Lessons in the "2016" Category

Leicester City win Premier League

In what has been described as one of the most astonishing triumphs in British football history Leicester City have beaten the odds of 5000-1 to win this year’s Premier League football tournament. It is a fairytale ending for the Foxes.

Leicester City won it without kicking a ball, after Tottenham Hotspur failed to beat Chelsea in a decisive game on Monday night at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea fought back from 0-2 down to draw 2-2, thus ending Spurs’ title bid.

Leicester City became the first new English champions in four decades to win the title. Last night’s result means Leicester cannot be caught by their nearest rivals, even though there are two games still to go. This follows the Foxes clinching a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The Rise of the Drone

Today, we are going to talk about drones. What exactly is a drone? It is a small helicopter-like device that can fly by remote control. There are many sorts of drone including quadcopters, mini-quads, or multi-rotor helicopters that are all the rage at the moment. They vary in price from £10. Most video drones start around £100. It appears to be the new hobby to take up.

Drones are generally used to take aerial film or photographs. They have considerably reduced movie makers’ budgets, as they have replaced costly helicopters in many instances. However, whilst drones have become more popular some are becoming a security risk.

Celebrating May Day in Britain

May Day traditions in Britain include Morris dancing, the crowning of the May Queen and Maypole dancing.

Morris dancers normally perform on May Day. These are men wearing folk costumes and bell pads on their shins. They use sticks, swords and handkerchiefs that maybe wielded by the dancers during their dance.

The May Queen is a girl who must ride or walk at the front of a parade for May Day celebrations. She wears a white gown to symbolise purity and usually wears a tiara or crown. She is generally crowned by flowers and makes a speech ahead of any dancing taking place.

Getting ready for the 2016 London Marathon

This year’s London Marathon takes place on Sunday April 24. The runners who are taking part are currently gearing themselves up ready to take on the gruelling 26.218 mile race, for what will no doubt be an amazing unforgettable experience.

The London Marathon is actually one of the biggest events of its kind in the world – but it requires a lot of practice beforehand – as in running practice!

Runners will ideally need to have a good pair of trainers and the right kit. They will need to train, set themselves a goal, and have a training plan. They should have a stopwatch, pace themselves, and have plenty of patience to progress in their running ahead of the big day.

The Czech Republic wants to adopt the name Czechia

The Czech Republic in Central Europe has decided to change its official name to Czechia. There are many reasons for this. One is that Czechs are fed up with people always trying to shorten their country’s name to Czecho or Czechland.

The new name will be similar to its neighbour Slovakia – that is also known as the Slovak Republic. Some people might say that Czechia is too similar in name to the Russian Republic of Chechnya.

Czechia is shorter than its former name of Czechoslovakia - before the country split in 1993 into two countries – namely The Czech Republic and Slovakia.

St. George’s Day

Who is the patron saint of England? It is St. George. English people celebrate St. George’s Day every year on April 23rd.

It has to be said though that unlike the Scottish and Irish, who celebrate their patron saints in style and by drinking alcohol, the English really do not celebrate their day! In recent years efforts have been made to increase the day’s importance, but it actually lacks serious effort by the English.

Back in the 60s, when I was a boy at primary school, in class we used to play St. George and the Dragon. This was done in the form of a Mummers play, as it was known. The story being that St. George would kill the dragon then rescue the damsel in distress. It is a fairytale. By the 12th century the legendary story had become widespread.

Tesla launches new electric car

Recently popular luxury electric carmaker Tesla Motors revealed to the world its much anticipated Tesla Model 3. The new prototype electric car was unveiled by Tesla CEO Elon Musk at Tesla’s Los Angeles design studio in California, USA.

The new Model 3 will have a starting price of US$35,000. However, it won’t be available till the end of 2017. It can be ordered in many countries around the world including the UK, India, China and New Zealand. It will be Tesla’s first mass produced electric car.

In the first two days alone pre-orders surpassed 276,000. Every car was secured by a deposit of US$1,000 or similar in other currencies. Unlike deposits for iPhones, the Tesla deposits are fully refundable.

The UK’s Top Tourist Attractions

Today let’s talk about the UKs top tourist attractions. Top of the list is the British Museum (6.8m) in London. This is followed by the National Gallery (5.9m). In third place is the Natural History Museum (5.2m).

The figures were compiled by the Leading Visitor attractions (Alva). Altogether some 124.4 million visits were made to 230 Alva sites last year. This is 3.2% higher than the year before.

The rise was due to increased interest in big temporary attractions in London – up 1.6%, and in Scottish attractions – up 5.5%. London claimed the top 10 most popular sites.

April Fools’ Day

Today, let’s talk about April Fools’ Day. Known also as All Fools’ Day it is celebrated on the morning of the 1st April when practical jokes and hoaxes are played on people. The victims are called April fools! Newspapers are fond of reporting fake stories, which are normally explained the next day.

April Fools’ Day in the UK can be traced back to around 1392 to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The Nun’s Priest’s Tale mentions ‘Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two’. The passage was meant to mean 32 days after March – 2nd May – but was mistook for 32nd March i.e. 1st April.

21st Century Slavery

It may surprise you but today there are thousands of people around the world stuck in modern day slavery. It is a scandal that many governments are failing to tackle.

You might be thinking slavery was abolished in the 19th century. It was, only today it is once again flourishing. It is a global issue that needs resolving. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recently reported that 21 million people, five million of whom are children, are victims of forced labour.