The best of Prog rock

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, impeached, was suspended from Office

Brazilian senators voted on May 11 to suspend President Dilma Rousseff and open an impeachment trial, effectively taking the Workers' Party from office after 13 years in power.
Rousseff, the country's first female president, promised that she will continue fighting, calling the impeachment "dirty," "fraudulent" and "a coup."
Rousseff, a former leftist militant who was jailed and tortured as a young woman by Brazil's military dictatorship, said her suspension was "an injustice that hurt more than torture."
"I will fight with all the available legal tools to serve out the term I was elected to," she said. "I may have made mistakes, but I committed no crimes."

Rousseff's chances for a comeback are remote. The decision came after an all-night debate that ended with 55 of Brazil's 81 senators voting to put her on Trial. Under Brazilian law, she is now suspended for up to 180 days during the trial.
The 55 votes against her exceeded the majority that would eventually be needed to permanently remove her at the end of the impeachment trial.
office  - posto, cargo                                       
coup – golpe
serve out the term – exercer o cargo                 
trial – julgamento
up to – até                                                      
eventually – finalmente
tools – ferramentas                                          
power - poder

1. What is correct according to the text:
a) President Dilma Rousseff was elected on May 11, 2016.
b) The Workers´ Party (PT) stayed in power for more than 13 years.
c) More than 50 senators voted in favor of putting the president Dilma on Trial.
d) 55 is the total number of senators in Brazil.
e) Dilma Rousseff has a great chance of returning to Office.

2.  Which of these sentences is in the Simple Past?
a) She will continue fighting, calling the impeachment "dirty," "fraudulent" and "a coup."
b) Rousseff's chances for a comeback are remote.
c) I may have made mistakes.
d) The decision came after an all-night debate.
e) I will fight with all the available legal tools to serve out the term.

3. Which of these words in NOT a verb?
a) taking                                                         
b) fighting
c) calling                                                        
d) votin
e) during
4. According to the picture above:
a) More people prefer to travel to the UK than the USA.
b) Fewer people prefer to travel to Ireland than Canada.
c) More people prefer to travel to the USA than the UK.
d) Fewer people prefer to travel to Canada than New Zealand.
e) More people prefer to travel to Australia than Canada and New Zealand together.

5. IF is used in Conditional Sentences (sentences indicating a condition to do something). Which of these Conditional Sentences is INCORRECT?
a) If I had time, I will go to the movies with you.
b) If I receive the money, I will buy the presents.
c) If I received the money, I would buy the presents.
d) If Mike arrived early, he would help me.
e) If Mike arrives early, he will help me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Brazil’s supreme court has approved the investigation of dozens of politicians, including a former president (Collor de Melo) and leaders of congress, for alleged connections to what prosecutors call the country’s biggest ever corruption scandal.
In total, 54 people are to be investigated, including 21 federal deputies and 12 senators — though that figure is expected to grow as evidence is gathered on corruption involving the state oil company Petrobras.
The investigations and any possible trials will take years to play out, but the action announced on Friday throws the second term of president Dilma Rousseff into further disarray as she faces dueling political and economic crises. She is not being investigated despite serving as chair of the Petrobras board for several years as the kickback scheme played out.
 “You can’t put this genie back in the bottle. People are going to have to face the consequences,” said Paulo Sotero, director of the Brazil Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. “There used to be the idea that people in positions of power in Brazil were untouchable. They’re no longer untouchable.”
Federal investigators revealed a year ago that they had started an investigation into the scheme, and efforts until now focused efforts on big construction and engineering firms that allegedly paid over $800m in bribes and other funds. The money purportedly won them inflated contracts with Petrobras and prosecutors say some of that cash flowed into the campaign coffers of the president’s Workers’ Party and its allies.
Among those the high court said would now be investigated are former president and current senator Fernando Collor, who was forced from the presidency by a corruption scandal in 1992 before making a political comeback in recent years.
Also to be investigated are senate leader Renan Calheiros and Eduardo Cunha, who is the leader of the lower house. Both are members of the powerful Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, part of the governing coalition led by the Workers’ Party. Both have already shown they are ready to create serious gridlock in congress because of the investigation.
                                       Expresident Fernando Collor
                                        Senate leader Renan Calheiros
                                      Leader of the Lower House Eduardo Cunha

Rosemary Segurado, a political scientist at the University of Sao Paulo, said the two congressional leaders would use the investigation as a “bargaining chip” if Rousseff’s government fails to protect them in some fashion, “causing problems by blocking important projects”. She cited tax, fiscal and political reforms needed as Brazil’s economy stalls into recession.
The scandal has seriously damaged the reputation of Petrobras, Brazil’s largest company. It is responsible for tapping upward of 100 billion barrels of offshore oil found in recent years, wealth that leaders have repeatedly said they view as the nation’s “passport” to achieving developed-world status. But the debt-plagued company is struggling — it was recently downgraded to junk status by Moody’s Investors Service and it said this week it would sharply cut back investment and sell off assets.

Adapted from The Guardian, by Milton França
Feel free to get in touch:                                    email:
facebook:       whatsapp: +55989991992887

Thursday, March 12, 2015


One of my dreams came true on February 9, 2014. On that very special day I had the chance of going to a Transatlantic´s live concert at Highline Ballroom, Manhattan. Simply unforgettable!!! I stayed all the time very close to the stage where I had a privileged view of all the members, principally Mike Portnoy, as you can see below:
Transatlantic is a multinational progressive rock supergroup with members of different bands: Neal Morse (ex-Spock´s Beard), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings) and Pete Trewavas (Marillion). They formed the band in 1999 as a side project to their original bands, disbanded in 2002 and reunited in 2009.
Daniel Gildenlow (from the Swedish band Pain of Salvation) is not an official member but he often joins them during live concerts. However, due to illness, he was replaced by Ted Leonard (Enchant) during the 2014 tour. What a pity!
Their first album was released in 2000. It was called SMPT:e which is a play on words, as a combination of the members´ last name initials as well as a common machine protocol used in recording. It received strong critical reviews including “some of the best progressive rock music ever produced”
The second album, the 2001´s Bridge Across Forever had only four tracks; very long songs as you can imagine. One of them is the 26-minute “Duel with the Devil”.
The Whirlwind is their third album, released in October 2009. A special edition of the album was also released including a second disc with four additional original tracks and four cover tracks.
And they have a fourth album the 2014´s Kaleidoscope. In 2014 they toured in the United States and Europe, including a special performance on the “Progressive Nation at Sea” cruise created by Mike Portnoy. The band played two shows, with the first featuring the entire Kaleidoscope album and the second including guest performances by famous progressive rock artists such as Jon Anderson of Yes. On September 11, 2014, Kaleidoscope won “Album of the year” at the third annual Progressive Music Awards.

 Here are some of their videos:

By Milton França – with some information from
Feel free to get in touch:                                     email:
Facebook:       whatsapp: +5598991992887


Friday, February 27, 2015


Text 1
If you’re one of the 70% of cell-phone users who use text messaging, you know that C U L8R means “See you later.”
“Texting” is now the new way to talk (or “tlk”), especially for young people. But why is that?
IT’S A LOVE THING – There’s no doubt about it, text messages are for personal communication. Only 10% of messages are work related, and the peak hours for texting are between 10:30 and 11:00 at night!
Most users (64%) say texting is a good way to send romantic messages – it’s easier to say “I love you” in a text message than in a phone call. Maybe that explains why more people now use texting to send Valentine’s Day messages.
UPSIDES AND DOWNSIDES – Generally, texting is cheaper than making phone calls. It’s also more direct, since you can send or get information without having to ask and answer polite “How are you?” questions.
And it’s more discreet, too. No one can hear your “conversations,” and you can receive text messages almost anywhere – at work, in meetings, or in class. You can also use texting in noisy places like nightclubs, where using a cell phone is difficult.
A NEW LANGUAGE? – Because it’s quicker to “write” without apostrophes and vowels, texting has its own language. And it’s fun to use the symbols. There’s a best-selling dictionary (or “dxnre”) for texting called Wan2tlk?
Some people say that a texting encourages bad punctuation and spelling. On the other hand, more teens are writing than ever before. Now, that has to be a good thing.
(McCARTHY, M., McCARTEN, J. & SANDIFORD, H. Touchstone. Cambridge University Press. USA, 2005. Adaptado)

1. What do people use texting for?
a) Unfortunately, people use it just to have fun with friends.
b) They use texting to send messages to their bosses.
c) People text to solve problems at work regularly.
d) Most people use texting to cheat during a test at school.
e) Most people use it for personal communication. A few people use it for work.

2. Why does texting need its own language? Because
a) people need to type fast.                 d) everybody gets crazy with texting.
b) nobody wants to be understood.      e) young people like to be different.
c) it’s funnier to write like that.

3. Why do some people think text messaging is bad? Because
a) using texting is really very boring.
b) it is very difficult to get used to it.
c) it encourages bad punctuation and spelling.
d) it is faster than regular writing.
e) texting is funny but not useful.

4. According to the text,
I. it’s easier to say “I love you” in a text message than in a phone call.
II. texting is cheaper than making phone calls.
III. texting can be used in noisy places.
IV. texting doesn’t encourage teens to write more.
V. everybody can hear your texting conversation.
It is CORRECT just
a) II, III, and IV.                               d) I, II, and IV.
b) III, IV, and V.                                e) I, II, and III.
c) I, III, and V.

5. What does “texting” mean, finally?
a) It’s a way of speaking teenagers use just not be understood by their parents.
b) It’s a book or other piece of writing, especially one connected with science or learning.
c) It’s a specific way of writing used by people who like to navigate the Internet.
d) It’s a special way of communicating by writing normally using the cell phone without the 
need of speaking.
e) It’s a special way of communicating which is a little more expensive than the usual one.

Text 2
 (Disponível em: over/*wpcontent*gallery*goldie*goldie20.gif/)
6. According to text 2,
I. the woman’s husband is dead.
II. the woman’s husband is alive.
III. they communicate through the Internet.
IV. the man beside the woman is her husband.
V. her husband’s name is Walter Z. Heaven.
It is CORRECT just
a) I, II, and III.                                             d) III, IV, and V.
b) I and III.                                                   e) IV and V.
c) II, III, and IV.

Text 3
(Disponível em://

7. According to text 3,
I. the family is happy because they have iPhone, iPod and iPad.
II. the man is not happy because he had to pay for the gadgets.
III. the man is not happy because the gadgets are not working.
IV. the man’s relatives paid for the gadgets using their own money.
It is CORRECT just
a) III and IV.                                      d) I and III.
b) I and II.                                         e) II and IV.
c) II and III.

Text 4 
Sleeping on stilts in the Amazon
As 75-year-old villager Antônio Gomes told us stories of growing up in Boca do Mamirauá, a tiny settlement in the northern Amazon rainforest, I tried to ignore the tiny blue flies biting through my trousers.
Despite my interest in hearing how locals survive in this remote part of the Brazilian rainforest, now a part of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve, I was grateful to escape when he finished, finding refuge in one of the tall wooden houses.
(When the Amazon floods, all of its residents – both animals and people – have to adopt an amphibious lifestyle. Kim Schandorff/Getty)

The houses hover some 3m above the ground. They are not unusual: almost everything in the Mamirauá reserve is on stilts, even the chicken coop. It has to be. Although much of Brazil is currently suffering one of the worst droughts in decades, this part of the Amazon is almost completely flooded for the six-month wet season. By April, the end of the rainy season, the river rises up to 10m high and overflows its banks. As a result, all living things in the forest, including locals, must adopt an amphibious lifestyle. Even the jaguars have learned to adapt by living in tree branches when the floods arrive.
Only 1,000 tourists per year are allowed to visit Mamirauá, which, at 57,000sqkm, is the largest wildlife reserve in the country. Created in 1984 to save the once-endangered uakari monkey, the reserve is the most carefully managed and protected part of the Amazon – and is also home to what many consider Brazil’s most successful sustainable tourist resort, the Uakari Floating Lodge. “If [the reserve] had not been created,” guide Francisco Nogeuira said, “the rivers and lakes would be empty of fish, and who knows how many trees would remain today?”
(Disponível em:

8. Why does everybody in Mamirauá live on stilts? Because
a) the place is always very drought.
b) the place is always completely flooded.
c) they are used and like to live on stilts.
d) the stilts are very comfortable.
e) they are much more cheaper for living in.

9. According to the text, the Mamirauá reserve
I. is in the Amazon rainforest.
II. has a six-month wet season.
III. makes all living things have an amphibious lifestyle.
IV. makes even the jaguars change their lifestyle because of flood.
V. was created to save the once-endangered uakari monkey.
a) I, II, III, IV, and V.                                   d) just I and II.
b) just I, II, and III.                                      e) just II, III, and IV.
c) just III, IV, and V.

10. In the last paragraph, it is possible to find sentences in
a) comparative of equality.                              d) superlative of inferiority.   
b) comparative of superiority.                         e) comparative of inferiority.
c) superlative of superiority.

Text 5
Vive la reine!        
The capital of the French republic is better known for beheading monarchs than celebrating them. But Paris went wild for Britain’s queen during her state visit last week. Crowds on the Champs-Elysées cheered as her royal convoy drove past. Socialist ministers lined up enthusiastically to greet her at her birthday garden party.
The queen’s arrival at the international ceremony on “Sword” beach to remember the 70th anniversary of D-Day drew louder applause than that of America’s president. Anne Hidalgo, the Socialist mayor of Paris, even had a flower market named after her on the capital’s Ile de la Cité, which happens to be home to the Conciergerie prison where Marie-Antoinette was held before being carted to the guillotine in 1793. “The queen of the French” ran a headline in Le Monde, a left-wing daily.
Why are the French so smitten by the world’s longest-reigning queen?
Partly because she embodies the post-war era in which their modern republic was born: she was crowned in 1953 and has known all seven presidents of the Fifth Republic. Her affection for France, and grasp of the language, also help. […] After a state dinner at the Elyzée Palace, with François Hollande, the president, she spoke of her “grande affection” for the French people. This was the queen’s fifth state visit to the republic.
Another reason is that the French, shorn of their own monarchy, have long become avid voyeurs of everybody else’s. Point de vue and Paris-Match, two magazines that splash photos of royals across their pages, were launched back in the 1940s. The French turned the Monaco royals into celebrities before reality television invented instant fame for everybody else. In 2011 the French cleared the airwaves to cover Prince William’s wedding on live public television; 9m viewers tuned in to watch.
Perhaps the hidden reason for French royal fervour, though, is a secret envy mixed with regret. Mr Hollande, stuck with a 16% popularity rating, is said to have noted wryly how refreshing it was to hear cheering crowds when he accompanied the queen. Asked in a poll what they thought today of the execution of Louis XVI in 1793, more of the French (29%) judged it “unfair” than “understandable” (23%). The French “have a royalty complex”, wrote Hervé Gattegno in Le Point, and have built their republic on monarchical traditions as if to compensate. The president, who has more sweeping powers than almost any other modern democratic leader, is fussed over by much pomp and splendour—and the seat of the presidency is a palace.
(In: The French and monarchy. The Economist, vol. 411, number 8891. June, 14th 2014. Adaptado)

11. Considering both theme and gender of the text, more information could be added to the title, as a subheading.
Then choose the CORRECT subtitle among the alternatives below.
a) The Fifth Republic is in France.
b) The queen’s great affection for France.
c) Who cares about Britain’s queen?
d) Britain’s queen meets the French president.
e) Why the French love Britain’s queen.

12. Com base no texto, analise os seguintes itens:
I. Os franceses têm uma admiração especial pela rainha da Grã-Bretanha, o que se explica de várias formas, inclusive porque a rainha demonstra compreensão da língua e afeição pelo povo da França.
II. A rainha britânica tem sido frequentemente convidada para ir à França em visita de Estado, porém o povo francês não aprova esse tipo de ação diplomática, por causa dos altíssimos gastos com a comitiva real.
III. Quando chegou à cerimônia na praia “Sword”, onde se comemorava o 70º aniversário do Dia D, a rainha da Grã-Bretanha arrancou mais aplausos que o próprio presidente dos EUA.
IV. Anne Hidalgo, importante autoridade de Paris, convidou a rainha britânica para conhecer o famoso Mercado das Flores, na Ile de la Cité, onde uma rainha francesa foi mantida presa e, posteriormente, decapitada.
V. Um conhecido jornal francês de tendência esquerdista estampou a manchete “A rainha dos franceses”, referindo-se à rainha da Grã-Bretanha, em sua última visita oficial à França.
Estão CORRETOS, apenas,
a) I, II e III.                                      d) I, III e V.
b) II, III e V.                                     e) III e V.
c) I e V.

13. No trecho Another reason is that the French, shorn of their own monarchy, have long become avid voyeurs of everybody else’s.”, a palavra que completa o sentido do caso possessivo em destaque é
a) reason.                                            d) French.
b) monarchy.                                       e) Britain.
c) voyeurs.

14. Observe this passage:
“The president, who has more sweeping powers than almost any other modern democratic leader, is fussed over by much pomp and splendour — and the seat of the presidency is a palace.”
Na oração em destaque, percebe-se que o autor do texto
a) está fascinado pelo carisma da rainha da Grã-Bretanha, há bastante tempo no trono.
b) tenta “retocar” a imagem do presidente da França, enfatizando seu poder.
c) compreende as razões da avidez do presidente francês por tanta pompa e esplendor.
d) enfatiza o status do presidente da França, ao mesmo tempo em que faz uma ironia.
e) não quer se comprometer quanto à postura do presidente da França em relação à visita da rainha britânica.

15. The sentences: “Marie-Antoinette was held …”; Point de vue and Paris-Match […] were launched back in the 1940s; “she was crowned in 1953…”, and “The president […] is fussed over by much pomp and splendour” are all in the
a) Imperative Form.                             d) Present Perfect.
b) Conditional Tense.                           e) Past Perfect Continuous.
c) Passive Voice.

16. Na frase “The capital of the French republic is better known for beheading monarchs than celebrating them.”, a palavra em destaque significa
a) decapitar.                                       d) depor.
b) debochar.                                       e) destronar.
c) deportar.

Text 6
Women in the rodeo
Disponível em:
In the huge, open lands of the American west, herding cattle is one way to make a living. The image of the cowboy on his horse is a familiar one, ……………… in reality, women also participate in ranch work. This reality can be seen in the rodeo, …………. cowboys and cowgirls compete in roping young steer, and riding adult bulls. Throwing a rope around a steer is something ranchers must do ………………….. give the young animals medicine or to mark the steers as their property. ……………….., riding on the back of a large and angry bull is purely for sport – a brutal and dangerous sport. ……………….., the danger doesn’t stop the men and women who love the rodeo.”
JOHANNSEN, Kristin & CHASE, Rebecca. World English: real people, real places, real language. Boston: Heinle Cengage, 2010. Adaptado.

17. Fill in the gaps with the CORRECT words or expressions to give the text cohesion and coherence.
a) where / in order to / because / But / If
b) but / where / in order to / On the other hand / However
c) moreover / on the other hand / where / Which / But
d) in order to / but / on the other hand / Where / However
e) If / where / therefore / Because / On the other hand

18. O bserve os elementos linguísticos em destaque:
“[…] herding cattle is one way to make a living.”; “[…] compete in roping young steer, and riding adult bulls. Throwing a rope around a steer is something […]”.
Em todos esses exemplos, é CORRETO afirmar que a forma -ing corresponde ao uso de
a) adjetivo.                                          d) infinitivo.
c) gerúndio.                                         e) preposição e substantivo.
b) substantivo e conjunção.

Text 7
 19. Na última fala do personagem Calvin (3º balão), percebe-se uma intertextualidade com
a) um conhecido provérbio de conotação religiosa.
b) um verso de um poema consagrado na literatura mundial.
c) uma conhecida frase de um político contemporâneo.
d) uma mensagem (ou moral) de uma fábula clássica.
e) um grito de guerra de um estrategista histórico.

20. Os phrasal verbs show up’ (1º balão) e ‘find out’ (2º balão) são importantes para se compreenderem os “objetivos” de Calvin na situação acima. Eles significam, respectivamente,
a) apresentar-se – enganar.                  d) aparecer / vir – pagar.
b) aparecer / vir – encontrar.              e) cumprir – vingar-se.
c) desistir – pegar.

By Milton França
Feel free to get in touch:   email:
facebook:           whatsapp: +5598991992887