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Friday, 10 April  2009  Friday review

On today's Friday review, we're going to revisit some of the people we've met this week.


Let's start with Bruno. He used to be the principal cello player with the South Australian State Opera Orchestra. But then he left all that behind for a life on the land.

Let's hear Bruno talk about his new life.

BRUNO TURINI: It is a far cry from radiata pine which we work with out in the forest. This is maple back and spruce, European spruce front. It is especially selected for instrument making.

PAUL McCARTHY: He admits that cello playing and tree felling may seem an odd combination but to him it's not so strange. Both pursuits rely on some tricky hand manoeuvres. Both of them are hard work.

BRUNO TURINI: You can certainly work up a sweat playing a musical instrument. It's very concentrated and quite physical at times.

PAUL McCARTHY: In the world of lumberjacks and sawmills, playing the cello is hardly anything to boast about to your workmates. But for nearly 20 years they knew nothing of his life past as principal cello player with the State Opera Orchestra. Bruno Turini quit that job in the 80s to help out on his father's fruit block at Laura. He soon discovered there was very little call for cello players in the bush.

BRUNO TURINI: A case of necessity moving out here and then having to endure a life of earning a crust, basically. So if you need to earn a crust doing something else things like the cello fall into the background.

PAUL McCARTHY: He didn't pick up the instrument again until five years ago.

BRUNO TURINI: The word of mouth has it out here that I used to be a cello player and somebody who owned a cello in Laura actually came to me, and knocked on the door and asked whether I could give him cello lessons. And, after much debating whether I'd do it or not, I picked up the cello again and one thing led to another and here we are.

PAUL McCARTHY: Not that it was easy picking up where he left off.

BRUNO TURINI: Trying to play the cello after two years again it felt like doing handstands on your fingertips.

PAUL McCARTHY: Now that he's come out of the closet his passion for classical music has been renewed with a vengeance. Most nights after work he locks himself away in the old Laura Courthouse and practises. He now plays with the Hayden Orchestra in Adelaide and if his mates in the forest thinks he's a touch eccentric his serious musician friends are also perplexed.

BRUNO TURINI: It's quite unbelievable for them that I'm actually doing anything else other than playing professional music.

They believe that that's where my skill and art lies, and they find it rather odd that I'm actually connected to another world.

I've basically begun to appreciate my environment out here and what I do, and that's the way life has dealt the cards and so, for the time being, I'm quite happy with that. And whatever happens with my music in the future, the way I see it is if it makes people happy, if I get a lot of enjoyment out of it and if anything professional comes from it, well that's a bonus.

Bruno uses quite a few unusual phrases.

Let's listen to one of them here.

BRUNO TURINI: It is a far cry from radiata pine which we work with out in the forest. This is maple back and spruce, European spruce front. It is especially selected for instrument making.

He says the wood he's working with to make instruments is a far cry from the radiata pine in the forest.
If something is a far cry from something, it means it is very different.

Listen to him use another unusual phrase here.

BRUNO TURINI: A case of necessity moving out here and then having to endure a life of earning a crust, basically. So if you need to earn a crust doing something else things like the cello fall into the background.

He says he had to endure of life of earning a crust.

Earning a crust means making a living, doing the work you need to do, just to live.

He had to earn a crust in the country, so playing the cello had to fall into the background, it had to become less important.

But after a few years, Bruno started playing cello again. Listen to how that happened.

BRUNO TURINI: The word of mouth has it out here that I used to be a cello player and somebody who owned a cello in Laura actually came to me, and knocked on the door and asked whether I could give him cello lessons. And, after much debating whether I'd do it or not, I picked up the cello again and one thing led to another and here we are.

Word of mouth had it that he used to be a cello player.

Word of mouth means gossip, the things pepole talk about. People started talking about the fact that Bruno used to be a cello player. Then someone asked if he could give them lessons.

He says one thing led to another. He means that events happened that started him playing again.

And how does he like his life now?

BRUNO TURINI: I've basically begun to appreciate my environment out here and what I do, and that's the way life has dealt the cards and so, for the time being, I'm quite happy with that. And whatever happens with my music in the future, the way I see it is if it makes people happy, if I get a lot of enjoyment out of it and if anything professional comes from it, well that's a bonus.

He's quite happy with the way life has dealt the cards. The way life has dealt the cards means the way things have turned out for him, the things that have happened in his life.

OK, now let's look at another one of this week's stories. It's about a scientist who's discovered some very unusual facts about frogs.

PAUL MCCARTHY: When Mike Tyler took up sniffing frogs, his colleagues thought he was crazy. I think a bit of curry or peanut, maybe a peanut curry.

MIKE TYLER (ADELAIDE UNIVERSITY): God, you make do with mild curries, don't you? No, it is mown grass to me, freshly cut grass. Now this may sound a rather odd pastime, but whenever I picked up a frog I would notice that I could pick up an odour and I don't think I have got a particularly sensitive nose.

PAUL MCCARTHY: It wasn't that he enjoyed the smell or that he got some sort of high from it, he figured there is probably an interesting reason why nearly every species of frog when it is distressed lets off different odours.

MIKE TYLER: For example there is a peanut odour, there is cashew nuts, there is chocolate, there is mint, there is mown grass, there is one that smells absolutely foul like rotting rat or something of that kind.

This is a peanut. Why don't you try it yourself?

PAUL MCCARTHY: It smells more like popcorn to me.

MIKE TYLER: You eat funny tasting popcorn, that's for sure.

PAUL MCCARTHY: Rather than just a strange sensory experience, Associate Professor Tyler's team literally sniffed out some important meanings from these odours and in fact his time of bloodhounds this year won the Ig Nobel prize for biology, an award that recognises science projects that make you laugh before they make you think.

MIKE TYLER: I don't know what the prize is, it is probably a custard pie or something like that.

PAUL MCCARTHY: They began analysing the smells to discover whether some of the benefits they give frogs can be transferred to humans, and one of them appears to be as a mosquito repellent.

Mike Tyler has discovered that nearly every species of frog lets off different odours or smells.

Listen to what some of the smells are like.

MIKE TYLER: For example there is a peanut odour, there is cashew nuts, there is chocolate, there is mint, there is mown grass, there is one that smells absolutely foul like rotting rat or something of that kind. This is a peanut. Why don't you try it yourself?

There is a peanut odour, a smell like peanut.

There is cashew nuts. Chocolate. Mint, Mown grass, or grass that has just been cut.

And one that smells foul, or very bad. It smells like a rotting rat, a rat that's been dead for a long time.

Yuck. But now he's discovered some important things about the smells. They can be used to help people.

One of them can be used as a mosquito repellent. A mosquito repellent is something that's used to keep mosquitos away, to stop them biting you.

For all this work, he's won a science prize called the Ig Nobel Prize - for work in science that makes you laugh before you think.

Mike Tyler's project of frog sniffing sounds funny, but it might have some very important and useful results.

And that's all for English Bites. You'll find all this week's stories plus more tips, quizzes and more on our website.



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English Bites - Friday review
story notes

soundtracks
A soundtrack is the music used in a film. Here, the reporter uses the term soundtrack to refer to the sounds in Brunoís life.

bow
Follow the link below to find out just when to pronounce bow like this and what the other pronunciation is.
more information: bow

a far cry from
very different from something

Example: This new car is a far cry from my old bicycle.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

cello
The cello is a wooden instrument with strings.

tree felling
Tree felling refers to chopping down trees.

pursuits
Pursuit means activity.

tricky hand manoeuvres
complicated hand movements.

work up a sweat
To work up a sweat is to do hard physical labour or exercise that makes you sweat.

Example: I work up a sweat playing tennis.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

knew
Knew is the past tense of the irregular verb know. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: know

principal
Be careful how you spell this word. Follow the link below for more information.
more information: principal & principle

help out
Help out here means the same as help.

necessity
Necessity refers to something you need.

endure
To endure means to suffer.

earning a crust
Earning a crust means making a living or making enough money to survive.

Example: You have to do something to earn a crust, even if it's just cleaning.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

pick up
to start doing something again

Example: I picked up writing the letter where I left off.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb pick up, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: pick up

word of mouth
To hear of something by word of mouth is to hear it from other people and not from the media.

Example: We've done no advertising, so knowledge about out product is spreading by word of mouth.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

came
Came is the past tense of the irregular verb come. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: come

picking up where he left off
To pick up where you left off is to start something at the point where you stopped doing it some time ago.

Example: I'll pick up where I left off when I come back from holidays.

come out of the closet
To come out of the closet means to publicly admit something that has been kept secret.

Example: He came out of the closet and admitted he was gay.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

Example: .

with a vengeance
To do something with a vengeance means to do it with great force, energy or passion.

Example: The team has returned to from with a vengeance, kicking 3 goals in the first half.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

that's the way life has dealt the cards
He means thatís the way life has turned out - itís the way things are.

took up
started an activity

Example: I took up swimming last year.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb take up, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: take up

make do
To make do is to manage with something that is not as good as is can be.

Example: When we played football as children we had to make do with an old plastic ball.

picked up
Here , the phrasal verb pick up simply means to take hold of something and lift it up. See below for what else it means in this sentence.

pick up
Here pick up means to notice or to detect.

Example: It took a while for the dogs to pick up the scent.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb pick up, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: pick up

odour
smell

lets off
releases a smell

Example: Lemons and limes let off a strong smell when you scratch them.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb let off, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: let off

like
We can use the word like to mean that two or more things are similar.

You eat funny tasting popcorn
They canít agree on what the frogs smell like .

won
Here win is the past tense of the irregular verb win. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: win

began
Began is the past tense of the irregular verb begin. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: begin

analysing
To analyse means to study or examine in detail.

mosquito repellent
A mosquito repellent keeps mosquitoes away.
spotlight

What words do we use for bad smells?

view the spotlight >
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