V. Reading Comprehension (30 points)
They sparkle and glitter in the light. No other rocks are so hard. They are very valuable. It might cost thousands and thousands of dollars to buy just one. Most are found in the ground. The largest ore ever discovered is as big as a man's fist. But most are tiny.
For hundreds of years men have risked their lives searching for diamonds. To many the discovery of this glittering treasure has seemed more important than the discovery of new lands. Fairy stories tell of brave knights who battled fierce dragons and evil wizards to win kingdom rich with diamonds. In the Tower of London in England, there is a very special room protected by guards. There, inside a thick glass case, are jeweled crowns once worn by kings and queens. People from all over the world come to see the shimmering diamonds and other precious stones that shine from behind the glass.
Most diamonds seem to flash with a kind of white fire. But there are diamonds that sparkle in other colors, too. Sometimes diamonds are discovered in gravel at the bottom of rivers and streams. (To get these diamonds, the gravel is sucked up through giant hoses that act like vacuum cleaners.) Diamonds are found in rivers, on land, and in great stretches of hot desert sand. A few small ones are even found or near meteorites that strike the ground from outer space.
But most diamonds are found in rocks deep inside the diamond mines of Africa. The diamonds were made millions and millions of years ago when flaming volcanoes melted a mineral called carbon which was a part of these rocks. Gigantic earthquakes shook the rock and pressed them tightly together. The hot melted carbon in the rock squeezed at the same time—squeezed so tightly that by the time it cooled, it had changed into the lovely hard gems called diamonds.
To get at these valuable diamond rocks, workers ride in an elevator that goes down into the blackness far below the ground. Tunnels connect this deep shaft with the openings – called pipes – inside the ancient volcanoes.
When they are first dug from the mines, diamonds don't glitter or sparkle as they do when we see them in rings or other jewelry. They look more like dull bits of glass. A man who knows all about diamonds – a diamond cutter – must cut them just right. Diamonds are so hard that nothing can cut them except the edge of another diamond.
Using his diamond-edged tools, the diamond cutter carefully removes tiny pieces so that the diamond will have many sharp edges and smooth surfaces—like little windows. It is because of these shaft edges and smooth surfaces that the diamond reflects light, sparkles and flashes with tiny burst of color, and seems almost ablaze with fire. Diamond cutters often use diamond saws. The fine power—diamond dust—that is left after the sawing is done can be used in a kind of sandpaper to polish the sparking gems.
Not all diamonds are clear enough or pretty enough or large enough to be made into jewelry. But because they are so hard, they can be used for other things, such as points for drills and needles for record player. These diamonds are called industrial diamonds. Some of them are man made. Carbon is heated until it is hot and then squeezed. If men ever learn how to make it hot enough and to squeeze it tightly enough, they will probably be able to make big diamonds. Then maybe diamonds will be cheap enough to use as buttons on your shirt or coat！
1. The following are the characters of diamonds EXCEPT _________.
A. they sparkle and glitter in the light B. they are very hard
C. they are very valuable D. they are tiny
2. Why knights fought bravely to win kingdoms rich with diamonds？
A. Diamonds are very valuable.
B. They want to become the richest man.
C. They think it is more important to discover diamonds than to discover new lands.
D. They are eager for jeweled crowns.
3. Most diamonds can be found ___________.
A. in Africa B. in gravel at the bottom of rivers and streams
C. in desert sand D. in or near meteorites
4. Diamonds are so hard that only ________ can cut it.
A. a man who knows all about diamonds B. diamond-edged tools
C. a special cutter D. diamond cutter
5. Except jewelry, diamonds can be used as _______.
A. crown B. industrial diamonds C. shirt D. coat
Author Emma Heathcote-James has spent nine years looking into real-life ghost stories, collecting tales from hundreds of people who claim to have seen evidence of an afterlife. The 27-year-old started her research at university and her thesis was turned into a BBC documentary that she re-wrote as her debut bestseller Seeing Angels. The book prompted so many people to write to her with their ghostly experiences that she used them for a second book After Death Communications, which has just been released in paperback.
Her new book They Walk Among Us describes séances with mediums who can summon solid ghosts out of thin air. While working on the book she invited a medium to her home in the Cotswolds to demonstrate a form of ghostly communication where spirits take over the body. She explained： This medium came to my house, sat in my front room, and went into a trance. An old man's body just appeared over the top of the medium—he turned into an old man right in front of me. I was absolutely terrified at first—— his hands became all arthritic and rheumatoid and his voice was old and staggered. The lights in my old cottage were going mad, going up and down by themselves but they had never done it before or since. Emma added： The old man spoke to my boyfriend Paul and asked him to take the medium’s pulse. Paul, an army doctor, felt his wrist and said 'I think he’s dead'—but he wasn’t, he had let the spirit take him over.
The Walk Among Us tells stories of people like Nick McGlynn, who was reunited with his wife Marie during a séance. She spoke to him through a medium hours after dying in hospital from multiple organ failure. Nick recalls the moment, halfway through the séance, when he heard his wife for the first time： A fairly weak voice said, 'Nick, Nick, I’m home', in the special way I used to announce my arrival to her when I came home. He says he told her he was happy for her, and that she thanked him for staying with her in hospital and told him： I want you to have a ball. Go out and have a good time.
Emma says these paranormal experiences are as natural as the sun and the rain and since the book's release last month she’s had hundreds more letters from readers. She adds： It's such a huge subject, I feel like I am on the tip of a massive iceberg. After the first book there were so many letters that the second one wrote itself.
One miraculous tale retold in After Death Communications is that of Dave Barber, who believes his dead grandmother saved him from drowning. Dave describes the day he almost died swimming with his son： As neither my wife or I can swim we sat at the side of the pool, watching my son splash about. I decided to climb into the shallows and join in the fun. Almost immediately, I slipped, and fell. As he lay at the bottom of the pool Dave saw a white mist at the end, which got closer until he saw his dead grandmother emerge from it. Her arms were outstretched towards me and she was dressed in a white silken gown, he says. Suddenly, I was aware that my nine-year-old son had dived in to save me. He was banging my head on the floor of the pool in an effort to lift me. My grandmother, Amelia, was now very close and I knew that if I turned to her, I would die. I looked at my son and knew he needed me. Immediately, the pain returned, I felt myself rising through the water and I blacked-out.
6. Author Emma Heathcote-James has at least written ________ books telling real-life ghost stories.
A. one B. two C. three D. four
7. The author believes the medium had let the spirit take him over because _______.
A. he used his hands to gesticulate
B. the author's boyfriend thinks so
C. many people in the cottage were going mad
D. his pulse stopped beating for sometime
8. In the story told by Nick McGlynn, _________.
A. his dead wife spoke to him in a tone he used to announce his arrival to her
B. his wife spoke to him who died a few hours ago, in a tone he used to announce his arrival
C. his dead wife spoke to him in a tone she used to announce her arrival
D. none of the above
9. In the story told by Dave barber, ________.
A. he was finally saved by his grandmother
B. he was finally saved by his nine-year-old son
C. he would have been drowned if his grandmother had not lifted him
D. he would have been taken away by his grandmother if his son had not dragged him down
10. It can be inferred from the passage that ________.
A. ghosts can communicate with us through a medium
B. all the stories in her books are real
C. Emma made up most of the stories in her books
D. most of the stories in her second book are collected from her readers who wrote her letters
Antiglobalization groups, whose angry, sometimes violent antics have sought to disrupt the annual World Economic Forum in the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos, are abandoning the streets this year for more genteel surroundings.
Protesters have targeted the Davos conference and virtually every major gathering of the world's most powerful politicians and corporate chiefs since 1999 when they brought a World Trade Organization (WTO)meeting in Seattle to a sstandstill.
Many of these disparate groups say they do not plan a demonstration in Davos this year partly because of a Swiss protest ban and heavy security that would make this all but impossible, but partly because their approach is changing.
Sometimes it's vital to protest on the streets—even if it becomes violent – to attract attention to your cause, said the Swiss activist Matthias Herfeldt, adding： In no way do we condone such violence which is bad for our image but these protests have helped us attract public attention… now we are in a different phase.
The issues have not changed, nor has the intensity of campaigners' anger against what they see as an exploitative neo-liberal world order in which environmental and social concerns are trampled in the interests of profit and shareholder value.
Some activists say they have become more pragmatic in their aims and approach, switching their focus from anti to alter-globalization, or alternative forms of a process they have come to accept as irreversible.
The onus is more on accountability： they want governments to respect international commitments on human rights and multinationals to accept binding rules on work pay and conditions as on the environment in countries where they are present.
We are not against globalization, we just want another type of globalization that protects the rights of workers and the environment, Herfeldt said.
Activists say alter-globalization also means lobbying companies and governments on specific issues, such as access to medicines for people in developing countries.
Another example is the Clean Clothes campaign that lobbies the fashion and clothes industry to give up exploitative labor practices and provide workers in poor countries with decent pay and conditions.
Herfeldt'd Berne Declaration, an umbrella group of nongovernmental organizations, is organizing a three-day alternative conference in Davos this year for environmentalists, trade unions and NGOs called Public Eye on Davos to challenge the Forum and its stated mission： to improve the state of the world.
Hubert Zurkinden, secretary-general of Switzerland's Greens party, who plans to attend Public Eye on Davos, said of the Forum, This is a private event with no democratic legitimacy. They have no right to make such important decisions in backroom deals that affect so many people, such issues should be discussed openly in a more democratic forum like the United Nations.
Five years ago, the organizers of the World Economic Forum launched Open Forum, a five-day conference that, unlike the original invitation-only event, is open to the public. It is financed by the World Economic Forum and co-organized with Bread for All, the development agency for Swiss Protestant Churches. Activists like Herfeldt and Zurkinden, however, say the NGOs participating in this event have been co-opted by big business and power politics.
Open Forum has some high-profile speakers this year, including Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics. Stiglitz's presence at the largest alternative to Davos, the world Social Forum in Mumbai, India, which attracted about 100,000 activists and closed Tuesday, is indicative of the shift in the antiglobalization movement. Unlike many activists, Stiglitz is not opposed to international trade but to the way poor countries are forced to open up their markets.
Mary Robinson, a former UN Commissioner on Human Rights who recently launched the Ethical Global Initiative, said she was straddling all three alternative events as well as the World Economic Forum itself.
Robinson, who just attended the World Social Forum, said that although the opening session in Mumbai was very anti-Bush administration and anti the war in Iraq, the atmosphere was not overwhelmingly negative.
There was a constructive mood, she said. The focus was on alternatives, on what decent work really means, on human rights, on the tools of accountability, and an interest in making governments accountable by drawing attention to their legal commitments.
11. Which of the following is not on the agenda of those Antiglobalization groups？
A. They want governments to respect international commitments on human rights.
B. They want multinationals to accept binding rules on work pay and conditions as on the environment in countries where they are present.
C. They are going to lobby companies and governments on specific issues, such as access to medicines for people in developing countries.
D. They are against globalization in all its forms.
12. In the last 5th paragraph, Activists like Herfeldt and Zurkinden, however, say the NGOs participating in this event have been co-opted by big business and power politics. So, in his opinion, _______.
A. NGOs are some countering force against big interests
B. NGOs serves as a channel where different opinions can be sent to politicians
C. NGOs is actually the delegates of big business
D. NGOs represent the interests of those antiglobalization groups
13. Which of the following organizations is not an NGO？
A. The World Economic Forum. B. Bread for All.
C. Public Eye. D. The United Nations.
14. To sum it up, we can see that ________.
A. Davos conference is a platform for antiglobalization groups to voice their views
B. the largest alternative to Davos, the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India, is an antiglobalization conference
C. generally speaking, today's antiglobalization movement is not opposed to international trade but to the way poor countries are forced to open up their markets
D. critically important decision concerning world economy can be made in conferences attended by world's most powerful politicians and corporate chiefs
15. The issues preoccupying the antiglobalization movement include all of the following EXCEPT that _________.
A. exploitative labor practices
B. access to medicines for people in developing countries
C. the war in Iraq
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