Jugaad

What does “Jugaad” mean?

Jugaad, pronounced as ‘joo-gahd’ is a colloquial Hindi-Urdu term. The word indicates an innovative fix or a simple work-around, used for solutions that go beyond regular rules. Jugaad helps in finding a low-cost solution to any problem in an intelligent way. It is a new way to think constructively and differently about innovation and strategy.

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.

Why do Leaves fall off Trees?

Why do trees lose their leaves in autumn?

During autumn season the earth receives immense sunlight and warmth. This results in trees shedding off their leaves in order to prepare themselves for the cold winter months. Trees that shed their leaves for a part of the year are known as deciduous trees and trees that do not shed their leaves are known as evergreen trees.

What do leaves do for trees?

Many trees shed their leaves to survive the harsh winter conditions. Shedding their leaves help trees to conserve water and energy. As the harsh weather conditions approach, the hormones in the trees start a process known as abscission. In this process the leaves are purposefully cut off from the tree branches by specialised cells. Before the abscission process starts the trees absorb all the essential nutrients and food from the leaves and store them in their roots for later use. Chlorophyll is the first essential nutrient that is absorbed by the trees. Thus leaves lose their green colour before shedding off. If you notice; during the fall season, the leaves change into red, orange or yellow in colour.

What will happen if leaves don’t fall off the trees?

Trees also lose water through the pores in their leaves. So during the cold, dry winter months, water retention becomes critical and thus there is no use for the leaves. So they cut off their leaves. If leaves remained on trees, the water in the leaves would freeze in the winter. Frozen, solid leaves would die eventually. This means that when spring would arise, the tree would have dead leaves and the tree would also die soon. The process of losing leaves so that new leaves can grow after the winter months prolongs the life of a tree and thus this cycle should continue.

Faamiti

What does “Faamiti” mean?

Do you know that squeakin, kiss-like sound we make when we want to gain the attention of a dog, or a child? The Samoans have a word for that. Pronounced [fah-mih-tee], the word is Faamiti, and it refers to the high-pitched noise made by sucking air through tightly-sealed lips in order to attract the attention of a pet.

Plant Cell and Animal Cell: Comparison

What is a cell?

All living organisms on Earth are made of really tiny particles called cells. Cells are the basis which makes up the structure of all living beings- all animals and all plants. Cells can only be seen under a microscope. Cells join together to form tissues which join together to make organs, an organic system which makes a living organism.

Plant cell structure and functions:

  • The plants cell has a cell wall. This wall protects the contents on the cell and also limits a cell size. It is made up of chemicals like cellulose; an important sugar glucose for plants.
  • Next is the cell membrane which is a thin layer of protein and fats and allows only few substances to pass through it.
  • Chloroplast is a disc shaped organelle containing the Chlorophyll which is a molecule inside the cell that plants use to make food- the process of photosynthesis. It absorbs sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into sugar and oxygen.
  • Plant cells contain the mitochondrion which is a spherical or rod shaped organelle that converts energy stored in the form of glucose.
    In the center is the nucleus which controls all the functions of the cell and is surrounded by a nuclear membrane.
  • They also have a permanent vacuole that takes up 90% of the cell volume and it helps the cell be turgid- swollen with water.

Animal cell structure and functions:

  • The animal cell contains an external membrane which gives shape to cells and controls movement of materials like oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass in and out of cells.
  • The central part of the cell is the nucleus which has a small structure called the chromosome in it. These chromosomes carry genes which are responsible for our hereditary characters passed on from our parents and ancestors.
  • The cell contains an endoplasmic reticulum which is a tube like structure connecting different parts of a cell and helps them to carry materials.
  • The mitochondria are like a power house of a cell. They are found in large numbers and help in respiration process of a cell that helps in energy formation.
  • Cells also contain Lysosomes which have enzymes that help in digestion of food.

Difference between plant cell and animal cell

Animal cells do not have a cell wall or chloroplasts but plant cells do. Animal cells are round and irregular in shape but plants cells are rectangular and have a fixed shape. Animal cells contain lysosomes which are absent in plant cells. Animal cells have one or more small vacuoles but plant cells have only one big vacuole.

What are Cyclones?

What is a Cyclone?

Cyclones are violent storms. When we talk about storms or cyclones, the location plays an important part since there are different types of cyclones, and the location determines what to call it.

Cyclones that form near North America and the Caribbean are known as hurricanes. Cyclones formed near Philippines, Japan and China are known as typhoons and those formed near Australia and India are known as cyclones.

How are Cyclones formed?

Cyclones are generally spinning storms that rotate around a low pressure center. The center is the eye of the cyclone which watches whatever is going down. It is like the calm spinning, middle portion of a ceiling fan whereas the surrounding rotating areas are the arms which go wild.

Types of Cyclones?

Tropical Cyclones

The Tropical cyclones form over the Atlantic, Pacific and the Indian Oceans, mostly develop during summer. Hurricanes and typhoons are also types of tropical cyclones. Tropical cyclones are called category 1,2,3,4, or 5. The number increases with the increase in their intensity and wind speed. A category 1 cyclone is weak and has a speed of 74-95 mph. A category 5 cyclone is above 155 mph and is extremely disastrous and dangerous.

Polar Cyclones and Mesocyclones

Other types of cyclones are Polar cyclones and mesocyclone. Polar cyclones occur in Polar Regions in winter months in Greenland, Siberia or Antarctica. A mesocyclone is when a part of a thunderstorm cloud starts to spin and forms a tornado.

Tropical Cyclones form over the warm of the tropics. When the warm, moist air over the water rises, it is replaced by cool air. This cooler air warms and starts rising. This cycle causes huge clouds to be formed. Now, these warm clouds begin to rotate with a spin of the earth. If there is enough warm water, the cycle continues and the storm clouds and the wind speed keeps growing to form a cyclone. When this occurs over the tropical ocean it is called tropical depression. When it starts spinning faster, we get a tropical storm.

The main effects of cyclones are heavy rainfall, strong winds, land falls and tornadoes. The destruction of a cyclone depends upon the intensity of the winds. The worst cyclone in Australia was in 1974 called cyclone Tracy which devastated Darwin and Northern Australia.

2 Interesting Facts about Cyclones

  1. Cyclone rotates counter clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere, due to earth’s rotation.
  2. When naming cyclones the letters Q,U,X,Y, Z are not used and the names are alternated between male and female names.

Inside a Hurricane

What is a Hurricane?

A hurricane is a huge storm. It is a combination of many strong winds that combine together and twirl or spiral inwards and then move upwards. Hurricanes happen over the ocean, land and can last for up to weeks.

The Hurricane is made up of the following:

1. Hurricane winds or rain bands

They are a series of dense clouds which move counter clockwise. They spiral in that direction and surround the rough wall of the hurricane eye. They give a pinwheel appearance to the hurricane. They can be 50 to 300 miles long.

2. Hurricane Eye

When the winds move together and spiral around they form a centre of the hurricane which is the eye. The eye can be 20 to 30 miles wide and is the calmest part of the hurricane with almost no rains in this area. It is also the warmest part of the storm. A hurricane eye appears in various sizes and shapes. A hurricane eye is the part which is clearly visible from space as well.

3. Eye Wall

This is a wall that surrounds the eye and is made up of many thunder clouds. It can be as small as 5 miles or as big as 30 miles. The eye wall areas have the most damaging and heaviest rainfall.

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!

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!

Top 7 Space Agencies in the World

Space studies and research on the outer space has always intrigued man. Mankind has a thirst to know what is beyond the earth’s atmosphere. Thus every nation has set up its own space agencies and research centres. They are numerous of them but only few are the ones who are of high quality, do extreme research, are technologically advanced and are well known around the world.

List of Top 7 Space Research Organisations in the World

1. NASA – the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA, United States, no doubt holds the first position. It was established in October 1958 and has been involved in high profile space programmes since then. Project Apollo was the first exploration mission to the moon held by NASA. Currently NASA is engaged in a number of missions which study climate changes, freshwater resources, mystery behind the development of Sun, and life on other planets and so on.

2. RFSA – Russian Federation Space Agency

RFSA is one of the partners of the ISS or the international Space station. It is one of the leading agencies actively engaged in development of space vehicles, launchers and ground based infrastructure. Founded prior to NASA in 1922, it suffered financial problems in the initial years but later managed to launch many successful missions.

3. ESA – European Space Agency

ESA are one of the best in launching vehicles for space orbits. It was established in 1975 by ten member states. It now constitutes 22 member states. Together the nations handle space programmes far behind the reach of just a single nation.

4. ISRO – Indian Space Research Organisation

The ISRO became the first Asian Space agencies to reach the orbit of Mars. It is the world’s first agency to have achieved this mission on the very first attempt. Formed in 1969, ISRO has lanuched75 spacecrafts till date. It designs, manufactures satellites and launches programmes and space missions.

5. CNSA – China National Space Administration

CNSA is currently involved in the deployment of satellites for telecommunication and Earth observations. In 2003 China joined America and Russia in the trio to make human spaceflight capabilities. Its latest unmanned lunar-lander and rover reached the moon successfully in 2013.

6. JAXA – Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency was established in 2003. Its main work is to look at technological development, research work, and launch of satellites into orbits, moon research, asteroid data and many other space researches. It is also responsible for observing the rainfall and carbon dioxide monitoring.

7. SSI – Space Studies Institute in California

Space Studies Institute in California is a non profit organisation founded in 1977. It has some very important research priorities like research on non-terrestrial materials. The institute’s research on transport related mechanisms is useful to understand the orbit missions.

Top 10 Christmas Facts

10 Fun Facts you didn’t know about Christmas!

Do you wish for a white Christmas along with other Christmas gifts? There’s more to Christmas than these. Read on to find out!

  1. It was the Germans who made the first artificial Christmas tree out of the dyed feathers of a goose.
  2. Christmas carols- ‘Silent Night’ was first sung in Austria as part of a church service. Since the church organ was badly rusted and could not be used for playing, a guitar was used instead.
  3. Christmas holidays began in the US with Alabama first declaring it an official holiday, from 1836.
  4. Santa’s reindeer- there are nine reindeer and they have male names like Blitzen, Comet and Cupid. But in reality male reindeers shed their antlers around Christmas time. So basically Santa’s sleigh is pulled by female reindeers called castrati.
  5. Every year post offices across America and Canada are flooded with letters for Santa Claus. The Canadian Post office received so many letters that some postmen started answering them and as the demand increased, the postal service also set up a special zip code for Santa’s letters; which is H0 H0 H0!
  6. Christmas food- roast turkey is a must! The very first Christmas pudding was not a cake but a kind of soup with plenty of raisins and wine in it.
  7. Christmas colors- Red, green and gold are the traditional colors of Christmas. Green symbolizes life and rebirth, red- the blood of Christ and gold- light and wealth.
  8. Christmas stocking– In North America, children put stockings at night to receive Christmas gifts from Santa who is believed to throw them from the chimney, while the Dutch put shoes.
  9. Christmas decorations– Legend has it that a poor Ukranian woman woke up to find spider webs on her undecorated Christmas tree. In the morning sun’s light, they transformed to gold and silver.
  10. The Christmas card was first sent out in 1843. Christmas crackers were invented soon after, in 1846.

Christmas around the World

Christmas is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in the world. It is an annual celebration, commemorating the birth of Jesus and is celebrated in different ways around the world, depending on the country, region and traditions. Some of the common traditions include decorating of Christmas trees , hanging of wreaths on the doors, hanging of Christmas stockings and candy canes, singing Christmas carols, exchanging Christmas cards and attending church service. Here are a few customs and traditions during Christmas in different countries..

Customs and Traditions for Christmas in different countries

1. Norway:

In Norway a legend says that on Christmas eve evil spirits and witches come out into the open looking for brooms to ride on. Thus to thwart the witches all the brooms in the house are hidden and the men of the house go outside and fire a shotgun to scare the bad spirits away.

2. Slovakia:

At the beginning of Christmas eve dinner, the head of the family takes a spoon of loksa ( a traditional dish) and throws it up at the ceiling. The more the food that remains glued to the ceiling, the richer his crops will be for the following year.

3. Japan:

In japan Christmas eve has become a holiday where couples spend time together. Another unusual custom in Japan is eating KFC around Christmas due to a successful advertising campaign made in the 1970 ‘s. This custom is so famous that the stores take reservations well in advance. A favorite in the Japanese Christmas feasts is the white sponge cake, covered in cream and decorated with strawberries.

4. Guatemala:

Christmas here is quite specific unlike some other countries. The people of Guatemala dress up in fancy hats called purtinas . They stand in a line and dance and also sing songs in spanish.

5. Mexico:

Some of the customs of Mexican Christmas are not prevalent anywhere else in the world . Like, over 9 days groups of towns people go from door to door in a fashion of when the parents of the unborn baby Jesus looked for shelter to pass the night when they arrived at Bethlehem , and are often called inside the homes to be a part of the breaking of the candy filled pinata.

6. Venezuela:

In Venezuela, presents are bought by baby Jesus instead of Santa Claus like in other countries. People in cities towns or neighborhoods come together for the “patinatas” night festival where children go play on roller blades ,skateboards and bicycles. In other neighborhoods there is a custom called “parranda” where people go from house to house with music and Christmas songs and they often stop at house to get some food and drink.

7. Central Europe:

In countries of central Europe the day of celebration is Christmas eve and is usually observed as a fasting day. In some places children are told that they will see a golden Pig if they hold fast after dinner.

8. Scandinavia:

Here the Christmas Celebrations comprise of lighting candles and laying wreaths on family graves and also going to church on Christmas day. They celebrate the festival of Lucia, who is the queen of lights. A selected Lucia is crowned with candles , then she made to parade the town with her followers who are all dressed in white whilst singing Christmas songs.

On Christmas eve children keep a bowl of porridge for a little gnome called julenisse who lives in the attic also it is said that on Christmas eve it is dangerous to sleep alone thus everyone in the household sleep together on a freshly spread bed of straw.

To read and download more Christmas related article, free wallpapers, printable cards, puzzles please click HERE

Santa Fun Facts

5 Things you didn’t know about Santa Claus

  1. Santa has 31 hours to deliver presents, thanks to international time zones.
  2. Santa Claus needs to visit 832 houses every second to visit all the houses in the world.
  3. Although Santa’s reindeer have mostly male names, they lose their antlers around Christmas time. So, they become female deer.
  4. The biggest present Santa’s delivered is The Statue of Liberty from France to the USA, in 1886. It’s 151 feet tall! How tall are you?
  5. One regular present Santa delivers is a Christmas tree from Norway to the UK, since 1947. The Norwegians send it as thanks for England’s help to them during World War II.

Click here and get to know more about Santa Claus.

Oblivion

What does “Oblivion” mean?

We all have those days when we feel so lost that it seems like we’re in a state of unconsciousness. There’s a word that describes this feeling. Oblivion (pronounced uh-bliv-ee-uh n), is the feeling of being completely unaware of our surroundings, of being unknown or forgotten. It’s not exactly a good feeling. Have you ever experienced something similar?

Stages of Mitosis – Cell Division

What is Mitosis?

Mitosis is a form of cell division, which produces two daughter cells. Each of these two cells possesses equal number and similar kind of chromosomes as the parent nucleus, typical of ordinary tissue growth. In case of actively dividing animal cell, the entire process takes one hour to complete.

What are the 6 Stages of Mitosis?

1. Prophase:

In this stage the nuclear membrane breaks down resulting into formation of several small vesicles and the nucleolus disintegrates. Centrosome (a structure) duplicates itself. Two daughter centrosomes are formed, which migrate to opposite ends of the cell. The centrosomes help to produce microtubules. Microtubules form spindle fibres, the constituent of mitotic spindle. Chromosomes condense and give rise to compact structures. Each of the replicated chromosome are found to be consisting of two similar chromatids or sister chromatids. These are held together by centromere.

2. Prometaphase:

The chromosomes move to the equatorial plane in the mid line of the cell, at right angles to the axis. This region of the mitotic spindle is called the metaphase plate. It is formed by the centrosomes.The spindle fibres bind to kinetochore (a structure associated with the centromere). In prometaphase chromosomes continue to condense.

3. Metaphase:

In this phase chromosomes are found to align themselves along the metaphase plate of the spindle apparatus.

4. Anaphase:

In Anaphase, the centromeres divide. The sisters chromatids of chromosomes are detached. They are pulled by spindle fibres attached to the kinetochore regions and move to the opposite ends of the cell. These chromatids are known as daughter chromosomes.

5. Telophase:

In this final stage, nuclear membrane is formed once again around the chromosomes, which are grouped at either pole of the cell. Chromosomes uncoil and become diffuse. Spindle fibres are no longer visible.

6. Cytokinesis:

It is the process of final cellular division. Here, two new cells are formed. Then the cell enters the interphase.

Read more about the different Stages of Meiosis – Cell Division.

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!

Stages of Meiosis – Cell Division

What is Meiosis?

Meiosis is a type of cell division which produces four daughter cells. Each of these cells consists of half the number of chromosomes present in the parent cell, as in the production of gametes and plant spores.

A. Meiosis I:

Here, the pairs of homologous chromosomes are separated and a special cell division takes place reducing the cell from diploid to haploid.

Meiosis I is also divided into the following stages,

  1. Prophase I
  2. Prometaphase I
  3. Metaphase I
  4. Anaphase I
  5. TelophaseI

1. Prophase I:

In Prophase I homologous chromosomes pair and exchange DNA and recombinant chromosomes are formed.

Five Phases of Prophase I:

  1. Leptotene
  2. Zygotene
  3. Pachytene
  4. Diplotene
  5. Diakinesis

2. Prometaphase I:

In prometaphase I formation of spindle apparatus takes place and chromosomes are attached to spindle fibres by kinetochores.

3. Metaphase I:

Here, the homologous pairs of chromosomes are arranged in a double row along the metaphase plate. These chromosomes are randomly arranged along the metaphase plate.

4. Anaphase I:

In this phase separation of pair of homologous chromosomes occur and they migrate to the opposite ends of the cell.

5. Telophase I:

In the final stage of meiosis I, chromosomes become diffuse and reformation of nuclear membrane occurs.

6. Cytokinesis:

Here, cells are finally divided to form two new cells, followed by Meiosis II. The Haploid cells (newly formed) consist of one copy of each chromosome.

B. Meiosis II:

Two chromatids are formed by separating each chromosome in Meiosis II.

Note: Meiosis generates Genetic diversity.

To know more about the different Stages of Mitosis, click here.

Seahorse Facts and Information

The seahorse is a tiny fish that has a horse-like head and curled tails. Seahorses can be found swimming in groups, always in an upright position. Unlike the other fish, their bodies are covered with bony plates instead of scales.

How fast can seahorses swim?

Although they are fish and have fins that help them to move forward in the water, the seahorses are not great swimmers. In fact, they prefer to rest in one place, holding onto corals or seaweeds with their tails for days together.

Seahorse physical characteristics

Adult seahorses can measure up to 1 to 30 centimetres in length. They feast on tiny shrimps, fish and planktons. Since seahorses are toothless creatures, they have to suck in the live food through their long snouts.

How do seahorses give birth?

It is interesting to note that in the case of seahorses, it is the males that give birth to the young ones! The male seahorse has a small pouch on his tummy. The female lays over 2,000 eggs into the male’s pouch. These eggs are then fertilized inside the pouch itself. About 2 to 6 weeks later, the eggs hatch and baby seahorses come out of the pouch.

Are seahorses endangered?

Seahorses have a number of enemies in their surroundings, like crabs, tunas and other large fish, but their existence is also threatened by human activities. They are caught and killed for use in aquariums or in science laboratories. The seahorse population is rapidly declining around the world because of their huge demand in the Asian medicine trade, habitat destruction and sea water pollution. To prevent them from getting extinct, they are now protected by law.

14 Interesting Facts about Seahorses

  1. The Seahorse is called Hippocampus in Latin which means ‘Horse Caterpillar’.
  2. Seahorses can be found throughout the world in shallow tropical and temperate waters.
  3. Seahorses generally have two patterns on their body- zebra stripes and spots.
  4. The average lifespan of a seahorse is from 1 to 5 years.
  5. Seahorses are even slower than snails! They are only able to cover a distance of around 5 feet in one hour.
  6. Seahorses have excellent eyesight and their eyes are able to work independently on either side of their head. This means that they can look forwards and backwards at the same time!
  7. Seahorses can change colour to mingle with their surroundings. They do so by enlarging or squeezing the pigment cells in their skin.
  8. Seahorses have a small crown on their heads that is known as a coral net. It is unique for each individual animal.
  9. A group of seahorses called a herd.
  10. Seahorses do not have a stomach, and thus, the food passes through their bodies very quickly. It is because of this reason that they have to eat almost continuously.
  11. The male and the female seahorse perform a special dance and also change colours to impress their partners.
  12. Seahorses love to swim together in pairs, side by side, holding tails!
  13. Seahorses cannot bend their tail backwards.
  14. Seahorses make strange clicking sounds while eating and communicating with other seahorses.

Learn how to draw a seahorse in a fun and interactive way.

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?

Life Cycle of a Silkworm

Where does silk come from?

Silk is an expensive and beautiful piece of fabric that used to be worn by only kings and royalty in the past. It comes from the silkworm. The lifecycle of a crawling worm into a moth goes through several stages.

5 Important Stages in the Life Cycle of a Silkworm

Stage 1: The Egg

This is the first stage of a silkworm’s life cycle. The female moth lays eggs which are the size of a small ink dots! The female can lay more than 350 eggs at a time. These eggs remain dormant till springtime when the warmth in the air arouses them to hatch. This happens once a year. But due to human intervention the breeding of silkworm and hatching of eggs takes place at least thrice a year.

Stage 2: Larvae

When the eggs crack there emerges a hairy silkworm. This larva stage is the one where growth takes place. Upon hatching, a silkworm is 1/8th of an inch. They feed on tender mulberry leaves. They consume large amount of these leaves for 20 to 30 days and go through four stages of molt or skin changes. The first molt is when the silkworm sheds all its hair and attains a smooth skin.

Stage 3: Cocoon

At this stage the silkworm spins a protective cocoon around itself. It is made by a single thread of silk and it the size of a small cotton ball. This, it does to protect itself from predators. This is the stage where the second molt takes place when the lava turns into a pupa inside the cocoon.

Stage 4: Pupa

This stage is the motionless stage just before adulthood. It is at this stage when people take the cocoon and plunge it into boiling water to kill the pupa and unwind the silk thread. But if they don’t the pupa rests peacefully for 2-3 weeks after which it metamorphoses into an adult moth.

Stage 5: Adult moth

The pupa changes itself into a beautiful adult moth. These moths are flightless and do not have a mouth so they are unable to consume food. Once the adult moth comes out its sole purpose is to find a mate. Within 24 hours of mating a male moth dies while the female lays eggs and then even she dies. Thus the lifecycle of a silkworm begins again.

4 Interesting Facts about Silkworm

  1. Normally silkworms reproduce only once a year but in countries like India and China they can do so round the year because of the weather.
  2. Silkworms is the term used for the worms called Bombyx Mori.
  3. The salivary gland of the silkworm larvae produces the silk thread for the cocoon.
  4. One cocoon will contain raw silk thread of 300 to 900 meters in length.

Looking for more biology articles and videos? Go to: Biology for Kids.

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!

Origin of Guinness Book of World Records

Who founded Guinness Book of World Records?

It was Sir Hugh Beaver, the managing director of the Guinness Brewery, who founded Guinness Book of Records.

How did the Guinness Book of Records start?

Once he attended a shooting party in North Slob in County Wexford, Ireland (May 4, 1951). There he got involved in an argument on the fact which was the fastest game bird in Europe. Later, he realized it was a difficult task to find the answer in reference books. Then the idea of creating a book containing such answers came into his mind.

First Edition of Guinness World Records

The first edition of the “Guinness Book of Records” was bound on August 27 in 1955. It consisted of one hundred ninety seven pages. The book was placed on the top of the British best-seller list by Christmas.

Top 11 Guinness World Records

  1. A Great Dane named Zeus was the lankiest canine. It was 1.12 metres or 44 inches tall.
  2. The Gardner Tony Glover cultivated the heaviest onion 8.5 kg or 18 lb 12 oz in Leicestershire.
  3. A group of eight British criminals with an average age of 57 pleaded guilty to counterfeiting charges in 2009. The oldest member of the group was 83.
  4. Nick “The Lick” Stoeberl from California has the longest tongue. It measures 10.10 cm from tip to lip.
  5. Carlton Williams, a super-fit 50-year-old Welsh builder complete an incredible 2,220 press ups in an hour.He broke his own previous record of 1,874 press ups.
  6. Robert Pershing Wadlow from Illinois 2.72m (8ft 11in) tall.
  7. Jeanne   Calment lived upto 122 years 164 days.
  8. The world’s largest pocket knife was designed by Telmo Cadavez of Bragança, Portugal, and handmade by Virgilìo, Raúl and Manuel Pires of Portugal on January 9, 2003. The 122 kilograms (268.9 pounds) knife was 3.9 meters (12 feet, 8 inches) long when open.
  9. The heaviest lemon in the world is 5.265 kilograms (11 pounds, 9.7 ounces). It was grown by Aharon Shemoel on his farm in Kfar Zeitim in Israel.
  10. Sam Wakeling covered 453.6 kilometers (281.85 miles) on a unicycle in 24 hours at Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom, (September 29 to 30, 2007)
  11. Lee Redmond held a Record for having more than 28 feet long finger nail.

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.

Are we running out of water?

The water crisis!

The world is running out of water- underground or freshwater; the water crisis has hit the world population. In almost a decade, North India will run out of groundwater and there will soon be agriculture crisis. Pollution of the available water resources, changes in global temperatures, shortage of fresh drinking water are actually the basic reason for water shortage around the world.

Will the Earth ever run out of water?

The Earth will never run out of its entire water content. Water content will remain the same, only its form will keep changing. But, we will run out of clean water. Most of the water on Earth is salt water and almost 77 percent of fresh water is frozen at the two poles of Earth. The rest of the water content is trapped in soil or underground aquifers. Even the frozen water, due to global warming of glaciers, is melting and getting mixed with sea water. Humans are also exposing and finishing up the underground aquifers. This leaves very little water for drinking, washing and agriculture.

Population growth and water demand

As the earth’s population grows, the number of people who use water for drinking and washing grows. The amount of water used and wasted by people also grows with this.

How humans are responsible for water pollution

Many human activities like factories dumping their waste pollute fresh streams and rivers. Thus leaving almost no fresh water to be used for drinking. Safe drinking water is not available in many parts of the world and millions of people and children die every year due to the lack of safe drinking water.

Water Scarcity and Agriculture

  • The water shortage will hit the agriculture lands mostly. Famine will cause a country to run out of food. People will drink water from dirty sources and this could lead to water borne diseases to spread. This will not only lead to death of humans but also of cattle and animals.
  • With the range of technologies available scientists are trying to make the dirty and polluted water clean. Even sea water can be used for drinking and other purposes once its salty content has been removed. This requires high technology, good inventions and a willing government of a nation.

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?

What is Phoenix?

A phoenix is a mythical bird with colorful feathers and a tail of gold and scarlet. In the ancient Greek and Egyptian mythologies, it is described as a large bird, much like an eagle, with supernatural powers to come back to life. The appearance of this bird has been described differently in different cultures but everywhere, the phoenix bird is looked upon as a symbol of immortality, rebirth and life after death.

Myth and History of Phoenix Bird

According to a Greek legend, the phoenix bird lived in Arabia, in the woods near a cool well. Every morning at dawn, it used to bathe in the well and sing melodious songs. Even the sun god stopped his chariot near the well to listen to the beautiful songs of the phoenix. The sun god was supposed to be the mentor of this bird.

Life Story of the Phoenix Bird

It was believed that each phoenix bird lived for 500 years, and when it was about to die, it collected some twigs and spices like cinnamon and constructed a nest. Then it calmly sat on the nest and waited for a ray of the early morning sun to set fire to the nest. The bird fearlessly faced its fiery death and did not make any effort to escape from the burning nest. Soon after the phoenix was reduced to ashes, a worm used to come crawling out of the ashes and, within no time, it metamorphosed into a new, beautiful little phoenix. It then carried its father’s ashes to the temple of the sun god for burial. The majestic bird then went to live in Arabia where it lived for the next 500 years and then the cycle was repeated.

7 Interesting Facts about Phoenix Bird

  1. Even in present times, a person who makes a comeback after undergoing a great trauma or a great defeat is called a ‘phoenix’.
  2. The phoenix was a popular bird; there is a mention of the phoenix even in the Persian, Roman and Chinese mythologies.
  3. Some people say that each phoenix lived for 97,200 years!
  4. According to some accounts, the phoenix could also change itself into human beings.
  5. People believed that the phoenix had spirit of fire.
  6. You also saw this bird in the Harry Potter movie ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’. The phoenix shown in the Harry Potter series was called ‘Fawkes’ and it was a pet and protector of Albus Dumbledore. This bird was also shown in the movie ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’.
  7. Owing to the phoenix’s mysterious ability to be reborn, this bird is a very popular symbol used on flags. The cities of Atlanta, Georgia, and San Francisco, California, have a symbol of the phoenix rising from the ashes depicted on their flags.

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.

Charles Dickens Biography

Who was Charles Dickens?

Charles Dickens, the renowned British author was born in Portsmouth, located on the southern coast of England (February 7, 1812). His father John Dickens was a naval clerk. Dickens’ mother name was Elizabeth Barrow. He was the second child of his parents and had seven siblings. He married Catherine Hogarth also known as Kate. He had ten children. Later, in 1858 they were separated. Dickens had a stroke and he died at the age of 58 (June 9, 1870), leaving his novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood unfinished.

The Life of Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens belonged to a financially weak family. From young age, his education was greatly hampered due to the poor financial condition of his family. His father was imprisoned in the year 1824 for unpaid debts. He had to discontinue his studies at the age of 12. He began to work in a boot – blacking factory and earned six shillings a week. This is how he provided financial support to his family.

Charles Dickens – The Author

He began to work as a freelance reporter at the law courts of London. Few years later he started working for two major newspapers in London. In 1833, he submitted several sketches to different magazines and newspapers under the pen name “Boz.” His clippings were published in his first book titled Sketches by Boz in 1836. In the same year, he began to publish The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. He also published a magazine named Bentley’s Miscellany. Then; in 1842, Dickens and his wife Kate went on a lecture tour in the United States for a period of five months. After returning home, Dickens wrote a sarcastic travelogue titled American Notes for General Circulation. In it he strongly criticised American culture and materialism.

List of Works by Charles Dickens

  • Oliver Twist
  • A Christmas Carol
  • The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
  • The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Barnaby Rudge
  • David Copperfield
  • The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Great Expectations
  • Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son.
  • Bleak House
  • Hard Times
  • Little Dorrit
  • Our Mutual Friend

Apart from the novels, there are several short stories written by Charles Dickens.

  • The Haunted House
  • A House to let
  • The Long Voyage
  • A Message from the Sea
  • Mugby Junction
  • The Signal-Man

9 Famous Quotes by Charles Dickens

  1. Dignity, and even holiness too, sometimes, are more questions of coat and waistcoat than some people imagine. (Oliver Twist)
  2. There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts. (Oliver Twist)
  3. Grief never mended no broken bones (Sketches by Boz)
  4. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known. ( A Tale of Two Cities)
  5. We lawyers are always curious, always inquisitive, always picking up odds and ends for our patchwork minds, since there is no knowing when and where they may fit into some corner. (Little Dorrit)
  6. Consider nothing impossible, then treat possiblities as probabilities. (David Copperfield)
  7. The things that never happen, are often as much realities to us, in their effects, as those that are accomplished. ( David Copperfield)
  8. I’ll tell you … what real love is. It is blind devotion, unquestioning self-humiliation, utter submission, trust and belief against yourself and against the whole world, giving up your whole heart and soul to the smiter – as I did! (Great Expectation)
  9. I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.( A Christmas Carol)

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.

What are Factors and Multiples?

Definition of Multiple

A multiple is the result of multiplying a number by an integer, not a fraction.

For example
18 is a multiple of 3, because 3 x 6 = 18
Similarly, – 12 is a multiple of 3, because 3 x -4 = 12
7 however is not a multiple of 3.

Difference between Factors and Multiples

Factors and Multiples – Both of these are related to multiplication.

While factors are what you multiply to get a number, multiples on the other hand are what you get after multiplying a number by an integer.

What are Factors?

Factors are numbers which are multiplied together to get another number.

For example

3 x 4 = 12 (Number 3 and 4 are therefore factors of number 12)

And if you did not know, negative numbers also can be factors. So if 12 was the chosen number, -1, -2, -3, -4, -5, -6, -12 could also be factors of 12.

What are Multiples?

A multiple as you know is the result of multiplying a number by an integer.

Let us look at an example.

Multiples of 3
12 is a multiple of 3, because 3 x 4 = 12
-3 is a multiple of 3, because 3 x -1 = -3

So you know now, that you have to multiple by an integer, but the number that is multiplied can be anything.

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.

Changes in States of Matter

The terms melting, boiling and evaporation are the processes associated with the change of state of a substance.

What do we mean by ‘change of state’?

Transformation of a substance into another form is called change of state. Example: Ice melts into water if heated.

What happens in the process of Melting?

Melting or Fusion is a process by which a substance in the solid state is converted into liquid state. To simplify, when a solid is heated, it melts down.

How does solid change into Liquid?

It happens because a substance while changing into liquid state absorbs heat without a rise in temperature. A substance changes from a solid to liquid state at a fixed temperature. This temperature is known as melting point of the solid and remains constant throughout the process of melting. The quantity of heat required to change unit mass (1gm) of the substance at its melting point from solid to liquid state without changing the temperature is termed as latent heat of fusion of solid.

What happens in the process of Boiling or Ebullition?

A liquid if heated continuously under a given superincumbent pressure releases vapour from its surface. Eventually vaporisation takes place throughout the mass of the liquid in a rapid and vigorous way. This stage is known as boiling of the liquid. If the superincumbent pressure does not change, the temperature of the liquid remains constant as long as it’s boiling. This constant temperature is called boiling point of a liquid.

Factors which govern boiling point:

  1. The boiling point varies depending upon the increase or decrease in the superincumbent pressure on the liquid.
  2. The presence of any dissolved impurity increases the boiling point. Boiling point of a solution is always greater than that of the pure solvent.
  3. The boiling point also depends on the material of the boiler, its roughness and the degree of cleanliness of its inner surface to some extent.

What is Evaporation?

Evaporation is the gradual and slow change of a substance from liquid to a vapour state, which takes place at the surface of the liquid at all temperatures.

Factors which govern Evaporation:

  • The temperature of the liquid.
  • The nature of the liquid.
  • The removal of air over the liquid surface.
  • The pressure of air.
  • The area of exposed surface.
  • The pressure of vapour in contact with the liquid.

Notes:

  • The word ‘latent’ means hidden.
  • The word ‘superincumbent’ means lying or resting on or above something.
  • Melting point of solid such as naphthalene can be determined by two methods; cooling curve method and capillary tube method. It should be noted that naphthalene expands on melting.
  • The melting and boiling point of different substances varies from each other.
  • The change of a substance from the liquid to the vapour or gaseous state is called vaporisation.

To know more about the States of Matter click here.

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?

Why do Bees Buzz?

Is it their style of talking to each other or are they singing sweet songs in their own language?

Well, the buzzing of bees is produced because of different reasons. The buzzing sound generally comes when bees flap their wings in a super fast speed. Sometimes, the buzzing sound is also generated by a bee’s breathing—bees breathe in air through the tiny openings on their bodies which can produce a buzzing sound.

Buzzing Factors

The buzzing sound depends on the size of the insects’ wings and the speed with which they flap their wings. Insects having small wings can push very little air, so they have to beat them faster while flying. The insects having larger wings do not have to take the trouble of beating their wings rapidly; they can easily push a lot of air to move ahead while flying and have almost soundless flights.

Difference in Buzzing Sounds – Bees, Mosquitoes and Butterflies

A mosquito has small wings and usually beats them between 400-450 times per second, which creates that annoying buzzing sound whereas other insects like butterflies have bigger wings which move at the speed of just about 6 times per second. The sound that is produced by beating wings at this speed is extremely faint and you are not able to hear it at all. Bees have medium-sized wings and they flap them more than 200 times per second. That is why you can hear them buzzing loudly.

Some bees, especially bumblebees, are also sometimes found buzzing loudly while sitting over the flowers. Why do they do so? These bees vigorously vibrate their wing muscles and middle parts of their body while visiting the flowers to shake the pollen grains from the flowers. These pollen grains stick onto the bodies of the bees and when they visit other flowers, some pollens get deposited on them, resulting in pollination. The bees take back the remaining pollen grains home to feed their larvae.

3 Interesting Facts about Bees Buzz

  1. When bumblebees vibrate their bodies and wings to release pollens from flowers, the buzz is much louder.
  2. The larger the insect, the slower is the speed with which it beats its wings and the lower is the pitch of the resultant buzz.
  3. It is not just the bees that buzz; some other insects like wasps, flies, mosquitoes and beetles make buzzing sounds by flapping their wings rapidly.

Looking for more biology articles and videos? Go to: Biology for Kids.

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?

No More White Breads!

Everyday we eat breads. But we must avoid eating white breads. White breads are made of processed flour, which do not contain the nutritious germ and bran of the wheat grain. Only the least nutritious white and starchy endosperm is present in white breads. Besides, they contain added sugars and high fructose corn syrup. These are not good for health. Weight problems, diabetes and cardiovascular disease may occur, if we consume white breads regularly. Instead, we may eat brown breads which are made from whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour breads are rich in fibre, protein, vitamin E and B, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, potassium and zinc. They also contain a phytonutrient known as plant lignans which protects from breast cancer and heart disease.

Looking for more Health Tip articles? Go to: Quack A Tip for Kids.

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!

How Glue is made?

What is Glue?

Glue is the sticky liquid substance that we use to make fun crafty projects and repair the things we ought not to have broken. Every object has dents and gaps on its surface, on where the glue seeps in and settles down. When exposed to air, this liquid hardens to form a solid that securely attaches the two objects. There are innumerous types of glue that are available in the market; and now glue is made non toxic so that it does not harm the little kids who might accidentally put it in their mouths. But what is glue made from my curious mind asks?

How was it made?

Traditionally glue was made from animal products like the skin and bones. The bones are first boiled and the fat is separated. Further cleaning and boiling leads to the animal matter or the collagen protein being transformed into gelatin. This is dried and made into a cake; and boiled in hot water before use. This glue was used to make Egyptian caskets for the pharaohs, wooden furniture in the Roman Empire, violin making in the 16th century, book binding in the 19th century and today it is used in making medicine capsules. Tar and beeswax was also combined to form glue. Egg whites, acacia gum and honey was mixed to form special glue that was used in making musical instruments.

From where is it extracted?

Glue is also extracted from trees. The Red Manjack Tree which is found in India gives fruit to red berries which look like tomatoes; which contain the edible and sticky glue that is commercially used today.

Casein glue derived from the Latin word meaning cheese; is hydrophobic and is made from milk products. You can try making this glue at home. When you add vinegar to hot milk, the milk separates into whey and curd. If you add hot water and baking soda to the curd and dissolve it; you will have the glutinous substance called glue.

Starch is the carbohydrate that is found in trees, potatoes, wheat etc. Potatoes are smashed and the starch is derived from the dead potato cells. Low gooey temperature and high stickiness make it a sister of glue. The glycerin is mixed to make it thicker. Starchy glue is commercially very popular and safe to use.

The Discovery of Glue

  • Charles Goodyear experimented and discovered that when rubber is heated with sulfur; it forms glue. This is used in the automobile industry.
  • Dr Harry Coover discovered the glue substance called cyanaocrylate which was later formulated to make the popular Krazy glue.

What is Glue made of Today?

Hot glue is made of thermoplastics that are heated and used for effective sticking between various materials. This type of glue is liquid and hardens on cooling and thus forms a strong adhesive.

Today thermoplastic glue is more efficient and effective in moist and humid climates; where other glues dissolve and loosen the materials bound together.

But the best way to make glue is at home. Mix one cup of flour, 1 ½ cups of water, 1/3 cup of sugar and 1 tsp of vinegar together. Heat it slowly and when the mixture becomes thick, store it in an air tight container and use it when cooled. This will keep the little babies busy for hours.

Today different types of glue are made for different applications. You will find paper glue, wood glue etc. Everything leads to being more constructive and creative.

3 Interesting Facts about Glue

  1. The first recipe of glue was written in 2000 BC.
  2. The 5200 year old Iceman found in Austria, in a glacier; was seen with axes which were bound together with glue called pitch.
  3. The first US stamps were adhered on mailing envelopes with starch glue in 1840.

What is Cellular Respiration?

Introduction to Cellular Respiration

Our human body contains trillions of cells, which perform the various functions in our body, like breathing. Cells need to work around the clock and they need to be replenished with energy continuously; or else our body won’t function. Imagine, if your dog did not have energy, then she would not have been able to wag its tail or play “fetch the ball” with you. Cellular respiration is a biological process where cells reload themselves with energy.

How do these Minute Organisms do it?

When you chomp food, your body changes the food into a special kind of sugar (like the unique sugar coating on candies) called glucose. Glucose is like the gas your father pumps into the car to keep it running. The insulin hormone transports this glucose to those hard working cells.

Steps of Cellular Respiration

This glucose which contains six carbon atoms is split in the cell through Glycolysis. This process is anaerobic as without the help of oxygen, 2 molecules called pyruvate and 2 energy molecules called ATP (explained later) are formed. Think of inserting a dollar bill into a vending machine to generate quarters to be used as your bus fare in your ride to the zoo.

Cells also need the most important ingredient which is oxygen. We breathe in oxygen. The more oxygen we breathe in, the more energy we produce. That is why when you are exercising, your sports teacher always asks you to breathe more and more consciously.

In the aerobic process, the oxygen is used with this pyruvate ( remember the molecules formed from the fuel like component called glucose) to produce the energy molecules ATP.

The first part is called the Kreb’s cycle, which is a succession of enzymatic reactions, where the acetate, from the pyruvate, is oxidized and changed into energy molecules and carbon dioxide and water are released.

The Electron Transfer Chain also is a series of chemical reactions, where electrons are shuttled down, and energy from the oxygen atoms are converted into hydrogen atoms, which produce ATP.

This energy is stored and used through molecules called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in a special compartment called the mitochondria. They are called the power boosters of the cells, as they supply energy to the cell. They look like sausages. They keep unwanted particles out of the cells.

They also regulate the water amounts in the cells and crumble proteins etc. When your mother tells you to eat fish and drink lots of milk, she is doing this for your own good and not hers. Your body needs proteins for again those laborious cells; which are producing energy to keep you kicking the football to the goalpost every time. The protein is further broken down into amino acids that are used in restocking the cells and manufacturing new cells.

Cellular Respiration can be summarized as
Glucose + Oxygen= Carbon Dioxide + Water + ATP (Energy)

Cellular Respiration in Plants

But in plants, cellular respiration is slightly different. Here through a simple process called photosynthesis, plants use sunlight to turn carbon dioxide and water into glucose. Also, photosynthesis occurs only when there is sunlight.

Fun Facts about Cellular Respiration

  • Anaerobic cellular respiration produces only 2 ATP molecules compared to Aerobic cellular respiration which produces 38 ATP molecules per cell.
  • If we don’t breathe in more during exercises, our body produces lactic acid which causes the terrible pain in our muscles and joints.

Why does the Sky change Colours?

Light that looks white to our eyes is actually made up of many different colours. Each ray of light or light wave is of a different wavelength or size. The shorter waves seem to be blue while the longer waves seem red in colour to our eyes.

What makes the Sky change colours?

When light comes from the sun, the light waves of different lengths travel through the atmosphere. These light waves come into contact with particles in the earth’s atmosphere- like dust, ice crystals, water droplets. The light waves then bounce off these particles and get scattered here and there in the atmosphere.

What determines Sky’s colours at Sunrise and Sunset?

Particles that are small in size as compared to the light waves scatter blue light. Red light waves are scattered by gas molecules of nitrogen and oxygen in our atmosphere. Thus we see the blue sky most of the time. But when the light waves have to travel a great distance, the blue light is removed. So during sunrise and sunset, when the sunlight travels a really long path to reach us, the blue light is removed leaving mostly orange, yellow and red lights. This light is reflected by clouds and other objects and makes the sky a beautiful, colourful reddish, orange one!

Thus the light colour depends on the size of the particles compared with the wavelength of the light.

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!

Hanyauku

What does “Hanyauku” mean?

If you’re someone who loves beaches, you’re going to love this word! The word is “Hanyauku” (pronounced ha-ahn-yoh-kuu), a Rukwangali word (Rukwangali is the native language spoken by Namibians) – and it refers to the act of walking on tip toes across warm/ hot sand. Walking on warm sand can be relaxing, especially if the waters are cold, but walking on hot scorching sand? No thank you, we’d all say for sure!

Brown Rice controls your body weight!

Rice is one of the major crops grown in India. Everyday all of us eat white rice in lunch. But eating white rice is not good for health. Do you know why? It is because of the fact that white rice is refined grain and contains inadequate amount of nutrients. People often eat white rice to lose weight. Ask them not to intake white rice. Instead they should have brown rice. Brown rice is a whole grain diet. It consists of bran, endosperm and kernel. Brown rice is rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. It restricts consumption of calories (calories increase body weight).Therefore, people do not gain weight.

Looking for more Health Tip articles? Go to: Quack A Tip for Kids.

Creep Out – Halloween Story

Moco Star

Name : Akshaj Mehta
Age : 9 years
Grade : 4
School Name : Star Academy , Natomas Charter School, Sacramento, California, USA

CREEP OUT!!!

PART I
One day, my friends and I were reading a book together about scary Halloween night. The book was about a group of scientists that believed that once in 400 years on 31st October in the dark and stormy night, a dinosaur comes alive and roams in the woods…” There was another group, who did not believe this.

Part II
My friends and I decided to go on camping in the woods on the Halloween night, to see if the above is a MYTH or FACT.

So, here we were, in the middle of jungle trying to make our tents in the woods and all of sudden we heard a large growl at us, exactly right at that point a thunderstorm started, and we realized that lighting coming out of clouds was made of electricity power.

We heard a large breathing sound; we spun around to see what?

A Dinosaur was standing right in front of us.

Could it be true that this was the dinosaur, which comes out once in 400 years on the Halloween night?

We all wanted to scream badly but our voice was numb, we could not speak, walk or move. The dinosaur looked at us mischievously; it seemed he would charge on us. For a moment we thought it was the end of all of us. We all were thinking that We had to do something!!

Could you guess what we did?

We didn’t run, hide or scream, we just stood there as if we were blocks of ice.

Suddenly, we saw the dinosaur turning and going towards the city to destroy it, BUT right then bolt of lightning stuck on the dinosaur and it disappeared, never to be seen again.

We were saved by our presence of mind and GOD.

After this incident, I and my friends know for a fact that there is a Dinosaur which is still alive and he comes to scare people on the Halloween night!

SO BEWARE!!!!!!

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.

Why are Forests Dying?

Why are Forests important?

Forests cover almost a third of world’s land surface. Many of them are so vast that the only way to map and study them is from space. Forests are not only valuable sources of wood and fuel, but they are also home to many types of plants and animals.

Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth’s land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years. Small scale deforestation was practiced by some societies for tens of thousands of years before the beginnings of civilization.

Effects of Deforestation

Massive deforestation brings with it many ugly consequences – air and water pollution, soil erosion, malaria epidemics, the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and the loss of biodiversity through extinction of plants and animals. Fewer rainforests mean less rain, less oxygen for us to breathe, and an increased threat from global warming.

Why are Rainforests being destroyed?

Humans are the main cause of rainforest destruction. Some of the reasons we are cutting down forests are:

a. Wood for both timber and making fires
b. Agriculture for both small and large farms
c. Land for poor farmers who don’t have anywhere else to live
d. Grazing land for cattle
e. Pulp for making paper
f. Road construction
g. Extraction of minerals and energy.

Developing countries also have a massive effect on deforestation as there is a huge need for raw materials which come from the forests. As the population swells, new homes need to be built. For that to happen, space is required, and that is when, more and more trees are cut.

PROJECT

  1. As a project, why not go out and plant a tree? Make sure that you water it and watch it grow?
  2. Not using a plastic bag helps in a great way, when it comes to saving the forests. Stop using plastic bags and use a cloth bag instead.
  3. See if you can find out the names of a few animals that are now extinct because of deforestation.

Inside a Chimney

It is quite dark in here… I am inside a vertical tube like structure.

Oh look! I can see the sky from here. Hmmm… so one opening brings me to the outside world. Where does the other end lead?

These walls on both sides seem like brick walls but they have some sort of lining on them.

It smells like something has been burnt here and both the sides of the walls are dark like charcoal. Now this tube like structure has some wider chamber from which I can smell the smoke.

Aaaghhh!! I just slipped on to this basement floor. And I am all dark with ash!

Oh well!

I was Inside a Chimney!

I better hurry and take a bath now. I wonder how Santa does it every year at every house he visits…

What is inside a Chimney?

  • A fireplace chimney is a complex structure and can contain as many as 22 parts inside it. Let us look at the simpler parts of a regular chimney.
  • The top of the chimney which is visible from the roof has a chimney crown which protects the chimney from water, dampness and deterioration.
  • The vertical passage that connects the chimney from the roof to the smoke chamber is called the Flue. It can be a duct or a pipe on smaller chimneys. The flue has a flue lining so that it is not a fire hazard. The lining is to avoid any inflammable debris.
  • There is a smoke chamber that compresses by-products of combustion into smaller pieces and sends it up the chimney. There are chimney dampers which are doors within the chimney that can be closed when the fireplace is not in use.
  • The smoke shelf behind the chimney damper catches rain water debris and rain water and helps in carrying large smoke out through the chimney.
  • The ash dump and ash pit lie below the smoke shelf and collect ash. There is a clean out door used to clean the collected ash form the ash dump.
  • There is a footing which is the horizontal surface below the ash pit and is made of concrete to hold the chimney securely in its place. The lowest part of the chimney is the foundation which is made of strong bricks and is exposed really hot ash from the fireplace.

Charlie and Captain Jackpot’s Halloween

Captain Jackpot wins the Best Costume Prize!

“Hey Charlie!” said Captain Jackpot.

“How are you here? It is daylight..” asked Charlie.

“Now that you see me, I can wander anytime I want with you,” said Captain Jackpot.

“So when do you really sleep?” asked Charlie, as he kept washing the car he was supposed to clean.

“We don’t rest my friend..we don’t,” sighed Captain Jackpot.

Just then, they heard a cheerful voice. It was Andrea, the car owner’s daughter. She said, “Did I just see you talking to yourself Charlie?”

“Uhhh…no. I was just remembering the list of things I have to do today,” said Charlie.

“Nice save,” muttered Captain Jackpot.

Andrea smiled and said, “You have to come to my Halloween party. Don’t forget to dress up.”

“Oh, this will be fun! We must go!” said Captain Jackpot.

“We? Who invited you?” said Charlie.

“Bigimee bammot! Be a sport!” begged Captain Jackpot.

“OK, you can come. See you at the graveyard at 8 PM,” said Charlie.

The clock struck 8. Charlie was wearing a torn shirt and had smeared red paint on himself. He had also used the charcoal and mud at the graveyard to give himself a ‘ghastly’ look.

He saw Captain Jackpot come with many others like himself. His heart skipped a beat.

“I thought I would invite a few friends, since today is the only day we can walk freely among humans and be visible. They think of us as humans!” said Captain Jackpot.

“Alright, alright! But be careful!” warned Charlie.

As Charlie walked into Andrea’s party with his friends, she greeted him with excitement. “I hope you don’t mind. I brought a few friends,” said Charlie apologetically.

“Of course not! ” said Andrea.

“My name is Arnie. I’m a victim of the evil Czar,” said Arnie.

“Oh, he is so much in character. I love it!” said Andrea.

“This is Captain Jackpot..I mean Mr. Jack,” introduced Charlie.

“Jack! My man, I am Henry Jackpot, a sailor,” said Captain Jackpot.

“Who is this fine lady and where did you buy this costume?” asked Andrea.

“Costume? I am Sheila, the princess of Tuniska. I don’t wear costumes! It is a work of art, you imbecile!” said Sheila.

“I beg your pardon!” said Andrea at Sheila’s curt reply.

“Ha ha ha…she is kidding. She is in character too.,” said Charlie.

The party went on till the wee hours and Charlie’s friends were still quite energetic and made many friends. “They talk funny”, was the general feedback.

Andrea said, “Captain Jackpot wins the Best Costume prize!”

Charlie said, “That was close! Let us not pull off a stunt like that again..”

Captain Jackpot said, “Until next Halloween, I suppose. Perhaps Lady Sheila will win, if she is less rude that is.”

The two shared a laugh.

For more comic stories, go to: Comic Stories for Kids.

For more such interesting stories for kids, go to: Stories for Kids

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!

What is Halloween?

It is October 31st, when you see children dressed in spooky costumes, going from one house to the other, trick or treating for candy and sweets. Then you know that this day is Halloween- a time of superstitions and celebrations. It is a festival observed in Western countries and falls on the Eve of All Saints Day. Kids and adults attend costume parties, make lanterns out of big pumpkins, visit haunted locations, tell scary stories to each other, play pranks and also watch horror movies. People light bonfires to ward off all evil spirits and ghosts.

History behind Halloween

Halloween is also known as All Hallows’ Eve. Pope Gregory III, in the eighth century, assigned November 1st as a day to honor all saints and martyrs. This day was declared as a holiday and named as All Saints Day. The day before All Saints Day was known as Hallows’ Eve and later came to be known as Halloween.

Why do we celebrate Halloween?

The very early celebration of Halloween was seen amongst the Celtic people who lived in areas now known as Great Britain and Northern France. The Celts were people who worshipped nature especially the Sun God. They also worshipped a God named Samhain who was believed to be the Lord of the dead and cold winter season. They believed in the Vigil of Samhain which said that on October 31st all dead souls would be summoned by Samhain and would take the body of the animals and roam around the Earth. The priests of the Celtic people would then build large fires on hilltops in order to give strength to the Sun God and remove the darkness. They sacrificed animals and burned dried crops in order to help the Sun God. They believed that this ritual would help the Sun God to overcome the winter season and shine again. At midnight they would start worshipping Samhain. This day would start the beginning of New Year. The ember from the bonfire would then be taken by the people to burn firewood at their own homes in order to ward off evil spirits.

This culture continued until the Celts were captured by the Romans Catholics. The Romans brought with them their own traditions and costumes. They had declared November 1st as a holiday for all martyrs and saints to honor them. But witchcraft came into existence at that time and witches would come out on 31st October and perform their rituals. The superstitions and beliefs continued and this day was termed at All Hallows Day.

Symbols used in Halloween

  • Over time many symbols came to be associated with Halloween to ward off evil spirits.
  • The turnip was used in Ireland and Scotland.
  • Pumpkins were used by natives in North America, now they are universally used.
  • Corn husks and Scarecrows were also used to ward off evil.
  • Black, Orange and Purple are traditional colors of Halloween.

Halloween for Children

Over time, Halloween has evolved into a community based, children friendly celebration. Activities like trick or treating, dressing up in various costumes and having Halloween theme based parties have now become the norm. Even adults become a participant in costume parties.

Trick or Treat has become customary for kids. Children, dressed in costumes, go from one house to another asking the question ‘Trick or treat?’ The treats given to children can be various candies, things to eat or sometimes money. Tricks would include the children playing some kind of mischievous prank on the owners of the house. Tricks would be done if the owners do not give any form of treat to the children.
Related Articles:

Diwali Cracker

Holy Moly, where am I ?

It’s colorful, hard and smells like fire.

Diwali Fireworks

In Hindu culture there’s a major winter holiday that can’t be missed, Diwali. Diwali is also known as the festival of lights. People light many small clay lamps called “diyas” around their homes to represent the victory of good over evil and is celebrated by millions of people around the world with fireworks.

Types of Crackers

There are many types of fireworks and crackers like phool jhadi, chakri, anar and I guess I’m in a rocket right now.

Initially, fireworks were only in orange and white. Somewhere around the middle ages, new colors were achieved by adding new salts and chemicals.

In case you must be wondering how varying colors are achieved, it’s all in these chemicals. For an example copper creates blue sparks while barium releases a greenish glow and sodium tends to burn yellow. Apparently, the hardest color to achieve is blue. This time, I don’t want to get out of here!

More Information:

5 Days of Diwali

Diwali Festival Celebrations

Diwali is an important festival for Hindus around the world. It is also celebrated by Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom, Ayodhya, after an exile period of 14 years. People of Ayodhya lit the city brightly and welcomed Rama, Lakshman and Sita by firing crackers.

Diwali festival is also believed to be the symbol of Goddess Lakshmi coming home. Thus people celebrate by lighting many clay lamps called ‘diyas’ around their homes. This signifies the victory of good over evil and that is why Diwali is also known as the festival of lights. People worship Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha on this day as they are believed to bring good luck, prosperity and wealth.

Significance and Importance of 5 Days of Diwali

Diwali celebrations go on for five days and each day has its significance.

Dhanteras :

Diwali begins with the first day known as ‘Dhanteras’ or the worship of wealth. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on this day and there is a custom to purchase something precious. People clean and decorate their homes.

Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali :

The second day is Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali. People wake up early and apply aromatic oils on them before taking a bath. This is said to remove all sins and impurities. They wear new clothes, offer Puja and enjoy by lighting diyas and bursting few crackers.

Lakshmi Puja :

The third day is the main Diwali festival. Lakshmi Puja is performed on this day. Goddess Lakshmi is believed to enter homes and bless people with good fortune. Tiny oil diyas, candles and electric lights are placed around the house. Families exchange gifts and gather together to burst crackers.

Govardhan Puja or Padva :

The fourth day is Govardhan Puja or Padva. It is the day when Lord Krishna defeated Indra by lifting the huge Govardhan Mountain. People make a small hillock, usually of cow dung, symbolising Govardhan and worship it.

Bhai Dooj :

The fifth and last day is Bhai Dooj. On this day sisters invite their brothers for a lavish meal and perform a ‘tilak’ ceremony. Sisters pray for their brother’s long and happy life while the brothers give gifts to their sisters.

People display fireworks during Diwali but it should be kept in mind as to not create noise and air pollution which can harm the environment.

Different Celebrations of Diwali

Diwali is one of the most celebrated festivals in the world. Apart from India, it is celebrated in Mauritius, Nepal, Trinidad, Singapore, Malaysia, and Fiji, which have large Indian immigrant populations. Some of these migrations happened so long ago that Diwali is a major holiday while in the more recent ones like in the United States of America, Australia, and the UK, the celebrations are limited to the people who have moved there recently. Here are a few different ways in which the same festival is celebrated by different people.

Kaunria Kathi – Odisha

The state of Odisha has a unique history. Owing to its tribal heritage, people in Odisha celebrate Diwali a little differently. They celebrate it to ask the ancestors for blessings. One unique ritual performed as part of the Diwali celebration is the ‘kaunria kathi.’ It is believed that the ancestors reside in the part of the sky most visible as the sun begins to move towards the Tropic of Capricorn. People burn stems of jute to invite the ancestors to descend from the spiritual sky and bestow blessings upon them.

Diyari – Sindhi

The Sindhi community celebrates the customs and traditions similar to others but have developed some of their own ritual worship of their own. They also call it by a different name– Diyari. During the Lakshmi puja they wash gold and silver coins in unboiled milk. After the puja, each person picks a coin and lightly taps it against their teeth. They chant the phrase “Laakshmi aayi, danat vaai,” meaning Lakshmi has returned and poverty has left. After all you can’t eat money, can you?

Hari Diwali – Malaysia

There are many different Hindu communities that are part of Malaysia’s diverse culture. They come from different ethnic backgrounds like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Hari Diwali, as they call it, is a national holiday there and is celebrated with much pomp. People take a traditional oil bath before breakfast. People who celebrate this festival invite their Malay and Chinese friends into their homes for a meal.

Divali – Trinidad

Between 1845 and 1917 about 1,43,000 Indians were shipped from modern day Bihar and Orissa to the Caribbean island of Trinidad. They went there to work on the sugarcane plantations after all the slaves were emancipated in the British Caribbean in 1838. The Indo–Trinidadians (people who are from Trinidad whose families are from India) celebrate Divali like it is celebrated here. In 1966 the government declared it a national holiday and from then on people have begun to worship for the whole 9 days.

Bali Pratipada – Bali

It is interesting to note how legends and myths take form in different cultures. You may have heard about the festival Onam. Bali celebrates Diwali as the return of the demon king Bali Pratipada to his earthly realm every year. Sounds familiar? Think South India.

Tihar – Nepal

Diwali is celebrated as ‘Tihar’ in Nepal. It is celebrated to honour the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi and god of prosperity, Ganesh.

After a yagna performed by Bali, Vishnu appears to the king as a brahmin named Vamana and asks him for the amount of land he can cover in three steps. After taking his true form, Vishnu takes two steps and covers all of heaven and earth. Bali offers his head as a place for Vishnu to place his third step. In doing so, he is cast into patalaloka. As a reward for his devotion, Bali is allowed to return to earth for 1 day every year. The Hindus of Bali believe that by lighting lamps they are dispelling evil and the same ignorance that led their beloved king into the netherworld.

This is the same story behind Onam, a festival marking the new year in Kerala. However they celebrate it with flowers and a grand luncheon.

Project

Can you find out where else they celebrate Diwali? Like countries with more recent immigrants and ones that may not be on this list.

Note:  Don’t forget to check out the story of Diwali

Diwali Festival Facts

15 Interesting Facts about Diwali!

1. Hindu New Year

Diwali marks the Hindu new year. It is the largest and most celebrated festival in india.

2. Festival of Lights

Diwali or Deepavali is considered as the ‘festival of light’ it signifies the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.

3. Goddess Lakshmi

Goddess Lakshmi the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity is generally worshiped o this auspicious day.

4. Deepavali

Deepavali is referred to as Deepavali while Narakasura Vadha is the main celebration day in south india.

5. Return of Lord Rama

Diwali is celebrated to mark the return of lord Rama after a 14 year exile according to the North Indian traditions by Hindus.

6. Narakasura Vadha

The death of the evil Narakusa at the hands of lord Krishna is the main reason for celebrating diwali by Hindus in South India.

7. Hari Diwali

In Malaysia Diwali, Diwali is a National public holiday and is celebrated as Hari Diwali in the month of Aswayuja.

8. Tihar

Tihar or swanti are the names referred to Diwali in Nepal and on the fourth day, the hindu god of death, Yama is worshipped for longer life of people for a longer life of the people.

9. Sukhssuptika

According to Nilmal puran, Diwali celebrations is referred to as Sukhssuptika which literally means to sleep with happiness. Kashmiri pandits stils follow this age old ritual today.

10. Harvest Season

On Diwali farmers thank the deities for the harvests they had and pray for a prosperous harvesting season in the upcoming year as it marks the end of the harvest season and the onset of winter.

11. Celebrations in Odisha

There is unique traditional practice in orissa where the people call upon the spirits of their dead ancestors. They burn jute stems to shed light on the dark path of the spirits on their way to heaven.

12. Gambling

Gambling during Diwali is admitted as there is a belief that it brigs good luck and prosperity in the year ahead.

13. Golden Temple

The festival of diwali is celebrated by the sikhs significantly like hindus since 1577 as the foundation stone of the golden temple was laid on the day of diwali.

14. Accounting Books

Diwali marks the beginning of the new financial; year hence traders start it by opening the new book of accounts and offering prayers to lord Ganesha.

15. Lord Mahavira

The jain community in India celebrates the next day of Diwali as new years day. on diwali it is said that lord Mahavira attained his Moksha or his Nirvana.

Shubh Deepavali

The customery greeting associated with diwali is ‘Shubh Deepavali’ which means ‘have an auspicious Diwali’.

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Noise Pollution Causes and Effects

What is noise pollution?

Noise is defined as unwanted sound. Noise Pollution is an excess of annoying degree of sound coming from a particular area. Examples – Traffic or Aeroplane engines.

How is it measured?

A decibel is used for the measurement of noise. 1 db is the faintest sound that a person can hear. Sounds that are 85 db or above can cause permanent damage to your ears.

What are the types of noise pollution?

Noise pollution broadly falls under two categories – Natural and Man–made.

What comes under natural noise?

Noise or sound from the wind, rain, storms, trees, birds, animals are all natural sounds.

What are man-made sounds?

Noise or sounds from engines, construction, traffic, blaring speakers are all man-made sounds.

Am I adding to noise pollution?

  • Do you listen to your television so loudly that your neighbours can hear?
  • Do you play your music system at home or in the car for people outside to hear?
  • At festivals like Diwali are you the one who lights the noisy bombs and fiery crackers at night?
  • Be aware of the level at which you speak at home. Try a fun game of sign language, then whispers then normal conversation and then shouting to see the different effects of noise on people around you.
  • Observe sound around you when you are out with your parents. While driving by a hospital see if people take care and not honk and blow the horn or do they ignore that and honk away? Is that appropriate?

How to stop adding to noise pollution?

  • Set the volume of your television to the point where it is only audible to you and not to your neighbours.
  • The music system in your car should not be loud for the people outside to hear.
  • Avoid lighting noisy bombs and firecrackers during Diwali.
  • Be aware of the level of volume at which you speak at home.
  • While out with parents, make sure they avoid honking or blowing the horn of the vehicle when not needed.

What do you think?

  • You could do your bit and make sure your mom or dad do not honk while going by a hospital.
  • Not only is noise distracting but it can create stress and health issues. Find out more about this for yourself and make an activity or project around it.

Conduct a noise quiz.

Ask adults you know how sound impacts them. Does it disturb them? What happens to their concentration levels when it is noisy?

Pick a comfortable volume at which you can listen to music and watch the television without disturbing others.

Email us and let us know what you observed. Come up with a cool idea or activity around noise pollution and tell us what you did. It could possibly make YOU the Mocomi Kid of the month and get you featured on our website.

More information –

Click here to know 11 ways to reduce noise pollution.

How do firecrackers pollute the environment?

Why celebrate special occasions by polluting the environment?
Is poisoning the air and water a patriotic way to celebrate Diwali? Or New Year?

Fireworks pollute and damage our planet in many ways. This Diwali, make a conscious choice to celebrate in different ways that don’t involve bursting crackers.

5 Ways fireworks damage the environment

1. Manufacturing

Fireworks use plastic, paper and cardboard – which are not eco friendly and are made at factories that pollute the environment and often engage in child labour.

2. Transportation

Fireworks sustain the transport industry in a big way. From distribution by planes, boats and and trucks to local collection at retail stores, fireworks contribute to the pollution caused by vehicles. And don’t forget that the consumer drives to purchase the fireworks, sometimes hundreds of miles to another state to bypass local restrictions.The waste generated by non-biodegradable accessories used during the worship.

3. Air Pollution

The smoke from fireworks consists mainly of fine toxic dusts (particulate matter) that can easily enter the lungs. This represents a real threat for people with asthma and for children. Additionally, in this time where the issues of climate change and global warming are being presented with a sense of urgency, we need to be concerned about the greenhouse gases fireworks produce, which include Carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone.

4. Water Pollution

Fireworks fallout can contaminate water supplies and residue on the ground can be carried away by rain and end up in our lakes, rivers, or oceans.

5. Noise Pollution

Fireworks are loud and the vibrations can travel far. These sounds are not only annoying to humans but also affect animals and pets.

Suggested Activity : Take a Stand against Fireworks

  • Refuse to celebrate your festivals with crackers.
  • Do not attend outdoor fireworks displays and encourage others to do the same.
  • Educate others by sharing the polluting dangers of fireworks.

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!

Vitamins and Minerals

You all have heard your moms say ‘Do not forget to take your vitamins and minerals. They are important for your health’. Yes, vitamins and minerals make your bodies work properly. Everyday your body produces blood to carry nutrients to all parts, make your nerve system work properly, your brain to function properly. All this requires raw materials- provided in the form of vitamins and minerals.

What do Vitamins and Minerals do for the body?

They boost the immune system by helping the body battle infections, heal wounds, convert food into energy, repair cellular damage, keep deficiencies away and help develop bones, muscles, skin and organs.

What are Vitamins?

Vitamins are organic substances made by plants and animals. There are two types of vitamins– fat soluble and water soluble. Fat soluble are found in fatty foods and animal products like eggs, vegetable oils, milk and dairy. Vitamin A, D, E and K are fat soluble. You don’t need them every day as they are high in fat content and are stored in the body for long.

Water soluble found in fruits, vegetables, grains are not stored in the body; so much of this is needed. This vitamin content are easily reduced or destroyed by cooking or boiling. Vitamin C, B and folic acid are water soluble.

What are Minerals?

Minerals are required for building strong bones, teeth; controlling body fluids and turning the food we eat into energy. Essential minerals are calcium and iron. Though there are many other minerals like zinc, potassium etc. Minerals are found in meat, cereals, fish, milk, vegetables and dry fruits.

What is the difference between Vitamins and Minerals?

  • The basic difference between vitamins and minerals is that vitamins are organic and can be broken down by heat, air or acid.
  • Minerals on the other hand are inorganic and cannot be broken easily as they hold on to their organic structure.
  • You can get vitamins directly from eating plants and meat of certain animals. You can get minerals from plants and water directly.
  • This means that the minerals found in soil and water can be easily absorbed in our body through the plants, fish, animals or fluids we consume. But it is tough to get vitamins from food and other sources because processes like cooking, storage or exposure to air can make these vitamins inactive.

What makes your Body Shiver?

Our body needs to maintain a core temperature of 98.6 degree Fahrenheit. It is our brain which monitors the body temperature very closely in order to prevent hypothermia and other such consequences due to cold.

Why do we Shiver?

Shivers are reflexes which your body shows to keep you safe and healthy and to signal you to keep yourself warm. Reflexes are controlled by your nervous system which in turn is controlled by your brain. When the brain sends a signal these nerves carry the information to each and every part of the body and the bones start to shiver. Your muscles start to contract and expand in a speedy manner. Your jaw muscles also might shiver which makes your teeth chatter.

What do you do?

You try to make yourself warm by either wrapping a warm blanket or having warm milk or even running or walking fast to get that warmth in your body.

Always wash Vegetables and Fruits!

You eat fresh green vegetables and fruits everyday. They are the sources of different vitamins essential to your health. But they could be dangerous and give rise to several health hazards unless they are washed. Vegetables and fruits contain contaminants. The main source of contamination is the soil on which they grow. Besides, they also get contaminated from the pesticides applied to them at the time of preparation and storage. Bacteria grow on them during this time. If vegetables and fruits are not washed properly before consuming, then many food borne illnesses may occur. Diseases which may occur due to the presence of Bacteria are Salmonella, E.coli and Literia.

Looking for more Health Tip articles? Go to: Quack A Tip for Kids.

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.

Types of Maps

8 Different Types of Maps

1. Political Map

  • A political map shows the state and national boundaries of a place. A political map does not have any topographic features.
  • It also shows the location of cities, with respect to each other.

2. Physical Map

  • A physical map is one which shows the physical features of a place or country, like rivers, mountains, forests and lakes.
  • The physical features are usually shown in different colors.
  • Rivers and lakes are shown in blue, places of low elevation are shown in dark green and as the elevation increases, the color becomes light green and eventually orange.
  • Mountains are shown in brown.

3. Topographic Map

  • Topographic maps are similar to physical maps, which show the physical features of an area. Although in topographic maps, differences in elevation and changes in landscape are shown with the help of contour lines and not colors.

4. Climatic Map

  • A climatic map shows the information about the climate of different areas.
    For example it shows areas which receive more rainfall or snow, or which have dry weather.
  • It uses colors to depict areas with different climate.

5. Economic or Resource Map

  • Economic or resource maps show the different resources present in the area or economic activity prevalent.
  • They show the kind of crops that are grown and the minerals found in places.
  • Symbols and letters are used to depict the activity or resource present in the area.

6. Road Map

  • Road map is the most widely used map which shows different roads, highways or railways present in the area.
  • It is a very detailed map and is generally used for direction purposes.
  • Road maps are usually made individually, city-wise.
  • There are road maps present for an entire country too, but they cannot be made very detailed.

7. Scale of a Map

  • The scale of a map shows the relationship between the distances on the map with respect to actual distances on the Earth. For example if the scale of a map is 1 cm to a kilometer, that means 1 cm on the map is equivalent to 1 kilometer on actual ground.
  • Using a scale you can quite accurately measure the distance between 2 places.

8. Symbols

  • On maps different symbols represent different things, for example black dots represent cities, circled stars represent capitals.
  • Different types of lines represent roads, highways and railways.
  • Trees and forests are depicted in green, mountains in brown and rivers and lakes in blue.
  • This done for making it easier for us to spot these features and study the map.

Related Article:
Read and download the World Map with Country Names.

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.

Do Ants have Bones?

It is the exoskeleton that protects the ant on the outside and the internal structures. An ant’s body is divided into three main parts: a head section, a chest section and a tummy section.

Body Structure of an Ant

The ant is very soft on the inside. So the exoskeleton of an ant is like armour that protects all the mushy soft internal body parts. The exoskeleton is made up of chitin which is a very strong substance. Some parts of the exoskeleton extend to the inside of the body so that the tiny muscles can attach to the body parts inside. Like the ant’s head is attached to the chest part with the help of the exoskeleton. This is known as the tentorium and it somewhat functions like a bone.

Ants are also formed from larvae but once they grow up and become adult ants they do not change their forms. The body structure is formed mostly by the skin rather than by the bones.

Jellyfish Lake, Palau

Where is Jellyfish Lake located?

I’m swimming alongside jellyfish! I’m in the southern lagoon of Palau in Koror, in what is called the “Jellyfish Lake”, a marine lake that is packed with beautiful jellyfish.

Interesting Facts about Jellyfish Lake

The Jellyfish Lake is one of the marine lakes on the Eil Malk island here in Palau. There are around 70 other marine lakes around here, but this is the only one that is open to tourists. And boy is it awesome that this lake is open to tourists. Imagine watching millions of jellyfish swarm across the lake, every day! That’s what occurs here – everyday, millions of jellyfish migrate horizontally across the lake, presumably to feed.

The Jellyfish Lake is 12000 years old, apparently, and is quite isolated from the others. It is, however, connected to the ocean through fissures and tunnels in the Miocene reef. The isolation has caused the species living in the lake to have evolved significantly different from their cousins residing in the nearby lagoons.

How many different kinds of Jellyfish are there?

The Jellyfish Lake is populated chiefly by two species of jellyfish – the moon jellyfish and the golden jellyfish. Both the species of jellyfish migrate daily across the lake, though their migration patterns do differ. The golden jellyfish is the more active of the two, and is on the move nearly throughout the day, resting only at night. The golden jellyfish have an organized migration pattern, and they move to certain specific locations in the lake at specific times of the day. Isn’t that interesting? The moon jellyfish do not have an organized pattern and migrate at night, coming to the surface, presumably to feed.

It’s a treat to swim around with these jellyfish, and thankfully, their stingers are too small to cause any damage to visitors. Although snorkeling in the lake is permitted, scuba diving is not, because it proves to be dangerous to the visitors as well as causes damage to the eco-system. That’s okay though. Snorkeling here is awesome enough.

In recent times, there have been reports of dwindling jellyfish numbers, which is a huge cause for concern. Scientists think that this could be due to climate change, and could be indicative of bigger changes to come in the ecosystem. I really hope not; this place is just too beautiful!

To know all about the Immortal Jellyfish, visit https://mocomi.com/immortal-jellyfish/

Steve Jobs Biography

Steven Paul Jobs, the chief founder of Apple Computer, was born in San Francisco, California (February 24, 1955). His parents were Joanne Schieble, who later came to be known as Joanne Simpson and Abdulfattah “John” Jandali. Both of them were students at University of Wisconsin. They gave their son up for adoption. His biological parents married soon after Jobs was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs. They had another child named Mona Simpson. He came to know about his biological parents at the age of twenty seven. Clara was an accountant by profession. Paul was a United States Coast Guard. The Jobs family resided in Mountain View, California (from 1961 onwards), within the area which later named as Silicon Valley. Steve Jobs suffered from pancreatic cancer and died in 2011.

Early life of Steve Jobs

In his childhood, Steve Jobs worked on electronics with Paul in the family garage. His father showed him how to take apart and reconstruct electronics. This is how his interest in electronics grew up. He was a brilliant student in school. Later, he studied in Homestead High School in Silicon Valley and Reed College in Portland, Oregon. During this time he was introduced to Steve Wozniak, his future partner. He was attending the University of California, Berkeley.

Steve Jobs Career

In the year 1974 Steve Jobs joined as a video game designer in the company named Atari, where he worked for several months. Then he left the company in order to find spiritual enlightenment in India.

How Apple got started?

Steve Jobs traveled and experimented with psychedelic drugs. Later in 1976, Jobs and Wozniak started Apple Computer (in his family garage). Jobs was only 21 years old at that time. Jobs and Wozniak sold Volkswagen bus and scientific calculator respectively to collect fund. It was they, who brought a revolutionary change in the computer world by inventing improved technology and introducing machines much smaller in size, cheaper, intuitive and accessible to daily consumers. Wozniak coined the idea of a series of user-friendly personal computers. Jobs took the charge of marketing. Apple I was sold in 1976.The very next year saw the success of Apple II, which was followed by advent of Macintosh in 1984. Apple Computer became a publicly traded company in 1980. Jobs appointed John Sculley, the marketing expert of Pepsi- Cola as the CEO of Apple. He left Apple in 1985. Then he founded NeXT, a computer platform development company.

Steve Jobs’ Greatest Achievements

  • Steve Jobs was posthumously honored as a Disney Legend in 2013.
  • He received Grammy Trustees Award in 2012.
  • He was named as the most powerful person in business by Fortune magazine in 2007.
  • Steve received Jefferson Award for Public Service in the year 1987.
  • Jobs along with Steve Wozniak received National Medal of Technology in 1985.

8 Inspiring Quotes by Steve Jobs

  1. Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.
  2. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
  3. “My favourite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”
  4. “My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other, and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.”
  5. “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”
  6. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
  7. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
  8. “Bottom line is, I didn’t return to Apple to make a fortune. I’ve been very lucky in my life and already have one. When I was 25, my net worth was $100 million or so. I decided then that I wasn’t going to let it ruin my life. There’s no way you could ever spend it all, and I don’t view wealth as something that validates my intelligence.”

Do you know?

  • Steve Jobs is the authorized biography book of Steve Jobs.
  • Stay Hungry Stay Foolish is a book written by Rashmi Bansal on Steve Jobs.

Schadenfreude

What does “Schadenfreude” mean?

Have you ever felt pleasure when something unfortunate happened to someone else? Maybe it was when the teacher caught your friend for not doing their homework and you escaped (even though you didn’t do your homework either!) or maybe someone tripped over and you had a good laugh at it. If so, you’ve experienced Schadenfreude (pronounced shaw-dun-froi-dah), the feeling of mirth/ pleasure at someone else’s misfortune. It’s not an especially good feeling, so watch out that you don’t become a mean person!

Instant Noodles are Tasty but not Healthy!

What exactly is unhealthy about Instant Noodles?

Instant noodle is good to taste and easy to cook. We love to have it often without realising its ill effect. Instant noodles are mostly made of Maida, refined flour. They are highly processed and have low nutritive value. They contain high amount of fat, calories, sodium, artificial colours, preservatives, additives and flavourings. In many cases, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and tertiary- butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), a chemical preservative obtainable from petroleum industry are found to be present in these noodles. They are used to enhance taste and preserving properties. These elements can be consumed within a limit. Excessive intake of instant noodles is not advisable as it would lead to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension, heart problems and others. Therefore, avoid eating instant noodles regularly.

Looking for more Health Tip articles? Go to: Quack A Tip for Kids.

What is Average?

Definition of Average

Calculating an average refers to the sum of numbers divided by how many numbers there are.

Example of Average

Lets us try and understand how an average is calculated with the help of an example.

Arjun, Krishna and and Ram went out to the fields one day to collect some mangoes. By the end of the day, Arjun had collected 10 mangoes, Krishna had collected 5 mangoes and Ram had collected 3 mangoes.

In total, Arjun, Krishna and Ram had collected 10 + 5 + 3 mangoes = 18 mangoes

How to Calculate Average?

To know the average number of mangoes collected by Arjun, Krishna and Ram, as the definition suggests, we need to divide the number of mangoes, with the number of friends who helped collect them. So we divide 18 ÷ 3 = 6

And get to know the average number of mangoes collected stands at 6 mangoes per person.

For more interesting Maths worksheets and lessons, go to : https://mocomi.com/learn/maths/

Christmas Theme Party

Christmas Theme Party for Kids

Christmas is coming! Want to throw a theme party? Here are some ideas to make your party a success!

Christmas Party Invitations

Email your friends these invitations to set the mood. If you want a fancy dress party, tell them to come dressed in a Christmas theme. Or you could ask everyone to come in red.

If you want to send paper cards, you can use white buttons to create snowmen, green ones to make an ornament, and red for Rudolph’s nose.

Christmas Party Games for Kids

Have Christmas games at your party. Here’s one- fill a stocking with small objects. Your guests have to write down what they think is in the stocking. Whoever gets the most number of items right, wins! And, instead of Pin the tail on the donkey, you can have Pin the nose on Rudolph.

Christmas Party Music

Play Christmas carols at your party like Silent Night, Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. We Wish you a Merry Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town…which other carols do you know?

Christmas Party Food

Have plum cake, Christmas cookies and food in the shape and colour of Santa, reindeer, and snowmen for a yumalicious time!

Christmas Party Decoration Ideas

Invite your friends early so that they can help you decorate! Put small ornaments onyour Christmas tree- like stars, angels, and snowflakes. You can even tie polo rings, foil, cotton, or buttons to your tree! Reuse your Diwali lights if you like.

Send us photos of your party- we’ll put them up on Mocomi! Enjoy.

More Facts about Christmas:

What are Natural Resources?

Imagine life without air, water, sunlight, forests and minerals. It would be difficult right.

Well, all these things mentioned are our natural resources. Natural resources are natural elements that form a part of the earth and are needed and valued by humans.

Types of Natural Resources

There are three types of natural resources.

1. Perennial:

Perennial resources are resources like sunlight, winds and tides that are always available to us.

2. Renewable:

Renewable resources are resources like plants, soil, oxygen, water, forests that do not get exhausted easily. They can be renewed and replenished.

3. Non – Renewable :

Non – renewable resources are resources like petroleum, natural gas and minerals that can get exhausted and cannot be replenished. This is because it takes millions of years to replenish these resources and hence we should be very careful while using them.

Natural Resources Found in India

List of major natural resources found in India.

1. Soil:

India has six types of soil namely black soil, red soil, alluvial soil, mountain soil, laterite soil and desert soil. Each soil is good for growing a particular kind of crop.
For example: black soil is good for growing cotton.

2. Water:

In India we have perennial and non-perennial rivers flowing through the country. Water is used to produce electricity.

3. Minerals:

Our country has a rich deposit of minerals such as iron, coal, natural gas especially in the plateau region.

4. Forests:

In India we have evergreen forests , deciduous forests, desert and alpine vegetation. Trees like sal, eucalyptus, babool, sandal etc are found in these forests.

We must be careful while using our resources and try and conserve them. This can be done through reducing their usage, recycling them and reusing them.

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.

Vikram Betaal: The Strange Decision

King Vikram was back with the corpse Betal lying on his shoulders. Betal started narrating another story to Vikram.

Many years ago, in the village of Kishannagar there lived a strong and kind king- Rajendra. His queen Prema and the King were married for very long but they did not have a child. The King was very kind and just to his people. After many years the King and the queen were blessed with a baby girl. They named her Sona.

Sona, being the only child, was loved immensely by her parents. She was given the freedom to choose what she wants. Not only was she sharp in studies, she was also proficient at bow and arrow and with the sword. Sona grew up fast and soon reached her marriageable age. Her parents wanted her to get married to a suitable suitor but Sona refused. She said, ‘Father, I will marry that man who is more skilled than me and shall defeat me in a bow arrow and sword competition.’

The King thought it was fair enough and so he made an announcement in his kingdom. Many suitors came thinking that it is a girl they have to fight. They will easily defeat a girl. But Sona proved each of them wrong. She easily defeated everyone and they had to go back home disappointed.

Among the crowd was a young man named Uday. He came everyday to watch Sona fight. He observed her and soon learnt all the techniques and strategies that Sona used for her fights. He then presented himself to the King. When he fought Sona, and very cleverly and easily defeated her. The King then asked Uday from where he had learnt such skilled fighting technique. To this Uday told the king the truth that he had observed Sona and so learnt how to defeat her.

Sona immediately replied, ‘You have defeated me, but I cannot marry you.’ To which Uday replied, ‘Yes, you should not marry me.’ The King and the queen were surprised at their decision.

‘Oh Vikram, now you tell me, why did she say that Uday cannot marry her even after he defeated her? If you do not speak even if you know the answer, you are not a king of Justice’, said Betal.

Vikram replied, ‘Uday had learnt all the strategies by observing Sona fight. This makes Sona a guru or Uday’s teacher. In Hindu culture, a teacher cannot marry a student. Sona realized that Uday was first her student and then a suitor. Uday also thought in the same manner and thus decided not to marry Sona.’

So Vikram had broken his silence with the reply and Betal flew back to the old tree while Vikram once again ran behind him with his sword.

For other interesting stories for kids, browse though our huge collection of short stories here : https://mocomi.com/fun/stories/

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.

How Ice Crystals fall during heavy Rain?

How are Ice Crystals formed?

Droplets of liquid condensation from the rain clouds freezes, thus forming ice. They create a crystalline structure. The air from the ground pushes itself upwards and carries the moist, warmer air into the colder parts of the atmosphere. This helps to begin condensation high up where rain clouds are formed. Snow forms above the rain clouds.

What makes the Ice Crystals fall?

When condensation happens; the water freezes to form ice crystals. These small ice balls pass through additional clouds and become heavier. Thus they fall onto the ground as they are too heavy to stay up.

If the air is still the water is in the form of vapour and as the temperature falls molecules of water come together and form crystals. If the air is freezing cold all the way to the ground then these crystals fall as snowflakes.

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.

Tsundoku

What does “Tsundoku” mean?

Do you have the habit of buying lots of books but never finding the right time to read them? As a result, you may notice your “to-read” list piling up, on coffee tables, night stands, and sometimes even the floor! There’s a Japanese word which describes just this type of situation. It’s Tsundoku, pronounced [sun-doh-kuu]. Better get to work on those books!

Beware of Canned Foods and Beverages!

We all love to have canned foods and beverages. These foods are tasty and can be prepared easily. Unfortunately, they are not always good for our health. All canned food stuffs usually contain small quantities of tin (a metallic contamination). It must be noted, that the maximum tin content in canned food stuff should not exceed 250p.p.m. But they often contain more than the prescribed limit. This has proven to be dangerous to our health. Two to three grams of tin content may cause severe vomiting, headache, photophobia, vertigo, dehydration, abdominal pain and retention of urine.Therefore; you must always beware of the amount of contaminations present in these foods and beverages.

Looking for more Health Tip articles? Go to: Quack A Tip for Kids.

8 Parts of Speech

What are the Parts of Speech?

We speak and use so many words in our everyday life. All these words and expressions that we use in English language come from the eight parts of speech in English grammar. Words are categorized in these eight parts of speech, based on how they are used and their functions.

Parts of Speech with Examples

Let us look at these parts of speech one by one

1. What is a Noun?

Words that are used to name any person, place, animal, plant, idea, event. This is the simplest of all parts of speech.
Examples of Proper Nouns

  • Hanuman is a monkey God.
  • Here the words Hanuman, monkey and God are Nouns.

Nouns can be of different types: Proper nouns, common nouns, collective nouns or abstract nouns.
Examples of Proper Nouns

  • Today is the final T20 match.
  • T20 is a noun as it is an event.

2. What are Pronoun?

These are words that we use in place of nouns.
Examples of Pronouns

  • Isha is a very sweet girl. She shared her lunch with me today.
  • Here ‘She’ is a pronoun which we are using in place of the noun ‘Isha’.
  • We are going to play.
  • We is a pronoun here.

3. What is an Adjective

Any word that is used to describe a noun or a pronoun is called an adjective. They can specify quality, number or size of a noun or pronoun.
Examples of Adjective

  • I have two pets. Here ‘two’ is an adjective.
  • Adjectives answer the questions which? What kind? How many?
  • Wow! They just ate the biggest pizza. ‘Biggest’ is an adjective here.

4. What is a Verb?

Words that express action or state of being are known as verbs. This is the most important part of speech as without a verb a sentence will not be complete.
Examples of Verb

  • Daisy ran as soon as she saw her master. Here ran and saw are both verbs and show action.
    Examples for State of being: are, is, were, am, was
  • They are always talking in class. Here ‘are’ and ‘talking’ are both verbs.

5.What is a Adverb?

Any word that modifies a verb, adjective or another adverb is known as adverb. They describe adjectives, verbs or any other adverb.

Examples of Adverb

  • Sheela sang melodiously. Melodiously is an adverb.
  • Adverbs answer the questions how? When? Where? How much? Why?
  • I looked everywhere but could not find my book. ‘Everywhere’ is an adverb.

6. What is a Preposition?

These are words that specify a location or location in time. They show the relationship of a noun or pronoun with some other words in a sentence means Preposition.
Examples of Preposition

  • The book is lying under the table. ‘Under’ is a preposition.
  • The honeybee sat on the flower. ‘On’ is a preposition.
  • Across, around, behind, above, inside, outside are few examples of preposition.

7. What is a Conjunction?

That part of speech which joins words, phrases or clauses together is known as conjunction.
Examples of Conjunction

  • And, yet, but, for, or, so, nor are all conjunctions.
  • Thank you for such a long and soothing spa. ‘And’ is a conjunction here
  • I wanted to go shopping but it rained so heavily. ‘But’ is a conjunction.

8. What is a Interjection?

Words that express strong emotions are called interjections. These words are always followed by an exclamation mark.
Examples of Interjection

  • Ouch! That hurt. ‘Ouch’ is an interjection
  • Wow! Hurray! Enough! Yes! Are some examples of interjections

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.

History of Native Americans

Who are Native Americans?

Christopher Columbus discovered America, but people lived in America long before his discovery. These people who lived before the arrival of Europeans to America were known as the Native Americans. They lived in North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean islands.

Who are Red Indians and Why they are called so?

One theory states that Christopher Columbus was travelling to the West. He thought he was going to India. Instead he landed in America and thus Native Americans are sometimes referred to as Indians. Though, calling them Red Indian is wrong, since that is a name of a specific tribe who used to paint their face and bodies with red ochre colour.

Another study states that long before the ice age happened, the Indians journeyed from Asia into Alaska. They came across the west coast of North America and settled there. As early as 1000 B.C the Indians covered almost the entire continent and their descendants were known as the first Americans who arrived and settled in America. They are also known as indigenous people as they were the first people to live in America.

Native Americans lived throughout North and South America. They inhabited Alaska, Hawaii and there came into existence different tribes and cultures across America. From one coast to another there were hundreds of Native American cultures.

Native American Tribes and Culture

The Native Americans were grouped into tribes and groups on the basis of the areas they lived, their culture, the language they spoke and their customs. Sometimes smaller tribes were part of a bigger tribe or they merged into a bigger tribe. When Columbus arrived, there were hundreds of tribes spread across America. Some well known of the tribes were Apache, Cherokee and Navajo. All Native American tribes had one thing in common- they lived off the land by gathering food during their early stages and later by cultivating food. Once the tribes began cultivating, they thrived into villages. The tribes hunted and domesticated animals. Meat, fur and skin of animals were used. Bones were used to make weapons. Corn or maize was the most common Native American food crop. Squash, potato, rice, pumpkin, avocados were also grown. Most Native Americans preferred to eat their food fresh, without adding lot of spices.

Spirituality and religious customs were an integral part of Native Americans. They had many Gods. They believed in a relationship with nature and so worshipped the Sun as God. They also had a rain God. Most elements of Nature were worshipped as God and every tribe had a medicine man called ‘Shaman’.

Native American Fall

The Native American tribes began to diminish when settlers from other countries, mostly Europeans, tried to capture their land. Slowly they were moved away from their own lands into what was called reservations. Many died during epidemics and diseases like smallpox and measles brought by Europeans and unknown to Americans. Europeans started colonizing Americans. They also had horses and guns which overpowered the bows and arrows of the Native American tribes. These times were terrible for these early settlers and one would have believed that they might disappear.

Native Americans Today

Today many descendants of the original Native Americans still live on reservations. The reservations are areas specifically assigned for Native Americans, to protect their culture and heritage. But only 30% of Native Americans live on reservations. The rest can be found all around America and around the world, earning their livelihood like any other citizen.

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?

Akbar Birbal: Birbal The Child

Akbar came to the court to attend a function and Birbal was not present.
Akbar asked, “where is Birbal?”
“He has not come yet, Huzoor.” said a courtier.
“Not yet?” said Akbar.

After few minutes Birbal arrived at the court and apologized for being late.
“I am extremely sorry, Huzoor” “My child was crying” “I had to placate him” he explained.
Akbar felt very disappointed. He said “Birbal! You do not know how to manage a child!” “Let me show you how to do it”.

He further said “Today I would act as your father and you become my child.” “You ask me for whatever your child have asked to you”.
Birbal replied “I want a Cow”
“Cow? Okay” “Bring a cow for him” ordered Akbar. A cow was brought to the court.
Birbal imitated the voice of his child and said “I want its milk”.
The cow was milked by the servants. Birbal drank little of it and handed the bowl with rest of the milk to Akbar.
Then he said “now put the milk back to the cow”.
“What are you saying Birbal?” asked Akbar.
Birbal said repeatedly “put the milk back to the cow please!……Please!”
Akbar could not found any answer and left the place quietly.

Moral: One must experience the real situation before blaming others.

Other interesting short Stories for Kids here

What causes Ocean Waves?

How do Ocean Waves Form?

  • Waves are created by energy passing through water, making water move in a circular motion.
  • Waves are caused by winds. These surface waves are created due to the friction between the wind and surface water. This causes the energy to be transferred from the wind to water, thus causing waves.
  • When the wind blows across the surface of the ocean, the continuous disturbance creates a wave. Energy is transferred from molecule to molecule, in order to form waves. The water does not travel with the waves; it is only the energy that is moving. Water only moves up and down with the waves.
  • When the winds are extremely strong, they can cause hurricanes. Extremely long waves can be caused by strong winds and these are called tsunamis. The gravitational pull of the sun and the moon also is another reason for causing ocean waves. These waves are called tides or tidal waves.

Frederik The Great Horse

One of the best things about being a traveler is that you get to meet some truly beautiful creations of God. One such creation is Frederik the horse. When I heard that he is the most handsome horse in the world, I just had to see for myself. And what I heard was right! In all my travels I’ve come across few horses that can compare to Frederik the great. He is one handsome horse!!

World’s Most Handsome Horse!

Frederik the Great is a Friesian stallion who shares his name with a Persian king. He’s a stud at the Pinnacle Friesians in the Ozark Mountains in the United States. With his muscular build and lustrously billowing black mane, he turns heads with every sprint, every gallop. His mane seems to read his moods, making sure he never has a bad hair day. Some people even compare him to romance novel heartthrobs! Well, he sure drives the fillies wild.

Why is Frederik the Great Horse popular?

So popular is this horse that he has his own Facebook fan page, with a following of more than 48,000! That’s way more than the Persian king he was named after! Frederik’s an equestrian performer as well, with fans eagerly awaiting his arrival in their city. He’s also a favorite model-cum-inspiration for photographers and artists alike. In fact, there are several fan-arts dedicated to this handsome stud. I’m going to try and catch his performance live at his next show!

Gattara

What does “Gattara” mean?

Have you come across a woman who lives with cats, lots of cats? She probably takes in strays or feeds them too. There’s a word for such a lady. It’s “Gattara” (pronounced gatt-taa-raa), and it’s an Italian word used to describe a cat lady –a woman, often old, who feeds and devotes herself to cats, domestic and stray alike!

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is only 32 years old and is the CEO and Co-founder of the most famous and popular social networking website- Facebook. He is one of the youngest billionaires in the world!

Childhood and Early Life

Mark was born on May 1984 in New York to a dentist father and a psychiatrist mother. He was the youngest and had three elder sisters and grew up in a Jewish household. Mark excelled in school and high school. He won many prizes in Science, Math and astronomy. He was also a language expert and could read and write French, Hebrew, Latin and ancient Greek.

He began using computers and writing software in his middle school. His father taught him basic programming and also hired a tutor to teach Mark. The tutor considered Mark as a computer prodigy in programming.

Harvard University and CourseMatch

Mark was accepted at Harvard University. By that time he was known as the internet whiz kid who had created many messaging systems. He studied psychology and computer science at Harvard. But he always wanted to make a programme that could connect people. So he created CourseMatch- a programme that helped students at Harvard connect with and form study groups and pick courses that suits their needs.

This became instantly a hit and there was a demand for students to connect with each other more. But Mark thought why only limit this to a University? He started working on new software and in February 4, 2004, Mark, from his dormitory room launched the Facebook.

Overnight the social networking site became famous and attracted people from all over the world. This started the career of Mark Zuckerberg as an entrepreneur, internet celebrity and the owner of a billion dollar website.

‘Facemash’ became ‘Facebook’

In Universities the students have books called Facebooks which have pictures of all students and names of people who lived in dorms. Facemash was the name that Mark had earlier thought of and went with this name for a weekend. It was built for fun, but it became so famous that the college had to shut it down. Due to the heavy load; it caused the Harvard servers to crash. Some students did not like the idea of the website using their pictures without permission and Mark was forced to apologize for his actions. Facebook has currently 1.44 million users every month!

Mark Zuckerberg is currently has a net worth of 36 billion dollars and is regularly featured on the Forbes 400 list.

After Facebook:

  • Mark Zuckerberg has faced several lawsuits for rights of his networking website. One includes from one of the co-founders of Facebook itself.
  • Mark Zuckerberg and his wife have given 99 percent of the shares of Facebook for various charitable purposes. They regularly contribute to social causes and make donations to ‘Newark Public schools’, San Francisco General Hospital and also to help victims of the Ebola disease in West Africa.

Awards and Achievements

  • The Times Magazine named Zuckerberg the ‘Person of the Year’ in 2010.
  • ‘The Jerusalem Post’ an Israeli Newspaper named Zuckerberg as the ‘Most influential Jew’ in 2011.