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Cricket may be the passion of millions across the globe, but not everyone is well-versed with the intricate set of rules that guide the play. These rules have been formulated over the years and have come to define the game. But there are some rules that sound outright weird and strange. And although they are rules that have existed for decades, don’t be surprised if this the first time you’ve heard of them.

Wasting time? You give away 5 runs
The umpire reserves the right to award the opposing team 5 runs if a team is found guilty of wasting time after an initial warning has been delivered. This has taken place numerous times in world cricket. What is also unusual is the way the umpire gestures that the penalty runs have been awarded. If awarded to the batting side, the umpire repeatedly taps one shoulder with the opposing hand. If awarded to the fielding side, the umpire gestures by placing one hand on the opposite shoulder.

Hit the ball twice and you’re out!
Batsmen aren’t allowed to hit the ball a second time after facing the delivery. This rule has a violent history behind it. On many occasions in the distant past, batsmen who’ve hit the ball twice in order to clear the boundary have inadvertently caused fatalities to fielders. The batsman can however use the bat to protect his wicket if he himself had struck the ball and it moved towards the stumps.

Wooden bat is a must!
Although this seems like a rule easily overlooked, it has a very weird history behind it. Before the rule was passed, during a test match against England in December 1979, Aussie Dennis Lillee brought out an aluminium bat during play. After playing for a while, the opposing team objected and the bat was taken out of the game as it damaged the ball. This event is known as the ‘Heavy Metal’ incident and is the reason why the ‘wooden bat only’ rule was passed.

Dare you obstruct the throw
If a batsman purposefully obstructs the throw from the fielder aimed at the stumps, the batsman is immediately given out. This rule was very controversial during an India-Pakistan match when Inzamam-ul-Haq used his bat to stop a throw from Suresh Raina. Although the ball would definitely have hit Inzamam and not the stumps, he was given out for ‘Obstructing the field’.

Your helmet can actually cause damage
The helmet worn by batsmen has been the cause of dismissals on more than one occasion. In a now famous incident, Dwayne Bravo of the West Indies bowled a short delivery that struck batsman Kevin Piertersen on the helmet, thus dislodging the helmet which ended up falling on the stumps. Pietersen was given out hit wicket which led to an uproar from the English supporters.

Derived from the Sanskrit word 'Deepavali', Diwali means 'row of lights' and is a grand festival celebrated in India by various Hindu communities. It is marked as the day when Lord Ram and his wife Sita returned to their land of Ayodhya after 14 years of exile in the forest. Today, the festival signifies the triumph of good over evil and hence people light diyas all around their homes to ward off the darkness. But are you aware of all the auspicious days and festivals that are celebrated in and around the day of this grand festival? Here is a lowdown:

1. Lakshmi Puja
It is one of the important traditions of Diwali as the Goddess of wealth, Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped and a puja is performed in order to bring prosperity and success to the devotee's home and life. Farmers also thank goddess Lakshmi for a prosperous harvest and pray for good crops in the coming year.

2. Vasu Baras
Vasu means cow, an animal considered very sacred by the Hindus. The cow is considered as God's symbol and hence on this day the cow and calf are worshipped. It is one of the auspicious days that kick starts the Diwali festivities.

3. Naraka Chaturdashi
This is a holy day as the demon Narakasura was killed by Lord Krishna. It is a day which signifies the triumph of good over evil. Many South Indians celebrate this day as the main day of Diwali where they take a bath with fragrant oil before sunrise, wear new clothes, light diyas at home and perform the puja.

4. Govardhan Puja
This was the propitious day when Lord Krishna defeated Indra. Thus on this day, Mother Nature which is related to Lord Krishna is worshipped. In order to appease him, a mountain of food is decorated and offered to the God symbolising the Govardhan Mountain which was lifted by Lord Krishna.

5. Bhaubeej
Brothers and sisters within the family come together and offer puja and prayers. They pray for the well being and prosperity of each other. They exchange sweets and new clothes.

What is the appropriate term - "mobile" phone or "cell" phone? The word "cell" is short for "cellular" and has been used since Bell Laboratories set up the first wireless telephony system in 1947. It consisted of a network of low-powered transmitters, each placed to cover a small region or cell. Commercial cell phones were introduced in Chicago in 1978 and in Europe in 1981 -- the first mobile phone call in the UK was made by comedian Ernie Wise. If you're surprised to learn that mobile telephony has been around so long, here's another surprise. Bell Laboratories invented the videophone in 1927!

In today’s scientific world, all facts are backed by solid scientific evidence. People today tend to be extremely sceptical and don’t easily take things at face value. Yet, some age-old tales of mystery attract people despite their scepticism. Here is a look at the origin and explanation of some of these modern-day mysteries.


An unidentified flying object, or a UFO, is any real or apparent flying object that cannot be identified by the observer and which remains unidentified after investigation. In popular culture, the term ‘UFO’ is often used to refer to any hypothetical alien spacecraft. The term ‘flying saucer’ is also sometimes used. Reports of unusual aerial phenomena date back to ancient times, but reports of UFO sightings started becoming more common after the first widely publicized U.S. sighting in 1947. Many tens of thousands of UFO reports have since been made worldwide. Many more sightings may, however, remain unreported due to fear of public ridicule because of the social stigma surrounding the subject of UFOs and because most nations lack any officially sanctioned authority to receive and evaluate UFO reports.


The Yeti is an alleged apelike animal said to inhabit the Himalaya region of Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. The names Yeti and Meh-Teh are commonly used by the people indigenous to the region and are part of their history and mythology. Most mainstream scientists, explorers and writers consider current evidence of the Yeti's existence to be weak and better explained as a hoax, legend or misidentification of some known species. In some circles, the Yeti is also believed to be the missing link; the link between man and his ape like ancestors. Even today, the Yeti remains one of the most famous creatures of cryptozoology – the study of evidence of the existence of mythical creatures.

The Loch Ness Monster

The Loch Ness Monster is a mysterious and unidentified animal, claimed to inhabit Scotland's Loch Ness, the most voluminous freshwater lake in Great Britain. Along with Bigfoot and the Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster is one of the best-known mysteries of cryptozoology. Most scientists and other experts find current evidence supporting the creature's existence unpersuasive and regard the occasional sightings as hoaxes or misidentification of known creatures or natural phenomena. The most common eyewitness description of Nessie is that of a plesiosaur, a long-necked aquatic reptile that became extinct during the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event. Supporters of the plesiosaur theory cite the survival of a fish called the coelacanth, which supposedly went extinct along with the plesiosaur but was rediscovered off the coast of Madagascar in 1938.

Yes, a 'blue moon' did appear in 1883 (after the eruption of Mt. Krakatoa) and later in 1950. Owing to sulphur particles in the upper atmosphere from a forest fire covering 250,000 acres between Mile 103 and Mile 119 on the Alaska Highway in northern British Columbia, Canada the moon took on a bluish colour in, 1950.

Contrary to its name “Dead Sea”, no one ever drowns in its saline waters. The Dead Sea is land locked and is the lowest body of water on the Earth’s surface. It is also the saltiest lake in the world! It contains large amounts of minerals like bromine, calcium and of course common salt. The high density of this lake prevents anything from sinking. The shores of this lake are covered with sulphur, lava and rock salt indicating that the area is prone to volcanic activity.

Some trivia that is sure to stump you!

Did you know that…

• a snail can actually sleep for three years?
• butterflies use their feet to taste food?
• an ostrich lays an egg that is bigger than its brain?
• a headless cockroach can actually survive for 9 days!
• an ant can lift 50 times its own weight?
• starfish are brainless creatures? Yes, they don't have any brains!
• that our ears and nose continue to grow throughout our lives?
• that a crocodile cannot stick out its tongue?
• all polar bears are left handed?
• the strongest muscle in the body is the tongue?

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