U1. Space Exploration
A: Hey, have you ever heard about the Apollo 18, the movie?
B: Yeah, it’s a mysterious and thrilling story, illustrating that it is the discovery of alien leads to the mission of Apollo 18 uncompleted. But in fact, the reason why Apollo 18 disappears is still a mystery.
A: That sounds pity. What do you know about moon exploration?
B: The moon exploration has started since 1969, when the Apollo 11 mission in putting men on the moon and bringing them back safely with samples of lunar material successfully. Until now, many countries, including China, have made a plan on the moon exploration.
A: That sounds cool! You definitely have passion for the astronomical things. Tell me more.
B: Like what?
A: For example, it is reported that some experts come up with the idea that turning Mars into a green planet and making it habitable for human beings, what do you think?
B: Undoubtedly, this is an innovative opinion. You know, the Earth’s resources are increasingly scarce, and it’s time to find out the new resources outside the Earth. However, this point of view is still unfounded and immature right now. Although some scientific found the evidence of the flow of water, the large quantities of liquid is not exist on Mars. Moreover, the concentration of oxygen is not available for the human beings and plants.
A: All right, if nothing can be taken advantage of on Mars like what you state, why did we explore the outer space?
B: Well, I never talk like that. On the one hand, exploring the outer space can reveal the formation and evolution of the universe, then promote the development of science. On the other hand, the exploration is accompanied by the new technologies, which possess a huge market potential, like GPS and space travel, bringing economical benefit.
U3. Gender Differences
A: Hey, have you heard about the feminist movement? It is so cool and seems like happened everyday in the western countries.
B: Yes, of course. But actually, feminist movement began in 1800s, influenced by the second industrial revolution and the Enlightenment. It aims to against discriminating women, so that women are able to get their social status and rights.
A: That sounds reasonable, but it is argued that women and men are doomed to be unequal due to their physiological differences. Is this true?
B: Not really. There’s no doubt that men and women are different. To be specific, man is more aggressive and powerful than woman and woman shows more patience in careful work. However, it is ridiculous to put women to an unequal status due to the physiological difference. All men are equal, and share the same right legally.
A: I agree with that. We should acknowledge the difference rather than serve the difference as an excuse of discrimination. Just like my father and mother. My father shows more talent in sports. When I was young, he taught me the skill of basketball and football; we had fun and sweated a lot. But after I go home, my mom had already cooked the delicious dinner and helped me change my cloth. It turned out that both of them love and care about me.
B: That’s true. Gender difference should make the world the better place instead of being used to discrimination.
U8 Natural Disaster
A: Hey, have you heard about the earthquake in Kumamoto, Japan? Almost 50 people died in the earthquake, is awful.
B: Yeah, I’ve heard that. Until now the live of those victims are remain as a problem. But you know, because of the location, suffering from the nature disasters is like a routine in Japan. For example, a Tsunami happened in Japan in 2004.
A: Ok, I understand. So what do you think of this Tsunami and what’s the reason of it?
B: Undoubtedly, Japanese Tsunami is a nature disaster, attributed by the special position of Japan. Japan is located at the junction of the Pacific plate and the Eurasian plate, so crustal movement is supposed to be frequent. Therefore, cataclysm like Tsunami comes out when crusts are moving.
A: Umm, I’ve got it. Another question, what do you think of the disaster films? Like 2012. Do you think one day the event in the film will come true?
B: Of course the scenes in the film are really scary right? But don’t worry; it won’t happen under any circumstance at present. However, we ought to remain cautious about the possible nature disaster and focus more on protecting environment. Because those disasters in the films may happen in the future if we keep ignoring the environmental problems.
A: I agree with you. So what are the most important threatsand changes to the environment?
B: Well, I believe that it’s the human actions that make environment pose serious threat. When human need energy, they will cut down the trees in the forest, mine the coal or drill for oil endlessly, which obviously damage the environment. And when it comes to the change, I convince that the Global Warming is still the biggest problem.
U4 Information Security
A: Do you know that news about the cyber-attack plan in Korea.
B: No of course. What’s going on?
A: It’s Reuters report before four days ago. On Monday, police in the South said, North Korea hacked into more than 140,000 computers at 160 South Korean firms and government agencies, planting malicious code under a long-term plan laying groundwork for a massive cyber attack against its rival. But eventually, South Korea has discovered this plan and foiled their plot. However, the North has always denied wrongdoing.
B: That sounds shocking! The groundwork of massive cyber-attack needs a very well preparation. If there is no powerful computer and skillful hack army, that will be impossible to success.
A: Indeed, the hacking began in 2014 and was detected in February, after North Korea managed to steal information from two conglomerates including defense-related material. This time, they took no action after gaining control of servers and computers at some corporate groups and waited, as they continued to hack into more targets in what police said was likely an effort to build the scale of a planned attack.
B: Cyber-attack in country’s scale is the most harmful action. Individually, we should pay attention from cyber-attack whose risk usually hide in virus files and Trojan. Cleaning the useless file and repairing system vulnerabilities frequently will prevent our computer from hacker or cyber-attack.
U7 Animal Behavior
A: Last week, I enjoyed a video of BBC documentary which talk about the animal behavior. I was crazy about chimpanzee because of its intelligence. In that video, chimpanzee can use the stone to break a coconut. Maybe chimpanzee is smarter than we think.
B: But in my opinion, Individual chimpanzee may have some shocking skill like studying or using the tools. But there is a big shortcoming that chimpanzee couldn’t cooperate in a large scale. Cooperation in a large scale is the main difference between chimpanzee and human.
A: You have a sensible view. Chimpanzee’s behavior is independent. Maybe one or a little of them can work or cooperate intelligently and flexibility. But in a large scale, chimpanzee will make a completely mess. Try to image that 10 thousand chimpanzees appear in our school. That’s chaos, completely chaos. But for human, there are more that 10 thousand student live in there everyday. This is why chimpanzee differ us. However, I disagree your opinion because there are many kind of social insect like ant or bee, They can work in large scale. But they work mechanically. Like they would not execute the queen bee to build a republic of bee. That’s also the difference between human.
B: You are right. Cooperating flexibility and largely is our human special feature. That’s what we learn from animal.