来源：上外培训网 发布时间：2015-09-21 作者：
reading objectives: 进一步理解时间强对比的写法，理解example的功能
you saw the stories of the embarrassment at encyclopedia britannica last week as the company's highly advertised free web site was jammed into nonfunctioning.
句子的主体：the stories of the embarrassment
the stories were of some 10 million hits a day clogging the site, www. britannica. com; of three separate apologies given to would be users of the free reference service; of promises to get the thing up and running, perhaps as early as this week.
more striking, though, is what the stories didn't say: what an extraordinary thing it is that people around the world suddenly have access—free access—to knowledge that would have been the envy of a university professor earlier in my own lifetime.
考点：although, though, even though, in spite of，despite, albeit后面的内容鄙视
what an extraordinary：感叹句，这种奇怪的事情非常值得报道。
have access to=have=be accessible to
6. the author cites the example of encyclopedia britannica at the beginning of the passage mainly to show that ________.
(a) its web site is the target of millions of hackers
(b) the web site can be repaired soon
(c) it is one of the major signs of knowledge explosion
(d) it is the symbol of the arrival of encyclopedic age
as for ordinary people, i remember how the encyclopedia salesmen would come around with their sample volumes, their memorized spiels and their offers of “easy” terms if you'd only sign up for compton's or world book.
owning an encyclopedia—or “a set of encyclopedias”, as we used to say—was a pretty big deal for families of modest means, an unaffordable luxury for many of the folk in my hometown. and now it's all free—or will be as soon as britannica works out the bugs.
the reason it's free is the britannica, whose hard-copy sales are down some 80 percent since 1990, is forced to compete with microsoft-s dominant encarta encyclopedia.
but the encyclopedia is just one small illustration of the explosion both in knowledge and in our access to it since thomas jefferson's modest book collection formed the nucleus of the library of congress.not only does my own house now contain more books than jefferson ever owned, but my access to public libraries, bookstores and, of course, the web, gives my family information resources beyond the imagination of world-class scholars a short time ago.
i've just had a phone call from a friend who tells me that, in preparation for an upcoming trip to benin, she's downloaded 75 to 100 pages of information, from a score of sites, on that west african country—information on everything from the local currency, political situation and weather to the latest local news and the street address of the american embassy.
“i'm starting to feel almost like i know the place, even though i've never been there,” she said. marco polo, eat your heart out.
7. which of the following best expresses the meaning of the sentence “marco polo, eat your heart out.” (para.4)?
(a) marco polo would be sad to know about the easy access to information about the world.
(b) marco polo would sincerely welcome the information age.
(c) marco polo would be happy to learn to use the web.
(d) marco polo would never believe the story from the author's friend.
nor is it just information that is so profusely available.
think of the difficulties confronting a 19th-century music lover. he could, of course, hear local folk artists.
but if he had a fondness for, say, bach or beethoven, he'd have to hire an orchestra and a place for it to perform—which means he'd have to be wealthy. today, any teenager with a cd player (or even an fm radio) can hear almost any music of his of her choosing, performed by top musicians, virtually at will. the same youngster could, at a whim, look at tens of thousands of paintings from the national gallery of art.
think of laws forbidding anyone to teach slaves to read. think of hitler's book burnings. think of all the attempts over the years to enforce either orthodoxy or the status quo by putting learning off-limits, and you begin to sense the power of what is happening. the walls of caste and class have not been razed, but they are suddenly, irrevocably, more porous.
think of… think of… think of：并列的内容不太可能成为主题