必修2 unit1
IN SEARCH OF THE AMBER ROOM
Frederick William Ⅰ,the King of Prussia , could never have imagined that his greatest gift to the Russian people would have such an amazing history . This gift was the Amber Room , which was given this name because several tons of amber were used to make it . The amber which was selected had a beautiful yellow-brown colour like honey . The design of the room was in the fancy style popular in those days . It was also a treasure decorated with gold and jewels , which took the country's best artists about ten years to make .
In fact , the room was not made to be a gift . It was designed for the palace of Frederick Ⅰ. However, the next King of Prussia , Frederick William Ⅰ,to whom the amber room belonged, decided not to keep it. In 1716 he gave it to Peter the Great. In return , the Czar sent him a troop of his best soldiers. So the Amber Room because part of the Czar's winter palace in St Petersburg.About four metres long, the room served as a small reception hall for important visitors .
Later,Catherine Ⅱ had the Amber Room moved to a palace outside St Petersburg where she spent her summers. She told her artists to add more details to it .In 1770 the room was completed the way she wanted . Almost six hundred candles lit the room ,and its mirrors and pictures shone like gold. Sadly , although the Amber Room was considered one of the wonders of the world , it is now missing .
In September 1941, the Nazi army was near St Petersburg . This was a time when the two countries were at war . Before the Nazis could get to the summer palace , the Russians were able to remove some furniture and small art objects from the Amber Room . However , some of the Nazis secretly stole the room itself . In less than two days 100,000 pieces were put inside twenty-seven woooden boxs . There is no doubt that the boxs were then put on a train for Konigsberg, which was at that time a German city on the Baltic Sea . After that, what happened to the Amber Room remains a mystery .
Recently , the Russians and Germans have built a new Amber Room at the summer palace . By studying old photos of the former Amber Room , they have made the new one look like the old one .In 2003 it was ready for the people of St Petersburg when they celebrated the 300th birthday of their city .
A FACT OR AN OPINION?
What is a fact? Is it something that people believe? No. A fact is anything that can be proved. For example, it can be proved that China has more people than any other country in the world. This is a fact.
Then what is an opinion? An opinion is what someone believes is true but has not been proved. So an opinion is not good evidence in a trial. For example, it is an opinion if you say “Cats are better pets than dogs”. It may be true, but it is difficult to prove. Some people may not agree with this opinion but they also cannot prove that they are right.
In a trial, a judge must decide which eyewitnesses to believe and which not to believe. The judge does not consider what each eyewitness looks like or where that person lives or works. He/she only cares about whether the eyewitness has given true information, which must be facts rather than opinions. This kind of information is called evidence.
Unit 2
AN INTERVIEW
Pausanias, who was a Greek writer about 2,000 years ago, has come on a magical journey on March 18th 2007 to find out about the present-day Olympic Games. He is now interviewing Li Yan, a volunteer for the 2008 Olympic Games.
P: My name is Pausanias. I lived in what you call “Ancient Greece” and I used to write about the Olympic Games a long time ago. I’ve come to your time to find out about the present-day Olympic Games because I know that in 2004 they were held in my homeland. May I ask you some questions about the modern Olympics?
L: Good heavens! Have you really come from so long ago? But of course you can ask any questions you like. What would you like to know?
P: How often do you hold your Games?
L: Every four years. There are two main sets of Games-the Winter and Summer Olympics, and both are held every four years on a regular basis. The Winter Olympics are usually held two years before the Summer Games. Only athletes who have reached the agreed standard for their event will be admitted as competitors. They may come from anywhere in the world.
P: Winter Games? How can the runners enjoy competing in winter? And what about the horses?
L: Oh no! There are no running races or horse riding events. Instead there are competitions like skiing and ice skating which need snow and ice. That’s why they’re called the Winter Olympics. It’s in the Summer Olympics that you have the running races, together with swimming, sailing and all the team sports.
P: I see. Earlier you said that athletes are invited from all over the world. Do you mean the Greek world? Our Greek cities used to compete against each other just for the honour of winning. No other countries could join in, nor could slaves or women!
L: Nowadays any country can take part if their athletes are good enough. There are over 250 sports and each on has its own standard. Women are not only allowed, but play a very important role in gymnastics, athletics, team sports and …
P: Please wait a minute! All those events, all those countries and even women taking part! Where are all the athletes housed?
L: For each Olympics, a special village is built for them to live in, a main reception building, several stadiums for competitions, and a gymnasium as well.
P: That sounds very expensive. Does anyone want to host the Olympic Games?
L: As a matter of fact, every country wants the opportunity. It’s a great responsibility but also a great honour to be chosen. There’s as much competition among countries to host the Olympics as to win Olympic medals. The 2008 Olympics will be held in Beijing, China. Did you know that?
P: Oh yes! You must be very proud.
L: Certainly. And after that the 2012 Olympics will be held in London. They have already started planning for it. A new village for the athletes and all the stadiums will be built to the east of London. New medals will be designed of course and …
P: Did you say medals? So even the olive wreath has been replaced! Oh dear! Do you compete for prize money too?
L: No, we don’t. it’s still all about being able to run faster, jump higher and throw further. That’s the motto of the Olympics, you know-“Swifter, Higher and Stronger.”
P: Well, that’s good news. How interesting! Thank you so much for your time.
THE STORY OF ATLANTA
Atlanta was a Greek princess. She was very beautiful and could run faster than any man in Greece. But she was not allowed to run and win glory for herself in the Olympic Games. She was so angry that she said to her father that she would not marry anyone who could not run faster than her. Her father said that she must marry, so Atlanta made a bargain with him. She said to him,"These are my rules. When a man says he wants to marry me, I will run against him. If he cannot run as fast as me, he will be killed. No one will be pardoned."
Many kings and princes wanted to marry Atlanta, but when they heard of rules they knew it was hopeless. So many of them sadly went home, but others stayed to run the race. There was a man called Hippomenes who was amazed when he heard of Atlanta's rules,"Why are these men so foolish?" he thought. "Why will they let themselves be killed because they cannot run as fast as this princess?" However, when she saw Atlanta come out of her house to run, Hippomenes changed his mind."I will marry Atlanta--or die!" he said.
The race started and although the man ran very fast, Atlanta ran faster. As Hippomenes watched he thought, "How can I run as fast as Atlanta?" He went to ask the Greek Godness of Love for help. She promised to help him and gave him three golden apples. She said," Throw an apple in front of Atlanta when she is running past. When she stops to pick it up, you will be able to run past her and win."
Hippomenes took the apples and went to the King. He said," I want to marry Atlanta ." The King was sad to see another man die, but Hippomenes said," I will marry heror die!" So the race began.
Unit 3
WHO AM I?
Over time I have been changed quite a lot. I began as a calculating machine in France in 16
  42. Although I was young I could simplify difficult sums. I developed very slowly and it took nearly two hundred years before I was built as an analytical machine by Charles Babbage. After I was programmed by an operator who used cards with holes, I could “think” logically and produce an answer quicker than any person. At that time it was considered a technological revolution and the start of my “artificial intelligence”. In 1936 my real father, Alan Turing, wrote a book about how I could be made to work as a “universal machine” to solve any difficult mathematical problem. From then on, I grew rapidly both in size and in brainpower. By the 1949s I had grown as large as a room, and I wondered if I would grow any larger. However, this reality also worried my designers. As time went by, as was make smaller. First as a PC(personal computer) and then as a laptop, I have been used in offices and homes since the 1970s.
These changes only became possible as my memory improved. First it was stored in tubes, then on transistors and later on very small chips. As a result I totally changed my shape. As I have grown older I have also grown smaller. Over time my memory has developed so much that, like an elephant, I never forget anything I have been told! And my memory became so large that even I couldn’t believe it! But I was always so lonely standing there by myself, until in early 1960s they gave me a family connected by a network. I was able to share my knowledge with others through the World Wide Web.
Since the 1970s many new applications have been found for my. I have become very important in communication, finance and trade. I have also been put into robots and used to make mobile phones as well as help with medical operations. I have even been put into space rockets and sent to explore the Moon and Mars. Anyhow, my goal is to provide humans with a life of high quality. I am now truly filled with happiness that I am a devoted friend and helper of the human race!
ANDY ? THE ANDROID
I’m part of an android football team. About once a year we are allowed to get together to play a game of football. I’m as big as a human. It fact, I look like one too. On the football team I’m a striker so I have to be able to run very fast. My computer ships help me to move and think like a human. For example, I have learned to signal to my teammates in computer language to give me the ball when I am open and have a good for a goal.
My first football competition was in Nagoya, Japan several years ago. Last year our team went to Seattle, Washington in the USA. We won second place. Personally, I think the team that won first place cheated. They had developed a new type of program just before the competition. So we need to encourage our programmer to improve our intelligence too. We are determined to create an even better system. In a way our programmer is like our coach. She programs us with all the possible moves she has seen while watching human games. Then she prepares reliable moves to use if a new situation arises. In this way I can make up new moves using my “artificial intelligence”. I could like to play against a human team, for I have been programmed to act just like them. After all, with the help of my electronic brain which never forgets anything, using my intelligence is what I’m all about!
Unit 4
HOW DAISY LEARNED TO HELP WILDLIFE
Daisy had always longed to help endangered species of wildlife. One day she woke up and found a flying carpet by her bed. “Where do you want to go?” it asked. Daisy responded immediately. “I’d like to see some endangered wildlife,” she said. “Please take me to a distant land where I can find the animal that gave fur to make this sweater.” At once the carpet flew away and took her to Tibet. There daisy saw and antelope looking sad. It said, “We’re being killed for the wool beneath our stomachs. Our fur is being used to make sweaters for people like you. As a result, we are now an endangered species.” At that Daisy cried, “I’m sorry I didn’t know that. I wonder what is being done to help you. Flying carpet, please show me a place where there’s some wildlife protection.”
The flying carpet traveled so fast that next minute they were in Zimbabwe. Daisy turned around and found that she was being watched by and elephant. “Have you come to take my photo?” it asked. In relief Daisy burst into laughter. “Don’t laugh,” said the elephant, “We used to be an endangered species. Farmers hunted us without mercy. They said we destroyed their farms, and money from tourists only went to the large tour companies. So the government decided to help. They allowed tourists to hunt only a certain number of animals if they paid the farmers. Now the farmers are happy and our numbers are increasing. So good things are being done here to save local wildlife.”
Daisy smiled, “That’s good news. It shows the importance of wildlife protection, but I’d
 

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