Located in Arizona and stretching to Colorado, the Grand Canyon is 18 miles (29 kilometers) wide, 227 miles (365 kilometers) long, and 6,000 feet (1,828 meters) deep in its deepest section. It takes about two days by foot or mule to travel from the top to the bottom.
Although it is not the biggest canyon in the world—Barranca de Cabre in northern Mexico and Hell’s Canyon in Idaho are deeper—it is known for its amazing landscape. The canyon’s walls are made up of rocks, cliffs, hills, and valleys formed millions of years ago, and it is home to hundreds of species of mammals, reptiles, and birds. Although people lived in the canyon some 4,000 years ago, today it is a national park and national landmark.
Alaska, the northernmost and westernmost state of the United States, is the largest state of the Union, covering 571,951 square miles (more than 1.4 million square kilometers). It makes up the extreme northwestern region of the North American continent and is separated from Asia by the 51-mile- (82-kilometer-) wide Bering Strait. Alaska has been a part of the United States since 1867, when it was bought from Russia by Secretary of State William H.
Seward for $7.2 million. The smallest state is Rhode Island, which covers just 1,045 square miles (2,706 square kilometers). Rhode Island—officially named the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations—was the first of the 13 original colonies to declare independence from British rule (on May 4, 1776) and the last to ratify the United States Constitution (on May 29, 1790).
The word fortnight is a unit of time that equals fourteen days. It comes from the Old English word feorwertyne niht, meaning “fourteen nights.” The term is used in Great Britain, where salaries and most social security benefits are paid on a fortnightly basis, but in the United States people use the term “two weeks.”
In many languages, there is no single word for a two-week period and the equivalent of “fourteen days” has to be used. In Spanish, Italian, French, and Portuguese, the terms quince días, quindicina, quinzaine, and quinzena—all meaning “fifteen days”—are used.
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.
At least two ancient Greek athletes would have done well in the modern games; their Olympic records stood until the twentieth century. Twenty-six hundred years ago, an athlete named Protiselaus threw a cumbersome primitive discus 152 feet from a standing position. No one exceeded that distance until Clarence Houser, an American, threw the discus 155 feet in 1928. In 656 BC, a Greek Olympian named Chionis leapt 23 feet, 1.5 inches, a long jump record that stood until 1900, When an American named Alvis Kraenzlein surpassed it by 4.5 inches.
The chain of events set in motion by a major occurrence is often called an aftermath. Math is from an old English word meaning “to mow.” The second, smaller crop of hay that sometimes springs up after a field has been mowed is called the aftermath, or “after mowing,” and although it is next to useless, it is a problem that has to be dealt with for the good of the fields.
The word “incorrectly” itself.
Yes, but both are slang units of distance and diameter. The eyes of typical gnats tend to have diameters similar in size to a hair’s breadth—roughly 100–150 micrometers. An item would have to be very short in order to be gnat’s eye in length! A hair’s breadth is an informal unit of distance: it is used to denote a measurement of approximately 70 to 100 micrometers in diameter, or 0.1 millimeter, which is similar in thickness to real human hair.
During the winter of 1812, while Napoleon’s army was retreating from Russia, the only available food was stale, dark bread. Although his men were dying from hunger, Napoleon ensured that his great white horse, Nicholl, always had enough to eat, which caused the soldiers to grumble that although they were starving there was always enough “pain pour Nicholl,” or “bread for Nicholl.” When anglicized, “pain pour Nicholl” became “pumpernickel.”
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.