11. W: This is one of our best and least expensive two-bedroom listings. It’s located in a quiet building and it’s close to bus lines.
M: That maybe true. But look at it. It’s awful. The paint has peeled off and carpet is worn and the stove is ancient.
Q: What can we infer from the connersation?
12. M: The pictures we took at the botanical garden should be ready tomorrow.
W: I can’t wait to see them. I’m wondering if the shots I took are as good as I thought.
Q: What is the woman eager to know?
13. W: The handle of the suitcase is broken. Can you have it fixed by next Tuesday?
M: Let me see. I need to find a handle that matches, but that shouldn’t take too long.
Q: What does the man mean?
14. M: This truck looks like what I need, but I’m worried about maintenance. For us it’ll have to operate for long periods of time in very cold temperatures.
W: We have several models that are especially adaptive for extreme conditions. Would you like to see them?
Q: What do we learn about the man from the conversation?
15. M: I think your boss would be very upset when he gets your letter of resignation.
W: That may be so. But in the letter, I just told him frankly I could no longer live with his poor management and stupid decisions.
Q: What do we learn about the woman?
16. W: I’d like to exchange the shirt. I’ve learned that the person I bought it for is allergic to wool.
M: Maybe we can find something in cotton or silk. Please come this way.
Q: What does the woman want to do?
17. M: Excuse me, Miss. Did anyone happen to turn in a new handbag? You know, it’s a birthday gift for my wife.
W: Let me see. Oh, we’ve got quite a lot of women’s bags here. Can you give me more detailed information, such as the color, the size and the trademark?
Q: Where does this conversation most probably take place?
18. W: What are you going to do with the old house you inherited from your grandfather?
M: I once intended to sell it, but now, I’m thinking of turning it into a guest house, because it’s still a solid structure.
Q: What does the man plan to do with his old house?
W: When you write a novel, do you know where you’re going, Dr. James?
M: Yes, you must, really, if you’re writing the classical detective story, because it must be so carefully plotted and so carefully clued. I have schemes. I have charts. I have diagrams. It doesn’t mean to say that I always get it right, but I do plan before I begin writing. But what is so fascinating is how a book changes during the process of writing. It seems to me that creative writing is a process of revelation, really, rather than of creativity in the ordinary sense.
W: When you’re planning the basic structure, do you like to go away to be sure that you’re by yourself?
M: I need to be by myself certainly, absolutely, I can’t veen bare anybody else in the house. I don’t mind much where I am as long as I’ve got enough space to write, but I need to be completely alone.
W: Is that very important to you?
M: Oh, yes. I’ve never been lonely in all my life.
W: How extraordinary! Never?
M: No, never.
W: You’re very lucky. Someone once said that there’s a bit of ice at the heart of every writer.
M: Yes, I think this is true. The writer can stand aside from experience and look at it, watch it happening. There is this “detachment” and I realize that there are obviously experiences which would overwhelm everyone. But very often, a writer can appear to stand aside, and this detachment makes people feel there’s a bit of ice in the heart.
19. What is the key to writing a good classical detective story according to the man?
20. What does the man mainly need when working on a book?
21. What does the man say about writers?
W: There is an element there about competition then, isn’t there? Because British railways are a
nationalized industry. There’s only one railway system in the country. If you don’t like a particular kind of big beans, you can go and buy another. But if you don’t like a particular railway, you can’t go and use another.
M: Some people who write to me say this. They say that if you didn’t have a monopoly, you wouldn’t be able to do the things you do. Well, I don’t think we do anything deliberately to upset our customers. We have particular problems. Since 1946, when the Transport Act came in, we were nationalized.
W: Do you think that’s good thing? Has it been a good thing for the railways, do you think, to be nationalized?
M: Oh, I think so, yes. Because in general, modes of transport are all around. Let’s face the fact. The car arrived. The car is here to stay. There is no question about that.
W: So what are you saying then? Is it if the railways haven’t been nationalized, they would simply have disappeared?
M: Oh, I think they would have. They’re disappearing fast in America. Er, the French railways lose I billion pounds a year. The German railways, 2 billion pounds a year. But you see, those governments are prepared to pour money into the transport system to keep it going.
W: So, in a sense, you cope between two extremes. On the one hand, you’re trying not to lose too much money. And on the other hand, you’ve got to provide the best service.
M: Yes, you are right.
22. What does the woman say about British railways?
23. What do some people who write to the man complain about?
24. What does the man say threatens the existence of railways?
25. What does the man say about railways in other countries?
Among global warming’s most frightening threats is the prediction that the polar ice-caps will melt, raising sea level so much that coastal cities from New York to Los Angles to Shanghai will be flooded. Scientists agree that the key player in this scenario is the West Antarctic ice sheet, a Brazil-size mass of frozen water that is as much as 7,000 feet thick. Unlike floating ice shelves which have little impact on sea level when they break up , the ice sheet anchored to bedrock will blow the sea surface. Surrounded by open ocean, it is also vulnerable, but Antarctic experts disagree strongly on just how unstable it is. Now, new evidence reveals that all or most of the Antarctic West ice sheet collapsed at least once during the past 1.3 million years, a period when global temperatures probably were not significantly higher than they are today. And the ice sheet was assumed to have been stable. In geological time, a million years is recent history. The proof, which was published last week in Science, comes from a team of scientists from Uppsala University in Sweden and the California Institute of Technology who drew deep holes near the edge of the ice sheet. Within samples collected from the solid substances lying beneath the ice, they found fossils of microscopic marine plants which suggest that the region was once open ocean, not solid ice. As Herman Engleheart a co-author from the California Institute of Technology says, “the West Antarctic ice sheet disappeared once and can disappear again.”
26. What is one of the most frightening threats of global warming according to the passage?
27. What did scientists disagree on?
28. What did the latest information reveal about the West Antarctic ice sheet?
29. What did the scientists’ latest findings suggest?
It’s always fun to write about research that you can actually try out for yourself.
Try this: Take a photo and upload it to Facebook, then after a day or so, note what the URL link to the picture is and then delete it. Come back a month later and see if the link works. Chances are: It will.
Facebook isn’t alone here. Researchers at Cambridge University have found that nearly half of the social networking sites don’t immediately delete pictures when a user requests they be removed. In general, photocentric websites like Flickr were found to be better at quickly removing deleted photos upon request.
Why do “deleted” photos stick around so long? The problem relates to the way data is stored on large websites: While your personal computer only keeps one copy of a file, large-scale services like Facebook rely on what are called content delivery networks to manage data and distribution. It’s complex system wherein data is copied to multiple intermediate devices, usually to speed up access to files when millions of people are trying to access the service at the same time. But because changes aren’t reflected across the content delivery networks immediately, ghost copies of files tend to linger for days or weeks.
In the case of Facebook, the company says data may hang around until the URL in question is reused, which is usually “after a short period of time”, though obviously that time can vary considerably.
30. What does the speaker ask us to try out?
31. What accounts for the failure of some websites to remove photos immediately?
32. When will the unwanted data eventually disappear from Facebook according to the company?
Enjoying an iced coffee?
Better skip dinner or hit the gym afterwards, with a cancer charity warning that some iced coffees contain as many calories as a hot dinner.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) conducted a survey of iced coffees sold by some popular chains in Britain including Starbucks, Caffe Nera and Costa Coffee to gauge the calories as studies increasingly link obesity with cancer.
The worst offender—a coffee from Starbucks—had 561 calories. Other iced coffees contained more than 450 calories and the majority had an excess of 200.
Health experts advise that the average woman should consume about 2000 calories a day and a man about 2500 calories to maintain a healthy weight. Dieters aim for 1,000 to 1,500 calories a day.
“ The fact that there is an iced coffee on the market with over a quarter of a woman’s daily calories allowance is alarming,” Dr. Rachel Thompson, science programme manager at London-based WCRF, said in a widely-reported statement.
“This is the amount of calories you might expect to have in an evening meal, not in a drink.”
The WCRF has estimated that 19,000 cancers a year in Britain could be prevented if people lost their excess weight with growing evidence that excess body fat increases the risk of various cancers.
“If you are having these types of coffee regularly then they will increase the chances of you becoming overweight, which in turn increases your risk of developing cancer, as well as other diseases such as heart disease.” she added.
33. What warning did some health experts give?
34. What did the author suggest people do after they have an iced coffee?
35. What could British people expect if they maintained a normal body weight according to the WCRF?
Psychologists are finding that hope plays a surprisingly vital role in giving people a measurable advantage in realms as diverse as academic achievement, bearing up in tough jobs and coping with tragic illness. And, by contrast, the loss of hope is turning out to be a stronger sign that a person may commit suicide than other factors long thought to be more likely risks.
“Hope has proven a powerful predictor of outcome in every study we’ve done so far,” said Dr. Charles R. Snyder, a psychologist who has devised a scale to assess how much hope a person has.
For example, in research with 3920 college students, Dr. Snyder and his colleagues found that the level of hope among freshmen at the beginning of their first semester was a more accurate predictor of their college grades than were their S. A.T. scores or their grade point averages in high school, the two measures most commonly used to predict college performance.
“Students with high hope set themselves higher goals and know how to work to attain them,” Dr, Snyder said. “When you compare students of equivalent intelligence and past academic achievements, what sets them apart is hope,”
In devising a way to assess hope scientifically, Dr. Snyder went beyond the simple notion that hope is merely the sense that everything will turn out all right. “That notion is not concrete enough, and it blurs two key components of hope,” Dr. Snyder said. Having hope means believing you have both the will and the way to accomplish your goals, whatever they may be.”