IELTS Reading Vocabulary # Katherine Johnson

SOURCE : NASA

Being handpicked to be one of three black students to integrate West Virginia’s graduate schools is something that many people would consider one of their life’s most notable moments, but it’s just one of several breakthroughs that have marked Katherine Johnson’s long and remarkable life. Born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia in 1918, Katherine Johnson’s intense curiosity and brilliance with numbers vaulted her ahead several grades in school. By thirteen, she was attending the high school on the campus of historically black West Virginia State College. At eighteen, she enrolled in the college itself, where she made quick work of the school’s math curriculum and found a mentor in math professor W. W. Schieffelin Claytor, the third African American to earn a PhD in Mathematics. Katherine graduated with highest honors in 1937 and took a job teaching at a black public school in Virginia.

When West Virginia decided to quietly integrate its graduate schools in 1939, West Virginia State’s president Dr. John W. Davis selected Katherine and two male students as the first black students to be offered spots at the state’s flagship school, West Virginia University. Katherine left her teaching job, and enrolled in the graduate math program. At the end of the first session, however, she decided to leave school to start a family with her husband.

She returned to teaching when her three daughters got older, but it wasn’t until 1952 that a relative told her about open positions at the all-black West Area Computing section at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics’ (NACA’s) Langley laboratory, headed by fellow West Virginian Dorothy Vaughan. Katherine and her husband, James Goble, decided to move the family to Newport News to pursue the opportunity, and Katherine began work at Langley in the summer of 1953. Just two weeks into Katherine’s tenure in the office, Dorothy Vaughan assigned her to a project in the Maneuver Loads Branch of the Flight Research Division, and Katherine’s temporary position soon became permanent. She spent the next four years analyzing data from flight test, and worked on the investigation of a plane crash caused by wake turbulence. As she was wrapping up this work her husband died of cancer in December 1956.

The 1957 launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik changed history—and Katherine Johnson’s life. In 1957, Katherine provided some of the math for the 1958 document Notes on Space Technology, a compendium of a series of 1958 lectures given by engineers in the Flight Research Division and the Pilotless Aircraft Research Division (PARD). Engineers from those groups formed the core of the Space Task Group, the NACA’s first official foray into space travel, and Katherine, who had worked with many of them since coming to Langley, “came along with the program” as the NACA became NASA later that year. She did trajectory analysis for Alan Shepard’s May 1961 mission Freedom 7, America’s first human spaceflight. In 1960, she and engineer Ted Skopinski coauthoredDetermination of Azimuth Angle at Burnout for Placing a Satellite Over a Selected Earth Position, a report laying out the equations describing an orbital spaceflight in which the landing position of the spacecraft is specified. It was the first time a woman in the Flight Research Division had received credit as an author of a research report.

In 1962, as NASA prepared for the orbital mission of John Glenn, Katherine Johnson was called upon to do the work that she would become most known for. The complexity of the orbital flight had required the construction of a worldwide communications network, linking tracking stations around the world to IBM computers in Washington, DC, Cape Canaveral, and Bermuda. The computers had been programmed with the orbital equations that would control the trajectory of the capsule in Glenn’s Friendship 7 mission, from blast off to splashdown, but the astronauts were wary of putting their lives in the care of the electronic calculating machines, which were prone to hiccups and blackouts.

As a part of the preflight checklist, Glenn asked engineers to “get the girl”—Katherine Johnson—to run the same numbers through the same equations that had been programmed into the computer, but by hand, on her desktop mechanical calculating machine.  “If she says they’re good,’” Katherine Johnson remembers the astronaut saying, “then I’m ready to go.” Glenn’s flight was a success, and marked a turning point in the competition between the United States and the Soviet Union in space.

When asked to name her greatest contribution to space exploration, Katherine Johnson talks about the calculations that helped synch Project Apollo’s Lunar Lander with the moon-orbiting Command and Service Module. She also worked on the Space Shuttle and the Earth Resources Satellite, and authored or coauthored 26 research reports. She retired in 1986, after thirty-three years at Langley. “I loved going to work every single day,” she says. In 2015, at age 97, Katherine Johnson added another extraordinary achievement to her long list: President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.

WORDMEANING
handpickedselect carefully with a particular purpose in mind.
breakthroughsa sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development.
remarkableworthy of attention; striking.
curiositya strong desire to know or learn something.
brillianceintense brightness of light.
vaultedprovide (a building or room) with an arched roof or roofs.
historicallywith reference to past events.
curriculumthe subjects comprising a course of study in a school or college.
mentoran experienced and trusted adviser.
enrolledofficially register as a member of an institution or a student on a course.
analyzingexamine (something) methodically and in detail, typically in order to explain and interpret it.
turbulenceviolent or unsteady movement of air or water, or of some other fluid.
compendiuma collection of concise but detailed information about a particular subject, especially in a book or other publication.
foraya sudden attack or incursion into enemy territory, especially to obtain something; a raid.
trajectorythe path followed by a projectile flying or an object moving under the action of given forces.
orbitalrelating to an orbit or orbits.
spaceflighta journey through space.
researchthe systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.
complexitythe state or quality of being intricate or complicated.
worldwideextending or reaching throughout the world.
communicationsthe imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.
networka group or system of interconnected people or things.
hiccupsan involuntary spasm of the diaphragm and respiratory organs, with a sudden closure of the glottis and a characteristic gulping sound.
blackoutsa period when all lights must be turned out or covered to prevent them being seen by the enemy during an air raid.
authoredbe the author of (a book or piece of writing).
extraordinaryvery unusual or remarkable.
civiliana person not in the armed services or the police force.
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IELTS Practice Reading # New Nation

The article below has been taken from TIME. You can read the entire article by clicking on the link. Today, we are looking at a part of it and try to cover the vocabulary that we come across.

Movies, and sometimes the people who make them, work on us at strange, subterranean levels we can’t even begin to comprehend. That’s why, even though relatively few people have seen it, few know quite how to feel about Nate Parker’sBirth of a Nation, which premiered here at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday to a rousing response from the audience, some seven months after its sensational Sundance unveiling. Parker’s debut picture—about Nat Turner, the enslaved African American who led a violent revolt against slave owners in 1831—is distinctive for one notable reason: Movies about the history of blacks in this country are rarely made, and if you rule out the usual suspects like Spike Lee and Lee Daniels—and count back to the days before 12 Years a Slave and Selma—they have rarely been made by people of color. But months ahead of its release in the United States, in October, The Birth of a Nation has also become infamous for a thornier reason: In 1999, while they were students at Penn State University, Parker and his roommate and wrestling teammate Jean Celestin—cowriter of The Birth of a Nation—were accused of raping a fellow student. Parker was acquitted. Celestin was found guilty, though the verdict was overturned. Their accuser committed suicide in 2012. In the context of this terrible blot, should Parker be lauded as a filmmaker? Should people show tacit support of him and his actions by seeing the film? Is his work, or his view on anything, in any way trustworthy?

WORDMEANING
 strange unusual or surprising; difficult to understand or explain.
 subterranean existing, occurring, or done under the earth's surface.
 comprehend grasp mentally; understand.
 relatively in relation, comparison, or proportion to something else.
 premiered give the first performance of.;(of a musical or theatrical work or a film) have its first performance
 rousing exciting; stirring;(of a fire) blazing strongly.
 response a verbal or written answer.;a reaction to something.
 audience the assembled spectators or listeners at a public event such as a play, film, concert, or meeting.;a formal interview with a person in authority.
 sensational causing great public interest and excitement.;very good indeed; very impressive or attractive.
 unveiling remove a veil or covering from, in particular uncover (a new monument or work of art) as part of a public ceremony.;show or announce publicly for the first time.
 enslaved make (someone) a slave.;cause (someone) to lose their freedom of choice or action.
 violent using or involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something;(especially of an emotion or a destructive natural force) very strong or power
 revolt take violent action against an established government or ruler; rebel.;cause to feel disgust.
 slave a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.;work excessively hard.
 distinctive characteristic of one person or thing, and so serving to distinguish it from other
 notable worthy of attention or notice; remarkable.;a famous or important person
 thornier having many thorns or thorn bushes.;causing distress, difficulty, or trouble.
 accused a person or group of people who are charged with or on trial for a crime.
 acquitted free (someone) from a criminal charge by a verdict of not guilty.
.
conduct oneself or perform in a specified way.
 verdict a decision on an issue of fact in a civil or criminal case or an inquest.
 overturned tip (something) over so that it is on its side or upside down.;abolish, invalidate, or reverse (a previous system, decision, situation, etc.)
 blot a dark mark or stain made by ink, paint, dirt, etc.;a procedure in which proteins or nucleic acids separated on a gel are transferred directly to an immobilizing medium for identification.
 tacit understood or implied without being stated.

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IELTS Reading Sample # iPhone7

iPhone7 has been launched and there has been so much buzz about the phone that it is inevitable that one does not knows about it. In today’s reading section, we are going to look at a article that talk about the sales of Apple and how they increased with the coming of iPhone7. With this article, we hope to learn some vocabulary about business and how things actually work in the Business lifestyle. The article has been taken from – http://time.com/money/4489600/iphone-7-preorders/?xid=homepage

iPhone7

iphone7 IELTS Band 7

U.S. wireless1 carriers Sprint and T-Mobile US said on Tuesday they received strong pre-orders2 for Apple’s iPhone 7, sending shares of the world’s most valuable listed company up 3 percent.

Sprint said pre-orders were up nearly four times, compared to last year. Pre-orders also rose nearly four times at T-Mobile, compared with its next most popular iPhone.

However, the companies did not disclose3 specific sales numbers. Pre-orders started on Friday.

Details about sales of the new iPhone are scarce4 after Apple announced last week it would not release weekend sales data, saying the number was more a reflection of supply than demand.

“While the iPhone 7 update is more revolutionary5 than evolutionary6, we believe investors7 could consider these strong early pre-order indications8 as being reflective9 of the impact10 of Apple’s significant11 iPhone installed12 base expansion13 over the past few years,” Stifel analyst Aaron Rakers said in a note.

Rival carriers AT&T and Verizon Communications were not immediately available for comment.

Apple’s shares14 were up 2.8 percent at $108.19 in morning trading15. Up to Monday’s close, they had fallen 2.1 percent since the iPhone 7 was launched on Wednesday.

SrWORDMEANING
1wirelessUsing radio, microwaves, etc. (as opposed to wires or cables) to transmit signals.
2pre-ordersPlace an order for (an item) before it is available for purchase.
3discloseMake (secret or new information) known.;allow (something hidden) to be seen.
4scarceInsufficient for the demand.
5revolutionaryInvolving or causing a complete or dramatic change.;engaged in or promoting political revolution.
6evolutionaryA gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.
7investorsAn investor is any person who commits capital with the expectation of financial returns.
8indicationsA sign or piece of information that indicates something.;a symptom that suggests certain medical treatment is necessary.
9reflectivePproviding a reflection; capable of reflecting light or other radiation.;relating to or characterized by deep thought; thoughtful.
10impactThe action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another.;a marked effect or influence.
11significantSufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention; noteworthy.;having a particular meaning; indicative of something
12installedPlace or fix (equipment or machinery) in position ready for use.;
13expansionThe action of becoming larger or more extensive.
14sharesA part or portion of a larger amount which is divided among a number of people, or to which a number of people contribute.
15tradingThe action or activity of buying and selling goods and services.

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Village That Inspired Tagore # Improve Vocabulary

Source : National Geographic Traveler

Download the text with meaning for print – The File

The Village That Inspired Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore often holidayed in Mongpu, a quiet Himalayan village about 1.5hr from Darjeeling, during the last three years of his life. So it was only natural that photographer Dhritiman Mukherjee and Bollywood music director Shantanu Moitra visited Mongpu—and their Bengali heritage—when they were on the West Bengal leg of their #100DaysInHimalayas project. Between February and December 2016, the duo will make a series of trips in the Himalayas covering reaches running from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, and into the neighbouring foothills of Nepal and Bhutan—and they’re taking National Geographic Traveller Indiaalong for the ride.

On a day trip to Mongpu, they visited the bungalow where Tagore stayed at the invitation of his protégée, the author Maitreyi Devi. The house overlooks a cinchona plantation and quinine factory, once managed by Devi’s husband. On his last visit in 1940, Tagore fell very ill and had to be shifted to Kolkata. He passed away the next year, leaving behind several possessions at the Mongpu residence, which was later turned into a museum by the government, and named Rabindra Bhavan.

Among Rabindra Bhavan’s display are artworks, handwritten documents, and most interestingly, furniture designed by Tagore and carved by his son, Rathindranath Tagore. Moitra and Mukherjee saw Tagore’s bed, which has an inclined headrest said to have tackled his respiratory problem. His mahogany writing desk and chair, said to be designed to support his back, faces a window with a tranquil view of the lush, hilly landscape that the nature-loving writer treasured. For Mukherjee, the window by which Tagore wrote provided the biggest emotional connection. “He had a vast view in front, and that landscape is intact,” the photographer said, “It’s very green, there are lots of trees; it’s at the edge of the snow.”

Like many visitors at this memorial to a literary giant, Moitra was dismayed by the broken windowpanes, cracked walls, dented doors and inadequate security. “We could have walked out with any of Tagore’s belongings,” he said. And yet, much of it remains. The place may be unkempt but the legacy of Tagore’s visits is still strong in the village.

WORD MEANING SYNONYM
1.       Photographer A person who takes photographs, especially as a job. Paparazzo, photojournalist, shutterbug
2.       Heritage Property that is or may be inherited; and inheritance;

A special or individual possession; an allotted portion

Ancestry, culture, custom, legacy, right, tradition, bequest, birthright, convention, dowry, endowment, estate, fashion, inheritance, lot, patrimony, portion, share
3.       Cinchona An evergreen South American tree or shrub with fragrant flowers, cultivated for its bark
4.       Plantation An estate on which crops such as coffee, sugar, and tobacco are grown;

Colonization or settlement of emigrants, especially of English and then Scottish families in Ireland in 16th -17th centuries under government sponsorship.

Estate, homestead, orchard, ranch, farmstead, hacienda, vineyard
5.       Protegee A person who is guided and supported by an older and more experienced or influential person Applicant, buyer, consumer, patient, patron, shopper, believer, chump, dependent, disciple, follower, front, head, mark, purchaser, walk-in, ward
6.       Quinine A bitter crystalline compound present in cinchona bark, used as a tonic formerly as an antimalarial drug. Blame, castigation, censure, curse, defamation, derision, hosing, insults, invective, knifing, libel, obloquy, opprobrium, put-down, reproach, revilement, scolding, signifying, slander, swearing, tirade, upbraiding, vilification, vituperation
7.       Possessions The state of having, owning, or controlling something.

Something that is owned or possessed.

Custody, dominion, hold, occupancy, occupation, proprietary, retention, tenancy, tenure, title
8.       Residence A person’s home, especially a large and impressive one. Apartment, condo, dwelling, hall, headquarters, home, house, mansion, palace, abode, address, co-op, domicile, habitation, hole, household, inhabitancy, inhabitation, lodging, manor, occupancy, occupation, rack, roof, roost, seat, settlement, villa
9.       Artworks Illustrations, photographs, or other non-textual material prepared for inclusion in a publication. Art, artwork, picture, piece, portrait, watercolor, oil
10.   Carved Cut in order to produce and object, design or inscription. Chiseled, engraved, sculpted, carven, chased, cut, etched, furrowed, graved, graven, grooved, hewed, hewn, modeled, scissored, slashed, sliced, whittled
11.   Tackled Make determined efforts to deal with ( a problem or difficult task) Accept, begin, deal with, engage in, take up, try, undertake, work on, attack, attempt, essay, launch
12.   Mahogany Hard reddish-brown timber from a tropical tree, used for quality furniture.

A tropical tree which produces mahogany.

Amber, bay, beige, bister, brick, bronze, buff, chestnut, chocolate, cinnamon, cooca, coffee, copper, drab, dust, ecru, fawn, ginger, hazel, henna, khaki, nut, ochre, puce, russet, rust, sepia, sorrel, tan, toast, umber
13.   Tranquil Free from disturbance; calm Amicable, balmy, calm, easygoing, gentle, mild, pastoral, placid, restful, sedate, serene, sober, stable, tame, temperate
14.   Intact Not damaged or impaired in any way; complete Flawless, perfect, unblemished, unbroken, unharmed, unhurt, unscathed, untouched
15.   Memorial A statue or structure established to remind people of a person or event; a statement of facts, especially as the basis of a petition. Remembering, canonizing, celebrative, commemoratory, consecrating, consecrative, dedicatory, deifying, enshrining, in tribute, memorializing, monumental
16.   Inadequate Lacking the quality or quantity required; insufficient for a purpose Deficient, faulty, incompetent, incomplete, incomplete, lacking, meager, poor, scarce, sketchy, skimpy, unequal, weak
17.   Unkempt Having an untidy or disheveled appearance. Bedraggled, dilapidated, disheveled, grubby, grungy, messy, neglected, rumpled, scruffy, shaggy.

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