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Auto-Tune: Why Pop Music Sounds Perfect

If you haven’t been listening to pop radio in the past few months, you’ve missed the rise of two seemingly opposing trends. In a medium in which mediocre (平庸的) singing has never been a bar to entry, a lot of pop vocals suddenly sound great. Better than great: note- and pitch-perfect, as if there’s been an unspoken tightening of standards at record labels or an evolutionary leap in the development of vocal cords. At the other extreme are a few hip-hop singers who also hit their notes but with a precision so exaggerated that on first listen, their songs sound comically artificial, like a chorus of ’50s robots singing Motown.
The force behind both trends is an ingenious plug-in called Auto-Tune, a downloadable studio trick that can take a vocal and instantly nudge it onto the proper note or move it to the correct pitch. It’s like Photoshop for the human voice. Auto-Tune doesn’t make it possible for jus
A. change a poorly-sung song into a perfect one
B. make everyone sing like a professional singer
C. inject some vitality into the pop industry
D. bring the flaw of pop songs into public




Low levels of literacy and numeracy have a damaging impact on almost every aspect of adults, according to a survey published yesterday, which offers (1) of a developing underclass. Tests and (2) with hundreds of people born in a week in 1958 graphically illustrated file (3) of educational underachievement. The effects can be seen in unemployment, family (4) , low incomes, depression and social inactivity.
Those who left school at 16 with poor basic skills had been employed for UP to four years less than good readers (5) they reached 37. Professor John Bynner, of City University, who carried the research, said that today’s (6) teenagers would even encounter greater problems because the supply of (7) jobs had shrunk.
Almost one fifth of the 1,700 people interviewed for yesterday’s report had poor literacy and almost half (8) with innumeracy, a proportion (9) other surveys for the Basic Skills
A. improvement
B. advancement
C. development
D. increase

[单项选择] When former President Ronald Reagan fell and broke his hip at the age of 89, he joined a group of more than 350, 000 elderly Americans who fracture their hips each year. Suffering from advanced Alzheimer’’s disease, Reagan was in one of the highest-risk groups for this type of accident. The incidence of hip fractures not only increases after age 50, but doubles every five to six years as the risk of falling increases. Slipping and tumbling are not the only causes of hip fractures; weakened bones sometimes break spontaneously. But falling is the major cause, representing 90% of all hip fractures. These injuries are not to be taken lightly. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, only 25% of those who suffer hip fractures ever fully recover; as many as 20% will die within 12 months. Even when patients do recover, nearly half will need a cane or a walker to get around. When it comes to hip fractures, the most dangerous place for elderly Americans, it turns
A. The third paragraph.
B. The first paragraph.
C. The last paragraph.
D. The last but one paragraph.
[填空题]结合 【20】 和自顶向下结构化方法的思想构成了现在大部分信息系统开发方法的理论基础,如结构化生命周期方法。
[单项选择]在本节中,你将听到15个对话,每个对话有一个问题。请从[A]、[B]、[C]三个选项中选出答案,并标在试卷的相应位置。每段对话后有15秒钟的停顿,以便回答问题和阅读下一问题及其选项。每段对话读两遍。Where are they talking
[填空题]JollyGood Skincare
Head Office: (9)
Core market: (10)
New range: Feel Good (11)
Target market: Modern (12) women
Selling point: (13)
Launch date: (14) September
Advertising slogan: (15)

Randy Kraus was paralyzed. His left side was useless. But his right hand was (1) enough to lift a bucket to his forehead. Once, he’d been a police officer and owned a private-eye agency. Once, he’d been strong and able. Now, he felt he was nothing.
His (2) started with Parkinson’s disease, but it didn’t (3) there. In July 2002, the 60 year old Kraus went into the hospital for an operation to control the shaking. (4) , during the operation, he had a stroke. He was paralyzed. The (5) man, who loved golf, could think, but couldn’t (6) . Kraus wanted the doctors to (7) it to him straight. "You may never walk again, " they told him. "Maybe you won’t (8) be able to talk. "
Once at home, he (9) he couldn’t lift a fork or take a drink by himself. Physical treatment was so painful and slow. What did he have to (10) for So now
A. turned
B. pointed
C. led
D. stuck

[单项选择]The housing market has been for two years propping up consumers’ spirits while the rest of the economy lies exhausted on the floor, still trying to struggle to its feet. According to the National Association of Realtors, the national median existing-home price ended the year at $164,000, up 7.1 percent from 2001. That’s the strongest annual increase since 1980.
Although residential real estate activity makes up less than 8% of total U. S. GDP, a housing market like this one can make the difference between positive and negative growth. Most significantly, consumer spending is 66% of GDP, and the purchase of a new home tends to have an "umbrella effect" on the homeowner’s spending as he has to stock it with a washer/ dryer, a new big-screen TV, and maybe a swing set for the yard.
The main factor in housing’s continued strength is a classic economic example of zero-sum boom: the persistent weakness everywhere else. As the 2003 recovery continues to be more forecast
A. "Nature passes nurture.”
B. "Man proposes, God disposes."
C. "Faith moves mountains."
D. "Facts speak louder than words."
[单项选择]If you see a diamond ring on the fourth finger of a woman’s left hand, you probably know what it means: in America, this has long been the digit of choice for betrothal jewelry, and the lore of the trade traces the symbolism back to ancient times. But if you see a diamond ring on the fourth finger of a woman’s right hand, you may or may not know that it signifies an independent spirit, or even economic empowerment and changing gender mores. "A lot of women have disposable income," Katie Couric said recently on the "Today" show after showing viewers her Change right-hander. "Why wait for a man to give her a diamond ring"
This notion may be traced back, approximately, to September. That’s when the Diamond Information Center began a huge marketing campaign aimed at articulating the meaning of right-hand rings-and thus a rationale for buying them. "Your left hand says ’we’ ," the campaign declares. "Your right hand says ’me’ ." The positioning is brilliant: the wearer may be married o
A. Kwiat has a large supply of jewelry
B. Kwiat Spirit Rings are too expensive
C. Kwiat can hardly meet with the demands from the consumers
D. consumers keep a wait-and-see attitude towards the jewelry
[多项选择]大同的甲与北京的乙签订买卖合同,甲供应给乙300吨煤炭,于2000年12月1日全部交清,以应对12月1日至12月15日的供暖高峰时段用煤,交货地点在乙方所在地,2001年5月1日乙付清全部款项3万元。双方同时约定了定金条款,乙向甲交付定金5000元,乙当即交付。11月12日甲委托丙运输公司运送 300吨煤炭到乙方所在地,但是丙运输公司由于驾驶员的过错遭遇事故,到12月1日只有 150吨煤炭运到乙方所在地,另外150吨直到1月1日才到达。由于逾期交货,乙向甲主张定金罚则,以下关于定金罚则在本案中的运用,说法正确的有:
A. 虽然甲只是逾期履行合同,但仍然要适用定金罚则
B. 应当按照逾期履行部分所占合同约定内容的比例适用定金罚则,即共返还7500元或抵作7500元价款
C. 甲可以以逾期履行作抗辩,而不是以没有交货作抗辩
D. 甲可以以逾期履行是由于第三人的过错造成的作抗辩
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