Time – 35 minutes
THE QUEEN ANNE HOUSE
2. A distinctive characteristic found in most Queen Anne houses is the unusual roof shape — a steeply pitched, hipped central portion with protruding lower front and side extensions that end in gables. It is often possible to spot these distinctive roof forms from several blocks away. Another feature of this style is the detailing, shown in the wood shingle siding cut into fanciful decorative patterns of scallops, curves, diamonds, or triangles. Queen Anne houses are almost always asymmetrical. If you draw an imaginary line down the middle of one, you will see how drastically different the right and left sides are, all the way from ground level to roof peak. A final characteristic is the inviting wraparound porch that includes the front door area and then extends around to either the right or left side of the house.
3. Queen Anne houses faded from fashion early in the twentieth century as the public’s taste shifted toward the more modern Prairie and Craftsman style houses. Today, however, Queen Anne houses are favorite symbols of the past, painstakingly and lovingly restored by old–house buffs and reproduced by builders who give faithful attention to the distinctive shapes and detailing that were first popularized more than one hundred years ago.
2. Play–by–play commentary is of interest to linguists because it is unlike other kinds of narrative, which are typically reported in past tense. Play–by–play commentary is reported in present tense. Some examples are “he takes the lead by four” and “she’s in position.” One linguist characterizes radio play–by–play commentary as “a monologue directed at an unknown, unseen mass audience who voluntarily choose to listen…and provide no feedback to the speaker.” It is these characteristics that make this kind of commentary unlike any other type of speech situation.
3. The chief feature of play–by–play commentary is a highly formulaic style of presentation. There is distinctive grammar not only in the use of the present tense but also in the omission of certain elements of sentence structure. For example, “Smith in close” eliminates the verb, as some newspaper headlines do. Another example is inverted word order, as in “over at third is Johnson.” Play–by–play commentary is very fluent, keeping up with the pace of the action. The rate is steady and there is little silence. The structure of the commentary is cyclical, reflecting the way most games consist of recurring sequences of short activities—as in tennis and baseball—or a limited number of activity options—as in the various kinds of football. In racing, the structure is even simpler, with the commentator informing the listener of the varying order of the competitors in a “state of play” summary, which is crucial for listeners or viewers who have just tuned in.
THE CIRCULATORY SYSTEM OF TREES
2. Xylem cells in the roots draw water molecules into the tree, taking in hydrogen and oxygen and also carrying chemical nutrients from the soil. The xylem pipeline transports this life–sustaining mixture upward as xylem sap, all the way from the roots to the leaves. Xylem sap flows upward at rates of 15 meters per hour or faster. Xylem veins branch throughout each leaf, bringing xylem sap to thirsty cells. Leaves depend on this delivery system for their water supply because trees lose a tremendous amount of water through transpiration, evaporation of water from air spaces in the leaves. Unless the transpired water is replaced by water transported up from the roots, the leaves will wilt and eventually die.
3. How a tree manages to lift several liters of water so high into the air against the pull of gravity is an amazing feat of hydraulics. Water moves through the tree because it is driven by negative pressure—tension—in the leaves due to the physical properties of water. Transpiration, the evaporation of water from leaves, creates the tension that drives long–distance transport up through the xylem pipeline. Transpiration provides the pull, and the cohesion of water due to hydrogen bonding transmits the pull along the entire length of xylem. Within the xylem cells, water molecules adhere to each other and are pulled upward through the trunk, into the branches, and toward the cells and air spaces of the leaves.
4. Late in the growing season, xylem cells diminish in size and develop thicker skins, but they retain their capacity to carry water. Over time the innermost xylem cells become clogged with hard or gummy waste products and can no longer transport fluids. A similar situation occurs in the clogging of arteries in the aging human body. However, since the vascular cambium manufactures healthy new xylem cells each year, the death of the old cells does not mean the death of the tree. When they cease to function as living sapwood, the dead xylem cells become part of the central column of heartwood, the supportive structure of the tree.
hydraulics: the science of the movement of water and other fluids
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