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Rama Kumaraswamy Thoopal

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Squirrelling it Away

Chimpu and his grandfather had gone to the park for an evening walk. After Chimpu had played with his friends for over an hour, he came back sweating and tired, to sit beside his grandfather at the park bench. There he found his grandfather throwing peanuts, brought from home, to the scampering squirrels at his feet. In fact, bushy-tailed squirrels...

Can You Speak Dolphin Language?

Mastering a language is not an easy task. Different countries have different languages, and each language in turn has different dialects. For instance, the Hindi usage, in Uttar Pradesh, is drastically different from the Hindi spoken by the Koli fisherfolk of Maharashtra. In fact, in smaller towns, there is a subtle shift in the spoken language, every few kilometers! Recent...

A Train of Villages on the Net

Most people have fond memories of train journeys, though some have unpleasant ones of being left behind at a station, while they waited for a steaming cup of tea or coffee. Many film directors, too, have been fond of shooting action-packed or emotional scenes at railway stations. The famous action scene at the end of the Hollywood Western 'High...

The Plastic Menace

Heavy rains lashed Mumbai city a few months ago, the worst rains in decades. The downpour literally brought the city to a standstill. And all because of discarded plastic bags. Plastic bags or polythene bags are essentially made of petro-chemicals. These bags are very thin and in a strong wind can fly away from garbage bins and land on drains...

‘Panda Seeks Mama Dog’

August 19: How does the idea of taking your pet dog for a visit to the zoo strike you? Well, dogs in Beijing, China, got to do just that. They were taken to meet their distant cousins in the city's zoo -- all for a cause. The Beijing zoo recently gave a red carpet welcome to pet lovers who...

Holi – The Colours of Spring

Quick, think of spring and what comes to mind? The festival of Holi, of course!! Think of Holi and what springs to mind? 'Gulal' or dry colours in bright shades, 'pichkaris' or water pistols, and buckets of water to drench people, right? For, winter has finally come to an end, and the friendly mischief of spring is in the...

Cigarette Packs that Talk

Cigarette smoking is injurious to health - everyone knows that. Well, till a few decades ago, people were unaware that smoking could cause lung and heart diseases and cigarette packs never had a warning on them, like they do now. In recent years, research has shown that smoking is dangerous and it has now been made compulsory for all cigarette...

The Green Magician

July 1: Many children, all over the world, are working to protect the environment. While some are involved with school groups, others are busy spreading awareness in their neighbourhood. Fifteen-year-old Kruti Parekh is a bit different for she uses some rather fantastic methods in campaigning for the environment. This nature-loving teenager uses magic to promote environmental causes! Kruti also...

The Truth about Eels

Where: Florida, USA October 16, 2000: The recent emergence of a large number of unfamiliar eels in the waters off the coast of Florida in South-east America, is causing worry to local ecologists there. They fear that the new arrivals, eels of Asian origin, will disturb the food chain of the region with their voracious appetites. What exactly are eels ?...

India’s first Underwater World

June 24: If you have ever visited an aquariam you would have noticed that the fish look plain bored. Their homes are not very exciting. Nor are the visitors terribly charged up. True, some aquariums are fairly well maintained, but the fact remains that they rarely attract hordes of visitors. The government of Maharashtra has suddenly woken up to the...

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An Organism that is visible from Space

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The next time someone calls you an ape or a bird brain, ask her to think again. Brain scans of animals have revealed similar...

The Scent of an Enemy

It seems the fish were always a smart lot. Only, humans took some time to realise the fact. Some years ago, scientists had discovered...