first_img Improving Plug-In Electric Cars Citation: Raptor: An Electric Car Nearly Anyone Would Want to Drive (2009, July 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-07-raptor-electric-car.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. I love my Prius, it’s true. But sometimes, I look at the Dodge Charger (I’m watching Burn Notice this summer) and think, “What a cool car.” And when we think of cool cars, it’s hard to keep the image of a muscle car or a sports car from popping up. But when you think of environmentally friendly, those types of cars don’t even come to mind. Perhaps the latest creation from a software engineer will changes the stereotypes. Photo credit: NBC Bay Area Explore further In order to build the Raptor, Raul Atkinson ordered a Dayton car kit and then built the necessary equipment into it. Gas 2.0 reports on the effort put into creating the Electric Raptor:”The project took 2 years and an estimated 2000 hours to complete, but the results are pretty impressive. Using a 3-phase AC induction motor and 290 nickel-hydride batteries, Atkinson’s “Raptor” reaches 0-60 mph in 8 seconds, with a top speed of 100 mph. Maximum range is about 80 miles, with a full recharge taking just 3 hours. That is much less time spent recharging than most other production electric cars can boast.”Of course, this is a kit car, and it doesn’t have the same rigorous crash test standards and other cars have. But, even at $85,000, the Electric Raptor still costs less than current incarnations of similar cars that are all-electric. But what if it were mass-produced? If car companies could figure out how to build the kinds of all-electric cars that people would want to drive, for a price that they could afford, we’d be much further down the road to independence from fossil fuels.Assuming we could switch our grid to rely more on renewables, of course. No matter how cool the car is, if you have to charge it using coal or oil generated electricity, it’s still not as earth-friendly as it could be.© 2009 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — A 20-day expedition aiming to create a virtual 3-D map of the R.M.S. Titanic wreck site is about to leave St. Johns in Newfoundland carrying the latest technologies and dozens of scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Waitt Institute, and other scientific institutions. The expected result of the project, named “Expedition Titanic” will be the most precise 3-D images ever recorded of the Titanic site, and a virtual model that everyone will be able to explore. The group will use advanced sonar, robotics, 3-D high resolution/high definition cameras and acoustic imaging technologies to build a three-dimensional map that will eventually be made available online on the already amazing Expedition Titanic website, allowing anyone to explore the wreck from the comfort of home. Woods Hole scientist and director of special operations, David Gallo, said it would be the first archaeological site map of the wreck, and will be the first time a 3-D model has ever been attempted of such a large, irregularly shaped object in such deep water. Previous trips to the wreck site have been mainly for adventure, exploration, or attempts to find and remove artefacts.The Titanic sank on its maiden voyage in April 1912, but the wreck site was only located in 1985 by scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and so far only around half the site (or less) has been fully surveyed. The three by five kilometer (2 x 3 mile) debris field lies in the North Atlantic ocean at a depth of 3.82 km (about 2.4 miles). Salvage rights are owned by Atlanta-based company RMS Titanic Inc., which is funding the 3-D mapping expedition. Physically raising the Titanic would probably be cost-prohibitive, and given the fragile nature of the deteriorating ship remnants, would almost certainly be impossible. Expedition Titanic is an effort to “raise” the Titanic in the virtual world instead.Gallo said the expedition would record images of the wreck site using 3-D cameras on remotely operated and autonomous underwater vehicles. Among these will be WHOI’s own Remote Environmental Measuring Units (REMUS), which are unmanned vehicles that travel in a set pattern collecting data. Sonar points will be set up at around 30 locations around the bow to take an “acoustic snapshot” at each point. Other goals of the project are to establish a model for the management of shipwrecks in deep water to help in their preservation and to study the deterioration of the Titanic continuing as microbes gradually transform the steel into “rusticles”. Citation: Expedition Titanic gets underway (2010, August 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-08-titanic-underway.html Explore further New Titanic expedition will create 3D map of wreckcenter_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com 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. More information: www.expeditiontitanic.comlast_img read more

first_img © 2013 Phys.org According to the ad, the Senior Director of Industrial Design will define and execute design strategies for wearable devices. The organization is asking for at least seven years or more in a senior position of industrial design and a show of fifteen years’ experience “in design of tech, consumer product and/or apparel.” A Bachelors in design is required, and the ad also lists “postgraduate in related field.” The company said its ambition is to make Motorola a recognized leader in the design of all things mobile. “We will do this by creating product experiences that are lead [sic] by consumer insight and intuition, keen design sensibility and cutting edge technologies. We want our products and brand to be experienced and loved by millions of people worldwide. We want to create the new Motorola.”The “new Motorola” was the mantra last month, too, at the startup conference Techweek. The Motorola Mobility tech lead, Rachid Alameh, talked about wearables at the center of innovation and Jim Wicks, senior vice president of consumer experience design, spoke about Motorola Mobility reshaping itself to make mobile products with a difference. Wicks predicted that users will no longer be “hunched” over mobile devices, a clear indication that they will explore products that users can wear. Whoever gets the job will no doubt be encouraged to go forth and champion innovation, encouragement not only by Wicks but by ex-DARPA director Regina Dugan, who is now Motorola Mobility head of the Advanced Technology and Research Group.Dugan spoke about wearables and bolder directions in wearables when she was on stage at the All Things Digital Conference in May. She revealed an electronic “tattoo” on her arm that she said was being explored as a patch which people could use as wearable body authentication. She said it was high time for a new path to authentication. “After 40 years of advances in computation, we’re still authenticating basically the same way we did years ago.”She also displayed a concept of a daily vitamin pill used as wearable body authentication. In this instance, the person, she said, would ingest a pill with a small chip inside it with a switch. Motorola Mobility, which Google acquired in 2012 for $12.5 billion, is doing a serious talent search for a newly minted “Senior Director Industrial Design-Wearables,” according to a recent job posting that lists Chicago as the job locale. It is not only job news but tech news, as a sideshow peek at what Motorola Mobility has in mind as it faces its highly competitive future. In short, Motorola Mobility is attempting to beef up a we-are-number-one, world class design group for computer wearables. The job posting said Motorola Mobility is looking for the right candidate who can “provide strategic leadership, champion innovation and institute best practices to create a new world-class wearable’s design group within Motorola.” The new hire will have someone to watch over him or her, as the new hire will report to the Senior Vice President of CXD, which is Motorola lingo for Consumer Experience Design. Citation: Google-owned Motorola Mobility on job hunt for wearables director (2013, July 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-07-google-owned-motorola-mobility-job-wearables.html Explore further With new logo and focus, Motorola touts latest phone at Techweek 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

first_imgTwitter followers versus number of scientific citations for a sort-of-random sample of researcher tweeters. Red crosses represent female tweeters and blue crosses represent male tweeters. The black trendline describes the best fit to the data. Those individuals with a highly overinflated number of followers (when compared with the number predicted by the trendline) are highlighted by the area labeled Kardashians. Credit: Hall , Genome Biology 2014 15:424 doi:10.1186/s13059-014-0424-0 Citation: Tongue-in-cheek ‘Kardashian-index’ raises awareness of cult of celebrity in sciences (2014, August 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-08-tongue-in-cheek-kardashian-index-awareness-cult-celebrity.html How science can beat the flawed metric that rules it 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. (Phys.org) —Neil Hall, a genomics professor with the University of Liverpool, has kicked up a bit of an Internet storm. He’s written a paper and has had it published in the journal Genome Biology, suggesting (with tongue firmly in cheek) that some scientists are getting more attention than they deserve, due to their heightened social standing. He’s even come up with a way to measure it, his so-called “Kardashian-index” or more simply, K-index—it’s derived by noting how many people are following the scientist on Twitter and then dividing that number by followers the scientist probably should have due to papers written and associated citations for it, i.e. proof of actual work done.center_img The index is named after Kim Kardashian (and her family) of course, who have become famous for being famous—they don’t actually do anything. And that’s the point of Hall’s paper—is the scientific community in danger of being overrun by scientists who make a lot of noise in the social media world, but do very little actual scientific work? Hall notes that there seems to be times when scientists are asked to give talks at conferences based more on their social standing than on work they have actually done. This begs the question, are scientists (regardless of field) just as susceptible to the cult of celebrity as everyone else and if so, is it harming science?Hall’s K-index isn’t going to help answer such questions, after all, a high index could mean that a scientist simply has an engaging social presence that has nothing to do with his or her professional life or accomplishments. But even that fact gives cause for wonder—if a scientist becomes famous among non-scientists (despite having done very little actual science) and is trotted out on talk shows and is proclaimed a prominent expert in their field, what impact does that have on non-scientists watching? Is it possible we could see scientists who become the academic world’s version of pop singers who succeed due to their media presence rather than their (auto tuned) talent? It’s hard to say of course, though not impossible to imagine.Hall also notes something very serious he came across in his research, the lack of female scientists with a strong social presence—it’s all related to a long history of women scientists being ignored by the scientific community, he bemoans, listing multiple examples of women that have been ignored by not only those in their field, but the general populace. Let’s hope a high K-index isn’t the fix. More information: The Kardashian index: a measure of discrepant social media profile for scientists, Genome Biology 2014, 15:424 DOI: 10.1186/s13059-014-0424-0 , http://genomebiology.com/2014/15/7/424AbstractIn the era of social media there are now many different ways that a scientist can build their public profile; the publication of high-quality scientific papers being just one. While social media is a valuable tool for outreach and the sharing of ideas, there is a danger that this form of communication is gaining too high a value and that we are losing sight of key metrics of scientific value, such as citation indices. To help quantify this, I propose the ‘Kardashian Index’, a measure of discrepancy between a scientist’s social media profile and publication record based on the direct comparison of numbers of citations and Twitter followers. Journal information: Genome Biology © 2014 Phys.orglast_img read more

first_img Spider walks like an ant and raises front legs to mimic ant antenna Explore further A trio of researchers from Switzerland and the U.S. has found documented evidence of tiny regal jumping spiders killing and eating much larger frogs and lizards. In their paper published in Journal of Arachnology, Martin Nyffeler, with the University of Basel, G. B. Edwards with Florida State Collection of Arthropods and Kenneth Krysko with the University of Florida, describe their findings. Scientists and everyday people have seen multiple examples of frogs, lizards and other creatures dining on small spiders, but more rare is when the reverse happens. In this new effort, the researchers report on evidence they have uncovered of the tiny, one-inch-long regal jumping spider killing and eating frogs and lizards that are much larger than they are. Notably, despite its tiny size, the regal is actually one of the largest of the jumping spiders.The study began as the researchers exchanged anecdotal evidence of tiny spiders feasting on various vertebrate. Intrigued, they began conducting queries using several Google tools: Search, Books, Scholar and Pictures. They also did searches on the Scopus database and Thomson Reuters. These searches resulted in the discovery of six reports (and pictures) of tiny regal jumping spiders killing and consuming frogs and lizards. The pictures showed the one-inch spiders dining on Cuban frogs that were one to 1.5 times their own size, and lizards such as the Carolina anole that were 1.5 to 2.5 times their own size. The tiny spiders do not have to engage in battles with their prey; instead, they simply inject them with venom and then wait for them to die. The paper offers the first documented case of jumping spiders killing and eating vertebrates.The researchers note that regal jumping spiders, which live in Florida, belong to a group known as generalist predators. They do not have a primary food source. Instead, they are opportunists, killing whatever happens to cross their path. Prior research has already shown that the spiders have excellent eyesight, allowing them to spot prey and assess the chances of being able to kill and eat it before they take action. Credit: Journal of Arachnology (2017). DOI: 10.1636/JoA-17-011.1 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. More information: Martin Nyffeler et al. A vertebrate-eating jumping spider (Araneae: Salticidae) from Florida, USA, Journal of Arachnology (2017). DOI: 10.1636/JoA-17-011.1 Citation: Tiny jumping spiders found preying on frogs and lizards (2017, August 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-08-tiny-spiders-preying-frogs-lizards.html © 2017 Phys.orglast_img read more

first_imgWhen I was in 6th standard, I had flunked in class. I am appearing for my boards next year and my parents are extremely worried. They are constantly poking me and making me more nervous each day. What can I do?Vickey, South DelhiProbably the past is the reason why they are getting extra hyper. They are concerned too. But, you need to focus on your studies and forget everything about the surrounding. Do you have earplugs/ earphones? Just use them. Don’t let any external pressure pull your spirit down. We all have our lows and highs and it is just a matter of a few more months for situations to fall into place. Be patient, confident and concentrate on your exams. Don’t argue with your parents, ignore peacefully. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’During my pregnancy my cousin sister lived with us. My baby is five-month old and of late I have discovered that my husband is having an affair with her! I’m shattered, what should I do? Should I divorce him?Dolly, NasikIs this your suspicion or are you sure? Did you confront with either of them already? I am really sorry reading about this. But it is found that physical relationship during partner’s pregnancy is a very common thing. Unfortunate but true, men surely have this tendency. Firstly, please don’t hurt yourself. You have the biggest responsibility of the new born, take due care of the baby and of yourself. For the time being you can shift address and live with your parents/ relatives. Let your husband understand his mistake. If things go good, it’s fine. If not, seek legal help and sort life out. Nothing is permanent and this phase will go. Best wishes. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixI’m  a 38-year-old executive. My wife is a 34-year-old homemaker. We never fight, and in many ways we are compatible, but not when it comes to sex. How can we improve our sex life?Name unknownCouples end up in sexually unfulfilling marriages for a variety of reasons. Men may become more sexually assertive if they feel more in control, and women may feel more desire for a mate with newfound machismo.   I suggest, start a date where the man chooses everything – your clothes, the restaurant, the food – as a starting point. Talk about it: Couples also benefit from simply communicating with their partners about what they want in bed. Sometimes sexy lingerie and dinners out are no substitute for an honest conversation about sex. Get raw. Get real. Of late we are fighting too much. My husband runs his own business and hardly spends time with the family. I feel the relationship is suffering a lot because of his negligence. How can we fight less, is there any remedy?Trishna, AgraSome couples like to handle problems directly, and if each of the two people are this way, then they may resolve their problems more quickly and with less bitterness if they approach them head on. So it is always better to have a fight and sort out rather than bottling things up! Love more and I’m sure, you will fight less. Good Luck! Have a love or life query you cannot find an answer to?  Send your questions to –  roopshashotm@gmail.comlast_img read more

first_imgThe first day of the festival saw a large number of visitors pouring in with huge excitement. This year’s theme for the festival was Landscaping with Hanging Plants. One drew inspiration from the innovative opportunities provided at the festival to create a garden of one’s own dreams.Delhi Tourism has been organising this festival in association with Government of Delhi from past 27 years and drawing different yet unique themes each time. The festival brought numerous types of hanging plants that gave innovative answer to Delhi’s growing sound and air pollution. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’A painting competition was held at the festival where children from various school in junior and senior category were invited to showcase their talent. This will be followed by a magic show. Further, cultural performances by academies like Sahitya Kala Parishad, Hindi Academy and Punjabi Academy captivated the visitors.This three-day event had numerous nurseries showcasing their collection. Sapling, plants and trees are put for display and sale. Manish Sehgal from one of such nursery says, “We come to this festival for publicity. According to me Green Walls or Bio-Walls are the next upcoming thing in the industry. These are special wall structures, where plants can easily grow with added irrigation and sprinkling system.” Garden Tourism Festival is usually held every year in the month of February for a fixed number of days. It draws unique yet distinct theme each time.last_img read more

first_imgNotwithstanding a raging row over remarks crediting Pakistan for peaceful elections in the state, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed on Monday remained unfazed saying he stood by what he had said yesterday.”What I said, I stand by it,” he said after assuming office today in civil Secretariat. However, he appeared to have tempered his yesterday’s remark when he said “this voter slip has been given to us by Constitution of India. The people of state have more faith in this (right).” Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIAs Sayeed’s daughter and PDP Chief, Mehbooba Mufti stood by her father’s statement, remarking he had not said anything wrong, a group of PDP MLAs came out with a signed statement demanding that the Centre hand over the mortal remains of Guru, who was hanged and buried inside Tihar Jail in Delhi on February nine, 2013.She, however, admitted that there would be teething problems as both parties had diametrically opposite views on various issues. “We will have teething problems and everything can’t be hunky dory overnight”, she said. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindThe Government was on the backfoot in Parliament where the Opposition raked up the issue and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make a statement on the floor of the House the Centre’s stand.Home Minister Rajnath Singh distanced the government from Sayeed’s claim and said the credit for peaceful elections in the state should go to the Election Commission, people of the state, Army and the security forces.Singh said he wanted to make it clear that “the government and my party (BJP) fully disassociate themselves” from the remarks made by Sayeed. Not satisfied with Singh’s reply, the Congress walked out of the Lok Sabha saying only the Prime Minister’s clarification would matter.Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge said since the Prime Minister was told by Sayeed that he feels that the credit should go to Hurriyat, militants and Pakistan for smooth conduct of J and K assembly polls, Modi should make a statement. “Only PM can explain,” he said.To add to PDP’s discomfort, party MP and senior leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig felt the coalition government has not made a promising beginning with controversy erupting due to statements on both sides.He said that he would have preferred a clear cut statement on part of the two parties in their Common Minimum Programme (CMP) about talks with Pakistan and Hurriyat and revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act.””Let people decide whether the clauses in CMP on these issues are clear cut or whether they are capable of two different meanings, one that suits BJP and another that suits PDP. I would have preferred a clearcut statement and more clarity on these issues,” he told PTI here.Baig said that coalition government should be based on a “good faith agreement and not on compromise”.Ram Madhav, who was BJP’s key negotiator for the alliance with PDP, also disagreed with Sayeed’s comments “we attribute it (smooth polls) to three factors, the people of state, security agencies and the election commission.”Former Chief Minister and Working President of National Conference Omar Abdullah wondered whether Sayeed and his daughter were trying to break the alliance with their remarks on credit to Pakistan.”Has Mufti decided the Modi-Mufti accord was a mistake? Are the Father-Daughter duo trying to force BJP to break off the alliance? #wondering,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.last_img read more

first_imgTamil Nadu on Sunday reiterated its demand to authorise the use of Tamil language in the Madras High Court and urged the Centre to reconsider its stand on the issue.Speaking at the joint conference of chief ministers and chief justices of high courts, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said the independence and the image of the judiciary should always be upheld by providing necessary infrastructure and ensuring a conducive environment.“If we are to take the administration of justice genuinely closer to the people, it is absolutely imperative that the local language is used in the High Court, as is already being done in the state government and in the state Legislature. Our government urges the Government of India and the Supreme Court to reconsider their stand in this matter and fulfil the long-standing aspiration and demand of the state to authorise the use of Tamil in the High Court of Madras,” he said.last_img read more

first_imgThe Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least four children were among the dead in regime strikes on the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region, where some 120 people were also injured.The death toll was likely to rise further, it said.The air raids hit the towns of Douma, Saqba, Kafr Batna and Hammouriyeh in the rebel stronghold region outside the capital. An AFP photographer in Douma saw more than a dozen bodies in makeshift plastic shrouds in a field hospital where medical workers struggled to aid the wounded. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortElsewhere, he also saw two plastic shrouds opened at the top to reveal the faces of two children, their skin yellow and blood-speckled.Inside a clinic, a young boy wept and hugged his legs — one roughly bandaged — as he sat on a blood-smeared floor next to other injured residents.The strikes came as rebels fired dozens of rockets into Damascus.The Observatory, without specifying whether the raids or attack on Damascus came first, said at least 13 people, among them 10 civilians, were killed as a barrage of more than 50 rockets slammed into Damascus. It said another 60 people were wounded. Also Read – Pakistan Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanSyria’s state news agency SANA, citing a police source, put the toll at five dead with 55 others injured “most of them children and women.” Rebels often fire into the Syrian capital from rear bases on the outskirts of Damascus, including at times barrages of hundreds of missiles.Rights groups have condemned indiscriminate rebel rocket fire into the capital as amounting to war crimes.The government, for its part, regularly carries out air strikes against rebel-held areas on the outskirts of Damascus, particularly Eastern Ghouta which is also under regime siege.Today, Amnesty International accused the government of war crimes against Eastern Ghouta residents, saying heavy aerial bombardment was compounding misery created by the blockade.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Pallab Kanti Ghosh, a member of the Special Investigation Team formed by the West Bengal government to probe the 2013 Saradha money laundering scam, appeared before the CBI Wednesday. Ghosh, a retired IPS officer, arrived at the CBI office at Salt Lake for interrogation. The central agency wrote a letter to the West Bengal director general of police on August 18 for a meeting with the SIT members between August 21 and 25. “We want to proceed with (investigation into) the Saradha scam for which the CBI sought a meeting with the members of the SIT,” an agency spokesperson said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life He said the purpose of the meeting is to plug gaps hampering the investigation. The West Bengal government had formed the SIT in 2013 with officers drawn from the state’s CID and Kolkata Police. The Supreme Court ordered a probe into the multi-crore-rupee Saradha scam and transferred the case to CBI in 2014. Thousands of investors were left in the lurch by the scam and it led to the arrest of many leaders and ministers of the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress. All of them are now out on bail. Saradha group founder Sudipta Sen and his associate Debjani Mukherjee, arrested in 2013 from Kashmir, are in custody.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: NITI Aayog’s additional secretary Yaduvendra Mathur said on Friday that the model Agricultural Land Leasing Act proposed by the Aayog, has not found the desired number of takers across the state governments in the country.According to him, a handful of states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have moved towards the model. Rajasthan, however, is yet to extend the scope of the act to farmers. “The model land lease law was circulated to the state governments in 2016. But very few states are moving towards the model. It is a state subject,” Mathur said on the sidelines of a seminar organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Agricultural Land Leasing Act is aimed at better utilisation of assets along with improved credit flow to farmers. “We have written to Chief Secretaries of various states regarding this,” he added. It may be mentioned that the Niti Aayog had released the Model Agricultural Land Leasing Act, 2016, seeking to permit and facilitate leasing of agricultural land to improve access to land by the landless and marginal farmers. “The law should be strong. If any farmer wants to give his land on rent to neighbouring farmers or even his brothers, it should be allowed. In our country, it is not happening because we are not following a model land leasing law. Only yesterday, we wrote to Chief Secretaries of the states to take it up with the Chief Ministers and move towards the model land leasing law,” he maintained. He claimed that some of the states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana have amended the law. According to Mathur, a percentage of the CSR money allocated by corporates has to go deeper into the granular problems of health and education of the people around, since people are at the core of the planet. Only that can lead to holistic development, he feels.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: The Bengal government is going to drop the upper age limit for the elderly citizens from 65 to 60 who are availing the property tax exemption up to 10 percent in various municipalities and Corporation areas.The West Bengal Municipal (second Amendment) Bill, 2018 was passed in the Assembly on Monday allowing the civic bodies to extend the exemption to the elderly citizens. Earlier, the state government had brought in some changes in the law to remove the financial burden on them. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeUrban Development and Municipality Affairs department will also formulate certain norms to ensure that municipalities do not collect mutation and development fees arbitrarily from the people. The department had earlier received some complaints saying that several municipalities were imposing development fees of huge sums. The department will prescribe the amount of fees for the transfer of land, building or apartment. “Through this Amendment, the state government would make uniformity in the development fees so that no civic body can collect development fees arbitrarily,” Firhad Hakim, Urban Development and Municipality Affairs told the Assembly. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe new Amendment will also empower the civic bodies to raise the amount of fine for those who often throw garbage or any other solid waste on roads. All the municipalities or Corporations will be asked to strengthen vigilance in order to maintain cleanliness. “The Bengal government has taken up the Green City project with an aim to keep our cities clean. Even the painting of buildings in blue and white was a part of the beautification drive. But in some places, people are often found dumping their garbage on the streets causing difficulties in maintaining cleanliness. To check such incidents, the amount of fine will be increased,” Hakim said in the Assembly. One has to pay a fine of anything between Rs 500 and Rs 50,000 in various municipality or Corporation areas whereas in the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), a penalty of Rs 5,000 to 1 lakh may be imposed if they throw any solid waste on the roads flouting the norms. Earlier, the amount of fine was at Rs 50. A fine of anything between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1 lakh would also be imposed on people for their failure to take measures for the prevention of mosquito breeding and spreading of vector-borne diseases. People are often reluctant in complying with the norms laid down by the civic body to check the spread of such diseases. Even the municipality workers sometimes are not allowed to enter houses to carry out anti-mosquito drives. Legal steps might be taken if necessary in such cases through the new Amendment. The Bill has also been framed to ease out the banking related processes for those in various municipal areas. Earlier, transactions could not have been possible in the bank that is situated outside the jurisdiction of the municipality one stays in. There is a provision in the Amendment which will allow people to transact with the banks, both nationalised and private ones, outside the jurisdiction of the municipality. The Amendment in the Bill also empowers the West Bengal Municipal Service Commission for the selection of personnel for various civic bodies. It would also exempt property tax for running government-owned hospitals and clinics.last_img read more

first_imgConvincing a viewer to live the moments of happiness, ‘Exploring Lines’ attempts to reflect three experiential journeys of three distinct contemporary artists in shared space and time. Featuring works on paper and canvas expressed sensitively, exploring various media like charcoal, graphite, ink, oil and acrylics, the exhibition will compel one to see the beauty of life with a unique prism and step out of the indolence.The show attempts to perceive beyond the tangible and extract the finite out of the finite. The intent of the show is to present art that is cathartic and vivid, compelling the viewer to connect with the subtle imagery. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThoughts and emotions wander onto the surface in the form of meandering lines, both bold yet delicate, conveying sensitivity, confidence and dynamism. Literally and metaphorically, the ‘line’ serves as the artists’ fingerprint and tool for conveying feelings of space, form and expression.In her charcoal and graphite drawings, artist Gitanjali Kashyap uses the subtle symmetry generated by rhythmic movements in creation. Artist Neeraja Divate’s works are based on the underlying philosophy “Details create the big picture”. The work is textured as a result of pressed effect on an empty space in a determined direction with delicate strokes that bring to the forefront the concealed layers of one’s personality. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveContinuing on the same lines of thought, artist Ritu Mehra creates a textured surface on canvas, often with lines and marks that symbolize the infinite casual connections that make the microcosm of life. In a world where many artists think abstraction is only about colour and intensity of line, these three artists present deep dialogues into the dictates of abstraction’s inner realms. This is why texture is indeed vital and deeply fundamental to their act of creation.last_img read more

first_imgThis year marks the relaunch of Shakti Books, a series which focuses on the ‘invisible’, the ‘unspoken’ and the ‘new’ within the field of gender studies. An imprint of Har-Anand Publications, this series seeks to analyse the patriarchal structures and strives to engage with history, culture, socio-economic order and the political nuances of the same.The range of issues that this series covers include class, caste, religion, race, ethnicity, region, language, age, desire, and sexuality and their intersecting and overlapping concerns with gender. It also focuses on women of today, both in the urban and rural context, who are aspirational and building on the gains of a sustained women’s movement in India. It undertakes to sensitize its readers, unravel the nuances of gender as well as encourages them to take part in this conversation. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfShakti Books has been the first series to consider and address these critical connections and provide a wide platform to a range of young authors and scholars in order to bring forward their writings on gender issues. It reiterates the indispensability of gender equality and focuses on certain aspects of the complexity of gender through an incisive analysis of the same.The first book to come out upon the relaunch of this series is “Sex-Selective Abortion and the State” by Bijayalaxmi Nanda, which critically examines the policies, programmes, laws and schemes that have been unfurled by the state to improve the situation. From the value of the girl-child and sex-selective abortion to the role of feminist, this book is an incisive analysis of the countering of gender discrimination by the Indian State. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveNanda, who is the General Editor of the series as well as a lecturer at Miranda House examines issues pertaining to gender and its overlapping and inter-sectional concerns and contexts. It contextualises the debate, developments and disagreements that exist in the field by using a feminist theoretical lens.Well-documented, with in-depth empirical and qualitative research, a rich theoretical framework and concrete recommendations, this book has significant policy implications. The state and society in India today are grappling with the issue of sex-selective abortion and the concerns of the girl-child and women while systematic solutions continue to elude them. It will thus be of great interest to policy-makers, implementers and academia. It will also be of interest to scholars, students, media-persons and practitioners who study, work, write and are interested to initiate change in this field.last_img read more

first_imgA breathlessness that has nothing to do with the film’s two chief architects being over 80, defines the narrative momentum of “All The Money In The World”, an uplifting, sometimes sickening saga of greed and lust for power and money, not necessarily in that order. We all know how Christopher Plummer overnight replaced the disgraced Kevin Spacey in the role of J Paul Getty, the American billionaire known to be notoriously miserly even when his own grandson was kidnapped. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe morality tale sucks us into its vortex of avarice and retribution with such virile fluency that we never notice how deviously the narrative flirts with our sense of moral propriety. Is the film laughing at the twisted morality of ‘billionaire-ship’ when Getty refuses to pay up a hefty ransom to get his grandson back arguing that once he pays, all his other grandchildren’s safety would compromised? Or is the narrative mocking the desperate anguish of the kidnapped boy’s mother, played with ravishing restrain by Michelle Williams? Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveI would have looked a more confrontational screenplay pitching Plummer and his screen-bahu Williams. But we are denied the pleasure of high drama for something far more disturbing: a film that questions not limitless wealth but our judgment of the power and danger that such wealth brings.Take it as you wish. But finally this is a film that pays a winking homage to the veteran Christopher Plummer’s propensity to project moral ambivalence without letting his performance dither or wobble for even a second. Watching Plummer own every second of his playing time appropriated from Kevin Spacey, all we can say is, what a journey it has been from the sonorous “The Sound Of Music” to the vulgar sound of money. Plummer’s character and the way he shuns negotiation with the kidnappers, initially reminded me of Dilip Kumar in Ramesh Sippy’s “Shakti” who had refused to negotiate with his little son’s kidnappers.That boy had grown up to be a smouldering Amitabh Bachchan. I can envisage a similar seething destiny for young Charlie Plummer if the film allows his character the luxury of a sequel.Take a bow, Mr Plummer. And you too, Ridley Scott.At 80, Scott directs this kidnapping tale with a swishing delight, hunting down the plot’s moral centre without compromising on the quotient of fun that the characters have in getting here. Barring Mark Wahlberg whose role as a ransom negotiator remains, perhaps by its very definition, ill-defined every actor from the senior Plummer to the junior Plummer (Charlie who plays Getty’s kidnapped grandson) seems to get the point that the plot makes about obscene wealth: it kills the conscience.It can also kill your loved ones in more obvious ways.Either way, Christopher Plummer’s Getty remains unmoved. Wealth has deprived Getty of feeling real emotions. Plummer expresses the dryness of affluence.”All The Money In The World” shows us how absolute power corrupts absolutely and often that power comes from limitless wealth.last_img read more

first_imgRegular exercise for a lifetime can slow down the ageing process and help in keeping the body active, a study claims. Researchers assessed the health of older adults who had exercised most of their adult lives to see if this could slow down ageing.”We now have strong evidence that encouraging people to commit to regular exercise throughout their lives is a viable solution to the problem that we are living longer but not healthier,” said Janet Lord from the University of Birmingham in the UK. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFor the study, published in the journal Ageing Cell, the researchers recruited 125 amateur cyclists aged 55 to 79, 84 of which were male and 41 were female.The men had to be able to cycle 100 kilometres in under 6.5 hours, while the women had to be able to cycle 60 kilometres in 5.5 hours.Smokers, heavy drinkers and those with high blood pressure or other health conditions were excluded from the study.The participants underwent a series of tests in the laboratory and were compared to a group of adults who do not partake in regular physical activity. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThis group consisted of 75 healthy people aged 57 to 80 and 55 healthy young adults aged 20 to 36.The study showed that loss of muscle mass and strength did not occur in those who exercise regularly.The cyclists also did not increase their body fat or cholesterol levels with age and the men’s testosterone levels also remained high, suggesting that they may have avoided most of the male menopause.The study also revealed that the benefits of exercise extend beyond muscle as the cyclists also had an immune system that did not seem to have aged either.An organ called the thymus, which makes immune cells called T cells, starts to shrink from the age of 20 and makes less T cells. In this study, however, the cyclists’ thymuses were making as many T cells as those of a young person.last_img read more

first_img“I tried so hard..and got so far…but in the end…it doesn’t even matter…I had to fall…to lose it all…but in the end..it doesn’t even matter” – lyrics of the song ‘In the end’ by “Linkin Park” became the fate of the lead singer – Chester Bennington.Devastated on losing his best friend Chris Cornell a few months back, Chester himself committed suicide on July 20, 2017. The world witnessed how Chester, commented on his friend’s death in May (2 months before he hung himself), that he cannot imagine a world without Cornell. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe link of his death with Cornell’s death can be joined with the fact that the singer was very emotional when the band performed ‘One more light’ in his late friend’s honour on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Mike Shinoda once told, “He could not finish singing the song and started getting choked up during both the rehearsal and at the live performance setting.” Many hearts were broken and the music industry was shattered by this unexpected loss. But as it is said that “life goes on”, the band revived with ‘Looking for an answer’ after the lead singer’s death. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveMusic has never known any boundaries. Art always finds its way to those who value it. On his death anniversary, we have some heart-touching thoughts by Indian fans of Linkin Park: Satyam Singhal, a software engineer and a disheartened fan of the band who grew up listening to the band, says, “It feels like a void in my life. A void which can never be filled. I mean, I’ve got the majority of Linkin Park’s music memorized but knowing that the voice, the mind behind it is no more. It’s painful.” On the other hand, talking about how the band and the lead singer helped in shaping an interest in English music, Manan Chopra, content writer tells, “I miss his mind. If you dive into their music, you’ll realize the lyrics Chester wrote have got such immense depth, be it crawling or breaking the habit or majority’s first English song ‘Numb’ … It is as pure as art should be.” Fans described their star who is shining in the sky from past one year as “a troubled soul”– they say that’s the perfect word for a person who had a family, friends in the form of bandmates and millions of fans – yet committed suicide on his best friend’s birthday. Revealing his favourite songs and how the band has changed since Chester’s death, a 21-year-old student, Kartik Arora says, “It is difficult to choose one song among so many which the band has offered us. I really like ‘Iridescent’, ‘Somewhere I Belong,’ ‘Shadow of the day’…to name a few. Chester was the first English music artist I ever listened to.. so, listening since 2009 makes me miss him..” Pallavi Sethi, coming from a corporate background was only familiar with Linkin Park among all the existing bands and she believes that after the singer’s death, music has changed quite a lot. Giving an example, she highlights how Mike Shinoda came up with his album ‘Post Traumatic’, that talks about how things like depression and losing people hurt and affect their close ones. Some fans are still in the trauma of losing Chester – an introduction to the world of ‘rock’. Sharing his childhood memories associated with the band and their songs, Anoop Kumar, Assistant manager-product operations, Shiksha, reveals that Chester/Linkin Park introduced him to the world of rock music. Till then, he didn’t really know how rock or metal can also be used to express the basic things in life and not just the rebellious parts. “Chester/LP actually gave words to most of the things that I or most of us go through at the advent of puberty. These lyrics gave words to our feelings. Chester’s sudden demise actually felt like a big loss from my childhood memories. Maybe like a huge chunk of memories being ripped off before I was even ready,” he adds.last_img read more

first_imgStep away from boring checks and stripes, and add a bit of funk to your wardrobe for office.Experts tell how: Start stacking your wardrobe with shirts in traditional colours varying from white and light blue to navy, black, and grey. But don’t forget the alternatives like light pink, mint green or lavender for a fresh look. Try some subtle patterns like gingham, checks or pinstripes but avoid shirts that are too bold in design. Don’t forget to tuck your shirt. And unless you are wearing a tie, leave your top button undone. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfMake sure your pants fit well and don’t crease too much around the ankles. Straight fit and slim fit are the top trending styles this season.The first impression of a gentleman is clean, smart and a suitable pair of shoes. The recent trends have added white to the list though it is a bit uncommon. Right from derbies to loafers and boat shoes, you can a variety to choose from still oxford rules the shoe world.Navy or grey blazers, tweed sports coats, and corduroy jackets are the basics to gear you up for office. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSweaters and cardigans also make fine layering pieces for a business-casual outfit. Keep your sweater or cardigan lightweight and solid. Leave the chunky knits and bold patterns for more casual occasions and make a statement with bold colours like yellow and red this season.To dress business casual, choose an outfit that is professional without seeming overly formal. Well tailored jackets with slight detailing. Too much detail (pockets, cuffs and seams) could make you look very casual.Complete your look with a casual blazer. Go for textures. Add a classic tweed jacket over a classic baby pink tailored shirt and chinos. Polos are trending in too with blazers.Lastly, when it comes to accessories, less is more. Try to accessorise the look with a scarf.last_img read more

first_imgIt sounds like the perfect 1960’s fever-dream house: a multilevel dwelling set in a giant rock hole in a massive stone arch overlooking the clear blue Caribbean Sea on the island of Bequia, the largest of the Grenadines, through which an inhabitant could sometimes view the rising moon. Even its name was evocative of the era: Moonhole. The fantasy house was the work of a pair of escapees from the advertising industry, where they had lucrative jobs. Thomas and Gladys Johnston decamped from Chicago and New York to the seven-mile-square island when he was in his 50s and she in her 40s.“Tom is always full of surprises,” Gladys Johnston told the New York Times in 1975. “Moonhole was one of the biggest.”When the couple arrived in the early 1960s, they got to know the lay of the land by managing a small hotel for $60 a month and meals. Thomas was on a walk one day when he discovered the area he would call Moonhole. “I walked and crawled through the briars for two and a half hours and decided I had to have it,” he told the New York Times.He returned with Gladys for afternoon picnics. It took him a while to convince his dubious wife, but eventually, they bought the natural formation along with 30 surrounding acres for less than $15,000.stone patio at moonholeTom Johnston had no formal training as an architect. He’d managed to talk his way into Princeton but hadn’t come away with a degree. But the former advertising executive was able to talk pretty much anybody into anything—including a skeptical wife, not to mention the incredulous locals.Tom believed that a house should be designed so its occupants could look and live outward. And so, local builders reinforced concrete slabs with iron bars to construct a series of rock and concrete chambers connected by stone catwalks and raised platforms, some of them without roofs, around trees and outcroppings. “Windows” were of many sizes; floors were uneven. The natural rock walls twisted and bulged. Whale bones formed frame bars, chairs, and coffee tables. Anchor chain served as railing; masts and hatch covers as beams and doors.Abandoned Art Colony at Adams Bay on thge island of Bequia, Grenadines.  The arch is also referred to as MoonholeLocals watched the construction with mocking disbelief that transformed along with the landscape into admiring envy. “Before I couldn’t believe anyone would live there,” a fisherman told the New York Times in 1975. “Now I wish I could afford it.”Needless to say, there was no electricity or running water, unless you count the ocean outside the door. Rainwater that collected off pitched walls and floors into cisterns was used for drinking and bathing. The only way to reach the structure was by boat or a hilly hike. Food and drink were kept cool in propane-operated refrigerators. Gladys even had a second-hand piano lugged in. Eventually, 16 separate structures were constructed on the site.Abandoned Art Colony at Adams Bay on the island of Bequia, Grenadines. Unique tourist destination built in the 60’s, The arch is also refered to as Moonhole“People think they’re old ruins,” Tom’s father, Jim Johnston, told the New York Times in 2004. “But they just look that way.”Moonhole wasn’t free of hazards. Gladys was on a balcony one day when two boulders came crashing down off the cliffside. She was unhurt, but the structure had to undergo repairs. Thankful for the continued workmanship of local skilled laborers, Tom and Gladys set up Moonhole Friends to provide assistance for medical and educational expenses.MoonholeTom Johnston died in 2001, and left his trust in Moonhole Company Limited. Without his force-of-nature personality, the eco-paradise fell into disuse and disarray. Legal battles over ownership and upkeep ensued.Related story from us: An Italian duke created the Park of Monsters, filled with stone creatures, as a way of coping with his wife’s deathToday, Moonhole is a private nature reserve. The original Moonhole house is uninhabitable and can be viewed only from the sea. But eight of the original houses have been rehabilitated and are available as weekly, monthly, or seasonal rentals, complete with a dedicated housekeeper and cook. And of course, there’s always the sound of the crashing ocean and the chance of seeing a rising moon.last_img read more