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