Month: August 2019


Indias 10 Laptop to be revealed Feb 3 Updated


first_img(PhysOrg.com) — On February 3, the Indian government will display a prototype of the Rs 500, a $10 laptop that will hopefully give more young people the opportunity to learn and help increase the country’s school enrollment. UPDATE (February 4, 2009):On Tuesday, February 3, India’s national Mission on Education Program clarified that the $10 laptop is actually not a laptop, but a storage device. The storage device contains megabytes of data that can be accessed by a user by connecting the device to a laptop. The 5-inch by 10-inch Rs 500 storage device is now priced at $30. Joint Secretary N. K. Sinha, who made the announcement, did not explain why the device was being called a laptop when it was not. via: Times of IndiaThe $10 laptop project is the product of a collaboration among institutions including the Vellore Institute of Technology, the Indian Institute of Science, and IIT-Madras. The project began about three years ago in response to the proposed $100 laptop (the “One Laptop Per Child” project), an idea from MIT’s Nicholas Negroponte, which was going to cost $200. Currently, the $10 laptop is projected to cost $20, but India’s secretary of higher education R. P. Agarwal hopes that price will come down with mass production.The $10 laptop will be equipped with 2 GB of memory, WiFi, fixed Ethernet, expandable memory, and consume just 2 watts of power. The unveiling of the laptop will occur at the government’s launch of the National Mission on Education through Information and Technology, held next Tuesday in Tirupati. The Indian government is working with publishers to provide e-content on educational subjects which will be available free of cost. The government is also considering a plan to subsidize internet connections for schools.Currently, the government is consulting with different production agencies, and hopes to make the computers commercially available in the next six months.via: Engadget© 2009 PhysOrg.com Explore further High-speed network for first responders raises concernscenter_img Citation: India’s $10 Laptop to be revealed Feb. 3 (Updated) (2009, January 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-01-india-laptop-revealed-feb.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more


Fly dreams and the boundaries of evolutionary science


first_imgIt should be pointed out that many genetic therapies now on the table are based on treatment of somatic cells. If heritable changes to the genome can be introduced via predictable breaches in Weismann’s barrier, as many now presume exist, that is something we probably want to know more about. We need look no further than plants to see that genetic changes in germ lines can be produced as a result of genetic changes in somatic lines. Here somatic cell lineages (vegetative meristems) may be old enough to have accumulated many mutations subject to natural selection since seed germination.Neurobiologists are more interested in those heritable skills or experiences that can be packaged quickly into the germ line, almost perhaps, instantaneously. In many species, sperm are produced at a tremendous rate and practically speaking, they turn over daily. For his fly experiments, Ziv paired different odors with either an aversive or an appetitive stimulus, and trained them over the course of a few days to make the proper associations.The aversive stimulus was an electrified copper grid which presumably was distasteful enough to be seen as a non-lethal assault, but not so powerful as to prevent any formative interactions. Electrical shock may not be the cleanest stimulus (after all we know from the experiments of Miller and Urey that electricity of sufficient voltage can spawn amino-acids from gases), it seems to have what it takes to make a good impression. The appetitive stimulus in this case was of an appetitive nature—corn meal and sugar. While the opposite of shock may not be a sugar snack, the pair do provide a clear choice between good and evil.If precise mechanisms of inheritance are to be attributed to specific details of a stimulus, then the particulars of the odors themselves (3-octanol (OCT) or 4-Methylcyclohexanol (MCH)) are important in these studies. Other experiments, like those in mice, used acetophenone because a fair bit is already known about the receptors and circuitry involved in detecting it. Using a T-maze setup, Ziv was able to show that after the parents had mastered associations of odors with good and evil, the offspring of those flies later showed heightened sensitivity to them as well. However, for whatever reason, the effect was only strong with the MCH stimulus, and in the aversive pairing. Not only that, but the response to MCH was the opposite from the response that the parents had learned: the offspring preferred to move toward MCH instead of avoiding it.Ziv suggests that since the sensitivity to MCH was inherited, but the seemingly useful response (avoidance) was not, there is no inheritance of change at the neural circuit level going on. While that may be a fair enough conclusion, we really can’t make any sweeping conclusions at this point as to what is really going on. Ziv, like other explorers of Lamarckian inheritance, merely offers his controlled study with error margins in the same spirit as nearly every other scientific study put on the charts. If we take any of them at face value, we take all of them.Scientists look for inheritance of specific experiences because they can be quickly inserted into animal, and then later measured to clear effect. To further probe these behavioral phenomena, Ziv suggests that olfactory processes could be blocked at various stages in the adults. Reversibly altering specific pathways using dominant temperature-sensitive transgenes like UAS-Shi for example, would perhaps be one way to do this.Ultimately scientists want to look beyond transient effects and explore the inheritance of actual physical characteristics, like longer necks in giraffes or bigger hands in farmer’s sons. Opponents may argue that any significant results that one might obtain would merely uncover previous genetic pathways already built into the organism. In a way we have the same bottleneck that sensory neurobiogists decry when they try to account for the massive compression of information in a visual stimulus through the retina, and unto the digital output of the optic nerve spike train. However if we figure the entire retina, or the entire body, as a molecular computing volume down to the samllest scale, rather than just considering a few membrane-constrained channels, we hint at the source of power. Personality is the result of nurture, not nature, suggests new study on birds This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further © 2014 Phys.org Journal information: arXiv More information: arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1312/1312.7331.pdf However those mechanisms that first generated life, and by implication continue to refashion it as fast as we try to comprehend, are still unknowns of a nature we have scarcely imagined. Strict adherence to the concepts of random genetic mutation followed by natural selection thrusts up a steep barrier to a full understanding of variation in the natural world. In order to push beyond this cusp, scientists have now turned to the ideas of Lamarck. The latest installment in the genetic saga of individual experience has just been published on the arxiv preprint server by Harvard neurosurgeon Ziv Williams. Ziv’s new results were obtained with flies, and they shadow the recent provocative data on murine (mouse) inheritance of ancestral fears. The latter study raised the roof on what is now possible in a scientific experiment. In demonstrating not only a mechanism for sperm-specific transmission of acquired traits from the father, but also precision modification of neural circuitry, that report set the bar extremely high for what might be proved in a study—and also for what might be swallowed by the larger community.With mice, it is possible to isolate the mechanism of transmission of a particular experience to the father’s sperm by doing in vitro insemination. While that is not so simple in flies, there is one big advantage to working with them—experiments can be more easily done at high n factor (number of flies). This is critical for discerning complex, but often weak, effects. The principle that information of a hereditary nature ratchets only in the direction from germ cells to somatic (body) cells is known as Weismann’s barrier. It is expected that any breakdown of this evolutionary diode (such as feedback from somatic to germ cells) would be a weak effect because the bandwidth for transmission of experience to germ cells would, at first glance, appear to be severely limited. Citation: Fly dreams and the boundaries of evolutionary science (2014, January 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-01-boundaries-evolutionary-science.html In 2002, Secretary of state Donald Rumsfeld made a statement regarding weapons of mass destruction that today is still well known. He famously parsed the evidence (or lack thereof) into “known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns.” In squeezing virtually all that it can from the ideas of Darwin, evolutionary biology has produced a mountain of facts and ideas that fall squarely in the realm of Rumsfeld’s first two categories. Jean-Baptiste LamarckCredit: Wikipedialast_img read more


Best of Last Week Big Bang singularity unlocking Earths inner core and


first_img © 2015 Phys.org A research team from the University of Illinois and colleagues in China found earth’s inner core has an inner core of its own, with crystals aligned in a different direction. Credit: Lachina Publishing Services In other news it was recently noted that some researchers are using the DOE’s Fermilab Dark Energy Camera to unveil small objects in our solar system—the 570-megapixel camera is being used by some to track space junk, asteroids and other objects. Also a team of geologists described how they are attempting to unlock the mysteries of the planet’s inner core by applying a novel application of earthquake reading technology and have found that our planet’s inner core itself has an inner core, too.In other news, the world’s first rotary 3-D printer-cum-scanner was unveiled at the AAAS meeting—called the Blacksmith Genesis, it allows novices to scan an item, edit it and then print it. Also another team of researchers found that coral snake venom revealed a unique route to lethality—turns out it is a toxin that activates a certain kind of nerve cell protein that prevents cells in victims from resetting and ultimately leads to seizures in prey. And yet another team found amber fossil links to the earliest grasses, dinosaurs and fungus used to produce LSD—in Myanmar. Another team has found that a common plant extract fights brain tumors—silibinin, used to treat victims of poisoning and some liver diseases has been shown to be effective in treating Cushing’s Disease, where a tumor grows in the pituitary gland.And finally, if you have been taking medications to get rid of an infection, it might interest you to know that a team of researchers has found that the unwanted impact of antibiotics is broader and more complex than previously known—they found that the drugs have a much bigger impact on the microorganisms that live in our gut, than has been thought, further complicating their use. Journal information: Physics Letters B 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. (Phys.org)—It was an intriguing week for physics as a pair of theorists suggested that their quantum equation predicts the universe has no beginning and thus there was no Big Bang. In their paper published in Physics Letters B, Saurya Das and Rajat Bhaduri, suggest their math shows that the universe has existed forever and that it may also account for both dark energy and dark matter. Also, some at this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting have been hinting at the possible discovery in 2015 of a new particle in physics—due, they suggest, to the LHC coming back online, twice as powerful as before. Meanwhile, another group suggested that on quantum scales, there are many second laws of thermodynamics—they think there are whole families of them at extremely small scales. Citation: Best of Last Week: Big Bang singularity, unlocking Earth’s inner core and another problem with antibiotics (2015, February 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-02-week-big-singularity-earth-core.html No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning Explore furtherlast_img read more


Scientists go to great lengths to extend superlow friction


first_img Citation: Scientists go to great lengths to extend superlow friction (2015, February 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-02-scientists-great-lengths-superlow-friction.html Researchers investigated the superlow friction of the chain structures above. They found that superlubricity can theoretically hold for tens of cemtimeters and disappears above a critical chain length, which depends on a material’s intrinsic properties. Credit: Ma, et al. ©2015 American Physical Society In the new study published in Physical Review Letters, researchers Ming Ma, et al., have theoretically investigated the maximum length of a chain of particles that exhibits superlubricity. Their model shows that this critical length depends on the experimental parameters and the material’s properties, especially its stiffness. For very stiff materials, such as carbon nanotubes, the scientists found that superlubricity may hold for up to tens of centimeters, after which it abruptly disappears. “These results indicate an avenue for achieving superlow friction at the macroscale, and can potentially aid in the rational design of superlubric materials for nanomechanical applications,” Michael Urbakh, a professor at Tel Aviv University and one of the study’s lead authors, told Phys.org.As the scientists explain, superlow friction relies on a special arrangement of atoms on a material’s surface. In graphite, for instance, the surface atoms have a bumpy hexagonal arrangement like egg cartons/boxes. In certain orientations, two surfaces of graphite can mesh in such a way that the “bumps” can slide past one other effortlessly, and friction drops to almost zero. In contrast, when the same pieces of graphite are slightly rotated with respect to each other, their surface atoms can no longer easily slide, and the materials exhibit the familiar effects of friction. This kind of change in geometrical configuration can explain the abrupt transition between the frictionless and friction regimes in the researchers’ models. A shorter nanotube, or chain, exhibits superlubricity because its particles are mismatched, or incommensurate, with the underlying substrate atoms. Since the atoms avoid interlocking with each other, the chain easily slides on the surface. But for a longer chain, a mechanical instability triggers lattice matching at the chain’s leading edge. As a result, the particles become in registry, or commensurate, with the atoms in the substrate lattice, and friction suddenly increases.The researchers’ simulations also revealed that the critical chain length forms a sharp boundary between two phases based on interparticle distance: the distance between particles is smaller in the shorter chain than in the longer chain. At exactly the critical length, an abrupt jump in this distance occurs, along with the abrupt jump in friction. By better understanding superlubricity and its limits, the researchers hope to extend the effect to as large a scale as possible. Superlubricity could prove very useful for designing nanoscale systems with low wear and tear, and it could be even more useful if it could be extended to larger scales. “The challenge here is to scale up the size of the sliding objects without losing the perfect egg-box geometry necessary for superlubricity,” said coauthor Andrea Vanossi at the CNR-IOM Democritos National Simulation Center and the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), both in Trieste, Italy. “Normally, as the size of the objects grows, defects and imperfections comes into play. Only recently, thanks to the impressive advances in the synthesis techniques, has it been possible to produce defect-free, atomically perfect elongated nanostructures such as carbon nanotubes, graphene nanoribbons, and conjugated polymers. Once it is possible to have two large-scale, geometrically perfect surfaces rub against each other without friction, and to apply this material as a coating to ball bearings and moving machine parts, there will be huge savings ahead in the areas of energy, resource consumption, and maintenance.”The researchers are currently working to expand their approach to understand mechanisms limiting superlow friction between 3D materials. © 2015 Phys.org (Phys.org)—When nanosized pieces of graphite slide against each other, there can be virtually no friction between them. For many years, superlow friction, or “superlubricity,” was known to exist only on the nanoscale. Then in 2012, scientists first demonstrated superlubricity beyond the nanoscale when they discovered the phenomenon in micrometer-sized graphite. Building on this and related research, scientists in a new study have now theoretically shown that superlow friction could extend to lengths of tens of centimeters. More information: Ming Ma, et al. “Critical Length Limiting Superlow Friction.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.055501center_img Journal information: Physical Review Letters Friction almost vanishes in microscale graphite Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more


Biologist suggests carbon monoxide as an energy source for microbes on Mars


first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In order for life to have existed on Mars (or if it still does in a place we have not found yet) it would have to have an energy source of some kind. Prior research has suggested such a source might be nitrogen, the same energy source for most plants here on Earth—a recent report by researchers studying data from Curiosity rover, describes nitrates found in the soil. In this new effort, King takes a different approach, he believes that carbon monoxide may hold the key to life on Mars.King took soil samples from three places here on Earth that have very dry climates and very salty soil, the Atacama desert in Chili, the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and a part of the big island in Hawaii. In studying the samples, he found that the soil did indeed pull carbon monoxide out of the air and held onto it. He suggests the same process could occur on Mars, as its atmosphere has more carbon monoxide in it than does ours. He goes further to suggest that the mysterious, recurring slope lineae—dark streaks that change color seasonally on Mars, might be due to carbon monoxide being pulled into the soil. He believes that carbon monoxide could represent the missing piece in the search for life on Mars: the energy source. As evidence of the possibility, he points out two microbes (Halorubrum str. BV1 and Alkalilimnicola ehrlichii MLHE-1) that live on Earth that use carbon monoxide as an energy source, one of which has also been shown able to tolerate salt concentrations that are similar to those found in Martian soil.Unfortunately, there is no mechanism for testing King’s ideas, neither of the rovers on Mars has the equipment needed for that kind of test. He will have to wait until 2021, when NASA plans to send a probe to the Red planet that is capable of detecting microbes in the soil. Explore further Valles Marineris, Mars. Credit: NASA (Phys.org)—Gary King, a biologist at Louisiana State University has put forth the idea that if life did exist on Mars, it very possibly could have survived by using carbon monoxide. In his paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, he discusses his study of microbes in soil samples collected here on Earth that are able to pull in carbon monoxide and why it might relate to life on Mars. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencescenter_img More information: Carbon monoxide as a metabolic energy source for extremely halophilic microbes: Implications for microbial activity in Mars regolith, Gary M. King, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1424989112AbstractCarbon monoxide occurs at relatively high concentrations (≥800 parts per million) in Mars’ atmosphere, where it represents a potentially significant energy source that could fuel metabolism by a localized putative surface or near-surface microbiota. However, the plausibility of CO oxidation under conditions relevant for Mars in its past or at present has not been evaluated. Results from diverse terrestrial brines and saline soils provide the first documentation, to our knowledge, of active CO uptake at water potentials (−41 MPa to −117 MPa) that might occur in putative brines at recurrent slope lineae (RSL) on Mars. Results from two extremely halophilic isolates complement the field observations. Halorubrum str. BV1, isolated from the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah (to our knowledge, the first documented extremely halophilic CO-oxidizing member of the Euryarchaeota), consumed CO in a salt-saturated medium with a water potential of −39.6 MPa; activity was reduced by only 28% relative to activity at its optimum water potential of −11 MPa. A proteobacterial isolate from hypersaline Mono Lake, California, Alkalilimnicola ehrlichii MLHE-1, also oxidized CO at low water potentials (−19 MPa), at temperatures within ranges reported for RSL, and under oxic, suboxic (0.2% oxygen), and anoxic conditions (oxygen-free with nitrate). MLHE-1 was unaffected by magnesium perchlorate or low atmospheric pressure (10 mbar). These results collectively establish the potential for microbial CO oxidation under conditions that might obtain at local scales (e.g., RSL) on contemporary Mars and at larger spatial scales earlier in Mars’ history. Citation: Biologist suggests carbon monoxide as an energy source for microbes on Mars (2015, March 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-biologist-carbon-monoxide-energy-source.html Video: What makes carbon monoxide so deadly? © 2015 Phys.orglast_img read more


Important ancient papyrus seized from looters in Israel


first_img(Phys.org)—Eitan Klein, a representative of the Israel Antiquities Authority, has announced that an important papyrus document dated to 2,700 years ago has been seized from a group of Palestinian looters who reportedly dug it up in a cave in the Judean Desert approximately three years ago. The claim of its authenticity has been challenged, however, by Christopher Rollston (as reported by Live Science) a professor with George Washington University in the U.S.—he contends that the wording on the document suggests it might be a forgery. Credit: Shai Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority If the document turns out to be authentic, it will be notable for a line that translates from Hebrew as “from the king’s maidservant, from Na’arat, (which was near Jericho)—jars of wine, to Jerusalem.” This sentence would mark the second-oldest reference to Jerusalem—the Bible is the oldest. It would also be important because it suggests the lines were written by a woman from the time of the First Temple (which King Solomon had built in 957BC—but it was destroyed by soldiers working for King Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, approximately 400 years later), who held an important position in society.Klein outlined the means by which he and his team tracked the looters and eventually caught them in the act of looting a cave. He did not give specifics as to how the scroll was found, but hinted that it might have been purchased after being tracked to an antiquities market somewhere in Jerusalem. The scroll has already been carbon dated, but as Rollston noted, if it were a fake, the forger would have simply obtained a blank scroll from that time period and written on it using the same type of ink used thousands of years ago. In response, Klein has offered to listen to evidence by Rollston, but suggests that he and his team are very nearly certain the papyrus is an authentic document because they have proof that it was dug up by looters from a cave in the Nahal Hever valley—they are not revealing its exact location for fear that other looters will descend on the scene. The papyrus and the lines written on it will no doubt be studied in more detail by other researchers who may or may not come to a consensus on the authenticity of the scroll. 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: Important ancient papyrus seized from looters in Israel (2016, October 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-10-important-ancient-papyrus-seized-looters.htmlcenter_img © 2016 Phys.org Explore further 11 ancient burial boxes recovered in Israel (Update)last_img read more


Ultraluminous Xray pulsar NGC 300 ULX1 experienced unprecedented spin evolution study finds


first_img © 2019 Science X Network Citation: Ultra-luminous X-ray pulsar NGC 300 ULX1 experienced unprecedented spin evolution, study finds (2019, May 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-ultra-luminous-x-ray-pulsar-ngc-ulx1.html New ultra-luminous X-ray pulsar discovered Using NASA’s Swift space telescope and NICER instrument aboard the International Space Station (ISS), astronomers have investigated the properties of an ultra-luminous X-ray pulsar known as NGC 300 ULX1. Results of this study, presented in a paper published May 9 on the arXiv preprint server, indicate that this object experienced an unprecedented spin evolution as its spin period decreased significantly during a timespan of four years. More information: G. Vasilopoulos, et al. NGC 300 ULX1: spin evolution, super-Eddington accretion and outflows. arXiv:1905.03740v1 [astro-ph.HE]. arxiv.org/abs/1905.03740 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Top panel: X-ray light-curve (0.3–30 keV band) of NGC 300 ULX1 as derived from Swift/XRT observations (black points) performed within 2018. Bottom panel: temporal evolution of the measured spin frequencies derived from NICER observations. Credit: Vasilopoulos et al., 2019. Ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) are point sources in the sky that are so bright in X-rays that each emits more radiation than 1 million suns emit at all wavelengths. Although they are less luminous than active galactic nuclei (AGN), they are more consistently luminous than any known stellar process. Some ULXs showcase coherent pulsations. These sources, known as ultra-luminous X-ray pulsars (ULXPs), are neutron stars typically less massive than black holes. The list of known ULPs is still relatively short, hence detailed observations of so far detected objects of this class are essential for researchers studying the universe in X-rays.NGC 300 ULX1 is an ULXP located some 6.13 million light years away in the spiral galaxy NGC 300. Discovered in 2010, the source was initially classified as a supernova, but later reclassified as a possible high-mass X-ray binary. However, a study published in November 2018 revealed pulsations from NGC 300 ULX1, which confirmed its ULXP nature.Following its detection, NGC 300 ULX1 has been monitored by a group of astronomers led by Georgios Vasilopoulos of Yale University in order to get insights about the pulsar’s properties. For this purpose, they used the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and the Neutron Star Interior Composition ExploreR (NICER) attached to ISS. Data from these two instruments allowed them to obtain important information about the spin evolution of this object.By analyzing new data and also the results of other observations of NGC 300 ULX1, the astronomers found that the spin period of this pulsar decreased from 126 seconds to less than 20 seconds in just four years. They added that such behavior is consistent with a steady mass accretion rate, noting that the neutron star continues to spin up with a rate indicating a constant mass accretion rate within 2018.Furthermore, the study found that the observed X-ray flux of NGC 300 ULX1 dropped by a factor of about 20 to 30 from its peak value in 2018. However, although this value decreased, the researchers noted that the spin-up rate of the neutron star remained roughly constant.Trying to explain the drop in the observed X-ray flux, the authors of the paper assume that it could be a result of increased absorption and obscuration.”A possible explanation is that the decrease in the observed flux is a result of increased absorption of obscuring material due to outflows or a precessing accretion disk. (…) Outflows from a radiation-dominated accretion disk can provide an optically thick structure that could be responsible for the increased absorption,” the astronomers concluded.last_img read more


The other italian who loved India


Italy is renewing its historical ties with India by commemorating the legacy of one of its iconic Oriental scholars and Indophiles Luigi Pio Tessitori, who unearthed the Indus Valley site of Kalibangan in Rajasthan in the early 20th century.In a special ceremony, the Italian Cultural Centre in the Capital dedicated its multi-purpose hall to Tessitori, naming it after him. It was followed by a series of presentations on Tessitori by historian Nayanjot Lahiri and professor Furio Honsell, the mayor of Udine and the former vice-chancellor of University of Udine, who is lecturing in the Capital throughout the week. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Tessitori, born in Udine in Italy in 1887, died of pneumonia in Bikaner in 1919 at the age of 32. He documented the Bardic traditions of Rajasthan as a photographer, researched extensively on The Ramayana, and wrote comparative treatises.While studying the ancient civilisations and history of India, Tessitori discovered that some ruins around Bikaner showed a pre-Mauryan character dating back to the Indus Valley. He sought the help of John Marshall of the Archaeological Survey of India and identified the ancient Harappan lineage known as Kalibangan. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTessitori is a local hero in Bikaner — with a landscaped grave and a bust in the city — was invited to Bikaner by former ruler, Ganga Singh. The Italian carried the ancient culture and traditions of India to his homeland at a time when awareness about the country’s rich heritage between 1900-1914.His works were subsequently published in both Italian and English. They were preserved in both Italy and India.Tessitori, who was a scholar of Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit and Marwari, also a collector of Indian antiquities and manuscripts. He explored nearly 100 historical sites in Rajasthan. The mayor of Udine, Furio Honsell, an authority on Tessitori and his work, said he was determined to ‘connect Bikaner and Udine as twin cities in memory of Tessitori’s work.’‘Several years ago, the government of Italy had initiated the process to declare Udine and Bikaner twin cities. The process never really came through but I am determined to revive it,’ said Furio Honsell.This Indo-Italian exchange will continue through October with an exhibition of Islamic paintings and artefacts, ‘Akbar: The Great Emperor of India’, that will open at Palazzo Sciarra, Fondazione Roma Museo  on 22 October.An exhibition of about 60 rare photographs of Indian freedom fighters by early Italian modernist and revolutionary Tina Modotti also opened at the Italian Cultural Centre . read more


Impressions that linger on


first_imgKorean Culture Centre has organised an exhibition titled Hanji Impression that  introduces ‘hanji’ to India by Korean and Indian artists Park Yeo-Sang and Sharmi Chowdhury that commenced on January 15. Hanji literally means ‘the paper of Korea’. The main material is the fibrous skin of the mulberry.Hanji is not simply paper. It is used in a variety of ways, and has a different name according to its use. Both the artists uses Hanji as the base for their artistic interpretations.  Even with changing times and the dominance of smart phones and digital culture, nothing can completely replace paper. As a medium of expressing emotions, the artists hope that hanji undergoes a transformation at the hands of the artists to become a valuable piece of artist. As a part of exhibition, workshops on Hanji making, Hanji book making and Hanji calendar making also took place. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Taking a look back at the history of mankind, one can say that the invention of paper marked the beginning of civilization. It is on paper that letters and characters were carved and books written and this material has been a source of progress for man. Through the invention of paper, man was able to leave behind wonderful works of art instead of leaving artistic imprints only in caves. Korea’s traditional hanji boasts a history of over a thousand years. The world’s oldest book printed with a metallic printing type was printed on hanji. This book was published in the 14th century and has been preserved for over 600 years in its paper form to exhibit the high preservation quality of hanji. The hanji that is produced traditionally and the type that is machine-produced both have a soft and warm quality. Hanji has the unique feature of being able to transmit the emotive qualities and thus provides attraction to today’s artists.When: On till February 5 Where: Exhibition Hall, Korean Cultural CentreTiming: 10 am – 5 pmlast_img read more


18yrold crushed to death by speeding truck accused held


first_imgAn 18-year-old married woman was crushed to death by a speeding truck, which hit the motorbike on which she was pillion riding, in South Delhi’s Sarita Vihar area on Sunday night. Two other persons – her husband and sister-in-law – also suffered injuries but were reported to be in a stable condition by Monday evening.The deceased was identified as Shilpi (18). She was reportedly pillion riding with her husband, Govind (24), on a motorcycle. Govind’s sister, Babita (14) was sitting between Govind and Shilpi. The accident was reported around 11.30 pm as they were heading for their residence in Sant Nagar in Old Faridabad, said a police official. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreHe further said that they were hit by a speeding truck from the back and Shilpi, consequently fell off the motorbike. She landed under the gigantic wheels of the truck, which dragged her across a few metres on the road. She died on the spot and her skull was split open.Locals gathered immediately and one of them informed the police. All three of them were rushed to the AIIMS Trauma Centre, where Shilpi was declared brought dead and the other two were admitted with several injuries. Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedLocals also got hold of the truck driver, identified as Raj Kumar (44) and handed him over to the police. Raj Kumar is a resident of Panipat. He was taken for a medical test, but he was not found to be driving under the influence of alcohol. A case under Sections 279 (rash driving) and 304A (causing death by negligence) of IPC was registered immediately at the Sarita Vihar Police Station.“It is also not clear whether the pillion riders were wearing helmets or not. It is possible that Shilpi’s helmet – if she was wearing one, was crushed due to the immense pressure,” said the police official.The three of them – Govind, Shilpi and Babita – had gone to visit Shilpi’s parents at Ganesh Nagar near East Delhi’s Mother Dairy area and they were approaching Faridabad through the Aasram Chowk, intending to take the Mathura Road.last_img read more


Musical lessons for Sarah Jane


first_imgTaking her passion for music a step forward, actress-singer Sarah Jane Dias is learning the acoustic guitar to hone her musical skills. “I always had a nag to learn an instrument since my childhood. However, I never got to do so… I believe that learning of any kind of music…be it instrumental or vocal… enhances your ability as an artist,” Sarah Jane said in a statement. She is taking vocal lessons from Samantha Edward and instrument from a Parsi musician. The former Miss India, who released her first single Forgot to be me on Valentine’s Day this year, shared that she is an ‘obedient student’. “I’m very happy to have found someone who has learnt the art of acoustic guitar from the golden era of guitar. I’m an obedient student,” she added.last_img


Conference to develop AYUSH held at Maulana Azad Centre


first_imgKolkata: A unique conference was organised by the Independent research ethics society Kolkata at Maulana Azad Conference Centre to create a road map for development of AYUSH in the state.The programme was organised in association with Vivekananda Vijnyana Mission (VVM), National Ayurveda Students And Youth Association (NASYA), Jignasa-Paschimbanga, Nationalist Doctors Association (NDA), Arogya Bharati, Vishwa Ayurveda Parishad (VAP), All Bengal AYUSH Doctor Association, Yoga And Naturopathy Awareness Association, AYUSH Prachar & Prasar Samiti, Ayurvedic Drug Manufacturer Association of India, National Pharmaceutical Consultancy Services, the AYURVEDA Clinic and Research Centre.There was a proposal to form a joint forum named as “AYUSH SAMRIDDHI”. Emphasize was given on the importance of united positive efforts at social level, to develop quality of life inAYUSH sector.Dr G P Sarkar, Chairman – Allen Group, Shri Tapas Sarkar -President, Arogya Bharati, WB, Dr RD Dubey , President NDA, Shri M K Sreeprasad, Org. secy, VVM, Dr Sumit Sur,President NASYA-WB, Kvj. Suryaprakash Sharma, President ,VAP-WB, blessed the conference by their motivational speeches.It may be mentioned that Bengal has made a significant improvement in the Ayush sector. A great of works were done for the enhancement of infrastructure.last_img read more


Sushila Goenka cremated


first_imgKolkata: Sushila Goenka, wife of R P Goenka and mother of Harsh Vardhan and Sanjiv Goenka, was cremated at the Keoratala burning ghat on Monday morning.Senior ministers of the state government, city based industrialists and people from all walks of life were present at the crematorium to pay their respects to the departed soul. She had died in Kolkata on Sunday evening.She was cremated this morning at Keoratala burning ghat in the presence of a large gathering of friends, family members and admirers. Her eldest son Harsh Vardhan Goenka, chairman of the RPG Group and youngest son Sanjiv Goenka, chairman of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, were present along with their children and family members Rama Prasad Goenka’s brothers Jagdish Prasad and Gouri Prasad Goenka.Born in Kolkata, Sushila Goenka, daughter of Ram Sundar Kanoria, was married to Rama Prasad Goenka in 1948. An ardent devotee of Indian tradition and culture, she was well-known for her interest in Indian music and her intimate connection with some of the musical legends of India, including Lata Mangeshkar.last_img read more


Body of wife found at inlaws residence


first_imgKolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of a housewife whose body was found inside her in-laws house in South 24-Parganas.The family members of the victim have lodged a complaint at the local police station alleging that the woman was murdered by her husband and in-laws.The victim Aparna Dey got married to one Palash Dey of Bisalakhhitala area in South 24-Parganas around 20 years ago. The couple has a 15-year-old son. The family members of the victim said her husband used to work as a generator operator but he was terminated as he used to visit the work place in a drunken state. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAfter being sacked, he started torturing his wife for money. He used to mount pressure on her to get money from her parental house. As she denied to do so, the victim was subjected to both mental and physical torture by her husband.On Wednesday night, the husband called up her parents saying that she committed suicide by consuming sleeping pills. He also told the victim’s family members that her body has been kept in Baruipur sub-divisional hospital. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe family members of the woman said they found a deep injury mark around her neck when they visited the hospital.They claimed that the victim might have been murdered and demanded an independent inquiry into the incident.The family members also told the police that she might have been throttled to death. Her husband and in-laws have been involved in the crime.The victim’s husband and in-laws have been absconding since the incident took place. On the basis of a specific complaint, police have started a probe and are conducting raids to nab the culprits.Police are interrogating other family members of the accused and locals to figure how she died. They are waiting for the post-mortem report of the victim.last_img read more


Homely remedies to tackle Psoriasis


first_imgPsoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease, can be easily deal with by homegrown solutions.Psoriasis, which usually appears in red patches anywhere on the skin, particularly the knees, the elbow, the lower back and scalp happens due to several factors such as environment, genetics and the immune system.Here are some home remedies suggested by Dr. Navin Taneja, director of the National Skin Centre that will help tackle the skin disease.Oatmeal bath: Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ Oats are considered one of nature’s finest skin soothers. Oatmeal is loaded with vitamins and minerals which are excellent for nourishing and healing damaged skin. It is also an effective way to relieve itching, redness and irritation.Dead Sea salts: Add Dead Sea salts to lukewarm water. This helps to remove scales and eases itching. Do not forget to apply moisturizer once you are done with your bathing.Get gaudy: Plan a weekly diet; pick a handful of fruits and veggies of every colour. This will ensure that your body is getting a good assortment of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants which are needed to heal smashed skin and will put off future flare-ups. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAvoid dyes and aromas: Purchase only all-natural products or those labelled ‘sensitive skin’ and completely read the label before applying any new product.Banana peel: Banana peel will soothe your skin and remove rashes. Rub the inner area of the peel on your lesions. Baking Soda and water: Mix one tablespoon of baking soda and four teaspoons of water. Apply this with cotton or cloth to the affected area. Leave it on until it dries and falls off.last_img read more


IT employee dies after bike hits roadside railing


first_imgKolkata: An IT professional was killed in a bike accident in New Town on Thursday.Police came to know after speaking to some people who witnessed the incident that the youth failed to control the vehicle and hit a roadside railing. He received severe injuries on his head. Locals went to the spot and found him writhing in pain. Police too reached the spot after receiving information from the locals and was initially taken to a private hospital. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeLater, he was shifted to Bidhannagar Sub-divisional Hospital where he was declared brought dead. The police sent the body for an autopsy. Police found the victim’s helmet at the spot and suspect that he was not wearing the same while riding the two-wheeler. A police officer said the accident would not have turned fatal if the biker had worn a helmet. Cops also suspect that he was riding the bike at a high speed and as a result he couldn’t control the bike and hit the road side railing. It may be mentioned that the state government and the police have taken a series of steps to make people aware about safety norms that one must follow while riding two-wheelers.last_img read more


A boost to Jammu and Kashmirs culture


first_imgThe recently held J&K Food, Craft & Culture Festival 2016 at Dilli Haat, in the national Capital, highlighted that the state’s rare distinction to wear varied caps, given the wide spectrum of weather, terrain, topography, wind, snow, water, mountains, heritage, handicrafts could become individual, collective or combined focuses of the world of Tourism.Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most beautiful destinations in India. However, this paradise on earth has always been in controversy due to terrorism and political turmoil. There are many other things about this beautiful land to talk about such as its picturesque landscape, the gorgeous people, and their attractive art and crafts. Tourism has been one of the most revenue generating industries in Jammu and Kashmir. With the rise in tourism, the handicraft industry of Kashmir is also getting a boost. Srinagar, Leh, Jammu City, Rajauri, Gulmarg, Udhampur, Kathua, Kupwara, Badgam, Kargil, Pahalgam, Anantnag, Pangong Lake to name a few are the most beautiful places in the state. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfJ&K’s Secretary, Tourism and Floriculture, Farooq A Shah said the tourism sector can generate employment for 70 per cent population of Jammu and Kashmir, which has flourishing horticulture and handicraft industries, and urged the tourism partners to lend priority to the state.He said that the purpose of the festival is to promote Jammu and Kashmir as a winter tourism destination.The state has world-class golf and winter sports facilities “on par with that in the USA” in Gulmarg and Pahalgam, he said, adding the state tourism department will organise a “snow festival” to promote winter sports from January 22. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive“We are making efforts to attract diversified tourists… those who are interested in sports, heritage, pilgrimage, craft, cuisine and so on. So our focus is on tapping onto the massive tourism potential the state has.”“Jammu and Kashmir in itself is the world. We assure the tourists that we will shower them with our unparallelled traditional hospitality,” he said.The state is focusing on promoting winter destinations like Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg.“We are here to promote winter destinations like Gulmarg Pahalgam and Sonamarg which are world famous destinations for hosting winter related activities,” he said.The vision is to make tourism one of the principle engine of economic development in the state by positioning it as a leading global destination by the year 2025. It also contributes to economic and social well-being of the people of Jammu & Kashmir by providing employment opportunities, inclusive development and promotional policies with an aim to achieve internationally competitive tourism sector focused on sustainable growth. The aim is to also develop Jammu & Kashmir as a dynamic, sustainable and most-favoured tourist destination – offering high quality experience to tourists by providing congenial development framework for facilitating and accelerating investments and improving livelihood opportunities at the local level.  It is also aiming to devise strategies for increasing arrival of domestic and international tourists, therefore giving a boost in the national economy by benefitting the citizens.last_img read more


Tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in winter


first_imgThe onset of winters can prove to be a health hazard if you are not following a nutritious diet, and a balanced lifestyle. So make sure you are getting right nutrition this chilly season.Here are some tips to stay fit and enjoy the chilly season: Turning to organic honey to boost immunity: Organic honey is nature’s nectar that not just tickles your taste buds but also contains several vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to boost immunity levels to deal with winter allergies.Adding a few drops of Apple Cider Vinegar for body detoxing and blood purifying: Apple Cider Vinegar is a wonder liquid which works both for beauty and health. It has properties which can ease your sinus issues during the cold season, give lustre to your limp dry hair which falls under the stress of winter pollution and also can enliven your skin if taken with water in the morning.Sipping Tulsi Tea for antioxidants and other nutrients: Colder months are closely associated with lowered immunity which in turn increases your chances of contracting the flu. Tulsi (Holy Basil) enhances your immune system to fight the viruses. It also improves the body’s overall defence mechanism, reduces stress, improves stamina, boosts immunity, fights and prevents chronic disease, and provides a rich supply of antioxidant and other nutrients.Organic Coconut Oil to fight dry skin: Another common issue we all face is the dry, flaky skin caused by cold breeze and dehydration in winter months. The best all round elixir is organic virgin coconut oil. When applied externally, coconut oil keeps the skin moisturised, prevents dry scaly skin and strengthens the connective tissue under the skin. With its anti-microbial properties, skin stays healthy and nourished. Stay hydrated to make sure your skin stays healthy.Organic ghee to keep your body warm: Including organic ghee in your diet is one of the best ways to keep your body warm and it helps additionally in dealing with winter dryness of the skin.Raghubansh Singh, Senior Ayurvedic Physician at Ananda in the Himalayas, too has some Ayurvedic tips to keep your skin plumped, oiled and glowing in the winter seasonGet in the habit of “oiling up” each morning with the ayurvedic self-massage “abhyanga” before your bath or shower. This will lubricate and protect your skin and give your complexion a radiant sheen that lasts throughout the day.Be sure to drink plenty of water each day. Rather than cold or iced, drink your water warm, or at least at room temperature.Include oil-rich foods in your daily diet. Nuts (especially walnuts and blanched almonds); ground flaxseeds; sunflower, pumpkin seeds; olive oil; ghee in small amounts; and green leafy vegetables (they contain omega 3’s and help purify the skin and liver).Use herbs like Amla, Aloe vera, Shunthi, Manjishtha, Anantamool, Triphala, Chandan, which have gentle detoxifying properties and also help to maintain moisture balance.ianslast_img read more


Chair poetry evenings to take place in November


first_imgCome November, winter in Calcutta will get warm and cozy as the culture capital gets set to witness the first ever International poetry extravaganza. The festival presented by The Chair Literary Trust will host poets from across the world and some from our home too. The stellar lineup of poets who will be part of these evenings are, Vladimir Matinovski (Macedonia), John W Sexton (Ireland), Miriam Van hee (Belgium), Alfred Schaffer (Netherlands), Les Wicks (Australia), Barbara Pogacnik (Slovenia), Yekta (France), C P Surendran, K Satchidanandan, Nitoo Das, Rajesh Joshi, Arun Kamal, Manglesh Dabral, Subodh Sarkar and Binayak Bandopadhyay. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”The festival aims at building consciousness through poetry. Art and Poetry are the expressions of human consciousness. We endeavor to bring together the civil society in an interaction with thoughts, ideas, and questions related to human existence,” festival director Tushar Dhawal Singh said. “As the planet becomes progressively anxious with sociopolitical, radical, cultural, ethnonational skirmishes, we consider the role of Poetry as a restorative and a potent mean of diffusing values and experiences – all the more pertinent”, festival co-director Sonnet Mondal added. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe inaugural programme of the fest will take place on November 23 at Rotary Sadan Hall, followed by Calcutta Heritage Bungalow readings, Walk through the City and readings at Sasha’s studio on November 24. The finale, November 25, will be a floating event with poetry on the cruise over the river Ganges.The trust has also declared a ‘Poet in residence program’ to be hosted in Kolkata during the winter months. The residency will host two to three poets from across the globe where they would be offered a stay for a month in the city with a scholarship to cover up their costs in the city. The poets will also be offered an opportunity to present public readings in the city. During their stay, the poets will interact for a cultural exchange with culturally interested people, artists, organizations, and writers in West Bengal.last_img read more


CM calls for upgradation of all superspecialty hospitals to multisuperspecialty ones


first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the first Level-I trauma care centre in Eastern India at the IPGME&R and SSKM Hospital on Monday, marking the birth and death anniversary of Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, which is celebrated as Doctors’ Day.She proposed to set up a pay-clinic in a hospital which would come up on a government plot in front of SSKM Hospital and also instructed additional chief secretary of Health Rajiva Sinha to upgrade all the 43 superspecialty hospitals in the state to multisuperspecialty ones. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataSpeaking on the occasion of Doctors’ Day, Banerjee said: “The state government has a plot just opposite the emergency department of SSKM Hospital. A hospital can be set up with a pay-clinic on a government plot. Around 75 percent of the revenue collected from the patients at the hospital would be spent for the development of the hospital, while the rest would be channelised for providing the fees of the doctors.” After the inauguration of the trauma care centre, the Chief Minister conferred ‘Bishistha Chikitsha Samman’ on 30 doctors for rendering special services to patients, while lifetime achievement award was given to seven veteran doctors. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateDuring the programme, Banerjee urged the Health department officials to include the nursing staff members and non-medical persons within the ambit of the special awards. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that the Bengal government has spent Rs 100 crore for setting up the trauma care centre. New buildings have come up at the hospital as well and as many as 760 posts have been created. There has also been a major infrastructural revamp at all the state-run medical colleges and hospitals. “Around 16 mother-child hubs have been constructed across the state to provide special care for the mothers and infants. Five health districts have been created. In the far-flung areas, waiting huts have been set up where expecting mothers are getting special care. Institutional delivery has increased in the state from 65 to 97 percent. The infant mortality rate in the state has gone down to 24 from around 32 per 1,000 live births,” Banerjee said. “We must not forget that the doctors’ fraternity is our pride. Many doctors in the state-run hospitals are overburdened with work as they have to attend many patients in a day. Many developments have taken place in the health sector but still there is crisis of doctors in the hospitals,” she added.last_img read more