Monthly Archives: November, 2012

Where come camphor come from?

Natural camphor is a fragrant gum that comes from the camphor tree.  Camphor (pronounced KAM-fur) is a fragrant gum that comes from the camphor laurel tree. Camphor is used in medicine, explosives, and plastics, as well as in many other useful products.  (Perhaps your mother uses balls of camphor in closets and drawers to keep …

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What are the Arabian Nights?

The Arabian Nights is a collection of about 200 stories, which includes such famous tales as Aladdin’s lamp and the magic carpet.  Did you ever hear the stories about Aladdin’s Lamp, the Magic Carpet or Sinbad the Sailor? These colorful tales are part of a collection of famous stories called the “Arabian Nights.”  Another name …

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Who were the Vikings?

The Vikings were skillful and daring seamen that came to be the most-feared feared of their time.  They lived in the north of Europe a thousand years ago.  “Northmen” and “Norsemen” are other names for the Vikings. Their homeland was a long the coastlines where the countries of Sweden, Norway and Denmark are now. For …

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When were cannons first used in warfare?

The first guns were cannons.  They were first used in warfare some time in the first half of the 14th century. The big guns that are now known as artillery were once called cannons.  “Cannon” comes from an old Latin word meaning “tube” or “reed.” The cannon first appeared in Europe during the 1300s, after …

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How did the pilgrims get their name?

The term “pilgrim” was used by William Bradford to describe the first Plymouth settlers. A long time ago, people we now call the Pilgrims came to America and settled the first permanent colony of people from the Old World. They named their little New England village Plymouth in honor of Plymouth, England—the harbor from which …

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What is the meaning of a 21-gun salute?

Gun salutes are often used to mark special occasions.  Gun or cannon salutes sometimes honor distinguished persons or mark special occasions.  This custom began long ago, when guns and cannons were loaded by hand. Upon the approach of a friendly ship, all the guns of the fort or ship were fired as a token of …

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What Is Patent?

A patent is a government grant which gives an inventor, and no one else, the right to make and sell his invention for a certain number of years. Perhaps you have seen the words “Patent Pending,” “Patent Applied For,” or “Patent No. 123456,” for example, marked on many of the things you buy and use. …

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How does an altimeter work?

An aneroid (barometric) altimeter shows a plane’s altitude above the earth by measuring the atmospheric pressure, which lessens as the altitude increases. An altimeter is an instrument that shows a pilot just how high his airplane is above the earth.  Most altimeters are aneroid (without air) barometers, made to read in feet of altitude instead …

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How does a barometer work?

A barometer tells us what the weather may be like by measuring changes in air pressure.   A barometer is an instrument that measure the pressure of air. The ocean of air above us pushes down on the earth with a great deal of force.   Just as a scale measures the pressure of your weight, so …

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How does a speedometer work?

A spinning magnet in a speedometer acts with magnetic force that pulls the pointer and causes it to register the auto’s speed.   The speedometer in an automobile tells how fast the car is going. A speedometer operates by magnetic force.  Inside a speedometer there is a magnet that is connected directly to the car’s transmission …

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