16 abril 2017

What NFL Team's Name Has A Unique Origin?

The Baltimore Ravens football team! It is the only team in the history of the National Football League to be named after the title of a poem: “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. While Poe was not from Baltimore, he lived there for short periods. And in 1849 he died there while visiting the city. (The last place he was seen alive, a bar, is still open today!)

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Where Do Diplomas Come From?

In the 1680s the Latin got adopted into English. It meant any official or state charter.  Educational diplomas had once been called “sheepskins” since that’s what they were written on. The school would write out whatever educational degree was being conferred, roll up the sheepskin, and tie it with a nice ribbon.

But how did we get from animal skins to the fancy papers with fancy holders? Keep reading

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The Sound That Shook The World

August 27, 1883: the earth makes the loudest noise, louder than any it has made since. A volcano on Krakatoa was erupting and it did so with a bang. Literally – the sound was so loud, it was heard across a thirteenth of the globe. If you were in Washington, DC and heard a noise coming from Philadelphia, that would be incredible. But those cities are just 140 miles apart. Krakatoa was heard 3,000 miles away. It would be like if you were in Washington, DC and heard a noise coming from Dublin!   

A barometer at the Batavia gasworks (100 miles away from Krakatoa) registered the ensuing spike in pressure at over 2.5 inches of mercury. That converts to over 172 decibels of sound pressure. A jackhammer is about 100 decibels, and a jet engine is about 150 decibels.  To register as 172 decibels, 100 miles away? People’s eardrums must have been shattering.

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