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Joe's Cafe

Joe's Cafe


Personal blog of EnglishClub founder Josef Essberger - see Menu

College Entrance Exam

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College Entrance Exam

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Answers to College Entrance Exam

That’s OK, I didn’t pass either 🙁


What is “Wall Street meltdown”?

The word “meltdown” is being bandied about a lot in relation to the current Wall Street crisis. What does it mean?

Let’s look at melt first. Melt is a verb: to melt. It means to change from solid to liquid, usually because of heat. So if you put an ice-cube outside in the sun it will melt. The ice will become water. When you light a candle, the solid wax of the candle melts and becomes liquid wax, running down the candle until it cools and solidifies again.

What about meltdown? Meltdown is a noun, with a technical meaning. A meltdown is an accident in a nuclear reactor in which the fuel becomes so hot that the core of the nuclear reactor melts, with potentially extremely serious (catastrophic) consequences.

What about a meltdown in Wall Street? There are no nuclear reactors in Wall Street, so what can it mean?

Wall Street is a street at the south end of Manhattan in New York City, and is home to the New York Stock Exchange and other leading United States financial institutions (major banks etc). When people talk about a “meltdown in Wall Street” they are using the word meltdown figuratively to mean “a catastrophic event, a disastrous collapse of the American financial system”.


7 of my Favourite Quotations

A “quotation” is usually a short text – perhaps one or two sentences – written or spoken by one (usually famous) person and often repeated or at least known by others. Here are 7 of my favourite quotations, arranged (loosely) from humorous to serious. Have a look at them and try to understand them. You may know some of them already in your own language. Do you agree with Read on »


How do you use the Internet?

How do you use the Internet? What do you do? How often? Why? Do you mainly use the Internet to play games, find friends, learn online, shop online…? What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet? Do you have any tips and suggestions you would like to give others?


Morality Test

This test only has one question, but it’s a very important one. By giving an honest answer, you will discover where you stand morally. The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation in which you will have to make a decision.

Remember that your answer needs to be honest, yet spontaneous.

Please scroll down slowly and give due consideration to each line.

THE SITUATION

You are in England, York to be precise.

There is chaos all around you caused by a hurricane with severe flooding.

This is a flood of biblical proportions.

You are a photo-journalist working for a major newspaper, and you’re caught in the middle of this epic disaster. The situation is nearly hopeless.

You’re trying to shoot career-making photos.

There are houses and people swirling around you, some disappearing into the water.

Nature is unleashing all its destructive fury.

THE TEST

Suddenly, you see a man in the water.

He is fighting for his life, trying not to be taken down with the debris.

You move closer… Somehow, the man looks familiar…
You suddenly realize who it is… It’s Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of the UK! You notice that the raging waters are about to take him under forever. You have two options:

You can save the life of Gordon Brown or you can shoot a dramatic Pulitzer Prize-winning photo, documenting the death of one of the country’s most powerful men!

THE QUESTION

Here’s the question, and please give an honest answer…

Would you select high contrast colour film, or would you go with the classic simplicity of black and white?


Why do people write 0:00AM? What does it mean?

Or sometimes they write 0:00PM. Or even 12:00AM. Or 12:00PM. I mean…what do they mean? Is it midnight or noon? I mean, AM means before noon, right? And PM means Read on »


Principle or principal?

Here are two more words that sound exactly the same but have different meanings. Read on »


Discreet or discrete?

These two words sound exactly the same but have different meanings Read on »


Some seek knowledge

“Some seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge – and that is curiosity. Some seek knowledge that they may be known to have knowledge – and that is vanity. Some seek knowledge that they may give to others their knowledge – and that is charity.”

Bernard of Clairveaux
Saint Bernard of Clairveaux was a French abbot of the 12th century.


I shall not pass this way again

I expect to pass through this world but once;

any good thing therefore that I can do, or any

kindness that I can show to any fellow-creature,
Read on »