Month: August 2019

Innovations in LightEmitting Wallpaper Design

first_imgJonas Samson of the Netherlands has developed a light emitting wallpaper. The Dutch designer has stretched the utility and craft to form a work of art for his products. In other work he utilizes Freestyle Blowmoulding to create vases, jugs and other objects of art from PVC tubes and halved soda bottle molds. His work is unique in its usefulness and beauty. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Light Emitting Wallpaper Jonas Samson of the Netherlands has developed a two-dimensional flat surface wallpaper that emits a light source. The paper can be tuned on and off. In the off position, the wallpaper is indistinguishable from any other wall covering surface. His work has been on display in Amsterdam at the Design Scoops during September, 2007. His next exhibit will be October 20-28 at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Mr. Samson has received favorable reviews by Fengshangweekly dot com, and Trendhunter dot com.Jonas Samson explores the utility, art and craft of turning conventional items into a work of high tech design. In his other work he utilizes a process called Freestyle Blowmoulding to produce works of art and utility from standard industrial products. These products can be produced with speed and accuracy.The Freestyle Blowmoulding is achieved by pressing air into PVC tubes and pre-formed tubes that are from the halved soda bottles to create works of art and consumer products. The range of products include, trendy jug containers, vases and other home products. Each design that is created is unique, but may be massed produced. The art form is the result of the combined efforts of art, craft and commercial utility. The finished product is in part controlled by the production process that may involve a level of chance. This slight level of unpredictability creates the uniqueness of the objects of art. Explore furthercenter_img Vases from Industrial Tubes Citation: Innovations in Light-Emitting Wallpaper & Design (2007, October 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Charging with ultrasound: uBeam has functional prototypelast_img read more

Dust involved in sulfate production in clouds

first_img Journal information: Science Cirrus clouds form around mineral dust and metallic particles, study finds Citation: Dust involved in sulfate production in clouds (2013, May 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further The research team, led by Eliza Harris of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany, determined that sulfates are formed within clouds by oxidation of sulfur dioxide on the surface of coarse mineral dust particles. The oxidation is catalyzed by metal ions within the dust particles.Mineral dust particles are released into the atmosphere by human activities such as intensive agricultural practices and deforestation, while metallic particles are released through industrial combustion processes, including the burning of fuels containing lead.It was previously thought that sulfates were primarily formed in clouds through the action of peroxide formed during photochemical reactions, but the new study shows that this is a less dominant process. The researchers were able to show this because the two oxidation routes favor different isotopes of sulfur, and by examining the ratio of isotopes in sulfur dioxide entering clouds and sulfates in the clouds, they were able to demonstrate that the mineral dust/metal ion route was the dominant one.The findings are important because sulfates in clouds are thought to increase cloud formation and light scattering by clouds, both of which have a cooling effect. Peroxides and mineral dusts have different distributions across the globe, and so assuming that peroxide was the dominant route led to incorrect assumptions about the production of sulfates in different regions. The findings that relatively large particles are involved also means the sulfates do not stay in the clouds as long as previously thought since they are formed on relatively large particles that easily drop out. This means the influence of sulfates and the cooling associated with them has been overestimated.A second study, led by atmospheric scientist Dan Cziczo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), studied ice formation in cirrus clouds, which typically form several kilometers above the ground, and found that ice nucleation had occurred around specks of mineral dust or metallic particles in the clouds. Dr. Harris, who is now also at MIT, said it was interesting that the two studies had been published at the same time, and both should help to refine the climate models, which currently do not adequately take into account the importance of mineral dust and its effects on the climate. © 2013 Phys.orgcenter_img More information: Harris, E. et al. Enhanced role of transition metal ion catalysis during in-cloud oxidation of SO2, Science Vol. 340, 727-730, doi: 10.1126/science.1230911 , Published May 10th, 2013.ABSTRACTGlobal sulfate production plays a key role in aerosol radiative forcing; more than half of this production occurs in clouds. We found that sulfur dioxide oxidation catalyzed by natural transition metal ions is the dominant in-cloud oxidation pathway. The pathway was observed to occur primarily on coarse mineral dust, so the sulfate produced will have a short lifetime and little direct or indirect climatic effect. Taking this into account will lead to large changes in estimates of the magnitude and spatial distribution of aerosol forcing. Therefore, this oxidation pathway—which is currently included in only one of the 12 major global climate models—will have a significant impact on assessments of current and future climate.Press release ( —A new study from Germany has studied the tiny dust particles within clouds and their influence on the climate. The influence of dust particles on cloud formation and on the chemical reactions within clouds has been poorly understood until now. Measurement Station Schmücke. HCCT 2010 (Hill Cap Cloud Thuringia 2010) – A ground-based integrated study of chemical-aerosol-cloud interactions at the Schmücke Mountain in the Thuringian Forest in September/October 2010. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Holographic lens printing method could allow printing of telescope lenses in space

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (—Researchers have developed a method for printing optical holographic lenses that could greatly simplify their fabrication. Because the method can be performed quickly and easily, it could potentially be used by astronauts to print lenses while in space for holographic lens telescopes. More information: Qiancheng Zhao, et al. “Printable Nanophotonic Devices via Holographic Laser Ablation.” ACS Nano. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b03165 Group webpage: HB-Nanophotonic Group at the University of Birmingham Explore further The researchers, led by Dr. Haider Butt at the University of Birmingham in the UK, along with coauthors from there and the Harvard Medical School and Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in the US, have published a paper on the new holographic lens printing method in a recent issue of ACS Nano.”Using the novel technique of holographic laser ablation, which we previously used for printing holograms, we have demonstrated the printing of optical lenses made of a variety of materials,” Butt told “A complete lens can be fabricated with a single nanosecond laser pulse. Hence the method is fast, flexible, and inexpensive.”While current holographic lens fabrication methods are often expensive, time-consuming, and labor-intensive, the new printing method can produce a lens in just a few seconds using only a single step. The method uses a nanosecond laser pulse to create interference patterns on a transparent substrate coated with light-absorbing materials. The laser is reflected off a concave mirror back onto itself, so that interference occurs between two laser beams traveling in opposite directions. The resulting interference pattern, consisting of circular fringes, is “printed” on a substrate between the two beams, storing the optical information as a holographic lens. The resulting flat, ultra-thin lenses consist of hundreds of nanoscale circular zones that contribute to focusing light.Using this new method, the researchers demonstrated that they could achieve mass production within a few minutes. The method should also work with a wide variety of materials on substrates that are semitransparent, with geometries that are flat, curved, or of other arbitrary form. Besides having niche applications like printing telescope lenses in space, the new printing method could also be used for security, data storage, and biosensors. Due to the flexibility of the fabrication method, lenses can be printed on certain materials that are not compatible with conventional fabrication techniques. In the future, the scientists plan to use the method to print lenses on thin films of semiconductors, with applications in applied optics and infrared imaging. Printable holograms could make holograms more widespreadcenter_img The flat lens is made of a 4-nm-thick gold layer and has an approximate diameter of 1 inch. Scale bars = 200 μm. Credit: Zhao, et al. ©2015 American Chemical Society Diagram of the fabrication method for printing holographic lenses. Credit: Zhao, et al. ©2015 American Chemical Society © 2015 Journal information: ACS Nano Citation: Holographic lens printing method could allow printing of telescope lenses in space (2015, September 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Female fish develops male organs and impregnates self

first_img(a) The intersex produced by a cross between a female Pundamilia pundamilia from Python Island and an orange blotch (OB) Neochromis omnicaeruleus male from Makobe Island. The gonads (b) looked like typical cichlid ovaries. However, a horizontal plane section (c) contained small aggregated dark dots that resembled spermatocytes (marked by arrow). On the gonad (b), this section was located in a whitish tissue (arrow). Credit: Royal Society Open Science (2016). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150684 © 2016 Journal information: Royal Society Open Science Explore further For females, a little semen may go a long way Citation: Female fish develops male organs and impregnates self (2016, March 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Ola Svensson et al. Hybridization generates a hopeful monster: a hermaphroditic selfing cichlid, Royal Society Open Science (2016). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150684AbstractCompared with other phylogenetic groups, self-fertilization (selfing) is exceedingly rare in vertebrates and is known to occur only in one small clade of fishes. Here we report observing one F1-hybrid individual that developed into a functional hermaphrodite after crossing two closely-related sexually reproducing species of cichlids. Microsatellite alleles segregated consistent with selfing and Mendelian inheritance and we could rule out different modes of parthenogenesis including automixis. We discuss why selfing is not more commonly observed in vertebrates in nature, and the role of hybridization in the evolution of novel traits. The team reports that they were studying chichlid fish and at one point bred two different species of the fish, resulting in the birth of several offspring, only one of which later developed male reproductive organs. Such fish, they note reproduce by mixing sperm and egg sin the mouth. In this instance, it appeared that the hybrid ejected sperm into the water and then sucked it into its mouth where it fertilized the eggs that were waiting there. The fish shortly thereafter gave birth to several offspring. Also, the team reports, it was not a onetime occurrence, the fish self fertilized itself many times over the course of a year, giving birth to 42 offspring (both male and female) of which it was both the mother and father. The offspring all appeared normal and reproduced without any of them resorting to selfing. They did all suffer, however, from what scientists call inbreeding depression, where there is minimal genetic diversity, which can lead to birth defects in subsequent generations. Having two genders it is believed was an evolutionary development that came about to allow for genetic diversity, after all.Selfing is not unheard of in the animal kingdom, other species such as mangrove killifish engage in it as part of their normal reproductive habits—but in their case, it is one born of necessity when there are no potential mates around—it is also an adaption that came about out of necessity. The researchers believe the selfing observed in the cichlid female likely came about due to its parents having different sex-determining genes, and that it was almost certainly an oddity, and thus not likely to happen again anytime soon. They note also that it is not likely that this was the first occurrence of selfig in the species, such instances have likely gone underreported due to its rarity. (—A female cichlid hybrid fish has been observed to have grown male reproductive organs, impregnate itself and then to have offspring, a team of researchers in the U.K. are reporting in a paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science. They call the process ‘selfing’ and suggest it is very rare in vertebrates. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Blind quantum computing for everyone

first_img(—For the first time, physicists have demonstrated that clients who possess only classical computers—and no quantum devices—can outsource computing tasks to quantum servers that perform blind quantum computing. “Blind” means the quantum servers do not have full information about the tasks they are computing, which ensures that the clients’ computing tasks are kept secure. Until now, all blind quantum computing demonstrations have required that clients have their own quantum devices in order to delegate tasks for blind quantum computing. The team of physicists, led by Jian-Wei Pan and Chao-Yang Lu at the University of Science and Technology of China, have published a paper on the demonstration of blind quantum computing for classical clients in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.”We have demonstrated for the first time that a fully classical client can delegate a quantum computation to untrusted quantum servers while maintaining full privacy,” Lu told idea behind blind quantum computing is that, while there are certain computing tasks that quantum computers can perform exponentially better than classical computers, quantum computing still involves expensive, complex hardware that will make it inaccessible for most clients. So instead of everyone owning their own quantum computing devices, blind quantum computing makes it possible for clients to outsource their computing tasks to quantum servers that do the job for them. Ensuring that the quantum computing is performed blindly is important, since many of the potential applications of quantum computing will likely require a high degree of security.Although several blind quantum computing protocols have been performed in the past few years, they have all required that the clients have the ability to perform certain quantum tasks, such as prepare or measure qubit states. Eliminating this requirement will provide greater access to blind quantum computing, since most clients only have classical computing systems. In the new study, the physicists experimentally demonstrated that a classical client can outsource a simple problem (factoring the number 15) to two quantum servers that do not fully know what problem they are solving. This is because each server completes part of the task, and it is physically impossible for the servers to communicate with each other. To ensure that the quantum servers are performing their tasks honestly, the client can give them “dummy tasks” that are indistinguishable from the real task to test their honesty and correctness. The researchers expect that the new method can be scaled up for realizing secure, outsourced quantum computing, which could one day be implemented on quantum cloud servers and make the power of quantum computing widely available.”Blind quantum computing protocol is an important privacy-preserving technique for future secure quantum cloud computing and secure quantum networks,” Lu said. “Applying our implemented blind quantum computing protocol, classical clients could delegate computation tasks to servers ‘in the cloud’ blindly and correctly without directly owning quantum devices. It saves resources and makes scalable quantum computing possible.”In the future, the physicists want to make blind quantum computing even easier for clients by further reducing the requirements.”We plan to study more robust blind quantum computing protocols with fewer required resources and fewer constraints theoretically and experimentally,” Lu said. “We will also explore blind quantum computing for more application scenarios, such as multi-user blind quantum computing, publicly verifiable quantum computing, and secure multi-party quantum computing.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Blind quantum computing for everyone (2017, August 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Credit: CC0 Public Domain Developing quantum algorithms for optimization problemscenter_img Journal information: Physical Review Letters More information: He-Liang Huang et al. “Experimental Blind Quantum Computing for a Classical Client.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.050503 , Also at arXiv:1707.00400 [quant-ph] Explore further © 2017 Phys.orglast_img read more

Conservationists find protected areas worldwide are shrinking

first_img History of boundary changes and downgrades in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador. Credit: Rachel Golden Kroner Citation: Conservationists find protected areas worldwide are shrinking (2019, May 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Grand-Staircase Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments, before and after downsize. Credit: Rachel Golden Kroner Explore further For much of modern history, governments and national leaders have set aside land under their jurisdiction to prevent it from destruction by human activities. But as the researchers note, governments are also free to remove such restrictions if they so desire. In this new effort, the researchers studied the history of land protection and protected area downgrading, downsizing and degazettement, or PADDD, over the past two centuries.The researchers report that they found that approximately 2 million square feet of land around the world has been PADDDed, since 1892. Furthermore, they found that approximately 78 percent of that land downgrading has occurred over just the past 20 years. In their report, they focused most strongly on PADDDing in the U.S. and Amazonia. They found that approximately 90 percent of the land downgraded in the U.S. over the past two centuries happened over just the past 20 years. And sadly, approximately 99 percent of such land was downgraded so that it could be used for industrial purposes. More information: Rachel E. Golden Kroner et al. The uncertain future of protected lands and waters, Science (2019). DOI: 10.1126/science.aau5525 Protected areas downsized in Brazil to authorize the construction of the Tapajos hydropower dam (before and after). Credit: Rachel Golden Kroner Iguacu National Park, Brazil. Credit: Haroldo Castro/Conservation International A large international team of researchers reports that the amount of land designated as protected around the globe is shrinking. In their paper published in the journal Science, the researchers describe their study of protected lands over the past 200 years, and what they found. Lisa Naughton-Treves and Margaret Buck Holland with the University of Wisconsin and the University of Maryland, respectively, have published a Perspective piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue. They also note that not all downgrades are a threat to biodiversity. Grand-Staircase Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments, before and after downsize. Credit: Rachel Golden Kronercenter_img Journal information: Science Downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement events in Rondônia, Brazilian Amazon. Most events were enacted to authorize the construction of the Jirau hydropower dam. Credit: Rachel Golden Kroner A call to protect much more land and sea from human encroachment © 2019 Science X Network Protected areas before and after downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement events in Rondônia, Brazilian Amazon. Most events were enacted to authorize the construction of the Jirau hydropower dam. Credit: Rachel Golden Kroner The researchers suggest that the trend of removing restrictions from protected lands could have an impact on other countries looking to shore up their economies, leading to removal of restrictions in other countries.More optimistically, Naughton-Treves and Buck Holland suggest that rather than look at downgraded land totals, environmentalists need to look at how land is being used. They note that while there is generally more biodiversity inside of protected areas than out, there are other factors at play as well. One such factor, they point out, is the impact that protecting wildlands has on people living in the area—especially poor people. In many areas, the result is great hardship. They also note that the degree of harm brought to downgraded areas depends very much on the types of industries that come in. Some, they note, such as extractive industries, are particularly damaging. They suggest that local entities should be the ones making land protection decisions rather than remote entities, allowing more thoughtful management of valuable land. History of boundary changes and downgrades in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador. Credit: Rachel Golden Kroner This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Observations reveal gas stripping and enhanced star formation in the galaxy JO206

first_imgThe VLA Hi column density contours overlaid on the V-band image of JO206 from WINGS (V-band image from Moretti et al. 2014). Credit: Ramatsoku et al., 2019. Explore further At about 85 billion solar masses, JO206 is a massive “jellyfish” galaxy hosting an active galactic nucleus (AGN) and a member of the IIZw108 galaxy cluster at a redshift of approximately 0.049. The so-called jellyfish galaxies have one-sided tails seemingly stripped from the galaxy’s main body.In the case of JO206, astronomers have assigned the highest jellyfish morphological classification of 5.0 as it showcases the most recognizable tail of debris material that is apparently stripped from the main body. The stripped tail of material is thought to be the result of ram-pressure stripping due to the intra-cluster medium (ICM) of IIZw108.Studies of jellyfish galaxies, in particular the examination of star formation activity during the process of gas stripping, could be crucial in improving the understanding of galactic evolution in general. One method of such studies is the investigation of neutral atomic hydrogen (HI) in these galaxies.Recently, a team of astronomers led by Mpati Ramatsoku of the Astronomical Observatory of Cagliari in Italy used this technique to study JO206. The research was focused on the galaxy’s long tail of ionized gas and how this feature affects the interstellar medium, as well as star formation activity. The observational campaign was carried out using the VLA telescope as part of the GAs Stripping Phenomena survey (GASP).”As part of the ESO MUSE GASP survey, we have studied the HI gas phase of the prototypical ‘jellyfish’ galaxy in the sample, namely, JO206,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.According to the study, the neutral atomic hydrogen distribution in JO206 is perturbed and exhibits a one-sided HI tail from the optical disc. The tail extends over 293,000 light years and has an HI mass of about 1.8 billion solar masses. This means that the tail’s neutral gas mass currently constitutes about 60 percent of the whole galaxy’s HI mass.The research found that JO206 is generally undergoing an enhanced star formation activity compared to similar galaxies with the same stellar mass. JO206’s HI depletion time was estimated to be 500 million years, which is shorter than that of ordinary spiral galaxies observed to date.Moreover, the astronomers detected a strong correlation between the observed cold gas and ionized emission in JO206, seen both in the galaxy main body and the tail. “This indicates a strong link between the presence of cold gas and the recent star formation across all of the galaxy,” the scientists concluded.In addition, the study also found that that the star formation efficiency in the disc of JO206 is on average about 10 times higher compared to the tail for a given HI surface density. The researchers noted that in general, the inner and outer parts of JO206 have relatively higher star formation efficiencies compared to other galaxies in the literature.Summing up the research, the authors of the paper concluded that JO206, at its current stripping stage, still has fuel to form new stars along its tail and disc. “Comparing this galaxy with others in the GASP sample in different environments will clarify whether the environment played a pivotal role in the enhanced observed star formation or whether other specific physical conditions are responsible,” the astronomers wrote. Using the Very Large Array (VLA), astronomers have conducted observations of neutral gas in the galaxy JO206. Results of these observations provide important information regarding gas stripping and enhanced star formation in this galaxy. The findings are detailed in a paper published June 9 on © 2019 Science X Network This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Citation: Observations reveal gas stripping and enhanced star formation in the galaxy JO206 (2019, June 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Research provides insights into molecular gas in the massive spiral galaxy NGC 5908 More information: M Ramatsoku et al. GASP XVII. HI imaging of the jellyfish galaxy JO206: gas stripping and enhanced star formation., Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2019). DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz1609 , read more

The Wandering art

first_imgVarious artists from all across the Indian subcontinent came together to showcase their works in Delhi and brought in forgotten flavours of South Asia.The show, curated by Batasha Mathur and Kiran Chaudhary at Experimental Art Gallery, was inaugurated with a special preview for the capital’s glitterati on Saturday. The main attraction of the show were the scintillating art works from India, Bhutan and Pakistan. About 20 artists contributed, including  K Ravi, Arun Pandit, Sanjay Bhattacharya, Karma, Imrana Tanveer, Vijay Kalyan, Gopi Gajwani, Mashkoor Raza, K Balamurli, to name a few. Works of Indian painter Vaikuntam and Pakistani artist Salman Farooqi were admired the most by the visitors, who were equally chramed by the scenic portraits by the former and the anguished women by the latter. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Farooqi’s work has been intensely inspired by a genre dealing with an intimate perception of landscapes and cityscapes. He has held many group and solo shows in different cities of Pakistan and the Middle East. In some of his works, we found images of dark interiors with old-style table, chairs and ornately carved head board set against bright sunlight coming in through open windows.  Juxtaposed with this were the various feminine expressions that invoked corresponding dark moods.Vaikuntam’s paintings capture simple lifestyle of villagers, the paddy fields, toddy pots on shoulders of men, the household chores, temple rituals depicting rural life of the country. Colour palette for some paintings were bold shades of red, blue, black whereas some had pastel shades of yellow, blue, saffron and more.last_img read more

Cranberry juice may protect against killer diseases

first_imgDrinking low calorie cranberry juice cocktail may help lower the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke, says a study.The World Health Organisation estimates the trio of diseases annually claim 15.6 million lives around the globe. Cranberries provide a rich source of protective compounds   called polyphenols that support our body’s natural defences and help us achieve a balanced lifestyle to improve health. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’To find the effectiveness of polyphenol-rich cranberries, researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided eight weeks’ worth of meals to 56 healthy adult volunteers (average 50 years of age).“At the start and end of the experiment, the researchers measured things like blood pressure, blood sugar levels, blood lipids, as well as C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation,” said Christina Khoo, director of Research Sciences at Ocean Spray. One group drank a glass of low-calorie cranberry juice twice daily. The other group drank a placebo beverage with a similar colour and flavour. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIndividuals drinking two glasses of low-calorie cranberry juice a day improved across all these measures. It’s a change that adds up, and could be associated with a 10 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 15 percent lower risk of stroke.“These findings suggest that polyphenols help to protect our bodies, and may be adept at keeping a large number of ailments at bay,” Khoo said.The study appeared in the journal Journal of Nutrition.last_img read more

Take the stairs to slow brain ageing

first_imgClimbing the stairs can not only help you stay physically fit but also improve brain health, suggests new research.“There already exist many ‘Take the stairs’ campaigns in office environments and public transportation centres,” said lead researcher Jason Steffener from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.“This study shows that these campaigns should also be expanded for older adults so that they can work to keep their brains young,” said Steffener. The researchers found that education also played a positive role in brain health. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The study, published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, showed that the more flights of stairs a person climbs and the more years of school a person completes, the “younger” their brain physically appears.For the study, Steffener and his co-authors used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to non-invasively examine the brains of 331 healthy adults who were aged between 19 to 79. They measured the volume of grey matter found in participants’ brains because its decline, caused by neural shrinkage and neuronal loss, is a very visible part of the chronological aging process. Then, they compared brain volume to the participants’ reported number of flights of stairs climbed and years of schooling completed.“This is encouraging because it demonstrates that a simple thing like climbing stairs has great potential as an intervention tool to promote brain health,” Steffener said.last_img read more

Govt mulls mechanism to directly alert common people about lightning strikes

first_imgKolkata: The state government is taking initiatives to ensure that lightning alert reaches common people directly in the grassroot level.It may be mentioned that the state Disaster Management and Civil Defence department has introduced a state-of-the-art technology in early 2018 that predicts lightning and information gets disseminated 45 minutes before it strikes. But at present, the information gets disseminated only among concerned officials of all ranks, including the district authorities. In districts, representatives of Gram Panchayats also get the messages in this regard. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeNow, in a bid to make the system more effective, the necessity of a mechanism has been felt so that the lightning alert messages reach common people in the grassroot level as well and they can go to a safe place. Explaining the situation, a state government official said that the system that was developed in collaboration with an expert company from USA, can send out an alert 45 minutes before the possibility of lightning in a particular block. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedImmediately, the messages get disseminated among the concerned officials up to the Gram Panchayat level and then the officials in districts take initiative to pass the same to the masses. “But it will be more effective if the same message can reach common people directly in the form of SMS, etc.” the official said, adding that there was a meeting in this regard with concerned agencies a few days ago. The messages have to be sent specifically only to those who reside in the block where there is possibility of lightning and the matter has been discussed in the meeting to find a way out. There will be further meetings in this connection. It may be mentioned that 294 people were killed due to lightning in 2016-17. It may be mentioned that lightning has claimed lives in the last monsoon as well. But, introduction of the mechanism to generate alert message 45 minutes before lightning strikes a particular area, has helped to make many people aware of the same in the last monsoon, helping them get to safety in time.last_img read more

Politics inseparable from Street theatre

first_imgPolitics cannot be separated from street theatre as it is not just defined by its art but also by its intent, according to veteran thespians Sudhanva Deshpande and Moloyashree Hashmi.At the fourth edition of ‘Lila’s Prism lecture series’, the talk titled ‘Jan Natya Manch: Shaping a pocket (the resistance)’ was about introducing people to the nitty-gritties of street theatre group and how Janam made the medium as its own.Founded in 1973, Jana Natya Manch (People’s Theatre Front; Janam for short) is a New Delhi-based theatre company. Having done some 8,500 performances of nearly 100 plays, the group specialises in left-wing street theatre in Hindi. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf“Street theatre is about giving primacy to politics. Don’t do street theatre if you don’t have politics. We at Janam don’t define it just by its form, but also by its intent. Its biggest resource is imagination of audience,” said Deshpande, actor and director with Janam.But making sure that people don’t decipher his message wrong, he added, “Please remember it cannot be sloganeering alone too. Only sloganeering and attempting to run a message down people’s throat has neither worked before, nor will it work in future.”  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWhile distinguishing street play from other forms, he says that it is an exact opposite of a play which has Naseeruddin Shah acting, who everyone admires and loves. “You like Naseeruddin Shah and you want to watch him. In street plays it is just the opposite. You don’t know us, forget about liking. On the contrary, we interrupt your life by performing in the middle of the road. Also, here we want you to watch us. You vote by your foot in this case,” said Deshpande. The group is known for taking on capitalism, deep-rooted patriarchy, and communalism through plays like ‘Halla Bol’, ‘Machine’, ‘Woh Bol Uthi’, ‘Aurat’ and ‘Dil Maange more Guru ji’.“When people ask don’t you feel scared about the things you say so openly in your play, I tell them that we have our plays in bastis (villages), industrial areas and in the so called down-trodden areas. Police and people with power, they don’t come to such places. And hence we are safe,” said Moloyashree, veteran theatre artiste and President of Janam. The evening also saw both talking about Founder of Janam Safdar Hashmi and his vision that is reflected in all the plays made under the group’s banner. An actor, director and communist playwright Hashmi was murdered in 1989,while performing his famous street play ‘Halla Bol’.“Safdar was someone unique. Can you believe he and Rakesh Saxena wrote ‘Machine’ in a single day. He could see the future. He was always there to perform for workers and would do all that he could to support their movement,” said Moloyoshree, wife of Safdar who to her credit have had performed ‘Machine’ over 1000 times now.Deshpande, who is also author of the book ‘Theatre of the streets: The Jan Natya Manch Experience’ was very blunt in saying that “art can’t change the world, especially if it’s a Bollywood movie.” He emphasized on the definition of artist and said: “You should understand that an artist is no solitary genius. He is no creator. He is just an intermediary who gives what he takes from society. It’s just that the form is different.” When asked about pedagogy and how to make sure that an actor is politically sensitised, Deshpande said, “Make them witness the lives of people living in the margins by walking through the streets of villages.“This is what we do with our actors while we are in the process of making plays, and it works,” he added.The Lila Lecture series includes 13 seminal conversation spread across August to December 2016 featuring 30 trailblazing practitioners of alternative institution-building.last_img read more

When travel inspires the gourmet within

first_imgIf you want to let out the traveler in you, Tourist – the street food bar, is the right destination for the traveler in you to set free even in a closed environment. The place is for the travelled, edgy, cultured, journey freaks, free spirited, laid back and witty folks. It represents the journey of a tourist in its theme. Cuisine at Tourist brings forth the flavors from different corners of the world. The extravagant place boasts of sumptuous street food from around the globe. The latest tavern for the wayfarers, Tourist escalates over 12000 sqft, extravagantly covering three floors. The place represents the journey of a “Traveler” through the interiors like that of the youth hostel, hiking, backpacking, airport flipboard showcasing signature dishes, live train, travel library, live kitchen along with the crockery displayed in the forefront, laidback beach seats in a relaxing sandy setting, the special VIP lounge. A majestic rooftop, slated to be one of the biggest in Connaught Place, is an exclusive feature of the new watering hole.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIt also boasts of a suspended stage for rock bands and live music, notwithstanding its own Tourist Radio channel. Not only this, Tourist also exhibits a beautiful street market inspired from the streets of Janpath in the heart of the capital. Tourist ensures that the travel freaks are surely in for a rollercoaster gastronomical journey, relishing and reliving their wanderlust experiences through the lip smacking dishes in their menu.Signature Dishes from the global menu- Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveLamb AryasBrown sugar chicken striperSoya SawarmaJammu KaladiBombay BitsSarafa KeysSoin Toin CH1Chilled Rice Pepper Summer RollsLemon Grass ChickenPot StickersBrick Lane PudgeCanadian CoblerPhoenix Cheese Cakelast_img read more

Jadavpur Vidyapith to get playground on its rooftop

first_imgKolkata: In a significant stride towards encouraging students to take part in sports and extra-curricular activities more often, Jadavpur Vidyapith is coming up with a playground on the roof top of theschool building. “We will develop facilities for a number of games on the roof top of the school building. There will be facilities for games like football, cricket, badminton, table tennis and other games,” said Parimal Bhattacharjee, headmaster of the school. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThere are similar facilities of playground on school roof tops in Asian countries like China and Singapore but such facilities in the country is unheard of. The school in consultation with experts has already prepared the detailed project report (DPR) for the project. “There are a number of government and government-aided schools in the city and its suburbs that have a reasonable number of students. In a number of instances, when we had planned to host sports events for them, the lack of space acted has as a barrier. The move from our school came from this very idea so that students can take part in sports activities,” a senior teacher of the Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedschool said. Jadavpur Vidyapith’s present student strength is 16,037 from Class V to X. The primary section from Class I to V which is held under the National Council has around 2,100 students. “We want to be a trend setter in this regard among other government schools,” the teacher added. The school authorities will set up the infrastructure of the playground in phases. A number of alumni have already evinced interest in the project and the school authorities will seek financial help from them.last_img read more

2 pvt hospitals 1 diagnostic centre fined for negligence

first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission (WBCERC) has imposed fine on B M Birla Heart Research Centre, Columbia Asia Hospital and Suraksha Diagnostic Pvt. Limited, after it found negligence on their part.The WBCERC has asked Columbia Asia Hospital to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the family members of 31-year-old Baisakhi Saha, who was transfused with wrong blood type at the hospital. The patient was admitted to the hospital following abdominal pain. She was referred to a gynecologist who prescribed a blood test. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalThe investigation revealed that she had been suffering from an ectopic pregnancy. The doctor had also suggested an immediate operation. The patient underwent surgery and later she was shifted to a general bed as she was out of danger. The patient needed blood transfusion later. As she was transfused with the wrong blood type, the side effects and reaction had started in the patient. The commission started a probe after the patient’s husband Abhijit Saha lodged a complaint. During its investigation, it found gross negligence on part of the hospital. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIn another incident, the WBCERC asked the B M Birla Heart Research Centre to pay a compensation of Rs 40,000 to Mahendra Kumar Gond and Rs 10,000 to the commission within the next 15 days, after the WBCERC found that patient had been charged in excess from the package. The patient, aged around 60, was admitted to the hospital on January 6, 2018, after he felt chest pain. In the third incident, Suraksha Diagnostic Pvt. Ltd has been asked by the WBCERC to pay Rs 10,000 to Srilekha Raha, wife of complainant Atanu Raha, as there were irregularities in her blood tests.last_img read more

NRI Bengalis to focus on Tagore songs in prepuja albums

first_imgThe pre-puja season is a time which sees a number of music albums hit the stands every year. This year saw a number of non-resident Bengalis launch their albums, like Soumya Dasgupta’s Bengali album ‘Khusi Noi Awlpey.’ Soumya is the son of legendary Bengali composer, Sudhin Das Gupta.’Khusi Noi Awlpey’ features eight Bengali non-film songs rendered by Raghab Chattopadhyay, Nirmalya Roy, Swagato Dey while lyrics have been penned by Rajib Chakraborty and Soumya Dasgupta. Songs like ‘Khusi Noi Awlpey’ (Raghab Chattopadhyay), Beparoya Hawa (Nirmalya Roy), Jekhane Jemon (Swagato Dey), Roshnai (Raghab Chattopadhyay) are worth a mention. All the songs have been composed by Soumya Dasgupta. The album was released at Kolkata Press Club on UD Series. Paroma, Upal, Raghab Chattopadhyay, Soumya Dasgupta, Nirmalya Roy, Rajib Chakraborty were present at the launch ceremony. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSoumya started studying music through the instrument of his choice, the guitar, first with his uncle, Parimal Das Gupta and later on with legendary Indian jazz guitarist, Carlton Kitto. The early years were spent in the company of legendary Indian singers including Manna Dey, Arati Mukherjee, Banasree Sen Gupta and instrumental maestros who were regulars in the recording industry. His first recording stint was with his father, in 1979, at the Technicians’ Studio, Kolkata. His first band was a folk rock band, called “Further Away” after he left India in 1990 to work in Oman. There he started a rock band called “Feedback” in 1991which featured Mangalorean and Sri Lankan musicians. He gave up active gigging, concentrating on larger shows in Oman and composing music in his home studio. Between 2003 and 2012, Soumya composed and produced music for a number of plays for the Indian and Bangladeshi diaspora in Oman. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIn 2013, he produced a fusion album with his long time musician friend, tabla player Subrata Bhattacharya. They formed a fusion band, called Crossover, which featured a lot of well known Indian artists. In 2015, Soumya composed, arranged and produced a western instrumental album called “Roots”. In 2016, he produced a Bengali language album, called “Khushi Noi Awlpey” featuring singers Raghab Chatterjee, Nirmalya Roy and Swagato Dey, with sound design by Sayan Ganguly. Soumya has teamed up with prominent Greek – Omani singer, Thanae and started producing songs with an album planned in the near future. The album RANG by Anindya-Shelley was released by eminent Rabindra Sangeet artist Prabuddha Raha at on INRECO, recently. Anindya-Shelley has chosen six of Rabindranath Tagore’s songs which interpret the relationship of love with that of nature, and its varying inspirations in different seasons. It was a cherished dream of the duo to reach out to other-than-Bengali-speaking audiences, with the gems of Tagore’s creations. Shouvik Mazumdar, a composer of contemporary times has translated Gurudev’s songs, with a touch of his simple yet chaste Hindi. Professor Debal Dasgupta from the MS University of Baroda, Gujarat, has enriched the verses with a touch of finesse.Music has been arranged by Rana Sarkar. Songs like ‘Aaj Sawan ghanaghata chaiye re’ (Aji jhoro jhoro mukhoro badoro diney), ‘Sakhi pyar mein na janu’ (Sokhi bhabona kahare boley), ‘O mere chand suhana’ (O amar chander alo), ‘Kab se main ye socha tha’ (Kotobaro bhebechhinu), ‘Udashini jaisey kesuyo ki lat se’ (Udashini beshe bideshini ke se), ‘Pagli hawako aaj de diyahaiman’ (Phagun haway haway) are worth a mention.Anindya and Shelley’s musical journey gained momentum way back in 2011 at Baroda, Gujarat. Anindya has been widely acclaimed for his albums, one of Rabindrasangeet and two others of Hemanta Mukhopadhyay. Shelley’s debut album of Rabindrasangeet has also been appreciated by listeners from all quarters. Moreover, Ratnendra, an artiste from Mumbai with a Bong connection released his debut non-film Bengali album ‘Jani Tumi Asbe’ on INRECO featuring five songs penned by Rajib Chakraborty, music composed by Arbind Dogra recently in city. Ratnendra is a trained singer and one of very promising disciples of legendary artist, Suresh Wadekar.Music is his passion though he does a job in Mumbai. Songs are modern with a high range of variety. The album was released by Surojit Chatterjee, eminent singer, Ashok Bhadra, music composer, Debasish Kumar (MIC) at the Press Club, Kolkata.last_img read more

Dont punish but nourish yourself

first_imgDiwali brings with it immense joy but this happiness turns into guilt after having festive sweets and savouries. In this air of festive vibes, everyone gets involved in bingeing and later all this bingeing turns into weight, calories, and sugar worries –but enjoy the festival with no regrets this season. Sweets: No matter what you are eating, eat small bites, relish the taste, it will last longer and control your urge to take another piece. Try eating homemade laddoos made from jaggery and dry fruits as they control your calorie intake. Also, note that high sugar intake can put extra burden on your liver.Portion control is the key: Small portions fit in small plates. It is important to keep a check on the quantity of food you consume and your daily calorie intake. Along with this, try to avoid a second helping. Increase your water intake: Stay hydrated with low caloric smoothies, juices, coconut water. Keep water infused with lime, mint, berries, cucumber and any other citrus fruit of your choice and sip throughout the day.Walk when you shop: Walk off the shopping and trips to the parties. You burn off 200 calories in just 30 minutes. If it is difficult to hit the gym, no worries! Take the stairs, do a couple of stretching exercises at your desk, skipping, the list is endless!Restrict the amount of sugar and salt intake: High salt intake may cause swelling, puffiness and water retention in body and in lower extremities.Choose your booze: Enjoy your pre-Diwali parties but don’t forget to choose your booze. Go for spritzers or wine above colorific cocktails or hefty beers. Not just for yourself but for everyone else: This Diwali gift healthy with a box of almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, Sesame seeds, Pecans, pine nuts, that group zumba dance pass or a trek.last_img read more

Music video launch boosts TMCs social media campaign

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress on Thursday gave a big push to its social media campaign before the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, with its new music video titled Ma Mati Manush. The video was launched by party supremo Mamata Banerjee on her Facebook page.”I am very happy to share the new music video Maa, Mati, Manush for the forthcoming #LokSabhaElections2019,” Banerjee wrote in the Facebook post, sharing the 2 minute 38 second video on all her social networking pages. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe video presents the picture of a peaceful and harmonious Bengal and at the same time, takes a dig at the Narendra Modi government by claiming that it has not been able to fulfill its promises. The title of the video Ma Mati Manush (literally translating to Mother, Motherland and People), is a Bengali political slogan coined by Banerjee herself. It depicts the development that Bengal has witnessed under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. More than 8.5 lakh people are getting rice at the rate of Rs 2 kg under the Swastha Sathi scheme. The several people-friendly schemes of the state government like Kanyashree, Rupashree, and Sabuj Sathi have also been highlighted through the video. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateIt also lambasts BJP for creating an atmosphere of anarchy and riot in the country, through their efforts of trying to create division among people on religious grounds. It further reiterates that Bengal is a place where people of all caste, creed and religions live amicably. The video is a visual treat with beautiful imageries of rural Bengal, a man rowing a boat with a smile on his face, a group of Bengali women praying by the riverside, schoolgirls riding on bicycles and dancers performing wearing Chhau masks. A cheerful tune plays in the background. The song sung by Rupam Islam and Somlata Acharya has already gone viral on social media, through several shares with comments and likes pouring in abundance. It may be mentioned that TMC has already launched a web series called Pradhan Mantri Hisab Dao on social media recently, which compares various welfare schemes of the Narendra Modi government with those launched by Trinamool Congress in the state. It points out the failures of the Modi government in these schemes and demands an explanation from the Prime Minister regarding the same.last_img read more

Peaceful bypolls in Darjeeling Islampur

first_imgDarjeeling: Assembly by-polls were peacefully conducted in Darjeeling and Islampur in North Bengal on Sunday. “There were no incidents of violence. However, there were some complaints, which have been addressed. The voting till 5pm stood at 62 per cent,” said Koushik Sinha, SDO, Darjeeling.”An FIR was lodged at the Darjeeling Sadar Police Station but no one has been arrested,” said Amarnath K, Superintendent of Police, Darjeeling. A scuffle took place in Badamtam tea estate. There were allegations from the GJM (Binoy Tamang faction) that outsiders had entered booth number 112, Badamtam Higher Secondary School. After the scuffle ensued, additional security forces arrived. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIn Darjeeling, BJP candidate Niraj Zimba entered the Turnbull school polling station with his armed guard to cast his vote. The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) personnel asked his bodyguard to leave. On his way back after casting his vote Zimba and his supporters had a heated exchange of words with GJM (Binoy supporters) on Gandhi road. GJM supporters alleged that Zimba and his men manhandled GJM workers. Zimba however denied the allegation. Binoy Tamang, the GJM president and an Independent candidate backed by the TMC and GJM (Binoy faction) while talking to mediapersons appealed to maintain peace in the Hills. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThere are 321 polling stations in the Darjeeling Assembly constituency. Altogether 45 polling stations have been declared as critical. There are 2,34,758 voters, including 1,15,665 males and 119093 females. There are 3,950 service voters. Along with state forces, 16 companies of CAPF were deployed in Darjeeling for the polls. Except for a stray incident at Madaripur, Islampur the by-polls passed of peacefully. One person was arrested in Islampur. Polling stood at 71 per cent. The number of voters in Islampur Assembly constituency is 2,03,891. The number of male voters stood at 1,07,255 and female voters 96,634. There are 219 polling stations in Islampur. With Congress MLA Kanailal Agarwal resigning from the Assembly and contesting the Lok Sabha elections as a TMC candidate, the seat had fallen vacant.last_img read more

Madhyamik rerun Becoming doctors top choice among HS toppers as well

first_imgKolkata: Shovan Mandal from Birbhum Zilla School, who has jointly ranked first along with Rajarshi Barman of Jenkins School in Cooch Behar, has expressed his desire to become a cardiologist to serve poor people in the villages. Rajarshi on the other hand wants to study Physics. Both of them have scored 498 marks out of 500.Shovan, who had stood eighth in the Madhyamik Examination in 2017, was a little surprised when his name was announced. “It was surprising for me as I didn’t expect that I could rank first. It is, however, a great feeling for me. Human physiology is my favourite subject and I want to become a doctor. I have appeared for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) this year. I have seen that a large number of patients in the villages suffer from heart related ailments. All the patients cannot bear the cost of treatment. I want to treat the patients in the villages at a lesser cost.” Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataShovan also spoke on one of the keys to his success, saying: “I always used to read the text books thoroughly. I also used to practice question-answer series that has paid dividends in the examination. I like to watch cricket and read story books in my leisure time.” Rajarshi, who appeared for the exam from Jenkins School, wants to pursue studies in Physics. He also stressed on the reading of text books minutely to succeed in the exam. His father Bishnupada Barman is a teacher by profession. “I thought that I would get around 475 marks. The number has jumped to 498 in the final examination. I used to read whenever I had time on hands. I always followed text books. I was taken aback when I saw my name flashing on the TV screen,” he said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateSanjukta Bose of Bidhannagar Govt High School, who is among the six students securing second position, used to study 17-18 hours per day before the exam. She aspires to be a teacher. One of her relatives said that she wants to study Economics. A resident of Baguiati, Sanjukta has succeeded in the examination despite financial constraints affecting her family. She has received 98 in Economics, 100 in English and 93 in Bengali. All the second rankers have obtained 496 marks. The other students who have jointly ranked second are Tanmay Maikap of Bajkul Balai Chandra Vidyapith of East Midnapore, Swarnadip Saha of Dinhata High School in Cooch Behar, Hritam Nath of Krishnagar Collegiate School, Md Mausam Akhtar of Sundarban Adarsha Vidyamandir and Anatap Mitra of Jenkins School. Tanmay Maikap said that he wants to be a doctor. Mathematics has been his favourite subject. He has scored 100 marks in Mathematics and Chemistry, whereas in English and Physics he has got 99 and 98 respectively. Shreyashi Sarkar of Taki House (Govt Sponsored) Multipurpose Girls High School has jointly ranked fourth and she aspires to be an engineer. She has obtained 492 marks, while Rakesh Dey from Sainthia Town High School, another co-ranker said he wants to study History and become a professor. Satyam Kar from Jadavpur Vidyapith, who has ranked fifth along with 13 others securing 491 marks, said that an extensive reading of text books was his key to success. He wants to be a doctor as well. He had ranked sixth in the Madhyamik Examination in 2017. “I used to study whenever I felt like it. Bio-science is one of my favourite subjects. HS examinees should read the text books thoroughly to get good marks. I want to serve people in the villages after becoming a doctor,” Satyam said.last_img read more