Watson’s World News No. 10/2010

To read the articles please enlarge them by clicking on the individual pages.

Full issue in pdf  Watson’s World News no. 10

The Comical Confusion* of the Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth games are a major* event.*  With up to 4,000 athletes from 70 nations and territories which are members* of the British Commonwealth, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, India, South Africa and many others, they take place every four years.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games, which finished October 14th, were in Delhi, India.
Although the event ended  well, there were many problems along the way. There were problems of corruption and bad construction of the athletes village, and complaints* from residents* of Delhi and environmental* groups.  That was just the beginning.

Langur Monkeys were employed to keep other animals, including smaller monkeys, out of the athletes village.  Also, there were problems with wild dogs along the marathon route.
Several swimmers got diarrhea,* which is locally known as “Delhi Belly.”

Shera the Tiger Welcomed Visitors to the Games

Snakes were found in one South African athlete’s room, and elsewhere throughout the village.  Authorities called in a wildlife organization, and snake charmers,* to get rid of* them.

As at the Barcelona Olympics, free condoms were distributed to the athletes.  This caused* plumbing* problems as thousands of them were flushed down* toilets in the first week. Director of the games Michael Fennel said: “That is a very positive story.  The athletes are being responsible.”

Vocabulary:
confusion – zmatek
major – významnější
event – akce
member – člen
complaint – stížnost
resident – obyvatel
environmental – ekologický
diarrhea – průjem
snake charmer – krotitel hadů
get rid of – zbavit se
cause – způsobit
plumbing – kanalizace
be flushed down – být
spláchnut (do záchodu)

Question for discussion:
Have you ever been to India?

Russians Plan Space* Hotel

A Russian company called Orbital Technologies has announced* that it will establish* a four room hotel in space by 2016. Some tenants* may be scientists doing research* for private companies, but the hotel is also for tourists.

A Beautiful Viewourists.

“Our planned module inside will not remind you of the ISS (International Space Station).  A hotel should be comfortable inside and it will be possible to look at the Earth through large windows,” Sergei Kostenko, chief executive of Orbital Technologies, said.

He also said the company may hire* celebrity chefs to prepare the meals before they are sent into space. The hotel will have four rooms and sleeping space for seven people.

Vocabulary:
space – vesmírný, vesmír; prostor
announce – oznámit
establish – zřídit
tenant – nájemce
research – výzkum
hire – najmout
remind – připomínat

Question for discussion:
Would you go there if you had the money?

Sharapova Engaged*

The Happy Couple

Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, who was once ranked* number 1 in the world, is engaged to be married.
The lucky man is Slovenian born Los Angeles Lakers Guard Sasha Vujajic.  He proposed, and gave her a ring, on the one year anniversary of the day they first met, at a mutual* friend’s barbecue.
“I had to do it like a gentleman,” Vujajic said.  “I think she liked it.  She said yes.”
Sharapova is 23 and Vujajic is 26.
She is currently* rated* number 14 in the world.

Vocabulary:
engaged – zasnoubený
be ranked – být na žebříčku
propose – požádat o ruku
mutual – společný
currently – v současné době
be rated – být ohodnocen

Question for discussion:
What sport will their children play?

Disposable* Shoes Will Save Sore* Feet

Ladies, you are all familiar with the problem.  Perhaps you have been wearing high heels* all day at work, or perhaps out at a fancy* club.  Your feet hurt and you still have a long way to go before you get home.
Isabella Fendt, a German student, thinks she has a solution.*  She has started a company called “Ballerinas to go”  which sells comfortable* shoes from vending machines.*  The shoes are flat heeled* and soft, similar to what ballet dancers wear.
Four dance clubs in Munich have already installed the machines, for women whose feet are sore from dancing in high heels.
The “disposable” shoes cost 7 euros a pair, and come with a bag to put your other shoes in.
Vocabulary:
disposable – jednorázový
sore – bolavý
heel – podpatek
fancy – trendy
solution – řešení
comfortable – pohodlný
vending machine – prodejní automat
flat heeled – rovný bez podpatků
Question for discussion:
Would you spend 7 euros to save your feet?

Laptop Stolen,* Data Returned

A professor at Umea University in Sweden recently had his laptop stolen while he was in the laundry room* of his apartment building.
“It’s my life,” he said.  “I have documented everything in it that has happened* in the last 10 years and beyond.*  When people lose their computers and cameras, it is not the gadget* itself that is the most important.  The content* is often irreplaceable.*”
However, a week later the  contents of the laptop – which would have taken several hours to download – were returned to him on a USB stick.
“I am very happy,” the professor said.  “This story makes me feel hope for humanity.*”
Vocabulary:
stolen – ukradený
laundry room – prádelna
happen – stát se
beyond – i později
gadget – přístroj
content – obsah
irreplaceable – nenahraditelný
humanity – lidstvo
Question for discussion:
Do you have a backup for your data?

“Angel of the Gap” Spends 40 Years Preventing* Suicides*

Don and Moya Richie

Don Richie and his wife Moya bought their house because  they loved the spectacular view.  From there you can see Sydney Harbor and “the Gap” which is what they call the tall sandstone* cliffs* near the harbor’s* mouth.*
However, the Gap is Australia’s number one spot* for suicides.  The first was in 1863 when a woman named Anne Harrison jumped from the cliff’s edge.*  Now, an average* of 50 people a year end their lives there.
That number would be higher if not for Don Richie.  He watches the cliffs from his window and if he sees someone about to jump, he goes over and invites them to come home with him for a cup of tea.  Locals* call him “the angel of the gap,” but he is modest* about his achievements.*  “Now I’m an old angel,” Richie, who is in his 80s, said.  “I used to sell kitchen scales* and bacon cutters.  Then I was state manager of a life insurance company.  At the Gap I’m trying to sell people life.”

Vocabulary:
prevent – zabránit
suicide – sebevražda
sandstone – pískovcový
cliff – útes
harbor – přístav
mouth – ústí
spot – místo
edge – okraj
average – průměr
local – místní
modest – skromný
achievement – úspěch
scale – váha

Question for discussion:
What is the best way to commit suicide?