Thursday, December 30, 2010

Britain is covered in snow

This is a photograph of Britain, taken from a satellite a few days ago


In recent years, many places in England have had no snow at all. But this year, the snow stretches from Lands End (in the far south west of England) to John O’Groats (in the far north east of Scotland).

This winter they could ski from Lands End to John O’Groats, but it is so cold that I strongly advise them to wear clothes this time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Money Words (Financial Vocabulary)

Xin chào !
Bài này giải thích 1 số từ thông dụng về tài chính như Compensate,Currency ,insufficient funds,Credit, Borrowing, and Interest .

Chúc các bạn học tiếng Anh tốt .


This page gives a simple explanation of common money words (financial terminology) and banking. After reading it, there’s a link to a quiz to check your understanding.

Money Words: Types of payment and compensation

a pile of coins

To compensate- to give something-- usually money-- in return for something else-- (most often work.) Common words for compensation for labor include salary (an agreed payment by the month or year-- not based on the number of hours worked-- for higher level-services), wages (usually paid by the hour), earnings, and pay.

They all mean basically the same thing, except that manual laborers (including factory workers, fast food workers, etc.) are paid wages, not a salary.

Types of money: Currency is the money currently in use in a country, including paper money (bills) and (metal) coins. Cash is money in one’s hand-- bills and coins, as compared to checks, money orders, or credit cards, which can be converted into money at a bank or often at an ATM (automatic teller machine.)

Fees are charges for services. For example, a bank may charge fees for checking accounts, loan processing, or to cover “bounced” checks (when the check writer had insufficient funds in his account to cover the check he wrote.) Sometimes banks will reduce or waive (eliminate) certain fees as an incentive (encouragement) for customers to open a high-value savings account.

Financing Growth: Credit, Borrowing, and Interest

a bank building

When a company (or a person) does not have sufficient (enough) savings to meet their needs or goals (for example, a planned expansion of the business or the acquisition of another company that they can use to increase future profits), they may borrow the necessary money. A bank will lend (loan) money on credit.

The company will need to pay it back later with interest, which is an extra payment (usually a percentage of the amount they borrowed) in return for the opportunity to use the bank’s money for a certain period of time.

The money that is borrowed is called a loan. (However, money borrowed in order to buy a house is a mortgage. Mortgage rules and payments can be very complicated!) The lender (usually a bank or other financial institution) is also called the creditor. A person who borrows money from someone else is a debtor, since they owe them that money (the debt.)

Sometimes English learners aren’t sure how to use certain money words relating to lending and borrowing. Remember that to lend or to loan is to give money (or something else, like a tool or book) for a certain period of time and to borrow is to receive (get) it. Here are a few more hints:

You can ask someone “Can I borrow $5.00?” or “Could you please lend/loan me $5.00?” In English we don’t say “Please borrow me $5.00.” That leaves it unclear who would be the lender and who would be the borrower.

The person with the money may answer, “Sure! I’ll be glad to lend you $5.00,” or “No way! You didn’t repay me the last time you borrowed some money!”

Financial Decision-making

To allocate is to decide where (note ‘locate’) to use or invest resources (money, time, etc.). The best allocation will depend on a company’s current circumstances-- how much money and staff is available, what the best opportunities are, etc. To avoid unintended consequences (unexpected results), managers will make such decisions in conformity with the best business practices. (To conform is to fit into or follow what others do.)

A company’s Board of Directors will establish policies they expect the CEO and department managers to implement (put into practice.) Smart policies with excellent implementation will result in generating maximum profits.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Is It Hot, Or Not?

Luyện tập tiếng Anh bằng cách trả lời các câu đố  vui …

Look at the sentences below and say whether they are true or false. Tip: back up your answers with evidence, for example, the average temperature in °F or °C for each world city:

1. In January it is normally hotter in Jakarta than in Dublin.

2. In March it is normally hotter in Berlin than in Canberra.

3. In July it is normally colder in Buenos Aires than in London.

4. In May it is normally colder in Riyadh than in Bern.

5. In September it is normally hotter in Abu Dhabi than in Rome.

6. In July it is normally colder in Taipei than in Lima.

7. In January it is normally colder in Montreal than in Cape Town.

8. In May it is normally colder in Madrid than in Amsterdam.

9. In November it is normally hotter in Colombo than in Toronto.

10. In September it is normally colder in Beijing than in New Delhi.

11. In March it is normally colder in Paris than in Wellington.

12. In May it is normally hotter in Ottawa than in Kuwait City.

13. In July it is normally hotter in Cairo than in Mexico City.

14. In November it is normally colder in Brasilia than in Nairobi.

15. In March it is normally hotter in Lusaka than in Algiers.

16. In July it is normally hotter in Belgrade than in Karachi.

17. In November it is normally colder in Accra than in Miami.

18. In September it is normally colder in Tokyo than in Stockholm.

19. In May it is normally hotter in Edinburgh than in Athens.

20. In September it is normally hotter in Kuwait City than in Melbourne.

Good luck!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A man is driving through the countryside

A man is driving through the countryside when he sees a sign that reads "Pigs for sale, next left". Curiosity got the better of him and he turned into the farm.

The farmer greets him at the gate and asks him which pig he wants. The man, having no experience of buying pigs simply points at one and asks "how much is that one?".

The farmer grabs the pig's tail between his teeth, lifts the pig off the floor and says "£200" Slightly confused, the man says :

"thats a bit expensive, how about that one" and points at another pig.

Again the father picks up the pig by the tail between his teeth and says "that ones heavier, so it'll be about £250".

"Heavier?" said the man, "am i supposed to believe you are weighing them"

"Yes said the farmer, that’s how you weigh pigs, everybody knows that, ask my daughter"

The man turns to his daughter and sure enough she says "that’s how you weigh pigs". By this point the man is sure he is being conned, and is about to leave when the farmer says,

"hang on, I'll prove that this is how you weigh pigs, ask my wife". To which his daughter added "Oh, you can't ask her, she's weighing the postman".

Monday, July 5, 2010

Solution to the IRS Mess: Eliminate the Corporate Income Tax

Guess post from Matthew J. Franck about Corporate Income Tax

While everyone is quite rightly outraged by the abuses of the IRS in singling out conservative group for audits, intrusive inquiries, and endless delays on approval of their tax-exempt status, it has occurred to me that there is one simple solution to the problem that would not require nearly as much reform of the politically corrupt agency.

Get rid of the corporate income tax.

As David Rivkin and Lee Casey explained at the Wall Street Journal the other day:

The IRS crackdown on tax-exemption approvals for conservative groups was directed at nonprofit social-welfare groups, often called 501(c)(4)s after the Internal Revenue Code section granting them tax-exempt status. Such groups do not have to disclose their donors and are exempt from most taxation, although donations to them generally aren’t tax deductible.

Social-welfare organizations are permitted to engage in a range of political activities promoting their causes or beliefs, so long as these activities aren’t their “primary purpose.” This has been generally understood to mean that they must spend less than 50% of their total resources on political activities.

The IRS had little interest in 501(c)(4) political activities until the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform. That law barred dedicated political-advocacy groups from soliciting and spending soft money—funds that aren’t subject to tight federal campaign-contribution limits and are used for issue advocacy and party-building. . . .

Yet McCain-Feingold had the unintended effect of making 501(c)(4) political activities far more important than they had been, since the law’s ban on soft money doesn’t apply to such groups. . . .

So the entire hang-up in the IRS bureaucracy was whether groups claiming 501(c)(4) status could deservedly claim that designation. Did they devote the majority of their resources to non-political (educational or social) activities? How to determine which activities were political? And so on, and so on. The law is a veritable invitation to bureaucratic abuse, if one is inclined to succumb to such temptations.

But the point of claiming the status is so that your incorporated 501(c)(4) “social welfare organization” doesn’t have to pay corporate income taxes on the money it raises. If there were no corporate income tax in the first place, the issue simply wouldn’t arise.

It would, of course, be a nice bonus that eliminating the corporate income tax (which many economists believe is a deeply stupid form of taxation anyway) would give a nice boost to the economy. As one also learned in the Journal this week, America’s high corporate tax rate leads to all sorts of nonsense that intelligent lawyers and accountants have to cope with as creatively as they can. If we suddenly had the world’s lowest corporate rate–zero–in the world’s largest economy, imagine the effects.

So just get rid of it. No more corporate income tax, no more worries about which corporations have to pay it, and no more proctologic exams from the IRS about what degree of “politics” people are engaged in under the corporate form.

The only question that would remain is whose donors get the charitable tax deduction now allowed under section 501(c)(3). I would extend it to any nonprofit–even to the two great political parties–and eliminate the “Johnson amendment” barring 501(c)(3) entities from engaging in lobbying and electoral politics. That’s of dubious constitutionality anyway, especially as applied to the question of “pulpit politics” in churches.

Video : Toy Story from Australia network

Nghe “Câu chuyện đồ chơi” bài học Anh văn từ Australia Network






We'll look at the expression 'by far', the phrasal verb 'move on', and a common irregular past tense.

We love it I think Yeah Something we have a passion for both of us, both collecting and meeting collectors and promoting the hobby as a hobby. We're the biggest toy show in the southern hemisphere by far. We usually get around 24oo people over the two days. There's 328 tables today. Each year I always vow like a month earlier "that's it, this is the last one" I've just, it's too much. As soon as when I walked into the hall by "Ah, this is great! This is super." There's always items you hope to see. You're looking for that ultimate one that you haven't got or the ones you don't have but you don't always think you'll find it but you hope you do.

It's the biggest toy show in the Southern hemisphere 'by far'. 'By far' means by a long way or to a large degree. It's much bigger than any other toy show in the southern hemisphere. The southern hemisphere is Australia, New Zealand, some parts of Africa and South America, and Antarctica. It sounds more impressive than just saying the biggest in Australia.
And what are people looking for at the biggest toy show in the southern hemisphere?

As kids you rip it open, you play with it. To find something mint in the box still attached very rare. And that's why the price - $600, but , there's people with that sort of money to spend and it just keeps going up every year.

Something mint in the box. Here, mint means in perfect condition. The collectors want a toy that has not been taken out of the box and played with. Or they want something that completes a collection:

So there's probably a hundred or 200 figures that I'm just still looking for. I saw 'em here last year and I missed 'em, I said to the guy "I'll think about it, I'll come back" and when I came back they were gone. So , found 'em this year, which was good.

Notice that he uses the future tense form of 'come':

I said to the guy "I'll think about it, I'll come back"

And then the irregular past tense, came:

and when I came back they were gone.

Now listen for 'move on':

I got a first one given to me from my Auntie and it started from there. We used to just go to markets and fairs and stuff and it grew into this obsession and I've got more under the desk and it's just ponies everywhere. Just the enjoyment that it brought me I just want people to sot of have the same. Yeah, I just decided to move on.

She's decided to 'move on'. She is now interested in other things.
Why has she moved on?

I've got real horses and they're more important to me now. I'm not fussed. I'm happy to let them go.

She's 'moved on' to real horses. And she's 'not fussed' about selling the toy horses - this means she's not upset about it.
So we've seen that came is the past tense of come, that mint can mean 'in perfect condition' and that by far means by a large amount.
We'll finish with the expression 'thrill of the hunt' which means the excitement of searching for something you really want:

Collecting is very addictive. So you never stop. It's the thrill of the hunt knowing that you're looking for something that you'd like to find and then suddenly finding it and then the pride of ownership of that item that you have spent a lot of time looking for, wanting to find and finding it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tyler Fernengel BMX Stunts | Funny Video

Tyler Fernengel showing off his crazy BMX skills that will most likely get you killed if you try them.

Monday, April 12, 2010

First African-American to Win a Pulitzer Prize for Literature

Chào các bạn!

Hôm nay chúng ta nghe về Gwendolyn Brooks , nhà thơ Mỹ gốc Phi đầu tiên đoạt giải Pulitzer , 1 giải thưởng danh giá về văn chương của Mỹ .




SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: I’m Shirley Griffith.
SARA LONG: And I’m Sarah Long with the VOA Special English program, PEOPLE IN AMERICA. Today we tell about the life of award-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks. She was the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize for Literature.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Gwendolyn Brooks wrote hundreds of poems during her lifetime. She had more than twenty books published. She was known around the world for using poetry to increase understanding about black culture in America.

Gwendolyn Brooks wrote many poems about being black during the nineteen forties and nineteen fifties. Her poems described conditions among the poor, racial inequality and drug use in the black community. She also wrote poems about the struggles of black women.
But her skill was more than her ability to write about struggling black people. She was an expert at the language of poetry. She combined traditional European poetry styles with the African American experience.
SARA LONG: Gwendolyn Brooks once said that she wrote about what she saw and heard in the street. She said she found most of her material looking out of the window of her second-floor apartment house in Chicago, Illinois.
In her early poetry, Gwendolyn Brooks wrote about the South Side of Chicago. The South Side of Chicago is where many black people live. In her poems, the South Side is called Bronzeville. It was “A Street in Bronzeville” that gained the attention of literary experts in nineteen-forty-five. Critics praised her poetic skill and her powerful descriptions about the black experience during the time. The Bronzeville poems were her first published collection.
Here she is reading from her nineteen forty-five collection, “A Street in Bronzeville.”
GWENDOLYN BROOKS: “My father, it is surely a blue place and straight. Right, regular, where I shall find no need for scholarly nonchalance or looks a little to the left or guards upon the heart.”
SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: In nineteen fifty, Gwendolyn Brooks became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. She won the prize for her second book of poems called “Annie Allen.” “Annie Allen” is a collection of poetry about the life of a Bronzeville girl as a daughter, a wife and mother. She experiences loneliness, loss, death and being poor.
Ms. Brooks said that winning the prize changed her life.
Her next work was a novel written in nineteen fifty-three called “Maud Martha.” “Maud Martha” received little notice when it first published. But now it is considered an important work by some critics. Its main ideas about the difficult life of many women are popular among female writers today.
SARA LONG: Gwendolyn Brooks wrote poems about the black experience in America. She described the anger many blacks had about racial injustice and the feeling of being different. She used poetry to criticize those who did not show respect for the poor. Yet for all the anger in her writing, Gwendolyn Brooks was considered by many to be a gentle spirit and a very giving person.
By the early nineteen sixties, Ms. Brooks had reached a high point in her writing career. She was considered one of America’s leading black writers. She was a popular teacher. She was praised for her use of language and the way people identified with her writing.
SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Gwendolyn Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas in nineteen seventeen. But she grew up in Chicago. She began writing when she was eleven years old. She mailed several poems to a community newspaper in Chicago to surprise her family.
In a radio broadcast in nineteen sixty-one, Ms. Brooks said her mother urged her to develop her poetic skills:
GWENDOLYN BROOKS: My mother took me to the library when, I guess, I was about four or five. I enjoyed reading poetry and I tried to write it when I was, I think, about seven, at the time that I first tried to put rhymes together. And I have loved it ever since.”
SARA LONG: Gwendolyn Brooks married Henry L. Blakely in nineteen thirty-nine. Henry Blakely was a young writer who later published his own poetry. They lived in Chicago for the next thirty years, divorced in nineteen sixty-nine, but re-united in nineteen seventy-three. They had two children, Nora Brooks Blakely and Henry Blakely.
Throughout her life, Ms. Brooks supported herself through speaking appearances, poetry readings and part-time teaching in colleges. She also received money from organizations that offered grants designed to support the arts.
SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: One of Gwendolyn Brooks's most famous poems is called “We Real Cool”. It is a short poem that talks about young people feeling hopeless:
We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We
Die soon.
SARA LONG: By the end of the nineteen sixties, Gwendolyn Brooks’s poetry expanded from the everyday experiences of people in Bronzeville. She wrote about a wider world and dealt with important political issues. She won praise for her sharper, real-life poetic style.
Gwendolyn Brooks was affected by the civil rights struggles and social changes taking place in America. She began to question her relations with whites. She said she felt that black poets should write for black people.
That became evident in her next collection of poetry in nineteen sixty-eight called “In the Mecca.” Critics suggested Ms. Brooks had become too political and seemed to be writing only for black people. Her new poems received little notice in the press.
In some of her poems, Gwendolyn Brooks described how what people see in life is affected by who they are. One example is this poem, “Corners on the Curving Sky”:

Our earth is round, and, among other things
That means that you and I can hold completely different
Points of view and both be right.
The difference of our positions will show
Stars in your window. I cannot even imagine.
Your sky may burn with light,
While mine, at the same moment,
Spreads beautiful to darkness.
Still, we must choose how we separately corner
The circling universe of our experience
Once chosen, our cornering will determine
The message of any star and darkness we encounter.

SARA LONG: Although her poetry did not receive much notice in the press, Gwendolyn Brooks continued to receive honors. She was chosen poet laureate of the state of Illinois in nineteen sixty-eight. In nineteen seventy-six, she became the first black woman to be elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters. She received a lifetime achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts in nineteen eighty-nine. And she was named the nineteen ninety-four Jefferson Lecturer by the National Endowment for the Humanities. That is the highest honor given by the federal government for work in the humanities.
Ms. Brooks once said that of all the awards she received, there was only one that meant a lot to her. It was given to her at a workshop in an old theater in Chicago. She said: “I was given an award for just being me, and that’s what poetry is to me – just being me.”
SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Although she was well known, Gwendolyn Brooks lived a quiet life. She said her greatest interest was being involved with young people. She spent time giving readings at schools, prisons and hospitals. She also attended yearly poetry competitions for Chicago children. She often paid for the awards given to the winners.
In nineteen sixty-two, President John F. Kennedy asked Ms. Brooks to speak at a Library of Congress poetry festival. Soon after, she began teaching creative writing at universities in Chicago, New York, and Wisconsin. She liked working with students. She felt that young people would lead the way in healing the wounds of the United States civil rights movement of the nineteen sixties. To honor her work, Chicago State University formed the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Creative Writing and Black literature.
SARA LONG: Gwendolyn Brooks influenced many African American writers. Friends say her prize-winning works also helped other black Americans to develop their own sense of identity and culture.
Doctors discovered Ms. Brooks had cancer in November, two thousand. She died December third at her home in Chicago. She was eighty-three.
The funeral service was held on the South Side, the same area of the city that had been a window for much of Ms. Brooks’s poetry. The service was at times filled with laughter. There were warm remembrances of a woman whose life and words had touched people forever. African drums sounded and dancers leaped.
SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: This Special English program was written and produced by Cynthia Kirk. Our studio engineer was Holly Capeheart. I’m Shirley Griffith.
SARA LONG: And I’m Sarah Long. Join us again next week for another PEOPLE IN AMERICA program on the Voice of America.




racial  :

a person who has radical ideas or opinions

nonchalance ['nɑnʃəlɑns /'nɒnʃələns]

noun the trait of remaining calm and seeming not to care; a casual lack of concern


criticize  ['krɪtɪsaɪz]  verb

find fault with; express criticism of; point out real or perceived flaws


Chia sẻ kinh nghiệm học tiếng để cùng tiến bộ nhé!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kinh nghiệm học ngoại ngữ qua internet

1. Những kinh nghiệm chung

- Học đều đặn hàng ngày theo cách “mưa dầm thấm lâu”, chứ không nên học dồn vào một lúc mà lại ngắt quãng số lần học quá lâu. Sở dĩ cần đưa điều này lên trước là vì khóa học tiếng Anh trực tuyến không đòi hỏi về thời gian “lên lớp” nên nhiều người không chủ động được thời gian học tập. Hãy chủ động học tập hàng ngày với thời gian hợp lí, bạn vừa duy trì được thói quen học tập nề nếp, lại thấy được sự tiến bộ của mình hàng ngày.

- Hãy tận dụng tối đa những tiện ích mà internet và chương trình đào tạo tiếng Anh trực tuyến mang lại để học tập hiệu quả nhất: sử dụng từ điển trực tuyến, tìm kiếm qua google để học bằng các mẫu vật, hình ảnh, đọc các trang web tiếng Anh…

- Gọi cho trung tâm hỗ trợ học viên của các chương trình đào tạo tiếng Anh qua internet để nhận được trợ giúp nhanh hơn và được tư vấn nhiều hơn.

2. Kinh nghiệm để học tốt tiếng Anh giao tiếp quốc tế

Theo cô Nguyễn Thị Thúy, giáo viên online của trang web, để học tốt tiếng Anh giao tiếp quốc tế thông qua internet các bạn học viên cần lưu ý: Chương trình đào tạo của Global Education đã có các bước học tập rất khoa học. Vì thế, khi học tập, các bạn nên học theo hướng dẫn của hệ thống. Chú ý luyện nói nhiều bằng cách luyện ngữ âm và luyện các mẫu câu thông dụng, tận dụng tối đa sự hỗ trợ của audio, video hay flash để học tập, giúp rèn luyện các kĩ năng nghe nói đọc viết một cách tốt nhất.

3. Học tiếng Anh trung học và ôn thi đại học như thế nào cho tốt?

Những kinh nghiệm học tiếng Anh của các bạn trung học được cô Vũ Bích Thanh, giáo viên online của trang đào tạo tiếng Anh trung học trên internet phổ biến:

- Khi học tập và ôn thi trắc ngiệm, các bạn học sinh nên ôn từng dạng bài trước cho nhuần nhuyễn rồi mới làm bài tập tổng hợp. Và nên ôn tập từ lớp 10, đến lớp 12, không nên nhảy cóc. Bởi vì, khi học tập và ôn luyện theo trình tự lớp học các bạn sẽ có cơ sở để hệ thống kiến thức và tận dụng tối đa tư liệu đã có trên trang tiếng Anh trung học này.

4. Kinh nghiệm để học tốt tiếng Anh chuyên ngành qua internet

- Khi học tiếng Anh chuyên ngành qua internet , các bạn nên tận dụng tối đa sự hỗ trợ của hệ thống audio để học và luyện phát âm từ mới (từ chuyên ngành thường khó phát âm và khó nhớ). Khi gặp các chuyên ngành lạ, học viên nên dựa vào hình ảnh video để hiểu nội dung và nghĩa nhanh hơn.

- Với mỗi bài học trong tiếng Anh chuyên ngành, học viên cũng nên tận dụng hệ thống internet để tìm kiếm các bài có chủ đề (topic) tương tự để bổ sung vốn từ, rèn lại các kĩ năng sử dụng ngôn ngữ.

- Thường xuyên làm thêm phần ngân hàng bài tập của chương trình đào tạo để mở rộng vốn từ của mỗi chuyên ngành. Sau đó hãy tập nói lại theo nội dung để luyện nói và sử dụng các từ, cấu trúc mới học.

- Muốn học tốt tiếng Anh chuyên ngành, trước hết, các học viên cũng phải có hiểu biết về kiến thức nền của chuyên ngành đó bằng tiếng Việt thì mới dễ dàng hiểu nó bằng tiếng Anh.

5. Những “thủ thuật” để loại bỏ thời gian chờ đợi khi học tập qua mạng internet

- Chọn trang web học tập của bạn làm trang chủ (vào Tools, chọn internet options, gõ địa chỉ trang web vào ô address, sau đó chọn apply, và chọn ok, là bạn đã có một trang chủ như mong muốn) để tiện lợi hơn cho học tập và đây cũng là một lời nhắc nhở dành cho các bạn khi các bạn lên mạng mà “quên” không học tập!

- Khi bạn sử dụng phần hỗ trợ audio hay video của hệ thông để học tập, có thể bạn phải chờ hơi lâu (khoảng 15 giây) do khi soạn bài, các giáo viên online thường để phần âm thanh rất tốt, nên dung lượng lớn và có thể do có nhiều người cùng chọn nghe một lúc. Nếu không muốn chờ đợi, khi hệ thống báo “buffering…” (đang tải dự liệu về máy), các bạn hãy nhấn vào nút stop, sau đó nhấn vào play để không phải chờ đợi.

Kinh nghiệm học tiếng Anh vốn đã có rất nhiều và đã được xuất bản thành nhiều cuốn sách khác nhau. Tuy nhiên, kinh nghiệm để học qua internet thì không phải là ai cũng đã biết. Hi vọng bài viết này giúp các bạn học online học tập hiệu quả hơn và yêu thích hình thức học tập mang tính thời đại này.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Six Researchers Who Gave All to Their Work | English Audio

Nghe Audio về các nhà khoa học cống hiến nghiên cứu cho nhân loại.



SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: At the start of the twentieth century, the United States Army had a Yellow Fever Commission. The Army wanted medical experts to study yellow fever and find a way to stop the disease. One team went to Cuba to test the idea that mosquitoes spread yellow fever. The team was led by Walter Reed, the Army doctor and scientist noted for his work on infectious diseases.

In August of nineteen hundred, the researchers began to raise mosquitoes and infect them with the virus. Nine of the Americans let the infected insects bite them. Nothing happened. Then two more let the mosquitoes bite them. Both men developed yellow fever.

CHRISTOPHER CRUISE: A doctor named Jesse William Lazear recognized that the mosquitoes that bit the last two men had been older than the others. Doctor Lazear proved that mosquitoes did carry yellow fever.

Researcher Jesse Lazear

Researcher Jesse Lazear

Doctor Lazear himself was also bitten. No one is sure how it happened. He said it happened accidentally as he treated others. But some people said he placed the mosquito on his arm as part of the experiment. Medical historians say he may have reported the bite as an accident so his family would not be denied money from his life insurance policy.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Jesse Lazear died of yellow fever. His death shocked the others on the team in Cuba. But they continued their work.

More people let themselves be bitten by mosquitoes. Others were injected with blood from the victims of yellow fever. Some people in this test group developed the disease, but all recovered to full health.

Members of the team praised the work by Jesse Lazear. They called it a sacrifice to research that led the way to one of the greatest medical discoveries of the century.

CHRISTOPHER CRUISE: The research answered the question of how yellow fever was spread. Now the question was how to protect people. The researchers had a theory. They thought that people who were bitten by infected mosquitoes, but recovered, were protected in the future.

To test this idea, the team in Cuba offered one hundred dollars to anyone who would agree to be bitten by infected mosquitoes. Nineteen people agreed. The only American was Clara Maass. She was a nurse who worked with yellow fever patients in Cuba.

Nurse Clara Maass

Nurse Clara Maass

Clara Maass was bitten by infected mosquitoes seven times between March and August of nineteen-oh-one. Only one of the nineteen people developed the disease -- until that August. Then seven people got yellow fever. Clara Maass died six days after she was bitten for the seventh time.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: The experiment showed that the bite of an infected mosquito was not a safe way to protect people from yellow fever. Medical historians say the death of Clara Maass also created a public protest over the use of humans in yellow fever research. Such experiments ended.

Cuba and the United States both honored Clara Maass on postage stamps. And today a hospital in her home state of New Jersey is known as the Clara Maass Medical Center.


CHRISTOPHER CRUISE: Joseph Goldberger was a doctor for the United States Public Health Service. In nineteen twelve, he began to study a skin disease that was killing thousands of people in the South. The disease was pellagra.

Doctor Goldberger traveled to the state of Mississippi where many people suffered from pellagra. He studied the victims and their families. Most of the people were poor. The doctor came to believe that the disease was not infectious, but instead related to diet.

He received permission from the state governor to test this idea at a prison. Prisoners were offered pardons if they took part. One group of prisoners received their usual foods, mostly corn products. A second group ate meat, fresh vegetables and milk.

Members of the first group developed pellagra. The second group did not.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: But some medical researchers refused to accept that a poor diet caused pellagra. For the South, pellagra was more than simply a medical problem. There were other issues involved, including Southern pride.

So Doctor Goldberger had himself injected with blood from a person with pellagra. He also took liquid from the nose and throat of a pellagra patient and put them into his own nose and throat. He even swallowed pills that contained skin from pellagra patients.

An assistant also took part in the experiments. So did Doctor Goldberger's wife. None of them got sick. Later, the doctor discovered that a small amount of dried brewer's yeast each day could prevent pellagra.

Dr. Joseph Goldberger

Dr. Joseph Goldberger

Joseph Goldberger died of cancer in nineteen twenty-nine. He was fifty-five years old. Several years later, researchers discovered the exact cause of pellagra: a lack of the B vitamin known as niacin.


CHRISTOPHER CRUISE: Matthew Lukwiya was the medical administrator of Saint Mary’s Hospital in the Gulu District of northern Uganda. In two thousand, the hospital was the center of treatment for an outbreak of Ebola. The virus causes severe bleeding. No cure is known. Doctors can only hope that victims are strong enough to survive.

Doctor Lukwiya acted quickly to control the spread of infection. He kept the people with Ebola separate from the other patients. He ordered hospital workers to wear protective clothing and follow other safety measures.

One day he had to deal with a patient who was dying of Ebola. The man had been acting out of control. The doctor knew him well. The patient was a nurse who worked at the hospital. The man was coughing and bleeding. Doctor Lukwiya violated one of his own rules. He wore no protection over his eyes.

Matthew Lukwiya died from the virus in December of two thousand. He was only forty-two years old. Ugandans mourned his death. He was an important influence in the community. Experts say his work during the outbreak helped stop the Ebola virus from spreading out of control.


SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: On February twenty-eighth, two thousand three, the Vietnam-France Hospital in Hanoi asked Carlo Urbani for help. The Italian doctor was an expert on communicable diseases. He was based in Vietnam for the World Health Organization.

The hospital asked Doctor Urbani to help identify an unusual infection. He recognized it as a new threat. He made sure other hospitals increased their infection-control measures.

On March eleventh, Doctor Urbani developed signs of severe acute respiratory syndrome. Four days later, the World Health Organization declared it a worldwide health threat.

Carlo Urbani was the first doctor to warn the world of the disease that became known as SARS. He died of it on March twenty-ninth, two thousand three. He was forty-six years old.


CHRISTOPHER CRUISE: Our final medical hero is an American: molecular biologist Anita Roberts. She was widely recognized by other researchers for her work with a protein called transforming growth factor-beta. TGF-beta can both heal wounds and make healthy cells cancerous.

In nineteen seventy-six, Anita Roberts joined the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. She worked for many years with another researcher, Michael Sporn.

They found that TGF-beta helps to heal wounds and is important in the body’s defense system against disease. At the same time, though, the two scientists found that the protein can also support the growth of cancer in some cells.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Between nineteen eighty-three and two thousand two, Anita Roberts published more than three hundred forty research papers. Many other scientists gave credit to her published work. In fact, the publication Science Watch listed her as the forty-ninth most-cited researcher in the world during that twenty-year period. She was the third most-cited female scientist.

But in two thousand four, after years of studying cancer, Anita Roberts learned that she herself had the disease. She died of gastric cancer in May of two thousand six. She was sixty-four years old.


CHRISTOPHER CRUISE: Our program was written by Nancy Steinbach and George Grow. June Simms was our producer. I'm Christopher Cruise.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Michael Jackson [ Video ]

Jim Stroud, who works for English Cafe, has sent us an e-mail about an English language teaching video that he has recently made. The video is about the death of the pop artist Michael Jackson. You can watch it on the screen below. I like the way that Jim puts text on the screen as he is speaking to explain words and phrases that you might not understand.

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