In Spain, many people play tricks on December 28, Holy Innocents’ Day. In many other countries, jokes are played on April 1—April Fool’s Day. The reason seems to be that, up until the mid-sixteenth century, France celebrated New Year’s Day on April 1, but in 1562 Pope Gregory XIII introduced a new calendar to the Christian world, which changed the date of the New Year to January 1. At that time news travelled slowly and some people continued to celebrate on April 1. These poor, misinformed people were referred to as "April Fools" and other people played tricks on them.
Nowadays, it seems that new technologies provide fresh ways of playing tricks on April 1. The Internet has given birth to a rise in popularity and proliferation of tricks and hoaxes. E-mail inboxes are bombarded with messages warning of terrible viruses that cause users to delete important data from their computers, or of credit card cheats that request personal information, including passwords and bank account numbers. In August 2001 e-mail containing a photo of a shark trying to attack a helicopter was received by e-mail throughout the world. The e-mail claimed the photo was National Geographic's "Photo of the Year", but National Geographic said that the photo was a fake and finally found the people responsible for making the composite image.
Art museums are the new churches not because the role of the church has declined in recent centuries and something had to fill the gap. The new status of museum architecture is rather a reflection of how art has changed over the years. Before the 18th Century, non-religious art could only be found in palaces and lacked any public function. By the 19th Century, museums were meant to serve as places for ethical and social improvement. But, in the 20th Century, aesthetic contemplation became a virtue in itself, and museum architecture changed accordingly. That is why modern museums are marked by pure, white walls and by giant spaces that, like the nave of a basilica, make visitors seem small in comparison.
Art has imitated religion in other ways too. These days, we frequently use religious language when talking about art. We make “pilgrimages” to museums in far-off places. We experience “transcendence” before major paintings. And, of course, Sunday is the busiest day of the week for most art museums.
The Notting Hill Carnival traces its origins back to the culture of the Caribbean. When African slaves were first brought to Trinidad, they were not permitted to dance or play their own music. However, as the slavery regime settled down, a strong local tradition of carnival emerged. Once a year, enslaved people symbolically escaped from the oppression of their daily routine by playing music, dancing, and dressing up in costumes which mimicked the European fashions of their masters. They even whitened their faces with flour or wore white masks.
The tradition came to London with the migration of workers and their families from the Caribbean to Britain after the Second World War. By the late 1950s, many Caribbeans were living in Notting Hill a poor area. There, they faced racism, bad housing conditions and, in 1958, violent attacks from white youths. The idea of a Caribbean carnival emerged as a way of reasserting community cohesion after the 1958 disturbance.
Claudia Jones, the editor of the West Indian Gazette, was the moving spirit behind the idea. The first carnival celebration was held in the town hall building in St. Pancras in 1962. This was a great success and became an annual event. In 1965, local social worker Rhaune Laslett suggested holding some outdoor festivities in Notting Hill. The two celebrations were combined, and so the Notting Hill carnival began. The skills of costume-making, steel drumming and calypso music gradually came together to establish a festival of music, arts and culture.
The Notting Hill Carnival is the largest European street party and the second major street festival in the world after Rio's Carnival. It is truly a spectacle not to be missed.
Reading comprehension exercises:
Lea la siguiente entrevista a la piloto María de Villota publicada en el periódico El Mundo. A continuación relacione las preguntas de la entrevista con las respuestas del texto. Hay cuatro respuestas que no debe seleccionar. La pregunta 0 es un ejemplo.
|Ancient Samurai Armor | by williamcho|
No fear. There should be nothing in this life that you are afraid of. If there is, you might need to overcome that fear. Here I have to confess to a certain fear of heights. Recently, owing to leaky rain gutters, I had to crawl out on our roof. I gritted my teeth and kept repeating, "No fear, no fear", until the job was done. Oh yes, and of course I didn't look down. Whatever your fear, face it head on and defeat it.
No surprise. Life seems to be full of them. You're going along swimmingly and suddenly something huge rears up ahead of you. But if you look carefully, there were clues all along the way that it was going to happen. So why does life seem to surprise us then? Because we are asleep half the time. Wake up and nothing can sneak up on you.
No hesitation. Weigh up the odds and then just get on with it. If you spend too long thinking, the opportunity will have passed. Once we have looked at the options, we make a choice; then, go for it. No hesitation means not waiting around for other people to help out or make up our minds for us. No hesitation means if there is a certain inevitability about a situation then just throw yourself in, head first, and enjoy the ride. If there is nothing to be done then waiting doesn't help.
Sylvi Listhaug, Norway’s immigration minister, has told refugees that exploited a legal gap to enter the country on bikes through an Arctic Circle crossing will have to return to Russia. Around 5,500 asylum seekers used bikes to travel through the Storskog crossing last year and, although Russia does not allow people to cross the border on foot and Norway does not let in motorists carrying people without documents, people on bicycles are allowed in on both sides.
Listhaug also announced that immigrants without a transit visa would be sent back to Russia. The two nations have been sending refugees back and forth since November 2015 when the new route was identified by authorities. Once they reach Norway, refugees spend time at a centre that provides shelter for around 600 people in barracks on a former military camp bordering the airport of Kirkenes. New arrivals are given fleece jumpers, waterproof jackets and other clothes appropriate for the Arctic climate, with most of them sleeping in bunk beds. On Thursday, Norwegian police confirmed that the refugees would not be forced to return across the border on two wheels, and could instead be taken by bus.
The number of people taking the Arctic route is tiny compared with the estimated 750,000 who arrived via the Mediterranean in 2015, a perilous journey that has led to the loss of at least 3,400 lives.
William Watkison, International Business Times, 15-1-2016
|Children at school-by-Lucélia Ribeiro|
AFC suggests limiting children’s screen time by planning fun activities for the whole family that don’t involve technology and creating a balance between technology use and other activities, insisting that, for every hour of screen, children should have to do an hour of something else.
Sorry, none of that’s ever going to work on any teen I know, for that matter; it’s too late for that now. No, it’s time for some Victorian-style parenting. So last night we sat our son Fred down and laid down the law: from this Sunday, he’s to hand in his phone to us by 10.30 pm on school nights - no discussion, no argument, just good old-fashioned “because I said so”. His response? “No way. That is so unfair. I’ve done nothing wrong!”
Sure, you can blame the parents for this whole mess -if we hadn’t filled our homes with smartphones and tablets and laptops and desktops, none of this would ever have happened. You can even blame society or the government. Or it could be Tim Berners-Lee’s fault for inventing the web.
Bob Granleese, The Guardian, 7-1-2016