Apr
26
2011
2

Why do so many people believe conspiracy theories?

Guinea pigs launch a <div style=Men never landed on the moon — the pictures and TV footage we have of the first moonwalk were actually produced in a California warehouse. The destruction of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, wasn’t a terror plot — it was a nefarious deed carried out by rogue elements in the President George [&hel[more...]

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Oct
22
2010
0

Is it worthwhile to visit Costa Rica in the rainy season?

Hibiscus flower near Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.Tell your friends you’re thinking about traveling to the Costa Rican rain forest in the middle of the rainy season, and you may be told you’re crazy. But the rainy season — roughly April through November, depending on the part of the country — has its advantages. My reason for visiting Costa Rica in August [&hel[more...]

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Mar
15
2010
4

What are the most common religions in the world?

University of Sussex chapel.Christianity is by far the largest family of religions in the world, according to Adherents.com and various other sources. With about 2.1 billion (that is, 2,100 million) people belonging to some branch of Christianity, Christians make up about a third of the world's population. Christianity is also the most widespread of the major religious groups, [&hel[more...]

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Mar
05
2010
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When and where was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded?

Hilo, Hawaii, street after 1960 tsunami.A magnitude 7 earthquake that struck near coastal Concepción, Chile, on May 21, 1960, was powerful enough to send frightened residents inland. But that quake and three others of magnitude 7 or above were only foreshocks of the biggest recorded quake of them all, a magnitude 9.5 temblor centered in the Pacific Ocean to the [&hel[more...]

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Mar
01
2010
0

What is Tornado Alley?

1973 tornado in OklahomaTornado Alley is a colloquial name given to that part of the United States where tornadoes most frequently occur. Although Tornado Alley has no official boundaries, it is generally thought of as including most of Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma as well as major portions of Texas, Iowa and South Dakota and adjoining areas. In its [&hel[more...]

Jan
29
2010
2

What are the differences between the Apple iPad and a netbook computer?

The iPad as seen on the day it was introduced to the public. GlennFleishman photo. CC-BY.When Apple announced the details of the iPad, it was clear that a new type of computer was being produced — something like a netbook and yet something like an oversized iPhone without the telephone capabilities or an iPod Touch on steroids. My word for the device is “netpad,” but only time will tell what [&hel[more...]

Jan
03
2010
2

What are parts of speech?

grammar game“Parts of speech” refers to categories that are used by grammarians to describe how words are used in sentences. English has traditionally been viewed as having eight parts of speech, as follows: Nouns are words that represent persons, places, things or ideas. In the sentence “Life is good,” “life” is a noun. Pronouns are words [&hel[more...]

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Dec
04
2009
0

What are the differences between netbook and notebook computers?

NetbookNetbook computers have become a bright spot in the computer marketplace since they were first introduced in 2007. Essentially, a netbook is a small notebook or laptop computer designed to be lightweight and easy to carry or pack. As their name suggests, netbooks are frequently used to access the Internet and come with a built-in [&hel[more...]

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Nov
27
2009
2

How much of “The Blind Side” movie is true?

Football DropsThe Blind Side, the 2009 film featuring Sandra Bullock in a dramatic role, is promoted as a true story — and, indeed, it stays closer to history than many “true” films. It tells the story of Michael Oher, a societal nobody who seemed destined to be a another grim statistic of the slums before he [&hel[more...]

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Nov
24
2009
1

What do turkeys have to do with Turkey?

turkeySince the bird we know as the turkey originated in North America, it may seem strange that it has the same name as a country that straddles Europe and Asia. But there is a connection between the words. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary and other sources, the word “turkey” as applied to birds dates [&hel[more...]

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Nov
20
2009
5

When was Jesus born?

Detail from a stained glass window in Fabrica Art Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex. Photo by Dominic. CC-BY.Although much of the world celebrates Christmas on Dec. 25 as the supposed birthday of Jesus of Nazareth, and our calendar is based on the assumption that year-counting began the year of his birth, the chances that he was born on Dec. 25, 1 BC (there was no year 0), are extremely remote. Christmas is [&hel[more...]

Nov
17
2009
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Did Thanksgiving really start with the Pilgrims in 1621?

Celebrating a Lego Thanksgiving. Floodllama photo. CC-BY.Thanksgiving is a popular tradition and official holiday in the United States, where it is popularly believed that the observance comes from a spontaneous 1621 celebration in which Pilgrims and the indigenous Indians celebrated a successful harvest together in a way much like Americans do today. In fact, thanksgivings were celebrated in what later become [&hel[more...]

Nov
14
2009
0

Why is it easier to balance on a bicycle when in motion than when standing still?

Bicycle wheel.If you didn’t know better, you might think that the act of balancing yourself on a bicycle would be extremely difficult — after all, how many other times in your life do you attempt to balance yourself on something only a 2 or 3 centimeters wide? The reason it is easy to balance oneself on [&hel[more...]

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Nov
11
2009
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Can grownups do anything with the Nintendo DSi other than play games?

Nintendo DSi browsing the web.The Nintendo DSi is the 2009 version of the videogame console company's market-leading portable gaming system. Undeniably, it's a great little machine for kids, but is there anything on it for adults who don't play videogames? The answer is a resounding yes — if you can handle its inherent limitations, such as its small screens [&hel[more...]

Nov
08
2009
2

I say pop, you say soda, what does everyone else say?

Geographic distribution of terms for carbonated soft drinks.Growing up in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, I always referred to carbonated soft drinks as “pop,” or maybe “soda pop.” So I became confused sometime later when I moved briefly to California and was surprised to hear cans or bottles of pop referred to as “sodas” — to me, a soda is [&hel[more...]

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Nov
05
2009
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Will life as we know it end in 2012?

clocksDire predictions of worldwide calamity in 2012 may be a good way of selling books and movie tickets — but the chances anything remotely like the dire predictions will happen is about the same as that they happened in 1982, 1988 or 2000, other recent dates for which the end of the world or something [&hel[more...]

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Nov
02
2009
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What is there to do and see in Nauvoo, Illinois?

Joseph Smith's Red Brick Storecustomessaywritingservicess Most of the people who visit Nauvoo, Ill., are there to see historical sites relating to the settlement from 1839 to 1846 led by American religious pioneer Joseph Smith Jr. Although most visitors are from the two largest churches that trace their origins to Smith — the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ [&hel[more...]

Oct
25
2009
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What sites are there to see in Independence, Missouri, related to Harry S. Truman?

The Truman Home in Independence, Mo. title=treatment for hives Independence, Missouri, is the city where U.S. President Harry S. Truman grew up, and the town is proud of that aspect of its history. Among the Truman related sites to visit are: The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, has numerous exhibits related to Truman's life. It also hosts community events such [&hel[more...]

Oct
25
2009
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What religious sites are there to see in Independence, Missouri?

The Community of Christ temple rises about 300 feet above Independence, Missouri. This photo is from inside its sanctuary, looking upward. The inset is of its exterior. Mvguy photos. CC-BY.For those interested in American frontier religious history, the Kansas City, Missouri, suburb of Independence City is well worth a visit. One of the first things visitors to Independence are likely to notice is the 90-meter-tall (300 feet) Community of Christ temple, as it is by far the tallest structure in the city. The temple [&hel[more...]

Aug
05
2009
0

What is the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area?

Lost Lake in the Beartooth Mountains portion of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area, accessible via a 5-mile hike from a trailhead near Red Lodge, Montana. Mvguy photo. CC-BY.The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area borders Yellowstone National Park and is made up of about 940,000 acres (3,800 square kilometers) of land in three national forests, mostly in Montana with a small portion in Wyoming. It includes Granite Peak, the highest point in Montana, as well as the largest contiguous area of land above 10,000 feet [&hel[more...]

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