Reading Comprehension – Will a day come when India’s poor

December 22nd, 2019 by

Reading Comprehension – Will a day come when India’s poor Will a day come when India’s poor can access government services as easily as drawing cash from an ATM? . . . [N]o country in the world has made accessing education or health or policing or dispute resolution as easy as an ATM, because the nature of these activities requires individuals to use their discretion in a positive way. Technology can certainly facilitate this in a variety of ways if it is seen as one part of an overall approach, but the evidence so far in education, for instan

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Reading Comprehension – Grove snails as a whole are distributed all

December 22nd, 2019 by

Reading Comprehension – Grove snails as a whole are distributed all Grove snails as a whole are distributed all over Europe, but a specific variety of the snail, with a distinctive white-lipped shell, is found exclusively in Ireland and in the Pyrenees mountains that lie on the border between France and Spain. The researchers sampled a total of 423 snail specimens from 36 sites distributed across Europe, with an emphasis on gathering large numbers of the white-lipped variety. When they sequenced genes from the mitochondrial DNA of each of these sn

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Reading Comprehension – The complexity of modern problems

December 22nd, 2019 by

Reading Comprehension – The complexity of modern problems The complexity of modern problems often precludes any one person from fully understanding them. Factors contributing to rising obesity levels, for example, include transportation systems and infrastructure, media, convenience foods, changing social norms, human biology and psychological factors. . . . The multidimensional or layered character of complex problems also undermines the principle of meritocracy: the idea that the ‘best person’ should be hired. There is no best person. When p

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Reading Comprehension – More and more companies, government

December 21st, 2019 by

Reading Comprehension – More and more companies, government More and more companies, government agencies, educational institutions and philanthropic organisations are today in the grip of a new phenomenon: ‘metric fixation’. The key components of metric fixation are the belief that it is possible – and desirable – to replace professional judgment (acquired through personal experience and talent) with numerical indicators of comparative performance based upon standardised data (metrics); and that the best way to motivate people within these

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Reading Comprehension – NOT everything looks lovelier

December 21st, 2019 by

Reading Comprehension – NOT everything looks lovelier NOT everything looks lovelier the longer and closer its inspection. But Saturn does. It is gorgeous through Earthly telescopes. However, the 13 years of close observation provided by Cassini, an American spacecraft, showed the planet, its moons and its remarkable rings off better and better, revealing finer structures, striking novelties and greater drama. . . . By and large the big things in the solar system—planets and moons—are thought of as having been around since the beginning.

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Verbal Ability – Summary – The conceptualization of landscape

December 20th, 2019 by

Verbal Ability – Summary – The conceptualization of landscape The conceptualization of landscape as a geometric object first occurred in Europe and is historically related to the European conceptualization of the organism, particularly the human body, as a geometric object with parts having a rational, three-dimensional organization and integration. The European idea of landscape appeared before the science of landscape emerged, and it is no coincidence that Renaissance artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, who studied the structure of the human bo

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Reading Comprehension – Economists have spent most of

December 20th, 2019 by

Reading Comprehension - Economists have spent most of the 20th century ignoring psychology Economists have spent most of the 20th century ignoring psychology, positive or otherwise. But today there is a great deal of emphasis on how happiness can shape global economies, or — on a smaller scale — successful business practice. This is driven, in part, by a trend in "measuring" positive emotions, mostly so they can be optimized. Neuroscientists, for example, claim to be able to locate specific emotions, such as happiness or disappointment, in parti

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Reading Comprehension – When researchers at Emory University

December 20th, 2019 by

Reading Comprehension - When researchers at Emory University in Atlanta trained When researchers at Emory University in Atlanta trained mice to fear the smell of almonds (by pairing it with electric shocks), they found, to their consternation, that both the children and grandchildren of these mice were spontaneously afraid of the same smell. That is not supposed to happen. Generations of schoolchildren have been taught that the inheritance of acquired characteristics is impossible. A mouse should not be born with something its parents have lea

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Reading Comprehension – The Indian government has announced an

December 20th, 2019 by

Reading Comprehension - The Indian government has announced an international competition [The] Indian government [has] announced an international competition to design a National War Memorial in New Delhi, to honour all of the Indian soldiers who served in the various wars and counter-insurgency campaigns from 1947 onwards. The terms of the competition also specified that the new structure would be built adjacent to the India Gate – a memorial to the Indian soldiers who died in the First World War. Between the old imperialist memorial and th

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Reading Comprehension – The only thing worse than being

December 20th, 2019 by

Reading Comprehension - The only thing worse than being lied to is not knowing The only thing worse than being lied to is not knowing you’re being lied to. It’s true that plastic pollution is a huge problem, of planetary proportions. And it’s true we could all do more to reduce our plastic footprint. The lie is that blame for the plastic problem is wasteful consumers and that changing our individual habits will fix it. Recycling plastic is to saving the Earth what hammering a nail is to halting a falling skyscraper. You struggle to

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