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London Calling

London is the number one place in the world for the rock and pop music fan. It is home to more music publishers, record labels and live music venues than any other city. Here are just some of the places and addresses that have played, or still play, an important part in the history of British rock.

If the postcode begins with W1, WC1 or WC2, then you know you are in the centre of London. And as it's such a large city, we will only concentrate on the central area to give you a taste of London's rock 'n' roll past.

Pat Cox: President of the EU Parliament

At the dawn of a new era for Poland, Pat Cox, President of the European Parliament talked to Andrzej Geber about the role of Strasburg in an enlarged EU.

Potty about Potter

Harry's here, specs and all, long-awaited and long-debated!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has been the most hyped film production of recent years, and possibly, for its millions of younger devotees, in living memory. The bespectacled Harry is the latest literary pin-up, which just goes to show thatlooks aren'teverything.

Pretty in Pink.

Lavender is a sweet-smelling herb with pink flowers often grown in English gardens. But there is only one place in Britain where it is still harvested on a commercial scale. This is the Norfolk Lavender Farm, a place of endless fields covered with pink flowers, where visitors can learn about the fascinating history of this unusual plant.

European Convention on Human Rights

Ancient Rome's Colosseum has witnessed much in the last two millennia, from the slaying of early Christians to the more civilized European Convention on Human Rights. Half a century since it was declared, Rome celebrates the anniversary of this history-making document which in the last 50 years has sought to secure the rights and freedoms of every European, East and West.

Them English Don't Know No Grammar

English language students visiting the UK for any length of time will quickly notice that many native speakers don't follow the rules of their own grammar. But as Anna Kapica-Harward, who moved to London a few years ago, argues, failing to follow grammar rules does not mean that you don't know them.

What would you think if, after years of studying English, you arrived in Britain and heard lots of native speakers say, "I didn't have no idea you was in the pub yesterday"?

Jamaica, the heart of the Caribbean

Think Jamaica, think Bob Marley, the King of Reggae, cricket, amazing food, oh and, of course, the regulation tourist-brochure sunshine, sand and palm trees.

The island now known as Jamaica was discovered by the Spanish way back in 1494. It was already populated by Arawak Indians, who had arrived from South America by canoe many centuries before. The Spaniards did not pay much attention to their new colony because it did not have any precious metals to exploit, and so the British met little resistance when they took over in 1655.

Patrick: Ireland's Patron Saint

Patrick (c. 389-461) lived in Celtic Britain, not far from the sea on the west coast, perhaps in what is now known as Cumbria, although some think it might have been Wales. He was taken captive from his comfortable home by a ship' s crew from Ireland, just before his sixteenth birthday. Ships often crossed the Irish Sea to trade with Britain and sometimes pirates raided the coast in search of plunder and slave labour.

The English Language Workshop

Dear Readers,

We present the fifth issue of The English Language Workshop, which contains a variety of grammar and vocabulary practice. The English Language Workshop has two main objectives. Firstly, it serves as a review of the major grammar structures and vocabulary that you have learnt so far. Secondly, the aim of the tests is to help you prepare for exams, including the Cambridge First Certificate in English. You may check your knowledge of English grammar and vocabulary individually or in the classroom.

Paradise in East Sussex

For a real taste of old-fashioned England, there's no better place to visit than Rye on (or near enough) the East Sussex coast.

"Jutro jedziemy do Rye'u," I said to my wife (who is Polish, by the way). "Do raju?" she asked. Then I realised that to Poles the name of this little town could well be confused with Paradise. I had never been there before, so I couldn't say whether or not Rye might indeed be "raj". But as it turned out, the little town not far from Hastings came surprisingly close.

Irish Sports

Gaelic games are the national indigenous sports of Ireland. Gaelic football and hurling are the most popular sports while camogie, handball and rounders also come under the auspices of the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association).

Are Computer Games Good For You?

The Sony Playstation 2 and Microsoft's X-Box sold like hot cakes worldwide this Christmas as the popularity of computer games continues to grow. According to recent research, three out of four students play computer games for at least two hours a week in the US. But what are the psychological effects of the games on the player? Do violent games make kids more violent? And does sitting around wiggling your joystick have any educational value? Deji Akala ways up the facts.

The Paperless Classroom

Mr. Deji Akala found us through our Internet pages. He told us an interesting story of how he had become a leader of a discussion group for EFL teachers in Central and Eastern Europe. He suggested four subjects about computers which we thought would be interesting for our readers. Here is the fourth part.

Report from a Bloodless War

We all know of the many wars and revolts in Southeast Asia that have resulted in millions of innocent victims. The war that I intend to tell you about is ruthless, too, even if it causes no bloodshed.

The war we are now witnessing is between two languages, French and English. The language of Shakespeare and Churchill is the aggressor, needless to say, whereas French, comfortably established in the region for many years, fights to survive against the odds.

The Africans

Contrary to general belief, Africa is neither a monolithic nor a monocultural society. There are three mainly Negroid groups - West African, Sudanic and Bantu, scattered all over the huge continent. These main groups are further divided into subgroups. For example, the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria, who are the second-largest African tribe (population: about 20 million) are made up of at least 25 subtribes each with distinct customs, traditions and cultural practices.

A PC Fairytale: Three Pigs and a Big Bad Wolf

- a politically correct fairy tale

Letters to the Professor

I would like to ask you a question on how to use a noun in the role of an adjective in front of another noun. The point at issue here is the number of the first noun. Let me give you an idea what I have on my mind. I have many a time come across the phrase "profit percentage" on one hand, and "profits percentage" on the other. Is there any significant difference between these two expressions? If so, what is it?

The Art of Bad Taste: The British Tabloid

12 million people everyday read The Sun newspaper in Britain. Infamous for it's page three topless models, its obsession with the private lives of the rich and famous, and its innovative way with the English language, Britain's most popular newspaper is just one of many tabloid titles that you can find at the newsagent's. But why are tabloids so popular in Britain?

Only Joking!

The Smiths were proud of their American family tradition. Their ancestors had arrived in America on the Mayflower. Their family included senators and Wall Street wizards.

They decided to compile a family history, a legacy for their children and grandchildren. They hired a fine author. Only one problem arose: how to handle great-uncle George, who had been executed in the electric chair. The author said he could handle the story tactfully.

The Right to Bear Arms.

Since the Columbine school massacre last year Americans have been asking themselves what the law can do to prevent such horror ever happening again. Has the time finally come to break with a tradition that many see as an integral part of the constitution?