Article twelve

The following is about the role of touch, a story from a newspaper, the New York subway, hybrid cars, long-term memory and short-term memory.

Article 1: The role of touch

“If you want to see a thing well, reach out and touch it!”

That may seem a strange thing to say. But touching things can help you to see them better.

Your eyes can tell you that a glass ball is round. But by holding it in your hands, you can feel how smooth and cool the ball is.

You can feel how heavy the glass is. When you feel all these about the ball, you really see it. With your skin, you can feel better.

For example, your fingers can tell the difference between two coins in your pocket. You can feel a little drop of water on the back of your hand, too.

You can even feel sounds against your skin. Have you ever wanted to know why some people like very loud music? They must like to feel the sounds of music.

All children soon learn what “Don’t touch!”means. They hear it often. Yet most of us keep on touching things as we grow up.

In shops, we touch things we might buy: food, clothes. To see something well, we have to touch it.

The bottoms of our feet can feel things, too. You know this when you walk on warm sand, cool grass or a hard floor. All feel different under your feet.

There are ways of learning to see well by feeling. One way is to close your eyes and try to feel everything that is touching your skin.

Feel the shoes on your feet, the clothes on your body, the air on your skin. At first, it is not easy to feel these things. You are too used to them!

Most museums are just for looking. But today some museums have some things to touch. Their signs say, “Do touch!” There you can feel everything on show.

If you want to see better, reach out and touch. Then you will really see!

Article 2: The story of a newspaper

With the support of our readers, China Today has become successful in helping the world learn about China, and has built a bridge of friendship between the people of China and the rest of the world.

Every day we receive many letters from our readers expressing.

Besides the national papers, there is, however, another branch of the British press which sells almost as many copies.

Local newspapers have a weekly circulation of 13 million. Almost every town and country area has one.

Nearly all of them hold their own financially and many of them are very profitable.

These papers are written almost entirely for readers interested in local events —births, weddings, deaths, council meetings and sports.

Editors prefer to depend on people who know the district well. A great deal of local news is regularly supplied by club and churches in the neighborhood and it does not get out of date as quickly as national news.

The editors must never forget that the success of any newspaper depends on advertising.

They are usually anxious to keep the good will of local businessmen for this reason.

But if the newspaper is well written and the news items have been carefully chosen to draw local readers, the businessmen are grateful for the chance to keep their products in the public eyes.

Article 3: The story of the New York subway

The problems that affected the traffic in New York

At the turn of the twentieth century, New York City was a busy place. The city was growing so quickly that new houses and apartment buildings were going up everyday.

Downtown, the sidewalks were jammed with shoppers, workers, travelers, and newly arrived immigrants from Europe.

Horses and carriages filled every bit of empty space in the streets.

Fierce winter snowstorms and the merciless summer heat exhausted those New Yorkers who had to travel on foot. What could be done

The advantages of building a subway

An underground railroad, or subway, seemed to be the solution to these problem. Railroads moved on their won tracks, so they never sat in traffic jams.

Powered by strong engines, railroads could do the work of many horses. Horses had to be fed and cared for, and they get sick or go lame. However,if an engine perfect sense.

It would ease congestion on the crowded streets of Manhattan. Most of the city’s major business districts were located in this district, which is on a small and narrow island.

The first underground train in New York

In 1904, the mayor of New York City put on this good coat and a top hat and guided the first train north from City Hall in downtown Manhattan to Grand Central Station on 42nd Street.

It then ran west to Times Square, the midpoint of the modern city. From Times Square the train went north again up Broadway to 145th Street.

The total distance was a little over nine miles, and it took just 26 minutes. On that same day, 100,000 excited New Yorkers rode the brand-new train. The fare was just 5 cents.

The construction of the subway in New York

By 1913, the subway was so popular that officials made plans to extend thee system. The cost, over $300 million, was sky-high.

Up to that time, the only building project that had cost more was the Panama Canal. However, the expansion was worth the money.

When it was finished, there were 656 miles of track –still the longest in the world.

Today’s New York City subway

Today, the New York City subway remains the most efficient way to get around the city 24 hours a day.

The population has continued to grow, and traffic jams have grown as well. Every day, millions of New Yorkers descend below the city streets to travel quickly and safely to their destinations.

However, the fare is now much more than a nickel!

Article 4: Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Beijing—China is going green. In order to reduce air pollution and oil shortages, carmakers have announced their plans to develop hybrid vehicles for the Chinese market.

The first China made Toyota’s hybrid car Prius hit the road last week. Let’s have a look at the new car.

Any vehicle is a hybrid when it combines two or more sources of power. Hybrid cars use an electric motor with rechargeable batteries and a gasoline engine.

A hybrid car has a smaller gasoline engine and an electric motor than a traditional car. The gasoline engine provides 99 per cent of the power when the car is cruising.

The electric motor provides extra power for running up hills or when extra acceleration is needed.

Step into a Prius, and turn on the power. The first thing you notice is that it is quieter than a traditional car. At this point, the car’s gasoline engine is dormant.

The electric motor will provide power until the car reaches about 24km/h.If you stay at low speed, you are effectively driving an electric car, with no gasoline being used, and no exhaust gas given off.

An onboard computer cides when to use the gasoline engine, when to go electric, and when to use a combination of the two.

If you go over 24km/h,when you step on the pedal, you are telling the computer how fast you want to go.

The electric motor recharges automatically when braking. And when driving at certain speeds, the gasoline engine not only powers the car but also recharges the batteries.

When you use the brake, the electric motor acts like a generator to produce electricity to recharge the batteries will last for around 200,000 miles.

Article 5: Long-term memory and short-term memory

There are two kinds of memory: short-term and long-term. Information in long-term memory can be remembered at a later time when it is needed. The information may be kept for days or weeks.

However, information in short-term memory is kept for only a few seconds, usually by repeating the information over and over.

The following experiment shows how short-term memory has been studied.

Henning studied how students who are learning English as a second language remember vocabulary.

The subjects in his experiment were 75 college students.

They represented all levels of ability in English: beginning, intermediate, and native speaking students.

To begin, the subjects listened to a recording of a native speaker reading a paragraph in English.

Following the recording, the subjects took a 15-question test to see which words they remembered. Each question had four choices.

The subjects had to circle the word they had heard in the recording, some of the questions had four choices that sound alike.

For example, weather, whether, wither, and wetter are four words that sound alike. Some of the questions had four choices that have the same meaning.

Method, way, manner, and system would be four words with the same meaning. Finally the subjects took a language proficiency test.

Henning found that students with a lower proficiency in English made more of their mistakes on words that sound alike; students with a higher proficiency made more of their mistakes on words that have the same meaning.

Henning’s results suggest that beginning students hold the sound of words in their short-term memory, and advanced students hold the meaning of words in their short-term memory.

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