Instruments

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Who Invented The Pen?

Who Invented The Pen?

The history of writing instruments with which humans have recorded and conveyed thoughts, feelings and grocery lists, is the history of civilisation itself. This is how we know about our ancestors and their lives. The handy sharpened-stone, used for skinning and killing animals was adapted into the first writing instrument. Around 24,000 BC, the cave man started drawing pictures with the stone onto the walls of his cave dwelling. His drawings showed events in daily life such as the planting of crops or hunting victories....

What does SOS mean?

What does SOS mean?

Recently, sailors on the nuclear submarine that sank in the Baltic Sea were isolated from rescue workers as their radio set got damaged. Luckily their radio operators knew the Morse code and were able to communicate by knocking on the sides of the ship. There are many explanations for what the words stand for: Save Our Souls; Save Our Ship; Send Our Succour… The meaning of all three is the same – it is a plea for help by someone in distress....

Instrument with a Human Tone

Instrument with a Human Tone

A family of musicians in the city of Mysore, in Karnataka, has a unique family heirloom — a beautiful 300-year-old veena. The veena is India’s most ancient Indian stringed instrument. Instrument with a Human Tone [Illustration by Shiju George] The veena is a poly chord instrument, that is, it is made of several strings. Each string produces a certain tone, which other strings cannot duplicate. Melody is produced when the strings are plucked....

Let's Tango

Let's Tango

If you are interested in making music, why not start by making a music instrument from things easily available at home? The things you need: An empty toothpaste pack Three rubber bands A sheet of coloured paper Glue A blade or paper cutter Let’s Tango [Illustrations by Anup Singh] Step 1: Cover the entire pack with a coloured paper. Use glue to stick the paper. Step 2: Draw a rectangle of 1 inch x 2 inches on the upper side of the pack....

Signals of the Past

Signals of the Past

You want to send a message to someone. Immediately. No problem. You just pick up a land phone or a mobile phone, or send an email. The telegram is still there but many of us have forgotten about it. Now travel back in time to France, 206 years ago, when there was none of your latest technology. Not even the telegraph. But people still felt the need to send long distance messages. Signals of the Past [] It was then that a Frenchman called Chappe invented a code for the alphabet....

Making Music

Making Music

This happened a long time ago. Hemavati sat in her kitchen after a meal. There was nothing much to do, and Hemavati was bored. So she picked up the thaali or plate in which she had eaten earlier and struck it with a ladle. Taaaaang, traaaaaang, traaaaang… it went. Funny sound, she thought. But then, she liked it too. It was better than many other sounds. For instance, it was better than the snoring sounds her husband made when he slept....

Water-Ice on the Moon?

Where: Bangalore, India January 29, 2009 : The possibility of water-ice existing on the polar regions of the moon is one of the questions that scientists aim to discuss at a meeting to mark the first hundred days of Chandrayaan-I. The scientists include representatives from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA). Chandrayaan-I has so far captured the first-ever images of the dark side of the moon, detected the presence of iron and received X-ray signals from its cratered surface....

Shake a Shaker

Shake a Shaker

Do you want to belt out a song, but need an instrument that will keep the rhythm and add to the effect? Why don’t you try making a ‘shaker’ that will do the trick? Just remember, you will be making a valuable addition to the range of percussion instruments that are used for their rhythm and the texture of their sound – like the maraca (a rattle like instrument in the shape of a gourd, that contains dried seeds, pebbles or lead shots)....

Atlantis on 'Space Surgery' Mission for Hubble Telescope

Where: Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA May 11, 2009 : The Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off on a two day space journey to the Hubble Space Telescope. Seven astronauts were on board to service and repair the telescope. The Hubble Telescope is a space research tool that was put into orbit outside the earth’s atmosphere in 1990. It is one of the largest space telescopes in existence. Hubble is a cooperative project between USA’s NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and the European Space Agency....

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