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Category Archives: travel

Do you look like yourself in your passport photo? 

My New Passport

My New Passport (Photo credit: Tom Raftery)

A study by researchers at Glasgow University has shown that people are unrecognisable in their passport photos because they are not allowed to smile.  Biometric passports, which were introduced in 2006, require a serious expression: no grinning or smiling is allowed.  They use information about the face to identify people, such as the distance between the eyes and the position of the nose and mouth.  However, it has been shown that this serious expression makes it extremely difficult for a stranger to recognize a face.  The study concludes that checking passport photos may not be the best way to spot imposters at border controls.

Listen below

Read by Annette

Study the words

Unrecognisable –  impossible to identify

Allowed – permitted

Grinning – smiling with your teeth showing

Checking –  inspecting

Spot– see, notice

Imposters – people with false passports

Listen on audioboo (and subscribe to i-tunes podcast) here

Do the takeaway test: passport photos


 Do you love New York?  Read on…

If you own an original ‘I love New York’ T-shirt, mug or key ring, hold onto it.  It could soon become a collector’s piece.  The Governor of New York has launched a campaign inviting tourists and locals to replace the red heart symbol with whatever they think most represents the city.  Apparently, the logo needs a makeover because it has lost its meaning.   I Love New York logoIt has become a cliché.  In fact, you can find ‘I heart something’ on products all over the world. Some of the suggestions have caused controversy, such as a slice of pizza or a beach ball.  New Yorkers and the original designer of the logo are not impressed.  Let’s face it, ‘I pizza New York’ just doesn’t work.  Let’s hope they come up with a better idea soon.


Read by Crissy Faita Learning English Matters (Canadian accent)

Study the words

Mug– a large cup

Key Ring–  a holder for keys

Hold onto– keep

Launched– started

Makeover– complete change

Cliché– boring, predictable

Controversy– disagreement

Let’s face it– accept the facts

Come up with– think of / invent 

Do the takeaway test: New York

Answer a tiny question:

Listen on audioboo (and subscribe to itunes podcast) here 

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