Sunday, December 31, 2006

#241 What was the highlight of your year? (2006)

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

PeeVee TV and grouper have the best quality.
Watch Me TV is quite slow.

End of Year special

What was the highlight of your year?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Show 240 Friday 29 December

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

The Daily English Show has a special guest for the first time ever!
It would be great to have more guests on the show - so please come and visit if you're in Niseko.
Everyone is welcome ... but preference given to cute babies, of course : )


Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show. Today, for the first time I have a special guest on the show. So I’d like you to meet Shion.
Shion is from Tokyo but is in Hokkaido for a couple of days.


Kia ora, this is Stick News. Hawaii’s new smoke-free law has been in place for over a month. Smoking in bars and restaurants is now illegal but officials are still in the process of educating tourists about the ban.

Millions of people in the world enjoy smoking tobacco. Unfortunately it isn’t very healthy for the person smoking it or for the people around them.
So many countries have recently passed new laws banning smoking in public places.
Last month the Smoke-Free Hawaii Law went into effect.
Smoking is now banned in all public places such as restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, malls, and airports.
There are already similar laws in 13 other states in America so officials say Americans are used to the policies.
But some are worried about international visitors. The largest group of foreign tourists to Hawaii are Japanese and some people are worried they won’t immediately adjust or understand the new policies.
In Japan it’s still OK to smoke in most restaurants and bars.

Some people (in Hawaii) are worried about the effect the ban will have on tourism. But according to the state Health Department, most residents and tourists said they favor the new law.
And that was Stick News for Friday the 29th of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

Today a special guest from Tokyo visited the studio. So we took him out for lunch.
He ate rice.
Then we went to Hirafu. We drove past the gondola and saw a really big queue. I think it was because it was windy so they slowed the gondola down. There isn’t usually a queue at the gondola.
We went to a bar in Hirafu.
It was the first time Shion had been to a bar. He seemed to really enjoy himself.

conversations with sarah
#147 Where did you find the baby?

Step 1: Repeat Kaoru’s lines.
Step 2: Read Kaoru’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Kaoru Where did you find the baby?

Sarah He’s my boyfriend’s nephew.

Kaoru Nephew? What does that mean?

Sarah Nephew means your brother or sister’s son.

Kaoru Oh, that’s right.

Sarah If it’s a girl, it’s called a niece.

Kaoru Do you have any nieces or nephews?

Sarah Yeah, I have one niece. My sister has a daughter.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Show 239 Thursday 28 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

So, I’ve decided what I’m going to do for New Year’s Eve. I’m going to snowboard down the mountain holding a torch. I watched this event last year – I came to Niseko for two weeks over Christmas and New Year.

Last year I watched and this year I’m going to participate. Anyone can do it – you just have to go and register.
So that’s going to be interesting. I wonder if I’ll be able to get to the bottom without crashing into someone with a burning torch.

And today I tried drawing with this. So you’ll be able to see my masterpieces in questionanswer today.


Kia ora this is Stick News. In New Zealand a local council is helping parents pay for nappies in an effort to reduce waste.

Many parents use disposable nappies because they can’t be bothered washing cloth nappies. Disposable nappies are convenient – but disposing of them is an expensive task for councils.
Nappy waste occupies 2 per cent of the total waste system and costs ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Each baby who uses disposables puts two tonnes of waste into New Zealand landfills during their infancy.
To reduce waste Christchurch City Council wanted to encourage parents to use cloth nappies. So they introduced a Nappy Subsidies Scheme. Under this scheme, the council subsidizes starter packs of washable fitted nappies.
The scheme began as a trial last month and more than 600 packs have now been sold.

The Christchurch City Council says the trial scheme has been such a success they decided to continue for another month.
And that was Stick News for Thursday the 28th of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

It started snowing tonight for the first time in ages. Good, good.

conversations with sarah
#146 What did you do last New Years?

Step 1: Repeat Jen’s lines.
Step 2: Read Jen’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Jen What did you do last New Years?

Sarah Watched TV until just before midnight and then went up the mountain for the countdown.

Jen What did you watch on TV?

Sarah Kohaku, Pride and K1.

Jen What’s Kohaku?

Sarah It’s a Japanese New Year show. It’s a kind of singing competition.

Jen Is it popular?

Sarah I think it used to be but the ratings have been dropping recently.

Jen How was the K1 and Pride?

Sarah Not that great from what I remember.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Show 238 Wednesday 27 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

When I was looking for videos on YouTube for the Christmas video, I noticed something interesting - that a lot of Americans didn’t say Merry Christmas they said Happy Holidays instead.

I thought that was curious because I’ve never come across that before. I don’t know it’s a new thing or if people have been saying happy holidays for a long time.

In NZ and in Japan people say Merry Christmas and I’ve never heard of anyone not wanting to say it.

So - I guess it is something to do with religion ... which seems kind of odd to me because when I say Merry Christmas it doesn’t have any religious meaning ... it’s just like saying cheers or “have a nice day”!

And I think it’s an interesting language topic – so if you have an American English teacher or friend then it could be interesting to ask them if they say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays and ask them why.


Kia ora in Stick News today the Australian government is recruiting spies.
They’re looking for people with foreign language ability – especially Chinese and Arabic.

Australian spies who work at home, work for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).
The spies who work overseas, work for the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS).
ASIO spies are responsible for protecting the country against terrorism, sabotage and spies from other countries.
Apparently, China has recently been sending lots of spies to Australia. They pretend to be diplomats or businesspeople.
So the ASIO has been recruiting spies who speak Chinese.
ASIO hasn’t confirmed the increases in Chinese-speaking spies, but says they’ve been on a major recruitment drive since the September 2001 attacks in the United States. They now have 1200 spies. This is double the number of spies they had in 2001. And they aim to increase that number to 2000.

According to newspaper reports most new Australian spies are fluent in Chinese – but the spy organisation is having less success recruiting Arabic speakers.
And that was Stick News for Wednesday the 27th of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

It rained today. This is what snow looks like on the street after a lot of rain.

conversations with sarah
#145 Do people celebrate Christmas in Japan?

Step 1: Repeat Natalie’s lines.
Step 2: Read Natalie’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Natalie Do people celebrate Christmas in Japan?

Sarah Yeah, some people do. It’s not a religious holiday for most people though.

Natalie What do they celebrate then?

Sarah It’s just a fun event – like Halloween. But for most people it’s just a normal day so they work. I think young couples are probably the most likely to do something for Christmas.

Natalie How do they celebrate?

Sarah A typical thing might be that a couple goes out for a romantic dinner and the guy gives the girl a present like jewelry ... and then they go for a walk and look at Christmas lights.

Natalie Do they eat any special food?

Sarah Oh, yeah, there’s Christmas cake ... but it’s not the same as what people call Christmas cake in New Zealand.

Natalie What kind of cake is it?

Sarah It’s a kind of sponge cake with strawberries on top.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Show 237 Tuesday 26 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
I hope you had a great Christmas day yesterday and Boxing Day today!

Thanks to everyone in Niseko who took part in my Christmas video. I’m not sure if they will all actually remember taking part.
And thanks to everyone who took part in my first YouTube collaboration. I hope they don’t mind.
Yes, it was super lazy style collaboration - I just filmed the computer screen : )

I tried to reply to some of the comments – but YouTube seems to be going through a disappearing comment phase. Maybe it’s something to do with the HOT BRAZILIAN GIRLS ... I don’t know.

Anyway I got a couple of Christmas presents and one of them was a donkey.
Wow. A few days ago I was a regular person and now I’m a donkey owner.
I’m pretty happy about this because ... it’s cute and I don’t actually have to take care of it or anything.

I don’t know where my donkey is but apparently it is helping a family living in poverty.
So I hope the donkey is happy and I hope the family is happy too.


Kia ora this is Stick News. James Brown died early yesterday morning. He was 73.

James Joseph Brown was born in South Carolina in 1933.
As a child he helped support his family by picking cotton and shining shoes.
When he was 16 he was convicted of armed robbery and sent to a juvenile detention center.
Brown stayed in prison for 3 years. Then he became a boxer, then a baseball pitcher, then a musician.
He was married 4 times and had another 2 year stint in prison from 1988 after various offences relating to violence, drugs and driving.
Brown had many hits.
Wikipedia says he was a prolific singer, songwriter, bandleader and record producer.
Brown was a seminal force in the evolution of gospel and rhythm and blues into soul and funk. He left his mark on numerous other musical genres, including rock, jazz, reggae, disco, dance and electronic music, afrobeat, and hip-hop.
Throughout his career, Brown had many nicknames including Soul Brother Number One, Mr. Dynamite, the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business, Minister of The New New Super Heavy Funk, Mr. Please Please Please, and The Boss.
But his most well-known title was the Godfather of Soul.

James Brown died of heart failure which was related to pneumonia. And that was Stick News for Tuesday the 26th of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

The conditions were really good on the mountain on Saturday. I took some photos from the top of the mountain at 10 to five. It gets dark really early.

conversations with sarah
#144 What happened to your eye?

Step 1: Repeat Nobu’s lines.
Step 2: Read Nobu’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Nobu What happened to your eye?

Sarah This?

Nobu Yeah. Did someone punch you in the face?

Sarah Yeah.

Nobu Really?!?

Sarah No. I just fell over on the mountain.

Nobu When you were snowboarding?

Sarah Yeah.

Nobu That’s a strange place to injure yourself.

Sarah Yeah, you have to be a pretty talented snowboarder to fall over and smack your face into the mountain.

Monday, December 25, 2006

#236 Merry Christmas from Niseko Japan (and YouTube) 2006

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Christmas special!

Thanks to everyone in Niseko who took part : )
And everyone on YouTube ... I hope you don't mind : )

Merry Christmas everyone!

love sarah xxx

Sunday, December 24, 2006

#235 Beer

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Sunday Kitchen #29 Beer

These are three of the most popular beers in Japan.
Asahi, Kirin and Sapporo.

Beer usually comes in a bottle or a can.

Cans are easier to open because you just need your finger.
With a bottle you need a bottle opener ... so cans are better from an easy access point of view.

There are many sizes of can.
I don’t recommend these two sizes - too small. And this one’s probably too big. Either of these two sizes is probably your best bet.

You can drink this beer if you’re blind too because it has braille on the top.
I wonder what it says. Maybe it says pull. Or maybe it says beer.

You drink the beer straight out of the can or bottle or you can pour it into a glass.

Any size or shape is OK. But I recommend this one. Drinking beer out of a wine glass isn’t illegal ... but it’s kind of weird.

When you pour the beer you should tilt the glass.
This is what happens if you don’t tilt the glass.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

#234 How NOT To Make A Video Blog

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

How NOT to make a video blog.

Warning: This video is fake and contains "hating".

I felt like making a video for the "how not to" contest... but after I entered it I read the rules: US citizens only. Oh well : )

Friday, December 22, 2006

Show 233 Friday 22 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I'm Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
In the United Kingdom there is a royal family – which you probably know.
And Queen Elizabeth the 2nd is the head of the royal family.
And she is the head of state in New Zealand too – and 15 other countries. Here’s the list:
Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Growing up in New Zealand it always seemed pretty bizarre that this woman so far away was supposed to be our queen.
Every year she gives a Christmas message, on Christmas day. And my family didn’t have a TV – but if we were at a relative’s place we sometimes watched it ... I don’t ever remember listening to the content – we just had a giggle at the way she was speaking – because the way she speaks is quite unique. She speaks very slowly. It would probably be quite good for English students if we all started talking like the queen actually.

I just read a few of her old speeches on her website ... and I quite like their
messages. They’re quite peaceful.

This is part of her speech last year:

This last year has reminded us that this world is not always an easy or a safe place to live in, but it is the only place we have. I believe also that it has shown us all how our faith - whatever our religion - can inspire us to work together in friendship and peace for the sake of our own and future generations.


Kia ora this is Stick News. This year for the first time the Queen’s Christmas message will be available as a podcast.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor became the Queen of England and many other countries in 1952.
Since then she’s given a speech every year on Christmas day except 1969.
Elizabeth hasn’t her traditional dress style much over last 50 years.
But no one could accuse her of being a technophobe.
In 1955 her messages were able to be heard on TV.
Two years later, there were pictures too.
In 1998 the speech was on the internet.
And this year, The Queen’s Christmas Message will also be also be a podcast.

Royal commentators have speculated that it’s only a matter of time before the queen starts video blogging. Rumors are rife in Buckingham Palace that the queen is already addicted to YouTube.
And that was Stick News for Friday the 22nd of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

The sun was out again today. Mmm not good.

conversations with sarah
#143 Do you celebrate Christmas?

Step 1: Repeat Kaori’s lines.
Step 2: Read Kaori’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Kaori Are you a Christian?

Sarah No.

Kaori Do you celebrate Christmas?

Sarah Yeah, I do.

Kaori What do you usually do?

Sarah Well, since I’ve been in Japan – nothing special. But when I was in New Zealand I used to spend it with family.

Kaori Why do you celebrate Christmas if you’re not a Christian?

Sarah Well ... it means different things to different people. So for me it’s just a time to get together with family and have fun.

Kaori Are your parents Christian?

Sarah No, they’re not. But my grandparents are.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Show 232 Thursday 21 December

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English show. I came across a South African YouTuber the other day. This is his name: khayav

In South Africa people speak English and a whole lot of other languages too apparently. You might never have heard South African English. Especially if you’re from Japan because I don’t think there are many South Africans in Japan.

So you should check out his videos to hear some South African English. But not just for that - he also has the coolest hair - and a beautiful smile.
And his videos are really positive too – for example the theme of one of his videos is: “What’s the nicest thing someone’s ever done for you?”
He wanted video responses, so I thought I’d make this as a response to him.
The nicest thing someone has ever done for me? It’s hard to choose because there have been so many things.
So I’m going to choose the nicest thing recently. It was my birthday last month and someone from YouTube called Cristina – she’s gogololichan and thatamericangirl ... she made me a video. It was such a great birthday present. The humour and all the little details were really spot on. And I was just stoked that someone would go to that much effort and it really made my day.


Kia ora in Stick News today police in Canada have used YouTube to find a murder suspect.

Back in the day police used wanted posters to find criminals. Then they used TV.
These days, no one watches TV. So the police are following the masses and getting online.
Last month in Hamilton City in Canada there was a murder after a hip-hop concert.
Police uploaded a one-minute 12-second clip from a surveillance tape to YouTube.
The video showed suspects arriving at the club.
The video was viewed more than 30,000 times.
On Tuesday a 24 year old man turned himself in and has been charged with murder.
Police said that there was “little doubt that the extra media generated by the use of YouTube contributed to the fact that this man turned himself in.”

Police have now removed the video from YouTube.
And that was Stick News for Thursday the 21st of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

There was no fresh snow again today.

conversations with sarah
#142 Have you been to South Africa?

Step 1: Repeat Tina’s lines.
Step 2: Read Tina’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah Have you been to South Africa?

Tina No, have you?

Sarah No. But I have a really good image of South Africans.

Tina Why is that?

Sarah Well, whenever I think of South Africa, I think of this girl that I met in Thailand.

Tina When did you go to Thailand?

Sarah About 4 years ago. Actually I met her in Malaysia and we ended up traveling together in Thailand.

Tina How long did you travel for?

Sarah I was there for a month. And we traveled together for about 10 days. She was really cool so it was a lot of fun. I want go and visit her someday.

This is the transcript for the video I talked about in the intro.

What's the nicest thing some1's ever done for you?

Hey. Hey YouTube. How you doin?
Um, I have a little challenge. That’s if you can call it a challenge. Um, I just thought that, you know, a lot of people. What is the natural human instinct. What you just remember the bad things. The bad stuff that have, that have happened in your life.
Maybe your parents weren’t very nice to you. Or you were bullied in school. It is a natural thing that you will err (?) towards the bad incidents that have happened in your life.
But what I’m asking, you know, instead of fueling and, and keep talking about the negativity. And the bad things that have happened.
That you remember the one nice thing that someone did for you. And they had absolutely nothing to gain by being nice to you.
What is that one thing you remember? The nicest thing that someone has ever done for you.
OK, maybe sometimes you don’t remember the nicest thing. But it will be a nice thing that you remember. OK, that someone did for you.
And I’d like you to respond to this video. And, ah, perhaps write down you know your, your little comments. And I will read your comments down here what the nice thing is. But, you know, I would prefer, I would definitely prefer that you give me a video response, so that would be great.
You know, let’s bring back some love to, some love to the world. And remember the good things for a change.
And quit remembering just the bad things that happen to us.
That’s me. Maxim respect. I’m looking forward to your comments and your videos.


Today's news.
The video (police took it down but someone else uploaded it).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Show 231 Wednesday 20 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
I’ve told a couple of friends back in NZ about The Daily English Show but not many because I’m pretty bad at keeping in touch in general.
I told my parents and they were like ‘mmm that’s nice dear’ ... so I doubt if they’ve seen it.
But I told a friend recently and he replied and said that he’d checked it out and he was really impressed. So hey Richard, thanks. It was really cool hearing that from him. We’ve been friends for more than 10 years – since we worked together at a radio station.
And he’s still working in radio. When I went back to New Zealand last year I met up with him and he showed me around one of the stations where he’s working which is called Niu FM.
Actually I was just listening to Niu Fm on the net and they were talking - it sounded like talkback. It’s a Pacific Island station so I couldn’t understand what they were saying – but I like listening to it because I like the sound of Polynesian languages and I love the sound of their laughter. It got me thinking about how in different countries it’s not just the language that’s different – but also the way people laugh.
Richard has also started his own station called Retro Hit Radio – you can now hear it now in Manukau ... and we drove out there and had a listen in the car. It was very cool. I think we heard Milli Vanilli’s Blame it on the Rain which is one of my favorite retro hits.
And the excellent news is I’ll be able to hear Retro Hit Radio on the net soon – so I can’t wait for that.


Kia ora this is Stick News. According to a UK magazine the internet has given birth to a range of modern sicknesses and addictions. These include ego-surfing, google-stalking and wikipediholism.

In the latest issue of New Scientist magazine several people suffering from internet addictions share their experiences. Richard Fisher confesses he has been an egosurfer for about five years and admits he needs help.
He says it began with the occasional sneaky web search and has now grown into a full-blown obsession with how high up Google's ranking his articles appear when he puts his name into the search box.
Bryan Derksen is a wikipediholic still in denial. He has made more than 70,000 edits to Wikipedia entries which puts him in the top 10 wikipedians by number of edits.
People suffering from wikipediholism accidentally sign emails with four tildes.
They get confused when they can't find the little blue edit markers on books and other websites.
If something they don’t know crosses their mind, they bolt for the nearest computer to see if Wikipedia has a page on it. If it does they edit the page obsessively. If it doesn’t they create a page.
Other addictions the magazine wrote about include: google-stalking, photolurking and blog streaking.

The magazine article didn’t report the treatment options available for those suffering from internet addictions. However Wikipedia does offer help for wikipediaholics. There is a list of the 12 steps to recovery and even a prayer.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the pages I cannot edit,
The courage to edit the pages I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
And that was Stick News for Wednesday the 20th of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

There was no fresh snow today so I amused myself by jumping on a pile of futons and blankets.

conversations with sarah
#141 When did you work in radio?

Step 1: Repeat Jenna’s lines.
Step 2: Read Jenna’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Jenna When did you work in radio?

Sarah I started when I was still at high school. I worked there part-time.

Jenna What were you doing?

Sarah I was announcing. My shift was Sundays from 6 to 10, I think.

Jenna And you worked there for 4 years?

Sarah Yeah, I worked there full time over summer, during the university holidays.

Jenna Just announcing?

Sarah No, I also did promotions and news.

Jenna Sounds like an interesting job.

Sarah Yeah, I really enjoyed it.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Show 230 Tuesday 19 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
TokyoCooney sent me an awesome email, thank you. He sent it a while ago actually but I’m only just getting around to saying thank you now because the cat ate my homework and stuff...
His name is Kevin Cooney. This is his YouTube channel.
He’s been in Japan for about the same length of time as me – and he’s a comedian but he’s done some English teaching too – so he sent me a list of great ideas for the show, wicked – so I’m definitely going to be using them.

If you’re interested in Japan or Tokyo you should check out his videos ... I enjoy them, he’s funny – and I’m surprised by a lot of things he says because he’s comparing things to America or just his perspective is different than mine.
Like what? You meet people at the South exit of Shinjuku?
The east exit is great because you can like lean against that fence and watch everybody walking out the exits and look at the big posters of hosts, hmm.
And was your friend saying how great Ueno was? Or did I just hear wrong? Ueno?
And there’s jelly inside donuts in America? Wow ... I can’t even picture it.

And Cooney’s been on Japanese TV too saying fuck.
That’s on YouTube too – the video is called: My 1 Minute of Fame: Life in Tokyo #9


Kia ora in Stick News today a Japanese woman was hospitalized for 5 days after she was stung by a scorpion while trying on a pair of Jeans.

Scorpions are small creatures which carry venom to kill or paralyze their prey so it can be eaten.
They aren’t known for hunting humans – however this cheeky scorpion could be an exception to the rule.
It hitched a ride from China to Japan inside a pair of jeans.
When a woman tried the jeans on in a clothing store in Okinawa, the scorpion stung her. She stayed in hospital for 5 days.

The police are now investigating the case. The scorpion is likely to be deported since it entered the country illegally with no passport and no visa.
And that was Stick News for Tuesday the 19th of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

One of my straps fell of my board today when I was on the chair lift.
Entirely my fault since I should have checked it properly before starting out.
I had a bit of a look for it which was probably a waste of time ... like looking for a needle in a haystack.

conversations with sarah
#140 What kinds of donuts are there?

Step 1: Repeat Kenta’s lines.
Step 2: Read Kenta’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Kenta You don’t have jelly inside donuts in New Zealand?

Sarah No, I don’t think so. Not that I’ve seen.

Kenta What kinds of donuts are there?

Sarah The only ones that I can remember are these small round things like deep fried sweet bread with a whole in the middle and sugar and cinnamon on the outside. They were called mini donuts, I think.

Kenta There’s only one kind?

Sarah That’s all I can remember. I might just have a bad memory – but I don’t ever remember seeing a whole shop just for donuts before I came to Japan.

Kenta There are a lot in Japan aren’t there.

Sarah Yeah, there are ... Mister Donuts, Dunkin Donuts ... What else? I’m sure there’s more.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Show 229 Monday 18 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
I went to the Mexican Ping Pong night. And it was great.
I ended up playing ping pong too ... funnily enough. Actually I wasn’t planning on playing because I imagined it would be a kind of serious. But it wasn’t.
It turns out Mexican Ping Pong is a lot of fun.
It was a tournament and to enter you had to pay 300 yen and then you drew a piece of paper out of a hat and on that piece of paper it was written what you had to play with.
You either had to play with a racket, a magazine, a small jandal or a fan.
Oh and the Mexican thing was ... sometimes you pulled out a piece of paper which said tequila shot – and you had to drink a shot of tequila. And the referee was wearing a Mexican hat.
And as for the 420th bit ... well, I asked the owner and he had a perfectly reasonable explanation. You see they’d counted all the Mexican ping pong nights in the world. That’s why it was the 420th.


Kia ora in Stick News today the person of 2006 is you.

Time is a weekly American news magazine.
It was created 1923 and was the first weekly news magazine in the United States.
Time’s most famous feature is the annual "Person of the Year" story.
Person of the Year is the man, woman, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that "for better or worse, has most influenced events in the preceding year."
The title used to be called Man of the Year but was changed in 1999 to avoid sexism.
This year, Time’s Person of the Year is You.
Time said the popularity of YouTube, Wikipedia, and MySpace was a story about
“the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes.”
You won the award “for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game”.

The article in TIME says there was now an opportunity to build a new kind of international understanding. But it says we shouldn’t get too excited because some of the comments on YouTube make you weep for the future of humanity just for the spelling alone, let alone the obscenity and the naked hatred. And that was Stick News for Monday the 18th of December. Kia Ora.

the snow report

Last week it didn’t snow at all for a couple of days – then it started snowing balls ... which is cool, but not great for snowboarding.
On Saturday we decided to park at Hanazono – but then we got stuck because they close Hanazono at 3:30.
Luckily the staff at Hirafu were nice and they let us take the staff bus to go to back to the car.
Today the snow was really good and we had a great day snowboarding.

conversations with sarah
#137 How far did you get in the tournament?

Step 1: Repeat Sam’s lines.
Step 2: Read Sam’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sam Did you end up playing ping pong?

Sarah Yeah, I did.

Sam How far did you get in the tournament?

Sarah I think I got to the semi-finals.

Sam Did you play with a racket?

Sarah Only once. First I played with a jandal, then a racket, then a magazine.

Sam Which was the best?

Sarah I had the best luck with the jandal actually. And the magazine was the hardest.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

#228 Chips

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Sunday Kitchen #28

Kutchan is famous for snow and potatoes so the mascot is a skiing potato. Its name is Jyatakun. (This is a mistake – it should be Jyagatakun).
Jyagaimo is Japanese for potato.
The potatoes here are really cheap and delicious so I’ve been eating them a lot.
Today I made chips.
This was a real test of my cooking skill.
First I washed the potatoes.
Then I put heated up some oil.
Then I cut the potatoes. Then I cooked them in the oil for 10 minutes.
I checked them a few times. It looked like they were doing alright.
After 10 minutes I took them out of the oil and put them in a bowl with some kitchen paper.
And I added some pepper, salt, basil, curry powder and chili. It sounds like a strange combination – but it’s actually really good. You should try it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

#227 The Daily English Show FAQ

Watch today’s show at YouTube

faq 1

I answered the following questions (in this order):

How old are you?
Where do you live?
Where are you from?
What part of New Zealand are you from? How long have you been in Japan? What is the best way to improve my English? Where do you teach? Or Where have you taught?
How did you study Japanese?
Have you learnt any other language?
What were you doing in New Zealand before you came?
Why did you come to Japan?
Do you enjoy living in Japan?
Why do you like living in Japan?
Do people really use these videos to study English?
How could someone use these videos to study English?
I’m and English teacher and I want to use your videos in my class. Is this OK?
Why are you making these videos?
Do you make these videos by yourself?
What equipment do you use?
How long does it take you to make one show?
Why don’t you comb your hair?
“I’m an American and I can barely understand your poor pronunciation.” “The narrator can't pronounce "r" sounds...not a good way to teach japanese to speak english...”
What does STICK NEWS mean?
I noticed you never use meat in the cooking show. Are you vegetarian?
Can you please speak more slowly?
Do you get many nasty comments on YouTube?
What is your job now? What do you do?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Show 226 Friday 15 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV

Hi I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
This flyer is for a bar near here called the Loaf Lounge. I’ve been there a few times and it’s good. But this flyer cracks me up. Mexian ping pong night. What?
I think they just love tequila and they have a ping pong table so ...
By the way ping pong in English is spelt like this: ping pong. But in Japanese it’s ピンポン pin pon – so I guess that’s why they spelt it with no g’s. I don’t know if it’s on purpose or not.
Anyway, It’s also funny because it says this: 第420回 dai yon hyaku ni jyu kai. Which means the 420th Mexican ping pong night.
Hmm. Two weeks ago I went to their first anniversary party. So...
So, I’m going to go there tomorrow night. And you should come if you live in Kutchan. Which you probably don’t.


Kia ora this is Stick News. Yesterday Ban Ki-moon was sworn in as the eighth secretary-general of the United Nations. He will start his new job on the first of January.

Ban Ki-moon was born in South Korea in 1944.
When he was a high school student he won an English speech competition and met American president JFK.
After this meeting, he decided to become a diplomat. He studied international relations at university in Korea and public administration in America.
He’s married with three children. He is a Christian but has no church.
He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in May 1970 and has since worked in places such as New Delhi, New York and Austria.
In February this year he announced he wanted to be the UN secretary general. His dream true in October and he starts the new job on New Years Day.

And that was Stick News for Friday the 15th of December.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
#136 What did you get up to last weekend?

Step 1: Repeat Ben’s lines.
Step 2: Read Ben’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Ben What did you get up to last weekend?

Sarah I went to a cool event on Sunday night.

Ben What was that?

Sarah It was Be’s first anniversary party.

Ben What’s Be?

Sarah It’s a bar.

Ben Have you been there before?

Sarah Yeah, we went there on our first Kutchan bar crawl night. I didn’t think much of it when I first went there ... but this time it was really cool.

Ben So your first impression was wrong?

Sarah Yeah, that’s often the way.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Show 225 Thursday 14 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
I’d like to say hello to someone today called vip77.
He’s from Russia and he has some videos on YouTube. I came across them just the other day. He has some videos talking about his English study – he says that he wants to make videos to improve his English and that if anyone sees a mistake then please tell him.
So I think that’s an excellent idea for improving your English and it’s something which benefits both you and the person watching ... say if you talk about something interesting like Russia or your English study or whatever ... then people will enjoy watching and they’ll be happy to help you and correct your English.
So good on you and keep up the good work.
And anyone else who is studying English ... you should think about making video blogs ... I think it’s an excellent idea for improving your English.


Kia ora this is Stick News. Armed with a laptop, a cell phone and the internet, a man in Germany busted a burglar in Brazil.

A Brazilian businessman was traveling in Germany last week when he got an alert on his cell phone from the security system in his beach house.
Thanks to his laptop and the internet he could see live pictures of the burglar inside his house.
He then called his wife who called the local police.
They arrested the thief as he was trying on clothes.

And that was Stick News for Thursday the 14th of December.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
#135 Where are you now?

Step 1: Repeat Matt’s lines.
Step 2: Read Matt’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah Where are you now?

Matt I’m on go-go-sen driving towards Hakodate.

Sarah So Yotei-san is on your left?

Matt Yeah. I’ve just driven past Homac.

Sarah OK. Just keep going on that road for about 15 minutes.

Matt OK.

Sarah You’ll go past a big snowman on your left. Then a toilet paper factory ...

Matt Called Coreless?

Sarah Yeah that’s the one. And you’ll also go past the vegetable place ...

Matt Niseko view plaza?

Sarah Yeah. There aren’t really any landmarks around the shop so you just have to look out for a brown building with a red roof – that’s the building in front of the second hand shop.
The road curves right and just after the curve starts you have to turn off to the right.
You can see a big sign which says: chukohin yasuuri no mise ... can you read Japanese?

Matt No.

Sarah Oh, OK. Well on the sign there are 7 letters. The first two are read, then one blue letter, then three black ... the blue letter looks like three small squares.

Matt Oh, yeah, I can see it. It’s a white building right?

Sarah That’s the one.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Show 224 Wednesday 13 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
I watched the 12 days of Christmas video on YouTube and I thought it was pretty cool. I love it how it’s not professional singers it’s just regular people sitting in front of their computers singing and one guy’s like reading off a piece of paper.
It got me thinking about the lyrics and the meaning of the song.

This is what wikipedia says about the history of the song: The Twelve Days of Christmas is a children’s rhyme that was originally written in a book called Mirth without Mischief, published in London around 1780.

So its origin is England, which might explain why some of the words don’t make a lot of sense to me, like “partridge in a pear tree”. What’s a partridge? Well, it’s a kind of bird apparently.

When I was a child we had a book with a New Zealand version of that song so all the lyrics were changed to things that are relevant to New Zealand.
So, instead of a partridge in a pear tree it was a pukeko in a ponga tree. A pukeko is a kind of New Zealand bird and a ponga is a kind of tree.

There are also many parodies of this song. You can read some in Wikipedia.
Anyway here are the original presents:

twelve drummers drumming
eleven pipers piping
ten lords a-leaping
nine ladies dancing
eight maids a-milking
seven swans a-swimming
six geese a-laying
five gold rings
four collie birds
three french hens
two turtle doves and
a partridge in a pear tree

I don’t know what’s with the: a-leaping a-milking a-swimming a-laying ...

If anyone can explain that to me, please do. I tried to look to look it up but couldn’t find anything about it. Is it just in the song because the writer thought it sounded good – or was that a normal way of speaking or writing at that time?


Kia ora in Stick News today inochi 命has been chosen as the character of the year.

Every year in Japan a kanji character is chosen in a public poll as the character of the year.
This year’s character is inochi which means life.
In 2006 the emperor’s first grandson was born. Many students killed themselves after being bullied. There were also many child abuses reported.
Almost 100,000 people took part in the poll by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation.
The foundation said many people in the poll chose the character because “it was a year they were made painfully aware of the gravity and value of the unique gift of life given to an individual”.

The kanji of 2004 was wazawai 災which means disaster and last year it was ai 愛which means love.
And that was Stick News for Wednesday the 13th of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

It rained last night and today. What? It’s not supposed to rain.

conversations with sarah
#134 Jingle Bells is pretty popular.

Step 1: Repeat Shin’s lines.
Step 2: Read Shin’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah What are some of the famous Christmas songs in Japan?

Shin Jingle Bells is pretty popular.

Sarah Oh yeah. I’ve heard that in shops a lot.

Shin And Last Christmas.

Sarah That’s right! That was used in a drama last year wasn’t it?

Shin Yeah, with Oda Yuji.

Sarah Actually I think it might have been the year before last.

Yeah, I think it was two years ago. Oda Yuji also sang another Wham song didn’t he?

Sarah Yeah, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go... it’s one of my favorite songs... not when Oda Yuji is singing it though.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Show 223 Tuesday 12 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
I saw a video today which I thought was really funny.
It was called Hater Comments from the Sarcasm video.

It was Paperlillies reading out a list of negative comments that were written under her video that was featured.
I think this video is really funny. So if you want to study poorly written English insults or you just want to have a laugh ... then this is definitely worth watching.


Kia ora in Stick News today two con men in New Zealand have been jailed for six and a half years for stealing more than 4 million dollars.

The two con artists are both 58 years old. They set up a trust called the Harvest Trust.
They then took money off people saying they would invest it and promised returns of up to 60%. But the overseas investments the men talked about didn’t exist.
The judge said some of the victims were elderly and vulnerable.
One woman in her 60s sold her house and invested $425,000. She lost it all.

The judge said the men's behaviour was arrogant and ruthless. She said the con was "an insidious and destructive force which leaves misery in its wake." And that was Stick News for Tuesday the 12th of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

It didn’t snow last night and today it was sunny. The snow was quite hard.

conversations with sarah
#133 Did you see that video about sarcasm?

Step 1: Repeat Mihoko’s lines.
Step 2: Read Mihoko’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah Did you see that video about sarcasm?

Mihoko Yeah, I didn’t get it though. What was the point?

Sarah Well, she was pretending to be a stupid person that didn’t understand sarcasm.

Mihoko Why does it say in the description “I am not American”?

Sarah Well, she’s speaking in an American accent and some people didn’t realize that she was putting it on and they thought she was American.

Mihoko Can you tell the difference between American and British accents?

Sarah Yeah, definitely. But I can’t tell what part of England or America they are from … and I can’t really tell the difference between Canadian and American accents or Irish and Scottish. But I’m sure if I went there for a while I’d pick it up.

Mihoko Wow ... all English accents sound the same to me.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Show 222 Monday 11 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
One more thing about English mistakes in shops today. If you work in a shop or restaurant or bar and you want to have an English menu or sign. Then, obviously the best thing to do is to get somebody to check it. But that can cost money so if you can’t afford it ... then I would recommend just writing it yourself and definitely use spell check.

Then you’ll probably have a few grammar mistakes and your selection of words might be a bit strange. But that’s OK because it will probably still be understandable ... which is the main point.

What I don’t recommend, is using a computer translator. Computer translators of course can be useful to get a very general idea of what something is about.
But they can produce incomprehensible language so be careful.

I went into a shop today by the Hirafu gondola and they obviously had made their signs using a computer translator.
Some of it was just a bit odd ... but with some of the signs I couldn’t even understand what they meant in English. So there’s kind of no point in having the English signs. Here’s an example.


Kia ora in Stick News today the 10-year-old son of a New Zealand journalist was attacked by a shark.

Melanie Reid is a television journalist.
This morning she was watching her 10-year-old son Eliot surfing with his dad
when a shark bit Elliot’s foot.
At first Elliot’s dad didn’t realize that the shark had bitten his son. He thought the shark had only nudged him.
Then he saw blood coming out of his son’s foot so he ditched his own board and started paddling towards the shore with his son.

The shark attack left Elliot with cuts to the base and top of his foot. He said he would be back in the water surfing once the injury had healed. And that was Stick News for Monday the 11th of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

Yesterday we rode in the gondola for the first time this season. I like the gondola. It’s very warm and comfortable.

conversations with sarah
#132 Where are you from?

Step 1: Repeat Tom’s lines.
Step 2: Read Tom’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Tom Where are you from?

Sarah New Zealand.

Tom Are you here for the season?

Sarah Yeah.

Tom Have you been to Niseko before?

Sarah Um, I came here last year just for two weeks though, over Christmas and New Year.

Tom What are the mountains like in New Zealand?

Sarah Um, I never really did it in New Zealand actually.
Yeah, when I was a kid I went skiing for ... just for a couple of days. And then when I was at university I went snowboarding. But only for like half a day.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

#221 Morioka Pockets

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

You might remember back in show 190 when we were in Morioka we went to a bar with a big cat out the front of it. The bar’s name was Kin no Neko.
And the owner’s name was Kaoru.
He was a really cool guy. He made us something which I’d never eaten before.
Aburaage with natto inside.
They were really delicious so as soon as we found a place to live in Kutchan, I started making them.
I didn’t know if they had a name or not so I decided to call them Morioka Poketo (Morioka Pockets).
At first I thought they were Kaoru’s original creation ... but the other day I saw them on an izakaya menu so maybe they’re a northern Japan thing. Apparently they have a have but I can’t remember it.

I decided to add Nira. And it tasted really good.

So all you have to do to make Morioka Poketo is buy some aburaage which is fried tofu. It comes in different sizes so I bought 2 different sizes. Then mix the natto with soy sauce and nira.
Put it inside the tofu and then fry it in olive oil with salt pepper and chilli.
Mmmm. It’s pretty good.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

#220 How To Make The Daily English Show

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

To make The Daily English Show you need:

a computer
editing software
internet access
a camera

Ideas pop into my head anytime, anywhere.

I think the best storage place for ideas is my head since you never know when your computer is going to crash or the piece of paper is going to get lost amongst all the other pieces of paper.

Once I have the ideas for a show, I do the research and writing.

The time this takes depends on how smoothly the ideas transfer from my head to the computer.

Time is also invariably spent getting sidetracked.

I start out checking a fact on the internet then suddenly I find myself doing something like editing Wikipedia and I’m like ... mmm how did that happen. Mysterious.

I draw the pictures for Stick News with a black marker pen, crayons and A4 paper. I usually spent a few seconds drawing rough sketches first.
I often stop to check stuff on the net ... like what Gwyneth Paltrow was wearing when she won the Oscar.

I take photos of the drawings and then move the pictures from the camera to the computer with this little white square thing.

Then I record the show.

I clip notes under the camera and sometimes look at the notes – when I look at the camera I just try and remember what was on the notes ... but it always comes out a bit different – so then afterwards I changed the script before I copy it to the blog.

The information from the camera goes directly to the computer via this cord.

I use Adobe Premiere Elements to edit. I’m probably pronouncing Adobe wrong ... I really only started to use computers since I came to Japan so I can’t remember ever hearing it being said in English.

I record the news voice with sound recorder and adjust the volume using Dijion.

I use music from jamendo. I usually search for music with the instrumental tag because it’s for background music.
I drag this button into itunes and it automatically starts downloading. Then I drag a song into here. Easy.

When I’ve finished editing it I watch it for mistakes. Then render it.
And uploaded it to sites like YouTube, grouper, clip life, watchme tv, ebi tv, Ask jp.

Thank you for watching The Daily English Show.
Please use The Daily English Show videos and scripts at home or at school for the purposes of education or entertainment.

I will be happy if you watch the show and get ideas and inspiration for your own language show.

But if you copy ideas from The Daily English Show without giving me credit and then make lots of money ... my lawyers will be after you in a second.

OK, so I don’t have any lawyers ... but just don’t do it anyway ...

coz I sed

: )

Friday, December 08, 2006

Show 219 Friday 8 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

CleverDjembe - I think that’s how you say it - wrote a really useful list of common mistakes.

These are common mistakes that native English speakers make. If you are an English student I think it’s really useful to remember that native English speakers make mistakes too.
If you want proof just well, watch just my videos, or if you want thousands of examples then you could read the comments under the featured videos on YouTube

I think it’s interesting that the common mistakes people make are quite different depending on the country. For example the common English mistakes that Japanese speakers make are quite different than, say, French speakers.
And different again to the mistakes that Native English speakers make.

So here’s that list of common mistakes:

Common mistakes: using 's for plural * confusing it's and its * confusing there, their, they're *misspellings of definitely * should of (should have)* misspellings of "no one" * to instead of too* alot * looser (loser)* embarass (embarrass)* fourty (forty)* hygeine (hygiene) * lieing (lying)* wierd (weird)* similiar (similar).


Kia ora this is Stick News. In one of CNN’s top stories this week, American actress Gwyneth Paltrow says she is proud to be an American.

Gwyneth Paltrow is an American actress.
In 1996 she was engaged to Brad Pitt.
She won a best actress Oscar in 1998.
Five years later she married an English singer. They now have two children.
Recently Gwyneth spoke in Spanish at a news conference.
Later a Portugese paper quoted Paltrow as saying: "The British are much more intelligent and civilized than the Americans."
But Paltrow says she never said that and she was “deeply upset” about the quotes.
"I feel so lucky to be American," she said. "I feel so proud to be American."

The internet movie database has this quote by Gwyneth Paltrow: “Brits are far more intelligent and civilised than Americans”.
And that was Stick News for Friday the 8th of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

This is me having fun breaking icicles.

conversations with sarah
#131 What are funerals in New Zealand like?

Step 1: Repeat Taka’s lines.
Step 2: Read Taka’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Taka What are funerals in New Zealand like?

Sarah Well, they’re pretty different than Japanese funerals ...

Taka In what way?

Sarah In many ways ... people don’t always wear black for a start. I was surprised to see people walking into a funeral in Japan and everyone dressed entirely in black.

Taka Really? But in movies people wear black.

Sarah Yeah, I don’t if that’s normal in America of if that’s just Hollywood ... but it’s not really like that in NZ. I’ve never been to a funeral where people are standing around a grave wearing black suits.

Taka So what do people wear?

Sarah Whatever they like. I wore a stripey dress with a big split up the middle to my grandfather’s funeral.

Taka Really?!

Sarah Yeah. I was only 15 and I asked my grandmother what I should wear and she said something like, wear something that you like ... so I decided to wear that dress because that’s what I wore when we went out to dinner to celebrate his birthday a couple of weeks before he died.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Show 218 Thursday 7 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
Yesterday I got some sad news. A family friend passed away.

One of the downsides to living so far away from home is times like this. I would have really liked to visit him before he died and it would be really nice to be with friends and family right now.

But thanks to this great technology I could make him a video message. Well where I’m from in New Zealand is in the wop-wops so they don’t have broadband internet ... so I made a DVD and posted that.

And he really enjoyed that. He wrote me an email to say thank you. He was such a warm and positive man ... I said that he must be in pain... but he said he was “mostly cruising in a beautiful, peaceful place thanks to drugs”.

I am just happy that this kind of technology exists so I could say what I wanted to say to him which was thank you for the love you gave me and goodbye.

So, sadly, I’m not going to be at the funeral on Saturday to celebrate his life with his friends and family. So I thought I’d talk a little bit about him today.


Kia ora this is Stick News. Thousands of people died all over the world yesterday. One of those people was a beautiful man from New Zealand.

The world’s population is estimated to be 6.5 billion. Thousands of people die every day and the world keeps spinning. But for some people it seems to stop.
Yesterday a New Zealand man called Bryce spent his last day on Earth.
Bryce was a potter. He had 3 daughters. When his youngest daughter was three years old his family met another family with three daughters.
Two of the girls became best friends and spent hours playing together deep in the peaceful wop wops of the Coromandel Peninsula.
Years later one of the girls had moved on from tree-huts and midnight feasts to playing with a video camera on the other side of the world but she never forgot the love she received as a child from the people in the valley where she grew up.
A few months ago something started to go haywire in Bryce’s body. He gradually grew weaker and weaker but his spirit never faded.
Bryce’s body has now gone but the warmth of his love remains in the hearts of his friends and family.

And that was Stick News for Thursday the 7th of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

I didn’t feel like snowboarding today, so I took the day off. It snowed a lot in the early evening. I went for a walk to the convenience store and there was a lot of fresh powder. This is a picture on a garage door near my house.

conversations with sarah
#130 When did he die?

Step 1: Repeat Ric’s lines.
Step 2: Read Ric’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Ric When did he die?

Sarah Yesterday morning.

Ric How old was he?

Sarah In his 50s.

Ric That’s too young. Was it cancer?

Sarah Yeah.

Ric Were his family around him?

Sarah Yeah. Two of his daughters were living in the UK and they came back to spent the last couple of months with him.

Show 217 Wednesday 6 December

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show. Yesterday I was talking about mistakes and I made one myself. A sneaky little hyphen climbed into my video description. I wrote no-one but it’s not supposed to have a hyphen.

I often make mistakes with words like that. I can’t remember if a word is supposed to be one word or two words or have a hyphen or no hyphen.
One of the tricky things is that sometimes they can be spelt in two ways.
Like all right can be spelt all right or alright. Although according to my dictionary alright is non-standard or informal.

No one is two words but nobody is one word. I wonder why.

You have to be careful with some words because their meaning can change.
Like every day and everyday.
I eat breakfast every day. This book has ideas for turning everyday objects into works of art.


Kia ora in Stick News today a dress that Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s has been sold in London for thousands of pounds.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a movie made in 1961. Audrey Hepburn played a character called Holly in the movie. At the start of the movie Holly eats bread for breakfast, standing outside a jewellery shop in New York called Tiffany’s wearing a black dress.
Recently the owner of the dress gave it to his friend to be sold for charity.
Last night someone bought the dress in an auction for 410 thousand pounds. The money will help underprivileged children in India.

And that was Stick News for Wednesday the 6th of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

It didn’t snow much last night so today the road was black and the snow on the side of the road was brown.
The tdes I wrote yesterday is still alive. I thought it might have been destroyed by a snow clearing machine or a cheeky kid.

conversations with sarah
#129 Why not?

Step 1: Repeat Daisuke’s lines.
Step 2: Read Daisuke’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah So if I was to point out a small mistake on a blackboard in a shop – just to be nice, not to be rude ... what do you think is the best way to say it nicely in Japanese?

Daisuke I don’t think you should point it out at all.

Sarah Why not?

Daisuke Because ... maybe you like having your mistakes pointed out, but 99% of people don’t.

Sarah I think that’s true for other mistakes – but don’t you think that English spelling mistakes are different?

Daisuke No, I think it’s the same.

Sarah It just feels kind of rude to have a quite smile at mistake – but not say anything. Like not telling someone they have food stuck between their teeth or something.

Daisuke I see what you mean. But I still don’t think you should say anything.

Sarah Because there is a 99 percent chance that the person will be offended?

Daisuke Yeah.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Show 216 Tuesday 5 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
Today I picked up a magazine in Hirafu at the information center... it’s called the welcome center but it’s basically an information center.
It was a free magazine and there was a sign saying “pick me”.
I don’t know why they wrote pick me. It looks funny to me ... so maybe it was a mistake. Or maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was on purpose and they meant pick me as choose me not the other things on the shelf. Anyway I didn’t ask them so I don’t know.

I used to point out mistakes to people in restaurants and shops in Japan. Often there are small English mistakes on chalkboards or signs that could easily be changed in a couple of seconds and I thought they would appreciate someone telling them. But I stopped doing it because people didn’t seem happy at all.
I don’t know why. Maybe they just don’t care about the mistakes or maybe they do care but they are really busy and they think that the other things that they have to do are more important.

Anyway back to pick me ... If you wanted to write this sign differently ... Actually I can’t exactly remember how it’s usually written – but it could be something like this: “Free magazine. Please take one.” Or “Take free”.


Kia ora in Stick News today a wine in New Zealand has been stripped of its gold medal after it was discovered to be cheating.

New Zealand’s biggest wine show was held in September.
A wine called Wither Hills got a gold medal. The same wine was then sent to a magazine to be judged for their wine rating issue.
One of the judges decided to test the sample bottle against the same wine from the local supermarket. That’s when it was found that something was amiss.
It turns out the wine that won a gold medal was not from the same batch as most of the same wine in the supermarkets.
The gold medal wine was from batch BR315. Only 2228 cases of this batch were made out of a total of 100,000 cases. This gives consumers a 1 in 50 chance of buying the gold medal wine.
According to the competition rules: "the wine supplied must be identical to that made available for sale on the New Zealand market".
So, the wine broke the rules. And yesterday the competition’s chief judge announced that it would be stripped of the gold medal.

The sneaky wine also won a silver medal in another competition. That medal is now under investigation and may also be lost. And that was Stick News for Tuesday the 5th of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

This morning I saw someone clearing snow off the post office roof. Ahh so that’s now they do it.
Today I had a great day snowboarding. The mountain was open for the first time all the way down to the bottom so we could have a long run.
This machine was making a lot of noise. I wonder what it is ...
I took some video while snowboarding ... this is probably a really stupid thing to do because if I fall over the camera could break. But anyway.

conversations with sarah
#128 Did you tell them nicely?

Step 1: Repeat Bob’s lines.
Step 2: Read Bob’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Bob Why don’t you point out mistakes anymore?

Sarah Because I almost always got negative reactions.

Bob I wonder why. Did you tell them nicely?

Sarah Yeah, definitely. Well, I mean, I tried to – but I don’t know if it always came across that way.

Bob Maybe they can’t change the mistakes anyway.

Sarah Like if the menus were already printed, you mean?

Bob Yeah.

Sarah Yeah, true. But often it’s on a blackboard or whiteboard so it would only take 2 seconds to change. I used to do the blackboards in a bar that I worked at. If customers told me about a mistake I would always say thanks and change it straight away.

Bob But the people you told didn’t do that?

Sarah Yeah, last year when I was in Hirafu I saw a sign which said “grass wine” instead of “glass wine” so I pointed it out but they didn’t change it. And I went back that shop a couple of times too and they never changed it ... so I wonder why I bothered telling them.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Show 215 Monday 4 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
Yesterday I bought some plasters.
On the packet it says elegant plastic bandages.
Which I think is a bit strange.
Well in English elegant is a strange word to describe a plaster.
I would expect a plaster to be described as breathable, flexible, durable, waterproof.
As for elegant I would use that word in English to describe a person or their behavior or their clothes. Especially a woman like a ballet dancer or a princess.


Kia ora this is Stick News. Following his arrest on Saturday the Mayor of Narita has now resigned.

Narita is a city in Japan. It’s famous for its international airport. The city is now in the news after the mayor was arrested for taking dirty bribes.
Last year a company called TEC wanted to get the contract to manage a garbage incinerator.
So the executives did what many Japanese companies do – they gave millions of yen to the person who has the power to choose who gets the contract.
The greedy mayor accepted the 10 million yen in cash.
He has now been arrested and will soon be jobless.

And that was Stick News for Monday the 4th of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

When all or most of the lifts are working you can move from place to place by yourself. But at the moment only a few are open so you have to travel in one of these ... bus things.
I rode in one for the first time on Saturday. It wasn’t very comfortable.
One of these snow buses plays a tune that’s exactly the same as the tune that the rubbish truck plays in Kurihara. This isn’t cool. I keep thinking “shit, did I remember to put the rubbish out”.

We found a great use for snow on Saturday night. Then we ended up having a bit too much fun and we had to take a sick day on Sunday.
It snowed all day on Sunday and today there was a lot of snow.

conversations with sarah
#127 How deep is it?

Step 1: Repeat Rose’s lines.
Step 2: Read Rose’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Rose What are you doing?

Sarah I’m sitting in the bath.

Rose Yeah, I can see that. Why are you sitting in the bath?

Sarah Someone on YouTube asked me how deep the bath was, so I thought I’d sit in it to show them.

Rose Why don’t you just measure it?

Sarah Mmm. that’s a good idea.

Rose Do you have a measuring tape?

Sarah Yeah, I think so. I wonder where I put it. Hang on, I’ll have a look.
I found it.

Rose How deep is it?

Sarah It’s 59cm deep and 59cm wide and 76cm long.