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  • A Visit to the Cinema

  • At the Post-Office I

  • At the Post-Office II

  • Theatre

  • At the Theatre

  • Christmas

  • Ecological Problems

  • Environmental Pollution

  • Great Britain and the USA: Life of Youth

  • Seasons and Weather

  • Shopping I

  • Shopping II

  • Sport in Our Life

  • Olympic Games

  • The History of the Olympic Games

  • Sports

  • Summer and Winter Sports

  • Television in Our Life

  • A Visit to the Cinema

    Once I read an article about various kinds of entertain­ment. According to it TV, radio and cinema have made great changes in the entertainments with which people fill their free time.

    There was a time when people knew what to do to enjoy themselves: they played games, sang, played musical instru­ments, went out shooting.

    Nowadays we can get entertained by the TV, the radio, the theatre or the cinema. Cinema is available no matter where you live. You can always find the film you like among horror films, thrillers, westerns, detective, love, musical films or comedies.

    Not so long ago most people used to visit cinema every week. Often cinema houses were overcrowded. But at present video production has flooded the market and cinema became less popular.

    I don’t go often to the cinema and my friends are not regular cinema-goers either. But if there is a film, which is a

    hit with the public, I do my best to watch it. The last film I saw was Hollywood remake of Shakespeare’s «Romeo and Juliet». The action takes place in the modern world but all the rest is just like great Shakespeare had described: people, anci-on, feelings. The original text was used in the film. And I have to mention that the music was great. I think the actors and the actresses did their best and looked great. I’ll remem­ber the film for a long time.
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    At the Post-Office I

    If you want to buy stamps, postcards, envelopes, to send a telegram or money order, to subscribe to newspapers or ma­gazines, you have to go to the post-office.

    At some post-offices there is a special window where you may pay your rent, telephone, gas and electricity bills.

    Yesterday, I had to send a parcel to my friend in another city. So I went to the nearest post-office. I hantJed the pa­ckage to the clerk at the window marked «Parcel Fost». She weighed it and* I paid for the stamps which she stuck on the package.

    Then I went to the next window marked *Stamps». I had to queue up there. When my turn came, I bought writing paper, envelopes and a few stamps. I sat down at a desk and

    wrote a letter. When the letter was ready, I wrote the address on the envelope, stuck a stamp on it and dropped it into the nearest letter-box.
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    At the Post-Office II

    I like to go to the post-office because post is one of the things that link people living in different cities and coun- tries.

    There are some counters at the post-office. At one of them you can buy envelopes, stamps, post cards. You can write a letter right there and post it or you can write it at home and then throw it into one of postboxes throughout the city. It is very convenient because you don’t have to go to the post office again.

    At another counter you can send a telegram. To do this, you need to fill in the form, give it to the clerk and pay the sum according to the number of words in your telegram. —

    At another counter you can send or get parcels. To send a parcel you have to bring it to the post-office, the clerk will weight it and tell you how much money you have to pay. To get a parcel, you need to show your passport, so that the post-office clerk were sure that it is really you who is to receive the parcel.

    At the next counter you can make a subscri ption to news­papers and magazines. .You need to pay certain amount of money, which is stated in the catalog, and your favourite news­papers and magazines will be delivered directly to your home.

    At the post-office, there are also P.O. boxes. P.O. box means post office box, it is a numbered box to which some­one’s mail can be sent and from which they can collect it.
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    Theatre is a place where you-can see a play staged. It is also one of entertainments.

    A theatre consists of two parts: the stage and the hall. They are separated by a curtain and the orchestra. Actors and actresses perform on the stage and public occupes the hall, the pit, the dress-circles, the boxes and the gallery.

    If we made up our mind to go to the theatre we should go to the box-office to buy tickets. Seats cam be reserved beforehand.

    The last performance I saw was the «Nut Cracker* by Tchaikovsky. How great it wasl The main parts were per-fomed by Vadim Pisarev and Inaa Dorofeeva. Everyone knows that they are very talented dancers. But I also was impressed by a very young ballet-anoer who was performing the part of Masha girl. I think she deserves respect of the audience be­cause she did her best and looked great for her young age. I had a great time that night.

    But we are to admit that theatre is not popular now as it used to be. There are many people who prefer to seat comfortably before the TV and enjoy themselves without leaving their homes.
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    At the Theatre

    The 20th century brought great changes into the theatre. Cinema, radio, television, video altered the course of the major performing arts and created the new ones. But still there are hundreds of puppet theatres, conservatoires and philharmon­ics, musical comedy theatres, drama theatres and opera houses where the audiences are excited at the prospect of seeing a play and the actors are most encouraged by the warm recep­tion. But before going to a theatre you should book a ticket at a box-office. The most expensive seats are in the stalls, boxes and dress-circle. The seats in the balcony, pit and the upper circle are less expensive, they are cheap. Then at the entrance to the theatre the attendant tears your theatre ticket in half. He gives you your half back so that you can find your seat by its number. Another attendant shows you to your seat and sells a programme that will tell you which parts the actors are playing and how many acts there are in the play. Then you take your seat and may enjoy the play.

    I have always envied the dwellers of large cities. They have so many opportunities to enjoy themselves. Theatres, cinemas, variety shows, circus, conservatoire, concert halls, etc. are at their desposal. In provincial towns like mine is we have only amateur dramatics. That’s why I always take the smallest chance to go to a theatre when in a city.
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    Christmas Day is celebrated on December 25. Many people look on Christmas as the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, but really the tradition goes back to the earliest of times.

    In those days the sun meant so much to primitive man that when it began to go lower each day till December 23, people thought the sun was going to die out and they were worried. They ate less keeping the food for the next year.

    On December 23 the sun stayed in the sky longer and after that the nights were becoming shorter and shorter. When this happened, the primitive man was very happy. He even felt he wanted to celebrate it.

    Later it became a tradition to celebrate it at the end of December with presents and plenty of eating. Now Christmas tree stands in everybody’s living-room at Christmas. In the earliest of times green trees were symbols of life. Candles at Christmas also go back to those times. People believed then that their light helped them to forget the darkness of winter.

    The first weekday after Christmas is a public holiday. In England it is called Boxing Day. In past times it was the traditional day to give presents to servants. This day is called Boxing Day because at one time the presents were put in boxes (Christmas boxes). Usually Boxing Day is December 26, but if Christmas Day falls on a Saturday, Boxing Day is on December 27.

    Not all Christmas traditions are old. The first Christmas card was made only in 1842 by an English painter who sent that card to one hundred of his friends. Now millions of Christmas cards are sent and received.
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    Ecological Problems

    Since ancient times Nature has served Man, being the source of his life. For thousands of years people lived in harmony with environment and it seemed to them that natural riches were unlimited. But with the development of civilization man’s interference in nature began to increase.

    Large cities with thousands of smoky industrial enterpris­es appear all over the world today. The by-products of their activity pollute the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land we grow grain and vegetables on.

    Every year world industry pollutes the ahmosphere with about 1 million tons of dust and other harmful substances. Many eities suffer from smog. Vast forests are cut and burn in fire. Their disappearance upsets the oxygen balance. As a result some rare species of animals, birds, fish and plants disappear forever, a number of rivers and lakes dry up.

    The pollution of air and the world’s ocean, destruction of the ozone layer is the result of man’s careless interaction with nature, a sign of the ecological crises.

    The most horrible ecological disaster befell Ukraine and its people after the Chornobyl tragedy in April 1986. About 18 percent of the territory of Byelarus were also polluted with radioactive substances. A great damage has been done to the agriculture, forests and people’s health. The consequences of this explosion at the atomic power-station are tragic for the Ukrainian, Byelarussian and other nations.

    Environmental protection is of a universal concern. That

    is why serious measures to create a system of ecological secu­rity should be taken.

    Some progress has been already made in this direction. As many as 159 countries — members of the UNO — have set up environmental protection agencies. Numerous conferences have been held by these agencies to discuss problems facing eco­logically poor regions including the Aral Sea, the South Urals, Kuzbass, Donbass, Semipalatinsk and Chornobyl. An in­ternational environmental research centre has been set up on Lake Baikal. The international organisation Greenpeace is also doing much to preserve the environment.

    But these are only the initial steps and they must be carried onward to protect nature, to save life on the planet not only for the sake of the present but also for the future generations.
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    Environmental Pollution

    People have always polluted their surroundings. But until now pollution was not such a serious problem. People lived in uncrowded rural.areas and did not have pollution — causing machines. With the development of crowded industrial cities which put huge amounts of pollutants into small areas, the problem has become more important. Automobiles and other new inventions make pollution steadily worse. Since the late 1960’s people have become alarmed with the danger of pollu­tion.

    Air, water, and soil are necessary for existance of all living things. But polluted air can cause illness, and even death. Polluted water kills fish and other marine life. On polluted

    soil, food can not be grown. In addition environmental pollu­tion spoils the natural beauty of our planet.

    Pollution is as complicated as serious problem. Automo­biles are polluting the air but they provide transportation for the people. Factories pollute the air and the water but they provide jobs for people and produce necessary goods. Fertili­zers and pesticides are important for growing crops but they can ruin soil.

    Thus, people would have to stop using many useful things if they wanted to end pollution immediately. Most people do not want that of course. But pollution can be reduced gradu­ally. Scientists and engineers can find the ways to reduce pollution from automobiles and factories. Government can pass the laws that would make enterprises take measures for reducing of pollution. Individuals and groups of people can work together to persuade enterprises to stop polluting acti­vities.
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    Great Britain and the USA: Life of Youth

    Our youth is mostly similar to the youth abroad in many aspects of life. Numerous youth organizations have been formed since the Second World War, uniting young people from all classes and sections of the population. In the USA exists a Young Republican Federation, Young Christian As­sociation, some religious organizations for Jewish youth. Youth organization Green peace deals with the most urgent ecologi­cal problems of today’s world. It protests against nuclear weapon test, sea and soil pollution, etc.

    Sport clubs are characteristic youth organizations in the US and UK. They unite people, who are interested in baseball, football, basketball, golf, etc. You can attend any club: from theater clubs to bird-watching clubs. Bird-watching clubs are very popular, especially in Great Britain. And at the age of 14 children have regular part-time job to earn some pocket money. Some young people work in their church organiza­tions. They help elderly people or work in hospital. There are even some groups, where young people help released prisoners to start their life anew. Youth and youth movement over decades have become important factors in ^he life of both countries.
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    Seasons and Weather

    Everyone knows that there are four seasons in a year: spring, summer, autunm and winter. Each of them lasts 8 months.

    Spring comes in March and ends in May. It often rains in spring, especially in April.

    Summer is the hottest season in the year. It begins in June and ends in August. In summer the sky is clear and cloud­less. The days are long and the nights are short and warm. Summer brings fruits and vegetables. It is pleasant to spend this season by the seaside or somewhere in the country.

    The Autumn months are September, October and Novem­ber. The days are becoming shorter, the sun lose its force. It often rains. It is the season of harvesting.

    Winter lasts three month as well: December, January and February. It is getting colder day by day. The sun shines rarely and it snows offen. But everything looks so pretty covered by snow.

    So in every season there are bright and dark sides. But we must be thankful together whatever the weather.
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    Shopping I

    When we want to buy something, we go to a shop. There are many kinds of shops in every town or city, but most of them have a food supermarket, a department store, men’s and women’s clothing stores, grocery, a bakery and a butchery.

    I like to do my shopping at big department stores and supermarkets. They sell various goods under one roof and this is very convenient. A department store, for example, true to its name, is composed of many departments: ready-made clothes, fabrics, shoes, sports goods, toys, china and glass, elec­tric appliances, cosmetics, linen, curtains, cameras, records, etc. You can buy everything you like there.

    There are also escalators in big stores which take custo­mers to different floors. The things for sale are on the counters so that they can be easily seen. In the women’s clothing department you can find dresses, costumes, blouses, skirts, coats, beautiful underwear and many other things. In the men’s clothing department you can choose suits, trousers, overcoats, ties, etc. In the knitwear department one can buy sweaters, cardigans, short-sleeved and long-sleeved pullovers, woolen jackets. In the perfumery they sell face cream and powder, lipstick, lotions and shampoos.

    In a food supermarket we can also buy many different things at once: sausages, fish, sugar, macaroni, flour, cereals, tea. At the butcher’s there is a wide choice of meat and poultry. At the bakery you buy brown and white bread, rolls, biscuits. Another shop we frequently go to is the greengrocery which is stocked

    by cabbage, potatoes, onions, cucumbers, carrots, beetroots, green peas and what not. Everything is sold here ready-weighed and packed. If you call round at a dairy you can buy milk, cream, cheese, butter and many other products.

    The methods of shopping m^y vary. It may be a self-service shop where the customer goes from counter to counter selecting and putting into a basket what he wishes to buy. Then he takes the basket to the check-out counter, where the prices of the purchases are added up. If it is not a self-service shop, and most small shops are not, the shop-assistant helps the customer in finding what he wants. You pay money to the cashier and he gives you back the change.
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    Shopping II

    Shopping has common elements wherever it takes place. A buyer looks for a seller who is offering something the buyer wants or needs at a prioe the buyer can afford to pay. Sellers often advertise their wares in newspapers, on the radio or TV, on posters etc. Sellers use a variety of tactics to induce buyers to purchase from them at a price which leaves some profit.

    Shopping is a part of our daily life. And we have to deal with it whether we like it or not. There are people who hate going shopping. So they make a list of what they need and run through stores buying the needed things. Sometimes they even don’t care about the price. And there are people who go f rom store to store looking for goods of better quality and lower price. Those don’t worry about the time they spend shopping.

    But there is a very good service called Postal Market. It really helps you to save your time and get goods of high quality. You just have to look through a catalogue, choose the things you like, order them and wait a little to get them.
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    Sport in Our Life

    People all over the world are fond of sports and games. Sport makes people healthy, keeps them fit, more organized and better disciplined. It unites people of different classes and nationalities. Many people do sports on their personal initiative. They go in for skiing, skating, table tennis, swim­ming, volley-ball, football, body-building, etc.

    All necessary facilities are provided for them: stadiums, sport grounds, swimming pools, skating rinks, skiing sta­tions, football fields.

    Sport is paid much attention to in our educational estab­lishments. Gymnastics is a part of children’s daily activities in the kindergartens. Physical culture is a compulsory subject at schools and colleges.

    Professional sport is also paid much attention to in our country. In city, where I live, there are diferent sporting soci­eties, clubs and complexes.

    Practically all kinds of sports are popular in our country, but football, gymnastics and tennis enjoy the greatest popu­larity. As for me, I go in for table tennis (ping-pong). It needs mobility, liveliness and much energy. It keeps a person in a good form. I have been playing tennis for five years, but the more I play, the more I like it. I get a real joy taking part in competitions or simply playing with my friends. Some­times, I go to tennis courts.

    Certainly, there’s a great distance between my manner of playing and such favourites as Jim Courier, Stephan Ed-berg, Pete Sampras, Boris Becker, Per Korda, but I do my trai­ning with great pleasure and hope to play as well as our best players do.
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    Olympic Games

    The world’s greatest international sports games are known as the Olympic Games.

    The Olympic idea means f riendshi p,f raternity and cooper­ation among the people of the world. The Olympic Movement proves that real peace can be achieved through sport. The Olympic emblem is five interlinked rings: blue, yellow, black, green and red. Any national flag contains at least one of these colours.

    The original Olympic Games began in ancient Greece in 776 B.C. These games were part of a festival held every fourth year in honor of God Zeus at the place called Olympia. It was a great athletic festival, including competitions in wrestling, foot racing and chariot racing, rowing and others. The games were for men only. Greek women were forbidden not only to participate but also to watch the Olympics.

    The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896. Then they were resumed in London after the Second World War. Since then the Olympics are held every fourth year in different countries.

    The ancient Greeks had no winter sports. Only in 1924 the first Winter Olympic Games were held in France. Now they are being held regularly.
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    The History of the Olympic Games

    Long ago ancient Greeks often waged wars. Small states suffered and lost much even if they did not take any side and stayed out of wars. The ruler of such a small state, Elis, wanted to live in peace with all neighbours. He was a good diplomat because his negotiations were successful and Elis was recognized a neutral state. To celebrate this achievement, he organized athletic games.

    In the beginning this feast lasted one day, but later a whole month was devoted to it. All wars and feuds were stopped by special heralds who rode in all directions of Greece.

    The games were held every four years in Olympia on the territory of Ehs. The first games which later were called the Olympic Games were held about a thousand years before our era

    Usually the Olympic Games began before the middle of the summer Best athletes arrived from many Greek states to Olympia to compete in running, long jumps, throwing of dis­cus and javelin and wrestling. In the course of time fist figh ting (boxing) and chariot races were also included in the Games.

    All athletes took an oath that they had been preparing well for the Games and promised to compete honestly and keep the rules of the sacred Olympics. The athletes took part in all kinds of competitions. Winners were called «olympio-nics», they were awarded olive wreaths and cups of olive oil. This tradition has survived. In our time sportsmen often get cups and wreaths for winning the first place in sports compe­titions.

    The olympionics of ancient Greece became very popular. Best craftsmen were chosen to make honourary cups, many poets wrote and recited in public poems about the best ath­letes. Sculptors made their statues which were put up at the birthplace of the winners.

    The Olympic Games were accompanied by arts festivals. Poets recited their poems, singers sang hymns, dancers danced and orators pronounced speeches — all this in honour of the sacred Games.

    Only men could take part in the Olympic Games. Women were not allowed even to watch the competitions at the stadi­um under the fear of death penalty. There was a single excep­tion, when a woman coached her son and accompanied him to the stadium in men’s clothes. That brave woman was spared’ the penalty because her son excelled in many events.

    Magnificent strong bodies inspired artists and sculptors. They painted wall pictures and made statues of marble and bronze, so now we can admire the corporal beauty of ancient and eternally young discus thrower, javelin bearer and others.

    The Olympic Games had been held for about eleven hund­red years, until the emperor Theodosius banned them for reli­gious reasons in 394 A. D.

    The revival of the Olympic Games began long time after­wards, in 1892, when a young French teacher Pierre de Cou-bertin made a public speech before the Union of French sports clubs in Paris. At that tome many people in many countries practised various kinds of sports and games. They wanted to make friends and compete with sportsmen from other lands. Pierre de Coubertin understood the importance of sports which unified peoples of the world and served the cause of peace like in ancient time.

    On the 23rd of June 1894 the International Congress of amateur sportsmen made an important decision: to revive the Olympic Games and to establish the International Olympic Committee which would be responsible for the administration of the modern Olympic Games. The first Committee consisted of 12 members. Now 82 members of the International Olym­pic Committee »ontrol the affairs of all member countries which joined the Olympic movement.
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    Sport is probably as old as the humanity itself. It has been developing with the developing and growth of the mankind. All over the world people of different ages are very fond of sports and games. Sport not only helps people to become strong and to develop physically but also makes them more orga­nized and better disciplined in their daily activities. It makes for a healthy mind in a healthy body. Sports help people to keep in good health.

    We all need to exercise. Even if you don’t plan to make a career in sport you still have to practice. Regular exercises gives you more energy. That is why many people who suffer from general tiredness should take more exercise than more rest. Exercise makes you feel and look better. The best exer­cise is one which involves in repeated movements, those are: walking, jogging or swimming. Bending and stretching will add flexibility and feeling of lightness.

    Among the sports popular in our country are football, basketball, swimming, volleyball, ice hockey, tennis, gymnastics, figure skating. A person can choose sports and games for any season, for any taste.
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    Summer and Winter Sports

    People all over the world are very fond of sports and games. That is one of the things in which people of every nationality and class are united.

    The most popular outdoor winter sports are shooting, hun­ting, hockey and, in the countries where the weather is frosty and there is much snow — skating, skiing and tobogganing. It’s so nice to go to the skating-rink on a frosty sunny day. Some people prefer to be out of town in such weather and to sledge or to ski in the woods. Many people greatly enjoy figure-skating and ski-jumping.

    Summer affords excellent opportunities for swimming, boating, yachting, cycling, gliding and many other sports. Among outdoor games football takes the first place in public interests; this game is played in all the countries of the world. The other games that have firmly established themselves in favour in different countries are cricket, volley-ball, basket­ball, and so on. Badminton is also very popular both with young and old.

    All the year round many people indulge in boxing, wrest­ling, gymnastics and track and field events. Scores of young girls and women go in for callisthenics. Over the last few years aerobics has become popular with young girls and women. Aerobics helps them to be slim, healthy and strong. The inter­est for it greatly increased thanks to Jane Fonda, a prominent American actress, the founder of this kind of sport. This woman may serve as an impressive example of inexhaustible health, cheerfulness and beauty.
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    Television in Our Life

    Television now plays an important role in our life. It is difficult to say if it is good or bad for us. It is clear, that television has advantages and disadvantages.

    But are there more advantages than disadvantages? In the first place, television is an entertainment. But it is not only a convenient entertainment. For a family of three, four or five, for example, it is more convenient and less expensive to sit comfortably at home than to go out to find entertainment in other places. They don’t have to pay for expensive seats at the theatre or cinema. They turn on the TV-set and can see inte­resting films, concerts, football matches.

    But some people think that it’s bad to watch TV. Those who watch TV need do nothing. We are passive when we watch TV. Television shows us many interesting programmes. But again there is a disadvantage here: we watch TV every evening, and it begins to dominate our lives.

    My friend told me that when his TV-set broke down, he and his family found that they had more time to do things and to talk to each other. There are other arguments for and against television.

    Very often the programmes are bad. Sometimes they show too much violence in films and news programmes.

    There is also too much pop music and ads. Ads on the vvhole are convenient for grown-ups. But is it good for chil­dren to watch all those ads where they show all kinds of underwear and what not?
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