Solar Plane to Fly Continuously Around Mars

first_imgSky-Sailor, the working dream of a solar-powered, autonomously-controlled microairplane, has exciting implications in two areas: one on the technological advances of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs); and another on exploring the lower atmosphere of Mars. Scientists André Noth, Walter Engel and Roland Siegwart of the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems in Switzerland believe that Sky-Sailor will reach the inner orbit of Mars within a decade or two, depending on advancements in technology. Components of Sky-Sailor. Image credit: Noth, et al. Engineer André Noth with Sky-Sailor. Image credit: Alain Herzog – EPFL. While other solar airplanes have been developed since the late 1970s, the scientists have defined loftier goals for Sky-Sailor. The group plans to have the airplane fly continuously for at least several months, all by itself, and all on solar power.“Sky-Sailor is unique because it is designed to fly autonomously—not only during the day, but also during the entire night until the next morning, where a new cycle of charge and discharge of the battery can start,” Noth explained to The project began in late 2003 as part of a technology program for the European Space Agency to explore the gap between the areas covered by high-flying orbiters and land-rolling rovers. By early 2005, the scientists had built and tested an initial prototype, which was launched by hand and achieved a continuous flight time of five hours, with a 24-hour flight test planned for the summer of 2007. In a paper in IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, Noth, Engel and Siegwart reported on their most recent research.“The benefit of having a solar airplane on Mars would be the ability to cover an extended area in a short period of time and on each location on the red planet,” Noth said. “Rovers have poor area coverage and satellites a predefined path, i.e. their orbit. Airplanes could be a complementary help for ground mission, giving information to a rover about the best path to reach a point of interest, and avoiding stones and ravines where it could get stuck. Moreover, an airplane could study the atmosphere (e.g. composition, winds, weather) and the magnetic field, which are topics which we have very little information on so far.”In order for Sky-Sailor to navigate Mars, the group demonstrates, the plane must satisfy that planet’s flight conditions: a low atmospheric density, decreased solar energy, variable winds and below-freezing temperatures. At an altitude of 1500 m and an average velocity of 30 km/hr, Sky-Sailor’s top priorities include a low-weight structure to minimize energy needs, and a small enough volume to fit inside the shell which will transport the plane to Mars. According to these constraints, the scientists demonstrate an optimal wingspan of about 3 m. Weight is a bit trickier, especially with the current battery densities which mean the batteries currently account for almost half of the plane’s total mass of 2.6 kg. The scientists’ goals, therefore, rely on improved battery technology in the future.“Sky-Sailor was designed as a prototype flying on Earth to prove that continuous flight is feasible on Mars (by flying at altitude were air density is comparable, for example),” Noth explained. “In fact, many challenges remain, such as the fact that, at the very low temperature on Mars, the battery would have a highly reduced capacity if not heated and maintained at more than 0-10°C. Moreover, entry into the atmosphere of the red planet with the airplane folded in a shell would decelerate with the use of a parachute, which requires investigation. So whereas it is feasible now on Earth, it would require a huge amount of additional work to be sure that the airplane can safely travel all the distance to Mars, withstand the vibration during the entry in the Martian atmosphere, then deploy itself and work in an atmosphere where the temperature can decrease to -100°C.”The current plane prototype, which the scientists constructed by hand, is made of rigid, low-weight materials including balsa wood and carbon fiber. The 216 flexible solar cells, with a 17% efficiency, enable the plane to retrieve more than 80 watts at optimal sun conditions. To maintain a leveled flight, Sky-Sailor requires around 16.25 watts—the excess energy is stored in a lithium-ion polymer battery for night use. With the storage capability, the scientists say that the plane can fly all night, plus several more hours during cloudy or foggy conditions.For such a small, light-weight structure, the plane can do some high-tech things. Digital sensors can measure altitude and airspeed, allowing the plane to fly over targets such as coasts or canyons, while a CCD camera can image the ground. While the plane’s default is autopilot, a ground control station can also allow the scientists to monitor and give orders to the plane while in flight.Based on these abilities, the group suggests that Sky-Sailor might have uses closer to home, as well. Because of its low-cost, long flight times and simplicity, the scientists list applications such as border surveillance, weather research, media imaging, and forest fire prevention—where the latter alone costs billions of dollars in damage each year.“What is the most exciting is the global design methodology of such a system,” said Noth. “In fact, we are not developing new solar cells or new batteries for the prototype, but rather we are finding the best way to combine actual technologies in order to optimize characteristics like the autonomy, for example. For comparison, a good chef can cook you an exceptional meal with standard products, whereas an apprentice can miss it completely even using expensive products. The important knowledge lies in the recipe, and this is the same for the case of an engineer working on a multidisciplinary project.”Citation: Noth, André, Engel, Walter, Siegwart, Roland. “Flying Solo and Solar to Mars: Global Design of a Solar Autonomous Airplane for Sustainable Flight.” IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine. September 2006 pp. 44-52.Copyright 2007 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Newfound kilometer-size asteroid orbits the sun every 151 days Citation: Solar Plane to Fly Continuously Around Mars (2007, March 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further 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

Researchers fabricate first largearea fullcolor quantum dot display

first_img © 2010 Citation: Researchers fabricate first large-area, full-color quantum dot display (2011, February 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — For more than a decade, researchers have been trying to make TV displays out of quantum dots. Theoretically, quantum dot displays could provide extremely high-resolution images and higher energy efficiencies than current TVs. Now in a new study, researchers have presented the first large-area, full-color quantum dot display that could lead to the development of displays for the next-generation TVs, mobile phones, digital cameras, and portable game systems. Explore further Quantum-dot LED screens may soon rival OLEDs and LCDs Electroluminescence image of a four-inch full-color quantum dot display with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels. Image credit: Tae-Ho Kim, et al. ©2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. 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 researchers, Tae-Ho Kim and coauthors from various institutes in South Korea, have published their study on the first four-inch, full-color quantum dot display in a recent issue of Nature Photonics. The display consists of a film printed with trillions of the tiny quantum dots (an average of 3 trillion per cm2). The quantum dots emit light at a specific wavelength (color) that can be tuned by changing the size of the quantum dots. Previous attempts to make full-color quantum dot displays have faced challenges in that image quality tended to decrease with the size of the display. To overcome this challenge, the researchers in the current study used a different method for applying the quantum dots to the film’s surface. Instead of spraying the quantum dots onto the film, the researchers created an “ink stamp” out of a patterned silicon wafer. They used the stamp to pick up strips of size-selected quantum dots, and then stamp them onto the substrate. Unlike the spraying methods, this method does not require the use of a solvent, which previously reduced color brightness.As the results showed, the new quantum dot display has a greater density and uniformity of quantum dots, as well as a brighter picture and higher energy efficiency than previous quantum dot displays. The new display is also flexible, so applications could include roll-up portable displays or flexible lighting applications. The technology could also be used in photovoltaic devices, which would especially benefit from quantum dots’ high energy efficiency. More information: Tae-Ho Kim, et al. “Full-colour quantum dot displays fabricated by transfer printing.” Nature Photonics. DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2011.12.via: Nature Newslast_img read more

NASA satellite could reveal if primordial black holes are dark matter

first_img Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of 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 scientists, Kim Griest and Agnieszka Cieplak of the University of California, San Diego; Bhuvnesh Jain of the University of Pennsylvania; and Matthew Lehner of the University of Pennsylvania and Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan, have published their study on using the Kepler satellite to detect PBH dark matter in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.“The nature of the dark matter is one of the biggest unsolved problems in all of science and so an answer would be extraordinary,” Griest told “If it turns out to be primordial black holes, that will be totally fascinating and everyone will want to understand what happened in the early universe to create them. If nothing is found, then we eliminate much of a major contender, but it is not as exciting.”As the scientists explain, PBHs have been considered as a candidate for dark matter since the 1970s. These black holes are thought to have formed during the early universe from density perturbations that may have resulted from a variety of factors, such as inflation, phase transitions, and possibly even the collapse of string loops. Because there is no single theory for how PBHs formed, scientists don’t know how massive they would be. However, previous experimental and theoretical work has eliminated most PBH masses, including almost the entire mass range from 10-18 to 1016 solar masses, the exception being the mass range between 10-13 and 10-7 solar masses. Scientists call these 5 orders of magnitude the “PBH dark matter window.”In the current study, Griest and his coauthors think that Kepler data could potentially rule out a significant portion of this window. Currently, Kepler’s photometer is measuring the light intensity of stars – about 150,000 different stars every 30 minutes. When analyzing the data, scientists look for specific fluctuations in star light, or stellar flux, since a decrease could signal an Earth-sized planet transiting in front of the star. Explore further In their study, the physicists have shown that Kepler’s photometer could also be used to detect small amounts of gravitational lensing, or “microlensing,” which is the bending of star light as it travels through nearby space. According to general relativity, the bending is due to the gravity of an invisible mass that acts like a “lens” and lies between the light source (star) and observer (satellite). This lens could be a PBH or another type of massive compact halo object (MACHO) as well as mini halos, all of which are dark matter candidates.“PBHs are really just one form of MACHOs,” Griest explained. “In the mass range we are sensitive to, I think PBHs are the most likely MACHO, but we won’t really be able to tell if they were instead, say, non-topological soliton objects, which are another form of MACHO.”According to the scientists’ calculations, Kepler could detect microlensing events caused by masses in the range between 5 x 10-10 and 10-4 solar masses, which means it could potentially rule out about 40% of the mass in the PBH dark matter window, if it doesn’t detect anything. If it does detect microlensing events, then of course the implications would be much more exciting: PBHs could be dark matter.“One never really expects to solve such a major problem that has defeated explanation for more than 50 years,” Griest said. “So my skeptical scientist side says, most likely we’ll rule out some parameter space. The searches for particle dark matter at LHC, etc., have so far come up empty handed, so I do think PBHs are becoming more likely as candidates.”Although other microlensing surveys have examined tens of millions of stars over periods of many years, the scientists explain that Kepler can, somewhat surprisingly, provide stronger limits on dark matter in this particular mass range than these earlier surveys. Kepler’s advantages arise from the extreme precision of its photometer, which allows very small magnifications to be detected.Griest and his coauthors have already begun looking at Kepler’s data, which is publicly available. Analyzing the data will not be that simple, since it requires an understanding of the complex light curve data, understanding false positives and background events (such as stellar flares), and using strict selection criteria. Could primordial black holes be dark matter? ( — The primary objective of NASA’s Kepler satellite, which was launched in March 2009 to orbit the Sun, is to search for Earth-like planets in a portion of the Milky Way galaxy. But now a team of physicists has proposed that Kepler could have a second appealing purpose: to either detect or rule out primordial black holes (PBHs) of a certain mass range as the primary constituent of dark matter. Journal information: Physical Review Letters More information: Kim Griest, et al. “Microlensing of Kepler Stars as a Method of Detecting Primordial Black Hole Dark Matter.” Physical Review Letters 107, 231101 (2011). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.231101 Citation: NASA satellite could reveal if primordial black holes are dark matter (2011, December 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from An image taken by Kepler of star cluster NGC 6791, which is located 13,000 light years from Earth. The image has been color-coded so that brighter stars appear white, and fainter stars, red. Image credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltechlast_img read more

Study shows lower ozone pollution in Sao Paulo when drivers switched from

first_img( —A study conducted by Alberto Salvo and Franz Geiger of the National University of Singapore and Northwestern University respectively, has revealed that when drivers switch from using ethanol to power their vehicles, to gasoline, ozone levels in the local atmosphere may drop. They offer details of their study in their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Sasha Madronich of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research offers a News & Views perspective on the duos work in the same journal issue. Explore further Ethanol—fuel derived mainly from plants—has been touted for several years as a much cleaner alternative to gasoline. When burned, ethanol doesn’t emit as much particulates or carbon monoxide, and more importantly perhaps, hydrocarbons such as CO2. But now it turns out, it may have a previously unknown downside as Salvo and Geiger have discovered burning ethanol in cars can cause higher levels of ozone to come about in the local atmosphere than does burning regular gasoline.Ozone comes about in the atmosphere due to interactions between volatile organic materials along with nitrogen oxides and sunlight. Combustion engines don’t produce ozone, but their emissions can lead to other interactions that do, thus it’s far more difficult to determine what impact vehicular traffic has in the generation of ozone, than it is to measure other pollutants such as carbon monoxide.This latest study actually came about partly by accident—the cost to consumers of ethanol began rising in São Paulo to the point that drivers soon began turning back to gasoline (Brazil is major producer of sugar cane produced ethanol). Coincidently, the city also maintains air pollution monitors throughout the area. To learn of the change in air quality, the researchers simply analyzed air pollution levels for the years 2009 through 2011—a period of steep price increases for ethanol. They were surprised to learn that moving back to gasoline, which did result in higher levels of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides along with hydrocarbons, also caused lower levels of ozone. They suggest this happens because ozone chemistry in São Paulo is restrained by high concentrations of nitrogen oxides and also the limited availability of volatile organic compounds. Thus, it appears the phenomenon they observed, might be unique to the area.Madronich isn’t as sure, suggesting that the results of the study in Brazil might be applicable in other places and perhaps should even serve as a “gold standard” for studying the impact of different types of fuel used in vehicles on air pollution. Prior studies she notes, have been limited to the lab, or by a lack of real world opportunities. Centro de São Paulo, Brasil. Ana Paula Hirama/Wikipedia Ask a scientist: Ethanol & car performance 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 More information: Reduction in local ozone levels in urban São Paulo due to a shift from ethanol to gasoline use, vehicles are thought to generate less pollution than gasoline-based vehicles, because ethanol emissions contain lower concentrations of mono-nitrogen oxides than those from gasoline emissions. However, the predicted effect of various gasoline/ethanol blends on the concentration of atmospheric pollutants such as ozone varies between model and laboratory studies, including those that seek to simulate the same environmental conditions. Here, we report the consequences of a real-world shift in fuel use in the subtropical megacity of São Paulo, Brazil, brought on by large-scale fluctuations in the price of ethanol relative to gasoline between 2009 and 2011. We use highly spatially and temporally resolved observations of road traffic levels, meteorology and pollutant concentrations, together with a consumer demand model, to show that ambient ozone concentrations fell by about 20% as the share of bi-fuel vehicles burning gasoline rose from 14 to 76%. In contrast, nitric oxide and carbon monoxide concentrations increased. We caution that although gasoline use seems to lower ozone levels in the São Paulo metropolitan area relative to ethanol use, strategies to reduce ozone pollution require knowledge of the local chemistry and consideration of other pollutants, particularly fine particles.Press release © 2014 Journal information: Nature Geoscience Citation: Study shows lower ozone pollution in Sao Paulo when drivers switched from ethanol to gasoline (2014, April 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Study shows winning causes people to be more likely to cheat the

first_imgCredit: George Hodan/ public domain Common sense might suggest that if one person beats another in a competition, they would be less likely to cheat on a second go round—but the study conducted by the pair in Israel suggests the opposite is true, and that the reason is likely because winners experience a sense of entitlement.One of the experiments began with the researchers asking 86 volunteer college students to pair up and compete against one another in an estimation game—each was shown a certain number of objects on a computer screen for just two and a half seconds, not enough time to count them. The volunteers were then asked to make an estimate on how many had been there and were told that whichever of the two volunteers was closest to the right number would win a prize.That experiment was followed by another where the same volunteers were asked to play a dice and cups game and were told that they would receive a monetary payment that matched the combined numbers on the dice. In this scenario, the payoff was fixed, which meant that only a certain amount of money would be doled out to the two participants. Also, the volunteers were allowed to report their numbers, thus making it easy for them to lie. In looking at the results, the researchers found that those people that won in the first experiment were more likely to lie in the second, which meant they essentially cheated their opponent out of cash winnings.The researchers also ran identical experiments with the exception that both of the players thought the outcome was random in the first part, thus no one actually beat the other. The people who wound up with more money in those experiments did not cheat more than the losers when the second stage was run.To better understand why people might cheat after winning, the researchers conducted a survey asking participants to imagine a winning scenario and then to put down a number describing their feeling of entitlement—those peopled scored 16 percent higher in how entitled they felt compared to those that thought of something else. This, the researchers suggest, explains the results of their earlier experiments—winners felt more entitled to winnings and thus were more willing to cheat to win. More information: Amos Schurr et al. Winning a competition predicts dishonest behavior, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2016). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1515102113AbstractWinning a competition engenders subsequent unrelated unethical behavior. Five studies reveal that after a competition has taken place winners behave more dishonestly than competition losers. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that winning a competition increases the likelihood of winners to steal money from their counterparts in a subsequent unrelated task. Studies 3a and 3b demonstrate that the effect holds only when winning means performing better than others (i.e., determined in reference to others) but not when success is determined by chance or in reference to a personal goal. Finally, study 4 demonstrates that a possible mechanism underlying the effect is an enhanced sense of entitlement among competition winners. © 2016 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Study shows winning causes people to be more likely to cheat the next time (2016, February 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Collaboration study shows people lie more when colluding Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further (—A pair of researchers, one with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev the other The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, both in Israel, has found via a series of experiments with human volunteers, that people who beat someone else in a competition, are more likely to cheat against them in future competitions. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Amos Schurr and Ilana Ritov, describe the experiments they conducted and why they believe their findings might apply in the real world.last_img read more

Simulation shows nuclear pasta 10 billion times harder to break than steel

first_imgNeutron star. Credit: NASA A better way to model stellar explosions More information: Elasticity of nuclear pasta, Physical Review Letters (2018). … release Explore further Prior research has shown that when stars reach a certain age, they explode and collapse into a mass of neutrons; hence the name neutron star. And because they lose their neutrinos, neutron stars become extremely densely packed. Prior research has also found evidence that suggests the surface of such stars is so dense that the material would be incredibly strong. In this new effort, the researchers report evidence suggesting that the material just below the surface is even stronger.Astrophysicists have theorized that as a neutron star settles into its new configuration, densely packed neutrons are pushed and pulled in different ways, resulting in formation of various shapes below the surface. Many of the theorized shapes take on the names of pasta, because of the similarities. Some have been named gnocchi, for example, others spaghetti or lasagna. Caplan, Schneider and Horowitz wondered about the density of these formations—would they be denser and thus stronger even than material on the crust? To find out, they created some computer simulations.The simulations showed that the nuclear pasta was, indeed, stronger than the material on the crust. The simulations also showed that such formations are likely the strongest material in the entire universe. They showed, for example, that they are 10 billion times stronger than steel. But that is not the end of the story. The simulations also backed up another theory that suggests neutron stars could be generating ripples in the fabric of spacetime due to their strong gravitational pull. The theorized rippling effect is due to the irregular formation of the nuclear pasta. This means that neutron stars could be emitting gravitational waves that could someday be observed by super-sensitive equipment here on Earth. A trio of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. and Canada has found evidence that suggests nuclear material beneath the surface of neutron stars may be the strongest material in the universe. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, M. E. Caplan, A. S. Schneider, and C. J. Horowitz describe their neutron star simulation and what it showed.center_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Physical Review Letters Citation: Simulation shows nuclear pasta 10 billion times harder to break than steel (2018, September 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2018 Phys.orglast_img read more

Stop acid tests

first_imgThe discussion also paid heed to the need of regulation, to control the open sale of acid. This would help curb the violence against women. Acid attack survivors, Rupa and recipient of International Women of Courage Award, Laxmi, social activitist Alok Dixit, Consulting Editor, Mint, Namita Bhandare and renowned Supreme Court lawyer Karuna Nundy discussed the crime that has only recently come to limelight! Laxmi and Rupa shared their stories with the audience, when and how they were attacked, how their lives changed from there on, their struggles ever since and the support they received from Chhanv.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Every few days, there are increasing reports of acids being thrown at some girl in some part of this vast country. It has been noted, that in India, over 1000 women are victims of acid attacks annually. Recently, the Supreme Court went to the extent of banning, over the counter sale of acid in shops across India. Like most of such rulings, this one too lies mostly on paper. Acid is still available to anyone who wishes to purchase the same, quite easily.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixEnforced legislation, as a speaker suggested, can be the first step in saving India’s vulnerable women population. In fact, most problems that the society is grappling with can be overcome by this simple step. The acid attack victims face problems that most of us can’t even imagine. Denied justice, insufficient compensation and acceptance in society are just a few to be mentioned.  Stop Acid Attacks is a campaign against acid violence, founded by Alok Dixit. They work as a bridge between survivors and the society. The campaign was brought up, as most of the victims of this brutal crime, have isolated themselves after losing their face. ‘Due to ignorance of the government and civil society, most survivors find no hope and stay like an outcast, in solitude,’ says Dixit. Stop Acid Attack aims to research and track acid attack cases and compile a data to get the actual situation of survivors.In the last two years, Dixit has built a campaign across the country. His organisation, made up mainly of acid attack victims, makes it a point to visit the victims and help them in whatever way possible. It is our hope that more and more such organisations come up to help fellow humans and citizens. Because as we see it, the real change makers have often been the common man.last_img read more

Never too late 1984 victims to get Rs 5L compensation

first_imgThe riot victims who have been pleading for justice since the last 30 years during the UPA regime has failed to draw the much needed attention from the previous government. Now, with the NDA government extending all cooperation to the riot victims, kin of those killed heaved a sigh of relief with an expectation to get a more dignified social acceptance in coming years.  Sources said, the order was passed by home minister Rajnath Singh, who took the decision after a high-level meeting where the issue of compensation to civilian victims of communal, terrorist or Naxal violence was discussed threadbare. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIApart from 1984 riot victims, Singh has also increased the compensation to civilian victims of communal, terrorist or Naxal violence from Rs three lakh to Rs five lakh. So far, next of kin of persons killed or civilians who suffered permanent incapacitation as a result of such violence were paid Rs 3 lakh as per provisions of the Central Scheme for Assistance to Civilian Victims of Terrorist, Communal, Naxal violence since 2008.‘Assistance would be given to the surviving spouse in case of death or permanent incapacitation of the husband or the wife, as the case may be. If both the husband and the wife died in same incident of violence, the family would be entitled to get the assistance, in each case,’ Ministry spokesperson said. Families of the victims would be eligible to get assistance under the scheme even if they have received any other assistance, by way of payment of ex-gratia or any other type of relief from the government or any other source except when a similar scheme is already being implemented by the Central government. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindAs per ministry statistics, the union government had disbursed Rs 6.12 crore as compensation to civilian victims in 204 incidents of terrorist, communal and naxal violence in 2011-12 and Rs 3.99 crore to civilian victims in 133 such incidents in 2012-13. No reimbursement could be made to any civilian victims in incidents of terrorist, communal and Naxal violence during 2013-14 and 2014-15 (till July) as state governments did not send the proposals.last_img read more

Reviving the art of storytelling

first_imgKathakar-International Storytellers Festival that starts off on January 30 aims to generate awareness on the traditional methods of storytelling in different parts of the world. Traditionally, folk tales, epics and community history were communicated orally with gestures and expressions to leave a lasting imprint on listener’s mind. Though novel concepts of storytelling have been introduced in contemporary times, the traditional methods are still alive. Following story tellers will be performing at the festival – Villupattu (Tamil Nadu), Baithak ni Bhavai, Baithak ni Bhavai (Gujarat); Khongjom Parva (Manipur),  Emily Parish (Sweden), Sarah Rundle (UK), Godfrey Duncan (TUUP, UK), Daniel Hall (Hungary). Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Villupattu is an ancient tradition in which stories are narrated using a unique musical instrument i.e. a bow (villu) placed on a mud pot. The lead singer beats the pot while singing and co-singers play active listeners uttering appropriate oral responses to the song in between.Bhavai is a popular folk theatre form from specially Gujarat. Nayak Baldevbhai D and his troupe from Kalol, Gujarat will present stories on Patan, Gujarat and also on social themes. Khongjom Parva is a style of ballad singing from Manipur that depicts stories of the heroic battle fought by Manipuris against British forces in 1891. Padam Shri recipient, Nameirakpam Ibemni Devi from Imphal, Manipur will perform at the festival. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixEmily Parish is a story teller who explores ancient art of story telling within a contemporary context. A Swedish national, she will be sharing folk tales from Europe, India and Africa.Sarah Rundle is from West London, UK. and specialises in community storytelling. Performing for last seven years on various themes, she will be presenting stories from Silk Route in this festival.Born in Guyana and raised in West London, Godfrey Duncan has been working as a professional story teller since 1981. He will be presenting folk tales from Africa. Daniel Hall has majorly worked in the field of English language theatre. He will be sharing folk tales from Hungary.When: January 30 – February 1 Where: Amphitheatre, Janpathlast_img read more

JU Arts students gherao VC senior officials over admission test row

first_imgKolkata: The stalemate over admission tests in Arts subjects at Jadavpur University continued on Tuesday with Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das and some senior officials of the university remained gheraoed by a section of students of humanities since Monday night.The agitation started off after the university temporarily postponed the admission process of Arts by withdrawing the dates for admission tests that were scheduled to be held from July 3 to 5. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAn emergency Executive Committee meeting has been called on Wednesday with the aim to resolve the impasse.State Education minister Partha Chatterjee when questioned about such unrest in the varsity said: “These students should decide what they actually want to do. They indulge in agitation over some issue or the other. They do everything other than studies. 99 percent of the institutions abstain from such activities but in a few institutions like these, such things have been continuing.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedChatterjee was also critical in respect to the roles played by a section of teachers of the varsity.”Often, the students do not have proper understanding of the situation. There should be someone who will make them comprehend certain matters. But there is hardly anybody chipping in,” the minister added.A member of Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) said the V-C along with other Executive Council (EC) had to spend the entire night in the administrative building as the members of Arts Faculty Students Union (AFSU) refused to call off the protest that started around 8pm on Monday. It may be mentioned that the admission tests for English, Comparative Literature, History, Bengali, Political Science and Philosophy were postponed as a section of faculty members raised reservations over the legal validity of such tests. The last date for submission of forms was also extended from June 26 to July 2.Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das said: “There has been some legal problems regarding the admission tests that had cropped up in the EC meeting. We have not cancelled the admission tests but decided to postpone it and have sought legal opinion so that there is no complications later. If I have to remain gheraoed for this, I am ready to accept it.” “We will not budge from this place until the VC announces dates for admission tests,” AFSU leader Pritam Biswas said.A university source said there has already been 17,000 applications for admission in Arts.last_img read more

Council relents 14day agitation comes to an end at CMCH

first_imgKolkata: The agitating medical students at the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) on Monday lifted their indefinite hunger strike, after the college council agreed to meet their demands of allotting rooms in the newly built college hostel.In a significant development, Anil Verma, the current principal secretary, health, has been replaced by Rajiva Sinha, who was in the post of additional chief secretary of the MSME department. Also, Director of Medical Education (DME) Prof. Dr. Debasish Bhattacharaya has been replaced by Partha Pratim Chakraborty. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe college council meeting had been convened by the new officiating principal Ashoke Bhadra and was attended by heads of departments and other officials. It decided that the modalities of allotment of seats in the new hostel building will be changed, after getting final clearance from the state Health department.Meanwhile, prior to the withdrawal of hunger strike, the minister of state for health Chandrima Bhattacharya in the Assembly urged the students to stop the agitation as it had been hampering the health services in the hospital. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt was decided in the meeting that the students of second, third and fourth years will be allotted rooms in the two floors of the new building, which was built for the first year students. It will be given temporarily to the second, third and fourth year students, the college council decided.The students withdrew their hunger strike that lasted for 14 long days, after receiving a written copy of the college council’s decision.Following the meeting, the CMCH authorities have issued a Press statement, saying that two floors of the new hostel building will be allotted to the senior students getting admission in various academic batches through open and transparent counselling, purely on a temporary basis. Prof Bhadra also assured the students that repair work of all the hostels will be undertaken on an urgent basis. He ended the hunger strike of the students by giving them fruit juice. The indefinite hunger strike was started by six students of CMCH on July 10 and were later joined by 15 others on July 19. According to the hospital sources, the agitation was withdrawn at around 2 pm on Monday.The second, third and fourth year students had started the agitation, demanding accommodation in the new hostel building. They alleged that the hostel rooms they had been staying in lacked minimum infrastructure and hygiene.Three of the protesting students fell ill during the indefinite hunger strike and one of them had been hospitalised. He was, however, discharged from the hospital on Monday and the condition of the other two is stated to be stable.According to a senior official of CMCH, a new seven-storeyed hostel building will soon come up at the hospital premises, having a capacity to accommodate 500 students.Once the building comes up, the senior students will be shifted there, while the existing 11-storeyed building will be allotted to the first year students as per the guidelines of the Medical Council of India (MCI).last_img read more

State to observe halfday today

first_imgKolkata: The state government has declared a half-day holiday on Friday to pay respect to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.State government offices, state government undertakings, urban local bodies, government-aided institutions, schools, colleges and universities will remain closed in the second half on Friday. There will also be seven days of state mourning that will be observed throughout India from Thursday to August 8. During this period, the National Flag will be flown at half mast throughout the country where it is regularly flown and there will be no official entertainment during the period of state mourning.last_img

Injecting hormone can make ageing muscles young and active

first_imgOsteocalcin, a bone hormone produced during exercise, tends to decline with age in women at the age of 30 and in men at age 50.The findings showed that during exercise in mice and humans, the level of osteocalcin in the blood increases depending on how old the organism is. Osteocalcin increased the capacity of exercise in the older mice. Also, the bone-derived hormone was found powerful enough to reconstitute, in older animals, the muscle function of young animals. “Our bones are making a hormone called osteocalcin that provides an explanation for why we can exercise,” said Gerard Karsenty, Geneticist at the Columbia University Medical Center in the US. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’For the study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, the team tested mice that were genetically engineered to investigate whether osteocalcin levels were affecting exercise performance. In three-month-old adult mice, osteocalcin levels spiked approximately four times the amount that the levels in 12-month-old mice did when the rodents ran for 40 minutes on a treadmill. The three-month-old mice could run for about 1,200 meters before becoming exhausted, while the 12-month-old mice could only run half of that distance. However, when old mice whose osteocalcin levels had naturally decreased with age were injected with osteocalcin, their running performance matched that of the healthy three-month-old mice. The older mice were able to run about 1,200 meters before becoming exhausted. “Osteocalcin is the only known bone-derived hormone that increases exercise capacity. This may be one way to treat age-related decline in muscle function in humans,” Karsenty noted.last_img read more

Shop owners harassed over Kali Puja donation 3 held

first_imgKolkata: Businesspersons were allegedly harassed at Natunbazar near Dum Dum cantonment for refusing donation as demanded by a local club for Kali Puja.Locals alleged that the members of the club demanded Rs 40,000 from each shop owner, which was quite a big amount and they refused. As revenge, local club members allegedly put cement and multipurpose sealant material on the locks of several shops. Dum Dum Police Station later arrested one person for extortion. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAccording to the local businesspersons, members of Rabindranagar Natun Bazar Social Welfare Society demanded Rs 40,000 from seven shop owners on Thursday. As the amount was very high, they refused. Some of the shop owners offered them Rs 3000 but the organisers refused to take that amount and left. “I told them that I can give upto Rs 3,000 but refused to take it. On Friday morning, when I came to open my shop, I noticed the key hole of the shutter was sealed using cement and sealant material. Not only mine, several other owners were also targetted in the same manner,” said Chandan Kundu, a shop owner. Other shop owners alleged that the club members pressurise them for donation every year. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedPolice personnel from Dum Dum Police Station went to the spot and noted all the shop owners’ statements. A specific case was lodged on charges of extortion and three person were detained. The trio were arrested later. They will be produced before Barrackpore Court on Saturday. “A specific case has been lodged and three persons have been arrested on charges of extortion. Nothing more can be said before a detailed investigation,” said Ananda Roy, Deputy Commissioner (zone II) of Barrackpore Police.last_img read more

A poetic evening with Sartaaj

first_imgA multi-talented artist – songwriter, singer, composer and poet – Satinder Sartaaj is going to enthrall the audience with his melodious songs on Sunday, July 9 at Siri Fort Auditorium from 7pm onwards. It is a part of the sufi concert series where legendary singers like Satinder Sartaaj, Hans raj Hans, Kanwar Grewal, Harshdeep Kaur, Richa Sharma, Gurdas Mann will perform live from July to December 2017.Satinder Sartaaj has sung many sufi songs and has gained fame with his hit song ‘Sai’. Since then, his popularity has seen a constant surge among the Punjabi diaspora with his shows being held across the world. Before rising to fame, Sartaaj participated in various shows like Zee TV Antakshari show – a popular Indian musical show hosted by Annu Kapoor, performed in the folk category and won appreciation. He was the first runner-up in the 24th All-India Light Vocal Festival and a topper in the Punjab Heritage Foundation Competitions. Since 2009 till present Satinder Sartaaj has won many awards of excellence for his singing and poetry from many prestigious institutions all over the world.last_img read more

Teenager dies after consuming pills one held

first_imgKolkata: A teenage girl died on Friday after she was allegedly poisoned by a youth, who lived near her home, at Mangalkot in East Burdwan.The girl identified as Tina Afroz (16) was allegedly given some pills by a youth identified Abdul Rahman and his sister. According to a source, Rahman used to stalk Afroz and wanted to get into a relationship with her. But Afroz allegedly refused to his proposals. On Thursday, when Afroz was returning from school after writing an examination, Rahman and his sister intercepted her. It is alleged that they had an interaction and after that Afroz consumed some pills which were handed over to her by them. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseShe started feeling unwell after she reached home and was immediately rushed to Mangalkot primary health centre. Later, she was shifted to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital where she died. Rahman accompanied Afroz’s family members when they were going to the hospital but he tried to escape when she died. Afroz’s uncle Shaikh Idawaqt Ali alleged that she was poisoned by Rahman. He was immediately detained at the hospital and handed over to the officers at Burdwan police station. Later, Rahman was detained at the Mangalkot police station. Ali said: “We suspect that Rahman had forced her to consume something poisonous. We have lodged a complaint against him at the Mangalkot police station.”last_img read more

Bosses with mood swingsmake workers anxious

first_imgDoes your boss switch between being friendly and nasty at the drop of a hat? It may make you more anxious than having an employer who is in a bad mood all the time, a study conducted in India and the UK has found. Not being able to predict how their boss is going to act towards them has a detrimental effect on the productivity of workers, researchers said.Far from the stereotypical view that ruthless and unsympathetic managers cause the greatest issues for employees, researchers from the University of Exeter in the UK showed that bosses who switch between being friendly and severe at the drop of a hat are actually most damaging. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfExperts found even a poor but consistent relationship with managers was better for workers than one that was influenced by mood swings.The impact is worse when colleagues don’t have a supportive relationship with their co-workers.Academics measured how “ambivalent” staff felt about their manager to what extent they had both positive and negative views about them.”The focus is usually on trying to work out if relationships between staff and bosses are good or bad, but they can sometimes be both, and it is important to measure that,” said Allan Lee, from University of Exeter in the UK. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”Bosses reward and punish their workers, and this has an impact on self-esteem. If their staff have to adopt different roles at different times because they have a manager who can be both nasty and nice they view him or her in an ambivalent way,” Lee said.”If your boss is both pleasant and unpleasant to be around it is hard to know what they think about you, and if you can’t predict how they will act,” he said. “This makes it hard to trust them. This creates negative emotions and makes staff feel anxious, causing poor performance at work,” he added. The study shows employees can compensate for an ambivalent relationship with their boss if they have a good relationship with other colleagues.Researchers carried out four surveys in three companies two in the UK and one in India, asking what they thought about their bosses and how they performed in different tasks.The 320 staff who took part worked in a service centre, providing telephone-based customer service support or outsourced human resources services and other business tasks. A total of 60 teams of staff were examined, they shared a single supervisor but worked independently of each other.last_img read more

How to face the sun

first_imgSummer time means scorching heat, high humidity and harsh sun rays that can make your skin discoloured, dry and dull. From opting for anti-fungal products to using facial mist can be some ways to retain the moisture of your skin. Experts give us easy and effective tips to keep skin look hydrated and healthy during the warmest season. Go easy: Since we produce more oil during the summer months, it’s tempting to use harsher scrubs and face washes. These can strip the skin off its essential oils – so go for a mild foaming cleanser instead. If you perspire a lot, it’s more important to use a gentle cleanser as you will be washing your face multiple times a day. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSunscreen ready: UV rays are one of the main causes of hyper pigmentation and skin discoloration. But this can be prevented by applying sunscreen an hour before you step out into the sun. Oral sunscreen are also easily available that will not only keep your skin protected but also your hair.Opt for anti-fungal products: Summers attract a lot of germs and fungal infections. It’s best to apply antifungal body washes, lotions and powders around this time to keep the germs and infections at bay. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveExfoliate: Gentle exfoliating at least twice or thrice a week will help remove dead skin cells and it will also improve the blood circulation to the face. It can also allow your skin to absorb the moisturizing products better.Hydrate: The heat can make you sweat and lose moisture – so don’t skip this step. You can replace the heavy creams you used during winter with lighter, water-based moisturizing lotions. Apply it as soon as you take a bath to lock in the water molecules and keep your skin feeling hydrated and fresh. Facial mists: Carry a facial mist in your bag and spray it whenever you feel you need to soothe and refresh your skin. It restores the skin’s moisture and prevents it from over-drying. Minimal makeup: Under bright sunlight, natural or mild makeup looks the best – so don’t overdo it or you’ll end up with melting foundation and smudged eyeliner.last_img read more

Doctors share guidelines to counter weekend scorcher

first_imgKolkata: The Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore predicted that the mercury in various South Bengal districts may plunge just over 40 degree Celsius along with high humidity causing discomfort to people during the end of the week.The city will not be spared from the hot and humid condition as the temperature is expected to cross 38 degree Celsius. In the wake of the MeT office alert, city-based doctors have issued some guidelines for people, especially schoolchildren. They said kids should drink more water and avoid spicy foods. People have been advised to bathe twice a day to get relief from the hot weather condition. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataWith the rising of mercury in the past few days the city has been experiencing a scorching summer heat. The discomfort level is high during the day time. The mercury has been hovering over 34-36 degree Celsius for the past two weeks. Occasional downpour and gusty wind had however provided some relief to the people in the city and some parts of South Bengal in the last week. It brought some temporary relief but the there has been no respite from discomfort since then. A senior official of the Alipore MeT office on Thursday said that the temperature may to shoot 40 degrees Celsius in the next three days in the districts of Purulia, Bankura, West Midnapore, Jhargram and some parts of West Burdwan and Birbhum. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateIn other South Bengal districts the highest temperature may remain between 36-38 degree Celsius in the next three days. According to the weather office, the average maximum temperature in the region will remain high due to the inflow of northwesterly wind to the state from the neighbouring states. There has been little moisture incursion into Gangetic Bengal since preventing the formation of a storm-triggering system. “As the humidity level will also be on the higher side, the city will experience a sultry condition. There is however no prediction of rain in the next couple of days,” said Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, deputy director general of Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore.last_img read more

Japan has Become a Major Player in the Spirits Market – Thats

first_imgA new surge in international alcohol trends, Japanese whisky has begun to dominate the spirit world. The industry found its feet only 100 years ago when a Japanese chemist spent two years studying the craft in Scotland. Their version of aqua vitae, or water of life, Scottish whisky is the arguably the most famous in the world. Thanks to one man and his life’s work, Japan is now giving some of the oldest existing distilleries in the world a run for their money.Born in the last decade of the 19th century, Masataka Taketsuru grew up in a family who brewed sake and had been in the trade since 1733.Monument to Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka Whisky.His father was a successful chemical engineer and businessman, setting a successful example for the son. Just shy of his 25th birthday, Taketsuru travelled across the globe to Scotland to study organic chemistry at the University of Glasgow. He remains one of their most famed alumni to this day.Following his studies, Taketsuru had apprenticeships at the Longmorn distillery in Strathspey, the Bo’ness distillery in the Lowlands, and the Hazelburn (later the famous Springbank) distillery on Kintyre, filling two notebooks with notes on every detail of the process. These notebooks would go on to be the first official guide for whisky production in Japan.One of the buildings of Yoichi Distillery.Upon his return to his homeland, Taketsuru helped to develop Kotobukiya, now known as Suntory distillery. Later in 1934, he founded his own company, choosing the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan as a perfect location because of its similarities to the cool Scottish climate. Originally the Dai Nippon Kaja K.K. distillery, it is now known across the globe as Nikka.A Bottle of Nikka Whisky (50cl). Photo by Hispania CC BY-SA 4.0Though the existence of the beverage was known to the country before, according to the company’s website, Taketsuru was the “first Japanese ever to master how to make whiskey.”In 1940 Nikka produced its first batch: the first commercially produced whisky in Japan.Yoichi distillery, 2015. Photo by y.ganden CC BY 2.0From that point on, whisky production in Japan found its feet and began to develop quickly. Taketsuru’s legacy outreached the spirit world, though, in the form of a television drama.NHK, which translates to the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, is Japan’s equivalent to PBS or the BBC. In 2014, it premiered a daily drama called Massan which chronicled the chemist’s life through the the characters Masaharu Kameyama and his wife Ellie, based on Taketsuru’s real life Scottish bride Rita Cowan.Nikka Susukino. Photo by 663highland CC BY 2.5The show ran for two years and gained the attention of the Association of Foreign Wives of Japanese (AFWJ) who supported a lead role on NHK being played by a western actor, a first for the corporation.The show, though fictionalized, brought attention to concerns of the AFWJ that foreign representation in Japan has not progressed much further since Taketsuru’s lifetime.Photo by サフィル CC BY-SA 4.0Married in Scotland, the couple faced opposition from the bride’s family, a sentiment that was mirrored by the groom’s upon the newlywed’s arrival in Japan.Members of the AFWJ echo similar experiences in modern times, lending to proof of how monumental Taketsuru’s success in blending two cultures is to foreign cultural history in Japan.The back label of Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 12 years old. Photo by Nikkafanfun CC BY SA 3.0His contribution to the chemical sciences is undoubtable, and his contribution to social sciences understated. Despite such challenges, Taketsuru’s time overseas and adaptation of a foreign culture allowed him to become a singular figure in the modern history of Japan.To commemorate his father, Masataka Taketsuru’s son created the “Taketsuru Prize” in 2002. Awarded annually, the prize is given to the most promising student in the MSci course in the Chemistry Department at the University of Glasgow.Read another story from us: Yes, There is a Burger Joint called Pablo’s Escoburgers – They Say it’s AddictiveToday, Japan is home to over a dozen distilleries. Nikka itself has two distilleries, in Yoichi and Miyagikyo, which produce 8 different whiskeys, ranging among single malt, pure malt, and infused, as well as a gin and a vodka.last_img read more