A few days ago, the weather forecast tell about the dropping of temperature 3 - 5 Celcius immediately. This news has happened on Dec. 14, 1924, in America as reported below.
Weather Whys: Sudden temperature drops
Dec 18, 2013 0
Q: You often see temperatures fall in a hurry in some parts of the country. What’s the largest temperature drop in the United States?
A: Montana appears to hold the record, says Brent McRoberts of Texas A&M University. “On Dec. 14, 1924, the temperature at Fairfield, Mont., went from 63 degrees at noon to minus 21 degrees at midnight, meaning the temperature fell 84 degrees in a 12-hour period. But even that day was topped. On Jan. 23, 1916, the temperature in Browning, Mont., fell from 44 degrees one afternoon to minus 56 degrees the following afternoon – a drop of an even 100 degrees.”
Q: Why does Montana hold those kinds of records?
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A: Because of the huge size of the state, its geography and its northern location, Montana has the right ingredients for temperature fluctuations, McRoberts adds. “Nearby Spearfish, S.D., has the largest temperature rise on record. On Jan. 22, 1943, the temperature went from minus-4 degrees at 7:30 a.m. to 45 degrees by 7:32 – an incredible warm-up of 49 degrees in just two minutes. The warm Chinook winds of this region can bring about very swift warming periods, while the strong arctic cold fronts from northern Canada can cause sharp temperature drops of 30 and 40 degrees in just a few hours. Texas is also no stranger to such drops. On Dec. 12, 1919 in Amarillo, it was 67 degrees at noon, and a strong cold front blew in and dropped the temperature to 23 degrees by 1 p.m., an amazing 44-degree drop in just one hour.”
Many thanks to Google Translate and G Grammarly one more time.
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Everyday Grammar: Understanding Verbs in News Stories
Suppose you are reading an American news website. You look at an article headline but are unsure of what the story is about.
You try reading it anyway. Yet, some of the central ideas remain unclear.
Many English-language newspapers in the U.S. and other places use a writing style that is different in some ways from others.
Take, for example, the use of verbs.
Often, verbs in the news can look simple, like “face,” “fuel” or “drive.” But some English verbs have several meanings, and news stories may use a “newsy” meaning, which can be tricky for the untrained reader.
Today on Everyday Grammar, we will explore how a few verbs are used in the news, with excerpts from VOA Learning English stories.
Let’s start with the verb “face.”
In the news, the verb “face” is often used to say a person, group of people or thing must deal with a difficulty or issue. A person or people might face a serious health issue, for example. A city might face a shortage of teachers.
And, the planet faces environment problems. That is exactly what a recent story about student climate activists explained. In it, a leader from an environmental group used the verb “face” to say this about students:
“There’s a lot of passion there and a strong desire to deal with the problems facing the environment,” she said.
The person is saying students care a lot about the planet, which is being affected by environmental issues.
Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, speaks in front of a crowd of people after sailing in New York harbor aboard the Malizia II, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019.
Another story talks about Indonesia’s president announcing the move of the country’s capital to the island of Borneo. Listen to a short excerpt from that story:
The goal is to move the national government outside of Jakarta, which is facing problems of overcrowding and pollution.
The speaker is saying that Jakarta, the current capital, is dealing with problems such as overcrowding and pollution.
The verb “fuel” is another newsy verb. It often appears in stories on political issues, social movements and national or worldwide trends.
“Fuel” can mean to give support or strength to something or to provide the conditions for something to happen.
An August story on Hong Kong’s protests explained that Facebook and Twitter had accused China of spreading disinformation. Here’s a line from the story with the verb “fuel.”
Some ads described Hong Kong protesters as being anti-China and trying to fuel violence.
If someone or something is trying to “fuel” violence, it is attempting to cause or worsen it.
And a September story on a U.N. effort to protect the world’s religious sites said this about U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres:
Guterres has often warned that hate speech is fueling intolerance around the world.
Hate speech is abusive or threatening speech or writing that shows prejudice against a group of people. Guterres warned that such speech is causing or worsening intolerance.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, center, walks with at Al Noor Mosque Imam Gamal Fouda, right, in Christchurch, New Zealand, Tuesday, May 14, 2019.
Now let’s talk about “drive.”
The usual meaning of “drive” has to do with using vehicles. But in the news, “drive” can take on other meanings. It can mean to cause a person or thing to do something.
Listen to this headline from a story about marijuana use and breathalyzer tests:
Marijuana’s Growth in US Drives Breathalyzer Test Technology
In other words, increased marijuana use in the United States has caused or led to the development of breathalyzer technology.
You might also see the phrasal verb “drive up” in the news. The meaning is similar to “drive” but “drive up” relates to causing an amount or price to increase.
In the following example, a lawyer in Vietnam talks about how companies are moving to Vietnam from China to avoid the U.S.-China trade war. He explained that this change is helping Vietnam’s economy. Have a listen:
“It’s really happening, so that’s going to be driving up prices and driving up GDP a bit,” Burke said.
Verb: go / move forward
And finally we move to another phrasal verb.
The verb “go forward” means to proceed, or continue, with something, such as a plan, ruling or decision.
A recent story talked about a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. It requires asylum seekers to ask for asylum in countries they pass through before reaching the United States. Here’s how the story uses the verb “go forward”:
The Supreme Court’s decision on Wednesday permits the new rule to go forward as legal action against it continues to go through the court system.
In other words, this rule will proceed.
Migrants from Guatemala are seen on the banks of the Rio Bravo river as they cross to the U.S. to request asylum in El Paso, Texas, as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico June 6, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
Another phrasal verb - “move forward” – has the same meaning and is also popular among news writers.
Let’s look at a recent story about the possibility of Britain leaving the European Union. Pay attention to how it uses the words “move forward”:
Johnson said he will move forward with Brexit even if there is no official agreement with the EU.
In other words, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will proceed with the plan to separate Britain from the European Union.
Well, we hope this program has fueled your interest in understanding the news better as you go forward in learning English.
I’m Alice Bryant.
Alice Bryant wrote this story for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
A look at the best news photos from around the world.
1Parachutists jump from a plane near Groesbeek, Netherlands, as part of an event marking the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden. Allied leaders had hoped the offensive would bring a fast end to World War II. It was unsuccessful, however.
2Students form a human chain during an anti-government protest in the Sha Tin area in Hong Kong.
3A firefighter walks on a field as smoke rises from burned trees at Sebangau National Park, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. The smoke from the fires has covered parts of Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and southern Thailand in a thick haze.
4A gallery assistant stands in front of "Deity" by Damien Hirst during a showing of his new work called "Mandalas' at the White Cube in London.
Humans work together all over the world. When we do, we tend to organise ourselves into a structure so we can work more effectively. In jobs everywhere you can find bosses, managers and workers.
But does this actually help us work better? It appears that chickens can help us learn the answer. What can chickens teach us about hierarchies? You'd be surprised! Neil and Catherine discuss the chicken experiment and teach you new vocabulary.
This week's question
What is the record number of eggs laid by one chicken in a year? Is it
Listen to the programme to find out the answer.
hierarchy a way of organising people at different levels, for example workers in a company
pecking order a phrase to describe levels of importance in an organisation
Note: This is not a word for word transcript
Neil Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English, I'm Neil.
Catherine And I'm Catherine.
Neil Catherine, what's the connection between hierarchies, managers and chickens?
Catherine Well, I don't know Neil, but I'm, sure you're going to tell me.
Neil First of all, could you explain for our listeners what a hierarchy is?
Catherine Of course! A hierarchy is a way of organising people. For example, in a company, where there are people working at different levels. You've got bosses, managers and workers. The workers do the work and the managers have meetings that stop the workers doing the work!
Neil But where do the chickens come in? We'll find out shortly, but first here is today's question and it is – surprise, surprise – about chickens. What is the record number of eggs laid by one chicken in a year? Is it:
a: 253 b: 371 c: 426
What do you think Catherine?
Catherine Well, I think most chickens lay an egg once a day, so I think it's 371.
Neil Well, we will have an answer later in the programme. Now, for hierarchies and chickens. In the radio programme The Joy of 9 to 5, produced by Somethin' Else for the BBC, entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan described an experiment. In this experiment, researchers compared the egg production of a group of average chickens to a group of super-chickens. That's chickens with an above average egg production. Which was the most successful? Here's Margaret Heffernan, and by the way, the noun for a group of chickens is a flock.
Margaret Heffernan He compares the two flocks over six generations. The average flock just gets better and better and better. Egg production increases dramatically. The super-flock of super-chickens, at the end of six generations, all but three are dead, because the other three have killed the rest. They've achieved their individual productivity by suppressing the productivity of the rest. And that's what we do at work.
Neil Which flock was most successful?
Catherine Well, the super-flock actually killed each other, so it turned out that the average flock laid more eggs in total and was more successful.
Neil Yes, but why was that?
Catherine Well, the super-chickens must have seen their other flock members not as colleagues, but as competitors. Now to understand this, we have to start with the word productivity. This noun refers to the amount of work that's done. So, on an individual level, the super-chickens achieved productivity because they suppressed the productivity of their flock members. Suppressed here means they 'stopped the other chickens from being productive' by killing them.
Neil So, what do we learn from this experiment?
Catherine Well, Margaret Heffernan suggests that we see this kind of behaviour in the human workplace. When everyone is equal, productivity is high, but as soon as there's a hierarchy - as soon as there are managers - things can go wrong because not all managers see their role as making life easier for the workers. They demonstrate their productivity as managers, by interfering with the productivity of the workers.
Neil But there are other experiments which show that chickens are productive in a hierarchy. How are those hierarchies different though? Here's Margaret Heffernan again.
Margaret Heffernan So chickens have an inbuilt or, if you like, an inherited hierarchy - that's where we get the term pecking order from. But it's one that they create among themselves, rather than one that's imposed upon them.
Neil So, which hierarchy works, at least for chickens?
Catherine Well, the best hierarchy is one that isn't imposed. That means a good hierarchy isn't forced on the chickens. They do well when they create the hierarchy themselves, naturally. They work out the pecking order themselves.
Neil Pecking order is a great phrase. We use it to describe levels of importance in an organisation. The more important you are, the higher in the pecking order you are. Where does this phrase originate?
Catherine Well, pecking describes what chickens do with their beaks. They hit or bite other chickens with them. And the most important or dominant chickens, peck all the others. The top chicken does all the pecking, middle-level chickens get pecked and do some pecking themselves, and some chickens are only pecked by other chickens. So, there is a definite pecking order in chickens.
Neil Right, time to review this week's vocabulary, but before that let's have the answer to the quiz. I asked what the record number of eggs laid by a single chicken in a year was. The options were:
a: 253 b: 371 c: 426
What did you say, Catherine?
Catherine I said 371.
Neil Well, lucky you! You're definitely top of the pecking order, aren't you? Because you are right!
Catherine That's a lot of eggs!
Neil Indeed. Now, the vocabulary. We are talking about hierarchies - a way to organise a society or workplace with different levels of importance.
Catherine An expression with a similar meaning is pecking order, which relates to how important someone, or a chicken, is, within a hierarchy.
Neil A group of chickens is a flock. It's also the general collective noun for birds as well, not just chickens.
Catherine Another of our words was the noun productivity, which refers to the amount of work that is done.
Neil And if you suppress someone's productivity, you stop them from being as productive as they could be.
Catherine And finally, there was the verb to impose. If you impose something, you force it on people. For example, the government imposed new taxes on fuel.
Neil Well that is the end of the programme. For more from us though, check out Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and of course, our App! Don't forget the website as well - bbclearningenglish.com. See you soon, bye.
Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said on Thursday that the ministry has yet to decide on the plan to import 1.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually from Malaysia's Petronas LNG.
He was responding to a report which suggested that the ministry had cancelled an auction organised by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand(Egat) for the imports of LNG for eight consecutive years, estimated to worth more than Bt 100 billion. Egat uses LNG as input for electricity production.
“Egat is still negotiating with Petronas, we have not reached a conclusion,” he said.
Should Egat and Petronas agree on the deal, it still have to be forwarded for consideration by the Energy Policy Administrative Committee(EPAC), Sontirat said.
The Energy Ministry wanted Egat to buy LNG on the spot market, starting with small amounts and not exceeding 90,000-180,000 tonnes per purchase.
Large amounts of import will lead to higher costs for storage and electricity production and could have an impact on consumers.
Another issue involves the advance payment condition, which may increase the financial burden on Egat. Sontirat said the ministry will appoint Kulit Sombatsiri, within September 24, the new chairman of Egat in replacement of the previous chairman who had resigned. Kulit, currently Energy Ministry’s permanent secretary, is expected to solve many issues as the next chairman of Egat.