Is it okay to bring my pet snake to school for show and tell?

Because animals are unpredictable and because schools have rules, it is never okay to bring animals out in public without the permission of both a parent and teacher. Even if you have permission, these creatures—such as snakes, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, lizards, frogs, and other small critters—should be contained in their habitats and handled very carefully. Sometimes in public animals are outside of their natural habitats because they play a role in helping humans.

Guide dogs (also called seeing-eye dogs) help the blind or visually impaired move around cities and neighborhoods. These dogs are trained to behave properly on public transportation, in restaurants, in stores, and in any other place their masters go. Other times people carry their dogs and cats in pet carriers to the vet, to the park, or on shopping trips. However, they must have the store’s permission to enter, since many businesses (like restaurants and supermarkets) do not allow pets or require them to be contained and/or on leashes.

When was the greenhouse effect discovered?

The greenhouse effect was first described in theoretical terms by a Swedish researcher, Svante Arrhenius, in the late 1800s. However it wasn’t until the following century that Arrhenius’s theory was observed. In the 1930s, scientists realized that parts of the globe had warmed during the previous half-century.

Then in the early 1960s scientists discovered that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was rising. Researchers began to take an interest and found a strong relationship between the increasing levels of carbon dioxide and average global temperature.

What is the difference between bravery and courage?

Both bravery and courage are acts of valour and imply a certain strength and fearlessness. There is, however, a subtle difference in meaning between the two words. Courage comes from the French word coeur, meaning heart. It is a quality of character that allows someone to carry through with a difficult premeditated plan of action.

Bravery, on the other hand, comes from the Spanish word bravado, meaning a single or spontaneous act of valour. It is not planned, but rather a kneejerk reaction that often occurs within a crisis.

Why is a trophy a symbol of victory?

After a victory on a battlefield, the ancient Greeks would build a monument dedicated to a chosen god, which they called a “trophy.” These trophies were made of limbs stripped from the dead enemy soldiers and then hung on a tree or pillar, a ritual that is kept alive by modern “trophy hunters,” who celebrate their victory over an unarmed animal by hanging its head on the wall.

 

Be grateful for the Stanley Cup.

Why do some people have freckles?

People with light skin and eyes are more likely to have freckles because they have less melanin, a chemical in the skin that protects it from sun damage by reflecting and absorbing ultraviolet (UV) rays. Instead of tanning, they freckle.

Some people’s freckles fade away almost completely in the winter, and then return in the summer, when the person is more likely to sunburn. Sunscreen can help protect everyone (freckled or not) from the Sun’s harmful rays.

Do bears really sleep through an entire winter?

No. Denning bears, such as brown and black bears, often retire to their caves for the winter months, but they sleep lightly, and are often active, with females giving birth to cubs during the winter. They don’t technically hibernate during these months. Hibernation is when a species passes the winter in an inactive state, conserving their resources and energy until winter passes.

Bears are not true hibernators because their body temperature drops only a few degrees and they show only a moderate drop in their metabolism. Small animals with high metabolic rates such as rodents, hummingbirds, and bats are true hibernators: their body temperature drops almost to the level of the surroundings and they show little response to nature’s sights and sounds. These animals collect and eat a lot of high-calorie foods (such as nuts) to store calories to make it through the hibernation period.

What is school like in other countries?

Schools are different in every country in the world. A school may have lots of classrooms, books, play equipment, and a playground, or lessons may take place under trees or in an open outdoor space. A temple, a tent, or a building on stilts may serve as a classroom for some children. In poor places that have no money to build schools, children may learn their lessons outdoors. In isolated places—such as the Australian outback or the Alaskan wilderness—where families live hundreds of miles apart and far from cities or towns, children may get their lessons from teachers over two-way radios or the Internet. All around the world, schools are a reflection of the culture in which they are formed.

In Japan, as students enter school, they remove their shoes and put on slippers, a Japanese custom. They do not write with pencils; instead, each child has his or her own ink well, brush, and ink for writing the kanji (Japanese characters). Children often clean their classrooms (including dusting cubbies and mopping floors), and at the end of each class the students thank their teacher and bow. In schools in Brazil and other South American countries, children often go to school barefoot. In India, children practice yoga in school. And many children that go to public schools in European countries, such as Germany and France, ride their bikes to school or take public transportation, rather than school buses.

Why are polar bears white?

The polar bear lives in the Arctic, the region of the North Pole. Most of its environment is barren, covered year-round with ice and snow and not much else. A polar bear might eat what few plants it can find, but it feeds mostly on water animals like seals and small walruses, which share its frozen home. The polar bear’s yellowishwhite coat helps it blend into its snowy surroundings as it hunts its prey.

After all, there is not much in the Arctic to hide behind! The fur of a polar bear is also extremely thick, allowing it to withstand polar temperatures and swim in Arctic waters, where its prey is often found. Polar bears are excellent swimmers, and their unique paws—with hairy soles—allow them to run very quickly over ice and snow without slipping.

Can houseplants help the quality of air in my house?

Yes. The air inside your home might be filled with toxins from tobacco smoke, cleaning products, ceiling tiles, and upholstery. Scientists have discovered that many types of houseplants absorb airborne pollutants as part of their normal “breathing” process—they take carbon dioxide in through their leaves, and let oxygen out. The plant transports these toxins to their roots, where microbes feed on and detoxify them.

Although scientists disagree about how many—and what types of—houseplants it takes to clean the air, they suggest using a mix of plants. Bill Wolverton, a former NASA scientist and environmental engineer, studies the effects that plants have on air quality and has rated the areca palm, lady palm, bamboo palm, rubber plant, and dracaena as highly effective at clearing pollutants from the air.

Which was the smallest dinosaur?

The smallest dinosaurs were just slightly larger than a chicken. Compsognathus (meaning “pretty jaw”) was 3 feet (1 meter) long and probably weighed about 6.5 pounds (2.5 kilograms). At one time, scientists thought that Mussaurus (meaning “mouse lizard”) was the smallest dinosaur, but it is now known to be the hatchling of a dinosaur type that was much larger than Compsognathus when fully grown.

If birds are advanced dinosaurs, as some scientists believe, then the smallest dinosaur would be the hummingbird!