After a victory on a battlefield, the ancient Greeks would build a monument dedicated to a chosen god, which they called a “trophy.” These trophies were made of limbs stripped from the dead enemy soldiers and then hung on a tree or pillar, a ritual that is kept alive by modern “trophy hunters,” who celebrate their victory over an unarmed animal by hanging its head on the wall.
Be grateful for the Stanley Cup.
Bird beaks, which vary greatly in size, form, and color, are important to the animal’s survival. The beak is the “instrument” that a bird uses to gather and break apart food. They also use their beak to clean themselves, itch, collect material for nesting, and protect their territory. A strong, cone-shaped bill, used for cracking seeds, is found in many birds such as finches and grosbeaks. Thin, slender, pointed beaks are found mainly in insect eaters, such as the warbler.
Woodpeckers have strong beaks that form a chisel at the tip, which is used for pecking holes in trees for food or nests. Hummingbirds have long, tubular bills that look like drinking straws, Which they use to sip nectar from flowers. Although these birds are all different, they have one thing in common: without their beaks, they would not survive long.
The advice to “leave no stone unturned” comes from Greek mythology, Wherein the Oracle of Delphi, through his communication with the gods, had acquired great wisdom.
Euripides wrote that When the oracle was consulted about how to find a defeated general’s hidden treasure, he advised that the only way was “to leave no stone unturned.” The expression and the advice have been with us ever since.
In 1683, during a time when all the nations of Europe were at war with each other, the Turkish army laid siege to the city of Vienna. The following year Poland joined Vienna against the Turks, who were ultimately forced to lift the siege in 1689.
As a celebration of victory, a Viennese baker introduced crescent-shaped rolls, or “croissants,” copying the shape of the crescent Islamic symbol on the Turkish flag.
The governor is responsible for the well-being of his or her state. The details of this job include many hands-on tasks and leadership duties. The governor’s executive powers include the appointment and removal of state officials, the supervision of thousands of executive branch staff, the formulation of the state budget, and the leadership of the state militia as its commander in chief. Law-making powers include the power to recommend legislation, to call special sessions of the legislature, and to veto measures passed by the legislature. In 43 states, governors have the power to veto (or reject) several parts of a bill without rejecting it altogether. The governor can also pardon (excuse) a criminal or reduce a criminal’s sentence.
Firefighters, police officers, ambulance drivers, garbage collectors, mail carriers, crossing guards public-school teachers, school-grounds and maintenance workers, public librarians, bus drivers, and parks and recreation workers are just a few of the city-service people that make a town or city run well. Every day, these and hundreds of other workers labor to make communities across the United States safe, clean, and healthy. Many of these workers are paid for their jobs, but many also volunteer (work without pay) to help their neighborhoods be safe. The government estimates that about 60 million people volunteer each year, most often in religious, educational, youth, or community service organizations. Volunteers commonly perform activities such as firefighting, coaching, campaigning, fundraising, delivering goods, and serving on boards or neighborhood associations.
“Dog days” are the hot, humid days of summer that usually take place in the Northern Hemisphere in July and August typically between July 3 and August 11. The days get their name from the dog star Sirius of the constellation Canis Major.
At this time of year, Sirius, the brightest visible star, rises in the east at the same time as the Sun in the northern hemisphere. Ancient Egyptians believed that the heat of this brilliant star added to the Sun’s heat to create this hot weather and they blamed the star for everything from withering droughts to sickness.
A hiccup is a noise that your body makes when your diaphragm, the muscle barrier between your stomach and lungs, gets irritated and has spasms. The “hic” part of the sound is caused when air is sucked into your lungs, and the “cup” part of the sound happens when a special flap called the epiglottis, located between your tongue and vocal cords, slams closed over your windpipe.
Your diaphragm can become irritated from eating too much food, which causes an enlarged stomach to press against the wall of the muscle. Your diaphragm can also become irritated from lifting a heavy object or from breathing in too much air, which affects your normal breathing pattern. Hiccups may last a minute or two, but generally go away with time. Holding your breath, drinking a glass of water, or having someone scare you generally does not work to get rid of hiccups, since your diaphragm needs time to relax again.
The word fortnight is a unit of time that equals fourteen days. It comes from the Old English word feorwertyne niht, meaning “fourteen nights.” The term is used in Great Britain, where salaries and most social security benefits are paid on a fortnightly basis, but in the United States people use the term “two weeks.”
In many languages, there is no single word for a two-week period and the equivalent of “fourteen days” has to be used. In Spanish, Italian, French, and Portuguese, the terms quince días, quindicina, quinzaine, and quinzena—all meaning “fifteen days”—are used.
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.