普吉沉船幸存者讲述惊魂时刻

Zheng Lanqing – the sole member of one family to survive a tour boat sinking in waters off Thailand last Thursday – sits in a chair with a bag in his hand. Inside are clothes for his dead wife, daughter, son-in-law and 18-month-old granddaughter, whose bodies are in a morgue.

郑兰庆 —— 是上周四发生的泰国游船倾覆事件中全家唯一的幸存者 —— 他坐在一把椅子上,手里拿着一个袋子。袋子里是他已故妻子、女儿、女婿以及18个月大的外孙女的衣物,而他们的遗体目前都在太平间。

Along with his granddaughter’s clothing is a table tennis ball, which was her favorite plaything when she was alive.

除了外孙女的衣物之外,袋子里还有个乒乓球,那是外孙女在世时最喜欢的玩具。

Last Thursday, five family members were on one of two boats carrying a total of 127 Chinese tourists. The boats capsized in a violent storm near the southern resort island of Phuket late that afternoon.

上周四,郑兰庆一家五口都登上了共载有127名中国游客的两艘游船中的一艘。当天傍晚,两艘船在南部的普吉岛度假岛屿附近遭遇暴风雨,发生倾覆。

Of the Chinese tourists, 41 were confirmed dead. Others remained missing, although 78 were rescued, according to the Chinese embassy in Thailand.

据中国驻泰国大使馆消息,在所有的中国乘客中,41人确认死亡,78人获救,剩余的人仍处于失联状态。

“My son-in-law didn’t like traveling, and I had been to Thailand in 2014, so we two were reluctant to go at first. But my daughter persuaded my son-in-law and I was persuaded by my wife, which led to this trip happening,” Zheng was quoted as saying by Meiri Renwu, a WeChat account operated by Boya Tianxia Media Group in Beijing.

“我女婿不喜欢旅游,而2014年我就来泰国玩过了,所以我俩一开始都不太愿意来。但我女儿说服了他,我也被老婆说动了,于是就成行了,”北京博雅天下传媒文化发展有限公司旗下的“每日人物”公众号引用郑兰庆的原话报道。

At noon on Thursday, the family spent some time having fun on two islands and got back on the boat at around 4 pm, together with other tourists.

周四中午,一家人在两座岛上玩了一会儿,下午4点左右和其他游客一起回到了船上。

The sky darkened about 10 minutes after the boat left the pier, but Zheng didn’t worry too much. 船开出码头约10分钟后天就黑了下来,但郑兰庆没有太担心。

Half an hour later, the boat started shaking violently. He asked somebody where they were and found out that the boat had been in the same spot for the past half-hour.

半小时后,游船开始剧烈颠簸。他问旁边的人到哪了,发现船走了半小时却还在原来的地方。

Suddenly, the boat began listing heavily and he heard someone yell “Get out”! He quickly pulled his wife to the side of the vessel without thinking too much.

突然,船开始急剧倾斜,他听到有人喊“全部出来”!他没想太多,很快便将妻子拉到船舱一侧。

“It was rocking crazily and my wife fell down. Her knee started bleeding and I was in a panic,” Zheng said. “When we were about to jump overboard, she said ’Don’t drag me’ because of her injured knee and I said ’OK’. All of a sudden, the boat flipped over and I was in the sea.

“太颠了,我老婆没有站稳摔倒了。她膝盖流血了,而我当时很慌张,”郑兰庆说道。“当我们要跳船的时候,由于膝盖受伤,她说‘你不要拉我’,我说‘好’。一下子船就翘起来了,我掉进了水里。”

“I could never imagine that the conversation was the last words between us. I grabbed a rope after I fell into the water, and when I raised up my head to look for my wife, the whole boat was missing.”

“我没有想到,这是我们这辈子说的最后一句话。掉下海之后,我抓到了一个绳子,等我抬起头想看看我老婆时,发现船整个都不见了。”

About 20 tourists, including Zheng, eventually climbed aboard a rubber raft. 包括郑兰庆在内的约20名游客,最终爬上了一个橡皮艇。

“There were no words between any of us in the rubber boat. All of us were stunned. We could only hear the sounds of the sea.”

“橡皮艇上没有人说话。大家都傻了,只有海水的声音。”

Zheng said if they had known there would be a big rubber boat floating around after their boat sank, they might have first put on life vests and jumped in the vicinity to be saved.

郑兰庆说,如果当时他们知道船在遇水后会弹出来一个大橡皮艇,大家或许会一起穿上救生衣,齐心协力跳水,等待获救。

“However, we knew nothing about it. No one gave us any warnings or guidance,” he said. “然而,我们什么都不知道。没人给我们警告或者指示,”他说道。

Zheng said it’s a tradition in his hometown that deceased children be dressed in long sleeves and trousers. He has prepared full sets of clothes for each of his family members who died in the tragic accident.

郑兰庆表示,在他的老家,小孩子走了,要穿长袖长裤。他已经为在这场悲剧中遇难的所有家人准备好了全套衣服。

“I don’t know what to do now. I can only wait in Thailand, dealing with their final arrangements.”

“我不知道现在应该怎么办。我只能在泰国等待,处理他们的后事。”

Learn English Conversation – My Bad Brother

Learn English Conversation - My Bad Brother

English lesson for Chinese people, Mandarin speakers or Cantonese speakers

Todd: So, Greg you were saying you had brothers and they always picked on you like all older brothers do. Do you have any stories about your brothers used to do to you?

托德:格雷格,你说过你有哥哥,而且他们经常捉弄你,一般哥哥们都会这么做。你能讲讲你的哥哥们都对你做过什么吗?

Greg: Ah, yes, you know I think back on some of the crazy fights we had and it is absolutely amazing that we are all still alive. (Yeah) One time, I was closing the garage door and I didn’t see my brother, my oldest brother walking behind me and I pulled the door down and it hit him in the head.

格雷格:对,你知道,回想一下我们之间那些疯狂的吵架,我觉得我们都还活着真是太令人吃惊了。(嗯)有一次,我把车库门关上的时候并没有看到我哥哥,我大哥走在我的后面,我没看到他直接把门关上了,所以他撞到了头。

Todd: Right, ooh, ow!

托德:啊哈!

Greg: A complete accident. (Yeah) but he just got so angry. He had a pair of shoes that he was holding in his hand, and I think he was going to polish them or something, and he just took the shoe and he smacked me as hard as he could right in the stomach.

格雷格:那完全是个意外。(对)可是他非常生气。当时他手里拿着一双鞋,我想他可能是要打鞋油之类的,所以他就用最大的力气把鞋扔向我,正好砸到了我的肚子上。

Todd: Oh, that’s gotta hurt.

托德:哦,那会很疼的。

Greg: Oh, it hurt so much. I bent over and I got so angry and I looked in the garage and I saw a big piece of metal pipe.

格雷格:对,非常疼。我被砸得弯下了腰,所以我非常生气,我环顾了一下车库,看到了一根金属管。

Todd: Oh, no!

托德:哦,不!

Greg: And I held it like a spear, and I ran after him, and he, of course, ran away. I was chasing him around the house and he ran into the front door, and I threw the spear, as hard as I could, and it went like a, I threw the pipe, and it went like a spear, through the air, and he closed the door right behind him, and it put a hole in the door.

格雷格:我像拿矛一样拿着那根金属管追他,他当然要跑了。我一直绕着房子追他,然后他跑进了前门,我用最大的力气扔出了那根管子,管子像矛一样飞了出去,他进门后就把门关上了,所以管子在门上戳了个洞。

Todd: Oh, man, it was gonna hit him. It would have hit him.

托德:哦,天哪,差点就击中他。差点就打到他。

Greg: It would have hit him actually.

格雷格:的确差点就要打到他了。

Todd: Wow. You don’t even want to think what could have happened if it had hit him.

托德:哇。你难道没有想过管子打到他后会发生什么吗?

Greg: Yeah, it’s amazing that we’re still alive. We used to have fights with baseball bats and branches and things.

格雷格:嗯,所以说我们都还活着简直难以置信。我们以前常用棒球棒和树枝之类的东西打架。

Todd: Well, it must have been good, made you tough and strong for all the other kids at school.

托德:那一定很美好,而且使你比学校里其他的孩子更坚强、强壮。

Greg: Yeah, they thought I was crazy.

格雷格:对,当时他们认为我疯了。

Is your dream car Tesla? see what Telsa is doing in China

Is your dream car Tesla see what Telsa is doing in China

Chinese people like cars! Still scrambling to sort out production problems at its electric car factory in California, Tesla is taking on another big challenge: building a vast new plant and development center in China.

特斯拉(Tesla)还在忙于解决它在加利福尼亚州电动汽车工厂的生产问题,现在又面临另一项重大挑战:在中国建造一座庞大的新工厂和研发中心。

The automaker said Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with the Chinese authorities to build a battery and automobile factory in Shanghai — its first plant outside the United States — that would eventually be capable of producing 500,000 electric vehicles a year.

该汽车制造商于周二表示,它已同中国当局达成协议,将在上海建造一座电池和汽车工厂——这是它在美国以外的第一家工厂——最终将每年能够生产50万辆电动汽车。

From the study, the company did not disclose how much it planned to invest in the venture, but it said it would be the sole owner. Other foreign automakers, including General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota, have been required to form joint ventures with local partners to produce cars in China. But the Chinese government recently said it would ease that requirement.

该公司没有透露它计划投资多少,但表示自己将是唯一的所有者。其他外国汽车制造商,包括通用汽车(General Motors)、大众汽车(Volkswagen)和丰田汽车(Toyota),都被要求与当地合作伙伴组建合资企业,才能在中国生产汽车。但中国政府最近表示将放宽这一要求。

Tesla said it expected to begin construction as soon as it had obtained the necessary approvals and permits. “From there, it will take roughly two years until we start producing vehicles and then another two to three years before the factory is fully ramped up,” the company said in a statement.

特斯拉表示,它预期一旦获得必要的批准和许可,就可以开始施工。该公司在一份声明中表示,“从那时起,我们需要大约两年的时间才能开始生产汽车,然后再用两到三年实现全速生产。”

Setting up a plant in China will not be easy, and one of the toughest parts may be finding executives to manage the effort, said Ron Harbour, at auto-manufacturing expert at OliverWyman, a consulting firm. “They are trying to get going in California, so who are they going to send overseas to do the same thing?” he said. “That is the question in my mind. You usually want to get it right at home first.”

在中国建厂并非易事,其中最困难的一部分可能就是寻找高管来管理这项工作。奥纬咨询(Oliver Wyman)的汽车制造专家罗恩·哈伯(Ron Harbour)表示,“他们正努力在加利福尼亚发展,那么他们要派谁去海外做同样的事情?”他说。“这是我的疑问。你一般会想先把国内的事情弄好。”

The investment in China is the latest initiative that Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, has announced with lofty ambitions, some of which he has fallen well short of achieving.

对中国的投资是特斯拉首席执行官埃隆·马斯克(Elon Musk)最新的一个高调推出的计划,然而他的一些宏大设想远未达到目标。

Two years ago, Mr. Musk predicted that the company’s plant in Fremont, Calif., would churn out close to 500,000 cars by this year, but the effort has been hampered by over reliance on automated machinery and by production bottlenecks. By the end of June, about 40,000 had been delivered or were in transit.

两年前,马斯克预测该公司位于加州弗里蒙特的工厂到今年将生产近50万辆汽车,但由于过度依赖自动化机械,以及遇到生产瓶颈,这一努力受到了阻碍。截至6月底,已交付或正在运输中的汽车约有4万辆。

Last fall, he unveiled a battery-powered semi truck that he said Tesla would begin producing by the end of 2019. The truck is now being redesigned, and no plans have been announced for a factory to produce it.

去年秋天,他推出了一款电池驱动的半挂卡车,称它将于2019年由特斯拉投产。这款卡车目前正在重新设计,没有任何工厂宣布计划生产它。

And Mr. Musk has also promised that Tesla would produce a version of its first mass-market offering, the Model 3 sedan, costing $35,000. So far, the only versions available sell for$49,000 and up.

马斯克还承诺,特斯拉将为其首款大众市场产品Model 3轿车推出一个新版本,售价3.5万美元。到目前为止,这款轿车仅有的几个版本售价都在4.9万美元或以上。

The Model 3 is a critical vehicle for the company. Mr. Musk has said Tesla needs to be able to produce at least 5,000 Model 3 cars a week to become profitable in the second half of this year. Earlier this month, Tesla said it reached that level in the final week of June, after setting up a new assembly line in a giant tent just outside the Fremont plant.

Model 3是该公司的关键车型。马斯克表示,为在今年下半年实现盈利,特斯拉需要能够每周生产至少5千辆Model 3轿车。本月早些时候,特斯拉表示,在弗里蒙特工厂外一个巨大的帐篷里建立了一条新的生产线后,它在六月的最后一周达到了这个水平。

Tesla has reported losses every year since it was founded in 2003. In recent months, analysts have become worried about its finances and the slow pace of Model 3 production. Moody’s Investor Service downgraded Tesla’s credit rating over concerns about how much cash the company is using up.

特斯拉自2003年成立以来每年都报亏损。最近几个月,分析师们开始对其财务状况和Model 3生产的缓慢进度感到担心。穆迪投资者服务公司(Moody’s Investor Service)出于对特斯拉的现金消耗状况的担忧,降低了它的信用评级。

China is a key growth market for Tesla, and the world’s largest market for electric vehicles. The government there subsidizes and promotes the production and sale of electric cars as part of its efforts to improve air quality and cut tailpipe emissions.

中国是特斯拉的主要增长市场,也是全球最大的电动汽车市场。作为改善空气质量和减少尾气排放的一种措施,中国政府鼓励电动汽车的生产和销售,向其提供补贴。

Tesla began selling cars in China in 2013 and has set up 35 sales centers and some 1,200 charging stations in the country. It sold about 15,000 cars there last year, according to estimates by LMC Automotive.

特斯拉于2013年开始在中国销售汽车,在中国设立了35个销售中心和1200个充电站。据调研公司LMCAutomotive估计,去年它在中国销售了大约1.5万辆汽车。

Tesla said its Shanghai-based initiative would include a research-and-development center and a sales operation. The local government said it would be the largest manufacturing project backed by foreign investment in Shanghai’s history.

特斯拉表示,它在上海的计划将包括一个研发中心和一个销售企业。当地政府表示,这将是上海历史上最大的外商投资制造项目。

A Tesla spokesman said the plant would not affect the company’s American operations and was not a response to the escalating trade dispute between the United States and China. But a Tesla factory in China is most likely not something the Trump administration wants to see.

特斯拉发言人表示,中国的工厂不会影响公司在美国的业务,特斯拉也不会回应美中之间不断升级的贸易争端。但它在中国的工厂很可能不是特朗普政府希望看到的。

The White House began a trade fight with China partly to discourage American companies from shifting operations there. The administration has argued that China often uses unfair methods to either encourage companies to move there or force them to give up or share technology with Chinese companies in order to access its market.

白宫与中国展开贸易战,部分原因是为了阻止美国公司将业务转移到中国。美国政府称,中国经常采用不公平的方法,鼓励企业迁往中国,或迫使它们放弃或者与中国企业分享技术,以进入中国市场。

Even before the recent escalation in trade tensions, China’s tariffs were an issue for Tesla. “The current rules make things very difficult,” Mr. Musk lamented on Twitter in March about the 25 percent tariff on cars imported from the United States. “It’s like competing in an Olympic race wearing lead shoes.”

甚至在最近贸易紧张局势升级之前,中国的关税对特斯拉来说就是一个问题。“目前的规则让事情变得非常困难,”马斯克3月在Twitter上感叹道,指的是中国对进口美国汽车征收25%的关税的决定。“这就像在奥运会上穿着铅做的鞋子赛跑。”

China later agreed to scale the tariffs back to 15 percent, but in the most recent tit-for-tat, they were raised to 40 percent. The price of a new Model S in China has risen by about one-fifth, to nearly $130,000.

中国后来同意将关税降低到15%,但在最近一次的报复行动中,关税被提高到了40%。特斯拉新款Model S的价格上涨了约五分之一,达到近十三万美元。

Chinese leaders, worried about skies choked with pollution and the country’s growing dependence on foreign oil, have championed electric cars as a possible solution. A Tesla manufacturing plant in China could aid Beijing’s effort to take a strong global position in producing electric cars and other technologies of the future, a vision outlined in the Made in China 2025 plan.

中国领导人对空气污染和国家越来越依赖外国石油的情况感到担忧,支持电动车作为可能的解决方案。特斯拉在中国的一家制造厂可能有助于北京在未来的电动车和其他技术生产中占据全球优势的努力,这是《中国制造2025》计划中提出的愿景。

For Tesla, building cars in China would inoculate it against the effects of a trade fight and put the company close to China’s huge automotive supply chain. Even more important, it would provide a firmer foothold in a potentially vast market. China is the company’s second-largest market after the United States; its revenue there doubled to $2 billion last year.

对于特斯拉来说,在中国制造电动车将使它免受贸易战的影响,并使公司接近中国庞大的汽车供应链。更重要的是,这会在一个潜在的广阔市场上为该公司提供更坚实的立足点。中国是特斯拉仅次于美国的第二大市场;去年它在那里的收入翻了一番,达到20亿美元。

China has a number of electric-car makers, but they tend to make smaller, more affordable vehicles that lack the polish of Tesla’s offerings. The American-made cars can frequently be seen in some of the more upscale areas of Beijing and Shanghai.

中国有许多电动汽车制造商,但它们倾向于制造体积更小、价格更便宜的车,而这些车缺乏特斯拉产品的优雅精致。美国制造的车在北京和上海一些较高档的地区随处可见。

Why Black Cat Means Bad Luck 为什么黑猫表示厄运

why black cat means bad luck

Today‘s lesson, we will talk about the English culture, and explain why black cat means bad luck.

Everyone knows that when a black cat crosses your path bad luck is sure to follow, but have you ever wondered how black cats got their dark reputation? Is it simply due to the color of their coat, or something more sinister?

所有人都知道当一只黑猫经过你的身边,厄运随后就会到,但你是否想过为什么黑猫会得到如此的坏名声呢?是否只是单单因为它的毛色呢?又或者是什么其他更不祥的原因呢?

Thousands of years ago, cats of all colors enjoyed the good life in ancient Egypt, where killing a cat came with a swift death sentence. A few millennia later, Christianity spread throughout Europe by overthrowing local pagan customs and traditions. This meant vilifying pagan symbols such as the Roman goddess Diana, as well as the cat — which became a pagan symbol thanks to its link to earlier gods and goddesses

数千年前,所有毛色的猫在古埃及都享受着滋润的生活,在这里杀死一只猫是会立刻被判死刑。几千年后,基督教传播至整个欧洲,他们推翻了当地的非基督教的习俗和传统。这意味着他们会诽谤中伤非基督教的象征,比如说罗马的月亮女神狄安娜,还有成为异教徒象征的猫,因为它们在早期和神相关联。

In 1233 AD, Pope Gregory IX put the final nail in the black cat coffin when he declared black cats to be an incarnation of the devil himself. Eager to prove their devotion, Christians began to round up black cats and burn them alive at village festivals to punish them for their devilish ways . It got so bad that by the 14th century, cats were nearly extinct in some parts of Europe.

在公元1233年,教皇格里高利九世宣称黑猫是恶魔的化身,这让黑猫永无翻身之日。渴望证明自己忠诚的基督徒们开始在乡村的节日上围捕黑猫然后活活将它们烧死来惩罚它们的魔鬼之道。事情变得很糟糕,以至于在14世纪的欧洲某些地方,猫几乎已经灭绝了。

Over the next few centuries, the idea that black cats were in league with the devil naturally led to a link between black cats and witches. Black cats, according to superstition, were believed to be witches in disguise. Others claimed that a black cat could eventually become a witch himself after serving as a witch’s familiar for seven years . By the time of the famous witch trials of the 16th and 17th centuries, simply owning a black cat was enough to get a “witch” condemned to death

在接下来的几个世纪中,黑猫和魔鬼为伍这一概念自然导致它们和女巫产生了联系。根据迷信观念,人们认为黑猫是女巫的伪装。另外一些人则声称黑猫在作为至交侍奉女巫7年后最终也会变成一个女巫。在16世纪和17世纪著名的女巫审判的那段时间里,仅仅是拥有一只黑猫就足以“女巫罪”判处死刑。

Ironically enough, the black cat superstition lingers to this day, and has proven to bring nothing but bad luck for the black cats themselves. In a 2013 study at Colorado State University, researchers found that it takes four to six days longer for black shelter cats to be adopted than cats of any other color. This spells bad news for black cats, as around 70 percent of shelter cats are eventually euthanized. While researchers can’t say for sure why black cats are less attractive to potential pet owners, the myths surrounding black cats and bad luck could potentially play a role

讽刺的是,黑猫的迷信延续至今,而且可以证明的是黑猫除了会给自己带来霉运以外根本啥也带不来。在科罗拉多州立大学2013年的一项研究中,研究人员们发现在动物收容所里的黑猫要比其他毛色的猫多花4到6天的时间才能找到领养人。这对黑猫来说是个坏消息,因为在收容所里大约70%的猫最终都会被实施安乐死。虽然研究人员们无法确定黑猫对于想要养猫的人来说缺乏吸引力的原因,但是围绕着黑猫的传说和厄运可能是潜在地原因。

英語語法 – 过去将来进行时

英語語法 - 过去将来进行时

英語語法

过去将来进行时:表示就过去某一时间而言,将来某一时刻或某一段时间正在进行的动作,主要用宾语从句中,尤其多用于间接引语中。

基本用法:

用于间接引语:They said they would be coming.(他们说了他们将要来。)  
用于定语从句:The new job he would be taking was raising racing horses.(他将要接受的新工作是养赛马。)

作用:

1. 过去将来进行时可以表示在过去某一时间之后即将进行的动作:
例如:He said he could not come because he would be having a meeting.(他说他不能来因为要开会。)

2. 过去将来进行时表示在过去将来某一时间正在发生的动作:它常和表过去将来的时间状语连用,但上下文清楚时,时间状语亦可省略。和将来进行时一样,它也常表计划中的事,不表意愿或打算。它还有一个特点,即常用在宾语从句(尤其是间接引语)中。
例如:John told us that Mary would be coming next day.(约翰告诉我们玛丽第二天来。)

3. 过去将来进行时有时也可用在其它从句中:

用在定语从句中:The new name he would be using was Jack Jones.(他将用的新名是杰克•琼斯。)
用在状语从句中:He would pay the rest as he would be leaving France.(其余款项,他将在离开法国时付清。)

4. 过去将来进行时也可用在独立句中:
例如:The car started. Ellen James would be driving off to the university.(车子发动了。埃伦•詹姆斯要开车到大学去。)

Scientists have long wondered how spiders can use the webbing they make to fly

Scientists have long wondered how spiders can use the webbing they make to flyScientists have long wondered how spiders can use the webbing they make to fly.

The 19th century English naturalist Charles Darwin commented on their behavior when very small spiders landed on his ship, the HMS Beagle. He noted that they were following lines of smooth silk. He thought the creatures might have been using warm air to take to the sky. However, new research shows a totally different cause may be involved.

Erica Morley and Daniel Robert are with the School of Bristol in Britain. They were interested in exploring another explanation for the spiders’ ability. They thought spiders might sense and use electrostatic fields in the air.

But some observers suggested electrostatic fields might be the reason the many draglines some spiders use to float never get tangled.

Kimberley Sheldon is a biologist with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in the United States. She said that although “these spiders will have 5 or 6 draglines, those strands of silk do not get entangled. So, we’ve known for a while that electrostatics probably [are] at least interacting with the spider, with the silk lines themselves to keep them from getting tangled.”

Sheldon was not involved in the latest study.

Morley and Robert created a box with a grounded metal plate on the bottom and a plate on the top. It was designed so they could send an electrical current through the box. They placed spiders inside the box and turned on the electricity, then watched as the spiders reacted to the electric field.

When the electric field was on, the spiders lifted their abdomens into the air and started raising up on the very ends of their legs.

When the spiders did balloon and rise into the air, turning off the electric current caused them to drop.

Sheldon compares this to someone taking a balloon and rubbing it against their clothing. “If you hold the balloon [near your head], your hair stands on end. That’s kind of what’s happening with the spider silk.”

Clearly the spiders were able to sense the local electrostatic field and react by releasing silk, but Morley and Robert wanted to know how.

Morley noted that as a sensory biologist, she was interested in understanding what sensory system spiders might use to sense electric fields.

“We know that they have very sensitive hairs that are displaced by air movements or even sound. So, I thought that it’s possible that they might be using these same hairs to detect electric fields,” she said.

This was exactly what she observed. The small hairs along the spiders’ legs react not only to physical experiences like air movement, but also to the electric field. In nature, it makes sense for spiders to sense both the electrostatic field around them as well as wind conditions. Spiders probably use both when taking off and moving through the sky.

Mathematician Longhua Zhao is with Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She has made computer models of how spiders balloon.

“They definitely play very important roles; however, we don’t know at this point, which is the dominant factor,” she added.

Lead researcher Morley pointed out that spiders are not the only creatures to balloon. “Caterpillars and spider mites, which are arachnids but not spiders, balloon as well,” she noted.

Arachnids have eight legs and a body made of two parts.

Invertebrates have no back bone.

Morley hopes other researchers will follow up her study to see if these other creatures react in much the same way as spiders.

I’m Pete Musto.

This story is used for Learning English

Do you know how swimming can change your life?

Do you know how swimming can change your life

Swimming!

Whether outdoors or indoors, swimming is a fun way to stay in shape. And one of the great things about swimming is diving. For a very short time, a diver flies through the air like a bird. Then they land in the cool water below, usually with their hands and head leading the way.

But jumping into a body of water headfirst is just one meaning of the word “dive.”

“To dive into something” can also mean to start working on a project with lots of energy but not, perhaps, a lot of planning.

Let’s say two friends are really excited to dive into a new business together. They are so excited that they open their business without a clear idea of how to market their company or even who will buy their product. So, it was not a big surprise when the company went under a few months later. Friends told them that they had a good idea, but they simply dove in too quickly.

Adding the word “headfirst” adds importance. If you dive into something headfirst, you are even more excited and even less prepared!

For example, a man I know really wanted to learn basic home repair. He was very excited to begin on a home project. So, he dove in headfirst, knocking down walls and tearing out the floors. Unfortunately, he didn’t know enough to rebuild his house. He ended up hiring a construction team for that.

“To dive into something” can also mean you are simply really excited to do it. Planning is not an issue or problem. And sometimes we add the word “right.” This makes it sound more conversational.

For example, the children must have been very hungry after learning swimming all day. They dove right into the pizza the minute it was served!

But now, let’s go back to the diving that relates to swimming. Sometimes divers dive off a mountain cliff. They are called cliff divers.

Some dive off the side of a pool. Others dive off a diving board. Diving boards are springy. They are made of a material that can bend. Diving boards are a kind of springboard. They are a board that springs you into the air!

In addition to diving, a springboard is useful in other situations. A springboard can be something that helps you start an activity or process. We can also call this a jumping off point, just as when you jump off a diving board.

For example, when preparing for this program, I often take note of the expressions my friends use. So, for me, these conversations are often springboards to new stories for this show.

The term “springboard” can also mean a point of departure.

Let’s hear two co-workers use it this way.

A: Boy, Emanuel did not stay long at his job here, did he?

B: No. But I’m not surprised. I knew he’d move quickly from this job to the next.

A: How did you know that?

B: On his first day, he told me that this job was only a springboard to a better position.

A: I see. Well, at least he was honest.

Okay. So, besides cliff diving and diving off a diving board, there is another kind of diving — scuba diving.

Scuba diving is an underwater activity. You swim underwater while wearing special equipment, including a tank, or container, filled with compressed air. Scuba is an acronym. It is short for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.

With tanks of air on their backs, scuba divers are able to dive deep into the sea. On a deep sea dive, you might see some very strange sea creatures!

On land, a deep dive is when you explore an issue in great detail. Oftentimes, the media coverage of some issues is too shallow, meaning it doesn’t explain enough. But sometimes a news agency is able to do a deep dive on issues that people really care about.

You could say that on Words and Their Stories we dive deeper into the English language. Hopefully, this program will make you want to dive right into your English studies!

I’m Anna Matteo.

What would like to dive into? Let us know in the Comments Section.

Anna Matteo wrote this story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor. The song at the end is Donovan singing “Atlantis.”

English Course in Hong Kong – Cross Cultural Difference

English Course in Hong Kong - Cross Cultural Difference

Melanie: Well, I was born and raised in Lindsay, Ontario a few hours north of

Toronto.

Maura: So how did you end up in Montreal then?

Melanie: Well after finishing high school in Lindsay, I moved out west to Kelowna,

British Columbia where I did a college diploma in aviation and I taught

flying around British Columbia for a few years before heading back to Ontario

to Ottawa to do a degree in language, and English literature. That

took me to France on an exchange with the University of Ottawa, where I

met my partner Christophe. Living in France was an excellent experience, a

great way learn about the culture and practice the language but tough to get

visas sometimes so I had to come back to Canada. Christophe and I decided

to both come to Montreal where we can both work and live in our first

languages.

Maura: OK, cool. So what were you doing in France?

Melanie: I went originally on an exchange with the university. So I took classes at one

of the universities in Lyon, France. There I studied with native speakers in

the literature classes there and I also at the same time taught English in a

high school.

Maura: Oh, that’s pretty cool. So how did you learn French? Just at university?

Melanie: No, in Lindsay, where I’m from. It’s funny, it’s a small town, no native French

speakers, and yet there’s a French immersion program. It started the year

before I went into school, luckily, so when I started kindergarten at the age of

5, I started in French immersion, where I spoke only French from the first day

of school. So we were all native English speakers but learning French

together.

Maura: That’s pretty cool. I’m always jealous of people who have that experience

because for me growing up, I was surrounding by people speaking English

and I went to English school and I took some French classes because no

matter, really, where you are in English-speaking Canada you have to take

French classes but it’s not an immersion program so I didn’t really learn as

much.

Melanie: Yeah, it was a really great program. We learn French from native French

speakers that came to the town to teach. We learned a lot about the

language and the French culture as well, which is really great ‘cause the

small town wasn’t very diverse. We spoke only French from kindergarten all

the way up until grade 4, was the first time we are learning English. We had

about 45 minutes a day in English and then it progressed. Every year we

added a little bit more English until high school we had about 3 classes in

French, 3 classes in English.

“Passage to China” to Introduce Dynamic Chinese Culture to the World

Learn English in Hong Kong – Different Vocations

Learn English in Hong Kong - Different Vocations

Ricardo: How was your Mandarin lesson in Hong Kong?

Maura: It was great, I am learning how to say holidays in the course.

Ricardo: Did you take a lot of vacations when you were younger?

Maura: Yeah, every summer, at least, we went away somewhere, I think.

Ricardo: Really?

Maura: But you’ll have to wait. I’ll talk about it later.

Ricardo: Alright.

Maura: So the first thing we’re going to talk about is different types of vacations.

Ricardo: Different types of vacations.

Maura: Yeah, so the first kind of vacation – and this is a really new term – is called a staycation.

Ricardo: A staycation. I’ve never heard of that before. What is that… a staycation?

Maura: It’s a vacation where the people stay at home. So they take time off from work, but they don’t travel anywhere, they just stay at home and relax and take care of things.

Ricardo: That could be fun and it’s also a good way to save money too.?

Learning English – Please do not work during holidays

Learning English Hong Kong – Buying a house is a big issue

Maura: Yes, say hi. So, today we’re going to do a Chatterbox episode, and that’s where Harp and I chat about all kinds of different stuff. And today we’re going to be chatting about buying a home. Now, if you’ve been a Culips listener for a while, you may remember that Harp talked about looking to buy because she was looking to buy a condo and she has purchased a condo. So, Harp, you’re gonna tell us a little bit about the whole process you’ve gone through, right?

Harp: Yes, exactly. We’ll break it down into sections and I’ll talk about looking for the condo, the actual buying process, and finally renovating and moving in.

Maura: Right. And even if you’re not learning English as a second language, this could be an educational podcast if you’ve never bought a home.

Harp: Yeah, because it is quite a stressful process and there’s lots you need to know.

Maura: And I’m sure you’re learning as you go.

Have you ever bought any house in Hong Kong?

Harp: Definitely.

Maura: OK, so first, let’s talk about buying a home. So, I know that you were interested in looking for condos. So how did you go about looking for a place to buy?

Harp: Well, for me, in the beginning I was looking at condos all around Montreal. I was so open to the areas, but really, it’s just exhausting. So I had to narrow my search down and I decided where I wanted to live. And in Canada, there are a lot of really good websites where you can search houses that are on sale, or condos that are on sale. So I was working with a real estate agent for a little bit and then on my own a little bit as well. And I would find listings and then they would have pictures and they would have the dimensions of the condo and the price and all that information and we would schedule a visit and I would go see them.

Maura: One little thing I wanna point out is that, often, we call a place where someone lives a house. It might be a house, but it might be an apartment or a condo. I don’t know why we do this, but any place, any home that someone has, sometimes we just call it a house. So, if we start calling Harp’s condo a house, it’s not because it turned into a house, but it’s just because it’s the place where Harp lives and it’s just a habit to naturally call it a house.

Harp: Good point.

Maura: So, Harp, when you were looking around, what kind of things were you looking for in a home?

Harp: Well, I had my basics. I wanted two bedrooms. I was really hoping for an open concept. I really, really wanted something that had the Montreal charm, you know, the stained glass windows, the old moldings, nice wood floors. But in end, I didn’t get it.

Mandarin class HK – Excuse me, are you renting your house?