June 2014



Thwaites Glacier Melting glaciers: A new study by researchers at NASA and the University of California, Irvine, finds a rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea. Read more ....

Squid Symbiosis: The small but charismatic Hawaiian bobtail squid is known for its predator-fooling light organ. To survive, the nocturnal cephalopod depends on a symbiotic association with a luminescent bacterium that gives it the ability to mimic moonlight on the surface of the ocean and, in the fashion of a Klingon cloaking device, deceive barracuda and other fish that would happily make a meal of the small creature. Read more ....

Coral reef Protective corals: Coral reefs are widely regarded as one of the most beautiful, diverse and delicate ecosystems on the planet. A new study by an international team of scientists reveals that reefs also play the tough guy role in protecting hundreds of millions of people from rising sea levels and damaging wave action. Read more .....

Sea anemone Oceanic life: A deep-water creature once thought to be one of the world's largest sea anemones, with tentacles reaching more than 6.5 feet long, actually belongs to a new order of animals. Read more ....

Batteries Harnessing waste heat: Vast amounts of excess heat are generated by industrial processes and by electric power plants; researchers around the world have spent decades seeking ways to harness some of this wasted energy. Most such efforts have focused on thermoelectric devices, solid-state materials that can produce electricity from a temperature gradient, but the efficiency of such devices is limited by the availability of materials. Read more ....

Aircraft Brain-controlled flight: Pilots of the future could be able to control their aircraft by merely thinking commands. Scientists of the Technische Universitat Munchen and the TU Berlin claim to have demonstrated the feasibility of flying via brain control - with astonishing accuracy. Read more ....




2

Once Dashu came to school carrying a box. "What is in the box Dashu?" the teacher asked him.

"My things Sir," Dashu said enigmatically.

The box was a hot topic of conversation amongst us for the next few days. Dashu carried his books, pencil, sharpener and other school materials in his bag; what, then, could be the "things" in the box? We asked Dashu about it but he refused to give a straight answer. He clutched the box protectively and said, "Don't any of you ever try to meddle with my box." He, then, took out a key from his pocket and opening the box slightly peered inside. "Everything is there," he muttered to himself, and began to do some calculations on a piece of paper in a very grave manner. I tried to peek inside the box, but this greatly agitated Dashu and he hurriedly closed the box.

Our curiosity had reached a fever pitch, and all our time was spent in discussing what could be inside the box. "He must be carrying his lunch in the box," someone suggested. But we never saw him remove his lunch packet from the box. "Perhaps, he carries his money in the box. That's the reason why he does not part with it and takes it along with him wherever he goes," someone else suggested. But that suggestion too was considered improbable - why should he have such a large box to carry his money? did he wish to start a money-lending business in the school?

One day during the lunch recess Dashu, appearing to be in great hurry, came up to me and requested that I keep the key of the box for some time. He cautioned, "Don't lose it. If I am late in returning then give it to the watchman before going to the classroom." He, then, kept the box in the watchman's custody and disappeared as though he had some mighty important work at hand.

We had been waiting for such an opportunity, and at last had come near to solving the mystery. We lingered near the watchman hoping he would abandon his post for a while. Our prayers were answered; the watchman left to wash his utensils and fetch his lunch.

The instant the watchman was lost to sight, five or six of us dashed into the cabin and pounced upon the box. I removed the key and turned the lock. On lifting the lid, we discovered a package wrapped in cloth. Untying the knots hurriedly, we opened the package only to find a smaller cardboard box inside. When this box was opened, it revealed a still smaller box inside. A card was found in this box. On one side of the card were written the words "Go and eat kaachkola (green bananas)"; the other side carried the advice, "Too much curiosity is not good".

We looked at each other in dismay. "Dashu has made a fool of us," one boy said. Another suggested we should replace the boxes after wrapping them up in cloth as before so that Dashu does not realise we had opened them. "This way his prank will boomerang on him," the boy said. The idea appealed to me. "Yes, that's the best thing to do. When he comes back we will ask him very innocently to show us what is inside the box," I said.

Acting upon the plan we hurriedly replaced the boxes. As I was about to turn the key to lock the main box, we heard a loud guffaw. Turning towards the sound we saw Dashu sitting on the compound wall and laughing his head off. He had been sitting there quietly all the time and observing the fun. I realised then that handing me the key, putting the box in the watchman's custody, and going away during the lunch recess had all been planned carefully by Dashu. He had been carrying this huge box for the last few days merely to play a prank on us. Is it for nothing that we call him "Crazy Dashu"?

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Some useful links for
your career:


  • Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
  • IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
  • Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
  • Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
  • IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
  • Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
  • Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
  • Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
  • Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu

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