Interactive television advertising, which allows viewers to use their remote controls to click on advertisements, has been pushed for years. Nearly a decade ago it was predicted that viewers of "Friends", a popular situation comedy, would soon be able to purchase a sweater like Jennifer Aniston's with a few taps on their remote control. "It's been the year of interactive television advertising for the last ten or twelve years," says Colin Dixon of a digital-media consultancy.
     So the news that Cablevision, an American cable company, was rolling out interactive advertisements to all its customers on October 6th was greeted with some skepticism. During commercials, an overlay will appear at the bottom of the screen, prompting viewers to press a button to request a free sample or order a catalogue. Cablevision hopes to allow customers to buy things with their remote controls early next year.
     Television advertising could do with a boost. Spending fell by 10% in the first half of the year. The popularization of digital video recorders has caused advertisers to worry that their commercials will be skipped. Some are turning to the Internet, which is cheaper and offers concrete measurements like click-through rates --- especially important at a time when marketing budgets are tight. With the launch of interactive advertising, "many of the dollars that went to the Internet will come back to the TV," says David Kline of Cablevision. Or so the industry hopes.
     In theory, interactive advertising can engage viewers in a way that 30-second spots do not. Unilever recently ran an interactive campaign for its Axe deodorant (除臭剂), which kept viewers engaged for more than three minutes on average.
     The amount spent on interactive advertising on television is still small. Magna, an advertising agency, reckons it will be worth about $138 million this year. That falls far short of the billions of dollars people once expected it to generate. But DirecTV, Comcast and Time Warner Cable have all invested in it. A new effort led by Canoe Ventures, a coalition of leading cable providers, aims to make interactive advertising available across America later this year. BrightLine iTV, which designs and sells interactive ads, says interest has surged: it expects its revenues almost to triple this year. BSkyB, Britain's biggest satellite-television service, already provides 9 million customers with interactive ads.
     Yet there are doubts whether people watching television, a "lean back" medium, crave interaction. Click-through rates have been high so far (around 3-4%, compared with less than 0.3% online), but that may be a result of the novelty. Interactive ads and viewers might not go well together.
46. What does Colin Dixon mean by saying "It’s been the year of interactive television advertising for the last ten or twelve years (Lines 4-5, Para. 1)?
A. Interactive television advertising will become popular in 10-12 years.
B. Interactive television advertising has been under debate for the last decade or so.
C. Interactive television advertising is successful when incorporated into situation comedies.
D. Interactive television advertising has not achieved the anticipated results.
47. What is the public’s response to Cablevision’s planned interactive TV advertising program?
A. Pretty positive.
B. Totally indifferent.
C. Somewhat doubtful.
D. Rather critical.
48. What is the impact of the wide use of digital video recorders on TV advertising?
A. It has made TV advertising easily accessible to viewers.
B. It helps advertisers to measure the click-through rates.
C. It has placed TV advertising at a great disadvantage.
D. It enables viewers to check the sales items with ease.
49. What do we learn about Unilever’s interactive campaign?
A. It proves the advantage of TV advertising.
B. It has done well in engaging the viewers.
C. It helps attract investments in the company.
D. It has boosted the TV advertising industry.
50. How does the author view the hitherto high click-through rates?
A. They may be due to the novel way of advertising.
B. They signify the popularity of interactive advertising.
C. They point to the growing curiosity of TV viewers.
D. They indicate the future direction of media reform.

     What can be done about mass unemployment? All the wise heads agree: there're no quick or easy answers. There's work to be done, but workers aren't ready to do it --- they're in the wrong places, or they have the wrong skills. Our problems are structural, and will take many years to solve.
     But don't bother asking for evidence that justifies this bleak view. There isn't any. On the contrary, all the facts suggest that high unemployment in America is the result of inadequate demand. Saying that there're no easy answers sounds wise, but it's actually foolish: our unemployment crisis could be cured very quickly if we had the intellectual clarity and political will to act. In other words, structural unemployment is a fake problem, which mainly serves as an excuse for not pursing real solutions.
     The fact is job openings have plunged in every major sector, while the number of workers forced into part-time employment in almost all industries has soared. Unemployment has surged in every major occupational category. Only three states, with a combined population not much larger than that of Brooklyn, have unemployment rates below 5%. So the evidence contradicts the claim that we're mainly suffering from structural unemployment. Why, then, has this claim become so popular?
     Part of the answer is that this is what always happens during periods of high unemployment --- in part because experts and analysts believe that declaring the problem deeply rooted, with no easy answers, makes them sound serious.
     I've been looking at what self-proclaimed experts were saying about unemployment during the Great Depression; it was almost identical to what Very Serious People are saying now. Unemployment cannot be brought down rapidly, declared one 1935 analysis, because the workforce is "unadaptable and untrained. It cannot respond to the opportunities which industry may offer." A few years later, a large defense buildup finally provided a fiscal stimulus adequate to the economy's needs --- and suddenly industry was eager to employ those "unadaptable and untrained" workers.
     But now, as then, powerful forces are ideologically opposed to the whole idea of government action on a sufficient scale to jump-start the economy. And that, fundamentally, is why claims that we face huge structural problems have been multiplying: they offer a reason to do nothing about the mass unemployment that is crippling our economy and our society.
     So what you need to know is that there's no evidence whatsoever to back these claims. We aren't suffering from a shortage of needed skills; we're suffering from a lack of policy resolve. As I said, structural unemployment isn't a real problem, it's an excuse --- a reason not to act on America's problems at a time when action is desperately needed.
51. What does the author think is the root cause of mass unemployment in America?
A. Corporate mismanagement.
B. Insufficient demand.
C. Technological advances.
D. Workers’ slow adaptation.
52. What does the author think of the experts’ claim concerning unemployment?
A. Self-evident.
B. Thought-provoking.
C. Irrational.
D. Groundless.
53. What does the author say helped bring down unemployment during the Great Depression?
A. The booming defense industry.
B. The wise heads’ benefit package.
C. Nationwide training of workers.
D. Thorough restructuring of industries.
54. What has caused claims of huge structural problems to multiply?
A. Powerful opposition to government’s stimulus efforts.
B. Very Serious People’s attempt to cripple the economy.
C. Evidence gathered from many sectors of the industries.
D. Economists, failure to detect the problems in time.
55. What is the author’s purpose in writing the passage?
A. To testify to the experts’ analysis of America’s problems.
B. To offer a feasible solution to the structural unemployment
C. To show the urgent need for the government to take action.
D. To alert American workers to the urgency for adaptation.

     Facing water shortages and escalating fertilizer costs, famers in developing countries are using raw sewage (下水道污水) to irrigate and fertilize nearly 49 million acres of cropland, according to a new report --- and it may not be a bad thing.
     While the practice carries serious health risks for many, those dangers are outweighed by the social and economic gains for poor urban farmers and consumers who need affordable food.
     "There is a large potential for wastewater agriculture to both help and hurt great numbers of urban consumers," said Liqa Raschid-Sally, who led the study.
     The report focused on poor urban areas, where farms in or near cities supply relatively inexpensive food. Most of these operations draw irrigation water from local rivers or lakes. Unlike developed cities, however, these areas lack advanced water-treatment facilities, and rivers effectively become sewers (下水道).
     When this water is used for agricultural irrigation, farmers risk absorbing disease-causing bacteria, as do consumers who eat the produce raw and unwashed. Nearly 2.2 million people die each year because of diarrhea-related (与腹泻相关的) diseases, according to WHO statistics. More than 80% of those cases can be attributed to contact with contaminated water and a lack of proper sanitation. But Pay Drechsel, an environmental scientist, argues that the social and economic benefits of using untreated human waste to grow food outweigh the health risks.
     Those dangers can be addressed with farmer and consumer education, he said, while the free water and nutrients from human waste can help urban farmers in developing countries to escape poverty.
     Agriculture is a water-intensive business, accounting for nearly 70% of global fresh water consumption.
     In poor, dry regions, untreated wastewater is the only viable irrigation source to keep fanners in business. In some cases, water is so scarce that farmers break open sewage pipes transporting waste to local rivers.
     Irrigation is the primary agricultural use of human waste in the developing world. But frequently untreated human waste harvested from lavatories is delivered to farms and spread as fertilizer.
     In most cases, the human waste is used on grain crops, which are eventually cooked, minimizing the risk of transmitting water-borne diseases. With fertilizer prices jumping nearly 50% per metric ton over the last year in some places, human waste is an attractive, and often necessary, alternative.
     In cases where sewage mud is used, expensive chemical fertilizer use can be avoided. The mud contains the same critical nutrients.
     "Overly strict standards often fail," James Bartram, a WHO water-health expert, said. "We need to accept that fact across much of the planet, so waste with little or no treatment will be used in agriculture for good reason."
46. What does the author say about the use of raw sewage for farming?
A. Its risks cannot be overestimated.
B. It should be forbidden altogether.
C. Its benefits outweigh the hazards involved.
D. It is polluting millions of acres of cropland.
47. What is the main problem caused by the use of wastewater for irrigation?
A. Rivers and lakes nearby will gradually become contaminated.
B. It will drive producers of chemical fertilizers out of business.
C. Farmers and consumers may be affected by harmful bacteria.
D. It will make the farm produce less competitive on the market.
48. What is environmental scientist Pay Drechsel’s attitude towards the use of untreated human waste in agriculture?
A. Favorable.
B. Skeptical.
C. Indifferent.
D. Responsible.
49. What does Pay Drechsel think of the risks involved in using untreated human waste for farming?
A. They have been somewhat exaggerated.
B. They can be dealt with through education.
C. They will be minimized with new technology.
D. They can be addressed by improved sanitation.
50. What do we learn about James Bartram’s position on the use of human waste for farming?
A. He echoes Pay Drechsel’s opinion on the issue.
B. He challenges Liqa Raschid-Sally’s conclusion.
C. He thinks it the only way out of the current food crisis.
D. He deems it indispensable for combating global poverty.

     These days, nobody needs to cook. Families graze on high-cholesterol take-aways and microwaved ready-meals. Cooking is an occasional hobby and a vehicle for celebrity chefs. Which makes it odd that the kitchen has become the heart of the modern house: what the great hall was to the medieval castle, the kitchen is to the 21st-century home.
     The money spent on kitchens has risen with their status. In America the kitchen market is now worth $170 billion, five times the country's film industry. In the year to August 2007, IKEA, a Swedish furniture chain, sold over one million kitchens worldwide. The average budget for a "major" kitchen overhaul in 2006, calculates Remodeling magazine, was a staggering $54,000; even a "minor" improvement cost on average $18,000.
     Exclusivity, more familiar in the world of high fashion, has reached the kitchen: Robinson & Cornish, a British manufacturer of custom-made kitchens, offers a Georgian-style one which would cost £145,000-155,000 --- excluding building, plumbing and electrical work. Its big selling point is that nobody else will have it: "You won't see this kitchen anywhere else in the world."
     The elevation of the room that once belonged only to the servants to that of design showcase for the modern family tells the story of a century of social change. Right into the early 20th century, kitchens were smoky, noisy places, generally located underground, or to the back of the house, and as far from living space as possible. That was as it should be: kitchens were for servants, and the aspiring middle classes wanted nothing to do with them.
     But as the working classes prospered and the servant shortage set in, housekeeping became a matter of interest to the educated classes. One of the pioneers of a radical new way of thinking about the kitchen was Catharine Esther Beecher, sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe. In American Woman's Home, published in 1869, the Beecher sisters recommended a scientific approach to household management, designed to enhance the efficiency of a woman's work and promote order.
     Many contemporary ideas about kitchen design can be traced back to another American, Christine Frederick, who set about enhancing the efficiency of the housewife. Her 1919 work, Household Engineering: Scientific Management in the Home, was based on detailed observation of a housewife's daily routine. She borrowed the principle of efficiency on the factory floor and applied it to domestic tasks on the kitchen floor.
     Frederick's central idea, that stove, sink and kitchen table must be placed in such a relation that useless steps are avoided entirely", inspired the first fully fitted kitchen, designed in the 1920s by Margarete Schütter-Lihotsky. It was a modernist triumph, and many elements remain central features of today's kitchen.
51. What does the author say about the kitchen of today?
A. It is where housewives display their cooking skills.
B. It is where the family entertains important guests.
C. It has become something odd in a modern house.
D. It is regarded as the center of a modern home.
52. Why does the Georgian-style kitchen sell at a very high price?
A. It is believed to have tremendous artistic value.
B. No duplicate is to be found in any other place.
C. It is manufactured by a famous British company.
D. No other manufacturer can produce anything like it.
53. What does the change in the status of the kitchen reflect?
A. Improved living conditions.
B. Women’s elevated status.
C. Technological progress.
D. Social change.
54. What was the Beecher sisters’ idea of a kitchen?
A. A place where women could work more efficiently.
B. A place where high technology could be applied.
C. A place of interest to the educated people.
D. A place to experiment with new ideas.
55. What do we learn about today’s kitchen?
A. It represents the rapid technological advance in people’s daily life.
B. Many of its central features are no different from those of the 1920s.
C. It has been transformed beyond recognition.
D. Many of its functions have changed greatly.


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