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A Pizza Cooked on a Volcano!

The volcano of Guatemala, South America named Pacaya has been active since February 2021. It is being looked upon closely by the officials and people living nearby. 

However, for a man named David Garcia, this volcano has become his kitchen. He serves up ‘Pacaya Pizza’ that is cooked on the hot volcanic rock to surprise tourists and locals.

Let’s find out how Garcia has turned this volcano into his kitchen:

  • He uses the hot volcanic rock to cook pizzas
  • Davis wears special clothes to protect himself from the heat while he cooks the pizzas
  • He makes them with lots of cheese, tomato sauce and meat too

David’s pizzas have become quite famous, especially among tourists. Visitors enjoy the amazing experience of seeing the pizza cook on the smouldering volcano rock. 

Did you know?

Pizza was first made in Naples, Italy.

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Why Do We Celebrate World Biodiversity Day?

The International Day for Biological Diversity is celebrated on the 22nd of May every year to raise global awareness about the need to protect biological resources. It is a part of the UN’s Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the UN, around 1.6 billion people depend on forests, and more than 3 billion depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. Hence, the conservation of the Earth’s species is the need of the hour and extremely vital to ensuring our own survival.

What is biodiversity?

  • Biodiversity or biotic diversity refers to the variety of life (plant and animal) found in a particular habitat on Earth
  • A common measure of this variety is the count of species in an area (called species richness)
  • For example, the forests of Colombia and Kenya have more than 1,000 species of birds. On the other hand, the forests of Great Britain and eastern North America are home to fewer than 200

Why is biodiversity important?

  • Biodiversity is the foundation upon  which humans build civilizations
  • All animals and plants depend on one another to survive 
  • All of us are a part of one big circle. If any part of that circle is broken, it affects everyone
  • Without biodiversity, humans would have no food, air, water, medicines and so much more

The theme for the day this year is “We’re part of the solution“, which focuses on the importance of our role to ensure that we save biodiversity.

‘When biodiversity has a problem, humanity has a problem’ – UN

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This Photo Won the International Wildlife Photography Award

Thomas Vijayan’s spectacular photo of an orangutan clinging to a tree has won him the prestigious International Wildlife Photography Award. The picture is called The World is Going Upside Down.

To capture this amazing shot, Vijayan waited for hours in the island of Borneo. 

To get the sky’s reflection and create the upside-down effect, Vijayan selected a tree that was half immersed in water.

This photo was selected from over 8,000 other photos.

Vijayan’s photo also won first place in the ‘Animals in Their Habitat’ category.

Here are some facts about orangutans:

  • Orangutans are great apes found in the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia
  • They have long arms and short legs
  • They also have reddish-brown hair covering their bodies
  • These apes are known to be extremely intelligent

But the sad truth is that there are very few of them alive today. So, as responsible citizens, we must do our bit to protect these great apes. 

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Do Facebook and Google need to Pay for News?

A few months back, Australia had passed a new law in the interest of the publishers of news content! According to this law, technology-based companies like Facebook and Google need to pay for news that they publish on their platform. 

Tech companies were using news content for free so far. The News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, which was passed recently, would save the news biz by ensuring fair remuneration for them. 

The Australian government has asked Facebook and Google to settle a price with news publishers whose content they use. 

Both these social media heavyweights have pushed back from the law.

Google said that it would remove the “search” button on Google Chrome in Australia, whereas Facebook shut down news pages in Australia last week.

Despite the retaliation by tech companies, news publishers can now look forward to monetizing their news flow.

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Why Do We Celebrate National Mathematics Day?

National Mathematics Day (India) is celebrated on 22 December to raise awareness about Mathematics. The day aims to motivate students to learn maths.

Why is it celebrated on 22 December?

  • It is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of the renowned Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. He was born on 22 December 1887
  • On the occasion of his 125th birth anniversary, Dr Manmohan Singh, in 2012, had declared this day as National Mathematics Day
  • Additionally, 2012 was announced as the National Mathematics Year

Generally, competitions, rapid fires, maths quizzes are conducted in schools, colleges, and universities to celebrate this day.

DID YOU KNOW?

Srinivasa Ramanujan is also known as the ‘man who knew infinity’.

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Midwinter Joy at China’s Harbin Ice Festival

Harbin, a city in northeastern China, hosts the annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival every year. It started in the year 1985 and is believed to be the world’s largest winter festival.

Let’s know more about this exciting festival:

  • It originated from Harbin’s traditional ice lantern show and garden party (popular in the 1960s) and Heilongjiang’s International Ski Festival
  • The festival starts on 5 January every year and lasts for about a month
  • More than 12-15 countries participate in this annual competition
  •  Artists create sculptures from the snow of the Songhua River and exhibit them. They use various types of tools to create these sculptures. Deionized water makes the sculptures transparent. They also add multicolor lights for the evening shows.
  • The highlights of this festival are grand sculptures, ice lantern exhibitions at night, skiing and winter swimming in the Songhua River.

The theme this year was ‘Magical Harbin, Ice Snow Charming China‘. 

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Two Female Scientists Jointly Awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Emmanuelle Charpentier (of France) and Jennifer A. Doudna (of the US) won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their groundbreaking work in developing a tool for genome editing

genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) structures. DNA contains the biological and genetic code of organisms required to make each species unique from the other. 

Charpentier and Doudna have made history as this is the first time two female scientists have shared the Nobel prize in science without a male copartner.

They have been working on this project for nearly nine years. Their discovery, Crispr-Cas9 or genetic scissors, will help scientists worldwide to make changes to the DNA sequence or modify gene function. This new genetic scissor is capable of cutting strands of DNA and correcting congenital disabilities. 

This technology could be used even to treat cancer and cure other illnesses as well.

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Where Is the World’s Highest Polling Station?

A small village nestled in the high Himalayas had turned a two-storied building into a polling station. 

Can you guess the name of this place?

Situated at 15,256 feet, Tashigang in Himachal Pradesh is the world’s highest polling booth. It comes under the Mandi Lok Sabha seat. 

Although it had only 36 voters, it had recorded an unbelievable 132 percent voter turnout.

Read on to find out more about this place: 

  • The Tashigang polling station comes under Lahaul- Spiti assembly segment, which is a Buddhist-dominated area
  • Tashigang is also the highest village in Spiti valley
  • It is 29 km from the Indo-China border
  • The polling station has only 48 voters – 30 men and 18 women

Tashigang is a beautiful place with a lot to offer to explorers looking for something mesmerizing. It’s a place where the breeze talks to you, and calm is the norm.

DID YOU KNOW?

Rigjin, 78, was the oldest voter at this polling station.

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Where Is the International Space Station Situated?

The International Space Station or the ISS is the single largest spacecraft that humans have ever put into space. It provides a base for scientific researches.

The ISS operates in collaboration with five space agencies –  NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada). 

The ISS project started in the year 1998 and took two years to become fully functional. 

Let’s find out more about the ISS:

  • The ISS is the home for astronauts in space. It is well equipped to generate its own power, fetch and store data and host the crew
  • It also has small spacecraft attached to it. These spacecraft don’t host humans but provide platforms for research
  • The ISS and its smaller space stations provide a long-term environment where several scientific studies can be performed for decades

The daily expenditure of an ISS crew member is estimated to be nearly $7.5 million.

DID YOU KNOW?

The International Space Station was not launched as a single unit. Several space shuttles were assembled over a period of two years to make the ISS.

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Humans Could Live Longer than 120 Years!

Do you remember the scene where Harry saw Lord Voldermort drinking the blood of the unicorn in the Forbidden Forest? In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the unicorn’s blood was believed to gift immortality to the drinker.

Immortality is the ability to defeat death and live forever. Long-life has been the wish and desire of mankind. Be it Gulliver’s Travels or Lord Tennyson’s poem Tithonus, man’s craving for eternity is universal.

But the fact is, the cells in our bodies have a limit. They wear, tear and stop working as we grow older. This is why people have health issues when they grow older.

A science and technology company called Gero studied how human bodies recover from accidents and diseases. 

They found out that recovery power gets slower as we grow older

Studying this further, they found that resilience is completely gone when you reach somewhere between 120 years to 150 years.

So how long can we live? The study says that 150 years is the oldest age that we can reach.

DID YOU KNOW?

Jeanne Calment lived till the age of 122 and is the oldest person on record to have ever lived.