I used to think I couldn’t get out of hell: Chicago public school students react to TEDxYouth@Midwest

Earlier this month, 450 Chicago public school sophomores and juniors, plus 120 of their teachers, crowded into the city’s Harris Theater for TEDxYouth@Midwest, an event all about inspiring, motivating and empowering the young people of a city known for youth gun violence, but full of so much more — culture, history, educators and students dedicated to helping their city thrive.

Chicago’s public schools have been a fixture in the news lately. 54 schools in the city are slated to close in 2013, and according to reports in The Chicago Tribune, the 2011-12 school year brought the highest number of public school students affected by gunfire since 2008. Twenty-four students were killed; 319 students shot.

At TEDxYouth@Midwest, organizers strove to turn the focus from problems, and keep it focused on the potential. 17 speakers addressed the audience, including people like guerrilla gardener Ron Finley, who is planting gardens in South Central LA; Dr. Benjamin Harrison, a researcher working on growing replacement tissue for patients who have lost their own; and Chicago native Zoe Damacela, who started her own apparel line as a high school student in the city.

This year, TEDxYouth@Midwest launched their TEDxMidwest Youth Connections Program, a project pairing TEDxYouth@Midwest students with career experiences designed to open the doors to potential careers — from job shadowing to summer internships to discussions with local entrepreneurs. Through the program, 35 TEDxYouth@Midwest student attendees found summer internships and, next year, the team at TEDxYouth@Midwest hopes to raise that number to 100.

“The event was levels better because of the students’ infectious energy, and its potential to really have a life-changing effect on hundreds of kids and teachers,” said Mike Hettwer, who co-organized the event with Linda Stone.

“The speakers were so motivated to speak there.”

The immediate effects of the event shone in students’ responses to comment cards asking how their thinking changed throughout the event. Some of their responses are truly incredible. A sampling:

I used to think… “That once you made a bad decision, that was it for you. People say you write your life’s story in ink — if you make a mistake there is no way to erase it. You are done!”
Now I think… “That I should no longer aim for perfection, but rather strive for success. Success is not measured by how many times you fall, but actually choosing to get up once more then you fall.”

I used to think…”That you have to use violence in order to make peace.”
Now I think… “But I realize that I can use peace to make peace.”

I used to think… “That because I am considered a minority, I would not be able to do amazing things I really want to do.”
Now I think… “That I can do anything I set my mind to if I do not let anything hold me back. Only I can prevent myself from achieving my goals and my passion.”

I used to think… “I couldn’t get out of Hell.”
Now I think… “I can with Mellody Hobson’s speech.”

I used to think… “I was one of the few teenagers passionate about science.”
Now I think… “TED is all about diversity of ideas and other people are as passionate about science as I am.”

I used to think… “If you come from a broken home, would live in a broken future.”
Now I think… “You can shape your own future and get away from the brokeness.”

I used to think… “This was going to be a long boring program with weird snacks.”
Now I think… “This experience has been the best experience in my whole entire life.”

Was there anything that has changed your life sharply? What was that? What did you use to think of life before that? And how has your opinion changed?


Used to and would

С помощью модальных глаголов used to и would мы можем описать наши старые привычки и повторявшиеся в прошлом действия и состояния.

Used to.


Утвердительная форма Отрицательная форма Вопросительная форма
I used to play football a lot when I was at school.
Я часто играл в футбол, когда учился в школе.
I didn’t use to drink a lot of coffee until I changed my job.
Я не пил много кофе, пока не сменил работу.
Did he use to be a good student?
Он был хорошим студентом?
You, we, they
He, she, it
used to play football I
You, we, they
He, she, it
didn’t use to drink a lot of coffee. Did I
You, we, they
He, she, it
use to be a good student?

Произношение: [juːstə]

Обратите внимание, что по произношению модальный глагол used to отличается от глагола use [juːz] и его формы прошедшего времени used [juːzd]. Произношение  used to не меняется в вопросительных и отрицательных формах, оставаясь всё тем же [juːstə].


Used to используется для описания повторявшихся действий и состояний в прошлом, которые уже неактуальны для настоящего времени. С помощью used to не говорят о случайных или разовых вещах или событиях: “I used to think about my summer plans when I was drinking tea this morning” – неудачный пример использования used to; сюда больше подойдет форма Past Simple или Past Continuous (thought / was thinking). Так же used to не используется с четкими временными рамками (I used to live there 10 years ago  when I was a child), указаниями на продолжительность действия (He used to be a football player for 20 years) и описаниями количества совершенных поступков (They used to win 3 championships in almost every match)


  1. When Elvis sang, he used to take his scarf and give it to girls in the audience.
    Когда Элвис пел, он часто снимал свой шарф и отдавал его девушкам из зала.
  2. The creek bed used to be 5 feet deep and now it’s almost 18 feet deep in places.
    Глубина ручья раньше составляла 5 футов, тогда как теперь она достигает почти 18-ти в некоторых местах.
  3. Schweinsteiger and Podolski used to be a great double act, on and off the pitch.
    Швайнштайгер и Подольски были отличным дуэтом как на поле, так и за его пределами.
  4. I used to live in an area called Kensington but moved out here quite awhile ago.
    Я жил в области под названием Кенсингтон, но уехал оттуда достаточно давно.


Модальный глагол would используется во многих ситуациях; описание повторяющихся действий в прошлом является частным случаем, зачастую кажущимся не совсем логичным на фоне остальных – по крайней мере, с непривычки.

По форме здесь всё так же, как и в других случаях его употребления:

Утвердительная форма Отрицательная форма Вопросительная форма
I would play PC games and stay up late into the night.
Я играл в компьютерные игры и засиживался допоздна.
He wouldn’t do anything extraordinary when he was at school.
Он не делал ничего необычного, когда учился в школе.
Would she sing a lot when she was a child?
Она много пела ребёнком?
You, we, they
He, she, it
would stay up late I
You, we, they
He, she, it
wouldn’t do anything Would I
You, we, they
He, she, it

Произношение: would [wud], (полная форма); [wəd], [ed], [d], (редуцированные формы).

Употребление (и отличия от used to):

Мы можем использовать would для описания повторявшихся в прошлом действий или ситуаций, и в этом случае данный модальный глагол взаимозаменяем с used to. Когда же мы хотим описать какое-либо состояние, бывшее актуальным в течение какого-либо длительного времени в прошлом (точные рамки которого, однако, остаются неназванными) и не имеющего силы в настоящем, в нашем распоряжении остается только модальный глагол used to.

Would, однако, лучше подходит для случаев, когда перечисляется много повторявшихся действий: When I went to school, I would usually first meet my friends and then we would go through the field together and talk about everything. We would often come a bit earlier and play football in the school yard.
Когда я шел в школу, обычно я сначала встречал друзей, а затем мы вместе шли через поле и говорили обо всём. Часто мы приходили немного раньше и играли в футбол на школьном дворе.

Рассмотрим приведенные выше примеры:

  1. В первом предложении речь идёт о повторяющемся действии, потому мы запросто можем сказать:
    When Elvis sang, he would take his scarf and give it to girls in the audience.
    И значение предложения ни сколько не изменится.
  2. Во всех же последующих примерах описываются именно состояния, а не действия, и потому возможно только употребление used to

Добавим еще несколько примеров с would:

  • Dad would go off to work each day in a green shirt and shorts of the Boy Scouts.
    Отец каждый день уходил на работу в зелёной рубашке и шортах бойскаута.
  • Someone would play something, and someone would play something else off of that.
    Кто-то начинал играть что-либо, а кто-то другой затем развивал первоначальную тему.
  • My wife and I would fly off to the Caribbean, the Yucatan Peninsula or wherever.
    Моя жена и я летали на Карибы, полуостров Юкатан или куда-либо ещё.

Для закрепления можно посмотреть это видео от letslearnenglish.co.uk:

Russia’s anti-internet piracy law faces backlash

It’s championed by some as a new weapon to defend content-makers, decried by others as a blunt tool that could extend censorship of the net.

One thing’s for sure — Russia’s new anti-piracy law is proving controversial.

«Access to online content should be free and global, because it is people’s right to freely receive and distribute information, as well as it is their right to consume art,» says Natalia Malysheva, of the Russian Pirate Party.

On Sunday, the party held a protest in central Moscow against the law, now active, which allows sites to be blocked if they do not tackle complaints that they are aiding copyright infringement within three days of being notified.

About 300 people, waving black pirate flags, attended the peaceful event.

«We respect the rights of those who produce films, music and books, but the rights of copyright holders should be secondary after the rights of society,» said Ms Malysheva.

‘Any film just a click away’

Online piracy is rampant in Russia.

In local internet cafes and at home, teenagers log onto VKontakte, Russia’s equivalent of Facebook, to copy and share music and videos despite the company’s protestation that it removes files if it receives «legitimate complaints from copyright holders».

As he comes home after a long day in the office, 41-year old Pavel tells the BBC that his favourite way to relax in the evening is to watch an action movie on his computer — and any film, he says, is just a click away.

VKontakteRussia’s VKontakte social network is used by some to share copyrighted media files

He says that he doesn’t support piracy but has no time to go and buy a DVD.

Russia’s legal online film services have either «ridiculously high prices per movie or very limited selection — or both», he says.

«I am willing to pay money to find good films easily and quickly, but at the moment in Russia it’s just not possible.»

Russia is high up on the US’s list of theworld’s worst copyright infringers. In May Washington raised concern that Russian police resources devoted to the problem had «sharply declined over the past two years».

However, it added that it was «encouraged» by the new legislative efforts to combat the problem — something both it and American media companies had long lobbied for.

‘Financial return’

The new law promises to protect movie and television rights holders facing online piracy by targeting websites that facilitate access to pirated video content.

Communications regulator Roskomnadzor will be responsible for making sure it is enforced.

«The law will help develop legal video online market, will help create new, legal ways of sharing quality video content, including free content with adverts,» Roskomnadzor’s spokesman told BBC News.

Russian e-readerA recent study suggested that most ebook downloads in Russia are pirated

«Moreover, film developers will finally start receiving satisfactory financial return on investment, which will have a positive effect on the amount and quality of films — something that is in the interest of millions of viewers.»

Copyright holders can go to Roskomnadzor and flag up websites that either host pirated content, or simply provide links to sites that do.

Once the agency has notified the site’s owner, the offending website has 72 hours to remove content and links — or risk having its entire domain blocked, pending a formal court ruling.

But it’s not just films and music that Russian internet users get for nothing.

Electronic books are also a problem. According to the Russian Association of Online Publishers, about 70% of all Russians who read books use ebooks. However, few pay.

One recent study suggested that 92% of Russian ebook readers had downloaded titles from the net without paying, and 36% had copied files from their friends.

If the new law works, the publishing industry is also expected to ask that books and music be covered as well.

Protected for 70 years

The move is unpopular with some and there are efforts to replicate US protesters’ success at killing the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) of 2012.

«This law still needs more work,» says Ms Malysheva. «It reserves the copyright for 70 years after the rights holder’s death.

«Five, 10 or 15 years would be understandable and we would support it, but not 70.

«We think that this law is a political tool for controlling people. It is turning millions of Russians into potential criminals.»

Wikimedia Russia — the local manager of Wikipedia — has also raised concern the site could be blocked in the country if there are complaints about some of the links in its articles.

Pavel RassudovThe Russian Pirate Party’s leader, Pavel Rassudov, has organised protests against the new law

Yandex, Russia’s most popular search engine,says the measures are «directed not at fighting pirates, but at the internet itself — and it’s almost like permanently closing down a highway where one accident occurred.»

An online petition has also clocked up more than 141,000 signatures calling for the law’s repeal, while one local intellectual property lawyer has warned it could give rise to «commercial censorship» if big companiesabuse the complaints process to shut down smaller competitors.

Thousands of Russian websites have pledged to temporarily go offline as part of a nationwide «web strike», displaying the word «blackout» on their front page. Some web users have also replaced their avatars, the images they display on social networks, with a black square.

But the Russian Association of Film and Television Producers argues that action was needed.

«The adopted law will not answer all questions concerning copyright infringement, but it will, to a significant extent, protect copyright holders,» it said.

By Katia Moskvitch
Technology reporter, Moscow
for BBC

Гениальные заблуждения, или как время расставляет всё по местам.

It’s generally a bad idea to say something can’t or won’t be done, especially in the realm of science and technology. The following are quotations that have failed to stand up to the test of time:

  • «I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.» — Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.  See translation 
  • «I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.» — The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957. See translation
  • «But what…is it good for?» — Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip. See translation 
  • «There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.» — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977. See translation 
  • «640K ought to be enough for anybody.» — Attributed to Bill Gates, 1981, but believed to be an urban legend. See translation 
  • «This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.» — Western Union internal memo, 1876. See translation 
  • «The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.» — Sir William Preece, chief engineer of the British Post Office, 1876. See translation 
  • «The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?» — David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s. See translation 
  • «Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and weigh only 1.5 tons.» — Popular Mechanics, 1949. See translation 
  • «The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C’, the idea must be feasible.» — A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.) See translation 
  • «Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?» — H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927. See translation 
  • «I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.» — Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in «Gone With the Wind.» See translation 
  • «We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.» — Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962. See translation 
  • «Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.» — Lord Kelvin, British scientist, 1899. See translation 
  • «So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.'» — Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and HP interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer. See translation 
  • «That Professor Goddard with his ‘chair’ in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react — to say that would be absurd. Of course, he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.» — 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work. The remark was retracted in the July 17, 1969 issue. See translation 
  • «Ours has been the first, and doubtless to be the last, to visit this profitless locality.» — Lt. Joseph Ives, after visiting the Grand Canyon in 1861. See translation 
  • «Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.» — Workers whom Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859. See translation 
  • «Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.» — Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre. See translation 
  • «Everything that can be invented has been invented.»  Attributed to Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899, but known to be an urban legend. See translation 
  • «Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.» — Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872. See translation
  • «The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.» — Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873. See translation

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