Tag: usa

Is this woman black or white?

Rachel Dolezal is an American woman, but her race is causing a lot of arguments in the press. She claims to be black, but her parents say she is white. Ms Dolezal works as a university lecturer in African American Studies and is a civil rights activist. She identifies herself as part black, or mixed race. Her parents say that this is a lie. Rachel grew up in Montana, USA and a photo of her as a teenager shows her with straight blonde hair and green eyes. She grew up with four adopted siblings, all of whom were black, and later married a black man. Her parents say that she was always interested in black culture and that she began to adapt her appearance after her divorce in 2004. They have told a local news channel that Rachel’s heritage is not black; but rather German and Czech with some Native American ancestors. Rachel wrote on a recent application form that her ethnicity was mixed and included white, black, Native American and several others. It is the black part that her parents dispute. Rachel has not spoken to her parents in over two years. She told local media that this is because of an ongoing lawsuit and that she does not view them as her ‘real parents’. American media and the internet has taken a lot of interest in this...

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A library where you borrow cats, not books

A government office in New Mexico, USA has a cat library. Employees can go to the cat library, choose a cat and take it back to their desk for one hour. Employees report feeling happier and more productive at work. How did this start? A local cat shelter (a place where lost and neglected cats can be adopted by loving families) decided to place a “cat  condo” in the government building. Because lots of people pass through the building each day, they thought that this would generate interest in the cats and more people would adopt them. How does...

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Mr Burns and Ned Flanders to Leave the Simpsons

Voice actor Harry Shearer is leaving the Simpsons after an argument with producers. He is the voice of the characters Mr Burns, Ned Flanders and the school principle Seymour Skinner. Shearer said that the argument was not about money. He said that he wanted to do other work. Continuing to work on the Simpsons would prevent him from taking new work. The 71-year old has been on the Simpsons since it started in 1989. Producers say that they will not kill off the characters played by Shearer and that they are looking for a talented voice actor to continue the roles. The Simpsons will continue for at least two more seasons. Story and Photos:...

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5 Interesting Easter Facts You Should Know

Many people believe that Easter is a Christian festival: the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection. However, many Easter traditions are not really Christian. The word Easter originates from the Anglo-Saxon God called Eostre. Here are 5 facts about Easter: 1) Easter is Anglo-Saxon in Origin Photo Credit Eostre was the goddess of spring and dawn (sunrise). In Anglo-Saxon times, a feast was held in spring to celebrate the goddess who brought new life to the world (this is when the flowers bloom and baby animals are born). It was not until the Romans invaded the UK that Easter became synonymous with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 2) Easter changes date depending on the moon Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon of Spring. It can be any time between March 22nd and April 25th. 3) People spend lots of money buying chocolate It is tradition to give chocolate eggs at Easter because these symbolise new life. The average child in Britain receives 8.8 eggs at Easter. Photo Credit 4) There is a special Easter hat Easter bonnets are often made and worn at Easter. They can include flowers, colourful eggs and sometimes pictures of small baby animals. They symbolise the new coming of spring. Many British school children make Easter Bonnets at school. 5) Rabbits are the symbol of Easter because they have lots of...

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American Tourists Write their Names on the Colosseum

Two American women, aged 21 and 25 wrote their names on the Colosseum, a 2000 year old building in Rome. They used a coin to carve their names into the brick. They then took “selfies” with the vandalism. Other tourists saw the girls and reported them to the police. They have now been arrested and charged with “aggravated damage of a building of historical interest”. The women have said sorry for their action and that they did not realise how “serious” the crime was. They thought it was a bit of fun. Vocabulary: coin (n), to carve (v), brick (n), selfie (n), vandalism (n), to report someone to the police (v), to charge someone with (v) aggravated (adj), damage (n+v). Story and Photo: The...

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