Why do we say that a bad deal will only “Rob Peter to pay Paul”?

In the mid-1700s the ancient London Cathedral of St. Paul’s was falling apart, and the strain on the treasury was so great that it was decided that it would merge with the diocese of the newer St. Peter’s Cathedral in order to absorb and use their funds to repair the crumbling St. Paul’s. The parishioners of St. Peter’s resented this and came up with the rallying cry, they’re “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” Expressions

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My friend spends all his free time playing games online. Is he addicted?

Kids often use the Internet for many things—doing research for homework, exploring new cultures, and building relationships with other kids. Kids who are shy in person may feel more comfortable initially connecting with people over the Internet. Excessive computer use, however, might further isolate shy kids from their friends. Or it can take away from other activities such as homework, exercise, sleep, or spending time with others.

Parents and teachers are often unaware that a child has an Internet problem until it is serious, because it is easy to hide online activity and because Internet addiction is not yet widely recognized. You may want to talk to your friend and his parents; have an adult accompany you if you feel you need support. It is important to promote healthy Internet use in your home, whether through limiting online time, balancing computer time with physical and social activities, or making sure your Internet-connected computer is in a public space in your home.

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Did all dinosaurs lay eggs?

As far as scientists can tell, all dinosaurs nested and laid eggs. From these eggs, their babies hatched. Hundreds of sites with fossil eggs of different dinosaurs have been found all over the world, including in the United States, France, Mongolia, China, Argentina, and India. The largest dinosaur egg fossil found is about 12 inches (30 centimeters) long and 10 inches (25 centimeters) wide, and may have weighed 15.5 pounds (7.0 kilograms). Scientists think the egg came from a giant, 100-million-year-old dinosaur called a Hypselosaurus. This is more than twice the size of the eggs of the modern African ostrich, which can lay eggs up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) long and 5 inches (13 centimeters) wide. The smallest fossilized egg found so far came from a Mussaurus; it measures about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) long.

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Is it possible for the universe to collapse instead?

According to the Big Crunch theory, at some point all matter will reverse direction and crunch back into the single point from which it began. Another theory, called the Plateau theory, says that the expansion of the universe will slow to the point where it will nearly cease, at which time the universe will reach a plateau and remain essentially the same.

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Why do we say that a political candidate on a speaking tour is “on the stump”?

When early European settlers were moving west and clearing the land, every farm had an abundance of tree stumps in their fields. “Barnstorming” politicians who looked for a place of prominence to be seen and heard by the gathered electorate would invariably find a large tree stump to stand on from which he would make his pitch. This gave us the expression “on the stump,” which is still used to describe a politician seeking election.

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Which city is the largest?

There are many cities around the world that are “big,” meaning they have more than 10 million people living in them. Tokyo, Japan, ranks the largest, since it has 33.2 million people living in the city, according to 2005 estimates. The next biggest cities in order of size are São Paulo, Brazil (17.7 million), Seoul-Incheon, South Korea (17.5 million), Mexico City, Mexico (17.4 million), Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto, Japan (16.4 million), and New York City (about 8 million people).

Most of these cities are located in different places around the globe. In the United States, after New York, Los Angeles is the biggest city (with almost 4 million people), and then Chicago (with almost three million people). Populations of cities are constantly changing as people move in and out of them, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, a government organization that estimates how big or small cities are based on their populations, or the number of people living in them.

Why, when something is stopped cold, do we say somebody “put the kibosh” on it?

To “put the kibosh” on something is an Irish expression meaning to put an end to it. The word kibosh is Gaelic and means “cap of death.” It was, in fact, the black skullcap donned by a judge before he sentenced a prisoner to death. In modern usage it means, as it did to the condemned, “Your path of destruction has ended.”

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Which wars has the United States been involved in?

America has been involved in war since its beginnings, and American colonists or U.S. citizens officially participated in more than 25 major conflicts. When Europeans settled North America, for example, the Native Americans who lived there fought a series of wars with them for the next 250 years, trying to keep their land and preserve their way of life. They eventually lost the battle and were forced to either live like their European conquerors or relocate to parcels of land set aside for them called reservations.

The Americans also fought in the Revolutionary War from 1775 to 1783, which the 13 early colonies fought with Great Britain in order to overthrow Britain’s royal rule and declare their independence as a new nation, the United States of America. Civil wars take place between groups of people within a single country. The U.S. Civil War, which took place between 1861 and 1865 was a war between the Northern states (called the “Union”) and the slave-holding Southern States (the “Confederacy”) over the expansion of slavery into Northern territories. In the twentieth century, the United States was involved in several major international wars— wars occur between nations—including World War I (1914–1918), World War II (1939–1945), the Vietnam War (1959–1975), and the Persian Gulf War (1990–1991).

Why is Jell-O® so wobbly?

Jell-O® is made from gelatin, a processed protein that makes it wobbly. Gelatin is made from the collagen in cow or pig bones and skins. Gelatin melts when heated and solidifies when cooled again. When you add the Jell-O® powder to boiling water, the powder dissolves and the weak bonds that hold together the protein chains start breaking apart.

The chains float around in the mixing bowl until you add cold water. As the Jell-O® cools, the chains start bonding again. The chains become tangled when they are stirred, and water gets into gaps between the chains. Once it is refrigerated, the gelatin “chains” harden and the trapped water and flavor make Jell-O® wobbly.

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