Monday, 24 October 2016

convert youtube to mp4 and mp3 >>> how to download videos

Technology soon gets out of date - especially if you want to save something to listen to or to watch:
Jay Doubleyou: audio: how to...
Jay Doubleyou: video pt1 - how to...
Jay Doubleyou: video pt2 - how to...

Here's something more up to date, from Clip Converter:

Clip Converter is a free online media conversion application, which allows you to reocord, convert and download nearly any audio or video URL to common formats. Currently supported services: YouTube (720p, 1080p, 4K), Vimeo and many more. This free and fast converter allows you to watch your favorite YouTube videos offline on your PC, TV or nearly any other device.

How to convert and download a YouTube video:
1. Paste your YouTube URL at 'Video URL' and press Continue.
2. Select the format (MP3, MP4, M4A) and the options for the conversion. The default options are for most videos a good setting.
3. Press the 'Start' button at the bottom to start the conversion.
4. This may take several minutes. After the conversion is finished you can download the converted file. 

YouTube to MP4 & MP3 Converter and Video Download -

Sunday, 23 October 2016

do you enjoy reading?

Some great questions about reading on the latest Word of Mouth programme on BBC Radio 4:

Reading: The Science and the Pleasure

As part of the BBC LovetoRead campaign, Michael Rosen talks about his first experience in reading, with Dr Laura Wright, and how and what he reads now. They're joined by cognitive psychologist Professor Kathy Rastle to explain the amazing process by which we read, and to find out how fast the average reader reads, and how many words they know..

Reading: The Science and the Pleasure

It's part of the bigger campaign:
celebrating the pleasure of reading - #LovetoRead
#LovetoRead: Celebrating the pleasures of reading .

Monday, 17 October 2016

the uk's critical shortage of foreign language teachers

The Brits are not so keen on learning foreign languages
Jay Doubleyou: do the brits really need to learn a foreign language when everyone speaks english?

- which, after Brexit, is going to be even more of a problem:

Plan now to avoid post-Brexit languages crisis, say MPs

Children and teacher look at globeImage copyrightTHINKSTOCK
Image captionModern language teachers could be in even shorter supply once the UK leaves the EU

The government must plan now to avoid a post-Brexit languages crisis, say a cross-party group of MPs and peers.
Trade talks after leaving the EU will need more UK officials with language skills, say the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Modern Languages.
There is already a languages skills shortage but currently the UK can rely on other EU nationals "to plug the gap", say the group.
Ministers say their reforms are already boosting language learning in schools.

Language checklist

Launching a checklist on Brexit and languages, the group say lack of language ability loses the UK an estimated 3.5% of economic performance.
The country currently relies on the EU to negotiate trade deals but this will no longer be possible once the UK has left the Union, they add.
APPG co-chair Baroness Coussins said: "Brexit must make the UK's language skills a top policy issue.
"Language skills are vital for our exports, education, public services and diplomacy."

Chinese dictionaryImage copyrightTHINKSTOCK
Image captionLanguage skills are crucial to trade, diplomacy and security, say the MPs and peers

Baroness Coussins called for "a national plan to ensure the UK produces the linguists we need to become a world leader in global free trade and on the international stage."
The group identify a need to boost skills in both European and non-European languages for the purposes of trade, international relations and security.
In particular, they fear the loss of European language skills if EU nationals already living in the UK are not guaranteed residency status post Brexit.
They also want the UK to continue full participation in the Erasmus+ scheme, where young people study, work volunteer and train abroad in Europe, some working as language assistants in schools.
The checklist includes calls to:
  • Guarantee residency status for EU nationals already living in the UK
  • Continue full participation in Erasmus+
  • Set up a national plan to boost language education from primary school through to post-graduate level

'Critical shortage'

"It is essential that schools continue to be able to recruit EU nationals post-Brexit," said Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders.
"There is already a critical shortage of language teachers and the last thing that we need is anything which makes this situation worse.
"We understand that Brexit means Brexit but it is vital that it does not also mean a full-blown crisis in language teaching."
Sara Davidson, head of modern languages at the private Oundle School and chairwoman of the Independent Schools Modern Languages Association, said she did not know of a language department that did not employ native speakers.
"Native speakers are helping us out amidst a major recruitment crisis in modern language teaching.
"We simply do not currently produce enough linguists in this country to fill the modern language teaching vacancies we have."
Ruth Sinclair-Jones, UK director of Erasmus+, said the value of the scheme to the UK "cannot be underestimated".
"Losing UK participation would limit the future prospects of young people and the country as a whole," she said.
And Mark Herbert, head of schools programmes at the British Council, said: "Learning a language isn't just a rewarding way to connect with another culture but boosts individual job prospects, as well as business and trade opportunities for the UK."
A Department for Education spokeswoman said government policies meant the number of students taking one language at GCSE was up from 40% in 2010 to 49% this year.
The spokeswoman added: "The UK's future access to the Erasmus+ programme will be part of wider discussions with the EU.
"Existing higher education UK students studying in the EU will continue to be subject to current arrangements."

Plan now to avoid post-Brexit languages crisis, say MPs - BBC News

Thursday, 13 October 2016

how to write good

Grammar Rules for the Unenlightened or: How to Write Good
  • Don't use no double negatives.
  • Don't never use no triple negatives.
  • No sentence fragments
  • Stamp out and eliminate redundancy.
  • Avoid clichés like the plague.
  • All generalizations are bad.  
  • Take care that your verb and subject is in agreement.
  • A preposition is a bad thing to end a sentence with.
  • Down with categorical imperatives.
  • Avoid those run-on sentences that just go on, and on, and on, they never stop, they just keep rambling, and you really wish the person would just shut up, but no, they just keep going, they're worse than the Energizer Bunny, they babble incessantly, and these sentences, they just never stop, they go on forever...if you get my drift...
  • The passive voice should never be used.
  • When dangling, watch your participles.
  • Never go off on tangents, which are lines that intersect a curve at only one point and were discovered by Euclid, who lived in the sixth century, which was an era dominated by the Goths, who lived in what we now know as Poland...
  • Excessive use of exclamation points can be disastrous!!!!!
  • Remember to end each sentence with a period
  • Don't use commas, which aren't necessary.
  • Don't use question marks inappropriately?
  • Avoid tumbling off the cliff of triteness into the black abyss of overused metaphors.
  • Keep your ear to the grindstone, your nose to the ground, take the bull by the horns of a dilemma, and stop mixing your metaphors.
  • Avoid those abysmally horrible, outrageously repellent exaggerations.
  • Avoid any awful anachronistic aggravating antediluvian alliterations.
  • Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. 

With thanks to: RuSource

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

in britain we use our history in order to comfort us: this sort of handling of history is dangerous as well as regrettable.

It's our view of history that got us to where we are today:

For the most acute comment on the outlook for Brexit Britain, look neither to bankers nor economists – but to the British Museum’s former director. Speaking in Germany last week, Neil MacGregor described his compatriots’ habit of swaddling themselves in their past as if it were a blanket.

“In Britain we use our history in order to comfort us: to make us feel stronger, to remind ourselves that we were always, deep down, good people,” he said. “Maybe we mention a little bit of slave trade here and there, a few wars here and there, but the chapters we insist on are the sunny ones.” Then came the warning: “This sort of handling of history is dangerous as well as regrettable.”

It seems to me that MacGregor’s comments cut straight to the heart of what is most dangerous in Brexit Britain. What he’s describing is delusional thinking: the red-faced insistence on one’s beliefs despite the mountains of evidence that prove them wrong. Delusional thinking helped tip Britain out of the European Union: the promise of those sunlit uplands of £350m weekly cashback and thousands of trading opportunities. Three months later – even after all the warnings from the European leaders soon to be suing us for alimony, the anxiety from business associations and the repeated broadsides from financial markets – delusional thinking remains rife.

Take the helium-filled unreality of the Conservative party conference in Birmingham. There, the top draws were the Brexiteers, Liam Fox and David Davis. Men whose careers were lost down the political U-bend just two years ago were now the star turns.

At one packed fringe event I heard the MEP Daniel Hannan sketch out Britain’s glorious future (“We can trade with Kenya!”), drawing primarily on the 18th-century economist David Hume. Elsewhere, a colleague saw a businesswoman raise with David Davis her worries about foreign trade. The response from the new Brexit secretary was to cite the example of the Congress of Vienna, the diplomatic carve-up of the continent that concluded in 1815.

Then there was foreign secretary Boris Johnson describing his new offices: “When I go into the Map Room of Palmerston I cannot help remembering that this country over the last two centuries has directed the invasion or conquest of 178 countries.” Ah, the good old days, last seen in Rhodesia! How the conference hall loved that.

The crash in the pound punctures the delusion that Brexit Britain will flourish | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian

Here is Neil MacGregor speaking from Germany:

Britain's view of its history 'dangerous', says former museum director

Neil MacGregor, once of British Museum, says Britain has focus on ‘sunny side’ rather than German-like appraisal of past

Neil MacGregor, before the opening of the British View: Germany – Memories of a Nation at the Martin Gropius Bau exhibition hall. Photograph: Adam Berry/AFP/Getty

Kate Connolly in Berlin

Friday 7 October 2016

Neil MacGregor, the former director of the British Museum, has bemoaned Britain’s narrow view of its own history, calling it “dangerous and regrettable” for focusing almost exclusively on the “sunny side”.

Speaking before the Berlin opening of his highly popular exhibition Germany – Memories of a Nation, MacGregor expressed his admiration for Germany’s rigorous appraisal of its history which he said could not be more different to that of Britain.

“In Britain we use our history in order to comfort us to make us feel stronger, to remind ourselves that we were always, always deep down, good people,” he said. “Maybe we mention a little bit of slave trade here and there, a few wars here and there, but the chapters we insist on are the sunny ones,” he said.

Neil MacGregor: ‘Britain forgets its past. Germany confronts it’

MacGregor warned: “This sort of handling of history is dangerous as well as regrettable”.

Germany’s approach towards accounting for its Nazi past had been in contrast “rigorous and courageous”, and had earned it admiration around the world, he said, speaking in fluent German.

He said Germans had given expression to their the worst chapter of their history in extensive memorials and Mahnmale (‘monuments to national shame’). “It’s telling that in English we don’t even have a word like ‘Mahnmal’,” he said. “The term is just too alien to us.”

MacGregor said that an example of how Britain was selective with the truth was the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo. “We learn in school that it was the Britons who finally, finally beat Bonaparte in Waterloo and got rid of him,” he said. But it was often forgotten that it had been an Anglo-Prussian alliance that defeated him. “As Wellington himself said, without Blücher, (the commander of the Prussian army, Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher) we wouldn’t have managed to defeat him ... This was joint German-British effort, but we don’t learn it that way”.

Gereon Sievernich, director of the Martin Gropius Bau where the exhibition is due to open on Saturday, thanked MacGregor and the exhibition’s curator, Barrie Cook, for having “given the Britons another view of Germany, and for giving the Germans their Germany back.”

Memories of a Nation, which showed at the British Museum and was accompanied by a BBC Radio series, explores the memories of a united Germany through 200 diverse objects, including the first motor car, from the 1880s, the entry gate to the Buchenwald concentration camp, and a wet suit used by someone trying to escape communist East Germany via the Baltic Sea.

Appointment of Neil MacGregor as head of Humboldt Forum silences critics

MacGregor said the exhibition was conceived some time before the EU referendum. But he said the exhibition’s glimpse at Germany’s long tradition of decentralisation of power – for hundreds of years it consisted of many kingdoms each with their own currency – highlighted one of the major differences between Britain and Germany. “If you’re looking for reasons for Brexit, just the idea there were no hard and fast borders in Germany explains ... how Europe is shaped today, but makes an island folk like ours panic,” he said.

MacGregor, who is also involved in creating the Humboldt Forum in Berlin, a new German equivalent to the British Museum, said he was curious to see how the British view of German history would be received by the public in Berlin, following the success of its London run. He said he would welcome a similar exhibition about British history from a German perspective, “precisely because it be helpful for us to have our own history explained to us from an outside perspective,” he said.

Britain's view of its history 'dangerous', says former museum director | Culture | The Guardian




Sunday, 9 October 2016

poetry on bbc radio

Radio 3's The Verb: is a good starting point.

Last Friday's programme was looking at Sound Frontiers on National Poetry Day

And a special guest was Luke Kennard
- with examples of his pieces here: being read by the poet: poetryarchive
and here are a few more poems: poetrysociety

There is Radio 4's Sunday afternoon slot, which lately has been Conversations on a Bench:

Anna Scott-Brown returns to hear more stories from the people who stop to sit beside her on benches around the country. In this episode, she is joined on a bench overlooking Beadnell Harbour in Northumberland by holiday-makers, environmentalists and some members of the last remaining fishing families of Beadnell.
Throughout the programme, a specially commissioned work by poet and Beadnell resident, Katrina Porteous draws on the voices of locals and passers by.

There is the nation's favourite, Poetry Please

And the last episode took us to Seamus Heaney's work Poetry Please - Death of a Naturalist

Here is one example from the book of poems, Death of a Naturalist:

Mid-Term Break 

I sat all morning in the college sick bay
Counting bells knelling classes to a close.
At two o'clock our neighbors drove me home.

In the porch I met my father crying--
He had always taken funerals in his stride--
And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.

The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram
When I came in, and I was embarrassed
By old men standing up to shake my hand

And tell me they were 'sorry for my trouble,'
Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest,
Away at school, as my mother held my hand

In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs.
At ten o'clock the ambulance arrived
With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.

Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops
And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him
For the first time in six weeks. Paler now,

Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple,
He lay in the four foot box as in his cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.

A four foot box, a foot for every year.

Here are some more wonderful pieces and programmes from BBC Radio: Readings

Monday, 3 October 2016

grayson perry and philip larkin on the british

A charming programme yesterday:
BBC Radio 3 - Private Passions, Grayson Perry

Listen to Philip Larkin at 36:30:

Vers de Société

Related Poem Content Details

My wife and I have asked a crowd of craps
To come and waste their time and ours: perhaps   
You’d care to join us? In a pig’s arse, friend.   
Day comes to an end.
The gas fire breathes, the trees are darkly swayed.   
And so Dear Warlock-Williams: I’m afraid—

Funny how hard it is to be alone.
I could spend half my evenings, if I wanted,   
Holding a glass of washing sherry, canted   
Over to catch the drivel of some bitch   
Who’s read nothing but Which;
Just think of all the spare time that has flown

Straight into nothingness by being filled   
With forks and faces, rather than repaid   
Under a lamp, hearing the noise of wind,   
And looking out to see the moon thinned   
To an air-sharpened blade.
A life, and yet how sternly it’s instilled

All solitude is selfish. No one now
Believes the hermit with his gown and dish   
Talking to God (who’s gone too); the big wish   
Is to have people nice to you, which means   
Doing it back somehow.
Virtue is social. Are, then, these routines

Playing at goodness, like going to church?
Something that bores us, something we don’t do well   
(Asking that ass about his fool research)   
But try to feel, because, however crudely,   
It shows us what should be?
Too subtle, that. Too decent, too. Oh hell,

Only the young can be alone freely.
The time is shorter now for company,
And sitting by a lamp more often brings
Not peace, but other things.
Beyond the light stand failure and remorse   
Whispering Dear Warlock-Williams: Why, of course—
Philip Larkin, "Vers de Société" from Collected Poems. Copyright © Estate of Philip Larkin.  Reprinted by permission of Faber and Faber, Ltd.
Source: Collected Poems (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2001)
Vers de Société by Philip Larkin - Poetry Foundation
Vers De Societe - Philip Larkin - YouTube

And Grayson has had fun looking at the British:
All In The Best Possible Taste With Grayson Perry, Channel 4 (UK) Trailer, 40" - YouTube

With an overview of his work:
Grayson Perry's The Vanity of Small Differences - YouTube

fronted adverbials

Fronted adverbials have been in the news:
Quiz: Can you pass a primary school grammar test? - Telegraph
Grammar teaching in primary schools a poor use of time | Schools Week
School Governor: why I took my children out of class to travel the world - Telegraph

Here we have an attempt to explain to parents - but the examples are not very good:

For example:

The fronted adverbials in these sentences are in blue.

Fronted adverbials explained for parents | Fronted adverbials KS2 | TheSchoolRun

Here are a few boo-boos from the heart of government:
Gird your fronted adverbials: 14 grammatical mistakes in the schools White Paper | News

And how good is your grammar?

Could you pass the new SATs test?

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: April 20, 2016

By Michelle Hurst

I RECENTLY expressed my concern at the Government bid to curb the extraneous exclamation mark and the fact that the marking guidance was just one point among pages and pages of rules on marking Key Stage 1 tests.

The guidance included finding evidence of the use of fronted adverbials, subordinating conjunctions, co-ordinating conjunctions, articles, interrogative pronouns, subject-verb inversion and so on – and the tests are for Year Two ... ages 6 to 7!

Further to that, the changes to Year Six SATs push the boundaries even further – in fact they are being compared to GCSE English level.

I support raising standards. What I do not support, as an outsider merely commenting, is putting children off learning at the very stage in their lives when you can either grab them for the rest of the school days – or lose them entirely.

As one headteacher wrote in a resignation letter to their school near Darlington last week: "I believe that the standards set for our pupils to achieve this year, in Year Two and in Year Six, have been raised to a point where the pupils are being set up to fail.

"The current expectations will not raise standards. They will turn pupils off from what should be an exciting time in their lives, with pupils being branded as failures.

"The unrealistic expectations of the Year Six SATs will also result in resits for failed SAT tests being carried out in Year Seven.

"Teaching to the test is becoming a normal and there is a move away from the broad and balanced curriculum as teaching focuses on a test – yet no expectation of a pass mark has been given. The teachers are working endlessly towards an unset goal."

And the teachers have to learn it all, each time it changes. You might not think that's an issue – and it is their job – but just see how you get on with these sample SATs questions for Year Six, ages 10 and 11 via, where you can take the test yourself and see how you get on:

1. In this sentence, is the word after being used as a subordinating conjunction or as a preposition? He moved here after the end of the war.
Subordinating conjunction

2. Find the adverb in the sentence below.
"Soon," he thought, "I'll be able to see my family."
Soon, he, thought, I'll, be, able, to, see, my or family.

3. What does the word "Others" refer to in the passage below?

Some plants, such as sunflowers, die in winter. Others, such as daffodils, survive as bulbs underground.
Plants, sunflowers, daffodils or bulbs

4. Tick the option that shows how the underlined words are used in the sentence.

My baby brother was born in the hospital where my father works.
as a preposition phrase
as a relative clause
as a main clause
as a noun phrase

5. In this sentence, is the word after being used as a subordinating conjunction or as a preposition?

I went to the cinema after I had eaten my dinner.
Subordinating conjunction

6. Which one shows how the modal verb affects the meaning of the sentence?

You could finish your work by the end of the lesson.
Modal verb indicates certainty
Modal verb indicates possibility

7. Which sentences contain a preposition?
Ali locked the door before he left.
The shops are beyond the main road.
My brother is behind me in the race.
Barry is below Andrew in the register.

8. Which sentence is written in the active voice?
The book was returned to the library yesterday.
The assembly was held in the hall.
The bad weather led to the cancellation.
The floods were caused by the heavy rain.

9. Which sentence uses the past progressive?
After Ali finished his homework, he went out to play.
Gemma was doing her science homework.
Jamie learnt his spellings every night.
Anna found her history homework difficult.

10. Tick all the determiners in the sentence below.

Two apple trees screened the open windows on one side.
Two, apple, trees, screened, the, open, windows, on, one or side.

Oh, and by the way, you have ten minutes ...

See how you get on with the test at

Could you pass the new SATs test? | Grimsby Telegraph