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The Voynich Manuscript

6th May 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • mysterious: hard to explain or understand
  • manuscript: a book written by hand rather than typed
  • bizarre: weird; unusual
  • medicinal: has the ability to heal disease or pain
  • artificial intelligence: computers programmed to “think” like humans
  • decipher: to translate a coded message into known language

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Voynich Manuscript is a mysterious that was written in Europe back in the 15th century. The manuscript was named after Polish bookseller Wilfrid Voynich, who brought it to public attention after he purchased it in 1912. The Voynich Manuscript contains bizarre of mysterious plants and constellations, and the text is written in an unknown language that humans have still not been able to . The author of the text is also unknown. Some theories suggest that the manuscript was written by aliens, while other people believe that it was simply written as a guide to medicinal plants. It is likely that the alphabet used in the text is a code, and that the manuscript was originally written in a known European language. However, no one knows what the original language is. Recently, have turned to artificial intelligence to help them decipher the text, but so far, its meaning is still unclear. The Voynich Manuscript is currently kept at Yale University in the United States.

Comprehension questions

1. The Voynich Manuscript got its name from

Correct! Wrong!

The Voynich Manuscript got its name from the bookseller who discovered it.

2. The manuscript contains drawings of

Correct! Wrong!

The manuscript contains drawings of plants and constellations.

3. The Voynich Manuscript is currently kept

Correct! Wrong!

The Voynich Manuscript is currently kept at Yale University in the U.S.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Do you think that we will ever be able to decipher the Voynich manuscript? Why or why not?

Transcript

The Voynich Manuscript is a mysterious text that was written in Europe back in the 15th century. The manuscript was named after Polish bookseller Wilfrid Voynich, who brought it to public attention after he purchased it in 1912. The Voynich Manuscript contains bizarre drawings of mysterious plants and constellations, and the text is written in an unknown language that humans have still not been able to translate. The author of the text is also unknown. Some theories suggest that the manuscript was written by aliens, while other people believe that it was simply written as a guide to medicinal plants. It is likely that the unfamiliar alphabet used in the text is a code, and that the manuscript was originally written in a known European language. However, no one knows what the original language is. Recently, researchers have turned to artificial intelligence to help them decipher the text, but so far, its meaning is still unclear. The Voynich Manuscript is currently kept at Yale University in the United States.

Amelia Earhart

15th April 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • pilot: a person who flies an airplane
  • passenger: a person who travels in a vehicle or plane, who is not the person driving it
  • capable: skilled, competent
  • solo: alone; not accompanied by other people
  • depart: to leave a place, especially for a journey

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

American pilot Amelia Earhart was born on July 24, 1897. She became interested in flying after her first ride at age 23. She began to take flying lessons in 1921, and earned her pilot’s license in 1923. In 1928, Earhart was a passenger on a flight across the Atlantic ocean. The flight took over 20 hours, and after the plane landed, Earhart quickly became . Determined to prove that she was a capable pilot herself, Earhart made another trip across the Atlantic – this time as the pilot of the plane. She completed this flight in 14 hours, which was a new . After her solo flight across the Atlantic, Earhart made several other historic flights, including the first solo flight from Hawaii to California. In 1937, Earhart decided that she wanted to fly around the world. She departed from Miami, Florida, and nearly 40,000 kilometres before her plane mysteriously disappeared. Earhart was never found. The most common explanation is that she crashed in the Pacific ocean after her plane ran out of fuel.

Comprehension questions

1. Amelia Earhart became interested in flying after

Correct! Wrong!

Amelia Earhart became interested in flying after her first airplane ride at age 23.

2. Earhart's solo flight across the Atlantic took

Correct! Wrong!

Earhart's solo flight across the Atlantic took 14 hours.

3. Earhart's plane disappeared

Correct! Wrong!

Earhart's plane disappeared in the Pacific Ocean.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. While it is very likely that Amelia Earhart crashed in the Pacific Ocean, no one knows for sure what happened to her. Do you have any other theories about why her plane disappeared?

Transcript

American pilot Amelia Earhart was born on July 24, 1897. She became interested in flying after her first airplane ride at age 23. She began to take flying lessons in 1921, and earned her pilot’s license in 1923. In 1928, Earhart was a passenger on a historic flight across the Atlantic Ocean. The flight took over 20 hours, and after the plane landed, Earhart quickly became famous. Determined to prove that she was a capable pilot herself, Earhart made another trip across the Atlantic – this time as the pilot of the plane. She completed this flight in 14 hours, which was a new record. After her solo flight across the Atlantic, Earhart made several other historic flights, including the first solo flight from Hawaii to California. In 1937, Earhart decided that she wanted to fly around the world. She departed from Miami, Florida, and travelled nearly 40,000 kilometres before her plane mysteriously disappeared. Earhart was never found. The most common explanation is that she crashed in the Pacific Ocean after her plane ran out of fuel.

The Haunted Vending Machine in Seattle, Washington

15th January 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock
Image by Achim Thiemermann from Pixabay

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • mysterious: unusual and hard to understand
  • discontinue: to stop making a certain product
  • curious: interested in learning the truth about something
  • resident: a person who lives in a particular area
  • tourist: a person who is visiting a place
  • restock: to put in a new supply of products

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Haunted Vending Machine in Seattle, Washington

For over 15 years, there was a mysterious vending machine on a street in the city of Seattle. The machine looked like it was very old, and no one knew exactly where it came from. Each on the machine was labelled “mystery”, and putting in the right of money would cause it to dispense a random can of pop. Some of these were drinks that had been discontinued for decades, which made residents and tourists very curious about where they came from. No one was ever seen restocking the machine. Two years ago, it from its spot on the street. In its place, there was a note that said “went for a walk”. The machine still has not been .

Comprehension questions

1. The vending machine appeared to be

Correct! Wrong!

The vending machine appeared to be very old.

2. Tourists and residents were curious about the machine because

Correct! Wrong!

Tourists and residents were curious about the machine because the drinks that came out were ones that had been discontinued.

3. The machine disappeared

Correct! Wrong!

The machine disappeared 2 years ago.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Many people believe that this machine was operated by a ghost. Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?

Transcript

For over 15 years, there was a mysterious vending machine on a street corner in the city of Seattle. The machine looked like it was very old, and no one knew exactly where it came from. Each button on the machine was labelled “mystery”, and putting in the right amount of money would cause it to dispense a random can of pop. Some of these were drinks that had been discontinued for decades, which made residents and tourists very curious about where they came from. No one was ever seen restocking the machine. Two years ago, it disappeared from its spot on the street. In its place, there was a note that said “went for a walk”. The machine still has not been found


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