How did Clark Kent get his name?

When conceived in 1934, Superman was endowed with the strength of ten men, but he couldn’t fly. After being turned down by fifteen syndicators, the Man of Steel took to the air and acquired the needed strength to become a super legend.

Some say Superman’s success is within the storyline of his secret identity, whose name was derived from two popular actors of the time: “Clark” Gable and “Kent” Taylor.

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How did we start celebrating Mother’s Day?

In 1907 Miss Anna Jarvis of West Virginia asked guests to wear a white carnation to the church service on the anniversary of her mother’s death. But Mother’s Day became increasingly commercial, and Miss Jarvis spent the rest of her life trying to restore its simplicity.

The strain of her efforts to stop Mother’s Day and what it had become led her to an insane asylum, where she died alone in 1948.

What type of people help make a community operate well?

Firefighters, police officers, ambulance drivers, garbage collectors, mail carriers, crossing guards public-school teachers, school-grounds and maintenance workers, public librarians, bus drivers, and parks and recreation workers are just a few of the city-service people that make a town or city run well. Every day, these and hundreds of other workers labor to make communities across the United States safe, clean, and healthy.

Many of these workers are paid for their jobs, but many also volunteer (work without pay) to help their neighborhoods be safe. The government estimates that about 60 million people volunteer each year, most often in religious, educational, youth, or community service organizations. Volunteers commonly perform activities such as firefighting, coaching, campaigning, fundraising, delivering goods, and serving on boards or neighborhood associations.

How did pumpernickel bread get its name?

During the winter of 1812, while Napoleon’s army was retreating from Russia, the only available food was stale, dark bread. Although his men were dying from hunger, Napoleon ensured that his great white horse, Nicholl, always had enough to eat, which caused the soldiers to grumble that although they were starving there was always enough “pain pour Nicholl,” or “bread for Nicholl.” When anglicized, “pain pour Nicholl” became “pumpernickel.”

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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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Is it true that people have “tongue prints”?

Yes. All human beings have some traits that are the same, but each individual person also has a set of traits that are different from any other. Among these individual traits are fingerprints, tongue prints, patterns in the iris of the eye, and voice patterns. Because fingerprints and tongue prints are unique in every person (even identical twins), they can be used to identify an individual. (But next time someone calls out your name, it’s best to answer rather than stick out your tongue!)

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Why do people cry when someone dies?

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.

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How can a microwave oven cook food so fast?

Unlike other ovens, which cook food with heat waves made from burning gas or electric currents, microwave ovens use special bands of electromagnetic energy called microwaves (similar to light waves) to cook food. While heat waves gradually work their way inside food to cook it, microwaves can travel right through food in an instant. In a microwave oven a device called a magnetron produces a beam of microwaves that pass through a spinning fan, which sends the waves bouncing in all directions. As they travel through food their energy is absorbed by molecules of water. The water molecules vibrate at the same high speed as the microwaves (2.45 billion times per second!) and rub against other molecules. All this movement and friction causes a great deal of heat, cooking the food inside and out. Microwaved food is cooked through a process similar to steaming, which explains why it doesn’t turn brown. But some microwave ovens have traditional heating elements to make food look more appealing—giving it the outer color that we expect in cooked food. Certain materials allow microwaves to pass through (meaning they are not heated by the waves) while other materials absorb the waves and still others reflect them, or bounce them back. For this reason it is important to be careful about the containers and coverings we use in microwave ovens. Microwaves pass through glass and plastic wrap, for example, which are safe to use, as are paper products and most sturdy plastics. But metal containers and coverings like aluminum foil are reflective. Such surfaces keep food from absorbing microwaves, allowing the waves to bounce around so much inside an oven that it may break.

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