Itchy, red skin may be the sign of athlete’s foot, a skin infection caused by a moldlike fungus. The fungus needs a warm, moist environment to live and often grows on the floors of locker rooms and public showers and in swimming pools and whirlpools. It also loves stinky old tennis shoes. When a foot comes in contact with the fungus, it becomes red and itchy. Sometimes, moist, white, scaly lesions or sores develop between the toes and spread to the soles of the feet.
In boys, sometimes athlete’s foot fungus spreads to the groin area, where it is called “jock itch.” The fungus sometimes spreads from one location to another as it is picked up on a bath towel, and the groin area, which is warm and moist, helps the fungus flourish.
The lizard is a reptile, a cold-blooded animal that is unable to internally control its own body temperature. In order to warm up or cool down, lizards and other reptiles—such as snakes, turtles, and crocodiles—move to different areas of their environment. They also use certain other behavioral traits to keep their body temperatures constant. For instance, if a lizard is starting to feel the intensity of the tropical sun, it might head into the shade or take a dip in a pool of water. The same lizard might also bask in the sun to warm up. Frilled dragons and collared lizards run on their hind legs in the heat of the day, making an artificial breeze to help cool themselves off. And another reptile, the crocodile, holds its jaws open to cool down on hot days.
The blood vessels in its mouth are close to the skin surface, and help transfer heat. Lying quietly is another technique the crocodile uses to warm its body and help digest its food. Because they are cold-blooded, reptiles can survive on much less food, compared to warm-blooded small mammals and birds, which burn much of their food to keep warm.
When children play tag and hold a tree for safety, they are acting out a four-thousand-year-old custom of the North American Indians who believed that because the oak was most frequently struck by lightning, it was the home of the sky god. The Greeks came to this same conclusion two thousand years later and because both cultures believed that bragging or boasting offended that god, they knocked on the tree either to divert him from their bragging or to seek forgiveness.
Today there are some 4,300 religions in the world. Nearly 75 percent of the world’s population practices one of the five most influential religions of the world: Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. Christianity, which is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, who preached in Palestine about 2,000 years ago, is the most widely practiced religion in the world today, with 2.1 billion followers.
The second most practiced religion is Islam, with 1.3 billion followers.
In medieval France the first-born sons of nobility were known as the “caput,” or head, of the family, while the younger, less valuable boys were called “capdets,” or little heads, and were often sent to the military to train as officers. In English, “capdets” became “cadets,” which the Scots abbreviated to “cads” or “caddies,” meaning any useless street kid who could be hired for the day to carry around a bag of golf clubs.
Lots of kids have been picked on by a bully, for many different reasons. Bullying is intentional tormenting in physical, verbal, or psychological ways, and can range from hitting, shoving, name-calling, threats, and mocking to taking lunch money or personal items. If you’ve been the target of a bully, you know it can be very scary and upsetting to be teased, hit, or threatened.
Sometimes it helps to simply ignore what the bully is saying—most bullies tease or threaten other kids to get a reaction from those they tease, and if they get no reaction at all, it’s a lot less fun for them. It usually helps to have friends around. A kid walking alone is more vulnerable than a group of kids. And even if you don’t feel confident, sometimes acting confident helps. If you hold your head high and tell a bully to stop calling you names, you may just surprise that bully into silence. One approach to avoid is responding to bullying with fighting or bullying back—aggressive responses will only make matters worse.
Located at 0 degrees longitude, the prime meridian passes through Greenwich, England. Halfway around the world in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (180 degrees from Greenwich) is the International Date Line (IDL), where the date changes across the boundary of the time zone.
The entire world is on the same date only at the instant when it is noon in Greenwich, England, and midnight at the IDL. At all other times, there are different dates on each side of the IDL.
Kissing the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle near Cork, Ireland, is supposed to transfer the gift of gab to the kisser, but the idea that the word blarney meant a smooth talker came from the mouth of Elizabeth I of England in 1602. She had insisted that Dermot McCarthy surrender Blarney Castle as proof of his loyalty, but he kept coming up with excuses — so many excuses, in fact, that the Queen once exclaimed in exasperation, “Odds Bodkins, more Blarney talk!”
Earth is more active, in terms of both geology and weather, which makes it hard for craters to remain. Even those craters scientists can see on the surface—which may be millions of years old—have been overgrown by vegetation, weathered by wind and rain, and changed by earthquakes and landslides. The Moon, meanwhile, is geologically quiet and has almost no weather, so its hundreds of thousands of craters are easy to see.
The craters are the result of both meteorites and volcanic activity. Interestingly, some of the oldest Earth rocks might be awaiting discovery on the Moon, having been blasted there billions of years ago by asteroid impacts that shook both worlds.
Yes, the salmon is most famous for its life cycle. It is born in tiny streams far from the sea, where it spends the first part of its life in freshwater. In the springtime, it migrates down streams to rivers, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles, until it ends up in the open ocean, where it spends much of its adult life. Then, when it’s time to lay its eggs, the salmon makes the journey back to its birthplace to spawn and die. The salmon’s body is rich in oils that are picked up during its life in the ocean. The oil helps give the salmon the energy it needs to navigate the journey upriver.