Arunachal govt. erects statue to honour Bhupen Hazarika

first_imgThe Arunachal Pradesh government has erected a statue of legendary music composer and singer Bhupen Hazarika at Bolung village in Dibang Valley district of the State.The ten-foot bronze statue, sculpted by Biren Singh of Guwahati, was erected in the village this year. It would be formally unveiled in the early part of 2018, an official said.“The State government had allocated Rs. 30 lakh for the statue in 2015 as a tribute to the legendary singer. Bhupen da is more an Arunachalee than an Assamese,” Director of Research Department Batem Pertin said.Bolung village is adjacent to Assam’s Sadiya area where his parents lived. He was often carried to the village by his elders. Later as a boy he also moved around the village frequently, an official said.Mr. Pertin said that the government in 2016-17 also allocated Rs. 70 lakh for erection of two statues of Hazarika at Yazali in Lower Subansiri district and Itanagar.Mr. Pertin, also the general secretary of the A.P. Literary Society, said that due to persuasion of the society, the government approved the Bolung project. “The land was donated by the sons of former MLA of Arunachal Pradesh Provisional Legislative Assembly Gora Pertin,” Mr. Pertin said.last_img read more

Greenpeace in standoff over Greenland Arctic drilling

first_imgAPTN National NewsGreenpeace says two of its ships tracking an oil rig on the Greenland side of Baffin Bay are being warned off by the Danish Navy.The environmental group wants to stop all drilling in the Arctic.And for once, Greenpeace and Nunavut are, for at least for the time being, on the same side.APTN National News reporter Kent Driscoll has this story from Iqaluit.last_img

Baltimore City Set to Celebrate 90th Birthday of Literary Giant James Baldwin

first_imgJames BaldwinOn August 2, 2014, cities across the country will celebrate James Baldwin’s 90th birthday, honoring a giant of American literature. In Baltimore, the James Baldwin Literary Society will be putting on a weekend of events to celebrate the author’s legacy as well as provide a forum for African-American authors to share their work and paths.Baldwin was one of the 20th century’s great literary voices, a writer of important novels such as Go Tell It on the Mountain, and Giovanni’s Room. He also wrote numerous plays and essays, dealing with America’s inability to adequately address or heal from its legacy of racism.Paula Whaley, the baby sister Baldwin honored with the dedication in his first collection of essays, Notes of a Native Son, spoke to the AFRO before heading to New York City. This weekend she will be present for the renaming of a section of E. 128th Street in Harlem in honor of her brother. Whaley said Baldwin would be “flabbergasted” to see so much attention lavished on him. He was a man who preferred to be seen simply as a writer rather than the celebrity he became.Whaley, who lives in Baltimore City and runs the Oneeki Design Studio in Charles Village, discussed the lessons she learned from her brother during an AFRO interview in April. “I learned a lot about the way you live in terms of risking things,” said Whaley. “For me, simply because of who we are or who we were, and because of the father that my siblings experienced, we dealt with great fear. A lot. So part of my journey has been – and he (Baldwin) taught me in terms of looking at the world, going within – dealing with your fear, in order to face it.”Kevin Brown, one of the cofounders of the James Baldwin Literary Society (JBLS), established in Baltimore City in 1986, said it was Baldwin’s courage that shaped his greatest legacy. “Speaking truth to power,” said Brown of that legacy. “Being unbought and unbossed. Never allowing the status quo, the mainstream media, to reframe, repackage, shorten his speech, make him a sound bite. James Baldwin has never been a sound bite. John F. Kennedy is a sound bite: ‘It’s not what your country can do for you’; Lyndon B. Johnson is a sound bite; Bull Connor is a sound bite; Martin Luther King Jr. – I hate to say that – is a sound bite: ‘I have a dream.’ James Baldwin never became a sound bite. Never. There’s too much ‘there’ there.”JBLS has three events planned for the weekend of Aug. 1, all of which will take place at Nancy’s, a cafe on North Avenue and N. Howard Street owned by Brown. On Friday, the cafe will host a cocktail party and reception, featuring readings from Baldwin’s corpus, including the essay “Nothing Personal,” and the nonfiction book The Evidence of Things Not Seen, which Brown says are in their 50th and 30th year respectively.On Aug. 2, the date Baldwin would have turned 90, Nancy’s will host the 20th anniversary of the publishing of New Breezes Literary Magazine, a series of anthologies featuring emerging African-American writers that was first published in 1994. At the event, a number of authors who published their work in the anthologies will read selections and discuss the careers the anthologies helped launch.Alma Roberts, the editor of New Breezes, spoke of the way Baldwin helped shape the way we view writing today. “Here was this giant of a literary figure, and he himself in his personal life broke numbers of barriers, that really sort of made people move past the traditional thinking about writers and especially African-American voices,” said Roberts. “His messages were powerful and they resonated not just with African-Americans but with the majority, general population as well.”On Aug. 3, the cafe will host a brunch, featuring live jazz from John Milton Wesley. Anyone interested in attending one of the events should email JBLS at info@jamesbaldwin.org.ralejandro@afro.comlast_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

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

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

Swift is improving the UI of its generics model with the reverse

first_imgLast week, Joe Groff of the Swift Core Team published a post on the Swift forums discussing refining the Swift Generics model which was established by the Generics Manifesto, almost three years ago. The post introduced new changes to improve the UI of how generics work in the Swift language. The first part of this group of changes is the SE-0244 proposal. This proposal introduces some features around function return values. SE-0244 proposal The SE-0244 proposal addresses the problem of type-level abstraction for returns.  At present Swift has three existing generics features in Swift 5. Type-level abstraction The syntax of a type level abstraction is quite similar to generics in other languages, like Java or C#. In this users type out the function definitions, use angle brackets, and conventionally use T for a generic type, all of it happening at the function (or type) level. Each of the functions for Type-level abstraction has a placeholder type T. Each call site then gets to pick what concrete type is bound to T, making these functions very flexible and powerful in a variety of situations. Value-level abstraction Value-level abstraction deals with individual variables. It is not concerned with making general statements about the types that can be passed into or out of a function; instead, developers need to worry only about the specific type of exactly one variable in one place. Existential type Many swift libraries consist of composable generic components which provide primitive types along with composable transformations to combine and modify primitive shapes into more complex ones. These transformations may be composed by using the existential type instead of generic arguments. Existential types are like wrappers or boxes for other types. However, they bring more dynamism and runtime overhead than desired. If a user wants to abstract the return type of a declaration from its signature, existentials or manual type erasure are the two choices. However, these come with their own tradeoffs. Tradeoffs of existing generics features The biggest problem of the original genetic manifesto is generalized existentials. Present existentials have a variety of use cases that could never be addressed. Although existentials would allow functions to hide their concrete return types behind protocols as implementation details, they would not always be the most desirable tool for this job. This is because they don’t allow functions to abstract their concrete return types while still maintaining the underlying type’s identity in the client code. Also, Swift follows in the tradition of similar languages like C++, Java, and C# in its generics notation, using explicit type variable declarations in angle brackets. However, this notation can be verbose and awkward. So new improvements need to be made for existing notations for generics and existentials. Reverse generics Currently Swift has no way for an implementation to achieve type-level abstraction of its return values independent of the caller’s control. If an API wants to abstract its concrete return type from callers, it must accept the tradeoffs of value-level abstraction. If those trade-offs are unacceptable, the only alternative in Swift today is to fully expose the concrete return type. These tradeoffs led to the introduction of a new type system feature to achieve type-level abstraction of a return type. Coined as reverse generics by Manolo van Ee, this system behaves similar to a generic parameter type, but whose underlying type is bound by the function’s implementation rather than by the caller. This is analogous to the roles of argument and return values in functions; a function takes its arguments as inputs and uses them to compute the return values it gives back to the caller. This process has already begun with a formal review in progress on SE-244: Opaque Result Types. This proposal covers the “reverse generics” idea and some keyword in return types. “If adopted”, says Tim Ekl, a Seattle-area software developer, “it would give us the ability to return a concrete type hidden from the caller, indicating only that the returned value conforms to some protocol(s)”. He has also written an interesting blog post summarizing the discussion by Joe Groff on the swift forums page. Note: The content of this article is taken from Joe Groff’s discussion. For extensive details, you may read the full discussion on the Swift forums page. Read Next Swift 5 for Xcode 10.2 is here! Implementing Dependency Injection in Swift [Tutorial] Apple is patenting Swift features like optional chaininglast_img read more