new argument topics
the following appeared in the business section of a newspaper.
"given that the number of people in our country with some form of arthritis is expected to rise from 40 million to 60 million over the next twenty years, pharmaceutical companies that produce drugs for the treatment of arthritis should be very profitable. many analysts believe that in ten years becton pharmaceuticals, which makes xenon, the best-selling drug treatment for arthritis, will be the most profitable pharmaceutical company. but the patent on xenon expires in three years, and other companies will then be able to produce a cheaper version of the drug. thus, it is more likely that in ten years the most profitable pharmaceutical company will be perkins pharmaceuticals, maker of a new drug called xylan, which clinical studies show is preferred over xenon by seven out of ten patients suffering from the most extreme cases of arthritis."
the following appeared in a memo from the chief executive of a video game company.
"we have recently been offered the opportunity to buy the rights to produce a video game based on the soon-to-be-published children's book "squirrel power," by peter wood. while the cost of the rights is substantial and will place economic constraints on our company in the short-term, there are two reasons that the purchase of these rights will undoubtedly be a wise investment. first, wood's last three books have been best sellers and the movie based on his first book was highly profitable. second, the popular characters and story line in "squirrel power" will save us time in developing our video game, thereby reducing our costs."
when ida mcallister ran for mayor of lake city four years ago, she failed to win even 30 percent of the vote. but since then, mcallister has made public her commitment to environmental causes. she would be wise, therefore, to announce her intention to close all lake city parks to automobile traffic, thus following the example of the former mayor of plainsville, alecia yu . on the recommendation of a small group of concerned citizens, mayor yu prohibited automobile traffic in all plainsville parks, and therefore was credited with solving the pollution problem and improving the quality of life in plainsville. this action would have great appeal to the citizens of lake city, most of whom participate in the community's recycling program, and would guarantee mcallister's success in her current quest to be lake city's new mayor.
according to information recently reported in the eliottown gazette, the number of people who travel to eliottown has increased significantly over the past several years. so far this year over 100,000 people have arrived on flights to eliottown's airport, compared with only 80,000 last year and 40,000 the year before. eliottown's train station has received more than 50,000 passengers this year, compared with less than 40,000 last year and 20,000 the year before. clearly tourism in eliottown has been increasing, thanks to the new central park and museum of modern art that opened last year. therefore, the funding for the park and museum should be increased significantly.
the following appeared in the editorial section of a newsmagazine.
"some states are creating new laws that restrict the use of of handheld cell phones by drivers of automobiles. such legislation, however, is sheer folly. although some people with cell phones undoubtedly cause problems on the road, including serious accidents, the majority do not. besides, problems are also caused by drivers who are distracted by any number of other activities, from listening to the radio to disciplining children. since there is no need to pass legislation restricting these and other such activities, it follows that there is no need to restrict people's freedom to use a device that they find convenient—or helpful in emergencies."
until recently, people in hiparia did most of their shopping by driving to shopping malls. they are beginning, however, to do more of their shopping by ordering merchandise from mail-order catalogs and the internet. these purchases are delivered to them by mail or by a delivery service. for many purchases, hiparians no longer need to drive to and from shopping malls; there will therefore be a resulting reduction in the consumption of vehicle fuel in hiparia.
the following report appeared in an archaeology journal.
"the discovery of distinctively shaped ceramic pots at various prehistoric sites scattered over a wide area has led archaeologists to ask how the pots were spread. some believe the pot makers migrated to the various sites and carried the pots along with them; others believe the pots were spread by trade and their makers remained in one place. now, analysis of the bones of prehistoric human skeletons can settle the debate: high levels of a certain metallic element contained in various foods are strongly associated with people who migrated to a new place after childhood. many of the bones found near the pots at a few sites showed high levels of the metallic element. therefore, it must be that the pots were spread by migration, not trade."
milk and dairy products are rich in vitamin d and calcium, substances essential for building and maintaining bones. many people therefore believe that a diet rich in dairy products can help prevent osteoporosis, a disease in which the bones weaken significantly with age and that is linked to both environmental and genetic factors. but a long-term study of a large number of people has found that those who have consistently consumed dairy products throughout the years of the study have a higher rate of bone fractures than any other participants in the study. since bone fractures are a symptom of osteoporosis, this study result shows that a diet rich in dairy products may actually increase, rather than decrease, the risk of osteoporosis.
the following appeared in the summary of a study on headaches suffered by the residents of mentia.
"salicylates are members of the same chemical family as aspirin, a medicine used to treat headaches. although many foods are naturally rich in salicylates, for the past several decades food-processing companies have also been adding salicylates to foods as preservatives. this rise in the commercial use of salicylates has been found to correlate with a steady decline in the average number of headaches reported by participants in our twenty-year study. recently, food-processing companies have found that salicylates can also be used as flavor additives for foods. with this new use for salicylates, we can expect a continued steady decline in the number of headaches suffered by the average citizen of mentia."
the following appeared in an article written by dr. karp, an anthropologist.
"twenty years ago dr. field, a noted anthropologist, visited the island of tertia and concluded from his observations that children in tertia were reared by an entire village rather than by their own biological parents. however, my recent interviews with children living in the group of islands that includes tertia show that these children spend much more time talking about their biological parents than about other adults in the village. this research proves that dr. field's conclusion about tertian village culture is false, and thus that the observation-centered approach to studying cultures is invalid. because they are using the interview-centered method, my team of graduate students working in tertia will establish a much more accurate understanding of child-rearing traditions there and in other island cultures."
woven baskets characterized by a particular distinctive pattern have previously been found only in the immediate vicinity of the prehistoric village of palea and therefore were believed to have been unique to the palean people. recently, however, archaeologists discovered such a "palean" basket in lithos, an ancient village across the brim river from palea. the brim river is very deep and broad, and so the ancient paleans could only have crossed it by boat, but there is no evidence that the paleans had boats. and boats capable of carrying groups of people and cargo were not developed until thousands of years after the palean people disappeared. moreover, paleans would have had no need to cross the river—the woods around palea are full of nuts, berries, and small game. it follows that the so-called palean baskets were not unique to palea.
the following memo appeared in the newsletter of the west meria public health council.
"an innovative treatment has come to our attention that promises to significantly reduce absenteeism in our schools and workplaces. a study reports that in nearby east meria, where fish consumption is very high, people visit the doctor only once or twice per year for the treatment of colds. clearly, eating a substantial amount of fish can prevent colds. since colds are the reason most frequently given for absences from school and work, we recommend the daily use of ichthaid, a nutritional supplement derived from fish oil, as a good way to prevent colds and lower absenteeism."
the following appeared in a memorandum from the president of humana college.
"last year the number of students who enrolled in long-distance degree programs at omni university increased by 50%. during the same year, omni showed a significant decrease from prior years in expenditures for dormitory and classroom space, most likely because instruction in the long-distance programs takes place via interactive video computer connections. in contrast, over the past three years, enrollment at humana college has diminished and costs of maintaining buildings have risen. thus, to increase enrollment and solve the problem of budget deficits at humana college, we should initiate and actively promote long-distance degree programs like those at omni."
the following appeared in a memorandum from the president of excello food markets.
"in 90 towns where excello has food markets, natural-food stores specializing in organic food products—products containing no chemical preservatives and made with foods grown without pesticides—have opened nearby as competitors. surveys of our own customers reveal a growing concern about foods grown using pesticides or preserved with chemicals. recently our market in sun city participated in a local food tasting fair, and 75 percent of the fair goers who visited the excello booth requested free samples of organic fruit. such evidence indicates that to increase our profits, we should begin to stock a full line of organic food products in all our markets."
the following appeared in a memo from the vice president of a food-distribution company with food-storage warehouses in several cities.
"recently we signed a contract with the fly-away pest-control company to provide pest-control services at our fast-food warehouse in palm city, but last month we discovered that over $20,000 worth of food there had been destroyed by pest damage. meanwhile, the buzzoff pest-control company, which we have used for many years, continued to service our warehouse in wintervale, and last month only $10,000 worth of the food stored there had been destroyed by pest damage. even though the price charged by fly-away is considerably lower, our best means of saving money is to return to buzzoff company for all our pest-control services."
the following appeared in a proposal from the economic minister of the country of paraterra.
"in order to strengthen its lagging economy, last year the government of the nearby country of bellegea began an advertising campaign to promote ecologically sound tourism (ecotourism). this year the number of foreign visitors arriving at bellegea's main airport doubled, and per capita income in bellegea increased by ten percent. to provide more income for the population of paraterra and also preserve the natural environment of our tiny country, we too should begin to promote ecotourism. to ensure that our advertising campaign is successful, we should hire the current director of bellegea's national tourism office as a consultant for the campaign."
the following appeared as part of a business plan developed by the manager of the rialto theater.
"despite its downtown location, the rialto movie theater, a local institution for five decades, must make big changes or close its doors forever. it should follow the example of the new apex theater in the mall outside of town. when the apex opened last year, it featured a video arcade, plush carpeting and seats, and a state-of-the-art sound system. furthermore, in a recent survey, over 85 percent of respondents reported that the high price of newly released movies prevents them from going to the movies more than five times per year. thus, if the rialto intends to hold on to its share of a decreasing pool of moviegoers, it must offer the same features as apex."