With a new virus in town, we are being bombarded with so much news about it. While staying informed is essential, it’s hard to find reliable information.


It has, unfortunately, become common for false news to be spread like wildfire due to social media and extensive news coverage of things happening around the world. The consequences of believing opinions as facts can be both silly and dramatic. It might just result in a laugh among your friends or it might also end up in mass hysteria, which can be quite dangerous.


Thinking critically is a fine skill you need to have for both academic and real life reasons. Being able to analyse and evaluate information can get you good grades in higher levels of education. However, it can also keep you safe, sound and successful in real life as well.


Critical thinking can simply be understood as being able to judge the information you have in front to decide how accurate, reliable and trustworthy is that information. While writing essays in school, it can help you present arguments from various perspectives. In real life, it can help you make tough decisions, avoid getting manipulated and solve problems.


So, how exactly can you think critically?


1) Acknowledge what you know


Bring the pieces of information forward in your mind and rewind it in a glance. Ask yourself from where did you get this information and assess how trustworthy is the source of information. Unfortunately, some sources are more trustworthy than others and we believe you can make that judgement for yourself.


2) Question the information


Do not take the information for a fact. Ask yourself about the assumptions the information relies on. What else needs to be true for the information to be true? Is there something that you blindly assumed about the information? What aspect of the information are you dead sure about? You get the gist. Ask questions.


3) Acknowledge your own biases


Understandably, each individual has their prejudices, which can result in cognitive biases. It would be really hard to eliminate these biases from your thought processes because most of them could be unconscious i.e., you don’t even know that you have them.


Hence, it important to acknowledge at least the ones that you are aware of. Over a period of time, you will be able to easily catch yourself believing something to be true only because it favours your preferences.


4) Consider your take


Evaluating information you received from elsewhere is great but what do you personally think about it? If a newspaper is saying X and a news channel is saying Y, what do you think you should believe? What do you think about their takes? Is there something you can add to the information they are giving? Think.


5) Do not disregard a conclusion you don’t like


Sometimes, after thinking critically, you might arrive at a conclusion that causes cognitive dissonance i.e., it makes you feel uncomfortable. Imagine if you found out for yourself that the friend you have become close with was only trying to use you for something you have to offer? How would you feel? Most of us would rather believe that what we found out is wrong because it makes us feel uncomfortable.


However, in the long run, you will thank yourself for trusting the truth and keeping a distance from that friend than ignore the truth as if you couldn’t see it.



Hopefully, we have been able to give you a good idea about critical thinking. We would advise you to not beat yourselves up for not being able to get it right or even remembering to think critically all the time. Because thinking critically is a skill that you build with time. The more you stretch your thought muscles, the stronger they will be with time.



Exam season is approaching and we guess everyone’s got their schedules jam packed. We wish you a very berry all the best for your exams! We know you have heard this before from us but don’t stress out and study till dawn. Relax and give your best!


So, let’s get to the actual thing. Maths. The ever so complex numbers and letters flying around….you’ll no longer need to bother with it once you are out of school? We mean, where would you actually need to refer to sin cos tan after school, right? Right? Wrong.


Bad news: It’s everywhere. Its running our world.

Good news: It’s not as complex as we think.

So, let’s see where you might see eye to eye with Maths in real life. Some of these might be obvious and some of these might be things you already do but didn’t know that Maths was involved. Here we go!


1. Weather



Go ahead and say “Alexa,what’s the weather like?” and she’ll tell you there’s 51% chance of rain today in your area. Then you wonder, what does it mean? 51%? Will it rain for sure or not? Ugh.

The name of the game is probability. Since weather forecasters cannot exactly predict the weather, they use probability to find the odds of rain and sunshine. In this case, the forecaster looked at similar days like today in the past and has determined that it is as likely as 51% that it will rain today. Read the maths behind it here.


2. Shopping Discounts



You, us and everyone wants to get the best price. So, head out and see that you get 20% student discount in a store. Yes, maths is here again. Don’t be so quick to whip out your phone and use the calculator though. You can easily do this in your head, while you browse around the store.


3. Baking



Your birthday cake wouldn’t be very yummy if the person who made it didn’t want to do anything with Maths. Guess, to win the The Great British Bake Off, you’ll have to understand a thing or two about numbers. Here’s how to win with Maths.


4. Time and Scheduling



You’ll have to figure out when you should begin your study session to make sure you watch the game on telly sharp at 8 pm. Whether you realise or not, you are doing basic maths in your head. Yes, you should begin at quarter to 5 pm. You just used fractions, bazinga!


5. Sports



To decide for yourself whether the cup is coming home or not, you need Maths. No, we are not kidding. Most sports, such as football, require a basic understanding of speed, angles and shapes. If you are a football fan, you might have already figured that out but if you want to read some actual research on it, read here.


Maths has so many more real life applications and the list is not exhaustive. You don't have to know them all but all you need to know is that there is no reason to be scared of it. We'll see you next time with another informative blog post. Meanwhile, remember what we said. Don't stress and give your best!



Introduction


There have been several fascinating discoveries in the field of Physics and one of them is the existence of Black Holes. A black hole is the remains of the core of a planet, who’s gravitational field strength is so enormous that even light cannot escape. That’s how it gets its name i.e., black hole, as light is not reflected from a black hole and we cannot see it.


Do you wonder how do we know that they exist when we cannot see them? Let’s find out how we are able to recognise a black hole.



Creation of a Black Hole


There are billions of stars similar to our Sun in the universe who’s life cycle will come to an end at one point of time. Don’t worry, our sun is estimated to last for another 5 billion years, so we are safe (for now). The creation of a star begins as hydrogen atoms start nuclear fusion and become helium atoms. This reaction produces a lot of energy and heat, which is why our sun is so hot.


As more particles come together, a gravitational field is created and it pulls the particles together. The nuclear fusion tries to expand the particles and gravity tries to squash them. When these two forces are in balance, the star’s radius remains constant and the star is in the main sequence. Our sun is a main sequence star at the moment as its size is not changing and it produces constant heat. As the fuel (hydrogen) is running out, gravity takes over and particles will be squashed.



If the star is less than 5 times the size of our sun, it will become a red super giant and will soon die out to become a neutron star. If the size of the star is more than 10 times the size of the sun, as the fuel runs out, it will explode to become a Supernova. What remains after a Supernova is the super dense core of the planet. This core is called a black hole as it’s very dense. If planet gets very close to it, it will be sucked to the black hole and it will be destroyed.


Existence of Black Hole


Answering our initial question, while we cannot see black holes directly as light cannot be reflected from them but we can surely observe the planets around a black hole. They travel around it and they get closer to the black hole. At some point, the planets or stars get so close to the black hole that they disappear. According to Stephen Hawking, when a planet is consumed by a black hole, radiation is released in the form of X-rays. These rays are called Hawking's Rays but they haven’t still been discovered.



Conclusion


Universe is full of mysteries, some of which are quite unimaginable. Black holes are one such mysteries that scientists are still trying to comprehend. Our collective understanding of black holes revolves around several assumptions and theories created about black holes still remain to be unravelled. We hope they are unravelled soon, making black holes a bit brighter to us.

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