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Verbal Ability :: Reading Comprehension

Home > Verbal Ability > Reading Comprehension > General Questions

201. Environmental toxins which can affect children are frighteningly commonplace. Besides lead, there are other heavy metals such as mercury, which is found frequently in fish, that are spewed into the air from coal-fired power plants, says Maureen Swanson, MPA, director of the Healthy Children Project at the Learning Disabilities Association of America. Mercury exposure can impair children's memory, attention, and language abilities and interfere with fine motor and visual spatial skills. A recent study of school districts in Texas showed significantly higher levels of autism in areas with elevated levels of mercury in the environment. Researchers are finding harmful effects at lower and lower levels of exposure, says Swanson.
They're now telling us that they don't know if there's a level of mercury that's safe. Unfortunately, some of these chemicals make good flame retardants and have been widely used in everything from upholstery to televisions to children's clothing. Studies have found them in high levels in household dust, as well as in breast milk. Two categories of these flame retardants have been banned in Europe and are starting to be banned by different states in the United States. The number of toxins in our environment that can affect children may seem overwhelming at times. On at least some fronts, however, there is progress in making the world a cleaner place for kids and just possibly, reducing the number of learning disabilities and neurological problems.With a number of efforts to clean up the environment stalled at the federal level, many state governments are starting to lead the way.And rather than tackle one chemical at a time, at least eight states are considering plans for comprehensive chemical reform bills, which would take toxic chemicals off the market.

Question: "Besides lead, there are other heavy metals such as mercury, which are found frequently in fish, that are spewed into the air from coal-fired power plants". How can this line be worded differently.

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Answer: Option B

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Answer: Option A

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Answer: Option D

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Answer: Option B

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205. Delivering a speech at an institutional gathering recently on the topic of "Rethinking religions", a prominent, MP, said that by the middle of this century religion would be very different, that its present form would be completely unrecognizable, given the changes brought about by an emerging information society. "Religion as we know it will not be the same in 50 years. There has been a rapid democratization of the world. The world is a much smaller place. The pronouncements of religions can therefore not remain the same," he said. More importantly, he maintained that some notions central to religion would not survive the future: "You have to stay with the times or you'll be left behind." One wonders, if he had also been sitting in the audience listening to himself would his jaw have dropped? For if there's one thing we all know that doesn't change, it's religion. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc, have lived comfortably through many technological and other intellectual upheavals in the past such as the Renaissance, printing and the industrial revolution, for instance, and have emerged even more stubborn and ossified if anything afterwards. Sure, peripheral elements change heretics are no longer burned at the stake, sati is outlawed but "notions central to religion" not surviving, say, the Internet, is laughable. That's because the central notion of all religions, concepts that are cold welded to the first few pages of any scripture, is that there is a God who is the creator of all things including us, that we have a duty to love and worship Him and that He stands for everything which is good. These things have so far reliably demonstrated a sure fire ability to endure millennia. On the other hand, consider Parsis. More and more members of these modern day descendants of migrants who fled persecution in Iran more than 1,000 years ago, are turning to new technology to keep their ancient Zoroastrian religion alive and kicking. "Websites, blogs, on line directories and match making portals are being used by the close knit but scattered and shrinking community to stay in touch and true to the 3,500 year old faith," reports AFP. In fact, they're doing exactly the opposite of what our prominent MP fears: they're staying with the times for fear of being left behind. It's what all religions have always done in order to keep the faith. Question: What is the primary reason for Parsis turning to new technologies?

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Answer: Option B

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206. "...and have emerged even more stubborn and ossified." What has emerged more stubborn and ossified?

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Answer: Option A

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Answer: Option D

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Answer: Option A

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209. The first step is for us to realize that a city need not be a frustrater of life; it can be among other things, a mechanism for enhancing life, for producing possibilities of living which are not to be realized except through cities. But, for that to happen, deliberate and drastic planning is needed. Towns as much as animals, must have their systems of organs-those for transport and circulation are an obvious example. What we need now are organ systems for recreation, leisure, culture, community expression. This means abundance of open space, easy access to unspoilt Nature, beauty in parks and in fine buildings, gymnasia and swimming baths and recreation grounds in plenty, central spaces for celebrations and demonstrations, halls for citizens' meetings, concert halls and theatres and cinemas that belong to the city. And the buildings must not be built anyhow or dumped down anywhere; both they and their groupings should mean something important to the people of the place.

Question: Cities can be made to provide full facilities for life, only if :

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Answer: Option D

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210. Which one of the following has the opposite meaning to the word 'frustrater' in the passage?

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Answer: Option A

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