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(I) An earthquake is the vibration of Earth produced by the rapid release of energy. (II) The instruments that detect earthquakes are sensitive enough to detect small seismic waves far away from the earthquake's focus. (III) The energy released radiates in all directions from its source, called the focus, in the form of waves. (IV) These waves are similar to those produced when a stone is dropped into a calm pond. (V) Just as the impact of the stone sets water waves in motion, an earthquake generates seismic waves that radiate throughout Earth.
(I) Advances in mathematics help astrologers develop more accurate and sophisticated charts than ever. (II) In past eras, astrology was more deterministic as people living in rhythm with nature’s cycles hunted, planted and migrated with the stars. (III) Because human beings were at the mercy of nature, they viewed the heavens with fear and even superstition. (IV) After all, a flood could wipe out the food supply just as easily as the right amount of rainfall could guarantee a bountiful harvest. (V) By tracking the stars, they were able to plan and predict certain weather patterns.
(I) The Battle of Waterloo, which took place in 1815, marked the final defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte, who conquered much of Europe in the early 19th century. (II) Napoleon rose through the ranks of the French army during the French Revolution, seized control of the French government and became emperor in 1804. (III) Through a series of wars, he expanded his empire across western and central Europe. (IV) Napoleon crowned himself the emperor of France in a lavish ceremony. (V) However, the Battle of Waterloo, in which Napoleon’s forces were defeated by the British and Prussians, ended France’s domination in Europe.
(I) As interest in cannabis’s medicinal properties has grown, so has the number of newspaper headlines. (II) With the drug increasingly being used in the treatment of conditions like multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, campaigners want its medicinal benefits to be used further. (III) Recently, it is predicted that the UK will fully legalise cannabis use within 5 to 10 years. (IV) The predictions may or may not be realised, but the fact is, for almost five decades, laws have only brought restrictions to cannabis’s medicinal application. (V) Internationally, however, many countries have moved towards less health-focused approaches.
(I) Modern chewing gums, containing polyethylene plastic, could stick around for hundreds of years. (II) Some of the first chewing gums, made of birch tar, have been preserved for thousands of years, including a 5,700-year-old piece of Stone Age gum unearthed in Denmark. (III) Birch tar, made by heating the tree’s bark, was commonly used across Scandinavia as a prehistoric glue. (IV) For archaeologists, the sticky substance’s longevity can help piece together the lives of ancient people who chewed on the rubbery tar. (V) The ancient birch gum in Scandinavia preserved enough DNA to reconstruct the full human genome of its ancient chewer, and even reveal the menu of a prehistoric meal.
(I) One dog year is not equivalent to seven human years, despite widespread use of the ratio for calculating the age of canine companions. (II) Presumably, the ratio is based on the average lifespan of dogs being 10 years and humans being 70 years, yet it is not quite so simple. (III) The formula is not based on any real science and it was discredited by veterinarians years ago. (IV) But geneticists have developed a new calculation by looking at a phenomenon called DNA methylation to understand how our canine companions' ages correspond to our own. (V) It does not perfectly line up with the new formula, but both acknowledge that dogs age faster in their first years of life.
(I) Endorphins are chemicals produced by body to relieve stress and pain. (II) Regular exercise is obviously a good way to keep healthy and fit, but scientists now think that exercise improves our psychological health by releasing chemicals called “endorphins” into the brain. (III) Endorphins have been shown to elevate feelings of happiness and well-being. (IV) Some scientists claim that exercise can be as useful as psychotherapy, and that by lifting our mood, it can help us feel more positive about ourselves. (V) According to some doctors, something as seemingly simple as a daily ten-minute walk can greatly improve our quality of life.
(I) In the first half of the 20th century, polio was one of the most feared of childhood diseases, affecting tens of thousands of people a year. (II) There was great pressure to create a vaccine, and in the 50s and 60s vaccines created by Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin become widely available. (III) Neither Sabin nor Salk received the Nobel Prize for their revolutionary invention. (IV) This managed to reduce the global incidence of polio from many hundreds of thousands a year to around a thousand. (V) Polio vaccination programs today are so effective that there is a possibility that the disease could be completely wiped out.
(I) Leopards spend much of their time in trees. (II) Leopards have incredibly strong neck muscles, which enable them to drag their prey up into trees. (III) In fact, they spend more time in trees than any other big cats. (IV) The reason why leopards spend so much time in trees is because other cats- like lions- kill leopards, and because some wild animals like hyenas steal their precious kills. (V) This gives leopards a great incentive to master the art of tree climbing, never failing to know exactly which branch will support their weight.
(I) Women were excluded from voting in ancient Greece and Rome, as well as in some democracies in Europe by the end of the 18th century. (II) The question of women’s voting rights finally became an issue in the 19th century. (III) The struggle was particularly intense in Great Britain and the United States, but those countries were not the first to grant women the right to vote. (IV) By the early years of the 20th century, women had won the right to vote in national elections in New Zealand, Australia and Norway. (V) Women were initially granted the right to vote in local elections; only later were they granted the right to vote in national elections.
(I) Like many events in American Indian culture, there was a proper time and place for all activities. (II) Traditional storytelling was reserved for the winter months for many tribes as during the other seasons people were busy growing, gathering, and hunting food. (III) It was in the winter with the long dark evenings that telling stories was a way to entertain and teach children. (IV) Passed down to generations, these stories served to strengthen the bonds within the community. (V) Another reason was that people, out of respect, waited until the winter when animals in the stories hibernated and could not hear themselves being talked about.
(I) Marvel is an American-owned franchise that creates films and television shows based on superheroes created throughout the Marvel comic books. (II) Many of the Marvel superheroes and villains are not perfect, which may be the reason why they are fancied by the public. (III) With its small beginnings, the Marvel Company has become internationally popular with comic books during the World War II era. (IV) The stories portrayed in the superhero comics gave hope to many Americans during the war years. (V) Among those, Marvel found its greatest success with Captain America comics in which the superhero Captain America supported the war effort.
(I) Megacities, in our imaginations, are associated with fortune, fame and the future. (II) They dominate politics and national economies with their wealth. (III) In the past thirty years, the number of cities with more than ten million people has grown from five to twenty. (IV) The growth rate of the population within a megacity has almost doubled over the last five years, and the numbers are still expected to rise dramatically. (V) High prices in the metropolitan centre cause downsizing by driving people out to distant suburbs with commutes into the centre.
(I) Crusades were military expeditions, beginning in the late 11th century, organized by western European Christians in response to centuries of Muslim wars of expansion. (II) Their objectives were to stop the spread of Islam and were seen by many as a means of redemption for sins. (III) While the Crusades resulted in defeat for Europeans, many argue that they successfully extended the reach of Christianity. (IV) Between 1095 and 1291, there were eight major crusades to the Holy Land. (V) With the arrival of the Protestant Reformation and the decline of papal authority, crusades started to decline in the next centuries.
(I) Scientists have cloned human embryos and successfully extracted stem cells from one of them. (II) They have cloned sheep, mice, rats, rabbits, horses, and even a mule. (III) To do this, the team used 242 eggs from 16 women to clone 30 blastocysts, which is the tiny ball of cells that become an embryo. (IV) The research opens the way for once-undreamed of treatments for long-term diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. (V) It also reignites the debate about human cloning.
(I) African countries have accomplished a good agricultural economy and a sustainable forest management. (II) Over the last century, deserts have steadily advanced into productive lands in Africa, where most of the agricultural land has deteriorated in the last thirty years. (III) Droughts have become more prolonged and more severe turning fertile lands into deserts. (IV) One of the major causes of desertification is deforestation as a result of cutting trees for fuel. (V) Another reason is poor agricultural land use and overgrazing of animals.
(I) The town of Pompeii, located about five miles from Mount Vesuvius, was a prosperous resort with elegant houses and villas for Rome’s distinguished citizens. (II) Tourists and townspeople bustled in and out of small workshops, taverns and bathhouses. (III) People gathered in the arena and relaxed in the open-air squares and marketplaces. (IV) Some people drifted back to town in search of lost relatives or belongings, but there was not much left to find. (V) On the day before of that historic eruption in 79 A.D., there were about 12,000 people living in Pompeii and almost as many in the surrounding region.
(I) While the official reason to join book clubs is to discuss books, most people join them to interact with others in a relaxed atmosphere. (II) Another reason is that reading is a cheap pastime activity compared with cinema or theatre going. (III) Some book clubs may focus on a specific genre, or they may be eclectic in their choice according to the interest of their members. (IV) The popularity of book clubs has remained constant for a long time, and it seems likely that the number of clubs will increase in the future. (V) Similarly, if you do not enjoy the discipline of reading a book within a particular timeframe, this can take the joy out of a pleasurable activity.
(I) The Hubble Space Telescope’s newest image of Jupiter highlights the solar system’s largest planet in stunning colour. (II) Readily visible is the planet’s Great Red Spot, a swirling storm roughly the size of Earth, which has been visible on the giant planet for at least 150 years. (III) This latest portrait will also provide clues about the environment on giant planets around other stars. (IV) Repeated observations have shown that the hurricane is shrinking slowly over time. (V) The snapshots also revealed other storms, including a brown, snakelike cyclone and two white oval-shaped storms that give the planet its distinct coloured appearance.
(I) The constantly growing population of hungry people bring warnings that the planet faces food shortages. (II) Some industrialized countries believe that it is uneconomical to send their food surplus to regions where communities starve to death. (III) Other rich countries regard the control of the food supply as a pressure tool to make developing countries politically obedient. (IV) Yet another problem with the food aid is that it does not reach the people who need it in countries suffering from famine. (V) Corruption and the way bureaucracy works causes the food to be stored or sold on the open market.
(I) Expressionism is a modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. (II) Its typical trait is to present the world from a subjective perspective for emotional effect. (III) Expressionist artists such as Edvard Munch have sought to express the meaning of emotional experience rather than physical reality. (IV) They soon developed a style famous for its harshness and visual intensity with distorted lines, rapid brushwork and vibrating colours. (V) They pursued the accurate representation of nature in order to express more unbiased outlooks.
(I) Biofuels have been around longer than cars have, but cheap gasoline and diesel have kept them away. (II) Global biofuel output needs to triple by 2030 in order to meet the targets for sustainable growth. (III) The increase in oil prices, and global efforts to avoid the effects of climate change, however, have brought the urgency for renewable fuels. (IV) Our road travel, and flights account for a quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, and transportation today remains heavily dependent on fossil fuels. (V) Therefore, the idea behind biofuel is to replace traditional fuels with those made from plant material that are renewable.
(I) During the 1700s thousands of West African slaves were shipped to Haiti to work on French plantations and were baptized as Roman Catholics upon their arrival. (II) Their traditional African religious practices were viewed as a threat to the colonial system and were forbidden, so practitioners were imprisoned or hung. (III) But the slaves continued to practice in secret and what emerged was the religion Voodoo that the colonialists thought was Catholicism, but they were outfoxed. (IV) Catholics tended to believe in free will and personal choice, which did not exist in voodoo. (V) It was easy to mix the two faiths, because there are many similarities such as the belief in spirits and afterlife.
(I) The dark web refers to encrypted online content that is not indexed by conventional search engines. (II) Contrarily, the anonymity of the dark web attracts criminal actors like drug-dealers and hackers. (III) Also known as the darknet, the dark web describes the wider content that does not appear through regular internet browsing. (IV) Specific browsers like Tor are required to access dark web sites, which contain illegal content such as online marketplaces for drugs, exchanges for stolen financial and private data. (V) Transactions in this hidden economy are often paid for with bitcoin, and physical goods are shipped in ways that hide both buyers and sellers from the watchful eyes of the law.
(I) CERN is the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, which studies the tiniest particles in the universe with some of the world's most advanced equipment. (II) By studying the fundamental forms of energy, CERN hopes to learn more about how the universe works. (III) While CERN is mainly concerned with the fundamental particles of the universe and the laws of nature, it has also started other notable advances in science. (IV) For example, a distributed information system, which evolved into what we call the World Wide Web was created there. (V) There are concerns that CERN may create black holes that could destroy the Earth by compressing particles so much.
(I) There have been several projects in some countries to help maintain minority languages. (II) Over the last decades, a set of circumstances has accelerated the disappearance of indigenous languages. (III) Only joint actions integrated with global society can stop this kind of epidemic, which is making indigenous languages vulnerable. (IV) This requires the society as a whole to learn to respect and help keep them alive for a truly multicultural society. (V) Another very important factor for keeping a language alive is that its speakers should become proud of their language and willing to keep it.
(I) Until the fourteenth century, the city of Venice had controlled the European spice trade. (II) Various spices were transported overland across Asia to the great trading market of Constantinople, where they were bought up by Venetian merchants and then shipped to Venice. (III) Due to the lack of navigation technology, other maritime nations could not attempt to get a share of the spice trade. (IV) From here, the spices were sold on to the traders from northern Europe. (V) As spices became increasingly popular in Europe, they were sold at excessive prices.
(I) Christmas is celebrated on December 25 and is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. (II) The day has been a federal holiday in the United States for almost two hundred years. (III) For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. (IV) Christians accept Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ and celebrate it with rituals. (V) Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and waiting for Santa Claus to arrive.
(I) The term “exercise addiction” was coined in 1975 by Dr. William Glasser when he was studying long-distance runners. (II) He noticed that many of them experienced low moods when they could not train, and he came to differentiate between positive and negative addictions. (III) The former involves a love of the activity, and the exercise is scheduled around other everyday activities, whose results are increased feelings of physical and psychological wellbeing. (IV) People become addicted to something because there is an underlying unhappiness. (V) With a negative addiction, on the other hand, exercise overrides everything and as a result, relationships and work suffer, and it causes distress for the individual.
(I) The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimated trends in food production and needs in various parts of the world. (II) The report indicates that up to half of the young children in the developing world may be inadequately nourished. (III) It is true that world cereal production doubled while the population increased by only fifty per cent. (IV) However, more than half of the cereal increase was absorbed by the richest thirty per cent of mankind, whilst less than half was left for the remaining seventy per cent, which were largely the inhabitants of Asia, Africa and Latin America. (V) It is especially after natural disasters that people are cut off from their normal sources of food.
(I) There are some people whose interest in celebrities is so great that it is unhealthy and can be regarded as a kind of sickness. (II) People have been interested in celebrities for as long as there have been famous people. (III) But this interest has become much stronger with the increase in media coverage of celebrities, and all the entertainment content that we now have on the Internet. (IV) In fact, people no longer have to look through newspapers, magazines, or other traditional news sources for stories and pictures of their favourite celebrities. (V) They can now use the Internet to find all the latest information on any star they choose.
(I) Cartography, the art and science of map making, had its origins in ancient times as maps have always been important means of communication concerning distances, areas and directions. (II) The fundamental nature of cartography has changed with the evolving technologies. (III) They are used for a wide range of purposes, so accuracy and legibility are very important requirements, which is generally achieved through colours. (IV) Present-day methods of cartographic design and reproduction enable modern maps to be given a high degree of clarity and precision. (V) The first consideration in the compilation of any map is the purpose for which it is to be used and a suitable projection according to the area targeted.
(I) The circumstances of John F. Kennedy’s death turned him into a national obsession. (II) A vast number of books have been published about his assassination most of which reject the commission’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. (III) After the assassination, even Robert F. Kennedy, the president’s brother, spent days phoning people to ask whether there had been a conspiracy, which damaged his own career. (IV) To this day, about 60 percent of Americans believe that Kennedy fell victim to a conspiracy despite little concrete evidence to prove any of the theories. (V) Kennedy’s personal charm and the wit and elegance of his oratory helped contribute to his legend.
(I) According to historians, early writing was pictographic- based on pictures, not sounds- and messages were carved into heavy clay tablets. (II) Most importantly, they agree that a writing system was invented to store and transmit information. (III) The earliest full writing system is more than 5,000 years old and it comes from the Sumerians. (IV) Prior to writing, communication was strictly face-to-face and people only knew what others told them. (V) Important information was not accessible to all people; however, with the invention of a writing system, information became portable.
(I) Pyramids continued to be built in the fifth and sixth dynasties, but their quality and the wealth of the kings declined. (II) During the third and fourth dynasties, Egypt enjoyed tremendous economic prosperity. (III) Kings held a unique position in Egyptian society as they were believed to have been chosen by the gods to serve as their mediators on Earth. (IV) Because of this, it was in everyone’s interest to keep the king’s majesty intact even after his death, when he was believed to become Osiris, god of the dead. (V) The new pharaoh, in turn, became Horus, the falcon-god who served as protector of the sun god, Ra.
(I) Burgundy was the musical centre of Europe in the early and middle 15th century. (II) Many of the famous musicians in Europe either came from Burgundy or went to study with composers there. (III) By the end of the 15th century, a French national character was becoming distinct in music of the French royal and aristocratic courts. (IV) In addition, there was considerable interchange between Burgundian court musical establishment and French courts and ecclesiastical organizations in the late 15th century. (V) The Burgundian style gave birth to the Franco-Flemish style of polyphony which dominated European music in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.
(I) Despite decades of speculation, there has been no human reproductive cloning. (II) Overwhelming majorities have consistently rejected it in opinion surveys for over 20 years. (III) After a series of failures, the first report of stem cells created from cloned human embryos was published. (IV) While the U.S. has no federal law on human reproductive cloning, other countries, and several international agreements prohibit it. (V) Many scientists are also against cloning as it may threaten the psychology of cloned children, and could enable genetic manipulation technologies.
(I) Alchemy is an ancient practice hidden in mystery and secrecy with its practitioners mainly seeking to turn lead into gold, which has always captured the imaginations of people. (II) However, the goals of alchemy went far beyond simply creating some golden pieces. (III) Alchemy was rooted in the belief that everything contains a universal spirit, and metals were believed to be alive and grow inside the Earth. (IV) When a metal such as lead was found, it was thought to be a spiritually and physically immature form of higher metals such as gold on its way to perfection. (V) In fact, alchemists made significant contributions to the development of science.
(I) Neuroscientists are seeking to develop new treatments by recruiting participants for clinical trials. (II) Every organ in the body has its own beauty and complexity, but the brain, which coordinates all the other organs, is particularly complex. (III) The brain houses our personalities, thoughts, and identities, which can be easy to take for granted until it all breaks down. (IV) While blood samples and biopsies can prove disease, the intricacies of the brain make studying it highly challenging. (V) And that makes the development of therapies to treat brain diseases especially difficult.
(I) Black mambas live in the savannahs and rocky hills of southern and eastern Africa. (II) Unfortunately, antidote is still not widely available in the rural parts of the mamba’s range. (III) They are fast, lethally venomous, and highly aggressive. (IV) They have been blamed for numerous human deaths, which has made them the world’s deadliest snakes. (V) They get their name not from their skin colour, which tends to be olive to grey, but rather from the blue-black colour of the inside of their mouth, which they display when threatened.
(I) Psychiatrists use the term Stockholm syndrome to describe a psychological response in which captives identify closely with their captors and their demands. (II) It was first observed in people taken hostage for 6 days during a 1973 bank robbery in Stockholm. (III) When the deadlock ended, the victims appeared to have developed positive feelings for their captors. (IV) The removal of the death threat is switched into feelings of gratitude toward the captive. (V) Although it can be hard to understand how hostages form emotional attachments to their captors after a life-threatening situation, this unusual phenomenon has been known to occur on some other occasions.
(I) Around 300 B.C. the Greeks exhibited curiosity about dental health and devised different techniques for addressing tooth maladies. (II) Called the “Father of Medicine”, Hippocrates wrote about methods he had developed for treating a patient's tooth. (III) Rather than praying to the gods, he recommended observing a patient's problem, then making a practical recommendation for treatment, such as tooth extraction, tooth gel, and oral tissue therapy. (IV) Like Hippocrates, Aristotle, the famous philosopher, also wrote about dentistry with descriptions of tooth growth, tooth decay and gum disease, and their treatment methods. (V) The history of dentistry may be traced back to 7000 B.C. in the Indus Valley Civilization – now Pakistan.
(I) Meteorites are given the name of a geographic feature of the location where they are found. (II) Meteorites traditionally have been divided into three categories – stony meteorites, iron meteorites, and stony metallic. (III) Stony meteorites are made from rocky material not all that different from what is found in the ground on our planet. (IV) These objects are the most common type of meteorites and are thought to represent fragments from the creation of our solar system. (V) Such meteorites often contain organic compounds and sometimes traces of water, suggesting that the ingredients for life may have originated before our world was born.
(I) Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. (II) There is no validated scale for emotional intelligence as there is for general intelligence, and many argue that emotional intelligence is just a way of describing interpersonal skills. (III) Despite this criticism, emotional intelligence has wide appeal among the general public and in certain sectors. (IV) The concept has been embraced by educators in social and emotional learning programs. (V) In recent years, some employers have incorporated emotional intelligence tests into their application processes, on the theory that someone high in emotional intelligence would make a better leader or co-worker.
(I) The amount of sugar in the blood is controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas. (II) When food is digested and enters your bloodstream, insulin moves glucose into cells, where it is broken down to produce energy. (III) Many more people have blood sugar levels above the normal range. (IV) However, if you have diabetes, your body is unable to break down glucose into energy due to a lack in insulin, or the insulin produced does not work properly. (V) People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes require regular insulin injections, while healthy eating and regular exercise can manage type 2 diabetes.
(I) Victorian society operated on the provision that women were never designed to be breadwinners. (II) Being both black and a woman was a terrible combination. (III) The types of work available to them were very poorly paid, and they were never intended to support a family. (IV) Women were expected to be wives, mothers and caregivers, not the head of a household. (V) If a woman’s husband or father got ill, died or abandoned her, she often could not bring in enough money to sustain her family.
(I) Boxing was introduced to the ancient Olympic Games by the Greeks in the late 7th century BC, when soft leather was used to bind boxers’ hands and forearms for protection. (II) Later, in Rome, leather was exchanged for the glove with metal. (III) Unfortunately, this did not help the gladiators involved, as boxing matches of the era usually ended with the death of one contestant. (IV) With the fall of the Roman Empire, boxing came to an abrupt end, and resurfaced in 17th century England with organised amateur boxing in five weight classes. (V) In Ancient Greece, there were no weight categories and boxers fought until one of the opponents acknowledged defeat.
(I) Johannes Gutenberg is usually cited as the inventor of the printing press. (II) Indeed, the German's 15th century contribution to the technology was revolutionary enabling the mass production of books and the rapid dissemination of knowledge throughout Europe. (III) However, the history of printing begins long before Gutenberg's time. (IV) One of the earliest surviving books printed in this fashion is an ancient Buddhist text known as The Diamond Sutra. (V) Nearly 600 years before Gutenberg, Chinese monks were setting ink to paper using a method known as block printing, in which wooden blocks are coated with ink and pressed to sheets of paper.
(I) Oliver Twist is Charles Dickens's second novel, about an orphan boy whose good heart and healthy appetite help him escape the terrible underworld of crime and poverty in 19th century London. (II) It has proven to be one of the best loved novels in the history of literature. (III) Balancing suspense, melodrama and humour, it paints a picture of a city with social deprivation. (IV) Nonetheless, the book is generally much darker and bleaker than its many stage and screen adaptations. (V) Dickens appeals to his readers to recognise that reforms were desperately needed to improve the living conditions of the poor.
(I) In the Ionian Islands, Corfu lies farthest to the north, close to the Albanian coast but also the closest point in Greece to Italy. (II) Because of its strategic position on the border of East and West, the small and scenic island has been caught up in the Mediterranean’s battles throughout history. (III) Corfu represents a unique entity, having absorbed both Eastern and Western characteristics. (IV) As a Corinthian colony from about 734 BC, it fell successively into the hands of the Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, French and British. (V) For four centuries, its fortifications were used to defend the maritime trading interests of the Republic of Venice against the Ottoman Empire.