A free English-speaking club located in Chelyabinsk, Russia


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Discussion: Spelling reforms


Finally: which rimes with "enough"
Though, through, plough, cough, hough, or tough? 
Hiccough has the sound of "cup."
My advice is to give up!
Did you know that there are 645120 ways to spell Muammar al-Gaddafi? OK, this one is foreign, but English quite ambiguous in terms of spelling, too. A spelling reform sounds like a good way out. Is it?
There will be a presentation about the attempts made, a discussion of pluses, minuses, and consequences of spelling reforms, and a game.
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Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

This time, we are going to talk about lies. Why is it that it exists? What are the practical and moral issues? What is lies from the point of view of the liar and what is for the one who's lied to? Finally, how can one spot the lies. We shall also see a video about detecting lies, and we shall practice.

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Online afterlife: TED video + discussion

Do you have an account on facebook? Or probably also on MySpace, VK, Google+ and so on?.. Do you tweet? Store your documents online? Use e-mail every day? This must be producing a lot of information. Do you have any idea of what is going to happen to this information after you die?

Adam Ostrow in his TED speech asks a question of whether your online personality made up of your statuses, posts, tweets, and letters lives on. We shall listen to him and discuss this along with some other questions of the social networks "afterlife". 

Hang Gliding Presentation

Hang gliding is an activity for those who was always dreaming to fly freely as a bird. 

I am a hangglider pilot for already nine years, and I can tell you and show in pictures how you can step to the sky and fly with no engine for hours and hours, for long distances and on high altitudes. How you can travel by sky and see things which can not be seen from the ground. Where you can learn to fly in Chelyabinsk and what you have to know before you start.

I will also tell shortly about other free flying activities.

We will discuss what brings people into extreme sports. And, in general, what makes some people want things which other people don't want, or, in other words, where the motivation starts from.


The True Story Of The Internet: People Power

    The True Story of the Internet is about the technological, cultural, commercial and social revolution that has radically changed our lives,  and a new breed of entrepreneurs shaping the digital future.

    The founders of  Yahoo, Facebook, Netscape, Google and many others present amazing stories of how, in ten short years, the Internet took over our lives.

   "People Power" is the one of the most controversial parts of Discovery series devoted to the Internet. We are going to hear about peer to peer technology, web2.0, and social networking - all the things which came into our everyday life - and discuss various aspects of the new-age technologies.

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A monthly report

A new monthly activity for those whose chief interest in attending Speak Freely is improving their English.

During this period, we are going to share our progress made in the preceeding month and discuss self-study methods, know-hows, and best practices as well as the material used (literature, magazines, audio and video, etc.). We will probably also talk about our motivation in learning English and further goals so as to share the results again the next month.

Be prepared to tell something about why you study English, how you do it, what have you done in September, what you consider to be successful and what was to improve.

P.S. This period may easily be extended to a discussion of the progress made in foreign languages in general, so don't hesitate to come and share the practices if you're actually studying Spanish but ready to discuss it in English.

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Hacktivism (hacker activism). Hacking for masses. Political and social issues


AnonymousIn the recent years the activity of hackers has undergone chages. Three or four years ago the mainstream idea was to "hack for money" or just for fun. Today, it's different: vulnerability of technical systems can be used for political blackmailing or extortion; the ones who own information and know how to use it can easily manipulate masses.

Initially hacker meant someone who knows something extremely well. Again, in today's mass media this meaning has changed. Nearly everyone can download some software which is easy to use, and hack someone's account, or simply get involved in a massive attack on Pentagon servers.

On the 17th of September a group called the Anonymous are organizing a  big event aimed at restoring democracy in the USA. This event is positioned as a nonviolent revolution. The Anonymous also get involved in the conflicts in Syria, Egypt, Spain, etc. 


  During the session, we are going to see a presentation of this phenomenon and duscuss the aims, results, and ways of such actions. We will also talk about hackers, Wikileaks, the Anonymous, LulzSec, LulzKittens, Low Orbit Ion Cannon, and FBI. 

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Discussion: Immigration


Why do people come to other places to live and why do governments allow that What are the immigration laws in different countries and what problems can and do occur? What do you think about immigration policy in Russia and abroad?

During the session we shall read and analyze some materials, discuss problems in groups and listen to people's opinions on the topic. You're welcome to join us and speak freely!

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TED video: The power of Vulnerability

Presentation: Intellectual Property and Copyright

Copyright sign / Photo by Horia VarlanWhat is intellectual property and how is it different from other types of property? What is copyright? What are DMCA and its Russian counterparts? These questions will be discussed in the introductory class led by Iakov Vokhmintsev. Other points of interest include:

  • What constitutes copyright infringement? Comparing Russia with other countries;
  • Licensing copyrighted material (with special focus on audio and photo works): royalties, royalty-free licences, licensed uses;
  • Derivatives, collections and translations: how do they fit in;
  • Alternatives to copyright: Creative Commons and other good and interesting things.

ATTENTION: the meeting takes place at a new location! The venue, called "Zhuravl" art centre, is located at MOPR square, 7 (very near to Tsentralnii marketplace, which in turn is close to the crossroads of ul. Kommuny and ul. Rossiiskaia). Take a look at Yandex.Map: http://maps.yandex.ru/-/CBa14S3s

We'll wait for you on Saturday at 17:00.