For more than two hundred years, the White House has stood as a symbol of the United States Presidency, the U.S. government, and the American people. In 1790, President George Washington declared that the federal government would reside in a district “not exceeding ten miles square … on the river Potomac.” As preparations began, a competition was held to find a builder of the “President’s House.” Nine proposals were submitted, and the Irish-born architect James Hoban won the gold medal for his practical and handsome design. Construction began when the first cornerstone was laid in October of 1792. Although President Washington oversaw the construction of the house, he never lived in it. It was not until 1800, when the White House was nearly completed, that its first residents, President John Adams and his wife Abigail, moved in.American presidents can express their individual style in how they decorate the house and in how they receive the public. Thomas Jefferson held the first inaugural open house in 1805; many of those who attended the swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol simply followed him home. President Jefferson also opened the house for public tours, and it has remained open, except during wartime, ever since. In addition, Jefferson welcomed visitors to annual receptions on New Year’s Day and on the Fourth of July. Abraham Lincoln did the same, but then the inaugural crowds became far too large for the White House to accommodate comfortably, and this also created a security issue. It was not until Grover Cleveland’s first presidency that some effective crowd control measures were implemented to address the problem caused by this practice.At various times in history, the White House has been known as the “President’s Palace,” the “President’s House,” and the “Executive Mansion.” President Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its current name in 1901.
41. What is this passage mainly about?
(A) The design of the White House.
(B) The location of the White House.
(C) The importance of the White House.
(D) The history of the White House.
42. What does “this practice” refer to in the second paragraph?
(A) Holding an inaugural open house.
(B) Accommodating the crowds comfortably.
(C) Decorating the White House.
(D) Joining in the swearing-in ceremony.
43. Who initiated the construction of the White House?
(A) John Adams.
(B) James Hoban.
(C) George Washington.
(D) Thomas Jefferson.
44. According to the passage, which of the following is NOT true about the White House?
(A) The White House has had several names.
(B) The designer of the White House was an American president.
(C) People were not allowed to visit the White House during wartime.
(D) The White House is located in a district not larger than ten miles square.
West Nile is a tropical disease that begins in birds, which pass it on to mosquitoes that then go on to infect human beings with a bite. Most people who contract West Nile do not experience any symptoms at all, but, if they do, symptoms typically develop between 3 to 14 days after a mosquito bite. About 1 in 5 persons suffers fever, headaches, and body aches, usually lasting a week or so. A far less lucky 1 in 150 experiences high fever, tremors, paralysis, and coma. Some—especially the elderly and those with weak immune systems—die.
That is what made the major outbreaks of West Nile in the U.S. in the summer of 2012 so scary. The situation was particularly bad in Dallas, Texas, where the West Nile virus killed 10 people and sickened more than 200. The city declared a state of emergency and began aerial spraying of a pesticide to kill the mosquitoes, even though residents argued that the pesticide could be more dangerous than the disease.
Why was the summer of 2012 so hospitable to the West Nile virus and the mosquitoes that carry it? Blame the weather. An extremely mild winter allowed more mosquitoes than usual to survive, while the unusually high temperatures in that scorching summer further increased their number by speeding up their life cycle. The economic crisis may have also played a role: Homeowners who were not able to pay their bank loans were forced to abandon their properties, sometimes leaving behind swimming pools that made excellent mosquito breeding grounds.
The severity of tropical diseases is also a matter of whether governments are capable—and willing—to defend their populations against infections. Dallas County was not doing some of the key things to slow the spread of West Nile, such as testing dead birds and setting mosquito traps to test for the presence of the disease. Tropical infections are thus as much related to government inaction as they are to climate.
45. What is this passage mainly about?
(A) West Nile and methods to fight it.
(B) West Nile and governmental efficiency.
(C) West Nile and the conditions its virus thrives in.
(D) West Nile and its relation to tropical diseases.
46. Which of the following statements is true about West Nile?
(A) Its symptoms usually appear within two weeks.
(B) It is spread through air and water in tropical areas.
(C) Over 20% of people who contract it will suffer severe symptoms.
(D) It comes from direct human contact with birds infected with the virus.
47. What did Dallas County do to fight off West Nile?
(A) They sprayed pesticide from the air.
(B) They asked citizens to stay away from dead birds.
(C) They encouraged citizens to get vaccinations.
(D) They drained the swimming pools in the county.
48. Which of the following is a reason why Dallas was hit most seriously in the U.S. in 2012?
(A) The increasing population in Texas raised the risk of contracting the disease.
(B) The government did not issue a warning about the disease in time.
(C) The residents worried about the county’s decision and action.
(D) The weather of the previous winter was not as cold as usual.
Most parts of Taiwan have access to sufficient supplies of fresh water for drinking. But fresh water can be in short supply in many arid regions of the world such as Saudi Arabia, where there are limited water resources. As the world population continues to grow, shortages of fresh water will occur more often and the need for additional water supplies will become critical. Some may ask, “Since the ocean covers more than 70 percent of the Earth, why not just get drinking water from the ocean?”
To turn seawater into fresh water, we need to remove the salt in seawater, that is, to desalinate seawater. The problem is that the desalination of water requires a lot of energy. Salt dissolves very easily in water, forming strong chemical bonds, and those bonds are difficult to break. The energy and technology to desalinate water are both expensive, and this means that desalinating water can be costly.
There are environmental costs of desalination as well. Sea life can get sucked into desalination plants, killing small ocean creatures like baby fish and plankton, upsetting the food chain. Also, there is the problem of what to do with the separated salt, which is left over as a very concentrated brine. Pumping this super-salty water back into the ocean can harm local aquatic life. Reducing these impacts is possible, but it adds to the costs.
Despite the economic and environmental hurdles, desalination is becoming increasingly attractive as human beings are using up fresh water from other sources. At present, desalinating seawater is the only viable way to provide water to growing populations in rural areas of the Middle East and North Africa. Therefore, the race is on to find a cheaper, cleaner, and more energy-efficient way of desalinating seawater, and promising new findings are being reported.
49. Which of the following is closest in meaning to “arid” in the first paragraph?
50. What is the second paragraph mainly about?
(A) The high cost of desalinating seawater.
(B) The major chemical characteristics of seawater.
(C) The urgent need to turn seawater into fresh water.
(D) The amount of energy produced in the desalination of seawater.
51. According to the passage, which of the following statements is true?
(A) Mixing salt with water is not as easy as removing salt from seawater.
(B) Desalinating seawater may kill some sea creatures and disturb the food chain.
(C) Covering 70% of the Earth, the ocean has always satisfied human needs for water.
(D) The increasing population in Saudi Arabia has resulted in shortages of fresh water.
52. Which of the following best describes the author’s attitude toward the future of desalination?
Four millennia ago, an ancient Babylonian wrote down what is possibly the first lullaby. It is a rather threatening lullaby, in which the baby is scolded for disturbing the house god with its crying and warned of terrifying consequences. It may have got the baby to sleep, but its message is far from comforting: If he/she does not stop crying, the demon will eat him/her. This lullaby may sound more scary than sleep-inducing, yet it is true that many lullabies—including those sung today—have dark undertones.
Research has shown that lullabies, when used correctly, can soothe and possibly even help to heal an infant; but it is the caretaker’s voice and the rhythm and melody of the music that babies respond to, not the content of the song. Then, what is the function of the content? According to studies, some lullabies provide advice, like the Babylonian lullaby, and quite a few others offer the space to sing the unsung, say the unsayable. Lyrics to those lullabies can indeed be interpreted as a reflection of the caregiver’s emotions.
Researchers believe that a large part of the function of lullabies is to help a mother vocalize her worries and concerns. The mother’s fear of loss especially makes sense since the infant/toddler years of life are fragile ones. Since there is a special physical bond between mother and child during this period, mothers feel they can sing to their child about their own fears and anxieties. Lullabies, therefore, serve as therapy for the mother. In addition, the songs are seemingly trying to work some magic—as if, by singing, the mother is saying, “Sadness has already touched this house; no need to come by again.”
53. Which of the following titles best describes the main idea of this passage?
(A) The Origin of Lullabies
(B) The Functions of Lullabies
(C) Threatening Lullabies
(D) Sleep-Inducing Lullabies
54. Which of the following is closest in meaning to the word “undertones” in the first paragraph?
55. What does the author use to support the idea that lullabies can have a soothing effect?
(A) Research reports.
(B) Examples found in history.
(C) Stories of caretakers.
(D) The author’s personal experiences.
56. According to this passage, which of the following statements is true?
(A) Scary lullabies better help babies fall asleep.
(B) Mothers prefer to sing lullabies with a joyful melody.
(C) Lullabies comfort not only the baby but also the mother.
(D) Babies react to both the music and the lyrics of lullabies.
提示︰排隊雖是生活中常有的經驗，但我們也常看到民眾因一時好奇或基於嘗鮮心理而出現大排長龍（form a long line）的現象，例如景點初次開放或媒體介紹某家美食餐廳後，人們便蜂擁而至。請以此種一窩蜂式的「排隊現象」為題，寫一篇英文作文。第一段，以個人、親友的經驗或報導所聞為例，試描述這種排隊情形；第二段，說明自己對此現象的心得或感想。
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