The great sea voyages of Europe's "Age of Discovery," such as Christopher Columbus's trip to the West Indies in 1492, would have been impossible without the use of a compass. This great device for sea voyages was introduced to the West from China during the thirteenth century A.D. We have to thank ancient Chinese for their invention of the compass.
Two thousand years ago the Chinese had already developed a working compass. A piece of lodestone （天然磁石） would be cut into the shape of a ladle （长柄勺）. Placed on a stone board with a smooth surface, the lodestone would move round until the "handle" of the ladle pointed south while the bulk （主体） of the ladle was attracted to magnetic north. This interestingly shaped device is mentioned in a book from about A.D. 80. Other ancient books may have dated it as far back as the fourth century B.C. Jade （玉石） finders played an important role in the invention of the "ladle". They travelled great distances to look for jade. In order not to lose directions, they would take a "ladle" with them.
The jade connection is important. Lodestone is a hard material——though not as hard as some jade. And the making of a magnetic "ladle", as well as a highly smooth stone board, would have required great skill. This suggests that the compass was invented by the jade finders of ancient China.
However, the making of a "ladle" was a tough job. Much work needed to shape a piece of lodestone into a ladle would mean much of its natural magnetism （磁性） had been lost. This again meant that only a few "ladles" could have been produced. Small numbers of ladles produced and growing need for navigation led to a search for ways to produce more compasses, and at the same time, smaller and better compasses.
31 What is the first paragraph mainly about?
A Columbus was a great sailor and discoverer.
B The compass was invented by Columbus.
C The invention of the compass is important in human history.
D Columbus introduced the compass to the West Indies.
32 When did the Chinese invent the compass?
A In 1492.
B In the thirteen century A.D.
C In A.D. 80.
D At least 2000 years ago.
33 Which of the following about the ladle-shaped compass is true?
A The "handle" of the ladle pointed south.
B The "handle" of the ladle pointed north.
C The bulk of the ladle was attracted to south.
D The bulk of the ladle remained unmoved on the board.
34 Why are jade and jade finders mentioned in the passage?
A Because jade finders used the compass to detect lodestone.
B Because jade was hard enough to make the compass.
C Because jade finders were possibly the inventors of the compass.
D Because jade and lodestone were found in the same mountains.
35 What would the paragraph following this passage most probably discuss?
A Various uses of ladle-shaped, compasses.
B Improvement on the ladle-shaped compass.
C Compasses introduced to the West from China.
D The sea voyages of Europe's "Age Of Discovery".
The English Weather
"Other countries have a climate; in England we have weather". This statement, often made by Englishmen to describe the strange weather conditions of their country, is both revealing and true. It is revealing, because in it we see the Englishman insisting once again that what happens in England is not the same as what happens elsewhere; its truth can be proved by any foreigner who stays in the country for longer than a few days.
In no country other than England, it has been said, can one experience four seasons in the course of a single day! Day may break as a warm spring morning; an hour or so later black clouds may have appeared from nowhere and the rain may be pouring down. At midday it may be really winter with the temperature down by about eight degrees or more centigrade （摄氏度）. And then, in the late afternoon the sky will clear, the sun will begin to shine, and for an hour or two before darkness falls, it will be summer.
In England one can experience almost every kind of weather except the most extreme. （Some foreigners seem to be under the impression that for ten months of the year the country is covered by a dense blanket of fog; this is not true.） The problem is that we never can be sure when the different types of weather will occur. Not only do we get several different sorts of weather in one day, but we may very well get a spell （持续的一段时间） of winter in summer and a spell of summer in winter.
The uncertainty about the weather has had a definite effect upon the Englishman's character; it tends to make him cautious （小心谨慎的）, for example. The foreigner may laugh when he sees the Englishman setting forth on a brilliantly sunny morning wearing a raincoat and carrying an umbrella, but he may well regret his laughter later in the day!
And, of course, the weather's variety provides a constant topic of conversation. Even the most taciturn （沉默寡言的） of Englishmen is always prepared to discuss the weather. And, though he sometimes complains bitterly of it, he would not, even if he could, exchange it for the more predictable climate of other lands.
36 "Other countries have a climate; in England we have weather". This statement suggests that
A other countries do not have fine weather.
B you cannot experience four seasons in a year in England.
C the weather in England often changes and is therefore unique.
D the weather in England never changes.
37 A special feature of the weather in England is that
A you can experience four seasons every day throughout the year.
B it does not have four seasons as other countries do.
C winter there is the coldest in the world.
D you may experience different types of weather in a single day.
38 What makes the Englishman cautious, according to the passages?
A The foreigner, slaughter.
B The cold weather in winter.
C The uncertainty about the weather.
D The predictable climate.
39 Which of the following statements is NOT true of the weather in England?
A England is covered by heavy fog for ten months of the year.
B It tends to make the Englishman cautious.
C One cannot be sure when the different types of weather will occur.
D You may have a spell of winter in summer.
40 The word "lands" in the last sentence could best be replaced by
Ocean Noise Pollution
Some scientists say that animals in the ocean are increasingly threatened by noise pollution caused by human beings.
The noise that affects sea creatures comes from a number of human activities. It is caused mainly by industrial underwater explosions, ocean drilling, and ship engines. Such noises are added to natural sounds. These sounds include the breaking of ice fields, underwater earthquakes, and sounds made by animals themselves.
Decibels （分贝） measured in water are different from those measured on land. A noise of one hundred-twenty decibels on land causes pain to human ears. In water, a decibel level of one-hundred ninety-five would have the same effect.
Some scientists have proposed setting a noise limit of one. hundred-twenty decibels in oceans. They have observed that noises at that level can frighten and confuse whales （鲸鱼）.
A team of American and Canadian scientists discovered that louder noises can seriously injure some animals. The research team found that powerful underwater explosions were causing whales in the area to lose their hearing. This seriously affected the whales' ability to exchange information and find their way. Some of the whales even died. The explosions had caused their ears to bleed （出血） and become infected （感染）.
Many researchers， whose work depends on ocean sounds object to a limit of one-hundred-twenty decibels. They say such a limit is a greater danger than they believed. They want to prevent noises from harming creatures in the ocean.
41 According to the passage, which of the following is increasingly dangerous to sea creatures?
A The sound of a car.
B The sound of voices.
C Man-made noise pollution.
D The sound of steps.
42 According to the passage, natural sounds include all of the following EXCEPT
A sounds made by animals themselves.
B ocean drilling.
C underwater, earthquakes.
D the breaking of ice fields.
43 Which of the following is discussed in the third paragraph?
A The same noise level produces a different effect on land and in the ocean.
B Different places may have different types of noises.
C The decibel is not a suitable unit for measuring underwater noise.
D Different ocean animals may have different reactions to noises.
44 Which of the following is true of whales?
A They won't be confused by noises.
B They are deaf to noises.
C Their ability to reproduce will be lowered by high-level noises.
D Their hearing will be damaged by high-level noises.
45 According to the passage, what will scientists most probably do in the future?
A They will work hard to reduce ocean noise pollution.
B They will protect animals from harmful noises.
C They will try to set a limit of 120 decibels.
D They will study the effect of ocean noise pollution.
31. C 32. D 33. A 34. C 35. B
36. C 37. D 38. C 39. A 40. C
41. C 42. B 43. A 44. D 45. B