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#1 Demography Demography is the study of the size, structure and distribution of populations, and spatial and/or temporal changes in them in response to birth, migration, aging and death. There are two methods of data collection: direct and indirect. Direct data come from vital statistics registries that track all births and deaths as well as certain changes in legal status such as marriage, divorce, and migration (registration of place of residence). In developed countries with good registration systems (such as the United States and much of Europe), registry statistics are the best method for estimating the number of births and deaths. A census is the other common direct method of collecting demographic data. A census is usually conducted by a national government and attempts to enumerate every person in a country. However, in contrast to vital statistics data, which are typically collected continuously and summarized on an annual basis, censuses typically occur only every 10 years or so, and thus are not usually the best source of data on births and deaths. Analyses are conducted after a census to estimate how much over or undercounting took place. Censuses do more than just count people. They typically collect information about families or households in addition to individual characteristics such as age, sex, marital status, education, employment status, and occupation, and geographical location. They may also collect data on migration (or place of birth or of previous residence), language, religion, nationality (or ethnicity or race), and citizenship. In countries in which the vital registration system may be incomplete, the censuses are also used as a direct source of information about fertility and mortality. Indirect methods of data collecting are required in countries where full data are not available, such as is the case in much of the developing world. One of these techniques is the sister method, where survey researchers ask women how many of their sisters have died or had children and at what age. Other indirect methods include asking people about siblings, parents, and children. Important concepts Important concepts in demography include: • The crude birth rate, the annual number of live births per 1000 people. • The general fertility rate, the annual number of live births per 1000 women of childbearing age (often taken to be from 15 to 49 years old, but sometimes from 15 to 44). • age-specific fertility rates, the annual number of live births per 1000 women in particular age groups (usually age 15-19, 20-24 etc.) • The crude death rate, the annual number of deaths per 1000 people. • The infant mortality rate, the annual number of deaths of children less than 1 year old per 1000 live births. • The expectation of life (or life expectancy), the number of years which an individual at a given age could expect to live at present mortality levels. One of the biggest demographic problems is overpopulation. Overpopulation is often defined as the condition of having more people than can live on Earth in comfort, happiness, and health and still leave the planet a fit place for future generations. Some project that if everyone existed at a minimum survival level, the earth could support 20 to 48 billion people. Other analysts believe it could support 7 to 12 billion people at a decent standard of living by distributing the world’s land and food supply more equitably and shifting from less abundant resources (such as lead, tin, uranium, oil and natural gas) to more abundant resources (such as aluminum, glass and various forms of solar energy). These analysts recognize that population growth is not only cause of our environmental and resource problems. They believe, however, that adding several hundred million more people in developed countries and several billion more in the developing world will intensify many environmental and social problems by increasing resource use and waste, environmental degradation, rapid climate change and pollution. They see overpopulation as a threat to Earth’s life support systems for us and other species. At the end of the 18th century, Thomas Malthus concluded that, if unchecked, populations would be subject to exponential growth. He is seen as the intellectual father of ideas of overpopulation and the limits to growth. The Malthusian catastrophe [malˈθjuːzɪən kə'tæstrəfɪ] was originally foreseen to be a forced return to subsistence-level conditions once population growth had outpaced agricultural production. The main tenets of his argument were radically opposed to current thinking at the time. He argued that increases in population would eventually diminish the ability of the world to feed itself and based this conclusion on the thesis that populations expand in such a way as to overtake the development of sufficient land for crops. Malthus pointed out, various forces must be operating to hold the population in check. He listed first the “positive checks” to population growth - disease, famine, and war. In addition, he listed “preventive checks” - birth control (which he called “Vice”), late marriage, and moral restraint. The positive checks raise the death rate, while the preventive checks lower fertility. #2 THE MALTHUSIAN CATASTROPHE VS THE THEORY OF DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION The Malthusian catastrophe At the end of the 18th century, Thomas Malthus concluded that, if unchecked, populations would be subject to exponential growth. He feared that population growth would tend to outstrip growth in food production, leading to ever increasing famine and poverty; he is seen as the intellectual father of ideas of overpopulation and the limits to growth. The Malthusian catastrophe (also phrased Malthusian check, Malthusian crisis, Malthusian disaster, Malthusian fallacy, Malthusian nightmare, or Malthusian theory of population) was originally foreseen to be first return to subsistence-level conditions once population growth had outpaced agricultural production. The English economist Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) is best known for his hugely influential theories on population growth. Malthus’s most well-known work 'An Essay on the Principle of Population' was published in 1798, although he was the author of many pamphlets and other longer tracts. The main tenets of his argument were radically opposed to current thinking at the time. He argued that increases in population would eventually diminish the ability of the world to feed itself and based this conclusion on the thesis that populations expand in such a way as to overtake the development of sufficient land for crops. Between 1798 and 1826 Malthus published six editions of his famous treatise, An Essay on the Principle of Population. His famous books(An Essay on the Principle of Population) grew out of his conversations with his father, Daniel, who was an enthusiastic believer in the optimistic philosophy of the Enlightenment. Daniel Malthus believed that the application of scientific progress to agriculture and industry would inevitably lead humanity forward to a golden age. Robert was more pessimistic. He pointed out that the benefits of scientific progress would probably be eaten up by a growing population. In his book, Malthus pointed out that under optimum conditions, every biological population, including that of humans, is capable of increasing exponentially. For humans under optimum conditions, the population can double every twenty-five years and increase by a factor of 8 every seventy-five years. It can grow by a factor of 16 every century, and so on. Obviously, human populations cannot increase at this rate for very long, since if they did, the earth would be completely choked with people in a very few centuries. Therefore, Malthus pointed out, various forces must be operating to hold the population in check. Malthus listed first the “positive checks” to population growth — disease, famine, and war. In addition, he listed “preventive checks” — birth control (which he called “Vice”), late marriage, and moral restraint. The positive checks raise the death rate, while the preventive checks lower fertility. According to Malthus, a population need not outrun its food supply, provided that late marriage, birth control or moral restraint are practiced; but without these less painful checks, the population will quickly grow to the point where the grim Malthusian forces — famine, disease and war — will begin to act. Today, as the population of humans and the size of the global economy rapidly approach absolute limits set by the carrying capacity of the earth’s environment, it is important to listen to the warning voice of Malthus. The demographic transition Contrary to Malthus’ predictions and in line with his thoughts on moral restraint, natural population growth in most developed countries has diminished to close to zero, without being held in check by fAmine or lack of resources, as people in developed nations have shown a tendency to have fewer children. The fall in population growth has occurred despite large rises in life expectancy in these countries. This pattern of population growth, with slow (or no) growth in preindustrial societies, followed by fast growth as the society develops and industrialises, followed by slow growth again as it becomes more affluent, is known as the demographic transition. Similar trends are now becoming visible in developing countries, so that far from spiralling out of control, world population growth is expected to slow markedly in the next century, coming to an eventual standstill or even declining. The change is likely to be accompanied by major shifts in the proportion of world population in particular regions. The United Nations Population Division expects the absolute number of infants and toddlers in the world to begin to fall by 2015, and the number of children under 15 by 2025. Working independently, demographers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria expect the world population to peak at 9 billion by 2070. Throughout the 21st century, the average age of the population is likely to continue to rise. #3 Sustainable development Sustainability is the idea that the economy should be organized in ways that can be continued without causing irreversible damage to the environment or depletion of natural resources. Businesses should be run not for short-term profit, but in a way that takes account of the long-term interests of society and the environment. People concerned about sustainable development suggest that meeting the needs of the future depends on how well we balance social, economic, and environmental objectives – or needs – when making decisions today. These three make up the triple bottom line (TBL) of sustainable development. The TBL makes corporations concentrate not just on the economic value they add, but also on the environmental and social value they add – and destroy. The TBL is used to sum up the values, issues and processes that companies must pay attention to in order to minimize any harm resulting from their activities and to create economic, social and environmental value. These objectives may seem to conflict with each other in the short term. For example, industrial growth might conflict with preserving natural resources. Yet, in the long term, responsible use of natural resources now will help ensure that there are resources available for sustained industrial growth far into the future. The goal of sustainable development is to improve living standards and the quality of people’s lives, both now and for future generations. Environmental issues are an important piece of the development. Industrial and developing countries share environmental concerns. Agriculture and industry must make efficient and responsible use of the natural resources – land, soil, forests, rivers, oceans, mineral deposits – upon which they rely. Some environmental issues are highly localized, but many others cross national borders. Industrial and human waste dumped into a river by one country may affect the health and livelihoods of citizens in another country hundreds of miles downstream. Ozone-depleting gases cause changes in the earth’s atmosphere that may result in rising cancer rates and lower crop yields in countries around the world. Environmental concerns are inExtricably linked to economic issues. The economy depends on the sustainable use of renewable resources. Overuse of these resources for short-term gain may undermine a country’s long-term economic future. Environmental concerns are also linked with social issues such as population growth. A rapidly growing population places strains on a country’s natural resources, as well as on its ability to provide housing, health care, education, safe water, and sanitation for all. People living in poverty may damage the environment as they struggle simply to survive, cutting down trees for fuel wood, exhausting crop land, and contaminating urban water supplies with waste they cannot afford to treat. The challenge for governments is to create development strategies that incorporate values of environmental sustainability, while increasing economic growth and providing adequate social services and also environment defense. Investors are concerned about sustainability which among other things provides for integrating long-term economic, environmental and social aspects into business practices. In selecting companies to invest their money in, they look closely at how they are managed. They try to avoid companies that have a bad rEcord on social and ethical ways. As consumers become increasingly concerned about the environment, many companies claim to be producing environmentally-friendly products. As soon as customers are knowledgeable about the company’s environmental progress, they are going to be loyal. When purchasing products, customers enjoy buying into a commitment to environmental restoration, as organically-produced products are environmentally preferable. Although buying green products is more expensive, environmentalism is less taxing on the earth in the long run, and therefore, on individuals. Companies are expected to publish annual reports, pamphlets and other literature explaining new ideas in environmentalism. Speaking about sustainable architecture, I should say that the most remarkable thing about the building now is not its name or its shape, but its energy-efficiency. Making buildings more energy-efficient could have a significant impact on energy policy. The combination of green design techniques and clever technology can not only reduce energy consumption and environmental impact, but also reduce running costs, create a more pleasant working environment, improve employees’ health and productivity, reduce legal liability, and boost property values and rental returns. (LEED points system helps assess if the building is environmentally friendly or not, basing on such criteria as energy use, water efficiency etc) Power plants are expected to reduce burning carbon directly, as gasification produces clean synthetic gas, which has even less carbon dioxide than natural gas, Coal is old and “dirty” but gasification is new. The technology needs to be used in the proper way to keep side effects and emissions under control. Introducing more technologies makes the market more competitive. Burning coal without filtering out harmful chemicals is the leading cause of smog, acid rain, global warming and air pollutants. The limited resources in oil and gas mean there will be a definite increase in the cost of oil and gas and plants will have to find alternative energy sources, either in coal or renewable energy resources. Water management efforts usually focus on efficient irrigation and conservation in industrial and household use. The amount of fresh water literally flushed down the drain and its cost is staggering. Motivated by a desire to prevent such wastage, Swiss engineer Hans Keller has developed an ecofriendly and economic alternative, called Urimat. It uses no water, no chemicals and no elaborate machinery. Choosing investments by simply looking at a company's financial statements is very oldfashioned! These days, even the most commercially minded asset managers are talking about a sustainable investment process. Many industry participants agree that this is the way forward. If you invest in ways that don't undermine the financial system [by being careful about the longterm impact of your investment behaviour], that's economically rational. #4 Urbanization Urbanization Urbanization is a form of internal migration with people in a country moving from rural to urban areas. People tend to move out of rural areas because there they live in poverty, they don’t have opportunities to develop, study or even receive medical care. That's why people tend to move to the city. In addition, college graduates move to cities not only for their employment opportunities but also for their marry activities and the sheer excitement of living in a big city. Nowadays, cities are already overpopulated. Projections show that urbanization combined with the overall growth of the world's population(общ рост населения мира) could add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations by 2050(, with close to 90% of the Increase concentrated in Asia and Africa. ) Cities are important drivers of development. The process of urbanization historically has been associated with other important economic and social transformations, which have brought greater geographic(джиогрэфик) mobility, lower fertility(снижение рождаемости), longer life expectancy(увелич продол жизни) and population ageing(старение населения). The flood(флад) of 'urbanites' is engulfing(поглощает) the poorest countries. More often the most appalling(ужасающие) urban living conditions are an improvement on whatever these people have left behind. There’re 2 points of view on the problem of urbanization: Optimists maintain that runaway urban growth can be stemmed(stop) by making rural and small-town life more attractive. But pessimists see a gloomier correction: epidemics, starvation and revolution. /// In the end, both sides agree that the world's biggest cities are mushrooming into the unknown.(растут как грибы в неизвестности) Let's consider in more detail the pros and cons of urbanization. + Some of the positive implications(последствия) of urbanization include creation of employment opportunities, technological and infrastructural advancements(эдвАнсментс/развитие), improved transportation and communication, quality educational and medical facilities, improved standards of living, enhAnced(а) opportunities for cultural and political participation. - (despite the comparative advantage of cities, urban areas are more unequal than rural areas and) a lot of people live in sub-standard conditions. In some cities, unplanned or inAdequately(инэдекватли) managed urban expansion(икспАншн) leads to pollution, environmental degradation, together with unsustainable production and consumption pАtterns.(неустойчивые модели производства и потребления). (Urbanization is Integrally connected to the 3 pillars of sustainable development: economic development, social development and environmental protection. ) Let’s discuss PROBLEMS OF URBAN LIFE On the one hand, many big cities are vibrant places, filled with museums and other cultural attractions. On the other hand, many cities are also filled with Abject poverty, filthy(грязь) and dilАpidated(разрушенные) housing, high crime rates, traffic gridlock and dirty air. 1)CROWDING is one of the main urbanization problem. Сities are crowded in at least 2 ways. the 1st type involves residential crowding: large numbers of people living in a small amount of space. City streets are filled with apartment buildings, condomIniums(кондомИниумс). To houses, and other types of housing, and many people live in a city block. the 2nd type of crowding is household crowding: Dwelling units(flats) are small because of lack of space(, and much smaller overall than houses in suburbs or rural areas.) This forces many people to live at close quarters within a particular dwelling unit, especially if they are low-income individuals or families. Some research finds that either type of crowding produces higher levels of stress, depression, aggression and crime. 2) Next comes the HOUSING problem. Much urban housing is substandard, and characterized by such problems as broken windows, malfunctioning(мэлфанкшонинг) heating systems, peeling lead paint(облупившаяся краска), and insect infestАtion.(заражение насекомыми) At the same time, Аdequate(Адеквот) housing is not affordable for many city residents, as housing prices in cities can be very high,( and higher than in rural areas, and the residents’ incomes are typically very low. ) 3)A related problem to housing is homelessness. The problem of homelessness is related to the problem of poverty. 4)Of course it's worth discussing the problem of TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORTATION One manifestation(проявление) of the traffic problem in cities is traffic gridlock. Urban streets and highways are clogged(клогд) with motor vehicles(вихикалс), and 2 major consequences of so much traffic are air pollution and tens of thousands of deaths and injuries from vehicular(вехИкьюла) accidents. 5) Residents of cities suffer from Crime problem. Cities have much higher rates of violent and property crime. Most of the crimes such as murder, rape, kidnapping(похищение), assault(эсолт), theft, robbery, and hijacking(хайджейкинг) are reported to more common in the urban area. 6) As I mentioned before, many people come to the city for employment opportunities, however the flood of the arrivals to cities far outstrips(опережает) the supply of jobs – particularly as modern industries put a premium on technology rather than manpower. ЗАКЛЮЧЕНИЕ But some cities still manage to cope with urbanization. Seoul has built an underground railway system that should ease some of the worst traffic problems in the world. Over the last dEcade, Tokyo has cleared up much of its legendary дж smog. Hong Kong хон конг has rehoused 1.3 million people in new high-rise towns, (which are totally self-contained, down to playgrounds, industrial areas and a railway into the colony’s main business district.) Because every step taken to improve living conditions in the slums(трущобы) only attracts immigrants, one of the solutions is to ban mАЙgration into the cities. Both China and Russia use internal passports and resident pErmits to try control urban growth. #5 Ecology The scientific and technological progress of the past century resulted in widespread mechanization on the one hand, and in a number of environmental problems on the other hand. These serious environmental issues include: § population growth § global warming § depletion of the ozone layer § air and water pollution § groundwater depletion § drinking water shortage § habitat destruction and species extinction § desertification § chemical risks and many others Now a few words about these problems. Global warming Within the last century, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased dramatically, largely because of the practice of burning fossil fuels. Global temperature has also increased 1o C (about 1.8o F) within the past century. Atmospheric scientists have now concluded that at least half of that increase can be attributed to human activity, and if no action is taken the temperature will continue rising dramatically. Some argue that the ultimate result of global warming will be a paradoxical but even more catastrophic development: global cooling. As the arctic ice cap melts, a flow of fresh water into the North Atlantic could disrupt conveyor currents including the Gulf Stream, which is what keeps Northern Europe warm. Depletion of the ozone layer The ozone layer serves to shield the earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. In 1970-s scientists discovered that the layer was being attacked by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), chemicals used in refrigeration, air-conditioning systems, cleaning solvents, and aerosol sprays. What are the consequences? 1) Increased ultraviolet radiation will lead to a growing number of skin cancers and cataracts and also reduce the ability of people’s immune systems to respond to infection. 2) The growth rates of the world’s oceanic plankton, the base of most marine food chains, will be negatively affected, perhaps leading to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and thus to global warming. Even if the manufacture of CFCs(chemicals) was immediately banned, the chlorine already released into the atmosphere would continue to destroy the ozone layer for many decades. Air pollution The car is another health hazard, because exhaust fumes from automobiles Oтомобилс are the biggest source of air pollution. Plastic materials, which are now quickly replacing metals in car production, release toxic gases (гЭзез) when burned. Car air conditioners use about 30% of all CFCs, which are known to attack the ozone layer. Scientists believe that global warming is already irreversible. Europeans can expect more rain and flooding in the north as well as drought and desertification in the south. (Global warming could actually lead to long-term cooling.) The phenOmenon фенОмено– where global warming drives changes in ecosystems (Икоусистемз) that themselves cause more heating - is known as a positive feedback. Desertification. Desertification is defined as the destruction of arid and semi-arid lands as a result of climate change and human activities and this problem is among the main threats to the environment of the entire planet and society. Sandstorms of the Gobi Desert lead to respiratory (риспИротри) diseases in the Asian inhabitants, and even lead to a deterioration in air quality in North America. A billion tons of sand and dust are released into the atmosphere from the Sahara every year. How can we solve this problem? More efficient use of existing water resources and control of salinization are effective tools for improving arid lands. Problems, that KILLING THE SEAS, are SEWERAGE AND FERTILISERS. By the run-off of nitrogen найтроджин fertilisers фЁртилайзес from intensive farming and sewerage from large cities, the number of “dead zones” had doubled in the past 15 years and was increasing all over the world. 150 sea areas are now regularly starved of oxygen and are becoming major threats to already declining fish stocks. (global warming, with its likely increase in rainfall, is likely to aggravate the problem, because it will increase significantly the discharge of polluted water from rivers into oceans.) Сountries, which often share water basins, need to cooperate in reducing nitrogen discharges by cutting fertiliser use or planting forests along rivers to soak up excess nitrogen. Water scarcity and desalination. Water shortage, exacerbated by rapid population growth, urbanization and higher living standards worldwide, has led many countries to adopt desalination technologies. However, desalination plants release gases, which contribute to the pollution of the surrounding environment. So to our regret the environmental picture on is rather sad. If we don’t unite our Efforts in solving the mentioned problems, the damage to the environment may become irreversible. However, we can take some measures. For example, recycling cans and paper, lowering thermostats, improving home insulation and switching off unused lights can help us reduce emissions. #6 Outstanding English-speaking Personality Franklin(фрэнклин) Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the US, held office for the longest time in history. He was a statesman(госдеятель) and politician who will be hailed(приветствовать) by the DEmocrats and the Americans for times to come. Being a stalwart(столуорт стойкий) figure and an optimist, he refused to be influenced by anyone and would not be dominated by any challenge that came his way. He visited Europe a lot with his family, learnt languages. In school he learnt the realities of the underprivileged class. Despite being raised in a luxurious(лакжириэс) manner, he was frank(открытый) and friendly with the ordinary people. He displayed intimacy and talked quite frankly with the people he met. As a politician, he was never afraid of opposing what he disliked. His spirit was that of a reformer and builder. He always seeked(стремился) for greatness and was enthusiastic about the changes that he could bring around. He always craved(стремился) for action, and was quite impatient to play his role in the 1st World War, but was prevented from doing so by illness, from which he didn’t recover till about the end of the war. His magnetic personality and authOritatIve(оthОритетИв) behavior let him order around workers, making them work to his demands(димАндс). He was sure of his policies and positive about the refОrms, and they surely did result in what he wanted. With the country mired(мАед погрязший) in the depths(пучина) of the Great Depression, he acted to restore public confidence, President's "New Deal" fought the Great Depression on a number of fronts. In the famous "First Hundred Days" of his presidency, FDR pushed through legislation that reformed the banking and financial sectors,proclaiming a bank holiday and speaking directly to the public in a series of radio broadcasts, tried to cure the ills afflicting American agriculture, and attempted to resuscitate American industry. All of these actions, though, could not end the Great Depression. Only American mobilization for war in the early 1940s brought the United States out of its economic doldrums. His ambitious(амбишес) slate(программа) of New Deal programs and refОrms redefined(переосмыслить,переопределить) the role of the federal government in the lives of Americans. Reelected by comfortable margins(с большим отрывом) in 1936, 1940 and 1944, Roosevelt led the US from IsolAtionism(АйсолЕйшанизм/ изоляционизм) to victory over Nazi(нАтси) Germany and its allies(Элайз) in the 2nd World War. He spearheaded(возглавил) the successful wartime alliance between Britain, the Soviet Union and the US, and helped lay the groundwork(основу/basis) for the post-war peace organization that would become the United Nations. This triumph dramatically altered America's relationship with the world, guiding the United States to a position of international prominence, if not predominance. The only American president in history to be elected 4 times, Roosevelt died in April 1945. Roosevelt is loved by the generation of Americans whom he saved from falling into a pitfall(ловушка) of despair. He remained steadfast(стедфаст/непреклонен) on his policies. Franklin’s positive attitude, policies, and the great personality was indeed the reason why he served the country as a president for 12 years. #7 Reading Reading is one of the most important and beneficial activities. If you have ever read a book in life you will know the pleasure and rewards of reading. Reading is the kind of exercise that keeps your mind engaged, active and healthy. It is important to develop the habit of reading not only for the sake of knowledge but also for personal growth and development. It develops positive thinking and gives you a better perspEctive of life. Reading enhances your knowledge, communication skills, it improves your concentration and makes you more confident and debate ready. The more you read the wiser you become and the more you will be recognized and appreciated. In the context of ever-changing world and permanent mutation of factors that influence our lives and behavior, books are those rare, if not unique, treasures the value of which remains constant throughout human history. Many of them, written long ago, still give the reader a non-negligible chance. A person who reads books has an opportunity to glimpse into the world, and uncover the secrets of the most successful communicators - the writers. Some people read for instruction, which is praiseworthy, some for pleasure, which is innocent, but only a few read from habit. Of that company am I. A book is able to make you laugh or cry because you start feeling exactly what the characters feel. You can experience somebody’s pain or joy and can understand that the art of the word in some books is extremely powerful. The book gives a chance to look at our life through the author’s eyes, to analyze and agree or disagree with his point of view. Sometimes a book can completely change your way of thinking or help you to solve some serious personal or psychological problem. Reading is also a good way of expanding your vocabulary both of your mother tongue or a foreign language. General reading is the first requirement for an adequate vocabulary. If you want to gain an extensive supply of valuable words you want to make your reading as wide and various as possible you have to make sure the book you’re going to read is in really good English. It's good to read in quantities, just as much as you have time for. By reading in quantities, you come upon words of the better class over and over again and in ever new connections. You need to absorb an author’s style so that after earnest and continuous reading you will find yourself involuntarily constructing phrases or sentences after that author’s pattern. It’s not worthy reading with pencil in hand and making notes every few minutes. Read freely just as if you were listening to an interesting speaker, whom you wouldn’t interrupt every other sentence. At some natural break in reading, try to recall what’s the best worth remembering turning back over the book if necessary to fix important items. Read what you like and keep some first-class book at hand – where it can be picked up and read in odd minutes. But in order to reduce so-called mind one-sideness, it is also worthy to read the books you don’t like. It’s also important not to become a slave of one author. Choosing books of different styles will diversify your vocabulary. #8 English character Foreigners have many ideas about what the English like. For example, some people say the English are always cold and reserved, this means that they don't talk much to strangers, and don't show much emotion. A reserved person never tells you anything about himself. But the people of the North and West of Britain are much less reserved than those of the South and East. Some believe the English eat porridge for breakfast and read The Times every day. The Welsh, Scottish and Irish also have a thing to say about what they think the English are like with reference to the British Empire. And, of course, the English themselves have plenty of ideas about what they are, such as being proud of having one of the oldest parliaments in the world. English people are famous for their habit of politeness. There are some people, who just cannot admit that they may possibly be at fault. In England, however, most people have moral courage and they have learnt the formula «Sorry, my fault! », you must not argue and say that it was your fault because they can get very angry. The idea is this: what can people do to such a decent and open-hearted man who always declares that everything is his fault? It shows that you are not only human – well, you commit mistakes – but also a courageous and honest person. British people keep their old traditions and are very proud of them. The traditional love of English people for tea is well known. They like to drink tea with milk. They have their five-o'clock tea not only at home or in offices, but also in tea-rooms and tea-shops, which can be found in every town. They are famous for their sense of humor. English people show great love for animals. And, of course, English people are fond of sports. Many continentals think life is a game; the English think cricket is a game. To many Englishmen cricket is both a game and a standard of behavior. When they consider something unfair, they say "That isn't cricket". A nation is born from its history, its art, its traditions and its institutions. These things work together to make people what they are. A nation is made up of people, and there are things they all share, all of those people are different. We can say there is still a "British nation," and one of the most characteristic features of Englishmen is their traditions, which they respect, and which they have kept for centuries. The traditions don't only accumulate the experience and wisdom of many generations, but they bring some stability into the rapidly changing world.