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Copyright © 2012-2013, All rights reserved Unless otherwise noted no part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopied, recorded or otherwise, without express written permission of, except for brief quotations or critical reviews.

At the time of this book’s publication all facts and figures cited are the most current available. The authors and make no warranties or guarantee concerning the information and materials given out and are provided to you on “as-is” basis only. If you find any error or believe that a resource listed here is not as described please contact Parents, teachers and other adults: We strongly encourage you to monitor children’s use of the internet.

Dear Parents and Teachers: Copies of NEWS AND FACTS FOR KIDS DECEMBER 2012 may be reproduced for home or classroom use only.

Authors: Chanda Agarwal, Shweta Sinha and Tara Agarwal Edited by This issue’s cover page uses image licensed from HAAP Media Ltd All other images reproduced under Creative Commons CC-BY license

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Contents 1 2012 1.1

7 December . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Why Do We Use Spacecrafts? (2012-12-01 01:29) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Why are the School Buses Yellow? (2012-12-01 01:31) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


No Internet or Phone for Syria (2012-12-02 04:41) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


A Sea Of Languages (2012-12-02 16:27) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Record ODI win for Bangladesh (2012-12-02 16:28) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Spot Jupiter in The Night Sky Today! (2012-12-02 16:30) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


North Korea plans a Rocket Launch (2012-12-03 16:37) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Dolphins or Robots? (2012-12-03 16:37) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Happy Holland (2012-12-03 16:39) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Birds of Paradise (2012-12-03 16:40) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Typhoon Bopha hits Philippines (2012-12-04 15:48) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Iran Catches US Drone (2012-12-04 15:49) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Wall That is Made in China (2012-12-04 15:50) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Why do We Have A Skull? (2012-12-04 15:50) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


What does a Capital City Mean? (2012-12-05 15:57) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Curiosity Will Get a Friend Now (2012-12-05 15:57) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Solar Plant in Africa (2012-12-05 15:58) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Google Keeping An Eye On Endangered Species (2012-12-07 01:45)

. . . . . . . . . . . . .


Shoes - Now and Then (2012-12-07 02:05) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Beautiful Cake (2012-12-07 03:05) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Alastair Cook creates History (2012-12-07 05:15) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Indian Olympic Association suspended by IOC (2012-12-07 15:17) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Powerful Earthquake hits Japan (2012-12-07 15:18) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


How Do We Know A Storm Is Coming? (2012-12-07 15:19) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Santa Claus is Coming to Town (2012-12-07 15:20) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

20 3


Five eclipses in 2013 (2012-12-09 01:55) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Our Earth at Night from Space (2012-12-09 01:57) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Mexico gets a New President (2012-12-09 15:24) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


A Tree On A Tray (2012-12-09 15:25) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Book Your Tickets for Moon (2012-12-09 15:25) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Happy Hanukkah (2012-12-10 16:31) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The French Revolution - Part I (2012-12-10 16:51) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Ancient Lake of Antartica (2012-12-10 16:53) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


South Africa, Vietnam Seal the Rhino Deal (2012-12-11 04:05) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Why Don’t Phones Work On An Airplane? (2012-12-11 17:26) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The French Revolution - Part II (2012-12-11 17:27) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Messi’s Record Breaking Goal (2012-12-11 17:45) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Why does the Sun Always have A Fever? (2012-12-12 16:50) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Earth had A Close Call (2012-12-12 16:50) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Mysterious Magical Tree (2012-12-12 17:30) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


North Korea Launches Rocket, upsets Neighbours (2012-12-12 17:54) . . . . . . . . . . . . .


How Old is The Cheese? (2012-12-13 16:31) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Never Published Fairy Tale Discovered (2012-12-13 16:33) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Amazon Trees To Beat Global Warming (2012-12-14 16:30) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Nile Like River Found on Titan (2012-12-15 17:28) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


When Mount Everest was not Everest? (2012-12-15 17:29) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


How Computers Took Over The World (2012-12-16 21:41) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Will the World End in 2012? (2012-12-16 21:45) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Japan all set for the Change of Guard (2012-12-16 21:46) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Japan votes for Shinzo Abe (2012-12-17 09:00) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Amazing Facts About Our Body (2012-12-17 23:05) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Santa’s Helpers (2012-12-17 23:09) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


England’s Historic Win in India (2012-12-17 23:12) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Did You Hear The Twitter? (2012-12-18 22:51) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Crash Landing On The Moon (2012-12-18 22:54) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Giant’s Causeway (2012-12-18 22:54) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Messi to play for Barcelona untill 2018 (2012-12-18 23:11) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Eklavya - The Brave Archer (2012-12-19 22:35) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Why Our Ears Are So Soft? (2012-12-19 22:35) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Ukraine Is Shivering (2012-12-19 22:36) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Pirates Attack Ship in Niger Delta (2012-12-19 23:01) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Grimm’s Fairy Tales Anniversary (2012-12-20 04:31) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Mrs President for South Korea (2012-12-20 21:49) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Brazil preparing for 2014 FIFA World Cup (2012-12-20 21:50) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Migratory Birds (2012-12-21 22:54) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Who was Srinivasa Ramanujan? (2012-12-21 22:54) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Snakes In The Closet (2012-12-23 07:44) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Ancient Lake of Antarctica drilling Postponed (2012-12-23 07:47) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Saving The Big Bad Wolf - I (2012-12-23 21:55) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Sachin Tendulkar retires from One Day Cricket (2012-12-24 09:31) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Floods in UK (2012-12-24 10:46) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Saving The Big Bad Wolf - II (2012-12-24 22:37) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Italy to have A New Prime Minister Soon (2012-12-24 22:38) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Merry Christmas !! (2012-12-25 09:45) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Copahue Volcano Erupts (2012-12-25 21:56) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Pope’s Christmas Message (2012-12-25 21:57) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Disappearing Polar Bears (2012-12-26 20:40) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Aliens To Be Found by 2024 (2012-12-26 20:43) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


A Dozen Tornadoes Hit US (2012-12-28 09:11) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Lake Antartica’s Drilling Project terminated (2012-12-28 21:26) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


China inaugurates Longest Bullet Train Route (2012-12-28 21:28)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Flash Floods in Peru and Spain (2012-12-30 08:50) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Sports 2012 (2012-12-31 08:16) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Space 2012 (2012-12-31 08:16)

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Earth 2012 (2012-12-31 08:18)

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World 2012 (2012-12-31 08:20) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .




Chapter 1

2012 1.1 Why

December Do

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aboard the Mars Science Laboratory(MSL) spacecraft, is a car-sized robotic rover exploring Gale Crater on Spacecrafts? Mars. Cassini–Huygens is another robotic spacecraft sent mainly, to study planet Saturn and its biggest moon Titan. Walking on the moon - Before a human could step on moon, seven robotic spacecrafts(Surveyor1-7) were sent to the surface of the Moon by NASA to study the possibility of safe landing. All seven spacecrafts are still on the Moon. What lies beyond our Solar System? - How large is the Universe? Where does it end? How far does it stretch? To find the answer to these questions NASA has up till now launched spacecrafts - Voyager 1 and 2 and New horizons.

Answer this: Spacecrafts are huge and heavy machines that are made to travel in space. Spacecrafts can explore a va- Which spacecraft was used for very recent Expediriety of things in space. They are designed differently tion 33 whose members were Sunita Williams, Akihiko depending on the purpose of exploration. Hoshide and Yuri Malenchenko ? Keeping an eye on Earth - Satellites are spacecrafts Which natural satellite orbits around Earth? that are perfect for Earth observation. They orbit around the Earth. Some take pictures of Earth that gives clues about its environment. Some bounce back TV and phone signals to earth. A few satellites are even used as spies ( shhhh! ) to peek into other coun- Why are the School Buses Yellow? tries. Russia’s Sputnik 1 was the world’s first artificial (2012-12-01 01:31) satellite. Space trucks- Space Shuttles are partly reusable spacecrafts used for transportation of humans and cargo into the space. Rockets, in turn, propel space shuttles into space. Ahoy! Let us explore - The Curiosity rover, launched 7







(2012-12-02 04:41)

Gonna ride the school bus, the school bus... The great big yellow school bus... I am gonna play the whole way to school today on the school bus... The school bus...

We have all been singing this song since we started school. Did you ever wonder why school buses are yellow? Yes, in most of the countries the school buses are yellow. This yellow is a uncommon yellow designed for the school buses. As the history goes, the yellow color specially designed for North American school buses has a copyrighted name: “National School Bus Chrome"”. In 1939, Dr. Frank Cyr, a professor at a University in New York held a conference that established school-bus construction standards for the United States and Canada. It has been 83 years since then, and the same color is being used. The color was selected because black lettering on that color was easiest to see in the semi-darkness of early morning. It can be easily seen in difficult weather situations. Other drivers are more aware of the yellow school buses and hence more careful.

A lot of people in Syria are not happy with the president. They hold protests to show their dissatisfaction. These people are called activists. These activists were using the internet and telephone to inform people outside Syria about the incidents that are happening in their country. Now there is no internet or phone connection in many parts of Syria. The activists are blaming the government, and the government is blaming the ”terrorists” for the disconnection.

So you see there is a reason why all the school buses It is still unclear why this has happened? are yellow. They want to keep you kids safe. Have you read the magic school bus series? Really interesting. Read them now! 8

A Sea Of Languages (2012-12-02 16:27)

more? While some languages grow, many die with age. How a language dies, you may wonder. When there are no people left to speak it, that language is considered extinct or dead. Latin is one such language. A very long time ago it was spoken by ancient Romans in Italy. Pali, once spoken in India is another one. Do you, or someone you know, speaks more than one language? If you spoke two languages you would be a bilingual’, but if you spoke more than two, then I would call you a multilingual’. So how many languages are spoken in your country?

Do you know there are over 6900 spoken languages in the world? How many of them can you speak? Language is unique to us Humans. Have you ever heard any animal speak a language? Well, yes they do “talk” in some Record ODI form. For example, a dog may bark in different ways. (2012-12-02 16:28) When he snarls, he is trying to scare you while a gentle purr may mean “Hello”. But animal talk is very limited. A bee can signal the source of nectar, but cannot tell how yummy it is!




Imagine if we too had no language, we might also be purring at each other. And you would not even be reading this. But intelligent as we are, we made this amazing system of codes and sounds called language. And we made over 6900 such systems! Languages have words with specific meaning, and we can make unlimited combinations to form sentences. Just like you grow with age, languages also grow. Every year, almost 25,000 new words, are added to the English language itself. How many English words do you know? Can you count? This number is your “English vocabulary (voh-kab-yuh-ler-ee)”. Try counting Bangladesh beat West Indies by 160 runs to regisyour vocabulary in other languages you speak. (Quite ter their biggest win in One Day International cricket. a task isn’t it?) West Indies is currently touring Bangladesh for a fivematch series. With this win, Bangladesh took a lead Then, some languages learn from other languages. For of 2-0 in the series. example, English has absorbed words from French and Hindi amongst several others. Cafe’ (French) and jun- Bangladesh’s previous largest win was by 146 runs gle (Hindi) are just two such words. Can you find against Scotland in 2006. 9

Spot Jupiter in The Night Sky Today! (2012-12-02 16:30)







(2012-12-03 16:37)

North Korea says it is planning to launch a rocket later this month to put a satellite into space. There was a similar launch in April 2012, but that rocket exploded shortly after taking off. Planet Jupiter is going to come closest to Earth on Monday, and the good news is that you would be able to spot it in the skies with your naked eyes. Though even at closest, approximately 588 million Kms away, it will be nicely seen from an hour after the sunset in the eastern direction. It will be visible all through the night.

Many other countries like The US, Japan, South Korea are fearful that the launch is being used as cover for testing long range ballistic missiles.

Long range ballistic missile is a missile that can travel large distances. So, it can even travel from one continent to the other. The missile can sometimes even Jupiter is the largest planet of our solar system. It is carry a bomb. only second in size to Sun. To give you an idea, it is so enormous that more than thousand Earths can fit Did you know? inside it. Thick, colourful clouds of poisonous gases surround Jupiter. These gases are majorly responsible In North Korea, the government controls everything. for creating the bands all around the planet. So now It controls what people think and watch and how they you know where Jupiter gets its looks from ;) behave and talk. Television, radio, newspapers are all very restricted. Probably most North Koreans do not Do not forget to spot it !! even know what a computer is. (Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons)


Dolphins or Robots? (2012-12-03 16:37)

Did you know that American military uses dolphins as the underwater bomb squad? Eighty dolphins have been trained to do this, and were used to find underwater bombs in Iraq last year. Well these dolphins have to find a new job now because robots named Kingfish will replace them.

Happy Holland (2012-12-03 16:39) The North Sea constantly tries to erode the land, but the Dutch people have managed to protect their land for centuries. They have constructed an array of dams, canals, bridges and pumping stations that push the sea back. Netherlands actually means ”low country”, which make sense because the country’s highest point is only 321 meters above sea level.

Holland is a small country between Belgium and Germany. Its official name is ”Kingdom of Netherlands’. It is commonly known as Netherlands. The capital of Holland is ’Amsterdam’. The people living in this country are called Dutch people. They are almost the tallest people in the world. They lead a very relaxed and happy life. In fact, the Netherlands was ranked as the ”happiest” country in May 2011. 11

Netherlands is also called the ’land of windmills’. The Birds of Paradise (2012-12-03 16:40) wooden windmills have helped the dutch people to keep the water out. They have drained out the water using windmills since the 15th century. Now more sophisticated windmills have replaced the older ones and are being used to generate power. There are over 1180 windmills in the country.

World famous facts about Netherlands

• The best tulips are grown in Holland. Although they are native to central Asia, Holland has domLook at this gorgeous bird. This bird is not called inated the world tulip market. There is a tulips ’Bird of paradise’ just like that. The Europeans that festival held every year that has thousands of discovered it in the sixteenth century had never seen guests. anything more beautiful in the wild. Therefore, they believed that this bird straight flew to Earth from the Garden of God. Thus, the name - ’Bird of the Gods’ • Madurodam is a park that has the entire Netheror ’Birds of Paradise’. The family of these birds is lands as the miniature country. It is immensely known as Paradisaeidae, also derived from word parfamous and has been visited by millions of visitors adise. so far. There are more than 40 birds species belonging to the same family, but each one is different from the • Royal Philips Electronics is leading electronics other. Some birds have bright yellow and green feathand home appliances company. ers, others might have bold red or vibrant blue. Some even have shimmering feathers that catch the light !! • KLM airlines that started in 1919, is the longest Male birds are particularly dramatic. To begin with, running national airline. they have tail feathers that are surprisingly long. They are known as wires or streamers. These streamers can be three times the length of their body. When • Potato and Cheese are the prime ingredient for these birds need little company, they perform elabomost Dutch cuisines. rate dances, puff out, flutter, sway, hang upside down, 12

spread their wings, and even distort their bodies into Iran Catches US Drone (2012-12-04 15:49) totally different shapes. They look quite snazzy!! Majority of These birds are only found on the island of New Guinea in the South Pacific. Very few are found in eastern Australia. The tribal people of New Guinea consider their feathers as sacred. Because of their bright feathers that can be used for fashion accessories, killing of these birds have been going on for two thousand years. Their population in the wild is becoming alarmingly low.





(2012-12-04 15:48)

A U.S. drone entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf according to Iran. They released an image of a downed air craft on state TV. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft which is automated and does not require a Philippines is an archipelago country in the Pacific human pilot on board. Ocean with around 7,000 islands. U.S. Navy, however, says that they have all the air Intense Typhoon Bopha struck the large southern crafts in that region and have lost none. island of Mindanao. Typhoon is a storm with strong circular winds and heavy rains. Typhoons start from There is tension in the Gulf regarding the U.S. surveilthe sea. Some stay in the sea, others are strong enough lance in that area. It is possible that some old drone to move to the land. that was found in the sea earlier and being shown as a recent aircraft. Typhoon Bopha hit the land and caused lots of damage. It uprooted Trees destroyed homes and set off a United Arab Emirates also uses ScanEagle drones. landslide. Did you know? A storm is called �Pablo� in the Philippines. 13




(2012-12-04 15:50)




China Chinese people. The people of China felt much safer after the construction of the Wall. There were watch towers on the Wall, and if any enemy approached smoke signals were sent out alerting the emperors armies. The road with the Great Wall was used to transport goods from one place to another. However, the Great Wall could not fully protect the people. There were holes in the wall at the far and lonely places. Enemies entered the country from here. The wall also kept the Chinese people away from the modernization for a long time. Considering its importance in history, In 1987, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) placed the Great Wall on its list of the world’s heritage sites. The Great Wall, only work built by human hands on this planet that can be seen from the moon is actually a misconception believed by many people. Nonetheless, it is indeed a masterpiece.

You might think what is so great about something made in China. Almost every thing is made in china these days. But this wall was made many, many hundreds of years ago. The wall was built in the 3rd century BC by the order of Chinese emperors to keep the invaders out of their country. The wall was not built at one stretch, different parts of the wall were Why do We Have A Skull? (2012-12-04 15:50) built at different times. They were later unified together into what we know as the Great Wall of China today.

Skull is made up of several bones. Bones give structure to our body. Without bones, our body will be a The world’s longest wall and biggest ancient archi- big chunk of jelly. So skull gives shape to our head tecture runs almost 20,000 Kms across the mountains and also gives us our facial features. and valleys of Northern China. Thousands of men worked just with their hands to make this wall. They Bones that make up the skull, like every other bone in had no help from the machines at that time all they the body, are hard and strong from outside. So they had was their hands. do a vital job of protecting our brain. Our brain is extremely soft and wrinkly. Without this bony strucThe purposes of the Great Wall have included border ture on the outside, even a tiny bump could hurt the controls, making sure that the enemy is not entering brain. Wo don’t want that to happen. After all, brain pretending to be a citizen and thus protection for the is the boss of our body. 14

It controls the way whole body functions. It tells the body what to do and when to do. It keeps the heart beating and lungs breathing. It lets us talk, move, remember and learn new things. Sounds like quite a strict taskmaster, and we thought that mom was strict. Imagine a world with people without a skull or any other object to protect their brain. It would be chaotic. At every mild bump people would lose memory, or ability to talk or move. Their sense of taste might disappear if their head hit the door or their heart might stop beating.

portance in one way or the other. But often one city is called the capital. For instance, Capital of United States of America is Washington, D.C. Capital of India is New Delhi. Capital of United Kingdom is London. So what is so unique about the capital city? The capital city, often called the capital, is the one from where the government of a country functions. All prominent offices like parliament or the highest court of justice are situated in the capital. All leaders and officials work in the capital city. Thus, capital city has homes of all the important leaders.

There are also some other interesting things to know How many times during the day do you bump your about a capital city. head? It hurts a little, you say ’ouch’ and move on. Nothing really happens. All because of the skull. But even skull needs protection sometimes. Therefore, construction workers, people riding vehicles at high speed or soldiers on the war front are always advised to wear helmets.

• Capitals are usually large cities but not always the largest city in a country.

How much do you know? The adult human skull is made up of 22 bones. Eight large, flat bones form the cranium, and 14 bones form the face.

• Some countries have more than one capital. Bolivia has two capital cities, and South Africa has three.


• Some tiny countries (more commonly known as a city-state) have the country itself as the capital. Like Monaco and Vatican city in Europe, Singapore in Asia.



(2012-12-05 15:57)




• Nauru, a tiny island country in the south pacific ocean does not have a capital.

• Some countries change capitals from time to time.

• Capitals can be in cities that always existed in the country. Sometimes new cities can be built to make them the capital like Canberra.

Every country has many many cities. All these cities are special to that country and have their own im- What is the capital of your country? 15






Now another 12 months and cost 400 million.

(2012-12-05 15:57)

The availability of sunlight in Ghana assures that the plant will be able to provide electricity to more than 100,000 homes. There has been a huge drop in the prices of solar panels in the last two years. This has helped this project to take off immensely.

Curiosity will get a friend, but it will have to wait 8 years for the new rover friend. NASA says it will send a new robot to join the Curiosity rover on Mars in 2020.

Google Keeping An Eye On Endangered They will be using the leftover parts of curiosity to Species (2012-12-07 01:45) build the new rover. NASA says they are very curious to find out if there is life on Mars.

Solar Plant in Africa (2012-12-05 15:58)

Beware poachers, drones could soon be helping protect rhinos, tigers and elephants in Africa and Asia. Google funded the World Wildlife Fund a grant of $5 million to develop sensors to help protect endangered species. A British company Blue Energy is planning to construct the largest solar plant in Ghana, Africa. This The WWF said poaching of endangered animals is Solar plant will be the biggest on the continent. A devastating on their population, which are being conSolar plant takes the sunlight and converts it into served, for decades. electricity and other forms of energy. The WWF is the winner of Google’s Global Impact The project named as Nezma project will start in Award programme. 16

Shoes - Now and Then (2012-12-07 02:05) Did you know? Cinderella, The red shoes and Wizard of Oz are few children tales where a shoe plays an important part.

The Beautiful Cake (2012-12-07 03:05)

Shoe shopping time is an enormous task. Isn’t it? First of all, we decide what type of shoes we want - sandals, sports shoes, boots, slippers, slip-ons etc. Then, we move on to decide which one looks nicest the green one or the black one, the brown one or pink Tiara wanted to do something extraordinary or purple. The final deciding factor being comfort! for her mother today. It was a special day after all. Thousands of years ago, people were not a lucky as It was Mother’s Day. After rejecting the not so novel we are now. In those times, travelling on feet was the idea of making a card - something that she did every primary way to travel and the terrains were rough year, she thought of doing something different. She and rocky. People felt the need to protect their feet. called Luke, her best friend and asked him to come But neither there were fancy materials nor ways to over immediately. That was not a problem for Luke create fancy shoes. Shoes were extremely simple. Just as he lived next to her house. Luke and Tiara were the bare minimum that was needed to cover the feet. both seven and had been best friends ever since they The first ever shoes made were like a sandal with were toddlers. In fact, they had a pact that they will a rigid sole. They were probably created by early be Best Friends Forever(BFF). Egyptians. They were made out of papyrus and palm leaves. Kings wore special sandals with a toe pointing upward in a spiral. Others wore plain-toed sandals. Slaves were not allowed to wear shoes at all. The next significant step in shoe making was when the sole and an upper part was stitched together. It was then turned inside out to hide the stitching. These more sturdy shoes were made out of animal skin. Meat of hunted animals was eaten, and the skin was used to make clothes and shoes. These shoes looked like ”foot bags” of leather. For the first time, in the 1800s, shoes were made using simple machines. This made shoe making easy and quick. These days, there are highly specialized machines in shoe factories that can make million shoes a month.

As the door bell rang, Tiara hushed Luke into her room and told him about her idea. Both of them decided that they were going to bake ’A unique Mother’s Day cake’. First step, of course, was to put 17

all the ingredients together. But how? They could not ask their mothers. Luke suggested that they should ask Zoey. Zoey, Tiara’s neighbour was about three years elder to them. Zoey suggested that they needed ’flour’, milk, eggs and sugar.

and said that she was talking about ’flour’, a type of powder which is used in cooking, not flower like violets that grow in gardens. Luke, Tiara and Zoey couldn’t stop laughing.

To bake the cake again, they borrowed some Luke and Tiara set off to the garden for their flour from Zoey’s mom. This time it turned out first ingredient ’flower’. They picked up lots of violets just how they wanted it to be. Tiara decorated the as they looked the prettiest amongst all flowers. cake with gorgeous icing and gave her mom a huge surprise.

With violets hidden in their bag, they rushed home. They waited a while for Tiara’s mom to leave It was the best Mother’s Day ever. They all to do grocery. Then in the kitchen, they nicely mixed enjoyed the cake. Tiara did not forget to thank Zoey all three ingredients in a large pan and put it for for all the help. baking. When the cake got ready, it turned out to be violet!!





(2012-12-07 05:15)

It was unlike how they had imagined it would be. They rushed to Zoey’s home and told her about what had happened! Zoey laughed for a long time English cricketer Alastair Cook created history by 18

scoring his 23rd Test century, the most by an English- Powerful Earthquake man. Cook remained unbeaten on a brilliant score of (2012-12-07 15:18) 136. His team made 216 runs for one at close on the second day on Thursday.



This is also skipper Cook’s third consecutive century in the series against India. England seems to be in complete control of the game.

Indian Olympic Association suspended by IOC (2012-12-07 15:17)

A powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.3 struck off the northeast coast of Japan on Friday evening. Thankfully, it caused little damage. The buildings in Tokyo International Olympic Committee(IOC) suspended wobbled for a few minutes and only some minor inIndian Olympic Association(IOA) because it was not juries have been reported. happy with the top officers of the association. This earthquake is nothing compared to the huge The suspension means the IOC will no longer fund 2011 earthquake of magnitude 9 that killed more than India and its officials will not be able to attend its 19,000 people in Japan. It caused the formation of meetings. Indian athletes will not be eligible for IOC 30-foot tsunami that swept away rice fields and entire scholarships and cannot take part in international towns. meets under the Indian tri-colour. But they can participate under the IOC flag. Japan, an island nation stretching across some of the world’s most seismically active fault lines. To underAfter IOC’s move, International Boxing Association stand what it means, imagine Earth like a big puzzle (AIBA) has provisionally suspend the Indian Ama- where puzzle pieces are made up earth plates and the teur Boxing Federation (IABF) suspecting them of gaps between all the puzzle pieces correspond to plate conducting unfair election. boundaries called fault’ lines. Earthquakes always happen along plate boundaries. Unfortunately, areas Who is the Director General of IOC? that are situated more directly on or near a fault’ line Christophe De Kepper are more prone to earthquakes. 19

How Do We Know A Storm Is Coming? (2012-12-07 15:19)

Weather forecasting has helped protect life and property. It also helps the farmers in agriculture. They also help in planning outdoor activities. References: Meteorology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from







(2012-12-07 15:20)

All of us hear about the storms or the typhoons that are going to hit us, but how do we get to know before it arrives. Are there some fortune tellers in the weather forecasting team? Is someone reading the stars by looking at their position? Well, these methods were used in the past, but not any more. The science had evolved so much that we can know for sure that it is going to rain after 3 days or exactly when the Typhoon is going to hit. How does it all work? Weather forecasts are made by collecting quantitative information like temperature, pressure and the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere. When these readings change with time the change is also noted. A lot of data is also acquired from remote sensing. Remote sensing is the concept of collecting data from remote weather events and eventually producing weather information. We use Radar, Lidar, and satellites for remote sensing. Each collects data about the atmosphere from a remote location. Weather satellites along with more general-purpose Earth-observing satellites orbiting the earth at different heights are unmatched tools for studying any kind of weather condition.

Tommy had turned nine this November and this Christmas was going to be different. This year he was not sure if Santa existed. Some of his friends at school snickered and made fun of him when he told them, he believed in Santa. ”There is no Santa Claus,” Marty laughed. ”You are so dumb!” jeered Sam. ”What? Who told you that there is no Santa? People have been making up such stories for a long time. Don’t listen to them.” Mom said.

Mom never lied, and if she said that there is Santa it had to be true. So this time, in the letter to Santa, In order to analyse all this data we rely heavily on Tommy wrote that he just wanted to meet him this computers. However, nature is highly unpredictable, Christmas and no other gifts. and a little error in any observation can cause erroneous forecasts. Five days before Christmas Mom took Tommy for 20

Christmas shopping. She asked Tommy to buy some- sun passes through the shadow of the moon. thing for anybody that he knew. He thought of Myra. She needed a new school bag. Her old one was completely torn. After bringing it home, they wrapped it, and next day Tommy took it to school. He went a bit earlier and left the bag on Myra’s desk. Soon after, He realised that mom had asked him to write ’from Santa Claus’ on the gift, but he had forgotten to do so. Hiding behind the door, he waited for her. As soon as she saw the gift she was thrilled. Tommy came out from his hiding, and Myra was jumping with joy. When she Our Earth at saw him, she came running to him and said, ”Tommy, (2012-12-09 01:57) I got a gift from Santa”.




Tommy cannot explain the happiness he experienced that day. Tommy understood then what mom was trying to tell him. Santa Claus does exist, and anyone can be his little helper. &v=Q3YYwIsMHzw He believes in Santa more than ever now, Do you? NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) for the first time in history, have created photo-stitch of our planet Earth, as seen from space at night. They have titled it ”Black Marble.”

Five eclipses in 2013 (2012-12-09 01:55)

The night side of Earth twinkles with light and the first thing to stand out is the cities. ”Nothing tells us more about the spread of humans across the Earth than city lights,” asserts Chris Elvidge, a NOAA scientist. This is so true. Notice in the video how large part of Africa and South America are still dark.

The night time photographs were taken from April to October by the Suomi NPP satellite. It is equipped with light-sensitive cameras that are capable of capturing every little flicker. Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), can register city lights, auroras, wildfires, and even reflected moonlight. This low-light sensor can distinguish night lights with ten We will get to see five eclipses in year 2013 out of to hundreds of times better light detection capability which three will be lunar eclipses and two of them will than scientists had before. be solar eclipses. (Image Courtesy: An eclipse is an astronomical event where one object in the sky moves into the shadow of another such object. During Lunar eclipse, the moon passes through the shadow of the Earth. During Solar eclipse, the 21





President a tree? So she pulled Mary inside her room to show

(2012-12-09 15:24)

it. There, it sat - a pine tree - beside her computer, no bigger than the monitor! It had tiny needles and even miniature cones! It looked like a fairyland tree. “Wow!” exclaimed Mary, then got suspicious, “is it, like for real?” “Yeah it is. It’s a Bonsai. Granddad learnt it when he was in Japan.”

A bonsai is a miniature tree grown in a tray or a shallow container. The smallest bonsai, like Carrie’s, can be carried in only one hand! Bonsai originated in China more than 1000 years ago. Soon this hobby Enrique Peña Nieto is the new president of Mexico. of growing tiny trees became popular in Japan. In He’s just 46-years old. He won the election in July fact bonsai’ is Japanese for the Chinese term penzai’, and means tree on a tray’. but started on job earlier this week. Mr. Peña Nieto won Mexico’s recent election with To create a bonsai you first need a shallow tray. Add the support of the the PRI (Institutional Revolution- a small amount of clay in it. Now plant a seed or a clipping from a tree. Make sure the pot is raised and ary Party). does not touch the ground. This gives room for water The U.S. is following these developments closely as to flow out, and the roots get air. they share a 2000-mile long border with Mexico and they get more immigrants from Mexico than anywhere To dwarf the tree, you have to keep pruning its roots and branches. Wiring the tree helps control the shape. else in the world. Remember, a good bonsai should look like you picked a tree from a forest and shrunk it small. Creating an (Image Source: WikiMedia Commons) artistic bonsai takes years of practice and training. A typical bonsai takes five years or more to grow!

A Tree On A Tray (2012-12-09 15:25) A bonsai is a hardy tree and can last several years. Among the Japanese, it is an heirloom passed from grandfather to father to son. Traditionally it was the oldest son’s responsibility to care for the bonsai. Once a Japanese heritage, this art became known to the world when American soldiers brought samples back after World War II. Today bonsai has become a popular art form everywhere. Not only will you find it in nurseries, but also in many rooms like Carrie’s that are lovingly adorned by a tiny tree on a tray!

“Your granddad gave you WHAT?” “A tree!” giggled Carrie. She knew Mary would be taken aback. Who gifts 22





Moon his family were Jews. Like how Christians celebrate

(2012-12-09 15:25)

Christmas, Hindus celebrate Diwali and Muslims celebrate Id, Jews all over the world celebrate Hanukkah! This eight day festival each year brings along a lot of fun and frolic for Moshe. Just like every year, his cousins Abraham and Josef were to join his family for this year’s celebrations.

SpaceX recently announced that it will be constructing buildings on Mars. Now another space company Golden Spike hopes to start personal trips to the moon by 2020. Alan Stern, the head of the company hopes that people could visit the Moon for scientific research or to make their country proud.

In the evening, a car horn blared at the gate. Moshe jumped out of his bed and darted out to meet his brothers. He greeted them with a loud shalom (shahlohm, meaning Hello) and a tight hug. Together, they ran to the garden to play. It had been a couple of hours of playing when savta (grandmother) called them inside. The sun was setting, and it was time to burn oil in a ”menorah”. Menorah(muh-nawr-uh) is a branched candlestick which is lit throughout the eight days of Hanukkah. A special candle called shamash is used to light all the other candles each night. On the first night, the Shamash plus one other candle is lit. The next night another candle is added, so it becomes the Shamash plus two candles. This goes on for eight nights.

There is a lot of platinum on the moon waiting to be found.

Happy Hanukkah (2012-12-10 16:31)

While lighting Shamash, Savta told them the interesting story of Hanukkah and reason behind lighting menorah. Around 2500 years ago, a mean king Antiochus, asked Jewish people to forget their own customs and instead pray to Greek gods. A statue of Antiochus was erected in the Jewish temple. A brave jew Juda Maccabees along with few other Jews rebelled against the king and threw him out of Jerusalem. The Jews then cleaned and repaired their Temple. They redediMoshe was supremely happy. His favorite time of cated it to God by lighting the lamp called Menorah the year was back again. Today was the beginning of which was a symbol of God’s presence. There was very Hanukkah - the Jewish festival of lights. Moshe and 23

little oil in the jar but miraculously the lamp stayed alight for eight days. Ever since then, Hanukkah celebrates one of the greatest miracles in Jewish history.

Moshes was mesmerized by the Hanukkah story like always. The celebrations of the first day were coming to an end, but not before everyone gorged on Hanukkah special Latkes(laht-kuhs) - the potato pancakes and Sufganiyot - sweet jelly- filled doughnuts!!



(2012-12-10 16:51)




In those times, the population of France was divided into three classes - Nobles, Church and the common man. Nobles were people who were gifted large lands by the king and lived in big houses comfortably no less than king themselves. The Church, which owned the most land in France, put taxes on crops. These taxes were to be paid by the common man. Nobles and church both made the common men work extremely hard and also pay massive taxes. Common men were the poorest and had nothing to eat. The common people were getting dissatisfied and angry. They were I also getting influenced by America, where people had a say about how country should be run. As a result, the common people revolted and created a group called National assembly. National assembly pledged to make new laws that treated all the french men fairly. To display their growing power over the king, nobility and the church, National Assembly attacked the Bastille prison on 14 July 1789. The Bastille prison contained weapons and was the symbol of power of the nobility and the rule of the king.

Revolution is usually a sudden change made to the government or other structures of power. Between the years 1789 - 1799 there were changes in the ideas about how France should be ruled. So there were many changes made in the government. This period is popularly known as The French revolution. At that time, France was ruled by King Louis XVI. King Louis was an ignorant king living lavishly in Palace of Versailles unaffected by the plight of his countrymen. 24

South Africa, Vietnam Seal the Rhino Deal After the attack, the National Assembly began to (2012-12-11 04:05) make a lot of changes. Feudalism, system of the entire land belonging to only the king came to an end. The high taxes the Church was collecting from common people were discontinued. But this was not the end of the revolution. What happened next? Read The French Revolution - Part II coming up tomorrow...

Ancient Lake of Antartica (2012-12-10 16:53) Lake Ellsworth is about 14km long, 3km wide and 160m deep and lies under 2 miles of thick. It has been like that for almost half million years. British scientist Martin Siegert discovered the subglacial lake in 1996. Rhino poaching is banned as per international laws. The scientist’s are not going to get this done easily Still, 618 rhinos were poached in South Africa in 2012, as the lake is located in a part of Antarctica that is most of them in the world famous Kruger National famous for its low temperatures and blasting winds. Park. Shockingly, it is double than the number of rhinos Poached in 2010. Prof Siegert of Bristol University and the rest of the team will drill down into the lake to collect samples South Africa is home to 25,000 rhinos. This makes 85 from the lake. percent of the total rhino population in Africa. They need to be extremely careful because they do not Rhino horn is hugely popular in many Asian counwant to contaminate the lake in the drilling process. tries where they use rhino horns to make traditional They will look for microbes in the water and clues to medicines. past climate in the lake-bed sediments. South Africa and Vietnam have signed an official agreement, under which they will work together to stop poaching and illegal trading of rhino horns. Strict punishments will be delivered to those involved. 25

Why Don’t Phones Work On An Airplane? the nearest network tower. When a passenger on the (2012-12-11 17:26)

plane uses the cell phone, more network towers are able to receive signals from the cellphone than when a cellphone is on the ground. Obviously, keeping the phone switched on while in air, is more expensive for cellphone companies. Hence, it is much simpler for the cell phone companies if the phone is switched off during the flight.”, mom explained. ”Oh! But if I have to reach someone in an emergency?”, asked Julie. ”We have these in flight phone service that a passenger can use.” told her mother.

Julie and her mother were just getting on the plane. It was going to be Christmas soon, and they were going to meet her grandparents. Dad was also joining them there in a few days. Julie was happy to get the window seat as she loved to look outside. Just when the plane started rolling, she remembered that she forgot to say goodbye to her dad. She reminded her mama who gestured her to stay quiet and listen to the announcement that was being made.

Julie paused for a minute and then smiled. ”Another thing”, mom said, ” Would it not be too noisy if all of us were chattering away on our cellphones”.

Julie chuckled and looked outside excitedly. She secretly planned to bombard her cousin Luke with all these questions once she reached grandma’s house. ”Please switch off your mobile phone and any She was very sure that he would not know. other electronic gadgets you have at this time”, the loudspeaker said. Julie was surprised as she did not know that they had to switch off the phones. As soon as the announcement stopped she asked her mother, ”Why can’t we use phones on the airplane? Don’t they work?”. Her mother told her that there are a bunch of reasons why we do not use the phone when we are travelling by air. ”All the electronics emit some kind of radio waves. These waves are invisible carriers of information from one place to another. It is possible that radio waves from the cellphones might interfere with the airplane electronics. However, we are not very sure about that since there are not enough tests done to prove it.” ”Can cell phone companies not fix this problem? Shouldn’t they do something about it?”, confused Julie asked. ”Not really. 26

Cell phones work by connecting to






II any resistance within the nation. Since they ruled

(2012-12-11 17:27)

with a lot of violence, their one year reign is known as ’reign of terror’. Another group known as Directory ruled from 1795 until 1799. They denied the right to vote to those who could not afford to pay a tax. Once again, the rich began hoard wealth while the poor suffered. Another wave of dissatisfaction that had started the revolution years ago began to creep into France again.

After the uprising in France, many nobles, unhappy with the changes made by National Assembly left the country. King Louis and his wife, Marie Antoinette, also planned an escape, but were caught. Assembly decided that France should continue to have a king, but the one without any power to make critical decisions. So, Louis XVI was put back on the throne, and he took his new oath.

But, the troubles of the country did not end here. The kings of many foreign countries got worried by the French Revolution. They did not want a revolution in their own countries. Austria and Prussia wrote to France that Louis XVI should be set free, and the National Assembly must be ended. They threatened to invade France if their requests were ignored. Following the warning, Prussia invaded France. The French revolutionaries were very angry and violent. Things got worse. Commotion prevailed everywhere. No single group controlled France anymore. For a while, a set of people known as the Jacobins, took charge of the nation. They determined to crush

During these tumultuous times, a 26-year-old general, by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte began to outshine all the others. Napoleon was a clever ruler. Napoleon’s skillful leadership helped to crush rebellions within France and also vastly expand the territories of France, including a victory over the more powerful Austrian army. Napolean made new laws that brought peace and stability back to France. Many of these laws remain in France to this day.


Why does the Sun Always have A Fever?

(All image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

(2012-12-12 16:50)





(2012-12-11 17:45)

Do you know that a normal human being has a temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.0 degrees Celsius? When a person’s temperature goes above 98.6 Fahrenheit, we say that he has a fever. Well Sun’s temperature at the surface of the Sun is about 10,000 Fahrenheit or 5,600 Celsius, so the sun has a fever always. Doesn’t it? We all know that the Sun is a star. Are all the stars hot like the sun? A star is generally defined as a big hot burning ball of gas. Some are much hotter than the sun and appear blue. Some lesser hot than the Sun and they appear red. By looking at the color of a star scientists can guess what the temperature must be like. All stars need some fuel to burn. Sun uses Lionel Messi scored a goal for the 86th time in year hydrogen as its fuel. 2012 on Sunday. So what, you might ask? Here is what it is. He broke German great Gerd Mueller’s Sun undergoes a ”nuclear fusion” reaction which fuses 40-year-old record for scoring most goals in a year. two atoms of Hydrogen to make one Helium molecule. Mueller had scored a total of 85 goals in the year Okay! Hold on! Let us try an understand the process 1972. of nuclear fusion. Take two similar lumps of clay( like atoms). Now fuse them together form a bigger chunk Lionel Messi is an Argentine footballer who plays for (a molecule). This is what happens at Sun, the only La Liga club FC Barcelona. difference being that this nuclear fusion releases massive amount of energy. The Sun radiates this energy ”I’ve said it a lot. It’s nice to beat records but the win which keeps us all super hot. for the team is what is important and the points difference at the top,” said Messi after his great achieve- ment. 28

This discussion leaves us with one more question. Mysterious Magical Tree (2012-12-12 17:30) What will happen when our Sun is out of fuel?

Earth had A Close Call (2012-12-12 16:50)

This This This This

tree tree tree tree

is is is is

called called called called

’The tree of life’ ’Bottle tree’ ’Monkey bread tree’ ’Upside down tree’

I am talking about The Baobab tree. This tree is found in dry areas of Madagascar, Africa and Australia. In fact, this tree is the National Tree of Madagascar.

Two asteroids 2012 XE54’ and 4179 Toutatis’ passed Earth really close.

There is an interesting reason behind every name this tree has. It is called ’the tree of life’ because it provides shelter, clothing, food, and water for the animals and humans. Grown up trees are often hollow. A perfect cosy space for anyone to live! The bark and stem are used for making clothes. The leaves and vitamin-C rich fruits are eaten. Clefts of the large branches are used to store rainwater for people to use later. Did you know in the Disney movie ””Lion King”, Rafiki and Simba often hung around the tree of life?

Yesterday 2012 XE54, a small asteroid and 4179 Toutatis, a lumpy shaped asteroid, almost 3 miles (5 km) long passed Earth. ”4179 Toutatis” has passed Earth several times before, in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. It is termed as a potentially hazardous object (PHO). PHOs are asteroids or comets with orbits that come within less than 4.6 million miles from Earth’s p8P PVXo orbit. Why is this tree called bottle tree? The shape What if they were to collide with Earth? What would of the tree clearly holds the clue. Notice the we do then? Well, scientists are keeping and eye on enormous trunk. Doesn’t it resemble a bottle? And these asteroids. In the future, Astronomers hope to just like a bottle can hold water, the trunk can hold have a spacecraft to intercept and change the path of up to 120,000 litres of water. these asteroids as they pass the Earth. 29

North Korea Launches Rocket, Neighbours (2012-12-12 17:54)


And the name Monkey bread? You must wonder. Seems like an unusual name for a tree. This North Korea successfuly launched a long-range mistree’s fruits are large pods known as ’monkey bread’. sile. It insists that the launch was not a banned They are favorite fruits of monkeys hanging around! inter-continental missile test, but only a mission to place a scientific satellite in orbit. A baobab tree is leafless most of the year. The barren branches look like roots sticking up in the air. It However, neighbouring countries Japan and South looks exactly like a tree that is upside down! There Korea along with The US are fearful that the launch are many legends behind why it is like that. One is being used as cover for testing long range ballistic legend says that when God made the world he gave missiles. each animal a tree. Hyena got the baobab. Foolish hyena, instead of planting it the right way planted it Long range ballistic missile is a missile that can travel upside down!! large distances. So, it can even travel from one continent to the other. The missile can sometimes even Many Africans have another story to tell. Baobab carry a bomb. tree was unhappy with its looks from the time it was created by God. It was whiny and yelled at God all the time for being partial and making it unattractive. How Old is The Cheese? (2012-12-13 16:31) One day God, fed up of his baseless complaints, came back to Earth. He pulled it from the ground, turned it over, and replanted it upside down. With his mouth now buried in the ground, baobab couldn’t complain anymore. Baobab trees can live up to thousands of years. People say when they die, they collapse into a heap of mushy, hairy pulp that burns by itself, OR it turns into dust that gets blown away by the wind only to create new baobab trees!! I had never heard about such a magical tree in my life. Had you?


We do not know when exactly we started to make cheese. Now, there is some evidence that cheese has been here for almost 7,000 years. There are pieces of pottery discovered near a river in Poland. These

vessels have little holes poked in them like a modern The tale ’Tallow Candle’ is about a candle that beday strainer. comes dirty and is neglected until its inner beauty is recognised following which it is ignited. Hope we get Scientists have concluded that they were used to make to read it soon. cheese in the older times. These pieces of pottery were part of a bigger vessel that was probably used for separating curds from whey. Peter Bogucki, an archaeologist at Princeton University had seen something similar earlier. A 19th century ceramic vessels pierced with holes at a friend’s house and was told that it was used to make cheese. (Image Credit : Flickr User julesjulesjules m)

Amazon Trees To Beat Global Warming (2012-12-14 16:30)

Never Published Fairy Tale Discovered (2012-12-13 16:33)

Global Warming that is a threat for everyone. It will not be able to effect some species of trees in the Amazon. Researcher have shown that these trees can survive the warmer temperatures. Do you know who H.C Andersen was? However, the severe drought conditions and forest He was the author of the famous fairy tales like The fires will still remain a problem for the forests in AmaUgly Duckling, Emperor’s New Clothes, Thumblina zon. and the Little Mermaid. The scientists have drawn these conclusions based Recently, a fairy tale titled ’Tallow Candle’, hand on a series of observations. According to these obserwritten by Andersen, has been found at the bottom vations, these trees have tolerated warmer climate so of a box in the National Archives,near the Danish far. They will keep evolving to handle more temperawriter’s home city. It was probably written by Ander- ture increases in the future. son in the 1820s. Almost 200 years ago!! (Image Credit: Flickr User Dallas Krentzel) 31






Titan the picture was taken off, and NASA admitted that

(2012-12-15 17:28)

there was a mistake. Isn’t this the height of mistake? :)

How Computers Took Over The World (2012-12-16 21:41)

There is only one other place other than Earth that has stable liquid on its surface. For Earth, it is water, and for Titan it is hydrocarbons (chemicals like ethane and methane). A smaller version of the Nile River has been spotted on the largest moon of Saturn by ESA’s Cassini spacecraft. The river flows for more than 400 km before it meets the large sea.

When Mount Everest was not Everest? (2012-12-15 17:29)

Betty’s hand shook over the go’ button. And it wasn’t just the chill from the air conditioner. The gigantic machine before her was purring like a sleeping tiger. Just running around it, programming the thousand switches had totally tired her. Now, that they were all set, Betty was jittery. “Do it,” encouraged Kay, “it’ll not bite you!” “Have you double-checked everything? One wrong flip and our efforts will go waste.”

Yes, it is true! NASA, the US Space company had recently posted a picture of Mount Everest that was taken by Yuri Malenchenko from ISS. There was only one problem, it wasn’t the picture of Everest. It was actually a mountain named Saser Muztagh, in the Karakoram Range of the Kashmir region of India. A Nepalese expert pointed out the mistake after which 32

Betty was concerned. They had already spent weeks in programming this computer. An error would ruin everything. Nervously she pushed the button. A couple days later the process completed fine, much to Betty’s relief. Would you believe if I told you that Betty’s computer was so huge it could occupy your entire house? Or that it weighed equal to 30 cars! Or even that it took days, not seconds, to complete a task? Yes, it is all true. Yet the ENIAC computer, in 1941, was a thousand times faster than other similar machines!

The true power of computers was realized with the internet. Internet lets you connect computers with each other and share information. If there was no internet, there would be no either! Two years back the iPad was introduced. Tablets like iPad can easily fit in your hands.

Thankfully microprocessors (mahy-kroh-pros-esers) were invented and by the 1970’s computers became small enough to fit your desk. The computer has only become smaller and faster since then. Laptops came into being about 25 years ago. They were invented so people could work at different locations. The first laptop weighed as much as a one Today computers are an important part of our year old baby! Maybe the users carried them around lives. Can you imagine your world without it? We’ve in baby-strollers. come a long way since the days of “The ENIAC”. And there’s still so much more to come! Did you know? - The idea of computers came from abacus, a toy used for counting. - Charles Babbage invented the first computer about 200 years ago. - Pictures were introduced only in 1984. Imagine this page with none. How boring! Note – the two names used in this article are of actual team members who did most of the programming on the ENIAC- Kay McNulty, Betty Jennings, and Betty Snyder.







2012? Japan all set for the Change of Guard

(2012-12-16 21:45)

(2012-12-16 21:46)

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) under the leadership of Shinzo Abe is all set to win the Japanese election.

Is it true that the world is ending in 2012?

The party, had ruled Japan for almost 50 years until 2009. Now it is most likely to come to power again. If that happens, Mr Abe is most likely to become the new Japanese Prime Minister. He was Japan’s Prime Minister between 2006 and 2007.

This is how it all started. Sumerians who lived in ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) believed that a planet named Nibiru existed. They predicted that Nibiru would hit Earth, and that will be the doomsday. The initial prediction was for May 2003. Well 2003 came and went, but no such collision happened. Later the date was moved to December 2012 as an Japan votes for Shinzo Abe (2012-12-17 09:00) ancient Mayan calendar was ending its cycle in the winter solstice of 2012 – hence the predicted doomsday date of December 21, 2012. This does not mean anything. Doesn’t our calendar ends on December 31st every year and starts again in January? The same way the Mayan calendar probably finishes one cycle and restarts again after December 21st. Our take on the question whether the world is going to end is ”No, it will not”. We think after December 21st when nothing actually happens someone will come up with a new doomsday date much further into the future. Haven’t we done fine for the past 4 million years? We have and we think we will continue to do so for many more years. 34

4. In half an hour, an average body produces enough heat to boil around 2 litres of water. 5. You need your saliva in order to be able to taste. If you pat your mouth dry, you can’t taste anything.

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) under the leadership of Shinzo Abe has won the Japanese elections. The party, had ruled Japan for almost 50 years until 2009. Now it has come to power again with a lanslide victory. Mr. Shinzo Abe is all set to become the new Japanese Prime Minister. He was also Japan’s Prime Minister between 2006 and 2007. The current Prime Minister of Japan is Yoshihiko Noda.





(2012-12-17 23:05)

6. Your feet have 500,000 sweat glands. Can you imagine how much sweat they can produce? Eww! 7. Your sneeze travels faster than your car, it can travel at 100mph. 8. A single human blood cell jogs around your whole body in a minute. 9. The fatter you get the newer blood vessels you make. 10. Humans can’t breathe or swallow at the same time. Every other mammal can breathe while they eat. In fact, human infants are also able to do so.

Body Santa’s Helpers (2012-12-17 23:09)

Every year Santa Claus comes to your house all the way from North pole to deliver those much 1. Human bone is 4 times stronger than the concrete. awaited Christmas gifts. It’s no easy feat to pull off. The thigh bone, Femur, which is also the largest Does he do it all by himself ? Do you think he has bone of the body is even stronger than a steel bar helpers? Of course, he has helpers! And these Santa’s top helpers need a big introduction. of same size!! Let’s talk about Santa’s long journey. Have you ever heard of a train/ bus service to the North 3. Your stomach’s digestive juices have so much acid, Pole? There is none. So does he drive? or does he that together they can melt metal. When you fly? blush your stomach blushes too:) 2. You grow taller while you are sleeping.


Well, Santa has a team of highly skilled nine reindeers. Nine flying reindeers !! They pull Santa’s sleigh, tirelessly, night after night so that he can reach your homes just in time. They are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph. The most famous amongst them all is Rudolph, the red nose reindeer. Santa met Rudolph when once he went to Rudolph’s house to deliver his presents. There, he noticed his nose that glowed in the dark. Santa thought his glowing nose could guide his sleigh during the foggy nights. So, he asked Rudolph to lead his sleigh and Rudolph happily agreed. That’s about the travel. buys all his gifts from?

Where does Santa

Santa Claus has his own gigantic toy factory at North Pole. Inside the factory, tiny creatures, called elves work round the clock to make presents. Santa’s elves have pointy ears, long noses and are dressed in green and red clothes with pointy hats. They live with Santa Claus in the North Pole and not only make the toys in Santa’s workshop but also take care of his reindeer. Have you met Mrs. Santa Claus?

Lovely Mrs. Claus is the wife of Santa Claus!! She takes good care of Santa, reindeers and elves. She makes cookies for them to eat, she works with the elves and prepares toys with them. At times, when Santa is exhausted or sick, she also becomes the Christmas gift-bringer !! Santa’s top helpers work so hard to make your Christmas magical. How about doing something thoughtful for them this Christmas??




(2012-12-17 23:12)



India Did





(2012-12-18 22:51)

Wake up early in the morning and run to the garden. It will be full of tweets. The beautiful twitter of the birds. But have you heard about the other Twitter? You must have heard people mentioning about Twitter. These days people are waking up and checking their computers and phones to read the new tweets. You can guess that it is definitely not the warble England on Monday won the Test series against India. of the birds? What is it then? Out of four test matches played between India and England, England won two, lost one and the last one Twitter is an online social networking service, somewas a draw. England won the series by 2-1. thing like Facebook. It allows people to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 letters, known as It was a momentous day for England as they won ”tweets”. Text based messages are SMSs right? You a series in India after a gap of 28 years. The last time would now think that what is the difference between they defeated India in while playing in India was in an SMS and a tweet. There is some similarity as they 1984-85. are both short messages, but they are also quite different. An SMS is usually sent by one person to his/her Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell both scored a century. friend. Twitter messages, on the other hand, can be English captain Alaistar Cook said ”It’s a very special sent to thousands of people. day for us, it’s been a special tour, and we’ll have great memories.” Twitter introduced a fascinating concept called ”Fol37

lowing” – where each user can ”follow” some other users’ messages. People don’t have to be friends or mutually follow each other. Anyone can follow your tweets, but you don’t have to follow their tweets if Giant’s Causeway (2012-12-18 22:54) you do not want to. Now, be careful of what you tweet because Santa might be following you on twitter! Giant’s Causeway is one of the most spectacular structures in the world. It is located in Northern Ireland, Did you Know: UK. This breathtaking terrain has huge columns of Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey rocks jutting out from the sea everywhere. The entire and launched on the Internet the same year in July. area covers about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. In six years, it has now reached 500 million users. References Twitter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from






(2012-12-18 22:54)

The columns are laid in a brick like fashion. Most of the rocks are hexagonal in shape. So, some people say this place resembles an enormous honeycomb!!

Do you know how two NASA spacecraft ended their lunar missions? By crashing into the moon. The satellites named Ebb and Flow had been orbiting the Moon since a year and had collected valuable information for the scientists. Maria Zuber from the project found it very difficult to say bye. The last signal from the satellites was received at around 10.30pm last night. Before the final bye, Ebb and Flow fired their main engines until the fuel tank was empty. This last experiment was done for the scientists so that they can estimate the fuel for future probes. 38

How did this spectacular structure came into being ? Most Irish people believe, that it is work of two Giants who existed millions of years ago. The Irish giant, Finn MacCool, was challenged by a much much larger Scottish giant, Benandonner. They threw stones at each other in anger which created a bridge between Ireland and Scotland. Benandonner then crossed this bridge looking for MacCool. Finn and his wife, Oonagh, in order to outsmart the larger giant, disguised Finn as a baby and tucked him in a cradle. When Benandonner came, Oonagh told him that Fionn was out but showed him ’Finn’s son’. When Benandonner saw the size of the baby, he got scared and fled home

in terror. He ripped up the Causeway behind him, so the ’enormous Finn MacCool’, would not follow him. Messi, originally from Argentina, has already scored In hurry, he left one of his boots behind which till 90 goals in 2012. He was recently in the news for date lies on the causeway!! breaking German great Gerd Mueller’s 40-year-old record for scoring most goals in a year. Mueller had scored a total of 85 goals in the year 1972. Lionel Messi is only 25 years of age.






(2012-12-19 22:35)

Scientists have a different take on the existence of the causeway. They say that the causeway is result of a volcanic event. Volcanic eruptions around 60 million years ago, caused lava to ooze out of the earth slowly. The cooling and contracting of the lava formed these rock columns. What would you like to believe in - Science or Myth?

In ancient India, lived a boy named Eklavya. He was the son of a tribal chief in the forests of kingdom of Hastinapura.

Eklavya was an extremely sharp kid, and longed to be an outstanding archer. Sage Dronacharya was an Messi to play for Barcelona untill 2018 excellent teacher of Archery and Eklavya, desperately wanted Dronacharya to be his guru. So, one day (2012-12-18 23:11) he set off on a long journey to join Dronacharya’s Gurukul. ”Dronacharya, I am Eklavya. My father is the Tribal Chief of the forests of Hastinapura, and I want to learn archery from you.” Eklavya introduced himself to the sage upon his arrival at gurukul. The sage was startled to see a strange boy addressing him. ”Eklavya, I am a royal teacher, and I cannot teach a tribal boy. I have no place for you in my gurukul.” Dronacharya replied. Eklavya was deeply hurt by the guru’s discrimLionel Messi, extended his deal with the Spanish club ination and refusal, but he was still determined to FC Barcelona. According to the new contract, Messi be a skilled archer. Eklavya ran into the deep forest. will play for Barcelona until 2018. There, he made a mud idol of Dronacharya. Everyday, 39

he worshiped him as his Guru and then with his bow Why Our Ears and arrow, practiced in front of the statue. (2012-12-19 22:35)




Very soon Eklavya’s faith, courage and dilligance transformed him into an extraordinary archer. Eklavya became an exceptional archer. Even better than Drona’s best pupil, Arjuna. One day Eklavya was practicing as usual. A dog nearby barked continuously and disturbed him in his practice. Angry Eklavya, shot seven arrows to fill the dog’s mouth, without hurting it.

Ears are soft because they are not made up of bones that are stiff and hard. They are made up of something called cartilage (kahrt-lij). Cartilage is made up of firm yet flexible tissue (tish-oo). Most part of our nose is also made up of cartilage. Cartilage is tough but not as tough as a bone. It is flexible but not as flexible as a muscle. Nearby, Drona and his pupil - the Pandavas, were crossing the forest. When they saw a living dog with a mouthful of arrows, they wondered that whoever did that had to be a master in archery. Curious they looked around. They found a disheveled man dressed in black. Dronacharya realised that this man was none other than Eklavya! Dronacharya went up to him and praised him.

Ears in particular are made up of elastic cartilage. Elastic cartilage is made up of some specific substances that give it enormous flexibility. That is why you can pull, bend or twist your ear so easily. Elastic cartilage is also called yellow cartilage because of its mild yellow color. If you see your ear carefully in the light, it will seem yellowish.

Eklavya was thrilled to hear Drona’s praises Cartilage is also found in places other than ears and nose. It is present in the joints between bones, the rib and considered it his biggest victory. cage, the elbow, the knee, the ankle, and in our back Till date, Eklavya is considered as the most bone. brave and loyal student in the epic of Mahabharata.

Babies when still in their mothers tummies, are mostly made of cartilage. It gradually hardens to become bone. This process of cartilage turning into bone is called ossification. Crazy Fact: You would be shocked to know that skeleton of one of the most deadliest fish ’shark’ is not made up even one bone! It is all rubbery cartilage!!

Where there is a will, there is a way. 40







(2012-12-19 23:01)

Ukraine Is Shivering (2012-12-19 22:36) Pirates are notorious people who commit robberies at the sea. Their job is to steal or capture ships sailing in the sea and sometimes also kidnap people aboard the ship. Then these pirates demand huge ransom in order to release the ship/people. On Monday, pirates attacked an oil tanker at Niger delta. They kidnapped five Indian crew members on board. The remaining crew sailed the ship to Nigeria’s capital Lagos. Niger Delta,off the coast of Nigeria is Africa’s main oil region. Nigerian authorities are working round the clock to ensure safe return of kidnapped crew.





Ukraine’s weather is causing chaos for the govern- (2012-12-20 04:31) ment and the public. Vehicles are trapped in thick snow. Freezing temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius have killed 37 people in Ukraine. Ukraine is a country in eastern Europe. Each year it has fairly severe winters. January is usually the coldest month. This year, as the temperature is dropping further, the authorities have set up shelters to keep people safe. Emergency workers are providing people with hot drinks and sandwiches. (Image credit: Flickr User Aine D) 41

bundled in their heavy jackets turned up to vote. Aren’t all of us fond of Fairy Tale Theatre? Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Hansel and Gretel, Sleep- Good luck Mrs. President. ing Beauty, Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel just to name a few. We are able to enjoy these stories because almost 200 years ago, two brothers Wilhelm and Jakob Grimm travelled all around in Germany and collected these stories before people forgot them. Today is the 200th anniversary of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Do you want to know how they collected the stories? Read here.

Brazil preparing for 2014 FIFA World Cup (2012-12-20 21:50)






(2012-12-20 21:49)

Brazil is supposed to host FIFA world cup in 2014. The country has already started preparing for the event. The Castelao Arena in Fortaleza, after some major renovation, was inaugurated by Brazilian President Dilma Vana Rousseff . The stadium is capable of holding 65,000 spectators. The largest South American country, has to prepare 12 Park Geun-hye will be the first woman president after stadiums throughout the country for the 2014 World winning South Korea’s presidential election. She de- Cup. These stadiums are either to be constructed or feated her rival Moon Jae-in of the Democratic United extensively renovated. Party by a small number of votes. Park Geun-hye is 60 years old and belongs to New Frontier Party. She is the daughter of late South Korean dictator Park Chung-hee. Although it is sub zero temperatures across the country in South Korea, a large number of people still 42

Migratory Birds (2012-12-21 22:54)

Emus travel long distances on foot in times of drought. Did you know? Bar-tailed Godwits have the longest known non-stop flight of any migrant. They fly around 11,000 km. Before they start migration, half their bodyweight is stored as fat to give them strength for the non stop journey.





(2012-12-21 22:54)

If you have ever shifted from one place to another you know how difficult and tricky that is. Who wants to leave the comfort of their home? That too every year? Well, some birds do migrate away from their homes, every year. Such birds are called migratory birds. So what makes them leave their cozy nests and migrate over thousands of miles to a new place every year? The main reasons are food and weather. As winter approaches, food becomes scarce and therefore birds move to warmer places in search for food. Few times, birds fly away from home also to give birth to their young ones in a conducive environment. Most birds always migrate in a flock. Apparently, if you fly in a flock it saves a lot of flying energy. The speed of a bird while flying in a flock is faster than if it was flying alone. Also, it easier to ward off predators sticking together in a large group. Unity is strength, remember? Do migratory birds ever get lost during the travel? Almost never. They are intelligent. To sense direction, they use position of sun, create visual landmarks and also use environmental odours. Year on year these birds use same flight path to migrate. These are called flyways. Flyways sometimes span across continents and oceans. Isn’t that smart? But if birds are so smart, wonder why do we call a silly person a bird brain!

About 125 years ago, a mathematical genius was born on December 22nd 1887. It is difficult to believe that, without any formal training in the subject, Srinivasa Ramanujan contributed immensely to the mathematical community.

He was born in a poor Brahmin family and showed a natural inclination towards mathematics when he was ten years old. After that there was no stopping Even flightless birds migrate. Many penguin species him. He won a scholarship to a local government migrate to as far as 1000 km by swimming. Australian college. However, Ramanujan was fascinated with 43

mathematics but could not pass any other subject. His scholarship was taken away from him because of Thankfully Kyle wasn’t hurt, and the snakes were this and his family could not afford to pay his fee. later released into the forest. Ramanujan was unstoppable, nothing broke his spirit. The eastern brown snake is the second most venomous He continued to work on problems and theorems. He snake in the world. But they prefer to live in Australia found a book written by G.S. Carr which contained so you are safe if you are not living down under :) 5000 problems. He worked and reworked the theorems in his mind giving logical reasoning. As a result, he made new discoveries and rediscovered the older theorems. All his ideas were recorded in his notebooks, which serve as a great resource for mathematicians till date. A great man from such humble surroundings. He Ancient Lake of Antarctica drilling Postponed (2012-12-23 07:47) followed his passion at all odds. This year has been declared as the National Mathematical year in India, and December 22 is the National Mathematics Day. All of us should get inspired from Ramanujan. Ready to discover the genius in you?

Snakes In The Closet (2012-12-23 07:44)

Lake Ellsworth, an ancient subglacial lake in Antarctica was discovered in 1996. It lies under 2 miles of thick ice. It has been like that for almost half million years.

The scientists want to drill a hole into the lake to collect samples of lake water and sediment which can give clue about climate conditions in past. The plan was to use almost boiling water(90C) water to blast a hole into the thick ice sheet to reach the lake waters below. However, the team has reported a problem Sometime ago Kyle was playing in his yard and found with the boiler used to heat the water . a cluster of eggs. However, he did not realize that these are the eggs of venomous eastern brown snakes. He collected them in a container and hid it in the The drilling has been postponed and will start once closet. the boiler gets fixed.

Who would have thought that when you clean your kid’s closet you will find a box full of baby snakes? Well that is what happened to a mother of a 3 year old toddler named Kyle in Australia.




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I a small gate in the fence. He towers over most as he leads us between the trees further up a narrow path. I notice more wolves on either side, emerging from behind the trees and bushes. Stroking his beard, he assures us of the fencing’s strength. I feel brave enough to peer back at the wolves. There’s a pair of cubs nuzzling up to their mother. They look like balls of white wool! “They won’t hurt you unless you mean them harm!” I hear Jim begin.

During the next hour, Jim talks only about the wolves and their lives. At one point, he enters the enclosure “Want to see wolves in the wild?” my friend excit- and calls them by their names, strokes their heads and edly asked me one February morning. feeds them medicines with bare hands. The wolves purr back their appreciation. So, are the “big bad Wolves, in the wild! That was not my idea of fun wolf” preying little girls, actually a myth? Here was at all, especially when it was minus 10 degrees outside. Jim interacting so easily with them like pets. After much persuasion, I reluctantly agreed. By the end of the tour I was so intrigued, I decide to We soon head towards Lakota Wolf preserve in interview Jim. I just had to know the story behind Delaware Water Gap, New Jersey. I wonder why any- this venture. And Jim told me quite an amazing one. one would want to protect the scary bad wolf. The “red riding hood” story has given them quite a bad Catch the next part of the story on Kinooze. name, hasn’t it?

Sachin Tendulkar retires from One Day

We reach just in time for the first “wolf watch” tour Cricket (2012-12-24 09:31) of the day. Overcast clouds make the jungle before me even more grey and ominous. The trees are tall and bare. The snow is difficult to walk on. I spot a wolf pacing a few feet away, eyeing us warily. Its gray and white coat blends well with the surroundings. Its pricked ears seem to catch our conversation. Suddenly it bares its neat row of canines, making me back away. Luckily a double fencing separates us.

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement from one day cricket. In his 23 year old career, the talented cricketer has played 463 ODIs, scored 18,426 runs and made 49 centuries. Each of them is a world record. ”I have decided to retire from the One Day format Our tour guide, Jim Stein arrives shortly and opens of the game. I feel blessed to have fulfilled the dream 45

of being part of a World Cup winning Indian team. Saving The Big The preparatory process to defend the World Cup (2012-12-24 22:37) in 2015 should begin early and in right earnest. I would like to wish the team all the very best for the future. I am eternally grateful to all my well wishers for their unconditional support and love over the years.”, Sachin said in an interview with TOI.





The brilliant cricketer will be sorely missed on the field.

Floods in UK (2012-12-24 10:46)

I just had an incredible experience at the Lakota wolf preserve, owned by Jim and his partners Dan & Pam Bacon. Saving the wolves has been their passion for over 18 years now. I could not imagine what made them take up a wolf’s cause. So, I look up Jim’s contact details and call him. “What was the inspiration?” I ask. “Dan is a photographer by profession,” he tells me,” and he came across some wolves that had been born in captivity and were kept in very bad conditions. Wanting to provide a natural and safe home for these wolves he started a facility in Colorado.” Ever since, they have taken in several other wolves and now are running at full capacity with 4 packs in their care.

There have been flash floods in many parts United Kingdom including England, Wales and Scotland. Flash floods are unusual in England. Flash floods happen when due to incessant rain, rivers water level rises fast and eventually reaches the ground.

For Jim it started with volunteer work. Soon he fell so much in love with the animals that he joined full-time. Looking for better revenue, they moved to New Jersey fourteen years ago. His first task here was erecting that double fence.

“What is your biggest challenge running the According to the Environmental Agency, the unex- preserve?” pected weather is going to last a few more days. “Finding enough food for these 21 animals,” Jim Many train and bus services have been disrupted. replies. After all they do consume a lot. Funds, he Floods have played a spoilsport to Christmas cele- explains, are insufficient to regularly buy food. Their brations as people are unable to travel to meet their chief source is road kill, which the owners themselves families. drive around collecting. Occasionally nearby farmers 46

donate a killed deer or two.

Italy to have A New Prime Minister Soon (2012-12-24 22:38)

Due to financial constraint, they have shortage of man power, with just one other employee. They encourage volunteer work but do plan to expand their work force. What about the future plans? Does he foresee opening another facility? I imagine a glint in his eye at the question, reflecting his passion. “Absolutely, I would definitely want to do something like that,” Jim says without hesitation. “The New Jersey division of tourism did a program on us and asked us the same thing. And I said, just find me the funding!”

Currently the facility is on rented property. Jim prefers to own it for better control. Everything, however, boils down to funds. Jim believes he just needs more time to focus on this aspect. Right now with his 24x7 schedule caring for the wolves, he finds it difficult. “It’s an awesome job you’re doing,” I honestly tell him, wrapping up, “I would love to visit again.” Memories of the wolves stay with me. I can Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s has resigned hear a pack howling at a distance. Did the howls from the top post. President Giorgio Napolitano had scare me? Not anymore. I just smile knowing the to dissolve the parliament as other parties, including wolves are happy in their home at last. those of ex- PM Silvio Berlusconi withdrew its support to the government. This means that general elections will be held in the country soon to decide on a new leader. 47

Merry Christmas !! (2012-12-25 09:45)

• Have you licked your candy canes yet? Those yummy crooked sticks with white, red, green stripes. These candy sticks, in fact, represents sticks of those shepherds who paid a visit to infant Jesus in the stable. Turn them around and they look like letter ’J’ for Jesus. • A specially baked plum cake and an extra festive meal with the whole family is a must. Christmas is here!! People all around the world are celebrating Christmas today. Do you know who was born on Christmas? Jesus Christ.

• A visit to the Church and lighting candles in remembrance of Jesus is an essential part of Christmas celebrations. Be jolly this Christmas because T’is the season to be jolly la la la ...

Infant Jesus was born to Mother Mary in Bethlehem in a stable. An angel appeared in the sky to tell shepherds that the Lord has been born and also guided Copahue Volcano Erupts (2012-12-25 21:56) them all the way. That is why it is called Christmas which has come from ’Christ’ and ’Mass’. You can smell happiness in the air when it is Christmas. As we get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ here, is a list of things that are just made for Christmas.

• Christmas trees beautifully decorated with Christmas lights. This is where Santa leaves gifts for The Copahue volcano lies on the border of Chile and children that have been good all year long. Argentina. • How can we let Christmas pass without humming The volcano is ejecting ash and gas since Saturday. those melodious Christmas carols? Jingle Bells, Alert of highest level has been sounded to nearby areas Jingle bells, Jingle all the way......... in both countries due to increased volcanic activity. 48

Pope’s Christmas Message (2012-12-25 21:57) One set of experts believe that poaching of polar bears for their skin and other body parts has resulted in such low numbers. Others believe that change in climate over the years is the main reason why polar bears are disappearing fast. The issue will be resolved in March 2013 at UN wildlife conservation meeting in Thailand.







Like every year, Pope delivered his Christmas message (2012-12-26 20:43) to the world in front of thousands of pilgrims in St Peter’s Square in Vatican city. According to catholics, Lord Jesus chose St. Peter as the first Pope. Pope means ”father”. The Pope is the leader and the father figure of the Church family. Pope Benedict XVI is the 265th Pope and lives in the Vatican city, in Rome, Italy. Pope urged for peace in Syria, steadiness in Nigeria and religious freedom in China.

Disappearing Polar Bears (2012-12-26 20:40)

All our questions if the aliens exist or not will be answered in 12 years. World’s largest radio telescope will help us find that out, a leading UFO expert has claimed. Experts are building a supersized 1.3bn-pound radio telescope. This Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Arctic Polar Bear population has been on a sharp de- telescope would reveal ”new and exciting possibilities,” cline in recent years. Now there is a debate amongst the Daily Express reported. wildlife experts as to what could be the reason behind their decreasing population. Finally, our questions will be answered. 49





US But the project suffered quite a few setbacks. First

(2012-12-28 09:11)

the boiler broke down which halted the drilling. When the boiler got fixed the team spent twenty hours trying to join the project’s main and secondary boreholes through an ice cavity. This ice cavity was 1.8 miles below the surface of Antarctica. It was a $13 million project headed by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). This method used nearboiling water to drill and reach the lake. The drilling machines were not used because they did not want to contaminate the water. Prof Siegert thanked everyone involved in the project for their efforts.

The secrets of the lake are still hidden from us but US Gulf coast was hit by more than a dozen tor- maybe some time soon we will uncover them. nadoes. For thousands it was dark Christmas as they were left without power. You never know in a few years it might be you drilling holes in the lake :) Alabama and Oklahoma were badly affected by the storm. The powerful winter storm turned roads across the Midwest into icy traps. The worst might not be over yet.

China inaugurates Longest Bullet Train Lake Antartica’s Drilling Project termiRoute (2012-12-28 21:28) nated (2012-12-28 21:26)

It took British scientist Martin Siegert 16 years to start exploring the ancient lake that was hidden for millions of year. After the lake was discovered in 1996, China launches World’s longest high speed passenProf Siegert set up a team to start the drilling of the ger train route. The total distance travelled by the lake. train will be 2,298km!! 50

river Amazon to overflow. This has flooded the central Amazon region of Peru. Buildings and crops have been destroyed, and people have been forced to leave their homes. In provinces like Almeria and Malaga in Southern Spain, torrential rains have caused much damage to property and life. Though unrelated to each other, these sudden rains in both places have caused much devastation.

The Chinese bullet train will start from Beijing Sports 2012 (2012-12-31 08:16) and travel all the way to China’s southern city of Guangzhou. Guangzhou,lies in the Guangdong province and is the third largest Chinese city and southern China’s largest city. Guangzhou is an important commercial hub. The trains will initially travel at 300km per hour (187mph). The journey that took 22-hours earlier will now take less than 10 hours.







(2012-12-30 08:50)

The most important sporting event of all was the Summer Olympics 2012 held at London, UK. These Olympics were the greenest olympics ever and Wenlock and Mandeville were the Olympics Mascots. On July 27, 2012, Big ben rang 40 times to declare the onset of Olympics and there was a spectacular opening ceremony.

Flash floods occur when due to incessant rain, river water level rises fast and eventually reaches the ground. Just a few days back flash floods wrecked havoc in United Kingdom. Now it was turn of South America and Spain.

Amongst sportspeople who stood out in Olympics were Michael Phelps who became the most successful Olympian of all times with a total of 22 Olympic medals to his credit, South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius who made history by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete at the Olympics, blind archer Im Dong-hyun and sixteen year old chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen.

Torrential rains in Peru, South America, have caused After almost two weeks of non stop sporting action, 51

Olympics finally ended on August 13,2012 with a mu- A month later, Sunita Williams with two other assical closing ceremony. tronauts Russian Yuri Malenchenko and Japanese Akihiko, blasted off in The Russian Soyuz capsule to take charge of the International Space Station on July This year also saw:14, 2012 from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The astronauts returned after a 127-day journey in • World famous, Indian Cricket star, Sachin ten- space. dulkar retiring from One day format of cricket. • West Indies winning T20 world cup 2012. • Top Footballer Lionel Messi breaking German great Gerd Mueller’s 40-year-old record for scoring most goals in a year. He scored a total of 91 goals in 2012. Sadly, ace cyclist Lance Armstrong fell from grace after being stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles over using medication for enhancing strength, which is not The car-sized robotic rover, Curiosity, launched allowed in the events. aboard the Mars Science Laboratory(MSL) spacecraft successfully lands on Mars on August 6, 2012. Ever since then Curiosity is curiously exploring mars by clicking pictures, collecting samples, closely examining rocks and by even tasting red planet’s soil !!

Space 2012 (2012-12-31 08:16)

Hope 2013 will bring much more!!

Earth 2012 (2012-12-31 08:18)

Year 2012 was quite full of space adventures. The most amazing thing that happened in 2012 was that the world did not end. Our beautiful planet Earth still exists. If there is one thing that we have learnt from the Mayans it is that if you don’t finish anything that is not the end of the world. Ha!

Shenzhou 9, a Chinese spacecraft docked with an already orbiting module on June 18, 2012. This made China the third country, after the United States and Russia, to successfully perform the mission. This mission also carried first women chinese astronaut Liu Yang. Year 2012 saw some startling discoveries of new animals on our planet. A new monkey species found 52

in the deep forests of Democratic Republic of the Congo, an eyeless hunts man spider and that the spade-toothed whale exists !! However, sadly, Lonesome George, last remaining tortoise of his kind and a conservation icon died in the Galapagos National Park.

3. Hurricane sandy tops the list in natural disasters. It wreacked a havoc on New York. 4. Syria was disconnected from the rest of the world in 2012. There is no google or internet connection for Syria anymore. That is shocking. 5. Korean Ganganam style was the most entertaining musical video of the year 2012.

Also, many researches suggested that our planet might look totally different in few million years. The chopLet us head into the next year Gangnam style :) ping of Rainforests is disturbing the balance of the ecosystem and global warming is causing the Arctic Ice to disappear. Hopefully we will work more on saving our planet in 2013 and our Earth will always be beautiful. Look at the spectacular view of our planet Earth from space(courtesy NASA).

World 2012 (2012-12-31 08:20)

As we begin the countdown for the new year let us turn back and see what happened in the world last year.

1. Biggest disappointment was the worst power outage in world history, the 2012 India blackouts left 620 million people without power. 2. The most daring act was by Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner becomes the first person to break the sound barrier. 53

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Kinooze December 2012 Issue of News and Facts For Kids  

Kinooze December 2012 Issue of News and Facts For Kids