August 2019

Brainwave headband makes debut at Paris LeWeb meet

first_img One potential headband advantage would be using one’s brainwaves to control games. The brainwave-sensing headband was introduced by the company’s Ariel Garten, chief executive officer, in Paris Tuesday at the LeWeb 12 conference. The company is making a software developer kit available so that developers can write their own software.”We invite everyone to help unlock the potential of the technology alongside us,” she said.At the time of this writing they raised $237,515 out of their goal of $150,000. Their estimated shipping date for Muse is June 2013.InteraXon’s team says the headset working by turning brainwaves into binary ones and zeros. “We’re like interpreters fluent in the language of the mind: our system analyzes the frequency of your brainwaves and then translates them into a control signal for the computer to understand.”Having worked on their headset since 2007, their finished design calls for two sensors on the forehead and two sensors behind the ears. Muse uses sensors to pick up the tiny electrical outputs generated by the brain’s activity. As the mind shifts between concentration and relaxation, Muse’s algorithms detect the changes in the brain and show those changes in real time. Those lending support for the concept indicate that the headset has more potential than becoming just a fun gadget. In the company’s promotional video, a Stanford MD notes that the ability to “look at your own mind” and understand the effects of activities can be quite useful. Explore further More information: One can see one’s own brainwaves in action and use that information to improve and strengthen the mind. The InteraXon team will continue to explore using brainwaves to interact with real-world devices.Along with offering Muse, they have an integrated brain health application and the Software Development Kit. 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. (—A Canadian company is talking about having a window, aka computer screen, into your mind. Another of the many ways to put it—they believe your computer can be so into you. And vice-versa. InteraXon, a Canadian company, is focused on making a business out of mind-control technology via a headband device, and they are planning to launch this as a $199 brainwave computer controller called Muse. The company is running an Indiegogo campaign to obtain needed funds. Muse is a Bluetooth-connected headset with four electroencephalography sensors, communicating with the person’s computer via the Bluetooth connection. © 2012 Citation: Brainwave headband makes debut at Paris LeWeb meet (2012, December 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from InteraXon looking for crowdfunding for Muse, a brainwave-sensor headband (w/ Video)last_img read more

What does a citys appearance say about itself

first_img © 2013 However, sometimes the different score types were inversely related, which could reveal particular insight. For instance, locations with low safety scores and high class scores correlated with higher violent crime rates. In such situations, the researchers explain that the “orthogonal component” between class and safety carries important information.The researchers also found a correlation between safety and class scores and homicide rates in New York City. It’s well-known that average income, population, area, and average age in a zip code can partially explain the variation of homicide across zip codes—specifically, these statistics explain 69.9% of homicide variation. Here, the researchers found that adding the average perceptions of safety and class, along with their standard deviations, to the traditional statistics can explain 79.4% of homicide variation, a statistically significant increase. The discovery indicates that the measures of urban perception contain information that is not contained in the traditional statistics alone.Another interesting result the researchers found is that the images from New York City and Boston elicited a wider range of perceptions than the images from Salzburg and Linz. This finding suggests that the American cities are perceived as more unequal than the Austrian cities. Further, the images of both American cities are geographically clustered closer together based on their scores compared with the Austrian cities. In other words, the American cities appear more segregated, with larger gaps between their “good” and “bad” neighborhoods than their Austrian counterparts.Designing tomorrow’s citiesThe idea that urban perception can influence various social dimensions such as crime and health is not new, and may be best exhibited by the Broken Windows Theory. According to this theory, relatively minor disorder such as broken windows, graffiti and litter can induce more serious kinds of disorder such as violent crime. Although the theory is controversial, it has influenced policies that focus on repairing minor problems in order to help fight off more serious criminal activity.The researchers also note in their paper that urban perception is at the root of many urban planning theories. However, planning movements of the past century have varied widely, from the monumental buildings of the “City Beautiful” movement, to the mixture of low-density housing and parks of “The Garden City” movement, to high-density buildings and parks of Le Corbusier’s “Radiant City.” Later, in the 1960s, the influential urban planning writer Jane Jacobs perceptively reflected on the connections she observed between the physical environment and the social interactions of its citizens.Perhaps one of the problems with defining which urban features promote the well-being of its inhabitants is the lack of big data of urban perception, and this is the gap that the current study is attempting to fill. In the future, the researchers hope to develop techniques to identify the specific features that contribute to high scores. They are now launching a new study in which 56 cities are being scored with respect to 5 new dimensions. The goal of the new study is to compare cities and identify the architectural and planning features that help give rise to different evaluative responses. To participate in the study, visit Eventually, the researchers hope to involve not only participants on the web but also incorporate machine learning tools and crowdsourcing. They also hope to explore some of the limiting factors, such as image quality, time of day, and weather conditions, that may cause bias. Explore further Citation: What does a city’s appearance say about itself? (2013, July 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from In a new study, researchers at the MIT Media Lab have asked Internet users to compare thousands of geo-tagged images from four cities in terms of their perceived safety, class, and uniqueness. The results not only allow a comparison of different parts of a city, but can even explain homicide rates beyond what is explained by income alone. As cities continue to grow, the researchers hope that understanding the correlation between urban perception and various social dimensions can help guide urban growth.The research was conducted by Phil Salesses at the MIT Media Lab’s Macro Connections group, under the supervision of Professor Cesar A. Hidalgo, and in collaboration with Katja Schetchner from the Austrian Institute of Technology. The results are published in PLOS ONE.Data on urban perceptionOverall, the study is an attempt to quantify people’s perceptions of cities and neighborhoods using big, robust data. The researchers collected 4,000 geo-tagged images of places in New York City and Boston in the US, as well as Salzburg and Linz in Austria. The images from the American cities were sourced from Google Street View, while the images of the Austrian cities were collected manually onsite. Then the researchers created a website and extended an open invitation to anyone interested in participating. Users were shown two randomly selected images, and asked to click on one in response to one of three questions: “Which place looks safer?”, “Which place looks more upper-class?”, or “Which place looks more unique?” The survey attracted 7,872 participants from 91 countries, who contributed more than 200,000 votes.The researchers assigned each image a score of 1-10 based on its win ratio, or the fraction of times it got selected over another image. The researchers also incorporated a correction factor to account for the win ratios of the images it was compared with, as well as calculated the robustness of the data, or agreement among users.Implications are more than skin-deepThe researchers then used the data to create high-resolution maps of cities showing different evaluative criteria. By analyzing the data, the researchers made several interesting observations. Not too surprisingly, they found that places with higher safety scores also had higher class and uniqueness scores. Journal information: PLoS ONE Web tool could help measure subjective impressions of urban environments Data on perceptions of safety in New York City. Credit: P. Salesses, et al. More information: P. Salesses, K. Schechtner, and C.A. Hidalgo. “The Collaborative Image of The City: Mapping the Inequality of Urban Perception.” PLOS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068400 Just as we are quick to judge people by their appearances, we can also get a good feel for a city from its appearance. With a quick glance, we subconsciously notice the cleanliness of the neighborhoods, the beauty of the architecture, and the liveliness of the streets to form our impressions. But how deep is the information that a city’s appearance can reveal? 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

Sugar derivatives in meteorites shows enantiomeric excess

first_img © 2016 Explore further According to Dr. George Cooper, first author of the study, “Finding excess D-arabinonic acid in a pre-biotic source was significant because, on Earth, arabinonic acid and its parent sugar, arabinose, both contain more of the L enantiomer in the majority of analyzed samples.”Finally, 6-carbon aldonic acids are in even lower abundance and more difficult to study, although there were some 6-carbon acids found in two of the meteorites. There were not enough samples to do comparison studies, but of the 6-carbon acids analyzed, only D enantiomers were observed.Because enantiomeric excess is usually an indicator of biological origins (i.e., contamination), Cooper and Rios conducted several studies to further examine whether their findings were due to contamination from Earth or were of extraterrestrial origin. Of particular interest was the composition of meteorite GRA 95229. This meteorite is known to be particularly pristine with little contamination. They found that its 3-carbon and 4-carbon sugar acids have a similar enantiomeric profile to the Murchison meteorite. Carbon-13/carbon-12 isotope studies and comparisons to soil and dust further indicated that the enantiomeric excess observed in the meteorites were likely not from contamination. Cooper and Rios subjected soil and dust to various tests, including oxidative tests, in an effort to replicate reactions that contaminants from Earth (sugars) may undergo to form oxidative products such as sugar acids. Dr. Cooper says that these findings may indicate that there was a pre-biotic force that overwhelmingly favored the synthesis of one enantiomer (the D) near the beginning of the solar system. For example, the enantiomeric excess of the sugar derivatives in these samples could be due to simpler precursor molecules that were exposed to radiation, magnetism, or other interstellar forces that have been studied under laboratory conditions. (—Chiral molecules can be found in chemically equivalent left-handed (L) and right-handed (D) mirror-image forms – each commonly referred to as an enantiomer. Synthetic sugars and other chiral molecules made in the lab from non-chiral precursors, or any process that does not use asymmetric reagents such as enzymes in biological reactions, tend to make equal amounts (racemic mixtures) of D- and L- enantiomers. However, for reasons that are still largely unknown, biological polymers (e.g., nucleic acids and proteins) use exclusively D-sugars and L-amino acids, respectively. For example, ribose, the sugar found in DNA, is only in the form of D-ribose. Such an exclusive use of one enantiomer is referred to as homochirality. One group of meteorites, known as carbonaceous meteorites because of a relatively high content of carbon, may hold clues to the origins of homochirality or enantiomer excess in biology. Researchers from NASA have analyzed sugar acids and sugar alcohols in several type 2 carbonaceous meteorites. They found that several sugar acids demonstrate D-enantiomeric excess that becomes more pronounced as the number of carbon atoms increases. Their work appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Carbonaceous meteorites are like chemical time capsules: they formed near the very beginning of the solar system ~ 4.6 billion years ago. They therefore contain compounds of extraterrestrial origins including biologically relevant organic compounds. Previous studies on amino acids found in these meteorites showed that most (but not all) are racemic mixtures, which serves as one point of evidence that they are of extraterrestrial origins and not contaminants from Earth. While there have been several studies on meteoritic amino acids, there has only been one study of meteoritic sugar derivatives: in 2001 Cooper et al. examined the Murchison and Murray meteorites for their content of sugar acids and sugar alcohols.In the current study, Cooper and Rios analyze the enantiomeric ratios of sugar derivatives in several type 2 carbonaceous meteorites. Chiral compounds were 3, 4, 5, and 6-carbon sugar acids, and 4 and 5-carbon sugar alcohols. Additionally, they analyzed several non-chiral compounds. They found that several sugar acids showed some enantiomeric excess. For example, threonic acid, a 4-carbon acid, was higher in the D-enantiomer by 33-55%. Notably, threonic acid (and other acids) was found in several chondrites with 2-hydroxymethylglyceric acid, a non-biological acid, and therefore, not a contaminant from Earth. Five-carbon sugar acids were more difficult to study because of their relatively low abundance in the meteorite samples. However, the Murchison meteorite contained enough 5-carbon acids to analyze and compare enantiomeric abundances. Cooper and Rios found that all of the 5-carbon acids showed a greater D enantiomeric excess compared to the 4-carbon acids with one in excess of up to 82%. Notably, this was the trend even for biologically rare acids, such as D-arabinonic acid and lyxonic acid, also indicating that the enantiomeric excesses had extraterrestrial origins. Citation: Sugar derivatives in meteorites shows enantiomeric excess (2016, June 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences More information: George Cooper et al. Enantiomer excesses of rare and common sugar derivatives in carbonaceous meteorites, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2016). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1603030113AbstractBiological polymers such as nucleic acids and proteins are constructed of only one—the D or L—of the two possible nonsuperimposable mirror images (enantiomers) of selected organic compounds. However, before the advent of life, it is generally assumed that chemical reactions produced 50:50 (racemic) mixtures of enantiomers, as evidenced by common abiotic laboratory syntheses. Carbonaceous meteorites contain clues to prebiotic chemistry because they preserve a record of some of the Solar System’s earliest (∼4.5 Gy) chemical and physical processes. In multiple carbonaceous meteorites, we show that both rare and common sugar monoacids (aldonic acids) contain significant excesses of the D enantiomer, whereas other (comparable) sugar acids and sugar alcohols are racemic. Although the proposed origins of such excesses are still tentative, the findings imply that meteoritic compounds and/or the processes that operated on meteoritic precursors may have played an ancient role in the enantiomer composition of life’s carbohydrate-related biopolymers. A slice from the 4.5-billion-year-old Allende meteorite. This rock was formed along with the solar system. Credit: Wikipedia, via Flickr/AMNH/CC BY 2.0 The riddle of life’s single-handedness This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Chinese team runs cold atomic clock in space for 15 months

first_imgIn-orbit operation of an atomic clock based on laser-cooled 87Rb atoms. Principle and structure of the space cold atom clock (CAC). The capture zone is a magneto-optical trap (MOT) with a folded beam design. The ring interrogation cavity is used for the microwave field to interrogate the cold atoms. In the detection zone, cold atoms in both hyperfine states are detected. The clock signal is obtained by feeding the error signal to the frequency of microwave source. Credit: Nature Communications (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05219-z Neglected atom has top properties for atomic clocks Journal information: Nature Communications Citation: Chinese team runs cold atomic clock in space for 15 months (2018, July 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Cold atomic clocks keep time by measuring atomic oscillations in free fall (so no interference occurs). They are chilled, as their name implies, to near absolute zero using lasers, which makes them more precise. It would be convenient for researchers to have a cold atomic clock run in space—that would allow for measuring time more precisely for such things as GPS applications. But space presents challenges that are not present on Earth, including the size and weight of the apparatus—both are at a premium on spacecraft. There is also the matter of shielding the clock from cosmic radiation. Such roadblocks have prevented the use of these clocks in space, until now. In this new effort, the researchers report that they have successfully run a cold atomic clock on board an Earth-orbiting vehicle—the Tiangong-2 Chinse space station. They report further that they ran the clock for 15 months, and during that time, they achieved a frequency stability of 3.0 x 10−13τ−1/2.The clock used by the team was encased in three layers of mu-metal and was held at a pressure of 10-12 atmospheres. The servo-motors used to stabilize the pressure were also shielded to prevent interference from their magnetic fields. Inside of the device was a trap isolating 50 million rubidium-87 atoms held steady by microwaves and laser pulses. Measuring was done using interferometry.The researchers suggest similar space-based clocks could be used for metrology as well as for testing principles of General Relativity and other fundamental physics constants. A team of researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences has successfully operated a cold atomic clock in space for a period of 15 months. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describes how they succeeded in achieving the difficult task.center_img © 2018 Explore further More information: Liang Liu et al. In-orbit operation of an atomic clock based on laser-cooled 87Rb atoms, Nature Communications (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05219-zAbstractAtomic clocks based on laser-cooled atoms are widely used as primary frequency standards. Deploying such cold atom clocks (CACs) in space is foreseen to have many applications. Here we present tests of a CAC operating in space. In orbital microgravity, the atoms are cooled, trapped, launched, and finally detected after being interrogated by a microwave field using the Ramsey method. Perturbing influences from the orbital environment on the atoms such as varying magnetic fields and the passage of the spacecraft through Earth’s radiation belt are also controlled and mitigated. With appropriate parameters settings, closed-loop locking of the CAC is realized in orbit and an estimated short-term frequency stability close to 3.0 × 10−13τ−1/2 has been attained. The demonstration of the long-term operation of cold atom clock in orbit opens possibility on the applications of space-based cold atom sensors. 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

Calm and chaos

first_imgPayal Kapoor, Director Arushi Arts Presents Uninterrupted Tales, by artist Roy Thomas A collateral event preview for India Art Fair.Happiness and misery it go hand by hand in  life and it is well depicted in the exhibiiton  Uninterrupted tales by Artiste Roy Thomas. The paintings will take you to the another level of self search. The painting depicts the various moods a person goes through every day. The session of self questioning starts with the painting and delves into the relationship of happiness and misery. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’These all are oil painting. Paintings will be displayed at The Gallery on MG Mall, MG Road, Arushi Arts on January 19.In one painting one can see that a new born baby is sleeping on the broken glass. In a scene that looks out of a big fight and violence scene the baby is sleeping carefree. The woman behind is  devastated due to the recent violent act at the place but baby is just unaware. Another painting shows a new born baby sleeping between two tigers . Normally where the tiger should attack the baby, it is protecting the baby against all odds of life but the baby is still sleeping in calm unbothered about worldy problems. All of Roy Thomas’s paintings depict the phases of a human being.last_img read more

Govt plans to set up Bengals first geriatric hospital in Salt Lake

first_imgKolkata: The Bengal government is contemplating to set up the state’s first geriatric hospital in Salt Lake to provide comprehensive care exclusively for the elderly people and also to understand their medical background and offer them customised care.There is a demand of such a hospital in the state, as the number of elderly people living alone is on the rise. The state Health department will be the nodal agency to carry out the project.The proposal to set up a geriatric hospital in the city, however, is in the initial stage. A study will be carried out to examine the viability of set- Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedting up such a hospital in Salt Lake.According to a senior official of the Health department, there is a plan to set up the geriatric hospital in the city, where the elderly people from across the state can get special care.The patients would be able to avail personal attention, however, it would be too early to divulge the detailed plans in this regard.A specialised geriatric care centre would be set up at the proposed hospital, where proficient geriatricians and allied medical professionals will provide comprehensive geriatric assessment to address all-round needs of a patient and recommend the best treatment for them. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPThere are not enough doctors who are willing to visit these elderly patients at home. It has been found that many elderly people have been living in residential apartments alone in the city. They often become too feeble to visit a doctor’s chamber in the locality.Many of them are found to have been deserted by their sons or daughters who have settled outside the state or abroad, with no one to look after their parents.According to sources, the main focus areas of the proposed hospital would be preventing and managing fractures, dizziness, memory loss, depression, psycholo-gical revitalisation, vacci-nations, fatigue, unsteadiness or weakness, physiotherapy, diet counselling and medicine management.As a part of geriatric health care, the patients would be informed about the preventive health care services such as regular physical exercise, balanced diet, vegetarianism, stress management, avoidance of smoking or tobacco products and prevention of falls.The country has been facing a specific demographic challenge, as the population over the age of 65 is expected to soar up to 20 percent by 2050. This requires both the state government and Centre to have a holistic approach towards the health needs of the elderly people, feel a senior state government official.It may be mentioned here that after coming to power, the Mamata Banerjee government has taken up a series of newinitiatives to help elderly citizens.A comprehensive geriatric care unit, an exclusive centre for the elderly, has come up at the district hospitals to address the problems faced by elderly people.The elderly people often suffer from more than one medical problem. They need a special environment and attention that can help them improve their functional ability, physical health, cognition and mental health.last_img read more

Mandira Bedi explores her designing skills

first_imgMandira Bedi, who contributed to the glamourising of sarees as a fashion statement with the iconic noodle strap blouses, during her stint as a sports presenter, displayed her designing skills to the sartorial connoisseurs. She presented her new collection of sarees for the first time in the national Capital on Wednesday. ‘The Spirit of the Zoya Woman’ (Zoya is the chain of exquisite diamond boutiques from the House of Tata) was the second in a series of conversations over coffee, with iconic women achievers who exemplify the brand’s approach to Zoya’s creations.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Mandira’s collection was showcased in four segments wherein there were breaks for discussions.  The evening included a preview of Mandira’s Autumn-Winter collection of sarees. The evening had guests and media interacting with Mandira Bedi and Sangeeta Dewan, the designer for Zoya. The 16 looks presented by models through the evening were complemented by the finest pieces from Zoya’s new collections Lace and Wedding, Sangeeta Dewan, designer, Zoya said, “Today we’ve chosen to show two of Zoya’s newest collections. They complement sarees beautifully, though the versatility of diamonds and this collection design allows them to be paired well with contemporary wear as well.” Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixMandira mentioned that she didn’t have a degree in designing and was inspired from her surroundings, hence, some of her sarees had very obvious designs. Elaborating the stories behind them, she said, “Once I was dropping my kid to school and I saw these arrow signs and I felt that it would probably look amazing on a saree.” The crisp winter air, the soft autumn hues and the colors of festivity are the prime inspiration behind Mandira’s Autumn Winter Collection.  Each saree is unique as it has its own story yet together they all form a collection that is not just unique and alive but also a style statement of the modern Indian woman. The collection is a fusion of graphic designs and traditional craftsmanship with the pure elements and the festivities of the season. Mandira said, “I’m very happy to be here for the Spirit of the Zoya Woman. I’m excited to be presenting a collection of my work in Delhi for the very first time.”last_img read more

Roadshows for NTPC BEL disinvestment

first_imgGovernment has embarked on global roadshows at four locations, including the US and the UK, to attract investments for its big-ticket stake sale in the country’s largest power producer NTPC and BEL that may fetch around Rs 6,600 crore to the exchequer.Officials from the Department of Disinvestment (DoD), Power Ministry and NTPC are doing roadshows simultaneously in Singapore, Hong Kong, London and in the United States between October 5-10. In the US, roadshows are being held in San Francisco, Boston and New York, sources said. Also Read – Punjab & Sind Bank cuts MCLR by up to 20 basis pointsGovernment already has Cabinet approval for 5 per cent stake sale in NTPC. Both NTPC and Bharat Electronics Ltd form part of the Basket Two of PSUs, which the DoD had created earlier this year.Going by the current stock price, 5 per cent stake sale in NTPC could fetch about Rs 5,200 crore, while in case of BEL offloading 5 per cent may garner Rs 1,400 crore. Government will go ahead with the disinvestment of the two companies based on investor responses in the roadshows and the domestic equity market conditions, sources said. With first half of the current fiscal already over, the government has garnered only Rs 12,600 crore through stake sale in four PSUs — IOC, PFC, REC and Dredging Corporation. Also Read – ‘The great gold bull market has begun’It had budgeted to raise Rs 69,500 crore through disinvestment in current fiscal, of which Rs 28,500 crore is to come from strategic stake sales. The government had in August appointed Deutsche Bank, ICICI Securities, SBI Capital Markets and Edelweiss Financial Services as merchant bankers for Basket Two — which apart from NTPC and BEL, also has Engineers India, NALCO and Hindustan Copper.DoD had decided to bundle the PSUs in order to reduce the number of roadshows to be conducted by the merchant bankers as that can be clubbed for companies in similar sector.last_img read more

How eating healthy food can make you fat

first_imgEating too much is typically considered as one of the prime reasons for obesity but when people eat what they consider to be healthy food, they eat more than the recommended serving size because they associate “healthy” with less filling, say researchers, including one of Indian-origin.The findings suggest that the recent increase of healthy food labels may be ironically contributing to the obesity epidemic rather than reducing it. Raj Raghunathan from University of Texas at Austin, and colleagues utilised a multi-method approach to investigate the “healthy equal to less filling” intuition. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The first study was conducted with 50 undergraduate students at a large public university and employed the well-established Implicit Association Test to provide evidence for an inverse relationship between the concepts of healthy and filling. The second study was a field study conducted with 40 graduate students and measured participants’ hunger levels after consuming a cookie that is either portrayed as healthy or unhealthy to test the effect of health portrayals on experienced hunger levels. The third study was conducted with 72 undergraduate students in a realistic scenario to measure the impact of health portrayals on the amount of food ordered before watching a short film and the actual amount of food consumed during the film.The researchers demonstrated that portraying a food as healthy as opposed to unhealthy using a front-of-package nutritional scale impacts consumer judgment and behaviour. The study was published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.last_img read more

Freedom from noise pollution will be true independence

first_imgLast week a person who gives out on hire his Dolby music truck for marriages and other functions used a vacant plot near our house to test his equipment. The heavy dose of bass that he blasted from his truck towards our house made me sick to the core. Such loud music is a common occurrence in cities and small towns of India, more so during the various religious festivals like Ganpati, Dussehra and the like. This noise pollution is further exacerbated by firecrackers during Diwali and marriage festivals. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSimilarly, some years ago I had gone to attend a friend’s son’s marriage in Mumbai. The drums were beaten so loudly that it caused palpitations in my heart and despite completely covering the ears with my palms, the noise penetrated deep inside the body and I suffered a momentary loss of hearing. Sound intensity levels or noise levels are described in decibels (dB) with a logarithmic increasing scale and they double up with every 10 dB increase. Thus, the noise level at 40 dB is twice as loud as that at 30 dB. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe sound level of normal human conversation is between 40-50 dB and that of rock or loud music concert is on an average 140 dB. Thus, rock music is approximately 500 times louder than the human conversation.Recent data shows that some of the Indian cities have noise levels greater than 75 dB and in peak traffic jams the deafening sound of horns blowing can reach 100-120 dB. Poor traffic sense, lax patrolling by police and bad roads exacerbate the noise pollution further. Medical data also shows that around 6-7 per cent of India’s population is deaf though the actual numbers maybe much higher since most people never get tested for deafness.  Effect on healthScientists have shown that all sound levels greater than 85 dB are dangerous to human health. In the long run, they damage hearing and increase the level of stress. Large scale studies all over the world have shown that increased sound levels cause elevated blood pressure, loss of sleep, increased heart rate, cardiovascular constriction and changes in brain chemistry. I feel the increase of anger and aggression in the city population is probably due to the noise pollution.We hear sound through our ears where the pressure waves (sound) are converted into electrical signals and these signals are processed in the auditory centres of the brain. However, when the sound is loud enough it also has the ability to pass through the human skull – the thinnest among all animals – and reach the brain directly.Various scientific studies worldwide have shown the effect of mechanical forces on the working of the brain. Under various mechanical stresses, the brain chemistry gets altered, thus affecting neuron communications and general functioning of the brain. Loud noise vibrations passing through the skull can therefore easily affect the brain — the softest tissue in the human body. In some ways, the effect of a very loud sound may be similar to head trauma injury. Nature has evolved so as to take into account all the forces impinging on a body and I am sure that this pressure wave passing through the skull affects the brain directly.Music affects humans profoundly. Great music lifts the mood, is a balm to the soul and can have profound effect on the well-being in the long run. We still are not sure how music affects the whole brain since the auditory centres occupy only a small portion of the brain. However, sound vibrations creating mechanical stresses in the brain may provide an answer.Similarly, “ugly and loud” sound may affect the whole brain and in the long run may have profound detrimental effects on human health. Even music, which may be soothing at low volumes, becomes cacophonous when played loudly.Loud music has the same detrimental effect on nerves as multiple sclerosis. It destroys the insulation of nerve cells which go from the ear to the brain. It is not necessary that only loud music heard in the open affects our health; even headphones with loud music have the same effect. I feel the stress, foul mood and general aggressiveness comes from continuously being exposed to loud music. The young population, which is constantly chatting or hearing music via headphones is very susceptible to this phenomenon.Another way by which sound pollution affects our health is by creating sleep deprivation. Because of sound pollution at night, we do not get deep sleep. Studies the world over have shown that without deep sleep the detoxification of brain does not take place; thereby creating long-term stress which affects all aspects of mental and physical health.last_img read more

Forest dept gives out extraction order to apprehend terror of Alipurduar

Kolkata: The state Forest department has ordered for ‘extraction of a leopard from the landscape’ that has been causing deaths in the tea gardens of Alipurduar for over a month. The order comes in the wake of the state Forest department’s efforts to capture the big cat proving futile.”We have found out that one of the leopards in the tea gardens of Alipurduar has become ‘very dangerous’ and is posing a serious threat to human life in the area. The animal’s attacks had proved fatal for three children and resulted in serious injuries to some others. We have identified that it is a single leopard that has been responsible for the attack. So we have decided to go to extreme lengths and extract this leopard from the landscape,” said Ravi Kant Sinha, Chief Wildlife Warden of Bengal. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThis is the first time in the state that such an order has been given to rein in a leopard. The order implies that the Forest department officials have the licence to shoot and kill the animal, if they feel that it cannot be captured by any other method. Similar orders were given in the year 2016 when an elephant was shot dead after it went rogue in Burdwan district. It may be mentioned that after a series of leopard attacks in December and January that resulted in the death of three children, the Forest department has been able to capture five leopards in and around the tea garden areas of Ramjhora, Dhumchipara and Gargonda that lie in the Madarihat Block. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe area, as per the satellite map created by the state Forest department, is spread across a span of 65.88 square kilometres. The three fatal cases took place at Dhumchipara tea garden on December 12, Ramjhora tea garden on December 23 and on January 16 at Gargonda tea estate, when a girl child was snatched from the lap of her mother, with her body being found later. The villagers in the area have been vocal against such attacks and two animals were allegedly killed by poisoning in December. Sources said that the Forest department is looking for expert shooters who can be given the responsibility to kill the animal, if needed. However, experts stated that it is extremely difficult to shoot a tiger or a leopard to death in its natural habitat. read more

Kin of deceased patient cry medical negligence

first_imgKolkata: Kin of a patient, who lost his life due to alleged medical negligence at Care and Cure Nursing Home in Barasat, lodged a complaint with the district magistrate of North 24-Parganas against a doctor at the nursing home.The victim, Kamal Dutta, a resident of Nabapally in Barasat died at the nursing home a few days ago. The family members of the deceased patient said Dutta was admitted to the nursing home as he was suffering from piles. Doctors said the patient needed a surgery. The daughter of the deceased patient, Arpita Dutta, alleged that the patient died due to a serious medical negligence by a doctor at the time of the operation. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataDutta said a complaint was lodged against a nursing home doctor with West Bengal Medical Council and West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission. The family members of the victim demanded cancellation of the accused doctor’s licence. Kin of the victim urged the District Magistrate to take stern action against the doctor. They also protested against the accused doctor and demanded an explanation from him. The protest led to a chaos at the nursing home.last_img read more

GJEPC unveils Parichay Card in West Bengal

first_imgThe Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) unveiled the Parichay Card in West Bengal on January 11. The Parichay Card will be officially launched at the national level by Union Minister of Commerce and Industry towards the end of this month. It will not only give the workers a valid proof of their employment or identity, but also make them eligible for various initiatives. Along with the card, GJEPChas also created ‘Swasthya Kosh’ – a special fund to offer health insurance to Parichay card holders and their family. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfGJEPC is already in final stages of talks with the Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE) for national classification of gem and jewellery sector workers/ craftsmen under LMIS (Labour Management Information Systems). This segment-wise classification of workers, craftsmen and artisans will provide additional benefits under relevant MoSDE schemes. The national launch of Parichay Card will benefit the entire industry, and will ensure proper authentication for social security purposes. The objective of this project is to create a verified and well-crafted database for the workers to provide them better job opportunities, help to find financial support from banks and financial institutions and provide better healthcare services through specially designed smart card. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveBack in 2015, GJEPC had initiated a Group Mediclaim Scheme, to provide health insurance benefit to the entire work force of the gems and jewellery industry and their family members, the scheme named ‘Swasthya Ratna’. Under the scheme, all GJEPC member companies can enroll employees and their families. Pramod Kumar Agrawal, Chairman, The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), said, “The $40 billion gem and jewellery industry, is heavily dependent on the karigars, artisans and the craftsmen of India. Today India has become global pioneer in the business of diamond processing, only because of this extremely talented and skilled workforce. As a token of appreciation and with the intention to give back to these precious jewels of the industry, the council has come forward for the betterment of these workforces.” Agrawal also added, “The Swasthya Ratna Scheme received a phenomenal response and several GJEPC member companies have taken this policy for their workers and office staff. Currently it is in its third year of operations and till date it has covered more than four lakh lives.” Prakash Chandra Pincha, Regional Chairman, GJEPC, also acknowledged the phenomenal amount of contribution the workforce delivers year after year to the gems and jewellery industry. The Council plans to integrate the benefits of the Swasthya Ratna policy to the Parichay Card holders. All Parichay Card holders will be given a choice to opt for a health insurance policy, assured of INR. 1,00,000 for themselves and their family (Spouse and 2 Children) by paying just 25% cost for the premium. The remaining 75% of the premium will be paid through a specially created, fund called ‘Swasthya Kosh’. GJEPC has tied up with GJNRF (The Gem and Jewellery National Relief Foundation), whereby anyone can donate into the fund and the proceeds go towards paying the premiums of the policy. The scheme will also offer an 80G tax benefit to the all the institutions for donators.last_img read more

My mother is the reason Im here now Anuradha Roy

first_imgMan Booker Prize nominated novelist Anuradha Roy said recently that her mother is the reason that she is here – known on the global stage as a writer par excellence – now. Roy started writing at the age of six, when her mother gifted her a notebook. “It soon filled up with little stories, and she’s the reason that I’m here now,” said Roy at a session at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival here. Her mother, much like Gayatri, one of the protagonists of ‘All The Lives We Never Lived’, had to work hard to cater to her love of painting, culture and the arts. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIt does not come as a surprise, then, that the novel is dedicated to her. History and fiction blend into each other in Roy’s narrative. Russian-born German artist Walter Spies, who was imprisoned on multiple occasions, accused of pederasty (perhaps because he was homosexual), and died in the sea during the Second World War, is a central character. In the novel, Spies meets Gayatri, who runs away with him from her stifling marital home in the fictional town of Muntazir, whose name means awaiting impatiently for someone. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveBoth seeking a home in which they could be their unmitigated selves, they create the space they need in Spies’ island home of Bali. “To me, it’s more important to stay true to the voices of the characters within the concert of voices in the novel,” she said. The risk of “inaccuracy” was, for her, worth it. “Fiction is the space in which things happen that could have happened, even if they did not. The desire to explore different lives is at the centre of both Roy’s fiction and her values. She chose Spies as one of her characters after learning that he was Tagore’s guide in 1927, on his trip to Bali. “Tagore had in common with Walter the idea that nationalism should not be narrow patriotism, that curiosity for the world outside was fundamental and that the sense of humanity was far more important,” she said, and ultimately, this is the vital difference between Spies and Nek Chand, Gayatri’s intensely “patriotic and patriarchal” husband in the novel. After all, as far as Roy is concerned, no matter what themes reviewers and critics unearth in her writing, her novels are and will always be “about people’s ability to find common ground, without a language in common”.last_img read more

Junior doctors call off Lalbazar march after arrest of two accused

first_imgKolkata: The junior doctors have cancelled their proposed Lalbazar march on Tuesday after the police arrested two main accused ~ Seikh Tabir and Md Nizamuddin, who were involved in the assault on some junior doctors at NRS Medical College and Hospital in June, during which two junior doctors had sustained critical injuries.The junior doctors on Monday said that they cancelled the Lalbazar march after the police took decisive action in arresting the two main accused who were behind the attack at NRS. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThey also said that they have responded to the appeal of the Director General of police (DGP) Virendra, who sought 10 days time to take action against the other culprits involved in the NRS incident. The decision was announced after a general body meeting at the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital on Monday afternoon. Incidentally, it may be mentioned that on Sunday the junior doctors had threatened of a march to Lalbazar. “Following our agitation from June 10 to 17, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gave us some assurances during her meeting at Nabanna. Many of her assurances have been translated into action, while some of her assurances are yet to be fulfilled. During a meeting with the DGP on July 27, he told us that positive steps would be taken against all the accused in the NRS incident,” a junior doctor said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateHe further stated: “We came to know on Monday morning that the two main accused have been arrested and remanded in police custody till August 9. Around 15 persons were involved in the attack on the junior doctors, which is also evident from the CCTV footages of the hospital.” “We also wanted to know from the DGP what progress has been made in connection with the two separate incidents of attack on the junior doctors at Burdwan Medical College and Hospital and Burdwan Dental College and Hospital. We were told that five persons have been arrested in connection with the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital incident and three in connection with the Burdwan Dental College incident,” said the junior doctor. He added: “As we have seen considerable amount of progress in all these cases, we have taken a unanimous decision not to go for agitation, therefore cancelling the Lalbazar march on Tuesday. We have responded to the appeal of the DGP where he sought cooperation from us.” The junior doctors also said that they would hold a general body meeting at NRS Medical College and Hospital later in the day, where they would talk to the victim doctors who received severe injuries during the assault and remained under treatment for a long time. They also threatened to organise a mass protest opposing the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2019.last_img read more

Colins NFL Week 13 Blazin 5

first_img 2. Texans at Packers (-6) – Colin is swallowing the 6 points and taking the Pack at home over the Texans. Houston is 6-5, but $72 million free agent Brock Osweiler has been a mess. He’s only thrown 12 touchdown passes on the year to go along with 13 picks to lead an offense that is 31st in the NFL in yards per play and passing yards per game. Houston is also an abysmal 1-4 ATS on the road. Aaron Rodgers has finally started to look like himself recently. In his last six games, he’s thrown 17 touchdowns, only 2 interceptions, and has a 104.1 passer rating. Rodgers torched the Texans for 6 touchdowns and 338 yards passing the last time the two teams met. Green Bay’s resurgent offense is too much for Osweiler to keep up with. Take Green Bay, lay the 6. 29-13, Green Bay.3. Bills (+3) at Raiders – Colin likes Buffalo as a 3-point road dog traveling West to Oakland. The Bills’ 157.4 rushing yards per game leads the NFL, and the Raiders defense ranks last in the league in opponent yards per play (6.23). This should help shorten the game and keep Derek Carr watching from the sidelines. The Bills also only only have 6 turnovers on the season, which leads the league. The Raiders are 9-2, but 2-4 ATS at home. Take Buffalo, and the points, and the outright upset in The Black Hole. 27-26, Bills.4. Bucs (+4) at Chargers – Colin likes Jameis Winston and the Bucs getting 4 on the road in San Diego. The Bucs are 4-1 on the road ATS, and their defense has only allowed 10.7 points per game over their last 3. They’re 6-0 when allowing 24 points or less this year. San Diego’s 23 turnovers are the most in the NFL, and helps keep opposing teams in games late. Take Tampa and the points and the straight-up win. 23-21, Buccaneers.5. Giants (+6) at Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger has a career record of 34-14 in December, and is 10-1 in his last 11 December games, but Colin likes the Giants getting 6 at Heinz Field. Jason Pierre Paul has 5.5 sacks in the last two games, and safety Landon Collins is tied for 2nd in the NFL with 5 picks. The Giants are historically a good road dog and have played in ugly games all year. Pittsburgh wins ugly in this one, but New York covers the 6. 26-23, Steelers.Make sure you download, listen and subscribe to Colin’s Blazin’ 5 Prediction Podcast with RJ Bell every Saturday morning through the end of the football season. He’ll sit down with RJ and see how this week’s Blazin’ 5 stacks up against the Vegas sharps.Download and subscribe to it exclusively at,iHeart Radio, Google Play, or iTunes. Don’t miss it!Fresh off a 4-1 week, Blazin’ 5 is on ? ? and @ColinCowherd makes his Week 13 picks— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) December 2, 2016 It’s time for Colin’s Blazin’ 5 for NFL Week 13. Colin’s on a heater after going 4-1 over for his third winning week in a row, and taking him to 35-24-1 on the year.Some people say 13 is the unluckiest number, but Colin doesn’t have time for superstitions because he’s too busy making it rain for America. Get your money clips ready.Here are his Blazin’ 5 plays for NFL Week 13.Rams (+13.5) at Patriots – The Rams have been a mess, but Colin likes them getting almost two touchdowns heading into New England. The Patriots offense won’t be firing on all cylinders without Rob Gronkowski, who is done for the year. Tom Brady is also banged up and less than 100%. The Pats defense is 3rd in the NFL in points allowed (17.9), but give up 353 yards per game (14th). Teams move the ball on them. New England is only 3-2 ATS at home this year. Belichick and Brady win the game, but the Rams cover the 13.5. 26-16, Pats. Advertisementlast_img read more

VIDEO TY Hiltons 4yearold son ended some poor kids career with a

first_imgBy his own admission, Colts Pro Bowl wide receiver T.Y. Hilton isn’t even the best athlete in his own family. Hilton says that honor belongs to his 4-year-old son, who he has nicknamed “The Little Ghost.”After watching a video Hilton posted of Ghost roasting defenders in a flag football game, it’s hard to disagree.The play shows the younger Hilton scoring on a full-field cutback run like Marcus Allen in the 1983 Super Bowl against the Redskins. He finished off the last defender with a Barry Sanders juke move that left the not-as-good kid with shattered ankles and a face full of turf.Having coached a flag football team of 4 and 5-year-olds, let me attest, this is not normal. Watch Hilton’s kid ballin’. He’s way better than your kid:Just Press Play. Best Athlete In The Family. #Heonly4 #LittleGhost— TY Hilton (@TYHilton13) April 29, 2017 Advertisementlast_img read more

Google Shines with Chrome

first_img When Google makes a big move, it’s big news. The September beta release of its very own web browser, Google Chrome, into a field dominated by Apple Safari, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox is noteworthy. Still, are you wondering if you really need another web browser? Browse this list of features:An extremely stripped-down interface maximizes your viewing area. The top is not cluttered by the usual icons and menus that other browsers have. The top address bar doubles as a search function and a direct conduit to websites.Chrome takes some evolutionary steps in tabbed browsing: When you open a new tab, you see thumbnails of your most visited websites for quick access. Tabs can be pulled out into separate windows and then dragged and dropped back in.Chrome lets you set up desktop shortcuts to access your web applications. It’s a sensible way to better integrate your desktop with your web work.Activating “incognito mode” keeps Chrome from storing web information like search history and cookies.With crash protection, tabs work independently of each other so that if one stalls out, it won’t take the others down, too. January 21, 2009 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » This story appears in the February 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » 1 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.last_img read more

A Path to Better Maps Apple Buys Data Mapping Startup Locationary

first_img Sometimes in business when you make a mistake, you say you’re sorry and then right the wrong. It appears that’s part of what Apple is doing with its acquisition of Toronto-based data-mapping startup Locationary. The news was confirmed by AllThingsD.It’s no secret that Apple has had difficulty with its Maps app for iPhones and iPads. Last year, when Apple stopped using Google Maps data and started using its own, customers complained that the quality of the information had plummeted. Chief Executive Tim Cook issued an apology to customers, saying the company fell short on its commitment to deliver the best possible product experience to customers.Now, enter Locationary. It has a service called Saturn that collects user-submitted data to keep tabs on local businesses, tracking information like hours of operation and products and services offered. Apple hasn’t disclosed details about how it will use Locationary to beef up its own Maps app.Last week, Google updated its Google Maps app and made it available on iPhones and iPads. The redesign includes a number of useful features that improve the app’s search and navigation.For more, see the report on AllThingsD.Related: Google Releases New Maps App for Smartphones and Tablets  Register Now » Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 2 min readcenter_img July 19, 2013 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalslast_img read more

Software Company Hacks Sex Toy to Illustrate Growing Cybersecurity Risks

first_img It’s not just computers and mobile phones that are vulnerable to cyber attack, according to software firm Trend Micro. As more devices are hooked up to the Internet, it could be anything from medical equipment to industrial machinery — and even sex toys.To illustrate the point, Trend Micro spokesman Udo Schneider surprised journalists at a news conference this week by placing a large, neon-pink vibrator on the desk in front of him and then bringing it to life by typing out a few lines of code on his laptop.While the stunt provoked sheepish giggles, the message was sobering. As the number of smart, interactive devices connected to the Internet explodes, concern is mounting about insufficient safeguards and a lack of consumer and employee awareness.”If I hack a vibrator it’s just fun,” Raimund Genes, chief technology officer at Tokyo-listed Trend Micro, told reporters at the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover.”But if I can get to the back-end, I can blackmail the manufacturer,” he added, referring to the programming system behind a device’s interface.Germany, host of CeBIT and home to world champion manufacturers, offers rich pickings for hackers, and attacks on industrial production sites are rising, according to the government’s latest IT Security Report.”Massive damage”In 2014, a German steel mill suffered “massive damage” following a cyber attack on the plant’s network. In recent weeks, several German hospitals have come under attack from Ransomware, a virus that encrypts data on infected machines and demands that users pay to get an electronic key to unlock it.The German government got its own wake-up call last year, when hackers attacked the lower house of parliament’s computer network, forcing it to shut down the system for several days and compromising large amounts of data.”If someone decided to start shooting with a pistol from the roof of the Reichstag (parliament), security guards would be all over them. But when data are siphoned off for months, no one bats an eyelid,” said Dirk Arendt, director of public affairs at Israeli cyber security firm Check Point Software Technologies.”There is a lack of awareness.”Responding to the growing cyber threat, Germany approved an IT security law last July that orders 2,000 providers of critical infrastructure to implement minimum security standards and report serious breaches or face penalties.Fifty-one percent of companies have been victims of digital espionage, data theft or sabotage in the past two years, according to IT lobby group Bitkom.The threat is more acute among Germany’s small-to-medium-sized manufacturers, known as the Mittelstand, where two-thirds of firms registered attacks. As companies move to connect machinery to the Internet to enable it to collect and exchange data and make it easier to control remotely, 84 percent of managers expect the risks to rise, according to Deutsche Telekom’s Cyber Security Report.While Germans are vigilant about data protection because of their experience of state surveillance by the Stasi secret police in East Germany and the Gestapo under the Nazis, Arendt said more attention needed to be paid to data security.Employees need to be made aware of the dangers of opening suspicious-looking PDFs in the same way that motorists are warned by giant roadside signs not to speed, he added.”We only wake up when the damage is done,” he said. “There are enough examples of successful hacking cases. Now the next steps need to be taken to get back into a secure area.”(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Mark Trevelyan) 4 min read Register Now » This story originally appeared on Reuters Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals March 16, 2016 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.last_img read more