A question can pop into your head at an unexpected time. It can come while you're reading a book or watching a movie. Sometimes a random inquiry springs to mind when you're in the middle of a conversation - or a shower.
Regardless of when a question occurs to you, it may not feel like you can get an answer. But, if and when you do, it can be a big relief.
We've had this happen to us and decided to take matters into our own hands. We answered many questions last year - and did it again this year. Take a look at some of the most fascinating conundrums we got answers to in 2022 and vote up the ones that really take a load off your mind, too.
According to the Merriam-Webster, the word “cemetery” comes from the Latin word coemeterium and Greek koimētērion and refers to a burial place or sleeping chamber. Its first known use was in the 15th century.
Through the 18th century, “cemetery” described consecrated land around a church and was synonymous with "churchyard." By the mid-18th century, that use had generally fallen by the wayside and a cemetery was simply a place for the internment of the dead.
A graveyard, again according to Webster's, basically just means a burial ground, but not necessarily with any religious connection. The word was first used in the 18th century.
Cemeteries and graveyards do have some distinct characteristics, however. The former are often larger than the latter, are better maintained, and may be better organized into rows.
- 2463 VOTES
Why Has Roman Concrete Stood The Test Of Time?
Among their many accomplishments, the Romans were especially famous for their buildings. From aqueducts to palaces, and from amphitheaters to the roads knitting the empire together, they were always building. What’s more, many of their structures remain intact today. The secret to their durability lies in Roman concrete.
Although this concrete of antiquity is significantly weaker than its modern equivalent, one of its key ingredients, volcanic ash, ensures its ability to withstand the ravages of time. This is especially true of the particular type of ash in the concrete the Romans used to construct harbors; when combined with seawater, it becomes even more durable.
- 3256 VOTES
What Does It Mean When A Country's Name Ends In '-ia'?
Around the world, many country names end with the suffix "-ia" - something that is especially true in Eastern Europe. When used in Latin and Greek, the suffix creates an abstract noun referring to a collection of people or locations. Within the Roman Empire, for example, territories like Germania were named after the people living there. Contemporary usage embraces the same tradition, with countries like Russia being the "land of the Rus."
Instances also exist of Latin being used to describe other abstract aspects of territories. Australia, for example, comes from austral, which means "pertaining to the south." Nigeria derives its name (used by British imperialists since the 19th century) from the Niger River, while Algeria is a Latinization of the city of Algiers adopted by French imperialists.
- 4225 VOTES
Why Are Stop Signs Octagonal?
Traffic signs vary in shape and size around the world, but red octagons with alerts to stop appear in many countries. In the US, the ubiquitous red stop sign was designed specifically to get attention.
Octagons, which have been used as stop signs since the late 1910s, are recognizable from the front and back, making them visible from various vantage points of an intersection. Red wasn't mandated as the color until 1954. This too allows for as much visibility as possible.