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‘Rim of Fire’ in Indonesian Skies: 2009’s First Solar Eclipse

Where: Samarinda, IndonesiaJanuary 26, 2009 : The annular eclipse of the sun on Monday, 26 January was a celestial spectacle, seen in several parts of Indonesia, and on the Cocos, a South Pacific island group. These areas fell directly in line with the alignment of the moon and sun. People cheered and banged on drums as the...

Dia’s Story

Dia, an 80-year-old labourer of Indian origin, lives in the corner of a cotton field in the western province of Kanchanaburi, Thailand. His rundown shack contains very little besides a military medal and a few clothes. The medal is a remnant of Dia's eventful, if tragic, past.It is a past that has included a stint at Myanmar (then Burma),...

When was the First Circumnavigation by Air?

A canard wing plane the 'Voyager' flown by Richard Rutan and Jeana Yeager
Ever since Colombus set sail to see if the world was flat or round, intrepid explorers have vied with each other to go around the earth. The world has been circumnavigated by sea by Marco Polo and people have walked across continents from end to end. But until 1924 no one had tried to circumnavigate the world by air...

Do Bananas Grow on Trees?

A banana plant
You think bananas grow on trees? Wrong. They don't, because the banana tree is actually a plant. It is probably the largest plant in the world.To know more, look at the banana trunk. Is it wood? No. There are layers of skin placed in circles. These layers are actually the lower ends of banana leaves. In other words, the...

Can Plants be Parasites?

Rafflesia keithii is a parasitic flowering plant.
All living things are dependent either on other animals or plants for their food. Animals must constantly go in search of food. But plants remain fixed at one place. Some plants make their own food by using energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide from the air and water from the soil to make sugar.Green leaves of the plants...

Why do Earthquakes Occur?

As a result of upheavals below its surface, the earth shakes now and then. This shaking of the earth is known as an earthquake.Few natural events are as violently destructive as an earthquake. It usually strikes without warning, giving off violent vibrations in the process. These vibrations not only shake the ground but also sometimes crack it open. And...

The Truth About Bats

Bats are among the world’s least appreciated and most endangered animals, thanks to centuries of myth and superstition. Contrary to common misconceptions, bats are not blind, they are not rodents and they won’t get tangled in your hair. The truth is that bats are mong the most gentle and beneficial animals on earth.A bat is a winged mammal with...

Finding a Match for an Elephant

Where: Rome, ItalyJuly 1, 2000 : Calimero, a twenty-year-old African elephant, who has been pining for his lost love, may soon find a new love. But romance may not come easy for this lovelorn jumbo because he will have to travel across the Alps in order to find his dream girl.Calimero was brought to the Rome Zoo when...

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