You are going to read some extracts about danger and fear. Read the texts carefully and complete the tasks.

1 The Chemistry of the Adrenalin Junkie

There’s a bit of an adrenalin junkie in all of us, even if we don’t admit it. At some stage in our lives, we get the urge to scare ourselves witless. (1) … In more extreme circumstances, it could involve skiing suicidally down a steep mountainside. (2)

Some neuroscientists believe they have the answer. Of all human emotions, they say, fear is probably the most potent. Everyone knows that when we are frightened or excited, our bodies produce adrenalin. (3) … Less well-known, however, is the fact that our brains also release three neurochemicals: endorphin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. (4) … It is widely believed that the more frightened we are, the more our brain releases them. (5)

The term adrenalin junkie, therefore, is not just a figure of speech. (6)

Questions

Six sentences have been removed from the extract. Choose from the sentences (AG) the one which fits each gap (16). There is one extra sentence which you do not need to use.

(A)  And as with addictive chemicals such as nicotine, people can become hooked.
(B)  As we are not coerced into behaving like this, we should ask ourselves one simple question: why do we do it?
(C)  For those who experience danger on a regular basis, there are times when they don’t simply want to be afraid; they need to be afraid.
(D)  However, most people would avoid a dangerous situation like this because of the fear they might get hurt.
(E)  This could be something as simple as screaming our lungs out on a rollercoaster.
(F)  This speeds up our heartbeat and prepares the body to react to danger.
(G)  Working in harmony, these natural stimulants reduce pain, provide us with extra energy and enhance our performance.

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2 The Need for Fear

We all like to be frightened, even if we don’t admit it. At some stage in our lives, we get the urge to scare ourselves witless. This could be something as simple as screaming our lungs out on a rollercoaster or skiing suicidally down a steep mountainside. As we are not coerced into behaving like this, we should ask ourselves one simple question: why do we do it?

(1)

Less well-known is the fact that our brains also release three neurochemicals: endorphin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Working in harmony, these natural stimulants reduce pain, provide us with extra energy, and enhance our performance. And like addictive chemicals such as nicotine, people can become hooked.

(2)

One man for whom this is especially true is adventurer Bear Grylls, who is about to embark on his most dangerous and challenging mission yet: he is going to fly a motorised paraglider over Mount Everest. That’s over 8,800 metres above sea level.

(3)

In addition to preparing himself physically and mentally, he has spent a small fortune on equipment. However, for most of us this is not an option. We want that rush, but we don’t want to empty our bank accounts doing it. Neither do we want to spend weeks training. We want instant gratification, and we want it at a price we can afford.

(4)

‘I thought that my main client base would be young men doing something for a dare,’ he said. ‘But we get people from all walks of life. Last year, for example, one of my customers was a woman who wanted to do aerobatics. Not only was she an 82-year-old grandmother, but she had never even flown before.’

(5)

Matt Wyllie agrees. ‘Probably half of our customers are repeat clients, looking for bigger and more frightening things to do. They start off taking a helicopter ride over London, and before too long, they’re hurting themselves out of aircraft 2,000 metres above the ground.’

(6)

I’m wobbly and feet slightly sick as we land a few minutes later. An hour Later, however, and I’m raring for a second go. I’ve had my thrills, but now I want more. I, too, have become an adrenalin junkie.

Questions

Six paragraphs have been removed from the article. Choose from the paragraphs (AG) the one which fits each gap (16). There is one extra paragraph which you do not need to use.

‘Of all human emotions, fear is probably the most potent,’ says neuroscientist Dr Maria Téphany, who specialises in the study of fear. ‘Everyone knows that when we are frightened or excited, our bodies produce adrenalin. This speeds up our heartbeat and prepares the body to react to danger.’
‘This is probably not as odd as it may seem,’ says Dr. Téphany. ‘The need for an adrenalin rush is not limited to a particular group, and people who have lived sedate, unexciting lives may suddenly get the urge to do something wild and exciting. Age is certainly no barrier in this respect. And once they’ve started, they often find it hard to stop.’
It is an unbelievably dangerous undertaking. At his target height, the temperature will be minus 40°C, winds can reach 200 kilometres per hour, and there is absolutely no margin for error. Bear is philosophical about the huge risk he is taking. ‘If I fail, at least I fail by daring greatly,’ he says.
Money, it would appear, is no barrier to those who want to get their thrills. But what was once the domain of the extremely rich is now open to anybody, as competition from different companies pushes the price down. You can now be scared witless for less than the price of a good meal in a top-class restaurant.
Putting this to the test, I join Matt in his biplane. The first adrenalin rush hits me as the flimsy aircraft shakes and rattles its way along the grass airstrip and into the sky. Matt then takes us through a series of manoeuvres. The first, a loop, is terrifying, but I want more, and Matt obliges, each manoeuvre more terrifying than the last. A barrel roll is followed by a double loop, a stall turn, and finally a spiralling dive.
Responding to this need, pilot and entrepreneur Matt Wyllie set up ‘Make my day’ in 2009. Offering a range of activities such as motor racing and flights in jet fighters at affordable prices, the company quickly became one of the country’s premier big-thrill providers. The success of the company was not the only surprise for Wyllie, who initially expected it to be a money-making side-line rather than a full-time business.
The term adrenalin junkie, therefore, is not just a figure of speech. For those who experience danger on a regular basis, there are times when they don’t simply want to be afraid; they need to be afraid. When it comes to the concept of ‘fight or flight’, they intend to fight, and to enjoy every moment of it.

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3 Bear Grylls: Mission Everest

32-year-old adventurer Bear Grylls Looks out at the massive Himalayan vista in front of him and bites his Lip. Having already become the youngest British climber to scale Mount Everest, he is about to embark on his most challenging mission yet. He is going to fly a motorised paraglider higher than the mountain whose summit he once stood on. That’s over 8,850 metres above sea level. It is an almost unbelievably dangerous undertaking, and he freely admits it. ‘I always intended this mission to be ambitious but safe,’ he says. ‘The bottom line is, it’s ambitious but not safe.’ This is something of an understatement.

Both Bear and his fellow pilot Gites Cardozo (who invented and built the engines that will power their paragliders) have trained rigorously for the event, but this is no guarantee of success. The highest anyone has ever flown with a powered paraglider before is 6,120 metres. At their target height, the temperature will be minus 40oC, winds can reach 200 kilometres per hour, and there is absolutely no margin for error. Bear is philosophical, however, about the huge risk he and Giles are taking. ‘If we fail, at least we fail by daring greatly,’ he says.

Questions

For each question, choose the answer which you think fits best according to the text.

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4 Extract from a Story

There were a hundred things that Ben should have been thinking about as the plane ascended: exit manoeuvres, emergency procedures, steering, and landing techniques. But the lyrics from a song had lodged themselves in his brain and he couldn’t shift them. ‘Cover my eyes ‘cause I’m so high, I can’t look down’ went round in a loop. ‘What am I doing here? This is insane,’ he thought. His skin itched with fear.

At 1,800 metres, the pilot banked the tiny Cessna one final time and then levelled out, bringing Ben’s little team of novice parachutists back over the airfield. For the first time since taking off, he forced himself to look out of the window. Unexpectedly, he felt a burst of euphoria. ‘This is all right,’ he thought. ‘Nothing to be scared of. Those aren’t real buildings down there; they’re dolls’ houses and toy farms. This is going to be a piece of cake.’

‘Cut!’ the instructor shouted to the pilot, and the engine eased back to a low throb. Ben felt Jo next to him shift inside her harness, and his confidence dissolved as quickly as it had appeared.

‘Well guys, this is it. See you all down there.’ He hoped he sounded more self-assured than he felt.

Jo turned to him and grinned maliciously.

‘Yeah,’ she said. ‘Maybe.’

Questions

For each question, choose the answer which you think fits best according to the text.

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