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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 17, 2017 8:13 am 
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What Was Teotihuacan And Where Is It located?

Teotihuacan was a city that grew up near what is now Mexico City.

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Between 300 and 900, Teotihuacan was the largest urban area in Mesoamerica. Laid out on an enormous grid, the city featured great open plazas, temples, and palaces.

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Rising high above the city was the Pyramid of the Sun. Constructed in about 125, it was as tall as a 20-story building.

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Pyramid Of The Sun

Away from the city center were suburbs that spread out over 20 square miles. Some neighborhoods were exclusively for people who practiced a specific craft. Many of these craftspeople made objects out of obsidian, which was treasured by early Mesoamericans. At its height, Teotihuacan was home to perhaps 250,000 people.

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Obsidian artifact

Centuries after Teotihuacan was abandoned, Aztec visited the ruins. They were so fascinated by its grandeur that they gave the city its name, which means “the place of the gods.”

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 18, 2017 7:49 am 
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Where Is The Planet Vulcan Located, How Did Vulcan Get Its Name, And Does The Planet Really Exist?

In 1845, some astronomers believed that the only explanation for Mercury’s confusing and erratic orbit of the sun would be the presence of gravitational pull from an unseen nearby planet, which they named “Vulcan.”

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French mathematician Le Verrier, who came up with the hypothesis to explain Mercury’s orbit, died in 1877, still convinced of having discovered another planet.

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Urbain Le Verrier

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Vulcan was never found.

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Eventually Albert Einstein, through his theory of relativity, explained Mercury’s behavior, thus eliminating the hypothetical planet Vulcan, until it was resurrected by Gene Rodenberry in Star Trek.

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Rodenberry’s planet Vulcan

Vulcan, also known as Mulciber, was the god of beneficial and hindering fire in ancient Roman religion, Neopaganism, and mythology.

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Known as Sethlans in Etruscan mythology, Vulcan was worshiped at an annual festival on August 23 known as the Volcanalia.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 19, 2017 7:55 am 
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What Happened To The Russian Dog Laika That Was The First Animal In Space?

On November 3, 1957, less than a month after its first ever space launch, the Soviets sent up Sputnik 2, complete with a dog named Laika.

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Sputnik 1

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Sputnik 2

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Laika

She didn’t survive in space for very long. Conflicting accounts put the number of days at somewhere between four and seven, but that was it.

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The Soviets, rushing to beat the Americans in launching an animal into space, had made no provision for bringing Laika down safely, and so she died when the oxygen supply regretably ran out.

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She’s not still up there, frozen solid, though.

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Sadly, her spaceship returned to Earth’s atmosphere five months later, and burned up during reentry.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 19, 2017 11:04 am 
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I've wondered about that. Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 19, 2017 11:30 am 
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aspenleaf wrote:
I've wondered about that. Thanks.


Very, very sad.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 20, 2017 7:46 am 
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After 150 Years, We May Know What Happened To This Arctic Expedition

For centuries, the Northwest Passage was the Holy Grail of naval exploration. A clear waterway between Canada and the Arctic Circle would (theoretically) cut down on travel time between hemispheres, but it proved incredibly elusive. Although European sailors first began seeking the much-rumored route since the 1490s, the first successful navigation of the Northwest Passage wouldn't come until the 20th century, and even then, it took three full years to get from one ocean to the other. Sir Francis Drake, Captain James Cook, and Henry Hudson (of Hudson Bay fame) would all attempt the journey, and all would meet with failure.

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The most disastrous attempt, however, was the Franklin Expedition, which cost the lives of all 129 crew members. How they died has always been something of a mystery — but a modern-day dentist believes he's finally solved the riddle.

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In May, 1845, Sir John Franklin set sail from England in search of the Northwest Passage. His ships were the not-at-all ominously named Terror and Erebus (the personification of darkness in Greek mythology), captained by himself and crewed by 128 stalwart sailors. Save for a sighting by whalers off the cost of Baffin Island that July, they were never seen by British eyes again.

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Sir John Franklin

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HMS Terror and Erebus

In a way, it doesn't sound that mysterious, does it? The Arctic is not a notably hospitable place, so they probably crashed their ships and sunk. Or found themselves marooned, and died of starvation and exposure. In any case, two years after the Terror and Erebus left harbor, search parties were dispatched to find their remains. 12 years later, the first skeletons were discovered. Those bodies carried a journal describing how the ships had been trapped in the ice in 1846, and documented how the survivors lived for two years waiting for the ice to thaw. If you don't feel like doing the math, let me confirm your morbid suspicion: yes, those sailors were still alive when the first search parties set out.

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It wasn't until 2014 that the wrecks of the ships themselves were discovered, having drifted finally to the bottom of the ocean. With them came answers — and more questions. Chief among those mysteries was how, exactly, those unfortunate souls met their end. After all, they survived for years in the frozen wasteland. And Inuit people in the area told stories of stranded white men who had resorted to cannibalism on the snowy wastes. But if the Inuits could reach them, then why couldn't they get back to safer harbors?

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HMS Terror

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HMS Erebus

A professor of periodontics and oral medicine at the University of Michigan thinks he may have an answer. Dr. Russell Taichman has pored over the eyewitness accounts of gaunt, emaciated survivors, and one detail stuck out. According to nearly two thousand citations, many of the men were described as having hard, dry, blackened mouths. That's one of the symptoms of Addison's disease, an affliction of the adrenal glands that starves the body of the hormone cortisol. It can be caused by tuberculosis, which was already on the list of possible explanations for the disaster. So this mystery may have finally been figured out — either that, or it was just the poetically inevitable result of naming your vessel after the evil god of darkness.

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Dr. Taichman

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 21, 2017 8:17 am 
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How Did Lauren Bacall Meet Humphrey Bogart And When?

While moviegoers across the country flocked to the films of Humphrey Bogart to swoon over his aloof machismo or be dazzled by his daring, teenaged Betty Bacal stood in the shadows of the streets of Brooklyn, as yet unknown. Hanging out in front of Sardi’s, she sold a theatrical sheet, Actor’s Cues, and brazenly introduced herself to any passing director or producer. She’d quit the American Academy of Dramatic Arts with the intention of sailing straight into a stellar career on Broadway.

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10-year-old Lauren

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Debut movie at 19

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Died in 2014 at age 89

But in three years she found only minor roles in three shows, and these flopped and quickly closed. One was Johnny 2 x 4, in which she played a bar girl in a 1926 Greenwich Village speakeasy and had no lines at all. To make ends meet, Betty modeled in the garment district and later got a job in a theater as an usherette, earning $8 a week. Luck was with her one night at Tony’s, where she was introduced to Baron Nicki de Gunzburg, an executive in the fashion department of Harper’s Bazaar. He in turn introduced her to the magazine’s top photographer, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, and fashion editor Diana Vreeland, both of whom were struck by the young actress’s angular features, wonderful skin color, and long, lanky figure.

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The February 1943 Harper’s Bazaar issue featured nine shots of Betty, by now she had added another l to Bacall to avoid mispronunciation, and the following month she stood on the cover in fabulous vampirish garb before a Red Cross blood bank. Three thousand miles across the country, Nancy Hawks, wife of Warner Brothers director Howard Hawks and frequently cited as one of the ten best-dressed women in America, was struck by the unusual Bacall. She got her husband to call his agent, Charles Feldman, and just as Betty was about to sign with Columbia as Bazaar’s representative for the film Cover Girl, a frantic call came through from Hollywood.

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Three days later Betty was out there, meeting with Hawks and preparing for her first screen test. Although this proved not entirely successful, Hawks found Betty (whom he renamed Lauren) extremely photogenic and liked, as he put it, her “cohesive physiognomy.” In May 1943, she signed a seven-year contract and began studying acting and singing, but for months no work was forthcoming.

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Howard Hawks and Lauren Bacall

Finally, Betty was presented with the possibility of playing opposite the charismatic star Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not.

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The novel by Ernest Hemingway had originally been sold to Howard Hughes for $10,000; Hawks bought it from Hughes for $80,000, and a script, which radically departed from the book, was being prepared by Jules Furthman and William Faulkner. But this prospect didn’t thrill Bacall. “How awful to be in a picture with that mug, that illiterate,” remarked Bacall, who preferred Cary Grant. “He mustn’t have a brain in his head.” Bogey’s initial impression of her wasn’t much better. The two were introduced by Hawks while Bogey was shooting Passage to Marseilles. She was merely a prop,” said the actor, “which could add a lot or could ruin the picture.”

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On the set

For the next six months Bacall prepared to try out for one of the two leading female parts. She got the role of Bogey’s girl and the next time the two met the brusque actor changed his tune. “Saw your test,” he said. “I think we’ll have fun working together, kid.”

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 22, 2017 7:49 am 
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What Is the Name of the “Thinker” in Auguste Rodin’s Famous Statue and Where Was He From?

The French sculptor Auguste Rodin’s statue commonly called The Thinker (Le Penseur) is one of the best-known pieces of art in the world.

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Auguste Rodin

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The Thinker (Le Penseur)

Yet when Rodin (1840-1917) first cast a small plaster version in 1880, he meant it as a depiction of the Italian poet Dante Alighieri (circa 1265-1321) pondering his great allegorical epic The Divine Comedy in front of the Gates of Hell. In fact, Rodin named the sculpture The Poet.

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Dante Alighieri

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The Gates of Hell

It was an obscure critic, unfamiliar with Dante, who misnamed the masterpiece with the title we use today, The Thinker (Le Penseur).

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Rodin’s statue is naked because the sculptor wanted a heroic classical figure to represent Thought as Poetry.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 23, 2017 7:40 am 
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Who Was The Smartest President In The United States And Why?

It’s hard to say for sure who the smartest president in the United States was, but James Garfield must be up there in the top percentile.

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James Garfield

He was a college professor in ancient languages and literature and once published a mathematical proof of the Pythagorean theorem.

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Proof of the Pythagorean theorem

An ambidextrous man, Garfield also had a nifty trick that is probably the best example of presidential multitasking: He could simultaneously write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other.

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Another candidate for most erudite president is Herbert Hoover, who translated ancient texts from Latin.

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Herbert Hoover

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When he and his wife wanted to speak privately when other people were present, they conversed in Mandarin Chinese.

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What’s interesting, though, is that neither of these men were considered great presidents, so it may be true that intelligence is not necessarily a requirement of the job.


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Post Posted: Sep 24, 2017 7:40 am 
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When Was The Erie Canal Replaced By The New York State Barge Canal And What Is The Erie Canal Used For Today?

In the years after the Erie Canal opened in 1825, the canals were enlarged twice and finally mostly abandoned in the early 1900s, when the New York State Barge Canal was opened in 1918 to accommodate the larger barges of the day.

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The Erie Canal

This new waterway was created by dredging out and damming the rivers the Erie Canal had bypassed.

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The New York State Barge Canal

When the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959, shippers on the Great Lakes had a better way to get to sea, and New York’s canal system began to lose business.

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The St. Lawrence Seaway

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Today the canal system is used for recreational activities. Only pleasure boats use the canals, and many of the old towpaths have been turned into biking and hiking trails.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 25, 2017 7:37 am 
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What African Country Can You See From Spain?

Five nations in Africa border on the Mediterranean Sea, and many African countries border on the Atlantic Ocean. But only one African nation has a coast on both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean: Morocco.

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Morocco is located in the northwest corner of Africa, where the Mediterranean joins the Atlantic. With its western coast washed by the Atlantic, Morocco is the only Arab country that touches that ocean. It’s also the closest Arab country to Europe, part of the Moroccan coast lies within sight of Spain.

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This African nation has an area of 173,000 square miles, larger than California, and a population of 19.5 million. Most Moroccans live in the strips of fertile land along both coasts, for the rest of the country is covered by mountains and deserts.

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Coast

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Interior

Morocco was conquered by Arab invaders in the seventh century. The Muslim people of Morocco, called Moors, eventually conquered most of Spain and formed a kingdom that stretched from Spain all the way to the borders of Egypt.

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In later times, the tables were turned: Morocco was conquered by Europeans and was divided between France and Spain. In 1956, Morocco gained its independence. The country had been ruled by a king, Hassan II, who had been in power from 1961 until his death in 1999. Today, Mohammed VI is the ruler.

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Hassan II

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Mohammed VI

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 26, 2017 7:40 am 
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Which Theory Of Michael Faraday’s Was So Advanced That It Influenced Physicists Like Albert Einstein?

One simple experiment students often conduct is to place two magnets on a table with opposite poles facing each other but not touching.

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A piece of paper is placed on top of the magnets and iron filings are dropped on top of the paper above the magnets.

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Friction keeps the iron filings from moving much, but if the paper is tapped lightly, the filings twist their way toward the magnets in lines.

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The lines directly between the magnets are almost straight, and the lines farther outside the magnets are curved.

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Scientists had noticed this phenomenon for centuries, but Faraday saw tremendous meaning in it. He called the lines “magnetic lines of force” and said they moved outward great distances from the poles.

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He said this is why a compass would work such a great distance from Earth’s polar regions.

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Faraday measured the strengths of these magnetic fields and observed the different directions of the lines. He did not have the mathematical training to study them further, however. Faraday thought other forces, like gravity, electricity, and even light, all acted with these lines of force, or fields. He took the theory one step further and said that matter itself extended beyond its visible edges and filled all space.

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We know there are gravitational and electrical fields but Faraday’s theory was so advanced that some of it is still being tested today.

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The twentieth-century physicist Albert Einstein used field theory in much of his work.

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