English for everyone

Capital Punishment


It’s a fundamental debate in democratic countries: how should society punish murderers? Or terrorists? Or kidnappers?
In some countries capital punishment has been abolished. But it is still used in others. In the US, 39 states have the death penalty and 11 don’t. Different states use different methods of execution: the electric chair, gas chamber, injection of poison. In Russia, capital punishment still exists, but the parliament has started discussions about abolishing it.
At one time capital punishment was used for many crimes (offences). The Bible, for example, prescribed death for at least 30 crimes.
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George Michael – well-known and unknown

George Michael

George Michael

I can see what you’re looking to find
In the smile on my face
In my peace of mind
In my state of grace.
(Ticket To Heaven, Dire Straits)

A popular singer, a talented musician..!
What do we know about him? What is his original name? There is a joke about George Michael having two first names. It seems there have always been two George Michaels. It’s inexplicable, but he always appears to be creating some new fantasy self, and as soon as it betrays him he tries to kill it off, but then creates a new one to take its place.
George Michael… Neither of the names are really his. He was born into a Greek- Cypriot family and christened Georgius Kyriacos Panuayiotou; by the 1980s he was answering to the name of George Panos, and in 1982 he became George Michael.
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The queen of crime – Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

The queen of crime – Agatha Christie was probably the most successful writer in history. She wrote 78 crime novels, six romantic novels, 150 short stories, and 19 plays. That represents two billion books sold: more than William Shakespeare! Her books have been translated into 103 languages, and her two most famous creations, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, solved hundreds of crimes. One of her plays, The Mousetrap, started showing in London in November 1952, and it has never stopped! It is now the longest-running play in history.
Agatha Christie became a writer by accident. She was bored when her first husband was away in the First World War. Agatha was working in a hospital as a nurse. (It is there that she learned all the information about poisons that she used in her books.) She decided to write a novel to pass the time. She chose a detective novel because she loved reading them.
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Riddles about nature

A blue sheet which covers the whole world.
What is it?
(The sky.)

It looks like peas scattered on a path.
(The sky and the stars.)

White pearls were scattered on a black cloth.
(The sky and the stars.)
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New York City – History and Symbols

New York

New York City

Although New York is not the capital of the United States (and not even of New York State), it is the biggest and most important city of the country. Situated at the mouth of the deep Hudson River, it has always been the gateway to the USA. But it is more than just a door: it is also a window through which the life of the whole nation may be observed.
New York is many things to many people. It is the financial and media capital of the world. It is the headquarters of the United Nations. It is the centre of American cultural life. It is the national leader in fashion and entertainment.
The “Big Apple”, as New York City is nicknamed, is a city unlike any other. It has everything for everyone. It offers the best, the biggest and the brightest of everything. It is a place of excitement, beauty… and contradictions. There is, for example, no canal on Canal Street, Battery Park is not a power station, and Times Square is a triangle. As they say, only in New York!
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Moscow was not built in a day

Moscow Kremlin

Moscow Kremlin

Moscow is one of the most beautiful cities of the world. Moscow is dear to millions of Russians. So why not listen to the ancient stones whispering their mysterious tales… ?
Moscow like Rome wasn’t built in a day. Its history begins with the Kremlin, an ancient fortified settlement built on Borovitsky Hill beside the Moskva river. It will always remain the historical centre of the capital, its heart and site of both living history and an ensemble of masterpieces of Russian architecture.
The first thing that meets the eye is the red-brick walls of the Kremlin reinforced by… My Goodness! How many towers are there?
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Card Fortune Telling

card fortune telling

Card fortune telling

Here is one way of telling someone’s fortune with a pack of cards.
Use a pack of 32 cards. If only you have an ordinary pack, remove the cards numbered 2-6.
Shuffle well and cut with the left hand into 2 heaps (of equal or unequal size).
Put the top card of each pile to one side. These cards are called the Surprise.
Put the remaining cards into 1 pile and deal into 3 heaps of 10 cards each. These represent the past (left-hand heap), the present (center) and the future (right-hand heap).
Spread the 10 cards of the first heap in a row from left to right. Read off the meanings of the cards using the list given below. Some of the meanings will need interpreting! More »