新编英语教程第二册Unit12

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Unit 12

DIALOGUE I

Music

A: You have a very good stereo system ... What a fine sound it produces! I feel like I'm sitting in a grand concert hall.
B: It is a good system. It has fine treble, soft bass and perfect surround effects.
A: What did you buy this expensive system for? Do you like music?
B: Very much. I like music so much that the moment I get home I'll turn on my stereo.
A: You're crazy about music.
B: Yes, I am. I can't live without it.
A: What type of music do you like the most?
B: I enjoy listening to almost all categories of music - classical, jazz, country-western, the heavy metal type of rock, new age... Yes, my favourite music is new age - I'm really very fond of it.
A: I'd suggest that you should major in music instead of English.
B: Absolutely. But English is fine. I like English as much as music. I wish I were a double major. Actually I'm more fascinated and delighted with the hardware of music reproduction.
A: The hardware of music reproduction?
B: I mean musical instruments, such as the bone whistles of the Stone Age and the digital synthesizers of this age.
A: You certainly are an expert on music. May I ask you a question?
B: Sure.
A: I hear people talk about "hi-fi". Is it a sound system or something else?
B: It's popularly known as a stereo system. A more accurate definition of hi-fi is a stereo system that reproduces music very realistically with "high fidelity" quality. It is an improvement on the earlier "mono" record player. In its initial stage, a hi-fi system used compact cassettes containing magnetic tape.
A: I think my first boom-box was a portable cassette-tape player.
B: A weakness with a cassette-tape player is that it produces annoying "hiss" noise while playing.
A: This was one of the reasons why I bought a CD player when the cassette player broke down.
B: A CD system, as the name suggests, uses compact discs. The system is manufactured on the basis of computer technology with music information stored and reproduced digitally. You know, music hardware continues to develop in the direction of recording and transferring the astonishingly crisp-clear digital sound.
A: Will this ever-improving technology bring about another development beyond the digital sound format, making the CD as obsolete as the record?
B: The answer is a definite "yes". I believe it won't take long before the change occurs.

DIALOGUE II

Dialogue:

James and David are two university students who have just done their final examinations. The exam results have just been announced and James rings David up to discuss them.
J: It seems that only about two thirds of the students passed this year.
D: Well, it doesn't surprise me at all, you know. The exams were very difficult this time.
J: Well, I'm really surprised. It's a terrible result, and there are some people who definitely didn't deserve to fail. According to Bob, there are five boys in his class who failed, including Simon.
D: No! You're pulling my leg, surely? I don't believe it! Simon is one of the best students in the university. What about his sister? Did she pass?
J: Oh, yes. It seems she got good marks.
D: That's absolutely incredible! Simon was a much better student than his sister, and has been working so hard for the last few months.
J: It seems so unfair, doesn't it? But, from what I've heard, perhaps he worked too hard. He was ill during the week of the exams - glandular fever, I think.
D: Oh, I see. Well, that explains it. These things happen, sometimes. I suppose the Dean will take his illness into account and give him a pass; at least I hope so!
J: Well, there's a rumour going around that the Head of the Department is leaving.
D: Because of the bad results, you mean?
J: Well, I suppose so. I'm not sure. Apparently, Mr. Brown is going to be the new Department Head.
D: What? Mr. Brown?
J: Yes, according to rumours.
D: I find that very hard to believe, I must say. Mr. Brown is so young; does he have the experience?
J: Perhaps the change'll be good for the Department - "new broom", you know.
D: Yes, maybe. We'll just have to wait and see.

READING I

The "Green Revolution"

The "green revolution" is the name given to the development of high yielding cereal grains such as wheat, rice, and corn (maize). Only a few years ago various writers were predicting widespread famine as early as 1975. They based this prediction on the high rate of population growth and the limited food supply. But because of the "green revolution", there is now hope that there will be enough food for the people of the world for the next 20 or 30 years, even at the present rate of population growth.
During the 1960's the improved seeds were introduced into countries with serious food shortages, such as India and Pakistan. There were dramatic increases in production. The same is true in a number of countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. A research center in the Philippines is producing "miracle rice" -- varieties that have been highly successful in Asia and in some of the African countries. The significance of this work was recognized by the awarding of the 1970 Nobel Prize to Norman Borlaug, one of the plant breeders.
But famines in various parts of the world showed that much more needs to be done. The famines were caused by a variety of factors. Weather was one of them. Another factor was the change in world economic conditions, bringing higher prices for fertilizers and pesticides.
The World Food Conference, sponsored by the United Nations and held in Rome in November, 1974, made many recommendations. These were concerned especially with increasing food production in the developing countries, and with getting more help for small farmers. The conference also gave attention to the problems of providing health services for people, especially in regard to good nutrition. These proposals are now being carried out through new programmes.
Various technological developments that will help feed the world in the future are in progress. These include harvesting more food from the sea; new foods from soybeans, cottonseed, and other oilseeds; and proteins from organisms grown on petroleum. But as Dr. Borlaug pointed out in his speech when accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, the technology is available for feeding the world, provided the total population of the world stays within reasonable limits.

Norman Ernest Borlaug

Norman Ernest Borlaug (1914 - ) is American plant breeder and pathologist, father of the "Green Revolution", humanitarian, and winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize for Peace.
Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work in creating the Green Revolution, which has vastly increased grain yields in developing countries. The Green Revolution is an agricultural technology based upon the use of new varieties of grain and improvements in pest control and the application of water and fertilizer. Borlaug, working in Mexican wheat fields, developed varieties that were resistant to rust disease, had short stems, and could be grown within a wide range of latitudes around the world. These varieties were highly productive, yielding two or ten times more wheat than before.
The main areas of Borlaug's work have been plant breeding, plant pathology, and agronomy, but most important, he is a humanitarian. His guiding beliefs are that "peace can be attained only when humankind is no longer hungry" and that "to solve the world's food problems one needs to be decisive and work hard".

READING II

The Irish Famine

No event has had such a decisive effect in shaping the attitude of the Irish people towards the British as the Irish Famine. And although it occurred 120 years ago its effects are still apparent in Ireland today.
Looking back on the famine, the most remarkable fact was that it should ever have reached such proportions. Although the potato crop failed there was plenty of food left in Ireland, and while thousands died some of it was being exported. Even if the local organizations for dealing with a crisis of such magnitude were completely inadequate, more positive and generous action by the British Government could have averted some of the worst effects. In the light of the large scale Government relief projects undertaken today, the supreme irony of all was that the richest nation in Europe should have allowed one of the poorest to starve on its doorstep.
Yet the famine looked very different through nineteenth-century eyes. Then, the principles of laissez-faire were generally accepted - in fact, were regarded as almost sacred. It was thought that people should help themselves, and thus the Government should not intervene. In the case of the Irish famine, it was argued, the Government had done all it could to help.
This argument may or may not be valid; but a little more humanity shown by the Government could have done no harm, and it seems strange that the reports of suffering that are so moving today could have failed to move the Government towards a greater use of its resources.
One million people died of starvation and disease; three-quarters of a million emigrated to America there to become a despised and exploited class. Out of this disaster was forged a new and bitter feeling towards Britain. Daniel O'Connell, the "Liberator", had insisted on non-violence in dealing with the British, and he had won almost universal support. But his era was over. The violent overthrow of the British rule was increasingly advocated, and hatred of Britain grew. Few Irish families had not been severely hit by the famine, and there were even fewer who did not lay the blame fairly and squarely at Britain's door.

Calamity is man's true touchstone.
-- Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher
Unit 12 DIALOGUE I Music A: You have a very good stereo system ... What a fine sound it produces! I feel like I'm sitting in a grand concert hall. B: It is a good system. It has fine treble, soft bass and perfect surround effects. A: What did you buy this expensive system for? Do you like music? B: Very much. I like music so much that the moment I get home I'll turn on my stereo. A: You're crazy about music. B: Yes, I am. I can't live without it. A: What type of music do you like the most? B: I enjoy listening to almost all categories of music - classical, jazz, country-western, the heavy metal type of rock, new age... Yes, my favourite music is new age - I'm really very fond of it. A: I'd suggest that you should major in music instead of English. B: Absolutely. But English is fine. I like English as much as music. I wish I were a double major. Actually I'm more fascinated and delighted with the hardware of music reproduction. A: The hardware of music reproduction? B: I mean musical instruments, such as the bone whistles of the Stone Age and the digital synthesizers of this age. A: You certainly are an expert on music. May I ask you a question? B: Sure. A: I hear people talk about "hi-fi". Is it a sound system or something else? B: It's popularly known as a stereo system. A more accurate definition of hi-fi is a stereo system that reproduces music very realistically with "high fidelity" quality. It is an improvement on the earlier "mono" record player. In its initial stage, a hi-fi system used compact cassettes containing magnetic tape. A: I think my first boom-box was a portable cassette-tape player. B: A weakness with a cassette-tape player is that it produces annoying "hiss" noise while playing. A: This was one of the reasons why I bought a CD player when the cassette player broke down. B: A CD system, as the name suggests, uses compact discs. The system is manufactured on the basis of computer technology with music information stored and reproduced digitally. You know, music hardware continues to develop in the direction of recording and transferring the astonishingly crisp-clear digital sound. A: Will this ever-improving technology bring about another development beyond the digital sound format, making the CD as obsolete as the record? B: The answer is a definite "yes". I believe it won't take long before the change occurs. DIALOGUE II Dialogue: James and David are two university students who have just done their final examinations. The exam results have just been announced and James rings David up to discuss them. J: It seems that only about two thirds of the students passed this year. D: Well, it doesn't surprise me at all, you know. The exams were very difficult this time. J: Well, I'm really surprised. It's a terrible result, and there are some people who definitely didn't deserve to fail. According to Bob, there are five boys in his class who failed, including Simon. D: No! You're pulling my leg, surely? I don't believe it! Simon is one of the best students in the university. What about his sister? Did she pass? J: Oh, yes. It seems she got good marks. D: That's absolutely incredible! Simon was a much better student than his sister, and has been working so hard for the last few months. J: It seems so unfair, doesn't it? But, from what I've heard, perhaps he worked too hard. He was ill during the week of the exams - glandular fever, I think. D: Oh, I see. Well, that explains it. These things happen, sometimes. I suppose the Dean will take his illness into account and give him a pass; at least I hope so! J: Well, there's a rumour going around that the Head of the Department is leaving. D: Because of the bad results, you mean? J: Well, I suppose so. I'm not sure. Apparently, Mr. Brown is going to be the new Department Head. D: What? Mr. Brown? J: Yes, according to rumours. D: I find that very hard to believe, I must say. Mr. Brown is so young; does he have the experience? J: Perhaps the change'll be good for the Department - "new broom", you know. D: Yes, maybe. We'll just have to wait and see. READING I The "Green Revolution" The "green revolution" is the name given to the development of high yielding cereal grains such as wheat, rice, and corn (maize). Only a few years ago various writers were predicting widespread famine as early as 1975. They based this prediction on the high rate of population growth and the limited food supply. But because of the "green revolution", there is now hope that there will be enough food for the people of the world for the next 20 or 30 years, even at the present rate of population growth. During the 1960's the improved seeds were introduced into countries with serious food shortages, such as India and Pakistan. There were dramatic increases in production. The same is true in a number of countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. A research center in the Philippines is producing "miracle rice" -- varieties that have been highly successful in Asia and in some of the African countries. The significance of this work was recognized by the awarding of the 1970 Nobel Prize to Norman Borlaug, one of the plant breeders. But famines in various parts of the world showed that much more needs to be done. The famines were caused by a variety of factors. Weather was one of them. Another factor was the change in world economic conditions, bringing higher prices for fertilizers and pesticides. The World Food Conference, sponsored by the United Nations and held in Rome in November, 1974, made many recommendations. These were concerned especially with increasing food production in the developing countries, and with getting more help for small farmers. The conference also gave attention to the problems of providing health services for people, especially in regard to good nutrition. These proposals are now being carried out through new programmes. Various technological developments that will help feed the world in the future are in progress. These include harvesting more food from the sea; new foods from soybeans, cottonseed, and other oilseeds; and proteins from organisms grown on petroleum. But as Dr. Borlaug pointed out in his speech when accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, the technology is available for feeding the world, provided the total population of the world stays within reasonable limits. Norman Ernest Borlaug Norman Ernest Borlaug (1914 - ) is American plant breeder and pathologist, father of the "Green Revolution", humanitarian, and winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize for Peace. Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work in creating the Green Revolution, which has vastly increased grain yields in developing countries. The Green Revolution is an agricultural technology based upon the use of new varieties of grain and improvements in pest control and the application of water and fertilizer. Borlaug, working in Mexican wheat fields, developed varieties that were resistant to rust disease, had short stems, and could be grown within a wide range of latitudes around the world. These varieties were highly productive, yielding two or ten times more wheat than before. The main areas of Borlaug's work have been plant breeding, plant pathology, and agronomy, but most important, he is a humanitarian. His guiding beliefs are that "peace can be attained only when humankind is no longer hungry" and that "to solve the world's food problems one needs to be decisive and work hard". READING II The Irish Famine No event has had such a decisive effect in shaping the attitude of the Irish people towards the British as the Irish Famine. And although it occurred 120 years ago its effects are still apparent in Ireland today. Looking back on the famine, the most remarkable fact was that it should ever have reached such proportions. Although the potato crop failed there was plenty of food left in Ireland, and while thousands died some of it was being exported. Even if the local organizations for dealing with a crisis of such magnitude were completely inadequate, more positive and generous action by the British Government could have averted some of the worst effects. In the light of the large scale Government relief projects undertaken today, the supreme irony of all was that the richest nation in Europe should have allowed one of the poorest to starve on its doorstep. Yet the famine looked very different through nineteenth-century eyes. Then, the principles of laissez-faire were generally accepted - in fact, were regarded as almost sacred. It was thought that people should help themselves, and thus the Government should not intervene. In the case of the Irish famine, it was argued, the Government had done all it could to help. This argument may or may not be valid; but a little more humanity shown by the Government could have done no harm, and it seems strange that the reports of suffering that are so moving today could have failed to move the Government towards a greater use of its resources. One million people died of starvation and disease; three-quarters of a million emigrated to America there to become a despised and exploited class. Out of this disaster was forged a new and bitter feeling towards Britain. Daniel O'Connell, the "Liberator", had insisted on non-violence in dealing with the British, and he had won almost universal support. But his era was over. The violent overthrow of the British rule was increasingly advocated, and hatred of Britain grew. Few Irish families had not been severely hit by the famine, and there were even fewer who did not lay the blame fairly and squarely at Britain's door. Calamity is man's true touchstone. -- Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher
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