|The Middle English language arose in the years following the Norman Invasion in 1066 and lasted until the late fifteenth century; its development over these years was marked by a sizable reduction in inflected forms, continental influences on vocabulary, and a gradual disappearance of several characters, including ash, eth, yogh, thorn, and wynn. Of these, the thorn is notable for its particularly unusual decline in English. Borrowed from the Old Norse runic alphabet, thorn (T t) is a dental fricative, similar to th in Modern English, and can be either voiced (as in th in English breathe) or voiceless (as in th in English breath). By the fourteenth century, however, th was being increasingly used in thorn's place, and the shape of thorn itself began to change, coming to resemble most closely the letter Y, which would later replace thorn entirely. This led to confusion surrounding the late Middle and early Modern English definite article ye, which is even now frequently used anachronistically in names of establishments to give them an "older" or more rustic feel. However, the ye found in texts from the late Middle English is, in fact, identical to the in pronunciation -- Y was simply used as a replacement for thorn in writing, in large part due to the lack of thorn on printing presses imported from the continent.|
|Based on the passage, which of the following is a likely reason for the lack of thorn on imported printing presses?|
Modern anthropology in the United States and the United Kingdom is frequently divided into four sub-fields: cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, physical anthropology, and archeology. Likely as a result of the diverse origins of the field as a whole, this division has led to noticeable rifts in the field. In many universities in the UK, these sub-fields are separated into entirely different departments -- while physical anthropology, which focuses on the study of human populations from an evolutionary perspective, is sometimes absorbed into other departments, linguistics (which studies human language), archeology (the study of human material culture through artifacts), and cultural or social anthropology (commonly referred to as simply "anthropology," it focuses on the study of human culture through ethnography) all possess departments of their own.
Although these distinctions have allowed for the development of unique techniques and theories within each sub-field, at the same time this separation of sub-fields has perhaps gone too far in disassembling the field of anthropology. If the goal of the field is to provide understanding about humanity and its culture, downplaying any of these sub-fields will inevitably cripple any study. Any attempt to define and understand what makes us human cannot forgo an investigation of our language, of our evolution, of our material goods, or of our interpersonal interactions.
|Based on the passage, what is commonly the focus of the anthropology department at a university in the United Kingdom?|
|A main component of NASA's search for evidence of life on Mars is the identification of biosignatures. The most common of these indicative markers of extant or extinct life are carbonate minerals, which are formed when carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reacts with other minerals and liquid water. A widely held belief among astrobiologists is that proof of running or standing liquid water can be construed as diagnostic evidence of the existence of life. It has been established that a large portion of the red planet's surface contains areas of frozen water, leading some scientists to theorize that the climate of ancient Mars was a greenhouse-like atmosphere heavy with carbon dioxide. In this type of atmosphere, the existence of vast oceans similar to those of Earth would have been a very real possibility. Images of the landscape of Mars have lent support to these theories. Massive surface erosions resembling the Grand Canyon and land features that appear to be dried-up sea floor suggest that liquid water was indeed present on Mars at one point in the planet's history. But recent findings on the planet paint a different picture. Though trace carbonates have been identified, the amounts are not commensurate with the prolonged existence of large bodies of flowing liquid water.|
|According to the passage, which of the following statements is/are true of Mars?|
Light has been used as a beacon to mariners for thousands of years, for as long as man has taken to the sea. To the uneducated eye each of these lighthouses, despite their distinct locations, seems to have irrelevant variations on a homogeneous design. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
Each lighthouse has its own characteristic intervals of light and eclipse. These intervals, known as nightmarks or signatures, are set in specific patterns defined with such names as flashing, occulting, group flashing, or group occulting. What distinguishes each lighthouse is the rate of repetition for the intervals of flash and eclipse or fixed flashing. This unique repetition rate is called a period, and each lighthouse's period is charted in U.S. Coast Guard publications known as light lists. In addition to a lighthouse's nightmarks, its daymarks are included in these charts as well. Smart sailors still value these charts because they know that long after their fragile radios and radar rust into uselessness, the stalwart lighthouses will still be standing tall.
|Based on the final sentence of the passage, it can be inferred that the author would describe a sailor who relies solely on technology as a means of navigation as|
In 1950, a group of physicists met to discuss recent newspaper reports on sightings of UFO's (Unidentified Flying Objects). During this lunchtime conversation, Enrico Fermi, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, asked the question, "So, where are they?" -- by which he meant, "where are the aliens." His point was that, with so many stars in the Milky Way, it should be expected that the conditions for life would exist in many places in our galaxy -- not just on the Earth. If life exists, then evolution would be expected to lead to intelligent species and eventually to technological civilizations. Yet science has so far found no trace of alien civilizations, despite the considerable effort devoted to projects such as SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence).
While alien civilizations are typically the prerogative of science fiction, there is nevertheless a serious scientific purpose to the search for evidence of other civilizations. If humanity is indeed a singular case, there must be an explanation as to why our star (the sun), our solar system and our planet are unique. |~Many theories have been proposed to explain the apparent lack of other life forms. Life, and especially intelligent life, may in fact be exceedingly rare, or such life exists and we have neither found it, been able to contact it, or we simply have not noticed it.| Each of these points of view has many different theories associated with it, making the "Fermi paradox" an active area of research and scientific thought, especially in the emerging field of astrobiology.
|Which of the following best paraphrases the Fermi paradox?|
|In the Ptolemaic cosmology the earth is regarded as a fixed point with the other planets revolving around it .One reason for supposing that the earth is not moving is that if you drop an object it falls straight to the ground; if the earth was moving, Ptolemy reasoned that it would fall in a different place because the earth would move in between when you released the object and when it hit the ground. In fact, this is incorrect as can be demonstrated by dropping an object (keys for example) while walking. The keys do not fall to the ground at the place you stood when you released them but at the place you are, roughly speaking, when the keys hit the ground. In other words the keys move with you after you let them go, as long as you keep going with the same speed. This was first explained by Galileo in his famous work "Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems," When the keys are released they have same forward velocity with respect to the earth as you, the walker, do. In addition they experience a gravitational force pulling them down. So they drop to the ground while maintaining the same forward velocity, assuming we can neglect the drag of the air, and arrive at the same place as your feet. In a similar manner Galileo argued that you would not be able to tell if the earth is moving or not by experiments done on earth, thereby removing an important obstacle to the heliocentric (sun centered) cosmology of Copernicus. Today the principle that the laws of mechanics are the same in any frame moving with a constant velocity is called "Galilean invariance," and would play a crucial role in Einstein's development of special relativity.|
|What is the purpose of the highlighted phrase?|
|The four Galilean satellites of Jupiter probably experienced early, intense bombardment. Thus, the very ancient surface of Callisto remains scarred by impact craters. The younger, more varied surface of Ganymede reveals distinct light and dark areas, the light areas featuring networks of intersecting grooves and ridges, probably resulting from later ice flows. The impact sites of Europa have been almost completely erased, apparently by water outflowing from the interior and instantly forming vast, low, frozen seas. Satellite photographs of Io, the closest of the four to Jupiter, were revelatory. They showed a landscape dominated by volcanoes, many erupting, making Io the most tectonically active object in the solar system. Since a body as small as Io cannot supply the energy for such activity, the accepted explanation has been that, forced into a highly eccentric orbit, Io is engulfed by tides stemming from a titanic contest between the other three Galilean moons and Jupiter.|
|According to the passage, which of the following is probably NOT true of the surface of Io?|
|The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) estimates music piracy is the source of over, $4 billion each year in lost profits. Though music piracy is a general term that encompasses a broad array of illegal practices involving the duplication and distribution of recorded music (such as counterfeiting and bootlegging for personal monetary profit), the one area of piracy that occupies the majority of the nation's attention is the contentious practice of music file sharing on peer-to-peer (P2P) websites. Despite the RIAA's recent crackdown on illegal file sharing by levying heavy fines against offenders, P2P websites are still thriving. Though there is a small minority of the file-sharing population who truly believe they should not have to pay to listen to their favorite music, this percentage hardly occupies the lion's share of illegal downloaders. So why are so many people breaking the law? The RIAA equates the illegal downloading of an album of music to the act of shoplifting that same album from a record store, and it has a logically sound argument. However, the devious act of physically pilfering something from a record store, and all the tangible consequences it entails, is hardly present in the action of pressing a keyboard button from the repose of one's home.|
|The author states that all of the following are true of file sharing EXCEPT|
|The Gaelic revival movement of late 19th and early 20th century Ireland attracted some of the leading social, intellectual, and political figures of the time to the study of Gaelic. Primarily nationalistic in purpose, and located within the context of the Irish struggle for independence, the revival advocated the use of the traditional Irish language, Gaelic, in lieu of English. It was felt that a more robust use of a national language was necessary to crystallize Ireland's fractious sense of national identity. The idea was not without parallel; modern Israel rescued its traditional language, Hebrew, from what was exclusively academic and liturgical use, and reintroduced it into an active, living vernacular in the newly independent state of Israel. Prior to this unqualified success, however, was Ireland's attempted linguistic revival, which met with more debatable results. While many writers did incorporate Gaelic, and sometimes even write in it, English is still far more prevalent, except in isolated, rural areas on the western coast, and did not become the primary native language of subsequent generations. This arrestingly similar set of historical and cultural circumstances, coupled with different results, subverts the notion that language and cultural identity are inseparable. The writers and intellectuals that did study Gaelic did so primarily because it provided a romanticized connection to their heritage, not because they wished to integrate it into the fabric of their daily lives.|
|In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?|
In examining a source for information on a particular event or individual, a historian is confronted with a multitude of difficulties, including dating the source, conceptions of truth and history at the time of its composition, the intentions of the author, and so on. Although there is a scattering of historical treatises from the past that have been praised for their apparent historicity, such as Thucydides' history of the Peloponnesian War, even in these there are concerns about impartiality. Thucydides is often considered the first "modern historian" -- eschewing the gods or fate as an explanation for events, focusing rather on human actions and choices -- but many of his political rivals are painted in a particularly unflattering light, once again raising the question of his intent and objectivity.
The greatest difficulty in the study of history may well be summarized in the phrase "history is written by the victor" intentionally or not, the author's "side" will inevitably be painted as the "good guys." This is even true in modern times, such as the downplaying of atrocities by the Allies in World War II, particularly Joseph Stalin and the NKVD. Nevertheless, in the study of history, information must come from somewhere, and so it is important to take care in assessing the values and interests of any given author (of course, in some cases the author's identity may not even be known). Many efforts have been made to counteract the biases of historical documents, but some doubts will inevitably remain.
|Which of the following statements is NOT supported by the passage?|