Reading Passages For Prediction Test 1

Question 1- 10

                 The conservatism of the early English colonists in North America, their strong
         attachment to the English way of doing things, would play a major part in the furniture
         that was made in New England. The very tools that the first New England furniture
         makers used were, after all, not much different from those used for centuries – even
(5)   millennia: basic hammers, saws, chisels, planes, augers, compasses, and measures.
         These were the tools used more or less by all people who worked with wood:
         carpenters, barrel makers, and shipwrights. At most the furniture makers might have
         had planes with special edges or more delicate chisels, but there could not have been
         much specialization in the early years of the colonies.

(10)         The furniture makers in those early decades of the 1600’s were known as “joiners,”
         for the primary method of constructing furniture, at least among the English of this
         time, was that of mortise-and-tenon joinery. The mortise is the hole chiseled and cut
         into one piece of wood, while the tenon is the tongue or protruding element shaped
         from another piece of wood so that it fits into the mortise; and another small hole is
(15)  then drilled (with the auger) through the mortised end and the tenon so that a whittled
         peg can secure the joint – thus the term “joiner. ” Panels were fitted into slots on the
         basic frames. This kind of construction was used for making everything from houses to
         chests.

                 Relatively little hardware was used during this period. Some nails – forged by
(20)  hand – were used, but no screws or glue. Hinges were often made of leather, but metal
         hinges were also used. The cruder varieties were made by blacksmiths in the colonies,
         but the finer metal elements were imported. Locks and escutcheon plates – the latter to
         shield the wood from the metal key – would often be imported.
         Above all, what the early English colonists imported was their knowledge of,
(25) familiarity with, and dedication to the traditional types and designs of furniture they
         knew in England.

 

Question 11- 20

                 In addition to their military role, the forts of the nineteenth century provided numerous
         other benefits for the American West. The establishment of these posts opened new
         roads and provided for the protection of daring adventurers and expeditions as well as
         established settlers. Forts also served as bases where enterprising entrepreneurs could
(5)   bring commerce to the West, providing supplies and refreshments to soldiers as well as to
         pioneers. Posts like Fort Laramie provided supplies for wagon trains traveling the
         natural highways toward new frontiers. Some posts became stations for the pony
         express; still others, such as Fort Davis, were stagecoach stops for weary travelers. All
         of these functions, of course, suggest that the contributions of the forts to the
(10)  civilization and development of the West extended beyond patrol duty.

                 Through the establishment of military posts, yet other contributions were made to 
         the development of western culture. Many posts maintained libraries or reading rooms,
         and some – for example, Fort Davis – had schools. Post chapels provided a setting
         for religious services and weddings. Throughout the wilderness, post bands provided
(15)  entertainment and boosted morale. During the last part of the nineteenth century, to
         reduce expenses, gardening was encouraged at the forts, thus making experimental
         agriculture another activity of the military. The military stationed at the various forts
         also played a role in civilian life by assisting in maintaining order, and civilian officials
         often called on the army for protection.

(20)         Certainly, among other significant contributions the army made to the improvement
         of the conditions of life was the investigation of the relationships among health,
         climate, and architecture. From the earliest colonial times throughout the nineteenth
         century, disease ranked as the foremost problem in defense. It slowed construction of
         forts and inhibited their military functions. Official documents from many regions
(25) contained innumerable reports of sickness that virtually incapacitated entire garrisons.
         In response to the problems, detailed observations of architecture and climate and their
         relationships to the frequency of the occurrence of various diseases were recorded at
         various posts across the nation by military surgeons.

 

Question 21- 30


                 Anyone who has handled a fossilized bone knows that it is usually not exactly like
         its modern counterpart, the most obvious difference being that it is often much heavier.
         Fossils often have the quality of stone rather than of organic materials, and this has led
         to the use of the term “petrifaction” (to bring about rock). The implication is that bone,
(5)   and other tissues, have somehow been turned into stone, and this is certainly the
         explanation given in some texts. But it is wrong interpretation; fossils are frequently
         so dense because the pores and other spaces in the bone have become filled with
         minerals taken up from the surrounding sediments. Some fossil bones have all the
         interstitial spaces filled with foreign minerals, including the marrow cavity, if there is
(10)  one, while others have taken up but little from their surroundings. Probably all of the
         minerals deposited within the bone have been recrystallized from solution by the action
         of water percolating thru them. The degree of mineralization appears to be determined
         by the nature of the environment in which the bone was deposited and not by the
         antiquity of the bone. For example, the black fossil bones that are so common in many
(15)  parts of Florida are heavily mineralized, but they are only about 20,000 years old,
         whereas many of the dinosaur bones from western Canada, which are about 75 million
         years old, are only partially filled in. Under optimum conditions the process of
         mineralization probably takes thousands rather than millions of years, perhaps
         considerably less.

(20)         The amount of change that has occurred in fossil bone, even in bone as old as that of
         dinosaurs, is often remarkably small. We are therefore usually able to see the
         microscopic structures of the bone, including such fine details as the lacunae where the
         living bone cells once resided. The natural bone mineral, the hydroxyapatite, is
         virtually unaltered too – it has the same crystal structure as that of modern bone.
(25) Although nothing remains of the original collagen, some of its component amino acids
         are usually still detectable, together with amino acids of the noncollagen proteins of bone.

 

Question 31- 40

                 In the last third of the nineteenth century a new housing form was quietly being
         developed. In 1869 the Stuyvesant, considered New York’s first apartment house was
         built on East Eighteenth Street. The building was financed by the developer Rutherfurd
         Stuyvesant and designed by Richard Morris Hunt, the first American architect to graduate
(5)   from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Each man had lived in Paris, and each understood
         the economics and social potential of this Parisian housing form. But the Stuyvesant
         was at best a limited success. In spite of Hunt’s inviting façade, the living space was
         awkwardly arranged. Those who could afford them were quite content to remain in the
         more sumptuous, single-family homes, leaving the Stuyvesant to young married couples
(10)  and bachelors.

                 The fundamental problem with the Stuyvesant and the other early apartment buildings
         that quickly followed, in the 1870’s and early 1880’s was that they were confined
         to the typical New York building lot. That lot was a rectangular area 25 feet wide by 100
         feet deep – a shape perfectly suited for a row house. The lot could also accommodate a
(15)  rectangular tenement, though it could not yield the square, well-lighted, and logically
         arranged rooms that great apartment buildings require. But even with the awkward
         interior configurations of the early apartment buildings, the idea caught on. It met the
         needs of a large and growing population that wanted something better than tenements
         but could not afford or did not want row houses.

(20)         So while the city’s newly emerging social leadership commissioned their mansions,
         apartment houses and hotels began to sprout in multiple lots, thus breaking the initial
         space constraints. In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, large apartment
         houses began dotting the developed portions of New York City, and by the opening
         decades of the twentieth century, spacious buildings, such as the Dakota and the Ansonia
(25) finally transcended the tight confinement of row house building lots. From there it was
         only a small step to building luxury apartment houses on the newly created Park Avenue,
         right next to the fashionable Fifth Avenue shopping area.


Question 41- 50 

                 A snowfall consists of myriads of minute ice crystals that fall to the ground in the
         form of frozen precipitation. The formation of snow begins with these ice crystals in the
         subfreezing strata of the middle and upper atmosphere when there is an adequate
         supply of moisture present. At the core of every ice crystal is a minuscule nucleus, a
(5)   solid particle of matter around which moisture condenses and freezes. Liquid water
         droplets floating in the supercooled atmosphere and free ice crystals cannot coexist
         within the same cloud, since the vapor pressure of ice is less than that of water. This
         enables the ice crystals to rob the liquid droplets of their moisture and grow continuously.
         The process can be very rapid, quickly creating sizable ice crystals, some of which
(10)  adhere to each other to create a cluster of ice crystals or a snowflake. Simple flakes
         possess a variety of beautiful forms, usually hexagonal, though the symmetrical shapes
         reproduced in most microscope photography of snowflakes are not usually found in
         actual snowfalls. Typically, snowflakes in actual snowfall consists of broken fragments
         and clusters of adhering ice crystals. 

(15)          For a snowfall to continue once it starts, there must be a constant inflow of moisture
         to supply the nuclei. This moisture is supplied by the passage of an airstream over a
         water surface and its subsequent lifting to higher regions of the atmosphere. The Pacific
         Ocean is the source of moisture for most snowfalls west of the Rocky Mountains, while
         the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean feed water vapor into the air currents over
(20) the central and eastern sections of the United States. Other geographical features also
         can be the source of moisture for some snowstorms. For example, areas adjacent to the
         Great Lakes experience their own unique lake-effect storms, employing a variation of
         the process on a local scale. In addition, mountainous section or rising terrain can
         initiate snowfalls by the geographical lifting of a moist airstream.

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