Education & Languages

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Understanding the Weather's Water Cycle

Precipitation, the liquid and solid water particles that fall from the sky, is part of a large and truly amazing cycle of water. It passes from the bottoms of the seas to the tops of the mountains, from [more…]

Defining the Radian in Trigonometry

A person's introduction to angles is usually in terms of degrees. You probably have a good idea of what a 45-degree angle looks like. And even most middle-school students know that a triangle consists [more…]

Discovering Pythagorean Triples

The Pythagorean Theorem is certainly one of the most famous theorems in all of mathematics. Mathematicians and lay people alike have studied it for centuries, and people have proved it in many different [more…]

Examining the Presidency of John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy was the first president born in the 20th century. He was also the youngest president, at 43 years of age, to be elected to office. (Theodore Roosevelt assumed the office at age 42, after [more…]

Expressing Gratitude and Regret in Japanese

Phrases of gratitude and apology are the most important and essential phrases in any language. Suppose a stranger holds a door open for you when you're entering a building. What do you say? Suppose you [more…]

India's Caste System

Many Westerners have heard of India's caste system, but a thorough understanding of its ins and outs is still relatively uncommon. The following sections reveal the nitty-gritty of the caste system. [more…]

Knowing How to Impress the Science Fair Judges

Even with some background about what science fair judging involves, you're probably still nervous. You know that your project is good and that your display is attractive. You even know what the judges [more…]

Hitting the Target Word Count in Your College Admission Essay

Don't worry; even if the application calls for a word or page limit, your reader is not going to bother to count your words and hold you to a ten-word range. However, you don't have a completely free hand [more…]

Decoding Medical Lingo

If you're watching a TV drama about doctors, it doesn't matter whether you understand exactly what's being said. But when you're sitting in a doctor's office and he or she is talking about your child, [more…]

Identifying Themes in Your Autobiography for Your College Admission Essay

The stories of your life are an important ingredient of the admission essay, but they're not the only ingredient. You also need to identify the themes that run through the information you present to the [more…]

World War II Comes to America: Pearl Harbor

Japan's ambassadors delivered the first part of a final Japanese diplomatic note to U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull on December 6, 1941. On the morning of December 7, the final portion of the note [more…]

Genetics: Understanding Chromosome Disorders

Chromosomal abnormalities, in the form of aneuploidy, are very common among humans. Roughly 8 percent of all conceptions are aneuploid, and it's estimated that up to half of all miscarriages are due to [more…]

SAT Vocabulary: Using New Words in Context

You have a choice when trying to improve your SAT vocabulary: You can open up a dictionary and start memorizing words, or you can read some funny and (hopefully) interesting stories that help you remember [more…]

Mastering Latin Ablatives

Ablatives are to Latin grammar what black holes are to space: They suck in all matter and energy. Well, sort of. Actually, the ablative case is the case for all sorts of time and space-related uses. In [more…]

Getting Scholarships and Grants

Winning free college money is rather like earning money for writing. You have to work at it, and you only get paid if you do it right. But, unlike being a professional writer, pretty much anyone can win [more…]

Conjugating the Irregular Spanish Verb Jugar (to Play)

Spanish verbs fall into different groups, and each group is conjugated a little differently. If you’re going to master Spanish verbs like jugar, you need to be able to identify which group a verb belongs [more…]

Examining the Leaders of North and South Vietnam

You can get a better understanding of the Vietnam War by taking a look at the leaders of North Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh) and South Vietnam (Ngo Dinh Diem). Getting to know more about the two leaders in Vietnam [more…]

El Niño and La Niña: Weather's Sibling Rivalry

Just when you think you've got the seasons in your area all figured out, along comes a winter that is nothing like what you expect. Around the country, around the world, everything seems to be upside down [more…]

Philosophical Battles: Empiricism versus Rationalism

The history of philosophy has seen many warring camps fighting battles over some major issue or other. One of the major battles historically has been over the foundations of all our knowledge. What is [more…]

Understanding the Origin of the Greek Gods

The most complete version of the Greek creation myths that survives is a poem called the Theogony ("Birth of the Gods") by a poet named Hesiod, who lived in the late eighth or early seventh century B.C [more…]

SAT II Math: Looking at Lines and Angles

Plane geometry is the study of lines and shapes in two dimensions. Imagine a tool that could prove that the Earth is round and that the planets move around the sun in predictable orbits. Those are some [more…]

Living Better with Better Grammar

Stuck in English class, you probably thought that grammar was invented just to give teachers something to test. But in fact grammar — or to be more precise, formal grammar instruction — exists to help [more…]

Minerals, Hormones, and Your Ever-Changing Bones

You might think of your skeleton as a solid, unchanging structure that the softer bits of your anatomy cling to, but that isn't entirely the case. Bone is constantly reshaping itself in a complex process [more…]

Taking the Zen Approach to LSAT Analytical Reasoning Problems

Remember the Zen approach — live in the present. Each section contains four Analytical Reasoning problems. Make each problem the sole focus of your being for the time it takes you to work it. Don't think [more…]

Deciding Which SAT Subject Test to Take

Until the regular SAT changed in 2005, it used to be a little easier to decide which SAT II subject area tests you needed to take. Most of the colleges that required the SAT II made you take the SAT II [more…]

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