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Why is Rome called the Eternal City?

June 7, 2017 | Author: | Posted in History

Rome was known as the Eternal City even among the ancient Romans themselves. It was so called because the Roman people thought that no matter what happened to the world, no matter how many other empires might rise and fall, Rome would go on forever. Tibullus (54-18 B.C.), Roman elegiac poet, and Ovid (43 B.C.-17 A.D.), one of the …

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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What is meant by the black ox?

April 3, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Language

The black ox symbolizes old age, ill luck, care, adversity or trouble and misfortune in general. “The black ox has not trod on his nor her foot” is a proverbial expression recorded as early as 1546 by John Hey­wood. It means that one does not know the meaning of sorrow, such as having been visited …

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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How did “thumbs down” originate?

March 21, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Language

Thumbs up means approval; thumbs down, disapproval. These phrases are believed to have been suggested by the gestures made by the spectators at the gladiatorial combats staged by the ancient Romans for entertainment. The spectators were permitted to decide whether a vanquished gladiator should be put to death or permitted to live. If they clenched …

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What determined the width of standard gauge railroads?

March 9, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Trains

The standard gauge railroad is four feet eight and one half inches wide, measured from the inside of one rail to the inside of the other. This width was determined largely by chance. When tramways were first built in the English coal districts their width was made to conform to the gauge of the common …

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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. …

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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