1. The Strength to Concede
Warm-up exercise: Watch and listen to this extract of senator John McCain's speech in 2008. He conceded (admitted) that he lost the presidential election to then-senator Barack Obama. This clip is from an Australian news website and it notes that the speech has gone "viral".
1. Why do you think the video clip has gone viral now?
2. Do you find it interesting and maybe even inspiring? Why? Why not?
3. Assignment: research and find out who Booker T. Washington was.
2. The Problem with Electric Cars
This video by The Economist from 2014 explains why electric cars are not always greener. Watch and answer following questions:
1. What are ZEVs?
2. How many electric car models were available in the USA in 2014? Can you find out, how many models there are available now?
3. Can you name some of the factors influencing how "green" an electric car is?
4. What were the plans for electric cars by governments in China and EU?
3. Electric Cars in EU: reality
If you click on the image below you will be redirected to the European Environmental Agency website. Study the charts and data from 2018 and find answers to the following questions:
1. What are PHEVs and BEVs?
2. Which country had the SECOND highest number of new electric vehicles sold?
3. Do the French prefer PHEVs or BEVs?
4. Can you research and find information on how many electric cars were sold in the Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, and Ukraine?
4. Autonomous Cars
For inspiration, watch these two videos about autonomous cars experiments by the students of Stanford University. You can find many other videos about autonomous cars. Prepare a short statement no shorter than 30 and not longer than 60 seconds to answer the following questions:
1. Are autonomous cars important for the future of our transport?
2. If YES is the answer: why? If NOT, why not?
5. Congestion in the World
TomTom is a Dutch company that creates and produces navigation technology for consumers. It also developed and publishes Traffic Congestion Index. Click on the image below and you will be redirected to the relevant website. Find answers to the following questions:
1. What is the most congested city in the world?
2. What is the most congested city in Europe?
3. What is the second most congested city in the Czech Republic?
4. Which of these five countries has the biggest problem with congestion: Bulgaria, Czechia, Germany, Poland, Ukraine? And why?
5. Can you explain what the TomTom congestion index shows? E. g., if Moscow has a congestion level of 59 %, what exactly does it mean in the everyday life of a driver?
6. The Topic for This Week's Essay:
Cars and I
Write a text describing your relationship with cars. Here are some questions to provide you with a potential "angle" of writing:
Have you got a driver's license?
If YES: how old were you when you passed the drivíng test? Do you consider having a driver's part of general education? Why?
If NOT: are you planning to get one? If yes, when? If not, why not? Do you think your life would be more difficult without it?
Do you drive and do like driving cars?
Cars are considered an important status symbol by many people. What do you think? Does a car make and price tell us something important about its owner?
7. Food for Thought:
Virgin Hyperloop' First Passenger Test
Hosted by Fred Mills, The B1M is the world’s largest and most subscribed-to video channel for construction. They bring a new video about an interesting project every Wednesday. Howeverm they published this video today. You can learn some more about the Virgin Hyperloop and its first passenger test directly from Sir Richard Branson. It will be useful for our discussion next week.