Queen Elizabeth II has now been queen for 67 years. She became queen on February 6, 1952, after the death of her father, George IV. Elizabeth was crowned more than one year later on June 2, 1953. The ceremony was held at Westminster Abbey and was shown on TV all over the world. At that time, Elizabeth II was the Queen of many countries besides the United Kingdom: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon. Now these countries are independent, but she is still the Queen of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. (by Prof.Douglas Jarrell)
According to the news, the temperature in parts of Hokkaido will go down to minus 16 degrees centigrade today. The sea ice has come in from the Okhotsk Sea along the north side of the island. It is very cold, but it isn’t as cold as it is in some parts of the U.S. Temperatures around the Great Lakes have dropped to minus 30 degrees. When the wind blows, it can feel like minus 45 degrees. The government is telling people not to stay outside for a long time. It is so cold that the zoo in Chicago will be closed for a couple of days.
If you live in an area where there is no snow, you can see gardeners outside trimming trees. This is a busy time of year for them. Why do they choose the winter to do their work? There are two reasons. One reason is that many trees lose their leaves, so it is easier for gardeners to see which branches they should cut and which ones they should leave. Another reason is that the tree doesn’t lose a lot of sap . The tree is sleeping, so it doesn’t go into shock when it is cut. When spring comes, the sap comes back up, and the tree starts to grow again. (by Prof. Douglas Jarrell)
At the party I attended the other night, three out of the five people were smokers. One of the topics was why they had started smoking. One person said that he went to a barber shop run by a man in his 50s when he was growing up. The barber offered cigarettes to customers older than 20. As soon as he finished high school, the barber asked if he was going to college and offered him a cigarette. Another person said that he was working part-time at a construction site when he was in college. The people around him were regular construction workers, and they forced him to smoke.