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From Brain to Backdoor

They are invisible to the naked eye. They move around the world, spread by innocent users of the Internet, destroying all that gets in their way. They are computer viruses, and the damage they cause has already cost companies billions of dollars. Our resident IT expert, Deji Akala, has a few tips for those who want to protect themselves.

The American Connection

Millions of American tourists come to London every year to get in touch with their own history. Take a trip with us around some of the more famous landmarks that have connections with the origins of the United States.

Let's start in the area known as Rotherhithe, on the south bank of the River Thames, just east of Tower Bridge. Undoubtedly, this is the most important, and the most popular, place among American visitors to London. It was here that the voyage of the ship The Mayflower began, a story known to schoolchildren all over the US.

Poland's Farewell to the Peace Corps

The turnout for the Peace Corps' Farewell in Warsaw on June 8th was larger than expected. The atmosphere was moistened with tears and sprinkled with a little sadness and sentimentality, but it still managed to be joyful. It's not easy to say goodbye to firm friends, nor to pack up and go home without having mixed feelings. Yet, this is what is expected of Peace Corps Volunteers when their mission comes to an end. It can almost be compared with a gardener transplanting a flower while it's in full bloom and hoping it survives the shock.

Fast Cars, Beautiful Women and Seriously Funky Music.

At any party there is one band whose CDs are a must. We are talking, of course, about Jamiroquai, the British group fronted by the guy with a funny hat and an impossible voice, Jay Kay.

Five Irish Fairies

In popular tradition, the Irish have many special powers that normal mortals do not have. One of these is the ability to see fairies. Here is a quick look at some of the more popular characters that you might find at the bottom of an Irishman's garden.

Leprechauns

Throw Another Shrimp on the Barbie.

Some advice for those planning a trip Down Under: Beware the raw prawn! Before you go, let us guide you through the intricacies of Australian slang.

A City of Art

The history of Florence is the history of Renaissance art. Producing many of the finest artists the world has ever known, the Italian city' s impact on European culture is unrivalled.

Queen of the Century.

All together now, "Dwieście lat, dwieście lat, niech żyje, żyje nam..." One hundred years old on August 4, the Queen Mother is, at the time of writing, still going strong. Here's a look at a woman whose life has spanned the most eventful century in history.

Easter Bunnies, Eggs and Other Stuff

Easter is a time of many traditions. First we look at what they get up in the US during the holiday. Then, on the next page, we take a look at some of the strange things they get up to on the other side of the Atlantic.

From Westlife to Eternity?

After the Pogues and U2, there came the female voices of Sinéad O'Connor, Enya and the Cranberries. But what next? It was the boys' turn (well, mostly), and the money-makers have been having a field day.

Failure - a winter's tale

Americans and their New Year's Resolutions: as the world grows a year older it's always a good time to change those natural faults that make us human - but it's always a lost cause.

The Institutions of the European Union

If you live in Europe, whether in a European Union Member State or not, you will definitely be affected by the EU." Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life," as Humphrey Bogart said in the film Casablanca. He wasn' t referring to the EU, since it didn' t exist in the 1940s when the film was made. But more recent European history has been largely shaped by the development of the EU, and in the future the EU' s influence can only increase.

British Comedy

"British humour" is another way of saying in Poland that something is "not funny." But the British are proud of their humour. Its unique mixture of surrealism, satire and just plain silliness is one of things that define the British character. But, as humour - like bad wine - does not travel very well, Colin Graham gives you a guide to the things that make the British laugh.

Best Wishes for 2004 from Our Publisher

The old year is drawing to a close, and a new one is looming on the horizon. That is the time when we all tend to look back at the preceding 12 months and start thinking about what may lie ahead in 2004. Some of you have been with us for quite some time, others have begun reading The World of English© only just recently, but wondering about the future is something everyone has in common.

Scotland - Land of the Brave

If you' re not afraid of the weather, Scotland can be one of the most beautiful and fascinating of travel destinations. The stunning landscape and rich history could keep a holidaymaker happy for months, so long as he or she isn' t the type that likes doing nothing but lying on the beach. Even so, Scotland does have more than its fair share of sea and sand; it' s just a little short on the sun. So if you' re brave enough to weather the land of the brave, read on!

Bonnie Prince Billy

Next year Scotland will be welcoming Prince William, a brave new royal, to study at St Andrews University, and history will be made.

Can You Speak Gullah?

Living off the Sea Islands, by the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and northern Florida, is the Gullah Nation - a community of African descendants who were once enslaved. The area is relatively isolated, which has meant that the language and culture of the Gullah people has survived almost intact since slaves were brought to America from Africa hundreds of years ago. James Daniels, who grew up in South Carolina, reports.

See if you can understand these common expressions in Gullah.

Sitcom Philosophy

One of television's lasting legacies is that work of art known as the sitcom. Art? Plain folks may laugh during the funny bits, but smart people like critics are quick to condemn sitcoms as "junk food for the brain."

Close study of sitcoms reveals, however, that they are shaped by a clear set of rules with an aesthetic purpose. In other words, a sitcom can be just as much a work of art as a Shakespeare tragedy or a Moliere comedy.

Whose Music is it Anyway?

Napster, Gnutella, Reflecter: it sounds like the latest line of chocolate products. But these computer programs are revolutionizing the world of web music - and giving the record industry the fright of their lives.

You never know what a kid will come up with, given the proper tools.