The number thirteen represents Judas, the thirteenth to arrive at the Last Supper. Friday by itself is unlucky because it was the day of Christ’s Crucifixion. Years ago, the British set out to disprove these superstitions. They named a new vessel HMS Friday, laid her keel on a Friday, and then sent her to sea on a Friday that fell on the thirteenth. The plan backfired: neither ship nor crew was ever heard from again. Then, of course, there’s Apollo 13.
Unlike the fragrant blossoms that attract bees, carrion flowers simulate the odor of a rotting animal carcass and attract carrion beetles and different types of flies, including blowflies, flesh flies, and midges. The stapelia flower, which is shaped like a starfish and grows in Africa, has fine hairs around its petals, perhaps to imitate the appearance of a small dead animal. When the bloom opens it gives off a rotting smell, imitating dead animal meat.
The smell attracts flies, which collect pollen before they fly away. Some carrion flowers, such as the European and Brazilian Dutchman’s pipe, lure insects into dark openings that lead to the foul-smelling interior where they become trapped. When the flower “releases” the insect, it is coated with fresh pollen to be taken to a different plant. The lantern stinkhorn, a fungus that releases a feces-like odor, attracts green bottle flies to spread its spores.
Early television was in black and white and the definitions weren’t nearly as precise as they are today. When the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was testing for live hockey broadcasts in 1952, they found that if both teams wore their traditional colours, it was impossible to tell them apart. They solved the problem by having the home team wear white, while the visitors stayed in their darker uniforms.
Recycling turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources. Collecting used bottles, cans, and newspapers and taking them to the curb or to a collection facility is the first step in recycling. Recyclables are sent to a materials recovery facility to be sorted and turned into other items for manufacturing. Recyclables are bought and sold just like any other product. Besides reducing greenhouse gases by sending less garbage to the landfill, recycling helps you actively contribute the environment and your community. You can help the environment if you buy recyclable products instead of nonrecyclable ones. Look for the recycle mark—three arrows that make a circle—on the package. Recyclable products are usually made out of things that already have been used. It usually takes less energy to make recycled products than to make new ones. In addition, many consumer products—like computers, TVs, stereos, and VCRs—have special labels on them. The label says “Energy” and has a picture of a star. Products with the ENERGY STAR® label are made to save energy and ultimately help protect the environment. And, if you have the yard space, you can practice composting by using microorganisms (mainly bacteria and fungi) to decompose organic waste, such as food scraps and yard trimmings.
In 1801, while second in command of a British fleet near Copenhagen, Horatio Nelson was told that his commander had sent up flags ordering a retreat. Nelson lifted his spyglass to his previously blinded eye and said he couldn’t see the order, and then he ordered and led a successful attack. Nelson’s insubordination became legend and gave us the expression “turn a blind eye.”
Chocolate contains a range of nutrients which include minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron. It also contains the B-vitamin riboflavin. It is true that most of chocolates’ calories do come from fat but the ingredient, known as cocoa butter, is the kind of fat that consists mostly of monounsaturated fatty acid also found in olive oil; the ‘healthy’ fat needed in all diets.
Although studies are constantly being done with chocolate (and why not?), studies in the past have shown two significant additional positives. In these test studies, the people who consumed cocoa regularly had a lower blood pressure than those that did not, were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and had better peripheral blood flow.
Dark chocolate has the potential to have the largest quantity of cocoa solids – at least to 70%. This means that 70% of the chocolate is from the cocoa bean and less from added sugars, oils and perhaps other fillers. Thus the antioxidants in the dark chocolate surpasses pecans (14% less) and red wine (25% less).
Besides the wonderful benefits from our all natural chocolate, nuts are a great food. In general, nuts are loaded with protein. Peanuts have the most, followed by almonds, cashews and walnuts. Protein is essential for healthy brain and muscle function, and for vegetarians, are a great substitute for animal protein. Nuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber. Thus with all the added benefits of chocolate, chocolate dipped nuts are a great snack.
In 1880, the strong-willed senator John Sherman was testing the water for a presidential nomination. He slipped out of Washington but was followed to his Ohio farm by a reporter who found the senator talking with a high-ranking party official while standing near a fence.
When the reporter asked what they were doing, the response, “We’re mending fences,” gave him his headline, and it became a new phrase for healing relationships. Within a democracy, what are the fourth and fifth estates?
A volcano is a natural opening in Earth’s crust through which lava (hot molten, or melted, rock), gases, steam, and ash escape, often in a big, noisy eruption or explosion. These eruptions are thought to act like safety valves, relieving the enormous heat and pressure that exist deep in Earth’s interior. A volcano is usually a coneshaped mountain (its sides built up from solidified lava and ash) that has a hole or crater in its center through which it vents. There are several different kinds or stages of eruptions, many causing no damage to the places or people located near the volcano. But a few eruptions are huge and destructive. During these, lava can pour out and run down the volcano into surrounding areas, and enormous suffocating clouds of steam, ash, hot gases, and shooting rock can travel downhill at great speeds, covering many miles.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle proposed that the heavens were composed of 55 concentric, crystalline spheres to which the celestial objects were attached and which rotated at different velocities, with the Earth at the center. People believed this for almost 2000 years, until Polish astronomer Nicolai Copernicus proposed that the Sun, not Earth, was the center of the solar system. His model, called a heliocentric system, said that Earth is just another planet (the third outward from the Sun), and the Moon is in orbit around Earth, not the Sun. While this might be true of our solar system, astronomers cannot see the whole universe through their telescopes, so no one knows where the true “center” of it lies.
The expressions bridal feast, bridal bed, and bridal cake, among other bridal references, all date back to around 1200, when a wedding was a rather boisterous and bawdy affair. The word bridal comes from “brideale,” which was the special beer brewed for the wedding and then sold to the guests to raise money for the newlyweds.
Because of the brideale, weddings were quite rowdy until around the seventeenth century, When the church managed to get a grip on the whole thing.