カテゴリ:オリジナル英文( 207 )

No.344 オリジナル英文

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Tutoring Students Might Lower Dementia Risk in Older Americans
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Chaniya Anderson is a second grader at Whittier Elementary School in Washington.

She’s a little behind in math and reading.

She gets one-on-one tutoring twice a week from 62-year-old volunteer Shirley Mickel.

"I really love it.

It gives me an opportunity to give back.

It’s my way of giving back.

And also, it helps me to stay alert and stay involved with children.

I love children.

I love to see them learn."

Mickel retired from federal government as an employment discrimination investigator.

Gloria Pendleton worked for the U.S. Navy as a computer systems programmer.

She also tutors students at Whittier.

"I feel much better.

I feel like I’m learning.

So I’m constantly trying to learn along with the children."

Mickel and Pendleton are members of Experience Corps, a national program that engages people over 55 in helping students of low-income families.

Experience Corps' 2000 volunteers tutor and mentor elementary students in 23 cities across the country.

Recent research at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland indicates that the volunteers do benefit from their efforts.

Michelle Carlson is the associate director of the Center on Aging and Health at Johns Hopkins.

"By volunteering through this particular program, Experience Corps, what it may be showing preliminary is that volunteering and exercising your brain to help problem solving and to help children read may actually be improving areas of the brain such as frontal lobes.

And, by improving these parts of the brain, we may be reducing the risk for dementia such as the most common form of dementia being Alzheimer's disease."
Carlson says that older adults are growing in numbers around the world, and there are mutual benefits to pairing them with children who need help.

"The beauty of it is that we are not asking you to take a pill.

We are asking you to get back, you know, to engage with...uh, with…, with other people in need, so that at the same time that you are helping others, you are helping yourself."

The volunteers say they feel rewarded by looking at children and seeing them grow, and enjoy being able to contribute and being part of the community.

For Producer June Soh, I’m Carol Pearson, VOA News.
[PR]
by danueno | 2010-06-10 10:03 | オリジナル英文

No.343 オリジナル英文

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Astronauts to Aquanauts; NASA Conducts Experiments on Sea Floor
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Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield has spent most of the past two weeks about 19 meters below the waves off the Florida coast.

He is leading a two-week NASA mission aboard the Aquarius Underwater Laboratory, which is run by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Hadfield's team includes a NASA astronaut, an undersea engineer and a scientist.

They live inside Aquarius, and they run experiments in the lab and explore the blue depths outside the porthole windows.

"When I was working outside here over the last couple of weeks, I would suddenly notice where I am while I'm working.

I'm busy working on some part of a space suit design, and then an angel fish goes by or a ray scuttles across the bottom of the ocean, and it reminds me of the comfort level I've gotten to and the amazing difference of where I am."

Hadfield is on the sea floor inside the Aquarius underwater habitat's 122 square meters of living and working space.

It is anchored next to a coral reef, five and a half kilometers off Key Largo in the Florida Keys.

But even on the ocean floor, Aquarius is visible on the World Wide Web.

Commander Hadfield can be seen via webcam on NASA's web site.

He stands in a narrow white room with stainless steel equipment as he speaks to reporters using something that looks akin to a cordless phone.

It is the round window that looks out into the pale blue water that provides the biggest clue to Hadfield's whereabouts.

The view might be serene, but the undersea environment is potentially deadly to humans, just as space is.

Hadfield would know.

He has completed two spacewalks in his 18 years as an astronaut, and he says there are similarities between working in space and in the sea.

"They are remarkably similar.

You are wearing gear to protect you from an environment that would kill you.

Every breath is amplified so you sound like Darth Vader when you're out walking around out there."

By the time the 14-day mission wraps Monday, the crew will have conducted a total of 52 so-called "space walks" in the sea.

At the end of the mission they will ascend to the water's surface over the course of about 16 hours, at a rate of roughly one meter per hour, so their bodies can adjust to the changes in pressure.

Suzanne Presto, VOA News, Washington
[PR]
by danueno | 2010-06-02 14:36 | オリジナル英文

No.342 オリジナル英文

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World Financial Markets Sharply Lower
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For weeks, the Greek debt crisis has taxed investor optimism while sapping strength from the Euro.

The global downward market trend accelerated Thursday with two economic reports that cast doubt on the sustained vitality of the U.S. economic recovery.

First, the Labor Department reported a spike in the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits.

The number of newly laid off workers jumped unexpectedly to 471,000 last week, 25,000 more than the previous week.

Economists have long assumed that job creation would lag behind overall improvement of economic conditions in the United States.

But another report has cast doubt on the second part of that assumption.

After rising steadily for more than a year, the index of leading economic indicators actually slipped by 0.1 percent in April, according to a private research group.

Six of 10 components of the index deteriorated, including new home permit applications, jobless claims, and factory materials deliveries.

The onslaught of worrisome news is creating an investor climate similar to a brief panic that erupted on May 6, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by 1,000 points before bouncing back later in the day.

The events of May 6 triggered an investigation as to whether the feverish sell-off stemmed from a computer glitch or market manipulation.

But not everyone is panicked.

Charles Bobrinskoy of Chicago-based Ariel Investments.

"We remain cautiously optimistic about the U.S. economy.

Uh, in fact the manufacturers who are filling inventory levels are telling us that inventories were at unsustainably low levels, and so business is better.

I think this is right now a case of fear getting ahead of reality."

Markets in Paris and Frankfurt closed down more than 2 percent.

London and Tokyo lost just over 1.5 percent on the day.

Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 3 percent in mid-day trading.

Michael Bowman, VOA News, Washington
[PR]
by danueno | 2010-05-26 10:13 | オリジナル英文

No.341 オリジナル英文

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Want to Live in a Work of Art?
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If you ask Americans to name a famous architect, chances are they'll think first of Frank Lloyd Wright.

His minimalist buildings, designed to blend with nature, revolutionized architectural thinking.

Wright was born on a Wisconsin farm in 1867, two years after the end of the U.S. Civil War.

He would live to see the Soviet Union send a Sputnik satellite into space.

Even before young Frankie was born, his schoolteacher mother decided that he would be an architect.

Bright and curious, the lad obliged by arranging blocks and paper in the shapes of simple buildings and furniture.

Wright apprenticed in Chicago under the early designers of modern skyscrapers.

Eventually he inherited his father's Wisconsin farm, where he built one of the world's most famous houses - Taliesin.

Wright called it the supreme natural house that blended so well into the surroundings that it was hard to tell where the floors left off and the ground began.

He incorporated what he called his Usonian style into clients' low, flat homes that were almost works of art.

Avoiding fancy Victorian flourishes, Wright designed long rooms with lots of right angles and shelves that ran the length of the house.

His houses were not what you would call cozy.

Wright was an imaginative architect but a terrible engineer.

Clients loved to show off their homes but found the austere wooden furniture - which was bolted in place and difficult to move - as uncomfortable as park benches.

Floor-to-ceiling windows were drafty.

And worst of all, most of the roofs leaked.

Some of Wright's customers put up with it all as a sacrifice for the sake of art and design.

Mildred Rosenbaum in Florence, Alabama, said she and her family sometimes grew tired of living in an architectural laboratory.

She joked that the kids might get up in the middle of the night sometime and unscrew the place!

I'm Ted Landphair.
[PR]
by danueno | 2010-05-19 14:52 | オリジナル英文

No.340 オリジナル英文

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Obama Visits Oil Imperiled U.S. Gulf Coast
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A rain-soaked President Obama delivered a somber message from a Coast Guard station on Louisiana's threatened coastline.

"We’re dealing with a massive and potentially-unprecedented environmental disaster.

The oil that is still leaking from the well could seriously damage the economy and the environment of our Gulf states, and it could extend for a long time.

It could jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who call this place home."

Mr. Obama said that even while hoping for the best, the federal government is prepared for a worst case scenario, if the spill from the underwater well continues.

He promised a full investigation of the disaster, and said that petroleum giant BP will be held responsible for the accident.

But for now, he said, there is work to be done.

"Every American affected by this spill should know this: Your government will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to stop this crisis."

An explosion nearly two weeks ago aboard the now-sunken oil rig killed 11 workers.

The U.S. Coast Guard says millions of liters of oil have since spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.

The oil slick threatens ever-larger swaths of the coastline, placing sensitive marine ecosystems in peril.

If uncontained, experts say oil could saturate beaches and marine habitats as far away as Florida, devastating fishing and tourism.

The disaster comes as the Obama administration attempts to chart a course toward U.S. energy independence and less reliance on fossil fuels.

President Obama endorsed more off-shore drilling as part of a comprehensive strategy, but he has since halted new drilling projects until investigators determine the cause of the BP accident.


Michael Bowman, VOA News, Washington
[PR]
by danueno | 2010-05-12 17:25 | オリジナル英文

No.339 オリジナル英文

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American Colleges are Going Green
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The nickname of sports teams at Tulane University in New Orleans is the Green Wave.

North Texas University's squads are the Mean Green.

Once called the Indians, Dartmouth College's teams are now the Big Green.

Green is in in college sports.

But there's an even bigger green wave in the classroom.

Last year alone, colleges and universities across the country created more than 100 major or minor programs in energy, sustainability, environmental studies and other so-called green subjects.

Two reasons for this: Even in a tight economy, green industries are offering good jobs to graduates.

And students and their parents are pressuring colleges to train them for these jobs.

So college architecture, agriculture, and engineering departments are launching green-studies programs to do just that.

According to the USA Today newspaper, the Obama Administration estimates that opportunities in energy and environmental occupations will grow by 52 percent by 2016, compared to just a 14-percent increase in other fields.

Ten years ago at the University of California-Berkeley, just 40 students enrolled in an introductory class on the subject of energy.

This year, 270 students are taking the class.

There are energy clubs on campus.

The one at Massachusetts Institute of Technology has 1,700 members.

And at Arizona State University, 600 students have declared sustainability as their major.

Not long ago, even top college students would likely have had trouble defining sustainability.

Now, a lot of them are specializing in it.

I’m Ted Landphair.
[PR]
by danueno | 2010-04-28 11:24 | オリジナル英文

No.338 オリジナル英文

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Visiting Washington This Summer?
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It's Spring — prime tourist season in the Washington, D.C., area.

But sweltering summer weather will soon arrive along the Potomac River, and America's most famous farmhouse is ready.

Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, the nation's first president, is air-conditioned.

What's so special about that?

The owners of historic properties struggle with a basic question.

Should we preserve our treasure as close as possible to its condition when famous people lived or worked here?

After all, we do things like scraping through layers of paint just to find and restore authentic colors from a century or two ago.

Or should we bend our preservationist principles and make the place comfortable for visitors and staff?

The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association — the nation's first preservationist organization that once saved Washington's estate from ruin after the U.S. Civil War — struggled mightily with this dilemma.

For years many members opposed any climate-control measures, noting that George and Martha Washington certainly never flipped on an air-conditioning switch.

They also worried that the installation of a/c would damage plaster and wallpaper and wood.

When the Mount Vernon Ladies decided to go ahead and put in the cooling system a few years ago, two key staff members resigned in protest.

One called the move unethical.

But renovation forces won out.

Air conditioning would help preserve valuable furniture and musical instruments that heat and humidity were degrading, they argued.

And contractors convinced them that vents and ducts and such would be barely noticeable.

So even though Mount Vernon is 211 years old, it's cool.

Literally.

I’m Ted Landphair.
[PR]
by danueno | 2010-04-21 15:18 | オリジナル英文

No.337 オリジナル英文

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High Costs Drive Americans Overseas for Medical Help
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John Freeman took a gamble a few years ago.

The 62-year-old retired computer analyst dropped his health care insurance, because the high monthly premiums and a huge deductible were eating up his retirement savings.

He hoped he would not need major medical care until he turned 65 and qualified for the government's Medicare insurance program.

But last year, he had a heart attack.

He was told surgery in his hometown of Reno, Nevada, would cost close to $120,000.

Freeman felt he had two choices: use up all his savings or die.

"I thought that the American medical system was gonna take away my life savings and essentially ruin any prospects I had for a pleasant retirement after the operation."

So he did what hundreds of thousands of Americans do each year: go abroad for the surgery.

After some research, Freeman decided to have his operation done at the Anadolu Medical Center in a suburb of Istanbul, Turkey.

The price?

Just 15 percent of what it would cost in Reno: $18,000, all-inclusive, except for airfare.

Acknowledging that medical tourism is a growing industry because of lower medical costs overseas, both the American Medical Association and the American College of Surgeons issued statements that encourage patients to seek out the treatment that best suits their needs.

However, both organizations also warn patients to make sure they choose certified doctors and surgeons at health care institutions that have met high standards of accreditation.

John Freeman took that advice seriously when he researched Anadolu Medical Center.

"When I first looked at the website, there's a logo that says 'Affiliated with Johns Hopkins University' and I think that really helped my comfort zone, so to speak for this, because I knew there was an affiliation with a well-known American hospital."

Medical industry observers expect an exponential increase in medical travelers, as continuing costly health care at home drives more Americans to seek services overseas from the growing medical tourism industry.

For VOA News, I’m Jan Sluizer in San Francisco.
[PR]
by danueno | 2010-04-15 10:02 | オリジナル英文

No.336 オリジナル英文

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Transit Systems Worldwide Boost Security After Moscow Bombings
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It is a commuters' worst nightmare, a normal day turned upside down by an explosion.

But some global security experts say the Moscow bombings represent a kind of terrorism that is here to stay.

Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution.

"This kind of violence cannot be permanently stopped, and that we may be living with this for much of the rest of our lifetimes."

In the wake of the bombings, cities in the United States and Europe boosted security in and around their mass transit systems.

But the heightened security will only last a short time.

O'Hanlon says there should be more permanent changes in mass transit security.

"I do believe we probably should step up the relatively unobtrusive and relatively easy, although sometimes somewhat expensive, means of looking for explosives perhaps many more K-9 bomb teams at these kinds of places.

And we should continue to put a lot of resources into intelligence work."

While terrorism is a constant threat, local and federal emergency responders in the U.S. regularly conduct drills, like this one, to prepare for disaster.

In this drill, police and fire fighters in Washington are rushing to treat the survivors of a bomb explosion inside a bus.

The goal of these exercises is to practice, so when a real emergency hits these crews will be prepared.

From the tragedy in Moscow's subway, to the 2004 Madrid train bombings and the explosions in London's public transit system the following year, experts say no country is immune to terrorism.

"Today, the goal of modern apocalyptic terrorism is often to do as much disruption as possible and kill as many as possible in order to really shake up the way in which societies operate and governments make decisions and make the pain so high that decisions are reassessed."

O'Hanlon says even though the aim of modern day terrorists is to force a change in policy, so far the tactics do not work.

"What I think some of these terrorist groups may have underestimated is that we in the west or in Russia, in this case, are perhaps not quite as soft as they might have first believed."

O'Hanlon says since the September 11 attacks, Western societies have not tolerated terrorism.

And cities across the United States will continue to prepare for the worst, in exercises like this one, so if another attack occurs, they will be ready for it.

Elizabeth Lee, VOA News
[PR]
by danueno | 2010-04-07 14:59 | オリジナル英文

No.335 オリジナル英文

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Ancient Japanese Art of Origami Thriving in San Francisco
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Remember how much fun it was to play with paper planes as a kid?

Most people give up those kinds of hobbies once they grow up, but not Robert Lang.

"The biggest thing was just like this paper airplane, it was a way you could make something with found materials, cheap paper, scraps, even trash."

Lang lives in the San Francisco bay area.

He is a laser physicist and graduate of the California Institute of Technology, and has nearly 50 U.S. patents to his name.

Eight years ago he gave up his job to pursue origami, making him one of the few professional origami artists in the country.

He never stops creating, even during lunchtime.

"I'll give it to the waitress.

That'll be part of the tip."

"So, this is for you!"

"Thank you very much.

This is really neat.

I love it!"

But Lang can turn bills into lots of other things besides butterflies.

Using his understanding of complex geometric forms, Lang has played an important role in origami's evolution.

Many of these models were unheard of just 10 or so years ago.

Lang's works have been displayed in the Lindsay Wildlife Museum near San Francisco for years.

Loren Behr is executive director of the museum.

"It's kind of hard to believe sometimes when I look at his work to realize that one sheet of paper goes into each of these animals with all of these complexities, all the amazing number of folds.

I can't imagine that he can actually do that."

Many countries around the world have origami traditions.

But it has played a particularly important role in Japanese culture.

San Francisco's Japan town is home to some origami masters, including Linda Tomoko Mihara.

Linda is a third-generation Japanese-American.

She is famous for her origami cranes, which once played an important role in Japanese culture.

"It was tradition for the bride to fold 1,000 cranes to wish for a long, prosperous marriage, and also to demonstrate, um…I guess, her patience."

She and Lang have worked together.

They once created all the origami models for a 3D animated commercial.

The great response that the commercial got has further spurred the two artist's passion to create.

They are now hoping to one day do the first-ever origami movie.

For producer Suli Yi in San Francisco, Ruth Reader, VOA News
[PR]
by danueno | 2010-03-31 15:51 | オリジナル英文