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Nicole kidman : New Hollywood Royalty

Actress Nicole Kidman was born in honolulu , Hawaii , in 1967. Her father , an Australian , was a student in Hawaii at the time. When she was 4, the family returned to Australia , and Kidman grew up in a suburb of Sydney

Kidman became interested in acting early on. Her first experience came when she was 6 years old and she played a sheep in her school's Christmas pageant. She trained in drama and dance through her teen years. She got a couple of TV parts before she made her breakthrough : in 1985 , the Australian Film Institute named her Actress of the Year for her role in the TV miniseries Vietnam. She was only 17

In 1989 , Kidman appeared in the creepy thriller Dead Calm. This performance earned her the lead role in her first American movie, Days of Thunder. Her costar was Tom Cruise. Following a whirlwind romance, Kidman and Cruise were married in Colorado on Christmas Eve 1990

During the marriage , Kidman's career continued to grow. She and Cruise adopted two children , and they worked hard to balance their careers and family life

Unfortunately , the marriage didn't last. Kidman and Cruise divorced in 2001. After the divorce , Kidman threw herself into her work. She starred in a number of high-profile movies , including the musical Moulin Rouge. Then , in 2003 , she won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her role as Virginia Woolf in the film The Hours

And what does she think of her fame ? " It's a fleeting moment, " she has said. " How long will it last ? Who knows ? But it's here and it's now

Source : Interchange book 2

دسته ها : English Readings
جمعه هشتم 2 1391 22:58

 

ROBOTS

 

People are fascinated by robots. Some of them look like mechanical dolls to play with. Most of them look like other machines of today's high technology

 

Serious research on intelligent robots began in the 1960s in several countries. Now we are on the fifth generation of robots. The first robots were very expensive. They cost $ 500,000 when a worker could do the same work for $ 15 an hour. By the early 1970s, a robot brain, a computer, cost $ 300,000. Now one costs only $ 300. Today's robots cost from $ 15,000 to $ 150,000

 

One of the advantages of robots is that they can work in situations that are dangerous or harmful for human workers. For example, the continuous smell of paint has a harmful effect on painters, but it doesn't bother a robot. Robots can work in nuclear power plants and in undersea research stations that might me dangerous for humans

 

Japan leads the world in the developement of robots. They have 12,000 robots working and produce 30,000 per year, most of them for export. Nissan, a Japanese automobile company, spent $ 600 million or robots for a new factory in the United States. It will be the most technologically advanced factory of its kind

 

There are robots in the plastics industry and in chemical and industrial equipment industries. One of the most common uses of robots is in automobile factories. They can do the heavy, unpleasant, or dangerous work. For example, a computer programmer writes a program that tells how much paint to use, how thick it must be, and the size of the car body. The robot does not waste any time or movements. It never becomes bored. It doesn't need a coffee break. It lasts 20 to 25 years

 

Japan has a robot that can climb a tree and cut off the branches with a chain saw. China has a ping-pong robot that shoots balls over the net so players can practice. Robots have tripled production in an IBM plant. Robots build computers. In fact, robots build other robots

 

Today's robots are simpleminded compared with the ones of the future. Researchers are now working on the sixth generation. These new robots will be able to do complex jobs. They will be able to take information from the environment. They will be able to see, using television cameras for eyes. They will be able to touch and hear. Some computers can already understand a limited vocabulary. Researchers are trying to develop ones that can understand human speech. They will be able to understand voice commands and then respond

 

The new robots will be able to move in more ways. They will have several arms, each with several fingers. The robot will be able to operate these arms and fingers by itself. It will be able to make complex decisions in a working environment

 

What effect will robots have on industrial society? Workers earn money and buy the products that factories produce, but robots cannot buy anything. Today there are millions of people who work at machines in the world. Robots will replace them. Part of this problem will be solved because of the decrease in the number of births. There will be fewer people looking for jobs. Many people will find changes in their jobs because of robots, and they will not like some of them. When robots are introduced into factories, the workers become worried and nervous about it. This can cause physical or mental illness

 

Today's robots are like babies compared with future generations. It is impossible to imagine what the next generations will be like. It is possible that they will completely change life in industrial societies. The students of today must be sure that these changes are good. Robots must improve, not harm, the quality of human life

 

Source : Concepts and Comments

دسته ها : English Readings
جمعه بیست و ششم 12 1390 21:55

AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINES

The australian aborigines are a group of slender people with brown skin. They have brown eyes and and dark wavy hair, and many of the men have beards. When the first Europeans went to Australia to live, they were divided into 500 tribes, each with its own language. Each tribe was a related family group and lived in its own area

The aborigines have been in Australia for at least 10,000 years. No one knows for sure, but they probably came from the mountains of southern Asia. Perhaps they left there because there were too many people living in their area. This is called population pressure. Scientists think that at one time Australia was connected to Asia by a land bridge. The aborigines traveled south by land. Then there were changes in the Earth and the land between Australia and Asia became islands. The aborigines were cut off from the rest of the world for thousands of years

Australia was a difficult land to live in. It is huge, but it has no large river systems. Most of the country receives less than 25 centimeters of rain per year. However, the aborigines learned to live in the desert. Each tribe had its own watering hole. They learned to hunt animals and insects for food. They made flour from grass seeds. In the cold areas they made warm clothes from kangaroo skins. They usually slept outdoors by a fire with their pet dogs nearby. They probably brought these dogs with them from Asia. The dogs are very different from the native Australian animals

Religion was very important in the lives of the aborigines. They had stories about the creation of the Earth, the stars, and the moon. They believed that human beings never died, but became a part of nature. They passed down their stories from one generation to the next. Parents taught their children these beliefs, and the children taught their children. They call these ancient beliefs that they learned from their ancestors the " dreaming " or the dream time

The aborigines invented the boomerang. It is a curved throwing stick that they used for hunting and for war. The boomerang is thin, light, and well-balanced. When someone throws a boomerang, it completes a circle and returns to the thrower

Life was very difficult for aborigines because of the desert climate. Yet their lives were rich in art. They carved and painted designs on their boomerangs and other objects. They also painted on bark. They made beautiful cave paintings and rock carvings

The Europeans killed many of the aborigines. Many died from diseases that the Europeans brought. Others were driven from their homelands, and many died of hunger. Today there are only about 140,000 aborigines left, but their numbers are increasing. Many of them work on sheep and cattle stations. ( Australians use the word station for a farm that raises animals. ) Evonne Goolagong, an international tennis start, is part aborigine

It might be easy to forget about the aborigines in Australia because most of the population is European. However, there is one thing to make us remember them. There are thousands of aborigine place names. When we see towns called Wooloomooloo, Wagga Wagga, Toowoomba, or Murwillumbah, we know that the aborigines have made a contribution to Australian life

Source : Concepts and Comments

دسته ها : English Readings
سه شنبه بیست و سوم 12 1390 21:54

SILVER

People have always loved silver (Ag) jewelry, containers, and other objects. Museums have beautiful silver objects made in Egypt in 4000 B.C. Persia and other Asian countries have made beautiful silver objects for centuries. The Romans learned from them and they greatly advanced the art and science of working with silver. Spanish explorers found that the Indians in Central and South America knew how to make silver objects 

Silver is one of the most valuable metals in the world. It is valuable for four principal reasons. There isn't very much of it compared with most metals. It is a beautiful white, shiny color. It is easy to work with, so people can make many things from it. The oxygen in the air does not cause silver to rust or oxidize

The value of silver has often led to the destruction of silver objects. People steal silver, especially during wars. Governments have melted it down to pay for wars. People sell it to pay for the necessities of life during bad times

Silver is widely distributed throughout the world, but in small amounts. The leading producer is Mexico. The world's largest silver mine is in Hidalgo, Mexico. Other important producers are the United States, Canada, Peru, The Soviet Union, and Australia. There are other smaller mines in many countries

Only gold is easier to work than silver. Silver can be beaten into a sheet less than 0.00025 millimeters thick. It is too soft to use by itself for jewelry or coins, so it is mixed with copper ( Cu ) . This increases the hardness, but it does not change the color

Governments have made silver coins for centuries. This has always been its main use. Jewelry, dishes, and other containers have also been important uses of silver. Silver on the back of glass changes the glass into a mirror.

Today silver is also used in chemical and electrical engineering because electricity travels well through it, and it doesn't rust. Silver is used in airplanes and train engines. It is used in film and even in some medicine. In fact, industry uses more silver than mines can produce. There has been a worldwide shortage since the 1960s

Metals are very important to a society. Each time people discovered a new metal or invented new ways to use metals they already had, their society advanced. Modern society could not exist without metals

Silver is a very special metal. It has many uses for people in the simplest and the most complex societies. It is also very beautiful and has enabled people to make objects that have lasted for hundreds of years. Today we can enjoy modern silver objects and things made thousands of years ago

Source : Concepts and Comments

دسته ها : English Readings
شنبه بیستم 12 1390 20:45

 

PAPER

 

Paper os everywhere. We use paper for homework, money, checks, books, letters, packaging, kites, paper dolls, wallpaper, and braille books. We have paper towels, napkins, plates, cups, and handkerchiefs. Doctors put paper sheets on the examining table. Scientists use paper lab coats. Our knowledge is written on paper. This is changing now, with television, cassette tapes, and computers to spread and store information

 

Paper is made from trees, rice, wheat, cotton, corn, sugar cane, and other plants. There are about 7,000 kinds of paper

 

The Chinese invented paper in A.D. 105. They mixed the bark of a tree and rags with water, put a screen into the mixture, and lifted out a thin piece of wet paper. They dried the paper in the sun

 

The Chinese kept their secret of how to make paper until a war with Muslims in the ninth century. The Muslims took chinese papermakers back to their country. The art of papermaking soon spread throughout the Muslim world

 

The Mayan Indians in Central America and Pacific Islanders also discovered how to make paper, but their knowledge never spread to the rest of the world

 

For centuries, all paper was made by hand. Rags were the principal material. Then a French scientist watched a wasp chewing up pieces of wood. The wasp mixed the wood with chemicals from its mouth and made a paper nest. The scientist realized that people could make paper from wood too. Finally, in the eighteenth century, a Frenchman invented a machine to make paper from wood

 

Today most paper is made from wood. It is made by machine. Canada and the United States lead the world in papermaking

 

The word " paper " comes from papyrus. The ancient Egyptians used papyrus, a plant that grew in the Nile River, to write on

 

The paper bag is an interesting invention. Before paper bags were invented, grocers and salespeople in stores had to wrap each item in paper and tie it with string. Other customers had to wait. Then they hired boys to make bags by hand, but this also took a long time. In 1884, a woman named Mattie Knight invented a machine that could make a bag with a square bottom and pleated sides. The bag stands up, but it can also lie flat. The salesclerk just shakes her wrist to open the bag. Because the bag stands up, it is easy to put things in it

 

Paper is very common in our lives, and we don't even think about it, but it is a wonderful invention

 

Source : Concepts and Comments

دسته ها : English Readings
پنج شنبه هجدهم 12 1390 22:10

 

THE WORLD WATER DECADE

 


Water is necessary for life. People can live only a few days without it. Yet nearly 25 million people die each year because of it. Both industrial nations and less-developed countries are worried about the quality and quantity of water in the world

 


The United Nations has named the 1980s the World Water Decade. The UN hopes to provide pure water for everyone by 1990

 


Even though people, animals, agriculture, and industry use a lot of water, there is more than enough on the Earth. Water covers about three-fourths of the Earth's surface. However, 97.4 percent of it is salt water. Three-fourths of the Earth's fresh water is frozen in glaciers and in the great polar ice caps. Most of the water we use comes from rivers, lakes, and the atmosphere. Less than one percent of the Earth's water is usable, and we use it over and over again

 


One of the problems about water is distribution. Water is not always distributed where the large population centers are. Some regions get enough rain, but it is all in one or two short rainy seasons

 


There are three kinds of water use : (1) domestic for drinking, cooling, cleaning, and bathing, (2) agricultural, and (3) industrial. For acceptable living conditions, domestic use per year is 30 cubic meters per person. However, in many areas people have much less water. For example, in parts of Madagascar, people have less than two cubic meters a year. Farmers need 300 cubic meters per year to provide enough food for a healthy life for one person. Mexico and India use 90 percent of their water for agriculture. Industry in the United States uses 2,300 cubic meters per person, but less developed countries use only 20-40 cubic meters

 


Over half the world is without pure drinking wate. Seventy-five percent of city people have safe water, but only 29 percent of rural people do. About 80 percent of all illness is related to bad water

 


Millions of women and children spend up to six hours a day carrying water. When these women finish carrying water and doing their domestic work, they don't have time for anything else. In some dry areas, children stay home from school to help carry water

 


The United Nations hopes to change this. It is attempting to develope water systems that people can afford. Villages will be able to create and take care of these systems themselves, and other villages can copy them. UNICEF, the World Bank, and other organizations are helping. Local, national, and international organizations must all work together to improve the quality of life of millions of people with pure water

 


Source : Concepts and Comments

دسته ها : English Readings
چهارشنبه هفدهم 12 1390 22:44

CHOCOLATE


Everybody loves chocolate. We eat chocolate candy and chocolate desserts. We drink hot chocolate. Even the word for chocolate is similar in most languages. Where did chocolate come from originally, and how is it produced


Chocolate is native to Mexico. The Indians there called it " chocolatl " . They ground beans from the the cacao or cocoa tree and mixed them with water and vanilla to make a drink. The Aztec Indians believed that God sent them this special kind of tree, and their chocolate drink was important in their religion


Spanish explorers took cocoa beans back to Spain in the sixteenth century. The Spanish added sugar to their chocolate drink. They kept their recipe secret from the rest of Europe for a hundred years


In the seventeenth century, people in England started opening chocolate houses. By 1715 there were 2,000 chocolate houses in London alone. People met there to talk and drink chocolate. The custom of leaving tips for waiters originated in chocolate houses


The Swiss were the first to make solid milk chocolate, in 1876. Milk chocolate is a mixture of chocolate, sugar, and milk. Chocolate bars are made of milk chocolate


Cacao trees can grow only in the hot, humid tropics. The balance of temperature, rainfall, and soil conditions must be exactly right


A cacao tree is about seven meters high and is covered with large leaves. Up to 6,000 small pink or white flowers appear on a tree every year. Only a few of these flowers produce a pod. Each pod is about 15 to 20 centimeters long and contains from 20 to 50 beans. A tree produces only about 20 to 40 pods a year


People gather these pods, break them open with large knives, take out the beans, and dry them. After a few days the beans are cleaned, roasted, and ground into tiny pieces. The natural fat in the beans becomes a liquid. Chocolate is made from this liquid


Today the largest suppliers of chocolate are Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Brazil. Ghana got its first cacao tree from Fernando Po, a Spanish colony off the coast of Africa. A Ghanian who was working on Fernando Po in 1879 took a cacao pod home and planted it. It grew into a tree. Other people slowly started growing cacao trees. Before this, there were wars in the region for decades. When people started growing cacao trees, they stopped fighting. In this way, chocolate brought peace to the Africans there


A tropical tree with an Indian name brought peace to West Africa. Chocolate brings pleasure to all of us when we eat and drink this delicious food


Source : Concepts and Comments

دسته ها : English Readings
سه شنبه شانزدهم 12 1390 21:32

UNICEF

UNICEF, the United Children's Fund, serves the children of the world. It serves children of all races, nationalities, religions, and political systems in more than 100 developing countries. Its purpose is to help provide a better life for children and their mothers. It gives both long-term assistance and emergency help

This program is very necessary. Today 800 million humans live in conditions of poverty and hopelessness. Two-thirds of them are children and mothers of small children. Four-fifths of these children have no regular health services. Nine out of ten are not protected against childhood diseases. One hundred million do not have enough of the right foods. Most of them drink impure water. Unsafe water is one of the reasons millions of people die every year

UNICEF works with governments to provide three kinds of services. They plan and organize programs, they train people to work in the programs, and UNICEF provides supplies and equipment

UNICEF has programs to improve children's health. It does this in several ways. It improves water supplies. It provides food and teaches people what to feed their children. It helps equip health centers, provides medical services, and trains people to take good care of their children. It helps disabled children, and provides vitamin A for children who might go blind because of the lack of it

UNICEF helps equip schools and train teachers. It assists in preparing textbooks. It equips centers for youth and women. It trains village leaders to work in these programs. It works to improve the situation of women

During emergencies, UNICEF supplies tents, medicine, food, and water supply equipment

UNICEF's Main goal is prevention. It works to prevent diseases. It gives shots to immunize children against disease. It educates people about the importance of pure water, healthful food, and other ways to prevent disease

UNICEF gets its money from volunteer contributions from many countries. It also sells beautiful greeting cards which are very popular

All children and their mothers have the right to medical care, a place to live, pure water, and enough food. UNICEF helps millions of the world's children get these rights

Source : Concepts and Comments

دسته ها : English Readings
دوشنبه پانزدهم 12 1390 20:58

 

TIME

 

What time is it? I don't have enough time. Is it time to go yet? Hurry up! We're going to be late

 

We talk about time everyday. We measure it by the second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, and century. But what is time? No one can say exactly what it is. It is one of the greatest mysteries of our lives

 

We don't know exactly what time is, but our ability to measure it is very important. It makes our way of life possible. All the members of a group have to measure time in the same way

 

Time lets us put things in a definite order. We know that breakfast comes before lunch. The reading class is after the writing class. Children can't play until school is over. Time enables us to organize our lives

 

The earliest people saw changes around them. They saw day and night, the changes of the moon, and the seasons. They started measuring their lives by these changes

 

Then people started inventing clocks. The Chinese invented a water clock in the eleventh century, but the Egyptians had them long before that. As water dripped from one container to another, it measured the passing time

 

Clocks as we know them were probably developed by very religious people in Europe in the thirteenth century. They needed to know the exact time so they could pray at the right times. By the 1700s, people had clocks and watches that were accurate to the minute. Some clocks were beautiful. They had very complicated moving parts. Some had figures of people or animals that moved on the hour or quarter hour. Others played music. The movement of the parts is beautiful to watch when you open these clocks

 

Today's clocks and watches have quartz crystals. They are very accurate, but they are not beautiful to watch. You cannot even open them to see the inside

 

People in different countries look at time differently. In some countries being on time and organizing everything by exact time is very important. In other countries people are more relaxed about time. It doesn't matter if someone is late. In fact, people might consider it rude if you are exactly on time

 

No matter how we look at a time, it is very important to us. Clocks change the way we look at the world. Clocks measure time, but nobody knows what it is. This is one of the mysteries of life

 

Source : Concepts and Comments

دسته ها : English Readings
يکشنبه جهاردهم 12 1390 21:54

EL NINO

The world's largest weather system is over the Pacific Ocean. There is a high-pressure system over the Eastern Pacific. This causes winds to blow toward the wet low-pressure system over Indonesia. All of this causes the ocean currents to move toward the west. These currents cause warm water to pile up in the Western Pacific.( If you blow across the top of a cup of coffee, the coffee piles up on the opposite side of the cup. The same thing happens with the ocean currents

 

Every four to ten years, something happens to this weather system. Everything changes, and scientists don't understand why. The low-pressure area moves toward the east, the high-temperature is very weak, and the winds blow toward the east. A great pile of warm surface water moves toward South America

 

People call this " El Nino " . It usually happens at Christmas time, and El Nino is the spanish name for the baby Jesus

 

Usually the effects of El Nino are very mild. However, the one that started in 1982 was different from the other recent ones. It had a very powerful effect on the world's climate. It caused huge changes in the ocean currents. It caused floods in some areas and droughts in others. There were terrible windstorms and huge ocean waves. These waves swept houses into the sea. El Nino did billions of dollars worth of damage. Thousands of people lost their lives and thousands of others were left homeless

 

In 1983, the winds, ocean currents, and pressure areas started to become normal again. Meanwhile, scientists throughout the world organized research to learn more about El Nino. They are using satellites and research boats to observe the atmosphere and the ocean. It is a very complicated problem, but if the scientists of the world work together, they should be able to learn the causes of El Nino. Then they will be able to predict what will happen and work to prevent a repeat of the death and destruction of 1982-1983

 

Source : Concepts and Comments

دسته ها : English Readings
شنبه سیزدهم 12 1390 21:34

 THE SEAHORSE

The seahorse is a very strange animal. It is a fish, but its head looks like a horse. The male takes care of the eggs until they hatch into baby fish. The seahorse swims " standing up " . Its eyes can move seperately so it can see everywhere at once. Its mouth is at the end of it nose

 

The female seahorse deposits her eggs in a small pouch under the male's tail. ( A kangaroo also has a pouch for her babies. ) Then she swims away and never sees the male or her babies again. Six weeks later, the baby fish are born. At birth, each one is about one centimeter long and as thin as a piece of string. They are very hard to see because they are almost as clear as glass. however, their skin is very tough. About 300 are born at once

 

After the fish are born, the father pays no attention to them. They attach themselves to each other by their tails. Other fish swim head first, using their tails to move through the water. The seahorse swims " standing up " . It uses a tiny fin on its back to move. This fin moves up to 70 times a second. If the fish loses this fin, another one grows back. The seahorse moves very fast, with its head leaning forward

 

The mouth of the seahorse is at the end of its long nose. It pulls in food the way we drink a soft drink through a straw. It eats only tiny living and moving animals, but it eats a lot. It stores fat in its body

 

Seahorses live in warm, shallow water where there is lots of sea grass. They can change their color to match the color of the grass, so it is very hard to see them. Their coloring protects them. This is called protective coloring. In warm weather, they spend their time mostly about a meter below the surface of the water. When it gets cold, they go down to about seven meters below the surface. At this depth, the temperature of the water does not change very much. When there is a storm, the seahorse holds onto a piece of grass with its tail. Then it cannot be carried to the shore

 

A seahorse lives for two or three years and produces around 1,000 young. Some bigger fish and sea animals eat seahorses, so many of the young never grow up. Many animals leave them alone, but no one knows why

 

When a seahorse is grown up, it searches for a mate. The female deposits eggs in the male's pouch, and the cycle begins again

 

Source : Concepts and Comments

دسته ها : English Readings
جمعه دوازدهم 12 1390 22:18

THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT


Scientists say that something very serious is happening to the Earth. It will begin to get warmer in the 1990s. There will be major changes in climate during the next century. Coastal waters will have higher temperature. This will have a serious effect on agriculture. In northern areas, the growing season will be ten days longer by the year 2000. However, in warmer areas, it will be too dry. The amount of water could decrease by fifty percent. This would cause a large decrease in agricultural production


World temperatures could increase two degrees centigrade by the year 2040. However, the increase could be three times as great in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. This could cause the ice sheets to melt and raise the level of the oceans by one or two meters. Many coastal cities would be under water


Why is this happening? There is too much carbon dioxide ( CO2 ) in the air. When oil, gas, and coal burn, they create large amounts of carbon dioxide. We send five billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. This amount will double in fifty years. This carbon dioxide lets sunlight enter the Earth's atmosphere and heat the Earth. However, it does not let as much heat leave the atmosphere and enter space. It is like a blanket. The heat can pass from the sun through the blanket to warm the Earth. The heat stays there and cannot escape through the blanket again


Scientists call this the greenhouse effect. A greenhouse is a building for growing plants. It is made of glass or clear plastic


These scientists say we must start planning now. We need to do research so we can predict what will happen. We must conserve coal, oil, and gas


However, other scientists disagree. They say there is no reason to worry because we have twenty years to plan. They think that the greenhouse effect will not be very serious. They believe that there is no way for the world to slow this down or stop it. We must just prepare for a high-temperature world


These scientists also say that the causes of the world climate are very complicated. The greenhouse effect is only one cause. Other gases and dust in the air and changes in clouds are also important to the climate of the Earth


Meanwhile, all scientists agree that we must continue measuring the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and observing its effects. Scientists must encourage this research so the world will be ready if the greenhouse effect really occurs

Source : Concepts and Comments

دسته ها : English Readings
پنج شنبه یازدهم 12 1390 17:14

CARE AND OXFAM

Many organizations are trying to find a solution to the problem of world hunger. Two of them are CARE and Oxfam. They both provide food to hungry people. However, they both believe that it is more important to help people produce their own food. Because of this belief, both organizations have programs to help people improve their lives

 

CARE

 

CARE was organized in 1945 to help people after World War II. It distributed over 100 million food packages. Meanwhile, it was starting self-help programs. Today it has development programs in 37 countries

 

CARE gives equipment and teaches people how to build water systems, roads, schools, houses, and health centers. It also teaches people how to increase production on their farms, how to reforest areas, and how to start small village industries

 

Doctors and nurses volunteer to go to villages. They provide health care for the people. They also teach people how to improve their health. They train people to provide simple medical care

 

CARE also provides food for about 30 million people each year, most of them children. It gives special help when there is a flood, an earthquake, a drought, or a war

 

OXFAM

 

During World War II, a group of people in Oxford, England, organized Oxfam to send money to Greece. When the war was over, they continued to give money, food, and clothing to other countries in Europe

 

In the 1960s Oxfam started working on long-term development in many countries. It wanted to attack the causes if hunger, poverty, and disease. It wanted to prevent problems instead of trying to solve them after they start. However, it continues to provide food to the hungry, sick, and homeless

 

Oxfam believes that all humans share one world with limited resources. Rich and poor countries depend on each other

 

Where do Oxfam and CARE get their money? Ordinary people in developed countries give money. Oxfam also has small stores. They sell beautiful things that villagers in developing countries make. Oxfam and CARE receive millions of dollars every year

 

Both organizations are international. They help people of any race, color, or religion. They meet with the people to decide on programs together. CARE and Oxfam help provide the necessities of life to less-developed countries

 

Source : Concepts and Comments

دسته ها : English Readings
چهارشنبه دهم 12 1390 22:20

WORLD HUNGER

Hunger is a problem throughout the world. At least a half million people are hungry every day. In 1980, fifty-three developing countries did not have enough food. More than twenty African countries have very serious food problems. There are also hungry people in developed countries

 

What causes world hunger

 

Geography : Only about ten percent of the Earth's land is good for agriculture. Another twenty percent is good for raising animals

 

Climate : Sometimes the weather is too hot, too cold, too wet, or too dry. Sometimes there are storms, and floods. The weather can destroy all the crops in an area

 

Destruction of crops : Insects, rats, and other animals eat from one-fifth to one-third of all the crops in developing countries

 

 Transportation : Sometimes there is extra food in one part of a country, but there is no way to take it to another part of the country. There are not enough trucks and trains. Developed countries give food to poorer countries, but sometimes there is no way to transport it to the villages

 

Education : Villagers need to learn the new ways of farming. They cannot grow enough food when they use old methods. Developing countries need to do research to find solutions to their agricultural problems, but they do not have enough specialists

 

Choice of crops : Some poor countries use most of their land to grow just one or two crops for export. They do not have enough extra land to grow food for the people. If there is bad weather or a plant disease, the crop is destroyed. Then there is no money from the exports to import food

 

Customs : Sometimes an area can grow a new kind of food, but the people want to eat the kind of food they are used to. If they always eat rice, they don't want to eat corn. If they are used to beans, they don't want to eat peanuts

 

These are not simple problems. They are very complicated. One problem causes another problem. The solution to one problem causes a new problem. Some powerful people don't want to solve these problems. As long as they have a lot of money, they are happy. Meanwhile, people are hungry

 

Source : Concepts and Comments

دسته ها : English Readings
سه شنبه نهم 12 1390 21:41

FOUR PLANTS

CORN

 

Corn is native to the Americas. It grew wild from eastern North America almost to the tip of South America. Indians started planting it in gardens at least 5,000 years ago. They even raised popcorn. Some Indians ground their corn into flour and make corn bread. Others made very flat, round corn popcakes

 

Columbus took corn to Europe, and from there it spread to other continents

 

Today corn is a popular and important food in the Americas. However, farmers use most of it to feed to cattle, pigs, and chickens. Soft drinks are sweetened with corn sugar. People use corn oil for cooking. Corn is also used to make paper and industrial alcohol

 

COFFEE

 

Coffee is the favorite hot drink in almost all countries. A " coffee break " is an important part of life in the United States

 

An old story says that coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia. Men taking care of their sheep noticed that the sheep stayed awake all night when they ate coffee beans and leaves

 

Coffee was first used as a food, then a kind of wine, and then medicine. It became a drink about 700 years ago

 

People took coffee to Arabia in the thirteenth century. From there it went to Turkey, Europe, and the Americas

  

In 1963 the United Nations helped organize an International Coffee Agreement. Countries that export coffee agree on the price. This agreement helps Brazil and the other exporting countries get a fair price

 

SUGAR

 

Sugar cane is a kind of grass. It is a relative of corn and bamboo. No one has ever found a wild sugar plant, so no one is sure where the plant came from. Scientists think it probably came from Southeast Asia. Farmers were raising sugar cane in India by 300 B.C. It reached China before the first century B.C. and also moved slowly west to Persia. When the Arabs won a war against Persia, they introduced sugar throughout the Middle East, Sicily, and Spain. Columbus took it to the New World

 

PEANUTS

 

Peanuts are also called groundnuts because they grow underground. A peanut is not really a nut. It is a relative of beans and peas

 

The peanut is a native of tropical South America. Wild peanut plants still grow there. Farmers raised peanuts at least 2,000 years before Columbus went to the Americas

 

The Portuguese took peanuts to Europe and Africa, and the African slaves took them to North America

 

Today peanuts are raised in warm areas all over the world. In West Africa, the peanut is an important food. In most countries peanuts are used for oil. However, in the United States they are used for candy and peanut butter and to feed to animals

 

Source : Concepts and Comments

دسته ها : English Readings
دوشنبه هشتم 12 1390 20:46

 NO SMOKING

Smoking causes lung cancer. Lung cancer is the number one cancer among men. Ninety percent of the people who get lung cancer die. Smokers have six times as much cancer of the mouth. Tongue, and throat as nonsmokers. Smokers have twice as much heart disease. Smoking gives people breathing problems. It harms the stomach. Smoking causes one million early deaths in the world every year

 

Throughout the world, women live longer than men. Why? Because men smoke more. Nonsmoking men live just as long as women

 

Smokers pollute the air. They breathe out 100 times as much pollution as nonsmokers. They breathe it out on their children and on their wives or husbands. Children whose parents smoke have more breathing and lung problems than other children. Among nonsmoking women married to smokers, there are twice as many deaths from lung cancer as there are among women married to non-smokers. Men have the right to kill themselves by smoking if they want to. They do not have the right to kill their wives and children by smoking

 

Smokers are absent from work more. Factories and businesses lose millions of dollars every year because of smokers. Smokers have higher medical bills

 

All of these facts from research show that smoking is bad. So why do people smoke

 

Young people start smoking because everyone else is doing it. They feel grown up and independent. It helps them relax. Then it becomes a habit

 

It is very difficult to stop smoking, but the chance of getting lung cancer decreases only one year after you stop. After ten years, the chance is almost the same as for nonsmokers. It is possible to quit smoking. Thirty million people in the United States have quit because they believe the research. You or your friends can quit too

 

***

How to Quit Smoking

 

Here are a lot of ideas to help you quit smoking. If one doesn't help you, try another. Good luck

 

Decide to smoke only once an hour

 

Change to a kind of cigarette that you don't like

 

Exercise to relax your body

 

Tell your friends you are going to quit

 

Quit for one day. Then you can quit for one more day

 

plan what you will do with all the money you will save

 

Oversmoke the day before you quit. Smoke three packs

 

Make a list of your major reasons for quitting

 

Don't clean your ashtrays. Let them show you how little you are smoking. See and smell how dirty they are

 

Eat carrots or celery or chew gum when you want a cigarette

 

If you usually smoke immediately after a meal, get up and take a walk

 

Breathe deeply and relax instead of having a cigarette

 

Throw away your lighter and matches

 

Wait an hour for your first cigarette. The next day wait two hours, and so on

Put all your ashtrays away

 

Source : Concepts and Comments


دسته ها : English Readings
يکشنبه هفتم 12 1390 22:28

CONSERVING THE WORLD'S NATURAL RESOURCES

In the decade of the 1970s, the United Nations organized several important meetings on the human environment to study a very serious problem. We humans are destroying the world around us. We are using up all of our natural resources. We must learn to conserve them, or life will be very bad for our children and our grandchildren

There are several major parts to this problem

Population :  Most problems of the environment come from population growth. In 1700 there were 625 million people in the world. In 1900 there were 1.6 billion, in 1950 2.5 billion, and in 1980 4.4 billion. In the year 2000 there will be 6.3 billion. More people need more water, more food, more wood, and more petroleum

Distribution : Scientists say there is enough water in the world for everyone, but some countries have a lot of water and some have only a little. Some areas get all their rain during one season. The rest of the year is dry

There are huge forests in the Amazon area of Brazil. In other parts of the world there is only desert

Petroleum : We are using up the world's petroleum. We use it in our cars and to heat our buildings in winter

Farmers use petrochemicals to make the soil rich. They use them to kill insects that eat plants. These chemicals go into rivers and lakes and kill the fish there. Thousands of people also die from these chemicals every year. Chemicals also go into the air and pollute it. Winds carry this polluted air to other countries and other continents

Poverty : Poor farmers use the same land over and over. The land needs a rest so it will be better next year. However, the farmer must have food this year. Poor people cut down trees for firewood. In some areas when the trees are gone, the land becomes desert. However, people need wood to cook their food now. Poor people cannot save the environment for the future

We now have the information and the ability to solve these huge problems. However, this is not a problem for one country or one area of the world. It is a problem for all humans. The people and the nations of the world must work together to conserve the world's resources. No one controls the future, but we all help make it

Source : Concepts and Comments

دسته ها : English Readings
شنبه ششم 12 1390 21:26
CAPTAIN COOK

Captain James Cook was a great explorer. Before he started exploring, maps of the Pacific Ocean were almost empty. He visited hundreds of islands and put them in the correct places on the map. He made maps of the coastlines of Australia and New Zealand and made them colonies of England

On each of his three long voyages, he wrote in a journal every day. He wrote about what happened on the ship. When he visited places, he wrote details about the weather and the geography. He wrote about the people who lived there, and he described the plants and animals. His journals were full of new information about distant places

James Cook was born in England in 1728. His parents were poor farm workers. When James was 18, he found a job on a coastal ship. He worked on ships until he was 27 years old, and then he joined the navy. He fought in Canada in a war against France, and he mapped some of the eastern coast of Canada

In 1768 King George III made him the captain of a ship and sent him to the Pacific. He was gone for nearly three years. When he returned, he was a national hero

For a long time, Europeans believed that there was a great southern continent south of the equator. They thought it covered most of what is really the South Pacific Ocean. In 1772 Cook went to the Pacific again to find this continent. He tried to sail from New Zealand to the southern tip of South America but there was too much ice. However, he was the first person to cross the Antarctic Circle, and of course he discovered that there was no great southern continent

He always took good care of his men. He gave them good food and kept the ship clean. He also was kind to the islanders and took them new kinds of plants and animals -cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs

He started his third voyage in 1776. On this trip he was the first European to visit Hawaii. Then he mapped the west coast of North America. He crossed the Arctic Circle and saw Eskimos

When he finished mapping the North American coast, he returned to Hawaii. There was some trouble between the Hawaiians and the white men and they started fighting. Captain Cook was killed. The fighting was a mistake, and the Hawaiians were very sorry

When Captain Cook died, the world lost one of the greatest explorers in history

Source : Concepts and Comments 
دسته ها : English Readings
جمعه پنجم 12 1390 22:3

 

ENGLISH-THE INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE 

There are more than 3,000 languages in the world today, but only about six are major languages of the world. Two-thirds of the world's population speak those six languages

 

More than 300,000,000 people speak English as their first or native language. Another 300,000,000 speak it as a second language. No one knows how many people speak it as a foreign language. Chinese is the only language with more speakers than English. This is because of the huge population of China, more than one billion people

 

English is the native or official language on one-fifth of the land area of the world. It is spoken in North America, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. In South Africa and India it is one of the official languages

 

More people study English than any other language. In many countries, the textbooks in universities are in English. Many university classes are taught in English even though the native language is not English

 

English is the language of international communication. It is the language of international business, research, and science. More than three-fifths of the world's radio stations use English. More than half of the scientific and research journals are in English. Most other languages have borrowed many English words

 

Why did English become the international language? In the middle of the nineteenth century, French was the international language. Then Britain became very powerful in the world. England started colonies in North America and India in the seventeenth century. By 1900 England also had colonies in other parts of Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific. The people in the colonies had to use English. Slowly it became more important than French internationally. After the Second World War, the United States became very powerful, and even more people began to learn English 

 

Is English a good international language? It has more words than any other language. The grammar is simpler than in the other major languages. However, English spelling is difficult. Foreigners all have trouble spelling English. So do native speakers

 

Since 1880, people have invented over fifty artificial languages. No one speaks them as a native language. However, none of them has ever become popular. Some people don't want to study English, but it is the international language. There is no way to change that now

 

Source : Concepts and Comments

دسته ها : English Readings
پنج شنبه چهارم 12 1390 14:59

BRAILLE

Louis Braille was born in France in 1809. His Father had a small business. He made shoes and other things from leather. Louis liked to help his father in the store even when he was very small. one day when Louis was three years old, he was cutting some leather. Suddenly the knife slipped and hit him in the eye. Louis soon became completely blind

 

When he was ten years old, he entered the National Institute for the Blind in Paris. One day his class went to visit a special exhibit by a captain in the army. One thing in the exhibit was very interesting for Louis. It showed messages in code. Armies send messages in secret codes so no one else can read them. The captain wrote this code in raised letters on very thick paper

 

Louis thought a lot about this code. Then he decided to write in the same way so blind people could " read " with their fingers. It is very difficult to feel the differences between raised letters. Instead of letters, Louis used a " cell " of six dots. He arranged the dots with two dots across and three down

 

There are 63 possible arrangements of the dots in the Braille system. Each arrangement stands for one letter, punctuation mark, or number. He also used his system to write music. Louis Braille invented this system when he was only fifteen years old

 

Blind people can also write braille. They use a special kind of pen to make the dots

 

Today there are braille books in all written languages in the world. However, these books are large and expensive to make. They must be on special paper. Someone who can see must learn the braille alphabet and make the raised dots in the paper by hand or with a special typewriter

 

Now there is an easier way for blind people to " read ". " Talking books " are complete books or magazines on cassette tapes or phonograph records. Blind people listen to the book. Blind people can also write using a typewriter or a computer

 

Louis Braille invented a way for blind people to communicate. He invented it before the time of phonographs, tape recorders, typewriters, and computers. When he died in 1852, he was buried in the Pantheon in Paris. This is where the national heroes of France are buried, and Louis Braille was a national hero

 

Source : Concepts and Comments 

دسته ها : English Readings
چهارشنبه سوم 12 1390 21:32
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