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Fact of the Day

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Fact of the Day - MARIONETTES

 

Did you know... that A person who works a puppet is called a puppeteer, but a person who puppets a marionette is called a marionettist?  While most puppets are moved from below using your hand, your fingers or a rod, marionettes are moved from above by using strings (that’s why they are also sometimes called string puppets). They are considered to be the most difficult puppets to operate, but for people who are very skilled, a marionette can seem almost alive!  Marionettes have strings attached to each leg, arm and shoulder, as well as to either side of the head and the lower back. The strings are attached to a hand controller that looks a bit like the letters H or X. Some marionettes have even more strings attached to other parts of the body. The more strings a marionette has, the more difficult it is to move, but a very skilled marionettist can make the puppet seem almost alive!

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Did you know... that in the 18th century , operas were specifically composed for marionettes ? Mozart as a child had seen marionettes . Gluck , Haydn , de Falla and Respighi all composed adult operas for marionettes . Lewis Carroll composed marionette operas and plays for his siblings' entertainment . Today in Salzburg ( Austria ) , the Salzburg Marionette Theatre still continues the tradition of presenting full-length opera using marionettes in their own theatre .

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Did you know that puppet have existed for thousands of years? It actually dates back to the 422 B.C.E. Also,  there are puppets several times bigger than a human and it is controlled by multiple puppeteers. 

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Fact of the Day - ARCHAEOLOGY

 

Did you know.. that archaeologists always dig square holes?  It's true!  They dig neat, organized, square holes on a grid system.  Being super organized helps them keep records of where they make each find.  That way, when they go back to the lab with hundreds of pieces they can begin putting a map together of all of the finds.  This helps them develop a clearer picture of what life must have been like during the time period they are studying.

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Did you know... that most of the times the goal of archaeological research is to find cause and effect explanations of human behavior over the centuries ? Studying the past actually helps scientists understand the present and can sometimes help scientists predict the future .

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Fact of the Day - SUNDIALS

 

Did you know... that there are two main types of sundials?  The first is the altitude dial. Altitude dials help people determine the sun’s altitude or height of the sun above the horizon.  These types of dials are difficult to work with, because they need to be correctly aligned with the sun.  The other type of sundial is the azimuth sundial.  This type of dial helps people determine time by the sun’s angle on the arc. These dials also need to be oriented correctly; however, they usually have a magnet inside to help with this.

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Did you know... that the Egyptians built a t-shaped sundial comprising of a crossbar and a vertical stick ? On the stick , five hours were written .

Another fact - the largest sundial in the world was constructed in 1724 in Jaipur ( India ) . It covers almost one acre in size .

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Did you know... that Sundials are usually well marked with daylight hours, and there are some that have all 24 hours marked on them.

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Fact of the Day - PLASTIC

 

Did you know... that The first completely synthetic plastic was bakelite, which was made in 1907 by Leo Baekeland who coined the term 'plastics'?  Many chemists have contributed to the materials science of plastics, including Nobel laureate Hermann Staudinger who has been called "the father of polymer chemistry" and Herman Mark, known as "the father of polymer physics".  The success and dominance of plastics starting in the early 20th century led to environmental concerns regarding its slow decomposition rate after being discarded as trash due to its composition of large molecules. Toward the end of the century, one approach to this problem was met with wide efforts toward recycling.

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Did you know... that annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide and more than one million bags are used every minute ? Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century .

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Fact of the Day - COUGARS

 

Di you know... that the cougar is the second largest wild cat found in the Americas, the largest being the South American Jaguar?  It has a very muscular body that varies in colour from tawny red to dark brown.  The throat, chest, chin and whiskers are white.

Cougars are known for their large front paws and long tail, which is used for balance and can grow to a length of 90 centimetres.  Cougars have extremely powerful hind legs, which make them excellent jumpers. A cougar can jump straight up 5.5 metres from the ground.  Cougars tend to roam in areas where they won't be seen, such as rocky mountains or dark forests. They don't usually attack humans unless they feel cornered or threatened. A worthy predator, cougars have a field of vision that spans 130 degrees and can kill an animal four times its size because of its muscular form and stealth.  After an attack, it usually buries the carcass and returns later for addition meals.  In one jump, a cougar can launch forward up to nine meters, easily carrying the agile animal over canyon mouths or rocky outcroppings.  The average sprinting speed of a cougar is 56 kilometres an hour!  The cougar has one of the largest ranges of any mammal in the western hemisphere. Because of this, the cougar is called around 40 different names, such as puma, mountain lion, and panther.  Most of the cougar population may be found in western Canada, but it has been seen across the Prairies, southern Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.

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Did you know... that Cougars can live up to 18 years? They are in direct competition with wolfs for food sowolfs are considered one of the biggest threats to the species.

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Did you know... that the cougar has the largest range of any native land mammal in the western hemisphere ? It occurs from Canada south to Patagonia , and is found in almost every type of habitat . That includes forests , high mountains , deserts and even urban jungles .

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Fact of the Day - THE BIG NICKEL

 

Did you know... that the Big Nickel is a replica of the 1951 Canadian five-cent coin, built in 1964 by local Sudburian Ted Szilva?  Open to the public at no cost, visitors are invited to walk around the Big Nickel and explore the site of the Centennial Numismatic Park.

 

The Big Nickel is the largest coin in the world and in the 1960's the Big Nickel was joined by four large coin monuments:

The Fantasy Penny,

The Lincoln Penny,

The Kennedy Half Dollar, and

The Twenty Dollar Gold Piece.

 

These four monuments were dismantled in 1984.  The 1951 5-cent coin was minted to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the isolation and naming of the element Nickel.  The obverse, or 'heads' is King George VI. The reverse, or 'tails' is a stylized nickel refinery with one large stack. It is NOT the Sudbury superstack!  The Big Nickel weighs close to 13,000 kilograms (approximately 13 tonnes).  It is about 64,607,747 times the size of a real Canadian nickel.  Over the years, the composition of the 5-cent coin changed until one final change to the nickel was made in 1999. Today’s 5-cent coin is 94.5% steel, 3.5% copper, and 2% nickel.

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Fact of the Day - VIKING SHIPS

 

Did you know.... that the Vikings are best remembered as fearsome warriors, but their longlasting legacy owes just as much to their seafaring aptitude?  Both the Vikings’ ships and the skill with which they utilised them were key to the success of many of their exploits, from fishing and exploring the oceans to raiding.  Though Viking boats came in many shapes and sizes, the most iconic and effective Viking vessel was undoubtedly the longship.  Long, narrow and flat, longships were fast, durable and capable of navigating both choppy seas and shallow rivers.  They were also light enough to be carried over land. 

 

Skillfully carved animal heads often featured as figureheads at the front of longships. These heads – those of dragons and snakes were popular – were designed to provoke fear in the spirits of whichever land the Vikings were raiding.  Typically equipped with rowing positions along their entire length, longships also utilised one big square sail, woven from wool. Steering came courtesy of a single steering oar at the back of the ship.  Their symmetrical bow and stern design allowed longships to swiftly reverse without having to turn around. This was particularly handy when navigating icy conditions. 

 

It’s easy to characterise the Vikings as bloodthirsty reprobates rampaging across Europe, but the craft and innovation of the shipbuilding that enabled their conquests deserves recognition.  The fact that Leif Erikson led a Viking crew to North America in around 1,000 — 500 years before Christopher Columbus set foot on the New World — makes clear the Vikings’ remarkable maritime prowess and showcases the robustness of their boats. 

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Fact of the Day - MINING DIAMONDS

 

Did you know... that diamonds, which are now easily accessible across the world, were originally found and mined in India, Brazil, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Angola and Congo? 

 

The world’s top three mines are:

Botswana (producing 24 million carats of diamonds)

Russia (producing 17.8 million carats of diamonds)

Canada (producing 10.9 million carats of diamonds)

 

The four most commonly used diamond mining techniques are:

 

Open pit mining – Mostly used in sandy areas or places with unstable grounds, this involves digging a large open pit in the earth’s surface to extract diamonds. It is said to be hazardous to the environment.

Hard rock mining or tunneling – Vertical and horizontal tunnels are built through drilling the earth’s surface to extract valuable diamonds. It is considered the most dangerous form of mining with a risk of explosion and harmful gases.

Alluvial mining – mining diamonds from small alluvial diamond deposits that end up in rivers

Marine diamond mining – It is the latest diamond technique that involves the use of vertical and horizontal drilling into the ocean floor to extract diamonds through highly advanced equipment.

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Fact of the Day - LICENSE PLATES

 

Did you know... that every vehicle owner is required to display license plates on his/her vehicle. But did you know that wasn’t always the case?

 

New York was the first state to require vehicles bear a license plate (1901), but Massachusetts was the first state to have state-issued plates (1903). Prior to implementing state-issued plates, New York residents made their own, displaying their initials on the identifying tag.  The very first state-issued plate in Massachusetts read, simply, “1,” and was issued to a gentleman named Frederick Tudor. A member of his family still holds an active registration on the tag today, 113 years later.  Between September 1, 1903 (the date all Massachusetts vehicle-owners were required to have a state-issued tag) and December 31, 1903, Massachusetts issued 3,241 tags.

 

The first state-issued tags were made of iron covered with porcelain enamel. Delaware still offers a porcelain plate and is the only state to continue to do so. The starting fee for the porcelain version is $110.  Because the fragility of the porcelain plates made them impractical, manufacturers experimented with replacement materials such as cardboard, leather and even pressed soybeans.

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17 hours ago, DarkRavie said:

Fact of the Day - LICENSE PLATES

 

I'm back !

 

Did you know... that France was first country to introduce a ‘'registration plate’' in 1893 with the passage of the Paris Police Ordinance ?

 

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@Grundy Welcome back!

 

Fact of the Day - AQUARIUMS

 

Did you know... that in 1832, French scientist, marine biologist, Jeanne Villepreux-Power invented the first glass aquarium?  Her invention was designed to help Jeanne with her observations and experiments on the marine species.  By using the aquarium as a tool for her research, Jeanne became the first to discover that A. Argo produces its own shell rather than obtaining the shell from another organism. Jeanne reasoned that the tiny organisms that accompanied the egg mass contained within the shell of A. Argo were males of the species.  Later other marine biologists revealed that those organisms were male reproductive organs that attached themselves to the women’s mantle.  After inventing her first aquarium, Jeanne developed two other aquarium designs: a glass apparatus placed within a cage for use in shallow water and a cagelike aquarium capable of lowering its contents to various depths.

Edited by DarkRavie
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Did you know... that there is an 82-foot tall aquarium that holds more than 1.500 fish and has a glass elevator that runs up and down the center of the tank ? It has to be cleaned by divers , three or four times each day . The German AquaDom is the largest freestanding cylindrical aquarium in the world .

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