Kamis, 28 Februari 2013

Spare that spider

Why, you may wonder, should spiders be our friends ? Because they destroy so many insects, and insects include some of the greatest enemies of the human race. Insects would make it impossible for us to live in the world; they would devour all our crops and kill our flocks and herds, if it were not for the protection we get from insect-eating animals. We owe a lot to the birds and beasts who eat insects but all of them put together kill only a fraction of the number destroyed by spiders. Moreover, unlike some of the other insect eaters, spiders never do the least harm to us or our belongings.

Spiders are not insects, as many people think, nor even nearly related to them. One can tell the difference almost at a glance for a spider always has eight legs and an insect never more than six.

How many spiders are engaged in this work on our behalf ? One authority on spiders made a census of the spiders in a grass field in the south of England, and he estimated that there were more than 2,250,000 in one acre, that is something like 6,000,000 spiders of different kinds on a football pitch. Spiders are busy for at least half the year in killing insects. It is impossible to make more than the wildest guess at how many they kill, but they are hungry creatures, not content with only three meals a day. It has been estimated that the weight of all the insects destroyed by spiders in Britain in one year would be greater than the total weight of all the human beings in the country.
T. H. GILLESPIE Spare that Spider from The Listener

A Spider kills a flys
A Spider kills a fly


Comprehension
Give short answers to these questions in your own words as far as possible. Use one complete sentence for each answer.
a. Why have we reason to be grateful to insect-eating animals?
b. How can we tell the difference between a spider and an insect?
c. What do you understand by the statement 'One authority on spiders made a census of the spiders in a grass field.'?

Rabu, 27 Februari 2013

Finding Fossil Man


We can read of things that happened 5,000 years ago in the Near East, where people first learned to write.
But there are some parts of the world where even now people cannot write. The only way that they can preserve their history is to recount it as sagas--legends handed down from one generation of storytellers to another. These legends are useful because they can tell us something about migrations of people who lived long ago, but none could write down what they did. Anthropologists wondered where the remote ancestors of the Polynesian peoples now living in the Pacific Islands came from. The sagas of these people explain that some of them came from Indonesia about 2,000 years ago.
Human fossil
Human fossil

But the first people who were like ourselves lived so long ago that even their sagas, if they had any, are forgotten. So archaeologists have neither history nor legends to help them to find out where the first‘modern men’ came from.

Fortunately, however, ancient men made tools of stone, especially flint, because this is easier to shape than other kinds. They may also have used wood and skins, but these have rotted away. Stone does not decay, and so the tools of long ago have remained when even the bones of the men who made them have disappeared without trace.
ROBIN PLACE Finding fossil man

flint heads
Flint heads

Comprehension:
Give short answers to these questions in your own words as far as possible. Use one complete sentence for each answer.
a. How can anthropologists learn about the history of ancient people who have not left written records?
b. Why did ancient men prefer to use flint for making tools?


Senin, 25 Februari 2013

The Hotel Service - Video for Listening Comprehension in English Classroom




This hotel employee is very smart in his outfit. The hotel where he works must surely have several stars. But the employees’ elegance isn’t everything.

Indeed, everything must be perfect in a hotel: the organisation, the service and even the smile. It’s surprising to see the number of people who, satisfied with a place, come back to it every year.

Take, for example, a simple breakfast. It seems very ordinary to order a full breakfast and to ask for it to be served to you in bed. But it’s not as easy for the bellboy to bring it to you and not stumble on the stairs. Mind you don’t spill anything!

Sitting in her bed, waiting patiently for her coffee, the guest obviously has no idea of all this. Whatever the time and whatever the event, the waiter must always listen and be at the guest’s service.

The noisiest place in a hotel, and where people are the busiest, is probably the kitchen. The hotel manager, moreover, is found more often there than in his office.

Managing staff is always difficult, especially when it’s a team of chefs who want, at all costs, to accompany the head chef’s dish with a bilberry sauce, when a simple orange sauce, ten times less costly, would be perfectly adequate!

They cut, grate, sprinkle, peel, scale fish... What talent! It’s a true culinary art. The meal is a significant element among those services provided in a hotel and the food must be irreproachable.

Obviously, the produce must be fresh and that requires working with a reliable supplier. The fruits and vegetables are imported from the four corners of the globe and it’s necessary to have complete confidence in the company in charge of delivering the goods.

It’s impossible to plan for two hundred covers without being certain of getting in time, and on time, fresh produce of an excellent quality. The choice of the supplier depends on the best quality-price ratio and the delivery time. It’s not uncommon to call upon the services of several professionals at the same time.

The restaurant opens its doors at the beginning of the evening and it’s not unusual to see customers come in who aren’t staying in the hotel. All the waiters and waitresses are dressed up to the nines: shoes well polished, hair well groomed, ties well done up, skirts well ironed...

As usual for the service sector, a restaurant’s success depends enormously on its reputation. The service must be impeccable. When you have a job in the service sector, never forget that the customer is always right! And if he does happen to be wrong, keep it to yourself!



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Minggu, 24 Februari 2013

Energy and Industrial World - Video for Listening Comprehension in English Classroom



It’s the end of summer, autumn is striding into view, and the leaves are turning into a pretty mixture of green, yellow and red.

This farmer has worked all year so that today he can harvest his crop. He is ensiling maize that will be stored and then given as fodder to livestock.

Thanks to technical and scientific progress, the primary sector has evolved considerably. Farms have gotten bigger and output has increased.

Furthermore, everyone can now cultivate in their garden products which, twenty years ago, were still rare. In a few years’ time, it will probably be the turn of oil to become scarce.

In fact, everybody knows that the future of our industry depends immensely on oil resources that will, one day, run dry.

As of today, we must therefore think of finding new energy sources. Wind, for example, is a natural element capable of producing electricity. Wind power has two advantages: it is inexhaustible and non-polluting.

Moreover, if one day they decided to export wind, Scotland would quickly become a very, very rich country!

Since the 80s, people have become more aware of ecology. They recycle cardboard, plastic, glass and paper. They’ve become aware of the fact that some of industry’s progress, like the development of nuclear power stations, can harm the environment.

Scientists are now thus looking towards other sources of natural energy, like water power. Tidal power stations use the power of the tides to supply households with electricity.

Don’t worry! If there aren’t any tides near you, you’ll still be able to turn on your television or computer! There’s also solar power, but this can only be used sporadically!

The industrial revolution took place hardly two centuries ago and we have already managed to send a man onto the moon and a robot onto the planet Mars.

Elsewhere, work has become more and more automated and individuals have been replaced by machines, which don’t need holidays, and never risk going on strike. Unless the industrialists start giving them very bad quality oil!

We have here a good example of production-line work.

Controlled and run by a few individuals, each machine carries out a precise task. One of them washes the bottles, another fills them, a third sticks on the labels and a final machine puts on the bottle caps.

Fortunately, there aren’t any machines yet to drink the nectar that’s inside!

When a region becomes industrialised, the daily life of towns is completely changed. New needs are created and the construction of new facilities is essential.

Small towns become cities, so make way for the works! People build new houses, shopping centres, roads...

Everything is organised so that the inhabitants can get from one place to another easily and have access to as many services as possible...

Thus, large urban centres come to life and with them come their related problems: traffic, noise, pollution... In fact, the air doesn’t look very healthy here!


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Accounting - Video for Listening Comprehension in English Classroom



To learn how to count really well, you have to start at the earliest of ages! Lessons in arithmetic will follow you from childhood to adolescence. Don't be afraid of going up to the blackboard.

Soon adding, subtraction, multiplication and division will no longer hold any secrets for you and you'll break through the mysteries of this exact science called mathematics.

If your memory fails you, use a calculator. But only when the teacher's back is turned, because he prefers you to think it over for a long time by doing the calculations on paper.

You can also count on your fingers but you won't get any higher than ten, unless you add your toes as well!

Beyond twenty, you can use the forerunner to the portable computer, the abacus. If you like figures, specialise your studies in this area. With your diploma in the bag, you can pursue a career in accounting.

This job demands precision and attention. Otherwise you risk being inundated with work. You therefore need an incredible amount of patience when reorganising all the files.

Accounting consists, among other things, in balancing the credits and debits and it is an activity carried out throughout the world. The ledger enables you to group together all of the accounts and to manage them flawlessly.

Once you've checked the outgoings and revenues, the stock inventory and fixed assets, and once you've taken into account the financial and windfall figures, you can finally move on to the summary and draw up the balance sheet, taking care to balance the liabilities and assets.

Be vigilant because an error can quickly occur! The proof is that you've completely forgotten the provisions for depreciation and everything's got to be redone! But before starting over, take the time to check your funds and make the entries for the end of the fiscal year!

If you can see that the company's capital stock is insufficient, you can suggest an increase in capital to the director, unless the company's banker only agrees to a few middle-term or long-term loans.

Be strict about any cash payments, they too must appear in the accounts. So that you don't overfill the cash box think about getting a safe or investing in companies quoted on the stock market, after taking advice from a finance professional.

But be careful... You may double your outlay... Or lose it all! And then you'll have to redo all the accounts to see what tomorrow may bring or, oh dear, what the day after tomorrow may bring! In any case, look after your files, let your friends take advantage of your attention to detail and you'll soon be back in the race.

And if your office in town seems a little cramped, ask to be transferred to one in the tropics!


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Handling Complaint from Telephone Company - Video for Listening Comprehension




Although answering the telephone all day can prove very tiresome, it remains a job of considerable importance. This switchboard operator works in the complaints department and she's the main contact with dissatisfied customers.

She must first try to calm them down and then assess how serious the situation is. There's no point bothering a manager for a minor problem.

Today, the operator has a very irate client on the phone, who finally hangs up on her.

She informs her superior of what has just happened. He calls the customer back himself to try and find some concrete solutions for a network problem that's lasted a week. The customer threatens to cancel his orders, and angrier than ever, he hangs up again.

This time the problem is serious. Not only must the fault be repaired, but the customer's confidence must be regained. The technical support staff will have to intervene rapidly!

A special meeting is organised. The technical director explains the situation and sets out the measures to be taken.

The source of the error has to be found by the end of the day and it must be repaired by the end of the week. Even if that means working round the clock!

The stakes are very high: losing such large orders would cost the company a huge amount. And that's not counting the bad publicity!

It turns out to be a faulty cable. All the technicians set about finding it. But it's not that easy because it's under the floorboards.

Once the cable's located, the faulty wires still have to be found. Everything will soon be back to normal.

In the meantime, a sales representative tries to pacify the customer by telling him that the situation will be sorted out as soon as possible, but that a last-minute problem might still crop up.

Satellites, for example, sometimes break down, causing enormous problems for both user and installer. When this happens, everyone's in the same boat!

Sometimes the problems are due to slight mishaps. A cup of coffee spilt near a plug can cause a short circuit!

Two days later, the Managing Director receives a telephone call from the customer in question. He's satisfied that everything is working properly.

He apologises for losing his temper so quickly and admits that the technical support staff has done a lot of work. Finally he guarantees that the orders still stand. All's well that ends well!



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Cellular Phones - Video for Listening Comprehension in English Classroom




Bravo! Cellular Phones, the company, has made new innovations that will revolutionise telecommunications!

This company has long been known for its technological lead in the mobile telephone field. Its products are light, aesthetic and functional. They can be installed quickly and cheaply. Today the company is launching a new range of products that will make consumers' lives easier.

The company's network of phone lines means you can be contacted at any time...

...And anywhere in the world! These telephones meet all your needs!

But what is this miraculous new product? It's a 'hands-free' telephone. 'But they've been around for a long time!' you say. Yes, but their installation has always been complex; now though, it's possible to install the system in under an hour.

No more driving with a telephone in your hand: you can put both hands on the steering wheel. No more problems with volume or reception: if you go into a tunnel, you still get a signal. The system is as discreet as it is effective. Cellular Phones aims for perfection.

Say 'yes!' to ease of use! You've got a call? A simple touch lets you hear your caller's voice! The system displays the speaker's name and number, enabling you to screen your calls.

Want to call someone? The speech recognition system will dial the number of your choice from those recorded in your directory.

The Cellular Phones headquarters are in Paris. Its staff number more than 300, all departments included. The company has calculated that every five seconds, hundreds of calls pass through the networks. What a lot of conversations at the same time!

The research and development department is at the forefront of technology. The best engineers are inventing the most efficient networks. No more transmission problems! Cellular Phones' products anticipate all your needs.

So that's how Cellular Phones is working for you! What do you think? Astonishing, isn't it? You're not the only one to think so. The company has already been awarded several prizes at international trade fairs.

If you'd like to know more about 'hands-free' telephones, please contact our sales team. Don't forget that the company will always be there to help you. Cellular Phones, for a brighter future!



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Trade Fair - Video for Listening Comprehension in English Classroom



The organisation of a trade fair begins with the renting of the exhibition centre in the town where the fair will take place. Once the organisers know the number of square metres available to them, they can canvass for clients to hire stands during the fair.

The multinationals book the largest stands, because they've got more clients to see. The smaller companies only take up a few square metres.

Before a trade fair, every company must prepare the sales documents that it wishes to show to potential customers. Typing mistakes or bad colour reproduction would immediately make a bad impression.

The trade fair is taking place in Jakarta, in Indonesia. The sales representatives have to collect their passes from the reception desk. Some sales reps have already begun their demonstrations, trying to highlight the products and services their company is offering.

Even if they're representing different companies, the sales reps all do the same job. A trade fair is a succession of appointments, meetings and demonstrations. There's no let-up! For this man, the day begins at nine o'clock with the representative of an Australian distributor.

It continues at ten with a potential client keen to clinch a distribution agreement. Another appointment's been arranged for eleven. The sales reps get used to the jet lag quickly, but never to the fatigue of a trade fair's first day!

They are exhausted from their toing and froing, and from repeating the same thing a thousand times.

There's no rest at lunchtime either for this rep who's invited his clients to a restaurant to discuss business. It's often here that the foundations for new contracts are laid. What a pity to have travelled so many miles and not be able to visit the country!

The mobile phone is an essential tool at a trade fair. But it can be annoying when your colleagues on the other side of the world call at two in the morning, because they've forgotten about the time difference!

Come the evening, the sales rep meets his clients for dinner. The evening begins in the restaurant with a bottle of champagne. Everyone's satisfied because the terms of the freshly signed contract prove advantageous for both parties.

Once the trade fair's over, the entire sales team returns to the company headquarters. The Chairman is delighted to learn that the products have won prizes, and that numerous contracts have been signed.


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Busy Day At Work - Video for Listening Comprehension in English Classroom



What time is it? Almost seven o’clock. Already! Quick, you’ve got to get ready and go to work.

That’s right, the hardest thing every morning is getting out of bed. Five minutes under the shower, a large cup of coffee and you’ll have a clear head. Now you’re ready to attack the day.

You begin by facing the traffic and the hold-ups. The fear of arriving late makes you forget to close the windows and lock the car door.

You’re one of those stressed people who only think about their work! Don’t rely on your watch, it’s fast!

And did you do your best before going home yesterday, so as not to have too many urgent tasks at the beginning of the morning? Apparently yes, you can thus start the day slowly!

And now the telephone starts to ring. Phew, it’s just one of your friends who’s asking you to go to the cinema tonight. Usually, when the phone rings, it’s a colleague with a lot of questions to ask.

This morning, someone came by your office and left documents you have to reread before the meeting. It seems that every task in this company is urgent!

In the offices next door, they’re just as busy. Obviously, you’re dealing with a professional call and not with an invitation to go to the cinema.

On the telephone, you agree with your various colleagues on the point of view that is to be defended at the next meeting.

This is very important, because if there is no unity among the staff, your superior will ask you to start the work again.

There you go, another file to deal with! As if you didn’t have enough to do already... By the looks of it, you won’t be going to the cinema tomorrow either...

You were concentrating so hard on your work that you didn’t see the time go by, nor the time of the meeting get closer.

You still had to reread your argumentation and make a few photocopies before going to the conference room, where the whole team is waiting for you.

Your superior is very satisfied, your work is impeccable, as usual. He congratulates you. It was well worth getting up early this morning.

Err, let’s just hope that your car hasn’t been stolen!


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Jumat, 22 Februari 2013

World Tourism - Video for Listening Comprehension







How would you fancy a trip around the world in less than five minutes? Okay, fasten your seat belts and let's go!

Brandishing her torch as if at the start of a race, the Statue of Liberty seems to show us the way. There are tourists inside, but you probably cannot see them.

Our first stop is in Washington D.C., at the White House, where the President of the USA works and lives. Numerous tourists come and visit every year. Building began in 1792 and, since 1800, all her tenants have left a mark of their passage.

Despite her great age, the pollution and the tourists' comings and goings, the walls of the White House keep their brilliant whiteness. She really does wear her name well!

On the other side of the Atlantic, only a few hours by plane, there's London, the capital of the United Kingdom.

The Thames has played an important role in the history of this ancient port. The Palace of Westminster is found on the banks of this river. In 1605, Guy Fawkes dug a tunnel under it to plant a bomb. He was then arrested and executed.

If we carry on down the river, we come to Tower Bridge, behind the Tower of London, which is on your left.

This is where the beefeaters watch over the royal family's jewels. If they were ever lost, the queen wouldn't have a crown any more. And can you imagine the queen without a proof of identity?

On the other side of the Channel, on the European continent, royal families have almost all disappeared. Among those that remain are the Spanish, Belgians and Dutch.

This castle, in the southwest of France, probably belonged to a noble and rich family, which must have suffered a lot in 1789 during the French Revolution.

We can say that the people of the period lifted their heads up high in rebellion and the aristocrats lost theirs! France then became the country of human rights.

Let's discover the last monument constructed during Napoleon's reign: the Arc de triomphe. At the foot of this monument rests the unknown soldier, in homage to all the fallen soldiers of World War I, which ravaged Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century.

A flame stays permanently alight in memory of them lest we may forget...

If we go down the Champs-Elysées, we come to the largest square in Paris: the place de la Concorde.

Let's change scenery completely, cross the Rhine and go to Cologne. This town is famous for its gothic style cathedral. It's so big!

Let's leave the north for warmer places! For Barcelona, notably, which was the birthplace of the artist Gaudí.

His bold and singular creations brighten the town and the tourists love to visit these colourful monuments.

Another sight, not to be missed, is the Plaza de España. Here, during the summer nights, the central fountain lights up and a son et lumière show is put on for you.

The impressive speed of the Spanish drivers shouldn't leave you indifferent either!


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Accommodation - Video for Listening Comprehension




Have you got your passport and your tickets? Are the suitcases ready? They are? Okay, then let's get going!

What would you say to a stay in the country, in a self-catering cottage? Getting up with the sun, living to nature's rhythm, feeding the chickens and helping the farmer milk his cow, Daisy!

What's better than having a nap in the hay and in the evening, a good meal by the fireside?

But maybe you prefer a seaside resort, renting a villa with a sea view and sunbathing all day, lying in a deck chair? You can also go to a hotel, in Miami, by the sea.

On arriving you ask reception for the key to your room. Once the suitcases are unpacked, you've got several options: recover from the jet lag by the swimming pool, sip exotic cocktails or do some water sports.

The evening come, your dinner awaits you. All of the hotel's staff is there at your service. Nothing is left to chance: entertainment is guaranteed for the night owls!

No need to lay the table, to vacuum, to prepare your breakfast or even do your laundry. Now that's a real dream holiday!

But you may prefer going up to the mountains and their beautiful chalets. Take enough provisions in case there are heavy snowfalls! After a day on the slopes, you like to get together with friends in the warm.

And for those who like adventure, there's camping, taking advantage of the open air. For a few days, live in luxury, spending the nights sleeping under the stars. An ordinary five-star hotel doesn't come close!

Whatever the style of accommodation: a caravan... a boat... It's always nice to come back home. Especially to a house like this one!



See other video scripts of the same level (Advanced+):
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Stop Thief! - Video for Listening Comprehension




Stop thief! Stop thief! This woman has stolen the suitcase from the man chasing her.

But what's in the suitcase? Why, stolen money, of course! Half a million dollars! Earlier in the morning, the couple committed an armed robbery in a bank in the town centre.

Unluckily for him, the man has been tricked by his accomplice and she's run off with the loot. Quick! She's probably hiding, and above all, keeping out of sight.

She goes to the airport to leave town. There are two flights to Chicago this afternoon, but she knows too many people there and someone would end up indicating her presence to the police, or worse, to her accomplice. Better off leaving the country to launder the money abroad.

In the departure lounge, the woman entrusts the money to her brother, who'll take the suitcase on the plane.

She, on the other hand, will cross the border by car where the risk of being recognised is less. The man collects his ticket and, boarding card in hand, takes his seat in the plane.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the policemen investigating the robbery are following up their research. They're inspecting the disused warehouse, in which the woman hid for a few minutes, barely after the robbery, and they're trying to retrace her steps.

Let's hope they find some clues that will enable them to recuperate the money and arrest her.

Once in Canada, the man with the suitcase leaves the plane to fetch his luggage. The Canadian customs officers have been alerted by an informer of his arrival. Are the customs officers going to open the suitcase and find the stolen money?

No! They decide to shadow their man and try and find the other accomplices who will be responsible for laundering the money. When the time is right, they'll send in the police to arrest them. In such a situation, the criminals don't have much chance of escaping...

After a chase, the policemen end up arresting their man and handcuffing his wrists. It is said that blood ties are often the strongest, but the brother ends up giving his sister away and indicating her hide-out.

This is quite often how customs officers manage to catch the larger smugglers: an anonymous phone call, and the criminal is spotted disembarking from the plane or boat.

So you'd better humour your enemies if you want to avoid giving them the idea for a very bad joke!



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Kamis, 21 Februari 2013

Transport - Video for Listening Comprehension



In 1492, Christopher Columbus took 71 days to cross the Atlantic! Today, he would be amazed to see that it only takes six hours to fly from Paris to New York.

Air traffic is always getting busier and it isn’t unusual to see one plane land while another takes off. This doesn’t simplify the work of the air traffic controllers who have to avoid midair collisions between planes.

The power of the jet engines enables planes to take off from smaller and smaller runways. However, because of its weight, the aircraft takes a lot longer to come to a complete standstill.

The plane’s fuselage is very tapered, the wings are long and equipped with flaps which, when raised or lowered, enable the regulation of the aircraft’s speed.

The nose of the plane has an aerodynamic shape that facilitates the penetration of the air. As for the tail, it is fitted with a rudder that steers the plane.

But who travels by plane? We can find tourists and businessmen. That’s why airlines offer different types of tickets that correspond to the travellers’ wishes.

Thanks to the charter ticket, everyone can go to the other end of the world without spending a fortune. However, the attractive prices offered assume a certain amount of availability on the traveller’s part, who will not leave until the plane is full.

The price of business-class tickets is definitely higher, but it includes a more luxurious on-board service, with a large choice of musical and audiovisual programmes.

Businessmen can also use their laptops to prepare for their meeting before landing in Paris, New York, Tokyo or London.

For daily trips or to go on holiday, the car remains the favourite vehicle which inevitably causes hold-ups and traffic jams around large urban centres. Traffic becomes very congested and the risk of accidents happening rises considerably.

Look at the drivers as they indicate and pull out to pass into another lane that seems to be moving faster than the one they’ve just left! Unfortunately, it’s not always very effective!

In the train say goodbye to all those traffic problems! No more indicators or pile-ups, we’re alone on the rails! Because of this, the train is considered the safest means of transport.

It’s a lot faster than the car and, when it runs on electricity, it respects the environment more.

Passengers can purchase two types of tickets.

The second-class ticket, the most used, provides a simple seat.

A first-class ticket allows the passenger to travel in a more luxurious compartment, with wider seats. The price of this ticket is therefore higher.

After air and land, let’s use water to travel. The boat is a means of transport often more expensive and definitely slower than all those other means we have seen up to now.

However, the boat is a good way to combine business with pleasure, for who could resist the charms of a cruise down the Nile?


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Means of transport

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Rabu, 20 Februari 2013

Air Travel - Video for Listening Comprehension



Ever since the day when Icarus and his father Dedalus made their wings of wax, Man has dreamt of flying. He can swim like a fish, he can run like a cheetah, but without a machine, he cannot fly like a bird.

Admittedly he can throw himself into the void, but free falling isn't the same thing as floating in the wind. Without wings, Man finds himself deprived of one of the greatest sensations.

Flying over mountains and following the thermal currents is indeed only possible in a hang-glider, and it's only in his dreams that Man can be an eagle.

Some people like to play at being human cannonballs because this number always impresses the crowd. The explosion must have made this man deaf: he can't hear the applause or the people warning him his net has got holes in it!

With the invention of the airship at the beginning of the twentieth century, Man was able to fly over cities and even over seas. Go left! Right! Straight on! No, turn around! Mind you don't get airsick...

Today, aeroplanes have reached such perfection that they can take people more or less anywhere, and more or less whenever they want, so long as there's a runway to land on. The number of airports is growing and these days every major city has one.

Even in Hong Kong, where space is very limited, there's an airport. The runway is so narrow the pilots must really feel like they're landing on a matchstick!

The helicopter is another means of air transport. It is said that Leonardo da Vinci drew up the first plans for the rotary mechanism. This might explain the Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile: she must have thought the man painting her portrait was a madman!

Flying machines! The very idea of it! But he who laughs last, laughs longest. Leonardo da Vinci was right... Thanks to its blades, the helicopter can take off and land vertically.

Jet planes are the fastest. They can fly so fast, they can break the sound barrier. What a deafening noise! Don't bother looking up, it's already far away! A jet's like a sprinter who leaves his shadow behind when pulling away!

For more peaceful travelling, with your head in the clouds, there are hot-air balloons. Filled with heated air, they get carried along by the winds. They rise serenely up into the sky and their passengers can admire the landscape that unfolds at their feet.

You can also make flying objects at home. For most children, the paper plane is their first contact with aerodynamics.

Man has been trying to defy gravity for a long time, and today he has found ways of taking advantage of it. Bungee jumping is an amazing sport with extreme sensations.

Is this man the right way up or upside down? It doesn't look like he knows what his exact position is. Maybe he thinks he's changed into a human yo-yo!

On Earth, Man has only known how to fly for a century, but maybe others elsewhere have more experience in the field... Who knows?



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Means of transport - Video for Listening Comprehension






Taxi! Taxi! What would we do without the car? He'd surely be phoning from his office! And she'd probably be in the bathroom!

They wouldn't have been able to go to the beach in their convertible. No need to ask the question, today the car has become essential.

It's always exciting buying your first car. It's also fun to drive fast, but that can be very costly! Washing the car is fun too.

Just until the car breaks down and you have to repair it. Nothing else to do but wait for the mechanic! Get your chequebook ready to pay for the repairs and the towing.

If you're rich, you can buy a sports car... Or even sponsor a racing team and take part in Grand Prix. Maybe you prefer two wheels, like a moped? Or a motorbike. Sometimes they've even got four wheels.

Do you want to buy a vintage car or travel in comfort and luxury in a limousine? You still risk being caught in traffic jams. Bumper to bumper. Traffic jams harm the environment. What pollution!

Finding a place to park can be difficult too. If you're illegally parked, you'll get clamped! Or a traffic warden will give you a parking ticket.

Public transport? There's a good idea! Get on a tram, for example. No more going round and round... No more vertigo!

There are many other types of vehicles, depending on the needs. Big trucks to deliver merchandise, tractors for agricultural work, combine harvesters to reap the wheat, electric cars for golfers, vehicles with caterpillar tracks adapted to all types of surfaces. Watch out behind you!

At any rate, the human heart doesn't pollute... but then you mustn't be in a hurry to get somewhere! And if you ever get lost one day, don't worry... All roads lead to Rome!


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Senin, 18 Februari 2013

Mother Nature - Video for Listening Comprehension



Seen from afar, our planet offers a magnificent sight. You can make out the continents and oceans through the clouds.

The contours of the land aren't quite visible yet, but as soon as the white curtain goes up, you can admire the beauty of this open-air theatre, where Mother Nature, the greatest of all actresses, has the leading role.

On the mountain tops the air is very fresh. There's no pollution here: witness the immaculate whiteness of the snow. It's right on top of these mountains that Mother Nature gives life to the land.

Here begins the prologue to the eternal process of renewal that is the water cycle. Snow covers the landscape for a few months, then melts and begins its journey towards the oceans...

Nothing can stop the icy water from pursuing its path. It cuts its way through the landscape, creating waterfalls, rivers and streams. The water's force is such that it shapes the landscape as it pleases. This is called erosion.

By the time the water reaches the valleys, it has lost a large part of its force and is much calmer. Mother Nature has tamed it, allowing Man to navigate and fish in peace.

Do take care, though! The dangers of drowning may be less, but the risks of being a crocodile's dinner are still there! There are often surprises before the interval!

During the interval, Mother Nature changes the scenery, using the water to feed the forests which are our planet's lungs. Without them, there would be no oxygen. One single tree can live for centuries.

This forest certainly existed before the invention of the space shuttle, the car, the camera and even the piano. Touch wood that the forest survives the invention of the chain saw!

The mountain water eventually flows into the sea, where the pull of the moon and the sun create the tides. Its vastness and depth make the sea difficult to control. So Mother Nature seeks help from the winds.

There are regions where water is in short supply. Here, in these canyons, you can see the traces of the water's passage over the rocks.

An immense river must have once flowed through here to erode the stone so much. Now the sun has taken over and bakes the soil like a giant oven.

The play's ending looks like a tragedy. The cold and snow of the mountains have been replaced by the drought and scorching heat of the desert. Water has almost disappeared, naturally, but the circle of life continues.

There are people, animals and plants that can survive in this environment. And if you look closer, you can even make out rivers of sand, as if the land hadn't forgotten its origins. They look like fingerprints... Mother Nature is everywhere!



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About Sea - Video for Listening Comprehension



Before civil aviation of the twentieth century, before the railways of the industrial revolution, Man used waterways. Today, he still uses the oceans for commerce, but also for leisure.

Vessels cut across the seas, transporting goods to every corner of the world. They go from port to port, dockyard to dockyard. The men load and unload, and they've been doing this for centuries, using clippers, for example.

The oceans are also a source of food. Fish are plenty and nets full on board the trawlers. Once the fish is sorted, mind you don't get your feet caught up in the nets, or in the lobster pots!

It might be hard to believe, but angling is one of the world's most popular sports. It's so relaxing setting up by a river, rod in hand, waiting for the fish to take the hook. Sh! Be quiet! If you make too much noise, you'll scare the fish away.

If you are lucky enough to catch one, throw it back straight away. Nothing can stop you from telling everyone afterwards that the fish was your biggest catch ever. But don't exaggerate by saying it was as big as a whale!

After this great fishing trip, you can relax on the water... thanks to your boat. Don't pretend to walk on water, we can see the board, you're surfing! And you're water-skiing! It's fun to slalom between the buoys, and windsurf or go funboarding, using the waves to do somersaults.

If you're not tempted by these acrobatics, go sail a dinghy, or imagine something bigger or something faster. Yachts are like floating hotels. But pleasure cruising isn't as pleasant as you might think...

You've got to hoist the sails, go about, run with the wind, beat up to windward, drop anchor and cast off the mooring ropes. If all these manoeuvres are beyond your strength, give in to the temptation of a cruise in the Caribbean.

Or travel by barge on canals and rivers. Have you ever wondered how boats go up hills? They go through locks. But opening and closing the sluice gates requires a lot of energy.

There are also some enormous canals that cross continents. The Suez and Panama Canals are incredibly long! The one in Corinth, in Greece, is extremely narrow. For the landlubber, there are rowing boats. They're very simple to steer.

But there's one thing you must never forget... When you're on the water, wear a life jacket. Because if the boat capsizes or if an unforeseen storm arises, you risk being thrown overboard.

But with a lot of luck, you'll be saved by a dolphin who'll take you back to shore, just like in the Greek legend.


See other video scripts of the same level (Advanced+):

The Water
The Beach
The Sport
Mother Nature
About Sea
Skiing


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Video for Listening Comprehension from Tell me More Advanced+ Level
Video for Listening Comprehension from Tell me More Intermediate+ Level
Video for Listening Comprehension from Tell me More Intermediate Level
Video for Listening Comprehension from Tell me More Beginner Level

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