Created by juanmadj over 4 years ago
“A great way to make money and to get people to like you.” But is that all that a career as a magician is about? Lance Burton insists that it is much more than that. Lance was introduced to the world of magic by chance. When he was only four, he was taken to his first Christmas party, where the star was a magician. During the performance, the magician asked for a volunteer and young Lance dashed onto the stage. To his amazement, silver coins were pulled out of his ears. That was the start of Lance’s love affair with magic.
From the beginning, he was fascinated with the idea of mystery and power. While other kids his age were playing football, Lance spent a lot of time at the local magic shop, reading and studying everything he could lay his hands on. He was soon giving performances to his neighbours and any other spectators whose attention he could catch. One of the people who noticed him was top magician, Harry Collins who, as it turned out, was none other than the magician who had changed Lance’s life at the Christmas party.
Harry became Lance’s teacher and taught him everything about magic skills and techniques. But making it to the top needs a mixture of talent, hard work and opportunities. Lance was lucky – he had them all! He rapidly built a reputation for himself with the big names in the world of magic and show business. With his good looks, charm and ability, he stood out everywhere. He was constantly asked to give live performances and appear on TV.
Lance has become famous at home in America and abroad. He has won many competitions and has twice been named “Magician of the Year”. However, Lance is different from many other modern magicians. Although technology and the use of videos and computers have become part of modern magic, he has always believed that old-fashioned magic is still the most important. He doesn’t follow modern trends regarding either equipment or clothes. No jeans and tie-dyed shirts for him. Since he first started performing as a teenager, he has always worn a white tie and black jacket.
However, magic is not a nine-to-five job. There is no fixed salary, no opportunities for promotion or benefits like pension or holiday pay. In fact, for many magicians worldwide, there is no job security at all. Only very few enjoy fame and fortune like Lance.
THE MAGIC TOUCH
THE GRASS IS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE
Young people today are more aware than ever of their environment, but they seem to feel there are so many “green” issues that it becomes difficult to decide what the top priorities are. In this article, several teenagers give their views.
Jack Dawn, a 17-year-old from Leeds, feels that the most important concern is the danger of a nuclear disaster. He is extremely worried about the danger of a nuclear war and is also concerned that the waste created by nuclear reactors is not being disposed of satisfactorily. He claims that it is being buried in the ground, where it takes many years to become safe. In addition, he warns that this waste is destroying the soil in which it is buried. He is afraid that in the future, if people dig up the land for building or farming, they will be using contaminated land, which could be very harmful.
Ann Black, on the other hand, is worried about a more everyday issue – pollution in the city. The 16-year-old, who lives in London, where there is constant smog, says that the fumes from factories and thousands of vehicles on the roads have made the air extremely dangerous to breathe. She believes that more people should use public transport, walk or ride bicycles in order to cut down on traffic and, consequently, pollution.
The main problem for Mary Low, who lives in the country, is the destruction of the rain forests, which are a major source of oxygen for people and animals. She says that by cutting down the forests, we are destroying the atmosphere. In addition, the burning of these trees releases poisonous gases, which are dangerous for all living creatures. In general, she is concerned about the exploitation of land for our own purposes, such as building and agriculture. She is very upset that the natural habitat of wildlife is being destroyed and many animals and birds are becoming extinct.
For Michael Tobe, in his last year of secondary school, the greenhouse effect is the most important because he says it is affecting us the most. As a result of the hole in the ozone layer, climate changes are occurring all over the world, causing severe floods and droughts as well as typhoons and hurricanes. He thinks people should be more careful and efficient in their homes. He believes that everyone should recycle rubbish and use ozone-friendly products. Michael feels that we are paying a very high price for being so advanced technologically.
These young people are very pessimistic. They feel that they can do very little themselves because the problems seem so big and out of control. They firmly believe that the whole issue of the environment has got to be solved by governments working together because thefuture of our world is at stake.
THE CHESS CHAMPION IS A WOMAN
Chess has been a game traditionally dominated by men, but that is changing. Several top women players have been very successful in recent years, including Judit Polgar. Born in Hungary in 1976, Judit comes from a chess-playing family. Her father, Laszlo, studied the lives of great intellectuals, and he decided that chess was an excellent discipline for the mind.
Judit and her two sisters began studying chess at the age of four. Laszlo quit his job and stayed home to teach his daughters. The girls played chess most of the day, in addition to learning some school subjects. They went outside once a day to play football or to run around in the garden. This unusual programme of study was controversial. Once, armed government officials came to the door of the Polgar home, thinking that Laszlo’s daughters were in a potentially harmful situation.
Despite the critics, Laszlo’s plan was successful. By the age of five, Judit could already beat her father at chess, and at nine, she won an important competition in New York. When she was fifteen, she became the youngest Grandmaster ever, beating even the record of the legendary Bobby Fischer. In 1998, she was the first woman in history to win the US Open.
Judit has an aggressive style and a competitive personality. She also refuses to compete in any event that is strictly for women. Consequently, she is the only woman who has competed consistently against the top 20 players in the world. Some believe that one day, she will be the number one player in the world. In the meantime, she has broken down gender stereotypes and has made it possible for other female chess players who are interested in competing fairly against their male counterparts.
CELL PHONE JAMMERS
It might look like a walkie talkie, but that little box is more powerful than you think. When a cell phone jammer is turned on, it can block any cell phone service in the area. Using one is not only a federal crime but it could result in a $16,000 fine and jail time.
But that did not stop Eric, a man from Philadelphia, who was fed up with the chatty cell phone talkers on the 44 bus. According to a TV channel, Eric would fire up that jammer when he did not want to hear the conversations. “A lot of people are extremely loud, no sense of privacy or anything. When it becomes a bother, that’s when I screw on the antenna and flip the switch”, Eric told the reporters.
Eric claimed that he did not know it was illegal to block a cell phone signal, and thought it was a “gray area”. He said he was under the impression that it was only illegal when blocking television or radio signals. “I guess I’m taking the law into my own hands and, quite frankly, I’m proud of it”, he added
This type of jammers is illegal because they could prevent cell phone communication in emergencies and because they can block other important signals such as police radio. But the bigger issue is that Eric is not alone in this jamming practice. Jammers are easy to buy at sites on the Internet. Police reported that other people in the New Jersey and New York area are using them as well. Maybe Eric’s story will remind them all of just how illegal using that powerful device is.
THE KEY TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT CAREER
When I graduated from college, I liked lots of things. But love? Passion? That would have been an exaggeration. Choosing a career path is usually a confusing and stressing experience. Many will tell you to “follow your passion” or “do what you love”, but this doesn’t seem very useful advice.
We all want to choose a career that will make us happy, but how can we know what that will be? In fairness, how are you supposed to know if you will be happy as an investment banker or an artist or a professor, if you haven’t actually done any of these things yet? Who has ever, in the history of mankind, taken a job and had it turn out exactly as they imagined it would?
So if passion and expected happiness can’t be your guides, what can be? Well, you can begin by choosing a career that fits well with your skills and values. Since you actually have some sense of what those are (hopefully), this is a good starting place. But a bit less obviously, you also want to choose an occupation that provides good motivation for you as well.
There are two ways you can be motivated to reach your goals. Some of us tend to see our goals as opportunities for advancement, success and rewards. The rest of us see our goals as being about security - about not losing everything we’ve worked so hard for. So, if you are starting a new venture, make sure that you've got a healthy balance of promotion and prevention.