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a life with birds

By Beverly Johnson,2014-09-30 08:57
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a life with birds

A Life with Birds

     For nearly 17 years David Cope has worked as one of the Tower of London's yeoman warders, better (1) known to tourists as beefeaters. David, 64, lives in a three-bedroomed flat right at the top (2) of the Byward Tower, one of the gatehouses. "from (3) our bedroom we have a marvellous view of Tower Bridge and the Thames, " says David.

    The Tower of London is famous for (4) its ravens, the large black birds which have lived there for over three centuries. David was immediately fascinated by the birds and when he was offer(5) the post of Raven Master eight years ago he had no hesitation(6) in accepting it. "The birds have now become my life and I'm always aware(7) of the fact that I am maintaining(8) a tradition. The legend says that if the ravens leave the Tower, England will fall to enemies, and it's my job to make(9) sure this doesn't happen!"

    David devote(10) about four hours a day to the care of the ravens. He has grown to love them and the fact(11) that he lives right next to them is ideal. "I can keep(12) a close eye on them all the time, and not just when I'm working." at first(13), David's wife Mo was not keep(14) on the idea of life in the Tower, but she too will be sad to leave when he retires next year. "When we look out of our windows, we see history all (15) around us, and we are taking it in and storing it up for our future memories."

A Lucky Break

     Actor Antonio Banderas is used to breaking bones, and it always seems to happen when he's doing(1) sport. In the film Play It to the Bone he plays(2) the part of a middleweight boxer alongside Woody Harrelson. during(3) the making of the film Harrelson kept(4) complaining that the fight scenes(5) weren't very convincing, so one day he suggested that he and Banderas should have a fight for real. The Spanish actor wasn't keen(6) on the idea at first, but he was eventually(7) persuaded by his co-star to put on his gloves and climb into the boxing ring. However, when he realized how seriously his opponent(8) was taking it all, he began to regret his decision to fight. And then in the third round, Harrelson hit Banderas so(9) hard in the face that he actually broke his nose. His wife, actress Melanie Griffith, was furious that he had been playing "silly macho games". "She was right," confesses Banderas, "and I was a fool to take(10) a risk like that in the middle of a movie." He was remainded (11) of the time he broke his leg during a football match in his native Malaga. He had always (dreamed(12) of becoming a soccer star, of performing in front of a big crowd, but doctors told him his playing days were probably over. "That's when I decided to take up(13) acting; I saw it as another(14) way of performing, and achieving recognition. What happened to me on that football pitch(15) was, you might say, my first lucky break."

Global Warming

     Few people now question the reality of global warming and its effects on the world's climate. Many scientists put(1) the blame for recent natural disasters on the increase in(2) the world's temperatures and are convinced that, more than ever(3) before, the Earth is at risk(4) from the forces of the wind, rain and sun. according(5) to them, global warming is making extreme weather events, such(6) as hurricanes and droughts, even more severe(7) and causing sea levels all around the world to rise(8).

     Environmental groups are putting pressure(9) on governments to take action to reduce the amount(10) of carbon dioxide which is given off(11) by factories and power plants, thus attacking the problem at its source. They are in favour(12) of more money being spent on research into solar, wind and wave energy devices, which could then replace existing power stations(13).

     Some scientists, however(14) believe that even if we stopped releasing carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere tomorrow, we would have to wait several(15) hundred years to notice the results. Global warming, it seems, is here to stay.

A Success Story

     At 19, Ben Way is already a millionaire, and one of a growing number of teenagers who have made(1) Their fortune through the Internet. What(2) makes Ben's story all the more remarkable is that he is dyslexic, and was told(3) by teachers at his junior school that he would never be able to read or write properly(4). "I wanted to prove them wrong(5)", says Ben, creator and director of Waysearch, a net search engine which can be used to find goods in online shopping malls.

     When he was eight, his local authorities provided(6) him with a PC to help with school work. Although he was unable(7) to read the manuals, he had a natural ability with the computer, and encourage(8) by his father, he soon began charging(9) people $l0 an hour for his knowledge and skills. At the age of 15 he set(10) up his own computer consultancy, Quad Computer, which he ran from his bedroom, and two years later he left school to devote(11) all his time to business.

     "By this time the company had grown and I needed to take on a couple(12) of employees to help me", says Ben. "That enabled me to start doing(13) business with bigger companies. It was. his ability

    to consistently overcome(14) difficult challenges that led him to win the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the same year that he formed Waysearch, and he has recently signed a deal worth(15) $25 million with a private investment company, which will finance his search engine.

Traffic in Our Cities

     The volume of traffic in many cities in the world today continues to expand. This causes many problems, including serious air pollution, lengthy delays, and the greater risk of(1) accidents. Clearly, something must be done, but it is often difficult to persude(2) people to change their habits and leave their cars at home.

     One possible approach(3) is to make it more expensive for people to use their cars by increasing(4) charges for parking and bringing in(5) tougher fines for anyone who breaks(6) the law. In addition, drivers could be required to pay for using particular routes at different times of the day. This system,known(7) as "road pricing", is already being introduced in a number(8) of cities, using a special electronic card fixed(9) to the windscreen of the car.

     Another way of dealing(10) with the problem is to provide cheap parking on the outskirts(11) of the city, and strictly control the number of vehicles allowed into the centre. Drivers and their passengers then use a special bus service for the final(12) stage of their journey.

     Of course, the most important thing(13) is to provide good public transport. However, to get people to give up(14) the comfort of their cars, public transport must be felt to be reliable, convenient and comfortable, with fares kept(15) at an acceptable level.

Teaching and learning

     Many teachers believe that the responsibilities for learning lie with the student. If a long reading assignment is given, instructors expect students to be familiar with the information(1)in the reading even if they do not discuss it in class or take an examination. The ideal(2) student is considered to be one who is motivated to learn for the sake of learning(3) , not the one interested only in getting high grades. Sometimes homework is returned with(4) brief written comments but without a grade. Even if a grade is not given, the student is responsible(5) for learning the material assigned. When research is assigned(6), the professor expects the student to take it actively and to complete it with minimum(7) guidance. It is the student's responsibility to find books, magazines, and articles in the library. Professors do not have the time to explain how(8)a university library works; they expect students particularly(9) graduate students to exhaust the reference source(10) in the library. Professors will help students who need it, but prefer(11) that their students should not be too(12) dependent on them. In the United Stats professors have many other duties beside(13) teaching

    such as administrative or research work. Therefore, the time that a professor can spend with a student outside of class is limited(14). If a student has problems with classroom work , the student should either approach(15) a professor during office hours or make an appointment.

The Difference between Man and Computer

     What makes people different from computer programs? What is the missing element that our theories dont yet account(1) for? The answer is simple: People read newspaper stories for a reason: to learn more about what(2) they are interested in. Computers, on the other handdon't. In factcomputers

    don't once(3) have interests; there is nothing in particular that they are trying to find out when they read. If a computer program(4) is to be a model of story understanding it should also read

    for a "purpose".

     Of course people have several goals that do not make sense(5) to attribute to computers. One might read a restaurant guide in(6) order to satisfy hunger or entertainment goals, or to find(7) a good place to go for a business lunch. Computers do not get hungry, and computers do not have business lunches.

     However these physiological and social goals give rise(8) to several intellectual or cognitive goals. A goal to satisfy hunger gives rise to goals to find reference(9)about the name of a restaurant which seves(10) the desired type of foodhow expensive the restaurant isthe location of the

    restaurant, etc. These are goals to acquire(11) information or knowledge, what we are calling learning(12) goals. These goals can be held by computers too; a computer might(13) "want" to find out the location of a restaurant and read a guide in order to do so in(14) the same way as a person might. While such a goal would not arise(15) out of hunger in the case of the computerit

    might well arise out of the "goal" to learn more about restaurants.

Look on The Bright Side

     Do you ever wish you were more optimistic, someone who always expected(1) to be successful? Having someone around who always fears(2) the worst isnt really a lot of fun(3) . We all know someone who

    sees a single cloud on a sunny day and says "INooks like(4) rain. " But if you catch yourself thinking such thingsit's important to do something about(5) it.

     You can change your view of life according(6) to psychologists. It only takes a little effort

    and you'll find life more rewarding as a result(7) . Optimismthey sayis partly about self-respect

    and confidence but it's also a more positive way of looking at life and all it has to offer(8) . Optimists are more likely(9) to start new projects and are generally more prepared to take risks.

     Upbringing is obviously very important in forming your attitude(10) to the world. Some people are brought up to depend(11) too much on others and grow up forever blaming other people when anything goes(12) wrong. Most optimistson the ther(13) hand, have been brought up not to regard(14) failure as the end of the worldthey just get on(15) with their lives.

The First Bicycle

     The history of the bicycle goes back more than 200 years. In 1791Count de Sivrac delighted(1)

    onlookers in a park in Paris as he showed off his two-wheeled invention a machine called the celerifer

    é. It was basically an enlarged(2) version of a childrens toy which had been in use(3) for many

    years. Sivrac's "celeriferé had a wooden framemade in the shape(4) of a horse which was mounted

    on a wheel at either end. To ride it you sat on a small seat just like a modem bicycle and pushed

    hard(5) against the ground(6) with your legsthere were no pedals. It was impossible to steer a

    celeriferé and it had no brakesbut despite these problems the invention very much appealed(7) to the fashionable young men of Paris. Soon they were holding(8) races up and down the streets.

     Minor injuries(9) were common as riders attempted a final burst of speed(10). Controlling the machine was difficultas the only way to change direction(11) was to pull up the front of the "celeriferé" and turn(12) it round while the front wheel was spinning(13) in the air. "Celeriferés" were not

    popular for long however as the combination(14) of no springs no steering and rough roads made

    riding them very uncomfortable. Even sothe wooden celeriferé was the origin(15) of the modem bicycle.

Working Mothers

     Carefully conducted researches that have followed the children of working mothers have not been able to show any long-term problemscompared with children whose mothers stayed at home. My personal view(1) is that mothers should be allowed to work if they wish. Whether we like it or not there

    are a number(2) of mothers who just have to work.. There are those who have invested such a big part of their lives in establishing a career that they cannot afford(3) see it lost. Then there are many who must work out of pure economic necessity(4) . Many mothers are not cut(5) out to be full-time parents. After a few months at home with a much loved infant they feel trapped and isolated. There

    are a number of options when it comes(6) to choosing childcare. These range from child minders and nannies through to Granny or the kind lady across(7) the street. in reality(8),however

    many parents don't have any choice; they have to accept anything they can get. Be prepared! No matter(9) how good the childcare may be some children are going to protest wildly if they are

    left. This is a perfectly(10) normal stage of child development. Babies separate well in the first six monthsbut soon after that they start to get a crush on Mum and close family members members(11). Make sure that in the first week you allow plenty of(12) time to help your child settle in.

     All children are different. Some are independent while others are more attached(13) to their

    mothers. Remember that if you want to(14) the best for your children it's not the quantity of

    time you spend with themit's the (15) that matters.

The Old Gate

    In the Middle Ages the vast majority of European cities had walls around them. This was partly for defensive reasons(1) but another factor was the need to keep out anyone egarded as undesirable, like people with contagious diseases(2) . The Old City of London gates were all demolished(3) by the end of the 18th century. The last of London's gates was removed a century ago, but by a stocke(4) of luck, it was never destroyed.

    This gate is, in demoption actuals (5) fact, not called a gate at all; its name is Temple Bar, and it marked the boundary(6) between the Old City of London and Westminster. In 1878 the Council of London took the Bar down, numbered the stones and put the gate in storage(7) because its design was unfashionable(8) it was expensive to maintion(9)and it as blocking the traffic.The Temple Bar Trust was set up(10) in the 1970's with the intention of returning the gate home. The aim of the trust is the perservation(11) of the nation's architectural heritage.Transporting the gate will mean physically pulling it down(12) , stone by stone, removing and rebuilding it near St Paul's Cathedral. Most of the facade of the gate will probably be repond(13), though there is a good (14) that the basic structure will be sound. The hardest (15) of all, however, will be to recreate the statues of the monarchs that once stood on top of the gate.

A Powerful Influence

    There can be no doubt at all that the Internet has made a huge difference to our lives. Parents are worried that children spend too much time playing on the Internet, hardly (1) ever doing anything else in their spare time. Naturally, parents are (2) curious to find out why the Internet is so attractive, and they want to know if it can be (3) harmful to their children. Should parents worry if their children are spending that much time (4) staring at their computers?

     Obviously; if children are bent over their computers for hours, (5) absored in some game, instead of doing their homework, then something is wrong. Parents and children could decide how much use the child should (6) make of the Internet, and the child should give his or her (7) word that it won

    t interfere with homework. If the child is not (8) holding to this arrangement, the parent can take more drastic (9) steps dealing with a child's use of the Internet is not much different from (10)negotiating any other soft of bargain about behaviour.

     Any parent who is (11)serious alarmed about a child's behaviour should make an appointment to (12)discuss the matter with a teacher. Spending time in front of the screen does not (13) necessarily affect a child's performance at school. Even if a child is chance(14) absolutely crazy about using the Internethe or she is probably just (15) going through a phase, and in a few months there will be something else to worry about!

Family History

    In an age when technology is developing faster than ever before, many people are being (1)attract to the idea of looking back into the past. One way they can do this is by investigatingitheir own family history. They can try to (2)find out more about where their families camefrom and what they did. This is now a fast-growing hobby, especially in countries with a (3)fairly short history, like Australia and the United States.

     It is (4)one thing to spend some time (5) going through a book on family historyand to take the (6)decision to mvestigate your own family's past. It is (7)quite another tocarry out the research work successfully. It is easy to set about it in a disorganised way and (8)cause yourself many problems which could have been (9)avoided with a little forward planning.

     If your own family stories tell you that you are (10)connectedwith a famous character,whether hero or criminal, do not let this idea take over your research. Just (11)treat it as an interesting possibility.A simple system (12)forcollecting and storing your information will be adequate to start with;a more complex one may only get in your (13)way.The most important thing, though, is to (14)get started. Who knows what you (15)might find?

School lunch

    Research has shown that over half the children in Britain who take their own lunches to school do not eat (1)properly in the middle of the day. In Britain schools have to (2)provide meals at lunchtime. Children can (3)choose to bring their own food or have lunch at the school canteen.

     One shocking (4) finding of this research is that school meals are much healthier than lunches prepared by parents. There are strict (5) stands for the preparation of school meals, which have to include one (6)portion of fruit and one of vegetables, as well as meat, a dairy item and starchy food like bread or pasta. Lunchboxes (7) examined by researchers contained sweet drinks, crisps and chocolate bars. Children (8) consume twice as much sugar as they should at lunchtime.

     The research will provide a better (9) understanding of why the percentage of overweight students in Britain has (10)increase in the last decade. Unfortunately, the government cannot(11) criticise parents, but it can remind them of the (12)nutritional value of milk, fruit and vegetables. Small changes in their children's diet can (13) affect their future health. Children can easily develop bad eating (14) habies at this age, and parents are the only ones who can (15) prevent it.

     Helen and Martin

    With a thoughtful sigh, Helen turned away from the window and walked back to her favourite armchair. (1)Would her brother never arrive? For a brief moment, she wondered if she really cared that much.

     Over the years Helen had given (2) up waiting for Martin to take an interest in 'her. Her feelings for him had gradually (3) weakened until now, as she sat waiting for him, she experienced no more than a sister's (4) curiosity to see what had (5)become of 2her brother.

     Almost without (6) warming, Martin had lost his job with a busy publishing company after spending the last eight years in New York as a key figure in the US office. Somehow the two of them hadn't (7) bothered to keep in touch and, left alone, Helen had slowly found her (8) confidence in her own judgment growing. (9)ignoring the wishes of her parents, she had left university halfway (10)through her course and now, to the astonishment of 3the whole family, she was (11)gaining a fast-growing reputation in the pages of respected art magazines and was actually earning enough to live (12)on from-her paintings.

     Of course, she (13)took no pleasure in Martin's sudden misfortune, but she couldn't(14)help looking forward to her brother's arrival with (15)quiet satisfaction at what she had achieved.

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