SECTION 2: READING TEST
Directions: In this section you will read several passages. Each one is followed by several questions about it. You are to choose ONE best answer, (A), (B), (C) or (D), to each question. Answer all the questions following each passage on the basis of what is stated or implied in that passage and write the letter of the answer you have chosen in the corresponding space in your ANSWER BOOKLET.
Life expectancy in the richest countries of the world now exceeds the poorest by more than 30 years, figures show. The gap is widening across the world, with Western countries and the growing economies of Latin America and the Far East advancing more rapidly than Africa and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Average life expectancy in Britain and similar countries of the OECD was 78.8 in 2000-05, an increase of more than seven years since 1970-75 and almost 30 years over the past century. In sub-Saharan Africa, life expectancy has increased by just four months since 1970, to 46.1 years. Narrowing this "health gap" will involve going beyond the immediate causes of disease-poverty, poor sanitation and infection-to tackle the "causes of the causes" -the social hierarchies in which people live, says the report published by the Global Commission on the Social Determinants of Health established by the WHO in 2005.
Professor Sir Michael Marmot, chairman of the commission, who first coined the term "status syndrome", said social status was the key to tackling health inequalities worldwide. In the 1980s, in a series of ground-breaking studies among Whitehall civil servants, Professor Marmot showed that the risk of death among those on the lower rungs of the career ladder was four times higher than those at the top, and that the difference was linked with the degree of control the individuals had over their lives.
He said yesterday that the same rule applied in poorer countries. If people increased their status and gained more control over their lives they improved their health because they were less vulnerable to the economic and environmental threats. "When people think about those in poor countries they tend to think about poverty, lack of housing, sanitation and exposure to infectious disease. But there is another issue, the social gradient in health which I called status syndrome. It is not just those at the bottom of the hierarchy who have worse health; it is all the way along the scale. Those second from the bottom have worse health than those above them but better health than those below."
The interim report of the commission, in the online edition of The Lancet, says the effects of status syndrome extend from the bottom to the top of the hierarchy, with Swedish adults holding a PhD having a lower death rate than those with a master's degree. The study says: "The gradient is a worldwide occurrence, seen in low-income, middle-income and high-income countries. It means we are all implicated."
The result is that even within rich countries such as Britain there are striking inequalities in life expectancy. The poorest men in Glasgow have a life expectancy of 54, lower than the average in India. The answer, the report says, is empowerment, of individuals, communities and whole countries. "Technical and medical solutions such as medical care are without doubt necessary. But they are insufficient." Professor Marmot said: "We talk about three kinds of empowerment. If people don't have the material necessities, they cannot be empowered. The second kind is psycho-social empowerment: more control over their lives. The third is political empowerment: having a voice."
The commission's final report, to be published soon, will identify the ill effects of low status and make recommendations for how they can be tackled. In Britain a century ago, infant mortality among the rich was about 100 per 1,000 live births compared with 250 per 1,000 among the poor. Infant mortality is still twice as high among the poor in Britain, but the rates have come down dramatically to 7 per 1,000 among the poor and 3.5 among the rich. Professor Marmot said: "We have made dramatic progress, but this is not about abolishing the rankings, but by identifying the ill effects of hierarchies we can make huge improvement."
1. Which of the following CANNOT be found from the passage?
(A) Life expectancy in Latin America and the Far East is increasing faster than Africa.
(B) In Africa, life expectancy had only increased by four years since 1970 to 46.1 years.
(C) There is a gap of more than 30 years in life expectancy between the richest countries and the poorest countries.
(D) Within rich countries there are also great inequalities in life expectancy between the rich and the poor.
2. According to the passage, the term "status syndrome" _______,
(A) was first accepted by the World Health Organisation in 2005
(B) was proposed by Professor Marmot to describe social changes
(C) is used to expose the major causes of health inequalities
(D) is used to show the correlation between sanitation and infection
3.According to the passage, the effects of status syndrome _______.
(A) can only be found from those living at the bottom of the society
(B) usually are greater among those from the lower classes
(C) are the same on people from each ladder of the social hierarchy
(D) extend universally from the bottom to the top of the social hierarchy
4.Professor Marmot proposed that "empowerment" should ________.
(A) mainly include technical and medical advancement
(B) be equal to access to material necessities
(C) be material, psycho-social and political
(D) be the final answer to the social problem of "health gap"
5.What can be concluded from the passage?
(A) Health inequality is closely related to social hierarchies.
(B) The "causes of the causes" of health gap lie in the differences between rich and poor countries.
(C) Social ranking should be ultimately abolished.
(D) The rich countries should give more assistance to poor countries to fill the health gap.
In Idaho's Snake River Valley, where potato farmers depend on electric pumps to water their crops, the state's largest power company hopes to stand tradition on its head and profit by selling farmers less, not more, electricity. To do that, Idaho Power is vastly expanding its energy-efficiency programs for 395,000 residential customers, small businesses, and farmers. Usually the more customers save, the less utilities make. But under an innovative deal with state regulators in March, Idaho Power gets paid for its plants and equipment and boosts profits by winning incentive payments for reducing electric demand.
It's an idea that appears to be catching on as legislatures fret about global warming and utilities scramble to meet rising demand without the increasing harassment and cost of building new power plants. Idaho is among 13 states whose regulators have either adopted or proposed measures in the past year to decouple utility profit from electricity production. Decoupling is advancing even faster for natural-gas utilities, with 25 states either adopting or proposing decoupling plans in recent years. "This wave toward 'decoupling' is clearly gathering momentum," says Martin Kushler of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy in Washington. "More states seem to be calling every week to find out about this."
Although California pioneered the idea 25 years ago-and strengthened incentives and penalties last month-interest is picking up again because of global warming, experts say. The main idea is that by rearranging the incentive structure, regulators can give utilities clear incentives to push energy efficiency and conservation without hurting their bottom lines. Under the new rules in California, for example, electric utilities could make as much as $150 million extra if they can persuade Californians to save some $2 billion worth of power, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
"This is a vital step in the global-warming fight," says Audrey Chang, an NRDC researcher. "It represents, we hope, a historic shift toward decoupling that is going to help bend the energy demand curve downwards." Beside Idaho, states that this year adopted decoupling for some or all of its electric power industry include New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. At least nine other states have seen major decoupling proposals this year.
Idaho Power is happy that its key fixed costs-plants and equipment-are now separated from variable costs of electricity sales such as fuel. Regulators annually readjust those fixed rates-up or down-a maximum of 3 percent to ensure that the company gets no more or less than it has been regulated to receive. But customers should benefit, too, as utility efficiency programs cut energy use and energy bills-something the company is trying hard to do so it can win a bonus if it meets or exceeds energy-cutting goals. "Before there was almost a disincentive to go hard at efficiency because we weren't recovering our fixed costs," says Mike Youngblood, an analyst for Idaho Power. "Now the anticipation is that we will recover our fixed cost, no more or less. And our customers will see their bill go down if they invest in energy efficiency."
One key reason utilities are often willing to decouple or even leading proponents of the proposals is because the costs of building a power plant has risen dramatically. A 500-megawatt coal-fired plant that cost $1 billion just a few years ago might cost $1.5 billion today, industry experts say. Add to that growing uncertainty about future costs. Global-warming legislation could put a price of $30 per ton on carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. That could make coal, the cheapest power today, more costly. Another factor is the rising community opposition to coal-fired power plant construction.
In North Carolina, where regulators recently refused a Duke Energy Corp. proposal to build a power plant, the company has instead put forward a controversial decoupling proposal. The plan would pay the company to meet efficiency standards, although consumer advocates and even environmental groups question whether it's a good deal for ratepayers. In fact, some consumer advocates have major reservations about decoupling overall. "Unfortunately, we're seeing utilities trying to use decoupling as a blank check," says Charles Acquard, executive director of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates in Silver Spring, Md. "We're not absolutely opposed to decoupling. It's how you do it that's critical."
What is the main idea of the passage?
(A) Electric utilities lose more profits from reducing electric demand.
(B) Electric utilities gain more profits from increasing electric demand.
(C) The more electricity customers save, the less profits utilities make.
(D) The more electricity customers save, the more incentive payments utilities get.
Which of the following gives the best definition of the expression "to stand tradition on its head" (para. 1)?
(A) To criticize tradition.
(B) To go against tradition.
(C) To carry forward tradition.
(D) To integrate tradition.
In the passage, the measures of decoupling used in utility efficiency programs refer to the practice of ________.
(A) separating the utility profits from power production
(B) combining fixed costs with variable costs
(C) strengthening both incentives and penalties
(D) rearranging the incentive structure
According to the passage, when Idaho Power is building plants and purchasing equipment, such fixed costs _______.
(A) will no longer be treated as the costs of electricity sales
(B) will partially be covered by state regulators
(C) are still to be recovered by the companies
(D) are paid from customers' electricity bills
All of the following are the reasons why electric utilities welcome decoupling EXCEPT ______.
(A) the rapidly rising cost of building power plants
(B) the uncertainty about future costs
(C) the community opposition to the building of coal-fired power plants
(D) the reservations consumer advocates have about energy-saving measures
Historically, TV's interest in "green" issues has been limited to the green that spend: and makes the world go round. (That, and Martians.) As for environmentalism, TV is where people watch SUV ads on energy-sucking giant screens that are as thirsty as a Bavarian at Oktoberfest.
But with the greening of politics and pop culture-from Al Gore to Leo DiCaprio to Homer and Marge in The Simpsons Movie-TV is jumping on the biodiesel-fueled band-wagon. In November, NBC (plus Bravo, Sci Fi and other sister channels) will run a week of green-themed episodes, from news to sitcoms. CBS has added a "Going Green" segment to The Early Show. And Fox says it will work climate change into the next season of 24. ("Dammit, Chloe, there's no time! The polar ice cap's going to melt in 15 minutes!")
On HGTV's Living with Ed, actor Ed Begley Jr. offers tips for eco-living from his solar-powered house in Studio City, Calif.-see him energy-audit Cheryl Tiegs!-while Sundance airs its documentary block "The Green." MTV will set The Real World: Hollywood in a "green" house. Next year Discovery launches 24-hour eco-lifestyle channel Planet Green, a plan validated this spring when the eco-minded documentary Planet Earth became a huge hit for Discovery. "Green is part of [Discovery's] heritage," says Planet Green president Eileen O'Neill. "But as pop culture was starting to recognize it, we realized we could do a better job positioning ourselves."
Clearly this is not all pure altruism. Those popular, energy-stingy compact fluorescent bulbs? NBC's owner, General Electric, has managed to sell one or two. "When you have them being a market leader and saying this makes good business sense, people listen to that on [the TV] side," says Lauren Zalaznick, Bravo Media president, who is heading NBC's effort. And green pitches resonate with young and well-heeled viewers (the type who buy Priuses and $2-a-lb. organic apples), two groups the networks are fond of. NBC is confident enough in its green week's appeal to schedule it in sweeps.
It's an unlikely marriage of motives. Ad-supported TV is a consumption medium: it persuades you to want and buy stuff. Traditional home shows about renovating and decorating are catnip for retailers like Lowe's and Home Depot. Of course, there are green alternatives to common purchases: renewable wood, Energy Star appliances, hybrid cars. But sometimes the greener choice is simply not to buy so much junk-not the friendliest sell to advertisers.
The bigger hurdle, though, may be creative. How the NBC shows will work in the messages is still up in the air. (Will the Deal or No Deal babes wear hemp miniskirts? Will the Bionic Woman get wired for solar?) Interviewed after the 24 announcement, executive producer Howard Gordon hedged a bit on Fox's green promises: "It'll probably be more in the props. We might see somebody drive a hybrid."
Will it work? Green is a natural fit on cable lifestyle shows or news programs-though enlisting a news division to do advocacy has its own issues. But commanding a sitcom like The Office to work in an earnest environmental theme sounds like the kind of high-handed p.r. directive that might be satirized on, well, The Office. Even Begley-formerly of St. Elsewhere-notes that the movie Chinatown worked because it kept the subplot about the water supply in Los Angeles well in the background: "It's a story about getting away with murder, and the water story is woven in."
Of course, in an era of rampant product placement, there are worse things than persuading viewers to buy a less wasteful light bulb by hanging one over Jack Bauer as he tortures a terrorist. The greatest challenge-for viewers as well as programmers-is not letting entertainment become a substitute for action; making and watching right-minded shows isn't enough in itself. The 2007 Emmy Awards, for a start, aims to be carbon neutral: solar power, biodiesel generators, hybrids for the stars, bikes for production assistants-though the Academy cancelled Fox's idea to change the red carpet, no kidding, to green. The most potent message may be seeing Hollywood walk the walk, in a town in which people prefer to drive.
Which of the following does not serve as the example to support the statement "TV is jumping on the biodiesel-fueled bandwagon" (para. 2)?
(A) MTV: The Real World: Hollywoodwill be set in a "green" house.
(B) NBC: The program of the Deal or No Deal will be continued.
(C) NBC: A week of green-themed episodes is being planned.
(D) CBS: A "Going Green" program has been added to The Early Show.
By stating that "Clearly this is not all pure altruism." (para. 4), the author is _______.
(A) highly appreciative
(B) somewhat critical
(C) ironic and negative
(D) subjective and passionate
Why does the author mention in paragraph 4 the two groups the networks are fond of?
(A) They are the main target of the consumption medium.
(B) They are the advocates of green movement.
(C) They are most representative of today's audience.
(D) They are young adults and senior citizens.
Which of the following best explains the sentence "It's an unlikely marriage of motives." (para. 5)?
(A) Ad-supported TV has consistent motives.
(B) The main target of ad-supported TV is to persuade viewers to buy more.
(C) It's impossible for TV to readjust its opposing motives.
(D) It's quite difficult for TV to integrate its motives.
It can be concluded from the passage that "product placement" (para. 8) is a kind of _______.
(A) commodity exhibition
(B) display of products
(C) indirect advertising
(D) direct promotion strategy
Military victories, trade, missionary zeal, racial arrogance and a genius for bureaucracy all played well-documented roles in making the British Empire the largest the world has known. Rather less well understood was the importance of the moustache. A monumental new history, The Decline and Fall of the British Empire by Piers Brendon, promises to restore this neglected narrative to its rightful place in the national story.
Dr Brendon, a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, argues that colonial moustaches had a clear practical purpose: to demonstrate virility and intimidate the Empire's subject peoples. The waxing and waning of the British moustache precisely mirrored the fortunes of the Empire-blooming beneath the noses of the East India Company's officers, finding full expression in Lord Kitchener's bushy appendage and fading out with the Suez crisis in Anthony Eden's apologetic wisps.
This analysis of the "growth of the stiff upper lip" is an essential strand of Dr Brendon's epic 650-page political, cultural, economic and social history of the Empire, which is published on October 18. "It is a running gag in a serious book, but it does give one a point of reference," he said yesterday. In the 18th and early 19th century, sophisticated Britons wore wigs but spurned facial hair. The exception was the King, George III, whose unshaven appearance was mocked as a sign of his madness. However, by the 1830s the "moustache movement" was in the ascendancy. British officers, copying the impressive moustaches that they encountered on French and Spanish soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars, started the craze, but the real impetus came form India.
Just as British troops in Afghanistan today are encouraged to grow beards to ease their dealings with local tribesmen, so the attitudes of Indian troops under the command of East India Company officers in the first half of the 19th century altered the appearance of the British soldier. "For the Indian sepoy the moustache was a symbol of virility. They laughed at the unshaven British officers," Dr Brendon said. In 1854 moustaches were made compulsory for the company's Bombay regiment. The fashion took Britain by storm as civilians imitated their heroes.
Dr Brendon writes: "During and after the Crimean War, barbers advertised different patterns in their windows such as the 'Raglan' and the Cardigan'." Moustaches were clipped, trimmed and waxed "until they curved like sabres and bristled like bayonets". After 1918 moustaches became thinner and humbler as the Empire began to gasp for breath, even as it continued to expand territorially. It had been fatally wounded, Dr Brendon suggests, by the very belief in the freedom that it had preached. After the victory over Germany and Japan in 1945, independence movements across the red-painted sections of the world map, and Britain's own urgent domestic priorities, meant that the Empire was doomed.
The moustache too was in terminal decline. "It had become a joke thanks to Charlie Chaplin and Groucho Marx. It had become an international symbol of 'villainy' thanks to Hitler's toothbrush, writes Dr Brendon. In Britain it was also synonymous with the "Colonel Blimps" clinging to an outmoded idea of colonial greatness.
In Eden's faint moustache Britain's diminished international status found a fitting symbol. It all but disappeared on TV and, moments before his broadcast on the eve of the fateful occupation of the Suez Canal in 1956, his wife had to blacken the bristles with mascara. His successor, Harold Macmillan, was the last British Prime Minister to furnish his upper lip. Harold Wilson, the self-styled man of the people, had been clean shaven since the 1940s, Dr Brendon notes. "He obviously believed that the white hot technological revolution was not to be operated with a moustache."
It can be concluded from the passage that the British moustache _______.
(A) has been well documented in the history of the British Empire
(B) has long been considered significant in the formation and expansion of the British Empire
(C) has often been ridiculed in the colonial history of the United Kingdom
(D) has long been ignored and considered insignificant in the making of the British Empire
The word "virility" in the sentence "that colonial moustaches had a clear practical purpose: to demonstrate virility and intimidate the Empire's subject peoples" (para. 2) can best be interpreted as _______.
According to the passage, the Crimean War which witnessed the development of different patterns of the British moustache was fought ________.
(A) in the early 19th century
(B) in the 18th century
(C) in the middle of the 19th century
(D) in the late 18th century
It can be inferred from the passage that from the 1950s to the 1960s, the three statesmen held the post of British Prime Minister by the order of _______.
(A) Harold Wilson, Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan
(B) Anthony Eden, Harold Wilson and Harold Macmillan
(C) Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan and Harold Wilson
(D) Harold Macmillan, Anthony Eden and Harold Wilson
Which of the following CANNOT be true according to the passage?
(A) Dr Brendon points out that colonial moustaches are the deciding factor which led to the downfall of the British Empire.
(B) Dr Brendon has made it clear that the history of colonial moustaches reflects from one angle the decline of the British Empire.
(C) Dr Brendon has tried to restore the role of colonial moustaches in the history of the British Empire.
(D) Dr Brendon has made a detailed study of the rise and decline of the British moustache in the past centuries.