Direction: Read the text and answer the multiple-choice question by selecting the correct response. Only one response is correct.
In 1957, after the world’s first artificial satellite was launched by the Soviet Union, the career of one US mathematician at NASA, Katherine Johnson, took an interesting turn. By 1962, preparations were underway for the Friendship 7 mission, where a US astronaut would orbit Earth for the first time. Such was Johnson’s reputation that the astronaut specifically asked for her to check calculations for the mission. The ground-breaking mission was successful and Johnson became known as NASA’s ‘human computer’, a reputation of which she was proud. She would later work on Project Apollo, making calculations that synchronized vehicles operating in space. Johnson singled this out as her most significant accomplishment. However, she also wrote a large number of research papers.
The Norman Conquest of 1066 brought a seismic shift in the English landscape as the French-speaking Normans took England by storm and usurped power. Old English had been the local vernacular and it had remained predominantly Germanic despite the infiltration of Latin influences since the Roman conquest. By the eleventh century, however, Old English had evolved into Middle English, which was the bureaucratic and jurisprudential language. From the late 1060s onwards, Old English was replaced by Norman French in these domains. Not only was the word stock influenced as a result, but the Middle English vernacular itself morphed grammatically and lexically into a new iteration of itself.
Before eating or drinking something, people expect certain things about its likely taste and flavour. A common opinion among the general population is that this is mostly controlled by our noses and tongues. However, food scientists consider colour to be the most significant thing that affects our senses. This point of view is supported by a growing amount of evidence obtained from laboratory experiments showing that changes in food or drink colour can greatly influence what we expect about flavours and, in turn, our experiences of eating or drinking. This paper reviews a range of studies which have looked into this issue.
Unexpected weather events prove that it’s impossible to control nature entirely. However, smart farming can make nature easier to monitor, which helps farmers make better agricultural decisions. Smart farming has much in common with industrial manufacturing. Just as the latest technological innovations have enabled factories to increase their productivity, smart farming techniques can improve agricultural efficiency. For instance, real-time monitoring of soil moisture levels helps farmers target their watering systems more effectively, meaning that less water and energy is wasted. Likewise, advances in genetic engineering have improved the genetic structure of crops to make them more resistant to diseases. Essentially, smart farming techniques make agriculture more reliable, regardless of nature.
Compared to previous generations that didn’t have the Internet or social media, digital technology has given young people greater access to information than ever before. People born after 1980 are often described as ‘digital natives’ because they have grown up navigating the digital world. However, many educators are becoming increasingly concerned about young people’s ability to evaluate the information they read online. Research suggests that schools need to improve the digital literacy training they provide for pupils. It’s clear that unless pupils are taught the essential critical thinking skills to analyse information carefully, they often have difficulty selecting reliable sources from the vast amount of information they’re exposed to on a daily basis.
A universal basic income is a system where the government pays all citizens a fixed, guaranteed monthly ‘salary’. The amount is calculated to be enough to cover basic financial needs, but not enough to enable people to give up work entirely. There’s no doubt that this idea is appealing. A growing number of supporters argue that the net benefits to society outweigh the financial costs to the government. For instance, people would have less stress, and, therefore, less need for health services. Also, if people are able to reduce their work schedules, there could clearly be positive economic impacts, as people would have more leisure time to spend money.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is the science of making computers do what humans can do. One UK city is testing this new technology between doctors and patients. Patients are able to have an appointment online and receive advice from a medical AI system. It is hoped that one day in the future this technology will allow blood tests to be done, but for now patients have the benefit of being able to watch their appointment again, which can help with understanding the health assessment. It is hoped that this new method will soon spread over the country, but services such as scans will still need hospital visits.
Attempting to put a value on the effect of future technologies can be challenging. Globally, it is suggested, for example, that the use of artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine intelligence, could increase global production by up to 16%. There are, however, many reasons to be uncertain about the exact impact of changes. Above all, the change will be different in individual countries, depending on the skills training programmes they have. Other things, such as higher wage growth, may create a much larger overall demand for the new technology, but it will be half a decade before we will be able to say for sure what the effects will be.
Individuals who are perceived to be more attractive are often automatically considered to have other qualities, such as the ability to achieve greater academic success. This can have a negative effect in situations such as hiring people for jobs. To investigate this phenomenon, we asked participants to study the faces of 100 university students, to verify whether there were links between perceived academic ability and actual success. As there has been much debate around what intelligence is, and multiple definitions, we also looked at whether people were perceived as conscientious. We found that being perceived to be conscientious was a stronger predictor of actual academic performance than perceived intelligence was. However, attractiveness still influenced first impressions of competence.
A recent research survey alludes to modifications in the social habits, mediated through smartphone use, of people in emerging economies. The findings reveal that smartphone users generally have more interaction with people of different religious backgrounds, political preferences, income levels and even racial or ethnic groups, compared to those with basic or no mobile phones. However, it remains unclear whether smartphone use directly leads to this increased propensity for social diversity. For instance, it’s possible that people with the disposable income to buy and maintain a smartphone often move in different social circles from those without and so would naturally gain exposure to more diverse groups in society.