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Brishti Bandyopadhyay

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The Final Descent

March 26: After 15 years in the skies, the Russian-made Mir space station finally returned to earth on March 22. Its burning remnants could be seen as they shot across the sky over the Fiji islands.Mir means both 'peace' and 'village' in Russian. It housed 104 astronauts in its lifetime, 62 of whom were from other countries, including seven...

Building a Giant Lie

February 5: The earthquake that struck Gujarat, one of India's most prosperous states, will go down as among the worst since India gained independence. Both in terms of the numbers of people killed (about 50,000 are feared dead) and the scale of destruction wrought, it has few contemporary parallels.The images of prosperity in cities such as Ahmedabad have been...

Girl Power in Gaul!

March 27: Over 40 years ago, Belgian artist Alberto Uderzo and French scriptwriter Rene Goscinny, created a new comic series. It was all about the 'mis'adventures of a diminutive warrior Asterix, his giant of a friend Obelisk, and their dog, Dogmatix as they battle the invading armies of the Romans in Gaul, as ancient France was known.Uderzo and Goscinny...

What an Enigma!

December 9: It has been 55 long years since the second World War ended but several relics from that period still attract curiousity. The Enigma Code Machine, for instance. While the police have been chasing wild geese trying to find the Enigma, one fine day it just landed up on their doorstep, but without three vital parts that ran...

Welcome Rains?

April 21: A few days ago, Delhi residents were pleasantly surprised when the sweltering April sky suddenly darkened with clouds and it began to rain heavily. A freak shower, they thought, since it hardly ever rains in Delhi in April.But, surprise, surprise... the rains occurred the next day, too. And the day after. The unseasonal showers have transformed the...

No Singlish, we’re Singaporeans

April 21: That person is very havoc, always out late every night. If you ever hear one Singaporean telling another that, don't rush to correct them. The two are merely having a chat about the nocturnal habits of someone else, in Singlish, the unofficial lingo of Singaporeans.A mixture of English, Malay, Chinese and local slang, Singlish is English with...

The Boy Who writes with His Feet

March 7: Sujit Dawn of Sehera Bazar town in Burdwan district, West Bengal, is taking the madhyamik (middle-level) or Class X Board Examinations this year. If he passes, he goes on to senior school.But there is something about Sujit that makes him different from the other boys taking the exams. He is writing the exams with his feet.Sujit is...

Ancient Library in the Desert

February 16: Ever heard of Chinguetti, a city nestling deep in the Sahara desert close to the North African country of Mauritania? No? Well, neither did most of the world, till it was discovered that this desert city that is slowly sinking in sand, could be home to the world's oldest "living" libraries. That is to say a library...

Slices of Italy

April 12: So, you love digging your teeth into a cheesy pizza made with home-made sauce from fresh tomatoes and herbs. Then you would have loved to attended the 10th World Pizza Championship! At the championship this year, judges had their fill of tasting pizza of various types including classic pizza, pizza in a baking tray, fastest pizza, and...

Child’s Play!!

February 26: A new game for children is being touted as the next big thing in America. Called Flip-Itz, the game is a colourful collection of three-legged toys with wacky human, animal and alien faces that propel through the air once their owners press down on them. Really so simple.And earlier this month, 11-year-old Justin Lewis and 12-year-old Matthew...

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