Questions 21 to 25 are based on the following passage.
In the 1920s demand for American farm products fell, as European countries began to recover from World War I and instituted austerity (紧缩) programs to reduce their imports. The result was a sharp drop in farm prices. This period was more disastrous for farmers than earlier times had been, because farmers were no longer self-sufficient. They were paying for machinery, seed, and fertilizer, and they were also buying consumer goods. The prices of the items farmers bought remained constant, while prices they received for their products fell. These developments were made worse by the Great Depression, which began in 1929 and extended throughout the 1939s.
In 1929, under President Herbert Hoover, the Federal Farm Board was organized. It established the principle of direct interference with supply and demand, and it represented the first national commitment to provide greater economic stability for farmers.
President Hoover’s successor attached even more importance to this problem. One of the first measures proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he took office in 1933 was the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which was subsequently passed by Congress. This law gave the Secretary of Agriculture the power to reduce production through voluntary agreements with farmers who were paid to take their land out of use. A deliberate scarcity of farm products was planned in an effort to raise prices. This law was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on the grounds that general taxes were being collected to pay one special group of people. However, new laws were passed immediately that achieved the same result of resting soil and providing flood-control measures, but which were based on the principle of soil conservation. The Roosevelt Administration believed that rebuilding the nation’s soil was in the national interest and was not simply a plan to help farmers at the expense of other citizens. Later the government guaranteed loans to farmers so that they could buy farm machinery, hybrid (杂交) grain, and fertilizers.
21. What brought about the decline in the demand for American farm products?
A) The impact of the Great Depression.
B) The shrinking of overseas markets.
C) The destruction caused by the First World War.
D) The increased exports of European countries.
22. The chief concern of the American government in the area of agriculture in the 1920s was ________.
A) to increase farm production
B) to establish agricultural laws
C) to prevent farmers from going bankrupt
D) to promote the mechanization of agriculture
23. The Agricultural Adjustment Act encouraged American farmers to ________.
A) reduce their scale of production
B) make full use of their land
C) adjust the prices of their farm products
D) be self-sufficient in agricultural production
24. The Supreme Court rejected the Agricultural Adjustment Act because it believed that the Act ________.
A) might cause greater scarcity of farm products
B) didn’t give the Secretary of Agriculture enough power
C) would benefit neither the government nor the farmers
D) benefited one group of citizens at the expense of others
25. It was claimed that the new laws passed during the Roosevelt Administration were aimed at ________.
A) reducing the cost of farming
B) conserving soil in the long-term interest of the nation
C) lowering the burden of farmers
D) helping farmers without shifting the burden onto other taxpayers
Questions 26 to 30 are based on the following passage.
In the 1950s, the pioneers of artificial intelligence (AI) predicted that, by the end of this century, computers would be conversing with us at work and robots would be performing our housework. But as useful as computers are, they’re nowhere close to achieving anything remotely resembling these early aspirations for humanlike behavior. Never mind something as complex as conversation: the most powerful computers struggle to reliably recognize the shape of an object, the most elementary of tasks for a ten-month-old kid.
A growing group of AI researchers think they know where the field went wrong. The problem, the scientists say, is that AI has been trying to separate the highest, most abstract levels of thought, like language and mathematics, and to duplicate them with logical, step-by-step programs. A new movement in AI, on the other hand, takes a closer look at the more roundabout way in which nature came up with intelligence. Many of these researchers study evolution and natural adaptation instead of formal logic and conventional computer programs. Rather than digital computers and transistors, some want to work with brain cells and proteins. The results of these early efforts are as promising as they are peculiar, and the new nature-based AI movement is slowly but surely moving to the forefront of the field.
Imitating the brain’s neural (神经的) network is a huge step in the right direction, says computer scientist and biophysicist Michael Conrad, but it still misses an important aspect of natural intelligence. “People tend to treat the brain as if it were made up of color-coded transistors”, he explains, “but it’s not simply a clever network of switches. There are lots of important things going on inside the brain cells themselves.” Specifically, Conrad believes that many of the brain’s capabilities stem from the pattern recognition proficiency of the individual molecules that make up each brain cell. The best way to build and artificially intelligent device, he claims, would be to build it around the same sort of molecular skills.
Right now, the option that conventional computers and software are fundamentally incapable of matching the processes that take place in the brain remains controversial. But if it proves true, then the efforts of Conrad and his fellow AI rebels could turn out to be the only game in town.
26. The author says that the powerful computers of today ________.
A) are capable of reliably recognizing the shape of an object
B) are close to exhibiting humanlike behavior
C) are not very different in their performance from those of the 50’s
D) still cannot communicate with people in a human language
27. The new trend in artificial intelligence research stems from ________.
A) the shift of the focus of study on to the recognition of the shapes of objects
B) the belief that human intelligence cannot be duplicated with logical, step-by-step programs
C) the aspirations of scientists to duplicate the intelligence of a ten-month-old child
D) the efforts made by scientists in the study of the similarities between transistors and brain cells
28. Conrad and his group of AI researchers have been making enormous efforts to ________.
A) find a roundabout way to design powerful computers
B) build a computer using a clever network of switches
C) find out how intelligence developed in nature
D) separate the highest and most abstract levels of thought
29. What’s the author’s opinion about the new AI movement?
A) It has created a sensation among artificial intelligence researchers but will soon die out.
B) It’s a breakthrough in duplicating human thought processes.
C) It’s more like a peculiar game rather than a real scientific effort.
D) It may prove to be in the right direction though nobody is sure of its future prospects.
30. Which of the following is closest in meaning to the phrase “the only game in town” (Line 3, Para. 4)?
A) The only approach to building an artificially intelligent computer.
B) The only way for them to win a prize in artificial intelligence research.
C) The only area worth studying in computer science.
D) The only game they would like to play in town.
Questions 31 to 35 are based on the following passage:
Cars account for half the oil consumed in the U.S., about half the urban pollution and one fourth the greenhouse (温室) gases. They take a similar toll of (损耗) resources in other industrial nations and in the cities of the developing world. As vehicle use continues to increase in the coming decade, the U.S. and other countries will have to deal with these issues or else face unacceptable economic, health-related and political costs. It is unlikely that oil prices will remain at their current low level or that other nations will accept a large and growing U.S. contribution to global climatic change.
Policymakers and industry have four options: reduce vehicle use, increase the efficiency and reduce the emissions of conventional gasoline-powered vehicles, switch to less harmful fuels, or find less polluting driving systems. The last of these—in particular the introduction of vehicles powered by electricity—is ultimately the only sustainable option. The other alternatives are attractive in theory but in practice are either impractical or offer only marginal improvements. For example, reduced vehicle use could solve traffic problems and a host of social and environmental problems, but evidence from around the world suggests that it is very difficult to make people give up their cars to any significant extent. In the U.S., mass-transit ridership and carpooling (合伙用车) have declined since World War II. Even in Western Europe, with fuel prices averaging more than $1 a liter (about $4 a gallon) and with easily accessible mass transit and dense populations, cars still account for 80 percent of all passenger travel.
Improved energy efficiency is also appealing, but automotive fuel economy has barely made any progress in 10 years. Alternative fuels such as natural gas, burned in internal-combustion engines, could be introduced at relatively low cost, but they would lead to only marginal reductions in pollution and greenhouse emissions (especially because oil companies are already spending billions of dollars every year to develop less polluting types of gasoline).
31. From the passage we know that the increased use of cars will ________.
A) consume half of the oil produced in the world
B) have serious consequences for the well-being of all nations
C) widen the gap between the developed and developing countries
D) impose an intolerable economic burden on residents of large cities
32. The U.S. has to deal with the problems arising from vehicle use because ________.
A) most Americans are reluctant to switch to public transportation systems
B) the present level of oil prices is considered unacceptable
C) other countries will protest its increasing greenhouse emissions
D) it should take a lead in conserving natural resources
33. Which of the following is the best solution to the problems mentioned in the passage?
A) The designing of highly efficient car engines.
B) A reduction of vehicle use in cities.
C) The development of electric cars.
D) The use of less polluting fuels.
34. Which of the following is practical but only makes a marginal contribution to solving the problem of greenhouse emissions?
A) The use of fuels other than gasoline.
B) Improved energy efficiency.
C) The introduction of less polluting driving systems.
D) Reducing car use by carpooling.
35. Which of the following statements is TRUE according to the passage?
A) The decline of public transportation accounts for increased car use in Western Europe.
B) Cars are popular in Western Europe even though fuel prices are fairly high.
C) The reduction of vehicle use is the only sustainable option in densely populated Western Europe.
D) Western European oil companies cannot sustain the cost of developing new-type fuels.
Questions 36 to 40 are based on the following passage.
Reebok executives do not like to hear their stylish athletic shoes called “footwear for yuppies (雅皮士,少壮高薪职业人士)”. They contend that Reebok shoes appeal to diverse market segments, especially now that the company offers basketball and children’s shoes for the under-18 set and walking shoes for older customers not interested in aerobics (健身操) or running. The executives also point out that through recent acquisitions they have added hiking boots, dress and casual shoes, and high-performance athletic footwear to their product lines, all of which should attract new and varied groups of customers.
Still, despite its emphasis on new markets, Reebok plans few changes in the upmarket (高档消费人群的) retailing network that helped push sales to $1 billion annually, ahead of all other sports shoe marketers. Reebok shoes, which are priced from $27 to $85, will continue to be sold only in better specialty, sporting goods, and department stores, in accordance with the company’s view that consumers judge the quality of the brand by the quality of its distribution.
In the past few years, the Massachusetts-based company has imposed limits on the number of its distributors (and the number of shoes supplied to stores), partly out of necessity. At times the unexpected demand for Reebok’s exceeded supply, and the company could barely keep up with orders from the dealers it already had. These fulfillment problems seem to be under control now, but the company is still selective about its distributors. At present, Reebok shoes are available in about five thousand retail stores in the United States.
Reebok has already anticipated that walking shoes will be the next fitness-related craze, replacing aerobics shoes the same way its brightly colored, soft leather exercise footwear replaced conventional running shoes. Through product diversification and careful market research, Reebok hopes to avoid the distribution problems Nike came across several years ago, when Nike misjudged the strength of the aerobics shoe craze and was forced to unload huge inventories of running shoes through discount stores.
36. One reason why Reebok’s managerial personnel don’t like their shoes to be called “footwear for yuppies” is that ________.
A) they believe that their shoes are popular with people of different age groups
B) new production lines have been added to produce inexpensive shoes
C) “yuppies” usually evokes a negative image
D) the term makes people think of prohibitive prices
37. Reebok’s view that “consumers judge the quality of the brand by the quality of its distribution” (Line 5, Para. 2) implies that ________.
A) the quality of a brand is measured by the service quality of the store selling it
B) the quality of a product determines the quality of its distributors
C) the popularity of a brand is determined by the stores that sell it
D) consumers believe that first-rate products are only sold by high-quality stores
38. Reebok once had to limit the number of its distributors because ________.
A) its supply of products fell short of demand
B) too many distributors would cut into its profits
C) the reduction of distributors could increase its share of the market
D) it wanted to enhance consumer confidence in its products
39. Although the Reebok Company has solved the problem of fulfilling its orders, it ________.
A) does not want to further expand its retailing network
B) still limits the number of shoes supplied to stores
C) is still particular about who sells its products
D) still carefully chooses the manufacturers of its products
40. What lesson has Reebok learned from Nike’s distribution problems?
A) A company should not sell its high quality shoes in discount stores.
B) A company should not limit its distribution network.
C) A company should do follow-up surveys of its products.
D) A company should correctly evaluate the impact of a new craze on the market.