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October '05, it was half term, and I was looking forward to a good rest after a tough first half of term. Since my grandfather was in hospital (down in South Wales) me, and my Mum and Dad went to visit. We arrived at my grandparent's house at about 8 O'clock in the evening, dropped off our stuff, and then went straight to the hospital. My granddad was in a really bad way, he couldn't talk, so we didn't stay long, we just took my Nan home (who'd been with him all day) while Dad stayed overnight.   This was the first time I noticed something abnormal; when I walked into the house, I could smell smoke, not wood smoke, cigarette smoke. My Granddad DID smoke, but not in the house, Na always made him go outside. Well, I thought nothing of it, I went into the kitchen and the smell vanished. But the moment I stopped moving, it was there again, not just a whiff of it, but thick, choking. I had to go outside to get some fresh air. When I went back in, I could smell nothing, it was back to normal. Since I sometimes imagine things, I let it go. Article/200902/63049Diamonds Diamonds are rare, beautiful, and also quite useful. They are the hardest substance found in nature. That means a diamond can cut any other surface. And only another diamond can make a slight cut in a diamond.Diamonds are made from carbon. Carbon is found in all living things, both plant and animal. Much of the carbon in the earth comes from things that once lived.Scientists know that the combination of extreme heat and pressure changes carbon into diamonds. Such heat and pressure exist only in the hot, liquid mass of molten rock deep inside the earth. It is thought that millions of years ago this liquid mass pushed upward through cracks in the earth's crust. As the liquid cooled, the carbon charged into diamond crystals.There are only four areas where very many diamonds have been found.The first known area was in India, where diamonds were found thousands of years ago. In the 1600's, travelers from Europe brought back these beautiful stones from India. Diamonds became very popular with the kings and queens of Europe.In the 1720's, diamonds were discovered in Brazil. This discovery came at a good time, too. India's supply of diamonds was finally running out after 2,500 years of mining the stones.In the 1800's, two other important areas were found in Russia and South Africa. Today, most diamonds used in industry come from Russia. Most diamonds used as gems come from South Africa. Only 25 percent of all diamonds mined are good enough for cutting into gems.Most of the diamonds in India were found in stream beds. People would pick up handfuls of gravel from the bottom of the streams and sort out the diamonds. These diamonds were probably carried from where they were formed to India by great sheets of moving ice that covered parts of the earth 20,000 years ago.Most diamonds today are not found in stream beds, however. They are mined from rock formations deep inside the earth called pipes. Scientists believe that these are parts of volcanoes that were formed when molten rock pushed upward through the earth's crust. The hand rock in which diamonds are found is called blue ground.钻石钻石既珍贵稀缺,又美丽晶莹,也用途很广。钻石是自然界里最坚硬的物质。这就意味着钻石能划破任何物体的表面。只有另一块钻石才能在一块钻石上留下轻微的划痕。钻石(金刚石)由纯碳所组成。在一切生物中,包括动物和植物,都含有碳。地球上的绝大部分碳都是来自从前的生物。科学家们都知道,只有在极高的高温和高压这两个条件结合起来的情况下,才能把碳转化成金刚石(钻石)。这种极其高的高温和高压只有在地球内部深处,溶化了的岩石成极热的液体状态下才能存在。据认为在数百万年以前,这种液态的物质冷却以后,纯碳就变成了钻石结晶。在全世界只有四个地区发现有大量的钻石:第一个著名产区就是印度,这里在成千上万年前就发现有钻石。在17世纪从欧洲到印度来的旅行者们从印度带回去一些美丽的宝石,于是钻石就成了欧洲各国的国王和王后们最珍爱的宝物了。到了18世纪20年代在巴西发现了钻石,这一发现恰逢其时。因为印度的宝石经过了2500多年的开采,采到最后已经快被采光了。到了19世纪,在俄国和南非也发现了两个重要的钻研矿区。今天大部分工业用金刚石都产自俄国。作珍宝装饰用的绝大部分钻石都产自南非。在开采出来的钻石总数当中只有25%的钻石,品级够得上可以打磨成珍宝。印度的钻石绝大部分是在河床中发现的。众都是从河床底上捧起一大把一大把的砾石,然后从中挑拣出钻石来。这些钻石很可能在两万年前,整个地球各地都被大片大片的冰川所覆盖着的时期,从钻石生盛典的地方顺着冰川流到印度来的。可是,今天绝大多数的钻石都不是在河床上找到的;今天的钻石都是从地球内部很深的地方,从被称为岩筒的管状矿脉的矿井中开采出来的。专家们认为这些岩筒都是火山的一部分,是在溶岩从地壳的裂缝中挤压到上面来的时候形成的。里面含有钻石的坚硬的矿石叫蓝脉矿。 Article/200802/2781434The Lord said to Moses, 2"Command the Israelites and say to them: 'When you enter Canaan, the land that will be allotted to you as an inheritance will have these boundaries: 3" 'Your southern side will include some of the Desert of Zin along the border of Edom. On the east, your southern boundary will start from the end of the Salt Sea, 4cross south of Scorpion Pass, continue on to Zin and go south of Kadesh Barnea. Then it will go to Hazar Addar and over to Azmon, 5where it will turn, join the Wadi of Egypt and end at the Sea. 6" 'Your western boundary will be the coast of the Great Sea. This will be your boundary on the west. 7" 'For your northern boundary, run a line from the Great Sea to Mount Hor 8and from Mount Hor to Lebo Hamath. Then the boundary will go to Zedad, 9continue to Ziphron and end at Hazar Enan. This will be your boundary on the north. 10" 'For your eastern boundary, run a line from Hazar Enan to Shepham. 11The boundary will go down from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain and continue along the slopes east of the Sea of Kinnereth. 12Then the boundary will go down along the Jordan and end at the Salt Sea. " 'This will be your land, with its boundaries on every side.' " 13Moses commanded the Israelites: "Assign this land by lot as an inheritance. The Lord has ordered that it be given to the nine and a half tribes, 14because the families of the tribe of Reuben, the tribe of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have received their inheritance. 15These two and a half tribes have received their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan of Jericho, toward the sunrise." 16The Lord said to Moses, 17"These are the names of the men who are to assign the land for you as an inheritance: Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun. 18And appoint one leader from each tribe to help assign the land. 19These are their names: Caleb son of Jephunneh, from the tribe of Judah; 20Shemuel son of Ammihud, from the tribe of Simeon; 21Elidad son of Kislon, from the tribe of Benjamin; 22Bukki son of Jogli, the leader from the tribe of Dan; 23Hanniel son of Ephod, the leader from the tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph; 24Kemuel son of Shiphtan, the leader from the tribe of Ephraim son of Joseph; 25Elizaphan son of Parnach, the leader from the tribe of Zebulun; 26Paltiel son of Azzan, the leader from the tribe of Issachar; 27Ahihud son of Shelomi, the leader from the tribe of Asher; 28Pedahel son of Ammihud, the leader from the tribe of Naphtali." 29These are the men the Lord commanded to assign the inheritance to the Israelites in the land of Canaan. Article/200811/56184

The biggest "infrastructure" challenge for the ed States in the next decade is not the billions needed for railroads, highways and energy. It is the American school system, from kindergarten through the Ph.D. program and the postgraduate education of adults. And it requires something far scarcer than money - thinking and risk-taking.The challenge is not one of expansion. On the contrary, the rapid growth in enrollment over the last 40 years has come to an end. By 1978, more than 93 percent of young people entering the labor force had at least an eighth-grade education. So even if the birthrate should rise somewhat, little expansion is possible for elementary and secondary school enrollments.The last 30 years social upheaval are also over. Busing will continue to be highly emotional issue in a good many large cities. And there will still be efforts to use schools to bring women into fields such as engineering that have traditionally been considered "male." But this shift has aly been accomplished in many fields: half or more of the accounting students in graduate schools of business, for example, are now women. As for most other social issues, the country will no longer try to use schools to bring about social reform. It's becoming increasingly clear to policy makers that schools cannot solve all the problems of the larger community.Instead, the battle cry for the '90s will be the demand for performance and accountability. For 30 years, employers have been hiring graduates for their degrees rather than their abilities; employment, pay and often even promotion have depended on one's diploma. Now many major employers are beginning to demand more than the completion of school. Some of the major banks, for example, are studying the possibility of entrance examinations that would test the knowledge and abilities of graduates applying for jobs.Students and parents, too, will demand greater accountability from schools, on all levels. It will be increasingly common to go to law against school districts and colleges for awarding degrees without imparting the skills that are supposed to go along with them. And many young people are aly switching to practical "hard" subjects. Caring little about the so-called "youth culture" and the media, they have been shifting from psychology into medicine, from sociology into accounting and from black studies into computer programming.Demand for education is actually going up, not down. What is going down, and fairly fast, is demand for traditional education in traditional schools.Indeed, the fastest growing industry in America today may be the continuing professional education of highly schooled adults. Much of it takes place outside the education establishment - through companies, hospitals and government departments that run courses for managerial and professional employees; or through management associations and trade associations. In the meantime, any number of private enterprises are organizing courses, producing training films and tapes and otherwise taking advantage of growth opportunities that universities shy away from.The demand for continuing education does not take the from that most observers, including this writer, originally expected - namely, "Great Books" classes for adults wanting to learn about the humanities, the arts, the "life of the mind." We face instead a growing demand for advanced professional education: in engineering and medicine, in accounting and journalism, in law and in administration and management.Yet the adults who come back for such studies also demand what teachers of professional subjects are so rarely able to supply: a humanistic perspective that can integrate advanced professional and technical knowledge into a broader universe of experience and learning. Since these new students also need unconventional hours - evenings, weekends or high-intensity courses that stuff a term's work into two weeks - their demands for learning bring a vague but real threat to the school establishment.The greatest challenge to education is likely to come from our new opportunities for diversity. We now have the chance to apply the basic findings of psychological, developmental and educational research over the last 100 years: namely, that no one educational method fits all children.Almost all children are capable of attaining the same standards within a reasonable period of time. All but a few babies, for instance, learn to walk by the age of two and to talk by the age of three, but no two get there quite the same way.So too at higher levels. Some children learn best by rote, in structured environments with high certainty and strict discipline. Others gain success in the less structured "permissive" atmosphere of a "progressive" school. Some adults learn out of books, some learn by doing, some learn best by listening. Some students need prescribed daily doses of information; others need challenge and a high degree of responsibility for the design of their own work. But for too long, teachers have insisted that there is one best way to teach and learn, even though they have disagreed about what that way is.A century ago, the greatest majority of Americans lived in communities so small that only one one-room schoolhouse was within walking distance of small children. Then there had to be "one right method" for everybody to learn.Today the great majority of pupils in the ed States (and all developed countries) live in big cities with such density that there can easily be three or four elementary schools - as well as secondary schools within each child's walking or bicycling distance. This enables students and their parents to choose between alternative routes to learning offered by competing schools.Indeed, competition and choice are aly beginning to infiltrate the school system. Private schools and colleges have shown an unusual ability to survive and develop during a period of rising costs and dropping enrollments elsewhere. All this presents, of course, a true threat to the public school establishment. But economics, student needs and our new understanding of how people learn are bound to break the traditional education monopoly just as trucks and airplanes broke the monopoly of the railroads, and computers and "chips" are breaking the telephone monopoly.In the next 10 or 15 years we will almost certainly see strong pressures to make schools responsible for thinking through what kind of learning methods are appropriate for each child. We sill almost certainly see great pressure, from parents and students alike, for result-focused education and for accountability in meeting objectives set for individual students. The continuing professional education of highly educated adults will become a third tier in addition to undergraduate and professional or graduate work. Above all, attention will shift back to schools and education as the central capital investment and infrastructure of a "knowledge society."下一个十年美国所面临的最大的"基础设施"的挑战并不是铁路、公路和能源所需的几十亿美元,而是美国的教育体制,从幼儿园到哲学士的培养项目,到成人的研究教育。而且它需要的是比金钱更难得的东西--思考和冒险。这种挑战并不在于推广。相反,近40年来,招生人数的迅速增长已经结束。到1978年,加入劳动大军的93%以上的年轻人至少受过8年教育。因此,即使出生率有所上升,中小学入学人数不可能有大的增长。过去30年的社会动荡也要结束了。在许多大城市校车接送学生仍将是个极富感情色的问题。还需要继续作努力,利用学校让妇女们进入一些传统上被认为是"男性"的领域,诸如工程之类。但这种转换在许多领域已经完成了。例如,现在在商业研究生院半数或半数以上的会计专业的学生都是女性。至于大多数其他的社会问题,国家将不同志利用学校引起社会变革。决策者们越来越清楚地认识到学校不可能解决较大社会范围内的全部问题。相反,90年代的强烈呼声将是要求工作表现和能够承担责任。30年来,雇主们雇佣毕业生是因为其学历而不是看其能力;职业、薪水、甚至提升一直依赖文凭。现在许多大的雇主已经开始不仅仅注重学历了。例如,一些大正在研究进行入行考试的可能性,以此来测试求职者的毕业生的知识和能力。学生和家长们也将在各个层次对学校的责任提出更高的要求。因为学区和学院只授予学位而不传授必要技术而诉诸于法律的事将越来越普遍。许多年轻人已经开始转向具有实用性的、"过硬的"学科。他们不大关心所谓的"青年文化"和媒介,已经在从心理学转向医学,从社会学转向会计学,从黑人研究转向计算机程序设计,对教育的要求实际上正在提高,而不是下降。正在下降,而且争剧下降的是传统学校中对传统教育的要求。实际上,当今美国增长最快的行业可能是对受过不少教育的成年人的继续职业教育。很多这类教育是在教育机构之外进行的--通过公司、医院和政府部门,这些单位为其雇佣的管理人员和专业人员开设课程,或者通过管理协会或行业协会进行。与此同时,或多或少的私人企业也在组织课程,制作用于培训的影片和磁带并且以其他方式利用各种大学避而不用的增长机会。对继续教育的要求不采用包括本文作者在内的大多数观察者原先所想象的形式--即给想了解的人文学科、艺术以及心智活动的成年人用"大部头书"上课。我们面临的而是对高级职业教育日益增长的要求:在工程与医疗、会计与新闻、法律与行管方面。然而回来进行这类学习的成年人所要求的东西却是专业课程的老师很少能提供的:一种能把先进的专业技术知识融汇到经验和常识的更广阔的普遍体系中的人文主义的观点。由于这些新学生还需要非常规的时间--晚上、周末或者说把一个学期的任务挤到两周的高强度课程--他们的学习要求给学校的体制带来一种不明确的但又是真正的威胁。对教育的巨大挑战可能来自于我们在多样性中选择的新机会中。现在我们有机会利用过去100年来心理学、发展和教育等方面研究的基本成果。即没有一种教育方式适合所有的孩子。在一段合理的时间内,几乎所有的孩子都能达到同样的标准。例如,除了极小数婴儿外,所有的孩子都能在两岁时学会走路,三岁时学会说话,但是没有两个孩子是以同样的方式达到这一标准的。在较高的层次上也是如此。在非常稳定和严格的纪律构成的环境里,有的孩子是靠死记硬背学习的。有的孩子是在"进步"学校规则不甚严格的"随意"气氛中取得成绩的。有的成年人从书本中学习,有的从实践中学习,有的则靠听就能学得最好。有的学生需要规定每天要获取的一些信息;有的需要挑战,为他们的工作设计出高标准的要求。但是很久以来,教师们一致认为,教与学有一种最佳的方式,尽管他们对那种方式产生了分歧。一个世纪前,绝大多数美国人所居住的社区是如此之小,以至于小孩步行的范围内只有一间房的校舍。那时只有"一种好方式"供大家学习。今天,美国绝大多数的孩子生活在人口稠密的大城市里,每个孩子步行或骑车所能到达的范围内不难找到三、四所小学和中学。这使学生以及家长们能够在竞争中的各个学校所提供的不同的学习机会中进行选择。实际上,竞争和选择已经开始渗透到学校的体制中。私立中学和大学在其他地方学费上涨,入学人数下降的时候展示出了非凡的生存和发展能力。当然所有这一切对公立教育体制构成了真正的威胁。但是经济情况、学生的需要以及我们对人们如何学习的理解肯定会打破传统的教育垄断,就像火车和飞机打破铁路的垄断、计算机和芯片正在打破电话的垄断一样。在下一个10年或15年里,我们几乎会肯定地看到强大的压力迫使学校负责思考什么样的学习方法适合每一个学生这个问题。我们几乎肯定地看到同样来看学生的和家长们的压力,要求提供注重结果的教育,要求负责让每个学生达到所制定的目标,对受过高层次教育的成年人的继续职业教育将是除本科生以及职业或研究生教育之后的第三种教育。更重要的是,注意力将转回到学校和教育上,把它们看作是"知识社会"的重要的基本投资和基础结构。 Article/200803/28209

VOICE ONE:I’m Sarah Long.VOICE TWO:And I’m Steve Ember with the VOA Special English program PEOPLE IN AMERICA. Today, we tell the story of Jack Benny. He was one of America’s best-loved funnymen during the Twentieth Century.(MUSIC)VOICE ONE:Jack Benny was one of the most famous names in show business for more than fifty years. He started as a serious musician, before he discovered he could make people laugh. Jack Benny (left) Jack Benny became famous nationwide in the Nineteen Thirties as a result of his weekly radio program. His programs were among the most popular on American radio, and later on television. Jack Benny won the hearts of Americans by making fun of himself. He was known not as someone who said funny things, but as someone who said things in a funny way. VOICE TWO:Jack Benny was born in Chicago, Illinois, on February fourteenth, Eighteen Ninety-Four. His parents, Meyer and Emma Kubelsky, were religious Jews. They had moved to the ed States from eastern Europe. They named their first child Benjamin. Benjamin Kubelsky and his family lived in Waukeegan , Illinois. Benjamin was a quiet boy. For much of the time, his parents were busy working in his father’s store. As a child, Benjamin, or Benny as his friends called him, learned to play the violin. Benny was such a good violin player that, for a time, he wanted to become a musician.VOICE ONE:While in school, Benny got a job as a violin player with the Barrison Theater, the local vaudeville house. Vaudeville was the most popular form of show business in the ed States in the early Nineteen Hundreds. Vaudeville shows presented short plays, singers, comedians who made people laugh and other acts. Benny worked at the Barrison Theater -- sometimes during school hours. He left high school before completing his studies. The piano player for the theater was a former vaudeville performer named Cora Salisbury. For a short time, she and Benny formed their own performing act. Later, he and another piano player had their own act. At first, Benny changed his name to Ben K. Benny. However, that name was similar to another actor who played a violin. So, he chose the name Jack Benny. (MUSIC)VOICE TWO:The ed States entered World War One in Nineteen Seventeen. Benny joined the Navy and reported to the Great Lakes Naval Station. He continued using his violin to perform for sailors at the naval station. In one show, he was chosen more for his funny jokes than for his skill with the violin. That experience made him believe that his future job was as a comedian, not in music. VOICE ONE:After leaving the Navy, Benny returned to vaudeville. His performances won him considerable popularity during the Nineteen Twenties. He traveled across the country with other well-known performers, including the Marx Brothers. In Nineteen Twenty-Seven, Benny married Sadie Marks, a sales girl from the May Company store in Los Angeles. Missus Benny soon became part of the traveling show. She used the name Mary Livingstone. Jack Benny appeared in a few Hollywood films, but then left California and moved to New York. He had a leading part in the Broadway show, “Vanities.”VOICE TWO:Benny made his first appearance on radio in Nineteen Thirty-Two. He was invited to appear on a radio show presented by newspaper reporter Ed Sullivan. Benny opened with this announcement:“Ladies and gentlemen, this is Jack Benny talking. There will be a short break while you say, who cares?” However, many listeners did care. Within a short period, Benny had his own radio show. It continued for twenty-three years. (JACK BENNY OPEN)ANNCR:“The Jack Benny Program…”(MUSIC)“…starring Jack Benny, with Mary Livingstone, Phil Harris, Rochester, Dennis Day, and yours truly, Don Wilson…”(MUSIC)VOICE ONE:Jack Benny developed a show business personality that had all the qualities people dislike. He was known for being so stingy he refused to spend any of his money, unless forced to do so. He always was concerned about money. For example, he would put on a jeweler’s glass to examine the diamond on a wealthy woman he had just met. In another example, a robber points a gun at Benny.(JACK BENNY PROGRAM)ROBBER: “This is a stick-up.”BENNY: “Mister, put down that gun.”ROBBER: “Shut up. I said this is a stick-up. Now, come on. Your money or your life.”((laughter))ROBBER: “Look, bud. I said, your money or your life!”BENNY: “I’m thinking it over.”((laughter/music)) VOICE TWO:On his shows, Jack Benny often spoke of his appearance, especially his baby blue eyes. As he grew older, he always claimed to be thirty-nine years old. Benny was known as a comedian with great timing. He seemed to know the perfect time to tell a joke and when to remain silent. The way he looked at other actors and his use of body movements were world famous. He also was skilled at using his violin to make people laugh. Article/200802/28057

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