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2017-03-11 17:50:00 来源:新东方在线发表评论


  The Only Way Is Up

  Think of a modem city and the first image that come to mind is the skyline.It is full of great buildings,pointing like fingers to heaven.It is true that some cities don’t permit buildings to go above a certain height.But these are cities concerned with the past.The first thing any city does when it wants to tell the world that it has arrived is to build skyscrapers.

  When people gather together in cities,they create a demand for land.Since cities are places where money is made,that demand can be met.And the best way to make money out of city land is to put as many people as possible in a space that covers the smallest amount of ground.That means building upwards.

  The technology existed to do this as early as the 19th century.But the height of buildings was limited by one important factor.They had to be small enough for people on the top floors to climb stairs.People could not be expected to climb a mountain at the end of their journey to work,or home.

  Elisha Otis,a US inventor,was the man who brought us the lift-or elevator,as he preferred to call it.However,most of the technology is very old.Lifts work using the same pulley system the Egyptians used to create the Pyramids.What Otis did was attach the system to a steam engine and develop the elevator brake,which stops the lift falling ifthe cords that hold it up are broken.It was this that did the most to gain public confidence in the new invention1.In fact,he spent a number of years exhibiting lifts at fairgrounds,giving people the chance to try them out before selling the idea to architects and builders.

  A lift would not be a very good theme park attraction now.Going in a lift is such an everyday thing that it would just be boring.Yet psychologists and others who study human behavior find lifts fascinating.The reason is simple.Scientists have always studied animals in zoos.The nearest they can get to that with humans is in observing them in lifts2.

  “It breaks all the usual conventions about the bubble of personal space3 we carry around with us-and you just can’t choose to move away,”says workplace psychologist,Gary Fitzgibbon.Being trapped in this setting can create different types of tensions,he says.Some people are scared of them.Others use them as an opportunity to get close to the boss.Some stand close to the door.Others hide in the comers.Most people try and shrink into the background.But some behave in a way that makes others notice them.There are a few people who just stand in a comer taking notes.

  Don’t worry about them.They fire probably from a university.


  1. “...these are cities concerned with the past”in the first paragraph refer to cities that

  A) are worried about their past.

  B) have a glorious past to be proud of.

  C) want to maintain their traditional image.

  D) are very interested in their own history.

  2. The difficulty in constructing tall buildings in the 19th century lies in

  A) the shortage of money.

  B) the lack ora device to carry people upward.

  C) backward technology.

  D) mountains taking up land space.

  3. When Otis came up with the idea of a lift,

  A) he sold it to the architects and builders immediately.

  B) the Egyptians used it to build the Pyramids.

  C) it was accepted favorably by the public.

  D) most people had doubt about its safety.

  4. Which of the tbllowing best describes the experience of going in a lift now?

  A) Fascinating.

  B) Uninteresting.

  C) Frightening.

  D) Exciting.

  5. Psychologists find the lift a good place where they can study human behaviour because

  A) here humans behave the way animals do.

  B) people in a lift are all scared.

  C) here some people take notes.

  D) in a lift the bubble of personal space breaks.


  1. C be concemed with是“关心、关注”的意思,顾可排除B和D两个选项,根据前面一句话,these cities是指那些不允许建筑物超出一定高度的城市,即不愿意改变固有形象的城市。

  2. B 本题答案的依据在第三段。文中说早在19世纪建造高楼的技术已经存在,限制楼高的因素只有一个,那就是人们下班回家后不想像爬山那样去爬楼梯,说明当时还没有找到把人往高处送的办法。

  3. D 答案在第四段,Otis发明的刹车使人们对这个新玩意儿增加了信心,他在游乐场里让大家试乘了几年才把这个想法出售给建筑师和营造商。

  4. B 现在电梯已经十分普通,没有人会觉得乘电梯是件好玩的事。

  5. D 电梯的空间狭小,相对拥挤,人们想要享有私人空间的要求在这里成了幻想,就如同关在动物园的笼子里的动物一般,这为心理学家提供了一个研究在这种情况下人的行为的难得的机会。


本文关键字: 职称英语 阅读理解



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