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2 Oct 20
On this day in 1869, #MahatmaGandhi was born in Porbandar, Gujarat.

In 1982, Richard Attenborough's film 'Gandhi' raked in eight Oscars. The film had an ensemble cast and crew, even in lesser roles. Many were already famous and many became legends in the years to come.

In 1962, Motilal Kothari, while working for the Indian High Commission in London, asked Richard Attenborough whether he would direct a film on Gandhi. He got Mountbatten to have a word with Jawaharlal Nehru who agreed with the script. The film is dedicated to all three of them.
Nehru's choice for the role of Gandhi was Alec Guinness. Peter Finch, Harvey Finney, Anthony Hopkins and even Dustin Hoffman were considered at one point of time. The role finally went to a certain Krishna Pandit Bhanji. Ben Kingsley, as he was better known, won an Oscar for it.
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27 Sep 20
#OnThisDay in 1962, 'Silent Spring', one of the most influential books of all time, was published. It takes its title from the ruinous imagery of John Keats' 1819 ballad 'La Belle Dame sans Merci'.

A Thread: Image
By the early 1960s, Rachel Carson was not an unknown author. Having trained as a biologist, she joined the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1951, she published 'The Sea Around Us' which was a bestseller.

She would spend much of the next ten years focussing on harmful effects of pesticides and this is how she came across a newfound antagonist.

DDT had been around for quite some time. During the days of World War II, it was used to treat malaria.

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26 Sep 20
"The Man Who Saved The World"

September 26, 1983. Stanislav Petrov, a lt. colonel in the Soviet Strategic Air Defence Forces, stations himself as the duty officer at the command centre of Oko, a brand new early warning system built to detect any nuclear attack from the US.

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It's half past midnight. All of a sudden, the warning light comes on. A siren starts screaming. This means a missile has been launched from US. A second warning light appears and the siren screams of another missile. Then a third, a fourth, a fifth. The writing is on the wall.

Everyone in the room freezes for a while. Petrov finds himself in a dilemma. He has clear orders, i.e., pick up the phone and order an appropriate response. The window of reaction is so small that if a split second passes, there might not be any missile bases left in USSR.

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19 Sep 20
Last week we added 13 questions from each of the 13 editions of the Indian Premier League, at #IndiaGyanKaBhandar to make #IndiaKnowledgeKaSuperpower.
The D-Day has come. As the nation gears up for the first match of #IPL2020, let's take a look at the answers of those questions: Image

Which cricketer was CSK’s preferred choice for the role of skipper whose decision to represent the city he was brought up ultimately resulted in MS Dhoni being roped in as the most expensive player in the inaugural edition?

Answer: @virendersehwag

#IPL Image

@Bazmccullum scored a mammoth unbeaten 158 runs in the very first match of the tournament. However, who was the first Indian to score a century in IPL?

Answer: @im_manishpandey, then 19-year old, while playing for RCB against Deccan Chargers.

#IPL Image
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16 Sep 20
Rome won the bid to host the 1908 Olympics. London took over hosting duties as the Italian government had to divert funds to the reconstruction of the city of Naples. The obstacle: Mt. Vesuvius erupted in April 1906. For Italians, April truly turned out to be the cruellest month. Image
The New York Times noted that the Neapolitans were rather glad. They said the eruption of Vesuvius was in preparation for the arrival of King Edward, who left Marseilles on April 3 on the royal yacht Victoria and Albert, accompanied by Queen Alexandra and were due a visit.

The King and Queen did indeed visit Naples while the clean up operation was underway and later made a cash donation to aid recovery.

However, Queen Alexandra's tryst with Italy and the Olympics did not end here.

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15 Sep 20
Agatha Christie turns 130 today.

From an unresolved mystery at a hotel in Mussoorie inspiring her debut novel to the adaptation of her long running play 'The Mousetrap', let us navigate through the many Indian connections of the Queen of Crime!

#Thread Image
Summer of 1911: Frances Garnett-Orme, a British spiritualist, arrived at Mussoorie's Savoy. She was followed by another spiritualist, E. Mountstephen. One day, while Eva had gone to Lucknow, Frances was found dead, with traces of poison. Eva went scot-free due to lack of evidence Image
The case intrigued the British populace in India and it reached Rudyard Kipling who sent the details of the mystery to his friend Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The facts of the case were passed on to Agatha Christie and the case was fictionalized into 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles'. Image
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15 Sep 20
On this day in 1959, India's public broadcaster @DDNational, had its humble beginnings.

Initially starting with a small transmitter and a makeshift studio, it now operates across the length and breadth of the country.

Did you know it was a part of @AkashvaniAIR till 1976?
The iconic logo of Doordarshan was done by Devashis Bhattacharyya, a student of the National Institute of Design, who began with the human eye and drew two curves around it. A few years back, @prasarbharati invited designs for a new logo and announced five winners.

Credit: HT Image
Pandit Ravi Shankar composed the Doordarshan tune, along with Ali Ahmed Hussain Khan.

Panditji also made the theme of 1982 Asiad, when DD started airing in colour.

In ZNMD, where 3 friends go on a trip to Spain, in a bout of nostalgia one evening, @iHrithik imitates the tune.
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13 Sep 20
#IPL Quiz

We are adding 13 questions on IPL to #IndiaGyanKaBhandar to make #IndiaKnowledgeKaSuperpower, with one from each season, arranged chronologically.

To answer them, please retweet and quote your answers there. You may RT individual questions as well. Enjoy!


Which cricketer was CSK’s preferred choice for the role of skipper whose decision to represent the city he was brought up ultimately resulted in MS Dhoni being roped in as the most expensive player in the inaugural edition?

Brendon McCullum scored a mammoth unbeaten 158 runs in the very first match of the first ever IPL. However, in the very next year, who became the first Indian to score a century in IPL?
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12 Sep 20
The 1936 Olympics was meant to be a display of Aryan supremacy.

A grandson of slaves won 4 gold medals to dispel the myth in Hitler's den.

In his country, he still couldn't ride in the front of the bus.

Jesse Owens, one of the greatest Olympians, was born on this day in 1913! Image
At nine his family moved to Cleveland.

When a teacher asked his name, he answered, "J.C.," which stood for James Cleveland.

The teacher misunderstood his Southern accent as 'Jesse' and the name struck.
When Jesse Owens reached Germany for the 1936 Olympics, another Adolf, Mr. Dassler, drove to the Olympic village and persuaded him to try out his shoes.

The success that ensued greatly increased his sales.

It was not until 1949 that Dassler would name his brand @adidas.
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11 Sep 20
When George Ferris was exhibiting his original Ferris Wheel, when Eadward Muybridge was showing the zoopraxiscope, a young Indian monk represented Hinduism at the World Parliament of Religions.

On September 11, 1893, Swami Vivekananda was greeted to a standing ovation. Image
The World Parliament of Religions was being held for the first time as part of the Columbian Exposition, a world fair organized to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival.

It went on from September 11-27 at what is now the Art Institute of Chicago. Image
Apart from Swami Vivekananda, other Indian representatives included Pratap C. Mazumdar (of Calcutta Brahmo Samaj) and B.B Nagarkar; Virchand Gandhi, representing the Jains; CN Chakravarti of the Theosophical Society and Miss Jeanne Sorabji of the Episcopalian order from Poona. Image
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10 Sep 20
A chance viewing of de Sica's 'Bicycle Thieves' opened a floodgate for a young Delhi University student.

He worked in the local theatre scene, moved to Bombay, often wrote films without any credits and is now a familiar face in global cinema.

Happy Birthday, @anuragkashyap72! Image
Anurag Kashyap chucked his Zoology ambitions and arrived in Mumbai in 1993 with Rs. 5000 in his pocket which he soon exhausted.

He slept on benches and shacked up at the hostel room of Imtiaz Ali, who was doing his post-grad at Xavier Institute of Communications. Image
At XIC, Anurag Kashyap met two of his longtime collaborators.

Aarti Bajaj was a year junior to Imtiaz Ali. She worked as an editor for both Imtiaz Ali and Anurag Kashyap for almost all of their films.

Bajaj's classmate was someone called Vikramaditya Motwane. Image
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7 Sep 20
Most of you have heard someone uttering "God bless you" when you sneezed in front of them.

Ever wondered where did it originate from?

It harks back to the days of Pope Gregory I, who was born during a tumultuous time. The Plague of Justinian had already started wreaking havoc. Image
Even when he was sworn into his papacy in 590 AD, an outbreak of bubonic plague was raging in the eastern Roman Empire.

Pope Gregory I ordered a series of endless prayers, as sneezing was regarded as a sign of the disease.

The phrase "God bless you" is attributed to him.
Religion has ready explanation for phenomena not rationally derived from science.

‘God bless you’ was seen as a method to prevent the sneezer from contracting the plague.

Next time you sneeze in front of someone and they say "Bless you", tell them it originated during a plague!
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6 Sep 20
#OnThisDay in 1666, the Great Fire of London was somehow extinguished after ravaging the city for five days. Over 80,000 Londoners were left homeless when, in the early hours of September 2, a fire that began in a bakery on Pudding Lane swiftly grew to devastate the entire city. Image
The fire had its seeds in the preceding year. June 1665 turned out to be unbearably hot. It encouraged the spread of diseases given the city's unhygienic conditions. A new wave of bubonic plague broke out. The subsequent dry spell acted as the catalyst for the Great Fire as well.
Based upon fragments of melted pottery excavated in Pudding Lane, temperature went up approximately to 1700 °C. One main reason why Londoners weren't properly aware was due to abundance of candlelights in wooden homes. In a populated city with open fires, that wasn't unusual.
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29 Aug 20
#NationalSportsDay in India commemorates the birthday of Major Dhyan Chand, one of the finest sportspersons the country has ever produced.

Did you know despite winning three Olympic Golds, his best match was none of those games and was instead played on Indian soil? Image
Back in those days, the Beighton Cup was the ultimate achievement for hockey players and Dhyan Chand said it was his "life's ambition" to win the coveted trophy for his home team Jhansi Heroes.
In his autobiography 'Goal', Dhyan Chand noted that the 1933 Beighton Cup final against Calcutta Customs was the best match he ever played. In a keenly contested affair, the Jhansi team won by a solitary goal scored by the wizard himself.
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28 Aug 20
#OnThisDay in 1950, Althea Gibson defeated Barbara Knapp in her debut USLTA tournament match. She was the first African-American woman to compete at what is now known as the US Open.

Did you know she was NYC's women's paddle tennis champion when she was barely 12?

Althea Gibson was born into a family of sharecroppers. The Great Depression hit the family hard and in 1930, they moved to Harlem. The city had blocked off some streets to traffic. The area was barricaded so that neighbourhood children could play sports.
In the 20th century, with American cities getting overcrowded thanks to a wave of migration, paddle tennis quickly caught on. It was played on a court that was half the size of a regulation tennis court. During a summer, Althea Gibson learnt the game and quickly excelled at it.
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