Question of the Day

Who reached the South Pole first and when?

The Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen is credited with being the first human being to reach the South Pole, on December 14, 1911. This was not his first feat, however. He had already spent three years, from 1903 to 1906, exploring the Northwest Passage, and he ultimately determined the position of the north magnetic pole. He spent two years exploring the Antarctic, including living there for more than a year, during which he conducted numerous investigations. His extensive knowledge of Antarctic conditions led to his successful trip to the pole.

Last 7 Days

    Is it true that it once rained cobwebs?

    Yes. The Great Cobweb Storm of October 1881 was observed from Milwaukee to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, along the western shore of Lake Michigan. This event was caused not by rainfall, but by the migratory habits of certain species of spiders, which cast their silk on a breeze and tag along for the ride as the wind bears them away. Observers saw strong white strands, which varied greatly in size from mere specks to 60 feet in length and which filled the sky thickly as high as the eye could see.

    What is a group of horses called?

    It is alternately called a team, a harras, a rag (for colts), a stud (a group kept primarily for breeding), or a string (a group belonging to or used by one individual).

    What is a pogonip, and does this word have Native American origins?

    A pogonip is a dense winter fog, generally formed over the deep mountain valleys of the western United States. The word can be traced back at least as far as 1865 and does appear to have its roots in the language of the Shoshone Indians.

    What is the southernmost point from which the aurora borealis can be seen with the naked eye?

    Generally, the aurora borealis and aurora australis are limited to 20 degrees from the poles, although sightings beyond that are not unheard-of. An aurora borealis has been seen as far south as Key West, Florida.

    Is there anything that I can apply to our window and door screens to keep my wife's cats from tearing holes in them?

    You can try a spray sold in pet stores that carries a scent cats don't like. However, you might have better luck just providing your cats with an alternative scratching area. Set up a scratching post near the screens, douse it with some catnip to lead the cats to it once, and they may never return to your screens.

    Why do we say someone is "three sheets to the wind" when he or she is drunk?

    The phrase is derived from a nautical term. A sheet is a rope holding up a sail. If these sheets, or ropes, are loose and blowing too much in the wind, the boat will lurch about, perhaps like a drunken person does. Sometimes the phrase "three sheets in the wind" is used.

    Where do all those recycled telephone books go?

    Many are used to make things such as compact disc covers.

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