A TYPICAL MANAGER DESK
Managers often have desks that are surprisingly empty! These empty desks can show that the manager often travels and is out of the office most of the time. An empty desk can also demonstrate how powerful the manager is by its representative status. Sometimes, in the USA, you can see footmarks on the desk because some managers like to put their feet up on the desk when they are talking on the telephone! In the States, managers put their feet up on the desk to show that they are in control in their office. Managers usually have a laptop computer on their desk. In fact, this laptop computer is their true desk. These days, most managers do almost all their work on their laptops. Another thing you might find is a cell phone - another sign of the mobility most managers demand.
MY FRIEND PETER
My friend's name is Peter. Peter is from Amsterdam, in Holland. He is Dutch. He is married and has two children. His wife, Jane, is American. She is from Boston in The United States. Her family is still in Boston, but she now works and lives with Peter in Milan. They speak English, Dutch, German and Italian! Their children are pupils at a local primary school. The children go to school with other children from all over the world. Flora, their daughter, has friends from France, Switzerland, Austria and Sweden. Hans, their son, goes to school with students from South Africa, Portugal, Spain and Canada. Of course, there are many children from Italy. Imagine, French, Swiss, Austrian, Swedish, South African, American, Italian, Spanish and Canadian children all learning together in Italy!
A SECRETARY'S DESK
Secretaries usually have an older computer and a telephone on their desk. The usually have an older computer because the managers are often the first to receive the latest technological equipment. Secretaries' desks are often tidy as they are usually tidier than the bosses. You will also find an agenda of some sort because secretaries need to make appointments for their bosses. Secretaries' desks often have pictures of their children and families that they look at from time to time during the day. In the past, secretaries were usually women. Today, however, more and more men are becoming secretaries as more and more women become managers and the workplace becomes more equal.which there are some industry magazines.
Like most offices, my office is a place where I can concentrate on my work and feel comfortable at the same time. Of course, I have all the necessary equipment on my desk. I have the telephone next to the fax machine on the right side of my desk. My computer is in the center of my desk with the monitor directly in front of me. I have a comfortable office chair to sit on and some pictures of my family between the computer and the telephone. In order to help me read, I also have a lamp near my computer which I use in the evening if I work late. There is plenty of paper in one of the cabinet drawers. There are also staples and a stapler, paper clips, highlighters, pens and erasers in the other drawer. In the room, there is a comfortable armchair and a sofa to sit on. I also have a low table in front of the sofa on which there are some industry magazines.
A TYPICAL SHOPWORKER'S DESK
Shop workers probably have the untidiest desks of all. The desks of shop workers are used for a number of purposes. They often have a computer and telephone to take care of paper work, but they also use their desk as a place to lay their various tools as they work at their different tasks. In many machine shops, you will also be surprised at how dirty a shop worker's desk is! Shop workers have to do a variety of physical tasks that often involve greasy equipment. Of course, the grease from the tools and the equipment dirty the desk as the shop worker sits down to do a report or make a telephone call. Shop workers usually don't clean their desk too often as they know that the desks will just get dirty the next time they sit down to have a cup of coffee.
We learnt to walk when we were young, but baby giraffes can walk after twenty minutes. Baby giraffes live in a very dangerous world. Lions and other animals like eating them, so the babies must learn in a very short time. They learn to run fast and to stay on their feet. Even at night, giraffes do not lie down. They stand by a tree and sleep Big giraffes have long legs and they can run at fifty kilometres per hour. The English word "giraffe" comes from the Arabic word xirapha and it means "run fast."
Giraffes have very long tongues. A giraffe's tongue can be fifty centimetres! Giraffes use their tongues! They even clean their ears with their tongues. Their tongues are important for other things, too. Their favourite food is green leaves. These trees have sharp thorns, but the giraffe's tongue can go between the thorns. The giraffe's long neck is important because the best leaves are at the tops of the trees. Giraffes love these leaves, and they eat for eighteen hours every day. Isn't is interesting?
Rain always comes from clouds. But where do clouds come from? How does all that water get into the sky? Let's learn it…
Think about your bathroom. There is hot water in your bath. Steam goes up from the hot water. The steam makes small clouds in the bathroom. These warm clouds meet the cold walls and windows, and then we see small drops of water on the walls and windows.
The world is like your bathroom. The water in the oceans is warm when the sun shines on it. Some of this water goes up into the sky and makes clouds. The wind carries the clouds for hundreds of kilometres. Then the clouds meet cold air in the sky, and wee see drops of water. The drops of water are rain.
The rain falls and runs into rivers. Rivers run into oceans. And the water from oceans makes clouds and more rain. So water is always moving from oceans to clouds to rain to rivers to oceans. So the rain on your head was on other heads before! The water in your garden was in other gardens in other countries.
A STRANGE MAN
John Farber is famous because he can eat metal and glass. He started when he was nine years old. First he ate small things and then he ate big things. He ate glasses, spoons, televisions and other things. He ate these things because he liked them. It's unbelievable, isn't it?
Now he is famous. People pay to watch him and they call him Mr Eat All. He travels to many different countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas and eats many strange things. He can eat nine hundred grammes of metal in a day. He can eat a supermarket trolley in five days and he enjoys eating bicycles. His biggest meal was a two-seat aeroplane. He ate the aeroplane in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela in South America.
Lotito's doctor says, "Michel is different from you and me. The walls of his stomach are very thick, so the metal and glass don't hurt him. He can eat metal and glass easily. It isn't difficult for him. In fact, he enjoys it!
There were many animals at the river and there was a lot of noise. But then the lion came, and the animals were quiet. The lion walked to the river He looked at the water. He saw his face in the water and he smiled.
Then the lion put his big strong foot on a mouse's tail.
"Who is the boss here?" the big lion asked.
"You are" the small mouse said nervously.
"Right answer" the lion said.
The lion put his face nose-to-nose with a monkey.
"Who is the boss?" the lion asked to the mouse.
"You are" the monkey said quickly.
"Right answer" the lion said.
Then the lion saw an elephant. "You! Come here!" he said.
The elephant didn't look at the lion.
"Big nose, I am talking to you" the lion said angrily.
"What is the problem?" The elephant asked.
"Who is the boss here?"
The elephant didn't answer, but his big long trunk moved quickly. It picked up the lion ad threw him into the river quickly.
"OK. OK." the lion said. "You are angry because you don't know the answer."
A FAMOUS STORY
This is a famous story about Nasreddin Hodja and his donkey. This old man lived in Turkey a long time ago.
One day a young man came to the old man's house and said, "Can I use your donkey today, please? My two donkeys are ill, and you aren't using yours"
The old man knew this young man well. The young man was not kind to animals and often hit his donkeys. So his donkeys were often ill. The old man didn't want to say "Yes" but he couldn't say "No" because he was very polite. So he said, "I am sorry, but my donkey isn't here. My son is using it."
The man didn't believe this because the old man's son had three donkeys. Then the old man's donkey made a loud noise and the young man heard it. The young man was angry and said, "I can hear the donkey in your garden. How can you say it isn't here?"
This was a difficult question, but the old man always had an answer for difficult questions. Hodja looked at the young man and said, "Who do you believe? Me or donkey?"
AN UNUSUAL ROBBER
You sometimes see bank robbers in films Usually, the robbers run into a bank and shout "I've got a gun" Give me the money" or "This is a hold-up" They make a lot of noise, so everybody in the bank looks at them. They shout, "Hands-up" or "Nobody move!"
But this story is a bit different. A man wanted to rob a bank quietly, so he didn't say anything. This story is true. It happened in England a few years ago. First the robber got some paper and wrote, "This is a hold-up and I've got a gun!" Then he walked into a bank and gave the paper to the woman at the cash desk.
The woman read the words on the paper and then the robber took the paper and started writing again. The woman waited while he wrote carefully and slowly. He wrote "Put all money in a bag." Then he gave her the paper with his new sentence on it.
The woman read it, picked up a pan and wrote, "I don't have a bag" and then pushed the paper back to the robber. Robber read it and wrote another note;
"No problem. I don't have a gun, either!" And he ran away.
THE POLICEMAN AND THE CAT
Police officers in America sometimes visit schools and talk to the children. They talk, answer the children's questions and try to be friendly.
One day a policeman was at a school for young children. He saw a little girl in the playground. The little girl had an old brush in her hand. She lifted the brush up to her face and talked to it. She said "You're a good cat, Micky, and I love you."
The friendly policeman heard her and said, "Hello. That's a nice little cat. "He put his hand on the brush and said to it "You are a nice cat. Is your name Micky?"
The little girl looked at the policeman angrily. Then she said, "It isn't a cat! It's an old brush.!"
"Oh, sorry. I am wrong" the policeman said.
The little girl put the brush under her pullover and ran behind a tree. The policeman walked away, and the little girl watched him. Then she put her hand under her pullover and said to the brush, "You can come out, Micky. It's OK. He thinks you are a brush."
King Louis the Third was the king of France about 400 years ago. One day a young man said to the king, "I can see the future." This wasn't true, but the king believed him. The young man was pleased and he hoped to get an important job. But King Louis thought, "This man knows the future, so he knows more than I know. He is dangerous. I think I must kill him."
The king said to his servants, "I am going to invite that man to eat with. When he comes, watch me. When I lift up my hand, throw him out of the window."
That evening the man came to the king's private room. The king had a smile on his face, but it was not a friendly smile. He said to the man, "You know the future, so tell me your future. When are you going to die?"
Then the young man understood everything. He thought quickly before he answered the king's question. "I am going to die three days before you," he said.
The king stopped smiling. The servants watched the king's hand, but it didn't move. The young man was safe, but he never told another lie after that.
FIRST MAN ON THE MOON
When you walk on sand, you leave footprints. But then the wind comes and covers your footprints. But as you know there is no wind on the Moon and no rain. So the footprints of the first people on the moon are still there today.
Do you know the first men on the moon? Their names are Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. They climbed out of their spaceship and stood on the Moon on 20th July 1969.
They looked around and saw no living things. The ground was dark grey and dusty, and the sky was black. They could see the earth in the sky. The earth as blue and white.
Then they started to walk on the moon. They were in heavy spacesuits but they could walk and jump easily. They could move six metres with each step. It was easy because everything on the Moon is lighter than on the Earth. Things are lighter because there is less gravity. This is because the Moon is smaller than the Earth.
Armstrong and Aldrin spent only three hours on the Moon, but their footprints will probably stay there for hundreds of years.
A DANGEROUS SPORT
Motor racing is still a very exciting sport, but it is also very dangerous. Racing drivers can go at 250 kilometres Per hour and faster. Sometimes the cars have accidents and the drivers can die.
This is Julie Dolton. When she was a little girl, she and her brother learned to drive go-karts, and she became good at it. When seh was 12, she was th ebest young driver in her country. Now she drives racing cars.
Most racing drivers are men. Is this a problem for Julie?
"Sometimes" she says. "Some men don't like a woman driver in front of them. They get angry."
Is she afraid of crashing?
"I had a bad crash two years ago. The car rolled over. I was under it and I couldn't move. There was a fire, and I couldn't get out. A man fought through the fire and puled me out. He was a very brave man. After I came out of hospital, I tried to race again, but I was too afraid. I was afraid of fire. So I stopped racing and got a different job. But I wasn't happy. I really wanted to race again. I wanted it very much. So now, I'm racing again. I'm still afraid, but I'm stronger than my fear."