lundi 29 décembre 2014


Although many of us do not admit to it, we do believe or follow some superstition at one time or another. We may cross our fingers for good luck, wear a lucky ‘dress or shoes’, get married on a rainy day for a long and happy marriage or even stop a dog from howling to prevent death.

Some people grow certain plants in their homes or keep a money plant for financial success, while others avoid resting under a peepal tree for fear of ghosts and witches. And then, there are the mysterious superstitions about the full moon or the new moon and black cats.
New Year’s Eve also has its strange myths and superstitions that are followed by many around the world.
As 2013 draws to a close, I could not help but think of some of the strange yet, interesting age-old superstitions that have become associated with the New Year over time. Some of these which I have heard, are given below:
1. No sweeping on New Year’s day 
Some people believe that one should not do any cleaning or dusting in the house on New Year’s Eve. They say that it is an ominous act and can sweep away the good luck of the entire family.
Well, why not? Anything that keeps you from the nasty chore of cleaning is welcome, right?
2. Wearing new clothes
Others ensure that they wear new clothes on New Year’s Eve since they believe that it ensures a constant supply of new clothes for the whole year to fill the wardrobe.
Again, I see no harm in wanting new clothes, do you?
3. No empty pockets
There are people who insist that one should take care to avoid wearing a dress with empty pockets on New Year’s Eve since it may be a sign of very low or no income in the year to come.
So, make sure you have some cash in your pockets tonight, even if it is a few hundred bucks. Some money is better than none.
4. For health
Many people actually make an effort and eat lots of smoked sausages with boiled cabbage on the first day of the year to remain healthy for the entire year.
So, eat heartily (and healthy) tonight for good health all the year through!
5. Say no to chicken
Another interesting superstition I heard was that if you cook any chicken dish on New Year’s day, you will have many troubles for the rest of the year.
So now you know who is responsible for all your financial troubles this year…the chicken. Beware!
6. Don’t do laundry
They say that if you do your laundry, you will certainly wash off your luck or will face a year of hard work. Even more ominous, doing laundry on this day is also associated with facing a family member’s death.
7. Eating greens for fortune
I have even heard some say that eating green, leafy vegetables such as cabbage, collard greens, mint, mustard greens, kale, spinach or coriander leaves is likely to bring wealth for the entire year. There are even those who suggest that eating only cornbread brings instant cash.
Hmmm, green  vegetables? Sounds like a ‘mom’ came up with this one!
8. Crying cats
They say that if you hear a cat crying, you should run in the opposite direction because it brings a bad omen.
I say you should do that New Year’s Eve or not, because it is the most horrifying sound in the world.
9. Don’t weep
The wise men (and women) say that one should not be miserable on this day and neither should one cry because that depression will follow you in the year to come.
So, wipe away those tears and be happy! After all, it is a new beginning.
10. No precious stuff should leave the home
I have  heard people say that you should not give your cash, ornaments, precious items or other valuable things to anyone on the first day of the year because it may be a sign that wealth will be flowing out in the entire year.
So, hang on to your cash until day after tomorrow.
11. Make noise and hang a lemon
Have you ever wondered why there are fireworks on New Year’s Eve? Or why the bells are rung so loudly? It is to scare away the evil spirits and evil thoughts. Even hanging a lemon in the doorway helps in warding off bad spirits.
The way I see it, this just gives you permission to party hard (and loud) tonight!
12. First visitor in the house 
People even predict marriage outcomes on the last day of the year. They say that the first visitor to enter the house on the first of January signifies the balance of marriage in the next 365 days. If a man enters your door then the husband will have more authority for the whole year and if a woman enters, then the wife will have complete control.
So, now you know exactly who to invite over for breakfast tomorrow (and who to not).
13. Damage and wreckage
Another myth is that you should not break or smash anything on this day otherwise you will have a painful year ahead. Breaking mirror or glass ware is a dreadful omen and it reveals that ‘wreck’ will be your buddy throughout the year.
So, if you are a ‘butter-fingers’ or get angry easily, I would suggest stay away from glass and mirrors.
14. Do some work
If you want to guarantee a successful career, then do some kind of hard work on December 31 and January 1.
I personally think this is just to ensure that we don’t party too much tonight.
Now you know some of the myths associated with the New Year. So go ahead, party hard, make some noise, eat well and have a very Happy New Year!!! 

What are your superstitions? Email us FIVE of your own superstitions for a better and happier New Year!

mercredi 10 décembre 2014


A website that provides price comparisons for flights, hotels and car hire across the globe has made some bold predictions for what travel will look like in a decade from now. Perhaps the most mouthwatering destination for 2024 holidaymakers will be a trip to the Moon or a stay in space. The site has just released a report of what holidays in the not-too-distant future might look like. The report is titled 'The Future of Travel 2024' and outlines a whole series of previously unimaginable vacation choices for the thrill-seeking traveller and those who just want to get there quicker. The report is a result of the collaboration between travel experts and international technology experts.

Holidays in space are perhaps the most spectacular of Skyscanner's predictions. Its report says: "Orbital space travel will be the next hot ticket, and commercial companies are lining up to make it a more affordable proposition." Indeed, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX are already accepting bookings. The cost of a seat on the Virgin craft (round trip, of course) is $250,000. Skyscanner also predicts an explosion in the number of underwater hotel rooms, which it says will become a mainstream travel option. Other things to look forward to include a supersonic aircraft that will fly London-Sydney in two hours and the emergence of "danger-zone" tourism. We can also expect futuristic advances in shopping and dining.


1. TRUE / FALSE:Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).
a.A hotel chain made predictions about travelling in the future.T / F
b.The article said there will be water on the Moon in 2024.T / F
c.The travel report should please people who want excitement.T / F
d.The report was written by travel and technology experts.T / F
e.The report says tickets for space travel will be heated.T / F
f.A seat on a Virgin Galactic space flight is $250,000.T / F
g.The report says underwater hotel rooms will be common in the future.T / F
h.The report says there will be little change to how we shop or dine.T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH:Match the following synonyms from the article.
4.unimaginabled.joint effort
6.spectacularf.makes available
8.explosionh.unheard of


vendredi 28 novembre 2014

September 11, 2001

On September 11, 2001 , terrorists hijacked 4 airplanes and crashed them into the two towers of the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. The fourth jet crashed in Pennsylvania. About 3,000 people were killed and part of the Pentagon was destroyed. It was soon found out that Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist organization Al Qaeda had been behind the attacks.
The planes left the airports on the morning of September 11. Their originaldestination was California , so they had tons of fuel on board. Sometime after take-off , the terrorists took over the planes. Some of them had pilot training.
At 8:45 a.m. the first plane crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Centre. 20 minutes later, the second plane hit the south tower. Flames and smoke came out of the towers and the people who were working there tried to escape. About an hour after the attack both towers collapsed.
At about 9:40 a.m. a plane with 58 people on board crashed into the west side of the Pentagon, the country’s military headquarters in Washington. A part of the building collapsed and about 200 people were killed.
A fourth plane probably intended to crash into the White House or the Capitol, but a few passengers wanted to try to overcome the terrorists. The pilots lost control of the plane and it crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.

After the attack

After the attack on the USA, there was panic all over the country. The White House was evacuated and all air traffic over the continent was stopped. The stock exchange in New York stopped business and many tourist sights were closed down.
A month after the attack, the government gave the police and the FBI more power to hunt terrorists. New safety checks at airports were introduced and airlines started checking the baggage of their passengers more carefully.
The United States were convinced that Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda terrorist group were behind the attacks. In October, the U.S. attacked terrorist training camps in Afghanistan .
Why the Towers Collapsed

The two Boeing 767s that took off from Boston hat a lot of fuel with them because they were travelling to Los Angeles. Each jet had about 90,000 litres of fuel—about 2 tanker trucks full.
When the planes hit the towers they caused a massive fire that spread across many floors at the top of the buildings. Most likely,furniture, wood and paper in the offices began burning quickly , so that the fire could spread in a few seconds. The buildings did have an automatic sprinkler system, but this system was made to put out small fires.
The fire caused temperatures of over 1,000 °C , so that even the steel constructions in the buildings became weaker and weaker.
In the end, the top floors that remained undamaged were so heavy that the whole building collapsed. The World Trade Centre, however, withstood collapse long enough to save thousands of lives. About 99 % of the people in the lower floors could get out of the buildings before they fell.

Rebuilding Ground Zero

In the months after September 11, 2001 thousands of workers helped to clean up the place where the World Trade Centre once stood - known as Ground Zero. Many architects all over the world were called to present designs for rebuilding the site. In the future, glass towers will surround memorialof September 11.

The World Trade Centre

The World Trade Centre was built by the American architect Minoru Yamasaki in the late 1960s and early 1970s. At their opening in 1972 they were the world's tallest buildings. They were over 400 metres tall and were made of 200,000 tons of steel. Each tower had 110 floors and 97 elevators.
Skyscrapers of this size have to be built in solid bedrock . In New York the solid rock starts at about 15 to 20 metres below the surface. When the builders of the WTC started digging they found out that after a few metres, water from the nearby Hudson River startedpouring in. So they dug out small boxes and put steel and concrete into them to give the building a firm stand.
When the World Trade Centre opened in 1973 the project was not very popular among New Yorkers. But as time went on and more and more companies started moving their offices to the twin towers they became more and more popular. The two towers also became famous through movies like “King Kong” and “Superman”.
Extreme sportsmen chose the WTC as the place to try out many stunts. Skydiversparachuted from the top of the towers, climbers went up to the top on the outside walls and a French acrobat walked from one tower to the other on a tightrope. Within a few years the towers were on postcards, T-shirts and ads.
The World Trade Centre also gave the New Yorkers another tourist attraction. On a clear day it was possible to see over 60 km in all directions. Visitors could travel up to the top of the North tower and eat in a luxurious restaurant called “Windows of the World”.
The Twin Towers were like a small city. Over 500 companies , including banks, law firmstelevision stations and airlines had their offices here and 50,000 people worked in the two buildings every day. On a typical day as many as 200,000 visitors from all over the world passed through the buildings.
In 1993 the World Trade Centre was the target of an earlier terrorist attack. A truck with 600 kg of explosives drove into the basementgarage of the building . When it exploded, a few stories were completely destroyed , but only 6 people were killed.

World Trade Centre

lundi 24 novembre 2014

Cara Delevingne and pharrell sing duet for Chanel film

Karl Lagerfeld has just unveiled more details about his forthcoming Chanel film starring Pharrell Williams and Cara Delevingne, which is due to premiere at the Métiers d’art collection in Salzburg next week. Just as we predicted, the video will feature a new song written by Pharrell, which the pair sing as a duet. The title? “CC the World”.  
Karl Lagerfeld vient de dévoiler plus de détails au sujet de son prochain film mettant en vedette Chanel Pharrell Williams et Cara Delevingne , qui est due à la première à la collection d’art d’ Métiers à Salzbourg la semaine prochaine . Tout comme nous l’avions prédit , la vidéo mettra en vedette une nouvelle chanson écrite par Pharrell , qui la paire chanter en duo . Le titre ? “CC the World”.

The film is titled Reincarnation and retraces the history of the iconic Chanel jacket. While holidaying in Austria, Gabrielle Chanel (played by Geraldine Chaplin) is inspired by the jacket worn by her hotel’s elevator operator (Pharrell Williams). In an extended dream sequence, Pharrell is reincarnated as Franz Joseph I, the Emperor of Austria, while Delevingne plays his wife, Empress Elisabeth “Sisi” of Austria. Cue an imperial waltz, with a Pharrell-soundtracked twist.
Le film est intitulé Réincarnation et retrace l’histoire de la veste Chanel emblématique . Tout en vacances en Autriche , Gabrielle Chanel ( joué par Geraldine Chaplin ) est inspiré par la veste portée par ascenseur l’opérateur de son hôtel ( Pharrell Williams ) . Dans une séquence de rêve prolongée , Pharrell se réincarne en Franz Joseph I, l’empereur d’Autriche , tandis que Delevingne joue sa femme , l’impératrice Elisabeth ” Sisi ” de l’Autriche . Cue une valse impériale, avec une touche Pharrell – soundtracked .

vendredi 21 novembre 2014

Our Hate Has Saved Nickelback BY IAN CROUCH

To get a sense of the Canadian rock band Nickelback’s standing among music fans, consider this: last year, readers of Rolling Stone named it as the second-worst band of the nineteen-nineties, despite the fact that the group’s first major-label album wasn’t released in the United States until 2000. The band has been scorned by people ranging from bloggers who can’t be bothered to spell the band’s name correctly (“I don’t even need to explain why Nickleback sucks.”) to peers in the music industry (Patrick Carney, drummer of the Black Keys: “Rock and roll is dying because people became O.K. with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world.”)
Nickelback is in the news this week because it has just released a new album, but usually the band makes headlines only when it is on the receiving end of some new expression of public disdain. In 2011, more than fifty thousand people signed an online petition to protest the fact that Nickelback had been hired to play the halftime show at the Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving game. (They played anyway.) Earlier this fall, a man from London started a fundraising campaign to keep the band from touring in the United Kingdom. A few years ago, a protestor in Chicago held up a sign accusing Mayor Rahm Emanuel of liking Nickelback (Emanuel’s spokesman said no way); this summer, an Atlanta Braves fan made a sign that said the Phillies’ Ryan Howard was a fan. (Howard seemed mostly confused when confronted about it after the game.) As the critic Steven Hyden wrote at Grantland, “Hating Nickelback is the last form of pop music monoculture.” It is, in other words, the only thing on which music fans can seem to agree.
Except, of course, not everyone thinks that Nickelback is terrible. As of 2012, the band had sold more than fifty million albums. Billboard named them the top band of the two-thousands, and two of its signature songs, “How You Remind Me,” from 2001, and “Photograph,” from 2005, were among the most popular singles of the decade, in any genre.
Nickelback got its start in Alberta, in the mid-nineties, as a cover band, and, in effect, it has always remained one: taking what it liked from different periods of hard rock—grunge guitars, thunking stadium-rock drums, pop-rock hooks, and hair-metal lyrics about sexual and chemical excess—and putting it all behind the lead singer Chad Kroeger’s signature (and much parodied) low, raspy growl. It was studied hitmaking disguised as mere good times: millions of fans rocked out, while critics smirked at the band’s appropriations and responded to Nickelback’s gestures toward history by comparing them unfavorably to forty years’ worth of better groups: they were Pearl Jam without the intelligence, Metallica without the edge, AC/DC without the humor.
“We’ve never really been a critics’ darling or anything like that,” Kroeger told Billboard, in 2011. “The people speak. We sell a lot of records and fill a lot of arenas, and we don’t hear many complaints.” This, for many years, was the band’s standard response to the invariable questions they received about their unpopular popularity. It was mostly the shrug of the massively successful: the members of Nickelback played to adoring crowds; they didn’t feel like the most hated band in the world. And it was partly a form of denial, since it wasn’t just snotty critics, as Kroeger suggested, but a good chunk of the population at large, that mocked the band. Yet this year, ahead of the release of their latest effort, “No Fixed Address,” Nickelback and Kroeger took a slightly different position. In an interview last month with the Pulse of Radio, he shot back at his detractors: “All these critics, they’re just tireless,” he said. “They keep ragging on the band. If they had stopped writing all this stuff about us, there would be no controversy left in the band and we probably would have died out years ago. They don’t know that they’re still responsible for us being around today.”
Could this be true? Could Kroeger, a man who for many years wore his hair like this in public, be right? Could all the people who have gleefully insulted the band really be the ones who have helped it to endure, and, along the way, have helped create a Cult of Nickelback where, once, even in the band’s most popular phase, none existed? Kroeger’s statement is partly a provocation, but it is also a rather frank concession. If we take his word for it, Nickelback continues to be culturally relevant only because it remains famously hated.
As Hyden points out in his Grantland piece, the hatred of Nickelback is, by this late stage, mostly passé and largely misplaced. Ask a group of fourteen-year-olds if Nickelback sucks, and they’ll probably just be confused. Nickel what? Nickelback sells many fewer albums these days than it did at its peak, which was somewhere between 2005 and 2008. They don’t represent what people think they represent, and probably never did; they aren’t the band that ruined rock and roll, and even if they were, they aren’t currently ruining anything. All Nickelback is, as its members age into their forties, is a rock band clinging to a pared-down, niche audience—which makes them a lot like most other pop musicians, and so not really the most anything.
Take that 2011 halftime show, the one that inspired the online protest: within the hermetic-seal sterility of a domed stadium, the band’s single “When We Stand Together,” a generic anthem of empowerment, was airless and limp. Any hope for authenticity or urgency was further undermined by the accompanying stage production, which included choreographed dancers and an African-American drum line, who later received reinforcements in the form of dazed “fans” milling about in front of the stage. It was a grab bag of corporate-pop pageantry, with fireworks and swooping camera shots—a reminder of how Nickelback got its name from something that Kroeger used to say to customers when he worked as a barista at Starbucks. Latte metal. The only thing that made the halftime show interesting was that fifty thousand people had said that they didn’t want to see it.
Nickelback isn’t the first or the last band to go soft when given the chance to play during a football game. But the purportedly “hard” aspects of the band never held up against much scrutiny anyway. In 2008, they released the sexed-up album “Dark Horse,” which was full of unsubtle tracks like “Something In Your Mouth,” “I’d Come for You,” and “S.E.X.” Not to downplay the grotesqueness of such stuff, but these guys didn’t seem very sincere in their lust or menacing in their intentions. Many of Nickelback’s hits are party anthems about whiskey and tequila (“Oh, we got no class, no taste, no shirt, and shit faced.”), but the band can’t quite sell this flavor of hard-rock idiot insouciance—you get the sense, listening to them, that Kroeger and his bandmates are drinking water while their fans are doing the Jäger shots. A few years ago, a reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek found Kroeger looking fit and happy and at ease, a far cry from his id-based anthems of frustration and aggression: “I always thought it was strange when these artists like Kurt Cobain or whoever would get really famous and say, ‘I don’t understand why this is happening to me. I don’t understand! Oh, the fame, the fame, the fame!'”
This week, on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Nickelback performed its latest single, “What Are You Waiting For?,” a schmaltzy anthem about reaching for your dreams, etc.—the kind of thing that the bad version of Van Halen was good at making. (The whole album is mishmash of pop styles, and includes a cameo by the hip-hop artist Flo Rida, along with the requisite single-entendre track, “She Keeps Me Up.”) The assembled crowd responded with the slowest, least urgent fist pumps in the history of live music. The sound and tepid fury of Nickelback is perhaps best summed up by the cover image on their megahit album, “Silver Side Up”: an eye crying metal tears.
One of the arguments against Nickelback over the years has been that liking the band could not be the result of an active human decision: that everything about the band is, in effect, a default setting—sound blasted out by commercial radio run by robots. This argument revealed a lack of musical empathy among Nickelback’s detractors; there were Nickelback fans out there who cued up their favorite tracks as eagerly as you did yours. But it also felt true: it was hard to hear the band’s polished repetition as anything more than hard-rock background noise. And so the band’s music was dangerous because of its very harmlessness; its success suggested that rock fans could be swindled or lulled into liking anything, meaning that the genre itself had been rendered obsolete. Nickelback was rock’s black hole.

But to be hated is to be something. And to be hated by an army of anxious, élitist, Pitchfork-reading coastal snobs may be enough of a foundation on which to build a enduring fan base in the shrunken marketplace of the digital age. I think that Kroeger is probably right that the haters have made Nickelback stronger, in that they have given what had been a bland, soft-metal, post-grunge band the outsider, bad-ass edge that it had always projected but never earned. As an old saying goes, “To be loved is to be fortunate, but to be hated is to achieve distinction.”