Прочитайте рассказ и выполните задания 12–18. В каждом задании обведите букву A, B, C или D, соответствующую выбранному вами варианту ответа.
I like to think of myself as an open-minded person, someone who is tolerant to those with different beliefs, however wacky they may seem to me. Every rule has its exceptions, though.
A few years ago while traveling in England, I met a woman who asked me if I’d heard of edible gold. I replied that I had, as I’d seen a TV show about chefs using gold leaves as a decorative but edible garnish on dishes. I assumed that’s what she was talking about. But she seemed very surprised and in a hushed, conspiratorial tone, began excitedly talking about how the ancient Egyptians had discovered that by eating powdered gold, one could become immortal. Very clearly, she believed this too. OK. I felt that all my good intentions of open-mindedness went out the window – that was just way too strange for me.
Later, when I consulted Google to see if I could learn more about this outrageous claim, I was shocked and dismayed to find thousands of Web pages describing, with great seriousness, a miraculous substance usually referred to as white powder gold. Even though I can’t claim the slightest expertise in this esoteric field, I thought I’d make an attempt to distil the essence of these claims for your consideration.
Let’s begin with culinary gold. If you walk into your nearest gourmet supply store, you can probably find, for about US$20, a box of gold leaf manufactured expressly to enable you to impress your friends at your next dinner party. These unbelievably thin pieces of nearly pure gold add an impressive touch to chocolates, soups, sushi, or just about anything else you can think of. Because the quantity of gold is so small, the price is reasonable; yet these gold highlights make a meal appear to be extravagant and give restaurants an excuse to charge exorbitant prices.
Some purveyors of mineral supplements sell a gold colloid: a suspension of extremely tiny particles of metallic gold in water. In a gold colloid, each particle contains nine atoms of gold. Its daily dose is enough to provide a wide range of health benefits. Here, at least, there is some research behind it. A few studies found the product to be effective in managing rheumatoid arthritis and also, intriguingly, increasing I.Q. scores. These claims are at least plausible.
Our next step is one decidedly outside the realm of scientific certainty. David Hudson, a farmer living in Arizona, was trying to extract gold and silver from the tailings of an abandoned mine in the mid-1970s. In the process, he found a mysterious substance that defied analysis, despite years of experimentation by reputable laboratories, undertaken at great personal expense. Hudson eventually concluded the white powder was gold in a monatomic state and it has some amazing properties: when heated it can levitate and has a long list of incredible health benefits.
Hudson even received patents in Britain and Australia, though not in the USA. I should interject that the awarding of a patent does not mean that a government agency has successfully reproduced the invention in question, or even that they have validated it as being scientifically sound. Interested in alchemy Hudson became convinced that his white powder gold was the stuff of many legends. He equated it with “the philosopher’s stone”, and “the food of the gods”, among other things. Hudson believed he had rediscovered an ancient alchemical formula. And, naturally, numerous companies sell solid or liquid forms of “white powder gold” supposedly created using variants of Hudson’s recipe.
12. The author describes the meeting with the woman as …
A) the funniest event in his life.
B) a challenge to his open-mindedness.
C) a source of his knowledge of edible gold.
D) a very mysterious event.
13. The phrase “… make an attempt to distil” in “… make an attempt to distil the essence of some of these claims” (paragraph 3) means to …
A) try to explain.
C) find the origin.
D) try to analyze.
14. Which of the following is NOT mentioned as a reason why restaurants use culinary gold?
A) It can be used on various dishes.
B) It appears to be an exotic decoration.
C) It adds a particular flavour to meals.
D) It allows them to raise prices.
15. The author tends to trust the information about gold colloid because …
A) the number of atoms in particles is known.
B) it helped with his rheumatoid arthritis.
C) he’s a specialist in colloids.
D) it’s backed by some research.
16. The author refers to the substance found by David Hudson as “mysterious” because …
A) it has unusual properties.
B) its health benefits are magnificent.
C) it was discovered by chance.
D) it can be used for any human need.
17. David Hudson thinks that the substance he discovered …
A) is not gold.
B) is the thing mentioned in legends.
C) doesn’t need a patent.
D) is not for distribution in the USA.
18. From the last paragraph it can be implied that …
A) it’s very difficult to get a patent in the USA.
B) Hudson made alchemy popular again.
C) Hudson’s discovery wasn’t scientifically validated.
D) Britain and Australia have similar scientific traditions.