Wiping Sparrows Resulted in 20 Million Dead People in China

By Anupum Pant


Starting from the year 1958, Mao Zedong wanted to rapidly transform the People’s Republic of China from an agrarian economy to a communist society through rapid industrialization. So, he introduced a huge economic and social campaign which aimed to make this transformation possible. It was called the Giant Leap Forward. However, the campaign ended in a massive catastrophe which resulted in the death of about 10 Million people (estimates range from 18 to 45 Million deaths). Mostly because Mao decided to mess with mother nature and created a serious ecological imbalance.

One integral part of the campaign was called the four pests campaign. The aim of this campaign was to exterminate four kinds of pests identified by Mao Zedong which would have, according to him, fixed their poor grain output in China. The identified pests were – Mosquitoes, Flies, Rats and Sparrows.

The Great Sparrow Campaign

Of all, Sparrows were considered as pests because the bird species was responsible for pecking on the grains produced by hard-working peasants. That was completely unacceptable to them. The Chinese solution – Kill all birds.

This part of the four pests campaign was known as the Great sparrow campaign. To wipe off all the sparrows, masses across the country were mobilized. Some shot birds from the sky. Others just banged metal plates when they saw sparrows. Sparrows were not allowed to rest. As a result, flying sparrows fell down out of exhaustion. There were incentives according to the volume of pests people got rid of. It was brutal.

The Ecological Imbalance

The extermination of “pests” was expected to bring about a better output in grains, but it resulted in something totally opposite. Moreover, the results of this campaign were totally devastating.

As all the sparrows were being killed, there was a serious ecological imbalance. Now, there were no sparrows left to eat the quickly multiplying insects. It resulted in the rise of real pests (insects) like swarms of locusts etc. Instead of seeing a rise in the grain yeild, China saw a drastically decreased yeild.

The Great sparrow campaign ended up being  a major factor that contributed towards the Great Chinese famine in which about 20 Million people died out of starvation.

Moral: You don’t mess with mother nature.

Everyone Knows Magnet in a Copper Tube, But this…

By Anupum Pant

I’m sure you know that if you let a strong magnet drop along a thick copper tube, the magnet falls in a very interesting manner. It falls slower than it normally should, delaying the span of the fall, as if gravity acting on the magnet mysteriously drops. If you haven’t heard about it, I’ll give it to you, you probably aren’t a YouTube addict, and that’s definitely good (and maybe also bad because there’s awesome stuff out there which you are missing). Just watch this, what I just said will start making sense…

Why does this happen?

OK, that’s pretty cool, but you knew about this little magnet-copper trick already, and you were expecting something more? You got it.

Whatever you just saw neither was a magic trick, nor was the Copper tube acting as an anti-gravity machine. This is pure science, can be easily explained by it. Here…

When a magnet moves quickly near a metal, it generates current in the metal. Here, current is generated in the Copper tube.
The current generated in the tube generates another magnetic field which opposes the magnetic field of the magnet and pushes the magnet upwards, away from the force of gravity. Gravity being stronger, pulls it down, but not with as much force because the magnet is being pushed in the other direction too. That’s the simple science behind it.
Still, someone else could explain it better on a page which is completely dedicated to explain it to you. [Here] and [Here]

But, you probably knew even that -The trick and the science behind it. So, there’s more for your-kind-of-people.

A new skill-toy that uses the same…

Feel flux. An amazing new skill toy that works on the same principle. Who would have thought, playing with gravity could get fun. The crowd funding campaign for it runs on indiegogo. Go fund it!

Gravity Light – A Light With No Running Costs

By Anupum Pant

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A $5 lamp that lights up using gravity can be used without electricity or batteries, over and over again with no running costs. Impressive enough? There is more.

A British company, after working for 4 years on this project, with an aim to replace kerosene lamps, started an internet fundraising campaign on Indiegogo and successfully raised about 7 times more than what they had aimed for – aimed for raising a fund of $55,000 and ended up raising $399,590. They had invented the Gravity Light.

Gravity light uses the force of gravity to light up – a free, completely reliable and totally unlimited source of energy. For it to start, the user is supposed to lift up a hanging weight of about 10 kg. And there! As the bag full of dirt, stones or sand starts coming down slowly, it lights up an LED light. The weight keeps coming down for about 30 minutes and then it has to be raised again. It generated a very minuscule amount of electricity and manages to give out a much brighter light than a kerosene lamp.

The energy generated from it can also be used to charge batteries, charge phones, run a radios etc, with attached accessories.

Interestingly, the company has plans to develop various other gravity powered solutions. So, in the future, we might probably see a way to reach the internet without batteries or electricity.

Other interesting lighting ideas:

[Gravia lamp] [Water + Bleach lamp] [Algae + CO2 lamp]