Redox Reactions | ICSE Science Class 8

Rust is one example of a chemical reaction that is visible to us in real life.  So, why does iron become reddish-brown and also get “eaten” away?  You may have observed rusting in old iron gates or iron latches and some other materials with iron as a crucial component.  Let us review in brief Redox Reactions which is a topic studied by ICSE and other Science Class 8 students and also review the phenomenon of rusting. Oxidation and Reduction Reactions An oxidation reaction is defined as a reaction in which a reactant loses electrons.  A reduction reaction is a reaction in which a reactant gains electrons. Oxidation and reduction reactions can be remembered using the neat little mnemonic, OILRIG.  Here, Oxidation Is Loss of Electrons and Reduction Is Gain of Electrons.  With the vast amount of information to be studied, … Continue reading

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Law of Reflection | ICSE Science Class 8

Light is all around us.  We are able to see a myriad of images and the faces of our loved ones because of light.  Light in fact is a form of energy.  It is light that enables us to see all the sights of the world in their diverse and vibrant colors.   Observe the effect of light on different surfaces and media.  Perhaps, you can draw a pencil sketch with different shades.  Sketching and painting are in fact great ways to keenly observe the effect of light on various media.  Photography is another way to become more sensitized to the effect of light on various media.  Last but not the least, a leisure nature walk in which you just soak in the sunlight as it falls on trees and everything around you is also a great way to observe the … Continue reading

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Swami and his Friends, the Famous First Novel by RK Narayan

Swami and His Friends was the famous first novel by RK Narayan and was published in 1935.  RK Narayan was very much disturbed when the book was not accepted by many publishers when he sent the manuscript to his friend in Oxford.  Graham Greene, the famous English writer, who later became a mentor of RK Narayan, was shown the manuscript.  He was delighted on reading about the enchanting characters and suggested the title “Swami and His Friends” instead of “Swaminathan and Tate.”  The book in fact was inspired by his own childhood days. The book, Swami and His Friends, has a rather idyllic setting in the fictional village of Malgudi.  It is a lovely depiction of a small South Indian locale in those early days.  There is even a fictional river Sarayu in the book.  The book beautifully captures the … Continue reading

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Very Short Biography of RK Narayan, a Great Indian Writer (Born 1906)

RK Narayan is one of India’s most endearing and prolific writers.  A few of the vast collection of books he wrote include fictional books such as Swami and Friends (1935), The Bachelor of Arts (1937), The Financial Expert (1952), The Guide (1958), The Vendor of Sweets (1967) and The Talkative Man (1986).  His short story collections include Malgudi Days and An Astrologer’s Day and Other Stories.   Apart from his myriad fictional works, he also wrote non-fiction work like My Dateless Diary and mythological work like Gods, Demons and Others.  Most Indians are very much familiar with Swami and His Friends and the fictional village of Malgudi.  The beloved stories featuring Malgudi Days were made into a TV show.  The novel The Guide was also made into a Bollywood movie and also featured in a Broadway film.  The novel also bagged … Continue reading

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Poem – A Psalm of Life by HW Longfellow | Short Summary and Analysis

A Psalm of Life is a profound and philosophical poem written by the renowned American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 to 1882).  Psalms are in fact spiritual or sacred songs and are also part of Biblical verses.   The word “psalm” has been used to reflect the deeply spiritual and introspective nature of the poem.   Let us briefly discuss this poem by HW Longfellow whose thoughtful poems continue to enthrall readers. Poem – A Psalm of Life by HW Longfellow | Short Summary and Analysis In A Psalm of Life, HW Longfellow states that one needs to lead a full, soulful and meaningful life.  The rhyming scheme used in the poem is a-b-a-b.  The word “life” is used repeatedly to emphasize the passionate plea of the poet. Read and reflect on the second verse of the poem which is succinct in … Continue reading

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Poem – Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers by Adrienne Rich | Summary and Analysis

Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers is a vivid and thought-provoking poem by Adrienne Rich (1929 to 2012), a famous and influential American poet.  Adrienne Rich was an outspoken feminist/humanist and writer.  This was at a time when deeply entrenched gender-restricting mindsets were only slowly beginning to unravel in America.  The poem Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers is a compelling portrayal of the plight of American women, in particular married women, of yesteryears.  Many of them lived a restrictive life, as per the dictates and narrow mindsets established by a patriarchal society.  Aunt Jennifer is probably a caricature of an American woman of the previous generation whom Adrienne Rich empathized with.  This kind of patriarchal attitude by human beings is still widely prevalent in India and many other parts of the globe. Poem – Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers by Adrienne Rich |Summary and Analysis In Aunt … Continue reading

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