Week104

[Animals ★] Flying With Swans

[World News ★] “Fun” in Moscow’s Streets

[Lifestyle and Travel ★★] Amazon Adventurer

[World News ★★] North and South Korea

[World News ★★] Colombia and FARC rebels sign peace deal

[World News ★★★] Waiter tipped $500 for his kindness

[Entertainment ★★★] Gene Wilder Dead at 83

[Sports ★★★] Rio Medalist Sells His Silver to Save Little Boy’s Sight

[Travel News ★★★★] China opens terrifying glass-bottomed bridge in Shiniuzhai park

[Health ★★★★] Doctors Divided on Safety, Use of Electronic Cigarettes

Doctors Divided on Safety, Use of Electronic Cigarettes

[Health ★★★]

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(P1) Doctors disagree on the best way to answer patients’ questions about electronic cigarettes, a new study finds.

(P2) They also want more investigation of the devices, specifically about the safety of e-cigarettes compared to traditional cigarettes, according to the Stanford University researchers. While traditional cigarettes deliver nicotine when the smoker inhales burning tobacco, e-cigarettes heat liquid nicotine until it vaporizes.

(P3) Researchers analyzed more than 500 online discussions between doctors and patients about e-cigarettes. About 34 percent of patient questions were about the side effects and dangers of e-cigarettes; 27 percent were about general safety; and 19 percent about using e-cigarettes to stop smoking. Side effects and safety were also the most common topics that doctors raised. But doctors were more likely to raise concerns about nicotine addiction.

(P4) About half of doctors’ answers to patients’ questions were negative, focusing on e-cigarette risks while advising patients not to use them. About 20 percent of answers were positive, such as using e-cigarettes as a tool to stop smoking traditional cigarettes.

(P5) Asked specifically about quitting smoking, 54 percent of doctors mentioned e-cigarettes as a possible aid, according to the study published online August 26 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

(P6) “The existing research, however, does not indicate that e-cigarettes help people quit combustible cigarettes. This is an area in need of greater study,” senior study author Judith Prochaska said in a university news release. Prochaska is an associate professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, in California.

(P7) “The big question for me, working in tobacco control, is what’s the best way for physicians to counsel their patients about electronic cigarettes,” said co-lead study author Cati Brown-Johnson. She suggested doctors consider talking about e-cigarettes in a “non-judgmental way, even when conveying the risks.”

WORDS: 291

SOURCE: https://consumer.healthday.com/cancer-information-5/electronic-cigarettes-970/doctors-e-cigs-ajpm-stanford-release-batch-2835-714128.html

VOCABULARY: nicotine, inhales, vaporizes, combustible, conveying

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Why do you think e-cigarettes are becoming more popular?
  3. Do you think e-cigarettes are dangerous for people’s health? Why or why not?
  4. Are e-cigarettes popular in your country?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. According to the article, what do doctors argue about in the research?
  2. E-cigarettes only have a small trace of nicotine in them. (T or F)
  3. Some doctors agree that e-cigarettes can be used as a way to stop smoking traditional cigarettes. (T or F)
  4. What percentage of the doctors said e-cigarettes has the potential to assist people to stop smoking combustible cigarettes?
  5. Cati Brown-Johnson recommends that doctors should not judge when speaking about electronic cigarettes. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • side effects (P3)
  • raise concerns (P3)
  • a tool to stop smoking (P4)
  • the big question (P7)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: by MAURO_GRIGOLLO/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/e-cigs-hurt-teens-lungs-month-study-article-1.2879010

China opens terrifying glass-bottomed bridge in Shiniuzhai park

[Travel News ★★★]

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(P1) It’s called Brave Men’s Bridge for a reason. The recently completed span is a glass walkway suspended a stomach-flipping 180 meters (590 feet) above a sheer drop in China’s central Hunan Province.

(P2) Haohan Qiao, as it’s known in Chinese, is the latest in a series of glass-floored attractions to open in China and the rest of the world.

(P3) Despite its terror-inducing appearance, its creators say the bridge in the Shiniuzhai National Geological Park is perfectly safe. Each of the glass panes is 24 millimeters thick and 25 times stronger than normal glass.

(P4) “The bridge we build will stand firm even if tourists are jumping on it,” a worker who constructed the bridge told the state-owned China News Service. “The steel frame used to support and encase the glass bridge is also very strong and densely built, so even if a glass is broken, travelers won’t fall through.”

(P5) Haohan Qiao was originally a wooden bridge before the park experimented by replacing a small section with glass in 2014. It decided to increase the thrill by revamping the whole overpass earlier this year, making it China’s first all-glass suspension bridge.

(P6) Hunan is due to open another glass bridge later this year in the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon area, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) northwest of Shiniuzhai. When completed, the Zhangjiajie structure will be the world’s highest and longest glass bridge, 430 meters long and 300 meters high.

WORDS: 235

SOURCE: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/09/27/travel/china-glass-bridge-shiniuzhai

VOCABULARY: span, sheer, inducing, encase, densely, revamping

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Would you walk across this bridge? Why or why not?
  3. Why do you think glass-floored tourist attractions are being built worldwide?
  4. Do you like extreme sports and adventure? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What name was given to the bridge?
  2. China is the only country that has a glass-floored tourist attraction. (T or F)
  3. The glass bridge is 100% safe for tourist to walk and jump on. (T or F)
  4. If the glass would break, a person is in danger of falling. (T or F)
  5. How far away from Shiniuzhai will a similar bridge be constructed?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • stomach-flipping (P1)
  • terror-inducing (P3)
  • won’t fall through (P4)
  • replacing a small section (P5)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: by VCG Getty Images http://www.gettyimages.com/photos/glass-bridge-china?excludenudity=true&mediatype=photography&phrase=glass%20bridge%20china&sort=mostpopular

Rio Medalist Sells His Silver to Save Little Boy’s Sight

[Sports ★★★]

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(P1) Poland’s Piotr Malachowski is no slouch at throwing the discus, but he appears to be even better at being an awesome human being. After winning a silver medal in Rio, the 31-year-old went home and put it up for auction to raise funds for a little boy with eye cancer, CBS reports. Malachowski, who had been seeking to raise around $84,000 so that 3-year-old Olek Szymanski could have an operation in New York to save his eyesight, announced on his Facebook page that the auction was ending early because of billionaire siblings Dominika and Sebastian Kulczyk had agreed to buy his medal for the remaining cost of the surgery.

(P2) “We were able to show that together we can do wonders,” Malachowski wrote, per ESPN. “My silver medal today is worth a lot more than a week ago. It is worth the life and health of a small Olek. It is our great shared success.”

WORDS: 153

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/230236/rio-medalist-sells-his-silver-to-save-little-boys-sight.html

VOCABULARY: slouch, auction, operation, siblings, wonders

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. If you won a medal at the Olympics, would you sell it to help another person? Why or why not?
  3. Why do you think the Olympian did this act of kindness?
  4. How would you feel if an Olympian sold his medal to help you with an operation?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Which event did Mr. Malachowski compete in at the Olympics?
  2. What is the age of the silver medalist?
  3. Without the surgery, the boy would probably lose his vision. (T or F)
  4. Who bought the medal?
  5. What’s the name of the child who needs eye surgery?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • throwing the discus (P1)
  • put it up for auction (P1)
  • raise funds (P1)
  • a lot more than a week ago (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: by AP Photo/Matt Dunham http://www.newser.com/story/230236/rio-medalist-sells-his-silver-to-save-little-boys-sight.html

Gene Wilder Dead at 83

[Entertainment ★★★]

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(P1) Gene Wilder, the iconic star of such comedy classics as Young Frankenstein and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, is dead at age 83. The actor’s nephew tells Variety Wilder died at his Stamford Connecticut home of Alzheimer’s complications Monday. Jordan Walker-Pearlman says in a statement that Wilder’s family was “lucky”: “This illness-pirate, unlike in so many cases, never stole his ability to recognize those that were closest to him, nor took command of his central-gentle-life affirming core personality.”

(P2) The family did not disclose Wilder’s illness not because of “vanity,” the statement continues, “but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him ‘there’s Willy Wonka.” He would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble. They didn’t want delight to travel to worry, disappointment, or confusion. Mr. Wilder simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.” Variety notes that Wilder did not work regularly after the death of his wife, Gilda Radner, from ovarian cancer in 1989, but he did win an Emmy in 2003 for a guest role on Will & Grace. He is survived by his fourth wife, Karen Boyer whom he married in 1991.

WORDS: 203

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/230331/gene-wilder-dead-at-83.html

VOCABULARY: iconic, complications, affirming, disclose, vanity, bear

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. If you had Alzheimer’s, would you want to go out in public? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think there will ever be a cure for Alzheimer’s? Why or why not?
  4. Who are some other iconic actors and actresses you know?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Mr. Wilder was a co-star in the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. (T or F)
  2. What did Mr. Wilder die from?
  3. The public knew Mr. Wilder had Alzheimer’s. (T or F)
  4. Who was Mr. Wilder married to who later died of cancer?
  5. How many times was Mr. Wilder married?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • such comedy classics (P1)
  • illness-pirate (P1)
  • core personality (P1)
  • countless young children (P2)
  • call out (P2)
  • guest role (P2)

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Image source: image courtesy of freebeacon.com http://www.legalreader.com/gene-wilder-gone-but-not-forgotten/

Waiter tipped $500 for his kindness

[People ★★★]

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(P1) It seems kindness is still reciprocated and it is true that virtue is its own reward.

(P2) Kasey Simmons, a waiter at an Applebee’s restaurant in Dallas, Texas, found a $500 tip on a $0.37 bill on Aug. 16, according to CNN. The bill was accompanied by a message written on a napkin that told the heartwarming story behind the tip.

(P3) The previous day, Simmons was shopping at a local grocery store. In the checkout line, he saw an older woman who looked depressed. He walked up to her and tried to lift up her mood while other shoppers passed right by her. She didn’t explain why she was sad while he paid for her groceries. “It was only $17, but it’s not about the money,” he said. “It’s about showing someone you care.

(P4) The next day the grateful daughter of that woman came in and ordered the cheapest thing on the menu, flavored water, and wrote down on the napkin: “On one of the most depressing days of the year, you made my mother’s day wonderful.”

(P5) The day Simmons met the woman was one of the toughest days of the year for her. It was the third anniversary of her husband’s death, and she had been struggling to overcome her anguish.

(P6) “You insisted on paying. Told her she is a very beautiful woman. I have not seen this woman smile this much since dad died,” said the note.

(P7) The daughter didn’t let him know her mother’s name, but instead, let the world know that a simple kind gesture can have a priceless impact.

WORDS: 263

SOURCE: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/world/2016/08/182_212496.html

VOCABULARY: reciprocated, accompanied, grateful, anguish, gesture, priceless

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you think more people should show acts of kindness to strangers? Why or why not?
  3. Tell me about a time when someone was kind to you.
  4. How do you feel when someone is kind to you?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What’s the name of the restaurant chain the server works for?
  2. What was the total cost of the check to include the tip?
  3. The waiter paid for the sad woman’s grocery bill the day before. (T or F)
  4. How many years has it been since the death of the woman’s husband?
  5. Kasey Simmons knows the name of the woman he helped. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • behind the tip (P2)
  • to lift up her mood (P3)
  • overcome her anguish (P5)
  • priceless impact (P7)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: by Photo: Courtesy – Kasey Simmons WFAA http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/outreach/good-news/mans-kind-act-in-grocery-store-is-paid-back-with-monster-tip/301035060

Colombia and FARC rebels sign peace deal

[World News ★★]

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(P1) Colombians are happy because the government signed a peace deal with the rebel group FARC. It ends 52 years of fighting. Over 220,000 people died and millions lost their homes. There were two years of talks between the two sides. Colombia’s president said it was, “the beginning of the end to the suffering, pain, and tragedy of war”. A spokesman said: “This agreement opens the door to a more inclusive society.” Both sides will now work together for the victims.

(P2) FARC started during the Cold War. It will now help in the process to shape Colombia’s future. In the capital city, thousands of people celebrated the peace on the streets. One Colombian said: “I can die in peace because finally, I’ll see my country without violence, with a future for my children.” Colombians will vote on the peace deal in October. The president said: “It will be the most important election of our lives.”

WORDS: 154

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1608/160828-farc-peace-accord-1.html

VOCABULARY: signed, deal, rebel, FARC, spokesman, inclusive, Cold War

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you think world peace is possible? Why or why not?
  3. Have you ever celebrated on the streets in your country? If yes, why?
  4. Why do people fight?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Which two organizations signed the agreement?
  2. How many people lost their lives?
  3. When was the FARC established?
  4. How many people took to the streets and celebrated?
  5. When will the citizens vote on the peace agreement?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • two years of talks (P1)
  • the beginning of the end (P1)
  • shape Colombia’s future (P2)
  • most important (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: AP Photo/Fernando Vergara http://www.foxnews.com/world/slideshow/2016/08/26/colombians-react-to-news-peace-deal.html#/slide/colombia_peace_accord__3