Monthly Archives: March 2015




MI6 was founded in 1909. It is the British spying agency. It only operates outside the UK. MI6 has its headquarters in London just south of the Thames. It is a publicly acknowledged fact where the MI6 building is.

MI stands for military intelligence. The information MI6 gathers is also about economics and politics.

MI6 only has British people as officers. These man and women usually have a degree. They will be approached and asked to join. They then sign the Official Secrets Act agreeing not to disclose any of the private information they have about MI6.

MI6 officers mostly work at their desks in London. Sometimes they go abroad to spy on other countries. Sometimes they go under diplomatic cover. That means they go as a British diplomat. So they will work at the British Embassy in another country. They do a little diplomatic work but most of the time they are spying. An MI6 officer who is abroad as a diplomat is a ‘legal’. Because he or she is a diplomat this person cannot be arrested. He or she will be declared to the local government and work as a liaison with the intelligence service of that country. For example, if a British diplomat who is an MI6 officer goes to France then she or he will be announced to the French Government. The worst that can happen to a legal is that the government of that country demands that the person go home.

MI6 officers usually go abroad as ‘illegals”. That means they are not diplomats and they can be arrested. Illegals pose as business executives, scientific researchers, journalists, charity workers and so on. They have an excuse to meet people and travel around the country. They are spying. If they are caught they can be punished.

MI6 officers try to recruit agents. An agent is someone of the nationality that MI6 wishes to spy on. For instance, MI6 may persuade an Iranian politician to give them information or to plant a bug. The Iranian politician will do this for a number of reasons. He might like the United Kingdom and hate his own government. Maybe he does it for money. He might be being blackmailed. He might do it because he wants to go and live in the UK later. Perhaps he is doing it to get a friend released from prison. It could be a combination of different motives.

Spies who are arrested abroad are imprisoned and usually exchanged after a  few years.


1. When was MI6 founded?

2. What is an MI6 officer?

3. WHat is an MI6 agent?

4. Where is the MI6 HQ?

5. What is blackmail?

6. Give a possible reason for someone to be an agent?

7. Does MI6 operate in the UK?

8. What is the role of MI6?

9. What is a legal?

10. Why is MI6 needed?




This is the British counter-intelligence service. It was founded in 1909. It stands for Military Intelligence. It is not just about preventing spying on the UK military. It is about stopping foreign spy agencies from spying on British companies and the government.

MI5 employs several thousand staff. It has a headquarters called Thames House. It is just north of the River Thames in London. The government is open about where the MI5 building is. MI5 tries to track suspect foreign intelligence officers and agents. It listens to their phone calls and bugs their houses. It keeps them under surveillance.

MI5 is not a type of police. They do not have the power of arrest. They can tell the police to arrest a suspected spy. MI5 only operated within the United Kingdom. MI5 keeps an eye on suspected terrorists. MI5 does not deal with issues less serious than murder.

MI5 only employs British people. It advertises on its website for recruits. For surveillance a person must not be noticeable. They must not be too short or tall. They must not be too fat or thin.

MI5 employs native speakers of other languages. They need to translate a lot of bugged conversations and intercepted emails. These are mainly in Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Bengali and Chinese. There are many British Pakistanis, British Indians, British Chinese people, British Egyptians and British Bangladeshis who can do this.


1. What does MI stand for?

2. When was MI5 founded?

3. What is the role of MI5?

4. What languages does MI5 mainly need?

5. Why must MI5 surveillance officers not be too tall or short?

6. Where is the HQ of this organisation?

7. Does MI5 operate outside the UK?

8. What nationality works for MI5?

9. In which city is the MI5 building?

10. Why is MI5 needed? (5)

Computer Games.



Computer games were invented in the 1970s. These games involve pressing buttons to win. The player is often represented by a symbol on the screen. The player is sometimes shooting enemies. Sometimes the player is driving a car or motorbike on the screen.

These games are exciting. They have good graphics. They often have music to go with them. Grand Theft Auto is one such very popular computer game.

People often play these games on a television screen or X box. The player usually uses a joy stick. Some games involve more than one player. Counter strike is a game like that. This is a shooting game. You can see your opponents on the screen.

Those who play these games are called gamers. Internet cafes sometimes have all night sessions for gamers. There are international competitions for gamers. There are big prizes. These competitions often take place in the United States.

You can play against someone on the far side of the world. The other games is at his computer and you are at yours. Your figures will be on the same screen.

Boys play these games much more than girls. These games require skill and  fast reactions.


1. When did these games start?

2. What is counter strike about?

3. What is Grand Theft Auto about?

4. Can you play on the TV screen?

5. Are there prizes for big competitions?

6. In which country do the big competitions happen?

7. Do more girls than boys play?

8. What skills do you need for these games?

9. What is a a gamer?

10. What do you think of these games? (3)

В.В.ПУТИН. РАННИЕ ГОДЫ. (V V Putin – his early life).



Владимир Владимирович Путин родился в 1952 году в Санкт-Петербурге, тогда называвшимся Ленинград. Он был единственным ребенком в семье, до него у его родителей было двое детей, которые умерли в блокаду Ленинграда. Дед Путина был поваром царя Николая II и Сталина. До деда Путина не существует никаких  записей об этой семье. Таким образом, происхождение рода Путиных  остается загадкой.

Путин не был отличником в начальных классах. Он был сорвиголовой и у него случались  мелкие неприятности  с законом, пока он не открыл для себя дзюдо, и стал более прилежным. Он обратился в КГБ,  с просьбой взять его на службу, как подростка. Они отказали ему, потому что, они никогда не брали людей, которые сами  пришли к ним. КГБ с подозрением относилось к любому добровольцу, такой человек мог быть шпионом или сумасшедшим.

Путин поступил  в Ленинградский государственный университет, где  изучал право. После окончания института, его по распределению взяли на работу в органы государственной безопасности. Он был рад этому. Он учил немецкий.  Затем  он был отправлен в  город Дрезден в Восточной Германии, которая,  в то время называлась Германской Демократической Республикой.  Восточная Германия была коммунистической страной-союзницей  СССР, и в ней  находились части  советской армии. Путин женился на русской девушке, и у  них родилось  две дочери.

В 1989 году  в ходе массовых протестов коммунистические правительства в Восточной Европе были свергнуты. Их коммунистическая экономическая политика не имела позитивных результатов, и вызвала огромные трудности. Путин и его семья вернулась в Советский Союз. Путин был расстроен этим изменениям. Он был поражен, как легко коммунизм пал. Советский лидер в то время был Михаил Горбачев. Горбачев был коммунистом, который верил, что коммунизм необходимо реформировать, чтобы этот строй просуществовал дольше.  Сначала, его новый, умеренный коммунизм был популярен. Он дал большую свободу слова и разрешил некоторую деятельность свободного рынка. Для некоторых бескомпромиссных коммунистов это было началом конца. Они хотели сохранить старую систему без изменений.

Горбачева разрешил  создание других политические партий.  До этого  создание партии,  кроме  коммунистической было преступлением. При проведении демократических выборов, коммунисты обычно не выигрывали, и теряли свои должности. Путин, будучи убежденным коммунистом, был обеспокоен этим. Он чувствовал, что демократия разделяет и ослабляет Советский Союз. В союзных республиках  активизировались националистические движения. В Казахстане, Латвии и прочих республиках, много людей требовали независимости. Владимир Владимирович  хотел, чтобы  СССР  оставался единым. В то время, в КГБ у  Путина  был неполный рабочий день, и  он вынужден был подрабатывать таксистом. Казалось, что фортуна отвернулась от него.

Борис Ельцин, был одним из тех, кто  выступал за реформы. Ельцин – бывший коммунист, который был мэром Москвы. Ельцин ушел из  коммунистической партии,  для  создания новой партии под названием  «Наш Дом Россия».

В 1991 году была предпринята  последняя отчаянная попытка спасти коммунизм. В августе Горбачев проводил свой очередной  отпуск на Черном море. Некоторые члены старой гвардии устроили коммунистический путч. Они транслировали  по телевидению новости о том, что Горбачев болен и  освобожден от своих обязанностей. Борис Ельцин возглавил массовые протесты в России. Заговорщики вывели войска на улицы, но  некоторые из солдат перешли на сторону Ельцина. В конце концов, нервы заговорщиков не выдержали, и через три дня все закончилось – переворот не удался. В результате него  несколько человек были убиты.

Горбачев вернулся в Москву. Он объявил, что  не был болен. Заговорщики были арестованы, а  один из них покончил жизнь самоубийством. Путин сказал, что он очень сочувствовал перевороту, так как это было попыткой, спасти коммунизм. Ельцин был человеком момента.

В последние несколько месяцев 1991 года, население всех союзных республик проголосовало за независимость. В канун Нового Года Горбачев ушел в отставку с поста президента СССР. Его место, но уже в качестве президента России, занял  Борис Ельцин. В полночь флаг Советского Союза был в последний раз спущен в  Кремле, и поднят триколор Российской Федерации. СССР больше не существовало. Путин сказал, что это был худший день в его жизни.


  1. Когда родился Путин?
  2. Что случилось с его братьями и сестрами?
  3. Почему происхождение его семьи загадка?
  4. В каком городе родился  Путин?
  5. Какой предмет он изучал в университете?
  6. Почему КГБ изначально отвергли  его?
  7. Сколько у него  детей?
  8. На каком иностранном языке он говорит лучше всего?

9  В каком иностранном государстве он жил?

  1. Как он относится к концу коммунизма?
  2. Кто такой Горбачев?
  3. Что произошло в августе 1991 года?
  4. Что Путин должен был делать, чтобы заработать дополнительные деньги в 90-х годах?
  5. Кем  был дед Путина?
  6. Кто стал президентом России 31 декабря 1991 года?

Business Management


Business Management.

Those who wish to work in businesses often study Business Management. It is about strategising and organising. It involves staffing a business and controlling it so as to achieve a goal. The prime goal is profit. One also has to try to reduce risk. There is a trade-off here. The higher the risk, usually, the higher the profit. However, if things go wrong there will be no profit. In fact there will probably be a big loss. The lower the risk then usually the lower the profit.

If you sell bottles of water for $1 each and the profit margin is 3 cents then you are taking a small risk. There is only a 3% profit. The profit will not be huge. If you sell a vast number of them you can make a big profit. If you sell bottles of champagne for $500 each and the profit from each one  is $200 then this represents a huge profit margin. It is 40%/. Moreover, the amount of profit per bottle is enormous. However, the market for champagne fluctuates a lot. Something very expensive does not have a lot of buyers. You need to reach them with the right advertising. You need to have a reputation for excellence. You need the right image.

Water is not much of a comparison good. It is an impulse buy. People buy the first one they see or the cheapest one. Not many people are loyal to one brand of water. Champagne is a comparison good. This is expensive and people compare them and taste them. They think carefully about picking the right brand. They then tend to be loyal to it..

Business management teaches you to decided your strategy. WIll you compete on price or on quality? It can be both.

A business manager needs to gather information and be sure it is correct. He needs to verify that his subordinates are doing there job. He must have good interpersonal skills. He must treat his underling courteously. He need to command their respect. He needs to make reasonably quick and firm decisions. This must be clear. They may be somewhat complex but no so complex that others cannot understand them. These should not be changed without a good reason.

Business Management teaches people about this. There are role plays. Different roles are tried out. You could pretend to run a soft drinks factory, a hotel, an insurance company or an airline.

You will need to analyse complex situations. You must deal with contradictory information and work out what is true and what is more valuable. You need to deal with public relations. You may have difficult shareholders to deal with.

It is easy to be the boss when things are going well. But being a good boss when things are going badly is the real test of leadership.


1. What is a profit margin?

2. What is a comparison good?

3. What is an impulse buy?

4. What are the two major factors you can compete on?

5. What is the risk profit trade-off?

6. Outline some of the skills of a manager. (5)

Vlad Tepes



Vlad Tepes was born in Romania in 1431. He is also known as Vlad III. Note that his surname is pronounced Tep esh. Romania at that time was divided into Wallachia, Transylvania and Moldova. They all spoke the same language and they were all Christians. Vlad Tepes was the son of the Vlad II Voivoede of Wallachia. Wallachia is southern Romania.

The Ottomans invaded from the south. The Ottoman Empire was mighty at the time. The capital of the Ottoman Empire was Istanbul. The official language of this empire was Turkish. Most of the people of the Ottoman Empire were Muslims. They were a powerful military force.

Greece and Bulgaria were soon conquered by the Ottomans. Next they set their sights on Romania. The Ottomans concquered southern Romania. The rest of Romania made peace with the Ottomans. Vlad Tepes’ father was compelled to give his son as a hostage to the Turks. Vlad Tepes was taken to Istanbul and spent several years there as a child. He said he was badly treated there. He came to detest the Ottomans. After several years Vlad Tepes was allowed to return home. Other hostages were taken in his place.

Then war broke out anew between Romania and the Ottomans. Vlad Tepes led the fightback.

Vlad Tepes’ father has been awarded the Order of the Dragon. This was a medal given to him by the Holy Roman Emperor. Vlad Tepes became known as Draculea. This means ”son of a dragon.”

Vlad Tepes became Voivoede of Wallachia after his father died. Vlad Tepes was very effective in fighting th Turks. He would attack a Turkish camp at night with his men wearing Turkish uniforms. They would kill a few Turkish soldiers and make a lot of noise. Vlad Tepes and his men would then run away. The Turks would be woken up. As Turkish soldiers had been killed by men in Turkish uniform the Turks could not tell friend from foe. They would assume every other man was an enemy. The Turks would kill a lot of each other.

Vlad Tepes was very cruel to any Turks he captured. He had then impaled. This meant a wooden stake was stabbed up through the lower part of their body. It took them days to die.

Vlad Tepes lived in Bran Castle and other places. He is a national hero in Romania. He is buried on an island in the lake by Snagov. This is just north of Bucharest.

There is no connection between him and the fictional Count Dracula from the 1890 novel.


1. When was Vlad Tepes born?

2. What was his father’s job?

3. What does Draculea mean?

4. What were the three countries which formed Romania?

5. Which castle did he live in?

6. Which country invaded Romania?

7. Why was he called an impaler?

8. Is he the character from the 1890 novel?

9. Why did he attack at night?

10. What is your view of him? (4)

Jack the Ripper.


Jack the Ripper.

London. 1888. One August morning young woman is found savagely stabbed to death in her bedroom. The attacked occurred in a poor part of London known as Whitechapel. The violence used was far more than was needful to kill her. Her internal organs had been removed after death and placed on a table where they are floating on a pool of her blood. It is known that this unfortunate female was a prostitute. Her assailant knew what he was doing. He must have been a man of great strength and with a razor sharp knife. His knowledge of anatomy leads many to assume that he must be a doctor.

Who can have committed such a barbaric crime? People do not care much for prostitutes. However, the newspapers are full of this story. There were some other murders in London at the time. These were usually drunk men fighting each other or criminals killing in robberies. To deliberately kill a defenceless woman was shockingly rare. London was not a very violent place. Then a few weeks later people are beginning to calm down. But then he strikes again.

In the same dingy London district of Whitechapel a woman is foully done to death in a remarkably similar manner to the previous murder. A young woman was stabbed to death at night. The stab wounds showed extraordinary ferocity. The killer had again cut out some of her organs and placed them on the floor – they were swimming in a pool of blood.

The newspapers report little else but this disgusting crime for the next few days. Some newspapers dubbed this unknown killer ”Jack the Ripper”. Jack was a very common name at the time. The police put out appeals for information.

The police received taunting letters from a man claiming to be the murderer.

There was a large Jewish immigrant community in the East End of London at the time. They were mostly feeling from Russia. There was a lot of anti-Jewish prejudice at the time. Some graffiti as seen painted on the wall. It said ”Those who blame the Jews are not wrong.” It was assumed to be a reference to the Whitechapel murders. A senior police officer was worried that people would see this and attack Jews. He ordered the graffiti to be washed off. However, this was possibly a mistake. It could have been an important clue. The handwriting and fingerprints might have led to to the killer.

So the pattern of slayings continued. Five times in total Jack the Ripper struck. Five times he killed a prostitute. He always attacked at night. He always used a knife. He always killed on the 8th or the 30th of the month. In October 1888 the last killed occurred. In one case he was seen leaving the scene of the crime. He was a tall man in expensive dark clothes. There was another occasion when he grabbed a woman from behind and was about to plunge a knife in. He was seen by someone else who screamed. Jack the Ripper was disturbed and he ran off. The would be victim did not see his face. Jack the Ripper continued to send letters to the police teasing him that they would never catch him. In the letters he hinted that he was a misogynist.

People were in a blind panic. The public demanded that there should be more police patrols. There was paranoia.

Jack the Ripper was never caught. There are dozens of suspects. One of these was a Polish Jewish man. Some people say this was just due to anti-Jewish prejudice. Some people suspected an unsuccessful lawyer named Montague John Druitt. Druitt committed suicide in October 1888 – just after the last murder. He was a bachelor and known to hate women.

SOme people suspected Prince Eddy. Prince Eddy was the grandson of Queen Victoria. Prince Eddy was due to inherit the Crown. He was a man of very low intelligence and he was known to dislike women. He was due to be married to Princess Alexandra of Denmark which he did not want to do. However, he died in 1893. Prince Eddy did not commit these murders. It can be proved he was in Balmoral in Scotland in August 1888 and there were many witnesses to that.

Another suspect for these killing is J K Stephen. J K Stephen went to Eton and Cambridge. He was a great intellectual and poet. He was a tutor to Prince Eddy. J K Stephen never married and had a pathological hatred of women. In some of his poems he said that women had done great evil. In 1889 he was declared to be mentally ill. He did in a psychiatric hospital a few years later.

Though some arrests were made no one has ever been charged in connection to these barbaric crimes.


1. In which year did Jack the Ripper first kill/

2. Name one suspect for these crimes?

3. What is the name of the area in East London where these crimes occurred?

4. WHat gender were the victims?

5. Why has Prince Eddy been excluded as a suspect?

6. What was the murder weapon?

7. On which days of the month did he kill?

8. Why do some suspect Mongtague John Druitt?

9. Why did some people suspect that the murderer was Jewish?

10. Why has this tale so fascinated the public?