• 1.   Enlightening, challenging, stimulating, fun. These were some of the words that Nature readers used to describe their experience of art-science collaborations in a series of articles on partnerships between artists and researchers. Nearly 40% of the roughly 350 people who responded to an accompanying poll said, they had collaborated with artists, and almost all said they would consider doing so in future.   Such an encouraging results is not surprising. Scientists are increasingly seeking out visual artists to help them communicate their work to new audiences. “Artists help scientists reach a broader audience and make emotional connections that enhance learning.” One respondent said.   One example of how artists and scientists have together rocked the scenes came last month when the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performed a reworked version of Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. They reimagined the 300-year-old score by injecting the latest climate prediction data for each season provided by Monash University's Climate Change Communication Research Hub. The performance was a creative call to action ahead of November's United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, UK.   But a genuine partnership must be a two-way street. Fewer artist than scientists responded to the Nature poll, however, several respondents noted that artists do not simply assist scientists with their communication requirements. Nor should their work be considered only as an object of study. The alliances are most valuable when scientists and artists have a shared stake in a project, are able to jointly design it and can critique each other’s work. Such an approach can both prompt new research as well as result in powerful art.   More than half a century ago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology opened its Center for Advanced Visual Studies(CAVS) to explore the role of technology in culture. The founders deliberately focused their projects around light-hance the “visual studies” in the name. Light was a something that both artists and scientists had an interest in and therefore could form the basis of collaboration. As science and technology progressed, and divided into more sub-disciplines, the centre was simultaneously looking to a time when leading researchers could also be artists, writers and poets, and vice versa.   Nature’s poll findings suggest that this trend is as strong as ever, but, to make a collaboration work both sides need to invest time and embrace surprise and challenge. The reach of art-science tie-ups needs to go beyond the necessary purpose of research communication, and participants. Artists and scientists alike are immersed in discovery and invention, and challenge and critique are core to both, too.

    阅读理解 2022年 ● 考研英语(一)

  • 2.   As the latest crop of students pen their undergraduate application form and weigh up their options, it may be worth considering just how the point, purpose and value of a degree has changed and what Generation Z need to consider as they start the third stage of their educational journey.   Millennials were told that if you did well in school, got a decent degree, you would be set up for life. But that promise has been found wanting. As degrees became universal, they became devalued. Education was no longer a secure route of social mobility. Today, 28 percent of graduates in the UK are in non-graduate roles, a percentage which is double the average among OECD countries.   This is not to say that there is no point in getting a degree, but rather stress that a degree is not for everyone, that the switch from classroom to lecture hall is not an inevitable one and that other options are available.   Thankfully, there are signs that this is already happening, with Generation Z seeking to learn from their millennial predecessors, even if parents and teachers tend to be still set in the degree mindset. Employers have long seen the advantages of hiring school leavers who often prove themselves to be more committed and loyal employees than graduates. Many too are seeing the advantages of scrapping a degree requirement for certain roles.   For those for whom a degree is the desired route, consider that this may well be the first of many. In this age of generalists, it pays to have specific knowledge or skills. Postgraduates now earn 40 percent more than graduates. When more and more of us have a degree, it makes sense to have two.   It is unlikely that Generation Z will be done with education at 18 or 21; they will need to be constantly upskilling throughout their career to stay employable. It has been estimated that this generation, due to the pressures of technology, the wish for personal fulfillment and desire for diversity, will work for 17 different employers over the course of their working life and have five different careers. Education, and not just knowledge gained on campus, will be a core part of Generation Z’s career trajectory.   Older generations often talk about their degree in the present and personal tense: ‘I am a geographer.’ or ‘I am a classist.’ Their sons or daughters would never say such a thing; it’s as if they already know that their degree won’t define them in the same way.

    阅读理解 2022年 ● 考研英语(一)

  • 3.   People often complain that plastics are too durable. Water bottles, shopping bags, and other trash litter the planet, from Mount Everest to the Mariana Trench, because plastics are everywhere and don't break down easily. But some plastic materials change over time. They crack and frizzle. They “weep” out additives. They melt into sludge. All of which creates huge headaches for institutions, such as museums, trying to preserve culturally important objects. The variety of plastic objects at risk is dizzying: early radios, avant-garde sculptures, celluloid animation stills from Disney films, the first artificial heart.   Certain artifacts are especially vulnerable because some pioneers in plastic art didn't always know how to mix ingredients properly, says Thea van Oosten, a polymer chemist who, until retiring a few years ago, worked for decades at the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. “It’s like baking a cake: If you don’t have exact amounts, it goes wrong.” she says. “The object you make is already a time bomb.”   And sometimes, it's not the artist's fault. In the 1960s, the Italian artist Picro Gilardi began to create hundreds of bright, colorful foam pieces. Those pieces included small beds of roses and other items as well as a few dozen “nature carpets”—large rectangles decorated with foam pumpkins, cabbages, and watermelons. He wanted viewers to walk around on the carpets—which meant they had to be durable.   Unfortunately, the polyurethane foam he used is inherently unstable. It's especially vulnerable to light damage, and by the mid-1990s, Gilardi’s pumpkins, roses, and other figures were splitting and crumbling. Museums locked some of them away in the dark. So van Oosten and her colleagues worked to preserve Gilardi’s sculptures. They infused some with stabilizing and consolidating chemicals.Van Oosten calls those chemicals “sunscreens” because their goal was to prevent further light damage and rebuild worn polymer fibers. She is proud that several sculptures have even gone on display again, albeit sometimes beneath protective cases.   Despite success stories like van Oosten’s, preservation of plastics will likely get harder. Old objects continue to deteriorate. Worse, biodegradable plastics designed to disintegrate, are increasingly common.   And more is at stake here than individual objects. Joana Lia Ferreira, an assistant professor of conservation and restoration at the nova School of Science and Technology, notes that archaeologists first defined the great material ages of human history Stone Age, Iron Age, and so on after examining artifacts in museums. We now live in an age of plastic, she says, “and what we decide to collect today, what we decide to preserve.…will have a strong impact on how in the future we'll be seen.”

    阅读理解 2022年 ● 考研英语(一)

  • 4.   The idea that plants have some degree of consciousness first took root in the early 2000s; the term “plant neurobiology” was _ around the notion that some aspects of plant behavior could be _ to intelligence in animals. _ plants lack brains, the firing of electrical signals in their stems and leaves nonetheless triggered responses that _ consciousness, researchers previously reported. But such an idea is untrue, according to a new opinion article. Plant biology is complex and fascinating, but it _ so greatly from that of animals that so-called _ of plants’ intelligence is inconclusive, the authors wrote. Beginning in 2006, some scientists have _ that plants possess neuron-like cells that interact with hormones and neurotransmitters, _ “a plant nervous system, _ to that in animals,” said lead study author Lincoln Taiz, “They _ claimed that plants have ‘brain-like command centers’ at their root tips.” This _ makes sense if you simplify the workings of a complex brain, _ it to an array of electrical pulses; cells in plants also communicate through electrical signals. _ , the signaling in a plant is only _ similar to the firing in a complex animal brain, which is more than “a mass of cells that communicate by electricity,” Taiz said. “For consciousness to evolve, a brain with a threshold _ of complexity and capacity is required,” he _ . “Since plants don’t have nervous systems, the _ that they have consciousness are effectively zero.” And what’s so great about consciousness, anyway? Plants can’t run away from _ , so investing energy in a body system which _ a threat and can feel pain would be a very _ evolutionary strategy, according to the article.

    完型填空 2022年 ● 考研英语(一)

  • 5.   Ecotourism is commonly regarded as low impact (影响)travel to undisturbed places. It is different from traditional tourism because it allows the traveler to become _ (educate) about the areas - both in terms of geographical conditions and cultural characteristics, and often provides money for conservation and benefits the _ (develop) of the local areas.   Ecotourism has _ (it) origin with the environmental movement of the 1970s. It was not widely accepted as a travel concept _ the late 1980s. During that time, increasing environmental awareness made it desirable.   Due to _ growing popularity of environmentally-related and adventure travel, various types _ trips are now being classified as ecotourism. Actually, a true eco-friendly trip must meet the following principles: • Minimize the impact of _ (visit) the place. • Build respect for and awareness of the environment and cultural practices. • Provide _ (finance) aid and other benefits for local peoples. • Make sure that the tourism provides positive experiences for both the visitors and the hosts.   Komodo National Park, officially recognized in 1980, is popular for ecotourism because of its unique biodiversity. _ (activity) there range from whale watching to hiking (远足) and accommodations aim _ (have) a low impact on the natural environment.

    语法填空 2021年 ● 安徽卷

  • 6.   Simply saying thank you doesn't seem enough in certain situations. I was considering this while working as a _ Just a few weeks ago. And it came to me then how much easier it would be if we had a range of words that express different _ of gratitude (感谢).   My thoughts were soon _ . We had a woman patient who was _ from a knee replacement operation. One afternoon, while _ to get into bed she collapsed (倒下) from what was _ discovered to be a heart attack. The collapse was disastrous, _ the emergency medical team and good teamwork. But she recovered, though _ ,and was ready for discharge (出 院)after four weeks.   She was _ for everything that the medical and nursing team had done for her. On her day of discharge, we shared in her _ at her recovery. As she was _ she was eager to say _ to each of us in the nursing team. When she _ one nurse, she tried to press a five-pound note into her hand. My colleague _ to accept it, saying that we were all just _ our job. The patient looked puzzled, and then _ : "Oh this isn't for the _ I had. I take that as a _ . No, this is for setting my hair yesterday.''   And there you have it. To many people, _ lives is part of the job but styling hair is an _ and should be rewarded.

    完型填空 2021年 ● 安徽卷

  • 7.   According to Jessica Hagy, author of How to Be Interesting, it's not difficult to make yourself interesting at a dinner party.   _, if you're out of your comfort zone or if you're wandering into somebody's house for the first time. So the main thing is just to show up and be adventurous, trying different foods and talking to strangers.   People love to talk about themselves. If you can start the conversation with a question other than “What do you do for a living?", you'll be able to get a lot more interesting conversation out of whomever it is you're talking to. _. it can bring in "I have this old, broken-down vehicle" or "I rode the bus with these crazy people who were laughing at silly jokes in the back." It just opens up conversation.   _? If you can't take their wine away, you should certainly try to take away their soapbox (讲台).If you're the host, you can ask them to help you in the kitchen with something and just remove them from the situation. _.   And what about that other dinner-party killer: awkward silence? If you're faced with an awkward silence at a dinner party, the only thing that always gets everyone talking again is to give the host a compliment (赞扬). _. Just quickly tun around and say, "This cake is extremely delicious and you have to tell me all about it.” So being interesting at a dinner party isn’t that hard.

    选句填空 2021年 ● 安徽卷

  • 8.   During an interview for one of my books, my interviewer said something I still think about often. Annoyed by the level of distraction(干扰)in his open office, he said, “That’s why I have a membership at the coworking space across the street —so I can focus. "His comment struck me as strange. After all, coworking spaces also typically use an open office layout (布局). But I recently came across a study that shows why his approach works.   The researchers examined various levels of noise on participants as they completed tests of creative thinking. They were randomly divided into four groups and exposed tovarious noise levels in the background, from total silence to 50 decibels(分贝),70 decibels, and 85 decibels. The differences between most of the groups were statistically insignificant; however,the participants in the 70 decibels group—those exposed to a level of noise similar to background chatter in a coffee shop-significantly outperformed the other groups. Since the effects were small, this may suggest that our creative thinking does not differ that much in response to total silence and 85 decibels of background noise.   But since the results at 70 decibels were significant, the study also suggests that the right level of background noise—not too loud and not total silence—may actually improve one’s creative thinking ability. The right level of background noise may interrupt our normal patterns of thinking just enough to allow our imaginations to wander, without making it impossible to focus. This kind of "distracted focus" appears to be the best state for working on creative tasks.   So why do so many of us hate our open offices? The problem may be that, in our offices, we can't stop ourselves from getting drawn into others’ conversations while we’re trying to focus. Indeed, the researchers found that face-to-face interactions and conversations affect the creative process, and yet a coworking space or a coffee shop provides a certain level of noise while also providing freedom from interruptions.

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  • 9.   You’ve heard that plastic is polluting the oceans—between 4.8 and 12.7 million tonnes enter ocean ecosystems every year. But does one plastic straw or cup really make a difference? Artist Benjamin Von Wong wants you to know that it does. He builds massive sculptures out of plastic garbage, foreing viewers to re-examine their relationship to single-use plastic products.   At the beginning of the year, the artist built a piece called“Strawpocalypse,” a pair of 10-foot-tall plastic waves, frozen mid-crash. Made of 168,000 plastic straws collected from several volunteer beach cleanups, the sculpture made its first appearance at the Estella Place shopping center in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.   Just 9% of global plastic waste is recycled. Plastic straws are by no means the biggest source (来源)of plastic pollution, but they’ve recently come under fire because most people don’t need them to drink with and, because of their small size and weight, they cannot be recycled. Every straw that' s part of Von Wong's artwork likely came from a drink that someone used for only a few minutes. Once the drink is gone, the straw will take centuries to disappear.   In a piece from 2018, Von Wong wanted to illustrate (说明) a specific statistic: Every 60 seconds, a truckload's worth of plastic enters the ocean. For this work, titled "Truckload of Plastic, "Von Wong and a group of volunteers collected more than 10,000 pieces of plastic, which were then tied together to look like they’d been dumped(倾倒)from a truck all at once.   Von Wong hopes that his work will also help pressure big companies to reduce their plastic footprint.

    阅读理解 2021年 ● 安徽卷

  • 10.  When almost everyone has a mobile phone, why are more than half of Australian homes still paying for a landline (座机)  These days you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in Australia over the age of 15 who doesn’t own a mobile phone. In fact plenty of younger kids have one in their pocket. Practically everyone can make and receive calls anywhere, anytime.  Still, 55 percent of Australians have a landline phone at home and only just over a quarter (29%) rely only on their smartphones, according to a survey (调查).Of those Australians who still have a landline, a third concede that it's not really necessary and they're keeping it as a security blanket - 19 percent say they never use it while a further 13 percent keep it in case of emergencies. I think my home falls into that category.  More than half of Australian homes are still choosing to stick with their home phone. Age is naturally a factor (因素)-only 58 percent of Generation Ys still use landlines now and then, compared to 84 percent of Baby Boomers who've perhaps had the same home number for 50 years. Age isn't the only factor; I'd say it's also to do with the makeup of your household.  Generation Xers with young families, like my wife and I, can still find it convenient to have a home phone rather than providing a mobile phone for every family member. That said, to be honest the only people who ever ring our home phone are our Baby Boomers parents, to the point where we play a game and guess who is calling before we pick up the phone (using Caller ID would take the fun out of it).  How attached are you to your landline? How long until they go the way of gas street lamps and morning milk deliveries?

    阅读理解 2021年 ● 安徽卷