Why is “until the cows come home” considered a long time?

If left to their own devices, cows in pasture will regularly show up at the barn for milking twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. The expression “’til the cows come home” first appeared in the sixteenth century when most people were familiar with the cycles of farm life. It was often used when a party went on long into the night — it would have to end in the morning when the cows came home and needed milking.

Posted on Categories General

Why do birds often crash into windows?

Birds don’t see the way mammals do, and a reflection in a window might look like another bird. Most birds that are active during the day have eyes on either side of their heads, which gives them a wide field of view but little depth perception. In the springtime, many birds are territorial and when they establish territories they become aggressive and chase off intruders. Unfortunately, they don’t distinguish between their own reflection in a window (or car mirror) and they try to chase that reflection off. People sometimes add awnings and window screens to eliminate the reflection and stop birds from colliding into their homes or office buildings. Although a bird can crash into glass at any time, the behavior is seen less often when nesting season begins.

Posted on Categories General

Which company built the WW2 Spitfire?

Supermarine. The fighter pilots of Britain’s RAF won the Battle of Britain in 1940 by a narrow margin. The quality of their solidly built Hawker Hurricane and speedy Supermarine Spitfire interceptors was one vital factor.

Posted on Categories General

Is there a simple rhyme to help recall how many days are in each month?

Yes. Many children learn this simple poem to help them remember how many days are in each month. Although the origin of the lyrics to “Thirty Days Hath September” is unclear, the use of old English dates this poem to at least the sixteenth century: Thirty days hath September, April, June and November All the rest have thirty-one, excepting only February Which hath but twenty eight-days clear And twenty-nine in each leap year.

Posted on Categories General

How do firefighters help the community?

Firefighters work under extremely dangerous conditions, risking their own lives to save others as they battle fires. Called “first responders,” they are usually the first emergency personnel at traffic accidents or explosions and may be called upon to put out fires or treat injuries. Once at a fire, they use axes to break down walls or windows so they can evacuate people trapped by flames and other obstacles. Rescue squads take first-aid equipment to fires and help the injured until ambulances arrive. They also may be called for injuries and accidents not caused by fire, such as heart attacks. Despite the dangers, firefighters take satisfaction from providing an important public service.

Posted on Categories General

Where did the insult “couldn’t hold a candle” come from?

The derogatory expression “couldn’t hold a candle” is from the sixteenth century. Before electricity, experienced workers needing light to work by would have a young apprentice hold a candle so that they could see to complete a complex job. Holding a candle for a skilled tradesman gave the apprentice a chance to watch and learn, but if he couldn’t even do that properly, it was said disparagingly that “he couldn’t hold a candle” to the tradesman.

Posted on Categories General

Why after boasting do we knock on wood?

When children play tag and hold a tree for safety, they are acting out a four-thousand-year-old custom of the North American Indians who believed that because the oak was most frequently struck by lightning, it was the home of the sky god. The Greeks came to this same conclusion two thousand years later and because both cultures believed that bragging or boasting offended that god, they knocked on the tree either to divert him from their bragging or to seek forgiveness.

Posted on Categories General

Which religions are the most widely practiced around the world?

Today there are some 4,300 religions in the world. Nearly 75 percent of the world’s population practices one of the five most influential religions of the world: Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. Christianity, which is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, who preached in Palestine about 2,000 years ago, is the most widely practiced religion in the world today, with 2.1 billion followers.

The second most practiced religion is Islam, with 1.3 billion followers.