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How did Greenland get its name?

April 20, 2017 | Posted in Language

Since the greater part of Greenland, the largest island in the world, is covered with ice and snow Whiteland would have been a more appropriate name for that island continent. According to a Scandinavian saga, in 985 A.D. Eric the Red named it Greenland to induce colonists from Iceland to settle in the new country. …

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How was Cape Horn named?

April 19, 2017 | Posted in Geography

General William Tecumseh Sherman says in his Memoirs: “In time we saw Cape Horn; an island rounded like an oven, after which it takes its name (Ornos) oven!’ Sherman may have defined war correctly, but he was in error about the origin of the name of Cape Horn. His error has been frequently imitated since …

What does U.S.S. mean in ship names?

April 18, 2017 | Posted in Military

U.S.S. preceding the names of vessels are the abbreviation of United States Ship. It is frequently but erroneously stated that the second S stands for Steamship or Steamer. But these letters were used in this connection before the days of steam-propelled vessels. They are used only with the names of vessels in the United States …

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What does f.o.b. mean?

April 17, 2017 | Posted in Language

F.o.b. is the abbreviation of the commercial phrase free on board. When used without a modifier, f.o.b. means that goods are to be delivered, at the seller’s expense, on the train, vessel, airplane, truck or other conveyance by which they are to be transported to the purchaser, who must pay the freight charges. The abbreviation …

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Why is Caucasian applied to the white race?

April 16, 2017 | Posted in Human Physiology

Johann Blumenbach (1752-184o), the German anthropologist, classified mankind into five races; namely, the Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, American and Malayan, corresponding respectively to the white, yellow, black, red and brown races. The finest and most perfectly proportioned skull in Blumenbach’s collection was from the Caucasus, the region between the Black and Caspian seas. He, therefore, took …

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Does odor have weight?

April 15, 2017 | Posted in Science

Odor is the name of the sensation produced when certain substances come in contact with the olfactory region. The term is also applied to the collective diminutive particles that produce this sensation. Very little is known about the sense of smell and it is a disputed question whether it depends on a chemical or physical …

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What is the fiscal year?

April 14, 2017 | Posted in Taxes

The fiscal year is the twelvemonth period between one annual time of settling accounts and another. The fiscal year of the United States Government begins July 1 and ends June 3o. It is always spoken of as being in the calendar year in which it ends. For instance, the fiscal year that ended June 3o, …

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How did “show the white feather” originate?

April 13, 2017 | Posted in Language

To show the white feather, which means to prove cowardly, retreat or back down, is a product of the cockpit. It was suggested by the old belief that a white feather in the tail of a gamecock was a sign that the fowl was crossbred and a mongrel, and consequently lacking in courage, pluck and …

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What is the meaning of “maru” in Japanese ship names?

April 12, 2017 | Posted in Shipping

Maru, pronounced mah-roo, is used in the names of Japanese merchant vessels to distinguish them from warships and other craft. For instance, Japanese name their ships “Yakiko Maru,” “Canberra Maru,” etc. Pop­ularly the word is regarded by Japanese as meaning simply “ship” or “steamship.” Just how it acquired this significance is not known for certain. …

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Is the silver fox a distinct species?

April 11, 2017 | Posted in Zoology

The silver fox is not a separate species. It is merely a phase of the red fox. The black fox, the platinum fox and the so-called cross fox also be­long to the red fox species. Typical silver foxes have a silvery appearance, due to the white tips on many of the hairs. The bushy tail …

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