When her grandmother’s health began to deteriorate in the fall of 1994, Mary would make the drive from Washington, DC to Winchester every few days.
She hated highway driving, finding it ugly and monotonous. She preferred to take meandering back roads to her grandmother’s hospital. When she drove through the rocky town of Harpers Ferry, the beauty of the rough waters churning at the intersection of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers always captivated her.
Toward the end of her journey, Mary had to get on highway 81. It was here that she discovered a surprising bit of beauty during one of her trips. Along the median of the highway, there was a long stretch of wildflowers. They were thin and delicate and purple, and swayed in the wind as if whispering poems to each other.
The first time she saw the flowers, Mary was seized by an uncontrollable urge to pull over on the highway and yank a bunch from the soil. She carried them into her grandmother’s room when she arrived at the hospital and placed them in a water pitcher by her bed. For a moment her grandmother seemed more lucid than usual. She thanked Mary for the flowers, commented on their beauty and asked where she had gotten them. Mary was overjoyed by the ability of the flowers to wake something up inside her ailing grandmother.
Afterwards, Mary began carrying scissors in the car during her trips to visit her grandmother. She would quickly glide onto the shoulder, jump out of the car, and clip a bunch of flowers. Each time Mary placed the flowers in the pitcher, her grandmother’s eyes would light up and they would have a splendid conversation.
One morning in late October, Mary got a call that her grandmother had taken a turn for the worse. Mary was in such a hurry to get to her grandmother that she sped past her flower spot. She decided to turn around head several miles back, and cut a bunch. Mary arrived at the hospital to find her grandmother very weak and unresponsive. She placed flowers in the pitcher and sat down. She felt a squeeze on her fingers. It was the last conversation they had.
What other title would best fit this passage?
Chocolate – there’s nothing quite like it, is there? Chocolate is simply delicious. What is chocolate? Where does it come from?
Christopher Columbus was probably the first to take cacao beans from the New World to Europe in around 1502. But the history of chocolate goes back at least 4,000 years! The Aztecs, who lived in America, through that their bitter cacao drink was a divine gift from heaven. In fact, the scientist Carolus Linnaeus named the plant Theobroma, which means “food of the gods”
The Spanish explorer Hernando Cortex went to America in 1519. He visited the Mexican emperor Montezuma. He saw that Montezuma drank cacao mixed with vanilla and spices. Cortez took some cacao home as a gift to the Spanish King Charles. In Spain, people began to drink Cortez’s chocolate in drink with chili peppers. However, the natural taste of cacao was too bitter for most people. To sweeten the drink, Europeans added sugar to the cacao drink. As a sweet drink, it became more popular. By the 17th century, rich people in Europe were drinking it.
Later, people started using chocolate in pastries, like pies and cakes. In 1828, Dutch chocolate makers started using a new process for removing the fat from cacao beans, and getting to the center of the cacao bean. The Dutch chocolate maker Conrad J. Van Houten made a machine that pressed the fat from the bean. The resulting powder mixed better with water than cacao did. Now, some call van Houten’s chocolate “Dutch chocolate.”
It was easy to mix Dutuch chocolate powder with sugar. So other chocolate makers started trying new recipes that used powdered chocolate. People started mixing sweetened chocolate with cocoa butter to make solid chocolate bars. In 1849, an English chocolate maker made the first chocolate bar. In the 19th century, the Swiss started making milk chocolate by mixing powdered milk with sweetened chocolate. Milk chocolate has not changed much since this process was invented.
Today, two countries – Brazil and Ivory Coast – account for almost half the world’s chocolate. The United States imports most of the chocolate in the world, but the Swiss eat the most chocolate per person. The most chocolate eaten today is sweet milk chocolate, but people also eat white chocolate and dark chocolate.
Cocoa and dark chocolate are believed to help prevent heart attacks, or help keep from happening. They are supposed to be good for the circulatory system. On the other hand, the high fat content of chocolate can cause weight gain, which is not good for people’s health. Other health claims for chocolate have not been proven, but some research shows that chocolate could be good for the brain.
Chocolate is a popular holiday gift. A popular Valentine’s Day gift is a box of chocolate candies with a card and flowers. Chocolate is sometimes given for Christmas and birthdays. Chocolate eggs are sometimes given at Easter.
Chocolate is toxic to some animals. An ingredient in chocolate is poisonous to dogs, cats, parrots, small rodents, and some livestock. Their bodies cannot process some if the chemicals found in chocolate. Therefore, they should never be fed chocolate.
Who was Montezuma?
Recent advances in science and technology have made it possible for geneticists to find out abnormalities in the unborn foetus and take remedial action to rectify some defects which would otherwise prove to be fatal to the child. Though genetic engineering is still at its infancy, scientists can now predict with greater accuracy a genetic disorder. It is not yet an exact science since they are not in a position to predict when exactly a genetic disorder will set in. While they have not yet been able to change the genetic order of the gene in germs, they are optimistic and are holding out that in the near future they might be successful in achieving this feat. They have, however, acquired the ability in manipulating tissue cells. However, genetic mis-information can sometimes be damaging for it may adversely affect people psychologically. Genetic information may lead to a tendency to brand some people as inferiors. Genetic information can therefore be abused and its application in deciding the sex of the foetus and its subsequent abortion is now hotly debated on ethical lines. But on this issue geneticists cannot be squarely blamed though this charge has often been leveled at them. It is mainly a societal problem. At present genetic engineering is a costly process of detecting disorders but scientists hope to reduce the costs when technology becomes more advanced. This is why much progress in this area has been possible in scientifically advanced and rich countries like the U.S.A., U.K. and Japan. It remains to be seen if in the future this science will lead to the development of a race of supermen or will be able to obliterate disease from this world.
Which of the following is the same in meaning as the word ‘squarely’ as used in the passage?