Welcome to You Ask Andy

How fast does a glacier move?

Glaciers are really great rivers of ice and, like rivers of water, they are constantly on the move. However, they move much more slowly than water and you have to watch a long time to check their progress.

The vast fields of ice in the northern regions are constantly pushing southward. The icy tongues on lofty mountains are forever slipping slowly downward. The speed at which a glacier moves depends, among other things, upon the slope, temperature and amount of water in the ice. A slow moving glacier moves only a few inches a day. A very fast moving glacier can flow along at 100 feet a day.

 Dino Politis, age 8 and a half, of Columbus, 0hio, for his question:

How do pomegranates grow?

The pomegranate has a long and glamorous history. We. hear of its beauty in ancient Bible stories. We read about it in the long ago tales of the Odyssey. In those days, we are told, it was tended with care in the gardens of ancient kings. And so it may well have been. For the pomegranate has been carefully cultivated for many thousands of years. Many ancient peoples gave pomegranates to their gods.

Wild pomegranates still grow in Afghanistan and Northern India, though they are much smaller and less handsome than the cultivated variety. The cultivating may have been started by forgotten gardeners long, long ago. The Roman writer Pliny tells us that his people discovered the beautiful fruit growing in Carthage.

These Greeks and Romans did not have orange juice as we do, For they had not learned to cultivate citrons fruits such as oranges and lemons. The pomegranate has a faintly acid flavor. It soon became a very popular fruit, used to refresh the ancient Romans much as we use citrus fruits. They soon discovered that the bark and rind of the pomegranate could be used to make an astringent, such as alum, they steeped parts of the fruit and plant to make medicines.

They discovered that the rind and bark could be used as a dye and they also used it in tanning leather.

Today, though we cultivate more tasty fruits, the pomegranate is still one of the most beautiful. It is beautiful as shrub, flower and fruit. The shrub, which can grow as high as 25 feet, is thick, with slender leaves of shiny dark green. The flowers are usually of a brilliant scarlet color. They have very short stalks and peep out from deed within the glossy foliage.

Each flower looks like a small, flaming bell. The petals, five to seven of them, are crumpled, which gives the flower a fragile look.

The fruit begins to form as the bright petals fall away. Full grown, a pomegranate can be as big as a small grapefruit. In appearance its rind is far prettier than that of a grapefruit. It wears a hard, leathery rind of reddish gold.

Inside, however, the pomegranate is not nearly so satisfying as a grapefruit. Triangular sections are separated by a hard, tough web. The sections are filled with seeds covered with soft pulp. Take a good look at the wonderful color inside the pomegranate    it is a most delicious looking pink. Too bad, but you will be somewhat disappointed to taste it. In no time at all you have a mouthful of seeds and the flavor is slightly acid.

Did the pomegranate taste better when those ancient tales were written about it? Not at all. In those days it was one of the best of the cultivated fruits. Nowadays we have cultivated many better tasting fruits. Though Andy says, we have not cultivated any fruit more beautiful than the pomegranate.


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