How do robots like ASIMO and Mahru work?

Robots like ASIMO and Mahru are sophisticated, expensive, highly technologically advanced machines that are built upon major components found in humans. Robot technicians use the inner workings of the human body as the model for the robots that they make. This modeling ensures that their robots are as lifelike as possible. First, the robot technician designs the five major components he or she will put into the robot: a body structure, a muscle system, a sensory environment, a power source, and a brain system.

Next, they build an intricate machine made up of electrical circuits, electrical valves, piston cylinders, electric motors, solenoids, hydraulic systems, and more—each plays a specific role in getting the robot to work. Every robot has a computer that controls everything else within its body. Many robots can talk and some can even smell, taste, and hear. To get the body of a robot moving, the computer must “tell” the specific part to move. If the technician wants the robot to do something new once it has been made, he or she writes a new computer program. In some cases, if the task is too big for the robot’s wiring system, new parts need to be installed. NUMBERS AND COUNTING

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.

What’s unusual about the music to the American national anthem?

In 1814, after a night in a pub, Francis Scott Key was taken prisoner during the war between Canada and the United States. When he saw the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry he was inspired to write his famous lyrics with one particular barroom song, “To Anacreon In Heaven,” still in his mind.

TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 27: Whitney Houston sings the National Anthem before a game with the New York Giants taking on the Buffalo Bills prior to Super Bowl XXV at Tampa Stadium on January 27, 1991 in Tampa, Florida. The Giants won 20-19. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

And so “The Star Spangled Banner” was written to the tune of a traditional old English drinking song.

When was the earliest programmable computer built?

In 1943 and 1944, the British government developed two Colossus computers. These huge machines were electronic computing devices used by British code breakers to read encrypted German messages during World War II. Dubbed “Colossus Mark 1” and “Colossus Mark 2” these devises were the world’s first programmable, digital, electronic, computing machines.

Based on concepts of the British mathematician Alan M. Turing, the mathematician Max Newman and engineer Tommy Flowers designed and built the machines, which used vacuum tubes (thermionic valves) to perform the calculations. The Colossus hardware and blueprints were destroyed as part of an effort to keep the project secret. However, based on notes in engineers’ logs and other information, in 2007 a functional replica of a Colossus computer was completed. The computer is on display at the Bletchley Park Museum in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England.

What are carnivorous plants?

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.

Why do I have to do homework?

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.

Why do we call the perfect world “Utopia”?

The word Utopia was created by the English philosopher Sir Thomas More in 1516 and was the title of his book that compared the state of life in Europe at the time with an imaginary ideal society. Utopia is from Greek meaning nowhere.

The thrust of More’s message was that an ideal world, or Utopia, will never exist, and that our only choice is to improve the standards of our existing society.

Why do we call the first weeks of marriage a “honeymoon”?

The custom of a “honeymoon” began over four thousand years ago in Babylon, when for a full lunar month after the wedding, the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the honey-beer he could drink. It was called the “honey month.”

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The word honeymoon didn’t enter our language until 1546, and because few people could afford a vacation, a honeymoon didn’t mean a trip away from home until the middle of the nineteenth century.

Why do we call wealthy members of society “the upper crust”?

In the days of feudalism, when noblemen gathered for a meal in the castle, those of higher rank sat at the head of a T-shaped table, and the rest sat in order of diminishing importance away from them.

For such occasions a yard-long loaf of bread was baked, and the honour of making the first cut belonged to the highest-ranking person at the head table, who would then pass the bread down in order of rank, but always keeping for himself the “upper crust.”

Does organic farming contribute to less pollution?

Yes. Organic farmers also try to do more tasks using human power rather than gas-powered vehicles, thereby using less fuel and cutting down on pollution. Organic farms that raise livestock like dairy cows or chickens feed the animals with natural food, avoiding pollution-causing chemicals and growth hormones that make cows produce more milk and chickens produce more eggs.

Some organic farmers also allow their animals to roam in a large area (such animals are described as “free range”) rather than keeping them in small, climate-controlled pens for their entire lives.