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Seven Modern Wonders of the World
The Panama Canal,begun in the 1880s, wasn't finished until 1914. It joins the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Engineers describe the canal as a victory of humans over geography: Workers dug huge amounts of land and tamed rivers.
For 40 years after it was completed in 1931, the Empire State Building,in New York City, was the tallest building in the world. Amazingly, this 102-story building was constructed in just 410 days.
The Netherlands North Sea Protection Worksis another victory over geography. The Netherlands, which is below sea level, was often flooded by the North Sea and by rivers. Then, between 1927 and 1932, a dam was built to shut out the sea. Twenty years later, dams and canals were built to control the rivers.
The Golden Gate Bridge,completed in 1937, was also a challenge for workers: San Francisco Bay has very strong winds and rough waves. The Golden Gate is still the world's tallest bridge. It has enough steel to wrap around the world three times.
At 1,815 feet, the CN Tower,in Toronto, Canada, is one of the world's tallest free-standing buildings. Completed in 1976, the tower is used for TV and radio broadcasting.
The Itaipú Dam,completed in 1984, goes across the Paraná River at the Brazil-Paraguay border. It is the world's largest hydroelectric plant.
Completed in 1994, the Channel Tunneljoins France and England. The "Chunnel" is a remarkable convenience: Cars, buses, and trucks are all carried through the tunnel by train.
Lesson 15. Traditions and Holidays in Great Britain
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