• SANFRANCISCO-FACEBOOK;ORIGINAL;jpg

    San Francisco City Hall is lit up in blue-white-red in tribute to the victims of Nov. 14th's Paris terror attacks (15/11/14).

    >>>>> See other English-language cities' reactions using this URL-address :

    https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1nC7e-rAQDW0H17FuyJkiN0N1eKGn1fdsfcc5QJxJ8vo/edit?usp=sharing


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  • Be careful ! The meaning of “public schools” in the US is different from the UK. Public School in America refers to schools run by a governmental authority. They can be state-run or funded by local school districts. Schools are usually financed by taxpayers, so tuition is free; yet parents often have to pay for optional programs (sports, music, etc). In public schools there is no religious instruction.

    Private School” means the establishment is run by private entities, independent from federal or state government (like UK's …”public” schools !). These schools may reject the students that are below-average, may offer religious instruction, and do charge tuition. “Parochial schools” are run by churches or religious orders.

    Preschool” is generally provided by churches, daycares (Fr.: crèches), or cooperatives. Just before school, children go to Kindergarten, a class for 5-year-olds. “First grade” refers to the first year of schooling ; it starts in September following the child's sixth birthday. Grades 2 to 12 follow for the next eleven years. The grade levels K-12 are obtained in primary school (or elementary school, usually K-5 or K-6,), middle school (6-8, or junior high : 7-9), and high school (9-12 or 10-12).

    Students learn “required” subjects (English, Maths, Social studies, Physical Education, Sciences, Health). Among the “electives” you may find Chinese, Jazz band, Weight training (Fr.: haltérophilie), Leadership, Environmental science, Yearbook, Law enforcement, Culinary arts, Business ownership and so many others. For some electives, the first year is open to everyone, but the second is subject to teacher’s approval. These special classes may have an influence on your admission to college.

     

    Sources : 1. http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?AmericanSchoolSystem

    2. http://www.fremont.k12.ca.us/cms/lib04/CA01000848/Centricity/Domain/30/American%20High%20School%20Electives.pdf

    3. https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/your-high-school-record/how-to-choose-high-school-electives

     

     


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  • The term "brownstone" is used to refer to a particular stone, but in the United States, also to refer to a terraced house ( / rowhouse) clad in this material (Fr.: maison de grès) Some Manhattan neighbourhoods retain many brownstones.

    New York City brownstones are highly desired  and cost several million dollars to purchase.

    from Momos this superb photo of Harlem brownstones:

    brownstone houses in Harlem, by Momos


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  • Colorado is a Western American state, the only American state entirely above 1,000 m (Mt Elbert culminates at 4,400 m, and Aspen is the most visited ski-ing resort [Fr.:station de ski]) in the U.S.; it is the eighth in surface (270,000 km2), the 22nd in population (4,300,000). Denver, the state capital has 600,000 inhabitants.


    Originally, the whole area belonged to the Cheyenne, and was first discovered by the French. The Spanish named Red River ("Colorado Rio") the river that flows in the Western part of the state. Colorado joined the Union in 1876. The  Gold Rush (from 1859) brought about the rapid development of Denver.



    * Note the right pronunciation is Colorado (a like in < cat >) although < a: >, like in < cart >, is sometimes heard.
    ** The time-zone, MT (Mountain-time), is Paris-time minus 8 (Denver 4.00 am = Paris 12.00)


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  •  

    At the time Chicago's Sears tower was constructed in 1974, it was the world's tallest building, a title it lost when the Petronas twin towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, were constructed (1997). [Note:The height of the antennas on the Petronas towers are included in the total height, while it is not included in the height calculation of the Sears tower. With the construction of the 508m-high Taipei 101 tower in 2004, this discussion became irrelevant(*1)].

    In July 2009 the Sears Tower was renamed to Willis Tower*(2), but many refuse to accept the name change of Chicago's most iconic skyscraper, with some even starting a petition against the change. Sears is short for Sears & Roebuck, one of the world’s greatest clothing companies till 2005 when it joined Kmart..

     

     The Structure

    The building consists of nine framed tubes*(3), which are actually nine skyscrapers on themselves taken together into one building. The nine tubes all reach forty-nine stories. At that point, two tubes end. The other rise up to the sixty-fifth floor. From the sixty-sixth to the ninetieth floor, the tower has the shape of a crucifix. Two tubes, creating a rectangular, reach the full height of 442 meter (1451ft).

     

    Wind Load

    The tower looks different from all angles. The construction, designed by Fazlur Kahn (1929-82), has another advantage: the separate tubes provide lateral strengths to withstand the strong Chicago wind loads*(4), as each tube takes only a part of the pressure.

    The most spectacular attraction at the skydeck is 'the ledge', a glass balcony extending 4.3 ft where you can look straight down. (see < www.theskydeck.com >.

    [This article is abridged from the following website < http://www.aviewoncities.com/chicago/searstower.htm >]

     

    Vocabulary: *1: irrelevant : sans intérêt, hors sujet; *2. Renamed to : rebaptisée… : *3. Framed tubes : construction en caisson avec raidisseurs horizontaux supplémentaires. *4 : withstand the load : résister à la charge / à la pression.


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