Why is the game cat's cradle called that?
It is thought to be a corruption of cratch-cradle, or the manger cradle in which baby Jesus was laid (cratch standing for creche, French for "rack" or "manger"), but this is only conjecture on the part of linguists.
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Why does rain bring worms out on the sidewalks?
Worms come up and out of their holes so that they won't drown. A rainstorm of any size is likely to fill a worm's home with water. Worms may crawl to the sidewalks because they're higher ground than the dirt around them, or we just may notice them more on the sidewalks. Look around--they may be everywhere.
Is the temperature colder during a full Moon?
Air temperature is not affected by Moon phase. It is affected by the season and whether there is a cloud cover, among other things. On a clear night, heat rises from Earth if there is no cloud cover holding it in. This might make you think it's colder because there is a full Moon, but it's really colder just because the sky is clear.
Is it true that Thomas Jefferson suffered from debilitating headaches?
Some historians believe that Jefferson (1743-1826) probably had migraines for most of his life. His writings speak of headaches that lasted as long as two weeks, such as after the death of his wife, Martha Skelton, in 1782, and when a British warship fired on the American ship Chesapeake.
What are the dimensions of a standard rain gauge. I'm having trouble finding this from weather officials and I'd like to make my own.
The reason you couldn't find an answer from those folks is there is no standard rain gauge. The commercially produced rain gauges are simply collection devices with calibrated markings. Making one yourself is a great exercise in construction and applied mathematics. The rain gauge should have a collection area of at least ten times the area of the measuring device. First, use a ruler and pour water into a one gallon container, such as a used bleach bottle, to a depth of 1 cm. Pour this water into a tall jar and mark water level with grease pencil or paint. This will be the mark for 1 cm of rain. From this first mark you can measure and mark up tenths of centimeters all the way to the top of the jar. Now you're ready to capture rain. Avoid having trees or buildings in the way, and don't place the gauge where channeled winds, such as a passageway between buildings, would disrupt the rain. The gauge should be over level ground and at least twice the distance away from trees and buildings as they are tall. For example, the gauge should be at least 12 feet away from a 6-foot tree, and the top of the gauge should be at least three feet above the ground.
What is the most frequently prescribed drug in the United States?
Number one, as of 1994, was amoxicillin, an antibiotic frequently used to treat ear infections in infants and toddlers.
What does auld lang syne mean?
It means old (auld) long (lang) since (syne), or old long ago. It's part of the Scottish and northern English dialects and comes from Old English.
When my daughter and I wish on the "first star I see tonight," are we really wishing on a planet? How can we tell one from the other?
Most likely that first bright star is a planet, but binoculars can probably help you tell for sure. Even a cheap pair will usually add enough magnification so that you can make out a planet. You can also try looking for the bright star night after night and notice if it seems to move across the sky against the backdrop of the other stars. If so, it's a planet, living up to its Greek name, which means "wanderer."