Thomas Parker is said to have invented the first electric car. It went onto the streets of London in 1884. Parker was responsible for innovations such as electrifying the London Underground.
A decade later Walter C. Bersey designed a fleet of electric London taxis. These started operating on London’s streets in 1897. They were soon nicknamed ‘the hummingbirds’ because of the humming noise they made.
Category: Technology / Electric cars / History
Today, let’s talk about Nelson Mandela. The former South African leader was laid to rest in December 2013. There were emotional scenes at his funeral, the like of which the world has never seen, as South Africa’s first black president was buried at his ancestral home.
World leaders and Prince Charles flew in to pay tribute to him at the state funeral. Other high profile guests included Sir Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey. Archbishop Desmond Tutu also attended after a dispute the day before.
Category: History / World leaders / Nelson Mandela
Why do we dream of a white Christmas? Why do we get Christmas cards with snow on them?
The culprit is the writer Charles Dickens. His childhood coincided with a decade of freakishly cold winters. Thus in his writings he describes persistently a Britain smothered in snow on Christmas Day, his inspiration coming from his childhood.
Six of Dickens’s first nine Christmases were white. One of these fell in the winter of 1813-14, when Britain’s last Frost Fair was held on a frozen River Thames in London and Dickens was nearly two years old.
Category: Christmas / Charles Dickens / Snow
Today, we are going to talk about Guy Fawkes’ Night or Bonfire Night. The event is held every year in the United Kingdom on the evening of the fifth of November.
The annual commemoration is to remind us of the events of the 5th November 1605 when Guy Fawkes’, who was a Catholic, was caught and arrested in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament while guarding the gunpowder that was to be used to blow it up.
Category: History / Guy Fawkes’ / 5 November
Crystal Palace in London is to be rebuilt. Plans and images have been unveiled that show how Crystal Palace will look when it is rebuilt as a modern day cultural attraction.
The original Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire in 1936. The massive iron and glass structure was originally erected in Hyde Park, London, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. More than 14,000 exhibitors from around the world gathered to see the latest technology.
Category: Crystal Palace / History / Great buildings
Today is a bit of a history lesson as we’re going to talk about the seven wonders of the world. Can you remember what they are? For those of you that can’t in this lesson we will look at not only the seven classic wonders of the world but also seven modern wonders in the world today.
Category: History / Wonders of the World / Geography
Today, let’s talk about the end of the world. According to the ancient Mayan calendar it was meant to end on December 21st 2012. By reading this lesson after this date the world is obviously still here!
There have been many superstitions and predictions about December 21st. Some people might say the world might not end exactly on this date but soon after. Then again the world might just last a few more thousand years…
Category: The World / End of the World / Mayan Calendar
You are in a bar discussing about how life is at the moment in Europe, its challenges of living there and its politics. You are also discussing the future, about how life might be like, and about how Europe might look like in the future. You live somewhere in Europe where there is one currency and where there are many nationalities. You live where the movement of trade is easy and fair, with little paperwork - thus avoiding goods being blocked at borders for days on end. You live where people can cross vast areas freely from the mountains to the sea without hindrance and false borders.
Category: History / Europe / Change
Today, let’s talk about why English is the most important language in the world. Considering the size of the country it beggars belief how the English language has remained at the forefront of languages students desire to learn. Of course, the question is why? There are many answers to this. In this lesson we will explore a few thoughts on this subject.
Category: English / History / Importance of English
Today, let’s talk about Auschwitz. It’s a lesson in history we should never forget. Why discuss it now? Simple – I was recently invited to go to Poland for a long weekend to Cracow. One of the trips we made was to Auschwitz. I can tell you – it makes you think twice on many things once you have visited the place.
Whilst it is not in my top 10 places to visit I believe it is a place you should visit once in your life. Indeed, many tourists do – during mid June to mid September mostly. It is as creepy and shocking today as you can imagine. When you walk around the site you can only imagine how ghastly it was and what it might have been like to live there. I will add – for those non-believers who say the Jews weren’t murdered by the Nazis – I say this – visit this place and you will rapidly think again.
Category: History / WWII / Auschwitz