[179] Forest fires burn across Indonesia


Forest fires burn across Indonesia Satellite imagery has detected more than 100,000 forest fires in Indonesia, including the large islands of Kalimantan and Sumatra. Many of the fires may have been lit deliberately in order to clear land for farming. The fires have caused heavy smog in the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Scientists are warning that the Indonesian fires are producing more greenhouse gases than some other countries produce in one full year.

forest fire: 山火事
greenhouse gases: 温暖化ガス
deliberately: 敢えて・故意に


Billionaires developing self-driving cars Popular American talk show host and comedian Stephen Colbert predicted the rise of self-driving cars on a recent show, telling the audience “I’ve had six billionaires on this show so far, and three of them are working on self-driving cars.” Now Tesla, Apple, and Google all have self-driving car technology divisions. Colbert said that he drives his electric Tesla every weekday in New York. Currently, self-driving technology includes speed control, braking, lane changing, obstacle detection, and other features.

billionaire: 億万長者 (1,000,000,000$US)
lane: 車線 obstacle: 障害・ 障害物


drop him off / drop it off

Kumiko-san: If you are going downtown this afternoon, could you drop my son off at his basketball practice?

Neighbor: Sure, I have to drop my dry cleaning off near there, so I can drop him off first and then drop the dry cleaning off before going home.

Explanation: The phrase “drop (X) off” is the correct form. It is wrong to say “I will drop off him.” It is correct to say “I will drop him off.”

drop (X) off: 下ろす
dry cleaning (noun): ドライクリーニング・乾燥洗濯


short of breath

Patient: My infant son is often short of breath. Can you check him for a lung infection?

Doctor: Yes, and we’ll also check his heart function. Chronic shortness of breath can be a sign of a heart condition.

Explanation: The phrase “shortness of breath” is the condition of not being able to get enough air. We can say “(X) is short of breath” as an adjective. It might be due to a medical condition, heavy exercise, or stress.

short of breath (adjective): 息を弾ませる
shortness of breath (noun): 息切れ


back on track

Hello Mr. Nelson:

As you know, this year we had some major problems with marketing the new heart monitors. But we reduced the price from 230$ to 199$, and now sales are back on track. I’m glad that the company is doing well again.

Explanation: When a business is “back on track” we mean that it has returned to the normal operation, or returned to the right plan.

on track / back on track: 軌道に乗る