Day 56 New Zealand’s Nuclear-Free Zone

Since 1984, / New Zealand has refused entry to ships / that are either nuclear powered or carrying nuclear weapons. // The country’s anti-nuclear stance took shape / in the 1960s and ’70s, / when France conducted nuclear experiments / at a site / on a remote island / in the Pacific Ocean. // Concerned about the harmful effects / of these explosions, / New Zealand’s government passed a law / making the country a nuclear-free zone. // While other nations, / including Japan, / have an anti-nuclear policy, / only New Zealand’s zone is part of a country’s official law. // Strict opposition / to nuclear weapons / has become part of New Zealand’s culture. // Political support / for the law / among the country’s citizens / has been remarkably stable / for more than 30 years. //


Day 57 Peace in Our Time

With newspapers / full of stories / about crime and war, / it may seem like / the world is getting more violent every day. // But in fact, / the world may actually be becoming a more peaceful place. // Harvard researcher Steven Pinker says / our generation is living / in the most peaceful time / in history. // By examining historical data, / he came to the conclusion / that our ancestors were far more likely / to become victims of violence / than we are now. // In Pinker’s analysis, / several factors have reduced violence dramatically / in the past 2,000 years. // One is the development of legal systems / to settle conflicts / and punish criminals. // Another is trade, / which encourages people / to see people from other cultures / as potential customers and partners, / rather than enemies / to be fought. //


Day 58 Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is / not only one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood, / she is also one of the highest paid. // But although she performs in movies / and everyone recognizes her, / she has a passion / for helping people in need. // She has gone abroad many times / to places all around the world / where there is danger. // She is active in assisting people / who struggle just to live. // She has served / as a United Nations goodwill ambassador. // Jolie hopes / to bring attention / to the terrible conditions / that exist around the world. // She has built a wildlife park in Cambodia / and paid for schools and medicine / for people / who are suffering around the world. //


Day 59 War and Refugees

At any moment, / in many places around the world, / there are wars and other types of violent conflict. // Innocent people suffer wounds / as guns and other weapons threaten their lives. // Huge streams of people are forced / to escape from their native lands, / often leaving most of their belongings behind. // These people end up in rough evacuee camps, /

where there is usually not enough food or medicine / to meet their needs. // Many of them have to beg for food /

to feed themselves and their families. // This is a horrible way / to live. // No one should have such experiences. // War and violence leaves scars / not only on people’s bodies / but also on their minds. //


Day 60 Food Shortages

In our modern world, / we face / a range of social, political and economic problems. // One of them is food. // Scientists disagree about the complex issue /

of the world’s food situation. // Many warn / that a disaster is coming / because the world’s population continues to explode. // Others say / that the earth can provide the quantities of food / we need / but there are problems / with transportation and how we distribute food. // If that is truly the problem, / it is a shame. // Every day, / in many of the world’s countries, / people are getting sick / and dying / because they don’t have enough food. // Perhaps / we need to find / more responsible ways / to run our food distribution systems. //


Day 51 Cooperation: A Way to Win

When people are anxious or in terrible situations / they adapt their behavior / in order to survive. // The most helpful behavior / is the ability to cooperate. // People who do not possess great strength or attractiveness / are often extra skilled at working with others. // Such people emphasize / treating everyone with kindness. // Always considerate of others, / they apologize / when they make errors. // They show sound judgment / when making any decision. // They promote teamwork / and reject selfish behavior. // They refer to others with respect. // It is to their credit / that those people who work at developing cooperation skills / will be great successes in life. //


Day 52 The Learning Environment Best for You

My nephew Tim was a smart student. // When he was 14, / the best private high school / in the city / offered him a generous scholarship. // However, Tim said no. // His favorite teacher, Mr. Borel, had studied there. // He was fond of Tim, / and he felt / the young man wouldn’t enjoy the atmosphere there. // Mr. Borel said / that the school put pressure on students / to study all the time, / but he thought / Tim needed more freedom / to develop his identity. // Tim accepted Mr. Borel’s frank advice / and , therefore, chose a school / with a less serious environment. // He got excellent grades / and also worked as a volunteer / for many causes. // He went on to a good university / and is now the president of an international charity. //


Day 53 Studying vs. Learning

Just as there is a big difference / between hearing and listening, / there is a big difference / between studying and learning. // Hearing is what your ears do. // Listening is / what your brain does. // With today’s technology, / information is easy / to find / if you just search for it. // Of course, it is important / to develop your memory, / but when you learn, / you develop the ability / to confirm and explain your knowledge and understanding. // This is also important / for learning new languages. // You can memorize vocabulary, / but if you can’t make a sentence, / you can’t communicate. // Through learning, / you develop your own original thoughts. // Indeed, there is a limit / to how much you can remember, / but there is no limit / to how much you can learn. //


Day 54 Choosing a College Major

When it is time / to decide your college major, / it is very important / to think about / what you want to do / with your life. // Suppose / you want to become a lawyer. // That means / you will have to study law. // But many young people don’t know / what they want to become. // In that case, / it is best / to discuss the situation / with a counselor / who can direct you / toward suitable classes. // Of course, / you need to study hard, / but you also need to have some fun. // A counselor can help you / find a balance / between study and leisure. // Your major should not be a sudden decision. // Many students do not decide / until their junior year. // Your counselor can help you / find the best way / to take advantage of your options / when you are in college. //


Day 55 The Importance of School

Education has a huge effect / on the degree of success / a person has in life. // No research is needed to know / that concentrating on your studies / along with a good attitude / will help you get good grades. // With them, / you will be able to accomplish getting into the university / you want, / which will help you find a good job. // Indeed, / doing well at school / can form the basis of a happy life. // Evidence suggests / that career success affects health, / and, basically, / health affects happiness. // Your behavior now / can affect / not only your personal growth / but your entire future! // If you can develop a strong will / and a firm belief in yourself and what you can do, / you are sure to be a success. //


Day 46 Advice for Job Hunters

To get a dream job, / you should apply to companies / that you have researched / and found interesting. // In order to succeed in your search, / it’s best / to focus on a field / you like / and sort through the jobs in that area. // What matters the most is / that you commit yourself / to the job search. // A polished résumé and clear cover letter / to accompany it / will keep your information from being buried / in the pile of résumés / an interviewer receives. // Hopefully, you will be granted an interview. // Looking and acting your best / can help distinguish you / from the other applicants. // Don’t dismiss even small opportunities, / and act on every lead or chance you get. // You won’t regret it / if you just keep active in your job search. //


Day 47 A Clever Solution to a Difficult Problem

For babies / born into poverty, / easily treated conditions / like fever, cough, and sore throat / can lead to life-threatening illnesses. // Many of these babies could be saved / by incubators. // Incubators are often donated to poor countries, / but the cost / of maintaining these delicate and complicated machines / is too much / for most hospitals / in the developing world. // To solve this problem, / an American engineering company created the Neonurture, / an inexpensive incubator made from easily available automobile parts. // For instance, / ordinary car headlights keep the temperature / within a healthy range, / an engine filter cleans the air, / and a motorcycle battery provides power. // The Neonurture is a clever solution / that could save thousands of babies’ lives. //


Day 48 Fashion is Pressure

The trouble with the fashion industry is / that it suggests / that we need to buy a lot of expensive things / we really don’t need. // It tells us / that if we want to attract people, / we need to purchase things / we can’t really afford. // It’s better / to spend our money on hobbies and pastimes / that we enjoy. // Pressure from the fashion industry / can lead to stress and mental problems / for both males and females. // But don’t worry. // The truth is / that we should accept ourselves the way we are and develop our own styles. // Ignore trends. // Try to remember / that you are pretty wonderful / just the way you are. //


Day 49 Japan’s Aging Society

Japanese society is quickly getting older, / and it is becoming difficult / to find ways / to take care of the growing number of seniors. // Usually, / older people prefer to stay in their own homes, / where they know their neighbors. // They can feel calm, / surrounded by familiar things. // However, that is seldom possible. // Often, as people age, / they require care / in retirement homes or in hospitals / where they can see specialists. // Another problem is / that private care is expensive / and there are not enough public hospitals. // It is becoming more and more important / that new hospitals and other facilities be established / to take care of Japan’s older people. //


Day 50 Pick Up Your Trash

Pollution isn’t just a matter of dirty air or water. // One of the worst types of pollution / is littering. // Public property / such as parks and gardens / can provide pleasure / for many people. // But unfortunately, some people are lazy. // They leave a trail of empty bottles and cans and food wrappers / wherever they go. // Some people leave newspapers or comic books / on trains. // Others just drop trash / on the streets. // This is not only selfish, / it makes beautiful places ugly. // It is essential / that everybody has good conduct / in public spaces. // This is hardly difficult / to do // ― just take your trash home! // Every individual can help make the world a better place. //


WEEK10 Review: Volunteering

It is pretty easy to dismiss volunteer work as unimportant and uninteresting, especially since we seldom see it in our daily lives. But the truth is that people who apply to help the poor, or the sick, or even just talk to people at a retirement home, know what a pleasure it can be. Organizations that care about the same things you do often require help. It doesn’t matter if you are not particularly clever or have little experience, you simply need to find a group that interests you, and commit yourself to helping.

If finding a volunteer organization seems complicated, it isn’t. One solution is to use one of the many individual websites designed to help you. When you sign up, the site will ask what you enjoy doing (working with children or supporting social issues, for instance). Then it will suggest nearby groups that you can join. Helping out has never been easier.


Day 41 The Red List

Life in all its forms is under threat /all around the world. // The International Union for Conservation of Nature keeps a list of the world’s species /that at present are declining, becoming rare or have become extinct. // It includes all types of living things, / including plants as well as birds, fish, and other animals. // The list is a series of documents / called the IUCN Red List. // Surveys are taken every few years /to update the list. // The function of the Red List is to persuade people / to rescue a portion of the world’s endangered creatures. // It is always sad / to see a species disappear forever. //


Day 42 The Disappearing Islands

Climate change is a crisis / that affects the entire planet, /but the most immediate danger / is to island nations / like the Republic of the Marshall Islands. // If current estimates of rising sea levels are accurate, / most of this country of more than 52,000 people will disappear / before the end of the 21st century. // The islands have already suffered enormous destruction. // Higher tides and more severe storms / wash seawater ashore, / which ruins drinking water / and destroys farmland. // At an international summit, / the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands called for cooperation / between governments and industry / to keep the seas from rising any further. //


Day 43 The Dangers of Nuclear Power

As we increase the rate of our use of electricity, / power companies try to meet our growing needs. // More and more, they rely on nuclear power. // Until the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, / many Japanese people were not aware of the threat / of nuclear power. // They did not realize the amount of trouble / floods could cause. // They didn’t expect / nuclear power plants would become damaged. // Now some people say / all nuclear power plants everywhere should be closed immediately. // In an ideal world, we could produce the power we need / without using nuclear technology, / but for now, we can’t. // There are no easy answers / to these questions. //


Day 44 Air Pollution in China

Air pollution is a problem nearly everywhere, / but some of the world’s worst air pollution is in big cities in China, / such as Beijing and Shanghai. // People who live in those cities say /the air is truly awful. // Children long to play outside, / but the government recommends /that they stay indoors. // If people breathe that dirty air, /the negative effects / it can have on their health / are considerable. // The air also threatens nature. // It can destroy crops and kill animals. // The government has announced plans for improvement, / but nobody knows / how long it will take / for the air to recover. // For the time being, / it’s best / to hide inside. //


Day 45 Protect the Environment

From the peaks of the majestic mountains / to the bottoms of the deep blue seas, / the earth is a beautiful place. // Yet, every day, we send poison / into the air and water / and create mountains of trash. // The growing impact we have on the earth’s environment / has created a moral obligation: // we have to show respect for nature / and save the earth’s natural sights. // Scientists and other experts say / that we must join together and set targets for ways / to improve our environment. //We can make changes / that will preserve the earth’s beauty /for the children of the future. //


WEEK 9 Review: The Declining Bee Population

There is a crisis in the world of bees, and experts are still trying to understand the problem. In North America, and in Europe, the number of bees is declining. At present, the problem mainly affects one species: the “European honeybee.” But this is the most common species used today. And bees do more than make honey. Important food crops rely on these tiny creatures to pollinate them. Losing too many bees could have a considerable impact on the food industry.

Scientists and beekeepers hoping to save the bees have pointed to several possible causes. Many point to insecticides as the main threat. Bees could be harmed by poisons that were meant to kill other insects – an effect that the manufacturers didn’t expect. Other people blame viruses, bacteria and other diseases. But if we don’t find a solution soon, the honeybee population may never recover.


36. Steve Jobs

There has been a revolution / in the way that we store and retrieve information / in recent decades. // Many of these changes were made possible / by a company called Apple and a man named Steve Jobs. // Jobs' influence helped Apple / head into the future / with the largest overall volume of sales / in the computer industry. // Every time Apple launches a new project, / masses of people line up / to buy it. // When Jobs died of cancer at age 56, / he had amassed a vast fortune. // He was also seen / as a very nice fellow. // He was a brilliant businessman, / who always had an eye on the future. //


37. The Secret Collection of Information

It seems / that every day Internet sites / are collecting more and more / of our personal data. // Some organizations use / many hidden tools and instruments / to monitor our surfing habits. // There is a large gap / between the limited information / we think we are sharing / and the background information about us / that these institutions have access to. // Many companies have their share of special departments / run by committees of data specialists / whose only job is to produce Web content / based on private information / taken without our knowledge or consent. // There should be a fine / for acuqiring certain information / without our consent. //


38. The Impact of Container Shipping

The shipping container has had a remarkable impact / on global trade. // By providing / an efficient way of moving cargo on and off ships, / it made / importing and exporting items / far cheaper than before. // As a result, / foreign-made clothes, electronics, and other consumer goods / can now be found / in almost every household. // Loading and unloading ships / was once a well-paid occupation, / but over time, / container ports have become highly automated. // This has had a negative outcome / on communities in traditional port cities, / which have suffered / due to the loss of jobs. //


39. The Roots of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg designed Facebook / in 2004 / when he was a student / at Harvard University. // Originally, he intended to offer a social networking site / just for Harvard students. // Later that year, / other universities joined the site. // The company saw very rapid growth, / and by 2006, people all around the world were using Facebook. // The company is now worth a very large amount of money. // Facebook has a lot of merits. // It is very convenient to use / when you want to arrange a date or an appointment / with a friend. // One of the nice things about Facebook is / that although it is a private company, / it feels like / it belongs to everyone. //


40. Cellphone Manners

Cellphones have become an important part of many people's lives. // Nearly everyone seems to have / one of these helpful devices. // We can use them / to contact people and to find information. // These days, people tend to stare at their collphones / and not watch which direction they are going. // This is especially a problem in crowded when I have to rush. // Sometimes I really want to scream at people. // I don't think / cellphones are going to disappear any time soon, / but I wish / people would watch their manners. //


WEEK8 Review : Communication Devices of the Future

Together, the invention of the cellphone and the internet started a rapid revolution in communications that isn't over yet. Cellphones have almost replaced household phones, and people can contact anyone, anywhere, at any time. We now have access to a remarkable amount of information from a convenient device that fits in the pocket. Twenty years ago, it would have been science fiction.

So what is the next step? Perhaps the next step is helpful technology. While smartphones have many merits, let's face it: they're still pretty dump. We still need to launch applications, press buttons and search for content ourselves. Perhaps the next generation of smartphones will be designed to better understand what we intend to do. Our devices might become so efficient that they will offer to do what we want, at the moment we want to do it. Does that sound like science fiction? In another 20 years, it might not.


31. Amazing Ancient Technology

The first known computer is over 2,000 years old. // The Antikythera mechanism is a marvelous analog computer / that was discovered / in an ancient Greek shipwreck. // The clock-like device has 30 bronze gears, / some of which are minute. // Figures / carved on its case / indicate / that the mechanism computed the movements of planets. // Early theories proposed / that it was a navigational aid. // Current researchers, however, noted / that its delicate construction means / it was unlikely / to have been used on ships. // They believe / it was built / for display, / as an advertisement / for the Greeks' engineering skills and knowledge of the cosmos. //


32. Advanced Science Study in the United States

Commentators in the United States say / not enough Americans have an interest / in pursuing science education. // In advanced science classes at many U.S. universities, / the majority of students are from other countries, / and there are constract complains / by U.S. technology firms / about the shortage of qualified American workers. // Of course, the problem is not / that Americans are less intelligent or patient. // Rather, the way science is covered / in U.S. schools / leads many students / to think it's boring. // Some probably imagine / that a career in science means / staring into a microscope or doing equations all day. //


33. Beautiful Mars

The distant view of the red-orange glow of Mars / in the night sky / is a delight. // For thousands of years, / people have wondered about the possibility / that life might exist on Earth's neighbor. // Some countries / have sent equipment to Mars / to explore its rocks and soil. // The equipment has sent / signals and photographs / back to earth, / and scientists have studied them carefully. // They have yet to find solid proof / that there ever was any life on Mars. // Many people are disappointed / that the question of ancient life on the planet / remains unsolved. //


34. The International Space Station

The International Space Station was created / through cooperation and trust among space agencies / in many countries. // It has been occupied since 2000 / and will probably continue to operate / until 2028. // Doing experiments in space provides many benefits / and help in the progress / of science and technology. // The largest section of the ISS is Japan's Kibo unit. // It has a broad range of purposes. // They include advancing our understanding of life in space / by measuring different effects on the human body. // Russia has proposed / that a new space station be built after 2028. //


35. How to Write a Research Paper

If you wand to be the author of a research paper, / it is very important / to organize your thoughts. // Your paper should have a clear structure. // First, give a brief summary of your ideas. // Then, write paragraphs / that expand on the ideas / to demonstrate your understanding of the topic. // Be sure to consider your topic from different angles. // A feature of a good researth paper is / that it presents clear ideas / and is not dull. // And it is always good idea / to request a friend to be your editor. // If you do all of that, / you should have a good paper. //


WEEK7 Review: Searching for Intelligent Life in Space

For decades, humans have been staring at the cosmos and wondering if other creatures like us exist. As we learn more about our own neighborhood in space, it seems unlikely that anything intelligent is occupying our solar system. And most of our space-watching equipment has been designed to help us learn more about space, not to find alien life. However, for many years, a non-profit organization called SETI has been listening for signals from distant stars that might reveal proof of alien technology. Unfortunately, the organization is small and the universe is huge. It is a impossible task to cover every inch of the sky while listening every day. But recently, more and more distant planets have been discovered. These discoveries could benefit SETI, by giving them specific places to focus on. So be patient; the search isn't over yet. Hearing a signal from space is still a possibility.


26. Manageing Our Memories

Remembering is a curious phenomenon. // By one definition, / memories are the things from the past / that we remember. // Scientifically, / however, / they're chemical connections / between the billions of cells / in our brains. // Experiences / that leave us frightened, mad, or ashamed / cause us / to manufacture stronger connections / in the depths of our minds. // That's why / painful memories are so vivid. // But that could change. // A recent article claims / that one day we'll manage memory like computer dist space / - we'll save valuable lessons and experiences, / while deleting memories / that put us at a disadvantage. //


27. Believe in Yourself

Do you have confidence in yourself? // Self -confident people have qulities / that everyone honors. // They are seen as having courage / and as being relatively slow to anger. // Sadly, many fair and reasonable people describe themselves / as lacking in self-confidence. // In business, these negative thoughts prevent them from becoming winners. // If a presentation is given / by someone nervous or clumsy, / few people will be convinced by it. // On the other hand, / if the presenter speaks clearly, is decisive, and proves his or her point, / we are sold! // Self- confidence can determine success. //


28. Giving Compliments

There's nothing wrong / with giving compliments, / even if you are pretending / and don't mean / what you say. // Giving compliments is a sign of how you regard your close friends. // Compliments make people feel good. // If you desire to keep your relationships smooth, / you can admire the way / your friend looks. // Maybe you like your friend's new haircut. // Or you can compare something you have / with something your friend has. // It is likely / that your friend will respond / with a compliment for you. // That will make yu both feel good. //


29. Learn through Writing a Journal

Some people hate / to learn languages. // But you can find great joy / in expressing yourself or reading a novel in another language. // One great method / for learning / is to write about your daily life / in a foreign language journal. // All you need are simple tools, / like paper and a pen, / and a quiet room. // Write specific details / about recent events in your life. // You can write about things / you have done / with your friends. // Or you can translate things / you have written / in your own language. //


30. Not Hesitating to Help

In most situations, / people hesitate / to bother other people. // They ignore others / they encounter / and just go on with their own lives. // One day, / when I was walking on the street, / a senior citizen was pulling a large piece of luggage. // Unknown to her, / one wheel was loose and about to fall off. // I hesitated slightly, / wondering what I should do. // Nevertheless, I tapped her / on the arm, / pressed the  wheel back / in place to fix it, / and said goodbye. // Reaching out / to help / in such situations / gives us a rare chance to express kindness. // It feels good to help others. //


WEEK6 Review: What is Bravery?

What is your definition of bravery? Most people will likely respond that a brave person is someone who is not frightened. Most people regard firefighters as brave, and this seems reasonable. A firefighter who does not hesitate to rush into a burning building certainly seems brave. But what does that mean? Some people are afraid of spiders. But if spiders don't bother you, does that make you brave?

The truth is that many firefighters will describe how frightening it is to be in a fire. Real courage isn't a lack of fear, it's facing your fear. Bravery is determined by how a person behaves, regardless of how he or she feels. So have you been brave? I'll bet you have. Just think of a situation where you had no confidence, when you were close to giving up. But then you proved that you could do it anyway. That, my friend, was bravery.


21. The Story of the Tomato

The origins of the tomato are in Mexico, /but it grows in most climates. // Tomatoes vary / from tiny cherry tomatoes / to large Italian tomatoes. // When tomato seeds were first shipped to italy, / tomatoes were grown only for fancy decorations, / because people worried / that they were poisonous. // The grounds for their concern / was the tomato's similarity / to a deadly plant. // Fortunately, some bold Italians were brave enough to bite into raw tomatoes / - paving the way for pizza and other delicious Italian food. //


22. The History of Pasta

Italian people have been eating pasta / for many years. // A common product / made with flour, / it comes in a great range of shapes and colors. // Pasta is easy to prepare. // You can add a simple sauce to boiled pasta / or put it in soups or salads. // Some people claim / that Marco Polo brought pasta / to Italy / from China. // In time, / pasta spread across the European continent. // Now it is available everywhere / and a favorite food / that people all over the world appreciate. //


23. Baseball through the Ages

Modern baseball was founded / in the 19th century, / and the rules have been reformed many times. // But baseball is basically a simple sport. // The players take their positions / on the field. // Then a player strikes a ball / with a bat / and runs along the paths / between the bases. // The team with the higher score defeats the other team. // Crowds of fans have filled stadiums for many years / as they support their favorite team with cheers. // A game / that began as a Western pastime / is now a professional sport / in many parts of the world. //


24. Credit Cards

The first credit cards were printed / on plain paper. // Stores gave them to individual customers. // Modern plastic credit cards appeared in the 1950s. // Credit cards have mostly replaced cash / in many places. // They can be very convenient, / but there is always a risk / that card users will end up owing more money / than they can repay. // In that sense, / your credit card can become the opposite of a "friend" / - an "evil enemy." //


25. Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower opened in 1958. // It was built based on the classical design of the Eiffel Tower / in Paris, / but it differs / from the Eiffel Tower / in height and color. // Its principal use is / to broadcast TV and radio signals. // It is a symbolic icon. // Moreover, it is beautiful. // It attracts both domestic and overseas tourists / and several hotels are located nearby. // Much of its income comes from the fees visitors pay / to go to its observation decks. // When the sky is clear, / the views from the decks are beautiful. //


WEEK5 Review: The Spice Trade

The range of common spices we add to our food today has not always been available to everyone. In fact, in Europe, spices were extremely rare. Even something as plain as pepper or cinnamon could only be bought by the rich.

Most spices are grown in tropical climates. To reach Europe, early traders had to carry their products over land, often from one continent to another. Because of the risk in such long and dangerous journeys, traders demanded high prices. And as demand spread, they realized they could get rich. So when Europe entered the age of tall ships, bold overseas voyagers were sent in all directions to locate the origins of these valuable spices, and to ship huge amounts back to Europe. The age of ocean exploration, and European colonialism, had begun.


16. The Man Who Invented a Writing System

The Cherokee, / a tribe with a population of 140,000, / write their language / with a unique script. // It is the product of the genius and labor of a single Cherokee, / Sequoyah, / who set himself the task of inventing it / in 1809. // Using a copy of the Bible / as a source of inspiration, / Sequoyah based the form of the characters /on Roman letters and numbers. // Though he couldn't speak or read a word of English, / Sequoyah worked out the logic and principles of written language / and invented a system / still used today. //


17. Beethoven

Perhaps the finest composers in Germany were the three Bs: / Bach, Brahms, and Beethoven. // Beethoven was a brilliant composer / from an early age. // His music was full of dramatic emotion / and his technique impressed audiences. // He played an important role / in the history of music, / but by the time he was 26, / he was deaf. // He continued to write music / but could only imagine / what it sounded like. // He couldn't have conversations / with people. // Instead , he communicated / by writing. // Beethoven remains one of the greatest composers / of all time. //


18. Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong was no ordinary man. // By prefession, he was an astronaut. // in 1969, / he and his crew began the long journey / from the earth to the moon. // As their spaceship approached the moon, / there was a lot of pressure / on the astronauts. // Even a tiny error could cause a crash. // When Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the moon, / he said, / "That's one small step / for a man, / one giant leap / for mankind." // Armstrong had the true spirit of a hero. //


19. Jaan of Arc

Joan of Arc's faith in God was very strong, / and she prayed / every day. // Although she had no military training, / she insisted / that God had ordered her / to lead the French army / to victory over the Enlish. // After one battle,  / she was put in jail / and then killed by the English. // Some Christians believed / that after she died, / her soul went to heaven. // She became a symbol of unity / for the French people and Christians in general. // The story of her life has inspired many works of art and literature. //


20. My Hero

My hero was a single mother of five / who ovecame many troubles. // She inspired her children / to pursue their dreams. // Life was tough, / and money was tight. // Clothes worn thin / had to be patched / for a little more use. // There was always sufficient food - lots of beans! // Housework was a shared responsibility, /as was the cooking, the dishes, and the laundry. // She encouraged each of her children / to have their own vision / for their future. // She had faith in their talents / and taught them / that failure was OK / if they picked themselves up / and never stopped trying. // Eventually, they all got scholorships for college / and were ready to be independent. // My hero? // My mom. //


WEEK4 Review: Helen Keller

When Helen Keller lost her hearing and vision to a disease in 1882, she was only 19 months old. Many ordinary families might have simply had her stay home to do laundry and housework, but instead, Keller's family insistead that she could do better. They found a young woman to take on the lore of Helen's instructor. Using a variety of techniques, her teacher helped her o understand the principles of writing. And young Helen was inspired o become more independent.

Helen did more than just learn to write. She pursued a full education, and approached all her studies with spirit and didication. It was clear that she had a real talent for literature. Eventually, Keller became the first blind and deaf person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. She had overcome ber disabilities to become an important writer, fighting for the rights of he blind and deaf.


11. A Local Hero

William Kamkwamba was born / in a small Village in Malawi / where there was a lack of electricity and drinking water. // William wanted to attend school, / but he didn't have that opportunity / so he often studied at a library. // He had a scientific mind / and found a unique way / to use some simple items / to invent a new type of windmill. // He shared the idea, / and it improved the quality of life / in his village. // Now William is making sincere efforts / to solve other problems / in his country. //


12. Love Letters

Today's devices are killing romance. // You just can't keep a text message / under your pillow / and look at it again and again / the way you can with a letter. // When I was 16, / a cute boy left a message / in my locker / to inform me / that he liked me. // My heart paused. // I replied / by drawing a picture representing the two of us together / and put it / under the stuff on his desk. // Later, / when I was in the cafeteria line, / the smiled / and passed me a message / with instructions / not to break his heart. // Our love soon developed. // I still have that first letter / and take it out on special occasions / - like our wedding anniversary! //


13. Who Invented Calculus?

Calculus was invented / at almost the same time / by Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. // These mathematicians became involved / in a nastly public fight / for the rest of their lives. // The incident began / when Newton, / a proud, jealous man, / accused Leibniz of using his work / as a resource. // Newton's ideas were certainly known to beibniz, / but it is now accepted / that the latter was innocent / and created his system independently. // This odd case is proof / that sometimes "great minds think alike." //


14. Where does  innovation come from?

This writer Steven Johnson says / "most innovations have a coffee-house / in their story." // he means that, / contrary to popular opinion, / great ideas have a tendency / to be the gradual product of discussion / rather than a sudden insight. // A characteristic strength of innovative organizations is that they encourage ideas to grow from conversations and conferences / among the people / they employ. // For these ideas to have value, / companies must the find a way / for them to meet their clients' demands. //


15. New Ideas

New ideas are mysterious. // Where do they come from? // Sometimes a new idea is simply a dicovery. // Sometimes a new idea comes from looking at the universe / in an unusual way. // Occasionally, we get a promising idea / that involves a lot of hard work / and sweat and headaches. // But if you make a steady and honest effort / in thinking up a new idea, / you will succeed. // And then you will want to celebrate! //


WEEK3 Review: The Birth of the Mystery Novel

Have you ever wondered how the unique genre of mystery writing began? Interestingly, these fun, mysterious stories about crime started at about the same time as the modern police force. Up until the early 1800s, a town might have had only two or three police officers. But after that point, there was a demand in larger cities for more police and more organization. In Paris and London, police began to employ the first detectives. These detectives developed a more scientific method for solving difficult criminal cases. As a result, the quality of policing improved.

Newspapers that had always informed readers about incidents of crime, further caught the public interest by reporting about crimes that had been solved. This idea that crime could be a kind of puzzle interested many writers, including Edgar Allan Poe. Poe saw the opportunity to invent a new kind of story - one that would look at crimes from the private detective's point of view. And so, the mystery novel was born.


6. From a Hobby to a Profession

John always enjoyed drawing. // His teacher noticed his ability / and encouraged him / to make a set of drawings / for a comic book. // His teacher said, / "I can introduce you / to someone / who might be willing to publish your book." / So John worked hard / on his material. // When it was complete, / John put his signature on the book contract, / and his book got published. // He had become a professional artist / even before he graduated from high school. //


7. Manage your Time

Success in school depends on you. // Create a study schedule / and follow it. // If you want to get good grades / on your examinations, / it is important / to find a comfortable place / to study. // Sometimes it may be necessary / to take a rest for a moment or two, / maybe walk around / or get a drink, / but don't waste time. // No need to idenify noises / that bother you. // Just ignore them. // The more you can focus / on your study, / the better you will learn. //


8. Greetings Are Important

It is important to observe some standard social rules / in our lives. // One rule is / that we should exchange proper greetings. // This is a good habit / that doesn't take any special skill. // When you greet someone, just say, "Hi," / and maybe make a comment / about the weather. // Then listen to their response. // This will impress people, and they will think of you / as a pleasant person. // But if you don't, they might try to avoid you. // There is no excuse for behaving badly. //


9. True Friends

A true friend is one of the most precious things / you can have in life. // A true friend earns your trust, / spends spare time with you, / defends you when there is trouble, and never doubts you. // A true friend gives you praise / when you are successful / and feels sympathy / when you fail. // A true friend accepts your faults, / sometimes guesses / what you are thinking, and is someone / you can be silly with. // Maybe most importantly, a true friendship will last a lifetime. //


10. Ny Brother

I recall / that when we were children, / my brother and I argued all the time. // We yelled at each other / and competed over our toys. // One time, / he cracked me / on the head. // I was so upset / that I threw dirt at him. // I thought he was cruel. // But the years passed / and we grew into adults. // I now realize / that my brother is a sensitive / and gentle person, / and now I am grateful that I have him in my life. //


WEEK 2 Review: On Studying for Exams

For students hoping to graduate with good grades, doing well on exams is the most important thing. Studying for exams isn't a pleasant task, but learning some proper study habits will not only help you pass, it will make you more comfortable during tests. Your confidence will help you keep a clear head. First, encourage yourself to take good notes all year. These will help you study later. Give yourself plenty of spare time before the test. If you try to learn a year of lessons in one night, you'll almost certainlly fail. Create a study schedule, and identify the material that you think is most important. This way, you won't waste time. And finally, studying at the last minute or late at night. Sleep is precious. And if you study while you're tired, you will recall very little of what you studied, and feel tired the next day, too.


1. All Work and No Play

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." // This saying means / that too much work could make you boring or even stupid. // That may or may not be true, / but as a rule, / working for extended lengths of time does reduce your productivity. // You should take regular breaks / - make your workspace tidy, / rearrange your furniture, / just relax, / or take a quick nap. // Use your annual vacation time / to visit lively destinations and have fun, / because a miserable worker is a less effective worker. //


2. My First Band

My friend and I loved to entertain people / by playing music at outdoor events and ceremonies. // Our preparations consisted of choosing popular songs / from the radio, / organizing the songs / we wanted to play into lists, / and then combining those lists, // We rarely opposed each other's choices. // Sometimes we would reduce the length of very long songs / to make them easier to play. // We would connect our guitars / to our amps / and process our sounds separately. // Then we would attach our song lists / to the mike stands / and settle down to play. // Only bad weather would spoil our fun.


3. Be Ready for the Future

It's natural to be / nervous about your future, / but all of us have the capacity to succeed / if we take the chances / that come out way. // Your behavior is important; / you must develop virtues / that allow you to be successful. // Be true to your word, / be enthusiastic in fulfilling your duties, / and find the positive aspects of difficult situations. //Share the glow of your laughter with friends / in good times, / and they will help you bear your sorrows / when times are bad. //


4. Vegetable Preferences

I have disliked eggplant / ever since my childhood. // I can't give you a particular reason. // I just don't like it. // I hate all similar vegetables, too, / such as zucchini and squashes. // Howerer, I know / that all vegetables provide vitamins / that help prevent diseases. // Actually, I eat lots of other vegetables, / but I do agree with my parents / that I should try tasting more types. // I am such a picky eater! //


5. Exercise Every Day

We all know / that getting regular exercise is important. // If we challenge ourselves / to make a daily effort to stay healthy, / exercise can have a positive influence / on our physical strength. // For example, if you go running frequently, / the result will be / that your muscles will gradually get stronger. // You don't have to be an athlete, but remember / that good health is a tresure / that you must take care of every day. //


WEEK 1 Review; Love the Things You Love

Let's say you are enthusiastic about something. It could be chess or sports or foreign movies. Whatever it is, it entertains you. But what happens if you have a friend who says it's boring or stupid? That could make you miserable and, unfortunately, this happens frequently enough, especially during childhood. Young people may connect and become friends, but it doesn't mean that they become similar people. And they don't always agree on what's cool or fun.

You can't persuade someone to like a particular song, movie or pastime by giving them reasons. But your behavior in this situation is important. If you enthusiastically share your favorite things with your friends there is a chance that they will come to like them, too. Nothing makes people more intersted in something than enthusiasm. And don't let anyone prevent you from doing what you enjoy. If they do, they're not much of a friend at all.