Why are you ‘In’ a movie but ‘On’ a television?

Why do we say “in” a movie but “on” a TV show?

Em: Emma, did you see Johnny Depp on Alice through the looking glass? I found the movie very interesting.
Emma: Yes it was good. But Johnny Depp was ‘in’ the movie not ‘on’.
Em: Really? I thought it was ‘on’ like ‘on’ television.
Emma: No silly. A movie is like a book. You can be ‘in’ a book or ‘in’ a movie. A television is a physical object and you can be ‘on’ a television.
Em: Haha! Am I sitting ‘on’ the television?
Emma: Very funny! When you are watching television, you are watching pictures displayed ‘on’ the television screen. But a movie is not an object. It is a collection of information or a story and the characters are all ‘in’ a movie.
Reason: That’s right. It all started before the invention of movies or television. People used to act in plays, on a stage- Stage plays. Another reason can be that television shows are ongoing but movies are not. Thus, you are ‘on’ an ongoing television show but you are ‘in’ a movie.
Em: Huh! Now I am confused as to what is going ‘on’ ‘in’ my mind!

If you own land, how far above and below do you own?

When you buy a piece of land, it is of common understanding that you are given unrestricted access to a predetermined amount of land.

But how much of that land do you own? Do you own the sky above it? How about the land below it?

“Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos”  A Latin maxim which is considered to be a traditional starting point to the property law states, “whoever owns the soil, holds title all the way up to the heavens and down to the depths of hell“.

So yes, historically, if you owned a piece of land, you owned everything, both above and below the soil from the deepest reaches of the Earth right up to the heavens themselves.

What is land ownership?

But property laws today have come a long way. Now, they vary from country to country.
As a property owner, one only has a right to the airspace above their land located in lower stratum, the precise boundaries for which is still up for debate.

For example, one can’t ask commercial planes to stop flying over their house, because the sky is considered to be a public highway. At the same time, there have been cases where trespassers have been fined to use the airspace above one’s house.

The most famous case of this kind comes from 1945 when a chicken farmer sued the US government for flying approximately 83 feet above his property. The noise of the airplane caused a bunch of his chickens to accidentally kill themselves by running into walls. The farmer won his case and the court agreed that although a property owner wasn’t entitled to own all the air above their land, they were entitled to own enough so that planes flying overhead wouldn’t kill their chickens.

And what about the earth below our land?

Just like the airspace, this varies. This depends upon, whether one has mineral rights along with ownership of land.

For example, if a home-owner finds out that there is a huge deposit of gas under their home but they don’t have any mineral right under their land then they can stake no claim over the gas deposit.

So, one can say if you own a piece of land, you may own more than you’d expect, but in a lot of cases, perhaps lesser than you might wish.

Tenali Raman: Tenali Raman and the three dolls


Here’s another great story about Tenali Raman.

The great king Krishna Deva Raya had a lot of wise ministers in his court. The wisest of them was Tenali Rama. One day, a merchant came to the king’s court from a foreign kingdom. He saluted the ......


Here’s another great story about Tenali Raman.

The great king Krishna Deva Raya had a lot of wise ministers in his court. The wisest of them was Tenali Rama. One day, a merchant came to the king’s court from a foreign kingdom. He saluted the king and then said, “Your Majesty, I have heard from many people that you have very wise ministers in your court. But with your permission, I would like to test the wisdom of your ministers.” This aroused the king’s interest and he gave the merchant his permission. The merchant gave the king three dolls that looked identical. He said, “Though these dolls look similar, they are different in some way. If your ministers can find out the difference, I will bow to their wisdom. But if they can’t, I will assume that there are no wise ministers in your court. I will be back in thirty days for the answer.”

The king asked all of his ministers except Tenali Rama to assemble. He gave them the three dolls and told them to find the difference in them in three days’ time. But at the end of three days, none of the ministers could figure out the difference. The king got worried and called Tenali Rama. He said to him, “Tenali, I did not summon you before because I thought that this problem will be too simple. But since no one has been able to find the solution, it is up to you now. Find the difference between these dolls.” Tenali took the three dolls and went away.

The problem proved difficult for Tenali too, but at last, after a lot of effort, he figured out the difference. He went to the court with the three dolls on the day that the merchant had to return. Then, he announced in front of the whole court that he had found the difference between the dolls. He said, “These three dolls are different because one of them is good, one average and one bad.” When everyone asked Tenali that which doll was which, he showed them a tiny hole that was present in the ears of each of the dolls. Then, he took a very thin wire and put it in the hole of the first doll’s ear. The wire came out from the doll’s mouth. He did the same with the second doll and the wire came out from the doll’s other ear. In the third doll, the wire went to the heart and did not come out.

Tenali Rama explained, “In the first doll, the wire went in through the ear and came out through the mouth. So, this doll is bad as it represents people who cannot keep a secret. In the second doll, the wire came out of the other ear. So, it is average and represents harmless people who do not understand what is said to them. The third doll, in which the wire went to the heart and did not come out, represents good people who will keep the secret that you tell them.”

The king, the merchant and all the courtiers were very impressed with Tenali’s wise answer. Then Tenali said, “But there can be another explanation too. The first doll represents people who gain knowledge and spread it among others, so it is good. The second doll represents people who do not understand what they are taught, so it is average. The third doll represents people who have knowledge but keep it all to themselves. They do not teach anyone anything and so they are bad people.

The king was even more impressed. He asked, “Can there be any other explanation?” Can you think of a third explanation to answer the king?

  • For more interesting Tenali Raman stories for kids, click here
  • For other interesting stories for kids, browse though our huge collection of short stories here.

African Folk Tales: Why Anansi has eight thin legs


A very long time ago, there lived a spider and his wife in a village. The spider was called Anansi. Though Anansi’s wife was an excellent cook, nevertheless he loved tasting food cooked by others in the village.

One day, while his wife was busy ......


A very long time ago, there lived a spider and his wife in a village. The spider was called Anansi. Though Anansi’s wife was an excellent cook, nevertheless he loved tasting food cooked by others in the village.

One day, while his wife was busy cooking lunch, he went out for a walk. On his way he visited the rabbit’s house. “Oh,the greens in your pot look amazing!” Anansi said staring into the pot in which the rabbit was cooking his food. “Oh, they are almost done; if you wait for a while you can have lunch with me,” the rabbit said. Anansi knew that if he stayed back the rabbit would ask him to help out in the house work. Anansi thought for a while and said, “Actually, I have some work to finish, but I can come back for lunch. I can spin a web and tie one end of it to your pot and the other to one of my legs. As soon as the food is cooked, you can tug on my web and I will come back immediately.” The rabbit liked the idea and agreed to do so.

Anansi started walking again. He could smell the aroma of deliciously cooked beans. “Ah, I can smell beans. They must taste lovely,” Anansi said while stopping at the monkey’s place. The monkey welcomed Anansi and said, “Please come and have some; they will be done in a minute or two.” “Oh thank you, Father Monkey. I will come back soon,” Anansi replied and suggested that he should tie one end of his web to the beans pot and one end around his leg. The monkey agreed to give him a tug. Anansi started walking again.

“Oh,this is the most amazing sweet potato that I have ever smelled! I can also smell honey!” Anansi exclaimed. The hog who was cooking the potatoes offered him some. Anansi suggested the same idea to him and he too agreed to it.

Anansi visited a few more places and, by the time he reached the river, he had one web tied to each of his eight legs.

Anansi was thinking about all the food that he was about to eat when suddenly he felt a tug on one of his legs. “This must be the rabbit,” Anansi said and just when he was about to leave, he felt another tug, and then another one. By now he was being pulled from four different directions. Soon, one by one,h is other four legs also started feeling the pressure of the pulls. The pull continued and he felt the stretch on all his eight legs. The animals continued to pull and Anansi’s legs started stretching, becoming thinner and thinner. Anansi jumped into the river to save himself from the pain. After all the webs were washed out, he slowly climbed out of the river.

“Oh God,this was certainly not a great idea,” Anansi said. Since that day, the spider has had eight thin legs.

Anansi, however, did not manage to get any food that day.

For more interesting Indian Folk Tales for kids, go to: Indian Folk Tales

Read here 19 Interesting Facts about Spiders.

Oats for breakfast

You might feel that oats for breakfast are boring, but they are packed with a lot of nutrients that help you stay mentally and physically active throughout the day.

What are the benefits of eating oats?

  1. Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. They’re a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants.
  2. A cup of oats has 13 grams of fibre. Having it for breakfast can help your brains work actively throughout the day. Health benefits of oats include weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.
  3. Oats contain a large amount of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fibre which has numerous benefits. It promotes healthy gut bacteria and increases feelings of fullness.
  4. You can get creative with your oat meal in the morning by adding some honey, chopped apples, strawberries, sliced bananas or crushed nuts like raisins or cranberries to it. These would increase the nutritional value of the meal and brighten up your day!
  5. You should have oats as often as you can. No need to skip other breakfast options. Though having one cup of oatmeal serving is essential. Having 13 grams of fibre in a day is a healthy habit.

Bamboo Forest, Japan

Where is the bamboo forest located?

The Sagano Bamboo forest is one of the most attractive natural environments in entire Japan. The forest is 16 sq. Km in area and has been a popular destination for tourists’ right from the noble era, when nobles would come and enjoy this serene beauty.

Beauty of Sagano Bamboo Forest

When the wind blows amongst its many bamboo trees, it makes a beautiful, musical sound. This sound has been voted as one of the ‘one hundred must be preserved sounds of Japan’. The bamboo grove has been made accessible for all. There has been made a path that cuts through the grove for making trekking across the forest possible. These tall bamboo tress provide an ideal walking environment and people can come and also stop to look at the temples built within. The bamboo forest paths are often illuminated at night and are frequently used as filming locations for movies and TV serials. There is a railing on the side of the road to enhance the pathway. This railing is made from old, dry and fallen parts of bamboo. Such bamboos are also used to make products like cups, boxes, baskets or mats.

3 Interesting facts about Sagano Bamboo Forest

  1. The forest is planted with a bamboo species called ‘Moso’. These are trees which originated in China and are considered to have unique abilities. It takes only 1 month for a young plant to reach a height of 20 meters. The largest bamboo stalk can grow up to 40 meters in height.
  2. The Japanese believe that the bamboo trees protect them from evil spirits, so they serve as guards for many temples.
  3. The entire forest can be covered in a 20 minute walk. The forest is a cultural treasure and the walk will leave one relaxed and bring one closer to the beauty of nature.

Note: Don’t forget to check out 6 Interesting Facts about Japan.

Onomatopoeia

What does “Onomatopoeia” mean?

Onomatopoeia is a noun which is generally used for a literary effect. It refers to the formation of a word reflected by a sound made by or associated with its referent. Words such as hiss, boom, buzz, bang, sizzle, cuckoo, meow, quack, woof are examples of onomatopoeia.

To read and download more Wordling HERE.

Seven earth like planets discovered orbiting nearby star!

Astronomers have long been exploring the outer space world in search for other planets orbiting stars and for life on other planets. Recently an international research team discovered a solar system 40 light years away and it has seven Earth like planets orbiting around a small star.

Why is this discovery important?

This discovery has thrilled astronomers and has now raised hopes of having life beyond earth. It is the very first time that so many earth size planets have been found and the discovery also suggests that our Milky Way maybe filled with such worlds that in many aspect resemble our very own planet earth.

What suggests there could be life on these planets?

These seven planets orbit around a dwarf star named Trappist 1, which at 39 light years away makes this system a prime object for search of life beyond earth. This star is just marginally larger than Jupiter and shines with a feeble light which is 2000 times fainter than the sun. This makes the star cold and its small size makes the planets orbiting it temperate which means they could have some liquid or water and maybe life. However, the planets are in tight orbits and at that proximity they show only one side to the star. Some of the planets among the seven are thought to be of the right temperature to host oceans of water and have a favourable atmosphere.

So, let us hope to find some life beyond our planet as well!

Read here Exoplanets: Facts and Information.

Why is w called a double u?

Emma: Hey, there goes Kim..Wohoo (Emma is waving at someone)
Em: You mean, Uuhoo (pronounced as yuuhoo)
Emma: Err..what? I mean wohoo.
Em: That’s what I said..Uuhoo (again pronounced as yuuhoo)
Emma: What is wrong with you?
Em: What is wrong with “u-u”. I mean, the alphabet “W”. If it is double u, why is it made of two v’s?

Why is the letter “w” called “double u” and not “double v”?

The ancient Roman alphabet did not have a letter “w” or the letter “v”. However, the sound was represented by 2 Us – literally a double “u”.
The English language evolved and gave birth to the letter “w” but it never lost its original name..double u!

Em – And Reason, why are u-u here?
Reason: You mean “W”?
Emma – Both of you, please leave.

Discovery of cause of disease

How was the cause of disease discovered?

It was a commonly believed notion that germs generated spontaneously. Nobody knew what exactly caused a disease. It was only in 1860s that a French chemist, Louis Pasteur began experimenting with bacteria. In one of these experiments he proved that germs can be generated in a controlled environment too. He showed that food went off because of contamination by microbes in the air. He went on to argue that these could cause diseases. His discovery of the cause of disease led to development of antiseptics and changed healthcare forever.

How do you kill germs in food and drink?

Louis Pasteur invented a process to kill germs, which went on to be called Pasteurization.
Due to the urban growth caused by industrialization, the period between production and consumption of milk increased widely. This became one of the crucial source of diseases like tuberculosis. It was the process of pasteurization which finally helped milk to be one of the safest foods.

How is milk pasteurized?

When milk is heated to 72 °C (161 °F) for 15 seconds, it causes the germs in the milk to stop functioning without affecting the nutritional value of the milk.

High Fibre Foods Benefits

What does fibre do for your body?

We need fibre to keep things moving in our digestive tract. It helps make us feel full. A daily diet rich in fibre helps prevents us from having constipation problem. They are also good sources of nutrients and vitamins which may help reduce risk of heart disease and certain type of cancer and obesity.

What are good sources of fibre?

  • Whole-grain breads and cereals
  • Fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, berries, prunes, and pears
  • Vegetables like green peas, broccoli, spinach, and artichokes
  • Legumes (split peas, soy, lentils, etc.)
  • Almonds

How much fibre should kids get?

  • Toddlers (1-3 years old) should get 19 grams of fiber each day.
  • Kids 4-8 years old should get 25 grams a day.
  • Older girls (9-13) and teen girls (14-18) should get 26 grams of fiber a day.
  • Older boys (9-13) should get 31 grams and teen boys (14-18) should get 38 grams per day.

Looking for more Health Tip articles? Go to: Ask Coley for Kids.

Mullah Nasruddin: Milk for the Maula


Here’s another hilarious Mulla Nasruddin story.

One day Mulla Nasruddin was going somewhere when he met a man who was carrying a large milk can. The man wished Mulla Nasruddin and said, “Mullaaji, I have a problem. Would you be kind enough to provide me ......


Here’s another hilarious Mulla Nasruddin story.

One day Mulla Nasruddin was going somewhere when he met a man who was carrying a large milk can. The man wished Mulla Nasruddin and said, “Mullaaji, I have a problem. Would you be kind enough to provide me a solution?” Mullaa Nasruddin willingly consented to hear him out as he was eyeing his big container of milk.

The man said, “Whenever I get up in the morning, I feel intoxicated. My head spins around and I feel as if I have a hangover. I don’t understand what could be the problem.”

Mullaa Nasruddin asked, “Hmm! This is a serious problem, indeed! Let me think. What do you generally eat or drink before you go to sleep?”

The man said, “I drink a big glass of milk.”

The Mullaa said, “Now, I have found your problem! The milk that you drink in the night causes the intoxication.”

The gullible man asked, “How is that, Mullaaji?”

Mullaa explained to him, “You drink milk before sleeping. In your sleep, when you toss in your bed, the milk gets churned. It turns into butter. When butter gets churned, it turns into fat. Fat gets churned, it turns into sugar. Then the sugar gets churned and turns into alcohol. So, finally you wake up with alcohol in your stomach in the morning, and that is why you feel intoxicated.”

“So what do I do?” asked the man in simplicity.

The clever Mullaa said, “The solution of your problem is very simple. Don’t drink milk! Here, give it to me.” Mullaa took away the milk can from the man and walked away from there.

The poor man stood there bewildered.

For more interesting Mullah Nasruddin Stories, go to: Mullah Nasruddin Stories.

For other interesting stories for kids, go to: Stories for Kids.

Oxygen Cycle Steps

You know that oxygen is a must for life. Oxygen gas makes up about 30% of the earth and about 21% of the air in the earth’s atmosphere. It is also the most common element of the human body. It makes up about 65% of the mass of the human body.

What is the oxygen cycle?

Oxygen is constantly used and created by different processes on planet Earth. All these processes together make up the oxygen cycle. The oxygen cycle is thus a biogeochemical cycle that describes the movement of oxygen within the earth’s three main reservoirs – the lithosphere (land), the hydrosphere (water), and the atmosphere (air), which make up the earth’s biosphere.

We now know that the oxygen cycle is a process by which oxygen is generated and used. What are these processes?

Oxygen is Produced by :

1. Plants – Plants produce oxygen via photosynthesis.
2. Sunlight – Some oxygen is produced when sunlight reacts with water vapour in the atmosphere.

Oxygen is used up in :

  • Respiration – All organisms use oxygen for respiration.
  • Decomposing – When plants and animals die, they decompose. This process uses up oxygen and releases carbon di oxide into the air.
  • Rusting – Also called oxidation, this process causes metals to rust. Also a process which uses up oxygen.
  • Combustion – The process by which fire is generated also requires oxygen, along with heat and fuel. This process also uses up oxygen and releases carbon di oxide into the atmosphere.

How the Oxygen Cycle takes place

It starts, of course, with plants and photosynthesis.

1. Photosynthesis :–

  • During the day, plants take energy from the sun, carbon di oxide from the air, and water from the soil to make their food. Their food is simple – glucose. This process is called photosynthesis. Oxygen is released into the air as a by-product of photosynthesis.
  • During the night, plants take in oxygen and release carbon di oxide, to maintain their metabolism. Which is why it is not a good idea to sleep under trees at night.

2. Respiration :–

  • The oxygen that is released by plants is used by humans, animals, and other organisms for respiration, i.e. breathing. We use oxygen to break down simple sugars and generate energy to sustain ourselves. During respiration, organisms take in oxygen and release carbon di oxide into the air.

3. Repeat :–

  • This carbon di oxide is again, taken up by plants, for photosynthesis.
  • Thus, we see that our life force is generated chiefly by plants. Which is why it is super important to preserve plant life on earth.

Related Article:

Read here Facts about Oxygen, visit : https://mocomi.com/facts-oxygen/

Energy efficient light bulbs for better living!

Despite all technological advances the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries continue to grow and will continue to almost 35 percent by the year 2020. Commercial and residential energy use is the second most rapidly growing area of global energy; not far behind transport. Households consume 29 percent of global energy thus resulting in 21 percent of all CO2 emissions.

Why are energy efficient light bulbs better?

If people worldwide switched to energy efficient light bulbs the world would save US$120 billion annually. Energy efficient bulbs use 25 to 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent, thus saving lot of money as well as energy. They also last at least 25 times longer. Less cost and better durability would help save a lot of money and thus improve standard of living. The wasted heat generated by incandescent bulbs can increase your home cooling cost and will require you to pay more for lighting your house of office. Changing to energy efficient bulbs can add up to sustainable savings every year in addition to helping the environment.

Why do we like something?

What you like and what you don’t like?

  • We like something because we get a certain amount of pleasure and happiness from it.
  • We like something based on how we see, hear or feel it and what we believe that thing to be
  • If you see shrimp as a slimy yucky sea creature, you won’t like to eat it.
  • But if you see shrimp as a tasty delicacy, you will like to eat it for sure!
  • Our likes and dislikes are initially shaped by our parent’s likes and dislikes.

It is a psychological function!

Liking something is a psychological function which is associated to many conditions like:

Familiarity:

You tend to like something that is familiar to you

Reference:

You tend to like something because you have liked something in reference to it before.

Association:

You might like something because you associate it with a good memory but are unaware of it.

Now, let’s see why do some people like somethings which other people don’t?

Why do some people like scary or tragic movies?

Because they feel it will help them prepare to deal with pain and fear later in life.

Why do some people like spicy food?

It is because of the delicious moment of escape it provides when the heat subsides.

Why do we like something a lot and then after a few years don’t like it at all?

Sometimes we get very attached to something because of the memories associated with it, but as we grow older it becomes less important to us.

Epcot Theme Park, Orlando, Florida

Hello friends, today I am at a magical world to have some fun. The place you see behind me is the famous Walt Disney theme park in Florida named- Epcot.

History of Epcot

Epcot is an acronym of Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, a utopian city. Originally Epcot was supposed to be a test city model with home to twenty thousand residents. But this vision of Walt Disney never came true and after his death the officials decided to take this park into a different direction. The theme park opened in 1982 and consisted of Future World and World Showcases. Future World was dedicated to new technology that was being developed.  World Showcase was developed to be a separate park that showed the customs and cultures of other countries.  The park was not known as we know it today until 1996, when the park was officially rebranded Epcot. The attractions inside the park keep changing according to changes in technology.

What are the various parts of Epcot?

The Park consists of Future World and World Showcases.

Epcot Future World

Future world is technology based and has innovative aspects. The enormous metal sphere you see behind me is the main attraction here and is called the Spaceship Earth. It is a time machine ride through the history of human beings from cave-dwelling times to modern day. Innovations provide several rooms full of frequently-updated new technology and machinery to play with and learn about.

Epcot World Showcase

The World Showcase pavilions are a series of 11 sections each is designed to represent the customs, décor and cuisine of different countries. There is a Norway pavilion, American Pavilion, Japanese Pavilion and many more selling various cuisines from different regions of the world. There is an American Adventure which is a theatre-like exhibition of the past 200 years of America, narrated by Ben Franklin and Mark Twain.

Epcot center attractions

Epcot is an amalgamation of the festivities of the world’s culture and selection of 3d and laser shows. The attractions range from one of the fastest Disney attractions to gentle boat rides, from a thrilling hang-gliding experience to interactive play areas which are fun and imaginative for kids. The park offers live shows, concerts, character meet and greets; acrobats, fireworks, musicians, mimes, dancers, drummers, and comedians. There are also special events on holidays and festivals.

Here’s more about Disneyland Park Facts and Secrets.

What are the benefits of eggs?

Why eggs are good for you?

Eggs are considered to be “Super food”. Why? Because they are loaded with nutrients and are so easily available.

Health benefits of eggs

Proteins: Eggs have full array of amino acids and is considered the most perfect protein. Amino acids are important for healthy immune system, metabolism and lean body tissue development.

Omega 3 fatty acid: Eggs contain Omega-3 fatty acid which help develop our brain and our cognitive memory.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin: The essential dietary component, Lutein and Zeaxanthin sharpen our vision. Our body does not create these components on its own. The yolk in the eggs are rich resource for this.

Looking for more Health Tip articles? Go to: Ask Coley for Kids.

Why is junk food unhealthy?

Bumbley – A dollop of ice-cream, a piece of chocolate, pizza, macaroni and cheese! Ooh how I love fooood.
Coley – That is not food. That is junk food! And you know that junk food is unhealthy, right?
Bumbley – I know, I know. But why? I mean how can something that tastes so good, be so bad for us?
Coley – It is quite simple Bumbley. We need food to supply us with nutrients. Nutrients which are used to build our body and fuel it.
Bumbley– Why can’t junk food do that for us?
Coley – Because junk food doesn’t have enough nutrients in it. It does not give you energy to play or stay strong.
Bumbley – I don’t mind not playing if I can have an extra burger.
Coley – Really? No play for a burger?
Bumbley – Actually, I won’t mind both. Play and junk food.
Coley – You can have both. You can have your burger if you eat fruits too. That way you are giving your body enough nourishment too.
Bumbley – I am sleepy now.
Coley – Oh, yes. Junk food makes you sleepy and tired too. You can sleep if you want. I am gonna go and play basketball.
Bumbley – Hey, wait for me! I promise, I will eat fruits and veggies too. Because I wanna play and have fun!

Watch our video to know why food spoils.

Why is ‘abbreviation’ such a long word?

Abbreviation: Origin and History

Em: Emma, I was wondering, how come abbreviation is such a long word?
Emma: Because “Abbreviation” is not an abbreviation, Em.
Em: Ha ha very funny. I’m sure there is more to it than that.
Emma: Actually I did read something about the origin of the word being fairly short. It started with “brevis” which is Latin for “short” and also the root of “brief”
Em: Then how did it get sooo long?
Reason: “Ab” was added to “breviare” to make it “abbreviare”, a verb meaning “to shorten”; then it got converted to a noun by adding “-ionem” at the end becoming “abbreviationem” which means “something that has been shortened”. Then the “em” was removed and voila!
Em: That explanation was way too long for the word abbreviation.
Reason: NO popcorn for you.

Susurrous

What does “Susurrous” mean?

Have you ever struggled for a word to describe a sound? A sound which is soothing or comforting? Susurrous is a word for one such sound. Pronounced as Suu-suh-rus, it means emitting a whispering or rustling sound. It stems from the Latin word susurrare and is used as an adjective. It is always used in a positive context unlike ‘hissing’.

The Discovery of Oxygen

When did we discover we needed oxygen for respiration?

We can’t live without oxygen…literally. Of course, everybody knows that. However, that wasn’t the case in the mid-1700s. People were unaware of a substance called “oxygen” that supported respiration.

Who discovered oxygen?

“Oxygen” was discovered almost simultaneously in three parts of the world. So, there is a lot of contention regarding who discovered it first. The major credit though goes to Joseph Priestley as he was the first one to publish his findings.

Here is the series of events that let the discovery of “oxygen” as we know it now.

Timeline of discovery of oxygen

In 1972 Carl W. Scheele from Sweden heated several compounds including potassium nitrate, manganese oxide, and mercury oxide and found they released a gas which enhanced combustion. He called this gas “fire air,” but did not publish his findings.

How was oxygen discovered as an element?

Then, in 1974 Joseph Priestly, an English chemist, independently conducted an experiment using a 12-inch-wide glass “burning lens,” with which he focused sunlight on a lump of reddish mercuric oxide in an inverted glass container. He found that the gas emitted, was “five or six times as good as common air.” He called this gas “dephlogisticated air”. In later tests, it caused a flame to burn intensely and kept a mouse alive about four times as long as a similar quantity of air. He published his findings in the same year.

How did oxygen get its name?

Later, Antoine Lavoisier, a French chemist, also conducted experiments which lead him to the discovery of “oxygen”. In 1775, he was the first to recognize it as an element, and coined its name “oxygen”- which comes from a Greek word that means “acid-former”.

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The unflappable albatross

The wandering albatross can travel 500 to 600 miles in a single day without even flapping its wings. It can maintain speeds higher than 127 km/hour for more than eight hours. This is the skill of dynamic soaring imbibed in the albatross.

What makes albatross fly high without flapping?

Scientists have proved that an elbow lock system allowed the albatross to keep its wings open at no energy. But researchers have been observing albatross for years and have now gained an insight into what makes them go high without flapping.

The soaring secrets of the albatross

The albatross gains height by angling their wings while flying into the wind. Then they turn and sweep along for about 100 meters. This is known as dynamic soaring. First they climb along the wind, then they turn from windward to leeward when they are at their flying peak, then they slightly make a leeward descent and finally a curve from the leeward to windward at an angle which makes them soar without flapping. This dynamic soaring allows for sustained flight. They can actually fly much faster than wind speed.

Why is an idea mostly associated with a light bulb?

Why does a light bulb represent an idea?

  • When active, Our brain produces electrical currents due to nearly 100,000 chemical reactions occurring in it per second.
  • These chemical reactions are carried out in our brain by tiny cells called neurons.
  • Neurons process and transmit information through electrical and chemical signals that they pass on to each other.
  • They pass this information at the speed of 420 km/hr.
  • Which is faster than the speed of a race car!
  • After processing this information, when we arrive at an insight, our brain literally lights up!
  • That is why an “idea” is usually associated with a light bulb.
  • The moment when we get an idea, is also referred to as an ‘Aha’, ‘Eureka’ or ‘light bulb’ moment.

More Information –
Click here to know how a light bulb works.

Karma

What does “Karma” mean?

“Karma” is a Sanskrit word which means deed, work or action. It mainly means that the actions or intent of an individual will determine his or her future, and is the spiritual principle of cause and effect. If you do good, then you can expect good to happen to you, but if you do bad, you can only expect bad to happen to you. Basically the word “Karma” confirms to the saying, “As you sow, so shall you reap.”

Cows transfixed by saxophone sound!

Sam Greenfield played his saxophone to attract the attention of cows at the New York State Animal sanctuary.

Do cows like music?

The cows- Jesse and Amos, were grazing and were not in sync with their surroundings. When Sam came there with his saxophone; initially the cows were sceptical of the moves and sounds but eventually walked up to Sam for a close up view of him and his soothing saxophone music. The cows seemed calm and rather in love with the music being played. In fact, one of the cows showed appreciation by licking Sam’s face after he stopped playing the saxophone.

Seems like even cows have developed a love for the musical instrument!

Phosphene

What does “Phosphene” mean?

Have you ever closed your eyes and then pressed your eyelids with your fingers? Most of us have done it. What happens when we do that is, we feel a sensation of lights. Each of us might see these lights in different ways. Some might see them as spots while some might see them as lines, floating stars, zigzags, swirls, spirals or squiggles. Everyone sees them is different colours too! So, phosphene can be called a phenomenon characterized by the experience of seeing light without light entering the eye.

To read and download more Wordling HERE.

The Story of Holi

Why Holi is Celebrated?

Holi gets its name from Holika, demon king Hiranyakashyap’s sister. Hiranyakashyap had got a boon from Lord Vishnu that he would not be killed by man or animal, at day or night, inside or outside, above or on the ground.

So Hiranyakashyap said that only he should be worshipped, not God. His own son, Prahlad continued to worship Lord Vishnu. This made his father angry. He asked Prahlad to jump from a mountain, but he remained unhurt.

Even when Hiranyakashyap made Prahlad jump in a well, he was unharmed.

Hiranyakashyap tried to poison Prahlad. The poison turned to nectar in Prahlad’s mouth.

Then, Hiranyakashya ordered that wild elephants should trample Prahlad, but he was not hurt.

Next, Prahlad was put in a room with poisonous, angry snakes, but still nothing happened to him.

Finally, Hollka made Prahlad sit on a pyre with her. She was protected by a shawl that kept her from being burnt. The shawl flew from her to Prahlad. So, Holika burned, Prahlad was safe.

Lord Vishnu appeared as half-man, half-lion and killed Hiranyakashyap at dusk, on his porch steps.

A Holika bonfire is lit every year to remind us of the victory of good over evil. Holi is celebrated on the day after the bonfire.

Click here to watch the story of Holi in Hindi!

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What to do when you don’t get what you want?

How to get what you really want?

What to do when you don’t get what you want?
Everyday, you have something you would want or like to do.
‘want + Getting what you want = Happiness

But not everyday do you get to do that, do you?
‘want’ + Not getting what you want = Sadness

So, what do you do when you don’t get what you want?
The first emotion you feel is anger. Allow yourself to feel it completely. No need to act on it. Decide that you will not do anything until the feeling of anger has a lesser grip on you.

Once you allow yourself to feel angry completely, you will feel tired. Do something that helps you relax. Something that will distract you from what you are not able to get.
‘Want’ + Something you already have = Happiness

Find something you already have and let yourself indulge with it.

It takes time to get what you want. Sometimes a lot of time. But in the meantime you can still be happy instead of angry. Eventually you do end up getting what you want.

What you really really wanted.

For more such interesting General Knowledge articles and videos for kids.

Cruciverbalist

What does “Cruciverbalist” mean?

Solving crossword puzzles is fun and many people enjoy it. There are some people who don’t just enjoy it but strive to excel at it and with practice become skilled at solving crossword puzzles. There are so many people who take solving crossword puzzles and acing it seriously, that there is a word to describe them! It is “Cruciverbalist”. Cruciverbalist is a Latin word pronounced as Cru-civer-ba-list.

Banana – An energy-booster

What are the health benefits of one Banana a day?

Most of us might not like this wholesome fruit, but did you know that a banana a day can also help you keep the doctor away? Bananas make our bones stronger, prevent anemia and most importantly power our brains. If you are running low on energy, have a banana and get that instant energy rush. Bananas are very rich in vitamins and minerals. A medium sized banana contains almost 420 mg of potassium which helps greatly in bodily functions.

Are bananas good for weight loss?

If you are worried about your weight, eating a banana will satiate you for a longer duration. This you can cut down on the junk you might have in between meals. An added advantage of a banana is, if you rub the peel on your teeth, it will make them white instantly!

Discovery and Control of fire by early humans

Discovery of fire by early man

Contrary to popular belief fire was not invented but discovered and tamed by man. When lightning struck a forest and created fire, it probably intrigued and amazed the early man. Many scientists believe that the controlled use of fire was most likely first achieved by our ancient human ancestor known as Homo erectus, and not Homo sapiens or Neanderthal as commonly believed. Homo erectus became the first hominin to master flames by accident, possibly in order to cook their food.

How did the control of fire lead to human evolution?

The control and manipulation of fire was a turning point for human evolution. It gave birth to cooked food. Cooking allowed the early man to consume more calories and, as a result, to develop larger brains.

Control of fire also helped one to ward off predators and venture into harsh climates. It also had important social and behavioral implications, like encouraging groups of people to gather together and stay up late.

Culaccino

What does “Culaccino” mean?

You see it almost every time you lift up a glass from the table. That circular mark left on the surface. You always wonder if there is a word to describe it. Well, there is! It is Culaccino. The Italian word is pronounced as koo-la-chieno and it has no direct English translation!

Rats laugh when tickled!

Do rats laugh? Do rats get tickled?

Rats can laugh when tickled was known by the year 2000, but the new discovery states that they can laugh only when they are in the mood for it.

What happens when rats get tickled?

Scientists have located parts of rat’s brains that respond to tickling. The brain region also plays a role in forming rats’ moods. So a rat will laugh when tickled only if it is already in a good mood. This laughter is caused at high frequencies but is inaudible to humans. When tickled on their back, stomach and tail; rats have high pitched vocalisation laughter. The tickled rats also display a behaviour called ‘joy jumps’ where their front and back legs move in tandem.

So next time you see a rat at home and are in no mood to poison it; you can maybe tickle it and keep them as a pet!

Panchatantra: Who will Bell the Cat


Once, a great number of mice used to live in a grocer’s shop. They ate the fresh, tasty wheat, rice, bread, cheese and biscuits that were kept in the shop. They were having a great time and living easy, comfortable lives, growing fatter day ......

Once, a great number of mice used to live in a grocer’s shop. They ate the fresh, tasty wheat, rice, bread, cheese and biscuits that were kept in the shop. They were having a great time and living easy, comfortable lives, growing fatter day by day.

But the grocer was concerned about the losses that he was suffering because of the damage done to his stock by the mice. So, he thought of a solution and bought a big, fat cat to keep in his shop.

From that day onwards, the cat began to catch the mice every day. The mice were terrified of even stepping out of their holes. They could not reach the food anymore. This was a great cause of worry for them. They decided to call a meeting of all the mice in the shop to discuss this problem.

They got together and started thinking. One of them suggested that they must get rid of the fat cat but no one could think of a way of doing so. So they kept thinking of other ways. Finally, one mouse spoke up, “We should tie a bell around the cat’s neck. That way, whenever the cat is near or is coming in our direction, we would get to know by the ringing of the bell and we can quickly run back to our holes.”
This idea was much appreciated by the other mice. They thought that this was the best plan. They began dancing and celebrating with joy. But their celebrations did not last very long for soon an old and experienced mouse said, “You fools! Stop celebrating and first tell me: who will bell the cat?”

None of the mice had an answer to this question. They had not thought about this major problem in their seemingly perfect plan. This is why it is said that making a plan is one thing but executing it is an entirely different thing.

For more interesting Panchatantra stories for kids, go to : Panchatantra stories

For other interesting stories for kids, browse though our huge collection of short stories here : Stories for Kids

Whale Facts and Information

Whales! One of the biggest and most amazing creatures that inhabit the earth. They are found in all the oceans of the world. These incredibly huge and magnificent creatures are mammals that have fully adapted to life in the water, which means they’re descendants of animals that millions of years ago used to live on land!

13 Interesting Facts about Whales

  1. Whales are closely related to dolphins, porpoises, and hippopotamuses.
  2. There are two main types of whales – baleen whales and toothed whales, and they are classified based on their feeding patterns.
  3. Baleen whales have two blowholes, whereas toothed whales have just one.
  4. Whales love moose! As in, moose are their favorite prey.
  5. Whales need air to breathe! They drown if they remain underwater for more than 30 minutes.
  6. Whales don’t sleep for long. And when they do, only one half of their brain sleeps at one time. This is to ensure that they wake up and go to the surface to take in air.
  7. The blue whale, the largest animal in the world, is bigger than a basketball court.
  8. The water in a blue whale’s mouth weighs about as much as its entire body!
  9. There is only one all-white humpback whale known to exist in the whole world.
  10. You can tell the age of a whale by counting the rings in its earwax.
  11. Some whales, like the blue whale and the humpback whale, have been known to sing.
  12. Many expensive perfumes contain whale poop.
  13. A sad fact is that humans are the biggest threat to the survival of whales. Hunting by humans is the biggest reason for the decline in whale population.

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Why do roses have thorns?

One of the most beautiful flowers in the world is roses. They are a symbol of love and friendship and have an amazing fragrance. Roses are red, pink, white; in fact, there are over 100 species of roses around the world!

The Purpose of Thorns

Roses come with sharp spikes or thorns. Botanists call them ‘prickles’. These are small outgrowths from a plant’s epidermis or the outer layer. Prickles are similar to thorns but unlike thorns, prickles are easier to remove. Scientists believe that roses have thorns to protect them from being eaten by animals who might be attracted to them due to their sweet fragrance.

Story of Roses and Thorns – Native American Tribes

The Native Americans believe that many years ago the rose bush had no thorns. They were just pretty pink roses with leaves and a smooth stem, emanating sweet smelling fragrance. But they made an easy catch for the rabbits and other predators that ate up entire bushes many times. The rose bushes met and decided to go to Nanahboozoo, a man who had magical powers. He was angry as the rose bush planted by him had also been eaten by rabbits. The rose bushes who came to see him, told him their story and Nanahboozoo gave them small thorn like prickles to cover their body so that no predator would eat them.

So roses are able to grow bigger and prettier each year by using their prickles to scare off animals who intend to eat them up.

Learn how to draw a rose in a simple and interactive way.

Two Headed Snakes

A normal, single-headed snake can give most people the creeps, but add to it another head, and it’s a whole new level of creepiness. It almost sounds made up, doesn’t it? But it’s not. As bizarre as it sounds, two headed snakes do exist. In fact, two headed snakes are much more common than any other two headed creatures.

Why do some Snakes have two heads?

Let’s find out more about this seemingly bizarre phenomenon.
Two headed snakes are a result of what is known as bicephaly, meaning the phenomenon of an organism being born with two heads. This is the same process that causes conjoined twins to be born. The birth of Siamese or conjoined twins occur when the embryo splits while developing and growing into identical twins, but for some reason does not complete the process of splitting before they are born. The point at which the embryo stops separating varies with each birth therefore, snakes can be joined at any part of the body. They are thus, two beings that share organs, and one of them is a parasitic head.

Knowing about the life of a two headed snake has been made possible by studies of captured specimens, although it has been found that just like conjoined humans, the life of most two headed snakes is also quite difficult.

4 Interesting Facts about Two-Headed Snakes

Two headed snakes are basically two snakes with a common body, each unaware of the other’s existence. Thus, you can imagine the difficulties they face –

  1. They fight each other for food.
  2. If one of them eats, both of them feel full, and this causes confusion, for the one that didn’t eat.
  3. They have two brains, each giving them directions to go in. This again, causes confusion, and often results in the dominant one dragging along the other one.
  4. When attacked, their survival instincts are often different. This causes them to lose time before taking action, and in many cases, costs them their safety.
    Thus, survival in the wild is a major issue for two headed snakes. In captivity, however, they can live upto 20 years, with the right head usually being the dominant head and the decision maker. Many zoos and circuses have these on show, and certain museums have preserved specimen on display.

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Cobras Facts

16 Amazing Facts about Cobras

  1. Cobras are one of the most feared snakes in India.
  2. Cobras are worshipped in many Indian religions – known to be one of the Avataars of Gods.
  3. They are known for their threatening hood at their neck which they spread out when they feel threatened or angry. This hood is made up of flaps of skin attached to long ribs.
  4. Due to their striking pose, even when they lift their heads high up off the ground to search for food, they look scary. Especially when they hiss loudly to scare off potential predators.
  5. The cobra is found more in hot tropical climates- like the Philippines, Southern Asia and Africa.
  6. With more than 270 species; they are usually brown, brownish-black or a dull grey and their venom fangs are half an inch long.
  7. The largest cobras found are the King Cobra.
  8. They are found on land, trees and also in water in tropical climates of Asia.
  9. They generally have a life span of 20 years.
  10. The King Cobra preys on lizards, birds, rodents and even on other snakes. Baby Cobras itself have a length of 18-22 inches.
  11. The smallest cobras are the Mozambique Spitting Cobras.
  12. The spitting cobra can spray venom upto more than 1.8 meters, or 6 feet. They have such perfect aim that they will spit venom straight into the eyes of their prey.
  13. Cobras have excellent night vision and detect their prey with their keen sense of smell.
  14. Their jaws are flexible allowing them to open up the mouth really wide to swallow their prey easily.
  15. Their metabolism is so slow that they need to eat every couple of months.
  16. Cobras are used by snake charmers because they respond well to visual cues. These charmers specialize in getting the Cobra to rise up and “hood-out” to please tourists.

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The Statue of Liberty

9 Fabulous Facts about The Statue of Liberty

  1. It all started at dinner one night near Paris in 1865. A group of Frenchmen discussing their dictator-like emperor and the democratic government of the U.S decided to build a monument to freedom. Thus was born the lady Liberty.
  2. The sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi imagined the monument to be the statue of a woman holding a torch burning with the light of freedom. And she was finally built by Gustave Eiffel with the help of tons of workers working ten hour days, seven days a week for nine years!
  3. In 1886 on October 28th, France dedicated the statue to America. The statue was to be a universal symbol of freedom. The seven points on her crown represent the seven seas and continents. The crown also has 25 windows you can look out of. You would have to climb 354 stairs(22 stories) to do that though.
  4. It is said that she was modeled after the image of the sculptor’s mom, but represents ‘Libertas’, the Roman Goddess of Freedom. She arrived in America in 214 crates, and was assembled thereafter. When she first arrived, she was copper colored. 30 years of oxidation turned her color green. The amount of copper used to build her could make 30 million pennies!
  5. Lady liberty is 151ft and one inches tall. Along with her pedestal, which is 154 ft tall, the entire monument comes to height of 305 ft 1 inch from the ground! She sure is one tall lady!
  6. Although she is one tough metallic lady, she does sway to the wind – a very fast one though. It takes a 50 mile/hr wind to sway her torch by about 6 inches! So much? Well of course! We expect nothing less from a statue that weighs 450,000 pounds!
  7. Did you know that she wears size 879 sandals on her 25 ft long feet?
  8. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, it is said…. or does it? The lady liberty is estimated to be hit by about 600 bolts of lightning every year! Yikes!
  9. Although she now has an American island to her name, she could have ended up at the mouth of the Suez canal in Egypt, if they hadn’t rejected her for being too old fashioned!

The statue of Liberty sure has a lot of interesting history, doesn’t it?

More Information

13 Fun video facts about The Statue of Liberty

Penguin receives Norwegian Knighthood!

Why was a penguin knighted by Norwegian Army?

The knighted Penguin in Edinburgh has already been a corporal, a sergeant, a sergeant major and a colonel in chief. The history of Nils Olav goes back to 1972 when the Norwegian King’s guards visited the Edinburgh zoo. They were looking at the Penguins in the zoo and were so thrilled to see the penguins that the Major at the time decided that he had like to adopt one penguin.

The adopted Penguin was named Nils Olav, after the Norwegian King at the time. Later in 1982 the Kings guards returned to Edinburgh and decided to make the penguin their mascot by giving him the rank of lance corporal. Unfortunately, he died shortly after his promotion to sergeant. But he was lovingly replaced by Nils Olav II, his two-year-old near-double.

It was Nils Olav II who was awarded the knighthood. And a third penguin, Nils Olav III took over between 2008 and 2016 and has been promoted to Brigadier.

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Indian Army Day

We are safe in our homes because there are men protecting us, guarding the borders of our nation and keeping the enemies away- yes, they are the Indian Army men.

They are courageous men in olive green who have made the nation proud and filled our heart with pride and gratitude.

When was Indian Army formed?

The Indian Army was formed in 1776 under the British Government. It originated from the armies of the East India Company, which eventually became the British India Army. It was only in 1949 when Lt. General Cariappa (later Field Marshal) took over as the Commander-in- chief from the British Government that the Indian Army was formed and Army Day was celebrated.

On this day parades and military shows take place in the National Capital- New Delhi. This special day also marks a day to salute all valiant, heroic soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our nation and the people of this country.

Why can’t we feel the earth spinning?

Why we don’t feel earth’s rotation?

Every 23 hours and 56 minutes our planet earth completes a full turn around its axis. It spins at a constant rate. The atmosphere, along with the earth and everything else on the planet is moving at the same speed. But still we cannot feel the spinning movement of the earth.

What is Earth’s Axis?

An axis is an invisible straight line that runs through an object from one end to the other. The earth and all other planets and satellites in the universe have an invisible axis. The earth rotates on its axis and completes one day. The next day it starts a whole new spin. The earth travels at a constant speed. It doesn’t slow down or accelerate all of a sudden. If the earth would suddenly increase speed or put on brakes we would definitely feel that movement!

It’s like moving in a car. If you are sitting in a car riding through a highway, you do not feel the movement. Of course you feel it when you see outside your window and see things moving away. But you feel the movement only when the car slows down or puts sudden breaks.

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What makes stamps valuable?

Why do we need stamps?

The first stamp was issued in 1840 in England. Up until then the postage price was paid by the receiver of the mail. However it got difficult to collect money from receivers who refused the mail. What a waste of time, energy and effort! That’s when the idea of a stamp sparked as it ensured the prepayment of mail.

Why do people collect stamps?

A stamps later became something like time capsules. They carried a little information about the history, geography, art and culture of a particular time. So, a good stamp collection gives you a view of the world from any era you would want.

The value of a stamp

The value of a stamp is defined by

  • Age of the stamp
  • Place where it is issued
  • Condition of gum on the stamp
  • And the perforation

Stamps become more valuable once they are discontinued. The lesser the total number of a stamp available in the market, the more valuable it is to collectors.
Stamp collections give us a sense of belonging. It helps us to share the history of the world with each other.

Makar Sankranti Celebration in India

Tilgul Ghya Aani God God Bola

“Til-gul ghyaa, aani goad-goad bola” –meaning, take this sweet and say sweet things. I’m back in India at the right time it seems! Sweet tooth that I am, I’m happy to be here in India to celebrate Makar Sankranti. Also called Uttarayan (or the day on which the sun begins its northward journey), it’s a festival celebrated on January 14, every year. All other Indian festivals are celebrated as per the lunar calendar, which make their days of celebration on the solar calendar vary every year. It is the only Indian festival celebrated on a fixed calendric day of the solar calendar.

Makar Sankranti in Maharashtra

Makar Sankranti is known by different names and celebrated with different customs in different parts of the country, and marks the arrival of spring in India. I’m in Maharashtra right now, where the custom is to wear black, and exchange sweets known as ‘til-gul’. Another interesting tradition they have in multiple parts of the country is to fly colourful kites. Quite a group activity it is! Kids and adults alike fly brightly coloured kites. There are even kite flying competitions! So much fun isn’t it?

Asking around, I found out that in India, during this festivals, farmers typically plan their future crop cycles along with celebrating the current harvest. And the best part about this is that the farm animals are also a part of the meeting! That’s kind of sweet isn’t it?

The one thing I love about traveling all over the world is that I always stumble upon such fascinating and fun customs and traditions! And the oh-so-delicious food, that is always a given with the festivities. And trips to India are always accompanied by lip-smacking food!

Related Article:

Read all about Makar Sankranti, the festival of kites, visit: https://mocomi.com/makar-sankranti-festival/

International Folk Tales: How the Dragon Came to be


In a small village of China, lived a boy named Chi Yu with his mother. They lived in a tiny house surrounded by lovely green meadows covered with fresh, green grass.

Every morning Chi Yu would go out in the meadows, cut the green grass ......


In a small village of China, lived a boy named Chi Yu with his mother. They lived in a tiny house surrounded by lovely green meadows covered with fresh, green grass.

Every morning Chi Yu would go out in the meadows, cut the green grass and put it in a basket. He would then take it to the farmer Hieun Tse, who fed his cows with it. In return, Chi Yu got a jar of rice from the farmer.

Suddenly, there were no rains in the region for two years in a row. All the green grass of the meadow turned brown and dry. Chi Yu looked everywhere for some green grass for the farmer’s cow, but couldn’t find a single blade of grass anywhere.

One day while searching for grass, he noticed a patch of fresh green grass in the field behind the tall hills. He immediately cut the green grass and took it to the farmer. Every day he would come there and cut the grass and it would grow back the next morning.

A few days later, while slashing the grass he noticed a small shiny golden bead in the grass. Fascinated by its beauty, he took it home and hid it in an empty rice jar.

Next day, he was surprised to see that the empty jar of rice was now filled to the top! Every time Chi Yu emptied the jar, it would fill up again.

Chi Yu understood that the bead was the reason behind this miracle. He was very kind so he shared the rice with the entire village.

All the people in the village were happy except for the farmer.

His cows were starving without the grass and he wanted the golden bead for himself.

He offered Chi Yu all his money, farm and house in exchange for the bead. But, Chi Yu did not agree.

Hieun Tse, then, decided to steal the bead of gold. One night, while Chi Yu was sleeping, the farmer quietly entered his house and was about to steal the jar when Chi Yu woke up at the sound. Chi Yu rushed to the jar and swallowed the bead immediately.

Chi Yu still did not feel better; he became hotter and hotter and started breathing fire. Yellow and orange flames came out of his mouth.

Chi Yu did not realize that it was an extremely unwise thing to do. The bead started burning inside him and he felt extremely thirsty. He drank up all the water in the house. He then drank up all the water from all the houses of the village. He then drank up all the water from the pond. He emptied the lakes and swallowed the entire river.

Gradually, he changed into a creature that breathed fire. Unfortunately, he could no longer live in the village and had to go far far away.

For more interesting Indian Folk Tales for kids, go to : Indian Folk Tales

For other interesting stories for kids, browse though our huge collection of short stories here : Stories for Kids

How to Draw a Cake

There is no party without a cake! In next 2 minutes you can draw your own from this step-by-step video.

4 Steps to draw a Cake

  1. Draw two small ellipses. Connect them by drawing straight line on right and left side of the ellipses.
  2. Draw two medium ellipses below the small ones. And two big ellipses at the bottom.
  3. Draw curvy lines on each pair of ellipses like you would decorate a cake.
  4. Now fill the colours and make merry!

For more such cool How To Draw videos go to : Drawing for Kids

Evolution of Language

Where did language come from?

Language developed as the human species evolved. Development of language sets us apart from our closest relatives, the chimpanzees.

No other natural communication system is like human language.

Human language can express thoughts, convey information, ask questions and give orders.

In contrast, animal can only communicate immediate issues such as food, danger, threat, or reconciliation.

How did language evolve?

Did a bunch of cavemen hold a conference and decide to make up language?

Obviously not.

One theory is that hominids (our human ancestors) started by grunting, hooting and crying out, and this gradually developed into the language we use today.

But apes could grunt and hoot as well. Why did their grunting not evolve into a ‘language’?

Because 6 million years ago the hominid and chimpanzee lines diverged.

The size of the hominid brain increased and developed over time, while chimpanzee brain remained the same.

Another theory is that language began as sign language and then switched to the vocal modality.

Did languages develop simultaneously all over the world?

Some have argued that language evolved independently in different parts of the world.

While a recent study shows that all languages in the world evolved from one prehistoric language first spoken in Africa tens of thousands of years ago.

And it spread across the world with the migration of our ancestors when they left Africa 70,000 years ago.

Do languages stay the same over the generations?

Languages change as they are handed down from generation to generation due to change in culture and influence of other languages. That is why the English spoken in the Elizabethan Era is way different from the English we speak today.

The subject of language and its evolution is still undergoing lively investigation among linguists, psychologists, and biologists.

Note – Read more about the history of Sanskrit, Latin and Greek language.

Resolution? What Resolution?!

Keeping a new year resolution is a common western tradition. But it has now caught the attention of everyone worldwide. More of a fashion statement now, here are some interesting facts about new year’s resolution :

Fun Facts about New Year’s Resolutions

  • Almost 4000 years ago it was the Babylonians who promised their Gods that they will pay their debts at the beginning of every year.
  • Then the Romans also began each year by making promises to their Gods. Thus started the resolution parade.
  • Studies show that only 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions.
  • Almost 30 percent of people never make new years resolutions because they know they won’t be able to keep it.
  • But people who make new year’s resolution are ten times more likely to achieve their goals than the ones who don’t.

Click here and get more New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Kids.

New Year’s Eve in Copacabana

Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro

Hollaa amigos! Can you guess where I am? I’m at Rio de Janerio to start my new year with a big bang! Music and passion are always in fashion at the Copa..Copa Cabaaannaa..! Have you heard the song? After Carnaval, this is the biggest party of the year at Copacabana in Rio! So exciting!

And it’s also very interesting. On December 31st, in the daytime, flowers and candles are sent out onto the ocean as offerings to honor ‘Iemanja’, the Afro-Brazilian sea goddess of fertility and motherhood. Around 7pm, along the Copacabana beach, New Years’ Eve officially kick-starts, with live shows by artists, bands and DJs alike.

Come midnight, the New Year is welcomed with a 20 minute display of spectacular fireworks. From then on, it’s the start of an all-night party. I’m here with over a million people, and all of us strangers are happily sharing champagne and celebrating the arrival of the New Year together. These brilliant festivities, and food and accommodation are all organized by the major beach hotels at Rio de Janerio.

You may be wondering if there’s a dress code. Well, everyone wears white here. And a smile. They tell me white signifies good luck and romance, and I want both in my life so I’m going to follow suit. Boy am I glad I got here well ahead of time – most roads are blocked past afternoon, even though the authorities have organized transportation very well. The Metro has a special schedule, with pre-booked tickets, and urban bus rides are free!

I am so happy ad grateful to be celebrating at this amazing party!! Happy New Year to you!!

Related Article:

New Year Celebrations Around the World, visit: https://mocomi.com/new-year-celebrations-around-the-world/

Santa Claus Gift Bag

Ouch… my head bumped!

What’s this? A Candy bar! A teddy bear with a big bow, a little dolly and so many presents!

Ho! Ho! Ho! Hmmm…is it Christmas already? Oh my!

I am inside Santa’s Gift Sack!

Santa Claus is secretly giving away gifts to little children who have been good. He makes a list of children and categorises them into ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’. Then he delivers the gifts from his bag to the nice children and coal to the naughty ones.

Wow! Here are the glittery Christmas balls too. Santa might just drop them with the gifts into one your stockings! They symbolise three gold balls or bags of gold which Santa once gave to a poor man and his three daughters.

This bag is really heavy but Santa lifts it with complete ease and fits inside chimneys.

Let me see what he gifts me this Christmas. For now I gotta go and get my stocking up before Santa passes my house. Bye!

Related Article:

Read the real Story behind Santa Claus, click here!

How to Draw a Train

Pack your bags and get ready to take the train! In the next 2 minutes learn how to draw a train from this simple step-by-step interactive video.

6 Steps to draw a Train

  1. First draw a rectangle, like a train engine.
  2. Draw three small ellipses inside the left side of the rectangle, like a face of the engine.
  3. Draw small one square on top of the rectangle and two rectangles on top of that small square.
  4. Draw one rectangle and two squares in the straight line. Draw small squares inside these shapes like a window.
  5. Draw wheels on the bottom and connect all these shapes like the way train compartments are connected.
  6. Now fill the colours and start your train. Choo Choo!

For more such cool How To Draw videos go to : Drawing for Kids

14 Squirrels arrested for spying!

Arrested: 14 squirrels on charges of espionage!

Iran had felt threatened by animal agents in the year 2007 when the Iranian Intelligence officials arrested 14 squirrels. The officials claimed that these rodents were serving as spies for the Western enemy nations; determined to chip away at the Islamic Republic.

How can animals serve as spies?

This seems bizarre but animals have been used in the past for spying purposes; serving in the military since 1908. The Germans first used Pigeons by attaching cameras to them to take aerial pictures. Pigeons have been used in World War II to fly critical intelligence matter out of occupied France. The US had earlier tried to strap bombs to Bats and drop them over Japan before using the atomic bombing method. Dolphins and Seals are trained by the US to identify underwater mines. They can disable enemy swimmers too. US Marines in Kuwait are said to have trained chickens for a low-tech chemical detection system.

How much does the sky weigh?

Or is it weightless?

The sky does have weight. It is made of air and air is made of all kinds of gas molecules. Those gas molecules have weight!

If sky has weight, then how is earth carrying that weight?

Weight of the air is evenly distributed over the earth’s surface. Since air moves around easily, it presses on us from all the directions. If it was to be only on top of our heads, it would knock us down to the ground.

How much does air weigh?

The average weight of air that presses down on us (called air pressure) is 14.7 lbs (6.6 Kg) per square inch of earth’s surface. Which is roughly more than 11 billion billion pounds (5.2 million billion metric tonnes)

This means the sky weighs 14.7 lbs per square inch of earth surface which is roughly 11 billion billion pounds.

So, you can say that sky weighs one millionth of the mass of the Earth.

Which equals to 570,000,000,000,000 adult Indian elephants!

Names of Santa’s Reindeer

“Rudolph the red nosed reindeer…” most of us are familiar with this song. But do you know the names of all of Santa’s furry, horned friends?
The carol “Night before Christmas” gives us the names of 8 of these magical helpers. Rudolph, you might be surprised to learn, was only added to the list in 20th Century. Before Rudolph, there were only these

What are the names of Santa’s 9 Reindeer?

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen.

But it’s never fun just knowing the names is it? So let’s get to know a bit more about Santa’s magical helpers –

1. Rudolph –

Of course, we all know about him as he’s the most famous one of them all! He’s the youngest member of the team and his shiny red nose lights up the sky to help Santa find his way in bad weather.

2. Blitzen –

Blitzen’s name comes from the German word for lightning. True to his name, Blitzen always charges ahead. His special power is the ability to infuse his team with lightning, to make them zoom around faster. This ability is particularly handy when Santa’s running in late.

3. Donder –

Donner, just like Blitzen, is a name of German origin. It means “thunder”. And Donder has a thunderous presence and a loud booming voice! A proud animal, Donder loves singing along with Santa.

4. Cupid –

Cupid, as the name suggests, is the most affectionate one of the lot. With Christmas reins decorated with green and red heart-shaped bells, Cupid’s motto is to spread love, which is often accomplished by placing mistletoe over unsuspecting people.

5. Comet –

Never far away from Cupid, Comet is as fast as his name implies! His laid-back charm and easy going nature make him a hit with the kids. He really is quite adorable, which is why Santa often takes him to check up on kids. The handsome Comet is an inspiration for kids to be on their best behaviour.

6. Vixen –

Vixen is playful and charming, and quite foxy! She is witty and easy-going and makes everybody laugh. The kids love her tricks, and Santa cleverly uses this when he forgets a gift on the list!

7. Prancer –

The most majestic of them all, Prancer is light on his feet and looks impressive as he kicks and speeds through the air. He loves prancing around with the elves in Santa’s factory, and Santa loves taking him whenever he wants to make a grand entrance!

8. Dancer –

With a passion for dance, Dancer, too is blessed with Grace. Dancing around with Prancer, the pair are a sight to behold! Dancer is gentler than Prancer, but is deceptively fast! Santa loves the ease and elegance with which she handles her job, and often takes her along with Prancer on rides to impress.

9. Dasher –

Last, but certainly not the least, comes Dasher. Dasher is known best for his bursts of speed, which come in especially handy when the holiday gift list is long. Together with Blitzen, he makes timely deliveries possible and Santa loves him for it.

So now we know all about Santa’s reindeer. Of course, everyone has different stories to tell about them. But that’s what makes them so magical, doesn’t it?

Related Article:

Santa’s Sleigh Game for Kids, visit: https://mocomi.com/santas-sleigh-game/

Tenali Raman: Tenali Raman And Two Thieves


One summer night, when Tenali Raman and his wife were about to sleep, he heard a rustling sound of leaves coming from outside.

There was not even a slightest breeze blowing at the time, so he presumed that there were some thieves hiding in the ......


One summer night, when Tenali Raman and his wife were about to sleep, he heard a rustling sound of leaves coming from outside.

There was not even a slightest breeze blowing at the time, so he presumed that there were some thieves hiding in the bushes. He figured that they must be planning to rob his house in the night.

He thought of a plan and said to his wife, “My dear, I have heard that some notorious thieves are on the loose in our neighborhood. So, let’s hide all the jewellery and money that we have in the well.

A little later, Tenali Raman and his wife came out of the house carrying a big trunk, and dropped it into the well. Then they went back inside the house, and pretended to be asleep.

The thieves waited for a while and then started drawing water from the well.

They hoped to empty the well and get the treasure. The thieves kept drawing out water the entire night. Towards daybreak, they managed to pull out the trunk, and when they opened it, they were extremely shocked and disappointed to see only some big stones in it.

They understood that it was Tenali Raman’s plan to outsmart them. Just then, Tenali Raman came out of his house and said, “Thank you friends, for watering my plants. I must pay you for your labour.”

Hearing this, the thieves fell at Tenali’s feet for forgiveness. They promised not to steal or rob anyone ever again. Tenali decides to let them go.

Moral- Keeping cool and using your wit in dire situations can help you get out of them.

  • For more interesting Tenali Raman stories for kids, click here.
  • For other interesting stories for kids, browse though our huge collection of short stories here.

How to Draw a Mouse

It’s fun rooting for the underdog. Wouldn’t you want the mouse to win in a cat and mouse chase? Have fun by learning to draw a mouse. You just need a pencil and a paper to start drawing a mouse in next 2 minutes!

12 Steps to draw a Mouse

  1. Draw a slightly s-shaped curve.
  2. Draw a big circle around the upper part of the curve like a face.
  3. Draw three strokes across the curve within this circle, descending in size.
  4. Draw a smaller circle around the bottom part of the curve.
  5. Draw two small circle on left and right top side of the big circle like mouse’s ears.
  6. Outline the small circle and the big one like a face.
  7. Draw eyes on the first stroke drawn within the big circle, nose on the second stroke and mouth on the third stroke.
  8. Draw ears in smaller two circles.
  9. Erase the strokes and the outline.
  10. Connect the upper circle with the lower one.
  11. Erase the lower circle. Draw legs, hands and tail.
  12. Now fill the colors and play with the mouse.

For more such cool How To Draw videos go to : Drawing for Kids

An office desk is dirtier than a toilet seat!

Bacteria are found in office space too!

Thousands and thousands of germs reside on an office desk, rather than on the toilet seat. It is becoming easier to catch the flu or an infection from being at your office desk. A typical office worker’s hands come in contact with 10 million bacteria per day, say researchers. And do you know what is the item on your desk that contains the most germs? It is the phone. A normal phone call would have 25,000 germ microbes listening to your conversation. The Keyboard and computer mouse come next in line.

How dirty is an office desk?

The areas on a desk where one’s hand rest contain about 10,000 germs.

Clean up the office desk!

But one can keep oneself safe by cleaning their desk often, washing hands, using one’s own phone instead of someone else’s and by not eating food at one’s workspace.

How to Draw a Football

In this simple step by step guide learn how to draw a Football in a simple and interactive way. You just need a pencil and a white paper to start drawing a Football in next 2 minutes. And then, it’s a goal!

6 Steps to draw a Football

  1. Draw a circle.
  2. Draw two triangles with slightly curvy lines. (it should not touch the circle)
  3. Draw curvy lines connecting corners of these two triangles to the circle.
  4. Draw pentagons around each visible corner of the triangles.
  5. Erase lines inside the pentagons.
  6. Color the pentagons in black colour.

For more such cool How To Draw videos go to : Drawing for Kids

Venus – Hottest Planet in the Solar System!

How hot is Venus?

Temperature of planet Venus can reach up to 870 degrees Fahrenheit with winds up to 450 mph. So you can cook a pizza on Venus’s surface in approximately 7 seconds,
but you might just get crushed in its atmosphere!

Yes, the second closest planet to the sun is the hottest planet of the solar system.

Why is Venus the hottest planet?

Although Venus is not the closest planet to the sun, its atmosphere is extremely dense and traps heat in such a way as to cause the runaway greenhouse effect in which the oceans boil away from the surface. The surface pressure on Venus is 90 times more than Earth.

The atmosphere is made up of carbon dioxide with clouds of sulphuric acid. Nitrogen appears but only in small doses. This makes the surface hotter than Mercury.

During the evolution of Venus, ultraviolet rays from the sun might have evaporated the little water on Venus, thus making the planet totally dry. Venus is full of volcanoes and scientists have so far discovered 1600 of them, and these are only the big ones!

Panchatantra: How Monkeys Got Their Red Bottoms

Once upon a time, there was a village called Dancing. A group of young girls and boys lived in that village. Every night after dinner, they would light a fire and dance around it.

One evening a monkey came to the dance, wearing smart clothes and ......

Once upon a time, there was a village called Dancing. A group of young girls and boys lived in that village. Every night after dinner, they would light a fire and dance around it.

One evening a monkey came to the dance, wearing smart clothes and a stylish hat. He came and sat in a corner on a stone. No one recognised that he was a monkey. He also played melodious music with his drums.

Every night, the monkey would come and play and the girls dance with him happily. The girls loved him more each day. They also started showering him with gifts. One of them gave him a ring, the other gave him cookies

The boys were extremely jealous, as the attention of all the girls was always focused on the monkey.

“Who is this new fellow and what is he doing in our village?” the boys asked one another, and decided to keep a close eye on him. That night they watched him quietly from a distance.

The boys simply could not believe their eyes when they saw that the person the girls loved so much was a monkey in reality. It had a hairy body and a long tail.

That night the guys laughed their hearts out and finally slept peacefully.

The boys decided to play a prank on the monkey. They burnt some wood and put it around the stone where the monkey sat every day, and covered it with leaves.

Like every evening the monkey came and sat on its usual place, only this time it did not feel the same. “OOOUUUUCHHHH!” screamed the monkey and jumped up from its seat. The hot stone had burnt his bottom through his pants. The monkey jumped into a bucket full of water to comfort himself.

But it was too late. The monkey had already left the village to never come back.

Ever since, monkeys have had red bottoms.

For more interesting Panchatantra stories for kids, go to: Panchatantra stories

For other interesting stories for kids, browse though our huge collection of short stories here: Stories for Kids

Why can’t chickens fly high?

Chickens can fly, but not very well. It has been found that a long time ago, almost 4000 years ago; chickens were domesticated from the wild birds known as the ‘forest fowl’ found in India. Now, the forest fowls were like the Turkey and they depended mostly on their legs to run from predators. They used their wings just a little bit in order to hop and reach a safe point.

Ancestors of chicken

Some say the ancestors of chicken are the red jungle fowl found in Southeast Asia. Years went by. The forest fowl which was domesticated was now turned into what we know as the chicken.

How high and far can chickens fly?

Now, the real reason why chickens cannot fly is because of their bone structure and weight. The chickens that we know today are shorter, have heavy bones and more weight for their body, making it difficult for them to fly. Though they can hop and fly to a short distance. The world record for a flying chicken is 305 feet in 13 seconds before touchdown! Chickens are natural sprinters. They may not soar high like the eagle but they are really swift. Try catching a chicken next time, you will see for yourself!

Christmas Celebrations in different countries

How is Christmas celebrated around the World?

Christmas is the time for celebrations, gifts, fun, family, food, prayers and wishes. Christmas is usually celebrated among the Christians but since the world is becoming a global village, Christmas is now celebrated in every part of the world. The traditions, the festivity or even the dates might differ, but Christmas remains the festival of spreading love and joy. Let us see how Christmas is celebrated in different parts of the world.

1. Christmas in Bethlehem

Let us start with the little town of Bethlehem, Israel, where baby Jesus was born. Every Christmas the city is adorned with flags and beautiful decorations. Here Christmas is not observed on a particular day since people of Bethlehem come from various Christian backgrounds. While the Roman Catholics and Protestants celebrate Christmas on 25th December; the Greek, Syrian and Orthodox Christians celebrate it on 6th January, while the American Christians here celebrate it on 18th January. A cross is painted on the doors of every Christian home and scenes from the Christmas story are depicted in every household. A parade takes place where galloping horsemen and police mounted on Arabian horses, followed by solitary horsemen carrying a cross, followed by Churchmen and Government officials.

2. Christmas in Australia and United States of America and Britain

The Christmas traditions are more or less similar here with only one exception- Christmas in Australia is never white as it hardly snows there during that time. While the other nations enjoy a white, snowy Christmas, Australia is filled with bright sunshine and warm climate. Candles, Christmas trees, gift giving and feasts with delicious turkey and plum cakes are the most popular way of celebrating Christmas in these nations.

3. Christmas in China

In China Christian children decorate the Christmas trees with colorful ornaments in the shape of flowers, chains and lanterns and these ornaments are made of paper. They hand long, old stockings and expect the Santa Claus, whom they call ‘Dun Che Lao Ren’ or the ‘Christmas Old man’ to come and fill them with gifts. In China, children are the main focus of Christmas celebrations. This day they also worship their ancestors.

4. Christmas in Japan

Japan has only 1% Christian population and for them Christmas celebration is not about family and gifts but more about helping the community and doing nice things for others, like helping the poor or sick people. Their Santa Claus is a Buddhist monk called Hotei-osho.

5. Christmas in India

Christians in India are found in every community and state. Usually the Indian Christians decorate mango and banana trees. They decorate their houses with mango leaves and lamps made from clay. Churches are decorated with lights and candles and people flock the well lit streets to celebrate the Christmas festivities in the evening.

6. Christmas in Egypt

Christmas in Egypt is celebrated on 7th January. They are usually Coptic Christians who observe a fast for forty days during which they do not eat meat, poultry or dairy products. They meet during the Christmas day and after the prayer ceremony at the Church they go home and eat their special meal known as ‘fata’. They visit friends and neighbors and gift them ‘kaik’ a shortbread which is eaten with a drink called shortbat.

7. Christmas in Russia

Here Christmas is celebrated as the ‘festival of winter’. People start fasting for 39 days until January 6th, when the evening star appears in the sky. After which they start their festivities with a twelve course meal which mainly consists of fish, beetroot soup, and cabbage stuffed with millet and most importantly cooked dry fruits. Babushka, meaning grandmother, is their traditional Christmas figure who distributes gifts to children.

8. Christmas in Romania

Carols form a very important part for the Romanians. Romanian carols are not just simple songs, but a way to allow people to surpass all difficulties in life. Children move from one house to another singing Christmas carols and narrating legends. The leader of the group carries a large wooden star, covered with shiny paper and decorated with bells and ribbons. The main attraction of their feast is a Pig which is nicely cleaned and cooked.

Christmas Related Articles :

How to Draw a Santa Claus

In this simple step by step guide learn how to draw a Santa Claus in a fun and interactive way. You just need a pen and a paper to start drawing a Santa Claus in the next 2 minutes!

13 Steps to draw a Santa Claus

1. Here comes Santa clause, here comes Santa clause! First draw small
oval for Santa’s face, then starting mid way through the first oval
draw another large oval for Santa’s body.

2. Draw the letter W at the base of the large oval for Santa’s legs.

3. Draw a vertical and horizontal line across the face to position the
facial features of Santa.

4. Three semi circles on top of the small oval with a small circle
makes the cap of Santa.

5. Starting from the side of the cap right down to the stomach of
Santa, in the shape of a leaf make Santa’s beard.

6. On the small oval draw two small leaves either side, one small
circle to join the two thus forming Santa’s moustache.A curved line
under the leaves will form the mouth of Santa.

7. Erase the lines as shown

8. With the help of circles draw the eyes for Santa and don’t forget
about the glasses.

9. Two straight lines on either side of the stomach will be the arms for Santa.

10. Now draw two concentric circles with two straight lines on either
side to make the belt.

11. Draw two L’s below the buckle of the belt to form Santa’s coat.

12. Draw two boots for Santa’s legs .

13. Finally colour your Santa and watch him HO HO HO!

Click here and learn how to draw a Christmas Tree in a fun and interactive way.

How to draw a Christmas Tree

In this simple step by step guide learn how to draw a Christmas tree in a fun and interactive way. You just need a pen and a paper to start drawing a Christmas tree in the next 2 minutes!

13 Steps to draw a Christmas Tree

  1. Ho ho ho! Get ready to welcome Santa Claus by drawing a Christmas tree for him. First, let’s draw the pointy top of the tree. Draw a line at an angle downwards, make leaf marks and draw a line at an angle again to meet the point you started with.
  2. Draw another, bigger similar layer below this one, to continue and make the tree’s middle. Like this, draw one more, still bigger layer, so that there will be room for presents under your tree!
  3. Draw a couple of straight lines to make the trunk of your Christmas tree. What is your tree standing on? Make some wavy lines below the trunk to indicate snow.
  4. Now, it’s time to decorate your tree! Start at the bottom left end and make standing jagged semi circles, from the last pointy part to the penultimate one, for snow. Now, skip to the right side of the second layer to do the same.
  5. Now, draw some streamers at the tree’s top. Make curved ribbon like shapes at the start and end of the tree top.
  6. Lights time! Draw semicircles hanging from the first layer for them. Draw a curved diagonal line across the second layer. Like this, draw lines across the third and fourth layers too, starting from the right side.
  7. Draw small circles on these lines for the lights.
  8. Draw a stocking in the middle left of the tree and decorate it.
  9. Draw a candy cane on the other side, in the next layer.
  10. You can draw a bow below the candy cane, in the final layer.
  11. Draw a star below the stocking.
  12. Colour your tree! You can alternate light and dark shades of green in your tree layers. Colour the lights and star yellow. The other decorations can be red. Colour the snowy parts white to make the tree look real.
  13. You can add stars at the pointy end parts and on top of the tree to finish it off!

For more such cool How To Draw videos go to our Drawing page.

Christmas Story Song

The Shepherds and Angels

In Bethlehem, on a winter night

Were shepherds with their sheep so white
When suddenly came down the rays
of an angel singing praise

Chorus:

“Guess who’s born, ‘Jesus Christ’
Lose your troubles, give a high five
Have no fear, Go and see
The Son of God, the little baby”

Now, 3 wise men saw a star,
Glowing brightly from so far
On their camels travelling
They carried gifts for a king

Chorus:

Singing “Guess who’s born, ‘Jesus Christ’
He is God’s beloved child
He’ll bring peace to one and all,
Let’s go meet the baby small”

They found him in a stable cold
Just like the angel had told
With his loving Ma and Pa
Underneath the shining star

Chorus:

Singing “Jesus Christ, the prince is here
Joy and happiness is near
Sing and dance, have some fun
Merry Christmas every one!” X2

To read and download more Merry Christmas related articles, free wallpapers, greeting cards and coloring pages please visit this page.

Inside a Guitar

Hmmm… Seems I am in a zigzag maze…

Here is a roundabout just like the ones found on a road.

Tadaangg!! Oh! My poor ears… I just shook with the heavy vibration and loud noise. What was this? The sound looked as if it came from this round hole.

I can feel air coming through the top and it seems to be passing through this maze and Taddaaanngg… another deafening sound!

There is a path just below this roundabout. Let me just follow it… It is shaped like a cross, just like the alphabet X. The air seems to be moving around here when someone is applying pressure from the outside.

This seems like a musical instrument. I will just peep through this round hole and voila- there are strings attached to the board. I am inside a guitar!

Guitar

If you are starting to play a musical instrument, a guitar is the best one to learn. Though it takes a great deal of skill and learning to play the guitar properly; it is a lot easier than other instruments.

Parts of Guitar

A guitar has a big, curvy body and inside the nice, wooden structure these are its basic parts:

  1. Neck block – This is where the neck of the guitar fits into.
  2. Lining – This attaches the body of the guitar to the sides. It widens the gluing area for attaching the soundboard
  3. Soundboard – This is the main vibrating plate of an acoustic guitar and most of the guitar sound comes from here.
  4. A round sound hole – The place from where guitar sound emerges. The larger the sound hole the more is the treble or tone
  5. Tail block – It is the bottom block and it strengthens the bottom of the guitar, mainly used for support.

Inside the Guitar

  • The inside of the guitar has a series of braces to produce sound through vibrations. The strings are fixed at both ends and vibrate when touched, producing standing waves. Strings create pressure waves. This sends the air waves to the sound hole and the guitar plays.
  • X-Brace- This lies just below the sound hole forming an X pattern. The degree of the X shape forms the balance between the guitar treble and bass. A wider pr spread out X will increase the bass. A 12 string guitar has double X bracing.

Pochemuchka

What does “Pochemuchka” mean?

Do you know someone who always has a question to ask? Someone who is always curious about something or the other, no matter what the topic at hand is. If you do, then you know someone who is referred to in Russian as a Pochemuchka (pronounced poh-cheh-moch-kah) – a person who asks too many questions. Curiosity is often a sign of intelligence. But remember, if you ask too many questions, you’ll only find more questions, no answers!

Do insects sneeze?

It will become difficult for an insect to sneeze or cough as insects do not have noses.

How do insects breathe?

They breathe through tiny holes in their body called spiracles. These holes or spiracles are connected to tubes or tracheae that again branch out into smaller tubes. These are connected to all tissues in the insect body. Oxygen enters the spiracles and flows down through the tracheae and ends up in a liquid that is located at the bottom of each tube. This liquid helps the oxygen to dissolve. The liquid moves into other cells of an insect’s body to provide oxygen to other parts.

Do insects have lungs?

Insects can take in air or oxygen through their mouth as well but it doesn’t do much because insects do not have lungs. But some insects breathe in air through their mouths to increase their body volume. Some insects like the june beetle, luber grasshopper or the Madagascar hissing cockroach make hissing noise for communication by forcing air out of their spiracles.

Do insects cough?

There are insects that may cough up or regurgitate. This means they might spit out materials from their gut but it is mainly to distract predators or a defensive action.

What is Fibonacci Series?

If you’ve read the book “The Da Vinci Code” then you already know about the Fibonacci sequence. This intriguing sequence of numbers is an integral part of what is known as “the golden ratio” which is said to be the ratio in which many natural phenomena occur. Be it a tree branching out or a cluster of stars, the golden ratio can be observed in most naturally occurring phenomena. So let’s find out some more about this mysterious series of numbers.

What is the Fibonacci Sequence?

The Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers starting from 0 where every number is the sum of the two numbers preceding it. Thus, the sequence goes 0,1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, and so on. The mathematical equation that represents this sequence is  xn = xn-1 + xn-2.

Who invented Fibonacci Sequence?

The sequence is named after Fibonacci, an Italian mathematician who was also known as Leonardo of Pisa, or Leonardo Pisano. He was a man who traveled widely and traded extensively. As knowledge of mathematics was important to traders, his interest was cultivated in his youth. The Fibonacci numbers were first introduced to the Western World through his book Liber Abaci in 1202. However, the discovery of this sequence precedes Fibonacci; it was discovered and described as “Virahanka” in Indian mathematic scriptures.

Fibonacci and the Rabbits Problem

Fibonacci first noticed this sequence when he pondered the question of rabbit breeding. The question he pondered was: Beginning with a male and female rabbit, how many pairs of rabbits could be born in a year? After making certain assumptions he deduced a certain pattern to the breeding of rabbits. The pattern followed the Fibonacci sequence. If you’re curious, the answer he came to was 233 pairs of rabbits at the end of a year.

Why is Fibonacci called as Nature’s Code?

The Fibonacci sequence has a greater significance than simply answering hypothetical rabbit breeding questions. This mysterious sequence appears all around us in nature. The petals of a flower, the seeds of fruits, rows of seeds on a sun flower or the lobes of pinecones and even the spirals on a shell develop or add up to the Fibonacci numbers.

The Golden Ratio: Phi

Why, you ask? Simply because nature always follows the most efficient way of doing things. And that’s why the Fibonacci numbers are also called nature’s code. Another interesting thing of note is that when you divide any Fibonacci number (say 8), with its preceding number (say 5), the result is very close to 1.618, which is also called “Phi”. Go ahead, pick some more numbers off the sequence and try it! Considering all the beautiful wonders of nature created in this ratio, it was deemed the Golden Ratio. “Phi” is also believed to have been used in ancient Greece to denote the ratio of physical perfection.

The beauty of nature is guided by Mathematics. Doesn’t that make math just a little bit more interesting, if not a whole lot?

A Bolt of lightning is 5 times hotter than the sun!

What is sun?

The Sun is just like any other star which gets its energy by nuclear fusion of hydrogen nuclei into helium. The surface of the sun is actually its coolest layer while the core is the hottest.

What is lightning?

Lightning is an atmospheric electric discharge caused by thunderstorms or dust storms. Lightning causes strong electric field which ionizes the air around and separates the air molecules into positive ions and electrons. When this ionised air comes into contact with the ground from the cloud, high temperature current flows in the form of lightening stroke. This lightning stroke establishes a temperature that is hotter than the sun.
The temperature is nothing but the energy that comes from the number of particles which are millions in number. This energy lasts only for a short time like a microsecond, but the rate at which it scatters can be very large.

How hot is lightning bolt?

A bolt of lightning can reach a temperature of 53,540 degree Fahrenheit as compared to just 10,340 degree Fahrenheit of the sun!

What is Hydroelectricity?

Electricity is the life blood of the modern world. Most of us cannot imagine life without electricity and the various appliances and services powered by it. Now, there are multiple ways in which electricity is generated, but the most popular and widely used method all over the world is generation of electricity using water, called hydroelectricity. Also known as hydropower, it refers to the conversion of energy from flowing water into electricity.

How does Hydroelectricity work?

It’s a fairly simple process to explain. To generate hydroelectricity, flowing water is used to turn huge turbines. When the turbines spin, they generate mechanical energy. This mechanical energy is converted into electrical energy using generators.

Types of Hydroelectric Power Plants

1. Dam based :

In this method, dams are built to harness the power of water. The hydroelectric power plant is built as a part of the dam. Water in the dam is released and directed towards the turbines, which cause them to spin, thereby generating electricity. Water may even be stored at the base of the dam in a reservoir. This water can be pumped up into the dam, to meet high demands in electricity.

2. Run of River based :

The electricity generating method remains the same. The only difference in this method is that instead of building the plant as a part of a dam, the hydroelectric power plant is built close to a river. A small portion of the river is redirected to spin the turbines in the plant, and generate electricity.
Both these methods are excellent, but not without their own pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Hydroelectric Power Generation –

  • The dam method is excellent because it gives us greater control over the generation process. Water can be stored and released as needed, which means demands for electricity can be met more efficiently. On the other hand, building a dam is expensive. Not to mention that building a dam changes the surrounding environment and ecology as well. Also, the consequences of breakage or damage to the dams are serious! A dam breakage can cause large scale damage to its surrounding flora and fauna. These are all important factors to consider when building a dam based hydroelectric plant.
  • The run of the river method is more benign as far as natural consequences are considered. On the down side though, this method relies on the natural availability of water, which could mean fluctuations in electricity supply and reduced control over the production of electricity.

All things considered, hydroelectricity is still the most widely used method of generating electricity all over the world, and for good reason! Hydroelectricity is a clean source of energy, as it does not involve pollution and emissions in the process of generating electricity. It is also considered a renewable source of energy, because the key ingredient, i.e. water is renewed in the water cycle.

Cafune

What does “Cafune” mean?

There’s a special kind of comfort in running your fingers through a loved one’s hair. The Portuguese have a word for it. It’s Cafune (pronounced kah-foo-ney), and it refers to the act of caressing a loved one’s hair. Do you remember the last instance of Cafune in your life?

Delhi Air Pollution Facts and Stats

Delhi – The most polluted city in the World!

The capital of the Republic of India has been in the news lately, and not for a good reason either. India is a populated country, the second most populated in the world, in fact. Thus, Delhi being the capital is overcrowded, with both people as well as industries. While on one hand the industrial growth is good for the economy, the same cannot be said for the environment. In recent times, it has come to light that the air pollution in Delhi is dangerously high – it is in fact the most polluted city in the world!

10 Interesting Facts about the Air Pollution in Delhi

1. The air pollution in Delhi is primarily caused due to industrial waste and vehicles. Around 80,000 trucks ply the roads of Delhi, most of them old trucks burning diesel and kerosene. These, added to the power plants that are located within city limits are the major causes of air pollution in Delhi.
2. The dreamy looking fog around Delhi is actually a blend of toxic gases with a high concentration of nanoparticles, which are responsible for respiratory health problems. And it only gets worse. Apart from the visible smog, there are several other toxic gases in the air that are completely invisible to us!
3. Spring brings on clearer looking air, but is actually the time when sunlight reacts with nitrogen dioxide and VOCs to create ground level ozone, exposure to which is equivalent to rubbing sand paper on the insides of our lungs.
4. A busy road on Delhi can now be equated to Hitler’s gas chambers. So high are the levels of VOCs, Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and ground level ozone when one is on the roads of Delhi! And being in a closed vehicle isn’t any significant measure of safety either.
5. As days go by, the pollution seems normal to us. The human body’s tendency to numb out irritating smells causes our ability to perceive pollution to diminish day by day.
6. So bad is the air in Delhi that living in Delhi is said to be equal to smoking twenty plus cigarettes every single day.
7. The pollutants in Delhi are evolving such that the human body can no longer filter out these harmful, carcinogenic pollutants. Called smart pollutants, pollutants like the PM 10 or PM 2.5 , contain particles that are less than 10 and 2.5 microns in size respectively. A human hair strand has a width of around 70 microns. Which means that these pollutants are too small for our bodies to filter out, granting them easy access to our lungs, causing severe respiratory problems.
Records show that the concentration of PM 10 and PM 2.5 in Delhi are at 283 and 517 micrograms per cubic metre, which is way beyond the acceptable standards of 60 and 100 respectively.
8. At this point, merely planting more trees is going to be virtually ineffective against the pollution problems of Delhi. The pollution in Delhi is too thick to be dissolved by just planting trees and going our merry ways.
9. Pollution in Delhi claims the lives of more than 10000 people every year. And these numbers are only getting higher. Winter is especially bad in Delhi, and shows an increase in pollution induced morbidity.
10. Post Diwali 2016, the pollution in Delhi has reached alarming levels, and people are being advised not to step outside due to the severity of the pollution levels. Elders and children suffer all the more in such a situation.

So what can be done?
There’s only one answer – constant monitoring of human activities. Active measures such as the ones mentioned below must be taken, and taken seriously, if there’s ever any hope of salvation for Delhi –

4 Ways to deal with Delhi’s Air Pollution

1. Use of carpooling and public transport. The lesser the vehicles on the road, lesser the pollution.
2. Stopping the consumption of disposable items. Plastic bottles and bags, which cannot be safely recycled only add to the pollution problems, and hence they should be actively avoided.
3. Go green. Combined with other measures to reduce pollution, planting more trees will certainly help alleviate Delhi’s pollution problems.
4. No more willful polluting, by bursting crackers or burning stuff. At this point, bursting crackers amounts to willfully creating respiratory problems for the city of Delhi by introducing more noxious gases into the air.

The world consumes close to 2.25 billion cups of coffee every day!

It has been raining coffee between 9.30 to 11.30 am everyday!

Is coffee really the second largest commodity?

Coffee is the world’s second most valuable commodity to be traded; the first being Petroleum.
Most of the coffee around the world is consumed during breakfast hours between 9.30 and 11.30 am.

Who introduced instant coffee?

It was around 1910 that George Louis Washington introduced instant coffee. It was named Washington’s instant coffee. Since then there has been no looking back for coffee and it has reached a fan following across the globe.

Coffee and caffeine

Coffee contains caffeine which immediately gives you energy and improves blood flow. But too much coffee also can be harmful for the system. That is why when people want to avoid sleeping they drink coffee so that they can stay awake longer.

Coffee chains in the world

The smell of coffee is the second most recognizable smell in America! Starbucks is the largest coffee chain worldwide, while we do have Cafe Coffee day, Coffee bean and Costa Coffee in most parts as well.

Why do Feet Fall Asleep?

What makes our feet fall asleep?

When pressure is applied on a certain body part for a long time, it squeezes the nerve pathways and they cannot transmit the sensations to the brain properly. They also are not able to carry instructions from the brain to the particular body part. Basically the nerve path is blocked or squeezed and the body part doesn’t know what to do, so it goes off to a sleep mode.

What happens when our foot falls asleep?

So, when you are sitting or applying pressure on your arms or legs for a long time, you might feel that body part is missing. When you change your position, the nerves begin to return to their normal position; they begin unsqueezing and start communicating again. This is when you feel the tingling up and down of pins and needles. This sensation is also called paraesthesia and doesn’t last very long or hurt your body parts but sometimes takes longer for the nerves to recover and get back to normal.

How to get rid of an asleep foot?

You can shake your foot gently, or massage your feet, soak your feet in warm water and try to walk only when the tingling sensation has reduced.

Split Apple Rock

How did Split Apple Rock came into existence?

Long ago, the gods were fighting over a delicious golden apple. In the fight that ensued, the apple slipped from the heaven and fell on to the ground and split, turning into a stone. And that, my friends is how the split apple rock formation came to be. Well that was a complete lie, told to me by my very humorous tour guide, as I came to see the famous Split Apple Rock formation here at Abel Tasman in South Island, New Zealand. He also mentioned the Maori legend, which states that two gods were fighting over a large boulder. To prove their strength, they each grabbed hold of one end of the rock, and the tugging resulted in the split. Such interesting stories!

How was Split Apple Rock formed?

The real, less mysterious, and more scientific origin story is that long ago, water seeped in through the cracks of a huge boulder. When the water froze, it expanded, causing the rock to split into two. The split apple shape of the rock is chalked up to coincidence. Well, I still prefer the God’s apple version of the story, and the many other interesting, and often mythological origin stories for this interesting boulder. It is estimated to be around 120 million years old after all!

Amazing Facts about Split Apple Rock

Made out of granite, the rock is a naturally occurring geological formation that sits in the water around 50m from the coast of the Tasman Sea. Visible from the shores, in times of low tide, it is accessible by wading. Or you could kayak up to it. It is quite a popular tourist attraction, as also a point of interest for visitors of the Abel Tasman National Park. Quite a few resorts and retreats have cropped up in the area and the rock is always a point of interest for the guests there as well. The Tasman Bay is a nice area to go kayaking, take long walks, or even go hiking / water sporting and other outdoor activities.

Lycanthropy

What does “Lycanthropy” mean?

Lycanthropy menace the assumption of the form and characteristics of a wolf held to be possible by witchcraft or magic. The word lycanthropy itself, however, comes from the Greek words lykos, meaning “wolf,” and anthropos, meaning “human being.” Werewolf myths are usually associated with the phases of the moon; the animal nature of the werewolf (or “lycanthrope”) is typically thought to take over when the moon is full.

Ostrich: The Super Kicker!

How hard can Ostriches kick?

An Ostrich can kick with a force of about 2,000 pounds per square inch that is 141 kg per square cm.

How fast can an Ostrich run?

This 300 pound bird not only is bulky and heavily built, but also has the ability to run at a speed of 60 miles per hour!

More Fun Ostrich Facts

The Ostrich is not only the world’s largest flightless bird. They have thin legs to keep their large body upright but the long legs of an Ostrich can be a formidable weapon and with a forward kick it is capable of killing potential predators, even a lion!

The feet of an Ostrich are only four inches long. But they possess two finger claws or two toes on each foot. So they bend their knees to prepare for a kick and with the help of their claws the Ostrich deliver a powerful kick. They kick forward because that is the direction their legs can bend.

A professional boxer can only hit 800 pounds per square inch. Thus an Ostrich can kick any human and kill them in a single kick!

Scientists suggest that the ostrich is related to the giant Tyrannosaurus rex, the dinosaur that created havoc in all Jurassic Park movies!

Self Driving Cars : Facts

The future is here thanks to science. We’re talking self-driving cars – cars that don’t need human input to make their way around. Imagine a world where you don’t need someone to drive you around. A world where accidents due to human errors in judgment are a thing of the past. Doesn’t that incredible? Let’s see how science makes this possible.

What is an Autonomous Car?

Self-driven cars, also called autonomous cars, driverless cars, AI cars or robotic cars, are cars that do not require human input to navigate while driving. They use an array of software and technologies to achieve this, including GPS, radar, lidar, odometry and computer vision. The cars are equipped with sensors that allow them to detect obstacles along the way, be it a pedestrian, another vehicle, whether parked or in transit or even a bird. And of course, they have a robust GPS system to navigate the right path to its chosen destination.

How long before we have Driverless Cars?

It may be hard to believe, but the concept of driverless cars was introduced to the world way back in 1939 at the Futurama exhibit by General Motors at the World Fair. Not surprisingly, Japan soon came up with an autonomous car that used cameras and analogue computing to process signals around 1977. Post that, the development of autonomous cars gained a footing in Europe in 1980s, with the Navlab and ALV by Carnegie Mellon University in 1984 and the EUREKA Prometheus Project by Mercedes-Benz and Bundeswehr University Munich in 1987. Since then, many major companies have entered the fray with model after model of driverless cars. With the advent of the Tesla Motor’s and Google’s autonomous cars however, the spotlight shining on this technology is brighter than ever.

6 Levels of Autonomy

There are 6 levels of autonomy to a driverless car from no autonomy to fully autonomous – 

  1. Level 0: Where the Automation System (AS) has no vehicle control, but may issue warnings.
  2. Level 1:Driver must be ready to take control at anytime. AS may include features such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Parking Assistance with automated steering, and Lane Keeping Assistance (LKA) Type II in any combination.
  3. Level 2: The driver is obliged to detect objects and events and respond if the AS fails to respond properly. The AS executes accelerating, braking, and steering and can deactivate immediately upon takeover by the driver.
  4. Level 3: Within known, limited environments (such as freeways), the driver can safely turn their attention away from driving tasks.
  5. Level 4: The AS can control the vehicle in all but a few environments such as severe weather. The driver must enable the AS only when it is safe to do so. When enabled, driver attention is not required.
  6. Level 5: Other than setting the destination and starting the system, no human intervention is required. The AS can drive to any location where it is legal to drive

Tesla motors first rolled out the Tesla Autopilot in 2015 with a software update. Naturally, everybody was excited about the autopilot feature. The autopilot feature ranked at a level 2 or 3. The car saw its first fatal accident in May 2016, and Tesla Motors has since doubled its already considerable efforts to remind drivers that even with the Autopilot feature, drivers still have to remain alert and ready to take control of the vehicle.

Google’s Driverless Cars

Google has also rolled out prototypes of “Google cars” the smiley faced cute cars that are 100% autonomous, i.e. level 5. This means they don’t have steering wheels, or gas / brake pedals. Google cars are undergoing rigorous tests to ensure their safety before they’re released to the general public. They’ve also had some minor accidents and Google is working diligently to learn from these accidents and improve the user experience.

Going by the various declarations by the top motor companies, we could all hope to be “driving around” our own driverless cars by 2021 – just as soon as they figure out a way to get around the existing technical and legal obstacles. So, are you looking forward to giving up vehicle control to simply relax and enjoy the drive?

Valley of the Kings

Wādī al Mulūk

I’m in Egypt today, traversing through what’s known as Wādī al Mulūk, or, the Valley of Kings.

Where was the Valley of the Kings built?

Much like the old kingdom Pharaohs built their tombs in the Pyramids of Giza and the Nile Delta. The Valley of Kings near Luxor on the west bank of Niles also became the burial place for many well-known Pharaohs such as Tutankhanum, Seti I and Ramases of the II New Kingdom of Egypt. Several high ranking queens, priests and elites of the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties, were also buried here. According to my tour guide, these Pharaohs may have chosen this place to be put to rest closer to their dynastic roots in the south.

History of the Valley of the Kings

Egyptians were big-believers of the afterlife and their tombs reflected this belief. Like the tombs in the pyramids, the tombs in the Valley of Kings also show elaborate preparations for the kings’ journey into the after-life. They believed their Pharaohs would become one with Gods in the after-life, so their tombs were well stocked for this very purpose. From riches and treasures like the gold masks and precious jewelry to mundane everyday items like clothes, underwear and even furniture, Egyptian tombs had all the material necessities a ruler might need in the after-life. In fact, they even found food, drinks, and favored companions and pets buried alongside. Curiously, books were nowhere to be found, at least in the tomb of Tutankhanum. I wonder if they believed that one didn’t need books to gain knowledge in the after-life.

For centuries the valley has been combed for tombs, and it still yields surprises. Experts believe that there are many more tombs to be found. Although, they do think that the tombs may already have been raided for loot. Egyptian writings show records of most of the royal tombs having been raided and the offenders severely punished, even though the entrances to the tombs are very well-hidden. The tomb of Tutankhanum discovered by archaeologist Howard Carter was relatively untouched by raiders, which was quite a surprise. Not long after, another unnamed tomb was discovered quite close to Tutankhanum’s tomb. This only increased the experts’ interest in this mystical tomb valley.

All through my trip here, we weren’t allowed to click pictures while inside, and even our tour guide only gave us a quick run-down of the facts while inside. This, he said, was in an effort to reduce damage caused to the tombs because of overcrowding by visitors. Quite understandable. The place has a mysterious ancient vibe to it that deserves to be preserved and experienced in its peaceful glory.

Why do Bats hang upside down?

Halloween is around the corner! Can you guess which nocturnal creature makes its appearance on Halloween costumes and decorations?

They fly like birds, can see very little in the dark and they hang upside down from tree branches or caves?

Yes, they are the nocturnal creatures called Bats.

Ever wondered why these flying mammals hang upside down? What if you try to hang upside down from a monkey bar? Won’t you feel dizzy when you stand up later?

Hanging upside down is an excellent way for the bats to avoid predators. It provides them with an optimal position to take flight if they are attacked.

Why don’t Bats fly like normal birds?

Bats are mammals that have one of the heaviest wings. They cannot take flight when standing in an upright position. As their wings are heavy, they do not give bats the sufficient lift when they are standing like birds.

Another reason for these poor little creatures is that they have underdeveloped hind legs. Like an aeroplane which runs before taking a flight, unfortunately bats cannot do so. Bats would fall off if they try to run and then take a flight.

Thus, bats are happy to hang upside down from attics, caves, bridges and other such places.

How do Bats fly?

Bats use their claws to climb to a high spot and then hang upside down. When they have to fly they let go, drop down and in the middle of their drop they take a flight. When bats are sleeping they hang upside down as it means they can easily take a flight if attacked by predators. Hanging upside down is also a great way for bats to hide from predators.

Why do we carve Pumpkins on Halloween?

It is said that all evil spirits and ghosts are allowed to come out of hiding during Halloween! Erie?

Significance of the pumpkin in Halloween festivities

Halloween is a tradition and a holiday celebrated in Western countries, where children dress up in costumes and go from house to house asking for trick or treats. The most important Halloween tradition is to carve pumpkins. You might have noticed during Halloween people carve huge pumpkins and light them outside their homes.

This tradition of carving and lighting pumpkins occurs all over the United States. It started in Ireland and is known as the Jack-o’-lantern tradition.

Story of the Jack O’ Lantern?

According to an old traditional Irish legend, there was once a drunk and miserly person named Jack. He was known as, ‘Stingy Jack’. He was very shrewd. So one fine day Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him in a bar. The Devil did, and when it was time to pay the bill Jack asked the Devil to turn himself into a coin. The Devil fell for this trap and changed into a coin but instead of paying the bill, Jack put the devil in his pocket with a silver cross so that the devil wouldn’t change to his original form. Later Jack freed the Devil but only on the condition that the Devil would not take Jack’s soul when he died.

As with every mortal being Stingy Jack also died one day, but he was rejected by God since he was not a sincere person and was not allowed in heaven. He went to hell and since the Devil had promised not to take his soul, Jack was denied entry.

However, the Devil gave Jack a piece of charcoal and told him to make his own hell and light it. Jack put the charcoal in a carved-out turnip and it is believed that he roams the earth as a restless soul along with his lantern ever since. Thus was born Jack-o’-lantern.

People first started carving turnips and potatoes to ward off evil. Later pumpkins took over this tradition as they seemed to be the right fruit – big, ripened at the correct time and native to America.

So people carve pumpkins with scary, ghost like faces. This, the Irish believe stops evil spirits like Stingy Jack from entering their homes during Halloween.

Panapoo

What does “Panapoo” mean?

Most of us have this unconscious habit of scratching our heads or chins when we’re thinking, especially if we’re trying to remember something we’ve forgotten. There’s a Hawaiian word for this act. Pronounced [pah-nah-poh-oh], the word Panapoo describes this very act of scratching one’s head as one tries to remember something that is forgotten. Do you have this habit?

The origin of the word “OK”

OK… So it all started with a joke!

Using abbreviations was a rage during the 1800’s and more so in the printing press. The Editor of Boston Morning Post published a humourous article about a satirical organization called the ‘Anti-Bell ringing Society’. The article was in good humour about the correct use of grammar.

What does “OK” stand for?

It used ‘OK’ as an abbreviation for ‘Oll Korrect’!

While the other abbreviations faded in due time, OK stayed for years and is used even today! So, how did Ok get so famous?

Story and History of the word “OK”

During the 1840 elections the abbreviation OK got merged with Martin van Burren’s nickname, Old Kinderhook. Some fans got together and opened a club and had posters and banners saying ‘Vote for OK’. This slogan was used widely and Van Burren also popularised the term. Swiftly and steadily the term reached outside and had an international fan following.

So OK still stands hand in hand with other slangs like OMG or LOL!

Hagfish Fun Facts

Living in the deep dark sea and swimming around without being able to see. That’s just one of the things that makes hagfish interesting. Hagfish are interesting creatures that are also called slime eels because of their appearance but they are actually jawless fish.

Where does the Hagfish Live?

There are around 76 species of hagfish living in cold waters around the world. The largest of them can grow up to four feet whereas the smallest of them is hardly a few inches long. They prefer living near the soft ocean floor where they can bury themselves if threatened.

10 Interesting Facts about the Hagfish – Seemingly Repulsive Species

  1. Sock skin: Hagfish do not have scales. They have loose fitting sock like skin that ranges from pinkish to blue-gray in color.
  2. Hearts and hearts: Hagfish have 4 hearts! That’s right. The slimy fish has one heart which serves as the main pump and three other accessory pumps.
  3. Skin breathers: Hagfish can breathe through a well-developed network of capillaries in their skin. They also have anywhere between 5 to 15 gills depending on the species, which help them breathe.
  4. No sight: Hagfish do not have compound eyes, but instead have eye spots that detect light. In some hagfish, even these spots are covered by skin. This doesn’t mean they can’t find their way around the ocean however. Hagfish have a very well-developed sense of hearing and smell which lets them navigate and find food quite easily. They also have several barbels and sensing tentacles around their mouth.
  5. Jawless but not toothless: Well, they’re not exactly teeth, but hagfish have two rows of tooth-like keratin structures that they use to bite off food and burrow into the ground.
  6. Tail torque: Hagfish tie their tails into knots when eating live prey to generate torque and increase the force of their attacks. Resourceful, eh?
  7. No evolution: The only hagfish fossil is around 330 million years old, but it is hardly different from the hagfish today. Which indicates that whatever evolution happened then is working pretty well for them.
  8. They can go months without eating: Hagfish have slow enough metabolisms to be able to survive months between feedings.
  9. Slime masters: Hagfish are notoriously called slimy eels because of this disgusting instinct of theirs. They produce quite an amount of slime and chuck it at their predators to escape. The can produce litres of slime in a matter of minutes! They have slime glands along their body that help them do this. To clean themselves off they knot themselves and scrape it off. To clear a slimy nostril, they sneeze.
  10. Futuristic fibre: Hagfish slime contains tens of thousands of pretty strong protein threads that scientists believe can be woven into fabric. Just like spider-silk, hagfish-slime-fibre would be super strong and could have a number of potential uses.

Although they are pretty slimy and can seem quite disgusting, hagfish actually play an important role in maintaining the health of the ocean. Sadly, quite a few of hagfish species are nearing endangerment and need conscious efforts from our side for their protection.

Socotra Island, Yemen

Where is Socotra located?

Off the coast of Yemen in the Indian Ocean lies a small island, or rather an archipelago that is unlike any other place on earth. These 4 islands in the Arabian Sea make up the Socotra Island, also known as the Pirate islands.

Random Facts about Socotra Island

The Socotra islands are isolated islands, rich in both history and beauty. The island consists of the main island of Socotra, and 3 smaller islands of Abd al Kuri, Samhah and Darsa. Apart from these, there are also small rock outcrops like Ka’l Fir’awn and Sābūnīyah that are uninhabitable by humans but important for seabirds. These islands are beautiful with their coastal plains and limestone plateaus. Combined with these and the lovely Haghier mountains, the island is a visual treat. Even the plant life here is highly unique. Of the species of plants found on the island, more than a third are found nowhere else on earth, my guide says. Indeed, some of these plants are unearthly! Makes one feels like they’re on another planet! It is rightly referred to as “the most alien looking place on earth!”

The Dragon’s Blood Tree

My local guide here tells me the legend of the dragon’s blood tree, which looks like a giant mushroom. The tree has a red sap, which in ancient times was thought to be dragon’s blood, and was highly valuable. Used as a dye back then, it serves as a key ingredient for paint and varnish today. The people here believed in magic, and practiced many magical rituals back in the day, even though a majority of the population was Christian, and their magical practices were forbidden by the archbishop.

Who does Socotra Island belongs to?

The majority of people here are of Indian and Somali origin as also African American people. The friendly people here earn their livelihood through animal husbandry, fishing, and date cultivation. The island is as of now still untouched by throngs of tourists, which makes the experience even better! You can enjoy its beauty and the amazing hospitality of the islanders peacefully. The eco tours ensure that you have a great time without causing any damage to the beautiful island. I can’t wait to come back here for another visit!

Music and Heartbeats

Dap dap….Dap dap!

“Music make me happy, really happy”– Mr. HeartBeat

Doctors and researchers have found that music is the savior of many souls. Music distresses a person and calms them down. It is proven that sounds of different pitches can change the moods of people and also lower blood pressure according to the type of music they are listening to. Also the heartbeat adjusts to the tempo of the music you listen to.

Importance of Music in Life

  • Music is important part of anyone life.
  • They always relate to good or bad times with some song playing in the background.
  • It is also connected to physiological responses within the body especially the heart.
  • Studies at Massachusetts and Hong Kong have soon that people who listen to music for 20 to 30 minutes a day have lowered blood pressure and heartbeat compared to the ones that don’t.
  • This relationship between the heart and music is beneficial on many levels especially when it comes to people with heart problems and chronic pain.

London Bridge

London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down. Well, no. It isn’t which is good because I’m there right now!

History of London Bridge

Spanning the river Thames and connecting the traditional city of London to its creative and more relaxed bankside, the London Bridge is the bridge with the longest history in London. The first timber bridges that spanned the river Thames were built way, way back by the Roman founders of London. Then in 1176, Henry II commissioned a stone arched bridge that lasted for over 600 years! Over the centuries it underwent several upgrades and refurbishments. The bridge that stands today replaced the stone arched bridge. It was designed and built due to the combined efforts of the architect Lord Holford and engineers Mott, Hay and Anderson. It was inaugurated by the Queen Elizabeth II in 1973 and was opened to traffic in the year 1974.

Nursery Rhyme: London Bridge is Falling Down

The London Bridge is one of the oldest known bridges across the Thames, and is so popular worldwide that it has a nursery rhyme dedicated to it. In medieval times, the bridge often displayed the heads of traitors to the throne on spikes above its stone gatehouse. It was a way for the monarchy to keep its subjects in check.

4 Interesting Facts about London Bridge

  1. Today, however, it is a place that not only offers a spectacular view of the city but has several interesting attractions to boot.
  2. The London Bridge is always bustling with activity thanks to the many restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions in the areas around it.
  3. It’s a place well known for its food and drinks as well as the excellent medical services of the London Bridge Hospital and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
  4. It is also the most well connected places in the city with excellent public transport links.

If you’re the daring type (like I am), you must give the London Bridge experience a shot. I won’t give away the details, but it’s a terrifyingly fascinating experience, to say the least. The Borough market area across the London Bridge Station is UK’s oldest food market and boasts of over 70 stalls selling everything from fresh produce to lip-smacking delicacies.

It goes without saying of course, that if you’re here, you cannot miss taking a walk across the river!

Ramayana – The Story of Diwali

The Story of Ramayana

Diwali is a festival of joy and prosperity, and a celebration of the victory of good over evil. This is the story of Ram and Ravan. A story related to this festival.

Thousands of years ago, in the city of Ayodhya, there was a wise and good king named Dasaratha who ruled along with his three queens and four princes.

The eldest, Ram and his beautiful wife, Sita, lived happily along with his other prince brothers and their wives. But one of King Dasaratha’s wives was jealous of Ram and demanded that he be exiled to the forest for 14 years so that her son, Bharat, be made king.

Having once promised his wife to fulfil any wish of hers, the helpless king exiled Ram to the forest. And so, Ram set off on foot accompanied by his loving wife Sita, and loyal younger brother, Lakshman.

A few years into their exile, a demoness named Surpanakha saw Ram and fell for his looks. She asked Ram to marry her. Ram refused and asked her to go to Lakshman instead.

But Lakshman also refused. Enraged, Surpanakha showed her true form and Lakshman cut off her nose and ears.

The demoness went wailing to her brother who was none other than Ravan, the demon King of Lanka. Ravan was furious and swore revenge.

With the help of another demon who took the form of a golden deer, he distracted Ram and Lakshman and kidnapped Sita from their hut.

When Ram and Lakshman returned, Sita was missing! They realised that something bad had happened while they were gone and immediately rushed to find her.

On their way, they came across an army of monkeys and bears that agreed to help them. Among them was a monkey named Hanuman who had once vowed to be at Ram’s service.

Now Hanuman was no ordinary monkey. He could fly over mountains, change size at will and had super-human strength. He had the power to leap across oceans in a single stride. So obviously, he ended up being Ram’s strongest ally.

It was Hanuman who finally found Sita, imprisoned in one of Ravan’s beautiful gardens. Hanuman reassured Sita that Ram would be here soon to rescue her.

He came back to Ram with Sita’s whereabouts and the army of monkeys, bears and men marched to Lanka.

Soon, a great battle started between to two mighty armies and Ram’s soldiers managed to kill all the demons, except one – Ravan.

The battle was now between Ram and Ravan. He gave Ravan one last chance to apologise and return Sita. Ravan instead rained down weapons on him. Ram too fought back relentlessly but despite all his efforts, nothing seemed to kill Ravan. Finally, Ravan’s brother Vibheeshan told Ram that Ravan’s weakest point was in his navel. Using an arrow given to him by the gods, Ram shot Ravan in the navel and killed him instantly.

And so, Ram and his love,Sita, were finally reunited.

Soon after, upon completion of their 14 years in exile, Ram, Sita and Lakshman returned home to find the entire city waiting for them! The streets were decorated with flowers and lamps and there was happiness everywhere

And this is why every year on Diwali Festival Facts, you see the streets, homes and offices lit up with lamps, like the city of Ayodhya, in celebration of Ram and Sita’s homecoming.

Facts about the different celebrations of Diwali – https://mocomi.com/different-celebrations-of-diwali/

How do Elevators work?

With the push of a button, you summon a metal box that saves you from trudging up flights of stairs. In fact, for any building more than 4 floors high, an elevator is practically a must. Can you even imagine skyscrapers being around if not for elevators? And apart from the ease and convenience to most people, elevators also make life easier for those with physical handicaps. Elevators are an innovation we’re so used to, that few of us ever pause to wonder how this box works.

Elevator Pulley System

Have you ever tried drawing water out of a well? If so, you’ve used a pulley. The bucket is attached to a rope which passes through a wheel, making it easier to draw water out. The earliest elevators worked on the same principle. They were manually operated, and were powered by laborers / animals. Of course, the modern elevator uses much more elaborate and sophisticated mechanisms to better handle the weight of the elevator and its cargo but the principle is essentially the same.

Working Principle of Elevator

An elevator is basically a metal box attached to a very strong metal rope. This rope goes through a “sheave” in the engine room above the elevator. A “sheave” is the equivalent of a pulley wheel. It has grooves to hold the rope tightly. The entire system is motorized. When you push the call button (or the floor button), you activate the motor and the elevator goes up, down or stops. The key parts of an elevator are –

1. The metal car that we ride in

The car of the elevator is a metal box that is held in place by guide rails and supported by strong metal cables. There are two sets of doors in an elevator door, and most modern elevators are locked using an automated system. Unless they are forced open, the outer doors open only when an elevator car is on the floor. This is to prevent people from accidentally falling into the shaft from a moving elevator.

2. The counterweight

On the other end of the metal cable is a metal weight, about as heavy as the elevator would be when it is half full. This is to balance the weight of the elevator car, thereby minimizing energy needed to operate it.

3. The cables

As mentioned, the elevator car is supported by multiple cables of very strong metallic rope twisted together. They’re strong enough that even if one of them snaps, the elevator doesn’t fall to its doom. But what if all the cables break? Well, elevators aren’t just suspended in midair on metallic ropes. They’re also held in place by guide rails on the sides of the elevator. And there’s also a ratchet system for added safety. This safety system was invented by Elisha Graves Otis back in the 1860s. Each car ran between two vertical guide rails with sturdy metal teeth embedded all the way up them. At the top of each car, there was a spring-loaded mechanism with hooks attached. If the cable broke, the hooks sprung outward and jammed into the metal teeth in the guide rails, locking the car safely in position.

4. The electric motor and the braking system

At the push of the button, the motor is activated. When the motor turns one way, the sheave raises the elevator; when the motor turns the other way, the sheave lowers the elevator. The sheave, the motor and the control system are all housed in a machine room above the elevator shaft.

5. Safety systems

Apart from the above mentioned ratchet safety system, there are also speed governors (to control the speed of the elevator) and hydraulic or gas spring buffers to minimize impact damage in the event of a malfunction.
Fun Fact: In times of elevator crisis, the safest place to be is often right inside the elevator!

Zebra Stripes are nothing but Barcodes for Scientists!

Do all Zebras look alike to you?

They are all white with black stripes. But Scientists can identify individual zebras by “scanning” their stripes like a barcode.

The ‘Stripespotter’ is a scanning system developed to identify individual zebras from a single picture.

This system is so accurate; it can be used on other striped animals like tigers and giraffes.

Scientific Explanation for Zebra Stripes

The field ecologists take pictures of zebras with their regular cameras. These pictures are then loaded on the database of the Stripespotter. A portion of the picture is highlighted by the scientists, say the hind leg. This highlighted area is scanned by the Stripespotter and assigned a ‘stripecode’. Each animal has a unique stripecode.

When other pictures of the animals are loaded and other parts highlighted, the Stripespotter finds it in the database and gives a matching result. It also provides a feedback as to why the two images are of the same zebra.

Tenali Raman And The Greedy Brahmins

A Lesson to the Greedy Brahmins

There is another great story about the wisdom of Tenali Raman.

The King, Krishnadevaraya’s mother was a very pious and orthodox lady. She had visited all holy places and given much of her treasures in charity to temples. Once she showed the desire of giving away fruits in charity and her son, the king, obliged.

Krishnadevaraya immediately got many mangoes from Ratnagiri. He respected his mother a lot and never let her down. Unfortunately, before the auspicious day could arrive, his mother died.

Krishnadevaraya followed all religious rites. They went on for many days. On the last day, the King called some Brahmins and said, ‘my mother’s last wish was to offer mangoes to Brahmins. But she could not fulfil this wish and died. What can I do so that my mother’s last wish could be fulfilled and she can rest in peace?’

The Brahmins were greedy. They said that only if the King would give each Brahmin a gold mango, would his mother be able to rest in peace.
Krishnadevarya on hearing this immediately ordered some gold mangoes to be made and presented them to the Brahmins, thinking now his mother would be happy and peaceful.

Tenali Raman heard about this and he called those Brahmins to his home to perform the last rite ceremonies of his own mother.

When the Brahmins came to Tenali’s house Tenali closed all the doors and windows and stood in front of them with a red hot iron rod. The Brahmins were taken aback but Tenali removed their confusion.

‘My mother had knee pains and as a remedy she wanted me to cure her with these hot iron rods. But she died before I could help her. So now I want to fulfil her wish by giving you all this treatment’, Tenali said to the Brahmins.

The Brahmins were shocked and said that it is injustice on them and that they will not be a part of it.

But Tenali said that since they had taken the golden mangoes from the king because that way it could provide peace to his dead mother, this was the way Tenali’s mother could find peace.

The greedy Brahmins understood that they have not done right and they returned the mangoes to the King.

Later Tenali Raman told king Krishnadevarya that the treasure of the palace should not be exploited by giving them to such greedy people. Instead, it should be put to feed and serve the needy.

Moral: You should not be greedy and take more than you need.

Browse though our huge collection of short stories for kids.

How the Internet Works?

Whether we want to talk to our friends via email or instant messaging, shop, book movie tickets, or even read and research, the internet makes our lives much easier. It’s hard to imagine a world without the ease and convenience of the internet. It’s a wonderful technology that has extended to most areas of our lives. But how does this technology work? Have you ever wondered?

What is the Internet?

Simply put, the internet is a global collection of networks of computers connected to each other. These networks allow data to be transferred between the computers/devices connected to them. This exchange of data is possible only because all the computers on the network play by the same set of rules, called the Internet Protocol (IP).

How does this Global Network called the Internet Work?

Be it for a Google search for your favorite movie, or an email to a friend, what’s essentially happening when you use the internet is that you’re sending a message from your device to another device. Thus, when you use the internet, what you’re doing is sending and receiving messages (requests) to and from other computers and devices on the network.

Data Transmission on the Internet

The computers and devices that we use are called clients and the computers that websites such as Google or Facebook use are called servers. The websites we access are all files on the hard disks of the respective servers. Our devices do not directly access these files. When we access google.com for example, our client device forwards its requests to Google servers via our internet service providers (ISPs). The results also come to us via our ISPs. Which is why we cannot access the internet if our connection to our ISPs gets terminated.

Also, these messages and requests aren’t sent or received as a whole. Any time you use the internet, your message is broken down into units called “packets” that travel through the network to its destination. Upon arrival at the destination, the packets are put together in the original order. You can think of a packet as a chunk of your message / query. Or like a part of a jigsaw puzzle that needs to be solved at the destination. If for some reason the packets aren’t put together in the right order at the right time, the results are in the form of distorted content. Like when a video lags, or a web page doesn’t load properly.

But there are millions of people and devices accessing the internet at any given time. Which means countless packets of data. So how do these packets of data find their way to their intended destination? Every device connected to the internet has its own unique I.P address which acts as the postal address does in the physical world. And to make the data flow smoother and avoid data traffic jams, there are routers. Routers sort the packets based on their destination and ensure that they end up on the right device and not on other devices on the network.

So does anyone own the Internet?

Most of the data that is exchanged on the internet flows through internet exchange platforms. These platforms serve all kinds of organizations, including internet service providers, social media, universities, companies, publishers, telecom providers etc. By using an internet exchange platform, these organizations can achieve faster exchange of information at lower costs. So basically, the internet works because of mutual agreement of several organizations all over the world to share and exchange data using the same set of rules. So no one organization owns the internet.

The World is running out of Sand!

What is sand used for?

Sand seems infinite- covering beaches, rivers, deltas, all around the world. But sand is also used to make glass, electronics and most immensely used in construction. As cities grow larger, infrastructure moves higher, the demand for sand increases. Sand is in so much demand today that stealing sand has become an attractive business model.

Sand has been used by ancient and modern civilizations. Cities have been built, ruined, rebuilt-thinking that sand is abundant. But sand too is finite.

We are running out of Sand!

The world uses 40 billion tons of sand each year! The number is growing fast and the world is running out of sand. It is the river and beach sand that is running out. Desert sand is not of much use as it is lighter, cannot stick and gets eroded by wind. When the rivers and beaches are being emptied of their major source of sand, it can cause huge environmental damage.

A Sandy Affair!

Many people have been killed over the sand war. In India alone many government officials and policemen have been killed by sand mafias.

Mumbai Dabbawalas Supply Chain

The deliverers of home cooked meals to offices all over Mumbai (now common in other Indian cities as well), Dabbawalas make up one of the most efficient delivery systems in the city. A network of 5000+ professionals with one goal, to ensure timely delivery of tasty, homemade meals to their clients.

Origin of Mumbai Dabbawalas

Long back in 1890, a man named Maadeo Havaji Bachche started a lunch delivery service employing around 100 men. Over time, they formed an official association called the Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers’ Association, otherwise known as “The Dabbawalas”. The term “Dabbawala” or “Dabbawallah” can be translated to “tiffin box delivery man”. Dabba, means box, although when it comes to dabbawalas, it refers to the cylindrical aluminium containers they use to transport the lunchboxes.

The Dabbawala network consists of more than 5000 dabbawalas/workers, who collectively transport and deliver more than 350,000 dabbas or lunches in a day, and all of them, on time. Their work, while seemingly simple is quite challenging and involves commuting all over the dense urban landscape to deliver the lunches on time, all the while fielding train delays and traffic. Not to mention carting around heavy crates of lunch boxes and ensuring the contents do not spill. Their clients are usually middle-classed professionals who prefer home cooked meals to the restaurant fares. Which means they have to provide good service at affordable prices. This is no mean feat!

How do Mumbai’s Dabbawalas Work?

  1. As the work day begin (typically around 9), the Dabbawala reports for work at his appointed station.
  2. Next, the dabbawala picks up lunchboxes from the maker’s house. The makers keep the meals ready for pick up, neatly packed in multi-tiered lunch boxes, which can be conveniently placed in the aluminium ‘dabbas’.
  3. A dabbawala typically collects lunches from around 30-40 lunchboxes from all over the neighborhood.
  4. Around 10:30 am, the dabbawala meets other dabbawalas at the reporting station for the sorting of the dabbas based on their delivery location.
  5. Once sorted, the dabbas are packed into crates and assigned to individual dabbawalas.
  6. The dabbawala then transports his crate, either by bicycle or train, depending on the delivery location. Each crate holds at least 30 dabbas.
  7. Once the destination is reached, the dabbas are again split for final delivery to the assigned local dabbawalas. These dabbawalas deliver the lunches to the final recipient. This is usually around noon to 1 pm.
  8. Once deliveries are done, dabbawalas have their own lunch.
  9. Post lunch, the dabbawalas collect the now empty tiffin boxes and return them to the maker’s homes, following pretty much the same process in reverse.

Challenges faced by Dabbawalas

To ensure that the tiffin reaches the right recipients, dabbawalas have their own unique color coded system in place. The major challenges faced by the dabbawalas is ensuring timely delivery against traffic and train delays. Even so, mistakes in delivery are rare, and delays infrequent. The rate of mistakes is reported to be less than 1%. The Dabbawalas are an excellent example of teamwork and commitment to work.

Gerenuk Facts and Information

Doesn’t this animal remind you of a giraffe? I mean, look at its long neck! It’s a gerenuk, also known as the giraffe gazelle. I’m in the African Great lakes region, one of the two regions where this beautiful animal is found. The other are where Gerenuks are found is the Horn of Africa.

Gerenuk Characteristics

The gerenuks are an interesting species first discovered in 1878. They are tall slender antelopes that resemble gazelles, but have longer necks and more solid skulls. The name “Gerenuk” itself meas giraffe necked in the Somali language. Although their heads are small, they have large beautifully liquid eyes, and also large ears. These features combined with their lyre shaped (S-like) horns give the gerenuks a striking appearance. Gerenuks are around 100 cm tall on average and can weigh between 30-50 kg. The males of this species are slightly taller than females. They have brown uppercoats and a lighter coat on the sides and underparts. They have a short tail with a tuft of hair at the end.

What do Gerenuks Eat?

Gerenuks are herbivores who eat leaves, flowers and buds alike. They are ‘adaptable eaters’, which means they are quite resourceful when it comes to finding food. Unlike most gazelles who tend to be ground eaters, gerenuks use their long necks to reach up to higher growing vegetation, and may also stand up on their hind legs at times when the branches are too high up to reach otherwise. An interesting thing about gerenuks is that they don’t need water! They get the moisture they need from the vegetation they eat. This enables them to survive in deserts and scrublands as well.

Gerenuk Natural Habitat

They also have no specific breeding season, and tend to live in small groups. Gerenuks mark their territories using their pre-orbital glands. Pre-orbital glands are glands near their eyes which emit a tar-like scent bearing substance). Isn’t that interesting? I also found out that Gerenuks have a variety of calls, depending on the situation they’re in, including a whistle!

Sadly, this animal now has a “near endangerment” status, due to habitat loss and human threats.

Even Trees get Tired!

Notice how trees droop their branches in the evening. After a long day of photosynthesis, trees want to relax their branches at night so they droop them down. This might be similar to the stretching a human does before going to sleep.

How do Trees go to Sleep?

Scientists, using laser measurements, have also discovered that during dawn, or close to sunrise, the branches of trees drop even lower than before.

Why do Trees get Tired?

Some believe that the drooping of branches is due to loss of internal water pressure which causes the leaves and branches to lose their rigidity. Sunlight is needed by trees to create sugar from carbon dioxide and since this happens only during the day, at night the trees seem to relax or you can say ‘sleep’.

During the day the leaves and branches are facing upwards, towards the sunlight. The trees seem to sway and are happy. During the night, the trees have also lost their energy and are ready to sleep.

What are Drones and What are they used for?

Look! In the sky. It’s not a bird, plane, or even superman for that matter. It’s a drone. Probably on a delivery run. Sounds futuristic doesn’t it? But it’s true. Pretty soon, drones in the sky would be an all-too common sight. But first, let’s learn a little about these cool flying machines.

What are Drones?

A drone is an aircraft powered and controlled by computer technology. Which means that it doesn’t need a pilot in it to fly it. It’s also called a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). A drone can either be pre-programmed or be remotely controlled by a pilot. Drones are guided by in-built GPS systems or the pilot controlling them.

What are Drones used for?

There are mainly two types of drones – military and civilian. Both of these are used for myriad purposes, ranging from surveillance and monitoring, as also for delivery of products and services, photography and such. In fact, a majority of drones are used for non-military purposes.

14 Interesting Facts about Drones

  1. The largest manufacturer and exporter of military and defense drones is Israel.
  2. The most expensive military drone is the US-made MQ 9 Reaper, which costs around 14 million USD.
  3. The most expensive passenger carrying drone is the China – made Ehang 184, which costs around 300,000 USD.
  4. The first “armed” drones were created by the USA, while in pursuit of Osama Bin Laden. Since then, armed drones have been used in countless missions.
  5. Drones are used not only for military purposes, but also to help the police fight crime.
  6. Drones are used not only for crime and military surveillance, but environmental surveillance as well.
  7. Drones are used for humanitarian causes as well, such as delivering food and aid to remote areas.
  8. Did you know that drones also help farming? Farmers use drones to map out their crops – to check irrigation systems, and also determine which areas of crops are sick/healthy and make adjustments accordingly.
  9. Drones have also been used by many retailers to deliver their products.
  10. Drones are widely used in covering all kinds of news and international tournaments.
  11. Drones have also captured creative minds, and have founds users in all kinds of creative fields, from photography to music and even stage setup.
  12. Even the real estate market has started using drone tours to their benefit.
  13. Drones are heavily used in the movie industry to capture beautiful cinematic shots.
  14. Nowadays, drones are easily available for everyone to purchase and use for really low prices to boot. This also gives rise to concerns regarding privacy however, and has caused numerous debates by human rights activists.

Drones are super cool, aren’t they?