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Issue no. 94 | September 2020

Cover story

Eurasian Magpie:
Meet Einstein of the avian world

Nonhuman intelligence is the media’s favourite topic. A lot of reports deal with birds that do some very impressive things. Male Australian bower birds, for instance, construct intricate bowers of leaves, moss, and branches which they decorate elaborately to lure females. Some birds feign injury to draw a predator away from their nests, just keeping out of reach until the danger is well away. Parrots are quite intelligent, as birds go. This story portrays the bird that stands out for its cognitive abilities.

The subject connected to this work needs to be understood. The crow is a bird of the ‘Corvid’ family. Almost 40 types of sub-species of crows as well as about 80 types of other birds (though they have no resemblance to the crow, whatsoever) are included in this family. Presenting one bird from the ‘other birds’ who is the protagonist of this article for its amazing IQ, which makes it stand out among the entire bird kingdom. The name is – the Eurasian Magpie. It is a resident or a winter migratory bird in the northern states of India. It is not seen in Gujarat, so there is no local Gujarati name for this bird. It is recognised as the magpie.

More interesting articles

The maths and marvels of honeybees’ honeycomb

This informative article aims to explore an interesting subject of science and assures much food for thought because the subject matter is: Can animals do mathematical calculations? This question has honeybee in the focus because construction of honeycombs involves principles of all the three branches of mathematics–arithmetic, geometry and algebra. Honeybees put the principles into practice. But how and from whom could they have learnt mathematical principles and formulas? For it is not possible to make honeycomb without applying mathematics, at least, not as good as the one that honeybees make in a matter of routine.

Odd measures of all things

Despite the use of the Metric system in most countries, with the lone ranger USA also slowly falling in line, the old measures live on. The printer’s type is measured in ‘points’, equal to 0.35 mm. Horse racing buffs use furlong. Many people in India and some Asian countries feel at ease with tola as a measure of gold rather than its equivalent 10 grams. Wine is measured by arrobas (16 liters) in Spain and koilons (33 liters) in Greece.

the science behind deep breathing

Persons desiring knowledge about yog often ask questions such as what is Pranayam, which changes does it bring about inside the adherent’s body for improvement of health and what is its medical basis etc. Here’s the answer that will help to elucidate these vital aspects of yog.

Word yog denotes union. In terms of Patanjali’s classic treatise, Yogsutra, the purpose of the practice of yog is to unite human consciousness with the Absolute Being (God).


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