Moon Rock Turns Out to be Fake

first_img The Rijksmuseum is famous for its fine art collections, especially paintings by Rembrandt and other masters. One of its lesser known objects, the “moon rock”, was first unveiled in October 2006 as the centerpiece of a “Fly me to the moon” exhibition. At that time, the museum said the rock symbolized the “exploration of the unknown, colonization of far-away places and bringing back of treasures…” A reading about the “moon rock” was even held on October 7 because it was a full moon!The rock was given as a private gift to former prime minister Willem Drees Jr in 1969 by the U.S. ambassador to The Netherlands, J. William Middendorf II, during a visit by the Apollo 11 astronauts, Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin, soon after the first moon landing. Drees had been out of office for 11 years, but was considered an elder statesman.When Drees died in 1988, the rock was donated to the Rijksmuseum, where it has remained ever since. According to a museum spokeswoman, Ms Van Gelder, no one doubted the authenticity of the rock because it was in the prime minister’s own collection, and they had vetted the acquisition by a phone call to NASA. According to an article published by the Rijksmuseum, at one time the rock was insured for approximately half a million dollars, but its actual value is probably no more than around $70.Former U.S. ambassador, Mr Middendorf was unable to recall the exact details of how the rock came to be in the U.S. State Department’s possession. It is known that NASA gave lunar rocks to over 100 countries in the 1970s, but when the rock was displayed in 2006 a space expert told the museum he doubted any material would have been given away so soon after the manned lunar landing.Researchers from the Free University of Amsterdam immediately doubted the rock was from the moon, and began extensive testing. The tests concluded the rock was petrified wood. U.S. embassy officials were unable to explain the findings, but are investigating.Even though the tests found the piece is not of lunar origin, the Rijksmuseum curators say they will keep it anyway as a curiosity.© 2009 PhysOrg.com Citation: Moon Rock Turns Out to be Fake (2009, September 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-09-moon-fake.html Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — The Dutch national Rijksmuseum made an embarrassing announcement last week that one of its most loved possessions, a moon rock, is a fake — just an old piece of petrified wood that’s never been anywhere near the moon. Astronauts who landed on the Moon collected 2,415 samples of Moon rocks weighing a total of 842 pounds (382 kilograms). Most of these rocks were collected during the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 missions. Image Credit: NASA Purdue University to display moon rock 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

Advanced Robotic Arm Controlled by Monkeys Thoughts w Video

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have demonstrated a monkey controlling an advanced robotic arm by using its thoughts. The experiments were led by Dr. Andrew Schwartz, a professor of neurobiology and involved a high degree of complexity in the robotic arm, the level of control, and the intricacy of the manipulations. © 2010 PhysOrg.com This is not the first time that Dr. Schwartz implanted sensors in a monkey’s brain to control a robotic arm. Back in May of 2008 experiments were conducted by Dr. Schwartz, using a simpler mechanical arm, to teach a monkey to feed itself. This was a four-degrees-of-freedom arm with shoulder joints, elbow, and a simple gripper. In this demonstration researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have taught a monkey to use its thoughts to control an advanced robotic arm and perform elaborate maneuvers with it. Credit: University of Pittsburgh In the video above the monkey (right side of video) uses its right arm to tap a button which triggers the robotic manipulator to position a black knob to an arbitrary position. The monkey is then seen controlling its articulated robotic arm to grasp the knob.After touching the knob the monkey places its mouth on a straw to be rewarded with a drink. By constant repetition the monkey eventually starts placing its mouth on the straw before touching the knob knowing that a drink is coming.This advanced robotic arm has seven-degrees-of-freedom as compared to the four-degrees-of-freedom arm back in 2008. The added three more degrees of freedom adds an articulated wrist which can perform pitch, roll and yaw movements. These movements enable the monkey to precisely turn the knob by rotating the mechanical wrist.By putting the brain in direct communications with machines, researchers will one day be able to engineer and operate advanced prosthetics in a natural way to help paralyzed people live a close to normal life.As of this writing Dr. Schwartz and his colleagues have not published the detailed results of their latest experiments.You can now listen to all PhysOrg.com podcasts at www.physorg.com/podcasts-news/ Citation: Advanced Robotic Arm Controlled by Monkey’s Thoughts (w/ Video) (2010, June 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-06-advanced-robotic-arm-monkeys-thoughts.htmlcenter_img Woman outfitted with robotic arm Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In the video above monkeys in the Dr. Schwartz’s lab are able to move a robotic arm to feed themselves marshmallows and chunks of fruit while their own arms are restrained.In the experiments conducted this year two sensors were implanted into the monkey’s brain. One was implanted in the hand area and the second in the arm area of its motor cortex. The sensors monitor the firing of motor neurons and send data to the computer that translates the patterns into commands that control the robotic arm.last_img read more

Look Ma no calibration Handheld 3D scanner points and shoots

first_imgFuel3D was developed by hardware and software engineers and scientists. The scanner technology is based on work that was first developed at Oxford University toward a 3-D medical imaging system. That system was subsequently deployed in UK national health clinics, and medical facilities in the US, France, Denmark, Australia and Afghanistan. Later on, seeing a lack of quality 3D scanning options at affordable prices, a team member recommended working on such a scanner, based on their medical technology. At the time of this writing, they topped their $75,000 goal with $80,485 pledged and 31 days to go. They were originally offering an early bird pledge price of $750 for beta preproduction units but those are all gone. Pledges of $990 get a full production batch scanner with estimated delivery date of July next year. The 3D printer market is heating up but the real problem is getting a 3D scanner that can deliver a good template of what you want to print. That is easier said than done. You can get handhelds for a few hundred dollars but pricetags for high-end quality scanners can easily scare off independent artists, engineers and crafts people in search of true 3D geometry and full color and an image capture of highly textured organic and inorganic surfaces. An image capture company with offices in Greenville, North Carolina, and Oxford in the UK, Fuel3D has a product in the works which they want to swing into full production mode. Fuel3D has a working prototype of a handheld full-color 3D scanner for less than $1000. The scanner is a point-and-shoot device, and, for that price range, offers high-quality images. The company has turned to Kickstarter to raise funds to get the product out. One of their selling points is that no calibration is needed and yet the scanner can achieve a level of color resolution and detail that one would expect from a device with a far higher pricetag. “Today, a buyer could expect to pay over $15,000 for a handheld scanner that provides similar quality results,” they said. According to a Fuel3D technical paper, The Fuel3D system has the following components: The handheld unit that connects a PC or Mac via USB connection; the computer software that works with the scanner; and optical targets, to allow the scanner to track its motion during image capture.The technology behind this scanner fuses geometric and photometric stereo 3D recovery techniques.Once a shot is taken on the scanner, raw image data becomes 3D color geometrical data through the company’s software, which is included with the scanner, they said. “To run the Fuel3D software, you will need a reasonable specification computer (Mac, Windows 7 or higher, 2GB RAM, dual-core processor),”they added. Explore further Citation: Look Ma, no calibration: Handheld 3D scanner points and shoots (2013, August 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-ma-calibration-handheld-3d-scanner.html More information: www.kickstarter.com/projects/4 … r-for-less-than-1000 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. Mini-CT scanner developed as a teaching tool © 2013 Phys.orglast_img read more

Study group claims free access to research papers has reached a tipping

first_img © 2013 Phys.org Explore further Citation: Study group claims free access to research papers has reached a ‘tipping point’ (2013, August 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-group-free-access-papers.html University of California adopts open-access policy for research papers More information: www.science-metrix.com/eng/news_13_08.htm 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. The idea of open-access for research papers is a relatively new idea. Online sites such as Nature or Science charge a fee for the right to read the articles they publish. But that, open-access advocates say, hampers scientific progress by preventing a lot of people from using such papers to further their own research. There is also the issue of who really owns the rights to papers produced that cover work paid for by governmental agencies. The Obama administration, tackling the issue head-on, just this past February mandated that all research papers that come about as a result of government funded work be made available free to the public within one year of initial publication. More recently the European Commission has announced that it will implement a similar plan, though the time frame is to be just six months.To learn more about how many papers are already available for free online, Science-Metrix undertook a study (paid for by the European Commission) using an outside source to estimate the number of papers published in 2008 and subsequently made freely available. That review came back with 32 percent. Not satisfied with that result, the company undertook its own study searching for papers published between 2008 and 2011. They claim to have found free access to 42 percent of 320,000 papers they searched for using netbots. Then, because they estimated that their search engines missed some free articles, they bumped the number up to 50 percent, which led Archambault to make his tipping point claim. The company suggests that the reason the number has grown so high is due to several developments. The first is the growth in open-access sites (from 4 to 12 percent of total published articles over the period 2004-2011). The second and likely making more of impact, however, is the trend towards allowing free access to articles initially published behind paywalls after a certain amount of time has passed—typically a year.Whether articles published as open-access have indeed reached a tipping point remains to be seen, what is certain now, is that the practice continues to incite great debate in the scientific community regarding both its merits and flaws. Per cent of freely available peer-reviewed papers, 2004-2011. Credit: Science-metrix report , Science Journal information: Nature (Phys.org) —Éric Archambault, president of Science-Metrix, is claiming in a paper produced by his company that free access (open-access) to research papers has now reached a “tipping point.” The implication is that now that at least as many researchers paper are available for free as those behind paywalls, more and more will be made available for free to the public until eventually all of them can be accessed by anyone that wishes without charge.last_img read more

Speed of light drops to zero at exceptional points

first_img More information: Tamar Goldzak et al. “Light stops at exceptional points.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.013901, Also at arXiv:1709.10172 [physics.optics] Light, which travels at a speed of 300,000 km/sec in a vacuum, can be slowed down and even stopped completely by methods that involve trapping the light inside crystals or ultracold clouds of atoms. Now in a new study, researchers have theoretically demonstrated a new way to bring light to a standstill: they show that light stops at “exceptional points,” which are points at which two light modes come together and coalesce, in waveguides that have a certain kind of symmetry. ‘Exceptional points’ give rise to counterintuitive physical effects Explore further Unlike most other methods that are used to stop light, the new method can be tuned to work with a wide range of frequencies and bandwidths, which may offer an important advantage for future slow-light applications.The researchers, Tamar Goldzak and Nimrod Moiseyev at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, along with Alexei A. Mailybaev at the Instituto de Matemática Pura e Aplicada (IMPA) in Rio de Janeiro, have published a paper on stopping light at exceptional points in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.As the researchers explain, exceptional points can be created in waveguides in a straightforward way, by varying the gain/loss parameters so that two light modes coalesce (combine into one mode). Although light stops at these exceptional points, in most systems much of the light is lost at these points. The researchers showed that this problem can be fixed by using waveguides with parity-time (PT) symmetry, since this symmetry ensures that the gain and loss are always balanced. As a result, the light intensity remains constant when the light approaches the exceptional point, eliminating losses.To release the stopped light and accelerate it back up to normal speed, the scientists showed that the gain/loss parameters can simply be reversed. The most important feature of the new method, however, is that the exceptional points can be adjusted to work with any frequency of light, again simply by tuning the gain/loss parameters. The researchers also expect that this method can be used for other types of waves besides light, such as acoustic waves. They plan to further investigate these possibilities in the future. Citation: Speed of light drops to zero at ‘exceptional points’ (2018, January 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-exceptional.htmlcenter_img © 2018 Phys.org Journal information: Physical Review Letters Artistic image. Credit: pixabay 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

Physicists explain fireballs erupting from grapes in microwave oven

first_imgProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1818350116 © 2019 Science X Network Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: Physicists explain fireballs erupting from grapes in microwave oven (2019, February 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-physicists-fireballs-erupting-grapes-microwave.html More information: Linking plasma formation in grapes to microwave resonances of aqueous dimers, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1818350116 Play Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1818350116 Genomic study reveals clues to wild past of grapes Play Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1818350116 center_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Back in 2011, impressive videos of grapes igniting in microwaves went viral on YouTube. All a person had to do was cut a grape in half, leaving the two halves connected by a bit of skin at the bottom, and heat them in a microwave oven—within seconds, a tiny fireball would appear between them. Making things even more exciting was that nobody could explain it. Since that time, many armchair scientists have presented possible explanations—one of the more popular was the suggestion that the grapes somehow form an antenna directing the microwaves across the skin bridge. In this new effort, the physicists in Canada ran multiple tests on the grapes and other similar objects to learn the true reason for the formation of the fireball.The tests consisted mostly of using thermal imaging cameras to capture the action as the grapes were heated and running simulations. They also tested other similarly sized fruit and plastic balls filled with water.The researchers found that the formation of the fireball was the result of a simple process. As the microwaves enter the grapes, hot spots form in both pieces at the points where they are closest to one another due to a bond between them. As the hot spots grow hotter, surrounding electrolytes become supercharged, resulting in the formation of a burst of plasma in the form of a small fireball.The researchers note that the same effect could be produced using similarly sized fruit or water-filled balls. They also found that it is not necessary to maintain any sort of physical connection between the two pieces—all that is required is that they be no more than three millimeters apart. A trio of researchers with McMaster, Concordia and Trent Universities has solved the mystery of why pairs of grapes ignite into fireballs when cooked together in a microwave oven. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hamza Khattak, Pablo Bianucci and Aaron Slepkov claim that the fireball is not the result of heat from the outside of the grapes making its way in, but instead comes about due to hotspots that form in both grapes. Explore further PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenlast_img read more

Ultrashort period brown dwarf discovered

first_img More information: James A. G. Jackman, et al. NGTS-7Ab: An ultra-short period brown dwarf transiting a tidally-locked and active M dwarf. arXiv:1906.08219v1 [astro-ph.SR]: arxiv.org/abs/1906.08219 © 2019 Science X Network Brown dwarfs are intermediate objects between planets and stars, occupying the mass range between 13 and 80 Jupiter masses. Although many brown dwarfs have been detected to date, such objects orbiting other stars are a rare find.Now, a group of astronomers led by James A.G. Jackman of University of Warwick, UK, reports the finding of new rare brown dwarf in the binary system NGTS-7AB. The system, located about 500 light years away, consists of two M-dwarf stars. The newly detected brown dwarf orbits the primary star known as NGTS-7A and therefore received designation NGTS-7Ab.The discovery occurred during the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS), a ground-based robotic search for exoplanets. The brown dwarf nature of the new object was confirmed by follow-up observations.”We have reported the discovery of NGTS-7Ab, a high mass transiting brown dwarf orbiting an M-star with an orbital period of 16.2 hours,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.According to the study, the discovery is significant due to the very short orbital period of the newly found object and its relatively high mass. NGTS-7Ab represents the so-called “brown dwarf desert,” describing the paucity of massive brown dwarfs (with masses greater than 35 Jupiter masses) orbiting their hosts at a relatively close distance (less than 3.0 AU).NGTS-7Ab was found to orbit its parent star at a separation of around 0.014 AU, and its mass is assumed to be around 75.5 Jupiter masses, which makes it one of the most massive objects of this type detected to date. The radius of this object is estimated at approximately 1.38 Jupiter radii.Moreover, NGTS-7Ab is the shortest period transiting brown dwarf around a pre-main or main sequence star so far discovered, and only the fifth brown dwarf transiting an M-star host. Summing up the results, the researchers also try to explain the ultra-short orbital period of NGTS-7Ab, noting that the M-dwarf companion could be responsible for this.”We believe NGTS-7Ab is part of a hierarchical triple system and the presence of NGTS-7B may have had a role in moving the brown dwarf into its close orbit via the Kozai-Lidov mechanism and tidal circularisation,” the authors of the paper concluded.They added that the orbit of NGTS-7Ab will most likely decay within about 5 to 10 million years due to a combination of tidal synchronisation and magnetic braking. Citation: Ultra-short period brown dwarf discovered (2019, June 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-ultra-short-period-brown-dwarf.html Transit lightcurves of NGTS-7Ab. Top: phase folded NGTS lightcurve with the best fitting model overlaid in red. Middle: Primary transit lightcurve from SAAO in I band, with the best fitting model in green. Bottom: Primary transit lightcurve from EulerCam in V band, with the best fitting model in magenta. Residuals for each fit are shown underneath each respective plot. Credit: Jackman et al., 2019. 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 An international team of astronomers has detected a new brown dwarf with an ultra-short orbital period that transits an active M-dwarf star. The newfound object, designated NGTS-7Ab, turns out to be the shortest period transiting brown dwarf around a main or pre-main sequence star discovered to date. The finding is detailed in a paper published June 19 on the arXiv pre-print server. Massive brown dwarf detected by astronomerslast_img read more

ForNow Parents and Big Feelings How Sesame Street Talks About Trauma

first_imgIn between cheering for Elmo and Karli, Elmo’s dad (whose name is Louie) asks Clem and Dalia: “How has everything been going, since becoming her foster parents?” — In the final version of this video—part of Sesame Workshop’s new set of materials on foster care, released today—Clem’s head is held high, and a measured acknowledgment that sometimes things can be tough gives way to excitement when it’s decided that Elmo can join Karli, Clem, and Dalia for “pizza-party Tuesdays,” because as Louie says, “everything’s better with a friend by your side.” Outside, it’s a chilly gray December Monday, but on set the monsterball park is brimming with plant life, and butterfly puppets held up on long metal wires flap their wings. Looking on are Elmo’s dad—yes, he has a dad now, as of 2006—and two of what Sesame Street calls “anything Muppets,” puppets with no particular character attached that are made as templates and can be adapted as needed. These Muppets—a fuzzy teal monster in an athletic jersey and a gray monster with pink and purple feathers for hair—have become Karli’s foster parents, Clem and Dalia. Clem hangs his head and sighs. “Changes like this can be really rough for kids. And for adults, too,” he says. ASTORIA, NEW YORK—Inside the Sesame Street studio in Queens, Elmo is playing “monsterball” with his friend, a new Muppet named Karli who has lime-green fur and two ponytails. (Monsterball, for what it’s worth, appears to be the same as soccer, but with a furry ball.) Puppeteers, with their hands raised high and their heads cranked to the side to stay out of the camera’s shot, run around, making Elmo and Karli kick, laugh, and throw the ball. The foster-care resources—which include an interactive storybook and printable activities, as well as videos featuring Muppets—are the latest in a series of packages that Sesame Workshop is producing to support kids going through traumatic experiences. These online resources—which won’t be featured on the television show—are intended for use by parents and caretakers, and also by therapists, social workers, and anyone else who works with such kids. Read the whole story: The Atlanticlast_img read more

Senior bureaucrats from ministry likely to be summoned by police

first_imgThe Special Investigation Team (SIT) is keeping a vigil on former employees and a few senior bureaucrats from various ministries in connection to the corporate espionage case, after the recent arrest of the two former multi-tasking staffs (MTS) by the Crime Branch.“Very soon, the SIT will summon several senior bureaucrats from the ministry for investigation. Bureaucrats, employees and officials with the Public Sector Undertakings will also be questioned, as we have found the involvement of some of them in this case,” a source told Millennium Post. A senior police official privy to investigation said that the same module, which was involved in the stealing and leaking of documents, had their men within the ministry of environment and forests, ministry of power, ministry of telecommunications and ministry of road transport and highways. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreThe probe has further brought to light that the stealing and procuring of the highly classified documents had been going on for a decade. The two arrested employees, who were associated with the environment ministry and the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) said that they have been stealing the documents since 1996 and selling them to the corporate houses.It has been revealed by the accused persons that documents from the forest ministry, transport and highways had been demanded by the corporate houses. After picking a few targets, the concerned offices were besieged and the lower-rung employees were contacted to procure the documents related to that ministry, the source said. Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedThe SIT arrested Jatinder Nagpal, personal assistant to the joint secretary in the ministry on Wednesday night. He was accompanied by one Vipan Kumar, personal assistant to a member of the UPSC. Kumar had joined the petroleum and natural gas ministry in the position of a stenographer in 1996. The police said that, from 1996 to 2010, Kumar used to steal documents from the ministry with the help of his contacts and subsequently pass them on to corporate houses. Nagpal, too, had joined service as a stenographer in 1994 at the ministry of law and justice, where he served till 2007. From 2001 to 2003, while he worked at the ministry of chemicals and fertilizers, he used to acquire documents from Vipan Kumar, Lokesh Sharma (already arrested earlier) and his other contacts.last_img read more

Franchises retain 41 Indian footballers for 2015 ISL

first_imgThe Indian Super League (ISL) franchises have retained a total of 41 footballers and signed 23 more from the open market in a step towards building their respective squads for the second edition of the tournament later this year.All the eight franchises have submitted on Friday, within the stipulated deadline, the list of retained Indian players as well as open market signings, an ISL release said on Sunday.The franchises had a retention quota of minimum of one and maximum of six Indian players. Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for JadejaFranchises Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa, FC Pune City and Kerala Blasters FC have exercised the maximum allowed retention clause by retaining six Indian players each from their previous squad.Delhi Dynamos and NorthEast United FC have retained five each, defending champions Atletico de Kolkata retained four players and Mumbai City FC continued the services of three.Each franchise is allowed to have a squad of 22, comprising 13 Indian and 9 international players including one marquee signing. Additionally, a franchise can sign 3 more players from the open market which can include maximum of 2 international player.Indian player signings will be completed in the month of July through an auction followed by draft of unsigned players. The 2015 ISL is scheduled to kick-off in September and stretch till December 2015.last_img read more

Militants strike twice in Kashmir soldier among three killed

first_imgThree persons, including a soldier and a militant, were killed and two people were injured on Monday as ultras targeted an army patrol and a franchise of BSNL at two places in Kashmir, police said.Militants opened fire at an army patrol at Kanjikulla in Yaripora area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district, about 80 kms from here, a police officer said.Sepoy Dharam Ram was injured in the firing and succumbed later, the officer said. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJISecurity forces immediately cordoned off the area and tracked down a militant to an orchard where he was killed in a brief gunfight, the police officer said.Earlier in the day, militants fired at a franchisee outlet of BSNL at Iqbal Market in Sopore in north Kashmir Baramulla district, 52 kms from here.The attack was apparently directed at telecom operators who have been threatened earlier, a police officer said. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindHe said three workers of the BSNL franchisee were injured in the firing and they were rushed to a local hospital, where doctors referred them to a hospital in Srinagar for treatment.One among the injured, Mohammad Rafiq (26), a resident of Handwara area of Kupwara district, succumbed to his injuries at the Srinagar hospital.The two injured, Ghulam Mohammad Bhat (40) and Imtiyaz Ahmad Lone (30), both residents of Sopore township, were being treated, the officer said. This was the second terror attack in Sopore in less than 48 hours. Earlier during the intervening night of May 23 and 24, suspected ultras had hurled a grenade at a residential compound where a mobile transmission tower was installed.Although officials were tight-lipped as to why the militants were targeting telecom installations, sources said the ultras were upset about “theft” of their communication equipment from mobile transmission towers in Sopore and surrounding areas earlier this month.The militants had allegedly installed communication equipment atop the towers of private and PSU companies.Later, police said the militant killed in the Kulgam encounter was identified as Ataullah Bhat alias ‘Khumani’ who was affiliated with Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT).Bhat was a resident of Chinigam village of Kulgam and was wanted in a number of militancy-related incidents, police said.last_img read more

A cup of coffee can help stick to fitness regime

first_imgStruggling to stick to fitness regime? Have a cup of coffee! According to an interesting study, the use of caffeine could help people stick to their fitness plans.Researchers said that reducing perception of effort during exercise using caffeine (or other psychoactive drugs like methylphenidate and modafinil) could help people to stick to their fitness plans. “Perception of effort is one of the main reasons why people find it difficult to stick to their fitness plans,” said professor Samuele Marcora, director of Research at University of Kent in the United Kingdom. Marcora pointed out that perceived exertion is one of the main reasons why most people choose sedentary activities for their leisure time. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Together with lack of time, physical exertion is one of the main perceived barriers to exercise, the researchers explained.Compared to watching television (zero effort), even moderate-intensity physical activities like walking requires considerable effort, they added. Marcora suggested that the use of caffeine or other psychoactive drugs to reduce the perception of effort during exercise can make the healthy choice easier.He also stated that whilst there is no strong ethical opposition to the use of psychoactive drugs to help quit smoking (nicotine) or treat obesity (appetite suppressants), the negative perception of doping in sport may prevent the use of stimulants and other psychoactive drugs to treat physical inactivity, which is responsible for twice as many deaths as obesity. The paper was published in the journal Sports Medicine.last_img read more

Negative feedback may trigger immoral behaviour

first_imgDo you have a workplace atmosphere sans motivation and constant cribbing from your boss about performance? The negative feedback from seniors may lead to endorsement of immoral behaviour in employees, warns a study.“Strongly held professional goals, when combined with public criticism of our potential in that field, can have unintended effects on ethical behaviour for some,” said lead researcher Ana Gantman from New York University.For the study, researchers conducted three experiments with students intending to enter business, law and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’In the first study, business students took a mock aptitude test which purported to measure their potential in the field, with some told they performed well in the exam and others informed they did poorly. The results, appeared in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, showed that those highly motivated to enter the business world and who were told they did poorly in the test, were more likely to endorse the immoral act — breaking the contract — than were those who were informed they did well.Similarly, in the second research, students who were determined to enter the legal field and told they performed poorly in the test, were comparatively more likely to say they performed these “immoral” behaviours.The researchers conducted a third experiment involving students, who were told they were taking a test measuring their potential to successfully major in business or STEM fields.last_img read more

DM wife assault man inside police station video goes viral

first_imgDarjeeling: A District Magistrate and his wife allegedly slapped and kicked a man and even threatened to kill him even as policemen were present, for allegedly posting indecent comments against the DM’s wife on social media. In a video that has gone viral, Alipurduar DM Nikhil Nirmal and his wife are purportedly seen repeatedly slapping and kicking the man at Falakata police station.Following this, there was widespread controversy and Nirmal has been sent on compulsory leave while Chiranjib Ghosh has taken over as the acting DM of Alipurduar. Binod Kumar Sarkar, the accused, was granted bail by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate II, Alipurduar, on Monday. Judge Purba Kundu raised questions as to why BDO Supratik Mazumdar had lodged the FIR against the accused and not the DM or his wife. The judge further questioned the DM’s action (beating up the accused inside a police station). A video clip has gone viral on Sunday showing Nirmal and his wife beating up Sarkar mercilessly inside Falakata police station while the man is seen begging for forgiveness. In the clip, Nirmal, after slapping Sarkar, threatens him with dire consequences. “No one will speak against me in my district. If I can put you in the slammer within half-an-hour, I can go to your house and kill you too,” threatens Nirmal in the clip. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHis wife slaps and kicks the man and then orders for a baton to beat him up. The police later escort him out. Sarkar was arrested and charged under Sections 509 (eve teasing,) 354 (molestation) of the IPC along with Section 67 of the IT Act. While being taken to the Falakata Hospital, Sarkar stated that he was Nandini Krishnan’s (Ranjan’s wife) Facebook friend. The two had a disagreement while chatting and she added him to a group. In the group, others started abusing him. He simply retaliated with the comments. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHuman Rights organisations, the civil society and netizens vehemently rebuked what they termed as the DM’s “high-handedness.” Community Human Rights, later during the day, lodged a complaint against the DM and his wife. Alipurduar Abhibhabok Mancha wrote a written complaint to the SP asking him to initiate legal action against the DM and his wife. “If my son has done anything wrong let the law take its course. Is it right for the DM to take law in his own hands and beat him up mercilessly?” questioned the mother of the accused. She had visited Falakata police station to lodge an FIR against the DM and his wife. “We have granted the DM 10 days of compulsory leave. As of now, Chiranjeeb Ghosh, the ADM, will take charge,” stated Barun Roy, Divisional Commissioner. 33-year-old Sarkar hails from Harinathpur, Deogaon Gram Panchayat, in Falakata. He is a private tutor by profession.last_img read more

BJP wont get more than 160 seats

first_imgBelpahari, Dantan, Keshiari (West Midnapore/Jhargram): Calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi “the biggest disaster” on Sunday, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee said BJP will get around 150-160 seats in the Lok Sabha polls and it will be Bengal, along with other friendly states, which will form the new government at the Centre.Banerjee on Sunday addressed three election meetings at Keshiari, Dantan and Belpahari. The areas fall under Midnapore and Jhargram Lok Sabha constituencies, where election will be held on May 12. She urged people to throw Modi out of power to save the country. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIn Keshiari, Banerjee said: “BJP will not get more than 150 to 160 seats in the Lok Sabha polls. They will not get a seat in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Bengal. From 73 seats their margin will come down to 13 seats in Uttar Pradesh and they will not be able to get seats in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Bengal, along with our friends in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, will form a secular and pro-development government in Delhi.” Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateBanerjee reiterated that BJP is spending money to buy votes. “They are spending Rs 1,000 to attend rallies and Rs 5,000 to buy votes. They are also giving two-wheelers to people.” Manas Bhuniya and Birbaha Soren are contesting from the Midnapore and Jhargram seats. Banerjee has changed both the candidates who had won in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. Actor Sandhya Roy was elected from the Midnapore seat, while Uma Soren had won from Jhargram. Bhuniya will face BJP state president Dilip Ghosh in Midnapore. Besides addressing the election rallies, Banerjee also took part in road shows and urged people to cast their votes in favour of Trinamool candidates.last_img read more

SSKM Heart transplant patient stable

first_imgKolkata: Thirty-year-old Mrinmoy Das on whom the SSKM Hospital doctors performed heart transplant, is said to be in stable condition.According to the SSKM Hospital sources, the patient has been showing the signs of improvement. The other patients who received various organs are also stated to be in stable. All the patients have been kept under 72 hours observation. The SSKM doctors are extra cautious in case of the patient who received heart transplant on Wednesday. It was a major success for the SSKM Hospital. After getting clearance from the Health department the SSKM Hospital carried out its first heart transplant. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataA major revamp of infrastructure had been taken up at the SSKM Hospital for performing the heart transplant. Cardio-vascular set up has received a makeover to facilitate such operations. The hospital also transplanted a kidney on Rashid Khan (60) who had been under the treatment at the hospital with kidney related ailments for some times. The organs were retrieved from Anjana Bhowmik (49) who was declared brain dead due to brain cell stroke on July 2 at a private hospital in Howrah. The SSKM Hospital doctors also preserved the skin of the patient for future use while cornea was sent to a private eye hospital in the city. Another kidney of the victim was transplanted in a patient named Juthika Bibi. Bhowmik, a resident of Rajpur area of Udayranpur suffered a brain stroke on last Sunday. Her health condition deteriorated and the patient was shifted to a private hospital in Howrah’s Andul on Monday. The doctors in the private hospital declared the patient brain dead on Tuesday following which the hospital authorities contacted the Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation as her family members agreed to donate her organs. A special team of doctors was formed to conduct the surgery. The recipients of the organs at SSKM Hospital and the private hospital are responding to the treatment. Victim’s heart and other organs were shifted to SSKM Kolkata on Tuesday night. The SSKM Hospital and the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital have performed a heart transplants. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateMeanwhile, a 60-year-old male patient was admitted at RN Tagore Hospital with a massive intracranial haemorrhage on July 1. The patient was being treated by neurologists, neurosurgeons and critical care specialists. He was in a state of coma and neurosurgery would not have helped the patient to revive. He was subsequently assessed and declared as brain dead on July 4. The family consented to donate his organs after counselling. Retrieval of the organs will be done tonight by a surgical team at RN Tagore hospital.last_img read more

Practice humanity above religion says Mamata

first_imgKolkata: The world’s first museum dedicated to the life and times of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the 16th-century proponent of the Gaudiya Vaishnavism tradition, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday.Speaking at the inauguration of the Chaitanya Mahaprabhu museum at Bagbazar, without naming Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the BJP, Banerjee said despite their futile attempts to tag her as anti-Hindu, there have been vast developmental works carried out in pilgrimage sites in Bengal. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”Some people lecture me on my religion and raise questions. I urge them to accept my challenge and conduct development works in Hindu pilgrimages. They try to attach an anti-Hindu tag against me. We are setting up a skywalk at Kalighat temple similar to Dakshineswar. The Dudhpukur at Tarapith has been renovated. Major development works have been undertaken in other pilgrimage spots like Bakreshwar, Kankalitala, Durgeshnandini temple and Ganga Sagar.” Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateBanerjee further added: “Roads have been constructed in Ganga Sagar and the temple has been given a major facelift. So many development works have taken place but some people are unable to see them. Those who cannot see them must stop trying to malign me and start looking at themselves.” She also maintained: “Some people in Delhi say that I do not allow Durga Puja to take place in the state. I would like to say that lakhs of Durga Pujas are organised here. It has been turned into a big carnival by our government. What have you done? If someone asks me about my religion, I would say that I believe in humanism what Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has preached us. He taught us to love mankind. Humanity knows no religion. There are many who try to malign me at the slightest opportunity. I challenge them to chant Sanskrit hymns as I do. Do I have to prove my religion at Jagannath temple in Puri? I do not need a certificate on my religion from anybody.” During the programme, the Chief Minister also said that the museum set up by the Gaudiya Mission will be included in the tourism map of the state. The Bengal government would also consider the proposal to make it a heritage site. “The state government has already provided Rs 1.37 crore for the setting up of the museum. North Kolkata MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay will provide Rs 50 lakh from his MPLAD fund for further development. Our government will provide another Rs 50 lakh. I would ask the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to help the Gaudiya Mission with Rs 70-80 lakh to buy another building where the museum has come up,” Banerjee said. The Chief Minister also mentioned that the KMC will set up a gate at the entrance and convert it into a tourist hub. She further added that her government has cleared 700 acre of land to ISKCON for setting up a world-class temple. “We have learnt to move forward with people belonging to different religions. Bengal is the land of Sri Chaitanya, Swami Vivekananda, Maa Sarada. They all have preached us humanity and love for mankind. They always stood for unity and preached the same,” she maintained.last_img read more

UFO Experts are studying a mysterious aluminum object that could date back

first_imgSince the official claim is that mankind did not learn to extract and manufacture metallic aluminum until around 200 years ago, news of finding aluminum that dates back as early as 250,000 years ago leaves people with a lot of questions. With this type of discovery, many theories emerge, some feeding challenges of science while others fiercely debate and reject any non-empirical claims.It must be admitted that it’s intriguing to peek into another possible theory of human life and civilization on our planet than the commonly accepted one.Reportedly, the discovery of a sensational object that challenged ideas about aluminum took place in Romania in the town of Aiud, near the banks of the Mures River, during the 1970s. At this time the country was under Communist and the news was not exposed to the public in detail.At the time, builders who worked on a project on the banks of the aforementioned river excavated three objects, of which one was later thought to be made by a human.Alum crystals have been used in a wide range of industries since antiquity.In the 1970s examination, two massive bones of an extinct mammal, which vanished from the face of the Earth 10,000 to 80,000 years ago, were reportedly discovered next to a piece of lightweight metal.These discoveries were analyzed by Swiss scientists in Lausanne, who concluded that the metal object contained around 90 percent aluminum and was around 250,000 years old.Mureş River, Arad, Romania. Photo by NorbertArthur CC BY-SA 3.0The primary claim was quickly dropped as the scientists revised the calculation and said that this metal piece might be anywhere from 400 to 80,000 years old, a possibility that still created problems because aluminum was first produced by humans 200 years ago.The object when found was noted as 7.8 inches long, 4.9 inches wide, and 2.8 inches thick. The experts who investigated its structure were perplexed by the concavities in the metal, which led them to believe that the object was formerly a part of an unknown mechanical system. The scientists searched for clues about the object’s etymology, use, or significance.NASA Apollo moon landings conspiraciesThe aluminum puzzle led to speculations that the piece might have been, in fact, part of an unidentified flying object and proof that aliens once visited the Earth. This supposition was supported by those who assert that we Earthlings are not the only advanced life forms in the universe.George Cohal, the director of the Ufologists Association of Romania, stated: “The substances of which the object is compromised are combined of an obviously unavailable technology on Earth.” On the other hand, according to the Daily Record, Romanian historian Mihai Wittenberger opposed any UFO speculation, claiming that the metal piece was actually part of a WWII aircraft.Lausanne, SwitzerlandToday, the ancient aluminum piece is displayed in the History Museum of Cluj-Napoca, the main city of the Romanian region of Transylvania, with the notation “origin still unknown.”The history of the artifact has been the subject of a heated viral debate.While conspiracy supporters believe the story of an extraterrestrial life bringing it to our planet, others doubt the claims over the discovery and suggest that the scientists should consider revising human capacity to produce aluminium alloys before the official date of the invention.Some people even discuss possible evidence of advanced human civilizations that might have lived on Earth long before the generally known beginning of civilization.The National Museum of Transylvanian History. Photo by CristianChirita CC BY 2.5According to several historians, the following passage, citation unknown, may refer to the creation of an early aluminum artifact:“Once a certain Roman jeweler was allowed to show the Emperor Tiberius a chalice made of a new metal. The chalice was remarkable for its unusually lightweight, and it shone just as brightly as silver. The goldsmith told the emperor that he made this metal from ordinary clay. He also assured the ruler that the means of obtaining this metal from clay was known only to him and the gods. The emperor was intrigued by the craftsman’s words, and the financial side of the matter did not concern him much. But soon he was struck by the thought that if people master the production of this bright metal from ordinary clay, all the stores of gold and silver in his treasure trove would instantly become worthless. Therefore, instead of the expected reward, the craftsman lost his head.”Read another story from us: The push for answers to the mystery of the lost Roanoke colony of 1587Let’s hope that we will be given a chance to find out whether any of the stories about aluminum are true.last_img read more

The Buzz Behind Those Tech Buzzwords

first_imgFebruary 16, 2012 Brought to you by Business on Main Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. As a small-business owner or manager, it’s not easy keeping up with technology — particularly if your business isn’t data- or technology-driven. In our second installation in this series, we look at a few more buzzwords — and why you should care about them.Consumer ITIt wasn’t long ago when most of the products that you bought or craved at Best Buy weren’t allowed at the office. You were issued a standard, sluggish PC, installed with pre-approved, cumbersome applications. Wireless networks inside the building? Forget about it. Well, that’s all changed, and now people bring their latest hot-off-the-shelf tools to work.”Consumer IT” refers to how companies are adopting technology based on what employees want, instead of forcing tools on them. This CIO article explains why employees won’t use “clunky enterprise software” anymore, demonstrating how the tide has changed in favor of workers.For a small business, this is fantastic news. You no longer have the pressure to invest in and support costly customer-relationship-management or collaboration applications. Instead, for a much smaller chunk of change, you can subscribe on the Web to get all the tools you need to run your business. You may not even need to buy PCs or phones for your employees — they’d probably rather bring their own. The BYOD (bring your own device) culture is here to stay, so go with it! Big dataJust as happened with “the cloud,” it seems as if every major tech vendor has a “big data” strategy and product. The philosophy behind big data is that companies and organizations have been steadily acquiring mountains of data, and they want to make some use of it.Usually, the existing infrastructure of even a large company may not be able to handle crunching large data sets to provide quick and useful analysis that could save money or direct a new product strategy. So, application developers are using a free open-source platform called Hadoop (from Apache) to help companies more cheaply do the job using parallel processing and cluster computing.That may sound like a project more suited for Bank of America or NASA rather than your small business, but someday, small companies will be able to take advantage of this supercharged form of business analytics. This recent Business on Main article discusses how big data could spark new innovations and startups. Malware/spyware/virusYou’ve seen the above security terms before — in fact, they’ve been around for quite some time. But is there any real need for so many terms to describe what’s essentially a piece of malicious code that attacks your computer and sometimes spreads to other computers, disabling your network and even taking down your entire business?SearchSecurity defines a virus as “code that replicates by being copied or initiating its copying to another program, computer boot sector or document.” Cisco classifies viruses (along with worms, Trojans and bots) as “malware,” which the company defines as code or software that is designed “to damage, disrupt, steal or in general inflict some other bad or illegitimate action on data, hosts or networks.” Cisco notes that most malware is triggered by users downloading files or forwarding e-mails. That’s right — it’s all your fault!Then there’s spyware, which downloads to your PC to collect information about you and your online behavior so marketers can target you. Spyware can also do a bunch of other weird things while you’re surfing, just to get you to buy something you probably don’t want. Shame on you for surfing the Web!All you really need to know is that there are easy, cheap ways to prevent these nasty programs from infecting your PC, through regular cleansing sweeps using antivirus and anti-spyware software. Most tools are free and can run in the background on your PC.4GThe wireless industry is notorious for creating highly technical terminology to describe its products and specifications. There’s probably a conspiracy here — is there something these big companies don’t want us to know?The fourth generation of cellular communications technology, 4G, is one example. “I understand how fast Gigabit Ethernet can transfer data,” remarks Lee Schlesinger, an application specialist with the New York Botanical Garden. “How fast is 4G? I know the answer, but the label doesn’t say it.” This reporter from Mashable sums it up well: “4G promises faster speed and better coverage. But it also represents a confusing mish-mash of competing standards and marketing speak — there’s no single 4G technology.”Whether it’s worth upgrading to 4G depends on how frustrated you are with your 3G phone. It’s probably wise to thoroughly research the model of phone you want since real speed will depend on the hardware, plus other factors, such as network congestion in your area. Here’s just one of many demos of 4G speeds.GamificationWhat do games have to do with work, unless you’re a gaming company? Companies are increasingly integrating gaming concepts into their websites to add some fun to their marketing, offering visitors status and rewards for playing games.It’s the kind of supercharged loyalty program that typically only large companies can afford, says Gabe Zichermann, an author of gamification books and chair of the annual Gamification Summit. In his blog, Zichermann describes this emerging area as “the use of game thinking and game mechanics to engage audiences and solve problems.”Can you afford it? There are a slew of gamification companies that offer free or low-cost gaming tools you can integrate into your online marketing or employee motivation programs. If you think you have a playful, digitally motivated audience, gamification could help you grow your business.In case you missed the first article in this series, check out how we define cloud, crowdsourcing and other confusing buzzwords. 6 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now »last_img read more