It is not unusual for a pet to be sent by air cargo from Colombia to New York, but last December's shipment of a 4-year-old sheep dog caught a New York Kennedy Airport Customs inspector's eye. The dog looked to be on its last legs, and there was an unusual lump on the side of its body. An X-ray and emergency surgery revealed the presence of 10 condoms tightly packed with five pounds of cocaine that had been surgically implanted in the dog's abdomen - yet another first for Customs in the war on drugs.
When it comes to transporting drugs, the methods used are only as limited as a smuggler's imagination. Kilo bricks of cocaine are routinely concealed beneath false bottoms of containers that hold poisonous snakes. "You've got snakes that are 12feet long," says a United States Fish and Wildlife Service agent - and sometimes the drug is in the snake. "Who's going to pull it out and feel it?"
In 1994, United States Customs seized 204,391 pounds of cocaine, 559,286 pounds of marijuana and 2,577 pounds of heroin. Just how much actually flows into the country is anyone's guess. Some customs officials estimate that only 10 percent of the drugs coming into the country are ever seized. In Miami, the District Attorney won't even prosecute small fry. "It's got to be over five kilos of cocaine, above a kilo of heroin and more than 5,000 pounds of marijuana or it's not something that we're going to stop the presses on," says Tom Cash, a retired agent.
Given this deluge, one can only wonder if agents are ever confounded by some of the smuggling methods. "There are things we haven't seen before," says John McGhee, a Miami Customs special agent, "but nothing really surprises us."
1. The dog was different from others in that
A) it could stand only on its hind legs.
B) it had only two legs
C) it was very attractive
D) it had a very big abdomen
2. How many methods are used to transport drugs?
A) As many as a smuggler can think of.
B) Beyond the smuggler's imagination.
C) Only a limited number.
D) Only a few.
3. How many pounds of heroin were estimated to be smuggled into the United States in 1994?
4. Which of the following could best replace the expression "small fry" in the third paragraph?
A) Small dogs.
B) Small sheep dogs.
C) Small smugglers
D) Small ringleaders.
5. What is this article about?
A) Drug transportation from Columbia to New York.
B) A new method for drug smuggling.
C) Varied drug transportation methods
D) Types of drug.
Life in the Universe
Many scientists today are convinced that life exists elsewhere in the universe---life probably much like that on our own planet. They reason in the following way.
As far as astronomers can determine, the entire universe is built of the same matter. They have no reason to doubt that matter obeys the same laws in every part of the universe. Therefore, it is reasonable to guess that other stars, with their own planets, were born in the same way as our own solar system. What we know of life on earth suggests that life will arise wherever the proper conditions exist.
Life requires the right amount and kind of atmosphere. This eliminates all those planets in the universe that are not about the same size and weight as the earth. A smaller planet would lose its atmosphere; a larger one would hold too much of it.
Life also requires a steady supply of heat and light. This eliminates double stars, or stars that flare up suddenly. Only single stars that are steady sources of heat and light like our sun would qualify.
Finally, life could evolve only if the planet is just the right distance from its sun. With a weaker sun than our own, the planet would have to be closer to it. With a stronger sun, it would have to be farther away.
If we suppose that every star in the universe has a family of planets, then how many planets might support life? First, eliminate those stars that are not like our sun. Next eliminate most of their planets; they are either too far from or too close to their suns. Then eliminate all those planets which are not the same size and weight as the earth. Finally, remember that the proper conditions do not necessarily mean that life actually does exist on a planet. It may not have begun yet, or it may have already died out.
This process of elimination seems to leave very few planets on which earthlike life might be found. However, even if life could exist on only one planet in a million, there are so many billions of planets that this would still leave a vast number on which life could exist.
1. Astronomers believe that matter in different parts of the universe
A) has different laws.
B) has one common law.
C) shares the same laws
D) shares no common law.
2. The existence of life depends on all of the following factors EXCEPT
A) the right amount of atmosphere.
B) our own solar system.
C) steady heat and light.
D) the right distance from the sun.
3. Which of the following statements is INCORRECT?
A) The planet must be as big and heavy as the earth.
B) Proper conditions are essential to the existence of life
C) Double stars can provide steady light and heat.
D) The distance between a planet and its sun should be right.
4. What kind of planet might NOT support life?
A) Most of the planets of the stars.
B) Stars similar to our sun.
C) Planets similar to the earth.
D) Planets with proper conditions.
5. At the end of the passage the author suggests that
A) it is impossible for life to exist on planets.
B) earthlike life could only exist on a few planets.
C) life could exist on only one planet in a million.
D) life could exist on a great number of planets.