Month: August 2019

iplay Offers Video Gamelike Playground Equipment

first_imgFor children of today’s generation, swings and slides don’t seem to cut it anymore—not when you have an Xbox and Playstation in your living room. In an attempt to curb the rising childhood obesity rates partially associated with indoor electronics, researchers in the UK have designed an outdoor playground unit based on the concepts of video games. Called i.play, or “intelligent play,” the electronic unit can make a high-tech addition to nearly any existing playground, says developer Playdale. Intended for children ages eight and above, as well as adults, wheelchair users and individuals with impaired hearing or vision, i.play encourages “stealth exercise”—exercise that feels like fun.The i.play unit consists of a hexagonal court with three curved bars that form the skeleton of a dome. Each bar has a high, low, and mid-positioned activity switch to encourage a whole body aerobic workout that helps build muscular strength, stamina, hand-eye coordination, reaction time, agility and flexibility.The i.play unit audibly tells a player when to activate a switch, an LED on the switch flashes, and the faster the player gets to the switch, the higher the score. Players activate the switch by pushing, pulling, pressing, spinning, turning, or stamping. Like many a video game, the game ends when a player loses three lives (by activating the wrong switch or moving too slow), or by completing all five levels, which is beating the game.The game can be played in groups as well as individually. For groups of up to six, each player gets a number. The first player, chosen by the system, makes a sequence of three switches. Then the i.play unit nominates the next player, who repeats the sequence. Once all the players have successfully repeated the sequence, another switch is added, etc.“The placement of activity switches is an important aspect of the design as we want to get users to perform movements requiring a large range of motion to progressively higher levels of physical exertion,” said i.play co-inventor Phil Hodgkins in a recent press release.The i.play system can also intelligently adjust to children’s performance, making the unit an alternative to team sports because it is competitive yet inclusive. i.play’s Web site notes an 11% decline in the number of young people playing sports at school, as well as a lack of cheap exercise options, that i.play aims to fill. Two i.play systems are already in use in Leicester and Barrow in Furness.Playdale developed i.play in conjunction with Progressive Sports Technologies, a spinout company from Loughborough University. Other features of the system include its fully solar-powered design, programmable software, and like a game console, multiple levels of difficulty and statistics that allow players to monitor their performance both during and after the game.And if that still doesn’t excite gamers, players can win a free iPod Shuffle in a monthly drawing for logging their scores on an online league table. Citation: i.play Offers Video Game-like Playground Equipment (2007, September 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-09-iplay-video-game-like-playground-equipment.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. The i.play system combines interactive electronics with conventional playground equipment to encourage young people to exercise. Source: Playdale.last_img read more

Running Hamsters Can Power Nano Devices Video

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Among the vast number of untapped energy sources are finger taps, heartbeats, and even hamsters running on exercise wheels. In a recent study, researchers from Georgia Tech have shown that when hamsters run or scratch themselves – even if they do so erratically – the motions can drive a nanogenerator that produces an electric current. Video: Running hamster generate energyJoin PhysOrg.com on Facebook Many motions can cause the plastic to move. For instance, a hamster wearing a small jacket attached to the generator could harvest energy from the rodent’s movements as it runs and scratches. The researchers also attached the nanogenerator to a person’s index finger, and when the finger tapped on a hard surface, the generator could harvest that biomechanical energy.The researchers hope to increase the generator’s power by adding more piezoelectric wires. If the team could increase the nanogenerator’s power output so that it could generate about one microwatt, the device could power implantable nanosensors that require a permanent power supply. These nanosensors, which perform tasks such as detecting pathogens or cancer proteins, could be powered by the patient’s own biomotions, eliminating the need for the sensors to be surgically replaced. In other applications, the generator could be woven into the fabric of a human jacket to harvest energy for powering portable electronic devices.© 2009 PhysOrg.com 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. The electricity generated from such tiny, irregular biomotions is currently quite low (about one nanowatt), but Zhong Lin Wang, a professor of materials science and engineering at Georgia Tech, predicts that power generation can be increased to drive some tiny nano-sized devices. Wang and his colleagues have published their study in a recent issue of Nano Letters.While other generators can harvest biomechanical energy from regular motions at a specific frequency, the Georgia Tech team’s generator is the first that can harvest small, irregular motions. Most biomotions – such as walking, stretching, and a heart beating – are irregular movements.Taking advantage of the piezoelectric effect, the team’s nanogenerator consists of a series of zinc-oxide nanowires mounted on a flexible plastic surface. When the plastic bends, the wires also bend, creating an electric potential that drives a current through the wires to an external electrical circuit. center_img Researchers at Georgia Tech have designed a nanogenerator that can harvest irregular biomotions, such as the erratic movements of a hamster running. Image credit: Zhong Lin Wang. Citation: Running Hamsters Can Power Nano Devices (Video) (2009, February 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-02-hamsters-power-nano-devices-video.html How to capture waste heat energy with improved polymerslast_img read more

Press release reveals journalists believe everything they see on the Internet

first_img ‘Paul the Octopus’ now an iPhone app The Internet is buzzing with the story of a new study that today’s students are so gullible they will believe anything they see on the Internet, and are even willing to believe in the existence of an elusive tree octopus when shown the website for this “endangered species.” (The website states it is linked to the “Kelvinic University branch of the Wild Haggis Conservation Society.”) The Pacific Northwest tree octopus (Octopus paxarbolis) is a mythical creature invented in 1998 by Lyle Zapato, but the story circulating on the Internet this week often mistakenly has it that Professor Donald J. Leu, director of the New Literacies Research Laboratory at the University of Connecticut, invented the tree octopus and designed its website to test the gullibility of today’s “digital native” students, who are known for their online savviness. One problem with the story is that it is not news. According to the University website the experiment was done on 25 students in 2006. Dr Leu also reported on a similar experiment with 53 7th grade students and the tree octopus website at the Research Conference of the International Reading Association in Toronto, Canada in 2007. There is nothing about new research on this topic on the New Literacies Research Laboratory website, and the information on which the current batch of stories is based is a Pearson press release , which announces a talk by Dr Leu in Texas, at which he talked about the research and its implications.The Tree Octopus and Dog Island websites are among spoof sites included in Dr Leu’s handout: New Literacies for New Times: Preparing our Students for the 21st Century. The sites are suggested as good resources for teaching students how to work out that websites contain false or misleading information.Dr Leu has said that students need to learn to critically evaluate what they read on the Internet, because his studies have shown that students are gullible and do believe the tree octopus story and other hoax websites, and they are unskilled in discriminating good sources of information from unreliable sources on the Internet.Dr Leu spoke about the research at the Texas Association of School Administrators Conference at the end of January. 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 Pacific Northwest tree octopus. Image from zapatopi.net.center_img Explore further Citation: Press release reveals journalists believe everything they see on the Internet (2011, February 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-02-reveals-journalists-internet.html © 2010 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Kondo Robot releases a hexapod robot kit w video

first_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com In addition to selling this stock hexapod robot kit, the company will also be selling individual leg assemblies and other parts from the bot kit. This will give robot builders the chance to use these parts to create their own multi-legged robot designs. Kondo Robot currently serves only the Japanese market, so robot builders from other nations will have to find a different supplier for hexapod robot parts. The KMR-M6 Hexapod Robot is expected to begin shipping in May of 2011, and will cost roughly 76,000 yen, or $880 US dollars. More information: via Robot Dreams The brain of the KMR-M6 is a Kondo RCB-4HV. It is powered by a ROBO Power Cell 10.8V 800mAh Ni-MH battery. As for aesthetics, the wiring, controller and all other on-board electronics are hidden from view, in a compartment on the robots back. (PhysOrg.com) — Kondo Robot, a Japan-based robotics company known for selling robotics kits which often end up in robot-on-robot battles, announced the release of a new robot kit. The kit, named the KMR-M6 is a Hexapod Robot, that is reminiscent of a spider in its appearance. The kit is designed to be fairly stable. In addition to only requiring two servos per leg, for movement, the robot has a unique spring and multi-bar linkage approach that gives it the ability to navigate more complex obstacles. Citation: Kondo Robot releases a hexapod robot kit (w/ video) (2011, April 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-kondo-robot-hexapod-kit-video.htmlcenter_img 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. Korea to sell programmable robot The KMR-M6 has a low profile, at about 14 inches tall, which makes maneuvering through smaller spaces less laborius, and decreases the robots center of gravity, which decreases the likelihood that it will tip over while navigating those obstacles.last_img read more

UB teams software is set to eyeball liars

first_img “What we wanted to understand was whether there are signal changes emitted by people when they are lying, and can machines detect them? The answer was yes, and yes,” Ifeoma Nwogu, a co-author of the study and professor at the Center for Unified Biometrics and Sensors, told the UB Reporter.According to a report in Scientific American, their work was inspired by findings from a professor of psychology at the University of California in San Francisco, School of Medicine, Paul Ekman. He has focused on emotions as they relate to facial expressions. As for interrogators themselves, their experiences indicate that the use of such software for telling who is lying and who is telling the truth would not be practical in all instances and may not always lead them to the right targets. Just as polygraphs have drawn controversy over how reliable they really are, face-detection tools might also generate its share of false positives. Undaunted, the researchers last year presented their study results at the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition and now they are set to broaden their investigations to account for body language too.Also, said Nwogu, faster algorithms may raise the software’s ability to spot behavioral deviations in near real-time. The system that they are using tracks eye movements using a statistical technique that models the movements. Nwogu and others on the team, in the course of their 40 interviews, used the beginning of each interview to establish what normal, baseline eye movements looked like for each subject. The team focused on such details as the rate of blinking and the frequency with which people shifted the direction of their gaze. The researchers then used their system to compare each subject’s baseline eye movements with eye movements during the critical section of each interrogation.Another goal as they continue their research is to expand the sample size. They used a sampling of 40 people, which they said was too small to be statistically significant. Other researchers involved in this study include Nisha Bhaskaran, Venu Govindaraju, and Mark Frank, a professor of communication and behavioral scientist. Explore further © 2011 PhysOrg.com Citation: UB team’s software is set to eyeball liars (2012, March 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-03-ub-team-software-eyeball-liars.html More information:center_img (PhysOrg.com) — A study team at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York, is working on video analysis software to analyze eye movements to spot liars. So far, they say their results show that their software can spot liars with a promising level of accuracy. Their claim is based on their study using 40 people. Their system correctly identified who was telling the truth and who was lying 82.5 percent of the time. 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. Researchers say liars can’t completely suppress facial expressionslast_img read more

Gorillas filmed performing amazing feat of intellectual ability

first_img Explore further (Phys.org) — Researchers working in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda have filmed gorillas dismantling snares set by poachers to catch smaller game. Previously, anecdotal evidence had suggested that silverback gorillas had been seen dismantling snares. In this instance it was two young blackback, mountain gorillas that were involved. The team, part of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center, filmed first a silverback motioning towards the snare. Next, two young male blackbacks arrived on the scene, surveyed the situation, then proceeded to take apart the snare, avoiding being caught in it in the process. 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: Gorillas filmed performing amazing feat of intellectual ability (2012, July 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-gorillas-amazing-feat-intellectual-ability.html Gorilla King Titus dies in Rwandacenter_img Image: Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund / gorillas.org © 2012 Phys.org Snares are small loops of plant leaves or rope, fashioned in a noose and laid on or near the ground. They are attached lightly to a bent bush and strongly to a tree. If an animal steps in the snare, the rope is released from the bendy bush causing the noose to tighten around the victim, who cannot run away because of the tether to the tree. Some victims are retrieved when poachers come to check their snares; others die from dehydration.Those who work with gorillas have known for quite some time that the animals possess a brain that supports an intellectual level that far surpasses most other animals, including most other primates. In short, they’re really smart. Unfortunately, there is not much documented evidence to support such claims due to the few studies that have been done to measure it. This is because there are relatively few animals available in captivity that can be studied and because of the limited environment in which the animals live in the wild, which means, practically speaking, they don’t often run into situations that require much brainpower. But when they do, researchers say, it can take your breath away.To dismantle a snare, the gorillas pull the bent branch back, breaking it and releasing the tension in the rope. In the film, the two young gorillas get right to work indicating they’d done it before, and the researchers report that once finished the duo moved to another snare and disabled it as well.The researchers also note that the snare destroying episode came shortly after the death of an infant gorilla that had become trapped in a snare; in trying to escape it had broken its shoulder which led to gangrene setting in.Snares are common in protected parks in Africa as poachers set traps hoping to get some bush-meat either for consumption directly or to sell on the black market. The snares are not normally strong enough to trap a full grown gorilla or even a juvenile but present a significant threat to those still very small. The researchers report that the recent death of an infant was the second this year.last_img read more

Father demands justice after daughters death

first_imgKolkata: The hapless father of a six-month-old girl has started fast unto death in Asansol demanding stern action against the persons responsible for her daughter’s death.Akshay Ghosh, father of the child, who is on fast unto death said despite repeated complaints the administration has not taken any action against the nursing home. Earlier, Ghosh and his wife Rupa had staged a dharna for 26 days outside the nursing home situated at Kumarpur off Sen Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsRaligh Road.On March 20, the child had high fever and was taken to the nursing home. The nursing home authorities had administered an injection and within half an hour the baby showed signs of uneasiness and died.Following the death, Ghosh requested the nursing home authorities to tell him the name of the injection and the course of treatment they had followed. But the nursing home refused to disclose the name of the injection and also did not tell anything on the treatment. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedGhosh said following this he had gone from the pillar to post demanding stern action against the culprits. “What has happened to my daughter can happen to others. So, I want action against the culprits whose callousness has led to the death of my only daughter.” He said on March 19 was the baby’s naming ceremony and she was absolutely fine on that day. She had taken her food and slept well at night. She had fever from the afternoon and as the temperature shot up she was taken to the nursing home.last_img read more

Tricolour magic

first_imgHow much do you like the colours — red, white and blue? I’m sure a lot and so does Sharad Haksar. Haksar who hails from Chennai is a well known photographer. Exploring the various aspects of these colours, Haksar travelled to Japan and Iceland, the two places which fascinated him since childhood. More than the people and the culture, the pristine landscape excites his mind’s eyes and there he started capturing nature’s resplendence in these two lands.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Those finest travel photos are now put on an exhibition which the artiste has titled Red, Blue & White. The artiste further puts a logic behind the title of the show. As red and white symbolise the flag colours of Japan while red, blue and white represent the national hues of Iceland, the exhibition is named so. 80 spectacular images from the collection will showcase the beauty of the two places through the eyes of the artiste. Each of the colours which Haksar captured during his travel have a different story. Red offers a rare glimpse of the autumn season in Japan when the koyo or coloured leaves are in full bloom. The koyo season typically begins in mid-September in Hokkaido to the north, gradually spreading to the southern end of the Japanese archipelago in about 50 days. During the peak period, the leaves of the maple and gingko trees turn red and yellow in concert presenting the viewer, a stunning and picturesque scenery, at every turn. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe white series is a visual chronicle of the blossoming of the white cherry blossom or the sakura. Seen widely by the Japanese as a symbol of elegance, hope, sacrifice and new beginnings, the blossom holds enormous attraction in the country. There are over 200 varieties of sakura in Japan and most of them grow to a height of 25 feet to 50 feet with a canopy spreading up to 40 feet wide. Blue is an ode to the surreal scapes of Iceland. The enthralling collection of images is a result of the exhilaration and excitement that Sharad experienced as he tried to capture the terrain of Iceland. From the azure crystal caves in Jokursarlon’s glaciers to the black volcanic beaches in Vik, Iceland’s tranquil natural beauty had ample inspiration to offer to Sharad’s creative instincts.last_img read more

Court records evidence in case against Irom Sharmila

first_imgA Delhi court today recorded statements of three police officials as prosecution witnesses in a case, in which rights activist Irom Sharmila is facing trial for allegedly trying to commit suicide during her fast-unto-death at Jantar Mantar in 2006.Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain recorded testimonies of inspector Subhash, assistant sub-inspector Pal Singh, who was head constable at the Parliament Street Police Station at the time of the incident and constable Kapil. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIThe court fixed the case for tomorrow for recording evidence of other witnesses.Sharmila, who is on a fast for over 14 years in Manipur, demanding repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), was also present in the court during the hearing.Sharmila (42) is currently under judicial custody in another case lodged against her in Manipur. The court had earlier recorded statements of four prosecution witnesses.last_img read more

Ramzan Spread

first_imgIftar is a meal taken just before sunset, to break the fast. Traditionally, Muslims eat three dates in adherence to the Prophet Mohammad as he preached and practiced the same.Dates are followed by a sumptuous healthy meal, which traditionally consists of choley or kaale chane, pakode, dahi vade, fruit salad, samosas and sandwiches followed by light drinks like Roohafza, shikanji or fruit juice.The roze-daar (faster) strives to eat as healthy as possible for sehri or suhoor. The meal before the fast, eaten in the morning. The sehri should be very healthy as for a 14-15 hour fast, the body needs energy all day long. So, eat right as so is his will. For many people, iftar quite naturally translates into sumptuous meal. But, some prefer to keep it simple and light. Saad Mohammad, a foodie from Zakirnagar says, “biryani is a must in the gap of iftar and Tarawee”. For him, an essential iftar meal is incomplete without delicious chunks of Chicken or Mutton. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Whereas, Aiman Sartaj of Old Delhi believes in keeping it light for iftar by including boiled chana, fruit salad and lemonade in her meal. Being a weight-conscious girl, she avoids eating the traditional khajla and phaini for sehri as the gracious use of ghee bothers her. What is the ‘right food’? What is an ideal Ramzan meal like? What do we eat for iftar? What to have for sehri? Well, here are some of the easily available tasty and healthy items that can be in your perfect meal. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixDrinks:Flavored lassi – To quench parched throats, with a flavorful drink, Lassi is the drink to have in summers. Available in many flavors, it can really refresh you.Sandalwood Sherbet – Giving a subtle woody aroma, this sherbet has a great cooling effect. Its a great choice as an iftar drink.Starters:Pineaple raita – It is a yogurt based serving in which pieces of pineapple and pomegranate are added, as they are healthy and tasty. Raita, due to the ease in digestion it gives can be part of sehri as well. Chicken shammi kebab – A lavish iftar spread is incomplete without a non-vegetarian dish. Chicken tikka serves the purpose of keeping it light and flavourful, which can either be fried or baked.Chicken kebabs, fried or baked, make for the perfect ingredient for a lavish iftar spread, as it is light and flavorful, especially for a non-veg dish.Main Course:Whole wheat naan – A naan made of wholewheat floor is a good choice to make part of your Iftar meal. Its very nutritious and served best with daal makhni or any other curry based dish.Biryani – Biryani is an integral part of Iftar spread not only in India but in several other countries. Healthier than white, brown rice is better in terms of both nutritional and other health benefits. Adding chickpeas, carrot, beans, paneer or even chicken to brown rice makes it a healthy meal.Desserts:Seviyan Kheer – Vermicelli kheer is a healthy and low fat dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth. Almonds and cashews can be included in the kheer, if a little bit of natural fat doesn’t bother you. Do not forget, it tastes best when served chilled.Mango Mousse – This light, mango flavored creamy mousse is sure to delight you after the fast.Happy Fasting & Feasting!last_img read more

French Croatian delicacies to entice foodies on Sunday at Café Ekante

first_imgKolkata: Want to enjoy French and Croatian cuisine? Café Ekante in New Town has made an elaborate arrangement to welcome its guests to enjoy quality food and the FIFA World Cup 2018 final on Sunday.The guests can enjoy the game on a big screen, while enjoying French and Croatian special dishes. The final between France and Croatia will start at 8.30 pm. The welcome drinks include Snipper Modrij and Young Embapa. As starters, the guests can have cheese, corn nuggets and fish rolls stuffed with spinach and mushroom sauce. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIn the main course there will be caesar salad, green bouquet with French dressing, grilled chicken with reduced espagnole sauce, seafood pasta agloi polio, bread roll and butter, sauce vegetable, herbed rice and caramel custard. The dishes will cost Rs 500 plus 5% GST. Café Ekante, named by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has celebrated World Cup 2018 in a befitting manner for the past one month. The restaurant has been decorated with jerseys and footballs. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPThere is a mini goalpost and the guests who can score two goals, will get a discount on their food bill. Those who can predict the name of the winning team, will get a 20% discount on the food bill, which will be valid for one month from the date of the final match. Experts chefs have supervised cooking of the French and Croatian cuisines. Café Ekante has become popular in New Town and its neighbourhoods, as well as in Kolkata. Getting a seat on Saturdays and Sundays is quite difficult. The ambience and food have become popular among foodies. During the World Cup, there were special dishes every day on the countries that were participating in the matches. For example, on the day when England faced Croatia, there was fish and chips on offer.last_img read more

Shahs Kolkata rally a flop show BJP chief insulted Bengal TMC

first_imgKolkata: Slamming BJP national president Amit Shah over his remark that the signals of all Bengali channels were lowered so that locals can be prevented from viewing his address, the TMC said everything was telecast and urged the BJP not to blame the media unnecessarily.Terming the rally as a flop show, taking to its Twitter handle, the TMC stated that either Amit Shah should prove his allegations or resign from his post. Calling the rally a “big flop show,” the TMC tweeted: “BJP has just concluded another flop show in #Bangla After the flop meeting BJP are looking for excuses. They are saying their meeting was blacked out. Blackouts and blackmailing are what BJP does. Don’t insult the media. All showed. We challenge BJP. Either they prove it or resign.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeTMC spokesperson and MP Derek O’Brien said on Saturday: “Amit Shah should apologise within 72 hours or else we would take legal action.” He further added: “Who is Amit Shah? He can’t get away by alleging corruption against Mamata Banerjee. He has crossed the limits of decency by dishonouring the culture of Bengal… This state has a tradition and culture which Shah will never understand. Before commenting on Bengal’s culture, Shah should look into his own track record. We have the recording of the 27-minute speech of Amit Shah and if he does not tender apology we will take him to court.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedDerek also maintained that the BJP is trying to play communal politics. Asked to comment on Shah’s statement that the Centre will complete the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and neither Mamata Banerjee nor Rahul Gandhi has any power to stop it, he said: “Trinamool’s stand is very clear. The party will stand by the genuine Indian citizens whose names have been dropped from the NRC. The relatives of the former President of India’s names have not been included in the NRC list. The names of many jawans have been omitted. BJP is playing divisive politics.” While addressing a BJP rally on Mayo Road on Saturday, Shah said: “Earlier in Bengal, people used to hear Rabindra Sangeet and now this has been replaced by the sound of bombs.” Shah added that only Modi can give corruption-free Bengal. Shah further added that Bengal is submerged in corruption and chit fund cases involving Sarada, Narada and Rose Valley. Bengal’s development is possible under Narendra Modi only, he maintained. Derek said: “Shah has attacked the personal integrity of Mamata Banerjee and the people of Bengal are not going to tolerate this.”last_img read more

Curiosity is a driving state for information Study

first_imgNow, two researchers from the University of Rochester propose that it is time to organise and focus on curiosity’s function, evolution, mechanism and development.“Curiosity is a long-standing problem that is fascinating but has been difficult to approach scientifically,” said study co-author Benjamin Hayden, assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences.“But we felt that the field has recently managed to develop new formal and quantifiable techniques for studying curiosity and that it’s worth getting the word out,” he added. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Scientists have been taking notes about curiosity since the 19th century.Over time, studies have tried to differentiate curiosity by saying it is entirely intrinsically motivated (compared to information-seeking and risk-seeking). “But this type of definition runs into problems when determining the intrinsic motivation of babies, primates and other organisms that cannot communicate their inner world,” the authors noted.For their study, the authors used a working definition of curiosity “as a drive state for information” which can be observed in organisms as simple as nematode worms. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“When the information-seeking becomes active, it’s reasonable to start talking about it as a minimal form of curiosity,” Hayden added.“This definition will be hard for some people to swallow. But by looking at it from an evolutionary perspective, scientists can make rapid progress,” he noted.One question still up for debate is whether curiosity always carries benefits – whether immediately or in the future.“It’s agreed that information allows for better choices, but curiosity can lead animals to pursue stimuli that aren’t necessarily useful,” the study said. While increasing curiosity reduces uncertainty and makes for better choices on what to explore, the animals’ brains are also wired to reward us for learning new information, which can put us at different risks.The authors also note that the study of curiosity overlaps with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other attention disorders.The authors hope that in addition to the understanding how curiosity is affected by disease, the future will bring new information about how curiosity is controlled, how it differs between childhood and adulthood, and the link between curiosity and learning.Finally, the authors are also optimistic that scientists will eventually agree on a way to classify curiosity. The paper was published in the journal Neuron.last_img read more

2nd phase of work to begin at Bengal Safari Park from January

first_imgKolkata: The state Forest department will take up work for the second phase of Bengal Safari Park in Siliguri from January next year. An aquarium with a variety of local fish, a toy train along with a flower garden and children’s park are among the facilities that the department plans to develop in the second phase at Safari Park.”The underground aquarium will take the visitors to a wondrous underwater journey with glass walls on either side as the fish species in the rivers and other marine animals will swim by your side. It will be most thrilling and the feeling will equal to venturing into the river. We are preparing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and will submit it to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her final approval in January,” state Forest minister Binay Krishna Barman said adding that the project will entail an investment of more than Rs 100 crore. The minister added that his department also plans to set up the infrastructure for running toy train and develop a garden with beautiful flowers. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”Our plan is to make the Safari Park more attractive for children. We will put up facilities like a merry-go-round, seesaw, swings and slides for the children around the flower garden. There are some more plans which will be divulged later,” Barman added.Spread over an area of 297-hectare, the animal park that was unveiled in January 2016 has already emerged as a major attraction for tourists and locals. As of now, there are three Royal Bengal Tigers with three cubs, a rhinoceros, gharials, over 400 deer, two elephants and an aviary with birds of different species at the park. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThere are a number of safaris in the park that have become extremely popular.The safari of the herbivores is spread across an area of 100 hectare. There are bear safari, the Royal Bengal Tiger safari and the recently introduced leopard safari spreading over an area of 20 hectare each.”We are awaiting the nod of the Centre for the commencement of work for a leopard safari of international standards at South Khayerbari in North Bengal which will be spread over an area of 23 hectare,” Barman added.last_img read more

Two arrested for duping medical aspirant from Delhi

first_imgKolkata: A medical studies aspirant from Delhi was allegedly duped by some miscreants who had promised to arrange her admission to a private medical college against several lakh rupees. Police have arrested two persons in this connection.According to the police, one Swapna Thakur of RK Puram in New Delhi was contacted by a person claiming to be M Haque over phone a few days ago who assured her admission to a private medical college in West Bengal. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeWhen Thakur asked how he would manage to secure her admission, Haque stated that he have some seats reserved through management quota at a medical college in Budge Budge, South 24-Parganas. Thakur got convinced and decided to reach Kolkata. About three days ago, Thakur along with her father and father’s friend reached Kolkata Airport. At the Airport, one person claiming to be Vishnadeb Pramanik received them and told he had come on behalf of Haque. Later, they lodged in a hotel at Park Circus and were asked to reach in front SSKM hospital on Tuesday. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedWhen Thakur reached in front of SSKM, Pramanik told them to hand over some necessary documents needed to arrange her admission. He also informed that Rs 30 lakh was needed to maker the arrangements. Later, Pramanik went to their hotel and took a cheque of Rs 6 lakh. When Thakur’s father was about to write the cheque, he was asked to write one Chandan Panda’s name on the cheque as he is the key person in this procedure. On Wednesday, Thakur and her father were again called by Pramanik and asked to reach SSKM in the afternoon. After Thakur and her father reached SSKM hospital, Pramanik met them and demanded more money in cash. Smelling a rat, Thakur and her father started questioning Pramanik and he tried to flee the place. When Thakur blocked his way and started questioning him again, he tried to run away. In the meantime, her father screamed alerting pedestrians and other relatives of some patients who helped them catch Pramanik. He was immediately taken to the police out post at SSKM hospital. Later, Bhawanipore police station was informed. After Thakur lodged a complaint Pramanik was arrested. Police have nabbed one more person identified as Chandan panda after interrogating Pramanik. The sleuths are suspecting that some more persons are involved in this scam.last_img read more

Parents obesity may delay development in kids

first_imgAre your toddler’s fingers and hands movement slow? Is his/her ability to relate to and interact with others as well as problem-solving skills delayed? Blame it on your obesity, researchers say.The findings showed that apart from health related issues, children of obese mothers were nearly 70 per cent more likely to fail tests of fine motor skill – the ability to control movement of small muscles, such as those in the fingers and hands – by age 3, when compared to children of normal-weight mothers.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfChildren with obese fathers were 75 per cent more likely to fail measures of social competence – an indicator of how well they were able to relate to and interact with others by age 3. Those born to extremely obese couples were nearly three times more likely to fail tests of problem-solving ability by age three.“Our study is one of the few that also includes information about fathers, and our results suggest that dad’s weight also has significant influence on child development,” said lead author, Edwina Yeung, from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the US. However, it is not yet known how parental obesity might increase children’s risk for developmental delay. Animal studies have indicated that obesity during pregnancy may promote inflammation, which could affect the foetal brain and could also affect the expression of genes in sperm. If the link between parental obesity and developmental delays is confirmed, physicians may need to take parental weight into account when screening young children for delays and early interventional services, the researchers said.last_img read more

Bringing modern India to forefront

first_imgEven though India is a vast country, India barely has anything of its own. From various vegetables, fruits to spices, almost everything was brought to India and became a part of the culture. The same goes for the rugs and carpet industry in India. “Most of the designs of rugs that we see in the market are either inspired by middle-eastern, Nepalese or Indo-Tibetan cultures. You don’t get to see something that is inspired by our own contemporary Indian culture,” said Angelique Dhama, President of OBEETEE. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIndia’s largest luxury carpet maker, OBEETEE, has launched the second edition of the ‘Proud to be Indian’ series with Abraham & Thakore, one of the most successful and respected design houses in India. The new handcrafted collection of rugs fuses timeless traditional techniques with a bold, contemporary colour palette and edgy artistry. The initiative is aimed at bringing the loom to the modern Indian context.The new ‘Proud to be Indian’ collection touches upon India’s fascinating elements: The borders of vintage saris from Kanchipuram, block prints from Sanganer and the timeless tie and dye Bandhani from Kutch. The designs are also influenced by the geometry of double Ikat Telia Rumals and the art of calligraphy; the ornate lettering techniques. Other vintage elements like old handwritten letters, faded ink and calligraphic strokes have also been used in this labour of love. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveOn the launch of second edition of Proud to be Indian collection, Rudra Chatterjee, Chairman, OBEETEE, said “We are proud to partner with Abraham & Thakore to create rugs that represent design, material and craftsmanship that are local, yet exceptional in heritage and quality. What attracted us was their mastery of design, which is both cutting-edge yet tied intricately to India’s ethos.”Elaborating on the association, Angelique Dhama, President, OBEETEE, said, “We were aware of the strong Persian and Central Asian design language of most carpets, we felt the time had come to showcase rugs influenced by India’s own textile traditions, but with an evolved design vocabulary. Though the inspiration comes from India’s rich heritage, the elements and colours are fresh and fun, making the whole compilation very contemporary. This collection reaffirms the ingenuity of the human hand.” With some of the finest weavers to this task; it took more than a year to weave one carpet, hence, providing a year’s employment. The carpets are all hand-knotted using different yarns and finishes. The finest silk was procured and rugs were woven with a knot density of about 200 knots per square inch. “Each rug is made of exquisite material with almost 65-70% of silk and 30-35% of wool. Even the washes that have been applied are either gold or silver finish so as to elevate the product. The carpets are also customised for our patrons. Each buyer can scan a QR code embedded in the tapestry of the carpet and read details about its weaver,” explained Dhama.”When we were approached by OBEETEE, we were excited to be developing carpets with India’s finest carpet weaving company. We found the premise of the project, which focuses on combining the finest carpet weaving skills of India with an Indian design sensibility both challenging and timely,” said designers Abraham & Thakore.”The beauty of this collection lies in the technical virtuosity of a hand knotted carpet, where millions of threads are individually knotted together to create the complex surface of matt and sheen. The design sensibility is low key yet highly distinctive, with a strong respect for material, form and craft,” said the designers.After unveiling the Abraham & Thakore collection in Delhi, OBEETEE will showcase the collection in Germany, followed by New York.last_img read more

Get garden torches bird baths to beautify outdoor space

first_imgGet garden torches, stools and bird baths for your outdoor space where you can spend some leisure time.Here are some tips and tricks suggested by the experts: Garden torches are the in thing. Thinking of having the perfect barbecue night or a karaoke stage in the lawn? This is one decor item which is sure to light up your evening. Garden torches also create the much-needed warmth during a chilly winter evening.Garden stools come in different colours and materials. They are an attractive decorative piece. If you have garden stools, which are mostly waterproof, the issue of drinks getting spilled or the stools getting wet while watering the plants would never arise. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWho wouldn’t want to lie down and enjoy some me-time by looking at the sky? A colourful hammock tied across the branch of a tree could work wonders to make you feel relaxed. If you are a beach person, you could also fill the surface where the hammock is tied with sand to give you the much needed ‘beachy’ feel.If you are a lover of art and sculpture, an outdoor fountain carved of stone can light up your ambience. Fountains with waterfall or fountains with LED lights are perfect. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveGoing by the summer heat, another must-have decor item in your outer space is a bird bath. Bird baths help birds cool themselves. It’s a beautiful decor item which comes in various sizes.Add a fire bowl to your outside area and couple it up with a laid-back seating to fit the no-hurries, no-worries vibe. The fire bowl will warm up the yard during cooler weather to provide a perfect atmosphere for a lazy night.Use string lights to make your outdoor space look like a festive, fun spot all year round. Pick up some quirky string lights to add a charming touch and set a new mood over your lawn.There is no better way to relax than with a drink or book in your hand and resting back in your lounge chair.Get an adjustable lounge chair with arms and a padded headrest for maximum comfort.Designing a playhouse for your children just got easy. Set up a glow in the dark teepee tent for them to enjoy their leisure time.last_img read more

WBSU to offer tuition fee waiver for speciallyabled students

first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal State University (WBSU) in Barasat is all set to offer complete waiver of tuition fees for physically-challenged students pursuing post graduation in the varsity.The university will also be providing the same benefits to another 50 students, who are meritorious but under financial constraints to continue their studies . The university is hopeful that the step will encourage them in pursuit of higher studies. “The measure is in accordance with our new ideas of inclusivity in the university. We are roping in corporate houses, who are interested to provide funds to the university under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The money they are providing will be used for similar exercises of inclusivity in education,” said Basab Chaudhuri, Vice-Chancellor of WBSU. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataA leading corporate organisation at Woodburn Park in Kolkata has already given Rs 2 lakh as part of their CSR to WBSU. Some other houses have also verbally agreed to give funds to the university which will be utilised to encourage meritorious students of weakfinancial background to carry out their higher studies. During the 2017 convocation held in the university , Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi while awarding degrees to two students learnt about their financial stringency to pursue further education. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe Governor later gave them Rs 10,000 each for continuing their studies and also urged the varsity to take measures to provide fellowship for needy yet meritorious students. There were around 800 students who had enrolled in the university for post graduation in 2018. The university is introducing PG degree in Urdu from the current academic year. “We had Urdu department since 2008 but could not start offering PG degree because there were no teachers. We have recruited teachers and have already released notification regarding commencement or Urdu in PG from this year,” a senior university official said. WBSU has 46 affiliated colleges in North 24-Parganas under its aegis with an average enrolment of nearly 55000 students. The university accounts for a huge number of first generation learners with more than 90 percent of such students in its affiliated colleges located at Basirhat and Chadraketugarh. Even in its affiliated college Ramkrishna Sarada Mission at Nagerbazar there is 60 percent first generation learners. “I have reached out to a number of our affiliated colleges in remote areas and have found out that students opt out in the middle of their study as they have to take the burden of their family,” Chaudhuri said.last_img read more

Banga Bahini to protest against IT notice to puja committees

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress Banga Bahini will stage a demonstration at Subodh Mulick Square on Tuesday, to protest against the decision of the Income Tax department to send notices to the Durga Puja committees, asking them to pay taxes.The demonstration will be held between 10 am and 6 pm, demanding no taxation on Durga Puja and Durga Puja committees. Trinamool Congress supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted in this connection on Sunday: “The Income Tax Dept has issued notices to many committees who organise Durga Pujas, asking them to pay taxes. We are proud of all our national festivals. These festivals are for all and we do not want any puja festival to be taxed. This will be a burden on the organisers. #Bangla govt withdrew tax, which was earlier there, on Ganga Sagar Mela. We protest and demand ‘no taxation on Durga Puja and Durga Puja committees.” Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”The Trinamool Congress Banga Janani Wing will sit on a dharna on Tuesday, August 13 at Subodh Mallik Square (Opp Hind Cinema) from 10 am to 6 pm. Organisers, participants and all people who love #Bangla may please join,” she added. It may be mentioned that in 2018, the Income Tax department had sent notices to some Durga Puja committees, asking them to furnish details of the income to conduct the puja. Mamata Banerjee, however, had asked them not to appear before the officials of Income Tax department. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateBanerjee has said repeatedly that it was a burden on the Durga Puja committees. It may be mentioned here that the state government gives Rs 10,000 to each puja committee. While addressing the gathering during a Save Green Stay Clean programme at Nazrul Mancha on August 1, Banerjee had said that the state government has made Durga Puja a global festival, while the tax for Gangasagar Mela has been waived. After coming to power, the state government has turned the biggest festival of Bengalis into a grand spectacle. People from all over the globe come to see the Durga Puja carnival which is organised on Red Road. The decorations and artifacts that are used in major puja pandals are preserved at the permanent museum at Eco Park. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) uses Durga Puja to spread awareness among people against vector-borne diseases. The puja committees which play important roles in creating awareness are awarded. Apart from members of Trinamool Banga Bahini, Trinamool and Trinamool Youth Congress supporters are likely to take part in the demonstration as well.last_img read more