Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Random Trivia that I've learned through homeschooling

One of my biggest joys in homeschooling is all the fun stuff that *I* get to learn with the kids.  I thought I'd share some of the things I've discovered recently:

- When you get hot, the blood vessels in your skin get wider.  This lets more blood into your skin.  The extra blook makes your face look red.  But it let the air around you cool your blood down faster.

- When Columbus sailed the ocean blue, he landed in San Salvador (named by him, which means "Holy Savior")  He never actually discovered North America --that was later dicovered by an English man: John Cabot.( --obviously by "discovered," I'm not reffering to the natives who lived there, or the Vikings who had discovered it long before -  I mean discovered by the Europeans).  Here's another  interesting snippet from our history book "A Child's History of the World" --a *great* book, by the way): "People soon began to say it was nothing for Columbus to have sailed westward until land was found, that anyone could do that.  One day when Columbus was dining with the king's nobles, who were trying to belittle what he had done, he took an egg and, passing it around the table, asked each one if he could stand it on end.  No one oculd.  When it came back to Columbus, he set it down just hard enough to crack the end slightly and flatten it.  Of course, then it stood up.  'You see,' said Columbus, 'it's very easy if you only know how.  So it's easy enough to sail west until you find land after I have done it once and shown you how.'  ....Some [people] were so spiteful and jealous of [Columbus'] success that they even charged him with wrongdoing...Columbus was put in chains and shipped home.  Although he was promptly st free, Columbus kept the chains as a reminder of men's ingratitude and asked to have the burried with him....When at last he died in Spain, he was alone and almost forgotten even by his friends."

- speaking of the Americas, they interestingly (and obviously) enough were not named after Columbus.  Instead, they were named after Americus Vespucci who, after traveling to the New World, wrote a book about it.

- I also thought it was very fascinating to learn about Magellan's travels (he's credited for being the first to sail all the way around the world).  Only one of his five ships made it all the way around, but did you know that Magellan wasn't acutally on that ship?  He was killed inthe Philippines by the natives before completing the trip.

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