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Red Nose Day

Red Nose Day

Red Nose Day


“Why not have fun and help people at the same time?”
For one day every two years, Britain goes crazy. People all over the country (even police officers and teachers) wear red noses and do silly things. It’s Red Nose Day — the day when doing really stupid things can raise loads of money for charity.
British comic Lenny Henry came up with the idea. Other comics liked it and in 1985 a special organization — Comic Relief — was set up. Comic Relief involves the public and celebrities in fun events and charity.
The symbol of Red Nose Day is the clown nose. Each year a different red nose is sold. Since 1985 there have been all kinds of noses: boring plain ones, the ones that looked like faces, then the ones that squeaked, then the ones that changed colour when they got hot, then the ones that stuck their tongues out when squeezed…
Buying a red nose is one of the ways of giving money to Comic Relief.
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The Mississippi — America’s greatest river

The Mississippi - America's greatest river

The Mississippi — America’s greatest river

The name of America’s greatest river, the Mississippi, is made from two American Indian words: misi (great) and sipi (water). It is 3,778 km long and flows from the US state of Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Its tributary, the Missouri River, is 3,767 km, and together they form the largest river system in the world.
Hundreds of years ago, Native Americans lived along the ‘Father of the Waters’ and used the river for trade and travel.
The first Europeans to reach the river were Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his party in 1541.
Until 1803 the Mississippi River was the western boundary of the United States; the land beyond belonged to France and Spain. The French controlled a large territory known as Louisiana (after King Louis XIV of France). The ruler of France at this time was Napoleon, and Americans were afraid that he might send French soldiers and settlers to Louisiana. President Thomas Jefferson decided to buy the land. Luckily, Napoleon was about to go to war with Britain and needed money. For fifteen million dollars he sold Louisiana to the United States!
The Mississippi River starts at Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota. It is a pristine, sparkling place, and the waters from which it comes are very clear and cold. The river is so narrow here that you can walk across it in 15 steps.
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Christmas and New Year superstitions

Christmas and New Year superstitions

Many people are superstitious and there are a lot of superstitions connected with Christmas and New Year’s Day. Most of them appeared in long-ago times. It was before the arrival of Christianity in Europe.

Christmas superstitions
If the wind is blowing on Christmas Day, you are in for a good year.
If you want to have good health throughout the next year, eat an apple on Christmas Eve.
If you want to be happy, eat Christmas pudding on Christmas Day.
If you wear new shoes on Christmas Day, it will bring you bad luck.
If you refuse a mince pie at Christmas dinner, you will have bad luck for the coming day.
If you cut a mince pie, you’ll “cut your luck” too.
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The Landlady by Roald Dahl

The Landlady by Roald Dahl

The Landlady by Roald Dahl


Billy Weaver had travelled down from London on the slow afternoon train, with a change at Reading on the way, and by the time he got to Bath, it was about nine o’clock in the evening, and the moon was coming up out of a clear starry sky over the houses opposite the station entrance.
But the air was deadly cold and the wind was like a flat blade of ice on his cheeks.
‘Excuse me,’ he said, ‘but is there a fairly cheap hotel not too far away from here?’
‘Try The Bell and Dragon,’ the porter answered, pointing down the road. ‘They might take you in. It’s about a quarter of a mile along on the other side.’
Billy thanked him and picked up his suitcase and set out to walk the quarter-mile to The Bell and Dragon. He had never been to Bath before. He didn’t know anyone who lived there. But Mr Greenslade at the head office in London had told him it was a splendid town. ‘Find your own lodgings,’ he had said, ‘and then go along and report to the branch manager as soon as you’ve got yourself settled.’
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Ticket to Rio by Ray Bradbury

Ticket to Rio by Ray Bradbury

Ticket to Rio by Ray Bradbury


They walked slowly down the street at about ten in the evening, talking calmly.
‘But why so early?’ said Smith.
‘Because,’ said Braling.
‘Your first night out in years and you go home at ten o’clock.’
‘Nerves, I suppose.’
‘I’ve been trying to get you out for ten years! And now you insist on going home early.’
‘Mustn’t crowd my luck,’ said Braling. They turned a corner. ‘Honestly, Braling, I hate to say this, but — marriage has been awful for you, hasn’t it?’
‘I wouldn’t say that.’
‘But she almost forced you to marry her when she learned that you were going to Rio’ — ‘Dear Rio. I never did see it.’
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Vancouver – Hollywood North

Vancouver – Hollywood North

Vancouver – Hollywood North


The city of Vancouver is a beautiful and lively city. It’s located on the west coast of Canada and is surrounded by water from three sides! It is the third largest city in the country, after Toronto and Montreal. The city has always attracted tourists with its beautiful attractions such as Stanley Park, Robson Street, and others.
Its climate is much milder than in the rest of Canada and even palm trees grow in its streets. They say Vancouver is a city where you can ski and swim in the sea at the same time of the year.
Built in 1886, the city was named after Captain George Vancouver, an officer of the British Navy.
Vancouver is one of the largest industrial centres and it has also become an important centre of soft-ware engineering, biotechnology and film industry. People even call the city Hollywood North.
The Port of Vancouver is the largest port in the country.
There are more than 40 skyscrapers in Vancouver. The tallest building in the city is 201 metres tall and has 62 floors.
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Eton College – the factory of gentlemen

Eton College – the factory of gentlemen

Eton College – the factory of gentlemen


Eton College is one of the most famous schools in the world. It is a school for boys only. It’s located in the small town of Eton, next to Windsor which is famous for Windsor Castle. Prince William and Prince Harry studied in Eton College.
Eton was founded by King Henry VI in 1440. The king was only 18 at that time. His aim was to give education to poor boys so that they could then go to Cambridge University. The chosen boys should “have a good character, be good at reading, Latin grammar and singing”. If they “behaved badly, married, or became monks”, they had to leave.
The life in Eton was hard. Rats ran free about the college, boys had to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning and all lessons were in Latin.
Today, Eton is the largest, most prestigious and very expensive public school in Britain. To get into the college you have to pass entrance exams first.
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