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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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Why does “T.L.” mean a compliment?

March 7, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

The letters T.L., when used to mean a compliment, are the abbreviation of trade last. These words acquired the meaning of an offer to give a compliment in exchange for one from the playful custom of a person saying to one of the opposite sex, “I have a trade last for you,” meaning that if …

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Which is correct, “cent” or “penny”?

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

Penny is not the official and legal designation of any coin minted by the United States. It is merely a colloquial name for the American one-cent piece.¬†Penny, however, has been applied to the American cent since the beginning of the United States coinage system. Until after the Revolution the English penny circulated freely in the …

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How do shears and scissors differ?

February 21, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

In the United States shears and scissors are often used interchangeably. As a rule, however, shears is employed when the implement is large and scissors when it is small. All such instruments having a total length of six inches or less are called scissors in the hardware trade; those exceeding six inches in length are …

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What is meant by Plimsoll’s mark?

February 10, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

Plimsoll’s mark consists of a disk and letters painted in white on the outside of a British ship’s hull to indicate the limit to which the vessel may be loaded at various seasons in salt and in fresh water. It is, in other words, a “load line.” Plimsoll’s mark was named for Samuel Plimsoll (1824-1898), …

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Does a drowned man float face down and a woman face up?

February 5, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

There is a popular belief that the body of a drowned man floats face down and that of a drowned woman face up. The belief, however, is not confirmed by observation. Lifeguards who have seen hundreds of drowned persons say if it holds true in some cases it is probably owing to the difference in …

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What is quartered oak?

February 4, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

Quartered oak is oak lumber that has been quartersawed. It is not, like bird’s-eye maple, a wood with a peculiar grain. In order to produce the quarter-grain effect the oak log is first cut into quarters and then boards are sawed by cutting alternately from each face of the quarter. Such lumber not only shows …

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Why are opals considered unlucky?

February 3, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

The origin of the superstition that the opal is an unlucky stone and will bring misfortune and ill luck to its owner is obscure. Among the ancients the opal was prized above most other precious stones. According to Pliny, a Roman senator named Nonius had a large and beautiful opal that he valued at the …

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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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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 re¬≠markable 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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