Hi, there

So there are two ways from here. You can either consider yourself un-worthy of Science Coffeehouse and go the about section to find out where the next meeting is, when it is and how to get there. The other way, is to consider yourself worthy, and solve the following puzzle.

Rome was not built in a day

dolor sit amet

So do you think you are worthy, you pleb?

So in your quest to look closely at the oddities in the world you have reached Kolkata, nicknamed the City of Joy or the City of Palaces. The names have varying sources - City of Joy comes from a book by Dominique Lapierre, and City of Palaces comes from the abundance of colonial era architecture in the city. After all, it was the capital of British India longer than Delhi was, and was also one of the biggest trade centers of the British Empire. It is also the city where Ronald Ross did his Nobel Prize winning work on malaria, and CV Raman did the majority of his work on light. However, you do not want to keep thinking about Science all the time, so you ask a trusted friend to guide you to the sights in the city. Your guide takes you on a walk down central Kolkata, near an open green area what is called the Maidan, and tells you that you are actually walking in the heart of the old British city. Among the colonial era buildings to be seen in the area, chief are the Victoria Memorial, Fort William, and the St. Pauls Cathedral. Your guide first takes you into the cathedral. It was the first cathedral built in the British Empire outside England itself, and it is currently the seat of the Diocese of Calcutta. Your guide shows you around the main altar and the library, and you are hooked by its Indo-Gothic architecture. You can see the Victoria Memorial outside, and you are a little surprised - why was it built in Calcutta, a provincial city and not the capital in Delhi? Your guide takes a moment, and launches into a long account of the early 19th century, when increased nationalism in Bengal forced the British Indian Empire to move the capital to Delhi. Work on the Memorial, he says, started before the shift, so they could not move it. Incidentally, says the guide, the shift occurred just a year after Mark Twain died. You are surprised by the tangential reference - does it have any meaning? The guide assures you that he brought up the name just because Twain is his favourite author. He recommends to you the Twains travelogue - Following the Equator - where he has some typical witticisms about things that he saw in the country. You assure him that you will try and read the book, and you part with a spring in your step having just spent an amazing evening. You promise to meet again the following day, where your guide would take you on another quest through the tons of new stuff to see in a new city!

There is, however, something that is bothering you. Why did the guide insist on that particular walk? And, more importantly, who doesn't find Twain-ish witticisms irritating?