Friday, May 30, 2008

Teflon was discovered accidentally

Teflon is the trade name for polytetrefluoroethylene, which was discovered in 1938 by American chemist Roy J. Plunkett. He discovered the material accidentally while working to develop a non-toxic refrigerant from gaseous tetrafluoroethylene. Instead, he came up with a waxy white powder which indicated that the molecules polymerized or combined with each other.

Plunkett went on to develop a method for producing the powder commercially. Teflon was first used for producing gaskets and valves needed in the development of the atomic bomb. The first Teflon-coated muffin tins and frying pans were sold in 1960. Teflon is now used for artificial cornea, substitute bones for chin, nose, hip, and knee joints and other anatomical plants.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How did Pins Originate?

Pins, made of different materials are in use from the earliest times. The earliest form of pin would have been a thorn. Later, bones of fist or animals. We have ample evidence which shows that Neolithic man was already making pins of bronze.

Around 1000 B.C. there were pins in Europe which resemble today’s safety pins. The European pins were made of bronze. They were slender and could be present in such a way that the point was caught against the head.

At the end of the 15th century, pins, as we know them, began to be manufactured. In those days they were considered very precious. The French people first made the modern type pins. Slowly, they spread to other parts other the world.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Yttrium- Moderately Hard Metallic Element

Yttrium is a moderately hard metallic element with a high melting point. It is found in nature in mineral ores such as godolinite euxite, and xenotime.

Yttrium is combined with other metals to make alloys useful in nuclear power plants, and it is used in color television tubes. In medicine, radioactive yttrium isotopes are used for cancer treatment. It is also used in optical and electronic equipment.

Yttrium was first found by J. Gadoiln in 1794, in ytterby, Sweden, but was not isolated in pure form until almost 50 years later.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What was the Pony Express?

‘Pony express’ was a kind of postal service. It provided for a fast postal service between two cities in America. It was run from April 1860 to October 1861. It was established by a freighting and stagecoach firm called ‘Russell, Majors and Waddell’ and was used only for letters. The charge was five dollars and an ounce.

Expert riders were chosen to ride fast horses which were charged six to eight times on the scheduled route.

Route of the pony express covered 1838 miles and included 157 stations. ‘Home stations’ providing food and a little rest to the riders were placed at distances of 75 to 100 miles. The time scheduled for the delivery was about 10 days.

Pony express service came to an end with the completion of the transcontinental telegraph line in October 1861.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Care for animals

Life is dear to a make creature as it is to a man. Even the lowliest insect strives for protection against dangers that threaten it life. Just as each one of us wants happiness and fears pain, just as each one of us wants to live and not die, so do all other creatures.

Whereas man can speak up and fight for his rights, animals cannot. And whereas we enjoy many facilities and rights, animals do not. They are the weaker section. They are the ones we should care for and be concerned about.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

What are Food Chains?

Every living organism is involved in a food chain. For example, a snail eats leaves, a bird eats the snail, a cat eats the bird. Every food chain begins with some kind of plant. It is because plants are the only organisms which can make food by photosynthesis in the presence of sunlight.

Hence all animals are dependent on plants. Food chains are also known as energy chains, because it is through the various links in the chain that animals and human beings get their energy.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Improve yourself

The moment you decide to improve yourself in some specific way, you begin the process of becoming a better person.

If you dedicate yourself to the job of self-improvement, you will never be bored for lack of challenge, for want of adventure or for lack of opportunity.

It requires real insight, honesty and maturity to recognize areas needed improvement in yourself, it requires wisdom to do something about hose opportunities. You prove your wisdom by striving daily to improve yourself.

Invest your time in a regular programme of self-improvement and a personal ‘fountain of youth’ will be yours. Goethe advised: “To keep young, every day read a poem, hear a choice peace of music, view a fine painting and if possible, do a good action”.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Evolution of English Alphabet – E

E is the fifth letter of the alphabet in English and most other languages. It came through Latin, from the Greek letter ‘epsilon’.

The original version of the letter was probably an ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic sign, a picture of a man shouting.

In about 1000 B.C., the Phoenicians used the sign in their alphabet as the letter ‘H’. It was a simpler shape.

Later, the Greeks used the sign for their letter ‘E’. The Romans took it over unchanged for their alphabet. In their cursive writing, it soon took on the rounded shape, the small ‘e’ today.

E is the most commonly used letter in English. It may be pronounced short or long or even left silent.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Love-True and Great

If you develop love truly and great, rid of the desire to hold and possess, that strong clean love untarnished by lust, that love which does not expect to be repayed, that love which is firm bout not grasping, enduring but not tied down, gentle and settled, diamond-hard, but not interfering, giving more than taking, dignified but not proud, soft but not weak, that love which leads to enlightenment, them you will be washed of all ill-will.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Have Some Useful Occupation

Our metal attitude to life is extremely important. Adjustment is the key to health, happiness and service in our later years. One of the greatest aids to feeling young is to have some useful occupation.

Here are the commandments for a long, sensible living.

Do not worry. Go for regular walks in the fresh air. Rise early, eat slowly. Do not be jealous of others. Speak gently. Forgive freely. Fear nothing, be industrious always look for good points in others. Work at a job, you love most.

Good and hard work makes the old young again. A contented married life is an attribute to longevity. A moderate diet, to be free from tobacco and alcohol are important boons to longevity.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Are Mute Swans really Mute?

Swans are closely related to ducks and geese, but larger than them. The mute swan has an orange bill with a prominent black knob.

It swims with its neck held in a graceful shape. Infact, though named thus, mute swans are not mute. They make snorting noises and hiss when threatened. The wings of mute swan make a throbbing sound with each wing beat when they are flying.

They breed in summer. During this season the breeding pairs are territorial. The males can even be aggressive in defence of their nest and cygnets. But in winter, they feed in flocks. In order to nibble the underwater plants, they reach down with their long necks. Mute swans feed mainly on under water plants but also graze on marshland during water.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Why do Giraffes have Long Necks?

Giraffes have long necks so that they can reach the top of trees and feed on the leaves which grow there. As other animals feed on the lower parts of the tree, giraffes do not have to compete for the same source of food for all. This is one of nature’s ways of ensuring that food sources are used to the best advantage and nothing is wasted.

By stretching their long necks upward, giraffes can browse on leaves six meters above the ground. Having such a long neck is fine for eating the tops of trees, but it is a long way down when the giraffe wants to drink.

Giraffes have to spread their legs wide apart to enable their heads to get close enough to the water to drink.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Plato – Great Philosophers of the World

Plato was a Greek philosopher and was one of the greatest thinkers in western European history. He was the student of Socrates and the teacher of Aristotle.

Plato’s writings and teachings dealt with all the fundamental questions of philosophy. Because of its depth and range, his thinking had an effect on all the western civilizations.

Plato was born in a noble family of Athens, and had good education. He thought of becoming a politician but did not like the politicians of his times. Instead, Plato went to study with Socrates, and became a friend as well as pupil of that master. When Socrates was executed in 399 B.C. Plato and other scholars fled to Megara. Plato later defended Socrates in a book called “The Apology”.

In 387 B.C., Plato returned to Athens and founded a school, later known as the Academy. The school taught philosophy, mathematics, law and science. Plato taught at this academy till his end.

Most of Plato’s works are written in the form of dialogues, in which people ask one another questions and discuss a point. Plato often made Socrates one of the participants in the dialogues.

Of Plato’s many works, the Republic is the best known. In it he expressed his views on how to organize a state and society.

Plato’s longest book, the ‘Laws’ dealt with how to write a constitution and make laws.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Worlds First Himalayan Traveler

The great Himalayas spread over a distance of 2400 kilometers have stood as a challenge through the centuries. The first nearly accurate sketch of the Himalayan ranges was drawn by a Spanish missionary at Akbar’s court in 1590.

However, it was George Everst who put the Himalayas on the world map. At the end of eighteenth century William Moorecraft, a British Vet, became the worlds first Himalayan traveler. Since then, the number of Himalayan travelers, climbers and explorers has grown manifold.