Did you know that the most complex word in the English language is “run”? Surprisingly deceptive, don’t you agree? This short word has 645 definitions and holds the record for the most number of definitions in the Oxford English Dictionary. The word was so complex that the lexicographer and editor of the dictionary dedicated nine months deciphering the intricacies of the various meanings. 

However, this has not always been the case. In the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “set” was the word with the most definitions at 430, spanning a total of 24 pages. It was later by “put”, and finally, “run”. The increase in definitions could be due to advancements in technology. For example, one could now say that a smartphone runs applications. The dictionary then has to include this newer definition of “run”.

So the next time you come across the word “run” in your grammar or synthesis questions, take a moment to appreciate the subtleties of the word.

Adapted from: Mentalfloss.com


Number patterns may seem like a small component in PSLE but did you know that number patterns are expressed in many places such as buildings and nature? Have you heard of the Fibonacci sequence? The first number in the sequence is zero. The second number is 1. After which, each number is the sum of the previous two. The number pattern would look something like 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21. This number pattern goes on forever.

So how are they expressed in nature? Just look around you! The next time you’re out and about, look out for leaves on a stem, pineapples, pinecones or sunflowers. For instance, you’ll notice that the seeds of a sunflower look like spirals going right and left. If you count them, you will also notice that it would total up to be a Fibonacci number! Additionally, some flowers also express the sequence in their growth. For example, lilies and irises have 3 petals while wild roses have 5. How fascinating! 

Adapted from: Howstuffworks.com


In Science class, we learnt that seed dispersal is crucial to the survival of plants. One of the ways seed dispersal occurs is by animals. Common animals that play an important role include birds and squirrels. However, did you know that cougars are also effective long-distance seed dispersers? Cougars could disperse as much as 5,000 seeds per km2 per year! Now, you must be thinking, aren’t cougars apex predators whose diet is strictly carnivorous? How do they end up interacting with plant species at the bottom of the food web? 

They do so indirectly! Cougars’ main prey are the Eared Doves, which eat seeds from the ground. By consuming the Eared Doves, cougars unknowingly ingest these seeds. Dispersal then occurs when the cougars leave their droppings as they traverse. Surprisingly, the number of seeds found in the cougar’s droppings did not differ very much from the doves’ droppings themselves. This suggests that seed germination was unaffected by seed passage through the cougar.  

Adapted from: Organiclesson.com

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