Part II Reading Comprehension (35 minutes)
Directions: There are 4 passages in this part. Each passage is followed by some questions or unfinished statements. For each of them there are four choices marked A), B), C) and D). You should decide on the best choice and mark the corresponding letter on the Answer Sheet with a single line through the center.
Questions 11 to 15 are based on the following passage.
The fridge is considered a necessity. It has been so since the 1960s when packaged food first appeared with the label: “store in the refrigerator.”
In my fridgeless Fifties childhood, I was fed well and healthy. The milkman came daily, the grocer, the butcher (肉商), the baker, and the ice-cream man delivered two or three times a week. The Sunday meat would last until Wednesday and surplus (剩余的) bread and milk became all kinds of cakes. Nothing was wasted, and we were never troubled by rotten food. Thirty years on, food deliveries have ceased, fresh vegetables are almost unobtainable in the country.
The invention of the fridge contributed comparatively little to the art of food preservation. A vast way of well-tried techniques already existed-natural cooling, drying, smoking, salting, sugaring, bottling...
What refrigeration did promote was marketing—marketing hardware and electricity, marketing soft drinks, marketing dead bodies of animals around the globe in search of a good price.
Consequently, most of the world’s fridges are to be found, not in the tropics where they might prove useful, but in the wealthy countries with mild temperatures where they are climatically almost unnecessary. Every winter, millions of fridges hum away continuously, and at vast expense, busily maintaining an artificially-cooled space inside an artificially-heated house-while outside, nature provides the desired temperature free of charge.
The fridge’s effect upon the environment has been evident, while its contribution to human happiness has been insignificant. If you don’t believe me, try it yourself, invest in a food cabinet and turn off your fridge next winter. You may miss the hamburgers (汉堡包), but at least you’ll get rid of that terrible hum.
11. The statement “In my fridgeless Fifties childhood, I was fed well and healthily.” (Line 1, Para. 2) suggests that ________.
A) the author was well-fed and healthy even without a fridge in his fifties
B) the author was not accustomed to using fridges even in his fifties
C) there was no fridge in the author’s home in the 1950s
D) the fridge was in its early stage of development in the 1950s（C）
12. Why does the author say that nothing was wasted before the invention of fridges?
A) People would not buy more food than was necessary.
B) Food was delivered to people two or three times a week.
C) Food was sold fresh and did not get rotten easily.
D) People had effective ways to preserve their food.（D）
13. Who benefited the least from fridges according to the author?
D) Traveling salesmen.（B）
14. Which of the following phrases in the fifth paragraph indicates the fridge’s negative effect on the environment?
A) “Hum away continuously”.
B) “Climatically almost unnecessary”.
C) “Artificially-cooled space”.
D) “With mild temperatures”.（A）
15. What is the author’s overall attitude toward fridges?
Questions 16 to 20 are based on the following passage.
The human brain contains 10 thousand million cells and each of these may have a thousand connections. Such enormous numbers used to discourage us and cause us to dismiss the possibility of making a machine with human-like ability, but now that we have grown used to moving forward at such a pace we can be less sure. Quite soon, in only 10 or 20 years perhaps, we will be able to assemble a machine as complex as the human brain, and if we can we will. It may then take us a long time to render it intelligent by loading in the right software (软件) or by altering the architecture but that too will happen.
I think it certain that in decades, not centuries, machines of silicon (硅) will arise first to rival and then exceed their human ancestors. Once they exceed us they will be capable of their own design. In a real sense they will be able to reproduce themselves. Silicon will have ended carbon’s long control. And we will no longer be able to claim ourselves to be the finest intelligence in the known universe.
As the intelligence of robots increases to match that of humans and as their cost declines through economies of scale we may use them to expand our frontiers, first on earth through their ability to withstand environments, harmful to ourselves. Thus, deserts may bloom and the ocean beds be mined. Further ahead, by a combination of the great wealth this new age will bring and the technology it will provide, the construction of a vast, man-created world in space, home to thousands or millions of people, will be within our power.
16. In what way can we make a machine intelligent?
A) By making it work in such environments as deserts, oceans or space.
B) By working hard for 10 or 20 years.
C) By either properly programming it or changing its structure.
D) By reproducing it.（C）
17. What does the writer think about machines with human-like ability?
A) He believes they will be useful to human beings.
B) He believes that they will control us in the future.
C) He is not quite sure in what way they may influence us.
D) He doesn’t consider the construction of such machines possible.（A）
18. The word “carbon” (Line 4, Para. 2) stands for ________.
A) intelligent robots
B) a chemical element
C) an organic substance
D) human beings（D）
19. A robot can be used to expand our frontiers when ________.
A) its intelligence and cost are beyond question
B) it is able to bear the rough environment
C) it is made as complex as the human brain
D) its architecture is different from that of the present ones（A）
20. It can be inferred from the passage that ________.
A) after the installation of a great number of cells and connections, robots will be capable of self-reproduction
B) with the rapid development of technology, people have come to realize the possibility of making a machine with human-like ability
C) once we make a machine as complex as the human brain, it will posses intelligence
D) robots will have control of the vast, man-made world in space（B）
Questions 21 to 25 are based on the following passage.
After the violent earthquake that shook Los Angeles in 1994, earthquake scientists had good news to report: The damage and death toll (死亡人数) could have been much worse.
More than 60 people died in this earthquake. By comparison, as earthquake of similar intensity that shook America in 1988 claimed 25,000 victims.
Injuries and deaths were relatively less in Los Angeles because the quake occurred at 4:31 a.m. on a holiday, when traffic was light on the city’s highways. In addition, changes made to the construction codes in Los Angeles during the last 20 years have strengthened the city’s buildings and highways, making them more resistant to quakes.
Despite the good new, civil engineers aren’t resting on their successes. Pinned to their drawing boards are blueprints (蓝图) for improved quake-resistant buildings. The new designs should offer even greater security to cities where earthquakes often take place.
In the past, making structures quake-resistant meant firm yet flexible materials, such as steel and wood, that bend without breaking. Later, people tried to lift a building off its foundation, and insert rubber and steel between the building and its foundation to reduce the impact of ground vibrations. The most recent designs give buildings brains as well as concrete and steel supports. Called smart buildings, the structures respond like living organisms to an earthquake’s vibrations. When the ground shakes and the building tips forward, the computer would force the building to shift in the opposite direction.
The new smart structures could be very expensive to build. However, they would save many lives and would be less likely to be damaged during earthquakes.
21. One reason why the loss of lives in the Los Angeles earthquake was comparatively low is that ________.
A) new computers had been installed in the buildings
B) it occurred in the residential areas rather than on the highways
C) large numbers of Los Angeles residents had gone for a holiday
D) improvements had been made in the construction of buildings and highways（D）
22. The function of the computer mentioned in the passage is to ________.
A) counterbalance an earthquake’s action on the building
B) predict the coming of an earthquake with accuracy
C) help strengthen the foundation of the building
D) measure the impact of an earthquake’s vibrations（A）
23. The smart buildings discussed in the passage ________.
A) would cause serious financial problems
B) would be worthwhile though costly
C) would increase the complexity of architectural design
D) can reduce the ground vibrations caused by earthquakes（B）
24. It can be inferred from the passage that in minimizing the damage caused by earthquakes attention should be focused on ________.
A) the increasing use of rubber and steel in capital construction
B) the development of flexible building materials
C) the reduction of the impact of ground vibrations
D) early forecasts of earthquakes（C）
25. The author’s main purpose in writing the passage is to ________.
A) compare the consequences of the earthquakes that occurred in the U.S.
B) encourage civil engineers to make more extensive use of computers
C) outline the history of the development of quake-resistant building materials
D) report new developments in constructing quake-resistant buildings（D）
Questions 26 to 30 are based on the following passage.
Even plants can run a fever, especially when they’re under attack by insects or disease. But unlike humans, plants can have their temperature taken from 3,000 feet away-straight up. A decade ago, adapting the infrared (红外线) scanning technology developed for military purposes and other satellites, physicist Stephen Paley came up with a quick way to take the temperature of crops to determine which ones are under stress. The goal was to let farmers precisely target pesticide (杀虫剂) spraying rather than rain poison on a whole field, which invariably includes plants that don’t have pest (害虫) problems.
Even better, Paley’s Remote Scanning Services Company could detect crop problems before they became visible to the eye. Mounted on a plane flown at 3,000 feet at night, an infrared scanner measured the heat emitted by crops. The data were transformed into a color-coded map showing where plants were running “fevers”. Farmers could then spot-spray, using 50 to 70 percent less pesticide than they otherwise would.
The bad news is that Paley’s company closed down in 1984, after only three years. Farmers resisted the new technology and long-term backers were hard to find. But with the renewed concern about pesticides on produce, and refinements in infrared scanning, Paley hopes to get back into operation. Agriculture experts have no doubt the technology works. “This technique can be used on 75 percent of agricultural land in the United States,” says George Oerther of Texas A&M. Ray Jackson, who recently retired from the Department of Agriculture, thinks remote infrared crop scanning could be adopted by the end of the decade. But only if Paley finds the financial backing which he failed to obtain 10 years ago.
26. Plants will emit an increased amount of heat when they are ________.
A) sprayed with pesticides
B) facing an infrared scanner
C) in poor physical condition
D) exposed to excessive sun rays（C）
27. In order to apply pesticide spraying precisely, we can use infrared scanning to ________.
A) estimate the damage to the crops
B) draw a color-coded map
C) measure the size of the affected area
D) locate the problem area（D）
28. Farmers can save a considerable amount of pesticide by ________.
A) resorting to spot-spraying
B) consulting infrared scanning experts
C) transforming poisoned rain
D) detecting crop problems at an early date（A）
29. The application of infrared scanning technology to agriculture met with some difficulties due to ________.
A) the lack of official support
B) its high cost
C) the lack of financial support
D) its failure to help increase production（C）
30. Infrared scanning technology may be brought back into operation because of ________.
A) the desire of farmers to improve the quality of their produce
B) growing concern about the excessive use of pesticides on crops
C) the forceful promotion by the Department of Agriculture
D) full support from agricultural experts（B）