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Young Web entrepreneur

The 12-year-old CEO of a Web site design company will be one of 300 business and political leaders accompanying Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrestien on a trade mission to China next month.

Keith Peiris.who founded award-winning Cyberteks Design in June 1999 and now has 25 clients in North America,insisted in an interview that he is "just like any other kid."

But few kids face his decisions,like whether to sell out to US or HongKong investers for several million dollars and what to do about would-be clients scared away by his tender years.

He and his father will spend 9 days on the Team Canada trip to Beijing,Shaihai and HongKong,where Chretien aims to showcase the best of Canadian business in the most populous country in the world.

Sitting in his home office Peiris said he discovered his passion for Web design when he was 10 and was "playing around"with software downloanded from a Web site.
"There was nothing else to do,"the dark-haired boy said in a serious voice.

Demonstrating his music-and animation-laden interactive Web sites,he described his strtegy:'You find the best sites out there and see if you can do better.Of course,I am not the best designer yet, but I strive to do."

 
Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking,that is,getting a free ride by gesturing,arose in the 1930s.The original hitchers were the hoboes,who often changed their jobs from place to place.They asked for a ride more often out of necessity than out of necessity than out of pleasure,and the term first appeared in their circles.It spread through the armed forces in the 1940s and 1950s,and in the 1960s was transformed into a kind of national mania by members of the hippie subculture.If this particular type of ride-begging has become less common in the yuppy era,that fact has as much to do with safety as with finances.

the publicity given to crimes of the road has made it seem chancier than it used to be to get from New York to Oklahoma on a dime,or to give a ride to a stranger.

As for the specific gesture of the custom, the universally accepted method,or the American method,is to face the oncoming traffic,raise the right arm,elbow bent,with the hand closed into a fist and the thumb extended in the direction one wishes to travel. In mahy parts of Europe,however,you ask for a ride by walking on the same side of the road and in the same direction as the traffic,and extending the thumb of your traffic-side arm toward the frant.Your back is toward the oncoming traffic in this position,which is a disadvantage in terms of safety.The message of the European method seems to announce,"I'm going your way.Help me if you want. I really don't care if you can't." The Amrican method seems to announce,"I'm looking sraight at you,and I want your help.I'm not afraid if you are not going to help."Amricans seem to take,in other words,a more challenging,but also a more optimistic,approach to the situation.


 
Caps and Gowns

For students, the most exciting moment may be the graduation ceremony: parents, relatives and friends are invited to the ceremony ; all the graduates are wearing black square flat caps and gowns.They all await the president to announce in the end, "Now, please move your tassels from right to left."

The caps and gowns worn by high school and college graduates today are survivors of the everyday dress worn by members of the academic community in medieval Europe. The majority of scholars in the Middle Ages were churchmen, or soon to become so, and their dress was often strictly regulated by the universities where they taught and studied. The standard clerical dress throughout Europe was the long black cope. The original preference for black was changed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, as such colors as red, violet and purple came into fashion; but by the Renaissance black was back, as the color black symbolized simple and plain, or austere way of life in the sixteenth century. With few exceptions, modern univers-ities keep that ceremonial austerity.

The origin of the square flat cap, or mortarboard, is obscure, though it probably derives from the medieval biretta. Such a tufted square cap is considered the badge of the mastership, and is later adopted by undergraduates and schoolboys. The term mortarboard does not appear

in English until the 1850s. The tassel that graduates transfer from one side to another as a signal of their elevation is an outgrowth of the medieval tuft. The tuft still appears on the modern biretta, worn by bishops throughout the Church of Rome.





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