A gigantic yellow rubber duck, which has been making its way around cities in the world since 2007, is experiencing some problems. The duck was created by a Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman with the aim of spreading the message of peace and harmony. It recently made its way to Hong Kong, China. However, it has deflated and is currently being repaired. The duck has already visited Sao Paulo (Brazil), Auckland (New Zealand), Hasselt (Belgium), Osaka and Hiroshima (Japan), Sydney (Australia), and Amsterdam (the Netherlands). This duck is also the world’s largest rubber duck with a height of 54 feet (16.4 meters). You can watch a video of the duck in Hong Kong here.
Image Credits: Cucadremi for the Rubber Duck’s image
What’s for dinner? Well, how about some wasps, grasshoppers, and beetles? The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) says insects are good food to eat. They contain protein, minerals, and healthy fats. Earth’s population is just over 7 billion, and is estimated to become over 9 billion by the year 2050. One of the worries of governments and scientists is how we would provide food for so many people. Also, the livestock we raise adds to the global warming issues on our planet. Insects multiply in numbers quickly, are easy to raise, are high in nutrients, and insect-farming would be less harmful to our planet than livestock-farming. There are close to 2,000 species of insects that scientists say can be eaten. Already, about 2 billion people in the world eat insects. The most eaten insect is the beetle.
Dung beetle (per 100g) has 17.2g of protein, 4.3g of fat, 30.9mg of calcium, and 7.7mg of iron. As the name describes, these beetles feed on “dung”. The image is of bamboo worms with green onions.
Here is a video about it.
Did you know?
Dung beetles use our galaxy, the Milky Way, to navigate their way. They check out the light in the sky to figure out how to trod along in a straight path.
Did you know?
The United Nations predicts that by next year there will be more cell phone subscriptions than humans on our planet. Currently, Earth’s population is approximately 7.1 billion and there are 6.8 billion cell phone subscriptions.
Image Credits: www.fao.org for the bamboo worms/oinions image
General elections were held in Pakistan, and Nawaz Sharif’s political party was the winner. Sharif is expected to become the prime minister, the country’s head of government. Sharif, 63 years old, has been the prime minister twice before (1990-1993 and 1997–1999). He was forced to step down both times. In 1999, he was even put in jail and then exiled from Pakistan. He went and lived in Saudi Arabia till his return in 2007.
Sharif wants to improve Pakistan’s relationship with India. The two countries are neighbors and keep getting into tiffs. In fact, the two countries have fought a few wars in the last 65 years. Until 1947, India and Pakistan used to be one country called India. The British ruled India at the time. In 1947, India got its independence, but it was split into India and Pakistan. The event is often referred to as “the partition of India”. Pakistan was actually in two separate parts, on either side of India. One of those separated from Pakistan in 1971 to become Bangladesh.
Pakistan’s capital is Islamabad. Islam is the official religion of the country, with over 96% of Pakistanis being Muslims. The Urdu language, which is the national language of Pakistan, is written from right to left (unlike English). yad ecin a evah! (Get it? Try reading it like you would Urdu – right to left).
Everyone knows about Mount Everest, but do you know what the world’s second highest point is? It is a mountain called K2 at the border of Pakistan and China. K2 is 8,611 m (28,251 ft) high. It is also called the “Savage Mountain” because the mountain is very tough to climb. The first known people to successfully climb K2 were Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli of Italy on July 31, 1954.
Did you know?
Last year, Pakistanis set a world record for the largest human flag. Pakistan’s flag was created by 24,200 people holding up white or green colored cards (the colors of the flag).
Image Credits: Badrijutt for Nawaz’s image; Svy123 for K2’s image
Let’s visit Mohenjo Daro, an ancient city in the Indus River valley in Pakistan. The city is believed to be built around 2,600 BC and was one of the most advanced cities in the world at the time. The city was very well planned out, with streets laid out in organized patterns. Houses had bathrooms which connected to sewers and a drainage system. Some homes had two floors. Houses were built with fire-baked bricks. Food was stored in huge rooms that had special pipes for air to keep the food dry. Most of these were not seen in other civilizations at that time.
At its peak, Mohenjo Daro probably had more than 30,000 residents. It was abandoned around 1900 BC (that is almost 4,000 years ago), and was rediscovered only about 100 years ago! Archaeologists don’t know why the city was abandoned, and are still learning new facts about this amazing city.
Image Credits: Comrogues from San Francisco, California for Mohenjo Daro’s image
Ronnie O’Sullivan (from the United Kingdom) won the 2013 World Snooker Championship on May 6 by defeating Barry Hawkins (also from the United Kingdom). O’Sullivan is 37 years old and has been nicknamed “The Rocket” because of his quick way of playing the game. The championship is played every year in Sheffield, UK. Snooker, like billiards, is played by using a long stick to hit a bunch of balls on a green table with holes. The most likely origins of snooker come from the British soldiers in India over a hundred years ago. They had invented a different version of billiards which got named after the term used for inexperienced soldiers – “snookers”!
Did you know?
Harry Brearly, an English metallurgist, is often credited for inventing “stainless steel” in the town of Sheffield, UK in 1913. However, this title is claimed by a few others as well.
Image Credits: Anne-Marie Forker for O’Sullivan’s image
It’s a bee! It’s a fly! No, it’s a robot! RoboBee, the world’s smallest flying robot, has been created at Harvard University, USA. The robot has a wingspan of 3 cm (1.2 in) and weighs 80mg. Its wings can flap 120 times per second. Here is a video of the bee.
Image Credits: Kevin Ma and Pakpong Chirarattananon and Harvard University for RoboBee’s image
The government of Panama shut some schools and universities for a few days. It also reduced the working hours of government offices. This was done to save energy. The country gets over 50% of its energy from hydroelectric power plants (where falling or flowing water is used to generate power). However, there hasn’t been enough rain in the country, and the water levels are low, creating a shortage of energy.
Panama is an isthmus – a skinny piece of land that connects two larger land masses, North America and South America. At its narrowest point, it is just 80 km (50 miles) wide. Panama is a land of mountains, rain forests, swamps, rivers, jungles, and the hot sun.
Did you know?
“A Man, A Plan, A Canal – Panama!” is a sentence that reads the same forwards and backwards!
One of the world’s smallest countries isn’t going to be so small anymore. Monaco is one of the smallest countries in the world, with a size of about 2 sq km (0.75 sq mi). The country is looking into reclaiming land from the sea. A project is being launched where 14 acres (0.06 sq km) of land will be added by the year 2024. That’s a 3% increase in size, so maybe Monaco will still be quite small.
According to the CIA World Factbook, Monaco is the country in the world with the highest life expectancy of 89.68 years. It is also one of the most densely populated countries in the world with about 15,000 people living per square kilometer. A person from Monaco is called a Monegasque or a Monacan.
Enjoy loops in a roller coaster ride? Well, a new roller coaster set to open later this month has set a new Guinness World Record for the most loops. The roller coaster named the Smiler, in Staffordshire, United Kingdom, has 14 loops. The ride time is 165 seconds with a maximum speed of 85 km/hr (52 miles/hr). That’s fast! The track of the Smiler is 1.17 km (0.7 miles) long. Hopefully, you are still smiling when you get off of Smiler . Here is a video.
Image Credits: http://www.the-smiler.com for Smiler’s image
One of the largest Mayan pyramids in Nohmul, an area with Mayan ruins in northern Belize, has been destroyed by bulldozers and backhoes. A construction company busy building a road in the area used the rock from the pyramid to fill holes in the road.
The pyramid was estimated to be 2,300 years old and was about 100 feet (30 meters) tall. It was built by the Mayans, the people living in the area at the time. When the Mayans built this, there were no backhoes and bulldozers. They used stone tools to dig up the rock and carried the heavy rock on their heads to where the pyramid was built.
The Mayans lived in areas that are now part of the countries of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Some of their earliest settlements discovered are from over 3,500 years ago. They built many temples, pyramids, and towns. They came up with a calendar system that used 365 days, and had a writing system as well. A drink Mayans enjoyed was chocolate. In fact, cacao beans, the key ingredient of chocolate, were so precious they were even used as currency. Their civilization went into decline in the 900s. Nobody knows for sure the reason for the decline.
The capital of Belize is Belmopan and its official language is English. Here is a video about the Mayans.
Did you know?
The Belize Barrier Reef off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean Sea is the largest coral reef system in the Northern hemisphere. Here is a video about it.