FOOD
HISTORY
ANIMALS
PEOPLE
RANDOM
100

Garlic is one of the ingredients that makes pasta sauce taste so good. Now doctors think garlic has healing powers, too. Early tests show that it can kill harmful germs. Garlic also has been found to have a good effect on the blood. Doctors think it can help protect people against heart disease.

how garlic can help keep people healthy

100

Alfred Nobel invented dynamite to help builders, but it was used for war, which made him feel very guilty about the misuse of his invention. He was a rich man, so he set up a $9 million fund. Today the fund is used to reward people who have improved human life. Nobel Prizes are awarded in six fields, including peace, medicine, and chemistry.

why Nobel founded the Nobel Prize fund


100

Can fish climb trees? It sounds like a fishy story, but mudskippers living in the swamps of Asia really can climb trees. After filling their gills with air and water, they climb onto land. Mudskippers use their front fins to move along the ground. Suckers on their fins help them climb trees.

how mudskippers can climb trees


100

Virginia Hamilton started writing at a young age. People in her family were great storytellers. She loved to listen to their tales about her African American heritage. When she grew up, Hamilton brought the tales to life in stories. Now she is a famous writer of books for children.

how family stories led to a writing career


100

Product codes on items consist of bars and numbers on the product label. The first number tell which company made the item. The last numbers identify the product and size. A laser reads the bars at the checkout. A computer finds the price for that product and prints the price on the cash-register slip. Store owners can change prices of items by changing the computer. The records in the computer help the owners learn which goods sell well.

how the product-code system is effective


200

For years food chemists have tasted hot peppers used for chili sauce, catsup, and pizza, but people had a hard time figuring out the spiciness of the peppers. After eating two or three, their taste buds were burning. Now a machine can test different kinds of hot peppers. It measures the chemicals that provide the spicy taste of the peppers.

how a machine helps the hot-pepper industry


200

Bob Geldof talked to the top musical talents of the world and asked them to sing at a concert to raise money. The stars agreed. Geldof found a stadium, arranged for TV coverage, and set up a trust fund. He said that none of the stars would get special treatment. Everyone would work together. In 1985, the Live Aid concert raised more than $100 million for starving children.

how a concert benefited starving children


200

The rare Chinese panda lives on tender, young bamboo shoots. Most bamboo plants die right after flowering. Without the bamboo the pandas starve. Because some people fear that the rare pandas may die out, in some places food is given to the hungry animals. Some pandas are airlifted to places where bamboo is still plentiful.

how people are keeping pandas alive


200

Faberge, a jeweler, made eggs from rare mentals and jewels. A Russian emperor liked them so much that he often gave them away as gifts. The elaborate eggs are only a few inches high. Some have tiny clocks inside them. Others hold small pictures or toys. The highest price ever paid for a Faberge egg was more than $5.5 million!

what Faberge eggs are like


200

Every year hungry deer do millions of dollars' worth of damage to young pine trees. Scientists in Washington have found a way to protect the trees. They use a substance called selenium. Selenium produces a bad smell when dissolved. A bit of this element is put in the ground near trees. Rain dissolves the selenium, and the trees absorb it. The bad smell keeps the deer away until the trees are fully grown.

how trees can be protected from deer


300

It takes more than food to make babies grow up to be healthy and happy. If babies are not patted and hugged, they grow more slowly and are less healthy. Also they will not be as smart or happy when they become adults. Many studies show that love is the most important thing in children's lives.

children need love to grow up healthy


300

Trousers are a recent style in the history of fashion. Men wore tights under short, loose pants until the early 1800s when the first real pants for men appeared. Until the 1940s few women wore long pants. During World War II, women factory workers started wearing long pants. The fashion caught on.

long pants are a somewhat new fashion


300

Ages ago living things like bugs and leaves got trapped in soft tree resin. The resin hardened into what we know as amber. It kept the trapped bugs and leaves in perfect shape. Now scientists are learning much about the distant past from amber samples. Some scientists say they are more useful than fossils.

why amber samples are important to scientists


300

There are many ways to learn about people. You can learn a lot about people by simply watching or talking to them. Looking at the floor can also give you information about people. You can tell where people walk most frequently because of the worn carpet. The next time you're riding in someone else's car, notice the music on the radio. The type of music played on the station can tell a lot about the person!

how to learn about people


300

The Marines had a problem in World War II. Orders were sent in code, but the enemy kept learning the code. Nothing could be kept secret. Then someone thought the Navajo soldiers could help the Marines. Since very few other people could speak Navajo, this language was used as a code. No one on the enemy side knew Navajo, so the messages stayed secret.

how the Marines used Navajo as a code


400

Native Americans dried strips of meat, pounded it into a paste, and then mixed it with fat. Sometimes they added berries and sugar. Then they pressed it into small cakes. They called thse cakes pemmmican. Pemmican didn't spoil, and it provided lots of energy for people traveling or goint hunting. Today explorers still carry and eat this food

how pemmican was prepared by Native Americans


400

Probably the best-known rodeo cowboy in the world is Larry Mahan. Mahan was the national champion six times before he was 30. He was good at every event and was so successful that he had his own plane. When he got too old to be in the rodeo, he didn't stop doing rodeo work. He started a rodeo school.

the most famous rodeo cowboy in the world


400

Dogs have been called our best friends, but they are also good helpers. They can be used in many ways. Some dogs hunt while others guard animals and property. Boxers and German sheperds are trained to lead people who are blind. A dog named Laika was the first animal in space.

how dogs are useful


400

Doctors think that wearing red-tinted glasses can relieve sadness. Some people get very moody and sad in the winter. They may be affected by brief days. Bright lights help some people but not everyone. The reddish light coming thorugh rose-colored glasses seems to make people feel happy

how colored glasses may help people feel better.


400

The temperature of Antartica once fell to 128 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. In the summertime, temperatures average well below freezing. Most of the land is covered with ice that is up to 2 miles thick. Only a few strong mosses and sturdy spiders can live on this big block of ice. Since very little snow or rain falls there, Antartica is a desert.

how low the temperature once fell


500

The peanut is a humble plant with hundreds of functions. Most peanuts are roasted in their shells and lightly salted. About half the peanuts eaten in the United States are ground into a thick paste called peanut butter. The rich oil made from peanuts is good for frying foods and is used for oiling machines and making soaps and paint. Even peanut shells are used to make plastics and to fertilize soil.

the many uses of the peanut


500

Tap dancing started in America. It began as folk dancing that had much kicking and stamping. Over time two kinds of dancing developed. In one kind the dancers wore hard shoes and danced very fast. In the other they wore soft shoes and danced slowly and easily. There wasn't really any tap in tap dancing until 1925. That's when someone put metal pieces on the toes and heels of tap shoes.

how tap dancing developed


500

Because lambs are sometimes eaten by coyotes, ranchers may hunt or trap the coyotes. However, killing coyotes may upset nature's balance. Scientists have found a way to protect sheep without killing coyotes. Coyotes are fed lamb meat treated with a drug. When they eat the meat, they get sick. Later, coyotes won't even go near lambs. They'll hunt rabbits instead.

how scientists protect sheep and coyotes


500

When you take a multiple-choice test, do you ever change your answers? Some scientists think that it is a smart thing to do. They found out that most students who change their answers make the right decision and make better scores on their tests.

what scientists think about answers


500

The lack of gravity in space makes even simple tasks a challenge. Astronauts have to wear boots that hold their feet to the floor so that they can walk around. Eating is a real chore. Dried and frozen foods are stored in plastic bags. To eat chicken soup, the astronauts cut a hole in one end of the bag and squeeze the soup into their mouths.

why easy tasks are challenging in space

Click to zoom