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What is Thanksgiving?

What is Thanksgiving?

Celebrated on the fourth Thursday on November, this American festival is an acknowledgement of gratitude for a plentiful harvest. Nearly all cultures celebrate this festival. For instance south Indians celebrate it as Pongal in the month of January, while the north Indians celebrate it as Holi in the month of March. The American act of thanksgiving began during the early pioneer days almost four hundred years ago. In 1620, one hundred people sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to land at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in America....

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart was one of the world’s most celebrated aviators. She broke records and charted new skies in the course of her short life. She disappeared while she was on a flight around the world. Earhart was born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas. She was the elder of Edwin Stanton and Amy Otis Earhart’s two daughters. Childhood was not happy for the two bright sisters. Their father was an alcoholic and lost jobs often....

Where did Jazz Originate?

Where did Jazz Originate?

One has just to blow a note on a sax and your feet start tapping to the rhythm and your body starts swaying to the music. That’s Jazz for you. Ragtime, hip-hop, be bop, cool, blues – the very names make your finger snap and do a Texas two-step, no? Jazz has often been called the only art form to originate in the United States, though even this is not exactly true. Jazz, is a kind of music that was sung or played by the African slaves in the plantations of America....

The Mysterious Case of the Neem Tree

The Mysterious Case of the Neem Tree

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 insects that attack grains or people, like mosquitoes. It is very interesting that the neem’s botanical name, Azadirachta indica, has come from a Persian description of the tree....

The End of Living – The Beginning of Survival

The End of Living – The Beginning of Survival

The End of Living – The Beginning of Survival In 1854, the government of United States made an offer for a large area of Indian land and promised a ‘reservation’ for the Indian people. Chief Seattle’s reply is a most beautiful and profound statement on environment… How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?...

Why do Beavers Build Dams?

Why do Beavers Build Dams?

Picture a giant rat with a flat tail and webbed feet. That’s what the beaver looks like. There are two kinds of beavers: the American and the European. The European beaver, found in Norway, Poland, Germany and France, lives in burrows. But the American beaver builds a dam across a stream or lake to construct his home or lodge. The lodges are made of huge logs of trees. Why do Beavers Build Dams? [Illustration by Sudheer Nath] The American beaver constructs solid dams and lodges because it has the mind of an expert engineer among all the creatures in the animal kingdom....

The Hows and Whys of Bubble Gum

The Hows and Whys of Bubble Gum

Chew this question: What is small and pink, tastes sweet, can be chewed for hours without it dissolving, yet is not to be swallowed? Some doctors feel that it helps to relieve stress. Others think it is good for the teeth. Americans are constantly rolling it about in their mouth and the US army gives it as part of field rations. No guesses for the correct answer. Yes, it is chewing gum or bubble gum as it is often called because you can blow large bubbles that go ‘pop’!...

Winter Festivals around the World

Winter Festivals around the World

In two weeks it will be the winter solstice (literally means sun standing still) when we have the shortest day and the longest night. Because of the earth’s rotation there are two solstices, one in June and one in December. To us in the Northern Hemisphere who live above the equator, the winter solstice occurs either on the 20th, 21st or 22nd of December. To those who live below the equator in the Southern Hemisphere, the sun is directly above the Tropic of Capricorn and it is summer time in Brazil and Australia....

Roach Sense

Roach Sense

Have you ever caught a glimpse of a cockroach scurrying across your kitchen floor? Well, by the time you manage to get your hands on a roach repellent, the cockroach would have disappeared. Not surprising really, considering you are dealing with one of the greatest escape artists in the insect kingdom. Yes, cockroaches or roaches for short, are adept at wriggling out of tight spots. Whether it is a frog lurking behind a bush, or a descending broom, these creatures have an uncanny ability to scent danger....

Who is the real McCoy?

Ever heard the expression, is that the “real McCoy?” No, its not the musical group we are talking about. Real McCoy is actually a reference to one of America’s most prolific inventors, Elijah McCoy. McCoy invented and patented all kinds of mechanical things to help them work smoothly, efficiently and safely. Over time, the expression “real McCoy” has been used for anything that means the real thing, the real solution. Elijah McCoy Elijah McCoy was born in 1843 at Colchester, in Ontario, Canada to George and Mildred McCoy....

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