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Is Tomato a Vegetable or a Fruit?

Is Tomato a Vegetable or a Fruit?

We think the tomato is a vegetable, but it is actually a fruit. Because it is not sweet and is used for providing flavour to food, we think of it as a vegetable. The tomato is originally from Mexico. The word “tomato” comes from the Spanish tomate, which in turn comes from the Nahuatl word tomatotl. Spanish explorers who went to South America about 500 years ago, brought back the tomato to Europe. The French called them love apples, while the British called them apples of gold....

The Hottest way to Catch Crooks

The Hottest way to Catch Crooks

All of us know how crooks are caught. We have seen it in film after film: the police inspector matches the fingerprints on the scene of the crime with the suspect’s fingerprints. And the culprit goes to prison. Fingerprinting has remained one of the best ways to catch a person with a criminal record. The technique was foolproof, for no two people have matching fingerprints — even identical twins. Unfortunately, things are not so simple any more....

How the Gorkhas Came to Dehradun

How the Gorkhas Came to Dehradun

Some time ago, Madhu Gurung wrote about her grandmother who was the best storyteller in the world. Once ‘Bajai’ as she was called, told a different kind of a story – a real story of how the Gorkha warriors of Nepal came to settle down in Dehradun. Among them was Bajai’s grandfather, the chieftain of a clan. Bajai told us that more than 200 years ago, when the British East India Company ruled parts of India, they attacked Nepal....

What is Mad Cow Disease?

What is Mad Cow Disease?

In 1996, doctors detected 10 cases of a rare and fatal human brain disease in Britain and they diagnosed that it was probably due to eating beef from animals with “mad cow disease”. Scientifically, this cow disease was termed bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE while the disease affecting humans was termed Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). The disease caused panic in Europe both among people eating beef and the farmers who were selling it. The European Union, which is the administrative body and includes all countries in Europe, responded immediately by banning imports of British beef....

Sitting in Rows is Better for Primary School Kids

Sitting in Rows is Better for Primary School Kids

October 21: Are you studying in primary school? How does your teacher make you sit – in rows or in groups? How would you like to sit? Does sitting in rows make you feel good or does it make you feel lonely? Do you feel that sitting in a group and discussing things makes you learn more and in an easier way? For those who were in primary school at any time, try to remember your classroom, the way the tables and chairs were arranged....

What an Enigma!

What an Enigma!

December 9: It has been 55 long years since the second World War ended but several relics from that period still attract curiousity. The Enigma Code Machine, for instance. While the police have been chasing wild geese trying to find the Enigma, one fine day it just landed up on their doorstep, but without three vital parts that ran the machine. The police claim to have arrested the thief now. The Enigma Code Machine became famous as the device the Nazis used to encrypt top-secret messages during the Second World War of 1939 – 1945....

The South Indian Sikh

The South Indian Sikh

October 21: Sardar Bhupinder Singh is 91 years old. He is also a bit of an oddity where he lives – in Kadakarapally, Kerala. He is the only one in his area to keep his hair long, wear a turban and visit the gurudwara or Sikh temple in nearby Kochi. Bhupinder Singh is one of the few living Malayalee Sikhs of his generation, in the south-western state of Kerala. He is known in the area as “Sikh chettan” that is, Sikh elder brother, says a recent report in The Hindustan Times....

Margaret Hilda Thatcher

Thatcher was born Margaret Hilda Roberts in Grantham. She married Denis Thatcher in 1951. Thatcher was elected to the House of Commons in 1959. After the Conservative defeat in 1974 she won leadership of the party the following year. In 1979 she led the Conservatives to victory, vowing to reverse Britain’s economic decline and to reduce the role of government. In 1982 Argentine forces occupied the Falkland Islands, which were claimed by both Argentina and the United Kingdom....

The Story-tellers

The Story-tellers

What could be a better way to get to know a country than through its folk-tales and stories? And if you love collecting stories anyway, as Madhu Gurung does, nothing could be more wonderful. Here, Madhu, presently based in Myanmar’s capital, Yangon, talks about the Myanmarese duo of mother and daughter who have enlivened her days by weaving tales even as they help her with her domestic chores. Madhu shares the magic of those story-telling sessions in the following anecdote:...

To Russia with Love?

To Russia with Love?

To Russia with Love? [Illustration by Shiju George] November 25: Meet Tinky-Vinky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po. They are the Russian version of characters in Teletubbies, the British television series for toddlers. The four made an eagerly awaited debut amidst great hype and hoopla in Moscow. Their audience – 3,500 enthusiastic children. The 365-episode series is not known as Teletubbies in Russia but by their Russian name Telepuziki or Telebellies. And they are going to be beamed into Russian homes by the state-run television, RTR, says an article in the ‘Indian Express’....

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