Why do birds often crash into windows?

Birds don’t see the way mammals do, and a reflection in a window might look like another bird. Most birds that are active during the day have eyes on either side of their heads, which gives them a wide field of view but little depth perception. In the springtime, many birds are territorial and when they establish territories they become aggressive and chase off intruders. Unfortunately, they don’t distinguish between their own reflection in a window (or car mirror) and they try to chase that reflection off. People sometimes add awnings and window screens to eliminate the reflection and stop birds from colliding into their homes or office buildings. Although a bird can crash into glass at any time, the behavior is seen less often when nesting season begins.

Why should I visit the library often?

Libraries offer books for people of all ages, and much, much more—they are places of learning and discovery for everyone. Besides books, public libraries offer videos, DVDs, free access to computers and the Internet, and many literacy-related programs.

For elementary school children, there are variations of the read-alouds and storytelling hours that often include discussions and presentations by the children themselves, as well as summer reading programs. For middle-school kids, there may also be book talks, summer reading programs, creative writing seminars, drama groups, and poetry readings. The more you read, the more you learn! In addition, the library is a place to find information and help with schoolwork. Your school library may offer some of these services as well.

Why do some people have freckles?

People with light skin and eyes are more likely to have freckles because they have less melanin, a chemical in the skin that protects it from sun damage by reflecting and absorbing ultraviolet (UV) rays. Instead of tanning, they freckle.

Some people’s freckles fade away almost completely in the winter, and then return in the summer, when the person is more likely to sunburn. Sunscreen can help protect everyone (freckled or not) from the Sun’s harmful rays.

What is the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?

Alligators are slightly larger and more bulky than crocodiles. A wild alligator can reach up to 13 feet (3.9 meters) in length, and weigh up to 600 pounds (272 kilograms). Besides the two animals’ size difference, the easiest way to tell them apart is by their snout. A crocodile has a very long, narrow, V-shaped snout, while the alligator has a wider, U-shaped snout. The alligator’s wide snout delivers more crushing power to eat prey like turtles, which make up a large part of the animal’s diet. The crocodile’s upper and lower jaws are nearly the same width, so its teeth are exposed all along the jaw line in an interlocking pattern, even when its mouth is closed. An alligator, on the other hand, has a wider upper jaw, so when its mouth is closed the teeth in the lower jaw fit into sockets of the upper jaw, hidden from view. South Florida is the only known place in the world where crocodiles and alligators live together in the same area.

Why are there “bulls” and “bears” in the stock market?

An eighteenth-century proverb mocks the man who “sells the bearskin before catching the bear.” A “bearskin speculator,” like the man in the proverb, sold what he didn’t yet own, hoping that the price would drop by the time he had to pay for it. “Bulls” speculate, hoping the price will rise.

The analogies come from a time when fights were staged between the two animals, in which a bear needed to pull the bull down while the bull fought by lifting the bear with its horns.

What happens when a person breaks the law?

Laws are enforced by the courts and the judicial system. If an adult breaks a law in the community or a business or organization does something illegal, they go to the judicial branch of government for review of their actions. The judicial branch is made up of different courts. The court leader, or judge, interprets the meaning of laws, how they are applied, and whether they break the rules of the Constitution. If a person or group is found guilty of breaking a law, the judicial system decides how they should be punished. In the United States, several laws have been written to protect the rights of someone accused of committing a crime. He or she is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Someone suspected of a crime is usually arrested and taken into custody by a police officer. Sometimes, the case is presented before a grand jury (a group of citizens who examines the accusations made). The grand jury files an indictment, or a formal charge, if there appears to be enough evidence for a trial. In many criminal cases, however, there is no grand jury. While awaiting trial, the accused may be temporarily released on bail (which is the amount of money meant to guarantee that the person will return for trial instead of leaving the country) or kept in a local jail. Trials are usually held before a judge and a jury of 12 citizens. The government presents its case against an accused person, or defendant, through a district attorney, and another attorney defends the accused. If the defendant is judged innocent, he or she is released. If he or she is found guilty of committing a crime, the judge decides the punishment or sentence, using established guidelines. The lawbreaker may be forced to pay a fine, pay damages, or go to prison.

How does the Bill of Rights protect individual liberties?

The Bill of Rights limits the ability of the government to intrude upon certain individual liberties, guaranteeing freedom of speech, press, assembly, and religion to all people. Nearly two-thirds of the Bill of Rights was written to safeguard the rights of those suspected or accused of a crime, providing for due process of law, fair trials, freedom from self-incrimination and from cruel and unusual punishment, and protection against being tried twice in court for the same crime.

 

Since the adoption of the Bill of Rights, only 17 additional amendments have been added to the Constitution. While a number of these amendments revised how the federal government is structured and operates, many expanded individual rights and freedoms.

Why do I need sleep?

Scientists do not know exactly why people need sleep, but studies show that sleep is necessary for survival. Sleep appears to be necessary for the nervous system to work properly. While too little sleep one night may leave us feeling drowsy and unable to concentrate the next day, a long period of too little sleep leads to poor memory and physical performance.

Hallucinations (seeing things that aren’t really there), vision problems, and mood swings may develop if sleep deprivation continues.