“ МЫ УЧИМ ВАС ТАК, КАК ХОТЕЛИ БЫ, ЧТОБЫ УЧИЛИ НАС!”
Recycling is a technology that helps protect the environment and cut down on usage of raw materials. The steel, paper and glass industries recycle a lot. The largest recycler is the steel industry. It recovers more than 70 per cent of its original materials. For example, since 1988 they have produced the majority of new metal cans from old ones. Metal parts for cars and planes are other examples of recycling steel. Fragments of waste glass are widely used in construction. For producing writing paper and pens, used packing boxes are an ideal material. They are cheap and easy to recycle. Nowadays more and more recycling centres are appearing in our towns and cities.
Nowadays solar energy is widely used as an alternative form of power. Solar panels transform the energy from the sun into electricity. The first plane that does not need fuel was constructed in France in 2015. It uses only the sun's energy. The panels are placed on the huge wings of the plane. It doesn’t fly very fast. Solar energy can make the plane move at only 140 miles an hour. However, the plane is able to travel around the world. It is safe and can successfully cross areas of bad weather. In the future, engineers hope to construct a model that people can fly in. Our dream of environmentally friendly transport may come true very soon. Would you like to take a flight on the solar plane?
We are always told that we should clean our teeth regularly to keep them healthy and to have fresh breath. It is believed that people started using a kind of paste to clean their teeth around 5000 years ago. However, the ingredients of these tooth powders were very different from ours. For example, the people of ancient Egypt used salt, mint, dried flowers and pepper to create tooth powder. Later, in the 18th century, in some countries in Europe, people brushed their teeth with burnt bread. The first toothpaste appeared in 1890, in Great Britain. At first it was sold in jars. Then special tubes were designed to make the toothpaste more comfortable to use.
Do you know why it is hot in the summer and cold in the winter? Most people believe that it is because the Earth is closer to the Sun in the summer and farther from it in the winter. But it is not like this at all! In fact, the distance between the Earth and the Sun is largest in July and smallest in January! Scientists suggest that the reason for different summer and winter temperatures is the angle of the Sun’s rays. In the summer, the rays reach the Earth almost at a right angle. Due to this, the rays are not spread out and a smaller area of the planet's surface gets the energy. In the winter, the angle changes and the Sun’s rays are spread out over a larger area. Besides this, the long nights and short days do not give enough time for the land to warm up.
A robot is a machine that does work for people. The word ‘robot’ appeared in the 1920s and it was first used in a science fiction story. In real life, the robot was invented later, in 1954. There are different kinds of robots which are used in different industries. Most of them are operated with the help of a computer program. Instead of humans, robots do hard and boring work in unpleasant or dangerous environments. They usually work faster and more accurately than people. They never get tired and do not make mistakes. Nowadays robots are often used for domestic needs – to clean houses or to look after sick and elderly people. Scientists say that soon robots will become a normal part of our life, like mobiles and computers today.
Nowadays people can’t imagine their kitchen without a refrigerator. The first refrigerators appeared at the end of the 18th century. They looked different: they were just iceboxes. The refrigerators of the past were just wooden boxes, sometimes lined inside with metal. People put ice into the box and then placed the food inside to keep it cool. The refrigerator, similar to the one that we have now, was produced by General Electric in 1911, in France. It was very expensive. In those days, with the same money you could buy two cars. Today, in developed countries almost every family has enough money to buy a refrigerator for their kitchen. It’s hard to imagine how difficult and uncomfortable our lives would be without a refrigerator.
Without the energy from the Sun, the Earth would have no life at all. Nowadays everyone knows that the Sun is a star. Like all stars, the Sun is a great burning ball of gases. To us, it seems large and red. The other stars look white or light blue because they are much farther from us than the Sun. In the past, many people believed that the Earth was the centre of the universe. They thought that the Sun and the stars went round it. Only in 1543, a great Polish scientist published a book in which he tried to prove a different point of view. According to him, the Earth and the other planets moved round the Sun. Those people who supported the scientist were often imprisoned and even killed.
The carrot is a root vegetable which consists mostly of water and sugar. The carrots that we eat today originated from the wild ones which grew in Europe and Asia. The vegetable tasted sweet and the people began to use it as food. There are two main types of carrots. There are eastern carrots that have dark purple roots and western carrots with orange roots. In fact, orange carrots first appeared in Europe in 1721. Dutch farmers selected orange carrots because orange is the colour of the Dutch Royal Family. Now orange carrots are widely grown all over the world. In modern households carrots are cooked and eaten in different ways. The vegetable is boiled, fried, baked and eaten raw. People also make juice from it.
Since 2007 high-speed trains have become a common type of transport in Europe. They make it possible to cut travel times by hours. The trains travel at 350 kilometres an hour, and this is not the limit! The only problem for the engineers is the loud noise the trains produce. People living in the areas the trains travel through suffer from the noise greatly. For the passengers, the situation is different. For their comfort, all the carriages are made sound-proof from the inside. Travelling on high-speed trains is comfortable and pleasant. In the future, a high-speed railroad network could cover most of Europe. For example, a trip from Paris to Rome could take only 3 hours!
Venus is one of the hottest planets in the Solar system. The temperature on its surface is 482 degrees. This unfriendly place looks much the same as the Earth 4 billion years ago. Both planets were formed from the same gas cloud, but Venus lost most of its water and atmosphere. This happened because the planet turns very slowly. As a result, now it has no magnetic field to protect it from the Sun's winds. The planet has turned into a lifeless desert. Most space modules that were sent to Venus could not work on the planet more than two hours. The acidic clouds and high pressure quickly made them absolutely useless.
Wombats are exotic animals that only live in Australia. They have become an unofficial symbol of the country. In 1974 a wombat appeared on an Australian stamp for the first time. Since then it has been regularly used on different Australian stamps and coins. Wombats look like little bears and prefer grass to meat. They also love eating berries, plant roots and mushrooms. Like camels, wombats drink little water because there is enough water in fresh grass. Wombats spend most of their life in holes under the ground. With their strong arms and long nails they are able to dig very long and complex tunnels. Fortunately, wombats have few enemies in the animal world. Most wombats live around 15 years.
The word ‘tsunami’ can be translated from Japanese as ‘big wave’. It describes a natural process that can be dangerous for people and their homes. Most of the huge waves appear after earthquakes. Most waves are born in the Indian and the Pacific Oceans where volcanoes are active. The mass of water rises from the bottom of the ocean and moves to the shore. It moves at a speed of a plane and can be up to 40 meters high. The wave is very powerful and dangerous. In 2004, a tsunami happened in the Indian Ocean. It was one of the most terrible natural disasters in history. It hit 14 countries bordering the Indian Ocean. Thousands of people were killed or went missing.
Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales. It is located in a national park. It stands at 1085 metres above sea level, and it is often described as the busiest mountain in Great Britain. Snowdon is very popular with tourists. If you are strong and brave enough to get to the top, you can enjoy wonderful views from there. On a clear day, you can see as far as Ireland! During the summer months there is a café at the top. There, tourists can get a welcome cup of tea, or soup if the weather is cold. If you feel too tired to walk back, you can always take the train down the mountain. The mountain railway was built in 1896. It is safe, and there have never been any accidents on this route.
The first vacuum cleaner was designed in 1869. Since then, vacuum cleaners have changed a lot. Nowadays the robot vacuum cleaner is getting more and more popular. This device cleans a house automatically. Following a programme, the robot drives slowly around the house and makes it cleaner. It operates with brushes and a tube. The robot is so flexible that it can get under a table or sofa or reach dust in corners. Some advanced models can also wash floors of all kinds. These functions are provided by a complicated electronic system and sensors inside. The vacuum cleaner looks like a plate and can be kept in the corner. It is friendly to children and animals and works on electricity.
It's hard to find a more popular Russian symbol than the traditional Russian doll, or Matryoshka. It is well-known all over the world. The first set of dolls appeared in Moscow in 1890. It consisted of nine dolls. All of them were children: seven girls, one boy, and a baby. In those times, Matryoshkas were not meant as toys for children as their price was very high. Mostly, adults bought them as presents or home decorations. There was a belief that if you put a note with a wish into Matryoshka, it would come true. At the beginning of the 20th century, Russia started to export their national dolls abroad.
Global warming is a result of human activity. In 1985 there was a big conference in Austria where 89 climate researchers from different countries took part. After long discussions the scientists declared that the climate of the planet had changed. Indeed, it is warmer now than it was years ago. It can be clearly seen in the north. In the Arctic some places are ice-free now and polar bears have lost the place where they lived. The sea level has risen as well. The situation is getting more and more serious. Global warming is a great problem which needs to be solved in the near future.
The human brain is the most complex and remarkable organ of the body. It controls everything we do – thinking, learning, and even heart rate. Though the brain makes up only 2 percent of the body's weight, it uses around 20 percent of its energy. It works 24 hours a day. Even when a person is sleeping, the brain is working hard to keep other organs functioning. Most people think that our brain is more active during the daytime because it needs to deal with a great amount of information. In fact, that’s not true. The brain is far more active when a person is sleeping! However, scientists don’t yet have any explanation for this fact.
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