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VOA Special English - Read, Listen, Learn

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  1. [ẹc]

    [ẹc] Giải cứu ốc sên Staff Member


    What Doctors Are Doing About Headaches, and What You Can Do


    There are different kinds of headaches, from the mildly unpleasant to the extremely painful, but almost all can now be treated..
    BOB DOUGHTY: This is SCIENCE IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. I'm Bob Doughty.
    SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: And I'm Shirley Griffith. Today we tell about headaches, the pain that strikes almost everyone at some time.
    BOB DOUGHTY: Have you had a headache recently? If your answer is yes, you are like many millions of people worldwide who experience pain in the head. The pain can be temporary, mild and cured by a simple painkiller like aspirin. Or it can be severe.
    The National Headache Foundation says more than forty five million people in the United States suffer chronic headaches. Such a headache causes severe pain that goes away but returns later.
    Some headaches may prove difficult and require time to treat. But many experts today are working toward cures or major help for chronic headaches.
    SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: The US Headache Consortium is a group with seven member organizations. They are attempting to improve treatment of one kind of headache -- the migraine. Some people experience this kind of pain as often as two weeks every month. The National Headache Foundation says about seventy percent of migraine sufferers are women.
    Some people describe the pain as throbbing, causing pressure in the head. Others compare it to someone driving a sharp object into the head. Migraine headaches cause Americans to miss at least one hundred fifty million workdays each year. A migraine can be mild. But it also can be so severe that a person cannot live a normal life.
    BOB DOUGHTY: One migraine sufferer lives in Ellicott City, Maryland. Video producer Curtis Croley had head pain as a child. He does not know what kind of headaches they were. But when he suffered severe headaches as an adult, doctors identified the problem as migraine.
    Today, Mister Croley says months can pass without a headache. But then he will have three migraines within a month. If he takes the medicine his doctor ordered early in his headache, it controls the pain. If not, the pain in his head becomes extremely bad. Sometimes he has had to be treated with a combination of drugs in a hospital.
    SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Some people take medicine every day to prevent or ease migraine headaches. Others use medicine to control pain already developed. Doctors treating migraine sufferers often order medicines from a group of drugs known as triptans.
    Most migraines react at least partly to existing medicine. And most people can use existing medicine without experiencing bad effects. Doctors sometimes use caffeine to treat migraine headaches. Interestingly, caffeine also can cause some migraines.
    BOB DOUGHTY: Medical experts have long recognized the work of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic says several foods are suspected of causing migraines. Cheese and alcoholic drinks are among them. Food additives like salt and monosodium glutamate also are suspected causes.
    The Mayo Clinic tells patients to avoid strong smells that have seemingly started migraines in the past. Some people react badly to products like perfume, even if they have a pleasant smell.
    The clinic's experts say aerobic exercise can help migraine sufferers. Aerobic exercise increases a person's heart rate. It can include walking, swimming or riding a bicycle. But a sudden start to hard exercise can cause headaches.
    The experts advise that people should plan to exercise, eat and sleep at the same times each day.
    SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: The Mayo Clinic has advice about estrogen for women who suffer from migraines. The female body makes estrogen. Drugs like birth control pills contain a version of this chemical.
    Such medicines may produce headaches or cause them to worsen, the clinic says. The same is true for estrogen replacement drugs for women. Doctors sometimes order estrogen replacement for women who no longer able to have children.
    BOB DOUGHTY: The clinic also says hypnotherapy might help suppress headaches. It says the method could reduce the number and severity of a patient’s headaches. In hypnotherapy, willing people are placed in a condition that lets them receive suggestions. They look like they are sleeping. The suggestions they receive may be able to direct their whole mental energy against pain.
    The Mayo Clinic says the hypnotizer can never control the person under hypnosis. It also says the hypnotized personwill remember what happened during the treatment.
    SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: More people suffer tension headaches than migraines. But most tension headaches are not as powerful.
    Events that start tension headaches may include emotional pressure and the deeper than normal sadness called depression. Other tension headaches can start from something as simple as tiredness. Common changes in atmospheric conditions also can be responsible.
    The Mayo Clinic says you may feel a tension headache as tightness in the skin around your eyes. Or, you may feel pressure around your head. Episodic tension headaches strike from time to time. Chronic tension headaches happen more often. A tension headache can last from a half hour to a whole week.
    BOB DOUGHTY: The Mayo Clinic says the pain may come very early in the day. Other signs can include pain in the neck or the lower part of the head. Scientists are not sure what causes tension headaches. For years, researchers blamed muscle tension from tightening in the face, neck and the skin on top of the head. They believed emotional tension caused these movements.
    But that belief has been disputed. A test called an electromyogram shows that muscle tension does not increase in people with a tension headache. The test records electrical currents caused by muscle activity. Such research caused the International Headache Society to re-name the tension headache. The group now calls it a tension-type headache.
    SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Some scientists now believe that tension headaches may result from changes among brain chemicals such as serotonin. The changes may start sending pain messages to the brain. These changes may interfere with brain activity that suppresses pain.
    Medicines for tension headache can be as simple as aspirin or other painkillers. But if your pain is too severe, you will need a doctor's advice.
    BOB DOUGHTY: A web site called Family Doctor dot org provides information from the American Academy of Family Physicians. The group suggests steps to ease or end a tension headache.
    For example, it says putting heat or ice on your head or neck can help. So can standing under hot water while you are getting washed. The group also advises exercising often. Another idea is taking a holiday from work. But you had better ask your employer first.
    SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Ask anyone with a cluster headache, and they will tell you that the pain is terrible. The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio says the cluster headache can be many times more intense than a migraine.
    Cluster headaches usually strike young people. Smokers and persons who drink alcohol often get these headaches. Men are about six times more likely than women to have them. The Cleveland Clinic says this is especially true of younger men. Doctors say cluster headaches often strike during changes of season.
    Cluster headache patients describe the pain as burning. The pain is almost always felt on one side of the face. It can last for up to ninety minutes. Then it stops. But it often starts again later the same day. Eighty to ninety percent of cluster headache patients have pain over a number of days to a whole year. Pain-free periods separate these periods.
    BOB DOUGHTY: The Cleveland Clinic says the cause of cluster headaches is in a brain area known as a trigeminal-autonomic reflex pathway. When the nerve is made active, it starts pain linked to cluster headaches. The nerve starts a process that makes one eye watery and red.
    Studies have shown that activation of the trigeminal nerve may come from a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The Cleveland Clinic says injections of the drug sumatriptan can help. Many other drugs could be used. For example, doctors say breathing oxygen also can help.
    Thankfully, modern medicine has ways to treat almost all of our headaches.
    SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: This program was written by Jerilyn Watson. Our producer was Brianna Blake. I'm Shirley Griffith.
    BOB DOUGHTY: And I'm Bob Doughty. Join us again next week for more news about science in Special English on the Voice of America.

    --- Cập nhật bài viết ---


    Short Story: 'Luck' by Mark Twain

    SUSAN CLARK: Now, the Special English program, AMERICAN STORIES.
    Our story today is called "Luck." It was written by Mark Twain. Here is Shep O’Neal with the story.
    SHEP O'NEAL: I was at a dinner in London given in honor of one of the most celebrated English military men of his time. I do not want to tell you his real name and titles. I will just call him Lieutenant General Lord Arthur Scoresby.
    I cannot describe my excitement when I saw this great and famous man. There he sat, the man himself, in person, all covered with medals. I could not take my eyes off him. He seemed to show the true mark of greatness. His fame had no effect on him. The hundreds of eyes watching him, the worship of so many people did not seem to make any difference to him.
    Next to me sat a clergyman, who was an old friend of mine. He was not always a clergyman. During the first half of his life he was a teacher in the military school at Woolwich. There was a strange look in his eye as he leaned toward me and whispered – “Privately – he is a complete fool.” He meant, of course, the hero of our dinner.
    This came as a shock to me. I looked hard at him. I could not have been more surprised if he has said the same thing about Nepoleon, or Socrates, or Solomon. But I was sure of two things about the clergyman. He always spoke the truth. And, his judgment of men was good. Therefore, I wanted to find out more about our hero as soon as I could.
    Some days later I got a chance to talk with the clergyman, and he told me more. These are his exact words:
    About forty years ago, I was an instructor in the military academy at Woolwich, when young Scoresby was given his first examination. I felt extremely sorry for him. Everybody answered the questions well, intelligently, while he – why, dear me – he did not know anything, so to speak. He was a nice, pleasant young man. It was painful to see him stand there and give answers that were miracles of stupidity.
    I knew of course that when examined again he would fail and be thrown out. So, I said to myself, it would be a simple, harmless act to help him as much as I could.
    I took him aside and found he knew a little about Julius Ceasar’s history. But, he did not know anything else. So, I went to work and tested him and worked him like a slave. I made him work, over and over again, on a few questions about Ceasar, which I knew he would be asked.
    If you will believe me, he came through very well on the day of the examination. He got high praise too, while others who knew a thousand times more than he were sharply criticized. By some strange, lucky accident, he was asked no questions but those I made him study. Such an accident does not happen more than once in a hundred years.
    Well, all through his studies, I stood by him, with the feeling a mother has for a disabled child. And he always saved himself by some miracle.
    I thought that what in the end would destroy him would be the mathematics examination. I decided to make his end as painless as possible. So, I pushed facts into his stupid head for hours. Finally, I let him go to the examination to experience what I was sure would be his dismissal from school. Well, sir, try to imagine the result. I was shocked out of my mind. He took first prize! And he got the highest praise.
    I felt guilty day and night – what I was doing was not right. But I only wanted to make his dismissal a little less painful for him. I never dreamed it would lead to such strange, laughable results.
    I thought that sooner or later one thing was sure to happen: The first real test once he was through school would ruin him.
    Then, the Crimean War broke out. I felt that sad for him that there had to be a war. Peace would have given this donkey a chance to escape from ever being found out as being so stupid. Nervously, I waited for the worst to happen. It did. He was appointed an officer. A captain, of all things! Who could have dreamed that they would place such a responsibility on such weak shoulders as his.
    I said to myself that I was responsible to the country for this. I must go with him and protect the nation against him as far as I could. So, I joined up with him. And anyway we went to the field.
    And there – oh dear, it was terrible. Mistakes, fearful mistakes – why, he never did anything that was right – nothing but mistakes. But, you see, nobody knew the secret of how stupid he really was. Everybody misunderstood his actions. They saw his stupid mistakes as works of great intelligence. They did, honestly!
    His smallest mistakes made a man in his right mind cry, and shout and scream too – to himself, of course. And what kept me in a continual fear was the fact that every mistake he made increased his glory and fame. I kept saying to myself that when at last they found out about him, it will be like the sun falling out of the sky.
    He continued to climb up, over the dead bodies of his superiors. Then, in the hottest moment of one battle down went our colonel. My heart jumped into my mouth, for Scoresby was the next in line to take his place. Now, we are in for it, I said…
    The battle grew hotter. The English and their allies were steadily retreating all over the field. Our regiment occupied a position that was extremely important. One mistake now would bring total disaster. And what did Scoresby do this time – he just mistook his left hand for his right hand…that was all. An order came for him to fall back and support our right. Instead, he moved forward and went over the hill to the left. We were over the hill before this insane movement could be discovered and stopped. And what did we find? A large and unsuspected Russian army waiting! And what happened – were we all killed? That is exactly what would have happened in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred. But no – those surprised Russians thought that no one regiment by itself would come around there at such a time.
    It must be the whole British army, they thought. They turned tail, away they went over the hill and down into the field in wild disorder, and we after them. In no time, there was the greatest turn around you ever saw. The allies turned defeat into a sweeping and shining victory.
    The allied commander looked on, his head spinning with wonder, surprise and joy. He sent right off for Scoresby, and put his arms around him and hugged him on the field in front of all the armies. Scoresby became famous that day as a great military leader – honored throughout the world. That honor will never disappear while history books last.
    He is just as nice and pleasant as ever, but he still does not know enough to come in out of the rain. He is the stupidest man in the universe.
    Until now, nobody knew it but Scoresby and myself. He has been followed, day by day, year by year, by a strange luck. He has been a shining soldier in all our wars for years. He has filled his whole military life with mistakes. Every one of them brought him another honorary title. Look at his chest, flooded with British and foreign medals. Well, sir, every one of them is the record of some great stupidity or other. They are proof that the best thing that can happen to a man is to be born lucky. I say again, as I did at the dinner, Scoresby’s a complete fool.
    SUSAN CLARK: You have just heard the story "Luck." It was written by Mark Twain and adapted for Special English by Harold Berman. Your narrator was Shep O’Neal. Listen again next week at this same time for another American Story told in Special English on the Voice of America. This is Susan Clark.
  2. [ẹc]

    [ẹc] Giải cứu ốc sên Staff Member

    Ðề: VOA Special English - Read, Listen, Learn

    This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.
    More than fifty countries and organizations have promised to give more than five billion dollars to help Haiti rebuild after an earthquake destroyed much of the country in January.
    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the amount of money was greater than expected. Mister Ban, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Haitian President Rene Preval led a conference of donors at the U.N. Wednesday.
    The Secretary-General said nations and their international partners promised five billion three hundred million dollars for the next two years and almost ten billion dollars in total.
    The United States promised more than one billion dollars. The European Union said it would give more than one and one half billion dollars.
    Mister Ban urged the donors to carry out their promises. He said the donors must make sure Haiti gets the money it needs when it needs it. And they must guarantee that the money is well spent.
    The money will be used to meet emergency needs, such as water, food and shelter for homeless people in Haiti. It will also be used to rebuild Haiti’s infrastructure –its important systems and services. These include transportation and communications systems, water and power lines, and public institutions including schools and hospitals. The money will also create new jobs, and put the country on the road to sustainable development. It is expected to take ten years and more than eleven billion dollars to finish the job.
    Secretary Clinton said donors and the government of Haiti showed a new level of international support, coordination and cooperation. Haitian President Rene Preval expressed his thanks and said the Haitian people and government would do their part to make the country’s rebuilding a success.
    Haiti’s government will have the major responsibility for supervising those plans. It will work closely with international partners, including the United Nations, the United States and international financial organizations.
    The huge earthquake that struck Haiti killed more than two hundred thirty thousand people. It left more than a million other people homeless in a nation where most citizens were already living in deep poverty.
    And that’s the VOA Special English Economics Report, with reporting by Margaret Besheer. You can comment on this story and other programs at voaspecialenglish.com. I’m Steve Ember.

    --- Cập nhật bài viết ---

    An Odyssey of Orchids at the United States Botanic Garden

    Orchids are one of nature's most interesting flowers. They grow in all shapes, sizes, colors and climates, and not all are as lovely as you might think.
    [​IMG] Photo: Kim Varzi

    Orchids at the U.S. Botanic Garden near the Capitol building in Washington

    BARBARA KLEIN: This is SCIENCE IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. I’m Barbara Klein.
    STEVE EMBER: And I’m Steve Ember. Today we tell about the beauty and science of orchids, some of nature’s most interesting flowers.
    BARBARA KLEIN: Many people think of orchids as beautiful, sweet smelling, costly flowers that grow in hot tropical forests. But that is not the whole story of orchids. Some of the plants are found above the Arctic Circle. Some have an unpleasant smell. Not every species is lovely. And if you want to buy an orchid, it will cost a lot less than it once did.
    Orchids are among the most common plant groups in the world. But some orchids that grow naturally are in danger of disappearing from Earth. At the same time, orchids produced in factories have become an important greenhouse crop.
    [​IMG]Kim Varzi

    Orchids come in many different shapes and colors
    Orchid industry sales are especially important to places like the Netherlands, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. People enjoy orchids as decorative plants and cut flowers.
    STEVE EMBER: Orchids come in all shapes, sizes, designs, colors and color combinations. The flowers may be tiny or large. But most have some common characteristics. The sepals of an orchid form the outside of the bud before the flower opens. There also are two regular petals. The third petal is the lip. Orchids share this structure with lilies and irises.
    For reproduction, orchid flowers have male and female parts joined into one structure. The structure is called the column. The column is the most important quality that identifies the orchid family.
    Not all orchids grow from the ground. Some are “air plants” that grow on trees. Unlike parasites, however, they do not rob the trees of nutrition.
    BARBARA KLEIN: Visitors are currently learning about orchids at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. America’s plant museum and the Horticultural Services Division of the Smithsonian Institution are presenting the show “Orchids: A Cultural Odyssey.”
    Among the many visitors, Tonya Johnson came to the exhibit with young children from the Shabach Christian Academy in Landover, Maryland. She helped the children make discoveries about orchids.
    STEVE EMBER: Live orchids form a rainbow of colors in the Botanic Garden’s conservatory building. Orchid plants are blooming out of pots, climbing on trees or overflowing from baskets among the garden’s permanent collection.
    The world has an estimated twenty-five thousand kinds of orchids. A big blue globe near the opening of the exhibit shows places where orchids grow. The number of species in an area is written near its name.
    For example, Costa Rica has one thousand five hundred species. The United States has seventy. The far northern nation of Greenland has four.
    BARBARA KLEIN: Signs and overhanging banners help tell the stories of the plants on exhibit. Some of the orchids look like insects – butterflies, bees or spiders. Others look like stars, cups or lighted fireworks.
    A colorful figure of a dragon with big teeth attracts attention to information about orchids in Sri Lanka. Orchids play an important part in special events in that country and on that country’s money. One banner shows the flowers on Sri Lanka’s one-hundred rupee note. Another banner shows delicate orchids on a five-dollar note from Singapore.
    [​IMG]Kim Varzi

    Orchids on display at the U.S. Botanical Garden
    STEVE EMBER: Many visitors to the exhibit say they recognize some common orchid plants. The Cattleya, for example, gets a lot of attention.
    The flower is sometimes called the corsage orchid. People wear the cut flower on clothing to celebrate special events like birthdays or Mother’s Day. There are many species of Cattleya. Most come from the treetops in wet tropical forests in Central and South America. They need warm temperatures to grow well.
    BARBARA KLEIN: The Cattleya probably owes its existence to William Cattley, a British botanist. In eighteen eighteen, Cattley saved the orchid plant from being thrown away. At the time, the plant was used as packing material that protected other orchid plants arriving from Brazil. Cattley succeeded in getting the unknown plant to flower. Later another botanist named it the Cattleya in his honor.
    People often describe the deep color of the Cattleya lip as “showy.” But this part of the flower provides more than beautiful appearance. It serves as a landing area for bees and other insects that spread pollen to the plant. The colors and design of the lip help attract the insects.
    STEVE EMBER: The nun’s orchid has an interesting name and shape. Not surprisingly, the flower looks like the head covering worn by some female Catholic religious workers. The nun’s orchid came first from China. It reached the United States in the eighteenth century. The flowers can be big, up to almost thirteen centimeters across. Some are brown with a lip that looks purple. Other possible color designs include yellows, reds and browns.
    The vanilla orchid also has an interesting form. The fruit is inside the seedpods of its thick leaves. The leaves grow on tree trunks. Extract of vanilla provides a spice used in foods. The tiny dark dots in vanilla ice cream are from the seedpods of the vanilla orchid. The orchid grows in the rain forests of Mexico. It also grows in Madagascar, South America, Central America and warm areas of Asia and Africa.
    BARBARA KLEIN: It is illegal to collect orchids growing in nature. But poachers often do so. And orchids reproduce with difficulty. They depend on birds, bees or insects to spread their pollen to another orchid flower.
    Some orchids trick their pollinators. Such plants produce a smell that attracts pollinators not normally attracted to them. Other orchids trick male flies by making themselves look like female flies. Still others temporarily trap a pollinator. The action forces the insects to touch the orchid pollen. They pick it up on their bodies and carry it to another flower. Once the second flower is fertilized, seeds begin to form.
    Orchid seeds grow slowly. Sometimes they take months to develop inside the seedpods. The very small seedpods contain as many as three thousand seeds. The seeds float in the air when the pods break open. But they do not begin growing just anywhere.
    STEVE EMBER: The seeds need to be near what is called a mycorrhizal fungus. The seeds lack nutrients, and the fungus feeds them. But the fungus is rare, and some of its habitats are threatened.
    Thomas Mirenda is an orchid collection specialist at the Smithsonian Institution. Mister Mirenda says orchids growing in nature depend completely on their environment to survive.
    Human development or natural disasters can change that environment. The orchids cannot reproduce if birds and insects are no longer living in the area. He says loss of forests and climate change are part of the problem.
    Mister Mirenda also says very little money is available to help orchid conservation. He says financing is seriously endangered, like the orchids themselves.
    BARBARA KLEIN: Today, science and technology can produce orchids in large numbers in greenhouse settings. In nineteen seventeen, Cornell University scientist Lewis Knudsen found that under certain conditions, the fungus was not needed. He discovered that seeds or spores could grow if the seed could develop in a special preparation. The preparation had a sugar base and was similar to gelatin, a food product. The method was put into use a few years later in greenhouses.
    Seed germination in sterile nutrients is now a common way to reproduce orchids.
    STEVE EMBER: Mericloning also is a common modern method. The process calls for culturing from the merismatic tissue on a plant. Active growth takes place in that area. In the process, a small piece of tissue is taken from a high quality orchid. The tissue is made into tiny pieces and grown in a laboratory. Many exact copies of the orchid are produced. Whether grown naturally or through technology, people who love orchids say they are the most beautiful flowers on Earth.
    BARBARA KLEIN: This program was written by Jerilyn Watson . Our producer was Brianna Blake. I’m Barbara Klein.
    STEVE EMBER: And I’m Steve Ember. Go to our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com. You can comment on this story and other programs. You can share your thoughts and read what other people are saying. You can also find transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and captioned videos. Join us again next week for another program about science in Special English on the Voice of America.
  3. [Pu]

    [Pu] Nắng nhuộm tàn lá phong.. Staff Member

    Ðề: VOA Special English - Read, Listen, Learn

    Đài VOA dùng để luyện nghe khá tốt ;))
  4. [ẹc]

    [ẹc] Giải cứu ốc sên Staff Member

    Ðề: VOA Special English - Read, Listen, Learn

    @-) mỗi ngày nghe 1 bài để giữ skill chứ không động đến nó quên mất, tiện share trên này luôn.
  5. [ẹc]

    [ẹc] Giải cứu ốc sên Staff Member

    Ðề: VOA Special English - Read, Listen, Learn

    http://voanews.com/MediaAssets2/lea...V- Water Scarcity and Desalination 040410.Mp3
    This is the VOA Special English Development Report.
    The lack of clean drinking water is a major problem worldwide. The World Health Organization says more than one billion people live in areas where renewable water resources are not available. The problem is especially serious in Asia and the Pacific. A United Nations report says water availability in that area is the second lowest in the world, after Africa.
    Nearly seven hundred thousand people in Asia and the Pacific lack safe drinking water. The U.N. report notes that the world's poorest countries are also the ones that use the most water for agriculture. Agriculture uses about eighty percent of the water in the Asia-Pacific area. There has also been an increase in water used for industry. China and India more than tripled their industrial water use between nineteen ninety-two and two thousand two.
    The lack of clean drinking water around the world forces millions of people to drink unsafe water. This leads to an increase in diseases like diarrhea, the second leading cause of death in children under five. Floods, droughts, pollution and climate change have created even more problems.
    The Millennium Development Goals for two thousand fifteen call for a fifty percent decrease in the number of people without safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
    Scientists, governments and aid organizations around the world are increasing their efforts to meet these goals. Still the U.N. says there is much work to be done. During its yearly World Water Day observance last month it called on the international community to work together to solve the water crisis. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are doing just that.
    The American and South Korean researchers are investigating a new technology for turning sea water into drinking water. The new technology is called ion concentration polarization. The process uses electricity to help separate electrically charged salt particles from water to make it drinkable.
    The researchers tested their desalination process on a computer chip the size of a postage stamp. The chip removed ninety-nine percent of the salt and other harmful substances from water samples. So far the method purifies only small amounts of water. But the researchers say it may someday be available as a personal water purification product.
    And that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by June Simms. I'm Steve Ember.

    A boy carries a pot of water at Siddharth Nagar neighborhood in Mumbai, India
  6. [ẹc]

    [ẹc] Giải cứu ốc sên Staff Member

    Ðề: VOA Special English - Read, Listen, Learn


    After 40 Years, Record Label Has Deep Roots in American Music

    BARBARA KLEIN: Welcome to THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English. I’m Barbara Klein. Rounder Records is an independent music company celebrating its fortieth anniversary. Rounder is a major label that specializes in roots music, including bluegrass and old-time country. This week on our program, we look at Rounder's history and listen to some of its artists.
    That was Alison Krauss and Robert Plant with "Rich Woman." That song received one of the more than fifty Grammy Awards that have gone to Rounder recordings.
    Two men and a woman started the company in nineteen seventy. Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin and Marian Leighton Levy were friends. They knew each other from their college days in the Boston, Massachusetts, area in the nineteen sixties. They were not musicians, but they had seen people whose music they thought should be documented.
    A few months ago, Ken Irwin and Marian Leighton Levy spoke on Tuned In Broadcasting's "Music Business Radio" program from Nashville.
    Ken Irwin told how he got the idea to start a record company after meeting someone else who wanted to do the same. But he says he and his two friends didn't really know much about the music business.
    KEN IRWIN: "So when this thought came about starting a record label we already had a few ideas of people that we'd like to record. But even after that, even after our first two records which came out in nineteen seventy, our only initial goal was to make one record which we thought would be a classic in a field. So if you thought about fiddle records, we would have one of the great fiddle records that would make it into the top ten or top banjo record. But we certainly didn't have goals. I don't know if we had ever heard of Grammys at that point. Or if we had they certainly wouldn't have entered our consciousness."
    Rounder Records celebrated its fortieth anniversary with a concert in October at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. Public television stations around the country broadcast the event last month, and Rounder has released a concert album.
    One of Rounder's artists is sometimes called the best banjo player in the world. Bela Fleck brings a modern sound to this traditional string instrument.

    Bela Fleck
    Here he is at the Rounder concert performing "Another Morning."
    Another Rounder artist is Mary Chapin Carpenter. On April twenty-seventh she will receive the "Spirit of Americana" Free Speech in Music Award at the Newseum, a museum of news in Washington. That same day her new album "The Age of Miracles" comes out.
    Mary Chapin Carpenter released her first album for Rounder in two thousand seven. "The Calling" included this song which she performed at the fortieth anniversary concert, "Why Shouldn't We?"
    Other Rounder artists include groups that perform the music of the Creole and Cajun cultures of Louisiana. At the anniversary concert, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas played "Think About the Good Times."

    Nathan Williams of Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas performs in New Orleans in 2008
    Minnie Driver joined Rounder Records in two thousand one. The performer from Britain was already known as an actress. She was in films such as "Circle of Friends," "Big Night" and "Good Will Hunting."
    At the Rounder anniversary concert, she performed a song from her two thousand seven album "Seastories." Here is "Beloved."
    Another Rounder recording artist is Alison Krauss. She signed with the label when was a young bluegrass fiddler from Champaign, Illinois. She was just fourteen years old. Now she is thirty-eight and has twenty-seven Grammy Awards.
    Her group Union Station includes the famous dobro guitar player Jerry Douglas. At the Rounder anniversary concert, Alison Krauss and Union Station played "Restless" from their album "Lonely Runs Both Ways."
    We leave you now with the grand finale that brought the fortieth anniversary concert for Rounder Records to a close.
    Our program was written by Nancy Steinbach and produced by Caty Weaver. I'm Barbara Klein. You can find transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs at voaspecialenglish.com. You can also write about your favorite musicians and tell us about others you would like to hear. Visit us at our Web site and on Facebook, at VOA Learning English. And join us again next week for THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English.
  7. vincentDang

    vincentDang New Member

    Ðề: VOA Special English - Read, Listen, Learn

    wa! Its a good to practice listening but it lacks of interactivity so I can't stop myself from yawning and probably you guys feel the same way too. Try some interactive games so that its more interesting such as trivial question (What table you can eat? --> vegeTABLE) for instance...lolz!!!

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