B Sumangal

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All features, stories and articles authored by: B Sumangal


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How Do Fish Survive in Icy Waters?

How Do Fish Survive in Icy Waters?

In cold winter months, lakes and rivers freeze over forming ice. Yet, fish and other aquatic animals manage to survive. Animals like seals, penguins, walruses and a wide variety of sea birds are all fish eaters. They live in the Arctic and Antarctic Circle, amidst the icecaps. The land is completely frozen. Yet these animals manage to live in this region. How do they do it? The icy waters of the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans support a great amount of marine life....

What is Thanksgiving?

What is Thanksgiving?

Celebrated on the fourth Thursday on November, this American festival is an acknowledgement of gratitude for a plentiful harvest. Nearly all cultures celebrate this festival. For instance south Indians celebrate it as Pongal in the month of January, while the north Indians celebrate it as Holi in the month of March. The American act of thanksgiving began during the early pioneer days almost four hundred years ago. In 1620, one hundred people sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to land at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in America....

Why is Halloween Celebrated?

Why is Halloween Celebrated?

“Trick or Treat!” shout little witches, paper-bagged goblins, rubber-masked imps and bed-sheeted ghosts as they extend a bag across for candy. It is October and it’s Halloween time! Halloween is celebrated on the evening of October 31st, which is the evening before the Christian feast of All Saint’s Day. Halloween’s history goes back to the ancient religion of the Celtic tribes (circa 500 B.C.) from whom came the Britons, Scots and the Irish. Present day Britains, Scots, Welsh and Irish are all descendants from these ancient Celtic tribes....

Why do Plants Lean Toward Sunlight?

Why do Plants Lean Toward Sunlight?

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 English naturalist Charles Darwin. He demonstrated that the growing shoot of a grass seedling always bends towards light....

What Happens After an Earthquake?

What Happens After an Earthquake?

People often wonder whether an earthquake can drastically change the topography of a region. A few tremors and some buildings that collapse does not mean that the shape of the earth has changed, does it? However, earthquakes can and do change the topography of the region. An earthquake raised Rhodes island. The line of erosion (on the rock to the left) shows the sea level before the earthquake. The rise is uneven in different parts of the island, usually several meters....

How did Christianity Come to India?

How did Christianity Come to India?

Would you doubt my word if I say that Doubting Thomas, one of the Apostles of Christ visited India and established Christianity? Don’t. For its true. Among Christ’s 12 apostles, Thomas Didaemus or Doubting Thomas, along with Peter and Paul were pre-eminent. Thomas Didaemus was called Doubting Thomas because he doubted Christ’s word that on the third day after his crucifixion, Christ would rise again. There are many schools of thought as to how Christianity spread in India....

Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Jacques-Yves Cousteau

If there is one person who single-handedly fascinated millions of landlocked viewers to venture underwater into the unknown, through television, it is the Frenchman Jacques Cousteau. Jacques-Yves Cousteau was born on June 11, 1910, in the town of St.-Andre-de-Cubzac near Bordeaux, in France, to Daniel and Elizabeth Cousteau. As a child, Jacques was quite sickly but he nonetheless learned to swim at the age of four. His initial dip led to his everlasting love for the sea....

How Does the Steam Engine Work?

How Does the Steam Engine Work?

In 1804 the first steam-powered engine ran, carrying some iron in Wales, in Britain. But it was almost twenty five years later, in 1829, that George Stephenson, a British engineer, designed the “rocket” that paved the way for railways all over Europe, Asia and America. How Does the Steam Engine Work? [Illustration by Shiju George] The steam engine is an example of a heat engine. Heat engines are those that convert heat energy into mechanical work....

Why is a Hippopotamus called a River Horse?

Why is a Hippopotamus called a River Horse?

Among Africa’s unusual creatures is a barrel-shaped gigantic animal, the hippopotamus (plural hippopotami). The hippo is the third largest land animal after the elephant and the rhino. Slightly smaller but heavier than a white rhino, a hippo can weigh nearly 1,800 kg. The animal is huge and barrel shaped nearly 12 feet long and five feet at its shoulder, with a short thick neck and small ears. River Horses [Illustration by Anup Singh] Hippos, or to use their biological name, hippopotamus amphibious literally means ‘river horse’....

Where did Jazz Originate?

Where did Jazz Originate?

One has just to blow a note on a sax and your feet start tapping to the rhythm and your body starts swaying to the music. That’s Jazz for you. Ragtime, hip-hop, be bop, cool, blues – the very names make your finger snap and do a Texas two-step, no? Jazz has often been called the only art form to originate in the United States, though even this is not exactly true. Jazz, is a kind of music that was sung or played by the African slaves in the plantations of America....

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