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Copyright © 2012, 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 NOVEMBER 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 from “Becoming what you read” under CC-BY-ND 2.0 license All other images reproduced under Creative Commons CC-BY license

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Contents 1 2012 1.1

7 November . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Now You Can See it, Now You Can’t! (2012-11-08 03:13) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Seven Natural Wonders of the World (2012-11-01 14:34) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Who was Charlie Chaplin? (2012-11-03 02:37) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Record Breaking Plantation Drive in Leh (2012-11-01 16:33)

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


The Rubbing Tool (2012-11-04 15:49) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


UFO spotted in Ladakh (2012-11-03 02:35) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Escape of The Turtles! (2012-11-03 15:54) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Three Fingered Frog (2012-11-03 15:54) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


US Gearing up for Elections (2012-11-05 17:25) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Plastic Indian Flags Might be Banned (2012-11-10 03:53) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Sunita Williams Spacewalks Again (2012-11-04 15:48) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Discovery or Invention? (2012-11-10 03:12) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Why is Plastic Harmful for Environment? (2012-11-07 04:32) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Wooden Cars And Paper Planes (2012-11-05 17:28)

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


Spade-Toothed Beaked Whale Exists (2012-11-09 06:21) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Barack Obama Re-elected as the US President (2012-11-07 06:06) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


First Sandy now Nor’easter hits NY (2012-11-08 04:48) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Precious Sunshine (2012-11-09 03:41) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Avast! Ye Pirate (2012-11-12 06:53) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


No Bursting Crackers After 10 p.m. (2012-11-12 04:13) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Spacecraft or Helicopters? (2012-11-15 05:18) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Manned Space Mission ’Made in China’ (2012-11-14 04:21) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Deepavali - The Festival of Lights (2012-11-13 05:26) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Chacha Nehru’s Birthday (2012-11-14 05:18) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Strange Socotra (2012-11-15 18:27) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

21 3


Rare Indian Diamond sold for Record Price (2012-11-15 18:22) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Israel attacks Gaza (2012-11-15 18:00) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Grow Taller in Space! (2012-11-18 16:54) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Change of Guard in China (2012-11-16 16:29) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Tomatoes trying to Catchup? (2012-11-16 16:27) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Cobras Rescued (2012-11-16 16:28) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Mysterious Stones (2012-11-20 16:41)

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


Free Floating Planet with No Sun (2012-11-17 18:29) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Do not be a Genie, Just be a Parent (2012-11-20 04:28) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Sunita Williams back from Space (2012-11-19 05:50) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


WaterSpout formation in Australia (2012-11-19 03:28) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Israel Hamas face off continues (2012-11-19 17:22) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Please Pass the Banana (2012-11-19 17:23) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Safety Plan for Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (2012-11-20 16:43) . . . . . . . . . . .


Israel to Put off Attacks Soon (2012-11-20 16:42) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Thousand Fruits On A Platter (2012-11-20 16:43)

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


Largest Spider in the World (2012-11-23 15:55) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Round and Round Around your Waist (2012-11-22 17:16) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Discovery of Stone age House in UK (2012-11-24 15:54) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Aesop’s Fables (2012-11-21 15:31)

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


Secret Passageways (2012-11-26 03:53) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Greenland losing Ice.. (2012-11-23 16:01) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


How Do We Learn? (2012-11-22 17:14) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Mount Tongariro erupts (2012-11-21 15:34) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Spirit Of ThanksGiving (2012-11-21 15:33) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Curiosity is Keeping a Big Secret (2012-11-21 15:34) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Who was Albert Einstein? (2012-11-23 16:00) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Israel Gaza agree to Ceasefire (2012-11-22 16:59) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Rhino Poached in Kazhiranga (2012-11-22 17:13) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


India-China Fight over Border Areas (2012-11-23 15:55) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


What Our Kids Want to Tell Us? (2012-11-25 16:05) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


House On The Road (2012-11-25 16:05) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Sun and The Sky (2012-11-26 16:48) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Dust Storm On Mars (2012-11-26 16:49) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Letter To Santa (2012-11-27 15:36) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Maple Syrup (2012-11-28 17:31) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Why is Equator Very Hot? (2012-11-27 15:53) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Phantom Islands (2012-11-28 17:30) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Buildings On Mars (2012-11-28 17:27) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Celebrating Guru Nanak’s Birthday (2012-11-27 16:43)

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


More Forests in Brazil Now (2012-11-30 03:11) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Around the World Without Flying (2012-11-28 17:28) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Olympic Swimmer (2012-11-30 01:23) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Noah’s Ark (2012-11-30 01:20) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Huge Black Hole Found (2012-11-30 01:50) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .




Chapter 1

2012 1.1


Now You Can See it, Now You Can’t! (2012-11-08 03:13)

Look at this picture of rocks and stones. Can you spot a frog? With the body color that completely matches the rocks, the frog stays hidden. This frog is safe from its attackers as long as it does not move.

Can you find the owl in the above picture? You can if you look very closely. The owl’s body is so similar to the trunk of the tree that it almost blends in the tree. A predator who is using vision to hunt will almost miss the owl. This method that allows animals, people or objects to stay hidden and blend into their environment is called camouflage. This allows prey to avoid predators, and for predators to sneak up on prey. 7

This butterfly pretends to be a fierce owl when in trouble. The owl eyes shape on its wings gives it a chance to scare off the attacker. While some animals can stay still for a long time, some can’t. The ones that keep moving all the time have the ability to merge in the background by changing their color. For example, this stone flounder Kareius bicoloratus, becomes spotted when it is resting on the sand and becomes spotted when it sits on the ocean floor.

Hognose snakes that are usually found in USA are entirely harmless. There is a misconception that they are venomous because they have a broad head. When threatened, the hognose snake tries to imitate a real cobra. When this trick fails it pretends to be dead. Smart huh! Inspired by nature, humans also use camouflage but mostly for military purposes. The uniforms of soldiers, warships, troop carriers, air crafts are also designed to blend in the background. Now imagine, if you had the power to camouflage, the power that you are around, but go unnoticed, what would you do with it?

Animals with fur are often camouflaged by season. When the season changes these animals undergo color changes. For example, the Arctic Fox’s coat is brown in color, changes to white as the winter Seven Natural Wonders approaches. (2012-11-01 14:34)

of the World

Our Earth is full of marvels carved out by nature. Gigantic mountains, breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls, 8

fiery volcanoes, mysterious forests and many more beauties like that. But some stand out among the rest. The top seven natural wonders of the world are:

Mount Everest - Mount Everest, which lies in the Himalayas, is the Earth’s highest mountain. Grand Canyon - Grand means large and Canyon means big crack in the ground. Grand Canyon refers to a place in Arizona, United States, where this enormous crack formed in the ground because of the Colorado river.

Aurora - Aurora is the natural display of Bright red, green and blue lights in the sky. They are usually associated with winter nights when it is the darkest.

Great Barrier Reef - Great Barrier Reef near the coast in Queensland, Australia has 14000 different plants and animals and is the biggest coral reef in the World. A coral reef is an underwater structure made up of corals.


not five or ten. It’s because ancient Greek associated number seven with perfection! Parícutin Volcano - is a volcano at the top of the conical hill made out of a volcano in the Mexican state of Michoacan. We know when it was formed and that makes this volcano special. It started as a small fissure in the cornfield of a Mexican farmer. Who was Charlie Chaplin? (2012-11-03 02:37) For three weeks, there were strange noises that came out from the ground and then finally ash and stones erupted out. It kept on erupting for nine years before finally settling down in 1952.

Entertainer Charlie Chaplin was probably the most well-known actor of the early 20th century. Although Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls in Africa is the his childhood was very difficult and sad, he made largest waterfall on Earth. It is on Zambezi river the best comedian of his times. His silence was funnier than the words. His costume that consisted of between Zambia and Zimbabwe. baggy pants, bamboo cane, bowler hat, and over-sized shoes became world famous. This sweet little man was adored by everyone. Even the dictator, Adolf Hitler copied his moustache style so that people would like him as well as Chaplin. Charlie Chaplin was born in London in 1889. He traveled to the United States when he was a teenager, and there he met a director who started his career in comedy. Chaplin was not only an actor he was also a director and a composer. He was the first actor to appear on Time magazine on July 6, 1925. Four years after his death, Ukrainian astronomer, a Harbor of Rio de Janerio - Rio de Janeiro Har- big fan of Chaplin, Lyudmila Karachkina named an bor is also known as River of January and as one of asteroid after him. Ms. Karachkina named the asterthe most beautiful natural harbors. It is said, “God oid 3623 Chaplin. made the world in six days and on the seventh, he Look at this beautiful clip from his film, surely it concentrated on Rio.” will bring a smile to your face. You might be wondering why only seven...why 10

Record Breaking Plantation Drive in Leh The Rubbing Tool (2012-11-04 15:49) (2012-11-01 16:33)

”You make way too many mistakes while writing. If it were not for the eraser your notebook would be filled only with criss crosses”, Myra told Ken. Ken smirked and said, ” If I had a time machine, I would go back in time to thank the person who invented the eraser. But who should I thank because I On October 29, there was a massive plantation drive do not even know the person who invented it”. in the beautiful city of Leh tucked in Himalayas and once capital of Ladakh. ”Hey! wouldn’t it be interesting to find out who invented the eraser, to know how he came up with the idea and how erasers actually erase out things.”, Myra said inquisitively. Ken thought that this was the first smart thing Myra said since morning and agreed that this would be really interesting to find out. That afternoon both of them went to the library to scout for the answers. Soon they found all their answers in ”The Great Book of Inventions”. The person that they were looking for was an Englishman named Edward Naime, who accidentally invented the eraser. Before the rubber eraser was discovered people used white bread to erase the pencil marks. Eww!. One day while working Naime accidentally picked up a chunk of rubber instead of bread to erase. He noticed 9,814 volunteers planted 99,103 saplings in Ladakhi that the rubber erased much better than the bread. willow within one hour. Earlier the record of planting Soon enough Naime started selling erasers. But there 66,000 trees was set in Philippines in January last was one problem. Rubber like bread would go bad year. over a period of time. They were perishable. Much later a person called Charles Goodyear, invented the process of vulcanization (for converting rubber into more durable materials) that made rubber stable and made it a household name. 11

So its the rubber in the erasers that clears pencil marks. It is super simple. Rubber erasers are made up of very tiny particles that are extremely sticky. And the pencil marks you see on the paper are actually tiny graphite particles. So when the eraser is rubbed over pencil marks the graphite particles stick up to the eraser particles and leave the paper surface !!

staying in the sky for three to five hours before disappearing. These objects might not be alien but they are definitely unidentified.






(2012-11-03 15:54)

Ken got up from his chair and said smilingly,� If I had the time machine now I would know exactly whom to thank for inventing the rubbing tool.� Did you know? Erasers have evolved over years from being just a plain chunk to being colorful, designed and shaped like animals or like toys or cartoons, and many other delightful shapes. Enjoy watching this video of beautiful Japanese erasers: Around 580 Indian Mud Turtles were being stolen from Vizag district, AP and taken to West Bengal and the Northeast, where turtle meat is considered a delicacy.

UFO spotted in Ladakh (2012-11-03 02:35)

Luckily they escaped as the truck overturned. The turtles were later released in lakes in the Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary.

Three Fingered Frog (2012-11-03 15:54)

Units of the Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) have reported Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOS) in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. The ITBP started spotting them in August and till October reported 100 sightings of yellowish spheres The tiny, three-fingered frog, Brachycephalus tridactylifting off from the horizon on the Chinese side and lus, was found in a rainforest reserve in southern 12

Plastic Indian Flags Might be Banned


(2012-11-10 03:53)

This frog was discovered in Feburary 14, 2007 by biologist Michel Garey. But it was not until June this year that the discovery of this new species – Brachycephalus tridactylus – was officially established. Wonder where this frog lost its fourth finger?

Indian government wants to ban the use of large number of plastic Indian flags used at national, cultural and sporting events.






(2012-11-05 17:25)

Plastic is harmful to the environment as it takes years to degrade during which time harmful residues seep into the ground. Instead goverment is suggesting the use of biodegradable paper for making flags for these events. Very environment friendly thought indeed!!





(2012-11-04 15:48)

United States general elections will be held on Tuesday, November 6th, 2012. Current President and Democratic Party member Barack Obama is contesting for a second term of presidency against Republican Party Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. Indian-American Nasa astronaut Sunita Williams reLatest polls reveal that the race among the two pres- cently completed her seventh spacewalk. Any time idential candidates will be very close. Both of them an astronaut gets out of a vehicle while in space, it are equally likely to win the elections. is called a spacewalk. A spacewalk is also called an 13

EVA meaning extravehicular activity.

has a tiny hole ;)

She ventured out along with Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide for about six hours to fix an ammonia leak in the International Space Station’s cooling system.

Invention on the other hand means to make or create something new that never existed before. For example, ’Insulin’ a medicine for people whose pancreas don’t function properly was invented by Frederick Banting. Airplanes were invented by the Wright Brothers and Sunita already holds the record for a female astro- the ’the father of computing’, Charles Babbage innaut spacewalking. It is over 44 hours during six vented computers. previous excursions. It was third spacewalk for Akihiko Hoshide. While inventions usually are extremely helpful and contribute to the society, a discovery may or may not Did you Know? always be very helpful. The first person to go on a spacewalk was Alexei Leonov. He was from Russia. The first spacewalk was Now here is a little trivia for you. on March 18, 1965. It was 10 minutes long. Was zero discovered or invented?

Discovery or Invention? (2012-11-10 03:12)

Keep thinking and let us know !!


Why is Plastic Harmful for Environment? (2012-11-07 04:32)

Imagine if no one had discovered dinosaur fossils we would not have known that these majestic creatures existed. If Issac Newton would not have discovered the law of gravity, we would still be clueless about why things fall downwards and don’t fly back up. Think if cars, planes and computers were not invented. Without these incredible discoveries and marvelous inventions, the world we live in would be a totally different place, right? Wait a minute... Are discoveries any different from inventions ? Yes, they are very different. Discovery means finding out something new which exists, but was earlier unknown. For example, people discovered gold in the gold rush in 19th and early 20th centuries. The gold had always been there, but people just found out about it one day. Discovery could be as small as you discovering one morning that your sock 14

You must have observed that grocery shops these days do not use plastic bags. They hand out all your things in either paper bags or cloth bags. So what happened to the plastic bags that we used? There is a reason

plastic is slowly disappearing. In fact, it is a conscious effort by everyone as plastic is very harmful for our environment. Of course, now you would want to know why.

Imagine a world without metal. Cars would be made of stone. Or maybe of wood like a bullock cart! Would we have aeroplanes then? Stone would be too heavy to fly, and wood might break!

Whenever we throw something like paper, food peels, leaves etc there are small tiny creatures in nature – the bacteria – who eat these things up or turn them into useful products that nature loves. These things are called Biodegradable’. Non-Biodegradable things, on the other hand, like glass, steel and plastic – can not be turned into useful, nature friendly products. The bacteria just can’t eat them up or break them up. Plastic is harmful because it is Non-Biodegradable’. When thrown on land it makes the soil less fertile. When thrown in water it chokes our ponds, rivers and oceans and harms the sea life. If animals eat plastic, it gets stuck in their tummy and makes them sick. Sounds strange, right? But did you know that a world Why? because the bacteria in their stomach cannot without metal did exist? A very long time ago people only had clay, wood and stone to make stuff. They break the plastic up into smaller pieces. had not discovered metal yet. That time is called the “Stone-age”, as most things like hunting spears were Factories that make plastic have to make tons of them every day because people ask for plastic bags – in made of stone. shopping malls, grocery stores, everywhere. We can help these factories by giving back the unused plastic bags in our house – this is called “Recycling”. Recycling helps factories make fresh plastic by using the old ones. We can also help by using cloth bags for shopping instead of plastic bags. Imagine if all of us stop asking for plastic bags the factories will have no reason to make them – they can then start making beautiful cloth bags.






(2012-11-05 17:28)

Then someone found a metal called copper and mixed it with another metal called tin to make bronze. People were overjoyed as metal was easier to use than stone. Spears became sharper and cooking pots lighter. This era is known as the “Bronze-age”.






(2012-11-09 06:21)

Soon after, someone smarter discovered iron. They began using fire to remove iron from rock. Iron ore or raw iron was more easily available than copper and tin. We just didn’t know how to melt it out earlier. Iron was magic metal. It was much stronger and harder than bronze. It made people’s lives simpler. Improved tools for digging and farming became common. Now we could build large bridges and sturdy houses. Several forts were constructed for safety.

The spade-toothed whale is a very little known because it is the rarest species of beaked whales. It was unknown until a partial jaw was found on Pitt Island in New Zealand in 1872 by a geologist named James Hector. In December 2010, a female and a baby whale were found stranded on Opape Beach,New Zealand. They died soon and were at first thought to be Gray’s beaked whales. Later DNA analysis revealed that they were spade-toothed whale. They provided the first ever complete specimen of spade-toothed whale.

If you have ever visited a fort, you may remember long pipelike weapons propped on its walls. These cannons were used to shoot heavy iron balls on the enemy. Without iron, even the cannon would not exist. You must have guessed by now what this era is This species of whale inhabit Pacific Islands Region called – the “Iron-age”! and have never been seen alive. It rarely gets washed Even today iron is everywhere. It is the main in- ashore. So far we know nothing about their populagredient of steel, a metal used in cars, aeroplanes, tion or behaviour. houses and machines. Walk into your kitchen, you’ll find several cooking pots made of steel. Peek into dad’s toolbox- the hammer, pliers and screwdrivers are all iron and steel. Look around - what else can Barack Obama Re-elected as the US Presiyou see that is made of steel? dent (2012-11-07 06:06)


Precious Sunshine (2012-11-09 03:41) Barack Obama has been re-elected by the people of United States of America to be the 45th president of their country. He gets a second term which means another four years to serve the office. He had a very tough challenge from Republican Mitt Romney. Obama thanked all the voters online by tweeting from his official account ”This happened because of you. Thank you. Four more years.” In 2008, Barack Obama then an Illinois Senator from the Democratic Party, went to become the first African American president in the history of United States. Congratulations Mr. president!

Sunshine shines Sunshine shines Oh! look the dark cloud whines Its rays are falling bright yellow Making me so calm so mellow..




(2012-11-08 04:48)



NY I am sure you all know that sun’s rays are super for us. But have you ever wondered why they are so cherished? Sunshine helps us in many ways. When it falls on our body, it acts like medicine and destroys certain fungi and bacteria that live on our skin. The sun rays also make our white blood cells healthy and active. White blood cells in our body primarily fight germs and prevent us from falling sick. So you see sunshine actually strengthens our body’s army - our immune system. Of all the vital vitamins that our body needs, sun’s rays are the only source of vitamin D, which is very, useful for our bones.

Our nervous system that send messages to our brain about what we feel, hear, smell, taste and also about New York and New Jersey residents have been warned how we move around. This system gets all charged to evacuate their homes as a new storm hits the area. up from the sunlight. No wonder most us feel happier on bright and sunny days than dark and cloudy ones. The storm moving towards NY area has already brought some snow. So far around 1200 flights have So while, you must remember to hog five or ten minbeen cancelled and there will be more power cuts. utes of sunshine every day, do not be too greedy. ExAlthough the storm is not as strong as Sandy the cess sun bathing might not be a good idea as it can authorities are still very cautious. give you an itchy patchy sun burn!! 17

Avast! Ye Pirate (2012-11-12 06:53)

Anne never was a captain herself, but the pirate crew of The Revenge’ respected her as one. She joined the crew in 1719 after marrying their captain, Calico Rackham. Soon she became a feared pirate herself. She led several daring sea-robberies off the coast of Jamaica. A year later, the crew is celebrating their latest booty, pillaged from a Spanish merchant ship. “Splice the Mainbrace!” their imminent arrest.

they cheer, unaware of

When their ship is attacked, only Anne and Mary are awake to defend it. They fight bravely but are outnumbered. The entire crew is captured. “Aye Matey, ye ready?” and crew-mate, Mary.

Anne asks her friend

In reply, Anne sees Mary grasp her pirate cutlass. Anne herself is more than ready, brandishing pistols in both hands. Her dagger is tucked safely in her waistband. Anne approves Mary’s clothes. Like her, she is back in men’s khaki pants and a shirt. While Anne tucks her red hair in a tri-cornered hat, Mary is wearing a bandana. Then Anne notices Mary’s frown. She understands why. The rest of the crew is hiding under the deck even at a time like this – out cold from their merry-making! “Blimey Captain, arrgh!” she scorns her husband, “Come up, you cowards, and fight like men.” But neither the captain nor the crew ever joins them in their fight with the Governor’s men. Have you guessed who Anne Bonny and Mary Read are? And what were they doing on a ship in a stormy night like this? Why, they were two of the most infamous pirates of all times. Women pirates, really? After all didn’t the Pirate Code of Conduct’ strictly forbid the women on ships? Yes, women pirates were rare. Still, a few like Anne, braved all odds and proved themselves in this male-dominated occupation. 18

Wrong deeds never pay, and the pirates are brought to trial. Fitting punishment is given to all including the women. Their buccaneering (buhk-uh-neer-ing) days are finally over. Yet their stories have inspired many adventure novels and movies like Pirates of the Caribbean’. Want to Pirate-speak? Avast – Stop Pirate cutlass - A heavy curved sword To splice the mainbrace – Have a drink (or several) Hang the jib – To look ill-tempered Shiver me timbers – I am so surprised Deadlights – Yer eyes, lad! Booty – Goods seized Hornswaggle – To cheat Jolly Roger - A black flag bearing white skull and crossbones.







(2012-11-12 04:13)

At present the capsules use parachutes to land in the ocean, they will be replaced by spinning blades to enable soft and controlled landings on land. A lot of testing needs to be done before it can be deployed.

Manned Space Mission ’Made in China’ (2012-11-14 04:21)

In Bengaluru, Karnataka, police have banned the bursting of crackers between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. during Diwali.There can be no bursting of crackers around the silent zones like hospitals. Crackers not only cause noise pollution but their smoke also pollutes the air and increases the air pollution levels way above acceptable limits. Police will patrol across the city and action will be China plans to launch its next manned space mission taken against people who are found violating the ban. in June next year. It might carry three astronauts to space. China also plans to develop a full orbiting Hoping that not only Karnataka but people across space station by 2020 and is hopeful about a Chinese the country burst crackers wisely. landing on moon one day.

Spacecraft or Helicopters? (2012-11-15 05:18) Like NASA in US, the space program of China is

controlled by the China National Space Administration (CNSA). China can not use the existing NASA International Space Station as Beijing and Washington are not on very friendly terms. Did you know?

• In 2003 Yang Liwei, aboard Shenzhou 5, became the first chinese to go to space.This achievement made China the third country to independently send a person into space after US and Russia. Soon the spacecrafts would be able to land like helicopters. NASA has developed a new rotor landing system that will enable the space capsules to do so.

• In 2012 Shenzhou 9 carried China’s first female astronaut, Liu Yang and took part in the country’s first manual space docking mission. 19






Lights marched with him to Lanka.

(2012-11-13 05:26)

A battle ensued between Ram and Ravan. The war went on for several days and ended when Ram killed Ravan. Sita was finally reunited with her husband, and they returned to Ayodhya. The overjoyed people of Ayodhya celebrated the return of their prince Ram by illuminating their homes with lights of earthen oil lamps. Today, people celebrate the day by putting up fancy lighting in their homes, oil lamps and by bursting firecrackers. How did you celebrate your Diwali?

Deepavali or Diwali is the dazzling festival of lights. ’Deep’ means ’light’ and ’avali’ means ’a row’. Hence Deepavali means row of lights. It is the biggest festival Chacha Nehru’s Birthday (2012-11-14 05:18) celebrated by Hindus across the world and especially in India. The reason why Diwali is celebrated is mentioned in the great Hindu epic of Ramayana. Long time ago there lived a prince named Ram who was exiled from his kingdom Ayodhya for fourteen long years. Ram set out to live in a jungle and was joined by brother Lakshman and wife Sita in this banishment. They built a hut and were living peacefully in the jungle. One day a Sita saw a beautiful golden deer. She insisted on having the deer brought back into the hut. Ram went away to get it and put Lakshman in-charge to guard Sita. When Ram did not return after a long time, Sita ordered Lakshman to go look out for him. Worried about her safety, Lakshman drew ’lakhshman rekha’ - a protective magical line outside the hut and requested Sita not to overstep it. As soon as Lakshman left, a Brahmin came to the hut asking for some food. Unaware of any danger, Sita crossed over the line to hand out some food to the Brahmin. The Brahmin was none other than Ravan, the king of Lanka. He kidnapped Sita and brought her to Lanka against her wishes.

Today 14th November, is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, the famous freedom fighter and the first prime minister of free India. Mr Nehru, fondly called as Chacha Nehru, by all the children had a special love for children. He firmly believed in the educational development of Indian children. And that is why 14th November is celebrated as children’s day all over India.

Children’s Day is celebrated on 20th November in the rest of the world, every year as declared by the Ram and Lakshman were outraged when they found United Nations in 1954. Sita missing and set out to bring her back. On the way, they met several people including Hanuman and Happy children’s Day! his monkey-faced tribe. They became his army and 20

Strange Socotra (2012-11-15 18:27)

The islands have rare species of plants, reptiles and land snails that are found no where else in the world. Ever since the ancient time these islands have interested the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans who thrived on the natural treasures of Socotra. Aromatic resins such as frankincense, medicinal aloe extract, and the dark red sap of the dragon’s blood tree were used for healing and as colors for painting. These days Socotra holds the interest of researchers and tourists for its diverse flora and fauna.

It is highly amusing to see how the plants have evolved to survive the harsh dry conditions. A famous example is the desert rose. It has a high thick trunk with a leafy top. The trunk stores water, and takes fascinating shapes to fix itself to the rocks. The flowers are pink in color and are commonly referred Where the strange plants and animals exist, a to as desert rose. place 220 miles away from Yemen is called Socotra. Socotra is a collection of four islands in the Indian Ocean, near the Gulf of Aden. Millions of years ago, when Earth had just one landmass, even then this island stood apart on its own. Because of being isolated for so long this island is truly unusual and unique.

There may be many undiscovered species of insects on Socotra. Because of the regular monsoon winds in the area, many Socotran insects have evolved little wings, which prevents them from being blown out to sea. There are enormous centipedes that 21

can reach a length of more than 20 centimeters and can give a serious pinch. Ouch! Also, present are freshwater crabs, and large spiders that spin golden webs across wood land gaps. Harmless to humans, but scary nonetheless!! Herpetologists believe that there are still some undiscovered species of reptiles on the island.

A 19th century rare Indian diamond ’Archduke Joseph diamond’, named after its first owner Archduke Joseph August of Austria, was sold at world record price of $ 21.5 million (about Rs. 118 crore) at an auction in Geneva. The auction for 76 carat diamond was conducted by Christie, a very established auction house. The diamond was possibly mined at Golconda or Kollur mines near Hyderabad. Two other world famous diamonds mined here are Koh-i-noor and Hope. Kohi-noor is among the British Crown Queen Jewels and the Hope diamond is displayed in the Smithsonian Institute in U.S. However, the buyer of ’Archduke Joseph diamond’ remained anonymous. Have a look at the gorgeous diamond:

In diversity, this island is remarkably similar to Galapagos island, but it is more densely populated than Galapagos. More than 50,000 people live on the main island of the archipelago. Fishing, animal husbandry, and the cultivation of dates are the chief occupations of the indigenous population.

Israel attacks Gaza (2012-11-15 18:00)

Sadly, the development and the modernization of these islands is slowly destroying the cultural and natural habitat of the place. Hopefully the traditional aboriginal people of will somehow keep it as it is.

Rare Indian Diamond sold for Record Price (2012-11-15 18:22)

Israel in Asia, on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea, is the only Jewish country. Gaza Strip is a stretch of land along the Mediterranean. The main city in the Gaza Strip is called Gaza inhabited by Arabs known as Palestinians. The strip is not part of any recognized country. It is currently ruled by Hamas - a Palestinian group. 22

vertebrae (or spine). Now this vertebrae is in the form of a coiled spring. The gravity on Earth pulls this spring downwards. Have you ever tried pushing down on the spring with your finger? The spring is compressed, but when the force is released, the spring stretches out. The same thing happens to the spine, it elongates by up to three percent while humans travel in space. There is lesser gravity pushing down on the vertebrae in space than Earth, so they can stretch out - up to 3 inches. Keeping this fact in mind astronaut suits are designed to be longer.

(Mapcourtesy: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a dispute between two groups of people with claims control over the same area of land - The Gaza Strip. Israel has attacked more than 200 targets in the Gaza Strip to chase and kill Hamas leaders. .

Grow Taller in Space! (2012-11-18 16:54)

A similar thing happens when your are sleeping at night. All of us look taller while lying down because the force of gravity is not pushing us down. Hmm! So when someone asks for your height which What? Really? This is a fact and not just an il- one should you tell? On Earth or the one in space. lusion. Astronauts have been known to gain over 2 Think about it. inches of height in space which returns back to normal once they are back to earth. You know why? All because of zero gravity. We all know that our height is determined by our 23

Change of Guard in China (2012-11-16 16:29)

Have you ever wondered why ketchup is called so. Well it can be easily called tomato sauce by just evXi Jinping has become the new general-secretary of eryone. Then why ketchup? China’s ruling Communist Party will now take charge of the world’s number two economy for next ten years. The mystery of the name lies in the Chinese origin of the sauce. In the late 17th century, the Chinese mixed He is succeeding President Hu Jintao. pickled fish with spices and in their language (which was mandarin) called it ke-chiap - meaning the brine Xi Jinping has a few challenges to face as the Comof pickled fish. By the beginning of 18th century, this munist Party is facing slower economic growth and a sauce made its way into the neighbouring countries public protest to end corruption. (present day Malaysia and Singapore). By now the sauce was called kechap.



(2012-11-16 16:27)


Catchup? Soon enough this delicacy was discovered by British explorers. Many versions of the sauce were made over the century. And then the version with lots of tomatoes stayed on. That word kechap also evolved over the years into the English word ”ketchup”. Today, H. J. Heinz Company, the largest distributor of ketchup in the world.

Ketchup! Ha! See I made you smile :) We are talking about the same red tomato sauce that you lap up while eating fries or that gooey cheesy Did you know? pizza. A lot of people also call it ’catsup’. The study of how the words originated and also the 24

way in which their meanings have changed throughout Mysterious Stones (2012-11-20 16:41) history is Etymology. Can you find some words with interesting Etymology?? Here is one to start with - Vermicelli comes from Latin word ’vermiculae’ meaning ’little worms’ since the pasta resembles wriggly worms.

Cobras Rescued (2012-11-16 16:28) (Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons) Imagine you are walking on a lush green beautiful country side, and abruptly you come across giant stones arranged in concentric circles. Do you think such a place exists? There is such a place that is 90 miles from the city of London in United Kingdom there lies a pre-historic monument called ’Stonehenge’. Stonehenge was built more than 3,000 years ago, anywhere between 3000 BC to 2000 BC. How do we know that? Scientists have used various techniques to find out how old the stones are. The monument has giant stones arranged in concentric circles. You must be thinking that why would a cobra need to be saved, after all they are the most poisonous snakes in the world. But it is true. Thai Customs officials have seized over 600 cobras saving them from ending on dinner tables. Snake meat is very popular in some south east asian cultures like Vietnam, Thailand and China. The driver has been charged with a violation of the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act. The seized cobras are now under the care of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife and Plant Conservation. The outermost circle of stones is almost 100 feet in diameter. Large stones of the outer circle are made 25

of sandstone. Two standing stones have 10 feet long Free Floating curved stone across the top called lintels. Inner semi- (2012-11-17 18:29) circle is formed by even larger blocks of sandstone and lintels. Within this inner circle, there are smaller stones called bluestones that are also arranged in a circle.





A stand alone stone called Heel stone stands some distance away from the main structure. On the morning of the summer or winter solstice, seen standing from the center of the structure, the sun rises directly over the Heel Stone. How were the stones dragged to the location in those ancient times is a big mystery. Each stone was probably brought from over 200 miles away and weighs about 25 tonnes. There were no carts invented by then, so one wonders how. Another mystery is why these massive stones were arranged in such a peculiar manner. May be it served as an astronomical calendar. Maybe it was an an- Scientists have now found a planet that is not recient burial ground since archaeologists have discov- volving around the sun. Although the scientists were ered bones buried at the site. Nobody knows for sure. hoping to find such a planet this is the first time such a planet have been discovered. Stonehenge will remain a mystery untill we have a way to go back in time to see for ourselves as to what It was found by researchers working at the ESO’s actually happened !! Very Large Telescope and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. Watch a captivating video about how Stonehenge must have been created

Do not be a Genie, Just be a Parent

(2012-11-20 04:28)

Be mindful of the temptation of buying just anything and everything for your kids that they desire. Many a times our kids pester us for toys or stuff that their friends have been flaunting. Sometimes immediately, 26

sometimes after a lot of nagging we eventually give Sunita Williams in. But should we just keep on buying toys/things for (2012-11-19 05:50) them that they do not really need? Well that is what I did until recently. Soon I realized that even after having designated one room as the toy room that had cabinets, lofts and trolleys full of toys and just toys - the toys were now beginning to conquer my whole house.




One night after stepping on the squeaky duck, then hurting my feet with car wheels and then finally narrowly escaping a slip disc injury tripping over the bouncy ball, I made a decision. I was so done. Some of these toys had to go. It was either me or them. I decided to update the kids about my decision, gently. I asked for their help as they were to give away these toys to less privileged children. Surprisingly my kids were tremendously supportive - initially. But as the toys flowed out of the cabinets, it turned out they wanted to hold on to each and every one of them. The more I reasoned with them the more they got upset. Sunita Williams back from Space I decided I was not going to give up. I was determined to downsize the clutter and this time without their permission. Soon enough I got rid of all the toys that my kids were not playing much with. Phew! And now I am thoroughly enjoying all the free space, and my kids have begun to enjoy that too!

The Russian Soyuz capsule carrying astronaut trio Sunita Williams, Yuri Malenchenko and Aki Hoshide landed at 0726 IST in the town of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan, Russia.

The crew undocked from International Space Station Having fewer toys really does benefits kids. Here, yesterday ending Expedition 33. Expedition 34 at ISS is how: begins under the command of Kevin For, with Evgeny Tarelkin and Oleg Novitskiy until March. • By you saying ’no’ for some things, you are giving The astronauts returned from 127-day journey in your kids basic lessons about impulse control. It space, since their launch on July 15, this year from gradually enforces in them the fact it is OK not the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. to own everything one desires. Williams has so far spent a total of 322 days in space • Children will give more attention to each toy and, during her two long-duration missions and also holds the record for spacewalking time for female astrotherefore, value their toys more. nauts.Commander Malenchenko has spent total of • With fewer items to look after for, they will take 642 days in space and it was end of fifth spaceflight care of their things better. for him. It was end of second space trip for Hoshide. • Also, ’clean-up time’ with a limited number of Three cheers for the trio!! toys is easy for kids. They get confused when too many things are floating around. To see a video of Expedition 33 Landing, visit And for adults, of course living in a cleaner tidier home is a big plus !! 27




Australia United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is on way to Cairo,where he intends to “appeal personally for ending the violence,” a statement from his office said.

(2012-11-19 03:28)

Leaders across the world, especially from Egypt and Iran are making efforts so that peace shall prevail between both parties as soon as possible. Hoping a ceasefire instead of crossfire soon. Know more about why Israel attacked Gaza?

A huge waterspout has been caught on tape off the coast of Batemans Bay in the Australian state of New South Wales. So far there has been no damage but some bad weather is expected.

Please Pass the Banana (2012-11-19 17:23)

Check this out:






(2012-11-19 17:22)

Did you know that apes can ... what, ask for a banana? No, apes cannot say “Please pass the banana”! Though wouldn’t it be cool and funny if they did? But what they can do is grasp a banana as Continued Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip and we do, by bending the thumb to touch their fingers. in return rockets fired at Israel by Gaza, is causing Have you seen any other animal do that? heavy loss of life on both sides. 28

But most importantly, they have bigger brains and are much more intelligent than monkeys. In fact, they are so intelligent than some apes have been taught to use the sign language. But that is only in captivity. They do not learn this naturally in the wild. In the wild, apes have been seen using small tools. For instance, they use a stick to poke into ant-hills. Then, when they pull it out, the stick becomes a yummy lolly with insects clinging to it. Apes, like monkeys, are very social and love living in large groups. They sleep on trees too, What’s more, they can even bend their big though mostly travel on land. Do you know what toes to meet the other toes!! their favorite food is? Yes, right, it’s bananas and other fruits. They like eating leaves and seeds too. And do you know what else makes apes differ- Some apes also eat insects and small animals. ent from other monkeys and more like us Humans? For one, they are tailless. And, they can stand Do you know where you can find an ape? Yeah, upright on two feet. the zoo, I know, I know; but where in the wild? Well, apes love the warm and hot climate. So the rainforests in South-east Asia and Africa are their favorite habitats. Then again, apes are of two types – the great apes and lesser apes. Chimpanzees, Gorillas and Orangutans are great apes while Gibbons are lesser apes. Can you guess which other animal some scientists believe should be considered a great ape too? It is us, “Humans”!!


Safety Plan for Kudankulam Nuclear Power Israel to Put Project (2012-11-20 16:43) (2012-11-20 16:42)




Egypt’s constant mediation between Israel and Gaza and presence of United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon in Israel may bring out positive results at last. Diplomatic efforts will reach a peak with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrival in Israel. The message of Clinton’s trip will be that it is in nobody’s interest for there to be an increased military conflict in Gaza. Know more about why Israel attacked Gaza?



Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project(KNPP) is a nu(2012-11-20 16:43) clear power station in Kudankulam in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. A nuclear power station is a major source of power- both heat and electricity.




There were a lot of protests coming from the people that live in the nearby vilages. But now the Supreme Court on Tuesday made it clear to the government that all safety measures for handling disaster must be put in place at the Kudankulam power plant before it starts working. SC further directed the state that if the state of TN does not submit the safety plans for surrounding 40 villages, an order will be passed to stop any operations at the plant. How can that even be possible? Thousand fruits on a platter. Yes it is if you dry them up and squeeze them into tiny sizes. Now can you guess what we are 30

talking about? Dry fruits or commonly known as nuts Largest Spider taste terrific and are so good for you. Let us explore (2012-11-23 15:55) here which nut provides what?




Have you ever heard that the shape of fruits and vegetables gives a hint as to what it is good for? Almonds - Isn’t it amusing that a nut that looks like eyes is actually darned good for eyesight. Soaked almonds are very good for keeping your eyesight healthy throughout your life. Walnuts - No prizes for guessing that this nut can do wonders for you brain. Packed with nutrients walnuts keep you healthy and wise. Cashew nuts - Okay this smiley nut, which is shaped, as a smile keeps you happy. It has vitamins that will If you guessed Goliath Birdeater, you would be right! keep your heart smiling too. These huge, hairy spiders are the largest spiders by Raisins - These tiny little drops of sugar are the most mass, and they belong to the tarantula family. Guess nutritious of all the dry fruits. They are sugary and how powerful they are?? sweet and so much better than candies. They have antioxidants that keep your blood remarkably clean. Goliath Birdeaters can grow upto a foot long with one inch long fangs!! The tiny spiders in your house Pistachio - A hard nut to crack! but packed with are not even an inch long!! extreme goodness. This little green seed helps in growth of good bacteria and, so it is commonly called Their long, pointy fangs contain poison. These spiders ”nut for the guts”. It keeps digestive system healthy hunt mostly in the night. Even with eight eyes, these and boosts immunity. tarantulas have poor vision, so they hunt by sensing the vibrations of the moving prey. Dates - A date a day keeps the doctor away. Dates are an excellent source of iron. One date daily is necessary Are you scared? Breathe a sigh of relief. Their bite is for a balanced and healthy diet. harmless to humans, and you are too big for them to swallow you. Although they have these tiny tarantula I am nuts about nuts. Aren’t you? hair that might irritate you, there is nothing much they can do to hurt you. When threatened, they rub their abdomen with their hind legs to release very fine bristle like hair that can irritate your skin and mucous membranes. That will make you itchy and wanting to cough. Take a look at this video. The funny thing is that Goliath bird eater does not normally eat birds. So why does it get that name? It is because the explorers who named it, witnessed this tarantula eating a hummingbird. 31

Did you know? Giant Huntsman spider is the world’s largest spider by leg-span.

• Aaron Hibbs from Ohio spun the hula for the longest time - 74 hours and 54 minutes between October 22-25,2009. • Record for most hoops twirled in one go is 132 held by Paul ”Dizzy Hips” Blair on November 11, 2009.

Round and Round Around your Waist (2012-11-22 17:16)

• The largest hoop - 45.55 feet in circumference was twirled by Asrita Furman of United States in September 2005.

Happy Hooping!!

Discovery of Stone age House in UK (2012-11-24 15:54)

No points for guessing! It is the plastic hoop that you spin around your waist or at least try to. There are some who can twirl it for hours, but if you are one of them who can’t hold it long enough, watch this video. After all everything is all about learning the trick and practicing. Hula hoop is not a modern day invention. It has been there since the 5th century. Ancient Greeks made the hoop with dried up shrubs and stiff grasses. It was used for recreation as well as exercising. Oh During a construction work near Edinburgh, UK reyes! shaking your body with the hoop sure burns a mains of an extremely old house have been found. The lot of calories :) house has a large oval pit, and remains of more than 1,000 of old tools and arrowheads. Until 19th century, the ring was just called ’hoop’. Then some British soldiers travelling to Hawaiian Is- Big quantities of burnt hazelnut shells were also found lands noticed that the body movements while perform- suggesting whoever lived there roasted the nuts for ing traditional Hawaiian dance ’hula’ are extremely food. similar to body movements when one spins the hoop. Ever Since then ’hula’ has inseparably attached itself Archaeologists believe that the house could be more to the ’hoop’ to become Hula Hoop!! than 10,000 years old possibly belonging to the Mesolithic period. Many world records are attached with hula hooping. 32

Aesop’s Fables (2012-11-21 15:31)

known as Aesop’s Fables or the Aesopica. Aesop’s fables from Greece and Jataka Tales and Panchatantra from India have many stories in common. The details sometimes differ widely. For instance, the fable of ’The Wolf and the Crane’ is told in India as a story of ’A Lion and another bird’.

Have you heard the fable of ”The crow and the pitcher” where the thirsty crow gets the water level in the pitcher up by filling it up with stones? This story teaches us ”Necessity is the mother of invention”. There is another one about “The tortoise and the hare” where both the animals decide to get into a race. Contrary to the expectation of swift hare winning the race, the unhurried tortoises wins. So it is said ” The slow and steady always wins the race”. I must have heard or read these a hundred times.

Therefore, some historians debate whether, in ancient times, the Greeks learned these fables from Indian storytellers or the other way round. Well it does not matter who wrote them first they are wonderful stories!!

Secret Passageways (2012-11-26 03:53)

Most of the fables that we read today were actually written sometime between 620 and 560 BC by a Greek slave named Aesop. He wrote hundreds of fables while he was in captivity. He keenly observed incidents around him and weaved gripping tales around them. In the end, he always added an intelligent advice. Collection of fables written by Aesop is commonly 33

Greenland losing Ice.. (2012-11-23 16:01) Long ago, when castles, mansions, alcazars, fortresses and palaces existed, then within these also existed secret passages. These secret passages were hidden routes somewhere inside the building. Only a few trusted people knew about these tunnels. These concealed tunnels led to private rooms or to an exit far away from the building. Anybody crawling through them could enter or exit buildings without being seen. Obviously then the question is why were they constructed at all? After all, we don’t have hidden routes in our homes these days. In the olden times, there was always a looming threat of enemy attack. Hidden routes inside palaces provided the king and the royal family one of the ways to hide or avoid the danger. But that is not the only reason, there is more to it. Ancient Egyptians built rooms hidden deep beneath the main passages inside the pyramids. These were decoy rooms with few valuable items to trap the tomb raiders. This way raiders could be caught before they reached actual burial chamber. Smart, huh! During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, priests practicing Catholic traditions were punished. Many English homes had small, cleverly hidden spaces constructed to hide a Catholic priest during sudden raids by the queen’s men. These hidden chambers were called priest holes. Today, you can still find priest holes in many of England’s historic homes. In 2006, a tunnel was discovered running from Tijuana, Mexico to Otay Mesa, California. The tunnel was used to smuggle goods and carry out illegal activities. Taking a cue from olden times, a modern day Glacier-covered Greenland has had an average net tunnel gets built but only to used for evil activities... loss of 200 million tons of ice every year since 2003, That’s sad. scientists who are studying the changing mass of the island using satellite data have confirmed that. Scientists use the rate of melting ice in Greenland as the measure of rate of Global warming. The really interesting part is that is that the ice is shrinking at the edges but getting thicker in the middle. 34

How Do We Learn? (2012-11-22 17:14)

learn and understand the world around us as we grow. Asking question also comes naturally to kids as soon as they are able to talk. The vision: Your eyes are at work as long as they are open. They are like camera clicking away pictures of each and every thing that you see. Then they send the information to your brain for processing so the brain knows what’s going on outside of your body. Ohh! the smell: Your nose helps you breathe and smell. It has Olfactory cells line the top of the nasal cavity. These cells contain special receptors that help you smell and distinguish a flower’s sweet smell from a pig’s stink.

The sound of music: Do you wonder how your ears do this amazing job of listening. Your ears collect all the different sounds that you hear and send them to the brain to process. Ears help you with one more thing and it is not related to hearing - they help to maintain your body’s balance. No wonder mama has to yell, ”Clean you ears!!”, when you constantly Do ignore her advice. you remember the time when you were all babies? Were you as smart then as you are now? Have Where is the flavor?: Ever tried sticking out you wondered how have you learnt whatever you your tongue? Do you see those tiny bumps on your have learnt? Tell me how would you answer all the tongue? Well lying under those are the taste buds or the sensory organs that help you differentiate sweet questions asked below. from sour and spicy from bitter. Do you know the colors of the rainbow? See Touch me not: The skin contains general reit ceptors. These receptors can detect touch, pain, Do the flowers smell the same as pigs or differ- pressure, and temperature. You have them all over your skin. Skin receptors generate an impulse when ent? Smell them. activated, which is carried to the spinal cord and Is the chirping of birds same as the roar of then to the brain. Lion? Hear it. Does a stone feel as soft as cotton? it.


Are carrots as delicious as Fries? Taste them. You answered all of them correct. How? You looked, you touched, you smelt, you ate, you listened and you asked a thousand questions. Interesting thing is that all these senses report to the brain. No prizes for guessing who the boss is? We are all born with five senses that help us 35

By using all these senses you have grown so Yesterday the volcano erupted again ejecting ash cloud much and you will continue to grow and use them all at least 2km(1.25 miles) into the air. This latest erupyour life. tion lasted for around five minutes. Go start discovering new things.

Volcanic ash fall Could affect the Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne and Bay of Plenty areas.





(2012-11-21 15:33)

Mount Tongariro erupts (2012-11-21 15:34)

I love thanksgiving dinner. Actually, I love that special carrot cake mom makes every year. I wait all year just for that. Only problem is, everybody loves it. And when there are plenty cousins to share with, I rarely get enough. Mount Tongariro is in the Tongariro National Park, This time I wanted more. But mom wasn’t North Island of New Zealand. just going to hand me more, right? And no one would donate me their share either. So I had to devise a Mt Tongariro which was dormant since 1897 ,erupted plan. earlier this year in august for the first time in over a century. I could make mom and dad happy, and maybe they would reward me. That’s it! I would help them with dinner preparations. I went turkey shopping with dad and helped him with the light fixtures. When I entered the kitchen, mom was measuring flour for the cake. “Can I help?” I smiled inwardly. Mom probably raised an eyebrow but said nothing. Soon I was whipping cream, breaking eggs and grating carrots. By the time the oven tinged, I was covered in cake goo. “What’s up?” Neil confronted me. 36

“Here’s a cake mix, just follow instructions.” I feigned innocence, “Just helping out.” Thankfully the instructions were simple. For “You hardly move out of your room, but today all my “helping-out” I deserved a gigantic piece now. you even baked the cake!” People started pouring in by five. The turkey “I’m trying to get into Santa’s good books.” was carved, the yams were passed out, and the mashed potatoes were scooped. As always I hung “Seriously?” my kid brother narrowed his eyes. back in my corner, impatient for the party to end. I wanted to say, “Mind your own business,” but then “Sheila, please serve the cake,” mom called out. he walked out quietly.

Great, that was my chance! I carefully cut it and stowed away the biggest piece. Then I began “Neeiiil,” I was awakened by mom’s yell the serving the rest. next morning. She was in the kitchen holding the “Mmmm&. Amazing, Emma!” cake. “I had to check,” Neil whimpered, “I was sure “Sheila baked it,” mommy gloated. Sheila had spoiled it.” Soon everyone was all praises. I became the “Aahhhh!” it was my turn now. The cake was star of the evening. Everybody took helpings till the ruined. That big scoop on the side, could we serve it plate was squeaky clean. anymore? “What do I do now? I have no carrots. all shops are closed&,” mom was panicking.

I skipped back to the kitchen with a wide grin, when a small voice piped in. And “Can I have more?” that was Neil.

I wanted to say, “Let’s eat it!” Instead, found myself saying, “Let’s bake a regular cake, cut this one “I’m sorry&” mom began, but I cut in. and layer it.” “Actually mom, there is a little more,” I said, handing over my share. “Great idea; go ahead, bake one.” “Me& no, I can’t!”

I did not even taste the cake that year. But what I tasted was much more delicious – togetherness 37

of my family and the joy of sharing. The total spirit Who was Albert Einstein? (2012-11-23 16:00) of thanksgiving!







(2012-11-21 15:34)

Albert Einstein was one of the most famous scientists of the 20th century. Here, are a few things about his life you might like to know.

So what is the big news from curiosity that the scientists are keeping under wraps. Even though it is not very clear what the news is, it is something phenomenal enough to go in the history books. The mystery will be revealed shortly, though. Grotzinger told Wired through e-mail that NASA would hold a press conference about the results during the 2012 American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco from Dec. 3 to 7.

He was born on 14th March, 1879 in Germany to a businessman father. His mother was particularly interested in music, so Einstein learned music from very early age. He played Beethoven’s sonatas and Mozart’s melodies beautifully on violin.

The scientists want to thoroughly check the results before revealing it to the public. When Einstein was around four, his father gave him a magnetic compass. He tried hard to understand how Let us see what the future brings. the needle worked in the closed case of the compass. This was the first incident that showed Einstein’s inclination towards science and mathematics. When Einstein was ten years old, an older friend and 38

a medical student introduced him to popular books Israel Gaza on science, mathematics and philosophical writings. (2012-11-22 16:59) These included Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, and Euclid’s Elements (which Einstein called the ”holy little geometry book”).




At the age of seventeen, he passed the high-school exam with mostly good grades. He scored a top grade of 6 in physics and mathematical subjects, on a scale of 1-6. Though only seventeen, he enrolled in the four-year mathematics and physics teaching diploma program at a University in Zurich, Switzerland. Einstein got Swiss citizenship at age 22. Later in life, Einstein came up with theories about light, matter, gravity, space, and time. He came up with ”the world’s most famous equation” that is ” E = mc2 ”. It means that energy and mass are different forms of the same thing. In 1921, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics ”for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.” In warring Germany, when Hitler came to power, he began imprison Jews. Einstein who was also a jew had to leave Germany in 1933. Einstein went to the United States and lived there with the help of the Advanced Academic Research Center at Princeton in the country. Einstein was granted American citizen in 1940. On 17 April 1955, Albert Einstein died at the age of 76. His brain was preserved by scientists because they wanted to find a reason for his unmatched intellect. His brain is remarkably different from most people and could be related to his genius. References Albert Einstein - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from Einstein

Israel and Gaza have finally agreed on a ceasefire to end Israel-Palestinian conflict for now. Both sides are claiming victory. Peace finally prevailed after a week of air attacks that left many people dead and injured. UN council appreciated Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi for constantly mediating between the two sides.





(2012-11-22 17:13)

One horned rhinos that are already an endangered species are still being attacked. As their horns have extremely good medicinal qualities, poachers hunt them and then cut out the horn. Yet again a rhino was killed and its horn removed 39

on Thursday in the Kaziranga National Park, taking What Our Kids the number of pachyderms killed by poachers this year (2012-11-25 16:05) to 20.





The government authorities are trying to trace the poachers. Sad but true. Can we do something to save them, if you have any ideas please share.

I am throwing a tantrum for a toy, but honestly I am just testing you.



(2012-11-23 15:55)



I am forcing you to bend your rules, but testing you Areas again. Don’t change the rules, because when you stick to the rules, I feel safer. I am a kid. I do not know what is right or wrong. Don’t ignore my mistakes. Correct them. I am a kid. I will make mistakes. Correct me and forgive me, don’t keep blaming me. When I pretend that I did not hear you, I actually hear you the first time, but I hate when you keep repeating yourself. Give me some time to do what you told me to do. Don’t suggest that I am perfect because I am not. Nobody is. Set realistic goals for me.

I am growing up fast like a plant, and for me, sunlight is your love and water is your understanding. Give India and China have two main disputed border areas me plenty of those. - Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh. Don’t think you never wrong me. Don’t choose your Both the countries from time to time have claimed ego over me. A small apology from you will warm up their ownership on these areas. In 1962 China and In- my heart. dia fought a brief war over Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh. In 1993 the two countries signed agreements I need you. Don’t just take care of me, take care to respect the Line of Actual Control. of yourself too and always be around for me. Recently, China represented Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as its territory in maps of the country on their new e-passport. India has reciprocated by issuing visas with Indian maps that show these disputed regions as part of India. 40

House On The Road (2012-11-25 16:05)

”Why did you turn me yellow?”, Roared the sky. ”Stop lying!”, said the sun. ”I had nothing to do with turning you yellow mister.” ” No, you are yellow, and you love that colour. I am sure you did it.”, Bellowed the sky. The little girl became terribly sad. She loved bright yellow sun shining in pleasant blue sky like There is a single house in the middle of the road. every day. She did not know what to do until she Yes it is true. got an idea. That night, she got light blue paint and quietly painted the sky to its original colour. BUT! It’s in the city of Wenling, China, where officials have what she did not realize was that, in the darkness of demolished a neighbourhood to make way for a new the night, she had painted both blue. motorway. But the couple living in this house did not want to move.

The Sun and The Sky (2012-11-26 16:48) (This delightful story is penned by our young reader Rhea who is seven years old) Once upon a time a little girl Jen was walking in her garden when she heard rumbling noise behind her. She turned around to see that the sky had turned yellow. She could not believe her eyes. Still gazing at the strangest thing she had ever seen in her life she heard some loud noise also. Much to her Next morning as soon as she woke up, she exwonder, the sun and the sky were arguing. The sky citedly looked out of the window. Much to her dismay, she heard the sun and the sky fighting again. was yellow, and it was blaming the sun for that. At first she could not understand why. But soon she 41

realized that the blue sun was now blaming the sky If the current dust storm were to expand to cover for its changed appearance. the Red Planet, it will cover the rovers and affect their power supply. What a blunder! the girl thought to herself. Determined to have original sun and sky back, that night she painted the sun yellow again. This time it was just the Sun. This time she made no mistake.

Letter To Santa (2012-11-27 15:36)

To In the morning, sun and the sky were in their Iwant Ineed an Ipad this Christmas. original colors, and they both became friends again. I want many many many many many many many colorful pens like my ma’am.

Dust Storm On Mars (2012-11-26 16:49)

I have been exceptionally nice all this year and will continue to be nice until Christmas. So, please get me a remote control truck. Don’t get Andy any remote control trucks. is not nice as he does not share his toys.


Please don’t tell my mother, but I want a puppy that is alive. Can you, please take my elder sister back and bring me a new baby brother? My mom says that my sister was a Christmas gift from you. Can you make all healthy food junk and junk food healthy in my house? NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) first Lastly I want to give you a gift too. While spotted the Martian dust storm on Nov. 10 and has leaving you can take my mother’s phone, you can use been tracking ever since. it too if you like. A global dust storm on Mars could have some dif- Love, ficulties for for the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers. Your most favourite kid 42

P.S. Are you sure you know the way to my house? If you don’t just google it.

The Maple Syrup (2012-11-28 17:31) Jenny was extremely excited. The snow was melting, and the ice was thinning. It was that time of the year, when her dad took the kids to collect the sweet maple syrup from the maple tree. But this time it was more special. She was now seven and old enough to join them on this trip. She had always dreamt of tasting the sweet maple syrup flowing directly from the trees!

So along with her siblings and her dad, Jenny set off to a journey to the maple sugar woods. They carried the wooden buckets on the horse cart. When they reached the forest, they set up their camps and started drilling holes in the maple trees. After pushing wooden spouts into the tree trunks, they placed the wooden buckets underneath the spouts.

Jenny was too excited to wait for the bucket to fill, so she touched the sap and tasted it. To her surprise it did not taste anything like the maple syrup at all. In fact, it was not even sweet. She ran to her dad and complained that they had come to the wrong woods. Her father smiled and said that the sap has to be boiled a lot before it tastes like the maple syrup. It was beginning to get dark, and people huddled together in their tents. The whole night maple sap dripped into the wooden buckets. Jenny spent the whole night dreaming of warm delicious maple syrup with hot pancakes. Next morning when she woke up there was an large fire burning with a enormous iron port on top of it. Her dad made her sit on his shoulders so she could smell the maple syrup as the sap was boiling down.

Dad knew how long to let it boil for. He let it boil for almost the whole day. When the syrup was ready they made candies out of it by throwing some in the snow. After having their full of maple syrup, they packed all the syrup and started back home. 43

It was the best camping party ever for Jenny. This story is set in olden times, but nowadays people use powerful machines to collect the sap and turn it into maple syrup. History of maple syrup Maple syrup was first collected and used by the indigenous peoples of North America. The practice was adopted by European settlers, who gradually improved production methods. Technological improvements in the 1970s further refined syrup processing.

many other things present in the atmosphere absorb heat from these rays. When the rays travel longer to reach a particular area, more is the heat lost by them on the way. Therefore, that area they fall on receives less heat.

Equator and places very close to it receive straight falling sun rays. Straight rays cover short distance to Why is Equator Very Hot? (2012-11-27 15:53) reach earth and, therefore, don’t lose much heat on the way. Therefore, the area that they fall on receives a lot of heat. While the temperature of a place is mostly decided by sun rays, height of place above sea level and its distance from the sea shore also have some role to play.

Phantom Islands (2012-11-28 17:30) Our Earth receives all its heat mostly from the Sun. Since Earth is spherical in shape, sun rays fall on different places on earth at different angles. This is the reason why every part of our planet is not equally hot. On the equator, the sun rays fall straight where as on either side of the equator they fall at an angle. So that would mean that the sun rays falling straight on earth are hotter than the rays falling in a slanting way. Have you wondered why? The answer is straightforward. The rays that fall obliquely travel a longer distance in the atmosphere. The dust particles, water, gases and 44

Sounds eerie huh! Islands with phantoms and spirits Buildings On Mars (2012-11-28 17:27) loitering around? But there is nothing spooky about phantom islands except their name ;) Phantom island is a word that is commonly used for an island that is marked on historical maps, but does not exist in real. These historical maps were drawn a few centuries ago. But where did they go? How did they disappear? Actually they never existed in the first place. So these imaginary islands, were removed from the maps. But what could have made sailors or explorers believe that these absent islands were present? Today’s scientists have many different theories about it.

• Mistakes in geography could have resulted in such mapping. There is a possibility that the actual islands were wrongly mapped. Phantom Island Pepys was in fact the Falkland Islands in Atlantic Ocean. • Sometimes icebergs, fog banks were wrongly mapped as islands. Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) CEO Elon Musk is planning to make a colony of 80,000 people on • Some errors were probably done on purpose. Mars and the ticket will only cost you half a million Once in a while explorers mapped non existent dollars. islands and named them in honor of influential government ministers to make them happy. This Have you ever wondered what do astronauts do when minister in return granted them money for explo- they are out of food supplies or equipment supplies? ration voyages. Or if they have to send some test samples back to Earth. Surely they can’t start their cars and drive on. Scratching your head? They use SpaceX a Space • Although many phantom islands never existed, Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, is few like Thompson Island or Bermeja may have an American space transport company headquartered been actual islands that were destroyed by volin Hawthorne, California. canic explosions, earthquakes or landslides. Mr Musk will start the mission by first sending less than 10 people. Very recently, Sandy Island in South Pacific Ocean that was marked on google earth and world maps was They will start building transparent domes pressurfound to be non existing. It has been declared a phan- ized with CO2 covered in a layer of water to serve as tom island. protection from the sun. Do you know about any phantom island?

Get ready to book your tickets. 45





(2012-11-27 16:43)






(2012-11-30 03:11)

Today Sikhs around the world are celebrating birthday of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion.He was born on April 15, 1469 in the western Punjab village of Talwandi, about forty-five kilometres away from Lahore,Pakistan. The place of his birth is now known as Nankana sahib. His birthday is known as Guru Nanak Jayanti. Each year his birthday is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Kartik (October-November). A great saint, Guru Nanak’s birthday is marked by free sweets and langar (community lunches) offered to everyone irrespective of religious faith. Volunteers of all age groups gather to prepare the community lunch in Gurudwaras. Men, women and children participate in this service which is called karseva. It is a close feeling of brotherhood that they all gather to chop vegetables, cook on huge fires and roll out countless number of rotis and serve drinking water. 46

There is some good news for our environment. The cutting down of trees of Amazon rainforests in Brazil has declined. Infact has dropped to its lowest level in 24 years. ”It is the lowest deforestation rate since Brazil began its monitoringin 1988”, said Brazil’s Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira. Deforestation refers to the cutting, clearing, and removal of rainforests. Why are rainforests important to us? Rainforests are lungs of planet earth because they produce huge amounts of oxygen that we breathe.





Flying to help you even if you are a stranger.”

(2012-11-28 17:28)

While on one hand Graham saw space shuttle launch in Florida, on the other hand , 50 dolphins swam along his boat for two hours while he was sailing through Atlantic. Isn’t that awesome??

The Olympic Swimmer (2012-11-30 01:23)

Britisher Graham Hughes set a world record for being the most travelled person on the planet. He travelled across the world and visited 201 nations without even once boarding a plane!! So how did he do it?

If birds had a swimming Olympics then ducks would participate as they are excellent swimmers. Ducks belong to Anatidae family of birds, which also includes swans and geese. However, ducks are much smaller than and different from them. While the duck is busy poking its beak at the bottom of the pond for food, you will see its tail and the big webbed feet. They can eat insect, fish or water plants. They are very comfortable around water. They can live anywhere - near ponds, lakes or ocean. He either took a ground transport or walked on feet to visit every country in the world. His real challenge was visiting tiny island nations.They could only be reached via ships that went there once a month. He ended his four-year journey in South Sudan, which was not even a country when he set off from his hometown of Liverpool on New Year’s Day 2009. Most people thought that he was mad and a lot of people thought that it was impossible. But Graham made impossible possible. He said, ”I Although penguins are the fastest swimmers, but conthink I also wanted to show that the world is not some sidering that the ducks can fly too they are champion big, scary place, but in fact is full of people who want swimmers. The only place where these ducks have 47

two left feet is on the land where they waddle around Noah’s Ark (2012-11-30 01:20) moving in a funny way. Because of their walk on the land the ducks have inspired many cartoons. The most famous one being Donald duck. The duck are blessed with a coat that is waterproof. This keeps them warm in winter and wet season. The ducks fly to the southern areas during winter. The ducks also use some of their feathers to keep the nest warm for their eggs. They build a nest near water. The nest can be on the ground or a tall tree near the water.

When the eggs hatch tiny ducklings that come out of it already know how to swim. No prizes for guessing where they go as soon as they hatch. They hit Long time ago there lived a truly good man named Noah. He was honest, helpful and hardworking. He the water. loved God a lot, and God loved him back for his pleasant ways. One day God was looking down at Earth Interesting facts about ducks and became extremely sad. All the people on earth, other than Noah were dishonest, selfish and mean. They were always fighting with each other. They had become so evil that they could not even think of doing one good deed. One day God was terribly unhappy with all this evil • The word duck comes from Old English *dkce and thought of cleansing the Earth. He decided that it would pour like cats and dogs for forty days and ”diver”. forty nights. The continuous rain will bring floods which will wash all the evil away. But then god did not want nice Noah or all the animals in the world to get hurt. So he asked Noah to make an ark. Noah was puzzled but started building it. Everybody laughed at • A group of ducks can be called a team, raft, string him for making a giant ship when there was no water or flock depending on whether they are on water, around. land or air. 48

it and thus it cannot be seen. Now Astronomers have spotted a massive black hole the second-biggest ever discovered - that’s 17 billion times the size of our Sun. So if, we cannot see them then how did we find one? Actually the stars around such black holes behave very differently. Space telescopes with unique tools are used to observe them. The unique tools can see how stars that are remarkably close to black holes act differently than other stars. Black holes are big mysteries of the science. When the ark was made God asked Noah to put a Do you know anything about black holes? Share with pair of ever kind of animal that existed on earth. He us. asked Noah and his family to go and live in the ark. Then it began to rain, and it poured and poured. The (Photo Credit: NASA) water began to rise slowly at first and then the whole of Earth was flooded. But Noah’s ark floated safely in that water. After forty days, the rain stopped. Everybody stayed inside the ark until all the water disappeared. And then finally Noah, his family and all the animals stepped out of the ark. Earth looked beautiful with rainbows in the sky. There was no fighting, no bickering, no cruelty anymore. They all lived happily ever after.

Huge Black Hole Found (2012-11-30 01:50)

A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light cannot get out. The gravity is so strong because the matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. It just swallows any light that is around 49

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November 2012 Issue of Kinooze News and Facts For Kids