What does it mean to “rest on your laurels”?

The practice of using laurels to symbolize victory came from the ancient Greeks. After winning on the battlefield, great warriors were crowned with a wreath of laurels, or bay leaves, to signify their supreme status during a victory parade.

Because the first Olympics consisted largely of war games, the champions were honoured in the same manner: with a laurel, a crown of leaves. To “rest on your laurels” means to quit while you’re ahead.

How did March 17 become St. Patrick’s Day?

When the time came to honour the patron saint of Ireland’s birthday, church officials gathered solemnly to choose a day, then realized that most of St. Patrick’s life was a mystery. They finally narrowed his birthdate down to either March 8 or 9, but because they couldn’t agree which was correct, they decided to add the two together and declared March 17 to be St. Patrick’s Day.

Why is taking the “hair of the dog” a hangover cure?

In the Middle Ages, people treated a dog bite with the ashes of the canine culprit’s hair. The medical logic came from the Romans, who believed that the cure of any ailment, including a hangover, could be found in its cause.

It’s a principle applied in modern medicine with the use of vaccines for immunization. “The hair of the dog” treatment for hangovers advises that to feel better, you should take another drink of the same thing that made you feel so bad.

How long is the giant anteater’s tongue?

Anteaters are slow-moving mammals with long snouts and claws and no teeth. If you can image it, a giant anteater can grow a tongue up to 2 feet (0.60 meters) long! The anteater uses its long tongue to investigate anthills in South America’s tropical dry forests, rain forests, and savannas.

It sticks its long, sticky tongue down the anthill, twirls it around, and scoops up a mouthful of ants. Anteaters can eat mouthful after mouthful of ants—up to 30,000 per day! It also eats termites and other insects.

Why do we say “We’re just gonna hang out”?

“Hanging out” usually means getting together for no particular reason other than to pass time and see what’s happening. The expression comes from a time before commercial signs, when English shopkeepers set up poles in front of their stores from which they would hang flags describing their goods. These flags were called hangouts, and they became a place where people would stop to linger and gossip with their friends.

What does the D stand for in D-Day?

Although D-Day has become synonymous with the Allied landing on June 6, 1944, in Normandy, it was used many times before and since. The D in D-Day simply stands for “day,” just as the H in H-Hour stands for “hour.” Both are commonly used codes for the fixed time when a military operation is scheduled to begin. “D minus thirty” means thirty days before a target date while “D plus fifteen” means fifteen days after.

What did people use before toothbrushes were invented?

Early in human history, people used anything that they could find to keep their teeth clean. Usually a thin, sharp object, like a stick, was used to pick out food left between teeth. Chewing on the end of certain sticks would fray the wood, making a kind of brush, which could then be rubbed across the teeth. (Even today, members of primitive tribes chew sticks to keep their teeth clean. The constant chewing produces more saliva than usual, which helps wash food away.) Later, people found that if they rubbed abrasive elements, like salt or chalk, across their teeth, they could get rid of grime. They also used water and pieces of rough cloth to clean their teeth. Toothpicks made of all kinds of materials also became popular. Rich people had jeweled toothpicks made of gold and silver. Toothbrushes for the wealthy, with fancy handles and hog bristles, came into use in the eighteenth century.

Only much later, when cheaper, woodenhandled toothbrushes were made, and the importance of good dental hygiene became known, did most people start to regularly use them.

How many bones are there in the human body?

Babies are born with about 300 to 350 bones, but many of these fuse together between birth and maturity to produce an average adult total of 206. Bone counts vary according to the method used to count them, because a structure may be treated as either multiple bones or as a single bone with multiple parts. There are four major types of bones: long bones, short bones, flat bones, and irregular bones. The name of each type of bone reflects the shape of the bone. The shape of the bone also tells about its mechanical function. Bones that do not fall into any of these categories are sesamoid bones and accessory bones.

Are Machines making human a dumb?

Imagine being surrounded by technologies, and hardly being aware of them. For instance, a person walks into a room and without doing anything, the entire atmosphere is fine-tuned to his or her current mood or expectations. Measurements are taken, personal data is sensed and recorded, and the room adjusts to integrate with the person’s countenance. All this occurs without turning a switch or adjusting an appliance simply walk into the room. We’re beginning to move in this direction, with recent advances in medical technology, with personal fitness devices, and with smart home systems.

Behind the scenes, as the individual enters the room, the unseen technology helps advance the person’s security, health, comfort, and even creativity by providing a seamless set of adjustments and changes to everything from room temperature to computer access to food preparation. What’s not seen are the computers running super-high-speed algorithms, computations, and calculations processing commands and actions to create a seamless life existence for everyday needs.

Here’s a real-world scenario: The person walks in the room. The sensors identify the person, as well as the mood of the person using facial features and expressions, body temperature, and movements, including gait and posture. Additionally, the smart room can monitor an individual’s current health conditions, such as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and chemical composition. This is all done in real time.

Next, a robot comes out bringing you water and vitamin supplements from sensing those that are physically lacking. While sitting in a couch overlooking a virtually-generated ocean with the sound of crashing waves, the user decides to catch up on what is happening in the world and accesses the latest news by making a quick sweeping gesture in the air. The room instantaneously turns off the ocean scene and pulls up a news program. It all happens without the user needing to be fully aware of the entire process.

Such a scenario isn’t just limited to the confines of a person’s living quarters. It can apply to a city, a park, a museum, or a business. Imagine a society that’s so intelligent that the machines and computers are constantly collecting data, and learning from our actions and behaviors to make sound judgements and decisions. This human centric vision is just that, centered on the individual with technology serving to enhance, nurture, and protect, making life continually easier, healthier, and more productive. Importantly, people will retain and use the power to preprogram myriad commands and conditions suitable for their daily lifestyles and activities.

Are these innovative technologies are “dumbing” ground for your kids future?

What is a computer virus?

A virus is a malicious software program that infects computer files or hard disk drives and then makes copies of itself. Many activities that kids do online can leave computers vulnerable to viruses. E-mail attachments are a common means of distributing viruses, but viruses can also be downloaded when you share files and open instant message attachments. In order to keep your computer safe, never open an e-mail attachment you haven’t requested.

Send an e-mail to friends to confirm that they meant to send you an attachment. Also, you can configure your instant messaging program so you can’t receive files from other users. Never download any program without checking with a parent first. You can protect your computer by always running up-to-date firewall software, by running antivirus software regularly, and by periodically scanning your computer for spyware or other unwanted software and immediately removing it.