An apron is an outer protective garment that covers primarily the front of the body. It may be worn for hygienic reasons as well as in order to protect clothes from wear and tear. The apron is commonly part of the uniform of several work categories, including waitresses, nurses, and domestic workers. Many homemakers also wear them. It is also worn as a decorative garment by women. Aprons are also worn in many commercial establishments to protect workers clothes from damage, mainly bib aprons, but also others such as blacksmith or farrier aprons. In addition to cloth, aprons can be made from a variety of materials. Rubber aprons are commonly used by persons working with dangerous chemicals, and lead aprons are commonly worn by persons such as X-ray technicians who work near radiation. Aprons, such as those used by carpenters, may have many pockets to hold tools. Waterproof household aprons, made of oilcloth or PVC are suitable for cooking and washing dishes. The word apron is from the metanalysis of the term "a napron" to "an apron". The original spelling of napron has been lost.
Monday, 30 April 2012
Barbara is a female given name used in numerous languages. It is the feminine form of the Greek word barbaros (Greek: βαρβαρος) meaning "foreign". In Spanish, Portuguese and Italian it means barbarian or barbaric. In Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox tradition, Saint Barbara was martyred by her father, who was then punished with death by lightning. As such, St. Barbara is a protectress against fire and lightning. Other saints of this name include Barbara Avrillot (Barbe Aurillot, known as Marie of the Incarnation) and Barbara Koob (Marianne Cope).
Today, Barbara remains among the top 100 most popular names for female babies born in Chile, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. It is among the top 10 names given to baby girls born in both the Czech Republic and Georgia in 2009. Its popularity in the United States has declined from third place, in the 1930s, to 757th place, in 2008. In 2009 it rose back to 656th place.
Friday, 9 December 2011
The King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) is a large bird found in Central and South America. It is a member of the New World vulture family Cathartidae. This vulture lives predominantly in tropical lowland forests stretching from southern Mexico to northern Argentina, though some believe that William Bartram's Painted Vulture of Florida may be of this species. It is the only surviving member of the genus Sarcoramphus, although fossil members are known.
Large and predominantly white, the King Vulture has gray to black ruff, flight, and tail feathers. The head and neck are bald, with the skin color varying, including yellow, orange, blue, purple, and red. The King Vulture has a very noticeable yellow fleshy caruncle on its beak. This vulture is a scavenger and it often makes the initial cut into a fresh carcass. It also displaces smaller New World vulture species from a carcass. King Vultures have been known to live for up to 30 years in captivity.
King Vultures were popular figures in the Mayan codices as well as in local folklore and medicine. Although currently listed as Least Concern by the IUCN, they are decreasing in number, due primarily to habitat loss.