B1 Intermediate UK 4537 Folder Collection
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Neil: Welcome to 6 Minute English, where today we
introduce a hair-raising topic and six
items of vocabulary.
Tim: I'm Tim. So what's hair-raising about
today's topic, Neil? Hair-raising means scary
but also exciting!
Neil: We're talking about hair, which may
be exciting for some, but definitely won't
be scary.
Tim: Hair-raising is a real thing, though,
isn't it? Our hairs do rise!
Neil: Yes, Tim, they do. We get goose bumps when we're
cold, scared, or excited.
Tim: But other mammals do it better than us. Cats fluff
up when they see other cats they
don't like.
Neil: That's true. We can't fluff up because
we don't have enough body hair.
Tim: I suppose we used to be as hairy as gorillas if you
go back a million years or so.
Neil: Do you know why we lost so much hair, Tim?
Tim: Isn't it because it allowed us to sweat more easily?
This meant we didn't get so hot
and tired, we could run faster and for longer and catch
more animals to eat!
Neil: That sounds like a good theory. But
do you have a theory on how many hair follicles
the human body has today?
Tim: What's a hair follicle?
Neil: A hair follicle is the organ that produces
a hair underneath the skin. Now answer the
question, Tim. How many hair follicles does
the human body have today? Is it...
a) 500,000,
b) 5 million or
c) 50 million?
Tim: 50 million sounds about right.
Neil: Did you know that men have more
than women, Tim?
Tim: No, I didn't - but it makes sense since
men are usually hairier than women.
Neil: On their faces, but not necessarily
on their heads!
Tim: Are you referring to the fact that men
of a certain age can be follically challenged?
Neil: If you're follically challenged it means
you're losing your hair! Having little or
no hair is called baldness. And if you've
reached a certain age it means you aren't
young any more!
Tim: Why is our hair so important to us, Neil?
When we aren't worrying about going bald,
we're busy shaving, waxing, plucking, and
trimming the stuff. When I say 'we' of course
I'm referring to people in general. Not myself.
Neil: Well, a good head of hair indicates
health and youth. And hair on your face - facial
hair - shows when boys have reached manhood.
Tim: On the other hand, going grey or losing
your hair shows you're getting older.
Neil: Hair today, gone tomorrow?
Tim: Bad joke, Neil!
Neil: Sorry! It's true that hair on your head
shows signs of aging, but this isn't true
of all human hair. Let's listen to Ralf Paus,
a leading hair loss researcher, talking about
Ralf Paus, hair loss researcher: The eyebrows
get stronger usually in aging men, the hairs
in your nose and in your ears get stronger
- and what a miracle of nature that an organ
- when the entire body is aging - actually
grows stronger. So we may even be able to
learn from hair follicles how not to age.
Tim: Hmm. I'm not sure I would swap a good
head of hair for thick eyebrows and nose hair.
How about you, Neil?
Neil: I agree! But let's hear more from Ralf
Paus about why some hair gets stronger as
you get older.
Ralf Paus, hair loss researcher: The hair
follicle apparently knows some tricks that
the other organs don't know. So it's continuously
regenerating itself. It goes through a so-called
hair cycle and part of that we know pretty
well - and that is, these stem cells that
it uses to regenerate cells.
Tim: So a hair follicle can regenerate cells
- or grow new cells to replace old or damaged
ones. But if that's only true for eyebrows,
nose and ear hair, I am not that impressed!
I want hairs on my head to be able to regenerate!
Neil: The important thing here is that these
cells in the hair follicle may help scientists
discover a way to stop other organs of the
body aging. OK, I'm now going to reveal how
many hair follicles on average we have on
our bodies. The answer is... 5 million.
Tim: Oh. So not 50 million then.
Neil: Don't worry, Tim! It was a tricky question!
Now let's go over the words we learned today.
Tim: 'Hair-raising' means scary often in an
exciting way. For example, 'That ride on the
rollercoaster was a hair-raising experience!'
Neil: Next is 'hair follicle' - the organ
that produces a hair underneath the skin.
Tim: 'Scientists believe that stress can affect
hair follicles.'
Neil: A number of things can affect hair follicles
actually - age, disease, diet...
Tim: OK, but we haven't got all day, Neil.
So let's move on to the next item. 'Baldness',
which means having little or no hair on your head.
Neil: 'My grandfather is bald and he always
wears a hat to cover his baldness.'
Tim: Nice example. Is your grandpa actually
bald, Neil?
Neil: No - he has a fine head of hair. Now,
if you are a certain age, it means you are
no longer young. For example.
Tim: 'All the people at the party were of
a certain age'.
Neil: How many of them had facial hair, Tim?
That's our next word, and 'facial' means to
do with the face.
Tim: 'None of the people at the party had
facial hair.' There's your answer!
Neil: That's unusual, Tim. Lots of men have
beards these days. OK - our final word for
today is 'regenerate' which means to grow
again. You can talk about regenerating a range
of things, for example.
Neil: 'The council has plans to regenerate
this part of the city.'
Tim: 'Regeneration of parts of the city is
in progress.' 'Regeneration' is the noun.
Neil: Well, it's time to go now. But if today's
show gave you goosebumps please let us know
by visiting our Twitter, Facebook and YouTube
pages and telling us about it!
Tim: Bye-bye!
Neil: Goodbye!
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BBC 6 Minute English - Learn to talk about hair in 6 minutes

4537 Folder Collection
Vincent Hsu published on October 23, 2017
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