IELTS READING – `Homer’s Literary Legacy S8AT3

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`Homer’s Literary Legacy

Why was the work of Homer, famous author of ancient Greece, so full of cliches?

A Until the last tick of history’s clock, cultural transmission meant oral transmission, and poetry, passed from mouth to ear, was the principal medium of moving information across space and from one Q11 generation to the next. Oral poetry was not simply a way of telling lovely or important stories, or of flexing the imagination. It was, argues the classicist Eric Havelock, a ‘massive repository of useful knowledge, a sort of encyclopedia of ethics, politics, history and technology which the effective Q12 citizen was required to learn as the core of his educational equipment’. The great oral works transmitted a shared cultural heritage, held in common not on bookshelves, but in brains. Q5 In India, an entire class of priests was charged with memorizing the Vedas with perfect fidelity. In pre-Islamic Arabia, people known as Rawis were often attached to poets as official memorizers. The Buddha’s teachings were passed down in an unbroken chain of oral tradition for four centuries until they were committed to writing in Sri Lanka in the first century B.C.

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IELTS READING – The rise of the agribots S8AT2

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The rise of the agribots

The use of robots and automation in the farming industry

The next time you stand at the supermarket checkout, spare a thought for the farmers who helped fill your shopping basket as life is hard for them right now. This, in turn, inevitably means bigger grocery bills for consumers, and greater hardship for the millions in countries where food shortages are a matter of life and death. Worse, studies suggest that the world will need twice as much food by 2050. Yet while farmers must squeeze more out of the land, Q2 they must also address the necessity of reducing their impact on the soil, waterways and atmosphere. All this means rethinking how agriculture is practiced, and taking automation to a whole new level. On the new model farms of the future, precision will be key. Why dose a whole field with chemicals if you can spray only where they are needed? Q3 Each plant could get exactly the right amount of everything, no more or less, an approach that could slash chemical use and improve yields in one move. But this is easier said than done; the largest farms in Europe and the U.S. can cover thousands of acres. That’s why automation is key to precision farming. Specifically, say agricultural engineers, precision farming needs robot farmers.

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IELTS READING – South Pole Adventurer S8AT1

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South Pole Adventurer

In the race to the South Pole, there was a Japanese team attempting to be first, led by heroic explorer Nobu Shirase

For a few weeks in January 1912, Antarctica was full of explorers. Norwegian Roald Amundsen had reached the South Pole on 14 December and was speeding back to the coast. On 17 January, Robert Scott and the men of the British Antarctic expedition had arrived at the pole to find they had been beaten to it. Just then, a third man arrived; Japanese explorer Nobu Shirase. However, Q1 his part in one of the greatest adventure stories of the 20th century is hardly known outside his own country, even by fellow explorers. Yet as Scott was nearing the pole and with the rest of the world still unaware of Amundsen’s triumph, Q2 Shirase and his team sailed into Antarctica’s Bay of Whales in the smallest ship ever to try its luck in these dangerous waters.

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IELTS READING – Clog dancing’s big street revival S7GT5

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Clog dancing’s big street revival

A. The streets of Newcastle, in the north-east of England, have begun to echo with a sound that has not been heard for about a century. A sharp, rhythmic knocking can be heard among the Saturday crowds in one of the city’s busiest intersections. It sounds a little like dozens of Q8 horses galloping along the street, but there are none in sight. In fact, it’s the noise of a hundred people dancing in wooden shoes, or clogs.

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