Mar 10

ニュージャージー州出身のバッド・アボットとルウ・コステロは1940代~50代前半にラジオ、映画、テレビで一番人気のコメディアンでした。有名なやりとりは野球についてです。「一塁は誰(Who’s on first?)」と片方がきいて、「そうだ」ともう片方が答えます。一塁にいる野球選手の名前が「誰(Who)」なんです。

Born in New Jersey, Bud Abbot and Lou Costello were the most popular comedians on radio, film and television in the 1940s and early 50s. One of their most famous routines is about baseball. “Who’s on first?” one asks, wanting to know the name of the player on first base. “Yes,” answers the other. The name of the man on first base is “Who”.

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Feb 25

ハクトウワシはアメリカ合衆国のシンボルで色々な印やロゴに描かれています。Bald eagleと言っても剥げているわけではありません。頭の羽根が白いのです。(ハゲワシはvultureです。)大人になると頭が白くなります。それまでは全身茶色です。北アメリカ一帯に住んでいて魚を主食としています。

The bald eagle is a symbol of the U.S. which you can see in many seals and logos. It isn’t bald; it has white feathers on its head. (The vulture is actually bald.) Its head only turns white in adulthood. Before that, it is all brown. Bald eagles live throughout North America and eat mostly fish.

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Feb 04


Some objects are known by different names in different countries, or even different parts of the same country. The metal cart used to collect groceries before buying them (and sometimes to wheel them to your car) is called a “shopping cart” in the US, Canada and the Philippines. But in the UK (and sometimes in Canada) it would be a “trolley”. In some parts of the US and Canada it’s also called a “buggy”. In New England (the northeastern US) it’s sometimes called a “carriage”, and in Hawaii and New York it’s a “wagon”!

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Jan 21


Americans often talk and argue about their “Second Amendment rights”. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is what gives Americans the right to “keep and bear arms”, or the right to have guns. The Amendment was added in 1791, so the USA has had this law almost since it was founded.

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Jan 07


“Dewey Defeats Truman” was a newspaper headline printed in 1948, when President Truman was elected. The newspaper expected Truman to lose and printed the papers with the wrong headline. A famous photograph shows President Truman victoriously holding the incorrect newspaper.

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Dec 10


The “Ivy League” refers to eight very prestigious American universities, including Harvard, Princeton and Yale. It originally referred to their sports teams, but it’s commonly used to talk about desirable schools. The “ivy” refers to the plant growing on walls at an old college. In the 1800s students at some schools planted ivy in special ceremonies. Ivy League schools are ranked highly in the US and worldwide.

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Nov 26


A traditional practical joke that dates back to at least the 1840s is to send a friend on a snipe hunt. There is no such animal as a snipe, so your friend will never catch one. The pranksters leave him alone in the forest, looking for the snipe, and go home. Many people have gone on snipe hunts at summer camps or Boy Scout camping trips.

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Nov 12


Billboards (called hoardings in other countries) are large outdoor advertisements placed next to roads so that they are visible to people in cars. You can find billboards in cities and along highways through the countryside. Some people object to billboards ruining the scenery and distracting drivers. The Glico Running Man and the Hollywood Sign are also considered billboards.

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Oct 29


If you have a computer, you probably use some Microsoft products, such as the Windows operating system or Microsoft Word word processor. Microsoft was created in 1975 in New Mexico. The name comes from “microcomputer” and “software.” Microcomputers were small compared to older computers that took up entire rooms! Microsoft had an office in Japan as early as 1977.

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Oct 08


Hurricane Sandy was the worst hurricane in 2012. Although it was only Category 2 when it hit the USA, it was the largest Atlantic hurricane ever by diameter. It had already passed over Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas. It landed in the state of New Jersey, farther north than many hurricanes, and the damage was worse because the northern US is less prepared for hurricanes.

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