Welcome to  SES 13 III


Questions 1-9

John James Audubon, nineteenth-century artist and naturalist, is known as one of the foremost authorities on North American birds. Born in Les Cayes, Haiti, in 1785, Audubon was raised in France and studied art under French artist Jacques-Louis David. After settling on his father’s Pennsylvania estate at the age of eighteen, he first began to study and paint birds.

In his young adulthood, Audubon undertook numerous enterprises, generally without a tremendous amount of success; at various times during his life he was involved in a mercantile business, a lumber and grist mill, a taxidermy business, and a school. His general mode of operating a business was to leave it either unattended or in the hands of a partner and take off on excursions through the wilds to paint the natural life that he saw. His business career came to an end in 1819 when he was jailed for debt and forced to file for bankruptcy.

It was at that time that Audubon began to seriously pursue the dream of publishing a collection of his paintings of birds. For the next six years he painted birds in their natural habitats while his wife worked as a teacher to support the family. His Birds of America , which included engravings of 435 of his colorful and lifelike watercolors, was published in parts during the period from 1826 to 1838 in England. After the success of the English editions, American editions of his work were published in 1839, and his fame and fortune were ensured.

This passage is mainly about
2. The word “foremost” in line 2 is closest meaning to
3. In the second paragraph, the author mainly discusses
4. The word “mode” in line 9 could best be replaced by
5. Audubon decided not to continue to pursue business when
6. The word “pursue”” in line 13 is closest in meaning to
7. According to the passage, Audubon’s paintings
8. The word “support” in line 15 could best be replaced by
9. It can be inferred from the passage that after 1839 Audubon

Questions 10-19

                The stories of killer bees in the news in recent years have attracted a lot of attention as the bees have made their way from South America to North America. Killer bees are reputed to be extremely aggressive in nature, although experts say that their aggression may have been somewhat inflated.

                The killer bee is a hybrid – or combination – of the very mild European strain of honeybee and the considerably more aggressive African bee, which was created when the African strain was imported into Brazil in 1955. The African bees were bought into Brazil because their aggression was considered an advantage: they were far more productive than their European counterparts in that they spent a higher percentage of their time working and continued working longer in inclement weather than did the European bees.

                These killer bees have been known to attack humans and animals, and some fatalities have occurred. Experts point out, however, that the mixed breed known as the killer bee is actually not at all as aggressive as the pure African bee. They also point out that the attacks have a chemical cause. A killer bee stings only when it has been disturbed; it is not aggressive by nature. However, after a disturbed bee stings and flies away, it leaves its stinger embedded in the victim. In the vicera attached to the embedded stinger is the chemical isoamyl acetate, which has an odor that attracts other bees. As other bees approach the victim of the original sting, the victim tends to panic, thus disturbing other bees and causing them to sting. The new stings create more of the chemical isoamyl acetate, which attracts more bees and increases the panic level of the victim. Killer bees tend to travel in large clusters or swarms and thus respond in large numbers to the production of isoamyl acetate.

The subject of the preceding paragraph was most likely
11. The main idea of this passage is that killer bees
12. The word “inflated” in line 4 could be best replaced by
13. It can be inferred from the passage that the killer bee
14. Why were African bees considered beneficial?
15. A “hybrid” in line 5 is

It is stated in the passage that killer bees

17. The pronoun “They” in line 13 refers to
18. What is NOT mentioned in the passage as a contributing factor in an attack by killer bees?
19. Where in the passage does the author describe the size of the groups in which killer bees move?

Questions 20-28

                There is a common expression in the English language referring to a blue moon. When people say that something happens “only once in a blue moon,” they mean that it happens only very rarely, once in a great while. This expression has been around for at least a century and a half; there are references to this expression that date from the second half of the nineteenth century.

                The expression “a blue moon” has come to refer to the second full moon occurring in any given calendar month. A second full moon is not called a blue moon because it is particularly blue or is any different in hue from the first full moon of the month. Instead, it is called a blue moon because it is so rare. The moon needs a little more than 29 days to complete the cycle from full moon to full moon. Because every month except February has more than 29 days, every month will have at least one full moon (except February, which will have a full moon unless there is a full moon at the very end of January and another full moon at the very beginning of March). It is on the occasion when a given calendar month has a second full moon that a blue moon occurs. This does not happen very often, only three or four times in a decade.

                The blue moons of today are called blue moons because of their rarity and not because of their color; however, the expression “blue moon” may have come into existence in reference to unusual circumstances in which the moon actually appeared blue. Certain natural phenomena of gigantic proportions can actually change the appearance of the moon from the Earth. The eruption of the Krakatao volcano in 1883 left dust particles in the atmosphere, which clouded the sun and gave the moon a bluish tint. This particular occurrence of the blue moon may have given rise to the expression that we use today. Another example occurred more than a century later. When Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, the moon again took on a blue tint.

The passage is about
21. How long has the expression “once in a blue moon” been around?
22. A blue moon could best be described as
23. The word “hue” in line 8 is closest in meaning to
24. Which of the following might be the date of a “blue moon”?
25. How many blue moons would there most likely be in a century?
26. According to the passage, the moon actually looked blue
27. The expression “given rise to” in line 22 could best be replaced by
28. Where in the passage does the author describe the duration of a lunar cycle?

Questions 29 – 40

                The organization that today is known as the Bank of America did start out in America, but under quite a different name. Italian American A.P. Giannini established this bank on October 17, 1904, in a renovated saloon in San Francisco’s Italian community of North Beach under the name Bank of Italy, with immigrants and first-time bank customers comprising the majority of his first customer. During its development, Giannini’s bank survived major crises in the form of a natural disaster and a major economic upheaval that not all other banks were able to overcome.

                One major test for Giannini’s bank occurred on April 18, 1906, when a massive earthquake struck San Francisco, followed by a raging fire that destroyed much of the city. Giannini obtained two wagons and teams of horses, filled the wagons with the bank’s reserves, mostly in the form of gold, covered the reserves with crates of oranges, and escaped from the chaos of the city with his clients’ funds protected. In the aftermath of the disaster, Giannini’s bank was the first to resume operations. Unable to install the bank in a proper office setting, Giannini opened up shop on the Washington Street Wharf on a makeshift desk created from boards and barrels. 

                In the period following the 1906 fire, the Bank of Italy continued to prosper and expand. By 1918 there were twenty-four branches of the Bank of Italy, and by 1928 Giannini had acquired numerous other banks, including a Bank of America located in New York City. In 1930 he consolidated all the branches of the Bank of Italy, the Bank of America in New York City, and another Bank of America that he had formed in California into the Bank of America National Trust and Savings Association.

A second major crisis for the bank occurred the Great Depression of the 1930s. Although Giannini had already retired prior to the darkest days of the Depression, he became incensed when his successor began selling off banks during the bad economic times. Giannini resumed leadership of the bank at the age of sixty-two. Under Giannini’s leadership, the bank weathered the storm of the Depression and subsequently moved into a phase of overseas development.

According to the passage, Giannini
30. Where did Giannini open his first Bank?
31. According to the passage, which of the following is NOT true about the San Francisco earthquake?
32. The word “raging” in line 9 could best be replaced by
33. It can be inferred from the passage that Giannini used crates of oranges after the earthquake
34. The word “chaos” in line 12 is closest in meaning to
35. The word “consolidated” in line 19 is closest in meaning to
36. The passage states that after his retirement, Giannini
37. The expression “weathered the storm of” in line 26 could best be replaced by
38. Where in the passage does the author describe Giannini’s first banking clients?
39. How is the information in the passage presented?
40. The paragraph following the passage most likely discusses

Questions 41-50

                Thunderstorms, with their jagged bursts of lightning and roaring thunder, are actually one of nature’s primary mechanisms for transferring heat from the surface of the earth into the atmosphere. A thunderstorm starts when low-lying pockets of warm air from the surface of the earth begin to rise. The pockets of warm air float upward through the air above that is both cooler and heavier. The rising pockets cool as their pressure decreases, and their latent heat is released above the condensation line through the formation of cumulus clouds.

                What will happen with these clouds depends on the temperature of the atmosphere. In winter, the air temperature differential between higher and lower altitudes is not extremely great, and the temperature of the rising air mass drops more slowly. During these colder months, the atmosphere, therefore, tends to remain rather stable. In summer, however, when there is a high accumulation of heat near the earth’s surface, in direct contrast to the considerably colder air higher up, the temperature differential between higher and lower altitudes is much more pronounced. As warm air rises in this type of environment, the temperature drops much more rapidly than it does in winter; when more than four degrees Fahrenheit per thousand feet of altitude, cumulus clouds aggregate into a single massive cumulonimbus cloud, or thunderhead.

                In isolation, a single thunderstorm is an impressive but fairly benign way for Mother Earth to defuse trapped heat from her surface; thunderstorms, however, can appear in concert, and the resulting show, while extremely impressive, can also prove extraordinarily destructive. When there is a large-scale collision between cold air and warm air masses during the summer months, a squall line, or series of thunderheads, may develop. It is common for a squall line to begin when an advancing cold front meets up with and forces itself under a layer of warm and moist air, creating a line of thunderstorms that races forward at speeds of approximately forty miles per hour. A squall line, which can be hundreds of miles long and can contain fifty distinct thunderheads, is a magnificent force of nature with incredible potential for destruction. Within the squall line, often near its southern end, can be found supercells, long-lived rotating storms of exceptional strength that serve as the source of tornadoes.

The topic of the passage is
42. “Mechanisms” in line 2 are most likely
43. It can be inferred from the passage that, in summer,
44. The word “benign” in line 18 is closest meaning to
45. The expression “in concert” in line 19-20 could best be replaced by
46. According to the passage, a “squall line” in line 22 is
47. The pronoun “itself” in line 23 refers to
48. All of the following are mentioned in the passage about supercells EXCEPT that they
49. This reading would most probably be assigned in which of the following courses?
50. The paragraph following the passage most likely discusses

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