Recycling Around the World
Recycling is one of the best environmental success stories of the late 20th century. But we could do more. People must not see recycling as fashionable, but essential.
The Japanese are very good at recycling because they live in a crowded country. They do not have much space. They do not want to share their limited space with rubbish. But even so, Tokyo area alone is estimated to have three million tons of leftover rubbish at present.
In 1996, the United States recycled and composted （制成肥料） 57 million tons of waste （27% of the nation's solid waste）. This is 57 million tons of waste which did not go into landfills and incinerators （焚化炉）. In doing this, 7,000 rubbish collection programmes and recycling centres helped the authorities.
In Rockford, a city in Illinois, US, its officials choose one house each week and check its garbage （废物）. If the garbage does not contain any newspapers or aluminium （铝） cans, then the resident of the house gets a prize of at least $1,000.
In Japan, certain cities give children weekly supplies of tissue paper and toilet paper in exchange for a weekly collection of newspapers.
In one year Britain recycles:
● 1 out of every 3 newspapers.
● 1 out of every 4 glass bottles and jars （罐子）.
● 1 out of every 4 items of clothing.
● 1 out of every 3 aluminium drink cans.
In 1999, Hong Kong transported 1.3 million tons of waste to mainland China for recycling. Around 535,000 tons of waste were recycled in Hong Kong itself.
Over half the things we throw away could be recycled. That means we could recycle 10 times as much as we do now.
However, recycling needs a lot of organisation and special equipment. Also, there is not much use for some recycled material.
1 Which of the following is NOT true of the Japanese?
A They have recycled all their waste.
B They live in a crowded country.
C They are very good at recycling.
D They have to share their limited space with rubbish.
2 How much waste did the US recycle in 1996?
A 1.3 million tons.
B 27 million tons.
C 53 million tons.
D 57 million tons.
3 Where can people get a big prize for contributing to recycling?
C Hong Kong.
4 In Japan, the newspapers collected by children
A are given to poor people.
B are used as reading materials.
C are recycled.
D are used as prizes.
5 Which of the following is NOT true of Britain?
A It recycles 1 out of every 3 newspapers each year.
B It recycles 1 out of every 4 glass bottles and jars each year.
C It recycles 1 out of every 4 items of clothing each year.
D It recycles 1 out of every 3 aluminium cans each year.
Walking Robot Carries a Person
The first walking robot capable of carrying a person unveiled on Friday in Tokyo, Japan. Its creators at Waseda University in Tokyo and the Japanese robotics company Tmsuk hope their two-legged creation will one day enable wheel-chair users to climb up and down the stairs and assist the movement of heavy goods over uneven ground.
The battery-powered robot, code-named WL-16, is essentially an aluminium chair mounted on two sets of telescopic poles. The poles are bolted to fiat plates which act as feet. WL-16 uses 12 actuators （传动装置） to move forwards, backwards and sideways while carrying an adult weighing up to 60 kilograms （130 pounds）. The robot, can adjust its body and walk smoothly even if the person it is carrying shifts in the chair. At present it can only step up or down a few millimeters, but the team plans to make it capable of dealing with a normal flight of stairs.
"1 believe this bipedal （两足的） robot, which I prefer to call a two-legged walking chair rather than a wheel-chair, will eventually enable people to go up and down the stairs," said Atsuo Takanishi, from Waseda university.
"We have had strong robots for some time but usually they have been manipulators, they have not been geared to carrying people around," says Ron Arkin, at the Georgia Institute of Technology and robotics consultant for Sony. "But I don't know how safe and how user-friendly WL-16 is."
Tmsuk chief executive Yoichi Takamoto argues that bipedal or multi-legged robots will be more useful than so-called "caterpillar （毛毛虫） models" for moving over uneven ground.
WL-16's normal walking step measures 30 centimetres, but it can stretch its legs to 136 cm apart. The prototype （原型）is currently radio-controlled, but the research team plans to equip it with a stick-like controller for the user in future. Takanishi said it will take "at least two years" to develop the WL-16 prototype into a working model.
Smaller, ground-hugging （紧贴地面行走的） robots have been developed to pass across tricky ground. One maggot-like （像蛆一样的） device uses a magnetic fluid to pulse its way along, while another snake-like robot uses smart software to devise new movement strategies if the landscape affects any one part. One ball-shaped robot even uses a leap-and-bounce approach to travel over rough territory. But none of these are big or strong enough to carry a person too.
6 The robot presented to the public on Friday in Tokyo, Japan
A surprised visitors from Waseda University.
B can move up to 60 kilometres per hour.
C has two legs and is able to carry a person.
D can transport heavy goods over uneven ground.
7 The researchers plan to make WL-16 capable of
A turning its head easily.
B moving up and down the stairs easily.
C using a telescope to find the way.
D carrying a person of over 60 kilograms.
8 What does Ron Arkin think of WL-16?
A He doesn't think it is useful.
B He thinks it is only a manipulator.
C He is unsure of its safety.
D He thinks it is user-friendly.
9 Which of the following is true of WL-16?
A It can only move forwards and backwards.
B It is a caterpillar model.
C It is equipped with a stick-like controller.
D It can walk with a step of up to 136 cm.
10 Which type of robot is NOT mentioned in the last paragraph?
A Maggot-like robots.
B Snake-like robots.
C Chair-shaped robots.
D Ball-shaped robots.
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.
11 The tie symbolizes all of the following except
12 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.
13 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.
14 Who brought the Frenchmen's neckwear to Britain?
A Tony Blair.
B Charles Ⅱ.
C Jim Callaghan.
D Andrew Turnbull.
15 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.
1. A 2. D 3. B 4. C 5. D
6. C 7. B 8. C 9. D 10. C
11. D 12. D 13. C 14. B 15. A