54 Want to Grow a Root? Beets Are Hard to Beat

2 julio, 2020
Beets are a tasty __________ vegetable that do not require much work to grow. People might think beets are always dark red. But they can also be pink, yellow or white. Beets with circles of red and white inside are known as candy __________ or candy stripe beets. Beets are high in nutrients including folate, __________ and fiber. They can be eaten fresh or frozen, canned or pickled. And not just the root but also the tops can be eaten. The leaves make good salads when the plants are young, and the greens can be __________ when the plants are older. Beets like cool temperatures, between sixteen and eighteen degrees Celsius. They grow best in full sun and in __________ soil that is not too wet. Remove stones from the soil while preparing the ground. And test the soil before adding __________ and fertilizer. Some experts say the best fertilizers for beets are low in nitrogen. Beets need the acidity level in the soil to be six to seven and a half. Beet __________ can be planted as soon as the soil is able to be worked at the start of the growing season. Planting them every two or three weeks would provide a continuous __________ into the fall. Iowa State University horticulture specialist Cindy Haynes suggests planting the seeds one and one-quarter centimeters __________. They should be planted in rows that are spaced thirty to forty-six centimeters apart. A beet seed is a fruit containing several seeds. __________ the plants will mean that the roots cannot spread out and grow. Thin the beets by removing the smaller ones. These can be used as greens. Cindy Haynes says little or no fertilizer is needed in fertile soils. She does suggest covering the soil with a little mulch to protect it during rains and dry periods. She also suggests putting a __________ around the plants to keep away rabbits and __________. She says the only work needed once beets have been __________ is weeding and, when the weather is dry, a weekly watering. For best results, beets should be picked when the roots are two and one-half centimeters around. Beets much larger than that can be __________ and have to be cooked for a long time. Some people like beets prepared simply in butter. Others like to cook them with __________ and __________.

53 Trying to Understand Food Labels

1 julio, 2020
It can be hard to decide which foods to buy in an American grocery _____________ these days. The information on many products makes different claims. These labels suggest that the food is safe, pure or kind to animals. The label «organic» guarantees that the United States Department of Agriculture recognizes the product was grown under _____________ conditions. The department says foods that meet requirements of its National Organic Program can use an official label. It shows the words «USDA Organic» inside a _____________. For example, U.S.D.A. organic food does not contain genes that have been scientifically changed. The food is grown without _____________ treatments against insects or disease. It is grown without chemical fertilizers. The U.S.D.A. organic label on meat and dairy _____________ guarantees that they are from animals that live much of the time outdoors. The animals have been _____________ only organic food. The animals have not received antibiotic drugs. And they have not had hormone substances to make them grow _____________. Organic meat and dairy products usually cost more than other products. But many people buy them because they believe they are more _____________. The U.S.D.A. is trying to decide if fish can be labeled «organic.» A decision is not expected for many months. However, the Marine Stewardship Council says its label promises that fish are not _____________ and were caught without harming the local _____________. There are also labels on coffee. Some coffee growers plant their _____________ on land with no natural plants to provide shade from the sun. Other coffee is grown under trees that provide shade for the coffee and homes for _____________. This coffee is labeled «Bird Friendly.» The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Council of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., guarantees coffee with the «Bird Friendly» label. Other food labels include «natural,» «cage-free» and «free-range.» Experts say it may be harder for the food buyer to decide what these mean. For example, chickens may not have been raised in a cage. Still, they may have been in overcrowded conditions inside a _____________. The Department of Agriculture will be holding meetings with food producers and the public to try to _____________ requirements for labels.

52 A Cool Way to Keep Food From Spoiling

30 junio, 2020
A few ___________ can make a big difference when it comes to food storage. Foods can go bad if they get too warm. But for many of the world’s poor, finding a good way to keep food cool is difficult. Refrigerators are ___________ and they need electricity. Yet spoiled food not only creates health risks but also economic ___________. Farmers lose money when they have to throw away products that they cannot sell quickly. But in nineteen ninety-five a teacher in northern Nigeria named Mohammed Bah Abba found a solution. He developed the «Pot-in-Pot Preservation/Cooling System.» It uses two ___________ containers made of clay. A smaller pot is placed inside a larger one. The space between the two pots is filled with wet ___________. The inner pot can be filled with fruit, vegetables or drinks. A wet cloth covers the whole cooling system. Food stored in the smaller pot is ___________ from spoiling through a simple evaporation process. Water in the sand between the two pots evaporates through the surface of the larger pot, where ___________ outside air is moving. The evaporation process creates a drop in temperature of ___________ degrees. This cools the inner pot and helps keep food safe from harmful bacteria. Some foods can be kept fresh this way for several weeks. People throughout Nigeria began using the ___________. And it became popular with farmers in other African countries. Mohammed Bah Abba personally financed the first five thousand pot-in-pot systems for his own community and five villages ___________. In two thousand, the Rolex Watch Company of Switzerland honored him with the Rolex Award for Enterprise. This award recognizes people trying to develop ___________ aimed at improving human knowledge and well-being. A committee considers projects in science and medicine, technology, exploration and discovery, the ___________ and cultural history. Winners receive financial assistance to help develop and extend their projects. The ___________ is given every two years. The most recent one was given last year.  

51 Study Says High Calorie Snacks Are to Blame for Obesity Epidemic

29 junio, 2020
DESCARGAR VIDEO IGONNA IGONNA VIDEO SNACKS   1. The study says American children eat an average of _____________ a day on top of three regular meals. three snacks. five snacks. six snacks. 2. Desserts and candy are the major source of calories from snacks. True. False. It’s not said on the video. 3. Childhood obesity has ________ over the last 30 years. remained. doubled. tripled. 4. The federal government is encouraging schools to make more time for physical activity. True. False. It’s not said on the video. 5. The Centers for Disease Control wants the government to put taxes on sugary drinks and junk food. True. False. It’s not said on the video.

50 Researchers Finding Babies Smarter Than Previously Thought

28 junio, 2020
DESCARGAR VIDEO IGONNA Health_Babies_IGONNA VIDEO     1. At Northwestern University, researchers recently concluded that well before babies start to ______, they recognize words and can link them to the things they represent. walk. cry. speak. 2. The Northwestern study indicates that one of the best things parents can do is _____________________. talk to their babies. sing to their babies. play with their babies. 3. Researchers think babies begin developing language skills while they are in the _____. bed. crib. womb. 4. Even before they are born, babies pick up the _________ of language. words. phrases. melodies. 5. Babies who are frequently talked to will be more intelligent. True. False. It’s not said on the video.

49 Pressure Mounts in US to Restrict Salt Levels in Processed Foods

27 junio, 2020
DESCARGAR VIDEO IGONNA IGONNA Much_Salt- 1. We should not eat more than _____ milligrams of sodium daily. 223. 230. 2300. 2. One major risk factor is a diet filled with _____________. fat and salt. fat. salt. 3. When the Food and Drug Administration does issue new limits on salt, the changes are made immediately. True. False. It’s not said on the video. 4. Reducing salt in the food supply needs to be a ________ process. hard. fast. gradual. 5. Some food manufacturers have already begun reducing the sodium content. True. False. It’s not said on the video.

48 More US Companies Refuse to Hire Smokers

26 junio, 2020
Descargar video IGONNA IGONNA VIDEO US 1. The federal law that prohibits smoking in public buildings was passed ____ ago. 6. 8. 10. 2. Memorial Hospital gives check-ups to prospective employees. True. False. It’s not said on the video. 3. Medical care and the loss of productivity cost in average around _______ annually for each smoker. $300. $3,000. $3,300. 4. How many U.S. states have laws that protect the right of smokers? 21. 29. 50. 5. At least five million smokers die every year from smoking-related causes in the world. True. False. It’s not said on the video.

47 Washington Struggles to Recover from Massive Snowstorm

25 junio, 2020
    DESCARGAR VIDEO IGONNA Washington_IGONNA 1. Washington received more snow in ___ hours than it usually sees in an entire winter. 16. 26. 36. 2. Flights to and from Washington were canceled. True. False. It’s not said on the video. 3. The person says: I have been in Washington for maybe ___ years. 20. 30. 40. 4. A massive snowball fight was organized at Dupont Circle. True. False. It’s not said on the video. 5. More snow is forecast for ______________________. Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday and Sunday. Tuesday and Friday.

46 Powered Parachute Gives US Rural Police Departments Eye in the Sky

24 junio, 2020
VIDEO IGONNA DESCARGA Flying_IGONNA VIDEO 1. The parachute offers an expensive way to patrol from the air. True. False. It’s not said on the video. 2. This powered parachute costs just ____ an hour to fly. $3,50. $35. $100. 3. The parachute weighs ____ kilos. 18. 180. 188. 4. The parachute is used by ______ agencies in the US. seven. seventeen. seventy. 5. The parachute can fly as slowly as ___ kilometers per hour. 40. 24. 14.

45 London Museum Unveils Medieval, Renaissance Treasures

23 junio, 2020
DESCARGAR VIDEO IGONNA LONDON IGONNA VIDEO   1. The Victoria and Albert Museum is believed to house the finest collection of Italian __________ outside of Italy. culture. paintings. sculpture. 2. Wonderful ___________, wonderful textiles, gold and silver, enamel and jewelry. paintings. tapestries. sculptures. 3. The medieval and renaissance collections are now being displayed chronologically across ____ new galleries. 8. 10. 12. 4. The sculpture by Donatello was being used as an ashtray. True. False. It’s not said on the video. 5. The project took almost a decade to complete and cost $53 million. True. False. It’s not said on the video.

44 Moroccan Villagers Make Their Desert Bloom

22 junio, 2020
Descarga el video, observa y escucha para poder elegir la respuesta correcta.   DESCARGAR MoroccoOrganicIGONNA hey received donations to drill a well. True. False. It’s not said on the video. 2. «Last year, I sold ___________ kilos of green peas,» Lamine said. 4 to 5. 40 to 50. 400 to 500. 3. «Tomatoes, watermelon, _________, carrots, turnips, peppers — we’ve got all vegetables here,» Baiach said. potatoes. lettuce. pumpkins. 4. The farmers pay to keep the pump running. True. False. It’s not said on the video. 5. In the past, they used to work as their fathers did. True. False. It’s not said on the video.

43 Roof Top Gardening is a Growing Trend in New York City

21 junio, 2020
Descarga el video igonna referente al tema, observa, escucha y responde con la respuesta que consideras correcta que a continuación se te presentan. DESCARGAR: ROOFTOPIGONNA   1. What started as an interest in sustainability has become a rooftop oasis, complete with tomatoes, cucumbers, ________ and herbs. apples. lettuce. carrots. 2. The couple learned how to make soil, grow plants, capture __________, and trap urban heat. air. rainwater. clients. 3. «Also, with so many people on the planet, we can’t all have ____ acres,» Kusmenko says. 10. 100. 1000. 4. Roberta’s Pizzeria bought two old railway cars and planted vegetables on top of them. True. False. It’s not said on the video. 5. Rooftop farms can provide ________ produce. cheaper. faster. more expensive.

42 Desert Museum in Arizona Exhibits Native Plants and Animals

20 junio, 2020
DESCARGA EL SIGUIENTE VIDEO IGONNA Y OBSÉRVALO DETENIDAMENTE DESDE TU COMPUTADOR, CELULAR O TABLETA DIGITAL. SEGUIDO DE ELLO RESPONDE A LOS NUMERALES ESCOGIENDO LA RESPUESTA CORRECTA. DESCARGA AQUI!  IGONNA VIDEO 1   1. The mountain lion is ____________ cat native to North America. the smallest. the wildest. the largest. 2. More than 300 animal species and _____ types of plants are found along 3 kilometer-long paths. 120. 1200. 12000. 3. The prairie dog is _________ that lives in underground tunnels. a dog. a worm. a rodent. 4. The black bear is the only bear species in Arizona. True. False. It’s not said on the video. 5. Bird Trainer Dillon Horger says the birds don’t fly away because ______ they consider the Desert Museum their territory. they are trained to come back. they are in cages.  

41 Cameras Capture Pictures of Mysterious Bush Dog

19 junio, 2020
Scientists say they have captured photographs of one of the most mysterious known animals: bush dogs. Bush dogs live in Central and South America. They are a rarely seen and threatened __________. But the photos suggest they may be more common than scientists thought. Scientists used cameras that take photos in the forest when an animal passes by. Photos of the bush dogs were taken in wild areas of __________. The traps can be found across the country from its Costa Rican border to its border with Colombia. Ricardo Moreno is a research associate for the Smithsonian Institution. He and a team of biologists from Yaguará, Panama are studying large, wild mammals in that country. He says, «The bush dog is one of the __________ species that we photograph.» The researchers describe the animals as «short-legged and stubby, standing only about a foot (30cm) tall at the __________.» Like other dogs, bush dogs hunt in packs of up to __________. They are known to communicate to each other using «high-pitched whines.» They eat mostly large forest rodents. The bush dog is so elusive that photos of the animal were made only 11 times over __________ camera days. That is the number of cameras multiplied by the days in operation. The International Union for Conservation of Nature says bush dog populations have dropped by up to __________ percent over the past 12 years. It is considered a «near-threatened» species. Humans do not hunt or directly threaten bush dogs. But, habitat loss is affecting their __________. They live mainly in rainforests. Scientists think the animals may require large forest spaces to survive. It is estimated that Panama lost __________ percent of its rainforest from 1990 to 2010. I’m Kathleen Struck.

40 Secret to Life? Dance, and Don’t Procrastinate!

19 junio, 2020
1. Where was this lady born? India. England. USA. 2. How old is she? 87. 93. 97. 3. She has been teaching yoga, full-time, since _____. 1957. 1963. 1967. 4. Even when she was ___, she won dance competitions. 65. 75. 85. 5. What is she going to do when she retire? She will not retire. She will travel around the world. She will write a book.

39 Making Friends Not Always Easy for Foreign Students

18 junio, 2020
A recent story in the Chronicle of Higher Education said many foreign students report feeling _________ or unwelcome in Australia. Those feelings are among the reasons why Australia is taking a close look at its international education industry. The government has formed an advisory council to help develop a _________ -year national strategy for the future of international education in Australia. But wherever international students go, making friends may not always be easy. The Journal of International and Intercultural Communication recently published a study done in the United States. Elisabeth Gareis of Baruch College in New York surveyed _________  international students. They were attending four-year colleges and graduate schools in the American South and Northeast. Students from English-speaking countries and from northern and central Europe were more _________  to be happy with their friendships. But _________  percent of the international students said they had no close friends in the United States. And half of the students from East Asia said they were unhappy with the number of American friends they had. Professor Gareis says thirty percent said they wished their friendships could be _________  and more meaningful. ELISABETH GAREIS: «Students from East Asia have cultures that are different on many _________  from the culture in the United States. But then there’s also language problems, and maybe some social _________ , such as small talk, that are possibly not as important in their native countries, where it’s not as important to initiate friendships with small talk.» She says many East Asian students blamed themselves for their limited friendships with Americans. ELISABETH GAREIS: «The vast majority _________  themselves, actually for not speaking the language well enough, not knowing the culture well enough. There were also some comments about the college environment, like many of them were in the natural sciences or worked in _________  where they were surrounded by other East Asians.» VOA’s Student Union blogger Jessica Stahl did her own survey to find out how American students and foreign students relate to each other. More than _________  students, about half of them American, answered her online questions. Half of the international students and _________  percent of the Americans said they related as well or better to the other group than to their own group. Eighty-five percent of the Americans said they have at least one international friend. But only about half said they have more than two international friends. Among the foreign students, _________  percent said they have more than two American friends. But ten percent said they have no American friends. Not surprisingly, Professor Gareis says students who _________  friends from their host country return home happier with their experience. ELISABETH GAREIS: «International students who make friends with host _________  are, overall, more satisfied with their stay in the host country. They have better language skills, they have better academic performance and they have better _________  toward the host country. So when they return home, and often fill leadership positions, they can _________  productive relations with the former host country.» And that’s the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Jerilyn Watson. I’m Jim Tedder.

38 A Flower in Winter: The Story of the Poinsettia

17 junio, 2020
Poinsettias are the best-selling potted flowering plant in the United States. Red poinsettias are a traditional part of _____________ celebrations, which is why almost all of them are sold at wintertime. The Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans bought $ _____________  million worth of poinsettias last year. The poinsettia is native to Central America and needs warmth to grow. Bright red poinsettias are the best known. But there are about _____________  different kinds, in colors including white, pink, yellow and purple. The flowers of the poinsettia are very _____________ . Around the flowers are colorful leaves called bracts. These bracts are what give the plants their beauty. The poinsettia is named for Joel Roberts Poinsett from South Carolina. In _____________  President John Quincy Adams appointed him as the United States’ first minister to Mexico. Poinsett had an interest in plants. He saw the colorful plants growing in the wild. Wild poinsettias can grow up to _____________  meters tall. He liked them so much that he sent some cuttings back to the United States. The botanical name for the plant is Euphorbia pulcherrima. In Latin, that means «most beautiful euphorbia.» There are hundreds of related plants, including rubber trees, trees that produce castor and tung oil, and the cassava, a root crop. People who are allergic to the latex produced by rubber trees can develop a mild skin rash from poinsettia plants. Babies and _____________  that chew on poinsettias can get sick. But experts say the plant is not as poisonous as some people think. In the 1920s, Albert Ecke and his son Paul became interested in the poinsettia’s ability to flower in _____________ . Paul Ecke thought it would be a good plant to display at Christmastime. They started a farm near Encinitas, California. At first, Paul Ecke, and later his son, grew large plants in fields. Then they sent them to growers by _____________ . Growers would divide the large plants into cuttings, to raise smaller ones in greenhouses until the holidays. In the 1960s came poinsettias that grew best in _____________ . The Eckes started to sell cuttings from these new plants. Today Ecke Ranch remains a major supplier in the United States and around the world. In August, Paul Ecke’s grandson announced that the company was joining the Dutch-based Agribio Group.

37 In the Garden: Growing Onions

16 junio, 2020
Onions come in different sizes, ___________, colors and flavors, from mild and sweet to hot and ___________. A full-grown onion plant has roots, bulbs and leaves. The leaves are long, thin and hollow. They stand straight up and thicken at the bottom to form a bulb. Onions are biennials; their life cycle is ___________ years long. But they are usually picked during their first year before flowers form and the bulbs stop growing. Onions grow best in loose, fertile ___________. They can grow in many different climates. In cooler climates, onions may need fourteen to fifteen hours of daylight to start forming bulbs. In ___________ climates, onions can begin developing bulbs with fewer hours of daily sun. Barbara Fick is an extension agent at Oregon State University, in the northwestern United States. She says a ___________ way to grow onions is to plant what are called sets. BARBARA FICK: «Onion sets are actually ___________ plants, versus starting with a seed. So when you have a set, onion set, it actually is, you know, the small bulb. Organic material like compost or leaf mulch can help onions grow in heavy soil. The bulbs can be pulled from the ground once their tops have dried and fallen over. Onions can be stored for ___________. But Barbara Fick says stored onions need to be cured first. BARBARA FICK: «Curing is a way of making sure those leaves on the outside are ___________ and dry.» Here are some directions from editors at the National Gardening Association. First, dry the onions in the sun for a day or so. Then bring them out of ___________ sun for two to three weeks. Spread them out in any warm, airy place that is covered. Or cover the onions with a light cotton sheet held in place with stones along the edge. The sheet will keep the sun from burning the bulbs. Don’t worry about ___________. And do not use a plastic or canvas sheet. Heavy coverings will trap moisture and keep the onions from drying fully. Turn the bulbs a couple of times to help them dry ___________. After curing the onions, you can hang them indoors in mesh ___________ to dry even more. There should be no wet spots on the onions when they are put in storage. Editors at the National Gardening Association say the longer onions are cured, the better they will keep. Some people cut off the top leaves before curing onions. If you do that, do not cut the leaves any closer than two and a ___________ centimeters from the bulb.

36 Golden Gate Bridge Still Shines After 75 Years

15 junio, 2020
The Golden Gate Bridge is celebrating its seventy-fifth anniversary. The bridge opened to vehicle traffic on May _____________________, nineteen thirty-seven. Since then, more than two billion vehicles have crossed the world famous structure between San Francisco and Marin County, California. As many as _____________________ cars make the trip each day. The Golden Gate Bridge had the longest suspension span in the world, at the time it was built. The suspended roadway stretches _____________________ meters between the bridge’s two tall towers. Today it still rates among the top ten longest bridge spans in existence. Mary Currie works for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. She says the bridge is one of the most extraordinary engineering projects of all time. MARY CURRIE: “The Golden Gate Bridge is an engineering marvel certainly, and it gets award after award after award for what it means in civil engineering and structural engineering. It’s also a place where things happen first. For example, we were the first suspension bridge to have to change the roadway _____________________.” The Golden Gate Bridge is named after the Golden Gate Strait. That narrow passage of water connects the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. Joseph Strauss was the chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge project. Work began in _____________________. The project took four years to complete. The bridge is _____________________ meters long from one end to the other. It is twenty-seven meters wide. Two large cables pass over the top of the bridge’s towers. These structures stand two hundred twenty seven meters above water and _____________________ meters above the road. Each cable holds more than twenty-seven thousand five hundred strands of wire. _____________________ pairs of vertical suspender ropes connect the support cables to the suspension bridge. This is part of what enables the bridge to move up and down by nearly five meters. The Golden Gate Bridge weighed eight hundred eleven million five hundred thousand kilograms when it was completed in nineteen thirty-seven. The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper called the finished project, “a thirty-five million dollar steel harp!” Architect Irving Morrow gets credit for the bridge’s bright orange color. The Navy wanted the bridge painted in yellow and black. The Air Force had suggested red and white. MARY CURRIE: “But we were fortunate that Irving Morrow knew that that color would blend with the environment, it would contrast with the ocean and the air above, and it would also allow the art deco styling to really _____________________.”

35 What Is the Relationship Between Age and Happiness?

14 junio, 2020
1. Researchers found that by the age of 85, people are happier with their life than they were at 18. True. False. It’s not said on the text. 2. They found that the most stressed people are between the ages of 18 and 22. between the ages of 22 and 25. between the ages of 50 and 60. 3. According to the report, the happiest people were the youngest adults and those in their early 60s. those in their early 70s. those in their early 80s. 4. Men and women have similar emotional patterns as they grow older. True. False. It’s not said on the text. 5. Having children affects the level of happiness related to age. True. False. It’s not said on the text.

34 Tomato’s Genetic Secrets Are Peeled Away

13 junio, 2020
Scientists have made a genetic map of the tomato. Tomatoes are second only to _________ as the world’s most valuable vegetable crop. Eight years of work went into making the map, or genome. Three hundred scientists around the world took part in the project to sequence the tomato’s DNA code. Giovanni Giuliano, a researcher in Italy, is part of the Tomato Genome Consortium. GIOVANNI GIULIANO: «We started as ten countries and we now are _________.» Mr. Giuliano says having the tomato’s genetic map will help growers who are always trying to produce a better tomato. GIOVANNI GIULIANO: «And of course, this will be facilitated now by the fact that we now know not only what genes are there, but their _________.» Researchers published the genome of a tomato used by Heinz, the American food company famous for its tomato _________. The thick sauce is used on hamburgers, hot dogs and other foods. Heinz’s research manager, Rich Ozminkowski, says the company knows what it wants in a tomato. RICH OZMINKOWSKI: «Traits like sugars and, for Heinz, viscosity, or the juice thickness, and the redness of the tomatoes are all very critical traits for us, for our products. Those are all controlled by a lot of different genes within a tomato naturally.» Mr. Ozminkowski says genome sequencing takes away much of the guesswork for _________ of tomatoes or other crops that have been mapped. RICH OZMINKOWSKI: «By having the genome information, we can pick out those tomato plants that have more of those genes.» Until the late _________, the tomatoes that Heinz used to make ketchup often cracked open on the vine after a heavy rain. RICH OZMINKOWSKI: «Heinz had set about trying to put together a variety of tomatoes that would resist that cracking.» Breeders used the traditional methods of mating generations of different _________. The tomatoes they were trying to develop not only had to resist cracking. They also had to resist disease. And they had to be easy to harvest mechanically. Finally the company came up with the tomato it wanted, called the Heinz 1706. Mr. Ozminkowski says the job would have been much _________ if there had been a genetic map to follow. RICH OZMINKOWSKI: «The tools available back when 1706 was developed, it was all very, very conventional breeding. There were no genetic tools. You could not look at sequences. You could not do _________. And that is what makes the genomic project and the technologies that have spun off of that so interesting.» But the work is not just about making better ketchup. Climate change may force many crops to adjust to new conditions. And Mr. Ozminkowski says researchers are already using the new genetic tools to help fight new _________ diseases. RICH OZMINKOWSKI: «And so this is going to give us even more, because there are new diseases that are becoming problems within California and around the world.» Researchers published the tomato genome in the journal Nature.

33 Worried That People Are Laughing at You?

12 junio, 2020
Imagine this situation. You pass a group of people. The people are __________ to each other. You cannot hear what they are saying. But suddenly they start laughing. What would you think? Would you think they were laughing __________ something funny that one of them said? Or — be honest with yourself — would you think they were laughing __________ you? Yes, you. Being laughed at is a common __________. But a major study published in two thousand nine found that this fear is not the same around the world. It differs from culture to culture. People in Finland were the least likely to believe that people laughing in their presence were making __________ of them. Less than __________ percent of Finns in the study said they would think that, compared to __________ percent of people in Thailand. Some people in the study said they felt __________ of themselves in social situations but hid their feelings of insecurity. Others said they avoided social situations where they had been laughed at before. The study found that people in Turkmenistan and Cambodia were more likely to be in the first group. They would hide their feelings of __________ if they were around other people’s laughter. But people in Iraq, Egypt and Jordan were more likely to try to avoid such situations if they felt they had been laughed at before. Shy people often avoid situations that would force them into close __________ with other people. They worry that something they say or do will make other people laugh at them. But some people worry much more than others. They may have a __________ called gelotophobia. Gelos is a Greek word. It means laughter. Phobia means fear. This fear of laughter can be truly sad for those who live with it. It can affect how they lead their lives. In the study, a team from the University of Zurich led more than __________ researchers from around the world. They wanted to understand the difference between normal shyness and true gelotophobia. Another purpose of the study was to compare the levels of fear of being laughed at in different cultures. The researchers surveyed more than twenty-two thousand people in __________ different languages. The findings appeared in the scientific journal Humor.

32 How a Small Change in Teaching May Create Better Readers

11 junio, 2020
Teachers and parents usually call attention to the __________ when they read storybooks to preschool children. But a new study suggests that calling attention to the words and __________ on the page may lead to better readers. The two-year study compared children who were read to this way in class with children who were not. Those whose teachers most often discussed the __________ showed clearly higher skills in reading, spelling and understanding. These results were found one year and even two years later. Shayne Piasta, an assistant professor of teaching and learning at Ohio State University, was an author of the study. She says most __________ teachers would find this method manageable and would need only a small change in the way they teach. They already read storybooks in class. The only difference would be __________ attention to the printed text. Ms. Piasta says if you get children to pay attention to letters and words, it makes sense that they will do better at word recognition and __________. But she says research suggests that very few parents and teachers do this in a systematic way. The report appears in the journal Child Development. More than three hundred children age four and five were observed in classrooms in Ohio and Virginia. The children came from poor families and were below __________ in their language skills. This put them at risk for reading problems later. For __________ weeks, the children took part in a program called Project STAR, for Sit Together And Read. The project is based at Ohio State. It tests the short-term and long-term results of reading regularly to preschool children in their classrooms. Laura Justice at Ohio State was an investigator for the study. She heads the Preschool Language and Literacy Laboratory. She says one of the __________ that interests researchers is known as the «locus of learning.» LAURA JUSTICE: «Where is it that a child learns something? Where is that __________? We think we have identified it pretty well in terms of fostering some children’s knowledge about print.» Professor Justice says this knowledge can be gained by having focused discussions when reading a book to a child. LAURA JUSTICE: «We think we understand how information about print is __________ from the adult to the child. And we think we have centered on this intervention that really helps adults center in on the things that children __________ and want to learn.» There are different ways that adults can talk to children about print. They can point to a letter and discuss it, and even trace the __________ with a finger. They can point out a word: «This is ‘dog.'» They can discuss the meaning of the print or how the words tell the story. And they can talk about the __________ of the print — for instance, showing how words are written left to right in English.

31 Living in a World With Facial Recognition

10 junio, 2020
A new study looks at privacy in a world where computers can increasingly recognize faces in a ____________ or online. Alessandro Acquisti at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, led the study. Professor Acquisti says social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn represent some of the world’s largest databases of ____________. He sees increasing threats to privacy in facial recognition software and cloud computing — the ability to store huge amounts of information in data centers. ALESSANDRO ACQUISTI: «The convergence of all these technologies — face recognition, social networks, cloud computing — and all these advances in statistical re-identification techniques and ____________ mining are creating this world where you can blend together online and offline data. You can start from an anonymous face and end up with sensitive inferences about that ____________.” Recognition systems measure things like the size and position of a ____________, the distance between the eyes and the shape of cheekbones. The software ____________ lots of images to try to identify the person. This is what the professor means by «statistical re-identification techniques.» Facial recognition programs are used in ____________ and security operations. But the software is increasingly popular in other uses, including social media sites. For the study, the Carnegie Mellon team used software from Pittsburg Pattern Recognition, or PittPat. Google bought that company last month. The software can recognize faces in photos and ____________. The researchers did three experiments. First, they collected profile photos from a dating website. Its users try to ____________ their privacy by not listing their real name. But comparing their photos to pictures on Facebook identified one out of ____________ people. In the second experiment, the Carnegie Mellon researchers asked permission to take pictures of students on ____________. They compared these to photos on Facebook. This time they correctly identified one-third of the students. In the third experiment, they tried to see how much they could learn about people just from a photo. They found not only names but ____________, personal interests and even locations, when people listed them. And Professor Acquisti says the technology is only improving. ALESSANDRO ACQUISTI: “Because face recognizers keep improving ____________, because cloud computing keeps offering more power, and because more and more images of ourselves are going to be online, we are getting really close to this future where what we did as a proof of concept will be possible to do by anyone on a massive ____________.” In June, Facebook launched a facial recognition system to help users «tag» or list the names of people in photos. Germany last month became the first country to declare this software an ____________ violation of privacy.

30 A Fatter World, Yet Fewer Cases of High Blood Pressure

9 junio, 2020
Last week a study of one hundred ninety-nine countries and territories confirmed what many people may have already noticed. People around the ____________ are getting fatter. The study found that obesity has almost doubled since nineteen eighty. Majid Ezzati at Imperial College London led the research team. He says the results show that obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are no longer just found in wealthy ____________. These are now worldwide problems. The study appeared in the Lancet. It shows that in two thousand eight, almost ten percent of men were obese. That was up from about five percent in nineteen eighty. That same year, almost eight percent of women were obese. By two thousand eight, the ____________ of obesity among women was almost fourteen percent. Obesity is commonly measured by body mass index, or BMI. This is a measure of a person’s ____________ in relation to height. A person with a BMI of twenty-five to twenty-nine is considered overweight. The World Health Organization defines obesity as a body mass index of thirty or more. Pacific island nations have an average BMI of around thirty-five — the ____________ in the world. But the study found that the United States had the single highest average among wealthy countries. Men and women had an average BMI of over twenty-eight. New Zealand was next. Japan had the lowest, at about twenty-two for women and twenty-four for men. The report had some good news, however, about high blood pressure,. The percentage of people with this major cause of ____________ attacks and strokes has fallen since nineteen eighty. Dr. Ezzati credits improved testing and treatment in wealthy countries. He says a decrease in the use of salt and unhealthful fats probably also helped. In the United States, new guidelines urge Americans to reduce salt, sugar and fatty meats and to eat more ____________ and whole grains. People are being urged to choose water over sugared drinks and to make fruits and vegetables half of a meal. But whatever they eat, Americans are being urged to follow new advice from the government: eat less. Lynn Goldman, dean of public health at George Washington University, praised the dietary guidelines released last week. LYNN GOLDMAN: «This is a call to go back to older ways of eating, to eating whole foods, whole grains, fruits and ____________, more healthy foods. And hopefully these guidelines will be noticed worldwide and people will take steps to both increase their physical activity and to eat ____________.»

29 Looking to Robots and Other Technology to Improve Health Care

9 junio, 2020
An organization called the World Future Society publishes a yearly report about how technology, the economy and society are influencing the world. Tim Mack heads the World Future Society. He says medicine is one _________ of growth. TIM MACK: “I was surprised by the enormous growth in medical technology.” Mr. Mack says the fields of nanotechnology, biotechnology and information technology are working together to create new ways to _________  patients. These include better ways to provide medicine and identify disease without invasive _________ . Mr. Mack also says developments in artificial intelligence could lead to a future where disabled patients could be cared for by a _________ -activated robot. The World Future Society also publishes The Futurist magazine. Every year it examines developments in technology and other areas to _________  the future. The magazine released the top ten predictions from the Outlook 2011 report. Several of the predictions dealt with technology. The report said Internet search engines will soon include both text and _________  results. It said television broadcasts and other recordings could be gathered using programs developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis. Outlook 2011 also examined refuse collection. It said industrial nations will send much more _________  to developing countries. This will cause protests in those countries. In about fifteen years, developing countries will stop accepting foreign waste. This will force _________  nations to develop better waste-to-energy programs and recycling technologies. The report also had a prediction about education. It said young people use technologies for socializing as well as _________  and learning. So they solve problems more as teams instead of competing. In this way, social networking is supporting different kinds of learning outside the _________ . The World Future Society also predicts that robots will be able to carry out mental commands from human beings. Scientists have shown that individuals can type by using their brains without physically touching computer _________ . In the near future, experts say brain e-mailing and “tweeting” will become more common.

28 Taking a Closer Look at the Future of Video Conferencing

7 junio, 2020
High-quality systems used in video conferencing are called telepresence systems. The images are life-size yet not truly lifelike. They lack the depth that people would normally ____________ if they were in the same room together. But this could change in the future with new kinds of three-dimensional telepresence systems. Last week, we told you about a 3-D system at the University of Arizona. Researchers can send a ____________ image over the Internet and show it on a special screen in close to real time. People would not have to wear special glasses like they often ____________ to watch 3-D movies. The system uses a lot of cameras to take pictures of a person from different ____________. Lasers reproduce the pictures combined into three-dimensional images, or holograms. The image appears more realistic with the more cameras that are used and the more pictures that are ____________. Howard Lichtman is president of the Human Productivity Lab. His company advises other companies on buying and using telepresence systems. Mr. Lichtman also publishes Telepresence Options, which reports on the industry. He says this latest development would have done wonders for the «Star Wars» movie with the famous «Princess Leia» hologram scene. HOWARD LICHTMAN: «For Princess Leia to ____________, Princess Leia needs to move and her mouth needs to move, etc. And you haven’t been able to do that with a regular hologram because the hologram would only be fixed in one spot. What they’re able to do is, they’re able to refresh that image so that the image changes the same way a person changes when they ____________.» The researchers in Arizona say their 3-D system is still years away from completion. Even then, Howard Lichtman says it may have ____________ competing with systems already on the market. Most telepresence systems are two-dimensional. But Mr. Lichtman says the images are very realistic. HOWARD LICHTMAN: «It’s a 2-D image, but it’s ____________ clear, photo realistic, fluid movement, accurate flesh tones, and you would swear you were in the same physical space with people who might be thousands of miles away.» He says prices for telepresence systems are going down as more people use the technology. HOWARD LICHTMAN: «It’s pushing down to everybody as these environments are becoming publicly available or you can ____________ them by the hour, and at the same time that you’re getting very high quality, high definition video conferencing showing up on mobile devices and in the home delivered through the set-top box or through the PC.» A new eighteen-million-dollar project aims to create eleven telepresence centers for federal ____________ around the United States. The government is working with the AT&T company to save money and reduce ____________ by reducing the need for travel.

27 PC Recycler Strikes Gold in Old Computer Chips

6 junio, 2020
Each year, Americans throw away millions of __________ of electronic devices. That means business is good for a small electronics recycler in Chantilly, Virginia. Company President Jeremy Faber established PC Recycler. He spoke to us from the floor of his company’s processing center. Workers were busy taking apart televisions, __________  phones and computers — anything electronic. Jeremy Faber says the flow of discarded electronics is only increasing. JEREMY FABER: “Electronics recycling is the fastest growing waste stream in the United States right now.” Recycling electronic waste is not a single __________ . Newer devices can be rebuilt and resold. Breaking down electronics into small parts for refiners to melt and purify is another part of the business. Operations Manager Andrew Portare says computer circuit boards are rich __________ . ANDREW PORTARE: “Boards have the highest scrap value in them so you can actually see on the back you’re looking at different types of __________ . This one is a really good example. Some of the older ones are mainly all gold.” Gold now sells for more than one thousand three hundred dollars an ounce. Twenty-five percent of PC Recycler’s sales come from selling __________  to refiners. Refining companies pay more than ten dollars a kilogram for computer boards. PC Recycler can also lift profits by holding metal-rich parts until prices rise. ANDREW PORTARE: “If copper’s up one day, we can ship all of our copper extract and capitalize on the market.” Computers also hold private or __________  information. And securing that data is the fastest growing part of PC Recycler’s business. Completely removing data from a computer hard drive is not easy. PC Recycler can remove data magnetically or completely __________  and recycle the drives. Discarding waste in a way that meets government environmental protection rules is also important. Old TVs can contain over a kilogram of __________  as well as cadmium — both highly poisonous. PC Recycler supports the Basel Action Network, which seeks to limit harmful waste and technology. The company says it does not export electronics to China, India or Africa where environmental rules are __________ . Jeremy Faber says PC Recycler has been in business since two thousand three, expanding from waste management to other, more technical services. JEREMY FABER: “There really isn’t a lot of industries out there that are like this. There’s either the scrap industry where they’re shredding __________  and shredding tires and there’s the refurbished PC market and we’re sort of sit right in between both of those.”

26 Pretty Flowers Lead Two Scientists to a Discovery

5 junio, 2020
Not all research begins with a plan. Some studies begin by ___________. Meredith Schafer says that is what happened with her and Cynthia Sagers. Cynthia Sagers is a biology  ___________ at the University of Arkansas. Meredith Schafer is a graduate student. They were traveling in the state of North Dakota on a project. They noticed pretty  ___________ flowers. They recognized them as canola. Farmers grow canola for seeds to make cooking oil. Canola is also used for animal feed and biofuel. But the canola plants they saw were not growing in farm fields. They were growing along the  ___________. The researchers decided to test the plants. They had brought along special testing  ___________ for the project they were working on. They crushed some of the leaves in water and added the test strips. The results showed that the weedy canola plants contained genetic changes. If a plant is genetically modified, that means its genes have been changed to produce desired  ___________. This summer, the researchers from Arkansas went back to North Dakota. This time they went on a road trip to find canola. They traveled more than five thousand kilometers. They stopped about every eight kilometers to count plants and take samples to test in their  ___________. What they found, they say, was the first discovery in the United States of wild canola plants with modified genes. Meredith Schafer presented the findings at a recent  ___________ of the Ecological Society of America. The scientists found canola plants in almost half of the places they investigated. They tested a total of two hundred eighty-eight plants. They found that eighty percent of those plants contained genes from genetically engineered canola. Some crop plants are modified to resist damage from the  ___________ that farmers spray to kill weeds. There are two proteins that can give canola the ability to resist two commonly used herbicides. One protein gives resistance against glyphosate. The other protein gives resistance against glufosinate. Two of the plants growing in the wild showed resistance to both kinds of weed killers. Professor Sagers says canola varieties with these genetic qualities have not been released on the  ___________. This suggests the result of wild populations reproducing on their own.

25 Farming in the City: Joys of Growing Food

4 junio, 2020
For many years, people in American cities have depended on farmers in rural areas to grow fruits and ___________. But now a new generation of farmers is planting crops in urban areas. Sean Conroe is a college student. Amber Banks is a teacher. They both grew up farming and gardening. Sean Conroe and Amber Banks wanted to start a farm in the ___________ of Seattle, Washington. AMBER BANKS: «There are a lot of neighborhoods that don’t have access to healthy, fresh produce. And if they do, it can be very ___________. So we see unused space as a great place to grow food that will make it more accessible for people.» Sean Conroe created a website to get volunteers and ___________. Within a week, they were offered a plot of land between two houses. He says twenty volunteers worked for six weekends to turn the grassy land into a farm. They call their project Alleycat Acres. SEAN CONROE: «We have ___________, onions, radish, lettuce and chard that’s all ready to be harvested right now.» There are also carrots, green onions, peas, beans and turnips. SEAN CONROE: «Broccoli, tomatillos and cucumbers which are all starting to pop up. And then ___________.» The Alleycats have harvested about ninety kilograms of produce so far. They have donated most of it to local food banks that feed ___________ people in Seattle. Bridget Barni is sitting in the dirt picking lettuce. She is one of eighty people who are volunteering at this urban farm. Like a lot of the volunteers, she does not have much gardening experience. One of the goals of the urban farm is to show city people the joys of growing food. The Alleycats invite school ___________ to the farm to help out. And Amber Banks says they want the same people who get food donations to learn how to work the soil. Sean Conroe says Alleycat Acres is expanding to other ___________ areas of Seattle. So are a lot of other urban farming groups. SEAN CONROE: «We’d like to expand as much as we can where there are empty lots that have ample amounts of sunlight, that have access to ___________ and that have a community rallying around projects such as this.» Seattle has declared two thousand ten «The Year of Urban Agriculture.» But the growth of these farms is limited. That is because Seattle, like a lot of other cities, has ___________ on urban farms. The City Council is now considering changing those laws. And that’s the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, by Ann Dornfeld. Support came from the Park Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation and the Great Lakes Fishery Trust.

24 National Standards for US Schools Gain Support From States

3 junio, 2020
Americans have never had national education standards. Goals for what __________ schools should teach are set by state and local school boards. Their members are often elected. But some Americans say the lack of national standards is wrong in a competitive __________  economy. Former president Bill Clinton said it was as if somehow school boards «could legislate differences in algebra or __________  or reading.» President George W. Bush and Congress expanded federal intervention. His education law, still in effect, required states to show yearly __________  in student learning as measured by the states’ own tests. Now, the Obama administration supports what are known as the Common Core State Standards. These were developed in a year-long process led by state governors and chief state school officers. Texas and Alaska were the only states not to __________  part. The standards are in two subject areas, English-language arts and mathematics. They establish goals for each __________  from kindergarten through grade twelve. The aim is for students to finish high school fully prepared for college and careers. The developers considered standards in other countries, along with almost one hundred thousand public comments. One way the Education Department is trying to persuade states is with __________ . States are competing to share in almost three and a half billion dollars as part of a school reform competition. They will earn extra points in the Race to the Top if they approve the standards by August second. States are trying to __________  from the recession. There are concerns that some could accept the standards and then lack the money to follow them. The final standards were released June second. A new report say about half the states have __________  them already. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute is an education group in Washington. It says the standards are clearer and stronger than those used in three-fourths of the states. But the __________  also found that existing English standards are «clearly stronger» in California, Indiana and the District of Columbia. States that approve the new standards have a right to add up to fifteen __________  of their own. In California, the State Board of Education plans to vote on August second to accept or __________  a new set of standards. These are based largely on the common core, but also existing California standards.

23 Deforestation Decreased Over the Past 10 Years

2 junio, 2020
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says deforestation has decreased over the past ten years. But it still continues at a high rate in many countries. Deforestation is mainly caused by the _____________ down of tropical forests to provide land for agriculture. The world’s total forest area is just over four _____________ hectares. About thirteen million hectares of forest were cut down or lost through natural causes each year in the last ten years. This compares with about sixteen million hectares per year during the nineteen nineties. The FAO study covers two hundred thirty-three countries and areas. The study found that _____________ and Indonesia have reduced their deforestation rates. The two countries had the highest loss of forests in the nineteen nineties. In addition, the study noted tree-planting programs in countries such as China, India, Vietnam and the United States. These programs, along with natural _____________ of forests in some areas, have added more than seven million hectares of new forests each year. South America and Africa had the highest yearly loss of forests during the last ten years. South America lost four million hectares. Africa lost _____________ three and a half million hectares. However, Asia gained more than two million hectares a year in the last decade. In North America and Central America, the forest area remained about the same. In Europe, it continued to expand, but at a _____________ rate than earlier. Eduardo Rojas is assistant director-general of F.A.O.’s Forestry Department. He said for the first time, the rate of deforestation has decreased around the _____________. This is the result of efforts taken at local and international levels. Mister Rojas said countries have improved their forest policies and _____________. They have also provided forests for use by local communities and native peoples and for the protection of biological diversity. He said this is a welcome message in 2010 – the International Year of Biodiversity. However, Mister Rojas said the rate of deforestation is still very _____________ in many areas. He said countries must strengthen their efforts to better _____________ and manage their forests.

22 Some Advice on Choosing a College

1 junio, 2020
Last week, we told you that the number of foreign students in the United States had reached an all-time high. More than six hundred seventy-one thousand foreign students attended an American college or university during the last school year. So says the latest report from the Institute of International Education. Many international students choose ______________ schools. But a growing number of them are attending smaller ones. Douglas Bennett is the president of Earlham College, a liberal arts college in Richmond, Indiana, that actively seeks ______________ students. DOUGLAS BENNETT: «We’re a small college, just twelve hundred students. But about fifteen percent of our undergraduates come from homes outside the United States, which is astronomically ______________ for an American college or university.» Doug Bennett has written several articles aimed at helping students choose a college that best fits their needs. He says one of the important things to consider is the ______________ of a school. He says Earlham College is small for a reason. DOUGLAS BENNETT: «We aren’t that small because we couldn’t be bigger. We’re that small because we think we educate much more effectively and much more powerfully because we stay small. It stretches everyone more. It draws everyone into more different kinds of ______________.» Of course, there are also good arguments for attending a larger school. Many big schools are widely recognized. And in some cases that might lead to more job interviews than a degree from a lesser known college. Larger schools also have more ______________, which can mean more resources for education, recreation and research. In addition to size, Douglas Bennett says there are other important things to consider. For example: Which programs at the school are the ______________? Some schools have stronger programs in the sciences. Others are stronger in the liberal arts. Also, what do the school’s top students go on to do after they graduate? What kinds of activities are offered that might add to the educational experience? Are there sports ______________? What about a radio station or ______________? Something else to consider is the kinds of services that a school offers for international students. But Earlham College President Douglas Bennett says one choice tops all others. DOUGLAS BENNETT: «The most important choice you make in going to college is who you choose to be yourself. If you’re prepared to bring your best self to college, then it hardly matters where you go to college. On the other hand, if you choose not to be very ______________, not to be very responsible, not to be prepared to work very hard, you probably won’t get a good ______________.»

21 Two Studies Give a Lift to Running Barefoot

31 mayo, 2020
Two new studies suggest that modern running shoes could increase the risk of injuries to runners. One study involved sixty-eight healthy young women and men who ran at least twenty-four ______________ a week. The runners were observed on a treadmill machine. Sometimes they wore running shoes. Other times they ran barefoot. Researchers from the JKM Technologies company in Virginia, the University of Virginia and the University of Colorado did the study. They found that running shoes create more stress that could damage _________, hips and ankle joints than running barefoot. They observed that the effect was even __________ than the effect reported earlier for walking in high heels. The study appeared in the official scientific journal of the American Academy of Physical Medicine. The other study appeared in the journal Nature. It compared runners in the United States and Kenya. The researchers were from Harvard University in Massachusetts, Moi University in Kenya and the University of Glasgow in Scotland. They divided the runners into three groups. One group had always run ___________. Another group had always run with shoes. And the third group had changed to shoeless running. Runners who wear shoes usually come down heel first. That puts great _________ on the back of the foot. But the study found that barefoot runners generally land on the front or middle of their foot. That way they ease into their landing and avoid __________ their heel. Harvard’s Daniel Lieberman led the study. He says the way most running shoes are designed may explain why those who wear them land on their heels. The heel of the shoe is __________ and heavier than other parts of the shoe, so it would seem more likely to come down first. Also, the heel generally has thick material _________ it to soften landings. But the researchers do not suggest that runners immediately start running barefoot. They say it takes some __________. And there can be risks, like running when your feet are too cold to feel if you get injured. The study was partly supported by Vibram, which makes a kind of footwear that it says is like running barefoot. The findings have gotten a lot of attention. But the researchers say there are many problems in the way the _________ has reported on their paper. So they have tried to explain their findings on a Harvard Web site.

20 In the US, the New Look of Gas Exploration

30 mayo, 2020
Many people think the search for cleaner energy leads only to renewable resources like sun, wind and __________. But it also leads to a fossil fuel. Natural gas is considered the cleanest of the fossil fuels, the fuels created by plant and animal remains over millions of years. Burning it releases fewer pollutants than oil or coal. The gas is mainly methane. It produces half the carbon dioxide of other fossil fuels. So it may help cut the _________ of carbon gases linked to climate change. Russia is first in what are called «proved reserves» of natural gas. The United States is sixth. Over the years, big oil and gas companies _________ much of the easily reached supplies of gas in America. They drilled straight down into formations where gas collects. As these supplies were used up, big drillers looked for similar formations in other countries. But now the industry is taking a new look. Companies are developing gas supplies trapped in shale rock two to three thousand meters underground. They drill down to the shale, then go sideways and inject high-pressure water, sand or other material into the rock. This causes the _________ to break, or fracture, releasing the gas. Huge fields of gas shale are believed to lie under the Appalachian Mountains, Michigan and the south-central states. Gas shale exploration is being done mainly by __________ to medium sized companies. Eric Potter is a program director in the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin. ERIC POTTER: «The types of opportunities that are left for natural gas exploration in the U.S. have changed. So it’s a different class of resource — not as _____________ to develop, and not even recognized as something worth pursuing, say, twenty years ago.» He says more than half the gas in the United States is now coming from these new reserves. But hydraulic fracturing can also produce debate and anger over the ____________ of groundwater pollution. This method of drilling is not federally supervised under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Some in Congress want to end that exemption from the law. Natural gas provides Americans with about one-fourth of their energy. And, unlike oil, most of it is produced in America. Gas producers invested heavily in reaching new supplies when ____________ were high. But prices are down sharply now because the recession cut demand for energy. So energy expert Eric Potter says it is too early to know how the new gas shale reserves will affect the ___________.

19 Study Finds More Trees on Farms Than Was Thought

29 mayo, 2020
Farmers, especially in developing countries, are often criticized for ____________ down forests. But a new study suggests that many farmers recognize the value in keeping trees. Researchers using ____________ images found at least ten percent tree cover on more than one billion hectares of farmland. That is almost half the farmland in the world. The World Agroforestry Center in Kenya led the study. The findings were reported last week in Nairobi at the second World Congress of Agroforestry. Earlier estimates were much lower but ________________. The authors of the new study say it may still underestimate the true extent worldwide. The study found the most tree cover in South America. Next comes Africa south of the Sahara, followed by Southeast Asia. North Africa and West Asia have the least. The study found that climate conditions _____________ could not explain the amount of tree cover in different areas. Nor could the size of nearby populations, meaning people and trees can live together. There are areas with few trees but also few people, and areas with many trees and many people. The findings suggest that things like land rights, ________________ or government policies can influence tree planting and protection. Dennis Garrity heads the World Agroforestry Center. He says farmers are acting on their own to ___________ and plant trees. The problem, he says, is that policy makers and planners have been slow to recognize this and to support such efforts. The satellite images may not show what the farmers are using the trees for, but trees provide nuts, ____________, wood and other products. They provide windbreaks and shade from the sun. They also help prevent soil loss and protect water supplies. Even under drought conditions, trees can often provide food and a way to earn ____________ until the next growing season. The important thing, says one expert, is to find the right tree for the right place for the right use. Some trees act as natural fertilizers. They take nitrogen out of the air and put it in the soil. Scientists at the Agroforestry Center say the use of fertilizer trees can _______________ the need for chemical nitrogen by up to three-fourths. And they say it can double or triple crop production. Trees also capture carbon dioxide, a gas linked to climate change. Wangari Maathai is a Kenyan environmentalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner. She says the study shows that trees are ______________ to agricultural production everywhere.

18 Going Digital: The Future of College Textbooks?

28 mayo, 2020
The average college student in America spent an estimated seven _________ dollars on textbooks last year. The National Association of College Stores reported more than five billion dollars in sales of textbooks and course materials. Association spokesman Charles Schmidt says electronic textbooks now represent just two to three percent of __________. But he says that is expected to reach ten to fifteen percent by two thousand twelve. Online versions are now available for many of the most popular college textbooks. E-textbooks can cost half the ____________ of a new print textbook. But students usually lose access after the end of the term. And the books cannot be placed on more than one device, so they are not _______________ to share. So what do students think of e-textbooks? Administrators at Northwest Missouri State University wanted to find out. Earlier this year they tested them with five hundred students in twenty ____________. The university is unusual. It not only provides laptop computers to all seven thousand of its full-time _____________. It does not require students to buy their textbooks either. They rent them to save _____________. The school aims to save even more by moving to e-textbooks. The students in the survey reported that downloading the books from the Internet was easy. They liked the idea of carrying lighter ___________. And fifty-six percent said they were better able to find information. But most found that using e-textbooks did not ___________ their study habits. And sixty percent felt they read more when they were reading on paper. In all, almost half the students said they still liked physical textbooks _____________. But the survey found that cost could be a big influence. Fifty-five percent said they would choose e-textbooks if using them meant their textbook _________ fee would not increase. Roger Von Holzen heads the Center for Information Technology in Education at Northwest Missouri State. He tells us that administrators are disappointed with the e-textbooks now available because the majority are not ____________. He thinks growth will come when more digital books include video, activities, ________ and other ways to interact with the information. The technology is improving. But for now, most of the books are just words on a ______________.
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