Month: August 2019

It Comes From Space to Solve our Energy Problems

first_img Citation: It Comes From Space to Solve our Energy Problems (2006, March 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-03-space-energy-problems.html Figure 1: Early prototype bioreactor on the roof of the MIT cogeneration plant. Greenfuel has advanced the design and scale since. Cambridge, Mass (photo courtesy of: the http://fraserdomain.com) Originally inspired by NASA studies into regenerative life-support, the technology incorporates specially shaped tubes of water and site-specific algae at the end of large-scale sources of Carbon Dioxide such as coal-burning plants, reducing CO2 emissions by up to 40% and NOx by up to 86%, according to the company.“This is a really big idea.” said GreenFuel founder and MIT Aeronautics Professor Isaac Berzin during a recent interview with Scientific American. While the idea of using algae to clean smoke is not new, GreenFuel has made two breakthroughs that it believes will make the concept viable. First, it developed techniques to tailor algal species to specific sites, increasing efficiency and reducing problems such as die-off that have plagued other attempts. “There are a lot of variables which go into selecting a given strain of algae, from basic environmental factors such as climate and light levels, to power-plant factors like the nature of output gases, to post-processing requirements.” explained Marty Goldenblatt, VP of Sales, in a recent interview with PhysOrg. “We use rapid adaptation devices which allows us to find what set of algae is best for different conditions.”The company has also optimized the algal growth system itself, creating a triangular tubing arrangement which causes rising bubbles of smoke to mix the algae, ensuring all of it has adequate light levels. The geometry also simplifies harvesting, allowing gravity to sweep out heavily grown tubes. “You can think of it as milking a cow.” Berzin has said. Central to GreenFuel’s business proposition, harvested algae can then be converted to bio-diesel, Ethanol, or other products that customers can sell for profit. While captured CO2 and NOx would be re-released in another combustion process, each molecule will have been used more than once, greatly reducing overall emissions.Somewhat ironically, GreenFuel’s founder and MIT Aeronautics Professor Isaac Berzin got the idea to use algae to save the environment here at home while working on a project to help take humans to other worlds. Contracted to develop an advanced life-support system for NASA, Berzin worked with aquatic microbes like algae that could turn carbon dioxide from human breath and other waste sources back into oxygen. He soon realized algae’s ability to capture carbon make it ideal for reducing pollution from pollution-generating plants on Earth.With such promising technology, what impedes full-scale implementation? “Space.” Says Goldenblatt, “Like all solar-based energy we need land over which to expose the algae. This can limit where we deploy.” Another hurtle involves convincing often-conservative utility executives to invest in cutting edge technology.These issues notwithstanding, GreenFuel is pressing forward and gaining steam. They received over $11 million in second round Venture Capitol funding this December and recently moving to a 13,000 square foot facility. Currently, they are in negotiations with the New York State Energy Research Group to conduct analyses and initial tests of power plants in that state.By Matthew Silver, Copyright 2006 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. GreenFuel Technologies Corporation, a start-up company in Cambridge Massachusetts, wants to use little green algae to cleanse the smoke from polluting smokestacks, converting it back into bio-fuels such as diesel or ethanol.last_img read more

Go park yourself Volvo driverless prototype will obey w video

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. More information: via Volvo PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Explore further © 2013 Phys.org Toyota, Audi driverless demos will pull up to CES Citation: ‘Go park yourself’: Volvo driverless prototype will obey (w/ video) (2013, June 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-06-volvo-driverless-prototype-video.htmlcenter_img (Phys.org) —Conversations about advancements in driverless cars on the road eventually have to pull over to discuss what happens when the cars need to be parked. Interactions with pedestrians and other moving objects are among the self-parking challenges confronting automobile R&D. Volvo is eager to ignite interest in its efforts thus far. They have developed the driverless car that, with the assistance of a smartphone, parks itself in a suitably vacant space. Here’s their concept. The driver drops the vehicle off at a designated drop off zone at the parking lot. The driver uses a mobile phone application to activate “Autonomous Parking.” Pressing a button on that mobile device institutes the command to the vehicle to go park itself; the driver walks away from the car. The vehicle deploys its sensors to navigate to a free parking space. The sensors and cameras scan for pedestrians and vehicles. Once a parking space is found, the vehicle parks there and automatically sends the driver notification that the Volvo has parked safely. “There are so many advantages to autonomous driving, said Toscan Bennett, Volvo vice president, product planning, “it is difficult to list them all.” He said he would with safety, and, after that, environmental benefits. Above all, auto manufacturers realize the attractive sales potential in being able to offer such a feature. As Bennett put it, “Who wouldn’t want a car that drops you at your doorstep and then goes off and parks itself?” Volvo Car Group has developed an ingenious concept for autonomous parking. The concept car finds and parks in an open space by itself, without the driver inside. Interestingly, MIT Technology Review in March this year took a look at self-parking cars and reported how Audi was running an experimental project in Germany which involved drivers who use a parking garage in Ingolstadt. The driver steps out of the car, and lets it drive into the garage to find a parking spot for itself. By pressing a button on a smartphone application, the car obeys in returning to the garage entrance. The garage, said the report, had laser systems that map the environment in 3-D, so that special cars with radar and wireless receivers could make their way through the garage while navigating past other cars, sense an open spot, pull in, and shut off the motor. The report said it would take more time to perfect and implement the technology. Play The procedure is then reversed. (When you need the vehicle you send a command to the phone that you want to pick the vehicle up. The vehicle proceeds to navigate itself through the parking lot to the designated area; you pick it up and drive off.)Volvo said the system is such that existing parking lots could be used, so that investment costs in infrastructure would be lower. Autonomous parking and platooning technologies are in development, said Volvo. But, as of now, Volvo is saying they are the first car manufacturer in the world, according to the video, to show a prototype of a self-parking car that interacts with other road users.last_img read more

Study reveals traits and evolutionary history of carnivorous bats

first_imgA Common Vampire Bat, Desmodus rotundus, feeding on an animal. Showcase of taxidermied animals, Natural History Museum, Vienna. Credit: Wikipedia/CC BY 3.0 © 2016 Phys.org Study in bats and rodents offers insights on how viruses spread across species More information: Sharlene E. Santana et al. Go big or go fish: morphological specializations in carnivorous bats, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2016). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.0615AbstractSpecialized carnivory is relatively uncommon across mammals, and bats constitute one of the few groups in which this diet has evolved multiple times. While size and morphological adaptations for carnivory have been identified in other taxa, it is unclear what phenotypic traits characterize the relatively recent evolution of carnivory in bats. To address this gap, we apply geometric morphometric and phylogenetic comparative analyses to elucidate which characters are associated with ecological divergence of carnivorous bats from insectivorous ancestors, and if there is morphological convergence among independent origins of carnivory within bats, and with other carnivorous mammals. We find that carnivorous bats are larger and converged to occupy a subset of the insectivorous morphospace, characterized by skull shapes that enhance bite force at relatively wide gapes. Piscivorous bats are morphologically distinct, with cranial shapes that enable high bite force at narrow gapes, which is necessary for processing fish prey. All animal-eating species exhibit positive allometry in rostrum elongation with respect to skull size, which could allow larger bats to take relatively larger prey. The skull shapes of carnivorous bats share similarities with generalized carnivorans, but tend to be more suited for increased bite force production at the expense of gape, when compared with specialized carnivorans.Press release Skulls from an insectivorous bat (top), a carnivorous bat (middle) and a fish-eating bat (bottom). Credit: Sharlene Santana Bats hold a special place among the creatures of the world, at least from the perspective of us humans, throughout history we have been both frightened and mesmerized by their ways. But until now, it has not been clear what sorts of evolutionary changes they have gone through that has allowed some species to become carnivorous—eating such prey as rodents, frogs, birds, lizards and a few even dine on other bats. To learn more about the adaptations that have occurred that allowed for this change in diet, the research pair gained access to 140 bat skulls representing 35 species and proceeded to study them using geometric morphometrics—where spatial landmarks are used to note features independent of the overall size of the object under study.In looking at their data, the researchers discovered that carnivorous bats are on average bigger than non-meat eating bats, and they also tend to have longer snouts, which likely make it easier to take down prey. It would also allow for closing the jaw faster, the researchers noted, a good skill to have when trying to grab an animal that is attempting to flee. The researchers also found that one group of carnivorous bats stood out from the others—those that eat fish. Regardless of location, they all tended to have slightly shorter and wider snouts which typically projected slightly upwards—adaptations that would make it easier to catch and hold onto a slippery wet fish. What the researchers found most striking was the similarity in adaptations—species that had been separated by millions of years of evolution and who lived in vastly different environments, tended to have the same adaptations to allow them to catch and eat other animals. They noted too some similarities between carnivorous bats and other meat eaters, such as bears, dogs and especially weasels, which like the bats, tend to eat animals that are larger than they are. 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. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Phys.org)—A pair of researchers with the University of Washington has found similarities between different types of carnivorous bats compared to those that are insectivores or those that eat fruit, nectar or of course blood. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Sharlene Santana and Elena Cheung describe their study and analysis of multiple species of bats and what they found by doing so. Citation: Study reveals traits and evolutionary history of carnivorous bats (2016, May 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-05-reveals-traits-evolutionary-history-carnivorous.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

Testing the advantage of being lefthanded in sports

first_img Journal information: Biology Letters Explore further Credit: CC0 Public Domain (Phys.org)—Sports scientist Florian Loffing with the Institute of Sport Science, University of Oldenburg in Germany has conducted a study regarding the possibility of left-handed athletes having an advantage over their right-handed counterparts. In his paper published in the journal Biology Letters, Loffing describes assembling data on athletes from several sports, analyzed it and found what he describes as a pattern. Citation: Testing the advantage of being left-handed in sports (2017, November 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-11-advantage-left-handed-sports.html © 2017 Phys.orgcenter_img More information: Florian Loffing. Left-handedness and time pressure in elite interactive ball games, Biology Letters (2017). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2017.0446AbstractAccording to the fighting hypothesis, frequency-dependent selection gives relatively rarer left-handers a competitive edge in duel-like contests and is suggested as one mechanism that ensured the stable maintenance of handedness polymorphism in humans. Overrepresentation of left-handers exclusively in interactive sports seems to support the hypothesis. Here, by referring to data on interactive ball sports, I propose that a left-hander’s advantage is linked to the sports’ underlying time pressure. The prevalence of left-handers listed in elite rankings increased from low (8.7%) to high (30.39%) time pressure sports and a distinct left-hander overrepresentation was only found in the latter (i.e. baseball, cricket and table tennis). This indicates that relative rarity and the interactive nature of a contest are not sufficient per se to evoke a left-hander advantage. Refining the fighting hypothesis is suggested to facilitate prediction and experimental verification of when and why negative frequency-dependent selection may benefit left-handedness. 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. Some people believe that being left-handed confers an advantage for athletes—they are ranked more often on top athlete lists than statistics would suggest. Only 10 percent of people are left-handed, yet there are many famous left-handed athletes such as Wayne Gretzky, Lou Gehrig, Oscar De La Hoya and Martina Navratilova. Interestingly, it seems that this is an area of research that few have studied. To fill that void, Loffing conducted a study designed to offer more than an opinion on the matter. He collected stats on the top 100 left-handed athletes in six major sports for the period 2009 to 2014: tennis, table tennis, squash, cricket, baseball and badminton. He then compared them to one another based on handedness.After some number crunching, Loffing reports that he found a pattern—in sports where there is a short time constraint, lefties appeared to excel. He found, for example, that just 9 percent of the top 100 players in slower time-response sports, such as squash, were left-handed. In sharp contrast, 30 percent of the top players in sports like baseball (at least for pitchers) were lefties. One sport, table tennis, which is possibly the fastest competitive sport of all, stood out—Loffing reports that 26 percent of the top male players are lefties. In general, he found that sports with short response times like baseball, table tennis and cricket were 2.6 times as likely to have top lefties.In light of his conclusions, Loffing wonders if being lefty offered early humans an advantage—the element of surprise in fights with other humans or even animals might have made a difference. That might explain, he suggests, why left-handedness has not evolved away, pointing out that some prior research by others has shown that there is a higher rate of left-handedness in traditional warlike societies. Shedding light on southpaws: Sports data help confirm theory explaining left-handed minority in general populationlast_img read more

Selfdomesticating mice show changes similar to intentionally domesticated animals

first_img In 2002, a group of researchers embarked on a long-term study of the behavior of common mice and disease transmission. To that end, they trapped several specimens and let them go in a special barn—one with doors small enough to keep out predators. The researchers also offered plenty of food and water, an enticement to stay. Over the next several years, the population of mice grew and the researchers got to study them. Then, in 2006, one of the researchers noticed that the mice had begun developing small patches of white fur, something unknown in the wild. As time passed, more of the mice sported the peculiar white patches. By 2016, the team reports, the number of mice with the white patches had doubled. Curious at the change, the team took a closer look and found that head size had changed, as well—becoming smaller by 3.5 percent on average, mostly due to shorter snouts.The shorter snout was notable because it was a feature also reported by a team that famously conducted a study of captive foxes back in the 1950s in Siberia. The foxes were not deliberately tamed, but the researchers only allowed those with the most tame traits to breed. Over multiple generations, several physical changes occurred, including the development of shorter snouts, curly tails and floppy ears—making the foxes look more like domesticated dogs. A century before, Charles Darwin had named such changes “domestication syndrome.”The results reported by the team in Switzerland suggest that the same type of domestication changes can occur even when the animals domesticate themselves. Currently, the exact mechanism behind such changes is not known, though some in the field have suggested it is likely tied to the neural crest, a group of cells involved in early development. More information: Madeleine Geiger et al. A longitudinal study of phenotypic changes in early domestication of house mice, Royal Society Open Science (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.172099AbstractSimilar phenotypic changes occur across many species as a result of domestication, e.g. in pigmentation and snout size. Experimental studies of domestication have concentrated on intense and directed selection regimes, while conditions that approximate the commensal and indirect interactions with humans have not been explored. We examine long-term data on a free-living population of wild house mice that have been indirectly selected for tameness by regular exposure to humans. In the course of a decade, this mouse population exhibited significantly increased occurrence of white patches of fur and decreased head length. These phenotypic changes fit to the predictions of the ‘domestication syndrome’. Credit: CC0 Public Domain © 2018 Phys.org 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. Journal information: Royal Society Open Sciencecenter_img Explore further Citation: Self-domesticating mice show changes similar to intentionally domesticated animals (2018, March 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-self-domesticating-mice-similar-intentionally-domesticated.html Russian geneticist repeats dog domestication with foxes in just fifty years A large team of researchers working over a period of 15 years in Switzerland has found that self-domesticating mice tend to evolve in ways similar to some animals that are intentionally domesticated by humans. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the group describes their project and their findings.last_img read more

HMC forms high power committee to monitor work against vectorborne diseases

first_imgKolkata: Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) has formed a high power monitoring committee for better execution of work to check vector-borne diseases.The committee is headed by Mayor Dr Rathin Chakraborty, while commissioner Bijin Krishna is the convenor.The other members of the committee include Bhaskar Bhattacharjee, Member Mayor-in-Council (Health) and senior officials of all the concerned departments.In a bid to ensure checking of vector-borne diseases in all the 66 wards of HMC, the authorities have taken proactive steps and the committee has been formed to make sure that all the necessary tasks are carried out at the right time. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThere will be at least one meeting of the committee in a week, in which there will be discussions on different related issues. Bhattacharjee said: “The main task of the committee would be to ensure timely completion of all projects and its meeting will be held soon.” It may be mentioned that there are 80,000 health workers of HMC who visit door-to-door on a regular basis and collect information to know if there is anyone who is suffering from high fever. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe health workers report immediately to the concerned officials, in case they find anyone suffering from any vector-borne disease. The officials take all necessary steps to ensure that no more people from the area suffer from the diseases.At the same time, the civic body has a rapid action team that works to carry out necessary tasks at major institutions. Presence of a separate team to work in these places ensures that the workers who are deployed at respective wards, can continue with their work in a specific place, without getting disturbed. The high level monitoring committee will assess the work that will be undertaken every week and accordingly, necessary decisions will be taken if any changes are required.It may be mentioned that there is a separate committee for each district, headed by the respective district magistrates. But HMC has now formed its own high level monitoring committee, to ensure that residents of its 66 wards do not have to suffer from vector-borne diseases. It may be recalled that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier held a high level meeting at Nabanna over the issue and directed all concerned authorities to take necessary measures in this regard. Accordingly, all the authorities have taken the necessary measures and now, HMC has formed the high level monitoring committee.last_img read more

Matter of pride

first_imgAchyuta Samanta, social activist and reformer from India, was honoured with Isa Award for Service to Humanity, a top civilian award of the Kingdom of Bahrain, on June 3. Samanta received a certificate of appreciation, a gold medal and cash prize from King Hamad of Bahrain.  The honour is in recognition of Samanta’s humanitarian work, said Deputy Premier and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the award, Shaikh Mohammed Bin Mubarak Al Khalifa. This award is given every two years to individuals or organisations whose selfless actions produced long-term benefit to the general public, enhanced efforts in finding solutions to humanitarian and social problems and issues, and adopted creative ideas and theories to raise the standard of life. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Samanta has been working for the uplift of poorest of the poor indigenous community in Odisha for the last two and a half decades. His passion led him to establish Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), a free residential institute for 25,000 tribal children. He also founded KIIT, a group of professional institutes, to make this social enterprise sustainable through a unique and innovative financial model.  The award is named after the Late Amir Shaik Isa Bin Salman-Al Khalifa, former ruler of Bahrain. The recipient of the award is chosen by an expert panel representing each continent chaired by Swede Jan Paulsson, while the board chairman is Deputy Premier Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa. A jury member Mohammed Bensaissa of Marroco put on record, “Dr Samanta is the most worthy candidate, because he has overcome so many obstacles to help the community”.last_img read more

Threeday Chinese film festival in Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: The Chinese consulate in Kolkata, in cooperation with Nandan – the culture hub of Bengal – is set to organize a three-day film festival here. Seven Chinese films, including action-adventure comedy ‘Kung Fu Yoga’, martial arts flick ‘Tai Chi Hero’ and fantasy-drama ‘Rest On Your Shoulder’ will be screened at the festival from August 11 to 13, a statement issued by the consulate said yesterday. “The film fest is part of the on-going effort of the Chinese consulate to increase understanding of China in Kolkata and Eastern India and promote cultural exchanges between the countries,” it said. The tickets for the fest will be available for free at Nandan Complex from today. “After the screening of each film, there will be a short quiz contest and souvenirs will be given to the one who gives the right answer. The consulate will also host a film review session for the audience,” the statement added.last_img read more

Traffic violators beware Offenders can now land in jail for up to

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Police has lodged First Information Reports (FIRs) against 46 habitual offenders, who have either violated traffic rules or were involved in over-speeding. Most of these offenders have violated traffic rules more than ten times and a handful of them have erred more than 20 times.”In the last two months, we have identified as many as 46 habitual offenders. They had to spend a night behind bars before getting bail from the court the next day. Their licences have been seized and cancelled for a period of three months,” a senior official of Kolkata Police’s traffic department said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeKolkata Police has been implementing Section 279 of IPC in the harshest possible way to curb rash driving. Section 279 of IPC under the recent Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill empowers the law enforcers to arrest a person who violates traffic rules or indulges in over-speeding on more than three occasions.Previously, they used to get away by paying fines. The highest punishment under Section 279 of IPC can lead to imprisonment for six months.Kolkata Police has identified these offenders on the basis of speedometers and closed circuit TV cameras installed on a number of roads in the city. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt has been learnt that the department has made a list of around 100 vehicles that have frequently indulged in rash driving or violated traffic rules. The limit for four wheelers on city roads should not be more than 60 km per hour while that for two wheelers should be not more than 50 km per hour.The police have also introduced a system of sending instant SMS for traffic violation to vehicle owners at some important thoroughfares in the city. “We are gathering all possible evidences to ensure that those drivers who turn a blind eye to traffic rules and regulations with hands on the steering are punished as per law,” a traffic department official said.last_img read more

Turning off email app on phone can make an individual happy

first_imgIf reducing stress is on your mind, turning off the e-mail app on your phone can be an easy and inexpensive way to bring happiness back into your life, new research suggests.E-mail can simultaneously be a great communication tool and a source of frustration and stress, the findings showed.In a survey of around 2,000 people, London-based London-based Future Work Centre found that people who automatically receive e-mail on their devices are more likely to report higher levels of e-mail pressure. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The study also pointed out that checking e-mail earlier in the morning or later at night is associated with higher levels of email pressure. “People who reported higher levels of e-mail pressure also experienced greater interference between work and home – and home and work,” the report said.However, how much e-mail pressure you feel and the extent to which it interferes with your work-life balance may depend on your personality.“Our research shows that e-mail is a double-edged sword. Whilst it can be a valuable communication tool, it is clear that it is a source of stress of frustration for many of us,” said lead author Richard MacKinnon, insight director, Future Work Centre, was quoted as saying by Daily Mail. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“The people who reported it being most useful to them also reported the highest levels of email pressure,” MacKinnon noted.Managers experience significantly higher levels of e-mail pressure when compared to non-managers, the results of the survey showed.“But the habits we develop, the emotional reactions we have to messages and the unwritten organisational etiquette around e-mail, combine into a toxic source of stress which could be negatively impacting our productivity and wellbeing,” MacKinnon said.last_img read more

Hakims campaign at ward 82 ends ahead of bypoll

first_imgKolkata: The campaign in ward 82 of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) came to an end at 4pm on Friday, as the by-election will take place on Sunday.Firhad Hakim is contesting from the ward against Jiban Sen of BJP and Sishir Dutta of Left Front. Earlier in the day, Justice Debangshu Basak of Calcutta High Court passed an order stating that nominating Hakim for the post of Mayor is constitutional. Bilkis Begum of CPI(M) had filed a petition, challenging his nomination as unconstitutional. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHakim started campaigning from Chetla Agranani Club, along with Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh and minister of state for Fire and Emergency Services (Independent charge) Sujit Bose. Hakim said during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rule, the number of people beaten to death has gone up in BJP-led states. The condition of the farmers has gone from bad to worse and the voice of democracy has been stifled. The by-election became necessary after Trinamool Congress councillor Pranab Biswas resigned. Earlier, Sovan Chatterjee had resigned from the post of Mayor. Hakim, who is the state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister, was nominated as the Mayor by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe KMC Act, 1980, was amended which stated that only councillors can become Mayor. The amendment states that anyone can become the Mayor, but will have to win a by-election within six months. Hakim was elected in ward 82 15 years ago, when he first became a councillor. He was a Member, Mayor-in-Council in the civic board in 2010. He became a minister in 2011 and relinquished the post. Hakim left no stones unturned and paid visit to every house in the ward. As a local boy, he is immensely popular in the area. During his tenure as a councillor, massive development took place in Chetla and its neighbouring areas.last_img read more

CM inaugurates Sampriti flyover

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday inaugurated the elevated road flyover stretching from Jinjira Bazar to Batanagar through remote control from the Gangasagar camp grounds at Babughat. State Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim and Trinamool MP Abhishek Banerjee were present at Batanagar at the time of its unveiling.”The flyover has been named ‘Sampriti’ to go with the spirit of unity in diversity that Bengal upholds. The flyover is 7 km long and the total cost has been Rs 250 crore,” Banerjee said, assuring that repair work of the road running adjacent to the flyover is being undertaken on a war footing. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalThe Chief Minister said that at the time of construction of the flyover, there was an agreement between a private concern and Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) that toll tax will be imposed on the bridge. But following demands from the local people to waive such tax, the state government has decided not to impose any tax on two wheelers and four wheelers. “We do not impose any such tax on our bridges and recently, we have also waived toll tax for two wheelers on Second Hooghly Bridge,” Banerjee said. A senior KMDA official informed that there will be toll tax only on goods vehicles. The Chief Minister said that KMDA is planning to come up with four more flyovers in the city to speed up traffic movement and reduce congestion. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt may be mentioned that the Sampriti flyover is the first in the city to be built on PPP mode. The Centre has given 35 percent of the cost since this is a JNNURM project and the rest has been borne by the consortium of RiverBank Holdings and its joint venture partner L&T Dabriwala. The flyover will reduce the travel time from Batanagar to Taratala to little more than 10 minutes from half-an-hour. MP Abhishek Banerjee said that the 7 km road beside the flyover, which is not in good shape, will be repaired in a month’s time and there will be no vehicular movement on the flyover until the road gets repaired. Soucres in the Urban Development department said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has future plans of taking one flank of the flyover to Joka and another flank to connect Tollygunge Phari, Anwar Shah Road, Jadavpur and Garia. “However, the extension plan will depend on the availability of funds,” a KMDA official said.last_img read more

Education dept clears confusion regarding closure of schools

first_imgKolkata: The state Education department on Friday issued a fresh notification declaring that all government, government-sponsored and non-government-aided schools in the state will remain closed on May 3 and May 4, due to the prediction of severe cyclonic storm Fani.The notification states that all these schools will also remain closed from May 6 to May 20 until commencement of summer vacation, due to the prevailing heat wave. It further states that schools will remain closed till June 30 due to anticipated extreme weather conditions. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe notification issued on Thursday declaring that classes will remain suspended in all government, government-sponsored and non-government-aided schools from primary to higher secondary level from May 3 to June 30 due to Fani and heat wave, had created some confusion among a section of teachers and guardians. State Education minister Partha Chatterjee said: “There was some confusion regarding Thursday’s notification. Hence, we have issued a new one.” He also posted the new notification on his Facebook page. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateMeanwhile, Jadavpur University postponed all its examinations scheduled in the second half on Friday and Saturday. The final examination of engineering and some practical examinations of science were scheduled to be held in these two days. A notice by the Controller of Examinations was put up on the varsity’s website, declaring postponement of the examinations till further notification. Regular classes were held at Calcutta University and Rabindra Bharati University, even though student attendance was feeble. CU has no examinations scheduled before May 23, when the results of the Lok Sabha elections will be announced.last_img read more

Can eating late breakfast early dinner help in losing weight

first_imgStruggling to cut down your body fat? Eating breakfast late, but having an early dinner may help, suggests a pilot study.The findings showed that people who delayed their breakfast by 90 minutes and had their dinner 90 minutes earlier than usual lost more than twice as much body fat on average.Further, those who changed their meal times ate less food overall, than those who did not, the researchers said. “Although this study is small, it has provided us with invaluable insight into how slight alterations to our meal times can have benefits to our bodies,” said Jonathan Johnston, from the UK’s University of Surrey. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Reduction in body fat lessens our chances of developing obesity and related diseases, so is vital in improving our overall health,” he added.For the study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Sciences, the team conducted a 10-week experiment on ‘time-restricted feeding’ – a form of intermittent fasting.Participants were split into two groups – those who were required to delay their breakfast by 90 minutes and have their dinner 90 minutes earlier, and those who ate meals as they would normally (the controls). Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAlthough there was no restriction on what the participants could eat, the team found that 57 per cent of participants showed a reduction in food intake either due to a reduced appetite, decreased eating opportunities or a cutback in snacking, particularly in the evenings.However, 57 per cent of participants felt they could not have maintained the new meal times beyond the prescribed 10 weeks because of their incompatibility with family and social life. “Fasting diets are difficult to follow and may not always be compatible with family and social life. We therefore need to make sure they are flexible and conducive to real life, as the potential benefits of such diets are clear to see,” Johnston noted.last_img read more

The Boarding School Nightmare of Young Prince Charles

first_imgPrince Charles, who turned 70 on November 14th, has waited, patiently, to assume the British throne. What kind of king will he be? A look into his formative years may provide a clue. In a sense, Charles’s early years would be a tug-of-war between family members.As a young boy, he was spoiled by his loving grandmother, the Queen Mother, who appreciated his sensitive, thoughtful nature, and encouraged his love of music and art.The Prince of Wales in December 2017. Photo by Mark Jones CC BY 2.0But her “kid gloves” approach also amplified his less-desirable qualities — among them, insecurity, timidity, and a tendency to whine.Those very traits became a source of irritation for his father, Prince Philip, a strong-minded disciplinarian who often belittled his son, sometimes to the point of bullying.When Charles turned eight, the Queen and Prince Philip decided that he needed the company of other children and sent the boy to Hill House School in London, then to Cheam School, the oldest private school in England. (In fact, Charles would be the first future king or queen to be educated outside the palace.)Alas, the timid little boy had a hard time making friends.Prince Charles with his parents and sister in October 1957.As Charles’s time at Cheam was drawing to a close, a decision had to be made on where he would continue his education. The royal family was divided.The Queen Mother wanted Eton College, the prestigious boarding school which was close to Windsor Castle, stressing in a letter to her daughter, Queen Elizabeth, that Eton was “ideal . . . for one of his character & temperament.”Charles’s great-uncle, Lord Mountbatten, also preferred Eton College.Portrait of Charles, Prince of Wales, in Buckingham Palace, 1974. Photo by Allan Warren CC BY-SA 3.0But the Duke of Edinburgh was intent on his son attending his alma mater, Gordonstoun. His argument was two-fold: First, he argued, the Prince would have more privacy at the school, which was located in a remote part of northeastern Scotland.Secondly — and, one suspects, more to the point — Philip believed the severe discipline and tough terrain of Gordonstoun would toughen up his timid son. Ultimately, the Queen would side with her husband.Gordonstoun House as seen from the South Lawn. Photo by Nibaba CC BY-SA 3.0In May 1962, Philip, a licensed pilot, flew his son to a Royal Air Force base in Scotland, then drove him the rest of the way to school. It would be the start of a miserable experience for Charles — one he would come to refer to as a “prison sentence.”Founded by Kurt Hahn, a Jew who fled Germany during the Nazi uprising, Gordonstoun sought to build character with physical challenges. Philip had a rough time initially, but he would come to love the school, later crediting it with shaping him into the man who would become. He hoped it would do the same for his son.HRH The Duke of Edinburgh with guests at Hillsborough Castle during a visit to present 100 Gold Award Certificates to Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants. Photo by Aaron McCracken / Harrisons Photo by Northern Ireland Office CC BY 2.0He could not be more wrong. Unlike his outgoing and athletically-gifted father, Charles had trouble fitting in. He despised the school’s Spartan atmosphere. The Prince lived in Windmill Lodge with thirteen other boys.Each day began with an early-morning run before breakfast, followed by an ice-cold shower. The boys slept in dormitories on rock-hard bunks, the windows left open year around, even during the winter. Charles nicknamed the school “Colditz in kilts” (after the German castle that was used as a POW camp during World War II).The Queen visiting Prince Charles at Gordonstoun School on his last day, July 31, 1967. Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty ImagesWorse, the heir to the throne became a target for classmates and was constantly bullied. He was flattened during rugby matches — even by his own teammates — and mocked for his jug ears. Anyone who did try to befriend him was accused of sucking up to the Prince. Decades later, Ross Benson, a contemporary of Charles’s, would say, “He was crushingly lonely for most of his time there. The wonder is that he survived with his sanity intact.”Indeed, in a letter to his mother, Charles would write: “I hardly get any sleep in the House because I snore and I get hit on the head all the time. It’s absolute hell.” His torment fell on deaf ears, with an unsympathetic Prince Philip penning steely replies, advising his boy to buck up.Prince Charles and Princess Anne with Tricia Nixon, Julie and David Eisenhower.One person the Prince had in his corner was Donald Green. The royal bodyguard, assigned to watch over Charles — in an inconspicuous way — became a father figure of sorts.But he was fired during Charles’s second year at Gordonstoun after allowing the underage Prince to order a cherry brandy on a school outing. (An eagle-eyed tabloid reporter spilled the beans.) With that, Charles had lost his sole source of support.Dead set on making a man out of his son, Philip sent the 17-year-old to Australia for six months, to attend Timbertop, a rural outpost of Melbourne’s Geelong Grammar School.Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip disembark from a British Airways Concord.This decision turned out to be a wise one: The school, far away from home, would be a revelation for the boy.His Australian classmates, friendly and unpretentious, embraced the Prince, accepting him as one of their own — even giving him the nickname “Pommie” (good-natured Australian slang for Englishman).Charles and Diana in Woombye, 1983. Photo by Queensland State Archives CC BY 4.0Like Gordonstoun, the school emphasized physical challenges, but in this friendlier atmosphere, Charles thrived, tackling cross-country hikes in sweltering heat and spending frigid nights camped out in a sleeping bag.What’s more, Charles received high praise from the school’s headmaster, Thomas Garnett, who described him as, “A friendly, intelligent, natural boy with a good sense of humor.”Charles would return to Gordonstoun in 1966 for his final year, graduating in 1967. Leaving the grounds for good, he said all the right things about his time spent at the school — how it taught him self-discipline and helped him grow as a person.Read another story from us: The Unhappy Royal Couple – Charles and Diana’s Loveless MarriageYears later, in fact, the Prince would insist that his supposed hatred of the school was exaggerated. Still, it bears noting that his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, would attend Eton.last_img read more

The Extraordinary Volkswagen Bug Decorated with over 2 Million Glass Beads

first_imgEver seen a Volkswagen bug with beads? One of the most iconic cars of all time, The Volkswagen Beetle first rolled out of the factory in 1938 and has since become a symbol of different alternative cultures and movements all over the world. When production ended in 2003, over 21 million units had been built. The manufacture of the Beetle was ordered by Adolf Hitler with the intention of designing a car affordable for everyone. As such, the popular Bug has been loved by millions of people.The first one was designed by Ferdinand Porsche, while the last Beetle car was produced in Mexico in 2003, and delivered directly to the VW museum in Wolfsburg, Germany.The Vochol. Photo by Museo de Arte Popular CC BY 3.0Over almost a century, people have designed and customized their Beetles in some unique ways. However, the Vochol is probably incomparable with any other: It is decorated with more than two million glass beads.The genesis of the Vochol is rooted in the culture of Huichol Indians of Nayarit and Jalisco states, Mexico, who are known for their intricate beadwork.View of a decorated fender. Photo by Museo de Arte Popular CC BY 3.0In the past, they used to decorate items such as masks, Jaguar head figures and bull horns using seeds as the primary material.Nowadays, the old materials are replaced with ceramics, metal, stone, and glass. However, the traditional technique of gluing them with a type of wax made in the Mexican state of Campeche is still applied.Back panel (over motor) of the Vochol. Photo by Museo de Arte Popular CC BY 3.0The original Volkswagen Beetle is iconic in Mexico. Although they are now replaced, in the past, all taxis around Mexico used to be Beetles.So, herein lays the name – Vochol – which is a hybrid of “vocho”, the Beetle’s nickname in Mexico, and Huichol. Two families, the Bautistas from Jalisco and the Ortiz from Nayarit, embarked on this project that eternalized their traditional art form.Volkswagen Beetle covered in beads – the Vochol. Photo by Museo de Arte Popular CC BY 3.0Artists Francisco Bautista Carrillo and his daughter Kena Bautista completed the work with the help of six other artisans from both families. The project to create this Volkswagen bug with beads began in 2010 with the sole purpose of creating a piece of art that would promote Huichol culture and their artistic skills.Photo by Museo de Arte Popular CC BY 3.0After 4,760 man-hours and utilizing 2,277,000 beads, the Vochol was completed. The seven-month-long project was finalized at the Muse de Arte Popular in Mexico City.Related Video:All the images depicted on the Vochol represent the Huichol culture. On the roof is pictured a large sun and four eagles, representing the union between men and the gods.Closeup of a side mirror of the Vochol. Photo by Museo de Arte Popular CC BY 3.0The sides of the car are decorated with images of the gods of fire, corn, sun, peyote, and deer, while on the back of it is a shaman steering a canoe. On the hood, there are two snakes above clouds symbolizing rain.There is also a representation of the Eye of God. Depicted as a figure with five points it illustrates the light, strength, knowledge, history, agriculture and the present time, while the center represents the source of life.On the front fenders of the Vochol are inscribed the phrases “100 years since the Mexican Revolution” and “200 years of Independence” in the native Huichol language.Interior of the Vochol. Photo by Museo de Arte Popular CC BY 3.0It is considered “The most Mexican Vochol” of all. After it was completed in 2010, the Vochol toured different parts of Mexico and the world starting with the contemporary art fair Zona MACO and the Museum of Popular Art in Mexico City, and extending its voyage to museums in the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America.Read another story from us: Thrust SSC – Went Over 750 MPHThis fascinating Volkswagen bug with beads has been exhibited in the Smithsonian, the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, the Musée de Quad Branly in Paris, the exhibition of Potters Fields Park in London, and many others.last_img read more

North Korea nuke test Medical marijuana in Ohigho Millionaire food stamp fraud

first_imgWar and Peace author Leo Tolstoy was born today in 1828.“The one thing necessary in life, as in art, is to tell the truth” – Leo Tolstoy, born #OnThisDay 1828.https://t.co/AaF5nMaAoq— In Our Time (@BBCInOurTime) September 9, 2016 Seismic activity indicates North Korea nuke test.Unusual seismic activity near North Korea nuclear test site, agencies report https://t.co/iMk5awA1lF— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) September 9, 2016 O-high-o. Medical Marijuana legal in the Buckeye state.Medical marijuana becomes legal in Ohio today https://t.co/LhcGRi7xPn— WHIOTV (@whiotv) September 8, 2016 Gary Johnson is embarrassed over his Aleppo answer. Finally! New test can find Zika in meth!Worried about meth contaminated with Zika? Officers offer to test your drugs for free: https://t.co/fNeyD28psn pic.twitter.com/bbCZXD4m8o— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) September 9, 2016 Millionaire raided for collecting food stamps.EXCLUSIVE | Geauga County millionaire collecting food stamps speaks to WKYC’s Tom Meyer https://t.co/HKEIPg5B6t pic.twitter.com/Hes4wSPOK8— WKYC Channel 3 News (@wkyc) September 8, 2016 Advertisement High school football team makes touching tribute to cheerleader battling Leukemia.California high school football team places orange roses at the feet of cheerleader battling leukemia. pic.twitter.com/phdp3D2j0P— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 8, 2016 iPhone 7 parody.last_img read more

VIDEO The Rockets shamed JJ Watt on the jumbotron until he put

first_img Watch the Watt-shaming:J.J. Watt called out for not wearing #Rockets t-shirt at Toyota Center. Claimed shirt was too small. Not tighter than the one he’s wearing. pic.twitter.com/POMOCK3VVA— Texas Sports Nation (@ChronTXSN) April 17, 2017 Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was in attendance at the Rockets home playoff opener yesterday and was “too cool” to put on his Rockets promotional fan shirt.Someone with the Rockets saw that Watt wasn’t wearing the shirt, and shamed him into it by throwing him up on the jumbotron with the caption “Put on your shirt.”Shame. Shame. Shame.Watt acted like the shirt was too small, but who was he kidding? He’s never seen a shirt that was too small. He eventually put it on, and avoided further ridicule. Advertisementlast_img read more

Its time to find out if Dak Prescott can carry the Cowboys

first_imgIt’s time to find out if Dak Prescott can carry the CowboysDak Prescott has gone from late round draft pick to franchise quarterback in a little over a year, but has had the benefit of relying on a dominant offensive line and Ezekiel Elliott to run the ball since being named the starter.With Elliott beginning to serve his suspension this week, Colin thinks now is the time we will find out if Dak can lead Dallas to the playoffs without having the luxury of leaning on Elliott and the running game.This is when we find out if Dak belongs in the top tier of quarterbacks that put their franchises on their back, or if he’s just a really good quarterback in the perfect situation. Russell Westbrook is better alone than trying to fit in with a Big 3The Thunder and there new Big 3 are off to a slow start, and unlike Cleveland, who’s missing one of their key pieces in Isaiah Thomas, OKC is at full strength. It’s not working now, and based on what he’s seen, Colin isn’t sure they will ever develop into a serious contender in the West.Some people are better as solo acts, instead of part of a group, and with Westbrook, he’s more effective when he’s unleashed as a force of nature, rather than trying to go out of his way to make sure Carmelo and Paul George are happy. Guests:Chris Broussard – FS1 NBA Insider is in-studio talking about OkC’s chemistry problems; if the Thunder would consider trading Paul George if they can’t get it together; and Lonzo’s scoring struggles; andMike Shanahan – Former NFL Head Coach is in-studio to talk John Elway’s success in Denver; and his son taking over in San Francisco; and if he would consider coaching again.Bruce Feldman – Fox Sports College Football Analyst talking college football playoffs; why he thinks Notre Dame has a good chance to get in; his current Final Four; and if there’s any reason for long-term concern for Ohio State.last_img read more

VIDEO Vikings flagged for softest roughing the passer penalty in NFL History

first_imgThe new ‘Helmet Rule’ has already been on the receiving end of plenty of fan outrage after a number of head-scratching penalties and ejections through the first 2 weeks of the preseason, but the most outrageous flag from the games so far has to be the flag that Vikings linebacker Antiwione Williams drew for roughing the passer on a seemingly harmless sack of Cody Kessler on Friday.According to the league, the penalty falls under the new ‘Rodgers Rule’ – named after Anthony Barr’s collarbone breaking sack of Rodgers from last season – which is designed to prevent excessive contact on QB sacks. Even under the rule, It’s hard to tell what the NFL wants Williams to do here, maybe give Kessler some cookies and put down a pillow to land on?Colin has said that the NFL would severely overcall penalties under these new rules to get a baseline for the regular season. Let’s hope Colin is right.last_img read more