Some astonishing facts
Who really invented the telephone?
1) Alexander Graham bell and Elisha Gray both applied for the patent on the same day in New York on January 14, 1876. Bell arrived at the patent office at 12.00 noon, Gray at 2.00 pm. After a long court case, judges decided that Bell invented the telephone.
Who played golf on the moon?
2) Us Astronaut Alan Shepherd, the commander of Apollo 14, played the first golf shot on the moon in 1971.
The first birds that lived on the earth
3) About 150 million years ago there lived a bird-like creature called an archaeopteryx. It had feathers, wings and a head like a lizard with sharp teeth instead of a beak. It was about as big as a seagull.
Did you know that a bird can sew?
4) The tailor bird makes a nest using its sharp beak as a needle to sew two large leaves together. The leaves are then filled with soft grasses.
5) Sitting on a rock in Copenhagen harbor is a bronze statue of the little Mermaid. She is the heroin of one of the Hans Christian Andersen’s best known fairy tales.
6) Pet parrots can eat any common food eaten by humans expect for chocolate and avocados. Both of these are highly toxic to the parrot and can be fatal.
7) Tea bags which are common today were discovered quite by accident. A tea merchant in Europe gave customers samples of his tea in small silk bags. The customers did not know how to open the bags, so they dipped them in boiling water. Thus, the first tea bags were born.
8) The name malaria comes from the Italian word `mal aria’ meaning bad air. Earlier, people thought malaria was caused by bad air arising in marshes. Now, we know that it is caused by the bite of a kind of female mosquito.
9) Candles were once used to measure time. If evenly spaced notches are cut in the candle, as it burns down its gives a rough idea of the time.
10) The magic square in which all the numbers when added horizontally, vertically or diagonally we get the same sum, have been in existence for about 3000 years. The picture shows one of the earliest magic squares, written down in 12BC. Each row, each column and both diagonals add up to 15.
11) Your fingernails grow nearly four times faster than your toenails.
12) The first stethoscope, invented in 1816, was made from a roll of paper.
13) India - national calendar `Saka Era’ came into force on March 22, 1957. It was introduced by a Saka Kushan king `Kanishka in 78 AD. The corresponding date of March 22, 1957 was Chaitra,’ 1879. So the national calendar is 78 years behind the Gregorian calendar.
14) The first European visits to India were the Portuguese. An explorer named Vasco-do Gama came to India in 1498. The Portuguese began taking goods from India to Europe. Then went the English, the French and the Dutch during Akbar’s reign. They also came to trade.
15) The British East India Company was formed in 100AD. This started several trading centers in India. Gradually the company started expanding and capturing power by removing weak rulers. Ultimately, in 1858, India was brought under the direct rule of the British crown.
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