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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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English Words Of Indian Or Hindi Origin

Bandana
A bright yellow or red silk handkerchief with diamond shaped spots left white while dyeing. The word is derived from the Hindi word badhnu, which means to tie-dye.

Batik
A textile dyeing technique in which areas not to be dyed are coated with wax producing an irregular, mottled motif or pattern.

Bazaar
Indian and Middle Eastern term for a marketplace or a group of shops; in the West it refers to a charity sale of trinkets and other items.

Bungalow
Derived from the Bengali word for hut,bangala, it refers to an Anglo-Indian one-story house surrounded by a veranda.

Calico
A white or small-patterned cotton cloth first imported from Calicut, India. Fine cotton material was originally mentioned by Marco Poli in the 14th century.

Catamaran
A raft or float made from wood tied together, is derived from kattumaram, a Tamil term.

Charpoy
A lightweight cot or bed, common throughout India. Usually a simple structure, it can sometimes be an elaborate creation, carved and painted.

Chili
The pod of the red pepper (capsicum). The plant came to India from South America.

Chint or Chintz
The overall-patterned, often flower-covered, block-printed cotton fabric that has become synonymous with English-style decorating. Originally from the Sanksrit chitra, means variegated or speckled.

Chutney
A spicy relish often made from mangoes, chili peppers, or tomatoes. The word is derived from the Hindi catni.

Curry
A spicy dish or meat, fish or vegetables cooked with ground spices, red pepper and turmeric.

Dhoti
Fabric used for the long loincloth traditionally worn by Hindu men. It is wrapped around the body, with the end passed between the legs and tucked into the waist.

Durbar
Originally the court of an Indian prince, now a ceremonial audience chamber.

Dinghy
A rowing boat in East India, which is derived from the Bengali word dingi. Sometimes, a canoe carved from a tree trunk. Now, the term refers to small naval or civilian boats.

Dungaree
A coarse cotton fabric from East India that was traditionally worn by the poor. It is woven with two or more threads together in the warp and weft. The coarse varieties were used for sails for native boats and tents.

Dhal
Dried split peas and other dried beans or lentil, that are a mainstay of Indian cuisine.

Dhurrie
A flat woven cotton carpet which is one of the oldest and most common type made in India.

Dolly

Adapted by the English from the Hindi word dali. It refers to a gift or presentation of fruit, flowers, vegetables or sweets, sometimes arranged in a basket or tray. The garnder would offer his daily array of produce to the owner in this way.

Guru
Sanskrit means Teacher. Used in English as an expert in the field.

Hookah
Hubble-bubble or pipe for smoking water-filtered marijuana or a mixture of tobacco, spices, molasses and fruit.

Jodhpurs
Riding breeches that fit close to the leg from the knee to the ankle. These are worn with a low pair of boots. They are modelled after similar trousers worn in Jodhpur in Rajasthan.

Juggernaut
A tremendous force. The word is derived from the name of a Hindu deity Jagannath, Lord of the Universe, worshipped as Vishnu at the shrine of Puri in Orissa. The image, an amorphous idol, is annually taken in procession on a huge cart called a rath.

Kedgeree
In English parlance a dish of recooked fish, often served for breakfast. Although fist was originally served with it, in India kedgeree refers to a mixture of rice cooked with butter and dhal, spices and shredded onion.

Khaki
An adjective meaning dusty or dust-coloured. The word is derived from the Persian khak. In English, a brownish-yellow cotton cloth used for uniforms. Worm by some of the Punjab regiments at the Siege of Delhi; common in the British army generally during the campaigns of 1857-58, and subsequently in the American army.

Madras
A colourful plaid-patterned textile made of silk or cotton, or both, and coloured with vegetable dyes. It takes its name from the southern city of Madras.
Mantra Sanskrit, Shloka.

Mogul
A magnate or important person. The word comes from the Persian word: mughul, or Mongol. An Indian Muslim descended from one of the several conquering groups of Mongol, Turkish and Persian origins.

Muslin
The term now refers to the thin, semi-transparent cotton cloth that was once made in Mosul in Iraq for the European markets and referred to as musolins by Marco Polo in 1298.

Mulligatawny
The well-known soup is derived from the Tamil words: milaku tanni, meaning pepper-water, and originate in Madras.

Paisley
An irregular, tear shaped pattern derived from the stylised mango that decorated the Kashmiri shawls, which were later imitated by the Scottish town of Paisley.

Pajamas
“Leg clothing” in Hindi. A pair of loose trousers tied at the waist. Such clothing is worn by many people in India, including women of various classes, by Sikh men and by most Muslims of both sexes.

Papadum
A thin, flat, deep fried wafer usually made from split peas or potatoes. It can also be made from any kind of pulse or lentil flour, seasoned with asafetida. In Mumbai, it is called popper cake; in Madras, poppadam and in north India, it is called papad.

Pundit
A scholar or man of knowledge, from the Hindi pandit. Strictly, it refers to a man learned in Sanskrit lore.

Punkah
A large, portable fan or cloth-covered rectangular frame hung from the ceiling which was pulled by a rope to fan the room. The first versions were portable and made from the palmyra leaf.

Purdah
A Hindi word from the Persian parda, an area in the house reserved for women and screened from the sight of men by a curtain.

Polo
The game of hockey on horseback originated in Persia. It was played in the extreme west of the Himalayas till it was adopted in Calcutta around 1864, and quickly spread across the lower provinces, and to Kashmir, where summer visitors took it up. It soon made its way to England where it was first played in 1871, and later, to the US.

Sarong
An old Indian form of dress, later used only in the south. A body cloth or long kilt, tucked in at the waist and generally of coloured silk or cotton. It is the chief form of dress in Java and Malaya, today.

Sherbet
In Indian usage, a drink of sugar and water or syrup. It is also used for drinks made with a mixture of wine or liquor.

Shikara
A long shallow boat used for transporting passengers, or wares including fruits and flowers for sale to the houseboats on the lakes of Srinagar, Kashmir.

Verandah
An open, covered gallery that encircles bungalows and other Indian houses.

The following English words have roots in various Indian languages (with the majority derived from Sanskrit). anaconda, aryan, atoll, avatar, bandana, bangle, banyan, bazaar, brahmin, bungalow, calico, cashmere, catamaran, chai, cot, chintz, cheetah, cheroot, chutney, coolie, cummerbund, curry, cushy, dinghy, dungaree, fakir, ghat, ginger, grieve, guru, indigo, jodhpurs, juggernaut, jungle, jute, karma, khaki, loot, mandarin, mango, mantra, mogul, mongoose, mughal, mullah, musk, mulligatawny, mynah, nabob/nawab, nirvana, orange, pajamas, pariah, paisley, pepper, punch (the drink), pundit, seersucker, serendipity, shampoo, sugar, swami, swastika, teak, thug, verandah, -ware (the suffix), yoga, cheetah.

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On The Lighter Side



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India: Some Interesting Facts

1. India is the world’s largest, oldest, continuous civilization.
2. India never invaded any country in her last 10000 years of history.
3. India is the world’s largest democracy.
4. Varanasi, also known as Benares, was called “the ancient city” when Lord Buddha visited it in 500 B.C.E, and is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world today.
5. India invented the Number System. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta.
6. The World’s first university was established in Takshashila in 700BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century BC was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.
7. Sanskrit is the mother of all the European languages. Sanskrit is the most suitable language for computer software – a report in Forbes magazine, July 1987.
8. Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans. Charaka, the father of medicine consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago. Today Ayurveda is fast regaining its rightful place in our civilization.
9. Although modern images of India often show poverty and lack of development, India was the richest country on earth until the time of British invasion in the early 17th Century. Christopher Columbus was attracted by India’s wealth.
10. The art of Navigation was born in the river Sindhu 6000 years ago. The very word Navigation is derived from the Sanskrit word NAVGATIH. The word navy is also derived from Sanskrit ‘Nou’.
11. Bhaskaracharya calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the sun hundreds of years before the astronomer Smart. Time taken by earth to orbit the sun: (5th century) 365.258756484 days.
12. The value of pi was first calculated by Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is known as the Pythagorean Theorem. He discovered this in the 6th century long before the European mathematicians.
13. Algebra, trigonometry and calculus came from India. Quadratic equations were by Sridharacharya in the 11th century. The largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106 whereas Hindus used numbers as big as 10**53(10 to the power of 53) with specific names as early as 5000 BCE during the Vedic period. Even today, the largest used number is Tera 10**12(10 to the power of 12).
14. IEEE has proved what has been a century old suspicion in the world scientific community that the pioneer of wireless communication was Prof. Jagdish Bose and not Marconi.
15. The earliest reservoir and dam for irrigation was built in Saurashtra.
16. According to Saka King Rudradaman I of 150 CE a beautiful lake called Sudarshana was constructed on the hills of Raivataka during Chandragupta Maurya’s time.
17. Chess (Shataranja or AshtaPada) was invented in India.
18. Sushruta is the father of surgery. 2600 years ago he and health scientists of his time conducted complicated surgeries like cesareans, cataract, artificial limbs, fractures, urinary stones and even plastic surgery and brain surgery. Usage of anesthesia was well known in ancient India. Over 125 surgical equipment were used. Deep knowledge of anatomy, physiology, etiology, embryology, digestion, metabolism, genetics and immunity is also found in many texts.
19. When many cultures were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley (Indus Valley Civilization).
20. The four religions born in India, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, are followed by 25% of the world’s population.
21. The place value system, the decimal system was developed in India in 100 BC.
22. India is one of the few countries in the World, which gained independence without violence.
23. India has the second largest pool of Scientists and Engineers in the World.
24. India is the largest English speaking nation in the world.
25. India is the only country other than US and Japan, to have built a super computer indigenously.

Following facts were published in a German Magazine which deals with world history.

  • 38% of Doctors in America are Indians.
  • 12% of Scientists in America are Indians.
  • 36% of NASA employees are Indians.
  • 34% of Microsoft employees are Indians.
  • 28% of IBM employees are Indians.
  • 17% of Intel employees are Indians.
  • 13% of Xerox employees are Indians.

Famous Quotes on India (by non-Indians)

  • Albert Einstein said: We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.
  • Mark Twain said: India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.
  • French scholar Romain Rolland said: If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.
  • Hu Shih, former Ambassador of China to USA said: India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.


(Compiled from the website of Department of Tourism, India)

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Get A Hobby

Stress is a major symptom of a complex and fast paced society. These symptoms are, but not limited to depression and anxiety. Medical science has documented the adverse effects of stress on our mental, physical and emotional health. The information age and the ever increasing change in technology adds to our stress levels. Medical science has provided medications to help treat the symptoms of stress. These medications are important and potentially beneficial, but they are not without their side effects. A less evasive and more satisfying solution to dealing with life’s stress is to find a hobby.

Hobbies can provide many hours of relief from stress. A hobby can boost creativity, self esteem, passion, pleasure and accomplishments. Ted W. Mills grows roses as a hobby and is a rosarian and judge. In his article, True confessions are good for the soul he writes ” Facing retirement, I longed for an activity that would provide both pleasure and a sense of accomplishment. In roses I found the satisfaction.” He goes on to write, “Through all the trials and difficulties that I experience at the outset, many blessings were wrought. Lasting friendships were made and I discovered that rose people were among the best of citizens. All my industry became a labor of love as I shared God’s creative beauty to the forlorn and ill among us.” It is quite obvious to say that Ted’s hobby brought him hours of pleasure, satisfaction, beauty, and friendship.

Hobbies are great distractions from the worries and troubles that plague daily living. I myself, have an interest in woodworking and I recently took a woodturning course and found that when I am turning a project I am not hinking about work, my failing eyesight, or the house chores. I find myself lost in the creative endeavor. Several hours pass without looking at the clock. My mind is quiet and still and my attention is on creating a masterpiece out of a hunk of firewood. Even if a masterpiece is not discovered, what I have acquired is time spent in creating and making a lot of woodchips. I now know how Michelangelo felt as he chipped away the excess marble to find David inside. It’s a Zen thing.

Besides the reduction of stress and worry, hobbies can aid in the battle of depression. One of the simplest means to reduce the effects of depression is to do something fun and enjoyable. Think about it, have you ever seen anyone enjoying an activity that they have a passion for and be depressed while engaged in that activity. No, of course not. Individuals who are involved with their hobby are happier people. In support of this statement, Susan M. McHale, PhD of Penn State University conducted a government study that showed, “Structured activities such as hobbies and sports are the most development-enhancing ways for children to spend their time” (McHale, 2001) If this is true for children, doesn’t it make sense that hobbies can help adults too.

The positive health benefits of hobbies can also be seen in the elderly. WebMD reports that a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine adds new evidence in the benefit of mind-building hobbies. The study showed mounting evidence that mentally stimulating activities such as reading, playing cards, board games and doing crossword puzzles may prevent or minimize memory loss from the aging population. The study compared exercise to mind building hobbies and found that mind building hobbies do more for preventing Alzheimer’s or dementia than walking. If this is the case, let’s play Monopoly, start the Chess or Euchre tournament before I lose my mind.

Arthritis sufferers, hobbies can be of benefit to you too. The type and kind of hobby you do may need to be modified in order to keep the passion for the hobby alive. The use of adaptive devices and changing the frequency of activity can help rejuvenate the interest. Studies show that hobbies and leisure activities can reduce the affects of arthritis. One study of four patients with osteoarthritis involved in playing the piano found that 20 minute session, four times a week, over a four week period showed improvement in finger pinch and range of motion, also improvement in finger velocity, strengths and dexterity.

Without any misconception or hesitation I can say that hobbies are good for us. Hobbies can do wonders for our minds, our bodies and our souls. Some people including myself turn their hobbies into money making projects. So why not join the fun. Dive into a hobby and have a blast. It is good for you.

[By Bill Malone, http://www.canville.net/malone/getahobby.html%5D

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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