Is the Tie a Necessity?
Ties, or neckties, have been a symbol of politeness and elegance in Britain for centuries. But the casual Prime Minister Tony Blair has problems with them. Reports suggest that even the civil servants may stop wearing ties. So, are the famously formal British really going to abandon the neckties?
Maybe. Last week, the UK's Cabinet Secretary Andrew Turnbull openly welcomed a tieless era. He hinted that civil servants would soon be free of the costliest 12 inches of fabric that most men ever buy in their lives.
In fact, Blair showed this attitude when he had his first guests to a cocktail party. Many of them were celebrities （知名人士） without ties, which would have been unimaginable even in the recent past.
For some more conservative British, the tie is a must for proper appearance. Earlier, Labor leader Jim Callaghan said he would have died rather than have his children seen in public without a tie. For people like Callaghan, the tie was a sign of being complete, of showing respect. Men were supposed to wear a tie when going to church, to work in the office, to a party - almost every social occasion.
But today, people have begun to accept a casual style even for formal occasions.
The origin of the tie is tricky. It started as something called simply a "band". The term could mean anything around a man's neck. It appeared in finer ways in the 1630s. Frenchmen showed a love of this particular fashion statement. Their neckwear （颈饰） impressed Charles II, the king of England who was exiled （流放） to France at that time. When he returned to England in 1660, he brought this new fashion item along with him.
It wasn't, however, until the late 18th century that fancy young men introduced a more colorful, flowing piece of cloth that eventually became known as the tie. Then, clubs, military institutions and schools began to use colored and patterned ties to indicate the wearer's membership in the late 19th century. After that, the tie became a necessary item of clothing for British gentlemen.
But now, even gentlemen are getting tired of ties. Anyway, the day feels a bit easier when you wake up without having to decide which tie suits you and your mood.
1 The tie symbolizes all of the following except
2 Why does Blair sometimes show up in a formal event without a tie?
A Because he wants to make a show.
B Because he wants to attract attention.
C Because ties are costly.
D Because he wants to live in a casual way.
3 Which of the following is NOT a social occasion?
A Going to church.
B Going to work in the office.
C Staying at home.
D Going to a party.
4 Who brought the Frenchmen's neckwear to Britain?
A Tony Blair.
B Charles I1.
C Jim Callaghan.
D Andrew Turnbull.
5 When did British gentlemen begin to wear ties regularly?
A After the late 19th century.
B In the 1630s.
C In 1660.
D In the late 18th century.
Why Not Eat Breakfast?
Breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day, it is also the most neglected or skipped. Common reasons for not eating breakfast include lack of time, not feeling hungry, traditional dislike for breakfast, and dieting.
Breakfast simply means =break the fast." Your body spends at least six to twelve hours each night in a fasting state. In the morning your body needs energy to rev up （转动起来） into high gear for the day's work ahead.
If you skip breakfast, you are likely to concentrate less effectively in the late morning, feel irritable, short-tempered （易努的）, tired, or weak.
When you choose not to eat breakfast, your body stays in slow gear. Also, people who skip breakfast often binge （无节制地大吃） later in the day at other meals or eat a high-calorie （高卡路里） snack in the morning. Breakfast eaters tend to eat less fat during the day, have more strength and endurance and better concentration and problem-solving ability.
A good breakfast should provide up to 1/3 of your total calorie needs for the day. On the average, we eat 400 less calories for breakfast than for dinner. If breakfast doesn't appeal to you in the morning, try eating a lighter dinner earlier in the evening or save half your dinner for breakfast in the morning.
If you still aren't hungry in the morning, start with something small like juice or toast or have a mid-morning snack later when you are hungry.
Not eating breakfast can also cause you to overeat, since a fall in blood sugar often makes you feel very hungry later. To make matters worse, since your body is in a slowed state, it will not be able to burn those extra calories very efficiently. If you feed your body healthy snacks and meals throughout the day, you are less likely to become extremely hungry and stuff yourself as soon as you begin to eat.
Since breakfast is the first and most important meal of the day, choosing the right fuel is important. The best breakfast foods are fruits, juice, lean meat, and grain products such as breads, rice, noodles, and cereals.
6 The word "fast" in the phrase "break the fast" in paragraph 2 means
A "a series of quick actions".
B "a habit of eating".
C "a strict rule".
D "a period of not eating".
7 Which of the following is NOT true of a person who does not have breakfast?
A He will be easily distracted.
B He will tend to lose his temper.
C He will become very talkative.
D He will feel weak.
8 You can improve your appetite for breakfast by
A drinking a glass of milk before going to bed.
B not eating too much for dinner in the evening.
C eating a big dinner in the evening.
D having some juice and a toast for dinner.
9 Which of the following is a healthy eating habit?
A Eating as little as possible.
B Eating no breakfast.
C Eating three regular meals a day.
D Eating no lunch.
10 Which food is NOT fit for breakfast?
A Fat meat.
Who Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?
I just mailed the chicken and the egg, each in its own separate packaging, and kept careful track of when each shipment was sent from a post office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and when it later arrived at its intended destination in New York City.
In mailing the chicken, I was careful to adhere to the restrictions described in the American Postal Service's Domestic Mail Manual 57, as updated on April 3, 2003. This, the most recent, version of the Manual states that: "Adult chickens must be sent by Express Mail. The containers used must pass the standards in International Safe Transit Association Test Procedure IA; be strong enough to endure normal handling; and ensure enough air for the chickens in transit…… The number of birds must not be more than the container's limit."
I mailed the chicken in a wooden box got from a colleague who does research with birds.
Then, I mailed the egg in standard packaging obtained through an industrial supplier. It's quite simple.
I posted both the chicken and the egg at 9:40 am, on a Monday morning, from the Harvard Square post office, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The staff there told me that this was the first chicken anyone had mailed from there in recent memory, and perhaps ever. They handled both the chicken and the egg skillfully and politely.
The intended destination for both packages was the James A. Farley General Post Office, which is located in Manhattan right next to the Penn Station train terminal.
I took the subway from the Harvard Square to the Boston train station, and from there boarded a train to New York City, a distance of about 320 kilometers, arriving that afternoon at Penn Station. I immediately went to the post office, to await the arrivals of the chicken and the egg.
The James A. Farley General Post Office is open 24 hours a day, so I was able to wait there until both items arrived. I inquired once per hour for both the chicken and the egg.
That day, Monday, neither the chicken nor the egg arrived. The next day, Tuesday, neither the chicken nor the egg arrived.
The chicken arrived at 10:31 am, Wednesday. The staff at the post office told me that this was the first chicken anyone had mailed to the post office in recent memory, and perhaps ever. The egg arrived that same day, at 9:37pm, 11 hours after the chicken.
Based on experiment data, it's now quite clear that the chicken came first, the egg second.
11 Which of the following is NOT required of a container?
A It should be made of steel.
B It should be ventilated.
C It should be sufficiently large.
B It should be strong.
12 Why did the author go to New York City?
A Because he had never been there before.
B Because he wanted to show that he could arrive before both the chicken and the egg.
C Because he wanted to check which of the two items would arrive first.
D Because he had sent the chicken and the egg to himself.
13 How did he go to New York City?
A By boat.
B By bus.
C By air.
D By tube and rail.
14 When did the chicken arrive?
A On Monday.
B At 9:37 pm, Wednesday.
C Eleven hours before the egg.
D On Tuesday.
15 What did he do all this for?
A To know if animals like chickens could be posted.
B To amuse the reader with an unlikely answer to the chicken-or-egg puzzle.
C To know if eggs would break on the way to their destination.
D To show that he was highly intelligent.
1. D 2. D 3. C 4. B 5. A
6. D 7. C 8. B 9. C 10. A
11. A 12. C 13. D 14. C 15. B