Chicago: My Kind of Town

CHICAGO : My Kind of Town

The international blockbuster Chicago won 6 Oscars at the Academy Awards ceremony on March 23. The musical, set in 1926, is a tale of obsession with fame and celebrity during the period of Prohibition. But what was Chicago really like at that time? Steve DeBretto, who grew up in the Windy City, writes that the real characters and stories of Chicago are even more fascinating than the musical.

Best Wishes for 2004 from Our Publisher

The old year is drawing to a close, and a new one is looming on the horizon. That is the time when we all tend to look back at the preceding 12 months and start thinking about what may lie ahead in 2004. Some of you have been with us for quite some time, others have begun reading The World of English© only just recently, but wondering about the future is something everyone has in common.

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Many of the things that the British and Americans associate with Christmas - the tree, the greetings cards, giving presents - have their origins in Victorian Britain. Lets go back in time and see what Christmas was like for an average family living in London in the mid-eighteen hundreds.

Rule Britannia?

Rule Britannia? In the 19th century, Britain was one of the most powerful nations on Earth. This was due to the size of its Empire. With territories on every continent, the colonies comprised 25% of the world's area and population. That is why people used to say: "The sun never sets on the British Empire."

Peter Gentle

Letters to the Editors

Letters to the Editor

Thanks to everyone who sent in entries to our SMS Poetry competition.We only have space to print a few of them. We also have had many suggestions to our Top Ten Love Songs of All Time. We receive many entries by e-mail these days, without home addresses accompanying them. So, if you see your name here then please send us your home address details and we will send you a CD as a prize.



Are Computer Games Good For You?

The Sony Playstation 2 and Microsoft's X-Box sold like hot cakes worldwide this Christmas as the popularity of computer games continues to grow. According to recent research, three out of four students play computer games for at least two hours a week in the US. But what are the psychological effects of the games on the player? Do violent games make kids more violent? And does sitting around wiggling your joystick have any educational value? Deji Akala ways up the facts.

Ding, Ding-a-Dong: The Sound of Eurovision

Riga, Latvia, is the site for this year's annual festival of kitsch. And while Poland continues to send its most popular groups and singers to the contest, as usual, you will not have heard of the British entrant before. This is because no self-respecting British pop star would be seen dead in a contest that is, in that country, seen as a bit of a joke. In spite of that, 8 million Britons and 100 million square-eyed Europeans will tune in to watch the Song Contest this May.

Easter Bunnies, Eggs and Other Stuff

Easter is a time of many traditions. First we look at what they get up in the US during the holiday. Then, on the next page, we take a look at some of the strange things they get up to on the other side of the Atlantic.

A-Z of the British Parliament

Some of them wear funny wigs and call each other "Right Honourable". The Speaker hardly ever speaks, and there is someone called Black Rod who is neither black, nor is his name Rod. But all are vital to the day-to-day running of the British Houses of Parliament. The strange behaviour and rituals of the Members of Parliament and officials is based on traditions that go back to medieval times. We present our guide to all you need to know about the British legislative chambers.

What a Wonderful World.

Many students take a "gap year" between finishing school and starting university. Many go and work in another country and get some experience of the world outside the classroom. Prince Harry is no exception. He is spending a few months in Australia and is working on a sheep farm in Queensland as a jackaroo - a farm labourer. On a 39,000-acre farm in somewhere called Tooloobilla, Harry is rolling up his sleeves and helping put the sheep through the sheepdip.