From 1800, when John Adams became the first president to inhabit it, until 1814, when the British burned it because the Americans had torched Toronto, the presidential building was a grey Virginia freestone.
It was painted white to cover up the fire damage done by the British. It wasn’t officially called the White House until Teddy Roosevelt began printing its image on the executive mansion stationery in 1901.
The Chinese lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the Moon, and is constructed in a different fashion than the Western solar calendar. In the Chinese calendar, the beginning of the year falls somewhere between late January and early February, and contains 354 days.
Each year is given an animal designation, such as “Year of the Ox.” A total of 12 different animal names are used, and they rotate in the following sequence: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare (Rabbit), Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep (Goat), Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. The Chinese have adopted the Western calendar since 1911, but the lunar calendar is still used for festive occasions such as the Chinese New Year. Many Chinese calendars print both the solar dates and the Chinese lunar dates.
Yes, for a period of time. The mangrove killfish spends several months of every year out of the water, living inside rotting branches and tree trunks. The 2-inch- (5-centimeter-) long fish normally lives in muddy pools and the flooded burrows of crabs in the mangrove swamps of Florida, Latin America, and the Caribbean. When their pools of water dry up, they temporarily alter their gills to retain water and nutrients, while they excrete nitrogen waste through their skin.
These changes are reversed as soon as they return to the water. The mangrove killfish is not the only fish able to temporarily survive out of water. The walking catfish of Southeast Asia has gills that allow it to breathe in air and in water. The giant mudskippers of Southeast Asia breathe through their gills underwater and breathe air on land by absorbing oxygen through their skin and the back of the mouth and throat.
In the United States, the hottest day that we know of was July 10, 1913. On that day, Death Valley, California, reached 134 degrees Fahrenheit (56 degrees Celsius). The highest temperature in the world was recorded on September 13, 1922 in Al Aziziyah, Libya, where it reached 136.4 degrees Fahrenheit (58 degrees Celsius).
The coldest temperature ever measured was –129 Fahrenheit (–89 Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica, on July 21, 1983. The world’s most extreme temperatures take place in Verhoyansk, northeast Siberia, where temperatures fall as low as –90 degrees Fahrenheit (–68 degrees Celsius) in winter and rise as high as 98 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius) in summer.
In 1939, when Robert May, a copywriter for Montgomery Ward, wrote a promotional Christmas poem for that Chicago department store, its principal character was “Rollo” the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but the corporate executives didn’t like that name, nor did they approve of May’s second suggestion, “Reginald.”
It was May’s four-year-old daughter who came up with “Rudolph,” and the title for a Christmas classic.
If you want to look clean and smell nice, your clothes need to be washed frequently. Most clothing is made of tiny threads that are woven together. As you go about your day, dirt and odors get trapped in the weave of your clothes and can only be removed by washing.
Clothes must be jiggled and swished around quite a bit in water—as is done in a washing machine—to best remove dirt and odors. Detergent is added to the water to help the process: it can break up oily particles into smaller pieces that can be whisked away, and it can surround other dirt particles and pull them away from fabric.