Mirror Magazine

25th January 1998

Junior Times

Hello Children,

In a week's time we'll be celebrating 50 years of Independence. I'm sure you must be taking part in various school activities in preparation for this special event. So why not write in and let us know what you think about it and if you like to draw, then be sure to send in all your beautiful paintings. Due to lack of space we might not be able to accomodate all, but we will try to publish most of them. So do hurry and

rush in those articles and drawings. Take care!

Until next week,

Aunty Sunshine

A House on Fire

I had never seen a house on fire before, so, one evening when I heard fire engines with loud alarm bells rushing past my house I quickly ran out and a few streets away joined a large crowd of people.

But we could see the fire only from a distance because the police would not allow any one near the building on fire.

What a terrible scene I saw that day! Huge flames were coming out of each floor and there was black and thick smoke all around.

Four fire engines were busily engaged and the firemen were trying their best to stop the fire. Then the tall ladders of the fire engine were stretched upward and I could see firemen climbing up with hoses. They began to pour floods of water on the top of the building. The spray of water brought the fire down. But the building was destroyed.

Fire also endangers the lives of people.

M.N.M. Nairooz,

7 A, Alexo International.

On the eve of Independence

By Uncle DCR

Prior to Ceylon gaining Independence, a new constitution was enacted following the recommendations made by the Soulbury Commission, named after its chairman Lord Soulbury who later became the second Governor-General of Independent Ceylon (1949-1954). Under this constitution Ceylon was to have

a House of Representatives with 101 members of Parliament (95 elected and six appointed by the Governor-General) and a second chamber, the Senate.

Four stamps were issued to mark the inauguration of the First Parliament, which replaced the State Council. Although the first meeting was held on 14 October 1947 the stamps were released on 11 November.

The 6 cent stamp depicted the Parliament building (presently the Presidential Secretariat) at Galle Face. The building which first housed the Legislative Council was declared open on 29 January 1930 by Governor Sir Herbert Stanley. Later the building was accepted as the State Council (1931-47), the House of Representatives (1947-72) and the National State Assembly (1972-78). With the adoption of the 1978 Constitution it became known as the Parliament building.

The other stamps had prominent places of Buddhist worship - Sri Pada (10 cts), Sri Dalada Maligawa (15 cts) and Ruvanveli Seya (25 cts). While traditional Sinhala motifs and architectural designs were depicted, all the stamps had the head of King George VI as he was the rules for all our stamps issued up to Independence.

Sri Pada and the Dalada Maligawa, two of the most venerated places for the Buddhists had been used in stamps earlier too. They appeared among a set of 11 pictorial stamps issued in 1935. Rubber Tapping (2 cts), Sri Pada (3 cts), Colombo Harbour (6 cts) Plucking Tea (9 cts), Hill Country Paddy (10 cts), River Scene (15 cts), Coconut Palms (20 cts), Dalada Maligawa (25 cts), Ancient Tank (30 cts), Wild Elephants (50 cts) and Trincomalee (Re 1) were depicted. They also carried the picture of King George V in the uniform of a Colonel of the Royal Highlanders.

These designs were retained when they were re-issued with the portrait of George VI in 1938. The only change was the replacement of the paddy scene in the 10 ct stamp with Sigiriya. A new Rs 2 stamp with the picture of a guard stone in Anuradhapura and a Rs 5 stamp with the King's portrait were also released.

The first stamps to be issued after George VI became king were three stamps (6, 9 & 20 cts) to commemorate his coronation. Issued on 12 May 1937, they bore the pictures of the king and queen (Queen Mother now in her 90s) along with the royal emblem and the crown and were in three different colours - 6 cts red, 9 cts green and 20 cts blue.

Earlier, in 1935 King George V's silver jubilee had been commemorated with four stamps - 6, 9, 20 & 50 cts bearing the King's portrait and the Windsor Castle in Britain. The British House of Parliament was used in two Peace Stamps (6 & 15 cts) issued on 10 December 1946 commemorating the end of the Second World War.

The Strange Jug

Once there was a little boy who had a grandmother who lived in Italy. She wrote and said that she was sending him a present, and the little boy wondered what it would be.

But when the present came, it was a strange jug. It was made of pottery, with odd-looking leaves on it, the colours of fruit, and fruit that was the colour of Ieaves. And the little boy didn't like it.

The strange Jug

'I don't like it,' he told his mother.

'Oh, I do,' his mother said. 'See how nicely it goes with our dishes!'

So she put it on the table at every meal.

In the morning, it was full of orange juice for the little boy to pour for the whole family.

At noon, the strange jug was filled with milk for him to serve. And at night it had chocolate milk in it, or lemonade. Day after day, the little boy poured good-tasting things from the jug, and by and by, it didn't lookstrange any more.

One day, the little boy wrote to his grandmother in Italy and told her that. At the end of his letter, he said, 'Thank you very much for my beautiful jug. I like it very much.'

And so he did.

The little boy thought that his own jug from Italy was the most beautiful jug in the whole world.

Floating and Sinking

Why do some objects float and others sink? Do large objects float more easily than small ones? Does the shape of an object make any difference? Try these experiments to find out.

Will it Float on Water?

Choose several solid objects - make sure they are not hollow. Guess which ones will float and then test them in a bowl of water or in the bath.

Objects to test: A stone, an orange, an apple, a screw, pieces of wood, an egg, coins, polystyrene, pumice stone, candle, seeds, erasers.

How it works

Water tries to support solid objects. If the objects are heavy for their size, they will sink; if they are light for their size, they will float. An object that is heavy for its size is said to have a high density. An empty

lift has a low density but as it begins to fill with people, its densityincreases. Its size stays the same, however. This is why objects that are the same size can have different densities. A brick is more dense than a piece of wood of the same size because the stony particles that make up the brick are heavy ond packed more tightly together than the fibres in the block of wood.


Density is how heavy something is compared to its volume. You can work out the density of an object by dividing its weight by its volume. One cubic centimetre of water weighs one gram, so water has a density of one. If an object has a density greater than one, it will sink in water. If an object has a density of less thon one, it will float on water.

Does Wood Float?

When you investigated floating and sinking, you probably found that pieces of wood float easily. But did you know that some types of wood sink in water? Pieces of cork (the bark of cork trees) and maple float easily but mahogany is only just supported by water. Ebony (the hard, black wood sometimes used to make piano keys) does not float at all because it is more dense than water.

More things to try

Now that you have tested solid floaters and sinkers, mould a ball of modelling clay into different shapes and see if they float. Use the same amount of clay each time. Here are a few shapes to try:

A solid ball of modelling clay will sink straight to the bottom. But if you make it into a boat shape with high sides, it wi!l float. So the shape of floaters and sinkers is important.

Return to Mirror Magazine contents

Home Page

Front Page OP/ED News Business Sports Plus

Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to
info@suntimes.is.lk or to