Unit1：Love Without Limitations
My brother, Jimmy, did not get enough oxygen during a difficult delivery, leaving him with brain damage, and two years later I was born. Since then, my life revolved around my brother's. Accompanying my growing up was always "go out and play and take your brother with you". I couldn't go anywhere without him, so I urged the neighborhood kids to come to my house for some out-of-control kid-centered fun.
My mother taught Jimmy practical things like how to brush his teeth or put on a belt. My father, a saint, simply held the house together with his patience and understanding. I was in charge outside where I administered justice by tracking down the parents of the kids who picked on my brother, and telling on them.
My father and Jimmy were inseparable. They ate breakfast together and on weekdays drove off to the navy shipping center every morning where they both worked—Jimmy unloaded color-coded boxes. At night after dinner, they would talk and play games late into the evening. They even whistled the same tunes.
So when my father died of a heart attack in 1991, Jimmy was a wreck, beneath his careful disguise. He was simply in disbelief. Usually very agreeable, he now quit speaking altogether and no amount of words could penetrate the vacant expression he wore on his face. I hired someone to live with him and drive him to work, but no matter how much I tried to make things stay the same, even Jimmy grasped that the world he'd known was gone. One day I asked, "You miss Dad, don't you?" His lips quivered and then he asked, "What do you think, Margaret? He was my best friend." Our tears began to flow.
My mother died of lung cancer six months later and I alone was left to look after Jimmy.
He didn't adjust to going to work without my father right away, so he came and lived with me in New York City for a while. He went wherever I went and seemed to adjust pretty well. Still, Jimmy longed to live in my parents' house and work at his old job and I pledged to help him return. Eventually, I was able to work it out. He has lived there for 11 years now with many different caretakers and blossomed on his own. He has become essential to the neighborhood. When you have any mail to be picked up or your dog needs walking, he is your man.
My mother was right, of course: It was possible to have a home with room for both his limitations and my ambitions. In fact, caring for someone who loves as deeply and appreciates my efforts as much as Jimmy does has enriched my life more than anything else ever could have.
This hit home a few days after the September 11th disaster on Jimmy's 57th birthday. I had a party for him in my home in New York, but none of our family could join us because travel was difficult and they were still reckoning with the sheer terror the disaster had brought. I called on my faithful friends to help make it a merry and festive occasion, ignoring the fact that most of them were emotionally drained and exhausted. Instead of the customary "No gifts, please", I shouted, "Gifts! Please!"
My friends—people Jimmy had come to know over the years—brought the ideal presents: country music CDs, a sweatshirt, one leather belt with "J-I-M-M-Y" on it, a knitted wool hat and a cowboy costume. The evening led up to the gifts and then the chocolate cake from his favorite bakery, and of course the ceremony wasn't complete without the singing.
A thousand times Jimmy asked, "Is it time for the cake yet?" After dinner and the gifts Jimmy could no longer be restrained. He anxiously waited for the candles to be lit and then blew them out with one long breath as we all sang "Happy Birthday". Jimmy wasn't satisfied with our effort, though. He jumped up on the chair and
stood erect pointing both index fingers into the air to conduct us and yelled, "One... more... time!" We sang with all of the energy left in our souls and when we were finished he put both his thumbs up and shouted, "That was super!"
We had wanted to let him know that no matter how difficult things got in the world, there would always be people who cared about him. We ended up reminding ourselves instead. For Jimmy, the love with which we sang was a welcome bonus, but mostly he had just wanted to see everyone else happy again.
Just as my father's death had changed Jimmy's world overnight, September 11th changed our lives; the world we'd known was gone. But, as we sang for Jimmy and held each other tight afterward praying for peace around the world, we were reminded that the constant love and support of our friends and family would get us through whatever life might present. The simplicity with which Jimmy had reconciled everything for us should not have been surprising. There had never been any limitations to what Jimmy's love could accomplish.
Unit2：Iron and the Effects of Exercise Sports medicine experts have observed for years that endurance athletes, particularly females, frequently have iron deficiencies. Now a new study by a team of Purdue University researchers suggests that even moderate exercise may lead to reduced iron in the blood of women.
"We found that women who were normally inactive and then started a program of moderate exercise showed evidence of iron loss," says Roseanne M. Lyle, associate professor at Purdue. Her study of 62 formerly inactive women who began exercising three times a week for six months was published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
"Women who consumed additional meat or took iron supplements were able to bounce back," she notes. "But the new exercisers who followed their normal diet showed a decrease in iron levels."
Iron deficiency is very common among women in general, affecting one in four female teenagers and one in five women aged 18 to 45, respectively. But the ratio is even greater among active women, affecting up to 80 percent of female endurance athletes. This means, Lyle says, that "too many women ignore the amount of iron they take in". Women of childbearing age are at greatest risk, since their monthly bleeding is a major source of iron loss. Plus, many health-conscious women increase their risk by rejecting red meat, which contains the most easily absorbed form of iron. And because women often restrict their diet in an effort to control weight, they may not consume enough iron-rich food, and are liable to experience a deficiency.
"The average woman takes in only two thirds of the recommended daily allowance of iron," notes another expert. "For a woman who already has a poor iron status, any additional iron loss from exercise may be enough to tip her over the edge into a more serious deficiency," notes the expert.
Exercise can result in iron loss through a variety of mechanisms. Some iron is lost in sweat, and, for unknown reasons, intense endurance exercise is sometimes associated with bleeding of the digestive system. Athletes in high-impact sports such as running may also lose iron through a phenomenon where small blood vessels in the feet leak blood.
There are three stages of iron deficiency. The first and most common is having low iron reserves, a condition that typically has no symptoms. Fatigue and poor performance may begin to appear in the second stage of deficiency, when not enough iron is present to form the molecules of blood protein that transport oxygen to the working muscles. In the third and final stage, people often feel weak, tired, and out of breath—and exercise performance is severely compromised.
"People think that if they're not at the third stage, nothing is wrong, but that's not true," says John L. Beard, who helped design the Purdue study. "You're not in stage 3 until your iron reserves go to zero, and if you wait until that point, you're in trouble."
However, most people with low iron reserves don't know they have a deficiency, because traditional methods of calculating the amount of iron in blood (by checking levels of the blood protein that transports oxygen) are not sufficient, Beard states. Instead, it's important to check levels of a different compound, which indicate the amount of storage of iron in the blood. While active, childbearing age women are most likely to have low iron stores, he notes, "Men are not safe, especially if they don't eat meat and have a high level of physical activity." (An estimated 15 percent of male long distance runners have low iron stores.) Beard and other experts say it's advisable for people in these groups to have a yearly blood test to check blood iron reserves.
If iron levels are low, talk with a physician to see if the deficiency should be corrected by modifying your diet or by taking supplements. In general, it's better to undo the problem by adding more iron-rich foods to the diet, because iron supplements can have serious shortcomings. Supplements may produce a feeling of wanting to throw up, and may be poisonous in some cases. The best sources of iron, and the only sources of the form of iron most readily absorbed by the body, are meat, chicken, and fish. Good sources of other forms of iron include dates, beans, and some leafy green vegetables.
"Select breads and cereals with the words 'iron-added' on the label," writes sports diet expert Nancy Clark. "This added iron supplements the small amount that naturally occurs in grains. Eat these foods with plentiful Vitamin C (for example, drink orange juice with cereal or put a tomato on a sandwich) to enhance the amount of iron absorbed." Clark also recommends cooking in iron pans, as food can derive iron from the pan during the cooking process. "The iron content of tomato sauce cooked in an iron pot for three hours showed a striking increase, the level going up nearly 30 times," she writes. And people who are likely to have low iron should avoid drinking coffee or tea with meals, she says, since substances in these drinks can interfere with iron being absorbed into the body.
"Active women need to be a lot more careful about their food choices," sums up Purdue's Lyle. "If you pay attention to warning signs before iron reserves are gone, you can remedy the deficiency before it really becomes a problem."
Unit3：Where Principles Come First
The Hyde School operates on the principle that if you teach students the merit of such values as truth, courage, integrity, leadership, curiosity and concern, then academic achievement naturally follows. Hyde School founder Joseph Gauld claims success with the program at the $18,000-a-year high school in Bath, Maine, which has received considerable publicity for its work with troubled youngsters.
"We don't see ourselves as a school for a type of kid," says Malcolm Gauld, Joseph's son, who graduated from Hyde and is now headmaster. "We see ourselves as preparing kids for a way of life—by cultivating a comprehensive set of principles that can affect all kids."
Now, Joe Gauld is trying to spread his controversial Character First idea to public, inner-city schools willing to use the tax dollars spent on the traditional program for the new approach. The first Hyde public school program opened in September 1992. Within months the program was suspended. Teachers protested the program's demands and the strain associated with more intense work.
This fall, the Hyde Foundation is scheduled to begin a preliminary public school program in Baltimore. Teachers will be trained to later work throughout the entire Baltimore system. Other US school managers are eyeing the
program, too. Last fall, the Hyde Foundation opened a magnet program within a public high school in the suburbs of New Haven, Connecticut, over parents' protests. The community feared the school would attract inner-city minority and troubled students.
As in Maine, the quest for truth is also widespread at the school in Connecticut. In one English class, the 11 students spend the last five minutes in an energetic exchange evaluating their class performance for the day on a 1-10 scale.
"I get a 10."
"I challenge that. You didn't do either your grammar or your spelling homework."
"OK, a seven."
"You ought to get a six."
"Wait, I put my best effort forth here."
"Yeah, but you didn't ask questions today."
Explaining his approach to education, Joe Gauld says the conventional education system cannot be reformed. He notes "no amount of change" with the horse and carriage "will produce an automobile". The Hyde School assumes "every human being has a unique potential" that is based on character, not intelligence or wealth. Conscience and hard work are valued. Success is measured by growth, not academic achievement. Students are required to take responsibility for each other. To avoid the controversy of other character programs used in US schools, Gauld says the concept of doing your best has nothing to do with forcing the students to accept a particular set of morals or religious values.
The Hyde curriculum is similar to conventional schools that provide preparation for college, complete with English, history, math and science. But all students are required to take performing arts and sports, and provide a community service. For each course, students get a grade for academic achievement and for "best effort". At Bath, 97% of the graduates attend four-year colleges.
Commitment among parents is a key ingredient in the Hyde mixture. For the student to gain admission, parents also must agree to accept and demonstrate the school's philosophies and outlook. The parents agree in writing to meet monthly in one of 20 regional groups, go to a yearly three-day regional retreat, and spend at least three times a year in workshops, discussion groups and seminars at Bath. Parents of Maine students have an attendance rate of 95% in the many sessions. Joe and Malcolm Gauld both say children tend to do their utmost when they see their parents making similar efforts. The biggest obstacle for many parents, they say, is to realize their own weaknesses.
The process for public school parents is still being worked out, with a lot more difficulty because it is difficult to convince parents that it is worthwhile for them to participate. Of the 100 students enrolled in New Haven, about 30% of the parents attend special meetings. The low attendance is in spite of commitments they made at the outset of the program when Hyde officials interviewed 300 families.
Once the problems are worked out, Hyde should work well in public schools, says a teacher at Bath who taught for 14 years in public schools. He is optimistic that once parents make a commitment to the program, they will be daily role models for their children, unlike parents whose children are in boarding schools.
One former inner-city high school teacher who now works in the New Haven program, says teachers also benefit. "Here we really begin to focus on having a fruitful relationship with each student. Our focus is really about
teacher to student and then we together deal with the... academics. In the traditional high school setting, it's teacher to the material and then to the student." The teacher-student relationship is taken even further at Hyde. Faculty evaluations are conducted by the students.
Jimmy DiBattista, 19, is amazed he will graduate this May from the Bath campus and plans to attend a university. Years ago, he had seen his future as "jail, not college". DiBattista remembers his first days at Hyde.
"When I came here, I insulted and cursed everybody. Every other school was, 'Get out, we don't want to deal with you.' I came here and they said, 'We kind of like that spirit. We don't like it with the negative attitudes. We want to turn that spirit positive.'"
Unit4：Five Famous Symbols of American Culture
The Statue of Liberty
In the mid-1870s, French artist Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was working on an enormous project called Liberty Enlightening the World, a monument celebrating US independence and the France-America alliance. At the same time, he was in love with a woman whom he had met in Canada. His mother could not approve of her son's affection for a woman she had never met, but Bartholdi went ahead and married his love in 1876.
That same year Bartholdi had assembled the statue's right arm and torch, and displayed them in Philadelphia. It is said that he had used his wife's arm as the model, but felt her face was too beautiful for the statue. He needed someone whose face represented suffering yet strength, someone more severe than beautiful. He chose his mother.
The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on an island in Upper New York Bay in 1886. It had his mother's face and his wife's body, but Bartholdi called it "my daughter, Liberty".
Before all the different types of Barbie dolls for sale now, there was just a single Barbie. Actually, her name was Barbara.
Barbara Handler was the daughter of Elliot and Ruth Handler, co-founders of the Mattel Toy Company. Ruth came up with the idea for Barbie after watching her daughter play with paper dolls. The three-dimensional model for Barbie was a German doll—a joke gift for adults described as having the appearance of "a woman who sold sex". Mattel refashioned the doll into a decent, all-American—although with an exaggerated breast size—version and named it after Barbara, who was then a teenager.
Since her introduction in 1959, Barbie has become the universally recognized Queen of the Dolls. Mattel says the average American girl owns ten Barbie dolls, and two are sold somewhere in the world every second.
Now more than sixty years old, Barbara—who declines interviews but is said to have loved the doll—may be the most famous unknown figure on the planet.
Barbie's boyfriend, Ken, was introduced in 1961 and named after Barbara's brother. The real Ken, who died in 1994, was disgusted by the doll that made his family famous. "I don't want my children to play with it," he said in 1993.
Grant Wood instantly rose to fame in 1930 with his painting American Gothic, an often-copied interpretation of the solemn pride of American farmers. The painting shows a serious-looking man and a woman standing in front of a farmhouse. He was strongly influenced by medieval artists and inspired by the Gothic window of an old
farmhouse, but the faces in his composition were what captured the world's attention.
Wood liked to paint faces he knew well. For the grave farmer he used his dentist, a sour-looking man. For the woman standing alongside him, the artist chose his sister, Nan. He stretched the models' necks a bit, but there was no doubt who posed for the portrait.
Nan later remarked that the fame she gained from American Gothic saved her from a very boring life.
The Buffalo Nickel
Today, American coins honor prominent figures of the US government—mostly famous former presidents. But the Buffalo nickel, produced from 1913 to 1938, honored a pair of connected tragedies from the settlement of the American frontier—the destruction of the buffalo herds and the American Indians.
While white people had previously been used as models for most American coins, famed artist James Earle Fraser went against tradition by using three actual American Indians as models for his creation.
For the buffalo on the other side, since buffalo no longer wandered about the great grasslands, Fraser was forced to sketch an aging buffalo from New York City's Central Park Zoo. Two years later, in 1915, this animal was sold for $100 and killed for meat, a hide, and a wall decoration made from its horns.
Fourteen-year-old Sam Wilson ran away from home to join his father and older brothers in the fight to liberate the American colonies from the British during the American Revolution. At age 23, he started a meat-packing business and earned a reputation for being honest and hard-working.
During a later war in 1812, Wilson gained a position inspecting meat for US Army forces, working with a man who had signed a contract with the government to provide meat to the army. Barrels of meat supplied to the army were stamped "EA-US", identifying the company (EA) and the country of origin (US). According to one story, when a government official visited the plant and asked about the letters, a creative employee told him "US" was short for "Uncle Sam" Wilson. Soon soldiers were saying all Army supplies were from "Uncle Sam".
After the war, a character called Uncle Sam began appearing in political cartoons, his form evolving from an earlier cartoon character called Brother Jonathan that was popular during the American Revolution. Uncle Sam soon replaced Brother Jonathan as American's most popular symbol. The most enduring portrait of Uncle Sam was created by artist James Montgomery Flagg in his famous army recruiting posters of World Wars I and II. That version—a tall man with white hair and a small white beard on his chin, a dark blue coat and a tall hat with stars on it—was a self-portrait of Flagg.
I have never seen Mrs. Clark before, but I know from her medical chart and the report I received from the preceding shift that tonight she will die.
The only light in her room is coming from a piece of medical equipment, which is flashing its red light as if in warning. As I stand there, the smell hits my nose, and I close my eyes as I remember the smell of decay from past experience. In my mouth I have a sour, vinegar taste coming from the pit of my stomach. I reach for the light switch, and as it silently lights the scene, I return to the bed to observe the patient with an unemotional, medical eye.
Mrs. Clark is dying. She lies motionless: The head seems unusually large on a skeleton body; the skin is dark yellow and hangs loosely around exaggerated bones that not even a blanket can hide; the right arm lies straight out
at the side, taped cruelly to a board to secure a needle so that fluid may drip in; the left arm is across the sunken chest, which rises and falls with the uneven breaths.
I reach for the long, thin fingers that are lying on the chest. They are ice-cold, and I quickly move to the wrist and feel for the faint pulse. Mrs. Clark's eyes open somewhat as her head turns toward me slightly. I bend close to her and scarcely hear as she whispers, "Water". Taking a glass of water from the table, I put my finger over the end of the straw and allow a few drops of the cool moisture to slide into her mouth and ease her thirst. She makes no attempt to swallow; there is just not enough strength. "More," the dry voice says, and we repeat the procedure. This time she does manage to swallow some liquid and weakly says, "Thank, you."
She is too weak for conversation, so without asking, I go about providing for her needs. Picking her up in my arms like a child, I turn her on her side. Naked, except for a light hospital gown, she is so very small and light that she seems like a victim of some terrible famine. I remove the lid from a jar of skin cream and put some on the palm
of my hand. Carefully, to avoid injuring her, I rub cream into the yellow skin, which rolls freely over the bones, feeling perfectly the outline of each bone in the back. Placing a pillow between her legs, I notice that these too are ice-cold, and not until I run my hand up over her knees do I feel any of the life-giving warmth of blood.
When I am finished, I pull a chair up beside the bed to face her and, taking her free hand between mine, again notice the long, thin fingers. Graceful. I wonder briefly if she has any family, and then I see that there are neither flowers, nor pictures of rainbows and butterflies drawn by children, nor cards. There is no hint in the room anywhere that this is a person who is loved. As though she is a mind reader, Mrs. Clark answers my thoughts and quietly tells me, "I sent ... my family... home... tonight... didn't want... them... to see..." Having spent her last ounce of strength she cannot go on, but I have understood what she has done. Not knowing what to say, I say nothing. Again she seems to sense my thoughts, "You... stay..."
Time seems to stand still. In the total silence, I feel my own pulse quicken and hear my breathing as it begins to match hers, breath for uneven breath. Our eyes meet and somehow, together, we become aware that this is a special moment between two human beings... Her long fingers curl easily around my hand and I nod my head slowly, smiling. Without words, through yellowed eyes, I receive my thank-you and her eyes slowly close.
Some unknown interval of time passes before her eyes open again, only this time there is no response in them, just a blank stare. Without warning, her shallow breathing stops, and within a few moments, the faint pulse is also gone. One single tear flows from her left eye, across the cheek and down onto the pillow. I begin to cry quietly. There is a swell of emotion within me for this stranger who so quickly came into and went from my life. Her suffering is done, yet so is the life. Slowly, still holding her hand, I become aware that I do not mind this emotional battle, that in fact, it was a privilege she has allowed me, and I would do it again, gladly. Mrs. Clark spared her family an episode that perhaps they were not equipped to handle and instead shared it with me. She had not wanted to have her family see her die, yet she did not want to die alone. No one should die alone, and I am glad I was there for her.
Two days later, I read about Mrs. Clark in the newspaper. She was the mother of seven, grandmother of eighteen, an active member of her church, a leader of volunteer associations in her community, a concert piano player, and a piano teacher for over thirty years.
Yes, they were long and graceful fingers.
Unit6：How to Prepare for Earthquakes Ideally, people would like to know when an earthquake is going to happen and how bad it will be. In both Japan and China, people have long believed that earthquakes can be forecast. In Japan, scientists have wired the Earth and sea to detect movements. The Chinese have traditionally watched animals and plants for warning signs of
earthquakes. For example, the Chinese have noted that before an earthquake, hens' behavior changes—they refuse to enter their cages at night. They have also noticed that snakes come out of the ground to freeze to death and that dogs bark a lot, even normally quiet dogs. Before the Hanshin earthquake in Japan, there were reports of large schools of fish swimming near the surface of the water. Certain birds, like pigeons, also seemed to be especially noisy and were reported to be flying in unusual patterns before the earthquake. Perhaps most interesting, and most easily measured, is a chemical change in ground water before a quake. Experimental data seem to indicate that the amount of radon (Rn) in the water under the surface of the Earth waxes before an earthquake.
People would also like to be able to prevent the great destruction of property caused by earthquakes. After all, most of the people who die in earthquakes are killed by falling buildings. Therefore, building structures that can withstand the power of earthquakes is a major concern. Steel seems to be the best material, but not if it is welded to form a rigid structure. Many new structures are built with a new type of steel joint, an I-joint, which appears to be the most durable type of joint. These joints of steel can move without breaking. Also, to prevent property damage, architects now design buildings so that the building's columns and horizontal beams are of equal strength, and vertical support columns are inserted deep into solid soil. In addition, many new houses have relatively light roofs and strong walls. Concrete pillars for highway bridges that previously only had steel rods inside are now enclosed in steel.
Besides working to improve building structures, people in areas where earthquakes are common need to prepare for the possibility of a great earthquake. They should regularly check and reinforce their homes, place heavy objects in low positions, attach cupboards and cabinets to walls, and fasten doors so that they will not open accidentally during an earthquake.
In addition to preparing their houses, people in these regions need to prepare themselves. They should have supplies of water and food at home and at work. It is best to store several gallons of water per person. It is also important to have something that can clean water and kill bacteria, so water from other sources can be made safe to drink. Store one week's food for each person. Earthquake survival supplies include a radio receiver, a torch, extra batteries, first aid supplies, a spade, a tent, some rope, and warm clothing. Experts also suggest the following: Keep a fire extinguisher handy. You should have one at home, at work, and in your car (if you have one). The fire extinguisher should be able to put out any type of fire. Have the proper tools to turn off gas and water lines if necessary. Arrange an auxiliary cooking and heating source that can be used outside. One alternative is a portable camp stove with small cans of gas. Keep a pair of heavy, comfortable shoes or boots in your home, at work, and in your vehicle. If there is an earthquake, there will be lots of fragments of broken glass. Light shoes will not protect your feet as well as heavy shoes will.
Every family needs to have earthquake emergency plans. How will family members leave the area during the chaos following an earthquake? Everyone should agree on a meeting point outside of the area—perhaps in a town several miles away. Also important is an arrangement for family members to communicate if there is an earthquake. If an earthquake happens in a large city, many of the telephone lines within the city are likely to be down. The few remaining working lines will be busy with the calls that naturally occur after a disaster and it will be difficult to call from one part of the city to another. It might, however, be possible to call outside the city. A sensible arrangement is to have all of the members of the family call to check in with a friend or relative who lives more than a hundred miles away.
Although scientists still cannot predict earthquakes, they are learning a great deal about how the large plates in the Earth's crust move, the stresses between plates, how earthquakes work, and the general probability that a given place will have an earthquake. Someday soon it may actually become possible to predict earthquakes with accuracy. However, even if prediction becomes possible, people who live in areas where earthquakes are a common occurrence will still have to do their best to prevent disasters by building structures that are resistant to ground movement and
by being personally prepared. These precautions can make a great difference in saving lives and preventing the loss of homes. Education concerning how to survive an earthquake should be a major emphasis for all government programs and earthquake-related research projects.
"When I was 19, I caught sight of the future and based my career on what I saw. I turned out to have been right."—Bill Gates
He's the most famous businessman and the richest man in the world—worth an estimated $40 billion in 1997. Without a doubt, Bill Gates belongs in the same class as Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and other great minds who changed the world. The self-described "hacker" has dominated the personal computing revolution and modernized the whole world in the process. Indeed, his classification into any other rank than this would seriously understate his impact on the world.
Gates' success stems from his personality: an unbelievable and at times frightening blend of high-voltage brilliance, drive and competitiveness. When the chairman and CEO walks through the corridors of Microsoft, it is like a switch being turned on; everything and everyone around him is charged with 10,000 volts of electricity. Gates sets the example and Microsoft employees follow. The schedule he keeps is one hint as to what he expects from his employees. It's not unusual for the "dean" of the "Microsoft campus" to put in 16-hour days.
Indeed, if there's one thing that distinguishes the Gates style, it is his time management skills. Conservation of time, energy, and focus are his hallmarks. He moves between playing the role of international spokesman for the age of technology and planning business strategy back at headquarters, getting the maximum amount of work possible out of every minute. Always punctual and always in high gear, he typically leaves only the tiniest cracks in the day for eating, talking to friends or recreation. The joke around Microsoft is that his receptionist is the hardest working person in the world. In fact, he has several receptionists. He probably needs one just to arrange his travel plans and visas to foreign countries.
On the subject of travel, he has become known for saving money and time as well. On business trips, he flies commercial whenever possible and in the interest of time, he never checks his baggage. His hosts also find they save money when he is in town. There is no time in his schedule for tourism of any kind, no excursions or sightseeing trips are on his agenda. It's just work, work, work.
Another trait that makes him so unusual is his incredible "multitasking" ability. At his desk, he works on two computers, one with multiple frames that sequence data streaming in from the Internet, and the other handling the hundreds of e-mail messages and letters he receives. He may even review data while conducting a meeting using a videophone.
Gates runs his company mainly through three methods: He bats out a hundred or more e-mail messages a day (and night); he meets every month or so with his top management panel of experts and advisers; and most importantly, he holds two or three small review meetings a day with a procession of teams working on the company's various products. He doesn't address anyone by name or hand out too much praise, but he does go round the table clockwise and listens carefully to everyone who has an idea. When he is unclear about something, he quizzes and challenges his staff. "Educate me on that," he might say, looking to make clear a vague statement. Every decision he makes is based on his knowledge of its merits. He doesn't need to rely on personal politics.
When Bill Gates was in the sixth grade, his parents sent him to see a psychologist. After a year of sessions and tests, the psychologist reached his conclusion. "You're going to lose," he told Gates' mother Mary. "You had better just adjust to it because there's no use trying to beat him." In the 22 years since he dropped out of Harvard to conquer the world
of computer operating systems and application software, he has been deadly for competitors trying to claw their way into the market.
In early 1975, at the age of 19, while at Harvard University, he and Paul Allen wrote an interpreter for the
programming language used by MITS Altair, the first commercially available personal computer. It was their intense relationship—Gates the workaholic code writer and competitor, Allen the dreamy visionary—that laid the first brick in the foundation of Microsoft.
In 1976, Gates began licensing Microsoft's software products directly to computer manufacturers, which dramatically increased Microsoft's profits. Although MITS soon folded, Microsoft had already attracted new customers including, at the time, small hardware firms like Apple, Commodore and Tandy.
In 1980, IBM invited Microsoft to write a series of programming languages for its new personal computer, the IBM PC. Gates offered that Microsoft could also produce the operating systems (MS-DOS). The IBM PC and MS-DOS were bundled together and announced to the public in August 1981. Throughout the 1980s Microsoft moved steadily upward and by the 1990s MS-DOS had been exported around the world and had become the dominant software platform. By 1995, roughly 85 percent of the world's personal computers were using a Microsoft operating system.
Today the Microsoft campus is a "home" for new ideas and products that currently number over 200. It has mushroomed to nearly 18,000 employees and $6 billion in profits. By 1992, at least 3,400 of Microsoft's employees had become millionaires from their stocks.
Gates hopes to still be running Microsoft for another 10 years, he says, and then promises to focus intensely on his family and giving his money away, but that won't be the last you hear of him. Almost everyone in the developed world has used or is using a product that he owns a piece of, from surfing websites on Microsoft Explorer to watching movies brought to us by the distributor DreamWorks SKG. One can only wonder what he will do in the near future.
Unit8：Legal and Moral Implications of Cloning At first it was just plain surprising. Word that scientists succeeded in cloning an adult mammal—an achievement long thought impossible—caught the imagination of everyone. The laboratory process that produced Dolly, an unremarkable-looking sheep, theoretically would work for humans as well. A world with human clones was suddenly within reach. It was science fiction coming to life.
In the wake of this announcement, governments hurried to draft guidelines for the unknown, a future filled with incredible possibilities. President Clinton ordered a national commission to study the legal and moral implications of cloning. Leaders in Europe, where most nations already prohibit human cloning, began examining the moral implications of cloning other species.
Like the Theory of Relativity, the splitting of the atom, and the first space flight, Dolly's appearance has generated a long list of difficult puzzles for scientists, politicians, and philosophers. And wild questions on the topic of cloning continue to mount.
Why would anyone want to clone a human being in the first place?
The human cloning situations that experts consider most frequently fall into two broad categories: 1) parents who want to clone a child, either to provide transplants for a dying child or to replace that child, and 2) adults who for a variety of reasons might want to clone themselves.
Will it be possible to clone the dead?
Perhaps, if the body is fresh, says one expert. The cloning method used requires combining an egg cell with the
nucleus of a cell containing the DNA of the person to be cloned. (DNA is a very long, ribbon-like molecule that contains our genetic information.) And that means that the nucleus must be intact. Cells die and the cell nucleus begins to break apart after death. But, yes, in theory at least it might be possible.
Would a cloned human be identical to the original?
Identical genes don't produce identical people, as anyone who knows a set of identical twins can tell you. In fact, twins are more alike than clones would be, since they have at least shared the same environment within the mother, are usually raised in the same family, and so forth. Parents could clone a second child who resembled their first in appearance, but all the evidence suggests the two would have very different personalities. Twins separated at birth do sometimes share personality characteristics, but such characteristics in a cloned son or daughter would only be reminders of the child who was lost.
Even in terms of biology, a clone would not be identical to the "master copy". The clone's cells, for example, would have energy-processing machinery that came from the egg, not from the person who was cloned. But most of the physical differences between originals and copies are so minor that detection of them would require a sophisticated laboratory. The one possible exception is bearing children. The scientists responsible for the successful cloning are not sure that Dolly will be able to have lambs. They will try to find out once she's old enough to breed.
What if parents decided to clone a child in order to harvest organs?
Most experts agree that it would be psychologically harmful if a child sensed he had been brought into the world simply as an organ donor. But some parents already produce second children with nonfatal transplants in mind, and many experts do not oppose this. Cloning would increase the chances for a tissue match from 25 percent to nearly 100 percent.
If cloned animals could be used as organ donors, we wouldn't have to worry about cloning twins for transplants. Pigs, for example, have organs similar in size to humans'. But the human body attacks and destroys tissue from other species. To get around that, one company is trying to alter the pig's genetic code to prevent pig organs from being attacked. If the company's technicians succeed, it may be more efficient to produce such pigs by cloning than by current methods.
How would a human clone refer to the donor of its DNA?
"Mom" is not right, because the woman who supplied the egg and gave birth to the infant would more appropriately be called Mother. "Dad" isn't right, either. A traditional father supplies only half the DNA in a child. Judith Martin, in her writings under the name of "Miss Manners", suggests the phrase, "Most honored sir or madam". Why? "One should always respect one's ancestors," she says, "regardless of what they did to bring one into the world."
That still leaves some confusion over vocabulary. The editorial director of one dictionary says that the noun "clonee" may sound like a good term, but it's not clear enough. Instead, he prefers "original" and "copy".
What are the other implications of cloning for society?
The gravest concern isn't really cloning itself, but genetic engineering—the deliberate altering of genes to create human beings according to certain requirements. Specifically, some experts are concerned about the creation of a new (and disrespected) social class: "the clones". One expert believes the situation could be comparable to what occurred in the 16th century, when Europeans puzzled over how to classify the unfamiliar inhabitants of the Americas, and endlessly debated whether or not they were humans.
The list of questions could go on; people are just beginning to wonder about the future of the world after cloning.
A future husband wanted to be sure that if his marriage didn't work out, he could keep his treasured ice-cream
collection safely stored away in a freezer. A woman insisted on verifying who would walk the dog. One man wanted the right to get a divorce if his bride-to-be gained more than 15 pounds once she became his wife.
These are some of the crazier clauses of prenuptial agreements. But make no mistake about it, what most of them are about is money—and how financial assets will be divided up if a couple divorces. And divorce, with its accompanying money problems, is common in the United States.
Prenuptial agreements—or "prenups"—are designed to address these problems as they arise. Prenups are negotiated by lawyers for the prospective spouses, and signed before a minister binds them in marriage. They have been gaining in acceptance in the United States since the early 1980s, when more states began passing laws that affected the division of financial assets in a divorce. The laws are based either on "community property" (split evenly) or on "reasonable distribution" (whatever a judge thinks is "fair").
The prenups of the famous make the headlines: Lawyers for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis contested the prenuptial agreement between her and Aristotle Onassis after his death, reportedly winning $26 million in an out-of-court settlement.
But prenuptial agreements are also for lesser known, although wealthy, folks. "It's because divorce has such great economic consequences, and successive marriages have become so common," said a family law lawyer.
A typical candidate for a prenuptial agreement is a man who has accumulated considerable wealth, has already been stung once, and wants to reduce his exposure to future problems. "They want to make their own arrangements, rather than let a court decide," said the president of the New York chapter of the American Academy of Marriage Lawyers.
Protecting children from a previous marriage is a strong reason for prenuptial contracts. "Someone may have an estate of $1 billion and he may not want a second spouse to get a payment of half a billion. He may want more for his children," said a lawyer. The effort to shield assets to be passed on to children and grandchildren is making prenups more common among retired people in their 60s and 70s who are remarrying after a spouse has died.
Another situation that calls for premarital agreement occurs when a potential spouse has, or is in line for, great inherited wealth or a family business, especially if the future partner has little or nothing at all.
But even when both parties have signed such an agreement, it can be impossible to enforce it in court if proper guidelines have not been followed. A lawyer is required to write the document, for mistakes in language—even a misplaced preposition—can be disastrous. But never, ever, warn marriage law consultants, should you use the same lawyer as your future spouse does.
Another problem is a prenuptial agreement signed under pressure. To avoid this, some lawyers will not draw up an agreement once a wedding date has been set. "I figure there's a sword hanging over their head, and that's pressure," said one lawyer. Such lawyers counsel their clients never to send out wedding invitations until both signatures are on an agreement.
But not everyone takes this advice. A classic example is cited: "An agreement is stuck under somebody's nose on the day of the wedding—and it's usually a 'she'—and she signs, but doesn't even read it." Another lawyer recalled one awkward episode where the two sides were still editing the contract, arguing over what to keep and delete, as 150 wedding guests were arriving for the wedding. When an agreement could not be forged, the wedding was canceled.
A dispute can also break out over prenuptial agreements if a couple decides to divorce while living abroad, or when they have different passports. A lawyer in a London law firm that often handles divorces for British-American couples noted that in Britain, prenuptial agreements were "just about ignored" by the courts because English law says that circumstances of a marriage aren't static, and therefore a judge should decide how financial assets will be divided.
That can lead to "court-shopping", since what matters is the law of the country where the couple is getting divorced. He
gave the following example: "A wealthy Mr. Ed Smith gets married to Mrs. Smith, and they enter into a New York prenuptial contract. They live in England, and then decide to get divorced. English lawyers will say to Mrs. Smith, 'No, that contract is not valid,' while Mr. Smith will want it to be an American court case. The issue of where it will be held can greatly multiply the amount of time required to reach a settlement."
Romantic love has no bearing on this process, say these lawyers, who consider prenups to be business agreements. Their justification: Some 50 percent of all marriages in the United States end up on the trash heap.
Moreover, the discussions for a prenuptial agreement, which involve laying bare all one's finances, sometimes save a couple from a terrible marriage. "It sheds light on issues which could later widen and result in divorce," said a lawyer.
But there is still hope. "Many people sign an agreement, put it in a drawer and never look at it again," the lawyer added.
Unit10：The Challenging Friend I Didn't Know John Bullyer and I met for the first time when we were both in our early sixties, but it is true to say that he did more to shape my life than any other person, and is largely responsible for the shyness which has been a handicap to me.
Aunt Carrie was my favorite relative, as well as my favorite authority figure. She was always free with smiles, words of praise, and excuses for misdoings. For me she had but one drawback: She was also aunt to John Bullyer, the son of her sister who lived in Gloucestershire. She invariably referred to him as "Little-John-my-other-nephew" all in one word, and she referred to him far too often.
Probably hundreds of comparisons were made before I became aware of them. The first that I remember with any clarity was that Little-John-Aunt-Carrie's-other-nephew had started school on the same day as I did and had taken to it like a duck to water. My first day, on the other hand, was disastrous.
And so it went on. Incredible boy, he advanced quickly in mathematics; he was dealing expertly with advanced math, just cruising through, while I was practically slamming my head against a wall trying to learn percentages. I began to dread Aunt Carrie's visits, because she was always comparing the two of us.
Time went on; so did the comparisons. By word of mouth during the holidays, by phrases that leaped out of letters during term time, I was kept up to date with John's progress. Thus challenged, I began at last to look round for something that I could do well. When I discovered that I could write well, I worked with intensity at my craft, minding nothing else. Let this be mine, John Bullyer could have all the rest.
The stories that I invented were mostly technological and science fiction in nature. They told of rockets and spacecraft, things that would take men high up into the sky. After some analysis of my personality, I realized that my stories were an extension of my own desires to rise to higher and higher altitudes, until I was above John Bullyer.
Three or four times during the next forty years I saw mention of John Bullyer in the press. He was doing mathematical work that supported big, scientific projects. It was not the kind of career to attract much publicity, but occasional paragraphs in newspapers charted a steady success until he retired. On that occasion there was a half column about him; it said that his last job was the harnessing of solar power for a satellite put into orbit. He was working for a government bureau in a country in the Persian Gulf. I was, by that time, successful in my own line, having written a streak of 30 best-sellers without a single failure.
Late that year, in November, I was in a club, sipping a glass of wine before dinner. A cough made me look round. I saw a short, fat man with a little nose that looked too small to support the framework of his heavy glasses. With more than a suggestion of discomfort, he spoke my name and I, somewhat reluctantly, admitted my identity. Since I attained some measures of fame I have on occasion been approached by strangers. Whatever they say, I am always horribly embarrassed.
"You d-don't know m-me," said the little man, stammering. "My name's John B-Bullyer. We sh-shared an aunt, C-Caroline Lacey. I used to hear so much about you," he said with a smile. "You see... I grew up with the idea that you were at least eight feet tall, handsome, dynamic, and more able than anyone in the universe." His smile broadened. "Really," he said, "the letters Aunt Carrie used to write about you almost drove me to suicide. I grew to hate the sound of your name at times."
"Those letters were probably nothing," I said, surprised to meet this man after so many years of having heard of him, "compared to the letters your mother used to write about you. I was told every time you got a sum right. I always thought of you as an imposing specimen of a man—nine feet high, better looking than Robert Taylor and wiser than Churchill. So they played the game both ways, did they?"
"But it was worse for me," he said. "I've always been undersized, and I always had these." He touched his glasses. "And there you were, tall and handsome. And so clever too. I had to do something; and all I could ever do was sums, and nearly killed myself at games in an effort to be liked by others. I might almost say," he said, with something like resentment, "that because of you I've been doing sums all my life!"
"Substitute writing stories for doing sums and you have exactly my story," I said.
We looked at each other with identical expressions. Then it probably dawned on us both that the place in which we sat is not the place of men who have been failures in life, and that for boys, being what they are, an occasional push is not such a bad thing. Together we lifted our glasses, and the tensions between us went away. And though neither of us spoke, I know we drank to the memory of our Aunt Carrie.