Monthly Archives: August, 2012

Why do we say A.M. and P.M. when telling time?

The  letters A.M (ante meridian) P.M (post meridian) tell us  what part of the day it is on a 12 hour clock. As we all know, there are 24 hours in a day but only 12 hour numbers on a clock.   This is because in  most  countries the hours of the day are usually divided …

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HOW Do Hearing Aids Work?

Modern hearing aids work much like miniature telephones.  They  have microphones to pick up sound and  amplifiers that increase the loudness in the ear  of the wearer. Perhaps  the hearing of  someone  you know is not as good as it was when  he was  younger and he must now wear  a hearing aid. A  hearing …

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Who invented the piano?

The piano is a stringed  instrument played  with a keyboard. The first piano was invented  early in the 18th century by an Italian harpsichord maker named  Bartolommeo  Cristofori.   His invention  was designed to remedy  the harpsichord’s inability to play softly or loudly by the touch of the fingers. He called  his invention “gravicembalo  col piano  …

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How did the stagecoach get its name?

Coaches that carried passengers became known as “stagecoaches” because they stopped to rest at stage stops along the way. Until railroads appeared, early travelers in America made long-distance journeys either on horseback or in horse-drawn coaches, called “stagecoaches.” Stops were made along the way at rest stations, or “stages,” for fresh horses and food for …

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What is cement made of?

People often misuse the words cement and concrete.  For example a “cement sidewalk” is really made of concrete. Cement is the fine, gray powder that is mixed with water, sand and crushed rock or gravel to make concrete.  The cement and water from a paste that hardens as it dries, and binds the sand and …

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Where does butter come from?

Butter is made by churning the butterfat from milk.  Butter comes from milk.  Milk is full of tiny particles of butterfat.  Butter is made from this fat. Cream is the part of milk that is richest in butterfat. In butter factories, the cream is separated from the milk and pasteurized to destroy harmful bacteria. The …

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When did ice skating start?

Ice skating dates back to at least the 8th century when people in Northern Europe skated over frozen lakes and rivers on primitive skates made of animal bones.  For skating is one of the most enjoyable forms of sport and entertainment. People on primitive ice skates were probably gliding over the frozen rivers and lakes …

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How is curling played?

Curling is a game played by sliding stones toward a target marked on the ice. If you live in Canada or the northern United States, then you might see a curling game. Curling is a winter sport similar to bowling or shuffleboard, but is played on frozen lakes or indoor ice rinks. The game consists …

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Where did the mile come from?

The mile was first used by the Romans to measure long distances.  “Mile” is from the Latin “Milia Passuum,” meaning “A thousand paces.” A mile, as we know, is a unit of measure equal to 5,200 feet.  The mile was first used by the ancient Romans.  “Mile” is from the Latin words “milia passuum,” meaning …

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How did Canada get its name?

The name “Canada” may have come from an Indian word meaning “A group of huts.” The origin of Canada’s name is not clear.  Some people think that the word “Canada” may have come from the Indian word “kanata,” meaning “a collection of huts or tents.” Early in Canada’s history, French explorer Jacques Cartier sailed into …

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