Author Topic: Sharpen Your General Knowledge  (Read 21415 times)

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2011, 02:51:01 PM »
How Do Fish See in the Dark?

Since sunlight never reaches the deeper parts of the sea, these regions are always totally dark. Yet fish live here and swim about without bumping into each other.

How is this so? . . . Well, fish actually “see” without their eyes; they use other sensory organs.

The next time you catch a fish, look for a line running along its skin, from the gills to the tail. All fish have this marking, called the lateral line. All along the lateral line are openings in the fish’s skin. These openings allow water vibrations to reach sensory organs which are located under the lateral line.

These sensory organs, in turn, are connected to the fish’s nervous system, and are very sensitive to slight vibrations in the water.

By reading the vibrations in the water around it, a fish can tell when another fish is approaching, what direction it’s coming from, and how far away it is. The fish can also tell when a rock or other object is close by, because these objects cause vibrations as water flows around them.

So a fish can navigate through the darkness without striking another fish or a rock, and can “see” even in total darkness!
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2011, 03:23:15 PM »
Where Did the Word “Personality” Come From and How Did the Word “Persona” Originate?

In the Greek and Roman theatres, actors wore masks to indicate the different characters they were playing.

The Latin word for mask, persona, came to mean a personality other than that of the actor.

Today, persona, or personality, still refers to the mask a person wears to hide his or her true character while playing a role for the outside world.
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2011, 11:41:46 AM »
How did the Chinese make the Great Wall of China so long during the Ming Dynasty?

Initially, the Great Wall of China was built by thousands of people working for a total of seventeen straight years.

Many parts of the wall cover mass graves of the workers who died while building it. And it didn’t stop with the Qin dynasty.

For hundreds of more years during the Ming Dynasty, peasants, soldiers, prisoners of war, or criminals were pressed into working on the wall. There are terrible stories of hardships endured by the workers, living with extreme weather and under cruel circumstances.

Most knew that if you were picked to work on the wall, there was a good chance you’d never return home. That’s the basis for one of China’s most well-known, historical poems.

It was written in the first or second century by the poet Ch’en Lin, and it’s titled “Song: I Watered My Horse at the Long Wall Caves.”

Here are some parts of the poem from a translation from The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry:

I went and spoke to the Long Wall boss:

“We’re soldiers from Taiyuan, will you keep us here forever?”

“Public works go according to schedule, swing your hammer, pitch your voice in with the rest!” A man’d be better off to die in battle
Than eat his heart out building the Long Wall!

I sent a letter to my wife: “Better remarry than wait any longer, serve your new mother-in-law with care and sometimes remember the husband you once had.”
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2011, 11:57:56 AM »
How Does a Copying Machine Work?

When you put a piece of printed paper into a copying machine, a lens focuses the letters onto a drum or plate coated with a metal that is very sensitive to light.

This metal has an electric charge, but the electric charge disappears from the areas of the drum that the printing isn’t focused on, in other words, it disappears from all the “white” spaces on the page.

Next, the machine spreads a powder over the surface of the drum. This powder is electrically charged too, but it has a charge opposite to the charge of the metal on the drum. Since opposite electric charges attract each other, the powder sticks to all parts of the drum that are still charged, that is, to all the parts covered by the printing.

Finally, a piece of paper is pressed against the drum. Then an electric charge under the paper attracts the powder left on the drum. Since the powder had stuck only to the parts of the drum covered by the printing, the paper now contains a duplicate of the original page. Heat fuses the powder to the paper, and a finished copy rolls out of the machine.

Some copying machines are so fast that they can turn out two copies per second!
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2011, 02:41:23 PM »
How Long Will the Universe Exist?

Scientists have tried to figure out how long the universe will exist, but they haven’t been able to agree with one another yet.

Some scientists believe the universe will go on forever, even after all the stars are burnt out. The universe will then be completely dark and cold for the rest of time.

But other scientists believe that the universe will someday explode and start all over again. Right now, the universe is getting bigger, and all the stars are getting farther apart from one another.

Perhaps at some time in the distant future, the universe will begin to grow smaller, and all the stars will move toward one another. After many millions of years, all the matter in the universe will be crushed together in a small area, and then it will explode again, beginning the universe all over again!

Scientists have no way of knowing if the universe has already expanded, shrunk, and exploded many times!
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2011, 10:58:43 AM »
How fast are other galaxies moving away from us?

How fast other galaxies are moving away from us all depends on which galaxy, as they’re speeding away at different rates.

On top of that, everything that’s speeding away from the Milky Way is accelerating. Here’s a sampling on either end: One of the slower galaxies is speeding away at about 5,040,000 mph. That’s like going from one side of the United

States to the opposite side in about 2 seconds, give or take a little. One of the farther and faster galaxies is going so fast, it would take it about a second to go all the way around the world. It’s being clocked at about 93,600,000 mph.

The general rule is that the farther the galaxy is from the Milky Way, the faster it’s going.
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2011, 11:21:40 AM »
Why Do Some People Snore?

When you are asleep and relaxed, and breathing through your mouth rather than through your nose, the air coming out causes your soft palate, the tissue at the back and top of your mouth, to flutter back and forth. This fluttering, or vibration, makes a sound called a snore. Often this vibration causes the cheeks, lips, and nostrils to vibrate as well, causing an even louder snore.

Although many ways have been tried to stop snoring from tying a bandage from the chin to the top of the head to keep the mouth closed, to actually removing part of the soft palate, no one has found a sure-fire method. However, some people claim that if you sleep on your side rather than on your back, you are less likely to snore. Nobody knows why, but men snore more than women and children.

The loudest snore recorded has been measured at 69 decibels, or almost as loud as a pneumatic drill!
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2011, 12:19:54 PM »
Why Do Fish Jump Out of Their Tanks and What Is the Best Way To Prevent Fish From Jumping Out of the Tank?

Fish jumping out of tanks small or large is quite a common problem for enthusiasts, and is the reason why some owners choose to have a glass cover on the top of their aquarium.

There are several theories as to why fish might jump from a small aquarium.

It has been suggested that one reason fish leap from the water is that in the wild they use this method to attempt to rid themselves of parasites.

Depending on the gender and species mix of the fish in their aquarium, it is possible that their fish could have been leaping to avoid predators or unpleasant interactions with other creatures.

They could even be showing off to fish of the opposite sex, in some previously unknown courtship or territorial ritual.

In the meantime, our sincere condolences go out to all those who have lost a fish to a death by jumping.

To captive fish, the air on the other side of the aquarium glass looks like water.

And even in fish world, the water is always cleaner on the other side.

As mentioned when we first spoke, a cover on top of the tank would stop future jumpers from killing themselves.

Just remember to leave enough room for them to breathe.
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2011, 12:46:32 PM »
Why Is There No Gravity in Space?

There certainly is gravity in space! If there wasn’t, the moon wouldn’t revolve around the earth, and the planets wouldn’t revolve around the sun.

The strength of the force of gravity between any two objects depends on two factors: the mass of the two objects and the distance between them. The heavier the objects are, the stronger the gravitational force between them. The greater the distance between them, the weaker this gravitational force.

If two objects are very massive, as in the case of the sun and the earth, then the gravitational force between them will be strong, even when they’re far apart. That’s why the earth is held in its orbit by the gravitational pull of the sun, even though the sun is 93 million miles away.

The mass of a spaceship is very small compared to the mass of the earth or the sun. As a spaceship moves away from earth, the gravitational pull of the earth decreases until it is too weak to have an effect on the spaceship. But at every point in the universe, there is some gravitational force working on every object.
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2011, 03:19:17 PM »
How Did the Planets Get Their Names?

We know there are nine planets. But in ancient times, people knew of only six: the earth and the five planets that can be seen without a telescope.

Venus, the brightest planet in our sky, was named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty.

Mercury, the fastest- moving planet, was named after the fleet-footed messenger of the gods.

Mars was named after the Roman god of war.

Saturn was named after the Roman god of farming.

Jupiter, the largest planet, took its name from the Romans’ chief god.

The planet Uranus wasn’t discovered until 1781, and was originally called Georgium, after King George III, who ruled England at the time. But it was soon decided that since all the other planets took their names from ancient gods, the new planet should also. It was then named after the Greek god of the sky.

Next to be discovered was Neptune, in 1846. It was originally called Leverrier after the man who first sighted it, but was later named after the Roman god of the sea.

And Pluto, discovered in 1930, was named after the Roman god of the dead.
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2011, 03:03:25 PM »
Who Invented Time and How Did Ancient Civilizations Keep Track of Time?

No one invented time; it was merely discovered.

Early humans were aware of time passing and at some point began marking it.

Archeologists continue to uncover ancient civilizations that devised elaborate methods of keeping track of the movement of the sun and the stars.

Stonehenge is one example.

The earliest clock, a shadow clock similar to a sundial, dates back to 3500 B.C.

The hourglass dates back almost as far.

As cultures advanced, the mechanical clock was invented and then the pendulum clock.

By the 18th century, more and more people had access to clocks and watches and were able to keep time more accurately themselves.

Today we use a 24-hour clock and have the world divided into 24 time zones.

The zones start at zero at the original site of the Greenwich Observatory in Greenwich, England.

We go by what is called the Scientific Standard of Time, based on the second, which is defined by scientists as “the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of radiation” and in other circles as “one Mississippi.”
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2011, 05:44:25 PM »
What Does the Expression “Bumper Crop” Mean and Where Did the Saying Come From?

A “bumper crop” is a result of extraordinary abundance.

You can have a bumper business, bumper crowds, or bumper crops.

This ancient use of bumper comes from a drinking goblet called a “bumper,” which was filled to the brim when used for toasts.

While quaffing a bumper of ale, drinkers touched, or bumped these goblets against one another during a festive or celebratory occasion such as an excellent harvest, business growth, or full houses at theatrical performances.
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2011, 05:46:23 PM »
What Are the Names of the Jacks and Queens in a Deck of Cards and How Did They Originate?

In a deck of cards the jacks are Hector, prince of Troy; La Hire, comrade-in-arms of Joan of Arc; Ogier, a knight of Charlemagne; and Judas Maccabeus, who led the Jewish rebellion against the Syrians.

The queens are Pallas, a warrior goddess; Rachel, Biblical mother of Joseph; Judith, from the book of Judith; and Argine, which is an anagram for regina, the Latin word for queen.

Parisian card names by suit:

Spades: (queen) Pallas, (jack) Ogier Hearts: (queen) Judith, (jack) La Hire Diamonds: (queen) Rachel, (jack) Hector Clubs: (queen) Argine, (jack) Judas.
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2011, 06:13:31 PM »
Where Did the Words Right and Left Come From and What Do the Terms Mean?

The word right surfaced in English as riht and meant “straight.”

To put things right is to straighten them out.

Right took the metaphorical meaning of “good” or “just,” as in the Bill of Rights, because most people were right-handed.

The suggestion that left is incorrect was understood, like in a “left-handed compliment,” which is an insult.

The word right became a synonym for correct, but left was evil and so was left alone.
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2011, 06:20:47 PM »
How Does Your Tongue Taste Food?

Look in the mirror and stick out your tongue. See the little bumps on the surface of it? Inside each of these little bumps, or papillae, are about a dozen tiny organs called taste buds. There are also taste buds in three places in your throat. Not all tastes are detected by the same taste buds. Each group of taste buds in different areas of your tongue and throat helps you recognize different types of taste sensations: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.

When you put a piece of food in your mouth, the chemicals in it alert the taste buds to carry “taste messages” through your nerve cells to your brain. It is in your brain that you actually become aware of the taste of something.

Since your food and your tongue must be moist for the taste buds to start working, your body sends out saliva to mix with any dry foods. To understand how this works, you can try an experiment. Wipe your tongue very dry and then put a lump of sugar in your mouth. Do you find that you cannot taste the sugar? That’s because your body hasn’t yet started to produce the saliva to dissolve the sugar for you to taste. However, in a minute or two, when that saliva is produced, you are able to taste it.

You have about 3,000 taste buds on your tongue!
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"