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Rhinoceros: On the Comeback Trail

Next to the tusk-bearing elephants, rhinos are the other large animals heavily targeted by poachers. Rhinos are poached for their horns and these are sold in the black market at astonishing prices. Since 1977, trade in rhino horn has been banned but poachers and smugglers still hunt and kill these gentle creatures to meet the demands of the rhino horn...

Bead Calculator

November 18: Quick! Tell me what you get when you divide the number 992.587318, by 5,647.723? Stumped? Need a calculator? Well, thirteen-year-old Hiroaki Tsuchiya of Japan arrived at the answer in no time at a mental mathematics tournament in Kyoto: the right answer - 0.17575000013279688115015555826658. And, he did it without a calculator, too! Hiroaki is adept at mental arithmetic multiplying,...

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),...

Tiger Target

October 16: A few months ago, the accidental death of a dozen Royal Bengal tigers, at an Orissa zoo, shocked the nation. The news made headlines and gradually got relegated to the inside pages of newspapers before vanishing altogether. Yes, public memory is notoriously short and people eventually forgot about the whole episode. Now, yet another tiger death has shaken...

A Sojourn in Venice

Venice is one of Italy's major seaports, and capital of the province of Venezia in northern Italy. It was the greatest seaport in late medieval Europe and Europe's commercial and cultural link with Asia. It is also one of the world's oldest tourist and cultural centres. Aditi De writes of her visit to this most romantic of cities. Venice...

Asia’s First Floating Museum

October 16: Wouldn't it be exciting to visit a war museum of vintage aircraft on a huge ship floating in the ocean ? And when the ship in question happens to be INS Vikrant, the experience promises to be truly memorable. INS Vikrant is India's first aircraft carrier and came into service in 1961. Once the hallmark of the Indian...

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Dear Vishrut and Anushrut, I forget the name of a short story by W.Somerset Maugham that I read long ago-perhaps you will read it some day. But I still remember the story and in particular one sentence from it. This is spoken by a chap, brought up strictly to tell right from wrong, who has to go out to the...

Paraceratherium was the biggest land mammal…

Paraceratherium was the biggest land mammal there has ever been. It lived about 35 million years ago in Asia and Europe and was 8m (26 ft) tall and 11 m (36 ft) long. It looked like a gigantic rhinoceros but had a long neck like a giraffe. Six people, walking side by side, could easily have passed underneath it.

Watery Facts

The Pacific Ocean is three times bigger than Asia, the biggest continent on Earth. It covers nearly one-third of the Earth's surface. Its widest part is about 1770 km or 11000 miles. That distance would take you halfway around the world. Ninety seven per cent of all the water on Earth is salty. Only 3 per cent is fresh water....

The Smart Polluters

Health officials in Canada are very busy these days. They are placing chickens at fixed points all along their border with the United States of America. That's an enormous distance of 2,500 km. It's not a practical joke, nor have the Canadians gone mad. They are using these chickens to see if the deadly West Nile virus is lurking around....

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Kindness to Animals

Little children, never give Pain to things that feel and live; Let the gentle robin come For the crumbs you save at home; As his meat you throw...

Lonely Kalu

Kalu was the only son of a farmer and his wife. "I wish I had a brother or a sister, to play with," he told...

Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi

Thinker, statesman and nationalist leader, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi not only led his own country to independence but also influenced political activists of many persuasions...

Himalayas Have a Deep Impact on the Climate of the World

Tibet is known as the roof of the world. That is because it is on a region which has the highest altitude in the...

The Exotic Peacock

Come monsoons, and we immediately think about the beautiful peacock, dancing in the rain, with its luscious tail spread out behind it. Undoubtedly one...