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Did You Know?

what is bigbang theory?

A cosmological theory holding that the universe originated approximately 20 billion years ago from the violent explosion of a very small agglomeration of matter of extremely high density and temperature.

What is a black hole in space?
A black hole is a region of space in which the gravitational field is so powerful that nothing, including light, can escape its pull. The black hole has a one-way surface, called an event horizon, into which objects can fall, but out of which nothing can come

Do fish breathe water?
Yes, fish essentially breathe water through their gills, but they don't use the water to make energy, but the oxygen that is dissolved in the water. In essence, fish are like us except they use a different mechanism to get their oxygen!

Why does the sky look blue?
White sunlight is really a lot of different colors of light mixed together. Some colors of light travel through air and dust better than others. Red goes a long, long way. But blue light gets bounced around a lot. Our blue sky is blue light that has been bounced out of sunlight by gazillions of molecules of air.

How does hovercraft run?
Hovercraft, also known as an Air Cushion Vehicle (ACV) can run on any type of surface. This vehicle uses a cushion of high pressurized air to lift it slightly above the surface so that there is no contact with the later. The main objective is to reduce any form of friction that is generated when a vehicle runs on a surface. This means that a hovercraft runs on air. Do take a look at the episode on gas and pressure to see how I made my own hovercraft and how you can try and make a miniature version of it. Just like how your sports shoes have packed air to form an air cushion under your feet to make your running or walking much easier and comfortable.

Why does a iron needle sinks in water but a iron ship floats on water?
The shape of the ship is such that it displaces water equal to the weight of the ship. On the other hand a needle being solid displaces very little water and thus is not greater than the weight of the needle.

What is the radius of Venus?
The radius of Venus is 6,052 km. The equatorial radius of Earth is 6,378 km, so the radius of Venus is 95% the radius of Earth. With such a similar size, you can see why Venus is considered Earth's twin planet.

There is no oxygen in space then how can sun burn?
First of all the Sun does not burn, because burning is an oxidation process and you rightly said that there is no oxygen in space. What makes the sun glow is a process called Nuclear Fusion that takes place at its center which turns its hydrogen into helium. The temperature at the sun's surface is about 6,000ºC, while at the center it is over 15,000,000ºC.

What is echo?
Echo is when we hear sound once created as repetition. For example if you stand in an empty parking lot and say your name loudly, you will hear it a multiple times. This is because, your voice travels as sound waves and hits the many, large empty walls of the parking lot and reflects the sound back at you. Try it!!

Will any time by chance any other planet will have life on it?
Then instead of traveling to different countries we would be traveling in space to different planets in our space crafts. And of course the star wars would then be true...but as far as we know, Earth is the only planet which has life. There may be life on other planets within our Solar System, but we definitely have not found them yet. The only possible planet within our Solar System which has the potential for life is Mars. So I guess we just have to wait and watch till then.
Interesting Quiz

Scuderia is the first name of which F1 company?


What did Walt Disney ban his employees from having?


Which animal runs backward as fast as it does forward?


What is meant by ‘E&OE’ given at the bottom of a bill?

Errors an Omissions Expected

What is a group of monkeys called?


Which toy gets its name from the American President Theodore Roosevelt?

Teddy Bear

In basketball, what is the height of the ring from the ground level?

10 ft

In which field is the 'Abel Prize' awarded?


Which bird can look directly into the sun without blinking?

The 10 Most Abundant Elements in the Earth's Crust

Source: CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 77th Edition

Element           Abundance                               Abundance
                    percent by weight parts           per million by weight
Oxygen             46.1%                                        461,000
Silicon              28.2%                                        282,000
Aluminum         8.23%                                         82,300
Iron                    5.63%                                         56,300 
Calcium            4.15%                                         41,500
Sodium             2.36%                                         23,600
Magnesium      2.33%                                         23,300
Potassium        2.09%                                         20,900
Titanium           0.565%                                          5,650
Hydrogen         0.14%                                            1,400
Why Ice Floats on Water

        Generally, substances are most dense when they are in their solid state. That ice floats on water conclusively proves that water is an exception. We are also aware that lakes freeze from top to bottom. In order for an object to float, it must be less dense that other substances in a mixture. From this, we know that ice is less dense than water, or else lakes would freeze over when layers of ice sink and displace the surrounding water. The reasons for ice floating on water are the unique properties of water and the resultant lower density of ice per unit of volume. 

        The property that makes water unique is hydrogen bonding. Two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom are joined by covalent bonds in one molecule of water. Weaker hydrogen bonds are responsible for bonding among water molecules. The higher ratio of hydrogen to covalent bonds results in the unique expansion at low temperatures. When water reaches below a threshold of four degrees Celsius, the adjustment of the positively charged hydrogen bonds keeps the negatively charged oxygen atoms apart. The resulting "crystal lattice" structure is known as ice. 

        Ice is estimated to be about 9% less dense than water. Therefore, we have an idea how much more space ice occupies compared to water as well. If one litre of ice is converted to a liquid state, it would produce less than one litre of water. In water, molecules are squeezed together. Since ice is a solid, there is a more defined molecular structure. If one observes molecules of ice, a diamond structure directly results from the adjustment in the hydrogen bonding between adjacent molecules. 

        It is important to note that the assumption is that we're using similar volumes of ice and water in making this statement. Suppose a block of ice has a higher overall density (not in terms of mass per unit volume) than a significantly smaller volume of water. In such an instance, the ice may not float based on relative densities. If one looks at larger volumes of ice and water, such as icebergs in the ocean, those huge masses of ice still float because of the much greater pressure exerted by the massive volume of water. Ice cubes in your cup of water are just a microcosm of this. 

        Should someone ask you why ice floats on water, answers like "because it does" or "its common sense" would not suffice. After all, there is a reason for everything - even if we may not know it. To put it very simply, the same quantity of ice would occupy more space than the same quantity of water. All other things being equal, once the solid is less dense than the liquid in a mixture, it will float.
Academy Award (Oscar)

            The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was established in May 1927 as a non-profit corporation to promote the art of movie making. In the first year, the Academy had 36 members, with Douglas Fairbanks Sr as president. The first Academy Awards, now better known as the Oscars, were presented at a private dinner in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, with less than 250 persons attending. Today, the Academy has over 6 000 honorary members – the Oscar Awards are viewed by more than a billion people on television.

            The first television broadcast of the Oscars took place in 1953 – on black and white TV, telecasted throughout the US and Canada. Telecasting in color begun in 1966, and since 1969, the Oscars have been telecast throughout the world. By the mid-1990s it was telecast in over 100 countries.

The first Oscars

            At the first Academy Awards, held in May 1929, Best Director awards went to Lewis Milestone for Two Arabian Knights and Frank Borzage for 7th Heaven. The first award for Actor in a Leading Role went to
Emil Jannings(real name Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz) for his roles in The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh. The first Best Actress award was won Janet Gaynorfor her roles in 7th Heaven, Street Angel and Sunrise. The first Best Picture award went to WINGS. All those films were screened in 1927. 

            Those were the days of the silent movies, thus WINGS was the only silent to have won a Best Picture Oscar. It also featured Gary Cooper in a minor role. Swiss-born Jannings grew up in Germany and had a heavy German accent which, with the advent of sound in
movies, basically put an end to his Hollywood movie career.

The most popular night in the world

                The Academy Award ceremony basically was a non-public affair in 1927 and 1928. But it had created such public interest that the Oscar Presentation Night was introduced in 1929. Until 1954 the Oscars were presented mostly on a Thursday. From 1955 to 1958, they were presented on a Wednesday. From 1959 until 1998 the Oscars were, with a few exceptions, presented on a Monday night. Only since 1999 did the Awards ceremony take place on a Sunday (in March). In total up to 2005, the famous statuettes have been handed out on 32 Monday nights, 21 Thursday nights, 8 Wednesdays, 6 Tuesdays, 2 Fridays, once on a Saturday (1948), and four times on a Sunday.

 Academy Awards were held twice

                In 1930, the Academy Awards were held twice: on 3 April and on 5 November. No ceremony was held in 1933. Since 1940 people have been kept on the edge of their seats with the familiar phrase “The envelope please.”

The Envelope Please

                The record for most acting nominations without a single win is shared by Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton with seven. The most nominated actors for Best Actor and Best Supporting Roles are Jack Nicholson (11), Laurence Olivier (10), and Spencer Tracy (9). No male performer has yet won three Best Actor awards.

            Only one actress has won the Best Actress award four times: Katharine Hepburn is the only actress to have won the Best Actress award four times, for Morning Glory (1932/3), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981). In 1968 Katherine Hepburn was tied with and Barbra Streisand for the Best Actress award.

            Anthony Quinn’s performance as painter Paul Gaugin in Lust for Life (1956) is the shortest ever to win a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. He was on screen for only 8 minutes. Judi Dench made the an equally short performance, winning Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Elizabeth I in “Shakespeare in Love” (1999). More
Oscar fast facts

            In 1997 James Cameron’s Titanic received 11 Oscars, sharing the record of the most Oscars awards for a single film with William Wyler’s Ben Hur (1959). The closest runner-up is West Side Story with 10 Oscars in 1961.

Family matters

            The Hustons are the only family to produce three generations of Oscar winners: Walter Huston was named Best Supporting Actor in 1948 for his role in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre; John Huston was awarded Best Director/Adapted Screenplay for the same movie, and Anjelica Huston received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Prizzi’s Honor, 1985.

            Only two married couples won Oscars for acting roles: Laurence Olivier (Hamlet, 1948) and Vivian Leigh (A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951); and Joanne Woodward (The Three Faces of Eve, 1957) and Paul Newman (The Color of Money, 1986). The only sisters to have won Oscars are Joan Fontaine (Suspicion, 1941) and Olivia de Havilland (To Each His Own, 1946, and The Heiress, 1949).

No thank you!

In 1970 George C. Scott refused the Oscar for his award-winning performance in Patton. In 1972 Marlon Brando refused the Oscars for his award-winning role in The Godfather. They weren’t the first, though. In 1935 a writer named Dudley Nichols refused to accept the Oscar for his movie The Informer because the Writers Guild was on strike against the movie studios at the time.

Double the honor

Eight actors have won an Oscar twice:

Fredric March for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931/2) and The Best Years of Our Lives (1946);

Spencer Tracy for Captain Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938);

Gary Cooper for Sergeant York (1941) and High Noon (1952);

Marlon Brando for On The Waterfront (1954) and The Godfather (1972);

Jack Nicholson for One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and As Good As It Gets (1997);

Dustin Hoffman for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Rain Man (1988);

Tom Hanks for Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994);

Daniel Day-Lewis for My Left Foot (1990) and There Will Be Blood (2008).

Many actresses have won the Best Actress Oscar twice:

Luise Rainer for The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and The Good Earth (1937);

Bette Davis for Dangerous (1935) and Jezebel (1938);

Vivien Leigh for Gone With The Wind (1939) and A Streetcar Named Desire (1951);

Olivia de Havilland for To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949);

Elizabeth Taylor for Butterfield 8 (1960) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966);

Glenda Jackson for Women in Love (1970) and A Touch of Class (1973);

Jane Fonda for Klute (1971) and Coming Home (1978);

Sally Field for Norma Rae (1979) and Places in the Heart (1984);

Meryl Streep for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Sophie’s Choice (1982);

Jodie Foster for The Accused (1988) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
Why February has less days than the other months?


In olden days, March was the first month of a year..

Can't believe?

Well haven't you ever thought this?


In the original version of years, October was 8th month and December was the tenth month, followed by January and Feb at last.

February was the poor guy who was used to adjust the remaining days of the year so as to tally 365 for ordinary years and 366 for leap years..

So logically Leap Day was appended in the last of year, i.e Feb 29th. :)

Later in History, this Era was modified making January as first month.

And thats why February has lesser no.of days.... :)

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