Balloonist Steve Fossett / Songs by Rosemary Clooney / Quest

所属教程:American Mosaic 更新:07-11


Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA's radio magazine in SpecialEnglish.


This is Doug Johnson. On our program today:

We play songs by Rosemary Clooney ...

Answer a listener's question about actor Bruce Lee ...

And report about the man who recently broke a world flyingrecord.

Steve Fossett's Balloon Flight


Last week, American businessman Steve Fossett became the firstperson to fly around the world alone in a balloon. He landed hisballoon in Australia on July fourth, American Independence Day. MaryTillotson tells us about his record-breaking trip.


This was fifty-eight-year-old Steve Fossett's sixth attempt tofly around the world in a balloon. He called the balloon the "Spiritof Freedom." It was forty-two meters tall and powered by helium andhot air. He rode in a small area a little more than two meters longunderneath the large balloon. This capsule was not pressurized,forcing Mister Fossett to use oxygen much of the time. He was ableto sleep only about four hours each day, usually forty-five minutesat a time.

SteveFossett at a news conference after his landing.
SteveFossett at a news conference after his landing.

Mister Fossett chose to fly overthe southern part of the world to avoid the need to get permissionto fly over many countries. He experienced very few problems duringhis flight. Some days, winds pushed the balloon at speeds of up tothree-hundred-twenty kilometers an hour.

Mister Fossett had more problems attempting to land. High windsforced him to continue flying after he set the record. Then he hadto put out an equipment fire on the balloon in the middle of thenight of July third.

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Steve Fossett began the trip onJune eighteenth in Northam, Australia. He landed the Spirit ofFreedom in that country on July fourth. He broke the record fordistance flown by a balloon, traveling more than thirty-one-thousandkilometers. He set his record on July second, thirteen days andtwelve hours after he first lifted off.

But he had spent almost fifteen days in the air by the time helanded the balloon about one-thousand-four-hundred kilometersnortheast of Sydney.

Steve Fossett now holds world records in flying balloons, flyingairplanes and sailing ships. Over the years he has done manydifficult activities. For example, he climbed many of the world'shighest mountains and swam across the English Channel. He alsocompleted the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska and drove in theTwenty-Four Hours of Le Mans car race. Steve Fossett is alreadyplanning his next adventure. He plans to fly a glider plane into thestratosphere -- eighteen-thousand meters above the ground insouthern New Zealand.

Bruce Lee


Our VOA listener question this week comes from Israel. RafiHalabbi asks about actor Bruce Lee.

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His name was Lee Jun Fan Yuen Kamwhen he was born in San Francisco, California in nineteen-forty. Anurse at the hospital said he should have an American name too. Shesuggested the name "Bruce." Bruce's father was a movie actor. YoungBruce appeared in his first movie with his father when he was onlytwo months old. Bruce and his parents returned to their home in HongKong in ninety-forty-one. Bruce began to act in Chinese movies atthe age of six.

In Hong Kong, Bruce Lee began his life-long interest in theChinese system of self-defense called Kung Fu. He studied with YipMan, a master of the famous Wing Chun Kung Fu. Bruce was alsoinvolved in many street fights. His parents decided this must stop.They sent him back to the United States. He became a student at theUniversity of Washington in Seattle. Later he opened a school toteach Kung Fu in Oakland, California.

Bruce Lee was not a big man. However, people who saw him fightcould not understand how he could be so powerful. He seemed to havethe strength of several men.

In nineteen-sixty-six, Bruce Lee acted in an American televisionseries called "The Green Hornet." The program was not a success. Butmany Hollywood movie actors began studying Kung Fu with him. Heappeared in several other television programs.

Bruce Lee returned to Hong Kong in nineteen-seventy-one to act ina Chinese movie known in the United States as "Fists of Fury." Themovie was extremely popular in Asia. He followed this with anotherfilm, "The Chinese Connection." It too was extremely popular.

In nineteen-seventy-three, Bruce Lee made his most famous movie,"Enter the Dragon." It was the first movie made in cooperationbetween American and Chinese movie companies.

But Bruce Lee died a few weeks before the movie was released. Hewas thirty-two years old. Doctors said his death was caused byswelling of the brain.

More than twenty-thousand people attended his funeral in HongKong before his body was taken to Seattle, Washington for burial."Enter the Dragon" became a major hit. It made Bruce Lee aninternationally famous movie star. Movie critics say his early deathended what would have been a very successful movie career.

Rosemary Clooney


Rosemary Clooney died last month of lung cancer. She wasseventy-four years old. Millions of people around the world haveenjoyed listening to her sing for the past fifty years. Shep O'Nealtells us about her.


Rosemary Clooney was born in the small town of Maysville,Kentucky and began singing as a child. She moved to New York City atthe age of twenty-one. She began recording for Columbia Records.Mizz Clooney was ordered to record a song she did not like. Itbecame a huge hit record. It is called "Come On-a My House."

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Rosemary Clooney sang on radio programs. She later had her owntelevision show. She also performed in the movies. Her best knownfilm is "White Christmas." Listen as she sings a song from thatmovie, "Count Your Blessings."


Rosemary Clooney married the actor Jose Ferrer. They had fivechildren in five years. But they were not happy and they ended theirmarriage. Later, Mizz Clooney suffered from the mental diseasedepression and dependence on alcohol. But she always returned to hersinging.

In nineteen-ninety-five, Rosemary Clooney celebrated fifty yearsin the music business by recording the album "Demi-Centennial." Weleave you now with one of her biggest hit songs -- the only hit sheincluded on that album. Here is Rosemary Clooney singing "MamboItaliano."



This is Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And Ihope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA'sradio magazine in Special English.

This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by Nancy Steinbach andPaul Thompson. Our studio engineer was Curtis Bynum. And ourproducer was Paul Thompson.