Grammar point.png          Let's begin the NEW YEAR 2014 with a Friday Review



Use the present simple to talk about activities or routines which take place on a regular basis.


Present Tense in  Affirmative or Positive Sentences

Subject + present conjugation of verb + objects

I / You arrive early at MSOE.
  She / He / It studies mechanical engineering. 

  You / We / They read the newspaper every day. 

Present Tense in Negative Sentences

Subject + do not + base form of verb + objects

I / You don't (do not) miss school.

She / He / It doesn't ( does not) miss school. 

You / We / They don't (do not) miss school. 


Present Tense in Question Form

Wh? + do + subject + base form of verb ?

When do I / you arrive at MSOE?

What does he / she / it study in MSOE? 

  Where do we / you / they keep your school materials? 



WORD OF THE DAY.pngaqueduct


man-made conduit for carrying water. In a restricted sense, aqueducts are structures used to conduct a water stream across a hollow or valley. In modern engineering, however, aqueduct refers to a system of pipes, ditches, canals, tunnels, and supporting structures used to convey water from its source to its main distribution point.



History Points:

  • Romans were not the first ones to build aqueducts
  • Qanāt systems were in use in ancient Persia, India, Egypt, and other Middle Eastern countries hundreds of years earlier to bring water for irrigation to the plains below
  • Approximately two million large blocks were used to make a water channel 10 metres (30 feet) high and 275 metres (900 feet) long across a valley
  • Roman aqueducts were built throughout the empire, and their arches may still be seen in Greece, Italy, France, Spain, North Africa, and Asia Minor




Roman vs. Modern Aqueduct





"Be excited, Earthlings, because science has a surprise for you. Engineers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National


Laboratory have devised a way to turn algae into crude oil in less than an hour. That oil can then be refined into gasoline that can run engines."


Read all about it here:  Government Scientists Created Crude Oil from Algae in Mere Minutes




WORD OF THE DAY.pngthematic


When you visit a museum and the cat paintings are grouped together in one room, and the fruit paintings in another, you could conclude that the curator favors a thematic arrangement, meaning grouped by topic, rather than chronologically or by artist.


Thematic relationships are everywhere. You could apply a thematic arrangement to your closet, putting the 1970s disco-wear in one section and your motorcycle gear in another. When you're studying the works of Charles Dickens, finding the thematic similarities across all the novels helps you remember them more easily. That song your garage band has been working on has a thematic development, too, starting with a line of melody, changing it a little, taking it in a different direction, then returning to the theme.


It is said that The Grohmann Museum, at Milwaukee School of Engineering, is home to the world's most comprehensive art collection dedicated to the evolution of human work.  Have you visited the museum lately? Can you identify some of the sub-themes being exhibited?


colosseo romano.jpeg.jpgPanoramic view of the Colosseum, Rome: Begun between AD 70- 72, the Colosseum could seat 50,000 people and measured 620 by 513 feet. (Photo Credit: Josie Sambolin/2012)

Deconstructing History: Colosseum (1:38) TV-14

Completed in 80 A.D., Rome's Colosseum has been the site of celebrations, sporting events and bloodshed. Today, it's a major tourist WATCH VIDEO NOW.jpgattraction, playing host to 3.9 million visitors each year.


Located just east of the Roman Forum, the massive stone amphitheater known as the Colosseum was commissioned around A.D. 70-72 by Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty as a gift to the Roman people. In A.D. 80, Vespasian's son Titus opened the Colosseum--officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater--with 100 days of games, including gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights. After four centuries of active use, the magnificent arena fell into neglect, and up until the 18th century it was used as a source of building materials. Though two-thirds of the original Colosseum has been destroyed over time, the amphitheater remains a popular tourist destination, as well as an iconic symbol of Rome and its long, tumultuous history.

colosseo romano2.jpeg.jpg  colosseo romano3.jpeg.jpg Colosseum Photo Gallery

click here.jpgESL-Students

Did you know that according to mostly Spanish, Latin American and

Caribbean traditions, the Holiday Season continues until January 6th?






Bet You Did Not Know...


-->That Three Kings Day Eve is celebrated on January 5th by having the children place grass or grain and a dish or water under their

     beds to feed the camels of the Three Kings. The Kings then leave gifts for the children to thank them for the food they left for their


-->That groups of musicians go through the streets of the town singing "aguinaldos" or there are processions through town with

     people dressed as the Kings, Mary, or Joseph.

-->That even though Christmas is celebrated, much more attention is paid to Three Kings Day in the majority of these countries.

-->That the Three Kings Day is sometimes viewed as the last day of the Christmas season. It would be the conclusion to the 12 days

     of  Christmas.

-->That the precious gifts brought by the three kings from the East had meaning. They were Gold, symbol for worldly wisdom,

     Frankincense, devotional offering to the Gods and Myrrh, symbol for the victory of life over death.

--> That it is referred to by generations leading up to WWI, as “old Christmas”!


So remember to put in some grass- or hay- under your bed tonight!  You'll

never know what the Three Kings might leave for you!

Happy Three King's Day from the



WORD OF THE DAY.pngcypress


A few plant names with Greek roots have mythological tie-ins, such as hyacinth and narcissus. Cypress plays that game too — it's from Cyparissus, a mortal boy, teen, or man depending on the version of the story. Cyparissus  had a pet deer, whom he adored more than anything else in the world.  One day, while in the forest, Cyparissus accidentally discharged his bow, mortally wounding his pet. Consumed with grief, remorse, and guilt, he threw his body over the suffering companion as the pet died, transforming into what we now call the Cypress tree.  This is why many cultures around the world still regard a Cypress tree as a symbol of mourning and still use them in cemeteries or burial places.




Read all about it!


January 1 Becomes New Year's Day

The early Roman calendar consisted of 10 months and 304 days, with each new year beginning at the vernal equinox; according to tradition, it was created by Romulus, the founder of Rome, in the eighth century B.C. A later king, Numa Pompilius, is credited with adding the months of Januarius and Februarius. Over the centuries, the calendar fell out of sync with the sun, and in 46 B.C. the emperor Julius Caesar decided to solve the problem by consulting with the most prominent astronomers and mathematicians of his time. He introduced the Julian calendar, which closely resembles the more modern Gregorian calendar that most countries around the world use today.

As part of his reform, Caesar instituted January 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honor the month’s namesake: Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, whose two faces allowed him to look back into the past and forward into the future. Romans celebrated by offering sacrifices to Janus, exchanging gifts with one another, decorating their homes with laurel branches and attending raucous parties. In medieval Europe, Christian leaders temporarily replaced January 1 as the first of the year with days carrying more religious significance, such as December 25 (the commemoration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth)  and March 25 (the Feast of the Annunciation); Pope Gregory XIII reestablished January 1 as New Year’s Day in 1582.

Bet You Didn't Know: New Year's Eve (2:24) TV-G

Did you know that New Year's has not always been celebrated on January 1? Get the full story.




Civilizations around the world have been celebrating the start of each new year for at least four millennia. Today, most New Year’s festivities begin on December 31 (New Year’s Eve), the last day of the Gregorian calendar, and continue into the early hours of January 1 (New Year’s Day). Common traditions include attending parties, eating special New Year’s foods, making resolutions for the new year and watching fireworks displays.


Early New Year's Celebrations

The earliest recorded festivities in honor of a new year’s arrival date back some 4,000 years to ancient Babylon. For the Babylonians, the first new moon following the vernal equinox—the day in late March with an equal amount of sunlight and darkness—heralded the start of a new year. They marked the occasion with a massive religious festival called Akitu (derived from the Sumerian word for barley, which was cut in the spring) that involved a different ritual on each of its 11 days. In addition to the new year, Atiku celebrated the mythical victory of the Babylonian sky god Marduk over the evil sea goddess Tiamat and served an important political purpose: It was during this time that a new king was crowned or that the current ruler’s divine mandate was symbolically renewed.

Throughout antiquity, civilizations around the world developed increasingly sophisticated calendars, typically pinning the first day of the year to an agricultural or astronomical event. In Egypt, for instance, the year began with the annual flooding of the Nile, which coincided with the rising of the star Sirius. The first day of the Chinese new year, meanwhile, occurred with the second new moon after the winter solstice.