It's a scene so common: Coffee shops are filled with customers who seem more absorbed in their study or work than in their drinks.The coffee shop has become a popular place for modern-day students and workers.It's less boring than the library,and yet it is still filled with the same energy as a school.

There might be a good reason why students are drawn to social spaces like coffee shops for study.A recent study conducted by researchers in Belgium indicates that productivity may increase in coffee shops.

As part of the study,about 40 participants were placed side-by-side in pairs and asked to undergo(经历)reaction-time tests.Each participant sat in front of a computer screen,which flashed different colored squares.The goal for each person was to hit the key on the keyboard that corresponded with each square.Though each participant worked separately,they were affected by how hard their neighbor was working.The researchers varied the difficulty levels of each person's test,and they found that if they paired a person working on a medium-difficult test with someone taking a very difficult test,the first person would work harder.Not only that,but the first person's accuracy would also improve.

"It seems like noticing that their partner is working hard motivated people to work hard too,"a researcher explained.But the researchers couldn't exactly explain why."One possibility is that the hard workers' body position got noticeably more tense.So next time you enter a coffee shop to study or work,sitting next to customers who are obviously in the zone may be a wise choice."

1.Why do students prefer to study in coffee shops rather than in libraries?

A. They can enjoy drinks while studying.

B. It's too boring for them to study in a library.

C. They can conduct their academic researches.

D. Coffee shops have a better atmosphere.

2.How would a participant be affected by a neighbor doing a more difficult test?

A. He would work less hard.

B. He would possibly give up.

C. He would achieve better results.

D. He would change the difficulty level.

3.What can we learn from the last paragraph?

A. Further research will be done in the future.

B. Sit next to a hard worker if you want to study.

C. Customers should sit tensely in a coffee shop.

D. The researchers have fully explained the result.

When we were kids,my little sister Madison and I were the M & Ms—my parents' two daughters.1.So it was quite a surprise when my mom and dad sat us down to let us know that baby number three was on the way when I was 10 years old.However,as soon as my brother Mac was born,he completely stole my heart and I have learned a few things from having a young brother.


Having a baby in your life means watching your parents endlessly change diapers(尿布),make bottles,and wipe spit-ups every once in a while.I was allowed to do those things and I learned just how important it was to take care of this little life before I even hit middle school.

You watch a child grow up.

3.I remember how excited my family was when we discovered how fast of a reader he was in kindergarten. I'll never forget telling him bedtime stories before he went to sleep at night.It's cool to think about the entirety of his life and how far he has come.

You teach your brother life lessons.

From a young age,my brother watched my sister and me overcome personal challenges,go to high school,and, worst of all,get our hearts broken.4.Watching his sisters go through life's difficulties has taught him how he should act when he gets older.

Now Mac is 11 years old.I have no shame in telling people that one of my best friends is an 11-year-old boy.In fact,our family without him is unimaginable.5.

A.You stay in the know.

B.You learn about responsibility early on.

C.We received a lot of attention,and we liked it that way.

D.All I can say is that my family wouldn't be happy without Mac.

E.I remember the first time Mac crawled,walked,and said my name.

F.Thanks,Mom and Dad,for turning the M & Ms into the Three Musketeers.

G.Nothing makes Mac more upset than a mean guy who hurts a girl's feelings.

Thirteen years ago,I fell in love with a white ball of fur that wagged its tail at me.I was about to____a steady job to follow my dream of becoming a travel____,which would possibly make my life harder—not to mention____ an animal that would need care during my long absence.____I never gave it a second thought.She had me at the first wag.

Layla was good at conveying her displeasure with her body language every time I____.But her____at my departures was more than compensated for by our reunions.And when I sat to write my____,she would settle herself next to my desk.I would ____to her what I'd written and she would cock her head or wag her tail____.Of course she didn't____what I was writing.But this exercise with her was my means of self-editing.This helped____what I put on the page.Having such a ready and____audience made me a better writer.Giving a____to Layla in this process turned a task into a joy.

I have no words to describe the____that connected me so____to her.Like many old friends,she and I____much over the years,and I'm so____to her.Whatever success I've had as a travel writer,I____large part to her listening and being at my side.

It does not____if she never understood a word I said.She was my travel partner and will____be.

1.A. begin B. apply for C. quit D. look for

2.A. expert B. agent C. guide D. writer

3.A. catching B. adopting C. training D. delivering

4.A. But B. So C. And D. Or

5.A. returned B. cried C. left D. failed

6.A. satisfaction B. disappointment C. astonishment D. embarrassment

7.A. stories B. letters C. papers D. reports

8.A. display B. offer C. read D. perform

9.A. in doubt B. in return C. in relief D. in response

10.A. recognize B. understand C. remember D. appreciate

11.A. shape B. ignore C. support D. introduce

12.A. potential B. creative C. patient D. casual

13.A. voice B. lesson C. hand D. break

14.A. trick B. ownership C. hobby D. bond

15.A. obviously B. closely C. directly D. loosely

16.A. shouldered B. learned C. shared D. suffered

17.A. regretful B. grateful C. respectful D. merciful

18.A. owe B. devote C. leave D. add

19.A. help B. hurt C. work D. matter

20.A. frequently B. sometimes C. usually D. always

When Joshua Blue, a head teacher at the Kennedy, hosts a lecture for his students, he wears a light violet-colored tie. "You don't want so many bright colors that the kids will get distracted," said Blue. Colors give off very specific signals, and different tie colors stand for very different impacts. Wondering what color tie to wear to your next meeting? Here's how to choose the perfect color tie for every occasion:

All powerful reds

It's not a coincidence(巧合)that many politicians wear red-colored ties with light shirts and darker suits. "Red is the powerful color," said Mark Woodman, a trend analyst who studies color in Laurel, Maryland. "There’s something about red that always comes back to strength and passion.” But the tone of your reds matters, too. Darker reds can help build trust, while lighter red and pink ties can be more of a statement about your personal style and be associated with creativity. When you want to convey a sense of ambition, consider a shiny red.

Royal purples

Ross Znavor, an executive in financial services in New York, wears purple ties rather than red to business meetings because the color shows a bit of self-confidence and helps him create lasting first impressions. Purple, traditionally a sign of royalty and wealth is becoming more acceptable in the workplace.

Black affairs

"While you might not wear them to meetings on a regular basis, wearing black ties to a cocktail party or even a dinner is unique and attractive," said Zyla. But remember: the formal black color can feel aggressive in many situations. "Avoid it if you are a green-hand at work," Zyla said.

Right blues

Afraid of sending the wrong message with your tie color? Consider blue as the all-purpose tie. Blue ties are a good investment because the color reminds people of the sky and ocean. "Blue is the safest color to wear," Lindsay said.

1.Why do many politicians prefer red-colored ties?

A. Because they often wear light shirts and darker suits.

B. Because they want to get promoted.

C. Because red is related to strength and passion.

D. Because red gets their message across easily.

2.Who will probably choose the purple ties?

A. Politicians. B. Businessmen.

C. Artists. D. Head teachers.

3.What color tie will you consider if you are a green-hand at work?

A. Red. B. Purple.

C. Black. D. Blue.

Last weekend I visited Rome for the first time. I spent three busy days in the Italian capital, seeing lots of tourist attractions and walking down streets lit with Christmas decorations. There are a lot of things I love about the city.

Rome is one of the most ancient cities in the world and is full of wonderful relics(遗迹)from its distant past. These monuments include the Roman Forum and the vast Coliseum where gladiators used to fight each other until death and hunt animals coming from another country. The ruins of buildings and temples are fascinating: you can't quite believe how old they are.

I studied the masterpieces of the Renaissance period at university and was very excited to see them in real life. I walked around the museum in Vatican City and saw plenty of famous sculptures(雕塑). The best part of the visit was, without doubt, the Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted in the early 16th century by the great Michelangelo. It was so breathtaking that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from it.

In Rome, there is a lot of food on offer for tourists but some of it isn’t very good quality. I made an effort to find authentic restaurants to taste the popular meals of the region, like pasta with tomato, onion and bacon. I also loved eating ice cream and hot chocolate under the Christmas lights.

Rome has not only lots of luxury boutiques(精品店)but also plenty of shops that were more in my price range! It was a perfect opportunity to go and buy presents for my family and friends. There was also a Christmas market, where I bought a sparkly decoration for the tree.

1.The underlined word “gladiators” in the 2nd paragraph probably means “_____”.

A. athletes B. butchers

C. invaders D. fighters

2.The author found the ruins of buildings and temples fascinating because _____.

A. they represent Rome's religion

B. they are relics from Rome's distant past

C. you can't help wondering how old they are

D. they include the Roman Forum and the vast Coliseum

3.What is mainly discussed in the 3rd paragraph?

A. The great museums of Italy.

B. The sculptures in Rome.

C. Art-related activities during the visit.

D. The achievements of the Renaissance period in Italy.

4.When visiting Rome, you should be careful in choosing ______.

A. the attractions B. the food

C. the hotels D. the luxury boutiques

When Tom Szaky sees a juice container thrown away, he doesn't see rubbish, but he sees a pencil case. Sweet wrappers? A beautiful kite! But these are not the imaginings of a dreamer. For the 28-year-old CEO of Trenton, New Jersey-based TerraCycle, they’re a business model.

The fast-talking Szaky is leading the new industry of upcycling(升级改造). Instead of recycling (shredding or breaking down materials and enabling them to be reproduced as other products), TerraCycle takes packaging headed for landfills(废物填埋地)and reuses it - more or less whole. TerraCycle’s 85 employees make nearly 200 products, sold at shops such as Petco, Kmart, Whole Foods Market, and Target.

Szaky’s $7.4 million company, now also moving ahead in Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Brazil, is quite different from the business he founded with classmate Jon Beyer in 2002 as a freshman at Princeton University. The two entered a business competition with a plan to sell organic plant fertilizers made from worm waste. They lost the competition, but started the business anyway.

With their goal - to make products entirely out of rubbish - suddenly clear, Szaky knew the time was right to drop out of Princeton.

TerraCycle’s first product used dining-hall waste to feed the worms and thrown-away bottles to package the fertilizer. The result: a cheap, green breakthrough. Word spread, and in 2004, Home Depot began carrying the fertilizer in its Canadian stores.

To Szaky, waste does not exist in nature. TerraCycle is a “second chance” employer of, say, a piece of furniture, an ice-cream container. As Szaky points out, “The biggest problem with most green, fair-trade, and organic products is that they tend to cost more. At TerraCycle, everything is made from rubbish, and rubbish is free. People should be able to protect the planet without having to pay a cost for that right.”

1.What is Tom Szaky now?

A. The CEO of TerraCycle. B. An employee of Home Depot.

C. A student at Princeton University D. The manager of a food company.

2.How did Szaky get the idea of upcycling?

A. From his visits to foreign companies.

B. From his studies at Princeton University.

C. Through shopping at big stores in America.

D. Through the experience of a business competition.

3.What is the goal of TerraCycle?

A. To make cheap and green products.

B. To recycle waste materials in another way.

C. To make products completely out of rubbish.

D. To change worm waste into organic plant fertilizers.

4.What is the advantage of upcycling according to Szaky?

A. The cost is kept rather low. B. More materials are available.

C. It has a large promising market D. Its products are environmentally friendly.

If your parents were to surprise you with a present on your birthday, which one would you prefer, a trip to the amusement park or a new pair of shoes?

According to Science Daily, about one-third of the people are likely to prefer shoes to a fun trip. These people are called "materialists", namely, those who value material goods more than experiences. But which of the two choices makes people happier?

Back in 2009, Ryan Howell, a professor at San Francisco State University, found that in the long run, experiences make people happier than possessions. This is because the joy of receiving a new object fades over time as you get used to seeing it every day. Experiences, on the other hand, can continue to bring you joy in the future through happy memories.

But materialists should at least be happy when they first buy something, shouldn't they?

To figure it out, Howell did another study. He classified a group of adults according to their personality types, ranging from less materialistic to more materialistic. Each person was asked different questions to see how they felt about spending money on material goods versus spending money on experiences.

As expected, the more materialistic participants got less happiness from purchases than the less materialistic, because such purchases didn't fit with their personalities and values. But to Howell's surprise, he found that materialists weren't any happier even if they spent money on material items.

This is because materialists worry that others may criticize or look clown on their choices. "There are certain value systems that are rejected by society," said Howell. "When we find out someone is materialistic, we think less of them, and that drives their happiness down.”

Another reason is that materialistic people always focus on what they don't have instead of what they have now. This makes them feel less satisfied and grateful.

If you happen to be a materialistic person, there's something you can try. "If materialists make more accurate purchases, rather than trying to impress others, they will be happier, “Howell said.

You should also remember what an ancient Greek philosopher once said, “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for."

1.What did Ryan Howell find in his studies?

A. Material goods bring people less happiness than experiences.

B. About one-third of the people prefer material goods to experiences.

C. Materialists have more fun spending money on goods than on experiences.

D. Receiving a new object brings lasting joy while the joy of an experience fades soon.

2.What did Ryan Howell want to find out by doing another study?

A. How to judge whether a person is a materialist.

B. Why materialists are not happy with their purchases.

C. How materialists feel when they spend money on goods.

D. Whether materialists are happy when they first make purchases.

3.Why does the author use the ancient Greek philosopher's words in the last paragraph?

A. To advise materialistic people not to try to impress others.

B. To persuade people to be satisfied with what they have.

C. To prove it's unwise to be materialistic and desire too much.

D. To tell readers what they desire now might one day become theirs.

4.What can be the best title for the passage?

A. Are You a Materialist?

B. How To Acquire Happiness?

C. The Best Present For the Birthday

D. Which Can Make People Happier?

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