Monthly Archives: May, 2009

What is tapa cloth?

Tapa cloth is an unwoven kind of bark cloth made by soaking and pounding the soft inner bark of the paper mulberry and certain other trees.  It is the traditional fabric of Polynesia.  Tapa cloth was once widely used for clothing and mats on the islands of the South Pacific. While modern woven cloth has …

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What is a timberline?

Some mountains have trees growing clear to their tops, but on many high mountains there is a line above which trees stop growing. The place where trees stop growing is called the “timberline”.  Trees don’t grow above it because they cannot survive the freezing temperatures there. Above the timberline the mountainside is likely to be …

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What is the Statue of Liberty made of?

The Statue of Liberty is one of the United States’ most famous monument.  This colossal statue of a robed lady with a torch in her raised right hand and carrying a tablet in her left, stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor.  It is made of more than 300 copper sheets over a steel …

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How was the grand canyon formed?

One of the great natural wonders of the world is Arizona’s Grand Canyon of the Colorado River.  The whole gorge is 217 miles long and, from rim to rim, 4 to 18 miles wide. One of the most amazing things about it is that it was made by a river!  Almost hidden between the canyon …

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Why was the Eiffel tower built?

The Eiffel Tower is a huge tower in Paris, France.  It was built for the Paris Universal Exhibition (a world’s fair), held in that city in 1889. The tower, named for its designer, Alexander Eiffel, was intended to be the symbol and main attraction of the fair, just as most world’s fairs have one structure …

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Why do sunsets look red?

During the evening, when the sun is near the horizon we may see a beautiful sunset.  The reds and oranges of a sunset are caused by the filtering action of the sky. Sunlight, as we know, is made of many colors.  We can see the colors that make up sunlight when we look at a …

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How are rocks made?

Rocks are found almost everywhere.  Very small rocks are called sand.  Rocks bigger than sand have other names, like pebbles, or stone.  Big rocks are called boulders.  In fact, almost all the earth – the mountains and the ground itself – is made of rock. Rocks are made of minerals.  A few are made of …

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What makes a waterfall?

On its way to the sea, a river or stream may plunge over a steep cliff.  If it does, there is a waterfalls in mountains than anywhere else.  Many waterfalls were caused when ancient glaciers of earthquakes created a sharp-edged cliff in the path of a stream or river.  Often, waterfalls are caused as the …

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How does a blimp stay in the air?

A blimp is an airtight bag that is able to rise in the air because it is filled with light gases.  A blimp is a small, balloon-like airship.  Unlike the heavier-than-air airplane, the blimp remains aloft because it is lighter than air.  It needs only small motors to push it forward.  Blimps are descendants of …

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What were the Egyptian pyramids built for?

The Egyptian pyramids were built as tombs for ancient Egyptian kings.  Perhaps the first thing you would look for if you visited the United Arab Republic would be the ancient Egyptian pyramids near the Nile river.  Each pyramid was build as a tomb to protect the body of an Egyptian king.  The Egyptian thought that …

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