Monthly Archives: March 2010

First, a joke…

You may have heard this joke in Portuguese, but are you able to understand it in English?

A woman takes her husband to the doctor. When he comes out, the doctor calls her into his office and says:

– Your husband is profoundly stressed. His state is quite delicate, and unless you follow the instructions I’m going to lay down now, your husband will most certainly die.

These 10 simple instructions will save his life:

1)  Make him a substantial breakfast every morning.
2) Offer him nutritious dishes for lunch.
3) For dinner, cook him something special, like Japanese, Italian or French food.
4) Have beer in stock at all times.
5) Never interrupt his soccer game on TV.
6) Quit watching soap operas.
7) Do not bother him with girl problems.
8 ) Let him come home as late as he wants.
9) Never ask him where he’s been.
10) Satisfy all his sexual needs.

On their way home, the husband asks his wife what the doctor has told her.

She answers:
– He said you’re gonna die.


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Expression of the week: take (something) for granted

“Take (something) for granted.”

Portuguese equivalent:” não dar o devido valor (a algo)”, por acreditar que é perfeitamente normal e merecido.

Sample sentences:

“Aviation takes kerosene for granted, but one day it won’t be available anymore”.

“That co-pilot was taken for granted by the company. They didn’t make him captain, so he left”.

Don’t take for granted that you will be promoted in a year. If you don’t reach level 4, it may take longer”.

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Are you ready to be green?

Being ‘green’, or environmentally conscious, is very fashionable nowadays, but are you up to the challenge?

Are you willing to take shorter showers, to not flush every time you use the toilet, to not use your car to go to work and to keeping the lights off as much as possible? And are you prepared to deal with the changes to your consumer habits, such as buying only organic and certified products, taking your own bags to the grocery store, or even buy products without packaging?

If you said ‘yes’, watch these videos and have a glimpse of the future…


Ser ‘verde’, ou ter uma consciência ecológica, está na moda hoje em dia, mas será que você dá conta desse desafio?

Você está disposto a tomar banhos mais curtos, não dar a descarga toda vez que usa o banheiro, não usar seu carro para ir trabalhar e manter as luzes apagadas o máximo possível? E você está preparado para lidar com as mudanças em seus hábitos de consumo, como comprar apenas produtos orgânicos e certificados, levar suas próprias sacolas ao supermercado, ou até mesmo comprar produtos sem embalagem?

Se você disse ‘sim’, assista a esses vídeos e veja como será seu futuro…

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Safety hazard: toxic fumes

Several things can affect the safety of a flight: a disruptive passenger, bad weather conditions, an illicit interference, for instance. Sometimes, the hazard comes from something that can be a symptom of a much more serious problem, such as a leak, a false indication in one of the instruments or fumes.

Passengers and crew members of a US Airways flight which was going from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Jamaica were in need of medical assistance after inhaling fumes inside the aircraft while it was still on the ground. They were all discharged shortly afterwards, and the source of the smell was not found, as you can see here, here, here and here.

What would you do if you started smelling fumes during the flight? What can this signal? Depending on where the fumes are coming from and their smell, they might be the sign of a faliure: what systems can present fumes as a symptom of malfunction?

Are you able to discuss this situation with ease in English? If not, you may not have reached level 4 yet…

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Expression of the week: to end up doing something

“To end up doing something”.

Portuguese equivalent: “Acabar fazendo algo”.

Sample sentences:

“With so much rain, the aircraft ended up slipping off the runway.”

“The flight attendant ended up shouting at the passenger to put out his cigarette”.

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Expression of the week: To make ends meet

“To make ends meet.”

Portuguese equivalent: “se sustentar, sobreviver” (financeiramente).

Sample sentences:

“His salary as a flight dispatcher wasn’t that good, but he was able to make ends meet“.

“Some people have to work more than one job to make ends meet“.

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Con artist in the friendly skies…

Most boys dream of becoming pilots when they grow up. Some go ahead to train and get licensed and actually achieve their childhood goal. Others… well, others go ahead and forge their own license and pray that no one will catch them. Believe it or not that’s what happened today At Schipol Airport, in Amsterdam (Netherlands).

According to the news seen here, here and here, a Swedish 41-year-old man was arrested when preparing for what would be a flight from Amsterdam to Ankara, Turkey. Apparently, Swedish authorities had alerted the Dutch about him, because he had already tried something similar in Sweden a few years back. The man claimed to have been flying for at least 13 years in several international airlines and supposedly had at least 10,000 flight hours. He allegedly had a license to fly smaller planes for some time, although it is unclear whether it was valid or not.

Have you noticed the words in bold italics? They all express the idea of uncertainty. That means that the information given is not confirmed or cannot be proved. It’s crucial to pay attention to these markers when reading anything, not to be misled by untrue information… Newspapers use this strategy a lot, beware!!

Besides, ICAO says that pilots must be able to use this kind of language in order to get level 4. Are you?

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