Enjoying a musical performance no longer requires a costly ticket or a trip to a theater.These days,musicians are performing in private homes,at haircutting shops,at airports...even on ferry boats.

Musicians like house concerts.At music clubs,they often have to perform over loud conversation or deal with people who have had too much alcohol.People at house concerts are more focused on listening to the music.

Just a few hours before the Bombadils started singing at the O' Hair Salon,Lindsay was cutting hair and Tamera was doing facials.Then,they moved chairs and microphones to create a small performance space.The Bombadils made music in the front part of the hair salon,near the hair dryers and make-up table.

"This is our first show at a hair salon,"Sarah Frank of the Bombadils told concertgoers at last week's performance.Frank said she and band members Luke Fraser and Kaitlyn Raitz had a great time "interacting" with the audience.

Concerts in people's homes,or small businesses such as O' Hair's,are becoming more popular,musicians say. "There is a more relaxed atmosphere,"said Domenic Cicala,a musician who opened up his O' Hair Salon to concerts. "People really get to know the artists."

At house concerts,people get time before and after concerts to meet the performers.Often,the hosts or guests will provide food and drink.

"People really like listening to music in the living room of a friend,"said Matt Hart,with Aubrey Zoli making up Local Strangers,a folk-rock group based in Seattle.At many such concerts,the musicians do not need microphones. Yet,every word of their songs can be heard.

1.Why do musicians like house concerts?

A. Because private homes are easier to get to.

B. Because people pay more attention to their music.

C. Because they can do other things while performing.

D. Because they don't have to bring their microphones.

2.What impressed Sarah Frank most at her last week's performance?

A. The small performance space. B. Her first show at a hair salon.

C. Their "interacting" with the audience. D. The more relaxed atmosphere.

3.How many music groups are mentioned in the text?

A. One. B. Two.

C. Three. D. Four.

4.What may be the best title for the text?

A. Musicians struggle to make a living

B. People really get to know the artists

C. Musicians find new places to perform

D. Concertgoers won't go to music clubs

Charlotte Heffelmire was home in Vienna,Va.,for Thanksgiving break from the Air Force Academy when she saw that her father had gotten stuck under the pickup truck he'd been working on.

"I was on my back,face up,and I was trying to get some brake lines when apparently the jack(千斤顶)slipped and fell down on me,"her dad,Eric Heffelmire,told WUSA9.Gasoline spilled(溢出)and caught fire,and he knew he was in trouble."I thought they 'd be pulling out a dead body later in the evening."

After his struggling for 10 minutes,his barefoot teenage daughter came running into the garage."I felt the weight shift,and I said,'You almost got it.'and then it was just UGHHHRRR,and suddenly I'm pulled out,"Eric told NBC4.

Even Charlotte,120 pounds and 5-foot-6,isn't sure where her power came from."It was some crazy strength,"she told WUSA9.

Realizing the burning truck could set her house on fire at any moment,Charlotte jumped into the truck and drove it out of the garage."I didn't want the entire house to explode with the truck,so I started the truck,put it in four-wheel drive,and managed to drive it with three wheels,"she said.

Then she went inside the house to grab her baby sister and got her grandmother out of the house too."I just did what I had to do,so I don't feel like a big hero or anything,"Charlotte said.Her local fire department,Fairfax County Fire and Rescue,felt differently,awarding her the Citizen Lifesaving Award.

1.What did Eric Heffelmire do after he got stuck under the truck?

A. He put out the fire. B. He tried to get out.

C. He shouted for help. D. He waited for his death.

2.Why was Charlotte awarded by the local fire department?

A. Because she remained low-key.

B. Because she was a lifesaving hero.

C. Because she did what they should do.

D. Because she had some crazy strength.

3.Which of the following words can best describe Charlotte?

A. Brave and powerful. B. Determined and patient.

C. Energetic and outgoing. D. Considerate and cautious.

You might make a disgusted face when you notice that the person waiting in their car at the red light next to you is picking their nose,but admit it,you do it too.And while it might be the natural option when there isn't a box of tissues around,it can be bad for you.The main reasons people feel the need to pick their nose is to clear it of dried liquid,stop an itch(痒),or just because it feels good.Boogers(鼻屎)form when dried liquid and cilia,the tiny hairs that line the nostrils(鼻孔),trap the dust,dirt,and other things.When boogers build up in your nose,it can be uncomfortable,and sometimes just blowing into a tissue doesn't do the trick.

Otolaryngologist Erich P.Voigt,MD,told Business Insider that picking your nose can cause injuries and bleeding within your nostrils.That's not terribly damaging,but when the bacteria from your hands get into your body,it can cause a cold and flu.So doctors strongly suggest not picking the nose.

If dry winter air is causing the dirty liquid to harden in your nostrils,making you want to pick,consider damping the air at home,or taking a steam shower to soften things up in there.

Children,who are most famous for having a finger up their nose,sometimes don't realize how much injury they're causing,and sometimes it.can lead to nose bleeds.

So,next time you go to pick your nose,think about how many bacteria are on your hands and in your boogers, and maybe reach for a tissue instead.Even if you 're alone,and not waiting for the light to turn green,please,use a tissue.

1.Why do people pick their nose?

A. Because they want to disgust others.

B. Because they have the need to do it.

C. Because they have nothing else to do.

D. Because they don't have tissues around.

2.Which of the following can replace the underlined part " do the trick" in Paragraph 1?

A. act B. work

C. play D. help

3.Which can help people avoid a cold and flu according to the text?

A. Stopping nose picking. B. Using tissues regularly.

C. Taking a shower every day. D. Keeping the air wet at home.

4.What should you do when you have to pick your nose?

A. Be careful not to cause bleeding.

B. Use a tissue instead of bare fingers.

C. Wait for the light to turn red if you are driving.

D. Wash up your hands and clear your fingernails.

In the age of the keyboard,some people seem to think handwriting lessons are on the way out.

Steve Graham,a literacy professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville,Tennessee,has been hearing about the death of handwriting for the past fifteen years.1.He said,"If the results of a survey we have published this year are accurate,it is being taught by about ninety percent of teachers in grades one to three."

Ninety percent of teachers also say their are required to teach handwriting.2.

Professor Graham says one study published this year found that about three out of every four teachers say they are not prepared to teach handwriting.3.others teach it for sixty to seventy minutes a day.

Many adults remember learning that way—by copying letters over and over again.4.Many experts also think handwriting should not be taught by itself.Instead,they say it should be used as a way to get students to express ideas. 5.

Teachers commonly report that about one-fourth of their students have poor handwriting.Some people might think handwriting is not important anymore because of computers and voice recognition(辨认)programs.

A.After all,that is why we write.

B.Nowadays teachers pay more and more attention to their students' writing.

C.So is it still being taught?

D.But who cares if people know how to write well?

E.But studies have yet to answer the question of how well they are teaching it.

F.Today's thinking is that short periods of practice are better.

G.He says some teachers teach handwriting for ten or fifteen minutes a day.

Mildred Webinga Freeman was an English teacher at the new middle school I attended in the ninth grade.She wasn't my____;she was the adviser to the safety patrol(巡逻)on which I____.I loved being around her and____her sense of humor and kind personality.She was____a good listener.

At the end of the year,she____that she was moving to Florida,and I was very sad.We exchanged____and became pen pals.I could tell her____,and she treated me____respect even though I was a teenager.

In Florida,Mrs.Freeman became a Realtor(房地产经纪人),____she managed to find time to write letters.She wrote____stories and always took my concerns____.She had given me a(n)____invitation to visit,and I missed her so much.When I____to take her up on the____,she answered,"Get your shoes on and your bags____!You are welcome anytime!"

I spent three weeks with her in Miami.Her____of poetry,music,and creative writing____me to follow these endeavors(努力).One day____hanging sheets on the clothesline,she____and said,"You know,the sky is fuel for the soul."I had never looked at the____before hearing those words.Later that year,I received a call that Mrs.Freeman had died.

1.A. mother B. friend C. classmate D. teacher

2.A. served B. advised C. expected D. led

3.A. shared B. enjoyed C. imagined D. found

4.A. such B. just C. still D. also

5.A. knew B. announced C. thought D. realized

6.A. addresses B. gifts C. views D. roles

7.A. anything B. nothing C. everything D. something

8.A. in B. as C. with D. to

9.A. so B. but C. or D. for

10.A. amusing B. different C. emotional D. ordinary

11.A. immediately B. carefully C. seriously D. privately

12.A. urgent B. lucky C. ambiguous D. open

13.A. decided B. hesitated C. wrote D. hurried

14.A. offer B. promise C. excuse D. message

15.A. bought B. found C. filled D. packed

16.A. love B. dream C. sense D. feeling

17.A. persuaded B. encouraged C. forced D. allowed

18.A. before B. once C. while D. after

19.A. looked over B. looked out C. looked up D. looked down

20.A. clouds B. flowers C. people D. houses

Best School Backpacks

Students of all ages need to have a reliable backpack and which is your favourite one?

1. Amazon Basics Classic Backpack

The Amazon Basics line of products aims to deliver exceptional value by getting rid of everything that is unnecessary while maintaining the core functionality that customers desire. The Classic Backpack may not look like much, but that is a big part of its overall appeal. It's cheap and cheerful, lightweight yet long-lasting with velcro(尼龙刺粘搭链)side pockets and a roomy center. With an average rating of 4.5 stars based on over 250 customer reviews, this is a well-made backpack at a terrific price. Price:From$18. 00

2. The North Face Refractor Duffel Pack

Want to head off to school with a slightly different backpack that isn't way out there? The definitely boxy Refractor Duffel Pack from The North Face offers handles on both the top and the side, plus the usual shoulder straps, for multiple ways to carry. The clamshell design also includes a quick-access pocket on the front and an included tablet sleeve. l00% of reviewers on The North Face online store recommend this product, making it the best-selling unisex backpack on the site.

Price: $ 155. 00

3. High Sierra Powerglide Rolling Laptop Backpack

Carrying heavy textbooks and other supplies around all day can get awfully taxing on the shoulders, back and hips. An easier way to get between classes is with a rolling backpack like the High Sierra Powerglide. The multi-compartment design includes a cushioned sleeve for laptops with screens up t0 17-inches in size, plus zippered accessory compartments for quick access. The strange and spacious bag is recommended by over 90% of the over 900 customers who reviewed it on eBags.

Price: $ 60. 00

1.What is the most remarkable feature of the Classic Backpack?

A. It maintains the core function.

B. It doesn't have any spare parts.

C. It is light but long-lasting.

D. It has a roomy center.

2.What's the convenience of the Refractor Duffel Pack?

A. It is easy to open and shut.

B. It has extra pockets on the front.

3.Where is the High Sierra Powerglide different from the others?

A. It has wheels.

B. It is heavy to carry.

C. It can contain textbooks.

D. It has a place to use a computer.

4.What do the three products have in common?

A. They are all expensive.

B. They are all sold only online.

C. They all have large space inside.

D. They are all given praise by customers.

American women who work as computer programmers, chefs and dentists earn 28 percent less than men doing the same jobs. Those are the jobs with the biggest wage differences between men and women, according to a new study.

Overall, the study found that women earn 5. 4 percent less than men for doing the same job, in the same location and for the same employer. The wage differences between women and men were similar in the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and France.

5.4 percent is a big difference in pay between men and women because it cannot be explained by women and men taking the same kinds of jobs. It can only be explained by bias(倔见)against women, or other causes, such as women not being good at asking for pay.

Research suggests that women do not negotiate(交涉)as well as men when it comes to pay.

And women are generally more uncomfortable asking fellow employees how much they make, sothey can see if they are being paid fairly.

According to the study, women earned at least 15 percent less than men in these job categories:psychologists,pharmacists,physicians,opticians,pilots and game artists.

But in the fields of social work, selling merchandise, research assistants and physician advisors, women earn more than men. In social work, women earned 7. 8 percent more than men, the report said. That was the job category with the biggest advantage for women. It was still far less than the 28 percent pay advantage for men in some fields.

Comparing salaries for full-time workers, women earn only 79 percent as much as men. Over a lifetime, that much of a difference in pay can amount to a large amount of money.

Women only earned 57 percent as much as men in 1975. It is now up t0 79 percent. That is

progress, the report says, but not enough.

1.Which of the following has the biggest pay differences between women and men?

A. A pilot. B. A game artist.

C. A research assistant. D. A computer programmer.

2.Why do women earn less than men when doing the same job?

A. They don’t try their best to fight for better pay.

B. They care less about their pay than men.

C. Bosses usually looks down upon women.

D. They don-t work as effectively as men.

3.How much income do full-time women workers lose compared with men?

A. 5.4%. B. 7.8%.

C. 21%. D. 28%.

4.What does the report think of the women's pay?

A. It is growing rather quickly. B. It is rising but not satisfying.

C. It is not fair for women workers. D. It is reasonable for present situation.

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