Month: August 2019

Rowheel wheelchair is pulled to move forward

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first_img Off-road wheelchair for developing countries unveiled Explore further The Rowheel system can be fitted to any standard manual wheelchair without modifications to the frame, and is easy and quick to dismantle for wheelchair portability. It looks similar to standard manual wheelchairs. Nasser said a commercial version would use a carbon fiber material for the hub, spoke and wheel rim assembly for lower weight and ease of assembly and dismantling.The design won Nasser the $20,000 grand prize in the Create the Future Design Contest run by the publishers of the NASA Tech Briefs magazine. The annual contest attracts around a thousand product designs from over 50 countries.Nasser is now a NASA engineer working at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He is a wheelchair user himself, and like 75 percent of people using wheelchairs, relies on a manual wheelchair. Using a pulling motion transfers the loads to the stronger muscles of the upper back, the biceps in the arms, and posterior deltoids in the shoulders, which increases the occupant’s range and endurance and reduces the chance of stress injuries.The system, invented by Salim Nasser of Merritt Island, Florida, uses a planetary gear system in the center of the wheels that converts the pulling movement of the wheelchair occupant into a forward movement of the chair. The planet carrier motion is attached to the chair frame and a ring gear is attached to the wheel hub fixed in the wheel via spokes. When the occupant pulls the standard rim, which is connected to the planetary system sun gear, the planet gears are engaged, and they in turn engage the ring gear fixed to the wheel hub. The bearings fixed to the inner and outer hub plates have a large bore and small cross-section to allow relative motion between the plates and the hub casings.Nasser developed the wheelchair design as a university project during his time as a student at the Florida International University. Over a four-month period he constructed a working prototype from standard third-party tires, spokes, rims and bearings. The gear system and hubs were specially constructed. (PhysOrg.com) — Wheelchairs have a basic problem because the occupant must push the wheels forward to turn the chair’s wheels, but this action is physically stressful on the anterior deltoid muscles in the shoulder and the triceps and flexor carpi muscles in the arms. Using these smaller and relatively weak muscles can result in muscle and joint pain and degredation, torn rotor cuffs, repetitive stress injury, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Now a new wheelchair, the Rowheel System, uses the much more natural pulling (rowing) motion to move the chair forward. More information: contest.techbriefs.com/compone … /content/article/589 © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: Rowheel wheelchair is pulled to move forward (2010, October 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-10-rowheel-wheelchair.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Scientists suggest protocol for messaging to aliens

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first_img(PhysOrg.com) — In 1974, humans broadcast the first message targeted at extraterrestrial life using the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico. The message, which was aimed at the globular star cluster M13 located 25,000 light years away, consisted of binary digits that encoded information about our DNA, as well as graphics of a human, our Solar System, and the Arecibo telescope. Since then, humans have sent three other messages to nearby stars and planets (20-69 light-years away). These messages have become more complex and anthropocentric, with music, photographs, and drawings submitted by the public. Now a team of scientists, Dimitra Atri from the University of Kansas, Julia DeMarines from the International Space University in France, and Jacob Haqq-Misra from Pennsylvania State University, has proposed that future attempts of messaging to extraterrestrial intelligence (METI) should follow a standard protocol to maximize communication effectiveness. They think that some of the content of past METI broadcasts, which contain sights and sounds, would likely go unnoticed by extraterrestrials who do not have visual or auditory perception (like some organisms on Earth). Instead, the researchers argue that short, simple messages with minimal anthropocentrism, and which rely on simple physical or mathematical language, have the best chance of success.In their study, which will be published in a future issue of Space Policy, the researchers say that a METI protocol should provide constraints and guidelines for factors such as signal encoding, message length, information content, anthropocentrism, transmission method, and transmission periodicity. Currently, there are three antennas that have the capability of transmitting messages to planets anywhere in our galaxy; these telescopes are located in Arecibo, Puerto Rico; Goldstone, California, US; and Evpatoria, Crimea, Ukraine.The researchers acknowledge the argument of some critics that broadcasting our presence to extraterrestrials is a security risk, since an advanced civilization would likely possess the capability to destroy us. But they note that Earth has been emitting electromagnetic signals into space for nearly 100 years due to the unintended leakage from TVs, telecommunications, and aviation. As the researchers explain, any civilization capable of radio transmission that lies within a radius of 100 light-years could detect our TV and radio, and would already know we’re here.The scientists also emphasize that searching for and attempting to communicate with extraterrestrials is as much about understanding ourselves as it is about finding aliens. Once a protocol is developed, the researchers hope to test it in different human cultures throughout the world in order to minimize cultural bias and make the message as universal as possible. The researchers also plan to create an interactive website at which users can create, send, and decrypt messages to each other that follow the protocol. The researchers explain that, even if most of these messages are never sent into space, they will still allow people from different cultures to better appreciate our human diversity.“In the next few weeks, we will be collaborating with mathematicians and radio astronomers to come up with both the content and mode of communication of the message,” Atri said. “As suggested in the paper, it will not be anthropocentric like previous attempts. Once our collaboration comes up with a protocol, we will create an interactive website to test it globally. Anyone with internet access will be able to suggest his/her own message within the protocol guidelines based on scientific principles. We are also open to suggestions from both the scientific community and the general public for improvements in the protocol. It will be a community effort.” Citation: Scientists suggest protocol for messaging to aliens (2011, February 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-02-scientists-protocol-messaging-aliens.html Hello, Hello, Earth? More information: Dimitra Atri, Julia DeMarines, and Jacob Haqq-Misra. “A Protocol for Messaging to Extraterrestrial Intelligence.” arXiv:1101.4968v2 [physics.pop-ph] arxiv.org/abs/1101.4968 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. Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore further The Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. NAIC – Arecibo Observatory, a facility of the NSFlast_img read more

Research group shows iPhones cost less to support

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first_img Vonage makes free Facebook phone call app © 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore further ClickFox reached its conclusions by analyzing support data from North American carriers; after eliminating call data for questions about billing or queries about plan options, the company found that calls for assistance with iPhones were generally handled more expeditiously than those for Blackberry and even more so than for Android calls.ClickFox, though not revealing exact figures noted that the main difference between the types of support were the number of calls that had to be transferred to other support reps, i.e. difficult problems often require the assistance of more than one support rep to get resolved. ClickFox says that the number of transfers for iPhone callers is fewer than for Blackberry users, and far fewer than for Android users.In an interview with InfoWorld, analytics director for ClickFox , Lauren Smith said that Blackberry users cost support carriers a total of $46 million more to support than iPhone users did for their support, while Android users cost theirs $97 million more. ClickFox suggests the disparity is due to the higher degree of difficulty in learning and using the Blackberry and Android phones versus the iPhone, resulting in confused users calling support lines only to find the reps oftentimes confused as well. ClickFox says that while iPhone users typically have their questions or problems resolved on the first call, Blackberry users find themselves transferred to another rep 37% of the time; and Android users get transferred a staggering 77% of the time.This announcement by ClickFox comes at a bad time for Android users as reports from the recent DefCon Hacking conference in Las Vegas, suggest that the Android OS has a flaw in it that allows one app to change the focus of another app without user consent. Worse, the offending app can apparently also disable the Back button, preventing the user from going back to the original app. Security experts say such a flaw, in addition to being annoying, can allow a secondary app to masquerade as the first, setting up the user for a phishing attack. (PhysOrg.com) — ClickFox, a firm that analyzes customer experience when trying to solve problems with their technology has focused its attention on how much work and cost is involved in supporting and troubleshooting problems related to the three main kinds of smartphones; the iPhone, Blackberry and those running Google’s Android OS. They found that iPhone’s are cheaper to support than Blackberry’s and Android phones are the most expensive of all. Citation: Research group shows iPhones cost less to support (2011, August 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-08-group-iphones.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

USB 100W spec will pump up power for juicing tablets notebooks

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first_img © 2011 PhysOrg.com Citation: USB 100W spec will pump up power for juicing tablets, notebooks (2011, August 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-08-usb-100w-spec-power-juicing.html Explore further Industry Leaders Proposed Superspeed USB 3.0 Specification More information: Press release: www.usb.org/press/USB_Power_De … ry_Specification.pdfcenter_img (PhysOrg.com) — The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has announced a revised power delivery spec that means significant changes in how consumers will be able to power up tablets, notebooks, and a range of other e-devices. The new spec, designed for backwards compatibility with USB 2.0 and support for USB 3.0, promises to deliver up to 100W of power. It’s that capability–of delivering as high as 100 watts of power—that carries the excitement. The jump from 5W 900mA to 100W 20A is expected to extend the use of USB as an instant connection once the spec is implemented. The USB 3.0 Promoter Group is populated by HP, Intel, Microsoft, Renesas Electronics, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The Group developed the USB 3.0 specification, released in November 2008, supporting speeds up to 4.8 Gbps. That represented a ramp-up approximately 10 times faster than the USB 2.0. The newest effort is far more ambitious. “Building on the rapidly increasing industry momentum for using USB bus power to charge a broad range of mobile devices, the new USB Power Delivery specification extends USB’s cable power delivery capabilities beyond simple battery charging,” said Brad Saunders, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman. “Charging the battery of a notebook PC, or simply powering that notebook PC while actively using the USB data connection, would be possible,” he stated. “Conceivably, a notebook PC could rely solely on a USB connection for its source of power.”Fundamentally, the USB 3.0 has been facing a tougher reality of a gadget-heavy universe where the 5 W limit has become burdensome for users of devices like the iPAD, which uses closer to 10W. The timeline for the spec has several phases. There is an industry review scheduled for later this year. In mid-September, the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco will offer more information and plans for a pre-release industry review.A final spec will be sent to the USB Implementers Forum early next year.But one observer, Tutorial Online, tempered the excitement with a note from recent history. “Still, consumers may not see the benefits of the new technology so soon thereafter. Though the USB 3.0 standard was formalized in November 2008, the first consumer products based on USB 3.0 didn’t arrive until early 2010.”last_img read more

Research team finds disk encryption foils law enforcement efforts

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first_img(PhysOrg.com) — A joint U.S./UK research team has found that common encryption techniques are so good that law enforcement, from local to highly resourceful federal agencies, are unable to get at data on a computer hard disk that could be used to prove the guilt of people using the computer to perpetuate crimes. In looking at the current technology, the team, as they describe in their paper published in Digital Investigation, find that if criminals use commonly available hard drive encryption software, law enforcement very often is unable find anything that can be used against them. Contrary to what we all see in the movies and on television, cracking an encrypted drive is not a simple thing; in fact, it’s so difficult that if someone has encrypted their hard drive, there is apparently little law enforcement (or anyone else) can do read the data on the drive. Adding to the frustration, at least on the part of law enforcement, is the fact that they can’t force people to give up their passwords.The authors of the report suggest there are some things law enforcement can do, but they all must happen prior to a drive being buttoned up by encryption. Specifically, they say that law enforcement should stop turning computers off to bring them to another location for study, doing so only causes the need for a password to be entered to read the encrypted data. Also, in some cases, doing so causes the data to be automatically destroyed. Fortunately, there are some tools forensics experts can use to gather data if it sits untouched, such as copying everything in memory to a separate disk. The team also suggests that law enforcement look first to see if the drive has been encrypted before scanning it with their own software, as doing so will likely result in a lot of wasted time.The unfortunate bottom line though, is that the authors openly admit that once the drive is encrypted, there is little to nothing to be done, which a lot of criminals are surely going to be really pleased to hear. The team suggests that the government embark on a research mission of its own to figure out a way to subvert encrypted drives or it will find itself with little reason to bother confiscating computers used by criminals to commit crimes in the future. Citation: Research team finds disk encryption foils law enforcement efforts (2011, November 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-11-team-disk-encryption-foils-law.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. Explore furthercenter_img More information: The growing impact of full disk encryption on digital forensics, Digital Investigation, In Press. doi:10.1016/j.diin.2011.09.005AbstractThe increasing use of full disk encryption (FDE) can significantly hamper digital investigations, potentially preventing access to all digital evidence in a case. The practice of shutting down an evidential computer is not an acceptable technique when dealing with FDE or even volume encryption because it may result in all data on the device being rendered inaccessible for forensic examination. To address this challenge, there is a pressing need for more effective on-scene capabilities to detect and preserve encryption prior to pulling the plug. In addition, to give digital investigators the best chance of obtaining decrypted data in the field, prosecutors need to prepare search warrants with FDE in mind. This paper describes how FDE has hampered past investigations, and how circumventing FDE has benefited certain cases. This paper goes on to provide guidance for gathering items at the crime scene that may be useful for accessing encrypted data, and for performing on-scene forensic acquisitions of live computer systems. These measures increase the chances of acquiring digital evidence in an unencrypted state or capturing an encryption key or passphrase. Some implications for drafting and executing search warrants to dealing with FDE are discussed. © 2011 PhysOrg.com ElcomSoft undoes Apple’s location security fixlast_img read more

Internet Explorer users are warned against Poison Ivy

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first_img Explore further Rapid7, a security company, said it was a zero-day exploit making Internet Explorer 7, 8, and 9 vulnerable on Windows XP, Vista and 7 systems. Computer users can experience attacks if they visit a malicious website, which hands over privileges to the attacker. The attacker can run code of his choice in the context of the user. The attacker can delete or add files or change registry values. Security experts, like Rapid7, are advising business and general consumer users to avoid Internet Explorer until Microsoft issues a patch. Rapid 7 offered advice for Internet users to switch to other browsers such as Chrome or Firefox while waiting for a security update. HD Moore, CSO of Rapid7, said, though, that avoiding the browser might not even be enough, as many applications rely on the IE engine to render HTML. The exploit had already been used by malicious attackers in the wild but Rapid7 on Monday released an exploit module for Metasploit to allow security teams to get closer to the situation. Security experts can use it to simulate attacks that exploit the security flaw in Internet Explorer. They can see if their own corporate networks are vulnerable. Metasploit is a collaboration between the open source community and Rapid7. “We have added the zero-day exploit module to Metasploit to give the security community a way to test if their systems are vulnerable and to develop counter-measures,” according to Rapid7.Security watchers believe that the attacks are being made by the same people who previously figured out how to exploit a vulnerability in Oracle’s Java framework. Security sleuths peg the IE exploits on the China-based group called Nitro, a group that first made news last year when Symantec said they had done their mischief at 48 businesses.Romang said the zero-day season is not over yet. Microsoft said it is investigating reports of the bug. In the near term, as an interim step, Microsoft is urging Windows users to install free software designed to protect the Internet Explorer browser. The tool is called Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, or EMET. Microsoft says it as designed to help prevent hackers from gaining access to your system. “The toolkit includes several pseudo mitigation technologies aimed at disrupting current exploit techniques,” according to Microsoft. “These pseudo mitigations are not robust enough to stop future exploit techniques, but can help prevent users from being compromised by many of the exploits currently in use.” More information: www.rapid7.com/downloads/metasploit.jspwww.microsoft.com/en-us/downlo … etails.aspx?id=29851 Microsoft releases security patch for Web browser This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Citation: Internet Explorer users are warned against Poison Ivy (2012, September 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-09-internet-explorer-users-poison-ivy.html (Phys.org)—More than a few Internet Explorer users stand vulnerable to fresh attacks of Poison Ivy. In the latest headline in the “Internet Explorer has a flaw” saga, a security hole in Internet Explorer 7,8, and 9 is being exploited. Attackers can spring a back-door Trojan on an IE browser victim’s computer. The Trojan is known as Poison Ivy. Security researchers say the IE hole is new to them. They say the attacks have already taken place. Eric Romang, a security researcher, spotted the flaw a few days ago and blogged that a potential Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 and 8 zero-day is actually exploited in the wild. © 2012 Phys.orglast_img read more

Shudder action buys time for male spider from being killed

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first_img © 2013 Phys.org (Phys.org) —Stated in scholarly terms, a newly published study says research results suggest that “male web-building spiders employ a phylogenetically conserved vibratory signal to ameliorate the risk of pre-copulatory cannibalism.” Translation: A smaller and weaker male spider needs to rock the web so that the female spider won’t kill him before mating. Journal information: Scientific Reports Male black widows look for well-fed mates Explore further Citation: Shudder action buys time for male spider from being killed (2013, December 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-shudder-action-male-spider.htmlcenter_img More information: Male courtship vibrations delay predatory behaviour in female spiders, Scientific Reports 3, Article number: 3557 DOI: 10.1038/srep03557sites.google.com/site/behaviou … /marie-e-herbersteinsites.google.com/site/aewignall/media (a) Waveform of a vibration generated by an adult male shuddering in a female’s web, and (b) waveform of the same shudder in (a) played through an electromagnetic shaker. Credit: Scientific Reports 3, Article number: 3557 doi:10.1038/srep03557 The research was published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, by Anne Wignall and Marie Herberstein of Macquarie University in Australia. The paper is titled, “Male courtship vibrations delay predatory behaviour in female spiders.” Specifically, male Argiope spiders produce a “courtship” shudder-like vibration in the web, which seems to lessen their chances of being eaten, but the authors also point out that the action merely may buy some time to cause the larger female just to delay her predatory behavior. The shudder delays female aggression and risk of attack, they said, during the earliest and potentially riskiest stages of courtship. The vibration is interesting in that it solves a major problem for male web-building spiders, as they attempt to court female spiders without being mistaken for prey.The authors discussed their method: “We recorded the courtship shudders of five males in a web using laser vibrometry. To ensure that male courtship shudders would be accurately reproduced in our assays, we compared the vibrations from the original recording, and a recording from the electromagnetic shaker used to artificially generate the stimuli in the experiment. The vibrations matched well between the two sources.”Both authors have an interest in spiders as important models in evolutionary and behavioral research. Wignall, on her web site, noted her interest in understand more about spider courtship:”Male web-building spiders go through an elaborate courtship routine on the female’s web. While lots is understood about what happens after copulation in web-building spiders, there’s very little information yet about what is actually being communicated by the male during courtship, or how courtship has been shaped by the unique ecology of web-building spiders.” Similarly, Herberstein on her site noted spiders as important models in research. “For a long time spiders have been underestimated as intriguing and suitable models for a variety of evolutionary questions.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Fusion takes the stage

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first_imgA dance performance will celebrate the universality of emotions where different dance forms such as Bharatanatyam, the tango and classical ballet will meet to create dynamic harmony and explore the world of universal energy.The second edition of Connections is a collaborative venture between the French Embassy, Institut Francais, and the ministry of culture. The three-day event, beginning Jan 8, will take place at the Sri Ram Centre here.The brain child of Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer Rukmini Chatterjee, this event is a meeting and coming together of different cultures and art forms. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“I don’t think this is a fusion dance form, but meetings of different art forms where traditional and contemporary dance forms meet and subtle transformation takes place, without changing the original forms,” Chatterjee told IANS.“These performances will revolve around passion and desire and from profane to sacred,” she added.During these performances, the Paris-based danseuse elaborated how different dance forms will explore the world of universal energy and add different nuances of their forms to narrate a story that is rich in passion and desire.For the performance, Chatterjee was in touch with dancers from India and France over the social networking sites. They all are now in the capital to rehearse for the final act.When: January 8 Where: Sri Ram Centre, Mandi Houselast_img read more

Colours of wisdom

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first_imgUchaan Arts is organising a solo show titled Enlighment of the Buddha by Prince Chand. Enlighment of the Buddha is the artist’s expressions of the wisdom and divinity of Lord Buddha with his particular emphasis on divine light which is the light of highest self-realisation spread through deepest words of spiritual thought on life and reality.The artist sees Buddha as a creative spiritual God head and harnesses artistic tools to get his message across.  The artist tried to convey not an image but also certain bhavas — karuna, abhaya, wisdom etc. Buddha is depicted in yogic meditation Dhyani Buddha and is the most popular depiction of Him. Closed eyes of Buddha conveying a serenity and peace. There is a variety of works presented through different metaphors linked with the image of the Buddha. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Uchaan is a group of contemporary artists who believe in representing a broad spectrum of visual language, style and concepts for reaching out to arts community and beyond. The group of artists are groundbreaking contemporary visionaries, young upcoming talents and the masters. The aim is to bring visibility and credibility to the works of deserving talented artists who have been largely overlooked within the mainstream discourse.last_img read more

Queen of Hills set to see record footfall of tourists this holiday

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first_imgKolkata: Darjeeling, which had always been a favourite summer destination for tourists, is once again set to witness a record footfall during this season, as Kolkata-based tour agencies are seeing an unprecedented number of bookings this year.The tour operators have expressed their gratitude to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, whose able leadership has resolved the issues related to Darjeeling. Due to the Gorkhaland agitation, there had been a dip in the tourist footfall in the past one and half years. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to a tour operator on Lenin Sarani, many people have already placed their bookings for Darjeeling, during Durga Puja. The number has been increased a few times compared to the previous year. Last year, the other hill towns in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand had seen significant influx of tourists from Bengal, as agitation was going on in Darjeeling.”There is always a trend among the Bengalis to go to Darjeeling during the summer and Durga Puja. In the past one and half years, there had been a dip in the tourist flow to the hill station. The situation has become normal now, with people showing interest in Darjeeling again. This has become possible due to the prolonged efforts of our Chief Minister,” one of the officials of the tour operator said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedPeople from Bengal and other states preferred to go to other hill stations, due to the continued agitation. The agitation had hit tourism hardest in the last year. The worry of the tourists soared after Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung warned the tourists to stay away from Darjeeling, causing a serious economic crunch for the traders and hoteliers in the hill station.Things were getting worse as the tourists from Bengal and outside preferred not to visit Darjeeling due to the continuous threats of the GJM chief. The Bengal Chief Minister had lashed out at the GJM chief’s warning to the tourists, by saying ‘asking tourists to keep away amounts to keeping away Goddess Lakshmi’.The hospitality and transport sectors were badly affected as the people deserted one of India’s oldest hill stations. The issue was resolved following prompt and effective action by the Chief Minister and also through implementation of various development schemes in the hill station.A Siliguri-based tour operator said that Darjeeling is expected to see record footfall during this year’s Puja and Christmas. They have already started taking bookings for the Puja holidays in October.last_img read more

KMC students teachers to get raincoats umbrellas

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first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will soon handover raincoats free of cost to its school students and umbrellas to its teachers. This was announced by the Education department of the civic body in a programme organised by KMC to mark the occasion of Teachers’ Day on Wednesday.”We had earlier decided to provide our students and teachers with umbrellas. However, Mayor Sovan Chatterjee has proposed that students should be given raincoats. Hence, we have cancelled the proposal of handing over umbrellas and will be distributing raincoats. The e-tender for this will be floated soon. We want to complete the entire process by March 2019 so that our students can use them in the rainy season next year,” Member Mayor-in-Council (Education), KMC Avijit Mukherjee said. He added that umbrellas for the teachers will be handed over by this year. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIn the programme on the occasion of Teachers’ Day at Uttam Manch on Wednesday, Mayor proposed to the Education department to handover raincoats as primary students will find it difficult to handle umbrellas.There are 253 schools that are run by KMC in the city with a student strength of around 25,000. The Mayor also announced the extension of contract by six months for the 100 odd teachers who have been recruited by the Education department in recent times. It may be mentioned that in the winter months last year, the civic body had handed over sweaters free of cost tothe students.last_img read more

We paid for our own oppression Tharoor

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first_imgShashi Tharoor’s latest offering- ‘An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India’ provides valuable insight into the British Raj and the East India Company. Tharoor’s book was launched last week by the Vice President of India Hamid Ansari at the Taj Mahal Hotel, Delhi. While most of the other books focus on just one or two aspects of this particular period: history, culture or what the society was like, An Era of Darkness provides a comprehensive account on the British era, covering all the aspects of that period- history, economics, politics, cricket, policies, literature, tea, English language, torture, extra-judicial killings and much more from an Indian point of view. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe book provides an alternative view to those by British writers who sought to portray the empire as a jolly good thing. At the launch, Tharoor said, “I was inspired to write this book after the overwhelming response to my speech at the Oxford Union Debate of 2015 about the British era. I realised that the speech went viral only because maybe it’s not being told the same way as before in our classrooms or simply because ours is a forgiving society and we have put behind the bad stuff quickly to move on to face our current realities and future prospects.Therefore what happened for 200 years till 1947 is no longer of much importance to today’s Indians.”  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveNo sum of reparations by the British, who reduced India to one of the poorest countries in the world, can compensate for the “horrendous” crimes the Raj committed against the Indian people, Tharoor pointed out.Tharoor, who makes a strong case against the British Empire in his new book, said the European country became prosperous primarily by impoverishing India.“The rise of Britain for 200 years was financed by its depredations in India. And certainly, we were a principal cash cow for Britain throughout the nineteenth century. We paid for our own oppression,” Tharoor said. The book critically examines the 200-year long British legacy in India and provides damning evidence and incisive arguments against its supposed boons.last_img read more

Workplace cake culture may fuel obesity risk experts

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first_imgSharing sweet treats at workplace may be contributing to several health problems such as obesity and poor oral hygiene, experts in the UK have warned.It may be a case of managers wanting to reward staff, colleagues wanting to celebrate or people bringing presents back from their holidays that sees sugary snacks going into the workplace, said Professor Nigel Hunt, dean Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in the UK.However, it was detrimental to employees’ health and they should make a New Year’s resolution to “combat cake culture” in 2017, he said. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf“While these sweet treats might be well meaning, they are also contributing to the current obesity epidemic and poor oral health,” Hunt said.“We need a culture change in offices and other workplaces that encourages healthy eating and helps workers avoid caving in to sweet temptations such as cakes, sweets and biscuits,” he said.However, 2016 Great British Bake Off runner-up Jane Beedle said that cake could “bring joy to the office”.“I don’t think a little bit of homemade cake is going to kill anybody,” Beedle told BBC Radio 2.The Faculty of Dental Surgery has released tips to cut down on sugar consumption in the workplace by considering low-sugar alternatives and reducing portion sizes.It advises people to avoid snacking and keeping sugar as a lunch-time treat, keeping a “sugar schedule” to limit sugar intake and thinking about where sweet treats are positioned.last_img read more

Illegal smuggling 40 exotic birds died in quarantine at Alipore Zoo in

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first_imgKolkata: As many as 40 exotic birds have died in quarantine at Alipore Zoo in a span of five months from June to October. Around 153 birds that were confiscated by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) from smugglers were handed over to Alipore Zoo for treatment after a large number of them suffered injuries during the smuggling process. The DRI has sought post-mortem report of the bird deaths from the zoo.”We follow a scientific process of transporting birds and animals and ensure that all sorts of precautionary measures are in place so that animals or birds do not suffer any sort of injury and get minimum stress. These birds that were handed over to us were being smuggled illegally and subjected to most unhygienic conditions. Our doctors have said the birds died because of acute dehydration, enteric diseases and also due to neurogenic shock,” said Asis Kumar Samanta, director of Alipore Zoological Gardens. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAccording to Samanta, the birds during quarantine at the Zoo hospital are constantly monitored by three veterinary physicians. “However, in case of a number of birds, complications developed after some days that apparently seemed well when they were first handed over. It is not unusual for certain diseases to relapse because of the unscientific method of transportation and the heavy stress faced by the avians. A number of birds were also involved in infighting during the transportation process and had suffered injuries,” a senior official of the Zoo said. A zoo official informed these birds were packed into bags or cooped up in tiny cages and crammed into a car boot or under the seat. They travelled like that for hours before being intercepted. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedTurquoise Grass Parakeet, Eclectus Parrots, Kookaburras are among the birds that died. The mortality list also includes eight Pygmy Falcons which are the smallest birds of prey and native to Africa, Gouldian Finch, much sought after for its colourful plumage and also a Rosella that was the last bird death as communicated to the DRI by the zoo authorities. Most of the rescued birds were smuggled into Bengal from the Southeast Asian countries like Myanmar and Bangladesh. In the illegal pet market, some of the species cost more than a few lakh rupees for a single member.last_img read more

Why heart attacks are more prevalent in winters

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first_imgThe risk of suffering a heart attack is more likely to peak in the winter season and decline in summers because air temperature acts as an external trigger for the life threatening disease, an analysis has shown. The findings revealed that the average number of heart attacks per day was significantly higher during colder temperatures as compared to warmer.When the daily temperature dropped to less than zero degree Celsius, the average rate of heart attacks a day peaked to four, as compared to when it was above 10 degrees.Furthermore, the occurrence of heart attacks increased with higher wind velocities, limited sunshine duration and higher air humidity.”There is seasonal variation in the occurrence of heart attack, with incidence declining in summer and peaking in winter,” said lead author Moman A. Mohammad, from the Lund University in Sweden.”Our results consistently showed a higher occurrence of heart attacks in sub-zero temperatures. The findings were the same across a large range of patient subgroups, and at national as well as regional levels, suggesting that air temperature is a trigger for heart attacks,” Mohammad added.The body responds to cold by constricting superficial blood vessels, which decreases thermal conduction in the skin and subsequently increases arterial blood pressure. Other responses are shivering and increased heart rate, which raise the metabolic rate and in turn increase body temperature, the researchers explained.”In the majority of healthy people these mechanisms are well tolerated. But in people with atherosclerotic plaques in their coronary arteries they may trigger a heart attack,” Mohammad noted.Respiratory tract infections and influenza are also known risk factors for heart attack that have a clear seasonal variation.”In addition, seasonal-dependent behaviours such as reduced physical activity and dietary changes could also play a role in the increased occurrence of heart attack during colder weather,” Mohammad said.For the study, the team investigated the association between heart attack incidence and weather conditions such as air temperature, sunshine duration, precipitation, and air pressure in more than 2,80,000 patients.last_img read more

Electoral officer may submit report to ECI on Basus clarifications

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first_imgKolkata: The office of the Chief Electoral Officer has received the clarification from BJP leader SayantanBasu, who is also contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Basirhat, on his derogatory comments during an election rally. The CEO office will go through the clarification report submitted by Sayantan Basu. Election Commission officials may take some steps against Basu after going through the clarifications. On the basis of their observations the election commission officials may submit a report to the Election Commission of India (ECI)in Delhi in this regard. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAccording to a senior official of the CEO office, a report would be sent to Election Commission of India as the allegation against Basu is serious. The CEO office may seek the intervention of the Election Commission in this regard. During an election rally at Bhabla in Basirhat a few days ago, Basu said he would ask the Central force personnel not to the fire in the legs but in the chest of those who are found capturing booths during elections. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateHis statement triggered criticism from various quarters. The Trinamool Congress leaders from the district lodged a complaint against the BJP leader with the district election officers. The Basirhat police also started a suo motu case against Sayantan Basu. The district election officers also submitted a report to the CEO office mentioning the possible implications of his derogatory comments.last_img read more

Puja committee to find place in Guinness

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first_imgReverberating the ambience with warm, full, and far-carrying tone, 421 conch shells trumpeted in unison at the Bangiya Parishad Gurgaon Puja grounds in Sector 56 on October 17. In a first-ever unique attempt by any Durga Puja Committee, the Bangiya Parishad Gurgaon (BPG) attempted to set a new world record with 421 people, including devotees and volunteers, blowing conch shells or the shell trumpet together, in groups of 50. It continued for almost an hour from 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm under the strict supervision of stewards and witnesses. The Committee was committed to beat the present world record of ‘295 people blowing conch shells together in the Bahamas in 2013’. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfElated at the completion of the activity, Sanjay Banerjee, President of Bangiya Parishad Gurgaon, said, “We are extremely thrilled at the opportunity to come together and attempt to set a new world record in trumpeting conch shells together. While we are waiting for the official the announcement, I would like to sincerely thank and appreciate all the devotees, volunteers and participants for coming forward and spending their time and energy on making this a success.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”For us, it is beyond just an activity. Conch, also known as ‘seashell horn’ or ‘shell trumpet’ is a musical instrument and often called a ‘signal’ instrument. The ceremonial practice of blowing the conch shell dates back to the ancient times and continues to be a call to the divine announcing the official beginning of a sacred ceremony. However, the tradition is getting lost in modern times,” he added. “Our effort was not just to revive this forgotten tradition but also to serve as a clarion call to seek an end to all negative energy in the world and make it a better place. Pollution has been a huge concern and we pledge to contribute in the best way. Our pandal is eco-friendly and so is our immersion process. We also promoted environment-friendly activities in the pandal area such as banning single-use plastic and segregation of waste. We urge one and all to take small steps and make a difference,” he stated. To enter the event, BPG applied to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for breaking the present record of maximum people blowing the conch shell at one time. After the application was accepted, participants were selected by team leaders after checking their ability to blow the conch shell. As per process of Guinness Book of World Records, an independent Steward oversaw 10 groups of 50 people each blowing conch shells simultaneously and certified the same. Two ‘witnesses’ supervised the event and submitted evidence on behalf of BPG. Overall 432 people attempted to blow conch as a part of 10 groups and 421 was certified as successful participants. They are now submitting evidence to Guinness World Record portal using a unique id and application number, the result is expect to come in a couple of days.last_img read more

Second edition of Manthan to take place in July

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first_imgThe Gem and Jewellery Industry’s most sought-after conclave that adds tremendous value to the lives of jewelers, and acts as a unique knowledge sharing platform to promote learning and gain insights from India Inc.’s most charismatic and dynamic leaders/ captains is back with a bang.All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC), will present its flagship event promoting a common platform to share expertise and knowledge – Manthan Gems and Jewellery Conclave 2019 – on July 2-3 at Hotel Sahara Star, Mumbai. Manthan 2019, an initiative by GJC (All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council) will witness over a 1,000+ attendees. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe conclave is Presented by NSE, Powered by World Gold Council and Supported by Forevermark, Logistics Partner BVC Logistics, Laboratory Partner GIA, Jewellery Partner Shineshilpi, Software Partner Acme Infinity, Solitaire Partner Divine Solitaire. Last year, Manthan 2018 was the first-ever milestone event in the history of Indian gems and jewellery sector. In its second year, the needle moves notches higher to the next paradigm, as this year speakers from more than 27 industries will be present on the occasion and their speeches will also be translated live in Hindi language for the convenience of the invitees. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveManthan 2019 raises the diversity bar higher with inspirational and transformational leaders such as Abhishek Munjal, Director, Hero Cycles; Asher O, MD, Malabar Gold, Gaurav Singh Kushwala, Founder and CEO, Bluestone, Murugavel Janakiraman, Founder and CEO, Bharat Matrimony Group; RS Sodhi, MD, Amul; Rajeev Kapur, MD, Steelbird Hi-Tech India Limited; Ramesh Nair, CEO and Country Head, JLL; Sachin Jain, MD, Forevermark; Sajjan Raj Kurup, Founder and Creative Chairman, Creativeland Asia Group; Sunil Dutt, President, Reliance Jio. Speaking at the event, Anantha Padmanaban, Chairman, GJC, said, “Manthan was conceptualised after a lot of discussions and deliberations to be positioned as a progressive business transformation initiative to take the largely unorganised jewellery businesses towards the organised realm of India Inc. The timing for Manthan is apt as the churning of thoughts, vision and insights will result in a new mindset, mission and ethos.” Shaankar Sen, Vice Chairman, GJC, stated, “Manthan 2019 will add more value by generating significance for key drivers for growth towards stakeholders in their businesses in a disruptive environment. Manthan 2018 was an inspirational experience and transformational voyage for participants who were enthralled by the true-to-life anecdotes of everyone from the Prince of Kolkata’s (Saurav Ganguly’s) extempore speech to Suresh Narayanan (CMD, Nestle) on Maggi crisis and Vivek Chand Sehgal (Chairman and co-founder Samvardhana Motherson Group) on their think Indian and have global aspiration motto. Everyone has high expectations from Manthan 2019 and we shall deliver like never before.” Manoj Kumar Jha, Convenor-Manthan, GJC, said, “Manthan, a thought-provoking initiative of GJC, is organized in pursuit of the eternal quest for knowledge. We are proud that we DREAMT about it and DID it in 2018. And we are back with Manthan 2019. The purpose of this powerful knowledge sharing platform is to promote learning and gain insights from industry professionals with diverse backgrounds and skill sets spread across different industries. Cross pollination of ideas leads to out-of-the-box thinking and innovation. As an attendee you will not just know the insights about how to grow your business but you will also learn how to implement and successfully execute it to earn multiple benefits. The finest experts from various walks of life will be addressing attendees in Manthan 2019.”last_img read more

To the Moon Jackie Gleasons SpaceAge Party Retreat – now up for

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first_imgJackie Gleason may have been best known to American TV audiences as Ralph Kramden, a bus driver in Brooklyn living in a small apartment, on the 1950s hit series The Honeymooners, but on the weekends, the actor enjoyed his country retreat north of New York City that was the essence of 1950s swanky style — with a special twist. Drawing on his fascination with UFOs, Gleason had the home and adjacent cottage constructed to be round inside and out — even the curved floorboards, windows, cabinets, bars, and furniture. He called the two buildings “The Spaceship” and “The Mothership.”Aerial view of the round property. Photo by Zillow.“The Mothership might not be a vessel for journeying to the stars, but stepping through its doors today is a trip back in time to an era when luminaries such as Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio gathered with Gleason to sip cocktails around the 13-seat bar and to hear live music on a grand piano that’s the centerpiece of the first level,” reported Iohud.The buildings are part of a Westchester County estate that went on the market this year for $12 million.Photo of the complete cast of the television program The Honeymooners. This was the premiere of the show on CBS as it moved there from the DuMont network. From left: Jackie Gleason (Ralph Kramden), Audrey Meadows (Alice Kramden), Art Carney (Ed Norton), Joyce Randolph (Trixie Norton).Gleason reportedly designed the two-bedroom, 3,950-square-foot home himself at the height of The Honeymooners’ popularity. It took five years and about $650,000 to build. The house was finished in 1959.Memories of Gleason, who died in 1987 at age 71, are still strong in the region, where he lived from the middle 1950s until the early 1960s. It was during these years that he hosted the long running The Jackie Gleason Show too. Gleason’s restaurant in Peekskill is named in honor of the actor.Gleason as Minnesota Fats in The Hustler (1961).“He spent quite a bit of time up here,” said realtor Margaret Bailey in an interview. “He loved going to the bars in the area. All the people knew him. Jackie was a partier. He wanted an escape from New York City, and this was his nirvana.”The current owner, a retired orthodontist, had bought the property in Cortlandt Manor in 1976 for just $150,000.Interior of the house. Photo by ZillowDesigned by architect Robert Cika, the house was constructed by a Norwegian shipbuilder, who shipped the completed pieces to Cortlandt Manor for final assembly, Bailey explained to the press.The Mothership was the main house. Designed to host parties, it has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and two bars — the centerpiece was a 14-person, curving bar, which had a baby grand piano and a microphone that would rise from the marble floor.One of the five bedrooms. Photo by ZillowAccording to realtor.com, “The house was certainly ahead of its time. It had central air conditioning and a built-in, surround-sound system. Each of the Mothership’s marble fireplaces was double-sided, save for the main fireplace, a three-sided, 40-foot-tall marble model that weighed 240 tons. Gleason reportedly commissioned Italian artists to fly to Cortlandt Manor to complete the stonework.”It took Gleason five years and $650,000 to build his unique home. Photo by Zillow“The master bedroom features a uniquely rounded bed, and a TV mounted on the ceiling. There’s a fishbowl-like shower in the master bathroom, and a curved built-in desk in the office.”Gleason’s guests ranged from Marilyn Monroe to Richard Nixon.In the sitcom, Ralph is famous for yelling to his wife “To the moon, Alice!”Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, and Audrey Meadows in The Honeymooners.Honeymooners co-star Audrey Meadows, in her autobiography Love, Alice: My Life as a Honeymooner, “recalled being puzzled by a small, round hole in the marble floor near the piano until a fellow guest explained that Jackie could press a button for a microphone to rise from under the floor for a singer to perform using the state-of-the-art sound system,” reported the New York Post.Read another story from us: Brady Bunch house is now for sale for $1.8 MillionGleason may have been fascinated by UFOs but he was afraid to fly in an airplane after he was in a plane with an engine that died and had to make an emergency landing in Tulsa. Rather than get on another plane, Gleason borrowed money for a train ticket to New York. And after that, very few plane trips. Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.com.last_img read more

VIDEO Student should probably get detention after crossing over his teacher into

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first_img Advertisement Based on the video, he’s lucky he didn’t tear every piece of connective tissue in the lower half of his body.Don’t be surprised if this kid gets sent to detention for bullying. The older you get, It’s becomes harder and harder to admit you just can’t do the things you used to do. As the saying goes, father time is undefeated.That everlasting truth was on display when a high school teacher attempted to D up one of his students.The video posted to the student’s Instagram account starts with the follically challenged instructor playing some intense defense, but quickly turns into a horrific mid-life crisis when the student hits him with an ankle breaking Shammgod crossover.The teacher, and his pride, end up on the floor, in a heap, as the kid cruises in for an easy bucket to pour more salt in the wound.last_img read more