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Vacation and Travelling

Questions for discussion:

Vacation and Travelling

Questions for discussion:

City Life

Questions for discussion:

Junk Food

Questions for discussion:

Appearance

Questions for discussion:

  1. What things do you first notice about someone's appearance?
  2. What do you think when you look at yourself in the mirror?
  3. What, in your opinion, is special in your appearance?
  4. What styles of dress do you like most of all?
  5. How much time do you spend on your appearance when you want to look really good? What is good looking for you?

Planning

Questions for discussion:

  1. Do you schedule your day? Do you need planning in your everyday life? At work?
  2. Do you use personal assistant, any planning apps or personal organizer?
  3. Do you plan your deals for a week, a month, six months?
  4. How do you prioritize your deals?
  5. Why is planning important for work?

Technologies

Questions for discussion:

  1. What electronics and household appliances can you manage without? For how long?
  2. How many electronic devices and household appliances can you remember?
  3. Do you remember how did the first mobile phone look like?
  4. At what age did you get your first mobile phone? How did it look like?

Partnership & Teamwork

Questions for discussion, Partnership:

  1. What is a partnership for you?
  2. Do you think personal partnership should be treated same as work or business partnership?
  3. Have you ever been in a business partnership?
  4. What is necessary for successful business partnership?

Should we work less?

Reading:

Many of us tend to think of our brain not as muscles, but as a computer: a machine capable of constant work. Not only is that untrue, but pushing ourselves to work for hours without a break can be harmful, some experts say. The idea that you can indefinitely stretch out your deep focus and productivity time to these arbitrary limits is really wrong. It’s self-defeating,” says research scientist Andrew Smart, author of Autopilot. “If you’re constantly putting yourself into this cognitive debt, where your physiology is saying ‘I need a break’ but you keep pushing yourself, you get this low-level stress response that’s chronic – and, over time, extraordinarily dangerous.”

Responsibility

Part I, questions for discussion:

  1. What is responsibility?
  2. What should a responsible friend/spouse/parent/sibling/grandparent be like?
  3. What are the responsibilities of parents? Should parents support their children financially while they are studying at university?
  4. Do you agree that in Russia there are many adults living in dependence on their parents?
  5. How should kids be raised so that they become responsible and not live off their parents?

5 ways to build lasting self-esteem

Reading:

Everyone is in favor of high self-esteem — but cultivating it can be surprisingly tough. Psychologist Guy Winch explains why — and describes smart ways we can help build ourselves up.

Many of us recognize the value of improving our feelings of self-worth. When our self-esteem is higher, we not only feel better about ourselves, we are more resilient as well. Brain scan studies demonstrate that when our self-esteem is higher, we are likely to experience common emotional wounds such as rejection and failure as less painful, and bounce back from them more quickly. When our self-esteem is higher, we are also less vulnerable to anxiety; we release less cortisol into our bloodstream when under stress, and it is less likely to linger in our system.

Cheating in School

Reading: 

There have always been kids that have chosen to cheat in school, but today’s tech gadgets have made it easier and more common than before. With the majority of teens and tweens carrying cell phones, answers to test questions can zing around a classroom in minutes. Here are some examples of the ways teens are cheating at school:

Morality, Empathy and Altruism

Morality

  1. What qualities does a high-minded person have?
  2. Do we need religion to be people of good morals? Are we obliged to religion for the existence of morality?
  3. The vision of morality is different in various cultures. Why?
  4. Is it necessary to create universal moral values? If so, what should they be like?

Respect and Tolerance

Respect

  1. Who do you respect most of all? Why?
  2. What qualities should person have to earn your respect?
  3. Have you been in a situation when you didn’t respect a person, but he/she did something that made you change your attitude to him/her? What did he/she do?
  4. Have you been in a situation when you weren’t respected by someone, but afterwards earned his/her respect? What had changed?

Self-Identification

Personal Identity

  1. What views have you changed during your lifetime? How and why did you change them? Think about:
  • religious worldview;
  • political views;
  • attitude to bad habits;
  • attitude to money;
  • attitude to time;
  • views about relationships;
  • views about marriage and family;
  • views about friendship;
  • preference in music, books, movies.

Intelligence (revised)

  1. What is intelligence?
  2. What makes a person intelligent?
  3. Should a person read a lot to be intelligent?
  4. Do you need higher education to be intelligent?
  5. Should an intelligent person have high morality?
  6. Is being intelligent means being able to think critically?
  7. Does intelligence make people more attractive?
  8. Who is the most intelligent person around your way?
  9. Who is the most intelligent person among famous people? Why do you think so?

Work-life Balance (revised)

Loving your job is BAD for your career as you work too hard in the evenings and are outperformed by colleagues who come in refreshed

  • People who feel their job is integral to their life may find it hard to be productive
  • These people are less able to successfully disengage from work in the evenings 
  • This limits their energy levels the following morning and their ability to focus

Teenagers: Why do they rebel? (revised)

Teenagers say what REALLY annoys them about their mothers

Singing in the car, trying to be one of the gang and Facebook friend requests: Teenagers give their (toe-curling) views on what REALLY annoys them about their mothers

  • Joe Lawrence, 17, from London, is sick of his mother Julia singing in the car
  • Olivia Becci, 17, from London, wants her mother Anna-Maria to stop trying to be one of the girl gang when her friends come over to her house 
  • Seth Daker, 18, from Ripponden, West Yorkshire, wants his mother Nicky to stop sending him friend requests on social media including Facebook and Twitter

Critical Thinking

Why do lions have manes? And what noise should a new musical instrument make? Why Oxford University asks its applicants bizarre questions

  • Oxford University reveals the conundrums it poses to candidates in interviews
  • Law applicants could be asked about running red lights on empty roads at night
  • Biological sciences candidates face questions about why lions have manes
  • It comes just days before the October 15 deadline for would-be undergraduates to apply for a place to start at Oxford next autumn

New Year and Christmas

How to Make (and Keep) a New Year's Resolution

Are you making a resolution for 2018? Warning: More than half of all resolutions fail, but this year, they don’t have to be yours. Here’s how to identify the right resolution to improve your life, create a plan on how to reach it, and become part of the small group of people that successfully achieve their goal.

Is Empathy Overrated?

Reading: While it may result in tremendous good, empathy can also be narrow, biased and surprisingly insensitive, argues psychology professor Paul Bloom.

Does empathy make the world a better place? It certainly looks like it. After all, empathy drives people to treat others’ suffering as if it were their own, which then motivates action to make the suffering go away. I see the bullied teenager and might be tempted initially to join in with his tormentors, out of sadism or boredom or a desire to dominate or be popular, but then I empathize — I feel his pain, I feel what it’s like to be bullied — so I don’t add to his suffering. Maybe I even rise to his defense. Empathy is like a spotlight directing attention and aid to where it’s needed.

Pets

Dog's dinner: DNA clue to how dogs became our friends

Dogs have been dining on human food scraps since the early days of their domestication, it appears.

Our canine companions developed the ability to digest starchy foods during the farming revolution thousands of years ago, according to DNA evidence. Scientists think dogs may have been domesticated from wolves when they came into settlements, scrounging for food. Modern dogs can tolerate starch-rich diets, unlike their wolf cousins, which are carnivores.

Copyright and Internet Piracy

2317 New Editions from Amazon by Decades

Our Lost Culture: What We Lose From Having Killed The Public Domain

Yesterday, for Copyright Week, we wrote about transparency (and the lack of it in making copyright law). Today's issue is the public domain. While we just wrote about the lack of new works going into the public domain this year (as happens every year in the US), I've seen some copyright maximalists asking why this is a big deal, since all the works listed are readily available to purchase. This is uninformed in the extreme. In the past I've suggested that everyone interested in these issues owes it to themselves to read James Boyle's excellent book, The Public Domain, and I'll reiterate that recommendation now. Not surprisingly, the book is available online for free, though you can also purchase a copy, which is a worthwhile investment. 

Positive Thinking: Is it something we all need to learn?

Why pessimists have a reason to be cheerful

Whatever explains Japan’s chart-topping life expectancy, it isn’t being really chipper all the time

For critics of positive thinking like me, as well as for plain old curmudgeons (also like me, to be fair), it’s an awkward truth that an optimistic outlook does seem to lead to a healthier life. Scientists, with their annoying fixation on facts, have published study after study suggesting that an upbeat attitude protects you from cancer, heart disease and stroke. In one big analysis of American women, the most optimistic were 29% less likely to die, during a six-year follow-up, than the least; in another, involving men too, people with positive views of ageing ended up living longer.

Do we need psychologists?

Bosses should be sent on mental health courses to stop employees becoming stressed and depressed, claims major study as expert reveals tips to make you happier at work

  • Employees reported 18% less sick days if their manager went on the course
  • Hectic workloads can often lead to poor mental health - resulting in sick days
  • The world-first University of New South Wales research is dubbed 'promising'

Professional Identity

Choosing a profession

  1. What is your profession? What personality traits one should have to get it?
  2. What influenced your career choice? By what criteria did you make a choice?
  3. What kind of talents does a person need to be a professional in your field of work?
  4. What are your talents? How do you utilize your potential at work? Which of your talents do you develop just for yourself as a hobby (if you have one)?

Hobbies and Interests

  1. What hobbies do you have?
  2. Name three hobbies that you would have liked to try out and why?
  3. What are your interests? Is there any activity you would really like to do, but have no time for it?
  4. How do you usually spend your free time? How do you perceive it: as an opportunity for rest & relaxation or the time for developing yourself, making something important?
  5. Have your hobbies changed throughout the years? How have the changed and why do you think that is?

Experience

Questions for discussion:

  1. What is experience? What kinds of experience can you name?
  2. What do you consider positive and negative experience? What is more useful for your self-development?
  3. Do you think experience can be of different quality?
  4. What are the ways we get new experience?
  5. Have you ever started doing something in order to have new experience? Was it difficult for you?

Advice

Questions for discussion:

Loneliness....cancer or cure?

Questions for discussion:

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