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Test 1 / 20

Inventions

A Skateboard
The idea behind the first skateboard was to produce a means of surfing outside of water. In the 1950s, Californian surfers, unhappy at the unpredictable nature of the weather and waves for surfing, began attaching roller skate bases to the front and back ends of wooden boards. Although these constructions were somewhat unstable, they allowed for ‘sidewalk surfing’ along streets and down hills. The fad soon caught on in other cities of the US, and it wasn’t long before the pastime developed – in directions such as curb-jumping and climbing banked surfaces: this was ‘street surfing’. By the early 1970s, bicycle manufacturers and toy companies were producing sturdier and in more reliable boards, with more speedy and reliable urethane wheels on flexible mounts. The riders’ abilities improved along with the equipment, and things began heading in the direction that has resulted in the sport we have today.

B Water-Skis
The birth of water-skiing can be traced back to June 28th, 1922 when Ralph Samuelson, an eighteen-year-old from Minnesota, proposed the idea that if you could ski on snow, then you could also most probably ski on water. His first attempt at water-skiing was on Lake Pepin in Lake City, Minnesota, being towed by his brother Ben. The pair went on fo experiment for several days until July 2nd, 1922, when Ralph discovered that the best way to stay upright longest was by leaning backwards with ski tips pointed upwards. In terms of his first equipment, Ralph tried barrel staves, then snow skis, before finally fashioning the first dedicated water skis from lumber he had purchased from a local store. This basic ski was completed and augmented with bindings made from leather strips, and a long window sash, which was used as a towrope.

C Safety Match
In 1827, John Walker, an English chemist, discovered that if he coated the end of a stick with certain chemicals and left them to dry, he could cause a spark and flame by striking the stick on many surfaces. These were the first fiction matches. He made use of a concoction of chemicals including antimony sulphide, potassium chlorate, gum, and starch. Unfortunately for him, Walker failed to patent his invention. His first sale of the matches was on April 7th, 1827 to a Mr Hixon, a solicitor in Stockton-On-Tees, his home town. In the end, before his death in 1859 at the age of 78, Walker made little money from his invention.

D Car Airbags
Airbags may have really taken off in the 1990s, but they were dreamed up and created a lot earlier. General Motors tested the first proper airbags on a 1973 Chevrolet, in cars that were only sold for government use. They went on to offer them as an option to the public in the form of driver side airbags in commercial models in 1975 and in 1976. Cadillacs were available with driver and passenger airbags during those same years. Airbags were offered once again as an option in the 1984 Ford Tempo, and, by 1788, Chrysler had become the first company to fit airbag restraint systems as a standard. In 1994, TRW began production of the first gas-inflated airbag, and it wasn’t long before there were less cars without airbags than with them.

E Hula Hoops

The hula hoop, as might be expected from its simple design, is an ancient invention – no modern company or inventor can truly lay claim to having invented the first hula hoop The original hula hoops were made from metal, bamboo, wood, different types of grass, and vines. However, many companies ‘re-invented’ their versions of the hula hoop, basing them on more modern materials like plastic and adding a variety of extra features such as glitter, sounds, and coloured lights. Perhaps the Wham-O version is the most successful of hula hoops in modern times – they were the company that trademarked the name Hula Hoop and started manufacturing the toy out of a synthetic material called Marlex in 1958, selling 20 million hula hoops in the first six months.

invention which involved two members of the same family
Text B
invention which was not invented in the United States (first)
Text C
invention which was not invented in the United States (second)
Text E
invention which allowed people to do their sport more often?
Text A
invention which involved practising a winter sport not in winter
Text B
invention which was made for a very limited market at first
Text D
invention which had a best method discovered in several days
Text B
invention which did not make its inventor wealthy
Text C
invention which became faster and easier to steer
Text A
invention which customers could choose as optional in the early years
Text D
Test 2 / 20

Following Dream

A Harry

Just north of Fregate I met two manta rays. They were seven or eight feet wide with massive outstretched fins that seemed like rubberized wings. The water was murky, rich with plankton that attracted the giant rays that filtered it through their wide mouths. They treated me with caution, maintaining a constant distance if I turned towards them, but were content to let me swim on a parallel course, as if I, too, was feeding on the plankton. For a few minutes we were companions, until, circling and shifting shape against the depths, they became faint black shadows in the gloom and were gone. The deep blue of the Indian Ocean has captured my heart and drawn me back again and again to these pure shores. On Praslin there were dolphins offshore and a pair of octopus, sliding across the coral as they flashed signals to one another with changing skin tones as remarkable as – but much faster than – any chameleon. At Conception, close to Mahe, giant rocks formed an underwater cathedral beckoning me into its vaults where moray eels gaped at me, the strange visitor to their liquid world.

В Gabriel

And so my first real trip to Asia unfolded in what seemed a series of dream-panels – adventures and faces and events so far removed from my day-to-day experience that I could not convert them into any tongue I knew. I revisited them again and again, sleepless, in my memories and notes and photographs, once home.

Almost every day of the three-week trip was so vivid that, upon returning, I gave a friend a nine-hour account of every moment. The motorbike ride through Sukhothai; the first long lazy evening in an expat’s teak house in Sunkumvhit; the flight into the otherworldly charm of Rangoon and the Strand Hotel, and the pulse of warm activity around the Sule Pagoda at nightfall. Long hot days in the silence, 5,000 temples on every side; slow trips at dawn along Inle lake, seeing a bird-faced boat being led through the quiet water; a frenzied morning back in Bangkok, writing an article while monsoon rains pounded on the windows all around me.

C Maya

As I stepped off the six-seater Cessna plane after a bumpy flight over the Okavango Delta and my feet touched the arid ground I knew this was what I’d been waiting for all my life – Africa. Our first day was at the Selinda Camp in one of the driest parts of the Delta and when we arrived I thought that nothing could possibly survive under the relentless sun. I was almost immediately proved wrong, as Selinda is near a small lagoon – home to a group of hippos. At night we could hear their bark-like call.

Our guides warned us that although hippos may seem harmless, if threatened, they could easily kill a man! We went on to stay in various other camps that were situated in different habitats. Jacana Camp was surrounded entirely by water and only accessible by boat. But my favourite place was the Kalahari Desert. Our final camp was located just on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, which are home to many rare species of animal, such as the brown hyena.

D Tom

I’d been to New York three times in the past but not for long and I couldn’t remember much of it.
This time I only had four days but I was on my own and this seems like a better way to get to know a city: less being sociable, more walking and visiting different places. Perfect. I liked New York even more than I expected and it’s right up there on my list of foreign cities where I’d like to live. It’s fighting for the top spot with San Francisco, with the next position occupied by Paris. I stayed at the Incentra Village House, which was lovely: reasonably priced, really friendly, comfortable rooms. I’d stay there again. I did a lot of walking and could easily have done a lot more. I rarely left Manhattan. One day I walked more than 12 miles, including the length of Central Park and on down Fifth Avenue. Fifth Avenue was the least pleasant place; it felt like London’s Oxford Street. I also walked along the High Line, which is very nicely done, although rather shorter than Paris’s Promenade Plantee.

Which person…

interacted closely with wild animals?
A Harry
was participating in a water sport?
A Harry
did not think he/she would like the place so much?
D Tom
was in relatively close proximity to dangerous animals?
C Maya
refers to documenting their travel experiences?
В Gabriel
appreciated the advantages of travelling alone?
D Tom
spent time near places of worship?
В Gabriel
told someone all about his/her experience?
В Gabriel
compared the place he/she visited with other places?
D Tom
was shown around by a professional?
C Maya