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Gary Skyner Dot Com

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Gary Skyner

Poland

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.

VOCABULARY

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


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More entries: LISTENING PRACTISE - NOSTRADAMUS & 11TH SEPTEMBER, VOCABULARY PRACTISE - LOONEY LAWSUITS 2 (4), GRAMMAR PRACTISE - BOTH / EITHER / NEITHER + NOUN FOR TWO THINGS (4), VOCABULARY PRACTISE - RHYMING WORDS, VERY HOT (2), VOCABULARY PRACTISE - LOONEY LAWSUITS 1 (1), VOCABULARY PRACTISE - WORDS FOR ALMOST EVERYTHING, VOCABULARY PRACTISE - RED ROSES (4), READING PRACTISE - Paul is Dead (part 1) (3), READING PRACTISE - DEAR DODS & CATS (4)

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