(1) The Borobudur Temple was built in the 8th and 9th centuries on a hill in the Central Java region of Indonesia. The multi-leveled temple is filled with reliefs that depict historical tales of ...
... Buddhism. Stone statues and stupas, cone-shaped structures, also adorn the temple grounds. Millions of dollars are needed to preserve and restore this ancient site. If funding is not granted, the Borobudur Temple will be destroyed by vandals, environmental factors, and natural disasters.
(2) Despite the signs and loudspeaker announcements that warn visitors not to touch the carvings, vandalism still occurs. Additionally, several terrorists smuggled nine bombs into the site in 1985. The explosions damaged nine of the stupas. Another problem for the temple is that rain causes soil erosion and undermines the structure of the temple. Earthquakes pose the greatest threat to the Borobudur Temple. Shock waves shake the ground and break apart the temple’s foundation. Mount Merapi’s eruption in November 2010 covered the temple in a one-inch-thick blanket of acidic ash. The fine ash got into the carved lines of the statues and into the drainage pipes. After it rained, the ash became like cement and hardened as it dried. The cement-like coating is very difficult to remove from the statues and carvings. Another concern is that the acid in the volcanic ash might eat away at the stone. Also, the blocked drainage system makes the site vulnerable to flooding.
(3) The Borobudur Temple is a significant part of Buddhist history. It also houses an unsurpassed collection of ancient Buddhist art. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, added the site to the World Heritage List in 1991. The ancient temple is constructed around a hilltop. The base contains wall carvings that describe the soul’s journey to redemption and stories from Buddha’s life. Above the base, five square terraces, each one smaller than the one below it, form a pyramid. On top of the terraces are three circular platforms. Seventy-two carved stupas, each containing a statue of Buddha, sit on top of the circular platforms. At the very top of the monument, stairs lead to a 30-foot stupa with a large statue of Buddha inside of it. This ancient site is said to house the largest collection of Buddhist reliefs in the world. Buddhists make pilgrimages to the temple so they can see the carvings and statues and meditate. Every year, a major religious festival called Vesak is celebrated at the Borobudur Temple. Tourists from all over the world visit this unique place to learn about the culture and history of Central Java.
(4) While funding could go directly to building houses and buying food for the people of Central Java, that is not a permanent solution to poverty. Millions of tourists visit the Borobudur Temple each year. The tourists spend thousands of dollars in this area of Indonesia. Preserving the temple will ensure that tourists continue to visit the area. Without tourist dollars supporting the local economy, poverty will worsen.
(5) Although the Borobudur Temple is vulnerable to the elements and natural disasters, it has survived for hundreds of years. Restoration projects in the past have proven successful in maintaining the integrity of this ancient site. The sooner grant money is allocated, the more damage will be prevented. With more funding, even better measures can be taken to protect the monument from vandals, weather conditions, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. The existence of this unique monument is at stake.
In Search of Progress
Evan and I rode in a 4X4 jeep up and over a series of steep hills. When we reached the border of a bamboo forest, our tour guide Apolo told us to get out of the vehicle. Evan looked at me with alarm. Admittedly, I felt a twinge of panic, but the brochure had said there would be some hiking before we reached our destination. Evan and I obeyed our guide and marched behind him into the thick jungle. Insects buzzed around us as Apolo hacked a path through the dense foliage. Suddenly, Apolo stopped and stood very still. He motioned us to step closer and take a look. There he was—the magnificent king of the jungle. He stood six feet high with a mass of about 400 pounds. His bulky arms, giant hands, broad chest, and enormous head would strike fear into any adversary. Fortunately, we were not his adversaries.
“He is called Jabari—Fearless One,” Apolo said.
“He’s beautiful. His fur is as black as coal,” I said.
“I have to confess, Jabari is an extraordinary animal,” Evan said.
We observed Jabari for hours. Some female gorillas came and lounged about with him. All of them happily ate bamboo shoots and rested on the ground.
“We must go. Sun will set soon,” Apolo said.
Evan and I reluctantly turned our backs to the gentle giants and began our trek back to the jeep. We arrived back at camp a few hours later.
“Did we help or hinder?” Evan asked me when we were alone.
“What do you mean?” I asked with the feeling that my husband was about to deflate our life-changing experience into a pile of mushy moral dilemmas.
“We gave our money to rebels who fight the local government so they would take us to see the mountain gorillas. Don’t you see a problem with that?” Evan asked.
“You’re asking this now? After the fact?” I snapped the questions at him like a crisp, white, sheet.
“I knew how much you wanted to see them—so I didn’t mention this before,” Evan explained.
“Why bring it up at all? You’re ruining the most amazing adventure of my life!” I yelled.
“I’m sorry. But I don’t think we should let our selfish desires blind us from the truth,” he said.
“Now you’re calling me selfish? You’re making me regret this entire trip,” I said on the verge of tears.
“For what it’s worth, I don’t think it was a mistake. We saw some truly remarkable creatures that are endangered. The rebels keep the mountain gorillas safe because of tourists like us,” Evan said.
“Yes, but our money helps the rebels buy weapons that keep them in power,” I said.
“The truth is difficult to find, and it’s even harder to face. Let’s keep searching and see if we can find a way to help the local people regain control of their homeland,” Evan said.
John Bunyan was born in Harrowden, England, in 1628. His father, a tinker, supported the family by traveling to the surrounding cities and mending kettles and pots. After a few years of public education, Bunyan followed in his father’s footsteps and became a tinker. He enlisted in the parliamentary army at the age of 16 and narrowly escaped death on several occasions. After the war ended, Bunyan returned home, married, and worked as both preacher and tinker. He was incarcerated for nearly 12 years after he refused to attend mandatory meetings at the state-sponsored Anglican Church. Despite the pain of being separated from his family, Bunyan was able to write his most famous book from his prison cell. The Pilgrim’s Progress, an allegorical look at the life of a pilgrim traveler, has never been out of print since its publication in 1678 and has been translated into more than 200 languages.
In 1582, Pope Gregory ordained in his Gregorian calendar that January 1st would replace April 1st as New Year’s Day. News traveled slowly in Medieval Europe, so not all the people knew of the change. Some also were aware of the change yet chose not accept it. The phrase “April fool” was used to describe people who lived according to the old Julian calendar. These April fools were ridiculed, and others played jokes on them. The targets of these jokes were called poisson d’avril, or April fish. This practice became the custom of playing pranks on the first day of April.
The first banjos were created by Africans who were held as slaves in the southern United States and the Caribbean. Banjos were designed after African musical instruments, and they were an important part of African American traditional music. Early banjos had bodies carved out of gourds and long strings attached to bamboo sticks. Modern banjos have four, five, or six strings, and the circular bodies are made from wood. Banjos can be used to play many different musical styles. Bluegrass, southern gospel, and country music bands often include a banjo player. The design of modern banjos continues to evolve, and several different styles of electric banjos were created in the 1960s.
Blood Diamonds are Forever
by T. C. Henderson
When people think of the phrase “blood diamond,” many only imagine the 2006 Leonardo DiCaprio film. “Blood diamonds,” also called “conflict diamonds,” are usually mined in a war zone, and the profits from them are used to finance civil wars and/or profit warlords.
Some activists argue that all diamonds are blood diamonds. Most people probably never realize that a large percentage of the world’s diamond miners work in deplorable conditions for little money. Approximately 65% percent, or $8.4 billion a year, of the world’s diamonds come from African countries.
Although Zambia has a growing gemstone mining industry, more than 68% of its population lives below the poverty line. The average yearly earnings of $395 make it one of the world’s poorest countries. Many Zambians also live without access to clean water.
Detractors have said the Kimberly Process doesn’t work. They allege that any country can become a member of the organization by sending a letter to the organization’s president, even if it does not meet the requirements. The Republic of the Congo was kicked out of the KPCS in 2004 because, despite its lack of diamond industry, it was exporting a large quantity of the gems. In 2007, the Republic of the Congo was reinstated.
Instead of relying on large organizations to regulate the diamond trade, the responsibility lies with consumers.
Moody's Mood for Love
If you watch television or listen to the radio, chances are you have at least heard a snippet of jazz saxophonist James Moody’s “Moody’s Mood for Love.” This song is one of the most popular American jazz songs ever recorded.
Jazz vocalist and lyricist Eddie Jefferson heard Moody’s instrumental and composed lyrics to it. King Pleasure recorded the song in 1952. It became very popular among jazz enthusiasts. The rest, as they say, is history.
“Moody’s Mood for Love” has been remade for Gap commercials and featured on television shows like The Cosby Show and Living Single. Most recently, in 2006, American Idol’s Elliot Yamin performed and recorded a version of it for the Season 5: Encores disc.
Music artists including the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, Brian McKnight, Amy Winehouse, Tito Puente and George Benson have covered “Moody’s Mood for Love.”
The Story of Tiffany & Co.
The company that came to be known as Tiffany & Co. was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and his friend John Young in 1837. With $1000 borrowed from Tiffany’s father, the pair opened a stationary and gift shop in New York City. Their first few days in business only netted them a $4.38 profit, but they persevered. A couple of years later they were still in business and had expanded their inventory to include cutlery, clocks, glassware, porcelain, and jewelry.
In 1841, the store changed its name to Tiffany, Young, and Ellis and began manufacturing its own jewelry. It established a reputation for selling only the finest goods, and Tiffany was responsible for introducing the “sterling” silver standard to the U.S. from England.
He went on to open other stores in London, Paris, and the flagship Fifth Avenue store that is still used today. In 1886, the store introduced the Tiffany setting, a six prong setting that allows diamond solitaires to receive the maximum amount of light and reflect the maximum amount of brilliance. The next year, Tiffany & Co. was able to procure some of France’s crown jewels. This solidified the company’s reputation as a retailer of fine jewels.
(1) Have you ever dreamed of owning a tiger or a monkey? (2) Have you seen pictures of baby animals that made you want to hold and care for them? (3) There are many people who have chosen an exotic pet for reasons like they wanted to have a unique pet to show off to friends, or they thought they could train it to do a lot of amazing tricks. (4) However, wild animals do not make good pets because they need specialized care, they can become dangerous, and they can spread diseases and parasites.
(5) Caring for wild animals requires expertise. (6) Wild animals have very strict dietary, environmental, and social needs. (7) The owner must know precisely what, when, and how to feed the animal. (8) Snakes, for example, need to be removed from their living quarters and placed in another confined area to feed. (9) The reason for this is so the snake will not associate the owner's hand with its prey. (10) The food demands of a large animal like a tiger would be nearly impossible to supply. (11) Many reptiles need particular temperatures to live; therefore, heat and UV lamps must be maintained for these animals. (12) Besides strenuous nutritional and environmental needs, wild animals have specific social needs that pet owners may have no idea how to meet.
(13) Baby animals may be easy to contain and control, but they will not stay that way. (14) As the animal grows in size its strength increases too. (15) Young tiger cubs may be similar in size to a domestic house cat, but an adult, male, Bengal tiger can weigh up to 258 pounds. (16) Even a playful pat from an animal that big and strong could seriously injure a human. (17) As a baby, the pet relies on the owner to care for it. (18) When the young animal begins to develop into a mature adult, instinctive behaviors like hunting will replace the young, playful behaviors. (19) Owners typically respond to these changes by locking the animals in cages, sedating them with drugs, or getting rid of the pets.
(20) One more reason to not keep a wild animal as a pet is that wild animals often carry diseases and/or parasites. (21) Amphibians such as turtles and frogs frequently carry Salmonella, a type of bacteria that is dangerous to humans, especially children. (22) Thousands of people are infected with Salmonella every year. (23) Macque monkeys are known to carry the herpes B virus which can be fatal to humans. (24) Some small mammals (Gambian giant-pouched rats, rope squirrels, and dormice) imported for the pet trade recently infected locally captured prairie dogs with monkeypox. (25) The prairie dogs were sold and infected over a dozen humans with the monkeypox virus. (26) The infected people survived but had to endure fever, body aches, and lesions over two to four weeks. (27) Owning a wild animal as a pet is not worth the risk of catching a harmful disease.
(28) Wild animals have strict dietary, environmental, and social needs that are unreasonable for an owner to meet. (29) Wild animals have natural instincts that take over as they develop into adults. (30) These instinctive behaviors can be very threatening to people. (31) Also, wild animals are prone to have diseases and parasites that can be transmitted to humans.
Janice is writing a short essay about the effects of Internet access in remote, tribal villages. Read the following passage and use it to answer the question.
(1) Companies like Google and Intel have recently established programs to provide remote villages with computers and Internet access. (2) The Internet can serve as a valuable tool for remote villages by providing a way to preserve their culture and protect against exploitation of their land. (3) Some villagers are opposed to the introduction of the Internet into their traditional lifestyles.
(4) Tsereptse, the leader of one Xavante tribe in a Brazilian Indian reserve stated, "I don't think it's a good thing, because it's a threat to our culture."
(5) Other members of the Xavante tribe argue that the Internet will benefit them. (6) They say that it will give them the opportunity to record their traditions and spread their culture to other parts of the world. (7) Those in favor of bringing the Internet into tribal villages also state that the Internet is a quicker way to report illegal logging, hunting, and farming. (8) The government will be able to closely monitor illegal activity in remote parts of Brazil from villager accounts reported via the Internet.
(9) Chief Surui of an Amazonian tribe in Rondonia has already received laptops and Internet access for his village through a charity organization called Amazon Conservation Team. (10) Surui states in an email, "The use of computers helps us to manage any funds we receive as support, to create new projects, and to record memoirs. (11) Using the Internet, we can enter into contact with the world, learning about what is happening and distributing our news to others. (12) When we have any problems with invasions from loggers, hunters or miners, we can denounce them in a quicker way."
During the Salem Witch Trials, people were not only in danger of being accused of witchcraft, but also of being sentenced to death for witchcraft. If a neighbor had a grudge against another neighbor, he or she could seek revenge by claiming that the neighbor was a witch. It took very little evidence to convict someone of witchcraft. The judicial system in Salem accepted testimonies from self-proclaimed witchcraft victims as strong evidence.
LEGO is a Danish company that has become internationally known. Ole Kirk Christiansen started his company in 1932 in the small town of Billund in Denmark. Christiansen was a carpenter that manufactured items like ironing boards and stepladders. He was having trouble making ends meet, so he started using wood scraps to carve toys. Christiansen made wooden blocks that connected together. He later developed his wooden blocks into special plastic blocks and got a patent on his interlocking system. The blocks were first sold in Denmark and nearby Germany.
Question 1: Which sentence best concludes paragraph 4?
If the Borobudur Temple is in ruins, tourism will diminish drastically, leaving the Central Java economy in greater ruins.
Education and sanitation are two of the greatest needs in the Central Java region of Indonesia.
The economy of Central Java will not improve unless more employment opportunities are brought to the area.
Visitors that tour the Borobudur Temple often visit the Prambanan Temple Compounds, too.
Question 2: Which sentence best states the topic of paragraph 4?
Tourists spend money on accommodations, local cuisine, hand-crafted souvenirs, transportation and much more.
According to the National Development Planning Agency, 55.8% of the poor people in Indonesia live in Java.
The first Trail of Civilizations symposium was held at the temple in August 2006 to discuss how to build tourism in Indonesia.
Allocating money to restore the Borobudur Temple will be more effective than giving it directly to the poor communities.
Question 3: Which sentence best concludes paragraph 2?
The ancient people who built the Borobudur Temple also faced challenges such as heavy rainfall and natural disasters.
The combination of vandalism, weather, and natural disasters endangers the Borobudur Temple's existence.
Funding is needed in order to protect the temple from unruly tourists.
Natural disasters will eventually destroy what is left of the temple.
Question 4: Which of the following is the best topic sentence for paragraph 5?
Modern restoration methods will preserve the temple better than the outdated methods that were used in the past.
The Borobudur Temple has survived many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions during its long existence.
Millions of dollars will provide adequate protection for the Borobudur Temple if immediate action is taken.
The World Heritage Centre is committed to preserving historical and cultural sites all over the world.
Question 5: Which sentence could best be added to paragraph 3 as the topic sentence?
The architecture of the Borobudur Temple is similar to other ancient Buddhist temple sites.
The Borobudur Temple is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists from all over the world.
Archaeologists think that the Borobudur Temple was founded during the Sailendra dynasty.
If the Borobudur Temple collapses in ruins, the world will lose a historical, cultural, and artistic treasure.
Question 6: Which sentence is the best topic sentence of paragraph 2?
The Borobudur Temple suffers damage from visitors, vandals, weather, and natural disasters.
Guards cannot control the large number of tourists.
Heavy rainfall in the Central Java region of Indonesia continually threatens the Borobudur Temple.
Volcanic eruptions also add to the deterioration of the site.
Question 7: Which sentence could best be added to conclude paragraph 3?
The picture carvings made it possible for illiterate people to learn about Buddha.
The Borobudur Temple is a special place that needs to be preserved.
A special ballet called "Mahakarya Borobudur" is performed at the ancient temple.
People who are not Buddhists enjoy the temple for its artistic merit.
Question 8: Which sentence could best be added to paragraph 3 as the topic sentence?
Dust storms caused major problems for the people of the Great Plains.
People covered their windows and doors with wet sheets to try to keep dust out.
Areas of Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico were affected the most.
Without healthy crops, the farmers could not feed their livestock.
Question 9: Which of the following sentences best states the topic of paragraph 4?
Conservation efforts and rainfall put an end to the Dust Bowl.
Farmers played a major role in improving the quality of the land.
Hugh Hammond Bennett was a leader in land conservation.
President Roosevelt proved that he cared about farmers.
Question 10: Which of the following sentences best concludes paragraph 3?
A. Workers from other states did not know how to use the modern farm machinery in California.
B. Many of the animals the government bought were dying of starvation.
C. Dust storms created terrible conditions for the people of the Great Plains.
D. Migrant workers were often treated unfairly and were paid very little.