Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA's radio magazine in SpecialEnglish.
This is Steve Ember. On our program today we:
Play some songs about food ...
Report about the popular new "Star Wars" movie ...
And tell about one attempt to make progress toward world peace.
Seeds of Peace
Peacemakers throughout history have faced huge problems trying tosolve international conflicts. A special summer program in theUnited States teaches young people from areas of conflict how tounderstand each other. Mary Tillotson tells us more.
The program is called Seeds of Peace. Each summer, organizershold three two-week meetings at a camp in the state of Maine. Thecamp is for young people ages fourteen to seventeen. They come frommany areas, including several countries in the Middle East, India,Pakistan, Greece, Turkey, and the former Yugoslavia.
The camp provides a safe andsupportive place for young people to speak about conflict. Theyspend their time in classes discovering how to communicate andlisten to each other. They learn how to solve their conflictsthrough discussion instead of violence. They also live together,play team sports and take part in art and music activities. The goalis to help the students discover that the so-called enemy is human,and can even be a friend.
Each two-week camp ends with a trip to Washington, D-C. The youngpeople visit the White House and State Department. They also meetwith members of Congress and their own ambassadors to the UnitedStates. This part of the program teaches the students that worldleaders value their ideas and want to learn from them.
Writer John Wallach started Seeds of Peace innineteen-ninety-three. At that time, organizers brought only Araband Israeli students together. Today the program has expanded towelcome students from many other parts of the world where conflictexists.
The students speak English at the camp. About three-hundredstudents are chosen to attend the camp each year from more thantwo-thousand who ask to attend. They are nominated by theirgovernments for their ability to lead and their good schoolperformance. Their economic and social positions are not considered.
To find out more about Seeds of Peace, visit the organization'sInternet Web site at www.seedsofpeace.org. Seeds of peace is all one word.Or you can write to Seeds of Peace, three-seven-zero LexingtonAvenue, New York, New York, one-zero-zero-one-seven, U-S-A.
Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
Movie fans are enjoying the new Star Wars movie, "Attack of theClones." It has earned more than two-hundred-fifty-million dollarssince its release five weeks ago.
The movie is the fifth in a serieswritten and directed by George Lucas. They tell a continuing storyabout a young man named Anakin Skywalker in an imaginary galaxy ofplanets. Shirley Griffith has more.
In "Attack of the Clones," a group of separatists wantsindependence from a government called The Republic. The Republic hasprepared an army of biologically engineered men called clones. Acivil war begins between the separatists' army of mechanical men andthe Republic's clones.
At the same time, Anakin Skywalker is training to become aspecial fighter called a Jedi knight. But Anakin falls in love witha beautiful young woman senator, Padme Amidala. The rules of theJedi ban such feelings. So the two young people begin a secretrelationship.
Some critics have said that much of the writing in "Attack of theClones" is so bad that it is funny. They also said the story'spolitical mysteries are confusing and often just stupid. But mostcritics agree that the movie is fun to watch.
George Lucas used computers to create worlds of huge buildings,water or deserts. He designed battles in space and on land. Hugearmies and dangerous creatures fight fierce battles using unusualspace vehicles and weapons.
Almost all the critics agreed that watching the last battlebetween the Jedi master Yoda and the mysterious Count Dooku is worththe price of the ticket. And many critics said that the release ofany "Star Wars" movie is one of the major cultural events of theyear.
Most critics agree that in the "Star Wars" series, George Lucashas created one of the most important stories of the late twentiethcentury. Its cultural importance guarantees that people willcontinue to watch the movies as long as George Lucas continues toproduce them. The sixth and final "Star Wars" movie is expected tobe released in two-thousand-five.
Our VOA listener question this week comes from China. Xia Jianxunasks about "junk food."
Junk food is what Americans callfood that is not healthy. Webster's New World Dictionary defines theword "junk" as something that is useless or worthless. Junk fooddoes not have nutrients and is often processed with chemicals. Someexamples of junk food are candy, sweets and potato chips. Thesefoods are high in sugar, cholesterol or fat.
About thirty years ago, American singer Larry Groce (GROSS) had ahit record called "Junk Food Junkie." It is about a man known to eathealthy, natural foods. Yet he secretly eats foods that are bad forhim. The word "junkie" is American slang for a person who cannotstop doing something. In the song, the man cannot resist eatingfoods that are bad.
((CUT 1: JUNK FOOD JUNKIE))
Another funny song about food includes both healthy and junkfood. It was written and performed by Weird Al Yankovic(YANK-o-vik). He made up new words to Michael Jackson's hit song,"Beat It" and won a Grammy for it. We leave you now with Weird Al'ssong, "Eat It." How many different kinds of foods can you hear himsay?
((CUT 2: EAT IT))
This is Steve Ember. 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 Bob Brumfield, JillMoss and Nancy Steinbach. Our studio engineer was Curtis Bynum. Andour producer was Paul Thompson.