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Which is correct, Abyssinia or Ethiopia?

March 31, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Geography

Ethiopia is the ancient name of the country in northeastern Africa. It is of Greek origin and literally means the “land of burnt-face people,” alluding to the dark-skinned people in that region. Homer and other classical Greek writers applied the name vaguely to the lands south of Egypt. Abyssinia is the name commonly applied to …

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To what mountain system do the Ozarks belong?

March 30, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Geography

Geologists do not regard the Ozark Mountains as part of either the Rocky or the Appalachian systems, but as an independent and distinct unit. The Ozark Plateau or upland area lies chiefly in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, but also extends into Oklahoma and Kansas. It is separated from the Appalachians by the lowlands of …

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Who said: “The king is dead! Long live the king!”

March 29, 2017 | Author: | Posted in History

This expression seems to be of French origin. It was used in France to announce the death of a king and the accession of his successor to the throne, signifying that the country was never without a sovereign. William Blackstone, in his Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765) expressed the same idea in, “The …

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Where is “the roof of the world”?

March 28, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Geography

The Pamir mountain region in Central Asia is called the roof of the world because of its great altitude. In India the Pamirs are called Bam-i-dunya, literally “top of the world.” Pamir itself, according to the most logical theory, is derived from the Persian pai-mir, signifying “the foot of the mountain peaks.” The region around …

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Why are June marriages considered lucky?

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

In the United States and Canada as well as in many other countries June is the favorite marriage month; in New Zealand and Australia as well as some other countries in the Southern Hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed, the favorite marriage month is December. The belief that June marriages are likely to be lucky …

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Why are ship compartments called “staterooms”?

March 26, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

According to a popular story, stateroom as applied to the compartments containing the berths on a steamship originated as follows: In 1815 Captain Henry Miller Shreve, after whom Shreveport, Louisiana, was named, made the first steamboat voyage up the Mississippi and Ohio as far as Louisiana. For many years Captain Shreve had charge of the …

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What are equinoctial storms?

March 25, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Weather

Equinoctial storms are storms popularly supposed to occur at the time of the spring and fall equinoxes. Equinox is derived from Latin and signifies “equal night.” It is a time of the year when the days and nights are equal in length. That storms are more frequent and severe at such times is merely a …

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What are minnows?

March 24, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Zoology

Minnow, often corrupted into minnie, is popularly applied in the United States to any small fish irrespective of species. In British usage the term is applied only to a particular species, the smallest common food fish of the British Isles. American scientists restrict the term to a certain species of small fish belonging to the …

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Who, invented the postal card?

March 23, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

The use of postal cards was first suggested in 1865 by Heinrich von Stephan (1831-1897) when he was director of the Royal Prussian Post. Later Stephan became the first postmaster general of the German Empire and founded the International Postal Union, which became operative July 1, 1875, and which nearly all countries later joined. His …

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How did the New Orleans Mardi Gras originate?

March 22, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

Mardi Gras, pronounced mar-dee grah, literally means “fat Tuesday.” It is the French name of Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Shrove is the past tense of shrive (“confess”), and Shrove Tuesday is the day on which confession or shrift was made preparatory to the forty fast days of Lent. …

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