14 thg 9, 2007

#580 The Irish Economy - Marion talks about the growing Irish economy

DangLVH






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Todd: Hey, Marion, I was reading in the newspaper the other day that the economy in Ireland is doing really good.

Marion: Yeah, it has been doing really well now for quite awhile, for a number of years. We call it the Celtic tiger phenomenon. Yeah.

Todd: That's cute. The Celtic tiger in reference to the Asian tiger (yeah) which used to be the growing Asian economies.

Marion: Yeah, exactly. So Ireland kind of has that place in Europe at the moment, has had like I say for quite a few years now.

Todd: Like what industries are going really well in Ireland. What's making this happen?

Marion: Above all, the computer industry. Yeah, I mean, we have lots of computer companies, companies making those computer chips.

Todd: Right, right.

Marion: I think actually I read somewhere that Ireland is the number one producing country of either those computer chips or some other element of a computer, cause I was very surprised and shocked that my small country could be number one in that arena, so we also have quite a number of people who move to Ireland from other places in Europe so we have a lot of speakers of different languages in Ireland and that has been used to set up call centers so for example, if you buy a mobile phone in Italy and something goes wrong with your mobile phone, you ring up a help desk, and say, "Oh, sorry, my phone is broken, you know, can you help me?" and the person who responds to you will probably be sitting in a call center in Ireland.

Todd: That's pretty cool.

Marion: Yeah, there's so many of them in Ireland. Actually, I've worked for three of them at different stages of my life, so we have ones for computer companies, for mobile phone companies, and what else, for some insurance companies actually, and banks. Yeah.

Todd: That's pretty cool. Actually, I read that one of the reasons for the turn around is the good university system, or the education system in Ireland is quite top notch.

Marion: Yeah, well, I mean, education has been very important all the way along in Ireland because of the fact that Irish people weren't allowed to have an education under british rule. Then once we got independence, you know, all along people were fighting to have education for their children and children used to be taught in hedge schools so the teachers were inside of a field basically, teaching kids and then if the policeman came of something, everybody would scatter, and you know, they didn't have anything, any like resources or anything, so in the minds of Irish people I think education has a a special place, and it is true that the university system is very well thought of and very well recognized throughout the rest of Europe I think.

Todd: Ah, well, sounds good. Thanks Marion.

#579 Computer Debate - Marion and Todd debate desktops and laptops

DangLVH






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Marion: Hey, Todd, you are exactly the person I was looking for. (Yeah) I have a favor to ask you.

Todd: Sure.

Marion: Well, the thing is, I'm thinking of buying a computer OK, but I really, I don't know too much about computers, you know that, so I want to know, which is better, a laptop or a desktop? Which do you think I should buy?

Todd: Ah, that's a good question. Well, I'm not a computer pro but, I guess if you get a desktop computer for your house there's a lot of advantages. It has more memory, it has more power. You can get a bigger monitor for watching movies and things like that, and I think the number one reason that I like the desktop is it doesn't break. You know and it can't be stolen.

Marion: As easily, yeah.

Todd: Right, so when you have the laptop, you take it and you carry it everywhere that means it's easier to break, you know you can drop it (yeah) or it's easy to be stolen, so yeah. On the other hand though, if you just want to be mobile with your computer then obviously you want a desktop because you can take it everywhere, and you can use it in different places, so that's actually why I have two. I have a desktop and a laptop.

Marion: So you have the best of both worlds, really.

Todd: So what do you want to use your computer for?

Marion: Well, mainly I want to use it to keep in touch with my family and my friends. That's my number one reason. I'd also like to use it for work, to make work sheets and that kind of thing for school, and the other thing, what was the other thing, oh yes, I want to use it to store my photos from my digital camera. That's really important to me because I'm afraid I'm going to lose one of the CD's and all of those photos or something like that.

Todd: Well, how often do you think you'll be taking a computer with you, to work or somewhere?

Marion: I don't know really. I mean, I suppose I could just buy a laptop and leave it at home, couldn't I?

Todd: Sure. Sure. Yeah, I guess if you're just going to use for basic stuff then maybe, a laptop is good for you.

Marion: Yeah. Yeah, maybe. It's so confusing. It's such a big decision for me. I don't know what to do. Thanks though for your advice.

Todd: Sure.

#578 Used Clothes - Marion and Todd debate wearing used clothes

DangLVH






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Todd: Hey, Marion, I like you outfit. Nice jeans and T-shirt.

Marion: Oh, thank you.

Todd: Where did you get it?

Marion: Actually, my T-shirt is a hand-me-down from a friend of mine who's leaving so she gave me some of her clothes.

Todd: Oh, really. Ah, OK. See, that's cool, like if I know the person who wore the shirt before, I'll wear it, but I will never go to a second hand clothing store or a used clothing store (Really) I think that's disgusting.

Marion: Why?

Todd: Well, I mean, you don't know who wore it before.

Marion: But they're washed, Todd. You know!

Todd: Yeah, but, OK, first of all, what if the person who wore it was just the type or person you really hated. There's something about the person that you just really didn't like, and then, now you're wearing that person's clothes. Doesn't that disgust you?

Marion: No, do think a person's personality rubs off on their clothes (No, but) and then it survives the wash cycle in your washing machine?

Todd: OK. Right. Right. I see what you're saying, but I'll put it to you this way. Imagine that you work with somebody.

Marion: Yes.

Todd: Ok, at your job, is there somebody that you don't like.

Marion: Yes.

Todd: OK, now imagine that there's a clothing bin and people can put clothes in there and you see a shirt and you like it, and you're just about to take it and someone says, that's that persons shirt. Would you still take it?

Marion: Mm, I probably wouldn't.

Todd: Right. See. See.

Marion: Yeah, but only because I wouldn't want to feel like that person had done me a favor in some way. (Right) I wouldn't want to be beholden to that person if I don't like them.

Todd: Right. Yeah. I mean, I don't know. I guess it's good to have second hand clothes if people don't have anything, you know for charity and things like that.

Marion: Yeah. Well, actually, when I was in college, I didn't have very much money, so the only clothes I could buy were second-hand clothes so I actually really got to like going around the charity shops and finding clothes that I really liked, so nothing that was following the trends of the moment, but in college that really doesn't matter. I think it's better to wear something if you feel comfortable in, and I think there's a real sense of achievement when you find something that you've wanted for God-knows-how-long, for example, I found a brown suede jacket one time in a charity shop, and I thought, "Oh, my God. This is exactly the type of suede jacket that I have been longing for", but I could never afford that jacket at full-price, even at half-price in a normal shop. I could never have had it, so actually most of my wardrobe at home is second hand clothes I would say, and I love it. I will go to a second hand clothes shop before a normal clothes shop any day. It's so much more fun.

Todd: Well, that's very interesting. You have fun shopping at those stores

Marion: I will.

#577 The U.S. President - Nitiya asks about the U.S. President

DangLVH






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Nitiya: OK, can I ask you something? What do you think about Bush?

Todd: What do I think about Bush?

Nitiya: Yeah.

Todd: Well, I didn't vote for him. (OK) I didn't vote for him in the last two elections. He, in my opinion, is too conservative. I'm from a part of America, San Francisco, we're a lot liberal in our thinking, and I think Bush lost my city 85 to 15 (%), so I'm not a big fan of President Bush. I believe in democracy, and I believe in the system, but it's not easy when the person who gets in office is not the person you want to be there. It's very frustrating.

Nitiya: OK, OK, what I actually meant to ask is, the Iraq war, and things like that, Iraq war not only affected Iraq, it affected a lot of those military army people of America (right) their wives and children back home. They don't know if their father is going to come back or not (right) I mean not only affected total Iraq it was a very bad affect on America, too. I mean people, who ever loved America, there are so many people now who have a so bad image of America because of one, this, and I consider it a very, very insensitive action of Bush, so what do you think about that?

Todd: Well, I pretty much agree with everything you said. It's tough. I mean, I don't, obviously you don't, I wasn't for having Saddam Hussein remain in power, or, but it bothers me that my country is doing actions where children can die, or babies can die, or even soldiers can die.

Nitiya: I mean Saddam Hussein is in power or not, why is Bush interfering in that? He can mind his own business, right? I mean, I just feel sometimes, when Bush sleeps in the night, doesn't he feel some sensitivity or guilty to even one person that, when you see that those bombs, those small kids dying, and you know, whole bloodshed, how can even he sleep, with peace. I just sometimes wonder.

Todd: No, and actually that's one, that's one criticism that he, that people even have in America, a lot of people in America have of him is that he, does he know, does he really feel the pain that people are dying, children are dying, and yeah, it's a tragic situation, and...

Nitiya: And I think, there is one thing, I really feel that, there is always two parts of this whole story, I mean, we are seeing it with our civilian eyes, but the truth, none of us know. It's all politics. I mean, Saddam knows and Bush knows and we know nothing, it's like that

Todd: Well, I agree 100% with that.

#576 Police in America - Nitiya asks about the police and race in America

DangLVH






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Nitiya: OK, can you actually talk a little bit about police in America? How much does the civilians trust them or what beliefs you have about them?

Todd: Ooh, that I guess would depend on where you live. I grew up in a pretty small town. I'm white, Caucasian, and I think that most Causasian people trust the police pretty much a 100%. They think that they're there to serve and protect, but unfortunately minority groups, blacks or African Americans and Hispanic people, Asian people sometimes don't trust the police.

Nitiya: OK, why do you think they don't trust the police sometimes?

Todd: Well, one is because the police probably don't treat them fairly. Often, they live, some minority groups, live in poor areas, and in the poor areas there might be higher crime and the police probably have more stress, and they have, they're more defensive, and as a result maybe they behave poorly, or they don't treat certain minority groups equally. They're more suspicious, and as a result, sometimes bad things happen.

Nitiya: So basically, most of the people do trust, it's like that.

Todd: I think, I think most people trust the police. I think, understandably, especially African Americans, don't trust the police because they think the police is always nervous and edgy around them, and that the police might use violence against them, or suspect that they are criminals, when they are just a good ordinary citizen, and so they probably don't trust the police as much.

Nitiya: OK, then and there is one more thing I want to ask you, about this police thing, so African Americans don't become police?

Todd: Oh, no, it's quite often that African Americans do become police.

Nitiya: OK, so you do have black people, who are police?

Todd: Oh, of course and you have, we have minority group. Usually where you have distrust with the police is the major larger cities, and it's a race thing, that has to do with race, but it also is an income thing, where usually the lower income people often feel like, they're not treated, you know, fairly I guess. I mean what is it like in India? Do you have complete trust of the police?

Nitiya: I guess no, but it depends exactly on the city, as you said. The smaller cities, I think the conditions are very bad. I don't think, and it's not that fast, like in America, you dial a number and there are police there in two minutes, but that's not the way in India. Crime finishes and then they appear. Yeah. It's like that.

Todd: OK, well, nice talking to you about that.

#575 Crime in America - Nitiya asks about crime in the U.S

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Nitiya: OK, there is one other thing I want to ask you about America, I mean I see it a lot in movies, but I don't know whether it is true or not, do you really have so many serial killer in America?

Todd: You mean people that go and they kill many people? Um, yeah, sadly there is a lot of killers. I don't know that it's only unique to America. I think it happens in all industrialized countries, but yeah, unfortunately it seems that every two or three years in the news, they'll be a story of some person going and killing multiple people, which is why they are called a serial killer, so and it's actually, it's because of people like that, that I actually believe in the death penalty. I think that even though you can argue that, you should not be, you should never kill someone else, you should not do an eye for an eye, people like that, I just think there is no excuse, they really..

Nitiya: Exactly, exactly. I agree with you. But why do you think that industrial countries thing connected with serial killing?

Todd: Well, once I saw something on TV with an FBI specialist and he said it's probably because that the parents are away from the family and there's not a community, there's not a village type environment. That because families live in these really closed units, mother, father, children, and that's it, that maybe some children get, feel distant, from their families, they feel distant from society, and they have some type of trauma and that psychologically effects them.

Nitiya: Exactly, psychological, yeah.

Todd: Which actually, though makes me think, if that's the case then maybe you shouldn't kill them because it's not there fault, but I don't know.

Nitiya: But you know, sometimes to stop for another upcoming thing you got to do something. You got to really put a break on it. (Right) but stress is one thing, I guess, psychological.

Todd: Right, but you don't have serial killers in India? You never have that in the news?

Nitiya: I guess they are, they're there. I don't know much about serial killers in India, but I think they will have been.

Todd: Right. I would imagine that pretty much anywhere in the world it must be a problem.

Nitiya: I guess.

Todd: The thing is,is that I think life is so precious, I don't even like to kill insects, I mean because if you have life, you should never extinguish life, so at the human level I just don't understand it.

Nitiya: But I think, like you say, people don't even like killing insects, but if they don't eat chicken, there are people who can't eat, who cannot survive one day without having at least one meal of meat (right) so, more or less, you cannot stop that thing I guess.

Todd: Now are you a vegetarian?

Nitiya: Yep.

Todd: Ah, so most Hindi people are vegetarian?

Nitiya: Not like that. Many of them eat, and many of them don't eat. I used to eat but I stopped eating.
My family does eat.

#574 Movie Fan - Todd and Nitiya discuss movies

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Nitiya: OK, so something about fun, actually what kind of movies do you like?

Todd: Um, well, let's see, I like. I love comedy movies, and for me the most important thing about a movie is, does it have good dialog, does it have good writing, so I don't care about special effects, and stuff like that. It just doesn't interest me, and actually I don't like big Hollywood movies (OK) I think they're terrible.

Nitiya: Terrible!

Todd: Yeah. (OK) What kind of movies do you like?

Nitiya: I guess a lot of adventure, like the movie like "Star Gate" and The beach" and, and "The Beach" was not good but, I like something which is so different, something which is about the universe, or something which is about rockets and stuff like that.

Todd: So you like movies that re quire... (detective movies also)... and what?

Nitiya: Detective.

Todd: Oh, detective movies. (Yeah) So you like movies that require imagination?

Nitiya: Exactly.

Todd: Now, since we're talking about movies, India has a very big movie industry, Bollywood, (Yeah) do you like the Bollywood movies?

Nitiya: It's great. (Yeah) Awesome. Yeah. I guess a lot of people in the whole world like it a lot.

Todd: Bollywood, they always have so many people, like the thing is, where do they get all those actors?

Nitiya: Lots of actors, so much drama, and I guess a lot of music and dancing and it's just so different from Hollywood movies, so I guess for the reality, I prefer the Hollywood movie and if you just want to have some fun, it would be Bollywood movies.

Todd: So, how often would you watch Bollywood and how often do you watch English?

Nitiya: Whatever I get.

Todd: whatever you get.

Nitiya: I just love movies. I'm crazy behind movies.

Todd: You're addicted to movies?

Nitiya: Very much.

Todd: OK, you know in the states when you go to the movies, it's always coke, popcorn, hot dog. When you go to movies in India, what's the food that you eat?

Nitiya: Ok, coke is always there.

Todd: Right.

Nitiya: And yeah, something like chips or potato chips or anything you get in your hands. Basically I don't like getting disturbed when I'm watching a movie. I'm a person who likes watching a movie very quietly. I don't like watching with friends. I mean, I prefer going who also like watching movies quietly. I mean there are some people in the world, they sit for the movie and they go, oh, this is going to happen next and things like that. I get so irritated. Let me watch it, concentrately.

Todd: Right, I hate that.

Nitiya: I really want to do it quietly, peacefully. I just want to watch the movie. Not talk to the person sitting behind me.

Todd: Ah, I totally agree. And I want to see the beginning, and I want to see the end.

Nitiya: Exactly.

Todd: And no interruptions

Nitiya: Once I begin I really want to go till the end. (Right) I can't stop it in the middle and say, "Oh, oh."

Todd: Yeah, which do you prefer, watching it at the cinema, or on DVD at home?

Nitiya: At home.

Todd: At home. So nobody bothers you?

Nitiya: Yep.

Todd: Right. Yeah, same thing. OK, thanks, Natiya.

#573 Canadian Town - Rina talks about her town in Canada

DangLVH






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Todd: So, Rina, where are you from?

Rina: I am from Davidson, Skeskatchewan, and it's a small town in Skeskatchewan, about 1,000 people, and I grew up there.

Todd: Now, Skeskatchewan, that's a part of Canada that doesn't have a lot of people, right?

Rina: There's, in the whole province, there's a million people.

Todd: That's it.

Rina: In all of Canada there is only 33 million, so yeah.

Todd: And you only have one?

Rina: One. There's 33 million.

Todd: Yeah, actually, is there any major Canadian cities in Skeskatchewan?

Rina: Well, the capital is Regina. (Really) Yeah, if you've heard of that.

Todd: No

Rina: But I live in, right now my parents live in Saskatoon.

Todd: Oh, OK.

Rina: And that's, my town is between Regina and Saskatoon., called the midway town.

Todd: What's it like growing up in a very small rural setting?

Rina: It was awesome. My parents, because they immigrated from Lebanon were very strict with me so I really wasn't allowed to do very much until I was about in grade 11, when my brother was old enough to come with me, but it was, once I was able to start going out and going to dances and things like that I loved it.

Todd: Oh, really, even in your small town?

Rina: In my small town, yeah. Cause I had it, I was very close with a lot of, like a very small class, very very close with a lot of people there, yeah.

Todd: Sounds good. So, in all of Canada, like when you go back and you settle down and you live in Canada, do you want to live in Skeskatchewan?

Rina: No.

Todd: No.

Rina: No, it's not, it's, I've developed a lot more since I was that age and it's just not the same anymore. I'd like a bigger center, preferably Vancouver, or Montreal, on one of the coasts. Yeah. So.

Todd: Not Toronto?

Rina: No, I'm not a big fan of Toronto.

Todd: Ah, why?

Rina: Because I'm a little jaded. When I was, in 94, we went to Niagara Falls, and we drove through Toronto and it was just so, it looked so busy and smoggy and just crazy, and so I never really liked it since then. I have that image in my head still of that.

Todd: Yeah, well, that's how I feel about L. A.

Rina: Yeah.

Todd: Yeah. I don't like Los Angeles. OK, well thanks.

#571 Two Cultures - Rina talks about being from two different cultures

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Todd: So, Rina, now you are Lebanese (Mm-hm) and you grew up in a very small Canadian town.

Rina: Oh, yes.

Todd: So you really have two cultures. What's it like growing up with two cultures?

Rina: In the beginning it was very hard. My dad was very strict. I wasn't allowed to work. I had to fight to have my first job at 19.

Todd: Wow. At 19.

Rina: At 19. I wasn't allowed to have a boyfriend. I had to fight for that one two, and I had my first boyfriend at 18. Wasn't allowed to go out. First high school dance was grade 11. So, I hated it in the beginning. I was, but now I appreciate it and I know where my parents were coming from.

Todd: So, it this the standard Lebanese family type culture where daughters are not allowed to work?

Rina: Ah, yeah, my dad had basically believed that if I went out and worked I would, you know, be hit on by guys. It just wasn't a place for his daughter, and typically before, yeah, women don't work. They stay home. They took care of the kids. They, you know, it was a typical patriarchal society and my dad was very, very strict, and I spent a lot of my childhood pushing away my culture because of that.

Todd: And how do you feel about your culture now?

Rina: I'm very, very proud of it. I love it. It's nice to be different and I'm glad I get that chance to do that. Um, the only thing, when I was in Lebanon, it was hard as well because people didn't see me as Canadian, and they didn't see me as Lebanese You know I was, a lot of people didn't talk to me because of it. I went there and a lot of people shunned me basically, so.

Todd: So even though you had no language barrier at all cause you speak Lebanese?

Rina: Yep, yep, no, they basically, you know they were mad at me because I was too Canadian, or they were mad at me that I wasn't enough Canadian, and like, it was just, you know, insane.

Todd: That's pretty tough.

Rina: Yeah, well, they have their, they have their image of what you know, what Western society is like from movies and, you know, because you know I have my tattoos, they thought I was just basically Satin's spawn,and because I wasn't running around like a tramp, they thought well, "What is she is doing? What is she supposed to?" it was just the worst of both world's really.

Todd: Ah, that's terrible.

Rina: Yeah, so because, they do, they have, and actually I have to specify this: I was in a village. Like, both of my parents are from villages

Todd: Oh, I see.

Rina: In Beirut, it's different, but when I was in the villages, where I stayed the majority of the time, it was like that, but I got, I made my little older ladies love me, but they were talking to me at the end, having coffee with me while I smoked my cigarettes, yep, yep.

Todd: Oh, that's good to hear.

#570 Beirut Nights - Rina talks about the night life in Beirut

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Todd: So, Rina, you were saying Lebanon, or Beirut, has really good night clubs. (Mm-hm) Ah, what's a really cool night club in Beirut?

Rina: My favorite night club was rated 5th in Maxim magazine, and it's called B. O. 18, and what it used to be was a Palestinian burial ground and,

Todd: Wait a minute! (Yeah) It, there's no longer dead people there?

Rina: No, no, no. It used to be. (OK) Just during the civil war, cause there was a 17 year war, and what it is, you walk up, you don't see anything, it's just a big open space, but you see these, like, almost like subway stairs going down, and you go down these stairs and the theme inside this place is death, and it's like a big coffin, so you have red velvet walls and all the tables are little coffins with Palestinian soldier pictures on it and single rows and it's just a really good, it's a really neat club. And I went to a lot of theme clubs, too, I went to one that's called The Music Hall and it's like just, like a big theater, it was just amazing.

Todd: So, what's The Music Hall like?

Rina: Um, well they had that night I went, they had five different groups: One American group, one Spanish, one Lebanese, and they all just, it's like a theater, like scene one, scene two, and each scene would be a different music, genre like, you know.

Todd: That's pretty cool.

Rina: Yeah, it was cool.

Todd: So, at these night clubs, how do people dress? What's the fashion?

Rina: Um, Lebanese girls, and people that were like Lebanese girls, they're very trend conscious. Oh, yeah. Like if it's in a magazine, they're wearing it type thing. They look down on anybody, that doesn't.

Todd: Ah, so.

Rina: Yeah, and it's all like, done up like they went to the salon that day to go out sort of thing.

Todd: Wow! (Yeah) So we're talking, like the skimpy dressed that they have?

Rina: Everything. Oh, yeah.

Todd: Your kidding. What do the guys dress like?

Rina: Ah, the guys are, they dress prettier than some of the girls.

Todd: No kidding.

Rina: Yeah, the guys dress really well, but very, just as I said, very trend conscious. Everybody's very image, image conscious. It's really a lot like Japan in that way.

Todd: Mm, oh cool. Thanks.

#568 Smoking - Al shares his thoughts on smoking

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Todd: So Al, I must congratulate you, I hear you no longer smoke.

Al: That's true, I'm now, six months ago I stopped smoking.

Todd: Good man. So how did you do it?

Al: I just, I went out and I had the best New Year's Eve I've ever had in my life, where I went to a music party, a club, and I smoked and drank as much as I wanted for about 12 hours. I finally left at 9 in the morning on New Year's Day, my lungs dry and and then decided I'm never going to do this and stopped.

Todd: Wow, I mean, you must have had, you know, addictions, you must have wanted to have a cigarette a couple days later.

Al: You know, I've stopped smoking several times and had very bad cravings before, and this time it was, a couple of times I felt like I might like one, but no, I didn't have any nicotine cravings. I was ready this time I think.

Todd: So you just think where your body reaches a point where you can take no more.

Al: Yeah definitely, and your mind reaches a point where you're sickened by your own disgusting behavior

Todd: Right, so what do you think about smoking now?

Al: I hate it. I'm completely, I'm totally anti-smoking, and I used to be very liberal about people's rights to smoke and now I think it should be completely . It should be illegal to buy tobacco.

Todd: Wow, they should just make it illegal.

Al: Make it illegal. It kills people.

Todd: So what is your message to smoker? If someone out there is smoking today, they're a smoker, they want to quit, what's your message to them?

Al: I read a really good, I'm reading a really cool book at the moment about therapy and in one of these stories in this book one guy says, imagine you have a pet dog, and you love this pet dog, and the pet dog is you body, now would you give poisoned, say you went to the pet store and you saw these cans of dog food with a poison mark on them, poisoned flavored dog food containing poison, would you buy that poison dog food and feed it to your dog? No, you wouldn't. That's exactly what you're doing to your body when you smoke. You're deliberately poisoning yourself so stop it.

Todd: Well, good message and so for all of you people out there who are smoking, STOP!

#567 Drinking - Al talks about drinking alcohol

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Todd: So, Al, you mentioned that you quit smoking.

Al: Yes, I did.

Todd: Now, I also heard that you quit drinking.

Al: I did. Almost, about one week after I quit smoking, I quit drinking.

Todd: Wow! No more? No beer? No wine with dinner?

Al: No.

Todd: Nothing?

Al: No.

Todd: Never?

Al: Nothing, never.

Todd: Have you even had a little bit since you quit?

Al: No, I can't have a little bit. It's all or nothing for me so.

Todd: Wow!

Al: Yeah, nothing at all.

Todd: That's pretty tough to do. Well, I mean, you seem pretty happy, I mean.

Al: I'm very happy.

Todd: OK. So what, why did you stop drinking? Why do you think it's better not to drink any alcohol?

Al: I don't, I mean, I'm not against drinking the way I am against smoking. I knew that for me it was the best thing to do because drinking is getting in the way of other things I wanted to do with my life.

Todd: Right.

Al: So, and I didn't really, I drank a lot and I didn't enjoy it anymore.

Todd: Yeah.

Al: That was the thing.

Todd: Actually, I have to feel a little bit the same way. I'm a social drinker. I only drink when I'm with friends and I really don't like drinking because I don't like how it makes me feel afterwards, like if I have a glass of wine or beer, I can't work afterwards and that bothers me but its nice to have a glass of wine with a good meal.

Al: It is. Yes. There are things I miss about it but there are so many other good things that I've got from not drinking so I look at the balance and the sacrifice and for me it's worth it, not to drink. I can give up a glass of wine with dinner if get the other things I've got from it, so.

Todd: Well, do you feel healthier? Does you body feel better?

Al: I feel much healthier. I feel much more focused. My thinking is much clearer, and I like, I still go to bars and hang out with people and they drink and I don't and I go home, I love leaving a bar when I'm still sober. I love that feeling. I don't know why it's a fantastic feeling.

Todd: Well, sounds like something maybe I should consider.
Thanks Al

#566 Water - Al and Todd share their thoughts about water

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Todd: So, Al, we're going to talk about water. How much water do you drink every day?

Al: I guess about three liters, so six of those 500 millileter, five or six of those 500 millileter bottles.

Todd: Yeah, that's a lot. That's about what I drink. Yeah, I think I'm addicted to water.

Al: I definitely am.

Todd: Yeah, it's my security blanket. I must always have a bottle of water nearby to drink.

Al: And you have a theory to about why I always feel like I get thirstier the more water I drink, and you have a theory about that don't you?

Todd: Yeah, that's right. I think that the water bottle people somehow put a special chemical that always make you want to drink more water.

Al: I agree.

Todd: Yeah, cause haven't you noticed that if you drink water from a tap, from the sink, you have a glass of water, you're not thirsty after you finish the glass, but when you finish a bottle of water, you're still thirsty.

Al: One bottle is not enough. Yeah, definitely. A glass of tap water I would rarely finish the glass, but a bottle of bottled water, I need more, and like you said I need to know there is more close to me or I get upset.

Todd: Well, do you still drink tap water?

Al: No, never.

Todd: Never?

Al: I cook with it but I don't drink it.

Todd: Why?

Al: Ah, it tastes like crap.

Todd: Yeah, it does taste pretty bad. Well, we both live in Japan, how is the water in England?

Al: It's about the same. It's kind of, it's drinkable in theory but it has this weird processed taste to it and doesn't smell all that good, so it's supposed to be safe to drink but I don't really believe that, for a minute.

Todd: Actually the water where I'm from in Norhtern California is pretty good.

Al: Is it?

Todd: Yeah. Ah, that's the one thing you can drink from the tap but people still drink bottled water. Actually, I think the next time there's a huge, massive world war, it might be over water.

Al: Yes.

Todd: It's kind of scary.

Al: It's like we live on this planet that is mostly water and we can't manage it properly. There isn't enough for everybody.

Todd: Yeah, no kidding, so anyway, for all you people out there, remember, be thankful for your water.



#565 Movies - Al talks about the future of movies

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Todd: Al, you are a big movie fan?

Al: Yes, I am.

Todd: So as a big movie fan, what do you think about all the amazing technological special effects that they're doing now?

Al: I think it's going to lead to a point where we don't need actors anymore.

Todd: Seriously.

Al: Yeah.

Todd: I mean, how could they do that though?

Al: You'll be able to completely create a believable character. You can already create a believable character on a computer and give it life and emotion, and he won't be asking for 10 million pounds a movie. He'll be free to create and he'll do exactly what you say, and he'll come to the set on time. He won't need to come to the set will he. He won't turn up on the set drunk is what I mean. He'll be just completely at your mercy to do whatever you want with.

Todd: So, you're saying in the future, they'll just write a story and then just like animation, they'll just design the character and then have the movie with the background and everything.

Al: Yeah. Actors will only be important for reference. Directors will go on back and look at great performances and copy them, or copy nuance and performance for there computer generated character. You'll need the voice actors for awhile, and then computers will be able to create the human voice, recreate the human voice, too.

Todd: Are there any examples of movies, where this is actually happening now?

Al: You look at Yoda. In Star Wars Episode III, Yoda is completely believable.

Todd: And that's all computer graphics, it's not?

Al: It's all computer, I think he's a puppet, I think in this one he was completely computer animated. It was a puppet for some of Episode II.

Todd: Yeah. That's pretty impressive.

Al: Yeah, and scary. Human will be unnecessary soon.

#564 The Roommate - Jeff talks about having a roommate

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Todd: Hey, Jeff this is a very nice apartment.

Jeff: Hmm. It's comfortable. It's cozy. Japanese style.

Todd: I like it. It's got the tatami mat, small kitchen. Do you live alone?

Jeff: I live alone but right now I have a friend of mine staying with me.

Todd: Oh, really, a roommate.

Jeff: Sort of like a roommate, yes. A short term, he's staying with me short-term, so yes a roommate.

Todd: OK, how's that going?

Jeff: Ah, I don't like it.

Todd: Why?

Jeff: He's lazy. He's messy. He drinks too much. He doesn't exercise and he doesn't contribute any money to the rent.

Todd: Ooh, so he lives here and he doesn't give you any money?

Jeff: Well, yeah, he doesn't give me any money. The money's not so bad, though, it's just that he's lazy and he doesn't do much all day.

Todd: That's got to be pretty annoying.

Jeff: He's a great fellow. He's a good friend of mine, but, yeah, he's, I try to motivate him to do a few things but he's a tough one.

Todd: Are you going to tell him he has to move out?

Jeff: Ah, no, he's a smart man. He knows. He knows. He knows the deal. He knows what's going on and I think he's, yeah, I would never ask him to move out because I don't mind having him here but I'm just going to try to whip him into shape.

Todd: Oh, so you're just going to try to change him so he becomes a better roommate?

Jeff: I'm going to be like a woman and try to, yeah, try to get him a better schedule, a better schedule (yeah) like exercise and eating right and less smoking and less drinking.

Todd: Well, what is his schedule?

Jeff: Ah, his schedule is, he's like a night owl, he stays up most of the night drinking, and then he sleeps most of the day recovering, and then when he gets up he has a hangover. He's a bit sluggish and slow, so it's not a healthy lifestyle.

Todd: Yeah, it doesn't sound like it. Good luck.

Jeff: No problem.

#563 Technology - Jeff and Todd talk about technology

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Todd: So, Jeff, let's talk about technology. These days we have all types of new technology, computers,

Jeff: Can we just end this right now. I don't like technology, so can we talk about something else.

Todd: What? You don't like technology.

Jeff: No, I don't like technology.

Todd: What do you mean you don't like technology.

Jeff: Technology is, I think it's gone against what it was originally invented for, and that is for convenience to make people's lives more easy and to give them more free time, and I think it's totally gone against what it was originally invented to do.

Todd: Yeah, but technology does make your lived easier, like it saves us time, it communicates,

Jeff: But does it save us time?

Todd: I think so. I mean, before you had to type something up, now you can just type it up on a word processor. It's quicker. Before you had to walk to a phone. Now the phone is in your pocket. You can just pick it up and call anytime, anywhere in the world.

Jeff: Kind of. I kind of agree with that, but sometimes that walk to the phone is sort of pleasant and you had time to think about other things, but now as you're walking to the phone, you're typing something into your PDA while you're listening to your MP3 player, and then you get into your car and you drive to your office and the first thing you do is check your e-mail and then right after that you check your voice mail and then you send an e-mail to someone and then, I think it's just sort of, it's cluttered. It;s cluttered our lives versus clean it up.

Todd: Yeah, but maybe if you did not have that, then you would probably have something else that would just clutter up your life. I'm sure people were busy before they had technology.

Jeff: Mm, I agree. I think they were busy but maybe more wholesome things, or less, I think, I think you, we, our mind's are sort of, our minds are always bombarded with images or news and a lot of this stuff is not needed but because it is there we use it. I don't think we have to see so much news or read so many different things on the internet and see so much on television and the DVD player, get our news on our MP3 players and our hand-held, our little hand-held computers, our PDA's. I think it's just, we fill our time now with things that are not really needed or not maybe as useful or as clean as the old days: reading and writing and peotry, and when was the last time you wrote a letter to one of your friends and a nice hand-written letter, and put it in an envelope and put it in the mailbox.

Todd: About three or four years.

Jeff: Or a postcard even.

Todd: Four years.

Jeff: So, I think it's, technology is good but I think it's sometimes defeats it's own original purpose.

#562 Is Education Useful? - Jeff and Todd talk about higher education

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Todd: So, Jeff, let's talk about technology. These days we have all types of new technology, computers,

Jeff: Can we just end this right now. I don't like technology, so can we talk about something else.

Todd: What? You don't like technology.

Jeff: No, I don't like technology.

Todd: What do you mean you don't like technology.

Jeff: Technology is, I think it's gone against what it was originally invented for, and that is for convenience to make people's lives more easy and to give them more free time, and I think it's totally gone against what it was originally invented to do.

Todd: Yeah, but technology does make your lived easier, like it saves us time, it communicates,

Jeff: But does it save us time?

Todd: I think so. I mean, before you had to type something up, now you can just type it up on a word processor. It's quicker. Before you had to walk to a phone. Now the phone is in your pocket. You can just pick it up and call anytime, anywhere in the world.

Jeff: Kind of. I kind of agree with that, but sometimes that walk to the phone is sort of pleasant and you had time to think about other things, but now as you're walking to the phone, you're typing something into your PDA while you're listening to your MP3 player, and then you get into your car and you drive to your office and the first thing you do is check your e-mail and then right after that you check your voice mail and then you send an e-mail to someone and then, I think it's just sort of, it's cluttered. It;s cluttered our lives versus clean it up.

Todd: Yeah, but maybe if you did not have that, then you would probably have something else that would just clutter up your life. I'm sure people were busy before they had technology.

Jeff: Mm, I agree. I think they were busy but maybe more wholesome things, or less, I think, I think you, we, our mind's are sort of, our minds are always bombarded with images or news and a lot of this stuff is not needed but because it is there we use it. I don't think we have to see so much news or read so many different things on the internet and see so much on television and the DVD player, get our news on our MP3 players and our hand-held, our little hand-held computers, our PDA's. I think it's just, we fill our time now with things that are not really needed or not maybe as useful or as clean as the old days: reading and writing and peotry, and when was the last time you wrote a letter to one of your friends and a nice hand-written letter, and put it in an envelope and put it in the mailbox.

Todd: About three or four years.

Jeff: Or a postcard even.

Todd: Four years.

Jeff: So, I think it's, technology is good but I think it's sometimes defeats it's own original purpose.

#561 Wild Vacation - Jeff talks about an adventure he has planned

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Todd: OK, so Jeff, you're going back to Canada. What are you gonna do, just sit on the couch and watch TV?

Jeff: No, I'm going to go on a trip with my father.

Todd: Really, just your dad?

Jeff: Just me and my dad. We are going to go back to the island, the small island in Eastern Canada that I was born on and that my dad lived on for about 12 years.

Todd: Cool.

Jeff: We haven't been back there together since.

Todd: So how long's it been?

Jeff: Ah, 28 years.

Todd: Woah.

Jeff: So, and the island is, it's a very interesting island. It's very rugged and rough and the people who live there are very hard-nosed and hospitable and most of it is very inhospitable. It's very rough and rocky and lots of animals there and a very beautiful place so it's a very unique and sort of exotic island.

Todd: What's this place called?

Jeff: It's called Newfoundland.

Todd: Newfoundland.

Jeff: Newfoundland. Yes,and it's a pretty notorious island around the world, and my dad had four or his five kids there, and I was born there, and so it's a special place for him and it's a curious, it's a curious place for me. I'm very curious about it because I haven't been back there since I was a child, since I was five so, it's going to be an interesting trip I think.

Todd: Ah, what type of things do you plan to do with your father?

Jeff: Well, we're going to take a ferry. It takes 24 hours to get there by ferry, so we will take a ferry there, and then we're going to drive on 4x4's, little four wheeled vehicles, like a motorcyle from one side of the island all the way through the interior through the woods, to the other coast, and it's over a thousand kilometers, and it's pretty rough and slow and we're just going to go through the woods, straight across the island, through the woods.

Todd: In this truck?

Jeff: In these, we each have a little 4x4, each have a little four-wheeled vehicle and at night we'll camp in a tent and we'll have campfires and

Todd: Oh, you mean the offroad vehicles like the little buggy thing.

Jeff: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And my dad will have a gun so we'll probably shoot some animals and cook them up in the fire and we'll go fishing and so, yes, it'll just be very clean and very wholesome and very nice, quiet, two weeks.

Todd: Are you a little worried about bears?

Jeff: Ah, there're lots of bears around but they don't usually, they won't hurt you if you make enough noise, they'll, there scared of you. There're more scared of you than you are scared of them. (OK) Generally.

Todd: But don't they want to eat your food and stuff?

Jeff: Yeah, maybe, but you take certain precautions and you don't leave things lying around your camp or you hang them from a tree and usually the bears will leave you alone if you don't, if you don't intice them with food by leaving things around the camp.

Todd: Oh, be careful. Sounds fun though.

Jeff: Thank you. If you have time you can come along.

#560 School Comparison - Jeyong compares studying in China and the U.S

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Todd: So Jeyong, this is very interesting, you were a student in America for a long period of time. When did you study in America?

Jeyong: When? (Uh-huh) Elementary school, third, yeah.

Todd: Ah, so were you just there for one year?

Jeyong: No, I was there for five years.

Todd: Five years!

Jeyong: Until 8th grade.

Todd: Wow! So you were in America from the 3rd grade to the 8th grade? (Mm-hm) OK and you were also a student in China. (Yes) And when did you study in China?

Jeyong: That'd be for my high school years.

Todd: Wow, for three years.

Jeyong: For two years.

Todd: Two years. Wow. Can you think of any differences in the school life between China and the U.S.?

Jeyong: The school life. The friends were all very nice to me, both in America and China, but one thing I had a problem is I went to America with not even knowing the alphabet so it was very hard for me to keep up with the English level, together with the Americans at school, so in the beginning I would fail all my tests and not even able to get a good grade in any English courses, only in math would I, I got A-plus, but other than that, I was horrible but, in China, before I went to China, I learned Chinese for four months, so that actually helped me a lot, so I was able to catch up the Chinese language pretty quickly.

Todd: Now you are completely fluent in English. Are you completely fluent in Chinese?

Jeyong: Now? (Mm-hm?) I can have a conversation fairly with Chinese friends.

Todd: Wow! Do you ever dream in Chinese or English?

Jeyong: That never happened to me.

Todd: Ah, still in Korean.

Jeyong: Still in Korean and a little bit of English.

Todd: OK, how about the daily routine at the schools? Are there any differences between a day at school in America and a day of school in China?

Jeyong: Well for America, I went with my family, so it would be a day school for me, and I would go to school at 8 o'clock in the morning, have lunch at school and come back home at 3:15, around that time, but in China I was in a dormitory, so I would wake up, I was forced to wake up at 6:30 in the morning, get ready, have breakfast and go to class at maybe 8:30, and then have lunch, and I was out of school at 9 o'clock.

Todd: At night?

Jeyong: Night.

Todd: Whoa! That's a long day.

Jeyong: Long day. I had to study a lot in China.

Todd: Well, it sounds like a really good experience. You know that you were able to do both. You're very fortunate.

Jeyong: Yes, I feel that way too.

#559 How to Look Sexy - Jeyong gives fashion tips for a night club

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Todd: So, Jeyong, you like to go to night clubs. (Yes) OK. When you go to a night club, what do kids wear these days? Like what makes you look cool in a night club or how should you dress?

Jeyong: These days being sexy is what kids prefer, and by saying sexy, wearing a tank top, and a top that shows a lot of your skin.

Todd: OK, a lot of skin. (Uh-huh) Um so tank tops, what about a guy? What would a guy wear for a shirt?

Jeyong: A guy would be wearing casual hip-hop pants, and maybe a polo shirt.

Todd: A polo shirt.

Jeyong: Or a top.

Todd: Like just a t-shirt.

Jeyong: T-shirt.

Todd: OK, now for a, would a girl wear hip-hop pants?

Jeyong: No, girls wear also sexy clothes, maybe short skirts or comfortable jeans (OK) with high heels.

Todd: High heels! Now aren't high heels hard to dance in?

Jeyong: They are actually, but then it looks better with high heels on. They look taller.

Todd: OK, what do the guys wear? Obviously they don't wear high heels.

Jeyong: No. Guys wear sneakers.

Todd: Ah, sneakers. OK. Now do you wear anytime of jewelry or anything? Do you wear necklaces or?

Jeyong: I personally don't wear a necklaces but earrings. Big hoops. Silver ones. Those look really pretty at the clubs because it kind of shines, and make-up is really important, too.

Todd: Really! OK.

Jeyong: Like for eyelashes, you want to have a really strong look for your eyes, and maybe lip-gloss, would look good on too.

Todd: Now, do the men wear make-up these days?

Jeyong: No, but then perfume would be a nice thing to put on guys.

Todd: OK. Now you said you want to look sexy, right, but you're 19, so when you go to the night club, can you leave your house
looking like that, or is that something you have to hide from your parents?

Jeyong: First, of all I don't go to night clubs that often because I'm not a party-party girl, but then I like dancing so I only went to club once when I was in Korea and I actually told my parents the truth that I am going to a party at a club so it was alright for me to wear sexy clothes and then leave home.

Todd: Ah, that's good, you have very supportive parents. OK, well thanks.

#558 Embarrassing Moments - Todd and Mark share embarrassing moments

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Mark: So Todd what would you say was your best moment of your whole high school experience?

Todd: Oh, wow. My best moment was, well I played football and they never gave me the ball. I always sat on the bench and then one game, I actually got to touch the ball and run with the ball, but unfortunately it was also my worst moment, cause as I was running with the football, you run forward and there was nobody in front of me and I tripped, and it was pretty embarrassing.

Mark: Like you, the field was open, you could have.

Todd: Scored. Yeah, yeah. Could have been the hero and all that and I tripped. But most of my negative stuff, or my bad memories were all to do with girls.

Mark: Yeah, me too.

Todd: Let's see, there was one time I asked a girl out to a date and she said that she would go out with me, and I was so happy, and I was walking away from her and I was waving and at the last minute I saw her turn away and flinch, and I thought, "Why is she flinching? Why is she turning away?" That's right about the time I walked right into a pole. It just about knocked me out, and so she didn't even come over and see if I was OK. She kind of just left me there cause she figured I was embarrassed.

Mark: Oh, were you embarrassed?

Todd: Of course.

Mark: Of course.

Todd: There was another girl the year before that I has asked out for my first date. So we went out to the movies and then after the date, you have to walk her to the front door (right) and we walked to the front door and the main thing is can you get a kiss goodnight (right) so I was just so nervous that she wouldn't kiss me and so then we walked to the front door and she kissed me and I was so happy cause I just felt like "Wow, I got a kiss on my first date!" and then I went to school the next Monday morning and I'm walking through campus and I feel really good because, you know, I can say that I got a kiss, and I walk up to my friends and they just start laughing at me, and they're like, "Yeah, we talked with Laura" that was the girl's name, "We talked with Laura and she said you kiss like a fish."

Mark: Ah, man (so) Oh, that's rough.

Todd: Yeah, it's pretty bad. My moment of glory was ruined.

#557 High School - Mark and Todd remember high school

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Mark: Hey, Todd, when you look back on your high school experience, do you, in general, do you see it as a positive or a negative experience?

Todd: Oh, definitely positive. It was one of the best times of my life.

Mark: Yeah.

Todd: Oh, it was awesome. I mean, it was being with your friends,and you know, driving for the first time and having your first part-time job and playing sports and going to dances. It was great.

Mark: Now did, a lot of high schools in the states, I went to high school in the states and a lot of high schools have, there are these clicks, you know, there's like a popular group of kids, and then there are other kids who don't really feel like they belong (right) Yeah, I know you Todd. You strike me as you were probably one of the popular kids, so of course you're gonna think high school was great.

Todd: Well, no, actually, I wasn't one of the popular kids, but I was in the popular group, so I played sports so I was one of the jocks.

Mark: Yeah, one of the jocks, always, they get into the popular clicks easier. So do you, can you imagine like how somebody might feel that wasn't in one of those groups, that they might have hated high school?

Todd: Well, I don't know who hated high school but I remember there were the motor heads. Those were the guys that were always working on their car. They had really nice cars they fixed up. They probably didn't like high school too much, then there were the drama freaks, and the drama freaks were, they dressed really different and they were kind of into punk at that time. They were very artistic and very creative, very smart, and because they were so different, I think a lot of kids made fun of them, so maybe they didn't like high school.

Mark: Now were you one of the kids that made fun of them?

Todd: Definitely not. I mean, I was never that way. Actually, I was the kid that somehow was friends with everybody because even though I was with the jocks, I wasn't a good jock. I was a terrible athlete, so I was maybe just surviving by being friends with them anyway, but yeah.

Mark: Now, you're a good baseball player though, right?

Todd: Actually I was but I didn't play baseball because I, in high school because I, foolishly I wanted to make money. I wanted to get a part-time job and get a car, so I stopped. I played football and basketball, though.

Mark: OK, now most high schools, just about every high school, after ten years, you have a high school reunion. Did you go to your 10-year high school reunion?

Todd: You know, I did not go to my high school reunion. My friends went and, you know, they said it was a pretty good time and everyone had changed, but I didn't go. Have you been to yours?

Mark: I did. I went to mine last year.

Todd: Oh, really. Did everybody still look the same?

Mark: For the most part. What I found interesting is the popular clicks, that I talked about before, they still existed. It was ten years later and it was like all the popular, you know, they're not kids anymore, but all the popular people were hanging out together and all the nerds were kind of standing around on the side and looking lonely and depressed.

Todd: Wow.

Mark: Yeah it as kind of sad.

#556 Mean Professor - Shuan and Brett talk about their classes

DangLVH






Introduction:
You will hear four audio segments about a topic or situation.
When the audio stops you will see a question with three possible answers.
You must choose the correct answer to move forward. If you choose the wrong answer you have to listen again.

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Brett: Hey, Shawn, how are classes going?

Shawn: Well, it's exam time right now, and you know what, I really think I'm going to fail this one class.

Brett: Why is that?

Shawn: Well, it's not any of my fault. It's actually, I think that the teacher doesn't like me.

Brett: He doesn't like you. What do you mean?

Shawn: It's kind of strange, I mean, I go up and I ask him and he disagrees with me and but he actually takes personal offense to what I say.

Brett: Personal offense.

Shawn: Which is funny, right.

Brett: What do you mean?

Shawn: Like, I'll give you an example. I went up because I didn't get a question on my homework right, and I asked him why I didn't get any marks for it, and the question in the book, asked you for your own opinion, so I did write my own opinion, but when I went up to talk to him about the question he said that what I had written wasn't in the book so I got no points for it.

Shawn: So what's the point of asking for your own opinion?

Brett: See, that's the funny part. I don't know.

Shawn: What about you? How are your classes going?

Brett: My classes are going OK. Right now I'm really just working on my thesis, and it's taking me a long time to gather all the materials, resources, and go through all the readings, but it's going OK, I think.

Shawn: How many pages do you have to write for your thesis?

Brett: I probably have to write about twenty pages, or so, and I have to survey, about a thousand people and it's taking me a lot of time to analyze all that data.

Shawn: Twenty pages, that's not, is that double space or single space?

Brett: That's double space.

Shawn: So that's not that much.

Brett: Yeah, it's about 10,000 words, or so.

Shawn: Well, I hope you do well and good luck to your research.

Brett: Thank you.

#555 Families - Senem and Brett talk about their families

DangLVH






Introduction:
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When the audio stops you will see a question with three possible answers.
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Brett: Hi, Senum, how are you?

Senum: Good, thank you Brett. How are you?

Brett: Very good. So let's talk about family today.

Senum: Alrighty then.

Brett: So, how large is your family?

Senum: Well, actually, I'm an only child, but I have a very large extended family.

Brett: What ethnicity?

Senum: I'm actualy, my families Turkish.

Brett: Really!

Senum: Yeah. We're all like, my family immigrated from Turkey about 20 years ago so we all came down to Turkey, and I was born in Australia actually, and I have a lot of family in Turkey, as well as Australia now.

Brett: Do you still practice Turkish customs?

Senum: Of course.

Brett: Even though you're living in Australia.

Senum: Definitely. We always have Turkish meals, do Turkey, celebrate Turkish days,and.

Brett: Like what kind of Turkish days?

Senum: For example we have Children's Day, and we celebrate that, where the children actually go to the elderly, the elder members of their families, and they go visit them, and they actually receive some money.

Brett: Really.

Senum: It's quite interesting. Yeah.

Brett: Ah, what other holidays do you celebrate?

Senum: Um, also we celebrate, it's called Lolliday.

Brett: Lolliday.

Senum: Yeah, and we just, the whole name of it is, once again to go to the elderly and to see them and to tell them that we care about them still, and that we are still thinking of them, though we don't see them probably every other day. How about you Brett? How many people are in your family?

Brett: I'm, I have one younger brother and just my mom and dad.

Senum: I see, and how about your extended family?

Brett: Extended family? I have a lot of extended family, on both sides. It's too many to count, really so.

Senum: So do you get together like on the weekends or anything like that?

Brett: Ah, recent, yeah sometimes. My uncle has a very nice place that has a pool and all my cousins go out there every weekend and have a lot, usually a barbeque.

Senum: Oh, sounds so cool. I pretty much do the same. We always try to organize some barbeques, some things like that, but, down by the beach, or at the parks, and we get together, a whole bunch of people, about 20 to 30 people, have lots of meat.

Brett: Lots of meat.

Senum: Yeah. We kids go running around everywhere.

#554 Aussie Tips - Senem gives advice about going to Australia

DangLVH





Introduction:
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When the audio stops you will see a question with three possible answers.
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Shawn: Hi, you're senum, am I right?

Senum: That's right. And you're Shawn?

Shawn: Yeah, yeah. I'm from Canada and I heard that you're from Australia.

Senum: Yep. That's right.

Shawn: Ah, that's great because I'm thinking of going to Australia on an exchange, but I'm not sure where to go, or what universities to go to, or even which city I should be looking at.

Senum: Well, what time of the year will you be going to Australia?

Shawn: I'm thinking of going between November and February.

Senum: Oh, that's a great season. It's very hot then.

Shawn: Yeah, I expected that it would be summer down there.

Senum: It is.

Shawn: So which cities would you recommend for, well, a good atmosphere, or a good university?

Senum: Um, I would recommend in Melbourne for sure, only because I'm from Melbourne, and the weather is actually pretty nice in Melbourne. It's not that hot at, during the day, and it's not that cold at nighttime. One of the main universities in Melbourne is Monash University. It's well know for it's business courses. Um, it's a little bit expensive but if you, you can also receive scholarships from Monash.

Shawn: Well, Monash, um, I'm actually interested with something to do with architecture, so I mean, I look at the Sydney Opera House, and I'm wondering if there's anything that would teach me architecture, just kind of like, how they designed the Opera House.

Senum: I see. RMIT is well know for architecture course so, I would suggest RMT, for sure, in Melbourne.

Shawn: RUMIT. Great I'll look it up when I get there.

Senum: Alright.

Shawn: Um, you said that Monash University was expensive, but how about RIT?

Senum: RMIT

Shawn: RMIT?

Senum: Yes.

Shawn: Ah, how much is that per year?

Senum: Um, it's not as expensive as Monash. RMIT is located in the city so it's easy to get by through trams and trains and buses, and it's not that expensive for transportation and housing is pretty cheap, especially if you do homestay, you'll find that it will be really cheap, um, good luck.

Shawn: Great. Does RMIT have a web site that I can look at?

Senum: It does. Just go to www.rmit.edu.au.

Shawn: Alright. I'll get that.

#553 20 Questions - Senem and Brett play the game 20 Questions

DangLVH





Introduction:
You will hear four audio segments about a topic or situation.
When the audio stops you will see a question with three possible answers.
You must choose the correct answer to move forward. If you choose the wrong answer you have to listen again.

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Senum: Hey, Brett, how are you?
Brett: Pretty good, how are you?
Senum: Good, thank you.
Brett: Hey, do you want to play a game?
Senum: Sure. What sort of game?
Brett: Let's play 20 questions.
Senum: OK, go ahead.
Brett: OK, who am I thinking about?
Senum: Man? Is it a male?
Brett: Yes, it's a male.
Senum: Is he an actor?
Brett: Yes, he's an actor.
Senum: Does he have short hair?
Brett: Yes, he has short hair.
Senum: Right. Is he famous?
Brett: Yes, he's famous.
Senum: Does he have blue eyes?
Brett: Yes.
Senum: He does have blue eyes?
Brett: No, he has...
Senum: He doesn't have blue eyes?
Brett: No, he doesn't have blue eyes.
Senum: Does he have brown eyes?
Brett: Yes.
Senum: Is he short?
Brett: No.
Senum: Is he in the Ocean's 12?
Brett: Yes.
Senum: He is!
Brett: Yes.
Senum: OK. Is he married, currently?
Brett: NO.
Senum: He isn't married?
Brett: No.
Senum: OK. Is he tall?
Brett: Yes.
Senum: OK. Is he George Clooney?
Brett: Yes.

Senum: Great. OK, my turn now. Who am I think about it?
Brett: Is he a male?
Senum: Yes.
Brett: Is he an actor?
Senum: No.
Brett: Is he a singer?
Senum: No.
Brett: Is he a politician?
Senum: Yes.
Brett: Does he have white hair?
Senum: Yes.
Brett: Yes. Is he American?
Senum: No.
Brett: Is he British?
Senum: No.
Brett: Is he Australian?
Senum: Yes.
Brett: Is he your Prime Minister?
Senum: He is.
Brett: Is he John Howard?
Senum: Yes, he is. Well done.

#552 Rent or Own - Mark and Todd debate renting vs. owning

DangLVH






Type your summary here

Todd: So Mark, you are going back to America. (Yes) Man, where are you going to live when you go back?

Mark: Well, temporarily, I'll stay at my parents in Birmingham, Alabama.

Todd: OK, and where're you gonna live after that?

Mark: Well, I'm not sure. I might move down to South Florida. Florida is kind of my second home, and, yeah, I'd like to actually one day, get a house down there.

Todd: Oh, really.

Mark: Yeah.

Todd: You're just going to buy a house?

Mark: Well, I'd like to someday. I mean, I prefer to own my own home instead of always renting an apartment somewhere.

Todd: Yeah, but see, I think it's better to rent, cause you know, when you rent a house, you don't have to worry about losing your job, or if you have to relocate. You don't have to worry about if there's a natural disaster, and in Florida you seem to love those hurricanes down there.

Mark: That's definitely true.

Todd: You know.

Mark: But there's something about owning your own house, that's just, this is my house but I'm renting. It's like someone else, you know, I mean someone else does own your house, and you know, there's that feeling of like, you depend on them, you know for lodging but if it's your house, you own it, then there's a sense of independency there.

Todd: Yeah, that true. That's a good point but on the other hand, I just love my free time, and when you rent, you just got more free time. You know when you own a house. You have to do maintenance. You have to do all the paperwork for taxes, and you know, city government stuff, like that. When you rent it's just really easy.

Mark: Well, you know, the maintenance stuff can be fun. It depends on how you look at it. Like, you know, if it's your house, you actually might be motivated to make it look better cause it's, you take pride in, you know, where you live and it's your house, and what do you do in your free time anyway? Like what do you do in your free times?

Todd: What do I do in my free time?

Mark: Yeah.

Todd: Well, I don't fix pipes and work on plumbing and garden, that's for sure.

Mark: But, well, but why not? I mean.

Todd: Good point. That's true.

#551 City or Countryside - Mark and Todd debate the city and the country

DangLVH






Introduction:
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When the audio stops you will see a question with three possible answers.
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Todd: So, Mark, I heard that you are going to be leaving Tokyo pretty soon.

Mark: I am. I'm getting out of the city.

Todd: Ah, man, so when you go back to America are you going to live in a big city like Atlanta or Birmingham?

Mark: Well, I from Birmingham, which is a kind of medium sized city, but there's a lot of access to the countryside, cause Birmingham is a medium sized city but Alabama is very rural, so lots of mountains, lots of countryside and I'm actually looking forward to getting into that setting again.

Todd: Oh, man. I don't know dude. I grew up on a farm, and I lived way out in the country growing up, and I can't stand the country now.

Mark: Really.

Todd: Yeah. I've lived in big cities: San Francisco, London, Bangkok, Tokyo.

Mark: But don't you miss like the, you know, fresh air, and the views. Don't you just tired of concrete jungles, and buildings and.

Todd: Ah, that's true. I mean, when you're in the country, you have fresh air and you do have, you know, the beauty, and this and that, but it's just boring. It's the same five people.

Mark: It is true, but actually I find it's harder to meet people in a big city, because there is so many people, so you're, nobody really cares to stop and talk to you because there is a million other people around, but if you're in a town, a small town, or out in the country, the few people you do meet, you form a good relationship with.

Todd: Yeah, that's somewhat true, but there's just no energy. You know the countries slow. You can't just go to any restaurant at any time, you can't, you know, go see a museum, or go see a ball game or go to a nightclub and it's a just a lot of sitting around.

Mark: Well, that's true and, if I do, every time I go back to the country, I always miss those things, like a museum, and you know, concerts and things like that, but I'm just able to relax so much more when I'm out in a rural setting.

Todd: Well, I hope you have a good time.

Mark: Thanks.

Model Driven Architecture - MDA

DangLVH
Index:
I. Overview

II. MDA Benefits
1 Productivity
2 Portability
3 Interoperability

4 Maintenance and Documentation
III. The Model Driven Architecture
1 The MDA Development Life Cycle
Platform Independent Model
Platform Specific Model
Code
Raising the Level of Abstraction

2 Automation of the Transformation Steps
IV. MDA Tools
V. Specifications
1 The Pervasive Services
2 Domain Facilities
3 MDA Applications

VI. Summary
VII. Reference


I. Overview

Model-Driven Architecture (MDA) is a software design approach that its sponsor, the Object Management Group (OMG), officially launched in 2001. MDA supports model-driven engineering of software systems. MDA provides a set of guidelines for structuring specifications expressed as models. The MDA approach defines system functionality using a platform-independent model (PIM) using an appropriate Domain Specific Language. Then, given a Platform Definition Model (PDM) corresponding to CORBA, DotNet, the Web, etc., the PIM is translated to one or more platform-specific models (PSMs) that computers can run, using different Domain Specific Languages, or a General Purpose Language like Java, C#, Python, etc. Automated tools generally perform these translations, for example tools compliant to the new OMG standard named QVT. The OMG documents the overall process in a document called the MDA Guide. MDA principles can also apply to other areas such as business process modeling where the PIM is translated to either automated or manual processes.

The MDA model is related to multiple standards, including the Unified Modeling Language (UML), the Meta-Object Facility (MOF), the XML Metadata interchange (XMI), Enterprise Distributed Object Computing (EDOC), the Software Process Engineering Metamodel (SPEM), and the Common Warehouse Metamodel (CWM). Note that the term “architecture” in Model-driven architecture does not refer to the architecture of the system being modeled, but rather to the architecture of the various standards and model forms that serve as the technology basis for MDA.

II. MDA Benefits

Let us now take a closer look at what application of MDA brings us in terms of improvement of the software development process.

1 Productivity

In MDA the focus for a developer shifts to the development of a PIM. The PSMs that are needed are generated by a transformation from PIM to PSM. Of course, someone still needs to define the exact transformation, which is a difficult and specialized task. But such a transformation only needs to be defined once and can then be applied in the development of many systems. The payback for the effort to define a transformation is large, but it can only be done by highly skilled people.

The majority of developers will focus on the development of PIMs. Since they can work independently of details and specifics of the target platforms, there is a lot of technical detail that they do not need to bother with. These technical details will be automatically added by the PIM to PSM transformation. This improves the productivity in two ways.

In the first place, the PIM developers have less work to do because platform-specific details need not be designed and written down; they are already addressed in the transformation definition. At the PSM and code level, there is much less code to be written, because a large amount of the code is already generated from the PIM.

The second improvement comes from the fact that the developers can shift focus from code to PIM, thus paying more attention to solving the business problem at hand. This results in a system that fits much better with the needs of the end users. The end users get better functionality in less time.

Such a productivity gain can only be reached by the use of tools that fully automate the generation of a PSM from a PIM. Note that this implies that much of the information about the application must be incorporated in the PIM and/or the generation tool. Because the high-level model is no longer "just paper," but directly related to the generated code, the demands on the completeness and consistency of the high-level model (PIM) are higher than in traditional development. A human reading a paper model may be forgiving—an automated transformation tool is not.

2 Portability

Within the MDA, portability is achieved by focusing on the development of PIMs, which are by definition platform independent. The same PIM can be automatically transformed into multiple PSMs for different platforms. Everything you specify at the PIM level is therefore completely portable.

The extent to which portability can be achieved depends on the automated transformation tools that are available. For popular platforms, a large number of tools will undoubtedly be (or become) available. For less popular platforms, you may have to use a tool that supports plug-in transformation definitions, and write the transformation definition yourself.

For new technologies and platforms that will arrive in the future, the software industry needs to deliver the corresponding transformations in time. This enables us to quickly deploy new systems with the new technology, based on our old and existing PIMs.

3 Interoperability

We have been incomplete regarding the overall MDA picture. As shown in Figure 1, multiple PSMs generated from one PIM may have relationships. In MDA these are called bridges. When PSMs are targeted at different platforms, they cannot directly talk with each other. One way or another, we need to transform concepts from one platform into concepts used in another platform. This is what interoperability is all about. MDA addresses this problem by generating not only the PSMs, but the necessary bridges between them as well.

Figure 1. MDA interoperability using bridges

If we are able to transform one PIM into two PSMs targeted at two platforms, all of the information we need to bridge the gap between the two PSMs is available. For each element in one PSM we know from which element in the PIM it has been transformed. From the PIM element we know what the corresponding element is in the second PSM. We can therefore deduce how elements from one PSM relate to elements in the second PSM. Since we also know all the platform-specific technical details of both PSMs (otherwise we couldn't have performed the PIM-to-PSM transformations), we have all the information we need to generate a bridge between the two PSMs.

Take, for example, one PSM to be a Java (code) model and the other PSM to be a relational database model. For an element Customer in the PIM, we know to which Java class(es) this is transformed. We also know to which table(s) this Customer element is transformed. Building a bridge between a Java object in the Java-PSM and a table in the Relational-PSM is easy. To retrieve an object from the database, we query the table(s) transformed from Customer, and instantiate the class(es) in the other PSM with the data. To store an object, we find the data in the Java object and store it in the "Customer" tables.

Cross-platform interoperability can be realized by tools that not only generate PSMs, but the bridges between them, and possibly to other platforms, as well. You can "survive" technology changes while preserving your investment in the PIM.

4 Maintenance and Documentation

Working with the MDA life cycle, developers can focus on the PIM, which is at a higher level of abstraction than code. The PIM is used to generate the PSM, which in turn is used to generate the code. The model is an exact representation of the code. Thus, the PIM fulfills the function of high-level documentation that is needed for any software system.

The big difference is that the PIM is not abandoned after writing. Changes made to the system will eventually be made by changing the PIM and regenerating the PSM and the code. In practice today, many of the changes are made to the PSM and code is regenerated from there. Good tools, however, will be able to maintain the relationship between PIM and PSM, even when changes to the PSM are made. Changes in the PSM will thus be reflected in the PIM, and high-level documentation will remain consistent with the actual code.

In the MDA approach the documentation at a high level of abstraction will naturally be available. Even at that level, the need to write down additional information, which cannot be captured in a PIM, will remain. This includes, for example, argumentation for choices that have been made while developing the PIM.

III. The Model Driven Architecture

The Model Driven Architecture (MDA) is a framework for software development defined by the Object Management Group (OMG). Key to MDA is the importance of models in the software development process. Within MDA the software development process is driven by the activity of modeling your software system.

In this section we first explain the basic MDA development life cycle, and next illustrate how MDA can help to solve (at least part of) the problems mentioned in the previous sections.

1 The MDA Development Life Cycle

The MDA development life cycle, which is shown in Figure 2, does not look very different from the traditional life cycle. The same phases are identified. One of the major differences lies in the nature of the artifacts that are created during the development process. The artifacts are formal models, i.e., models that can be understood by computers. The following three models are at the core of the MDA.

Figure 2. MDA software development life cycle

Platform Independent Model

The first model that MDA defines is a model with a high level of abstraction that is independent of any implementation technology. This is called a Platform Independent Model (PIM).

A PIM describes a software system that supports some business. Within a PIM, the system is modeled from the viewpoint of how it best supports the business. Whether a system will be implemented on a mainframe with a relational database or on an EJB application server plays no role in a PIM.

Platform Specific Model

In the next step, the PIM is transformed into one or more Platform Specific Models (PSMs). A PSM is tailored to specify your system in terms of the implementation constructs that are available in one specific implementation technology. For example, an EJB PSM is a model of the system in terms of EJB structures. It typically contains EJB-specific terms like "home interface," "entity bean," "session bean," and so on. A relational database PSM includes terms like "table," "column," "foreign key," and so on. It is clear that a PSM will only make sense to a developer who has knowledge about the specific platform.

A PIM is transformed into one or more PSMs. For each specific technology platform a separate PSM is generated. Most of the systems today span several technologies; therefore it is common to have many PSMs with one PIM.

Code

The final step in the development is the transformation of each PSM to code. Because a PSM fits its technology rather closely, this transformation is relatively straightforward.

The MDA defines the PIM, PSM, and code, and also defines how these relate to each other. A PIM should be created, and then transformed into one or more PSMs, which then are transformed into code. The most complex step in the MDA development process is the one in which a PIM is transformed into one or more PSMs.

Raising the Level of Abstraction

The PIM, PSM, and code are shown as artifacts of different steps in the development life cycle. More importantly, they represent different abstraction levels in the system specification. The ability to transform a high level PIM into a PSM raises the level of abstraction at which a developer can work. This allows a developer to cope with more complex systems with less effort.

2 Automation of the Transformation Steps

The MDA process may look suspiciously much like traditional development. However, there is a crucial difference. Traditionally, the transformations from model to model, or from model to code, are done mainly by hand. Many tools can generate some code from a model, but that usually goes no further than the generation of some template code, where most of the work still has to be filled in by hand.

In contrast, MDA transformations are always executed by tools as shown in Figure 3. Many tools are able to transform a PSM into code; there is nothing new to that. Given the fact that the PSM is already very close to the code, this transformation isn't that exciting. What's new in MDA is that the transformation from PIM to PSM is automated as well. This is where the obvious benefits of MDA come in. How much effort has been spent in your projects with the painstaking task of building a database model from a high-level design? How much (precious) time was used by building a COM component model, or an EJB component model from that same design? It is indeed about time that the burden of IT-workers is eased by automating this part of their job.

Figure 3. The three major steps in the MDA development process

At the time of writing, the MDA approach is very new. As a result of this, current tools are not sophisticated enough to provide the transformations from PIM to PSM and from PSM to code for one hundred percent. The developer needs to manually enhance the transformed PSM and/or code models. However, current tools are able to generate a running application from a PIM that provides basic functionality, like creating and changing objects in the system. This does allow a developer to have immediate feedback on the PIM that is under development, because a basic prototype of the resulting system can be generated on the fly.

IV. MDA Tools

An MDA tool is a tool used to develop, interpret, compare, align, measure, verify, transform, etc. models or metamodels. In the following section "model" is interpreted as meaning any kind of model (e.g. a UML model) or metamodel (e.g. the CWM metamodel). In any MDA approach we have essentially two kinds of models: initial models are created manually by human agents while derived models are created automatically by programs. For example an analyst may create a UML initial model from its observation of some loose business situation while a Java model may be automatically derived from this UML model by a Model transformation operation. An MDA tool may be one or more of the following types:

  • Creation Tool: A tool used to elicit initial models and/or edit derived models.
  • Analysis Tool: A tool used to check models for completeness, inconsistencies, or error and warning conditions. Also used to calculate metrics for the model.
  • Transformation Tool: A tool used to transform models into other models or into code and documentation.
  • Composition Tool: A tool used to compose (i.e. to merge according to a given composition semantics) several source models, preferably conforming to the same metamodel.
  • Test Tool: A tool used to "test" models as described in Model-based testing.
  • Simulation Tool: A tool used to simulate the execution of a system represented by a given model. This is related to the subject of model execution.
  • Metadata Management Tool: A tool intended to handle the general relations between different models, including the metadata on each model (e.g. author, date of creation or modification, method of creation (which tool? which transformation? etc.)) and the mutual relations between these models (i.e. one metamodel is a version of another one, one model has been derived from another one by a transformation, etc.)
  • Reverse Engineering Tool: A tool intended to transform particular legacy or information artifact portfolios into full-fledged models.

Some tools perform more than one of the functions listed above. For example, some creation tools may also have transformation and test capabilities. There are other tools that are solely for creation, solely for graphical presentation, solely for transformation, etc.

V. Specifications

OMG recognizes (based on analogy to the CORBA-based Object Management Architecture) three levels of MDA-based specifications:

  • The Pervasive Services, including Enterprise necessities such as Directory Services, Transactions, Security, and Event handling (Notification).
  • The Domain Facilities, in industries such as Healthcare, Manufacturing, Telecommunications, Biotechnology, and others; and
  • Applications themselves, perhaps created and maintained by a software vendor or end user company or enterprise using MDA tools to run an MDA-based methodology, but not standardized by OMG.

1 The Pervasive Services

This category will include at least

  • Directory and Naming Services
  • Event Handling/Notification Services

Additional Pervasive Services may be defined, either from the list of CORBAservices already standardized by OMG or from other suggestions from OMG members. Transactions and Security, the other two most popular CORBAservices, may or may not be part of this group - in the Component world, transactionality and security are attributes of a running system, rather than services that a program calls, because of the way the Component Container or Application Server is set up to run transactionally and securely as part of an application's environment.

OMG members are already taking the group's well-established CORBAservice specifications and mapping them back to PIMs where they can serve all platforms through the MDA development pathway.

2 Domain Facilities

OMG's Domain Task Forces started to write their specifications in the MDA in mid-2001, led by the Life Science Research Domain Task Force, working in Biotechnology, which was the first Domain Task Force to modify its Mission and Goals Statement to reflect its work in MDA.

All of our Domain specifications are listed on this web page. In addition to the Life Sciences MDA specifications, other notable MDA-based entries are the Software-Defined Radio and Super Distributed (that is, ubiquitous) Objects entries. Our Work in Progress page lists 15+ ongoing processes adopting new MDA-based specifications.

3 MDA Applications

MDA-based development tools are available now, and enterprises everywhere around the world starting their application development by building a PIM instead of writing code. Even now, MDA is being used for large, mission-critical applications including the F-16 fighter jet mission software and a two-million-transaction per day bank payment system. If you're not convinced of the value of MDA already, look through these stories. We think you'll be ready to try MDA by the time you've read just a few!

VI. Summary

The Model Driven Architecture is a framework for software development, defined by the OMG. Key to MDA is the importance of models in the software development process. Within MDA the software development process is driven by the activity of modeling your software system.

The MDA development life cycle is not very different from the traditional life cycle. The artifacts of the MDA are formal models, i.e., models that can be understood by computers. The following three models are at the core of the MDA:

· Platform Independent Model (PIM), a model with a high level of abstraction, that is independent of any implementation technology.

· Platform Specific Model (PSM), a model tailored to specify your system in terms of the implementation constructs that are available in one specific implementation technology. A PIM is transformed into one or more PSMs.

· Code, a description (specification) of the system in source code. Each PSM is transformed into code.

Traditionally the transformations from model to model, or from model to code, are done mainly by hand. In contrast, MDA transformations are always executed by tools. Many tools have been able to transform a PSM to code; there is nothing new to that. What's new in MDA is that the transformation from PIM to PSM is automated as well.


VII. Reference

1. http://www.omg.org/mda

2. http://www.answers.com/Model-driven%20architecture

3. http://www.omg.org/mda/specs.html

4. Download MDA EBook Here

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