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Gary Skyner


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June 27, 2012

Soon after the attacks on the twin towers in America an e-mail began to arrive in many in-boxes claiming that the sixteenth-century astrologer Nostradamus had predicted them. Some ‘genuine Nostradamus poems’ were offered as proof of this claim. There were several different versions of these poems, but the most popular was this one:

In the City of God there will be a great thunder,
Two brothers torn apart by Chaos,
while the fortress endures,
the great leader will succumb.

The third big war will begin when the big city is burning.

On the 11th day of the 9 month,
two metal birds will crash into two tall statues
in the new city,
and the world will end soon after.

Although these lines sound as if they might be talking about the 9/11 attacks, they are not in any of Nostradamus' poems. The final five lines seem to have been written after 9/11 by an unknown hoaxer. Stranger still are the first four lines. They were written before 9/11 by a student named Neil Marshall. He included them in an article about Nostradamus. He wanted to show that if you write something vague enough it can mean almost anything.

Numerous people were fooled by these fake Nostradamus poems. For a short time following 9/11, his name became the most popular search term on the internet.


to claim  verb  to say that something is true even though you cannot prove it
to predict  verb  to say something will happen in the future
(-) proof  noun  a piece of information that shows something is true
to endure  verb  to suffer something difficult or painful
to succumb  verb  to stop fighting against something and accept defeat
(a) statue  noun  an object, usually made from metal or stone, made to look like a person or animal
(a) hoaxer  noun  person who plays tricks in order to deceive
vague  adjective  not clearly described
to fake  verb  a copy of something that is made to look like the original to deceive people

Listen to this story

May 23, 2012


An American couple sued the owners of a nearby business claiming that dust and noise had entered their house, and therefore were trespassing. The first court agreed, but a Court of Appeals changed the original verdict. The Appeals Court said that noise and dust are intangible things, and cannot be thought of as trespassers.


A cleaning lady in the US tried to sue her employer for $25,000 after she was injured by a firework she had stolen from a flat that she had cleaned. While eating later with friends at a restaurant, the cleaner lit the firework thinking it was a decorative candle.

The explosion gave the woman burns. She sued the owners of the flat for leaving the firework without a warning on it. The flat’s owners said that they had put the firework in a cupboard to keep it away from their children after someone had left it at their house after a party.


A woman sued a bowling alley claiming she had slipped and fell on some ice which resulted in a back injury. She claimed she had had no back problems before, but her medical records showed a lot of back problems during the last 10 years. Bowling alley league records also showed that she completed the remaining 14 WEEKS of the season after the alleged fall. Also, a weather expert said that the weather for that day could not have made ice. The court agreed, and the case was dismissed.


When a man let his two dogs out of his house they began chasing something, and ran across his neighbour’s land. When the dog owner chased his dogs over the neighbour’s land, he injured himself when he stepped into a snow-covered hole, and fell. He then sued his neighbour.

The court dismissed the claim. They said that the man shouldn’t have been on the land, so the owner of the land was not required to make sure his land was safe from people falling into the snow-covered hole.


to sue  verb  to take legal action against someone or something, especially to claim money because they did something wrong against you
(-) dust  noun  dry dirt that is on your furniture
to trespass  verb  to go on land without the owner’s permission
(a) verdict  noun  decision made at the end of a trial
intangible  adjective  something that exists but you cannot describe it exactly
decorative  adjective  something made to look pretty
(a) bowling alley  noun  place for bowling
to allege  verb  to say that someone has done something wrong without giving proof chasing
(a) case  noun  all the facts, arguments and reasons in support of something

Listen to Loony Lawsuits

Have you read LOONEY LAWSUITS 1?

11:32 AM May 27 2012

United Kingdom

it is necessary to improve Vocabulary Building Practise skills for pass IELTS test.

08:04 AM May 24 2012

Gary Skyner

The cases are all true. People do claim the most bizarre things sometimes!

06:12 AM May 24 2012

mark lee

mark lee

That's unbeliveable! Obviously,the existence of these cases is just for fun.

06:16 AM May 23 2012



yeah, those unbelievable claims. People sometimes just puzzle us and make us smile  like that dog owner. Thank you, Gary for sharing.

May 18, 2012

We use both / neither / either + noun for two things.

If you are looking at two books you can say:

 •  Both books are very good. (= The two books)
 •  Neither book is expensive. (= Not the first book. Not the second book.)
 •  Either book would be a good present. (= The two books would be good as presents.)

If the subject is understood you can use both / neither / either without a noun:

 •  A: Do you want potatoes or chips?
     B: Either. I don’t mind.
 •  A: Which shirt do you like?
     B: Both look good.

11:48 PM May 20 2012

Gary Skyner

I accepted your invitation gladly:)

01:07 PM May 18 2012


Hey Gagy, I sent you a request for you to be my friend. add me?

07:42 AM May 18 2012

Gary Skyner

It would be my pleasure.

06:26 AM May 18 2012

mark lee

mark lee

Hi Gary, can I be your penfriend?Laughing