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BBC 6 minute English-Time capsules

BBC 6 minute English-Time capsules

BBC 6 minute English-Time capsules

   

Transcript of the podcast

NB: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Rob: Hello, I’m Rob. Welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m joined today, at the start of a brand new year, by Neil

Neil: Hello, Rob! I’m really looking forward to 2015, but I have to say that last year was great. So great I’m thinking about creating my own time capsule

Rob: Really? A time capsule? You mean a kind of box or container where you can store objects and information so that people in the future – yourself included – will know how we lived at this particular time

Neil: That’s it! And I’m already collecting items. My old mobile phone which I don’t use anymore. And a woolly jumper with a snowman on it my granny gave me that I never wear

Rob: You never wear

Neil: It’s a pretty silly jumper, Rob. She said it’s to remind me of how much she loves me. Remind, which means, makes me remember – but all it makes me think of is that she still treats me like a child! I’ll include the Christmas card which came with it

Rob: Well, you’ve got to choose the items you wish to keep as a memory of our time very carefully. It’s a historical record – that usually means a piece of writing or a narrative of events at a particular time. Well, let’s discuss time capsules and vocabulary related to memory. But first, a question to test your knowledge of time capsules. The International Time Capsule Society is based at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, in the US, and it studies these artefacts. According to this organisation, how many time capsules are estimated to exist in the world today? Is it

a) up to 15,000

b) up to 150,000 or

c) up to 1,500,000

Neil: I’m gonna go for (a) 15,000

Rob: OK, up to 15,000

Neil: That’s the one

Rob: OK. Well, as usual, you’ll have the answer to that question at the end of the programme. Right, now, let’s talk more about time capsules. One of them was in the news in the last couple of weeks. A capsule was found in a public building in Boston

Neil: Ah, I’ve heard about this. Historians believe it was put there by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere, and other American revolutionaries in the 18th century

Rob: OK. Let’s listen to BBC reporter Rajini Vaidyanathan. Can you tell me exactly where this time capsule was hidden

Rajini Vaidyanathan, BBC reporter in Washington

It was during repair work at the Massachusetts in Boston that the time capsule was discovered hidden in the cornerstone. It’s thought the time capsule was first placed there in the 1795, when the building was constructed. Officials believe it contains old coins and newspapers which could have deteriorated over time

Neil: Ah, the time capsule was hidden in the cornerstone, which is a stone representing the starting place in the construction of a monumental building. Usually it has the date carved on it

Rob: Yes the time capsule’s items date from over 200 years ago, so the historians are concerned about opening it. The newspapers particularly might have deteriorated, decayed or decomposed over time

Neil: Paper doesn’t last long. But my old mobile phone – the one I’m going to put in my own time capsule – will be eternal, it means it will exist forever! And the historians of the future will be grateful

Rob: Well, if you want to make the historians happy, put things which are current in your life and things you actually use in your time capsule. There are famous capsules to be opened: the American company Westinghouse created two of them. One for the 1939 New York World’s Fair and the other for the same event in 1964

Neil: And when are they going to open it

Rob: In the 25th century

Neil: Wow! Well, that’s it, Rob. I’m going home and I’m going to start working on my own time capsule

Rob: Good. I’m glad to see you so enthusiastic, Neil. But be careful not to make the mistake these guys in the Writtle Junior School here in England made. They put their items in a box 25 years ago and they buried the capsule in the garden

Neil: And what happened to it? It isn’t centuries later but it must be interesting for these people who are now adults to see what’s inside

Rob: Well, it would have been interesting. But it didn’t happen. Listen to Headteacher Nick Taylor and tell me why they didn’t open their time capsule

Nick Taylor, Writtle School Headteacher

There were letters in it, coins, various things so we called in Writtle Heritage and they had a good explore around the garden with their metal detectors, and they couldn’t find any evidence of it. I think we’ve dug about three holes around that school garden but we had to stop because we were slightly destroying it

Neil: They forgot where they buried it

Rob: Yes. And they used metal detectors – electronic devices which can find metallic objects underground – and even so they couldn’t find their time capsule! And before I forget, let’s go back to the question I asked at the beginning of the programme

Neil: You asked how many time capsules are estimated to exist in the world today

Rob: Yes, and the options were up to 15,000, up to 150,000 or up to 1,500,000. And you said

Neil: Yes, I said up to 15,000

Rob: And this is the right answer

Neil: Hurrah

Rob: Well done! Yes, the International Time Capsule Society has set up a registry of time capsules, and it estimates there are 10,000 to 15,000 time capsules worldwide. And the organisation believes that more than 80% of all time capsules are lost and will not be opened on their intended date

Neil: Well, I will remember where I kept mine. That’s for sure

Rob: Good for you. Well, that’s it from us for the moment. We’ve been talking about time and… we’ve run out of it. But let’s just remember some of the words used today. Neil

Neil: time capsule remind historical record cornerstone deteriorated eternal metal detectors

Rob: That’s it for today. Do log on to www.bbclearningenglish.com to find more 6 Minute English programmes. And we wish you all a Happy New Year! Bye bye

Neil: Bye

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