Student English Text

?? 6?? 1 A SHORT HISTORY OF WESTERN PAINTING Art is influenced by the customs and faith of a people. Styles in Western art have changed many times. As there are so many different styles of Western art, it would be impossible to describe all of them in such a short text. Consequently, this text will describe only the most important ones, starting from the sixth century AD. The Middle Ages (5th to the 15th century AD) During the Middle Ages, the main aim of painters was to represent religious themes. A conventional artist of this period was not interested in showing nature and people as they really were.

A typical picture at this time was full of religious symbols, which created feeling of respect and love for God. But it was evident that ideas were changing in the 13th century when painters like Giotto di Bondone began to paint religious scenes in a more realistic way. The Renaissance (15th to 16th century) During the Renaissance, new ideas and values graduallv replaced those held in the Middle Ages. People began to concentrate less on religious themes and adopt a more humanistic attitude to life. At the same time painters returned to classical Roman and Greek ideas about art. They tried to paint people and nature as they really were.

Rich people wanted to possess their own paintings, so they could decorate their superb palaces and great houses. They paid famous artists to paint pictures of themselves, their houses and possessions as well as their activities and achievements. One of the most important discoveries during this period was how to draw things in perspective. This technique was first used by Masaccio in 1428. When people first saw his paintings, they were convinced that they were looking through a hole in a wall at a real scene. If the roles of perspective had not been discovered, no one would have been able to paint such realistic pictures.

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Among the painters who broke away from the traditional style of painting were the Impressionists, who lived and worked in Paris. The Impressionists were the first painters to work outdoors. They were eager to show how light and shadow fell on objects at different times of day. However, because natural light changes so quickly, the Impressionists had to paint quickly. Their paintings were not as detailed as those of earlier painters. At first, many people disliked this style of painting and became very angr about it. They said that the painters were careless and their paintings were ridiculous. Modern Art (20th century to today)

At the time they were created, the Impressionist paintings were controversial, but today they are accepted as the beginning of what we call “modem art”. This is because the Impressionists encouraged artists to look at their environment in new ways. There are scores of modern art styles, but without the Impressionists, many of these painting styles might not exist. On the one hand, some modem art is abstract; that is, the painter does not attempt to paint objects as we see them with our eyes, but instead concentrates on certain qualities of the object, using colour, line and shape to represent them.

On the other hand, some paintings of modern art are so realistic that they look like photographs. These styles are so different. Who can predict what painting styles there will be in the future? Unit 3 A healthy life-Reading ADVICE FROM GRANDAD Dear James, It is a beautiful day here and I am sitting under the big tree at the end of the garden. I have just returned from a long bike ride to an old castle. It seems amazing that at my age I am still fit enough to cycle 20 kilometres in an afternoon. It’s my birthday in two weeks time and I’ll be 82 years old!

I think my long and active life must be due to the healthy life I live. This brings me to the real reason for my letter, my dear grandson. Your mother tells me that you started smoking some time ago and now you are finding it difficult to give it up. Believe me, I know how easy it is to begin smoking and how tough it is to stop. You see, during adolescence I also smoked and became addicted to cigarettes. By the way, did you know that this is because you become addicted in three different ways? First, you can become physically addicted to nicotine, which is one of the hundreds of chemicals in cigarettes.

This means that after a while your body becomes accustomed to having nicotine in it. So when the drug leaves your body, you get withdrawal symptoms. I remember feeling bad-tempered and sometimes even in pain. Secondly, you become addicted through habit. As you know, if you do the same thing over and over again, you begin to do it automatically. Lastly, you can become mentally addicted. I believed I was happier and more relaxed after having a cigarette, so I began to think that I could only feel good when I smoked. I was addicted in all three ways, so it was very difficult to quit.

But I did finally manage. When I was young, I didn’t know much about the harmful effects of smoking. I didn’t know, for example, that it could do terrible damage to your heart and lungs or that it was more difficult for smoking couples to become pregnant. I certainly didn’t know their babies may have a smaller birth weight or even be abnormal in some way. Neither did I know that my cigarette smoke could affect the health of non-smokers. However, what I did know was that my girlfriend thought I smelt terrible. She said my breath and clothes smelt, and that the ends of my fingers were turning yellow.

She told me that she wouldn’t go out with me again unless I stopped! I also noticed that I became breathless quickly, and that I wasn’t enjoying sport as much. When I was taken off the school football team because I was unfit, I knew it was time to quit smoking. I am sending you some advice I found on the Internet. It might help you to stop and strengthen your resolve. I do hope so because I want you to live as long and healthy a life as I have. Love from Grandad Unit 5 The power of nature-Reading AN EXCITING JOB I have the greatest job in the world.

I travel to unusual places and work alongside people from all over the world. Sometimes working outdoors, sometimes in an office, sometimes using scientific equipment and sometimes meeting local people and tourists, I am never bored. Although my job is occasionally dangerous, I don’t mind because danger excites me and makes me feel alive. However, the most important thing about my job is that I help protect ordinary people from one of the most powerful forces on earth – the volcano. I was appointed as a volcanologist working for the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) twenty years ago.

My job is collecting information for a database about Mount Kilauea, which is one of the most active volcanoes in Hawaii. Having collected and evaluated the information, I help other scientists to predict where lava from the volcano will flow next and how fast. Our work has saved many lives because people in the path of the lava can be warned to leave their houses. Unfortunately, we cannot move their homes out of the way, and many houses have been covered with lava or burned to the ground. When boiling rock erupts from a volcano and crashes back to earth, it causes less damage than you might imagine.

This is because no one lives near the top of Mount Kilauea, where the rocks fall. The lava that flows slowly like a wave down the mountain causes far more damage because it buries everything in its path under the molten rock. However, the eruption itself is really exciting to watch and I shall never forget my first sight of one. It was in the second week after I arrived in Hawaii. Having worked hard all day, I went to bed early. I was fast asleep when suddenly my bed began shaking and I heard a strange sound, like a railway train passing my window. Having experienced quite a few earthquakes in Hawaii already, I didn’t take much notice.

I was about to go back to sleep when suddenly my bedroom became as bright as day. I ran out of the house into the back garden where I could see Mount Kilauea in the distance. There had been an eruption from the side of the mountain and red hot lava was fountaining hundreds of metres into the air. It was an absolutely fantastic sight. The day after this eruption I was lucky enough to have a much closer look at it. Two other scientists and I were driven up the mountain and dropped as close as possible to the crater that had been formed during the eruption.

Having earlier collected special clothes from the observatory, we put them on before we went any closer. All three of us looked like spacemen. We had white protective suits that covered our whole body, helmets, big boots and special gloves. It was not easy to walk in these suits, but we slowly made our way to the edge of the crater and looked down into the red, boiling centre. The other two climbed down into the crater to collect some lava for later study, but this being my first experience, I stayed at the top and watched them. Today, I am just as enthusiastic about my job as the day I first started.

Having studied volcanoes now for many years, I am still amazed at their beauty as well as their potential to cause great damage. THE BEST OF MANHATTAN’S ART GALLERIES The Frick Collection (5th Avenue and E. 70th Street) Many art lovers would rather visit this small art gallery than any other in New York. Henry Clay Frick, a rich New Yorker, died in 1919, leaving his house, furniture and art collection to the American people. Frick had a preference for pre-twentieth century Western paintings, and these are well-represented in this excellent collection.

You can also explore Frick’s beautiful home and garden which are well worth a Visit. Guggenheim Museum(5th Avenue and 88th Street) This museum owns 5,000 superb modern paintings, sculptures and drawings. These art works are not all displayed at the same time. The exhibition is always changing. It will appeal to those who love Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. The Guggenheim Museum building is also world-famous. When you walk into gallery, you feel as if you were inside a fragile, white seashell. The best way to see the paintings is to start from the top floor and walk down to the bottom.

There are no stairs just a circular path. The museum also has an excellent restaurant. Metropolitan Museum of Art (5th Avenue and 82nd Street) The reputation of this museum lies in the variety of its art collection. This covers more than 5,000 years of civilization from many parts of the world, including America, Europe, China, Egypt, other African countries and South America. The museum displays more than just the visual delights of art. It introduces you to ancient ways of living. You can visit an Egyptian temple, a fragrant Ming garden, a typical room in an 18th century French house and many other special exhibitions.

Museum of Modern Art (53rd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues) It is amazing that so many great works of art from the late 19th century to the 21st century are housed in the same museum. The collection of Western art includes paintings by such famous artists as Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso and Matisse. A few words of warning: the admission price is not cheap and the museum is often very crowded. Whitney Museum of American Art (945 Madison Avenue, near 75th Street) The Whitney holds an excellent collection of contemporary American painting and sculpture.

There are no permanent displays in this museum and exhibitions change all the time. Every two years, the Whitney holds a special exhibition of new art by living artists. The museum also shows videos and films by contemporary video artists. Suppose you were the president of a high school council and you received the letter below. It is from a group of students who would like to make their school more attractive. Read the letter and then use the outline on the next page to make notes for a report about the letter to the school council. Class 2A Seaforth High School Ramsay Rd Seaforth Mrs L Kroll President, Seaforth High School Council

PO Box 235, Seaforth 12 May Dear Mrs Kroll, Lately our class has become worried about the environment at the back of the school, and we would like to do something to make it more attractive. We have done some research and have come up with a plan. With the help of our parents, we can do most of the work ourselves, but we will need a small amount of money for equipment, plants-and paint. I am writing to ask the council for permission to do this work and to ask if the school council could donate $500 towards our project. We would like to turn the empty land at the back of the school into a nature garden.

We would plant trees and grasses, make paths through the garden and dig a small pond. We think this would provide a peaceful place for students and teachers to walk in. It would also attract birds, insects and small animals which students could then study in science classes. We would also like to paint the back wall of the school that faces the new garden. Some of our art classes could then paint a huge picture on it. It might be possible to paint over the wall each year so the next classes can make a new picture. Lastly, we would like to paint all the rubbish bins. At the moment they look old and the paint is coming off.

If we paint them in bright, attractive colours, students might be more likely to use them. We think our plan would greatly improve the back of the school and everyone in the school would benefit. We have already asked our parents and they have promised to donate one weekend of their time to help us complete the project. We hope you will give us permission for this worthwhile project and will be able to donate the $500 we need. When we have finished the work, we hope the council will join us in a celebration morning tea so that the whole school can thank you. Yours sincerely, Jo Ryan (Class president)

Reading and discussing Before you read the poster below, discuss what you know about HIV/AIDS with your classmates. Make a list of words that you might come across in this poster. HIV/AIDS:ARE YOU AT RISK? HIV is a virus. A virus is a very small living thing that causes disease. There are many different viruses, for example, the flu virus or the SARS virus. HIV weakens a person’s immune system; that is, the part of the body that fights disease. You can have HIV in your blood for a long time, but eventually HIV will damage your immune system so much that you body can no longer fight disease.

This stage of the illness is called AIDS. If you develop AIDS, your chances of survival are very small. HIV is spread through blood or the fluid that the body makes during sex. For a person to become infected, blood or sexual fluid that carries the virus, has to get inside the body through broken skin or by injection. One day scientists will find a cure for HIV/AIDS. Until that happens, you need to protect yourself. Here are some things you can do to make sure you stay safe. If you inject drugs: do not share your needle with anyone else. Blood from another person can stay on or in the needle.

If a person has HIV and you use the same needle, you could inject the virus into your own blood. do not share anything else that a person has used while injecting drugs. Blood could have spilt on it. If you have sex with a male or a female: use a condom. This will prevent sexual fluid passing from one person to another. The following statements are NOT true. A person cannot get HIV the first time they have sex. WRONG. If one sexual partner has HIV, the other partner could become infected. You can tell by looking at someone whether or not they have HIV. WRONG. Many people carrying HIV look perfectly healthy.

It is only when the disease has progressed to AIDS that a person begins to look sick. Only homosexuals get AIDS. WRONG. Anyone who has sex with a person infected with H1V/AIDS risks getting the virus. Women are slightly more likely to become infected than men. If you hug, touch or kiss someone with AIDS or visit them in their home, you will get HIV/AIDS. WRONG. You can only get the disease from blood or sexual fluid. Unfortunately, people with HIV sometimes lose their friends because of prejudice. Many people are afraid that they will get HIV/AIDS from those infected with HIV!

AIDS. For the same reason, some AIDS patients cannot find anyone to look after them when they are sick. You can get HIV/AIDS from mosquitoes. WRONG. There is no evidence of this. Before you read Tom’s essay on environmental problems, glance at the title and pictures and predict the main idea of the essay. CLEAN UP YOUR BUTTS AND BAGS All sorts of items become litter, but two of the most common and most dangerous are cigarette butts and plastic bags. Litter is a big problem for our environment, but it is a problem that individuals can easily do something about.

Not littering at all or cleaning up litter, such as cigarette butts and plastic bags, greatly improves the quality of our environment. Although cigarette butts are small, they are bad for the environment. Over 1,600 billion cigarettes are smoked each year in China and large quantities of the butts are thrown away. Worldwide, about 4. 5 trillion butts are littered every year. Apart from the fact that butts spoil the beauty of the environment, they contain some very toxic chemicals. These find their way into the water supply where they decrease the quality of the water and endanger plants and animals that live there.

Because there are so many butts and because they can take up to 5 years to break down, the toxic chemicals add up to a large amount. So, if people have to smoke, they should not throw away the butts but put them in the rubbish bin instead. Plastic bags are another common form of litter that is a danger to the environment. There are several reasons for this. They are made from oil and gas, which are non-renewable resources, ff they are not recycled, these resources are lost to us. In China, 2 billion plastic bags are used every day. An enormous number of these become litter.

This is a huge problem because they last from 20 to 1,000 years in the environment. They float easily in air and water and travel long distances. They find their way to rivers, parks, beaches and oceans. Plastic bags kill up to one million seabirds, 100,000 sea mammals and countless fish each year worldwide. When the animal dies and breaks down, the plastic bag can become free again to kill another animal. It is up to people not to let plastic bags become litter. It would be better if they used fewer and recycled them. Cleaning up your cigarette butts and plastic bags would improve the environment.

The earth would be a better place because it would be less polluted. And we would know that we were doing something to look after our planet. However, I believe the best solution would be not to smoke or use plastic bags at all. THE EARTH IS BECOMING WARMER-BUT DOES IT MATTER? During the 20th century the temperature of the earth rose about one degree Fahrenheit. That probably does not seem much to you or me, but it is a rapid increase when compared to other natural changes. So how has this come about and does it matter? Earth Care’s Sophie Armstrong explores these questions.

There is no doubt that the earth is becoming warmer (see Graph 1) and that it is human activity that has caused this global warming rather than a random but natural phenomenon. All scientists subscribe to the view that the increase in the earth’s temperature is due to the burning of fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and oil to produce energy. Some byproducts of this process are called “greenhouse” gases, the most important one of which is carbon dioxide. Dr Janice Foster explains: “There is a natural phenomenon that scientists call the ‘greenhouse effect’.

This is when small amounts of gases in the atmosphere, like carbon dioxide, methane and water vapour, trap heat from the sun and therefore warm the earth. Without the ‘greenhouse effect’, the earth would be about thirty-three degrees Celsius cooler than it is. So, we need those gases. The problem begins when we add huge quantities of extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It means that more heat energy tends to be trapped in the atmosphere causing the global temperature to go up. ” We know that the levels of carbon dioxide have increased greatly over the last 100 to 150 years.

It was a scientist called Charles Keeling, who made accurate measurements of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 1957 to 1997. He found that between these years the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere went up from around 315 parts to around 370 parts per million (see Graph 2). All scientists accept this data. They also agree that it is the burning of more and more fossil fuels that has resulted in this increase in carbon dioxide. So how high will the temperature increase go? Dr Janice Foster says that over the next 100 years the amount of warming could be as low as 1 to 1. degrees Celsius, but it could be as high as 5 degrees. However, the attitude of scientists towards this rise is completely different. On the one hand, Dr Foster thinks that the trend which increases the temperature by 5 degrees would be a catastrophe. She says, “We can’t predict the climate well enough to know what to expect, but it could be very serious. ” Others who agree with her think there may be a rise of several metres in the sea level, or predict severe storms, floods, droughts, famines, the spread of diseases and the disappearance of species.

On the other hand, there are those, like George Hambley, who are opposed to this view, believe that we should not worry about high levels of carbon dioxide in the air. They predict that any warming will be mild with few bad environmental consequences. In fact, Hambley states, “More carbon dioxide is actually a positive thing. It will make plants grow quicker; crops will produce more; it will encourage a greater range of animals – all of which will make life for human beings better. ” Greenhouse gases continue to build up in the atmosphere.

Even if we start reducing the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, the climate is going to keep on warming for decades or centuries. No one knows the effects of global warming. Does that mean we should do nothing? Or, are the risks too great? WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING? Dear Earth Care, I am doing a project on behalf of my school about global warming. Sometimes I feel that individuals can have little effect on such huge environmental problems. However, 1 still think people should advocate improvements in the way we use energy today.

As I’m not sure where to start with my project, I would appreciate any suggestions you may have. Thank you! Ouyang Guang Dear Ouyang Guang, There are many people who have a commitment like yours, but they do not believe they have the power to do anything to improve our environment. That is not true. Together, individuals can make a difference. We do not have to put up with pollution. The growth of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide in the air actually comes as a result of many things we do every day. Here are a few suggestions on how to reduce it. They should get you started with your project. We use a lot of energy in our houses. It is OK to leave an electrical appliance on so long as you are using it – if not, turn it off! Do not be casual about this. So if you are not using the lights, the TV, the computer, and so on, turn them off. If you are cold, put on more clothes instead of turning up the heat. 2 Motor vehicles use a lot of energy- so walk or ride a bike if you can. 3 Recycle cans, bottles, plastic bags and newspapers if circumstances allow you to. It takes a lot of energy to make things from new materials, so, if you can, buy things made from recycled materials. Get your parents to buy things that are economical with energy – this includes cars as well as smaller things like fridges and microwaves. 5 Plant trees in your garden or your school yard, as they absorb carbon dioxide from the air and refresh your spirit when you look at them. 6 Finally and most importantly, be an educator. Talk with your family and friends about global warming and tell them what you have learned. Remember – your contribution counts! Earth Care THE LRKE OF HERVEN Changbaishan is in Jilin Province, Northeast China. Much of this beautiful, mountainous area is thick forest .

Changbaishan is China’s largest nature reserve and it is kept in its natural state for the people of China and visitors from all over the world to enjoy. The height of the land varies from 700 metres above sea level to over 2,000 metres and is home to a great diversity of rare plants and animals. Among the rare animals are cranes, black bears, leopards and tigers. Many people come to Changbaishan to study its unique plants and animals. Others come to walk in the mountains, to see the spectacular waterfalls or to bathe in the hot water pools.

However, the attraction that arouses the greatest appreciation in the reserve is Tianchi or the Lake of Heaven. Tianchi is a deep lake that has formed in the crater of a dead volcano on top of the mountain. The lake is 2,194 metres above sea level, and more than 200 metres deep. In winter the surface freezes over. It takes about an hour to climb from the end of the road to the top of the mountain. When you arrive you are rewarded not only with the sight of its clear waters, but also by the view of the other sixteen mountain peaks that surround Tianchi. There are many stories told about Tianchi.

The most well-known concerns three young women from heaven. They were bathing in Tainchi when a bird flew above them and dropped a small fruit onto the dress of the youngest girl. When she picked up the fruit to smell it, it flew into her mouth. Having swallowed the fruit, the girl became pregnant and later gave birth to a handsome boy. It is said that this boy, who had a great gift for languages and persuasion, is the father of the Manchu people. If you are lucky enough to visit the Lake of Heaven with your loved one, don’t forget to drop a coin into the clear blue water to guarantee your love will be as deep and lasting as the lake itself.

Look at the title of the story and the picture below. Can you predict what the story is about? Then read the story quickly and see if you were right. TRAPPED BY THE FLOOD “It’s not looking too good, darling. I think you’d better pack a few things and go to your mother’s place. And you’d better take Rosie and Monty with you. ” Putting down the phone, Sara sighed. Tomorrow was her husband Tony’s birthday. She had planned to cook him a nice meal and then surprise him with the new mountain bike she’d bought for him. If she went to her mother’s house, Tony wouldn’t get his present for days.

However, her mother’s house was the best place to be right now. Being on higher land, it would be safe from the floods. It had been raining heavily for almost two weeks and the river near Sara and Tony’s house was rising higher and higher all the time. Tony and others from the village had spent the last two days putting sandbags along the side of the river to stop it overflowing. Now they feared that their hard work had been useless and soon the whole valley would be flooded. Sara dressed baby James in warm clothes and collected the things she would need for him over the next few days.

She put the lead on the dog and went in search of Monty, the cat. It took her a long time, but eventually she found him safe and warm under the covers on her bed. She placed him in his cat basket and took him into the kitchen where James and the dog, Rosie, waited. Just as she was reaching for the car keys, Sara heard a sound like the noise bath water makes when you pull out the plug. She looked at the back door. Water was flowing in underneath. Turning around she saw dirty brown water fountaining out of the drain and filling the sink. Quickly she put James into her backpack and pulled it onto her back.

Calling to Rosie, she picked up the cat basket and ran to the front of the house and out into the front garden. The water was already up to her knees. Rosie was swimming beside her. Knowing the water would soon be much deeper, Sara ran to the car and opened the doors. She threw the cat basket onto the roof of the car and pushed Rosie up beside it. Using the car seat as a step she climbed first onto the front of the car and then onto the roof. James, sately attached to her back, made no sound at all. Sara stared down at the water which was rushing past the car. It was already half way up the doors, and still rising.

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