News report 1
A message in a bottle sent out to sea by a New Hampshire man more than five decades ago was found 1,500 miles away. And it has been returned to his daughter. A long-last message was discovered by Clint Buffington of Utah while he was vacationing. Buffington says he found a soda bottle half-buried in the sand that looked like it had been there since the beginning of time. The note inside the bottle said, ‘Return to 419 Ocean Street, and receive a reward of $150 from Richard and Tina Pierce, owners of a beachcomber motel.’ The motel was owned by the parents of Paula Piece in 1960. Her father had written the note as a joke and had thrown it into the Atlantic Ocean. Buffington flew to New Hampshire to deliver the message to Paula Piece. She held up to her father’s promise, giving Buffington that reward. But the biggest reward is the message in the bottle finding its way back home.
Question 1. What is the news report mainly about?
Question 2. Why did Paula Piece give Clint Buffington the reward?
News report 2
Millions of bees have died in South Carolina during aerial insect spraying operations that were carried out to combat the Zika virus. The insect spraying over the weekends left more than 2 million bees dead on the spot in Dorchester County, South Carolina, where 4 travel-related cases of Zika disease have been confirmed in the area. Most of the deaths came from the Flowertown Bee Farm, a company in Summerville that sells bees and honey products. Juanita Stanley who owns the company said the farm looks like it’s been destroyed. The farm lost about 2.5 million bees. Dorchester County officials apologized for the accidental mass killing of bees. Dorchester County is aware that some bee keepers in the area that were sprayed on Sunday lost their bee colonies, county manager Jason Wars said in the statement, ‘I’m not pleased that so many bees were killed’.
Question 3. Why was spraying operations carried out in Dorchester County?
Question 4. What does news report say about Flowertown Bee Farm?
News report 3
The world’s largest aircraft has taken to the sky for the first time. The Airlander 10 spent nearly 2 hours in the air, having taken off from Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire. During its flight, it reached 3,000 feet and performed a series of gentle turns all over a safe area. The aircraft isn’t massive as long as a football field and as tall as a 6 double-decker buses and capable of flying for up to 5 days. It was first developed for the US government as a long-wing spy aircraft. But it was abandoned following budget cutbacks. The aircraft costs 25 million pounds and can carry heavier loads than huge jet planes while also producing less noise and emitting less pollution. The makers believe it’s the future of aircraft, and one day we’ll be using them to go places. But there’s still a long way to go. The Airlander will need to have 200 hours flying time before being allowed to fly by the aviation administration. If it passes through, we can hope we’ll all get some extra leg room.
Question 5. What do we learn about the first flight of the Airlander 10?
Question 6. What caused the US government to abandon the Airlander 10 as a spy aircraft?
Question 7. What is the advantage of Airlander 10 over huge jet planes?
M: Do you feel like going out tonight?
W: yeah, why not? We haven’t been out for ages! What’s on?
M: Well, there is a film about climate change. Dose it sound good to you?
W: Oh, not really. It doesn’t really appeal to me. What’s it about? Just climate change?
M: I think it’s about how climate change affects everyday life. I wonder how they make it entertaining.
W: Well, it sounds really awful. It’s an important subject, I agree. But I’m not in the mood for anything depressing. What else is on?
M: There’s a Spanish dance festival.
W: Oh, I love dance. That sounds really interesting.
M: apparently, it’s absolutely brilliant. Let’s see what it says in the paper. Anna Gomez leads in an exciting production of a great Spanish love story, Carmen.
W: Okay then, what time is it on?
M: at 7:30
W: well, that’s no good. We haven’t got enough time to get there. Is there anything else?
M: There’s a comedy special on.
W: where is it on?
M: It’s at the city theater. It’s a charity comedy night with lots of different acts. It looks pretty good. The critic in the local paper says it’s the funniest things he’s ever seen. It says here Roger white head is an amazing host to a night a fun performances.
W: Hummm, I’m not keen on him. He is not very funny.
M: Are you sure you fancy going out tonight? You are not very enthusiastic.
W: Perhaps you are right. Okay, let’s go see the dance. But tomorrow, not tonight.
M: Great, I’ll book the tickets online.
Q8: What dose the woman think about climate change?
Q9: Why do the speakers give up going to the Spanish dance festival tonight?
Q10: What dose the credit says about the comedy performed in the city theater?
Q11: What does the woman decide to do tomorrow?
W: Good morning Mr. Lee, may I have a minute of your time?
M: Sure, Catherine. What can I do for you?
W: I’m quite anxious about transferring over to your college. I’m afraid I won’t fit in.
M: Don’t worry, Catherine. It’s completely normal for you to be nervous about transferring schools. This happens to many transfer students.
W: Yes, I know, but I’m younger than most students in my year and that worries me a lot.
M: Well, you may be the only younger one in your year, but you know we have a lot of afterschool activities you can join in, and so this way, you’ll be able to meet new friends of different age groups.
W: That’s nice! I love games and hobby groups.
M: I’m sure you do. So you will be just fine. Don’t worry so much and try to make the most of what we have on offer here. Also, remember you can come to me any time of the day if you need help. W: Thanks so much. I definitely feel better now. As a matter of fact, I’ve already contacted one of the girls who’s been living in the same house with me, and she seems really nice. I guess living on campus, I’ll have a chance to have a close circle of friends since we’ll be living together.
M: All students are very friendly with new arrivals. Let me check who would be living with you in your flat. Okay, there hare Hannah, Kelly and Bree. Bree is also a new student here like you. I’m sure you two will have more to share with each other.
Q12: Why does Catherine feel anxious?
Q13: What does Mr. Lee encourage Catherine to do?
Q14: What does Mr. Lee promise to do for Catherine?
Q15: What do we learn about Catherine's schoolmate Bree?
Have you ever felt like you would do just about anything to satisfy your hunger? A new study in mice may help to explain why hunger can feel like such a powerful motivating force. In the study, researchers found that hunger out weights other physical drives including fear, thirst and social needs. To determine which feeling won out, the researchers did a series of experiments. In one experiment, the mice were both hungry and thirsty. When given the choice of either eating food or drinking water, the mice went for the food, the researchers found. However, when the mice were well-fed but thirsty, they opted to drink according to the study. In the second experiment, meant to pit the mice’s hunger against their fear, hungry mice were placed in a cage that has certain fox scented areas and other places that smell safer; in other words, not like an animal that could eat them but also had food. It turned out that when the mice were hungry, they ventured into the unsafe areas for food. But when the mice were well-fed, they stayed in the area of the cage that were considered safe. Hunger also out weights the mice’s social needs, the researchers found. Mice are usually social animals and prefer to be in the company of other mice according to the study. When the mice were hungry, they opted to leave the company of other mice to go get food.
Q16: What is the researchers’ purpose in carrying out the series of experiments with mice?
Q17: In what circumstances do mice venture into unsafe areas?
Q18: What is said about mice at the end of the passage?
The United States has one of the best highway systems in the world. Interstate highways connect just about every large and mid-sized city in the country. Did you ever wonder why such a complete system of excellent roads exists? For an answer, you would have to go back to the early 1920s. In those years, just after World War I, the military wanted to build an American highway system for national defense. Such a system could, if necessary, move troops quickly from one area to another. It could also get people out of cities and danger of being bombed. So-called roads of national importance were designated, but they were mostly small country roads. In 1944, Congress passed a bill to upgrade the system but did not fund the plan right away. In the 1950s, the plan began to become a reality. Over 25 billion dollars was appropriated by Congress, and construction began on about 40 thousand miles of new roads. The idea was to connect the new system to existing express ways and freeways. And though the system was built mostly to make car travel easier, defense was not forgotten. For instance, highway overpasses have to be high enough to allow trailers carrying military missiles to pass under them. By 1974, the system was mostly completed. A few additional roads would come later. Quick and easy travel between all parts of the country was now possible.
Q19: What does the speaker say about the American highway system?
Q20: What was the original purpose of building a highway system?
Q21: When was the interstate highway system mostly completed?
Texting while driving was listed as a major cause of road deaths among young Americans back in 2013. A recent study said that 40% of American teens claim to have been in a car when the driver used a cellphone in the way that put people in danger. It sounds like a wide-spread disease, but it’s one that technology may now help to cure. TJ Evarts, a 20-year-old inventor, has come up with a novel solution that could easily put texting drivers on notice. It’s called ‘Smart Wheel’. And it’s a design to fit over the steering wheel of most standard vehicles to track whether or not the driver has two hands on the wheel at all times. Evarts’ invention warns the drivers with a light and a sound when they hold the wheel with one hand only. But as soon as they place another hand back on the wheel, the light turns back to green and the sound stops. It also watches for what’s called ‘close-by hands’, where both hands are close together near the top of the wheel, so the driver can type with both thumbs and drive at the same time. All the data Smart Wheel collects is also sent to a connected app. So any parent who installs Smart Wheel can keep track of the teens’ driving habits. If they try to remove or damage the cover that’s reported as well.
Question 22. What is a major cause of road deaths among young Americans?
Question 23. What is ‘Smart Wheel’?
Question 24. What happens if the driver has one hand on the wheel?
Question 25. How do parents keep track of their teens’ driving habits?