|1. B||21. C|
|2. B||22. F|
|3. A||23. A|
|4. C||24. hesitation|
|5. A||25. patience|
|6. muddy||26. landscape|
|7. oxygen||27. reflections|
|8. rock||28. neck pain|
|9. minerals||29. designers|
|10. erosion||30. conservation|
|11. scientific revolution||31. drawings|
|12. the Earth||32. paper|
|13. Moon photograph||33. hand-painted|
|14. research data||34. 6.3 billion|
|15. solar eclipse||35. animal fur|
|16. brightness||36. digital lighting|
|17. accurate measurements||37. crowds|
|18. exploding star||38. facial movement|
|19. evolution||39. video games|
|20. long-term||40. reality|
|Level||Band||Listening Score||Reading Score|
Legend: Academic word (?) New word
Juni: Hi. Milton - I didn't see you this afternoon. You missed a really good talk.
Milton: Oh. did I? I hat’s a pity - it was Mr Brand's talk about fossils, wasn't it?
J: Yeah. I hadn’t really expected to enjoy it. but it was fascinating.
M: I thought it would be. I'd been planning to go to the talk, but then when I was in the lab this morning, I realised I hadn't done any reading for tomorrow's history seminar.
J: Well. I think he's going to repeat it some time, but it may be next year.
M: Perhaps you could tell me a bit about it. then?
J: Well, he talked about himself in the first part.
M: I saw on the notice that went round that he went to America to study and met a famous anthropologist.
J: Yeah, that’s right, but he said he got interested in fossils well before then - when he was about six. in fact and he found the most amazing fossl on a school visit to a national park He showed it to us - he still has it - though he said he wasn't looking for it at the time!
M: Most kids wouldn’t recognise a fossil if they saw one!
J: I know they want to watch adventure films or play with model dinosaurs. But apparently he spent his school holidays hunting for fossils in the farm pits near his home.
M: So does he lecture on the subject now?
J: Yes but he also runs a business organising fossil hunts for groups of adults and children
M: Aw.. Wouldn't it be great if we could do something like that?
J: He showed us a lot of pictures ..
M: So they all go out in a group to the cliffs or somewhere with little hammers, do they?
J: Yeah - apparently, the kids tell everyone that's the best bit - tapping the stones to see if anything's there.
M: Do they know what they're looking for?
J: Yeah. They get shown some examples of what they might find first.
M: And do they actually get to find any fossils?
J: Yes Mr Brand showed some photos of children proudly holding up their fossils for the camera at the end of the day.
M: If they take them home. I bet they become prized possessions in their rooms as well!
J: For sure. He said he never stops being amazed at how close you can be to a fossil.
M: I guess the children aren't aware of history that much.
J: No. but. for them, the key thing they learn is that if they keep looking, they will find something.
M: Mmm you have to wait... it’s not for people who want instant success. So why don't ws go on one of these hunts?
J: Well. yes. I'm quite keen. The hunts are fully booked until the end of the year, unfortunately.
M: I could talk to some of the other students and see if we can form a group
J: That's a good idea. I'll give him a call. Then, if we have enough people, we might be able to get him to do an extra one for us.
M: I'll look on his website when I get back to the dorm just to get a bit more information.
Milton: So what did he talk about in the second part?
Juni: Well, that was more theoretical, but just as interesting, and there were lots of visuals. You know how fossils are formed?
M: Not exactly. We all know they're the remains of living organisms, sort of entombed in rock , but I don't know how they get to be there.
J: Well, he basically went through the stages that make that happen.
M: So did he talk about the conditions that bring about fossilisation?
J: Yes - and he used a fish as an example. Here. I'll show you my notes.
M: Wow. these are great diagrams. Juni!
M: OK . er. Stage 1 .. Ah yes. that's right - a lot of fossils form underwater, don't they?
J: Yeah like as soon as a fish dies, it sinks to the bottom of the ocean, and as long as a predator doesn't come along, it just lies there.
J: That's right.
M: And since the ocean bed's soft - well, much of it is. plus it's muddy as well - the fish gradually gets covered over and can't be seen any more
J: Mmm. Apparently for a fossil to begin to form, you also need conditions where the light is minimal and there's very little oxygen .
M: ... so the organic matter doesn't break down too quickly.
J: Yes. and you know there are fault lines, even on the sea bed. and the rocks can move.
M: Yeah, so once the fish gets buried -1 guess that has to happen quite quickly?
J: Mm-hm. all the sand and sediment piles up into layers, and the huge pressure and weight of all the layers compacts it and you move on to Stage 2. where it gets heavier and heavier until it becomes hard rock.
M: There'd be no water left, so the fish skeleton would be entombed. It can stay like that for millions of years, can't it?
J: It can. but during that time, the bone in the skeleton is replaced by minerals .
M: I see. and these minerals sort of mimic the shape of the skeleton.
J: Yes - and that's how you get a fossil,
M: But how do we find them if they're buried so far down?
J: Again, it's all down to the movement of the Earth's plates. In the last stage, many millions of years after the fossil has formed, the rock may lift and eventually be above sea level.
M: Meanwhile, the surface of the rock wears away?
J: Yes. another natural process called erosion wears away the rock until one day. you can see the tip of the fossil.
M: And you break open the rock and there it is.
J: It's incredible really.
So we're talking about astronomy today - the scientific study ol outer space - and I'm going to start by saying a bit about telescopes and then move on to look at some key features of amateur astronomy.
Now. one of the most powerful telescopes in the world today is the Hubble Space Telescope, named after Edwin Hubble. And. er. it’s become rather symbolic in many ways . and that’s quite appropriate really because, you know, in the early days, it was instruments - and particularly telescopes • that kicked off what was known as the ’scientific revolution’. We tend to think of science in terms of great minds conjuring up big ideas we think of books - but in the field of science, instruments have always been more important.
And of course it was the Italian astronomer Galileo who started us star-gazing. He didn’t come up with the world’s first telescope, but he was the first scientist to add a lens to his telescope that magnified things in the sky enough to be able to study them. Until this time, scientists had been looking at objects on the Earth, but suddenly the skies held a much greater fascination for people. He said it best when he declared that his telescopes 'revealed the invisible’.
That was in the first part of the 17th century. Photography took longer to come about, so only artists were able to capture the celestial images seen in those days. We had to wait a further nearly 200 years, until 1839. for John William Draper, a chemistry professor, to produce the first recorded Moon photograph, which looks like this - black and white, of course Since that time, humans have built bigger, better, more powerful telescopes, and what can be seen through these in the present day is. well, truly amazing Millions of pictures have appeared in magazines, books, on TV and on the Internet Most professional astronomers don’t care if the end result is beautiful, what they really want is research data - that’s their main objective - but when the device capturing a distant star or galaxy is the Hubble Space Telescope or a large telescope housed in a mountain-top observatory, the result usually appears spectacular as well. Now amateur astronomers often have a different objective. Many want nothing more than to capture a scene that will dazzle viewers. They aim to photograph things never seen before, um. like this beautiful solar eclipse that was captured in Greece .. or this incredible image of the Moon with a plane crossing it But needless to say. they've also made a great contribution to furthering astronomical research, and they do get their photographs and findings published in astronomy journals.
So let’s have a look at what the amateurs can contribute. All astronomers are trying to find out. or understand, the origins of the solar system . how stars formed in the first place, and how the universe itself evolved in such a way. Amateur astronomers have a great deal of specialised knowledge that is highly valued in this regard. For example, they're very familiar with the sky and they know right away when something new appears or when the brightness of an object alters - increases or decreases. They know how to tell the difference between, say. planets and comets or stars, or even artificial satellites - many ordinary people wouldn’t have any of these skills. And another vital skill is that they know how to make accurate measurements. Knowing the distance of one object from another or from Earth, for example, is essential information if you want to make a valuable contribution to astrophysics.
So that's what they know. When you look at what they can do to help the professionals .. well, in general, there are two main types of observation that are important. Firstly, they are always watching space; they keep a constant eye on the skies for any new discovery, such as an exploding star that has reached the end of its life and lets off a tremendous amount of energy, or a comet - a very small object made of dust and ice orbiting the Sun.
Secondly, they constantly observe the evolution of stars, planets and other celestial features. And the information they gather is essential to our understanding of these objects. It tells us. for example, how stars live and die, and how they interact with neighbouring stars.
In both types of observation, professionals can see advantages in the enormous patience and passion that amateurs have for their hobby. This doesn't just mean spending a whole night looking at the stars We're talking about observations that involve spending years of evenings on the roof or in the back garden. It's not possible for professional astronomers to undertake these long-term studies or to spend huge amounts of time observing a single object. But amateurs can - and they do - and that’s why they are so important to the field ol astronomy.
Tutor: So. you're off to Glen Affric next week in the Highlands of Scotland for your photography assignment.
Brett: Yes. that's right.
T: So have you got the map I gave you of Loch Affric and the surrounding area?
B: Yup - here's mine.
Mica: .. and mine. Loch means 'lake', right?
T: Yes, that's right. Now. you've read up on it. so is there anything in particular that you want to look out for?
B: Well. as I said. I'd love to get some really good shots of the pine trees, particularly old ones.
M: You’re going to see them all over . Look, there's a particularly big area of forest to the south-east here and several smaller ones
T: Yes. they're OK. but if you look at where the two lochs meet...
B: Um. where it narrows in the centre of the map?
T: That's right You'll find some of the oldest pines there - up to 200 years old.
B: Great - I'll mark that.
M: What about red deer? Can we hope to see any?
B: I guess they'd be more out in the open, in the non wooded areas
T: Well, they like an area near the edge of woodland.
M: So perhaps this largest area of forest - here, in the corner of the map?
T: Yes - they also need water, so between the woodland and the river - I'd try that spot. What you should also look for are red squirrels.
B: But they’re so rare in Britain!
M: Not here, though. You might get a good picture of one among tire pine trees near the loch.
B: Mm. close to the loch . um. perhaps this south side of Loch Affric.
T: Mmm Not right on the edge, though - that’s where you'd look for birds - but in this slightly bigger patch of woodland behind it.
B: Just away from the water a bit. then.
T: Yup. There's plenty of wildlife to tempt you But remember to go for a good shot when you see it.
B: Yes, I remember whet you said in your lecture - if you're in a good spot, the light is good; if an animal is about to move into a great position, then be ready and go for it. My problem’s hesitation -I wait too long!
M: You lose the moment.
T: Well, a lot of inexperienced photographers have that particular problem.
M: What if you frighten your subject off?
T: If you do. it's like anything, you have to put it down to experience.
B: So you shouldn't wait too long, but don't take the shot too soon either - sometimes you've got to have patience .
T: That's one of the most important qualities if you're a wildlife photographer. You may have to sit for hours waiting for the perfect moment. But suddenly something will take your breath away and you'll realise it's all been worth it!
Tutor: Right, so do you have any further questions about the trip?
Brett: Well, yeah - I was wondering about the weather they’re forecasting a lot of mist.
T: Well, yes, but I wouldn’t worry - in the long run. you'll still get your pictures
T: You just have to be careful. You know, experts say there’s no such thing as bad weather when it comes to photography.
Mica: What about driving rain?
T: Well, yes, that doesn't make things easy, but it does mean that you need to take the landscape into account. Perhaps to a greater degree than you would normally.
M: Is that because of shadow and things like that?
T: Well, you get shadow in good weather.
M: Yeah -1 guess so.
B: Um. I'm really looking forward to photographing the Scots pine trees. I want to make the most of all the stunning reflections in the water.
T: Just take your time, and you might capture an amazing reflection - you really should profit from this with the water around you.
M: You were talking last week in your lecture about a piece of equipment called an angle finder, and I've been checking them out on the Internet .
T: Ah-hah. it’s a clever little device - particularly useful if you're down on your knees trying to get really close to something in the grass, like an insect or bird.
B: I've got one actually - and what's great about it is that it prevents neck pain , because it’s like a periscope on a submarine - you can lie down and look through it without hurting your neck.
M: Definitely worth buying, then!
T: Now. is there anything else?
B: Well. I've been looking at some wildlife paintings by Scottish artists. I thought they night help me get ideas.
M: That's a good suggestion.
T: Some designers can be helpful, too they can help give you ideas about camera angles and how you use natural light.
M: Hmm, I'll look into that. One other thing ... I know you said we should consider matters related to conservation when we choose a scene to photograph.
T: I made that point because, well, images like the ones you're going to take can sometimes reveal some of the conservation problems faced by species and habitats. It's just something to bear in mind.
Good morning, everyone. So - we're looking at animation technology today something we're all very familiar with from seeing blockbuster films such as Toy Story and Shrek. But. um. I'd like to start by looking at how animation began, and how the technical side of things developed.
Not long after the invention of the first camera by Thomas Edison in 1009. a photographer by the noire of J. Stuart Blackton developed the first technique for animated film. It consisted of a series of drawings and. er. he drew a number of 'funny faces' and then filmed one after the other. This gave the impression of motion and changing facial expression. But it was a very slow process and a long way from being anything like a film Then a Frenchman. Emile Cohl. moved things on a bit by using scenes and figures cut out of paper instead. This meant things could be done more quickly, t was possible to build up a small scene, though a very large number of cut-outs were required to do this. And. of course, it was all still taking place during the era of silent film Eventually. Walt Disney came along. He wanted his film characters to look more ‘real' and so he found ways to do this. Er. it took weeks to produce a single film sequence, but in 1928. the first talking animated film came out that had been made using hand-painted slides known as 'cels' - these were placed one on top of the other and then quickly removed.
And that first film launched the career of Mickey Mouse - if you remember him. Disney then went on to produce the first full-length colour animated film in 1937 - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs- which earned him the first of his 37 Oscars. Animation changed very little over the next 50 years or so until the advent of computers and the work of a company called Pixar. Pixar Animation Studios was a graphics group until Steve Jobs invested 10 million dollars n the company.
Now it has become a Hollywood icon, with earnings of over 6.3 billion dollars and numerous film awards. In fact. Pixar's films act rather like a timeline of technological developments in computer graphics. So. let's have a look at some of them. Pixar's debut feature film was Toy Story, and this was the first film to be completely animated by computers. When it was released in 1995. many features of the film were seen as outstanding. It is still considered to be one of the most significant achievements in the history of film animation. A later film. Monsters, Inc. which came out In 2001, added a new animation feature, which was the on-screen representation of animal fur . This helped to enhance the appeal of one of the film's central characters. Two years after that, the award- winning film Finding Nemo - a tale of the lives of some very appealing and visually enchanting fish - pioneered new techniques in digital lighting , which were used to create realistic-looking water. This was an essential feature of the film. Many scenes took place underwater and relied on a certain level of brilliance and clarity throughout. Had they got it wrong, the entire effect would have been lost. And a film called The Incredibles in 2004 brought with it credible human characters and advances in the simulation of crowds. So each of these films introduced new types of physical phenomena, and these days 3D animation can re-create most real-world scenarios. Yet cinema audiences have increasingly high expectations. So how do companies like Pixar plan to meet the challenges of the future?
Well, firstly, studios still struggle to create digital humans that audiences like. Up to now, they've been criticised for looking robotic. So the focus for producers now is on simulating more realistic human skin and more detailed facial movement. Both developments are bringing close the day when there will be convincing digital actors on screen A second aspect that Pixar hope to improve on is the speed at which they can actually produce each frame of animated film Things have moved on. but the time it takes to do this is basically staying Die same Faster computers help, but work done by companies involved in the production of video games is also hoped to improve things.
A further challenge is colour. Pixar is looking ahead to how it can better use its colour palettes and produce more brilliant images. And lastly, the company is hoping to build on methods to stylise its images m films. It seems reality has been the goal for many years, but now they are also trying to break new ground and come up with other concepts. The result could be a new breed of animated films that don't look real or like anything that has gone before.
Now let's take a closer look at...