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  Conversation one.

  i've just bought a new blender.

  What's that a blender?

  A machine that blends food.

  the electric kitchen appliance, exactly.

  This one is state of the art. I've been meaning to buy one for a while. I did thorough research on which specific model to get. I read through maybe hundreds of online user reviews. Anyway.

  it's amazing really what could be so special about it. I it's just a blender.

  Basically it's just a very good one. It feels heavy and sturdy and well made. It also has lots of power and can easily cut and crush practically anything. This way. The soups and juices I make come out really fine and smooth with no lumpy bits.

  I see I have never thought of getting one myself. It sounds like the kind of thing that for me personally I would rarely use.

  I've never had one before now that I do, I use it all the time. I make a fresh fruit juice in the morning, maybe not every morning but 3 or 4 times a week and it feels fantastic. It's a really healthy habit.

  I can imagine that must feel quite satisfying. I can picture you getting all creative in the kitchen and trying out a multitude of different ingredients. It's obviously going to be healthier than buying packaged juice from a supermarket.

  It's so much healthier. It's not even close did you know that store bought juice is like 10% sugar, right?

  Then you bought it for the health benefits, mostly yes.

  Basically, it allows me to have a more varied diet with a far wider assortment of nutrients, because it's not only fruit in my morning juices. You see. I can also throw in vegetables, nuts, yogurt, cereals, anything that tickled my fancy.

  Questions. 1 to 4 are based on the conversation you have just heard.

  Question 1, what does the man say he did before buying the blender?

  Question 2, what does the woman say she has never thought of doing?

  Question 3, what does the man say is a really healthy habit?

  Question 4, what do we learn about store bought juice from the conversation two?

  Today we have a very interesting guest, mister thomas benjamin grimm, the mayor of burkington is here to talk about his job and responsibilities overseeing this charming village. Mr. Grimm, thank you for being here.

  Thank you for having me.

  I'd like to start by stating the obvious burketon has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country and this has happened under your watch. Just how did you achieve this?

  The achievements belongs to all the residents of burton. It was a shared effort where everybody pitched in for the communal good.

  But how did this change happen? In about 10 years, burkton has gone from a relatively unheard of sleepy village to a must see destination.

  Yes, the change has truly been remarkable. Burkton was always fortunate to be endowed with such a beautiful natural allure. The anbury hills above the village remain untouched by human development. The sonora valley just below it is equally stunning. The transformation commenced in a town hall meeting in spring 2008 over 10 years ago. Now when an overwhelming majority of neighbors voted in favor of motion, 836, this legislative proposal essentially set out to harmonize the aesthetic appearance of all the houses in berkton. The idea was that if all the properties looked a certain way with shared design features, then the village as a whole would look more beautiful. It worked, it certainly did.

  I'm looking now at a before and after photo and the change is truly remarkable. It's hard to believe it's the same place. How do the neighbours feel now? Great pride.

  I would say.

  But what about the multitudes of visitors now crowding the streets? Is everyone happy about that?

  The tourists we receive are a blessing as they have completely revitalized our local economy. Every visitor is warmly welcome.

  Questions 5 to 8 are based on the conversation you have just heard.

  Question 5, what is the question the woman asked mister grimm after the introduction?

  Question 6, what do we learn about burkton of 10 years ago?

  Question 7, what resulted from the passing of the legislative proposal motion 836.

  Question 8, why does the man say the tourists are a blessing to bergen? Passage one,

  researchers in the us have created a remote controlled robot that is so small. It can walk on the top of aus penny in research published in the journal science, robotics. A team at northwestern university said the crab like robot is 0.5 millimeters wide. Researchers described it as the smallest ever remote controlled walking robot. The tiny robot can bend, twist, crawl, walk, turn and even jump without the use of complex hardware or special power. The engineers said this is because the robot is powered by the elastic property of its body. To construct the robot, the researchers used a shape memory alloy material that transforms to its remembered shape when heated using a laser, the team is able to heat the robot at specific parts of its body, causing it to change shape as the robot deforms and goes back to its original shape. It creates movement from one place to another, because these structures are so tiny, the rate of cooling is very fast. Project lee, professor john a rogers said, in fact, reducing the sizes of these robots allows them to run faster. While the research is still in the exploratory phase, the team believes that technology could lead to micro sized robots that can perform practical tasks. In tightly confined spaces, you might imagine micro robots as agents to repair or assemble small structures or machines in industry or a surgical assistance to clear clogged arteries to stop internal bleeding or to eliminate cancerous tumors all in minimally invasive procedures. Rogers said.

  Questions 9 to 11 are based on the passage you have just heard.

  Question 9, what does the passage say about a team of researchers at northwestern university?

  Question 10, what did the researchers say about the robot they created?

  Question 11, what do the researchers expect their robots to do in the future?

  Passage two, I don't want to boast or anything, but I have always considered myself something of an elite sleeper given the opportunity, I will sleep for marathon stretches and condose through the most extreme situations on one very rough ferry crossing on the route to the isles of silly. For example, my traveling companion spent the entire 3 hour ride throwing up in the bathroom while I dozed happily on a plastic chair. Unfortunately, it has come to my attention that I am not an elite sleeper. After all. It seems I am just lazy because elite sleepers are defined as the approximately 3% of the population who are biologically programmed to need less sleep than the rest of us. According to a study that came out in march, elite sleepers have rare genetic changes, which means they can sleep fewer hours than mere mortals without any risk of cognitive decline, it may not be possible to change your own genes, but can you train yourself to need less sleep? Is there a non biological way to reach elite sleeper status? I have spent the past year trying to answer that question, not for fun, I should add because having a baby has severely disrupted my sleep for which I still have a great passion for a while. I assumed i'd be forced to become one of those people who jump out of bed at the crack of dawn. After a year of tough scientific study, however, I have discovered being forced to get up early in the morning is very different from being an early bird.

  Questions 12 to 15 are based on the passage you have just heard.

  Question 12. What does the speaker say she did on her ride to the isles of silly

  Question 13. What do we learn from the passage about elite sleepers?

  Question 14, what has the speaker been trying to find out over the past year?

  Question 15, what has the speaker discovered after a year of tough scientific study?

  Recording one if you read an article about a controversial issue, do you think you'd realize if it had changed your beliefs? No one knows your own mind like you do. It seems obvious that you would know if your beliefs had shifted. And yet a new paper in the quarterly journal of experimental psychology suggests that we actually have very poor awareness of our own belief change, meaning that we will tend to underestimate how much we've been swayed. By a convincing article, the researchers recruited over 200 undergraduates across two studies and focused on their beliefs about whether physical punishment of kids is an effective form of discipline. The students reported their initial beliefs about whether physical punishment is an effective way to discipline a child on a scale from one completely disbelief to nine completely believe. Several weeks later, they were given one of two research based text to read. Each was several pages long and either presented the arguments and data in favor of physical punishments or against it. After this, the students answered some questions to test their comprehension and memory of the text. Then the students again scored their belief in whether physical punishment is effective or not. Finally, the researchers asked them to recall what their belief had been at the start of the study. The student's belief about physical punishment changed when they read a text that argued against their own initial position. Crucially, the memory of their initial belief was shifted in the direction of their new belief. In fact, their memory was closer to their current belief than their original belief. The more their belief had changed, the larger this memory bias tended to be suggesting the students were relying on their current belief to deduce their initial belief, the memory bias was unrelated to the measures of how well they'd understood or recalled the text, suggesting these factors didn't play a role in memory of initial belief or awareness of belief change. The researchers concede that this research was about changes to mostly moderate beliefs. It's likely the findings would be different in the context of changes to extreme or deeply held beliefs. However, our beliefs on most topics are in the moderate range. And as we go about our daily lives reading informative material, these intriguing findings suggest we are mostly ignorance of what we just read has updated and altered our own position. Questions.

  16 to 18 are based on the recording you have just heard.

  Question 16. What does a new paper in the quarterly journal of experimental psychology suggest?

  Question 17, what happened when the students read a text that argued against their own initial position?

  Question 18, what did the researchers concede concerning their findings according to as the american population grows?

  So does the number of american moms recording to as the american population grows? So does the number of american moms, but more than a century after mother's day became an official holiday. Even as that number increases, the share of the american population who are mothers is at the lowest point in 1/4 century. It's frequently noted that fertility rates are falling sharply in richer countries, but the less observed consequence of this trend is that a decline in births can also mean a decline in motherhood in general. According to my analysis of data from the census bureau, the decline of american motherhood is real occurring very quickly and may continue for some time yet. Not only are moms making up less of the population, but their characteristics are changing too. And in a way that might be linked to their proportional decline, moms today tend to be older than in the past. Just looking at recent years, the change in age specific birth rates has been drastic. In just the past few years, the peak childbearing age range for american women has advanced from that of 25 to 29 that To 34. Meanwhile childbearing among women under 20 has fallen by half or more. While childbearing among women 35 and older is rising. One positive consequence of this age shift is that a larger proportion of new mothers are economically prepared to raise children less positively. However, many women find that as they age, they can't have as many kids as they would like. Plus having children later in life can increase the risk of health complications. These finer points aside, one major consequence of the older moms trend is that fewer years of a woman's life are spent as a mother. This means that at any given time, a larger share of women and thus of the whole population will report not having children in government surveys. In other words, later motherhood means less motherhood, even as motherhood rates decline, mother's day will endure. In fact, despite the demographic shift, retail spending on the holiday appears to be rising. It is hard to say if mother's day spending is rising more than one would expect, given that the american population keeps growing. But one factor might be that the proportion of women who are the mothers of adult children is rising. Those adult children may spend more generously when it comes to celebrating the moms. They no longer live with.

  Questions, 19 to 21 are based on the recording. You have just heard.

  Question 19. What does the speaker conclude from her analysis of the census bureaus data?

  Question 20. What does the speaker say is a positive consequence of the age shift in childbearing?

  Question 21. What might be one explanation for the rise in retail spending on mother's day?

  Recording three. Since nasa published a paper in 1989, claiming that house plants can soak up pollution and toxic chemicals, businesses and homeowners have increasingly invested in greenery to help clean their air. But a new analysis suggests it could actually take more than 1,000 plants per square meter to gain a benefit any greater than simply opening a couple of windows.  The problem lies in the fact that NASA conducted their tests in sealed containers that do not simulate the conditions in most people's homes or offices. The space agency was primarily concerned about keeping the air fresh for astronauts cut off in biosphere or space stations and helping to combat sick building syndrome, which had become a problem due to the super insulated and energy efficient officers of the late 1970s. By the early 1980s, workers regularly complained of skin rashes, sleepiness, headaches and allergies as they breathed in toxic chemicals from paints and plastics. Nasa found that certain plants could remove chemicals from the air. And even today, garden centers recommend the plants for air cleaning properties. However, a new evaluation of dozens of studies spanning 30 years found that house plants in a normal environment have little impact. In fact, natural ventilation is far better at cleaning the air. The researchers also calculated the clean air delivery rates for plants in the studies they analyzed and found that the rate at which plants dispersed the compounds was well below the usual rates of air exchange in a normal building caused by the movements of people coming and going opening doors and windows. Many of the studies did show a reduction in the concentration of volatile organic compounds over time, which is likely why people have seized on them to praise the air purifying virtues of plants. But the researchers calculation showed it would take 10 to 1,000 plants per square meter of floor space to compete with the air cleaning capacity of a buildings, air handling system, or even just a couple of open windows in a house. In contrast, NASA sealed experiment recommended one pot plants per 100 square feet. This is certainly an example of how scientific findings can be misleading or misinterpreted over time. But it's also a great example of how scientific research should continually re examine and question findings to get closer to the ground truth of understanding what's actually happening.

  Questions 22 to 25 are based on the recording. You have just heard question 22. What does nas a's 1989 paper? Claim house plants can do.

  Question 23. What is said to be the problem with nas a's study reported in its 1989 paper?

  Question 24. What is the finding of a new evaluation of dozens of studies spanning 30 years?

  Question 25. What does NASA sealed experiment recommendation exemplify in scientists pursuit of truth?



  Fans have enjoyed great popularity among Chinese sinceancient times.However,now they are regarded less as toolsof relievingheat andkeeping cool but more as art works forpeople to appreciate.Many fans feature graceful design andfine workmanship as well as exquisite pictures of landscape,flowers,birdsand figures,with superb artistic value.Manyfamous Chinese painters and calligraphers prefer to havepoems or paintings on the fans to demonstrate their artistictaste.Fans are often given to others as gifts to express ourgood wishes and sincere feelings.Nowadays,the practicalfunctions of fans have considerable decreased,but theystillplay a significant role in traditional Chinese culture as a cul-tural symbol and artistic form.



  There isa growing awarenessof the importance of digital lit-eracy and skills in today's world.Some believe that digitalliteracy is the key to success,while others argue that it is notcompulsory for everyone to learn.Personally,I find theformer view more reasonable.

  Firstly,digitat literacy is crucial for students in today's world.It enables students to develop critical thinking and prob-lem-solving skills,preparing them for future careers in atechnology-driven society.Secondly,digital skills are essen-tial for success in the modern workplace.Employers increas-ingly require employees who can utilize technology tostreamlineprocesses,analyze data,and solve problems.Forinstance,the ability to use software applications such as Mi-crosoft Office or data analysis tools like Excel can greatly en-hance one's productivity and employability.Lastly,digital lit-eracy is invaluable in daily life.From managing personalfinances online to accessing information and services,digi-tal skills are essential for navigating the digitalworld.

  In conclusion,digital literacy and skills are of paramount im-portance in today's world.As technology continues toevolve,it is crucial that we invest in developing digital litera-cy skillsto navigate and thrive in the digital age.