Speak about vivisection as a method of medical research. (tape)
Frankly speaking, I am in two minds about whether I approve of vivisection or not. I can't but agree that there are many positive sides of it. To begin with, people are able to make advances in medicine, so they say they can't do without carrying out experiments on animals, they also say that without them there will be no progress. Doctors would be unable to observe human beings in scientifically controlled conditions, that's why they have to rely on animals. For ex. the knowledge of the nervous system is largely due to it. Vivisection has also allowed people to find cures for many illnesses such as diphtheria, smallpox and t.b. Later if someone was bitten by a dog with rabies they had a very little chance of surviving. Now there is an antidote! what's more, cancer recovery rates have greatly improved due to the work done on animals. Unfortunately, drugs also have to be tested on animals prior to their release on the market, as they have to be sure the drugs don't have any side-effects.
Well, it is all very well, but I'd give my right arm to prevent all these poor animals from suffering. And as for the drug tests it's very difficult to predict its effect on human beings, because experiments are carried out on animals. As for the understanding of the nervous system many experts would agree that it can be done equally well just by careful observation. And it's common knowledge that many drugs such as penicillin and aspirin were found by accident.
And we should forget about the animals themselves. Some experiments are really cruel and inhumane: dogs are made to smoke cigarettes; mice have shampoo and cosmetics to be put on their eyes to see what happen. In the end many of these animals have to be put down.
So, I think we should do our best to take care of animals not just take advantage of them!
8.Compare the different attitudes to women’s employment in medicine in the 19th century and today. (A letter).
Honestly, before reading this story it had never occurred to me that in the 19th century women’s employment in medicine was considered to be impossible as men thought that women can't become equally educated physicians. In other words, the idea of a woman doctor was felt to be immoral and shocking at that time.
That’s why I can't help admiring the main heroine (Elizabeth), who managed to become the first woman to gain the degree in modern medicine in the USA.
Her life story is really exciting. The reason why she decided to apply for a medical course was a very painful disease requiring surgical invention of a very good friend of her family. Although the thought of following medical career was so utterly repugnant to her, Elizabeth couldn’t refuse her friend's request.
At that time when medical care was suggested to her she was experiencing an unusually strong struggle between attraction towards a highly educated man with whom she had been very intimately thrown, but his views were too narrow and rigid, I guess he couldn’t accept her choice. That’s why she had to sacrifice her love. She even saved a bunch of flowers that reminded her of him...
The centuries passed. Women’s employment in medicine is no longer considered to be immoral and, what is more, it has become a women dominated profession. So, women have proved that they deserve much more rights in our modern society.
9. What do you know about different methods of combating infectious diseases in the past and present? ("Smallpox — Epitaph for a Killer", "AIDS Hysteria").
Due to the development of medicine and rapid technological progress nowadays it has become possible to cure many serious diseases that used to be fatal.
In the past people used different methods of combating highly contagious diseases.
Smallpox, for example. Suspicion, fear and hostility have long thwarted attempts to control it. In 1885 affected children were forcibly removed from their parents and placed in isolation. For thousands of years smallpox, an accepted fact of life that killed millions and often blinded and disfigured survivors, was dreaded as plague or cholera.
Many laws were introduced to cope with epidemics, which were terribly cruel and ineffective. For.ex., they used force to remove people infected with plague, made plague barriers, used fires to purify public places or attacked and persecuted immigrants.
Over the centuries, spying, imprisonment and taking away civil rights have all been introduced by various legal means to prevent diseases from catching.
AIDS is considered to be the most horrible malady of the 21century. Modern society realizes that laws will only be effective if they are built upon good information about all these serious diseases, and how they are transmitted. No isolations or limits of the supplies of condoms or the availability of sterile syringes for drug users will solve the problem. Laws against particular minority groups are not the way out as well, as they are unjust, unfair and discriminating. That’s why control of all these diseases must depend on education. This is where the solution must lie, in educating communities, risk groups and every individual.
10. Speak about different attitudes to sports in society. (The Sporting Spirit, Americans' Attitude to Sports)
It's common knowledge that sport nowadays is increasing in its popularity. In some countries such as G.B, the USA it has become a national obsession.
There are different attitudes to sports in our society nowadays.
For some people it’s a wonderful way to get rid of tension and to let off the steam. Sport provides an opportunity for people to express themselves in a way that is not always possible in work life. It gives a challenge and can break down economic and social barriers.
Many people overwhelmingly appreciate in their culture. They think that spectator sports have a positive impact on society, that competitive sports help children to learn valuable life lessons. A lot of people consider sports participation to help people get along with those from different racial or ethic groups. Sports involvement is also thought to help people in the business world and to get along better with people of the opposite sex.
At the same time there is a growing evidence of the flip side. And to my mind the number of negative views has increased.
To begin with, sport has become too connected to big business. Sometimes it seems less to do with enjoyment and more with making money.
More and more people come to think that sport can't create good relationships between nations. Some international competitions end in orgies of hatred because of nationalism and racism.
Nearly all kinds of sport nowadays are competitive. People don’t enjoy the game as their try to do their utmost to win. For. ex. on the village field, where it's possible to play just for fun, people don’t do that because the question of prestige arises.
At the international level sport sometimes looks like a mimic warfare. It's horrible that nations can work themselves into furies over these absurd contests and seriously believe that they are tests of national virtue.
Many people are convinced that professional sport has nothing to do with fair play because it's bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all the rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence.
Another reason is violence that not only appears on the field in the view of the verbal abuse, racist remarks, but violence going from fans who are not interested in the game and come to look for trouble.
11 Speak about the competitive nature of sports and the feelings of rivalry involved. (Where Have All the Fans Gone? The Sporting Spirit).
To begin with, I would like to say that nowadays professional sports seems less to do with enjoyment and more to do with making money. Besides, international sporting contests lead to orgies of hatred; it does not create good will between the nations.
Actually nearly all sports are competitive. You play to win and the game has little meaning unless you do your utmost to win. As soon as the question of prestige arises, as soon as you feel that you and some larger units will disgraced if you lose the most savage combative instincts are aroused.
At the international level sport is frankly mimic warfare, and the worst of this is that spectators who work themselves into a furies seriously believe that winning at sports shows that a country is better, that sports is a feet of national virtue.
The act I want to point out here is that people want to see one side on top and the other side humiliated. Even when the spectators do not intervene physically, they try to rattle opposing players with boos and insults. Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all the rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence.
Moreover, the point I want to stress here is that television and media play an important role in it. There is much football on TV and they show only exciting parts, goals, fouls, and violence. They only show young people when they are doing something wrong. They ought not to give so much publicity to troublemakers who want to show so-called individuality and start violence when there is a TV camera nearby.
As a result, people have stopped going to the matches and prefer staying at home watching on TV. They get a better view and they like the action replays. They confess that they are afraid to go to the matches with children, because there are many gangs of teenagers who are not interested in football, but just they come to look for trouble. Besides, there is too much foul language.
In conclusion, I want to say that I see the solution to the problem in educating children since childhood. There ought to be more discipline at home and in schools.
12. What do you know about pubs as a typically English institution? (tape)
The pub (or public house) is a traditional English institution without which it is impossible to imagine Britain. Many pubs are hundreds of years old. All pubs have their own names not just addresses. The signs outside pubs always have a picture to go with the name. If you come to Britain, you will se how many pubs you can find; popular pub names are The Fox and Grapes, the Eagle, the King’s Head, the Green Man.
Pubs are good places where you can drink or eat very casually. The main business in pubs is selling drinks to people (there is always plenty to choose from but the most popular is beer). Beside beer, most pubs sell all kinds of alcohol from whisky to wine. Many of them also offer light meals like sandwiches or a pie or sausages and chips or a salad.
Some people go to a pub just to meet their friends and talk over a drink. Men and young people go to pubs more frequently than women do, so there is still a certain amount of masculinity about a pub. Yet the pub seems to have stayed and probably will stay the centre of a community, centre of different neighborhoods – they have strong neighborhood content.
You can always play games there like darts or billiards. Many pubs have a darts team, which plays matches against teams from other pubs. Darts matches are now so popular that they are shown on TV.
Wine bars are a new event in Britain. In 1970, there were very few wine bars, but nowadays they are very fashionable. It is known that the British are traditionally regarded as the nation of beer-drinking, but now everything is changing.