics have been continuous for a long time and proceed to now.

play with somebody/something
► to keep touching something or moving it
--Stop playing with the light switch!
►to consider an idea or possibility, but not always very seriously
--After university, I played with the idea of teaching English in China.
► to try doing something in different ways to decide what works best
--Play with the design onscreen, moving text and pictures until you get a pleasing arrangement.

play with words/language
►to use words in a clever or amusing way

[2] I’ll translate as I go along.
►I’ll explain impromptu.

go along 
If you do something as you go along, you do it without planning or preparing it.

Let’s listen to the song on Youtube.

Tony Bennett

Sep 10, 2008

Moon (Word of the Day, 2008/9/3)

Alan Lin

moon (noun)

the moon / the Moon

Earth’s only natural satellite that you can see shining in the sky at night, and that moves around the Earth and changes its phase every lunar month.

--Neil Alden Armstrong, a former American astronaut, is the first person to set foot on the Moon.


The natural satellites orbiting other planets are also called "moons", after Earth's Moon.

--Mars has two tiny moons, Earth has one large moon, and Venus and Mercury have no moons at all.

ask for the moon also cry for the moon

to ask for something that is difficult or impossible to obtain

ask for a lot, ask for more than you need or want

--When we negotiate our salary, don’t try this strategy: Ask for the moon and hope for a 10% raise.

--Don’t ask for the moon, but have we any stars?

Promise somebody the moon/the earth

to promise to give someone something that is impossible for you to give

--He had promised her the moon but five years later they were still living in the same small house.

over the moon

very happy

-- David Florence simply laughed as he was asked by one journalist if he was over the moon.

many moons ago

a long time ago

--When I got my first laser printer many moons ago, my bank manager almost had a heart attack.

moon in color

dark moon

the Moon during that time that it is invisible against the backdrop of the Sun in the sky

--The duration of a dark moon is between 1.5 and 3.5 days, depending on the orientation of the Earth and Sun.

blue moon

the second full moon in a calendar month

--A month with a blue moon happens every two years or so.

Once in a blue moon

very rarely

--This opportunity only comes once in a blue moon.

--This wasn't something they did once in a blue moon. They practiced all the time.

<The phases of the moon

new moon

the new moon is the lunar phase that occurs when the Moon, in its monthly orbital motion around Earth, lies between Earth and the Sun.

[countable usually singular] the moon when it first appears in the sky as a thin crescent

--It was a mild night with clouds drifting across the sky and occasionally obscuring the new moon.

[uncountable] the time of the month at which the moon is first seen

--By the time of the next new moon, the tribe had seen one birth and two deaths.

crescent moon

the shape of the moon when it appears as a curved shape

--A thin crescent moon will appear to the left of Venus the evening of July 6.

quarter moon / half moon

the shape of the moon when only half of it is showing

--A half moon shone through the dark, flying clouds on to the wild and empty moor.

gibbous moon

the shape of the moon's visible surface when the sun is illuminating more than half of the side facing the earth.

--A gibbous moon called to the lake. (from the lyrics of Burning Shadows)

full moon

the moon when you can see all of it as a complete circle

--Already the moon was up, a full moon bathing everything in a pale blue light.

waxing moon

the moon between new and full, when its visible part is increasing.

waning moon

the moon is decreasing in size, moving from the full moon towards the new moon

--These phases of the moon, in sequence of their appearance, are: New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Last or Third Quarter, and Waning Crescent.

moon (verb)

to bend over and show your buttocks as a joke or a way of insulting someone

--One man mooned the President's limousine as it drove past.

moon about/around

to spend your time lazily, moving around with no real purpose

--I wish you'd stop mooning about and do something useful!

--But there was no point in mooning around until then.

moon over somebody/something

to spend your time thinking about someone that you are in love with

--She sits mooning over his photograph for hours.

moon away

to spend (time) idly

--The time to moon the afternoon away has come.

lunar (adjective)

relating to the moon or to travel to the moon

-- Lunar eclipse always occurs during a full moon and solar eclipse always occurs during a new moon.

--About three days later the command, service and lunar module combination arrived at the Moon.

<moon festival

--The Chinese Moon Festival is on the 15th of the 8th lunar month. It's also known as the Mid-autumn Festival. During the moon festival, families get together to watch the almost full moon and enjoy mooncakes.


Mooncakes are Chinese pastry traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

--Most mooncakes are baked and consist of a thin tender crust enveloping a sweet filling. Many types of fillings can be found, such as lotus seed paste, sweet bean paste, jujube paste, and five kernel paste. Some may contain one or more whole salted duck egg yolks.


A kind of citrus fruit with sectioned sweet pulpy flesh and thick spongy rind.


--You don't need a huge telescope to do moonwatching. Binoculars and small telescope do just fine. Even doing it with naked eyes can be very rewarding.

<some features on the moon

mare (plural Maria) or “sea”

any of the large dark areas on the moon

mountain and mountain range

the Moon’s mountains are large, rounded "bumps," which look much like old, eroded mountain ranges on Earth.


any of roughly circular depression in the surface formed when meteoroid struck the Moon at high speeds


rays are bright streaks of debris that radiate from some large craters

Sep 1, 2008

August Reading: Small Steps to Successful Speechwriting


Small Steps to Successful Speechwriting: Helping fledgling Toastmasters face the page


take on
►Undertake or begin to deal with
--I took on new responsibilities.
--She took on too much when she accepted both assignments.

►Hire, engage
--We take on extra workers during the busy season.
►Oppose in competition
--This young wrestler was willing to take on all comers.
►Display strong emotion
--Don't take on so.
►Acquire as, or as if, one's own
--He took on the look of a prosperous banker.

over one's head
►Beyond one's understanding or competence
--The math required to complete these figures is way over my head.
►To a position higher than another's
-- She was furious when her assistant was promoted over her head.

go over someone's head
►Appeal to a higher authority
--Since she couldn't help me, I decided to go over her head and talk to her supervisor.

hold somebody/something back
►To make someone or something stop moving forward
--Police held back the demonstrators.
►To prevent someone or something from making progress
--They felt the British economy was being held back by excessive government controls.
►To be unwilling to do something, especially because you are being careful, or to make someone unwilling to do something
--In the current situation many investors are holding back.
--She wanted to tell him but pride held her back.

hold something back
►To stop yourself from feeling or showing a particular emotion
--She struggled to hold back her tears.
--Anger flooded through her. She couldn't hold it back.
►To keep something secret
--Tell me all about it - don't hold anything back!

come up with
►produce, supply; discover, think of an idea, answer etc.
--Henry always comes up with the wrong answer.
--We're hoping they come up with a cure in time to help Aunt Alice.

Aug 3, 2008

July Reading: Ready to Blow a Fuse?


Ready to Blow a Fuse?

blow a fuse also, blow a gasket, blow one’s top/stack/cool

Lose one's temper, express furious anger.

When his paycheck bounced, John blew a fuse.

Tell Mom what really happened before she blows a gasket.

An electric fuse is said to "blow" (melt) when the circuit is overloaded, whereas a gasket, used to seal a piston, "blows" (breaks) when the pressure is too high. The first of these slangy terms dates from the 1930s, the second from the 1940s. (from

to one’s face

Openly; directly.

I do not have the nerve to tell him to his face that he wasn't invited and shouldn't have come.

They don't want to acknowledge to someone's face that they need to lose weight.

The Golden Rule

The biblical teaching that one should behave toward others as one would have others behave toward oneself.

A soft answer turneth away wrath.

A gentle reply to someone who is angry will pacify that person. This saying comes from the Book of Proverbs in the Bible.

hot under the collar

Very angry.

soothe ruffled feathers

To make someone feel calmer and less angry.

ruffle someone's feathers

Annoy or offend someone.

Jul 18, 2008

Over the Rainbow (Learning by Singing, 2008/7/16)

"Over the rainbow" is a signature song of the movie, "The wizard of Oz", which tells the story about a schoolgirl, Dorothy, who lived on a farm with her aunt and uncle, but dreamed of a better place, somewhere over the rainbow. One day she was taken by a tornado to the wonderful Land of Oz and began her journey with Scarecrow, Tin man and Cowardly lion to find out the way home.

Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg

When all the world is a hopeless jumble
And the raindrops tumble all around,
Heaven opens a magic lane.

When all the clouds darken up the skyway,
There's a rainbow highway to be found,
Leading from your window pane
To a place behind the sun,
Just a step beyond the rain.

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high,
There's a land that I heard of, once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops,
That's where you'll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?

If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?


►A lot of different things mixed together in an untidy way, without any order.


►To fall down quickly and suddenly, especially with a rolling movement.

lemon drops
►A lemon drop is a sugary, lemon-flavored candy that is typically colored yellow and often shaped like a miniature lemon.
►There is a popular cocktail also known as a lemon drop which usually contains vodka, lemon juice, and sugar.

chimney tops
►A chimney top is placed on top of the chimney. Visit the following websites for pictures and more information.

Chimney Tops
►A mountain that is located in the central Great Smoky Mountains in the Southeastern United States. Here is more information from the Wikipedia page,

►A medium-size songbird that lives in North America. For more information, please visit


Let’s listen to the song on YouTube:

Jul 17, 2008

Innovate (Word of the Day, 2008/7/16)

Ivan Chiang
Innovate verb
►To introduce changes and new ideas in the way something is done or made
The managerial master always innovate new methods or ideas in routing job to improve the efficiency of whole office.

Innovation none
► A new thing or a method of doing something
They produced the first vegetarian beanburger –an innovation which was rapidly exported to Britain.
►The introduction of new ideas, methods or things
We must promote originality, inspire creativity and encourage innovation.

Innovative adj.
►Something that is innovative is new and original
The products they produced are cheaper, more innovative and more reliable than those of their competitors.
►An innovative person introduces changes and new ideas.
He was one of the most creative and innovative engineers of his generation.

Innovator none
►An innovator is someone who introduces changes and new ideas.
He is a innovator in this field.

Jul 7, 2008

2008-2009 TYTC Officer Installation Ceremony

Farewell Speech by Outgoing President Kevin Chiu

Inauguration Speech by Incoming President Grace Shih

Install (Word of the Day, 2008/7/2)

Joe Chu
Install (US also instal) /ɪnst'ɔl/ V.~sth (in sth)

►Fixed equipment, furniture, etc in position for use,esp by making the necessary connections with the supply of electricity, water,etc.
  • Install a heating or lighting system in a buildingThe hotel chain has recently installed a new booking system.
  • I’m having a shower installed.It is important to install a virus checker.
►Put sb/oneself in a place
  • Be comfortably installed in a new home.
  • She installed herself in her father’s favourite chair.

►Place sb in a new position of authority the usual ceremony.

  • She was installed as the first women chancellor of the university.

Installation /,ɪnstəl'eʃən/ Noun

►The act of fixing equipment or furniture in position so that it can be used

  • Installation coasts/charges
  • Carry out several installations
  • Installation requires several days
  • Installation of the new system will take several days.

►A peace of equipment or machinery that has been fixed in position so that it can be used

  • A heating installation

►The act of placing sb in a new position of authority, often with a ceremonyso that it can be used

  • The installation of the new officer.

►The word of source means place from Latin

►Some synonym for reference

  1. put in, place, locate, situate, emplace, station
  2. fix, set , embed, lodge, insert, plant
  3. induct, introduce, initiate
  4. instate, establish, inaugurate, chair, invest
  5. bring in, lead in, usher in

Jun 30, 2008

March (Word of the Day, 2008/3/19)

Amy Chang
March (noun)
►also Mar. ( written abbrev. ): the third month of the year
The eighth of Mar. is Women’s Day.

march (noun)
►the act of marching
The soldiers went past on the march.
►a walk , especially by a group of soldiers all walking with the same movement and speed
It had been a long march and the soldiers were weary.
►an event in which a large number of people walk through a public place to show their opinions or dissatisfactions; Demonstration
She is going on a march on Saturday to support the candidate of presidential election 馬英九.
►the distance covered while marching in a certain period of time
It was a day’s march from the city to the camp.
►a piece of music with a strong regular rhythm which is written for marching to
a funeral march
Mendelssohn’s Wedding March
►time is flying
The march of time.

marcher (noun)
►a person marching
The marchers stopped outside the American embassy chanting slogans and waving banners.

march (verb)
►to walk with regular steps keeping the body stiff, usually in a formal group of people who are all walking in the same way
The band marched through the streets.
The soldiers marched along the road.
►to walk somewhere quickly and in a determined way, often because who’s angry
She was very angry and marched out.
She marched into my office demanding to know why I hadn’t written my report.
►to force to walk
Without saying a word, she took hold of my arm and marched me off to the head master’s office.
The police marched a gang of youths out of the building.
The police marched him off to prison.

►a command to soldiers to start marching
Quick march!
►Time marches on.

Feb 27, 2008

Celebration (Word of the Day, 2008/2/20)

Jerry Wang
Celebrate (v.)
►to perform publicly with suitable ceremonies, as a Mass
ex: The new priest will celebrate Mass today.
►to make known with praise; honor
ex: The names of many heroes are celebrated by the poets.
►to commemorate with suitable observances
ex: We celebrated the TYTC 100th meeting by holding a party.
►to observe a holiday; perform a religious ceremony
ex: We celebrate the lunar new year on January first in the lunar calendar.
Celebrated (adj)
ex: The spot is celebrated for its hot spring.
Celebration (n.)
►the act of celebrating
ex: The party was in celebration of the TYTC 100th meeting.
►that which is done to celebrate anything
ex: The celebration in lunar new year includes giving red envelope and letting off firecrackers.
Celebrity (n.)
►fame; distinction
ex: Dr. Wang gained celebrity in science.
►a renowned or famous person
ex: The president is a national celebrity.

Feb 2, 2008

Love (Word of the Day, 2008/1/16)

Ann Lee
►care about: to care very much about someone ,especially a member of your family or close friend.
Ex: Children need to feel loved.
►like/enjoy : to like something very much or enjoy doing something very much.
Ex: Ivan found that he really loved teaching.
►I must love you and leave you: spoken used to tell someone that you have to go, especially when you wish you could stay longer
►loyalty : to have strong feeling of loyalty to your country, an institution… etc.
EX: He really loved the police force.
►I love it! spoken used when you are amused by something, especially by someone else’s mistake or bad luck.

►for family/friends【+for】
EX: What these kids need is love and support.
►pleasure/enjoyment: a strong feeling of pleasure and enjoyment that something gives you.
EX: Sailing is her great love.
►person you love
EX: He was her first love.
►love of/ for
EX: a love of nature.
►send your love (to): to ask someone to give your loving greetings to someone else when they see them, write to them… etc.
EX: Aunt Mary sends her love to you.
►there is no love lost between: if there is no love lost between two people, they dislike each other.
►not for love or/ nor money: (informal) if you cannot get something or do something love or money, it is impossible obtain or to do.
►love-child: a word used especially in newspapers meaning a child whose parents are not marriage.
►Love apple=tomato
►Love-lock 【額前】可愛的捲髮