Sharpen Your General Knowledge

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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #45 on: April 04, 2011, 09:19:04 AM »
Why do migrating birds fly in a V formation?

Migrating birds fly in a V formation because it gives them the best of both worlds, reducing air resistance while allowing the geese or ducks in the back to see where they’re going.

Think of the V formation as the front of a boat cutting a path through water.

The first fowl in the V formation cuts through the air and blocks some of the air and wind resistance for the two birds behind it, allowing them to glide through the air using less energy.

Those birds do the same for the ones behind them, and so on all the way through the V. In this way, the birds can travel long distances with fewer rest stops during migration.

When the front bird gets tired, it drops back, and another takes its place at the front.
"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 #46 on: April 06, 2011, 05:12:21 PM »
Which Other Birds Lay Eggs in Another Mother Bird’s Nest Besides Cuckoos and Why?

The South American black-headed duck, the African honeyguides, and the whydas are some examples of parasitic breeder birds.

cowbird

The best known bird to North Americans that lays eggs in other nests is the brown-headed cowbird.

These birds have actually evolved the capability to mimic the size and color of other birds’ eggs. Aiding their survival further, they’re well-known song mimics as well.

Cowbirds have been raised by at least 206 different species of birds.

Sure, we humans can get sick and tired of raising our own kids, especially after hearing another one of those long, grueling explanations of why Dark Charazard can whip Ancient Mew in a Pokemon battle.

But birds, presumably, don’t shirk their parenting responsibilities for emotional reasons.

So why do these birds lay their eggs elsewhere? It’s a matter of simple reproduction, really.

When a bird drops off her young in another bird’s nest, it frees her up to do more egg-laying.
"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 #47 on: April 06, 2011, 05:16:03 PM »
How Fast Is the Earth Moving Though Space?

How fast earth is moving through space depends on what you’re comparing it to.

The Earth is moving in several different directions at the same time, each at breakneck speed.

Rotating on its axis, the Earth goes 460 meters a second (roughly 1,000 miles per hour) at the equator.

Going around the sun, the Earth moves about 30 kilometers per second (roughly 67,000 miles per hour).

Our solar system whirls around the center of our galaxy at about 220 kilometers per second (about 490,000 miles per hour).

Meanwhile, our entire galaxy is traveling at a speed of about 1,000 kilometers per second (620 miles per hour) toward a region of space called the Great Attractor, which is about 150 million light years away. Hold on tight!
"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 #48 on: April 06, 2011, 05:20:13 PM »
Does the Sun Move?

In ancient times, as people watched the sun move across the sky each day, they thought that the sun traveled around the earth.

Scientists later found out that the sun remains in one place while the earth and the other planets travel around it. But we know now that the sun moves too!

The sun is just one star in a huge group of stars called a galaxy. Our galaxy, called the Milky Way, is spinning around like a phonograph record. And the sun is traveling around the center of the galaxy at a speed of about 481,000 miles per hour. At that speed, the sun will travel around the center of the Milky Way once in about 225 million years.

The Milky Way itself is moving around the center of a group of galaxies, like a planet moving around the sun. And this group of galaxies may be traveling around the center of the universe. So the sun is really moving in two or three directions at once!

Like the sun, all other stars are traveling through space at high speeds, but they’re so far away that to us, they look like they never move!
"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 #49 on: April 10, 2011, 02:24:57 PM »
How Does a Radio Work?

At the radio studio, the sound waves of a program go into a microphone that has electrical current running through it. These sound waves create vibrations in the current as they travel through wires to a control room.

There, technicians control their volume and send them out through a transmitter. An antenna on the transmitter sends these electrical waves out through the air as radio waves. Radio waves travel through space in all directions, just as waves of water spread out when a pebble is dropped into it.

Each radio station is assigned a particular channel, or electrical path, by the Federal Communications Commission. This channel, called the station’s frequency, must be followed exactly.

You cannot see, hear, or feel radio waves in the air, but the radio in your home, which has an antenna either on the inside or outside, picks up these waves from many stations at the same time. By turning the tuning dial, you can select the station you want to listen to.

What happens is that the current in your radio tunes in to the same frequency as the radio waves sent out by the station you have chosen. An amplifier in your radio strengthens these radio waves, and the speaker changes them back into the original sound waves that went into the microphone in the studio.

Because radio waves travel at the speed of light, 186,282 miles per second, a listener in New York hears a program broadcast from California a fraction of a second before the audience in the broadcasting studio hears it!
"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 #50 on: April 11, 2011, 05:28:08 PM »
Why Is Human Blood Blue In the Body and Red When It Comes Out Through a Cut or Wound?

Human blood is always red, even blood in the body that is oxygen-deprived and heading back toward the lungs to refuel.

Veins close to the skin show through as purply blue or greyish blue because that’s their color.

The term blue blood as it’s used regarding royalty comes from the fact that royalty didn’t get outside much. Peasants and regular workers were browned by the sun, so their blue veins were less likely to show.

The white skin of European nobles showed off their blue veins, and people assumed their blood was blue as well.
"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 #51 on: April 11, 2011, 05:29:28 PM »
Why does Earth seem to stand still while the Sun moves across the sky?

Earth is moving around the Sun at about 1,100 miles (1,800 kilometers) a minute, but there isn’t anything close by to show us how fast we’re moving.

Traveling in a car, you see nearby bushes and buildings rushing by, but mountains in the distance don’t seem to move at all. If we had other satellites (objects orbiting Earth) close by along the route of Earth’s orbit, we’d see how fast we were going. But the stars are like the mountains, too far away to help us judge our speed.

While Earth revolves around the Sun, it also rotates on its own axis, one rotation every 24 hours. We don’t feel either of these movements because we move right along with Earth.

On the average, you take a breath every 6 seconds. With every breath, you—and Earth have gone approximately 100 miles (180 kilometers).
"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 #52 on: April 16, 2011, 06:03:54 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.
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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #53 on: April 16, 2011, 06:04:27 PM »
Where Did the Term “Blueblood” For the Aristocrats Come From and What Does the Word Mean?

The name bluebloods refers to the pallor of the Spanish ruling classes after the conquest of the darker skinned Moors.

After the blood in them loses oxygen while flowing back to the heart, the veins of fair or untanned people whose skin is never exposed to the sun appear blue.

The veins of those with darker complexions, however, like the Moors, are less obvious.

Their blue blood distinguished true Spanish aristocracy from the conquering Moors.
"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 #54 on: April 16, 2011, 06:11:16 PM »
Why Aren’t Sunrises as Colorful as Sunsets?

Well, don’t underestimate the time-of-day factor: for most humans, nearly everything looks better at 8:00 P.M. than at 5:30 A.M.

However, in this case you’re right—on most days, sunsets are much more brilliantly colored than sunrises. It doesn’t make sense, since most of the same conditions are in place for each—a sun in a low sky sending rays careening through Earth’s atmosphere. So what gives?

Credit humanity. Or rather, blame us. During the day we generate the bulk of our traffic exhaust and factory smoke, which lingers long enough to give brilliance to our sunsets.

During the night, much of the pollution gets blown away from population centers, so less of the blue light gets scattered, resulting in less intense reds and yellows in sunrises than in sunsets.
"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 #55 on: April 16, 2011, 06:12:40 PM »
Is It Always Worth It to Fight With Your Employer About How They Are Treating You?

It is accurate to say that at one time or another every employee is unhappy or annoyed with what goes on at work. These problems can come from the owners, managers, supervisors, co-workers, the amount of work to be done, or any irritant. Even the building where the work is done may cause problems. The employee must evaluate the problem. Is it an issue that can be resolved by an attorney? Does an attorney even need to be involved? Is it a health issue? Is it a legal issue? Is it something that can be fixed?

I receive many calls from employees who believe that they have legitimate legal grievances against their employers only to find out that the grievance is not covered by any current laws. This could be due to the employer not having a sufficient number of employees or that the unfair action is not considered to be discrimination by the law. Many times these issues involve departments where one group of employees gossips about another group who are all the same in age, sex, race, etc. Or it can be an issue of certain employees being friends with some people and not with others. These may be issues that not only are not covered by the law but are not even covered by the company rules.

For most employees, once they find out that their complaints cannot go anywhere in the court system, they drop the fight and go on working at the same company. However, there are some people who continue to fight even when there is no legitimate way to resolve their issues in a legal venue. The continuation of fighting may include filing lots of internal grievances, writing memos, spending time concentrating on the problem rather than work, or merely telling anyone who will listen about the issue. Or the continuation of fighting may include meeting with several attorneys until the employee finds one who is willing to sue the employer.

From the employer’s standpoint it is difficult to keep an employee who spends time being disgruntled and spreading his or her negativity to other workers. It is hard on the employer to have an employee who will not let go of a problem, especially when the problem has no real solution. This snowballs into poor reviews, promotions not given, and other lost career benefits, which in turn gives the disgruntled employee additional issues to complain about.

We are living in an economy where employers can outsource thousands of jobs, lay off entire plants, or terminate large numbers of people without any warning and without any employment law consequences. Employees must keep this in mind every day. There is no guarantee that work will ever be a fun place to be, and there is no guarantee that your boss will be fair. Once you have looked at all your options and have been told that there is nothing that can be done about the problem, you need to let it go and get back to work. I will leave you with what an Illinois appellate judge once told me: “In employment law, unfair is not always illegal.”
"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 #56 on: April 17, 2011, 10:55:09 AM »
Was Napoleon Bonaparte executed after being exiled as leader of France?

No, Napoleon Bonaparte was not executed after being exiled as leader of France.

He tried unsuccessfully to officially step down and have his son put on the throne.

But when that idea was rejected, he abdicated voluntarily anyway and was exiled to the island of Elba in the Mediterranean. His wife and only child were sent to live with his father-in-law—the emperor of Austria—and he never saw them again.

He did, however, manage to escape Elba. In 1815, he returned to France, rallied the troops, and marched on to Paris. He quickly tried to make peace with his former enemies but was refused.

When pushed to battle, he was defeated by the British at the battle of Waterloo.

Despite his popularity back home, Britain and its allies exiled him once more—this time for good—to the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean, where he died of stomach cancer six years later.
"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 #57 on: April 17, 2011, 06:33:16 PM »
Why are clouds white when water is transparent and air is clear?

Clouds consist of millions of tiny water droplets.

Light waves of all the colors bounce and reflect off and refract through the water droplets evenly, sending all of the various colors off in (more or less) equal measure.

As you may remember from school, the “color” white is technically all of the colors mixed together.

Because all of the colors are being evenly dispersed by the water droplets, clouds appear white. We think this is kinda cool, because if clouds weren’t white, the sky would be blue all day and everyday, forever. And that would be pretty boring.
"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 #58 on: April 18, 2011, 10:22:40 AM »
What Was Edwin Hubble’s Most Amazing Discovery and How Did Hubble Discover That the Universe Is Expanding?

In the nineteenth century, astronomers discovered that studying the light emitted from a star, a study known as spectrum analysis, revealed what elements stars are made of.

Changes in a star’s spectrum indicate the movement of the star, and analysis could determine the star’s speed and direction.

It was revealed that stars only appear fixed in the sky because of their great distance from Earth. They are actually moving at tremendous speeds.

At the same time that Edwin Hubble was fixing the galaxies’ location, the American astronomer Vesto Melvin Slipher was using spectrum analysis to determine their velocities.

He measured 41 galaxies and found their speed was as staggering as their distance. Their average speed was 375 miles per second, and all of them were moving away from Earth.

Hubble took the experiment one step further. He measured the distance to 24 of the galaxies Slipher had measured and noticed something strange.

The farther away the galaxy, the faster it was moving, and the galaxies were moving away from each other at a rate constant to the distance between them. He saw only one explanation: the universe was expanding.

Over the years, Hubble confirmed his findings by measuring 150 galactic velocities.

The finding became known as Hubble’s law. He also realized that with such distances involved and the time it takes light to travel, observers on Earth are also looking far back in time.

For example, light from the Sun takes about eight minutes to reach Earth, so we see the Sun as it appeared only eight minutes before.

However, light from the farthest visible stars, 12 billion light-years away, has taken 12 billion years to reach Earth.

We see these stars as they appeared 12 billion years ago, or around the time of the birth of the universe.

Many years before Hubble’s findings, the physicist Albert Einstein had theorized that the universe is expanding.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2011, 10:24:13 AM by Shamim Ansary »
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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #59 on: April 24, 2011, 02:29:21 PM »
What Is a Microclimate?

When you notice that the temperature forecast in your local media is consistently warmer or colder than that which occurs in your neighborhood, you have identified a microclimate.

Light, temperature, and moisture may all vary from one area to another within a biome because of changes in altitude, vegetation, or other factors.

San Francisco is an example of a city with microclimates and submicroclimates, and the San Francisco Bay area can have a wide range of extremes in temperature.
"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"