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1   Suez Canal

Suez_Canal.jpg, 33 kB

The Suez Canal (Arabic: قناةالسويس, Qanā al-Suways, French: Le Canal de Suez) is a canal in Egypt. It lies west of the Sinai Peninsula. The canal is 163 km long (101 miles) and, at its narrowest point, 300 m wide (984 ft). It runs between Port Said (Bur Sa'id) on the Mediterranean Sea, and Suez (al-Suways) on the Red Sea. It was built by a French company. The canal was started in 1859 and finished in 1869.

The canal allows boats and ships to travel from Europe to Asia without having to go the way around Africa. The Suez Canal was built in Egypt and connected Mediterranean sea with the Indian ocean.

The canal consists of two parts, north and south of the Great Bitter Lake.

The Suez Canal was first built over 2,000 years ago.

In 1859, the Suez Canal was built again, by the Universal Suez Ship Canal Company, and took 10 years to build. The first ship to pass through the canal did so on 17 February 1867; Giuseppe Verdi wrote the famous opera Aida for this ceremony.

The canal made is possible to easily transport goods across the world. The canal also allowed Europeans to travel to East Africa, and this area was soon controlled by European powers.

The success in Egypt encouraged the French to start building the Panama Canal.

After the Six Day War in 1967, the canal remained closed until June 5, 1975. A UN peacekeeping force has been stationed in the Sinai Peninsula since 1974, to avoid more wars.

About 15,000 ships pass through the canal each year, which is about 14 % of world shipping. Each ship takes up to 16 hours to cross the canal.

Suez Canal    -     hledat v googlu: Suez Canal, obrázky v googlu: Suez Canal

2   Zeppelin

Zeppelin.jpg, 67 kB
A Zeppelin is a type of airship. It is a dirigible, which means it is rigid airship, but can be directed. It was developed by Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, in the early 20th century. The name Zeppelin is now used as a common name for all airships. Zeppelins were used in the First World War. In the Second World War the Nazis largely used them for propaganda purposes. One of the most well-known Zeppelins was the LZ 129 Hindenburg, which caught fire on May 6 in 1937 during a landing after a non-stop trip from Germany to New Jersey in the United States. After the Second World War and the fall of the Nazis in Germany, Zeppelins weren't used anymore. Plans exist to use Zeppelins to lift heavy weights. Sometimes they are also used as tourist attractions or for advertising.

Zeppelin    -     hledat v googlu: Zeppelin, obrázky v googlu: Zeppelin

3   Tsunami

A tsunami is a wave in the ocean caused by earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. A tsunami is a very long, big wave. It can be hundreds of kilometers long. It is a chain of fast moving waves. It is made because of fast changes in the ocean. Usually, a tsunami starts suddenly. It will begin as normal waves and change to a very big wave very quickly. The waves travel at a great speed across an ocean with little energy loss. They can remove sand from beaches, destroy trees, damage houses and even destroy whole towns.

The water will draw back from the coast half of the period of the wave before it gets to the coast. If the slope of the coast is not deep, the water may pull back for hundreds of metres. People who do not know of the danger will often remain at the shore. Tsunamis can not be prevented. However, there are ways to help stop people from dying from a tsunami. Some regions where there are lots of tsunamis may use warning systems. Through them, they may warn the population before the big waves reach the land. Because an earthquake that caused the tsunami can be felt before the wave gets to the shore, people can be warned to go somewhere safe.

The deadliest tsunami recorded was on December 26, 2004. It was caused by an earthquake that was said to have magnitude 9.3 on the Richter scale. It was centered in the ocean near the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Over 215,000 people died from this disaster. The giant wave moved very quickly. Hundreds of thousands of people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, Somalia, and other nations, were killed or injured by it.

Tsunamis are often called tidal waves. This is misleading, because tsunamis are not related to tides.

Some tsunamis can be caused by the overlapping of tectonic plates.

Tsunami    -     hledat v googlu: Tsunami, obrázky v googlu: Tsunami

4   Vikings

The Vikings were the people who came from Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden) around 800AD-1100AD. They traveled great distances in their longboats, as traders, settlers and warriors. Many of the Vikings were tall and had red or blonde hair and beards. Villages on or near any coast in early medieval Europe lived in great fear of Viking attacks. Some of the countries most affected by Viking piracy were England, Scotland, Ireland and France.

Many words from the Scandinavian/Viking language (Norse) entered our English language. For example, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday are named after the Viking gods Tiw, Odin, Thor & Freya. And the words "skirt and shirt" came from the word skyrta (though sounding like skirt meant "shirt"). "Skin" came from the Norse word "skinn" (which meant to strip the meat off something). Even many place-names in the areas the Vikings conquered still have the names that they gave them after starting to rule the "new found lands", like those in Yorkshire ending with -thwaite which meant "a clearing" and dale which meant "a valley". Leah came from the word leya and was used for Viking girls.

The Vikings were fearless explorers. They travelled through Russia, the Mediterranean Sea, southern Europe, northern Africa and south-western Asia. Some Vikings sailed across the Atlantic Ocean via Iceland and Greenland and even lived in North America for a while, but were driven away by Native Americans, whom they called Skraelings. The ruins of a Viking settlement from 1000 AD have been found at L'Anse-aux-Meadows, Newfoundland.

Vikings in Europe
Europeans were frightened of the Vikings because of their strong weapons, swift attacks, and cruel fighting tactics. They were known for their bad treatment of women, children and monks in the places where they fought. When the Vikings came to England, the English kings paid them to leave the country, but the Vikings took their money and sometimes fought them anyway. These payments were called Danegeld. From the 9th century to 1066, when the French Duke of Normandy, who became King William I of England conquered it, Danish and Norwegian Vikings ruled large parts of England.

Because of their longboats, which could float in 4 feet (1.3m) of water, the Vikings were able to make their way up rivers and land deep inside a country. For example they sailed up the River Shannon in Ireland and built a harbour 60 miles (100 km) from the coast.

Vikings    -     hledat v googlu: Vikings, obrázky v googlu: Vikings

5   Tundra

Wrangel_Island_tundra.jpg, 57 kB

In physical geography, tundra is an area where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. The term "tundra" comes from tundâr which means "uplands, tundra, treeless mountain tract!". There are three types of tundra: arctic tundra, antarctic tundra, and alpine tundra. In all of these types, the vegetation is mostly grass, moss and lichens. Trees grow in some parts of tundra. The boundary between the tundra and the forest is known as the tree line or timberline.The area itself encircles the Arctic Ocean of the Northern Hemisphere. The climate in a tundra biome consists of freezing cold and dryness in the winter and cold summers. The tundra ground is a barren place, often covered with rocks. Most water on the tundra is frozen within the soil. The permanent frozen soil is called permafrost. Permafrost and fierce winds prevent large trees from growing deep roots. Plants in the tundra are small and grow close to the ground. Plants called cushions grow in tight clumps in the tundra, but lichens are the dominant plants. Lichens cover the rocks. The few trees that do grow on the tundra are dwarf willows and birch.

The deep and cold snow makes life in the tundra very difficult. Every animal must adapt in order to survive. Some have thick fur that turns white during the winter. Others find places to hibernate during the winter months. Some examples of animals that live in the tundra are: rodents, hares, sables, caribou, wolves, arctic foxes, bears, walruses, seals and snowy owls.

Tundra    -     hledat v googlu: Tundra, obrázky v googlu: Tundra

6   Nicolaus Copernicus

Nikolaus_Kopernikus.jpg, 36 kB

Nicolaus Copernicus (in Polish: Mikołaj Kopernik, February 19, 1473 – May 24, 1543) was an astronomer. People know Copernicus for his ideas about the sun and the earth. His main idea was that our world is heliocentric, from helios - sun. He wrote about his theory that the sun was in the middle of the solar system in his epochal book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres).

Copernicus was born in 1473 in the city of Thorn (Toruń), in Royal Prussia, a mainly German-speaking region that a few years earlier had become a part of the Kingdom of Poland. He was taught first in Cracow and then in Italy, where he graduated as a lawyer of the church. He also studied medicine to serve his fellow clerics. Copernicus spent most of his life working and researching in Frauenburg (Frombork), Warmia, where he died in 1543.

Copernicus was one of the great polymaths of his age. He was a priest, mathematician, astronomer, doctor, jurist, physician, classical scholar, governor, administrator, diplomat, economist, and even led soldiers. During all these jobs, he treated astronomy like a hobby. However, his formula of how the sun, rather than the earth, is at the center of the universe is thought to be one of the most important scientific hypotheses in history. Many people believe it was the beginning of modern astronomy.

Nicolaus Copernicus    -     hledat v googlu: Nicolaus Copernicus, obrázky v googlu: Nicolaus Copernicus

7   United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is the United Nations agency that looks after:

- Education - learning and the way people learn.
- Culture - what people do in different countries, and what different people think is important.
- Science - what people know about the world.

One of the things UNESCO does, is to make a list of all the most important, special, interesting or beautiful places in the world. This list is called "UNESCO World Heritage Sites". These places and buildings must be preserved, because they are important and beautiful. In the future, people must have a chance to enjoy these places that tell us a lot about the past. Most countries have at least one place on this list, but some have many. They include historical buildings or sites, beautiful landscapes, places that have scientific value (for instance in geology), or places that are very important to a particular nation.

UNESCO    -     hledat v googlu: UNESCO, obrázky v googlu: UNESCO

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