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Primitive communication

Principal means of communication among primitive men included speech and gesture, drawings, and various kinds of drums and signal fires for relaying messages over long distances.

Bison drawing in the Altamira Caverns, Spain. The drawing is from the Stone Age.
American Museum of Natural History

In Africa man fashioned drums from hollow logs to send messages over long distances.
The Bettmann Archive

The American Indian used smoke signals as a means of communication. The painting is by Frederic Remington (1861-1909).
Amon Carter Museum


From prehistoric times, man has transferred information to his fellow man in one form or another. At first it was done by a simple animal-like guttural sound. Later came speech, song, hand signs, and crude writings on wood and stone. To relate incidents of the day, the simple drawing of an animal on the wall of a cave was sufficient; to perpetuate knowledge, these drawings became more detailed.

Perhaps the earliest known method of communicating over any distance beyond the range of the human voice was the signal fire. By simply putting a torch to a pile of leaves or dried wood, tribes could recall their hunters or transmit other bits of information over appreciable distances. The signal fire, although one of the first means of overland communications, was also one of the last to succumb to the modern advances of the electrical era.

1. According to the text,
a) since the ancient times man has been able to communicate both with animals and his peers.
b) if even animals are able to communicate why wouldn't humans?
c) in one way or another the prehistoric man was able to communicate with his peers.
d) any transferred information from one person to another was called "communication" in prehistoric times.
e) now modern man is beginning to study and wholly understand the communication among his prehistoric mates.

2. You can conclude from the text that,
a) after a rudimentary form of communication, the next step was speech.
b) music was one of the first manifestation of communication in ancient times.
c) writing on stone soon disappearead as a means of communication.
d) songs and signs were surely the most important ways to perpetuate knowledge.
e) the signal fire was the first way the ancient people used to communicate with their families.

3. Maybe the earliest method of communicating over any distance consisted of
a) drawing pictures on stone walls.
b) putting a torch to a group of hunters.
c) transmitting bits of unnecessary information.
d) lowering the human voice.
e) setting fire to dried wood.

Pedro II

Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil (1831-89).
The Bettmann Archive

Pedro II (1825-91), Emperor of Brazil (1831-89). Only five years old when his father abdicated the Brazilian throne and returned to Portugal, Dom Pedro was for nine years under the tutelage of strict educators while the government was in the inept hands of a regency. Threats to order and unity and increasing popular dissatisfaction with the situation led to the assumption by Pedro of the throne in July, 1840; he was formally crowned a year later.

Pedro II was deeply patriotic and conscientious in his rule. In general it was a time of great progress and prosperity for Brazil. Pedro ruled firmly, even at times arbitrarily, but his exercise of the "moderative power" given him by the constitution of 1824 was usually wise and beneficent. The 1840's were devoted largely to consolidation of his power and suppression of disorders. The next two decades were characterized by numerous disputes with foreign states, and the 1870's and 1880's witnessed growth of republican and liberal ideas.

One of the principal problems Pedro faced was that of slavery, a deeply rooted institution in Brazil. Difficulties with Great Britain arose in the 1840's over that government's pressure on Brazil to end the slave trade. Especially after the end of the Civil War in the United States, agitation for ending slavery in Brazil increased and various laws were passed to terminate it gradually.

Between 1864 and 1870 Pedro, allied with Argentina and Uruguay, carried on a major war against Paraguay under Francisco Solano López. He also had diplomatic or territorial difficulties with other states, including Uruguay, the United States, and Argentina. Pedro traveled widely in Europe and made a well-publicized visit to the United States at the time of the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876.

The Brazilian economy expanded rapidly under Pedro. Railway and factory building developed markedly, and coffee production and foreign trade were stimulated. Pedro was deeply interested in educational and scientific advancement for Brazil. Growing republican sentiment, however, and conflicts with various powerful interests — landowners, the church, the army, and others — led to a revolution in Nov., 1889, after which Pedro peacefully retired to Portugal.

4. According to the text, Pedro II
a) died at the age of 58.
b) lived in Portugal from 1825 to 1891.
c) was crowned in 1840.
d) was Emperor of Brazil for 58 years.
e) was Emperor of Brazil for 9 years.

5. Which of the following can't be associated to Pedro II?
a) wisdom
b) health system
c) patriotism
d) education
e) growth of the economy

6. "The next two decades" refer to the
a) 1880's and 1890's
b) 1840's and 1850's
c) 1870's and 1880's
d) 1860's and 1870's
e) 1850's and 1860's

7. Pedro II most likely retired to Portugal in
a) 1876
b) 1864
c) 1890
d) 1888
e) 1887

8. Which of the following statements concerning Pedro II is untrue? He...
a) allied with Paraguay and Argentina against Uruguay.
b) had to face the problem of slavery in Brazil.
c) had to face Great Britain's pressure to stop slave trade.
d) traveled to the U.S.A. and Europe.
e) had a lot of interest in Brazil's scientific development.

Europe, London

Waiting for the train can make you hungry, and not only for food. At London's South Kensington station, commuters unsatisfied by candy can snack on literature instead. For $2, platform vending machines pop out leaflets bearing your choice of poetry (Marvell, Pushkin, Shakespeare) or short stories (Arthur Conan Doyle, P.G. Wodehouse, Evelyn Waugh). Travelman, a publishing firm founded by Waugh's grandson Alexander, plans to install similar machines at 30 other Underground stations.

9. Which of the following best completes the sentence "... not only for food..."
a) so for candies too
b) yet for news instead
c) therefore for newspapers also
d) however for books, too
e) but also for reading

10. Who are the commuters mentioned in the text?
a) Poorer people who depend on Underground trains in South Kensington.
b) Hungry people who have lunch at subway stations.
c) Those people who travel to and from work.
d) People who leave their cars at the outskirts of London.
e) Those people who don't have money enough to spend on transportation every day.


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