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发表于 2008-10-9 10:23  资料  个人空间  短消息  加为好友 

American Men Don't Cry 美国男子汉一般不会哭



American Men Don't Cry

        American men don't cry because it is considered not characteristic of men to do so. Only women cry. Cry is a "weakness" characteristic of the femele, and no American male wants to be identified with anything in the least weak or feminine. Crying, in our culture, is identified with childishness, with weakness and dependence. No one likes a cryboby, and we disapprove of crying even in children, discouraging it in them as early as possible. In a land so devoted to the pursuit of happiness as ours, crying really is rather un-American. Adults must learn not to cry in situations in which it is permissible for child to cry. Women being the "weaker" and "dependent" sex, it is only natural that they should cry in certain emotional situations. In women, crying is excusable. But in men, crying is a mark of weakness. So goes the American belief with regard to crying.
     "A little man," we impress on our male children, "never cries. Only girls and crybobies do." And so we condition males in America not to cry whenever they feel like doing so. It is not that American males are unable to cry because of some biological time clock within them which causes them to run down in that capacity as they grow older, but that they are trained not to cry. And so the "little man" controls his desire to cry and goes on doing so until he is unable to cry even when he wants to. Thus do we produce a trained incapacity in the American male to cry. And this is bad. Why is it bad? Because crying is a natural function of the human organism which is designed to restore the emotionally disequilibrated person to a state of equilibrium. The return of the disequilibrated organ systems of the body to steady states or-dynamic stability is known as homeostasis. Crying serves a homeostatic function for the organism as a whole. Any interference with homeostasis is likely to be damaging to the organism. And there is good reason to believe that the American male's trained incapacity to cry is seriously damaging to him.
     It is unnecessary to cry whenever one wants to cry, but one should be able to cry when one ought to cry - when one needs to cry. For to cry under certain emotionally disequilibrating conditions is necessary for the maintenance of health.
     To be human is to weep. The human species is the only one in the whole of animated nature that sheds tears. The trained inability of any human being to weep is lessening of his capacity to be human - a defect which usually goes deeper than the mere inability to cry. And this, among other things, is what American parents - with the best intentions in the world - have achieved for the American male. It is very sad. If we feel like it, let us all have a good cry - and clear our minds of those cobwebs of confusion which have for so long prevented us from understanding the natural necessity of crying.

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发表于 2008-10-9 10:24  资料  个人空间  短消息  加为好友 

What Is Money and What Are Its Functions? 金钱及金钱的功用是什么?



What Is Money and What Are Its Functions?
金钱及金钱的功用是什么?

     Money is something you've been familiar with throughout your life. In fact, you may already consider yourself an expert on the subject. You regularly use money to measure the value of things you own. You also have some of it in your pocket and in bank accounts. It might surprise you to learn that there's a great deal of disagreement among economists about what money is and how to measure it. Money serves a number of functions, and any definition of money must consider all of its functions.
     The four major functions of money are as a medium of exchange, a standard of value, a standard of deferred payment, and a store of value.
     A Medium of Exchange. As a generally accepted medium of exchange, money rules out the need for barter, the direct exchange of one item for another. Barter is a very inconvenient means of trading because it requires the double coincidence of wants. A seller with a good or service to offer must search for a buyer who has exactly what the seller desires. For example, if a baker wants meat, he must search for a person who sells meat and wants bread under a barter system. Because money is generally accepted as payment for may purchase, a baker who sells bread for money can use the money to buy meat or anything else he wants.
     A Standard of Value. Money provides a unit of account that serves as a standard to measure value. The value of an item is a measure of what a person will sacrifice to obtain it. How much is a two-week vacation in Hawaii worth to you? If you're like most people, you'll probably respond to such a question by valuing the vacation in dollars - way $2,000 - rather than in terms of other things (like your car). Whether or not you're conscious of it, you're constantly valuing items in dollars. As a standard of value, money allows the addition of values of many different items as automobiles, repairs, and all other goods and services. The concept of GNP is useless without a standard of value such as the dollar.
     A standard of Deferred Payment. Many contracts involve promises to pay sums of money in the future. The unit of account for deferred payment of debts is also money. If you borrow money to buy a car, the loan contract specifies how much you must pay back every month and the number of months required to satisfy your obligation. However, money serves its function as a standard of deferred payment only if its purchasing power remains fairly constant over time. If the price level rises, the future purchasing power of money over time will go down. Similarly, a decrease in the price level will increase the future purchasing power of money.
     A Store of Value. Money can also serve as a store of value that can be quickly converted to good and services. Money as the actual medium of exchange is completely liquid, meaning it can immediately be converted to goods and services without any inconvenience or cost. Other assets that serve as stores of value must first be sold to be converted into a generally accepted medium of exchange. There are often costs and inconvenience associated with liquidating other assets. Holding money as a store of value thus can reduce the transaction costs involved in everyday business.

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发表于 2008-10-9 10:25  资料  个人空间  短消息  加为好友 
How to Be a Successful Language Learner? 怎样才能学好一种语言?



How to Be a Successful Language Learner?
怎样才能学好一种语言?

     "Learning a language is easy. Even a child can do it!"
     Most adults who are learning a second language would disagree with this statement. For them, learning a language is a very difficult task. They need hundreds of hours of study and practice, and even this will no guarantee success for every adult language learner.
     Language learning is different from other kinds of learning. Some people who are very intelligent and successful in their fields find it difficult to succeed in language learning. Conversely, some people who are successful language learners find it difficult to succeed in other fields.
     Language teachers often offer advice to language learners: "Read as much as you can in the new language." "Practice speaking the language every day." "Live with people who speak the language." "Don't translate - try to think in the new language." "Learn as a child would learn; play with the language."
     But what does a successful language learner do? Language learning research shows that successful language learners are similar in many ways.
     First of all, successful language learners are independent learners. They do not depend on the book or the teacher; they discover their own way to learn the language, Instead of waiting for the teacher to explain, they try to find the patterns and the rules for themselves. They are good guessers who look for clues and form their own conclusions. When they guess wrong, they guess again. They try to learn from their mistakes.
     Successful language learning is active learning. Therefore, Successful learners do not wait for a chance to use the language; they look for such a chance. They find people who speak the language and they ask these people to correct them when they make a mistake. They will try anything to communicate. They are not afraid to repeat what they hear or to say strange things; they are willing to make mistakes and try again. When communication is difficult, they can accept information what is inexact or incomplete. It is more important for them to learn to think in the language than to know the meaning of very word.
     Finally, successful language learners are learners with a purpose. They want to learn the language because they are interested in the language and the people who speak it. It is necessary for them to learn the language in order to communicate with these people and to learn from them. They find it easy to practice using the language regularly because they want to learn with it.
     What kind of language learner are you? If you are a successful language learner, you have probably been learning independently, actively, and purposefully. On the other hand, if your language learning has been less than successful, you might do well to try some of the techniques outlined above.

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发表于 2008-10-9 10:26  资料  个人空间  短消息  加为好友 
Taxes, Taxes, and More Taxes 万税,万税,万万税



Taxes, Taxes, and More Taxes
万税,万税,万万税     

     Americans often say that there are only two things a person can be sure of in life: death and taxes. Americans do not have a corner on the "death" market, but many people feel that the United States leads the world with the worst taxes.
     Taxes consist of the money which people pay to support their government. There are generally three levels of government in the United States: federal, state, and city; therefore, there are three types of taxes.
     Salaried people who earn more than a few thousand dollars must pay a certain percentage of their salaries to the federal government. The percentage varies from person to person. It depends on their salaries. The federal government has a graduated income tax, that is, the percentage of the tax (14 to 70 percent) increases as a person's income increases. With the high cost of taxes, people are not very happy on April 15, when the federal taxes are due.
     The second tax is for the state government: New York, California, North Dakota, or any of the other forty-seven states. Some states have an income tax similar to that of the federal government. Of course, the percentage for the state tax is lower. Other states have a sales tax, which is a percentage charged to any item which you buy in that state. For example, a person might want to buy a packet of cigarettes for twenty-five cents. If there is a sales tax of eight percent is that state, when the cost of the cigarettes is twenty-seven cents. This figure includes the sales tax. Some states use income tax in addition to sales tax to raise their revenues. They state tax laws are diverse and confusing.
     The third tax is for the city. This tax comes in two forms: property tax (people who own a home have to pay taxes on it) and excise tax, which is charged on cars in a city. The cities use these funds for education, police and fire departments, public words and municipal buildings.
     Since Americans pay such high taxes, they often feel that they are wording one day each week just to pay their taxes. People always complain about taxes. They often protest that the government uses their tax dollars in the wrong way. They way that it spends too much on useless and impractical programs. Although Americans have different views on many issues, they tend to agree on one subject: taxes are too high.

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