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King of Fruits – History of Mango!

Mango, in its original wild form, came from the forest of Assam in north-east India and Myanmar
It is a tree that is green at all times of the year. But it bears fruit in the height of summer. The hotter it is, the sweeter it becomes. And, it seems we humans cannot have enough of this juicy, fleshy fruit, for there are almost 1000 varieties of this king of fruits around the world to please...

The Mysterious Case of the Neem Tree

Medicinal pills made of neem
For thousands of years, the neem tree has been a familiar friend to the people of India. A native of India and Burma, every part of this tree, from its root to bark, leaves and seed, has been used for medicinal purposes. It has been used to cure illnesses. It has also been used for preventing infection, or repelling...

Chimp Traits

A contemplative bonobo?
Do you think chimps are chumps? If the answer is yes, then you are in for a surprise - because chimps or chimpanzees are actually very, very intelligent. Chimpanzees are the most intelligent of the ape family. It was known that chimpanzees use tools intelligently to obtain food. They use rocks to crack open nuts or use sticks to...

How did the Modern Horse Originate?

Przhevalsky horses -- named after the Russian geographer and explorer Nikolai Przhevalsky.
Many millions of years ago a fox-like animal roamed across the plains of what is now the American continent. At that time the continents were not even divided as they are today.This animal had four soft toes on its feet like a cat or dog. This animal came to be called the 'eohippus' by modern day scientists who discovered...

Is Bamboo a Grass!

Is bamboo a grass?
If you look at a blade of grass and a bamboo tree they remind you of a mouse and an elephant. But unlike those animals, the grass and the bamboo belong to the same family. They are brothers! The bamboo is the largest member of the grass family.It grows in Asia, South America and Africa. It has about 500...

Aruna Roy – Voice of the People

July 31: She was once an officer of the Indian Administrative Service or the IAS as it is popularly known. What is equally well known is that most IAS officers are as remote from the people as possible. Today, she has won the Magsaysay Award for public service for daring to question this attitude.She looks like a village woman...

The Magical Rainforest

A river runs through a beautiful rainforest
Imagine a forest where the trees touch the sky. Due to enough rainfall, the trees grow huge and spread wide. Their tallest branches are so thick-leafed that they create a thick curtain. Even the wind does not find enough space to blow as it pleases. All there is in that forest is stillness. And it is very warm. The...

Boys’ cancer unites warring people

August 5: Thirteen-year-old Kemal Saracoglu does not have much longer to live. He suffers from leukaemia or what is commonly known as blood cancer, usually a fatal disease. There had been a brief moment of hope when it was thought that his life could be lengthened, if not saved. That moment passed as the British doctors looking after Kemal...

Assam’s Boys Shine in Asian Cricket

July 22: Two young boys have done the impossible in Assam. They have pushed politicians and the continuing violence, out of the media spotlight. Both boys are stars of the Indian under-15 cricket team.One of them, Palash Jyot Das, is the son of a bank employee. The other, Mrigen Talukdar comes from a poor family. There's nothing remarkable about...

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...

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