08 October 2011

Hello Curiosity

"It is a miracle that Curiosity survives formal education" - Einstein

It is believed that a child's capability to learn is extremely high. The urge to uncover a secret, to explore, to invent comes naturally to kids. Rather unfortunate that our education system, instead of nurturing this trait, ends up killing it. Well almost. What would you expect from schools that can call themselves by names like 'White Loaf', 'Macademia Soft Corner' etc. Alas, if imaginative naming could make these schools as imaginative in imparting education. You can read a hilarious yet very relevant take on the "Schools, did you say" at Cyber Nag. But thats not the reason for this blogpost.

 I received a couple of issues of BBC Knowledge Magazine - complimentary copies sent to me by the publishers 'World Wide Media'. The first thoughts after a quick look at them was - 'Why didn't we have such magazine when we were kids'. My dad, on his rare trips to Bombay or Delhi would get us books such as 'Bournvita Quiz Book', which I remember devouring again and again for dearth of decent reading material. Buying those shiny hardbound science books and encyclopedia was expensive those days. Mind you, there was no internet, and we still relied on printed matter for most of our extra curricular readings. So well, the fact was that a closer look at the new magazine and I found some interesting stuff. The magazine is priced at just Rs 100/- (hope this is not just a introductory price). I did check up, an annual subscription (6 issues, in UK costs pound 14). So yeah, it does seem like its affordable afterall.

The magazine looks neat, its marginally broader than normal magazines that you read today, covering topics like Science, History, Nature - For the Curious Mind .. says the tagline.

The first edition of BBC Knowledge, launched in the United States in August 2008, was an instant success; the magazine was voted among the Top 10 newly-launched magazine's of 2008 by Library Journal, USA. It is also available internationally in the United Kingdom, Brazil, Singapore and Bulgaria. The Indian edition was launched in India in November 2010. With its unique content and style, BBC Knowledge holds the key to the mysteries of the world. Written by renowned academics and experts in the fields, BBC Knowledge's wide-range of features provide riveting and up-to-date information on subjects ranging from treasure hunting in the 21st century, Darwin's theory of evolution, the atomic bombing of Japan, global warming to the rivers of the Amazon. With material that is meant to stimulate the mind, this magazine looks to empower a young generation of readers.

My evening reading, enlightened me about the North & South Korea War of 1950 which polarized the world once again after the WWII setting up what famously came to be known as 'Cold War'. Don't remember reading about it ever in history classes though. Another article on Sumatran Rhinos detailed how the species which one thrived in South Asia is now on verge of being extinct and fighting for survival. Considered to be on of the oldest living mammals on planet - it made a fascinating read.

Probably, the only negative is that the content borders on being a bit heavy and may not find great favor with those who prefer light reading. I would however highly recommend it for kids, and young adults. Yes for older adults too if you have managed to not let your curiosity die yet. I would also probably prefer more photographs, but thats just me being me!

These magazines have enough content in one issue to last you for a month I am certain. I am going to spend my next couple of weeks devouring my copy. An annual subscription costs you, well just Rs 360/-. I am sure these guys are  just waiting for the demand to pick up before they increase the price.

I don't want to end up sounding like I am doing a paid product review, so probably you should just check out there website and facebook link. Decide for yourself.


Cloudninetalks said...

Wow...great info. Shall subscribe to this, my son would be happy to read all this stuff. Though i am not so geeky and studious;) Checked the FB link and it seems good. Thanks for the info:)

mayankpandey said...

Thanks Cloudnine. That this post got the least clicks of all my posts is perhaps a reflection of how less we spend time reading printed matter. Go ahead and gift it to your son. I can vouch you wouldnt be disappointed. Share your feedback too. 

thoma said...

hey this is great. am a mag geek too and can never resist swooping good mags off the shelf whenever i can help it. i swear, i cannae remember anything from my school days...but i have this wolf appetite for history now and i think i'll take a re course with my kid thru her school texts!

ty for this input! do it more often! am planning to do it in my blog too!! 

mayankpandey said...

chalo i found a history lover :-)

Aakanksha_rulz said...

Nice review..sounds a good magazine to have. Is it similar to National geographic though?
It is indeed sad that people the internet for info rather than good, old books. I still remember the joy that reading kiddie knowledge books used to give me and help me in my studies. Internet is not a great substitution!

mayankpandey said...

yeah Similar to Nat Geo but I found this magazine better content. You may want to pick one from any stores and check for yourself. I believe you will like it. and hey thanks for dropping by.