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Test 1 / 30

Studying black bears

After years studying North America’s black bears in the conventional way, wildlife biologist Luke Robertson felt no closer to understanding the creatures. He realised that he had to win their trust. Abandoning scientific detachment, he took the daring step of forming relationships with the animals, bringing them food to gain their acceptance.

The insight this has given him into their behaviour has allowed him to dispel certain myths about bears. Contrary to popular belief, he contends that bears do not care as much for fruit as previously supposed. He also disputes claims that they are ferocious. He says that people should not be misled by behaviour such as swatting paws on the ground, as this is a defensive, rather than an aggressive, act.

However, Robertson is no sentimentalist. After devoting years of his life to the bears, he is under no illusion about their feelings for him. It is clear that their interest in him does not extend beyond the food he brings.

Test 2 / 30

Raising Awareness

In cities around the world a wide range of schemes is being instigated to promote environmental awareness. ‘It’s just as easy to dispose of litter properly as it is to drop it on the streets’ says city councillor Mike Edwards, who has called on the government to mount a concerted campaign to deal with the problem of litter. ‘It’s just a matter of encouraging people to do so as a matter of course.

Once the habit is ingrained, they won’t even notice they are doing it. After all, think what we have achieved with recyclable waste in the home. Sorting paper, glass, aluminium and plastic waste and then depositing it in the appropriate container outside is hardly a great chore any more. People have become accustomed to doing this, so it doesn’t occur to them that they are spending any additional time in the process. Only if they have to carry this waste for some appreciable distance to find a suitable container do they feel they are inconvenienced.

Most people know they should behave in a responsible way and just need prompting to do so. So a quirky, lighthearted gimmick might be enough to change behaviour. With this in mind , the city of Berlin is introducing rubbish bins that say ‘danke’, ‘thank you’ and ‘merci’ – Berlin is a cosmopolitan city – when someone drops an item of rubbish into them. It might just do the trick in this city, too.

Test 3 / 30

Historical view on alcohol consumption

A history of beer must comprise much more than simply an account of the nature of the product itself and the technology surrounding its production. Eating and drinking, and even more particularly, the consumption of alcohol are usually very strongly embedded in socio-cultural ideologies since they tend in most societies not to be solitary activities but social ones performed in a social context.

Even in the rare societies in which alcohol is known but abstained from, it still remains a societal concern and is never altogether ignored. Anthropological work has also revealed that there is a surprisingly great diversity in the various cultural ideologies concerning the consumption of alcohol. Since any person or group of people can be readily categorized as a follower of such an ideology or as a deviant, drinking becomes a marker of identity and alterity (or ‘otherness’), establishing boundaries of inclusion and exclusion, both within a culture as well as between cultures. In this way cultures are not simply objectively identifiable groups of individuals, but self-identified groups which impose upon themselves markers of identity and alterity.

Test 4 / 30


There’s a rich history behind Sicily’s complex character. Nearly 25 centuries of foreign domination have had a massive impact on the island’s cultural output: the Greeks built elegant classical structures, while a unique mix of Byzantine artistry and Norman severity endowed Sicily with some of the most unusual and beautiful buildings in Europe; in later centuries the Spanish topped off this exotic composition with a flourish of baroque.

Sicily also has a natural beauty that’s astounding grapevines stretch from the slopes of brooding Mt Etna to the parched landscapes of the west, and the aquamarine waters off the 1000km coastline are splashed with volcanic islands. The island has often been in the headlines recently, with the explosive violence between rival football fans of Catania and Palermo in February 2007, and the spate of wildfires that scorched the island throughout the summer months of the same year. Etna erupted again in September 2007, and Stromboli barked but had no bite. Further afield the immigration crisis continued on the southern island of Lampedusa.