Human and Food

Handle with care After recent accounts of drug-taking amongst teenage models in the care of their model agencies, the catwalk world has once again come under scrutiny. Jess Hallett used to be a booker, taking bookings for models, organizing their itineraries, and generally running their lives. She talks about the lengths she went to in order to protect her girls. […] We did all kinds of things for our girls.Whether it was because they were having a hard time at school, had split up with their boyfriend, or hadn’t got a job they really wanted, their booker was the one they talked to. Unit 2: Going to extremes: ice-climbing As the name suggests, practitioners of this sport clamber up ice formations, usually with an axe in each hand and in the case of steeper slopes, crampons- metal spikes which grip the ice- on the bottom of their boots. The type of ice you climb also determines the tools you take with you.Water ice, such as found in frozen waterfalls, is formed from water and is colder and more brittle than alpine ice, the frozen snow that forms glaciers. […] Whatever the conditions, the sport requires you to be mentally tough and have the agility and upper-body strength of a monkey. Unit 3: The Convenient Society, or con for short The other day I took my children to a Burger King for lunch and there was a line of about a dozen cars at the drive-through window.Now, a drive-through window is not a window you drive through, but a window you drive up to and collect your food from, having placed your order over a speakerphone along the way; the idea is to provide quick takeaway food for those in a hurry. […] But all of this was nothing compared with the situation today. People are so addicted to convenience that they have become trapped on a vicious circle: the more labour-saving devices they buy, the harder they need to work; the harder they work, the more labour-saving appliances they feel they need.Unit 4: When life takes you in a certain direction I take after my father in many ways, particularly in my love of good food and a tendency to eat more than I need to. However, several years ago the situation had reached crisis point – my clothes no longer fitted me – so I decided to take up some form of sport. Karate seemed like a good idea, so I signed up for a course at the local sports centre. I took to it immediately and by the end of the first class I was hooked. […] Now, what with training, competitions and the classes themselves, karate has become my life and takes up all my time.I still manage to go out for a good meal now and then though! Unit 5: Home is where the school is At 8am, when other children have to catch trains or buses to school, 14-year-old Rhiannon Cassell walk into the family living room (…) and checks on the day’s assignments with her teacher- her father Mathew. Then, like her older sisters, Tess, 16, and Abigail, 15, she heads back to her own room, while their father works with the two youngest children, who need more attention. Rhiannon spends an hour and a half studying science (today’s subject: static electricity), then switches to maths.If she is having difficulties, she seeks her father’s help. ‘He doesn’t do the work for us, just helps us reason it out’. Unit 6: Family Feuds – or just lunch? Andrew finds family meals difficult, but necessary. ‘We’re always having rows, particularly when the kids start moaning about what’s on their plate’, he says. ‘Trying to keep everyone happy isn’t easy, especially with three children under nine who all have different tastes and a stepdaughter who would much rather be eating in front of the TV.But eating with others is an important social skill. […] Despite the noise and chaos, though, we still prefer to have meals as a family. […] Gerry, a 35-year-old father would not agree. He had enough of stressful family meals as a child and now sees them as both impractical and undesirable. Unit 7: Shopping: a curable disease An American psychiatrist has launched trials of a drug to help people who cannot stop spending. Professor L. Koran of Stanford University in California believes he has found a cure for shopaholics.The news will come as a great relief to millions of people suffering from compulsive shopping disorder, a condition which is thought to afflict up to one in 30 American women. […] Shopaholics experience urges to buy items that are not needed and then feel sadness and remorse. Until now, few psychiatrists have regarded the problem as worthy of serious medical attention. Koran, however, describes it as ‘hidden epidemic’ comparable to compulsive gambling, kleptomania and pyromania. Unit 8: Travel broadens the mindTravel abroad is no longer a luxury and nowadays most people in my country have had at least one foreign holiday. Personally, I think this has benefited our society in a number of ways. Firstly, it enables us to observe and value other cultures and to understand that ours is not the only way of life. Consequently, this helps combat ignorance and narrow-mindedness, which so often lead to racial prejudice and even violence. Another benefit is that more people can now see the world’s most spectacular natural sights and visit its most important historic monuments.As a result, we become more knowledgeable in a way that is simply not possible with the Internet or television. Unit 9: The trouble with Hallowe’en Exactly what Hallowe’en meant, the books never really explained: I knew its origins were Irish, but little more. However, this element of mystery added to the excitement. Besides, any festival that involved ghosts, skeletons, dressing up, doing clever things with exotic vegetables (I had never seen a pumpkin) and annoying grumpy neighbours just had to be fun. …] At first it all seemed quite enjoyable. The pumpkin was overpriced, but I had never made a death’s head mask before and I found it very satisfying cutting out the teeth shapes in its mouth; so satisfying indeed, that I didn’t want to stop. This led to a disagreement between James and myself. Unit 10: Spying on children Private detectives are being used in increasing numbers to spy on children, according to a new report by the children’s charity Childlook.Investigators are hired by anxious parents worried about what their children are up to and who they might be hanging around with. […] The report, which will be published later today, describes some of the methods used. In some cases, parents allow their telephones to be bugged to enable detectives to listen in on their children’s conversations. However, since most youngsters nowadays have their own mobile phones, this is not done as much as it used to be. Instead, teenagers are followed, and anything illegal or irregular is captured on film.

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