National Geographic Answer Book: 10,001 Fast Facts About Our World

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9781426208928: National Geographic Answer Book: 10,001 Fast Facts About Our World

A multifaceted reference book for the 21st century, the Answer Book will fascinate with up-to-date, authoritative, and endlessly interesting information about the world today. From earth sciences to astronomy, from climate and habitats to human arts and cultures, from ancient history to cutting-edge technology, and including brief descriptions, flags, and statistics of all the countries of the world, it delivers exactly the kind of quick-dip information that modern readers crave. Maps, charts, diagrams, graphs, photographs, illustrations—some 600 pictures in all—combine with hundreds of fast facts and short pieces on the people, places, wildlife, weather, history, and current events that matter in our world today. National Geographic Answer Book is a vital reference for school, a handy resource at the office, and a fabulous pick-up-and browse companion at home.
From the Hardcover edition.

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About the Author:

Kathryn Thornton, who wrote the foreword to this book, was a NASA astronaut from 1985 to 1996, flying four space missions including the first Hubble Space Telescope service mission and logging 21 extravehicular hours and 975 total hours in space. She is now a professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia.
From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

What is the Rosetta Stone?
Hieroglyphs are the written symbols that were used by scribes in ancient Egypt. While they appear to be pictures, or pictographs, they usually stood for sounds, or phonetics.

The hieroglyphic system of writing vanished from Egypt by about the fifth century A.D., and with it all knowledge of how to translate the complex symbols. Then, in 1799, a Frenchman in Rosetta, Egypt—now called Rashid—discovered a black granite stone from the second century B.C. that bore inscriptions in Egyptian hieroglyphic, Egyptian demotic (common script), and Greek. By comparing the symbols in the three different writing systems, he was able to begin to decipher the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, revealing a text written by priests in honor of the pharaoh.
From the Hardcover edition.

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