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发表于 2007-9-2 16:45  资料  个人空间  短消息  加为好友 

The Badger,a Courageous Fighter

The badger has been nicknamed“doormat”because of its broad,squat form and its hairy back.Actually it is a courageous fighter.In pioneer days it was considered great sport to turn a pack of dogs loose on this furry foe,but few dogs were willing to challenge the badger a second time.

When attacked,the badger digs a protective hole;if cornered,it releases a strong odor from glands near its tail.The badger's height——only about nine inches——places its throat below the line of attack of most dogs,and the back of its neck is protected by coarse hair.

In a fight,the badger's front claws are for midable weapons.It can leave a dog limping after one well-placed bite of its sharp teeth.Only the low-slung dachshund can easily get a deadly throat hold on the badger;this dog was once much used in“badgering”.Fortunately for the badger,the popularity of this sport has decreased considerably.





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The Shooting of a British Pig that Almost Started a War

“Charlie Griffin's British pig was in my potatoes again!”bellowed Lyman Cutler one day in 1859.The next time the pig snuffled into Cutler's potato patch,he shot it.The pig's owner swore to have Cutler jailed,and this almost started a war.

At that time San Juan Island,where both men lived,was claimed by both the United States and Britain.When word reached the United States that the British were going to try an American for shooting a pig,U.S.troops were dispatched to Puget Sound.The British,in turn,sent warships.The Americans then sent more troops.

U.S.General Winfield Scott talked the matter over with the British governor;national honor was now involved.The general and the governor agreed to occupy the island together,and the troops returned home without any arrest being made.

The dispute was finally settled in 1872,when San Juan Island was awarded to the United States.





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发表于 2007-9-2 16:46  资料  个人空间  短消息  加为好友 
The Patient and the Ship Owner

This incident occurred one morning outside Albert Sch-weitzer's hospital in the African jungle.A patient had gone fishing in another man's boat.The owner of the boat thought he should be given all the fish that were caught.Dr.Sch-weitzer said to the boat owner:

“You are right because the other man ought to have asked permission to use your boat.But you are wrong because you are careless and lazy.You merely twisted the chain of your canoe round a palm tree instead of fastening it with a padlock.Of laziness you are guilty because you were asleep in your hut on this moonlit night instead of making use of the good opportunity for fishing.”

He turned to the patient:“But you were in the wrong when you took the boat without asking the owner's permission.You were in the right because you were not so lazy as he was and you did not want to let the moonlit night go by without making some use of it.”

Dr.Schweitzer divided the catch among the fisherman,the boat owner,and the hospital.





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发表于 2007-9-2 16:47  资料  个人空间  短消息  加为好友 
The United States in about 23 Million Years

The ordinary raindrop is a mighty earth mover with sufficient strength to cut rock.When rainwater collects on the surface of the ground,some of it evaporates and some of it sinks into the earth.The remainder begins to flow downhill,commencing its lengthy journey from brook to stream to lake,or to a river that will carry it to the sea.

As water flows along the ground,it picks up sand,pebbles,even boulders.It uses them to gnaw at the sides and bottom of its channel,gradually loosening more earth.

By this process enormous amounts of mud and rock are moved from the land to the sea.Each year the Mississippi Rivercarries 730 million of solid matter into the Gulf of Mexico.

This constant hauling of land into the sea is lowering the United States' average height above sea level at a rate of about one foot every 9,000 years.If erosion continues at the same rate,the United States will be worn completely down to sea level in about 23 million years.





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发表于 2007-9-2 16:48  资料  个人空间  短消息  加为好友 
The Best Season for Thinking

If you are like most people,your intelligence varies from season to season.You are probably a lot sharper in the spring than you are at any other time of year.A noted scientist,Ellsworth Huntington(1876-1947),concluded from other men's work and his own among peoples in different climates that climate and temperature have a definite effect on our mental abilities.

He found that cool weatner is much more favorable for creative thinking than is summer heat.This does not mean that all people are less intelligent in the summer than they are during the rest of the year.It does mean,however,that the mental abilities of large numbers of people tend to be lowest in the summer.

Spring appears to be the best period of the year for thinking.One reason may be that in the spring man's mental abilities are affected by the same factors that bring about great changes in all nature.

Fall is the next-best season,then winter.As for summer,it seems to be a good time to take a long vacation from thinking!





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发表于 2007-9-2 16:48  资料  个人空间  短消息  加为好友 
A Dream Laboratory at the Unlversity of Chicago

A unique laboratory at the University of Chicago is busy only at night.It is a dream laboratory where researchers are at work studying dreamers.Their findings have revealed that everyone dreams from three to seven times a night,although in ordinary life a person may remember none or only one of his dreams.

While the subjects——usually students——sleep,special machines record their brain waves and eye movements as well as the body movements that signal the end of a dream.Surprisingly,all subjects sleep soundly.

Observers report that a person usually fidgets before a dream.Once the dream has started,his body relaxes and his eyes become more active,as if the curtain had gone up on a show .As soon as the machine indicates that the dream is over,a buzzer wakens the sleeper.He sits up,records his dream,and goes back to sleep——perhaps to dream some more.

Researchers have found that if the dreamer is wakened immediately after his dream,he can usually recall the entire dream.If he is allowed to sleep even five more minutes,his memory of the dream will have faded.





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The Grand Banks,the Richest Fishing Ground in the World

John and Sebastian Cabot sailed back across the North Atlantic with bad news for their patron,King Henry Ⅶ of England.Instead of a short sea route to Japan and India,they had found only rocky,icy coasts.

It was as a mere afterthought that they mentioned that they had visited a place near what they called New Found Isle.The codfish were so plentiful there that when the sailors had lowered baskets into the water and hoisted them up,they were full of squirming,silvery fish.

Although the merchants and the nobles at court did not care about this discovery,the fishermen of Europe became very interested.Before long,many fishermen were sailing across the Atlantic to Newfoundland in their little fishing boats and bringing back great numbers of dried fish for the kitchens of Europe.

In time,the right to fish the Grand Banks came to be considerde far more valuable than all the treasure of the fabled East.The Grand Banks were,and still are,the richest fishing ground in the world.





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发表于 2007-9-2 16:50  资料  个人空间  短消息  加为好友 
The American Museum of Natural History

When an art museum wants a new exhibit,it buys things in finished form and hangs them on its walls.When a natural history museum wants an exhibit,it often must build it realisti-cally-from a mass of material and evidence brought together by careful research.

An animal,for example,must first be skinned.Photographs and measurements are used to determine the animal's structure in a natural position——fighting,resting,or feeding.Then muscle forms are built and a plaster shell is made.Finally the skin is pulled over the shell like a wet glove.This completes the animal subject.

Displaying such things as stone heads,giant trees,and meteorites is basically mechanical.Most other natural history exhibits present more difficult problems.For instance,how can a creature be exhibited when it is too small to be seen clearly?In these cases,larger——than——life models are built.The American Museum of Natural History has models of fleas,houseflies,and a myriad other insects enlarged up to seventy-four times.The models show the stages of the insects' development and the workings of their bodies.





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The Tundra of the Arctic Regions

These are the signs of the coming arctic winter:The color of the tundra changes as the water grasses turn brilliant red.The migratory birds gather in flocks along the coast and gradually drift southward.Most of the birds that have spent the brief summer on the tundra now disappear,leaving only the golden eagle,the gyrfalcon,the ptarmigan,and the snowy owl to brave the sunless northern winter.

As the lakes and ponds freeze over,a thin mantle of snow covers the sedge.Occasionally a young and inquisitive arctic fox may be seen loping across the tundra.The weasel and the lemming begin to change color;as the winter deepens,their coats will turn snow-white.

During the first week in August the arctic sun dips below the horizon for the first time since May——it has not set all summer long.The gold and purple sunsets color the subfreezing waters of the Arctic Ocean.

By the end of September or early October the tundra is dark and seems deserted;winter has taken hold of the arctic for another nine long months.





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thank you, It's very useful

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项目介绍

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