Global warming was once considered unlikely to be real. Recently, though, it has become widely accepted as fact. Scientists have calculated that the earth's atmosphere has gotten approximately 0.75 degrees Celsius warmer since 1900. This may not seem like much, but scientists predict an additional increase of between 1 and 7 degrees Celsius by the year 2100. This slight change could be enough to cause disasters such as extreme weather, crop failure, extinctions, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels. It's possible that natural phenomena like volcanoes, solar flares, and shifts in the earth's orbit could be causes of this change. However, scientists now believe that changes in the atmosphere are primarily to blame for the rise in temperatures. Light from the sun enters the earth's atmosphere and warms the air, land, and oceans. As heat radiates back through the atmosphere toward space, some of it is trapped by gases and continues to warm the earth. This is called the greenhouse effect, and the gases that trap the heat are greenhouse gases. Without the greenhouse effect, life couldn't exist on earth. However, rising levels of greenhouse gases are trapping more and more of the sun's heat. As people burn fossil fuels or clear forests, carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is released into the atmosphere. As the oceans warm, water vapor, which is also a greenhouse gas, enters the atmosphere. This combination of pollutants and water vapor creates the powerful and dangerous cycle behind global warming. It is a cycle that, if active measures are not taken, could have serious and deadly consequences for all living things in the near future. 英文朗讀篇目(B
Comic books are with no doubt popular in Japan. There are various kinds of comic books for different types of people. For example, comic books about sports are for boys (such as Slam Dunk), and those about love are for girls (such as Meteor Garden). People who want to forget their work may read a comic book containing interesting stories and characters to relax themselves after work. Moreover, some people prefer comic books which introduce useful knowledge because they think that comic books can also be educational. Not only are comic books popular in Japan, but many people there want to make a fortune and bring themselves good fame by drawing comic books. In Taiwan, at least now, it is difficult to make a living by drawing comic books. In contrary, in Japan, drawing comic books could be a good job because it is very creative and is, most of all, very possible to make you rich if you finally succeed. In Taiwan, ironically, lots of people think that comic books are merely for children. It may take a long time to give the concept a change! 英文朗讀篇目(C
Lotteries are frequently sold as a way both to raise revenues for state governments and, at the same time, potentially terminates illegal numbers games. Many states seeing lottery money as “painless taxation” believe that the lottery is now “the predominant new revenue source for state government,” according to the National Conference of State Legislators. These states also make the rather tortured argument that “people are going to gamble anyway, so better for the state to get the money than organized crime.” This claim is money-grubbing in disguise. As Nelson Rose, professor of law at Whittier College, notes: “If making money is the goal, why doesn’t the state own restaurants, or open its own brothel?” 英文朗讀篇目(D
Studies show that 90% of people who lose weight on a diet gain it all back within a year. There are two reasons for this. First, people don’t want to face the fact that they must eventually change their eating habits. They think they can lose weight and then return to overeating. Ultimately, this yo-yo dieting must fail as it gets harder to lose the weight we have gained. The other reason is that overeaters frequently handle their emotions by overeating. In that sense, the overeating is a way of coping with life as drinking is for alcoholics. Unless they learn another way of handling their feelings, they will be driven back into their addiction. Diet programs that deal only with losing weight and avoid these deeper issues will fail for the vast majority of people. 英文朗讀篇目(E
Parents shouldn't fret over kids' fevers: doctors CHICAGO -- Fever phobia is rampant among parents of young children, according to a myth-busting American Academy of Pediatrics report that advises against treatment every time a kid's temperature inches up. “There's a lot of parental anxiety about fever. It's one of the most common reasons people bring their child to the doctor,” said Dr. Henry Farrar, co-author of the report and an emergency room pediatrician at Arkansas Children's Hospital. Most often, kids' fevers are caused by viruses and they will go away without medicine and without causing any damage. Parents tend to over treat fevers, even waking up their sleeping kids to give them some fever-reducing medicine, Farrar “If they're sleeping, let them sleep,” he said. There is no hard proof that untreated fevers lead to seizures or brain damage; there's also no evidence that lowering fevers reduces illness, according to the report which focused on children older than 3 months. Temperatures lower than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) are not considered a fever. There's no harm in treating a true fever with over-the-counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen. And it makes sense to do so when the child is obviously feeling ill. But the number one reason to use fever-reducing medicine is to make a sick child feel more comfortable, the authors said. 英文朗讀篇目(F
The Martin family took a two-week vacation last summer. The day before the trip, all of the family members helped with the preparations. Mr. Martin asked the neighbors, the Smiths, to check the mailbox every day and take out any letters or advertisements. After lunch, Mrs. Martin took all the extra food out of the refrigerator; she gave some to the Smiths, and she threw away the rest. Paul Martin put several cans of dog food in a bag, and he took his big dog Roxy over to his friend’s house. Mary and Susie Martin cleaned the whole house. They swept and washed the floors in all of the rooms, dusted the furniture, and cleaned the bathroom. That evening, the Martin family ate dinner at a restaurant. When they arrived home, Mr. Martin told the family to take off their clothes and put on T-shirts and shorts. Then his youngest daughter Cindy began to wash and dry everyone’s clothes. “Now,” said Mr. Martin, “we can begin to pack our suitcases for the trip.” 英文朗讀篇目(G
The belief that a rabbit’s foot can bring good luck is one of the famous superstitions. Some experts think that the legend of a lucky rabbit’s foot is from hoodoo, an African-American form of magic, while some people think that a lucky rabbit’s foot can only come from a witch that has changed into a rabbit. It is especially lucky to shoot a rabbit during a full moon when witches are most active. This legend makes people believe that killing a rabbit can bring them good luck because they might actually kill a witch! Although no one can really tell what origin is true, it is important to note that not any foot of the rabbit is considered lucky. In order to be fortunate, the foot must come from the left hind foot of a rabbit. Also, the rabbit must be shot or caught in a cemetery. People who believe in this superstition stick to these rules. Whatever the origin may be, the superstition that a rabbit’s foot is a lucky charm has lasted to present day. Some people still believe that a rabbit’s foot will bring them good luck, even though it is probably just a superstition. It is more likely that the positive attitude caused by this belief creates some good fortune for those who believe it. 英文朗讀篇目(H
Do you know what your biggest weakness is? Everyone has a few things they would like to become better at. However, if you were trying to win something, even your smallest weakness would be serious because it might make you lose. In Greek mythology, the great hero Achilles had his own weakness. His mother, Thetis, was a nymph, while his father, King Peleus, was a human. When Achilles was born, Thetis held him by his heel and dipped him into the river Styx to turn him into a person who would never be hurt. However, she forgot to dip his heel into the water. This small part of his body became Achilles’ only weakness. Years later, Achilles fought against the Trojans in a great war. He killed many strong people and won many fights. However, the day finally arrived when his weakness was found. The Trojan prince Paris shot an arrow at Achilles’ heel. Achilles soon died after he got hurt. Today, one’s major weakness is still called an “Achilles’ heel.” Luckily, our own weaknesses don’t have such a terrible

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