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 Ⅱ.
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.
Brain-dead Mother Dies after Giving Birth
A brain-dead woman who was kept alive for three months so she could deliver the child she was carrying was removed from life support on Wednesday and died, a day after giving birth.
"This is obviously a bittersweet time for our family," Justin Torres, the woman's brother-in-law, said in a statement.
Susan Torres, a cancer-stricken, 26-year-old researcher at the National Institutes of Health, suffered a stroke in May after the melanoma （黑瘤） spread to her brain.
Her family decided to keep her alive to give her foetus （胎儿） a chance. It became a race between the foetus' development and the cancer that was destroying the woman's body.
Doctors said that Torres' health was getting worse and that the risk of harm to the foetus finally outweighed the benefits of extending the pregnancy.
Torres gave birth to a daughter by Caesarean section （剖腹产手术） on Tuesday at Virginia Hospital Center. The baby was two months premature and weighed about a kilogram. She was in the newborn intensive care unit.
Dr Donna Tilden-Archer, the hospital's director of neonatology （新生儿学）, described the child as "very vigorous." She said the baby had responded when she received stimulation, indicating she was healthy.
Doctors removed Torres from life support early Wednesday with the consent of her husband, Jason Tortes, after she received the final sacrament （圣礼） of the Roman Catholic Church.
"We thank all of those who prayed and provided support for Susan, the baby and our family," Jason Torres said in a statement. "We especially thank God for giving us little Susan. My wife's courage will never be forgotten."
English-language medical literature contains at least 11 cases since 1979 of irreversibly brain-damaged women whose lives were prolonged for the benefit of the developing foetus, according to the University of Connecticut Health Center.
Dr Christopher McManus, who coordinated care 1"or Susan Torres, put the infant's chances of developing cancer at less than 25 per cent. He said 19 women who have had the same aggressive form of melanoma as Tortes have given birth, and five of their babies became ill with the disease.
6 Susan Torres died soon after
A she suffered a stroke.
B she became brain-dead.
C she was diagnosed with cancer.
D she gave birth to a baby.
7 The pregnancy was stopped because
A the foetus was found seriously ill.
B the risks outweighed the benefits.
C there was no hope to rescue the foetus.
D the Tortes family couldn't afford the expenses any more.
8 Which is NOT true of the baby?
A She was born of a dead mother.
B She was two months premature
C She weighed about a kilogram.
D She was healthy.
9 Susan Torres had been put on life support so
A she could live comfortably.
B she could see her baby.
C she could die without pain.
D she could deliver her baby.
10 The baby's chances of developing cancer were said to be
A about 11 per cent
B around 19 per cent.
C less than 25 per cent.
D close to 5 per cent.
Doctors are starting to find more and more information that suggests a connection between exercise and brain development. Judy Cameron, a scientist at Oregon Health and Science University, studies brain development. According to her research, it seems that exercise can make blood vessels, including those in the brain, stronger and more fully developed. Dr. Cameron claims this allows people who exercise to concentrate better. As she says: "While we already know that exercise is good for the heart, exercise can literally cause physical changes in the brain."
The effects of exercise on brain development can even be seen in babies. Babies who do activities that require a lot of movement and physical activity show greater brain development than babies who are less physically active. With babies， even a little movement can show big results. Margaret Barnes， a pediatrician （儿科医师）， believes in the importance of exercise. She thinks that many learning disabilities that children have in elementary school or high school can be traced back to a lack of movement as babies. "Babies need movement that stimulates their five senses. They need to establish a connection between motion and memory. In this way， as they get older， children will begin to associate physical activity with higher learning，" says Margaret.
Older people can beef up their brains as well. Cornell University studied a group of seniors ranging in age from seventy to seventy-nine. Their study showed a short-term memory increase of up to 40 percent after exercising just three hours a week. The exercise does not have to be very difficult, but it does have to increase the heart rate. Also, just like the motion for infants, exercise for older people should involve some complexity. Learning some new skills or motions helps to open up memory paths in the brain that may not have been used for a long time.
For most people, any type of physical activity that increases the heart rate is helpful. The main goal is to increase the brain's flow of blood. And your brain can benefit from as little as two to three hours of exercise a week.
11 Research by Dr. Cameron seems to suggest that exercise can
A generate new blood vessels.
B change the way a person thinks.
C promote brain development.
D divert one's attention.
12 Margaret Barnes thinks that a lack of movement in infancy can
A lead to learning troubles later.
B cause physical disabilities later.
C stimulate the five senses.
D bring about changes in the brain.
13 The expression "beef up" in paragraph 3 means
14 To be beneficial, exercise for older people should
A be done in a group.
B be done on a daily basis.
C involve great difficulty.
D increase the heart rate.
15 The title of the passage implies that
A only smart people do exercise.
B exercise can be smart or stupid.
C exercise keeps the brain strong.
D it is fashionable to do exercise.
1. D 2. D 3. C 4. B 5. A
6. D 7. B 8. A 9. D 10. C
11. C 12. A 13. B 14. D 15. C