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AMERICAN MOSAIC - August 24, 2001 - 2001-08-23


Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.


This is Bob Cohen. On our program today:

We will announce the names of the winners in our listener survey ...

play some music by Eden’s Crush ...

answer a question about place names ...

and, tell about the world’s highest flying airplane.

Helios Aircraft


If you wanted to fly to the very edge of space, how would you do it? Once you got there, how long do you think you could stay? An aircraft powered by the sun might be able to stay near the edge of space for several days or maybe several months. Shep O’Neal has more.


On August Thirteenth, an unusual looking aircraft of Project Helios set a new record during a test flight above the American state of Hawaii. It flew higher than any other aircraft in the world. It reached an altitude of twenty-nine-thousand-four-hundred-thirteen meters.

The Helios aircraft is an American space agency support project built by the Aerovironment Company of Monrovia, California. It has no pilot. It is controlled from the ground by radio. It looks like a huge wing without a tail. The wing is a little more than seventy-five meters long. That is longer than the wings on most large passenger airplanes. Fourteen electric motors turn fourteen propellers. The motors are powered by sixty-six-thousand solar cells that make electricity from sunlight.

NASA research scientists say this huge flying wing will have many uses in the future. They hope that a future Helios aircraft will be able to fly at extreme altitudes for several weeks or months.

These aircraft could serve several purposes. These might include new and advanced methods of telling what the weather will be. For example, Helios could be used to observe the movement of huge ocean storms. It could fly high above their fierce winds. It could also be used as an advanced method of communications. It might also be used to observe the environment.

NASA scientists say this kind of aircraft will cost a great deal less than a satellite placed in space. And it will be able to do much of the same work. Scientists say this kind of aircraft might also be used to explore the planet Mars. They say it could fly long distances through the thin atmosphere and send pictures back to Earth.

Place Names


Our VOA listener question this week comes in an e-mail from Lithuania. Ramunas Chomskis asks a question concerning the names of some American cities and towns. It seems that many cities have the same names as those in other parts of the country and the world.

There are several explanations for this. One is that the first white people to settle an area named it after the place where they were born. For example, the city of Argyle, Minnesota has the same name as a county in western Scotland. A town in the northeastern state of Maine was also named after the Scottish county. A man named Solomon Comstock was born in Argyle, Maine, in Eighteen-Forty-Two. He later moved to Minnesota. He proposed that the new town be named Argyle after the one where he was born.

Some American cities were named after famous cities in other countries. An example of this is two American towns named Rome. Rome, Georgia was named in Eighteen-Thirty-Four. It was given that name because it was in a hilly area which was similar to the seven hills of ancient Rome in Italy.

Rome, New York got its name in Eighteen-Nineteen. History experts say that many American settlements at that time were named after ancient cities. Perhaps that also explains the naming of Athens, Georgia and Athens, West Virginia for the ancient city of Athens, Greece.

Other American cities are linked by language and geography. An example of this is two cities named Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada is famous for its games of chance and entertainment. It was established in Nineteen-Oh-Five. Its name comes from the Spanish words meaning “the meadows.” The city of Las Vegas, New Mexico is older, but not so well known. It was established in Eighteen-Thirty-Five. It was first called “Nuestra Senora de los Dolores de Las Vegas Grandes.” That is Spanish for “Our Lady of the Sorrows of the Great Meadows.” Its name was shortened over the years to “Las Vegas.”

There are many other same-name cities all over the world. We can think of Moscow, Idaho and Russia... Saint Petersburg, Florida and Russia... Syracuse, New York and Italy... Olympia, Washington and Greece... Odessa, Texas and Ukraine... Rochester, New York and Minnesota... Charleston, South Carolina and West Virginia... Dover, Delaware and New Hampshire...

Eden’s Crush


The singing group Eden’s Crush was created by the producers of a weekly television show. The group includes five young women. Shirley Griffith tells us more.


Eden’s Crush can be seen on the television series “Popstars.” Every week, that television program shows events that take place as Eden’s Crush becomes a successful singing group.

The group’s first album was released in May. It is called “Popstars.” Here is the first hit song from the album. It is called “Get Over Yourself.”


The songs on the album were written before the members of the group were chosen. The young women had only a few months to learn the songs and record them before the album’s release date. Here Eden’s Crush sings another song from the album, “Love This Way.”


Eden’s Crush recently completed a tour with the male singing group ‘N Sync. They are currently traveling with singer Jessica Simpson. We leave you now with another song by Eden’s Crush. This one is called “No Drama.”



This is Bob Cohen. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And I hope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.

Special English would like to thank all the people who answered our recent listener survey. The frequency information you provided has been very helpful. As promised, three people have been chosen to receive a short wave radio. They are Latiha Nelson (La-tee-ha Nelson) in Ethiopia, Pradeep Deb (Pra-deep Dayb) in India, and Tetsuo Tanabe (Tet-sue-oh Tana-Bay) in Japan. Congratulations to our three winners and thanks again to all Special English listeners who took part in the survey.

This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by Lawan Davis, Nancy Steinbach and Paul Thompson. Our studio engineer was Dan Crafton. And our producer was Paul Thompson.