Question of the Day August




Researchers at the University at Buffalo have developed a solar water purifier they hope can sanitize water more quickly, cheaply, and effectively than other models. The device resembles a small A-frame tent. Black carbon-dipped paper is draped over a triangular form and set on top of the water. The edges of the paper trail in the water, soaking it up like a sponge.


What is the best way to combine the underlined sentences?


A. A triangular form is set on top of the water and draped with carbon-dipped paper, whose edges trail in the water, soaking it up like a sponge.
B. A triangular form is set on top of the water, and carbon-dipped paper is draped over it, whose edges trail in the water and soak it up like a sponge.
C. Black carbon-dipped paper is draped over a triangular form and, then, set on top of the water, its edges trailing and soaking it up like a sponge.
D. Draped over a triangular form, black carbon-dipped paper is set on top of the water, whose edges trail, soaking it up like a sponge.


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In the late nineteenth century, the most sophisticated railroad managers and some economists argued that railroads were “natural monopolies,” the inevitable consequence of an industry that required huge investments in land and construction. However, competition was expensive and wasteful. In 1886, the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway and the Missouri Pacific Railroad both built railroad tracks heading west from the Great Bend of the Arkansas River in Kansas to Greeley County on the western border, roughly 200 miles away. The tracks ran parallel to each other, about two miles apart.


B. Therefore,
C. Indeed,
D. Still,


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In the early twentieth century, new knowledge about nutrition science fueled widespread “expert” condemnation of dishes featuring a range of ingredients mixed together. Instead, reformers insisted with great confidence (but scant evidence), that it was healthier to eat simple foods with few ingredients—meals in which meats and plain vegetables were clearly separated.


B. confidence, (but scant evidence),
C. confidence, (but scant evidence)
D. confidence (but scant evidence)


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Debbie Smith has her work cut out for her. Since 2010, she has been the artist responsible to record the likeness of every clown registered with Clowns International, the oldest established organization for clowns in the United Kingdom. It’s a seemingly straightforward task—that is, until you discover what she uses as a canvas: eggs.


B. for recording
C. in recording
D. with recording


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Bill Bowerman’s “eureka” moment came while eating breakfast with his wife on a summer Sunday in 1976. As he stared at his waffles, it occurred to him that the grooves of the waffle iron were a perfect mold for multi-terrain sneaker soles. He poured molten rubber into iron after iron that he perfected the waffle-sole pattern that Nike, which he co-founded in 1964, continues to use on some running and training shoes today.


B. which
C. until
D. when


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During the Renaissance, first-person accounts of little-explored lands and botanical discoveries thrilled armchair gardeners, working horticulturists and scholars, although the high cost of producing books and manuscripts tended to limit their audience. At a more practical level, interest in garden design and new techniques of cultivation blossomed and was accompanied by a combustion of interest in previously unknown plants.


B. a bang
C. a blowup
D. an explosion


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In 2004, Debra Britt and her sisters, Felicia Walker and Tamara Mattison, began to collect and make dolls, doll clothes, and accessories. By 2012, the serious hobby had overrun their home, so they rented a storefront space in downtown Mansfield, Massachusetts, where they were living, and transformed it into the National Black Doll Museum of History and Culture.


B. have lived
C. would live
D. would have lived


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For most of history, humans weren’t interested in the direct consumption of milk. Instead, the early milkers of the fertile crescent transformed it into sour yogurt, butter and cheese because the hot climate caused milk to quickly spoil. Even so, milk was a vital symbol in the mythology of the Sumerians, Greeks and Egyptians.


Which of the following is the LEAST acceptable placement for the underlined word?


A. where it is now.
B. after the word climate.
C. after the word milk.
D. after the word spoil.


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In James Dinh’s proposal for the National Museum of the American Indian’s new memorial, concentric circles—“ripples,” in Dinh’s imagination—radiate outward from a star and fountain and is bounded on one side by a mound of earth inlaid with a stone wall. One stretch of this wall, which Dinh terms the “Wall of Stories,” is particularly striking: it features a seated bronze sculpture of a mother and child.


B. are
C. has been
D. have been


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In a 2012 paper, marketing researchers Rajeev Batra, Aaron Ahuvia and Richard P. Bagozzi developed a model of “brand love.” Based on studies of consumers’ brand attachment, they showed that in order to form meaningful attachment with a brand, consumers need to experience them in ways that go beyond simply buying and using a product.


B. themselves
C. itself
D. it


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Before Star Trek premiered on September 8, 1966, the show’s ingredients had been slow-cooking in creator Gene Roddenberry’s brain for years. At first, Roddenberry’s initial idea was to write a show about a 19th-century blimp that journeyed from place to place, making contact with distant peoples. Deciding instead to set the show in the future, Roddenberry drew upon his youthful immersion in science fiction magazines like Astounding Stories.


B. Roddenberry had the initial idea
C. Roddenberry’s idea initially was
D. Roddenberry’s idea was


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Even before the advent of digital technologies, critics predicted the collapse of existing media. After television was invented, many claimed radio would die. But radio ended up surviving by finding new uses; people started listening in cars, during train rides and on factory floors.


Which of the following would NOT be an acceptable alternative to the underlined word?


A. destruction
B. demise
C. revolt
D. disappearance


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On March 19, 1918, Woodrow Wilson signed the Calder Act, requiring people in the United States to set their clocks to standard time; less than two weeks later, on March 31, they would be required to abandon standard time and pushed their clocks ahead by an hour for the nation’s first experiment with daylight saving.


B. push
C. have pushed
D. had pushed


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In an exhibition called Figuring History, the African-American artist Robert Colescott provided a tongue-in-cheek send-up of the famous depiction of George Washington crossing the Delaware. The Oakland, California, native places George Washington Carver, the agricultural pioneer at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, in the spot of his namesake.


B. artist, Robert Colescott
C. artist Robert Colescott,
D. artist, Robert Colescott,


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The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) has been the site of many creative adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. Some are a multimedia mashup of characters, lines and scenes from Shakespeare’s history plays. “Extensively cut,” “deeply cut” and “severely cut” are some of the favorite phrases used by the reviewers of these types of experimental stage and film adaptations. The job can involve rearranging scenes, simplifying plotlines, and eliminating characters. In such cases, cutting up Shakespeare is not an act of destruction but an act of creation. Professional playwrights in Shakespeare’s time even thought about creating scripts as “cutwork,” like constructing costumes by cutting and stitching.


Which answer creates the most logical transition between the preceding sentence and the information that follows?


B. During Shakespeare’s time, it was not uncommon for multiple versions of plays to circulate.
C. Multimedia websites also offer contemporary “translations” of Shakespeare’s plays, along with notes and interviews.
D. Cutting, however, doesn’t necessarily mean getting rid of something.


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To some extent, the fear of having a book or movie plot “spoiled” is well-grounded. You only have one opportunity to learn something for the first time. Once you’ve learned it, that knowledge affects what you notice, what you anticipate, and even what your imagination can do.


B. what you can imagine.
C. what is in your imagination.
D. what your imagination is like.


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Long before smartphones filmed the stiffened appendages of people seeking internet fame, striking a pose was a popular form of entertainment in Victorian England. They called the practice “tableaux vivants” (literally, “living pictures”). The technique had its roots in medieval drama, but it became a fashionable Victorian-era dinner party game similar to charades. People would select a famous scene and position themselves in it, frozen, for their guests and friends to observe.


B. Participants
C. One
D. We


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Paradoxically, time is perceived to pass slowly in situations in which there is either nothing happening or a great deal is happening. In other words, the complexity of the situation is either much higher or much lower than normal.


B. a great deal happens.
C. a great deal has happened.
D. a great deal happening.


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Since April 2017, a canoe powered solely by solar energy travels back and forth along the 42-mile stretch of the Capahuari and Pastaza rivers that connect the nine isolated settlements that live along their banks. The boat, named Tapiatpia after a mythical electric eel in the area, is the Amazon’s first solar powered public transport system.


B. has traveled
C. would travel
D. traveled


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Protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays is nothing new: many organisms, including microbes, plants, and animals, have developed the ability to shield themselves by producing small molecules that absorb UV rays, and block radiation, from entering cells and damaging the DNA.


B. molecules, that absorb UV rays and block radiation
C. molecules that absorb UV rays and block radiation
D. molecules that absorb UV rays and block radiation,


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Deep twilight settles in over Wales, Alaska. As the last traces of sunset orange give way to blue black on the western horizon, the icy Bering Strait and Siberia beyond are invisible in the night. All is quiet in the tiny village—a cluster of buildings with a single string of streetlights, tucked between frozen hills and frozen sea.


Which of the following is the LEAST acceptable alternative to the underlined portion?


A. village, a cluster
B. village: a cluster
C. village and a cluster
D. village; it is a cluster


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Unlike his peers, the architect Frank Lloyd Wright also had a rare artistic passion that was very unusual: Japanese art. Wright first became interested in his early twenties, and within a decade, he was an internationally known collector of Japanese woodblock prints.


B. a rarely unusual artistic passion
C. a rare and unusual artistic passion
D. a rare artistic passion


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Spam has become a sought-after product in many countries around the world since its introduction in the 1930s, especially those that have faced economic hardship. Because it’s cheap, filling, and long-lasting, it addresses a genuine need.


B. Since its introduction in the 1930s, Spam has become a sought-after product in many countries around the world,
C. In many countries around the world, Spam has become a sought-after product since its introduction in the 1930s,
D. Around the world, in many countries, Spam has become a sought-after product since its introduction in the 1930s,


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In the 1840s, the travel writer Alexander Mackay described the “extraordinary number” of newspapers that travelers would encounter everywhere they went. Henry David Thoreau, on the other hand, was more appalled than dazzled. In fact, he loathed newspapers, denouncing them for a variety of offenses, including “servility” and outright baseness.


B. However,
C. Likewise,
D. Subsequently,


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The more often people hear a statement, the more likely they are to believe it’s true—a phenomenon commonly known as the illusory truth effect. Adding a picture can also change how believable a statement is. Sometimes, images can make messages more convincing; other times, skepticism is increased.


B. skepticism would be increased.
C. there is an increase in skepticism.
D. they can increase skepticism.


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When he published The Sun Also Rises in 1926, Ernest Hemingway was already well-known among expatriate writers in Paris and cosmopolitan literary circles in New York and Chicago. However, it was his second novel A Farewell to Arms, that truly made him a celebrity. With this newfound fame, Hemingway learned, came fan mail, and lots of it.


B. novel: A Farewell to Arms
C. novel, A Farewell to Arms,
D. novel, A Farewell to Arms


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In the late 1970s, a group of researchers set out testing the improbable idea of making computers “talk” to one another by using digital information packets that could be traded among multiple machines. The project, called ARPANET, went on to fundamentally change life on Earth under its more common name: the Internet.


B. in testing
C. for testing
D. to test


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In the nineteenth century, people in the United States ate dessert puddings that still are recognizable today; however, they also ate main-course puddings like steak and kidney pudding, pigeon pudding, or eating mutton pudding, in which stewed meats were surrounded by a flour or potato crust. Other puddings had no crust at all. Some, like Yorkshire pudding, were a kind of cooked batter.


B. they ate
C. ate
D. DELETE the underlined word.


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You are invited into Do Ho Suh’s apartment. You put down your bag, remove your coat and step inside. The hallway changes color as you proceed, first pink, then green and then blue. There is a red staircase outside, and beyond it people are moving around. You can see them right through the walls. Back home, the only things that behave this way are cobwebs, but here, everything—door panels, chain locks, light switches, sprinkler system dissolves delightfully into colored light.


B. chain locks; light switches, sprinkler system,
C. chain locks, light switches sprinkler system
D. chain locks, light switches, sprinkler system—


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Researchers have reported that individuals, who live in urban areas of more than half a million inhabitants, are exposed to night-time light levels three to six times brighter than those in small towns and rural areas. People living in regions with more intense light sleep less, are more tired during the daytime, and report feeling more dissatisfied with their sleep.


B. individuals, who live in urban areas of more than half a million inhabitants
C. individuals who live in urban areas of more than half a million inhabitants,
D. individuals who live in urban areas of more than half a million inhabitants


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The Museum of Bad Art was founded in 1994, when Boston art and antique dealer Scott Wilson rescued a portrait of a handsome grandmother, pensively poised under an aggressively yellow sky in a windswept meadow, from a Boston trash heap. Wilson wanted to sell the frame, but upon seeing the painting (later dubbed Lucy in the Field with Flowers), an objection was made by his friend Jerry Reilly. Reilly took the tribute to someone else’s elder and hung it in his own home.


B. Jerry Reilly, his friend made an objection.
C. his friend Jerry Reilly, who made an objection.
D. his friend Jerry Reilly objected.


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