Johannes Gutenberg was born in the German city of Mainz, the youngest son of the upper-class merchant and his second wife, who was the daughter of a shopkeeper. It is thought that Gutenberg was a Goldsmith.
But historians know that: “Most of Gutenberg’s early life is a mystery. “.
It is presumed that, by 1411, the Gutenberg’s migrated for political reasons to Strasbourg. Gutenberg is assumed to have studied at the University of Erfurt.
Around 1439, Gutenberg was involved in a financial misadventure: making polished metal mirrors to sell to pilgrims in the German town of Aachen. Due to unfortunate events, Gutenberg lost the all the money he spent in producing mirrors.
When the question of satisfying the investors came up, Gutenberg is said to have promised to share a “secret”. It has been widely speculated that this secret may have been the idea of mechanical movable type printing.
Legend said that the idea came to him “like a ray of light”.
It was in Strasbourg in 1440 that Gutenberg is said to have perfected and then unveiled the secret of his invention. In 1448 back in Mainz , Gutenberg set up a printing workshop where he used his new techniques of printing.
By 1455 Gutenberg completed his major project, the printing of the Bible.
But in 1456, due to the debts taken for the Bible project, Gutenberg was declared bankrupt and loses his printing workshop. However, he retained a small printing shop, where he continued to print the Bible and other works.
In 1465, Gutenberg’s achievements were recognised and he was given the title “gentleman of the court”, a honor which also included a salary.
Gutenberg died in 1468 in Mainz, his contributions largely unknown.
Gutenberg was the first European to use the printing press and movable type.
His truly epochal invention was the practical system that allowed the mass production of printed books. Although Gutenberg was financially unsuccessful in his lifetime, the printing technologies spread quickly, and news and books began to travel across Europe. In the late Medieval Europe, the arrival of movable type printing introduced Europe to the era of mass communication and facilitated scientific publishing, a major catalyst for the later scientific revolution.
Regarded as one of greatest personalities in human history, Gutenberg was declared the most influential person of the second millennium, and his invention the most important of this millennium.
Choose your answer for the following questions.
Remember: your summary should not exceed the third of the original text.
Cougar geographical habitat:
The cougar, also commonly known as the mountain lion, panther or puma, is a large felid native to the Americas. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in most American habitat types.
Cougar characteristics and behavior:
Secretive and largely solitary by nature, the cougar is properly considered both nocturnal and crepuscular, although sightings during daylight hours do occur.
Cougar hunting habits:
The cougar is an ambush predator and pursues a wide variety of prey. Primary food sources are particularly deer, but also livestock. It also hunts species as small as insects and rodents.
Cougar’s habitat features
Cougar cat prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but can also live in open areas. The cougar is territorial and survives at low population densities. Individual territory sizes depend on terrain, and abundance of prey.
Cougar and humans
Cougar is reclusive and avoids people. Fatal attacks on humans are rare, but in North America have been increasing in recent years as people enter their territories.
Prolific hunting following European colonisation of the Americas and the ongoing human development of cougar habitat has caused populations to drop dramatically. In particular, the cougar was extirpated in eastern North America at the beginning of the 20th century, except for an isolated Florida subpopulation.
- Read carefully the text below, Aesop’s fable the Lion and the Mouse.
- Write in two sentences’ a summary of the fable.
Quote some variants of the moral, as they were given by other authors.
The Lion and the Mouse by Aesop
Once when a Lion was asleep a little Mouse began running up and down him; this soon awakened the Lion, who placed his huge paw upon him, and opened his big jaws to swallow him.
– “Pardon, O King,” cried the little Mouse: “forgive me this time, I shall never forget it: who knows but what I may be able to do you a turn one of these days?”
The Lion was so tickled at the idea of the Mouse being able to help him that he lifted up his paw and let him go. Sometime after the Lion was caught in a trap, and the hunters who desired to carry him alive to the King, tied him to a tree while they went in search of a wagon to carry him on. Just then the little Mouse happened to pass by, and seeing the sad plight in which the Lion was, went up to him and soon gnawed away the ropes that bound the King of the Beasts.
– “Was I not right?” said the little Mouse.
Moral of Aesop’s Fable: Little friends may prove great friends
Try to find out your own version of the moral of this fable.
- Read carefully the text below. It is a well-known fairytale for children, where the dramatic structure is highlighted in different colors.
- Rewrite a shorter version of the story, not longer then the third of the original following the idea: “In times of need, one should rely on family members to provide shelter and help.”
The Three Little Pigs’ story
Once upon a time there were three little pigs. One pig built a house of straw while the second pig built his house with sticks. They built their houses very quickly and then sang and danced all day because they were lazy.
The third little pig worked hard all day and built his house of bricks.
A big bad wolf saw the two little pigs while they danced and played and thought, “What juicy tender meals they will make!” He chased the two pigs and they ran and hid in their houses.
The big bad wolf went to the first house and huffed and puffed and blew the house down in minutes. The frightened little pig ran to the second pig’s house that was made of sticks. The big bad wolf now came to this house and huffed and puffed and blew the house down in hardly any time. Now, the two little pigs were terrified and ran to the third pig’s house that was made of bricks.
The big bad wolf tried to huff and puff and blow the house down, but he could not.
He kept trying for hours but the house was very strong and the little pigs were safe inside. He tried to enter through the chimney but the third little pig boiled a big pot of water and kept it below the chimney. The wolf fell into it and died.
The two little pigs now felt sorry for having been so lazy. They too built their houses with bricks and lived happily ever after.
Try to retell the story by following the idea: “The need for security is an apt to respond to a threatening world”
- Develop a summary of a movie you like, by using the guideline questions in the table below.
- Write your own comments or opinions on the movie you just presented.
- Develop a short summary of this text below, by answering the following questions:
- What are the types of reality shows?
- What are the critics against reality shows?
- What is the public for this kind of telecast?
- Why young people like reality television?
Reality TV – What are they?
Reality television is a genre of television programming that documents apparently unscripted real-life situations, and features a cast of individuals who are typically not professional actors. Reality TV programs also often bring participants into situations and environments that they would otherwise never be a part of.
The genre has various standard styles, including “confessionals” used by cast members to express their thoughts. In competition-based reality shows, there are other common elements such as one participant being eliminated per episode, a panel of judges, and the concept of “immunity from elimination.”
Reality television has faced significant criticism since its rise in popularity. Much of the criticism has centered on the use of the word “reality”.
Critics have argued that reality television shows do not accurately reflect reality, (participants being placed in artificial situations), or in fraudulent manner: scenes are staged or re-staged for the cameras. Other criticisms of reality television shows include that they are intended to humiliate or exploit participants (particularly on competition shows) or they glamorise vulgarity and materialism.
A number of studies have tried to pinpoint the appeal of reality television. In 2006, four of the ten most popular programs among viewers under 17 were reality shows. Studies have shown that young people imitate the behaviour displayed on these programs, learning much of their knowledge of the social world, particularly about consumer practices, from television
Read carefully the fragment below. The text is extracted from the best seller novel “An instance of the Fingerpost” written by the modern journalist and writer Iain Pears.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iain_Pears or
The novel is about a murder in 17th Century Oxford, related by four different characters.
One of them is a Venetian young man who travelled at that time in England.
The fragment below is narrated with the voice of the young Venetian, who recounts the events that took place during his stay in Oxford.
“Going to a play in England, for any person of sensibility who has been exposed to the refinements of Italian and French theatre, is something of a shock and more than anything else reminds one how very recently this race of islanders has emerged from barbarism. It is not so much their behavior, although the vulgar in the audience were perpetually noisy, and, it must be said, some of the better-born were far from quiet. This was due to the wild enthusiasm that the troupe of players generated. It was only a few years since such events had been allowed once more, and the joy of having some novelty to witness had sent the entire town into a frenzy. The very students, it seemed, had been selling their books and blankets to buy tickets, which were outrageously expensive.
Nor was the production so dreadful, although it was fearfully rustic, reminiscent more of Carnival burlesque than the proper theatre .
Rather, it is the type of play which the English admire that reveals what a crude and violent people they really are. It was written by a man who had lived not far from Oxford, who, alas, had clearly neither travelled nor studied the best authors, for he had no technique, no sense of plot and certainly no decorum.
Thus, the unities which Aristotle rightly taught us ensure that a play remains coherent were jettisoned almost from the first scene. Far from taking place in one location, it began in a castle (I think), then moved to some moor, then to a battlefield or two, and ended up with the author seeing if he could place a scene in every town in the country.
He compounded his error by abandoning the unity of time between one scene and another, a minute, an hour, a month or (as far as I could see) fifteen years could pass, without the audience being informed. Also missing was the unity of subject, as the main plot was forgotten for long periods and subsidiary tales taken up, rather as though the author had taken pages from half a dozen plays, tossed them into the air, then stitched them together in whatever order they fell to earth.
The language was worse; some I missed as the actors had no sense of declamation, but instead talked as though they were in a room of friends or in a tavern. Of course, the true actor’s way, standing still, facing the audience and seducing them with the power of beautiful rhetoric, was scarcely appropriate, as there was little beauty to deliver.
Instead what they had on offer was language of breathtaking foulness. At one scene in particular, where the son of some nobleman pretends to be mad and frolics on an open heath in the rain, then meets the king who has also gone mad and has put flowers in his hair (believe me, I am not joking), I quite expected the ladies to be hustled out by protective husbands. Instead, they sat there with all signs of enjoyment, and the only thing which caused a frisson of shock was the presence of actresses on stage, which no one had seen before.
Finally there was the violence. God only knows how many were killed; in my opinion it quite explains why the English are notoriously so violent, for how could they be otherwise, when such disgusting events are presented as entertainment?
For example, a nobleman has his eyes put out, on the stage, in full view of the audience, and in a fashion which leaves nothing to the imagination.
What possible purpose could be served by this gross and unnecessary coarseness except to insult and shock?
In fact, the only real interest in the proceedings which dragged on so long that the final scenes were played out in blessed darkness was that it presented me with a panoramic view of local society, as virtually no one was able to resist the temptation to dabble their fingers in the muck that was on offer. ”
Iain Pears – “An instance of the Fingerpost”
Write a summary of the fragment above, following the steps below:
- Search information about the author and the novel.
- Answer the guiding questions :
What is the main topic in this fragment?
What is the narrator talking about?
What is the mode of discourse: narration, exposition, description, or argumentation?
What are his impressions about the facts, events, situations he describes?
Can you find out who is the theatre author the narrator is speaking about?
And which play did the narrator describe?
The summary should be no more than 200 words.