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.
Studies have shown that hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of children and teenagers are accidentally killed by guns in the United States each year. Millions of American kids have access to guns in their homes. People use guns all the time in movies and television shows, and the action scenes in these shows make guns look exciting and powerful. What these shows can’t really convey is the massive, painful destruction an exploding bullet causes when it hits a person’s body. While many kids understand that, in real life, guns can be very dangerous and can cause great harm, most still find guns fascinating. If an adult is supervising and your parents have given their approval, it’s okay to look at and even touch an unloaded gun. But if you are alone or with other kids and you come across a gun, remember that it is not a toy and should not be handled. Guns should never be pointed at another person, even if you intend it as a joke.
If you find a gun in your own house, a friend’s house, or elsewhere, as tempting as it might be to play with it, remember the damage that guns can cause and leave it alone. If you’re away from home, leave right away and tell your parents what happened. Your parents may be upset and worried that you found a gun, but they will be very glad that you told them about it because then they can help you stay safe.
The third degree is a very difficult and sometimes brutal questioning, especially by police. In fact, without its sinister connotation, the expression comes from the Masonic Lodge and its three degrees of membership, each requiring an increasingly difficult examination. The first is Entered Apprentice, the second is Fellowcraft, and the third degree, the one most difficult to pass, is Master Mason.
The original dial telephone sent out a signal “click” for each number dialled. One click for 1, two “clicks” for 2, etcetera. The zero was reserved for the operator. “One” was never used because early switching systems read every signal as beginning with one click, regardless of the number you were dialling, and so technically, no phone number could start with 1. It continues today simply as tradition.
The blue whale, who swims all of the world’s oceans, in the largest mammal. The largest blue whale cited was at least 110 feet (33.5 meters) long and weighed 209 tons (189,604 kilograms). The average length is about 82 feet (25 meters) for the males, and 85 feet (26 meters) for the females. A newborn blue whale can weigh anywhere from 2.5 to 4 tons (2,268 to 3,628 kilograms), and can reach 100 to 120 tons in adulthood. Whale calves drink 50 to 150 gallons of its mother’s milk per day, adding about 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) of weight per hour, or 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms) per day.
At about eight months of age, when the calf is weaned, it measures close to 50 feet (15.2 meters) long and weighs about 25 tons (22,679 kilograms). Blue whales do not have teeth. Instead, in their upper jaw they have rows of hundreds of baleen plates—flat, flexible plates with frayed edges, arranged in two parallel rows that look like combs of thick hair. The blue whale feeds on a small shrimp-like animal called krill. Scientists believe that large marine mammals, like whales and dolphins, have brains much like those of humans. They are able to communicate, follow instructions, and adapt to new environments. Throughout history, these gentle giants have been hunted for their baleen and blubber (fat), and are today considered an endangered species. Scientists believe there are about 4,000 or so of them left in the world.
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.
Crying is a way of expressing sadness. It helps people who have lost someone close to them express their grief and sorrow. (Talking about the dead person also helps.) People cry because they will never again see the person who has died and they know they will miss that person. If the death is unexpected, the tears may also be caused by feelings of shock and anger. During the period immediately following a person’s death, when the loss of that loved one is felt most sharply, grieving people usually are not comforted by the fact that dying is a natural and necessary process that happens to all living things. As time passes, however, many people begin to accept the loss of their loved one, and the pain of that loss becomes a bit easier to bear. Thinking of the person after some time has passed brings less sadness and maybe even some pleasure as good times with the loved one are remembered.
Substance abuse means taking drugs (other than those prescribed by a doctor for a specific illness) in amounts that are dangerous or that prevent a person from doing everyday things, like going to school or work. The substance being abused can be alcohol, marijuana, pills called tranquilizers that make people feel very tired or relaxed, household products that are inhaled, or a number of other drugs.
Drug abuse happens all over the world, to all kinds of people, young and old. It frequently causes terrible damage to a person’s body, to relationships with family and friends, and to career or education. In some cases, substance abuse leads to death, because the abuser gets involved in an accident or because he or she overdoses, or takes enough of the substance to cause the body to completely shut down.
The original spelling of clue was C-L-E-W, and its forgotten meaning is a “ball of yarn or string.” A clew of string was unravelled as a guide out after entering an unfamiliar maze or a cave. If you became lost, all you had to do was follow the string back to the point of origin. In the modern cliché, if someone “doesn’t have a clue,” he is in the dark with no idea how to get out of his dilemma.
In order to keeps the vertical line passing through our centre of gravity always between our feet, which is essential to attain equilibrium or stability.