An Australian professor is developing a robot to monitor the health of grazing cattle, a development that could bring big changes to a profession that’s relied largely on a low-tech approach for decades but is facing a labor shortage.
Salah Sukkarieh, a professor at the University of Sydney, sees robots as necessary given how cattlemen are aging. He is building a four-wheeled robot that will run on solar and electric power. It will use cameras and sensors to monitor the animals. A computer system will analyze the video to determine whether a cow is sick. Radio tags (标签) on the animals will measure temperature changes. The quality of grassland will be tracked by monitoring the shape, color and texture (质地) of grass. That way, cattlemen will know whether they need to move their cattle to another field for nutrition purposes.
Machines have largely taken over planting, watering and harvesting crops such as corn and wheat, but the monitoring of cattle has gone through fewer changes.
For Texas cattleman Pete Bonds, it’s increasingly difficult to find workers interested in watching cattle. But Bonds doesn’t believe a robot is right for the job. Years of experience in the industry—and failed attempts to use technology—have convinced him that the best way to check cattle is with a man on a horse. Bonds, who bought his first cattle almost 50 years ago, still has each of his cowboys inspect 300 or 400 cattle daily and look for signs that an animal is getting sick.
Other cattlemen see more promise in robots. Michael Kelsey, vice president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, said a robot could be extremely useful given rising concerns about cattle theft. Cattle tend to be kept in remote places and their value has risen, making them appealing targets.
32.What is a problem with the cattle-raising industry?
A. Soil pollution.
B. Lack of workers.
C. Aging machines.
D. Low profitability.
33. What will Sukkarieh’s robot be able to do?
A. Monitor the quality of grass.
B. Cure the diseased cattle.
C. Move cattle to another field.
D. Predict weather changes.
34.Why does Pete Bonds still hire cowboys to watch cattle?
A. He wants to help them earn a living.
B. He thinks men can do the job better.
C. He is inexperienced in using robots.
D. He enjoys the traditional way of life.
35. How may robots help with cattle watching according to Michael Kelsey?
A. Increase the value of cattle.
B. Bring down the cost of labor.
C. Make the job more appealing.
D. Keep cattle from being stolen.
During an interview for one of my books, my interviewer said something I still think about often. Annoyed by the level of distraction (干扰) in his open office, he said, “That’s why I have a membership at the coworking space across the street—so I can focus.” His comment struck me as strange. After all, coworking spaces also typically use an open office layout (布局). But I recently came across a study that shows why his approach works.
The researchers examined various levels of noise on participants as they completed tests of creative thinking. They were randomly divided into four groups and exposed to various noise levels in the background, from total silence to 50 decibels (分贝), 70 decibels, and 85 decibels. The differences between most of the groups were statistically insignificant; however, the participants in the 70 decibels group—those exposed to a level of noise similar to background chatter in a coffee shop—significantly outperformed the other groups. Since the effects were small, this may suggest that our creative thinking does not differ that much in response to total silence and 85 decibels of background noise.
But since the results at 70 decibels were significant, the study also suggests that the right level of background noise—not too loud and not total silence—may actually improve one’s creative thinking ability. The right level of background noise may interrupt our normal patterns of thinking just enough to allow our imaginations to wander, without making it impossible to focus. This kind of “distracted focus” appears to be the best state for working on creative tasks.
So why do so many of us hate our open offices? The problem may be that, in our offices, we can’t stop ourselves from getting drawn into others’ conversations while we’re trying to focus. Indeed, the researchers found that face-to-face interactions and conversations affect the creative process, and yet a coworking space or a coffee shop provides a certain level of noise while also providing freedom from interruptions.
32. Why does the interviewer prefer a coworking space?
A. It helps him concentrate.
B. It blocks out background noise.
C. It has a pleasant atmosphere.
D. It encourages face-to-face interactions.
33. Which level of background noise may promote creative thinking ability?
A. Total silence.
B. 50 decibels.
C. 70 decibels.
D. 85 decibels.
34. What makes an open office unwelcome to many people?
A. Personal privacy unprotected.
B. Limited working space.
C. Restrictions on group discussion.
D. Constant interruptions.
35. What can we infer about the author from the text?
A. He’s a news reporter.
B. He’s an office manager.
C. He’s a professional designer.
D. He’s a published writer.
Who is a genius? This question has greatly interested humankind for centuries.
Let’s state clearly: Einstein was a genius. His face is almost the international symbol for genius. But we want to go beyond one man and explore the nature of genius itself. Why is it that some people are so much more intelligent or creative than the rest of us? And who are they?
In the sciences and arts, those praised as geniuses were most often white men, of European origin. Perhaps this is not a surprise. It’s said that history is written by the victors, and those victors set the standards for admission to the genius club. When contributions were made by geniuses outside the club—women, or people of a different color or belief—they were unacknowledged and rejected by others.
A study recently published by Science found that as young as age six, girls are less likely than boys to say that members of their gender (性别) are “really, really smart”. Even worse, the study found that girls act on that belief: Around age six they start to avoid activities said to be for children who are “really, really smart.” Can our planet afford to have any great thinkers become discouraged and give up? It doesn’t take a genius to know the answer: absolutely not.
Here’s the good news. In a wired world with constant global communication, we’re all positioned to see flashes of genius wherever they appear. And the more we look, the more we will see that social factors (因素) like gender, race, and class do not determine the appearance of genius. As a writer says, future geniuses come from those with “intelligence, creativity, perseverance (毅力), and simple good fortune, who are able to change the world.”
12. What does the author think of victors’ standards for joining the genius club?
A. They’re unfair.
B. They’re conservative.
C. They’re objective.
D. They’re strict.
13. What can we infer about girls from the study in Science?
A. They think themselves smart.
B. They look up to great thinkers.
C. They see gender differences earlier than boys.
D. They are likely to be influenced by social beliefs.
14. Why are more geniuses known to the public?
A. Improved global communication.
B. Less discrimination against women.
C. Acceptance of victors’ concepts.
D. Changes in people’s social positions.
15. What is the best title for the text?
A. Geniuses Think Alike
B. Genius Takes Many Forms
C. Genius and Intelligence
D. Genius and Luck
According to a recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research, both the size and consumption habits of our eating companions can influence our food intake. And contrary to existing research that says you should avoid eating with heavier people who order large portions (份), it’s the beanpoles with big appetites you really need to avoid.
To test the effect of social influence on eating habits, the researchers conducted two experiments. In the first, 95 undergraduate women were individually invited into a lab to ostensibly (表面上) participate in a study about movie viewership. Before the film began, each woman was asked to help herself to a snack. An actor hired by the researchers grabbed her food first. In her natural state, the actor weighed 105 pounds. But in half the cases she wore a specially designed fat suit which increased her weight to 180 pounds.
Both the fat and thin versions of the actor took a large amount of food. The participants followed suit, taking more food than they normally would have. However, they took significantly more when the actor was thin.
For the second test, in one case the thin actor took two pieces of candy from the snack bowls. In the other case, she took 30 pieces. The results were similar to the first test: the participants followed suit but took significantly more candy when the thin actor took 30 pieces.
The tests show that the social environment is extremely influential when we’re making decisions. If this fellow participant is going to eat more, so will I. Call it the “I’ll have what she’s having” effect. However, we’ll adjust the influence. If an overweight person is having a large portion, I’ll hold back a bit because I see the results of his eating habits. But if a thin person eats a lot, I’ll follow suit. If he can eat much and keep slim, why can’t I?
12. What is the recent study mainly about?
A. Food safety.
B. Movie viewership.
C. Consumer demand.
D. Eating behavior.
13. What does the underlined word “beanpoles” in paragraph 1 refer to?
A. Big eaters.
B. Overweight persons.
C. Picky eaters.
D. Tall thin persons.
14. Why did the researchers hire the actor?
A. To see how she would affect the participants.
B. To test if the participants could recognize her.
C. To find out what she would do in the two tests.
D. To study why she could keep her weight down.
15. On what basis do we “adjust the influence” according to the last paragraph?
A. How hungry we are.
B. How slim we want to be.
C. How we perceive others.
D. How we feel about the food.
Rainforests are home to a rich variety of medicinal plants, food, birds and animals. Can you believe that a single bush (灌木丛) in the Amazon may have more species of ants than the whole of Britain! About 480 varieties of trees may be found in just one hectare of rainforest.
Rainforests are the lungs of the planet—storing vast quantities of carbon dioxide and producing a significant amount of the world’s oxygen. Rainforests have their own perfect system for ensuring their own survival; the tall trees make a canopy (树冠层) of branches and leaves which protect themselves, smaller plants, and the forest animals from heavy rain, intense dry heat from the sun and strong winds.
Amazingly, the trees grow in such a way that their leaves and branches, although close together, never actually touch those of another tree. Scientists think this is the plants’ way to prevent the spread of any tree diseases and make life more difficult for leaf-eating insects like caterpillars. To survive in the forest, animals must climb, jump or fly across the gaps. The ground floor of the forest is not all tangled leaves and bushes, like in films, but is actually fairly clear. It is where dead leaves turn into food for the trees and other forest life.
They are not called rainforests for nothing! Rainforests can generate 75% of their own rain. At least 80 inches of rain a year is normal—and in some areas there may be as much as 430 inches of rain annually. This is real rain—your umbrella may protect you in a shower, but it won’t keep you dry if there is a full rainstorm. In just two hours, streams can rise ten to twenty feet. The humidity (湿气) of large rainforests contributes to the formation of rainclouds that may travel to other countries in need of rain.
32. What can we learn about rainforests from the first paragraph?
A. They produce oxygen.
B. They cover a vast area.
C. They are well managed.
D. They are rich in wildlife.
33. Which of the following contributes most to the survival of rainforests?
A. Heavy rains.
B. Big trees.
C. Small plants.
D. Forest animals.
34. Why do the leaves and branches of different trees avoid touching each other?
A. For more sunlight.
B. For more growing space.
C. For self-protection.
D. For the detection of insects.
35. What can be a suitable title for the text?
A. Life-Giving Rainforests
B. The Law of the Jungle
C. Animals in the Amazon
D. Weather in Rainforests
The connection between people and plants has long been the subject of scientific research. Recent studies have found positive effects. A study conducted in Youngstown, Ohio, for example, discovered that greener areas of the city experienced less crime. In another, employees were shown to be 15% more productive when their workplaces were decorated with houseplants.
The engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have taken it a step further—changing the actual composition of plants in order to get them to perform diverse, even unusual functions. These include plants that have sensors printed onto their leaves to show when they’re short of water and a plant that can detect harmful chemicals in groundwater. “We’re thinking about how we can engineer plants to replace functions of the things that we use every day,” explained Michael Strano, a professor of chemical engineering at MIT.
One of his latest projects has been to make plants glow（发光）in experiments using some common vegetables. Strano’s team found that they could create a faint light for three-and-a-half hours. The light, about one-thousandth of the amount needed to read by, is just a start. The technology, Strano said, could one day be used to light the rooms or even to turn trees into self-powered street lamps.
In the future, the team hopes to develop a version of the technology that can be sprayed onto plant leaves in a one-off treatment that would last the plant’s lifetime. The engineers are also trying to develop an on and off “switch” where the glow would fade when exposed to daylight.
Lighting accounts for about 7% of the total electricity consumed in the US. Since lighting is often far removed from the power source（电源）—such as the distance from a power plant to street lamps on a remote highway—a lot of energy is lost during transmission（传输）. Glowing plants could reduce this distance and therefore help save energy.
32. What is the first paragraph mainly about?
A. A new study of different plants.
B. A big fall in crime rates.
C. Employees from various workplaces.
D. Benefits from green plants.
33. What is the function of the sensors printed on plant leaves by MIT engineers?
A. To detect plants’ lack of water.
B. To change compositions of plants.
C. To make the life of plants longer.
D. To test chemicals in plants.
34. What can we expect of the glowing plants in the future?
A. They will speed up energy production.
B. They may transmit electricity to the home.
C. They might help reduce energy consumption.
D. They could take the place of power plants.
35. Which of the following can be the best title for the text?
A. Can we grow more glowing plants?
B. How do we live with glowing plants?
C. Could glowing plants replace lamps?
D. How are glowing plants made pollution-free?
I have a special place in my heart for libraries. I have for as long as I can remember. I was always an enthusiastic reader, sometimes reading up to three books a day as a child. Stories were like air to me and while other kids played ball or went to parties, I lived out adventures through the books I checked out from the library.
My first job was working at the Ukiah Library when I was 16 years old. It was a dream job and I did everything from shelving books to reading to the children for story time.
As I grew older and became a mother, the library took on a new place and an added meaning in my life. I had several children and books were our main source (来源) of entertainment. It was a big deal for us to load up and go to the local library, where my kids could pick out books to read or books they wanted me to read to them.
I always read, using different voices, as though I were acting out the stories with my voice and they loved it! It was a special time to bond with my children and it filled them with the wonderment of books.
Now, I see my children taking their children to the library and I love that the excitement of going to the library lives on from generation to generation.
As a novelist, I’ve found a new relationship with libraries. I encourage readers to go to their local library when they can’t afford to purchase a book. I see libraries as a safe haven (避风港) for readers and writers, a bridge that helps put together a reader with a book. Libraries, in their own way, help fight book piracy (盗版行为) and I think all writers should support libraries in a significant way when they can. Encourage readers to use the library. Share library announcements on your social media. Frequent them and talk about them when you can.
32. Which word best describes the author’s relationship with books as a child?
33. What does the underlined phrase “an added meaning” in paragraph 3 refer to?
A. Pleasure from working in the library.
B. Joy of reading passed on in the family.
C. Wonderment from acting out the stories.
D. A closer bond developed with the readers.
34. What does the author call on other writers to do?
A. Sponsor book fairs.
B. Write for social media.
C. Support libraries.
D. Purchase her novels.
35. Which can be a suitable title for the text?
A. Reading: A Source of Knowledge
B. My Idea about Writing
C. Library: A Haven for the Young
D. My Love of the Library
We are the products of evolution, and not just evolution that occurred billions of years ago. As scientists look deeper into our genes (基因), they are finding examples of human evolution in just the past few thousand years. People in Ethiopian highlands have adapted to living at high altitudes. Cattle-raising people in East Africa and northern Europe have gained a mutation (突变) that helps them digest milk as adults.
On Thursday in an article published in Cell, a team of researchers reported a new kind of adaptation—not to air or to food, but to the ocean. A group of sea-dwelling people in Southeast Asia have evolved into better divers. The Bajau, as these people are known, number in the hundreds of thousands in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. They have traditionally lived on houseboats; in recent times, they’ve also built houses on stilts (支柱) in coastal waters. “They are simply a stranger to the land,” said Rodney C. Jubilado, a University of Hawaii researcher who studies the Bajau.
Dr. Jubilado first met the Bajau while growing up on SamalIsland in the Philippines. They made a living as divers, spearfishing or harvesting shellfish. “We were so amazed that they could stay underwater much longer than us local islanders,” Dr. Jubilado said. “I could see them actually walking under the sea.”
In 2015, Melissa Ilardo, then a graduate student in genetics at the University of Copenhagen, heard about the Bajau. She wondered if centuries of diving could have led to the evolution of physical characteristics that made the task easier for them. “It seemed like the perfect chance for natural selection to act on a population,” said Dr. Ilardo. She also said there were likely a number of other genes that help the Bajau dive.
32. What does the author want to tell us by the examples in paragraph 1?
A. Environmental adaptation of cattle raisers.
B. New knowledge of human evolution.
C. Recent findings of human origin.
D. Significance of food selection.
33. Where do the Bajau build their houses?
A. In valleys.
B. Near rivers.
C. On the beach.
D. Off the coast.
34. Why was the young Jubilado astonished at the Bajau?
A. They could walk on stilts all day.
B. They had a superb way of fishing.
C. They could stay long underwater.
D. They lived on both land and water.
35. What can be a suitable title for the text?
A. Bodies Remodeled for a Life at Sea
B. Highlanders’ Survival Skills
C. Basic Methods of Genetic Research
D. The World’s Best Divers
During the rosy years of elementary school (小学), I enjoyed sharing my dolls and jokes, which allowed me to keep my high social status. I was the queen of the playground. Then came my tweens and teens, and mean girls and cool kids. They rose in the ranks not by being friendly but by smoking cigarettes, breaking rules and playing jokes on others, among whom I soon found myself.
Popularity is a well-explored subject in social psychology. Mitch Prinstein, a professor of clinical psychology sorts the popular into two categories: the likable and the status seekers. The likables’ plays-well-with-others qualities strengthen schoolyard friendships, jump-start interpersonal skills and, when tapped early, are employed ever after in life and work. Then there’s the kind of popularity that appears in adolescence: status born of power and even dishonorable behavior.
Enviable as the cool kids may have seemed, Dr. Prinstein’s studies show unpleasant consequences. Those who were highest in status in high school, as well as those least liked in elementary school, are “most likely to engage (从事) in dangerous and risky behavior.”
In one study, Dr. Prinstein examined the two types of popularity in 235 adolescents, scoring the least liked, the most liked and the highest in status based on student surveys (调查研究). “We found that the least well-liked teens had become more aggressive over time toward their classmates. But so had those who were high in status. It clearly showed that while likability can lead to healthy adjustment, high status has just the opposite effect on us.”
Dr. Prinstein has also found that the qualities that made the neighbors want you on a play date—sharing, kindness, openness—carry over to later years and make you better able to relate and connect with others.
In analyzing his and other research, Dr. Prinstein came to another conclusion: Not only is likability related to positive life outcomes, but it is also responsible for those outcomes, too. “Being liked creates opportunities for learning and for new kinds of life experiences that help somebody gain an advantage,” he said.
32. What sort of girl was the author in her early years of elementary school?
33. What is the second paragraph mainly about?
A. The classification of the popular.
B. The characteristics of adolescents.
C. The importance of interpersonal skills.
D. The causes of dishonorable behavior.
34. What did Dr. Prinstein’s study find about the most liked kids?
A. They appeared to be aggressive.
B. They tended to be more adaptable.
C. They enjoyed the highest status.
D. They performed well academically.
35. What is the best title for the text?
A. Be Nice—You Won’t Finish Last
B. The Higher the Status, the Better
C. Be the Best—You Can Make It
D. More Self-Control, Less Aggressiveness
Bacteria are an annoying problem for astronauts. The microorganisms (微生物) from our bodies grow uncontrollably on surfaces of the International Space Station, so astronauts spend hours cleaning them up each week. How is NASA overcoming this very tiny big problem? It’s turning to a bunch of high school kids. But not just any kids. It is depending on NASA HUNCH high school classrooms, like the one science teachers Gene Gordon and Donna Himmelberg lead at FairportHigh School in Fairport, New York.
HUNCH is designed to connect high school classrooms with NASA engineers. For the past two years, Gordon’s students have been studying ways to kill bacteria in zero gravity, and they think they’re close to a solution (解决方案). “We don’t give the students any breaks. They have to do it just like NASA engineers,” says Florence Gold, a project manager.
“There are no tests,” Gordon says. “There is no graded homework. There almost are no grades, other than ‘Are you working towards your goal?’ Basically, it’s ‘I’ve got to produce this product and then, at the end of the year, present it to NASA. ’Engineers come and really do an in-person review, and. . . it’s not a very nice thing at times. It’s a hard business review of your product.”
Gordon says the HUNCH program has an impact (影响) on college admissions and practical life skills. “These kids are so absorbed in their studies that I just sit back. I don’t teach.” And that annoying bacteria? Gordon says his students are emailing daily with NASA engineers about the problem, readying a workable solution to test in space.
32. What do we know about the bacteria in the International Space Station?
A. They are hard to get rid of.
B. They lead to air pollution.
C. They appear in different forms.
D. They damage the instruments.
33. What is the purpose of the HUNCH program?
A. To strengthen teacher-student relationships.
B. To sharpen students’ communication skills.
C. To allow students to experience zero gravity.
D. To link space technology with school education.
34. What do the NASA engineers do for the students in the program?
A. Check their product.
B. Guide project designs.
C. Adjust work schedules.
D. Grade their homework.
35. What is the best title for the text?
A. NASA: The Home of Astronauts
B. Space: The Final Homework Frontier
C. Nature: An Outdoor Classroom
D. HUNCH: A College Admission Reform
Monkeys seem to have a way with numbers. A team of researchers trained three Rhesus monkeys to associate 26 clearly different symbols consisting of numbers and selective letters with 0-25 drops of water or juice as a reward. The researchers then tested how the monkeys combined—or added—the symbols to get the reward.
Here’s how HarvardMedicalSchool scientist Margaret Livingstone, who led the team, described the experiment: In their cages the monkeys were provided with touch screens. On one part of the screen, a symbol would appear, and on the other side two symbols inside a circle were shown. For example, the number 7 would flash on one side of the screen and the other end would have 9 and 8. If the monkeys touched the left side of the screen they would be rewarded with seven drops of water or juice；if they went for the circle, they would be rewarded with the sum of the numbers—17 in this example.
After running hundreds of tests, the researchers noted that the monkeys would go for the higher values more than half the time, indicating that they were performing a calculation, not just memorizing the value of each combination.
When the team examined the results of the experiment more closely, they noticed that the monkeys tended to underestimate (低估) a sum compared with a single symbol when the two were close in value—sometimes choosing, for example, a 13 over the sum of 8 and 6. The underestimation was systematic: When adding two numbers, the monkeys always paid attention to the larger of the two, and then added only a fraction (小部分) of the smaller number to it.
“This indicates that there is a certain way quantity is represented in their brains,”Dr. Livingstone says. “But in this experiment what they’re doing is paying more attention to the big number than the little one.”
32. What did the researchers do to the monkeys before testing them?
A. They fed them.
B. They named them.
C. They trained them.
D. They measured them.
33. How did the monkeys get their reward in the experiment?
A. By drawing a circle.
B. By touching a screen.
C. By watching videos.
D. By mixing two drinks.
34. What did Livingstone’s team find about the monkeys?
A. They could perform basic addition.
B. They could understand simple words.
C. They could memorize numbers easily.
D. They could hold their attention for long.
35. In which section of a newspaper may this text appear?
We may think we’re a culture that gets rid of our worn technology at the first sight of something shiny and new, but a new study shows that we keep using our old devices (装置) well after they go out of style. That’s bad news for the environment—and our wallets—as these outdated devices consume much more energy than the newer ones that do the same things.
To figure out how much power these devices are using, Callie Babbitt and her colleagues at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York tracked the environmental costs for each product throughout its life—from when its minerals are mined to when we stop using the device. This method provided a readout for how home energy use has evolved since the early 1990s. Devices were grouped by generation. Desktop computers, basic mobile phones, and box-set TVs defined 1992. Digital cameras arrived on the scene in 1997. And MP3 players, smart phones, and LCD TVs entered homes in 2002, before tablets and e-readers showed up in 2007.
As we accumulated more devices, however, we didn’t throw out our old ones. “The living-room television is replaced and gets planted in the kids’ room, and suddenly one day, you have a TV in every room of the house,” said one researcher. The average number of electronic devices rose from four per household in 1992 to 13 in 2007. We’re not just keeping these old devices—we continue to use them. According to the analysis of Babbitt’s team, old desktop monitors and box TVs with cathode ray tubes are the worst devices with their energy consumption and contribution to greenhouse gas emissions (排放) more than doubling during the 1992 to 2007 window.
So what’s the solution (解决方案)? The team’s data only went up to 2007, but the researchers also explored what would happen if consumers replaced old products with new electronics that serve more than one function, such as a tablet for word processing and TV viewing. They found that more on-demand entertainment viewing on tablets instead of TVs and desktop computers could cut energy consumption by 44%.
32. What does the author think of new devices?
A. They are environment-friendly.
B. They are no better than the old.
C. They cost more to use at home.
D. They go out of style quickly.
33. Why did Babbitt’s team conduct the research?
A. To reduce the cost of minerals.
B. To test the life cycle of a product.
C. To update consumers on new technology.
D. To find out electricity consumption of the devices.
34. Which of the following uses the least energy?
A. The box-set TV.
B. The tablet.
C. The LCD TV.
D. The desktop computer.
35. What does the text suggest people do about old electronic devices?
A. Stop using them.
B. Take them apart.
C. Upgrade them.
D. Recycle them.
We’ve all been there：in a lift, in line at the bank or on an airplane, surrounded by people who are, like us, deeply focused on their smartphones or, worse, struggling with the uncomfortable silence.
What’s the problem? It’s possible that we all have compromised conversational intelligence. It’s more likely that none of us start a conversation because it’s awkward and challenging, or we think it’s annoying and unnecessary. But the next time you find yourself among strangers, consider that small talk is worth the trouble. Experts say it’s an invaluable social practice that results in big benefits.
Dismissing small talk as unimportant is easy, but we can’t forget that deep relationships wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for casual conversation. Small talk is the grease (润滑剂) for social communication, says Bernardo Carducci, director of the Shyness Research Institute at Indiana University Southeast. “Almost every great love story and each big business deal begins with small talk,” he explains. “The key to successful small talk is learning how to connect with others, not just communicate with them.”
In a 2014 study, Elizabeth Dunn, associate professor of psychology at UBC, invited people on their way into a coffee shop. One group was asked to seek out an interaction (互动) with its waiter; the other, to speak only when necessary. The results showed that those who chatted with their server reported significantly higher positive feelings and a better coffee shop experience. “It’s not that talking to the waiter is better than talking to your husband,” says Dunn. “But interactions with peripheral (边缘的) members of our social network matter for our well-being also.”
Dunn believes that people who reach out to strangers feel a significantly greater sense of belonging, a bond with others. Carducci believes developing such a sense of belonging starts with small talk. “Small talk is the basis of good manners,” he says.
32. What phenomenon is described in the first paragraph?
A. Addiction to smartphones.
B. Inappropriate behaviours in public places.
C. Absence of communication between strangers.
D. Impatience with slow service.
33. What is important for successful small talk according to Carducci?
A. Showing good manners.
B. Relating to other people.
C. Focusing on a topic.
D. Making business deals.
34. What does the coffee-shop study suggest about small talk?
A. It improves family relationships.
B. It raises people’s confidence.
C. It matters as much as a formal talk.
D. It makes people feel good.
35. What is the best title for the text?
A. Conversation Counts
B. Ways of Making Small Talk
C. Benefits of Small Talk
D. Uncomfortable Silence
Adults understand what it feels like to be flooded with objects. Why do we often assume that more is more when it comes to kids and their belongings? The good news is that I can help my own kids learn earlier than I did how to live more with less.
I found the pre-holidays a good time to encourage young children to donate less-used things, and it worked. Because of our efforts, our daughter Georgia did decide to donate a large bag of toys to a little girl whose mother was unable to pay for her holiday due to illness. She chose to sell a few larger objects that were less often used when we promised to put the money into her school fund (基金)(our kindergarten daughter is serious about becoming a doctor).
For weeks, I’ve been thinking of bigger, deeper questions：How do we make it a habit for them? And how do we train ourselves to help them live with, need, and use less? Yesterday, I sat with my son, Shepherd, determined to test my own theory on this. I decided to play with him with only one toy for as long as it would keep his interest. I expected that one toy would keep his attention for about five minutes, ten minutes, max. I chose a red rubber ball—simple, universally available. We passed it, he tried to put it in his mouth, he tried bouncing it, rolling it, sitting on it, throwing it. It was totally, completely enough for him. Before I knew it an hour had passed and it was time to move on to lunch.
We both became absorbed in the simplicity of playing together. He had my full attention and I had his. My little experiment to find joy in a single object worked for both of us.
32. What do the words “more is more” in paragraph 1 probably mean?
A. The more, the better.
B. Enough is enough.
C. More money, more worries.
D. Earn more and spend more.
33. What made Georgia agree to sell some of her objects?
A. Saving up for her holiday.
B. Raising money for a poor girl.
C. Adding the money to her fund.
D. Giving the money to a sick mother.
34. Why did the author play the ball with Shepherd?
A. To try out an idea.
B. To show a parent’s love.
C. To train his attention.
D. To help him start a hobby.
35. What can be a suitable title for the text?
A. Take It or Leave It
B. A Lesson from Kids
C. Live More with Less
D. The Pleasure of Giving