Some houses designed to be smart. Others have smart designs. An example of the second type of house won an Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Architects.
Located on the shore of Sullivan's Island off the coast of South Carolina,the award-winning cube-shaped beach house was built to replace one smashed to pieces by Hurricane Hugo 10 years ago.In September 1989, Hugo struck South Carolina ,killing 18 people and damaging or destroying 36,000 homes in the state.
Before Hugo,many new houses built along South Carolina's shoreline were poorly constructed and enforcement of building codes wasn't strict, according to architect Ray Huff, who created the cleverly-designed beach house. In Hugo's wake,all new shoreline houses are required to meet sricter, better-enforced codes. The new beach house on Sullivan's Island should be able to withstand a Category 3 hurricane with peak winds of 179 to 209 kilometers per hour.
At first sight,the house on Sullivan's Island looks anything but hurricane-poor.Its redwood shell makes it resemble "a large party lanntern" at night, according to one observer.But looks can be deceiving.The house's wooden frame is reinforced with long steel rods give it extra strength.
To further protect the house from hurricane damage, Huff raised it 2.7meters off the ground on timber pilings-long, slender columns wood anchored deep in the sand. Pilings might appear insecure, but they are strong enough to support the weight of the house .They also elevate the house aboe storm surges. The pilings allow the surges to run under the house instead of running into it. "These swells of water come ashore at tremendous speeds and cause most of the damage done to beach-front buildings," said Huff.
Huff designed the timber pilings to be partially concealed by the house's ground-to-roof shell."The shell masks the pilings so that the house doesn't look like it's standing with its pant legs pulled up,"said Huff. In the event of a storm surge,the shell should break apart and let the waves rush under the house, the architect explained.
1. After the tragedy caused by Hurricane Hugo，new houses built along South Carolina's shoreline are required_______ .
A. to be easily reinforced.
B. to look smarter in design.
C. to meet stricter building standards.
D. to be designed in the shape of cubes.
2. The award-winning beach house is quite strong because_______.
A. it is strengthened by steel rods.
B. it is made of redwood.
C. it is in the shape of a shell.
D. it is built with timber and concrete.
3. Huff raised the house 2.7 meters off the ground on timber pilings in order to_______.
A. withstand peak winds of about 200km/hr.
B. anchor stronger pilings deep in the sand.
C. break huge sea waves into smaller ones.
D. prevent water from rushing into the house.
4. The main function of the shell is_______.
A. to strengthen the pilings of the house.
B. to give the house a better appearance.
C. to protect the the wooden frame of the house.
D. to slow down the speed of the swelling water.
5. It can be inferred from the passage that the shell should be_______.
A. fancy-looking. B. waterproof.
C. easily breakable. D. extremely strong.
When school officials in Kalkaska, Michigan , closed classes last week, the media flocked to the story, portraying the town's 2,305 students as victims of stingy（吝啬的）taxpayers .There is some truth to that: the property-tax rate here is one-third lower than the state average.But shutting their schools also allowed Kalkaska's educators and the state's largest teachers' union,the Michigan Education Association, to make a political point.Their aim was to spur passage of legislation Michigan lawmakers are debating to increase the state's share of school funding.
It was no coincidence that Kalkaska shut its schools two weeks after residents rejected a 28 percent property-tax increase.The school board argued that without the increase it lacked the $1.5 million needed to keep schools open.
But the school system had not done all it could to keep the schools open .Officials declined to borrow against next year's state aid ,they refused to trim extracurricular activities and they did not conisder seeking a smaller-perhaps more acceptable-tax increase.In fact,closing early is costing Kalkaska a significant amount, including $600,000 in unempolyment payments to teachers and staff and $250,000 in lost state aid .In February,the school system promised teachers and staff two months of retirement payments in case schools colsed early , a deal that will cost the district $275,000 more.
Other signs suggest school authorities were at least as eager to make a political statement as to keep schools open .The Michigan Education Association hired a public relations firm to stage a rally marking the school closings,which attracted 14 local and national television stations and networks.The president of the National Education Association,The MEA's parent organization, flew from Washington, D.C., for the event. And the union tutored school officials in the art of television interviews.School supervisor Doyle Disbrow acknowledges the district could have kept schools open by cutting programs but denies the moves were politically motivated.
Michigan lawmakers have reacted angrily to the closings .The state Senate has already voted to put the system into receivership（破产管理）and reopen .schools immediately;the Michigan House plans to consider the bill this week.
6. We learn from the passage that schools in Kalkaska,Michigan,are funded_______.
A) by both the local and state governments
B) exclusively by the local government
C) mainly by the state government
D) by the National Education Association
7. One of the purposes for which school officials colsed classes was_______.
A) to avoid paying retirement benefits to teachers and staff
B) to draw the attention of local taxpayers to political issues
C) to make the financial difficulties of their teachers and staff known to the public
D) to pressure Michigan lawmakers into increasing state funds for local schools
8. The author seems to disapprove of_______.
A) the Michigan lawmakers' endless debating
B) the shutting of schools in Kalkaska
C) the involvement of the mass media
D) delaying the passage of the school funding legislation
9. We learn from the passage that school authorities in Kalkaska are more concerned about_______.
A) a raise in the property-tax rate in Michigan
B) reopening the schools there immediately
C) the attitude of the MEA's parent organization
D) making a political issue of closing of the schools
10. According to the passage, the closing of the schools developed into a crisis because of_______.
A) the complexity of the problem
B) the political motives on the part of the educators
C) the weak response of the state officials
D) the strong protest on the part of the students' parents