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B Sumangal

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Why Does Time Start in Greenwich?

Old sundial clock
Its six in the morning and the sun is streaming through the window of your home in Delhi. In New York, people are just packing up to go home as it is six in the evening!Nothing amazing about it. We know that the earth is round and that it revolves once in 24 hours. So while it is daytime...

Talkie Star from the Silent Era

August 19: At times the story of an actor's life is no less adventurous than the exciting roles he plays on the film screen. P Jairaj was such an actor, who chose to leave the comfort of an aristocratic life for the ups and downs of a career in the magical art of cinema, which was a big novelty...

How are Frogs Different From Toads?

The red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) is native to rainforests in Central America.
If you travel back tens of millions of years to the age of dinosaurs, you may possibly hear a rhythmic musical croaking from marshy ponds or even under your feet. And if you look closely you would probably find the common frog goggling away at you.Amazing isn't it? Not many people know how ancient frogs are. Scientists have traced...

What are Go-Go Boots?

Shelf full of cowboy boots
Ever seen rock stars or movie stars strutting about in calf-length boots? Well, these calf-length boots were the rage at one point of time. Discotheques at Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York saw young women dressed in thigh high skirts to show off these boots called Go-Go boots.The Go-Go boots had its origin with the original ankle-length boots...

Why was the Berlin Wall Built?

A few tentative steps across Checkpoint Charlie and you were transported to a different world. One side had McDonalds, Coke, Toyota cars and a democratically elected government. Across the Checkpoint, was a world of state-owned factories, rows and rows of identical apartments, and a self-imposed government. This was the world of the two Berlins divided by barbed wire, watch...

What are Q-Tips?

Q tips
Everbody has used this product at some time or other in some form or other. Sometimes it is used to clean the wax from your ears, and sometimes to clean dust from delicate instruments. Many kick themselves for not patenting it when they knew about it.So what are Q-Tips? It is such a simple silly thingummy - a piece...

Why do Plants Lean Toward Sunlight?

Why does the Sun follow You?
Plants kept inside a room always grow in the direction of the window. In woodlands where there is a thick canopy of trees and sunlight rarely falls on earth, very few plants survive. Those that do, do not require sunlight to make their food.People have long wondered about this phenomenon until the answer was discovered and explained by the...

Why Do Knuckles Pop?

Have you ever laced your fingers together and bent your fingers back? If you pressed hard on any bent finger, you would have heard a popping sound? Finger joints produce that loud c-r-a-c-king sound. The sound comes when bubbles in the fluid around the joint burst!Our entire body is made of a skeleton of 206 bones. Bones help in...

How did the Modern Horse Originate?

Przhevalsky horses -- named after the Russian geographer and explorer Nikolai Przhevalsky.
Many millions of years ago a fox-like animal roamed across the plains of what is now the American continent. At that time the continents were not even divided as they are today.This animal had four soft toes on its feet like a cat or dog. This animal came to be called the 'eohippus' by modern day scientists who discovered...

Bungee

Standing on the edge of a platform looking 150 feet straight down at the river below I thought to myself, how did I get roped into this mess? Do I really want to go ahead with this foolishness? Shouldn't I be back with my feet firmly planted on the ground?I was standing on the platform of a 100-ft high...

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