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ALIRA Unofficial Practice Test 1

by 8:30 AM
The ALIRA Test is a reading comprehension test for Latin with a variety of passages ranging from historical narratives to modern articles. Scores are measured on a range from N1-5 to A with I1-5 in between. You can see a sample score report here. The Language Testing International Organization has released a practice exam, available here. This practice exam is based on the structure of the official sample test, providing those interested with unofficial materials to study with. The questions generally increase in difficulty as you move through the texts and are taken from a wide range of sources. Currently, there is no way to assess the level of each question, but generally the first questions are equivalent to novice levels and the final questions are equivalent to the intermediate levels. Good Luck!


Source: Lingua Latīna Per Sē Illūstrāta Pars I: Familia Rōmāna


Which of the following would the ships trade with?
A.) Oppidum
B.) Fluvius
C.) Insula
D.) None of the Above

The image above is related to
A.) Funerals
B.) Games
C.) Marriages
D.) Economics


Source: Wheelock’s Sixth Edition


Whom is Martial addressing?
A.) Himself
B.) Fidentius
C.) a Male
D.) Recitas


“In primis annis Romani habuerunt reges. Reges fuerunt Etrusci. Etrusci erant in throno Romano.”
Source: Latin by the Natural Method
Who ruled Rome?
A.) The Romans
B.) The Etruscans
C.) Roman Kings
D.) Etruscan Kings


Source: The Latin Wikipedia News Page


What happens to the Capital?
A.) The citizens recreate it like it was in 1991
B.) The president gave an address in Astana
C.) The capital city was renamed to “Nursultan”
D.) The president left office.


Source: Western Washington University


What is the origin of the cold air?
A.) Canada
B.) Mississippi
C.) Louisiana
D.) Georgia




What is going on in this passage?
A.) The Roman Senate debates going to war with Carthage
B.) The Carthaginian Senate debates going to war with Rome
C.) The Carthaginian Senate discusses the command of Hasdrubal
D.) The Carthaginian Senate discusses the command of Hannibal


Source: Via Latin; An Easy Latin Reader


Why did Pelias wish to kill Jason?
A.) He wanted to become king
B.) He felt that Jason was a danger to the Kingdom
C.) He had abducted the king
D.) He didn’t.


Source: A First Latin Reader (1912)


What prevented Columbus from traveling on the sea?
A.) Family Obligations
B.) Money
C.) Care
D.) Danger


Source: Fabulae Facilis


What did Laomedon not wish to do?
A.) Be in the favor of Neptune and Apollo
B.) Pay for the services of Neptune and Apollo
C.) Ask Neptune and Apollo for good fortune
D.) Increase tribute to Neptune and Apollo


Eo nomine senatus decretis honorificis in ordinem suum me adlegit, C. Pansa et A. Hirtio consulibus, consularem locum sententiae dicendae tribuens, et imperium mihi dedit. Res publica ne quid detrimenti caperet, me propraetoresimul cum consulibus providere iussit. Populus autem eodem anno me consulem, cum cos. uterque bellocecidisset, et triumvirum rei publicae constituendae creavit. - Octavian
Source: Res Gestae Divi Augusti


During his service in which position was granted Octavian imperium?
A.) Tribune
B.) Propraetor
C.) Consulship
D.) Triumvir

Answer Key (highlight it): 1.) A 2.) B 3.) B 4.) D 5.) C 6.) A 7.) D 8.) A 9.) B 10.) B 11.) B

Minesweeper in Java

by 12:45 PM
Minesweeper is a video game where you are trying to clear a "board" while avoiding the hidden traps. There are individual squares which serve as these traps; all of the other squares are defined by the number of traps adjacent to that square. This means that a non-trap square can have a maximum value of eight (although this is highly unlikely). (Source). Here is an example of minesweeper wit a 2D GUI (Graphical User Interface): http://minesweeperonline.com/

This implementation utilizes 2D arrays but does not include a graphical user interface. For this java code, the "9" represents a trap or bomb while -1 represents a spot on the board which isn't visible. Therefore the original board looks like this:


This version also does not include any method to "flow" and reveal all zeroes adjacent to one another. Therefore, you need to reveal each square one at a time.

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public class MinesweeperGame {
    private int rows;
    private int columns;
    private int mines;
    private int board[][];
    private int visibleBoard[][];

    public MinesweeperGame(int inputRows, int inputColumns, int inputMines) { // Service Constructor
        rows = inputRows;
        columns = inputColumns;
        mines = inputMines;
        visibleBoard = new int[rows][columns];
        board = this.createBoard();
        board = populateBoard(board);
        visibleBoard();
    }

    public int playerInteract(int inputRow, int inputColumn) { // Determines the result of an interaction with the board and changes all components appropriately
        if (board[inputRow][inputColumn] == 9) {
            return 2;
        }
        else {
            visibleBoard[inputRow][inputColumn] = board[inputRow][inputColumn];
        }
        for (int i = 0; i< rows; i++) { // Checks for a win, if they haven't won yet, then they need to keep playing
            for (int j = 0; j < columns; j++) {
                if (board[i][j] != 9) {
                    if (visibleBoard[i][j] == board[i][j]) {
                        visibleBoard[i][j] = visibleBoard[i][j];
                    }
                    else {
                        return 0;
                    }
                }
            }
        }
        return 1;
    }

    public void getVisibleBoard() {
        printBoard(visibleBoard);
    } // Calls the "visible" board, i.e. what the player can see
    public void getBoard() {
        printBoard(board);
    } // Calls the master board with all of the answers

    private int[][] createBoard(){ // Helper Method to instantiate the board
        int temp[][] = new int[rows][columns];
        return temp;
    }

    private int[][] populateBoard(int inputBoard[][]) { // Helper Method to randomly place mines
        while (mines != 0) {
            int a = (int)(Math.random()*rows);
            int b = (int)(Math.random()*columns);
            if (inputBoard[a][b] == 0) {
                inputBoard[a][b] = 9;
                mines -= 1;
            }
        }

        for(int i = 0; i < rows; i++) { // This section then assigns each space of number based on the surrounding mines.
            for (int j = 0; j < columns; j++) {
                if (inputBoard[i][j] != 9) {
                    int tempMines = 0;
                    if ((j - 1) != -1) {
                        if (inputBoard[i][j - 1] == 9) {
                            tempMines += 1;
                        }
                    }
                    if ((i - 1) != -1) {
                        if (inputBoard[i - 1][j] == 9) {
                            tempMines += 1;
                        }
                    }
                    if ((i - 1) != -1 && (j - 1) != -1) {
                        if (inputBoard[i - 1][j - 1] == 9) {
                            tempMines += 1;
                        }
                    }
                    if ((i - 1) != -1 && (j + 1) != columns) {
                        if (inputBoard[i - 1][j + 1] == 9) {
                            tempMines += 1;
                        }
                    }
                    if ((i + 1) != rows) {
                        if (inputBoard[i + 1][j] == 9) {
                            tempMines += 1;
                        }
                    }
                    if ((j + 1) != columns) {
                        if (inputBoard[i][j + 1] == 9) {
                            tempMines += 1;
                        }
                    }
                    if ((i + 1) != rows && (j + 1) != columns) {
                        if (inputBoard[i + 1][j + 1] == 9) {
                            tempMines += 1;
                        }
                    }
                    if ((i + 1) != rows && (j - 1) != -1) {
                        if (inputBoard[i + 1][j - 1] == 9) {
                            tempMines += 1;
                        }
                    }
                    inputBoard[i][j] = tempMines;
                }
            }
        }
        return (inputBoard);
    }

    private void printBoard(int inputBoard[][]) { // Prints the board in a neat matrix fashion
        for (int i = 0; i < rows; i++) {
            for (int j = 0; j < columns; j++) {
                System.out.print(inputBoard[i][j] + "   ");
            }
            System.out.println();
        }
    }

    private void visibleBoard() { // Generates a blank "visible board"
        for (int i = 0; i < rows; i++) {
            for (int j = 0; j < columns; j++) {
                visibleBoard[i][j] = -1;
            }
        }
        printBoard(visibleBoard);
    }

}

Here is the driver class for the above game. This version is very customizable; the user selects the # of traps and the dimensions of the board. Furthermore, this edition does not have an option to replay the game; it automatically shuts down after a win or loss.

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import java.util.Scanner;

public class MinesweeperPlayer {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Scanner sc = new Scanner(System.in);
        System.out.println("Please enter three positive constants (the # of rows | the # of columns | the # of mines): ");
        int rows = sc.nextInt();
        int columns = sc.nextInt();
        int mines = sc.nextInt();
        System.out.println("Please note that mines are represented by the # 9 while -1 refers to 'hidden' spaces");
        System.out.println("");
        MinesweeperGame game = new MinesweeperGame(rows, columns, mines); // Creates the game
        System.out.println("");
        System.out.println("Let's get started!");
        int x = 0;
        while (x != -1) { // Actually plays the game
            System.out.println("");
            System.out.println("Please select a row | column to examine (zero-based indexing please): ");
            int inputRow = sc.nextInt();
            int inputColumn = sc.nextInt();
            int y = game.playerInteract(inputRow, inputColumn); // User input to select square
            if (y == 2) { // Response System: Win, Hit or Miss
                System.out.println("");
                System.out.println("You have hit a mine!");
                System.out.println("");
                game.getBoard();
                System.exit(0); // Exits after the game is complete
            }
            if (y == 1) {
                System.out.println("");
                System.out.println("You won! Congratulations");
                System.out.println("");
                game.getBoard();
                System.exit(0); // Exits after the game is complete
            }
            if (y == 0) {
                System.out.println("");
                System.out.println("Here is the board for reference. Play you next move wisely.");
                System.out.println("");
                game.getVisibleBoard(); // Continues if the game has not been completed. 
            }
        }
    }
}

Thank you to http://hilite.me/ for the source code formatting.

What is Wilkins Bill?

by 6:47 PM
Wilkins Bill, also known as the Force Bill of 1833, was passed in response to the 1832-1833 nullification crisis between the federal government and the state of South Carolina. This was a severe crisis with vice-president John C. Calhoun having resigned June 1832 in protest. The different sides were preparing for full-scale battle as this letter from Joel Roberts Poinsett on Feb. 22nd, 1833, a former U.S. Rep and former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, states:

"I do not think therefore I over estimate the force of the Union party in the city at One thousand men. I should be much disappointed not to find this number, at least, at their rendevous in case of an alarm. The Nullifiers estimate their force in the City at 1600 men. We consider our strength equal to theirs here. In the State they report 16,000 Volunteers." - Source

He conviction later won him appointment to the position of U.S. Secretary of War under president Martin van Buren.

"It is rumoured, that if they do secede, which I verily believe they will do if the enforcem't law passes and the tariff is not modified ... I have addressed a circular to the Union members of the state convention urging them not to join that body in any act violating the constitution of the united states and not to go to the convention at all. This storm may yet pass off and not burst upon us, but we will be prepared to encounter and to resist it like men." - Source

South Carolina had earlier on passed the Ordinance of Nullification enumerating the reasons for secession (read here).

President Andrew Jackson wrote in inaugural address on March 1st, 1833:

"For myself, when I approach the sacred volume and take a solemn Oath to support and defend this constitution, I feel in the depths of my soul, that it is the highest, most sacred and most irreversible part of my obligation, to preserve the union of these states, although it may cost me my life." - Source

The day afterwards on March 2nd, 1833, Wilkins Bill was passed, named after William Wilkins, a Jacksonian ally representing Pennsylvania who proposed the bill in the senate.

William Wilkins, legislator, lawyer & judge. Source 

Later becoming Secretary of War as Poinsett, he generally supported Jacksonian principles during his varied career as a federal judge, U.S. Senator, U.S. Minister to Russia, U.S. Representative and Cabinet member. For example, during his tenure in Tyler's cabinet, he supported western expansionism.


His bill empowered the president to enforce the laws of the United States with regard to commerce and especially tariffs in the ports of South Carolina, whose leading politicians opposed the measures because they were designed to protect New England manufacturing interests (Source). There inspiration for this form of resistance came from the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions authored by certain founding fathers.

William Hendricks, a senator of Indiana, wrote at the time:

Commentary on the Tariff & Wilkins Bill. Source

"A crisis had indeed arisen, and it would have been, inconsistent with duty, to stand still, and see the revenue officers of the General Government delicacy, fall victims, to the military power of South Carolina, already organized for that purpose. That state must abandon her position, or there must be consequences the most unpleasant." - Source 


The passage of this bill essentially provided Jackson with the power to enforce the collection of the taxes regarding imports/exports, but Congress lowered the tariffs in a successful plot to avoid the implementation of the contents of this "Force" Bill.



The Lewis Dot Structure for NH3

by 4:04 PM
Created by MakeTheBrainHappy.
The Lewis Dot Structure for NH3 (Ammonia) is shown above. You could also represent the bonds as dots between the two atoms, but this may be confused with the lone pair electrons on the nitrogen. 
Each atom in the bond has a full valence shell, with nitrogen having access to eight electrons and each hydrogen having access to two (learn why hydrogen only needs two). The covalent bonds between the N and the H are similar to the ones formed between two Hs because the relatively small difference in electronegativity between carbon and hydrogen. 

Nitrogen requires a lone pair of electrons to complete the structure and provide five electrons as recommended by nitrogen's original elemental valence shell which contains the same number of electrons. It is difficult to ascertain the exact 3D structure, but it follows a general tetrahedron structure shown below. Due to electron-electron repulsion in the lone pair, the angles between the remaining hydrogens is slightly less than 109.5˚: 107.5˚. This places nitrogen into the category of "trigonal pyramidal" geometric configurations. 

Ammonia has a general tetrahedron structure in 3D space similar to methaneSource

Ammonia is related to ammonium (NH4+), whose lewis structure is shown here. Ammonia is generally a base. It is a type of nitrogenous waste especially prevalent in aquatic organisms. It is considered a hazard toward human health and can have the effects on the neural system as shown in the diagram below.

Source.
It is also one of the few compounds which can undergo hydrogen bonding due to its polar nature. Due to the strength of these hydrogen bonds, water has a relatively high melting and boiling point, although they are not as high as network covalent solids. Those are bonded by intramolecular forces which involve the actual sharing of electrons vs. partial dipole forces in hydrogen bonds. There are only three types of bonds which can hydrogen bond. These are N-H, O-H, and F-H bonds due to the large electronegativity differences between the molecules. In the H2O article, ammonia was briefly mentioned as a compound with these properties. These properties contribute to NO3s relatively high boiling point of -33.3˚C and high solubility in water. 

Sources:
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