Text # 50 The Man Booker Prize

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is awarded every year for a novel written by a writer from the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland and it aims to represent the very best in contemporary fiction. The prize was originally called the Booker-McConnell Prize, which was the name of the company that sponsored it, though it was better-known as simply the ‘Booker Prize’. In 2002, the Man Group became the sponsor and they chose the new name, keeping ‘Booker’.

Publishers can submit books for consideration for the prize, but the judges can also ask for books to be submitted they think should be included. Firstly, the Advisory Committee give advice if there have been any changes to the rules for the prize and selects the people who will judge the books. The judging panel changes every year and usually a person is only a judge once.

Great efforts are made to ensure that the judging panel is balanced in terms of gender and professions within the industry, so that a writer, a critic, an editor and an academic are chosen along with a well-known person from wider society. However, when the panel of judges has been finalized, they are left to make their own decisions without any further involvement or interference from the prize sponsor.

The Man Booker judges include critics, writers and academics to maintain the consistent quality of the prize and its influence is such that the winner will almost certainly see the sales increase considerably, in addition to the £50,000 that comes with the prize.



True/ False

1. The Man Booker Prize is awarded only for the best contemporary fiction.

2. The Prize was originally called the Booker-McConnell Prize.

3. Booker-McConnell is a company which promoted this event.

4. “Booker” is a new name chosen in 2002 by the Man Group.

5. The writers themselves can submit books for consideration.

6. The judges cannot ask for books to be submitted.

7. The Advisory Committee gives advice if there has been any changes to the rules.

8. Only volunteers judge the books.

9. The judging panel changes every two years.

10. A person can be a judge for the Man Booker Prize only once.

11. Among the judges we can find writers and editors as well as well-known people from wider society.

12. The prize sponsor has a great influence on the decision.

13. The winner gets £50,000 with the prize.


Multiple choice questions:

1. The Republic of Ireland

a/ is in the Commonwealth

b/ is not in the Commonwealth.

c/ can't enter the Man Booker Prize.

d/ joined the Booker prize in 2002

2. The Man group

a/ was forced to keep the name 'Booker'.

b/ decided to include the name 'Booker'.

c/ decided to keep the name 'Booker-McConnell'.

d/ decided to use only the name 'Booker'

3. Books can be submitted

a/ by publishers.

b/ by writers.

c/ by judges.

d/ by the sponsors.

4. Who advises on changes to the rules?

a/ The sponsors

b/ The judging panel

c/ The advisory panel

d/ Publishers

5. The judging panel

a/ doesn't include women.

b/ includes only women.

c/ is only chosen from representatives of the industry

d/ includes someone from outside the industry.

6. The sponsors of the prize

a/ are involved in choosing the winner.

b/ are involved in choosing the judges

c/ are not involved at all.

d/ choose the academic for the panel of judges.

7. The consistent quality of the prize

a/ is guaranteed by the prize money

b/ is guaranteed by the gender of the judges.

c/ is guaranteed by the make-up of the panel of judges.

d/ is guaranteed by the increase in sales of the winner.

Text # 51 Climatic Changes

Atmospheric pressure, as measured by a barometer, is another indicator of the weather. The amount of water vapor in the air is another predictor. Warm air can dissolve more water than cold air, just as hot tea dissolves more sugar than iced tea. The point at which the air cannot hold any more water is called the saturation point. On a warm day, if the air is saturated with moisture and the temperature drops, the excess water is squeezed out of the air. We see this moisture appearing as dew, fog, or clouds. If sufficient water is squeezed out, we have rain or, at temperatures below the freezing point, snow.

Today there exists a threat to the earth's climate from man-made chemical wastes. Meteorologists have known for a long time that the earth passes through cycles of warming and cooling. The earth has been gradually warming since the last ice age occurred about 18,000 years ago. Recently, however, scientists have become aware of the fact that our technical/industrial civilization may be causing changes in the earth’s atmosphere that could alter the weather and that these changes could be very dangerous and irreversible.

One problem is ozone depletion. The stratosphere, or upper atmosphere of the earth, contains a layer of ozone gas that protects the earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Recently, ozone concentrations over Antarctica have been dropping at an alarming rate. Researchers have determined that a group of man-made chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons are rising from the earth and destroying the ozone.

A second problem is the so-called greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere functions like the glass in a greenhouse, screening out excessive infrared rays and acting as an insulator to prevent heat from escaping at night. Without the protection of the atmosphere, temperatures on the earth could reach the extremes they do on the moon. If we continue to burn fossil fuels, the level of carbon dioxide in the air may increase to the point where it will blanket the earth and cause it to warm to a dangerous level.

    It remains to be seen whether this warming trend will continue and, if so, whether scientists will be able to do something about it in time to avert disaster in the next century.


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