Author Topic: Sharpen Your General Knowledge  (Read 21396 times)

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2011, 06:21:50 PM »
What Does the Power of Attorney Mean and Where Did the Term Come From?

If you give somebody “power of attorney,” that doesn’t mean they suddenly become a lawyer.

It simply means they can legally sign papers and make decisions for you in the area in which you’ve given them that power.

In many, perhaps most, cases, lawyers are given power of attorney, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

The British have several additional terms for people who practise law.

Lawyer is a general term describing all of them. Solicitors do most of the office work, draft documents, talk to clients, and may only appear as advocates in the lower courts.

Barristers do most of the trial work, especially in the higher courts, where they are the only ones who may act as advocates.

Attorney has pretty much the same meaning in Britain as in America, one who acts on behalf of another.
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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2011, 06:24:11 PM »
Why is a Marathon 26.2 miles instead of exactly 26 miles and how did it originate?

The length of a Marathon is yet another distance forever changed by the British royalty.

The marathon used to be less than 26 miles. For the modern Olympics in 1896, the marathon distance was determined by the distance from Marathon Bridge, where the race began, to the Olympic stadium in Athens, 24.85 miles, or an even 40 kilometers.

In 1908, the distance was lengthened to an even 26 miles as it ran between Windsor Castle and White City stadium.

But another 385 yards were tacked on to the end so that the race could finish right in front of the royal family’s viewing box. For some reason, the 1908 distance stuck.

In 1921 the International Amateur Athletic Foundation (IAAF) officially adopted the 1908 distance of 26 miles, 385 yards (26.2 miles or 42 kilometers) as the marathon distance.
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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2011, 06:26:50 PM »
What Does the Word “Gymnasium” Mean in Greek and How Did the Word “Stadium” Originate?

The word gymnasium is from the Greek word gymnos, which means “nude.”

Thus, gymnasium literally means “a school for naked exercise.”

The first Olympic event for the nude male athletes, or gymnasts, was a foot race known as a stade.

It was also a Greek unit of measurement for the distance of the race, which was six hundred feet, and that is why the facility was called a stadium.
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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2011, 06:30:24 PM »
Can You See into the Past?

It may sound impossible, but it’s easy. You look into the past every night when you see the stars!

We measure the distance between stars in light- years. A light-year is the distance that light travels in one year, about six trillion miles!

When you look at a star that is ten light-years away, you’re really seeing light that left the star ten years ago, and has been traveling through space since then. That means that you’re actually looking at the star as it was ten years ago.

Astronomers have found stars that are eight billion light-years away. If you were to look at these distant stars, you would be looking far into the past, long before the earth existed.

In fact, some of the stars you look at tonight may not even exist anymore!
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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2011, 12:52:09 PM »
Why Do Clouds Float In the Air If They Are Made of Water?

Despite looking really weightless, clouds are actually heavy.

Even small, fluffy clouds are heavy.

The water in small clouds can weigh more than million pounds, which is more than 500 cars.

Clouds are able to float in the air because water vapor in the cloud is less dense than water in a liquid state.

Furthermore, clouds are usually formed in air that is moving upward.

So, as long as the water is in the form of tiny droplets, it floats in the warm up-currents.

It’s only when the air cools that the mist condenses into large drops and the downward pull of gravity trumps the upward push of rising air.

Then rain falls.
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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2011, 09:11:15 AM »
How Is the Correct Time Decided?

Ancient man probably measured time by daylight and darkness, or by the rising and setting of the sun. He also probably noticed that as the earth turned, the sun was directly over his head only once a day, in the middle of the day. This he called midday.

But this midday time was different in different parts of the ancient world since the sun is seen differently, depending on the location from which man was looking at it.

When travel was slow hundreds of years ago and no radios, telephones, or television connected all parts of the world, this was not too much of a problem. But as people all over the world needed to be more and more in contact with each other, a correct reference to time was needed.

In 1884, an international conference was held in Washington, D.C. to set up a time system for the world. Using knowledge man had gained from the ancient Babylonians, who had divided the circle of the earth into 360°, the scientists divided the earth into 24 time zones, each one covering 15° of longitude, and totaling 360°. Each time zone differed from the one next to it by one hour, since the earth rotates 15° in one hour.

The conference also decided that the starting point of noon would be an imaginary longitudinal line running through Greenwich, England. Heading east, the next time zone, one hour later, would be 1 P.M. when it was noon in Greenwich. Heading west, the next time zone would be one hour earlier, 11 A.M., when it was noon in Greenwich.

Since New York is 5 time zones west of Greenwich, or 5 hours earlier, it is 7 A.M. in New York when it is noon in Greenwich. Tokyo, Japan, is 9 time zones east of Greenwich, or 9 hours later, so it is 9 P.M. in Tokyo when it is noon in Greenwich.

The place on the globe where the point 12 hours east of Greenwich meets the point 12 hours west of Greenwich is called the International Date Line. It is exactly us, halfway around the world, 180° from Greenwich, and runs through the Pacific Ocean.

A traveler heading west from the United States towards Japan on Sunday would cross the International Date Line and find that it was then Monday. When he returned from Japan, say on Tuesday, he would cross the International Date Line and find himself back on Monday.

A traveler crossing the International Date Line can actually live through 2 Tuesdays (or 2 of any day) in one week!
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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2011, 01:02:27 PM »
What is the Russian Federation and When Did the Soviet Union Collapse and Form 15 Independent Republics?

The Russian Federation is Russia’s offical name.

The Russian Federation, which occupies about three-fourths of the land that once was the Soviet Union, is made up of 21 autonomous republics, 50 oblasts (or regions), 6 krays (or provinces), 2 federal cities (Moscow and St. Petersburg), 1 autonomous oblast, and 10 autonomous okrugs (or autonomous territories).

Russia is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects.

An unsuccessful military coup directed against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in August 1991 led to the collapse of the Soviet Union which resulted in the formation of the Russian Federation.

The USSR officially dissolved in December 1991 and Boris Yeltsin was elected the President of Russia.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 01:04:34 PM by Shamim Ansary »
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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2011, 04:11:58 PM »
Why Are There So Many Different Types of Rain From Heavy To Light and What Causes Different Raindrop Sizes?

Elongated stair rods are an illusion. Large raindrops actually tend to be flattened by air resistance.

When they land they are called in Afrikaans, and I understand, in Welsh, “old women with clubs.” The circular sheet of splashing water suggests a wide skirt and the centrally rebounding droplet a cudgel.

Droplet size is the main factor in creating different kinds of rain.

This depends on conditions at the time of formation, particularly humidity, temperature, and the number of airborne nuclei such as dust particles.

For example, moderate numbers of nuclei in moist updrafts tend to promote drops that grow large, because there is plenty of water for them and they cannot come down before they grow heavy enough to fall faster than they are lifted.

When nuclei are crowded they compete with each other and can only form small droplets that may evaporate before they reach the ground.

In still air, big drops fall fast and hard.

Drops that are about 0.4 inch in diameter reach speeds of around 20 miles per hour, at which point their own slipstream tears them into smaller droplets, unless they are partly frozen. This limits raindrop size.

However, a large number of falling raindrops can create a downdraft, increasing the downward velocity a drop can achieve without splitting, while strong horizontal winds can more than double the speed of impact.

Rainfall intensity depends mainly on the depth of the cloud and the strength of the updrafts.

Rapidly rising air produces fast condensation of water droplets and large amounts of rain, mostly when the cloud extends high enough for ice crystals to form among supercooled water droplets.

Shallow clouds with weak updrafts only give drizzle, which rarely falls faster than 10 feet per second. Large raindrops can reach a terminal velocity of about 32 feet per second.

Their fall speed increases with size until the diameter approaches 0.25 inches, at which point wind resistance flattens the base, increases the drag and prevents further acceleration.

However, if the rain is caught in a “downburst” where an air column is descending at 65 feet per second or more, the rain hits the ground harder. Downbursts are often associated with cumulonimbus clouds that contain almost vertical air currents. The weight of precipitation in the cloud may be enough to trigger a downburst.

Rain from deep flat cloud layers is usually caused by slow diagonal ascent along a sloping frontal surface.

Such rain is persistent but seldom heavy. This can change if prolonged lifting makes the layer unstable. Then massive turrets containing strong updrafts grow vertically out of the layer.

These can produce heavy downpours from a cloud mass which had previously only given moderate rain.
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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2011, 04:14:27 PM »
How long does an earthquake last?

If you count tremors prior to the quake and aftershocks, earthquakes can last for months. But the central event lasts only seconds or minutes.

The great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 began when the ground shuddered for about a minute at 5:11 A.M., April 18. Ten seconds of quiet followed. At 5:12 A.M., the major quake-7.9 on the Richter scale—began.

Three minutes later, it was over, leaving thousands of buildings in pieces, broken gas mains, buckled streets, and raging fires. Ultimately, 75 percent of the city was destroyed.

The disastrous earthquake in Mexico City on the morning of September 19, 1985, also lasted 3 minutes. In that time, 250 buildings were leveled. The next day another quake destroyed another 150 buildings and put a stop to the first earthquake’s relief work.
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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2011, 09:36:39 AM »
How Can You Pass 24 Hours in Less Than 60 Minutes?

The lines that divide the world’s time zones meet at the North and South Poles, so the zones get narrower as they near’ the poles.

An Alaskan airline offers a flight over the Arctic regions that includes a circular flight around the North Pole. If you were to circle the North Pole, you’d pass through all the world’s times zones in less than an hour!

If it were noon when you started to circle the pole, you’d soon pass the line marking the beginning of the next time zone, and it would become one o’clock. A few minutes later, you’d have to move your watch ahead another hour.

As the flight continued, you’d keep moving your watch ahead, past midnight, through the morning, until you returned to your starting point, before clocks there had reached one o’clock.
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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #40 on: March 23, 2011, 05:03:41 PM »
What Is the Most Common Symbol on the Flags of the World?

The United States is not the only country with stars on its flag.

In fact, about 50 other countries have at least one star on their flag, making the star the most common symbol on the flags of the world.

The second most popular symbol is the crescent, which appears on nine flags.
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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #41 on: March 27, 2011, 06:42:43 PM »
What Is the Most Common Symbol on the Flags of the World?

The United States is not the only country with stars on its flag.

In fact, about 50 other countries have at least one star on their flag, making the star the most common symbol on the flags of the world.

The second most popular symbol is the crescent, which appears on nine flags.
"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 #42 on: March 27, 2011, 06:44:23 PM »
How Do Birds Know Their Migratory Path and How Do Homing Pigeons Find Their Way Home?

Birds are known to use a combination of things, including landmarks, the angle of the sun, stars, odors, even the magnetic field of the earth, as they migrate.

However, scientists still do not know exactly what they use for a map and compass, let alone exactly how they use them.

A flock of birds, for example, is not just headed to a general geographical area like Central America, but to a very specific location.

How do they know when they get there?

They may have an intimate knowledge of the local area, but how they are able to navigate so precisely, even over the ocean at night, is not known.

What might seem an obvious explanation, that birds who have migrated before might lead the way, is not the answer.

Ornithologists know this because in many cases the parents bail out first before the end of the year, and the young continue to feed until they are developed enough to leave, then migrate unassisted.

It appears that birds know where they are going, though they have never been there before, because it is programmed in the genetic material.

Most of the research has been done on the compass.

For example, even on cloudy days, there is a plane of polarized light that lets birds tell where the sun is, and they derive directional information from that.

But if you are plunked down in the woods from outer space, a compass won’t help you decide where to go, and one hundred years of research on the homing pigeon still has not answered the question of how a bird carried a hundred miles in a covered box immediately orients itself and heads accurately for home.
"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 #43 on: March 27, 2011, 06:46:56 PM »
What Makes the Sound When You Snap Your Fingers?

When you snap your fingers, the fingertip hits the pad of the thumb in the palm and makes a smacking sound.

If you do it just right, it can be pretty loud.

Count it with me, five six seven eight.

“Snap Your Fingers” is also a song written by Grady Martin and Alex Zanetis, originally recorded by gospel singer Joe Henderson in 1962.

Finger snapping may be used as a substitute for hand clapping, because you can’t clap and hold a beer at the same time.

Snapping is also done at posh speeches and announcements as it is less disruptive than rowdy hand clapping.
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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #44 on: March 28, 2011, 05:36:57 PM »
Do Birds Fly At Night When They Are Migrating?

Not all birds fly at night when they migrate. Some birds do most of their flying at night, while others get most of their traveling done in the daytime. Scientists believe that stronger birds prefer the day journey and weaker birds feel safer at night.

Most of the daytime fliers are birds that capture their food in the air or must fly great distances to obtain it.

Day fliers include swifts and swallows, which feed as they fly, and herons, geese, ducks, and hawks, all strong fliers that must travel a long way to find food.

Night fliers are generally smaller birds, such as creepers, wrens, thrashers, warblers, tanangers, and sparrows. These night fliers can find food more easily during the daytime when they eat and rest. The dark also offers more protection from enemies.

« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 11:17:36 AM by Shamim Ansary »
"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"