Gravity might amplify quantum fluctuations create astrophysical objects

first_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — In a new study, physicists have proposed that gravity could trigger a runaway effect in quantum fluctuations, causing them to grow so large that the quantum field’s vacuum energy density could dominate its classical energy density. This vacuum-dominance effect, which emerges under some specific but reasonable conditions, contrasts with the widely held belief that the influence of gravity on quantum phenomena should be small and subdominant. Digital Quantum Battery Could Boost Energy Density Tenfold Daniel Vanzella and William Lima of the University of São Paulo in Brazil have suggested the new idea in a study published in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters. The concept is based on the idea that virtual particles are continually popping into and out of existence in empty space. Vanzella and Lima propose that a powerful gravitational field – such as one that exists near a neutron star – could create a region of many virtual particles densely packed together. The energy density of the virtual particles might grow to become even larger than the energy of the neutron star, or other object that generated the gravitational field. At this size, the vacuum energy of the quantum field could possibly influence astrophysical processes. For example, it could play a role in the collapse of neutron stars which would lead to the formation of black holes, or in structure formation during cosmological expansion.If the vacuum-dominance effect exists and is strong enough to have such consequences, scientists will still have to discover a new kind of quantum field that would react to gravity in this way, since none of the quantum fields based on known forces could induce these effects. Still, the physicists note that the possibility of vacuum dominance itself is surprising to discover within “a simple and classically well-behaved situation.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Citation: Gravity might amplify quantum fluctuations, create astrophysical objects (2010, May 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-05-gravity-amplify-quantum-fluctuations-astrophysical.html More information: Daniel Vanzella and William Lima. “Gravity-Induced Vacuum Dominance.” Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 161102 (2010). Doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.161102. Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Web abuzz with claims that Hubble sought to censor Lemaitres paper

first_imgEdwin Hubble (PhysOrg.com) — In one of those odd scientific debates where people who ought to know better, speak up, and in this case, print articles on arXiv, making claims about personal issues rather than science, buzz has been created that might lead to little more than rhetoric. In this case, it’s first Sidney van den Bergh, a Canadian astronomer, who has published a paper on arXiv citing evidence that Belgian astronomer Georges Lemaitre’s paper on cosmological observations appeared to have been intentionally censored when translated into English, and then David Block, a South African mathematician and amateur historian adding fuel to the fire by publishing to the same site an article where he asserts he has proof that American, Edwin Hubble (of whom the Hubble telescope is named) was involved in a conspiracy of sorts, to censor the paper previously mentioned by van den Bergh. Block offers as proof, a letter written by Scottish astronomer William Marshall Smart (editor for MNRAS), that he says, shows that it was Lemaitre himself who performed the translation, but because Smart only asked for certain sections to be translated, the end result wound up an abbreviated version of the original. Block then goes on to say he believes it was pressure on Smart, from Hubble, that caused him to do what he did, though he offers little evidence to support such a claim.At this point, professional historians are not convinced, and so, this argument, as with many others of its kind in the science field, will likely rage on, with little gained, but perhaps something lost, as energy that could be spent on science, is wasted on meaningless squabble. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Zeroing in on Hubble’s constant Georges Lemaitre The entire argument centers on a paper first published by Lemaitre in 1927 in Belgium; written in French it wasn’t read much outside of his home country. In the paper, Lemaitre outlined his theory that the universe appeared to be expanding, and also offered a constant that could be used to determine the rate. In 1929, Hubble published a paper that offered the same theory and constant (which came to be known as the Hubble constant) and was at the time given full credit for the discovery. Later however (1931), Lemaitre’s paper was translated into English and published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS), which of course gave some credence to Lemaitre’s work, but not entirely, because it was subsequently discovered that certain sections of the original paper had been omitted, the most important of which, was the part where Lemaitre derived the constant for which Hubble was ultimately credited. Citation: Web abuzz with claims that Hubble sought to censor Lemaitre’s paper (2011, July 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-web-abuzz-hubble-sought-censor.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. More information: A Hubble Eclipse: Lemaitre and Censorship, David L. Block, arXiv:1106.3928v2 [physics.hist-ph] arxiv.org/abs/1106.3928v2AbstractOne of the greatest discoveries of modern times is that of the expanding Universe, almost invariably attributed to Hubble (1929). What is not widely known is that the original treatise by Lemaitre (1927) contained a rich fusion of both theory and of observation. The French paper was meticulously censored when printed in English – all discussions of radial velocities and distances (and the very first empirical determination of “H”) were omitted. Fascinating insights are gleaned from a letter recently found in the Lema^itre archives. An appeal is made for a Lemaitre Telescope, to honour the discoverer of the expanding universe.via Nature Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Researchers discover how bacteria can immobilize uranium

first_img Explore further © 2011 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — For several years, researchers have known that certain kinds of bacteria are able to “feed” off certain metals by either adding or removing electrons from their structure, but until now, haven’t really understood how they do it. Now, new research by Gemma Reguera and her team at Michigan State University have shown that the bacteria do so by means of protein nanowires, called pili, which are hair-like appendages with electrical conductivity. They have reported their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. More information: Extracellular reduction of uranium via Geobacter conductive pili as a protective cellular mechanism, Cologgi, et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011. dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1108616108 Making more efficient fuel cellscenter_img Citation: Researchers discover how bacteria can immobilize uranium (2011, September 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-bacteria-immobilize-uranium.html The team specifically set out to find out how a specific type of bacterium known as a Geobacter, in this case, G. sulfurreducens, are able to clean up nuclear waste left behind by the cold war in such places as Colorado mines. They, like other researchers, believed that the bacteria were able to do its work through use of pili. In order to find out for sure, they had to induce the specimens to actually grow some in the lab, something that had stumped others before them. To force them, Reguera and her team subjected G. sulfurreducens, to much more harsh conditions than had been done before, presuming that the bacteria wouldn’t resort to using its pili unless pressed. The tactic worked and the team was able to cause G. sulfurreducens to grow a mass of pili, which allowed them to study how they interacted with uranium. They found that the pili served as a buffer of sorts, protecting the cell structure of the bacterium as they also allowed for adding electrons to uranium ions which causes it to become more water soluble and thus safer to handle and clean up.The pili grow to enormous lengths (though they are very then – only a few nanometers) relative to the bacteria that produce them, forming a conductive and protective barrier that allows the bacteria to thrive in truly hostile environments.The study, part of ongoing research into so-named bioremediation; using organisms to remove unwanted substances from soil and water, adds to the growing body of knowledge that scientists hope will one day soon provide a means for dealing with a wide variety of environmental pollutants.As for Reguera and her team, they hope their research eventually leads to getting away from using biological bugs to clean up toxic environments and more towards creating tiny little programmed robots that can mimic their actions but can be more easily manipulated into doing exactly what is needed in particular circumstances. 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

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Astronomer urges researchers everywhere to study Venus transit

first_img Venus to appear in once-in-a-lifetime event Citation: Astronomer urges researchers everywhere to study Venus transit (2012, May 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-05-astronomer-urges-venus-transit.html (Phys.org) — Jay Pasachoff, Director of Hopkins Observatory, Chair of the Astronomy Department at Williams College and Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy, has written a commentary piece published in the journal Nature, urging stargazers everywhere to take advantage of the unique opportunity to study the Venus transit, which will occur June 5-6. It will be, he reminds readers, a once in a lifetime opportunity. Explore further Journal information: Nature More information: Transit of Venus: Last chance to see, Nature 485, 303–304 (17 May 2012) doi:10.1038/485303acenter_img Because of their orbits, Venus only rarely crosses the sun from an Earthly perspective. It does so in a predictable pattern though which repeats every 243 years. Each time the transits come in pairs however, separated by eight years with gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years. The last event was 1874-1882, while this one is 2004 and 2012, i.e. this year. The Venus transit occurs when Venus comes between the Earth and the sun, and is actually the same thing as a lunar eclipse, the only differences being the relative sizes of the objects and their distances from the Earth and sun.Pasachoff writes that researchers from all over the world should take advantage of the opportunity to study an event that will not occur again in our lifetime, suggesting it’s a moral obligation astrophysicists and astronomers should take seriously. One of the major benefits of studying the transit, he suggests is the opportunity to compare measurements based on one kind of event with those of another to help with calibrating both instruments and mathematical modeling. Doing so, he adds, could help researchers in the future better identify exoplanets, which of course, could lead to the discovery of life existing in places besides our home planet. One example would be carefully measuring Venus’s diameter as it crosses the sun and then comparing that with measurements taken using other methods.Making matters even more urgent is the fact that during this transit, our sun will be displaying sun spots, which Pasachoff says, allows for comparing changing light patterns of suspected exoplanets with those that occur much closer to home. One way scientists are able to identify an exoplanet is by measuring the dimming of a star as a planet passes between it and us, though sometimes other events can cause dimming as well. One of those is thought to be star flares, (akin to solar flares). By measuring the differences in amounts of light that reaches us during the Venus transit and then comparing that with the amount that reached us during the 2004 transit, which occurred during a time with no sunspots, researchers can more accurately predict whether star dimming is the result of distant transits or flaring.Pasachoff adds that regardless of area of interest, the more people studying the transit the better, in as many ways as possible, even if there doesn’t seem to be any immediate payoff. Information gathered during the transit, he points out, could very well reveal pertinent information later on. The 2004 transit of Venus. Photo taken by Jan Herold. © 2012 Phys.Org 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

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Ford explores call turnoffs for stressedout drivers

first_img(Phys.org) — No calls for you. That is the word from a new technology experiment by Ford, for stressed-out drivers who risk accidents by distractions from incoming calls, playing music, and other vehicle infotainment sources. Having to maneuver the vehicle in heavy traffic places demands on focused safe driving. Risks are compounded by distractions when coping with tricky ramp-merging scenarios or blind-spot monitoring or coping with other vehicles that are frequently changing lanes, for example. Ford this week performed a demo of its “Driver Workload Estimator” that will limit phone and text distractions when deciding that the driver’s stress levels call for safety intervention. Citation: Ford explores call turnoffs for stressed-out drivers (2012, June 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-06-ford-explores-turnoffs-stressed-out-drivers.html Overall, the detectors would be using real-time data from throttle, brakes steering wheel, and seatbelt, and meshing it with information from sensors and cameras. Ford is fundamentally working on an algorithm to create the estimator. So what good is all this monitoring, for what end? Based on the information received, the system then is designed to take steps to intervene and reduce distractions when the driver is under heavy stress. Ford says that “the car could intelligently apply the Do Not Disturb feature that is already available as part of MyFord Touch, helping the driver stay focused on the road during the high-demand situation.” Ford’s algorithm asks the question if the driver is stressed or driving into a high-stress situation. If the answer is yes, Ford says the car would trim back auxiliary systems and beef up other ones so that the driver would remain as focused as possible. The data would determine external demands placed on the driver at any time due to traffic and road conditions. Sensors would gauge physical states, such as a rise in heart rate. The car would then “intelligently” filter out incoming calls. In lighter traffic and under safer conditions, the driver would then be allowed to field calls or get texts. The technology is still in research. “With today’s ever-increasing concern about driver distraction, engineers in the Ford Research and Innovation labs are developing ways to help the driver stay focused in busy situations by intelligently managing incoming communications,” said the company. Explore further Ford’s Cloud-Connected car, the Evos Concept, to make North American debut at 2012 CEScenter_img More information: media.ford.com/article_display … cfm?article_id=36728 Outstanding features in its new foray into workload-estimating is in the range of sensors taking information from the driver’s body. There is a palm temperature sensor, heart rate monitor, and a sensor in the seatbelt to check a driver’s breathing rate. In the company’s press statement, Gary Strumolo, manager of vehicle design and infotronics, Ford Research and Innovation, said.”Biometric or health information of the driver can help us better tailor the experience when behind the wheel.” © 2012 Phys.Org 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

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Improvedyield dandelions prepped for tire production

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. Efforts to develop alternative sources of natural rubber are due to marketplace conditions where demand exceeds supply. According to estimates, demand worldwide for rubber will outstrip supply by 20 per cent in 2020. The problem is that, according to tire manufacturers, Apollo Vredestein, it is not possible to simply replace natural rubber extracted from the rubber tree with a synthetic variant.To reduce dependence on the rubber tree, alternatives are sought. At KeyGene’s special greenhouse environment, experiments are carried out in developing the dandelion to the point where it can become a rubber-source crop. This takes work. Because the dandelion’s roots are smaller than ideal for commercial rubber production, KeyGene scientists have subjected the plant to its phenotyping process. The team hopes to achieve a more useful variety with a fatter root and higher yield, to better meet the demands of industrial processing. According to reports, Apollo Vredestein has joined KeyGene in a collaborative dandelion development effort. A prototype tire has already been produced. “Although first impressions look very promising,” according to a company statement, “the tires with the alternative natural rubbers will first undergo extensive testing over the coming months before being taken into production.”KeyGene, which describes itself as a molecular genetics R&D company, uses an approach that analyzes specimens of a given crop, scanning for mutations that will be beneficial in terms of yield or sustainability. The genetic material of strains with desirable characteristics is isolated and sequenced to create improved crops. As for the dandelion, in aiming for crop potential, the tinkering has involved “making crosses between” the Russian dandelion with the common dandelion, using DNA profiling technologies. KeyGene emphasizes that its method represents a quicker and more economical way of crop improvement than genetic modification. The company’s CEO, Arjen Van Tunen, said, “We don’t introduce a gene from a different species into our crops.” He pointed out that the company works “without crossing the species barriers.” The team works with the DNA in the species itself.Beyond KeyGene, the dandelion continues to be of interest for industrial use. The EU-PEARLS in Europe is a joint project between European research organizations and industrial partners. Its interest similarly is in the Russian dandelion as well as the desert plant, guayule. Another sign of dandelion interest was noted last year, when Bridgestone Americas said it would continue to test the dandelion at its lab facilities and would engage in larger-scale testing in 2014. Citation: Improved-yield dandelions prepped for tire production (2013, February 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-02-improved-yield-dandelions-prepped-production.html Explore further Latex hunt produces key results in Europecenter_img More information: www.eu-pearls.eu/UK/ (Phys.org)—With supply falling short of demand for natural rubber, scientists in The Netherlands are literally planting seeds of hope for a viable solution. Researchers at the Dutch biotech firm KeyGene are engaged in developing the dandelion into a promising source of rubber. The dandelion’s roots contain latex, the milky liquid that is a source for natural rubber. The latex from dandelion roots could serve as a needed source of material for tires. © 2013 Phys.orglast_img read more

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Astronauts skin changes before and after missions are studied

first_img The team of researchers went looking for answers, said David Moceri on Tuesday in Capital Wired. Over the years, he said, it was observed that many astronauts suffered skin problems. What happens to human skin during a journey to space?Both the European Space Agency and NASA asked a team from the Department of Biophotonics and Laser Technology at Saarland University for more information.Three astronauts were examined before and after their space journey. Reactions of skin structure to a mission were imaged using advanced imaging technology. Moceri said, “According to them, this imaging technology is similar to a real tissue biopsy, providing detailed information that helps the researchers learn more about the skin layers after spending time in space.”Findings: The morphology of the skin suffers changes during space travel. First off, skin produced a higher level of collagen in space. Second, the epidermis was shrinking, especially in the region of living cells. “The scientists said that the epidermis got thinner by almost 20 percent than it usually is,” said Moceri.Discussing the technology at play in this investigation, Professor Karsten Koenig from the Department of Biophotonics and Laser Technology at Saarland University said in a Monday Reuters report that “We use femtosecond laser pulses. We scan the skin and we get signals from the skin, particularly fluorescence, as well as another signal called second harmonic generation. So with these two signals we can build up images and get a precise look into the skin with a high resolution.” Koening said the resolution was a factor of one thousand (times) better than ultrasound.The technique means researchers can get the information in seconds that would otherwise need to come from taking biopsies, slicing them, staining them, and having a pathologist study them, Nonetheless, there is more research to be done. Scientists have been made aware what happens but they still search for more information. “So far we have no explanation yet, and we are waiting for the other astronauts to figure out what’s going on and maybe to try to figure out how we can protect, how we can help so that this epidermis is not shrinking,” said Koenig in the Reuters report.Koenig and his team will continue looking into what causes the thinning of astronauts’ skin – and more crucially, how it can be prevented, said Reuters. “We’ve seen the epidermis get thinner by nearly 20 percent. And so far we have no explanation.” © 2015 Phys.org. All rights reserved. Explore further As NASA once put, space is no trip to the spa. Changes in skin occur during spaceflight. According to recent reports, scientists have found that skin of astronauts who spend a lot of time in space gets thinner. This May 2010 NASA handout image shows a NASA astronaut participating in the mission’s first session of extravehicular activity (EVA) as construction and maintenance continue on the International Space Station. The two final US space shuttle missions before the shuttle program is phased out will likely be postponed, a NASA spokesperson told AFP on Friday.center_img Citation: Astronauts’ skin changes before and after missions are studied (2015, July 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-07-astronauts-skin-missions.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. Diode laser safe, effective for treating facial skin laxitylast_img read more

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Paschim Vihar is buzzing

When star properties started opening up in far-flung areas like Rohini, Janakpuri etc, the first question that cropped into my mind is that why would that make business sense. Friends in the business told me of the tremendous business restaurants of these hotels have been doing — sometimes, I am told — much more than south Delhi five stars. I still shook my head in disbelief. But the feeling lasted till the time I visited a star-property in Janakpuri and saw people from that part of the town coming over in hordes for a lazy meal. Since then, whenever I have gone to these ‘far-flung places’ [and any south Delhiite will call them that], I have always found the restaurants choc-a-bloc, doing brisk business. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Which is why I travelled to Paschim Vihar to check out Level 2, the multicuisine all-day diner at Radisson Blu Hotel New Delhi Paschim Vihar! At about 9.30 pm, people were waiting outside, since the restaurant was already packed. Which spelt good news to me. Level 2 is spread over quite a large area, with comfortable seating. The all-glass bar room is certain to catch your eye and displays a wide selection of alcohol. The fastest moving items here are mostly Indian, apart from popular dishes like pasta and pizza. The menu card is chunky so that people are spoilt for choice. They also have a section for the health conscious. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixI tried a mix of Continental and Indian. However, I preferred the Continental dishes over the Indian ones. The kebabs were just about okay but the dim sums were good. If you are a light eater, I would recommend the Steamed sea bass in lemon sauce. Check it out.  DETAILAt: Radisson Blu Hotel New Delhi Paschim Vihar, Plot D, District Centre, Outer Ring Road, Paschim Vihar Timings: All day Phone: 4639 9999 Cost: Rs 1,500 + taxes [for dinner] read more

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Not enough money organisers

first_imgThe sixth edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival is running on a negative budget of over Rs 1.5 crore with several sponsors pulling out in the last three weeks citing financial constraints, said organisers.‘Our budget for this year is between Rs 5 crore-Rs 6.8 crore but we managed to garner only Rs 4 crore in sponsorships,’ festival producer Sanjoy K Roy said.He said they had covered the budget for this year through sponsorships. ‘But in the last three weeks, many pulled out. And by that time, it was too late find new sponsors.’ Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘Looks like we will lose money,’ he said, adding that they had last year managed to recover the cost of the event, billed as the largest literary festival in the Asia-Pacific region. He said his entertainment company Teamwork Production would have to foot the unrecovered bill.Festival co-director and writer Namita Gokhale had also said in her opening speech that they were ‘Rs 1.5 crore behind budget. It is a bad financial year,’ she said.Asked if the negative balance will affect the festival plans next year, Roy said: ‘We have to find new ways to get money.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHe said it was hard to downsize the festival. ‘People come with big expectations. The festival has become one of five largest in the world. We have no choice.’According to estimates till Thursday, he said, the footfall at the event was likely to cross 97,000. The five-day festival ends on Monday. The 2012 edition had seen 120,000 footfalls.Over 280 authors from across the world are attending the festival this year. Entry to all the venues is free. Asked if sponsors seek presence of celebrities at the festival for more crowds, Roy said: ‘It’s not about celebrities anymore.’ People came anyway because of the event’s popularity, he said.On adding naming of the sponsors to session venues, he said: ‘They want returns! Since they cannot get tangible returns, like real sales, but only brand returns, so we try to invent new branding opportunities.’He said one sponsor wanted to have a session on arts or an English newspaper wanted a session on international relations or another on language writers. ‘We have to understand the needs of the sponsors. They are not doing charity. They have to get something out of it and we have to meet their requirements.’The two consistent sponsors of the event continue to be infrastructure company DSC Ltd and Diggi Palace, the heritage resort in this Rajasthan capital that has been hosting the literary carnival. The other big sponsors are Tata Steel, Google, Airtel and Coco-Cola. (IANS)last_img read more

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Zohra Redux

first_imgThe Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) Film Circle will be screening the film Zohra Unmasked directed by Jai Chandiram, this friday (8 August). IGNCA screens two films a month, one on the second and the other on the fourth Friday. The film walks through the life of Seghal, the acclaimed Indian actress whose career in Bollywood spanned over 60 years. Belonging to an aristocratic family of Nawabs, it was unusual for Sehgal to show her urge to become a dancer. She went to Germany, and got a three year diploma in dancing. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’It was a training in expressing the consciousness of one’s body, using appropriate postures and adding emotions to the performances. In the documentary, she shares her training experiences in expressing the consciousness of one’s body.On her return, she joined the dancing school of Uday Shanker. In Mumbai, she joined the theatre group of Prithvi Raj Kapoor and worked with him for fifteen years, and even acted in films with him. Her husband’s death made her shift to London. But, she wanted to return to her roots and came back to Mumbai. The personality of this great danseuse, actress and the theatre personality is unveiled by Kapila Vatsyayan.When: 8 August (Friday)Where: Media Centre Auditorium, IGNCA, 3 Dr. Rajendra Prasad RoadTiming: 6 pmlast_img read more

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Lalit Modi case Cong ups ante on unanswered questions

first_imgSenior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, a day after Millennium Post story – ‘Questions we need to ask but govt won’t answer’ – said there were still many questions the incumbent government needs to answer. “Firstly, the Prime Minister who tweets at the drop of his hat and makes a statement on every issue is silent! Nation demands explanation from the Prime Minister. Would he oblige? Is there a file in the Foreign Ministry on the Lalit Modi’s issue? Was Sushma Swaraj aware that he is under blue-corner notice? Did she know that he is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate ?” Singh questioned. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIRaising the issue of Lalit Modi’s antecedents, Singh said: “Lalit Modi was indicted by a BCCI committee, headed by Mr Arun Jaitley, which had proved that he was rigging the bidding process in IPL to help a person who is known for his proximity to Narendra Modi. My hunch is (I maybe wrong) that the Prime Minister or Amit Shah has struck a deal with Lalit Modi to take care of both Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje Scindia. It is almost certain that all the leaks were by Lalit Modi himself.” Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindAttacking Sushma Swaraj, he said, “She has violated the oath that she had taken as the minister in this government – not to favour anyone – and she has an obligation to abide by the rules of business in the Government of India. Every decision the minister takes has to be processed by the ministry, which does due diligence and puts up the case to the Minister. In this case, when the person whom she is obliging is a fugitive who has 16 cases pending cases pending against him and ED investigating him under prevention of money-laundering why did she not consult Finance Ministry before recommending his case? Although I have the greatest regard for Ms Sushma Swaraj, in this case, she has acted most unwisely and against all norms and ethics expected from a such a senior and experienced political leader. She has no other option but to resign.” “As far as Vasundhara Raje is concerned her statement is totally unpardonable and can be defined as anti-national .Both have no other option but to resign. I also would like to remind a similar case of Madhav Singh Solanki when he handed an envelope to Swiss Authorities in 1992 and he had to resign. But BJP is a party with difference which hasdifferent set of standards one for others and another when it comes to them,” he added.The Congress plans to raise this issue in Parliament as well, he said, “We certainly plan to raise this issue in next session of Parliament, if this government takes no action against the two leaders – Swaraj and Raje.”While his party colleague Jairam Ramesh while briefing the media in Delhi said, “Since June 14th, the Congress has been raising pertinent and pointed questions on the Lalit Modi affair that has engulfed the Prime Minister, the External Affairs Minister and the Chief Minister of Rajasthan. A total of 34 questions have been asked in the last four days by P Chidambaram, Anand Sharma and Randeep Surjewala. Not one question has been answered by the Prime Minister, by the External Affairs Minister, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan and by the Spokespersons of the BJP including its President. The silence is deafening and is definite proof that the BJP topmost leadership has many things to hide.”“This is no longer a question of impropriety. This is now an issue of a deep nexus between a proclaimed offender against whom the Enforcement Directorate has cases pending and the PM, the EAM, the Rajasthan CM and the BJP President. The Lalit Modi-Gautam Adani nexus has also been clearly established by the documents now in the public domain.last_img read more

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Murder mystery gets solved after 3 years

first_imgKolkata: Nearly three years after abduction and recovery of skeletal remains of a child in Salt Lake, the sleuths of Bidhannagar City Police have arrested the victim’s uncle in connection with the case.The child, as per the complaint by his father Nagendra Yadav at Bidhannagar North police station, was abducted from his residence at DD7 in Salt Lake in the afternoon of July 25, 2015. Yadav, along with his wife, was busy running his tea stall beside a private hospital, a few metres away from their residence when the abduction took place. The missing child’s elder brother Vivek Yadav had seen his uncle Shiv Prakash Yadav going away with his younger brother. Shiv Prakash used to work at a factory in Kolkata. The aggrieved Yadav family originally hailed from Bilari village under Hadipur police station area in Uttar Pradesh. Around eight months after the abduction, police recovered the skeletal remains of a child from a septic tank adjacent to the private hospital in front of which the child’s parents ran the tea stall. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedPolice suspected that the remains were that of the abducted child Vishal Yadav and a DNA test was conducted to confirm it. The suspicion was found to be true.The investigating officer of the case was changed thrice during the course of probe but police took all steps to keep their sources active so that they can nab the assailant whenever there was an opportunity.”We have arrested Shiv Prakash on the basis of a source information from Tibba Road of Ludhiana Punjab. He was produced at a Ludhiana court and the court has granted seven-day transit remand so that he can be brought and produced in Bidhannagar Court,” said Amit Javalgi, deputy commissioner (headquarters) of Bidhannagar City Police. The arrested person is a resident of Bhodahi under Jyanpur police station area in Uttar Pradesh (East). “A family dispute had triggered the kidnap and subsequent murder of the child,” an investigating officer said. Police will take the arrested person into custody and will grill him to find out whether there are more persons involved in the crime.last_img read more

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TMC carries out campaign across Bengal ahead of July 21

first_imgKolkata: With only six days to go for the Martyrs’ Day rally of Trinamool Congress, leaders and workers of the party carried out a massive campaign across the state on the last Sunday ahead of the programme.Trinamool Congress president Subrata Bakshi visited the venue in front of Victoria House at Esplanade on Sunday.Bakshi said: “It is the 25th year since the 13 people were shot dead during a procession in Kolkata in 1993. On the other hand, the Lok Sabha election is also forthcoming. In her address, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee will be stating the party’s roadmap in the present political scenario and will also give direction on the fight against the communal forces.” Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPIt may be recalled that the incident took place on July 21 in 1993, during the procession in demand of making voters’ identity card mandatory to cast votes. Bakshi further said: “It was due to the sacrifice of the 13 people and our fight that the Election Commission of India had made voters’ identity card mandatory to cast vote.”In both North and South Bengal districts, party leaders have taken out processions with a focus on the forth coming Martyrs’ Day mega rally in Kolkata. Also Read – 2 Group D staffers held for ‘assaulting’ minorsFirhad Hakim, senior Trinamool Congress leader, also headed a rally in support of Martyrs’ Day in ward number 82 of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).Trinamool Congress supporters also carried out campaigns at some places to make people aware about the need of helmet while riding motorbikes. Lakhs of people will start pouring into the city in the next two to three days. The party workers from North Bengal will start reaching the city at least a day ahead of July 21.Senior leaders of the political party are also taking necessary steps so that people can reach the city and again go back to their homes without facing any inconvenience.The Kolkata Police are also taking necessary steps to ensure that no untoward incident takes place during the rally. The traffic police are also chalking out a plan for traffic management to ensure that the common people do not face any inconvenience.last_img read more

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Poorer kids at greater obesity risk

first_imgPoorer children are at higher risk of obesity compared to their better-off peers, a new study has found.The researchers examined many aspects of a child’s environment and health behaviour.“Intervening in the early years when the family environment has more profound influences on children’s healthy development has the potential to be particularly effective,” said senior author Yvonne Kelly from University College London.Researchers tracked nearly 20,000 families from across the UK and the study used measurements made when the children were aged 5 and again at age 11. At age 5, poor children were almost twice as likely to be obese compared with their better off peers. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’By the age of 11 the gap has widened, nearly tripling to 7.9 per cent of the poorest fifth are obese; for the best-off, the figure is 2.9 per cent.The study found that doing sport more than three times a week played an important role, as did an earlier bedtime and regular fruit consumption which were both positively associated with downward movement in weight categories. However, maternal smoking during pregnancy and a mother’s BMI were negatively associated with downward movement across weight categories.The findings are published in The European Journal of Public Health.last_img read more

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Thoughtful abstraction

first_imgThe 14th Solo Painting Exhibition of Pallab Kanti Mitra was held in the national Capital, at Lalit Kala Akademi from February 21-27. The event was inaugurated by eminent artist Paramjeet Singh, who is also the chairman of All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society. Honorable Justice of Supreme Court Pinaki Chandra Ghosh and Ram Pravesh Savita, Director Conservation of National Museum, Ministry of Culture were also present at the inauguration. There were 44 paintings in all for display, which are inspired from the artist’s view on life. Mitra, who has also been a poet, explained: “Poetry is language bound, therefore everyone may not be able to understand the meaning, but paintings have a universal appeal. A painting is only successful when one can decipher the meaning through the three-dimensional perspective of the work.”One of his renowned works, titled ‘Colouful Journey’ is a work of acrylic on paper, which expresses a colourful and hopeful journey ahead in life. He explained that his ideas are based on realms of social & environmental consciousness.last_img read more

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Rejuvenating aesthetics of flute

first_img“Playing flute is magical. It is part of me and is like the language of my soul,” Juan Carlos Lorenzana, a Mexican flute player, describes his passion for the musical instrument. Lorenzana was in the national Capital to perform at the 7th edition of the Raasrang World Flute Festival on Tuesday.Juan Carlos Lorenzana is considered to be one of the outstanding classic and flamenco flute player, mastering also the transverse flute Bansuri (Northern India flute) and Hindi music. He learned to play Bansuri in Deharadun under the supervision of Sardar Ajit Singh and also attended the workshops of renowned flutist Kailash Sharma.  Although, Lorenzana has learned guitar, jazz and western classical music, flute is his first love. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf“I play the guitar too. But I don’t feel the same as playing a flute,” he said. Lorenzana, who also is a music teacher in a Mexican university, finds it easy to play Bansuri than Flamenco flute. “Bansuri is easy to play as you need your fingers to control the tune. But flamenco flute is different as you need to use your breath to control it,” he explained.Hosted by the Krishnaprerna charitable trust together with Select Citywalk, the Raasrang World Flute Festival also witnessed the participation of flutists from Slovakia and Latvia. Mala Rumba and Jankar from Mexico, Riga Saxophone quartet from Latvia and Michal Smetanka from Slovakia were the major attractions of the event.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveMichal Smetanka is a multi-instrumentalist who not only specializes in folk music but also produces the instruments for it himself. His repertoire is dominated by the original songs from the regions of Spis and Saris in Slovakia, especially songs of the pastoral culture. The three day festival which is scheduled for September 23-25 will also feature flautists from India. The international component of world flute festival was dedicated to the global cause of peace. Yogeshwar Sharma, Excutive Director, Select Citywalk, was proud to host the melodious festival.  “Select Citywalk has been the pioneer of hosting such festivals to not only create awareness about music and suffice the needs of music lovers in the city, but also to offer a unique and unmatched experience to its visitors,” he said.last_img read more

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Greener city NKDA looks to use vertical gardens on Metro rail pillars

first_imgKolkata: New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) has chalked out a unique plan of putting up flower pots to set up green vertical gardens on Metro rail pillars as a part of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Save Green and Stay Clean’ project.The project is the only of its kind in the country, where flower pots will be put up on Metro pillars to set up vertical gardens. As a pilot project, NKDA has put up flower pots to make up vertical gardens on the pillars of the Airport – Garia Metro railway route. Many people had written letters to NKDA authorities, requesting them to take measures to decorate the Metro pillars. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeFinally, the decision to put up vertical garden was taken as it is easy to maintain and will give added values to the project taken up to increase green cover in New Town. It has often been found that the naked Metro pillars are aesthetically poor and did not go with the soothing ambiance of New Town. Earlier, Metro pillars were decorated with sketches from Rabindranath Tagore’s Sahaj Path, paintings of Jamini Roy and even smilies were put up. Attempts were made to decorate the Metro pillars with creepers but the scheme had to be discarded as because of shadow the growth of the creepers was affected. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedNKDA officials felt that once the vertical gardens come up, they will not only increase the green cover of New Town but will add more value to the ambiance of the area. It may be mentioned that Chief Minister’s new thrust is to increase the green cover of the cities and the townships under ‘Save Green and Stay Clean’ project. In the recently held administrative review meetings in Jangalmahal, she had given special emphasis to clean the district and augment greenery. The new Mayor of Kolkata Firhad Hakim, who is also the state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister, has said repeatedly that his prime work in Kolkata will be to increase greenery. NKDA has taken several measures to make New Town a green city. Nurseries to grow tall trees have come up and those who will maintain trees will be awarded in a bid to encourage the residents.last_img read more

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17th century love story to be screened in Delhi

first_imgAfter Hyderabad and Kolkata, Shiraz: A Romance of India – a rare Indian silent film with a special live score provided by Anoushka Sharma – will be screened in Delhi and Mumbai on November 4 and 5 respectively. Shiraz tells the love story of the 17th century princess who inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal. For the modern viewer the appeal of Shiraz is the extreme rarity of a sophisticated silent feature film made outside the major producing nations of the West, the gorgeous settings and costumes and the glories of the spectacular fort at Agra and of course the iconic Taj Mahal, a central character here in its own right. Two infamous kisses that take place in the film will definitely surprise modern audiences and are really quite extraordinary for Indian cinema of the period. Shiraz was adapted from Niranjan Pal’s play, the first Indian playwright to have his work performed in the West End. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe screening of Shiraz in Kolkata by British Council and British Film Institute (BFI) was in a unique collaboration with Sangit Kala Mandir, as a part of the UK-India year of the culture, 2017. A world leader in film restoration, the BFI holds the original negative material of Shiraz in the archive. Franz Osten’s sumptuous Indian silent classic has been meticulously re-mastered by the conservation team at the BFI National Archive. Deeply rooted in the Indian Classical music tradition, Anoushka, at a young age of 20, had already made three classical recordings and received her first Grammy® nomination, thereby becoming the first Indian female and youngest-ever nominee in the World Music category. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThrough her bold and collaborative approach as a composer, Anoushka has encouraged cross-cultural dialogue whilst demonstrating the versatility of the sitar across musical genres. As a result, Anoushka has created a vital body of work with a prominent roster of artists such as Sting, M.I.A, Herbie Hancock, Pepe Habichuela, Karsh Kale, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Joshua Bell.Following the Indian tour Shiraz will screen around the UK in January 2018 and be released on Blu-ray by BFI.last_img read more

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Kerala to Kolkata – bamboo band to perform soon

first_imgThe Public Relations Society of India, Kolkata Chapter is all set to celebrate PRSI’s diamond jubilee through a unique musical on February 11 at Nazrul Tirtha Amphitheatre, New Town. The Vayali Folk Group from Kerala (India’s first ever ‘Bamboo’ band) will perform on this evening. Vayali, a group of young people from the cultural capital of Kerala, is engaged in preserving their roots. The team was formed in 2004 for a common reason, to start learning the traditional systems practiced in and around the banks of River Nila and sharing the same with the younger generation. The members use indigenous percussion instruments and colorful costumes to create foot-tapping music to preserve the dying Valluvanadan tradition and culture. Valluvanad is a culturally-rich place near Thrissur, famous for folk art, folklore and classical art forms like Kathakali and Mohiniyattam. As age old people say, culture nourishes in nature. They got affiliated to Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy, Kerala Folklore Academy, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) New Delhi, Nehru Yuva Kendra, South Zone Cultural Center (SZCC) Thanjavur and National Folklore Support Centre Chennai. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe early days of ‘Vayali’ were very challenging. Most of the members were from the socially backward communities and found it hard to earn a livelihood. Driven by their passion for folklore, they organised themselves.They started performing at various places thus promoting the folklore and getting compensated financially. ‘Vayali’ now became a source of livelihood for the members. They went about diligently collecting various folk songs and art forms from the local masters. They faced stiff opposition from the communities too but then they soon realised the importance of preserving the traditional knowledge. They now had the support of the communities, which really invigorated them. In November 2007 the Vayali team was blessed with a fantastic opportunity to perform at the ‘Traditional Music and Rhythm Festival’ organised by the Cultural Department of Japan. They showcased the Valluvanadan art forms at the festival. They learned about the bamboo musical instruments of the Japanese and their world famous bamboo orchestra. This deeply inspired them and lead to the creation of the ‘Vayali Bamboo Orchestra’. They realised that they had to preserve the bamboo culture in India and set about researching the various traditional bamboo instruments. Flute is the lead instrument of the ‘Vayali Bamboo Orchestra’. The other instruments are Mulam Chenda, Mulam Thudi, and Mazha Mooli. They now have a small team which has developed an expertise in 5 bamboo instruments of the tribals in Kerala. The team has created some truly innovative instruments too. The team is all set to entertain the music buffs from Kolkata Soumyajit Mahapatra, Chairman, PRSI, Kolkata Chapter, says, “We usually have experienced various artists from the popular music scene but Vayali’s performance in the city of joy is a fresh try for sure.”last_img read more

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British Councils initiative to develop communication skills in West Bengal

first_imgThe West Bengal government invited the British Council to organise a training programme on Communicative English for 34 West Bengal Civil Service (Executive batch) officials, which ran from May 8 – 24, 2019. The course concluded with a certificate distribution and valedictory ceremony, attended by Chandan Sinha, Director General, Administrative Training Institute, Government of West Bengal and Dr Debanjan Chakrabarti, Director, British Council, East and Northeast India. The course focused on developing the spoken English, email writing and report writing skills of the West Bengal Civil Services Executive Officers. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfTill date, the British Council has already helped train 228 Executive Officers of the West Bengal Civil Services, West Bengal Accounts and Audit Services and West Bengal Revenue Services to enhance their communicative English skills. Through these and other initiatives, the British Council is supporting the Chief Minister’s vision of making West Bengal a hub of knowledge and education and helping to create a systemic change. The British Council has supported the vision of the Government of West Bengal to improve young people’s access to education and help improve communications in English. In July 2018, British Council signed an overarching MoU with the Government of West Bengal, on with a focus on English language training across the whole school and higher education system, linked to employability; research collaboration and capacity building in higher education and cultural collaborations between the UK and West Bengal with a focus on skills and tourism. The MoU also sought to enable student and academic partnerships and mobility between universities and support international research collaboration. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive Chandan Sinha Director General, Administrative Training Institute, Government of West Bengal said “We are very pleased to have partnered with the British Council to engage our Executive Officers in professional development opportunities. The government is keen to develop the communication skills and confidence of our officers in order to be able to provide better services for the people of West Bengal and position the state for national and international opportunities.” Debanjan Chakrabarti, Director East and Northeast India, British Council said, “We are delighted to be working with the government of West Bengal to deliver this training for WBCS Executive Officers. The Memorandum of Understanding we signed in the presence of CM Mamata Banerjee aims to further educational and cultural cooperation between Britain and Bengal. This training is part of our ongoing effort to work with state governments to create systemic change and support the vision of making West Bengal a hub of knowledge industries and education in the entire East and Northeast India and beyond, in the ASEAN region.”last_img read more

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