|1. Chamberlain||21. C|
|2. Market Street||22. B|
|3. 07934 854552||23. B|
|4. Saturday||24. A|
|5. 8:45 am/8:45||25. real time|
|6. Monday 27th April||26. speed limits|
|7. 5:00 pm/5pm||27. 2,000|
|8. CHAMB 703161 SW LY 60||28. some sections|
|9. car seat||29. radar|
|10. B657D64||30. braking|
|11. famous Irish dishes||31. B|
|12. 2:00 pm/2 pm||32. B|
|13. €8.50||33. A|
|14. 8:00 pm/8 pm||34. C|
|15. Irish folk singer||35. G|
|16. A, E, F||36. C|
|17. A, E, F||37. I|
|18. A, E, F||38. B|
|19. B, D||39. A|
|20. B, D||40. H|
|Level||Band||Listening Score||Reading Score|
Legend: Academic word (?) New word
Assistant: Good morning. Abbey Car Hire. How can I help you?
Customer: Oh hello. I’m calling to see if it’s possible to hire a car for three days next weekend.
Assistant: What size of car were you hoping to rent?
Customer: Well, something big enough for a family of four with luggage.
Assistant: That would be a medium family car. Let's see ... yes. that shouldn't be a problem - there's plenty of availability. First I need to take a few details. Can I have your name please?
Customer: Yes. it’s Steven with a V, Chamberlain , that's C-H-A-M-B-E-R-L- A-l-N.
Assistant: OK, and can I have your address, please?
Customer: Yes, it’s 3 Hamilton House.
Assistant: Oh, that’s in Queens Road, isn’t it?
Customer: No, we don’t live in Rowington, we’re from Stretton. It must be a different Hamilton House - it’s Market Street , Stretton.
Assistant: And the postcode?
Customer: ST17 5BU
Assistant: And a contact telephone number. Your mobile is probably best.
Customer: Yes, let's see, it’s 07934 854552 .
Assistant: So, can you confirm the exact dates you wish to hire the car. From Friday you said?
Customer: No, Saturday morning if possible. That's the 25th. What's the earliest we can pick it up?
Assistant: Our office opens at 8 am.
Customer: Oh, not that early - I expect about a quarter to nine would suit us.
Assistant: OK , 8.45 on the Saturday. And you’ll drop it off on the Monday?
Customer: Yes, April 27th - that’s right. We have a train to cat ch at half past six so we’d like to drop it off in the afternoon at about half four?
Assistant: Actually we offer a complimentary shuttle service to the station and airport. If your train's at 6.30, may I suggest a 5 o’clock drop off ? That will give you plenty of time - the shuttle bus takes no more than 20 minutes, even in the rush hour.
Customer: That’s great - thanks, that’ll save us a taxi fare.
Assistant: So, the total charge will be, let’s see ... £87.50. That includes full insurance.
Customer: That seems reasonable.
Assistant: I just need a few more details. Who is going to be the main driver?
Customer: I am.
Assistant: You’ll just need to bring your driving licence with you. You haven’t got the number on you have you?
Customer: Yes, wait a minute. Yes, here it is, it’s 703161 SW LY 60 .
Assistant: And will you be the only driver?
Customer: Yes, my wife prefers not to drive when we hire a car. I've just remembered - we’ll need a car seat for my youngest son. Is that possible?
Assistant: How old is he?
Assistant: Yes, that's fine. I’ve added that to the booking form - there'll be a charge of £10 for the car seat. So that’s everything. I'll just give you the booking reference number - it's B657D64 .
Customer: Got that.
Assistant: We’ll send you a confirmation email with all the details.
Customer: Thank you.
Assistant: You're welcome. Thank you Mr Chamberlain.
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Ireland. It’s great to see so many of you here today and I’m delighted that you have decided to join us here at the Castle Hotel for our special food lovers' weekend. Before I tell you about the main events we have planned for you, I'd just like to point out that tea and coffee and biscuits are available at the back of the room, so please help yourselves.
So, the weekend’s events start straight after lunch, which you can take either in the main restaurant to my right or in the garden terrace, which you'll find to the right of the main reception desk.
This afternoon we are very excited to welcome local chef Laura Gallagher to the Castle Hotel. Laura will be showing you some typically Irish ingredients, many from her own garden, and explaining how good food needn’t cost a fortune. She's also going to demonstrate a few famous Irish dishes including Irish stew. As you may know, Laura runs her own award-winning organic restaurant about ten miles from here and I know a few of you are planning to eat there tomorrow night -1 can highly recommend it. So. those of you who have booked for this afternoon’s session should gather in the demonstration kitchen, which is to the left of the main restaurant, by 1.45 pm so that we can get going promptly at 2 pm . And I'm sorry - a few people have already asked me but this session is now full. However, there are still places on the city bus tour, which will be leaving the hotel at 1.45. This will take you to all the main sights and there will be a chance to stop off at the Riverside Museum and cafe later in the afternoon. The coach will return from the museum at 5 pm promptly. Please note that entrance to the museum is not included so you will have to pay on the door - but we do have a special discount so that will be €8.50 rather than the usual €11.75.
Tonight, we have our five-course seafood dinner in the main restaurant. Our head chef has really planned a treat for you - I’ve seen the menu and it looks fantastic. Please note that this is not at 7.30 as originally stated in your holiday itinerary but at 8 pm . There is a seating plan up in the main reception so please check this before this evening so you know where you’re seated. Oh, and one other thing regarding food - I’ve already had a couple of special requests from allergy sufferers so please do let me know as soon as possible if you have any special dietary requirements. After dinner, starting around 10 pm, If you still have the energy, we have Irish folk singer James Corrigan here to entertain you until the wee small hours. His family have been making Irish music for over 200 years and he will treat you to both traditional and modern folk songs.
He plays no fewer than six different instruments including the bodhran, a traditional drum, the tin whistle and the Irish fiddle. Well worth staying up for!
Tomorrow will be an early start for most of you who have booked on our culinary tour of the region. The restaurant will be open for an early breakfast from 6.30 am and the coach will be leaving at 7.45 am. We have a packed itinerary and our first stop is at Mill Farm, where they still use traditional methods to make butter, cheese and other dairy products. You will have a chance to try your hand at churning the butter and shaping it using traditional butter beaters. Our next stop is the world famous Oyster Cafe where you can sample fresh oysters and other shellfish. I’m hoping the weather stays fine for this as it’s such a beautiful setting next to the harbour wall and you may be able to see some of the fishing boats coming in with their catch. That will just be a brief stop as the highlight of the morning will be our stop at the famous Mount Rees Baking School, where chef Jonathan Park will be showing you how to make Irish bread and giving you some other baking tips. I'm told that Jonathan has a few surprises up his sleeve and I know that he’s keen on audience participation so be prepared to get your aprons on and hands dirty for that one. Our lunch stop will be the Waterside Restaurant. It’s a beautiful lakeside setting and if the weather’s fine you’ll be able to walk around the lake after your meal. Although lunch isn’t included in the trip, the restaurant is offering you the special price of a two course meal at only €25 per person. Our route home takes us through some amazing mountainous landscape and there will be chances to stop and take photographs before our final stop at the Wakeford Food Centre, which is a true retail paradise for food lovers. They sell all sorts of exotic and local ingredients and there are always plenty of tasting opportunities. Be prepared to part company with some of your euros! We aim to arrive at the centre in time for afternoon tea, if you can manage any after your lunch. Our return to the hotel will hopefully be by 6.30 pm and there will be a chance to relax for a while before dinner at 8 pm.
And so to Monday. Well, the trip to the local Farmer’s market still has a number of free places so please let me know if you’re interested. The price for transport there and back is €5 but of course you’ll need to take along plenty of cash for all your purchases. Unfortunately we have had to cancel the talk from cookery writer
Maria Kelly as she is unwell, but instead, for those of you who are having the cookery demonstration this afternoon, we are offering you a chance to visit the Riverside Museum. Or you may just decide to spend Monday morning relaxing and enjoying the grounds here at the Castle Hotel. Lunch will be at 12.30 and then the coach to take you to the airport will leave here at 2.30.
Carlos: Hi Shereen. How’s it going?
Shereen: Oh, Hello Carlos. I’m OK, I suppose, but it’s just that I’ve got so much work to do and this morning my tutor set another project and I've no idea what to do for this one.
Carlos: What’s it about?
Shereen: Well, we have to choose a topic but it’s got to be related to transport in some way. I honestly have no idea. I was just going to the library to get some ideas.
Carlos: I don’t know if this will be any help but I saw a TV programme last week about traffic problems - it was really interesting - you may be able to still catch it online.
Shereen: What was so interesting?
Carlos Well, a lot of it was looking at congestion in different countries - I didn’t realize it was so bad. Did you know that there are around 800 million vehicles in the world - I think that’s what they said - and this figure is growing all the time by about 50 million every year apparently.
Shereen That’s amazing! What’s going to happen to them all?
Carlos Good question. I think they said the number would double in the next two decades. And of course ail that traffic causes congestion, which costs the economy millions. I think they said that in the US it costs the economy $100 billion every year.
Shereen Well, they do drive a lot of cars. Carlos Yes, but it’s happening all over the world. In Moscow they lose around S12 billion a year and of course nations like China and India are growing all the time. More cars mean more time wasted sitting in traffic jams.
Shereen So what’s the solution?
Carlos Well, there’s been a great deal of research into the whole congestion problem and numerous solutions have been put forward. For instance, in some Chinese cities they restrict road use by banning certain motorists from driving one day a week, depending on their car registration number and you know about the congestion charge in London, where you have to pay to drive in certain parts of the city.
Shereen Yes, but these don’t really solve anything, do they, and they probably just get people more frustrated. I know I'd get annoyed if I couldn't drive in to the city on certain days or had to pay.
Carlos Well, one of interesting things they talked about on the programme was why we get traffic jams in the first place.
Shereen Surely it's just weight of traffic? Carlos Well, yes, but you know sometimes you’re driving along on the motorway and the traffic seems to be flowing freely when all of a sudden, there's a traffic jam.
Shereen Yes, I always assumed it was due to an accident or a breakdown. Carlos Not necessarily. Scientists have been looking at this for years and have used all sort of computer simulators to recreate the situation on the road. Until recently they thought the same as you, that congestion was caused by sheer weight of traffic. But they have now discovered that it’s also due to driver action.
Shereen Do you mean bad driving? Carlos No, it's more to do with unpredictable actions. Suppose a lorry suddenly changes lanes or something else happens that you're not expecting, well, this can have an enormous effect apparently,
Shereen How exactly?
Carfos Well, what they discovered was that under certain conditions, if just one driver overreacts to an event like that, by braking too hard suddenly, this can then set off a reaction that will send shockwaves for miles back down the motorway
Shereen How come?
Carlos Well, when the first car brakes, the car behind has to brake too and so on until the cars start to gather in clumps. That’s how you get those stop-start congestion waves, which can eventually result in gridlock when all the traffic comes to a standstill.
Shereen: And is it only motorways that are affected?
Carlos No, any road junction where two or more lanes of traffic join together can cause problems. For example, as vehicles join a motorway they tend to cut across lanes, which causes other cars to slow down or brake. This can affect vehicles miles behind on the motorway.
Shereen: So is there anything that can be done about it?
Carlos: Well, one measure that has been introduced is on the M25 motorway, which goes round London. They’ve set up a system whereby experts use real time data collected from monitors on the motorway and analyse it in order to set speed limits .
Shereen So they're looking at live action on the motorway?
Carlos Exactly. Because they're working in real time and reacting immediately to the situation on the road, they hope to alleviate problems before they happen.
So as the traffic gets heavier to the point where these waves of congestion are likely to form, the controllers monitoring the situation set speed limits at say, 50 or 60 mph to regulate the flow. Further back down the motorway at the back of the congestion zone, they set a lower speed limit, say 40 mph, which should theoretically help control the traffic through the problem area.
Shereen But traffic jams still happen on the M25, don’t they? I was in one a few months ago and we were at a standstill for ages.
Carlos Yes, of course, sometimes there are simply too many cars on the roads. I think what the programme said was that the ideal number of cars on the road is no more than 2,000 per lane per hour - something like that. Theoretically, this should keep traffic moving smoothly at all times. But of course the number of cars on the road far exceeds this - I think there are some sections of the M25 which have up to 200,000 vehicles a day.
Shereen Mmm. So, basically we need to reduce the number of cars on the roads. Well, that’s not likely to happen, is ft? Carlos No, but researchers are still looking into car technology that might help. As most congestion waves are caused by drivers braking too hard suddenly, the idea is that you install radar on the outside of the car and an on-board computer. The driver would activate the system when signs alerted him or her to a possible congestion zone. Then the computer would take over and then take control of the braking and acceleration. Because it can react much faster than a human driver, in theory, it would control the car smoothly through the zone.
Shereen: A bit like an auto-pilot system?
Shereen: Well, it does sound interesting. Do you think I could do something with this for my project?
Carlos: Why don’t we have a look to see if we can find the programme online? That should get you started.
Lecturer: Today, in the first in the series of talks about significant numbers, I’m going to talk about pi. As a mathematician and engineer, I find many numbers fascinating but for me pi is probably the most interesting.
So, what is pi? Well, as all of you will probably know, pi is what you get if you divide the circumference of a circle (that’s the distance around the outside edge) by its diameter (that's a straight line through its centre). And as most of you will also have learnt in your maths lessons at school, that number is usually calculated to two decimal places and is commonly recognized as 3.14. But what you might not know is that this number is infinitely long. That is, if you keep on dividing the circumference by the diameter, you get a never-ending number. Pi is sometimes represented as the fraction 22 over 7, which only gives us an approximation of the ratio. This figure has given us in Europe Pi Approximation Day, which is celebrated on the 22nd day of the seventh month, that is July 22nd. However, in the United States World Pi Day is held on March 14th, which in American date notation is written as 3 over 14, representing the first three figures of the decimal representation of pi. Many educational institutions hold special events on these days.
First, I’ll talk a little about the significance of pi. Pi has fascinated scholars, mathematicians and scientists for thousands of years and for many, this fascination involves calculating its value with increasing precision. It has numerous practical uses. One of the reasons pi is so well known and studied is that it can be found in so many different formulae.
As its ratio relates to circles, it is essential in both trigonometry and geometry and can also be found in dozens of formulae relating to physics, cosmology, electromagnetism, engineering, geology, probability and statistics.
So, let’s have a brief look at its history. Well we have to go right back to the Ancient Babylonians to see that some understanding of pi has been around for a long time. As they were building their city, the Ancient Babylonian town planners took a great interest in geometry and as far back as the 20th century BCE, they discovered that if you divide a circle’s circumference by its diameter you always get a number in the region of three. Their exact calculation gave this ratio a value of 3.125, which is only half a per cent outside the true value of pi.
We have numerous historical accounts of pi. One of the earliest dates back to the second century BCE and is on an Ancient Egyptian papyrus scroll. This version of pi is in fact a copy of an earlier document and, although not entirely accurate, is within one per cent of its true value at 3.160.
Lecturer: Over the years numerous notable mathematicians and scientists have worked on defining the value of pi. The famous Greek scholar, Archimedes, working in the first century BCE, took a theoretical approach to the study of pi. He devised a system for working out the value of pi, using polygons, that is a flat shape with at least three sides or angles. This is why it is sometimes called ‘Archimedes’ constant’. After Archimedes, mathematicians, scientists and astronomers from India, Persia and China attempted to calculate the pi ratio but it wasn't until the 16th and 17th centuries that the development of infinite series techniques allowed far more precise calculations. It was early the following century that a little-known Welsh mathematician by the name of William Jones, a contemporary and friend of Sir Isaac Newton, actually gave the ratio a name, suggesting pi, after the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet.
The 18th and 19th centuries saw two significant breakthroughs for pi. The first was in 1761, when the Swiss mathematician Johann Lambert established that pi is an irrational number. This means that it cannot be expressed as a fraction of two whole numbers.
The second breakthrough occurred in 1882 when Ferdinand von Lindemann, a mathematician from Germany, demonstrated that pi was transcendental.
This means that it is not possible to find a square with an exactly equal area to a given circle.
It was another German mathematician, Ludolph van Ceulen who. back at the beginning of the 17th century, calculated pi to 35 decimal places. This achievement really set the ball rolling for the sometimes obsessive quest by mathematicians the world over to find the highest number of digits when calculating pi. Some have devoted years of their lives to this cause, with varying degrees of success. William Shanks, who was not even a professional mathematician, spent around 20 years to calculate pi to 707 decimal places.
His achievement was discredited after his death, when it was discovered that he had made a mistake and only the first 527 digits were correct. This error was discovered in 1944 using one of the first digital calculators and the computer era revolutionized mathematicians' ability to find ever-increasing numbers of digits. Throughout the mid-20th century, the record for the number of digits was broken repeatecfly until 1973. when over one million digits was reached. Since then the record has gone on to be broken a number of times, many of which used multi-million pound computers. The record is now around 10 trillion digits. That’s 10 followed by 12 noughts. One of the most notable achievements was by a Frenchman called Fabrice Bellard, who in 2009 developed a new formula to calculate pi. which has subsequently become known as Bellard’s formula’.
This enabled him to calculate pi to 2,700 billion decimal places. What made his achievement so amazing was that the software programmer used his £2,000 desktop computer, taking 131 days to complete the calculation. His record has since been broken a number of times. Finally, one other notable achievement that might interest you was by a research student, Lu Chao, who in 2005 memorized and recited pi to 67,890 digits, without making a single mistake. The feat took the postgraduate just over 24 hours to complete.
So, as you can see pi is a fascinating number. Moving on now, let’s talk a little more about pi’s relevance to everyday life...