Category Gases

How playing cards has an ancient Indian connection?

Playing cards are supposed to have originated in Tang China, but were very popular in India as Krida patram, and later in Mughal times as Ganjifa. Beautiful round cards in materials like Ivory, wood, and silk were made.

Modern Polo was picked up by the British in the 19th century from a game played by Manipuri royalty in North East India. However, it is a 2000-year-old game from Persia, which had spread to India, China and even the Byzantine Empire. The Persian name was Chogan, but it was called Pulu in Manipur, which means wooden ball. It was a favourite of royalty. Qutbuddin Aibak died playing it in Lahore. Akbar invented a flaming ball so that he could play it at night. Variations like Elephant Polo were also popular.


Picture Credit : Google

How martial arts of Kung Fu has an ancient Indian connection?

Shaolin Kung Fu was the first institutionalised martial art in China, which influenced others like judo and karate. The story of its origin in the temple of Shaolin is given in various Chinese texts. An Indian monk Bodhidharma, who is supposed to have been a Pallava prince, came to China in the 6th century.

“The Dharma Master was a South Indian of the Western Region. He was the third son of a great Indian king. His ambition lay in the Mahayana path, and so he put aside his white layman’s robe for the black robe of a monk […] Lamenting the decline of the true teaching in the outlands, he subsequently crossed distant mountains and seas, travelling about propagating the teaching in Han and Wei.”

After many years, he started living in the Shaolin temple, and developed the Chan (from “Dhyan”) school of mediation, which became “Zen” in Japan. In the classical Yoga approach, he believed that physical fitness of the monks was eesential for concentration, and developed exercises like martial arts, as he had been trained as a warrior. One can see the resemblance between Shaolin Kung Fu and surviving Indian Martial arts like Kalaripayattu. He is known as Damo in China, Daruma dolls are very popular in Japan, depicting him with a black curly beard.


Picture Credit : Google

Will natural gas last forever?


We are using up natural gas supplies very quickly. One day, we will run out of this form of energy. We need to find alternative sources of energy before it is too late.








Some countries do not use fossil fuels very often. Other countries use them all the time.

In the industrialized world, we depend on fossil fuels for energy. Burning fossil fuels causes pollution. Pollution has an effect around the world, causing problems such as extreme weather patterns. Even countries that have limited energy sources are affected by pollution.






We can’t reuse or replace natural gas.

Natural gas is a non-renewable fuel. When supplies have been used up, it will take millions of years to make any more. However, some fuels, like wood, are renewable. We plant new trees so that there are always supplies of wood.





We are using up fossil fuels very quickly.

In 2003, scientists estimated that, at the rate we are using energy, there is enough natural gas left for about 66 years. Other scientists argue that new discoveries of natural gas deposits mean that we won’t run out of this fuel quite so soon.

Natural gas and safety



Natural gas burns easily, which makes it useful for providing energy. But this also means that gas can be dangerous. Great care must always be taken when taking gas from the ground, moving gas from place to place or using gas in the home.






 When gas is transported it has to be carried safely.

A single spark can cause gas to burn. Ships that carry gas (called tankers) now have to be specially made so that they are less likely to leak if they crash. Empty spaces in the tankers are also filled with a gas which will not catch fire.




Gas leaks are very dangerous.

If gas escapes and comes near to a flame or other chemicals, it can explode. In 2004, 23 people were killed when a gas pipeline exploded in Belgium. In 1988, an explosion on a drilling rig in the North Sea, called Piper Alpha, also caused many deaths.





Gas smells like rotten eggs!

When natural gas comes out of the ground, it does not smell. A chemical is added to make it smell unpleasant, but very noticeable! If you smell natural gas you should tell a grown-up straightway. People from a gas company can find the leak and make it safe.

Natural gas and pollution


Each day, we use fossil fuels to drive our cars and to make electricity for computers and lights. These fuels release chemicals into the air that can harm our world. This is called pollution.








Burning huge amounts of gas creates pollution.

In some parts of the world, oil is drilled to be used as fuel. Any natural gas released from the same area is left to burn in blazing fires, because it is too costly to store and transport. This is called flaring. These raging fires release many chemicals that harm the local area. It would be better if this gas could be stored and then used for fuel.





Pollution is making the Earth hotter.

Fossil fuels release a gas called carbon dioxide when they burn. This gas acts like a blanket, trapping the Sun’s heat around the Earth. This extra heat can cause extreme weather conditions, from terrible storms to hotter weather.





Natural gas is one of the cleanest fossil fuels.

When gas is burned it does not produce as many harmful chemicals as other fossil fuels. A gas-powered car or bus creates less pollution than a petrol-powered vehicle. Many people are now using this cleaner fuel.

Unusual uses of natural gas



We use natural gas to heat our homes and to make electricity in a power station. But there are also other hidden ways that we use this fuel. Helium balloons are filled with a type of natural gas, for example.








We use the chemicals in gas to make things.

Before natural gas reaches our homes, some of its chemicals and gases are taken out. These are made into other chemicals that can be used to make washing powders, plastics and even medicines. Natural gas is used in many areas of our lives!





Continue reading “Unusual uses of natural gas”

Using natural gas


Natural gas gives off lots of energy when it burns. Energy makes things work. We use energy to heat our homes with gas central heating. We also use gas to heat water for washing and for warm baths and showers.






At home your gas comes from a pipe in the street or from a tank.

In towns and cities, most houses are supplied with gas from ‘the mains’ – a network of gas pipes under the road. In smaller areas, the network of pipes may not be available. Instead, these houses may have a tank of liquid gas in the garden. This is refilled from a lorry when the gas is running low.




The energy from gas can be used to cook.

When natural gas burns, the energy can be used to heat soup on a gas ring or roast a chicken in a gas oven. A gas metre measures how much gas you use in your home. You then pay for gas that you use.




The heat energy from natural gas can be turned into electricity.

You use electricity from the moment you wake up and turn on the light to when you go to bed and listen to a CD. Fossil fuels are often used to make electricity. In a power station, natural has heats water to make steam which turns a turbine. This turns coils of copper wire that pass through magnets, creating electricity.

Transporting natural gas

Gas can be taken from the ground and sent through a network of pipes to homes around the world. Gas can also be carried in metal containers for camping equipment or portable heaters.




Some gas pipes are as wide as a person.

A country with large natural gas deposits, such as Russia, sends the fuel under the sea and overland to other countries. In Norway, the 1,200 kilometre Langeledd pipeline transports gas to the UK along the seabed. Gas usually travels at about 24 kilometres an hour along these large pipelines!





Liquid gas can be moved in a lorry.

Chilling gas turns it into a liquid. This takes up less room than its gassy original form. It is easier and cheaper to transport liquid natural gas to areas that cannot be reached by gas pipes.






Small containers of liquid gas can be used anywhere.

Other types of gas can be turned into a liquid. Propane, a gas taken from oil or natural gas, is stored as a liquid in small containers. Liquid propane can be used to heat up camping stoves or even to power this huge hot-air balloon.

Drilling for gas




Have you ever dug a hole in some sand or in the earth? How far could you dig? To reach large areas of natural gas, people drill deep under the earth. The drill makes a hole (or a well) in the solid rock that surrounds the natural gas.








This platform is drilling for gas in the middle of the sea.

There is a lot of gas deep beneath the seabed. A gas rig is built and then transported to the middle of the ocean. This is called an offshore rig. From here, drillers are able to reach the depths of the sea. They live for months at a time on the rig. Some rigs are the size of villages!





Natural gas is cleaned before it reaches our homes.

When a drill hits an area of natural gas, the gas collects in a well and is sent along a pipe to a processing plant. Here, any unwanted gases or chemicals are removed. These can be used later for other products or fuels.




Drilling for natural gas can harm the natural world.

Huge drilling rigs and massive pipes spoil the beauty of the natural world. Pipelines can destroy the habitats of plants and animals, and the chemicals and fuels can upset the natural balance of the area.

Where do we find natural gas?



Natural gas forms deep under the ground or under the seabed. It is usually found near oil. Large areas of natural gas are found all over the world, from Nigeria to Russia.






Scientists search for gas in rocks and soil.

Small amounts of natural gas rise up from the ground and escape through tiny holes in rocks and soil. The gas disappears safely into the air. But, when the gas meets rocks without any holes, it becomes trapped. Geologists use a geophone to scan and record movements underground.



Continue reading “Where do we find natural gas?”