Page 60. " in the style of the Italian Renaissance "
The Breakers, Rhose Island
GNU Free Documentation LicenseThe Breakers, Rhose Island - Credit: Stan Shebs

The Italian Renaissance Revival style become popular in the early 20th century in the United States.  The style borrowed features such as low pitched roofs and arched windows and doorways from the European style.

Page 60. " She was cutting a piece of French toast "

French Toast
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeFrench Toast
   French Toast recipe.

Page 61. " Alex the Parrot was his favourite "

Alex the Parrot was an African Grey parrot, and was the subject of a 30 year experiment by animal psychologist Irene Pepperberg. Sadly, Alex died suddenly in 2006. His final words to Pepperberg were "You be good. I love you".               

Page 61. " the school's combo ethanol-solarvan "
Solar Car
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSolar Car - Credit: Mike Obermeyer

 Flexible Fuel ethanol/gasoline cars are already on sale. 

Flex Fuel GM Badge
Creative Commons AttributionFlex Fuel GM Badge - Credit: Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz

 

 

 

 

 

Solar-powered vehicles are at a more developmental stage.

Page 66. " heard his dad say that: touch wood "

The saying touch or knock on wood is used around the world, and is thought to come from the pagan tradition of tree deities. It is customary to tap the nearest wooden object to ensure good fortune.

Page 71. " that huge tidal wave from the Canary Islands volcano "

In 1999, scientists from University College London predicted that a volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands could cause a landslide, and this in turn could create a tidal wave which would reach the eastern USA.

Later research suggested the threat was not as great as first indicated.

Page 72. " Lake Okeechobee had shrunk "

Lake Okeechobee from space
Public DomainLake Okeechobee from space - Credit: NASA
 Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in the southern United States.

Google Map

 

Page 72. " the Everglades had burned for three weeks straight "
The Everglades
Public DomainThe Everglades - Credit: NASA

The Everglades are sub-tropical wetlands in southern Florida.

Fires here are natural events (usually caused by lightning strikes), which maintain the balance of the eco-system.  They are prevented from getting out of control by the copious water and rainfall in the area.

The Everglades
Creative Commons AttributionThe Everglades - Credit: http2007, Flickr