|1. FALSE||21. E|
|2. TRUE||22. A|
|3. NOT GIVEN||23. mirrors|
|4. TRUE||24. steam|
|5. FALSE||25. depressions|
|6. NOT GIVEN||26. irrigation|
|7. sizes||27. vi|
|8. messages||28. ii|
|9. web surfing||29. viii|
|10. attention||30. iv|
|11. bloggers||31. i|
|12. scientific research||32. v|
|13. Nature||33. A|
|14. E||34. C|
|15. B||35. A|
|16. G||36. B|
|17. A||37. nervous|
|18. E||38. feelings|
|19. F||39. words|
|Level||Band||Listening Score||Reading Score|
Legend: Academic word (?) New word
Science inspired the World Wide Web, and the Web has responded by changing science.
'Information Management: A Proposal' . That was the bland title of a document written in March 1989 by a then little-known computer scientist called Tim Berners-Lee, who was working at CERN, Europe’s particle physics laboratory, near Geneva. His proposal, modestly called the World Wide Web, has achieved far more than anyone expected at the time.
In fact, the Web was invented to deal with a specific problem. In the late 1980s, CERN was planning one of the most ambitious scientific projects ever , the Large Hadron Collider*, or LHC. As the first few lines of the original proposal put it, 'Many of the discussions of the future at CERN and the LHC end with the question "Yes, but how will we ever keep track of such a large project?" This proposal provides an answer to such questions.
The Web, as everyone now knows, has many more uses than the original idea of linking electronic documents about particle physics in laboratories around the world. But among all the changes it has brought about, from personal social networks to political campaigning, it has also transformed the business of doing science itself, as the man who invented it hoped it would.
It allows journals to be published online and links to be made from one paper to another. It also permits professional scientists to recruit thousands of amateurs to give them a hand . One project of this type, called GalaxyZoo, used these unpaid workers to classify one million images of galaxies into various types (spiral, elliptical and irregular). This project, which was intended to help astronomers understand how galaxies evolve, was so successful that a successor has now been launched, to classify the brightest quarter of a million of them in finer detail. People working for a more modest project called [email protected] examine scanned images of handwritten notes about old plants stored in British museums. This will allow them to track the changes in the distribution of species in response to climate change.
Another new scientific application of the Web is to use it as an experimental laboratory. It is allowing social scientists, in particular, to do things that were previously impossible. In one project, scientists made observations about the sizes of human social networks using data from Facebook. A second investigation of these networks, produced by Bernardo Huberman of HP Labs, Hewlett-Packard's research arm in Pato Alto, California, looked at Twitter, a social networking website that allows people to post short messages to long lists of friends.
At first glance, the networks seemed enormous - the 300,000 Twitterers sampled had 80 friends each, on average (those on Facebook had 120), but some listed up to 1,000. Closer statistical inspection, however, revealed that the majority of the messages were directed at a few specific friends. This showed that an individual's active social network is far smaller than his 'clan'. Dr Huberman has also helped uncover several laws of web surfing , including the number of times an average person will go from web page to web page on a given site before giving up, and the details of the 'winner takes all' phenomenon, whereby a few sites on a given subject attract most of the attention , and the rest get very little.
Scientists have been good at using the Web to carry out research. However, they have not been so effective at employing the latest web-based social-networking tools to open up scientific discussion and encourage more effective collaboration. Journalists are now used to having their articles commented on by dozens of readers. Indeed, many bloggers develop and refine their essays as a result of these comments.
Yet although people have tried to have scientific research reviewed in the same way, most researchers only accept reviews from a few anonymous experts. When Nature , one of the world's most respected scientific journals, experimented with open peer review in 2006, the results were disappointing. Only 5% of the authors it spoke to agreed to have their article posted for review on the Web - and their instinct turned out to be right, because almost half of the papers attracted no comments. Michael Nielsen, an expert on quantum computers, belongs to a new wave of scientist who want to change this. He thinks the reason for the lack of comments is that potential reviewers lack incentive.
adapted from The Economist
* The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world's largest particle accelerator and collides particle beams. It provides information on fundamental questions of physics.
Vivienne Wait reports on how the Sahara Desert could offer a truly green solution to Europe’s energy problems
For years, the Sahara has been regarded by many Europeans as a terra incognita* of little economic value or importance. But this idea may soon change completely. Politicians and scientists on both sides of the Mediterranean are beginning to focus on the Sahara’s potential to provide power for Europe in the future. They believe the desert’s true value comes from the fact that it is dry and empty. Some areas of the Sahara reach 45 degrees centigrade on many afternoons. It is, in other words, a gigantic natural storehouse of solar energy.
A few years ago, scientists began to calculate just how much energy the Sahara holds . They were astonished at the answer. In theory, a 90,600 square kilometre chunk of the Sahara - smaller than Portugal and a little over 1% of its total area - could yield the same amount of electricity as all the world’s power plants combined. A smaller square of 15,500 square kilometres - about the size of Connecticut - could provide electricity for Europe’s 500 million people.
'I admit I was sceptical until 1 did the calculations myself,’ says Michael Pawlyn, director of Exploration Architecture, one of three British environmental companies comprising the Sahara Forest Project, which is testing solar plants in Oman and the United Arab Emirates . Pawlyn calls the Sahara’s potential ’staggering’.
At the moment, no one is proposing the creation of a solar power station the size of a small country. But a relatively well-developed technology exists, which proponents say could turn the Sahara’s heat and sunlight into a major source of electricity - Concentrating Solar Power (CSP], Unlike solar panels, which convert sunlight directly into electricity, CSP utilises mirrors which focus light on water pipes or boilers to produce very hot steam to operate the turbines of generators. Small CSP plants have produced power in California’s Mojave Desert since the 1980s. The Sahara Forest Project proposes building CSP plants in areas below sea level (the Sahara has several such depressions ) so that sea water can flow into them. This water would then be purified and used for powering turbines and washing dust off the mirrors. Waste water would then supply irrigation to areas around the stations, creating lush oases - hence the ’forest’ in the group’s name.
But producing Significant quantities of electricity means building huge arrays of mirrors and pipes across hundreds of miles of remote desert, which is expensive. Gerry Wolff, an engineer who heads DESERTEC, an international consortium of solar-power scientists, says they have estimated it will cost about $59 billion to begin transmitting power from the Sahara by 2020.
Building plants is just part of the challenge. One of the drawbacks to CSP technology is that it works at maximum efficiency only in sunny, hot climates - and deserts tend to be distant from population centres. To supply Europe with 20% of its electricity needs, more than 19,300 kilometres of cables would need to be laid under the Mediterranean, says Gunnar Asplund, head of HVDC research at ABB Power Technologies in Ludvika, Sweden. Indeed, to use renewable sources of power, including solar, wind and tidal, Europe will need to build completely new electrical grids. That’s because existing infrastructures, built largely for the coal- fired plants that supply 80% of Europe’s power, would not be suitable for carrying the amount of electricity generated by the Sahara . Germany’s government-run Aerospace Centre, which researches energy, estimates that replacing those lines could raise the cost of building solar plants in the Sahara and sending significant amounts of power to Europe to about $485 billion over the next 40 years. Generous government subsidies will be needed. ‘Of course it costs a lot of money,’ says Asplund. ‘It’s a lot cheaper to burn coal than to make solar power in the Sahara.’
Meanwhile, some companies are getting started. Seville engineering company Abengoa is building one solar- thermal plant in Algeria and another in Morocco , while a third is being built in Egypt by a Spanish-Japanese joint venture. The next step will be to get cables in place. Although the European Parliament has passed a law that aids investors who help the continent reach its goal of getting 20% of its power from renewable energy by 2020 , it could take years to create the necessary infrastructure.
Nicholas Dunlop, secretary-general of the London-based NGO e-Parliament, thinks companies should begin transmitting small amounts of solar power as soon as the North African plants begin operating, by linking a few cable lines under the Med . 'I call it the Lego method,’ he says. ‘Build it piece by piece.’ If It can be shown that power from the Sahara can be produced profitably, he says, companies and governments will soon jump in . If they do, perhaps airplane passengers flying across the Sahara will one day count the mirrors and patches of green instead of staring at sand.
adapted from Time Magazine
*terra incognita - Latin, meaning ‘an unknown land'
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 26-40 , which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.
Over the years Richard Wiseman has tried to unravel the truth about deception - investigating the signs that give away a liar.
A - Do only humans lie?
In the 1970s, as part of a large-scale research programme exploring the area of Interspecies communication, Dr Francine Patterson from Stanford University attempted to teach two lowland gorillas called Michael and Koko a simplified version of Sign Language. According to Patterson, the great apes were capable of holding meaningful conversations, and could even reflect upon profound topics, such as love and death. During the project, their trainers believe they uncovered instances where the two gorillas' linguistic skills seemed to provide reliable evidence of intentional deceit. In one example, Koko broke a toy cat , and then signed to indicate that the breakage had been caused by one of her trainers .
In another episode, Michael ripped a jacket belonging to a trainer and, when asked who was responsible for the incident, signed ‘Koko’ . When the trainer expressed some scepticism, Michael appeared to change his mind, and indicated that Dr Patterson was actually responsible, before finally confessing.
B - When do we begin to lie?
Other researchers have explored the development of deception in children. Some of the most interesting experiments have involved asking youngsters not to take a peek at their favourite toys. During these studies, a child is led into a laboratory and asked to face one of the walls. The experimenter then explains that he is going to set up an elaborate toy a few feet behind them. After setting up the toy, the experimenter says that he has to leave the laboratory, and asks the child not to turn around and peek at the toy. The child is secretly filmed by hidden cameras for a few minutes, and then the experimenter returns and asks them whether they peeked. Almost all three-year do , and then half of them lie about it to the experimenter. By the time the children have reached the age of five, all of them peek and all of them lie . The results provide compelling evidence that lying starts to emerge the moment we learn to speak.
C - A public test of our ability to spot a lie
So what are the tell-tale signs that give away a lie? In 1994, the psychologist Richard Wiseman devised a large-scale experiment on a TV programme called Tomorrow's World. As part of the experiment, viewers watched two interviews in which Wiseman asked a presenter in front of the cameras to describe his favourite film. In one interview, the presenter picked Some Like It Hot and he told the truth; in the other interview, he picked Gone with the Wind and lied. The viewers were then invited to make a choice - to telephone in to say which film he was lying about. More than 30,000 calls were received, but viewers were unable to tell the difference and the vote was a 50/50 split. In similar experiments, the results have been remarkably consistent - when it comes to lie detection, people might as well simply toss a coin. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, young or old; very few people are able to detect deception.
D - Exposing some false beliefs
Why is this? Professor Charles Bond from the Texas Christian University has conducted surveys into the sorts of behaviour people associate with lying. He has interviewed thousands of people from more than 60 countries, asking them to describe how they set about telling whether someone is lying. People’s answers are remarkably consistent. Almost everyone thinks liars tend to avert their gaze, nervously wave their hands around and shift about in their seats. There is, however, one small problem. Researchers have spent hour upon hour carefully comparing films of liars and truth-tellers. The results are clear. Liars do not necessarily look away from you ; they do not appear nervous and move their hands around or shift about in their seats. People fail to detect lies because they are basing their opinions on behaviours that are not actually associated with deception.
E - Some of the things liars really do
So what are we missing? It is obvious that the more information you give away, the greater the chances of some of it coming back to haunt you. As a result, liars tend to say less and provide fewer details than truth-tellers. Looking back at the transcripts of the interviews with the presenter, his lie about Gone with the Wind contained about 40 words, whereas the truth about Some Like It Hot was nearly twice as long. People who lie also try psychologically to keep a distance from their falsehoods, and so tend to include fewer references to themselves in their stories. In his entire interview about Gone with the Wind, the presenter only once mentioned how the film made him feel, compared with the several references to his feelings when he talked about Some Like It Hot.
F - Which form of communication best exposes a lie?
The simple fact is that the real clues to deceit are in the words that people use, not the body language. So do people become better lie detectors when they listen to a liar, or even just read a transcript of their comments? The interviews with the presenter were also broadcast on radio and published in a newspaper, and although the lie-detecting abilities of the television viewers were no better than chance, the newspaper readers were correct 64% of the time, and the radio listeners scored an impressive 73% accuracy rate.
adapted from The National Newspaper