Archive for January, 2012

154/365 – Strange Facts – 9

January 31, 2012 Leave a comment

The largest eggs in the world are laid by a shark.

A crocodile’s tongue is attached to the roof of its mouth.

Giraffes are unable to cough.

Sharks are immune to cancer.

Despite the hump, a camel’s spine is straight.

Cheetah’s can accelerate from 0 to 70 km/h in 3 seconds.

A giraffe’s neck contains the same number of vertebrae as a human.

The heart of giraffe is two feet long, and can weigh as much as twenty four pounds.

On average, Elephants sleep for about 2 hours per day.

Lobsters have blue blood.

Shark’s teeth are literally as hard as steel.

A mosquito has 47 teeth.

Oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen make up 90% of the human body.

Ants do not sleep.

Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over 1 million descendents.

Hummingbirds can’t walk.


Categories: Facts, General Knowledge

153/365 – Quit India Movement

January 30, 2012 Leave a comment

What is Quit India Movement?
The Quit India Movement also called the August Movement of India or the Bharat Chhodo Andolan was a civil disobedience movement that was launched in the month of August, in the year 1942. The Quit India Movement was a call by Mahatma Gandhi for the country’s immediate independence.

Purpose of Quit India Movement
Gandhi wanted to negotiate with the British government for the independence of India. Gandhi made a speech and within 24 hours the entire Congress was confined. This provoked Gandhi to launch the 1942 Quit India Movement. The main purpose of this civil disobedience movement of India was to face the British in the non-violent ways. It was during this time that Gandhi made a statement: “We shall either free India or die in the attempt; We shall not live to see the perpetuation of our slavery”. However, the British government declared the Quit India Movement illegal and with this arrested the major leaders. This triggered a series of revolts and marked an important phase in the history of India.

Factors leading to Quit India Movement
The main factor which led to the launch of the Quit India Movement was Gandhi’s protest against the return of Sir Stafford Cripps. On 14th July 1942, the Congress Working Committee adopted the ‘Quit India’ resolution and on 8th August, 1942, the resolution was accepted by the All India Congress Committee after some modifications. These two dates are very significant in the Indian history of independence movements.

Effects of Quit India Movement
On 9th August leaders of the Congress like Abul Kalam Azad, Vallabhbhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were arrested.

Gandhi’s slogan – ‘do or die’ ignited the Indian sentiments and people in masses came to face the British with boldness. Their motto was to revolt with non-violence.

Viceroy – Lord Linlithgow adopted the policy of harsh violence and destroyed the atmosphere of non violence. In the first phase of the Quit India Movement, there were processions, strikes and demonstrations.

The second phase of the movement saw raids in the government buildings and municipal houses. Along with this, post offices, railway stations and police stations were set on fire.

The third phase of Quit India movement began in September 1942. Mobs bombed police in places like Bombay, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Gradually, the movement gained back its peaceful form and continued till Mahatma Gandhi was released on May, 1944. This was the fourth phase of the movement.



Categories: General Knowledge, History

152/365 – Venus

January 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Venus is known as Earths’ twin sister because of its similar size and proximity to each other.

Its atmosphere is made up mostly of carbon dioxide.

Venus rotates so slowly that it orbits the sun faster than it can make one whole rotation on its axis. In other words, Venus has a longer day than year.

It takes 243 days for Venus to make a rotation.

And it takes 224 days for Venus to orbit around the sun.

Venus is the most widely explored planet aside from our own Earth. Numerous space probes have been sent to Venus to gather data and some have landed on the surface.

It is believed that Venus used to have bodies of water similar to Earth, but dried up over a period of 300 million years when the sun began admitting more solar energy after the sun’s infancy stage.

The clouds of Venus is filled with sulfuric acid.

Venus has mountains that are higher than Earth. Maat Mons is more than 5 miles high.

Venus is the brightest planet viewed from Earth.

The planet rotates from East to West. The only other planet that does this is Uranus.



151/365 – Rat

January 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Rats have poor vision. To compensate for this, a red or pink eyed rat will often weave its head side to side to add “motion” to see better. They also don’t see in color.

Rats normally prefer to have cage mates. It is possible to group female or male rats together, though care should be taken when introducing a new rat.

While it’s great to have both female and male rats, be wary of letting them play together; rats can complete the courting ritual and the whole romantic relationship in about two seconds.

Generally speaking, male rats make better “lap” pets, preferring to sit and have their ears scratched by an attentive human friend. Female rats are very curious, and love to explore and play games. Both genders make great companions.

Rats can eat chocolate.

Rats can also eat smaller pets. Rats are omnivores, and have enough predatory instinct left in them to consider birds, fish and even some smaller rodents as “snacks.”

Rats don’t have canine teeth.

Rats don’t have thumbs.

The oils in cedar and pine are toxic to rats, and should not be used in their bedding materials.

A rat’s temperature is regulated though its tail (assuming it has one). A really hot rat will lay on its back so that it can “sweat” through the soles of its feet.

Rats can’t vomit. A rat can, however, gag on something if it eats too quickly. The plus side of this is that rats can usually eat and drink before surgery.

It is unlikely you will ever catch rabies from a rat.

Soda does not make rats explode.
Rats bathe themselves, usually six times a day or more. A rat’s saliva has some pink pigmentation, which can cause a light-colored rat to look discolored. A warm washcloth with baby shampoo is great for those trouble spots.

PEW stands for “Pink Eyed White” the fancy rat terminology for “albino” or any all-white rat with pink eyes. Conversely, BEW stands for “Black Eyed White” (which is not an albino).

Rats have bellybuttons.

Rats don’t have gallbladders.

Rats don’t have tonsils.

A rat’s fur smells like grape soda.


Categories: Animal, General Knowledge

150/365 – Pen

January 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Lewis Waterman patented the first practical fountain pen in 1884. Writing instruments designed to carry their own supply of ink had existed in principle for over one hundred years before Waterman’s patent.

For example, the oldest known fountain pen that has survived today was designed by a Frenchmen named M. Bion and dated 1702. Peregrin Williamson, a Baltimore shoemaker, received the first American patent for a pen in 1809.

John Scheffer received a British patent in 1819 for his half quill, half metal pen that he attempted to mass manufacture. John Jacob Parker patented the first self-filling fountain pen in 1831. However, early fountain pen models were plagued by ink spills and other failures that left them impractical and hard to sell.

The fountain pen’s design came after a thousand years of using quill-pens. Early inventors observed the apparent natural ink reserve found in the hollow channel of a bird’s feather and tried to produce a similar effect, with a man-made pen that would hold more ink and not require constant dipping into the ink well.

Filling a long thin reservoir made of hard rubber with ink and sticking a metal ‘nib’ at the bottom was not enough to produce a smooth writing instrument.

Lewis Waterman, an insurance salesman, was inspired to improve the early fountain pen designs after destroying a valuable sales contract with leaky-pen ink. Lewis Waterman’s idea was to add an air hole in the nib and three grooves inside the feed mechanism.

A mechanism is composed of three main parts. The nib, which has the contact with the paper. The feed or black part under the nib controls the ink flow from the reservoir to the nib. The round barrel that holds the nib and feed on the writing end protects the ink reservoir internally.

All pens contain an internal reservoir for ink. The different ways that reservoirs filled proved to be one of the most competitive areas in the pen industry. The earliest 19th century pens used an eyedropper; by 1915, most pens had switched to having a self-filling soft and flexible rubber sac as an ink reservoir.

To refill these pens, the reservoirs were squeezed flat by an internal plate, then the pen’s nib was inserted into a bottle of ink and the pressure on the internal plate was released so that the ink sac would fill up drawing in a fresh supply of ink.



149/365 – Doordarshan

January 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Type: Broadcast, radio, television network and online
Country: India
Availability: Nationwide
Founded by: Government of India in 1959
Motto: Sathyam Shivam Sundaram
Headquarters: New Delhi, Delhi, India,
Owner: Prasar Bharati
Launch date: 15 September 1959
Official website:

Doordarshan is an Indian public service broadcaster, a division of Prasar Bharati. It is one of the largest broadcasting organizations in India in terms of the infrastructure of studios and transmitters. Recently, it has also started Digital Terrestrial Transmitters. On September 15, 2009, Doordarshan celebrated its 50th anniversary. The DD provides television, radio, online and mobile services throughout metropolitan and regional India, as well as overseas through the Indian Network and Radio India.


Doordarshan had a modest beginning with the experimental telecast starting in Delhi on 15 September 1959 with a small transmitter and a makeshift studio. The regular daily transmission started in 1965 as a part of All India Radio. The television service was extended to Bombay and Amritsar in 1972. Finally, in 1982, Doordarshan as a National Broadcaster came into existence.

Nationwide transmission

National telecasts were introduced in 1982. In the same year, colour TV was introduced in the Indian market with the live telecast of the Independence Day speech by then prime minister Indira Gandhi on 15 August 1982, followed by the 1982 Asian Games which were held in Delhi. Now more than 90 percent of the Indian population can receive Doordarshan (DD National) programmes through a network of nearly 1,400 terrestrial transmitters. There are about 46 Doordarshan studios producing TV programmes today.


Presently, Doordarshan operates 21 channels – two All India channels-DD National and DD News, 11 Regional language Satellite Channels (RLSC), four State Networks (SN), an International channel, a Sports Channel DD Sports and two channels Rajya Sabha TV & DD-Lok Sabha for live broadcast of parliamentary proceedings.


148/365 – Tea

January 25, 2012 Leave a comment

1. The origins of tea:
Legend has it that tea originated well over 5000 years ago in ancient China. The innovative and science-curious emporer Shen Nung insisted that for hygeine purposes, all water in the palace must be boiled. When he was out visiting his kingdom one day, him and his men stopped to boil water to drink and it was said that leaves from a nearby bush fell into the water. Apparently the brew that resulted was so refreshing, the emporer ordered samples of the bush to be brought back to the palace for analysis. Afterwards, word got out and this new phenomenon became fashionable.

2. From the Camellia bush:

Both black and green teas are made from the Camellia sinensis bush and have similar quantities of antioxidants and caffeine.

3. Antioxidant:
Tea contains catechins, a type of antioxidant which has been found to reduce people’s risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Catechins can also be found in cocoa and dark chocolate.

4. Vitamins and minerals:
When combined with milk, tea can offer an array of vitamins and minerals including calcium, vitamin B6, Riboflavin B2, Thiamin B1, manganese for bone growth and repair, and potassium, important for neuron and brain function.

5. Puffy eyes and sunburn:
Teabags can be used to reduce the swelling of puffy eyes. Lie on your back and place a moist teabag over both eyes and leave on for around 20 minutes, this leaves your eyes feeling fresher, brighter, and looking revitalised. Also, a wet teabag can be used to soothe burns and sunburn. By either placing the teabag straight onto the burn or pouring tea into cool bathwater, it has been known to take away the burn’s sting and help the skin heal faster.

6. Tea reduces risk of heart attacks:
Research conducted in the Netherlands suggests that tea can help people avoid heart attacks, especially women. Johanna M Geleijnse, PhD from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam led a study which followed 4807 Dutch adults over the age of 55 who had no heart problems in their previous medical history.

7. Odour absorbant:
It has been found that tea can work as an odour absorbant, removing bad smells especially from your skin. Pouring a cup over your hands is said to work wonders for all kinds of bad odours!

8. Warts and all:
Tea can be used to treat warts as the tannin present in tea is acidic. This element makes tea as effective at removing warts as creams and ointments. Leaving a moist teabag on the wart for 15 minutes, 3 times per day, will cause the wart to shrink and disappear.

9. Caffeine:
The caffeine content of tea is approximately half of the amount that you’d find in a cup of brewed coffee. Whereas coffee provides around 100mg per 190ml cup, tea provides just 50mg, leaving you without the caffeine “drop” so familiar to coffee drinkers.

10. Oral Health:
A report issued by the UK Tea Council in 2006 stated that the fluoride content of tea makes it a potent defender of oral health. Fluoride binds to the tooth enamel, slowing down the tooth decay process and preventing cavities. Also, the instance of tannins in tea inhibits the growth of certain plaque-forming bacteria.


Categories: Food, General Knowledge