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A Day in the Life of a Magician

Excerpts from 'A Day in the Life of a Magician'. First published by Vigyan Prasar, India Years ago I gave up hanging up a stocking on Christmas Eve. One reason is that I have no stockings to hang, because I almost always wear trousers, and even when I wear shorts I wear socks with them so as to make...

Mending Fences

August 19: South Africa is all set to sign an important agreement with its two neighbours - Zimbabwe and Mozambique. If all goes well, this agreement will help create the largest animal reserve or wildlife park in the world. The fences separating the national parks in the border region of each country will be removed and tourists and animals...

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rohihlahla Mandela, b. July 18, 1918, was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Trained as an attorney, he helped form the Youth League of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944. In 1961 he abandoned peaceful protest and became head of the ANC's new military wing. Sentenced to life imprisonment...

The Frog King

In a large marshy swamp in South Africa lived a colony of frogs - happy frogs. The marsh was surrounded by tall weeds, dirt and muck, which attracted lots of flies. Every moment was mealtime for the frogs. It was a happy life, all fun and play. Leapfrog was their favourite game. The younger frogs were dared to jump over...

How Many Kinds of Rhinos are There?

A modern day rhino or rhinoceros looks pretty much like its ancestor that existed on earth more than 30 million years ago. Its status as an animal "biggie" hasn't changed much either. The ancestors of the modern-day rhinoceros - the 4 feet tall Uintatherium and the 15 feet high Indricotherium - were the largest land mammals ever. Today's rhino is...

Glimpses from Gandhi’s Life

Stories From Bapu's Life Written by Uma Shankar Joshi Illustrations by Mickey Patel Published by National Book Trust, New Delhi Gandhiji’s intellectual influence on Indians has been considerable. Some were attracted by his emphasis on political and economic decentralisation, others by his insistence on individual freedom, moral integrity, unity of means and ends, and social service; still others by his satyagraha and political...

The Telegraph

In 1833 John Herschel, a British astronomer, went to South Africa to study the southern skies. He took with him a powerful telescope and many other instruments. He wanted to make charts and maps of the sky which people in the northern half of the world never saw. John Herschel planned to stay at the Cape of Good Hope...

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Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. goes down in history as one of the principal leader of the civil rights movement in the United States and...

Go For It, Bablu!

It happened on the day school started after a heavenly two months of summer holidays. Shankar refused to wake up at 6 am. He...

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...

Aristotle can’t remain Ignorant!

The Greeks were a passionately curious lot. When Alexander the Great set off in 334 BC on the famous expedition that took him over...

Global Warming: Melting kingdom of the Polar Bear

Through the long and dark Arctic winter, the mother Polar Bear sat quietly in her den. She had given birth to her cubs, and...