Hanukkah is an eight-day and nightly Jewish festival honoring the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, which took place in the 2nd century BC. The Greco-Syrian ruler, Antiochus IV, tried to impose Greek culture on the Jews in Judea (Israel). This re-dedication of the Temple occurred after the Maccabees (Jewish religious rebels) regained the temple. Hanukkah is the Hebrew word for initiation. Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev, which, depending on the Jewish calendar, can last from late November to late December. To celebrate Hanukkah, a nine-pronged chandelier called the menorah is lit with candles every night until the eighth night. Additional branches and light are designed to provide light for purposes other than meditation or advertising.
The holiday marks the victory of a group of rebellious Jews known as the Maccabees in the Greek-Syrian seizure of their temple.
Due to historical reasons, the holiday lasts eight days. When the Maccabees brought back the Temple, there was enough refined oil to keep the temple dedicated for just one day. As if a miracle, the light remained burning for eight days.
The temple needed holy light to burn at all times, but the Jews only had enough oil for one night. Amazing, but the lights were on for eight days.
The ninth menorah candle is usually located in the center of the menorah and is used to light the other eight candles each night.
It used to be a tradition for people to give money to one another for Hanukkah. But as Christmas became more and more popular, more and more Jews started giving gifts.
This menorah is also known as Hanukkah. Although candles are used to light the menorah today, they use oil.
Latkes, sufganiyot (jelly donuts), fried apples, balls - if you think about the food served in Hanukkah, most of them are deep fried. This is not a coincidence; People fry their food in Hanukkah oil, symbolizing the magic oil that burns eight consecutive nights.
Candles are placed in the menorah from right to left. They are illuminated from left to right.
The Grand Army Plaza in New York is said to have the largest menorah in the world.
Families eat potato pancakes (latkes) and sweets filled with jelly donuts (sufganiyot) and other butter-fried foods during Hanukkah. This practice of frying butter is reminiscent of holy oil.
Hanukkah is not a major Jewish holiday. Jewish holidays such as Passover and Rosh Hashanah are of much greater importance to religion.
Hanukkah is also a time when children are encouraged to study their Torah. They were given gifts and money for their education during Hanukkah.
Harry Truman is the first President to celebrate Hanukkah at the White House. In 1951 he received a menorah as a gift from Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.
Gelt is the Yiddish word for money. Today, children are given checks, bonds, and small brown coins in gel form.
There is no "wrong" way to spell Hanukkah.
Dreidel is a popular toy during Hanukkah. It is a four-sided apex with a Hebrew letter on each side. The four letters are shin, hay, gimel and nun. These letters mean Nes Gadol Hayah Sham in Hebrew, which means a great miracle happened there.
Throughout Hanukkah, more than 17.5 million jelly donuts were consumed in Israel.
The game of Dreidel is played with candy. The man who ends up owning all the candy is the winner.
Jews follow the tradition of encouraging their children to study the Torah on this holiday by giving them gel or chocolate wrapped in gold that looks like coins.
During the eight days of Hanukkah, the entire hall was recited and psalms were praised.
The famous Dreidel, or four-sided record player, was created as a distraction.
The phrase "Al Hanisim" thanks God for all the miracles during Hanukkah has been added to the prayer.
The Greco-Syrians prohibited Jewish studies, so Jews turned to dreadlocks to pretend to be just playing around while they were writing.
Initially the menorah was placed in front of the front door, now it is usually displayed in the window.
Due to the bright Jewish calendar, Hanukkah is not the same day every year.
Hanukka's last night in Germany was very special. Great fires were made from the remains of oil and wicks, and people danced and sang around the flames. Celebrations often last until the early hours of the morning.
Holidays always start on Kislev 25, which means they usually fall in November or December on the Gregorian calendar - the same time of year as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Children in Yemen travel from house to house carrying lead to collect fuses for their menorah.
The Torah does not mention Hanukkah at all.
Hanukkah is similar to Christmas in that it is a time when families come together to share blessings, food, music and traditions. Both holidays are rooted in religious beliefs.
Nicolaus Copernicus was an astronomer, mathematician, and scientist born in the 15th century. He identified the fact that the sun, not our earth, is the center of our universe. Nicolaus Copernicus was born on February 19, 1473 in Torun, Poland. He is the youngest of four children born to commercial parents. When Nikolai's father died at the age of 10, the Bishop of Varma, Lucas Vatzenrode, decided that Nikolai's education was his responsibility. Nicholas entered Cracow University in 1491 and graduated in 1494. His first job was as a canon at Frombork Cathedral in Torun. This position allowed him to continue his education in his spare time, leading to the heliocentric model of the universe.
Copernicus studied mathematics and astronomy at the University of Krakow.
Nicolaus Copernicus' mother was Barbara Watzenrode. She was the daughter of a wealthy merchant.
Through his uncle’s influence. Copernicus was appointed a canon (church official) of the Catholic Church. He used the income from the position to help pay for additional studies.
Nicolaus' father was Nicolaus Copernicus Sr. He was a merchant of copper.
Copernicus studied law and medicine at the universities of Bologna, Padua, and Ferrara in Italy.
Nicolaus had three older siblings. His older brother was Andreas Copernicus, a canon. His sister Barbara was a Benedictine nun and a convent prioress before she died. His other sister Katharina married a Torun city councilor and had five children.
Copernicus’ observations of the heavens were made with the naked eye.
Nicolaus Copernicus attended four universities including the University of Krackow, the University of Bologna, the University of Padua, and the University of Ferrara.
It was in De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres) Copernicus first suggested the SUN, not the EARTH, is the center of the universe.
Nicolaus Copernicus studied mathematics, painting, astronomy, canon law, and medicine.
He was the leading physician in Warmia. He organized the Polish defence during the siege of Allenstein.
Nicolaus Copernicus passed the canon law exam on the first try.
He was the chancellor of the Frombork Cathedral Chapter. Copernicus served as an administrator in Allenstein.
It is believed that Nicolaus Copernicus could speak Latin, German, Polish, Greek and Italian.
He independently arrived at the Gresham’s theory of money.
Nicolaus Copernicus' research into the universe led him to read Regiomontus' Epitome of the Almagest. This book gave an alternative to Claudius Ptolemy's model of the universe, which was generally accepted as true at the time.
By 1508 Nicolaus Copernicus had begun to create his model of the planetary system, suggesting the sun instead of our earth was the center of the universe.
Copernicus is considered the founder of modern astronomy.
Nicolaus was not the first astronomer to suggest the sun as the center of the universe. Earlier astronomer's ideas were not accepted because the Roman Catholic Church did not accept them.
His work established the Heliocentric model.
Nicolaus model of the universe was accepted whereas earlier models had not been because his was more detailed and accurate. He also had a better formula for the calculation of planet's positions at different times of the year.
The Heliocentric model of Copernicus laid the foundation of the scientific revolution.
Nicolaus Copernicus wrote a 40 page book in 1514 called the Sketch of Hypothesis Made by Nicolaus Copernicus on the Heavenly Motions. It summarized his model of the universe.
Galileo Galileo was able to confirm Copernicus was right about his theory using his telescope.
Nicolaus Copernicus suggested that planets don't revolve around a fixed point, the earth is the center of the orbit of the moon, the sun is the universe's center and everything rotates around the sun, stars do not move, and that the earth rotates around the sun which causes its' movement throughout the year.
Some of the major scientists that followed Copernicus’ footsteps and proved him right were Tyson Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Rene Descartes, Isaac Newton, and Francis Bacon.
Nicolaus showed that only 34 circles were necessary to illustrate the motion of planets.
Copernicus's work ‘On the Revolutions of Celestial Spheres’ was published shortly before he died in 1543.
The Roman Catholic Church criticized Nicolaus' theories. It went so far as to ban Nicolaus' book De revolutionibus after he died. It remained a forbidden book for almost three hundred years.
Copernicus was also a physician, scholar, economist, translator, mathematician, artist and diplomat.
Nicolaus Copernicus died on May 24th, 1543.
The chemical element Copernicum is named after Copernicus. It has the symbol Cn and atomic number 112.
Nicolaus Copernicus never got married and never had any children of his own.
Famous Nicolas Copernicus quotes include: “Finally we shall place the Sun himself at the center of the Universe.”
SpongeBob SquarePants is a very successful and popular cartoon series in the United States. It was created in 1989 by Nickelodeon animator Steven Hillenberg as a (unpublished) comic called The Intertidal Zone, but did not develop into a television series until 1996. SpongeBob's name would become Spongeboy, but for now the name will be the same. The series premiered in 1999. It became so popular that in 2004 a film called "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie" was released. SpongeBob is a yellow sea mushroom that looks like a kitchen sponge. He lives in sea pineapple and works at a restaurant called the Krusty Krab, where he transforms into a krabby patty burger. He has many actors ranging from simple-minded starfish to poor octopus.
In its 12 seasons, the show has a total of 262 episodes.
SpongeBob SquarePants is a very energetic, yellow, childlike character made of sea sponge. His character was inspired by Charlie Chaplin, Jerry Lewis, Laurel and Hardy, and even Pee Wee Herman. He is also square to represent his very square personality and character.
Much like SpongeBob, Stephen Hillenburg once worked as a fry cook.
When Stephen Hillenburg pitched his new series to executives at Nickelodeon in 1997 he wore a Hawaiian shirt and brought along character models. It was a successful pitch and the rest was history.
The characters of the show were based on Stephen Hillenburg’s unpublished comic book.
The main characters in SpongeBob SquarePants include SpongeBob, Patrick Star (starfish), Gary (pet snail), Squidward Tentacles (miserable octopus), Sandy Cheeks (squirrel), Mr. Krabbs (owner of the Krusty Krab), Plankton (rival who wants the recipe for Krabby Patties), Mrs. Puff (driving teacher), Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy (retired superheroes), and others.
Bikini Bottom takes inspiration from a real place called Bikini Atoll, a coral reef in the Pacific Ocean.
The setting of SpongeBob SquarePants is Bikini Bottom, an underwater city in the Pacific Ocean.
Stephen Hillenburg created Mr. Krabs after his former manager.
SpongeBob SquarePants was born on July 14th, 1986 according to his driver's license.
SpongeBob SquarePants and Patchy the Pirate share the same actor.
Despite his name, Squidward is an octopus. He only has six tentacles though, not the usual eight that an octopus would have.
The Krabby Patty is vegetarian.
Patrick Star, the pink starfish, weighs only two ounces according to his driver's license.
Squidward is an octopus, not a squid.
The restaurant the Krusty Krab is really a lobster trap.
Various celebrities such as LeBron James, David Bowie, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Johnny Depp, David Hasselhoff, and Scarlett Johannson appeared as guests in SpongeBob episodes or films.
Mr. Krabs, the owner of the Krusty Krab, has the first name Eugene. He also has a daughter named Pearl.
The first SpongeBob movie used a 12-foot-tall replica of David Hasselhoff.
The first words that SpongeBob spoke were, "May I take your order?".
The song “Sweet Victory” rose to prominence because of the show.
The main voice over artists for SpongeBob SquarePants are Tom Kenny (SpongeBob, Gary, French Narrator, Patchy the Pirate, Dirty Bubble, and Harold SquarePants), Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick Star, and others), Rodger Bumpass (Squidward and others), Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs), Carolyn Lawrence (Sandy Cheeks), and Mr. Lawrence (Plankton, Larry Lobster, and others).
Kazakhstan’s education ministry deemed SpongeBob SquarePants “too violent for children”.
Many famous people have done voices on SpongeBob SquarePants including Dennis Quaid (Grandpa Redbeard), Kristen Wiig (Madame Hagfish), Ray Liotta (Trevor), Andy Samberg (Colonel Carper), Amy Poehler (Granny), Johnny Knoxville (Johnny Krill), David Bowie (Lord Royal Highness), and Johnny Depp (as Jack Kahuna Laguna) among others.
Ween’s album The Mollusk was one of the influences for SpongeBob’s creation.
On the show, when chaos erupts in Krusty Krab the fish Fred usually yells, "My leg!".
Nickelodeon initially wanted SpongeBob SquarePants to be a child who goes to school.
The creator of SpongeBob SquarePants was a marine biologist and a science teacher.
Patrick was originally intended to be an angry owner of a bar.
A fungi that resembles a sea sponge was discovered in 2011 and was named Spongiforma squarepantsii. It smells fruity and musty.
The show’s creator studied marine biology.
Puerto Rico is situated in the northeastern Caribbean, west of the United States Virgin Islands and east of the Dominican Republic. Its full authority name is the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is a unincorporated United States domain. The authority dialects in Puerto Rico are Spanish and English. Before European colonization, Puerto Rico had been possessed for quite a long time by native individuals known as Taino. On Christopher Columbus' second journey he guaranteed the island for Spain, The Taino public were constrained into subjugation and numerous passed on from severity and irresistible sickness brought by the settlers. Spain held the island for over 400 years yet surrendered the island to the United States when it was vanquished in the Spanish-American War. In 1917, Puerto Ricans were allowed American citizenship.
Since Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, locals are American citizens, and American travelers can enter the Island without carrying a passport.
The capital city and largest city of Puerto Rico is San Juan, with approximately 2,478,905 residents.
The currency used in Puerto Rico is the U.S. dollar.
Puerto Rico covers 8,959 square km of land and 145 square km of water in its boundaries.
Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States where the official languages are Spanish and English.
There are 501km of coastline on the island of Puerto Rico, much of which is sandy beaches.
Puerto Rico is the smallest island of the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean, located east of the Dominican Republic.
The population of Puerto Rico in 2011 was 3,998,905.
You can get to Puerto Rico by air or by sea. Airlines such as Delta, American Airlines, United, Southwest, Jet Blue, and Spirit Airlines have direct flights to the Island.
Agriculture in Puerto Rico includes sugarcane, coffee, pineapples, plantains, bananas, and livestock such as chickens.
The island receives over 1,300 weekly non-stop flights and almost 1,000 direct flights.
Industry in Puerto Rico includes tourism, food products, apparel, electronics, and pharmaceuticals.
The climate in Puerto Rico is warm and tropical.
Puerto Rico's constitution was ratified on March 3rd, 1952, approved by the US Congress on July 3rd, 1952, and became effective on July 25th, 1952.
The temperature in Puerto Rico varies between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year.
Governors have been elected by vote in Puerto Rico since 1948. They are elected for four-year terms and there are no limits to the number of terms.
Temperature can go down to about 60 degrees in the central mountainous area during December and January.
The climate in Puerto Rico is a tropical marine climate, being mild with little variation in temperature from season to season.
American travelers do not need to opt for international plans to make calls since their phones will work perfectly on the Island.
The natural hazards that occur in Puerto Rico include hurricanes and droughts.
In Puerto Rico, there is a 4GLTE network; 5G is available at some locations.
Residents of Puerto Rico are referred to as Puerto Ricans.
There are around 3.6 million people in Puerto Rico, and close to 5 million Puerto Ricans living in the U.S.
The literacy rate in Puerto Rico (those who can read and write at age 15 and older) is 94.1%.
The legal age to consume alcoholic beverages in Puerto Rico is 18 years.
Although Puerto Rican resident are citizens of the United States they do not vote in United States Presidential elections.
The island has almost 300 miles of coastline and nearly the same number of beaches.
Puerto Ricans are also subject to military service and most of the federal laws in the United States.
Puerto Rico has the largest shopping center in the Caribbean, Plaza Las Américas, and the most extensive rum factory globally, Casa Bacardí.
In 1950, Puerto Rican extremists who wanted Puerto Rico to be an independent nation attempted to assassinate President Truman.
El Yunque is the only rainforest in the U.S. Forest System and is in Puerto Rico. The forest receives over 120 inches of rain every year.
The Puerto Rican flag is red, white and blue. There are five horizontal red and white alternating stripes (three red and two white). A blue triangle (isosceles triangle) on the left pointing to the right, with a white, 5-point star in its center.
Although Puerto Rico is an American territory, it competes as an individual country in Miss Universe's contests and the Olympics.
Approximately 90% of Puerto Rican residents speak Spanish, and although most can speak English, only 10% can speak it fluently.
Flamenco beach, in Culebra, has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Beaches in the world on multiple occasions.
Puerto Rico has won the Miss Universe contest five times.
The piña colada was invented in Puerto Rico.
The world's largest telescope is located in Puerto Rico. It is 305 meters in diameter.
When you pass by locals walking through the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, they will greet you with a buenos días (good morning), even if they do not know you.
On the island of Puerto Rico there are 16 bird species, 39 types of reptiles and 239 plant varieties that are found only in Puerto Rico.
Tasmanian devils are the largest marsupial carnivore. It can only be found on the island of Tasmania (Australia). They prefer coastal scrublands and forests. Tasmanian devils lived in different areas of Australia in the past, but their number diminished in the first half of the 20th century as a result of intensive hunt (farmers considered Tasmanian devils as pests) and due to introduction of the Dingo (wild dog) to Australia. Tasmanian devils are under protection since the 1941, but their number is still low because they are susceptible to a devil facial tumor disease, which is infectious, fatal and so far incurable.
The Tasmanian Devil is estimated to have become extinct on the Australian mainland around 400 years ago and fossils have been found that prove this.
Tasmanian devils look like dogs of medium size. They can reach 30 inches in length and up to 26 pounds in weight.
They are the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world.
Body of Tasmanian devil is covered with black fur, with white patches on the chest, shoulders and rump. Tasmanian devil has large head and very strong jaw.
Prior to 1936, the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world was the thylacline, which is commonly know as the Tasmanian Tiger.
Tasmanian devil has one of the strongest bites in the animal world: 1200 pounds per square inch, which means that it can bite through the metal trap.
The thylacline is a distant relative of the Tasmanian Devil and was over the twice it’s size!
Tasmanian devil is a carnivore that can eat both live prey and the carcasses. Fish, snakes, birds and insects are often of the Tasmanian devil's menu. It is not a picky eater; once the prey is caught - Tasmanian devil will eat all of it, including bones and fur. These animals eat 5 to 10% of their own body weight each day.
They store fat in their tails.
Tasmanian devil has excellent sense of eyesight and smell, which are used for detection of the prey.
Tasmanian devil can eat up to 40% of their body weight in a day.
Tasmanian devil stores fat in the tail. Tail in the healthy animals is thick and swollen, while it is limp and skinny in the diseased animals.
A mother gives birth to around 20-40 Joeys at once.
Tasmanian devils are not very fast runners (they can reach only 15 miles per hour), but they can run extended period of time (one hour without resting). Also, they are excellent climbers and swimmers.
Joeys are born the same size as a grain of rice.
Tasmanian devils are named that way because of the ferocious behavior which they exhibit during eating and mating and because of the very loud screeching noise that they produce.
It is estimated that the tasmanian devil's bite is to be around 544 kg per square inch.
Tasmanian devils are classified as nocturnal animals (active during the night), but they are also active during the day.
Tasmanian devils yawn when confronted.
When threatened, Tasmanian devil will open its jaws widely to express fear and uncertainty. Also, in stressful situations, it will release pungent odor to chase away the predators.
Tasmanian devils are great tree climbers.
Tasmanian devils are solitary creatures that often fight with other males for territory. Prior the fight, Tasmanian devil uses sharp sneezing sound to challenge the opponent.
Tasmanian devils are also incredible swimmers and can run at 24 km/h for up to an hour straight.
Breeding season of Tasmanian devils lasts from February to June. Females usually have four litters in their lifetime.
Tasmanian devil's scientific name translated to “Harris’s Meat Lover”.
Pregnancy lasts three weeks, after which 20 to 30 pea-like babies crawl to their mother's pouch. Only several babies will survive because female have only 4 nipples to feed babies with milk.
“Sarcophilus harrissii” comes from the scientist Harris who described the Tasmanian Devil.
Babies spend their first four months in the mother's pouch, after which they can leave it. When they reach eight months, Tasmanian devils are ready to begin solitary life.
Rainforestation has the only captive tasmanian devils in Far North Queensland.
Tasmanian devils live between 7 and 8 years in the wild.
Common nettle, also known as stinging nettle, is herbaceous plant that belongs to the family Urticaceae. There are 6 subspecies of common nettle that are native to Europe, Asia, North Africa and North America. Common nettle can be found in numerous habitats including forests, grasslands, marshes, farms, gardens and urban areas. Even though most people associate common nettle with pain, this plant has numerous beneficial properties that are widely exploited by humans.
Nettles need phosphates in the soil in order to thrive. This is why they grow so well near where humans live, with our phosphate-rich rubbish dumps and livestock paddocks.
Common nettle has wiry stem that can reach 3 to 7 feet in height.
Nettles have evolved stings to prevent them being eaten by animals.
Common nettle has green leaves that are deeply serrated on the edges. Leaves are oppositely arranged on the stem.
Despite their stings, nettles have for a long time provided a source of food for humans in the form of soups, broths and teas.
Common nettle is attached to the ground via yellow rhizome. Each year, new stem develops from the underground rhizome at the beginning of the vegetative season.
Nettles are also used as a fibre to make string and cloth.
Common nettle develops small greenish-brownish individual flowers that are grouped in axillary inflorescences.
The stinging nettle thrives in nitrogen-rich soils across North Africa, temperate Asia, the Himalayas, Europe and North America.
Latin name for common nettle is "Urtica dioica". Word "dioica" means "two houses" and it refers to the male and female plants (each plant possesses either male or female reproductive organs).
The plant can spread vegetatively with its yellow creeping rhizomes and often forms dense colonies.
Common nettle is best known for its needle-like hairs that cover leaves and stem. Each hair ends with swollen base that contains mix of chemicals. These chemicals are responsible for the burning sensation that results from touching of common nettle.
The toothed leaves are borne oppositely along the stem, and both the stems and leaves are covered with numerous stinging and non-stinging trichomes (plant hairs).
Large herbivores avoid common nettle because of its sharp and poisonous hairs. On the other hand, many insects and their larvae use common nettle as food and safe place for egg deposition.
The plants can be dioecious (an individual produces only female or male flowers) or monoecious (an individual bears both male and female flowers), depending on the subspecies.
Common nettle is used in folk medicine as a remedy for rheumatism and gout. Placing of fresh plant on the painful joint can alleviate pain.
The tiny green or white flowers are borne in dense whorled clusters in the leaf axils and stem tips and are wind-pollinated. The fruits are small achenes, and the plants produce copious amounts of seeds.
Common nettle can be used in treatment of urinary tract infections, disorders of gastrointestinal tract, skin and cardiac diseases, hemorrhage and flu.
The stinging trichomes of the leaves and stems have bulbous tips that break off when brushed against, revealing needlelike tubes that pierce the skin.
Common nettle is used in cosmetic industry mostly in the production of shampoos. Shampoos made of common nettle are used to remove dandruff and to improve quality of hair.
Hunting dogs running through stinging nettle thickets have been poisoned, sometimes lethally, by the massive accumulation of stings.
Common nettle was used in the production of fabrics in the past (before cotton was discovered). Certain countries produce textile made of common nettle today, because it is cheap and has good characteristics.
The dried plant can be used as livestock feed, and heating or cooking the fresh leaves renders them safe for consumption.
Common nettle is rich source of iron, vitamin A and C, and few minerals. It can be consumed in the form of soups, salads or as an ingredient of various salty dishes.
Stinging nettle has a long history of use as a medicinal herb and is still used in folk medicine for a wide array of disorders, though there is limited clinical evidence supporting its efficacy.
Common nettle is also used for the manufacture of sweet non-alcoholic beverage and beer in Europe.
The rootstock is used as a diuretic and as an herbal treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement) and other urinary disorders.
Common nettle contains high level of valuable minerals and it can be used as manure for gardens.
Tea made from the leaves has been used to treat hay fever, diabetes, gout, and arthritis, and fresh stinging leaves are sometimes applied to arthritic joints in a process known as urtification, which is said to stimulate blood flow.
Dyes extracted from the rhizome (yellow) and leaves (green) are used for dyeing of fabrics and food.
Topical creams have also been developed for joint pain and various skin ailments, including eczema and dandruff.
Common nettle is perennial plant, which means that it can survive more than two years in the wild.