24th November, 2016 (CSAT)


Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece the Mona Lisa’s smile has repeatedly been a subject of many – greatly varying – interpretations. Some have described the smile as both innocent and inviting. Many researchers have tried to explain why the smile is seen so differently by people. Professor Margaret Livingstone of Harvard University has argued that the smile is mostly drawn in low spatial frequencies, and so can best be seen from a distance or with one’s peripheral vision. Thus, for example, the smile appears more striking when looking at the portrait’s eyes than when looking at the mouth itself.

1. Which of the following statements would strengthen Prof Margaret’s claim?

(a) Different people have different interpretations for the same portrait because of their different mental makeup.

(b) A smile may appear to be a neutral expression depending on your mood.

(c) Research has proved that different people focus on different areas while viewing a portrait.

(d) People try to see themselves in a portrait; what they interpret is dependent on their personal qualities.


Akbari is no architect and his grand plan is no conceptual art project. Based at the prestigious Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, Akbari is a scientist who has come up with a new way to fight global warming. It could be the easiest solution you’ve ever heard of. His big idea is based on principles as old as the whitewashed villages that scatter the hills of southern Europe and North Africa. Turn enough of the world’s black urban landscape white, he says, and it would reflect enough sunlight to delay global warming, and grant us some precious breathing space in the global struggle to control carbon emissions.

2. It can be inferred from the above paragraph that

(a) global warming occurs because of poisonous gases like carbon monoxide.

(b) the whitewashed villages in the hills of Europe and North Africa were meant to counter global warming.

(c) global warming probably occurs due to the earth absorbing sunlight.

(d) global warming could spell doom for all of us on this earth.

Tomorrow: Next questions for practice

For previous questions refer yesterday’s post

Click on MAINS and PRELIMS pages also.