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Passage 1

  It is said that in England death is pressing, in Canada inevitable and in California optional. Small wonder. Americans’ life expectancy has nearly doubled over the past century. Failing hips can be replaced, clinical depression controlled, cataracts removed in a 30-minute surgical procedure. Such advances offer the aging population a quality of life that was unimaginable when I entered medicine 50 years ago. But not even a great health-care system can cure death—and our failure to confront that reality now threatens this greatness of ours.
  Death is normal; we are genetically programmed to disintegrate and perish, even under ideal conditions. We all understand that at some level, yet as medical consumers we treat death as a problem to be solved. Shielded by third-party payers from the cost of our care, we demand everything that can possibly be done for us, even if it’s useless. The most obvious example is late-stage cancer care. Physicians—frustrated by their inability to cure the disease and fearing loss of hope in the patient—too often offer aggressive treatment far beyond what is scientifically justified.
  In 1950, the U.S. spent $12.7 billion on health care. In 2002, the cost will be 1,540 billion. Anyone can see this trend is unsustainable. Yet few seem willing to try to reverse it. Some scholars conclude that a government with finite resources should simply stop paying for medical care that sustains life beyond a certain age—say 83 or so. Former Colorado governor Richard Lamm has been quoted as saying that the old and infirm “have a duty to die and get out of the way” so that younger, healthier people can realize their potential.
  I would not go that far. Energetic people now routinely work through their 60s and beyond, and remain dazzlingly productive. At 78, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone jokingly claims to be 53. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is in her 70s, and former surgeon general C. Everett Koop chairs an Internet start-up in his 80s. These leaders are living proof that prevention works and that we can manage the health problems that come naturally with age. As a mere 68-year-old, I wish to age as productively as they have.
  Yet there are limits to what a society can spend in this pursuit. Ask a physician, I know the most costly and dramatic measures may be ineffective and painful. I also know that people in Japan and Sweden, countries that spend far less on medical care, have achieved longer, healthier lives than we have. As a nation, we may be overfunding the quest for unlikely cures while underfunding research on humbler therapies that could improve people’s lives.
1 . What is implied in the first sentence?
A Americans are better prepared for death than other people.
B Americans enjoy a higher life quality than ever before.
C Americans are over-confident of their medical technology.
D Americans take a vain pride in their long life expectancy.
2 . The author uses the example of cancer patients to show that______.
A medical resources are often wasted.
B doctors are helpless against fatal diseases.
C some treatments are too aggressive.
D medical costs are becoming unaffordable.
3 . The author’s attitude toward Richard Lamm’s remark is one of______.
A strong disapproval.
B reserved consent.
C slight contempt.
D enthusiastic support.
4 . In contrast to the U.S., Japan and Sweden are funding their medical care______.
A more flexibly.
B more extravagantly.
C more cautiously.
D more reasonably.
5 . The text intends to express the idea that______.
A medicine will further prolong people’s lives.
B life beyond a certain limit is not worth living.
C death should be accepted as a fact of life.
D excessive demands increase the cost of health care.

Passage 2

  Many things make people think artists are weird. But the weirdest may be this: artists' only job is to explore emotions, and yet they choose to focus on the ones that feel bad.
  This wasn't always so. The earliest forms of art, like painting and music, are those best suited for expressing joy. But somewhere from the 19th century onward, more artists began seeing happiness as meaningless, phony or, worst of all, boring, as we went from Wordsworth's daffodils to Baudelaire's flowers of evil.
  You could argue that art became more skeptical of happiness because modern times have seen so much misery. But it's not as if earlier times didn't know perpetual war, disaster and the massacre of innocents. The reason, in fact, may be just the opposite: there is too much damn happiness in the world today.
  After all, what is the one modern form of expression almost completely dedicated to depicting happiness? Advertising.?The rise of anti-happy art almost exactly tracks the emergence of mass media, and with it, a commercial culture in which happiness is not just an ideal but an ideology.
  People in earlier eras were surrounded by reminders of misery. They worked until exhausted, lived with few protections and died young. In the West, before mass communication and literacy, the most powerful mass medium was the church, which reminded worshippers that their souls were in danger and that they would someday be meat for worms. Given all this, they did not exactly need their art to be a bummer too.
  Today the messages the average Westerner is surrounded with are not religious but commercial, and forever happy. Fast-food eaters, news anchors, text messengers, all smiling, smiling, smiling. Our magazines feature beaming celebrities and happy families in perfect homes. And since these messages have an agenda—to lure us to open our wallets — they make the very idea of happiness seem unreliable.“Celebrate!” commanded the ads for the arthritis drug Celebrex, before we found out it could increase the risk of heart attacks.
  But what we forget — what our economy depends on us forgetting — is that happiness is more than pleasure without pain. The things that bring the greatest joy carry the greatest potential for loss and disappointment. Today, surrounded by promises of easy happiness, we need art to tell us, as religion once did, Memento mori: remember that you will die, that everything ends, and that happiness comes not in denying this but in living with it. It's a message even more bitter than a clove cigarette, yet, somehow, a breath of fresh air.
6 . By citing the examples of poets Wordsworth and Baudelaire, the author intends to show that ______.
A poetry is not as expressive of joy as painting or music
B art grows out of both positive and negative feelings
C poets today are less skeptical of happiness
D artists have changed their focus of interest
7 . The word “bummer” most probably means something ______.
A religious
B unpleasant
C entertaining
D commercial
8 . In the author's opinion, advertising ______.
A emerges in the wake of the anti-happy art
B is a cause of disappointment for the general public
C replaces the church as a major source of information
D creates an illusion of happiness rather than happiness itself
9 . We can learn from the last paragraph that the author believes ______.

Passage 3

Passage 1
Passage 2
Passage 3