Monday, December 22, 2008
The Mendelssohn Stradivarius has become the world’s most expensive musical instrument. It has been bought on behalf of a professional musician for £902,000 from an auction at Christie’s in London. The previous record for a musical instrument was £682,000 set in 1988.
The Mendelssohn is believed to be one of the finest violins by Stradivari to appear on the market in recent years. The violin which once belonged to the descendants of the great composer Mendelssohn, dates from 1720, towards the end of Stradivari’s Golden Period, when he produced his greatest and most celebrated violins.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
A sever sunburn, like any other major burn, can be painful and dangerous enough to land you in the hospital. But even a minor burn is a problem, it makes the skin peel and lose whatever sun-protective tan it had developed.
The best thing to do for a mild sunburn is to cool your skin in a lukewarm bath and take aspirin. (Acetysalicylic acid, which is what aspirin is, helps reduce inflammation.) If blisters form, see a doctor, because you can develop a bacterial infection.
Compresses soaked in cool water, milk or tea can provide temporary relief for minor sunburn pain, as can local anesthetics (over-the-counter products that frequently have “-caine” as part of their brand name). Some people can become allergic to these anesthetics, so they should be used sparingly. Cold cream and other lubricants will not do anything for pain but will help the dryness of sunburned skin. If simple home remedies don’t work, see your doctor and be extra careful next time you’re in the sun.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Some early American writers used what they said was an American Indian expression, when they said a person spoke with a “forked tongue.” It may be that people thought the expression sounded like something an Indian might say.
One very old expression is to accuse a person of “lying through his teeth.” It means to purposely tell a big lie. If you accuse someone of “lying through his teeth,” you are making a very strong accusation.
Another expression describes lies that are not too bad, even if they are not complete truth. The expression is a “little white lie.” A white lie is a false statement or lie that seems harmless. It called white because the color white is linked to innocence and purity.
A white lie can be forgiven, because it usually is told to keep someone’s feelings from being hurt. That kind of a lie – a white lie – does two things. It keeps your friend’s feelings from being hurt. And it keeps her as a friend.
English churchman William Paley 200 years ago that white lies usually introduce darker ones.
Castro offered to commit suicide for $7,000 (it sounds better in Portuguese currency – 1,320,000 escudos). He even submitted a breakdown of how the money was to be spent on his commemorative funeral: 70,000 escudos for revolver and bullets: 500,000 for cremation and scattering of his ashes in the Tagus River flowing through Lisbon: 500,000 for good orchestra to play Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder , and 250,000 for an orchestrated performance by two hundred clowns.
Not surprisingly, the foundation refused the detailed and imaginative offer which nevertheless became known to the press possibly through information furnished by the prospective “victim”. In any case the poet got the publicity he wanted without having to kill himself for it.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Akhil lives in the state of Virginia. He is 12 years old. And he is very creative. Last December 1992, he received a patent for a special device he made that helps people pour liquid from heavy containers. The device is added on to the opening of the container. It permits a person to move the container just a little to get the liquid to pour out.
Akhil calls his invention E-Z gallon. He says that when he was seven years old his mother hurt her hand. She could not pour milk from big milk bottles. He was too small to help. That difficult situation led him to create something that would make it easier to pour from heavy containers. Akhil's pouring device is made from clay. He says he hopes to sell his device to the public.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
We are told in the Bible, II Kings, if you like, the 9th chapter and 30th verse, that Jezebel "starched her face, and tired her heed, and looked out a window." This is from a 1539 version of the Sacred Book. Jezebel was really putting a white powder on her face, and was fixing her hair up with an ornament or headdress, for that is what tire meant at the time. The word tire is a shortened form of attire, which comes from the Old French atire, "to put in order," derived from a, "to," and tire, "row," which, incedentally, gave us word tier, that "row" of boxes in the opera house. Of course, from dressing the hair, the sense of attire has widened to dress in general.
BELLADONNA: Beautiful lady
Way back in the Renaissance days of the evil Borgias of Italy, when political purges were accomplished by poisoned rings and with foods and wines that were drugged with fatal doses, the lovely, dark-eyed ladies found a pleasant use for belladonna, the extract of the deadly nightshade. They discovered that a drop of this substance in each eye would expand the pupils and give them an expression of languorous beauty. And that seems to be the reason for the name belladonna, which an Italian means "fair lady".
COLLAR: around the neck
The collars that men and women wear today are nothing like the elaborate jeweled affairs that Cleopatra wore, or the iron ones that choked the slaves, but they are collars just the same for they are worn around the neck. The Latin word for collar can easily be seen in the French word decollete, "low-necked", because it is "away"(Latin de-) from the "neck".
FAVOR: usually a ribbon
Favors that are given at parties have a romantic history. In the Middle Ages ladies watched the tournaments and encouraged the knights with soft looks and tokens. The tokens they gave were varied, a ribbon, a mantle, a glove, sometimes even a portion of a dress. The knight wore this token, called a favor, on his arm. The word favor is through French from latin faveo, "to regard warmly or with good will."
GARTER: where the knee bends
The Countess of Salisbury once lost her garter while dancing with Edward III, or so claims the old story. With real 14th centrury gallantry the king picked it up, fastened it on his own leg, and spoke this immortal words: "Honi soit qui mal y pense;" Evil to him who thinks evil," which is the motto of the Order of the Garter. The word itself comes from the French gartier, which in turn derives from garet, "the bend in the knee." So the garter is named from the limd on which it is worn.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The Mississippi man, of course, isn't the only person in the world to have ever endured an anomalous collection of eyes. There was an English foureyed man, for example, who could open and clese each eye independently and look in four different directions at once.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
1. No Breakfast
People who do not take breakfast are going to have a lower blood sugar level. This leads to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain causing brain degeneration.
It causes hardening of the brain arteries, leading to a decrease in mental power.
It causes multiple brain shrinkage and may lead to Alzheimer disease.
4. High Sugar consumption
Too much sugar will interrupt the absorption of proteins and nutrients causing malnutrition and may interfere with brain development.
5. Air Pollution
The brain is the largest oxygen consumer in our body. Inhaling polluted air decreases the supply of oxygen to the brain, bringing about a decrease in brain efficiency.
6. Sleep Deprivation
Sleep allows our brain to rest. Long term deprivation from sleep will accelerate the death of brain cells.
7. Head covered while sleeping
Sleeping with the head covered, increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and decrease concentration of oxygen that may lead to brain damaging effects.
8. Working your brain during illness.
Working hard or studying with sickness may lead to a decrease in effectiveness of the brain as well as damage the brain.
9. Lacking in stimulating thoughts
Thinking is the best way to train our brain, lacking in brain stimulation thoughts may cause brain shrinkage.
10. Talking Rarely
Intellectual conversations will promote the efficiency of the brain.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
* EAT SMALL, FREQUENT MEALS. Ulcers tend to be the most painful when the stomach is empty. If you eat often, food helps buffer the effects of digestive acids and enzymes.
* AVOID UNNECESSARY USE OF ASPIRIN OR NONSTEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS. Since these can irritate the digestive tract, your doctor may advise taking them with food.
* DON'T SMOKE. "Smokers have more ulcers, their ulcers are harder to heal, and they're more likely to have recurrences", says David Graham, M.D.
* CUT BACK ON COFFEE, TEA AND COLA DRINKS. Caffeine stimulate acid production, which may in turn exacerbate ulcers.
*AVOID ALCOHOL. This is particularly important for individuals taking the antibiotic metronidazole (Flagyl), which can make them severely ill if they drink.
* DON'T USE MILK AS THERAPHY. Doctors say it's one of the worst treatments for ulcers.
* AVOID FOODS THAT UPSET YOUR STOMACH. You don't have to eat a bland diet, but steer clear of too spicy foods or any that have irritated your digestive system before.
* CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU'VE HAD ULCERS IN RECENT YEARS. "If any of may ulcer patient test positive for H.pylori, I treat them immediately rather than waiting for a recurence," says Dr. Graham.
Monday, December 8, 2008
The star is tiny and dense. it is only about 12 miles wide. But it has more mass than the sun. The star is called pulsar. It was formed when a larger star exploded. Pulsars produce no light. But they create radio waves as they rapildy turn.
Scientists discovered the star by observing a giant cloud of gas that is following the pulsar. The cloud is shaped like the musical instrument, the guitar. Scientists say the unusual shape may have resuldted from the movement of the stars as it traveled through different levels of as in the universe.
Scientists say the discovery of a pulsar is common. But they say it is unusual to find such a fast-and-forward-moving one. They say it probably will leave our galaxy in about 100 million years.
Friday, December 5, 2008
In the 19th century a street juggler, originally a zouave or member of a French infantry unit noted for its quick-spirited drills, used to allow spectators to touch the projection of a saber pressing against his stomach wall below the sternum. He was a braver fellow than most, for many performers of this feat swallow a 17 to 19 inch guiding tube beforehand and retain it, partially swallowed, throughout the performance. The tube protects the path along which the sword will descend.
Caroline Sutton's "How Do They Do That" says that in order to gradually overcome the gag reflex, a sword swallowers begin practicing with smaller objects, such as spoons and forks, being careful not to drop them whole. With head titled back , mouth open wide, he aims to align with the descending object his mouth, pharynx, esophagus, cardiac opening and distended stomach. The total distance is about 21-1/2 to 24-1/2 inches about the length of the flat blade of the saber. Needless to say, the sword swalloers must fast before such a performance.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
That goes to the others, linked to this card.
1. Simple Things cant be Ignored
In Holland, the Dutch people told children the gifts came from Saint Herr Nicholas. In the Dutch language his name became "Sinter Klaas". The Dutch brought the Sinter Klaas tradition to America. Americans called the gift giver " Santa Claus". And they included him in their Christmas celebration.
Thomas Nast first drew the Santa Claus we see today. Thomas Nast was an American artist. He drew pictures for books and newspapers. Someone asked him to draw a picture of Santa Claus.
Thomas Nast remembered when he was a boy in Germany, a fat little old man had given toys and cakes to children. So that is how he drew Santa Claus. That drawing made more than 125 years ago has remained our picture of Santa Claus. Santa is a fat, smiling, little old man with a red nose and a white beard. He is dressed in a red suit, with a black leather belt and black boots.