زبان انگلیسی و مکالمه را با شنیدن یاد بگیرید -سطح4
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is one of the most spectacular sights in nature. It is found in one section of the valley of the Colorado River. The river begins its course high in the Rocky Mountains of the State of Colorado. The river travels a total of 1,400 miles through Colorado, Utah and Arizona and into the Gulf of California. It forms part of Arizona's border with Nevada and California. The Colorado River is a very swift and muddy river. It carries dirt and rocks down from the mountains. The story is told of an old fur trader who was attacked by Indians high up the river.
His only escape was down the Colorado River in a small boat. It was a terrifying trip through rapidsand around rocks at top speed. The fur trader was found some days later in very rough shape hundreds of miles down the river. No one would believe that he had come so far so fast. The Grand Canyon stretches for about 250 miles in the State of Arizona. The canyon was carved out by the flow of the river itself. In places the canyon is more than a mile deep. It stretches from four to 18 miles wide at the top. The canyon valley contains worn rocks that rise up like a mountain range. The canyon has been worn down through many layers of rock.
The river has cut its way down through layers of sandstone, limestone and shape to the granitebedrock. The different layers are of different colours, and the rocks appear very beautiful, especially at sunrise and sunset. Because the canyon is so deep, the climate changes as you go down into the valley. At the top, the climate is typical of a mountain area, with evergreen trees. Next, you havetypical forest trees. Third, there are plants like cacti that grow in warm deserts. Finally, there are sub-tropical plants at the valley bottom. Tourists can ride down the narrow trails to the bottom of the valley on mules. On one side is the rock wall of the canyon, and on the other side is a steep drop down to the bottom.
Tourists have to trust their guide, and the mule that they are riding, to get them down safely. The trails zigzag back and forth, and the tourist going down travels much more than a mile. Some 1,000 square miles of the area became the Grand Canyon National Park in 1919. Because the Colorado River is very swift and runs through dry country, several dams have been built along it. These are designed to harness its power, save its water and provide recreational opportunities. The best-known dam is Hoover Dam, formerly Boulder Dam, on the Arizona-Nevada border. This impressive structure is 727 feet high, and 1,282 feet long.
Elevators are used to carry workers up and down inside the dam. The water, which is backed up by the Hoover Dam, forms Lake Mead. Lake Mead is used to irrigate nearby land, as well as for boating and fishing. The dam itself is a major source of electric power for this section of the country. Visitors to the Grand Canyon are often filled with awe by the size and beauty of the canyon. People seem very small in comparison to the immense cliffs, valleys and the mighty river.
Come to the Fair
Fall fairs have been a feature of North American life since early in the nineteenth century. At the end of the harvest, people from rural areas have come together to celebrate. Usually, these fairs take the form of a competition regarding the best of all farm products of that year. Depending on the part of the country, and its most important crop, fall fairs can begin as early as August or as late as November. They usually last several days.
When the United States and Canada were organized, they were divided into small units called counties. Larger units were called states or provinces. Many of the best-known
fairs are county fairs or state fairs. There are also smaller local fairs, and larger ones too, like the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, Ontario.
Since these fairs are usually annual events, many have developed permanent buildings over the years. Most of these are large barn-like structures. These buildings are used to display new products for farm life, such as tractors, home furnishings and water systems.
Several barns are usually necessary to house all the horses, cows, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens and other animals in competition. There must also be room to display all the vegetables, berries and fruits in competition. Finally, there is space for handicrafts, artwork, baked goods, and jams and jellies.
Usually, there is a grandstand, which is a stage with wooden seats around it. Here entertainers perform for an audience during the fair. Country and western singers are usually popular at fairs, but so are comedians, clowns, dancers and musicians. There may also be other contests such as a beauty competition for queen of the fair, tests of strength for the men or pie-eating events. Most fairs also have a racetrack, which is used for horse racing, or, in some cases, auto-racing.
Fairs have helped to improve animal breeds, and races encourage the breeding of fast horses. Ploughing contests test the strength and steadiness of horses, and so do pulling contests. This spirit of competition has led to improvements in all areas of farming. Every kind of grain, fruit, vegetable, berry and animal is tested, and only the best win a ribbon.
This encourages fairness to improve their products. Farm women compete to produce the best homemade food and crafts. Many kinds of fruit and vegetables are stored in glass jars for the winter. The best of these also receive prizes. Most fairs have a dining area where this good food is served to the public.
The goal of improving farming is sponsored by the governments of Canada and the U.S.A. Four-H Clubs are youth organizations that encourage farm children to take an interest in farming. Four-H Clubs aim at improving the heads, hearts, hands and health of their members. There are also women's organizations, such as the Women's Institutes in Canada, which work to make the life of farm families better. Fall fairs have taken over the idea of the midway from the circus. The midway has rides like Ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds, and roller coasters. It also has games of chance and skill, such as trying to throw a small hoop over a large bottle. One nice thing about fall fairs is that they are fun for the whole family. Children enjoy the midway and the farm animals. Women like the crafts, food and household exhibits. Men like the machinery, the horse races and the crop exhibits. Everyone likes the grandstand shows. Nowadays, not so many people live on farms. But people from towns and cities still enjoy going to fall fairs. They are part of our North American heritage.
درس 2 - هیروشیما
ناگازاکی قبل و بعد بمباران
North American children know about Hiroshima. They are taught about the dangers of nuclear war. Sometimes they learn the details of the damage that was done. They learn about what happened at 8:15 am on August 6, 1945. People were eating breakfast; children were going to school and adults going to work. There was a blinding flash of light, a scorching heat, and a mushroom cloud rose up. People close to the explosion were instantly vaporized. Many of those further away would die from burns and radiation. Sixty thousand houses were destroyed immediately. One concrete structure remained standing, although it was damaged. The local government left the Atomic Dome standing as a memorial to the explosion.
Even those who were not seriously injured in the explosion later became very ill. They became very sick from radiation poisoning. Many developed leukemia. Sadako Sasaki was two years old when the bomb exploded. She was apparently uninjured and grew up normally until she was twelve. Then she developed leukemia, a disease of the blood and bone marrow. Sadako began to fold paper cranes to protect her from the illness. However, she died in 1955 before she reached 1,000 paper cranes. Her example inspired the Children's Monument at Hiroshima. There is a Peace Museum in Hiroshima which has objects left by the explosion. These include bottles, metal, stones and tiles twisted into strange shapes by the heat. There are objects on which people were vaporized, so that their shape appears like a shadow on the material. There are bits of burnt clothing and many photographs.
Why was the bomb dropped? World War II was a long and bitter war. The rules of war, which said not to kill civilians, were forgotten. Hitler bombed London, hoping to break the spirit of the English. Then England bombed Germany to destroy the factories and kill the people who worked in them. Americans wanted revenge for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The U.S. government had spent six billion dollars developing the A-bomb and wanted to use it. Some say that they also wanted to warn the Russians not to cause trouble for America.
When American forces advanced on Japan in 1945, they had to decide what to do. Would Japan surrender, or would they fight to the last soldier? American leaders feared that they might lose many men by an invasion. Dropping the atomic bomb would end the war very quickly. President Truman made the decision to use it.
Since then, most people have felt that this decision was wrong. It was such a terrible thing to do to people - children, old people, women, men and babies. Hiroshima inspired many people to try to "ban the bomb." They wanted to ensure that atomic bombs would not be used again. Even some of the scientists and aircrews involved in making and dropping the bomb at Hiroshima wanted it banned. Perhaps if we can all remember what happened that day, there will be no more Hiroshima's.
درس 3 - آبشار نیاگارا
Niagara Falls is one of the world's leading tourist attractions. Millions of people around the world visit here each year. Summers at the Falls are especially busy, with traffic jams and parking problems. However, the Falls are beautiful in winter too. Many have asked why people travel so far to see water falling over a cliff. The size and beauty of Niagara Falls help to make it special. While many falls are higher than Niagara, very few are as wide or have such a volume of water.
It also helps that Niagara is relatively easy to travel to. When the first Europeans came to Niagara, the Falls were surrounded by forest. The noise of the Falls could be heard miles away, before they were actually seen. The first visitors were filled with horror at the sight. Later, fear ceased to be the main emotion inspired by the Falls. Later, visitors were impressed by the beauty and grandeur of the Falls, which overwhelmed them with wonder.
By the 1830s, people were able to come to the Falls by railway. As more and more people came, the tourist industry developed. Early tourism was not well regulated, and there were many complaints about cheats and swindles. Today, there are similar complaints about tourist junk and high prices. The majority of tourists stay on the Canadian side. There are two falls, separated by an island.
Since the Niagara River forms the boundary here between Canada and the United States, each country has one of the falls. The Canadian Horseshoe Falls is wider and more impressive than the American Rainbow Falls. About nine times more water goes over the Canadian Falls. Nonetheless, there is much to be seen on the American side. The island in the middle, Goat Island, is one of the best places to view the falls and rapids. It is on the American side.
Newly married couples began coming to Niagara Falls when it was still a secluded, peaceful and romantic spot. It is still popular with newly-weds as a relatively inexpensive and convenient place to spend their honeymoon.
Besides being beautiful, Niagara Falls is also very useful. Their falling water is the power behind several of the largest hydroelectric stations in the world. Much of the electric power used in this part of North America comes from Niagara Falls. In order to harness this power, half of the flow of water is channeled away from the falls during the night, and during the non-tourist season. Probably most visitors don't notice the difference.
Niagara has attracted many kinds of people over the years. Businessmen have come to profit from the tourists. Daredevils have come to make a name for themselves. Some have gone over the falls in a barrel, while others have walked above the falls on a tightrope. Poets and artists have visited here to capture its beauty. Lovers have come to gaze on its romantic scenery. All of these, and many others, have helped to make Niagara Falls world famous.
The Golden Age of the American cowboy was short lived. It began in the 1860s with the great cattle drives from Texas north to Kansas. By 1890, when railroads had reached remote areas, there was no more need for large-scale cattle drives.
Of course, cowboys have a history before 1860. In fact, there were Mexican cowboys long before that. The Spanish conqueror of Mexico, Hernan Cortes, brought cattle with him 1521. Cortes also branded his cattle with a three cross design. The Spanish sharp-horned cattle roamed the deserts and prairies freely. Eventually, they found their way to Texas. American settlers in Texas interbred their animals with the Spanish breed - the Texas longhorn cow was the result! It was famous for its bad temper and aggressiveness. The Longhorn was a dangerous animal, with each of its horns measuring up to three and one-half feet long.
After the American Civil War ended in 1865, disbanded soldiers, who were former black slaves, and young men seeking adventure headed west. At that time, there were about five million cattle in Texas. Back in the East, there was a big demand for beef. By this time, railways from the east extended as far west as Kansas. It was still more than 600 miles from South Texas to the railway.
Between the two places there were rivers to cross, Indian tribes, badlands and other problems. A fur trader named Jesse Chisholm had driven his wagon north in 1865. Cowboys and cattle followed the Chisholm Trail north to Abilene, Kansas. This cattle trail became the most famous route for driving cattle, until it was barred with barbed wire in 1884. In 1867, cattle dealer Joseph G. McCoy built pens for 3,000 cattle in the little town of Abilene. Soon Abilene was the most dangerous town in America. After the long cattle drive, cowboys who had just been paid went wild. Sheriff "Wild Bill" Hickok tamed Abilene in 1871 by forcing cowboys to turn over their guns when they arrived in town. Other towns replaced Abilene as the wildest town in the West - Newton, Wichita, Ellsworth and Dodge City. In Kansas a herd of 3,000 Texas longhorns might sell for $100,000 making the rancher rich. The cowboys might get $200 in wages, which often disappeared on drink, women and gambling.
Getting cattle to Kansas was far from easy. One of the biggest difficulties was getting the herd across rivers, especially when the river was high. There were no bridges. In 1871, 350 cowboys driving 60,000 cattle waited two weeks for the water level in the Red River to go down.
Food for men and animals was also difficult to find at times. An early cattleman developed the chuck wagon, which were both a supply wagon and a portable kitchen. In the 1870s, there were probably 40,000 cowboys in the West. After the prairies were fenced in, there was less work. Large ranches still employ cowboys to round up the cattle for branding or for sale. Even today, about 20,000 cowboys still work in North America.
George W. Bush Jr.
George W. Bush Jr. was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States on January 20, 2001. Of course, people knew that he was the son of the 41st President, George H. W. Bush. He had also been Governor of Texas since 1994. However, aside from this, he was not very well known outside of Texas. Why then did so many people want him to run for president in 2000?
Many republicans thought that the democrats could be defeated in 2000. But they themselves lacked a candidate with strong appeal. As the election approached, leading publicans worried about whom to support. Some of the most powerful republicans were state governors. They began to look around at each other for a possible candidate. Most eyes turned to George W. Bush, the Governor of Texas. In November 1998, Bush was re-elected as Governor by an impressive margin. By now, Bush was the leading republican candidate in the polls.
Of course, one advantage that Governor Bush had was a familiar name. In fact, when he did well in some early polls, it is likely that some people really voted for his father. They thought that George H. W. Bush was running again. The Bush family was able to swing a lot of support to George W. It also helped that his brother, Jeb, was now Governor of Florida.
Parents George and Barbara were both born in eastern United States. But in 1948, George moved to Texas where he made a fortune in the oil business. He went into politics in the 1960s and 70s and served in a number of important positions. He was Ronald Reagan's Vice President from 1981-1989, and President from 1989-1993. George W. was born in 1946, the oldest of the Bush children. Three more brothers and two sisters were also born. The youngest sister died of leukemia as a child.
George W. attended the same prestigious eastern colleges as his father. Then he came back to Texas and was a fighter pilot with the Texas Air National Guard. During the early '70s he wandered from place to place, trying different jobs. After attending Harvard Business School from 1972 to 1975, he came back to Texas and started his own oil exploration company. Although it wasn't as profitable as his father's company, he eventually sold his stock shares for a considerable amount of money.
In 1978, h