easy approach to phrasal verbs



Workers on Thursday leaving Microsoft offices in Finland, where 1,100 of the up to 18,000 jobs will be eliminated. CreditMarkku Ruottinen/Lehtikuva, via Reuters
Continue reading the main storyShare This Page

Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story

? Top Stories

This article and others like it are part of our new subscription.
Learn More »

SEATTLE — Microsoft said Thursday that it planned to eliminate up to 18,000 jobs over the next year in a shake-up intended to help the company move more quickly in the market.

The cuts are the largest in the company’s 39-year history, representing about 14 percent of its work force.

Microsoft will make the deepest cuts from the businesses it acquired from the Finnish phone maker Nokia. About 12,500 of the jobs being eliminated will come from the Nokia groups, or from overlap at Microsoft resulting from the deal. Microsoft said 1,100 job cuts would come from Finland, and another 1,800 from a Nokia factory in Hungary.

That is about half the number of employees who joined Microsoft from Nokia a few months ago, when Microsoft completed its acquisition of Nokia’s mobile business. In related news, Microsoft said it would no longer make Nokia phones based on the Android operating system, switching its low-end phones to Microsoft’s Windows Phone software.

Microsoft said it would take a charge of $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion to cover severance and related costs from the layoffs over the next year.


Microsoft’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, signaled in a company memo last week that big organizational changes were coming. CreditRobert Galbraith/Reuters

On Thursday, Satya Nadella, the company’s chief executive, said in an email to employees announcing the job cuts that the layoffs are an effort to become more agile, a message he has given repeatedly since he took the job in February. “Having a clear focus is the start of the journey, not the end,” he said in the email. “The more difficult steps are creating the organization and culture to bring our ambitions to life.”

He added: “The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our work force.”

The huge job cuts in the businesses it acquired from Nokia raise questions about Microsoft’s plans in the market for mobile devices. The acquisition, initiated by Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s previous chief executive, greatly increased the company’s presence in the hardware business, which is outside its traditional expertise. The deal has been an unpopular one with investors and many people inside Microsoft.

“It is particularly important to recognize that the role of phones within Microsoft is different than it was within Nokia,” Stephen Elop, a former Nokia chief executive who now runs the devices group at Microsoft, said in an email to employees on Thursday. “Whereas the hardware business of phones within Nokia was an end unto itself, within Microsoft all our devices are intended to embody the finest of Microsoft’s digital work and digital life experiences, while accruing value to Microsoft’s overall strategy.”

After the initial announcement of Microsoft’s acquisition, Nokia employees and the wider Finnish community greeted the pending deal with growing pessimism, according to David J. Cord, an American based in Helsinki and the author of “The Decline and Fall of Nokia.”

Continue reading the main story

Microsoft’s stock activity since Satya Nadella took over as its chief executive in February.

Mr. Cord said many of the best engineers from the handset business had already left the company. The exodus has left Microsoft’s new cellphone unit with many of the lesser well-trained engineers.

While Finland had once been known for its telecom prowess, many of the new generation of developers and engineers also have shunned corporate jobs with Nokia. Instead, they have turned to the country’s growing gaming industries. Companies like Supercell, which makes mobile games like Clash of Clans and is valued at around $3 billion, have gained global acclaim.

“Everyone had been expecting this news,” said Mr. Cord, in reference to Microsoft’s job cuts. “It has hurt the Finnish psyche. When Nokia was on top of the world, so was Finland. Now that Nokia has fallen, so has the country.”

Previously, the largest layoffs at the company were in 2009, when about 5,800 people were affected during the recession. Since then, Microsoft has had a few more rounds of job cuts, but the number of employees eliminated was typically in the dozens or hundreds.

In February, Mr. Nadella became the third chief of Microsoft as Mr. Ballmer stepped down, and Bill Gates, a company founder, left his role as chairman and become a technology adviser to Mr. Nadella. Microsoft was often criticized for being unfocused during Mr. Ballmer’s tenure, and for having a swelling product line and layers of bureaucracy.

Continue reading the main story

Trimming of Tech Staffs

This year, several longtime technology leaders have begun or are expected to shed thousands of jobs to keep up with changes in the industry.

Company Jobs Portion of Work Force
Hewlett-Packard 50,000 16%
Microsoft 18,000 14%
Intel 5,000 5%
IBM 12,000 3%

“Under the Ballmer era there were many layers of management and a plethora of expensive initiatives being funded that has thus hurt the strategic and financial position the company is in, especially in light of digesting the Nokia acquisition,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets, who called the cuts necessary.

Microsoft, a longtime leader in the technology industry, has struggled to find the same success in markets like mobile and Internet search that it did with personal computers. The company anticipated the rise of smartphones and tablet computers, but its products failed to capitalize on that foresight, and Apple and Samsung now dominate those markets.

Mr. Nadella signaled in a company memorandum last week that big organizational changes were coming soon. He sought to define his vision for Microsoft as a maker of productivity tools for a technology landscape shaped by cloud and mobile computing.

“We will increase the fluidity of information and ideas by taking actions to flatten the organization and develop leaner business processes,” he wrote in the memo. “Culture change means we will do things differently.”

Those statements were widely seen as foreshadowing some layoffs, and maybe even peeling off some business units. So far, Mr. Nadella has not dropped any major products or businesses.

Still, investors have welcomed his overtures. Shares have steadily risen since February, and added more than 5 percent in the last week as rumors swirled about the layoffs. They rose another 2.9 percent in early trading on Thursday.


Coming Soon to Social Media: Click to Buy Now

Publicat dins de Sense categoria | Deixa un comentari


To set out:

to begin a serious attempt; undertake

USE: fulfilment of a definite end 

The Guardian 

Introducing the ultimate climate change FAQ

The Guardian is SETTING OUT to create world’s best layman-friendly guide to all aspects of climate change – and we need your help
Climate change : Scientist on Mt. Erebus, Ross Island, AntarcticaMt. Erebus, Antarctica

A scientist on Mount Erebus, Ross Island, Antarctica. Photograph: George Steinmetz/Corbis

Take one arcane and evolving scientific discipline. Add the future of energy security, economics and geopolitics. Throw in a handful of ideological baggage from across the political spectrum, season with ulterior motives, and simmer for 20 years.

Given this unique recipe, it’s not surprising that the climate change debate has thrown up more than its fair share of confusion, misinformation and divisiveness.

Is the science surrounding man-made warming basically settled, or is there ongoing debate among climate scientists? If climate change is happening, how concerned should we be? Who will we be affected – and how and when? What’s the worst-case scenario? How realistic are the proposed solutions? And can we afford them anyway?

These and countless other important questions have been explored in depth in journals, reports and books, but they are rarely dealt with in an accessible way. As a result, it can be difficult to get a handle on what’s known, what’s unknown and what’s actually important.

It’s in this context that is launching the Ultimate Climate Change FAQ. The plan is to build up a set of clear, accurate and balanced answers to all the questions that our readers have ever asked themselves about climate change.

The initial aim is for the Guardian team – with help from various partners and, crucially, our readers – to amass the world’s best layman-friendly online guide to all aspects of climate change, from the science to the politics, economics and more. We will also be looking to partner with expert organisations and individuals to inform the project, and are pleased to announce the first of those organisations is the Met Office, which will be offering scientific advice.

But we hope that content could eventually have a life well beyond our own site, whether that means posters for schools and workplaces or selections of key questions and answers licensed freely to other publications and websites. If there’s a particular format you think would be useful, let us know in the comments and we’ll see what we can do.

We’d also like your suggestions for what questions to answer next, of course. And that invitation extends to everyone – from dark-green types through to climate sceptics who doubt the existence or significance of man-made global warming. Our aim is to cut through all types of ideology to get to the best understanding possible.

So whatever your perspective, post your questions in this form and we will do our best to come back with answers.

The FAQ is embryonic at this stage, and it remains to be seen how it will develop. This is a collaborative project and we want you to help us shape it – so let us know below how you’d like it to evolve.

I’ll be back here on the environment blog in a few days to respond, report back on the most frequently asked questions and move the project forward.

Publicat dins de Sense categoria | Deixa un comentari


This post is an answer to a request about uses of TO GET.
According to English verbs references sources , the uses of TO GET
can be divided into six categories as follows:


1. To receive
2. To indicate a change
3. To bring/To buy/To find
4. Added to verbs “to have & to have to”
5. As a part of a phrasal verb
6. As a part of an expression

Shortly, we will go over each category 

Publicat dins de Sense categoria | Deixa un comentari


To join up:

Meaning: to work together to achieve something

USE: emphasis



JOINING UP Ghana’s healthcare to save lives

Alice Yamoah-Grant examines a babyThe Motech platform follows mother and baby from conception through the early years

Giving birth in Sub-Saharan Africa is a risky business.

Technology of Business

It kills more mothers and babies than anywhere else in the world, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Some progress is being made. In Ghana, for example, the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) declined by 49% between 1990 and 2013 to 380 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2013 – but this still leaves some way to go to reach theUnited Nations Millennium Development Goal of 185.

Call me

On the veranda of the small, squat bungalow that is the Ahentia Community Based Planning and Service (CHPs) clinic sits a group of women. Some are pregnant, some nursing babies, they are waiting patiently to see the community health officer.

The clinicThe Ahentia Community Based Planning and Service (CHPs) clinic lies at the end of a dusty road on the edge of a small village
Alice Hanson, Sophia Pabie, Joycelyn Yawson, Cynthis LarbieWaiting for their appointments, Alice Hanson (left), Sophia Pabie, Joycelyn Yawson and Cynthia Larbie catch up on the gossip

What makes this situation a little different is that each of them has been reminded about their appointment by messages sent to a mobile phone, through a system called Mobile Midwife.

They also receive regular messages with individually-tailored information on everything from eating properly to when to give up manual labour to important treatment and vaccination advice.

Cynthia Larbie is pregnant with her second child.

Alice Grant-Yamoah explains how Mobile Midwife has changed her work

“When I was pregnant for the first time I would have enemas, which are supposed to be good for you and the baby. But listening to messages from Mobile Midwife, I learnt they can cause your baby to be aborted,” she says.

“The reminders really help, too. Because I wasn’t sure when my first baby would arrive, I gave birth at home, but this time being told that I’m close to delivery means that I’m prepared and ready to give birth at the clinic.”

Getting women in rural areas to attend antenatal appointments regularly isn’t easy, says community health officer Alice Grant-Yamoah.

Antenatal appointmentConvincing women to come for regular antenatal appointments has been difficult

“Most of the mothers are illiterate, so when we wrote the date [down], they forgot about it,” she says.

“[Mobile midwife] saves mothers’ lives. Because in this community we believe … superstitions. For example you go and meet a mother at home, telling [her] to come for antenatal care.

“[They say] If I come the evil eye will look at me and I will lose my baby. That’s what I did with my previous babies and I lost the babies.”

Mobile midwife is part of the Ghana mobile technology for community health (Motech Ghana) initiative – a collaboration between the non-profit organisation Grameen Foundation and the Ghana Health Service.

A community health worker uses the new Android-based MOTECH appA community health worker uses the new Android-based MOTECH app

In a country where there are more active mobile phone lines than people (although using several Sim cards is common, so this doesn’t mean that everyone has a mobile phone), using the technology to reach women and connect healthcare facilities makes sense.

When a woman signs up for the service, she is assigned a unique number.

After each appointment, the nurse updates her medical records electronically using a mobile phone. By reviewing a digitally-generated monthly report, she can see who has had the correct vaccinations, for example. It also means that the health service can gather centralised data on maternal health in the region.

The platform is now used in seven districts across Ghana. A desk-top nurse application has been developed to make it easier to enter large amounts of data, as well as an app for android smartphones.

Patricia AntwiPatricia Antwi: “We’ve seen an increase in antenatal care coverage as compared to the years when we didn’t have the Mobile Midwife service”

“We’ve also seen an increase in immunisation coverage, because the messages are around from pregnancy to the start of life. We’ve seen an increase in the number of mothers coming to the facility to deliver. And also we’ve seen that many more of the mothers are very knowledgeable about health issues,” says Patricia Antwi, district director of health services for Awutu-Senya district.

Challenges remain, however – in rural areas network coverage can be patchy, and communities are often off the national grid, with no way to charge a mobile. And mobile phone ownership is lowest amongst poor, rural women, according to Eddie Ademozoya, Grameen’s head of implementation for the Motech Platform.

“Mobile literacy has [also] been an issue in a developing country like this,” he says.

“We have piloted a system of equipping Mobile Midwife agents with a solar charging device so that they can charge the mobile phones of women in the communities for a fee. It’s designed in the form of a business-in-a-box.”

Eddie AdemozoyaGrameen Foundation’s Eddie Ademozoya

For the Grameen Foundation, the time has come to hand over the running of the platform in Ghana to the Ghana Health Service. But that doesn’t mean that their involvement is over.

“We’ve re-engineered [the Motech platform] to make it more robust, to make it scale, so it can serve the whole nation instead of just districts,” says Grameen’s director of technology innovation David Hutchful.

The suite is now being offered as an open source download, and is being used elsewhere in Africa, Asia and South America not only for maternal health but as an HIV medication reminder service and for general health management among other things.

Make a claim

Publicat dins de Sense categoria | Deixa un comentari


To speak out

Meaning: to say what you think instead of saying nothing

USE: emphasis, enlargement 

The Guardian

Nadine Gordimer obituary

Nobel prizewinnng South African writer who SPOKE OUT against apartheid and racial inequality

• Nadine Gordimer: A life in quotes
• A life in pictures
Nadine Gordimer in 1993.

Nadine Gordimer in 1993. Photograph: Ulf Andersen/Getty Images

South Africa has produced several writers of stature in the past half century, but few have approached the achievement of Nadine Gordimer, who has died aged 90. A significant figure in world literature, Gordimer plumbed the depths of human interaction in a society of racial tension, political oppression and sexual unease. The connection between the intimate and the public lay at the heart of her work, an apparently inexhaustible stream of novels, short stories and essays.

An outspoken voice against the evils of apartheid, Gordimer continued to express forthright views after its collapse and the emergence of a multiracial democracy. Promoting even as she questioned white liberal values in her early work, she went on to espouse an increasingly radical position in the essays and fiction of the mid-1970s and later, openly supporting the liberation movement and associated cultural bodies such as the Congress of South African Writers. This led to her being for many years more widely acclaimed abroad than at home – where several of her novels were banned – until she became in 1991 the country’s first winner of the Nobel prize for literature.

When the Swedish academy made its award, it announced that it was for her “great, epic writings centring on the effects of race relations in her country”. While it is true to suggest that the focus of her work was on relationships between the races, her careful probing of what happens to people under the pressures created by the prevailing structures of power represents a larger achievement, that of a writer in touch with the broad movements of history and their impact upon society.

Yet the force of Gordimer’s work comes from its testimony to the quality of life in South Africa. It was, she said, “learning to write”, rather than waking up to “the shameful enormity of the colour bar” through joining any political party, that sent her “falling, falling through the surface of ‘the South African way of life'”. As she once remarked, every white South African needs to be born twice: the second time into an awareness of the profound racism in which they first found themselves.

Gordimer’s writing career took off during the late 40s and early 50s with the publication of short stories in South African liberal and literary magazines, followed by international journals such as, crucially, the New Yorker, whose continued support from 1951 provided much encouragement for the young writer, while helping to create a wider public for her work. These early stories, clever and perceptive as they were, did little more than display the inner thoughts of white middle-class characters trapped in a world about which they felt guilty, but that they did not understand.

She went on to write more than 200 stories, expanding her range while concentrating her focus in a truly remarkable series of collections, from Not for Publication (1965) and Livingstone’s Companions (1971) to Jump (1991), Loot (2003) and Life Times (2011, a collection spanning 55 years of writing). She experimented towards the end, not always successfully, with symbol and allegory, and but for her success as a novelist would have been remembered as a great master of the short-story genre, which she always defended for its concentration, integrity and lack of compromise.

Her first published novel, The Lying Days (1953), a semi-autobiographical Bildungsroman, did little more than hint at a more challenging awareness of her fragmented colonial background. The succeeding novels, A World of Strangers (1958), Occasion for Loving (1963) and The Late Bourgeois World (1966), however, cemented her reputation as a novelist able to chart with a new immediacy and depth the failures of love and morality in the corrupting and limited world of colonial relations.

At times, Gordimer seemed to feel that she was forging her literary path alone, and that the novelist in South Africa “does not live in a community and has begun to write from scratch at the wrong time”. Despite the influential work of her compatriots Olive Schreiner, Alan Paton and Dan Jacobson, and the first novel in English by a black South African, Sol Plaatje’s Mhudi, Gordimer always looked towards the novels of her European predecessors, from George Eliot to Henry James, DH Lawrence and Proust.

She gradually developed an aesthetic of her own, developing beyond the predominantly social realist, liberal-conservative fiction of her early works, to the more radically modern, indeed modernist writing of The Conservationist (1974), joint winner of the Booker prize and perhaps her greatest achievement. With The Late Bourgeois World, A Guest of Honour (1970) and Burger’s Daughter (1979), it had become became clear that whatever the limitations of her chosen setting and focus, Gordimer was one of the great political novelists of the time.

For all South Africans, 1960 and the Sharpeville massacre marked a watershed; for Gordimer, the arrest of her best friend, Bettie du Toit, led to a more active involvement in politics. She joined the ANC while it was still illegal to do so, having befriended two of the lawyers defending Nelson Mandela, George Bizos and Bram Fischer, to whom Burger’s Daughter was a “coded homage”. She went on to assist the movement, often in secret.

As resistance was being crushed by an increasingly vicious state, Gordimer’s exploration of the impact upon the lives around her deepened her writing, leading to a more complex interweaving of narrative voices so as to include political speeches and documents as well as the secret interior thoughts of her characters – notably Mehring, the wealthy white industrialist and “conservationist” of that novel’s title. Mehring’s consciousness is at the centre of the novel, which reveals in precise and haunting detail his struggles to keep change at bay, while exploiting everyone in his power, from the young Portuguese girl beside him on a flight to the workers on his farm. A tissue of allusions to the indigenous African culture he unconsciously seeks to destroy while avoiding his own complicity undermines his attempts to conserve his wealth and his sense of himself, anticipating the collapse of white supremacy.

The increasingly polarised situation in South Africa after the 70s led to the semi-allegorical and strained July’s People (1981), a revisiting of the master-servant relationship upon which so much of her work dwelt. But with the demise of apartheid, Gordimer once more showed her strength, challenging the supposed anxiety for writers in her country that they now lacked a subject, with The House Gun (1997) and her award-winning 2001 novel The Pickup, which exposed the new issues of migration, corruption, and continuing alienation. Her more recent work, such as Get a Life (2005) and No Time Like the Present (2012), although deft and assured, was increasingly impersonal, while continuing to pursue the dilemmas of a post-apartheid generation trying to come to terms with the present.

Gordimer was born in the small East Rand mining town of Springs, the daughter of Jewish immigrants. Her mother, Hannah (“Nan”) Myers, came from London; her father, Isidore, left Latvia as a teenager to “escape pogroms and poverty” and join his watchmaker brother, later becoming a flourishing jeweller. The immigrant Jewish group features as an identifiable presence in Gordimer’s work, yet she was raised in a secular household, and to begin with was educated in a Catholic convent school, from which her mother removed her for “strange reasons of her own”, claiming her daughter had a heart condition.

Living at home, Gordimer read voraciously and began writing, publishing her first stories at the age of 15, and her first adult fiction a year later. She studied for a year at the University of Witwatersrand, where she made her first friendships across the “colour bar”, in particular encountering the vibrant but fast disappearing multiracial world of Sophiatown, where she met influential black writers and intellectuals such as Es’kia Mphahalele, Nat Nakasa, Todd Matshikiza and Lewis Nkosi. She did not complete her degree, but moved permanently to Johannesburg in 1948.

The city remained her home, despite the often involuntary departures overseas of many friends and associates and eventually her two children. Her first marriage, to Gerald Gavron, by whom she had a daughter, did not last. In 1954 she married Reinhold Cassirer, a wealthy art dealer with whom she had a son. She was tempted to leave South Africa on more than one occasion; but her instincts as a writer as well as her political convictions led her to remain firmly rooted where she was, living, as she put it in an influential lecture, “at six thousand feet in a society whirling, stamping, swaying with the force of revolutionary change” (Living in the Interregnum, 1982). This visionary awareness occasionally surfaces in her work, which otherwise reveals a more pragmatic, sometimes pessimistic approach to her characters and their failings.

Of her innumerable reviewers and many critics, one of the best, Stephen Clingman, edited a stimulating collection of her essays, The Essential Gesture (1988), which reveals a rigorous analysis of the politics of writing in her country, in particular her unequivocal stand on censorship and her forthright support for the community of all South African writers. In 2005 a biography, No Cold Kitchen, was published by Ronald Suresh Roberts, who had been granted interviews and access to her papers on the understanding that she would authorise his book in return for the right to pre-publication review. However, biographer and subject fell out, and Gordimer disowned the book. It remains an invaluable resource, if to be treated with caution.

Gordimer addressed the moral and political dilemmas of her own and her children’s generations in a society finally released from the terrible grip of an extraordinary form of control and exploitation. She did not share the profound disillusion of writers such as JM Coetzee, while admitting the problems brought by the new dispensation in her country. As she had thought, a “change of consciousness” had to accompany a change of regime. She examined the inevitable compromises and betrayals within individual lives of privilege, struggle and freedom, providing in the course of 15 novels the possibility of understanding, if not achieving, a humane life.

Cassirer died in 2001. Gordimer is survived by her daughter, Oriane, and son, Hugo.

• Nadine Gordimer, writer, born 20 November 1923; died 13 July 2014

Publicat dins de Sense categoria | Deixa un comentari



Meaning: fight or  compete against someone

USE: fgured, probably, when we fight against somebody phisically, we take him/her or them with our hands, we put our hands on him/her. Metaphorically we catch our opponents or adversaries with our fight, etc.



Chris Doeblin, the owner of the Book Culture bookstores in Morningside Heights.CreditOzier Muhammad/The New York Times
Continue reading the main storyShare This Page

Continue reading the main story

Hehphotographs of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., above the cash registers, and filled the nooks and crannies with scholarly books. He threw open his doors to local authors, provided a home for the Queer Book Club and created a weekly story time program for kids (in English, Spanish and Mandarin.)

Talk to independent bookseller Chris Doeblin, the owner of the Book Culture bookstores, and it is obvious that in many ways he embodies the ethos of Morningside Heights, near Columbia University, where he lives and works.

“I’m an extremely progressive liberal and the best kind,” said Mr. Doeblin, 53. “I’ve been able to keep a community bookstore alive in this neighborhood and I don’t let ideology get in my way.”

And for that, customers in this liberal stronghold have unabashedly (until quite recently) sung his praises. To many, he is a lanky warrior for the written word, celebrated for creating and sustaining an intellectual haven in the neighborhood for nearly two decades.

At least that’s how things stood until last month, when his workers voted to unionize. On June 24, just hours after the vote, Mr. Doeblin announced in an email to staff that he had fired two employees for joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. By June 26, he had fired three more.


Part of a flier that the workers were handing out while calling for a boycott of the bookstores.

Mr. Doeblin said four of the dismissed employees were managers who were ineligible to take part in the vote and who had “undermined” his business by bringing in the union. (The employees countered that they were supervisors in name only.) He fired the fifth worker after accusing her of eavesdropping.

And lest there be any doubt about Mr. Doeblin’s sentiments about organized labor, he made them clear in his June 24 email, describing his store as “always being in opposition to the union.”

So what happens when a bookseller and those he serves, after years of political harmony, fall suddenly and dramatically out of sync?

Well, then you’ve got a fight on your hands.

On July 2, most of Mr. Doeblin’s remaining employees went on strike, picketing his two stores with the help of the union and its giant inflatable rats, and urging neighborhood residents to join in a boycott. The news spread on Twitter, in the local media and on community email lists. Sales plunged.

Some faculty members at Columbia who buy course books at the store on West 112th Street, which specializes in academic texts, considered taking their business elsewhere.

“I was, frankly, appalled,” said Rosalind Morris, an anthropology professor at Columbia who lives in the neighborhood and co-founded a faculty email list that was abuzz over the labor dispute. “It seemed like a significant misreading of the constituency that he serves and needs.”

You can envision the hardening battle lines, right? The union and the owner digging in their heels, the young, unemployed workers thrust into an unsettled job market, customers boycotting their beloved bookstores and demanding new leadership.

None of that happened.

Instead, Mr. Doeblin picked up the phone and called the union to try to make a deal.

It wasn’t that he regretted firing his workers. He didn’t. It wasn’t that his feelings about unions had changed. They hadn’t. “They may have given us the weekend,” he said, “but they also gave us the mob.”

He still chafes at his pro-union critics and emphasizes that others have offered sympathy and support. “My ideology is to make payroll, to make the rent, to make another mortgage payment,” Mr. Doeblin said.

But something happened as Mr. Doeblin watched his staff protest, as he was peppered with questions while walking to work and as he fielded hundreds of emails and phone calls at his stores.

He started to wonder where he had gone wrong.

“I think I’m probably not a very good manager,” said Mr. Doeblin, reflecting on a style that one employee described as brusque and intimidating. “I think I have a lot to improve on. I need the support of the staff and the support of our community to survive.”

By the afternoon of July 3, Mr. Doeblin had agreed to rehire the four fired supervisors, provided that they agreed to give up their titles and return to hourly status for now. He gave a severance package to the fifth person he had let go and has agreed to recognize the union. (Workers said they wanted a union to represent them in negotiations over wages, raises and promotions, to clarify job titles and to establish a grievance process.)

In return, the union agreed to drop the complaint it had filed against him with the National Labor Relations Board and to end the strike and the calls for a boycott. “We’re glad we’ve gotten over this crisis,” said Phil Andrews, director of the union’s retail organizing project.

Last week, the reinstated employees returned to work and customers went back to buying books. Mr. Doeblin and his community are once again in accord, even though everyone now knows they’re not exactly on the same page.

Publicat dins de Sense categoria | Deixa un comentari


There are three phrasal verbs with the particle “AWAY” from the Top 100 Phrasal Verbs List:

Give away, put away and throw away 

EXAMPLES                                                 USE                                                   
1. She got up and walked away            Movement from a given place
2. She works away for hours at home Continous action (for an indefinite time)
3. He washed the dirt away                   removal (towards absence) 

To give away:

Provide someone with something that you no longer need
“Any plants that were left I gave away to the neighbours”
USE: removal

To put away:

store something in its usual place
“She put the notebook and stood up”

To throw away:

get rid of something, for example, by putting it in a dustbin 
“Have you thrown the papers away?”
USE: removal


Publicat dins de Sense categoria | Deixa un comentari


To come out:

meaning: to reveal that one is a gay man

USE: basic+metaphorical 

 The Guardian

Ian Thorpe COMES OUT as gay in Parkinson interview

The Australian swimming champion tells a private tale of depression, alcohol problems and drug abuse
Ian Thorpe in 2012. At aged 14, he became the youngest ever male to represent Australia

Ian Thorpe in 2012. At aged 14, he became the youngest ever male to represent Australia. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/Getty Images

After years of denial, swimming champion Ian Thorpe has revealed he is gay in an exclusive interview with Sir Michael Parkinson. The five-time Olympic gold medallist and Australia‘s most successful Olympic athlete to date, has revealed his sexuality in an interview to be aired on Australian television on Sunday night.

According to Australian newspaper the Sunday Telegraph, Thorpe, 31, who retired from swimming in 2012, “confirms his sexuality” and “has bravely revealed he is gay” during a tell-all interview. A teaser clip released by Australia’s Network Ten shows Parkinson asking the swimmer: “You’ve always said that you’re not gay. Is all of that true?” The camera then shifts to an uncomfortable looking Thorpe, who contemplates his response.

Thorpe, known as the “Thorpedo” for his prowess in the swimming pool, broke 22 world records and won five Olympic gold medals. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, he won three gold and two silver medals, making him the most successful athlete at the Games. He also won 10 gold medals at the Commonwealth Games.

The interview, which Parkinson has described as one of the best he has conducted, also details the swimmer’s battle with depression, drugs and alcohol, which caused him to check into a rehabilitation unit earlier this year.

The revelations are dramatic particularly because Thorpe has always vehemently denied rumours of his homosexuality. In his own autobiographyThis Is Me, published in 2012, the swimmer said that he found questions about his sexuality hurtful, writing: “For the record, I am not gay and all my sexual experiences have been straight. I’m attracted to women, I love children and aspire to have a family one day … I know what it’s like to grow up and be told what your sexuality is, then realising that it’s not the full reality. I was accused of being gay before I knew who I was.”

This came after years of public denials, including a statement issued in 2009 by his management company: “In the past, on several separate occasions, I have answered questions about my sexuality openly and honestly with the media … my situation in this regard has not changed,” he said. And in July 2011 he told the Sunday Times: “I don’t think anybody has a right to write about [my private life], but I don’t care enough about it to be bothered. If you try and fight it, you’re damned; if you don’t, you’re damned. If you get married, it’s a sham.”

Parkinson said Thorpe’s decision that no question was off limits was brave and says he examines the good times and the bad of the Australian swimming legend.

In his autobiography published in 2012, Thorpe said 'for the record, I am not gay'.In his autobiography published in 2012, Thorpe said ‘for the record, I am not gay’. Photograph: Bernd Thissen/EPA

“His fight against depression offers a unique insight into the darker side of celebrity and success,” Parkinson said in a statement released by Network Ten.

“Ian Thorpe has always been near the top of my list to interview. The reasons are obvious. Not many athletes can claim to be the best of all time. Ian can.

“What fascinates me most about Ian is that, apart from the very beginning of his career, he never seemed to enjoy and celebrate his success … The story of a boy who was a teenage world champion, conquered the world and then seemed to give it all away is a fascinating and intriguing one.”

Aged 14, Thorpe became the youngest male to represent Australia. His victory in the 400m freestyle at the 1998 Perth World Championships made him the youngest individual male world champion. After that, Thorpe became master of the 400m freestyle, winning the event at every Olympic, World, Commonwealth and Pan Pacific Swimming Championships until his break after the 2004 Olympics.

He originally retired from swimming in 2006, aged 24, due to waning motivation. He attempted a comeback in 2011 and 2012, but failed to qualify for the London Olympics. It was subsequently announced that he was targeting qualification for the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona and later the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow but was forced to abandon his plans due to a shoulder injury that almost cost him his arm.

He has, however, enjoyed success as a sports commentator and worked for the BBC during the London Olympics. He will also be part of Network Ten’s Commonwealth Games commentary team this month.

The revelation sparked a frenzy on social media, with many coming out in support of the swimmer. “Ian Thorpe we’re proud of YOU Regardless of sexuality, achievements, medals or anything else … You’re an Aussie who we’ll love & stand by,” @2dayFMbreakfast wrote on Twitter. “Big love to @IanThorpe!” tweeted @GayTimesMag.

“‘I can only hope Thorpe’s revelations help millions of teens struggling inside themselves to find the courage to be them. Snaps for Thorpie,” wrote Lady Catherine @KadyLio, while Anthony Venn-Brown @gayambassador tweeted: “Life’s much brighter on this side of the closet @IanThorpe. Welcome to being you.”

Publicat dins de Sense categoria | Deixa un comentari


To scare away:

meaning: cause sb to go away by frightening him/her.

USE:movement from a given place

Opinions from The Washington Post

The tea party risks SCARING AWAY voters

Supporters of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) celebrate during his “Victory Party” after Cochran held on to his seat after a narrow victory over Chris McDaniel at the Mississippi Childrens Museum on June 24, 2014 in Jackson, Mississippi. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Michael Gerson

 Opinion writer July 10 at 7:56 PM 

A few recent developments have revealed the tea party temperament in its most distilled, potent form.

Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin called for the impeachment of President Obama on the theory that his border policies are “the last straw that makes the battered wife say, ‘no más.’ ” Excavating the layers of mixed metaphor — the straw that broke the camel’s back is somehow causing an abused woman to surrender in Spanish — Palin demands the ousting of an American president on the constitutional theory that “enough is enough.”

Michael Gerson is a nationally syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in The Post.View Archive

Republicans who disapprove of this plan, according to Palin, lack “cojones,” and true conservatives should “vehemently oppose any politician on the left or right who would hesitate in voting for articles of impeachment.” Opponents are identified not just by disagreement (and by a lack of male sex glands) but by hesitation. In adopting the succession practices of a banana republic, and in elevating Vice President Biden to power, those who are reflective and deliberative are natural enemies.

At the same time, failed tea party Senate candidate Chris McDaniel claims that his primary opponent, Thad Cochran, “stole” the election — a serious charge made without serious evidence — and equates overturning his7,700-vote loss with preserving “the torch of liberty.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has embraced McDaniel’s legal challenge, blaming the “D.C. machine” for shifting the election results.

The tea party movement, of course, is more than the sum of its Palins. Both major political parties have and need a base of enthusiastic populists. And some of the Republican Party’s brighter policy lights, including Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah, emerged from tea party backgrounds.

But it is clearly not Rubio’s anti-poverty proposals or Lee’s child tax credit increase that brings tea party crowds to their feet. The movement has developed a characteristic tone and approach. It is often apocalyptic. The torch of liberty sputters. The country is on the verge of tyranny. Yet, without apparent cognitive dissonance, the movement’s goals are often utopian. The nation’s problems can be solved by passing 10 amendments to the Constitution or by impeaching the president. And those who don’t share a preference for maximal (sometimes delusional) solutions — those who talk of incrementalism or compromise — are granted particular scorn.

The tea party temperament is often accompanied by an easily reducible political theory. “The word ‘education,’ ” McDaniel has argued, “is not in the Constitution. Because the word is not in the Constitution, it’s none of their [the federal government’s] business.” Neither are the phrases “health care,” “retirement assistance,” “disaster relief,” “food safety” or “cancer research.” And there goes much of the modern state.

These habits of mind — desperation, utopianism, purifying zeal and ideological simplicity — have had their uses throughout history. But they can’t be called conservative. This is one theme of a careful, instructive essay by Philip Wallach and Justus Myers in National Affairs that ought to be required beach reading for conservatives. The authors describe the attributes of the conservative temperament — humility, an appreciation for what is worthy in our society, a preference for incremental reform, a distrust of abstraction — and contrast them with the “misguided radicals of the left and right.”

Progressives, in their view, have created complex and ungovernable public systems by “doubling down on centralization and technocracy.” But “some on the right seek to break with the past in a very different manner — repudiating 80 years of institutional development and reinventing America as a nation that rejects the substantive role for regulation or a social safety net. Though they are often labeled as ‘conservatives,’ their ambitions, and especially their rhetoric, emphasize the need for a sharp break with many features of our current governing institutions.” The alternative is a more empirically grounded and practical conservatism, which displays a “deep interest and knowledge of our starting place and the plausible means of making improvements.”

This advice is timely. Precisely because President Obama’s progressivism is exhausted and increasingly discredited, Americans will give the GOP another look. They will be either impressed or frightened by what they see. A party that is genuinely excited about conservative anti-poverty proposals, the child tax credit and other reforms — rather than impeachment and the abolition of modern government — might even be judged worthy of the presidency again.

The most urgent requirement for conservative success is the r

Publicat dins de Sense categoria | Deixa un comentari


There are four phrasal verbs in The Waves, page 10,

To go in, to lay out, to pick up and to hand in :

To go in:
Meaning: enter
Text: ” Now we must GO IN together”
USE: basic

To lay out:
Meaning: arrange parts in relation to each other and to the whole in a convenient manner
Text: “…the copybooks are LAID OUT side by side”
USE: fulfilment of a definite end

To pick up:
meaning: take hold of and raise
Text “…like stones one PICKS UP by the seashore
USE: basic+metaphorical

To hand in:
Meaning: submit
Text” … the others are HANDING IN their answers”
USE: basic, opposition IN-OUT


Now the bell rings and we shall be late, Now we must drop our toys. Now we must GO IN together. The copybooks are LAID OUT side by side on the green baize table.”
   “I will not conjugate the verb” said Louis, “until Bernard has said it.  My father is a banker in Brisbane and I speak with an Australian accent. I will wait and copy Bernard. He is English. They are all English. Susan’s father is a clergyman. Rhoda has no father. Bernard and Neville are the sons of gentlemen. Jinny lives with her grandmother in London. Now they suck their pens. Now they twist therir copybooks, and looking sideways at Miss Hudson, count the purple buttons on her bodice. Bernard has a ship in his hair. Susan has a red look in her eyes. Both are flushed. But I am pale, I am neat, and my knickerbockers are drawn together by a belt with a brass snake. I know the lesson by heart. I know more than they will ever know. I know my cases and my genders; I could know everything in the world if I wished. But I do not wish to come to the top and say my lesson. My roots are threaded, like fibres in a flowerpot, round and round about the world. I do not wish to come to the top and live in the light of this great clock, yellow-faced, which ticks and ticks. Jinny and Susan, Bernard and Neville bind themselves into a thong with which to lash me. They laugh at my neatness, at my Australian accent, I will now try to imitate Bernard softly lisping Latin.”
   “Those are white words,” said Susan, “like stones one PICKS UP by the seashore.”
   “They flick their tails right and left as I speak them,” said Bernard. “They wag their tails; they flick their tails; they move through the air in flocks, now this way, now that way, moving all together, now dividing, now coming together.”
   “Those are yellow words, those are fiery words,” said Jinny. “I should like a fiery dress, a yellow dress, a fulvous dress to wesr in the evening.”
   “Each tense,” said Neville, “means differently. There is an order in this world; there are distinctions, there are differences in this world, upon whose verge I step. For this is only a beginning.”
   “Now Miss Hudson,” said Rhoda, “has shut the book. Now the terror is beginning. Now taking her lump of chalk she draws figures, six, seven, eight, and then a cross and then a line on the blackboard. What is the answer? The others look; they look with understanding. Louis writes; Susan writes; Neville writes; Jinny writes; even Bernard has now begun to write. But I cannot write. I see only figures. The others are HANDING IN their answers, one by one. Now it is my turn. But I have no answer. The others are allowed to go. They slam the
Publicat dins de Sense categoria | Deixa un comentari