Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.
I'm Doug Johnson.
We listen to new music from the
And answer a listener question about
President Abraham Lincoln…
first we talk about Twitter...
The nineteen fifties song "Rockin' Robin" was
about a bird that loved to tweet, or sing.
But to a new generation of high-speed communicators, a tweet describes a
message sent through a popular new service.
Barbara Klein tells us about Twitter.
people use E-mail, blogs, text messages and social Web sites like Facebook to
keep in touch with their friends. Now there is also Twitter. This online
service lets people send short messages that are no more than one hundred forty
is how it works: Users can set up their own Twitter page by joining the free
service on Twitter.com. They can search
the Web site to find friends who are also using the service. By choosing to "follow" friends, users can
see their new messages. Updates appear
instantly in a list form as they are written.
Twittering describes writing new updates on Twitter. A tweet is an
individual Twitter update, or message.
blogs, Twitter users do not have to log onto the Web site to post updates. They can send and receive messages through
mobile phones as text messages or through E-mail. Other programs available for download make
Twitter updates appear on your computer screen.
People use social Web sites like Facebook to share information with a
special group of friends. But most
Twitter users make their messages public.
Twitter says its service provides a way for people to stay
connected to others, through messages describing what they are doing at that
moment. But twitterers also use the
service to get quick answers to questions or to get breaking news.
example, when he was a presidential candidate, Barack Obama announced his
choice for vice president on Twitter.
other politicians in Washington use Twitter to share their daily activities
with supporters. They reportedly include
former Republican presidential candidate John McCain. In addition, news agencies
provide updates and companies share product information.
critics say Twitter is a waste of time that takes people's attention away from
their work. Yet a growing number of
users around the world see it as the latest method for busy people to get and
share information quickly.
Our listener question this week comes from Brazil.
Silvio Sabenca wants to know more about the sixteenth president of the United
States, Abraham Lincoln.
timing, Silvio. February twelfth is the
two hundredth anniversary of his birth.
Abraham Lincoln is considered one of the greatest and beloved American
presidents. But, in some ways he was one
of the most unlikely.
Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky in
eighteen-oh-nine. He grew up in Indiana. His family was poor and had no school
education. But Abraham Lincoln taught
himself what he needed to know. He
became a lawyer. He served in the
Illinois state legislature and in the United States Congress. He was elected president in eighteen sixty.
President Lincoln led the United States during the
Civil War. He sent Northern forces to
battle the slave-holding Southern states to keep them from leaving the
Union. President Lincoln freed the
slaves and helped keep the nation together.
the end, it cost him his life. On April
fourteenth, eighty sixty-five, a Southern supporter shot President Lincoln in
Ford's Theater in Washington. It
happened five days after the South surrendered and the Civil War ended.
Abraham Lincoln wrote some of the most important words
in American history. In eighteen
sixty-three, he gave what became his best known speech. The Union army had won a major battle at
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Ceremonies
were held there to honor the dead at a burial place on the battlefield.
Lincoln spoke at Gettysburg for only about two minutes. Written copies of his speech differ. Without a recording, no one can be sure
exactly what he said. But his speech has
never been forgotten. Here is some of
the Gettysburg Address:
"Now we are engaged in a great civil war,
testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can
long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war.
We have come to dedicate a portion
of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives
that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can
not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and
dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add
or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but
it can never forget what they did here."
You can learn more about Abraham Lincoln on the Special
English program "THIS IS AMERICA" at this time on Monday.
The Raconteurs make music that lives up to the band's
name. The word "raconteur" describes a person who is skillful at telling
stories. The band members describe themselves as a new band made up of old
friends. All the band members have established music careers doing other
projects. But they decided to come together as a band to try something
different. Mario Ritter has more.
lead singer of the Raconteurs may sound familiar. Jack White is also a member
of the band called the White Stripes. The Raconteurs also include the
songwriter and guitarist Brendan Benson. The other members are Patrick Keeler
and Jack Lawrence who are part of the band called the Greenhornes.
musicians had performed together over the years. But in two thousand five, they
decided to play together officially as the Raconteurs. Here is "Steady, As She
Goes" from their first album, "Broken Boy Soldiers."
Raconteurs' latest album is called "Consolers of the Lonely." The band released the album in an unusual
way. They announced their new album only a week before it went on sale to avoid
the usual publicity created by critics. Here is the song "The Switch and the
year, the Raconteurs played at several music festivals. They included Coachella in California, the
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Bonnaroo in Tennessee. We leave you
with "Many Shades of Black" from "Consolers of the Lonely."
I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today.
It was written by Brianna Blake, Caty Weaver and Dana
Demange. Mario Ritter was our producer. To read the text of this program and
download audio, go to our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com.
Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's
radio magazine in Special English.