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.

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.

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.

Who invented the zipper?

Like many inventions, the development of the modern zipper can be traced to a series of events. In 1893, Whitcomb Judson patented and marketed a “clasp locker,” a complicated hook-and-eye shoe fastener. Together with businessman Colonel Lewis Walker, Whitcomb launched the Universal Fastener Company to manufacture the new device. He did not use the word “zipper,” although many people often credit him as the zipper’s creator. Instead, it was Swedish-born Gideon Sundback, an electrical engineer who was hired to work for the Universal Fastener Company, Who gets the credit.

He was responsible for improving Judson’s fastener, and by December 1913, he had designed the modern zipper. Sundback increased the number of fastening elements from four per inch to ten or eleven, had two facing-rows of teeth that pulled into a single piece by a slider, and increased the opening for the teeth guided by the slider. Sundback also created a machine that was able to manufacture the zipper.

Why do I have to go to school?

Much of what you need to know to live successfully as an adult does not come naturally— it has to be learned and studied and memorized. Children learn to speak nathandy urally, for example, by listening to those around them, but reading and writing must be specifically taught. The complicated process of learning the alphabet and the sounds it represents, putting letter sounds together to make words, and learning the meaning of words in order to read and write are skills that only come with special effort. Knowing how to figure out problems that involve numbers, and learning how the world is run or how nature works are important things to learn, too. Although your parents might be able to teach you these things, they would need many hours each day to do it. Most parents work outside the home and wouldn’t have the time to give proper instruction (although some kids are “home schooled” by their parents instead of going to school).

In the United States, a public school system provides years of free education for all children. Teachers, who are specially trained to know what children should learn, and how, and when, are the people who do the job. To ensure that children learn what they need to, state governments now require that all children go to school for a certain number of years (usually until age 16). Kids who skip school a lot can find themselves in court. (Children who go to private schools or whose parents have received special permission to teach them at home are exceptions.)

What was the Industrial Revolution?

The Industrial Revolution was an era of sweeping change, as the focus in different societies changed from agricultural to mass-producing and industrial. It began in Great Britain in the 1700s. By the early 1800s it had spread to western Europe and the United States. It was brought about by the introduction of steam-power-driven machinery to manufacturing.

As inventors made new machines that could take over manual labor, sweeping changes in agriculture, textile and metal manufacture, transportation, economic policies, and social structures took place. By the end of the eighteenth century, most finished goods—which had once been made by hand or by simple machines—were produced in quantity by technologically advanced machinery. Factories were built to house the new machines, causing a population shift from rural areas to urban ones.

What is Tecumseh’s Curse?

The great Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, who died fighting with Canada against the United States’ invasion in the War of 1812, placed a curse on the American presidency. He proclaimed that every president elected in a year that ends in a zero would die during his term. Since then, every president elected in such a year has died in office, with the exception of Ronald Reagan, who was shot, but survived. Here is a complete list of presidents affected by the curse:

  • William Henry Harrison, elected in 1840, died of pneumonia one month into his presidency.
  • Abraham Lincoln, elected in 1860, was assassinated in 1865 at the beginning of his second term.
  • James A. Garfield, elected in 1880, was assassinated in 1881.
  • William McKinley, elected for his second term in 1900, was assassinated in 1901.
  • Warren G. Harding, elected in 1920, died of Ptomaine poisoning in 1923.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt, elected for his third term in 1940, died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1945 at the beginning of his fourth term.
  • John F. Kennedy, elected in 1960, was assassinated in 1963.
  • Ronald Reagan, elected in 1980, survived an assassination attempt while in office. Some say that by surviving he broke the curse.

Why do I get dizzy after spinning around?

The fluid in your inner ear is responsible for dizziness. After you spin around, your ear fluid keeps spinning, sending conflicting messages to your brain.

These mixed signals cause dizziness, lack of balance, and lightheadedness. After a few seconds, the liquid levels out and the dizziness goes away.