84. Luke’s English Braincast (with James)

Why is it called Luke’s English Braincast? Listen to the episode until the end to find out.

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What’s been going on? What’s been happening? In this episode, Luke and James talk about recent news stories and current affairs including:
– The London Olympic Games
– The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
– The Superbowl
– Charles Dickens 200th Anniversary
– The Oscars 2012
– Women drivers
and a number of other fascinating topics! You will find a list of some vocabulary used in the show below. Just scroll down the page, listen to the episode and learning will occur!

You can also hear Luke’s award acceptance speech. I’m now going to shut up about the award!

Fans of my Facebook page have voted for The Macmillan Phrasal Verbs Dictionary as their prize. So, I will let Macmillan know and then they will send me that dictionary. When I have received it, I will organise some kind of competition so that YOU have a chance to win it from me.

Are you a learner of English? Do you like natural English vocabulary? Do you like games? Do you think the world would be a better place if we all stopped taking ourselves so seriously all the time? Well, here’s a great new game you can play to improve your English. It’s called VOCAB HUNTER (in 3D). It’s not actually in 3D but that sounds better than just VOCAB HUNTER! Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking – how do I play this fascinating game which is called VOCAB HUNTER (in 3D)? Well, simply look at the list of vocab + definitions below while you listen to this episode of Luke’s English Podcast. Whenever you hear a piece of vocab being used by Luke or his brother James, just SHOOT that item (mentally if you don’t have a laser gun or you don’t want to damage your computer) and move on to the next piece of vocab. That’s it. Could you be the best vocab hunter in the world? Can you identify and SHOOT (please don’t actually do any real shooting – just look at the vocab on the screen and say “OK” or “got it” or something) each piece of vocab as you see it? Are you ready to become the world’s greatest VOCAB HUNTER??? There’s only one way to find out, so listen to the conversation between Luke & James, and identify the vocab in this list: (please try to contain your excitement)

This list contains extracts from this podcast. I have typed these bits because I think they contain some phrases, expressions or words that I think you might not know. Use an online dictionary like the Macmillan Online Dictionary or The Cambridge Online Dictionary to get definitions.

James: You shouldn’t be so humble about these things
Luke: Sarcasm

Luke: I won a dictionary
James: We get that. Not that I’m putting that down, it’s a great achievement.

James: I think I’ve heard enough about the dictionary now. That’s all I’m saying. You might have milked that one a bit too much.
Luke: I might have over-egged the pudding

Luke: Which film did you see?
James: I saw ‘Young Adult’
Luke: ‘Young Adult’ – it sounds dodgy

James: Let’s talk about the news. That’s what I’m here for. To cast my expert eye over the week’s events across the media.
Luke: OK what have you come across? What news stories have you come across?

Luke: …the Olympic bid…

Luke: On one hand…  all the countries in the world take part and it’s an amazing celebration, but on the other hand London is such a crowded place that it could become an absolute nightmare.

James: Also, during what’s becoming a recession, isn’t it just a massive waste of money? When there’s people having their benefits taken away from them, councils have less and less money to spend on basic services, and the poor are getting poorer, the rich are getting richer, do you really need this pointless festival of sport?

Luke: Ooh let’s see who can run the fastest! In a way, that question is now redundant because we’ve got cars and bicycles.

James: If we had money coming out of our ears and we were very very rich and there was no problems with poverty in this country, which is never going to happen, but if we were living in a sort of utopia, then great, have a festival of sport, but otherwise I just think it’s a complete waste of money.

James: And also I thought the Olympics were supposed to be a very non-commercial event.

Luke: …they are promoting sport by making kids fat, allegedly.

Luke: …but it’s all revenue though isn’t it? It’s all revenue to the government.

James: There has been a lot of regeneration of East London because they want the area to look nice for international visitors, to show off to make London look nice. And in some ways that’s good, and they talk about the legacy, that’s kind of a catchphrase… …it’s not just about the event it’s about the legacy.

James: …a lone wolf terrorist…

James: Let’s move on to the next topic. We’ve cleared that one up.
Luke: We’ve done the Olympics.

James: The best one is when they get on the tube with a massive rucksack on and the tube doors close on their rucksack and they’re basically pinned to the door, trapped like a sort of scared animal and it’s very very funny. Tourists, keep doing that because it really brightens up my day.

Luke: I saw it the other day I saw a Japanese family dithering by the doors of a crowded underground train.

Luke: He was probably pleased because he probably thought “now I can go and get pissed” or something

Luke: Anyway let’s not be too down on the tourists because … we welcome tourists in London.

James: I found myself taking a photo of a van, just an ordinary van

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

James: I’d want to stay in bed. I wouldn’t relish that thought.

James: No wonder she’s such a heavy drinker. It’s a well known fact. She hits the sherry by about half eleven most days, by midday she’s onto her second or third. By ,idnight she is hammered.

James: Queen Victoria used to take it.
Luke: She had period pains and arthritis pains

James: I just made that up. I’m lying.

Luke: Mick Jagger is Sir Mick Jagger. He’s a Knight of the Realm.
James: What, for ‘services to paedophilia’?
Luke: Woa there! Where are all these allegations coming from?
James: Sorry I’m just a bit bored today. I’m just trying to liven it up.

The Queen’s Honours; e.g. OBE, CBE, Knighthood

James: cheering on a bunch of knuckleheaded…
Luke: …knuckleheaded sportsmen in armour

James: All you need to play American football is a bloody massive pitch, these weird upside-down goal things
Luke: You can play American football in a park
James: Yeah but not the full game. Not the full contact sport game, because you’d break your neck wouldn’t you. They need all that padding just in order to have a little kick around. You can play touch football I suppose but that’s not the actual game.

James: I used to get into them in the 80s. They used to show them on channel 4.

James: It’s just quite easy to take the mick out of really isn’t it.
Luke: We like making fun
James: Mocking people
Luke: Mocking Americans

James: It’s the screaming and the pointlessness of it all, and the crushing depression
Luke: You’re really negative today. You need to lighten up. Be more positive.

They start talking about the performance at superbowl this year with Madonna and MIA.

James: (About MIA) Her Dad used to be a Tamil Tiger.
Luke: She’s a musician from Sri Lanka

James: “and halfway through the performance she flipped the bird”

James: Not that shocking you might think but apparently people are upset about it… pre-watershed, Christians and that…

James: We’re being a bit mean
Luke: …a bit crazy today
James: a bit crass

James: Co)incidentally her new single’s out today… it’s a publicity stunt… we’re clever enough to say “we don’t care” “we don’t give a toss”.

James: it was okay. Out of ten I’d give it a five.
Luke: She sampled The Clash in that song. That’s the best bit of the song.
James: Mmm, they should have just not sampled the clash and just played The Clash.
Luke: I can play a bit of that song
James: Let’s not bother
Luke: If you’re listening, it’s called “Paper Planes” by MIA

Dickens’ 200th Anniversary

Luke: He was quite a good person
James: He was quite into social reform

James: People talk about things being ‘Dickensian’

Luke: The cliche that London is very old, dark, grey, foggy, smokey, and with lots of gap-toothed urchins, chimney sweeps, basically Charles Dickens…
James: Put that into the popular consciousness

The Oscars:
Luke: The ladies love George (Clooney). He’s often voted the sexiest man in the world, even though he is going grey, he’s got a few grey hairs going on but the ladies still seem to think he’s wonderful. My girlfriend for example, rather annoyingly, still loves George Clooney
James: Bit of jealousy there

Luke: Basically, The Oscars is Hollywood’s way of promoting its assets (itself).

“George Clooney always looks like he’s in an advert for George Clooney” Geoff Dyer in The Times

James: Oh that reminds me, have you seen the trailer for the new Tom Hanks film?

Luke: We don’t really like that kind of cheese in England
James: I hate that kind of really over the top, sentimentality

James: We like understatement. Not everyone, I can’t speak for the whole bloody country
Luke: We do like understatement though, and we prefer it when people aren’t so earnest like that, “well gee Dad I sure love you!”, instead in England it’s a bit like ” you know Dad, you’re alright”
James: Yeah; we’d prefer that. I’d well up at that

Luke: We tend to hide behind jokes. We’re diseased, we’ve got a disease, it’s called a sense of humour. We use it to cover up our awkwardness

James: It’s like Ricky Gervais (said), you’ve got to do a movie about the holocaust,
Luke: A movie about an idiot or a movie about the holocaust is the best way to win an oscar
James: Play a disabled or a jew
Luke: Woa there!!!
James: That’s his words, not mine

Women Drivers
Luke: Women just use a car to go from A to B… They don’t value driving as a way of proving themselves

Luke: The cliche is that women can’t park a car… Surveillance of car parks around Britain, CCTV surveillance around Britain in car parks has revealed that while women take longer than men to get their cars into small spaces, they do it more skillfully. They actually do it more successfully. So all these security cameras all over the country have…
James: Well, the ones that are left and haven’t been crashed into by women
Luke: Ha ha very funny. These security cameras have revealed that women may park more slowly but they do it more successfully.

The stupidest thief
James: There are some very deranged people out there, very disturbed people out there. You should probably say you read that from The Week didn’t you.

Cold weather
James: What disturbed me is, the night of the cold snap, I can’t remember what country it was, like 40 homeless people died, or more, like loads and loads of homeless people died. It’s just such a horrible thought that people haven’t got a home to go to and when it gets that cold you just die.
That’s all I have time to do at the moment. Listeners – if you have some time to kill then please transcribe the last 10mins of this episode and send it to me at luketeacher@hotmail.com
For now, it’s good night.

Now it’s time to say good night
Good night Sleep tight
Now the sun turns out his light
Good night Sleep tight
Dream sweet dreams for me
Dream sweet dreams for you.
Close your eyes and I’ll close mine
Good night Sleep tight
Now the moon begins to shine
Good night Sleep tight
Dream sweet dreams for me
Dream sweet dreams for you.
Close your eyes and I’ll close mine
Good night Sleep tight
Now the sun turns out his light
Good night Sleep tight
Dream sweet dreams for me
Dream sweet dreams for you.
Good night Good night Everybody
Everybody everywhere
Good night.