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How is “Staten” in “Staten Island” pronounced?

January 31, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Geography

Staten, the name of an island in New York Bay, is often incorrectly pronounced with the a long as in state. It is correctly pronounced statt-en. The a is short as in static. This pronunciation is a holdover from the old Dutch name of the island. When Europeans first explored New York Bay, Staten Island …

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Can horses sleep while standing?

January 30, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

Horses have the power to sleep while standing. In 1943 Professor C. F. Winchester, member of the animal husbandry faculty at the University of Missouri, said that experiments indicate that horses rest better on their feet than on their sides. Their legs are provided with muscular mechanisms that cause them to “lock,” as it were, …

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What causes pounding in hot-water pipes?

January 29, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Plumbing

The pounding and banging in hot-water and steam pipes is called water hammer or hydraulic shock. This snapping noise is produced by moving water thrown against the sides of the pipes when hot steam comes in contact with cooler water and condenses suddenly. A clanking sound is produced when a water pipe is hit with …

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What does “savvy” mean?

January 28, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Language

Savvy or savvey is an American corruption of Spanish sabe, a form of the verb saber, meaning “to know.” “Do you savvy?” is equivalent to Spanish “¿Sabe Usted?” Both mean, “Do you know?” Savvy was orig­inally acquired from the Mexicans by early ranchers in the Southwest who spelled and pronounced the word savvy rather than …

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Do crows fly in a straight line?

January 27, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

It is commonly believed that the crow flies forward in a straight line. Hence the phrase as the crow flies, meaning in a straight line from starting point to the objective or place of destination, irrespective of buildings, rivers, roads, hills or any obstacles that might make the distance greater if a person were to …

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How did “kibitzer” originate?

January 26, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Language

A kibitzer is a person who meddles in the affairs of other people, particularly one who, while not a player himself, watches a card game from behind the players and gives unasked for advice. By extension the term is applied to any individual who is always ready to give advice on any subject whether he …

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What are the Seven Wonders of the World?

January 25, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

The Seven Wonders of the World is the name given to a group of re­markable works of art and engineering that were popular among the ancients. It is supposed that the first list of the seven wonders of the world was prepared in the second century B.C. by Antipater of Sidon. A second and slightly …

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How did “bunk” originate?

January 24, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge, History, Language, Literature

The original form of this word was Buncombe, which has been corrupted into bunkum and bunk. It originated in the United States House of Representatives on February 25, 1820, at the close of the historic debate on the Missouri Compromise. Felix Walker, a naive old mountaineer, represented the North Carolina district including Buncombe County. He …

Where is the city of St. John’s in British America?

January 23, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Geography

Three cities with similar names in British North America are frequently confused in the United States. St. John’s is not in Canada. It is the capital and most populous city of Newfoundland, which is not part of Canada either geographically or politically. St. Johns, written without the sign of the possessive, is the name of …

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Does the pilot snake pilot other snakes?

January 22, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

The pilot snake, Elaphe obsoleta, gets its popular name from the curious belief that it precedes rattlesnakes and warns them of the approach of danger. According to one version of the belief, the pilot snake is neither male nor female, but a “neuter” rattlesnake that devotes its time to piloting other snakes around. Another version …

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