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過去這個週末學生考了 2017 年 12 月的 SAT 考試。如果這是你最後一次考 SAT，恭喜你完成了一個艱難的任務！
這裡，我們整理了 2017 年 12 月 SAT 考試當中的 5 篇閱讀文章，幫助學生準備未來的考試。
首先，讀這些文章。你覺得他們讀起來很簡單還是很難？裡面有沒有很多生字，尤其是那些會影響你理解整篇文章的生字？如果有的話，雖然你可能是在美國讀書或讀國際學校、也知道 “如何讀跟寫英文”，但你還沒有足夠的生字基礎讓你 “達到下一個階段” （也就是大學的階段）。查一下這一些字，然後把它們背起來。這些生字不見得會在下一個 SAT 考試中出現，但是透過真正的 SAT 閱讀文章去認識及學習這些生字可以大大的減低考試中出現不會的生字的機率。
在我們的 Ivy-Way Reading Workbook（Ivy-Way 閱讀技巧書）的第一章節裡，我們教學生在閱讀文章之前要先讀文章最上面的開頭介紹。雖然你的 SAT 考試不會剛好考這幾篇文章，但你還是可以透過這些文章找到它們的來源，然後從來源閱讀更多相關的文章。舉例來說，如果你看第二篇文章 “The Problem with Fair Trade Coffee”，你會看到文章是來自 Stanford Social Innovation Review。閱讀更多來自 Stanford Social Innovation Review 的文章會幫助你習慣閱讀這種風格的文章。
- 文學 (literature)：1 篇經典或現代的文學文章（通常來自美國）
- 歷史 (History)：1 篇跟美國獨立/創立相關的文章，或者一篇受到美國獨立 / 創立影響的國際文章（像是美國憲法或者馬丁路德金恩 (Martin Luther King Jr.) 的演說）
- 人文 (Humanities)：1 篇經濟、心理學、社會學、或社會科學的文章
- 科學 (Sciences)：1-2 篇地理、生物、化學、或物理的文章
- 雙篇文 (Dual-Passages)：0-1 篇含有兩篇同主題的文章
所有 2017 年 12 月 (亞洲) SAT 考試閱讀文章
This passage is adapted from Isabel Allende, Maya’s Notebook. ©2013 by Isabel Allende. The narrator is a teenage girl who was raised by her grandparents, Nidia and Paul (whom she calls Nini and Pop!).
Nidia Vidal stayed in Toronto for a couple of years, counting the days and the hours, until she met Paul Ditson II, my Popo, a professor at the University of California in Berkeley, who had gone to Toronto to give a series of lectures about an elusive planet, whose existence he was trying to prove by way of poetic calculations and leaps of the imagination. My Popo was one of the few African Americans in the overwhelmingly white profession of astronomy, an eminence in his field and the author of several books. As a young man he’d spent a year at Lake Turkana, in Kenya, studying the ancient megaliths of the region. He developed a theory, based on archeological discoveries, that those basalt columns were astronomical observatories and had been used three hundred years before the Christian era to determine the Borana lunar calendar, which is still in use among shepherds in Ethiopia and Kenya. In Africa he learned to observe the sky without prejudice and that’s how he began to suspect the existence of the invisible planet, for which he later searched the sky in vain with the most powerful telescopes.
The University of Toronto put him up in a suite for visiting academics and hired a car for him through an agency, which is how Nidia Vidal ended up escorting him during his stay. When he found out that his driver was Chilean, he told her he’d been at La Silla observatory, in Chile. He said that in the southern hemisphere you can see constellations and galaxies unknown in the north, like the Small Magellanic Cloud and the Large Magellanic Cloud. and that in some parts of the country, the nights are so clear and the climate so very dry that conditions for scrutinizing the firmament are ideal. That’s how they discovered that galaxies cluster together in designs that resemble spiderwebs.
By one of those coincidences that normally happen only in novels, his visit to Chile ended on the very same day in 1974 that she left with her son for Canada. I often wonder if maybe they were in the airport at the same time waiting for their respective flights, but not meeting. According to them this would have been impossible, because he would have noticed such a beautiful woman and she would have seen him too–a Black man stood out in Chile back then, especially one as tall and handsome as my Popo.
A single morning driving her passenger around Toronto was enough for Nidia to realize that he possessed that rare combination of a brilliant mind with the imagination of a dreamer, but entirely lacked any common sense, something she was proud to have in abundance herself. My Nini could never explain to me how she’d reached that conclusion from behind the steering wheel of a car while navigating her way through the traffic, but the fact is, she was absolutely right. The astronomer was living a life as lost as the planet he was searching the sky for; he could calculate in less than the blink of an eye how long it would take a space ship to arrive at the moon if it was traveling at 28,286 kilometers per hour, but he remained perplexed by an electric coffeemaker. She had not felt the elusive flutter of love for years, and this man, very different from all those she’d met in her thirty-three years, intrigued and attracted her.
My Popo, quite frightened by his driver’s boldness in traffic, also felt curiosity about the woman hidden inside a uniform that was too big for her and wearing a bear hunter’s cap. He was not a man to give in easily to sentimental impulses, and if the idea of seducing her briefly crossed his mind, he immediately dismissed it as awkward. My Nini on the other hand, who had nothing to lose, decided to collar the astronomer before he finished his lectures. She liked his mahogany color and sensed that the two of them had a lot in common: he had astronomy and she astrology, which she considered to be practically the same thing. She thought they’d both come from a long way away to meet at this spot on earth and in their destinies, it was written in the stars.
This passage is adapted from John Ruskin. The Stone of Venice. Originally published in 1853. Ruskin grew up during the Industrial Revolution, when, for the first time, large numbers of English laborers began to work in factories.
You must either make a tool of the creature, or a man of him. You cannot make both. Men were not intended to work with the accuracy of tools, to be precise and perfect in all their actions. If you will have that precision out of them, and make their fingers measure degrees like cog-wheels, and their arms strike curves like compasses, you must unhumanize them. All the energy of their spirits must be given to make cogs and compasses of themselves.
We have much studied and much perfected, of late, the great civilized invention of the division of labour; only we give it a false name. It is not, truly speaking, the labour that is divided; but the men: –Divided into mere segments of men-broken into small fragments and crumbs of life; so that all the little piece of intelligence that is left in a man is not enough to make a pin, or a nail, but exhausts itself in making the point of a pin or the head of a nail. Now it is a good and desirable thing, truly, to make many pins in a day; but if we could only see with what crystal sand their points were polished,-sand of human soul, much to be magnified before it can be discerned for what it is-we should think there might be some loss in it also. And the great cry that rises from all our manufacturing cities, louder than their furnace blast, is all in very deed for this,–that we manufacture everything there except men; we blanch cotton, and strengthen steel, and refine sugar, and shape pottery; but to brighten, to strengthen, to refine, or to form a single living spirit, never enters into our estimate of advantages. And all the evil to which that cry is urging our myriads can be met only in one way: not by teaching nor preaching, for to teach them is but to show them their misery, and to preach to them, if we do nothing more than preach, is to mock at it. It can be met only by a right understanding, on the part of all classes, of what kinds of labour are good for men, raising them, and making them happy; by a determined sacrifice of such convenience, or beauty, or cheapness as is to be got only by the degradation of the workman; and by equally determined demand for the products and results of healthy and ennobling labour.
And how, it will be asked, are these products to be recognized, and this demand to be regulated? Easily: by the observance of three broad and simple rules:
1. Never encourage the manufacture of any article not absolutely necessary, in the production of which Invention has no share.
2. Never demand an exact finish for its own sake, but only for some practical or noble end.
3. Never encourage imitation or copying of any kind, except for the sake of preserving records of great works.
For instance. Glass beads are utterly unnecessary, and there is no design or thought employed in their manufacture. They are formed by first drawing out the glass into rods; these rods are chopped up into fragments of the size of beads by the human hand, and the fragments are then rounded in the furnace. The men who chop up the rods sit at their work all day, their hands vibrating with a perpetual and exquisitely timed palsy, and the beads dropping beneath their vibration like hail. Neither they, nor the men who draw out the rods or fuse the fragments, have the smallest occasion for the use of any single human faculty; and every young lady, therefore, who buys glass beads is engaged in the slave-trade, and in a much more cruel one than that which we have so long been endeavouring to put down. But glass cups and vessels may become the subject of exquisite invention; and if in buying these we pay for the invention, that is to say, for the beautiful form, or colour, or engraving, and not for mere finish of execution, we are doing good to humanity.
This passage is adapted from Ed Yong, “Moths Remember What They Learn as Caterpillars! 0 2008 by ScienceBlogs LLC.
The transformation from caterpillar to butterfly or moth is one of the most beguiling in the animal world. Both larva and adult are just stages in the life of a single animal, but are nonetheless completely separated in appearance, habitat and behaviour. The imagery associated with such change is inescapably beautiful, and as entrancing to a poet as it is to a biologist.
According to popular belief, within the pupa, the caterpillar’s body is completely overhauled, broken down into a form of soup and rebuilt into a winged adult. Richard Buckmister Fuller once said that “there is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.” Indeed, as the butterfly or moth quite literally flies off into a new world, it is tempting to think there is no connection between its new life and its old existence as an eating machine.
But not so. A new study has provided strong evidence that the larval and adult stages are not as disparate as they might seem. Adult tobacco hookworms – a species of moth – can remember things that it learned as a caterpillar, which means that despite the dramatic nature of metamorphosis, some elements of the young insect’s nervous system remain intact through the process.
Using some mild electric shocks, Blackiston from Georgetown University trained hookworm caterpillars (Manduca sexta) to avoid the scent of a simple organic chemical – ethyl acetate. The larvae were then placed in the bottom end of a Y-shaped tube, with the scent of ethyl acetate wafting down one arm and fresh air coming down the other. Sure enough, 78% of the trained caterpillars inched down the odour-free arm.
As the caterpillar moulted their way through the larval stage, their aversion to ethyl acetate remained. Blackiston allowed them to pupate and emerge as full-grown moths, before testing them again, about a month after their initial ‘electric’ education. Bear in mind that a tobacco hornworm lives for about 30 to 50 days, so a month is very close to its entire life span.
Amazingly, 77% of the adult moths also avoided the ethyl acetate-scented arm of the Y-shaped tube and the vast majority of these were the adult versions of the same larvae that had correctly learned the behaviour originally. Clearly, the larvae had learned to avoid the chemical and that memory carried over into adulthood.
Even so, Blackiston was careful to rule out alternative explanations. For a start, ethyl acetate isn’t naturally foul-smelling. It’s actually rather reminiscent of pear drops and when larvae are exposed to it in the absence of electric shocks, neither they nor the adults they become learn to avoid it.
Another possible explanation hinges on the fact that adults emerging from the pupa usually experience a similar milieu of smells to their caterpillar selves. This chemical legacy could explain why adults and larvae react similarly to some odours. But when Blackiston applied ethyl acetate gel to the pupae of untrained caterpillars, the adults did not shrink away from the chemical. Nor did washing the pupae of trained caterpillars, to get rid of any lingering traces of ethyl acetate, have any effect.
Blackiston was convinced that some aspect of the caterpillar’ nervous system was carried over into adulthood. However, he also found that this only happened if caterpillars are trained at the last possible stage before they pupate – the ‘fifth instar. Any earlier, and the memories don’t stick.
The fruitfly Drosophila suggests why this might happen. In its brain, memories of smells are located in mushroom bodies, brain structures that consist of three lobes. The gamma lobe develops very early while the alpha and beta lobes develop just before the pupal stage.
Blackiston thinks that long-lasting larval memories are writ into the alpha and beta lobes, whose neural networks are kept around while the rest of the caterpillar breaks down. If the larvae are too young, these areas haven’t developed yet and any learned information is stored in the gamma lobe and lost when its connections are trimmed back in the pupa.
But why bother? After all, the entire advantage of metamorphosis rests on the very different lifestyles and habitats of caterpillars and moths, which allow them to avoid competing with each other. ) Nonetheless, moths and butterflies must still return to the right sort of plant in order to lay their eggs and Blackiston suggests that their larva-hood memories may help them to do so.
“Look, Something Shiny! How Color Images Can Influence Consumers.” 0 2015 by The Ohio State University.
When it comes to buying things, our brains can’t see the big, black-and-white forest for all the tiny, colorful trees.
That’s the conclusion of a new study, which found that people who were shown product images in color were more likely to focus on small product details –even superfluous ones — instead of practical concerns such as cost and functionality.
The findings mesh well with notions of how vision evolved in the brain, and suggest that viewing objects in black and white helps our brains focus on what’s most important.
“Color images help us notice details,” said Xiaoyan Deng, an author of the study and assistant professor of marketing at Ohio State. “But black-and-white images let us see the ‘big picture’ without getting bogged down by those details.”
The findings also suggest how marketers can strategically use color — or its absence — to change how we feel about a product.
“Marketers may take it for granted that color is always the best presentation format for advertising,” Deng added. “This study shows that while color is desirable in most situations, it’s not desirable in all situations.”
If a product has broad features that set it apart from the competition, then black-and-white images will help customers cast aside minor details and focus on those key features, the researchers found. If a product’s details are what set it apart, color images will make those details stand out.
In one part of the study, 94 college students were asked to imagine that they were traveling to a remote campsite where they could receive only one radio station. There, the campsite manager offered two radios for rent: a basic analog radio for $10 a day, or a fancy digital radio with many station preset buttons for $18 a day. Not only was the digital radio more expensive, but its preset buttons would be useless at the campsite.
Students who saw pictures of the radios in black and white tended to make the practical choice — the analog radio. Only 25 percent chose the digital radio.
But among students who saw the radios in color, twice as many chose the digital radio. In that scenario, 50 percent of students were willing to pay a higher price for a radio with features that they could not use.
“Color drew their focus away from the most important features to the less important features, and their choice shifted to the more expensive radio,” Deng said. “I think that’s surprising — that just by manipulating whether the product presentation is in color or black and white, we can affect people’s choice.”
Study co-author Kentaro Fujita, associate professor of psychology at Ohio State, has an idea why. It has to do with the origin of our visual systems, and how our brains process night vision.
Of the light-sensitive rod and cone structures in the retina, it’s the cones that detect color and the rods that give us night vision, peripheral vision and motion detection. Rods outnumber cones in the eye 20 to 1, and at night, when the cones don’t receive enough light to let us distinguish colors properly, we rely on the rods to see what’s happening around us — in black and white.
“Our visual systems evolved to work in both optimal and suboptimal conditions,” Fujita explained. “Optimal conditions might be during the day, when I want to distinguish a red apple from a not-so-red apple. The form of the object tells me it’s an apple, but I can focus on the color because that’s what’s important to me. Suboptimal conditions might be at night, when I have to tell whether that object that’s moving toward me is my friend or a hungry lion. Then the form of the object is critical.”
He suspects that when our eyes see black-and-white images, our brains interpret them in ways similar to night vision: We focus on form and function, and tend to ignore details.
Passage 115 adapted from the website of the Society of Plant Signaling and Behavior. 0 2015 by the Society of Plant Signaling and Behavior. Passage 2 is adapted from Michael Pollan. “The Intelligent Plant.” 0 by Conde Nast. Both passage discuss plant neurobiology, the study of the sensory adaptive behavior of plants.
For a better understanding of the world around us, it is important that we develop and share the growing understanding of plants as dynamic and highly sensitive organisms. No longer can plants be viewed and portrayed as passive entities merely subject to environmental forces, as ‘automata’-like organisms based only on reflexes and optimised solely for accumulation of photosynthate. With a fuller understanding of signaling and communication within and among plants, it becomes clear that these sensitive biological organisms actively and competitively forage for limited resources, both above and below ground. In addition, plants accurately compute their circumstances, use sophisticated cost benefit analysis, and they take tightly controlled actions to mitigate and control diverse environmental stressors. Plants also emerge as capable of discriminating positive and negative experiences, and ‘learning’ from their past experiences. Plants use this cognitively acquired information to update their behavior in order to survive present and future challenges of their environment. Moreover, plants are also capable of refined recognition of self and non-self, and are territorial in behavior.
This Plant Neurobiological view sees plants as information-processing organisms with complex communications of various types occurring throughout the individual plant. What we need to find out is how their information is gathered and processed, what routes do data take, and how are adaptive responses integrated and coordinated, how are these events ‘remembered’ in order to allow realistic predictions of future using past experiences.
Last but not least, plants are as sophisticated in behavior as animals but this potential has been masked effectively because it operates on time scales many orders of magnitude slower than in animals. At the very least, this quality should make it easier for experimental plant scientists to uncover the mysteries of their neurobiological function and behavioral responses.
Many plant scientists have pushed back hard against the nascent field of plant neurobiology, beginning with a tart, dismissive letter signed by thirty-six prominent plant scientists and published Trends in Plant Science. “We begin by stating simply that there is no evidence for structures such as neurons, synapses or a brain in plants:’ the authors wrote. No such claim had actually been made—the plant neurobiology advocates had spoken only of “homologous” structures’—but the use of the word “neurobiology” in the absence of actual neurons was apparently more than many scientists could bear.
“Yes, plants have both short- and long-term electrical signalling, and they use some neurotransmitter-like chemicals as chemical signals:’ says Lincoln Taiz, an emeritus professor of plant physiology at U.C. Santa Cruz and one of the signers of the letter. “But the mechanisms are quite different from those of true nervous systems?’ Taiz says that the writings of the plant neurobiologists suffer from “over-interpretation of data, teleology, anthropomorphizing, philosophizing, and wild speculations?’ He is confident that eventually the plant behaviors we can’t yet account for will be explained by the action of chemical or electrical pathways, without recourse to “animism.” Clifford Slayman, a professor of cellular and molecular physiology at Yale, who also signed the letter, was even more blunt. ” ‘Plant intelligence’ is a foolish distraction, not a new paradigm:’ he wrote in a recent e-mail. Slayman has referred to the letter as “the last serious confrontation between the scientific community and the nuthouse on these issues?’ Scientists seldom use such language when talking about their colleagues to a journalist, but this issue generates strong feelings, perhaps because it smudges the sharp line separating the animal kingdom from the plant kingdom. The controversy is less about the remarkable discoveries of recent plant science than about how to interpret and name them: whether behaviors observed in plants which look very much like learning, memory, decision-making, and intelligence deserve to be called by those terms or whether those words should be reserved exclusively for creatures with brains.
2017年 12月 (亞洲) SAT 考試閱讀題目
Also in: 简中 (简中)