Tuesday, April 30, 2013

SEVEN Excellent Scrambled Paragraph Practice Exercises

Peruvian soldiers, prisoners and school-children now eat papapan – a bread made from boiled potatoes. 

______(Q) Wheat has become short in supply because of continued bad weather and a greater demand for bread by an ever growing world population.

______(R) The government is promoting this new type of bread product in the wake of a severe shortage of wheat.

______(S) This greater demand for wheat has caused prices to sky-rocket, severely hurting the world’s poor.

______(T) UN economist John Smith believes that all of this should be a wake-up call: “We need to begin planting much more wheat!”

______(U) In Nigeria, for example, the price of a loaf of wheat bread has risen from .75 to 1.00.

 Taken from National Geographic 10/2008


Tiger attacks, monkey escapes, animal deaths – news like this from zoos has led to an outcry from critics.

______(Q) Robert Humbertoe disagrees and counters this argument by saying, “Enlightened zoos are good places for animals, and they are getting better.”

______(R) Humbertoe points out that input from scientists has allowed zoos to create more naturalistic enclosures for the animals where they can act in healthful and natural ways.

______(S) One result of the new, enlightened and naturalistic type of zoo is that animals tend to jump farther, climb higher and run faster because of pure joy.

______(T) “If we can’t phase them out, zoos need higher standards; and some animals should not be in captivity in the first place.”

______(U) “I think all zoos should be phased out,” says Pete Bark, an animal rights advocate.

Taken from National Geographic 10/2008


It is believed that the majority of the pig breeds we now know are descended from the Eurasian Wild Boar (Sus scrofa).

______(Q) Pigs have now, in fact, become vital to the economy in all parts of the world - for example, there exists a "pig culture" in New Guinea as strong and complex as any African culture based on cattle.

______(R) After this point in space and time, the pig spread across Asia, Europe and Africa.

______(S) Figurines, as well as bones, dating to the sixth and seventh millennia BC have been found at sites in the Middle East.

______(T) Archaeological evidence from the Middle East indicates domestication of the pig occurred as early as 9,000 years ago, with some evidence for domestication even earlier in China.

______(U) Pigs were also a popular subject for statuettes in ancient Persia following the sixth and seventh millennia.

Taken from: http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/swine/


Dionysus, also commonly known by his Roman name Bacchus, appears to be a god who has two distinct origins.

______(Q) On the other hand, Dionysus also represents the outstanding features of mystery religions, such as those practiced at Eleusis

______(R) Therefore, scholars have suspected that the god known as Dionysus is in fact a fusion of a local Greek nature god, and another more potent god imported rather late in Greek pre-history from Phrygia (the central area of modern day Turkey) or Thrace

______(S) On the one hand, Dionysus was the god of wine, agriculture, and fertility of nature, who is also the patron god of the Greek stage (theatre).

______(T) A mystery religion is, basically, one that provided extreme and enriched inner experience or ecstasy: personal and higher-level delivery from the daily world through physical or spiritual intoxication. 

______(U) Whatever his origin, Dionysus is a god always looking to improve the human condition by encouraging friendship, compassion, dance, laughter and joy.


The Lusitania made her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York in September 1907.

______(Q) The British Admiralty had secretly subsidized her construction with the understanding that at the outbreak of any war the ship would be consigned to government service.

______(R) Dubbed the "Greyhound of the Seas" she soon captured the Blue Ribbon for the fastest Atlantic crossing.

______(S) Her engines produced 68,000-horse power and pushed the giant through the water at an average speed over 25 knots.

______(T) Construction had begun in 1903 with the goal of building the fastest passenger liner afloat.

______(U) However, we now know she was built for a dual purpose. 


In late 1875, Sioux and Cheyenne Indians defiantly left their reservations, outraged over the continued intrusions of whites into their sacred lands in the Black Hills.

______(Q) They gathered in Montana with the great warrior Sitting Bull to fight for their lands.

______(R) Spotting the Sioux village about fifteen miles away along the Rosebud River on June 25, Custer also found a nearby group of about forty warriors.

______(S) He did not realize that the number of warriors in the village numbered three times his strength.

______(T) Ignoring orders to wait, he decided to attack before they could alert the main party.

______(U) To force the large Indian army back to the reservations, the Army dispatched three columns to attack in coordinated fashion, one of which contained Lt. Colonel George Custer and the Seventh Cavalry.


The stingray's eyes peer out from its dorsal side.

_____(Q) Its eyes are therefore not thought by scientists to play a considerable role in hunting.

_____(R) Its mouth, nostrils, and gill slits are situated, however, on its underbelly.

_____(S) Located around the stingray's mouth, these organs sense the natural electrical charges of potential prey.

_____(T) The jaw teeth in the mouth enable them to crush mollusks such as clams, oysters, and mussels.

_____(U) Like its shark relatives, the stingray is outfitted with electrical sensors called ampullae of Lorenzini.




wheat:  21354

zoos: 34521

pigs:  54213

Dionysus:  24135

Lusitania: 53214

Custer:  13542

stingray: 21453

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

14 Amazing Practice SHSAT Scrambled Paragraphs

King Sigismund of Hungary, who became the Holy Roman Emperor in 1410, founded a secret fraternal order of knights called the Order of the Dragon to uphold Christianity and defend the Empire against the Ottoman Turks.

______(Q) From 1431 onward Vlad II wore the emblem of the order and later, as ruler of Wallachia, his coinage bore the dragon symbol.

______(R) Vlad III’s father (Vlad II) was admitted to the Order around 1431 because of his bravery in fighting the Turks.

______(S) Its emblem was a dragon, wings extended, hanging on a cross.

______(T) Vlad III’s father thus came to be known as "Vlad Dracul," or "Vlad the dragon."

______(U) The word for dragon in Romanian is "drac" and "ul" is the definitive article.

Taken from:


One day in May 1212 there appeared at Saint-Denis, where King Philip of France was holding his court, a shepherd-boy of about twelve years old called Stephen, from the small town of Cloyes in the Orléannais.

______(Q) He brought with him a letter for the King, which, he said, had been given to him by Christ in person, who had appeared to him as he was tending his sheep and who had bidden him go and preach the Crusade.

______(R) But Stephen, whose enthusiasm had been fired by his mysterious visitor, saw himself now as an inspired leader who would succeed where his elders had failed.

______(S) King Philip was not impressed by the child and told him to go home.

______(T) For the past fifteen years preachers had been going round the country-side urging a Crusade against the Moslems of the East or of Spain or against the heretics of Languedoc.

______(U) It was easy for an hysterical boy to be infected with the idea that he too could be a preacher and could emulate Peter the Hermit, whose prowess had during the past century reached a legendary grandeur.

Taken from:

(This is about The Children’s Crusade of 1212, where thousands of European children thought God would help them defeat a Muslim army and recapture the city of Jerusalem.  They were easily defeated and most of them were forced to become slaves.)


One of Machu Picchu's primary functions was that of astronomical observatory.

______(Q)At this period of time, the Incas held ceremonies at the stone in which they formally "tied the sun" to halt its northward movement in the sky.

______(R) At this precise moment the sun "sits with all his might upon the pillar" and is for a moment "tied" to the rock.

______(S) The Intihuatana, in fact, is designed to hitch the sun at the two equinoxes, not at the solstice (as is stated in some tourist literature and new-age books).

______(T) The Intihuatana stone (meaning 'Hitching Post of the Sun') has been shown to be a precise indicator of the date of the two equinoxes and other significant celestial periods.

______(U) At midday on March 21st and September 21st, the sun stands almost directly above the pillar, creating no shadow at all.

Taken from: http://www.sacredsites.com/americas/peru/machu_picchu.html


It just happens that the Moon and the Sun appear the same size in the sky as viewed from the Earth.

______(Q) This is called a solar eclipse; if the alignment is slighly imperfect then the Moon covers only part of the Sun's disk and the event is called a partial eclipse.

______(R) Total eclipses of the Sun are relatively rare in North America.

______(S) Partial eclipses are visible over a wide area of the Earth but the region from which a total eclipse is visible, called the path of totality, is very narrow, just a few kilometers (though it is usually thousands of kilometers long).

______(T) When it lines up perfectly the entire solar disk is blocked and it is called a total eclipse of the Sun.

______(U) And since the Moon orbits the Earth in approximately the same plane as the Earth's orbit around the Sun, sometimes the Moon comes directly between the Earth and the Sun.

Taken from:


The whale shark was first described and named by Andrew Smith in 1828, based on a specimen harpooned in Table Bay, South Africa.

______(Q) However, in 1984 the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature suppressed previous generic variations in favor of the genus name Rhincodon, and the family name Rhincodontidae.

______(R) Before this official name stuck, other generic names formerly used included Rhiniodon and Rhineodon and the family names Rhiodontidae and Rhineodontidae.

______(S) Rhincodontidae is placed in the order Orectolobiformes, which also includes families such as Ginglymostomatidae (nurse sharks) and Orectolobidae (wobbegongs).

______(T) The first printing of the genus name appeared as Rincodon, despite Smith's desired name of Rhineodon.

______(U) Historically, there have been many synonyms (alternative scientific names) for family, genus and species names of this creature.


At the age of seven, Carl Friedrich Gauss started elementary school, and his potential was noticed almost immediately.

______(Q) After receiving a stipend from the Duke of Brunswick- Wolfenbüttel, Gauss entered Brunswick Collegium Carolinum in 1792.

______(R) Gauss left Göttingen in 1798 without a diploma, but by this time he had made one of his most important discoveries - the construction of a regular 17 sided polygon by ruler and compasses - the most significant advance in geometry since the time of Greek mathematics.

______(S) In 1788 Gauss began his education at the Gymnasium with the help of Büttner and Bartels, where he learned High German and Latin.

______(T) His teacher, Büttner, and his assistant, Martin Bartels, were amazed when Gauss summed the integers from 1 to 100 instantly by spotting that the sum was 50 pairs of numbers each pair summing to 101.

______(U) In 1795 Gauss left Brunswick to study at Göttingen University. Gauss's teacher there was Kaestner, whom Gauss often ridiculed.

Carl Friedrich Gauss and Daniel Gauss


Shiva's dance generally represents both the destruction and the creation of the universe.

______(Q) While he dances as Nataraj, we see that one hand is stretched across his chest and points towards the uplifted foot, indicating the release from earthly bondage of the devotee.

______(R) His Dance of Bliss, however, is for the welfare of the world.

______(S) Therefore, when we think of Shiva dancing, this god’s dance reveals the cycles of death, birth and rebirth.

______(T) In this dance, in the guise of Nataraj, Shiva, the King of Dance, gives darshan to his beloved devotees within the "Hall of Consciousness,” which is really the heart of humanity.

______(U) Under his other foot, Shiva crushes the demon of ignorance called Apasmara Purusha, caused by forgetfulness.


The King Vulture finds its food with its incredibly keen sight and well-developed sense of smell. 

______(Q) However, it also relies on other gatherings of vultures to alert it as to the presence of food. 

______(R) Often if the vulture arrives before the stronger-beaked birds, the vulture will eat the eyes of the animal while waiting for the other vultures.

______(S) Though it appears to dominate over a feeding site, this vulture actually relies on other stronger-beaked carrion-eaters to initially rip open the hide of a carcass. 

______(T) Eyes are both highly nutritious and easy to reach before the animal's hide is opened.

______(U) Vultures will, of course, eventually, pick a corpse clean of all meat, leaving only bones to bleach in the sun.


Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry.

______(Q) People choose to be vegan for health, environmental, and/or ethical reasons.

______(R) In addition to being vegetarian, they do not use other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products.

______(S) That is, once dairy cows or egg-laying chickens are too old to be productive, they are often sold as meat; and since male calves do not produce milk, they usually are raised for veal or other products.

______(T) Vegans, however, are slightly different from your average, every day vegetarian.

______(U) For example, some vegans feel that one promotes the meat industry by consuming eggs and dairy products.


The little that is known about Kim Jong-il, North Korea's leader, conjures up a caricature of a diminutive playboy, a comic picture at odds with his brutal regime.

______(Q) The two men also shared champagne with a bevy of female companions of "utmost beauty and intelligence", according to Mr Pulikovsky.

______(R) He even went so far as to engineer the kidnapping, in 1978, of a South Korean film director and his girlfriend.

______(S) He is said to have a library of 20,000 Hollywood movies and to have even written a book on the cinema.

______(T) Konstantin Pulikovsky, a Russian emissary who travelled with Mr Kim by train across Russia, reported that the North Korean leader had live lobsters air-lifted to the train every day which he ate with silver chopsticks.

______(U) The “Dear Leader,” as North Koreans are forced to call him, seems to be obsessed with movies, fine cuisine and liquor, while his countrymen and women suffer and starve.

Taken from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/1907197.stm

By the way, Kim Jung Il died last year...his son Kim Jong Un is now in power.

It is ironic: although ancient Athens is thought of as an enlightened and sophisticated society, unlike the women of Athens, Spartan women were taught reading and writing. 

______(Q) Although these skills were scorned by Menander and the Athenians,  they were embraced by the Spartans, who also expected their women to be able to protect themselves.

______(R) As opposed to domestic arts, a Spartan girl's education was equally as brutal as a man’s; many athletic events such as javelin, discus, foot races, and staged battles were also for both sexes.

______(S) In many such events, Spartan women would run naked in the presence of their male counterparts and were respected for their athletic feats.

______(T) In fact, Menander (an Athenian) once said, "Teaching a woman to read and write? What a terrible thing to do! Like feeding a vile snake on more poison."

______(U) This is in clear contrast to Athens, where no physical education was provided for women and education for women was synonymous with spinning, weaving, and other domestic arts.


The potato seems to us today to be such a staple food that it is hard to believe that it has only been accepted as edible by most of the Western world for the past 200 years.

______(Q) As well as being their staple source of food, the Incas also used potatoes for telling time, treating illness and injury, and divination.

______(R) Our story begins thousands of years ago, in South America—Peru, Ecuador, and the Northern part of Chile, to be exact—where the Andean Incas discovered potatoes growing wild in the highlands, and were cultivating them as early as 750 BC.

______(S) Although the Incas did many things with their potatoes, they did not fry them.

______(T) They worshipped potato deities, and when potato crops failed, the noses and lips of a few unlucky Incas would be mutilated in ceremonies designed to appease the potato gods.

______(U) Instead, their most popular potato dish involved laying them out in the sun for a period of weeks, then trampling on them with their bare feet to get all of the liquids out.


Epictetus (pronounced Epic-TEE-tus) was a Stoic teacher who flourished in the early second century C.E. about four hundred years after the Stoic school of Zeno of Citium was established in Athens.

______(Q) He felt the role of a Stoic teacher was to encourage his students to live the philosophical life, whose end was eudaimonia ('happiness'), to be secured by living the life of reason, which meant living virtuously and ‘according to nature.’

______(R) For the only thing that is good is acting virtuously (that is, motivated by virtue), and the only thing that is bad is the opposite, acting viciously (that is, motivated by vice).

______(S) The key to transforming oneself into the Stoic sophos is to learn what is 'in one's power.’

______(T) The eudaimonia of those who attain this ideal consists of ataraxia (imperturbability), apatheia (freedom from passion) and eupatheiai ('good feelings'); thus one became a “sophos” (wise person).

______(U) Learning what is within one’s power involves 'the correct use of impressions' (phantasiai), which in outline involves not judging as good or bad anything that appears to one.


Hours before a game, beneath baseball’s newest stadium, one of the sport’s oldest rituals is under way.

______(Q) Only when they’re done can the umpire yell “Play ball!”

______(R) Two Washington Nationals batboys are rubbing brown gunk on dozens of new balls, toweling them off once the wet dirt cakes.

______(S) After a pitcher lost control of the ball and killed a batter in 1920, such a substance was sought.

______(T) Ultimately, it was the feldspar-rich mud in R.A. Blackburne’s backyard that was chosen and which is still being used today.

______(U) Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud, the brown gunk, has been helping pitchers get a grip on the ball for 70 years.

Taken from: National geographic, 10/2008

Answers below



yes, a bit farther

below this

here they are:

Dracula: 32154

Children’s Crusade: 13245

Machu Picchu: 54213

eclipses: 25341

whale shark classification:  34521

Gauss:  35214 ----------> yeah, he might have been my great great great grand father :P

Shiva: 42135

vultures: 13245

vegan: 32514

KJI: 53241

Sparta:  24513

potatoes: 21435

Epictetus: 15324

baseball: 21453

Monday, April 22, 2013

TEN (excellent) Practice Scrambled Paragraphs

As a young man, and partly a god, Gilgamesh has no compassion for the people of Uruk.

______ (Q) The plan works in several ways.

______ (R) Hearing the people's lament, the gods create Enkidu as a match for Gilgamesh, a second self: "Let them contend together and leave Uruk in quiet."

______ (S) First, Enkidu prevents Gilgamesh from entering the house of a bride and bridegroom; they fight and then they embrace as friends.

______ (T) He was their king but not their shepherd; he kills their sons and attacks their daughters.

______ (U) Second, Enkidu and Gilgamesh undertake a journey into the forest to confront the terrible Humbaba, and there they encourage each other to face death triumphantly.


Kamikaze, which means "Divine Wind" in Japanese, was Japan's last attempt to balance the ever increasing technological and material advantage of the American forces advancing to Japan.

______ (Q) Such weapons already existed and were operational for over a year then, but not in Japan

______ (R) The Kamikaze attack tactic was suggested on October 19, 1944, by vice-Admiral Onishi of the Japanese Navy, when he was assigned to command the air attacks against the huge American invasion fleet off the Philippines, and then realized that he had less than 100 operational aircraft for this task.

______ (S) The German Air Force was using large radio-guided bombs against ships but Japan had no such weapon, and therefore Onishi suggested that volunteer pilots could guide their bomb-carrying aircraft all the way to a suicide collision with an American ship.

______ (T) The solution was obvious: guided weapons provide dramatically greater accuracy and lethality than unguided weapons, producing much greater damage per weapon unit and per sortie.

______ (U) There was no way to sink or even severely damage the American fleet in any conventional tactic, so the Admiral needed a force multiplier, a way to get a significantly greater striking power from a given force.

Penicillin was originally noticed by a French medical student, Ernest Duchesne, in 1896.

______ (Q) Fleming observed that a plate of Staphylococcus had been contaminated by a blue-green mold and that colonies of bacteria adjacent to the mold were being dissolved.

______ (R) Curious, Alexander Fleming grew the mold in a pure culture and found that it produced a substance that killed a number of disease-causing bacteria.

______ (S) Penicillin was re-discovered by bacteriologist Alexander Fleming working at St. Mary's Hospital in London in 1928

______ (T) Later, Dorothy Hodgkin's discovery of the molecular layout of penicillin helped lead scientists to develop large quantities of penicillin as well as other antibiotics.

______ (U) Naming the substance penicillin, Dr. Fleming in 1929 published the results of his investigations, noting that his discovery might have therapeutic value if it could be produced in quantity.

Until the 1950s, most people thought of sleep as a passive, dormant part of our daily lives, but we now know that our brains are very active during sleep.

______ (Q) Nerve-signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters control whether we are asleep or awake by acting on different groups of nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain.

______ (R) Research also suggests that a chemical called adenosine builds up in our blood while we are awake and causes drowsiness and this chemical gradually breaks down while we sleep.

______ (S) Neurons in the brainstem, which connects the brain with the spinal cord, produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine that keep some parts of the brain active while we are awake.

______ (T) Other neurons at the base of the brain begin signaling when we fall asleep.

______ (U) These neurons appear to "switch off" the signals that keep us awake.

The Battle of Stalingrad is considered by many historians to have been the turning point in World War Two in Europe.

______ (Q) Some historians, in fact, believe that Hitler ordered the taking of Stalingrad simply because of the name of the city  and Hitler's hatred of Joseph Stalin.

______ (R) The battle at Stalingrad bled the German Sixth Army dry in Russia and after this defeat, the entire Germany Army was in full retreat.

______ (S) One of the ironies of the war, however, is that the German Sixth Army need not have gotten entangled in Stanlingrad.

______ (T) For the same reason Stalin ordered that the city had to be saved.

______ (U) Sixth Army Groups A and B were well on their way to the Caucasus in south-west Russia, when Hitler ordered an attack on Stalingrad.

It is believed that rice cultivation began simultaneously in many countries over 6500 years ago.

______ (Q) The first crops were observed in China (Hemu Du region) around 5000 B.C. as well as in Thailand around 4500 B.C.

______ (R) Indica is an irrigated rice of warm tropical zones, with long, thin and flat grains.

______ (S) They later appeared in Cambodia, Vietnam and southern India.

______ (T) Japonica is an irrigated rice of temperate zone, with medium or short grains, also called round grain, and is a rainfed lowland rice of warm tropical zones.

______ (U) From there, derived species Japonica and Indica expanded to other Asian countries, such as Korea, Japan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Indonesia.

Bottom trawling is a practice where fishermen literally drag nets across an ocean floor, killing virtually everything in their pursuit of one type of fish.

______ (Q) “Ten years ago, Elliott Norse and I calculated that, each year, worldwide, bottom trawlers drag an area equivalent to twice the lower 48 states.”

______ (R) Regardless of this measure, now satellite images show that spreading clouds of mud remain suspended in the sea long after the trawler has passed.

______ (S) As a result of scientific studies showing that bottom trawling kills vast numbers of corals, sponges, fishes and other animals, bottom trawling has been banned in a growing number of places in recent years.

______ (T) “Bottom trawling is the most destructive of any actions that humans conduct in the ocean,” said Dr. Watling.

______ (U) But what satellites can see is only the “tip of the iceberg,” because most trawling happens in waters too deep to detect sediment plumes at the surface, say scientists speaking a symposium called Bottom Trawling, the World's Most Severe and Extensive Seafloor Disturbance.

Many predators search for their prey with their eyes.

______ (Q) For example, many prey species blend in with their environment, making it difficult for the predators to find them.

______ (R) As a result, many prey species have evolved special body coloration to reduce their chance of being eaten.

______ (S) Cryptic coloration is especially common in small animals such as insects, lizards, snakes, and frogs.

______ (T) These animals are often the same color as the leaves or twigs on which they rest and some insects even look like the twigs or leaves themselves.

______ (U) These species use camouflage or “crypsis” or “cryptic coloration” as their first line of defense.


Zhuangzi was a Taoist philosopher who had a perplexing experience.

______ (Q) Sure he was a butterfly he felt a joyful feeling as he fluttered about - he completely forgot that he was Zhuangzi.

______ (R) He, himself, became confused: was Zhuangzi the butterfly, or the butterfly Zhungzi, and, he thought,  “This is what is meant by the ‘transformation of things.’"

______ (S) One day about sunset, Zhuangzi dozed off and dreamed that he turned into a butterfly.

______ (T) To be sure, he flapped his wings and sure enough he was a butterfly.

______ (U) Soon though, he woke and realized that the butterfly was really Zhuangzi who dreamed he was a butterfly, or was it a butterfly who dreamed he was Zhuangzi!

A “potlatch” is a ceremony of North American Indians of the northwest coast from Washington to Alaska.

______ (Q) Although a potlatch usually included feasting, singing, and dancing, its distinctive feature was the host's lavish distribution of gifts to invited guests or his destruction of goods in their presence.

______ (R) The more goods he could afford to lose, the more prestige he gained for himself and his relatives.

______ (S) The word comes from patshatl: “giving” or “gift.”

______ (T) In fact, losing these goods in the potlatch was the only way to maintain or improve one's social status; to regain lost status; to validate the right to an inherited position; or to avenge an insult.

______ (U) The guests usually reciprocated by giving their own potlatches at a later time.


gilgamesh: 32415
kamikazee: 41532
penicillin: 23154
sleep: 15234
stalingrad: 41253
rice: 15243
trawling: 52143
crypsis: 21453
Zhuangzi: 35124
potlatch: 23145