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Read the text and answer the questions below. You have 20 minutes.

Plastic Bags
Twelve years ago, oceanographer Captain Charlie Moore was skippering his yacht the Alguita in the North Pacific. He sailed into
rubbish which took him and his crew a week to cross. This floating rubbish dump is now called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch a
USA.
The United Nations says there are now 18,000 pieces of plastic in every square kilometre of sea everywhere in the world. A walk
you some idea of the seriousness of plastic pollution.

The trouble is, when we throw out plastic with the trash, the plastic doesn’t go away. Plastic does not biodegrade. It photo degrad
particles which then enter the food chain. Plastics contain cancer-causing chemicals such as vinyl chloride which travel along the
concentrations and end up in our fish and chips, along with hormone disruptors such as bisphenol A. Scientists try to tell us that w
well as other animals. At least 200 species are, as I speak, being killed by plastic. Whales, dolphins, turtles and albatross confuse
shopping bags and six pack rings, with jellyfish. A dead Minke whale, washed up on a Normandy beach, was found to have eaten
supermarkets and had died a dreadful death.

8% of all the world’s oil production is for plastic. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, companies m
bags a year. Of all the plastic produced annually, half is for packaging which gets thrown out with the trash a few minutes after pu
rubbish is plastic bags which take from 400 to 1000 years to degrade. Less than one per cent of plastic bags are recycled and only
waste, the reason being it is simply too expensive to do.

The same lobbies that work against electric vehicles and renewable energies, put governments under pressure not to act against pl
because plastic represents 8% of all the world’s oil production. These lobbies, acting on behalf of oil companies, represent an uns
profit. To paraphrase the Cree Indian prophecy, only when we have wiped everything out will we realise that money cannot be ea

Some countries have rebelled and banned plastic bags. And the first was brave Bangladesh. Then China took the same decision an
saves itself 37 million barrels of oil a year. Botswana, Canada, Israel, Kenya, Rwanda, Singapore and South Africa have also bann
how many of the world’s richest countries are not on this list. It’s an absolute disgrace.

Alright, then. If we can’t use plastic bags, how do we carry home the shopping? Take a back pack or a folding shopping trolley. C
that provides biodegradable bags, made from potato starch for example. Use consumer power.

Personally speaking, what I need to find now, is a supermarket that sells biodegradable bin liners, otherwise I still end up using pl
week in New Zealand on honeymoon and saw that everyone was using special paper bin liners. I wish we did something similar h

Think globally, act locally. A small Australian town is now one step ahead of the rest of the world. The inhabitants of Bundanoon
banned plastic bottles from the town. We need to follow their example and eliminate plastic from our lives, take care of the earth
think will do the same.
TIMER

19:34
S

1. The writer says that we can get an idea of how much plastic rubbish there is in the oceans

A. ? by looking at the sea.


B. ? by sailing across the Pacific.

C. ? by travelling across the USA.

D. ? by taking a walk along any beach.

2. The reader learns that toxic chemicals get into our food

A. ? from plastic bags from supermarkets.

B. ? because other animals are being killed by plastic.

C. ? because plastic does not biodegrade.

D. ? when plastic becomes small enough to enter our food chain.

3. In the last sentence of the third paragraph, what does 'it' refer to?

A. ? recycling

B. ? plastic bags

C. ? money

D. ? plastic waste

4. Which of the following best explains the Cree Indian prophecy?

A. ? People are greedy.

B. ? Oil companies are polluting the earth.

C. ? Money isn't food.

D. ? If we destroy our environment, we will destroy ourselves.

5. In the fifth paragraph the writer is angry because

A. ? not many countries have banned plastic bags.


B. ? countries aren't saving enough oil.

C. ? not many of the world's richest countries have banned plastic bags.

D. ? Most of the countries are African.

6. What does the reader learn about New Zealand?

A. ? The supermarkets don't have plastic bags.

B. ? People use biodegradable bags for the rubbish.

C. ? It is a nuclear free country.

D. ? The writer was on holiday there.

7. In the final paragraph the writer advises us to

A. ? stop buying plastic bottles.

B. ? visit Australia.

C. ? take individual action.

D. ? stop voting.

Why the Crisis Happened


After the Wall Street Crash in 1929, the US Congress passed a new law called the Glass-Steagall Act so that history could not rep
Congress repealed this law and consequently, history did repeat itself. There are two principal causes to the current global crisis. T
and the second is the deregulation of the financial markets, which is, in fact, a direct result of the first cause, overproduction.

Since the Second World War, humans, in particular production engineers and economists, have become brilliant at manufacturing
quality goods by top brands that people want to buy. Engineers and economists have used both robotics and the outsourcing of pro
world where the cost of labour is low. Fantastic products are made very cheaply, sent all over the world in containers and sold at b
happened in a highly competitive environment.

This intense activity caused two important things to happen. The governments of manufacturing countries like China became very
famous sovereign wealth funds with the objective of investing all this lovely capital. Investing in industry was unattractive as prof
Investors wanted bigger profits. Strict banking regulations also made life very difficult for investors. Secondly, all this liquidity ca
in the price of real estate, just like in the 1920s.
When the US Congress repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, investment banks and retail banks were able to work together again for th
Next, not to be left behind, the European financial sector lobbied the European Union, mostly in secret, to liberate the European m
put an end to transparency in the banking world. Hedge funds, whose investments are carried out under the cover of darkness, mu
replaced by complexity and uncertain risk. Credit default swaps gave investors large payouts for loans gone bad and futures, whic
investments, offered juicy returns. The world now had a stagnant real economy and a very busy financial sector. In the USA, the f
for 40% of the nation’s total profits but less than 5% of the GNP.

Hungry investors then began speculating on the price of food commodities, especially rice and wheat and this was when we saw t
The price of wheat flour increased more than 25% due to speculation and the Spaghetti Riots broke out in Italy. Petrol prices incre
still. Farmers complained that they could not afford to refuel their tractors and truck drivers went on strike in Spain.

On January 24 2008, the French investment bank Société Générale announced that it had lost an astounding 7.2 billion dollars of i
futures which went the wrong way. Next, in the space of just 6 weeks, the price of a barrel of crude oil fell from $150 a barrel in J
October. Then we found out about sub-prime loans. Investment banks and retail banks, working together, had lent vast quantities
high risk borrowers. This means borrowers who are likely to default on their home loans or mortgages because of low incomes an
what? They defaulted, handed back the keys to the house and the banks are now left with properties that nobody wants and whose
What a disaster! After that, it was the turn of the hedge funds. Many banks, such as Grupo Santander, passed on investors’ money
passed the money on to... Bernard Madoff.

Governments have now spent billions of taxpayers’ money because of the mistakes made by greedy and irresponsible bankers and
that the US deficit will rise to $1.6 trillion in 2009. The Bank of England puts the cost of the global crisis at $2.8 trillion but nobo
nobody really knows what all this means for the future.

TIMER

19:44

Show questions one by one

1. In the first paragraph we learn that the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed

A. ? in order to regulate banks.

B. ? because it was no longer necessary.

C. ? to free up financial markets.

D. ? to stop overproduction.

2. Which of the following best explains why quality goods have become cheap
A. ? production methods have improved a lot since WWII.

B. ? cheap overseas transport is now widely available.

C. ? The quality of manufactured goods has improved dramatically.

D. ? Quality goods are now manufactured using advanced technology

3. In the third paragraph the writer explains that sovereign wealth funds were i

A. ? helping their governments.

B. ? reinvesting in industry.

C. ? safe investments.

D. ? large profits.

4. The risks involved in an investment now became

A. ? lower.

B. ? difficult to ascertain.

C. ? higher.

D. ? transparent.

5. Spanish truck drivers went on strike as a result of

A. ? increased food prices.

B. ? sympathy for the farmers.

C. ? riots in Italy.
D. ? fuel prices going up.

6. From what the text tells us about sub-prime loans, bankers can be described

A. ? having great insight into financial markets.

B. ? skillful investors.

C. ? being caring about their clients' money.

D. ? not very intelligent.

7. From the article we understand that ordinary citizens

A. ? have an uncertain future.

B. ? are angry with their governments.

C. ? have to pay the bill for the banks' irresponsible behaviour.

D. ? now have huge debts.

TQM or When the Boss Steals Your Ideas


By the end of World War Two, the industry of Japan had been completely destroyed. Less than twenty
years later, Japan had become the second biggest economy in the world. How did they do it? ......... 1
......... The Japanese took the same manufacturing philosophy which had been used to destroy them so
completely during the war.

In the Second World War, the Americans needed to manufacture arms on a massive scale quickly and
safely. And they had to achieve zero defects because one faulty bomb could kill hundreds of Americans
by mistake. The US government turned to a mathematician called William Edwards Deming, to develop
the manufacturing model necessary. However, as soon as the war was over, US industries replaced
quality as their top priority with maximizing profit. ......... 2 ......... But not for long. The phone rang. It was
Japan and Deming became the man behind of the Japanese Miracle. In Japan, Demings ideas turned
into Total Quality Management and this is why the five principles behind the business model are
Japanese words.

According to Total Quality Management or TQM, a company has three enemies, called muda, mura and
muri. Muda means waste, such as overproduction and unnecessary processing. Mura refers to uneven
levels of production and muri is about overworking your people and your machines. Total Quality
Management has 6 principles or tenets. First is quality itself or Jidoka. ......... 3 ......... I think my Spanish
internet service provider has never heard of Jidoka.

The second principle is Hansei, which means ‘relentless reflection’. Sadly, most employees have no time
to stop and think, all the way from board members to trainees. This, according to TQM, is bad business.

The most famous principle is that of ‘continuous improvement’. Its name is kaizen and obviously is the
direct result of hansei or relentless reflection. Kaizen focuses on eliminating waste. Waste is one of the
previously mentioned enemies of companies, and is called, in case you don’t remember, muda. Let’s
consider a real example of kaizen at work. ......... 4 .......... In other words, they discontinued products with
low sales which had been wasting company resources.

When it comes to problem-solving, genchi genbutsu is the answer. Genchi genbutsu means ‘go and
see’. ......... 5 ......... Get off your nice office chair, go and see what’s happening with your own eyes and
get involved directly with the problem. Now, when you’ve reached a decision about how to solve a
problem or how to make an improvement, nemawashi. Implement your decision rapidly.

And now for the most forgotten principle or tenet. Heijunka – level out the workload. If not, mura and muri
will damage your business. ......... 6 ......... Don’t overload your production line on Friday and turn off your
machines on Monday afternoons. Level out workloads, level out production, level out logistics.

Perhaps the greatest danger to companies is the boss who steals ideas from members of staff. ......... 7
......... You suggest an idea to your boss and your boss tells you it is unviable but appreciates your input.
Three months later your boss uses your idea but doesn’t mention you. This is the class of person that
destroys employee creativity and stops company kaizen, the principle that rebuilt Japan.

The Low Emissions Diet

We were sold the idea that modern farming techniques, such as agrochemicals, genetic engineering and
factory farming, would end hunger in the world. ......... 1 ......... That’s more than 14% of the planet’s
population and the figure is rising. At the same time, we now produce every year enough food to feed 12
billion, which is double the world’s current population. We have been told a terrible lie and the truth is that
modern farming is all about the unsustainable use of limited resources for just one reason. That reason is
profit. What's more, the consequences of modern farming techniques on human health and on the
environment are serious.

......... 2 ......... The world produces 70 million tonnes of beef a year and people in Britain now eat 50%
more meat than they did in the 1960s, which is just about double the daily intake recommended by The
World Health Organisation. Middle-aged men who eat meat have a 300% greater risk of heart disease
than those who don’t. Furthermore, the World Cancer Research Fund recently announced that red meat
causes intestinal cancers. ......... 3 .........

According to The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, the production of red meat releases
18% of all the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, more than for any other type of food. We are talking
about 14% of global methane emissions and a carbon footprint of 16 tonnes of CO 2 per tonne of beef and
lamb. Factory farming concentrates enormous numbers of animals in a small space. This has resulted in
the outbreak of serious global diseases or pandemics such as Mad Cow Disease. This year saw the
outbreak of swine flu at a Smithfield Meats factory farm in Perote, Mexico. ......... 4 .........

Another consequence of concentrating animals in a small area is the need to grow feed crops. ......... 5
......... Pesticides and fertilizers enter into the food chain along with sedatives, growth hormones and
antibiotics which are used on the animals. As a result, animal waste sends phosphates, nitrates,
ammonia and copper into surrounding water systems, killing fish populations and threatening public
health. ......... 6 ......... The U.S. Department of Agriculture says nearly half of America’s water supply and
80% of its agricultural land is used to grow animal feed. This feed then typically travels large distances to
reach the animals, massively increasing carbon footprints for food.

So, what can we do to reduce the environmental impact of what we eat? Use consumer power to lower
your carbon footprint and improve your health at the same time. Cut down on red meat and cut out
processed meat. ......... 7 ......... Apply the same principal to dairy products. If you don’t live in the tropics,
don’t buy tropical fruit. Buy in season from your region. President Obama and his family follow the ideas
of Michael Pollan. ......... 8 ......... This means checking ingredients. Real bread contains flour, salt, yeast
and water and nothing else. Food additives are all about increasing profit. Also, try to eat at the lower end
of the food chain. Following these guidelines will reduce your personal carbon footprint by 20%, which
isn't bad at all.

Read the texts and answer the questions below. You have 20 minutes.
Penelope Cruz Rafa Nadal
Penelope Cruz is a beautiful Spanish actress and Oscar winner. She is in more Rafa Nadal was born on a Spanish island called Ma
than 40 films and Vicky Christina Barcelona is one of her best films. It is about his family lived. He started playing tennis when he
two young Amercian women in Barcelona and the director is Woody Allen from
New York. It is a brilliant film and is now available on DVD. Penelope Cruz is Although he is right-handed, he changed to playing
also a trained ballet dancer and is fluent in Spanish, French, Italian and English. eight years old. He also really liked football but sto
She is 1.63 m tall. She is a vegetarian and her hobby is dominoes. needed more time for school. His uncle Tony helpe
professional.
Penelope’s family is from Alcobendas near Madrid. Her mother’s name is
Encarna and she is a hairdresser. Her father’s name is Eduardo and he is a car When Rafa was 14, the Spanish tennis federation w
mechanic. Her brother is also called Eduardo and he is a singer. Her sister of Majorca and move to Barcelona. However, his f
Monica is an actress like Penelope and she is famous on TV in Spain. Spanish federation decided to reduce the financial h
More great films with Penelope Cruz are Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and All the decision by the Spanish federation of tennis was ve
Pretty Horses and in Spanish Belle Epoque and All About My Mother. Her next
film is called Nine. Rafa tried to win Wimbledon twice before taking th
Bruce Lee Federer in 2008. They played the longest Wimbled
Bruce Lee was the man who brought kung fu to the West with his famous film former-champion John McEnroe called it the best t
Enter the Dragon.
In the same year, Rafa became the best player in th
Although Bruce Lee was born in Chinatown in San Francisco in 1940, his J.K. Rowling
parents soon moved back to Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the Japanese Imperial J.K. Rowling is the author of the books about Harr
Army invaded Hong Kong shortly afterwards but the family survived. Radcliffe in the films.

His father Lee Hoi Chuon was a famous Cantonese opera singer and actor and At university JK studied French and the classics. H
his mother Grace was a wealthy aristocrat from Hong Kong. In 1957 Lee fought Portuguese but unfortunately the marriage was not
and won the Hong Kong high school boxing championship and then became the sad and cried a lot. She was unemployed and poor.
Hong Kong cha cha cha champion for 1958.
J.K. prepared the first Harry Potter book in the Nic
At the age of 18, he returned to the United States where his sister and brother Then JK tried to find a publisher. She offered her f
lived. He studied drama and philosophy at the University of Washington in in England but they didn’t like it. Fortunately, a litt
Seattle. Then he opened his first martial arts school where he taught his friends reading the first chapter. She is the daughter of a pu
Jun Fan Gung Fu. publish the book.

Bruce Lee then had the original idea behind the very famous TV series Kung Fu Six more books followed and the films of course. N
but Warner Bros. decided not to have a Chinese person as the star of the series. about money. In fact, her life is more magic than H
As a result, Bruce and wife and children caught a plane to Hong Kong.
Back in Hong Kong, Bruce immediately made three very successful films with
director Raymond Chow called The Big Boss, Fist of Fury and The Way of the
Dragon. There is a very famous fight scene in The Way of the Dragon with
Chuck Norris filmed in the Colosseum in Rome where the gladiators fought. His
last film was Enter the Dragon and was also a huge hit. The movie has made
more than 200 million US dollars.

Bruce Lee was a philosopher as well as a fighter and wrote a lot of books. He
believed that all knowlegde eventually became self-knowledge.

TIMER

19:36

1. Which famous person survived a war?

A. ? Penelope Cruz

B. ? Bruce Lee

C. ? Rafa Nadal

D. ? J.K. Rowling

2. Which famous person was considered not good enough by most professionals?

A. ? Penelope Cruz

B. ? Bruce Lee

C. ? Rafa Nadal

D. ? J.K. Rowling

3. Which famous person does not eat meat?

A. ? Penelope Cruz

B. ? Bruce Lee

C. ? Rafa Nadal
D. ? J.K. Rowling

4. Which famous person went through a bad patch in their life?

A. ? Penelope Cruz

B. ? Bruce Lee

C. ? Rafa Nadal

D. ? J.K. Rowling

5. Which person had to give something up to have more time for their education?

A. ? Penelope Cruz

B. ? Bruce Lee

C. ? Rafa Nadal

D. ? J.K. Rowling

6. Which famous person is also a trained dancer?

A. ? Penelope Cruz

B. ? Bruce Lee

C. ? Rafa Nadal

D. ? J.K. Rowling

7. Which famous person became the international number one in their field?

A. ? Penelope Cruz

B. ? Bruce Lee

C. ? Rafa Nadal
D. ? J.K. Rowling

8. Which famous person had their great idea stolen by a company?

A. ? Penelope Cruz

B. ? Bruce Lee

C. ? Rafa Nadal

D. ? J.K. Rowling

9. Which famous person has a well-known sister in her own country?

A. ? Penelope Cruz

B. ? Bruce Lee

C. ? Rafa Nadal

D. ? J.K. Rowling

10. Which famous person won a dancing prize?

A. ? Penelope Cruz

B. ? Bruce Lee

C. ? Rafa Nadal

D. ? J.K. Rowling

11. Which famous person suffered a bad decision by an official association?

A. ? Penelope Cruz

B. ? Bruce Lee

C. ? Rafa Nadal
D. ? J.K. Rowling

12. Which famous person started their career before they were five years old?

A. ? Penelope Cruz

B. ? Bruce Lee

C. ? Rafa Nadal

D. ? J.K. Rowling

13. Which famous person speaks a lot of languages?

A. ? Penelope Cruz

B. ? Bruce Lee

C. ? Rafa Nadal

D. ? J.K. Rowling

14. Which famous person was also a teacher?

A. ? Penelope Cruz

B. ? Bruce Lee

C. ? Rafa Nadal

D. ? J.K. Rowling

15. Which famous person was discovered by a child?

A. ? Penelope Cruz

B. ? Bruce Lee

C. ? Rafa Nadal
D. ? J.K. Rowling

The Netherlands
Welcome to the Netherlands, a tiny country that only extends, at its broadest, 312 km
north to south, and 264 km east to west - (1) ... the land area increases slightly each year
as a (2) ... of continuous land reclamation and drainage. With a lot of heart and much to
offer, 'Holland,' as it is (3) ... known to most of us abroad - a name stemming (4) ... its
once most prominent provinces - has more going on per kilometre than most countries,
and more English-speaking natives. You'll be impressed by its (5) ... cities and charmed
by its countryside and villages, full of contrasts. From the exciting variety (6) ... offer, you
could choose a romantic canal boat tour in Amsterdam, a Royal Tour by coach in The
Hague, or a hydrofoil tour around the biggest harbour in the world - Rotterdam. In season
you could visit the dazzling bulb fields, enjoy a full day on a boat, or take a bike tour
through the pancake-flat countryside spiced with windmills. The possibilities are countless
and the nationwide tourist office, which is on hand to give you information and (7) ...
reservations. You'll have (8) ... language problems here, as the Dutch are true linguists
and English is spoken here almost universally.

1. A) so B) despite C) in spite of D) although

2. A) whole B) consequently C) rule D) result

3. A) regularly B) occasionally C) commonly D) unusually

4. A) in B) from C) on D) of

5. A) historic B) historical C) historically D) historian

6. A) at B) in C) on D) for

7. A) sit B) catch C) do D) make

8. A) few B) a few C) little D) a little

The Story of Gold


The story of gold is an adventure involving kings, queens, pirates, explorers, conquerors,
and the native peoples they conquered. Throughout history, gold has woven a magic spell
over those it touched. Gold is beautiful and rare; a soft shiny metal that can be moulded
into many (1) ... . It has been used for money, jewellery, and to decorate special buildings
such (2) ... palaces and places of worship. (3) ... the precious metal was discovered,
prospectors rushed to mine it, starting new cities and countries as they went. Gold and
the people who love it have helped shape the world we live (4) ... today. Gold is one of
many elements, or substances that cannot be changed by normal chemical means, that
are found in the Earth's crust. Gold has a warm, sunny colour and (5) ... it does not
react (6) ... air, water, and most chemicals, its shine never fades. In its natural (7) ... , gold
is soft and easily shaped. When heated to 1,062 Celsius it melts and can be poured into
moulds to form coins, gold bars, and other objects. Stories have been told, movies (8) ...
and legends born about the discovery of the world's great gold deposits. It is a saga of
dreams, greed, ambition and exploration.
1. A) formats B) outlines C) shapes D) lines

2. A) as B) like C) many D) to

3. A) Whoever B) However C) Forever D) Wherever

4. A) at B) in C) for D) on

5. A) yet B) despite C) because D) so

6. A) with B) in C) of D) at

7. A) estate B) stage C) state D) position

8. A) done B) made C) composed D) built

Cats
Cats of all kinds are present in the legends, religion, mythology, and history of (1) ...
different cultures. Cave paintings created by early humans display different types of wild
cats (2) ... are now extinct, or no longer around. Many of these great beasts saw humans
as food, but were hunted by humans in return. Cats similar (3) ... the ones kept as pets
today started showing up in artwork thousands of years ago. For example, the ancient
Egyptians believed cats were the sacred, or special, animal of a goddess named Bast.
They believed that Bast often appeared as a cat, so many ancient Egyptians respected
and honoured cats and kittens. (4) ..., other cultures feared cats or thought that they
brought illnesses and bad luck. Today, with millions kept as pets in homes around the
world, cats have become important members of many families. No one knows for sure
when or (5) ... cats became very popular household pets. It's possible that people noticed
how cats hunted mice and rats, (6) ... they set food and milk out to keep the cats near
their homes. This helped to prevent (7) ... many of these rodents (8) ... coming into homes
and eating people's food or spreading sickness.

Gutenberg
Before Gutenberg (1394 – 1468), all books had to be copied by hand. The so-called
‘manuscripts’ of medieval times were laboriously hand-written, usually by monks (1) ...
devoted years (2) ... the work. Earlier attempts had been made to produce printing
‘blocks’. The designs on playing cards (3) ... example were carved from wooden blocks
which were inked and then printed onto cards. There are even examples of whole pages
in books being hand carved and printed. Gutenberg however came up with the idea of
printing using, not whole page blocks, but letter blocks. (4) ... he was a goldsmith (5) ...
trade, he knew how to mould metal into whatever shape was needed. He made thousands
of tiny blocks of ‘type’, (6) ... with a letter raised on it, which could be lined up and clamped
into position in a ‘forme’ (page block). The type could be linked, paper laid on top, and
the whole thing compressed by turning a handle. When released, the paper had the page
printed on it. Years of work went into this invention. Gutenberg (7) ... to make the letters,
develop an ink which would cling to metal (most didn’t), build the forme, and above (8) ...
find the money to do all this while not working as a goldsmith.