Dexway English Magazine: B2 – Edition 1

Moneyless society

MONEY MONEY MONEY

In 1661, Sweden was the first European city to introduce banknotes, and it looks like they are trying for another first by being the first cashless economy. As of 2012, only 3% of all transactions are made using cash compared to 9% of other EU countries. Credit cards, mobile phone and internet payments make up the other 97%.

In most Swedish cities, buses doesn’t take cash, so tickets must be purchased ahead of time and even churches are only accepting digital donations. The Swedish Bankers Association feels that it is more secure to do away with cash. Its security expert Par Karlsson said: “Less cash in circulation makes things safer, both for the staff that handle cash, but also of course for the public.” Notably bank robberies have gone down in Sweden from 110 in 2008 to 16 in 2011. The other positive is political corruption has decreased thanks to a digital trail. But you have to compare this to cybercrimes data. The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention reported increases of fraud cases from 3,304 in 2000 to 20,000 in 2011.

Small business owners are not very happy with cards versus cash. They feel it is a way for the banks to get richer, they charge from 5 Swedish kronor (€ 0.57) for every payment made by credit card. Do you think your country should switch to only cards?

Youth is a state of mind

 

Research carried out in Germany suggests that young people fixate more on their regrets more so than older adults who learn to overcome past situations they cannot change. These differences are scientifically proven and explained in detail further on.

One of the experiments conducted by Stefanie Brassen from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany and her colleagues studied 20 healthy 20-somethings, as well as 20 healthy adults and 20 depressed adults around 65 years old. All the participants played a simple gambling game inside a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine. A computer screen depicted a row of eight unopened wooden crates that the volunteers could open one at a time, from left to right. The participants knew that seven of the crates contained gold and that one contained a demon who would steal everything the participant had won and end the game. Each step of the way, the participants had the chance to stop and walk away with their earnings or keep playing and risk it all. If a participant decided to stop while they were ahead, the devil’s position in the row of crates was revealed, showing the participant whether they had missed out on lots more gold or avoided a close call.

The brain-imaging results showed that stronger spasms of regret rippled through the minds of young people and depressed adults than those of healthy older adults. When the 20-somethings and depressed adults realized that they had quit too soon, neural activity in the ventral striatum dropped far below levels observed when participants left the game at the right time. In contrast, ventral striatum activity barely changed in healthy older adults, regardless of whether their decision to leave cost them more gold. These adults only showed decreased activity in the ventral striatum when they accidentally released the demon, whereas the brains of young people and depressed adults treated uncovering the demon and leaving the game too soon as equally regretful outcomes.

Healthy older adults also seemed to more effectively suppress whatever regret they did feel. Many bands of neural tissue link the ventral striatum to the anterior cingulated cortex, a brain region known to regulate emotions. When healthy older adults left the game too soon or uncovered the devil, their anterior cingulated cortices were more active than those of 20-somethings and depressed people, suggesting that the older adults were dampening any negative feelings.

Couch Surfing

YOUR PLACE OR MINE?

3.6 (three point six) million profiles have been created on the web-site couchsurfing.com, 3.6 million potential couch surfers, couch surfing their way across the globe.

The word couch surfing has been around for a long time, and its literal meaning is spending one or two nights sleeping in one location, normally a couch or sofa but this may include the floor and then moving location to another place.

The modern image of couch surfing began in 1999 when the creator found a cheap flight from Boston to Iceland, having no where to stay he e-mailed 1,500 (One thousand five hundred) students at the University of Iceland. He received 50 (fifty) offers of accommodation and the idea entered into his head. What if there was a global community of coach surfers? What if I could sign up and pick a country, for example Australia and go and travel around without paying for accommodation, just surfing my way across the outback and then later I could share my home with people from South Africa who would come to learn the culture of my country. This is couch surfing.

It is a type of social networking but instead of communicating over distance, I actually go to the person’s house and they come to mine.

What are the benefits of this type of travel? What about disadvantages? Is it dangerous? What can we learn by travelling light? What benefits are there for learning a language?

3.6 (three point six) million profiles have been created on the web-site couchsurfing.com, 3.6 million potential couch surfers, couch surfing their way across the globe.

The word couch surfing has been around for a long time, and its literal meaning is spending one or two nights sleeping in one location, normally a couch or sofa but this may include the floor and then moving location to another place.

The modern image of couch surfing began in 1999 when the creator found a cheap flight from Boston to Iceland, having no where to stay he e-mailed 1,500 (One thousand five hundred) students at the University of Iceland. He received 50 (fifty) offers of accommodation and the idea entered into his head. What if there was a global community of coach surfers? What if I could sign up and pick a country, for example Australia and go and travel around without paying for accommodation, just surfing my way across the outback and then later I could share my home with people from South Africa who would come to learn the culture of my country. This is couch surfing.

It is a type of social networking but instead of communicating over distance, I actually go to the person’s house and they come to mine.

What are the benefits of this type of travel? What about disadvantages? Is it dangerous? What can we learn by travelling light? What benefits are there for learning a language?

Enterprise social software

 

It seems that the power of social networking cannot be avoided, even in the work place! The latest innovation in the world of businesses is Enterprise Social Software. Actually allowing workers to use social networking software to communicate while at work, the revolution is being lead by the social networking giant Facebook, clearly not content on invading our personal lives they also want to ensure that Facebook is the number one option for collaborative working. It seems that Enterprise Social Software is replacing corporate email as the main method of communication in the work place.

Some of the largest companies are advocating the use of whatsappsChatterSnapchatSlack and Yammer which they say speeds up communication between employees. Rather than an employee having to wade through emails that may not even include them the use of Enterprise Social Software allows only those interested in the conversation to be involved.

Because these applications are mobile, workers can be in the field or remote from the office and still be part of the conversation thus the barriers to communications are broken down which improves productivity. After all doesn´t everybody know how to use facebook and whatsapp already?

Digital music

A MUSIC DOWNLOAD REVOLUTION

Over the years, recorded music has gone through many different forms. It began as a wax cylinder, but now it can be contained on the smallest of microchips. Many of the early forms of music were difficult to reproduce – sometimes a musical group would need to play the same song 100 times in order to make 1000 records! Today, anyone with a computer or mp3 player can copy a song in a few seconds without the need for expensive equipment. This (and many other recording advancements) have led to a strong growth in the small independent musician. Many music groups can record and release their album without the need for an expensive production or distribution company to loan them money. The rise of this kind of music is called “indie” which is short for “independent.”

Not all of the change is good, though. Because of the convenience that comes with easier music production, many music groups left their bigger distribution companies and used their own homes to make, record, and distribute their music. Many people would say that this would be a good thing because the large companies would often take advantage of small bands by giving them unfair deals and contracts but this lead to many small record shops going out of busy.

City

 

A city can quite simply be described as a large and permanent human settlement. Cities have many functions, mostly they act as administration centres for the towns and villages around them, they may have a more advanced system of transport then a town, a large hospital with specialist services, universities, an airport and centres of commercial and retail activities.

At the end of the 19th century and due to improved transport links to major cities, more and more people moved to the outskirts of the larger cities. These areas became known as the suburbs contained houses, small shops and open green spaces. In the early 20th century town and city planners began to notice something very interesting, which was later termed the sphere of influence.

The sphere of influence suggests that around each settlement type there is a circle, if the coloured dots are our settlements the circles around them are the influence…which basically means how far somebody is willing to travel for a service. For a village or town the sphere is small but for a city or capital city the sphere can be larger. We are more prepared to go to a city or capital city to make use of the specialist services that may only occur in that location due to the size of the settlement.

With the growth of out of town shopping centres the requirement to go to major cities for services has reduced. When you consider basic services such a food shopping, health and fitness or beauty and grooming you may find you can take these services within walking distance of your house. For entertainment or clothes shopping or large purchases such as white goods you may find that you need to travel to a bigger population centre.

Dexway Copyright © 2020