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Dec 2, 2013

'Luminous', 'glowing', 'radiating' are the words which came to my mind(1) after reading an article about a very special, new technology. It's called 'Starpath', an earth-friendly(2), inexpensive, and efficient way to light our streets. A company in England called Pro-Teq Surfacing, has developed a material made out of ultraviolet particles. These particles are spread onto a path, where they absorb sunlight during the day, and then they glow(3) blue at night. The first public demonstration of this took place in the city of Cambridge. I found a photograph of the path in the newspaper called 'The Telegraph', and it does show the path glowing at night. This is a very exciting development in lighting because it is clean, sustainable(4), and very cheap. I can imagine the cost of lighting our streets with traditional street lamps. However, this Starpath technology could cut our national lighting costs by hundreds of millions each year. We certainly cannot do without(5) light at night, to keep us safe, to help us find our way home, and to discourage crime. What a fantastic development. And this is just the beginning. Starpath technology offers the possibility of different colors of light as well. Also, the material used can last up to seventy years, so it is very sustainable stuff. As councils are turning off street lamps to save money and to meet carbon emissions targets, Starpath could be a valuable solution to both problems.

1. 'To come to mind' means that something reminds you of something else; it could be an image, a word, even a color.

a. When I think of my Kindergarten students, a tornado comes to mind.

b. When I think of my good friends, a garden of flowers comes to mind.

2. 'Earth-friendly' is a very popular and very important phrase. It means something that doesn't harm the natural environment.

a. This plastic bag is earth-friendly; it decomposes quickly and is not toxic.

b. My earth-friendly light bulbs take a few minutes to produce bright light.

3. 'Glow' is one of the main ideas in this podcast, and it means the same as 'radiate', or 'emit light'. It can be used figuratively as well.

a. His face was glowing with success when he found out that he had passed the exam.

b. The moon glowed through the clouds.

4. 'Sustainable' comes from the verb 'to sustain' which means 'to keep going' or 'to support'.

a. That forest is sustainable because the trees that are cut down are quickly replaced.

b. We need an educational program for prisoners that is sustainable.

5. 'To do without' is interchangeable with 'to go without', but the latter often means that a person lacks some basic necessity.

a. The homeless shelter cannot do without funding, even for a day.

b. The play cannot do without the main actor; it just wouldn't work.

c. People can only go without water for a few days, but they can go without food for about a month.

d. I can't do without/ go without my coffee in the morning.

 

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