Leslie Nielsen’s childhood was a difficult one, but he had one particular shining star in his life — his uncle, who was a well-known actor. The admiration and respect his uncle earned inspired Nielsen to make a career (职业) in acting. Even though he often felt he would be discovered to be a no-talent, he moved forward, gaining a scholarship to the Neighborhood Playhouse and making his first television appearance a few years later in 1948. However, becoming a full-time, successful actor would still be an uphill battle for another eight years until he landed a number of film roles that finally got him noticed.
But even then, what he had wasn’t quite what he wanted. Nielsen always felt he should be doing comedy but his good looks and distinguished voice kept him busy in dramatic roles. It wasn’t until 1980 — 32 years into his career — that he landed the role it would seem he was made for in Airplane! That movie led him into the second half of his career where his comedic presence alone could make a movie a financial success even when movie reviewers would not rate it highly.
Did Nielsen then feel content in his career? Yes and no. He was thrilled to be doing the comedy that he always felt he should do but even during his last few years, he always had a sense of curiosity, wondering what new role or challenge might be just around the comer. He never stopped working, never retired.
Leslie Nielsen’s devotion to acting is wonderfully inspiring. He built a hugely successful career with little more than plain old hard work and determination. He showed us that even a single desire, never given up on, can make for a remarkable life.
1. Why did Nielsen want to be an actor?
2. What do we know about Nielsen in the second half of his career?
3. What does Nielsen’s career story tell us?
We live in a town with three beaches. There are two parts less than 10 minutes’ walk from home where neighborhood children gather to play. However, what my children want to do after school is pick up a screen — any screen — and stare at it for hours. They are not alone. Today's children spend an average of four and a half hours a day looking at screens, split between watching television and using the Internet.
In the past few years, an increasing number of people and organisations have begun coming up with plans to counter this trend. A couple of years ago film-maker David Bond realised that his children, then aged five and three, were attached to screens to the point where he was able to say “chocolate” into his three-year-old son’s ear without getting a response. He realised that something needed to change, and, being a London media type, appointed himself “marketing director from Nature”. He documented his journey as he set about treating nature as a brand to be marketed to young people. The result was Project Wild Thing, a film which charts the birth of the World Network, a group of organisations with the common goal of getting children out into nature.
“Just five more minutes outdoors can make a difference,” David Bond says. “There is a lot of really interesting evidence which seems to be suggesting that if children are inspired up to the age of seven, then being outdoors will be on habit for life.” His own children have got into the habit of playing outside now: “We just send them out into the garden and tell them not to come back in for a while.”
Summer is upon us. There is an amazing world out there, and it needs our children as much as they need it. Let us get them out and let them play.
4. What is the problem with the author’s children?
5. How did David Bond advocate his idea?
6. Which of the following can replace the underlined word “charts” in paragraph 2?
7. What can be a suitable title for the text?
If you ever get the impression that your dog can "tell" whether you look content or annoyed, you may be onto something. Dogs may indeed be able to distinguish between happy and angry human faces, according to a new study
Researchers trained a group of 11 dogs to distinguish between images(图像)of the same person making either a happy or an angry face. During the training stage, each dog was shown only the upper half or the lower half of the person's face. The researchers then tested the dogs' ability to distinguish between human facial expressions by showing them the other half of the person's face on images totally different from the ones used in training. The researchers found that the dogs were able to pick the angry or happy face by touching a picture of it with their noses more often than one would expect by random chance.
The study showed the animals had figured out how to apply what they learned about human faces during training to new faces in the testing stage. "We can rule out that the dogs simply distinguish between the pictures based on a simple cue, such as the sight of teeth," said study author Corsin Muller. "Instead, our results suggest that the successful dogs realized that a smiling mouth means the same thing as smiling eyes, and the same rule applies to an angry mouth having the same meaning as angry eyes."
"With our study, we think we can now confidently conclude that at least some dogs can distinguish human facial expressions," Muller told Live Science.
At this point, it is not clear why dogs seem to be equipped with the ability to recognize different facial expressions in humans. "To us, the most likely explanation appears to be that the basis lies in their living with humans, which gives them a lot of exposure to human facial expressions," and this exposure has provided them with many chances to learn to distinguish between them, Muller said.
8. The new study focused on whether dogs can_________.
9. What can we learn about the study from paragraph 2?
10. What is the last paragraph mainly about?
You've got mail…and it's a postcard
Paulo Magalhaes, a 34-year-old Portuguese computer engineer, loves to open his mailbox and find a brightly colored picture of Rome's Colosseum. Or Africa's Victoria Falls. Or China's Great Wall. ___11___
"I often send postcards to family and friends." he says to China Daily, "but you can imagine that after a while, you never receive as many as you send, and you realize that not everyone is into it ___12___ ” Seeking other like-minded souls, however, Paulo started looking in a somewhat unlikely place: online. Many would say the Internet is a place for people who have given up on the traditional postal service, but Paulo's hunch（直觉）paid off.
Today his hobby has developed into the website postcrossing.com, a social network that has grown to 575,217 registered users in 214 countries and regions since he started it 10 years ago. ___13___ Running the website has almost turned into a full-time job.
Language is certainly a harrier for many people. For postcrossing to work worldwide, a common communication language is needed so that everyone can understand each other. As cool as it may be to receive a postcard written in Chinese, the concept doesn't work if one doesn't understand it. ___14___ So a common language is required and in postcrossing that's English since it's widely spoken.
"Many people in China have limited exposure to English. ___15___ That said, we know of many postcrossing members, including Chinese, who have actually improved their English skills through their use of postcrossing," Paulo says.
A. And that's totally fine
B. That makes it extra hard to learn and practice it
C. He likes to think of sending postcards as a family-friendly hobby
D. Many love to make a connection with someone from across the world.
E. On August 5, the number of postcards exchanged by members topped 31 million.
F. Similarly, if you speak only Chinese, receiving a card in Swedish takes part of the fun away.
G. In short, he loves postcards, and the excitement of getting a hand-written note from someone far away.
My mother is 92. Unless I have to be out of town, each week I take my mother to do her ___16___ and visit the doctor, providing ___17___ and transportation. During the week, however, she likes to go to a nearby store to ___18___ some small things she needs.
Last week she walked up to the store, but when she went to pay for her groceries, she was ___19___ about three dollars. The only ___20___ to pay for the groceries was to take off the ___21___ she could do without: a bottle of rubbing alcohol（医用酒精）and a bar of soup. By taking of these, she was able to ___22___ the new total to the amount of cash she had with her.
At this store, people ___23___ and then go off to the side to ___24___ their own groceries. My mother was putting her groceries into shopping bags when a ___25___ came up to her and said, "Here are the things that you ___26___ ." handing her the rubbing alcohol and the ___27___ . My mother, who is never speechless, was speechless. She ___28___ for the woman's name and address so that she could ___29___ her. The woman told her it was her ___30___ .
My mother was so ___31___ by her gesture that she decided to go back to the store and give the cashier（收银员）a five-dollar bill to keep on hand ___32___ the same happened to someone else if they didn't have enough ___33___ for all of their groceries
So, whoever you are, thank you for the random act of ___34___ that not only helped my mother out, but ___35___ too.
16. A. exercise B. housework C. cooking D. shopping
17. A. reward B. medicine C. company D. shelter
18. A. return B. collet C. order D. buy
19. A. shot B. cautious C. wrong D. concerned
20. A. aim B. way C. advice D. reason
21. A. weight B. things C. mask D. glasses
22. A. raise B. add C. bring D. switch
23. A. show up B. call in C. check out D. sit down
24. A. store B. select C. deliver D. bag
25. A. stranger B. cashier C. friend D. doctor
26. A. looked for B. talked about C. threw away D. put back
27. A. receipt B. soap C. cash D. bottle
28. A. asked B. waited C. cared D. searched
29. A. repay B. trust C. recognize D. help
30. A. luck B. chance C. gift D. turn
31. A. surprised B. amused C. touched D. convinced
32. A. in case B. even if C. as though D. so that
33 A. energy B. money C. space D. time
34. A. faith B. courage C. kindness D. honor
35. A. made her day B. changed her mind C. caught her eye D. met her demand
It doesn't impress like George Washington's plantation on the Potomac, but Lincoln's home in downtown Springfield, Illinois, ___36___ （prove）irresistible to visitors since it opened to the public. Beautifully restored（修复）to its 1860 appearance, the house was Abraham and Mary Lincoln's home for 17 years. In 1844 they bought it ___37___ $1,200 and some land from Charles Dresser, who performed their ___38___ （marry）ceremony in 1842.
When the house was built, it was much ___39___ （small）than it is today. Mary's niece wrote, "The little home ___40___ （paint）white. It was sweet and fresh. Mary loved it. She was extremely pretty, and her house was a reflection of ___41___ （she）, everything in good taste and in perfect order.
Although Mary loved flowers, ___42___ she nor her husband was known as a gardener. A long- time neighbor said they never planted trees and only kept a garden for one year. Mary's sister, Frances Todd Wallace, often came over ___43___ （plant）flowers in the front yard.
___44___ Lincolns enlarged the house to a full two stories in 1856 to meet the needs of their growing family. Three of the four Lincoln sons were born here. After Lincoln was elected President of the US in 1861, they rented the house and ____45____ （sell）most of their furniture.
My dad, George, only had an eighth grade education. A quiet man, he didn't understand my world of school activities. From age 14, he worked. And his dad, Albert, took the money my dad earned and used it to pay family expenses.
I didn't really understand his world either: He was a livestock trucker, and I thought that I would surpass (超过) anything he had accomplished by the time I walked across the stage at high school graduation.
Summers in the mid-70s were spent at home shooting baskets, hitting a baseball, or throwing a football, preparing for my future as a quarterback on a football team. In poor weather, I read about sports or practiced my trombone (长号).
The summer before my eighth grade I was one of a group of boys that a neighboring farmer hired to work in his field. He explained our basic task, the tractor fired up and we were off, riding down the field looking for weeds to spray with chemicals. After a short way, the farmer stopped and pointed at a weed which we missed. Then we began again. This happened over and over, but we soon learned to identify different grasses like cockleburs, lamb's-quarters, foxtails, and the king of weeds, the pretty purple thistle. It was tiring work, but I looked forward to the pay, even though I wasn't sure how much it would amount to.
At home, my dad said, "A job's a big step to growing up. I'm glad you will be contributing to the household." My dad's words made me realize that my earnings might not be mine to do with as I wished.
My labors lasted about two weeks, and the farmer said there might be more work, but I wasn't interested. I decided it was not fair that I had to contribute my money.
Paragraph 1：The pay arrived at last.
Paragraph 2：I understood immediately what my parents were worried about.