full transcript
"From the Ted Talk by Richard Dawkins: Why the universe seems so strange"

Unscramble the Blue Letters

In a desert plain in Tanzania, in the sodahw of the volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai, there's a dune made of volcanic ash. The beautiful thing is that it moves bodily. It's what's technically known as a "barchan," and the enrite dune walks across the dseret in a westerly direction at a seepd of about 17 meters per year. It retains its crescent shape and moves in the dteiicorn of the horns. What happens is that the wind blows the sand up the shallow slope on the other side, and then, as each sand grain hits the top of the ridge, it cascades down on the inside of the csnceert, and so the whole horn-shaped dune moves. Steve Grand points out that you and I are, ourselves, more like a wave than a permanent thing. He invites us, the raeedr, to think of an experience from your childhood, something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were there at the time, weren't you? How else would you reebmemr it? But here is the bombshell: You weren't there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place. Matter flows from place to place and manreiomtly comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made. If that doesn't make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, read it again until it does, because it is important.

Open Cloze

In a desert plain in Tanzania, in the ______ of the volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai, there's a dune made of volcanic ash. The beautiful thing is that it moves bodily. It's what's technically known as a "barchan," and the ______ dune walks across the ______ in a westerly direction at a _____ of about 17 meters per year. It retains its crescent shape and moves in the _________ of the horns. What happens is that the wind blows the sand up the shallow slope on the other side, and then, as each sand grain hits the top of the ridge, it cascades down on the inside of the ________, and so the whole horn-shaped dune moves. Steve Grand points out that you and I are, ourselves, more like a wave than a permanent thing. He invites us, the ______, to think of an experience from your childhood, something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were there at the time, weren't you? How else would you ________ it? But here is the bombshell: You weren't there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place. Matter flows from place to place and ___________ comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made. If that doesn't make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, read it again until it does, because it is important.

Solution

  1. remember
  2. momentarily
  3. crescent
  4. direction
  5. speed
  6. desert
  7. entire
  8. shadow
  9. reader

Original Text

In a desert plain in Tanzania, in the shadow of the volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai, there's a dune made of volcanic ash. The beautiful thing is that it moves bodily. It's what's technically known as a "barchan," and the entire dune walks across the desert in a westerly direction at a speed of about 17 meters per year. It retains its crescent shape and moves in the direction of the horns. What happens is that the wind blows the sand up the shallow slope on the other side, and then, as each sand grain hits the top of the ridge, it cascades down on the inside of the crescent, and so the whole horn-shaped dune moves. Steve Grand points out that you and I are, ourselves, more like a wave than a permanent thing. He invites us, the reader, to think of an experience from your childhood, something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were there at the time, weren't you? How else would you remember it? But here is the bombshell: You weren't there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place. Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made. If that doesn't make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, read it again until it does, because it is important.

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
middle world 19
quantum theory 6
empty space 4
steve grand 4

Important Words

  1. ash
  2. atom
  3. beautiful
  4. blows
  5. bodily
  6. body
  7. cascades
  8. childhood
  9. crescent
  10. desert
  11. direction
  12. doinyo
  13. dune
  14. entire
  15. event
  16. experience
  17. feel
  18. flows
  19. grain
  20. grand
  21. hair
  22. hits
  23. horns
  24. important
  25. invites
  26. lengai
  27. matter
  28. meters
  29. momentarily
  30. moves
  31. neck
  32. ol
  33. permanent
  34. place
  35. plain
  36. points
  37. read
  38. reader
  39. remember
  40. retains
  41. ridge
  42. sand
  43. shadow
  44. shallow
  45. shape
  46. side
  47. single
  48. slope
  49. smell
  50. speed
  51. stand
  52. steve
  53. stuff
  54. tanzania
  55. technically
  56. time
  57. today
  58. top
  59. volcanic
  60. volcano
  61. walks
  62. wave
  63. westerly
  64. wind
  65. year