Zadanie 4.

You do almost 500 performances a year. Do you ever think of slowing down? Doesn`t it take a toll on your life? Well, fortunately, I love what I do, so even with this schedule, I never tire of performing. When did you first become interested in magic? I became interested in magic at an early age. I learned a card trick with four Aces from my grandfather when I was seven. As a matter of fact, the illusion is in my current show. Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away before he ever got to see me do it for the public. Every night’s performance of that magic is a special tribute to his memory. So, your grandfather played an important part in your career. Are there any other people who have influenced you? Well, my influences, unlike what most people think, come largely from outside the field of magic. Although magicians like Kellar, or the Frenchman Robert Houdan were certainly great for the profession, it was artists like Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly that have really influenced how I present my show on stage. Also film directors like Orson Wells, Stephen Spielberg, and Francis Ford Coppola have had a great impact on my career. Many people in the entertainment industry, at one time or another, try one of the other arts, such as acting or music. You’ve already published a number of books, but have you ever thought of pursuing any other areas of entertainment? There really is nothing else I would rather have been. Although I did try my hand as a singer early in my career in the hit show MAGIC MAN in Chicago. After years of performing magic you still try to keep your illusions fresh. Which of the recent ones seems to impress your audience most? One of the new illusions in the show is to make 13 randomly selected people vanish from the audience all at the same time. This was a very difficult task and took many years to perfect without bringing harm to the participants. Many of those that vanish have been known to reappear in strange and unusual places. Without giving away any secrets, suffice it to say, the participants are as amazed as the audience themselves!

adapted from www.thecelebritycafe.com Egzamin maturalny z języka angielskiego

Zadanie 5.

Welcome to the programme. Have you ever found anything extraordinary? There are people who have. Let’s hear about some of them.

One

A researcher has discovered the oldest known recipe for German sausage that is nearly 600 years old. According to the guidelines, sausage makers had to use only the purest, unspoiled meat and had to pay a fine of a day’s wages if they did not. Medieval town markets in Germany had committees charged with monitoring the quality of produce. The discovery shows that there were already consumer protection laws in the Middle Ages.

Two

An old man has been reunited with the wallet he lost in 1962 after it was handed in to a police station. Ron Russell, aged 81, was amazed to see the wallet – complete with photos of his children, his old pals and his dog. It even contained a letter from his employer and a garage receipt. His wife Pauline told us it really was a blast from the past.

Three

A student who often bought things at a flea market learned she had been sitting on a small fortune when she found a baroque painting hidden inside her couch. The artwork fetched 20,000 euros at an auction after the student discovered it hidden between the folding sections of the couch which she had paid 150 euros for last year. Experts believe the work was painted between 1605 and 1610 by an unknown artist.

Four

British marine experts have found what they claim is a world first six-legged octopus. They have christened it Henry. The sea animal, which has two limbs fewer than a normal octopus, is the only one of its kind. It is believed to be the result of a birth defect rather than an accident. Henry was discovered in a lobster pot off the north coast of Wales two weeks ago.

Five

A painting found dumped on a New York street has fetched $1 million at an auction nearly 20 years after disappearing from a warehouse in Texas. A 1970 work by a Mexican artist, had been saved by Elizabeth Gibson, who spotted it in a pile of rubbish while going out to buy her morning coffee. Ms Gibson will receive a reward for returning it to its rightful owners, plus a percentage of the auction price.

adapted from the British press Egzamin maturalny z języka angielskiego

Zadanie 6.

When Laura Trowbridge, a 22-year-old student from London, decided to take part in a television documentary, she could not know what an ordeal it would all become. Otter Hole, a 2-km long cave where the documentary was shot, is known for being dangerous. Being an experienced caver, Laura was well aware of the danger, but some accidents cannot be predicted. As the team members were passing some equipment to each other, Laura slipped and fell down 7 feet from a ledge inside the cave. Luckily, there was a doctor among them who gave first aid to the woman. Paul Taylor, of Gloucestershire Cave Rescue, says she was too hurt to make it out of the cave and the situation got critical when part of the rescue route flooded at high tide. The volunteers rescued her after the tide dropped on the River Wye, allowing them to crawl through the muddy rock system. She was carried 750 metres on a stretcher through mud and slippery rocks to the entrance of the cave by a chain of people who worked throughout the night and day. Peter Hobson, a rescuer, says Laura was a super patient. She was cheerful and calm, and her attitude made the job so much easier. She must have been in a lot of pain but did not show it. It was very tight and restricted in the cave, and the amount of mud made movement difficult. Peter points out that it was a superhuman effort by the rescue team in very difficult conditions. The rescue operation was delayed by last minute problems. The last ten metres took more than two hours to complete, and Laura was given painkillers. She often had to be removed from the stretcher due to the tight passages and narrow tunnels. One passage was even compared to a letterbox. Sam Moor, another rescuer, says that he feels a great sense of relief. He spent a lot of time lying on his back with a stretcher on top of him to keep it out of the mud. Laura was very determined throughout. Sam also says that jokes and banter were used to keep up spirits. In his opinion, you have to laugh and joke in such critical situations to make people more relaxed.

adapted from The Daily Telegraph

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