Article five

The following articles are about computers, raising dogs, selling apples, the weather, and studying for exams.

Article one: About computer chess players

Moscow,Russia(Space news)-“The computer is a better chess player,”insisted Viktor Prozorov,the loser.” It seemed as if it were laughing after every good move.I know I should have beaten it for the sake of mankind,but I just couldn’t win,” he announced and shook his head sadly.

Prozorov’s disappointment was shared by several grand masters who were present,some of whom were so upset that they shouted at the machine.Many chess players said that this meant the end of chess championships around the world,since the fun had been taken out of the game.

The computer walked-or rather,rolled-away with 5,000 dollars in prize money and limited its remarks to a set of noises and light.

Article two: About the benefits of computers

Extract 1

A computer

A computer is an “information processor”.It is given information,called “data”,instructed to do certain things and then show us the results.The data put into the computer is called the”input” and the results which come out are the “output”.Some people say the circle of large standing stones at Stonechenge is a kind of computer.Prehistory people worked out their calendar from the position of the shadows made by the sun shining on the stones.

Extract 2

Teach yourself new subjects and skills at your own pace with a home computer.Use it to help with schoolwork,for self-improvement,even to improve your career skills.Learn touchtyping.

Foreign languages or computer programming.A home computer can help children of all ages learn classroom subjects such as spelling,geography and others.In fact it makes learning fun.So if you want to teach yourself,or help your children teach themselves-get a home computer.It can also help you manage your personal finances or help you to work taxes and plan household budgets.You can make business a pleasure with a home computer.

Article three: About the usage of sentences

Is there a difference in meaning between”It’s too late to make a telephone.Mary is asleep now.” and “It’s too late to telephone.Mary will be asleep now?”

Yes.The difference is in the reason given for it being too late to telephone.In the first sentence”Mary is asleep now”,the speaker is stating a fact.In the second sentence”Mary will be asleep now,” the speaker is saying what Mary usually does.In fact,it’s possible that Mary isn’t asleep,but she is usually asleep at this time.

So let’s take two situations.In the first case,imagine Mary’s mother answers the telephone.

You:”May I speak to Mary,please?”

Mother:”No.It’s too late.Mary is asleep now.”

You:” Are you sure?It’s only 10 o’clock.”

Mother:” Yes.I went to her room and she was asleep.”

The mother knows that Mary is asleep because she went into her room and saw her.

Here is another case.Two friends decide to telephone Mary.

Jack:”Let’s telephone Mary.It’s 10 o’clock.”

Jill:”No,It’s too late.She will be asleep now.”

Jill knows that Mary always goes to bed before 10 o’clock ,so now she’ll probably be asleep.But it is also possible that she is staying up late.

Article four: About the weather in the UK

In England, people often talk about the weather because they can experience  four seasons in one day. In the morning the weather is warm just like in spring. An hour later black clouds come and then it rains hard. The weather gets a little cold. In the late afternoon the sky will be sunny, the sun will begin to shine, and it will be summer at this time of a day.

In England, people can also have summer in winter, or have winter in summer. So in winter they can swim sometimes, and in summer sometimes they should take warm clothes.

When you go to England, you will see that some English people usually take an umbrella or a raincoat with them in the sunny morning, but you should not laugh at them. If you don’t take an umbrella or a raincoat, you will regret later in the day.

Article five: The story of selling apples

Uncle Li and Uncle Wang are good friends. They live next to each other and their farms are both at the foot of the mountain. So they can help each other. But neither of them likes to use his head. They’re both poor though they work hard. Most villagers have built new houses, but they still live in the low and broken houses. They never find out why.

Once Uncle Li went to town to buy some medicine for his wife . In the town he heard the apples in a city were expensive. He told Uncle Wang about it as soon as he went back. They decided to carry some apples to the city. They borrowed some money from their friends and bought nearly 1,000 kilograms of apples in the villages and carried them to the city on a tractor. Bad luck! A lot of apples have already been carried there when they arrived. A few days later they had to sell them at a low price .They felt unhappy and returned to their village.

“I can’t understand why we sustained losses in business while others always profit “, Uncle Li asked one day.

“The tractor was too small “, Uncle Wang said without thinking ,”We’ll carry more apples on a truck next time!”

“I agree!” said Uncle Li. “How foolish we were!”

Article six: The story of review before the exam

The clock struck eleven at night. The whole house was quiet. Everyone was in bed except me. Under the strong light, I looked sadly before a huge pile of troublesome stuff they call “books”.

I was going to have my examination the next day. “When can I go to bed?” I asked myself. I didn’t answer, in fact I dared not.

The clock struck 12.”Oh, dear!” I cried, “ten more books to read before I can go to bed!” We pupils are the most wretched creatures in the world. Dad does not agree with me on this. He did not have to work so hard when he was a boy .”

The clock struck one. I was quite hopeless now. I forgot all I had learnt. I was too tired to go on. I did the only thing I could. I prayed, “Oh, God, Please help me pass the exam tomorrow. I do promise to work hard afterwards, Amen.” My eyes were heavy, so heavy that I could hardly open them. A few minutes later, with my head on the desk, I fell asleep.

Article seven: Some opinions on the Internet

Many adults think that the decision to buy a computer is theirs. They are the world’s webmasters. But now, a US survey has found children are getting more and more interested in the Internet. The number of children using the Internet has grown to three times in the past three years.

Three years ago, the number of 2 to 17 years old children entering web world was eight million. Today, the number has increased to 25 million. By the year 2008, the number of children online is expected to be 42 million.

More and more children are using the Net because their parents use it. The survey showed that the number of parents using the Net has changed from 4.5 million to 16.4 million.

The survey found many other interesting facts:

Almost two-thirds of US families have home computers. Forty-six percent of all family members are hooked on the Internet.

Girls are using the Net as much as boys.

In five years, schools will become the main gateways to the Internet for children.

Article eight: Stories about raising dogs

Vienna, the capital of Austria, is famous for its wealth of art, music, museums and parks. But some locals are saying that the city’s beauty is damaged by dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets.

And, last week they came up with a solution. There is a citywide campaign telling dog owners to pick up after their dogs. That means, don’t leave a mess on city streets and in parks.

“We want to reach as many dog owners as possible to remind them of the rules,” said Ulli Sima, city official in charge of the environment.

“We want to show them the easiest solution to the problem: put it in a bag and then in the next rubbish bin,” said Sima.

There are about 158,000 dogs in Vienna. The city requires their owners to bag the pet’s mess when walking it outdoors. But it is believed that only a small number of the city’s dog lovers actually follow the rules.

Every day dogs drop between 5 and 10 tons of their waste around the city. Vienna spends 7 million euros every year just to keep the streets mess-free.

The city is blamed for not being very strict with the rules. Dog owners say they pay 40 euros each years for their pet. But the city argues the dog license fee has nothing to do with cleaning up dog messes. The fine for leaving a dog mess is high—as much as 72 euros. The city, however, seldom punishes those rule breakers.

City officials said that the campaign was not meant to be an attack on dog owners.

“The city does a lot for peaceful co-existence by building areas for dogs or providing bags for dog waste. But dog owners must do their part as well and accept these offers,” said Sima.

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