Skill 8

EXERCISE 8: Study each of the passages and choose the best answers to the questions that follow.

PASSAGE ONE (Questions 1-2)

The teddy bear is a child’s toy, a nice soft stuffed animal suitable for cuddling. It is, however, a toy with an interesting history behind it. Theodore Roosevelt, or Teddy as he was commonly called, was president of the United Line States from 1901 to 1909. He was an unusually active man with varied pastimes, one of which was (5) hunting. One day the president was invited to take part in a bear hunt; and inasmuch as Teddy was president, his hosts wanted to ensure that he caught a bear. A bear was captured, clanked over the head to knock it out, and tied to a tree; however, Teddy, who really wanted to hunt a bear, refused to shoot the bear and, in fact, demanded that the bear be extricated from the ropes; that is, he demanded that the bear be set free.

(10) The incident attracted a lot of attention among journalists. First a cartoon — drawn by Clifford K Berryman to make fun of this situation — appeared in the Washington Post, and the cartoon was widely distributed and reprinted throughout the country. Then toy manufacturers began producing a toy bear which they called a “teddy bear.” The teddy bear became the most widely recognized symbol of Roosevelt’s presidency.


PASSAGE TWO (Questions 3-5)

A supernova occurs when all of the hydrogen in the core of a huge star is transformed to iron and explodes. All stars die after their nuclear fuel has been exhausted. Stars with little mass die gradually, but those with relatively large mass die in a sudden explosion, a supernova. The Line sudden flash of light can then be followed by several weeks of extremely bright light, perhaps as (5) much light as twenty million stars.

Supernovae are not very common; they occur about once every hundred years in any galaxy, and in 1987 a supernova that could be seen by the naked eye occurred in the Magellan Cloud, a galaxy close to the Milky Way. Scientists periodically detect supernovae in other galaxies; however, no supernovae have occurred in the Milky Way (the galaxy that includes Earth) since 1604. One (10) very impressive supernova occurred in the Milky Way on July 4, 1054. There was a great explosion followed by three months of lighted skies, and historical chronicles of the time were full of accounts and unusual explanations for the misunderstood phenomenon — many people believed that it meant that the world was coming to an end.


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