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.

Why should I visit the library often?

Libraries offer books for people of all ages, and much, much more—they are places of learning and discovery for everyone. Besides books, public libraries offer videos, DVDs, free access to computers and the Internet, and many literacy-related programs.

For elementary school children, there are variations of the read-alouds and storytelling hours that often include discussions and presentations by the children themselves, as well as summer reading programs. For middle-school kids, there may also be book talks, summer reading programs, creative writing seminars, drama groups, and poetry readings. The more you read, the more you learn! In addition, the library is a place to find information and help with schoolwork. Your school library may offer some of these services as well.

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 Earth Day?

Earth Day is a national holiday that was first celebrated on April 22, 1970. It was created by Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat from Wisconsin who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962. Senator Nelson decided to set aside one day aside for the entire nation to focus on environmental issues, learn about ways to improve the environment, and protest against the federal government’s unwillingness to help solve problems such as air pollution and the widespread destruction of forests.

After lots of hard work and publicity, on the first Earth Day 20 million Americans gathered at different places from the East to West coasts to hear speeches, participate in community-wide cleanup efforts, and demonstrate to the government that the environment is a major national issue. Ever since then, April 22 has been the date for celebrating Earth Day—a time when the United States (and now many countries all over the world) could participate in educational activities that celebrate Earth and think of new ways to preserve our natural resources. On Earth Day 2008, over 100 million people joined in the effort to celebrate and protect our planet.

What is the difference between a planet and a star?

A star is a huge ball of hot glowing gas, like the Sun, and a planet is a world, like Earth. Stars produce their own light; they undergo nuclear reactions that burn hydrogen in their cores. But planets are lit by light from the Sun. When you look up into the night sky, it is hard to tell planets and stars apart. However, early astronomers were able to tell the difference because planets in our solar system appear to move in complicated paths across the sky, but stars don’t. There are also other observational differences: planets almost never twinkle, but stars do.

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 are barns usually painted red?

Paint coats wood, protecting it from sunlight and rain damage and making it last longer. When early farmers had enough money to paint their barns, they usually used inexpensive paint because the structures were so large. Ferrous oxide, a chemical powder that gives paint its red color, was readily available and cost little. Thrifty farmers in New England, New York, and the upper Midwest region painted their barns red. In those places, red barns remain a tradition. But there are plenty of barns in other parts of the country that are not red. Early farmers that were poor—especially in regions like Appalachia and the South—left their barns unpainted because they did not have the money to do the job.

Unpainted wood usually weathers to a soft gray color. And in places like Pennsylvania, Maryland, and some southern Midwestern states, the most frequently seen barn color is white. Some people think that white barns grew popular when dairy farming became more important after the Civil War; white suggests cleanliness and purity, desirable qualities to be associated with milk production. Special farms where fancy horses or prize livestock were raised sometimes had barns painted unusual colors, like yellow, green, or black.

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.