Burning Man – English Reading Comprehension Exercise

Burning Man is a late-summer arts festival that takes place annually in the Black Rock Desert, northwestern Nevada, U.S.

Burning Man was inaugurated in 1986, when Larry Harvey and Jerry James – two members of the San Francisco arts community – burned an eight-foot- (two-metre-) tall effigy of a man on San Francisco’s Baker Beach in celebration of the summer solstice. Twenty people witnessed the event. Over the next four years Harvey and James (and expanding crowds) returned to the site with increasingly taller effigies. In 1990, however, when a 40-foot- (12-metre-) tall effigy was prepared, but the police intervened at the last minute and forbade the annual ceremony. Consequently, the event was moved that year to the Black Rock Desert, where the effigy was burned on the Labor Day weekend, in early September. Once it had relocated, the festival never returned to San Francisco or to the solstice. On the contrary it made the desert its long-term home and created a new landmark out of nothing. Every Burning Man festival has a unique theme, announced well in advance of the event, and virtually all aspects of the festival reflect that theme. For example, in 2000 the theme was “The Body,” and the streets of the city were given names such as “Head Way” and “Feet Street.” The many camps and villages within the city are founded on relevant subthemes and may be organized further around particular foods, sports, learning disciplines, or arts. Unlike most other festivals, Burning Man is virtually vendor-free. With minimal products for sale, people are expected to bring with them whatever they need for a week’s existence in the desert and to trade for anything they may need. Ultimately, Burning Man is an exercise in balancing cooperation, self-sustainability, individual expression, and creative collaboration in the formation of an artistic community.

 

Now try the quizzes below to test your knowledge!

 

Burning man | Definition Match

Put the following words to the correct definitions.

 

Burning man | True or False

Indicate which sentences are true and which ones are false.

Reading Comprehension: The History of Guinness

Guiness is an Irish beer which is enjoyed by millions of people around the world every year, and is probably the most recognizable name in the beer industry. So why is it so popular? Today’s English blog post will go into the history of the beer and how it has become a giant in the sector.
In 1759, at the age of 34, Arthur Guinness signed a lease for the St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin. He leased the brewery for 9000 years at an annual rent of £45. The brewery was only 4 acres in size, disused, and had little brewing equipment. In any case, Arthur quickly built up a successful business and by 1769 he had begun to export his beer to England.
In the 1770s, Guiness began brewing ‘porter’, a new type of English beer, invented in London in 1722 by a brewer named Ralph Harwood. Porter was different from ale because it was brewed using roasted barley, giving the beer a dark ruby colour and rich aroma. Arthur’s porter was successful and in 1799 he decided to stop brewing ale altogether, and concentrate on porter alone.
Arthur Guinness brewed different types of porter for different tastes, including a special export beer called ‘West India Porter’. This beer is still brewed today and is now known as GUINNESS Foreign Extra Stout. It accounts for 45% of all GUINNESS sales globally and is popular in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
By the time Arthur died in 1803, he had built a successful brewing business, with a promising export trade.
At the end of the 20th century, GUINNESS had become an international brand and the largest brewery in the world. In 1901 a laboratory was established; using science to enhance generations of brewing craft.
The brewery at Park Royal in London proved successful and overseas breweries for Guiness were built in Nigeria (1962), Malaysia (1965), Cameroun (1970), and Ghana (1971). New licences were also issued to brewers in other countries so that Guiness could be brewed locally. At the end of the 20th century, Guiness was being brewed in 49 countries, and sold in over 150.
A new research and development facility was built in 1964 and made for more innovations. Guiness Draught in Can was launched in 1988 with new packaging innovation. This process brought Guiness Draught into the home for the first time.
GUINNESS Stout today is sold in over 150 countries around the world and 10 million glasses are enjoyed daily around the world.

The History of Guinness | Definition Match

Put the following words to the correct definitions.

The History of Guinness | True or False

Indicate which sentences are true and which ones are false.

 

Adapted from this article.

 

Top 5 Weirdest Laws: UK Edition | Reading Comprehension

Across Britain, there are laws still enforced today that date all the way back to the 1300s! Some of them have no relevance in today’s world and are actually quite funny. The Team at Scrambled Eggs English School in Milan have put together a list of the top 5 weirdest laws that still exist in the UK. Get ready for your minds to be blown!

First up, it is actually illegal to be drunk in the pub! Yes, that’s right, you’ve read correctly! According to the 1839 Metropolitan Police Act, it is illegal to be highly intoxicated in a pub or for the pub-keeper to permit drunkenness on the premises

Next up, jumping the queue in the Underground ticket hall is not just rude, but actually illegal! That’s right, us Brits take queueing to a whole new level!

One of the most absurd laws that still exists is that it is apparently illegal to die while in Parliament. As the House of Parliament, less commonly known as the Palace of Westminster, is in fact a royal palace; so, if you were to die there, you would be required to be given a state funeral!

Another interesting law is that you can’t dress up as a soldier or seaman if you go to a fancy-dress party. According to the Seamen’s and Soldier’s False Characters Act 1906, it is illegal to pretend to be part of the armed forces.

Last but certainly not least placing a postage stamp bearing the monarch’s head upside down on an envelope is considered as an act of treason. So, when sending a postcard from your travels in the UK, make sure you place your stamp the right way up!

Which law do you think is the weirdest? What weird Italian laws still exist in Italy today?! Share your opinions by writing a comment below!

If you are curious to find out what the words in bold mean and want to speak like a native, try our comprehension quiz below:

Top 5 Weirdest Laws: UK Edition | Reading Comprehension Quiz

Match the word with its definition.

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