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Vast Coral Reef in South-East Asia May Disappear by End of Century, Warns WWF Report

Where: Manado, Indonesia May 14, 2009 : The World Ocean's Conference, a two-day meeting of ministers and officials from more than 80 countries was held in Manado, Indonesia. Rising sea levels, warming waters and increased acidity caused by global warming were some of the major issues discussed here. A World Wildlife Fund report released to coincide with the conference reveals...

A Glider at the Railway Station

Where: Sarnath, India December 11, 2008 : Passengers at the Sarnath Railway Station noticed that a paper box, left abandoned near a railway track, was behaving a little oddly. They alerted the railway authorities, who found that the box carried the inscription, "It is a rare animal, please send it to the zoo". It was a Flying Lemur, a...

Badminton champs in the spotlight

Hyderabad Hurricane – Saina Nehwal No, this is not a spelling mistake. We are not writing about Sania Mirza and her achievements in tennis. In this piece we are writing about the latest sensation on the badminton courts, Saina Nehwal. In 2006, Saina became the first Indian woman to win a badminton tournament with a four-star rating. Ranked 86 in...

Chess for Children: A Smart Move

When we think of chess we think of two adults sitting opposite each other, thinking of ways and means to outsmart the other. Many people feel it is a very difficult game. But do you know that most chess players and champions start very young? Viswanathan Anand, number two in the world, played his first chess game at the age...

Francoise’s Dolls

"I did not see the face of my child: I passed into unconsciousness after her birth. My neighbours told me she was beautiful. My mother and the nurse buried her alive. I did not even hear her cry." A doll depicts a girl child and the words alongside it, movingly tells the tale of a new mother's anguish at the...

The Misfortunes of Kera..la

December 9: What are the images that come to mind when one hears the name - Kerala? Beaches, backwaters and… coconut trees. Rows and rows of coconut (kera) trees swaying in the breeze along the coastline, a picture perfect sight in this coastal state in South India. But this image might be in danger of disappearing. A very poor demand...

Where did the Yo-Yo Originate?

Yo! Man! Know where the yo-yo comes from? No, I am not asking you to name the local toy store. Sorry, let me rephrase it. Gimme its history, guys. You thought the yo-yo was created by Donald Duncan, huh? Forget it! The yo-yo is nearly a millennium old! So, it wasn't called the yo-yo then. But for want of a...

Creating News to Cover News

August 12: Throughout the world, the media's hold on the minds of people is increasing day by day. We are often asked not to believe everything we see on television or read in the newspaper. But so compelling are the words and pictures that these media use, that it's hard not to. The media has become so powerful that they...

The Slum Hero

August 5: Last week, we had written about social worker Aruna Roy who has been tirelessly working to promote the rights of villagers in Rajasthan. And for her work, she has been awarded the Magsaysay Award for the year 2000. Keeping her company is 53-year-old Arputham Jockin. Arputham has only one objective in his life -- to ensure the rights...

The Deadly King Cobra

Belonging to the family Elapidae, the name Cobra is popularly applied to African and Asian snakes that are capable of spreading long ribs in their necks into a hood when threatened. There are six species of cobras: the Naja, the south African ringhal (Hemachatus), king cobra (Ophiophagus), water cobra (Boulengerina), tree cobra (Pseudohaje), and shield-nose cobra (Aspidelaps). The king cobra...

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A Friend in Need

It happened not very long ago. But when you're a snail, days move at snail's pace, too. So, if you were to ask our...

Where Did Numerals Originate?

We deal with numbers all the time. Not just while doing math lessons at school, but also while counting money at the shop, memorising...

The Butterfly in a Bottle

Poltu was wide awake in his bed. He had had a marvellous dream in which he had won the football match in the inter-school...

Why can’t the Sun melt Snow?

There are some things in nature that have a great capacity to toss back or reflect a great deal of the sun’s light that...

Schoolboy’s Diary – 4000 years ago

When I was in the fourth standard, I got my first real diary as a present from a cousin. It made me feel very...