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  • Neil: Hello, welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Neil

  • Harry: And I'm Harry.

  • Neil: Now Harry, have you ever taken a 'selfie'

  • that's a photo of yourself, usually with your mobile phone?

  • Harry: Yes, I have. I've taken them all over London

  • with my childrenof course selfies are very easy to take with your smartphone and recently

  • we've seen some famous selfies featuring well-known people such as the one taken by actor

  • Ellen DeGeneres at last year's Oscars ceremony.

  • Neil: Yes, it seems that there are no limits to

  • the places where you can capture yourself in a photo. But there is a limit on how far

  • you can stretch your arm out and take a snap ─ a quick photo of you and your friends.

  • Harry: That's true, so thank goodness for the selfie

  • stickan expanding pole to put your smartphone on which gives you a wider view. This means

  • you can take in more of the background. Sounds like a good idea.

  • Neil: It does, but it's also causing a problem in

  • some places around the world. More on that in a moment but let's not forget I have a

  • question to ask you Harry.

  • Harry: OK Neil.

  • Neil: Well, we know some people love to take photos

  • of themselves but perhaps not as much as Patrick Peterson. According to Guinness World Records

  • he has taken the most 'selfies' in one hourbut do you know how many? Is it:

  • a) 449 b) 1,449

  • c) 2,449

  • Harry: Well, I guess he's gotta move and be in a

  • different position so I'm not going to go for the highest one. I'm gonna say1,449.

  • Neil: OK, well, we'll find out the answer at the

  • end of the programme. But now let's talk more about the dangers of the selfie stick! They

  • can certainly be useful for taking photos from a different viewpoint and it does mean

  • that you get more people in your photo.

  • Harry: Sales of the selfie stick have soared or

  • risen quickly since last year and they are now a common sight at tourist destinations.

  • They're great if you want to take a better photo but they're very annoying if you're

  • not involved with the photo.

  • Neil: Yes and this is particularly frustrating if

  • you're trying to look at paintings and sculptures at an art gallery. They just get in the way

  • and can be very distracting.

  • Harry: You mean they stop someone giving their full

  • attention to what they are looking at. Well, this is the reason that some famous art galleries

  • around the world are putting a ban on selfie-sticks ─ a ban means they are no longer allowed.

  • Neil: Places such as the Smithsonian museums in

  • the Washington and the Palace of Versailles in Paris were the first to do this and now

  • the National Gallery in London have stopped them being used.

  • Harry: Let's hear the exact reasons why from the

  • gallery's Doctor Susan Foister. What phrase does she use to mean trying to do the best

  • thing for the visitors and for the paintings themselves?

  • Doctor Susan Foister: We have over 6 million visitors a year here,

  • some of our rooms could get quite crowded, so we have to find the right balance between

  • the experience of our visitors close to the paintings and the safety of the paintings

  • themselves.

  • Neil: So the National Gallery is a popular and busy

  • place and it gets quite crowdedand it doesn't help the problem if people are holding up

  • selfie sticks!

  • Harry: Yesso they have imposed or brought in

  • ... this ban to do the best thing for the visitors and for the paintings themselves

  • it's what Doctor Foister called 'the right balance'. She wants to give visitors trying

  • to get close to the paintings a good experience.

  • Neil: And she makes the point that there's a risk

  • that the painting, which can be worth millions of pounds, could be damaged by one of these

  • sticks.

  • Harry: Of course you are still allowed to take a

  • selfie, and some museums are 'sticking their neck out' and still allowing people to use

  • them.

  • Neil: A good idiom there Harry - you mean they're

  • doing something that other people may not likeyes, places such as the ICAthat's

  • the Institute for Contemporary Artin London say selfie sticks are part of modern-day life.

  • Harry: Here is Catherine Stout, Head of Programmes

  • at the ICA. How does she describe the type of visitors who go to her gallery?

  • Catherine Stout: We are very happy for our visitors to take

  • their own photographs for personal use, of course we always secure the artist's permission,

  • but actually because we have a very young audience they're completely engaged with social

  • media, they want to use that forum to connect with each other, to share their experiences,

  • if they wish to use a stick they're very welcome to do so as long as, obviously, the artwork

  • is not damaged in any way.

  • Neil: So the people who visit that gallery are young

  • and use social media a lotthey are 'engaged' with it and they like to share their experiences.

  • This means taking photos on their smartphones and if they want to use a selfie stick?

  • Harry: ... then they are 'welcome to do so'. Just

  • watch out where you stick it! I suppose, as long as you respect other visitors and don't

  • get in the way, then it's ok to use one.

  • Neil: Well I'm not so sure. Anyway, it's time to

  • reveal the answer to the question I asked you earlier.

  • Harry: Yes, this was about Patrick Peterson, who

  • holds the record for taking the most selfies in one hour. You asked me if he took 449,

  • 1,449 or 2,449 in one hour.

  • Neil: And you said 1,449, which was ... the correct

  • answer! I wonder what he did with all those images ...

  • Harry: He probably put them on social media.

  • Neil: Well we need to 'stick' to our six minutes

  • of English but just before we run out of time, could you remind us of some of the vocabulary

  • we've used today Harry?

  • Harry: Yes. We had ... selfie, capture, a snap, selfie stick

  • viewpoint, soared, distracting, a ban, imposed, sticking their neck out, engaged.

  • Neil: Thank you. Well, that's it for now. Go to

  • bbclearning.com to find more 6 Minute English programmes. Until next time. Goodbye!

  • Harry: Bye!

Neil: Hello, welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Neil

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A2 UK harry selfie gallery photo stick selfies

BBC 6 Minute English_March 26, 2015 - A threat to London's artwork

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    Adam Huang posted on 2015/03/28
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