1． Future Cars
What kind of car will we be driving by the year 2010? / It is rather different from the type we know today. / With the next decade bringing greater change than the past 50 years; / car-designing experts believe that environment problems may well accelerate the pace of the car’s development. / Their vision is that of a machine with 3 wheels instead of 4, electrically powered, environmentally clean / and able to drive itself along intelligent roads, equipped with built-in power supplies. / This view of future car bases on a much more sophisticated road system. / Cars will be automatically controlled by a computer. / All the driver will have to do is to say where to go and the computer will do the rest. / It will become impossible for cars to crash into one another. / The technology already exits for the car to become a true automobile. /
2． Robinson on the Island
My next work was to view the country and seek a proper place to live and to put my stuff, so that they would be safe from whatever might happen. I did not yet know whether I was on the continent or on an island; whether it was inhabited or not inhabited; whether I was in danger of wild beasts or not. There was a hill, not more than a mile away, which rose up very steep and high, and which seemed higher than the other hills. I took one of the rifles, a pistol, and a horn of powder, and thus armed I traveled up to the top of that hill. There, I saw my fate, to my great sorrow that I was on an island, surrounded by the sea, no land to be seen except some rocks and two small islands, smaller than this, which lay about three miles to the west.
3． A Long Sleep
Richard is now 30 years old. / Tomorrow he is going to drink a magic liquid that will allow him to sleep for 20 years and wake up when he is 50 years old. / Of course when he wakes up 20 years from now, the world will have changed a great deal. / His children, who are now very young, will have become adults and will have moved away from home. / The new car that he bought a few months ago will be old and rusted. / His new house will need repairs. /His clothes will look very old-fashioned. /The city he lives in will look very different. /There will be many new tall buildings and many of the landmarks he knows will have disappeared. / Richard will probably be very confused by all the new things he is going to see. /It will take him a while to get used to living in the twenty-first century. /
4． The Potato Farmer
A potato farmer was sent to prison just at the time when he should have been digging the ground for planting the new crop of potatoes. He knew that his wife would not be strong enough to do the digging all by herself, but that she could manage to do the planting, and he also knew that he did not have any friends or neighbors who would be willing to do the digging for him. So he wrote a letter to his wife which said, “Please do not dig the potato field. I hid the money and the gun there.” Ten days later he got a letter from his wife. It said, “I think somebody is reading your letters before they go out of prison. Some policemen arrived here two days ago and dug up the whole potato field. What shall I do now?”
The prisoner wrote back at once, “Plant the potatoes, of course.”
Tokyo is the largest industrial and commercial city in Japan, ranking first in the output value of industry. Almost every big Japanese company and bank has its headquarters in Tokyo. The stock exchange is there and various trade fairs are held in the city a fine tradition of struggle. Along with economic expansion, city construction has gone ahead non-stop in recent years. This is characterized by the building of earthquake-proof skyscrapers and an “underground city”---markets, streets and railway stations. Our beloved Premier Zhou Enlai, Lu Xun and Guo Moruo, were among the many Chinese youths who went to Tokyo to study and to search for the way to national salvation. Now with the conclusion of the china-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, relations between China and Japan have entered into a new stage.
New Methods of Play
In 1974 in the 10 World Cup competition held in West Germany, the team from Netherlands surprised many people by making its way to the finals. The team was made up of speedy all-around players sticking to certain positions; the Dutch team used “total offence”, with all ten men moving forward. But when the opponents had the ball, the Dutch team clanged to “total defense”, with ten men falling back to the other side. The Dutch did not win the Cup, finishing second in that tournament. But their method of play was so effective that coaches and players had to sit up and take notice. Teams all over the world began to adopt their methods. This was a welcome change from the cautious defensive style of play that had dominated the game for so many years.
By media, we refer to the variety of means by which technology transmits to us information and entertainment. Thus, in its broadcast sense, the term media includes newspaper, television, movies, radio, books, and magazines. Mass media specially refer to those publications and programs that attempt to serve most or all of the people in a given market. Commercial radio and television networks are mass media. Most “public” radio or television stations, which usually seek a selected audience, are not. People is a mass media magazine, but the New Republic is not; yet both are part of the media. Finally although the “press” normally refers to newspapers, it may also include other forms of media. Thus when the president has a press conference, journalists from various media will ask him questions. The chief function of the media, as we know, is to bring the world and all its infinite variety to the attention of the average citizen.
Wedding in Britain
Nowadays in China, wedding is getting more and more expensive. The average amount of money spent on a wedding has gone up to 10,000 Yuan. This brings a ponderous burden not only to young couples, but to the old parents. “Is the situation the same in western countries?” I wondered. When I went to Britain for further English studies, I made up my mind that this would be one of my social investigations there.
What I found in Britain is that the situation is not better than that of our country. “From the moment he slips the engagement ring on your third finger to the day you go away for that long awaited blissful honeymoon the cost will be on average ￡43,000 in 1988!” A British newspaper exclaimed. Although Britain is a highly developed country, for the average people, getting the money ready for a wedding is still a difficult job.
The Pentagon is almost always used by the press to refer to the US War Department, which is managed by a civilian Secretary of Defense appointed by the Commander-in-chief of the US Armed Forces---the president of the United States of America. The Pentagon is one of the largest offices building in the world, taking up a total land area of 583 acres. The five-sided structure itself occupies an area of 29 acres. Each of its five outside walls is 921 feet long. It has three times the floor space as the Empire State Building. Working inside this huge building are over 25,000 employees. One half of them are civilians and the other half are members of the US armed forces. The construction began in 1941 and completed in 1943, taking 13,000 workers 16 months to build it at a cost of 83 million dollars at the time.
London Taxi Drivers
London taxi drivers know the capital like the back of their hands. Just jump into one of the city’s 22,000 distinctive shaped cars and tell the driver your destination. No matter how small and obscure the street is, the driver will be able to get you there without any trouble. The reason training period, which is known as “the knowledge” to get the special license needed to drive taxis. During this period, which can take from two or four years, the would-be taxi driver has to learn the most direct route to every single road and to every important building in London. To achieve this, most learners go around the city on small motorbikes, practicing how to move to and from different points of the city.
Americans are active people, enjoying a variety of games played in the world. For a long period of time, Americans have topped in most of international competitions. Whenever one opens newspapers or turns on television in the United States, one is likely to see extensive coverage of sports events held either in the United States or overseas. This is particularly true on weekends when professional and intercollegiate games are held nation-wide. A great number of people, male and female, old and young, throng into the stadium to watch these games, oftentimes in a group of family member or friends. Many more people stay at home, watching the game live broadcast on television. Indeed, to many an American, sports have already become part of their leisure life. And any weekend without some measure of participation, be it actual or emotional, would be hard to imagine.
12. Travel in Switzerland
No matter what type of holiday you are looking for you will find the answer in Switzerland.
There is really no other country quite like it, for here you have some of the finest and most beautiful scenery in the whole of Europe together with an attractive climate, hotels and the friendliest people you could wish to meet. Think of the variety of attractions. You may seek sporting activities. Walking, swimming, riding, sailing and fishing are just a few of the many possibilities for enjoying your holiday. Then there are an infinite variety of excursions by coach or railway, free afternoons on a lake steamer, visits to historic cities, these are just a few more of the variety of interests for your holiday in Switzerland. In the evening music fills the air, whether it is the local village band or an all-star variety show.
13. A Telephone Land
The United States is a telephone land. Almost everyone uses the telephone to make or break social engagement, to do their shopping and ordering, and to obtain all kinds of information. Telephones save you feet and endless amounts of time---not to mention multiple bus or subway fares! Different countries put their public telephones in different places. In the United States they are so widespread that you will find them in buses and air terminals, railroad stations, stores, hotels, restaurants, and in small booths along streets and highways. It is simple and quick to have a private phone installed. You just call the telephone company and they will come to install it on a special day by appointment, when it is convenient for you. You fill out a form and pay a deposit of some 40 dollars for the phone and, if you are formally employed, you may even be freed from this fee.
14. Ideas about Education
In the United States ideas about education are changing. Education today is not just a high school diploma or a college degree. Many grown-ups are not interested in going to college. For them, learning does not end with a diploma. Continuing education gives these grown-ups the opportunity to increase their knowledge about their own field or to learn about a new field. It also gives them a chance to improve their old skills or to learn new ones. Secretaries, mechanics, drivers and barbers can take classes to improve their own skills. Nurses can take classes to increase their knowledge of nursing. If they know more or learn more, then they can get a better job and earn more money. Continuing education classes give some grown-ups the chances to learn new skills. There is usually a large variety of classes to choose from: typing, nursing, cooking, driving or photography. But only some of the classes are available.
15. The Management of a Company
The management of a large company is composed of the CED and senior executives, departmental managers, supervisors, general staff and junior staff. The running of a company covers a variety of areas including finance, marketing, human resources, information and customer relations. Major decisions concerning the manufacturing of a product, pricing, investment, the choice of a business partner, and negotiation policies are usually reached at board meetings, which are held regularly. A staff meeting is held if a major change of company policy is to be announced. One of the routine jobs of a company is welcoming visitors, which is important in establishing
good relationships with potential business partners, clients or customers. Normally it is the company receptionist who welcomes the visitor and directs him or her to the appropriate person. As visitors are in a new environment, they may fell ill at ease. The receptionist should try to make them feel relaxed and comfortable.