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Friday, September 19, 2008

What is Unicorn?

On the royal coat of arms of Britain there are two creatures, one on either side of the shield. One animal is, of course, the lion and the other is a strange, horse-like creature with a long elegant horn on its forehead. This is the unicorn. It is a creature of legend, and probably never existed; the tales of it brought back by ancient travelers were probably the result of sighting of rhinoceroses and a good deal of imagination. Nowadays, nobody believes in the unicorn except as a legendary animal, and a heraldic beast, but years ago people did believe in its existence.

Queen Elizabeth the First was supposed to have possessed a unicorn’s horn, which was worth an enormous sum of money, and the horn was supposed to have healing powers and could protect people against poison. There were special rules and down about how to catch a unicorn. A Young girls was the effective bait, and unicorn would lay its head in her lap while the hunters crept up to do their work. The Unicorn became part of the British coat of arms when Scotland and England were first united under King James the First. Before that England’s heraldic beasts were a lion and a dragon and Scotland’s were two unicorns. Legend has it that the two beasts, the lion and the unicorn, were deadly enemies and that the only way to stop them killing one another.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Who was Robin Hood?

“He stole from the rich and gave to the poor” is a favourite saying about this notorious outlaw. According to legend, Robin is supposed to have lived in Sherwood Forest with his band of Merry Men, robbing wealthy travelers and giving their gold and jewels to the poor people of Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. The first written account of him is The vision of piers Plowman, a poem written by William Langland in 1377, and since then legends have grown up, showing Robin as a sort of medieval superhero, although obviously these legends were well known before the poem was written. In spite of these tales, not much is known of the real Robin Hood, and some People even believe that he may be sort of woodland spirit, since Robin was often a name given to spirits, elves and pixies. It is doubtful whether anything will ever be known about the real outlaw Robin Hood, unless some startling evidence is found, proving him to have really been what all the stories say he was.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

What is the most common surname in the world?

In English-speaking countries, the most common surname is what you expect: Smith. But the most common surname in the world is Chang, with a total of more than 80 Million! And the Most common first name in the world? Mohammed!

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Monday, September 1, 2008

What are the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are seen in the areas near the north pole, but they are also to be seen near the south pole, where they are called the Aurora Australis. Scientists are not sure about what exactly causes the aurorae, but they think that the beautiful rays of dancing pink, green and yellow lights may be caused by sudden discharges of electrical energy from the sun, which hit the high layers of the earth’s atmosphere near the poles. Here the earth’s magnetic field does not protect the atmosphere from the sun’s particles as it does over the rest of the planet, and so we see the lights in these regions. When they do appear, the sky in these regions. When they do appear, the sky may sometime be heard to crackle , just like the noise you hear when san electric spark sometimes jumps between your hand and a glass or metal surface.

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