Chemistry on Mars reveals cooling rate

first_img More information: David Baratoux et al., Thermal history of Mars inferred from orbital geochemistry of volcanic provinces, Nature (2011) doi:10.1038/nature09903 Citation: Chemistry on Mars reveals cooling rate (2011, April 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Mars breakthrough: Scientists uncover red planet’s hot and steamy secrets 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. By studying thorium, silicon and iron concentrations in the Martian soil (based on the Gamma Ray Spectrometer data collected from onboard the Odyssey) David Baratoux, Michael Toplis and their colleagues have been able to deduce that Mars has cooled by about 80°C (176°F) over the past two or three billion years, which some have noted is slower than that for Earth.The researchers focused on twelve different volcanic plains on the Martian surface, each of a different age. Thorium, a radioactive element was chosen as one of the study agents due to the fact that when it’s heated it doesn’t get locked in with other elements, which makes it a good source of information for mantle temperatures when it is transported to the surface via volcanic activity (plus the fact that it continually emits gamma rays). Studying silicon in the volcanic soil, on the other hand, helps to gauge melting depth; and iron can be used to help figure out how accurate the first two are.The researchers were able to come to these conclusions because it is already well understood that the composition of magma pushed to the surface through melting of mantle rocks (creating volcanoes) is controlled by depth, temperature and pressure exerted before being forced to the surface. With data from the GRS they were able to measure the composition percentages of the studied elements and the degree of variation between them, and also to calculate the degree of melting; to which they were able to apply mathematical modeling that gave them the pace of cooling.In addition to coming up with a reasonable estimate of planet cooling, the team also came up with evidence to suggest that Mar’s lithosphere is thickening. By studying changing temperature patterns on Mars, and other planets, researchers hope to gain new insights into how our own planet might behave as the future unfolds. © 2010 ( — French researchers from the University of Toulouse have published a paper in Nature, that describes how they used data from NASA’s Mars Odyssey (currently orbiting the planet) to ascertain the amount of cooling that Mars has undergone over billions of years. Their work is part of an ongoing international process to reconstruct the geologic history of the Red Planet. © 2011 David Baratoux Explore furtherlast_img read more

Exhumation of Shakespeare to determine cause of death and drug test

first_img Explore further © 2010 Thackeray is best known for his controversial suggestion nearly a decade ago which pointed to the possibility that Shakespeare had been a regular cannabis smoker. Utilizing forensic techniques, Thackeray examined 24 pipes which had been discovered in Shakespeare’s garden and determined that they had been used to smoke the drug.Citing that even after 400 years, Shakespeare is still one of the most famous people in history, Thackeray hopes to be able to end the question of how he died and establish a health history. With new state-of-the-art computer equipment he hopes to create a three dimensional reconstruction of Shakespeare. The hope is to be able to determine the kind of life he led, any diseases of medical conditions he may have suffered from and what ultimately caused his death.The new technology, nondestructive analysis, will not require the remains to be moved but will instead scan the bones. They are also hoping to collect DNA from Shakespeare and his wife and sister, all who are buried at Holy Trinity Church.Thackeray also hopes to find evidence to back his controversial claims years ago regarding Shakespeare’s marijuana smoking. Examining the teeth could provide the evidence they need. If they are able to discover grooves between the incisor and canine teeth, it could show them he was chewing on a pipe.This plan however goes against the final wishes of Shakespeare himself who had the following words engraved on his tomb: “Good frend for Jesus sake forebeare, To dig the dust encloased heare, Bleste be the man that spares thes stones, And curst be he that moves my bones.”The Church of England denies that any requests have been made to exhume Shakespeare’s body but Thackeray and his team hopes to gain approval in time to be able to make the determination before the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016. Computerized Analysis Helps Researchers Define Shakespeare’s Work Using ‘Literary Fingerprint’ Citation: Exhumation of Shakespeare to determine cause of death and drug test (2011, June 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — Director of the Institute for Human Evolution, anthropologist Francis Thackeray has formally petitioned the Church of England to allow him to exhume the body of William Shakespeare in order to determine the cause of his death. 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

All together now Single rule accounts for diverse decision systems in animal

first_imgA general decision-making rule in animal collectives. (A) Decision making between two sites when nx and ny animals have already chosen sites x and y, respectively. (B) The probability of choosing x in the general rule (Eq. 3), plotted as a function of the animals that have already chosen between the two sites, nx and ny. The theory predicts very different structure in the probability for the case of low and high numbers of animals, separated by point τ =logðaÞ=ðlogðsÞ ð1 −kÞÞ. The rate of change of Px in the transition regions depends on the reliability parameter s, with the width of these regions proportional to 1=logðsÞ. (C) Same as B but for three different values of parameter k: k = 0 (Left), 0 < k < 1 (Center), and k = 1 (Right). Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1210664109 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 common rule for decision making in animal collectives across species, PNAS December 11, 2012 vol. 109 no. 50 20508-20513, doi:10.1073/pnas.1210664109 Experimental setup for zebrafish. (A) The behavioral setup is inside a bigger tank so that fish are acclimatized to the same water for 1 d before the experiment, housed in waiting containers in groups of 8–10 fish. At 1 h before the experiment, each fish is isolated and fed with frozen artemia in an individual container. The fish stays in the individual container until placed in the release chamber and gently pushed into the waiting chamber with a net that fits tightly between the walls to prevent the fish from going back to the release chamber. The door to the setup is then lifted and, once the fish enters the setup, it is closed. The camera records for 5 min from the opening of the door. After the experiment, the fish is pushed back to the release chamber, where it is caught. Then, a segment of wall opposite to the entrance door is removed, and water from outside is pumped into the central chamber so that odors are washed out. (B) The T-shaped setup is made of white LEGO bricks, with transparent walls separating the three chambers made of UV-transparent PLEXIGLAS (PLEXIGLAS GS 2458; Evonik Para-Chemie). The setup’s central chamber (choice chamber) measures 20 × 13 cm. The floor of this central chamber has a central white zone 5 cm wide, and two black lateral zones 7.5 cm wide each. The two lateral chambers measure 14 × 13 cm each. Walls are 17-cm high, and water level is 6 cm. (C) Illumination is provided by four 500-W halogen lamps pointing to a white sheet on the ceiling. A Basler A622f camera records from above. An opaque roof just above the camera provides uniform shading on the setup. Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1210664109 Parasites help reveal new ecological rules Citation: All together now: Single rule accounts for diverse decision systems in animal collectives (2012, December 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Surprisingly, this subtle change led to different mathematics that closely matched both the stickleback and zebrafish data. Confident in their new rule, the team tried using existing data in the Argentine ant obtained by Dr. Andrea Perna and his collaborators at Uppsala University in Sweden. "Beautiful, it worked again," says de Polavieja. "We'd found that a simple neural property could give us a rule for behavior in collectives that matched data very well for very different species." De Polavieja notes that their key innovation was theoretical. "Most previous rules were proposed as phenomenological rules to fit data," he explains. "Here we'd proposed to base these kinds of rules on Bayesian estimation, and had taken the right steps to obtain a rule that worked very well when compared to data."One of the study's key findings was that the different counting systems used by animals, including humans, can emerge from the common principle of using social information to make good decisions. "It turns out that both absolute and relative counting systems found experimentally are derived from our theory as particular cases," de Polavieja explains. "This came as a surprise, as it's not clear that social interactions are behind counting – but note that social interactions can be so important for survival that they might have a great impact on how animals count."The scientists are already charting their future research directions. "We're doing theoretical and experimental innovations," de Polavieja points out. "The main ones relate to more natural experiments in which animals move in space-time and not simply choose among a discrete set of options. We're extending the theory to cope with this general case and working on a tracking system to automatically follow each animal in a group." In addition, they're using their results to ask some basic questions, such as Why do animals aggregate? Which neural circuits most influence collective behavior? "We're moving in both directions."De Polavieja also sees their findings having a wider impact. "We're in the early stages of testing these results in human data," he concludes. "We're comparing our theoretical results with existing data on how humans get influenced by others – and since it's proving successful, we'll soon start our own experiments. I dream of being able to produce a theory that could help humans make group decisions." Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further (—Ethologists – those who study animal behavior under natural conditions – have long recognized that groups of various species, or animal collectives, use a variety of decision-making systems. For example, some species choose from among various behavioral options based on the number of animals that have already selected each alternative; other species follow Weber's Law, in which the relative number is the deciding factor; and for others, more complicated rules are involved. Recently, however, scientists at Instituto Cajal, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain, identified a single Bayesian-based decision-making rule underlying this observed diversity. Moreover, the researchers then experimentally demonstrated that this single rule quantitatively explains decision-making in zebrafish, and in existing datasets of argentine ants and sticklebacks. This suggests, they conclude, that decision-making based not just on individual behavioral, neurobiological, and psychological factors, but on social information, obtains across species – including humans. Dr. Gonzalo G. de Polavieja, Dr. Sara Arganda and doctoral student Alfonso Pérez-Escudero faced a variety of challenges in their study. "I started, together with Alfonso, to think about how to generate a theory of how individuals decide in groups," de Polavieja tells "It seemed to us that estimation of which of the available options to take using the behaviors of other animals was a good starting point. I knew from years of work in Neurobiology that all brains need to make estimations about the structure of the world from ambiguous sensory data. From this simple idea, we worked out the mathematics." The researchers used mathematics known as Bayesian estimation, but they generalized the equations to handle the case of an animal using other animals to improve estimations – and the mathematics they obtained were simple enough to make comparisons with data."We then used data on sticklebacks, from Dr. Ashley Ward and his collaborators at the University of Sidney in Australia, to compare our rule with data – and it worked very well," de Polavieja continues. "This gave us confidence to try our own experiments in zebrafish – but the theory failed this time. Then we made an apparently subtle change in our theory. Until this point we'd assumed that an animal was estimating which option was best to take, but then developed a very similar theory that estimated whether an option was a good one."last_img read more

Most experiments that claim to show the quantum Zeno paradox fall short

first_img Explore further Physicists present a non-destructive technique for measuring at the atomic scale ( —By their very nature, unstable particles will eventually decay, some faster than others. But according to the quantum Zeno paradox (QZP), an unstable particle that is observed continuously has been said to never decay. Though counterintuitive, this effect has been claimed to show up experimentally in numerous ways. Now in a new study, physicist Peter Toschek at the University of Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany, has argued that most of these experiments do not provide sufficient evidence of the QZP. By identifying the sufficient conditions necessary for proving the QZP, he confirms the validity of the paradox while probing deeper into its origins. © 2013 All rights reserved. Toschek’s paper, “The quantum Zeno paradox: A matter of information,” is published in a recent issue of EPL.”The QZP holds for all unstable quantum systems whose transition (or ‘decay’) is electromagnetically induced,” Toschek told .As he explained, most experiments that have claimed to prove the QZP (or its manifestation, the quantum Zeno effect) rely on measurements of “expectation values,” which are group averages that don’t provide information on individual objects, in particular on their survival times. Instead, he explains that the outcomes of quantum measurements should represent “eigenvalues,” which do provide information on individual quantum objects. He explains that the survival time of a particle can be derived from uninterrupted sequences of the detected eigenvalue of the initial, undecayed state of the quantum system (particle plus radiation field), provided an individual quantum object is addressed.For example, in some experiments that use light-irradiated atoms to demonstrate the QZP, a continuous measurement has been approximated by a series of short light pulses irradiating a group of 5,000 unstable atoms. Then the mean decay rate of the atoms has been measured. The results of these experiments show that the mean decay rate decreases when the pulse repetition rate increases, and this finding has been interpreted as evidence of the QZP.In these experiments, the measurement of the average decay rate of the entire group of atoms generates an expectation value, a classical quantity with a deterministic result—apart from small fluctuations from “projection noise.” In contrast, quantum measurements are known to show conditionally random results.In order to come up with eigenvalues instead of expectation values, Toschek explains that measurements of the decay process should be characterized by individual survival times. Importantly, this condition lies in the definition of the QZP. Further, the effects of each light pulse on the atom should be recorded. In this way, the information on the state of the atom gained by a measurement affects the prediction of the average of results. The results of classical measurements (like those measuring the mean decay rate) are insufficient to demonstrate the QZP because they are indistinguishable from results of other effects, such as spectral line-broadening by radiative saturation of an atomic resonance line.”So far, wide-spread misconception has claimed the QZP to be the cause of simple phenomena (for example, the ‘power broadening’ of irradiated atoms), which involve neither quantum measurements nor the Zeno effect (extension of the survival time under measurement),” Toschek said.While most of the claims for demonstration of the QZP have fallen short of satisfying both the criteria for being “quantum” and “Zeno,” a few experiments have met all the requirements and provide sufficient evidence to support the existence of the QZP. So the results of the current paper don’t question the validity of the paradox. Rather, they distinguish it from well-understood and unsurprising effects and present an explanation of the paradoxical aspects in terms of the transfer of quantum information. Citation: Most experiments that claim to show the quantum Zeno paradox fall short, study says (2013, June 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Peter E. Toschek. “The quantum Zeno paradox: A matter of information.” EPL, 102 (2013) 20005. DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/102/20005 Journal information: Europhysics Letters (EPL) 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

Substrates change nanoparticle reactivity

first_img Citation: Substrates change nanoparticle reactivity (2015, June 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from c(4 × 2)-2CO structures with TB and BB site occupations on a curved Pd(111) top facet. Credit: (c) 2015 PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1506939112 Chemical reactions on nanoparticles are dependent on properties that are not normally encountered on regular materials. One important property is the physical orientation of the nanoparticles with each other. In bulk reactions, bond distance and particle size are fixed features and the environment plays a more pivotal role. This is not the case in nanoscale materials where greater or smaller distances, orientation, and morphology between two particles can affect nanoparticle reactivity. One way to control nanoparticle orientation is to deposit metal nanoparticles on a substrate surface. It is only recently that scientists have begun to understand the role that substrate morphology plays in nanoparticle properties, including reactivity. In the case of Pd on a TiO2 substrate, Yim, et al. found that the strain within Pd nanoparticles changes when they are formed across the TiO2 substrate steps. This strain affects Pd reactivity.CO adsorbs onto the Pd nanoparticles with (111) top facet in three known adsorption sites at concentrations greater than 0.5 monolayers. As the concentration of CO increases, CO will fill bridge sites on palladium nanoparticles as well as hollow sites. It will then fill a combination of atop (directly on top of palladium nanoparticles) and hollow sites. However, where the Pd nanoparticle lattice curves, CO will bond in different sites.STM analysis shows that the Pd curvature is due to growth across the step on the TiO2 substrate. This leads to the Pd nanoparticles layering over the substrate steps in way reminiscent of laying a piece of carpet over a step. This leads to curved Pd nanoparticles described as having top (111) facets.To understand how the curved Pd morphology changes its reactivity, STM studies were performed after 0.5 monolayers of CO were adsorbed onto the Pd surface. Analyses showed that there were different regions of CO. One region has CO molecules occupying bridge sites as is expected when CO is adsorbed on to a Pd/TiO2 system. Another region, however, showed an atop-bridge configuration, which had not been reported for Pd(111) surfaces. Investigation of another step island showed that CO molecules occupy a combination of atop- and face- centered cubic hollow sites, another unobserved configuration for this system. Computational analyses showed that this difference in CO registry on the curved Pd nanoparticles is probably due to particle strain across the steps. Particle strain has been shown in other systems to affect adsorption of molecules on nanoparticles, although these systems do not show particle strain as localized as on the curved Pd nanoparticles across the TiO2 step islands shown in the work by Yim, et al. The Pd layer seems to elongate across the step edge and shrink in the direction perpendicular to the step edge, causing tensile strain and compression strain. This strain changes how CO interacts with Pd. CO typically binds to Pd at a 90-degree angle and has a double bond character. However, in these new orientations CO is 21.4-degrees from the normal of the Pd nanoparticle and displays a single bond character.This research has two important implications for nanoparticle-substrate interactions: First, it shows how substrate morphology plays a role in nanoparticle reactivity. Namely, “carpet growth” over step islands probably happens in other systems and may explain changes in reactivity. Second, changing the substrate morphology may be a way to tune nanoparticle reactivity. More information: “Influence of support morphology on the bonding of molecules to nanoparticles” PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1506939112AbstractSupported metal nanoparticles form the basis of heterogeneous catalysts. Above a certain nanoparticle size, it is generally assumed that adsorbates bond in an identical fashion as on a semiinfinite crystal. This assumption has allowed the database on metal single crystals accumulated over the past 40 years to be used to model heterogeneous catalysts. Using a surface science approach to CO adsorption on supported Pd nanoparticles, we show that this assumption may be flawed. Near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure measurements, isolated to one nanoparticle, show that CO bonds upright on the nanoparticle top facets as expected from single-crystal data. However, the CO lateral registry differs from the single crystal. Our calculations indicate that this is caused by the strain on the nanoparticle, induced by carpet growth across the substrate step edges. This strain also weakens the CO–metal bond, which will reduce the energy barrier for catalytic reactions, including CO oxidation. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Parkinson’s disease appears associated with many cancers in Taiwancenter_img (—Nanoscale materials tend to behave differently than their bulk counterparts. While there are many theories as to why this happens, technological advances in scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) have allowed researchers to investigate many of these causes by looking at the properties of a single nanoparticle. One area that requires further investigation is how substrate topology affects nanoparticle reactivity. Using the well-known interaction between carbon monoxide (CO) and substrate-supported palladium (Pd) nanoparticles, researchers from the London Centre for Nanotechnology and University College London have demonstrated, for the first time, that the topology of the titanium dioxide (TiO2) substrate affects Pd nanoparticle reactivity. Their findings are reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further © 2015 Phys.orglast_img read more

Rubbery carbon aerogels greatly expand applications

first_img Researchers create shape-memory aerogels with rubber-like elasticity Explore further Citation: Rubbery carbon aerogels greatly expand applications (2018, March 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Nature Communications The researchers, led by Chao Gao, Zhen Xu, and others at Zhejiang University, have published a paper on the highly stretchable carbon aerogels in a recent issue of Nature Communications.”We showed the possibility that neat inorganic materials can also possess rubbery elasticity,” coauthor Fan Guo at Zhejiang University told “The rubbery carbon aerogel opens a new material species that combines ultra-lightness, temperature-invariant high elasticity, and robust mechanical performance.”Due to the growing demand for stretchable electronics, researchers have recently been investigating methods to improve the elasticity of carbon aerogels, which typically are not very elastic. In the new work, the scientists designed carbon aerogels consisting of both graphene (a two-dimensional material) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs, a one-dimensional material), assembled into four orders of hierarchical structures ranging from the nanometer to centimeter scale. To fabricate the material into aerogels, the researchers created an ink composed of graphene oxide and nanotubes, and then formed the aerogels via inkjet printing.In tests, the researchers demonstrated that the new aerogels exhibit a tensile strength that is 5 times higher than that of previous aerogels. They found that strong atomic bonding between the graphene and CNTs results in a synergistic effect, leading to greater stretching elasticity and stability. In addition, the new aerogels can withstand extreme temperatures, unlike most previous attempts at stretchable aerogels in which the aerogels become viscous or brittle when exposed to heat or cold.To demonstrate one possible application, the researchers attached three of the new stretchable aerogels onto the joints of a snake-like robot. The aerogels function as sensors to monitor the robot’s movements and configurations. Unlike conventional sensors that can detect only one-way deformation, the aerogel sensors can distinguish between multiple configurations, suggesting the possibility of a new generation of sensors with the ability for logic identification of sophisticated shape changes.Other potential applications of the stretchable aerogels include wearable electronic devices, aerospace applications, energy generation and storage, as well as using them as lightweight mechanical devices, especially in extreme temperature conditions.”This rubbery carbon aerogel opens many possibilities,” Guo said. “First, the strength and Young’s modulus [a measure of tensile elasticity] of carbon rubbers are lower than that of polymer elastomers. In general, the Young’s modulus of polymer rubbers are 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than our carbon rubbers. “Second, we are striving to make carbon aerogels more mechanically robust in order to bear extreme and complicated deformations, such as higher elongation and torsion. Meanwhile, more applications of this new carbon rubber can be explored and other types of inorganic rubbers can be achieved by means of this hierarchical synergistic assembly methodology.” More information: Fan Guo et al. “Highly stretchable carbon aerogels.” Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03268-ycenter_img © 2018 An ultralight stretchable carbon aerogel floats on a flower. Credit: Guo et al. Published in Nature Communications Researchers have designed carbon aerogels that can be reversibly stretched to more than three times their original length, displaying elasticity similar to that of a rubber band. By adding reversible stretchability to aerogels’ existing properties (which already include an ultralow density, light weight, high porosity, and high conductivity), the results may lead to a host of new applications of carbon aerogels. 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

Cab it right

first_imgHave a late night party but fearing to venture out because you don’t have a car and find it difficult to get a cab? Now there is some respite. One more radio cab service has been launched in Delhi to give you more options to choose from. Called Olacabs, they will be available for trips from Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon. Customers can also book and track cabs real time with the help of a smartphone app — apparently for the first time in India. Through this app, a customer can call for a cab and track it till it reaches its destination. The app provides confirmation of booking along with necessary details like the driver and vehicle number, distance from the user’s location as well as expected time taken to reach the location. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Registered users will be able to maintain a credit balance with Olacabs and use the service through the app as and when needed, without having to pay for the trip.  Olacabs can also be booked through the Internet and customer service centers (phone). The company uses technologies like GPS, real time traffic alerts and demand analysis.In the NCR region, Olacabs will have taxis for business, leisure or personal trips with flexible options for bookings and payments. There are point-to-point services within the city, hour-based rental services and bookings for outstation travel. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix’We will leverage heavily on our inherent technology capabilities and stringent quality assessments to create the best cab experience in the country,’ said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO, Olacabs. The company had been running a pilot project in Delhi for the past four months to understand the pattern of traffic movement across the region, plan and identify right areas to station cars so that customers can get their cabs within 30 minutes of booking.DETAILTo book, log on to: Phone: 011 33553355last_img read more

Gastronomical skills and more

first_imgIndian Culinary Forum will organize Culinary Art India, 2015 which will kick start from  March 10 and continue till March 14 at Hall no. 18 of Pragati Maidan in the Capital. The event will be organized by Indian Culinary Forum in association with ITPO and Hospitality First which will witness 300 chefs coming together under one roof and exhibiting their culinary skills.It’s a platform for all the chefs across North India to come and display their talent, learn and share their experiences. WACS (World Association of Chefs Societies) certified chefs will judge and decide the winners at Culinary Art India, 2015. WACS is a 93 nation fellowship comprising of various professional chef organizations across the world. Culinary Art India, 2015 creates awareness about the profession and specialty of the chefs and felicitates the achievers in this profession.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The five day event, has been specially created to recognize excellence in culinary skills in India. Renowned national and international chefs are participating in this event as honorary Guests and Juries. Chef Oliver Esser Soe Thet, President Myanmar Chefs Association, will be the Chairperson of the Jury.Chef Vivek Saggar, Organizing Secretary, Culinary Art India, 2015 says, “The prime objective is to establish a professional platform where culinary professionals across India can display their individual and combined skills, creative talent, learn, share experiences, partner and network in a purely businesslike and competitive environment. It will also give youngsters an opportunity to come up with new andinnovative ideas. When : March 10-14Where : Hall no. 18, Pragati Maidan, New Delhilast_img read more

Summer is here

first_imgKAIRI-2015 is an exhibition of textiles for summer. It is an initiative of Delhi Crafts Council to provide marketing assistance to skilled weaver and printers from across the country to exhibit their textiles to a discerning audience. Sarees, dupattas, stoles and fabrics available at the Exhibition include a range of  Khadi, Ajrakh, Bandhani, Kalamkari, Banaras weaves, Laheriya, Ikat, Kota, Maheshwari, Chanderi, Bagh prints, Tribal weaves from Bastar, South India weaves and Prints from Jaipur amongst a huge variety of traditional techniques. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The exhibition will be held from March 12 to 14 at the Aga Khan Hall, 6 Bhagwaan Daas Road in the Capital. Delhi Craft Council seeks to showcase the excellence and creativity of the traditional Indian artisan, both in handicrafts and textiles. It is an Initiative of the Crafts Council of India, a NGO working with handlooms and handicrafts for over four decades.When:  March 12-14Where: Aga Khan Hall, 6 Bhagwaan Daas Roadlast_img read more

War and peace

first_imgArt and Aesthetic presents an exhibition of Pop-up and Installations Lament- Mahabharata by artist Sankha Banerjee in the Capital. Curated by Amit Mukhopadhyay, the exhibition will continue from March 23 to April 4. Lament basically deals with war, destruction, loss, ruin and tragedy. Mahabharata witnessed the Great War and destruction of life. It is not a tale of how a kingdom was won or lost  , it is a narrative of human tragedy. So is the Second World War, which witnessed a brutal destruction, death and the rise of Fascism. The recent conflicts in the Middle East and Palestine. Is not a full scale war as we understand now, but the brutality of the conflict has led to millions dead, homeless, and without any hope of a Nation/ State. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Many stories of Mahabharata were in ‘oral tradition’ in ancient India. It has at least 3 compositional layers. The first one is a Kshatriya tale with the name of ‘Jaya’, which is essentially a war-story. It is a poetic narrative of the battle of Kurukshetra.In the second layer, some tales based on the eternal notions of morality were incorporated into it. Human qualities like kindness, forgiveness, truthfulness and self-command were appended to the ‘Jaya’ to form the ‘Bharata’. And much later, in the beginning of the Gupta period, its final stratum was created. This is called the Brahmanical addition which primarily comprises elaborate eulogies of the deities and the Brahmins and is widely considered to be of poor literary value. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe Mahabharata is a huge net with an epochal war at its center. The realization of this war gradually sinks into each character as they proceed towards it, and surprisingly, the thought that flows like a stream throughout the epic is this – war is catastrophic, war is always undesirable.  Peace is desirable. It gives us the insight that victory in a war can be far more dreadful than loss. And yet, it is tranquility of mind, rather than pain, which accompanies this deep insight.Where: Art and Aesthetic, F213/A, 1st Floor, Old M B Road, Lado SaraiWhen: On till April 4last_img read more

Value your time not money to get happiness in life

first_imgIf you thought money is what ultimately brings more happiness, you could not be farther from the truth. New research suggests that valuing your time more than the pursuit of money can make you a lot happier.“It appears that people have a stable preference for valuing their time over making more money, and prioritising time is associated with greater happiness,” said lead researcher Ashley Whillans from the University of British Columbia in Canada. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The researchers also found that older people were more likely to say they valued their time compared to younger people.“As people age, they often want to spend time in more meaningful ways than just making money,” Whillans added. The findings are based on six studies involving more than 4,600 participants.Some of the studies used real-world examples, such as asking a participant whether he would prefer a more expensive apartment with a short commute or a less expensive apartment with a long commute. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixA participant also could choose between a graduate programme that would lead to a job with long hours and a higher starting salary or a programme that would result in a job with a lower salary but fewer hours. “Having more free time is likely more important for happiness than having more money,” Whillans said. If people want to focus more on their time and less on money in their lives, they could take some actions to help shift their perspective, such as working slightly fewer hours, paying someone to do disliked chores like cleaning the house, or volunteering with a charity. “Even giving up a few hours of a paycheck to volunteer at a food bank may have more bang for your buck in making you feel happier,” Whillans noted.The findings were published online in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.last_img read more

Couple protests against loud fire crackers thrashed

first_imgKolkata: A couple was beaten up by some local youths after they protested against the bursting of loud fire crackers.The incident took place at Kalna in East Burdwan district on late Sunday night. It was learnt that some local youths were bursting fire crackers in the area when the victims —Baisakhi Mondal and Arun Mondal raised a protest against them. The victims told police that the accused youths had been bursting fire crackers for the past few days. They urged the youths not to indulge in this but they turned a deaf ear to their appeal. The victim woman told police that she was about to enter the house at around 11 pm on Sunday when one of the accused threw a chocolate bomb near her. As she protested against the accused, she was beaten up. Her husband, Arun, was also beaten up when he came to her rescue. After hearing the screams of the victims, locals rushed to the spot. The accused youths, however, fled the spot immediately after the incident. The victims were taken to Kalna Super-specialty Hospital on Sunday night. The family members of the victim lodged a complaint at the local police station on the basis of which the police started a probe.last_img read more

Soon Naya Pingla to host 9th Pot Maya

first_imgKolkata: The 9th edition of Pot Maya, a fair of patachitras will be held at Naya Pingla in West Midnapore from November 16 to 18.Naya Pingla has become a major tourist attraction because of the patachitra painters. The state Micro Small and Medium Enterprises and Textiles (MSME&T) department, along with UNESCO and district administration, have set up a rural craft hub in the village. There are 10 such craft hubs all over the state that provide support to the families of 3,000 artists. West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board gives active support to organise the fair. Steps have already been taken to sell the produce of the artisans there. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that after coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gave stress on the revival of folk culture in Bengal. The folk and cultural hubs have come up in 15 districts. The holding of regular fairs has helped the artists to build direct contact with the buyers. Two hundred and seventy patachitra artists will take part in the fair. At least one person from each family in Naya Pingla has visited USA or Europe and taken part in the exhibitions. The most interesting part of the patachitra artists is that they are Muslims, while the paintings they make are of Hindu gods and goddesses. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedWith government support, the patachitra artists are now making designs on kurtas, kurtis and even saris. They also regularly take part in the national level fairs. Many of the artists visit the government art colleges all over the country to take classes on patachitras. During the three-day festival, there will be folk performances including Chhau dance and Putul Nach in the evening. Milli Janatkova from Czech Republic will present a collaborative programme with the patachitra artists. It may be mentioned that Dokra of Bikna and Dariyapur, Terracotta of Panchmura, Chhau masks of Charida, wooden masks of Kushmandi, patachitras and madurs of West and East Midnapore have received GI (Geographical Indication) status. Hundreds of visitors from across the country and globe visit Naya Pingla to see the patachitras. Folk artists from Italy and Germany also come to Naya Pingla every year to learn patachitra paintings.last_img read more

Body of HC lawyer found in New Town residence father alleges murder

first_imgKolkata: The body of Calcutta High Court lawyer Rajat Kumar Dey (34) was found under mysterious circumstances inside his flat in New Town, late on Saturday night.Rajat’s father Samir Kumar Dey was informed by his brother-in-law Avik Pal over phone that his son had been found unconscious. Later, Rajat was declared brought dead when taken to Bidhannagar Sub-Divisional Hospital. The New Town police station was informed. Police sent the body for post-mortem, but due to objection from Samir, the process was delayed. On Sunday, police initiated an unnatural death case. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe case took a new turn on Monday, as Samir lodged a murder complaint against Rajat’s wife Anindita and three other members of her family. He also appealed to the Bidhannagar Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate’s (ACJM) Court in Salt Lake, requesting an order to carry out the autopsy examination in presence of a magistrate. The court granted the appeal and ordered police to conduct the autopsy in presence of a magistrate at R G Kar Hospital. But due to some complications, the examination has not been done as of now on Monday. The autopsy is expected to be conducted on Tuesday. Sources informed that though Samir had lodged a murder complaint, police have not started a murder case as sleuths are waiting for the post-mortem report. “There is no substantial evidence in our hands to start a murder case. If any foul play can be traced in the autopsy report, the case will automatically turn into a murder case,” said an official of Bidhannagar Police. Samir alleged that Anindita used to torture Rajat regularly and she might have forced him to consume some poisonous material.last_img read more

45yearold mans head severed accused arrested

first_imgKolkata: A 45-year-old man from Metiabruz was killed after his head was severed from his body when another youth with whom he had engaged in a quarrel attacked the victim with a meat cutting knife.The incident which occurred at Metiabruz in broad daylight on Saturday triggered sudden panic among locals in the area which led to an agitation when they refused to hand over the body to the police. A huge contingent was rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe victim, identified as Chunnu Mia (45), indulged in a verbal duel with a local resident at around 3 pm over some issue after which a scuffle broke out between the two. The accused youth went straight to a meat shop situated nearby and took out a meat cutting knife and slit the victim’s neck. As a result of this, Chunnu’s head was severed from his body. When police reached the spot, the residents staged demonstration and did not allow the police to take the body. A huge contingent of police rushed to the spot and recovered the body. It was sent for postmortem. Senior police officers pacified the irate mob and normalcy was restored in the area few hours after the incident. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedPolice have arrested the accused in this connection. The Investigating Officer is yet to ascertain the motive behind the murder. They are investigating if the accused committed the crime following the altercation or it was a pre-planned murder. The police are also investigating if they had any past rivalry. According to the cops, the accused and the victim were residents of Metiabruz area. The accused is being interrogated in this connection.last_img read more

These street posters live in the moment

first_imgSahmat, The Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust, marks the 30th National Street Theatre Day on April 12, at the Sahmat office, 29 Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi. The National Street Theatre Day was initiated after the murder of Safdar Hashmi in 1989 and falls on his birthday, April 12. Every year, Sahmat would issue a poster to send to street theatre groups across India. The beauty of these posters is its intrinsic sense of history both in terms of artistic practice as well as the visual kinetics of translating a silent protest to intolerance and prejudice towards humans. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe power of these posters lies in the balance of graphics and text-in drawing attention to the atrocities against mankind from all walks of life. The term RESIST stands out in bold letters but it is the aftermath of violence, the scars which remain that hide between the alphabets and the potent messages in the posters.A space was left on the poster for local groups to list their performance information on the poster as a way to link the performances across India through the poster. Many of the posters would be themed on current issues of the moment – freedom of expression, communalism and collective resistance. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThey were designed by Rajinder Arora, Parthiv Shah and Ram Rahman. Many are now in the design collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. “This year’s poster is on the farmer’s crisis and the protests across India,” says Ram Rahman. “It also presents earlier cultural responses to farmers crisis – the Bengal famine through drawings by Chittaprosad and photographs by Sunil Janah, the films ‘Dharti Ke Lal’ by IPTA, ‘Do Bigha Zameen’ by Bimal Roy and recent graphics by Orijit Sen.last_img read more

Spare a thought for our furry friends

first_imgAmidst all the problems people in India are going through because of crackers and increasing pollution in the environment, there is a bigger problem which we often tend to ignore in our happiness and joy. Every year, while we are happy that festivals have arrived and we celebrate it with scant regard for the decibel levels, we tend to forget that others might get disturbed or maybe terrified by that sound. By others, here I mean animals.To know more about how dogs suffer, here are some people who shared their inputs: Also Read – Add new books to your shelfTalking about the problems faced by dogs during this time, Bhupendra Khanal, Founder and CEO at Dogsee Chew said, “Diwali might be a happy time for us but it is a very difficult time for the animals, especially dogs. Many pet parents have observed that their pet and stray dogs on the streets get scared and tense when they hear loud crackers. Around 90% of dogs are scared of crackers. As you must be aware, dogs are extremely sensitive and because they have a stronger hearing power, they are easily susceptible to high decibel sounds during such festivals.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWhile being busy in your celebrations, you must have noticed that the sudden changes in the surroundings with such loud noise and fireworks leave dogs in a stressed and confused state. The ones who have a pet or take care of a dog in their surroundings must know the possible signs of stress in dogs include whining, fear, loss of appetite, salivation and defecation inside the house and in case of stray dogs they run away and find solace in a silent space and that is the reason you will notice many dogs go missing during this festival season. Not only this, sometimes just for fun people hurl firecrackers at dogs too, this is extremely dangerous for dogs. We call dogs our best friend and those who have pets, treat them like family – various veterinarians suggest to keep the pet indoors and in a familiar space. If there is a loud thud at least you will be around to comfort them. This way, they will not feel uneasy and flee in search of silent or a safe place. Also, keep your doors, windows shut and draw curtains, this will at least help minimise the noise. If you are a dog lover and you like to take care of your friends outside, maybe there is not much you can do but keep a first aid kit ready to help a maimed animal. Have a bucketful of water filled for emergency and for putting off used crackers and sparklers. Talking about the problems faced by them, some dog lovers revealed that stray dogs also come running into their home to find a safe corner. Amrita Pandey, an Engineering student who lives in a double-storey area in West Delhi feels sad that people are so insensitive to plight of our canine friends. “It is very sad that we put dogs in this state. I have seen incidents of small kids intentionally bursting crackers in front of dogs because they think it is fun.” Kaushal Kohli, a Banker who lives in Mumbai tells that he is unable to sleep these days because of the anguished howling of canines.last_img read more

High fat diet may cause depression

first_imgDietary fats can enter the brain through the bloodstream, and cause alterations that could lead to depression, according to a study that may pave the way for new therapies to treat the disorder. The team also found that by decreasing the expression of a specific enzyme, symptoms of obesity-linked depression can be reduced. Study shows that saturated fatty acids enter brain through the bloodstream, and thereafter accumulate and affect crucial brain signals related to depression. Obesity and depression have long been linked, however the mechanisms of how obesity affects depression and vice versa have not been understood.last_img read more

The Giant Prehistoric Mushrooms that Covered Earth Before Trees Appeared

first_imgToday, we cannot imagine life on Earth without trees. From the dense rainforests of the Amazon to the vast Russian taigas, trees are our planet’s lungs. But it has not always been this way. About 400 million years ago, Earth’s tallest proto-tree organisms could grow just several feet in height.There was something else casting the thick shadows. Strange organisms with stalks up to three-feet-wide which could rise over 20-feet-tall.Apex opf the ‘Schunnemunk tree’ of Prototaxites loganii from the middle Devonian Bellvale Sandstone near Monroe, New York. Photo by G.J. Retallack CC BY-SA 4.0Scientists have long argued over how to classify these, until it was finally agreed: Planet Earth 400 million years ago was overwhelmed by gargantuan fungi. The prehistoric fungi then went extinct roughly 350 million years ago.Some scientists remain skeptical if these ancient life forms were fungi or not, nevertheless, they are called Prototaxites and their fossils have been attracting attention ever since the mid-19th century. This was when the first fossils of it ended in the hands of paleontologists.Dawson’s 1888 reconstruction of a conifer-like Prototaxites.“Prototaxites fossils have a consistent tubular anatomy, composed of primarily unbranched, non-septate tubes, arranged in concentric or eccentric rings, giving the fossils an appearance similar to that of a cross-section of a tree trunk,” the website describes the fossils.The first research on Prototaxites was issued in 1859 by Canadian paleontologist John William Dawson, who used fossils discovered in Quebec. Since then, paleontologists have obtained an abundance of fossil specimens and have worked on more research, but nobody could confirm what the mysterious organism was until 2007.The microstructure of Prototaxites under a light microscope.The various proposals that went for the unanswerable classification question, included that perhaps the Prototaxites were conifers, lichens, algae, or an ancient, unfamiliar variant of a tree.“The problem is that when you look up close at the anatomy, it’s evocative of a lot of different things, but it’s diagnostic of nothing,” explained Professor C. Kevin Boyce in 2007, a paleobotanist who at the time was associated with the University of Chicago, and has since won a MacArthur Award in 2013 and works for Stanford.Fossil of Prototaxites, an extinct ‘plant’. Photo by Ghedoghedo CC BY-SA 3.0At the time, Boyce also appeared as one of several co-authors of the paper that officially classified Prototaxites as belonging to the Fungi Kingdom. The research team he was part of scrutinized the chemical nature of the fossils and their findings were conclusive that the strange, prehistoric living thing was a fungus. The find was presented in the May 2007 issue of the journal Geology, published by the Geological Society of America.The major indicator the giant fossils did not originate from the Kingdom Plantae (or plants) was the variety of carbon types found in them, very different from the carbon traces left in plant species dated to the same era.A cross-section of Prototaxites.The first suggestion that Prototaxites should be classified as fungi was back in 1919, according to the University of Chicago, but there never was enough evidence to confirm this. The idea bounced back to life thanks to Francis Hueber of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., in 2001. Hueber also appeared as one of the co-authors for the 2007 paper.“He built up a convincing case based on the internal structure of the beast that it was a giant fungus, but agonized over the fact that he was never able to find a smoking gun in the form of reproductive structures that would convince the world that it was indeed a fungus,” commented Carol Hotton, also from the National Museum of Natural History.Vertical section of Prototaxites logani (jr synonym Nematophyton logani).Since the question was ultimately settled, we are now more clear what kind of organisms dominated the world some 420 to 370 million years ago. It would have been a very unfamiliar world for us — as if conceived by the mind of a great sci-fi author.Since Prototaxites easily grew nearly 30-feet-tall, this made them the biggest organism on Earth during the Late Silurian and Devonian periods. There were no dinosaurs who would stamp them into the ground. In fact, the diversity of life inhabiting the Earth’s land masses at this time would have consisted of primitive vascular plants, worms, millipedes and insects without wings.Armillaria ostoyae. Photo by Alan Rockefeller CC BY-SA 3.0Backboned animals did exist but they only inhabited the world’s waters. The plants, distant ancestors of conifers and ferns, were undergoing their own evolution. They would have completed their full evolution cycle by the time the Prototaxites went extinct, but before that, they were simple stems without leaves or roots.In case you find it strange that once upon a time a type of fungi was the biggest living organism on Earth, there are some stunning extant examples of how big they can grow.In fact, the biggest living organism on Earth today is a fungus. In eastern Oregon, scientists have traced a representative of Armillaria Ostoyae which covers 2,385 acres in Oregon’s Malheur National Forest. “It’s bigger than an elephant, bigger than a blue whale, the largest organism on earth may not be what you expect,” wrote the National Geographic in 2017.Read another story from us: For Centuries this Mysterious Rock Art has Guided Caravans Crossing the AndesIt started growing between 2,400 and 8,650 years ago. It’s a pretty compelling proof that its distant relative, the Prototaxites, could have easily reigned the world in the distant past.last_img read more

The Genius of Marie Curie was Formed at an Underground Illegal University

first_imgIn 1903, Marie Sklodowska Curie and her husband, Pierre, won the Nobel Prize in Physics for joint research on radiation. (Radiation had been identified as a phenomenon by Professor Henri Becquerel.) In 1911, Marie won, completely on her own merit, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry “in recognition of her services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element.”What is perhaps even more remarkable is that Marie Curie was not only the first woman awarded a Nobel Prize but also the first person to win the award twice, and she came from a country where women were not allowed to attend University.Marie CurieHigher education was not considered necessary for women in a large part of the world at the time, so the female Curies, Marie and her sister Bronya, had to overcome obstacles to continue their learning past their early teens.Marie was an excellent student, graduating from high school at the age of 15 at the top of her class. As the government had forbidden teaching several subjects, including laboratory classes, Marie’s father, a physics and mathematics teacher, brought home lab equipment and supplemented his daughters’ education.Marie and Pierre Curie experimenting with radium, a drawing by André CastaigneUnfortunately, her father could not afford to send her to University, and, even if he did, girls could not pursue higher education in Poland at the time. Marie’s sister Bronya faced the same circumstances.Marie agreed to work as a governess and tutor to support Bronya while she studied medicine in Paris. At the time, the line dividing Poland from Russia was blurred, so Marie continued to study chemistry, physics, and mathematics at an underground school known as the “Flying University”, where Poles went to learn subjects forbidden by the government, including Polish culture and nationalism.Marie Curie’s notebook. Photo by Wellcome Images CC BY-SA 4.0The Flying (also known as Floating) University also defied Russian laws by allowing female teachers and students. When Marie was able to join her sister in Paris, she studied at the Sorbonne and, again, she graduated at the top of her class. While working for her Ph.D., she studied the properties of uranium and its atomic structure and coined the term “radioactive”. She improved upon Wilhelm Röentgen’s discovery of X-rays and set up portable X-ray units for medic hospitals during the first world war.Related Video: The People who Live in Chernobyl’s Radioactive AreaIn 1906, Marie’s husband, a brilliant scientist and the Chair of Physics at the Sorbonne, was killed by a horse-drawn carriage in the street. Marie was offered his position, which she accepted, becoming the first woman professor at the Sorbonne.Pierre and Marie Curie in the laboratoryMarie was finally considered to be one of the top scientists in the world and hobnobbed with people like Albert Einstein, Hendrik Lorentz, and Max Planck. The Curies had two daughters, Irène and Ève.Irène and her husband Frédéric were the recipients of the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize in Chemistry for continuing Irène’s parents’ work in radioactivity. Ève became a concert pianist, a war correspondent, was active with UNICEF and became a published author who wrote of her parents and their work. The constant exposure to radiation took its toll on the health of the Curies. Marie died at the age of 66, in 1934, from aplastic anemia, a disease of the bone marrow most likely contracted during her work.Curie in a mobile X-ray vehicleHer daughter Irène and Irène’s husband, Frédéric, both died at the age of 58, she of leukemia in 1956 and he from complications of surgery for liver disease believed to be brought on by radiation exposure.Read another story from us: More than 80 years after she passed away, Marie Curie’s remains and personal items are still dangerously radioactiveÈve, who was not a scientist, lived to the age of 102, dying in 2007. Marie’s research notes and personal papers are still so radioactive they are stored in lead boxes that can only be opened by someone in a protective suit.last_img read more