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A Listener Question / A Lost and Found Tree / Music by Eric

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DOUG JOHNSON: Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC, in VOA Special English.

I'm Doug Johnson. On our show this week:

Jazz from Eric Felten and his band ...

A question about the most populous American state ...

And a report on a lost-and-found tree.

'Living Fossil'

(Photo - J. Plaza/RBG Sydney/wollemipine.com)
(Photo - J. Plaza/RBG Sydney/wollemipine.com)

Scientists used to think thatWollemi (WALL-um-eye) pine trees only grew in ancient history. Butnow one of the places where visitors can see a living example is inWashington, D.C. Faith Lapidus takes us there.

FAITH LAPIDUS: The Wollemi pine tree has thin leaves that looklike needles growing close together, much like a fern plant.

The other day, a young girl took a long look at the Wollemi pineat the United States Botanic Garden. Then she asked her mother wherethe dinosaurs were. The little girl recognized the tree from booksand movies about prehistoric Earth.

Wollemi pines can grow as tall as forty meters. But this one atthe Botanic Garden is not much taller than forty centimeters. Infact, it is small enough to grow inside a glass container.

p>Wollemi pines have been found in only one place in the wild. Itis in a rainforest in the Wollemi National Park in New South Wales,Australia, near Sydney. Fewer than one hundred have been found.

Scientists thought the tree had disappeared from the Earth atleast two million years ago. But in nineteen ninety-four, a parkofficer named David Noble made an accidental discovery. He saw hugefern-like trees in a deep canyon. But he did not recognize them. Sohe asked scientists.

The experts looked at fossil prints of trees from ninety millionyears ago. They said the trees found by Mister Noble were closelyrelated. They gave them the scientific name Wollemia nobilis.Wollemi pine is the common name.

Scientists at the Mount Annan Botanic Garden in New South Waleshave been growing Wollemi pines from seeds and cuttings. Australianofficials say there has been worldwide demand for the pine as agarden plant. So, a home version of this rare "living fossil" isexpected to go on sale beginning this year.

Most Populous State?

DOUG JOHNSON: Our listener question this week comes from Amoy,China. Shaojian Xu really has two questions. What is the mostbeautiful city in the United States. And which state has the mostpeople?

Well, we would be in big trouble if we called one city the mostbeautiful. In fact, the staff in Special English could not evenagree. Some said New York, with its tall buildings. One saidSeattle, with its beautiful lakes and mountains. Another saidHonolulu, with its lovely beaches.

Well, you do have to admit ...
Well, you do have to admit ...

Three members of the staff saidSan Francisco, with its world-famous Golden Gate Bridge. You couldmake a good argument for any these -- and many other cities, too.

The second question was easier. Which state has the largestpopulation? The answer is California, on the West Coast. More thanthirty-five million people live there, and the number continues togrow. The estimated population of California grew almost fivepercent between two thousand and two thousand three.

About half the population growth comes from people who move fromother states and countries. About eleven million people of Mexicanancestry live in California. Many others come from Asia. The city ofSan Francisco, for example, has one of the largest Chinesepopulations outside Asia.

California has a lot to offer. Southern California is famous forits warm, sunny weather, although you may have heard about theunusual amount of rain recently.

California also has more public colleges and universities thanany other state. The California State University system is thelargest in the country, with twenty-three campuses. The Universityof California has campuses in ten cities including Berkeley in thenorth and Los Angeles in the south. The tenth campus is to open thisSeptember in Merced, in Central California. Merced is in the SanJoaquin Valley, a major agricultural area. California also has manycommunity colleges.

People started moving to California in large numbers aroundeighteen forty-nine, the year after the discovery of gold. Most ofthese "forty-niners" did not find gold. But they did find otherthings to like, such as San Francisco. Don't tell anyone, but thatis my choice for the most beautiful city. Ahhh, but then again, SanAntonio, Texas, is also beautiful. Miami, Florida is nice too.Chicago on a pretty day is very beautiful, but so is Bar Harbor,Maine, with its little fishing boats. And then again there's ...(fade)

Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra

(MUSIC: "You're Driving Me Crazy")

Graphic Image
Graphic Image

You might have heard that voicebefore on VOA. Yet you might not recognize it as the voice of VOAannouncer and host Eric Felten. Eric Felten is also a jazz musicianwith a new recording just released. Gwen Outen has our story.

GWEN OUTEN: "Eric Felten Meets the Dek-tette" honors three famousalbums from the singer Mel Torme and the Marty Paich Dek-tette.

Eric Felten gathered some of the Dek-tette musicians for the newrelease. They include greats like saxophonist Med Flory. He isfeatured in the song "It's Alright With Me," followed by Eric Feltonplaying a trombone solo.


Eric Felton was born into a family of jazz musicians. He firststudied the trombone with his grandfather Lester Felten. Hisgrandfather performed in bands when Swing jazz was first popular.

Here Eric Felten and the Dek-tette perform "Pick Yourself Up," asong from the Swing period.


Eric Felton formed his own band, the Jazz Orchestra, in nineteenninety-one. Several years ago they appeared on national televisionwith a concert called "The Big Band Sound of World War Two."

We leave you now with the Eric Felton Jazz Orchestra performingthe Cole Porter song "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To."


DOUG JOHNSON: I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our programthis week.

Our show was written by Paul Thompson, Jerilyn Watson and CatyWeaver, who was also our producer. Join us again next week forAMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special English.

内容来自 VOA英语学习网https://www.chinavoa.com/show-309-102955-1.html
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