Digg Doesnt Suck Anymore and Weans Itself From Microsoft

first_img Explore further DiggBar:The newly released DiggBar is a nimble little navigator that can be accessed on any Web page by simply typing digg.com/ before the url and hitting enter. Readers are given a super short url that can be easily submitted to Facebook, Twitter and other social bookmarking sites. The DiggBar displays not only the comments and number of Diggs, readers can view how many times the story has been viewed world-wide. On the very cool side, DiggBar can access related stories and a random button for a series of surprises. Digg Goes Within for Advertising:Digg cut Microsoft loose as its exclusive advertising partner. Instead, Digg will control its own destiny in on-line advertising and deal direct with advertisers. Digg has built up an in-house sales staff that will have the flexibility to create custom non-Internet Advertising Bureau advertising coupled with standardized banner ads and move Digg to the next level. The between Digg and Microsoft commenced in 2007 and contemplated a three-year time span with wiggle room in the event Digg wanted to go it alone. According to Zachary Rogers at ClickZ, Microsoft will continue selling network reserve through Microsoft Media. However, Digg will take the helm for all advertising. Both parties express a desire to take their advertising strategies for clients beyond standard IAB standard ads and open up Internet advertising to include creative approaches. Mike Maser, Digg’s Chief Financial Officer and Strategy Officer complimented Microsoft by saying, “We’ve had a great relationship with Microsoft over the last year and a half.” Microsoft has just completed a “High-engagement” placement package for the Discovery Channel’s fifth season of “Deadliest Catch”. The campaign includes Web, mobile, games and other channel high visibility placement ads. The endless possibilities of connecting people to people and in turn selling products or services knows no bounds on the Internet. The next leg of the race to capture the attention of billions of multi-cultural/multi-lingual users should be very interesting.© 2009 PhysOrg.com Digg is reasserting itself as the social bookmarking site with pizazz, buzz and connections. Within the past weeks, Digg’s Daniel Burka, formally apologized to users announcing,”Digg has 99.987% less suck, followed with the announcement of a new DiggBar and cut short its exclusive advertising partnership with Microsoft. Digg apparently likes 1,2,3 approaches to problem solving. Study to Test if Fading Sense of Smell Signals Onset of Parkinson’scenter_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. Citation: Digg Doesn’t Suck Anymore and Weans Itself From Microsoft (2009, April 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-04-digg-doesnt-anymore-weans-microsoft.htmllast_img

Physicists Detect SingleElectron Tunneling with Quantum Dots

first_img Recently, a team of scientists from the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory and the Toshiba Research Europe Limited, both in Cambridge, as well as the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, have designed an experiment that allows for the observation of single-electron tunneling at the picosecond timescale. In their technique, moving quantum dots that contain single electrons travel through a circuit with regions of different confinement, which excites the electrons into a superposition of states and causes them to oscillate. The physicists could detect oscillations in the resulting current, overcoming many of the challenges in single-electron detection. Their study is published in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.”For the first time, we have detected the coherent motion of a single electron within a quantum dot,” lead author Masaya Kataoka told PhysOrg.com. Kataoka was previously with the University of Cambridge, and is now with the National Physical Laboratory in London. Previously, most approaches to electron detection have involved the application of short pulses to the electrodes of the experimental device. By arranging their device a bit differently, the UK team could avoid the need for these pulses. In their setup, they work with quantum dots, with each containing just one electron. The quantum dots travel at a velocity of about 2,800 meters per second through a channel past a tunnel barrier, on the other side of which is a parallel channel. “Because of the bandwidth limitation, past observations of coherent motion of single electrons were done using a relatively slow process, such as oscillation between two quantum dots,” Kataoka said. “The motion of an electron within a quantum dot, at a single-electron level, is normally much faster. It is not easy to fabricate a single-electron quantum dot, or a quantum dot suitable for high-frequency measurement. Our idea of moving quantum dots through a circuit, rather than using a static quantum dot, seems to work for this purpose.” Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — Detecting the coherent motion of a single electron is a challenge, for the simple reason of scale: the timescale of the coherent motion of a single-electron wave function is in the picosecond regime (one trillionth of a second), which presents significant technical difficulties. However, understanding single-electron dynamics is very important for a wide range of future quantum technologies. 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. Excited-state spectroscopy on a nearly closed quantum dot via charge detectioncenter_img In this simplified experimental layout, quantum dots defined by surface acoustic waves each carry a single electron through the top channel. At the weakest point of the tunnel barrier, electrons can tunnel into the open 1D channel and escape into the bottom-right exit. Image credit: M. Kataoka, et al. ©2009 American Physical Society. Citation: Physicists Detect Single-Electron Tunneling with Quantum Dots (2009, May 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-05-physicists-single-electron-tunneling-quantum-dots.html The new method is based on the fact that the ground state of an electron in a quantum dot is very fragile, and a sudden change in the confinement potential can excite the electron from the ground state to a superposition of eigenstates. A short tunnel barrier provides just such a change in confinement to produce a superposition. If an electron encounters this tunnel barrier, it achieves a superposition of states, oscillating with a period of about 5 picoseconds and at a frequency that depends on the energy gap between the states. In the setup, an electron wave function oscillates from side to side in the channel, periodically hitting the short tunnel barrier. At the weakest point of the tunnel barrier, an electron can tunnel into a parallel channel and escape into a different exit than the exit at which the electrons that don’t tunnel go to. In other words, the electron oscillations lead to oscillations in the tunnel current, and the physicists could detect the tunnel current oscillations by making a weak, repeated measurement of the current at the second exit. Unlike many previous experiments, this technique doesn’t require the application of short pulses, enabling it to overcome bandwidth limitations.“Basically, read more

Resident bats use pitcher plant as toilet

first_img More information: A novel resource–service mutualism between bats and pitcher plants, Biol. Lett. Published online before print January 26, 2011, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.1141 © 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore further Secret of the carnivorous pitcher plant’s slurp — solved at last (PhysOrg.com) — The pitcher plants are carnivorous species that usually feed on insects and small vertebrates, but one species has been found that prefers to dine on the feces of bats. Citation: Resident bats use pitcher plant as toilet (2011, January 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-01-resident-pitcher-toilet.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. Scientists from the University Brunei Darussalam and from Germany have been studying the aerial pitcher plant Nepenthes rafflesiana variety elongata, from Borneo. The plants live in peat bogs and heaths and are notable for their extremely large aerial pitchers.Pitcher plants grow on nutrient-poor soils and supplement their nitrogen source by feeding on insects and small animals. The victims are attracted to the pitcher by its colors and smells, but once inside they are trapped on the slippery sides and are drawn into the fluid at the bottom where they drown. The fluid contains digestive enzymes to extract nitrogen and other needed nutrients as the bodies are digested.N. r. elongata differs from other pitchers in having a much larger (around 4 x) pitcher than related species, but it traps only around one seventh of the insects consumed by other pitcher species. The researchers found Elongata had low volumes of digestive fluids and enzymes and low amounts of the insect-attracting volatile compounds usually found in pitchers, which makes them less attractive to insects.Instead of insects in the large pitchers, the researchers, led by tropical ecologist Dr. Ulmar Grafe, sometimes found roosting bats. Dr. Grafe spent a year inspecting 400 Elongata plants and found 32 bats in that time, among them a whole family of offspring and young nestled in a single pitcher. Some of the tiny (4 g) bats, all Hardwicke’s woolly bats (Kerivoula hardwickii hardwickii), were fitted with radio-trackers, and the results of tracking indicated they roosted only in the pitchers.The Elongata pitchers are perfectly suited to their residents, with a girdle half-way up to ensure they do not slip down the sides, and there is little fluid and so no chance of being drowned if they did slip.The researchers found that about 33.8 percent of the foliar nitrogen in the pitcher plants originated in the feces of the bats, and the level of nitrogen was much higher than in pitchers of the same species that did not have a resident bat.The association between the pitcher and bat is only the second case of a mutualistic association between a pitcher plant and a mammal (the other being a tree shrew), and is the first case of a pitcher that attracts bats to roost in its aerial pitchers and use their droppings as a source of food. The bat also benefits from the association because it is sheltered and hidden from predators when it is nestled within the pitcher. Dr. Grafe said the environment within the pitcher is also free of the parasites that often live in bat roosts.The paper is available online at the Biology Letters journal. Nepenthes rafflesiana. Photo: Wikipedia.last_img

New evidence suggests some birds gave up flight to become better swimmers

first_img More information: High flight costs, but low dive costs, in auks support the biomechanical hypothesis for flightlessness in penguins, PNAS, Published online before print May 20, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1304838110 AbstractFlight is a key adaptive trait. Despite its advantages, flight has been lost in several groups of birds, notably among seabirds, where flightlessness has evolved independently in at least five lineages. One hypothesis for the loss of flight among seabirds is that animals moving between different media face tradeoffs between maximizing function in one medium relative to the other. In particular, biomechanical models of energy costs during flying and diving suggest that a wing designed for optimal diving performance should lead to enormous energy costs when flying in air. Costs of flying and diving have been measured in free-living animals that use their wings to fly or to propel their dives, but not both. Animals that both fly and dive might approach the functional boundary between flight and nonflight. We show that flight costs for thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia), which are wing-propelled divers, and pelagic cormorants (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) (foot-propelled divers), are the highest recorded for vertebrates. Dive costs are high for cormorants and low for murres, but the latter are still higher than for flightless wing-propelled diving birds (penguins). For murres, flight costs were higher than predicted from biomechanical modeling, and the oxygen consumption rate during dives decreased with depth at a faster rate than estimated biomechanical costs. These results strongly support the hypothesis that function constrains form in diving birds, and that optimizing wing shape and form for wing-propelled diving leads to such high flight costs that flying ceases to be an option in larger wing-propelled diving seabirds, including penguins. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Phys.org) —An international team of wildlife researchers has found evidence to support the theory that some birds, such as penguins, lost the ability to fly because of adaptations that allowed for better swimming. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes the results of testing energy efficiency levels of birds that both fly and dive as compared to birds that have lost the ability to fly. Explore further To gain a better understanding of the factors that led to flightlessness in some birds, the team traveled to two remote locations: Nanavuk, Canada and Middleton Island in Alaska. By attaching sensors to captured cormorants and murres, the team was able to measure energy efficiency in both species. Both kinds of birds are able to fly and both find prey by diving underwater and swimming. Cormorants use their webbed feet to maneuver underwater, while the murres use their wings.In analyzing the data from the sensors, the researchers found that murres are relatively efficient swimmers—the amount of energy they burn is just 30 percent lower than that of similar sized penguins. In the air, however, things were quite different. The birds set a new record for inefficiency—they burned 31 times more energy when flying than when sitting still—the highest ever seen in a bird. Studying murres is particularly important when looking to find why penguins lost the ability to fly because they are so similar to their non-flying cousins. Because of their coloring and body shape, they actually look like flying penguins.The data shows, the researchers claim, that penguins and other flightless birds almost certainly lost the ability to fly as their swimming abilities grew stronger. You can’t have both, they note—becoming better at swimming causes wings to slowly morph into flippers, which of course won’t allow for flight. They suggest that murres are at a crossroads—just good enough to get by in both the air and water. If the need arises to dive deeper, the team notes, the murres could also lose the ability to fly. On the other hand, if the need to avoid predators by flying away remains critical, they could become bet This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Researchers find emperor penguins outer feathers colder than surrounding air © 2013 Phys.org Citation: New evidence suggests some birds gave up flight read more

Microsoft launches prerelease Kinect for Windows developer kit program

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) —Microsoft has announced at its Build Development Event and via its website a new initiative the company is calling the Kinect for Windows developer kit program. The idea is to entice developers of Kinect applications to apply by offering them special perks. The catch is that only a select few of those who apply will be accepted into the program. Citation: Microsoft launches prerelease ‘Kinect for Windows developer kit program’ (2013, June 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-06-microsoft-prerelease-kinect-windows-kit.html As part of its announcement, Microsoft has made it clear the company is looking for either innovative ideas for project development or established players who will make a big splash when the next generation of the Kinect gaming device makes its debut next year.Entering the program doesn’t come cheap—those who are accepted will have to pay a $399 program fee. For their money, accepted developers will get special access to the Kinect development team at Microsoft (via video chat), access to the new and expanded Software Development Kit (SDK), sample documentation and API information, a prerelease Kinect device, and a final release Kinect device.Early access to the device and SDK should give those who enter the program a leg up on the competition. Though, developers won’t actually get early access until November.Microsoft hasn’t disclosed how many applicants will be accepted into the program, but has set a final cutoff date for those that wish to apply: July 31, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time. The application process consists of completing and submitting a form on Microsoft’s website (Windows Live account required). Microsoft says it will let applicants know if they’ve been accepted into the program sometime in August.Microsoft will likely get a lot of people and companies applying for acceptance into the program. The Kinect device has been wildly successful for Microsoft as both a game console and experimental device used in a wide variety of feedback systems.The next iteration of the Kinect device is expected to have more and/or better functionality than its predecessor. Examples include likely faster sensor scanning for quicker reaction times, better color capture to allow for differentiation of recognized objects, the ability to remove background movement data, and of course more tools for controlling the device via JAVA or HTML5. Explore further Microsoft to add Kinect Fusion to Kinect for Windows SDK © 2013 Phys.orglast_img

Study may explain counterintuitive effect of why hotter systems can cool more

first_img In the last few decades, the Mpemba effect has been studied and observed in several physical systems besides water, including carbon nanotube resonators and ice-like water cages called clathrate hydrates. Despite these findings, the causes of the effect are not well-understood. Proposed explanations include the presence of impurities, hydrogen bonding, and supercooling. Even the mere existence of the Mpemba effect remains controversial, as one recent study found insufficient evidence to replicate a meaningful effect.Now, their interest rekindled by a recent paper proposing a generic mechanism for similar effects, scientists Antonio Lasanta and coauthors from universities in Spain have returned to the question in a new study published in Physical Review Letters. In their work, the researchers theoretically demonstrate and investigate the Mpemba effect in granular fluids, such as those made of sand or other small particles. Using simulations of granular systems and a simple kinetic theory approach, the researchers were able to determine that the initial conditions in which the system is prepared play a critical role in determining whether or not the system exhibits the Mpemba effect. Their analysis also enabled them to identify the initial conditions required in order for a granular system to exhibit the Mpemba effect. “Our work shows that the existence of the Mpemba effect is very sensitive to the initial preparation of the fluid or, in other words, to its previous history,” coauthor Andrés Santos at the University of Extremadura in Badajoz, Spain, told Phys.org. “In our opinion, this may explain the elusiveness and controversy of the Mpemba effect in water, as a consequence of the lack of control on the detailed initial preparation of the sample.”As the researchers showed, if a system is not prepared under certain initial conditions, then the colder system cools down more quickly than the warmer one, as expected, and there is no Mpemba effect.”We theoretically showed, at least in the case of a gas, that a system’s temperature evolution and thus its cooling and/or heating rate do not depend on initial temperature alone, but also on the previous history of the system that control the initial value of the additional variables,” Santos said. “Therefore, it is perfectly possible that an initially heated system cools down quicker than a colder one with a different history.” © 2017 Phys.org Credit: CC0 Public Domain Mpemba effect: Why hot water can freeze faster than cold Citation: Study may explain counterintuitive effect of why hotter systems can cool more quickly (2017, October 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-10-counterintuitive-effect-hotter-cool-quickly.html As the researchers explained further, the simplicity of the Mpemba effect in granular fluids compared to water and other systems enabled them to reach this conclusion. “Our results show that the Mpemba effect is a generic non-equilibrium phenomenon that appears if the evolution of temperature depends on other physical quantities that characterize the initial state of the system,” Santos said. “In practice, such an initial state can be experimentally achieved if the system is taken by some physical procedure very far away from equilibrium (for instance, by a sudden heating impulse prior to cooling down). Our theoretical and computational work shows that the Mpemba effect is particularly simple in a granular gas, since, in practice, there is one single extra parameter controlling the Mpemba effect. This parameter is the kurtosis, which measures the deviation of the velocity distribution function from a Gaussian distribution.”With this new understanding, the researchers could estimate a range of initial temperatures for which the effect emerges and determine how different the initial values of this parameter must be in order for the Mpemba effect to appear. The results also support predictions of the existence of an inverse Mpemba effect: when heated, a colder sample may reach a hot target temperature sooner than a warmer sample. The researchers plan to investigate this area and others in the future.”On the theoretical side, we plan to carry out a similar study in the case of a molecular solute (where collisions are fully elastic) suspended in a solvent that produces a nonlinear drag force on the solute particles,” Santos said. “Going back to granular fluids, we also want to analyze the impact of particle roughness and spin on the Mpemba effect. In the latter system, read more

Decor for the damp season

first_imgOur homes are the expressions of who we are. This reflects in the walls, soft furnishings like cushions, bed spreads, and everything else related to our home. These are to our home, what clothing, make-up and jewelry are to us. With the passage of time, change of seasons, our moods change and so does the requirement of our homes. Summer 2013 moved forward from the safe colors of winter 2012 to liberating textures, naturals and brights. There has been a focus on transparency, use of plastics and synthetic materials to give shine and sheen to summer designs. Besides, a focus on interaction between naturals and synthetic techniques, juxtaposing light and washed out bright colors with dark undertones and intriguing contrasts. Floral and jungle themes came to the fore this summer. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’As we move further into the summer, the monsoon brings relief from the sweltering heat and increased levels of humidity. At this time of the year, its best to go for lighter – flatter textures and natural yarns like linen, suggests www.bandhinihome.com, to brighten up your homes this monsoon. Avoid velvet and thicker materials as they tend to absorb humidity. Linen can make you feel comfortable and creates a harmonious environment with its organic feel. One can also use soft pure cottons for a natural feel. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixGiven that the monsoon season lasts for a few months in India, there are many aspects that need to be looked into while considering home care needs, recommends Zynna, a leading furnishing brand. In fact, it is a good idea to get a professional to do an inspection of your home, old or new, prior to the monsoon and ensure that you find and fix the problems that keep recurring.Avoid humidity- It’s better to keep the humidity in control and keep the windows and doors open for a free movement of air. This must be done daily as damp interiors will certainly have the wall papers ripping off from the joints. Get the walls ready- In any case, before applying the wall paper, one must ensure that the walls are well treated and that the seepage and rain water does not affect the beautiful decorative paper after installation.Special Drainage System- When it comes to monsoon resistance, it may be better to ensure special drainage system in your windows and doors, which would take care of the rain water and would not allow it to seep inside your home.Regular Check- Summers in India tend to be humid with many thunderstorms, and about half of rainfall for the year falls between June and August. Hence, one must ensure that the wall paper is checked regularly for any damage in these rainy and humid months.Water Resistant- In many homes today, the kitchen is now, no more a small nook, but a beautiful open space with fancy wall papers. Now our oily food and cooking patterns fill up the air with sticky particles which mixed with moisture from the air, harm the wall. Hence the kitchen needs special water resistant wall treatments and must be open to circulation.Check on Joints- It’s best to have a check for any peel off. It’s the joints which are the worst hit, hence, if one detects a small rip in the wall papers joints, corrective action of re-application must be taken.immediately.last_img

Art all around you

first_imgJMN group is a humanitarian Delhi based organisation which consists of young, dynamic and passionate artists who are sincerely working towards giving art a more accessible platform for everyone. With the aim of providing art an approachable platform, JMN group has been regularly organising art fairs and exhibitions in the past.This year, JMN group is coming up with the Alla Prima International Art Fair. A number of art galleries will be participating in the fair, which is to held from 11 to 15 December at the Talkatora Stadium in the Capital. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’This will be a modern and contemporary international art fair. Around 1000 artists and art institute all over the world will participate in this event. Esteemed art galleries and art organisations from India and abroad will also be participating. The event will be graced by eminent artists and prominent people from the field of art. This Fair is the brainchild of Rajiv Chakraborty, Managing Director of JMN Group. The idea behind Alla Prima is to provide an affordable platform for art. The vision is to make it an affordable yet successful Art Fair. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe Fair will include exhibition of visual art works, installations, body art, video art, film screening, cultural programmes, art workshops, panel discussions, debates and talks about art and aesthetics.  Works of eminent artists such as MF Hussain, F N Souza, S H Raza, Paresh Maity, A Ramachandran, Shuvaprasanna Bhattacharjee, Jogen Chowdhury, Ganesh Pyne, Ram Kumar, Satish Gujral, Arpita Singh, Jayashri Burman, Chintan Upadhyay, Vijender Sharma would be displayed by various art galleries in the Fair.Galleries from Korea, Russia, USA, Spain, France, Greece, Romania, Bangladesh, Nepal and many other countries would be participating in the Fair, along with many indian galleries as well.last_img

District TMC leader found dead body recovered from septic tank

first_imgKolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of a district Trinamool Congress leader whose body was found inside the septic tank of a factory with several injuries on his body.So far three persons have been arrested in connection with the incident. Police suspect that he might have been murdered.The incident took place in Madhyamgram in North 24-Parganas on Sunday morning. The incident triggered tension among the locals. The victim has been identified as Sudhir Das (52), who had been the president for Trinamool Congress at ward number 1 under Madhyamgram municipality. The factory is situated in Digberia area of Madhyamgram. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt was learnt that the victim used to work as a security guard at the local factory. He had been missing since Saturday afternoon. The family members of the victim told the police that he went to work on Saturday morning. Unlike other days, he did not come home to have his lunch in the afternoon.The family members thought he might have been busy at his work and hence unable to come home. As he did not return home after his work hours, the family members started a search operation in the nearby area and informed the relatives. After failing to get any trace of the victim, his family members registered a missing dairy at the local police station. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedOn the basis of the complaint, police started a search.They carried out a search inside the factory and finally spotted his body inside the septic tank.Police found several deep injury marks on his body as well as his head, which suggest that he might have been hit with a heavy substance before being pushed into the septic tank, police suspect.The body was recovered at around 5 am on Sunday. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that he might have been murdered following rivalry.They are yet to ascertain the real motive behind the murder. The investigators are looking into the CCTV footages of the factory.The district police have started a detailed probe into the incident. After examining the CCTV footages, police have found out that the victim was sitting near the septic tank on Sunday afternoon when an unidentified man entered the factory with his face covered with a cloth.The suspected accused came out of the factory after 50 minutes.According to a senior police officer in the district, the victim had deep head injuries, suggesting that someone had hit him with a heavy substance.Four persons including another security guard of the factory have been arrested in this connection so far.Rathin Ghosh, Chairman of Madyamgram municipality and also the local MLA called the incident unfortunate and assured that the assailants would be arrested soon. Stringent action would be taken against those who have committed the crime, he said.last_img

Dadri lynching SP BJP continue sparring match

first_imgFuelling the ongoing controversy over the Dadri murder, controversial BJP MLA Sangeet Som on Sunday attacked Samajwadi Party (SP)-led UP government, alleging it was appeasing the minority community, and that innocent people were being framed for lynching a man over a beef-eating rumour. Som, accused of making inflammatory speeches during the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, alleged that state government was acting in a biased manner like it did during violence in western UP two years ago and was shielding those who were involved in cow slaughter. He said, “Like they had taken the accused in Muzaffarnagar riots in a plane, they have taken those who have slaughtered cow in a plane. Even when a person is killed, they have a different set of rules. Sanjay Rahul Yadav was shot in the incident, but is anyone aware. Did the government help him?”Also on Sunday, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav met the victim Mohammad Akhlaq’s family in Lucknow saying that justice will be delivered, also announcing an assistance of `45 lakh for the family. Yadav also asserted that his party will “never do politics” over such matters even as his government came under intense attack from political opponents following the incident. After a two-hour meeting with family members of Akhlaq, who was lynched and his son seriously injured, Yadav announced raising of the financial assistance to 30 lakh from 20 lakh besides five lakh each to his three brothers. “The government is with the family in its time of grief. No one can imagine what they have gone through. I have assured the family that justice will be done and legal action will be taken against the accused,”  he told reporters in Lucknow after meeting Akhlaq’s mother Asgari Begum, brother Mohammed Afzal, and daughter Shaista. Meanwhile, the Police have arrested eight persons and have detained a Home Guard for questioning. Police said the constable was detained after the local temple priest stated that the home guard allegedly forced him to make the announcement about a Muslim family allegedly consuming beef. Meanwhile, Congress attacked the BJP and its government at the Centre over the incident and said all progressive-thinking people should stand up against it.“This is a politico-ideological murder. There are some people who are trying to change the narrative of the country. They want that the minority should be second-grade citizens. The Government wants to dictate what people should eat, wear, how people should talk,” said Congress leader Manish Tewari.last_img

Rs 300 cr investment in North Bengal by entrepreneurs in MSME Sector

first_imgDarjeeling: Entrepreneurs will be investing Rs 300 crore this year in the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in North Bengal. Since 2011, investments to the tune of Rs 1,700 crore have already been made in this sector in North Bengal along with providing employment to as many as 2,500 people.During the MSME Conclave in Kolkata in August this year, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had proposed a similar conclave for North Bengal where problems of start-ups and entrepreneurs would be addressed. In line with her direction, “Siliguri Synergy” was held in Siliguri on Tuesday. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAlapan Bandyopadhyay, Additional Chief Secretary, MSME Department, while inaugurating the “Synergy” stated that the department needs to ensure that entrepreneurs do not have to rush to Kolkata to resolve problems. “All necessary help will be made available to them here itself,” he assured.The conclave organised by the MSME department and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) witnessed the participation of entrepreneurs from the North Bengal districts of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedDipankar Chakroborty, Joint Director, MSME, posted at Uttarkanya, has been deputed to look into the problems faced by the entrepreneurs. CII will also assist him in this task.The Additional Chief Secretary, MSME, asked the District Magistrates to fix up the rates of land available in their districts for the start-ups and other industries and declare the same. “The industrialists and entrepreneurs should not face any problems to change the classification of land,” stated Bandyopadhyay. He further assured the entrepreneurs present there of all help and cooperation from the state government. “We will also develop infrastructure that will aid industrialisation,” he added.Government officials from different departments were also present to answer queries and assist the start-ups. Stalls were put up by these departments. Bandyopadhyay along with other officials answered questions put forward. Issues like difficulty in acquiring fire licence, exorbitant power bills and problems faced in getting land to set up new industries were raised at the Synergy.The small tea growers of the Darjeeling Hills complained of non-cooperation by the Tea Board relating to various issues and problems faced by the growers including Geographical Indication (GI) for the small tea cultivations. They further appealed for intervention by the MSME department.Bandyopadhyay asked them to hand in a detailed report regarding the problems and assured of all possible help from the department.last_img

Cooking for a cause

first_imgThis was the message that the disadvantaged urban young women were carrying with themselves when they arrived at an event organized by hotel Le Meridien on Saturday in the country’s capital.Launch of ‘Family Cooking Dates’ Season 3 was event where one could witness Shagun Chowdhary, who represented India in 2012 London Olympics and bagged the 20th position in trap shooting, dabbling in cooking with Master chefs of Le Meridien. Over 15 poor urban women were seen blending in with the guest at the very same cooking session as part of a training programme. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Special skill development training programme which was launched by Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi in April this year is all about transforming lives of young women by providing a chance to undergo training in all aspects of hotel operations. Delhi-based NGO- “Joining Hands” has collaborated with hotel Le Meridian in achieving the objective of imparting skills and enhancing livelihoods of the beneficiaries under the age of 25. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSpeaking on the occasion, Shagun said, “I have broken the stereotype of men coming forward in the area of shooting to become the only woman to qualify for trap shooting in the Olympics. I am happy to see this unique way of supporting the cause of women by creating avenues for underprivileged women to equip themselves to earn their livelihood in the hospitality sector.” Meena Bhatia, Vice President-Marketing and Operations, Le Meridian said, “With the launch of Family Cooking Dates, we unveil a whole new range of specially curated family sessions. To have a gifted woman like Shagun to launch the cooking dates in the presence of the beneficiaries gives a new perspective to a warm message of encouragement to students of the program to embark on a new journey of a better life.”last_img

Mamata remembers Netai victims

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday paid homage to those who lost their lives in indiscriminate firing at Netai village on this day in 2011, during the erstwhile Left Front government rule in the state. The firing allegedly carried out by CPI(M) workers had killed nine villagers, including women, and injuring as many as 28 people. “On January 7, 2011, innocent villagers were killed in indiscriminate firing from the house of a harmad in Netai village in Paschim Medinipur district. My solemn homage to those who lost their lives,” Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle Monday. The CBI had filed charge sheet against 20 people in the Netai massacre case in 2014.last_img

Riviera18 When Gambhir met VIT students

first_imgRiviera 2018, the annual sports and cultural extravaganza event that attracts some of the finest young minds from all over the world and which has become one of the most popular students’ International sports and cultural festival in India began at VIT in Vellore on Thursday. Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir inaugurated the gala event and gave away prizes to winners of the marathon held earlier in the day to mark the beginning of Riviera’18. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfOver 38,000 students from 400 universities and colleges, including those from Russia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Germany, Singapore, Bhutan, Uganda, Malaysia, Philippines, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, France, Afghanistan and Mauritius are taking part in this colourful international event held every year at VIT.Dr G. Viswanathan, Founder and Chancellor of VIT University, in his presidential address, said that the institution was in the forefront of innovations and creating new things every year. This year’s Riviera has surpassed the festival of the previous year. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAfter setting free a flock of pigeons to mark the auspicious inauguration of the event, Gautam Gambhir said that he had heard about the quality education imparted to the students, VIT hospitality and its humanitarian outlook. “Today, I got an opportunity to witness that,” he said. He said that after looking at the infrastructure and other facilities here, he had no doubts that VIT University will become the number one educational institute in India. He told the students that they have got a wonderful opportunity to pursue engineering in one of India’s topmost institutions and that they should make full use of the opportunity. After his address, he interacted with the students and also took a selfie with them.In the marathon event held over 9.9 kilometres earlier in the day, Mikiyas of Ethiopia won the first place, followed by Santhosh of Islamiya College, and Vaniyambadi and Binu Peettam of Kottayam St. Stephen’s College secured the third place.In the woman’s event, Kalaiselvi of Trichy Jenny’s College won the first place, second place was secured by M. Vanitha and Marina Mathew of Kochi and a former student of VIT won the third place. All of them received their prizes from Gautam Gambhir.G V Selvam, Vice President of VIT, presented a shawl and a memento to Gambhir. Among others who took part in the inaugural event included Vice-Chancellor Dr Anand A. Samuel, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr S. Narayanan, Director, Students Welfare Prof. Amit B. Mahindrakar and Organiser of Riviera cultural festival Prof. S. Sasikumar.Friday evening at VIT saw musical performances by Vijay Prakash, Saindhavi and Shirley Setia. The event also included programmes featuring directors Pushkar and Gayathri, Puri Jagannath, actors Pooja Devariya, Shradha Srinath, music composer S.S. Thaman and Dhara Singh, who will receive the Mr India title.Actor Rana Daggubati of Bahubali fame will take part in the valedictory function to be held on February 18.last_img

Trinamool moves EC against Central forces

first_imgArambag/Kolkata: Going on the offensive against the Central forces, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress on Tuesday moved the Election Commission, accusing the troopers of influencing the electorate to vote for the BJP during phase-3 of the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal. State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made public the party’s move while addressing an election rally at Khanakul in Hoogly district. “Today I have got the news that in Malda South constituency’s Englishbazar, Central force personnel entered the polling booth number 166 and 167 and influenced the voters to vote for BJP. They have no rights to do this. We have lodged an official complaint against them,” Banerjee said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata “Police cannot enter the polling booths without the permission of the returning officer. They are asking people standing on the queues to vote for BJP,” she alleged. Malda south and Balughat are two of the five Bengal Lok Sabha constituencies, where polling was held on Tuesday. Trinamool’s North Dinajpur district president Amal Acharya said in Itahar and other places, the Central force officers threatened to open fire as they had done in Uttar Pradesh. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state “The belief that the Central force will help in conducting a free and fair election is shattered. Their partiality is evident,” Acharya said. As per a source in the Chief Electoral Office, the commission has received a complaint against the Central forces and has sought a report. Meanwhile, Banerjee urged the troopers to stick to their duty of maintaining law and order and not try to influence the elections. “The Central force may come during the elections. They will come for a day, conduct elections and go back. State police guide them and help them out. I love both the forces. I do not differentiate between them,” she said. “I would request you and the state police to do your job. You are our guest and friend. If we form government at the Centre, you will work with me. Modi ji will not be there,” Banerjee said.last_img

An art trail in Bhubaneswar

first_imgCurators Jagannath Panda and Premjish Achari will put together a historic Bhubaneshwar Art Trail in the month of November this year. A venture of UTSHA, a contemporary art foundation set up by Jagannath Panda, it has been supported by the Odisha govt and the Tourism Dept. Stripped to its essentials, the art event is an attempt to unravel the multiple narratives which form the collective identity, history, and culture of Bhubaneswar, the historic capital city of Odisha. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”We are using this interactive public art project as a way to involve the community and artists to understand how we imagine and remember a city,” says Panda a world famous artist. “Through various art projects, our focus is to highlight how the city of Bhubaneswar is imagined and how it is remembered now. Cities are mediated by received knowledge and people’s memories and imaginations. Using public art as an important vector our attempt is to map the collective journey in the formation of a city by navigating through personal memories and learned knowledge.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThis project is located on a trail of 1.3 km in the historical city of Bhubaneswar. The street houses, important medieval monuments, modern and contemporary architecture, schools, shops, public institutions, etc.Artists will explore these edifices from different time periods, the trail, interact with the community, their history, personal memories, etc. to map the transformations and record not only the memories but the aspirations of the community and their dreams and yearnings about the city. “The theme of this edition is ‘Navigation is Offline’,” says Premjish Achari. “The title refers to the contemporary technology-driven societies’ overreliance on navigational technologies to identify, access and reach destinations. We look at the world through our cameras and our world has reduced to flat images which are uploaded, liked and shared on social media. Scholars have noticed how ‘screens at once provide (the screen as a window onto the world) and prohibit (the screen as buffer or barrier) access to our global social, political and economic realities’. It affects and conditions our understanding of the world.””This project is an attempt to address this issue in our contemporary life. We are attempting to understand the memories, stories, tales and the history associated with the people living around this short trail. We as travelers will chronicle its biography. While being on this trail we will retell tales of our own journeys while also listening to the new tales from Bhubaneswar,” explains Achari.In all, 20 artists from Odisha and other states of India as also from abroad have confirmed their participation in the project. The important contemporary artists, who are participating from India and abroad, are Sudarshan Shetty, Arunkumar H.G., Markus Baenziger, Gigi Scaria, etc.4The participation of the local community living around the trail. They are providing us with their residential space to display artworks. This is a big USP of the event. We believe no art event in India has attempted it so far,” says Panda.4The trail is located alongside medieval historical monuments (7th century AD onwards) and because of this project the area will be developed without hampering the structures. We are using traditional materials for its reconstruction.”4The artists from Odisha are young and this will be a wonderful opportunity for them to show their works along with leading artists from India and abroad. This will be the first public art venture of Odisha on such a scale and we will attempt to leverage contemporary art to inspire the community, ” he addsArtists will stay in the old town of Bhubaneswar for one month and interact with space, local community and young art students. Students from various art colleges have agreed to volunteer for this venture. Art colleges have opened up their studios for the visiting artists to work there.4Our attempt is to promote a new way of building cities which does not ignore the traditional structures. Our vision is to promote Bhubaneswar as a heritage city,” adds Panda.last_img

Health minister for Mamata intervention

first_imgNew Delhi: Union minister of health and family welfare Harsh Vardhan on Friday appealed to chief minister Mamata Banerjee to personally intervene and resolve the impasse in hospitals because of the agitation by junior doctors. The Union minister wrote to the chief minister urging her to provide a “secure working environment to doctors” in Bengal. At the same time, he said “doctors must also be oriented towards treating patients with courtesy and exhibiting compassion in their interactions”. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata “I take this opportunity to urge upon you (Mamata Banerjee) to personally intervene in resolving the current impasse and taking steps to provide a secure working environment to doctors in the state of West Bengal. The entire country is being adversely affected due to developments in West Bengal and therefore ensuring an amicable end to the agitation will be beneficial and is strongly warranted. The government of India is with you in this endeavour and is fully willing to provide any assistance you may need in this regard,” the letter read. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state Junior doctors have been on strike in Bengal since Tuesday and have paralysed health care. Harsh Vardhan expressed concern that the agitation was not “heading towards a resolution”. “They (the doctors) work for long hours under stressful conditions, grappling with a huge number of patients. Strong action against any person who assaults them must be ensured,” the Union minister wrote to Mamata. He hoped that the state government would tide over the crisis through better communication with the agitating doctors and through a “compassionate approach”. “It is a matter of concern that the agitation by doctors in West Bengal is not heading towards resolution, but seems to be getting aggravated. Better communication with doctors and a compassionate approach to take care of the genuine problems being faced by them in day to day functioning would definitely be helpful in tiding over the crisis which has been created,” Harsh Vardhan said. The assault on junior doctors at NRS Medical College and Hospital has triggered protests by fellow doctors in hospitals in other states as well. “I am writing to you in the context of the recent attack/assault on doctors at NRS Medical College, West Bengal, and the subsequent handling of the agitation by the state government. As you must be aware, resident doctors in many parts of the country are agitating and not providing OPD services today. This has caused severe hardship to patients who came for treatment leading to adversely affected healthcare services in the country,” Harsh Vardhan wrote. “Madam, you will agree with me that doctors form an important pillar of society. Our doctors rank among the best in the world…. They work for long hours under stressful conditions, grappling with huge load of patients. It is our duty to provide good working conditions and a secure environment to them. Strong action against any person who assaults them must be ensured by the law enforcement agencies.”(With inputs from Telegraph India)last_img

Internet may alter Brain Functions

first_imgThe Internet can alter specific brain regions and affect our attention capacity, memory processes and social interaction, a study has found. The research, published in the journal World Psychiatry, showed that the Internet can produce both acute and sustained alterations in specific areas of cognition. The researchers, including those from Oxford University in the UK and Harvard University in the US investigated leading hypotheses on how the Internet may alter cognitive processes. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIt further examined the extent to which these hypotheses were supported by recent findings from psychological, psychiatric and neuroimaging research. The report combined the evidence to produce revised models on how the Internet could affect the brain’s structure, function and cognitive development. “The key findings of this report are that high-levels of Internet use could indeed impact on many functions of the brain,” said Joseph Firth, Senior Research Fellow at Western Sydney University in Australia. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”For example, the limitless stream of prompts and notifications from the Internet encourages us towards constantly holding a divided attention – which then in turn may decrease our capacity for maintaining concentration on a single task,” said Firth, who led the study. “Additionally, the online world now presents us with a uniquely large and constantly-accessible resource for facts and information, which is never more than a few taps and swipes away,” he said. “Given we now have most of the world’s factual information literally at our fingertips, this appears to have the potential to begin changing the ways in which we store, and even value, facts and knowledge in society, and in the brain,” he added. The recent introduction and widespread adoption of these online technologies, along with social media, is also of concern to some teachers and parents. However, the report also found that the vast majority of research examining the effects of the Internet on the brain has been conducted in adults – and so more research is needed to determine the benefits and drawbacks of Internet use in young people. Firth said although more research is needed, avoiding the potential negative effects could be as simple as ensuring that children are not missing out on other crucial developmental activities, such as social interaction and exercise, by spending too much time on digital devices. “To help with this, there are also now a multitude of apps and software programs available for restricting Internet usage and access on smartphones and computers – which parents and carers can use to place some ‘family-friendly’ rules around both the time spent on personal devices, and also the types of content engaged with,” he said. “Alongside this, speaking to children often about how their online lives affect them is also important – to hopefully identify children at risk of cyberbullying, addictive behaviours, or even exploitation – and so enabling timely intervention to avoid adverse outcomes,” said Firth. “The findings from this paper highlight how much more we have to learn about the impact of our digital world on mental health and brain health. There are certainly new potential benefits for some aspects of health, but we need to balance them against potential risks,” said John Torous, a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School.last_img

Governor of West Bengal releases book on Rich Indian civilisation

first_imgA world-acclaimed book, titled ‘Great minds on India (Bengali version) – authored by a Northeast-based writer and researcher Salil Gewali, was launched by the Governor of West Bengal Keshari Nath Tripathi at Raj Bhavan, Kolkata, recently. The special function organised was attended by a galaxy of scholars, academicians, and media houses, and social organisations. The event was moderated by Professor Debanjan Banerjee.The Governor heaped praises on Gewali’s work by saying, “The book showcases exceptionally rich civilization of India and its remarkable contributions to the world in the development of Modern science, Mathematics, Linguistic, Metallurgy, Cosmology, Psychology, and other areas.” Also Read – Add new books to your shelfQuoting from Gewali’s book, the governor said, “Twenty-four centuries before Isaac Newton, the Indian scriptures asserted that gravitation held the universe together. The Sanskrit speaking Aryans subscribed to the idea of a spherical earth in an era when the Greeks believed in a flat one.” Emphasising the importance of the book in the present contest, the Governor further added, “This title doubtlessly serves as a light of wisdom even to the educated who have lost their faith in the ancient heritage. Truly, ancient knowledge has been held as eternal wisdom. Our most beloved eleventh President of India, eminent scientist – Dr Abdul Kalam has regarded Vedas as the oldest classics and the most precious treasures of the East. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveGreat philosopher, writer, poet, and artist Rabindranath Tagore was highly inspired by the Upanishads and the works of the greatest Sanskrit poet Kalidas while writing his ‘Geetanjalee’. And Mahatma Gandhi, an epitome of peace, tolerance, and non-violence also admitted the Bhagawata Geeta as a boundless ocean of priceless gems.” Finally, the governor stated in his speech that “Unless we are awakened now, a day might not be that far when we have to send our children to the western countries to study Upanishads and Patanjali Sutras.” This unique book has been translated into Bengali by Dr RN Das and edited by Professor Nirmal Maity of Kolkata.last_img

The Most Popular Music from Auschwitz Performed for First Time Since 1945

first_imgWhen one thinks of Nazi concentration camps like Auschwitz, music is certainly not the first thing that comes to mind. However, a music theory professor from the University of Michigan has recently unearthed what is believed to be one of several popular pieces of music played at Auschwitz.Auschwitz, in Poland, was one of a network of concentration camps set up by the Nazis during the Second World War. It was first built to house Polish political prisoners, the first of whom arrived at the camp in 1940.Auschwitz-Birkenau main track. Photo by C.Puisney CC BY-SA 3.0It consisted primarily of three parts: Auschwitz I, the original section; Auschwitz II-Birkenau, which was both a concentration and extermination camp; and Auschwitz III-Monowitz, which was a labor camp. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was one of the largest sites of Jewish extermination: around 1.1 million people are believed to have died at the camp, 90 percent of whom were Jews.Life in the camps was extremely hard to say the least. Prisoners’ days lasted from between 3:00 and 4:30 in the morning (depending on the season) until the evening. They had little food, no rest during their 12-hour workday, and accommodations were beyond deplorable. Sanitary conditions were miserable, with inadequate latrines until some were installed in 1943, and little fresh water.Still photograph from the Soviet Film of the liberation of Auschwitz.Vermin like rats and lice were rampant, and many prisoners died of typhus and other bacterial infections, not to mention starvation and malnourishment. In short, it was a brutal, horrifying existence for all who were imprisoned.So it is surprising, perhaps, to discover that the music played at Auschwitz was particularly upbeat. According to Professor Patricia Hall, who examined the manuscripts of music from the camp, she was “completely thrown” by the song titles, let alone the actual music.Auschwitz, Poland – January 1, 2011: The Auschwitz concentration camp is located about 50 km from Krakow. The picture shows two rows of electrical barbed wire surrounding the camp on winter day.Hall had traveled to Auschwitz in 2016 with the hope that she could learn more about the music that had been played at the camps during the Second World War. Two of the more popular song titles translated as “The Most Beautiful Time of Life” and “Sing a Song When You’re Sad.”Over the next two years, she examined several other hand-written music manuscripts that had been arranged and performed by prisoners. Eventually, this led to the performance of one of these pieces for the first time since 1945.Oswiecim, Poland – February 16, 2018: The famous arch of the concentration camp Auschwitz. Inscription: Arbeit macht frei (work sets you free).In essence, Hall wanted to resurrect the music that had been lost to time after the liberation of the camps. “I’ve used the expression, ‘giving life,’ to this manuscript that’s been sitting somewhere for 75 years. … Researching one of these manuscripts is just the beginning — you want people to be able to hear what these pieces sound like. … I think one of the messages I’ve taken from this is the fact that even in a horrendous situation like a concentration camp, that these men were able to produce this beautiful music.”In order to make this happen, she asked for help from another university professor, Oriol Sans, who is director of the Contemporary Directions Ensemble, as well as Josh Devries, a graduate student who was able to transcribe the manuscripts into music notation software in order to make them easier to read and play.In October 2018, the ensemble gathered to record “The Most Beautiful Time of Life.” In its first public presentation since the Second World War, the piece was performed at a concert in November 2018 at the University of Michigan.“Selection” of Hungarian Jews on the ramp at Auschwitz-II (Birkenau), May/June 1944When Professor Patricia Hall played the recording at one of her university lectures, the audience was visibly uncomfortable. The piece is upbeat, a foxtrot, and featured “euphoric lyrics” about falling in love in the spring and cherishing one’s precious time. It was not at all what her audience was expecting: “I’ve heard various adjectives used to describe this foxtrot, even like ‘twisted,’ given the situation that it was performed in and created in.”Using data from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, Hall was able to identify the three musicians who had originally arranged the music, as two of them had signed it with their prisoner identification numbers.The original manuscript. Photo by Auschwitz-Birkenau State MuseumThey were Antoni Gargul (number 5665) and Maksymilian Pilat (number 5131). And because the museum’s archives also had photographs of the two men, Hall was able to put faces to the names associated with the manuscript. As she stated, “The transformation of going from a number to the face of this person was a very read more