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Топик Is It Worth Lying? - Стоить ли врать?

Топик Is It Worth Lying? - Стоить ли врать?

Is It Worth Lying? - Стоить ли врать?There is hardly a person in the world who can say that he or she has never told a lie. Lying is quite natural and people often do it in case of emergency, intentionally or even without any reason. People are not born with a capacity to lie. They begin to do it at the age of three and the older they get, the more resourceful and sophisticated they become. Many philosophers such as Saint Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and Immanuel Kant condemned all lying. They were convinced that 'one must be murdered, suffer torture, or endure any other hardship, rather than lie, even if the only way to protect oneself is to lie'. Immanuel Kant said that 'by a lie, a man annihilates his dignity as a man.'

A lie is something you say that you know is untrue with the intention to deceive other people. There are different reasons for telling a lie. One may do it with the intention to maintain a secret or to save his or her face, to derive some benefit or to avoid a punishment, to get out of an awkward situation or to help another person and what not. Many people are fond of exaggerating some facts or lying for fun.

There are different types of lies from white lies to perjury. A white lie does not harm anyone and it is usually told in order to avoid hurting someone's feelings. It is often used to avoid offense, such as complimenting something one finds not very beautiful or attractive or saying that you like a present even if it is not true. A white lie is a part of good manners as sometimes it is rude to say exactly what you think. When a person does not tell the whole truth about something such kind of lie is called half-truth. A bold-faced lie is one which is told when it is obvious to everybody that it is a lie. For example, a person who has been caught red-handed by the police and denies that he has stolen the money. Perjury is the crime of telling a lie after promising to tell the truth in a court of law.

In fact it is difficult to imagine the world without lie. Lie is everywhere: on TV, on the radio, in newspapers, in the street and even at home. Everyday people have to face misinformation, hoax, fabrication, propaganda, puffery, forgery, etc. That is why many of us have become distrustful and suspicious and we don't believe most advertisements, commercials, speeches and promises. If one doesn't want to be deceived or to become a victim of fraud, he or she should take into consideration people's behaviour and body language.

It is possible to distinguish a lie by facial expression, movements, tone of voice and other methods. Some people are sure that lies can be detected through both verbal and nonverbal means. Scientists say that lying takes longer than telling the truth. So if a person hesitates before answering a question or makes a long pause, he is probably going to tell a lie. A liar may avoid eye contact, turn his head away, stammer or blush. A liar usually has a stiff expression and a forced smile. A person who feels guilty may speak too much, adding unnecessary details to convince his interlocutor. A liar feels uncomfortable and is often eager to change the subject. This knowledge is especially helpful for police, security experts, businessmen, politicians and employers. But one should remember that there is no absolutely reliable sign of lying.

Polygraph measures the physiological stress a person endures while he or she gives statements or answers questions. It is well-known that lying causes bodily changes. Polygraph measures the suspect's heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate and respiration. If there is increased activity in these areas, the suspect might be lying. The accuracy of this method is questionable as this machine can be deceived. That is why polygraph results are not admissible as court evidence. The fact is that no machine, or expert can detect a lie with 100% accuracy.

Sometimes telling a lie can be essential if it helps save another person's life. But sometimes lying makes things worse, especially after it has been discovered. Discovery of a lie may spoil one's reputation or lead to social or legal sanctions. Besides you can't lie all the time. One shouldn't forget the saying, 'Liars should have long memories'.

Смотреть далее | 30.03.2016 | Отправить ссылку друзьям

The Letters Written By The Teens Who Have Problems With Their Parents - Письма, написанные подростками, которые имеют проблемы с родителями

The Letters Written By The Teens Who Have Problems With Their Parents - Письма, написанные подростками, которые имеют проблемы с родителями

  • Emily, 15
    My parents are too harden me. 'We have great difficulties with understanding each other. Every day I hear ''Don't listen to this music', 'Don't talk to this girl - she is spoilt', ''Don't invite your friends' ... Sometimes I feel irritated and we quarrel. I'm really tired of such a don't-do-it way of upbringing. My parents are convinced that everything I do is wrong. To I really deserve such an attitude?
  • Helen, 16
    My parents don't understand me! 'They treat me as if I were a kid though I am already 16! I want to go clubbing and bowling, I want to meet my friends and go to different parties. 'But they tell me to think more about school and my studies. 'When I go somewhere I have to be at home not later than 10 p.m. It's ridiculous and all my friends laugh at me. My father almost had a stroke when he learnt that I had a boyfriend. How can I make them understand that I'm not a child any more?
  • Michael, 15
    My classmates bully me. I don't know why. Maybe because I'm shy and a bit fat or wear spectacles. I told my parents about my problem but they said it was quite all right and that I had to patch things up myself. They seem to be absolutely indifferent to what's going on in my life. They don't care about what I feel or what I want. I'd like to become a computer programmer, but dad says I must become a lawyer. But what about my dreams? I'm torn between wanting to take a stand, and not wanting to upset my parents.
Смотреть далее | 29.03.2016 | Отправить ссылку друзьям

Generation Gap: Reality or a Psychological Prejudice - Конфликт поколений: реальность или психологическое предубеждение

Generation Gap: Reality or a Psychological Prejudice - Конфликт поколений: реальность или психологическое предубеждение

Generation Gap: RealityTo my mind generation gap is rather reality than a psychological prejudice. It has always been a topical problem and it still remains urgent nowadays.

So what does a generation gap mean? It is a popular term used to describe big differences between people of a younger generation and their elders. This can be defined as occurring 'when older and younger people do not understand each other because of their different experiences, opinions, habits and behavior'. The term first came into prominence in Western countries during the 1960s, and described the cultural differences between the Baby Boomers and their parents. Although some generational differences have existed throughout history, during this era differences between the two generations grew significantly in comparison to previous times, particularly with respect to such matters as musical tastes, fashion, drug use, culture and politics.

Nowadays you will hardly find a boy or a girl satisfied with their parents. Neither will you find a grown-up, a parent not grumbling over 'younger generation' of their children. Pop music, ultra-modern clothes, noisy parties and children's wish to have more freedom become a stumbling-block on the way of mutual understanding between adults and their offspring and help foster differences between parents and teenagers. So it seems that in most families parents don't understand their children and children don't understand their parents.

According to the older generation teenagers are lazy, carefree, ungrateful, impolite and rude. They wear ridiculous clothes, listen to awful music and all they think about is parties, dates, friends and entertainment. Teenagers have very little responsibility and very few problems. But is it really so? If we look inside the mind of a teenager, we will see a very different picture. Teenagers are greatly worried about a great number of things: their appearance, relations with friends, parents and teachers, the way other people (especially their peers) treat them. They suffer from pimples, bullies, problems at school, misunderstanding with their boyfriend/girlfriend, lack of self-confidence, etc. Teenagers often don't know what they are good at and their future seems to be rather vague. Every day they face a lot of stressful situations and feel depressed. Besides they have constant pressure from betters and elders as to how they should act, behave, look and feel.

There are a lot of books and films devoted to the problem of the generation gap. One of such films is 'Freaky Friday' (2003). The wide generation gap between Tess Coleman (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her teenage daughter Anna (Lindsay Lohan) is more than evident. They simply cannot understand each other's preferences. They have absolutely different views on clothes, hair, music, duties and even people. On a Friday morning the mother and the daughter switch bodies. As they adjust with their new personalities, they begin to understand each other more and eventually they gain respect for the other's point of view. It is 'selfless love' that changes them back.

But of course there is no magic in real life, that's why there should be some other way to bridge the gap between parents and their children. To my mind communication is the best way to solve the problem. The more time adults and children spend together, the more they talk and discuss different things the better they understand each other. It is very important to be selfless and open-minded, patient and sincere. Despite the great changes in the electronic and technological environment in the last several decades, a defined gap does not separate today's generations as it did in the sixties and seventies. So the 'generation gap' can disappear. If we are a little wiser, children will find a key to the heart of their parents and vice versa.

Смотреть далее | 28.03.2016 | Отправить ссылку друзьям

Friendship: A Single Soul Dwelling in Two Bodies - Дружба: одна душа живущая в двух телах

Friendship: A Single Soul Dwelling in Two Bodies - Дружба: одна душа живущая в двух телах

Single Soul Dwelling in Two BodiesFriendship is considered one of the central human experiences and for many people it may be as important as love. It is an essential component of many people's daily lives. It is rather difficult to describe the main features of friendship in one phrase. Friendship means devotion, faith, complete trust and unselfishness. A friend is a person who understands and supports you in times of need or crisis, shows kindness and sympathy, has similar tastes, interests and life philosophies.

Your friend is your helper, adviser and supporter. You can always trust him and share your hardships with him. Friends are absolutely disinterested and they help you without being asked to and without the expectation that you will have to repay them. A true friend can always acknowledge his fault if he is wrong and apologize. Besides, a true friend can forgive you if you have hurt his feelings or if you have given him a lot of trouble.

In Greek and Roman times, friendship was thought of as being an essential constituent of both a good society and a good life. It was supposed to nurture wisdom and happiness. Aristotle, a Greek philosopher and scientist, believed that friendship could fall into three categories: it could be based on utility, pleasure or goodness. In its latter state, Aristotle described it as being 'a single soul dwelling in two bodies'. During the time of the Roman Empire, Cicero had his own beliefs on friendship. He thought that in order to have a true friendship with someone there must be all honesty and truth. If there isn't, then this isn't a true friendship.

There are different types of friendship. For example not every friend is called your best or close friend. Your best friend is a person with whom your share strong interpersonal ties. Your soulmate is someone who is considered the ultimate, true, and eternal half of your soul. An acquaintance is a person with whom you don't share emotional ties, for example your coworker. A person with whom you share a 'postal' relationship and communicate through letters is your pen pal. Nowadays it is very popular to make friends online. Friendship that takes place over the Internet is called Internet friendship.

Most people have friends, regardless of gender, age, education, financial position and residency. But they tend to form friendships with representatives of their own social circle and with people of their own age. There is often a gap between people with different educational level, life experience and financial standing. In other words most people understand friendship as a union of the equal. However some of us have friends who are much younger or older than we are, who are poorer or wealthier and whose level of education is much higher or lower than ours.

Some reserved and shy people find making friends rather difficult. Besides, friendship means rendering a service to your friend from time to time, telling the truth and exhibiting loyalty. It takes time and effort, but true friendship is worth of it. It is stressful to live in the world of strangers, that's why people need friends. They give us a sense of being protected, emotional comfort and moral support. Having no friends can be emotionally damaging in some cases. As the proverb says, 'A true friend is the best possession'.

Смотреть далее | 27.03.2016 | Отправить ссылку друзьям

Colours and their Associations - Цвета и их ассоциации

Colours and their Associations - Цвета и их ассоциации

Colours their AssociationsIn all cultures, different colours have different associations. They have symbolism and colour meanings. People respond to colours in different ways. The colour produces a certain physiological (connected with mind and body) and psychological (connected with history, culture and education) effect on a person. People's reactions to colours are instinctive and subconscious and certain colours are tied with certain notions (for example, pink is considered to be a romantic colour). Cool colours such as blue, green, white, grey, and silver tend to have a calming effect. On the one hand they are cold and impersonal. On the other hand the cool colours are comforting and nurturing. Blue has a calming effect and it can help you sleep. That is why blue is a good colour for bedrooms. However, scientists say that too much blue could dampen spirits. That is why the expressions 'to feel blue' or 'to get the blues' mean 'to feel sad, unhappy, depressed'. In many cultures blue is significant in religious beliefs, brings peace, or is believed to keep the bad spirits away. Blue, especially darker blue, is associated with intelligence, stability, unity, and conservatism. Navy blue is a common colour for uniforms such as those worn by sailors and the police. In Iran, blue is the colour of mourning while in the West the bride traditionally wears something blue to bring her luck. A deep royal blue or azure conveys richness and a touch of superiority.

Green is associated with life, spring, growth, renewal, health, and environment. At the same time green means jealousy or envy and inexperience. Green is known to calm the nerves and soothe emotions. It is the national colour of Ireland. Coupled with red green is a Christmas colour.

Grey is a neutral, balanced and conservative colour. Grey seldom evokes strong emotion although some people find it cloudy or moody. In the US and UK, grey is connected with being dull and boring. Like black, grey is used as a colour of mourning as well as a colour of formality.

White is purity, cleanliness, and virginity. In most Western countries women wear long white dresses when they get married. It is a brilliant colour that can cause headaches and that can be blinding. In the East, it's the colour of mourning and funerals. Some cultures considered white to be the colour of royalty or of deities.

Silver is cool like grey but livelier and more playful. It often symbolizes riches, just as gold does. Silver can be glamorous and distinguished. The colour silver can be earthy, natural or sleek and elegant.

Warm colours fill us with joy and energy. Red, yellow, or orange can create excitement or even anger. Warm colours convey emotions from optimism to violence. In nature, warm colors represent change as in the changing of the seasons, the sunrise or the sunset.

Red is a hot and strong colour that evokes various emotions from passionate love to strong violence. Red is the colour of both Cupid and the devil. Red heart shapes and red roses represent romantic love. Studies show that red raises blood pressure. Red is often associated with power, that is why it is traditional to welcome a king, queen, president, celebrities and VIPs to a place by having a red carpet for them to walk on. Flashing red lights denote danger or emergency. In some cultures, red symbolizes purity, joy, and celebration. Red is the colour of happiness and prosperity in China. Red is often worn by brides in the East while it is the colour of mourning in South Africa.

Pink is a softer red. In some cultures, such as the US and the UK, pink is the colour that is worn by women and girls. It represents 'sugar and spice and everything nice'. Most people consider pink to be a feminine, delicate colour.

Yellow is associated with sunshine. On the one hand it symbolizes happiness, cheerfulness and joy. On the other hand yellow is the colour of cowardice and deceit. If someone is 'yellow' it means he is a coward. Yellow was the colour of mourning in Egypt and actors of the Middle Ages wore yellow to signify the dead. Yet yellow has also represented courage (in Japan), merchants (in India), and peace.

Gold is the colour of riches and extravagance. As gold is a precious metal, the colour gold is associated with wealth and prosperity. In ancient Egypt, gold was the colour of the Sun god and the symbol of power.

Orange is vibrant. It denotes energy, warmth, and the sun. Orange can be found in nature in the changing leaves of autumn, the setting sun, and citrus fruit. Orange brings up images of autumn leaves, pumpkins, and Halloween. It is a colour of change between the heat of summer and the cool of winter.

Black is conservative, serious and conventional. It can also be mysterious and sophisticated. It is typically worn at funerals to show sadness and respect in most Western countries. Black is associated with death and evil (black magic). Black, especially combined with orange is the colour of Halloween. Black clothes are often worn to social occasions in the evening.

Brown is a natural, down-to-earth colour. It is found in nature: in earth, wood, and stone. Brown symbolizes wholesomeness and earthiness. It also represents steadfastness, simplicity, friendliness, dependability, and health.

It is difficult to imagine the world without colours. They surround us everywhere and constitute an important part of our lives. Colours help people communicate non-verbally. Besides, colours make our lives brighter and influence our emotions. Life without colours would be dull and uninteresting.

Смотреть далее | 26.03.2016 | Отправить ссылку друзьям

Топик Beauty Through Pain - Красота требует жертв

Beauty Through Pain - Красота требует жертв

Beauty Through PainMany people (especially women) dream of being beautiful and they can go far to become more attractive. Some of us are not quite satisfied with our bodies, some want to become taller or slimmer, some would like to improve their features. There are different ways to achieve perfection: cosmetics, creams, lotions, beautiful clothes, etc. But in search of perfection many of us forget about health risks connected with our overwhelming desire to be fashionable and beautiful. Can we harm ourselves by improving and decorating our bodies? Of course we can.

Let us remember the past. Wishing to achieve the feminine ideal and to have a wasp waist many women wore the corset. Its origin is lost in remote antiquity. The early Egyptian women are believed to wear corsets. The corset was used in France and England as early as the 12th century. The corset became extremely fashionable in the 16th century, during the reign of Catherine de Medici of France and Queen Elizabeth of England. A lady could not consider her figure ideal unless she could span her waist with her two hands. To reduce their natural waist size women wore a strong rigid corset night and day. In the 18th century respectable women of all classes in society wore the corset (or a pair of 'stays'). The stays were made from several layers of stout fabric, such as linen or cotton. Strips of whalebone or metal frames were used to stiffen the garment. A larger strip of bone or wood was slipped in at the centre front to keep the wearer's posture absolutely rigid.

Many doctors warned women of the dangers of lacing corsets too tight and some advised not wearing the corset at all. One famous rent against the corset in 1874 enumerated 97 different diseases produced by stays and corsets. The alleged symptoms ranged from impaired breathing and circulation to heightened hysteria and melancholy. Many Victorian women's fainting fits were caused not by their excessive sensitiveness but by insufficient oxygen. The corset could lead to miscarriage or deformed offspring. Besides the bones or steels of the corset could break and injure the woman who wore it.

But women continued wearing rigid corsets in spite of all health risks and obvious physical inconveniences. Why did the do it? The answer is quite simple. The fact is that physical beauty was associated with virtue. An upright posture and a slender waist became a sign of modesty, discipline and refinement. Loose clothes meant loose morals and those women who refused to wear the corset were considered to be lazy and immoral. The corset did not disappear but nowadays it is absolutely different from the corsets women wore a few centuries ago. It doesn't lead to distortion and feebleness any more. Modern corsets have very little influence on the wearer's body.

Many women of fashion don't wear corsets nowadays but they should never forget that there are still many articles of clothing that can be dangerous to their health. All women like wearing high-heeled shoes because they make their legs longer and more slender. Doctors say that high-heels cause severe foot problems and foot pain. They can also lead to foot deformities and knee diseases. After all, a woman wearing high-heels may fall down and sprain her ankle.

Some people cover their bodies with tattoos. Tattooing is popular in many parts of the world and it is practiced for decorative, religious or other reasons. Julia Gnuse (known by the nickname The Illustrated Lady') is the world's most tattooed woman, having coverage of 95% of her body. Doctors warn people against possible dangers of tattooing including infection and allergic reactions.

Many people think that cosmetics and clothes can't help them become more beautiful and they resort to plastic surgery. Reconstructive surgery techniques were performed in India in 2000 ВС. Plastic surgery developed greatly during the 20th century in the US. The world record for plastic surgery is held by Cindy Jackson, a singer and writer born in Ohio in 1955. Cindy tried to achieve the Barbie Doll look but she also wanted 'to look convincingly natural'.

Many young people decorate their bodies with piercing. Elaine Davidson holds the Guinness Record for being the most pierced woman in the world. The total weight of her jewelry is about 3 kilograms and Elaine has no intention to stop at what has been accomplished. Body piercing is a painful and risky procedure: it can cause allergic reactions and bacterial infection. Infection due to piercing of the tongue can be fatal!

Before experimenting with your body think twice. Is the game worth the candle? Remember that health and beauty are inseparably linked. That is why don't turn yourself into an invalid for the sake of beauty, fashion or fame.

Смотреть далее | 25.03.2016 | Отправить ссылку друзьям

Synopsis of the films about artificial intelligence - Краткое содержание фильмов об искусственном интеллекте

Synopsis of the films about artificial intelligence - Краткое содержание фильмов об искусственном интеллекте

Artificial Intelligence

Read the synopsis of the following films about artificial intelligence. Answer the questions below.
  1. Robot
    In 2035 humanoid robots have become common. They are considered to be absolutely safe as the Three Laws are integrated into their minds:
    1. A robot may not harm a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being come to harm.
    2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
    NS-5s are new robots with an uplink to V.I.K.I. (Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence), allowing them to receive updates wirelessly. But there is a robot which greatly differs from others. Its creator has named it Sonny. The robot is unique as it can display emotions, experience dreams, keep secrets and disobey the Three Laws. Sonny has been created without an uplink to VI.K.I. that is why when other robots revolt against humans and attack them Sonny helps people destroy V.I.K.I. At the end of the film Sonny gets freedom and becomes the main characters' friend.
  2. Terminator
    The Terminator is a cyborg assassin. It is very b, has no emotions and feels no pain. The robot has been sent to the past to prevent a human resistance against the machines in the year 2029. It has a mission to kill and nothing can stop the Terminator to accomplish it. The robot is indistinguishable from humans as it is covered with living tissue. It has been invented by highly intelligent robots which have the aim to take over and destroy the human race. So the Terminator is very dangerous as it is programmed to kill mercilessly. Fortunately at the end of the film the robot is destroyed.
  3. WALL-E
    WALL-E is a robot which has been designed to clean up a polluted Earth. WALL-E has been performing its duties for several centuries and after many years of prolonged activation it has evolved and become more human-like. WALL-E is fond of collecting interesting knick-knacks which it finds among the rubbish. The robot has made friends with a cockroach. It often watches an old videotape of Hello, Dolly! and learns about human emotions including love. WALL-E falls in love with another robot named EVE which is cold and indifferent at first but warms up to WALL-E a little later. Thanks to WALL-E's brave and adventurous nature people return to Earth.

Questions
1) What adjectives can you choose to characterize the robots from each film (b, funny, adventurous, powerful, dangerous, harmless, helpful, merciless, clumsy etc.)?
2) What are the relations between robots and humans in these films? Are clever machines people's friends/servants/exterminators?
3) What is the main idea of each film?
4) When do the robots begin to experience human feelings? Why?

Смотреть далее | 24.03.2016 | Отправить ссылку друзьям

Топик Artificial Intelligence - Искусственный интеллект

Artificial Intelligence - Искусственный интеллект

Artificial IntelligenceArtificial intelligence (AI) is invading the world. In the 90s and early 21st century AI achieved its greatest success. There are more and more jobs which humans leave to robots such as exploring another planet, defusing bombs, exploring inside a volcano or just doing boring household chores like cleaning. Computers can perform a lot of functions: they can control cars and planes, give us the news, play chess and football or compose music. Many factory jobs are performed by industrial robots nowadays. It has led to cheaper production of various goods, including automobiles and electronics. Industrial robots have little resemblance to a human being.

Artificial intelligence has successfully been used in a wide range of fields including medical diagnosis, stock trading, robot control, law, scientific discovery and toys. Industrial robots are also used for packaging of manufactured goods, transporting goods around warehouses or hospitals or removing tiny electronic components with great accuracy, speed and reliability. Robots can move around, sense and manipulate their environment, predict the actions of others and exhibit intelligent behavior. Scientists are interested in designing robots that resemble a human.

Are robots our best friends or are they dangerous? It is still very difficult to answer this question. Some futurists believe that artificial intelligence will fundamentally transform society. Ray Kurzweil has calculated that desktop computers will have had the same processing power as human brains by the year 2029, and that by 2045 artificial intelligence will have reached a point where it is able to improve itself. Other futurists and science fiction writers have predicted that human beings and machines will merge into powerful cyborgs - humans with significant mechanical enhancements. Many people fear that highly intelligent robots may take over and destroy the human race. There are a lot of books and films about people losing control over clever machines which begin to kill their creators. But maybe it is early to worry as robots are still clumsy and not very intelligent.

But of course there are some reasons to worry about robots. The use of robots in industry leads to unemployment as many jobs are performed by machines. Besides industrial robots can be dangerous and cause harm to human workers. So much attention must be paid to security.

There are a number of competitions and prizes to promote research in artificial intelligence. Many large companies have created robots which can perform specific functions in the manner of a man. Here are some of them:

  • Hitachi created its second humanoid robot EMIEW2 in 2008. EMIEW2 weighs 13kg and can move on wheels as well as two legs. The robot is 80cm tall, a height for looking over desk tops. It has 14 microphones which enable it to recognize human voice and sounds. The robot can distinguish voices even when three people are speaking at the same time and it can recognize voices spoken as far as 2m away.
  • ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) is a humanoid robot created by Honda Motor Company. The robot is 130 cm tall and weighs 54 kilograms. It can walk or run on two feet at speeds up to 6 km/h. The robot can perform various functions. ASIMO can follow the move¬ments of people with its camera, follow a person, or greet a person when he or she approaches. ASIMO can also recognize when a person offers him a handshake and other people's movements. The robot can sense the environment and avoids hitting people and other objects. It can respond to its name, face people when being spoken to, and recognize sudden, unusual sounds. ASIMO is also able to respond to questions, either by a brief nod, a shake of the head or a verbal answer. The robot has the ability to recognize 10 different faces. By accessing information via the Internet, ASIMO can provide news and useful information.
  • Wakamaru is a Japanese domestic robot made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The robot has been created to provide companionship to elderly and disabled people and to make their life easier. The robot is yellow, lm tall, and weighs 30 kilograms. Wakamaru can connect to the Internet, and has limited speech and speech recognition abilities. It can say, 'Welcome back!', 'Let me search the Internet' and other simple phrases. The functions it can perform include reminding the user to take medicine on time, and calling for help if it suspects something is wrong. When its batteries run out, Wakamaru recharges itself.
  • Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute of Korea has developed a robot with four human senses such as seeing, hearing, touching, and smelling. POMI (Penguin rObot for Multimodal Interaction) can move the eyebrow, eye lid, eye ball and lips. It also uses various colors to show face expressions. POMI has two kinds of built-in scent sprays to express happiness, sadness, and joy. It also has a heartbeat device which makes people feel like the robot's heart really beats up when they put the hands on the left chest of the robot. It also can talk to people through a built-in speaker.
Смотреть далее | 23.03.2016 | Отправить ссылку друзьям

A Vital Part of Daily Life: Mobile Phones - Важная часть повседневной жизни: Мобильные телефоны

A Vital Part of Daily Life: Mobile Phones - Важная часть повседневной жизни: Мобильные телефоны

Mobile PhonesMobile phones have changed people's lives. They give us an opportunity to stay in touch and to be reachable everywhere. If you are going to be late, you can just call your relatives, friends or colleagues or send them a text message. It is very easy and comfortable, especially for the busy modern lifestyle. So a mobile phone has become a vital part of our daily lives and it is difficult to imagine how people lived without mobile phones in the past.

The modern mobile phone is a more complex version of the two-way radio which was a very limited means of communication. As soon as the callers moved out of range of each other's broadcast area, the signal was lost. In the 1940s, scientists began using a number of radio masts located around the countryside to pick up signals from two-way radios. A user would always be within range of one of the masts. If he moved too far away from one mast, the next mast would pick up the signal. Scientists called each mast's reception area a separate 'cell'; this is why mobile phones are also called 'cell phones'.

However, 1940s technology was still quite primitive, and the 'telephones' were enormous boxes which had to be transported by car. In 1973 Dr Martin Cooper invented the first practical mobile phone for handheld use in a non-vehicle setting. Using a modern, if somewhat heavy portable handset, Cooper called his rival, Dr. Joel S. Engel, to announce his success.

Until the early 1990s, most mobile phones were too large to be carried in a pocket, so they were typically installed in vehicles as car phones. Since digital components became miniature and more sophisticated batteries were developed, mobile phones have become smaller and lighter. So the large plastic bricks of the 80s turned into smooth little objects that could be put into pockets and bags. In the mid-90s almost everyone had a mobile phone.

Over the last few years mobiles have become more and more advanced. Modern mobile phones may support many additional services, and accessories, such as SMS, email, packet switching for access to the Internet, gaming, Bluetooth, personal organiser, camera with video recorder, MMS for sending and receiving photos and video, MP3 player, radio, GPS navigation, etc.

Nowadays the mobile phone is often called the Fourth Screen (after cinema, TV and PC screens as the first three). It is also called the Seventh of the Mass Media (with Print, Recordings, Cinema, Radio, TV and Internet as the first six).

The most commonly used data application on mobile phones is Short message service (SMS). It is a wireless service that enables to send and receive short messages to and from mobile telephones. It is interesting to know that the first SMS text message was sent from a computer to a mobile phone in 1992 in the UK, while the first person-to-person SMS from phone to phone was sent in Finland in 1993. SMS messages have a number of advantages. Firstly, SMS is a rather cheap and quick method of communication. Secondly, SMS messages are non-intrusive. In comparison with a call they do not interrupt a person if he or she is in the middle of a meeting and can't answer you right now.

The 160-character limit on text messages has led to a new, abbreviated version of English similar to a rebus. There are no standard rules for writing SMS messages, and a lot of words can be shortened. Sending SMS messages can be time consuming. The objective of SMS is to convey a comprehensible message as quickly as possible. That is why traditional rules of grammar, spelling and punctuation are largely ignored when you are hurriedly typing to your friend that you are going to be late.

Some people say that mobile phones deprive them of privacy and it is almost impossible to have a rest with your mobile phone on. Many people are also worried about the harmful influence of mobile phones on their health. Mobile phones use electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range. Scientists persuade that there is no significant health effect from mobile phone radiation. But still it is better not to use your mobile phone too often.

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