Scientists do not know exactly why people need sleep, but studies show that sleep is necessary for survival. Sleep appears to be necessary for the nervous system to work properly. While too little sleep one night may leave us feeling drowsy and unable to concentrate the next day, a long period of too little sleep leads to poor memory and physical performance.
Hallucinations (seeing things that aren’t really there), vision problems, and mood swings may develop if sleep deprivation continues.
Carnivorous plants are plants that receive some or most of their nutrients from trapping and eating insects, other arthropods, and sometimes small frogs and mammals. (They are sometimes called insectivorous plants because insects are the most common prey.) Like other plants, carnivorous plants need sunlight, soil, and water to grow.
Carnivorous plants generally grow in places where the soil is thin or poor in nutrients, especially nitrogen, such as bogs. Today, there are more than 600 plant species around the world that attract and trap prey, produce digestive enzymes, and absorb parts of the insect as its nutrients.
“Dog days” are the hot, humid days of summer that usually take place in the Northern Hemisphere in July and August typically between July 3 and August 11. The days get their name from the dog star Sirius of the constellation Canis Major.
At this time of year, Sirius, the brightest visible star, rises in the east at the same time as the Sun in the northern hemisphere. Ancient Egyptians believed that the heat of this brilliant star added to the Sun’s heat to create this hot weather and they blamed the star for everything from withering droughts to sickness.
In September 1814, the United States and Great Britain were in the midst of fighting What is known as the War of 1812. The British had taken over Washington, D.C., and planned to attack Baltimore, Maryland. A few American citizens, including a lawyer and poet named Francis Scott Key, approached the British fleet, which was anchored in Chesapeake Bay, to request the release of an American who had been taken prisoner. The British agreed to let the prisoner and the others return to American shores, but only after the British were done attacking Fort McHenry, Which was defending Baltimore. Throughout the night of September 13–14, Key heard the explosions of the battle, anxiously awaiting morning to see whether the Americans had won the battle. In the early morning light, Key could see that Fort McHenry’s enormous American flag was still waving, indicating that the Americans had been triumphant.
Relieved and inspired by the sight, Key composed a poem called “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” Its opening lines recalled his first glimpse of the flag that morning: “Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light / What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?” Key may have had a popular tune in mind when writing the poem. That tune, called “To Anacreon in Heaven,” had been an English drinking song, but it soon became linked with Key’s poem, and the title of the new song became “The Star-Spangled Banner.” “The Star-Spangled Banner” (which actually has four verses, though usually only the first is sung) spread quickly throughout the country and became extremely popular. It was played at important ceremonies and military functions for many years before being officially declared the national anthem by Congress in 1931.
You may have heard this expression used in school, in television commercials, or on a sign at your local parks and recreation. Basically, the slogan means that there are three key ways to produce less waste:
1. Reduce the amount of trash (and toxicity) you throw away.
2. Reuse containers and products whenever possible.
3. Recycle as much as possible and buy products with recycled content. As much as 84 percent of all household waste can be recycled—so it makes sense to be conscious of what we use and how we can reuse it.
An avalanche is a huge mass of ice and snow that breaks away from the side of a mountain and slides downward at great speed. Most avalanches result from weather conditions, such as heavy winds and earth tremors, that cause snow on a mountain slope to become unstable.
A large avalanche in North America might release 300,000 cubic yards of snow—the equivalent of 20 football fields filled 10 feet (3.3 meters) deep with snow. Wintertime, particularly from December to April, is when most avalanches occur.
Growing old is part of being a living thing. Every plant and animal must go through a cycle of life that involves a beginning, a middle, and an end. Actually, as soon as we are born we begin aging or growing older. But when we talk of growing old we think of the physical changes that occur when bodies cannot grow and repair themselves as they once did.
At about age 30 the signs of aging start to appear, though for most people the physical changes are not really obvious until many years later.
The hours in a school day and the amount of time a teacher can spend individually with students are limited. As a result, teachers need the understanding and help of their students, parents, and families in supporting classroom instruction and learning outside school hours. Homework has been part of school life since the beginning of formal schooling in the United States. It is important because it can improve your thinking and memory.
It can help you develop positive study habits and skills that will serve you well throughout your life. Homework also can encourage you to use time well, learn independently, and take responsibility for your work. And if you have an adult supervise you, it benefits them as well. It helps your mom and dad see what you are learning in school and helps your family communicate with you and your teachers.
In baseball, when a pitcher throws a curveball, it breaks to a right-handers left and a left-handers right. Early in the twentieth century, the great Christy Mathewson came up with a pitch that broke in the opposite direction and completely baffled opposing batters, who called it a “screwball.”
It became a word used to describe anything eccentric or totally surprising — including some humans.
Any group of birds, goats, or sheep can be referred to as a flock, but each feathered breed has its own proper title. Hawks travel in casts, while it’s a bevy of quail, a host of sparrows, and a covey of partridges.
Swans move in herds, and peacocks in musters, while a flock of herons is called a siege. A group of geese is properly called a gaggle, but only When they’re on the ground. In the air they are a skein.