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新托福阅读真题机经还原(第一期)

2012-02-28 10:52 作者: 来源: 本站 浏览: 1,500 views Make a Comment 字号:

摘要: 不少童鞋都在用机经备考托福,应该说机经对于备考口语和写作是有一定作用的,但对于阅读和听力来说却显得有点鸡肋了。不过要想利用机经备考阅读并非不可能,老郑博客从今天开始连载“新托福阅读真题机经还原”系列,力争在机经的基础上还原跟真题话题一样,难度接近,语言相似的文...

不少童鞋都在用机经备考托福,应该说机经对于备考口语和写作是有一定作用的,但对于阅读和听力来说却显得有点鸡肋了。不过要想利用机经备考阅读并非不可能,老郑博客从今天开始连载“新托福阅读真题机经还原”系列,力争在机经的基础上还原跟真题话题一样,难度接近,语言相似的文章,供各位童鞋参考。今天是第一期 3月考试重点机经101210NA中的两篇阅读文章。[anti-both]

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How Plants Survive Freezing Temperature

If a plant is to survive it must be able to fit in with the environmental conditions which occur in its habitat. This fitting in is called adaptation. Every living thing is adapted to enable it to cope with a particular habitat’s environmental factors such as the air, water, soil, light and temperature. For example, cacti plants are adapted specially to be able to withstand the dry conditions of a desert, whereas seaweeds are designed specially to live in salty water – neither would survive if they changed places.

Many plants live in climates where the temperature never drops too low, so they don’t have to worry about surviving extreme cold. Plants that live in permanently cold areas (such as Polar Regions) however, need special adaptations which allow them to survive in their harsh environment.

 

An adaptation for many plants is to make the most of a blanket of snow. Air is trapped amongst the snowflakes as they fall and this provides good insulation. The temperature under a layer of snow does not usually fall below freezing. Many plants survive in warm pockets under the snow, waiting for the snow to melt so they can then burst into growth. If winds blow the snow away they may become frozen. A local name for the familiar snowdrop is the ‘snow-piercer’. The tip of the flowering stem is covered by a special protective leaf and this allows the snowdrop flower to force its way up through the snow.

 

Land plants lose water through their leaves by a process called transpiration. Apart from the problem of a shortage of available water during the winter, photosynthesis in the leaves would also be difficult because there are only a few hours of very weak sunlight. Many plants therefore, overcome these problems by ‘shutting down’ almost completely. Perennials, plants which continue growing for several years, may lose all their leaves and stems, relying on the food stored in their underground roots to get them through the winter. Annuals are plants which flower in the summer and then die off completely, leaving only their seeds to survive the winter and germinate the following spring. Some plants produce seeds which actually need to be frozen in the winter before they are ready to germinate. This ensures that they do not germinate during a spell of warm autumn weather.

 

Evergreen trees, such as many conifers, often have narrow, needle-like leaves and a thick waxy coating and these adaptations help them to conserve water during winter. Deciduous trees, such as oak, ash and beech, shed their leaves in the autumn. On frosty winter days, the water in the soil is frozen, so it cannot be taken up by the roots; the air temperature may be quite warm if the sun is shining, so if leaves were still on the trees they would lose a lot of water and wilt. This would result in the death of the tree. So dropping the leaves before winter sets in is the most sensible thing a deciduous tree can do! They can ‘tick over’ during the winter months using stored energy in their roots. In the autumn a corky layer forms at the base of deciduous leaves, cutting off water supplies. This causes the green color (chlorophyll) to fade, revealing shades of yellow, orange or red beneath.

 

 

Reading 2

The History of Jade and Bronze

Although only fragments and traces of items created in ephemeral materials remain from the prehistoric and early historic periods, numerous ancient Chinese objects of jade, earthenware, and metal have survived in relatively good condition, many of them preserved in ancient burial sites. These ancient burials and their contents provide invaluable information related to social structure, cultural development, and religious beliefs. The ordered arrangement of the cemeteries together with the grave goods found in them clearly indicates a belief in an afterlife. Items for everyday use were placed in the tombs along with those made specifically for internment. Grave goods were made of a wide range of materials and include large numbers of earthenware storage jars, bone and jade objects for personal adornment, and objects for ritual also made of jade and subsequently of bronze. The grandeur of a burial and value of its contents bear a direct relationship to the social status of the individual, with the more elaborate burials containing works of the finest and most technically sophisticated craftsmanship.

 

During the latter part of the Stone Age or Neolithic period polished stone implements were developed. There can be little doubt that the use of and appreciation for the tonalities and lustrous qualities of jade evolved from a selective process within a highly developed lithic industry. The visual sensibility to and high regard the ancient Chinese had for jade is clearly attested by the surprising number of finely cut and polished jade ceremonial tools, ritual objects, and ornaments produced by some of China’s earliest Neolithic cultures. Prismatic tubes (cong), and discs (bi) together with weapons and tools of jade and other hard stones have been found in large numbers in burials of the Liangzhu culture (c. 3300 –2250 BCE). Given the age of these and other early examples, it is not possible to define precisely the symbolic content or uses of these jade tools, weapons, and ritual objects such as cong and bi. However, as the tools, weapons, cubes, and discs evidence none of the typical characteristics of usage, such as scaring and chipping, it is reasonable to suggest that they served ceremonial and possibly protective functions.

 

Cut and polished ornaments of jade, which had become part of the decorative tradition for clothing and furnishings during the Neolithic period, continued to be used throughout the early historic periods of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. The use of jade in burials, including plaques sewn onto shrouds or other coverings for corpses during the Han dynasty period, can be traced back to these Neolithic beginnings. Undoubtedly, ritual objects as well as small ornamental pieces, with their geometric and zoomorphic forms and motifs, held potent meanings for those responsible for their creation. It is also probable that they served as emblems of rank, as in many other early societies.

Although initially employed primarily for weapons, bronze, like jade, was also selected early in China’s history as a material for the society’s most precious objects. Inherently appealing, this alloy was chosen for special ritual or ceremonial versions of standard, everyday items with visual and physical distinctions employed to separate the ceremonial from the everyday. Differences can be seen in scale, attention to ornamental detailing, and the technical skills of the craftsmen. By the middle of the second millennium BCE in the central northern plains area of China, bronze had become the material of choice for the highest-quality cooking pots and wine vessels. In this region during the Shang and Zhou dynastic eras (c. 1500 — 221 BCE), large sets of bronze vessels were used in ancestral temples or offering halls for ritual offerings and sacrifices to the ancestors. As these practices were thought to continue after death, the deceased were buried with the requisite sets of vessels. Over time, with the ascendancy of human relationships, bronze vessels assumed secular commemorative functions.

 

Most bronze ritual vessels are highly ornamented. The earliest and most frequently occurring motifs, or the patterns derived from them, are called taotie (monster mask), a term first used more than two thousand years after the motif was introduced. Characteristically presented in a bilateral symmetrical manner, taotie appear as composite creature motifs. A great many speculations and deductions by analogy have been advanced about the symbolic and magical significance of the taotie and other patterns in Shang and subsequently in Zhou art. The universal application of these zoomorphic designs on ritual objects leaves little doubt that these creatures were of religious significance and not purely decorative.

 

The number of bronze vessels produced in ancient China is remarkable. Thousands of vessels survive today; recently excavated, intact tombs of the wealthy and influential from the late thirteenth century BCE have revealed that more than four hundred bronzes might be interred with a single member of a royal family.22 The willingness to use such large quantities of bronze for this purpose clearly suggests that the Chinese considered ritual vessels fundamental to the well-being of their society, ranking them in importance equal to or even above weapons.

 

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