Each calendar year is exactly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds. This is the amount of time between two successive crossings of the celestial equator by the Sun at the vernal equinox (the first day of spring). The fact that the year is not a whole number of days has affected the development of calendars, which over time generate an error.
The current calendar we use, called the Gregorian calendar, attempts to fix this by adding an extra day to the month of February every four years. These years are called “leap years.”
Yes. Even though it may feel awkward or embarrassing, it helps to tell your parents, a teacher, or a counselor about a bullying experience. A trusted adult can make you feel better by explaining why bullies behave the way they do and by reassuring you that what a bully says about you has nothing to do with who you really are.
Adults can help keep you safe if you’re being threatened, and come up with solutions to deal with the bullying. Many states have bullying laws and policies, and many schools have programs in place that educate parents and kids about bullying.
A horseshoe’s charm comes from the legend of Saint Dunstan, who, because of his talent as a blacksmith, was asked by the Devil to shoe his cloven hoof. Saint Dunstan agreed, but in carrying out the task, he caused the Devil such pain that he was able to make him promise never to enter a house that has a horseshoe hanging above the doorway. Thus, from the Middle Ages on, the horseshoe has been considered good luck.
Absolutely! Strong, healthy teeth help you speak clearly, chew harder vegetables and meats, and help you look your best. Brushing your teeth helps prevent plaque, a clear film that sticks to your teeth. The sticky film acts like a magnet for bacteria and sugar. Bacteria eats the sugar on your teeth, breaking it down into acids that deteriorate tooth enamel, causing holes called cavities. Plaque also causes the gum disease gingivitis, which make your gums red, swollen, and sore. At around age six, you lose your baby teeth and a larger set of teeth begin to surface. Eventually, 32 new teeth will line your growing jaws, the last coming in around the age of 18.
These permanent teeth will perform all of your eating tasks for the rest of your life, so they are worth taking care of! Your four front teeth (on top and bottom) are sharp incisors that cut and tear off food when you bite, along with your four pointed canine teeth. The flat-topped bicuspids (premolars) and molars near the back of your mouth crush and chew your food.
Although there are other windy planets (like Uranus), Neptune’s winds are the fastest in the solar system, reaching 1,600 miles (2,575 kilometers) per hour. Nep- 8 tune’s large, sweeping wind storms could consume the entire planet Earth!
The walrus’s two tusks—which are really two long, sharp teeth—aid the cold-water creature in battling polar bears, fending off other walruses, and walking around the bottom of the ocean while searching for its favorite food, clams. The “tooth walker” temporarily anchors itself to the bottom of the ocean by pushing its tusks into the muddy sand, where it can look for food. It then pulls its tusks out, moves on, and repeats the process.
In the seventeenth century, the British borrowed a Dutch army custom of sounding a drum and bugle to signal soldiers that it was time to stop socializing and return to their barracks for the night. The Dutch called it “taptoe,” meaning “shut off the taps,” and the abbreviated “taps” became a signal for tavern owners to turn off the spigots on their beer and wine casks.
After lights out, taps signals that the soldiers are safely home, which is why it’s played at funerals.
As a matter of fact, yes! Researchers believe that regular contact with pets can reduce levels of stress and reduce blood pressure (the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps out blood).
Pets offer stability, comfort, security, affection, and intimacy. Owning a dog also provides a great opportunity to get exercise and fresh air, since it will need to go for a walk every day.
Living creatures need oxygen to survive, and fish are no exception. Human beings 68 use their lungs to take in oxygen, and fish breathe using their gills. A fish’s gills are full of blood vessels that absorb the tiny particles of oxygen from the water.
The fish sucks the water in through its mouth and squirts it out through its gills; during this process, the gills take the oxygen from the water into the blood vessels. A fish’s gills are not constructed to take oxygen from the air, so they cannot breathe on dry land.
Early aviators had a system of radio signals to guide pilots through fog and bad weather. Dots and dashes were beamed out from a landing field and picked up in the pilot’s earphones. If he heard dot-dashes, he was too far left, and dash-dots meant he was too far right. But when the signals converged into a continuous buzzing sound, the pilot was “on the beam,” or safely on course.