Sunday, April 26, 2015

Swedish cops who 'arrested' a black man in NY City - heroes or criminals?

A couple days ago 4 Swedish police officers who were tourists on their way to a Broadway show heard that there was a fight in a nearby subway train car. An MTA employee called for police help, so they volunteered to help.  They are being called "heroes" for this, yet, I would have to disagree.

If you look at the videotape below, they have a black man on the ground in a painful arm hold. The man is yelling and screaming. They are SWEDISH cops, not New York cops. They had no authority to take action. They are illegally holding a man against his will in a painful and potentially dangerous hold. At times the man even states he is having trouble breathing and the Swedes refuse to release him. Thank God they didn't kil him the way Eric Garner was killed.

Furthermore, I have lived in NY City for over 15 years now and have helped break up two fights in the subway system. I did not throw anyone to the ground, I did not put anyone into a dangerous and harmful hold - after a few of us broke up the fight everybody just went on their way.

Now, because of these Swedish cops, some guy has a criminal record because these tourists had to hold him there to be arrested. These fights happen all the time. people break them up and go. I think these Swedes over-reacted and then did everything they could to get their 15 minutes of fame.

Here's the video:

South Koreans demand the truth about the Sewol disaster and Yoo Byung Eun's corrupt business/government connections

Last year a ship which the government had never bothered inspecting for its safety sank off the coast of South Korea and over 300 Korean students drowned to death.

The owner of the ship was named Yoo Byung Eun. It turns out he seemed to be a totally corrupt (dishonest) businessman who also ran his own private religion. Basically we call this type of guy a religious 'cult' leader - someone who makes money from a fake religion. He also claimed to be a world-class photographer and artist - but it was revealed after his death that he had been giving money to many powerful people in the art world and institutions. After he had donated over $1 million dollars to the Louvre Museum in Paris, he was given a major art gallery show there.

The ship carrying the 300 students was owned by Yoo and was in terrible shape - there had been illegal construction on the ship so that extra passengers could be carried. This seems to be one of the reasons so many Korean children died. It was also revealed that Yoo had many connections in the Korean government as well as the business and entertainment industry and that he may have been involved in many corrupt (dishonest) business dealings with lots of Korean and foreign companies.

After the Sewol sank, Yoo disappeared. After many weeks the Korean government claimed it had found his dead body, although they also said the body was badly decomposed (falling apart because it had been dead for so long). Because the current South Korean government does not seem to be completely honest, there are many Koreans who feel that Yoo may still be alive and that he did not commit suicide as the government claimed.

Furthermore, the government focused its attention on prosecuting (bringing to justice) members of the ships crew.  The government blamed them almost completely for the disaster.  So many Koreans feel that the crew is being used as 'scapegoats' - they are being blamed for something other people were responsible for.  It's true that Yoo's son was arrested and put on trial, but he only received a sentence of two years in jail. So 300 Korean children died, they died because the government inspectors were being bribed not to do their jobs (apparently), and nobody really responsible for the tragedy has been punished.

An article about this situation:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

protesters - a group of people who publicly show their disapproval over something that has happened; also called: demonstrators

to demand (something) - not to ask for something but to indicate that something specific must be done

a probe - an investigation

to take to the streets - to go into public areas in order to protest and show disapproval

an inquiry - an investigation

to salvage - to save, in this case to bring the boat up from under the water

ill-fated - unlucky

a rally - a gathering of people for some type of issue or purpose

a surge - a sudden increase

a ferry - a ship used to transport people from one shore to another

to capsize - to turn upside down

lax safety standards - not strict, lax standards are easy standards

the plight - the problems, the troubles

camped - they have been living there since their children were killed due to a corrupt government and business sector in Korea

to disperse - to force people to leave

a vigil - when a group of people gather publicly and peacefully in silence for some issue or purpose

clashed - a clash is when two groups violently meet each other; this was not a clash, however, as the police attacked the protesters

Sunday, April 19, 2015

An American sports reporter is videotaped acting very nasty

Britt McHenry is a reporter for the American cable channel ESPN - a sports channel.

Apparently her car was parked illegally and a towing service took it away.

This is a tow truck:

When McHenry came to get her car back from the towing service, she verbally attacked the person at the business.

This has become a hot issue in the USA because it shows the arrogance (feeling of superiority) that celebrities sometimes have and it just shows a human being at her very worst. McHenry has not even had the decency, apparently, to apologize to the woman she attacked.

Also, it points to the fact that even if a person is angry he/she does not have the right to attack another person in the way McHenry attacked this poor woman. We don't teach ethics or kindness in this country. 

Furthermore, it looks as if there was an attempt to cover up this story - it took several days for the videotape to finally go public.

This is a good opportunity, however, for you, the English learner, to be exposed to some truly nasty words in the English language. Here are some things McHenry said:

McHenry: "I'm in the news sweetheart. I'll fucking sue this place."

The term 'sweetheart' is often used toward someone you love or feel affection for. Here the word 'sweetheart' is being used 'sarcastically'.

to sue - this means she will hire a lawyer and take the company to court to punish the company. But, the company didn't do anything wrong.  So this was perceived as an example of a celebrity threatening an innocent person with the power that a celebrity has.

fucking - many low-class people in the USA use the word 'fucking' as an adverb. I'll fucking kill you! I'll fucking sue you!  I'll fucking + verb + object pronoun.

McHenry: "That's why I have a degree and you don't."

McHenry insults (makes a statement to hurt the employee) the employee by saying that she, McHenry, went to college but the employee didn't. Actually, McHenry went to a little college in Florida which does not seem to be such a great school.

McHenry: "I wouldn't work at a scumbag place like this."

Scum is dirt. If a person is a scumbag, he/she is like dirt, something very low and disgusting. A scumbag place is a crappy, ugly, dirty place.

McHenry: "Makes my skin crawl just being here."

It makes my skin crawl just being here <--- It makes me feel disgusted being here; I feel as if bugs are crawling on my skin.

McHenry: "Yep that's all you care about is just taking other people's money."

For having a university degree, her English kind of sucks. "Yep, that's all you care about: just taking other people's money.

McHenry: "With no education, no skill set, just wanted to clarify that."

Again, this is in broken English. I think she meant to say: "You don't have any education nor any skills. I just wanted to point that out."  Dear foreign students!!!!  If you are going to verbally attack someone, please do it in grammatically correct English - it sounds much better!

McHenry: "So I could be a college dropout and do the same thing?"

I'm not sure what skill sets are required to be a sports reporter but she attacks the employee again but implying she does not have an education.

McHenry: "Why cause I have a brain and you don't."

Well, if McHenry truly had a brain she wouldn't have destroyed her career like this. Also, please use "because" and not 'cause' <--- frankly, only stupid people use 'cause'.

McHenry: "Maybe if I was missing some teeth they would hire me, huh?"

She makes it seem as if the employee is so poor that she can't properly take care of her teeth. Actually, this is an unreal situation so it should have been: "..if I were missing teeth..."  I guess reporters for ESPN do not have the skill set to use the subjunctive mood in English.

McHenry: "Cause I'm on television and you're in a fucking trailer, honey."

So fucking can also be an adjective. A trailer - some poor people live in trailer parks. Honey is also a term one usually uses for someone he/she likes. Here it is sarcasm again.


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Friday, April 17, 2015

Korea Herald - May 2010 - JYP admits Wonder Girls lack insurance (archived)

archived story involving me - Daniel Gauss 

JYP admits Wonder Girls lack insurance


Published : 2010-05-13 21:47
Updated : 2010-05-13 21:47
Agency says Wonder Girls entered the United States on student visas

The head of JYP Entertainment Jung Wook on Wednesday confirmed allegations by its former employee that their client the Wonder Girls had not been covered by health insurance since January and their $2,500 citation from the NYC Department of Buildings is in default status.

Wonder Girls with new member Hye-lim                                                       (JYP Entertainment)
He also revealed the group had been on student visas when they first arrived in the U.S. last April .

He said the group had been registered at an undisclosed language institute as students but applied and received O-1 visas upon learning of the possible legal repercussions.

United States law states that F-1 visa holders are allowed to work part-time -- under 20 hours a week -- while still enrolled in an academic institution.

An O-1 visa is a type of employment visa under U.S. immigration law that applies to people who are deemed to have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.

“We knew it was illegal before we switched the girls to an O-1 visa,” Jung said in a telephone interview with The Korea Herald.

“However, the girls didn’t start getting to work as soon as they entered the United States, so we didn’t anticipate there would be problems regarding that matter,” he said. “So at first, our girls entered with a student visa while they were registered at the language institute.”

Although Jung did not state the exact day and month the group had been given the visas, he said the switch came “immediately.”

Jung was asked about the name and location of the institute for confirmation purposes but maintained he did not know specific information on the whereabouts of the academy the group were allegedly attending in order to stay legally in the United States.

“But that’s a minor issue -- an issue our stateside branch handles that I have no knowledge of,” Jung said.

On the matter of the group’s health insurance, Jung said they had been covered until January, when the group was still registered with the language institute.

“You do realize over 50 million Americans don’t carry health insurance and most Korean nationals there don’t as well, right?” he asked. “With that said, up until January they did have health insurance.”

“That was possible because they were legally allowed to apply for health insurance as students, but because the girls had been flying back and forth from Korea to the U.S., they stopped attending classes which took them out of coverage once they left the school.”

So if the group had maintained legal status as O-1 holders, why would they be required to attend the language institute until January?

“They needed to continue their linguistic studies,” Jung explains.

“Dan was hired to further teach them along with another tutor named Claire.” He was referring to Daniel Gauss, the band’s former English tutor who spoke about JYPE’s alleged mistreatment of the girls to The Korea Herald.

Jung said JYPE was under no obligation to provide the members of the group with health insurance because the company ”did not maintain an employer and employee relationship.“

He refuted claims of medical neglect saying “there was never a time when they weren’t given medical attention if they needed it.

“If you’re a top class star like the Wonder Girls, your health is our first priority.”

Jung was also asked about the $2,500 fine handed down to the company’s Manhattan office.

“The title holder of the property prior to its acquisition by JYPE had remodeled the entire structure to be suitable for office use,” he said.

“We then made the appropriate renovations that would allow the girls to live there.”

According to the citation administered by the New York City Department of Buildings, it has placed the unresolved case into default status after representatives of JYPE failed to make a court appearance on April 29, 2010.

“We didn’t show up to our court hearing because the contractors who had originally commissioned the construction of it had said they would appear on behalf of us after we filed a complaint to them,” Jung explained.

The JYPE president bluntly responded to allegations from the group’s tutor, Daniel Gauss.

“I don’t understand why the entire country has to hear about what this guy has to say. He is just a disgruntled ex-employee who quit because he thought we weren’t treating him well.”

Gauss refuted local reports that said that he had been sacked after he demanded a pay raise to JYPE.

“I was never fired, I quit because they treated me like garbage,” Gauss told The Korea Herald.

“I was being paid $20 an hour to teach the group.”

Gauss said he saved most of the e-mail correspondence between himself and JYPE to prove his claims.

“The day before I was supposed to go back to JYPE on May 3, I had a conversation with one of my other private students who told me JYPE probably wasn’t paying me enough money,” he said.

“At that point I just decided to quit because I didn’t want to go back and negotiate. At that point, I was already set on leaving the job. But I was hesitant because the girls were so nice and I was convinced the girls were not being treated well.”

After Gauss quit his position as the band’s tutor, he decided to look into a “hunch” he had about the “strange” look of the Manhattan JYPE office.

“I thought the building looked strange because they had an office in the basement and they had people living on the second and third floors,” he said

“Of course I was surprised when I found out that they had been busted by the city. So I made inquiries and I spoke to somebody from the NYC Department of Buildings and that person confirmed JYPE’s violation.”

Gauss’ allegations against JYPE included charges of illegal housing, lack of health insurance coverage, and the coercion of one of its members to perform a private concert for corporate executives in China.

Meanwhile, group members Sun-ye and Ye-eun addressed Gauss’ allegations yesterday through their online fan club and micro-blogging site, Twitter.

Sun-ye wrote on the official Wonder Girls fan club site, “There is no truth to what our former English tutor has said. The fact his allegations involved my private life was embarassing. A few months ago, my father’s pre-existing ailment had gotten worse and was sent to the hospital. I flew back immediately upon hearing that news.”
A screen capture shows Ye-eun, a member of Wonder Girls, wiping her tears while talking about her stint in the U.S. on a MBC TV talk show in November 2009.

Ye-eun wrote on her Twitter account, “One day while in the recording studio I showed some flu symptoms and our management provided me with a box of vitamins to take on a daily basis. Another time, I was given five jars of organic honey and told me to have honey water every morning. These are the so-called ‘mistreatment’ we’ve been receiving from our management.”

By Song Woong-ki (

[Korean News]

[단독] 원더걸스 건강보험 없이 美 활동 공식 확인

JYP 엔터테인먼트 정 욱 대표는 12일 코리아헤럴드와의 인터뷰를 통해 원더걸스가 1월부터 건강보험에 가입이 되어있지 않았으며 뉴욕사무소에 대해 부과된 2,500 달러 벌금도 아직 납부하지 않은 상태라고 밝혔다.

이는 11일 코리아헤럴드가 단독 보도한 내용의 핵심 부분을 인정하는 것으로 정 대표는 또한 원더걸스가 2009년 4월 미국에 처음 도착했을 때 학생비자를 가지고 왔다고 말해 주목된다.

원더걸스의 전 영어과외 선생 Daniel Gauss는 JYP 측으로부터 해고되었다는 국내언론 보도를 정면으로 반박하며 “해고 당한 것이 아니라 스스로 그만 둔 것” 이라고 잘라 말했다. Gauss는 “그들은 (JYP) 나를 쓰레기처럼 대해 왔다”고 말해 파문이 예상된다.

Korea Herald - May 2010 - Wonder Girls ill treated: ex-tutor

archived story involving me - Daniel Gauss

Wonder Girls ill-treated: ex-tutor


Published : 2010-05-13 13:12
Updated : 2010-05-13 13:12
A former English tutor for popular K-pop group Wonder Girls on Tuesday painted a grim and detailed account of the group’s management company JYPE’s “ill-conceived” handling of the band’s venture into the North American market.

Daniel Gauss, who was the group’s New York-based English tutor from October 2009 until this month, said over a series of e-mails to The Korea Herald that the girls had been mismanaged and mistreated by local music mogul Park Jin-young’s entertainment company.

Original members of Wonder Girls                               (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)

Gauss’ claim as the group’s private tutor was confirmed over the telephone on May 11 by two current Manhattan-based JYPE employees.

Gauss alleges that all members of the group were housed illegally in the Manhattan offices of JYPE and that they had not been given health insurance coverage during their time stateside.

“I was shocked when one of the girls told me that the girls are not covered by health insurance in America,” he wrote. “I once saw one girl in extreme pain -- due to a pre-existing problem stemming from a previous operation -- who received no professional medical treatment for the pain and I saw others with minor ailments go untreated.”

Gauss further wrote that after the group acquired a sponsorship deal with Sony Ericsson, JYPE had Sun-ye perform in Sanya, China, for Sony Ericsson executives, shortly after her father was rushed to hospital in a coma.

He wrote that Sun-ye had told him “her father had stopped breathing and had to be rushed to the hospital. In the ambulance, (Sun-ye) and her family had to decide whether the father should be given treatment to be kept alive since he had lapsed into a coma. The family chose to keep him alive and I was told by the girl that he was never going to come out of the coma.”

“Very shortly after that trauma, she was performing for Sony Ericsson executives in Sanya,” Gauss wrote. “I did not have the heart to ask her whether it was her idea or JYPE’s idea for her to perform.”

He also claimed JYPE illegally housed the members at the company’s Manhattan office -- for which he said the city of New York slapped the company with a $2,500 fine.

An online link to the New York City Department of Buildings provided by Gauss confirms that the company had not only been issued a class-2 citation (violation No. 34765862, infraction code 208, section of law 28-118.3) on May 28, 2009 and fined for altering and changing an occupied building for residential use without a valid permit, but also defaulted on the violation.

The company was scheduled to appear in court for a hearing last month, but failed to do so, which has resulted in the case being given a default status.

Gauss also said that JYPE had sold the band’s CD at a bargain basement price of $1 at retail clothing chains around the United States, which significantly boosted both its sales and its performance in the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

On Oct. 23, 2009 the group’s single “Nobody” entered the top 100 at No. 76, something widely publicized by the local media.

This was confirmed by Wonder Girls’ former manager and current JYPE marketing department employee David Hyun.

“That was part of our distribution deal and that is definitely one of the reasons why they cracked the top 100,” Hyun said.

When pressed about Gauss’ other allegations, Hyun refused to comment any further.

“I rather not comment on anything that came from (Gauss) other than confirm he used to tutor for the Wonder Girls,” he said.

Jane Kim, the group’s current manager, refused to state why Gauss had quit his job as a private tutor.

“I feel as though I don’t have to comment on anything (Gauss) might have told you,” she said over the phone.

“The girls are confident they can become a success here (the U.S.) and they have refuted (Gauss’) accusations about the company.”

A request for a phone interview with the group was denied. In a telephone interview with The Herald Business, JYPE chief Jung Wook, dismissed the allegations by Gauss.

In his e-mails, Gauss claims he quit his position because he had become disenchanted with JYPE’s management of the band.

He had been contacted by reps from the company after he had posted an ad on Craigslist as an English tutor in New York. But according to him, once he began his job, he became increasingly concerned about the way the group was being managed by the company.

“I cannot profit in any manner by revealing this information,” he wrote. “I believe my motives are genuine. I did not ask for any compensation for any of this information and I do not want any. I saw and heard about some nasty things at JYPE and I think people have a right to know the truth, especially since the girls are under contract for the next three-plus years and might not be able to speak freely about negative aspects of their experience.”

By Song Woong-ki (

[Korean Edition]
미국에 진출한 여성그룹 원더걸스가 해외에서 부당한 대우를 받은 사실이 알려졌다.

헤럴드경제의 자매지 코리아헤럴드가 11일 단독보도한 내용에 따르면 원더걸스는 지난해 미국 진출 당시 건강보험이 가입되지 않은 상태에서 미국 활동을 시작했고, 멤버들이 불법 개조된 사무실에서 지낸 것으로 밝혀졌다.

이런 주장은 지난 2009년 10월부터 올해 5월까지 원더걸스의 영어 개인 강사였던 대니얼 고스가 코리아헤럴드와의 이메일 인터뷰를 통해 밝힌 사실이다. 그는 이메일에서 원더걸스 멤버들이 소속사로부터 잘못된 대우을 받았다고 주장했다

그는 “모든 멤버들이 최소한의 의료보험 조차 없었다. 한 멤버가 나에게 우린 의료보험 적용이 되지 않느냐고 묻는 것을 듣고 놀랐다”며 “한번은 또 한 멤버가 예전에 앓았던 질병 때문에 굉장한 고통을 표한 것을 봤다. 그녀는 어떤 질병에도 전문적인 의료 행위를 받을 수 없는 상황이었다”고 전했다.

고스는 또 JYP엔터테인먼트가 미국에서 원더걸스의 CD를 할인 품목 코너에서 1달러에 판매했고 이것이 앨범 판매와 빌보드 차트 진입에 큰 역할을 했다고 전했다.

원더걸스는 지난해 싱글앨범인 ‘노바디’로 빌보트 차트 핫 100에서 76위에 올랐다. 당시 원더걸스는 1894년 시작된 빌보드 차트 역사상 한국 가수로는 처음 빌보드 싱글 차트 100위 내 진입으로 큰 화제를 모았다.

원더걸스의 전 매니저이자 현재 JYP엔터테인먼트의 마케팅을 담당하고 있는 데이비드 현은 통화를 통해 “그런 음반 유통 방식은 원더걸스가 100위 내에 진입할 수 있었던 요인 중 하나”라고 언급했다.

그는 또 JYP가 소니 에릭슨과 스폰서십을 진행할 당시 미국을 방문했던 선예의 아빠가 혼수상태로 병원에 실려갔음에도, 문제가 해결된 이후 선예가 곧바로 공연장으로 가야했던 일도 설명했다.

고스는 “아빠가 호흡곤란으로 앰뷸런스에 실려갔다. 굉장히 위급한 상황이었다. 하지만 이 사건이 끝나자마자 선예는 소니 에릭슨 관계자들을 위해 공연을 해야했다”며 “그녀가 공연을 하러간 것이 JYP의 뜻인지 그녀의 뜻인지 모르겠다.”고 전했다.

또한 그는 이메일을 통해 현행법상 사무실은 숙박 용도로 사용할 수 없지만 불법 개조를 했고, 여기에 멤버들이 머물렀다는 것. 이 때문에 뉴욕시에서 JYPE엔터테인먼트에 2500달러의 벌금을 부과했던 사실도 폭로했다.

한편, 고스는 인터뷰의 말미에서 “이 정보를 공개하면서 어떤 이익을 얻고자 함이 아니라 이렇게 제보를 하게된 가장 큰 동기는 바로 진실 때문이었다. 나는 어떤 보상을 원하는 것도 아니다. 단지 사람들이 JYP의 실상에 대해 알 필요가 있다고 생각했다.”고 전했다.

(헤럴드경제 홍동희기자/

Obama prepares for America's next Vietnam War - Ukraine

So it's not bad enough that the USA has soldiers in Afghanistan who still seem to be fighting. Are they still fighting in Afghanistan? It's hard to tell. For 13 years we have received little news about anything happening in Afghanistan. Most Americans wouldn't be able to tell you the capitol city of Afghanistan let alone what the US military has done there in the past 13 years.

And it's not bad enough that Bush and Obama collaborated to create total violent chaos in Iraq. It's not bad enough the US Air Force is stupidly and ineffectively bombing stuff in Syria. It's not bad enough that Bush and Obama helped create the conditions for the establishment of the ISIS caliphate and that the USA is doing NOTHING about resolving this situation.

Now US soldiers are going to Ukraine.  They are going to Ukraine as 'advisers' and trainers just as US soldiers went to Vietnam as advisers and trainers.

The last I heard, there was a ceasefire in Ukraine. But peace is not good enough for the USA?  It has to send in soldiers to attempt to cause more military conflict around the world?   

An article about this:


on Ukrainian soil - soil is, basically dirt (the stuff you place seeds into and then water to make plants grow). To be on another country's soil means to be in that country. 

to reignite - to start again

mass bloodshed - a lot of people being harmed

revanchist - a policy of 'revenge' meant to regain lost territory; so Russia is pointing out that Western Ukraine wishes to get US help to regain the territory it lost to people of Eastern Ukraine, who were not willing to live under the illegal government of Kiev.

destabilize - make a situation less secure or predictable; to make a situation more dangerous

punitive - something done to punish someone

insurgency - people who disagree with their government and fight against it

to escalate - to get worse

a breach - a violation, a breaking of the rules

flared up again - rose up again, began again


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Monday, April 13, 2015

Do you believe the cabbie or the lesbians?

It looks as if we have conflicting stories as to what happened in a taxi-driver's taxi-cab a few years ago in New York City.

The driver claims that two lesbian passengers began kissing heavily in his backseat. He states they were also touching each other in a sexual manner. He then told them, basically, to stop it because the cab is his workplace and seeing people kissing and making out in his cab makes him feel uncomfortable.  They left his cab and they and he exchanged insults.

The lesbians have a different story. Based on what I have been able to learn, they seem to claim that they lightly kissed each other and the taxi driver over-reacted and threw them out of the cab because they are lesbians.

There is, basically, no proof to determine who is telling the truth and who isn't, but the lesbian couple filed a complaint against the cab driver to the city and the City of New York decided that the lesbians were telling the truth and fined the taxi driver $15,000. He is now supposed to pay $5,000 to each woman and $5,000 to the city.

I'm quite a bit shocked to read this story because it's a 'he-said/she-said' situation. A he-said/she-said situation is when you have two different stories by two different people (or groups of people) and there is no proof to show which story is true.  Nevertheless the city sided with the lesbian couple. Why?

I may be cynical for saying this, but the lesbians are white and lesbians. The cabbie is an Arabic gentleman. There are lots and lots of gay and lesbian folks in NY City and, as a group, they are pretty politically powerful. If you offend the gays and lesbians in New York City, there can be negative consequences.  No politician wants to offend gays or lesbians. In fact, many politicians try to make the gay and lesbian community very happy. I believe that New York City tried to make a couple white, wealthy, powerful lesbian folks happy and created an injustice for the dark-skinned and relatively powerless cabbie. Basically the city administrators probably thought to themselves, "Who is more important to us? White gay people or poor Arabic taxi drivers?" There was no proof, so why choose to believe the lesbian folks?

I think a real injustice was done to this cabbie. If they were kissing heavily in his taxi cab, he had the right, in my opinion, to make them leave. If you are a dentist and two people are kissing and touching in your waiting room, you will certainly kick them out or tell them to stop. It was his taxi cab and people have to respect his workplace. What do you think?

Here's an article about what happened:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

conflicting stories - the stories do not agree with each other, the stories contradict each other

to file a complaint - to write out and submit a complaint about possible wrong behavior 

to side with - to agree with, to take the side of

to be cynical - to question why a person really did something; to suspect that a person did not do something for the right reasons

to bark orders at someone - to strongly tell someone to do or not to do something. A dog 'barks'.

to discriminate against - to treat a person or persons differently and badly because they are from a minority group

"Don't make me out to be an asshole!" - when the lesbians told the driver he was discriminating against them, he told them they should not try to make it look as if he was the type of person who would do that (an asshole).

in damages - this means he hurt the lesbians and he has to pay for the damages or harm he caused

b******, c**** - bitches, cunts (hey folks, the English language includes dirty, vulgar words and you have a right to know what they mean...someone may use these words in your presence one day! :P)

a whore - a prostitute; a woman who sells her body for sex to others

a peck on the lips - a light kiss

a standard of decency - he tries to do the right thing all the time

to appeal the decision - to go to a higher authority to have the decision over-turned

to be substantiated - to be proved 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Le Corbusier, A Controversial Architect

There was an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City a couple years ago about a controversial architect and urban planner: Le Corbusier.

The central problem he was concerned about was how cities could adapt to rising population trends.

His solution was to build giant towers in parks.  Huge numbers of people would live in these towers surrounded by grass and trees.

Indeed, many cities in America tried to do this.  They built 'housing projects' for poor people in cities like New York and Chicago.  These housing projects were, however, a disaster.  They became places of extreme poverty and violence and most cities have been tearing these housing projects down over the years.

Please read the following article.  Interesting vocabulary from the article will be listed and defined.  Then, after the definitions, you will find multiple-choice questions and answers.

The article:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article: 

to pay tribute to - to show appreciation for; to present an exhibit of work to show how important or amazing this architect was.

terrifying beauty - this is an example of an 'oxymoron,' when you have two words that seem to contradict each other.  We don't often think of beauty as being terrifying, but the plans and buildings of Le Corbusier are both beautiful and scary.  They are scary because they often seem so impersonal.

a thorough revisiting - a complete re-looking at; when you take a close look at someone's work after many years, you revisit the work.

his reputation was rehabilitated - people began to think badly of him (Moses), but they began to think more positively about him after the exhibit in New York.  A reputation is how people generally think of you. To rehabilitate something is to fix it up and make it better.

a sweeping multimedia exhibit - sweeping means it covers many topics over a long span of time; multimedia means many media - photos, recordings, videos, models, sculpture etc.

staging a show - putting on a show

an inspiration - an influence that motivates someone

a visionary - someone who can see what the future of a field will be like, or what the future in general might be like.  Le Corbusier could see that cities were becoming more crowded and that a new method would be necessary to house everyone.

disparaged - criticized, verbally attacked

urban planning - trying to meet the needs of people in a city and then designing new projects in the city to meet those needs

ill-fated - things did not work out well if they were ill-fated. It's as if the project was meant to fail.

devastating slum-clearance - slum clearance means just removing the houses of poor people.  A slum is a very poor neighborhood.  This was devastating because after the houses and areas were destroyed, nothing better was provided.  If you feel devastated you feel shocked and depressed.

urban renewal - fixing up or making cities better or like 'new'

freeways - highways; wide roads where cars and trucks can travel at higher speeds than normal

dismantled - taken apart

an engaging packaging - an interesting way the show was put together

innovative - new, unique

a puzzle - in this case, social problems

immersed in the bohemian vanguard - he lived among very creative and artistic people who were creating new trends. If you are in the vanguard, you are among the leaders who can create something new in some field.

a bankruptcy - this means a lack of something in this case

to advocate - to speak out in favor of something or recommend something.

wide swaths - a swath is an area.  A wide swath would be a large area of land.

a cluttered, shabby city - cluttered means crowded.  If something is shabby it is not well-made and can fall apart easily.

an interval - a space.

misguided - not properly thought-out; badly considered or judged

windswept plazas - large empty plazas

the pedestrian - someone who walks around in a city

the mantra - the saying.  So the most common saying or phrase or term these days among urban planners is: all architecture should include mixed-use stuff!  Every building should have a bunch of things and services in it.

dapper - nicely dressed; dressed really fancy

predating - coming before; so this author is saying Le Corbusier had some good ideas before most people realized they were good ideas.

to accommodate - in this case, to help people obtain good housing

micro-housing - small rooms for single, unmarried people

to clamor for - to demand, to ask for, to desperately want

crafted - built

a skeptic - someone who doesn't believe something easily

prolific - a prolific writer writes a lot. A prolific architect creates many buildings.

elite - among the best.

revered - highly respected.

his star has dimmed - he is not as famous as before.

a retrofit and restoration - they can't change the whole building so they make changes inside to update various important functions that have to happen in a building.

lanky - tall and thin.

Multiple-choice questions:

1.  Robert Moses is mentioned in this article because:
a) he was a friend of Le Corbusier b) he introduced the urban planning of Le Corbusier to the USA c) he was inspired by Le Corbusier d) he helped acquire funding for projects Le Corbusier wanted to develop in New York City

2.  The article points out that Le Corbusier, like Moses, is:
a) widely admired throughout the world  b) emulated currently in many American cities  c)  an artist who has had major exhibits at MoMA d) someone who has been harshly criticized.

3)  New Urbanists feel that Le Corbusier's 'towers in the park' were:
a) a terrible idea  b) an interesting experiment  c)  something architects can be inspired by  d) an important step in the evolution of urban architecture

4)  The author considers Le Corbusier to be:
a) someone who took the ideas of others and further developed them b) someone who created new ideas  c)  someone who looked back to the history of architecture for inspiration  d) someone who liked working with a good team to develop buildings.

5)  Le Corbusier changed his name because:
a)  he thought it was too long  b) he was inspired by his creative environment to be different  c)  he felt he would become more famous with a shorter name  d)  his new name represented the town in which he was born

6)  When Le Corbusier looked around Paris, he saw:
a) people were happy but looking for more  b)  people needed services they were not getting  c)  people were desperately poor  d)  a well organized city where people lived satisfactorily

7)  According to the author, although Le Corbusier could be criticized for a few things, it has to be admitted that:
a)  Le Corbusier's motives were genuine  b) Le Corbusier never gave up  c)  Le Corbusier brought a sense of hard-work to his designs  d)  Le Corbusier helped establish architecture as a true science

8)  The author states the goal of the exhibit was:
a) to resurrect Le Corbusier's reputation  b)  to inform and educate New Yorkers about Le Corbusier's achievements  c)  to further criticize an over-rated architect  d)  to encourage people to take a new look at an architect who was becoming less well-known

9)  The author's attitude toward Le Corbusier could be considered:
a) unmitigated admiration  b)  contempt for his impersonal approach to architecture  c) admiration mixed with an objective assessment of the architect's flaws  d) completely objective

10) The author probably wrote the article to:
a) reassess the work of an important architect  b) provide a useful review for readers to learn about and possibly attend an exhibit  c) try to change a misconception that many people have about this architect  d) provide a necessary negative critique of the architect's work

Answers are below:


1.  c
2.  d
3.  a
4.  b
5.  b
6.  b
7.  a
8.  d
9.  c
10. b