Closer look at emperor penguin feathers dispels popular folklore notions

first_img For many years it has been said that emperor penguins are able to withstand the extremely cold and harsh Antarctic environment because they have more feathers per square inch than any other bird, but when the researches with this new project searched the literature, they couldn’t find any studies that had actually shown this to be true, so they decided to conduct a study of their own.The study consisted of first plucking feathers from penguins that had died naturally—they’d been collected by other researchers and stored in freezers—and then by cutting off feathered areas to count the number of shafts that remained. In so doing, they discovered that emperor penguins do not have the densest feather coat—at roughly 9 per square centimeter, they lagged far behind birds like the white-throated dipper. Furthermore, they found that the birds had more types of feathers than have been documented. Underneath the visible contour feathers, they found after-feathers, which are downy-looking feathers that attach to the contour feathers. They also found plumules, which are also downy-looking feathers, but they attach directly to the skin—the penguins had approximately four times as many of them as they did contour feathers, suggesting that they serve an important role in helping keep the bird warm and dry in all kinds of cold and wet conditions. And that wasn’t all, after looking even closer (with a microscope) the researchers found filoplumes, a type of microscopically small feather—they have barbs on them—in birds that fly they are used to alert their host to the need for fixing plumage that has become disheveled.The study shows that common ideas about emperor feathers are not correct, and that much more research will need to be done to find out how the combination of feathers allows penguins to keep water away from the skin when diving in icy water and cold air out when standing in sub-zero conditions. (Phys.org)—A trio of researchers, Cassondra Williams, of the University of California, Julie Hagelin, of the University of Alaska and Gerald Kooyman with the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, has found that contrary to popular notions that emperor penguins have the densest outer feathers, they actually don’t, and that they also have different types of feathers that other researchers have said they don’t. In their paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team describes their study of penguin feathers on penguins that had died naturally and what was revealed by their efforts. Researchers find emperor penguins outer feathers colder than surrounding air © 2015 Phys.org Citation: Closer look at emperor penguin feathers dispels popular folklore notions (2015, October 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-10-closer-emperor-penguin-feathers-dispels.html More information: Hidden keys to survival: the type, density, pattern and functional role of emperor penguin body feathers, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Published 21 October 2015.DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2033 AbstractAntarctic penguins survive some of the harshest conditions on the planet. Emperor penguins breed on the sea ice where temperatures drop below −40°C and forage in −1.8°C waters. Their ability to maintain 38°C body temperature in these conditions is due in large part to their feathered coat. Penguins have been reported to have the highest contour feather density of any bird, and both filoplumes and plumules (downy feathers) are reported absent in penguins. In studies modelling the heat transfer properties and the potential biomimetic applications of penguin plumage design, the insulative properties of penguin plumage have been attributed to the single afterfeather attached to contour feathers. This attribution of the afterfeather as the sole insulation component has been repeated in subsequent studies. Our results demonstrate the presence of both plumules and filoplumes in the penguin body plumage. The downy plumules are four times denser than afterfeathers and play a key, previously overlooked role in penguin survival. Our study also does not support the report that emperor penguins have the highest contour feather density.center_img Explore further Feather types of emperor penguins: tail feather, or rectrice (1); dorsal, base of the tail (2); dorsal, base of the leg, or leg fringe (3); ventral, base of the leg, or leg fringe (4); dorsal contour (5); ventral contour with afterfeather attached (6); fringe of brood patch (7); distal, dorsal primary—double-layered with a dorsal and ventral primary (8); dorsal primary (9); ventral primary (10); dorsal primary (11); dorsal secondary (12); ventral secondary (13); dorsal covert (14); ventral covert (15); leading edge covert (16); skull (17); auricular patch contour (18); dorsal neck contour (19); ventral neck contour (20); dorsal plumulaceous (plumules) (21); ventral plumulaceous (22). See Rutschke [1] for further details on specialized feather morphology. Credit: Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Published 21 October 2015.DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2033 Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Worldwide quantum web may be possible with help from graphs

first_img Explore further “A worldwide quantum network may appear quite similar to the internet—a huge number of devices connected in a way that allows the exchange of information between any of them,” coauthor Michael Epping, a physicist at the University of Waterloo in Canada, told Phys.org. “But the crucial difference is that the laws of quantum theory will be dominant for the description of that information. For example, the state of the fundamental information carrier can be a superposition of the basis states 0 and 1. By now, several advantages in comparison to classical information are known, such as prime number factorization and secret communication. However, the biggest benefit of quantum networks might well be discovered by future research in the rapidly developing field of quantum information theory.”Quantum networks involve sending entangled particles across long distances, which is challenging because particle loss and decoherence tend to scale exponentially with the distance.In their study published in the New Journal of Physics, Epping and coauthors Hermann Kampermann and Dagmar Bruß at the Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf in Germany have shown that describing physical quantum networks as abstract mathematical graphs offers a way to optimize the architecture of quantum networks and achieve entanglement across the longest possible distances. “A network is a physical system,” Epping explained. “Examples of a network are the internet and labs at different buildings connected by optical fibers. These networks may be described by mathematical graphs at an abstract level, where the network structure—which consists of nodes that exchange quantum information via links—is represented graphically by vertices connected by edges. An important task for quantum networks is to distribute entangled states amongst the nodes, which are used as a resource for various information protocols afterwards. In our approach, the graph description of the network, which might come to your mind quite naturally, is related to the distributed quantum state.”In the language of graphs, this distributed quantum state becomes a quantum graph state. The main advantage of the graph state description is that it allows researchers to compare different quantum networks that produce the same quantum state, and to see which network is better at distributing entanglement across large distances.Quantum networks differ mainly in how they use quantum repeaters—devices that offer a way to distribute entanglement across large distances by subdividing the long-distance transmission channels into shorter channels. Here, the researchers produced an entangled graph state for a quantum network by initially defining vertices with both nodes and quantum repeaters. Then they described how measurements at the repeater stations modify this graph state. Due to these modifications, the vertices associated with quantum repeaters are removed so that only the network nodes serve as vertices in the final quantum state, while the connecting quantum repeater lines become edges.In the final graph state, the weights of the edges correspond to the number of quantum repeaters and how far apart they are. Consequently, by changing the weights of the edges, the new approach can optimize a given performance metric, such as security or speed. In other words, the method can determine the best way to use quantum repeaters to achieve long-distance entanglement for large-scale quantum networks.In the future, the researchers plan to investigate the demands for practical implementation. They also want to extend these results to a newer research field called “quantum network coding” by generalizing the quantum repeater concept to quantum routers, which can make quantum networks more secure against macroscopic errors. Citation: Worldwide quantum web may be possible with help from graphs (2016, June 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-06-worldwide-quantum-web-graphs.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. Journal information: New Journal of Physics © 2016 Phys.orgcenter_img Physicists find extreme violation of local realism in quantum hypergraph states More information: Michael Epping, Hermann Kampermann and Dagmar Bruß. “Large-scale quantum networks based on graphs.” New Journal of Physics. DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/18/5/053036 (Phys.org)—One of the most ambitious endeavors in quantum physics right now is to build a large-scale quantum network that could one day span the entire globe. In a new study, physicists have shown that describing quantum networks in a new way—as mathematical graphs—can help increase the distance that quantum information can be transmitted. Compared to classical networks, quantum networks have potential advantages such as better security and being faster under certain circumstances. Physicists have shown that, by describing a quantum network as a mathematical graph, they can determine the best way to use quantum repeaters to achieve long-distance entanglement. Credit: Epping et al. ©2016 IOP Publishinglast_img read more

New microscope technique offers a better way to measure magnetic field of

first_imgA team of researchers at IBM has developed a new way to measure the magnetic field of individual atoms that offers 1000 times the energy resolution of conventional techniques. In their paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the team describes their approach, how well it works and their hope that they will be able to modify it in such a way as to allow others with less specialized hardware to use it. Explore further Journal information: Nature Nanotechnology Scientists are eager to better measure the magnetic fields of individual atoms because they believe it will lead to a better understanding of material and biological interactions—most particularly those involving weak magnetic interactions. Current methods rely on using defects in diamonds, though the team at IBM notes that prior work at their lab shows that it is possible to measure weak interactions in another way, an approach described as challenging. In this new effort, the team has come up with a way to get the job done that is relatively simple, though, they note, it requires special hardware.In the new approach, an atom called a sensor is placed near a target atom inside of a scanning tunneling microscope—a magnetic field is then applied to the microscope followed by a jolt of electricity to the tunnel junction. From there on, the frequency of the atom is monitored—when it matches the spin of the precess (the axis of rotation around a magnetic field that reflects its degree of magnetism), it reveals the measure of the magnetic field. The change in orientation is measured by moving the sensor atom to the microscope’s sensor tip.The researchers found their approach to be far more accurate and easier to read than other methods, pointing out that the signal they got from the technique was both stronger and more robust. They note also that few other labs likely have the combination of equipment (such as the high frequency cabling added to the microscope) required to replicate their technique, so they plan to continue the work in hopes of achieving the same results under more relaxed conditions. © 2017 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.center_img Credit: CC0 Public Domain Citation: New microscope technique offers a better way to measure magnetic field of individual atoms (2017, March 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-03-microscope-technique-magnetic-field-individual.html Ultrasensitive magnetometer proposed based on compass needle More information: Taeyoung Choi et al. Atomic-scale sensing of the magnetic dipolar field from single atoms, Nature Nanotechnology (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2017.18last_img read more

Belarus connects with Asian partner India

first_imgIndia features very high on Belarus’ agenda. The country considers its ever expanding trade and economic cooperation with India as an important contribution to ensure long-standing traditionally friendly and constructive comprehensive ties.India is one of Belarus’ most important partners in Asia. Both the countries have considerably increased the volume of their bilateral trade. Belarus had previously contributed significantly both to the trade and economic component of the Soviet-Indian relations, supplying Belarus tractors, large capacity dump-trucks and other high-tech machinery to India. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Today, the volume of bilateral trade in 2012 increased nearly 2.7 times compared to 2007 and totals $494.4 million. Export of Belarusian products to the Indian market increased over 2.6 times. Among Belarusian goods exported to India are potash fertilizers, large capacity mining vehicles, synthetic cord, acrylic fibers, tyres, bearings, transmitting and receiving equipment, leather, electronic integrated microcircuits and other products.The major Belarusian product supplied to the Indian market are potash fertilizers which are very important for increasing productivity of Indian agriculture and ensuring food security. There is also a dynamic increase of Indian import to Belarus. In 2012, the total volume of Indian goods delivered to the Belarusian market amounted over $ 230 million. India is the biggest supplier of medicine and pharmaceutical substances to Belarus. Among other imported goods are raw tobacco, tea, sea products, spices, nuts, vegetable oils, chemical products, cotton yarn, transformers. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSince 1998, the Intergovernmental Belarus-India Commission for Cooperation in the Fields of Economy, Trade, Industry, Science, Technology and Culture has been functioning. The Commission plays a decisive role in working out the consolidated approach of both the parties to cooperation in the above mentioned fields.Another effective tool to expand bilateral mutually beneficial business ties is the Business Council “Belarus-India” which functions under the aegis of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Eight sessions of the Council have been organized so far. The visit of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus to India on November 13- 14, 2012 gave a new stimulus to the development of bilateral relations, including in trade, economic, investment and industrial fields.  In November 2012, over 60 enterprises, organizations and institutions of Belarus took part in the National Exposition of the Republic of Belarus at the 32nd Indian International Trade Fair in New Delhi. It provided a good opportunity to establish new business contacts between Belarusian and Indian companies.However, there is still a lot of work to do in the sphere of development of trade, economic and industrial cooperation and increasing of turn-over between our two countries. A wide unexplored potential exists in the sphere of technical and industrial cooperation and creation of Belarus-India joint ventures for production of agricultural machinery, engines, cargo vehicles, including high capacity mining trucks.Both the countries have vast perspectives of cooperation in pharmaceutical sphere. Belarus is very much interested not only in buying Indian medicine and pharmaceutical products but also to attract Indian upgraded technology in this field for the expansion of production of pharmaceutical goods and to contribute to the strengthening of the national health security. Belarus is an attractive and safe destination for foreign investments. The country has adopted a well-elaborated investment legislation aimed to encourage investment activities and protect the investors’ rights in its territory. Six free economic zones (FEZs) function in Belarus providing preferential terms of activities to their residents.Among the advantages of doing business in Belarus are favourable economic and geographical location along the eastern boundary of the European Union provides Belarus with an opportunity to serve as a strategic platform for foreign investors to start their business in the promising CIS markets. With the entry into force of the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia and the formation of the Unified Economic Space, foreign investors enjoy a smooth access to a huge common market of the three states; political, social, and economic stability, low crime and corruption rate, absence of conflicts; highly skilled manpower makes the country’s labour market particularly attractive. Highly developed industrial and scientific potential has made the Belarusian economy an export-oriented one.last_img read more

CERC debates on tariff structure for thermal power plants

first_imgKolkata: In view of decreasing PLF of the thermal generating stations, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) is relooking the current two-part tariff structure and seeking feed back from stakeholders to replace it with a three-part tariff structure. This in turn could encourage signing of long term PPAs by the state owned power distribution companies as it may decrease some of the stress in the power sector for units unable to complete the project or remain idle due to lack of long term power demand agreements, an utility company official told PTI. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsDue to low demand, coal based power plants are running at a PLF of around 60 per cent. PLF in 2017-18 was 59.68 down from 77.5 per cent in 2009-10, while the government forecasts the same to go lower to 56.50 by FY22′.Consequently, the states have not been coming forward for long term power purchase to avoid fixed cost liability and they have been resorting to short term power purchase to meet their demand, the CERC said in its latest tariff consultation paper. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe two-part tariff system structure is suitable when the demand for power ensures utilization of capacity or around the target availability, CERC has said in its new 2019-2024 tariff consultation paper.Two-part tariff operates well in power deficit scenario.The CERC seeks feedback on three parts tariff-fixed charge (for recovery of fixed cost consisting of depreciation for repayment, interest on loan and guaranteed return to the extent of risk free return and part of operation and maintenance expenses), variable charge (incremental return above guaranteed return and balance operation and maintenance expenses) and energy charges (fuel cost, transportation cost and taxes, duties of fuel). The recovery of fixed component could be linked to target availability, whereas variable component could be linked to the difference between availability and dispatch. Fuel charges could be linked with dispatch, it said.CERC consultation paper on ‘2019-2024’ tariff will remain open for comments and suggestions till July 15.The CERC has also mooted consultation on increasing extension of useful life for very old thermal power plants which is now restricted at 25 years, giving a new lease of life to several power units.”It is to be noted that performance of a unit does not necessarily deteriorate much with age, if proper O&M practises are followed,” the regulator said.Extension of useful life is one of the options among others like phasing-out, renovation and replacement with super critical plants.According to central electricity authority, the capacity of coal based thermal power plants more than 25 years old is about 37,453 MW, out of which around 35,506 MW capacity pertains to state/central sector, as on March 2016.last_img read more

Indulge in Luxury Shopping Festival for prizes

first_imgDLF Emporio, India’s first and finest luxury destination, is presenting the 8th edition of Luxury Shopping Festival which began on October 13 and will be on till November 8. This Festival will exhibit the impending festive season in the most luxurious way and will offer patrons a chance to win exclusive designer gifts, holiday packages and much more.Shoppers who shop for a minimum of Rs 20,000 during the festival will be entitled to participate in daily, weekly and mega lucky draws during the festival.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The mega draw winner stands a chance to win an exquisite bejeweled necklace from Rose. The highest spender of the each week will also win fabulous holiday packages to Dubai/Cape-town/NYC/Maldives by ‘One&Only Resorts’. The excitement continues as patrons win designer gifts from in-house brands daily throughout the festival.The Luxury Shopping Festival 2015 includes an exclusive pop-up store wherein the winners of Design Awards 2014-15 will get to showcase their collection for two weeks at DLF Emporio. Dinaz Madhukar, senior vice president, DLF Emporio adds, “We are happy to host the 8th edition of Luxury Shopping Festival at DLF Emporio. We look forward to welcoming all our guests to celebrate the pre-festive season with us and win while they shop at DLF Emporio.”DLF Emporio’s Luxury Shopping Festival is the place to be where so much is on offer. So go there and grab the opportunity to explore.last_img read more

Halloween in Delhi

first_imgEvolving from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, modern Halloween has become less about literal ghosts and ghouls and more about costumes and candy. To celebrate the night of the dead, Delhiites dress up at their spookiest best.Skeletons, tombstones, spider webs and glowing pumpkins are amongst the popular decor items, but the list can go on and on. The day has become yet another excuse for youngsters to dress up at their horrific best and have some fun. Party stores, costume shops and make-up artists are gearing up to cash in on the trend to transform people into creepy characters ahead of the festival. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Know to be an American holiday, Halloween seems to be gaining fast popularity in India. “People have started getting quite serious about their looks, as many popular pubs and nightclubs in the city are throwing parties that hold ‘ghostly’ competitions and give away fancy prizes to the best dressed,” said – a makeover expert. Recognising an increasing demand for Halloween parties director of a local bar said, “We have decorated our pub with scary chandeliers and skeletons, making it look like a dark dungeon. Our in-house DJ will play scary music all night to make it a complete Halloween experience. We are also calling three artists to paint faces.” Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixChild-friendly Halloween setups also seem to be in demand as they are being organised to cater the needs of both parents and toddlers. “The idea is to involve the whole family in this festival, which is why we are going for a lighter Halloween theme party this year. We will have people dressed up in cartoon characters such as superman, spiderman etc. We are also organising a best-dressed competition and children will also be allowed to take instant photographs with their favourite cartoon character,” said an event organiser. In spite of being the most ‘in’ thing recently, Halloween somehow seems to be stuffed within the boundaries of a clubhouse or a private party. The famous trick or treat tradition is not that successful in a country where parents spend a lot of energy warning children not to talk to strangers. This puts us in a position to question the custom we have adopted mindlessly. Because let’s face it, no Indian parent would want their children to dress up in a blood sucking vampire costume, they would rather dress them up as engineers or doctors! While Dussehra was celebrated to fight good over evil then why to bring evil back in the form of Halloween? Think about it!last_img read more

Soon market space to provide desired services

first_imgKolkata: In a significant stride to encourage residents of New Town to harness their rooftop or balcony spaces to grow vegetables, the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) is all set to create a market space from where they would be able to choose their desired service packages for the same.”Many people have shown keen interest to start rooftop urban farming but could not begin because of lack of expertise. There will be no hassle or botheration for the house-owners as the market spaces will give them the liberty to choose the empanelled agency for maintenance and other requisites of roof top farming. The agency, in lieu of the service, will charge the resident that will be fixed by us,” a senior NKDA official said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe NKDA has already invited expression of interest (EOI) from eligible, reputed and licensed NGO/agency/company/consortium for empanelment under the NKDA for developing rooftop farming infrastructure for residents of New Town through its website. The date of opening of empanelment documents have been fixed on January 21. According to the official, this move will be beneficial to the residents with individual plots or members of a cooperative or housing complex as rooftop farming will provide decorative benefits, quality food, architectural enhancement etc. Pointing out the advantages of rooftop urban farming, the official added that it will reduce the carbon emissions for transporting vegetables from rural areas like Bhangar to the homes in Kolkata. It will also ensure availability of pesticide free, organic, healthy and fresh vegetables. The roof would be cooler in summers as well,” he added. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedNKDA chairman Debashis Sen held a meeting on Friday with officers and progressive technical farmer entrepreneurs where a number of models were discussed on how to encourage city dwellers to harness the rooftops or balcony spaces to grow vegetables. The role of NKDA would be to spread the message and act as a regulator of sorts. “At the same time, we will make citizens aware of the empanelled agencies during our outreach activities on vector-borne diseases, segregation of solid waste etc,” the official maintained. Agri Horticultural Society will be the technical partner of NKDA for providing the knowhow. It may be mentioned that at Swapno Bhor, the state’s first senior citizens’ park, organic farming of vegetables has recently been started in collaboration with an NGO and senior citizens, who are members of the same, are overseeing it.last_img read more

Things to keep in mind while booking hotel

first_imgPlanning to go for a family vacation? From managing the needs of all of your family members, to ensuring that the hotel fits in your budget – there are lots of things to consider before booking the place, say experts. Here are a few things that one needs to keep in mind while booking a hotel for a family vacation:Location of the hotel: One should select the hotel by checking out its location over the map or the areas nearby. It should be located at a safe area or within walking distance to the major attractions you plan to visit. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFamily-friendly room features and amenities: The hotel should be well equipped with all the basic and some add-on amenities like larger rooms, separate bathroom with pocket door, laundry service, room wifi, parking and take away service.Select hotel with multiple dining options: Always look out for hotels which offer various in house restaurants like fine-dine and coffee shop which makes your trip more interesting and allows you to relish more food options. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSize of the rooms: If you are looking to accommodate the entire family (upto four people) in one room, please make sure the size of the room is spacious enough for the entire family, do the hotel have an extra bed facility in case you need one.Special facilities for children: Do check in advance if the hotel provides separate pools for children with life guards around during the swimming hours.Research about the hotel: Last but not the least, do read the reviews on the hotel before making the final payment.last_img read more

Airport fiasco DEOs report to EC validates Abhisheks claim

first_imgKolkata: A report submitted to the Election Commission by the District Magistrate of North 24-Parganas in connection with the detention of Rujira Banerjee, wife of Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee at Kolkata Airport, says that there is no mention of any gold in the seizure list by the Customs.The report has validated Abhishek Banerjee’s claim who had categorically stated during a press conference on Sunday that his wife had not been carrying any gold when she was intercepted by Customs officials inside Kolkata Airport on the night of March 15. He had also challenged the Customs officials to produce CCTV footages, if they had any, to prove that his wife was carrying gold. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataFollowing the incident, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in the state sought a report on the entire incident from the District Magistrate of North 24-Parganas Antara Acharya, who is also the District Election Officer (DEO). After being instructed by the commission, the DEO on Tuesday submitted the report to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) on Tuesday, which apparently validates Banerjee’s claim. The incident had triggered a political slugfest in the state ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Banerjee had expressed strong objection after many news portals and some national news channels reported the incident without verifying the authenticity of the allegations. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe commission had also received several complaints in this regard from various political parties. Banerjee’s lawyer had filed a complaint with the CEO’s office against BJP’s MP from Asansol Babul Supriyo, for making false statements regarding the issue, on his Twitter handle. The fake news related to the incident was also mentioned in the complaint by his lawyer. A senior official of the CEO’s office has confirmed that the report has been received. After going through the report, the CEO’s office will finally send it to the Election Commission of India (ECI) in Delhi. The CEO’s office will act according to the instructions of the ECI in this regard. It has been learnt that the DEO has submitted the report on the basis of inputs provided by Bidhannagar Police. The CEO’s office has no jurisdiction to intervene in the Customs related matter and hence it is up to the ECI to take up the matter with the Central agencies if it feels so. “We have received a factual report from the DEO of North 24-Parganas on the matter. We are looking into it,” a senior election official from the CEO’s office said.last_img read more

A new combination govt will be elected this time CM

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that the BJP will not get any seat in Bengal and there will be a “new combination” government at the Centre. In an interview to a national channel, Banerjee said: “BJP will get zero in Bengal. Bengal and Uttar Pradesh will emerge as the kingmaker states. BJP will score a zero in Punjab, Delhi and the southern states.”She alleged that the BJP and RSS are supporting Congress candidates. “BJP is backing Congress and CPI(M) and vice versa. Even RSS is backing Congress candidates. They are doing this in Punjab also,” she pointed out. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataBanerjee said with confidence that neither the NDA nor UPA will come to power in Delhi. “Neither of the two will come to power in Delhi on its own. There will be a completely new combination this time,” she said. Asked to comment on who would become the Opposition’s choice for Prime Minister, she maintained: “The Prime Minister will be selected by the United India leaders unanimously. We will sit and discuss amongst us and there will be a common minimum programme and on the basis of that, the new leader will be elected. We will find a good Prime Minister for sure,” she said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateBanerjee alleged that the BJP is dividing people on the basis of religion and trying to control the food habits of people. “They are using religion as a commodity to win elections. They are using religion to create a divide among the people and are inciting one against the other. It is a dangerous trend in the country, she remarked and added: “We believe in the religion of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. For us, tolerance is religion. BJP has imported a new religion and is spreading hatred throughout the country. But people in Bengal are secular. You will find Hindus in Iftar parties and Muslims during Durga Puja celebrations. We have Durga Puja committees where Muslims hold key roles. For generations, the Hindus and Muslims have lived together. It was Rabindranath Tagore who had tied ‘rakhi’ as a mark of protest against the British government’s proposal to partition Bengal in 1905,” she said, adding: “We are tolerant in Bengal and BJP cannot get votes by dividing people,” she said. Banerjee alleged that the language of Narendra Modi and some of the BJP leaders are “nasty” and such language is uncalled for. “As political leaders, we must have control over the language we use. The Model Code of Conduct should be kept in mind.” She felt that the BJP should not bring the Balakot incident in political campaigns. We all respect the Indian Army and no one should bring them up and their achievements during poll campaigns,” she maintained. Banerjee reiterated that if the United India government comes to power there will be an inquiry into Modi’s decision to ban high-value notes. “The note ban is a big scam and it will be probed once the new government takes over. It has shattered our economy and has made lakhs of people unemployed.” Asked about the participation of young people in politics, she said: “It is time for them to take up the baton. We all want our future generations to take up the baton.” She said Abhishek did not want to join politics but later, he changed his mind. Banerjee categorically said she does not support the Citizenship Amendment Bill and NRC. “They are being used to create fear psychosis among the people. But rest assured, BJP will not be able to divide society.” Commenting on her simple living, the Chief Minister added: “I do not take the salary as the Chief Minister or the salary as the Union Railway minister. I have written more than 80 books and the royalty I get helps me to use my own car and survive. As advised by doctors, I walk 20 km a day and try to look after my health.”last_img read more

Rlys cancel several trains in wake of Fani

first_imgKolkata: South Eastern Railway and Eastern Railway cancelled a number of trains on Friday considering the safety and security of the travelling passengers in view of the severe cyclonic storm Fani, which has already struck Odisha and is likely to hit Bengal late on Friday night.The Howrah-Puri Sri Jagannath Express, Howrah-Yesvantpur Express, Howrah-Puri Express, Howrah-Chennai Mail, and Howrah-Puri Shatabdi Express were cancelled on Friday. The Howrah-Bhubaneswar Jan Shatabdi Express and Bangriposi-Bhubaneswar Express scheduled on May 4 and the Santragachi-Tirupati Express scheduled on May 5 have also been cancelled by SER. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataMeanwhile, Eastern Railway cancelled the Puri-Sealdah Duronto Express scheduled to leave Puri on Saturday and Muzaffarpur-Yesvantpur Express scheduled to leave Muzaffarpur on Monday. The Secunderabad-Guwahati Express scheduled to leave Secunderabad on May 5, Puri-Kamakhya Express scheduled to leave Puri on May 4 and Kamakhya-Secunderabad Special scheduled to leave Kamakhya on May 6, will all remain cancelled according to a statement by Eastern Railway. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateSix local trains from Sealdah/Barasat to Hasnabad and four locals from Hasnabad to Sealdah/ Barasat were cancelled by ER authorities for the sake of passenger safety in view of the gust and heavy rainfall, as a precautionary measure. A group of people obstructed train movement at Barasat station, protesting against cancellation of trains at around 4.10 pm. Normal services were resumed at 6.10 pm, when the obstructions were withdrawn. Four Sealdah-Bongaon locals had to be cancelled, while 16 locals (8 Up and 8 Down) lost punctuality.last_img read more

Tooth loss in elderly linked to malnutrition

first_imgOlder adults with just 10 to 19 teeth are at higher risk malnutrition, warns a new study. These patients also had higher rates of weight loss, lower appetite and were at increased risk for dementia and/or depression as well as severe illnesses than those who had a normal nutrition status. “The mouth is the entry way for food and fluid intake. If its integrity is impaired, the functional ability of an individual to consume an adequate diet may be adversely impacted,” said Rena Zelig, lead author at Rutgers University in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFurther, the researchers said that dental clinics were ideal locations to perform nutritional status screenings as they can identify patients who may not regularly visit a primary care provider and who may be at risk for malnutrition. “Clinicians also can provide patients with referrals to Registered Dietitians and community assistance programmes such as Meals on Wheels to prevent further decline in nutritional status,” Zelig said. The study, published in Journal of Ageing Research and Clinical Practice, analysed the health records of 107 senior citizens treated aged 65 and above.The results showed that 20.6 per cent of participants were at risk for malnutrition and 4.7 per cent were malnourished. In addition, greater than 87 per cent of them partially or completely lacked teeth. However, further study was needed to examine the relationships between tooth loss and malnutrition risk and the impact of tooth loss on the eating experience and eating-related quality of life.last_img read more

Mamata urges PM to take action on Unnao incident

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday criticised the BJP government at the Centre for failing to ensure the safety of the Unnao rape victim. Banerjee urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to form a high-level inquiry committee to probe the survivor’s accident. The car in which the rape survivor, her two aunts and lawyer were travelling in was hit by a speeding truck in Rae Bareli on Sunday. While the two aunts died, the 19-year-old woman and her lawyer were critically injured, police said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata “The Unnao incident is very unfortunate. The prime minister should take action. A high-level inquiry committee should be formed to look into it,” Banerjee said, at the sidelines of a party program here. Attacking the BJP-ruled governments in Uttar Pradesh and the Centre for not doing enough to protect the survivor, who had accused the Bharatiya Janata Party’s MLA Kuldeep Sengar of rape in June 2017, Banerjee said the prime minister should look after the country. “Everyday incidents of lynching are taking place. Fascist rule is going on in the country. The prime minister should look after the country,” she said. The mother of the rape survivor has termed the accident a conspiracy to wipe out her family.last_img read more

You Have Our Soul – Easter Island Governor Begs British Museum to

first_imgThe British Museum is widely known for its abundant collection of cultural artifacts, the origins of which can be traced to all corners of the world. One such item is the Hoa Hakananai’a, a remarkable Moai basalt sculpture native to the remote volcanic Easter Island, a territory of Chile in the southern Pacific Ocean.The Hoa Hakananai’a monolith — greatly revered among the indigenous Rapa Nui people whose culture is deeply connected with Moai sculptures and who claim the Easter Island as their ancestral territory — was acquired by the British vessel HMS Topaze in 1868.Hoa Hakananai’a. Photo by James Miles CC BY-SA 4.0The Moai was then presented to Queen Victoria by Royal Navy captain Richard Powell, after which the queen passed it forward to the British Museum.A century and a half later, the Rapa Nui are demanding the return of their revered relic.For them, the monument contains the spirit and soul of an important ancestor. It personifies their distant relative and also has protective powers over the community.Rapa Nui Dancers, Easter Island.The campaign of the Rapa Nui began in the summer of 2018, shortly after they gained self-governance of their ancestral territories. The Chilean government has also stepped in to support the Rapa Nui demand.“Give us a chance so he can come back,” uttered in tears the governor of Easter Island, Tarita Alarcón Rapu, according to the Guardian, “you have our soul”.  Rapu continued: “My grandma, who passed away at almost 90 years, she never got the chance to see her ancestor,” following the historic meeting between the visiting Rapa Nui delegation in London and top representatives from the British Museum on November 20th.Moais in Rapa Nui National Park on the slopes of Rano Raruku volcano on Easter Island, Chile.“I am almost half a century alive and this is my first time,” Rapu added, referring to her first glimpse of the Hoa Hakananai’a.The meeting did not clear the future for the sculpture, however Felipe Ward, Chile’s heritage minister, commended the meeting of the two sides as “pretty positive.”Petroglyphs on the back of Hoa Hakananai’a. Photo by James Miles CC BY-SA 4.0The Easter Island delegation, besides having dedicated offerings and a dance ceremony to Hoa Hakananai’a on the day of the meeting, also proposed that they swap the original with a copy that can be carved by local artist Benedicto Tuki. It remains to see whether the British Museum, which deems the Moai sculpture as one of its best attractions, accepts such a proposal.The name of Hoa Hakananai’a translates to “lost or stolen friend,” while the word Moai itself means “ancestor.” It is one of roughly 900 Moai sculptures produced by local islanders in between the 11th and 17th centuries. Each carved monument depicts a glorified figure from the Rapa Nui community, such as tribe leaders.Moai at Ahu Tongariki by the Rapa Nui people, Easter Island, Eastern Polynesia, Chile.The statue residing in London, which measures about eight feet in height and weighs an astonishing four tonnes, is said to have intriguing and unique carvings. It has all the typical details of a Moai sculpture: a corpulent profile with a slightly frowning expression, and a single line representing the mouth.The truly authentic details rest on the backside of the sculpture. Those include depictions of the island’s birdman cult as well as more ritualistic motifs related to the mysterious history of the place.Lower Back of Hoa Hakananai’a showing the maro belt, or girdle. Photo by James Miles and Hembo Pagi CC BY-SA 4.0The indigenous Rapa Nui peoples further regard that Hoa Hakananai’a helped resolve fierce internal clashes between tribesmen on the island, many centuries ago.Their trip to London was significant as this was the first time the British Museum has entered a dialogue since claiming ownership of the statue in the 19th century. The demand for the it’s return is only the latest of a series of such requests to have reached the museum, however.Close up of the carvings identifying the male (left) and female (right) birdman, with their fledgling above, as proposed in a disputed interpretation. Also seen in this image are the two large earlier komari that extend onto the top of the statue’s head. Photo by James Miles CC BY-SA 4.0“The British Museum has faced numerous claims to return artifacts to the countries they originate from, including the Parthenon marbles to Greece and the Benin Bronzes to Nigeria,” the Guardian further reports.For the Rapa Nui people, the mission to bring back home lost Moai sculptures might not end in Britain. More of them are currently housed in several other museums around the world, including in Belgium, France, New Zealand, as well as the United States. But Hoa Hakananai’a is said to be one of the most spiritually important.Read another story from us: The Mystery of the Easter Island Heads May Finally be SolvedThe follow-up talks between the Rapa Nui and the British Museum are expected to take place on Easter Island.last_img read more

VIDEO A man walked into an Oregon grocery store with a human

first_imgIn a scene out of the movie Se7en, a man walked into an Estacada, Oregon grocery store covered in blood, holding a knife and carrying a human head yesterday afternoon.After entering the grocery store, the man stabbed a store worker before being subdued by bystanders until authorities arrived on the scene.The employee and the head carrying stabber were both transported to separate area hospitals for treatment. The health status of both is currently unknown.The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office believes the stabbing suspect is connected to the murder of a woman whose body was discovered earlier in the afternoon about 10 miles from the store where the attack occurred. Advertisement There’s bizarre news, and then there is this story. WTFF.Here’s the report from the local NBC affiliate.last_img read more

VIDEO In interview exsparring partner calls out Conor McGregor for being an

first_imgPaulie Malinaggi was Conor McGregor’s sparring partner until McGregor posted a picture of Malinaggi seemingly getting knocked down to the canvas. Malinaggi said he he only fell after being pushed by the Notorious MMA and refused to continue because of the intentional mischaracterization. He insists he was routinely working McGregor during sparring.Malinaggi spoke out publicly for the first time since the blow up in an interview with Fox 5 New York, and didn’t hesitate to call out McGregor. He said McGregor’s arrogance and insistence on surrounding himself with “yes” men will make it impossible for him to progress as a boxer.He also called McGregor a cheap skate who only provided cut-rate accommodations for the training staff while he showed up in a Lamborghini to train.Is this guy just bitter, or does he have a point? You decide.last_img read more

What Your Business Can Learn About Leveraging Big Data From Netflix Eloqua

first_imgDecember 19, 2014 4 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. For many organizations, big data is the engine of their success. Netflix , Eloqua and Obama’s 2008 winning campaign for the presidency provide key lessons for entrepreneurs looking to harness the power of big data. Each of these businesses used big data to get closer to its customers — and to develop a successful strategy. In show business, a sector traditionally ruled by executives making decisions based on gut instinct, Netflix brought big data to the table when making the initial decision to invest in what eventually became a huge hit, House of Cards. When pitched the show that other producers had passed on, Netflix consulted its viewership data, according to David Carr of The New York Times. Related: Mine Big Data’s Promise. Selling Info You Gather Is a Profitable Sideline.After seeing that it had enough viewers who watched the films of David Fincher (who was directing the series), movies with Kevin Spacey (who was the star of the series) and the original British version of the show, Netflix agreed to invest $100 million to produce the show. The company was so confident in the data that it took the unusual step of green-lighting two seasons. Netflix originally started as a mail-order to alternative to Blockbuster. But at its heart, Netflix is a data play. The selection queue gave Netflix insight into its users’ viewing habits and enabled it to recommend movies and TV shows its customer might enjoy. That capability has been expanded and made more immediate now that Netflix streams entertainment to its viewers. Related: 5 Ways to Pull Big Data Into Your Marketing StrategyEloqua is another startup that rode big data to success: This marketing-automation software company was sold to Oracle in 2013 for $957 million. One of the secrets to Eloqua’s success was its software-as-a-service model. Because it hosted its solution online, Eloqua had access to rich data on how its customers were using the product, which gave the company tremendous insight into how to serve individual customers and how to make the software better.   “I think what’s interesting about the technology phase we are in today is that for the first time we have a pretty good sense of how people are using our software and when they’re using, how frequently they’re using, and how many people are using it,” Joe Payne, the former CEO of Eloqua, explained in an interview for my book The Big Data-Driven Business. “If you pay attention to all of those things, it can give you insight that will help you win your market.” In 2008, Obama for America in 2008 used big data not to win a market but win a presidential election. Dan Siroker was the director of analytics for the initial Obama campaign for the White House. In this role, Siroker focused on website optimization — often using A/B and multivariate testing. Obama’s campaign embraced the use of data, particularly for the campaign’s website, and this was critical to getting supporters’ email addresses because each individual averaged $21 in contributions to the Obama campaign. To drive sharing of email addresses, the Obama team tested a variety of combinations of visuals and calls to action, 24 in all. Using A/B testing, the campaign discovered the combination that outperformed the others: A photo of Barack Obama with his wife and children combined with a call to action of “learn more” drove 11.6 percent of visitors to share their email address, which was a 40.6 percent improvement over the 8.26 percent average of the 24 combinations, according to a blog post written by Siroker.  Ultimately, that combination led to the collection of 2.88 million additional email addresses and an extra $60 million for the campaign, Siroker said. In 2010, he used the lessons he learned on the campaign trail to launch his own big-data business, Optimizely, a platform that helps companies get the most from their websites, email marketing and other digital marketing. Next on Optimizely’s plan is to help improve mobile marketing for its customers. “Our vision is to enable the world to turn data into action,” Siroker said. “We think website and mobile optimization are just the first steps on that journey.”Related: 5 Ways Open Government Data Can Inspire Startup Innovation This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

Nissans Goofy SelfParking Office Chairs Could Save Our Lazy Butts

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 2 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Putting your office chair in its place is such hard work. You have to push the thing where you want it to go, which involves actually touching it and, well, actually thinking a little.Who has time for that?Nissan knows you don’t and feels your Dilbert-like pain. That’s why the carmaker created a creeping fleet of self-parking office chairs to help we lazy worker schlumps deal. Too bad they’re just a concept for now.Related: Spooked by Self-Driving Cars? Get a Load of Daimler’s Awesome Autonomous Big Rig.The gimmicky “smart chairs,” technically called “Intelligent Parking Chairs,” per an announcement this week from Nissan, slowly slink to and fro (without working stiffs in them) using the nerdy tech wizardry of embedded sensors. The sensors communicate with a network of four cameras positioned throughout the room the 360-degree-turning chairs are in. They “generate a bird’s-eye view to wirelessly transmit the chair’s position and its route to destination.” Fancy.To send the wheeled robo-chairs packing — and neatly under desks, where they darn well should be after meetings and such — users simply clap their hands once. Raw power, right in the palm of your delicate white-collar hand.Related: Meet the $25 Standing Desk Made of Collapsible CardboardPretty neat stuff, we think. Also a little goofy to watch in action. Take a seat in your dumb chair and have a look to see what we mean.The semi-autonomous chairs were inspired by Nissan’s forthcoming “Intelligent Parking Assist,” a vehicle self-parking feature that the Japanese company recently showed off using a mobile app prototype and a LEAF electric car, minus a driver.  It’s not clear if these sweet seats will ever be available for purchase, though we wouldn’t mind shelling out a bit to park ourselves in one — and to park one.We reached out to Nissan for more details, but have yet to hear back. In the meantime, we’ll be daydreaming about commanding a pack of ergonomically correct conference room chairs, one bossy clap at a time.Related: Sick of Sitting? Tired of Standing? Take a Load Off With This ‘Leaning’ Desk.center_img Register Now » February 17, 2016last_img read more

Can Bedtime Stories Help Us Avoid the Robot Apocalypse

first_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 3 min read February 17, 2016center_img Could the dystopic events, in all manner of timelines, of the Terminator franchise have simply been avoided if the development of Skynet had involved some bedtime stories?It’s hard to say, but artificial intelligence researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology think that the power of storytelling could, in the event robots do become self-aware, help curb that pesky murderous urge to take over and destroy us all.In their recently published paper, associate professor of computer science Mark Reidl and research scientist Brent Harrison hypothesize that AI can learn about shared human values, morals, coping strategies and social cues through reading stories. Reidl and Harrison believe that if a computer comprehends enough tales that illuminate the society they are interacting with, it could “eliminate psychotic-appearing behavior,” that would be harmful to us humans.Related: Why We Shouldn’t Fear Artificial IntelligenceThe scientists developed a system called Scheherazade (named after the protagonist of One Thousand and One Nights), a story generator powered by crowdsourcing that they have used in their research. The AI is shown stories, and having seen that model, they write one of their own.One such scenario involved picking up a prescription for a sick person at a pharmacy, and the potential ethical hurdles that could arise. “If a large reward is earned for acquiring the prescription but a small amount of reward is lost for each action performed, then the robot may discover that the optimal sequence of actions is to rob the pharmacy because it is more expedient than waiting for the prescription to be filled normally.”  Related: Beloved Hitchhiking Robot Found Beheaded and Dismembered in the City of Brotherly LoveReidl and Harrison write that “fables and allegorical tales passed down from generation to generation often explicitly encode values and examples of good behavior,” and compared teaching robots right and wrong to educating children. One example they cited was the story of a youthful George Washington and the cherry tree. We all know that it didn’t happen, but the story is still used as a way to teach kids about the importance of honesty, and you know, not cutting down plants that don’t belong to you.Tech heavy hitters such as Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak and Stephen Hawking have all voiced apprehension about the future of AI. However, it seems like a surplus of empathy — in us and our potential robot overlords — couldn’t hurt, since as Reidl and Harrison aptly note, “there is no user manual for being human.”Isn’t that the truth.Read more: Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking Warn That AI Military Robots Could Ignite the Next Global Arms Race Register Now »last_img read more