A water lily is a floating aquatic plant with large, fragrant, white or pink flowers and flat, round, floating leaves. The leaves have long stems and are bright green above and reddish or purplish underneath. The underside of the leaf contains air spaces; the air that traps beneath the leaf makes it float on water. The leaves’ strong stems help them grow and stay upright in the water—which allows the leaves to absorb sunlight and stay alive.
Almost everything we do is governed by some set of rules. There are rules for games, for sports, and for adults in the workplace. There are also rules imposed by morality (or ethics) that play an important role in telling us what we should and should not do. However, some rules—those made by the state or the courts—are called “laws.”
Laws are designed to control or alter our behavior, and to help make society a more ordered place. If people were allowed to choose at random what to do and how to behave, our country would be dangerous and chaotic. Laws that govern business affairs help businesses to operate properly, and laws against criminal behavior help to protect personal property and human life.
There are three general forms of government, based upon who rules: (1) those governments in which the authority is placed in one single person, (2) those dominated by several people, and (3) those controlled by many. In some nations, governing is done by a single individual, such as a king, queen, or dictator. This form of government is known as an autocracy. An autocratic government is called an oligarchy if a small group, such as landowners, military officers, or wealthy merchants, make up the government. If the country’s people make up the government and contribute to its decision-making process, that nation’s government is known as a democracy. There are also several ways in which governments do their governing. Limited governments, such as the United States and most countries in Western Europe, are known as constitutional governments, since these governments are limited as to What they are permitted to control. In other words, they have limited power, and this limited power is enforced by a separation of powers.
Most of these nations have constitutions that define the scope of governmental power. In contrast to a constitutional government, a government is called authoritarian when it has no formal limits; the government is limited by other political and social institutions in the land—such as churches, labor unions, and political parties. While these governments are sometimes responsive to these sources of limitation, there is no formal obligation for the government to represent its citizens. Examples of recent authoritarian governments include Spain from 1936 to 1975 under General Francisco Franco. Totalitarian governments attempt to control every area of political, economic, and social life and are usually associated with dictators who seek to end other social institutions that might challenge the government’s complete, or total, power. Some examples of totalitarian governments include Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945 under dictator Adolf Hitler, the Soviet Union from 1928 to 1953 under dictator Joseph Stalin, and Cuba from 1959 to 2008 under Fidel Castro.
Seven astronauts were aboard Challenger flight STS-51L when it exploded during liftoff on January 28, 1986. Christa McAuliffe was a Concord, New Hampshire, high school social studies teacher. She and the other six crew members were killed when a solid-fuel booster rocket leak led to a massive fuel tank explosion during liftoff from its launch pad.
NASA’s next flight was Discovery, which was launched on September 28, 1988. After the Challenger disaster, NASA’s three remaining shuttles— Atlantis, Discovery, and Columbia—were rebuilt, each with more than 250 modifications improving safety and performance.
In ancient times, just as today in third-world societies, dogs lived miserable lives with little or no human care, which led to the hard-times expressions, “it’s a dog’s life,” “sick as a dog,” and “dog-tired.” As for the proverb “Every dog has his day,” it was first recorded as an epilogue after the famed Greek playwright Euripides was killed by a pack of dogs in 405 BC.
High-definition television (HDTV) is a digital television broadcasting system with higher resolution than traditional television systems. The amount of detail shown in a television picture is limited by the number of lines that make it up and by the number of picture elements on each line.
The latter is mostly determined by the width of the electron beam. To obtain pictures closer to the quality of 35-millimeter photography, HDTV has more than twice the number of scan lines with a much smaller picture element. American and Japanese HDTVs have 525 scanning lines, and Europe has 625 scanning lines.
In a new quilt the cotton is not compressed and as such it encloses more air which is bad conductor of heat. Therefore, it does not allow heat to pass.
Unlike the fragrant blossoms that attract bees, carrion flowers simulate the odor of a rotting animal carcass and attract carrion beetles and different types of flies, including blowflies, flesh flies, and midges. The stapelia flower, which is shaped like a starfish and grows in Africa, has fine hairs around its petals, perhaps to imitate the appearance of a small dead animal. When the bloom opens it gives off a rotting smell, imitating dead animal meat.
The smell attracts flies, which collect pollen before they fly away. Some carrion flowers, such as the European and Brazilian Dutchman’s pipe, lure insects into dark openings that lead to the foul-smelling interior where they become trapped. When the flower “releases” the insect, it is coated with fresh pollen to be taken to a different plant. The lantern stinkhorn, a fungus that releases a feces-like odor, attracts green bottle flies to spread its spores.
Animal specialists believe that cats purr to show contentment. Cats are born with the ability to purr; kittens make tiny rumbling sounds when they are nursing. Scientists think that purring starts out as a form of communication between a mother cat and her kittens. The purr lets the mother cat know that her babies are happy and feeding well, and she may purr back in response. Later, cats continue to purr when they are in a contented mood or as a friendly greeting. But scientists aren’t really sure how cats purr. Many think that it comes from the vibration of blood in a large vein in the cat’s chest, caused when surrounding muscles repeatedly squeeze and release the blood vessel.
Air in a cat’s lungs and windpipe increase the sound of the vibrations that can be heard (although sometimes the purring is silent and can only be felt). Other scientists think that cats purr when membranes called false vocal chords, located in a cat’s throat near the real ones, start to vibrate.
As strange it may sound, both leeches and blowfly maggots are used occasionally in the field of medicine. The U.S. federal government’s Food and Drug Administration considers both bugs “approved medical devices,” the first live animals to be called that name. Maggots are used to eat dead tissue, thus helping to kill bacteria, clean open wounds, and stimulate healing. Leeches suck out excess blood from the body, and their saliva contains a powerful blood thinner. About 5,000 clean, laboratorygrown maggots are delivered to hospitals across the United States every week.