{Patreon Special} Arsenio’s Business English Podcast | Season 6: Episode 36 | Success & Change: Macro Achievement

Have you ever started something that you didn’t know would be very beneficial to humanity? I have — and it’s this podcast. When I started it just over 3 years ago, I had no idea that it would be the number 1 TOEFL, TOEIC and IELTS podcast across all big platforms. I found a niche market, provided a service, and now I have an amazingly growing community.

In today’s podcast, we’ll be discussing just that, and big achievements throughout our lives.

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IELTS | Reading | T/F/NG | Walking with Dinosaurs

We’re back! It’s been a long time since doing one of these videos, but I’m absolutely ecstatic to be bringing it to you, as always! Today, we’re going to be diving into each T/F/NG question so you guys have a more thorough understanding. So, let’s get into it!

Peter L. Falkingham and his colleagues at Manchester University are developing techniques that look set to revolutionize our understanding of how dinosaurs and other extinct animals behaved.

The media image of paleontologists who study prehistoric life is often of field workers camped in the desert in the hot sun, carefully picking away at the rock surrounding a large dinosaurs bone. But Peter Falkingham has done little of that for a while now. Instead, he devotes himself to his computer. Not because he has become inundated with paperwork, but because he is a new kind of paleontologist.

What few people may consider is that uncovering a skeleton, or discovering a new species, is where the research begins, not where it ends. What we really want to understand is how the extinct animals and plants behaved in their natural habitats. Drs Bill Sellers and Phil Manning from the University of Manchester use a ‘genetic algorithm’ — a kind of computer code that can change itself and ‘evolve’ — to explore how extinct animals like dinosaurs, and our own early ancestors, walked and stalked.

The Fossilized bones of a complete dinosaur skeleton can tell scientists a lot about the animal, but they do not make up the complete picture and the computer can try to fill the gap. The computer model is given a digitized skeleton, and the location of known muscles. The model then randomly activates the muscles. This, perhaps unsurprisingly, results almost without fail in the animal falling on its face. So the computer alters the activation pattern and tries again…. usually to a similar effect. the modeled ‘dinosaurs’ quickly ‘evolve’. If there is any improvement, the computer discards the old pattern and adopts the new one as the base for alteration. Eventually, the muscle activation pattern a stable way of moving, the best possible solution is reached, and the dinosaur can walk, run, chase or graze. Assuming natural selection evolves the best possible solution too, the modeled animal should be moving in a manner similar to its now-extinct counterpart. And indeed, using the same method for living animals (humans, emu and ostriches) similar top speeds were achieved on the computer as in reality. By comparing their cyberspace results with real measurements of living species, and Manchester team of paleontologists can be confident in the results computed showing how extinct prehistoric animals such as dinosaurs moved.

The Manchester University team has used computer simulations to produce a model of a giant meat-eating dinosaur. It is called an acrocanthosaurus which literally means ‘high spined lizard’ because of the spines which run along its backbone. It is not really known why they are there but scientists have speculated they could have supported a hump that stored fat and water reserves. There are also those who believe that the spines acted as a support for a sail. Of these, one half thinks it was used as a display and could be flushed with blood and the other half think it was used as a temperature-regulating device. It may have been a mixture of the two. The skull seems out of proportion with its thick, heavy body because it is so narrow and the jaws are delicate and fine. The feet are also worthy of note as they look surprisingly small in contrast to the animal as a whole. It has a deep broad tail and powerful leg muscles to aid locomotion. It walked on its back legs and its front legs were much shorter with powerful claws.

Falkingham himself is investigating fossilized tracks, or footprints, using computer simulations to help analyze how extinct animals moved. Modern-day trackers who study the habitats of wild animals can tell you what animal made a track, whether that animal was walking or running, sometimes even the sex of the animal. But a fossil track poses a more considerable challenge to interpret in the same way. A crucial consideration is knowing what the environment including the mud, or sediment, upon which the animal walked was like millions of years ago when the track was made. Experiments can answer these questions but the number of variables is staggering. To physically recreate each scenario with a box of mud is extremely time-consuming and difficult to repeat accurately. This is where computer simulation comes in.

Falkingham uses computational techniques to model a volume of mud and control the moisture content, consistency, and other conditions to simulate the mud of prehistoric times. A footprint is then made in the digital mud by a virtual foot. This footprint can be chopped up and viewed from any angle and stress values can be extracted and calculated from inside it. By running hundreds of these simulations simultaneously on supercomputers. Falkingham can start to understand what types of footprint would be expected if an animal moved in a certain way over a given kind of ground. Looking at the variation in the virtual tracks, researchers can make sense of fossil tracks with greater confidence.

The application of computational techniques in paleontology is becoming more prevalent every year. As computer power continues to increase, the range of problems that can be tackled and questions that can be answered will only expand.

  1. In his study of prehistoric life, Peter Falkingham rarely spends time on outdoor research these days.

The media image of paleontologists who study prehistoric life is often of field workers camped in the desert in the hot sun, carefully picking away at the rock surrounding a large dinosaurs bone. But Peter Falkingham has done little of that for a while now. Instead, he devotes himself to his computer. Not because he has become inundated with paperwork, but because he is a new kind of paleontologist.

2. Several attempts are usually needed before the computer model of a dinosaur used by Sellers and Manning manages to stay upright.

The Fossilized bones of a complete dinosaur skeleton can tell scientists a lot about the animal, but they do not make up the complete picture and the computer can try to fill the gap. The computer model is given a digitized skeleton, and the location of known muscles. The model then randomly activates the muscles. This, perhaps unsurprisingly, results almost without fail in the animal falling on its face. So the computer alters the activation pattern and tries again…. usually to a similar effect. the modeled ‘dinosaurs’ quickly ‘evolve’.

3. When the Sellers and Manning computer model was used for people, it showed them moving faster than they are physically able to.

Assuming natural selection evolves the best possible solution too, the modeled animal should be moving in a manner similar to its now-extinct counterpart. And indeed, using the same method for living animals (humans, emu and ostriches) similar top speeds were achieved on the computer as in reality.

4. Some paleontologists have expressed reservations about the conclusions reached by the Manchester team concerning the movement of dinosaurs.

There is no mention of other paleontologists; only the Manchester team.

5. An experienced tracker can analyze fossil footprints as easily as those made by live animals.

Falkingham himself is investigating fossilized tracks, or footprints, using computer simulations to help analyze how extinct animals moved. Modern-day trackers who study the habitats of wild animals can tell you what animal made a track, whether that animal was walking or running, sometimes even the sex of the animal. — THERE IS NO MENTION OF EXPERIENCED TRACKERS

6. Research carried out into the composition of prehistoric mud has been found to be inaccurate.

A crucial consideration is knowing what the environment including the mud, or sediment, upon which the animal walked was like millions of years ago when the track was made. Experiments can answer these questions but the number of variables is staggering. To physically recreate each scenario with a box of mud is extremely time-consuming and difficult to repeat accurately. This is where computer simulation comes in.

Podcast

IELTS | Speaking | 1 on 1 Coaching | Full Consultation on Speaking Parts 2 & 3

Happy March, everyone! This was a consultation I had done back in December of last year and it was FIRE! To hear the golden nuggets that my student had given me can really be useful for a lot of you out there. So, please tune in to this podcast, have your notepad and stuff ready, and get ready to be amazed!

Update: As of December 15th, Bruna received the following scores.

Overall: 8.0
Listening: 8.0
Reading: 7.5
Writing: 7.0
Speaking: 8.5

Podcast

IELTS | Writing Task II | Patreon Special | Essay Evaluation #3

Welcome back to another essay evaluation! This is a Patreon Special, so if you would like your essay to be evaluated, reach out to me! In today’s episode, we’re going to focus on the amazing structure my student had provided — but there were some small errors that could be a hindrance in the future if he continues making the same mistakes.

Podcast

IELTS | Speaking | 1 on 1 Coaching | Speaking Part 3 – Pollution & the Environment

Here’s the last of the three-part series with the now-have-passed Kawal.  So happy to have helped coach her in achieving an amazing 8.0 band in her speaking. If you guys are interested in 1 on 1 coaching, classes, or even the membership site, feel free to reach out to me in the links down below!

Podcast

IELTS | Speaking | 1 on 1 Coaching | Speaking Part 1 – Talking About Your Hometown

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE! Yes, we’re going through this, all the way through the holiday season. In today’s podcast, special shoutout to my Indian content writer who had achieved a massive IELTS band and passed with flying colors. So grateful to have coached her through this process. So, in saying that, let’s hear how she structures her speaking parts!

Podcast

IELTS | Developing Speaking | Impromptu Topics

You read it right! In today’s podcast/live video, we’re going to be discussing how you can quickly think on your feet. I was having a discussion with a nurse recently and she has constant pauses and hesitations. This could be for a number of reasons, but the goal here is to rewire how you think. I don’t have difficulty with answering topics because there are associations/feelings with each word. For instance, if you say deforestation, I quickly think of either the fires raging in Brazil or the deforestation that takes place, quietly, in the north of Thailand. So, with that being said, here are some topics that you can write on index cards and play the game with your friends to start boosting your response rate.

  • Challenging experience
  • Learning English
  • Future studies
  • Benefits and drawbacks to international aid organizations
  • You’ve been doing a long time
  • Disadvantages for online auction sites
  • A family you take after most…
  • Your childhood neighbors
  • Why do you go on holiday?
  • Working with children in orphanage
  • What do you dislike about science?
  • New technology effect on future employment
  • Extreme diets
  • Online learning
  • Business leaders
  • Climate change
  • endangered species
  • Refugee crisis
  • The future of cinema

Put the above bullet points on index cards and play it with friends!

IELTS | Listening | Cambridge 15 | T2 – P1 | Festival Information

We’re back with another MASSIVE listening. Now remember, you can get 1 on 1 coaching with me or private group coaching sessions in regards to any of the subskills to IELTS…just ask away! And with that being said, these IELTS videos/podcasts are HUGE. So here I am with another one! Make sure you check out my podcast/video down below a long with the table!

Festival Information

DateType of EventDetails
17tha concertperformers from Canada
18tha balletcompany called (1) _______
19th-20th
(afternoon)
a playtype of play: a comedy called
Jemima has had a good (2) ________
20th
(evening)
a (3) __________
show
show is called (4) _______________
Table

Questions 5-10

Write one word only for each answer

Workshops

– Making (5) ___________ food

– (children only) Making (6) ____________

– (adults only) Making toys from (7) __________ using various tools

Outdoor Activities

– Swimming in the (8) ___________

– Walking in the woods, led by an expert on (9) ____________

See the festival organizer’s (10) ____________ for more information

Podcast – Coming Soon

YouTube – Coming Soon

Make sure you write your answers down below and watch my video!

IELTS | Writing task II | Opinion Essay | Hypothesizing

Welcome back to another IELTS Writing Task video, and today I’m going to be focusing, again, on opinion essays. Because I have a student on my Patreon who I’m coaching, I decided to do something that pertains to who’s on my membership. So, let’s go over different types of linking devices and an opinion essay that scored an overall 7.0 band.

Technique: use linking phrases like “if” and “unless” in your answers in order to hypothesize about effects.

Additional words: if, providing, provided, as long as and unless can all be used to hypothesize.

Example: A nation should nurture the talents of its people. It will then reap many benefits.

If a nation nurtures the talents of its people, it will reap many benefits.

a. Without being encouraged by parents and teachers, aspiring musicians will not develop.

Unless ______________________________________________.

b. Science may one day stop the aging process in humans, but will this benefit mankind?

If _________________________________________________.

c. If there is no effort made to keep traditional farming methods alive, they will disappear.

Unless ______________________________________________.

d. If innovation is encouraged, many new jobs will be created.

As long as ____________________________________________.

Complete the following sentences using your own ideas.

a. Provided parents have an interest in music, _______________.

b. If government support for arts projects is not available, ____________.

c. Unless entrance to museums and art galleries is free,_______________.

d. Providing young scientists are given the right opportunities,______________

Task: The money spent on space research has brought enormous benefits to mankind, but it could be more usefully applied. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

The question of whether money could be usefully applied to tackle the crisis around the world rather than spent in on space research is a very controversial issue and it is now a matter of considerable public concern. There are, therefore, people on both sides of the argument who have feelings either for or against.

Many people believe that money should be spent to solve food crisis in Africa and South Asia. Droughts, for example, left Africa with famine. Every 30 seconds an African child dies of hunger and about 45% of children in South Asia suffer from malnutrition. Similarly, the global issue is the conflict of AIDS in Africa. Although, there are numerous factors in the spread of HIV/AIDS, it is largely recognized as a disease of poverty. Medicines, for instance, are very expensive and the government in poor countries can not afford to treat the disease, therefore millions are dying, while in rich countries people are living longer.

Having said that, however, some people oppose the former argument. They claim that space research has brought enormous benefits to mankind. Recently, NASA has launched satellites for weather and climate, which will give the scientists a unique view of earth’s atmosphere, helping them to improve their abilities to forecast weather and predict climate change.

From what has been discussed above we may draw the conclusion that both points of view have their merits. Although, human life has priority in our societies, advanced research should be carried out to find another source of energy, water on other planet, and to understand the planets and its’ effect on earth for the benefit of all.

IELTS | Speaking | 1 on 1 Coaching | Speaking Part 3 – Environmental Problems

We’re back for the last installment of this wonderful soul! She does an excellent job but lots of repetition of words is what hinders her overall success. However, there’s a book that comes to mind and a specific unit that will help her overcome that in less than two days. So, in saying that, I hope you guys enjoy this last episode of this super 17-year-old!