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VOA慢速英语 2008 1219b

时间:2009-01-05 07:50来源:互联网 提供网友:jy03334434   字体: [ ]

Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC1 in VOA Special English.


I'm Doug Johnson. This week:

We listen to holiday music …

Answer a listener question about snowfall in the United States …

And, report about some special lights at a museum that help make the season bright, even underground.


Leo Villareal's Light Sculpture


During the Christmas season in Washington, D.C., you can see bright lights on many homes, buildings and trees. A new work at the National Gallery of Art is adding to this magical season of lights. Artist Leo Villareal has created an artwork with forty-one thousand small flashing lights. "Multiverse" gives museum visitors an exciting way to see and experience art. Barbara Klein tells us more.


Leo Villareal is known for making art that inventively combines light and computer programming. About three years ago, the National Gallery of Art asked him to design a light sculpture for the underground passage connecting the museum's two buildings. His work, called "Multiverse," opened in November.

He transformed the wall and ceiling of the sixty-meter long area into a surface made up of thousands of blinking2 lights. These very small lights are called light-emitting diodes, or L.E.Ds.
"Multiverse" by Leo Villareal

Visiting the tunnel is like entering a magical and mysterious world. The lights surrounding you turn on and off in a complex series of patterns. Sometimes all the lights seem to be on. Then they fade into a new formation3. The lights look like dancing stars in a night sky. Or they look like expanding moons. Or like cell organisms4 dividing into new forms. Visitors walk through the tunnel, or they stand on a moving electric walkway to enjoy the light display. It is also fun to watch other people's reactions to the art. Some people smile with praise. Others stop in their path out of total wonder.

Leo Villareal designed a computer program that controls the lights. He first began exploring light, sound and video while he was studying theater design and sculpture at Yale University in Connecticut. He later continued his studies in new media and computing5 in art school at New York University. He lives in New York City.

Mister6 Villareal has designed other light sculptures for the inside and outside of buildings. But "Multiverse" is his largest and most complex project so far. The work will remain at the National Gallery until November of next year.


Winter Weather


Our VOA listener question comes from Shenzhen, China. Simbo wants to know about snowfall and winter storms in the United States.

Snow falling last week on New Orleans, Louisiana

The United States has an average of one hundred snowstorms7 every year. These storms usually produce snow for two to five days. It has snowed in almost every part of the country at one time or another although it is much less common in the southern states. But, last week as much as twenty centimeters of the white stuff8 fell across the three southern coastal9 states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

In the far northern part of the country, Americans have battled deep snow and powerful winds. Such blizzards10 are common in the area known as the Great Plains of South Dakota and North Dakota. Minnesota also got hit. Temperatures were far below freezing. And the wind has made the snow blow so hard and fast that it was sometimes impossible to see.

In the northeastern United States, people are facing another kind of winter problem. Last week, the New England states were hit by a terrible ice storm. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes because of power outages. Tens of thousands remain without power in the states of New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and New York.

Around the nation, there are reports of at least ten weather related11 deaths. And winter is just beginning. Snow and other winter weather cause hundreds of deaths in the United States every year. Traffic accidents on snowy or icy roads cause many of them. Other deaths are the result of severe cold or heart attacks from extreme physical activity like clearing snow.

Winter storms can be dangerous. People should stay in their homes during snow storms. They should take short rests while clearing snow. And people should have supplies like extra blankets, water, food and special power devices12 before a storm hits. You can learn more about snow on the Special English program Science in the News on December thirtieth.

Christmas Music



African beats, jazzy rhythms14 and country guitars can be found among the sounds of the new Christmas albums this year. So can voices clear as a Christmas bell, smooth as new snow and sweet as a candy cane15.

Steve Ember tells about some of the new musical offerings and plays a few tunes16 as well.




That is the Irish singer, Enya, singing "Spirit of Christmas Past" from her new album, "And Winter Came." Most of the songs have that slow, calm rhythm13 and the sound of new age music.

Not at all true of this next song. The traditional song, "Sleigh Ride," is faster and more fun than ever on Bela Fleck17 and the Flecktones' new album, "Jingle18 All the Way."


Jazz/pop singer Ledisi also has a new Christmas album. She sings some traditional songs but also helped write some new ones. This one is the album's title track, "It's Christmas."


Country singer George Strait's album, "Classic19 Christmas," is very traditional. Here the superstar sings an all-time favorite, "Joy to the World."


We leave you now with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones performing "The Christmas Song."



I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today.

It was written by Dana Demange and Caty Weaver20, who was also the producer. To read the text of this program and download audio21, go to our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com.

Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special English.


1 mosaic CEExS     
  • The sky this morning is a mosaic of blue and white.今天早上的天空是幅蓝白相间的画面。
  • The image mosaic is a troublesome work.图象镶嵌是个麻烦的工作。
2 blinking AxIzsB     
  • Shut the blinking door! 关上那扇该死的门!
  • Her ring is an odd little concern fitted with blinking diamonds. 她的戒指是装有许多闪光钻石的小玩意儿。
3 formation Mi4xb     
  • This is the formation of a new government.这是新政府的构成。
  • The aircraft are flying in formation.飞机编队飞行。
4 organisms dfef3badf2de1f4317a67a23dc17bbc8     
n.有机物( organism的名词复数 );有机体;生物;有机体系
  • The organisms can be divided into discrete categories. 有机体可分为许多互不相联的种类。
  • The cell is the unit of which all living organisms are composed. 细胞是构成一切生物的单位。
5 computing tvBzxs     
  • to work in computing 从事信息处理
  • Back in the dark ages of computing, in about 1980, they started a software company. 早在计算机尚未普及的时代(约1980年),他们就创办了软件公司。
6 mister rnQzwB     
  • Mister Smith is my good friend.史密斯先生是我的好朋友。
  • He styled himself " Mister Clean ".他自称是“清廉先生”。
7 snowstorms dc80f00edf001fdec6cae7149d79ec91     
n.暴风雪,雪崩( snowstorm的名词复数 )
  • However, they can avoid becoming victims of winter snowstorms. 但是,他们有能力避免成为冬季暴风雪的牺牲品。 来自互联网
  • Snowstorms played hell with the flow of city traffic. 暴风雪严重地影响了市内交通。 来自互联网
8 stuff Itsw1     
  • We could supply you with the stuff in the raw tomorrow.明天我们可以供应你原材料。
  • He is not the stuff.他不是这个材料。
9 coastal WWiyh     
  • The ocean waves are slowly eating away the coastal rocks.大海的波浪慢慢地侵蚀着岸边的岩石。
  • This country will fortify the coastal areas.该国将加强沿海地区的防御。
10 blizzards 1471207223cd592610a59597189c4c03     
暴风雪( blizzard的名词复数 ); 暴风雪似的一阵,大量(或大批)
  • Even in the summertime we might be struck by blizzards. 甚至在夏天,我们也可能受到暴风雪的袭击。
  • Blizzards battered Britain for the third day. 大风雪袭击英国已进入第三天。
11 related vkGzSv     
  • I am not related to him in any way.我和他无任何关系。
  • We spent days going through all related reference material.我们花了好多天功夫查阅所有有关的参考资料。
12 devices e0212e54ec3a2a120ca0d321b3a60c78     
n.设备;装置( device的名词复数 );花招;(为实现某种目的的)计划;手段
  • electrical labour-saving devices around the home 节省劳力的各种家用电器
  • modern labour-saving devices such as washing machines and dishwashers 诸如洗衣机和洗碗机之类的现代化省力设备
13 rhythm hCHzx     
  • He has an ear for the rhythm of Irish speech.他对爱尔兰语的节奏很敏感。
  • His poem has a pleasing rhythm.他的诗有和谐的韵律。
14 rhythms 0250aacb232e3ea3b1313a0ce838eaa1     
节奏( rhythm的名词复数 ); 规则变化; 规律; 节律
  • Double rhythms, resounding through the lyric depiction and connecting with each other, indicate the thespian place of mankind and the cognition of the writer to this thespian place. 这双重旋律互为表里,表明了人类的某种悲剧性处境以及作家对这种悲剧性处境的感受和认识。
  • Stylistically, the term implies loose, rapid painthandling, large rhythms and broken colour. 从风格上来说,这个名称意味着松散而迅速的绘画笔触,奔放的格调,使用强烈配色。
15 cane RsNzT     
  • This sugar cane is quite a sweet and juicy.这甘蔗既甜又多汁。
  • English schoolmasters used to cane the boys as a punishment.英国小学老师过去常用教鞭打男学生作为惩罚。
16 tunes 175b0afea09410c65d28e4b62c406c21     
n.曲调,曲子( tune的名词复数 )v.调音( tune的第三人称单数 );调整;(给收音机、电视等)调谐;使协调
  • a potpourri of tunes 乐曲集锦
  • When things get a bit too much, she simply tunes out temporarily. 碰到事情太棘手时,她干脆暂时撒手不管。 来自《简明英汉词典》
17 fleck AlPyc     
n.斑点,微粒 vt.使有斑点,使成斑驳
  • The garlic moss has no the yellow fleck and other virus. 蒜苔无黄斑点及其它病毒。
  • His coat is blue with a grey fleck.他的上衣是蓝色的,上面带有灰色的斑点。
18 jingle RaizA     
  • The key fell on the ground with a jingle.钥匙叮当落地。
  • The knives and forks set up their regular jingle.刀叉发出常有的叮当声。
19 classic gVpyK     
  • The novel is regarded as one of the classic works.这篇小说被公认为是最优秀的作品之一。
  • The football match was a classic.那场足球比赛堪称典范。
20 weaver LgWwd     
  • She was a fast weaver and the cloth was very good.她织布织得很快,而且布的质量很好。
  • The eager weaver did not notice my confusion.热心的纺织工人没有注意到我的狼狈相。
21 audio 9yOziJ     
  • Often,the meeting is recorded on audio or video media for later reference.通常这种会议会以视频或者音频形式记录下来,供以后查阅。
  • You don't even have to pay for audio programs.你大可不必为自己听这些节目付费。
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