World Earth Day 2012

On April 22nd, nations across the globe will come together in celebration of Earth Day 2012- a holiday intended to raise environmental awareness to appreciate our planet Earth. North America in particular uses the holiday in order to celebrate the earth’s natural landscape and the population’s efforts to reduce landfill waste and pollution. Below is a list of 6 ways YOU can ‘go green’ and help save the earth. Lights out! It might sound simple, but it is surprising how many people continue to waste valuable electrical energy by forgetting to turn off lights that are carelessly left on. Whether you are at home, work or even still in school, take action and turn off the lights in any unused classrooms. Use cold water for laundry This may sound strange at first but saving hot water for when your dirty laundry really needs it will be of no harm to you and is great benefit to the environment! The next time you do laundry, consider the cold option. You will be surprised at how clean your clothes will turn out. Buy a water bottle! Luckily, all EC students are entitled to a FREE metallic water bottle! They’re great for carrying around the city and a fantastic way for you be eco-friendly in school! Stop re-filling up plastic and get your water bottle at the front desk today! Make the most of reusable containers Not only are plastic containers perfect for taking your lunch everyday, but they prevent you from carrying food via napkins and plastic bags. Convenience stores such as Walgreen’s and CVS both sell affordable sets that will last you a lifetime! Ride your bike! Cycling is a great form of exercise and helps the environment save its supply of natural gases that are rapidly being used up through … Read more

Movie Review by Premma Joppini

The Lorax (Chris Renaud, 2012) The Lorax is a computer-animated 3-D Musical Comedy. It is based on a children’s book written by Theodor Seuss Geisel (more commonly known as Dr. Seuss). Directed by Chris Renaud, the cast includes Danny Devito as the Lorax, Zac Efron as Ted and Ed Helms as the Once-ler. Taylor Swift and Betty White also give their voice to some charatcers introduced in the movie. The movie tells the story of Ted, a 12 year old boy born in a town where everything is plastic. Everything is fake and there is no vegetation. In this town, nobody comes out of the tress except for Audrey, the girl that Ted loves and who wants to discover a ‘real’ tree. Ted asks his powerful grandmother about the make-up of the trees and she suggests that he talk with a strange creature called the ‘Once-ler’ and ask why the world is in such a rundown state. The Once-ler tells the story of how met the Lorax, a small orange creature who speaks about a lack of nature in Ted’s town. The Once-ler tells Ted that when he was young, he discovered a wonderful place with a lot of real trees but unfortunately these were destroyed. Throughout the film, Teal’s task is to try and find a solution to this kind of environmental pollution. This environmentalist movie is very interesting, not only for children, but also because nowadays, adults can relate to these issues. In my opinion, this movie makes you feel a little more sensitive towards the planet we live.

EC SF loves… Cable Cars

Since August 2, 1873, the city of San Francisco has celebrated it’s favorite method of transportation… the infamous cable car. Inventor Andrew Smith Hallidie decided that a cable driven, steam engine powered vehicle would be a useful alternative to using the traditional horse and cart. In the late 19th century, new technology was devloping and it was ovbious that steep slopes and rocky cobblestones were uncomfortable for city horses, who would struggle to keep a steady speed. Did you know that the first cable car was tested at 4am on Clay St. which runs horizontally across the middle of San Francisco? However, it was actually Andrew’s father who inspired such technical innovation. During the famous ‘gold rush’ from 1852 onwards, Andrew’s father (also named Andrew) had created a ‘cable-rope’ mechanism which allowed him to move bricks and coal. With the help of his father, Andrew was able to improve this original mechanism and by 1878, ‘California Street Cable Railroad’ was up and running. This new system of transport was so popular that the city of San Francisco lay down approximately 53 miles of ‘cable car track’, which expanded from the Ferry Building all the way down to the Misson District. Several cross-routes were also established, which meant that attractions such as the Golden Gate Park were also accesible to both local resients and those visiting the city. Sadly, the great 1906 earthquake caused much damamge to San Francisco’s both the city’s famous landmarks as well as its transportation systems. However, by this time electric streetcars had been fully developed which had soon become the transportation system of choice amongst the San Franciscan population. Despite a decline in the new number of original cable car lines, this slightly older method of transportation was still effective for moving up steep, inconvenient hills … Read more

Teacher Interview: Harrison Smith

How long have you been with EC? I came to San Francisco in June 2011, although I started at EC Cambridge in November 2010. In your mind, what distinguishes EC from other language centres? As soon as you walk through the door, it’s obvious that our centres are very vibrant. However, you don’t need to pay attention to the orange walls to understand that this is a fresh, energtic place to learn English. We have a great culture here and build a community that both staff and students may share as one. Favorite English expression: The bees knees (excellent or of high quality) Must-see place in San Francisco Bay Area That’s a tough one! I’d say Sausalito. Life’s cool by the water and everything seems to slow down. I should go there more often! Bay Area sports team of choice Golden State Warriors. I’m with Amol on that one! BART or MUNI? BART. Everyday! Favorite transport route? Golden Gate Ferry from Embarcadero to the North Bay. Take a look at this music video from the Stereophonics to see where I’m coming from!