Part Ⅲ Reading Tasks
True／False／Not Given Exercises
When was the last time you saw a frog? Chances are, if you live in a city, you have not seen one for some time. Even in wet areas once teeming with frogs and toads, it is becoming less and less easy to find those slimy, hopping and sometimes poisonous members of the animal kingdom. All over the world, and even in remote parts of Australia, frogs are losing the ecological battle for survival, and biologists are at a loss to explain their demise. Are amphibians simply oversensitive to changes in the ecosystem? Could it be that their rapid decline in numbers is signaling some coming environmental disaster for us all? This frightening scenario is in part the consequence of a dramatic increase over the last quarter century in the development of once natural areas of wet marshland; home not only to frogs but to all manner of wildlife. However, as yet, there are no obvious reasons why certain frog species are disappearing from rainforests in Australia that have barely been touched by human hand. The mystery is unsettling to say the least, for it is known that amphibian species are extremely sensitive to environmental variations in temperature and moisture levels. The danger is that planet Earth might not only lose a vital link in the ecological food chain (frogs keep populations of otherwise pestilent insects at manageable levels), but we might be increasing our output of air pollutants to levels that may have already become irreversible. Frogs could be inadvertently warning us of a catastrophe.??
An example of a species of frog that, at far as is known, has become extinct, is the platypus frog. Like the well-known Australian mammal it was named after, it exhibited some very strange behaviour; instead of giving birth to tadpoles in the water, it raised its young within its stomach. The baby frogs were actually born from out of their mother's mouth. Discovered in 1981, less than ten years later the frog had completely vanished from the crystal clear waters of Booloumba Creek near Queensland's Sunshine Coast. Unfortunately, this freak of nature is not the only frog species to have been lost in Australia. Since the 1970s, no less than eight others have suffered the same fate.?
One theory that seems to fit the facts concerns the depletion of the ozone layer, a well documented phenomenon which has led to a sharp increase in ultraviolet radiation levels.The ozone layer is meant to shield the Earth from UV rays, but increased radiation may be having a greater effect upon frog populations than previously believed. Another theory is that worldwide temperature increases are upsetting the breeding cycles of frogs.
1.Frogs are disappearing only from city areas.
2.Frogs and toads are usually poisonous.
3.Biologists are unable to explain why frogs are dying.
4.The frogs' natural habitat is becoming more and more developed.
5.Attempts are being made to halt the development of wet marshland.
6.Frogs are important in the ecosystem because they control pests.
7.The platypus frog became extinct by 1991.
8.Frogs usually give birth to their young in an underwater nest.
9.Eight frog species have become extinct so far in Australia.
10.There is convincing evidence that the ozone layer is being depleted.
11.It is a fact that frogs' breeding cycles are upset by worldwide in creases in temperature.
Almost everyone with or without a computer is aware of the latest technological revolution destined to change forever the way in which humans communicate, namely, the Information Superhighway, best exemplified by the ubiquitous Internet. Already, millions of people around the world are linked by computer simply by having a modem and an address on the 'Net', in much the same way that owning a telephone links us to almost anyone who pays a phone bill. In fact, since the computer connections are made via the phone line, the Internet can be envisaged as a network of visual telephone links. It remains to seen in which direction the Information Superhighway is headed, but many believeit is the educational hope of the future.
The World Wide Web, an enormous collection of Internet addresses or sites, all of which can be accessed for information, has been mainly responsible for the increase in interest in the Internet in the 1990s. Before the World Wide Web, the 'Net' was comparable to an integrated collection of computerized typewriters, but the introduction of the 'Web' in 1990 allowed not only text links to be made but also graphs, images and even video.
A Web site consists of a 'home page', the first screen of a particular site on the computer to which you are connected, from where access can be had to other subject related 'pages'(or screens) at the site and on thousands of other computers all over the world. This is achieved by a process called 'hypertext'. By clicking with a mouse device on various parts of the screen, a person connected to the 'Net' can go traveling, or surfing' through a of the screen, a person connected to the 'Net' can go traveling, or 'surfing' through a web of pages to locate whatever information is required.
Anyone can set up a site; promoting your club, your institution, your company's products or simply yourself, is what the Web and the Internet is all about. And what is more, information on the Internet is not owned or controlled by any one organization. It is, perhaps, true to say that no one and therefore everyone owns the 'Net'. Because of the relative freedom of access to information, the Internet has often been criticised by the media as a potentially hazardous tool in the hands of young computer users. This perception has proved to be largely false however, and the vast majority of users both young and old get connected with the Internet for the dual purposes for which it was intended - discovery and delight.
1.Everyone is aware of the Information Superhighway.
2.Using the Internet costs the owner of a telephone extra money.
3.Internet computer connections are made by using telephone lines.
4.The World Wide Web is a network of computerised typewriters.
5.According to the author, the Information Superhighway may be the future hope of education.
6.The process called'hypertext'requires the use of a mouse device.
7.The Internet was created in the 1990s.
8.The 'home page'is the first screen of a 'Web'site on the 'Net'.
9.The media has often criticised the Internet because it is dangerous.
10. The latest technological revolution will change the way humans communicate.
The Australian political scene is dominated by two major parties that have quite different political agendas. However, the policies of the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal Party have become much more difficult to tell apart in recent years. In fact, it would be true to say that both parties consist of conservative, moderate and radical elements, and therefore the general public is often perplexed about which party to vote for. Nonetheless, it is usual to find that an Australian will lean towards supporting one of these two parties and remain faithful to that party for life.
The Labor Party was formed early in the twentieth century to safeguard the interests of the common working man and to give the trade unions political representation in Parliament. The Party has always had strong connections with the unions, and supports the concept of a welfare society in which people who are less fortunate than others are financially, and otherwise, assisted in their quest for a more equitable slice of the economic pie. The problem is that such socialist political agendas are extremely expensive to implement and maintain, especially in a country that, although comparatively wealthy, is vast and with a small working and hence taxpaying population base. Welfare societies tend towards bankruptcy unless government spending is kept in check. The Liberal Party, on the other hand, argues that the best way to ensure a fair division of wealth in the country is to allow more freedom to create it.This, in turn, means more opportunities, jobs created etc., and therefore more wealth available to all. Just how the poor are to share in the distribution of this wealth (beyond being given, at least in theory, the opportunity to create it) is, however, less well understood. Practice, of course, may make nonsense of even the best theoretical intentions, and often the less politically powerful are badly catered for under governments implementing 'free-for-all' policies.
It is no wonder that given the two major choices offered them, Australian voters are increasingly turning their attention to the smaller political parties, which claim to offer a more balanced swag of policies, often based around one major current issue. Thus, for instance, at the last election there was the No Aircraft Noise Parry, popular in city areas, and the Green Party, which is almost solely concerned with environmental issues.
1.Policies is support of the concept of a welfare society are costly.
2.Australians usually vote for the party they supported early in life.
3.The Labor Party was formed by the trade unions.
4.Radical groups are only found within the Labor Party.
5.The Liberal Party was formed after the Labor Party.
6.Welfare-based societies invariably become bankrupt.
7.According to the author, theories do not always work in practice.
8.Some Australian voters are confused about who to vote for.
9.The No-Aircraft-Noise Party is only popular in the city.
10.The smaller parties are only concerned about the environment.