Conversation 1

W: Professor Henderson, could you give us a brief overview of what you do, where you work and your main area of research?

M: Well, the center for climate research where I work links science and climate change to issues around economics and policy. Some of our research is to do with the likely impacts of climate change and all of the associated risks.

W: And how strong is the evidence that climate change is happening that it’s really something we need to be worried about?

M: Well, most of the science of climate change, particularly that to do with global warming, is simply fact. But other aspects of the science are less certain or at least more disputed. And so we're rarely talking about risk. What the economics tells us is that it's probably cheaper to avoid climate change - to avoid the risk - than it is to deal with the likely consequences.

W: So what are we doing? What can we do about it?

M: Well, I would argue that we need to develop the science specifically to understand the likely impacts of climate change in different contexts. As I said, we need to understand the best ways of avoiding climate change. And this will involve a huge transition to low carbon energy systems. And the transition is a tremendous priority. And for this to happen, we may need action on a global scale. From a political perspective, we need to understand the terms on which major countries like China and the USA might sign up to a global agreement, because at the moment we don't have that consensus.

W: Right.

M: And we also need to plan ahead so that we are in a position to deal with the likely levels of climate change, which are already inevitable. And even more so, too, for the levels that are likely if we don’t get those global agreements.

Q1. What does Professor Henderson say about his main area of research?
Q2. What does Professor Henderson say about climate change?
Q3. What does Professor Henderson say is a top priority in combating climate change?
Q4. What does Professor Henderson advise us to do to better deal with climate change?

Conversation 2

W: I have many business English students. When I teach the classroom, we often end up talking about things like success and what leads to success. And it’s interesting that many of them mentioned the element of luck.

M: Right.

W: Luck is important to success, but since you have seen that fantastic video on the Ted Talk's website by Richard St. John…he doesn't mention luck at all.

M: Well, I'm a firm believer that people can make their own luck. I mean what people regard as luck you can actually create to a degree.

W: Sure. I think a lot of why people consider luck is attributed to how you respond to the opportunities that come your way.

M: Yes. Very good point.

W: Seizing the opportunities. But was there any point in the video that you thought was particularly interesting?

M: Yes, actually there was. Something very impressive to me is many people think that luck is important and that natural talent is something you must have in order to be successful. And in the video we saw, the point about getting good at something is not about having some natural talent, it's all about practice, practice, practice.

W: Definitely yeah, natural talent helps us in some way, but at the end of the day you really do need to work hard and get really really good at what you do.

M: Sure.

W: I thought one interesting thing in the video was the idea of passion being so important, and there're people who really love what they do. Of course, you’re going to want to work harder and put the time and effort into it. And the funny thing is that if you love what you do and are really passionate about it and work really hard, then money kind of comes automatically.

Q5. What are the speakers mainly talking about?
Q6. What is the woman's view of luck?
Q7. What is the chief point the Ted Talk's video makes?
Q8. What does the woman think is the funny thing in the Ted Talk's video?

Passage One

Devil’s Tower, the first national monument in America, could almost be mistaken for the stump of an enormous tree. Its sheer rock size sweep up from a broad base until they cut off abruptly at the flat summit. Rising more than one thousand feet in the middle of the gently rolling plains at Wyoming. The massive column of rock looks as though it was dropped down into this location from a different time and place. In a sense it was, Devil’s Tower is a relic of the past. When the melted rock of the earth’s core forced its way to the surface to form the throat of a volcano. As the centuries passed, the rock cooled and hardened, shrinking and cracking into long columns. Born in fire and fury, Devil’s Tower was then shaped by the slow, gentle work of wind and water.

The outer layers of the volcano were worn away until the hard core stood completely exposed. Small wonder that an Indian legend described Devil’s Tower as being formed by supernatural powers. The legend says that when seven girls were attacked by bears, they took refuge on top of a small rock, and appealed to the rock god for help. The god caused the rock to grow and to lift the girls far above the ground, while its sides were scored by the claws of the angry bears. Even today, says the legend, the girls can be seen above the tower in rock as seven shining stars in the night’s sky.

Q9: What does Devil’s Tower look like?
Q10: What caused the volcano’s outer layer to wear away?
Q11: What does Indian legend say about Devil’s Tower?
Q12: How did the rock god help the seven girls in the Indian legend?

Passage Two

It’s no accident that most gas stations have convenient stores attached. Few of us can fill up the tank without buying a few snacks, cigarettes, soft drinks or other items we can live without. “I deserve it!” that's what hard-working men and women say to justify their lavish vacations, big stereo systems or regular restaurant meals. They do deserve such indulgences. However, they also deserve a home of their own, a secure retirement and freedom from worrying about unpaid bills.

No one should have to live with what a Taxes mother described as constant stress tension even fear about the money. Sadly, the pleasure that comes from extravagances often disappears long before the bills do. The video camera that one single mother bought for a special occasion, for example, is not much fun now. She’s figured out that it will take her another three years to pay it off a thirty dollars a month.

And the New Yorkers who spent a bundle on an outdoor hot tub, now admit that they rarely use it because we can’t afford to heat it in winter. The solution, said priorities, add up the annual cost of each item, then consider what else she could buy with the same money. That will help you to decide which item is really worth it. One Chicago woman, for example, discovered the daily lunches with co-workers cost her two thousand dollars a year. She decided to take lunch to work instead. “I now put twenty dollars a week into my vacation fund, and another twenty into retirement savings,” she says, “those mean more to me than lunch."

Q13: What does the speaker say about drivers who stop at gas stations?
Q14: What does the speaker say about extravagances?
Q15: What does the speaker want to show by the example of the Chicago woman?

Recording Two

In the past few months, I've been travelling for weeks at a time with only one suitcase of clothes. One day, I was invited to an important event, and I wanted to wear something special for it. I looked through my suitcase but couldn't find anything to wear. I was lucky to be at the technology conference then, and I had access to 3D printers. So I quickly designed a skirt on my computer, and I loaded the file on the printer. It just printed the pieces overnight. The next morning, I just took all the pieces, assembled them together in my hotel room, and this is actually the skirt that I'm wearing right now.

So it wasn't the first time that I printed clothes. For my senior collection at fashion design school, I decided to try and 3D print an entire fashion collection from my home. The problem was that I barely knew anything about 3D printing, and I had only nine months to figure out how to print five fashionable looks.

I always felt most creative when I worked from home. I love experimenting with new materials, and I always tried to develop new techniques to make the most unique textiles for my fashion projects.

One summer break, I came here to New York for an internship at a fashion house in Chinatown. We worked on two incredible dresses that were 3D printed. They were amazing -- like you can see here. But I had a few problems with them. They were made from hard plastics and that's why they were very breakable. The models couldn't sit in them, and they even got scratched from the plastics under their arms.

So now, the main challenge was to find the right material for printing clothes with, I mean the material you feed the printer with. The breakthrough came when I was introduced to Filaflex, which is a new kind of printing material. It's strong, yet very flexible. And with it, I was able to print the first garment, a red jacket that had the word "freedom" embedded into it. And actually, you can easily download this jacket, and change the word to something else. For example, your name or your sweetheart's name.

So I think in the future, materials will evolve, and they will look and feel like fabrics we know today, like cotton or silk.

Q19. What does the speaker say about the skirt she is wearing now?
Q20. When did the speaker start experimenting with 3D printing?
Q21. What was the problem with the material the speaker worked on at a New York fashion house?
Q22. What does the speaker say about Filaflex?

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