Sharpen Your General Knowledge

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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #60 on: April 25, 2011, 05:23:34 PM »
How Much Water Do Clouds Hold and How Does the Size and Color of a Cloud Affect How Much Water It Can Hold?

The amount of water inside a cloud is not different from the amount of water in the clear air around it.

However, while the clear air contains water vapor, inside the cloud the air is saturated with water vapor and it has condensed out to produce the cloud.

The difference between the two states is caused by temperature differences rather than the water content.

The color of a cloud doesn’t make much difference either.

In the higher part of a cloud, the water is in the form of ice crystals. Lower down it is a mixture of ice and liquid water. The color of the cloud depends mainly on this ice/water mixture and the size of the water droplets, and less on the total amount of water.

An estimate of a cloud’s water content can be obtained from the amount of rain the cloud can produce.

If the entire atmosphere were saturated with water and it all fell in a steady stream, this could produce some 1.4 inches of rain, while the thickest actual clouds produce about 0.8 inches.

Cloudbursts can produce 2 inches or more, but this requires additional moisture from the surrounding atmosphere, which means such events are localized.

The heaviest cloudbursts roughly follow the following equation: the rainfall in inches equals 162.5 multiplied by the square root of the time in minutes that it has been raining.

A more typical shower produces a fraction of an inch of rain, at a rate of perhaps 0.04 inches per minute. Normally 1 inch of rain corresponds to 900,000 cubic feet of water weighing 4,000 tons per cubic miles of cloud, though the thickest clouds can contain up to 20 times as much.

You can also estimate the amount of water from the volume of the cloud.

By volume, the fraction of the cloud filled with water is about 1 millionth, or 0.0001 percent. The cross-section area of a cloud can be measured from its shadow. A small cloud 1,000 feet by 1,000 feet and 500 feet high has a volume of 500 million cubic feet, of which roughly 500 cubic feet will be water, weighing 15 tons.

Even if you can’t calculate the precise amount of water in a cloud, these numbers may still impress your friends.

Sadly, just looking at a cloud does not give very precise information about how much water it contains.

The color of a cloud depends entirely on the relative position of the viewer and the physical structure of the cloud. Its apparent size is dependent on the altitude of the cloud, and this is generally very difficult to judge from a single observation point.

But knowing exactly how much water is contained in a cloud is important for producing accurate weather forecasts.

The choice of frequency for a Doppler radar beam is very important.

If the beam interacts too strongly with the water in a cloud, in terms of either reflecting or attenuating the signal, then the radar will have only a limited ability to penetrate cloud structure. If the interaction with water is too weak, then no useful information can be returned at all.

One facility in England can analyze and extract a huge variety of data and has a maximum range of around 100 miles. It is able to provide information on droplet density, size, speed, and whether the droplets are water or ice.

Using this tool, your reader could work out fairly accurately the total water content contained within a cloud and, from the structure of the cloud, how likely it is to start raining, this technique has proved very useful at the Wimbledon tennis championships in past years, which are, of course, notorious for being interrupted by downpours.

Such radars help to produce detailed information on weather, from tracking hurricanes to helping to produce your daily weather forecast and predicting areas of turbulence on aircraft flights.

And remember that kinetic energy rises with the square of the velocity.
"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 #61 on: April 28, 2011, 10:38:54 AM »
Where Did the Engagement Ring Come From and How Did the Tradition Originate?

The diamond engagement ring was introduced by the Venetians, who discovered the diamond’s value in the sixteenth century.

But betrothal gifts hadn’t included rings until 860 A.D., when Pope Nicholas I decreed that a ring of value must be given as a statement of nuptial intent.

It was also mentioned that if the man called off the wedding, the jilted bride kept the ring.

If the woman ended the engagement, she was to return the ring and be sent to a nunnery.
"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 #62 on: April 30, 2011, 09:05:50 AM »
How Were Time Zones Invented and When?

It would be very confusing if the clock said midday in one place and the sun was high in the sky, but in another place at midday the sky was pitch-black and full of stars. Thank goodness someone had the bright idea of time zones.

Universal Time. Depending where you are on the planet, it might be the middle of the day or the middle of the night, because the Earth is orbiting the Sun. Of course, before time zones clocks weren’t set at the same time for everyone and no one ate their lunch at 3 a.m. or had breakfast at bedtime.

People used the Sun as their guide and the time was set locally, when the Sun was overhead, it was midday. As new ways to travel and communicate were invented, knowing the exact time in different parts of the world became more and more important, and a standard time was needed.

Sir Sandford Fleming first proposed time zones for the whole world in 1876. In 1884 an international conference at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, adopted the time zones we know today. Planet Earth rotates on its axis 15 degrees every hour, so the world is divided into 24 15-degree sections, with the clocks in each section set an hour apart (at least, that’s how it works for most of the world).

The zones are all measured from Greenwich, which the 1884 conference decided was the Prime Meridian. The time at Greenwich is known as Greenwich Mean Time or, more grandly, Universal Time.

The Pacific country of Kiribati used to have two different time zones. The eastern half of the country was a whole day and two hours behind the western half! In 1995 the time zone was changed so that Kiribati clocks all told the same time.
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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #63 on: April 30, 2011, 09:08:00 AM »
Why Are the Numbers On a Keyboard Arranged With the Lowest Numbers On the Bottom and Phones Are the Opposite?

Mechanical adding machines, based on rotating wheels, always have the 0 button adjacent to the 1 button.

By convention, most old adding machines had the numbers increasing in value from the bottom and this may be a hangover from when the machines had levers on the wheels rather than buttons.

When the numbers were put on to a pad arranged as a three by three grid with one left over, the order of the numbers, as far as possible, was kept the same.

On a rotary telephone dial the 0 comes adjacent to the 9 because a 0 in the telephone number is signalled by in pulses on the line.

When telephones acquired push buttons in a grid, the ordering of the buttons was carried over from the old telephone dial.
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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #64 on: May 07, 2011, 06:04:12 PM »
What Artist Painted With His Tongue?

Huang Erh-nan was a well-known painter who lived in Peking, China, during the 1920s.

Most of his work consisted of ink paintings of butterflies and flowers. But what made Erh-nan’s paintings so amazing was that he painted them not with a brush, but with his tongue!

The Chinese artist filled his mouth with black ink, leaned over a piece of silk cloth, and brushed on his designs using his tongue 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"

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #65 on: May 07, 2011, 06:06:12 PM »
How Do Elephants Communicate With Each Other and Why Do They Make Loud Trumpet Noises?

Elephants make several sounds when communicating, and are famous for their trumpet calls made by blowing through its nostrils.

elephants communicate with low frequency sounds

Trumpeting is often made when an elephant is excited or startled.

Researchers have known for years that elephants use their trunks to interact socially. However, they’ve more recently discovered that elephants use low-frequency verbal communication as well.

These low frequency sounds can be felt by the sensitive skin of an elephant’s feet and trunk, which can sense the resonant vibrations.

To listen attentively, members of the herd will often lay their trunks on the ground, and lift one front leg off the ground.

Researchers at Cornell University took recordings of elephant sounds and raised them to frequencies that can be heard by the human ear.

They discovered that herds of elephants also sing to each other, and although the research is still in its infancy, it is helping to solve many mysteries.

These include how elephants can find distant potential mates, and how social groups are able to coordinate their movements over long distances.
"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 #66 on: May 09, 2011, 01:13:31 PM »
Has an Hour Always Had 60 Minutes?

Since ancient times, though the day has been divided into 24 hours, each hour has not always had 60 minutes, as we measure them.

The ancient Greeks divided the daytime into 12 hours, but they measured a day from sunrise to sunset. So, the longer a day was, the longer was each hour in it.

In Rome, too, there were no minutes, and each hour varied with the length of the day. On the shortest day of the year, a daytime hour had only about 441/2 minutes, while a night hour had about 751/2 minutes.

And on the longest day of the year, the measurements were reversed, and each daytime hour had 75.5 minutes!
"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 #67 on: May 10, 2011, 01:00:45 PM »
Where Does the Word Kindergarten Come From and What Does Kindergarten Mean In German?

The word kindergarten is German in origin, and means “garden of children.”

Educator Friedrich Froebel coined the term, but only after trying to coin another one: Kleinkenderbeschaftigungsanstalt.

Although its meaning was clear, “institution where small children are occupied”, its pronunciation was quite a feat.

Public rejection of the term persuaded Froebel to make the switch to Kindergarten.

In most countries kindergarten is part of early childhood education, and children are taught to develop basic skills and knowledge through creative play and social interaction.
"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 #68 on: May 11, 2011, 03:58:23 PM »
Why Is Play So Important for Children?

Psychologists have studied children for many decades and have found that early problems in play have a strong negative impact on social relationships. This is the case not only during childhood— there are lasting negative effects on adult relationships.

While play may seem to be simply a source of fun, it is actually a crucial aspect of children’s development. Through play, children develop complex social skills that allow them to interact with others, form friendships, develop empathy, and resolve conflicts, skills they will use throughout their lifetime. By the end of preschool, most children have acquired complex social skills that will serve as a foundation for future relationships.

These early skills are displayed in cooperative play, an advanced form of play that involves sophisticated cognitive, emotional, and social skills where the children must respond to one another’s actions, words, and behavior. Emotions are a large part of cooperative play, and children must understand and respond to their playmate’s feelings as well as regulate their own. They resolve differences and disputes through negation, a key skill in getting along with others.

The solitary and rigid play patterns of Asperger’s Disorder children interfere with the natural course of using play to develop proper social skills.
"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 #69 on: May 12, 2011, 11:49:30 AM »
Why Is Blood-Typing Important and How Is Mixing Incompatible Blood Types Dangerous?

Mixing incompatible blood quickly creates a sea of red dumplings swimming in yellowish liquid, bringing on instantaneous death.

In 1900 Dr. Karl Landsteiner discovered the A, B, and 0 blood groups and demonstrated that blood could be successfully mixed within the same group.

He named the differences the “Rh factor.”
"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 #70 on: May 14, 2011, 10:02:05 AM »
What Flower Can Predict the Weather?

The small scarlet, white, or purple flowers of the plant called the scarlet pimpernel can give you a better weather prediction than the radio or TV weatherman.

If you are in the woods in the morning and you see the flowers on this herb close up, you will know that rain or cloudy weather is coming.

If, however, the petals are opened up, the day will be sunny and fair. Because of its unusual powers, the scarlet pimpernel has been nicknamed “the poor man’s weatherglass.”
"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 #71 on: May 15, 2011, 12:58:59 PM »
Where Did the Expression “In a Nutshell” Originate and What Does the Idiom Mean?

“In a nutshell” indicates a drastically reduced summary.

Long before modern electronics, a few scholars made attempts at condensing massive literary works so they could be more easily stored.

It became an obsession to some to see just how small they could write.

For example, a copy of the Qur’an was reduced on a parchment measuring four inches by half an inch.

These copies were so small it was said they could be stored in a nutshell.
"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 #72 on: May 15, 2011, 01:01:26 PM »
What Is the Difference Between a Mortgage and a Deed of Trust?

In some states, a deed of trust, also called a trust deed, is used in place of a mortgage. A deed of trust accomplishes the same goal as the mortgage, but it is structured differently. The deed of trust is a three-party document. The borrower is called the trustor and the lender is called the beneficiary. The deed of trust is not made directly to the beneficiary, but is instead given to a third party called a trustee. The trustee acts in only two situations.

1. If the deed of trust is satisfied and the loan paid off, the trustee issues a reconveyance to the trustor, releasing the lien.

2. If the terms of the agreement are not met (default), the trustee acts for the beneficiary to sell the property.

A reconveyance is a legal term for returning something, such as the deed for your home to you.

The term mortgage will be used for both mortgages and deeds of trust.

Deed of Trust States

Alaska Arizona California Mississippi
Missouri
Nevada
North Carolina Virginia Washington, DC

Mortgage States

Alabama Arkansas Connecticut Delaware Florida Hawaii Indiana Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
New Hampshire
New Jersey New Mexico New York North Dakota Ohio
Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina Vermont Wisconsin States That Use Both Deeds of Trust and Mortgages
Colorado Idaho Illinois Iowa Maryland Montana Nebraska
Oklahoma
Oregon Tennessee Texas Utah
Washington West Virginia Wyoming
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Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: Sharpen Your General Knowledge
« Reply #73 on: May 21, 2011, 04:21:26 PM »
What Does the Phrase Buyer’s Market In Real Estate Mean?

When the real estate industry is said to be in a buyer’s market, generally home prices are lower, homes stay on the market longer, the amount of money for mortgages is down, and fewer new homes are being built. A buyer’s market is also referred to as an economic correction period because it follows a period of time when home prices rise much faster than salaries and the real estate market is said to be overheated.

In a buyer’s market, those wanting to purchase a home are not rushed into putting money down to hold the first home they see. Because homes are on the market longer, the buyer has time to really compare what is available and find that perfect home. In a buyer’s market the seller must place an appropriate price on the home or the home will remain on the market for a long period of time. For buyers, there is more negotiation available on home prices and the potential of getting a real financial deal from an anxious seller.

Besides price negotiations, a buyer in this market can put more contingencies on his or her offer to purchase, such as financing, which provides that the seller pay some of the fees. Financing in a buyer’s market can be difficult because during that time there is less money available for mortgages. For a potential buyer the problems in obtaining a mortgage can be lessened by having a clean or improving credit report and a larger down payment.

Because the real estate market is cyclical, following a buyer’s market will be a seller’s market. The fun comes in trying to determine how long each will last.
"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 #74 on: May 22, 2011, 05:52:52 PM »
When Were Stop Signs Invented and What Was the First City In the World to Use Stop Signs?

Stop signs first showed up in Detroit, Michigan, in 1915.

They were black on white and smaller than modern signs.

Until then traffic-control devices were generally manual, using semaphores, or flags, policemen in traffic towers, and hand-turned stop-and-go signs.

In the 1920s, black-on-yellow signs were introduced, while white on-red signs appeared in 1954.

Mounting height has also evolved.

Early stop signs were about three feet off the ground.

Modern stop signs are more than six feet high, making them easier to see.
"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"