ProteinNanoparticle Material Mimics Human Brain Tissue

first_imgA composite material consisting of a horse protein and metallic nanoparticles displays magnetic properties very similar to those of human brain tissue, scientists have found. The work, published in the June 20 online edition of Physical Review B, may help lead to a more thorough understanding of the magnetic behavior of brain tissue and other complex natural materials. Studying the magnetism of many natural substances, such as rocks, soils, and biological materials, can be difficult because they tend to be a mix of several magnetic components. This means that valuable structural and functional information, which can be obtained from a material’s magnetic properties, is often left undiscovered.“It can be very difficult to separate the different components to study them individually,” said the study’s lead scientist, geophysicist Ann Hirt, to PhysOrg.com. Hirt is a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics in Zurich, Switzerland. “Often, the use of several analysis methods is necessary and, even then, definite conclusions are seldom. Finding and investigating model materials may help remedy this problem.”As a first step, Hirt and her team identified the different components in the brain that produce magnetic signals. They used various magnetic methods, which are normally used to identify magnetic minerals in rocks. They found that the brain tissue, in which the other components are embedded, contributes the strongest magnetic signal, followed by iron in the blood of the brain. Next is ferritin, an iron-carrying protein found in nanoparticle form. Recently, a fourth component was discovered, but its identity has eluded scientists. It is either the iron-oxygen compound magnetite or a very similar compound, maghemite — or perhaps even a blend of the two. Magnetite and maghemite have such similar magnetic properties that distinguishing between them is very difficult.“Although the signal from the tissue itself was very strong, we could easily subtract it from the total magnetization,” said Franziska Brem, another Institute of Geophysics scientist geophysicist on the team. “The remaining signal appeared to be a combination of the signals from ferritin and magnetite.”To confirm this, the group measured the magnetic properties of a model system for which they knew the exact content and that they could study with certainty: a mixture of horse-spleen ferritin and protein-coated magnetite nanoparticles. The results show a striking similarity to the measurements for actual brain tissue.“Based on these measurements, we can assume that the ferritin and magnetite/maghemite behavior in brain tissue is very close to that of our model material,” Brem said.By Laura Mgrdichian, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.com Researchers use magnetically actuated microrobots to deliver stem cells to tissue targets Explore furthercenter_img Citation: Protein-Nanoparticle Material Mimics Human Brain Tissue (2006, July 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-07-protein-nanoparticle-material-mimics-human-brain.html 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

Robotic arm able to capture force for accurate calligraphy reproduction w Video

first_img © 2012 Phys.org Robot artist learns masters’ brush strokes More information: 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. via Diginfo.tv Explore furthercenter_img Citation: Robotic arm able to capture force for accurate calligraphy reproduction (w/ Video) (2012, October 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-robotic-arm-capture-accurate-calligraphy.html (Phys.org)—Researchers at Keio University in Japan have built a robot arm that is capable of capturing the nuances involved in the writing form known as calligraphy. The Motion Copy System uses motion capture in a new way to faithfully recreate the strokes of master calligraphers. Calligraphy is done by dipping a paint brush in ink and then using it to paint characters on a piece of paper. Creating traditional kanji characters requires more than back and forth swiping however, it also involves up and down movements of the brush to create different effects, based on the force of the hand. The new robot arm captures these force strokes by use of a new kind of capture mechanism, a brush with independent brush handle segments.One segment is attached to the robot arm, it holds the brush head and performs the inking. The other segment is used by a human calligrapher and is held above the brush head. As characters are painted, seemingly in the air, the brush segment held by the robot mimics the action and relays information about what it is doing to its processing unit which converts it into data that can be used later to recreate the calligrapher’s movements. The end result is a robot arm that can faithfully reproduce the calligraphy style of individual artists.The researchers say their device can be used to store the different stylings of professional calligraphers to help preserve an art form that is slowly dying out due to lack of interest by young people in the country today.The Motion Copy System was demoed at the recent Ceatec 2012 tech show in Tokyo. Up till now, motion capture machines for teaching robots to write have been based on two dimensional systems. A person holds a pen or stylus and writes words on a base tablet. The method for recreating the characters is recorded by noting the order in which the characters are drawn or by attaching another stylus to the first and then mimicking its actions. The Motion Copy System is based on the second approach, but takes it into a third dimension.last_img read more

Scholars suggest China may have reached peak consumption of coal in 2013

first_img Journal information: Nature Geoscience Explore further China’s economy, primary energy and coal consumption (setting 1980 values as 100), and their respective growth rates. Credit: (c) Ye Qi et al. China’s post-coal growth, Nature Geoscience (2016). DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2777 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. The amount of coal burned in China has been of significant interest to people both inside and outside of that country because of the resulting pollution. In addition to hazing cities near manufacturing plants, burning coal pumps greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, causing global warming. China’s consumption of coal has dramatically increased over the past decade and a half, growing from 1.36 billion tons consumed in 2000 to 4.24 tons consumed in 2013 as the country has made huge strides in internal development. But the latest Chinese government statistics regarding coal use show that production fell 9.7 percent over the first six months of this year, and 5.8 percent last year—while burning of coal fell 3.7 percent. And now, the authors of this new paper propose that three main factors suggest the recent decline is actually the beginning of a permanent drop: a slowdown in economic growth, a slowdown in coal-intensive industries and government environmental policies.China’s impressive economic growth has been underpinned by use of coal, making up to three-quarters of all energy used at times, but that percentage has been dropping for some time, as petrochemicals and alternative energy sources have become much more widespread. In 2015, just 64.4 percent of energy use came from coal and that share is likely to continue to fall, even as economic activity has continued to grow. The economic slowdown, the authors note, has had a big impact on coal use—as manufacturing slowed, less energy was used. But they also point out that slowdowns are quite common for developing countries—other countries experienced huge economic expansions during formative years, but eventually saw slowdowns that eventually became the norm. They believe this is the case with China today. But just as important are government policies such as setting goals for pollution reduction in some areas, reduced coal use in others and promoting a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Citation: Scholars suggest China may have reached peak consumption of coal in 2013 (2016, July 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-07-scholars-china-peak-consumption-coal.htmlcenter_img © 2016 Phys.org More information: Ye Qi et al. China’s post-coal growth, Nature Geoscience (2016). DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2777 (Phys.org)—A small team of scholars has published a Commentary piece in the journal Nature Geoscience suggesting that China has reached peak coal consumption far earlier than most in the field had suggested. In their paper, Ye Qi, Tong Wu, Ye Qi and Jiaqi Lu, with Tsinghua University in China and Nicholas Stern and Fergus Green with the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in the U.K., note that the world’s largest consumer of coal has seen a decrease in the amount of coal that was burned in that country over the past two years and suggest that the decrease is likely permanent. China coal consumption drops again: govtlast_img read more

Multiple copies of the Standard Model could solve the hierarchy problem

first_img Citation: Multiple copies of the Standard Model could solve the hierarchy problem (2017, January 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-01-multiple-standard-hierarchy-problem.html 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. Dark matter may be hiding in a hidden sector Journal information: Physical Review Letters So the hierarchy problem is often stated as a problem with the Higgs field: specifically, why is the Higgs vacuum expectation value so much smaller than the largest energy scales in the universe, in particular the scale at which gravity (by far the weakest of the forces) becomes strong? Reconciling this apparent discrepancy would impact physicists’ understanding of particle physics at the most fundamental level.”The hierarchy problem is one of the deepest questions in particle physics, and almost every one of its known solutions corresponds to a different vision of the universe,” Raffaele Tito D’Agnolo, a physicist at Princeton, told Phys.org. “Identifying the correct answer will not just solve a conceptual puzzle, but will change the way we think about particle physics.”In a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, D’Agnolo and his coauthors have proposed a solution to the hierarchy problem that involves multiple (up to 1016) copies of the Standard Model, each with a different Higgs vacuum expectation value. In this model, the universe consists of many sectors, each of which is governed by its own version of the Standard Model with its own Higgs vacuum expectation value. Our sector is the one with the smallest nonzero value.If, in the very early universe, all sectors had comparable temperatures and seemingly equal chances of dominating, why did our sector, with the smallest nonzero Higgs vacuum expectation value, come to dominate? The physicists introduce a new mechanism called a “reheaton field” that explains this by reheating the universe as it decays. The physicists show that there are several ways in which the reheaton field could have preferentially decayed into and deposited the majority of its energy into the sector with the smallest Higgs vacuum expectation value, causing this sector to eventually dominate and become our observable universe.Compared to other proposed solutions to the hierarchy problem, such as supersymmetry and extra dimensions, the new proposal—which the physicists call “N-naturalness”—is different in that the solution does not rely solely on new particles. Although the new proposal shares some features with both supersymmetry and extra dimensions, one of its unique characteristics is that it is not only new particles, but more importantly cosmological dynamics, that is central to the solution. “N-naturalness is qualitatively different from the solutions to the hierarchy problem proposed in the past, and it predicts signals in cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiments and large-scale structure surveys, two probes of nature that were thought to be unrelated to the problem,” D’Agnolo said.As the physicists explain, it should be possible to detect signatures of N-naturalness by searching for signs of the existence of other sectors. For instance, future CMB experiments might detect extra radiation and changes in neutrino cosmology, since neutrinos in nearby sectors are expected to be slightly heavier and less abundant than those in our sector. This approach is interesting for another reason: the neutrinos in the other sectors are also a viable dark matter candidate, which the researchers plan to study in more detail. Future experiments might also find signatures of N-naturalness in the form of a larger-than-expected mass of axion particles, as well as supersymmetric signatures due to possible connections to supersymmetry.”If new relativistic species are not detected by the next generation of CMB experiments (Stage 4), then I will stop thinking of N-naturalness as a possible solution to the hierarchy problem,” D’Agnolo said. “According to the current timeline, these experiments should start taking data around 2020 and reach their physics goals in approximately five years.” (Phys.org)—One of the unanswered questions in particle physics is the hierarchy problem, which has implications for understanding why some of the fundamental forces are so much stronger than others. The strengths of the forces are determined by the masses of their corresponding force-carrying particles (bosons), and these masses in turn are determined by the Higgs field, as measured by the Higgs vacuum expectation value.center_img Explore further More information: Nima Arkani-Hamed et al. “Solving the Hierarchy Problem at Reheating with a Large Number of Degrees of Freedom.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.251801. Also at arXiv:1607.06821 [hep-ph] © 2017 Phys.org In the proposed model, the universe contains multiple sectors, each of which is governed by its own version of the Standard Model with its own Higgs vacuum expectation value. The sector with the smallest non-zero vacuum expectation value contains our copy of the Standard Model. Credit: Arkani-Hamed et al. ©2016 American Physical Societylast_img read more

Why roosters dont go deaf from their own loud crowing

first_img Citation: Why roosters don’t go deaf from their own loud crowing (2018, January 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-roosters-dont-deaf-loud-crowing.html 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. Anyone who has ever lived on a farm has heard the familiar sound of the crowing rooster (male chicken). Few likely realize, however, just how loud that crowing can be. In this new effort, the researchers sought to measure how loud the crowing is, and how the rooster avoids deafness from hearing itself every morning.The team placed a tiny microphone near the ears of sample roosters to measure how loud the crowing would sound to them. They found it was louder than thought—averaging over 100 decibels, which is roughly the same as running a chainsaw. People who regularly use chainsaws without ear protection, it should be noted, go deaf over time due to damage to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear. Chickens of both genders also have such hairs in their ears, and the team wondered why they weren’t damaged. To find out, they performed micro-computerized tomography scans on the skulls of the birds. They discovered that half of the birds’ eardrum was covered by a bit of soft tissue that dampened incoming noise. They also found that when the rooster tilted its head back to crow, another bit of material covered the ear canal completely, serving as a built-in ear-plug. Thus, for the rooster, it is as if someone were sticking their fingers in their ears while they are crowing. The researchers noted the birds also have another advantage—unlike humans, birds can regrow damaged hair cells. As for why the hens and chicks do not suffer hearing damage from the male crowing, though not mentioned in the research, it is well known that roosters tend to seek a vantage point offering maximum reach when they crow (away from the hens and chicks), making sure everyone within earshot knows that the hens that live there are his. Explore further More information: Raf Claes et al. Do high sound pressure levels of crowing in roosters necessitate passive mechanisms for protection against self-vocalization?, Zoology (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.zool.2017.12.002AbstractHigh sound pressure levels (>120 dB) cause damage or death of the hair cells of the inner ear, hence causing hearing loss. Vocalization differences are present between hens and roosters. Crowing in roosters is reported to produce sound pressure levels of 100 dB measured at a distance of 1 m. In this study we measured the sound pressure levels that exist at the entrance of the outer ear canal. We hypothesize that roosters may benefit from a passive protective mechanism while hens do not require such a mechanism. Audio recordings at the level of the entrance of the outer ear canal of crowing roosters, made in this study, indeed show that a protective mechanism is needed as sound pressure levels can reach amplitudes of 142.3 dB. Audio recordings made at varying distances from the crowing rooster show that at a distance of 0.5 m sound pressure levels already drop to 102 dB. Micro-CT scans of a rooster and chicken head show that in roosters the auditory canal closes when the beak is opened. In hens the diameter of the auditory canal only narrows but does not close completely. A morphological difference between the sexes in shape of a bursa-like slit which occurs in the outer ear canal causes the outer ear canal to close in roosters but not in hens. © 2018 Phys.org A team of researchers with the University of Antwerp and the University of Ghent, both in Belgium, has uncovered the means by which roosters prevent themselves from going deaf due to their own loud crowing. In their paper published in the journal Zoology, the group outlines their study of the birds and what they found. Credit: CC0 Public Domain Top cock: Roosters crow in pecking orderlast_img read more

Flatworms found to win most battles with harvestmen

first_img(a) The harvestman Mischonyx cuspidatus alive, in frontal view. The chelicerae cannot be seen because they are hidden behind the pedipalps (dotted circle). Inset: Another individual in ventral view, showing the pedipalps and chelicerae (dotted circle); (b) M. cuspidatus in frontal view after being killed and its body contents consumed by the flatworm Cephaloflexa bergi. Pedipalps and chelicerae have been detached by the flatworm and therefore are missing (dotted circle) and the internal contents of the prey have been ingested by the flatworm. Inset: The same individual in ventral view, showing the absence of pedipalps and chelicerae (dotted circle). Arrows in both figures show the spines of the ocularium. Credit: Journal of Zoology (2018). DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12570 Explore further Visual processing capabilities of flatworm found to be more complex than thought A trio of researchers with Universidade de São Paulo has documented evidence of flatworms and harvestmen engaging in battle in the forests of Brazil. In their paper published in the Journal of Zoology, M. S. Silva. R. H. Willemart and F. Carbayo describe what they observed in the wild and what they saw when they brought samples of the combatants into their lab. Journal information: Journal of Zoology © 2018 Phys.orgcenter_img Citation: Flatworms found to win most battles with harvestmen (2018, June 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-flatworms-harvestmen.html More information: M. S. Silva et al. Sticky flatworms (Platyhelminthes) kill armored harvestmen (Arachnida, Opiliones) but are not immune to the prey′s weapons, Journal of Zoology (2018). DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12570AbstractAsking how prey respond to different species of predators helps understanding the repertoire of defenses prey exhibit. This approach may also add to the knowledge on the efficiency of prey′s defenses against each predator and allows studying the costs of being attacked by different predators. Here, we studied interactions between the predatory terrestrial flatworm Cephaloflexa bergi and the harvestman Mischonyx cuspidatus. The flatworm quickly strikes at the prey′s leg with its head, then crawls towards the prey′s body releasing mucus and thus subdues the harvestman. Harvestmen may release defensive chemicals and pinch the flatworm with spines on legs IV, sometimes cutting the predator in two pieces. We also experimentally assessed the benefits of harvestmen′ defense and the cost of being attacked by testing whether the chemical defense of the harvestmen is efficient against the flatworm and whether the harvestmen that had survived a flatworm attack would have their locomotion abilities hampered. Both hypotheses were corroborated. Previous studies on interactions between harvestmen and other predators, such as spiders and scorpions, had shown that defensive secretions and mechanical retaliation were seldom used and were often ineffective. Our results point to the exact opposite and suggest that different predators exert different selective pressures culminating in the array of defenses exhibited by the prey. There are a many types of flatworms, including planarians, parasitic flukes and tapeworms. In this research effort, the researchers were looking at Cephaloflexa bergi, a small flatworm that emits mucus as a means of catching prey. There are a lot of types of daddy long-leg spiders, too, one of which is the harvestman. Although not technically a spider, it has the long legs that most people identify with a group of spindly arachnids. Though not typically considered dangerous, it does have sharp spines on its legs. In their study, the researchers sought to uncover more about the interactions that occur between the two bugs in the forests of Brazil.The researchers went into the forest and watched them interact, which generally meant fight. They discovered that the flatworms usually won such battles, which the team found somewhat surprising. To get a better handle on what occurred, the team collected several specimens of each and brought them into the lab for study.The researchers report that the flatworms were the aggressors. A flatworm would approach a harvestman and whip the tip of its body at a leg, causing it to adhere via the mucus on its body. As the harvestman attempted to extricate itself, the flatworm would grab another leg. Sometimes, the flatworm would even hogtie the arachnid, gluing its legs together, or to the ground. In each case, the goal was clearly the same—disable the harvestman to the point that the flatworm could eat it. But the battle was not all one-sided, the researchers found. Some of the harvestmen managed to use their sharp spines to injure the flatworms. In some instances, they even managed to cut their attacker in half, allowing them to flee. The harvestmen also emitted chemicals normally used to ward off other predators, but they did not seem to have much of an impact on the flatworms. 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

Naturally heatresilient corals transplanted to nurseries survive El Nino bleaching event

first_imgA pair of researchers with Stanford University has found that some naturally heat-resistant corals were able to survive relocation, even after an El Nino warming event. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Megan Morikawa and Stephen Palumbi describe their study of ways to prevent the coral loss and what they found. As the planet continues to heat up due to continued emission of greenhouse gases, the oceans continue to warm, as well. One of the known impacts of a warming ocean is coral bleaching, which leads to coral death. Coral bleaching occurs when water temperatures rise because it incites the coral to eject algae. Algae live in coral bony structures and actually feed the coral, which results in the development of bright colors. Without the algae, the color erodes as the coral starves to death. Prior research has shown that such bleaching is responsible for the death of 80 percent of the reefs in the Caribbean and approximately half of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. In this new effort, the researchers looked at a possible way to save coral from disappearing entirely from the world’s oceans—transplanting naturally heat-resistant coral to other locations.Prior research has shown that some coral can withstand warmer temperatures. But it is unclear whether individual specimens within a species or group are resistant, or entire species. Also unknown is whether the species of algae play a role in the resistance, or if other environmental factors play a role. To learn more, Morikawa and Palumbi collected samples of known heat-tolerant coral back in 2014 and transplanted them to sites around the Samoan Islands where the coral reefs had been destroyed by hurricanes. As if on cue, an El Nino event warmed those same waters just eight months later. The researchers report that the transplanted coral survived the event. Checking the status, growth and beaching of nursery corals in American Samoa. After 8 months of growth, these nursery panels were hit by a major bleaching event. Colonies in the nursery bleached less if they came from warm water parts of the reef where corals have adapted to higher temperatures. Credit: Alice Lawrence (photographer). More information: Megan Morikawa, Stephen Palumbi. Using naturally occurring climate resilient corals to construct bleaching-resistant nurseries, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1721415116 The results suggest that transplanting heat-resistant coral could be a way to revive reefs that have already died. The researchers also acknowledge that more work is required to determine which factors might lead to the best approach to revive depleted coral reefs. Citation: Naturally heat-resilient corals transplanted to nurseries survive El Nino bleaching event (2019, May 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-naturally-heat-resilient-corals-transplanted-nurseries.html A coral nursery panel after the 2015 bleaching event. Nursery colonies from warm adapted parents are outlined in red. Colonies from heat sensitive parents are outlined in blue. After 8 months of growing alongside each other, nursery colonies grown from heat resistant parents show 2-3 times less bleaching than colonies grown from heat sensitive parents. Four species are growing here: Porites cylindrica, Pocillopora damicornis, Acropora hyacinthus and Acropora gemmifer (from upper left, clockwise). Credit: Megan K. Morikawa.center_img Mutually-assured destruction in heated coral-algae war Explore further Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 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.last_img read more

144 years of verses memories

first_imgA refrain in his poetical themes pointed to the idea of life being a continuous painful struggle, that ends with life itself. It is succinctly captured in one of his couplets that compares life to a prison that is like a bondage of grief. A grief that can only get away when death befalls on life. Kaide hayaat, bande gam asl mei dono ek hain,maut se pehle aadmi gam se nijaat paye kyon?The poet is synonymous to both Urdu and Persian poetry in India and he is the one who is renowned even amongst circles that have nothing to do with poetry- Mirza Ghalib. He lived his last moments in Delhi, the city that is brimming up with activities to commemorate the work of the great artist on his 144th death anniversary. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The day shall mark the release of the documentary Yaad Gaar-e-Ghalib, paying a tribute to the renowned poet whose couplets and poetry still receive reverberating appreciation in poetic gatherings.  It will be screened at the two day ceremony to celebrate the artist and his works.The two day festival will bring together a motley of activities. The highlights are Uma Sharma’s Kathak performance Ek Shama Rehe Gayi Hai So Who Bhi Khamosh Hai, ghazals by the maestro, Ustad Moin Khan coming from Mumbai and the excerpts by Pawan Kumar from his book Ghalib: The man The times. The evenings shall draw to a close with Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixMushaira baithaks (poetical gatherings) with eminent poets in mughal style. The poets are coming from all across the country to participate in this event. To entice you, there’s a long list of poets gracing these evenings with their presence and the list includes Uday Pratap Singh, Nawaz Deobandi, Rahat Indori,Salim Sidiqui, among others. The streets of Ballimaran, right in the midst of the ever busy Chandni Chowk speak of the life and times of the late poet. Ghalib memorial, carrying an air of poetry is a permanent exhibition that runs on the site where the famous poet breathed his last. Had Ghalib written in English, he would have been the greatest poet of all times, amongst all languages, said Ralph Russell, a British scholar of Urdu literature. We can’t agree more!last_img read more

We the intruders

first_imgThere was a big machine that was flying. Its blades were roaring out loud. It felt like it was hunting for us. It did not look very good. We were scared. So many people came out. They had hats, guns, torches, and devastation in their eyes. They were moving towards us. We ran… for our lives…The story of the once inhabitants of the forest was recited in The Mystical Forest. It is a contemporary dance production presented by Sadhya. The show, through the vocabulary of Mayurbhanj Chhau narrated the story of the soul within the forest as its inhabitant. It also had strong tribal influences and grounded movements with contemporary interpretation. Through the act, the artists portrayed the various experiences, emotions, rituals and celebrations of the jungle dwellers.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The viewers of the production were taken on a journey of the divinity that the people living in forests may experience, their daily activities, to the playfulness, the hunting, the rituals and traditions that they believe in and to the relationship that they would be having. It basically defined their day from dawn to dusk. What was attractive about the whole act was how it showcased, in a very subtle way, their sensitivity to the outside world, which they are not familiar with and are very apprehensive about. The production without being outright left an impact on the viewers and forced them to think as to why the inhabitants of the forest can’t live just as they always have been living. It also asks questions that  is pertinent from a very long time: the question of the intrusion of technology in the natural world. The aerial act by Carolina Prada and Gaura Prema, our guests from abroad, need a special mention for the precision with which the act was performed. All in all, the act was quite well put up.last_img read more

Students of Jhargrams Eklavya Model School pass HS with flying colours

first_imgKolkata: Twenty one out of 22 tribal students of Eklavya Model Residential School of Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira in Jhargram have passed Higher Secondary examinations this year with first division marks.Out of 21 first division students, eight have also got star marks.It may be mentioned that this comes at the time when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken necessary steps along with Ramakrishna Mission to ensure proper education to the children of tribal communities. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsFollowing the request of Chief Minister to the then general secretary of Ramakrishna Mission Swami Suhitanandaji to take steps for education of tribal girls and boys, Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira (Ekalavya Model Residential School) was setup in Jhargram and this year total 22 students have appeared for the Higher Secondary examinations.Out of the 22 students, nine were girls. Three boys from Mahali community while two from Lodha community had appeared for the examinations and one from the Mahali community has got start marks. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedSimilarly, two students from Lodha community have secured star marks and one even got letter marks in English. Bhudhar Mahali, who scored the highest marks among all the students from school, has bagged 85 marks in English, 84 in geography and 88 in Philosophy.The only student who passed with second division marks had appeared for the examination from hospital as he was ill.Moreover, all the nine girls from the school have got first division marks and three of them had got star marks. At the same time, the students from the science stream have also passed the examination with flying colours in first division.It may be recalled that in 2017, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had felicitated Uday Murmu, a student from the same school, as he had secured the highest marks in Santhali language in Higher Secondary examination.This year there were nine students including six girls had appeared for the examination with Santhali as their first language.last_img read more

All for a cause

first_imgFrance’s most iconic attraction, the Eiffel Tower turned pink as part of a push for breast cancer awareness, the media reported on Tuesday. October is breast cancer awareness month and Paris officials did their part to raise awareness by lighting the Eiffel Tower in pink. The illumination is part of the Ruban Rose (pink ribbon which is an international symbol of breast cancer awareness) event launched by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who witnessed the spectacle on Monday night. Organisers said lighting up the tower in pink was “more than a symbol – it’s a sign of victory over this illness”.  The light show in Paris marks France’s 22nd “Pink October” campaign, which will also see information stalls set up at Trocadero, not far from the tower, until Thursday. A series of events including beauty therapy and solidarity marches have also been scheduled.last_img read more

Kolkata Police arrests three from Ruby Crossing on charges of theft

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Police has arrested three teenagers from Ruby Crossing on charges of snatching gold jewellery worth Rs 9 lakh.Besides the gold jewellery, there was Rs 1.10 lakh in cash and a mobile phone in the bag that was snatched away.Police said a jewellery shop owner Rajesh Chandra Pal lodged a complaint with the Survey Park police station on July 31, alleging that his bag was snatched away when he was returning after having closed his shop at Santosh Avenue in South Kolkata. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHe told the police that two youths came on a motorbike from behind and snatched away the bag. The police have initiated a probe and went through footages of total 18 surveillance cameras in the area. Investigation revealed that there were three youths involved in the crime. A motorbike and a bicycle were used to carry out the same.A civic volunteer posted at the Panchasayar Police Station identified one of the three youths, who is from Mukundapur. The police were keeping a watch on him. They also found him contacting the other two over phone. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThey finally decided to meet at the Ruby Crossing.After meeting, they took a south-bound bus. The police following them. A plain-clothed policeman stopped the bus and arrested those three — Suman De, Bishnu Das and Ranjan Das.The police have recovered the entire gold jewellery. But they have used a major part of the cash to buy two motorbikes and two mobile phones. Around Rs 38,500 cash has been recovered. The motorbike and the bicycle used to commit the crime were also seized.Investigation revealed that they did a recce of the place before executing the plan to know the easy exit route.last_img read more

Barasat Municipality conducts massive antidengue drive

first_imgKolkata: Barasat Municipality has started a massive drive against dengue and other mosquitoes-borne diseases round the year as precautionary measures.The Health department of the municipality has undertaken various campaigns to combat dengue and other mosquitoes-borne diseases. It is also organising awareness campaigns at various wards under its jurisdiction urging people to ensure there is no empty cups, broken furniture and other used materials kept on the their rooftop or in nearby areas.A six-member team has already been formed by the Health department of the civic body to constantly monitor the drive.Members of the conservancy team have been visiting houses and examining if the water is accumulated in the flower vases, tray of refrigerators, pots or empty cups inside or around the households. The conservancy team has also been instructed to carry out drive in under construction buildings that often become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.The health workers have been asked to visit individual houses and housing complexes to examine the overhead tanks and underground reservoirs. The owners of individual houses and the housing complexes are being asked to take up the issue immediately, if the reservoirs are not covered properly.Champak Das, Chairman-in-Council (CIC) of the health department at Barasat Municipality said the anti-dengue drive was started from January and will continue throughout the year as a precautionary measure.”Our conservancy team has been carrying out a survey for eight days in a month at each ward where people are urged to be vigilant so that water does not get accumulated in pots. The health workers are also examining the terraces of various houses, empty cups, refrigerators’ trays during their visit to each household. We send the survey reports to the health department on a daily basis,” Das said.Anti-mosquitoe repellents have been sprayed through fogging machines. As many as 11 fogging machines have been procured by the municipality, Das said. He also mentioned that two health centers have been set up at Madhyabaluria and Badu, each having the facility of testing blood samples. Elisa tests are also being conducted at these health centers.No dengue cases have so far been reported from Barasat due to prolonged campaign by the civic authorities. Leaflets are being distributed among people mentioning the Do’s and Dont’s to combat the disease.last_img read more

Centre looting people every day says Derek as fuel prices soar

first_imgKolkata: Coming down heavily on the BJP government at the Centre, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’ Brien said on Monday that it is looting the public every day.He said that the people of the country are well aware of this and after 6-7 months they will oust BJP. “Every day the Centre is looting people by increasing the price of petrol and diesel and the people of this country are aware of it. After 6-7 months they will throw BJP out of power in the Lok Sabha polls.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHe said in the past four years, the Centre has increased the excise duty nine times. “It was 3.5% for diesel in 2014 and now it is 15.3 %. The excise duty was Rs 9.48 in 2014 and now it is Rs 19.48.”He alleged that the reduction of 2% central excise was just an eyewash, as a cess was imposed simultaneously. “The common public are at the receiving end. The prices of essential commodities will go up and this is happening when the price of fuel is going down in the international market. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHe said: “How long can the looting of common people go on? Every day they are being looted.”It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has always been vocal about the anti-people moves of the Centre, from note ban to the hike in the prices of fuel.Trinamool Congress leaders and workers had worn black badges on August 4 and 5 to protest against the hike in the prices of fuel. Rallies were held in every city upto the block level.It may be mentioned that within 15 minutes after the ban on high value notes was imposed in November 2016, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had criticised it and said it will be a disaster. “The growth of the country will be badly hit,” she had pointed out. She had called the move the “biggest scam”.After her all the well known economists, both from the country and abroad, had echoed her voice. She had also criticised the hasty implementation of GST by the Centre.last_img read more

Pinkathon Running for empowerment

first_imgMarathons sound intimidating. But Milind Soman, with his unique way of promoting awareness through running a marathon has been empowering women to run through his initiative ‘Pinkathon’.Addressing a press conference, Soman announced that ‘Pinkathon’, an initiative by the United Sisters Foundation will be held on September 4 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the national Capital. Pinkathon will be India’s biggest women’s run with over 10,000 women participating.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The initiative hopes to empower women across India and create awareness about breast cancer. “‘Pinkathon’ is more than a marathon. It is the beginning of a movement that is to be carried forward by a growing community of empowered women acorss India, who share a belief that a healthy family, and a healthy world begins with empowered women.” said Milind Soman. The panelists who were a part of the conference highlighted the necessity for a better awareness about women’s health. Most panelists spoke of how women are simply relegated to household chores and are constantly stressed out, with little or no time for exercise or even a health check up. “The WHO, World Health Statistics stated that only 1.16% of its GDP was spent on health in India. It is time for everyone to bring health to the forefront and ‘Pinkathon’ will help achieve that,” said Ranjana Kumari, Director, Centre for Social Research and President, Women Power connect.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe primary goal of the marathon is awareness. The campaign aims to encourage healthy lifestyles among women by encouraging them to run. ‘Pinkathon’ is also giving out free medical check ups with the help of their Medical Partner, Apollo, as well as free mammograms to participants above 45 years of age. ‘Pinkathon’ which endeavors to make sure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to achieving social justice, has decided to use the Tsunamika doll as a participatory model. The Tsunamika dolls were made by fisherwomen who lost their livelihoods after the Tsunami of 2004. Before the main event, the team is also organizing a Cancer Shero Trek, a shero is a cancer survivor. The initiative hopes to felicitate them for their inspiration. In addition to this, over 50 visually challeged woman are expected to participate. All proceeds from the event will be used for expenses incurred in organizing and marketing the event, and by the Women’s Cancer initiative in its fight against breast cancer. Interested participants can register at www.pinkathon.in.last_img read more

Tea workers union upset over nonpayment of arrears

first_imgDarjeeling: The Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union (DTDPLU), affiliated to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has threatened to stop the dispatch of tea from the factories. “In January 2018, the daily wages of tea garden workers had been increased by Rs. 17.50. However, in most of the gardens in the Hills, the increment took effect from March 2018. A year has passed and still the arrears has not been paid,” Karuna Gurung, president of DTDPLU. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe DTDPLU has written to the Darjeeling Tea Association regarding the issue. She further stated that if the arrears are not paid by March 6 then from March 7 the dispatch of tea from Darjeeling will be stopped. “Out of 87 gardens in the Hills, 70 per cent have not paid arrears yet till now,” Gurung said. There are many gardens that were not depositing provident fund and even giving the fringe benefits to the workers complained the DTDPLU president. “We have no other option than to stop dispatch of tea as all our appeals have fallen to deaf ears,”stated Gurung. The first and second flush are premium tea and the revenue earned from the sale of first and second flush tea sustains the garden throughout the year.last_img read more

Empowering women to rewrite social norms

first_imgMedha Mukherjee, a young entrepreneur started feministaa.com, with the aim to provide a platform to women and address their issues. She started the project four years back and hasn’t looked back since then. When asked how and why she became an entrepreneur, Medha said, “Entrepreneurial hunger is a desire to change something and create an impact. That craze for changing something will drag you to build anything that drives that change.””A friend and I opened a lemonade shop in our neighborhood when we were just 12. At that point, we were just filling up a need gap in the market. But concurrently the entrepreneur in me was born. Although I worked in a multinational for short time, I was longing to start something of my own,” she added. Why feministaa.com? She replied, “I saw women in my family and around not doing enough to realise their full potential. Their minds were stymied by the pressures of a patriarchal society. As a result, they were conditioned to look for different excuses. But when they saw women from their generation doing well, it started creating a positive impact on them.” Medha, who initially started it as a blog, decided to launch a full-fledged website after she was introduced to ‘word press’. She began to write about all kinds of women and their lives. “Soon I found that my audience wanted to read about women who were achievers, as it inspired them. So I started communicating with famous and successful women; it could be professionals, authors, actors, requesting them to mentor my readers,” mentioned the young entrepreneur. Talking about the challenges she faced during the journey, Medha replied with an example, “The impact of patriarchal superiority was so strong that when I went to Bangalore to pitch for my first investment, I was asked ‘who handles your team’. They couldn’t believe that I, a woman could manage a team.” She always felt the need for a media platform for women and hence decided to work on this project. Now, they will be holding their first event in March in Mumbai, in association with ‘coworks’– a platform which facilitates startups. Medha is happy that finally there is no stopping, funds have come and the website has started making small money too. A known name among young entrepreneur, Medha believes that as long as the purpose for what you are working for is sorted, it is easier to work for yourself than for someone else.last_img read more

Follow Vastu tips to get married soon

first_imgMarriage is considered to be one of the most important milestones in a person’s life. It is said that “Marriages are made in heaven,” A marriage is, without a doubt, a very unique bond that shares for a lifetime not only the bride and groom, but also their families. For parents, marrying their son or daughter at the marriageable age is one of the most important priorities in their lives. Marriage delay causes social pressure, depression, tension, family conflicts and other immense negative effects; however, there are times when there is a delay in marriage even though everything seems to be fine. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfVastu Shastra, every emotion that appears inside you is generated by the energy emitted through the 16 zones or directions of your home. These zones, in turn, are governed by the five elements (Panchtattva) – Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Sky. It is believed that these elements are responsible to create a harmonious environment, in turn influencing everything around us. When these elements are out of proportion, they lead to negative forces overriding the positive ones; creating a field that makes your thoughts and actions negative and result’s in delay marriages, South-West is zone of relationship, family, marriage and stability in life, if South-West Zone is disturbed by a toilet, anti-activity, or an anti-element, then it will not only delay marriage, but can even spoil marital relationship. First strengthen the South-West zone; if this corner is missing, then the marriage proposals will not be successfully finalized. A kitchen in this area will also destroy marriage possibilities and disturb the relationships established. The South-East is the Fire zone, The South-East zone should be treated, as it has the sacred Fire that binds two people in marriage and blue colour from this zone must be removed as it will delay in marriage and disturb relationships. if this corner is cut or missing, or if there is an anti-fire activity in it. In such cases, if an engagement has taken place, it will not convert into marriage. The symptoms are like this: it will start well as the South-West (SW) is fine, but the South-East (SE) zone energy is poor, so it will not continue or end properly. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWithout support of partner, no relationship can exist, and it will come from a well-activated and healthy North-West area. This is the third significant vastu zone for the marriage area. You must also clear North-East vastu zone, I am saying this because it will remove adamant thoughts of getting married to a very specific personality and family, if the North-East is clear, clarity will be maintained about what an individual wants. It’s about wisdom; if you’re wise, you’ll choose what’s right or wrong for yourself. Usually, 80% of the issue could be fixed only by treating the South West (SW) zone. Of the remaining 20%, treatment of the South-East zone will solve 10% of the issue. Then treat the North-West and the West to fix another 5%, and the issue stays only 5%. Treat the NE and the North-West and solve the issue. So, in this order, the following zones must be clear and balanced: the South-West, the South-East, the North-West, the West (gains) and North-East (knowledge).Now, let’s come to implementation of easy remedies to perform for “Desired Life Partner”, placing a Pair of Love Birds in South-West zone usually brings the right person into your life. A picture of a loving couple e.g. Heer and Ranjha, can also be placed along with the Love Birds.A girl bedroom direction zone plays a crucial role in marriage timing. According to the Vastu principles, every house is a built-up space and is influenced by the Earth’s energy fields or magnetic fields along with the Panchtattva (the five fundamental elements of nature). Therefore, as per vastu, in the West zone of Gains, girl in the correct marriageable age should sleep. She becomes more confident when a sleeps in the South-South-East area and having a bedroom in the South-West area makes her a desirable partner for her future husband. She should never have her bedroom in South-South-West zone of disposal. In addition, if the girl sleeps in attraction’s zone of North-North-West , it will help her get new marriage proposals.Similarly, North Zone is zone of opportunities, male bachelors should preferably sleep. Always prevent a water tank in your house’s South-West Relationships zone as this could lead to delay in marriage.Mr. Sagar Chug- Celebrity Astrologer & Vastu Expert from the Capital. Views are strictly personal.last_img read more

KMC to crack down on piling up of construction material on roads

first_imgKolkata: In a significant stride to prevent air pollution, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is taking strong measures to prevent piling up of construction material on roads and footpaths across the city.Municipal Commissioner Khalil Ahmed has directed the Director General (Building) to take up regular drives against illegal stacking of building material on roads and footpaths. He has further instructed him to take legal action against the defaulters with the help of Licence department, Solid Waste Management department, borough executive engineers and local police stations. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”A number of complaints regarding illegal stacking of construction material on roads and footpaths causing harassment to general public and pedestrians have reached the office of the Commissioner and the Mayor. The National Green Tribunal has prodded the administration to take strong measures against defaulters. This has contributed to the civic body taking serious measures to address the issue,” a senior KMC official said. The Commissioner has also directed DG (Building) to submit action taken report against offenders to the Mayor and his office from time to time. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateIt may be mentioned that as per directions of West Bengal Pollution Control Board with regards to air pollution, KMC is keeping watch to ensure that all construction material meant for road, building or similar purposes are transported in covered condition. “We are trying to ensure that no construction material is left uncovered at roadside and the construction area is wrapped in geotextile fabric. Other actions as appropriate for the location are also being undertaken to prevent pollution due to building material. Sprinkling of water prior to levelling or any other earth movement activities is needed to keep the soil moist throughout the process,” the official added. The civic body is also taking steps to dispose debris from the construction site at the earliest, in consultation with the local authority following proper environmental management practices. “We also issue notices to owners of construction sites in different boroughs to maintain environmental norms. Follow-up action like stop work notice has been issued to different construction sites in the recent past,” the official added.last_img read more

Indias oldest jail gets its own Radio

first_imgThe oldest jail in India, Agra District Jail, now owns a radio station. This jail radio station will be the voice of inmates as they themselves will be preparing the programmes as well as broadcasting them. The jail radio is set to operate every day for an hour, between 3 pm to 4 pm.This radio project is the brainchild of prison reformer Dr Vartika Nanda, the founder of Tinka Tinka Movement. She will be the one to initially train inmates in radio programming and presentation. The jail radio has been named ‘Agra Jail Radio’. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe Senior Superintendent of Police, Agra, Babloo Kumar, was the chief guest at the inauguration and was extremely pleased to hear about the new initiative. He said, “This is something new for Uttar Pradesh prisons, and should be emulated in all the prisons of the state.” Tuhina, who is an MBA from IIM, Bangalore will be the radio jockey representing the women’s section of the jail. The men’s section will be represented by Uday, who is an MA in Philosophy. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAfter a successful first broadcast Uday said, “It was an enriching experience. My fellow inmates were also very excited to have one of their own radio stations and share their stories over the radio.” After Tuhina mentioned it to her mother and father, they were thrilled. “When I told them that we had our first broadcast, they were very happy that I have become a part of this creative project.” According to Dr Nanda, “This initiative is part of a larger project dealing with the research on Indian prisons with reference to Uttar Pradesh. District Jail, Agra has been picked specially for this project and will see more initiatives related to the communication needs of the inmates, in the near future.” The Superintendent of District Jail, Agra, Dr Shashikant Mishra, shared that the implementation of the jail radio project promises to be a novel undertaking. Interestingly, this radio will also see active engagement of children living with their mothers in jail. District Jail Agra, the oldest prison in India, was built in 1741 A.D., during the time of the 12th Mughal Emperor Mohammed Shah Gazi. A small room near the second main gate of this jail is now the site of a new chapter in the history of this jail.last_img read more