Unlocking the organic composition of ancient asteroids

first_img Being the only record of the Solar System’s pre-biotic chemical evolution, scientists have tried for years to extract and study this material. It is believed that discovering the composition of meteorites will reveal what the Solar System was made of at its birth and how those materials evolved into our current-day universe.Most of the methods used to extract this matter have failed leading to the destruction of the meteorite material or just the inability to extract any compounds.However, a recent study from the Planetary and Space Science Journal explains how scientists have developed a novel approach to extracting these meteoric materials. It’s called hydropyrolysis.This new technology uses high hydrogen gas pressures, extreme temperature, and water as a non-destructive means for extracting organic and inorganic compounds from meteorites.This process has revealed high amounts of carbon and nitrogen- elements essential to life at the core of the meteorites. Also, this new technology revealed several never-before-seen organic molecules.The results of this study also contradict a common understanding to the origin of meteorites. It is thought that meteoric material originated from a molecular could that collapsed to form the Solar System. Scientists using hydropyrolysis believe this is a misconception and seek to use this technology to find the true origin of the organic matter in meteorites.Scientists hope that the use of this new technology will offer even more clues into the composition of the Solar System when it was forming.Finally researchers have a way to trace the evolutionary path of organic compounds which will ultimately lead to knowledge of the evolution of our universe.Reference:Sephton M, Love G, Meredith W, Snape C, Sun C, and Watson J. 2005. Planetary and Space Science Journal. Article in Press.by Gina Buss, Copyright 2005 PhysOrg.com Unraveling complicated issues of inequality in workplaces, communities Citation: Unlocking the organic composition of ancient asteroids (2005, October 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2005-10-composition-ancient-asteroids.html New technology discovers primitive organic matter in 4.5 billion year old meteoritesMeteorites contain fragments of asteroids brought about by collisions within the asteroid belt. These meteorites have not been exposed to geological processes experienced by planets and stars. Therefore, much of the matter in these meteorites originates from the formation of the Solar System some 4.5 billion years ago.center_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. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Musical robots perform duets w Video

first_img New robot skier takes to the slopes (w/ Video) Waseda Flutist Robot 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. (PhysOrg.com) — A flute playing robot unveiled by Waseda University last year has been joined by a robot saxophonist in a Classical music duet. The aim of the project was to design robots that could respond to each other’s visual and aural cues. Explore furthercenter_img Early in 2008 other research teams, with Honda and Toyota, unveiled a robot conductor, and a trumpet player. Professor Takanishi’s ultimate goal is to create an entire robot orchestra, and the duet playing robots take him one step closer.More information: • Takanishi Lab page• Waseda Flutist Robot page© 2009 PhysOrg.com Citation: Musical robots perform duets (w/ Video) (2009, November 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-11-musical-robots-duets-video.html The researchers, Atsuo Takanishi and colleagues from Waseda University in Japan, want eventually to develop a robot capable of playing multiple instruments and interacting with human musicians in jazz-style improvisations. The flutist robot was unveiled in mid 2008 after Professor Takanishi, of Waseda’s engineering department had spend many years perfecting it. The saxophone player took much less time to develop but is much less android in appearance than the flute-playing robot. Professor Takanishi said the saxophone player was easier to develop because it is easier to get a sound from a reed instrument than it is from a flute.last_img read more

Mechanical engineer creates robot Venus Flytrap

first_imgFinal configuration of the robotic VFT with embedded trigger hairs and sensing signal integrated with a solid-state relay on board and a dynamic voltage signal generator to actuate the robotic VFT. Image: Bioinspir. Biomim. 6 046004. doi:10.1088/1748-3182/6/4/046004 At first glance, the creation of the robot might not seem like much more than a fun little project for an engineer who likes to tinker. On closer inspection however, it becomes clear that the robot Venus Flytrap is actually a demonstration of a new kind of technology that may lead to advances in medical applications. A refined application, for example, could perhaps one day lead to human muscle replacements or help with sensory applications. One example might be restoring facial expressions to people who lose the ability due to a stroke.Also, because Shahinpoor’s robot Flytrap has demonstrated an ability to catch flies it’s possible that such technology could also one day be used as a means for allowing robots to feed themselves, thus alleviating the need for a power supply. More information: Biomimetic robotic Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula Ellis) made with ionic polymer metal composites, Mohsen Shahinpoor, 2011 Bioinspir. Biomim. 6 046004. doi:10.1088/1748-3182/6/4/046004AbstractThe work described in this paper is a novel design of a robotic Venus flytrap (VFT) (Dionaea muscipula Ellis) by means of ionic polymeric metal composite (IPMC) artificial muscles as distributed nanosensors and nanoactuators. Rapid muscular movements in carnivorous plants, such as VFT, which are triggered by antenna-like sensors (trigger hair), present a golden key to study distributed biomolecular motors. Carnivorous plants, such as VFT, possess built-in intelligence (trigger hairs), as a strategy to capture prey, that can be turned on in a controlled manner. In the case of the VFT, the prey that is lured by the sweet nectar in the VFT pair of jaw-like lobes has to flip and move the trigger hairs, which are colorless, bristle-like and pointed. The dynamically moved trigger hairs then electro-elastically send an electric signal to the internal ions in the lobe to migrate outwardly for the jaw-like lobes to close rapidly to capture the prey. The manner in which the VFT lobes bend inward to capture the prey shows a remarkable similarity with typical IPMCs bending in an electric field. Furthermore, the mechano-electrical sensing characteristics of IPMCs also show a remarkable resemblance to mechano-electrical trigger hairs on the lobes of the VFT. The reader is referred to a number of papers in connection with sensing and actuation of IPMCs in particular. Thus, one can integrate IPMC lobes with a common electrode in the middle of one end of the lobes to act like a spine and use IPMC bristles as trigger finger to sense the intrusion of a fly or insect to send a sensing signal to a solid state relay which then triggers the actuation circuit of the IPMC lobes to rapidly bend toward each other and close. The two lobes, which form the trap, are attached to the midrib common electrode which is conveniently termed the spine. The upper surface of each lobe is dished, and spaced along the free margins of the lobes with some 15–20 prong-like teeth. These are tough and pointed, and are inclined at an inward angle so that when the trap is sprung shut they will interlock. We have been experimenting with the VFT closing of its jaw-like lobes that close in about 0.3 s and have gained a lot of knowledge to report on the ionic and electrical mechanisms involved in the operation of such intelligent distributed biomolecular motors.via Discovery To make the robot, Shahinpoor fashioned two “leaves” out of the material he’d created to mimic the mouth-like appearance of the Flytrap. He then created a spine from a roll of copper. Then to copy the tiny hairs on the Flytrap that function as the sensors, he added very small strips of the IMPC material. The rest of the robot was constructed as a normal relay and voltage generation system.The new material in the robot works in two ways. First, because of the unique properties of the IPMC material, simply touching it causes a very small voltage to be generated. The second is the muscle type flexing or bending, exhibited by the material when given a charge. With the robot, the small strips serve as sensors, that when touched, relay a tiny charge to the voltage generator which sends a little bit bigger charge to the “leaves” causing them to bend inwardly towards one another, or in viewing it, as a mouth closing on its prey.The material Shahinpoor invented bends when given a charge due to the redistribution of ions. The trap snaps shut: Researchers isolate the substance that causes venus flytraps to close Side view design of the robotic VFT in open (a) and closed (b) configurations. Image: Bioinspir. Biomim. 6 046004. doi:10.1088/1748-3182/6/4/046004 (PhysOrg.com) — Mohsen Shahinpoor, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maine has created a robot version of the infamous bug eating Venus Flytrap, using a material he invented himself several years ago. Named ionic polymeric metal composite (IPMC), it’s a nanomaterial that can be used to mimic muscle function. Shahinpoor describes in his paper published in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, how he used this material to recreate the sensing and closing abilities of the Venus Flytrap. Citation: Mechanical engineer creates robot Venus Flytrap (2011, October 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-mechanical-robot-venus-flytrap.html © 2011 PhysOrg.com 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. Explore furtherlast_img read more

New 311mph maglev train in Japan passes initial tests

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. (Phys.org) —Engineers with Central Japan Railway Co. have put their newest maglev L0 train through initial testing and report the new high-speed train is on course for commercial deployment by 2027. The train will eventually carry up to 1000 passengers at a time in 16 carriages (traveling at speeds up to 311mph / 500kmph) between Tokyo and Nagoya, cutting current travel time from 90 to 40 minutes. Explore further The initial test of the train was a simple trial to ensure soundness—the lead car and four other carriages were pulled along a track using a maintenance vehicle. An official test of the train is expected to be carried out in September. The maglev train, like others of its kind, is held in the air by magnets as it’s traveling cutting down on friction between wheels and rails.Japan was the first country to introduce maglev trains. They built and used one to transport spectators at speeds up to 130mph to and from venues at the 1964 Olympics held in that country. Since that time, virtually all other technically advanced countries have built so-called bullet trains and have put them into service. The title of worlds fastest is currently held by China’s Shanghai maglev train—it’s capable of running at speeds of up to 268mph, though it generally operates at closer to 150mph due to track length restrictions. A train running at 311mph would set a new bar, likely prompting others to see if that speed can be topped.Japan has set itself apart in high speed rail—its current network of trains run at speeds averaging a world-best 199mph over 1,400 miles of track. Nagoya, Japan’s third largest city is approximately 218 miles west of Tokyo—the the span between them is currently serviced by the Tokaido Shinkansen Line. Plans call for the rail line to be extended all the way to Osaka by 2045. Government officials have indicated that the overall plan is to add high-speed service between all of the major cities on Honshu, the country’s main island. Credit: TokioTimes When complete, each of the new trains will feature 16 carriages—plus the streamlined nose car positioned at the front. Each passenger car will be 24.3 meters in length, giving riders more room than conventional railcars, though there will be one extra seat per row. © 2013 Phys.org Japan’s newest floating train is one blistering maglev Citation: New 311mph maglev train in Japan passes initial tests (2013, June 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-06-311mph-maglev-japan.htmllast_img read more

African wild dogs adapt use of space to coexist with lions and

first_img Citation: African wild dogs adapt use of space to co-exist with lions and hyenas (2014, June 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-06-african-wild-dogs-space-co-exist.html Journal information: PLoS ONE Explore further Cheetahs found to use spatial avoidance techniques to allow for surviving among lions © 2014 Phys.org They formed this hypothesis based on examples of avoidance from other carnivore communities. For example, in Nepal it was found that leopards avoided areas with high tiger densities. Another study found that small brown hyenas avoided bigger spotted hyenas because of competition over food. Darnell and her team completed their research in Hluhluwe–iMfolozi National Park where the movements of six packs of dogs, 12 lion prides and a clan of hyenas where tracked over about two years. Carnivore location, activity and behaviour was recorded every week. This was normally done during either sunset or sunrise, when carnivores are most active. “Subjects were nearly always observed in person. Wild dogs and lions were located both via radio telemetry and opportunistically. Spotted hyenas were observed mostly opportunistically,” said Gunther. By doing this, the research team were able to define the areas over which each carnivore roamed. They were also able to identify the times during which each carnivore displayed activity. This allowed the researchers to assess both spatial and temporal aspects of avoidance. It was found that African wild dogs spent the majority of their time in areas that were free of lions. For instance, wild dogs consistently located their dens in areas of low lion density. But given the relatively small size of the national park, sometimes spatial avoidance was not possible. In these situations wild dogs avoided the lions by emerging from their dens to hunt at times when the lions were not active. Defending kills But wild dogs did not avoid spotted hyenas, either spatially or temporally. The lack of avoidance shown by the wild dogs to hyenas was probably due to the relatively large pack size of the dogs in Hluhluwe–iMfolozi National Park. This would be an advantage during a conflict and may allow the dogs to defend their kills adequately from any scavenging hyenas. Gunther concluded by saying: “we cautiously suggest that wild dogs can co-exist with lions and hyenas, but they need enough space to do so”. Carnivore competition We mostly think of large carnivores being in competition with the prey they hunt and eat. But recently there has more recognition of the conflicts that occur between different carnivore species. African wild dogs, lions and spotted hyenas are just three of many carnivores that inhabit the Hluhluwe–iMfolozi National Park in South Africa. The park is set over about 96,000 hectares, about the size of a small county. The three carnivores have similar diets; they feed on a range of prey including gazelles and other antelopes. Because they have such similar tastes, the three carnivores have to compete with each other to eat. African wild dogs are smaller than lions and hyenas and usually come off worst in conflicts. Given the lion’s size, it is not surprising that they pose the biggest threat to wild dogs during conflicts. In fact, one of the biggest causes of African wild dog mortality is predation by lions. Spotted hyenas also pose a risk, but they do not kill wild dogs. Instead hyenas are known for stealing freshly killed carcasses from wild dog packs. All conflicts of this kind are of course costly for wild dogs, but it is agreed that lions are a far larger threat to wild dogs than hyenas. Avoiding dangerKeeping this in mind, Professor Darnell of Humboldt State University, Virginia, and her colleagues from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, California, collaborated with researchers in South Africa based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of Pretoria. Their aim was to find out how African wild dogs managed to co-exist with larger carnivores. “We were very interested to see how wild dogs moved in space relative to their larger competitors, lions and hyenas. Did wild dogs avoid these other carnivores? How did they manage to share space?” Said Dr Gunther, a lead researcher at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, California. They tested the idea that wild dogs would avoid other carnivores, and the risks which they pose. It was predicted that dogs would avoid lions more strongly than hyenas, as lions pose more of a threat. (Phys.org) —African wild dogs share their habitat with other, larger carnivores such as lions and spotted hyenas. In a recent paper, published in PLOS one, it was found that African wild dogs adapt their use of space to avoid some larger carnivores. This allows wild dogs to co-exist with lions and hyenas, provided there is enough space to do so. More information: Darnell AM, Graf JA, Somers MJ, Slotow R, Szykman Gunther M (2014) Space Use of African Wild Dogs in Relation to Other Large Carnivores. PLoS ONE 9(6): e98846. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098846AbstractInteraction among species through competition is a principle process structuring ecological communities, affecting behavior, distribution, and ultimately the population dynamics of species. High competition among large African carnivores, associated with extensive diet overlap, manifests in interactions between subordinate African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) and dominant lions (Panthera leo) and spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta). Using locations of large carnivores in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa, we found different responses from wild dogs to their two main competitors. Wild dogs avoided lions, particularly during denning, through a combination of spatial and temporal avoidance. However, wild dogs did not exhibit spatial or temporal avoidance of spotted hyenas, likely because wild dog pack sizes were large enough to adequately defend their kills. Understanding that larger carnivores affect the movements and space use of other carnivores is important for managing current small and fragmented carnivore populations, especially as reintroductions and translocations are essential tools used for the survival of endangered species, as with African wild dogs. 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. Home ranges of African wild dogs, lions, and spotted hyenas during the (a) denning period, (b) post-denning period, and (c) non-denning period in 2004 in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa. Credit: PLoS ONE 9(6): e98846. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098846last_img read more

Noted architect urges people to preserve Dalhousie Square

first_imgKolkata: Manish Chakraborty, noted architect and restorer of old structures has urged the people to get actively involved and nominate the Dalhousie Square as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. “Dalhousie Square at one time was the Administrative and Business headquarter of India and it is a heritage site not just for Bengal but for the entire country having being the place of many firsts in this country”, he stated.He was delivering the third edition of “The Calcutta Talks” organised by The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry in association with Halo Heritage at Williams Magor Hall on Wednesday. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsChakraborty emphasised that Bengal is full of skilled craftsmen who can be made to be more involved in restorative projects. Amitabha Ghosal, a restoration engineer spoke about the marvel of engineering off The Howrah Bridge. “I am grateful to the Bengal Chamber for honoring this 75-year-old steel structure. It’s a rare honour. A city is after all known by its structures and icons and Howrah Bridge is the undisputed icon of our city”, he said. Ghoshal has been closely involved in the design of many iconic structures like the Vidyasagar Setu, bridges across Brahmaputra and highly acclaimed restoration work of Hardinge Bridge in Bangladesh. “The Calcutta Talks” is a prestigious lecture series that is against the backdrop of “The Calcutta Gallery”. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThis gallery is dedicated to the eternal city of Kolkata and takes one through a pictorial journey through the hallowed pathways of the industrial and commercial history of Calcutta. The transformation of three innocuous villages by the Hooghly into a colossal metropolis is fascinating, awe inspiring and magical. The Calcutta Gallery portrays 325 years of the city’s glorious history through an expansive and rare collection of photographs,” said Indrajit Sen, president designate, the Bengal Chamber.last_img read more

India Seychelles sign 4 pacts to boost security cooperation

first_imgSeeking to expand its footprint in the strategic Indian Ocean, India on Wednesday agreed to help Seychelles in mapping its hydrology reserves under four agreements signed during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who launched a coastal surveillance radar project to boost security cooperation with the island nation.The Prime Minister also announced that India will give a second Dronier aircraft to Seychelles and provide free of cost visas for three months for its citizens and making it available to them on arrival. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIAfter one-to-one and delegation-level talks with Seyechelles President James Alix Michel, Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Seychelles in 34 years, also said they underlined the importance of comprehensive cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.”We expressed support for a more active and productive Indian Ocean Rim Association,” Modi, who arrived here on Tuesday on the first leg of his three-nation tour, told reporters.He also launched the Coastal Surveillance Radar Project, describing it as another symbol of the cooperation between the two countries. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindAmid increasing Chinese focus on the Indian Ocean, India is aiming to pitch in with all help to island nations like Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.China has been making inroads into these island nations with infrastructure projects that has raised India’s eyebrows.The first CSR would be based in Mahe Island, capital of Seychelles.”This is part of the capability enhancement project for Seychelles in which India is helping,” official sources said, adding that it will help keep a watch on the coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and combat piracy. Modi and Michel witnessed the signing of four agreements: cooperation in hydrographyic survey, renewable energy, infrastructure development and jointly develop navigation charts and electronic navigational charts for sale to other countries.”Our agreement today on hydrographic survey adds a new dimension to our maritime cooperation. I thank Seychelles for their confidence in India,” Modi said.”Our security partnership is strong. It has enabled us to fulfil our shared responsibility to advance maritime security in the region,” he said.”It is a privilege to be a partner of Seychelles in the development of its security capabilities,” Modi said, adding India’s help will enable Seychelles to secure its beautiful islands and the vast expanse of waters around them.”Seychelles will also continue to make an enormous contribution to the safety and security of the Indian Ocean Region,” he said.Modi said he held “very productive” talks with Michel and described Seychelles as “a vital partner in our Indian Ocean neighbourhood”.”Short it may be, but this visit has been very productive. It is no surprise that Seychelles is my first destination in the Indian Ocean Region,” Modi said.”We also hope that Seychelles will soon be a full partner in the maritime security cooperation between India, Maldives and Sri Lanka,” he said.Modi said he was deeply touched by the extraordinary hospitality and warmth he received in the country.”Our relationship is unique and special. It is founded on deep sense of mutual trust and confidence. It is marked by a spirit of respect and equality; and enormous goodwill and warmth,” he said.Modi and Michel also agreed to establish a Joint Working Group to expand cooperation on the Blue Economy to harness new possibilities of the ocean in a sustainable and balanced manner.”Seychelles is a leader in advancing the concept of Blue Economy. We also believe that the Ocean Economy is indispensable to meeting our future challenges,” Modi said.”This cooperation will increase our understanding of marine ecology and resources,” he said.”This is a major step in advancing our scientific and economic cooperation,” the Prime Minister said.”We stressed our support for expansion in our modest trade and investment relations.”Modi expressed hope that Seychelles would be able to quickly utilise the committed USD 75 million in grants and credit provided by India in accordance with its priorities.He thanked President Michel for his country’s consistent support to India in international forums, including its bid for a permanent membership of the UN Security Council.He invited President Michel to visit India at an early date.Calling India a leader, Michel said and his country looks up to India. He said he looks forward to visit India.Michel said his country valued strategic partnership with India.Modi said the two countries have strong convergence of views on climate change.”We are two nations that are vulnerable to its impact. And, we are deeply committed to combating it,” he said.”We stressed our shared commitment to strong national action. We also called for a strong and ambitious global effort, especially from the developed world, on climate change,” the Prime Minister said.Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval were part of the Indian delegation during Modi’s talks with President Michel at the State House in Victoria that lasted one hour.Michel had received Modi at the airport late last night.Seychelles has a population of 90,000 people and 10 per cent of them are of Indian-origin.last_img read more

Soon Victorial Memorial visitors to witness new light and sound show

first_imgKolkata: Victoria Memorial is making a complete overhaul of its son et lumiere, which is expected to kick off during winters, the time when there is a huge footfall of both national and international tourists at the Memorial.”The analogue show format will be passe and there will be a sea change with the 3D projection mapping system. The Memorial’s marble edifice will serve as the virtual screen to narrate Kolkata’s story – a journey that will encapsulate nearly four centuries, beginning from Job Charnock’s arrival in Calcutta to contemporary Kolkata. The characters will seemingly speak on their own, narrating the 300 years history of Kolkata,” curator of VM, Jayanta Sengupta said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThere will be no commentary as it has been in the traditional light and sound show.The light and sound show at VM had started way back in the year 1991 and was held on a screen on the eastern lawn of Victoria Memorial Hall for over two decades. The script was by writer Sunil Gangopadhyay, the narration was provided by Soumitra Chatterjee in Bengali and Dhritiman Chattopadhyay in English. There will be no such narration in the present format and some noted historians associated with the research on old Kolkata will pen down the Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedscreenplay.There will also be the inclusion of Hindi language in the new format and the duration of the show will be slightly less than the old show that was stalled for more than a year. Earlier, the show was of 40 minutes. The present one will be between 30 to 35 minutes. “There is an average footfall of 36 lakh visitors a year at the VM and many of them coming from other Indian states could not properly understand Bengali and English. So, we have decided to introduce Hindi,” a senior official said. The VM has plans to have more seating arrangement for the spectators in this new format.It may be mentioned that the VM authorities since last week has increased the timing of the Memorial by an hour. It is now open till 6 pm and is probably the only museum under the aegis of Ministry of Culture that is open beyond 5 pm.last_img read more

Fake Eid holiday notice put up on social media

first_imgKolkata: In a bid to malign the Mamata Banerjee government and show her “weakness” towards the Muslim community, a fake notification stating that “Governor is pleased to declare state government holiday from June 12 to 15” in connection with Eid, has been circulated through social networking sites.Police have initiated a high-level enquiry to find out who has uploaded the “fake notification” with the intention of spreading canards.When contacted, a senior officer of the state government said: “It’s fake. The top brass of the Finance department has already taken up the issue and there was a detailed discussion in this regard on Saturday night itself. Necessary action has been taken. A case has also been lodged.” The officer further stated that the government is taking it very seriously as the photograph of the piece of paper containing the notification looks almost similar to an original document of the state government and moreover, it also carries the image of the logo of Bengal at the top of the notification. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIn a tweet, Kolkata Police has uploaded the photograph of the fake notification and stated that “a fake notification is doing the rounds in social media about Eid Holidays. It is false. Those who have masterminded this will be strictly dealt with as per law.”It has been stated in the order that “In order to celebrate Eid festival, which falls on June 12 to 15, 2018, in a befitting manner, the Governor is pleased to declare state government holiday on June 12 to 15, 2018, in addition to 16 June, 2018, which has already been notified as a public holiday.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIt has also been stated in the fake notification carrying signature of an additional secretary level officer of the state Finance department, that all state government offices along with educational institutions and other state government undertaking companies shall remain closed.Stating the information to be completely false, a senior officer of Kolkata Police’s cyber cell said: “They have initiated necessary steps to identify the origin of the rumour that spread among lakhs of people through the social networking site, within a very short span of time.”This comes at the time when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has repeatedly urged people not to fall into the trap of any rumour, as there had been constant attempts of creating disturbances in the state.The police are also maintaining vigil and also creating awareness among netizens to ensure that people inform the police as soon as they come across any rumour. The police are also taking strict measures against rumour mongers, said the police officer.last_img read more

Three minor girls drown in Islampur

first_imgBALURGHAT: Three minor girls drowned while taking bath in an abandoned roadside ditch. The incident took place in North Dinajpur’s Islampur on Sunday afternoon.The victims have been identified as Beauty Khatun (9), Tarana Khatun (7) and Nazrana Khatun (8). The three were cousins.Local sources said the three sisters went together to a roadside ditch for a bath, after intimating their parents. They started playing in the water but then drowned. A local boy informed their family members about the incident.Local residents and the worried parents rushed to the spot and rescued them. They were immediately taken to a nearby health centre, where the doctor declared them brought dead.”They had gone to take a bath there. When they didn’t return after two hours, their parents became alert and were about reach the spot in search of them. In the meantime, a local boy informed them about the matter,” said Kadai Sk a local resident.All three came from needy families. The local residents have demanded compensation from the administration inthis regard.last_img read more

When bingewatching means freedom

first_imgDoes boredom makes you snuggle in your bed and finish a complete season of your favourite TV series in one day? Then, my friend, you’re addicted to binge-watching.Binge watching as a term was often used in the 90’s where the DVD’s comprised of all the seasons of a particular TV show. But now with the coming of Netflix, the prevalence of torrent downloads and YouTube where seasons are available, one is easily able to watch their favourite shows in one go. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’But why is it that some people watch the whole season consisting of more than 10 episodes (half an hour long episodes) in one go? Ayush Madan, a third year college student from Indraprastha University said: “I have the patience to see the whole season in one day. The anticipation of what happens next in the plot of the particular series makes me impatient. It is hard to even wait for the next day’s sun to rise.”For some, priorities are set where they have fixed their time for fun. Akash, an IT professional has fixed half an hour everyday to see his favourite TV show ‘Game of Thrones’. He said: “I do not want to fall sick binge watching TV shows for hours. I love watching the TV series but it is hard to just lay in your bed and watch them all in your laptop. I take my time and watch a TV series like it comes on TV, the only difference being that I pause and play when I like.” Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWeekends are people’s only hope for some fun as the weekday’s grinding takes a toll on the soul. College students, office-goers and some of the enthusiasts are willing to give up on their sleep to watch certain shows. According to senior Psychologist Dr Vasantha R Patri, parents are to be blamed for such behaviour in their kids. She said: “When the child’s travelling and socialising becomes expensive for the parents and they refuse to send their adult dependent children to explore some other entertainment options, this continuous TV-series watching becomes the source of their entertainment and such exposure makes them addicted.” It is also assumed that some TV shows create a kind of crisis in the heads of those binge viewers after a season ends and the new one is awaited and to this Dr Patri said: “TV show producers always have something new to give to the viewers so that they can get hooked on again and hence it becomes easy for an individual to move on from one TV show to another.”But for a young DU student like Aishwarya, binge watching is the only source of freedom. She says, “I don’t care what people say but I feel a sense of loss when a series ends. Like people are still waiting for a Harry Potter Prequel, I am waiting for my favourite TV show. I don’t like to socialise much and hence my laptop with unlimited internet is my happiness.”last_img read more

Ranjani Murali wins Womans Voice Award at AKLF 2019

first_imgKolkata: US-based Indian poet Ranjani Murali received the ‘Woman’s Voice Award’ at the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) here. Murali received the award on Sunday, the last day of the literary festival. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh apart from a citation. The objective of the award – ‘Prabha Khaitan Womans Voice Award’ – is to recognise and encourage creative writing by women in India, to create a forum for their work and to support the publication of their writing, AKLF Director Anjum Katyal said. Murali’s first book of poems ‘Blind Screens’ was published in July 2017 while her second book of poems ‘Clearly you are ESL’ had earlier won ‘The Great Indian Poetry Collectives (GIPCs) Editors Choice award.last_img read more

IT raids on brokers reveal black money deal

first_imgKolkata: The Income Tax (I-T) department informed here on Sunday that the raids conducted on two top finance brokers about two and a half months ago revealed that these brokers were involved in transaction of black money. The department had raided at the office and residences of two top finance brokers. The Income Tax department, which seized a few documents from their residences in South Kolkata and office, said these documents had evidences in connection with financial transactions of more than a few hundred crores. According to sources in the I-T department, the finance brokers had allegedly conducted dubious transactions over the past few years with some prominent businessmen in the city. The department termed these financial transactions as ‘black money transactions’, which were carried out with well-known business groups. The Income-Tax department officials found that these transactions involved crores of black money. The department is examining the seized documents and is also likely to examine other official documents which were confiscated during the raids.last_img read more

KIIT and KISS to host 39th edition of World Congress of Poets

first_imgJointly organised by World Academy of Arts and Culture (WAAC), USA; KIIT and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar, the 39th World Congress of Poets (WCP) will be held in October 2019 at KIIT and KISS premises.The announcement was made by Professor Achyuta Samanta, President of the 39th World Congress of Poets (WCP) and Founder, KIIT and KISS in a press conference held at the Constitution Club on December 20. The conference was attended by Jacob Isaac, Executive Board Member of World Congress of Poets and World Academy of Arts and Culture (WAAC), USA; Dr R K Das and Dr B N Nanda, Senior Advisors, KIIT and KISS. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe poetry event is expected to be attended by more than 500 poets from 100 countries. Besides that, 2000 writers and poets from India and another 2000 from Odisha are expected to join, informed the President of the event. Speaking at the conference, Professor Samanta said, “It is a matter of pride that KIIT and KISS will be hosting the 39th World Congress of Poets in India from October 2, 2019, coinciding with the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. There will be a good academic exchange as poets and writers from across the globe will come together. So it will definitely give a very good boost to poets and writers in our state Odisha and India also.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveHe further stated that Odisha state government will cooperate to make the World Congress of Poets a grand success, and the institution also seeks support from Ministry of Culture, Government of India. As WCP is being organised on the occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and Golden Jubilee WAAC, it has been decided to name the award on Mahatma Gandhi, besides other D Litt awards. As the representative of World Congress of Poets, Jacob briefed about the history of the event. Followed by Nanda who threw light on the organisation of this prestigious meet in India. In order to conclude the conference, R K Das proposed the vote of thanks. At the 38th WCP hosted in Suiyang County of China’s Guizhou Province, the Executive Board Members of WAAC like President of WAAC, Dr Maurus Young, Sr. Vice President, Professor Ernesto Kahan and General Secretary Dr. Maria Eugenia Soberanis announced that the 39th edition will take place in the KIIT and KISS premises. For the third time, the World Congress of Poets is going to be held in India. In a preliminary meeting, it is tentatively decided to hold the forthcoming World Congress of Poets from October 2 – 6, 2019. The inaugural ceremony will be held on October 2, 2019, coinciding with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It has been planned to hold a session on tourism poetry at Konark and a session on spiritual poetry to promote tourism of Odisha, in particular, and of India, in general.last_img read more

Trinamool leader shot dead in Murshidabad

first_imgKolkata: A Trinamool Congress leader was shot dead on Friday afternoon at Hariharpara in Murshidabad. The deceased, identified as Safiul Hasan, was the husband of the Humaipur Panchayat Pradhan.According to sources, Hasan was going to Hariharpara from Humaipur on Friday afternoon. He stopped at Pradipdanga area on the way and sent his driver to bring something. While he was waiting, a few miscreants came there in a car and blocked the way of Hasan’s car. Before he could react, the miscreants hurled multiple bombs at Hasan’s car. To save himself, the Trinamool leader got down from his car and tried to run. But as soon as he got down, the miscreants fired a few rounds at him. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataTwo bullets pierced Hasan’s head and chest and he collapsed on the road. Hearing sounds of the bombs and gunfire, local residents ran to him. Seeing resistance, the miscreants again hurled some bombs and fled from the spot. Hasan was rushed to a local hospital, where he was declared brought dead. Later, police sent the body for autopsy examination. Hasan’s family members alleged that since the Lok Sabha elections, he was being threatened, but he did not bother to act against the same. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateIn another incident, a clash broke out between Trinamool and BJP workers at Goghat in Hooghly. It has been alleged that a few BJP workers had yelled at some Trinamool workers on Friday afternoon, saying ‘Jai Sree Ram’. When the Trinamool workers protested, the saffron party workers allegedly started beating them up. After a few minutes, a contingent of police went to the spot to control the situation. But when police tried to stop the clash, they were also beaten up. Three police personnel were injured in the incident. Later, Sub-Divisional Police officer (SDPO), Arambagh, went to the spot along with a large police force and resorted to lathicharge to control the situation.last_img read more

Mamata says Centre cancelled trains to hamper TMC Martyrs Day rally

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday accused the BJP-led Central government of trying to prevent Trinamool Congress supporters from coming to its ‘Matryrs’ Day’ rally by cancelling several trains to Kolkata.She also charged the saffron party activists with forcefully stopping and vandalising many buses carrying Trinamool activists to Kolkata from the districts and said her party would hold protest rallies at those locations on Monday. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”BJP is in power at the Centre. They control the railways. I have got the information that many trains have been cancelled today (Monday) so that people from far-off districts and north Bengal cannot come to our rally,” Banerjee alleged while speaking at the 26th edition of her party’s Martyrs’ Day rally in central Kolkata’s Esplanade.”BJP has started attacking our people after winning only a handful of seats in the Lok Sabha elections. I have got the news that they vandalised buses and beat up our workers at Hooghly’s Gurap and Midnapore’s Patashpur. Trinamool will hold counter rallies against this violence in all those places tomorrow,” she said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateAccusing the BJP leaders of threatening to pull Trinamool workers off buses on the way to the rally, Banerjee questioned whether the BJP would be able to handle the situation if Trinamool supporters and common people start paying them back in their own coin.Referring to the ongoing political violence in West Bengal’s Bhatpara since the 2019 polls, Banerjee said the place is a prime example of how the situation could turn hostile if people vote for the BJP. “Look at Bhatpara. See what happens if people vote for BJP. Schools, colleges, factories, markets are closed. Such a situation had never occurred since Trinamool came to power. Not a single Panchayat office (of opposition parties) was attacked, no one was boycotted for supporting another party because we wanted change, not revenge,” Banerjee claimed.Sticking to her claims that the 2019 elections were rigged by the BJP, she said the saffron party managed to win 18 Lok sabha seats in Bengal by manipulating electronic voting machines (EVMs), misusing the Election Commission and the Central forces, as well as intimidating people.She said her party had never reacted in such a hostile manner as the BJP even after winning 26 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal in the 2009 general elections when the Left was in power in the state.Alleging that the BJP leaders in the state had no understanding of the cultural ethos of Bengal, she said the saffron party was trying to capture power by bringing in leaders from other states and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) “miscreants”.She also urged her party workers to keep an eye on the movement of “outsiders” in their localities and prevent them from misguiding people.last_img read more

KMC to set up new treatment plant to resolve drinking water woes

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation will set up a 10 MGD water treatment plant to resolve the drinking water crisis in some pockets of the Tollygunge-Jadavpur belt, said Mayor Firhad Hakim on Wednesday.The decision was taken in the meeting of the Members, Mayor-in-Council and presided over by the Mayor. Hakim said some pockets under the jurisdiction Boroughs X, XI and XII are reeling under water scarcity. Drinking water is supplied in these areas by deep tubewells. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataScarcity of drinking water in these areas has been a long-standing issue. Jadavpur, Behala and Garden Reach, which were under municipalities, came under KMC in 1985. The Left Front controlled board could not solve the problem. Former Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, who was the MMiC (Water) between 2000 and 2005, had tried to address the problem. Hakim said water will be taken from the Garden Reach water lifting station to the new water treatment plant, that will come up on 3 acres of land at Garia Dhalai bridge through underground pipes that will pass through Circular Garden Reach Road, Koila Depot Road and Remount Road situated in the Port Area. Hakim said once the water treatment station becomes functional, the long-standing problem in the pockets will be resolved. The KMC will prepare the detailed project report (DPR) and the state government will provide the fund.last_img read more

100 Years Since the Greatest Pandemic in History

first_imgIn 1918, as the devastating conflict of World War One was close to winding down, an epidemic began that would kill more people than the war itself. Known as the Spanish Flu, it quickly spread and engulfed much of the planet. It isn’t known exactly where the deadly influenza virus came from. However, the first reported cases were at a military base in the United States in early 1918.America had recently entered the Great War on the Allied side. Thousands of soldiers were being housed together and then sent off to Europe to fight.A street car conductor in Seattle in 1918 refusing to allow passengers aboard who are not wearing masks.Although the pandemic did not originate in Spain, there is a reason it was given the name. Most countries of North America and Europe were at war and the news outlets in these nations were censored by authorities.American Expeditionary Force victims of the Spanish flu at U.S. Army Camp Hospital no. 45 in Aix-les-Bains, France, in 1918.However, Spain was neutral and allowed news of the spreading virus to circulate freely. The casualties in Spain from the flu were also higher than the rest of Europe. Mistakenly, many people assumed that this particular strain began in Spain and the name stuck.American Red Cross nurses tend to flu patients in temporary wards set up inside Oakland Municipal Auditorium, 1918.Beginning in a mild form early in 1918, by the autumn of that year the strain had taken a severe and deadly turn. Unlike other common influenzas, which tended to affect the young and the elderly, the Spanish flu hit people between 20 and 40 years old particularly hard. This was especially disruptive as it hit adults caring for young children, leaving thousands orphaned.Asia and Africa suffered the highest rates of death. Cities were affected more than rural areas. Men tended to be more susceptible than women. The poor, ethnic minorities, and immigrants were more likely to be infected.The Spanish Influenza. Chart showing mortality from the 1918 influenza pandemic in the U.S. and Europe.In the 19th century, scientists had gained further knowledge about bacteria. As a result, societies were starting to improve health and sanitary conditions in many parts of the world. It was thought that the latest flu outbreak was caused by germs. But the understanding of diseases spread by a virus such as influenza was still relatively new and misunderstood.An electron micrograph showing recreated 1918 influenza virions.People around the world turned to various rituals to try to stop the dying. There were mass prayer gatherings in Europe despite warnings that crowds of people together would spread the influenza. In some rural parts of China, models of dragons were paraded through streets to scare away evil spirits.Despite the lack of understanding of what caused the Spanish flu and with no vaccines available, governments around the world mobilized against it. Quarantine areas were established for the sick. Large gatherings of people were prohibited. Some measures may have slowed the spread of the virus. Australia kept quarantine facilities at all points of entry, limiting the effects of the worst waves of the flu.Demonstration at the Red Cross Emergency Ambulance Station in Washington, D.C., during the influenza pandemic of 1918.Despite preventative measures, the Spanish flu was a catastrophe. Up to one-third of the world’s population at the time was infected, an estimated 500 million people. It’s estimated that up to 50 million likely died from the pandemic, maybe more.February 1918 drawing by Marguerite Martyn of a visiting nurse in St. Louis, Missouri.Individual suffering was horrendous. After developing typical flu-like symptoms such as coughing and fever, the victim’s skin would turn blue and their lungs filled with fluid, leading to suffocation. Death would often occur just hours or days after developing symptoms. In 1918, the average life expectancy of Americans dropped by 12 years.Influenza ward at Walter Reed Hospital during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918–1919.The effects on societies were also devastating. Along with the aftermath of years of war, the Spanish flu further disrupted economies and governments that were already struggling. The autumn of 1918 witnessed the rise of workers’ strikes and anti-government protests around the globe.Soldiers from Fort Riley, Kansas, ill with Spanish influenza at a hospital ward at Camp Funston.Parts of Europe were on the brink of civil war. In India, up to 18 million died in the pandemic. The suffering increased agitation against the colonial British lack of response to the crisis, spreading the growing independence movement.Read another story from us: The Human Remains of Skeleton Lake – Visible Only when the Ice MeltsBy the summer of 1919, the Spanish flu pandemic effectively came to an end. In 2008, scientists made a discovery on what made the 1918 virus so deadly. According to researchers, there were three genes affected by the Spanish flu that weakened a victim’s bronchial tubes and lungs. That opened the way for pneumonia to set in and become fatal.last_img read more

The Scripps National Spelling Bee finds its bad boy

first_imgCo-champ Jairam approached Nahir to congratulate him on a spelling be well spelled, but Nahir wasn’t having it.Nahir’s new biggest fan, Dez Bryant, tweeted his congratulations.#NiharJanga you just made my whole day buddy.. Congrats on winning the #spellingbee champ.. Some how some way I have to get you to a game #x— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) May 27, 2016 Advertisement Scripps National Spelling Bee Co-champion Nihar Janga is an intense competitor. The 5th grader from Austin, Texas wears his emotions on his sleeve. He gets inside the opponents head. He’s not in the spelling bee to make friends, he’s there to win.In last night’s final round, Nihar shook his head in disapproval as 7th grader Jairam Hathwar incorrectly spelled “Drahthaar”. When Jairam returned to his seat, Nihar let him know about it.With everything on the line, Nahir correctly spelled “Gessellschaft” to secure his spot as co-champion. He threw up Dallas Cowboys star Dez Bryant’s trademark “X” sign to celebrate. Big players make big plays in big games.last_img read more

Diva wide receivers like Odell Beckham are overrated and completely replaceable

first_imgIn the midst of the Odell Beckham drama, Colin doesn’t think the Giants shouldn’t deal with his headaches. They can win without him. Elite, diva wide receivers are the most overrated position in football.“The diva wide receiver. The game is up. The data is in. The analytics are proof. They simply don’t matter.” Vegas is disrespecting LeBron and the Cavs. LeBron owns the Warriors, and they have all the pressure this year, while LeBron has none for the first time in his career. And, he owns Golden State.“For the first time in LeBron’s career, no pressure. The pressure is all on Golden State.” Texas plays Oklahoma this week and Colin is rooting for Charlie Strong. He loves when traditional powers matter. But, Strong still hasn’t turned around Texas in year 3, when most elite coaches only need 2 years. The biggest problem for Strong is that he’s a defensive coach and can’t get the defense right. It doesn’t feel like he is a fit.It turns out that the guy who dumped the beer on an Orioles outfielder in Totronto was a media member. Colin is sick of political and sports media getting into the rooting business.  What happened to journalistic objectivity?Nebraska football is dead and they’re not coming back. Nothing against Nebraska, but it’s hard to get elite players and coaches to come to Lincoln with so many options nationally. It’s a different world.And, platinum Herd guest Greg  Cosell stops by the Herd Film Room to tell the audience what the film says about NFL Week 4 performances.Guests:Greg Cosell – NFL Films and NFL Matchup joins the show to break down the film from the last week and explain why the idea that there is an on-field Odell Beckham problem is a media creation, why Andrew Luck critics are off-base, and if Carson Palmer is just playing poorly or in a permanent decline.Jason McIntyre – Founder of The Big Lead and co-host of Speak for Yourself is in-studio to talk about the looming NFL quarterback problem, why everyone needs to lay off Andrew Luck, why Texas is a tougher job than it was 10 years ago and Charlie Strong deserves more time, and why he thinks Alabama could struggle to beat Arkansas this weekend.Bob Kravitz – Colts Insider and columnist joins the show to talk about whether Andrew Luck is getting closer to voicing his displeasure of with the front office, why the Colts have struggled, his take on Jim Irsay and the direction of the organization.Ray Lewis – 2-time Super Bowl Champ is in-studio discussing the right to protest and the need for solutions, whether NFL players are envious of NBA players’ power, where Odell Beckham’s head is at after he spoke with him,  and his thoughts on Raiders Punter Marquette King doing his dance.last_img read more