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  • English Listening Exercise: iPods, Steve Jobs and Magic

    When I heard today that Steve Jobs has retired as head of Apple, I wanted to make an English listening exercise that had an Apple theme.

    Jobs is, I think, one of the greatest businessmen in American history, and I’ve always loved Apple products (I’m writing this on my iMac). I’ve heard people say before that Apple products give you the feeling that they are almost magical, which is why I thought this TED video would be appropriate.

    In the video, Marco Tempest uses iPods to perform magic tricks. Marco is from Switzerland. Like a lot of modern English speakers, he is not a native speaker, so he has a slight accent. This is good listening practice for the real world that English is spoken in these days.

    Why you should listen to Marco Tempest:

    Marco Tempest’s imaginative combination of computer-generated imagery, quick-cut video and enthusiastic stage presence has earned him a place in the pantheon of great illusionists. At 22, the Swiss magician won the New York World Cup of Magic, launching him into international prominence. Tempest’s award-winning television series “The Virtual Magician” airs in dozens of countries worldwide, while his lively phonecam postings on YouTube, done without post-production and video-editing tricks to astonished people on the street, get millions of views (search on “virtualmagician”). His Vimeo channel showcases his artistic side — like his recent hypnotic series “levitation,” using a high-speed camera.

    Through his art, Tempest creates a highly entertaining way to be entranced by the reality-bending tech magic that surrounds us all every day.

    Here is the video, find listening questions below.

    What type of magic does Marco like?
    What does his application do?
    What is his favorite subject?
    He ___ this wonderful _____ where a rosebush would bloom _____ __ _____ of your ____.
    Magic is the ____ honest profession, a magician _______ to deceive you and he ____.
    What do you think the context is when the man in the video says “It’s just what I’ve always wanted.”
    What was his joke about men and women and lying?
    I didn’t deceive you, you ________ ________.
    Have you ever deceived yourself?
    What does it mean that art is a deception?
    Do you think lying is a fundamental part of life?
    Do you think men lie more than women?