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Kendriya Vidyalaya Port Trust, Kochi

50 fantastic facts

The following 50 fantastic facts have been collected from various sources. The authenticity of the facts can be verified by the readers. What will you gain by reading these facts? Well, reading them will give you a new dimension to this world and its people.

1. The Yo-Yo originated as a weapon in the Philippine Islands during the sixteenth century.

2. Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.

3. The moon is actually moving away from Earth at a rate of 1.5 inches per year.

4. Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.

5. Pinocchio is Italian for "pine head".

6. The only nation whose name begins with an "A," but doesn’t end in an "A," is Afghanistan.

7. A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death.

8. In 1938, Time Magazine chose Adolf Hitler for man of the year.

9. Humans and giraffes both have seven vertebrae bones in the neck. It’s not unusual for a mammal to have 7 vertebra bones in the neck but it’s interesting that the long neck of a full grown giraffe has the same amount.

10. Over 3 million people globally every month search for something online with the words "interesting facts" in it according to the most popular search engine.

11. Each year Disneyland uses over 5,000 gallons of paint to maintain the clean appearance of the park.

12. Giraffes can go without water longer than a camel.

13. Many people who read the word yawn or yawning begin to feel the urge to yawn.

14. The largest milk producing country by volume in the whole world is India.

15. If you are severely scared of going to the dentist or having dental work, you may actually have a phobia called odontophobia.

16. Almonds are members of the rose flower family or rosaceae family. The peach is also a member of the rose family.

17. Did you know the first bullet proof vest and windshield wiper blades were both invented by women.

18. Cold weather makes fingernails grow faster..

19. It takes about 7 minutes for the average person to fall asleep.

20. If the human stomach doesn't produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks it will totally digest it’s self.

21. Approximately one fifth of all the publications from Japan are comic books.

22. When water freezes it expands by 10%.

23. The only animal with four knees is the elephant.

24. If you have a deep genuine fear of the number 13, you may have Paraskevidekatriaphobia also called Friggatriskaidekaphobia or Triskaidekaphobia.

25. A mid-sized car launched today generates only an estimated 5% of the pollution which was generated by a car from fifty years ago.

26. The average person laughs 15 times per day.

27. The eye of an ostrich is larger than it’s brain.

28. Ants can pull about 30 times their own weight and lift about 50 times their own weight.

29. Snails can sleep for up to 3 years.

30. You cannot think of an English word to rhyme with the word month because there isn’t one.

31. If an infant becomes blind soon after they’re born they will still almost always see images in their dreams, but infants born with blindness will most likely never have dreams with images. People who were born blind do still have very emotionally intense dreams which include hearing, smells, feeling and taste. Now that’s an interesting fact about dreams.

32. Fires in the forest have been documented to move much faster up hill than down hill.

33. Human brains are estimated to be 70 – 75% water.

34. No other animal has a longer pregnancy term than that of the elephant which is documented at an average of 22 months.

35. During world war 2 the Oscar award given out by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was made of wood because most common metals were very scarce.

36. The active ingredient in most toothpastes is called sodium fluoride. Sodium fluoride can be lethal, young children using regular toothpaste with this ingredient should be monitored. Even swallowing small amounts can cause stomach problems or worst.

37. Buttermilk does not contain any butter.

38. One out of 500 people have an extra rib.

39. Istanbul, Turkey is the only city in the world located on two continents.

40. Orcas (killer whales), when traveling in groups, breathe in unison.

41. The Great Pyramids used to be as white as snow because they were encased in a bright limestone that has worn off over the years.

42. The word "toy" comes from an old English word that means "tool".

43. Smokers are twice as likely to develop lower back pain than non-smokers.

44. Humans are born with 300 bones in their body, however when a person reaches adulthood they only have 206 bones. This occurs because many of them join together to make a single bone.

45. Most lipstick contains fish scales.

46. No piece of paper can be folded in half more than 7 times.

47. The Koala bear is not really a bear, but is really related to the kangaroo and the wombat.

48. The largest employer in the world is the Indian Railways, employing over 1.6 million people.

49. China has more English speakers than the United States.

50. Tomato ketchup is a good conditioner for the hair. It also helps get the greenish tinge that some blonde haired people get after swimming in water with chlorine in it .

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The Mayan Calendar

The Mayans had an elaborate calendrical system, no longer in use, which obviously evolved in complete isolation from those of the old world. This system ended with the fall of the Mayan civilization. Most of the remaining knowledge of it was destroyed by the Spanish during the conquest. It was not until very recently, during the 1990s, that archeologists have finally been able to fill in many of the gaps in our knowledge of Mayan civilization, including the calendrical system.

The Mayans were skilled mathematicians, and this shows in their calendar; besides having a concept of zero, they also had a firm grasp of modular arithmetic; they also worked extensively in base 20. However, despite their great skill at observing the heavens, their calendar has no relationship to lunar or seasonal cycles, and is only synchronized with the solar cycle year approximately. The Mayans were aware of this discrepancy; they simply didn’t feel the compelling need to synchronize their calendar with the sun that Old World civilizations did.

The Mayans used three separate calendars. The Long Count was pricipally used for historical purposes, since it can define any date for millenia in the past and future. The Haab was a civil calendar based on a year of 360 days consisting of 18 periods of 20 days. Five days were added at the end of the Haab year to approximately synchronize it with the solar year. The Tzolkin calendar was used for ceremonial purposes, which had 20 periods of 13 days. The Tzolkin calendar went through a complete cycle every 260 days. The signficance of this cycle is unknown; it may be connected with the orbit of Venus, which has a period of 263 days. The Haab and Tzolkin dates did not have a year component; however, a combined Haab and Tzolkin date specify a unique day within a 52 year cycle.

…I feel confident that there was no such thing as an initial point of departure for the Maya calendar, but, rather, time was conceived of as without beginning or end, and therefore one could project one’s calculations farther and farther into the past without ever reaching a starting point.–J. Eric S. Thompson, Maya Hieroglyphic Writing, p. 149 (emphasis added)

The essentials of the Maya calendar are based upon a system which had been in common use throughout the region, dating back to at least the 5th century BCE. It shares many aspects with calendars employed by other earlier Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Zapotec and Olmec, and contemporary or later ones such as the Mixtec and Aztec calendars. Although the Mesoamerican calendar did not originate with the Maya, their subsequent extensions and refinements of it were the most sophisticated. Along with those of the Aztecs, the Maya calendars are the best-documented and most completely understood.

By the Maya mythological tradition, as documented in Colonial Yucatec accounts and reconstructed from Late Classic and Postclassic inscriptions, the deity Itzamna is frequently credited with bringing the knowledge of the calendar system to the ancestral Maya, along with writing in general and other foundational aspects of Maya culture.

[From Wikipedia and other sources]

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Famous librarians

Have you ever wondered the past life or secret dreams of your local librarian as they helped you find research paper resources and swiped the bar code on your books? As it turns out, a lot of world leaders, famous authors and legendary philosophers and scholars had careers as librarians. Read below to find out who.

1. Ben Franklin: Ben Franklin didn’t sit behind a circulation desk and help college kids find research materials, but he is still a legitimate librarian. In 1731, Franklin and his philosophy group Junto organized the “Articles of Agreement,” which set up the nation’s first library. Their library, called The Library Company, was first meant to benefit only the members of Junto, so that they could share books on the issues they discussed during meetings. It was organized as a subscription library, and members of Junto payed a small fee to retrieve books.

Franklin was actually the second librarian, and the Company grew to include more books than most university libraries at the time, plus artifacts like coins and fossils. Over time, The Library Company granted access to members of the Second Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention and others.

2. Melvil Dewey: Founder of the Dewey Decimal System, Melvil Dewey was born in New York in 1851. While a student at Amherst College, he worked in the school library to support his living expenses and stayed on as a librarian after graduation. After experimenting with different cataloging and organization methods for library collections, Amherst College published his work A Classification and Subject Index for Cataloguing and Arranging the Books and Pamphlets of a Library. Dewey has been named the “Father of Modern Librarianship” and even helped created the American Library Association in 1876.

3. Eratosthenes: The Greek scholar Eratosthenes discovered the system of latitude and longitude and made significant contributions to astronomy. Eratosthenes was also the chief librarian of the Great Library of Alexandria.

4. Saint Lawrence: As one of the patron saints of librarians, Saint Lawrence, or Lawrence of Rome, was a Catholic deacon who was killed by the Romans in 258 for refusing to turn over the collection of Christian treasures and documents he was entrusted to protect.

5. Mao Zedong: Mao Zedong, the man responsible for uniting China during the 1940s and 50s when he organized the People’s Republic of China, was a librarian. In 1918, Mao lived in Peking China as a young man, he was as assistant librarian at Peking University. The chief librarian at Peking University was a Marxist, and succeeded in converting Mao to communism.

6. Seyd Mohammad Khatami: Seyd Mohammad Khatami was the fifth president of Iran and a former Iran Minister of Culture. He is also a former head of the National Library and Archives Organisation of Iran. He is considered to be a reformist in Iranian culture and politics, supporting freedom of expression and foreign diplomacy.

7. Golda Meir: Golda Meir was the fourth prime minister of Israel, from 1969-1974. She was also one of the twenty-four who signed the Israeli declaration of independence in 1948; am ambassador to the Soviet Union; Minister of Labour from 1949-1956, and the inspiration for the Broadway play Golda, which starred Anne Bancroft. Before her distinguished political career, however, Golda Meir worked as a librarian.

8. J. Edgar Hoover: As the legendary director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover led domestic investigations from 1924-1972, as head of the Bureau of Investigation and when he founded the FBI in 1935. In his early life, however, Hoover went to night school at George Washington University and supported himself by working at the Library of Congress. There, he was a messenger, cataloguer and clerk. In 1919, Hoover left the Library of Congress and worked as a special assistant to the Attorney General.

9. John J. Beckley: John J. Beckley is recognized as being the first political campaign manager in the U.S. He was also the first Librarian of the United States Congress, serving from 1802-1807. In 1789, he was sponsored by James Madison to be the Clerk of the House and supported the new Republic party in 1792, backed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

10. Giacomo Casanova: The infamous spy, writer, diplomat and lover Casanova was born in Venice during the first half of the 18th century. Although he studied to become a priest at the University of Padua and the seminary of St. Cypria, Casanova is well-known for being a drinker and for having scandalous love affairs with numerous women. Later in life, he worked as a librarian for the Count of Waldstein in Dux, Bohemia.

11. Pope Pius XI, or Achille Ratti: Pope Pius XI served from 1929 -1939, during which time he established the feast of Christ the King and spoke out against social justice crimes and unethical financial corruption practices. Before he became pope, Ratti was a librarian and scholar, and at the Vatican, Pope Pius XI famously reorganized the archives.

12. David Hume: Scotsman David Hume contributed greatly to 18th century philosophy and economics, writing important works like Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion and A Treatise on Human Nature. He was an anti-Mercantilist, and according to The New School, Hume “was also one of the better articulators of the Quantity Theory and the neutrality of money.” In 1752, Hume became a librarian at the Advocate’s Library in Edinburgh, where he wrote his famous History of England.

13. Marcel Duchamp: Marcel Duchamp is considered to be one of the most significant and influential modern artists of the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Duchamp was born in the Haute-Normandie region in France, where he took drawing and painting classes as a child. In the early 1900s, Duchamp experimented with Cubism, nude works, and was active in the intellectual and artistic groups influencing the newest culture and trends in Paris at the time. Around 1912, Duchamp became tired of painting and worked as a librarian at the Bibliotheque Sainte-Genvieve, during which he devoted his time to math and physics experiments.

15. Lewis Carroll: The author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll’s real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Dodgson grew up in Cheshire and Yorkshire, England, and after graduating from Oxford with a B.A. in mathematics, he became a sub-librarian at Christ Church there. He left that position in 1857 to become a Mathematical Lecturer. Dodgson first told the story of Alice Adventures in Wonderland to the three daughters of the Dean of Christ Church, in 1862. The book was published three years later and continues to be a popular and significant work of fiction today.

16. Beverly Cleary: Popular children’s book author Beverly Cleary wrote the Ramona Quimby books and Henry Higgins books and has received three Newbery Medals. But before she became a celebrated author, Beverly grew up in a tiny town in Oregon, where her mother asked the State Library to send books to their farm. During the Depression, Beverly went to junior college in California and later attended the University of California at Berkeley. She then attended the School of Librarianship at the University of Washington, Seattle, and became a children’s librarian.

17. Laura Bush: Former First Lady Laura Bush earned her Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Texas at Austin after working as an elementary school teacher. As the First Lady of Texas, she supported George W. Bush’s campaigns and started her own public projects regarding education and literacy. When George W. Bush became President of the United States, Laura supported librarian recruitment initiatives and toured many libraries around the world.

18. Madeleine L’Engle: American author Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is still a popular book among junior high students and almost like a rite of passage for young fiction readers. She has won multiple Newbery Medals and other awards, but later in life, she served as the librarian and writer-in-residence at Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

19. Marcel Proust: At once one of the most celebrated and obscure novelists and critics of all time, Marcel Proust once decided to go to school to become a librarian. The French writer was born in 1871, and his most famous work, In Search of Lost Time is still studied today.

20. Jorge Luis Borges: Jorge Luis Borges is an Argentine writer who made significant contributions to fantasy literature in the 20th century. He shared the International Publishers’ Formentor Prize with Samuel Beckett and was a municipal librarian from 1939-1946 in Argentina, before getting fired by the Peron regime. One of his most famous short stories, “The Library of Babel,” depicts the universe as a huge library.

21. Joanna Cole: Joanna Cole’s The Magic School Bus series has served to educate and entertain elementary-aged children about the human body, space, and more. She has also worked as a librarian, a schoolteacher, book editor and writer/producer of the BBC children’s TV show Bod.

22. Jacob Grimm: Grimms’ Fairy Tales was first published in 1812, but the stories, including “Hansel and Gretel,” “Cinderella,” and “Snow White,” are still classic children’s stories constantly reinvented as plays, Disney movies and more. Jacob Grimm worked as a librarian in Kasel, after graduating with a law degree. During this time, Jacob and his brother Wilhelm collected German folk tales from ordinary citizens in hopes of uniting area kingdoms on the basis of sharing a similar culture.

23. Philip Larkin: English poet Philip Larkin was born in 1922 in Coventry. He began publishing poems in 1940 and was even offered the Poet Laureateship of England after the death of Sir John Betjeman, but he declined. Besides writing poetry and novels, Larkin worked as an assistant librarian at the University College of Leicester, a librarian at the University of Hull and was elected to the Board of the British Library in 1984, the same year he received an honorary D.Litt. from Oxford.

24. Stanley Kunitz: Stanley Kunitz is a celebrated American poet who was named the United States Poet Laureate in 2000. He has also been awarded a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, the Levinson Prize, the National Medal of the Arts, and more. Before being named the U.S. Poet Laureate, Kunitz was Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress from 1974-1976.

[From http://www.onlinebestcolleges.com/%5D

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Protected: Solution to Mathematics Puzzle 3

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Make the statement true: Mathematics puzzle 3

[The following Maths puzzle is sent by Mr.S.Muraleedharan, who has worked as a Maths Teacher in Kendriya Vidyalaya Port Trust for several years. The author conducts motivational sessions both for students and teachers. He handles the column “Work it Out” for school children in Deccan Chronicle. The answer to the puzzle can be seen by clicking on the link “Click here for answers” at the end of the page.]

When the teacher went to attend a meeting in principal’s chamber, Merin, the class leader, was asked to mind the class. She knew very well, that minding the class is an extremely difficult task; unless some work is given to the friends. Her collection of Tricky Questions always helps her to meet the challenge; and hence she is the most favourite leader. She wrote a statement on the black board.

Merin said, “Dear pals, you know this statement is false. By just drawing a line segment, try to make it a TRUE statement of equality?”

[Answer to the above puzzle can be found here.]
Important Note: The password to access the answer page is puzz3

Filed under: Mathematics puzzles

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Shampoo was invented in India, not the commercial liquid ones but the method by use of herbs. The word 'shampoo' itself has been derived from the Sanskrit word champu, which means to massage.

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Book Highlight



Told in diary form by an irresistible heroine, this playful and perceptive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the May Bird trilogy sparkles with science, myth, magic, and the strange beauty of the everyday marvels we sometimes forget to notice.

Spirited, restless Gracie Lockwood has lived in Cliffden, Maine, her whole life. She’s a typical girl in an atypical world: one where sasquatches helped to win the Civil War, where dragons glide over Route 1 on their way south for the winter (sometimes burning down a T.J. Maxx or an Applebee’s along the way), where giants hide in caves near LA and mermaids hunt along the beaches, and where Dark Clouds come for people when they die.

To Gracie it’s all pretty ho-hum…until a Cloud comes looking for her little brother Sam, turning her small-town life upside down. Determined to protect Sam against all odds, her parents pack the family into a used Winnebago and set out on an epic search for a safe place that most people say doesn’t exist: The Extraordinary World. It’s rumored to lie at the ends of the earth, and no one has ever made it there and lived to tell the tale. To reach it, the Lockwoods will have to learn to believe in each other—and to trust that the world holds more possibilities than they’ve ever imagined.

Book info & cover courtesy: goodreads.com