Nature’s latest report from the world of paleontology challenges the assumptions made by everyone until now about when animals first walked the earth.
This is footprint of early tetrapods. We have here, for example, digits, impressions, and something like their pads. This is important.
I’ve been working personally in this field since the mid 1990s. I’ve had over 20 publications in ‘Nature’, and this is the most important paper that I have ever worked on.
Footprints in a Polish quarry tell the tetrapods which walked the earth 20 million years before we thought any animal had left the sea.
This is your little friend, isn’t it? Oh my word. Oh, wonderful. Look at that!
Until only a few months ago, this was an accurate model of a kind of animal paleontologists believed existed in the Middle Devonian Period, with fins but no proper feet. The new model is quite different.
Legs stick out and thighs can flex forwards. Then, it had to be an animal like this, a primitive land vertebrate, not a fish.
And if you are not sure you believe it, the Nature paper and the full film offer the proof.
New Words and Phrases
paleontology n. 古生物学
footprint n. 脚印，足迹
Polish adj. 波兰的，波兰人的，波兰语的 n. 波兰语
quarry n. 采石场，猎获物，出处，被追逐的目标 v. 挖出，苦心找出
Middle Devonian Period 中泥盆纪
The geisha house is the temple of this ancient art. For centuries, the geisha have witnessed the love affairs, betrayals and deceptions of Japan’s most powerful men.
A geisha is a woman who’s available for hire to keep a man company during the evening, usually in fact it’s a group of men company during the evening. And to the surprise of most westerners that rarely involves sex. It simply doesn’t exist in other cultures because we socialize together, the Japanese don’t. This is where geisha come in.
They guarantee their clients’ total privacy under a code of silence.
A man who goes to a geisha house, during the evening goes there, on the assumption that nothing that’s said or done would be taken outside those walls. This is a particular compartment. It’s watertight and this is what allows the geisha to choose to exist really, and this is why there’s a kind of code of silence. A geisha mustn’t talk about what has happened.
The geisha business is the only business in Japan run exclusively by women for a man. At the top is the geisha mother. She provides all her girls with board and lodging and a precious kimonos, a considerable outlay of cash. In return, apart from a modest wage, the geisha give her all the money they earned from their clients. At one time, a geisha mother virtually owned her girls that lived constantly in her debt. The geisha mother would begin recouping her investment by selling a girl’s virginity to the highest bidder. This discreet auction relied on her best knowledge of the private lives and desires of her local clients.
It’s true that this stereotypical image of the women who run these houses, these geisha houses, is of a sort of cruel event like character who cares only about one thing and that’s money. But I think the stereotype proved vive because there’s a considerable amount of truth in it. These are, these districts, the striking thing about them is that they are the one area in Japan where women absolutely rule.
Today it is in the best interest of a Geisha Mother to treat her girls well. It costs her no less than 500,000 dollars to train a Geisha. And if a Geisha subset quits, the Geisha Mother loses a fortune. Apprentice Geisha go through 5 years of training. By the end even their gestures are distinctive. Every aspect of their appearance has acquired a symbolic meaning and an erotic power.
Yuriko is an apprentice Geisha, halfway through her 5-year training. The most valuable person in her life is her older Geisha sister, Mamika. All trainee Geisha have an elder sister to teach them the centuries-old skills they need to succeed.
Mamika, Yuriko’s older Geisha sister, lives the life of a super model. She can afford the very best including a million-dollar membership to a country club and private coaching lessons.
Thanks to this job, I get to meet many people, eat good food, wear nice kimono, and travel to places where ordinary people can’t go. You know what? I get through many enjoyable things in life.
Mamika sets a high standard. To follow her example, Yuriko has to dedicate her life to the art. The word Geisha means artist. As well as being professional companions, a Geisha must excel in dance, music and literature. Every graceful movement is carefully choreographed. The dances often tell stories about Geisha who must sacrifice love for their art. A Geisha requires the same dedication that a prima ballerina needs in the West.
The training is never ending. My instructor is still training after thirty to forty years. Compared with her, I’m just nobody. There is no such word as perfection.
Geisha do not marry. Cut off from family bond, they live together as if in a sisterhood. They form close friendships which bind them for lifetime.
New Words and Phrases
betrayals n. 背叛，暴露
deception n. 骗局，诡计，欺诈
socialize vt. 使 … 社会化，使 … 社会主义化，使适应社会需要 vi. 交际
code n. 码，密码，法规，准则 vt. 把 … 编码，制成法典
assumption n. 假定，设想，担任(职责等), 假装
compartment n. 间隔，个别室，卧车包房 vt. 把 … 分隔成几个包间
watertight adj. 不漏水的，无懈可击的
board and lodging 出租供膳,膳宿
lodging n. 寄宿处
kimono n. 和服
outlay n. 费用，经费，支出 v. 花费
recoup v. 重获，补偿 vt. 重获(尤指钱), 失而复得，赔偿，扣除
discreet adj. 谨慎的
stereotypical n. 铅版，陈腔滥调，老一套 vt. 使用铅版，套用老套
vive int. 万岁 adj. 鲜丽，活泼
黄石国家公园，（Yellowstone National Park）简称黄石公园，是世界第一座国家公园，成立于1872年。黄石公园位于美国中西部怀俄明州的西北角，并向西北方向延伸到爱达荷州和蒙大拿州，面积达7988平方公里。这片地区原本是印地安人的圣地，但因美国探险家路易斯与克拉克的发掘，而成为世界上最早的国家公园。园内设有历史古迹博物馆，它在1978年被列为世界自然遗产。黄石河、黄石湖纵贯其中，有峡谷、瀑布、温泉以及间歇喷泉等，景色秀丽，引人入胜。其中尤以每小时喷水一次的“老实泉”最著名。园内森林茂密，还牧养了一些残存的野生动物如美洲野牛等，供人观赏。（百度百科对黄石公园的详细介绍）
As continents shift and clash,volcanos erupt,and glaciers grow and recede,the earth’s crust is carved in countless fasinating ways,leaving a trail of geological mysteries behind.
One of the greatest is right here, in yellow stone national park in Wyoming. This is one of the world’s most geologically active places, shaken by up to 5000 earthquakes every year, and more geysers and hot springs than the rest of the world combine. Why is yellow stone so active? How did it form? And why here,in the heart of Rockies. Scientists studying in yellowstone are uncovering a violent past. Carved by water,crushed by ancient glaciers,and blasted by the biggest volcano eruption ever known on the planet. And even today,yellow stone is one of the most dangerous places on earth.
Yellowstone national park is one of the most amazing places on earth, and it’s unique. It contains some of the America’s most stunning scenery and wildlife that attracts 3 million tourists a year. To understand where yellowstone came from, and why it is so active today, we need to take a journey back into the distant past of the north American continent and deep into the earth’s interior. Yellowstone sits 8000 feet up, on a romote mountain plateau, primirally within Wyoming, but streching into parts of Idaho and Montana. The park covers 3468 sqaure miles,63 miles north to south and 54 miles east to west. And its on top of one of the world’s most unuasual and deadliest geological structures.
-What’s unusual about the park? Are the wildlife unusual? No. Is the wide open space unusual? No, you’ve got it all over the western U.S. What’s unusual? It’s the very unusual geology that created the park. Yellowstone was founded as the world’s first national park because of the geology.
It’s the strange geology that attracts teams of scientists to the park. Their task, to piece together the story of the incredible processes that built this unique, extraordinary landscape, by digging deep into Yellowstone’s past.
-The geological history of Yellowstone goes back to the formation of the North American Continent. Some of the rocks in Yellowstone are 2.8 to 3.2 billion-year-old rocks, some are the oldest in North America.
Only by travelling back into the past can we figure out why in this particular location, there are 2,400 miles of rivers, more than 300 waterfalls, and the world’s greatest concentration of 10,000 hot water springs, bubbling mud holes, gas vents（排气孔） and gysers(间歇喷泉). What do these features reveal about this landscape and how it was formed?
The investigation begins at Yellowstone’s star attraction—Old Faithful. It’s a key clue to what’s going on underneath the surface. Located in the southwest of Yellowstone Park, the gyser puts on an explosive display every 90 munites or so, lasting out thousands of gallons of scorching hot water.
-Yellowstone is like no other place on earth. There is so much heat coming out here. It’s really a singular phenomenon.
-Well, after about 90-munite nap, Old faithful has woke back to life. And it wasn’s actual napping, it was recharging, the temperature of the water was increasing, the system was pressurizing. Beneath Old faithful, there is a rather complex pumping system filled with carburet and conduit and constrictions.
Rain waters saturating the ground around the gysers, slowly fill its underground reservoir.
New Words and Phrases
continent n. 大陆，洲
clash n. 冲突，撞击声，抵触 vt. 冲突，抵触，使 … 发出撞击声 vi. 引起冲突
erupt v. 爆发
glacier n. 冰河，冰川
recede vi. 后退，减弱 vt. 撤回
carve v. 雕刻，切割
geological adj. 地质学的
Wyoming n. 怀俄明(州)[美国]
geyser n. 天然热喷泉，间歇泉 n. <英>热水器
Rockies n. 落基山脉(北美) = Rocky Mountains
blast n. 一阵(强风)，爆炸声，爆破 v. 爆破，摧毁
plateau n. 高原;平稳;稳定状态 vi. 到达平稳阶段
Idaho n. 爱达荷(美国州名）
Montana n. 蒙大拿(美国州名)
It’s Friday afternoon at a village bakery in Hara Kebira,this tiny Jewish community is preparing for the sabbat meal bringing pots of soup to be heated in the wood oven.Today’s customers are Jewish,but the baker here is Muslim.In much of the world,that’s a novelty.Here it’s daily life.
“We work together.We do business together.We help each other.One time it’s a Jew.One time it’s a Muslim.It’s easy here in Djerba and it’s been going on for a long time.And this didn’t start yesterday,for us that’s everyday.”
Tunisia is 98% Muslim and Jews here are small minority out of about 3000 in the entire country roughly have lived on Djerba Island and nearly all in the village of Hara Kebira.It might be a recipe for discrimination but instead it’s a model for coexistence.Djerban say they get along because they always have.Living together is a part of their heritage.
“We see each other all the time because we live together.This isn’t 10 years or even 20.We’ve been living together for hundreds of years.We’re used to it.”
Djerba’s Jewish community maybe the oldest Jewish settlement in the world.Tradition holds at the first Jews came here more than 2,500 years ago and founded the grip of synagogue.In more recent times,immigrants came to Djerba from Spain and Italy pleaing prosecution.It hasn’t always for Jews here either.And Djerba’s Jewish population has dimished in the last 50 years.But a small community has endured.In the village Muslim and Jewish shots sit side by side.
Hara Kebira has several synagogues,a mosque and a Jewish cemetery.A broad neighbourhood life brings them together.Religious life still keeps them separate.Those communities are very traditional.An integration can only go so far.
“You never find a Jew here marries to a Muslim,not hatred,it’s just our tradition.Jews with Jews.For our religion that will always stay the same.”
Living together can be a tough balance to strike.And with turmoil in the Middle-East,some worry that things may be changing.Still there is hope.This Djerba classroom has a sign on the door that reads “Love thy neighbour”.Inside the students are learning about religion.In their community,they’re learning about getting along.In Djerba,despite the tensions in the outside world,”Love Thy Neighbour” is still a goal,shared by Jews and Muslims alike.
New Words and Phrases
bakery n. 面包店
Muslim n. 穆斯林，穆罕默德信徒
novelty n. 新奇，新奇的事物，小装饰
roughly adv. 概略地，粗糙地，粗鲁地
recipe n. 食谱，秘诀，药方
discrimination n. 歧视，辨别力，识别
coexistence n. 共存，和平共处
heritage n. 遗产，继承物，传统
Hi, I’m Paddy Kim. Ireland, it’s an exciting mix of the old and the new. Here you’ll find the quiet of the countryside and the exuberance of the city. But Ireland is still well stocked of this glorious castles and windswept landscapes, it really is the jewel of destination, deserving of its nick name “the Emerald Isle’’.
Historically, Ireland was divided into the four provinces of Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster. Today most of Ulster is now in Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland covers 5 / 6 of the Ireland, its capital is Dublin.
In Dublin, start along the river Liffey for tours of Dublin’s architecture. Visit Trinity College and explore Ireland’s oldest university and its vast libraries. But for a real brush with history, travel to the Boyne Valley in County Meath and see Newgrange. This massive tomb is similar in purpose to the pyramids of Giza though it was built over 5,000 years ago when the pyramids were even a twinkle in the pharaoh’s eye.
Ireland’s Stone Age inhabitants built it to house on their honored dead and perhaps for something more. At sunrise on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year a beam of light enters the central chamber. What significance this had for the builders is still a matter of debate, enter the tomb and decide for yourself. The experience is illuminating.
Ireland has produced a plethora of castles, churches and towers. Its monasteries became important centers of learning during the Dark Ages. And its fortresses were strategic battle grounds against the island’s frequent invaders. The Rock of Cashel near Tipperary serves both the secularly and religious function.
According to legend, this fortress of the Munster kings was visited by Saint Patrick himself and eventually became an important medieval cathedral. If your tastes cater more towards scenery than history you are in luck. Opportunity abound. Near Galway the cliffs of Mohair rise more than 650 feet from the sea providing dramatic views of the coast. Also nearby are the surreal landscapes of the Burren with its cracked limestone in brooding ruins.
When it’s time for a more leisurely pace, you can travel along the river Shannon, ride horses in the Connemara or stroll through quaint towns of lush countryside, colored in Ireland’s 40 shades of green.
New Words and Phrases
exuberance n. 茂盛，充沛，丰富
glorious adj. 光荣的，辉煌的
windswept adj. 被风吹扫的，曝露在风中的
landscapes n. 风景，山水，风景画 v. 美化景观
Trinity College 圣三一学院，现在名为都柏林大学（欧洲最著名的学府之一，创建于1592年，被认为是爱尔兰高等教育的象征，也是爱尔兰人们心目中的精神象征）
Boyne Valley 博伊恩谷
County Meath 米斯郡
Newgrange 新庄园（爱尔兰最着名的史前纪念碑之一，同时亦是西欧最好的走廊式墓穴，它始建于公元前三千二百年左右，在紧邻Drogheda的Boyne Valley中的大走廊式墓穴墓地中，它是一处主要景观。）
pharaoh n. 法老，暴君
Stone Age 石器时代
winter solstice n.冬至
solstice n. 至，至点，至日
beam n. 光线，(光线的)束，(横)梁，桁条 vt. 用梁支撑，发射，播送
a beam of 一束(一道，一线)
chamber n. 房间，会议厅，室 adj. 室内演奏的
illuminate vt. 照明，阐释，说明
You will live a long time, have many friends, many expenses. You will lose all your money. Don’t worry, you will get it all back again, and you will come back to Bali and then I will teach you everything I know.
With some guy who, yes, looks a little like Yoda(绝地大师尤达), hands you a prophecy, you have to respond.
I get it. It’s your life graph right now.
Just like a couple of years ago when you were completely consumed with being a perfect wife.
Mom, when did you accept the life you had?
Oh, my baby, always searching for something.
Your underwear, my Queen.
Just folded my delicate.
Oh, my God, baby, you are in so much trouble.
Now people started resembling their dogs. He used to look like Steven, now he kind of looks like David.
I need to change. Since I was 15 I’ve either been with a guy or breaking up with a guy.
I have not given myself two weeks of a breather, just to deal with myself.
You wanna go away for a year?
I used to have this appetite for my life and it is just gone. I wanna go some place where I can marvel at something. I am going to Italy, and then I am going to India, and I am going to end the year in Bali.
I am having a relationship with my pizza. This is my no-carb-left-behind experiment.
If you could clear out all that space in your mind, you have a doorway. And you know what the universe would do? Push in!
Everything else would take care of itself.
New Words and Phrases
prophecy n. 预言，先兆，预言能力(=prophesy)
be consumed with (为某种感情)而不断受折磨
delicate n. 精美的东西 adj. 精美的，微妙的，美味的，纤细的，脆弱的，敏锐的
resemble vt. 相似，类似，像
marvel n. 奇异的事物，罕见的例子 v. 惊异于，惊异
marvel at v. 对 … 惊奇，惊叹于 …
clear out 清除，赶走，离开
As the water is warm and tides grow high, horseshoe crabs leave the ocean floor and make their way to the shores and estuaries of the Atlantic Coast. Here in the sheltered waters of South Carolina, they suddenly emerge by the thousands in the spawning ritual they’ve performed for hundreds of millions of years. On the highest tides, they drag themselves to shore to lay their eggs. Crabs don’t mature till they are nine or ten. By then, they’ve molted for the last time and their permanent shells can host an ecosystem of hitchhikers. Horseshoe crabs are safest on the ocean floor, but the only way to carry on the species is to take a risk.
We see the ones that see us come and turn and take off to the water. We caught him before he knows us. You know.
Jerry Golt and his father Bob have worked these waters for decades.
We work the moons. The horseshoe crabs come up and spawn on the moons in the springtime.
If you actually get into the water, you can feel them swimming and sometimes you can’t even catch them because they’ll get to swimming so fast. A lot of people seem to be scared when they first see them on the beaches. They do look a little scary but what I do is put them right up against my face and as you can see they do not hurt. Their pinchers are all very light. These are harmless. I just like them.
Mine is bigger. Mine is younger. Huh…
For 15 years, South Carolina has been collecting horseshoe crabs for fishing bait. Now, only fishermen with special licenses are allowed to gather crabs for biomedical use and only if they return the crabs alive. Few of us realized just how valuable the horseshoe crab is.
When I first started 37 years ago, we were allowed to harvest them. There was no recording; there was nothing. And they became fair game and I was involved with selling them for bait. And then a doctor came down and he said that if I didn’t sell bait crabs anymore, he would be interested in the laboratory.
Normal fishing is, as you know, you catch it, you ice it, and you deliver it to the table, and you eat it. The horseshoe crabs we actually catch them, take them to the lab, and they bleed them and we bring them back and release them. So we are borrowing the crabs, this is what we are doing.
Crabs that are borrowed end up a couple of hours away at the Endosafe Laboratories in Charleston. Here in this alien world, they are given a rigorous cleaning to prep them for the process ahead. For the past 30 years, the biomedical industry has been mining the medical equivalent of gold. Endosafe is one of the only four labs in the world that produces a derivative of horseshoe crab blood. Their blood has a clotting agent that’s used to detect minute levels of bacteria. But what’s truly surprising is the color. The crab’s blue blood is an evolutionary gift that’s helped them survive the eons.
Male or female? A small male would be good. OK!
Doctor Norman Wainwright has been working with horseshoe crabs for most of his career, studying the remarkable properties of their blood.
The beautiful blue color is a result of its blood containing copper as an oxygen carrying pigment instead of hemoglobin which contains iron. I am adding a suspension of E. coli bacteria.
At the first sign of bacteria, the crab’s blood forms a protective clot.
Look at that, this is perfect. This is the horseshoe crab cells protecting the animal from infection. Any type of leakage of seawater into their blood system will trigger this response, seal the wound and they actually are proteins in the clot itself that kill the bacteria. They are almost the primitive antibiotics.
The phenomenon caught the attention of the biomedical community in the 70s, they’ve been putting it to work for us ever since. Up to a third of the crab’s blood is removed during the process, yet most of them survive. One quart of horseshoe crab blood is worth about 15,000 dollars. It’s a multi-million-dollar industry. The clotting agent called Lysate is used to test intravenous drugs for bacteria. No IV drug reaches the market without being tested on horseshoe crab blood. It’s an FDA regulation.
Years ago, the only way to screen for toxins dangerous to humans was to use live rabbits. Feverish bunnies revealed contamination and the test was slow. Horseshoe crab blood takes an hour tops and most of the crabs survive the process. Scientists are exploring alternatives that would make bleeding crabs unnecessary. But each day we are finding more ways the horseshoe crab can help us with everything from sutures to contact lenses.
New Words and Phrases
horseshoe crabs 鲎，马蹄蟹
ocean floor 海底
estuaries n. 河口，江口，海湾
sheltered waters 隐蔽水域
spawn n. 卵，产物，后代，结果 vt. 产卵，种菌丝于，产生，造成 vi. 产卵，大量生产
ritual n. 仪式，典礼，宗教仪式，固定程序 adj. 仪式的，老规矩的，惯常的
lay eggs 下蛋，产卵
molt n. 换毛，脱皮，换毛期 v. 换毛，脱毛
ecosystem n. 生态系统
hitchhiker n. 搭便车的旅行者，短篇广告，顺便插入的广告
carry on the species 繁衍生息
take a risk 冒险
take off v. 起飞，脱掉，取消，匆匆离开，成功，去除，起跳，拿走
waters n. 水域，领海，水体
springtime n. 春季，青春期，初期
For generations, it’s been called “America’s national pastime”. Baseball has come to be seen as a defining part of the American culture, an enduring tie born from a diverse and sprawling young country. But the big business and athletic heroes that characterize the game today are far removed from its roots as “a gentleman’s pastime”.
Over the last few decades, diehard vintage baseball enthusiasts have been resurrecting the grand old game and some of its pearliest forms. And while the trappings may seem familiar, it was a very different ball game.
“We are gonna take you back to a time today when Colorado was still a territory and baseball was a gentleman’s game.”
In the 1800s, gentlemen and women ballists would gather 9 to a team for a bitter friendly afternoon rivalry.
“Let’s play ball.”
“This is baseball, according rules that were played around 1860 to 1862. Balls being new to be cut on one bounce were an out. Because there were no gloves used at that time, not even the first baseman, nor the catcher. ”
The pitching was underhanded. And the striker or batter could even call the pitches from the hurler, high or low.
“I will fine you, sir.”
On a good hit, the striker might wag it on base with an ace. Runners tended to shy away from stealing, and a gentleman will certainly never slide. Nor would he lose his boarding temper.
“Team members will actually find if they use bad language on the field, or they did not play as a gentleman would be expected to play.”
“For me, I enjoy the gentlemanly nature, what they are doing here. It’s good to be with the guys. We all play together. We all help one other. Nobody gets too competitive. And if they do the umpire will fine them.”
Not too long after the period depicted by these vintage ballists, the game of baseball changed dramatically. Gloves were introduced, the rules refined, and although the game remained a leisurely pursuit, the first professional team arrived in 1869 with the Cincinnati Red Stockings, but the innocence and tradition still live on with vintage baseball teams.
Hi, everyone. I’m Patty Kim. Today we’re headed for Southern Africa, a place that holds something for every traveler, for every budget: cosmopolitan cities, world-class safaris, not to mention record-setting sites that’ll take your breath away. Here’s where you’ll find some of the world’s wildest places as well as some of its rarest creatures.
Chances are if you’re heading to this region, you’re heading for the most popular stop: South Africa. But there is a whole slew（大量） of other places like Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Malawi that also have plenty to offer to travelers.
When is the best time to go? Generally during the cooler, drier months from around May to October, though parts of South Africa are pleasant all year round.
With an abundance of national parks and game reserves in Southern Africa, a safari should be at the top of any traveler’s to-do list. The wide variety of terrains, savanna, desert, forest, wetland and highland provide an even wider variety of animals and places to encounter them.
The original safari hunters made a list of the toughest animals to hunt, the big five: lions, leopards, rhino, elephants, and Cape buffalo. Today’s modern safari spotters might soon discover that while elephants and even lions are easy to catch sight of, many other animals, including the elusive leopard, are a little harder to find.
Sharpen your eyes and your odds with a few simple tips: go out at dawn and dusk when animals are most active; head for water where animals come to drink; make sure to look near and far, left and right, on tree branches and underfoot. With a bit of practice, you’ll capture some amazing photographs.
Some of the best-known parks and game reserves in the region include South Africa’s Kruger Park, Namibia’s Etosha, Zambia’s Luangwa National Parks, and Botswana’s Moremi Wildlife Reserve in the heart of the Okavango Delta, stretching over 6,000 square miles, the largest inland delta in the world.
The Okavango River once fed into a large lake now vanished under the Kalahari Desert. When the seasonal floodwater surge over the land, they create a labyrinth of channels and thickets（茂密丛林） brimming with wildlife.
For more record-setting attractions, head west into the Namib Desert. One of the oldest deserts in the world, this thin strip of sand along the Namibian coast is home to some of the world’s largest sand dunes. Undulating waves of sand stretch for up to 30 miles in length, reaching a thousand feet in height. The slopes hold the animals uniquely evolved for this alien landscape.
On the Zambezi River you can canoe or kayak(划皮船) along the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Just be careful when you hear the rumbling of water. Its name is Mosi-oa-Tunya, or the Smoke that Thunders, better known as Victoria Falls. At some 350 feet high and a mile wide, it’s considered by some as the largest waterfall in the world.
The Zambezi River flows eastward into Mozambique and out to sea. Across the Mozambique Channel are Africa’s Indian Ocean islands, including Comoros, the Seychelles, Mauritius, the French island of Réunion, and Madagascar. Each island competes for best tropical paradise, and it’s easy to see why.
When you’re ready to wind down, head to cosmopolitan Cape Town and pamper(纵容) yourself with some fine dining and samples of local wines.
Remember, Southern Africa is big, nearly the size of the continental United States. No matter where you plan to travel, city, plains, falls or desert, you’re bound to have an unforgettable adventure.
Hi everyone! I’m Petty Kim. Today our destination is Japan, a country that steeped in tradition, but one that also lives on the cutting edge of the future.
It’s one of the few places in the world where tradition and change go hand in hand. A place built on paradox. This is Japan.
A throbbing country of more than 127 million people crammed into a chain of islands, an area smaller than California. Maybe it’s not so surprising that such a modern place pulled such a strong grip on its cultural past.
It was only as recently as the late 1800s when the country emerged from hundreds of years of isolation brought on by its rulers.
Nothing embodies the contrasts of tradition and modernism quite like Tokyo. Staying in the capital, a city of over 12 million people, you’ll be able to experience some of the best shopping, dining and cultural treasures the country has to offer. And if you looking for a taste of authentic Tokyo, you don’t have to go far. Head down to the Tsukiji Wholesale Fish Market handling seafood for the entire region around Tokyo.
For a breath of fresh air, plan a day trip to the iconic Mount Fuji. Located 62 miles southwest of Tokyo in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan, rising more than 12,000 feet. Although it’s covered by snow several months out of the year, the sacred mountain remains one of Japan’s most popular attractions. Just to the south of Mount Fuji, is a natural wonder of a bay called Suruga. Here boaters enjoy pristine water conditions, divers check out the sea life and researchers congregate to study this wonderful marine habitat. Above water, the wildlife is no less impressive. Japan also offers the opportunity to come face-to-face with some amazing animals, such as the Japanese giant hornet or the Japanese macaque.
When you’re ready for more urban exploration, give traditional Kabuki Theater a try. Your best bet for a good show will come in Kyoto, Osaka or Tokyo. Japan’s traditional theater is known for highly stylized drama and elaborate makeup worn by its all male performers. Keep in mind, though, it might not be a great stop for kids. Performances last about 3 hours. Drinks and snacks are usually available in the foyer(门厅). You can also buy a ticket for a set bento or lunch box. It will be served to you in the dining room during the intermission（幕间休息）.
For those seeking out traditional arts and crafts, Japan won’t disappoint. For ceramics lovers, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. Japan boasts of hundreds of famous kilns（烧窑） and many of the country’s master potters(陶工) continue the tradition on the island of Kyushu.
From handmade Japanese paper called Washi（和紙） to the centuries’ old art of Bunraku puppetry（木偶戏） to the thrill of watching some of the Japan’s finest athletes compete in the Sumo rings of Tokyo or Osaka, Japan offers the unique promise of experiencing the past but with one eye always looking toward the future.