Just like we are for food, we as humans are always hungry to learn. Hence, gastronomy knowledge combines the two yearnings. Every food has a unique origin story and studying it provides an excellent opportunity to get a glimpse into the past. Basic food names such as apple, milk, meat and salt have a very long history that dates back to 6,000 to 8,000 years ago to the Indo-Europeans.
Did you know that the word “soup” is derived from the concept of soaking via Old French soup, meaning ‘bread soaked in liquid’? It then extended to also mean ‘broth or soup poured onto bread’. This meaning of the word soup entered the English vocabulary in the 17th century.
Here’s another fact! Now a common dessert, pudding originally meant ‘sausage’, or the stomach or intestine of an animal stuffed with minced meat. However, in the present time, white and black pudding which is a type of sausage has retained their original meaning. This is why someone unfamiliar with white and black pudding would be confused when they receive a meat dish instead of a custard dessert pudding.
Now you can impress your friends in English class! Do you know of any other words with an interesting history?
Adapted from www.etymonline.com
Did you know that in a room of just 23 people there is a 50% chance of at least two people sharing the same birthday? Interestingly, this probability goes up to 70% for 30 people, 90% for 41 people, and it even increases to 99.9% in a room of more than 70 people!
This is known as the birthday paradox. It is rather strange, contrary to intuition, but completely true. Most people find this surprising because their intuition is to calculate the probability of his or her birthday matching the birthdays of the 22 other people in the room. Hence, it would result in only 22 comparisons or only 22 chances for people to share the same birthday. However, this is a common error. The calculation should be done over all pairs of people and when all 23 birthdays are compared against each other, it makes for much more than 22 comparisons. This adds up to 253 comparisons or 253 chances of a matching birthday!
Are there any matching birthdays in your class?
Adapted from: www.betterexplained.com
Did you know that the Eiffel Tower can be up to 15cm taller during the summer? Like any metal, iron is no exception to thermal expansion. Variations in temperature such as the hot Parisian summers where the temperature reaches as high as 40°C and even negative temperatures in winter affects this large structure.
Extreme heat in the summer causes the metal structure to gain heat and expand, increasing its height. Interestingly, one of the 4 sides that faces the sun would gain heat faster, causing it to expand more and be longer than the other sides. This creates an imbalance, resulting in the top of the tower tilting away from the sun! Additionally, due to the sun’s movement throughout the day, the tip of this famous structure moves in a circular manner of about 15cm in diameter.
What other examples of thermal expansion can you think of?
Adapted from: www.toureiffel.paris
There are many facts in the world that might pique your curiosity and if you are interested in more, join Our Learning Lodge, a PSLE exam specialist situated in Jurong West. In OLL, learning is fun and innovative! Do contact us via WhatsApp (+65 9727 2203), Facebook or Instagram if you are looking for a tuition centre.