The Junior Age

Month: November 2022

Fantastic Facts About Red Pandas

Red Pandas are small mammals and are found in the high forests of India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and China. Even though red pandas and giant pandas share a similar name and love for bamboo, these two animals are not related. They both belong to different animal families. Red pandas are more closely related to skunks, weasels, and raccoons. They were first discovered in 1825, while the giant pandas were discovered in 1869. As per recent studies, there are 2 distinct species of red panda: the Chinese red panda and the Himalayan red panda. These creatures are known for their remarkable acrobatic abilities and spend most of their time in trees. 

Interesting Red Panda Facts That You Need To Know

1. Red pandas have many names. They are also known as the first panda, original panda, firefox, red bear-cat, red cat-bear, and the lesser panda!   

2. Although red pandas are carnivores, they rarely eat meat. They consume 20% to 30% of their body weight in bamboo. They can eat up to 20,000 leaves every day and can also occasionally eat eggs, insects, birds, and small mammals.  

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3. Red pandas are solitary and nocturnal animals. They sleep during the day while the temperature is at its hottest and become active during dawn and dusk.

4. Like giant pandas, red pandas also have opposable thumbs that help them hold onto the bamboo, branches, and leaves.

5. Every year the third Saturday of September is recognized as International Red Panda Day, this year it was celebrated on September 17.

6. Red pandas are the only living species of their taxonomic family. While they’re a unique animal species, they also face the threat of extinction due to climate change.

7. In India, red pandas are mostly found in tropical forests. They are mostly found in cool and temperate forests.

8. Did you know that the word “panda” is derived from the Nepalese word “nigalya ponya” which means bamboo eater?

9. The red panda is Sikkim’s state animal. They are also found in other Indian states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling, and parts of the Kalimpong district of West Bengal.

10. Red pandas are classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is estimated that less than 10,000 pandas survive in the wild and only 100 live in zoos, across the world. Loss of habitat, adverse effects of climate change, and poaching are the biggest threats to the red pandas’ survival.

The recent Disney movie, Turning Red, tells the story of a 13-year-old girl who transforms into a big red panda when she feels big emotions. Have you seen the movie yet?

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Top 10 Interesting Facts About Christmas

Christmas is a popular holiday all over the world, and both young kids and adults dearly look forward to celebrating it every year. Everyone is super excited to decorate their Christmas trees and receive gifts from Santa Claus. While it’s a popular holiday celebrated all over the world, it is religiously observed in western countries such as the US and the UK. People go to churches and attend masses to offer their prayers and receive blessings from Jesus Christ. Streets, houses, and shops are decorated with lights, Christmas trees, and festive food items. People are seen donning classic white and red Santa hats and Christmas-themed sweaters to mark the occasion. 

Also Read, Interesting Facts About Ramadan

All the celebrations aside, let’s read about some Christmas facts that you might find interesting. 

Top 10 Facts About Christmas That Are Strange But True

1. Christmas Wasn’t Always Celebrated on 25th December

Yes, you read that right! While the 25th of December is widely celebrated as Christmas Day to mark the birth of Jesus Christ, it is nowhere mentioned as such in the Bible. No one actually knows the exact date of Jesus Christ’s birth. 

2. Christmas Trees Are A Part of An Ancient Tradition

We’re all familiar with the evergreen fir trees that have become a part of Christmas celebrations all over the world. However, the introduction of fir trees as part of decoration dates back to the 16th century. It is believed that Ancient Romans and Egyptians would use evergreen trees as a symbol of long-lasting life and to mark the return of Spring.

3. Who Was Santa Claus?

Santa Claus is a fictional character based on a Christian Bishop named St. Nicholas. While he didn’t wear the classic red suit and hat, he was a very generous Bishop who gave away his inheritance to the poor and needy people. He also loved children and was known to give them gifts secretly. He was called Sinter Klaas in Dutch which was later modernized to be called Santa Claus. 

4. There Are A Total of 9 Reindeer

We all know that our dear Santa wouldn’t be able to deliver our gifts if he didn’t have his team of fantastic reindeer. These nine amazing reindeer who help Santa fly his sleigh are called Dasher, Vixen, Prancer, Dancer, Comet, Donner, Cupid, Blitzen, and Rudolph. 

5. ‘Jingle Bells’ Wasn’t Originally A Christmas Song

Can you believe it? We can’t either! The famous Christmas song called ‘Jingle Bells’ wasn’t originally written for Christmas. The song was written by James Lord Pierpont in the 1800s for Thanksgiving, and was titled ‘One Horse Open Sleigh.’ It was later re-released under the title ‘Jingle Bells’ and is now the most popular Christmas song all over the world. 

6. Norway Sends A Christmas Tree to London, Every Year!

In the spirit of Christmas, the Norway government has been sending the iconic large Christmas tree to London since 1947. Trafalgar Square in London is a very popular tourist attraction that showcases a 20 feet tall tree that is decked with fairy lights. This gesture is extended by Norway as a token of gratitude for Britain’s support during World War II. 

7. Christmas Was Once Banned for 20 Years

Believe it or not, the popular festival of Christmas was banned in England and soon in America as well. The government believed that people are forgetting the religious meaning of Christmas and getting lost in the festivities. The ban started in 1659 and continued for two long decades until 1681. People who were caught celebrating during this period were penalized. 

8. Santa Claus Also Has A Postal Code

Many people encourage their children to write letters to Santa Claus telling him how well they have been throughout the year. And some kind people from the Canadian postal authority started writing back to these kids which resulted in more people writing to them. Since then, the Canadian postal service has set up a special postal code for addressing the letter to Santa Claus. The postal code is- HOH OHO!

9. The Red Suit Wasn’t The Original Santa Suit

While we’ve grown to associate Santa with his red suit, it wasn’t always his costume. For many years, Father Christmas wore green, blue, and purple clothes. However, as a part of their campaign, Coca-Cola dressed up Santa in a red suit that matched their brand colors, and the rest is history!

10. Alabama Was The First American State To Recognize Christmas As A Holiday

Although Christmas is a religious celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, it wasn’t considered a holiday everywhere. Alabama was the first state in the US that recognized 25th December i.e. Christmas as a public holiday in 1836. And do you know which was the last American state to recognize Christmas as a holiday? Oklahoma declared Christmas a holiday in the year 1907.

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Everything You Need To Know About Volcanoes

What is a Volcano? 

A volcano is a cavity in the earth that is an escape for gases, molten rocks, and debris that form under the surface of the Earth. Due to continuous eruptions, a lot of ash and rocks get collected resulting in the formation of craters, hills, and mountains. There are molten rocks inside the volcano which is called magma. When the pressure inside a volcano starts to rise it forces the magma to flow out onto the surface of the Earth. Once the magma starts to escape the volcanic cavity, and move outwards to the planetary surface, then it is called lava. 

Also Read, Understanding Earthquakes

Interesting Facts About Volcanoes You Should Know About: 

1. What Are The Different Types of Volcanoes?

Volcanoes are typically classified into three different categories namely active, dormant, and extinct. 

Active Volcanoes: Volcanoes that have erupted in the recent past and are likely to erupt again are known as active volcanoes.

Dormant Volcanoes: Volcanoes that have not erupted for a very long time in the past but are expected to erupt in the future are known as dormant volcanoes.

Extinct Volcanoes: Volcanoes that have neither erupted for a long time in the past nor are expected to erupt in the future are known as extinct volcanoes.

2. How Many Active Volcanoes Are There In The World?

There are volcanoes present on every continent of the world including Antarctica. It is reported that there are about 1500 volcanoes in the world that are potentially active, and nearly 161 of these potentially active volcanoes are in the United States of America. This means that over 10 percent of active volcanoes are present in the US. 

3. Are There Any Benefits of Volcanic Eruptions?

While we’re all familiar with the devastating effects that giant volcanic eruptions can/do cause such as emitting harmful gasses, causing earthquakes, etc., there are many benefits of such eruptions also. 

  • The ultimate breakdown of volcanic materials after the eruption has resulted in producing fertile land soil that has boosted food production and nurtured civilizations. 
  • The heat produced by the volcanic activities beneath the earth’s surface has provided us with geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source which mainly used to generate electricity apart from other things. 
  • A large number of minerals such as copper, zinc, gold, silver, and lead have been found in the magma of extinct volcanoes. 

4. Facts About Volcanoes For Kids

  1. Regardless of whether volcanoes are active or inactive, they have been found outside the Earth as well. Moon and Mars are known to have volcanoes on their surfaces. 
  1. More than 80 percent of the Earth’s surface including land and sea is of volcanic origin. 
  1. The deadliest volcanic eruption was recorded on Mount Tabora in 1815 in Indonesia. The eruption caused the death of about 10,000 people and the ash and gases caused an increase in the reflectivity of the Earth. This phenomenon was called the year without summer. This further resulted in an increase in diseases and starvation which led to the death of 82,000 people.
  1. The shape of the volcano depends upon the frequency and intensity of eruptions along with the composition of the magma. 
  1. When the undersea volcanic mountains become large enough they rise up to the surface of the water, they become islands. 
  1. The tallest volcano in the world is Nevado Ojos del Salado which is dormant and is located in the Andes on the Argentina-Chile border.

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G20 Summit: India’s Role in the 2022 Summit

What is a G20 Summit? 

G20 Summit is an annual forum conducted for international economic cooperation among major countries. G20 stands for ‘group of twenty’ in which member nations represent 80% of the world’s GDP, 60% of the world’s population, and 75% of international trade. The first G20 summit took place in 1999 and has since been held annually with all member nation leaders in attendance.

History of the G20 Summit’s Origins

The G20 alliance was formed in 1999 with the idea of discussing policies that would bring about international financial stability among member nations. The organization was formed with the idea of tackling the global economic crisis that took place during 1997-1999 by inviting middle-income countries and having a systematic influence on the economy. The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors started to hold meetings on the advice of G7 Finance Ministers to discuss the impact and resolution of the global financial crisis. Consequently, these meetings went on to be held regularly every year.

The first G20 Summit was held on November 14-15, 2008 to discuss the impact and response to the severely hit global economic downfall in the US. The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meet on several occasions throughout the year to prepare for the annual summit.

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All You Need To Know About the 17th 2022 G20 Summit

Who are the Member Countries?

The permanent G20 members are Argentina, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, China, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, Canada, Russia, Australia, Turkey, South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.

Every year, a guest country is invited by the Presidency to take part in the G20 exercises. Spain has been invited as a permanent guest to future summits. Many international and regional organizations also participate each year, which gives the forum a representation on a much larger scale.

What is the goal?

The Presidency for the annual summit rotates every year from country to country. The member country holding the presidency for the particular area works together with the predecessor and the successor, known as Troika, to maintain continuity. 

This year’s Troika members are Italy, Indonesia, and India. The plans and coordination regarding the summit are organized and completed by personal representatives of the G20 leaders.

Indonesia is holding the Presidency for the 17th G20 Summit, 2022, and will focus on the following three pillars: 

  1. Global Health Architecture
  2. Digital Transformation
  3. Sustainable Energy Transition

Indonesia aims to tackle the issue of equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, promoting inclusive and sustainable economic development through more active participation of MSMEs and the digital economy. And also, to encourage international cooperation to reform the global taxation system, fight corruption, and strengthen infrastructure financing.

What were the key takeaways from the 2022 G20 Summit?

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in attendance at the 17th G20 Summit in Indonesia. 
  • PM Modi shared that the discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron were focused on boosting Indo-France cooperation in defense, nuclear energy, and food security.
  • As the Indian Prime Minister took over the presidency in Bali, he shared that India will be hosting the G20 meetings in various Indian cities and states, making G20 a catalyst for global change.
  • The G20 declarations in Bali also emphasized that most member nations strongly condemn the Russia-Ukraine war differences. 
  • Most members agree on the fact that the Ukraine war is restricting global growth, increasing inflation, and heightening energy and food insecurity.
  • Narendra Modi also shared the discussions he had with the newly elected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, on “ways to increase commercial linkages, raise the scope of security cooperation in the context of India’s defense reforms, and make people-to-people ties even stronger.”

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NASA Artemis Moon Mission: All You Need To Know

What is the Artemis Mission? 

On November 16, 2022, NASA launched its Artemis I Moon Mission which aims to  “land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon” for exploration of the lunar surface. The mission will also inspire a new generation of astronauts, leaders, and scientists. It’ll also mark the return of astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972. 

NASA’s Artemis program is an ongoing series of missions that will take place in three missions: 

The Artemis I mission has launched an uncrewed capsule called the Orion which will be journeying the Moon’s orbit and will help scientists and technicians at NASA to prepare well for Artemis II Mission. 

Artemis II will have a crew orbiting the lunar orbit which will not be landing on its surface to collect more data and information for the Artemis III mission. It will also be the furthest human mission in space and is expected to be launched in 2024. 

Artemis III is the ultimate mission which will be carrying the first female astronaut and first person of color on the Moon. The mission will involve the crew members performing week-long scientific research on the lunar surface which is set to take place in 2025.

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What is the ultimate aim of the Artemis Moon Mission? 

The scientists and leaders at NASA aim to establish the first long-term presence on the Moon. With the successful launch of Artemis III, scientific studies and data research will help NASA to learn about the lunar environment, as well as its surroundings. These studies will further help NASA take its next giant leap which is to send the first astronaut to Mars.

Apart from the big Mars mission, the Artemis series is also focused on attaining deeper scientific discoveries, inspiring a new generation of young explorers which will be called the Artemis Generation, and economic benefits.

The Latest Update on Artemis I

As of November 23, Artemis I has completed 8 days of flight in space. The spacecraft had lost communication with Orion at around 12:09 AM CST for 47 minutes. With reconfiguration efforts by NASA engineers, the communication link has been restored. 

Why is the mission named ‘Artemis’?

Artemis is a Greek mythological goddess of the Moon and also the twin sister of Apollo. The Apollo mission program from 1969 to 1972 was the first successful mission to fly humans to Moon with a successful landing. 

And the Orion capsule is the crewed spacecraft that is the hunting companion of Artemis in classical mythology. 

Interesting Facts About NASA’s Artemis I Mission 

  1. The Artemis mission is a five-year-long mission that has been in progress since 2017. 
  1. The mission was delayed four times before its successful launch on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, at 1:47 AM (EST).
  1. Artemis II is set to be launched in the year 2024. 
  1. If all goes to plan then we will see the launch of Artemis III in 2025.
  1. The launch vehicles for the Artemis I mission were Space Launch Systems (SLS) and Commercial Launch Vehicles.
  1. Crew models of the Artemis Mission series are Lunar Gateway, Orion, and Human Launch System (HLS).
  1. The initial goal by NASA for a human landing on Moon was planned to take place in 2024. However, scientists confirmed in November 2021 that this date would need to be pushed back to 2025. 
  1. As per NASA Inspector General Paul Martin, the crew landing is likely to be pushed until 2026.

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