Patterns

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Batik: Ancient Art of Painting in Wax

Batik: Ancient Art of Painting in Wax

A routine college day. We had to go for textile practicals after lunch. Going for any class post lunch was a pain. All we wanted to do was sleep. But, that remained a dream since we were always packed with classes after lunch. Lazily, I dragged myself to the textile laboratory. “Today we are going to learn the technique of batik but first let me brief you about it,” said the teacher. I was already bored....

The Girl who Taught the World to Weave

The Girl who Taught the World to Weave

This is a story of the time when humans first walked the earth. And in those days they did not wear clothes, for they did not know how to weave cloth. One day, the god Matai decided to teach the art of weaving to one person. The god taught a girl called Hambrumai. And what were the designs the girl wove? She sat by the river side and saw the ripples and circles made by water....

The Fish Which Changes From Female to Male

The Fish Which Changes From Female to Male

There is a fish called the blackspot angelfish, which can change from female to male. No, it cannot do it by simply wishing to become male. The change happens for a specific reason. The angel fish live in groups. And each group has one male fish, which is blue in colour, and four female fish, which are yellow in colour. The male angelfish is the strongest and largest member of the group. He is the one who protects and looks after the females and acts like their ‘security guard’....

Basket-making in India

Weaving of baskets in India is an art as ancient as the making of pottery. Even the nomadic food gathering cultures wove reeds together to prepare baskets. Later, different materials and cultures developed a variety of basketry for domestic use, as well as for ritual purposes. They developed special patterns based on local traditions and techniques. Baskets as we know them are made out of twigs, bamboo, cane and the wild monsoon grass, and are covered with golden grass or the golden outer skin of the rice plant....

Why are Zebras Striped?

Why are Zebras Striped?

As a child I was always full of questions. I remember asking my parents why zebras were striped or why did giraffes have such a long neck. Most of the time the answers were elusive and I used to be very irritated. I could never get the right answer to satisfy my curiosity. I now realize why my parents could not give me a concrete answer. You see I happened to be in the same dilemma when my three-year-old daughter asked me the same question!...

Tree Rings tell many Tales

Tree Rings tell many Tales

Examining ancient trees helps scientists get an amazing picture of Earth’s life, for trees are a record of their life time. By looking closely at the rings of a tree, scientists can not only tell how old it is; they can also tell you that in one summer in 1453 and again in 1601, there were freak cold spells. Tree rings, when radiocarbon-dated give a glimpse of certain aspects of prehistoric times. But what is radiocarbon dating?...

Can Two People have Identical Fingerprints?

Can Two People have Identical Fingerprints?

I was once watching a detective serial on T.V. where the fingerprints of the suspect are required. The hero invites the villain to his home and offers him a glass of water. The bad guy takes the glass and drinks the water from it. After he leaves the hero dramatically whips out a handkerchief and picks up the glass. His expressions showed that satisfaction at a job well done. At that time, I found it amazing – how can smudges on a glass identify people?...

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....

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....

Kolam – a South Indian style of painting

Kolam – a South Indian style of painting

Kolam is a South Indian style of painting that is drawn by using rice powder/chalk/chalk powder. While it is popular in many parts of Asia it is generally associated with Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and most parts of Kerala. Step by step guideline for creating a Kolam: Step 1 Prepare a grid of the required dimensions. Most Kolams are made with simple geometric shapes and are generally symmetrical. Then it becomes easy to follow the pattern....

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