The reason the written records of a meeting are called the minutes is because, in order to keep up, the minute-taker wrote in a shorthand or abbreviation. The word used to describe this condensed writing was minute (my-noot), meaning “small,” and because the spelling is the same, the minutes (my-noots) became minutes. The same circumstances apply to Frederick Chopin’s Minute Waltz: It’s really his small or minute (my-noot) waltz.
A liquid burns if its molecules can combine with oxygen in the air with the production of heat. Hence, oil burns but water does not.
In medieval times, during the last feast of the Christmas week, knights of the realm were required to place their hands on a peacock and vow to continue living up to their pledge of chivalry. This was known as the knight’s “peacock vow.” The New Year’s custom of resolving to live a better life originated with the Babylonians, who promised the gods that they would return all borrowed farm and cooking tools and pay off personal debts.
California, a state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean, is the third largest state by area and the most populous U.S. state. By 2007, California’s population reached about 37.7 million people, making it the most populated state, and the thirteenth fastest-growing state in the nation. Almost 12 percent of all American citizens live in California.
In the United States you are considered a grown-up when you reach the age of 18. You are no longer legally connected with your parents, and you are entitled to the rights—and expected to fulfill the duties—of an adult American citizen. (You may vote and be called for military service, for instance.)
There is a good chance, though, that when you are 18 your body has not yet reached full maturity. Many people continue to grow for a few more years. Most are fully grown—at least in height—by the time they are 20 years old, though boys may keep on growing until they are 23.
Yes. Not all plants are seed plants. Some plants, such as ferns and mosses, reproduce with spores instead of seeds. Spores, like seeds, can survive harsh conditions and develop into new plants. However, unlike seeds, spores are produced without fertilization and contain neither a plant embryo nor endosperm. Some plants can reproduce without spores or seeds through vegetative reproduction, in which a part of the stem or root gives rise to a new plant.
The term B.C. stands for “Before Christ,” and is used to date events before the birth of Jesus Christ. A.D. is the abbreviation for the Latin phrase anno domini, which means “in the year of our Lord,” and is used to date events after Jesus’s birth. This system of dating has been used for many years by Western archaeologists. Today, however, with a growing understanding that not all archaeologists are Christians, some archaeologists prefer to use the terms B.C.E. (meaning Before the Common Era) and C.E. (meaning Common Era). These terms are exactly the same as B.C. and A.D., but are not related to Christianity.
Absolutely! Strong, healthy teeth help you speak clearly, chew harder vegetables and meats, and help you look your best. Brushing your teeth helps prevent plaque, a clear film that sticks to your teeth. The sticky film acts like a magnet for bacteria and sugar. Bacteria eats the sugar on your teeth, breaking it down into acids that deteriorate tooth enamel, causing holes called cavities. Plaque also causes the gum disease gingivitis, which make your gums red, swollen, and sore. At around age six, you lose your baby teeth and a larger set of teeth begin to surface. Eventually, 32 new teeth will line your growing jaws, the last coming in around the age of 18.
These permanent teeth will perform all of your eating tasks for the rest of your life, so they are worth taking care of! Your four front teeth (on top and bottom) are sharp incisors that cut and tear off food when you bite, along with your four pointed canine teeth. The flat-topped bicuspids (premolars) and molars near the back of your mouth crush and chew your food.
A bilingual person is able to speak two languages. A person who speaks more than two languages is called “multilingual.” A person does not have to speak two languages with equal fluency to be considered bilingual; usually, a person will be stronger in one language than another. It is common for most of the world’s societies to be multilingual; in the United States, one in five children enters school speaking a language other than English, according to the 2000 Census. Some children who learn English in school speak their native language at home. Bilingualism often allows children to communicate with their grandparents, which can strengthen family bonds across both generations and countries.
Bilingualism teaches an appreciation of the arts and traditions of two cultures. It promotes tolerance and cross-cultural understanding; research indicates that children who are raised with a bicultural identity tend to be more accepting of cultural differences in others.
Yes. The average person has three or four dreams each night, with each dream lasting 10 minutes or more. Almost all dreams occur during REM sleep, a period of sleep characterized by fast breathing and heart rates. Scientists do not understand why dreaming is important, but one theory is that the brain is either cataloging the information it acquired during the day and discarding the data it does not want, or is creating scenarios to work through situations that may be causing emotional distress.
Like sleep, most people who are deprived of dreams become disoriented, are unable to concentrate, and may even have hallucinations. Sometimes it is hard to remember our dreams because they are stored in our short-term memory.