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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. The steam engine is an example of a heat engine. Heat engines are those that...

The Tiger and the Dried Persimmons

There was once a small and sleepy village, surrounded by mountains on all sides. A tiger lived on the mountain behind the village. Whenever he climbed to the top of the mountain and roared, the people in the village trembled with fright. On a winter night, when all the world seemed to be covered with snow, the tiger climbed down. He...

Can Plants be Parasites?

All living things are dependent either on other animals or plants for their food. Animals must constantly go in search of food. But plants remain fixed at one place. Some plants make their own food by using energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide from the air and water from the soil to make sugar. Green leaves of the plants...

Why is the Mediterranean Sea Blue?

We know that about seventy one per cent of the earth's surface is covered with water. The earth's three main Oceans are the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean is a great mass of water that separates Europe and Africa from America. It is shaped like a great hour-glass-with a 'waist' where Africa and South America...

A Lucky Hunter

There was once a hunter who, on the seventh birthday of his son, decided to go hunting to get something nice for the feast. But as he reached for the gun on the wall, it slipped from the pegs, hit the stone mortar below and alas, its barrel was bent like the letter L. "Father, that's a bad sign," cried...

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 ?...

Kolam – a South Indian style of painting

Kolam is a South Indian style of painting that is drawn by using rice powder/chalk/chalk powder. While it is popular in many parts of Asia it is generally associated with Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and most parts of Kerala. Step by step guideline for creating a Kolam: Step 1 Prepare a grid of the required dimensions. Most Kolams are made with simple...

The Wheel

The wheel is perhaps man’s greatest invention. Simple as it seems, it is the very basis of movement. The cart, the cycle, the motor-car and the railway train move on wheels. Even aircraft which fly thousands of kilometres through the air need wheels for taking-off and landing. It is not only for transport that the wheel is vital. Machines...

Bruce Lee

The Chinese American actor Bruce Lee, was born in San Francisco on November 27, 1940. Born a sickly child, he was named Li Jun Fan a female name by his mother to ward off evil spirits. His dad an Hong Kong opera singer returned back to Hong Kong along with his family in 1941. As a kid martial arts and...

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How does a Submarine Work?

Jules Verne in his science fiction, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, mentions a ship, Nautilus, which could dive beneath the waves and...

Summer music of the trees

I always used to think that the drive across a four kilometre stretch from my house to the main road was a pain. Actually,...

Seasons

Seasons not only tell us the time of the year in different landscapes, they are intimately connected to human emotions and experiences as well....

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...

Batik: Ancient Art of Painting in Wax

A routine college day. We had to go for textile practicals after lunch. Going for any class post lunch was a pain. All we...