Sunday, September 27, 2015

Can you get these 12 useful, common words?


cockroaches, to suck, an election, quid pro quo, a scumbag, prestigious, absurd, remote, ballistic, fishy, to sponsor, moral

Joe told me about a plan he had to make a lot of money for both of us, but the plan seemed _____________ to me and I rejected it.

Mary had a dilemma: she could go to a pretty good school on a full scholarship or a ____________ school but only by taking out a lot of loans.

I tend to avoid going to see Hollywood films and I go to see films from around the world. Yes, Hollywood films are generally bad so I would say that they ___________.

One of the first problems you might experience in a New York City apartment is ________________. These ugly and annoying bugs seem to be everywhere.

There are many talented foreigners who come to the USA who hope to find permanent jobs here. They need to find employers who will ________________ them for green cards, however, and not many companies want to support immigrant workers  to this expensive level.

When Bill told his father that he had crashed his dad’s car into a tree, Bill expected his father to go _________________. Instead, his dad began crying.

Roger was a very handsome guy and women were always flirting with him. He was very ______________ however, and felt it would be wrong to cheat on his wife.

I expected this lawyer to help me, but he turned out to be a _________________. He was  totally unethical and was charging me for work he never did and then he threatened to sue me when I complained!

Many Americans look forward to the next presidential ______________ which will be held in 2016. They are hoping for fresh ideas and new vision.

After 15 years in New York City I really began to hate this place. I started to think of living in a ____________ area far from any cities.

Life seems dominated by _________________ relationships. People are always offering to help you so that you will have to help them later. Or they will help you only if you promise to help them later.

Matt seemed kind of nuts. He claimed to be a police officer and a spy, but I found his stories to be ________________.


quid pro quo, 

Can you get these 15 often-used English words?

This is the type of vocabulary exercise in my book: New York City Sucks, But You'll Still Wanna Come Here!  Please buy my book, it's pretty good!

Words to choose from:

scruples, rotten, shady, evidence, verifiable, to retract, to tell, to sue, livid, incompetent, outrageous, corrupt, elegant, inspiring, compromised


The MTA subway system is so bad. It is crowded and expensive and unreliable. I wake up in the morning feeling pretty good, but after riding the subway I feel _____________.

It is hard to find political leaders who are so honest and so kind and have such a great vision that they are _______________. Instead, I often feel depressed looking at the leaders around me.

The journalist was sure what he had written was true, but then he learned he was wrong and he had to _____________ his article.

I wanted to use our savings for several great vacations. My wife wanted to buy a house. So we ________________ and decided to put some money down for the house and to save some for travel.

I didn’t have much money but I really needed at least one ____________ dress that I could wear to art gallery openings and formal parties.

I may not be handsome, I may not have money, but nobody can honestly say that I don’t have ______________: I really care about doing the right thing and acting with morality.

Which street is this?  I didn’t wear my glasses today and I can’t __________ where we are.

Joe was in a terrible car accident. It was the other guy’s fault and so Joe decided to ____________ him. He won $50,000 in court.

Although this politician has a very good reputation, in reality she is very _____________. The newspapers will not write the truth about her, for some reason.

Initially he seemed like a very honest businessman, but as his accountant I began to see that he was doing many illegal things and I realized how ____________ he was.

The _____________ seemed to indicate that Bill had killed his roommate’s dog because the stupid thing wouldn’t stop barking. There was no real proof, however.

When Debbie learned that Bruce was cheating on her, she became ______________ and demanded that they break up.

Most people who work for the State of New York are ______________. They don’t know what they are doing and can’t do their jobs but get these jobs for political favors they have done for shady politicians.

When I went to get my driver’s license, the conditions at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) were _______________. The employees were lazy and stupid and I had to wait 7 hours.

I felt that his theory was really good but I didn’t think it was _______________; therefore we may never know the truth.

Answers are below:


corrupt or shady,  
shady or corrupt, 

Friday, September 25, 2015

The perfect penis size?

Esquire has reported that researchers have used 3-D printing technology to provide sample penises to women to determine what the 'perfect' male penis might look like. Actually, the researchers are interested in the length and width that women seem to prefer.

So I guess if this study has any value, the value would be in debunking (disproving) that women like huge penises. Of course, this makes sense since a huge penis will, obviously, hurt the woman during sex.  Women like 'average' size penises, which, again, seems to make sense since an average size penis evolved to coincide with what might work most effectively in conjunction with your normal, everyday vagina.

Here's the Esquire story:

Vocabulary from the article:

a phallus - another term for the male sex organ (penis)

to ascertain - to find out

to chill - to relax

an anaconda - a very large snake

a stack - a collection of something piled one on top of the other

peer-reviewed - fellow scientists read and comment on the article before it is published. If an article is peer-reviewed, it has the support of a number of scientists before it is published.

enormous - huge

erect - hard

disembodied - the penises were not connected to any men

dongs - slang for penises

skin color cues - apparently the fake penises were blue so that there would be no racial prejudice involved in selecting the best penis

a one-night-stand - having sex one time with someone and never seeing the person again

the character of the penis-haver - the author means that the personality of the guy having sex with the woman is more important than the size of the penis

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Homelessness in New York City is getting ridiculous - 50,000 +

{{{Scott Stringer is a politician who wants to be mayor - leader of NY City - and he wrote to a NY newspaper about homelessness in NY City}}}

America never had a homeless problem until President Ronald Reagan decided to support businesses in America and cut services to the poor (in the 1980s).

Now we have over 50,000 homeless people living in city shelters in NY City - the 'greatest' city in the world and one of the 'wealthiest' cities in the world.

Scott Stringer is a politician in New York City who wants to become mayor (the leader of the city). He wrote this letter to the Daily News to attack the current mayor and to try to show that he can help end the homeless problem in NY City.

Here's an article about this (Stringer's letter to the newspaper - Stringer is currently the NY City is his job to make sure money is spent properly in NY City):

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

all hands on deck - this is a term from the Navy meaning - we have a crisis, everyone needs to get involved!

sustained economic recovery - a recovery which is lasting; yet, how can you have a recovery and 50,000 homeless people at the same time? Whom is the 'recovery' benefiting?

a shelter - a building owned by the government where homeless people can sleep safely (although it's not always safe in government shelters)

head to their school - go to their schools

with one hand tied behind their backs - meaning they will have some difficulties learning because they are experiencing trouble in regard to housing

to blame someone - to say that someone has done something wrong

catastrophe - a horrible situation

slashed funding - cut funding, reduced funding

balked - showed hesitation 

a rental assistance program - giving money to people to pay their rent

a unforeseeable emergency - the people who run the city are acting as if they had no idea this problem was happening

the blame game - I didn't do this - you did this!  What? Me? No way - you did this!

soared - increased

ample - enough

eviction - to be thrown out of your home because you can't pay rent

root causes - what is really causing homelessness

ad hoc - temporary

piecemeal - not thorough, an approach that just does a little here and a little there

lax oversight and quality control - nobody is making sure people are safe and nobody seems to be in charge or in control of the quality

rat-infested hovels - really dirty places that have rats (they are like mice but bigger - dirty little animals with long tails)

to be off the table - to be out of consideration

facilitating - making easier

foreclosure - when a bank takes away a house because a person couldn't pay a monthly fee for it

leverage assets - use assets

boosting - increasing

an audit - an investigation

a spectrum - a range of things

vacant - empty