|1. E||13. A|
|2. D||14. C|
|3. C||15. C|
|4. F||16. D|
|5. A||17. Magic Cube|
|6. A||18. layers|
|7. D||19. diagonally|
|8. B||20. interior|
|9. C||21. identical|
|10. A||22. inventor|
|11. D||23. puzzle|
|Level||Band||Listening Score||Reading Score|
Legend: Academic word (?) New word
The table gives information about different means of transport which people use to reach their work in one city in the US.
People who use public transport or share a car travel the great distance, on average 23 or 24 miles, while cyclists and pedestrians have the shortest journey - just 4 miles. By comparison, car drivers without passengers travel an average of 17 miles People travelling on trains and buses spend the longest time commuting to work because it takes them 49 minutes on average. Walkers and cyclists take the least time, because they get to work in about 20 minutes.
Cars tend to be the fastest way of travelling. People going together by car have an average speed of 34 mph and people driving alone have an average of 31 mph. Walking is the slowest at 3 mph. Overall, for long distances, the quickest way to travel is to share a car, but for short distances, walking or cycling is the best.
For some people, it’s easy to get dressed for work. Pilots and police officers, for example, don’t have to make decisions about their work clothes. They wear uniforms to work every day.
For many office workers, however, it is more difficult to choose clothes for work. They do not wear uniforms to the office. Also, many employers are changing their dress codes. They are allowing their employees to wear casual clothes to work.
The change to casual work clothes began in the 1990s. At first, many companies in the United States allowed employees to wear casual clothes on one day of the week—Friday . Friday became “Casual Friday” or “Dress-down Friday”. Today, however, many companies are allowing their employees to wear casual clothes every day of the week.
Why are companies allowing their employees to wear casual clothes?
Some studies show that people are more productive when they are wearing comfortable clothes. Employees also like the casual dress code because they don’t need to buy special clothes for work . They can save money this way.
Unfortunately, a casual dress code can also cause problems. Sometimes employees dress too casually . They think they can wear anything. Many companies have rules about casual clothes. They list the kinds of clothes that are not “business-casual” clothes. Blue jeans, sandals, and sportswear are examples of clothes that are usually too casual for the office.
Willis Carrier designed the first air-conditioning unit in 1902, just a year after graduating from Cornell University with a Masters in Engineering.
At a Brooklyn printing plant, fluctuations in heat and moisture were causing the size of the printing paper to keep changing slightly, making it hard to align different colours . Carrier’s invention made it possible to control temperature and humidity levels and so align the colours. The invention also allowed industries such as film, processed food, textiles and pharmaceuticals to improve the quality of their products.
In 1914, the first air-conditioning device was installed in a private house. However, its size, similar to that of an early computer, meant it took up too much space to come into widespread use, and later models, such as the Weathermaker, which Carrier brought out in the 1920s, cost too much for most people . Cooling for human comfort, rather than industrial need, really took off when three air conditioners were installed in the J.L. Hudson Department Store in Detroit, Michigan. People crowded into the shop to experience the new invention. The fashion spread from department stores to cinemas, whose income rose steeply as a result of the comfort they provided.
To start with, money-conscious employers regarded air conditioning as a luxury. They considered that if they were paying people to work, they should not be paying for them to be comfortable as well . So in the 1940s and ’50s, the industry started putting out a different message about its product: according to their research, installing air conditioning increased productivity amongst employees . They found that typists increased their output by 24% when transferred from a regular office to a cooled one. Another study into office working conditions, which was carried out in the late ’50s, showed that the majority of companies cited air conditioning as the single most important contributor to efficiency in offices.
However, air conditioning has its critics. Jed Brown, an environmentalist, complains that air conditioning is a factor in global warming . Unfortunately, he adds, because air conditioning leads to higher temperatures, people have to use it even more. However, he admits that it provides a healthier environment for many people in the heat of summer.
Erno Rubik first studied sculpture and then later architecture in Budapest, where he went on to become a teacher of interior design. It was while he was working as a teacher that he began the preliminary work on an invention that he called the ‘ Magic Cube '.
Rubik was inspired by geometric puzzles such as the Chinese tangram, a puzzle consisting of various triangles, a square and a parallelogram which can be combined to create different shapes and figures. However, unlike the tangram, which is two- dimensional, Rubik was more interested in investigating how three-dimensional forms, such as the cube, could be moved and combined to produce other forms.
His design consisted of a cube made up of layers of individual smaller cubes, and each smaller cube could be turned in any direction except diagonally . To ensure that the cubes could move independently, without falling apart, Rubik first attempted to join them together using elastic bands. However, this proved to be impossible, so Rubik then solved the problem by assembling them using a rounded interior . This permitted them to move smoothly and easily. He experimented with different ways of marking the smaller cubes, but ended up with the simple solution of giving a different colour to each side. The object was to twist the layers of small cubes so that each side of the large cube was an identical colour.
Rubik took out a patent for the Cube in 1977 and started manufacturing it in the same year. The Cube came to the attention of a Hungarian businessman, Tibor Laczi, who then demonstrated it at the Nuremberg Toy Fair. When British toy expert Tom Kremer saw it, he thought it was amazing and he persuaded a manufacturer, Ideal Toys, to produce 1 million of them in 1979. Ideal Toys renamed the Cube after the toy’s inventor , and in 1980, Rubik’s Cube was shown at toy fairs all over the world. It won that year’s prize in Germany for Best Puzzle. Rubik’s Cube is believed to be the world’s best-selling puzzle ; since its invention, more than 300 million Cubes have been sold worldwide.