How did the poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb” become so famous?

“Mary Had a Little Lamb” was written in 1830 by Sarah Hale, the editor of Godey’s Ladies Magazine. She was inspired after watching young Mary Tyler’s pet lamb follow the girl to school, which, of course, was against the rules. The poem became immortal more than fifty years later when Thomas Edison used it as the first words ever spoken and then recorded on his new invention, the phonograph.

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How did the centre of the song publishing industry become known as “Tin Pan Alley”?

Tin Pan Alley is an actual place in New York City. It’s the nickname for the side streets off Times Square, where for generations music publishers have auditioned new songs. The name came from the late 1800s, when the awful sound of cheap tinny pianos coming through the open office windows of hundreds of publishers was likened to the beating of tin pans.

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Why do we say, “I’ll be there with bells on”?

During the frontier days, peddlers travelling between settlements had to move as silently as possible through the hostile forest, but when they approached a homestead or town they would take out their muffled bells and hang them on their horses’ necks to announce their arrival. The peddlers’ arrival “with bells on” brought news, letters, and goods from the outside world, and was an exciting event for the isolated settlers.

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How was printing done before computers and motor-driven presses?

Long before computers and motor-driven presses, printing was done by hand with wooden blocks of letters and figures dipped in ink and pressed onto paper. Historians believe that this method of printing was invented in China around the year 700. A hand-operated printing press—with moveable type or letters—was first used in Europe in the mid-fifteenth century. Johannes Gutenberg printed the first book, a Bible, in what is now Germany, in 1455. Until that time all books and other manuscripts were written out by hand.

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How many different kinds of insects are there?

Insects are small creatures with three pairs of legs, a body with three main parts (a head, thorax, and abdomen), and a tough shell-like outer covering, called an exoskeleton. Insects are arthropods, which means they do not have a backbone. Most have one or two pairs of wings and a pair of antennae. There are 900,000 known species of insects in the world, and entomologists (scientists who study bugs) estimate that there are millions (perhaps up to 10 million!) more yet to be discovered. Insects are everywhere—there are more bugs in 1 square mile (2.59 square kilometers) of rural land than there are human beings on the entire globe. Insects are divided into 32 orders, or groups. The largest insect order is the beetles (Coleoptera) with 125 different families and approximately 500,000 different species. In fact, one out of every four animals on Earth is some type of beetle. In the United States, there are some 73,000 species of insects: approximately 24,000 beetles, 19,500 flies, 17,500 ants, bees, and wasps, and 11,500 moths and butterflies.

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Why in sports does the home team wear white while the visitors wear darker colours?

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.

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