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Why is the shamrock Ireland’s national emblem?

May 18, 2017 | Author: | Posted in History

The shamrock is believed to have become the national emblem of Ireland as the result of a traditional incident in the life of St. Patrick. The patron saint of Ireland, it is said, appeared in 433 A.D. before a large group of Irish pagan chieftains and druids assembled on Slane Hill near Tarn. During one …

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Is quicksilver mined?

May 17, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Science

Quicksilver is the popular name of mercury, a heavy silver-white element. It is unique among the metallic elements in that it remains liquid at ordinary temperatures. Mercury occurs in nature in a free state, both in lodes and placer deposits, but only in small quantities. Commercial mercury is obtained chiefly from cinnabar ore, the sulphide …

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How are death masks made?

May 11, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

A death mask is made by applying some kind of plaster, such as plaster of Paris, to the face after the skin has been treated with oil to prevent the plaster from adhering too closely. After the plaster has hardened it is removed, and into the mold thus formed fresh plaster or some other material …

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Was Cleopatra a blonde or brunette?

April 9, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Celebrities

There is just as much reason for supposing that Cleopatra was a blonde as there is for supposing that she was a brunette. According to the popu­lar conception, she was a decided brunette, with dark skin, dark eyes and dark hair, and she is frequently referred to as the “dark queen of Egypt.” But historical …

What is a madstone?

March 14, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Alternative Medicine

Madstones are certain objects popularly believed to have the power of “sucking” poison from wounds made by mad dogs and venomous snakes. They are supposed to be especially efficacious in preventing hydrophobia or rabies. Belief in the magical properties of madstones was formerly almost universal in America. Abraham Lincoln believed in madstones and when his …

Who discovered that the earth is a sphere?

February 27, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Geography

That the earth is a sphere was one of the discoveries made by Pythag­oras, a Greek philosopher who lived in the sixth century B.C. The researches of Anaximander had prepared the way for the discovery, and the doctrine of the spherical form of the earth was taught by Parmeni­dies, who was associated with the Pythagoreans. …

What is meant by cleaning the Augean stables?

February 15, 2017 | Author: | Posted in History

Augeas (pronounced aw-jee-us) was a legendary king of Elis in Greece who possessed a herd of three thousand sacred oxen whose stalls had not been cleaned for thirty years. The cleaning of these stables in a single day (as the sixth of the twelve difficult and dangerous labors imposed upon Hercules by Eurystheus, King of Argolis. …

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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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When did the round “s” supplant the long “s”?

January 15, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Literature

The modern form of the letter s began to be used in print to the exclusion of the old f form or long s about the time of the American Revolution. Before that time it was customary for printers to use both forms of the letter. The long or cursive s was used any place …

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What is the origin of the bridal veil?

December 7, 2016 | Author: | Posted in History, Weddings

The wedding or bridal veil is believed to be a survival of an ancient superstition dating back to the time of the Greeks and Romans, if not much earlier. It was first worn to conceal and protect the bride from evil spirits that it was thought would harm her if she were not veiled. Perhaps …

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